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I think they’re all settled—at least for long enough that I can comfortably write this post and publish it before it’s out-of-date.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….
On this week’s episode of The World’s Best Podcast, after this year’s EPIC San Diego Comic-Con, co-host Paul Sr. and I break down all of the coolest announcements, including the huge presentation from Marvel Studios revealing the movies and TV series that will be apart of MCU PHASE 4! The Eternals, Shang-Chi and The Legend Of The Ten Rings, Doctor Strange and The Multiverse Of Madness, Thor: Love & Thunder, & more! We also discuss this year’s massive Arrowverse crossover, Crisis On Infinite Earths! Finally, we review the new series from Amazon Prime, The Boys!
We also have some cool news we didn’t get a chance to cover in the podcast that we have posted below for you to check out.
DC’s Arrowverse panels had a lot of cool details and trailers from the upcoming seasons of each show. Perhaps more excitingly, we got some more info on their EPIC crossover: Crisis On Infinite Earths…
Considering this crossover will be dealing with The Multiverse and Parallel Realities, it comes as no surprise that we will be seeing different versions of characters we already know, but in different roles. In addition to hearing that Burt Ward will be making a cameo as Robin from another reality, we also learned that Brandon Routh who plays Ray Palmer on Legends Of Tomorrow will be taking on an exciting new role in the crossover. Routh famously played Superman in Bryan Singer’s 2006 Superman Returns, in the crossover he’ll also be playing Superman once again for Crisis On Infinite Earths, but not just any Superman, Kingdom Come Superman! It hasn’t been confirmed if Ray AKA The Atom and this version of Superman will actually meet face to face, but that would be pretty damn cool.
Kingdom Come is a classic Justice League story written by Mark Waid with art by Alex Ross, about the twilight of the classic DC heroes and the new, violent generation of meta-humans who are trying to replace them. Featuring this older, world weary version of Superman into the crossover is very exciting. It’s also been confirmed that Tyler Hoechlin will be returning as Clark Kent/Superman and Jon Cryer will be returning as Lex Luthor.
We also got what may be our first look at THE BIG BAD of Crisis On Infinite Earths, The Anti-Monitor with this concept art that popped up during Comic-Con…
We also got these pictures of new looks for Diggle and Laurel on Arrow.
Finally, here’s a better look at Supergirl’s cool new uniform from her upcoming season…
THE MCU: PHASE 4 (Pictures and Concept Art)
Below we have some cool pieces of concept art and behind the scene pictures from Marvel’s Phase 4 projects. Take a look…
On this episode of The World’s Best Podcast, we review one of my most anticipated movies of the summer and the latest film to feature everyone’s favorite wallcrawler: Spider-Man: Far From Home. As the final film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 3 of films, we go over the action sequences, the villains, the friends and foes in Peter Parker’s life, and all the twists and turns along the way.
This movie has some HUGE revelations and twists, so I recommend avoiding SPOILERS at all cost before seeing this film. But after you see the movie, come on back and listen to our awesome breakdown of this kick ass superhero flick! Listen here or subscribe on Spreaker, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, and ITunes:
… is the ONLY official poster for the film I put up with this article. What a shitty, shitty poster. All the other art here is the work of some incredibly talented artists I found online. STEP UP YOU GAME, SONY!
2000’s X-Men, directed by Bryan Singer was the first REAL comic book superhero of the modern age. Some people say Blade should get some credit in that department, but most people at the time (myself included) didn’t even realize it’s was based on a comic book. However, X-Men had all of the trappings and troupes of a classic comic book: the team of heroes, colorful costumes, SUPER-VILLAINS!, and of course very, very cool super powers. What story from the team’s 40 year history would the filmmakers choose to tell?
Sure, we’d seen Superman and Batman on the big screen, but they’re fairly simple compared to something like X-Men. Superman and Batman are seemingly much easier and less complicated to adapt to the big screen. (You guys can debate amongst yourselves if you that’s actually true or not).
Wolverine alone has one of the most complicated and intricate back stories in Marvel Comics history and that doesn’t even take into account telling the story of the rest of the X-Men. Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm, and Rogue would all needs their place to shine in this tale. Then there’s perhaps the most interesting characters relationship in the film: Xavier and Magneto!
Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and the films portrayal of Charles Xavier and Magneto’s frenemy relationship were the highlights of the first X-Men film. Logan, Charles, and Eric were the center of almost all the other future X-Men films in one way or another.
Anyway, back to July 2000, they pulled it off in the end! The first X-Men was a bona fide hit and proved that comic book superheroes that weren’t household names, with their silly costumes and childish powers could translate into big bucks at the box office. However, It wasn’t until Sam Raimi’s 2002 Spider-Man debuted to the bigggest opening weekend ever at the time. Hollywood realized there was golden them there hills and every movie studio with the rights to a comic book superhero property had a movie in development and the superher movie boom again.
It wasn’t perfected until 2008 which saw the release of Iron Man starting off Marvel Cinematic Universe and The Dark Knight; a neo-crime epic classic. Since the first X-Men film hit theaters, there has been more than a dozen movies taking place within the X-Universe, some have been good, some have been terrible.
Now the X-Men are moving on to greener pastures. To the Elysium, that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s a shame the final film in Fox’s X-Men franchise will be Dark Phoenix because it’s such a poor way to end the series. If the studio had any sense they would’ve ended it with Logan, a true masterpiece and a perfect ending to the X-Men story. Unfortunately that’s how you roll the dice with an X-Men movie. You never know if the creative people trying to tell a great X-Men story, will occasionally have their film ruined by the movie studio trying to fuck it up. So even though there have been masterpieces and pieces of shit in the Men films, we should still be great-full that this series blazed a trail for superhero movies over the last 20 years!
So on this week’s episode of The World’s Best Podcast we watched the final X-Men film of the FOX era and… it sure is… a movie! We review DARK PHOENIX, so you don’t have to! This weeks podcast may be all about shitting on the new and final X-Men movie for quite some time, but we still love the X-Men! We also discuss our thoughts on Robert Pattinson’s casting as the new Batman! Listen here or subscribe on Stitcher, iTunes, and more: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/18229983
Star Wars is like a religion to me. Those films are a large part of why I love movies so much. However, even with Star Wars Episode IX coming out in December, all of my attention as a fan has been focused on Avengers: Endgame and Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones ended up being a bit of a mixed bag in it’s final season, but man oh man, did Endgame deliver. Avengers: Endgame was one of the most thrilling movie going experiences of my life. The movie surpassed expectations to deliver a masterpiece of blockbuster filmmaking. I’ve often said The MCU is this generation’s Star Wars, which makes Endgame the modern equivalent of The Empire Strikes Back. Like, The Empire Strikes Back, Endgame has already reached the status of modern classic. Anyway, back to Star Wars! With Game of Thrones and Avengers: Endgame out of the way, I can focus my fandom on Star Wars Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker! The final chapter in The Skywalker Saga, 40 years in the making.
The new issue Vanity Fair has given us the best look at the film so far. The June cover story is all about Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, with an excellent article by Lev Grossman that’s the most in depth look at the film yet and just a damn good read. You can read the full article the full article right here (I highly recommend that you do): https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2019/05/star-wars-cover-story?verso=true
The coolest part of the Vanity Fair issue is the amazing photos taken on the set by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz. Vanity Fair and Leibovitz have been covering the Star Wars movies for decades now. I still have the Vanity Fair issue that focused on The Force Awakens because of the incredible photographs she had taken. In my opinion, Annie Leibovitz one of the best photographers in the business and these fantastic photos for The Rise of Skywalker are a testament to how stunningly beautiful her photos can be. You can see them all below.
Well, the countdown to Star Wars Episode IX has officially begun! Spider-Man: Far From Home is the last, “next BIG movie”, that I’m really looking forward to, but once I see that, I imagine my Star Wars mania will really start to heat up! As always, thanks for reading!
I wanted to take a minute to talk about the new trailer that dropped for the latest X-Men film, Dark Phoenix. This is very likely the last incarnation of these characters we’ll see on the big screen, with the big Fox/Disney merger finalizing. Which means this is the last X-Men movie with this cast. Since X-Men: First Class (In my opinion, the best X-Men film, not counting Logan) the series was really about telling the story of Charles, Eric, Mystique, and to a lesser extent, Beast. Quick side note , Beast is probably one of my favorite Marvel characters and I’ve always liked Nicholas Hoult in the role. Unfortunately they never quite nailed Beast’s look. Don’t give me wrong, I actually think it has its moments where it looks pretty cool, but I think this is a character that requires either CGI or very elaborate Hellboy-esque make up effects. Anyway at least it’s a hell of a lot better than that God awful Kelsey Grammer Beast make up.
Back to Dark Phoenix, First Class was Magneto’s film, Days of Future Past was all about Charles, Apocalypse was… um… kind of Mystique? Or the new X-Men, like Jean and Cyclops… I guess? I feel like these movies work best when they have a clear,strong character to anchor the plot and story. The Dark Phoenix Saga is arguably one of the best X-Men stories of all time and don’t get me wrong, Jean is a great character to build a movie around and Sophie Turner is a great actress. But from what I hear, this movie is dog shit. For a while I really thought they were just going to release this thing on Netflix, if at all. I mean the trailer isn’t particularly bad, but this movie was supposed to come out over a year ago, that’s not a good sign. People who have supposedly seen the movie have reported that it is a absolute piece of shit.
What kills me even more is that what may turn out to be one of the shittiest X-Men movies is taking its visual cues from my all-time favorite X-Men run, Grant Morrison‘s New X-Men. All of the costumes, from the X-Men uniforms, even how Charles is dressed, is straight out of that whole run. They cast aside the whole spandex superhero look for some thing that took what they tried to do in the first X-Men film, mix it up with The Matrix, throw all that into a blender and you end up with a really cool, unique uniform instead of a “costume”.
I just hope they don’t fuck up Jean’s connection to The Phoenix Force by pulling the same bullshit from X-Men: The Last Stand, where the Phoenix is some sort of dark, alternate personality of Jean’s. Just make it the fucking Phoenix Force already! It’s a god like force from outer space for chrissake, embrace the material! Oh well, take a look at the trailer and judge for yourself. As another YouTuber put it in his breakdown video of this trailer, at this point I’m kind of just hoping for it to be entertaining. If it’s close to Apocalypse, which I know a lot of people hated, that will be good enough for me. Then we can move on to where Marvel’s Merry Mutants really belong… in the MCU!
On the other hand we have this SICK red band trailer for Hellboy which is coming out in April. I’ve been 100% on board with this one for a while now. This trailer just makes me feel even better about it. I will always lament that we never got to see the end of the Ron Perlman and Guillermo Del Toro Hellboy trilogy. However, life moves on and this looks fucking great.
I love David Harbour as Hellboy, I love that they’re using some new characters from the BPRD as part of the rich mythology of Hellboy’s world, and I love how it looks like they’re taking most of this story straight out of the comics. While the last two Hellboy films had been loyal to the Hellboy comics, the sequel in particular, was very much about using those pieces from the graphic novels to tell their own story. This seems to be more of an adaptation of some specific, great, epic Hellboy stories. To top it all off, this whole thing looks bad shit insane! Fucking sign me up! Check it out:
It’s good to be back everyone! I want to apologize that it’s been a little bit longer then I would like since our last episode of The World’s Best Podcast, but with holidays we got a little behind this week. So thank you for your patience and I apologize once again. However, we’re going to make it up to you! First of all, this week we have a great episode where we do a deep dive discussion of the new movie CREED II! This review has been a long time coming and it’s FULL SPOILERS, so fair warning! Otherwise, it’s a great episode that I think you guys will really like.
We also have another announcement, December is officially Superhero Month at World’s Best Media, so you’ll definitely be getting some extra episodes of the World’s Best Podcast. We’ll be covering Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse, The CW DC Superhero Crossover Event: Elseworlds, Aquaman, Season Two of Runaways on Hulu, and much more great content! We really want to hear feedback from you guys as well! So if you have any comments, criticisms, or questions, please leave them below in the comments section or reach out to us on Facebook and Twitter. Or send us an email through the Contact page here at the World’s Best Media website.
So without further ado, please enjoy the latest episode of The World’s Best Podcast! Listen here or subscribe on Stitcher and iTunes: