Category: Men in Arts

David Yates Defends Johnny Depp

David Yates, director of the last four Harry Potter movies and its spin-off series Fantastic Beasts, has come out in defense of Johnny Depp, the controversial lead actor of the new films.

Depp played the main character, Newt Scamander, in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which was released in 2016. The sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, is set to come out November 16, 2018.

Depp attracted controversy, however, during his divorce proceedings with Amber Head, who accused him (with some evidence) of having physically abused her during their marriage. This has led to some fans demanding that he be recast for the new film.

Yates explained his reasons for keeping Depp during a discussion with EW:

“Honestly, there’s an issue at the moment where there’s a lot of people being accused of things, they’re being accused by multiple victims, and it’s compelling and frightening,” he said, no doubt referring to the many abuse accusations that have come out since the Harvey Weinstein scandal began some weeks ago.

However, Yates goes on to argue that so far, Depp has only been accused by one person, and though he stops short of accusing Head of lying, he says that there is a major contrast between Depp as she has described him and the very kind person whom Yates has always found him to be.

He continued by noting that several of Depp’s other exes have come out and said that he never acted abusively toward them, in contrast to many other celebrities involved in recent abuse scandals who have accumulated multiple accusers.

Obviously commenting on a “he said, she said” case like this is very risky, and understandably feelings about these issues can be very strong. It remains to be seen how fans will react to Yates’ reasoning, and how that ultimately affects the film.

Is a Snyder Cut of “Justice League” Possible?

Is it even possible for Warner Bros. to release a “Snyder cut” of Justice League? While many sources have said no, one Reddit rumor says that there is one already mostly made.

The statement is hard to verify—Reddit users have started many false rumors—but according to an account called DC_Cinematic, a cut of director Zack Snyder’s original vision exists in an “unfinished but notable state.” The account called it “a rough version that had a lot of finished FX and music.”

If this is true, it would be atypical. Due to the untimely death of his daughter, Zack Snyder exited the filming of Justice League before the films many reshoots began, and most reports say that there was not a coherent cut at this point.

It is evident that Joss Whedon, the uncredited replacement director, made many changes—this much is evident by the number of trailer scenes that were missing from the movie, and from Henry Cavill’s lip. (During the reshoots he had a mustache which was digitally removed, as he was contractually required to keep it for Mission: Impossible 6.)

Snyder’s previous DC Extended Universe films, Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice were divisive at best, and Warner Bros. clearly was hoping that Whedon, a director with more mainstream appeal, could fix that problem. Instead the film wound up a strange hodgepodge of the two directors’ very different styles, and many blame Whedon for corrupting Snyder’s vision.

Snyder himself always intended to do reshoots, but it is not clear if he wanted to do as many as Whedon wound up doing. It is also hard to say how much was Whedon’s own decision versus executive demands. In any event, it is unknown if Snyder would even want to do a director’s cut; he seems to have accepted that the DCEU is now out of his hands.

Fishburne and Marvel May Have a Secret Project Planned

Actor Laurence Fishburne may be working on a secret project for Marvel, in addition to his part in Ant-Man and the Wasp (released on July 6, 2018).


In the upcoming Ant-Man sequel, Fishburne will be playing Bill Foster, a former assistant of Michael Douglas’ character, Hank Pym, and the second male character to become a size-changing superhero (called Black Goliath). He is also involved with Marvel’s competitor, DC Comics, appearing as Perry White (Clark Kent’s boss and editor) in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. He was offered a role in this year’s Justice League film but had to decline due to scheduling conflicts.


However, in a recent Collider interview about the Marvel film, he segued into discussing a new project, offering scant but tantalizing details about what it might be.


“I’m developing something else for Marvel that I can’t talk about. It’s gonna be really cool. It’s gonna change the world, we hope,” he said, laughing.


He adds that he was the one who pitched the idea, whatever it was, but it involved a lot of legal red tape that was difficult to work through. He says that his Ant-Man and the Wasp role was offered afterwards.


One possible interpretation of Fishburne’s statement could be that he wanted to pitch a Black Goliath film, though it’s unclear if Marvel would want to go through with that, for several reasons: it is awfully close to Ant-Man, after all, but without as much name recognition. The talk of legal red tape could imply that Fisburne’s plan involved some sort of property owned by another company, such as Spider-Man (owned by Sony), the X-Men or Fantastic Four (owned by Fox); Marvel has limited use of the former, but not of the latter.


If the project goes through, we will just have to wait and see.

Abraham Ford: Professional Wrestler?

Fans of The Walking Dead might be surprised to learn that professional wrestler Matt Morgan was considered for the part of Abraham Ford.


And from his description, he got pretty close, too. “I auditioned for that part [of Abraham] and I was all but told that it was mine,” Morgan explained, and described how he spent a holiday season at his brother’s house isolated from the rest of his family because he was busy trying to learn his lines for the role. When he got the call saying that he had not, in fact, been chosen to play the character, he admits that he became “bitchy” and refused to watch the show as a form of bitter protest.


Introduced between the Governor and All Out War arcs of the zombie themed television series, Abraham was a popular character among the fanbase. A mustachioed Texan, he managed to bring a combination of pathos and humor to the dark program. Eventually he was killed off at the beginning of season seven, taken out by current main villain Negan and his beloved baseball bat, Lucille. Nevertheless, rumors abound that the character will appear soon on Fear the Walking Dead, a show that exists within the same universe but set earlier in the timeline, when the zombie apocalypse was only beginning (and thus, when Abraham was still alive).


Morgan’s loss was a gain for Michael Cudlitz, a veteran actor. Given how well he managed to play the part, many fans are probably willing to forgive the show’s creators for stiffing Morgan, especially since the wrestler seems like an odd choice for the character.


Other professional wrestlers have proven to be good actors, however, most notable Dwayne Johnson, formerly known as “The Rock.” For his part, Morgan has managed to get roles in Death from Above and The Good Guys, but has not had the sort of success that Johnson has.


DiCaprio to Star in Next Tarantino Flick?

Rumors have it that auteur director Quentin Tarantino has a special part written in his next movie for Leonardo DiCaprio, and there have reportedly also had talks with Samuel L. Jackson and Brad Pitt for parts as well.


The film in question is currently untitled, but people involved are apparently referring to it simply as “#9,” in reference to this being Tarantino’s ninth film. It is going to be based on the famous Manson murders in the 1970s, when a cult lead by Charlie Manson killed several Hollywood notables as part of a bizarre plan to start a race war.


Of course, fans of Tarantino should not expect the movie to be very historically accurate; this is the man who, in his film Inglourious Basterds, depicted a group of Jewish-American soldiers successfully assassinating Adolf Hitler in 1944. (Uh, spoiler alert.) Reportedly this new film will also be somewhat similar to that Inglourious Basterds because Manson, like Hitler in that film, will only be a minor character despite his major influence on events.


It is unknown what parts DiCaprio, Jackson or Pitt might play in the film, though actress Margot Robbie has supposedly been approached to play Sharon Tate, one of the murder victims. No casting information has been confirmed for anyone, however.


The film was going to be made with the Weinstein Company, but Tarantino has opted to break ties with them due to the recent controversy surrounded its ousted founder Harvey Weinstein. The film is currently being passed around to different studios, but nevertheless the word is that Tarantino wants to start production of it as soon as possible.


Compared to Tarantino’s other films, the Manson flick is said to be stylistically like Pulp Fiction but has a budget closer to Django Unchained. Its scope will be larger than his most recent film, The Hateful Eight, which makes sense given the subject matter.

Robert Downey Jr.’s New Heroic Role: Mentor

Acting is a tough job. The job becomes tremendously difficult when the weight of a multi-billion dollar franchise rests on your shoulders. John Boyega knows this truth quite well. The young actor is featured prominently in the new Star Wars films. Boyega knows he will be compared to the iconic actors of the previous Star Wars entries, which likely adds a lot of stress to his performance. Thankfully, the actor received a bit of help and mentoring from someone who knows how tough carrying a franchise can be. Robert Downey Jr. lent some of his time to mentor Boyega, an act of kindness that deserves praise.

Robert Downey Jr. has consistently shown himself to be a caring and humble person. Tales of Hollywood excess are legendary. Actors who become “big stars” sometimes become a nightmare to deal with. Such stories are not associated with Robert Downey Jr., an actor who always shows his lighter side in all his endeavors. Taking time out to help a fellow actor is typical of the outstanding character Robert Downey Jr. embodies.

Boyega understood he needed some assistance considering the gravity of the role he signed up for. Boyega reached out to male stars in Hollywood. Downey Jr. was the person who graciously offered to speak with the young man and lend advice and experience.

The entertainment business would be an even better place if there were more actors with the positive attitudes of Boyega and Downey Jr. Maybe their professionalism and friendship will influence others.

James Brolin Opines About The Secretive Avengers IV Script

Josh Brolin is about to play a big part in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The busy actor has landed to role of Thanos, the supremely-powerful villian who shakes up the MCU in Avengers: Infinity War. The ramifications of Infinity War are supposed to completely change the direction of the franchise. Brolin has stated the follow-up to Infinity War is still going by the generic title Avengers IV. The reason for this is the script has not been completed yet, or so Brolin believes. Even he does not know for sure what is going on with the fourth Avengers films.

That should tell fans a lot about the secretive nature of the film. Brolin’s character may be the most important villain in all of the MCU. Thanos’ arrival in Infinity War does not come without earth-shattering changes. Major characters are reportedly meeting their demise in Infinity War. The reason for this, in addition to adding a little drama to the film, is to promote many of the secondary characters to the lead.

Thanos probably will return for Infinity War. Brolin likely is signed on for several films in the MCU. Generally, Marvel Studios does not sign actors to one-film deals. The contracts are usually multi-picture deals designed to bring back the same actor in the same role for continuity purposes. Three different Batman in three consecutive Batman films did not exactly help the first Dark Knight movie franchise very much in the 1990’s.

Several other Marvel films debut in theaters after Infinity War and before Avengers IV. Maybe Brolin will play a huge part in those films as well.

T.J. Miller Talks Positively About Deadpool 2

T.J. Miller is one of the featured stars in the upcoming sequel Deadpool 2. Miller knows fans are looking forward to the new film and they are doing so with a bit of concern. Fans want a great sequel. Concerns exist that the new sequel may go too far into the humor direction that it becomes a slapstick feature instead of an offbeat hero film. Miller wants fans to feel confident that the forthcoming Deadpool feature won’t be a “Hangover 2-style” film.

Fans don’t want to be disappointed in Deadpool 2. Passion helped convince the studio to make the film. Fans don’t want to see that passion abandoned or ignored.

Out of all the superhero films produced, Deadpool was the supreme sleeper hit that exceeded all expectations. The film was a low-budget affair in which the studio, FOX, assumed would be a minor hit. Deadpool turned out to be a mega-hit. The film earned hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide creating a brand-new franchise for FOX. And FOX needed a new franchise since The Fantastic Four was destroyed due to a lousy reboot.

Miller wants fans to know the new film retains all the humor that made the original so unique. Along with the humor comes a darker tone. Fans of the comic book know Deadpool’s origins are quite dark. His humorous outlook and attitude derives from an attempt to cover up pain. How much the motion picture chooses to delve into this nature of the character shall be revealed in the new series.

Miller understands fans hold a special attachment to Deadpool due to the anti-hero’s unique nature. Miller’s reaching out to fans shows the actor wants them to know the new film may even top the original in terms of thrills, action, humor, and originality.


Dwayne Johnson Won’t Be In The Shazam Movie

The DC Extended Universe received a huge shot in the proverbial arm thanks to the arrival of Wonder Woman in theaters. Anyone who hoped the presence of Dwayne Johnson in the upcoming Shazam movie will be disappointed. Johnson won’t be debuting the anti-hero Black Adam in the upcoming film. The reason for removing Johnson and the Black Adam character from the film vary. The somewhat chaotic behind-the-scenes drama at Warner Bros. and D.C. Entertainment — due, in part, to the poor reception of Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad — led to many changes.

The total revamping of Ben Affleck’s The Batman was the most well-publicized project changes. The removing of Johnson from Shazam could have far greater repercussions than would be the case with a page-one rewrite and production delay of The Batman.

Honestly, how many people know who Shazam is? The character debuted as the original Captain Marvel many decades ago during the Golden Age of Comics as a Superman clone. Eventually, the rights were purchased by D.C. Comics and the hero’s name was changed to Shazam over the years. Obviously, D.C. Comics didn’t want a character with the word “Marvel” in the name.

Shazam, still called Captain Marvel, would get a Saturday morning television show in the 1970’s. After the show’s cancellation, the hero become a somewhat obscure B-level hero.

Making a Shazam movie has potential but star power really is necessary to help draw in audience attention since the D.C. Extended Universe has had more critical misses than hits. With no Batman, Joker, or Superman to help the film, singing on Dwayne Johnson definitely would assist the box office. Now “The Rock” is out. Shazam’s success potential becomes questionable.

Dwayne Johnson will appear as Black Adam in a solo film and also as The Wolfman in the Universal Dark Universe.

James Gunn Squashes MCU Rumors

The Marvel Cinematic Universe changes after Avengers 4. This news is hardly new. The creative and executive teams behind the success of the films always noted plans entailed replacing the classic heroes with newer ones. Ant-Man, Dr. Strange, Black Panther, and others move up the ladder while Thor, Iron Man, Captain American, and The Hulk are deemphasized.

James Gunn, the man responsible for the wild success of The Guardians of the Galaxy films, recently spoke out on rumors about a total reboot of the MCU. Gunn pretty much squashed the rumors. Per Gunn’s Twitter account, the director stated the rumors are “Not true” and “Guardians…will continue on.”

Gunn’s beloved Guardians of the Galaxy team will get a cameo in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War movie. So, he does have an inside track on these things. Gunn’s sequel to the original Guardians looks like it will greatly perform better than the hyped Spider-Man: Homecoming. Gunn might not maintain decision making power over the various different franchises, but he is a major name on the creative end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Consider Gunn a very credible source on the matter.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is going to look a lot different in the near future. Whether the “B level” characters can replace the most legendary ones remains to be seen. As long as Guardians of the Galaxy continues to sell tremendous amounts of tickets, the space opera team will play a large part in the MCU’s plans. Gunn then remains a vitally important creative person in the Disney/Marvel Studios mix.

Gunn’s talents could transfer from The Guardians of the Galaxy franchise as well. If one of the B-level heroes needs a better direction, Gunn positively could lend a credible assist.

Will this have to occur? Anything remains possible.