Margot Robbie’s girl-gang movie Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn) has been shooting since the start of the year. Unlike when previous DC movies have started shooting we haven’t seen any set photos leak yet. One has to think it will only be a matter of time before they start filming in the public. However, Margot Robbie gave us something on her Instagram this morning which should hold us over until then. With the film currently in production Margot Robbie, decided to give us our first look at Harley Quinn in the upcoming movie.
Granted, it isn’t an official first look. It’s more of a selfie of her just waiting around on set. Therefore, it’s hard to see how much of her look has changed since the last time we saw her in Suicide Squad. One thing that has caught the attention of many comic book fans like myself is the dog tag Harley’s wearing. If you look closely you can see it says ‘Bruce’ on it. What does this mean? Just an Easter Egg or acknowledgement that Bruce exists in this universe. Could he possibly play a small role in the movie? Or is this just part of Harley’s crazy personality. After all, she would name her dog after Bruce Wayne.
Let me know your thoughts on our first look
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn) is set to be released on February 7, 2020
After destroying all of its competition at the box office last month James Wan’s Aquaman hasn’t lost any steam at all. Looking at the numbers during the past couple of weeks it was only a matter of time before it would reach the $1 billion mark. I’ll be honest, I thought the movie was going to be a success. Just not this type of success. There aren’t too many films in that $1 billion bracket. And for Aquaman’s name to be up there with the likes of The Dark Knight, The Avengers and Star Wars is crazy. What an achievement! Fully deserved too in my opinion. Not only is Aquaman one of the few comic book movies to make the $1 billion, it’s actually the first in the DCEU to do it. Keep in mind the movie hasn’t even been out for a full month yet in certain countries. This number is only going to rise. As for James Wan, he now has two $1 billion dollar movies in his filmography as Aquaman joins his 2015 hit, Furious 7. It’s only a matter of when, not if we get an Aquaman sequel now. I wouldn’t be surprised if the studio after this success look at Wan for the next Justice League movie in the future.
Congratulations to the cast and crew involved!
P.S. It’s also nice to show the studio that not only Batman can make money at the box office.
What a year it has been for the comic book movie genre! There’s no shortage of comic book movies today. But it’s all about trying to keep the genre fresh and at the end of the day, producing great movies. And this is the purpose of this article. Of all the comic book movies that were released this year I wanted to give you guys my own personal ranking. Just a heads up, I haven’t included every comic book movie that was released this year. This is just a list consisting of my four favourite comic book movies of 2018.
4. Black Panther
Black Panther is another solid entry into the MCU. When I think about this movie the first thing that comes to mind is the cast. The cast of Black Panther was easily the highlight of the movie for me. Especially when it comes to the supporting cast. In particular, I really enjoyed Michael B. Jordan’s role in this movie. Killmonger is just behind Thanos when it comes to my ranking of the MCU villains. I also liked how Wakanda as a place was handled from the look and feel of it. You really got to understand why this place is important within the universe. However, I must say that at the time of the movie’s release I think I bought into the hype. While I enjoyed the movie, it’s not as great as I first remembered. It’s just solid. And that’s not a bad thing. At first, Black Panther was in my top 5 MCU movies. But now looking back, it just falls out of my top 5 MCU ranking. However, for this year it was still a strong comic book movie. It’s just that the bar has been set so high. I’m still looking forward to seeing what Ryan Coogler does with the sequel.
The more I think about this movie, the more I love it. Now, don’t get me wrong this movie is far from perfect. For example, some of the musical choices. Yes, I’m talking about that Pitbull song. Also some of the romance didn’t work for me along with the humour. However, when this movie got something right, I couldn’t help but fall in love with it. James Wan really went above and beyond with Aquaman. Just the scale of the movie is something that should be admired. The characters are strong. The action scenes are refreshing for once. The costume design is amazing. It has strong villains. And the third act is one of the best I’ve seen in years when it comes to comic book movies. Although, I hated the Pitbull song. I have to admit I was wrong about the soundtrack as a whole. It’s definitely a lot better than when I first heard it. Aquaman is on pace to make a billion dollars at the box office and it deserves every penny. Warner Bros. should already be laying down the blueprints for the sequel. With James Wan at the helm of course.
What else can I say about this movie that hasn’t been said already? It delivered in every aspect to me. It was a dream come true for me to see all these characters interacting with each other on the screen for the first time. And to see them lose? Oh, I loved it! It only makes me more excited to see what happens in Avengers 4. With each viewing this movie gets better. I talked about Aquaman’s third act, Infinity War also has a really strong third act. Sometimes when I don’t feel like sitting through the whole movie I just skip to the fight scene on Titan and let it play out from there. Of course, I have to mention Thanos before I finish this. Hands down my favourite villain of the MCU. In-fact one of my favourite villains ever. Josh Brolin delivered a great performance which was helped by the VFX team who did an amazing job with the character’s look. I can’t wait to see how the remaining Avengers deal with the ramifications of the snap in Avengers 4.
For as much as I loved Avengers: Infinity War, it didn’t take the number one spot for me…
1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Look, I knew Spider-Verse was going to be a great movie. I just didn’t know it was going to be this good! I can’t speak highly enough of this animated movie. As a huge Spider-Man fan, I have to say this is easily the best Spider-Man movie we’ve had to date. And it stars Miles Morales! Which makes it even better. The fact that the up and coming generations get to see a different Spider-Man on the screen is awesome. While Miles is the star the movie I loved the other characters just as much. I could spend so much time just going into detail about how much I enjoyed each character. But to keep it short I’ll just say Spider-Noir was by far my favourite character. The voice acting in this movie is top tier. Not to mention the animation style! The visuals in this movie are breathe-taking at certain parts. Miles’ relationship with his uncle was also a standout for me because of how it played into the overall story. As you can see I loved this film. I’m still struggling to find something I didn’t like about it. And weeks later… I still can’t find anything I dislike about it. So, I’m just going to let the film be great. Please, go see Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse if you haven’t already.
There’s my list! As you can see regardless of my ranking I spoke highly of each film. It just goes to show how great this year was when it came to comic book movies. Hopefully, next year is even better. It certainly has the potential to do it.
Let me know what your personal list is down below.
Yesterday, I was lucky enough to be invited by Warner Bros. to attend an early screening for Aquaman. So, before I start this review I just wanted to thank the good people at Warner Bros. UK for allowing me to watch one of my most anticipated movies of the year a little earlier than everyone else. I’ve been waiting so long to see James Wan’s take on The King of the Seven Seas. From the moment he was attached to the project I had extremely high expectations. And yesterday, those expectations were not only met, but beyond exceeded. Aquaman showed us that Wan could take the comic book movie genre to another level. The film rises to the occasion and will leave you wanting more as there is still so much that is yet to be explored in this universe.
A very ambitious film!
The first thing that comes to mind when I think about this movie is the term, ‘scale’. It’s huge in every form. Look, I knew the ocean was huge, but even I was taken back when watching how they interpreted it on the big screen. I lost count on the amount of kingdoms/underwater cities were introduced. Every single one of them were distinct from each other. None of them looked the same at all. This is what I admire the most about the movie, its ambition. They could’ve easily played it safe. For example, have the whole movie take place in Atlantis or another city. But they really went all out, by going full comic book! You’re probably going to see this a hundred times while reading other reviews. Yes, Aquaman feels like a comic book brought to life on the big screen. And I believe this is why comic book lovers and the general audience will enjoy this movie.
On the subject of scale I think it would also be a great time to mention the visuals in this film. Visually, alone this movie is a huge achievement. I mean 80% of it takes place underwater and of course there’s going to be an extensive amount of VFX used, and for the most part it looked great. Every time they were underwater it actually looked natural (helped by the great sound design). In general, I really enjoyed the cinematography. There are some shots in this film that are just epic. The final act/fight between Arthur and Orm played out amazingly! Seeing the two fighting with the lights hitting their costumes provides for an incredible viewing. Once again, it helps this whole comic book aesthetic the film is going for.
Well balanced tone
Another thing I really liked about Aquaman is how the tone was handled. At the end of the day Aquaman can be a fun movie. It can also be a more serious movie if you want to look at it in that way. It strikes a good balance in between the two. I found this even more enjoyable because not only is the film juggling tones at the same time. Its also doing that with genres too. To me these two elements go hand-in-hand. Honestly, you can find genres ranging from Sci-fi, action, adventure, horror and comedy when watching Aquaman. Like I said, because all these elements are balanced well. It really gives Aquaman this lane of its own when it comes to the comic book movie genre. Having said that, I would have personally, toned down on some of the comedy aspects. A lot of the jokes just didn’t quite work for me. But, I understand why they were there. The audience were laughing quite a lot during the screening.
I think it’s time I talk about the characters in the movie. Just by looking at the of names attached to this project the acting in this movie was easily, the least of my worries. At this point I feel like I’m giving this movie too much praise. But I cannot lie I loved the characters for the most part in this film. Jason Momoa is clearly having the time of his life as Arthur Curry, and it translates on the screen. I wouldn’t be surprised if we find out a bunch of his lines were improvised on the spot. He just seems to be enjoying the role that much. Arthur’s journey back home and to the throne is one that was entertaining and has me in interested in seeing where the character goes after this.
Orm is up there with one of my favourite comic book villains in the past couple of years. This is mainly because of Patrick Wilson’s performance. Much like Jason, you can tell he really enjoys this role too. All you have to do is look at some of his recent tweets. The guy is still in character. Orm’s motivations are both easy to understand and relatable. I think a lot of DC fans will find similarities between Orm and General Zod from Man of Steel. What I liked the most about Orm is how he isn’t just an evil version of Arthur. He can stand on his own. You genuinely believe that he’s a major threat to both Arthur and the surface world. Overall, Orm’s a really great villain in this movie. Not to mention he looks amazing too when he’s fighting in his full costume.
The women in this movie are badass!
Now, onto the women in this movie. They are straight up badass! Starting with Mera. If you thought she would end up being this damsel-in-distress. Or just there to serve this romance angle. You’re totally wrong. Mera almost steals the show for me. In-fact she carries the movie in certain parts. She can very much hold her own and doesn’t need to rely on Arthur to get her out of difficult situations whenever she finds herself in one. Arthur’s mother too, Queen Atlanna, another strong female character. I can’t really go into detail about her character for spoiler reasons. But trust me, Arthur inherited a lot of his fighting style from his mother.
Black Manta! (major highlight)
I had to save the best for last…Black Manta! Hands downs my favourite thing about this movie. Black Manta has always been one of the coolest DC characters too me. And seeing him in that outfit moving around on the screen was a joy to watch. I love his backstory too. Again, I can’t really go into detail but, I liked how he tied in with Arthur and a few other characters. If I had to pick out one issue I had with the character it’s that I wanted more of him! Don’t get me wrong I thought he was used well. But, looking back on it now I think they could have split up Orm and Black Manta as main villains in separate movies. I guess that’s still kind of a compliment at the same time by suggesting both characters/actors are good enough to carry a movie as the main villain by themselves.
The Score…was disappointing
If you know anything about me you would know that I love my scores in superhero movies. I couldn’t wait to see what Rupert Gregson-Williams had come up with for this type of movie. I have to admit I was kind of disappointed. Apart from Orm who has a great theme, nothing really caught my attention. I can’t really tell you what Arthur’s theme is like, because it didn’t jump out to me. Again, a lot was going on during this movie and maybe I was just too caught up in the moment to notice the score. I can only speak for myself. I was going in expecting this Man of Steel/Dawn of Justice level type of score and I didn’t get that. I will still be checking out the soundtrack when it releases. Hopefully, my opinion on the score will change.
Overall, Aquaman is about as blockbuster as they come. I had a great time and would recommend this movie to anyone, not just comic book fans. I think anyone will find something they would love in this movie. From the stunning visuals, great characters and the breath-taking action. Or it could be that amazing third act/final fight which is one of the strongest I’ve seen in years when it comes to comic book movies. As for what this means for the DCEU? Is it “saved” once again? I can’t tell you how bored I am of that conversation. To me the DCEU has always been alive to me. Yeah, it’s had a few bumps in the road. But, films such as Man of Steel, BvS and Wonder Woman will continued to be talked about for the coming years. Aquaman, joins those other movies and proves that the DCEU isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.
DC’s biggest movie of the year is only a couple of weeks away from its release. We’ve gone a whole year without a live-action DC movie (minus Teen Titans Go!). It doesn’t feel like that for some reason. It feels like Justice League was only released a couple of months ago. Speaking of Justice League, some would say James Wan’s Aquaman, is an opportunity to take Warner Bros. back into the right direction. There’s a lot of pressure James Wan’s shoulders with this film. Just the scale of the film alone is something that very few people in the industry can pull off. And today, we’ll get to see what the media thought of the film and whether James Wan’s Aquaman lives up to the hype.
As with all major releases the film was screened early to the press. A couple of weeks ago members of the press were shown the film and here are their thoughts:
Paul Shirey (Joblo)
Short & sweet reaction to #Aquaman is that I loved it. It’s a comic book movie through & through with great action, iconic moments & visual spectacle to spare. Momoa makes the character his own & Wan honors the traditional aspects, but elevates it to the modern era. It’s a blast.
I’ll take some heat for this, but #Aquaman is the best Marvel movie that DC has made. That doesn’t mean it’s exactly like that formula, but it feels like a film that knows what it is, what it’s selling and who it’s selling to. There’s no identity crisis here.
Chalk up a big, wet win for DC. @creepypuppet’s #Aquaman is an epic, swing-for-the-fences adventure that plunges fans into incredibly creative worlds. Goofy in spots, but it's rollicking fun. See it on the biggest screen possible! pic.twitter.com/ahODJ4mJAI
Fighting back the tide of DC negativity, #Aquaman is a lot of fun and brilliantly shot. It's not without its flaws, yet Jason Momoa is a charismatic lead and it very much feels like a @creepypuppet movie. Check back on @digitalspy on December 11 for the full review. pic.twitter.com/LyD8Pfy84d
#Aquaman is … good! It's certainly greater than the sum of its parts. It's chock full of ridiculous elements but it’s all so inherently bonkers that you’d have to be an utter killjoy to not get caught up in it pic.twitter.com/VV5PMGT9er
#Aquaman is an epic fantasy adventure on the high seas! It’s packed with thrilling action in a dazzling underwater world like nothing I’ve ever seen in superhero movies, or anywhere else. I had a total blast watching this movie & so will you. See it on the biggest screen you can! pic.twitter.com/uRWXDTE48K
#Aquaman is pretty wild. It leans hard into its '80s fantasy/adventure movie vibe far more than superhero elements, and it works. It's another step in the right direction for the DCEU and shows how different/distinct the tones of these movies can be while still existing together.
#Aquaman was an absolute blast, from the charm of Momoa's Arthur Curry, to the spectacular visuals to the fun that it was clear that everyone was having. It was exactly what I was hoping for and I can't wait to see it again! I'll give you more details when I'm allowed! pic.twitter.com/FyeczAJJIJ
So I really enjoyed #Aquaman! James Wan has made an unapologetically bold superhero flick, mixing adventure and fantasy elements with stunning visual effects, a terrific lead in Jason Momoa (who's clearly having the time of his life), and a great heroine in Amber Heard's Mera. pic.twitter.com/V8bnw6mnCX
Does #Aquaman tie into the larger DCEU? Hard to say. Little mention of the world outside Atlantis, for better & worse. But what I know is it'll be a long time before I forget Vulko's lyrical dance interpretation of Arthur Curry's conception. Best superhero film since DARK KNIGHT
In case you didn’t know already. There is a solo Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix (directed by Todd Phillips) currently in production. Filming only just started last week and thanks to Just Jared, we have gotten our first look at Phoenix’s Joker in action. Also director Todd Phillips, I’m guessing has responding to these leaked by giving us our first official look at Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker.
See below for the set photos and Todd Phillip’s post:
Just a couple of minutes after these set photos leaked. Director Todd Phillips took to Instagram and gave us our first official look at Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker (Arthur).
This Joker movie is going to be an origin movie which is set in the 80s. It will not feature Batman. But, it will feature his father, Thomas Wayne. The movie is not going to be connected to the DCEU at all. And it will stand alone in its own universe.
The Joker movie is set to be released on 4, October 2019
It feels like Matt Reeves’ Batman movie has been in development forever. Information surrounding the project has been scarce. Matt Reeves has been tight-lipped during the whole process, and I don’t blame him. However, in the past couple of months he has slowly been giving up updates. One of the major things he revealed was how he’s close to submitting his first draft for the script. While Matt Reeves hasn’t publicity stated that he’s submitted the first draft yet. Umberto Gonzalez responding to a fan on Twitter last night revealed the first draft has been submitted to the studio.
People have their own thoughts and opinions on Umberto as a source. Personally I find him to be pretty reliable. And I trust him here. With the first draft submitted this should hopefully mean the studio are still on track to start shooting the project next spring!
Let me know your thoughts on this
What would you love to see in Matt Reeves’ Batman script?
Now I can’t lie although I thought the Aquaman trailer was amazing I found myself enjoying the Shazam! trailer a lot more. This is not a knock to the Aquaman trailer or James Wan, I just find myself replaying the Shazam! trailer more than the Aquaman one. To be honest I was already sold on Aquaman before the trailer was even released. I know what James Wan is capable of and the horror elements he would bring to Aquaman. Now Shazam! is an entirely different case to me. A kid who turns into a superhero with the mention of a single word sounds great on paper (hence the popularity of the character). But how would that work on the big screen? Especially in 2019? This was one of the biggest questions I had going into this trailer. And Sandberg along with the cast look go have got it spot on. I love everything about this trailer. The tone, humour and even the way its shot given its much smaller budget compared to the previous DCEU films. Now I’m not going to pretend like I’m the biggest Shazam/Captain Marvel fan ever but from what I know of the character they have done a good job at both respecting the past of the character while embracing the more recent iterations of Shazam with the New 52 run.
Zachary Levi looks great in the suit and plays the whole inner-child aspect of the character really well. Granted we can see that the suit is padded and Zachary Levi clearly isn’t that big but it feels like they did it on purpose, it fits the tone of the movie. While Zachary Levi will play the most important role in the movie the child actors that were picked here are the real stars of the trailer for me. Asher makes a great Billy Batson in my opinion and Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy Freeman was involved in my favourite moments from the trailer. I just feel like he does a great job at representing us comic fans and how we would react if we find out our foster brother had superpowers.
I’ve seen people complain about the trailer potentially showing too much of the movie already. I’m guessing the majority of what they showed in the trailer takes place within the first 30/45 minutes of the movie. While I want to see Billy running around using his powers I also want to see the struggles he goes through as he’s trying to find that family structure in his life. But when he does discover his powers in the trailer that’s when the fun begins. Those training montages are great I can’t wait to see more of them. My favourite part of the trailer is the robbery scene where Shazam finds out he’s bulletproof. Freddy’s reaction in this scene makes it for me, you can tell him and Zachary have great chemistry on screen. We only caught a glimpse of Mark Strong’s Doctor Sivana and I’m expecting us to see a lot more of him in the second trailer. This just shows how they haven’t given away too much with this trailer.
Overall while the character of Shazam is familiar to me this trailer makes me want to go back and start reading through his comics. I think New Line Cinema could potentially have a gem on their hands with this movie. They really need to go full force with the marketing of the film. If done right and this trailer is a great start I think Shazam could reach the same level of popularity as the rest of the Justice League members in the cinematic universe. Speaking of cinematic universes I love how both Aquaman and Shazam! are completely movies in terms of style and tone but they still exist in the same universe. One day I hope we get to see Billy and Freddy interact with the Justice League in the future.
With SDCC right around the corner I was expecting us to get our first official look at Shazam! during the Warner Bros. panel. However, the studio are looking to start the hype train early by giving us our first look at Shazam! After months of behind the scenes shots and leaked promotional images we finally have our first look at the character. Entertainment Weeklyhas provided us with a still from the upcoming movie which features both Shazam! and Freddy Freeman (Billy Batson’s best friend). Comparing this shot the ones that leaked from the set I straightaway noticed some changes that they made to the suit. Firstly, the boots are completely different, the gauntlets look more detailed along with the belt.
Director David Sandberg talking to Entertainment Weekly went into detail about the suit:
“I wanted to keep the shorter cape as a throwback to the original because that’s something that sets him apart from Superman or Batman,”
Just like with every comic book movie directors try their best to respect the past while embracing the present and David Sandberg has shown that with the addition of the hood on the suit which is influenced by the Golden Age comics:
“It makes him feel a bit more Golden Age superhero, which is the vibe I’m going for.”
Personally I love this image, it really captures the tone of the film. Shazam! will be a much lighter film compared to the previous entries in the DCEU. Everyone involved in the project seemed to have a lot of fun shooting this movie and I can’t wait to see what they bring with them to SDCC. My prediction is that we’ll get a teaser trailer next week along with some more official images. Mind you we still haven’t seen what Shazam! will look like when all the VFX are applied to the character.
Synopsis for Shazam!
“We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Strong).”
Filming for the Shazam! movie has been completed for a couple of months now.
But that hasn’t stopped updates surrounding the project from surfacing as we learned today. Thanks to Entertainment Weekly it has been reported that Djimon Hounsou will now be playing the role of the Wizard in the project.
This news came as a shock to many fans because the last we heard of the Wizard in the Shazam! movie how he was going to be portrayed by Ron Cephas Jones. However that has now changed with Hounsou (who is most recently known for his role as Korath the Pursuer in Guardians of the Galaxy) jumping into the DC universe.
Ironically he will be starring in both the Captain Marvel (the original name or Shazam!) and Shazam! films next year. The Wizard plays an important role in the titular characters mythology, he’s the main reason why Billy gets his powers. I can’t help but think if anyone else could be making a surprise appearance in this film given how this news was kept under the radar for a long time.
Djimon Hounsou will be joining the likes of Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Ross Butler, Asher Angel and many more in Shazam!
Shazam! will be released on 5 April 2019
Let me know in the comments what you think of this casting news.