Deathstroke Goes Unmasked in New Justice League Photo

A new image of Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke has surfaced and it features the actor without his infamous mask. SPOILERS AHEAD. Slade Wilson is one of DC’s most dangerous characters and his involvement in the DCEU has been teased for over a year now. He made a cameo in the incredibly divisive Justice League, where the immensely corny “league of our own” comment comes from, lifted from the female baseball movie A League of Their Own. So much for the whole dangerous thing for Deathstroke and Lex Luthor.

The new behind-the-scenes photo features Joe Manganiello on set with 2 of Lex Luthor’s bodyguards played by Katia Elizarova and Gem Refoufi. Though the picture doesn’t show off the eyepatch, it’s still a great image of Slade Wilson, aka, Deathstroke hanging out on set. Joe Manganiello is getting his own Deathstroke movie as well, and the Justice League post-credit scene possibly teased the involvement of the Legion of Doom with Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor. But after all of the controversy surrounding the DCEU over the “success” of Justice League may have just put a lot of movies that were in development on the back burner.

Director Gareth Evans (The Raid: Redemption) is reportedly in talks to write and direct the Deathstroke movie, but nothing has been officially confirmed at this time. Joe Manganiello was long-rumored to be in the running to portray Deathstroke in The Batman, but a lot has happened since Ben Affleck was on board to write and direct the project. Scripts have been ditched, directors replaced, and it’s not even confirmed if Affleck is still attached to play the Caped Crusader anymore. Regardless, a chance to see a full-length movie with Deathstroke in it would please a lot of hardcore DC fans and might even be able to jump into a grittier R-rated version.

The post-credit scenes for Justice League may hint at the future of the DCEU, especially now that we know that Lex Luthor is out of jail. Lex Luthor being out could set things up nicely for the next Superman movie, but it could set things in a way that is maybe too obvious. Deathstroke on the other hand, has had many battles with the Dark Knight over the years and to see them square off on the big screen would be pretty awesome, but as previously mentioned, who knows what will happen now after Justice League underperformed at the box office.

There’s plenty of movies in development for the DCEU and many are villain-centric, so we could see the return of Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke in any number of upcoming projects, which is good because he seems to be the perfect choice to play the character. But, the ideal way to see Deathstroke will either be in The Batman or in the solo Deathstroke movie, so here’s hoping that at least one of those pans out. While we wait, check out the new image of Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke below, courtesy of Comic Book Cast’s Twitter account.

Just perfect.

— ComicBookCast (@ComicBookCast) November 22, 2017


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Snoke’s Motivation and Twisted History Revealed in The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is only a few weeks away. Motion capture maestro Andy Serkis has taken some time to talk about Supreme Leader Snoke in a new interview that gives us some insight into what fuels the mysterious villain. Even as the release date for the movie gets closer, there’s still a whole lot about Snoke that we do not know and director Rian Johnson has said that we won’t get much of a backstory for him in The Last Jedi, citing that Star Wars fans didn’t know Emperor Palpatine’s history until the prequels came out. While we might not be getting the entire history of Snoke in the upcoming movie, Andy Serkis has provided us with the best insight into the character so far.

Andy Serkis recently sat down with Entertainment Weekly to discuss his Snoke character and what drives the villain in The Last Jedi. As it turns out, the deformed Supreme Leader Snoke has suffered injury, which we already knew about from all of the scarring, and is very vulnerable and “wounded” according to Serkis. These wounds offer a personal hatred to the battle against the Resistance, which he is bringing in full force (no pun intended). Serkis had this to say.

“The thing about Snoke is that he is extremely strong with the Force, the dark side of the Force. He’s terribly powerful, of course. But he is also a very vulnerable and wounded character. He has suffered and he has suffered injury. The way that his malevolence comes out is in reaction to that. His hatred of the Resistance is fueled by what’s happened to him personally.”

The 9-foot tall alien/humanoid is reportedly also not very satisfied with Kylo Ren’s (Adam Driver) work so far as Andy Serkis points out. A lot of Snoke’s anger is directed at Kylo Ren because Snoke does not respect the weak. Serkis had this to say.

“His training of Kylo Ren is not yielding what he wants. Therefore, his anger towards Kylo Ren is intensified because he can’t bear weakness in others. Part of the manipulation is goading him with Hux and playing them off against each other.”

This is more than likely where the test for Rey comes into play in The Last Jedi. Daisy Ridley has said in the past that Supreme Leader Snoke is the ultimate test for Rey, who may even be stronger in the ways of the Force than Kylo Ren.

Since Snoke only appeared as a giant hologram in 2015′s The Force Awakens, this will be the first time that we will see him in real-life, so to speak. Andy Serkis says that we’ll be able to see the physical damage and how it affects the character. He explains.

“You witness his physicality. His body is kind of twisted up like a corkscrew, and so he has limited movement. His aggression and his anger is contained and restricted by that physicality.”

To play the character just right, Serkis taped down one side of his mouth to mimic one of the facial wounds that Snoke has. Serkis says that they used tape to restrict the left side of his jaw to reenact Snoke’s mauled jaw. According to Andy Serkis, most of Snoke’s, “deformity is very much based on injuries from the First World War, from the trenches.”

This is the most information that we have seen on Supreme Leader Snoke thus far, but there’s still a lot more to learn about the mysterious and intriguing character. Andy Serkis also hinted at some “flamboyance” and a taste for the “finer” things in life for Snoke, which are shown off in his throne room and golden robes, but one has to wonder where exactly that comes from. Maybe we’ll get more of an explanation in Episode 9, but until then, check out more of what and Serkis had to say about Supreme Leader Snoke courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.


Take Me Review: The Perfect Post-Thanksgiving Dinner Movie

It’s Thanksgiving. You and the family have just finished your meal. And you want some lighter fare, suffering from the tryptophan buffet you just willingly engorged yourself with. The kids are off playing on their tablets. The game is over, and the adults need a swift 80 minute distraction before tearing into pumpkin pie and cobbler. Why not check out one of Netflix’s looked-over gems from the past few months. It’s the perfect little slice of desert before the desert. Don’t spend hours searching the queue, arguing over what you’re going to watch. Just select Take Me and go!

Take Me, while not a Netflix Original (it is only “Presented By Netflix”), is a home run for all the parties concerned. This whimsical tale of a simulated kidnapping gone very, very wrong is probably the first film to truly pull off this motif since 1986′s Ruthless People or 1988′s A Fish Called Wanda. Take Me stars Taylor Schilling (who became famous playing the lead in Netflix’s breakout drama Orange is the New Black) and Pat Healy as two people dropped into a situation in which each has a different idea of why they’ve met. This slapstick tale hits all the right notes from beginning to end, and then it caps everything off by creating some notes of its own. Of all the recent Netflix offerings, Take Me is by far the cream of the crop.

Ray Moody (Pat Healy) has a business in which he abducts people who actually pay to be taken. In his business model he holds his “victims” for 8 hours and then everybody goes back to their normal lives. Things get dicey when one “victim” named Anna (Taylor Schilling) asks to be kidnapped. Normally, a kidnapping of this sort would be a slam dunk for the erstwhile Ray. The problem comes when Ray is offered more money to keep her for the entire weekend. As we all know, nothing is ever that easy and soon enough, Ray and Anna discover that their shared situation is a lot more complicated than they realized.

Executive produced by Jay and Mark Duplass, Take Me feels like it’s certainly a distant cousin to their mumblecore world. While the look and feel of Take Me is clearly more polished than a film like The Puffy Chair or Baghead, the tone and dialogue are quick cutting in a way that recall those latter films. The difference in the look and feel is most likely attributed to the sure-handed, almost Woody Allenesque direction from Pat Healy. Having both starred in and directed this vehicle, he plays the part of Ray Moody to perfection. He portrays the part of an “abductor” who is in over his head with a hilarious bumbling quality. All of this works to great effect whether he is trying to fix a situation, or merely keep his head above water as the situation overtakes him.

Playing a perfect foil for Healy’s Moody is Taylor Schilling as Anna. Schilling has always played the role of Piper Chapman on Orange Is the New Black with an effortlessness that seems downright scary. Take Me shows a little bit of this but there is a different kind of nuance. We get to see Schilling chew the scenery more. She seems like she is able to spread her wings as she isn’t playing the “dandelion” in a prison milieu. Her and Healy are the perfect foils for one another as they do their comedic dance during the “abduction.” One wonders how these two might fair in a drama directed by the likes Derek Cianfrance (The Place Beyond the Pines) or Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive).

Adding to the whole mix is that, while Pat Healy did direct in and star in this film (from a terrifically crafted screenplay by Mike Makowsky), he obviously got something of an assist from the Duplass brothers. As I mentioned, Jay and Mark Duplass both serve as executive producers on this project and it shows. Now, I can’t say for sure, but I am willing to wager that the Duplass brothers did some work on the screenplay. I am not saying that they did a massive rewrite or anything. However, I would not be surprised if Pat Healy got extensive notes both on the screenplay and on various edits of the film.

It is for all of these reasons that Take Me just works. It works in tone, it works in presentation and it works in plot and on character levels. Netflix has really cashed in their promissory note with this film. Fans of such movies as The Hateful Eight and 9 to 5 will find themselves quite pleased at everything Take Me has managed to achieve. You can watch the movie right now on Netflix.


‘Coco’ Earns A+ CinemaScore & Dances To $70M+; ‘Justice League’ Solid With $63M+: Thanksgiving B.O.

Thanksgiving AM Update: Moviegoers love Coco: The Disney film earned an A+ CinemaScore last night, Pixar’s 6th ever, and the best since Up. On top of that, Coco came in much higher on its first day with an estimated $13.3M; which is behind Thanksgiving openers Moana ($15.5M) and Frozen ($15.1M) and ahead of Good Dinosaur ($9.76m) and Tangled ($11.9M). Currently, the Lee Unkrich-Adrian Molina film should hit $70M-plus in five days, and $47M over three days. But given how wild Black Friday is at the box office, and the current buzz for the film, Coco could conceivably go much higher.

The Pixar movie steps on the capes of Warner Bros/DC super friends movie Justice League which earned $10.45M yesterday, -1% from Tuesday for a running total of $122.3M. Pic’s 5-day is at $63.6M with three day landing at $44.1M, -53%, which again, thanks to the holiday, bests the post-Easter drop of Batman v. Superman (-69%) and August champ Suicide Squad (-67%).

While many have dinged Justice League for being less-than as a superhero movie, especially in its ensemble execution, the fact is that it’s brought more dollars to the Thanksgiving frame than Warner Bros’ Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them a year ago: Last weekend the box office was at $200.3M, +27% higher than a year ago. This makes exhibitors happy.

In addition, another note about Fantastic Beasts: Even though that movie leaned more female at 55% in weekend one, it churned a 3X multiple at the box office ending its run at $234M. It will be interesting to see if Justice League does the same. By Sunday, the super friends will be pacing 12% ahead of Fantastic Beasts through 10 days with $175.4M. Some of this boils down to whether WB can keep close to 2K theaters like they did last year with a Star Wars on the marquee.

Lionsgate/Participant/Walden Media’s Wonder made $6M yesterday and is on course to do better than its opening in weekend two with an estimated $29M (+5%) and a five-day of $40.9M.

Industry estimates as of Thanksgiving morning for the Thanksgiving stretch of Nov. 22-26:

1.) Coco (DIS), 3,987 theaters / $13.3M Fri. (includes $2.3M previews) / 3-day cume: $47M /5-day:$70M  Wk 1

2.) Justice League (WB), 4,051 theaters / $10.45M Wed  3-day cume: $44.1M  (-53%)/5-day:$63.6M/Total: $175.4M/ Wk 2

3.) Wonder (WB), 3,140  theaters (+44) /$6M Wed. 3-day cume: $29M / 5-day: $40.9M/Total: $78M/Wk 2

4). Thor: Ragnarok (DIS), 3,281 theaters (-779) / $4M Wed./ 3-day cume: $18M (-17%) / 5-day: $25.5M/Total cume: $278.8M / Wk 4

5.) Daddy’s Home 2 (PAR), 3,518 theaters (-57) / $2.7M Wed/ 3-day cume: $14.3M (-1%)/ 5-day: $19.2M/ Total: $73.2M/Wk 3

6.) Murder on the Orient Express (FOX), 3,214 theaters (-140)/ $2.55M Wed/ 3-day cume: $13.7M (-1%)/5-day: $18.9M/Total: $74.5M/ Wk 3

7.)The Star (SONY), 2,837 theaters / $1.64M Wed. /3-day cume: $7.35M (-25%)/ 5-day:$10.1M /Total:$22.6M/Wk 2

8). A Bad Moms Christmas (STX), 2,948 theaters (-639) /$1.07M Wed/3-day cume: $5.4M (-23%) / 5-day: $7.5M/Total cume: $60.5M / Wk 4

Twentieth Century Fox

9.) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MO (FSL), 590 theaters (+537) / $786K Wed. / 3-day cume: $4.29M (+246%) / 5-day: $5.75M/Total: $7.5M /Wk 3

10). Lady Bird (A24), 741 theaters (+503) /$754K Wed/ 3-day cume: $3.88M (+52%)/ 5-day:$5.4M/  Total cume: $10.7M / Wk 4

11.) Roman J. Israel, Esq. (SONY),1,648 theaters (+1,644)/ $752K Wed. / 3-day cume: $3.7M /5-day: $5.2M/Total: $5.2M/Wk 2

12.) The Man Who Invented Christmas (BST), 532 theaters / $198K Wed. /3-day cume: $975K /5-day: $1.4M/ Wk 1

UPDATE, midday Friday: Disney/Pixar’s Coco is looking at an opening day of $12.5 million (including last night’s $2.3M) as of this point per industry estimates, which is $3M less than what Moana chalked up a year ago. Right now, because it’s so early, both Coco and Warner Bros’ Justice League are in a battle for No. 1 overall at the domestic box office with an estimated $47M three-day and $68M five-day each. As we move along this week, it should settle down and separate the two.

Warner Bros.

Coco will beat Justice League today with the latter Zack Snyder movie making an estimated $10.5M, down 1% versus yesterday. If its projections hold, the DC superhero team-up will touch just under $180M. While we’ve been complaining about the film’s lackluster performance in regards to the DC franchise, exhibitors could care less about that: They’re rolling in concession cash, and the marketplace in the past three weeks has been a boom versus last summer’s doldrums.

Lionsgate’s Wonder is looking at $6M today, up 7% from Tuesday, with a current three-day outlook of $26.5M and five-day of $37.5M, heading toward $74.6M. The Stephen Chbosky-directed film will easily be Lionsgate’s best of 2017, topping John Wick: Chapter Two‘s $92M. On a three-day basis, Wonder is expected to ease 4% right now. Wow.

Disney/Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok is looking at a $4M Wednesday, a three-day of $17.8M and five-day of $25M — still money out of Justice League‘s pocket. Running cume by Sunday looks to be $278.2M.

Other holders are as follows:

Murder on the Orient Express (Fox) $2.6M Wed, 3-day $13.5M and 5-day $19M, running cume by Sunday of $74.6M.

Daddy’s Home 2 (Par) $2.5M Wed, 3-day $13.5M and 5-day of $18M, running come by Sunday of $72M.

Twentieth Century Fox

Expanding titles: 

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri  (FSL), 590 runs. $800,000 Wed, 3-day of $4.5M, 5-day of $6.2M. Total by Sunday of $7.96M.

Roman J. Israel, Esq (Sony), 1,648 runs. Looks like $800K today (including $175K from Tuesday night) for 3-day of $4.1M and 5-day of $5.7M. Total by Sunday of $5.8M.

Lady Bird (A24), 741 runs. $600K Wed, 3-day $3.4M and 5-day of $4.6M, Total by Sunday of $9.9M.

PREVIOUSLY, 8:26 AM: Disney/Pixar’s Coco began its Thanksgiving march on the box office last night with $2.3 million, with an eye on making $60M or more over the next five days.

Coco opens at a sensitive time for Disney. Just yesterday, Pixar boss John Lasseter said he was taking a six-month sabbatical amid allegations of inappropriate behavior. Still, that Hollywood insider scandal isn’t expected to rock Coco‘s prospects in the rest of the U.S. and Canada.

Coco‘s preview is just $300,ooo shy of Moana‘s $2.6M Tuesday preview a year ago. That pic racked up $15.5M on its first day. Coco is also far ahead of The Good Dinosaur, considered a bomb for Pixar with $1.3M previews ($9.76M Wednesday). Coco is also ahead of Disney’s uber hit Frozen, which made $1.2M on its first Tuesday ($15.1M Wednesday) during Thanksgiving week.

Coco in its Dia de los muertos story doesn’t have the Disney princess factor Moana possessed, which pushed down on Coco‘s projections prior to opening. But the film has a 95% certified fresh Rotten Tomatoes score, which could push its tickets sales higher; it’s just one point below Moana‘s RT rating. Moana grossed $56.6M in its first three days and $82M over five, making it the second-best Thanksgiving stretch debut after Frozen‘s $93.6M. Coco carries a reported production cost in the Pixar range which is typically between $175M-$200M before P&A, however, those in the animation world believe it’s much higher north of $225M.

The night before Thanksgiving is a notable one at the B.O. and Black Friday is even bigger. Today there are 74% kids off from K-12 and another 59% of colleges. That number moves up to 100% over the next two days.

Warner Bros.

Warner Bros/DC’s Justice League led all films in regular release with a big Tuesday of $10.6M, up 41% over Monday, for a running cume of $111.9M. The Zack Snyder-directed movie is expected to take in a gross similar to Coco‘s with $60M over the next five days. While critics have strangled Justice League with a 41% Rotten Tomatoes score, audiences are enjoying it with final PostTrak showing a 4-out-of-5-star response with males at 62% enjoying the movie with an 80% overall positive, and females at 38% giving it an 85% grade. Warners is hoping that more of those older female Wonder Woman fans come out, just like they did for her June solo outing: Females over 25 are giving Justice League its best grades at 90%, but they’re still in the minority among the pic’s headcount repping only 18% of the audience. Leading the charge are males under 35 (32%, 78% positive), males over 25 (30%, 81% positive), and women under 25 (20% at 81% positive). Justice League overall has a 65% definite recommend.



Lionsgate’s Wonder chalked up an estimated $5.6M yesterday, up 43% over Monday, for a five-day total of $37.1M. Many expect the Julia Roberts-Owen Wilson movie to be north of $64M by Sunday in its running domestic total.

Sony’s Roman J. Israel, Esq. expands from four to 1,648 today. Bleecker Street has the period piece The Man Who Invented Christmas in 500 houses, while Focus Features will open its Gary Oldman-as-Winston Churchill biopic Darkest Hour in four New York and Los Angeles theaters. Ditto on that count for Sony Pictures Classics’ Spirit Award-nom leading pic Call Me By Your Name.


Porgs Really Freaked Out Star Wars 8 Star John Boyega

Long before the Porgs were revealed in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, there had been rumors that there are other creatures on Ahch-To, which took care of the planet. And there were even rumors that these creatures didn’t like Rey, since she wasn’t invited, and she has to prove herself worthy of being there. After getting our first glimpse at these creatures, there still isn’t much that has been confirmed about them. In a new interview, John Boyega reveals that while Porgs are cute, they are also “freaky,” especially when bunched together in a group. Here’s what the actor had to say about these Porgs.

“I just remember doing some stuff and seeing a lot of Porgs around. And they are interesting, but for me, I had a love/hate relationship with them. They’re very, very cute, but when you put them in a bunch, in holes, on the Millennium Falcon, that’s when they start to become really, really freaky… They’ve got real big eyes, all bunched together. There were, like, little tiny ones and little big ones that would just…yeah, it looks like a rash.”

There had been previous reports that, while these small creatures are cute, the Porgs are not ones to be trifled with. The bird-otter mashups have “razor-sharp teeth that have been described as a “bird meets a Gremlin” and a “Star Wars version of a Furby.” There was also speculation that Daisy Ridley’s Rey was seen fighting a large sea creature while wearing a black cloak, which may or may not have been to “prove herself” worthy of being on Ahch-To, in the eyes of the Porgs. Still, none of those details have been confirmed, but there has been another interesting story about these creatures.

Disney unveiled a behind-the-scenes video from Star Wars: The Last Jedi at the D23 Expo this summer, where many eagle-eyed fans noticed an intriguing image of Chewbacca. The Wookie was seen with a stray feather dangling from his mouth, with most fans assuming that Chewbacca eats Porgs. While there has been no confirmation as to whether or not Chewie chows down on Porgs, Mark Hamill made it clear on social media that Luke Skywalker has not eaten any Porgs since his secret pilgrimage to Ahch-To, which will certainly make the growing legion of Porg fans happy. Whether or not we’ll actually see Chewbacca eating a Porg on the big screen remains to be seen.

John Boyga’s Finn has not been seen with any of the Porgs, and it remains unclear if he actually has any scenes with the Porgs. There have been rumors that Rey will abandon her training with Luke Skywalker to go save her friends Finn (John Boyega) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac), after they have been captured by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). It’s possible that, upon leaving Ahch-To, several of these Porgs are actually aboard the Millennium Falcon, which would explain how John Boyega would even come into contact with the Porgs, since he isn’t on Ahch-To. This new report from Entertainment Weekly doesn’t have more on the Porgs, but hopefully we’ll hear more soon.


Box Office: ‘Coco’ Trots Past ‘Justice League’ With $13.2M Wednesday

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