Joseph Gordon-Levitt Defends The ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Ending

The story of Edward Snowden should not be boring and yet, everything I’ve seen thus far about Stone’s latest makes me think that Snowden will drag on with a familiar cautionary tale about how the government has corrupted our liberties.

That might be the reason that Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who portrays the titular character, took the time to talk about a more popular film at the recent LA press day for the film. While answering questions from Cinema Blend, Gordon-Levitt discussed his feelings about  his last scene in The Dark Knight Rises. Here’s what Gordon-Levitt had to say:


I know we’re all used to the sort of Marvel movies, which are just kind of endless series. They don’t really have a beginning, middle, and end. But I think Nolan very much thought of that movie as a conclusion, and there’s a theme that runs through all three of those movies that begins in the first movie, runs through the second movie and it concludes in that moment where he says that Batman is more than a man, Batman is a symbol. And so to have another man other than Bruce Wayne kind of becoming Batman at the end of that trilogy, I think that’s the perfect ending to that story.

In my opinion, the problem is that the storytelling is too neat, too mechanized, and there’s no complication to that thematic idea. There’s nothing particularly human about Nolan’s movies outside of his performers, but that doesn’t make the ending of The Dark Knight Rises feel any less opportunistic and indecisive, especially considering the fact that Gordon-Levitt didn’t even turn out to be the next Batman we saw.

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‘Captain America: Civil War’ Directors Give Their Original Ending Idea

Captain America 3 wasn’t always going to be “Civil War”. It was contingent on getting Robert Downey Jr. to sign on to a Marvel film that wasn’t an Iron Man or an Avengers picture. Since Marvel was going to make a third Captain America regardless of whether or not Downey came on, the Russos were left with ideas for what Cap should face in his next solo picture, and they came up with a zombie film.

Speaking to EW, the Russos explained the “Madbomb” from the comics and how they wanted to use it for the climax of the film:

“There was a period where we did discuss a third act that revolved around the Madbomb from Cap mythology. It didn’t have anything to do with ‘Civil War,’ and if we couldn’t get Downey — in the very, very early conversations before we nailed him — somebody pitched the idea of a third-act that revolved around the Madbomb, which makes people crazy. It almost like zombifies them — but not literally.”

If that sounds familiar, that’s because of Agent Carter, the Marvel series that used the idea in its first season (coincidentally, that’s also the villain’s plan in Kingsman).


The Russos liked the idea of the Madbomb because it would force Captain America the people he had sworn to protect.

“The notion of the Madbomb would have been Cap having to fight civilians and how he would he handle that,” Joe Russo said. “We were always trying to put him into these interesting moral conundrums because of his nature. That would have made a compelling third act because if civilians are the antagonists, how could he stop them without killing them?”

 

“Somebody you know has turned into a zombie and now you have to fight them. And there would have been the emotional component of that,” Anthony Russo added.

Nonetheless, when Cap fights Iron Man in Civil War, it’s because Tony Stark, although filled with rage and anger, is still making a conscious decision, and that’s far more rewarding for the audience.

Captain America: Civil War hits Digital HD, Digital 3D and Disney Movies Anywhere on September 2nd and Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand on September 13th.

‘Star Trek Discovery’ News: Bryan Fuller on Lead Character’s Name

They are putting together a brand new Star Trek TV series! That’s exciting stuff! It’s been over a decade since Trek was on the small screen, with the four-season run of Star Trek Enterprise comprising the end of an impressive 18-year run of TV shows on the air, but now CBS is bringing the franchise back in the form of Star Trek Discovery, with Bryan Fuller serving as showrunner. Many details for the show have remained secret ahead of its January 2017 premiere, but Fuller recently took part in a radio interview where he revealed some interesting points.

Per AICN, Fuller revealed that the lead character of the show is a female, human, non-captain Starfleet officer, who is referred to in the series as “Number One.” Additionally, while this first season will consist of 13 episodes, the producer would ideally like each season of Star Trek Discovery to comprise no more than 10 episodes, comparable to Game of Thrones.

We know that Fuller and fellow executive producer Alex Kurtzman—who co-wrote the 2009 Star Trek feature film as well as Star Trek Into Darkness—are scripting the first installment  but Fuller reavealed that Nicholas Meyer is writing the second episode. He was a mighty exciting hire for Star Trek Discovery as he’s the one responsible for scripting the feature films Wrath of Khan, The Voyage Home, and The Undiscovered Country.

You can listen to the full radio interview right here, via AICN, but this is definitely exciting stuff. And for even more on the show, click here for an interview with Fuller from the Saturn Awards.

Star Trek Discovery will premiere on CBS in January, but subsequent episodes will be available exclusively on the streaming service CBS All Access.

Daredevil Season 2 Overlapping with Luke Cage Season 1

The Netflix corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe expands beyond Hell’s Kitchen this fall with the release of Luke Cage season 1. Mike Colter’s solo Marvel superhero TV series follows Luke as he uses his super-strength and bullet-proof skin to battle the criminal empire of Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes (Mahershala Ali), on the streets of Harlem. Colter has confirmed that Luke Cage‘s first season picks up a fews months after the events of Jessica Jones season 1.

So far, the shows have lined up with the chronological order of each new season. Daredevil’s street war against Kingpin thus takes place before Jessica’s (Krysten Ritter) more personal battle with Kilgrave (David Tennant), with Matt Murdock’s (Charlie Cox) subsequent encounters with Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) taking place sometime thereafter. However, it turns out the timelines of Daredevil season 2 and Luke Cage season 1 directly overlap with one another.

Cox, when he spoke at Wizard World Chicago, shared the following his season 2 and Rosario Dawson’s MCU character, Claire Temple (via CBR):

“One thing that I thought was really cool is that in the second season [of ‘Daredevil’], we had a scene together and in the storyline we hadn’t seen each other for a long time and it takes place at the hospital. Roasario had — Claire Temple has a cut in her eyebrow. So I was like, ‘What is that?’ Apparently it had nothing to do with our world but it’s part of ‘Luke Cage.’ The timeline had been thought through and worked out so that whatever’s going on in ‘Luke Cage,’ which we don’t know, I don’t know, somehow at some point during that show, the next day she’s in the hospital talking to me.”

Dawson, who was also at the WWC event, spoke about the unusual nature of her time working in the MCU and how Claire is used as a connective tissue between the different Marvel/Netflix series:

“I’ve been signing on every year just on its own… I’ve had a different sort of experience where I really don’t know. And then when I do sign up, I sign up for episodes, but they don’t tell me which shows. So I have no idea — I’m just sort of working and have this question mark for the entire year, which is when are they gonna call me? And for what and how is it going to show up? What I do, I come in pretty late, so I won’t get those first couple episodes. That happened with the second season [of ‘Daredevil’]. When I came on, they didn’t send me any of the previous episodes so I suddenly just came in in the middle of all this insanity and they’re like, ‘You’ll watch it at the premiere with the rest of us.’ My character’s a little standalone in that sense.”

Claire should continue serving as a connective link between the street-level heroes of Hell’s Kitchen (and Harlem) in the upcoming Marvel/Netflix crossover mini-series event, The Defenders. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see where Claire is at (and what she’s up to) during the first season of Iron Fist in particular, before the Defenders unite in 2017.

‘Rogue One’ Director Gareth Edwards Explains Multiple Title Meanings

We’ve received two equally enthralling trailers for the Star Wars spin-off while also learning a whole lot more about Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and her team of rebels looking to steal the plans to the Death Star. Now, the director Gareth Edwards put a little light to one question that has spurred plenty of speculation, that being the title.

Speaking with Empire, Edwards gave three different meanings for the term “Rogue One,” beginning with the most obvious: a call sign in the Rogue squadron of the Rebellion. He went on to say that the title also refers to the film being the first spin-off in the Star Wars franchise and to Jyn herself, a pure rebel who takes on something of a suicide mission. Here are his exact words via THR:


 “‘Rogue One’ is a military call sign to some extent…this is the first film that’s gone off-piste and is not part of the saga –- or the Anakin story — so it’s the ‘rogue’ one, you know?”

 

“It’s kind of describing [Felicity Jones’ character] as well in a similar way…It has [all] these split, multiple meanings that made it feel like the right choice.”

It speaks to the depth of meaning that will be worked into Edwards’ film, being at once stylistically different yet in the same franchise as The Force Awakens and a film focused largely on the war.

Here’s the official synopsis for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story:

From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” an all-new epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves. In theaters December 2016.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 Will Have ‘More Edge’

Following the success of The Avengers, Marvel and ABC looked to bring a corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe onto the small screen. They decided to move forward with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., with Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson. Since then, Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennet) has moved into the lead role after the rise of the Inhumans on the series. The show is gearing up for its season 4 premiere.

Head of Marvel Television Jeph Loeb recently talked to CBR about the upcoming season, and the new time slot was a topic that was discussed. Now for season 4, the time change will give the show even more “edge,” which Loeb thinks viewers will enjoy:

“By going to 10 o’clock, we’re going to be taking on just a little bit more edge, a little bit more grit. The show is pretty violent for something at 9 o’clock, but when we get to 10 o’clock, we’re going to be just a little hair of something that I think people are going to really enjoy.”

One of the beneficiaries to a an edgier tone should be the newest addition to the cast, Robbie Reyes aka Ghost Rider, played by Gabriel Luna. The creators have already teased changing up Robbie’s origin to work with the story and be a surprise to fans.

Robbie is not the only new character coming to the show this season, with other additions being Jason O’Mara as the new director. It will be interesting to see how the show is able to work all of these varying storylines together throughout the season; fortunately, we will start to get answers in just a few weeks.

Dwayne Johnson Wraps Filming on ‘Fast 8’

After having beef with Vin Diesel on the set of Fast 8, Dwayne Johnson has finally wrapped filming on the action sequel, but there’s no slowing down the Rock when it comes to upcoming projects. The actor has already shot Baywatch this year, he’s done with Fast 8, and now he’s moving on to Jumanji in two weeks. Johnson will co-star with Kevin Hart and Jack Black in the upcoming film, which will be directed by Jake Kasdan (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story). The actor said that the movie is “a continuation of the awesome JUMANJI story” (i.e. a legacyquel).

Check out Johnson’s Instagram post. Fast 8 opens April 14, 2017 and Jumanjiopens July 28, 2017.

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John Turturro Is Reportedly Filming a ‘Big Lebowski’ Spinoff

It appears that John Turturro’s long-held wish for a Big Lebowski spinoff has come true. The actor has been talking for years about his desire to see the story of Jesus Quintana continued in some form. However, after all this time it appears that Turturro may have simply taken things into his own hands, as word comes that he’s actually filming a Big Lebowski spinoff right now.

Turturro is currently in production on Going Places, which is a remake of the 1974 French sex farce Les Valseuses. But Birth.Movies.Death have learned that the film is actually a Big Lebowski spinoff centered around Jesus Quintana, with Turturro handling script duties and reprising the role with a cast that also includes Bobby Cannavale, Audrey Tautou, and Susan Sarandon.


The plot of the film, per BMD, is as follows: “Two petty thieves, Turturro’s Jesus and Cannavale’s Petey, compete to give a woman (Tautou) her first orgasm after she’s roped into their hijinks.” Sarandon reportedly plays a criminal just released from a long stint in prison who also ends up as part of this troupe.

Turturro is currently doing swell work on the HBO limited series The Night Of in a dramatic turn, but he’s been directing features since the early 90s and most recently directed Woody Allen in 2013’s Fading Gigolo.

While the Coen Brothers seem to kind of shrug off The Big Lebowski as a silly comedy, the cult around the film is massive, and The Dude himself Jeff Bridges recently said he’d be down for a proper Lebowski sequel focusing on the Little Lebowski he made with Julianne Moore’s Maude.

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‘Kenobi’ Fan Trailer Teases the Inevitable ‘Star Wars’ Spinoff

When it was first announced that Lucasfilm, under new ownership of Disney, would be developing Star Wars “anthology” films in addition to proper sequels, fan speculation came up about what those anthology films might be. The first is Rogue One, which opens this December and serves as a prequel of sorts to A New Hope, revealing the previously unseen story of how those Death Star plans were stolen in the first place. The second installment is a young Han Solo movie, but there are already rumors that a third will focus on Boba Fett, with a film about Yoda also potentially in the works, but one spinoff that fans seem to be 100% onboard with is an Obi-Wan Kenobi movie with Ewan McGregor reprising his role from the prequels.

As such, a fan took it upon himself to create a fake trailer for Kenobi: A Star Wars Story, which as one can surmise is a film that picks up Obi-Wan’s story after the events of Revenge of the Sith and before his old man exile in A New Hope. The fan trailer intersperses footage from the prequels with plenty of footage from Last Days in the Desert, a film released earlier this year that saw McGregor playing Jesus Christ during his 40 days wandering the desert.


McGregor said in an interview earlier this year that personally, he is very much down to play Obi-Wan in a Star Wars spinoff movie:

“I’d very much like to do one too. I think the story between Episode III and Episode IV, I think there’s a story there. I think that’s the Obi-Wan Kenobi movie, if there is one. The one that bridges my Obi-Wan Kenobi and Alec’s Obi-Wan Kenobi because there’s a—I don’t know how long he’s in the desert there, but it’s got to be twenty or thirty years.:

For now, check out Rich Williamson’s fan trailer below.

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‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’: Zendaya Might Be Playing Mary Jane Watson

A while ago, Spider-Man: Homecoming cast Disney Channel star Zendaya in a “key role”, but there were few details given about what that role could be.

But now The Wrap is claiming that Zendaya is not playing “Michelle”, a character based on a minor comic character, but instead is set to play a role that is sure to create controversy because the filmmakers are veering from the holy writ of the comics. According to The Wrap, Zendaya is playing Peter Parker’s long-time love interest, Mary Jane Watson.


For those who aren’t familiar with the character or the comics, Watson has always been a Caucasian redhead who informs people when they hit the jackpot. Her history is about as long as Peter’s at this point, and although she wasn’t his first serious girlfriend in the comics (that honor goes to the doomed Gwen Stacy), she has been his longtime partner.

While I’m sure there are those who will reject Zendaya playing Mary Jane because of her mixed-race heritage (I’m sure there are those who will go even further and reject her because she’s not sporting red hair for the movie). Rather than make a judgment call on her looks, let’s judge the performance.

Spider-Man: Homecoming opens July 7, 2017 and also stars Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Michael Keaton, Bokeem Woodbine, Donald Glover,Hannibal Buress, Abraham Attah, Martin Starr, Tony Revolori, Michael Barbieri, and Angourie Rice.

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Mary Poppins 2 May Add Ben Whishaw In A Familiar Role That Connects To The Original

Ben Whishaw is no stranger to family films, what with his role as the titular bear in Paddington managing to be a surprise hit at last year’s box office.But now he’ll possibly have another legendary franchise of British children’s literature under his belt. Brace yourselves, as Michael Banks is all grown up, and he might end up looking a lot like Ben Whishaw.

Variety reported Whishaw as in talks to take the role of one of the two children Mary Poppins helped nurture as children. The events of Mary Poppins Returns would see Mary returning to Michael, and his sister Jane, “following a personal loss.” One could presume that the nature of that loss is the death of their father. Mary will be bringing some new characters into the mix, including her cousin, Topsy Poppins, and a lamplighter named Jack. Those roles are played by Meryl Streep and Lin-Manuel Miranda, respectively. Mary Poppins herself is being played by Emily Blunt.

In addition to his role in Paddington, which should start production on its sequel this fall, Wishaw is also the most recent incarnation of Q in the James Bond series. So Ben Whishaw is no stranger to well-respected ensemble casts, nor is he a fish out of water when it comes to inhabiting a classic character with an extensive background.

Mary Poppins Returns hopes to be practically perfect in every way, when it hits theaters on December 25, 2018.

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Justice League’s Henry Cavill Teases Black Superman Suit

The Man of Steel was dispatched in Batman V Superman with an obvious tease of his return/resurrection, but any and all updates surrounding his role in Justice League have been kept quiet – not that comic book fans don’t know exactly what to expect.

Actor Henry Cavill may not reveal any details surrounding how or when Superman returns to the fight, but he is hinting at that same comic storyline – the one-of-a-kind Supersuit worn by the hero, anyway.

Not long after some fantastic fan art teased what Superman’s long-haired, black-suited style could look like on film, Cavill took to Instagram to share one cryptic photo depicting a close-up of the Kryptonian bodysuit… minus the color.

Now that’s what you call a tease. Even odds at whether this is simply an image of the old suit drained of its color, or a glimpse of the black ‘recovery suit’ worn by Supes in the comics, brought to life for Zack Snyder’s next film (the added Kryptonian script matches the upgrades for Dawn of Justice, so the former might be most likely). Either way, it’s one more reason for fans to get excited. Snyder may not be every comic fan’s cup of tea, but with the footage we’ve seen of Justice League dialing up the energy and fun, the director’s vision for Superman’s resurrection is an enticing proposition.

Perhaps his resurrection comes from the intervention of an unknown outsider – as good a mystery as any for Superman to spend his own Man of Steel solo sequel solving. We won’t know for some time, but with teases like this, fans of Cavill’s Superman can rest easy knowing he’s on his way back before too long. And given the villains striking in his absence, his emergence could have serious consequences on the DCEU.

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