I’m a huge fan of Pixar, and I think the argument can be made that they have the best record of any film company ever, based on average quality, and financial success rates. I do not however, have an issue seeing Pixar’s flaws, and from the moment I saw the trailer for Onward, I thought “Well, that’s gonna be a dud.”
Onward in someways seemed to diverge from what I was used to from Pixar, of the 21 previous films, 16 of them had main characters that were animals/objects/emotions, and while Onward isn’t about humans, they’re human-lite. Other than Brave (and perhaps you’d argue Coco, but that’s a religious and philosophical debate for another post) none had featured magic, and this was the first film to not have some connection with ‘Earth.’
I don’t exactly know how to to describe it, but there was a lack of interest on my part, and if I didn’t have a 3 year-old, I probably would have skipped the film. But, I do have a 3 year-old, and he wanted to see unicorns eating trash, and so my wife and I took him on Saturday, and the three of us loved this film.
Now, one of the things that has become something of a Pixar staple, In the last 15 years, you could argue that it’s been their defining trait, has been their ability to make you adults sad, and in that way, this film was totally Pixar. I’m a bit of a crier as it is, but my wife isn’t, and she was choking up a couple times during the film. But one of the other things that Pixar does well, is they make you sad and then make you happy again, and this didn’t fail to deliver.
I don’t really think I need to go into spoilers, so please note that all of what I’m about to tell you, is in the trailers.
The film is about two brothers who go on a quest two finish a spell that brings their father back to life for a day, and because they have half completed the spell at the beginning, it’s a race against the clock. It’s a story about family, something Pixar has done an pretty incredible job with on a few occasions. (See what I did there? Incredible job?)
This film has fun, and adventure, plenty of laughs, and as I mentioned before, tears. It’s a great time start to finish. I do want to mention something that it accomplishes, which no animated film has ever done before, and it’s a super mild spoiler. There is a scene in which they’re dealing with a great height, and there are some live action films in which I have gotten a sick to my stomach feeling due to my own fear of heights (The Walk did it in the trailer alone), and this film had me feeling that flip-floppy vertigo feeling for about a minute. That may sound like a complaint, but it should really be a testament to how invested I was in the story.
As far as ranking this with other Pixar films, I would say it’s in the top third, I don’t know if it’s as good as Toy Story 3, WALL-E, Up, or Inside Out, but it’s certainly better than all of the Cars films, Brave, and The Good Dinosaur.
It’s Movie Trailer Tuesday here at World’s Best Media! We have some new trailers and featurettes from 2 very different, but very cool upcoming superhero movies: Marvel’s Black Widow and the new film from DC Animation, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War!
First up, we have the final trailer for Marvel’s Black Widow, opening May 1st. Fans have been clamoring for a Black Widow movie for years and early projections have this film doing big numbers for Marvel.
Personally, I’m most excited to see Taskmaster make his big screen debut. Taskmaster is a mercenary and assassin who can perfectly mimic the fighting style and ability of any combatant he encounters. It was especially cool to see Taskmaster studying the surveillance videos of Natasha’s big fight with the guards at Hammer Industries during the climax of Iron Man 2 (her first appearance in The MCU). We also see Taskmaster breakout moves mimicking the some of the best hand to hand fighters in The MCU, like Captain America, Black Panther, and Hawkeye. I think this is going to be a blast, but check out the trailer for yourself right here…
DC Animation just released their adaptation of Superman: Red Son, arguably one of the most beloved Superman stories ever told. I loved the film, it was a return to the glory days of fantastic DC Animated Movies. Even though I love the DCAU, lately they have not been on par with the amazing work they’ve done in the past. However, it looks like they may be back on track. While Red Son was excellent, I found myself even more excited by the sneak peek at the next DC Animated film, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War.
This is the culmination of at least a dozen or more movies that began with Justice League: War, which was about how the Justice League was formed to repel the forces of Darkseid and his invading armies. DCA puts out at least 3 or 4 movies every year and at least 1 or 2 of these films have taken place in this shared DC Animated Universe that started with Justice League: War (The other films released each year tend to be their own standalone stories like Superman: Red Son, Batman Gotham by Gaslight, or The Killing Joke). This new film looks like the DCAU version of Avengers: Endgame. This video was previewed as a feturette on the special features of Superman: Red Son, just give it a watch and you’ll see how cool this movie looks…
If that wasn’t enough, DC Animation also released a trailer for the new film as well which you can watch right here…
Justice League Dark: Apokolips War will be available digitally on iTunes on May 5th and on Blu-Ray/4K on May 19th.
Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!
With the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on Disney+ recently premiering, as well as a small behind the scenes video clip that just surfaced, now is the perfect to time to talk about one of my favorite supporting characters in the Star Wars Universe. Samuel L. Jackson is simply one of the coolest motherfuckers around. Nick Fury, John Shaft, Zeus in Die Hard With A Vengeance, Jules Winnfield, the list of badass characters he’s played over the goes on and on. To Star Wars fans, he’s most beloved for his role as Jedi Master, Mace Windu, one of the more popular characters from the prequel trilogy. As powerful member of The Jedi Council at the height of their power, Mace Windu personified the very best and the worst of The Jedi. The prequel trilogy is just as much about the fall of the Jedi as it is about the fall of Anakin Skywalker. Mace perfectly personifies the characteristics that led to the downfall of the Jedi. He’s a skilled warrior with a lightsaber and one of the most powerful force users in the galaxy, yet he’s shortsighted, judgmental, and arrogant.
From their first meeting, continuing throughout the prequel trilogy, Mace is distrustful and condescending towards Anakin. Mace Windu is at the heart of Anakin’s feelings of alienation and frustration with The Jedi Council. It could be argued that if Mace treated Anakin differently, his choice to walk the path towards the Dark Side may have played out differently.
When the Jedi realized that Chancellor Palpetine was actually Darth Sidious, Mace Windu and a group of Jedi are dispatched to arrest him. Chancellor Palpetine made quick work of the other Jedi, displaying his impressive lightsaber skills. Only Windu is powerful enough to challenge the Sith Lord.
The fight between the two powerful Force users ends in a stalemate, with the slight edge going towards Mace Windu. That’s when Anakin walks in. Master Windu tells Anakin that the Chancellor is too dangerous to be left alive and must be killed to preserve peace. The choice to save the Chancellor or to allow Master Windu to kill him, is one of the most important choices in the life of Anakin Skywalker and it’s the choice that ultimately leads him to become Darth Vader.
When Anakin finds Mace standing over Palpetine, on the verge of killing him, Anakin see‘s a trusted old friend who has vowed to help him save the life of his wife and child and a man attacking his mentor and has treated him with nothing but scorn his entire life. There isn’t really much of a fucking choice at all here. Given the relationship he has with these two men, it’s pretty goddamn understandable the Anakin would cut Mace’s Lightsaber hand off and allow Palpetine to Force Lightening him out the window of a 200 story building. So came the end of Mace Windu, a cool character in Star Wars lore who played an important role in Anakin Skywalker‘s transformation into Darth Vader and that was the end of his story… or so we thought!
Star Wars fans are a rabid bunch (myself included). Fans tend to jump on every aspect or detail shown a long time ago in this galaxy far, far away. Especially lightsabers. Any new lightsaber is analyzed in great detail (and why not? They’re cool as fuck). So naturally, when the prequels were in production, fans noticed that Mace Windu had a purple lightsaber. Everyone knows that it goes: blue & green= Jedi, red= Sith (some “neutral” Force users like Ashoka Tano wield white lightsaber). Of course, it was immediately noticed that Sam The Man Jackson had a PURPLE lightsaber. I, like most Star Wars fans, assumed that Sam Jackson got a purple lightsaber because purple is kind of his personal color. As well as, being the bad ass, cool, son of a bitch that he is, it isn’t very surprising that he would want some detail to be included that made him stand out from the rest of The Jedi. Now, a video has surfaced from the set of the prequel trilogy and we can find out exactly how Mace Windu’s purple lightsaber became a reality (remember that behind the scenes video clip I mentioned at the top of the article?). Check out the video below…
So, there we have it! It pretty much came down to George Lucas telling Jackson “The Jedi have blue and green lightsabers and the Sith have red ones.“. Which prompted Sam Jackson to ask “Can I have a purple one?“ With Lucas shrugging and replying “Sure. What the hell?”. I know that’s not a verbatim account, but it’s pretty much the gist of the origin of the purple lightsaber!
Look, I’ll be honest with you. There’s never been much mystery about Samuel L. Jackson‘s purple lightsaber. This video surfaced online and it seemed like a good excuse to write a Star Wars article about Samuel L. Jackson’s Mace Windu. I think he’s a really cool character with a lot of potential to be used in future stories, live action or animated.
Oh, I’m sorry? What’s that you’re asking? Didn’t he die when Anakin cut one of his hands off with a lightsaber and Sidious blasted him with Force Lightning out of a 200 story window to fall to his death? Well, technically that’s all true. But a few years ago the character was brought up to George Lucas. I’m not sure what the circumstances were, maybe somebody was pointing out that people have survived far worse in the Star Wars universe then Mace Windu’s fate. Anyway, Lucas said that as far as he and the Star Wars canon is concerned, Mace Windu somehow survived that brutal brush with death. Even though all official canon is technically decided by Disney now, they stood by Lucas’ assertion that Windu was still alive, out there, somewhere. I mean, Darth Maul got literally cut in half a fell into chasm so deep that the bottom wasn’t visible, but he got better! Why not Mace?!
Jackson himself has said, if the opportunity arises, he’d love to return to the character. So, if the stars aligned and there was an opportunity to have Samuel L. Jackson return to play an older, more banged up Mace Windu, where exactly could we see the character pop-up? To me, there are two very cool and very obvious option….
First, we must ask ourselves a few questions: What has he been doing since his apparent death? I don’t think the surviving Jedi have a very good idea of exactly how many other powerful Force users there are left in the galaxy after the rise of The Empire. Or in the case of a character like Ezra from Star Wars Rebels, he may be so far away, maybe even no longer in the same galaxy, that they can no longer sense him. That would explain why characters like Yoda, Luke, Vader, and Rey all state at various points that they are the last of The Jedi. In fact it’s possible that by the time of Luke Skywalker‘s death there could be as many three other living and powerful Jedi/Force users: Ezra Bridget, Ashoka Tano, and of course Mace Windu… (Like the piece of art above, there is a lot of cool fan art of Mace Windu if he survived Revenge of The Sith, which I’ll be including in this article).
So, if Mace Windu survived his encounter with Anakin and Palpetine, why haven’t we seen him in in any of the movies or TV shows since? I think like Obi-Wan, Yoda, and the other Jedi who survived Order 66, he most likely went into hiding. Like other survivors of The Fall of The Jedi, the events of Revenge of The Sith would have taken an enormous emotional toll on him. As one of the most senior and powerful members of The Jedi Council, he was one of the guiding hands of The Order in the years leading up to it’s destruction. Maybe he felt more personally responsible for all the pain and suffering that took place? Of course, let’s not forget his very, very serious injuries. We’ve already established that individuals, especially powerful Force users, can survive seemingly lethal injuries, but Master Windu’s physical trauma was particularly serious. It’s important to remember that physical injury can actually affect one’s ability to use The Force. Like Anakin after his duel Obi-Wan on Mustafar, despite how powerful Darth Vader was with the force, had he not suffered such horrific injuries at the hands of his former master, there’s no telling how powerful he could have become. He most likely would’ve displayed Force abilities far more impressive than any we’ve seen in the Star Wars canon, so far. Coming back to Mace, all of this adds up to a man recovering from some incredibly intense physical and emotional trauma all the while on the run from an oppressive galactic regime out to kill him.
This would mean that he would’ve most likely stuck to the planets in The Outer Rim, at the very most edge of known space. The Outer Rim includes planets like Tantooine. Maybe there’s a scenario Mace heads to Tantooine, where an old hermit has been living out beyond The Dune Sea? Locals say he mostly keeps to him self, but trouble has a way of finding him every now and again. They say he’s some kind of wizard, goes by Ben Kenobi. Could be a cool storyline in the upcoming Obi-Wan live action series, right?
Then, there’s The Mandalorian bounty hunter Din Djarin, running around The Outer Rim with his adopted son, a small green alien with strange and powerful abilities. Who better to give Mando the 411 on The Kid than Mace Windu? Really he would fit pretty easily into either show.
I think if Samuel L. Jackson appeared on either series, it would definitely be a guest appearance, maybe a multi-episode guest starring arc. I don’t think we’d see him become a series regular on either show. Before any of you naysayers out there claim that he would never make an appearance on a TV show because he’s too big of a star, let me let me remind you that he appeared on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the first season multiple times and played a major role in the season one finale of that show. If Lucasfilm can’t get Jackson to come back, the character could always appear in a comic book or a novel or a video game. Who knows? I think most fans would really like to see him in live action, but however they choose to use the character, I think it is long past due that Mace Windu made his return to the main stage of the Star Wars Universe.
Thanks for reading! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!
Super Bowl LIV airs tonight on FOX! Even though I’m not a massive sports fan, I look forward to the game every year. The Super Bowl is where some of the coolest and most highly anticipated movies and TV shows of the coming year will debut new trailers! It’s always exciting to see which projects we will get our first look at during the game. Will Marvel give us the trailer for their latest film? Will we get a look at the new series from Netflix? Well, whether you’re watching the game tonight or not, keep it right here at World’s Best Media, where you can easily find all of the new trailers and teasers for your favorite shows and movies! I’ll be updating the site throughout the night, as each new trailer debuts during the game. This will be your one stop shop for Super Bowl Trailers! Just remember to keep checking back for updates!
No Time To Die (Bond)
F9: The Fast Saga
Rick and Morty (Pringles commercial)
Marvel Studios: The Falcon and The Winter Soldier/WandaVision/Loki
Well, that looks like all the big ones for now. If I find any more I’ll be sure to post them. Man, that last promo showing teasers for the Disney+ shows was fucking awesome! They may not have shown a lot, but I did not expect to see that and it was a very pleasant surprise. Anyway, thanks for spending this Super Bowl with me!
Thanks for reading and watching! Follow me on Twitter @PJWrightWBM or type Worlds Best Media into the search bar, you can also like and follow us on our Facebook page; World’s Best Media. Those likes and follows, as well as iTunes reviews, which go a long way to supporting World’s Best Media. We really appreciate the loyalty and support shown to us by our fans, so thanks again!
Two small disclosures going into this, I have liked all of the new Star Wars films, this isn’t an attack on them for being bad movies, but rather a critique of what they haven’t done well with. Second, spoiler alert for Rise of Skywalker, in case you couldn’t tell.
Now, if you listen to Paul’s review of Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, you’ll know how he feels about the film, and while my overall attitude towards it differs, I think all of his points are right on the money, and I’ll be referring to a bunch of those.
I thought that Rise of Skywalker struck a better tonal balance than either of the previous trilogy films, in the balancing homage (like in The Force Awakens) with new lore (like in The Last Jedi). I also thought it was fun, and if you thought of it on it’s own, and not a part of a bigger whole, that it was a good time.
Ultimately, I think it kind of cemented the problems Disney’s handling of the films in the last few years. Paul in the podcast talks about how it’s cowardly, and he uses the example of Rose, and I think that he’s right. Paul makes the statement that people hated Rose in The Last Jedi, so they put her in here minimally, and didn’t really think about what that does to Finn’s story arch, and how as much as he didn’t really care one way or the other about the character, it did matter to the story. He was right.
The problem with Star Wars now, is they try to get rid of the problems, and dive head on in to the success, without really understanding it. Instead of taking Rose away, make her story arch one that redeems her to audiences. There have been countless shows and films where I thought “ugh, I hate that character” (as in hating the portrayal, or the characterization, not good hate like we did with the Emperor in the original trilogy), and then as the show or film series progresses I think “oh that’s awesome he/she went from being one of my least favorite characters to one of my most favorite.” And if Rose had been a background character, like a Wedge Antilles or someone in the original trilogy, and we happened to hate them, you can get rid of them, but not when they’re integral to the story.
I once heard the saying “the customer doesn’t know what they want until you show them,” and I cannot think of anything more true than that in today’s film landscape. Think about Guardians of the Galaxy when you were hearing about Marvel’s next film, and finding out it starred a ‘talking raccoon, and his best friend a talking tree,’ and you probably thought “well, it’s Marvel, so I’ll check it out, but c’mon.” The audience didn’t know what they wanted, then we heard Vin Diesel say “I Am Groot” a hundred times (his best acting performance to date) and we were all down for it.
The Force Awakens is a really fun movie, and there is a lot of good work in it, but ultimately Disney wanted to say “hey you guys hate the prequels, so here is the old style effects, and the old plot line” and it worked really well, and from then on out, they were taking studio notes from one of the most divided and fickle audiences in entertainment. The Force Awakens becomes the highest grossing domestic film in history, but people complain that its too comfortable, and the pendulum swings with The Last Jedi (for the record I like both, but they’re not a cohesive whole, and I think while TLJ is an amazing cinematic work, it’s not that fun of a movie).
About a year and a half ago, after the release and flop of Solo, that Disney would likely do what film studios have most often done and learn the wrong lesson, and unfortunately, I think they’ve done that after each iteration over the last few years.
My hope, is that now that the Skywalker Saga is done, we can step away from this issue. The Mandalorian is a treasure, and I don’t think it had the expectations of the last trilogy, or even of the two Anthology films, which were inherently connected. We have a new trilogy coming out in a few years, and whether it’s something like Knights of the Old Republic, or the Mandalorian with a larger scale, I hope that they go into the writer’s room, and break the story, hit the points that will happen regardless of audience reaction, and start to build, and then if the audiences don’t react well, make smaller course adjustments, and right the ship, don’t take a U-Turn.
I can’t wait for The Mandalorian! It had so much positive buzz, the first trailer was fantastic, and the people working on this project are some of my favorite creators in Hollywood. As if my anticipated wasn’t already high enough, today Disney and Lucasfilm released a beautiful set of character posters and second trailer to get us hyped up for the shows November 12 release! It’s short, but God damn if it ain’t sweet! As cool as the visuals and production value are, I really love the strange, but fucking wonderful cast assembled to star in this series. You got Pedro Pascal (Oberyn Martell from Game of Thrones) as the titular Mandalorian and there are solid mainstays of film and television like Giancarlo Esposito and Carl Weathers. Finally you have these fantastic, weird, out of left field, pieces of casting that sound nuts, but are fucking awesome. Guys like Taika Watitti as the vicious droid bounty hunter, IG-88 and the always delightful Werner Herzog popping up as some kind of imperial officer or local official (I love to see pop up in these random roles). But I think my personal favorite piece of casting is seeing Bill Burr of all people, blasters in both hands and a mechanical shoulder rig, popping out a third gun out from behind his back! This truly is the best of all possible universes! Watch the trailer right here and check out the cool characters posters below:
I want to start off, by saying, this post has been written, and rewritten more than a half dozen times in my brain. I talked to Paul about it at the beginning of the summer, and for several weeks, it seemed as though every time I was ready to write it, something new would happen in the news that would make me take pause, and wait to see how things were going to settle in the end. As of this past week, I think they’re all settled—at least for long enough that I can comfortably write this post and publish it before it’s out-of-date. That being said, let’s dive in.
I have maintained, for a long time now, that Mary Jane Watson and Ariel from The Little Mermaid, are the reason why myself, and many men of my generation have a special place in our hearts (I’m going with hearts, since I had crushes on both characters pre-puberty) for redheaded women. As I grew up, most of the time I saw redheaded women, I found them more attractive on average, than a similar looking woman with any other hair color. As I grew up, the characters that caught my attention on shows, became the women with red hair, i.e. Joan on Mad Men, and Ygritte on Game of Thrones.
When I learned that Zendaya’s character in the MCU/Sony Spider-Man films, was supposed to be MJ (although not Mary Jane) it didn’t bother me, but it did make me think. At first I started thinking about the impact that comic book MJ had on me, and I wondered if this may have the same effect on a younger generation toward black women. Of course, at some point in the past few months, Disney announced that they were casting Halle Bailey as Ariel in the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, and the question repeated itself in my mind.
Now, at first I thought, “that would be great if these characters helped another generation to find the beauty in a group of people that they may other-wise have not thought about in that way,” but I don’t think I was right on that. First off, I think that so far with Zendaya’s MJ as opposed to comic book MJ, there is a significant amount less sexualization, and that’s probably a good thing. I don’t remember much about MJ as a character, other than her calling Peter ‘Tiger,’ and I remember pictures of her more than anything. Ariel is the same thing, I remember her character, and while it was problematic I always liked it, but at least half of my fascination was with the seashell bra. This year’s Aladdin, live-action remake, did a lot of work desexualizing Princess Jasmine, and I think Disney is likely to do the same with Ariel.
The second reason, that I think my initial thought that perhaps this idea was a good one, is that while there was something innocent about it, I do think there ultimately ends up being a fetishization of these characters, and their physical characteristics within the original material. There are demographics, based on race and gender combinations that are more or less statistically attractive, and unfortunately, black women (along with asian men) tend to be statistically disadvantaged in this way. I had heard and read that enough times that it supported my original idea that maybe lifting black women up in this was a good thing, and I will say this, if Ariel is bad-ass, and inspires black girls to be bad-ass, or if MJ challenges the stereotypes of women, that’s great, and so far I do think Disney is doing a great job with that. They’re doing better than I would have, based on my own warped logic going into this. I had to realize that there is a huge difference between fetishizing, and raising up. Disney is raising up, and I was thinking indirectly, “hey wouldn’t it be cool if a bunch of kids ended up with a black woman fetish.” It wasn’t my intention, but it was essentially what I was thinking. Hell, it was initially what I was pitching to Paul.
So, now that I have that out of the way, now that I’ve talked about the two characters who really shaped much of my physical attraction, I want to shift gears slightly, and talk about a bit of news that came out the day that I was first ‘ready’ to write this. In the next James Bond film, 007 will be played by a black woman. There has been speculation for years about who would be Daniel Craig’s replacement in the James Bond cufflinks, with a lot of speculation going to Idris Elba (who I think would be awesome if he’s still young enough when the mantel gets passed). Trying, I think to do two thing, test the waters, but also stir up some hype in the form of controversy, it was announced that there would be a new 007, and that it would be Lashana Lynch.
I think they were testing the waters, because they announced that she would be the new 007, and waited until speculation and feedback came in, before announcing, that in the plot of the new film, Bond has retired, and is replaced in his title of 007, and then he is pulled back in while in retirement. It was a soft way of testing things out, to see if perhaps we’re more into 007 or James Bond. It’s similar to what Mission Impossible did with Jeremy Renner a few years ago. It’s not a bad plan, and we will see how it plays out in that way, but it also kind of plays into my general topic.
James Bond is perhaps one of the most sexualized male characters in cinematic history, and the way in which going about that has been drastically different from how they’ve sexualized women. Is it possible, that we’re going to get a female version of that? Will this change how female sexuality plays out on screen? Also, we have a character who is very much the coolest person in the room, and definitely has shaped young men’s idea of what a man is, will a black female 007 do the same for young women?
In the past few years in cinema, there has been a lot of talk about representation, and for the most part I think that it has been a good thing, and honestly I’m not one of these people who get’s bent out of shape when they change a character I like, or even love. I understand that most of these things are constantly evolving, and I don’t personally want to see the same old thing over and over. But I really think that these three examples are interesting, because they’re a bit different than other roles. Nick Fury, changing from a white man to a black man, had little impact as far as I can see, because the character was always one of authority, and I never associated with him, and I never felt an attraction to him, or to be like him. I also have to consider what it means for other people, and I don’t know. On the one hand, I think of all the black women I think are cool, or bad-ass, or beautiful, and it’s not a short list, and I wonder if that’s blinding me to a problem that’s real? Perhaps these casting decisions will help to solve that. I don’t know, but I think it’s important to ask some of these questions of ourselves.
Article by Michael Cole
–Mike Cole is a published author, freelance writer, & filmmaker. He is a happily married father of one.
Editors Note: Photos and their subsequent captions were added by Paul Wright… So, you know, don’t blame Mike.
This weekend, running from August 23 to 25th, is Disney’s D23 expo. It’s a massive annual event put on by Disney, where they make announcements regarding their upcoming projects. Considering that Disney owns Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, The Simpsons and hell of a lot more, fans were expecting some big news. Particularly, Star Wars, Marvel, and Disney +. In some ways D23 is kind of like Comic-Con. With all of the spectacular, aforementioned properties that fall under Disney’s umbrella, D23 is a huge event for genre entertainment. This is something fans, as well as writers who cover this type news online (like myself), look forward to every year. Disney often uses this time to make unexpected and surprising announcements and this year they certainly didn’t disappoint!
BLACK WIDOW (Opens in theatres 5/1/2020)
New First Look Poster!
In addition to the cool new poster for the film, Marvel also debuted the first footage from their upcoming Black Widow solo movie (which unfortunately has not been leaked online… yet) The footage shows is an action sequence with Natasha fighting Yelena Belova (a character who’s also held the mantle of Black Widow). Like Natasha, Yelena was a product of Russia’s Red Room program, turning young women into super spies. But unlike Natasha, she never found any kind of redemption and became the living weapon her masters wanted her to be. It was also confirmed that David Harbour will be playing Red Guardian in this film, essentially Russia’s version of Captain America. Natasha will also have to contend with the formidable villain, Taskmaster, all the while sporting a cool looking new, white costume. Check out some other cool stuff we have posted below, like this concept art featuring Natasha squaring off against Taskmamster, photos of her new, white uniform on display…
THE ETERNALS (Opens 11/6/2020)
Of all the Marvel movies that have been announced for so far for Phase 4 this is the one think has the potential to be very cool and unique. The Eternals are a race of immortal superhuman beings created by cosmic, godlike beings called The Celestials. The Eternals protect humanity from their evil counterparts, The Deviants. The Eternals are actually the beings that humanity based the Greek gods upon. Because of their in mortality, they’re still around today. Many of whom live among regular people. The cast includes Angelina Jolie, Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, and Selma Hayek.
A few days ago it was revealed that Kit Harington a.k.a. Jon Snow from Game of Thrones was joining the MCU in an undiscloosed role. Now we know exactly who he’s playing and what film he’s appearing in: Harington will be playing Dean Whitman a.k.a. The Black Knight in The Eternals.
The Black Knight is a long time Avenger who’s a direct descendant of one King Arthur’s Knights of the Roundtable. He fights with a sword called The Ebony Blade forged by Merlin himself. When he doesn’t have The Ebony Blade have he basically just uses a lightsaber (seriously). He’s an expert fighter on par with Hawkeye or Black Widow and will occasionally have enhanced strength, speed, and agility, depending on the story you’re reading. He’s actually a pretty cool Avenger. You can check out the awesome concept art by BossLogic of Harrington as The Black Knight below.
He’s most often linked to The Eternals through the character Sersi played by Gemma Chan. Sersi and Whitman have been a couple at various points in their comic book history.
BLACK PANTHER 2 (Opens 5/6/2022)
We all knew it was coming, but it’s still nice to have a release date. Kevin Feige briefly brought returning Black Panther director Ryan Coogler out on stage to announce the film’s official release date May 6th 2022.
No details on plot yet, but a lot of fans, myself included, want to see T’Challa go up against Namor The King of Atlantis. Imagine it: A war between two super advanced countries that most of the word didn’t even know existed with the monarchs of each nation being super powered badasses. It would be fucking sick! I honestly think there’s a good chance that we’ll see some version of that concept for Black Panther 2. Below I have some pictures depicting Namor and T’Challa’s rivalry and an awesome concept art poster from artist BossLogic
THE FALCON and The WINTER SOLDIER (Fall 2020 on DISNEY+)
There’s not that much new info on The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, but their were a few interesting tidbits. Kevin Feige brought two actors onstage. First, Emily VanCamp, to confirm that she’s returning as Sharon Carter AKA Agent 13 was (Peggy Carter’s niece). Then he introduced Wyatt Russell, who’s playing John Walker AKA U.S. Agent. In the comics U.S. Agent was conceived as a replacement for Captain America when he was presumed dead, but still frozen in the ice. I’m pretty sure he eventually goes crazy because pretty much anyone whose tried to duplicate Dr. Erskine’s super soldier formula has had things go sideways on them, usually to horrific results.
What I like about the casts and these characters is that this really feels like Captain America 4. When Captain America was killed in the comics, the book continued with characters like The Falcon, Bucky, and Agent 13 continuing Cap’s mission. Villains like Baron Zemo (who’s returning for this series) and USAgent played prominent roles. Steve Rogers may have been gone, but these were some of the best Captain America stories ever. If the show is taking inspiration from the comics, then the series is heading in the right direction. Below, you can see a leaked for photo of a promo poster for The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, with Sam and Bucky both sporting new looks.
WANDAVISION (Spring 2021 on Disney+)
We still know very little about the upcoming WandaVison series on Disney+. All we’ve really heard, is that the show is a “mix between a sitcom and a superhero action epic”. Which, on the surface, seems like a weird direction for them to go in. Well, I think the series is going to be even weirder than Marvel has led us to believe. First take a look at this promo poster released for the series:
After seeing this poster for the show, I think I have a pretty good idea of what’s going on. Anyone who’s been paying attention to Scarlett Witch over the last several movies, probably noticed that with each subsequent film, she gets more and more powerful. Hell, in Endgame she nearly ripped Thanos apart on her own. She probably would’ve killed him if he didn’t order his ship to start fire bombing the battle sight. In the comics, as Wanda’s power grows, her mental and emotional state begins to deteriorate. We know that this series takes place after Endgame and Vision was seemingly killed in Infinity War. I think the image of an almost 1950s “perfect family” sitcom we see in the poster, is a new life conjured into existence by Wanda. Her powers eventually get to a point she can manipulate reality itself. So what if she resurrected The Vision and decided she wanted to have a perfect suburban life with him, straight out of a cheesy old sitcom? The image also brings to mind the recent miniseries ,The Vision, by writer Tom King. In that story, Vision also heads to suburbia in an attempts to start a family of his own, meaning a wife, a son, and a daughter who are all androids just like himself. All I’ll say is is that things start to go very bad, very quickly for The Vision Family. I should also mention that this was one of the best comics Marvel has published in the 21st century. I wouldn’t be surprised if the series draws at least partially on the tragic stories in Wanda and Vision’s past. I have a feeling this series is going to be a lot darker than people expect. Which would make sense because apparently the events of this series lead right up into Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness co-starring Elizabeth Olsen. That film has been described as Marvel’s first horror movie. Also joining the cast are some other familiar faces, Randall Park who played Agent Woo in Ant-Man and The Wasp and Kat Denning who played Darcy in the first 2 Thor movies will both be joining the show. If I had to bet, I’d say that they are wacky neighbors or something, that are part of whatever twisted family situation is going on with Wanda and Vision. I could be completely wrong, but if I’m right this could be a very exciting and interesting way for the show to go.
WHAT IF? (Release Date N/A)
What If? Is the first animated project made for the MCU, with a great line up of actors from The MCU returning to play their characters from the big screen. However, that doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily be playing the same version of character we know from the films. As Kevin Feige said at D23, What If ? Is “Based on a comic books series that we’ve loved for years They take a storyline that you know and change one element; and see how things could get different. Out of the 23 films that you know we’re going to make one little difference and a see how things change.” Each episode will be bookended by The Watcher (voiced by Jeffery Wright) as if he‘s presenting a What If? scenario. How seemingly small changes can have massive consequences. The Watcher, part of an ancient race of beings whose sole purpose is to bear witness, but never interfere, great change throughout the Universe. Uatu will gaze into The Multiverse and show the vast changes that can occur in a Universe if one event is changed. Some of the stories that teased in WHAT IF? were Marvel Zombies and what if Peggy Carter became Captain America. You can see a leaked image of Peggy as Captain America below.
MS. MARVEL (Release Date N/A)
Marvel made announcements about 3 additional shows coming to Disney+. The first being Ms. Marvel. Ms. Marvel aka Kamala Khan is a modern day Spider-Man in many ways. In fact, I think if MARVEL knew that their deal with Sony was going to fall apart as badly as it did, I think they may have saved Ms. Marvel for the big screen. There are big Spider-Man size shoes to fill in The MCU and she could be the perfect character to do it. She has a lot of the same qualities that people love about Spider-Man. She’s just a kid, a young girl in high school, trying to figure her life out. She’s not rich, she comes from a blue collar family. She’s a Pakistani-American Muslim living in Jersey City, protecting her neighborhood and beyond from any threat. She grew up idolizing the heroes of the Marvel Universe, especially Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel AKA the original Ms. Marvel. But since Carol has gone by Captain Marvel for years now, Kamala (with Carol’s blessing) became the new Ms. Marvel.
Like Spider-Man she’s trying to protect her friends and family while also following her destiny as a superhero. She also has a really cool power set, that we haven’t really seen yet. Kamala is an Inhuman whose powers are kind of like a combination of Reed Richards and Ant-Man/Giant Man. She calls one of her powers “embiggening “, it allows her to do things like make her hands into enormous fists and punch a whole bunch of bad guy across a room, she can grow 50 feet tall, she can also shrink and stretch her body in ways that even Reed Richards can’t. I was really hoping to get this character sooner rather than later. I think she is a fantastic superhero and she’s the perfect character in to include into the MCU now that, sadly, Spider-Man is gone.
SHE-HULK (Release Date N/A)
The next show announced by Marvel premiering on Disney+ is She-Hulk. This is a character fans have wanted to see on screen for a long time.
She-Hulk is Jennifer Walters, the cousin of Bruce Banner. When an accident almost killed her, she needed a blood transfusion and her cousin Bruce happened to be the only person who could donate. As a result she basically turns into a female version of The Hulk in Endgame. She’s still a green, super powered, powerhouse, but she doesn’t transform back-and-forth, her proportions are much more human, and she retains her intelligence at all times. She’s also a very talented lawyer. They could make it a superhero courtroom drama, maybe? There’ve been some great comics with She-Hulk, so this has the possibility to be a really good show. Let’s hope Mark Ruffalo is up for making an appearance as her more famous cousin.
MOON KNIGHT (Release Date N/A)
The last Marvel show announced was Moon Knight. Moon Knight is often described as Marvel’s Batman. But I see him more as a combination of Daredevil and The Punisher. This character has a super weird backstory that I don’t completely understand, which should show you just how weird this is, if even I don’t get it.
Most of the time, Moon Knight is former mercenary Marc Spector, who after being cursed/gifted by the Egyptian god Khonshu (because, sure why not?) becomes a brutal vigilante stalking the streets of New York. The only problem is Marc Spector has disassociative identity disorder, or multiple personalities. He’s bat shit crazy and violent as hell. This will definitely be a grittier show more in the vein of the stuff we’ve seen from Marvel on Netflix. However it will be interesting to see if they use a Moon Knights mental health problems to say something meaningful and interesting about the mental health issues that people struggle with every day.
Check back here later, when I’ll be giving a summary of all of the Star Wars news from D23!
Lastly, I wanted to include a few picture of the DISNEY+ interface when it launche. By now means a comprehensive look, it’ll give you a better idea of what to expect.
Check back here at World’s Best Media for any new D23 developments. I’ll be updating this page as The Expo continues. One last thing, which D23 presentation or announcement has you most excited? Which is the biggest draw for you: Marvel or DC? Do you plan on signing up for Disney + when it launches on November 12th? Or pare you going to wait a little while for more content to be added? Comment below or on social media. We’d love to hear from you!
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So, for the past couple of weeks I’ve been working on a very long article about the different directions a 3rd MCU Spider-Man movie could go after after Spider-Man: Far From Home. Well, I wish I’d been a little more quick on the draw with that article, because yesterday, news broke that it’s very likely that Spider-Man will no longer be a part of The MCU.
Before getting into any details, like a lot of you I’m sure your initial reaction to this news is something along the lines of “well that fucking sucks“. That’s pretty much how I feel, as well. Spider-Man has been a great addition to the MCU and I was looking forward to all of the story telling possibilities his character brings to the table. It’s really disappointing as a fan of The MCU and the wall-crawler .
So, how did we arrive at this place? Why is this tyhappening? Well the short answer is a very unsurprising one, one word: greed. When this new broke, many fans assumed that Sony was somehow fucking up this deal, due to their less than stellar track record in the past. But they’ve been able to turn things around a bit of the last few years (I’ll get back into that in a minute). This shit show rests squarely on the shoulders of Disney.
When Marvel was going bankrupt in the 90s, they sold the film and television rights to their characters to various movie and production studios. Which is why we didn’t see characters like Spider-Man, The X-Men, or The Fantastic Four in the MCU from the very beginning. Marvel Studios didn’t have access to those characters at the time because, legally when it came to the movies at least, these other movie studios owned the characters.
Another factor is Disney’s acquisition of Fox. Disney bought the entertainment division of Fox, finally giving so many fans what they’ve been clamoring: The X-Men and The FF in the MCU. We should expect to see more on the Mutant and FF front as things progress, but don’t expect to see an X-Men or FF movie for a few more years. That’s just because Marvel had so many film and TV projects in the pipeline and ready for production when the Fox deal went through. They couldn’t bring everything they had been planning and building to a grinding halt and awkwardly shoehorn The X-Men and The FF into the MCU. I would rather wait and get excellent interpretations of these characters from the company that makes truly incredible marvel superhero films, than rush things and fuck it up.
Marvel’s deal regarding Spider-Man is pretty different. It’s more of a partnership (Or maybe WAS a partnership, I suppose) with the movie studio, Sony. All of the characters that we’ve seen in the MCU so far, The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and many more were the characters already owned by Marvel Studios and Marvel can do whatever they want with them.
It’s different with Sony because, Sony still retains the film rights to Spider-Man. However, they reached an agreement with Marvel Studios where marvel can use Spider-Man in their movies like Avengers and Civil War. However, when a solo Spidey film is made, like Homecoming or Far From Home, Marvel makes those movies, they control the creative direction of the story and the characters. Sony essentially outsourced making Spider-Man movies to Marvel with the added benefit of the films taking place in The MCU, giving them a richer, more lived in feel to the world. Now like I said when Spider-Man is in Avengers movie, Sony doesn’t get any of the money that the film generates. But for solo Spider-Man films, Marvel gets 5% of the profits and merchandising rights, which is a lot of money. Plus having such an iconic Marvel character like Spider-Man back in the Marvel fold, is a huge win for the brand.
The problems started when Spider-Man: Far From Home became the highest grossing movie in the history of Sony. Not just the highest grossing Spider-Man movie, the highest grossing movie in the history of the film studio. For some stupid reason Marvel wanted to renegotiate their already lucrative and valuable contract with Sony. It’s important to remember that when I say Marvel, I mean Disney. The new deal Disney proposed ,was instead of getting 5% of the profits on Spider-Man solo films they get 50% of the profits. That’s insane. No movie studio would go for that. They were literally asking for 10 times the current deal. I don’t know what they expected from Sony as a response, but that’s an unreasonable demand. For Sony’s part they really wanted this deal to continue. They loved having Spider-Man in The MCU but they weren’t going to be strong-armed by Disney. Especially when they’ve had two big successes with the Spider-Man franchise on their own with Venom, which was a big hit for the studio, and Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse which was not only a masterpiece of filmmaking, but a huge moneymaker as well. Sony is negotiating from a position of power. They have much more leverage than they did in the past. Which is why the actions of Disney seems so bizarre. But again, to be clear Sony did not want this deal to fall apart. It seems like Disney didn’t want to budge and Sony said, “fine” and walked away from the table.
This whole thing being so public is slightly odd, though not completely because it seems like everything leaks these days. There is an argument to be made that making it public like this was a negotiation tactic, because of the inevitable fan outcry about not getting to see your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man in the next Avengers film.
There’s still hope though. There’s still time for egos to cool off and sit back down to the table to renegotiate. Word on the street is that Sony is at least open to it. It kind of reminds me of the situation when James Gunn was fired from Guardians of the Galaxy vol.3 for absurd reasons (Which upset me personally because I really wanted to see the end of his Guardians trilogy). He had always talked about a three film arc for these characters. Eventually, months after being fired and even moving on to other projects, Disney finally saw the light and hired him back. James Gunn was gracious enough to come back when he could’ve just as easily told them to fuck off. So hopefully something like this happens when it comes to Spider-Man. Hopefully this is just a hiccup and we will continue to see more Spider-Man in The MCU for years to come. Here’s hoping….