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‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’ Comic-Con Trailer Gives First Look at Rocket’s Origins, Adam Warlock and More



“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” got its first look at Marvel Studios’ massive San Diego Comic Con panel on Saturday. Filmmaker James Gunn appeared at Comic-Con to debut the official first trailer. The director confirmed again that “Vol. 3” is the definitive end of his “Guardians” story, adding, “This is the end of that story. I’m sorry. Some stories have an end. It doesn’t mean everybody dies.”

In the trailer for “Vol. 3,” Gamora is now an RTRavager and no longer remembers her fellow Guardian crew members. The trailer also teases Rocket’s origin and an all-gold, super-buff Adam Warlok, played by MCU newcomer Will Poulter. Groot appears as a young-adult. The clip is set to The Flaming Lips’ “Do You Realize.” The panel also confirmed “Borat 2” Oscar nominee Maria Balakova is playing Cosmo the Space Dog.

Rocket’s origins will be a driving force in “Vol. 3.” Gunn told the Comic-Con crowd that he kept asking himself how a talking raccoon can be real, which led him to realize Rocket must be the saddest creature in the universe. That origin will be fleshed out in the film.

Karen Gillan’s Nebula will have a lighter personality, the actor teased. “She had a very cathartic experience with having Thanos eliminated from her life. So she’s finding her own personality,” she said.

Pom Klementieff teased the following for Mantis: “She’s still quirky and weird but at the same time, she shows a lot of confidence…And she shows some fighting skills…maybe.”

“I’m truly, truly grateful,” Poulter said about playing Adam Warlock. “It’s pretty surreal to have ever stepped on the ‘Guardians’ set.”

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” is directed by Gunn, who helmed the first two cosmic team-up films, and it reunites the entire team, plus some new faces. The cast includes Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon, Vin Diesel as Groot, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Sean Gunn as Kraglin and Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha.

“The most rewarding part of it has been working with my brother,” Sean Gunn told Comic-Con about the film. “It’s come to a point where it’s not just about the joy of working with him, it’s about the joy of working with all these other people. We fucking care.”

Poulter, who’s starred in “The Revenant,” “Midsommar” and just earned an Emmy nomination for “Dopesick,” plays Adam Warlock. In the comics, Adam is an all-powerful, artificial being created to destroy the Guardians of the Galaxy. Also among the cast is Chukwudi Iwuji, who worked with Gunn on his “Peacemaker” series, and Daniela Melchior, who played Ratcatcher II in Gunn’s “The Suicide Squad” last year.

The Guardians of the Galaxy most recently appeared in the opening to Taika Waititi’s “Thor: Love and Thunder.” After Thor and the Guardians teamed up in “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame,” they kept traveling together to help save various alien worlds from threats, but Thor eventually splits off on his own mission.

It’s taken a while to get the third “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie made. Back in 2018, Disney fired Gunn after controversial Twitter posts resurfaced, only to rehire him a few months later after he apologized.

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” will hit theaters on May 5, 2023.

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China Box Office: ‘Shazam!’ and ‘M3gan’ Open Weakly



Hollywood’s new release titles fantasy action adventure “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” and horror thriller “M3gan” made only modest impressions on the box office in mainland China in their opening weekends.

The box office chart was led by “Post-Truth,” a Chinese comedy which probes the impact of social media in a story about a wronged small-time businessman. It earned $18.8 million (RMB130 million) in its second weekend of release, according to data from consultancy Artisan Gateway.

That was an increase of more than 10% on its opening frame. After ten days on release, “Post-Truth” has a cumulative of $51.2 million (RMB353 million).

Unchanged in second place was Chinese-made crime drama “Revival.” It earned $6.3 million over the weekend for a cumulative of $22.3 million.

“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” was the highest-placed new release with a $4.3 million (RMB29.5 million) haul over three days.

Fourth place belonged to the enduring Chinese New Year title “Boonie Bears: The Guardian Code,” part of a long-running local film franchise. It earned $1.7 million (RMB11.6 million), barely lower than the previous weekend, and now has a cumulative of $214 million.

“M3gan” placed fifth with $1.6 million (RMB11.2 million) over the first three days of its release period.
Chinese ticketing firm Maoyan forecasts that “Shazam!” will only run on to make RMB54 million ($7.8 million), while “M3gan” might only get to RMB22 million ($3.2 million).

While the numbers are weak, studio sources say that they are happy with current direction of Chinese film regulation and importation. Not only are Hollywood titles getting in to China at a greater pace than during the last two years, they are doing so with more advanced notice – a factor which allows better marketing and promotion.

Additionally, there is a growing expectation that, for the rest of this year, nearly all of Hollywood’s major titles will be able to get a launch in China that that is closely coordinated with releases in North America and other territories.

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Monk Movie Story Details Teased By Tony Shalhoub



Tony Shalhoub is providing new details about reprising his iconic role in the recently announced Monk movie. Shalhoub led the cast of the USA Network police procedural as the eponymous eccentric private detective solving a variety of cases in San Francisco, including the case of his wife who was killed by a car bomb years before. Over a decade after its emotional series finale, it was revealed first by Shalhoub then Peacock that a Monk revival movie was in development entitled Mr. Monk’s Last Case: A Monk Movie.


While speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Shalhoub provided new insight into the Monk movie. The star explained how Monk will have changed, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how that will influence the story of the Peacock revival. Read Shalhoub’s full comments about the movie below:

“It’s Monk present day after however long we’ve been away from him, 13 years now, going on 14 years. This is post-COVID. Monk has been knocked back on his heels because of COVID. He’s older. He’s not going to be chasing down things on the street and things like that. Hopefully [laughs]. We’re going to have to write to the fact that Monk’s older. It’s a really interesting story. I can’t say too much about it, but it’s got all of the good elements that the show was always striving for with a few new twists.”

Why It Is The Perfect Time To Continue Monk’s Story

The new story details that Shalhoub teases are not only intriguing, but also prove why continuing the story of Monk is a good idea. The COVID-19 pandemic radically altered many lives and continues to do so. The story of the intelligent Monk and other characters always struck a balance of humor, heart, and exciting plot twists. Through this approach, Monk will now be able to thoughtfully tell a story of a beloved individual deeply impacted by COVID-19 and who continues to deal with the effects of the pandemic.

In certain respects, Monk was sometimes a relatable character, and showing him older and not able to do some of the same things he used to will definitely continue to make him relatable. Though the series finale worked as a satisfying ending, enough time has passed for there to be substantial interest in seeing how Monk has changed and navigated life not only through the pandemic, but after finally solving Trudy’s case that haunted him for years, and after meeting his step-daughter Molly, of whom the new case will revolve around.

Shalhoub confirming original cast members returning is another compelling draw. This could include Ted Levine as Captain Leland Stottlemeyer, Jason Gray-Standford as Lieutenant Randy Disher, Bitty Schram as Monk’s first assistant Sharona Fleming, and Traylor Howard as Monk’s second assistant Natalie Teeger. A 90-minute movie is also the perfect medium to continue Monk as it is more manageable for all the original cast members to return for instead of an ongoing revival series, as has already been proven by the Psych movies.

Source: EW

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Twenty Years After U.S.-Led Invasion of Iraq, Filmmakers Examine Build Up to War, Challenges in Present Day Baghdad



Monday marks the 20th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. CPH:DOX will reflect on the repercussions of the war, which ousted Saddam Hussein, but never led to the discovery of weapons of mass destruction, by screening two documentaries: Greta Stocklassa’s “Blix Not Bombs” and Karrar Al-Azzawi’s “Baghdad on Fire.”

“(The invasion) was an event that has shaped international politics over the course of the last two decades in unpredictable and often devastating ways,” says CPH:DOX head of program Mads Mikkelsen. “Not least inside Iraq itself. (‘Blix Not Bombs’ and ‘Baghdad on Fire’) provide two different takes – a shot and reverse shot – on the course of events back in 2003 and on the current situation in Iraq as seen from the inside and through the eyes of the young.”

“Blix Not Bombs” follows Hans Blix, the former head of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, who was sent to Iraq in 2002 to determine whether U.S. suspicions that the country was manufacturing weapons of mass destruction were founded. Though the final report found no evidence of an Iraqi weapons program under Hussein, the U.S. and a coalition of allies nevertheless decided to invade the country. Now in the final stretch of his life, Blix questions whether he did enough to prevent a war whose impact is felt to this day.

“Blix Not Bombs”

“To me, Hans’s story is not only an intriguing behind-the-scenes of one of the most important events in modern history, but it’s also the story of the limits of diplomacy, moral dilemmas, and personal responsibility in shaping the world,” Stocklassa told Variety while working on the film in 2021.

Meanwhile, “Baghdad on Fire” follows 19-year-old activist leader Tiba and her friends from the pro-democracy movement around Baghdad’s Tahrir Square. In the docu, Tiba and her fellow activists discuss and plan how to bring freedom, democracy and change to Iraq. They are done with militias, corrupt politicians and foreign troops defining the country. Together with friends Khader and Yousif, Tiba starts a medical team that helps young protesters when they have been bathed in tear gas.

“Both Tiba and I wanted to show the world what is really going on in the country,” says Al-Azzawi, who fled Iraq in 2016 after being a vocal advocate for democracy. In October 2019 when protests erupted in Baghdad, the director knew it was time to make a film. So, he found a production manager and two cinematographers.

“My dream main character was a strong Iraqi woman,” Al-Azzawi says. “A brave, Iraqi woman, who is fighting for freedom, justice, and equality and her country.” The helmer’s dream came true when he met Tiba.
“Tiba and I both want to show that Iraqi women are not living the life the (international) media portrays,” says Al-Azzawi. “They are always portrayed as controlled by society or their husbands. This is always the narrative. I think that Tiba, who left a marriage she was forced into at age 14, is an example of an Iraqi woman who is not a victim. This was important to show because Iraqi women are not victims. They are resilient and can lead and be in control.”

Both docus will be making their world premieres at CPH:DOX on Monday. “Blix Not Bombs” will be followed by a live video discussion with Blix and Stocklassa. Following “Baghdad on Fire,” Al-Azzawi, will take part in a live discussion with Aida Al-Kaisy, co-founder of Iraqi media outfit Jummar, and journalist Waleed Safi. Both Q&As will be moderated by Politiken international editor Michael Jarlner.

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