Avatar 2 Production Start Date Finally Confirmed

With a new December 2020 release date in place, and cast members like Oona Chaplin recently coming aboard, the production start date for Avatar 2 has finally been revealed. Producer Jon Landau spoke at the CineEurope conference in Barcelona, Spain today, where he stated that principal photography will begin September 25, 2017. Pre-production has already been under way in New Zealand since April, when the franchise’s Facebook page shared a photo of the immense team working with director James Cameron and producer Jon Landau. Here’s what Jon Landau had to say in a statement about these sequels, and how they will connect to the original Avatar blockbuster.

“At the heart of any movie are the characters. One of the strengths of great scripts are always the universal and relatable themes. There’s no more relatable theme than family. At the center of each of our four movies will be the Sully family. Each sequel will play as a stand-alone movie. Each movie’s story will come to its own conclusion. However, when looked at as a whole, the journey across all four movies will create an even larger connected epic saga for audiences around the world.”

Jon Landau also confirmed at CineEurope, via Deadline, that the decision was made during development to set all of the Avatar sequels in the magical land of Pandora, stating that, “we always knew that Pandora was a place as diverse as Earth.” The producer also touched upon how the sequels that James Cameron makes are often better than the original, which he thinks can be achieved with Avatar 2. Here’s what the producer had to say below.

“(James Cameron) has done a couple of sequels before in his career and I would argue that those sequels have lived up to, if not exceeded, the original movies. That’s what Jim has been working on for the last several years. Finally, we have the four scripts for the Avatar films ready.”

Avatar stars Sam Worthington (Jake Sully), Zoe Saldana (Neytiri), Stephen Lang (Colonel Miles Quatrich), Sigourney Weaver (Dr. Grace Augustine) and Joel David Moore (Norm Spellman) have signed on to reprise their roles, alongside new cast members Cliff Curtis (Tonowari) and Oona Chaplin (Varang). The Avatar sequels have been delayed countless times over the years, but now with a concrete production start in place, it seems the release date shuffling has finally ended. Avatar 2 will hit theaters December 18, 2020, followed by Avatar 3 on December 17, 2021, Avatar 4 on December 20, 2024 and Avatar 5 on December 19, 2025. Hopefully we’ll have more casting news for Avatar 2 soon, now that a production start date has finally been set.


Rogue One Is Coming to Netflix in July

Did you somehow miss Rogue One: A Star Wars Story while it was in theaters and have yet to borrow a Blu-ray copy from one of your friends? Well, you’re in luck, as long as you at least have a Netflix subscription, that is. Thanks to a deal that the streaming service has with Disney, Rogue One is set to arrive on Netflix next month, meaning that you will be able to watch it as many times as you want without having to pay anything extra.

The Netflix YouTube Channel uploaded a video detailing all of the new releases that subscribers can look forward to in July. The video confirms that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be arriving for everyone to stream on July 18, just seven months after the movie initially arrived in theaters. Not bad. This also marks the first Star Wars movie to be made available to Netflix subscribers in the U.S. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is available in many regions, but because of a deal that Lucasfilm has in place with Starz, it isn’t yet available for those in the states.

In September of last year, a deal finally kicked in that was made between Netflix and Disney several years ago that gives the streaming giant exclusive rights to all new Disney movies. That includes Star Wars movies, which is a big deal these days. The movies will be available exclusively to stream on Netflix for the same period of time that they would usually be shown on standard cable TV. That means the movies will eventually find their way to more traditional outlets, but it will be a lot longer than usual. Netflix is reportedly paying hundreds of millions of dollars per year for the rights to all of Disney’s theatrical releases from 2016 and beyond, so this didn’t come cheap. But having movies like Rogue One in their streaming library so quickly is a big leg up on the competition.

There have been whispers that Disney is actually considering purchasing Netflix, which would be a massive deal. That would just mean that even more Disney movies, including Star Wars, would wind up on Netflix. For users of Netflix, things like Rogue One being made available quickly is very important. Disney has been making the most financially successful movies in Hollywood, very consistently, for years now. So Netflix ensuring that people can get access to those movies quickly, especially considering how expensive it is to go to the movies and how expensive Blu-rays are, matters a lot.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was a very important movie for the Disney era of Lucasfilm. The movie grossed $1.05 billion worldwide and was met with mostly positive reviews. That helped prove that a Star Wars movie not connected to the Skywalker saga, save for a little bit of pretty sweet Darth Vader action, can work. You can check out the full list of titles arriving on Netflix in July for yourself in the video below.

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Darth Vader Comic Reveals Why Luke Went Into Exile?

Marvel’s new Darth Vader comic might very well have revealed why Luke Skywalker went into exile in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. All of the comic books, novels, cartoons, and even games have become a part of the Star Wars official canon, all of them tying together with the movies under guidance from Lucasfilm Story Group. One of the biggest additions to canon from the prequels was Order 66 or The Great Jedi Purge, which took place after the end of the Clone Wars where the clone troopers of the Grand Army of the Republic turned against the leadership of the Jedi commanders, destroying the Jedi order.

Possible SPOILER WARNING, read ahead at your own risk. In the Darth Vader comic, Lord Vader has been given the task of building a Sith lightsaber from Emperor Palpatine. In order to build the lightsaber, Vader needs to find the kyber crystals, which are protected by the Jedi to turn the kyber crystal into an evil crystal. This leads Darth Vader to hunt for surviving Jedi who have taken the “Barash Vow.”

A Reddit user posted a few panels from the second issue of the Darth Vader comic, which shines some new light on the inaction of the Jedi during the Purge. The panel reads the following.

“Any Jedi pursuing Barash has sworn to refrain from activities related to the order , complete disengagement from anything but the Force. It is a type of Penance. While a Barash-Taker would have felt the Purge, they would not have allowed themselves to respond to it, or take action of any kind.”

This does sound like what Luke has been up to on a secret island that has been removed from maps. The penance, were not entirely sure about, but could it be that Luke went into hiding after the training of Kylo Ren wiped out most of the Jedi order? The Barash Vow would explain why Luke was absent from The Force Awakes.

When The Force Awakens started, the Resistance and First Order had already been at war for many years, so the Barash Vow could very well explain why Luke is not on hand to fight against Snoke. This theory seems to make the most sense out of anything else floating around in the Star Wars universe. It seems to perfectly fit into what The Last Jedi could be all about.

Marvel’s Darth Vader comic has been delving into Vader’s past and the use of the red lightsaber along with the use of the kyber crystals, which were brought up in Rogue One. Issue 2 seems to be getting into why Luke may have hidden for so long and it all makes perfect sense especially since it is officially part of the Star Wars canon. We still have a good six months to go before our questions are answered, but hopefully the new trailer set to premiere sometime this summer, possibly at Comic-Con or D23 in July will start to give us a better picture of what The Last Jedi will be all about.

Darth Vader Comic


BnB Hell Trailer Invites You in for a Nice Peaceful Slay Over

108 Media has debuted the trailer and poster for its thriller BnB Hell, which is currently available on Digital HD and VOD in the U.S. and Canada. The harrowing thriller can currently be purchased through iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube and Microsoft Store. This footage may make you think twice about checking out that quaint bed and breakfast you found online, because it might not be as advertised, and may end up costing you your life.

The trailer, which comes courtesy of 108 Media showcases a young woman named Willa (Kimberly Woods), who has been on the hunt for her missing sister, which ends at a rundown bed and breakfast in the Hollywood Hills run by an ill-tempered woman called Mommy (Carol Stanzione). When she discovers a camera in her room, another guest Marco (Victor Dobrev) tells her that it’s the house camera, for guests to record video diaries, although it has been mysteriously turned. After checking the camera, Willa finds disturbing messages left by former guests, which suggest unsettling secrets lay buried there.

The supporting cast includes Timothy Lee DePriest as Baby, Victor Turpin as Sam, John Stevenson as Derek, Olivia Steifel as Alex, Jessica Graham as Jackie, Shayla Famouri as Darla, Tallie L. Brinson as Nathan and Stefanie Maxwell as Emily. The film marks the feature directorial debut of director Andrew Jordan, which has been freaking out horror fans with it’s terrifying premise and shocking twist ending since debuting on VOD and Digital HD last week. Andrew Jordan previously directed episodes of the web series Chicks Flippin’ the Script and the short film Heartprints, which he also produced and edited.

The film was written by Andrea Harrison, which marks her writing debut, although she has been a working actress for several years. She has appeared in films such as American Virgin, Violent Blue, Blue Dream, Mickey’s Summer Resort, Caged Beauty and this year’s Darling Nikki. She has also appeared on TV shows such as The League, Greek, True Blood and Castle, while also serving as a producer on BnB Hell, along with the TV series Miracle Mile Girls and the feature film A Beautiful Now. It remains to be seen if this writer-actress has more projects in development.

While there is no theatrical release date for this new thriller, it could very well find a home with horror fans on Digital HD and VOD formats. Since this film marks both the director and writer’s feature debuts, we could certainly be hearing much more from them in the near future, if fans respond positively to BnB Hell. While we wait for more on these filmmakers, take a look at the trailer and poster for BnB Hell below.

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BNB Hell Poster


Mary-Louise Parker’s Nanny Reportedly Stole Thousands From The Weeds Star

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Marshall Trailer: Chadwick Boseman Is Thurgood Marshall

Open Road Films has released the first trailer and eight new photos for the upcoming biopic Marshall, starring Chadwick Boseman. While superhero fans will get to see this talented actor portray T’challa in Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War next year, this year they’ll get to see him play a real-life hero, attorney Thurgood Marshall. Before making history as the first African-American justice to sit on the Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall took on one of his most important cases ever in the early 1940s.

Long before he sat on the United States Supreme Court or claimed victory in Brown v. Board of Education, Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) was a young rabble-rousing attorney for the NAACP. The new motion picture, Marshall, is the true story of his greatest challenge in those early days, a fight he fought alongside attorney Sam Friedman (Josh Gad), a young lawyer with no experience in criminal law: the case of black chauffeur Joseph Spell (Sterling K. Brown), accused by his white employer, Eleanor Strubing (Kate Hudson), of sexual assault and attempted murder.

The supporting cast includes Dan Stevens as Lorin Willis, who prosecuted the case against Joseph Spell, James Cromwell as the judge presiding over the case, Keesha Sharp as Thurgood Marshall‘s wife, Buster, Rozonda Thomas as prominent African-American author Zora Neale Hurston and Jussie Smolett as author, poet and activist Langston Hughes. Open Road Films has set Marshall for release on October 13, which puts it up against Paramount Pictures’ mother!, Universal Pictures’ Happy Death Day and STX Entertainment’s The Foreigner. It will also debut between Blade Runner 2049 and My Little Pony on October 6, and an October 20 weekend with six wide releases, Warner Bros.’ Geostorm, Sony’s Granite Mountain Hotshots, PureFlix’s Same Kind of Different As Me, Universal’s The Snowman, Lionsgate’s Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween and The Weinstein Compan’s War With Grandpa.

Reginald Hudlin directs Marshall, his first feature directorial effort since 2002′s Serving Sara, although he has been keeping busy in other areas, producing Django Unchained and The Boondocks, while becoming a prolific TV director, helming episodes of New Girl, Modern Family, The Middle and more. It was also announced earlier this month that Reginald Hudlin will direct a Shadowman movie for Valiant Comics. The screenplay for Marshall is a unique collaboration between renowned trial lawyer, Michael Koskoff, and his son, screenwriter Jacob Koskoff (Macbeth). Marshall is being produced with the full support of the Thurgood Marshall and Samuel Friedman estates, including their children, John W. Marshall and Lauren Friedman.

Reginald Hudlin also produces alongside Paula Wagner and Jonathan Sanger, with Peter Luo and Belton Lee serving as executive producers. While he has gained a huge fan base for playing T’challa/Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War and the upcoming Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman is also becoming quite adept at portraying historical figures. Marshall marks the third biopic for the talented actor, following his breakout performance in 42, as Jackie Robinson, the first big league baseball player to break the color barrier, and his 2014 biopic Get on Up, where he played the Godfather of Soul himself, James Brown. Take a look at the new trailer and photos for Marshall below.

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‘Wonder Woman’ Set to Become Top-Grossing Live-Action Film Directed by a Woman

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The Big Sick

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It sounds impossible—too melodramatic, too crazy—but it’s true. Actor and writer Kumail Nanjiani fell in love with his then-girlfriend, now-wife, Emily V. Gordon, when she was in a coma. It also sounds impossible that such a story would make for a crowd-pleasing comedy, but that’s exactly what “The Big Sick” is, and so much more.

Director Michael Showalter’s film defies categorization. You could call it a romantic comedy and that would be accurate, because there are indeed elements of romance and comedy. It mines clashes across cultures and generations for laughs that are specific to Nanjiani’s experience but also resonate universally. “The Big Sick” also functions as an astutely insightful exploration of how we live now with the Pakistan-born comic, starring as himself, enduring racism that’s both casual and pointed.

But the pivotal plot point in “The Big Sick” is a potentially deadly illness—hence the title—which provides not only drama and catharsis but also dark humor, and it allows the film’s characters to evolve in ways that feel substantial and real.

That’s a lot of different kinds of movies at once, and Showalter—working from a screenplay by Nanjiani and his wife, Gordon—gets his arms around all of it with dazzling dexterity. On the heels of his sweetly heartbreaking 2015 dramedy “Hello, My Name Is Doris,” Showalter once again makes tough tonal shifts with great grace. Again and again, he finds that laughter-through-tears sweet spot, often in the unlikeliest of places.

But it all starts with the script. Nanjiani and Gordon have dared to make themselves vulnerable here, allowing us an intimate glimpse into a traumatic and frightening time in their lives. They imbue moments both large and small with such an abiding honesty, though, that “The Big Sick” never feels like shameless navel-gazing. The events that ultimately brought the two together are extreme, but the depiction of them always rings true. 

And Nanjiani’s front-and-center presence is a crucial component in the film’s emotional connection. Even if you had no idea “The Big Sick” was based on his real-life courtship, Nanjiani exudes an authenticity and a directness that are hugely appealing. He’s part of the ensemble on HBO’s “Silicon Valley” and he’s had a number of supporting film roles in recent years, including a particularly, um, memorable appearance as a massage therapist in last summer’s “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.” But this will make him a star, and it should.

At the start of “The Big Sick,” though, the on-screen Kumail is struggling to make ends meet, working as an Uber driver by day and a stand-up comic by night. He sleeps on an air mattress in a Chicago apartment that’s a slight notch above college squalor with his needy roommate, Chris (Kurt Braunohler). One night at the comedy club, he connects with the smart and beautiful Emily (Zoe Kazan), who’d inadvertently heckled him during his set. Kazan and Nanjiani have crackling chemistry from the start, a sweet and easy banter that only grows more enjoyable the more time they spend together.

With a deadpan playfulness, they repeatedly insist they’re not dating, even though it’s clear they’re falling for each other. Emily, a grad student with plans to become a therapist, is no giggly rom-com heroine seeking approval: “I love it when men test me on my taste,” she zings when Kumail quizzes her on her favorite movies. It’s a testament to Kazan’s instincts and presence that while her character is lying in a hospital bed for much of the film’s midsection, you still feel her influence.

Before that happens, though, we also see what Kumail’s life is like with his family: devout Muslims who insist on arranging a marriage for him. His older brother, Naveed (Adeel Akhtar), already has a wife and seems content. His parents (Bollywood legend Anupam Kher and theater veteran Zenobia Shroff, both lovely) just want him to be happy—as long as he carries on their cultural traditions. Caught between Pakistani and American identities, between Islam and agnosticism, Kumail is unsure of who he is—but he knows he can’t tell his family about the white woman who’s become so important to him.

And then, Emily gets sick—a sudden and unexplainable illness that forces doctors to place her in a medically-induced coma. This allows us to meet her parents—the nerdy, down-to-Earth Terry (Ray Romano) and the feisty, no-nonsense Beth (Holly Hunter)—and it places Kumail in the uncomfortable position of getting to know them under dire circumstances. Again, this might not sound like comedy gold. But the way Nanjiani, Romano and Hunter navigate their characters’ daily highs and lows—and dance around each other—is simultaneously pitch perfect and consistently surprising. Romano is great in an unusual dramatic role, but Hunter is just a fierce force of nature, finding both the anger and the pathos in this frustrated, frightened mom.

The details in the hospital scenes make them feel particularly vivid: the colorful quilt from Emily’s childhood bedroom that her mother brings from North Carolina to cover her during her comatose state, or the yacht rock hits piping through tinny speakers in the bleak, cramped waiting room. The situation would feel like hell no matter where you are, but such touches make the characters’ anxiety seem endless.

Which brings us to the only slight drawback: the running time. “The Big Sick” is a Judd Apatow production, and like a number of movies he’s been involved with over the years (“Funny People,” “This Is 40”), it goes on a tad longer than it should. Some tightening, especially toward the end, might have made a great film truly excellent.

But Apatow also has a knack for spotting up-and-coming talent and using his considerable influence to help foster it on the biggest stage and under the brightest lights. He’s done this with Lena Dunham (“Girls”) and Amy Schumer (“Trainwreck”), and he’s done it again with Nanjiani. We’re the ones, though, who truly benefit.

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