Category: Men in Arts

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.

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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.

All-Stars Join The Eagles Onstage in Tribute to Glenn Frey

The convergence of musical legends doesn’t occur too often, yet those attending The Eagles concert on July 15 at Dodgers Stadium were treated to an unexpected duet. That was when Bob Seger joined the band onstage to sing their signature tune, Heartache Tonight.

The Eagles were appearing as part of their Classic West concert series with Fleetwood Mac, with the concert marking the first time the band had performed a full concert since the death of Glenn Frey 18 months ago. Frey was an integral component for the band and wrote a number of its biggest hits.

Seger’s connection to the band was related to the fact that nearly a half-century ago, he and Frey had recorded the song, Rambling Gambling Man. That took place in 1968 and remains one of Seger’s own signature songs.

Video that was posted online of The Eagles and Seger singing together was quickly taken off, yet Seger wasn’t the only one to help the band sing along. Country singer Vince Gill, who in the past has cited The Eagles as a heavy influence in his own songwriting, joined the group for three songs: Lyin’ Eyes, New Kid in Town and Take It to the Limit.

Yet most likely the most poignant part of the evening was when Frey’s son, Deacon, joined the band onstage. Three songs that his father had written and made famous: Already Gone, Peaceful Easy Feeling and Take It Easy, were the selections and were met with rousing applause from the audience.

The concert series itself, which involves two concerts in Los Angeles with Fleetwood Mac, followed by two more in New York, was something most Eagles fans never expected to see again. That was because two months after Frey died, Don Henley indicated that the group would never perform again.

Ed Sheeran Appears on Game of Thrones—and the World Goes Wild

Although he was only onscreen for a few moments—and his character didn’t really have much to do besides sing—Ed Sheeran’s brief cameo on the Game of Thrones premiere managed to rule social media mentions. Behind Arya Stark, Sheeran’s character was the most talked about on the entire episode. During an unusually peaceful scene for Arya, Sheeran’s lovely singing voice can be heard as Arya rides through the forest.

Although Sheeran and his cohorts are dressed in Lannister army attire, Arya quickly responds to their request for her company. As she approaches, she mentions that she has never heard the song that Sheeran is singing. He replies that is a new song, so it makes sense that Arya never would have heard it before. After all, she has been away from King’s Landing ever since her father was publicly assassinated by Joffrey. Offering a rare moment of respite for Arya, as well as some companionship, this scene has her sharing rabbit meat and wine with the soldiers for her most hated enemy—Cersei Lannister.

When the army men ask why Arya is going back to the filth of King’s Landing, she replies that she is going to kill the queen. After an awkward second or two, the group of men bursts into laughter, assuming that she is joking. Obviously, they don’t know Arya’s true nature! Although they don’t know it, the reason they are in the area is to clean up the mess that she has created—all of the dead Freys that Arya has annihilated due to their participation in her mother’s murder. The public reaction to Sheeran’s cameo may have been mixed, but there is no doubt that Game of Thrones fans were beyond thrilled to get started on the seventh season of the award-winning program.

Oscar Isaac Returns to Shakespeare in the Park in ‘Hamlet’

Oscar Isaac is currently appearing in a production of Hamlet at The Public Theater off Broadway. The star of Star Wars: The Force Awakens makes his appearance as Shakespeare’s melancholy Danish prince in a production that runs June 20, 2017 and runs through September 3rd.

Isaac previously played the male lead in Romeo and Juliet opposite Lauren Ambrose in Michael Greif’s production at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. He has also played Proteus in the John Guare/Mel Shapiro/Galt MacDermot rock musical version of Two Gentlemen of Verona, which played at the Public Theater in 2005.

The production is directed by Tony-winning director (Best Direction of a Musical for Fun Home, 2015) Sam Gold. Gold previously produced Shakespeare’s Othello at the New York Theatre Workshop in the autumn of 2016.

It also features Keegan Michael Key, one half of the comedy duo Key and Peele whose Comedy Central show ran 2012-2015. Key plays Horatio, friend and counselor to the prince.

Hamlet’s artistic director is Oskar Eustis. Eustis made news recently for his work on The Public’s recent production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. The contemporary take on Caesar drew criticism, particularly in conservative circles, for drawing comparisons between Caesar and President Donald Trump. Eustis calls Hamlet “the greatest dramatic work in the history of the universe.”

Unfortunately, Star Wars fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the more Shakespearean side of Poe Dameron will have to have their tickets already, as the show is now sold out for its entire run.

“Game of Thrones” Creators Reveal New “Coinfederate” TV Show

The latest season of “Game of Thrones” has only now reached our screens with season seven thought to be penultimate in the run of what is often described as the biggest TV show in the world. With only a few episodes in the final season eight needing to be filmed the thoughts of fans and industry insiders have now turned to what the stars, writers, and creators of “Game of Thrones” will do next; in the case of showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss the answer has already been revealed as the writers have been given the green light from HBO to develop their long rumored “Confederate” series, according to the BBC.

Season seven of “Game of Thrones” began with a fanfare of critical and fan acclaim and continued to occupy much of the media coverage for HBO, but the details of the new show from the award-winning creators of the show will not feature a fantastical world in the same sense as the mythical world of “Westeros”. The premise for “Confederate” revolves around an alternate history of the U.S. where the southern Confederate states of the U.S. Civil War break free of the north and retained a culture of slavery.

Deadline reports the idea for “Confederate” has been on the books of Benioff and Weiss for a number of years as they have discussed the options open to them in terms of feature films and television shows. Eventually, the creative freedom allowed by the U.S. cable network HBO proved enough to tempt the “Game of Thrones” creators to remain with the channel to create another imagined universe; alternative history shows have moved front and center in recent years with Amazon’s “The Man in High Castle” and the BBC drama “SS-GB” have all followed the alt-history route to popularity.

Elton John Is Back With His Iconic Hits On YouTube

Bernie Taupin and Elton John are one of the most acclaimed songwriting teams of all time. They have been working with YouTube in regards to a new global competition. The competition is looking for the three most iconic of their hits from the early 1970’s. These hits are Tiny Dancer, Bennie and the Jets and Rocket Man. The winning submissions were revealed by the pair at the Cannes Film Festival. This marked the duo’s 50th anniversary of their partnership in music.

Elton John admitted to being both amazed and moved by the videos presented and the overall process. He feels creativities future has become collaborative and fuses technology with art. He thinks the ability to open up his work and be able to share it with the creative talents of the next generation is fantastic. The process giving him the ability to have his work viewed all over the world on YouTube was responsible for a large portion of his amazement. For additional information on Elton John please visit http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/elton-john-humbled-by-new-rocket-man-tiny-dancer-videos-at-cannes-w483661.

The animated clip of Rocket Man by Majid Adin was brilliant. It highlighted the lyrics based on a lonely astronaut with stunning and visually captivating precision. The visual tale draws on Adin’s past when he was a refugee from Iran on his way to England. He was a graduate of fine arts and animation production and had made a journey through Europe. This was during the time of the refugee crisis in 2015 and some of his time was spent in a camp in the Calais Jungle before the United Kingdom granted him asylum. The words of Bernie Taupin become melancholy in this particular setting and the line about how it has been a long, long time repeating draws attention to the uncertainty of his future. The animated clip was a definite success.