first_img ‘The Batman’ Will Hit the Big Screen in 2021 Without Ben AffleckBest Gifts for ‘Daredevil’ Fanatics Stay on target It has been quite the past few weeks for WB Studios. But it looks like we finally have an official director to helm their next standalone Batman feature. Warner Bros has announced that Matt Reeves, director of Cloverfield and War of the Planet of the Apes will take over directing duties on the upcoming Batman project. Reeves recently had this to share about the announcement.“I have loved the Batman story since I was a child. He is such an iconic and compelling character, and one that resonates with me deeply. I am incredibly honored and excited to be working with Warner Bros. to bring an epic and emotional new take on the Caped Crusader to the big screen.” It has also been stated that Reeves will produce the Batman feature. Warner Brothers President Toby Emmerich hot on the heels of the announcement had this to say:“We are thrilled to have Matt Reeves taking the helm of Batman, the crown jewel of our DC slate,” added Toby Emmerich, President of Warner Bros. Pictures Group. “Matt’s deep roots in genre films and his evolution into an emotional world-building director make him the perfect filmmaker to guide the Dark Knight through this next journey.”Also in the running for the directorial spot was Ridley Scott and Don’t Breath’s Fede Alvarez. It was ultimately Reeves who was the studio’s first choice when Ben Affleck stepped down from directing the project a few weeks ago. Things between Affleck and Warner basically fell apart in the early stages of development. It now looks as if things are back on track for the Bat-Camp. Although, interestingly enough, Ben Affleck’s name was not mentioned at all in any of the press releases.With complex announcements like this one, it’s honestly just giving Matt Reeves his time to shine as a director coming into the DC Universe itself. Ben Affleck is still signed on to play the Dark Knight and has been working closely with Geoff Jones penning a script. Affleck even posted this shot from The Batcave on his own Twitter account about an hour ago.Also moving forward in the Bat-Universe, The Lego Batman Movie director, Chris McKay has been pegged to direct the stand alone Nightwing film. For those who are not familiar with the character, Nightwing is the second superhero persona of the Dark Knight’s sidekick, Dick Grayson. But you may remember him best as simply Robin.So despite the past few bumps in the DC cinematic universe road, it looks as if things in Gotham are ramping back up and are ready to take flight very soon. We’ll see Ben Affleck dawn the dark cowl once more in Justice League, coming to theaters November 17th.last_img read more

first_img Did anything really happen on Once Upon a Time last night? We have two episodes left until ‘The Final Battle’, and it feels like the story should be moving faster than this. At the very least, the Black Fairy should have done something by now. Where past villains would have tried to take over the town, destroy it, or corrupt one of the main characters, the Black Fairy is just kind of… here. Her only goal appears to be to start the final battle. And since that can’t happen for another three weeks, the show is in a holding pattern.Instead of building towards the season’s big conclusion, OUAT is giving out resolutions to characters that haven’t had them yet. Contracts are up this year, and many of the actors either won’t be back next year or will only be guest stars. So it’s time to put a little bow on every outstanding subplot and plan a wedding for Emma and Hook before the season’s out. The giant battle the show has been alluding to all season will have to wait.Zelena is the lucky tertiary character getting her arc wrapped up this week. Her story is all about learning to sacrifice her own desires for her friends. The Black Fairy shows up at Zelena’s house asking her to join her against the savior. Them both being wicked and all. Sadly, no one defies gravity in this scene. The Black Fairy also vaguely threatens baby Robin, which pisses Zelena off enough to storm the Black Fairy’s hideout in the dwarf mines herself. Word of all this gets back to Regina, who runs to the mines to stop her sister doing something stupid. The sisters bicker and argue like we’ve seen them do in almost every episode Zelena is in, and Zelena does something stupid. While trying to kill the Black Fairy, her magic is redirected to the crystals in the mine. Now that they’re all charged with unstable dark energy, the Final Battle can begin. We still don’t know what that means.Lana Parrilla as Regina and Rebecca Mader as Zelena. (Photo via ABC)Of course, the Final Battle doesn’t begin. We’ve still got two more weeks of wrapping up storylines and wedding planning to do. To see how the Final Battle is postponed this time, we go back to the past. While the rest of the episode is kind of a nothing story, the flashback sequences were well done. It was fun seeing Zelena in her old Wicked Witch of the West identity, green makeup and all. The story it told was easily the best part of the episode too. We got to see Zelena as a little girl, who is tormented by the people of Oz for her magic abilities. The one person to show her any amount of human decency is a woodcutter boy. Any guesses who he grows up to be?One decent friend can’t stop Zelena from becoming the witch we know her to be. We pick up years later when Zelena is a green adult witch. Her childhood friend comes to her for help. The Wicked Witch of the North has cast a spell on him, turning him to metal. He convinces her to help remove the curse, but we know there’s going to be a Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz. It turns out the only way to break the curse is with a heart-shaped box that steals Zelena’s magic. Zelena is all, “Hey, wait I got a new complaint” and refuses to give up her magic. This entire paragraph may or may not have been put in here just for that Nirvana joke. I’m a Seattle boy; it was going to happen eventually.Alex Désert as the Tin Man and Rebecca Mader as ZelenaThe whole point of the flashback was to show that Zelena is a changed person. Now, she is willing to sacrifice her own power to save her friends… or at least the people she doesn’t actively hate at the moment. She pulls out the heart-shaped box, forever in debt to the Tin Man’s priceless advice, and pours her magic into it. The magic drains from the crystals in the mines, the Black Fairy is back where she started, and nothing of consequence happened this episode.Really, Once Upon a Time? You have three episodes left in the season, and this is all you got? The Black Fairy came into the picture so late this season, the show never actually sold her as the ultimate villain she’s purported to be. We know she wants to kill the savior, and that’s about it. She keeps trying to start the Final Battle and gets nowhere. She hasn’t even done anything particularly villainous since she got to Storybrooke. The worst she’s done is kidnap her grandson and dabble in child slavery. Compared to OUAT‘s other villains, that’s a parking violation at most.Jaime Murray as the Black Fairy and Giles Matthey as Gideon (Photo via ABC)There’s a scene early on where Hook interrupts Emma’s pancake-making, and the couple is about to get busy on the breakfast table. They’re interrupted by Snow White, who wants to plan the wedding. That ends up being a pretty apt metaphor for this episode, and this final stretch of the season. Just when you think we’re finally going to get some action, the wedding subplot barges in brings the story to a halt and leaves everyone feeling frustrated. At least it’s all in service of setting up the musical episode, which should be a lot of fun. You can get me to forgive almost anything with a little singing and dancing. Once Upon a Time Builds Fun Lore Around a Seattle LandmarkOnce Upon a Time’s Final Battle Was the Happiest Ending Stay on targetlast_img read more

first_img Nothing has only one identity. That was the point of last night’s episode of American Gods. America has nearly as many identities as there are people in it. As Wednesday tells Shadow, “Everyone looks at Lady Liberty and sees a different face. Even if it crumbles under question.” The same can be said of Jesus, as we learn from the episode’s opening. The Coming to America segment focuses on undocumented Mexican immigrants swimming across a river into the United States. One man (with a crucifix tattoo) is clearly nervous about swimming and nearly drowns on the way over. He’s saved by a friendly-looking long-haired man who walks on water.This is Jesus. Well, it’s a Jesus. Wednesday said a few episodes ago that there are multiple Jesuses in the world: A white Jesuit-style Jesus, a Black African Jesus, a Mexican Jesus… one for every version people believe in. This, we can guess, is Mexican Jesus. He’s not the only one here. As soon as the immigrants reach the other side of the river, they’re shot by an unidentified group of men with guns. We don’t see whether they’re official border patrol agents or a random militia. Either way, they have their own version of Jesus, though we don’t see their version in person. We just see the rosaries wrapped around their guns, and the crosshairs shaped like crucifixes. As they gun the immigrants down, Mexican Jesus sacrifices himself to save as many as he can. The bullets create the stigmata, and a passing tumbleweed leaves a crown of thorns over his head. For these new residents of the United States, their Jesus is once again a martyr.Corbin Bernsen as Vulcan, Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday (Photo via STARZ)Martyrdom is also an important element in this episode. Though we (and Shadow) are meant to think Wednesday is in Virginia to recruit another old god, he’s actually seeking a Martyr. We’ll get to that later, though. For now, their journey this episode is all about the identity of America. Specifically, in the town of Vulcan, Virginia, where America is white and worships the gun. This is where an old volcano god, named Vulcan, has carved out a new life for himself. He’s now the leader of this bullet manufacturing town. He even still has sacrifices made to him in the form of workplace accidents. (It’s cheaper to settle after the death an employee than to close down the factory and fix the safety issues. If that’s not an intentional sacrifice, what is?)The residents of Vulcan are noticeably suspicious of Shadow, always keeping an eye on him. Even when it’s clear he and Wednesday are a guest of Vulcan’s, they make sure he understands how unwelcome he is. Vulcan is even worse. As much as their America is white, suspicious of anyone who isn’t, and worships the gun, Vulcan’s America is more overtly hostile. Everything he does is to intimidate Shadow. He denies him a drink while he and Wednesday share one. He fires a gun inside his own house, knowing that in this town, no one will bat an eye. He points out the old hanging tree he keeps in his front yard. Corbin Bernsen plays Vulcan’s hostile presence incredibly well, making the god as captivating as he is terrifying.Corbin Bernsen as Vulcan (Photo via STARZ)We soon learn what Wednesday wants with Vulcan: a sword. By this point, it has become obvious to everyone that Vulcan has aligned himself with the new gods. This is what happens when an old god rebrands itself like Mr. World and Media suggested Wednesday do in last week’s episode. Instead of literal prayer, his worshipers fire bullets. Wednesday isn’t too keen on this new form of worship, but he needs his sword. After he gets it, we find out the other reason he’s dealing with this old-god-turned-new. He needs a martyr for his cause. Wednesday will tell everyone that the new gods killed Vulcan for helping him. He then cuts Vulcan’s head off, kicks him into a vat of molten lead, and curses the whole town by pissing into it. Don’t turn on Wednesday. Shadow is understandably freaked out by all this, and Ricky Whittle’s performance here is so good. He makes us feel everything going through Shadow’s head.The rest of the episode centered on the newly formed trio of Laura, Mad Sweeney and Salim. You might remember Salim from that Somewhere in America sequence with the Djinn a few episodes back. Since then, he’s been searching for the Djinn, partially to thank him for freeing him from a life he didn’t like, and partially to “know more about” him. Laura and Sweeney run into Salim when Sweeney tries to steal his cab. The three decide to travel together, as they’re all looking for gods. Sweeney wants his coin back, which means finding a god (a Jesus, it sounds like) to resurrect Laura. Laura wants Shadow back, but after he left, she thinks he doesn’t want anything to do with her.Pablo Schreiber as Mad Sweeney, Emily Browning as Laura Moon (Photo via STARZ)Their section also deals with identity changes, but in a much less hostile way than Wednesday and Shadow’s. Mad Sweeney keeps trying to convince Laura to choose another identity for herself. To Shadow, he says, Laura is dead. That kiss from cold lips tasting of vomit and cigarettes only confirmed that to him. Still, she wants to pursue him. Kissing Shadow made her heart beat again. Now that she’s dead, she values life more than she ever did before. We know their paths will cross again, but for now, Laura needs to find a life for herself without Shadow. She needs a new identity. Sweeney is also having an identity crisis of sorts, being a leprechaun with comically bad luck. Only Salim is confident in who he is now. The Djinn gave him an identity he’s happy with. He can roam the country in his cab, not be afraid of everyone around him and pray by the side of the road when he needs to.I like this quirky road trip the show has added to the story. The book didn’t really give us this much detail on Laura’s journey, and it’s fun watching her bicker with Sweeney and find a friend in Salim. It adds a lighthearted diversion to the heavy, violent adventure Shadow is on, and allows the show a different perspective from which to tackle its philosophical questions.Pablo Schreiber as Mad Sweeney (Photo via STARZ)Last night’s episode of American Gods was captivating even without the surreal special effects of last week’s episode. (Though there were a few.) From the commanding performances of the cast to the fascinating questions about America’s identity, to the simple beauty of the American wilderness, I didn’t want this episode to end. As a fan of the book, a detour like this is admittedly a little frustrating. All of this was added, and since I desperately want to see what’s coming, any diversion like this is an unexpected delay. But if all the diversions are as good as this, it doesn’t matter. I love the fact that having read the book doesn’t automatically mean you know everything that’s going to happen. We’ll see Mr. Nancy again, eventually. We’ll get to the House on the Rock. For now, I just want the show to keep surprising me like this. Stay on target ‘American Gods’ Season 2 Trailer: A Divine War Is ComingNYCC 2018: The American Gods Cast Gives Us a Glimpse of Season Two last_img read more