Archive for May 15, 2020
Southern Charm season 7 is shaping up to be a much different show than fans expected. Following news of Cameran Eubanks' departure, fellow cast members Naomie Olindo and Chelsea Meissner have announced they also won't be returning for season 7 of the Bravo reality TV show.
Much to fans' dismay, the news of Olindo and Meissner's exit comes just a few days after Cameran Eubanks revealed in an Instagram comment that she would not be returning to the show for season 7 and denied that rumors of marital trouble was her reason for leaving. Eubanks, whose reality TV resume also includes The Real World, has been a main cast member on the series since its premiere. After a delay in production, the seventh season of Southern Charm is set to premiere sometime late in the year. It is yet to be revealed whether any new cast members will join to fill the void of the ladies lost to this season. Vanderpump Rules started the season with a brand new lineup of SURvers so it wouldn't be that far-fetched for Bravo to do the same for Southern Charm.
Marvel should give Ryan Reynolds free creative rein over Deadpool 3, says Rob Liefeld. Liefeld co-created the incredibly popular fourth-wall-breaking Merc with a mouth back in 1991 with writer Fabian Nicieza. The man behind Deadpool recently voiced his frustration with Marvel for Deadpool 3 not happening yet.
Deadpool's success on the big screen can be attributed to two critical factors. Ryan Reynold's fantastic portrayal of the character, and the fact that Deadpool's hilarious R-rated personality wasn't toned down to make the character a more palatable PG-13. (There was a re-edited PG-13 version of Deadpool 2 called Once Upon A Deadpool, but it just didn't work as well.) When the first Deadpool was released in 2016, it set a box office record as the top R-rated movie ever. Deadpool 2 was released two years later, was also rated R, and was also a massive success at the box office. Ryan Reynolds also got a writing credit on the sequel alongside returning writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. It's been two years since Deadpool 2, Disney has bought Fox thus buying the rights to Deadpool, but any plans for Deadpool 3 remain a mystery even to Liefeld himself.
In an interview with io9.com, Liefeld stood by his statement that it was Marvel's fault Deadpool 3 hadn't been made yet. However, he clarified that he was just being realistic about the situation. Deadpool simply isn't a priority in Marvel's Phase 4 plans, and Liefeld thinks it will be years before we see Deadpool on the big screen again. However, when Deadpool 3 finally goes into production, Liefeld has a pretty clear idea of who should be in charge.
"My opinion is Ryan [Reynolds] should be steering the ship and just completely handed the reins...Even to the point of plugging characters in...Give him three characters he can integrate and let him integrate them. If people ask what I want to see, that’s where it begins. Just please don’t micromanage the guy. Just give him free rein.”
It is entirely understandable why Liefeld is frustrated by a lack of Deadpool 3. After all, the character has become iconic since the first film and continues to be a fan favorite. Ryan Reynolds thinks Deadpool in the MCU would be explosive in a good way. Should a Deadpool 3 be in the works anytime soon, the most important thing Marvel can do would be to continue to let the character have free rein over his chaotic self. Sure it would be risky to have Deadpool join the MCU, but the potential creative possibilities would certainly draw audiences in. (The amount of fan-art imagining Deadpool in the MCU is just one indication of the popularity of this possibility.) Even if creative execs are fearful of the R-rated character ruining the usual PG-13 Marvel mold, a solo Deadpool 3 movie would surely work just as well, if not better.
Deadpool 3 can happen and should happen. Rob Liefeld is right in saying that Ryan Reynolds should take control of the project. After all, if there's one character with infinite creative possibilities, it's the foul-mouthed mercenary who knows he's a character in more ways than one. Maybe Reynolds can even finally convince Hugh Jackman to return as Wolverine. The world can only hope.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker subtly explains a Darth Vader mystery regarding the Sith Lord kidnapping children across the galaxy. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is the end of the trilogy of trilogies, and as such it attempts to tie up as many loose ends as possible by resurrecting Palpatine and revealing a secret Sith redoubt. This is a retcon, of course - even requiring a new interpretation of the Sith "Rule of Two" - but surprisingly, it fits well with some details in recently published tie-ins.
George Mann's Star Wars: Myths & Fables is a collection of in-universe legends, but like any myth, there's a hint of truth to them. One story, "The Dark Wraith", is clearly a legend telling of Darth Vader's arrival on the primitive world of Cerosha. While the Sith Lord is never named, he is described as a being dressed in black who wields a crimson blade, and whose breathing is in equal parts organic and mechanical. No doubt Darth Vader was continuing his never-ending quest to hunt down Force-sensitives, and indeed he is described as killing adults; but, curiously, Darth Vader appears to take children. This, naturally, left readers wondering just what was going on. Why was Darth Vader kidnapping Force-sensitive children, and was Palpatine aware of his actions?
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hints at a possible answer to these questions. It reveals Palpatine and Darth Vader both possessed ancient Sith Wayfinders, devices that could be fitted into a starship's navigational console in order to help it fly to the legendary Sith stronghold of Exegol. This otherwise inaccessible world was concealed deep in the Unknown Regions, hidden within by a labyrinth of solar storms, rogue magnetospheres, black holes, gravity wells, and things far stranger. It was inhabited by a dark side cult who venerated the Sith, and who had lived there since the distant times of the Sith Empire. It's reasonable to assume this explains why Darth Vader kidnapped Force-sensitive children; he took them to Exegol.
Children at a young age are particularly impressionable, and it is far easier to indoctrinate a child than it is an adult. Thus these Force-sensitive children would be taken to Exegol, where they would be brainwashed by the dark side of the Force, and then integrated into the society of Exegol - possibly as Sith Cultists. No doubt Darth Vader only tended to steal children from backwater worlds like Cerosha, where his actions would draw no attention from either Imperial rivals or Rebel sympathizers in the Senate.
There's a striking parallel with the First Order, who also took children and brainwashed them, transforming them into Stormtroopers. Indeed, the junior novelization of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker subtly hints the dark side of the Force was used as part of this conditioning process as well. In this case, however, the process doesn't seem to have been as effective; Force-sensitives like Finn ultimately rebelled (potentially when there was an awakening in the Force), sensing what they were doing was wrong. Presumably, however, that would have been impossible for any of the children converted into the Sith cult of Exegol, simply because they were living in a place where the dark side was so pervasive.
Before James Mangold was hired to direct The Wolverine, the solo X-Men movie was set to be helmed by Black Swan and Requiem For a Dream director Darren Aronofsky. The version of The Wolverine that Aronofosky was working on was quite different from what ended up in theaters in 2013, and would have had implications that changed the 2017 sequel Logan as well.
Before X-Men: Origins - Wolverine was even released, there were already plans in place to make a sequel set in Japan, which would be based on a limited comic series by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller. One of Origins' post-credits scenes established Logan as being in Japan, directly setting up the sequel. Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible - Fallout) was hired to write the script in August 2009, and Darren Aronofsky was confirmed as being attached to direct in October 2010, but stepped away from The Wolverine in March 2011.
After Aronosky's departure, The Wolverine's script was rewritten by Mark Bomback and Scott Frank (McQuarrie went uncredited in the final version of the film). Though the bones of the story that ended up on the big screen were similar to what Aronofsky had been working on, there were some big changes as well.
In his March 2011 statement to the press, Aronofsky said that he'd decided not to direct The Wolverine after he realized it would mean being away from his family for up to a year, praising McQuarrie's "terrific" script and expressing regret that he wouldn't get to bring it to the big screen. The director later elaborated on his reasons for quitting in an MTV News podcast. He was going through a divorce from actress Rachel Weisz at the time, and working on The Wolverine would have meant being away from their young son at the worst possible time:
"I loved the script and I thought the film came out great. I just had… it was a hard time in my life... It was complicated. I couldn’t leave New York for that long an amount of time. And, to be honest, the possibility of ‘Noah’ had started to emerge, and here was something I’d been thinking about for years. I was really excited by that."
Noah was the biblical epic starring Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly that Aronofsky went on to direct as his next project instead of The Wolverine. In addition to the above reasons for quitting the film, Aronofsky had never been particularly enthusiastic about the comic book movie genre, telling The Reeler in 2006, "I'm not a superhero type of guy." This may have been what drew him to McQuarrie's take on The Wolverine, which wasn't really a superhero type of movie.
McQuarrie's original script for The Wolverine doesn't mention mutants at all, and is much more of a standalone movie than a sequel to any other X-Men movie. For example, the scenes in which Logan is haunted by Jean Grey are not present in McQuarrie's script. In a 2012 interview with Screen Rant, McQuarrie told us that his script, while still being part of the X-Men universe, was set much more in the real world and particularly influenced by Japanese cinema and Spaghetti Westerns:
"Well you know, it was an X-Men movie - it was a Marvel movie - but it existed very much in a real world. And more than anything, I love it for the very fact that - at least in the script I wrote - he was the only mutant in the movie... It was what you'd imagine the Wolverine universe to be under the control of somebody who wrote The Usual Suspects and The Way of the Gun and is a fan of Sergio Leone. It was Kurosawa's Wolverine. There was a real romance to it, there was real humor to it, and a very straightforward sort of plain-faced brutality to it."
In Mangold's version of The Wolverine there are two other mutants besides Logan (and the ghostly Jean Grey): Yukio has precognitive abilities, and Viper has serpent-like attributes that include the ability to secrete venom. In McQuarrie's version of the script, Yukio has no powers and Viper uses chemical compounds, poisoned knives and needles to create her "venom" and fight with it. Wolverine being the only mutant in the movie helps to make him more of a unique and legendary figure - especially at the end of the movie, when he inadvertently becomes the Master of the Black Clan and orders its members to commit seppuku.
The most obvious way in which Aronofsky directing The Wolverine would have changed Logan is that Logan would probably never have existed. That is to say, 20th Century Fox almost certainly would have made a third standalone Wolverine movie, with or without Aronofsky returning to the helm. But Logan was co-written by Mangold and The Wolverine screenwriter Scott Frank, both of whom were only brought in after Aronofsky dropped out. Moreover, Fox's faith in Mangold (and it did take faith to green light an R-rated superhero movie in which Logan is becoming a creaky old man) was based on the success of The Wolverine, which was not only a box office hit but also restored shine to the X-Men offshoot franchise after the rough start of X-Men: Origins - Wolverine.
It's doubtful that Aronofsky would have actually returned to direct Logan. Recalling his work on a film adaptation of Frank Miller's Batman comics in the interview with The Reeler, the director explained that it was only ever meant to be a springboard into his real passion project:
"Anytime you do something that doesn’t fit into the studio box, it’s pretty hard. So, when it came up that they wanted me to work on [Batman], I was like, 'Well, I just made a $4 million movie about drugs. Maybe if I take their most valued franchise and tell them I’m interested, they’ll let me make The Fountain.' So, it was kind of like a strategic move. But, I wasn’t really into it... I just really wanted to make The Fountain."
At the time when he was attached to The Wolverine, Aronofsky's big passion project was Noah, and forward momentum on that project was one of the reasons that he left Fox's Marvel movie. If Aronofsky had directed The Wolverine, he would most likely have used it as a springboard to get Noah into production, rather than booking himself in for a superhero sequel and putting off the movie he really wanted to make for another few years.
Had McQuarrie's script for The Wolverine been used, he would likely have been brought back to write a sequel (assuming that The Wolverine was still a success), but there's no telling who might have directed it. While Aronofsky fans may be disappointed that they never got to see his take on the Wolverine-in-Japan movie, his being replaced with Mangold definitely worked out well in the end.