‘Black Panther’ Pounces On UK To Top ‘Doctor Strange’ Opening Day; Scores $5.2M In 3 Overseas Markets Tuesday

Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther bounded into the UK, Taiwan and Hong Kong in its openings on Tuesday, landing an estimated $5.2M and No. 1s in the three markets. In the UK, it notably topped both Doctor Strange and Thor: Ragnarok‘s first-day performances. It’s early on the Ryan Coogler-directed superhero movie, which rolls out in 69% of the international box office footprint this week, but these are very encouraging launches.

While the overseas run has barely begun, Black Panther kicked off mightily versus the best of the deeper Marvel Cinematic Universe. One industry source, based on the first numbers out of South East Asia, believes the movie is likely to expand beyond the core Marvel audience. This person opines it’s going to “overcome the concerns people are having about it in the emerging markets and open bigger than anticipated internationally.” The range we’ve been hearing is from $90M-$120M; this will evolve and sharpen as the weekend nears.

We recently wrote about the potential that Black Panther has to become a cultural milestone overseas and shatter the glass ceiling that has existed, where most movies with predominantly Black casts have seen soft grosses in comparison to domestic. Let’s look at the first figures:

In the UK, T’Challa scored $3.7M to top the starts of both Doctor Strange (+80%) and Thor: Ragnarok (+33%) which likewise each opened on a Tuesday. Half-term holidays in the market are underway, helping to fuel turnstiles. The opening was also 104% ahead of Ant-Man and 16% ahead of Deadpool, although those comps are not as clear given the films opened on different weekdays. The truer test will come as we get to the weekend. Black Panther‘s UK premiere was held on February 8, rocking the Hammersmith Apollo.

In Taiwan, the Tuesday debut was an estimated $1M for the 3rd biggest February opening day ever and came in 182% above Guardians Of The Galaxy and 35% over Ant-Man. Both of those films bowed on a Thursday versus BP‘s Tuesday.

Hong Kong started with $500K, the 2nd biggest February opening day, behind only 2016’s The Mermaid which bowed on a Monday as the Chinese New Year kicked off. This is notable as that film went on to be the biggest movie ever in China, holding the record until last year’s Wolf Warrior 2 unseated it. Hong Kong’s BP start was 95% ahead of GOTG and 19% above Ant-Man, which both debuted on a Thursday. The market share for the day was an impressive 75%.

Black Panther is not launching in China until March 9, once the Spring Festival wraps, but the holiday will spur increased activity in related markets this weekend which is evident in the Asian hubs where it’s already opened. (The New Year’s official start is tomorrow, however, we’re already seeing major activity in China with The Monkey King 3: Kingdom Of Women taking a big $28M on Wednesday.)


Meanwhile, in Korea on Wednesday, Black Panther was king with an estimated $4.7M according to local box office tracker Kobiz. That was good for 65% of the market and follows a fan event that was held last week to kick off the global press tour. Korea features in the film which shot partly in Busan.

France on Wednesday had the best opening showings of 2018 in Paris and the suburbs. These numbers are based on the first 2PM screenings at 107 locations, per CBO-BoxOffice. They are very early stats and are not always indicative of a film’s future performance. We’ll have the full first-day France and Korea figures later today.

Black Panther continues rolling out this weekend and will be open in around 69% of the international marketplace by Sunday. Along with France and Korea, Wednesday added Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Today (Thursday) adds Germany, Australia, Brazil, Austria, Denmark, New Zealand and Argentina with Friday bringing Spain, Mexico, Finland and India to screens.


Emile Hirsch’s China Pic ‘The Chinese Widow’ Goes Global – Berlin

EXCLUSIVE: Emile Hirsch’s exploits in China will finally be seen around the world after international sales agent VMI Worldwide picked up global rights to Chinese period war drama The Chinese Widow.

The company, fresh off the back of a deal with Nic Cage’s action thriller The Humanity Bureau will launch the Bille August-directed drama at the EFM in Berlin, which kicks off today.

Hirsch stars as commander Jack Turner in the film, which is set in 1941 following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that has destroyed America’s morale. After U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt decides to risk it all by bombing Tokyo and a unit of the Air Force completes its mission, the crew are forced to make an emergency landing in China. Turner barely survives but becomes rescued by Ying, a local widow, who will stop at nothing to hide him from the Japanese occupant. The local widow, a young silk weaver, is played by famous Chinese actress Yifei Liu, who has been cast as the lead in Disney’s forthcoming live-action remake of Mulan.

The film, which is produced by Peng Sun and Catherine Lin for Zhejiang Roc Pictures, is one of the most international films ever produced in China with a U.S. lead, a Danish director in The Best Intentions director August, a South African screenwriter in Greg Latter, German composer Annette Focks and a Swiss cinematographer Filip Zum.

It premiered in China at the Shanghai International Film Festival in 2017 and was released in November, days after Donald Trump finished his three-day visit to the country.

The deal was concluded by VMI Worldwide CEO Andre Relis, Director of Acquisitions Jessica Bennett and Peng Sun from Zhejiang Roc Pictures, translated by Kathleen I-Ying Lee. VMI Worldwide holds all rights outside of China and JD Beaufils and Julie Paquit will be actively selling the picture in Berlin.

Relis told Deadline: “We are pleased to announce The Chinese Widow to the international marketplace in Berlin, Yifei Liu aka Crystal Liu and Emile Hirsh give superb performances in this breath-taking WWII picture by two time Cannes Palme D’Or winner Bille August.”


Ira Sachs Packs For ‘A Family Vacation’ With Isabelle Huppert, Marisa Tomei – Berlin

Love Is Strange helmer Ira Sachs is teaming with Elle star Isabelle Huppert and producer Saïd Ben Saïd for his next picture, A Family Vacation. Production starts this October in Portugal with Marisa Tomei, Greg Kinnear, Jérémie Renier and André Wilms also starring. Ben Saïd’s SBS International will handle worldwide sales.

The family drama, written by Sachs and his longtime co-writer Mauricio Zacharias (Love Is Strange, Little Men), is about three generations grappling with a life-changing experience during one day of a vacation in Sintra, Portugal, a historic town known for its dense gardens and fairy-tale villas and palaces.

Sachs, who was in Sundance and here at the Berlinale with 2014’s Love Is Strange and 2016’s Little Men, will be working for the first time outside the U.S. and for the first time with Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominee Huppert. It’s a reteam with Kinnear (Little Men) and Tomei (Love Is Strange).

Ben Said and Michel Merkt are producing via their Paris-based SBS Productions. Exec producer is Sachs’ longtime collaborator Lucas Joaquin (KeepTthe Lights On) through his company Secret Engine, with Kevin Chneiweiss through SBS.


Mikaela Shiffrin Takes Gold In Delayed 2018 Olympics Debut; NBC Rues Florida School Shooting – UPDATE

UPDATE, 9:52 PM: There were dual delays in her XXIII Winter Olympics debut but when it came to actually hitting the slopes, Mikaela Shiffrin took the gold tonight.

The American’s Women’s Giant Slalom victory from the PyeongChang games came around 12:40 AM ET, almost two hours out of primetime for ratings conscious NBC. Nonetheless, with weather issues finally out of the way for Shiffrin, the network hit social media with preplanned posts almost as fast as the skier did on her risky second run:

It’s a gold in giant slalom for Mikaela Shiffrin! #BestOfUS

— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 15, 2018

With pretty stunning time of 2:03:15 in her giant slalom second run after coming second in the first run earlier Wednesday live from South Korea, the 2010 shalom gold medalist picked up her second top Olympic medal in the early hours of Thursday on the East Coast.

Pushed as a marquee Team USA name by the network, the trying weather conditions on the slopes of the 2018 Winter Olympics seemed set to push Shiffrin and NBC way off course. Which meant, going into competition that wasn’t even her primary or best event, the expectation was subtly a bit lower – an incorrect assumption it turns out. Also rescheduled due to weather, Shiffrin kicks off a second night of NBC primetime on Thursday with the slalom, which she won four years ago in Sochi.

“Normally on the World Cup circuit, we’re racing back-to-back races, so that unto itself isn’t so much of a challenge,” Shiffrin said after her Giant Slalom win. “But the challenge comes in when you know we’ve had those races postponed and the mental energy we’re spending just trying to be race ready every day,” the skier added. “We had this race today, that’s definitely given me some extra boost, a little adrenaline and hopefully I can take that into tomorrow.”

Clearly, and perhaps beyond.

RelatedFlorida School Shooting: Celebrities Send Condolences, Demand Action & Change

PREVIOUSLY, 6:22 PM: Somewhat unintentionally laying on the hype like P.T. Barnum or a 1990s hip hop sideman, NBC tonight finally got to have Mikaela Shiffrin make her debut at the XXIII Winter Olympics with what could be the start of some sports history. The twice delayed skier’s primetime premiere on what was described as “the busiest day of the Games” was then followed by the network speaking to the high school shooting this morning.

A now captured former student of the Parkland, Florida facility went on a rampage on Wednesday that has seen at least 17 Americans dead.

After two extreme weather postponements to her first event of the PyeongChang games, the 2014 slalom gold medalist whipped down the slopes in South Korea in the first of two runs in the giant slalom event. Kicking off NBC’s live primetime coverage on Wednesday and beginning her first run at 8:10 PM ET, Shiffrin found herself in second position.

Having been in the net’s spotlight even before the Opening Ceremony of February 9 (which Shiffrin did not attend), the Vail, Colorado-born skier made it down today in 1:10.82, just two-tenths behind Manuela Moelgg of Italy.

A result NBC wasted no time celebrating as it surely hoped a healthy set of eyeballs were tuning into for Shiffrin’s 2018 start:

Do your happy dance, @MikaelaShiffrin! She’s landed herself in second place after her first run.

See more women’s giant slalom on @nbc or via stream here:

— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 15, 2018

On-air, the network was a little bit reserved in its initial response to one of the marquee names for Team USA and the ratings seeking Comcast-owned outlet “Not the kind of run that she was capable of but certainly enough to put her in contention,” said NBC skiing commentator and past Olympian Bode Miller after Shiffrin’s first run this evening. “Again you can’t win the race on the first run but you can set yourself up or too big a deficit to try to overcome on that second run.”

“It’s the Olympics, you go for gold,” a matter-of-fact Shiffrin herself said at the bottom of the slope as she prepped and planned for run #2.

Also competing in her signature event the slalom tomorrow and, you can see, a storm more over the next week, the Ms. Marvel clad Shiffrin could prove the dominant Olympian for these games.

Deep into the fifth day of official competition at the PyeongChang games, NBC also made sure to then pivot to fatal events Stateside. Of course, that was once the highly promoted skiing’s first run was over. There was nothing about the school shooting in the Sunshine state when primetime host Mike Tirico first appeared on screen just before 8 PM ET to lay out this evening’s schedule.

“We welcome you inside our studio, all of us very mindful of the tragic school shooting that happened earlier today in South Florida,” said Tirico when he re- appeared on NBC around 30-minutes after the net’s primetime Olympics coverage began. “It’s in the thoughts of every American over here, half a world away in South Korea,” he added from the anchor desk. “But as the Olympics go on, so to will we with our business,” Tirico continued before going right back into sports mode.

In that sports business mode, Shiffrin is scheduled to be the second to last skier in the second and medal deciding run of the Giant Slalom later this evening at around 12:30 AM ET– which you can be damn sure NBC will be all over even if it is outside of the primetime ratings zone.

RelatedShaun White’s Gold Lands NBC’s Highest PyeongChang Olympics Ratings Peak To Date – Update


Florida School Shooting: Celebrities Send Condolences, Demand Action & Change

On Wednesday afternoon, a 19-year-old opened fire and attacked students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. This marked the 18th school shooting on record in America since the beginning of 2018 — and we’re barely halfway through February. As the country’s heart sinks at the loss of 17 lives and injuring 24 at the hand of suspected gunman Nikolas Cruz, many — including members of the Hollywood community took to social media to not only send their thoughts and prayers but to demand change.

“No word, no actions, no laws are enough until we end this epidemic of school shootings in our country,” tweeted Ellen DeGeneres.

Mark Ruffalo, who is known to be outspoken on social and political issues chimed in, “Prayers without accordant action are silent lies told to oneself, heard by no God, amounting to nothing. Action is the language of truth, the prayers of the Saints.”

The shooting hits close to home for actress Gabrielle Union, who lives in South Florida with her husband, NBA player Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat. She is also the stepmother of three sons.

“Like thousands in South Florida, we sent the boys to school in Broward County this morning… there are no words to describe the despair, horror & anger,” she said. “This does not have to be our collective reality. How many more? How many children must not make it home?”

From Chelsea Handler to Bette Midler to Kim Kardashian West to Stephen King, more and more tweets demanding change to in policy came out. Read them below.

No words, no actions, no laws are enough until we end this epidemic of school shootings in our country. My heart is with the students and parents of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) February 14, 2018

Prayers without accordant action are silent lies told to oneself, heard by no God, amounting to nothing. Action is the language of truth, the prayers of the Saints.

— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) February 14, 2018

Like thousands in South Florida, we sent the boys to school in Broward County this morning… there are no words to describe the despair, horror & anger. This does not have to be our collective reality. How many more? How many children must not make it home?

— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) February 14, 2018

We have to elect candidates that are not funded by the NRA in November. We have an opportunity to elect candidates who won’t allow kids to go to school and get shot. It is disgusting how many times this has happened and Republicans do nothing. You all have blood on your hands.

— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) February 14, 2018

Another school shooting, this in FLA. Congrats to the spineless cowards who do nothing to help us stem this horrific epidemic, ie CONGRESS

— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) February 14, 2018

Normal Person: Oh my God, kids are being killed in schools, churches and concerts! Let’s do something!

Republican Congressman: Kids are being killed in schools, churches, and concerts! Let’s not do one single thing.#BloodOnYourHands @GOP @NRA

— Adam McKay (@GhostPanther) February 15, 2018

We’ve marched on Washington for a multitude of reasons throughout history for everything from civil rights to AIDS research. The #MeToo movement has changed hearts, minds & is starting to change policy. Where is the organized outrage for Gun Reform that we so desperately need???

— billy eichner (@billyeichner) February 15, 2018

Fox News anchor said shooter in Florida was dressed like “Antifa.” Even while mourning, Fox News STAYS ON BRAND. #GunControl

— Hari Kondabolu (@harikondabolu) February 15, 2018

Broward school shooting–There will be prayers from Blabbermouth Don, Pence the Grinch, and their rightwing cohorts. There will be no call for any sort of sane gun regs.

— Stephen King (@StephenKing) February 14, 2018

We owe it to our children and our teachers to keep them safe while at school. Prayers won’t do this: action will. Congress, please do your job and protect Americans from senseless gun violence

— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) February 15, 2018

Heartbroken over the news of another school shooting. This is the 18th in 45 days of 2018. Students & teachers shouldn’t have to fear for their safety. We must do more to prevent these senseless acts of gun violence. My heart is w/ the people in Parkland, FL. Enough is enough.

— Reese Witherspoon (@RWitherspoon) February 15, 2018

If people can blame drug dealers for the drug problem then we can blame the @NRA for the mass shooting problem.

— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) February 14, 2018

The @GOP
The @NRA
About #GunControl?


Their thoughts and prayers mean nothing.

We must replace them all.

— Beau Willimon (@BeauWillimon) February 14, 2018


New Incredibles 2 Trailer: Pixar’s Superhero Family Returns

It was promised last week that we’d get a super-special sneak peek at The Incredibles 2 during the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games and now we finally have it. The promotion has continued throughout the games, showing us more of the Parr family sitting around watching the Olympics, in exclusive footage released leading up to today. We’ve seen Dash on the ice, showing off some pretty intense figure speed skating along with some footage from The Incredibles 2, which hits theaters this summer.

Some of the new footage shown from The Incredibles 2 features Samuel L. Jackson’s Frozone doing some ice skating of his own, speeding next to a train while Holly Hunter’s Elastigirl is seen making a safety net. Mr. Incredible is also shown punching an unidentified assailant. 14 years later and the Parr family is ready for more intense action with baby Jack-Jack joining in on the fun this time around, as previously seen in the teaser trailer that was released late last year.

Disney and Pixar have been stepping up the promotion of The Incredibles 2 during the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games, which is a good fit for the Parr family. It’s been 14 years since we last saw the Incredibles in action and fans have been waiting patiently for more footage of any kind, so it was a nice Valentine’s Day treat to see a sneak peek of what we’re in for this summer when the movie is released. As previously noted, we’ve seen the exclusive footage that was tailor-made for the 2018 Olympics games for the last few weeks, so it was nice to finally see some more antics from the Parr family.

In addition to the 2018 Olympics promo spots, New York’s Fashion Week was also treated to some new posters for The Incredibles 2. Fashionista Edna “E” Mode (voiced by Brad Bird) is prominently featured in one of these new posters, which is interesting because Edna is not a big fan of models, although you can picture her attending Fashion Week just to make fun of all of the beautiful models and dig into the actual fashion aspect of the event. Another set of posters features Mr. Incredible, voiced by Craig t. Nelson, doing some daddy day care operations, like taking care of the laundry.

The Incredibles 2 hit theaters on June 15th and it takes place exactly one minute after the events of the first movie, according to Pixar’s John Lasseter. It’s been 14 years since we last saw the Parr family on the big screen and now is the perfect time to welcome them back with a summer full of superhero blockbusters including Infinity War and Deadpool 2, all of which have been stepping up the promotion lately as well. You can check out the brand-new sneak peek at The Incredibles 2 below, courtesy of Disney.

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Dr. Seuss Biopic Brings in Wonder Director Stephen Chbosky

Indie production company Paper Pictures is putting together a new biopic entitled Seuss, following the life of writer Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss. Filmmaker Stephen Chbosky (Wonder) has been set to direct this biopic, with Eyal Podell and Jonathan Stewart writing the script. Producer Carla Hacken’s Paper Pictures currently has the project out to actors and financiers at this time, although no production schedule or release date has been given quite yet.

The script will follow a young Theodor Geisel in the 1920s, as he struggles to find his voice as a writer, before meeting the woman who would become his muse and future wife, Helen Palmer. More than 30 years later, when she fell ill, it ultimately inspired him to create perhaps his most well-known work, The Cat in the Hat. Dr. Seuss would ultimately go on to write more than 60 childrens books throughout his storied career, selling over 600 million copies with his books translated into over 20 languages at the time of his death in 1991, at the age of 87.

Geisel picked up the pen name Dr. Seuss while attending Dartmouth College in the early 1920s. Geisel was caught drinking gin with friends in his dorm room, which was during the Prohibition Era. This lead to Geisel being suspended from all his extracurricular activities, including writing for the humor magazine Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern. He continued writing for the Jack-O-Lantern without the administration’s knowledge, by using the pen name Seuss. After graduating from Dartmouth in 1925, he went to Oxford in the U.K., where he first met Helen Palmer, and they ultimately got married in 1927.

While he never got a degree at Oxford, returning to the United States, he found work as a writer and illustrator for the humor magazine Judge, and he made a good living supporting himself and his wife during the Great Depression by drawing ads for General Electric, NBC, Standard Oil, Narragansett Brewing Company and more. Dr. Seuss published his first book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, in 1937, but during World War II, he started drawing political cartoons before working for the U.S. Government to directly support the war effort, designing posters and then making Army propaganda films and training films. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his work, and his film Our Job in Japan became the basis for the commercial film Design for Death (1947), which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. After the war, Seuss and Helen moved to La Jolla, California, where he wrote some of his most iconic books such as If I Ran the Zoo (1950), Horton Hears a Who! (1955), If I Ran the Circus (1956), The Cat in the Hat (1957), How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1957), and Green Eggs and Ham (1960).

Stephen Chbosky is coming off his hit Lionsgate drama Wonder, which became one of the most unsung box office hits of 2017, earning $131.3 million domestic and $285.9 million worldwide, from a modest, yet undisclosed, production budget. He also helped write the script for Disney’s blockbuster Beauty and the Beast, and he is currently set to write and direct Disney’s Prince Charming. Deadline broke the news regarding Stephen Chbosky’s involvement in Seuss earlier today.


Kevin Smith Cries Over Venom Trailer, But Not in a Good Way

The first Venom teaser trailer was released last week to mixed reactions and now director and comic book fan Kevin Smith is weighing in on it. Many comic book fans were already skeptical of Sony’s Venom movie and the first trailer did not help ease fears. The main takeaway from the first teaser trailer is that Venom is not shown in it at all and the symbiote is barely alluded to in a quick flash of a second, which has led to many wondering if they even had enough footage to show off the movie.

On Kevin Smith’s Hollywood Babble-On podcast, he and his cohost Ralph Garman talked about all of the recently released trailers including Solo: A Star Wars Story and the new TV spot for Infinity War. We already know that the first trailer for Infinity War made Smith weep and he’s definitely excited for another epic Marvel movie. The same can be said for the upcoming Star Wars movie about a young Han Solo. But both Smith and Garman changed their tune when they began talking about Venom.

When the subject of Sony’s Venom movie came up, Kevin Smith brought up the most common gripe about the movie: the lack of Venom. The teaser trailer is nearly 2-minutes long and there’s not a whole lot going on to show that it’s a movie about Venom at all and it looks like Ruben Fleischer hobbled something together as fast as he could. Smith went on to say that he saw a trailer for “Tom Hardy: The Movie.” He explains.

“I didn’t see a Venom trailer, I saw Tom Hardy: The Movie… It’s a teaser, but you can’t call the movie Venom and not show Venom.”

Echoing the thoughts of many Marvel Comics fans, Kevin Smith also talked about the logistics of bringing the story to the big screen. The director went on to explain to his audience the origins of the symbiote from outer space in the Secret Wars and then questioned how the movie will go about introducing the symbiote. The director seems kind of frustrated by the Venom trailer, which is a common feeling. He had this to say.

“So, there’s been questions about how do you tell the story, like you can’t tell it the way it was told in the comics unless you do the Secret Wars story, so everyone is wondering how the f%$# is he going to become Venom and they showed the symbiote in the trailer trapped in the glass jar… It looked kind of badass.”

Kevin Smith has some strong opinions about the Venom trailer, but they are nothing compared to Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld’s thoughts on it. Liefeld called out the studio for whining about news sites trashing the teaser trailer and flat-out says that trailer “sucks.” The move of releasing the teaser so early probably should not have happened and it will be intriguing to see how Sony rebounds from fumbling so early. You can check out the podcast over at

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Call of Duty Movie Aims for Sicario 2 Director

The long talked about Call of Duty movie may be getting Sicario 2 director Stefano Sollima. A new report suggests that Sollima is currently in negotiations with Activision Blizzard Studios to helm the project based on the best-selling first-person shooter video game. Activision Blizzard Studios’ presidents Stacey Sher and Nick van Dyk are producing the Call of Duty movie and the duo believe that the franchise will be able to rival Marvel in terms of popularity and success and they plan on making multiple films.

The news of the possibility of Stefano Sollima taking on the Call of Duty movie is huge, and it looks as if the ball is starting to get rolling for the project. The Call of Duty movie was first announced in November of 2015 by Activision Blizzard Studios. Additionally, it was also announced that the goal was to make a cinematic universe out of the massively popular video game series that began in 2003. The initial announcement aimed to have the movie out by 2018 or 2019 and it seems that the latter will be the best bet.

There are currently 14 games in the Call of Duty franchise, all of which deal with different time periods and wars. The first game was based off of World War II and was heavily praised upon its release for the revolutionary game play that highlighted a squad approach as opposed to the “lone wolf”- type of play. The game has gone on to blaze trails in the online multiplayer world, leading to many sequels that continue to push the envelope in terms of what multiplayer games can do.

There isn’t much information pertaining to the Call of Duty movie at this time. Activision and Blizzard Studios presidents Stacy Sher and Nick van Dyk have both discussed how they were putting together a cinematic universe that will be inspired on the feel of the different versions of the multiplayer video game instead of going over already existing plots. It’s not clear what time period the movie will start in, but it seems that they can pretty go anywhere within the lines of war. It will be interesting to see how Activision and Blizzard pull of what they intend to do with a Call of Duty cinematic universe.

Activision and Blizzard are not alone with trying to get a video game movie off of the ground. Nintendo is also currently making a Super Mario movie that will try and right the wrongs that started the perceived “video game movie curse.” The Call of Duty franchise is huge and has been around for nearly 20 years, but is the name enough to get people into the movie theater to watch a series of movies about war? Stefano Sollima’s involvement will go a long way in legitimizing a Call of Duty movie, so hopefully this report ends up as true. You can read more about the Call of Duty movie and Stefano Sollima’s involvement over at Variety.


Jon Favreau Is Voicing an Important Alien in Solo

Jon Favreau took to social media to share a picture of himself with Ron Howard and Solo: A Star Wars Story co-writer Lawrence Kasdan, leading to a lot of questions as to why he was with them. Howard then retweeted the picture and answered why Favreau was hanging out. As it turns out, he wasn’t just hanging out, he was providing the voice for a “very cool and important” alien character. Jon Favreau is currently directing Disney’s Lion King remake and took some time off to record his dialogue for the Solo movie.

Ron Howard retweeted the picture of himself with Jon Favreau and Lawrence Kasdan to announce that Favreau is joining the Solo project to voice a mystery alien character. Howard promises that the character is an important one, but that’s all we really know at this time. He had this to say.

“Wondering why we r all together? @Jon_Favreau is voicing a very cool & important alien character for #HanSolo Flattered & fortunate I could pull him away from his #LionKing directing duties.”

We’ve only just seen the trailer, so there’s still a lot about Solo that we don’t know yet. Jon Favreau’s “cool and important” alien character just adds another mystery to the movie.

Ron Howard was asked online if he would be voicing a character or doing any voiceover work like he does on Arrested Development. Howard said, “Nope. Zero chance. But thanks for asking.” It’s kind of a bummer that the director won’t be utilizing his voice talents in Solo: A Star Wars Story since he has such a distinct voice. However, a voiceover part would not have really worked out in a Star Wars movie, so it’s good that we don’t have to worry about that.

The Solo trailer was just released, and we’ve learned quite a bit about the movie since then, though not much about the storyline is clear at this time. In addition to the Jon Favreau news, Lawrence and Jon Kasdan recently revealed that the movie is influenced by the Coen Brothers’ cult classic The Big Lebowski as well as Michael Mann’s Heat and Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven, which makes for a pretty intriguing story. It will be interesting to see how they are able to pull off all of those different influences into one cohesive movie.

Solo: A Star Wars Story will hit theaters on May 25th and the excitement level is starting to rise after a troubled production had Star Wars fans skeptical about how the movie would come out. The new footage and pictures that have been shared show off a darker look, similar to Rogue One, which is definitely a good thing. Add in some off-kilter comedy and it sounds like Solo will be a left turn from what we’ve come to know in the Star Wars universe and it seems promising. You can check out the announcement of Jon Favreau’s involvement in the Solo movie below from Ron Howard’s Twitter account.

@RealRonHoward and Lawrence Kasdan

— Jon Favreau (@Jon_Favreau) February 2, 2018

Wondering why we r all together? @Jon_Favreau is voicing a very cool & important alien character for #HanSolo Flattered & fortunate I could pull him away from his #LionKing directing duties

— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) February 14, 2018

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