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The DCEU’s Best Future Kills The Justice League



The DCEU‘s best future is to kill the Justice League mentality and focus on team-up movies that lead to bigger event titles. Thus far, the DCEU has focused primarily on solo efforts and sequels, as well as one-offs that aren’t connected to the broader universe at all. Director Zack Snyder initially began his run on the DCEU with Man of Steel, then continued with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. The latter two movies started the team-up model, but the idea was quickly abandoned after the box office failure of Justice League, sending the DCEU back to basics.


With films like Todd Phillips’s Joker and Matt Reeves’s The Batman, the DCEU is splintering into factions, leaving a confusing through-line to follow when it comes to making sense of where all the characters fit in this massive universe. Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, Shazam!, and the upcoming Black Adam all appear to fit in with the main DCEU, but it’s a puzzling line-up when the films continue to be solo efforts with little teases of a broader universe, rather than a full immersion into the bigger picture. This is something the MCU has done exceptionally well, not playing coy when it comes to how connected it all is, thereby making it all feel much more connected and compelling.

While it can be artistically freeing for the filmmakers behind the solo efforts in the DCEU series, it comes at a cost when these movies all but ignore the broader universe. If the DCEU wants to be a true cinematic universe, then it needs to embrace team-ups, similar to the way DC’s comics do. Having other heroes and villains appear, even in cameo roles, can help immensely in opening up the DCEU, which frequently feels tied to just the main character and their world, rather than the vast one they actually exist in. This would not take away from the lead character’s journey or focus, but rather enhance it by having them interact with another hero, or villain, within the bigger DCEU. Taking this route would also serve to lay the foundation for building up to an event-size film, be it another Justice League or something else, which would pull these team-up threads together and make the DCEU feel more like a truly connected universe of superheroes and supervillains.

Team-Ups Are A Staple In The Comic Books (And Should Be For The Movies)

Visit any comic book shop and look at a copy of a solo title, such as Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, etc., and a team-up with another hero is almost always on the page, be it a small appearance or full-on collaboration. It’s a common thread in all comics — not just DC — to have other heroes and villains appear in solo books, thereby enhancing the appeal and challenging both characters as they work together, or butt heads, over a common goal. It fleshes out each individual character immensely, as readers are able to see how they behave, think, fight, etc., with fellow superheroes, or villains, making the universe feel that much larger and connected. This is exactly the model that should’ve been used for the DCEU. It’s a more natural process to bring these characters together, rather than keep them at arm’s length with a hint of a future team-up and forcing the event film in question to play catch up, rather than building upon an already established connection.

Heroes (And Villains) Appearing Together Make Things More Interesting

While origin films serve a distinct purpose in setting up a particular character, such as Aquaman, Shazam, or Wonder Woman, once they’re established, the characters should be free to explore their new world by interacting with other superheroes within their universe. Having superheroes meet, team up, or even fight, helps to show their place in that world and the overall effect they have in it. These interactions give depth, meaning, and coherency to the DCEU at large, making everything more interesting while building up relationships that can pay off in future films, spinoffs, or larger event films, giving weight and excitement to what comes next. The upcoming The Flash solo movie appears to be taking this angle, as it has multiple Batmans, plus Supergirl, as the DCEU’s version of the multiverse is established. This will no doubt help make everything feel bigger, more intriguing, and more united.

Team-Ups Will Make DC Event Films Feel Much More Exciting

While Zack Snyder’s Justice League is a monumental achievement, it lacked the hype momentum of relationships built prior to its debut. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice served as a good appetizer to that journey, but the DCEU needed a few more team-up style solo films like it before going fully into Justice League, as too many characters were introduced there that should’ve been established much earlier. Having characters team up after forging a history together, as well as giving audiences a chance to get to know who they are and what their specific journey is, makes the proceedings that much more compelling.

The MCU movie Captain America: Civil War, which is by definition a solo film, ultimately served as a massive team-up film that built upon events, interactions, and relationships previously established in that universe, making the stakes higher, the characters more interesting, and the events more exciting. While this may seem like an argument to make the DCEU more like the MCU, it’s actually a case for making the DCEU more like its own comic book model, utilizing the vast array of characters that exist in the DC universe to help tell the story, rather than partitioning it off. Building up steam with team-up films creates consistency, coherency, and strong relationships, making the eventual event films a more exciting investment than they would be with a series of barely connected solo films and sequels that suddenly thrust a major collaboration together — as with Justice League — to audiences with little-to-no congruence, background, or hype.

  • Black Adam (2022)Release date: Oct 21, 2022
  • Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2022)Release date: Dec 21, 2022
  • Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2023)Release date: Mar 17, 2023
  • The Flash (2023)Release date: Jun 23, 2023
  • Blue Beetle (2023)Release date: Aug 18, 2023

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Why Orphan 2’s Julia Stiles Joined The First Kill Prequel Movie



Julia Stiles says there was something about the script for Orphan: First Kill that convinced her it may just be on par with the original movie.

Julia Stiles says she joined Orphan: First Kill after reading a major twist in the script that had her “hooked.” The upcoming sequel is a rare foray into horror for Stiles, whose last major project in the genre was the 2006 remake of The Omen. In the first Orphan, Kate and John Coleman (Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard) adopt 9-year-old Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman) from a local orphanage after losing their unborn child. Before long, violent and disturbing accidents begin to plague the family, and it becomes clear that Esther is not as innocent as they thought.


Orphan became a cult favorite for its freaky twist: Esther is actually a murderous, 33-year-old escapee from an Estonian mental hospital. She has a rare hormonal disorder that keeps her looking like a little girl, which she uses to take advantage of her adoptive families before she murders them. By the time the Colemans discover her secret, it’s already too late, and Esther kills John and one of the Colemans’ other children before Kate breaks her neck and leaves her at the bottom of a pond. Orphan: First Kill will be a prequel that follows Esther’s first adoptive family, with Stiles playing her new mother who gets more than she bargained for.

Stiles now teases that the next Orphan will be as unpredictable as the first during a recent appearance on Live with Kelly and Ryan (via EW). She says she signed onto the film after reading a twist in the script that became “the reason I wanted to be in the movie,” and also confirms that Orphan: First Kill will fill in the pieces of Esther’s backstory that were teased in the original. Read Stiles’ full comment below:

“This one is before [the first one]. [Esther] is in another family. She’s escaped a mental hospital and pretends to be the long-lost, missing daughter for this family. When they sent me the script, there’s a twist that when I got to the twist I was like, ‘Oh, that’s good,’ and I was hooked. I did not see it coming, and it was also the reason that I wanted to be in the movie.”

It’s hard to imagine that there could possibly be a twist as out of left-field and unpredictable as the one in the original Orphan, but if it convinced Stiles to come back to horror after almost two decades, it must be a good one. Hopefully, it will live up to the high expectations audiences may have now. It will also be especially creepy to see this perceived-child’s origin at the mental hospital that – as fans will remember – gave her the scars she slyly covers up with ribbons on her wrists and neck. Orphan: First Kill has the ingredients to be an intriguing and genuinely chilling second installment.

It also marks something of a milestone for the horror genre itself. Fuhrman was 10 years old when she filmed Orphan, and she was 24 when she returned to the role for the prequel. Not only will she be bringing back the character, she’ll also be playing a version of Esther that’s even younger than the one she played 15 years ago. It’s a fun challenge for any actor, and fans will be able to deem Orphan: First Kill a worthy prequel for themselves when it comes out in theaters and streams on Paramount+ on August 19.

Source: Live with Kelly and Ryan (via EW)

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Jason Momoa Roasts His 2011 ‘Conan the Barbarian’ Remake: ‘Big Pile of S**t’



Jason Momoa is reflecting on his past roles, including his 2011 remake of Conan the Barbarian. In a new interview with GQ UK, Momoa roasted the remake, calling it a “big pile of s**t.

“I’ve been a part of a lot of things that really sucked, and movies where it’s out of your hands,” Momoa said. “Conan was one of them. “It’s one of the best experiences I had and it [was] taken over and turned into a big pile of s**t.”

Just one of the many films in which Momoa has played a “macho” character, the 43-year-old actor is setting his sights on new roles, ones that will allow him to show off his range.

“It’s been hard because people always think I’m just this dude who plays [macho characters],” he told the outlet. “But I want to be moved, I want something new. Things are changing, and even the villain roles I’m playing now are eccentric.”

From a maniacal villain whose toenails are painted purple and pink in the tenth Fast and Furious film, to a starring role in Apple TV+’s upcoming, Chief of War, set in 18th-century Hawaii, the Aquaman actor is switching things up.

“I’m a peacock at the highest level and I’m having the time of my life,” Momoa added.

He’s not totally departing from the action-packed flicks we know and love him for, with Aquaman 2 coming out next year, there’s still more to come from him in the superhero sphere, but with the environmentally conscious actor’s spin on it of course.

“I don’t want to give too much away. But we really get to speed up what is going to happen to this earth, and it’s not because of aliens,” he teased about the DC Comics sequel.

Last month, Momoa took to Instagram to seemingly reveal Ben Affleck’s involvement in the upcoming Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.

Sharing two snapshots with Affleck, the newly married actor was dressed to the nines in a very Bruce Wayne-looking suit ensemble, while Momoa celebrated getting to spend time with the actor yet again.

“REUNITED bruce and arthur. love u and miss u Ben,” Momoa captioned the post, which also included a video, taken by the Aquaman star, that supposedly showed a WB backlot tour inadvertently seeing Affleck and Momoa, and discovering his involvement in the upcoming Aquaman film.

“WB studio tours just explored the backlot alright. busted on set,” Momoa wrote. “All great things coming AQUAMAN 2 all my aloha.”

In the video, Momoa can be heard laughing as a tour group drives up on them on set, and exclaiming, “Well it’s not a f**king secret anymore, is it?”

“Well, we tried to keep it a secret,” he adds as he walks over to a trailer with a sign reading “B.A.” on the door. “Whoops!”

ET has previously reached out to WB for comment on Affleck’s unexpected involvement in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom — for which Momoa wrapped principal photography in January, and is slated to hit theaters March 17, 2023.


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Box Office: Lionsgate’s Action-Thriller ‘Fall’ and A24’s ‘Bodies Bodies Bodies’ Hope to Benefit From Utter Lack of New Blockbusters



After a pretty successful summer season, it’s officially the dog days at the domestic box office.

Without a major studio movie on the horizon, theater operators are banking on a smattering of smaller, lower-budgeted horror stories, comedies and dramas to take advantage of the lull in blockbusters. Basically, the next few weeks will cater to the rare ticket buyers who have been dying to return to the movies, but aren’t fans of comic book adventures or action tentpoles.

This weekend will be particularly quiet with Lionsgate’s action-thriller “Fall” and A24’s satirical slasher “Bodies Bodies Bodies” as the only new nationwide releases. According to tracking estimates, “Bodies Bodies Bodies,” which is expanding to 1,200 locations, is aiming for $2 million to $3 million in domestic ticket sales. Meanwhile “Fall,” which is debuting in 1,548 North American venues, is estimated to bring in $1 million to $2 million between Friday and Sunday.

With those single-digit projections, last weekend’s champion “Bullet Train” is expected to repeat No. 1 at the domestic box office. The blood-soaked Sony Pictures pic, starring Brad Pitt as a hitman nicknamed Ladybug, opened to $30.1 million and looks to add $13 million to $15 million in its sophomore outing. The R-rated “Bullet Train” cost $90 million to produce, so it needs to sustain momentum in the coming weeks to justify its hefty price tag — and to convince studios to keep investing in original movies.

Already, “Bodies Bodies Bodies” has kicked off in limited release with a promising $226,526 from six theaters in New York and Los Angeles. With solid word-of-mouth and positive reviews, the Gen Z-skewing “Bodies Bodies Bodies” looks to rank above “Fall” on domestic box office charts. However, it’ll likely arrive behind holdovers like “DC League of Super-Pets,” Jordan Peele’s UFO thriller “Nope” and Marvel’s “Thor: Love and Thunder.”

“Bodies Bodies Bodies” features the buzzy ensemble cast of “The Hate U Give’s” Amandla Stenberg, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” breakout Maria Bakalova, “Shiva Baby” star Rachel Sennott and “Saturday Night Live’s” Pete Davidson, and centers on rich 20-somethings who plan a hurricane party at a remote family mansion that turns deadly.

There are plenty of options for moviegoers who want their palms to sweat. Directed by Scott Mann, “Fall” is an adrenaline-inducing thriller about best friends Becky and Hunter (Grace Caroline Currey and Virginia Gardner) who climb 2,000 feet to the top of an abandoned radio tower and find themselves stranded with no way down. Though the movie has received mixed reviews, Variety‘s chief film critic Owen Gleiberman praised “Fall” as a “fun, occasionally cheesy, but mostly ingeniously made thriller.”

“It’s for anyone who ate up ‘Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,’ as well as the awesome rock-climbing documentaries ‘Free Solo’ and ‘The Dawn Wall,’ and wants to continue that shivery vicarious high,” he wrote.

Several films will open in limited release, including Diane Keaton’s body-swap comedy “Mack & Rita” from Gravitas Ventures, Bleecker Street’s coming-of-age drama “Summering,” the Aubrey Plaza-led heist thriller “Emily the Criminal” from Roadside Attractions, and IFC Film’s con-artist mystery “Rogue Agent.”

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