Saturday, May 26, 2018
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deadpool2 2 The Potential of the Expanding Deadpool Universe

Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox
[This story contains spoilers for Deadpool 2]

Leaving the theater after Deadpool 2 probably left you feeling a lot of emotions, and at least one of them might have been confusion. For months, the promotional campaign for the movie impressed upon the importance of the X-Force, an all-new team of never-before-seen-in-live-action mutant heroes ready to take the X-Men film universe by storm with everyone’s favorite Merc With the Mouth at the helm.

Except that’s not exactly what happened — at least, not in the way we expected, and it may have some serious repercussions for the future of the Deadpool franchise.

The first thing that needs to be understood about the X-Force is that, as a team, it was a product of the times. Over in the comics, it was the brainchild of Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefeld, and the result of the same over-the-top “extreme” ’90s aesthetics that gave rise to characters like utility pouch-strapped and gun toting Cable. They were what you’d expect from the era: a group of X-Men offshoots who were designed to be edgier, tougher, meaner, and more violent than their sanitized, family friendly cousins. Officially their goal was more along the lines of a black ops unit, going on secret missions, dealing with threats before they became problems, treading morally dubious waters and generally proclaiming that comics weren’t for kids anymore.

The team’s overall newness and the fact that many of the big name X-Men still had to be safe for Saturday morning cartoons meant the rosters were comprised of traditionally C and D-list characters. Short-lived as they were, almost every one of the members Deadpool 2 promoted were, in fact, actual members from the comics at one point or another. From Terry Crews’ Bedlam to Lewis Tan’s Shatterstar, the lineup was populated with Easter Eggs and winks to fans — even Shatterstar’s strange, half-explained origin from “Mojoworld” was a real thing — though the button-down wearing non-mutant Peter (Rob Delaney), sadly, was not.

Ironically, though they shared the same basic DNA, the same creator, and practically the same birthday (Deadpool popped up in February of 1991 and X-Force in April of that year), Deadpool himself was not a member right off the bat. He would periodically pop in to help or hinder, but didn’t become an official team player until 2009.lucky deadpool2 The Potential of the Expanding Deadpool Universe

Now, in typical Deadpool fashion, it turned out that the roster of heroes we’d been led to believe would make up the team were actually a whole bunch of cannon fodder. Not five minutes after they were each introduced, they met their grisly and totally avoidable ends in a series of Final Destination style accidents — all except Wade himself and the “lucky” Domino (Zazie Beetz) who skated through the bloodbath unscathed. The X-Force, apparently, was over before it even began.

That is, until, the real X-Force came together. Made up of survivors Deadpool and Domino, as well as Cable (Josh Brolin), Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand), Colossus (Stefan Kapicic), Yukio (Shiori Kutsuna), and the unlikely recurring cab driver Dopinder (Karan Soni), a new team rose from the ashes of the first just in time to save the day. Sure, they may have never called themselves the X-Force officially, but the signs couldn’t have been more clear. Even Wade’s costume, singed to look black and white for the entire final scene, echoed the outfit his comics counterpart wore during his first official X-Force title.x force The Potential of the Expanding Deadpool Universe

Jerome Opena/Marvel Entertainment
Uncanny X-Force No. 1

So what does this mean for Drew Goddard’s follow-up X-Force film? Well, a good guess would be that it’s going to be an X-Force the likes of which we’ve never seen in the comics. The trappings of the ’90s have been very literally stripped away in a full-on character massacre, and what we’re left with is a postmodern take on the same basic principles: a team of characters set out to subvert the superheroic norm. In 1991, that meant self-serious ultraviolence and really embarrassing hairstyles. In 2018, in the age of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it means something else entirely.

In adopting the Deadpool franchise’s overall tone of self-award parody and irreverence, the cinematic X-Force could very well adapt to fit the genre niches that aren’t currently being served by Marvel Studios’ superhero movie juggernaut.Though the team’s place in the X-Men movie continuity will likely remain at least somewhat ambiguous — Deadpool isn’t really a character that cares much for the sanctity of shared cinematic timelines, that much is clear in Deadpool 2’s post-credits stinger — an action-comedy X-Force moviecould reinvigorate the Fox line the same way Marvel’s experimentation with genre benders like Thor: Ragnarok and Spider-Man: Homecoming provided booster shots to the MCU.

Sure, Deadpool’s new X-Force — and whatever percentage of the cast ends up returning for Goddard’s X-Force outing — may not be the most faithful representation of the source material at least not in the way the immediately expandable line up was, but they are a pretty genuine stab at updating it.

jake gyllenhaal Jake Gyllenhaal in talks for villain role in Spider Man: Homecoming sequel

Jake Gyllenhaal is finally ready to join the superhero world.

The Oscar-nominated actor is in talks to star as the Marvel villain Mysterio in the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming, EW has confirmed. Sony declined to comment.

If a deal is made, Gyllenhaal will play Mysterio, one of Peter Parker’s most memorable foes. The original Mysterio was Quentin Beck, a special effects expert and stuntman who leaves his career in Hollywood to better use his talents by creating criminal illusions.

Joining Tom Holland in Homecoming 2 marks Gyllenhaal’s first foray into superhero films (sorry Entourage, we don’t count him replacing Vincent Chase in Aquaman 2). The actor does have a history with the Spider-Man franchise; at one point, rumors had him in the mix to possibly replace Tobey Maguire in the first trilogy.

Spider-Man: Homecoming’s sequel swings into theaters on July 5, 2019.

hugh jackman logan Deadpool 2 Is a Secret Companion Piece to LoganBen Rothstein/Twentieth Century Fox

[This story contains spoilers for Deadpool 2]

Deadpool 2, with its sophomoric humor, plethora of pop culture references, and soundtrack that covers everything from a-ha to Dolly Parton, is a kick in the shins to superhero conventionalism. That much was expected. But what may not have been quite as anticipated is that Deadpool 2 forms the perfect companion piece to James Mangold’s Logan, while furthering the importance of 20th Century Fox’s entire X-Men centric franchise. When Logan was released last year, it provided a swansong for Hugh Jackman’s seventeen-year run as Wolverine, a role he originated in 2000’s X-Men. Mangold delivered the film many fans of the character had always wanted, a gritty, blood-soaked meditation on violence. Packaged in the form of a post-modern Western, and stripped of costumes and some of the flashier aspects associated with superhero films, Logan deconstructed Wolverine’s legacy in an ode to pain. The bleakness of Logan seems like a far-cry from Deadpool 2, given the latter’s lack of baggage from either a character standpoint or its position in a now 18-year old franchise. But David Leitch’s film, despite its hilarity, is surprisingly emotionally grounded, and has more to add to Logan’s message than its overt references to the film.

Deadpool 2 opens with a music box, featuring the character Logan impaled on the husk of a dead tree in the same position as he died in Mangold’s film. Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds) makes a few quips about Logan stealing his R-rating and beating him to the punch in dying in his own film, before promising that he’s going to die in this film too. This all seems like an extended gag, meant to highlight Deadpool’s fourth-wall breaking, referential nature. But as the plot pushes forward and Deadpool suffers the tragic death of his girlfriend Vanessa (Morena Baccarin), the thematic arc of the film takes shape. Logan isn’t simply an impermanent object that can be tossed away like any other gag, it is the thematic music of the film and perhaps this entire cinematic universe going forward. Deadpool 2 manages to retain all of the elements that made the first film so successful, but it does so creating deeper emotional layers. No, Deadpool doesn’t sacrifice his amusing personality to become like Logan, and the film isn’t a harrowing experience where death is permanent. But Deadpool 2’s enveloping bear-hug around Logan enables Leitch’s film to exist in the space around Mangold’s film and harken back to the original driving ideas behind Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s X-Men.

Like Jackman’s Logan, Reynolds’ Deadpool is forced to come to terms with his existence when everything he cares about in the world, the very thing that drives him, is snatched away. While Logan had built up a family of mutants through the X-Men, Deadpool only had Vanessa. The sequel’s narrative heightens the love story of the first film by reemphasizing that everything that made Wade Wilson into Deadpool was due to his love for Vanessa. Logan and Deadpool 2 find two men with healing factors, stripped of the people that gave them purpose and identity — and they are unable to cope. Both films find the characters on a suicidal drive. Logan handles this more subtly, with the lead character’s alcoholism and scarred body showing an inclination towards self-destruction as his healing factor continues to fade. Deadpool 2 takes the more direct approach, as the character demands it. But it is arguably a bit more shocking to see this character, our raunchy jester, contend with suicide. While there’s plenty to laugh at, including the Looney Tunes levels of violence that tests Deadpool’s ability to heal, Reynolds delivers staggering moments of sincerity in his hopelessness. While it’s tough to say any performance in Fox’s X-Films have matched Hugh Jackman’s in Logan, Reynolds in Deadpool 2 delivers one that is appropriately adjacent to it.deadpool2 1 Deadpool 2 Is a Secret Companion Piece to Logan

Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox

Logan is reluctantly pulled out of his death dive by the arrival of Laura (Dafne Keen), a young mutant with powers very similar to his own. In his mission to deliver her to a fabled mutant safe haven, Logan finds purpose again, but also hope that a new generation of mutants can accomplish what he and his generation of X-Men failed to do. In the aftermath of a botched training mission with the X-Men, Deadpool is also driven by a young mutant, Rusty (Julian Dennison). Rusty, tortured and abused at a mutant orphanage that facilitates conversion therapy, lashes out against the world by reveling in his powers. Both of these angry young mutants represent the hopes and fears of the future. Laura has the capacity to be everything Logan hates about his own violent tendencies, or to be something better. “Don’t be what they made you,” Logan tells her in his dying moments. While Deadpool has no genetic connection to Rusty like Logan does to Laura, there is the recognition that their shared experiences in abuse by a world that hates and fears them can ultimately have tragic costs. “Kids give us a chance to be better than we used to be” Vanessa tells Deadpool hours before her death. Thus, in his efforts to die so that he may be reunited with Vanessa, Deadpool takes on the challenge of protecting the boy from the time traveling soldier Cable (Josh Brolin). Cable’s mission to kill Rusty in order to prevent the future in which Rusty becomes a tyrant and kills his family is also driven by his need to protect the next generation. Cable’s daughter Hope, an allusion to the character’s adopted daughter in the comics, forms the purpose of his mission, and hope very literally forms the stakes of the entire film. Thus, Cable’s arc not only runs parallel to Deadpool’s, but Logan’s as well.logan 2017 Deadpool 2 Is a Secret Companion Piece to Logan

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation/Photofest

It is this recognition in the potential of a next generation that form the very foundation of the X-Men as they first appeared in the pages of Marvel Comics in 1963. Together, Logan and Deadpool 2 paint a picture of mutantkind that none of the prior films have tapped into as successfully. The social stakes aren’t always as grand as choosing whether to side with Magneto and rule over humanity, nor the bigotry as docile as protest signs and parents asking their children if they’ve tried not being a mutant. The X-Men comics rose to popularity during a time when Americans believed things were getting better, and the films have existed in that mindspace as well. But now that the U.S. stands fully revealed, and we’ve come to realize that hatred and bigotry never left, perhaps a harder edged take on mutants is required both in comics and on film.  Deadpool 2 makes a crack about the X-Men’s dated social and civil rights messages, but then does something to update that message. In Logan and Deadpool 2, the most recent X-films, systematic abuse supported by the government is taken into account. It’s an inability to see mutants as human beings, or to recognize the emotional complexity of children where the biggest stakes lie. It’s these themes that made Lee’s work, and more significantly Chris Claremont’s work on the X-Men, stand out. It is in teaching the next generation, exemplified by Laura and Rusty, not only to fight but to form a community – a family, as Deadpool puts it, that gives rise to hope. Logan and Deadpool 2, while both solo films that seemingly buck the trend of the X-Men comics they have their roots in, best exemplify why these stories of mutants still matter.

BlacKkKlansman 1 Spike Lees BlacKkKlansman wins Grand Prix award from Cannes

Focus Features

After receiving glowing reviews from critics at Cannes, Spike Lee‘s BlacKkKlansman walked away with one of the film festival’s top awards, the Grand Prix.

The provocative film, set in the early 1970s, stars John David Washington as Ron Stallworth, a black detective who launches an undercover investigation of the Ku Klux Klan with colleague Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver). Topher Grace also features as David Duke, the KKK’s Grand Wizard.

As for the coveted Palme d’Or, Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda received the honor for his film Shoplifters (Manbiki Kazoku), about a poor family taking in a little girl found in the freezing cold. Winners of this honor from the past couple years include Ruben Östlund’s The Square and Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake.

Also on Saturday, Netflix announced it had acquired best screenplay winner Happy as Lazzaro and Caméra d’Or winner Girl for distribution in North America and Latin America. This comes after Netflix had pulled its films from Cannes after the festival announced a rule change that prohibited titles without theatrical releases from participating in competition.

Girl, directed by Lukas Dhont, also received the Queer Palm award, a recognition for LGBTQ-themed works.

Cate Blanchett served as the president of this year’s Cannes jury, which included A Wrinkle in Time director Ava DuVernay, Kristen Stewart, Blade Runner 2049 director Denis Villeneuve, Spectre‘s Léa Seydoux, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon‘s Chang Chen, French filmmaker Robert Guédiguian, Burundian songwriter-composer Khadja Nin, and Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev.

See the list of winners below.

Palme d’Or
Shoplifters, director Hirokazu Kore-eda

Grand Prix
Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman

Jury Prize
Nadine Labaki, Capernaum

Special Palme d’Or
Jean-Luc Godard, Image Book

Best Actor
Marcello Fonte, Dogman

Best Director
Pawel Pawlikowski, Cold War

Best Screenplay
Alice Rohrwacher, Happy As Lazzaro
Nader Saeivar, 3 Faces

Best Actress
Samal Yeslyamova, My Little One

Caméra d’Or
Girl, director Lukas Dhont

Short Film Palme d’Or
“All These Creatures,” director Charles Williams

Short Film Palme d’Or Special Mention
“On the Border,” director Wei Shujun

Ecumenical Jury Prize
Capernaum, Nadine Labaki

Ecumenical Jury Special Mention
BlacKkKlansman, Spike Lee

Queer Palm
Girl, Lukas Dhont

cannes 2018 Critics’ Picks: The 20 Best Films of Cannes 2018

Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival


3 Faces


 3 Faces Critics’ Picks: The 20 Best Films of Cannes 2018
Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

Traditional ideas about male virility and a woman’s place in the home are challenged in Jafar Panahi’s simply shot, pleasing film, his fourth since being banned from directing by Iranian authorities. Revolving around a man who drives to a mountain village with a famous actress to investigate a girl’s suicide, the movie is defiantly modern in its liberating message about freedom of choice, harking back to great cinema verite works like Abbas Kiarostami’s The Wind Will Carry Us. — DEBORAH YOUNG

Ash Is Purest White


 Ash Is Purest White Critics’ Picks: The 20 Best Films of Cannes 2018
Courtesy of MK2 films

Chinese director Jia Zhang-ke was never going to make a conventional jianghu underworld movie, and even if genre elements and hard-edged character details are woven into this textured, unhurried drama, it’s of a piece with the auteur’s contemplative body of work. Spanning 17 years, the film provides a transfixing lead role for Jia’s wife and muse, Zhao Tao, as a woman from a coal-mining town in love with a local mobster (Liao Fan), their relationship unfolding against the backdrop of a changing China. — DAVID ROONEY

Birds of Passage

Directors’ Fortnight

 Birds of Passage Critics’ Picks: The 20 Best Films of Cannes 2018
Courtesy of Cannes

Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra’s Colombian crime epic is like an indigenous Godfather, revealing the slow and steady destruction of a close-knit native family that gets caught up in the international drug trade in the ’70s. Both ethnographic chronicle and thriller, this is a superbly crafted, patiently paced film from the team behind 2016 foreign-language Oscar nominee Embrace of the Serpent. — JORDAN MINTZER



 BlacKkKlansman Critics’ Picks: The 20 Best Films of Cannes 2018
David Lee/Focus Features

A true story told in a boisterously exaggerated way, this is Spike Lee’s most entertaining film in a while. Telling the tale of a rookie Colorado cop (John David Washington) who teams up with a Jewish colleague (Adam Driver) to infiltrate the local KKK chapter, the director takes the shenanigans to cartoonish levels of humor at times — but also has a full barrel of ammo, and uses it. — TODD MCCARTHY


Un Certain Regard

 Border Critics’ Picks: The 20 Best Films of Cannes 2018
Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

This gripping thriller, adapted by Danish-Iranian director Ali Abbassi from a novella by Let the Right One In creator John Ajvide Lindqvist, blends supernatural folklore with contemporary social realism in a parable about fear of the other. While the premise — an attraction between two Swedish outcasts with facial deformities — shares DNA with the superfreak allegories of the X-Men series, the naturalistic presentation has more in common with the downbeat grit of Nordic noir. — STEPHEN DALTON



 Burning Critics’ Picks: The 20 Best Films of Cannes 2018
Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

Daringly heating his mysterious tale on a low boil across two and a half hours, South Korean director Lee Chang-dong establishes and sustains an almost trancelike state. This is a beautifully crafted film loaded with glancing insights into a love triangle formed by an aspiring writer, a rich hotshot and the charismatic girl they both desire. The movie is rife with subtle perceptions about class privilege, family legacies, creative confidence, self-invention, sexual jealousy, justice and revenge. — T.M.


Directors’ Fortnight

 Climax Critics’ Picks: The 20 Best Films of Cannes 2018
Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

The latest from French enfant terrible Gaspar Noe might just as easily have been called Gaspar’s Inferno, so intensely does it portray a dance troupe’s drug-induced descent into agony. Pairing his boundary-pushing sex-and-drugs fixation with a vital presentation of exuberant choreography, Noe has made a film that’s seductive in its rhythms and bold in its visualization of his young subjects’ sometimes beautiful, other times brutal somatic expressiveness. It’s the work of someone ready to startle and impress again. — T.M.

Cold War


 Cold War Critics’ Picks: The 20 Best Films of Cannes 2018
Courtesy of Protagonist Pictures

The new film from Pawel Pawlikowski (2015 foreign-language Oscar winner Ida) is a bittersweet and lovely ballad of lovers who can’t stand to stay apart but also can’t stand each other. Achingly romantic, though wryly realistic about the destructive power of eros, the drama spans from the ’40s to the ’60s, tracking the tempestuous relationship between pianist Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) and singer Zula (Joanna Kulig) as they shuttle back and forth across the Iron Curtain, from Warsaw to Paris and beyond. — LESLIE FELPERIN

Dead Souls

Special Screening

 Dead Souls Critics’ Picks: The 20 Best Films of Cannes 2018
Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

Chinese documentarian Wang Bing’s eight-hours-plus opus is his most explosive outing yet. Charting the origins, operations and outcomes of a Chinese labor camp in the late 1950s/early 1960s, the film offers affecting and harrowing accounts from survivors. It’s also a fiery j’accuse against the persecution unleashed during the Chinese Communist Party’s “Anti-Rightist Campaign” more than five decades ago, and the way the party chose to whitewash the catastrophe rather than learn from its mistakes. — CLARENCE TSUI


Critics’ Week

 Diamantino Critics’ Picks: The 20 Best Films of Cannes 2018
Courtesy of Cannes

Directed by the Portuguese Gabriel Abrantes and the U.S.-born Daniel Schmidt, here is a movie that takes you completely by surprise. Following the out-there adventures of a sweet but dimwitted Portuguese soccer star (modeled on Cristiano Ronaldo), the film — which features a woman posing as a teenage boy, African refugees, right-wing extremists, nuns, evil sisters and long-haired lapdogs — is nuts in the best way, imagined, assembled and played with wacky panache. — BOYD VAN HOEIJ



 Dogman Critics’ Picks: The 20 Best Films of Cannes 2018
Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

The latest from Gomorrah director Matteo Garrone is an intense viewing experience that will have audiences gripping their armrests with its frighteningly real portrayal of a kindly dog groomer drawn into the criminal world by a demonic, half-crazed brute. Set in the Camorra-ridden hinterlands around Naples, the various threads running through the Italian filmmaker’s work are poured into a boiling cauldron of poverty, ignorance and self-interest. — D.Y.

Knife + Heart


 Knife Heart Critics’ Picks: The 20 Best Films of Cannes 2018
Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

Set in the French gay porn industry in 1979, Gonzalez’s second feature is a trashy vintage delight steeped in the aesthetics of Brian de Palma and Italian giallo flicks. Starring Vanessa Paradis as a smut producer whose actors are being killed off by a masked madman, the movie impressively combines glitter, gore and campy comedy while revealing the darker side of stunted homoerotic desire. — JORDAN MINTZER

Long Day’s Journey Into Night

Un Certain Regard

 Long Days Journey Into Night Critics’ Picks: The 20 Best Films of Cannes 2018
Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

In this mesmerizing cinematic feat by the 28-year-old Chinese auteur, dreams, memory and an unsolved murder are all part of a forlorn film noir with echoes of Wong Kar Wai. If the first half captivates with its elusive narrative of doomed lovers, the second part, which was shot in 3D in one continuous 50-minute take, is an immersive, jaw-dropping plunge into melancholy and movie magic. — J.M.

Los Silencios

Directors’ Fortnight

 Los Silencios Critics’ Picks: The 20 Best Films of Cannes 2018
Courtesy of Cannes

Brazilian writer-director Beatriz Seigner presents a family caught between countries, and between life and death, in this eerie drama set in the marshy Amazonian region where the borders between Brazil, Colombia and Peru rub against each other. The film bewitches by degrees, softening up the viewer with entrancing visuals to ensure the last-act emotional sucker punch lands with maximum force. — L.F.


Critics’ Week

 Sauvage Critics’ Picks: The 20 Best Films of Cannes 2018
Courtesy of Cannes

Lead Felix Maritaud deservedly picked up a Critics’ Week prize for his riveting, raw performance as a homeless 22-year-old gay male Strasbourg prostitute, entirely divorced from social norms and material needs, in writer-director Camille Vidal-Naquet’s transfixing debut, an uncompromising queer character study that tips its hat to Agnes Varda’s seminal Vagabond. Played with startling emotional nakedness and complete physical surrender, the protagonist subjects himself to increasingly harrowing hurts and humiliations, yet never lets go of his capacity to give or receive love. — D.R.



 Shoplifters Critics’ Picks: The 20 Best Films of Cannes 2018
Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

In his typically subtle and tender new offering, Japanese filmmaker Kore-eda Hirokazu contrasts the frigidity of traditional society with the warmth and happiness of a lower-class family in which money is tight and all methods of obtaining it are permissible. A thoughtful addition to parables about happy and unhappy clans, the film is studded with memorable characters and believable performances. — D.Y.

Sorry Angel


 Sorry Angel Critics’ Picks: The 20 Best Films of Cannes 2018
Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival

Sensuality and mortality commingle defiantly in the radiant and wrenching new film from French writer-director Christophe Honore — his best yet. Tracing the intertwining lives of a 35-year-old gay writer with AIDS and a 22-year-old student in the heat of his queer awakening, it’s a vibrant, novelistic tale of sex and death, desire and disease, love and friendship. Set in 1993, the movie is also a period-specific examination of gay male identity, or identities, luminously acted by leads Pierre Deladonchamps and Vincent Lacoste. — JON FROSCH

The Spy Gone North

Out of Competition

 The Spy Gone North Critics’ Picks: The 20 Best Films of Cannes 2018
Courtesy of CJ Entertainment

A South Korean spy is sent to uncover the nuclear secrets of North Korea in Yoon Jong-bin’s stylish, topical, blood-poundingly entertaining political thriller. A lavish production directed by respected filmmaker Yoon Jong-bin (The Unforgiven), this is the type of riveting picture Asian cinema is so good at making — both supremely exciting and character-driven. — D.Y.



 Whitney Critics’ Picks: The 20 Best Films of Cannes 2018
Stefano Baroni

Kevin Macdonald’s haunting, richly contextualized documentary portrait celebrates the pop supernova who became a one-woman hit factory in the 1980s and ‘90s. But it delves more deeply into the troubled persona behind the prodigiously talented star, bedeviled by issues of image and identity, sexuality and childhood trauma that became more combustible under the pressures of a bad marriage, a drug habit and a stinging betrayal by the father she idolized. An American tragedy, explored with sensitivity and probing complexity. — D.R.

Woman at War

Critics’ Week

 Woman at War Critics’ Picks: The 20 Best Films of Cannes 2018
Cannes Critics’ Week

Icelandic auteur Benedikt Erlingsson’s second feature (following Of Horses and Men) is a very skillfully crafted and surreally told story of an ecological “terrorist” who sabotages her country’s power grid in order to preserve its breathtaking landscapes. With emotional depth, exquisite visuals and sharp, timely political undertones, the movie starts off on rather playful footing but gradually builds into something more thrilling, and moving, as our heroine goes on the run. — J.M.

deadpool 2 Deadpool 2 Is Truer to the Comics Than Fans May Realize

Josh Brolin’s Cable has a far simpler backstory than Marvel readers remember, but that’s how the character’s creators intended it.

When Deadpool was released in 2016, it was praised for the accuracy in which it depicted its central character. Despite some minor alterations to his origin and the emphasis on a love story – a surprisingly touching one, Deadpool stuck the superhero landing as one of the most accurate portrayals of a comic book character in film. The successful collaboration between star Ryan Reynolds, director Tim Miller, and screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick set a new standard for comic book accuracy in film, and they did it with an R-rating and a $58 million budget to boot. This accuracy was rewarded with a $783.1 million global take, and the ability to chart a bigger course for the sequel. But new challenges come with bigger expectations and a vaster landscape to play in. There are few courses larger, more tangled, and emblematic of the best and worst of comic book narratives than Cable’s. For a film that’s success hinged on comic book accuracy as well as the simplicity of its narrative, Deadpool painted itself in a corner during the post-credits scene by promising the time traveling mutant from the future, Cable (Josh Brolin), for the sequel. But as this weekend’s release of David Leitch’s Deadpool 2 proves, the corner is where the minds behind the movie work best.

On the page, Cable may seem simple: a soldier from the future with a metal arm and a poor sense of humor. But keep turning those pages, and what’s revealed is a complex backstory involving the X-Men’s leader Cyclops having a child with the clone of Jean Grey, Madelyne Pryor, in the aftermath of the former’s death in Chris Claremont’s famed “Dark Phoenix Saga.” That child, Nathan Summers, was then infected with the techo-organic virus by ancient mutant despot Apocalypse, resulting in the living metal tissue that makes up a good portion of his body. The only way Nathan could be saved was to be sent 2000 years into future where he could possibly be cured. In the future, Nathan Summers grows up as a prophesized messiah who can free the world from the tyranny of Apocalypse. While one of the most powerful mutants in existence, with telepathy to rival Xavier’s, and telekinesis that could extinguish stars, his mutant powers are fully occupied by keeping the techo-organic virus from consuming his body. Thus Nathan Summers is forced to rely on weapons and tech instead of his mutant abilities, essentially becoming a one-man army. The name Cable stems from his father telling him that he’ll be “a cable that unites the past with the present and future” (Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix No. 4, 1994). Realizing it’s the only way he can truly stop Apocalypse and his protege Stryfe (a healthy clone of Cable), he travels back to the past and meets up with the then-present day X-Men and co-opts Xavier’s dream to create his own hard-knock school of soldiers, the X-Force. Yes, it’s exhausting and brilliant in the way that only X-Men comics can be.deadpool2 2018 Deadpool 2 Is Truer to the Comics Than Fans May Realize

Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox

It’s clear to see why trying to present this comic accurate version of Cable would be a challenge, particularly when he’s not even the central focus of the movie. The X-Men movies, despite being six films deep, have yet to even reach the point where Cable’s backstory could be seamlessly worked into this world, even with the time travel shenanigans of X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) considered. Instead of trying to streamline Cable or drastically alter his character, something that Deadpool knows firsthand about via X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), the sequel takes the character back to his roots and presents him as simply as he was presented on the cover of his first appearance in 1990’s The New Mutants No. 87 as “the man called Cable!!” As originally conceived by Rob Liefeld, Cable was a Terminator-esque cyborg from the future, who could upset the status quo of Professor X’s peaceful agenda. After Louise Simonson and Liefeld brought the character to life, it was later decided by other parties at Marvel, including comic superstar Jim Lee who revitalized the X-books in the 90s along with Liefeld, that Cable should be Nathan Summers and thus connect back to that larger narrative. Deadpool 2 goes back to Liefeld’s original vision for Cable, and in this small space the character is able to be interesting on his own rather than as a result of his relation to the wider X-Men cinematic universe.the new mutants 87 Deadpool 2 Is Truer to the Comics Than Fans May Realize

Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment/Rob Liefeld and Todd McFarlane

What Deadpool 2 does so brilliantly is that it manages to present an accurate version of Cable by only presenting what’s necessary for the context of this particular film. This isn’t to say that the film’s version of Cable isn’t Nathan Summers: messiah, but rather that for this film it simply doesn’t matter. He alludes at fighting other tyrants in the past in order to save the future, but his mission in the film is defined by it how it relates to Deadpool’s personal arc, rather than how it relates to an audience seeking to piece together canon. While so many superhero films are focused on planting what comes next, Cable isn’t defined by what we know from his comic book narrative, but rather by Brolin’s ability to create an empathetic asshole who is able to find hope in the past. There’s a sense of physical fatigue in Brolin’s every movement, giving us a sense of Cable’s never-ending mission. This unending war Brolin imbues the character with also creates subtle dimensions in how he’s sees the people around him, tragically damned and cartoonish projections of beings whose status in reality could change in an instant. Brolin’s Cable is the equivalent of Bob Hoskins’ Eddie Valiant from Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), forced to find substance in a world he’s dismissed as fiction beyond his personal desires.

When it comes to Cable, Deadpool 2 manages to do more with less by delivering only the comic-book accuracy that’s needed and holding back the rest. There’s plenty of room left to go with Cable’s character in the future, and there’s little doubt that the twisting avenues of his backstory will eventually be explored on film. But by opting not to try to fit decades of narratives and retcons into a character introduction, Deadpool 2’s Cable showcases that increasingly complex comic book films can still find precision in simplicity.

deadpool 759 Deadpool 2 reviews: Ryan Reynolds Merc is sharper, grosser, and manic

Deadpool is officially back and, according to critics, he’s dialed his movie sequel up to 11. That’s a reference to 1984’s This Is Spinal Tap. Like many of the jokes from Deadpool 2, if you get the nod, you’ll enjoy the chuckle. If you don’t, it might not be “worth the time it takes to process,” writes David Edelstein of Vulture.

Deadpool 2 — the sequel to 2016’s R-rated, fourth wall-breaking money-maker with Ryan Reynolds — has largely been hailed by critics, coming in at an 82 percent on Rotten Tomatoes with the first wave of reviews released. Yet, as EW’s Leah Greenblatt writes, “There’s a numbing sameness to the casual bloodshed here that makes the viewer almost long for the relative calm of the first film’s lengthy pop culture digressions.”

“It’s in Deadpool’s DNA to channel the wild id of a 12-year-old boy — a very clever one who happens to love boobs, Enya, and blowing stuff up. Which is dizzy fun for a while, like eating Twinkies on a Gravitron,” she continues. “Eventually, though, it just wears you out.”

Directed by David Leitch, the guy who turned Charlize Theron into a super-spy butt-kicker in Atomic Blonde, directs Deadpool 2. The non-spoilery premise is as follows: Wade Wilson is enjoying his life with Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) when Cable (Josh Brolin), a time-traveling mutant with a sci-fi gun and bionic arm, pops into his reality on a mission to assassinate a young fire-hurling mutant name Russell (The Hunt for the Wilderpeople breakout Julian Dennison). So the Merc with the Mouth assembles a super-team to take him down: X-Force, which includes the “lucky” mutant Domino (Zazie Beetz).

The sequel is “sharper, grosser” and “funnier overall” than the first outing, notes Variety‘s Andrew Barker. But others, like Kate Erbland over at IndieWire, warn “it’s rough going at first.”

Leah Greenblatt (Entertainment Weekly)
Deadpool 2 might not be exactly the sequel we need, but it feels like the one we deserve. If the first outing was a scrappy, self-referential riff on the noble tropes of superherodom, the second is all that again, squared: a mega dose of meta (or is it a meta dose of mega?) rolled in radioactive goo and stuffed inside a cinematic piñata of fourth-wall breaks, severed limbs, and Yentl jokes.”

Andrew Barker (Variety)
“In almost every respect, this sequel is an improvement on its 2016 predecessor: Sharper, grosser, more narratively coherent and funnier overall, with a few welcome new additions. It’s a film willing to throw everything — jokes, references, heads, blood, guts, and even a little bit of vomit — against the wall, rarely concerned about how much of it sticks. Plenty of it does, plenty doesn’t, and your enjoyment of the film will be entirely dependent on how willing you are to ignore the mess left behind.”

John DeFore (The Hollywood Reporter)
“With Reynolds’ charismatic irreverence at its core, the pic moves from bloody mayhem to lewd comedy and back fluidly, occasionally even making room to go warm and mushy. On the latter front, the filmmakers walk a fine line between embracing Deadpool’s mock-everything appeal and needing to make Wade a credible, emotional human. Whenever it threatens briefly to slip into corniness, though, the movie regains its balance.”

Alonso Duralde (The Wrap)
“All movies are a challenge to make, but there’s something specifically tricky about crafting a comedy sequel like Deadpool 2. If you stray too far from the original movie that people loved, you risk alienating the fans. (Even if, like Gremlins 2: The New Batch, you eventually become a cult classic.) The ultimate goal is repetition with enhancements: the best comedy sequels, like 22 Jump Street, give you the same stuff all over again, only upping the ante so as to justify their existence. And somewhere in the middle lies Deadpool 2, which never betrays the promise of the first film; it just doesn’t build on it, choosing instead to replay the greatest hits. If you’re a fan of those hits, of course, then you’ll enjoy this encore, but anyone who wasn’t amused by the first go-round isn’t going to hop on board for this entertaining but by-the-numbers do-over.”

Jen Yamato (The Los Angeles Times)
“It’s not easy to capture lightning in a bottle twice, and it’s even harder to push boundaries when you’re playing it safe. In Deadpool 2, the manic antics fly fast, but the franchise loses its edge as wise-cracking antihero Deadpool goes dadcore, attempting to infuse standard-issue four-quadrant studio blockbuster beats into what was once a revolutionary R-rated premise. Of course, superfans of the fourth wall-breaking Marvel Comics character will be delighted to see Ryan Reynolds’ Merc with a Mouth back on the big screen, slicing up baddies and roasting everyone from his enemies (this time around it’s futuristic soldier Cable) to his frenemies (Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine) to his own studio, 20th Century Fox, just as he did in 2016’s surprise smash Deadpool.”

A.O. Scott (The New York Times)
“The script, by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick and Ryan Reynolds (who once again plays the title character), is loaded with winky, fourth-wall-piercing eruptions of meta, the kind of humor that can make even the slow-witted and literal-minded feel devilishly clever. Works for me, I guess. But this sequel to the R-rated, X-Men-adjacent surprise blockbuster of 2016 works maybe a little too hard in the service of a dubious cause.”

Kate Erbland (IndieWire)
Deadpool had a sense of humor about itself, but its sequel finds a way to make those jokes truly funny. Still, it’s rough going at first. The first act rips by at a frenetic, uneven pace, hopscotching through at least four different set-ups that could spawn its own full-length feature. As soon as it seems that Deadpool has settled into one path — high-stakes mercenary work, gunning for revenge after a shocking tragedy, wallowing in his self-pity, even joining up with another famous mutant crime-fighting team — Deadpool 2 zings off on another tangent. By the time the film settles into its primary storyline, the narrative suffers from a certain amount of whiplash, and it’s only after about another 20 minutes that the audience has some sense of where the hell this is going.”

Matt Singer (ScreenCrush)
“Leitch and writers Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and Ryan Reynolds try to shoehorn in a half-hearted anti-violence message that is among the funniest (and most hypocritical) things in Deadpool 2. (You gleefully bask in the slaughter of dozens, then try to suggest that there’s a ‘better way’ than killing someone who did something awful to you? Yeah no.) Still, there’s some genuine warmth in the end of this film, and it works a lot better than it should. As Deadpool 2 unfolds, we come to see that beneath the wisecracks, it is very sincerely about the importance of family in everyone’s lives. Deadpool talks tough and mostly works alone, but he realizes he needs other people to keep him sane. We need them too, if only to tell Deadpool to shut up every once in a while.”

David Edelstein (Vulture)
“We’ve reached superhero saturation point, and Deadpool 2 is less a satire of that condition than a symptom of it. It has zero suspense — it’s too hip, too meta, for suspense. The action is brutally edited and mostly undistinguished — a surprise, given that the stuntman turned director, David Leitch, devised amazing, close-in, faux-single-shot fights in his last film, Atomic Blonde. But he’s out of his element with such pro forma CGI, which not even Deadpool’s CGI jokes can redeem. Although this is primarily a comedy (with gore), Leitch doesn’t hang back and let the actors develop a rhythm, the way Taika Waititi did in the Hope-and-Crosby-like Thor: Ragnarok. He just whomps away. But dull-witted direction wouldn’t matter if the script (credited to Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, and Reynolds) were more consistent.”

Peter Travers (Rolling Stone)
“Despite a tendency toward elephantitis in story and scope, not to mention blatant franchise pandering, Deadpool 2 still plays like the runt of the comic-book litter. We mean that as a compliment. Wade Wilson, a.k.a. Deadpool, is, now and forever, a bad boy who can’t shut the hell up. This former Special Forces operative turned mercenary still has his swinging-dick swagger and a need to giggle in the face of things that might make him cry. The killer has always been a tragedy wrapped up in farce, and while Wade has a superhuman healing power (goodbye cancer!), his emotions still feel genuine and rubbed raw. Yes, the Canadian actor admittedly sucked at the superhero game when he introduced the character in 2009’s self-serious X-Men Origins: Wolverine. But by this point, Deadpool is Reynolds’ spirit animal, a role he wears like a second skin. No one could play this wiseass assassin better.”

Deadpool 2 opens in theaters this Friday.

solo a star wars story First Solo: A Star Wars Story reactions deem Alden Ehrenreich the real deal

Solo: A Star Wars Story experienced some intense changes over the course of production, but it came out on the other end intact, according to the critics coming out of the premiere screening of the film in Los Angeles on Thursday night.

The first reactions to the second standalone Star Wars film has many calling Alden Ehrenreich, who plays a young Han Solo, “the real deal” with “swagger to match.”

“Alden Ehrenreich is super impressive as Han,” Yahoo’s Kevin Polowy tweeted.

“It takes a bit for it to find its feet and for [Ehrenreich] to turn on enough charm to make you forget he’s not [Harrison Ford],” IndieWire’s Kate Erbland noted. “But once it kicks into its hey-let’s-make-a-crew and yes-also-do-a-heist stuff, it totally flies.”

Solo: A Star Wars Story centers on a moment from Han Solo’s life before he became the intergalactic scoundrel-smuggler we know through Ford’s performance in the original Star Wars trilogy. On his heist travels, he meets future BFF Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), a young Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) and his droid counterpart L3 (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), old friend Qi’Ra (Emilia Clarke), and mentor Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson).

No surprise here: Glover’s turn as Lando was hailed as a “delightful,” “legit fantastic” standout.

Ron Howard directs the film, though he came on as a replacement to Phil Lord and Chris Miller. The 22 Jump Street and The LEGO Movie helmers parted ways with Lucasfilm over “creative differences” weeks before filming was supposed to end. While critics have yet to publish more in-depth reviews, this behind-the-scenes shake-up didn’t seem to register in the film.

The reactions weren’t all raves. Collider’s Perri Nemiroff was “was really hoping for higher stakes, more energy and depth,” while CinemaBlend’s Eric Eisenberg wrote it’s “slow to find its footing” with “the occasional prequel problem.”

Solo: A Star Wars Story opens in theaters on May 25. See more reactions below.

Ooo @StarWars fans you are in for a friggin TREAT w/ #Solo. Killer cast. A great adventure. So much fun. #hansolo

— Kara Warner (@karawarner) May 11, 2018

It does take a bit to get used to Alden as Han, but after 30 minutes or so your brain adjusts. (Also I’ve now finally seen Clint Howard in a Star Wars movie.) #soloastarwarsstory

— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) May 11, 2018

Alden Ehrenreich is the real deal, Thandie Newton is who I want to be when I grow up, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s L3… well we’ll talk about that later. ? #SoloAStarWarsStory

— Angie J. Han (@ajhan) May 11, 2018

Wow. Just come out of #SoloAStarWarsStory and can confirm it’s kinda a blast. @donaldglover was as perfect as expected, but Alden Ehrenreich has swagger to match, and spare.

— Joel Meares (@joelmeares) May 11, 2018

And also, L3-37 is utter scene stealer #SoloAStarWarsStory

— Joel Meares (@joelmeares) May 11, 2018

There’s some fun to be had with #SoloAStarWarsStory. Ehrenreich was solid and really enjoyed Glover and Waller-Bridge as L3, but not convinced we needed a young Han Solo movie. Was really hoping for higher stakes, more energy and depth.

— Perri Nemiroff (@PNemiroff) May 11, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story is a goddamn delight. It’s a non-stop adventure packed with way more emotion than your expecting. You’ll have a smile on your face the whole time and leave eager for more.

— Germain Lussier (@GermainLussier) May 11, 2018

I don’t want to add too much more — review on Tuesday, y’all — but feel remiss to not add that Donald Glover is a delightful Lando and no one should sleep on what Phoebe Waller-Bridge does as his beloved droid. Solid supporting cast all around, but they are highlights.

— Kate Erbland (@katerbland) May 11, 2018

I figured if @DisneyStudios was willing to show ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ a few weeks before release it must be good and it absolutely is. Film is a blast and a welcome addition to the Star Wars universe. @RealRonHoward you did a great job. Congrats.

— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) May 11, 2018

Got out of #SoloAStarWarsStory and I’m completely floored. This movie seriously holds up! I was on the edge of my seat and had so much fun watching it! Interviewing the stars of the film tomorrow, cannot wait ??

— Jacki Jing (@JackiJing) May 11, 2018

#Solo is afun! I was pleasantly surprised that it worked as well as it did given all the behind the scenes drama & retooling. Charming cast, fun action, good jokes, good fan service but still does its own thing. #StarWars will be fine.

— Jim Vejvoda (@JimVejvoda) May 11, 2018

#Solo was a blast. The Kasdans nail the character of Han Solo. Yes, the story is a series of expected events (Han meets chewie….etc) but none of them happen as expected. Stay away from spoilers, big Marvel-level shit that will make you wonder where Lucasfilm is headed next.

— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) May 11, 2018

#SoloAStarWarsStory is reaaaaalllly good. Fun as hell. It’s a straight intergalactic heist movie, kind of refreshing to see a Star Wars movie w/o a Death Star or the rebellion’s fate at stake. Alden Ehrenreich is super impressive as Han, but L3 might be my favorite new character.

— Kevin Polowy (@djkevlar) May 11, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story is… fine. It’s slow to find its footing, but picks up in the second act, and it’s definitely fun. Has the occasional prequel problem answering questions I didn’t need answers to, but also some fun references. Overall I liked it, didn’t love it

— Eric Eisenberg (@eeisenberg) May 11, 2018


Call Me By Your Name GLAAD Media Awards: Call Me By Your Name Wins Best Film

‘Call Me By Your Name’ Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Jay-Z’s “Smile,” Ava DuVernay and Samira Wiley were among the special honorees Saturday night in New York, where The Hollywood Reporter sister publication Billboard also was a winner.

The GLAAD Media Awards on Saturday night welcomed a slew of stars, many of whom were wearing blue “&” pins showing their support of acceptance and equality for women, Muslims, immigrants and the LGBTQ community.

Top winners at the ceremony, held at the Hilton Midtown in New York, included Call Me By Your Name for best film in wide release, accepted by Oscar winner James Ivory and producer Peter Spears.

Also at the ceremony, Jay-Z’s mom, Gloria Carter, accepted a Special Recognition Award for the rapper’s song “Smile,” featuring Carter, who used the song to come out as a lesbian. In addition, Ava DuVernay accepted the Excellence in Media Award presented by Sen. Cory Booker, and Samira Wiley accepted the Vita Russo Award from her The Handmaid’s Tale co-star Alexis Bledel.

Other winners included The Hollywood Reporter’s sister publication Billboard, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, Anderson Cooper 360, NBC Night News With Lester Holt, Katie Couric and Halsey.

The animated short film In a Heartbeat also was the recipient of a Special Recognition Award.

“GLAAD is working to ensure the spirit of unity and intersectionality that was celebrated tonight extends throughout the year,” GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said. “Tonight’s award recipients are the front lines to ensuring that LGBTQ acceptance moves forward in a political and cultural climate that is working against us.”

Ross Mathews served as host of the event, which opened with a duet by Melissa Etheridge and Adam Lambert to celebrate the 25-year anniversary of Etheridge’s breakthrough album Yes I Am. The duo performed a new arrangement of her song “I’m the Only One.”

At a previous ceremony, held April 12 in Los Angeles, GLAAD honored Britney Spears with the Vanguard prize and Jim Parsons with the Stephen F. Kolzak Award.

Other winners at the L.A. ceremony included A Fantastic Woman, named best feature in limited release, which earlier this year won the Oscar for best foreign-language movie. This Is Us was named best drama series, while Brooklyn Nine-Nine won for best comedy. Andi Mack and Master of None also were among the TV winners.

super heros Every superhero movie that is coming out through 2020 PreviewNow that you’ve seen Avengers: Infinity War, here’s when you’ll get your next superhero fix. And the one after that. And the one after that. Studios have announced a whopping 14 superhero films to be released through the end of 2019 — and those are just the ones with confirmed premiere dates. The number isn’t surprising considering even last fall’s Justice League raked in more than $600 million at the global box office despite modest reviews (simply put: It’s really hard to fail with heroes). Here’s what’s next from Marvel, DC Films, and Fox:

Deadpool 2

May 18, 2018
Ryan Reynolds returns in the R-rated sequel. For much more on this title.

Ant-Man and the Wasp

July 2, 2018
Missing from Infinity War, Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) returns with Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly), who now has a shrinking suit of her own. The film is set before the events of Infinity War, so don’t expect it to resolve that big cliffhanger.


Oct. 5, 2018
Tom Hardy stars in Marvel’s Spider-Man spin-off as an investigative journalist who becomes the host of a powerful alien entity.aquaman Every superhero movie that is coming out through 2020 Preview

Warner Bros. Pictures


Dec. 21, 2018
After his introduction in Justice League, Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) gets his stand-alone origin story directed by James Wan that will follow Aquaman from his difficult childhood to becoming king of Atlantis.hellboy Every superhero movie that is coming out through 2020 Preview

Simon Varsano


Jan. 11, 2019
Director Neil Marshall reboots the franchise with Stranger Things star David Harbour as the red demon and Ian McShane as his adoptive Every superhero movie that is coming out through 2020 Preview

Everett Collection


Jan. 18, 2019
M. Night Shyamalan’s long-awaited sequel to Unbreakable reunites Bruce Willis as an ordinary security guard with superhuman strength and Samuel L. Jackson as a mass murderer.dark phoenix Every superhero movie that is coming out through 2020 Preview

Doane Gregory/Fox

Dark Phoenix

Feb. 14, 2019
The 12th installment of Fox’s X-Men franchise and the start of a new trilogy starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, and Sophie Turner.captain marvel Every superhero movie that is coming out through 2020 Preview

Marvel; Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Captain Marvel

March 8, 2019
Marvel finally releases its first MCU film focused on a female superhero. The logline: “Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) becomes Captain Marvel, one of the galaxy’s strongest heroes, after the Earth is caught in the center of an intergalactic conflict between two alien worlds.” The film is set the 1990s (so also before the events in Infinity War.Shazam Every superhero movie that is coming out through 2020 Preview

Peter Kramer/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images; DC Comics


April 5, 2019
A 14-year-old foster teen (Asher Angel) can turn into a grown-up superhero (Zachary Levi) by shouting a single word.Avengers Infinity War Every superhero movie that is coming out through 2020 Preview

Chuck Zlotnick/©Marvel Studios 2018

Untitled Avengers: Infinity War sequel

May 3, 2019
Shot back-to-back with Infinity War by the same directors (Anthony and Joe Russo), the ultra-secretive fourth Avengers film wrapped in January (but there’s some reshoots still to come).spiderman Every superhero movie that is coming out through 2020 Preview

Chuck Zlotnick/Columbia Pictures

Untitled Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel  

Little is known, but Jon Watts is set to return as director, and the film takes place after the untitled Infinity War sequel. Filming begins this summer.the new mutants Every superhero movie that is coming out through 2020 Preview

Claire Folger/Twentieth Century Fox

The New Mutants

Aug. 2, 2019
The superhero genre goes horror in this tale of a group of mutants held in a secret facility. Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, and Charlie Heaton star.wonder woman Every superhero movie that is coming out through 2020 Preview

Clay Enos/Warner Bros

Wonder Woman 2

Nov. 1, 2019
The sensation returns with director Patty Jenkins back behind the camera and Pedro Pascal joining the cast in a key role. Kristen Wiig is also confirmed to be playing the villain Cheetah. The story will shift to America for likely another period piece, though it’s not clear what year it will take place.The Crow Reborn Every superhero movie that is coming out through 2020 Preview

Everett Collection; Gabe Ginsberg/Getty

The Crow Reborn

Oct. 11, 2019
This one is still uncertain: A start of production date has been announced and pushed several times. But a release date has been set with Jason Momoa to star.X Force Every superhero movie that is coming out through 2020 Preview

Twentieth Century Fox

Untitled X-Force Deadpool sequel

Late 2019/2020
Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods) will write and direct the superhero team-up film featuring Deadpool, Cable, Domino, and more. Guardians of the Galaxy Every superhero movie that is coming out through 2020 Preview

Marvel Studios

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

James Gunn returns to write and direct the third film in the franchise which will take place after the events of the Infinity War sequel.superheros Every superhero movie that is coming out through 2020 Preview

Also in the works…

There are many, many other superhero titles in various stages of development with supposed premiere dates that may or may not happen. Marvel and DC both have untitled films announced for several dates in 2019 and 2020 without titles yet attached.

DC Comics’ stand-alone Cyborg film and a Green Lantern Corps film were planned for 2020 (at least, before the post-Justice League DC Films shakeup; now their fates are unclear). DC also has a Batgirl movie in the pipeline, with Bumblebee‘s Christina Hodson writing after Joss Whedon’s high-profile departure, and there’s a Harley Quinn stand-alone film in the pipeline with Cathy Yan set to direct.

There’s also a Kitty Pryde movie in the works at Fox under the codename 143 with writer Brian Michael Bendis. Plus Fox has a Gambit movie in the works with Channing Tatum.

Todd McFarlane’s R-rated Spawn reboot was reported to start filming in February, and then again for May.

There are also reboots of Green Hornet, Flash Gordon, and others in the works.


Solo A Star Wars Story Solo: A Star Wars Story Is No. 2 Preseller of Year in First 24 Hours

Courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd. 

Solo: A Star Wars Story is off to a strong start after tickets went on sale at 12:01 a.m. ET Friday morning.

Solo is the No. 2 movie this year in terms of 24 hours of presales, only trailing Avengers: Infinity War on both Fandango and Atom Tickets.

Fandango also reports that Solo has sold double the tickets that Marvel and Disney’s Black Panther did in its first 24 hours. Black Panther, which is currently the highest grossing film of the year with $1.3 billion worldwide, holds the No. 3 spot in terms of 2018 24-hour presales on Fandango.

Disney and Lucasfilm’s Solo is directed by Ron Howard, and is tracking to earn more than $160 million over the four-day Memorial Day weekend. Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover and Emilia Clarke star in the film, telling the early days of Han Solo and Chewie.

Earlier on Friday, Fandango announced a partnership with the voice-activated Google Assistant. Fandango, the largest online ticketing service, is also accessible on Amazon’s Alexa.

Solo: A Star Wars Story opens May 25.

peter rabbit Peter Rabbit 2 in the Works From Sony Pictures

Courtesy of Sony Pictures
‘Peter Rabbit’

Sony dates the movie that will bring back director Will Gluck.

Peter Rabbit will be up to his old tricks again, and hopefully bring more lettuce, for Sony Pictures.

Off the surprise success of the CG/live-action hybrid film Peter Rabbit, Sony has announced its intent to make a sequel, dating the next installment for Feb. 7, 2020. The movie will open March 27, 2020, in the United Kingdom. Will Gluck, who directed the first movie, will return to write and direct the sequel.

The movie, which saw James Corden voice the popular character from the Beatrix Potter books and also starred Domhnall Gleeson, proved to be an under-the-radar hit when it was released Feb. 9.

The movie grossed $115 million in the U.S. and is, per Sony, the studio’s biggest-ever non-James Bond film in the U.K., with a $55.7 million gross in that country, where it held the No. 1 spot for four weeks in a row. It grossed $325 million worldwide.

The movie went after the same audience as Paddington 2, another CG/live-action movie that was based on an iconic British literary property. Paddington 2 has a 100 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, while Rabbit has a 62 percent, but, as Sony boasted in its announcement, Rabbit surpassed the lifetime goal of both Paddington movies. (Despite universal acclaim, Paddington 2 made only $40 million in the U.S. and $225 million worldwide.)

Sony also dated its thriller Escape Room for Nov. 30, 2018, and moved an untitled animated movie produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller from Feb. 7, 2020, to Jan. 10, 2020.

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