The best idea always wins.For the most part, this movie was born of my imagination. Was that something that you referenced? I’ve never felt more supported as a filmmaker.Is it hard for you to help develop this character and then watch him go off into other movies? Before we’d even written a script I said, “I want this final battle to be people fighting forward in time while the world is un-destroyed in reverse time around them.” It was just a concept and an impossible one, one that had never been done. And what was your reaction to the reaction?The last screening I did for the film was at USC, my alma mater. No, we never referenced specifically “Star Trek.” I remember exactly where I was standing when that idea first came to me. They approach the creative process without any ego at all. So I know the story, but I don’t know how Strange fits into it and I don’t want to know. He’s a brilliant dude.I know nothing has been announced, but is this a character you’d like to return somewhere in the Marvel Universe?I hope so. The common criticism I had seen was, “Every Marvel movie ends in a big fight, where there’s a portal opening to some other dimension and they destroy a city to close the portal.” So I thought, “OK, what if we have the un-destruction of a city and, instead of closing the portal, we go into it and go to the other side.” So that was the idea. He’s going to be in “Thor: Ragnarok” and “Avengers: Infinity War.” Do you call the other filmmakers and check in on him?No! I want to go to those movies and be surprised by where the character shows up.It was reported that Dan Harmon was brought in. Then he went off and wrote different things. And Kevin Feige is also a USC graduate. And my kids have seen every episode of “Community,” which means that I have seen every episode of “Community” multiple times. It’s so, so good.Earlier today, I sat down with director Scott Derrickson, who spoke to me about Dan Harmon’s contributions to the final movie, why Cumberbatch also played the film’s otherworldly baddie, and whether or not the mystical stronghold changed its password after one of its members went bad.It goes without saying that there is a very heavy SPOILER WARNING issued for the following, but since everyone and their magical cat already saw this movie, I’m less concerned.Moviefone: Just wanted to start off with a serious question: Did they have to change the Wi-Fi password at Kamar-Taj after Mordo left and went bad?Scott Derrickson: [Laughs] No, I think they would keep that Wi-Fi password.So, if Mordo was in the neighborhood, he’s got his laptop, no problem.Well, as you know, accessing Wi-Fi doesn’t mean accessing any systems within Kamar-Taj.Oh, that’s true. There’s very little arguing or conflict. So we agreed to do a screening and it was on the Friday night of its release, so the reviews had already come in. But were you nervous at all? Then he came back to me and said, “What do you think about me doing it?” And I said, “Well, why would you want to do it?” He said, “Well, I think I’d do a good job,” which was a great answer. It felt very much like a “Star Trek” original series gag, and I know Kevin Feige is a big “Trek” fan. And just as a fan of his I was wondering what he brought to the movie.Well, Dan is a proper genius. The more I watch that show, the more I think he’s a certifiable genius. I can’t wait to see that!” He’s an extraordinary filmmaker.I only know the story of “Infinity War” because I ran into (co-director) Joe Russo outside the bathroom at Marvel, and we got to talking, and he pitched me the movie while we were standing there. So I wanted every set piece to be unique and be weirder than anything you’d see in any other movie. We’re keeping it.”Another aspect of that final sequence is Cumberbatch playing Dormammu. We’d been working for hours and right as we were about to leave, I threw that idea out there — while we were standing there — and started throwing it around and by the end of that session, we had the concept.Jon went away and wrote it. My starting mantra, to use that word, was that every set piece in this movie should be the weirdest set piece in any other movie. He was asking who was going to do it, and I didn’t know because we hadn’t cast anybody yet. And they got behind it. It’s like, “What’s Taika [Waititi] going to do with Doctor Strange? Joel McHale is my best friend, and my family and his family have a BBQ together every weekend, that’s no exaggeration. So I knew it was a huge success.I was standing outside the theater at USC, waiting alone, and here comes Kevin walking up, and he’s so approachable and down-to-earth. They are there to help you and help find the best possible ideas. We were about to leave. It came in so good that we said, “This is the end of the movie. I said, “Kevin, someday somebody’s going to make a bad Marvel movie. So, if your ego is checked at the door, everybody finds the best idea together. He really is. He’s wearing his ball cap and his sweatshirt and his tennis shoes and drinking a Starbucks. So I told him I’d think about it and went away and thought about it and I thought: “Nobody could understand that character better than Benedict because he knows the movie inside and out.” And the fact that he was game to do it and willing to do it was great.So I became convinced, not just because he’s such an amazing actor, but because Dormammu is the inverse of Strange at that point — he’s the ultimate egomaniac, when Strange is becoming more self-sacrificial. They’re not egotistical, they don’t need to be right, they don’t need to have things done their way — and you go in with all of your talent and all of your skillset as a director and all of your vision, they hire you for that vision. He really is.Meeting him in person — he’s odd and quirky — but what he did was, he came in, saw a cut of the movie, and had a really striking analysis. I’m excited to see what the other filmmakers do with him! A lot of filmmakers talk about what it’s like going in there and trusting the machine. There was never anything but enthusiasm on Marvel’s part for that approach.Talking about set pieces, I wanted to talk about that final set piece, which is so striking. Because he hadn’t read any of the scripts and didn’t know the Doctor Strange mythology and I’m not sure how much of a comic book fan he was. But he saw the movie, loved it, and had some breakdown things that were very helpful. I get asked this question a lot and it would probably make me a little uneasy, but I love these filmmakers so much. They want you to make your movie. And out of all the things from the first draft of the screenplay that Jon wrote, that’s the section of the script that remained untouched. I think the biggest takeaway is that Marvel movies and the quality of Marvel movies are the result of a handful of creative people who are producers, but they’re artists and film-lovers first. It almost felt like a commentary on the endings of most superhero films. I love the character so much, and I also love the incredible possibilities that the movie opens up for future stories. We were just pushing our imaginations as far as we possibly could to come up with the most outrageous concepts, and using the comic books as inspiration for some of those concepts — obviously — and then trying to go past them. But I hope so.”Doctor Strange” hits Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on February 14 and Blu-ray on February 28. That’s where he gets involved in cosmic impossibilities, battling giant monsters, dabbling in time travel, and generally teeing himself up to be the Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I think he was just asking in passing. How did that come about?It was actually Benedict’s idea to start with. It’s mostly just hearing ideas and shooting ideas back. He said, “Well, how do you feel?” I said, “I feel relieved.” He kind of smiled. That alone was probably his biggest contribution. I went to Kevin and said, “Benedict is willing to do this, I think we should let him do it.” And he said, “Why?” And Kevin just agreed [with my reasoning] so we did it.The movie came out and was obviously a huge, huge hit. Was there ever any push-and-pull in terms of just how far you could push things?No, I think everybody was in agreement that we needed to push it really far. Posted January 23, 2017 by Drew TaylorThe greatest thing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that just when you think you’ve got it figured out, they’ll throw a curveball your way, in the likes of something like the charmingly goofy “Ant-Man,” the outer space adventurousness of “Guardians of the Galaxy” or, most recently, the psychedelic prog-rock album cover mind-bendiness of “Doctor Strange.””Doctor Strange” (out on Blu-ray on February 28) sees the gifted neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange (played, winningly, by Benedict Cumberbatch) have his hands crushed in an auto accident, leading him to seek more alternative therapy on the other side of the world. Because we were struggling with the ending, and I just threw out this rough pitch of it.[Writer] Jon Spaihts was there and [executive producer] Stephen Broussard was there, and we started the batting the idea round. It was over 90 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and the box office projections were in the [$80 million range]. But I just said, “Well, let’s write it and figure out how to do it. But it ain’t gonna be me.” He laughed really hard at that.What was your main takeaway from the Marvel process? He was the voice we needed to hear at the time, and I will always be thankful and watch anything he does. It’s not a machine at all. So all the timing would have to line up and all of that kind of stuff. So, this is such a unique take on the Marvel Universe. Was that conscious?Yeah, it was. And that’s what we did.”And when Strange gets to the other side, he essentially annoys the villain into defeat. I came in with a very hard take, based on the comics, and I was always pushing the envelope of what was possible to do. Everybody wants somebody to have the best idea, all the time. There are some jokes that might have stayed in there, but for the most part, the scenes were a little too out in Dan Harmon-land, even for “Doctor Strange.” But I really love the guy and I really think he made a significant contribution in the process.

Posted January 23, 2017 by Stephanie Topacio LongIf you think the logistics of an “American Horror Story” crossover season sound tough, you’d be right.Ryan Murphy, the creator of the FX anthology horror series, previously revealed that Season 7 wouldn’t be the crossover one, which is good because it will give him more time to seamlessly tie together each installment. “Like, Sarah Paulson will probably be playing 18 characters.”What he has established, though, is that the crossover season follow “a character from season 1 that will be thrust into the world that you are left with at the end of ‘Coven,’ which is sort of like the male/female/witch academy.”However he does it, it’s bound to be interesting, just as all of the seasons of the show have been so far. “American Horror Story” has already earned renewals through Season 9. He recently opened up to Entertainment Weekly about his ideas, candidly discussing some of the challenges.One major one is that he’ll have to bring together numerous characters, including some played by the same actor.”All of those characters will intertwine, which is confusing because some of them are from seasons 1 and 3,” he told EW. That means Murphy doesn’t need all of his crossover answers now, but he may want to do the complicated season before he has even more characters to try to work in.[via: EW]

Not only has she previously appeared on “The Voice,” “Family Matters,” and had a cameo in “Honey.” She’ll be just one familiar face stopping by “Star” this season; radio host Rickey Smiley is also slated to appear in another episode. It’s familiar territory for Elliott, especially considering that her character, Pumpkin, is both a producer and recording artist.It sounds like Elliott’s character may stir the pot. Clearly, they’re keeping things interesting.”Star” airs on Fox on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. The show centers on three young singers trying to find their way to stardom. Posted January 23, 2017 by Stephanie Topacio LongMissy Elliott is ready to work it.The Grammy-winning rapper and record producer is taking on a guest role in Fox’s new Lee Daniel series “Star,” Deadline reports. Pumpkin is described as “dangerous” and apparently is a blast from the past for Carlotta (Queen Latifah). She’ll be around for at least an episode, popping up to surprise Star (Jude Demorest) and the other girls at a performance, thanks to Star’s boyfriend.This won’t be Elliott’s first TV guest role. ET/PT.[via: Deadline]

Harrelson struggled to find them — presumably because he was terrified — and actually thought he was going to die. “Put a gun to my head.”He said the robber took his money and also demanded his car keys. Posted January 23, 2017 by Stephanie Topacio LongThe glitz and glamour of Hollywood doesn’t make actors immune to scary and unlucky experiences.Woody Harrelson recently shared his story of being robbed at gunpoint while speaking to The Hollywood Reporter at the Sundance Film Festival. To celebrate, he had bought himself a new Porsche. (As one does, right?) On his way out to his car one night, a man stopped him.”A guy came up and robbed me,” he told THR. Fortunately, he was safe and got to go on and make us laugh as Woody Boyd and many other wonderful characters.[via: THR] He lucked out, though; someone else came into the parking garage, prompting the man to take off and leave him unscathed.All in all, it sounds awful. He described the experience as “really an uncomfortable night.”Um, that might be an understatement.As Harrelson tells it, he was 23 years old and had just landed his “Cheers” role.

“It’s straightforward and minimalist, and I like that.”The samurai comparison is an especially apt one, since “Star Wars” creator George Lucas has frequently cited samurai flicks as part of his inspiration for creating the original series in the first place. “It’s funny, ’cause back when we were making the original, nobody cared.”We can definitively say that that’s no longer the case. And we’ll be anxiously awaiting the next bit of information the Mouse House shares.”Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is due in theaters on December 15. Posted January 23, 2017 by Katie Roberts”Star Wars” fans spent the better part of Monday freaking out over the just-revealed title of “Episode VIII,” now known as “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” While there are plenty of different meanings one can draw from that phrase, the person to whom many think it refers has given the moniker his official seal of approval.Mark Hamill weighed in with his thoughts on the title during an interview with the Associated Press on Monday, noting that he’s a fan of the choice.”It’s got a real samurai [feel],” Hamill told the AP of the new name. And we agree with the actor that the title’s simplicity is a strength, since it’s easy to remember, but also thought-provoking (hence all the speculation about its true meaning).In the same interview, Hamill also revealed that he learned the title long ago, while shooting the flick, and was pretty nervous about being trusted with such high-level intel, especially when it comes to the notoriously secretive Disney.”They have us so jacked up with paranoia over leaks, but that’s the way of the world,” the actor told the AP.

They’re what’s keeps me going.”Questionable grammar aside, this unauthorized movie has also come under fire for its less-than-stellar casting, featuring a group of actors who may as well be playing a bunch of strangers rather than celebs like Spears, her onetime paramour Justin Timberlake, and the rest of *NSYNC. Nevertheless, we’ll totally be tuning in for the inevitable cheesiness.”Britney Ever After” debuts on Lifetime on February 18.[via: Lifetime/Twitter] Until you hit rock bottom.”Later, a struggling Spears says, “I want to be strong, for my fans. pic.twitter.com/IADZsZe9x2
— Lifetime (@lifetimetv) January 23, 2017But the moment when she turns on the electric razor is certainly the most memorable, as the singer laments, “Everything’s just kind of this blur, you know? #BritneyEverAfter premieres, February 18th at 8/7c. Posted January 23, 2017 by Katie RobertsAt long last, the first teaser trailer for Lifetime’s upcoming unauthorized Britney Spears biopic is upon us, and it’s just as bonkers as you’d expect.The short clip features narration from Spears (played by Aussie actress Natasha Bassett), juxtaposed over images of the wildly successful pop star’s career — as well as her infamous mid-2000s meltdown, in which she shaved her head and lashed out at the paparazzi. There are also glimpses of her cavorting with Kevin Federline (Clayton Chitty), writing around onstage in front of hordes of screaming fans, and smiling and waving to cameras in happier times.You know her name, but do you know her story?

Trump himself has publicly denounced Baldwin’s impression (and the show itself) multiple times on Twitter, so there’s no telling what the new POTUS will say when he hears the actor is set to headline an entire episode.Before Baldwin takes the Studio 8H stage, actress Kristen Stewart will make her hosting debut on February 4, alongside musical guest Alessia Cara (who recently contributed to the “Moana” soundtrack). That appearance will break the actor’s own record for the most times a single person has hosted the show; he was previously tied at 15 hosting gigs apiece with fellow comic Steve Martin, before pulling ahead with his 16th hosting appearance in September 2011.Just going to put this here. #SNLpic.twitter.com/AmFSlwBTOB
— Saturday Night Live (@nbcsnl) January 23, 2017While 2011 marked his last time as emcee, Baldwin has been a frequent presence on the “SNL” stage in recent years, including his recurring gig this season playing the new commander in chief. Ed Sheeran will mark his second stint as musical guest when Baldwin hosts on the 11th.[via: SNL/Twitter] Posted January 23, 2017 by Katie RobertsTrump impersonator Alec Baldwin may not have appeared on the most recent episode of “Saturday Night Live,” but he’s making up for that absence in a big way, and will return to the show as its host next month.Baldwin will emcee “SNL” on February 11, his landmark 17th time as host.

26.[via: Variety]Want more stuff like this? 2WORST ACTORBen Affleck / Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Gerard Butler / Gods of Egypt & London Has Fallen
Henry Cavill / Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Robert De Niro / Dirty Grandpa
Dinesh D’Souza [as Himself] Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
Ben Stiller / Zoolander No. 2WORST PREQUEL, REMAKE, RIP-OFF or SEQUELAlice Through the Looking Glass
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Dawn of Justice
Fifty Shades of Black
Independence Day: Resurgence
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Zoolander No. (Time for another look at The Sad Affleck meme.)Here’s the full list of 2017 nominations:WORST PICTUREBatman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Dirty Grandpa
Gods of Egypt
Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
Independence Day: Resurgence
Zoolander No. 2WORST SUPPORTING ACTORNicolas Cage / Snowden
Johnny Depp / Alice Through the Looking Glass
Will Ferrell / Zoolander No. Posted January 23, 2017 by Gina CarboneSorry, Marthas, but your boys are in the doghouse. 2
Jesse Eisenberg / Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Jared Leto / Suicide Squad
Owen Wilson / Zoolander No. A Madea Halloween
Alex Proyas / Gods of Egypt
Zack Snyder / Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Ben Stiller / Zoolander No. How do you choose between Jared, Jesse, and Johnny — or would you just stick with one of the “Zoolander” guys?The Razzies will be handed out on February 25, which is the day before the Oscars air on Sunday, Feb. A Madea Halloween
Julia Roberts / Mother’s Day
Becky Turner [as Hillary Clinton] Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
Naomi Watts / Divergent Series: Allegiant & Shut-In
Shailene Woodley / Divergent Series: AllegiantWORST SUPPORTING ACTRESSJulianne Hough / Dirty Grandpa
Kate Hudson / Mother’s Day
Aubrey Plaza / Dirty Grandpa
Jane Seymour / Fifty Shades of Black
Sela Ward / Independence Day: Resurgence
Kristen Wiig / Zoolander No. A Madea Halloween
Ben Stiller and His BFF (Barely Funny Friend) Owen Wilson / Zoolander No. 2WORST DIRECTORDinesh D’Souza and Bruce Schooley / Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
Roland Emmerich / Independence Day: Resurgence
Tyler Perry / Boo! The 37th annual Razzie Award nominations were just released, with “Zoolander 2” topping the list with nine nods (poor Todd is going to get another foamy latte to the face), followed closely by “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” with eight.The Golden Raspberry, aka Razzie, nominations are always released the day before the Oscar nominations (which arrive Tuesday morning), shining a sad light on the biggest cinematic disappointments of the previous year.As Variety noted, this year’s categories were expanded from five to six contenders, giving even more stars a chance at public humiliation. 2WORST ACTRESSMegan Fox / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Tyler Perry / Boo! 2WORST SCREENPLAYBatman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Dirty Grandpa
Gods of Egypt
Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
Independence Day: Resurgence
Suicide Squad
The Worst Supporting Actor race is an especially tough one to call. Like us on Facebook. 2WORST SCREEN COMBOBen Affleck & His BFF (Baddest Foe Forever) Henry Cavill / Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Any 2 Egyptian Gods or Mortals / Gods of Egypt
Johnny Depp & His Vomitously Vibrant Costume / Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Entire Cast of Once Respected Actors / Collateral Beauty
Tyler Perry & That Same Old Worn Out Wig / Boo!

Several other Episode VII stars are returning — including John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong’o, Dohmnall Gleeson, and Andy Serkis — with new additions to the cast in Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, and Kelly Marie Tran.What do you think of the title, and its meaning?Want more stuff like this? Abrams, Jason McGatlin, and Tom Karnowski.STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI is scheduled for release December 15, 2017.”From “Return of the Jedi” to “The Force Awakens” to “The Last Jedi.” It’s a great title, and a great transition, but who is the “last”? Like us on Facebook. (Twitter is now having fun coming up with titles for that one.)As Entertainment Weekly reported, director Rian Johnson confirmed that “The Last Jedi” will pick up close to the end of “The Force Awakens,” with little-to-no time jump. You could assume it’s Luke Skywalker, shown at the end of “The Force Awakens.” But what about Rey (Daisy Ridley), also shown with Luke at the end of Episode VII? Posted January 23, 2017 by Gina CarboneThe official title of “Star Wars: Episode VIII” has been revealed!Here’s what StarWars.com posted on Jan. In appreciation of the fans, we wanted them to be the first to know the title of the next chapter in the Skywalker saga: STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI.THE LAST JEDI is written and directed by Rian Johnson and produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Ram Bergman and executive produced by J.J. 23:”We have the greatest fans in this or any other galaxy. We’ll follow Rey as she’s ready to start her Jedi training.We know Luke’s twin sister Leia, now a general, will be in Episode VIII, and the late Carrie Fisher had already completed her scenes for the film. If she becomes a Jedi, does that suggest the end of Luke, or do they mean Jedi as plural?We know “The Last Jedi” is not the last movie in the saga, since “Episode IX” is scheduled for 2019.

Posted January 23, 2017 by Gina Carbone”Ryan Gosling didn’t learn piano from scratch so some little prick could come and nitpick!”It is dangerous to shade “La La Land” and its “City of Stars,” as Aziz Ansari learned on “Saturday Night Live.” Ansari hosted SNL on January 21 (man, was he good) and one sketch focused on the, um, passionate responses to presumed Oscar frontrunner “La La Land.”In “La La Land Interrogation,” Ansari’s character was arrested for offering mild criticism of the movie during a date; Cecily Strong and Beck Bennett played two cops hilariously incensed with their “sick sonofab*tch” suspect for dismissing the “perfect” and “gorgeous” musical just because it had so many montages and it’s a movie about jazz with hardly any black people.”Moonlight,” “Manchester by the Sea,” and “Westworld” got dragged into the debate as well, as you can see: The Oscar nominations come out tomorrow morning (Tuesday, Jan. 24) and those cops will probably produce a photo of an Academy Award as more evidence that “La La Land” is not overrated.Want more stuff like this? Like us on Facebook.

Plus, Jasmine actress Karen David came to the show from ABC’s musical “Galavant,” and we know she has serious pipes. We’re already following Disney characters known for bursting into song, so it’s kinda weird that they haven’t been singing through their joy and pain. Posted January 23, 2017 by Gina CarboneThe fairy tale characters of “Once Upon a Time” invite you to be their guest as they whistle while they work under the sea in a whole new world where they finish each other’s sandwiches. We’ll see.Want more stuff like this? Also, this spring marks the debut of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” (on March 17) so it’s possible OUAT’s Belle (Emilie de Ravin) will have her own small screen spotlight to match Emma Watson’s on the big screen.The CW is doing its own musical with “Supergirl” and “The Flash,” and that will also air in the spring (March 20-21) so we’ll have to wait and see how ABC’s version turns out. Like us on Facebook. According to TVLine, the ABC show is currently planning a musical episode to air this spring during Season 6. Or something super close to that. That’s really all the scoop the site had, other than to add, “And to that end, some cast members are actively brushing up on their vocal skills.”TV shows love to do musical episodes, whether they make sense or not, but on this show it actually makes perfect sense. ABC had no comment to TVLine, but if this musical idea moves forward, and it should, we should be hearing more about it soon.”Once Upon a Time” Season 6 returns Sunday, March 5 with Episode 11, “Tougher Than the Rest.” It looks like Episode 15 is titled “A Wondrous Place,” which ties into an “Aladdin” song and could possibly be musical.

Like us on Facebook. 21, in response to a fan’s praise of the movie as a “masterpiece,” Ayer tweeted a whole statement on the film, including his wish that he could go back and make Jared Leto’s Joker the main villain, as well as “engineer a more grounded story.”Here’s the post:@PensFanboypic.twitter.com/scIdV9PYSP
— David Ayer (@DavidAyerMovies) January 21, 2017
It sounds like he has listened to some of the constructive criticism and agreed with it. Made it for the fans. David Ayer is now slated to direct Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn) and company in “Gotham City Sirens,” following DC’s top female villains, so he has a chance to illustrate those lessons learned.Want more stuff like this? When the harsh reviews first started coming out in early August 2016, Ayer stood by the film, tweeting, “I love the film and I believe in it. Best experience of my life.” Now, on Jan. Posted January 23, 2017 by Gina CarboneDirector David Ayer has taken months of crap for “Suicide Squad,” which he admits has its “flaws.” In a candid new post on Twitter, he confessed how much it hurt to see savage reviews of his film — “The hate game is strong out there” — and revealed what he would do differently if he could go back in time.

Here are some of the ways.1. The results have been movies such as 2015’s “The Visit,” a horror hit that helped restore the director’s reputation.Indeed, while it’s not clear if today’s young audiences remember “The Sixth Sense,” “Signs,” or “Unbreakable” (which gets one hell of a callback in “Split”), they do seem to have forgotten “Lady” and “Happening.”Meanwhile, Diesel has done tremendously well with the “Fast and Furious” franchise, but he’s had trouble turning his other franchises, notably the “Riddick” movies, into domestic hits. After all, they’re the ones who still read what critics have to say. The State of the MarketplaceThe Cheeto may have stressed “America First” and “Buy American” during his inauguration speech on Friday, but as this column has noted, that’s not the principle that drives big-studio franchise filmmaking anymore. Maybe his fans are saving their money for the next “Furious” installment, due in April.4. Posted January 22, 2017 by Gary SusmanDo today’s moviegoers even remember what the movie landscape was like 15 years ago? That’s why Paramount, which has been on a chilly streak lately, was willing to pick up the “xXx” franchise rights from Sony and spend $85 million on “Xander Cage.” And it’s a gamble that’s already paying off, with $50.0 million earned from 53 foreign markets, more than the double what the movie has earned here.Not that “Split” isn’t looking for an overseas payoff as well, but Universal did make the American release a priority, generating homegrown word-of-mouth by screening it at Fantastic Fest in Austin last September and by hosting 24 sneak previews since (one for each of McAvoy’s character’s multiple personalities).As a result, “Split” has earned 87 percent of its take so far in North America. 5. It flopped domestically with just $27 million, and there hasn’t been another “xXx” film since 2005. January Is a Good Month for Scary FareOr at least decent quality horror. Young Female AppealOne reason horror fills a niche at this time of year is that no other genre targets young women so directly. That’s the fourth biggest January opening of all time.How did “Split,” a low-budget ($5 million) horror movie with no box office stars to speak of (sorry, James McAvoy, but it’s true), leave “Fast and Furious” mainstay Diesel’s return to his other big action franchise in the dust? BlumhouseIn any case, the real star of “Split” isn’t “X-Men” regular McAvoy or the three little-known actresses who confront the kidnapper he plays; it’s writer/director Shyamalan and low-budget hitmaker Blumhouse.The “Sixth Sense” creator is a brand name, albeit a tarnished one. And unlike “Xander Cage,” “Split” wasn’t trying to draw viewers who were more likely to spend this weekend watching NFL playoffs.3. And they’re the ones “Xander Cage” was depending on to come see a middle-aged star revive a long-dormant franchise.Buzz about the film’s surprise ending hit fever-pitch late Thursday/early Friday, prompting several entertainment sites to post interviews and/or think-pieces about the ballsy, out-of-left-field sequence. “Xander Cage” opened as expected, with an estimated $20.0 million, but “Split” earned more than twice as much, topping the box office chart (and exceeding expectations) with an estimated $40.2 million. (All luring in crowds when he’s not behind the wheel of his hit action franchise.)The “xXx” franchise doesn’t have a lot of good will, even though the film that launched it earned $142 million back in 2002. The title of the new film touts the return of Diesel’s character, but that wasn’t enough to sell the franchise to newbies or make older viewers care. Look at “Split,” with its three young heroines.By contrast, “Xander Cage” stars a 49-year-old man, returning to the spy-movie action fare that he sold, perhaps more convincingly, when he was 34. They’re also probably the ones who helped “Split” cross over well beyond its target audience to reach $40.2 million. His last huge hit, “Signs,” was 15 years ago, and his creative overreach with such flops as “Lady in the Water” and “The Happening” made him appear less the master of twisty suspense than the butt of jokes. Night Shyamalan’s last monster hit.This weekend saw both Diesel and Shyamalan test moviegoers’ memories, and while pundits predicted modest successes for both “xXx: The Return of Xander Cage” and Shyamalan’s “Split,” the competition wasn’t even close. Trump may have become president because of voter concerns over outsourcing, but when it comes to low-budget thrillers, we’re still number one. But over the past few years, he’s teamed with producer Jason Blum, a godfather of low-budget horror hits who’s been able to keep the once-profligate Shyamalan more disciplined. That’s because Diesel dropped out of the second film, the terrible “xXx: State of the Union,” leaving Ice Cube to carry the movie. Which is why “The Bye Bye Man” was the top new release last weekend — and why “Underworld: Blood Wars” is unlikely to recoup its $35 million budget in North American ticket sales. That’s how long it’s been since Vin Diesel’s last “xXx” movie, as well as M. Good Reviews and THAT FREAKIN’ ENDING
Not that horror or action fans really care about reviews, but “Split” did score a healthy 76 percent “Fresh” rating at Rotten Tomatoes, while “Xander Cage” earned just 42 percent.The reviews do suggest, however, that the opinions of older moviegoers mattered more than pundits predicted. and has so far earned 62 percent of its total take from foreign filmgoers.So it is with Diesel, whose movies tend to do much better outside America than inside. The writer-director is known for twist endings, and the online chatter may have lead many ticketbuyers to see his latest WTF surprise. In any case, with January’s multiplex usually filled with prestige Oscar hopefuls and leftover holiday blockbusters, horror looks increasingly like smart counter-programming.2. For movies with lavish budgets and expensive stars, the overseas audience is now much more important than the domestic one.Exhibit A is the recent “Underworld” sequel, which few viewers here cared about, but which had earned more than $40 million abroad before it even opened in the U.S.

Night Shyamalan’s “Split” has turned into a horror hit with a surprisingly strong $40.2 million in its opening weekend at 3,038 North American locations.”Split,” starring James McAvoy as a man with 24 different personalities, performed far above recent expectations for Universal and Blumhouse. Caruso directs from a script by F. Scott Frazier, which centers on Diesel’s Xander Cage coming out of self-imposed exile in a race to recover a seemingly unstoppable weapon known as Pandora’s Box.”Xander Cage” has an $85 million budget with backing from Chinese companies Huahua Media and Shanghai Film Group, which limits Paramount’s exposure to about 50%. Fox’s historical drama “Hidden Figures” maintained its impressive performance in third with $16.3 million at 3,416 theaters for a domestic total of $84.2 million.Michael Keaton’s biopic “The Founder” showed little traction for The Weinstein Company with a modest $3.8 million weekend at 1,115 locations.Shyamalan produced and directed “Split” from his own script in which McAvoy’s mutiple characters capture three young women and hold them hostage. Jackson, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Ruby Rose, Kris Wu, and Nina Dobrev.D.J. Posted January 22, 2017 by ReutersBy Dave McNaryLOS ANGELES, Jan 22 (Variety.com) – M. Shyamalan is self-financing the project and re-teamed with horror specialist Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Productions after collaborating on “The Visit,” which grossed nearly $100 million worldwide on a $5 million budget.”Xander Cage” stars Diesel as a skilled government operative character who debuted in the 2002 movie “xXx.” The film also stars Samuel L. The movie, which costs under $10 million, generated the third-highest opening for a Shyamalan title following “Signs” with $60 million and “The Village” with $50.7 million.”Split” carries a 76% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with McAvoy’s performance receiving strong reviews. Paramount and the two companies announced a three-year $1 billion co-financing deal on Thursday. It easily topped the 2015 launch of Shyamalan’s found-footage horror movie “The Visit,” which scored an opening weekend of $25.4 million.Vin Diesel’s launch of “xXx: Return of Xander Cage” is heading for a second-place finish for Paramount with about $20 million at 3,651 sites — in line with recent forecasts.

Like us on Facebook. So she got really nervous and in the middle of it ended up hitting her head and started bleeding.”Yikes. (It happens.)Here’s how Nina explained the prank-gone-wrong:”We had many, many, many pranks. What she didn’t know was the girl that was hired to do this was actually a huge fan. We were quarantined in our trailers because we thought the other one was doing something and plotting against us, and we were absolutely right because we were. By the end of it we were terrified and we didn’t want to leave our trailers. At that moment, Chris Hardwick, who was also on “The Late Late Show,” quipped that the impersonator was “Taylor Not-So-Swift.” Ba-dum-dum.Watch Nina Dobrev tell the story, then see her and Chris Hardwick discuss dog vs. And one of the ones — Ruby is friends with Taylor [Swift], so she hired an impersonator to come to our set to sing for me and do this thing, bombard me in my trailer. It was the bystander’s own fault, though, for fangirling too hard over “The Vampire Diaries” star. Posted January 20, 2017 by Gina CarboneNina Dobrev and Ruby Rose are both in Vin Diesel’s new movie “xXx: Return of Xander Cage,” and apparently it was not a safe set.Nina was recently on “The Late Late Show with James Corden” and revealed that she and Ruby had a serious prank war on set, and one of those pranks involved “Taylor Swift” and left an innocent bystander bloody. cat people, and also play a game of “Nuzzle Whaaa?”:Want more stuff like this?

Like us on Facebook. My character [Vulture], actually, is, if not more relevant — and I’m not going to say more than that. There’s a B-story to this guy that’s kind of really interesting and really relevant. In “Spider-Man: Homecoming” — out July 7th — Michael Keaton plays villain Adrian Toomes, aka Vulture. I would be lying if I said that’s why I took it, but as we talked about it and did it, I went, ‘Whoa, there’s some layers to this guy. Posted January 20, 2017 by Gina CarboneIs it a bad thing to identify with the bad guy? When promoting his new movie “The Founder,” about Ray Kroc and the rise of McDonald’s, Keaton told SiriusXM’s Town Hall (hosted by Entertainment Weekly) that Vulture is an even more timely character than the ruthless Golden Arches businessman:”Actually, [Adrian/Vulture] has more relevance — I know there’s this issue that comes up about how timely this is, ‘The Founder,’ in terms of where we are now in this country. This kind of speaks to another…’ This director’s [Jon Watts] is a very bright guy, and he wanted to bring this issue out. It’s like a horror movie: really scary, very intense and shocking.””Spider-Man: Homecoming” arrives July 7th.Want more stuff like this? A lot of people are going to like him more than they probably want to, would be my guess.”Director Jon Watts previously told USA Today that Vulture is a very different antagonist from other Marvel villains like Thanos and Ultron: “It’s fun to think that if Spider-Man is a regular kid who becomes a superhero, there’s got to be a bunch of regular guys who become supervillains, too.”Speaking of Spidey, actor Tom Holland told USA Today, “The first time we see the Vulture is terrifying.

— Jerome Wetzel (@JeromeWetzelTV) January 20, 2017Well played #TheGoodPlace. — Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) January 20, 2017Renew this show now, NBC. That is how you end a season. So it’s not like it would be a gigantic investment on the network’s part. I must have a second season. my favorite new show. PLEASE?Want more stuff like this? Posted January 20, 2017 by Gina CarboneFork yeah! Showrunner Michael Schur told TVLine that, if the show is renewed, “it would be of a similar length” to the 13 episodes of Season 1. 19 after just 13 episodes. Like us on Facebook. #TheGoodPlace
— LeeLee (@SSapphirePPanda) January 20, 2017Whoa, #TheGoodPlace finale was crazy! Can’t wait to see what they do with season 2! — The Other Nic (@CloneNic) January 20, 2017#TheGoodPlace Pilot: How is this going to last more than a season?#TheGoodPlace Finale: SEASON TWO SOUNDS AMAZING GIVE IT TO ME NOW. Before Michael reset their memories, Eleanor wrote herself a note to “find Chidi,” and Janet (D’Arcy Carden) helpfully provided the note at the end of the finale. Well played. Any questions about how they could keep this story going were solved with the twist.Here are some of the responses to the finale:just rewatched the season finale of @nbcthegoodplace. Eleanor — who just got herself a hunky new “soul mate” — doesn’t remember who the fork Chidi is anymore, but it was an exciting place to leave Season 1. “The Good Place” Season 1 had a short run, as far as network comedies go, ending Jan. Fans will be truly vexed if NBC doesn’t renew the show for Season 2.Few viewers saw the big twist coming — that Eleanor (Kristen Bell), Jason (Manny Jacinto), Chidi (William Harper), and Tahani (Jameela Jamil) were all really in The Bad Place, not The Good Place, in a scheme devised by architect Michael (Ted Danson), who wasn’t such a nice guy after all. Apparently everyone in The Bad Place was in on the act, except for the four tortured souls in question. #TheGoodPlace
— Ian Pérez (@DoKnowButchie) January 20, 2017
But will there be a Season 2?NBC has yet to officially renew the series, but hopefully the strength of that finale compels them to give the show another season. But holy shirtballs did it end with a shocking bang. — shelby (@imalicewhite) January 20, 2017Well #TheGoodPlace had a forking brilliant finale. Give me season 2 now. looking forward to season 2. so forking good. — Myles McNutt (@Memles) January 20, 2017i want to thank @KenTremendous and #TheGoodPlace for pulling off one of the most shocking twists on television without violence and death.

Apologies for the all-caps, but … He promised “more action in the second half” as we’re about to go to war.Here’s more of his second half tease to NME (warning — minor comic book spoilers ahead):”On one level, it’s very obvious that we’re getting ready for war, and everyone who knows the comic books knows that we’re about to go into a couple of years of war. This isn’t about Carol and Daryl, is it? And it’s not going to be a clear division of labour, let me say. He said on all levels. Did he mean literally sexy? It’s about the arrival of a character, and it’s lovely – really lovely.”Sexy? And both of us, when we got to the point of reading it, were like: ‘Oh my God!’ Like kids, excited by it. I don’t know how long that’s going to pan out in the television series, but it goes on for a while in the comics. Does Mullet Man finally get some? Sorry if it isn’t, but sexy moment, punching the air … Maybe we can pair this with what Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) previously teased of the finale to Entertainment Weekly:”Wait till [Episode] 16. And to still be at that stage seven years into the show is a testament to the writers. As with this show, nothing’s going to move in a straight line. So we’re about to go to war, and the second block [of eight episodes] is about meeting the protagonists and certain events that are going to decide what sides people take. It’s such a sexy moment, on all levels – it’s huge, it’s just so lovely. 12 at 9 p.m. on AMC.Want more stuff like this? Or it could have nothing to do with that at all. Like us on Facebook. Arrival of a character? Or maybe Eugene? But now we’re rooting for some Pookie play time. I promise you, there is one beat in 16, I dropped my script and started punching the air and did a little jig.”Episode 16 is the finale, so is he talking about the same moment? maybe Daryl is finally going to get some, with Carol or otherwise. DO THEY MEAN CARYL? Posted January 20, 2017 by Gina CarboneWhatever you think about “The Walking Dead” Season 7 up to this point, consider this: Lennie James (Morgan) said he and Melissa McBride (Carol) “screeched” over a “lovely” “sexy moment” in the finale.Here’s that section of Lennie James’s Q&A with NME:”I hope people aren’t disappointed by the end, but there’s one point in the finale that myself and Melissa were reading as we sat next to each other on a plane, and both of us kind of screeched when we got to this one point. There are some people who go to the dark side who are going to take you by surprise, and there are some people who are going to come over to the light – and that’s all a matter of perspective. But one of the things that’s inevitable is that we’re heading to war.””The Walking Dead” Season 7 returns Sunday, Feb. Literally on that point too — like someone new shows up — or something else? Clearly stuck on “sexy” here.For the record, James also hated the first half of Season 7, but because he was only in two episodes so he was bored and wanted to get to work and see everyone else on set.

She falls for Peter and gets kidnapped by Captain Hook. Posted January 20, 2017 by Kelly WooTiger Lily won’t be a wilting flower on “Once Upon a Time.”The fairy tale drama has cast Native American actress Sara Tomko to play the “Peter Pan” character for at least two episodes, Entertainment Weekly reports. In the “Peter Pan” tales, Tiger Lily is part of the Piccaninny tribe living in Neverland. In “OUAT,” she’ll come back into Hook’s (Colin O’Donoghue) orbit and perhaps cause trouble for the pirate.”As Captain Hook continues on his path to redemption, his dark past is never far away,” executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis told EW. Like us on Facebook. “He’s left a long line of adversaries and Tiger Lily is the latest to return and complicate his efforts to leave that past behind.””Once Upon a Time” returns with new episodes Sunday, March 5.Want more stuff like this?

The powerful will be ripped from their decadent nests, and cast out into the cold world that we know and endure. Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation’s Capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land. Politicians prospered – but the jobs left, and the factories closed. That all changes – starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you…”Do you think Alec Baldwin will show up on “Saturday Night Live” in a Bane mask to cover this moment?[via Entertainment Weekly, Twitter, IMDb, Fox News]Want more stuff like this? Donald Trump, now officially POTUS, was sworn in today, and his inauguration speech included a section that reminded Batman fans of Tom Hardy’s Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises.”Here’s part of what President Trump said:”Today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the people.”And here’s how Bane put it, in his speech to the people of Gotham:”We take Gotham from the corrupt! The oppressors of generations who have kept you down with myths of opportunity, and we give it back to you, the people.”Because Twitter grows no moss, the comparison was made and posted in its own video almost immediately:pic.twitter.com/dYECwneW1R
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) January 20, 2017Here’s more context from Bane’s speech in Christopher Nolan’s third film in his Batman trilogy:”We take Gotham from the corrupt! The police will survive, as they learn to serve true justice. Do as you please. The rich! the people. Washington flourished – but the people did not share in its wealth. Posted January 20, 2017 by Gina CarboneYesh, people of Gotham the United States, the power is yours! For and army will be raised. Spoils will be enjoyed. Courts will be convened. This great city… The oppressors of generations who have kept you down with myths of opportunity, and we give it back to you… Start by storming Blackgate, and freeing the oppressed! The rich! Gotham is yours. None shall interfere. it will endure. Gotham will survive!”And here’s more from the text of Trump’s speech:”…For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Step forward those who would serve. Blood will be shed. Like us on Facebook.