If you thought PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds felt the blunt of Fortnite's unprecedented success this year, there are much more personal stakes too. According to a sample of 200 divorce petitions beginning January 1, 2018, Fortnite and other online games has been cited as a top reason.
The data comes from the top Divorce website in the UK and the sample represents approximately 5% of all the petitions they handled thus far this year. They decided to dig into the data after noticing Fortnite being repeatedly listed as an issue in these marriages.
A spokesperson for the company explains:
"Addiction to drugs, alcohol and gambling have often been cited as reasons for relationship breakdowns but the dawn of the digital revolution has introduced new addictions...
These now include online pornography, online gaming and social media, so it is no surprise to us that more and more people are having relationship problems because of our digital addictions."
This is especially interesting given that Fortnite's demographics lean young, with nearly two-thirds of its player base in the 18-24 age range with the most popular segment coming from college-aged men (men in total, account for 72% of the total Fortnite player base) according to research by Verto Watch and Statista conducted earlier this year. It just goes to show how massive and far-reaching Fortnite has been, helped in part by it being a free-to-play game, financed via in-game cosmetic microtransactions.
Fortnite remains one of the most popular games in existence and the current king of the "battle royale" genre, where 100 players are dropped into a shrinking map with only one player (or team) that can win. It took the throne from PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) amidst controversy that it lifted elements (and was built by Epic Games, the makers of the very same game engine that was licensed for the development of PUBG). Both games were developed on relatively short development periods and released in "early access" states. The first real competition to both comes this fall with triple-A publishers and developers entering the market with their own takes on the battle royale format.
Up first is Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 which just tested its "Blackout" mode last week to great success, and not too long after, Electronic Arts will introduce a battle royale mode titled "Firestorm" as a post-launch addition to Battlefield V. If all of these titles are as addictive as Fortnite, there's going to be a lot of strain on relationships...
The first teaser poster for Daredevil season 3 is here. Marvel and Netflix launched their partnership back in 2015 with the first season of Daredevil. Starring Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer who fights crime in a different way at night, Daredevil was a major hit. The companies fast-tracked a second season ahead of The Defenders that introduced Punisher (Jon Bernthal) and Elektra (Elodie Yung). It was after the crossover event, though, that the story for season 3 was put in motion.
As far as the Marvel/Netflix universe is concerned, Matt Murdock is dead/missing. This allows Daredevil season 3 to adapt the Frank Miller "Born Again" comic book storyline in broad strokes. The first teaser for Daredevil season 3 showed the darkness that is taking over the vigilante, as he said he'd rather die as Daredevil than live as Matt Murdock.
The darkness continues to be the theme for Daredevil season 3 with the first teaser poster proclaiming, "Let there be darkness." The all-red scheme simply shows a cross at a grave with Daredevil's mask sitting on top of it, with the New York skyline barely visible behind it. Check it out below:
Religion is a major part of Daredevil, so the continued use of crosses and cathedrals fits. Even the "Let there be darkness" line is a clear reversal on Genesis 1:3 where God said "Let there be light." The biblical aspects to the poster don't stop there either, as the official Daredevil Twitter account used Job 30:26 as the caption in their tweet sharing the poster. That verse reads, "Yet when I hoped for good, evil came; when I looked for light, then came darkness." This parallels Daredevil's struggles as a vigilante, as he wants to protect his city, but learns the more he fights back, the more evil rises.
The first two seasons of Daredevil are filled with Matt's Catholic beliefs and these struggles and those may be an even bigger part of season three. The teaser trailer for the next season only features Matt in his original black Daredevil suit in a confessional. Plus, with Matt's mother Sister Maggie (Joanne Whalley) being featured, viewers may get to see a different side to Matt's beliefs. His faith, morality, and much more will be tested as Kingpin (Vincent D'Onofrio) terrorizes his life and those of the people closest to him. It should all make for a potentially great season, and hopefully it won't be too much longer before everyone gets to see it.
Daredevil season 3 will debut on Netflix in 2018.
Avengers: Infinity War would have been very different had Doctor Strange taken his duty seriously, and prepared for the threat of Thanos. It's true that Stephen Strange is yet to become the Sorcerer Supreme in the MCU, but he's certainly one of the most powerful and committed magic-users on the face of the planet.
Strange's photographic memory has allowed him to advance beyond his peers in terms of mystical knowledge, to the extent that he's the one most trusted to safeguard the Time Stone. He's proven committed to the sacred duty of the Masters of the Mystic Arts; as he revealed to the God of Thunder in Thor: Ragnarok, Strange keeps what he calls a "watch list" of beings who he believes could threaten the world. When Loki and Thor arrived on Earth, Strange had Loki imprisoned in another dimension within moments.
For all that's the case, though, Strange clearly hadn't prepared for Thanos. He'd never heard of the Mad Titan before Bruce Banner's arrival. Has Doctor Strange failed to live up to his responsibility?
Should Thanos Have Been on Doctor Strange's List?
It's easy to assume Doctor Strange should have put Thanos on his watch list and prepared for the Mad Titan's attack. After all, Thanos is a monstrous warlord who travels the cosmos ravaging planets at whim, killing off literally half their populations. In Guardians of the Galaxy, Korath described him as one of the most powerful beings in the universe. Taken at face value, you'd really think Thanos should have caught Strange's eye as a real threat to Earth.
But there are two simple reasons he didn't. The first is that Strange probably didn't know Thanos existed. The Avengers: Infinity War Prelude tie-in comics revealed that the Masters of the Mystic Arts had only limited information about affairs in space. They knew that the Power Stone had been secreted away on Morag, but they didn't know it had been found and taken to Xandar. There's actually no indication they kept track of events in space; rather, with the sole exception of Morag, their knowledge appeared to be limited to beings and incidents that affected Earth. Thanos had never come to Earth himself before, and his hand was hidden when the Chitauri invaded in 2012. There was no reason the Masters of the Mystic Arts would have ever heard his name.
Even if they did, though, it's possible they wouldn't have been interested. The Masters of the Mystic Arts are mostly concerned with mystical, other-dimensional threats. Loki is top of Strange's list because he's a quasi-divine sorcerer who has caused chaos on Earth before, and who has strong ties to the Infinity Stones. Thanos, in contrast, would be viewed as just another alien warlord, possibly one among many, and there's no indication the Mad Titan had ever allowed the universe at large to know of his interest in the Infinity Stones. Loki fell within Strange's purview; he had no reason to believe Thanos did.
But Doctor Strange Should Still Have Known Better
That doesn't mean Doctor Strange is faultless, though. To return to the Avengers: Infinity War Prelude, it demonstrates that the Masters of the Mystic Arts were well aware that the Infinity Stones were being brought into play again. Wong briefed Strange on events from Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World, and Avengers: Age of Ultron. He knew all about what had happened to the Space Stone, the Mind Stone, and even the Reality Stone. What's more, the depth of detail Wong went into suggested the Masters had access to information about these events that was most certainly not in the public domain. Three Infinity Stones had emerged on Earth in the space of just a few years; something was clearly going on.
Given that's the case, even if Doctor Strange couldn't know who Thanos was and what he wanted to do with the Infinity Stones, you'd have expected him to have prepared for powerful alien forces to come seeking the Time Stone. After all, aliens - particularly Asgardians - had been involved with the Infinity Stones in both New York and London. Strange's error may simply have been his overconfidence, his belief that he could protect the Time Stone from whatever forces would come seeking it out. In reality, when the Black Order came in Avengers: Infinity War, he soon wound up a prisoner and taken to space; had Tony Stark and Peter Parker not hitched a ride, he wouldn't have even had a fighting chance when he met Thanos.
Michael B. Jordan says he's game to keep playing Adonis Creed after Creed II hit theaters this November - so long as the movies are actually good, that is.
The Rocky series roared back to life three years ago with Creed, a continuation of the franchise that shifted its focus to Adonis, son of the late boxing legend Apollo Creed. Sylvester Stallone reprised his iconic role as Rocky Balboa in the film, with future Black Panther director Ryan Coogler calling the shots. The movie was a hit with critics and grossed $173 million at the global box office against a $35 million budget. Thus, the decision to green-light a sequel was something of a no-brainer for distributor MGM.
Creed II will dive deeper into Rocky history and pit Adonis against his most dangerous boxing opponent yet - Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu), son of Ivan Drago, aka. the man who killed Apollo in the ring in Rocky IV (Dolph Lundgren). However, when interviewed by the Toronto Sun on the Creed II set, Jordan was keen to emphasize that the sequel is about much more than just Adonis wanting payback for what happened over thirty years ago:
“Victor’s storyline is very layered. The two guys are similar in a lot of ways... Adonis feels, naturally, a certain animosity towards Viktor and Ivan, and then there are other themes in there: the maturity of growth, the importance of family, of legacy, is what makes Creed so special. It’s not just about revenge. It’s about a lot of things... If we get that lesson across, then I think we’ve made a pretty special movie.”
Jordan's comments here echo those made by Luke Cage creator Cheo Hodari Coker (who cowrote the film with Stallone) about Creed II being the story of "sons haunted by their fathers". Those concerns about legacy and the past will further impact Adonis' relationships with his loved ones in the film, including his girlfriend Blanca (Tessa Thompson, reprising her role from the first Creed). So long as the Creed franchise continues to do right by these themes, Jordan says he's interested in making even more sequels down the line:
“If I’m lucky. I want to keep making them as long as they’re good. I always want to keep my finger on the pulse. Forty two years [like the Rocky franchise], I mean, who knows?”
Since Coogler was unavailable to direct Creed II (due to Black Panther), he was replaced on the sequel by Steve Caple Jr. The latter is a young filmmaker who, like Coogler, was praised for his indie directorial debut (The Land, in Caple's case) and has continued to prove his mettle with his efforts working on TV series like Grown-ish. Creed II will be Caple's first big test as a director, but Jordan and Coogler alike seem confident that he will deliver the goods and prove himself to be another great addition to the Creed team.
If that happens then, indeed, who knows - we may yet wind up talking about the latest Creed movie, forty-odd years from now.
Source: Toronto Sun
Marvel Studios is moving into the TV game, which can fix some of the biggest problems with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was recently reported that Marvel plans to make two limited television series based on Loki and Scarlet Witch, to be screened exclusively on Disney’s upcoming streaming service. According to the reports, both Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen will reprise their roles for each series, with seasons of around six to eight episodes. The budgets are expected to be high too, with Variety saying they will rival "those of a major studio production." Neither Disney nor Marvel Studios have confirmed or commented on the story, but it is already generating immense buzz among MCU fans.
Marvel’s cinematic universe has emerged as one of Hollywood’s most ambitious projects, with the studios having crafted a highly detailed and wide-ranging franchise that broke all the rules in the space of a mere decade. Their might in the film industry is indisputable, but that clout hasn’t been as present in their television division. There are currently several Marvel series airing on multiple networks as well as streaming on Netflix, and while they are technically part of the MCU canon, one would be forgiven for forgetting they exist in that context.
Related: How Marvel Studios Really Works
The rift between Marvel Studios, headlined by Kevin Feige reporting to Disney, and their television division, which reports to Marvel Entertainment, the domain of Ike Perlmutter, has been oft-discussed and led to much theorizing. The TV shows often feel disconnected from the wider narrative, which proves disappointing to the fans who are enthused by the franchise’s ever-intertwining plots and characters. While shows like Jessica Jones, The Punisher, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have their dedicated audience, Marvel’s TV world has primarily felt like a missed storytelling opportunity. However, this news from Disney could change all that, and it could help fix a few fundamental problems with the MCU as a whole.
- This Page: How The New MCU Shows Fixes The Marvel TV Problem
- Page 2: The Disney Shows Fix Bigger MCU Problems
The Marvel TV Divide Will (Sort Of) Get Better
The movie/TV divide of Marvel is mostly rooted in a management issue. Marvel Studios is under the control of Disney while Marvel TV is an entity of Marvel Entertainment. Aside from a very rare cameo - like Nick Fury's appearances in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1 - the two almost never cross over. It is still canon for characters like Daredevil and Iron Fist to exist in the canon of the MCU, but they never really interact with it. This has ended up raising many questions with fans: If The Defenders are in New York, presumably within driving distance of Stark Tower, why does Tony never call upon them for their services? An upside to this arrangement is that it's much easier for Marvel to forget flops, such as their one critically mauled season of ABC's Inhumans. What would have been the first real introduction of the Inhumans mythos to the franchise can instead be dismissed as if it never happened.
Per the report, the film and TV divide will remain but the new shows are Marvel Studios creations, meaning the crossover potential and adherence to the growing franchise canon is far stronger. This doesn't bode well for shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or the Netflix series, but at least it gives Marvel a true opportunity to expand upon the potential of the television medium in a way they have yet to fully utilize. These TV shows may actually feel on the level of Marvel’s films rather than asides with evidently lower expectations from those in charge.
Page 2 of 2: The Disney Shows Fix Bigger MCU Problems
Marvel Will Stop Wasting Secondary Characters
Loki proved to be a stand-out character from the first Thor movie and became the primary antagonist of The Avengers. However, despite Tom Hiddleston’s enduring popularity with fans, the franchise hasn’t put the character to good use for a while, retiring him to secondary status as the films expanded beyond the core cast. Scarlet Witch doesn't even have that; she's always been referred to as one of the main characters the films yet is usually reserved as a plot motivator. For someone who is such an icon in the comics, she’s used to little effect in the franchise, struggling for screen time as the ensemble has become larger. This is not unique to Wanda: think of War Machine or Bucky Barnes or break-out characters from Black Panther like Shuri.
It’s an inevitable downside of such a gargantuan franchise for many secondary characters, even beloved ones, to be sidelined in favor of bigger characters or establishing new heroes. A lot of these heroes are also less likely to receive solo movies because, even though Marvel is essentially a guaranteed hit-maker these days, some risks are still not worth taking. That’s what makes a new Marvel Studios TV operation so striking.
It’s a chance to give those under-served characters real focus. A Loki series that delves into some of the truly bonkers elements of his comics runs could be brilliant, or a Scarlet Witch show where she’s front and center for the first time. The possibilities are as endless as their films.
Marvel Can Finally Make Mid-Range Projects
Marvel movies are pricey endeavors, with the most recent Avengers film, Infinity War, having an estimated production cost as high as $400 million. Even a “smaller” MCU movie, such as Ant-Man and The Wasp, still carried a budget of around $150 million. Once upon a time, such numbers would have been considered unprecedented: now, it’s business as usual. The flipside of this is that it's looking increasingly unlikely for them to make smaller stories.
The new shows could change that, allowing for more mid-range budgeted projects. The chances are that Marvel Studios not going to make, say, a $55 million movie in the way Warner Bros. and DC are doing with their solo Joker movie. Television could be a new way into that, or at least the Disney streaming service offers a new platform where such things are possible. TV shows aren’t cheap to make and budgets are only getting bigger – Netflix’s The Crown, for example, costs around $100 million a season – but compared to rising costs for film, it’s still a viable option for a lower budget. Indeed, while the report has suggested that these new TV series will have “hefty” budgets, they'll not match the big-screen counterparts.
Going forward, there could be immense potential for Disney to use their streaming platform for smaller projects. That would allow for a more intimate variation in storytelling and character focus in the MCU, the kind of stuff that’s not typically a priority in blockbuster cinema that prides spectacle as its primary selling point. The expectation with such a franchise is for everything to keep getting bigger and bigger, but a chance to scale back would serve Marvel well.
Little is known about the Disney streaming service beyond a handful of upcoming exclusive shows and movies – such as a new Star Wars series helmed by Jon Favreau – but the potential is almost as exciting as what has been offered so far. The main issues with the MCU have stemmed from its needlessly confusing film and TV divide and its constant need to get more epic, often at the cost of certain characters and stories. Creating new TV series under the Marvel Studios umbrella can’t fix all those issues but they can go a great way to dealing with inherent flaws in their system.