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Star Wars 9 Actor Shares His Thoughts On The Franchise’s Future

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Exclusive: Dominic Monaghan, who played a Resistance fighter in The Rise of Skywalker, considers where the Star Wars franchise should go next.

Dominic Monaghan, who appeared in the most recent Star Wars film The Rise of Skywalker, shares his thoughts on the future of the franchise. The Star Wars franchise has evolved in several ways since the title was acquired by Disney in 2012. Following creator George Lucas’s decision to take a step back from overseeing the series, the Mouse House passed the reins on to modern filmmakers like J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson. The Star Wars franchise has seen box office success with film entries such as The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, while also receiving critical acclaim on Disney+ with television series such as The Mandalorian and this year’s Obi-Wan Kenobi.

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However, with The Rise of Skywalker being the most recent Star Wars movie, there has been a lot of discussion about Disney’s altered approach to handling the franchise. While several more Star Wars films have been announced and are set to be directed by respected filmmakers like Taika Waititi, Patty Jenkins, and Johnson, several of them have stalled in development. Disney’s focus currently seems to be on continuing Star Wars‘ television presence, including future seasons of The Mandalorian and the upcoming series Andor. Most of the upcoming titles focus on pre-established characters. Still, fans who prefer the cinematic experience of a Star Wars film on a big screen have been left with nothing but questions.


Related: Last Jedi’s Resistance Story Betrayed Lucas’ Vision In 1 Specific Way

Now, speaking with Screen Rant during an interview at San Diego Comic-Con, Monaghan, who played Resistance fighter Beaumont in Rise of Skywalker, gives his own opinion on where the franchise should go next. Monaghan, who is currently promoting Moriarty: The Devil’s Game on Audible, believes that while the franchise has gained its fanbase by focusing on male heroes, said focus should shift in the future. Read the full excerpt below:

“I think they’re telling different stories with different characters in the Star Wars universe, and I just wonder if maybe after focusing so heavily on Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Ewan McGregor, and Hayden Christensen, maybe they should quite rightly be telling stories from female points of view or from different people’s points of view. So, I’ll just sit and wait.”

Monaghan’s take scratches the surface of a contentious disagreement between different sides of the Star Wars fandom. While the Disney+ series have been very successful and have carried on the franchise by telling new stories, the split Star Wars fandom, consisting of many followers who’ve criticized the franchise’s use of female and POC actors in major roles, has made for a hazardous environment to release projects into. Star Wars has made some attempts at broadening its scope, and for the most part, they have been well received. It is only a distressingly vocal minority that claims otherwise, though Lucasfilm shouldn’t be dissuaded from their efforts because of those opinions.


While Monaghan’s take may be controversial among certain sects of Star Wars fans, he definitely has a point in regards to depicting diverse stories and representation even in a galaxy far, far away. Both The Mandalorian and Andor are lead by Latino actors, and Daisy Ridley’s Rey has given a voice to so many young girls growing up watching the Star Wars films. The goal for Disney, and subsequent Star Wars productions, should be to maximize these stories and expand the universe so anyone watching can feel they fit, regardless of any loud voice in the background telling them they shouldn’t be there. If someone like Monaghan can see it, maybe Disney will soon realize that this is, indeed, the way.





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Shuri & Namor Nearly Had A Romance In Black Panther 2, Says MCU Editor

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Black Panther: Wakanda Forever editor Michael P. Shawver reveals that Shuri and Namor were almost romantically linked in the Marvel Studios sequel.


Black Panther: Wakanda Forever editor Michael P. Shawver reveals that Shuri and Namor were almost romantically involved in the Marvel Studios sequel. Directed by Ryan Coogler, the much-anticipated follow-up to 2018’s Black Panther had its work cut out for it after Chadwick Boseman’s unexpected passing in 2020. Despite the difficulties and fresh setbacks brought upon by the coronavirus pandemic, the filmmakers delivered a poignant and powerful film that debuts Shuri as the new Black Panther and introduces the latest power-player in the MCU with Namor.

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As the two primary characters in the film, Shuri and Namor had an interesting dynamic in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, finding themselves at odds as they fight for their respective people. Namor was desperately trying to keep the underwater city of Talokan hidden from the rest of the world, while Shuri leads a grieving nation that is in a precarious place. When they first met, Shuri and Namor had some of the most insightful conversations in the movie, and as it turns out, there was a cut of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever that would have seen them romantically linked with each other, as revealed by Shawver in a new interview with Newsweek. Read his full quote below:

I think what’s really interesting is there were takes where there was some connection there… and at one point in an early cut we discussed like, ‘Hey, do we leave it there? Do we just put it out there? Let’s just add some complexity to the relationship.’ But, then, you’ve got to watch out for portraying, for example, Shuri flirting to get what she wants as opposed to being a diplomatic leader and becoming the leader that she needs to be, that she’ll get to at the end. So what we ultimately focused on was Namor’s line where he says, ‘Only the most damaged people can be truly great leaders,’ and that’s planting the seed of the shared trauma that she realizes at the end [of the film]. But that’s essentially who they are, they’re trying to lead and be a leader of their nations with all this pain, carrying around this heavy heart.

Related: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s Namor Directly Sets Up Wolverine


Removing Shuri & Namor’s Black Panther 2 Romance Was The Right Call

Namor Underwater in Black Panther- Wakanda Forever

The MCU has had great couples in the past, and they’ve told love stories within superhero films before. But ultimately, while there was clear chemistry between Shuri and Namor, it was for the best that Marvel Studios decided to do without their potential love line. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was already a packed film as it was. It had a lot of narratives to go through, and although it did a great job doing a balancing act on all of these arcs, adding a significant one could have made the film stuffed and unfocused.

Not pushing forward with Namor and Shuri’s planned romance also helped the film zero in on the only romantic love in the film: Nakia and T’Challa. Granted that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever doesn’t delve much into their dynamic, Nakia’s speech about why she opted not to attend T’Challa’s funeral highlights just how difficult it has been for her. It also helped properly set up the eventual introduction of their secret son, Prince Toussaint.

Could Shuri & Namor Get Romantic In Black Panther 3?

Black panther wakanda forever Shuri and Namor

After their intense fight at the end of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, there’s an idea that there’s some kind of partnership forged between Wakanda and Talokan. Given this, expect that the two nations will continue to develop diplomatic relations, which means fans should see more of Namor and Shuri’s interaction. Whether Marvel Studios revisits their planned romance in the inevitable Black Panther 3 is unknown, but it would be interesting to see their relationship evolve down the road.

Source: Newsweek

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WB Had To Be Convinced To Bring Back Henry Cavill’s Superman

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Dwayne Johnson reveals that executives at Warner Bros. had to be convinced to allow Henry Cavill’s Superman to return to the DCU in Black Adam.


The return of Henry Cavill’s Superman in Black Adam was a welcome surprise for many fans, but star Dwayne Johnson reveals that Warner Bros. needed some convincing in order to make it happen. Cavill first played Superman in 2013’s Man of Steel, a movie that earned middling reviews from critics but was generally a big hit with audiences. After appearing in the divisive Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and the maligned Justice League (and its more positively-received Zack Snyder director’s cut), it looked like Cavill’s time as the DCU hero may have been at an end. However, rumors swirled before the release of Black Adam that Cavill would return as Superman and the actor finally made his triumphant return during the movie’s post-credits scene.

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In a new video posted to his Twitter account, Dwayne Johnson celebrates Black Adam‘s digital release and touches on how he and his producing partners orchestrated Cavill’s return as Superman. Johnson reveals that it took years to convince Warner Bros. leadership to allow Cavill to return and that it was never an option for him to build out the DCU without Superman. Check out Johnson’s full comment below:

“We have to bring back the most powerful, unstoppable force of all time in any universe. You guys know who I’m talking about, it’s Superman. That’s Henry Cavill. At the end of the day, the studio wasn’t bringing Henry back, inexplicably and inexcusably, but we weren’t going to take no for an answer. This has been years in the making, bringing Henry Cavill back with strategic conversations and we were not going to take no for an answer. For us, there’s no viable logical way to build out the DC Universe without the most powerful force and the greatest superhero of all time sitting on the sidelines, it’s impossible to do. You can Venn diagram this thing 90 times but it all comes back to, ‘Where’s Superman?’ You have to have Superman in the mix, so that’s why we fought hard to bring Superman back.”

Related: Cavill’s DCU Return Avoids A Bad Flash Superman Retcon


How Dwayne Johnson Convinced WB To Bring Back Henry Cavill As Superman

Henry Cavill as Superman in Man of Steel.

Although there were likely many meetings with Warner Bros.’ executives behind closed doors, Johnson has been publicly teasing a confrontation for years between Black Adam and Superman. The actor’s continued references to the character and discussions about an epic battle between his hero and Cavill’s generated conversation online and spurred many fans to theorize as to who would win in a fight. Johnson’s comments, of course, came at a time when there was already a great deal of fan demand for Cavill to return as Superman in Man of Steel 2 or some other project that continued the Snyderverse. While the movies that Cavill appears in as Superman aren’t always received well, audiences undeniably love the actor’s unique take on the character.

Johnson is already one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, which means he will generally have more power over studio executives, but the actor’s engagement of Cavill’s Superman fan base is sure to only have added to the pressure Warner Bros.’ leadership was feeling. It’s likely that, even without Johnson, Warner Bros. was planning on how to use Superman in future projects but, given Cavill’s connection to the Zack Snyder’s Justice League debacle, the hero probably would have been played by a new actor had Johnson not gotten involved. If the studio had put another Superman project into the works and Clark Kent was played by someone other than Cavill, however, it’s likely that there would’ve been a sizable backlash online.

Johnson has gone on record saying that Cavill’s take on Superman is his favorite, meaning there was never any doubt that he would fight for the actor’s return in some capacity. It’s unclear exactly how Johnson negotiated Cavill’s return outside the public eye, but the conversation likely came down to money at some point, with Cavill’s take on Superman simply being the option that is most likely to bring in more money at the box office. It remains to be seen how Cavill’s Superman will feature in James Gunn’s plans for the DCU after Black Adam, but Johnson evidently played a big role in orchestrating the actor’s return.

Source: Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock)/ Twitter

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Will Smith Responds To Potential Oscar Slap Backlash to Upcoming Movie

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Will Smith addresses how his infamous Oscars moment might affect the popularity of his upcoming movie Emancipation. Smith suffered a major career blow in the wake of the incident at this year’s Oscars. During the same ceremony when he received his first Best Actor award, the veteran performer instead found backlash after he responded to one of Chris Rock’s jokes by taking the stage and slapping the comedian. The aftermath saw multiple Smith projects postponed and numerous Hollywood peers voicing their anger.

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The ire has mostly died down in the eight months since the notorious slap. Smith’s first post-slap release, Emancipation, is set to debut this December. The film is a historical thriller that follows Smith’s character as he evades slave hunters in the swamps of Louisiana, venturing north for freedom. Emancipation is directed by Antoine Fuqua, and is the type of film that would likely garner considerable Oscar buzz if not the slap controversy. While speaking with journalist Kevin McCarthy (via Variety), Smith opened up about the possibility of backlash reemerging ahead of Emancipation‘s release. His full quote can be read below:

“I completely understand — if someone is not ready, I would absolutely respect that and allow them their space to not be ready. My deepest concern is my team – Antoine has done what I think is the greatest work of his entire career. The people on this team have done some of the best work of their entire careers, and my deepest hope is that my actions don’t penalize my team. At this point, that’s what I’m working for. I’m hoping that the material — the power of the film, the timeliness of the story — I’m hoping that the good that can be done would open people’s hearts at a minimum to see and recognize and support the incredible artists in and around this film.”

Related: Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock At Oscars: Biggest Questions & What Next?


The Will Smith Oscar Slap Controversy Explained

Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock at Oscars

Hours into the Oscars ceremony, while presenting the award for Best Documentary, Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. Smith, Pinkett Smith’s husband, first appeared to take no exception to the joke, chuckling lightly. However, moments later the audience was stunned when Smith hopped up onstage and slapped Rock, shouting at Rock even as he returned to his seat. Not long after, Smith was awarded the Best Actor prize for King Richard, and apologized during his acceptance speech.

The slap quickly overshadowed the rest of the Oscars and was the main subject of discussion after the ceremony concluded, when it was revealed that Smith had slapped Rock because he was being protective of Pinkett Smith’s alopecia condition. In the weeks following the award show, Smith was chastised by many Hollywood peers, and the Academy reportedly mulled a suspension. In the end, Smith resigned from the Academy and has been banned from the Oscars for ten years. The controversy has since died down, allowing Smith to quietly pursue upcoming projects, Emancipation being the first and foremost among them.

How Will Audiences React To Emancipation?

Will Smith in Emancipation movie

The infamous slap was something of a litmus test, dividing fans into anti-Smith and sympathetic camps. With Emancipation‘s forthcoming release, moviegoers will be given an opportunity to ruminate once again on the idea of Smith continuing his career. On one side, the lack of any real repercussions for the slap might leave a portion of Emancipation‘s audience resentful of the film. However, there is likely an equally large set of fans who are ready to move on. Smith has been a Hollywood mainstay for decades, and his disappearance from cinema entirely would undoubtedly constitute a loss. Emancipation, then, can be used as an experiment. If the movie is a success, then perhaps Smith can return to the public eye with ease. However, a chillier response might indicate Smith has more work to do. Nevertheless, all eyes will be on Emancipation upon its release in December.

Source: Kevin McCarthy (via Variety)

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  • Emancipation Movie Poster



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