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Shazam’s Zachary Levi Defends New DC Studios Leadership

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Shazam! Fury of the Gods star Zachary Levi takes to Instagram to defend the vision of new DC Studios brass James Gunn and Peter Safran.


DC Universe star Zachary Levi has defended James Gunn and Peter Safran, who are the new top brass at DC Studios. Levi is a fairly recent addition to the franchise, appearing as the superhero Shazam in 2019’s Shazam!, a role he will be reprising for the first time in Shazam! Fury of the Gods on March 17, 2023. Shazam!‘s connection to the DCU at large was tenuous (the film featured an appearance by Superman, but with his face out of frame), and Levi has previously reported that his and his co-stars’ jobs are safe during DC’s changing of the guard, which has resulted in some planned Justice League actor returns being scrapped.

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Yesterday, Levi took to Instagram to share a video breaking down the future of Shazam! and his thoughts on the changes at DC Studios. He urged the fans to quell knee-jerk reactions to the news coming out of the studio and wait for the dust to settle a little bit. With patience, he says, fans can give Gunn and Safran space to “try and really make something special,” something that the fan-beloved DC auteur Zack Snyder attempted though it “didn’t ultimately materialize.” Read his full quote below:

[Give James Gunn and Peter Safran] time to make something special.”

You have no idea the reasonings behind any of the decisions that are going on. The amount of conjecture and rumor mill and drama and nonsense that keeps getting spun around out there on Instagram and Twitter is laughable. It is unbelievably laughable. So I would just say be patient, and give them some space and some time to try and really make something special. And I think something that DC deserves to have, and something that Snyder tried to do and it just didn’t ultimately materialize, guys.

Related: DC’s Flash Movie Reboot Trick Isn’t Going To Work Now


A Timeline of the Recent Shakeups at DC Studios

Henry Cavill as Superman in Man of Steel flying in the air sternly

While Levi’s comments about allowing Gunn and Safran to establish themselves and reconstruct the DCU franchise is likely a course of action that will yield dividends for fans in the long run, it’s hard to deny the fact that a lot of the recent goings-on at DC Studios have been alarming for fans. Although the DCU was plagued with various production delays and other behind-the-scenes issues beforehand, their recent woes began with the merger between parent company Warner Bros. and Discovery. New Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav initiated a restructuring of HBO Max that involved layoffs, the removal of many previously available titles, and the outright cancelation of the DCU film Batgirl in early August, even though the film was already in post-production.

In mid-October, it was announced that DC Studios president Walter Hamada had exited the company, and by late October the company had made the surprise announcement that The Suicide Squad director James Gunn and producer Peter Safran would be stepping into the role as co-CEOs. In the two months that have followed this announcement, the DCU has been undergoing radical reconstruction. Rumors have been swirling around each of these decisions, obfuscating the truth of what’s going on behind the scenes, but several significant cast departures and canceled projects have been officially announced.

Earlier this month, it was confirmed that Wonder Woman 3 was no longer in development, as was a Batman Beyond movie featuring the return of Michael Keaton (who was also slated to appear in Batgirl, though his role in the upcoming 2023 The Flash is intact for the time being). Last week, Gunn also confirmed that he is writing a new Superman film to feature a younger actor, meaning that Henry Cavill would not be returning as Superman despite his appearance in the post-credits sequence of Black Adam. Dwayne Johnson is also not returning as Black Adam anytime soon, something the star recently announced on social media. The future of the ​​​​​​​DC Universe will become clearer in the new year when Gunn announces a more concrete plan, but in the meantime, it’s been all too easy for fans to panic about all the changes.

Source: Zachary Levi/Instagram

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Avatar 2 Trails Behind Top Gun 2 in Slow U.S. Box Office Opening Week

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Avatar: The Way of Water sluggishly crosses the $200 million mark on day 8 of its U.S. box office run, trailing behind Top Gun: Maverick.


Avatar: The Way of Water is still tracking behind Top Gun: Maverick at the end of its first week in the domestic box office. The film, which came to theaters on December 16, is the long-awaited sequel to the smash hit Avatar from 2009, which is still one of the highest grossing films of all time. James Cameron returned to direct The Way of Water along with many returning cast members like Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver, and Stephen Lang, though not every actor is playing the same character they played in the original film. The film follows Jake and Neytiri as they navigate parenthood on Pandora, only to have the humans return, bent on exterminating the Na’vi once and for all.

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Per Deadline, Avatar: The Way of Water‘s domestic box office has accrued an additional $14.5 million yesterday, bringing its cumuative total to $197.5 million and meaning it will cross the $200 million mark today, on day 8. The film is now standing alongside other high-grossing but not record-breaking films that took 8 days to cross that line, including Jurassic World Dominion, Thor: Love and Thunder, and 2019’s Captain Marvel. Its first week is also tracking slightly behind this year’s legacy sequel hit Top Gun: Maverick, which performed 4 percent better in the domestic box office during its first week in theaters.

Related: Who Spider’s Mother Is In Avatar: The Way Of Water


Why is Avatar: The Way of Water’s Opening Week Slightly Less Than Impressive?

avatar way of water jake sully quaritch villain

Avatar: The Way of Water‘s opening week has only been unimpressive on the scale set by the legacy of the original film. However, due to its enormous price tag (which has been estimated to be somewhere between $350 and $450 million before factoring in publicity and advertising costs), the film will need to accrue quite a few more weeks like this in order to break even. Cameron himself has admitted that it will have to become one of the highest-grossing films of all time in order to turn a profit, which may require a gross to the tune of $2 billion.

However, this slightly damp opening week doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t reach that goal. The run time of Avatar: The Way of Water, which exceeds three hours, means that theaters can’t run as many screenings per day as they can with shorter films. There have also been extreme weather conditions and power outages in huge swaths of the American Midwest, meaning that some fans have been unable to see the movie as planned this week. As theaters reopen in those areas, the film may get a boost that helps it keep its week 2 from slumping hard after its opening.

Avatar: The Way of Water is also a film that is designed to be an event. This means that viewers are more likely to prioritize large-format premium screenings and 3D showings, both of which feature higher ticket prices. Repeat viewings will also likely help boost the belated Avatar sequel’s total gross, though it remains to be seen exactly how high it can possibly go.

Source: Deadline

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Elm Street Remake Actor Clarifies Alleged Diss On Freddy Kreuger Movie

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Kyle Gallner, who played Quentin in A Nightmare on Elm Street 2010, clarified comments that fans online misconstrued as dissing the horror remake.


A Nightmare on Elm Street star Kyle Gallner has clarified comments that were misconstrued as him dissing the 2010 movie. The actor, who would go on to star in other horror projects including this year’s Scream and Smile, had an early role in the film, which was a reimagining of the 1984 supernatural slasher classic of the same name. Gallner played Quentin Smith, a member of the swim team who becomes instrumental in helping the final girl Nancy Holbrook (Rooney Mara) figure out why they are being haunted in their dreams by the knife-gloved killer Freddy Krueger (Jackie Earle Haley).

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On Twitter, the YouTube channel Beyond the Mask asked fans to challenge themselves to say something about the generally reviled Nightmare on Elm Street remake, which Gallner tweeted, “they had this local Italian place bring food in for the craft service truck and the meatballs were killer.” The tweet went viral among horror fans, with readers assuming that the comment was meant as shade toward the film. However, Gallner followed up that tweet to say it was misinterpreted and that he was merely “sharing behind the scenes greatness.” He also went on to reveal other tidbits, including the fact that he was accidentally cut for real while filming a Freddy scene and that he was allowed to keep the Speedo he wore for his swim practice scene. Check out both posts below:

Related: Nightmare On Elm Street’s Original Star Is Right About A Reboot


Why Fans Hate A Nightmare On Elm Street 2010

Freddy Kruger with his arms and knife folded in A Nightmare on Elm Street

2010’s A Nightmare on Elm Street featured a group of up-and-coming stars, including Gallner, Mara, and The Twilight Saga‘s Kellan Lutz, along with more established stars like Haley and Friday Night Lights‘ Connie Britton. It was also a commercial success, making $117.7 million at the box office off its $35 million budget. In spite of this, it became the worst-reviewed entry in the franchise among fans and critics alike. It holds a dismal Rotten Tomatoes score of 14% and fares a little better on Metacritic with a generally unfavorable score of 35.

There are several reasons for the film’s incredibly poor reception. The first is a rather obvious one – it’s a remake of a minted horror classic. Considering how much enduring love there is for the original Nightmare on Elm Street and the Freddy Krueger legacy it spawned, a modern retelling of the same story was unlikely to fare well. There was also the matter that Krueger was being recast for the first time. Unlike masked killers Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers, Freddy is tied inextricably with a single actor, Robert Englund, who played him in all eight Elm Street films before 2010 as well as two seasons of the anthology show, Freddy’s Nightmares.

There was little chance of a positive reception for a new Freddy Krueger unless he was absolutely perfect, but the film around the character also failed him. 2010’s A Nightmare on Elm Street screenplay took him to a much darker place, adding molestation elements on top of his murderous tendencies, which hurt his backstory severely. For all those reasons and more, no new Elm Street film has materialized in the decade nor changed since the remake’s release.

Source: Kyle Gallner/Twitter



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Birdie Is Glass Onion’s Undisputed Champion In Knives Out Fans’ Minds

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Following the Netflix premiere of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, fans single out Kate Hudson’s Birdie Jay as the undisputed champion of the film.


WARNING: Spoilers for Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery below.Following the premiere of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, fans hone in on Kate Hudson’s Birdie Jay as one of the best characters in the film. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery premiered on the streaming service on December 23, after enjoying a limited theatrical release on November 23. The film is the highly anticipated sequel to the hit 2019 film, Knives Out. Netflix purchased the rights to the Knives Out franchise in 2021 and ordered two standalone sequels starring Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc. The majority of the Knives Out cast did not return for the sequel, as it follows Blanc tackling a new mystery as he investigates the death of businesswoman Cassandra “Andi” Brand (Janelle Monáe), and her suspicious rich friends.

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Since Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery‘s theatrical and streaming debut, Birdie’s name has arisen frequently in praise from fans. Users took to social media to praise Hudson’s performance. In the film, Birdie is one of the murder suspects and is a former model turned fashion designer. She has infectious energy and enthusiasm and is very extra in pretty much every way, from her vibrant fashion statements to her over-the-top strut. Birdie proved effective as fans began sharing their positive reactions to her. Check out some of the posts below:

Related: Glass Onion Soundtrack: Every Song In Knives Out 2


Glass Onion Is Full Of Standout Characters

Glass Onion Knives Out 2 Poster

Just like the first film, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery seriously delivered when it came to star power. The ensemble cast included the likes of Edward Norton, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom, Jr., Hudson, and Dave Bautista. It also included some celebrity cameos from Natasha Lyonne and the late Stephen Sondheim. However, the cast didn’t just attract attention for their big names, but also for their outstanding performances. All the characters are vibrant, eccentric, flawed, and hilarious. Benoit, of course, is a standout character. He is quirky, brilliant, relentless, and filled with gentlemanly mannerisms and styles.

Craig’s brilliance as Detective Benoit is also evidenced by Netflix’s decision to make a film series centered on his character. Other standout characters include Norton’s Miles Bron and Monáe’s Brand. Norton brilliantly portrays the antagonistic billionaire tech CEO and provides the backbone for the film’s commentary on excessive wealth. Meanwhile, Monáe boldly takes on the role of Blanc’s assistant and plays off of Craig brilliantly as she adds extra heart and humanity to the film. Dave Bautista is another character who, like Birdie, ramped up the comedic elements of the film with his hilarious portrayal of the moronic men’s rights activist Duke Cody.

Ultimately, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery is filled with standout characters who are elevated by a few factors. Even though every single one of them is flawed, and some represent everything that is wrong with social media influence and the wealthy, they still manage to be either deeply interesting or wholly lovable. Some of them resonate well with viewers because they accurately reflect real-life figures, while others just resonate because they are so hilarious, extra, and self-assured. They’re quite an unusual lot, but it works. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery isn’t a perfect film, but its colorful cast of characters and strong actors made it a very good film and a strong successor to the original.

Source: Various (see links above)

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