Tom Hardy is a web-slinging anti-hero!

A few weeks ago, Sony Pictures announced that the Marvel character and Spider-Man antagonist Venom would be featured in a standalone spinoff set to arrive in theaters sometime next year. The fan-favorite character has already made his big-screen debut in the disappointing blockbuster Spider-Man 3, portrayed by Topher Grace, but this project is seen as an opportunity for Sony to get the character right and potentially usher in a new anti-hero universe based on Spider-Man’s rogues gallery.

News has broken that names have now been confirmed to sign on for the spinoff. Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer will direct and Oscar nominee Tom Hardy is set to star in film.

Scott Rosenberg and Jeff Pinkner, the latter of whom worked on 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, wrote the script for Venom. Plot details are being kept in the black but Hardy, who is said to be a Venom fan, will play Eddie Brock, the character who first became Venom.

Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach are producing along with Amy Pascal.

The internet is calling this casting a coup and I can’t help but agree. Hardy is an excellent actor who is a year removed from his first Oscar nomination in The Revenant and has starred in action and drama movies a plenty including Inception, Warrior, has a superhero movie under his belt already portraying the sinister Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, rode through the wasteland in Mad Max: Fury Road and will star in the upcoming Dunkirk; I can’t help but be impressed by Hardy’s body of work thus far and I look forward to seeing him give life to this tragic and deadly character. Venom is set to snare an audience on October 5, 2018.

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A Live-Action Pokémon Movie is Coming Soon

I know it’s been awhile since my last post. Things have been a little slow since there hasn’t been anything that has really caught my attention at the movies recently and news has been a tad sluggish but that could change once Comic Con kicks off this weekend and I’m sure I’ll be blogging a lot by then. Anyway in the meantime, we have this piece of news to tide us over and boy this is a doozy (of sorts)!

With all of the advancements made in technology and how those advancements have translated into filmmaking over the past decade, when you hear news like this, you should just stop, contemplate and realize that it was only a matter of time. A major entertainment franchise is in the midst of celebrating it’s Platinum anniversary and so far, the world is celebrating that celebration. 20 years ago, the world was introduced to a video game, where the player’s main objective is to traverse the game and obtain these peculiar creatures to collect, raise, trade, battle, breed, whatever and this video game has evolved into an entertainment juggernaut that has produced a long-standing trading card game, television program, new smartphone app sensation and still plans to go strong after 20 years. Today, Legendary Studios has won the lottery and has first crack to adapt a global sensation into a live-action major motion picture.

I’m not going to lie, 2016 should be the year of Pokémon because Pokémon is practically winning everything. It kicked off it’s 20th Anniversary with an exhilarating Super Bowl 50 ad.

Months later it made several announcements on its video game front, including the unveiling of their newest generation of games Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. Recently the world caught the “gotta catch ’em all” fever when the mobile app Pokémon Go was launched in the U.S.A. and quickly cemented itself as a record breaking phenomenon and throughout all of this time, all of this success, I’ve noticed the rumors about Hollywood studios vying for the rights to a live-action Pokémon movie and now rumors become fact: it’s happening.

Legendary Entertainment has won the rights to a Pokemon movie and is partnering with the Pokémon Company to launch the first live-action Pokemon film franchise with a “Detective Pikachu” movie.

Legendary said details are being kept under wraps but added that the film will be fast-tracked for production to start in 2017.-Variety

I’ve been a fan of Pokémon since the beginning. Even today, I still play the games; they’re fun. I look at news like this and I honestly should be surprised but I’m not. We live in an age where films like Gravity, Avatar, Life of Pi and Mad Max: Fury Road are possible when at one time they were considered impossible and Hollywood can’t leave franchises alone like Indiana Jones, Die Hard or Star Wars, so when you really think about it, should anyone be surprised that Hollywood has sought to claim the rights to make a movie based on a 20 year old franchise that has won the hearts and admiration of a generation the world over for two decades?! I didn’t think so.

Will I see it? We’ll see.

May the Force Be With You Alden Ehrenreich!

When you see a particular actor or actress occupy a role for so long, give the role an identity that the world will recognize forever, then step down, only to have a new face give a new young actor or actress take the mantle, no doubt that the new kid will have very impossible shoes to fill. It has happened before. Case and point: Mel Gibson was the original Mad Max Rockatansky for George Miller’s original trilogy, only to have Tom Hardy wear the Road Warrior’s skin in last year’s acclaimed Mad Max: Fury Road. Another case and point: the young trio or Tye Sheridan, Sophie Turner and Alexandra Shipp as the new incarnations of Cyclops, Jean Grey and Storm in the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse, succeeding James Marsden, Famke Jannsen and Halle Berry. Alden Ehrenreich now has big shoes to fill.

Image by Las VegasNV Blog

The 26 year old California native, known for his roles in the recent Coen Brothers flick Hail, Caesar!, Blue Jasmine, and Stoker has landed the role of Han Solo in the upcoming Star Wars Anthology series based on the origins of the man who would captain the Millennium Falcon. He will succeed Harrison Ford who has held the iconic role since the first Star Wars film and he recently jumped back into the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. The directors of THE LEGO Movie, Christopher Miller and Phil Lord have been chosen to direct the upcoming origin story and the screenplay is accredited to Jon and Lawrence Kasdan.

I’ve only seen so little of Alden Ehrenreich’s work but from what I understand this was an extensive search and he must have convinced someone that he had what it takes to shoot first. The Star Wars Anthology film on Han Solo is set to arrive in theaters on May 25, 2018.

Awards Season 2016 Post Mortem

Sorry it took me so long to get back online-stupid Geek Squad-but I’m back ready to close the book on Awards Season 2016 and 2015 film in general for good. In case you didn’t notice, I got 14 of my 18 Academy Award predictions correct. I’m kinda proud of that. That being said, I feel as though I should have a few final says about where things stand with me and the Awards Season circuit over the last few months.

  • Image by Participant Media

    I knew Spotlight was going to get Best Picture-My number 2 motion picture of last year took home the industry’s highest honor on Sunday night. Ever since I started this blog, I’ve always held that the film that wins, or at least stood a great chance at winning, Best Picture is always my number 2 movie of that year. Spotlight was excellently crafted around a riveting story and I felt it in my bones that it would be the film to beat, even though the argument could be made for films like The Revenant or The Big Short winning.

  • Mad Max: Fury Road was a great technical achievement-Going into Awards Season, I’ve heard the whispers that Mad Max: Fury Road was going to be a major contender for a lot of awards and it was. It won a plethora of honors in terms of its technical achievements, including six Oscars, but when it came to its chances of winning Best Picture, I was in a minority of those who claimed that it wasn’t going to win Best Picture. The minority ruled I suppose. I already spoke on my opinion for George Miller’s bombastic summer blockbuster.
  • Image By David Shankbone (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

    The Oscars at least addressed the issue of diversity-I’m an African-American film critic and I wasn’t going to boycott the Oscars because there was no point in doing so. I was disappointed that films featuring racial or ethnic diversity wasn’t recognized by the Academy but boycotting it wasn’t going to change anything. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences took steps to change things, but I highly doubt that change will implement itself overnight. When it comes to the issue of diversity, the problem lies at the top; the studios need to be more fair towards films, filmmakers, actors and actresses from all walks of life. When the industry changes, the fans will begin to see those changes.

  • 2015 was a solid year for film-I cannot say that I saw a groundbreaking film last year that completely rocked my world, but I will definitely say that last year I saw many films that achieved what they set out to do and they particularly resonated with me. I will most assuredly say that 2015 was an outstanding year for women in the industry. Be it actresses, writers, directors, producers, last year demonstrated that films with a message delivered by or for women could be a commodity that would rake in tremendous success and it is my hope that the momentum that women have gained last year carry over into the years to come.

I guess I could say that should that. If you have followed me, then you know where I’ll be next year. In the same place doing the same thing. Awards Season 2016 has come to a close. Keep an eye on the blog. I’ll be back with my review of Zootopia this weekend.