Last trailer for Jordan Peele’s Nope finally yields details on the plot

Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer star in Jordan Peele’s latest film, Nope.

Universal Pictures dropped the final trailer for Jordan Peele’s latest film, Nope. We finally learn something about the plot, and yep, it looks like aliens. Maybe. Probably.

As we’ve reported previously, trailers for Peele’s films never reveal too much since much of the pleasure of his movies comes from their frequently bizarre twists. We wouldn’t have it any other way. All we knew thus far about Nope is that Daniel Kaluuya (who was nominated for an Oscar for Get Out), Keke Palmer (Hustlers, Black Panther), and Steven Yeun (Minari, Okja) play “residents in a lonely gulch of inland California who bear witness to an uncanny and chilling discovery.”

The first trailer dropped in February—very moody and atmospheric but offering few details. In April, Universal Pictures marked the start of the NBA Playoffs by dropping a brief teaser featuring eight-time NBA All-Star Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors. There were no new details, and the highly photogenic Curry won’t be winning an Oscar any time soon, but it was a cute meme-worthy marketing move by the studio.

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#entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #jordan-peele, #nope, #trailers, #universal-pictures

Dwayne Johnson’s Egyptian antihero kneels before no one in first Black Adam trailer

Dwayne John stars as Teth-Adam, future arch-enemy of Shazam, in Black Adam.

It has been 15 long years since Dwayne Johnson first expressed interest in playing Black Adam, a classic DC Comics supervillain dating back to the 1940s. The project was stuck in development hell for years, but the film is finally coming to theaters this fall. And we now have the first trailer for Black Adam, giving us a peek at the character’s origin story and his inevitable encounter with the Justice League of America (JSA).

(Spoilers for some of the comics below.)

The character made a cameo appearance as a villain in the first issue of The Marvel Family comics in 1945. Canonically, he is an ancient Egyptian named Teth-Adam, whom the wizard Shazam chooses to be the latter’s successor. Teth-Adam was presumed to be pure of heart, but once endowed with the powers of Shazam, he became corrupt, killed the ruling pharaoh, and took over the Egyptian throne. Shazam was unable to revoke those powers, so he exiled Teth-Adam to the most distant star in the universe.

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#black-adam, #dc-comics, #dceu, #entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #trailers, #warner-bros

Gorr the God Butcher is coming for Thor in new Love and Thunder trailer

Marvel Studios released the official trailer for Thor: Love and Thunder during Game 4 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals.

With the film’s release mere weeks away, Marvel Studios finally released the official full trailer for Thor: Love and Thunder last night during Game 4 of the NBA Eastern Conference finals.

As I’ve reported previously, Thor: Ragnorak director Taika Waititi signed on for the fourth installment of the Thor films in 2019, adapting elements from the Mighty Thor comic books by Jason Aaron. (He’d read them while making Ragnarok.) That storyline follows Jane Foster being diagnosed with breast cancer and eventually becoming the Mighty Thor. Natalie Portman, who plays Foster in the franchise, has said both those elements will be in the film. (The Internet was abuzz when set photos of Portman leaked in March 2021, showing just how much muscle the diminutive actress had gained for the role.)

Per the official synopsis:

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#entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #marvel-studios, #mcu-phase-four, #thor-love-and-thunder, #trailers

Mission: Impossible–Dead Reckoning trailer teases Ethan Hunt’s swan song

Tom Cruise and his plucky team are back to save the world (again) in Mission: Impossible–Dead Reckoning Part One.

The official trailer for Mission: Impossible–Dead Reckoning Part One (aka Mission: Impossible 7) is here and chock-full of the kind of global intrigue and jaw-dropping stunts fans have come to expect from this hugely successful franchise. The trailer was shown in April exclusively at CinemaCon and the intent was to release it this coming weekend when the highly anticipated Top Gun: Maverick finally (finally!) hits theaters. But an online leak supposedly forced Paramount’s hand, so we get to see star Tom Cruise drive his motorcycle off a cliff a week early. We’ll have to wait until next summer, however—that’s 2023—to see the film.

(Mild spoilers for previous films in the franchise below.)

Launched in 1996 with the first Mission: Impossible, the franchise is one of the highest-grossest film series, with a combined global box office take of more than $3.5 billion so far. The first film was set six years after the 1988-1990 TV series, itself a sequel to the original TV series that ran from 1966 to 1973. Cruise’s character, Impossible Missions Force (IMF) agent Ethan Hunt, was framed for the murder of his team during a botched mission and falsely accused of selling government secrets to an arms dealer. Over the course of the film, he unmasked the real culprit and cleared his name.

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#film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #mission-impossible, #mission-impossible-dead-reckoning, #tom-cruise, #trailers

Return to Pandora with the first teaser for Avatar: The Way of Water

James Cameron is finally bringing a sequel to 2009’s Avatar to theaters with Avatar: The Way of Water.

If you ventured into the theater to watch Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness this weekend, you probably got to see the first teaser for Avatar: The Way of Water, the long-awaited sequel to the 2009 science-fiction blockbuster Avatar. Director James Cameron has spent more than a decade making the first of a planned four sequels, a large fraction of which takes place in underwater environments.

(Spoilers for the 2009 film below.)

Cameron wrote a treatment for Avatar way back in 1994, and it was supposed to be the director’s next big project after he wrapped his blockbuster Titanic. But Cameron realized the technology did not yet exist to make the film he envisioned. He spent several years working to develop what he needed, including a cutting-edge virtual camera system to direct the motion-capture scenes. (He compared it to “a big, powerful game engine.”)

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#20th-century-studios, #avatar-2, #avatar-the-way-of-water, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #james-cameron

The doomsday clock is ticking in new Jurassic World Dominion trailer

Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are joined by Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, and Sam Neill in Jurassic World Dominion.

Universal Pictures has released a second trailer for Jurassic World Dominion, the sixth installment in the hugely successful franchise, featuring cloned dinosaurs roaming freely on the mainland as human beings face possible extinction.

As we’ve reported previously, the Jurassic World trilogy was always intended to be a complete story told across three films, as opposed to the standalone nature of the original trilogy. Director Colin Trevorrow, who co-wrote Dominion‘s script, knew that he wanted the third film to center on dinosaurs going “open source,” so to speak—portraying a world in which Wu is not the only scientist capable of cloning the beasts. But rather than scene after scene of dinosaurs terrorizing people and destroying cities, he wanted “a world where dinosaur interaction is unlikely but possible—the same way we watch out for bears or sharks.”

Per the official premise:

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#entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #jurassic-world-dominion, #universal-pictures

Buff Thor is back and trying to find himself in Love and Thunder teaser

Taika Waititi directed Thor: Love and Thunder, part of the MCU’s Phase Four.

Marvel fans have been loudly clamoring for something, anything, in the way of a trailer for Thor: Love and Thunder, given that the release is just a few months away. Their wish has now been granted. Marvel just dropped a long teaser for the Taika Waititi-directed film.

Waititi signed on for the fourth installment of the Thor films back in 2019, adapting elements from the Mighty Thor comic books by Jason Aaron. (He’d read them while making Ragnarok.) That storyline has Jane Foster being diagnosed with breast cancer and eventually becoming the Mighty Thor. Natalie Portman, who plays Foster in the franchise, has said both those elements will be in the film.

We haven’t really seen Portman’s Foster since 2013’s The Dark World. The character was always among the least interesting, to be honest. But Portman agreed to reprise her role after meeting with Waititi, who promised a fresh take for the character, and having her wield Mjolnir would definitely qualify. (The Internet was abuzz when set photos of Portman leaked in March 2021, showing just how much muscle the diminutive actress had gained for the role.)

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#entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #marvel-cinematic-universe, #marvel-studios, #mcu-phase-four, #taika-waititi, #thor-love-and-thunder, #trailers

Steph Curry stars in new Nope teaser airing during NBA playoff games

Jordan Peele’s upcoming film Nope aims to reimagine the summer movie.

The NBA playoffs kick off today! Universal Pictures marked the occasion by dropping a new teaser for Jordan Peele’s forthcoming new film, Nope, featuring eight-time NBA All-Star Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors.

As we’ve reported previously, Peele has cemented his status as the current master of thought-provoking horror, starting with Get Out, his surprise box office hit that earned more than $250 million and snagged Peele an Oscar for best original screenplay—the first time the award has gone to a Black recipient. Get Out is a subtle exploration of racial tensions that quietly reveals its horrifying premise and builds to an inevitably bloody conclusion. In Peele’s 2019 follow-up, Us, the theme wasn’t so much racial tension—it was exploring, in Peele’s words, the myriad ways in which “we are our own worst enemies.”

The first trailer dropped in February—very moody and atmospheric but offering very few details. (There might be aliens involved, or Peele wants us to think there are as a bit of misdirection.) Trailers for Peele’s films never reveal too much, since much of the pleasure of his movies comes from their frequently bizarre twists.

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#entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #jordan-peele, #nope, #steph-curry, #universal-pictures

Jim Carrey’s megalomaniac Robotnik steals the show in Sonic 2 final trailer

Our favorite blue supersonic blur is back in Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

The first Sonic the Hedgehog film was a surprise breakout hit early in 2020, even though Ars Tech Culture Editor Sam Mackovech deemed it mediocre. It was “somewhere above The Angry Birds Movie, somewhere below Pokemon: Detective Pikachu,” he wrote.

And now we have the final trailer for its sequel, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, once again featuring the voice of Ben Schwartz as Sonic.

In the first film, Sonic teamed up with local town sheriff Tom Wachowski (James Marsden) to stop the sinister mad scientist Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey). Robotnik wanted to catch and experiment on the hedgehog, and if he could also frame Tom as a domestic terrorist, even better. Sonic the Hedgehog had the good fortune to premiere before movie theaters shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and despite the mixed reviews, it posted the biggest opening weekend yet for a film based on a video game and eventually earned $319.7 million worldwide.

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#entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #paramount-pictures, #sonic-the-hedgehog-2, #trailers

Morbius is finally coming to the big screen as Sony releases final trailer

Oscar-winning actor Jared Leto stars in Morbius.

Sony Pictures has dropped one last trailer to stir up audience excitement for Morbius, the oft-delayed spinoff film about one of the lesser-known Spider-Man foes, directed by Daniel Espinosa.

As we reported way back in January 2020, when the first trailer dropped, Sony’s film adaptation of the character was intended to be part of a new shared universe of films along the lines of the Marvel model. The studio hoped to spin-off the Sony Marvel Universe (SMU) from its successful Spider-Man franchise.

The 2018 film Venom kicked off the series, starring Tom Hardy in the title role. Critics slammed it, but Venom went on to gross over $850 million worldwide. (The sequel, Venom 2: Let There Be Carnage, finally came out last year after also being pandemic-delayed and grossed $500 million worldwide despite mixed reviews.) So Sony decided to move forward with the planned Morbius movie, tapping Daniel Espinosa (Life) to direct—a solid choice, since Espinosa clearly knows how to merge science fiction and horror. Jared Leto was cast as Morbius.

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#film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #jared-leto, #marvel-comics, #morbius, #sony-pictures-entertainment

New Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness trailer is a psychedelic treat

Benedict Cumberbatch travels across realities in the forthcoming film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness\.

Marvel Studios dropped a spectacularly psychedelic new trailer for the upcoming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness just as the Super Bowl was getting underway.

(Some spoilers for prior installments in the MCEU below.)

As I’ve written previously, plot-wise, we know the film is set after the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, WandaVision, and the first season of Loki. The latter introduced us to the Time Variant Authority (TVA), with our mischievous protagonist encountering multiple versions of himself from various different timelines, including a female incarnation named Sylvie (Sophia di Martino). The finale featured a confrontation with a variant of Kang the Conqueror, who had been controlling the Sacred Timeline—until an impulsive act by Sylvie unleashed more timelines than the TVA could prune, destabilizing the multiverse.

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#doctor-strange-in-the-multiverse-of-madness, #entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #marvel-studios, #mcu-phase-four

Tantalizing first trailer for Jordan Peele’s Nope leaves us eager for more

Jordan Peele is out to re-imagine the summer movie with his new horror film Nope, coming to theaters July 22.

It’s Super Bowl Sunday, when Hollywood traditionally drops several high-profile trailers for upcoming major films and TV series. This year, the marketing frenzy kicks off with the first trailer for Jordan Peele’s forthcoming horror feature, Nope, which dropped unexpectedly at 3 AM Eastern this morning. We at Ars Technica are totally on board for this film.

Our confidence is pretty well-placed. Peele has cemented his status as the current master of smart, thought-provoking horror, starting with Get Out, his surprise box office hit that earned more than $250 million and snagged Peele an Oscar for best original screenplay—the first time the award has gone to a black recipient. Get Out is a subtle exploration of racial tensions that quietly builds to reveal its horrifying premise and inevitably bloody conclusion. In his 2019 follow-up, Us, the theme wasn’t so much racial tension—it was exploring, in Peele’s words, the myriad ways in which “we are our own worst enemies.”

Peele also co-wrote, with director Nia DaCosta, last year’s electrifying sequel (of sorts), Candyman, which transformed the singular 1990s slasher known as Candyman into an ageless malevolence whose curse reverberates through time. Then there’s Peele’s reboot of The Twilight Zone and the various films showcased in the anthology series Welcome to the Blumhouse, and the myriad other projects he’s had a hand in with Blumhouse Productions.

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#entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #horror-films, #jordan-peele, #nope, #universal-pictures

Old friends return to save us from extinction in Jurassic World Dominion trailer

Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum will reprise their 1993 roles in Jurassic World Dominion.

Cloned dinosaurs are roaming freely on the mainland as human beings face possible extinction in the official trailer for Jurassic World Dominion, the sixth installment in the hugely successful franchise. Universal Pictures describes the film as “a bold, timely and breathtaking new adventure that spans the globe,” but what has everybody buzzing is the reappearance of the three stars of the original Jurassic Park.

That’s right, Sam Neill’s Dr. Alan Grant, Laura Dern’s Dr. Ellie Sattler, and Jeff Goldblum’s suave, black-clad Dr. Ian Malcolm will join Jurassic World co-stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard in yet another thrilling battle between man and once-extinct beast. We haven’t seen Neill’s or Dern’s characters since 2001’s Jurassic Park III. Even better, they’re major players in Dominion, not just making brief fan-pleasing cameos.

(Spoilers for prior films in the franchise below.)

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#dinosaurs, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #jurassic-park-franchise, #jurassic-world-dominion, #universal-pictures

Our fave Space Ranger gets the origin story he deserves in new Lightyear trailer

Chris Evans voices a young Buzz Lightyear in Pixar’s forthcoming Lightyear.

We have a shiny new trailer for Lightyear, the latest animated feature from Pixar. It’s a spinoff from the studio’s hugely successful Toy Story franchise, with Chris Evans replacing Tim Allen as the voice of titular protagonist Buzz Lightyear. (The character’s name honors Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin.) Pixar is calling Lightyear the “definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear,” following the legendary Space Ranger on an intergalactic adventure.

“Buzz’s world was always something I was excited about,” said director Angus MacLane in a statement. “In Toy Story, there seemed to be this incredible backstory to him being a Space Ranger that’s only touched upon, and I always wanted to explore that world further. So my Lightyear pitch was, ‘What was the movie that Andy saw that made him want a Buzz Lightyear toy?’ I wanted to see that movie. And now I’m lucky enough to get to make it.”

Pixar debuted a 90-second teaser trailer last October, which racked up 83 million views in the first 24 hours, despite featuring almost no dialogue. Instead, the focus was on exploration and a variety of interstellar locales (the teaser also showcased Lightyear‘s distinctive animation style). As Ars’ Tech Culture Editor Sam Machkovech wrote at the time:

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#buzz-lightyear, #entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #lightyear, #pixar, #walt-disney-pictures

Moonfall trailer is gloriously ridiculous

Halle Berry and Patrick Wilson co-star in director Roland Emmerich’s latest film, Moonfall.

Hello, police? I’d like to report a murder—the sacrifice of credible science on the altar of entertainment, as evidenced in the latest trailer for Moonfall. It’s the latest epic disaster blockbuster from director Roland Emmerich, in which the Earth’s existence is threatened by the Moon getting knocked out of its orbit and into a collision course toward Earth.

Look, I love me some Roland Emmerich. Independence Day (1996) is top-notch entertainment, and while his Godzilla (1998) was widely panned by critics, it featured a world-weary Jean Reno as a French scientist constantly bemoaning the lack of decent coffee in America, which was worth the price of admission alone. But in recent years, the director has pivoted to what can only be called climate-change inspired “disaster p*rn,” with over-the-top films like 2009’s 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow (2004).

Both films made big bucks at the box office, despite mixed critical reviews and dings for their sloppy use of science. In fact, The Day After Tomorrow frequently winds up on people’s lists of most scientifically inaccurate films. That’s not a deal-breaker so long as the film is entertaining. As screenwriter Jeffrey Nachmanoff pointed out at the film’s Berlin premiere, “This is a disaster movie and not a scientific documentary, [and] the film makers have taken a lot of artistic license.” Thus far, Emmerich has shown a talent for pushing an audience’s willing suspension of disbelief to the limit without crossing the line into utter ridiculousness (or at least, audiences will be having so much fun, they’ll cheer on the ridiculous aspects with glee).

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#entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #lionsgate, #moonfall, #physics, #roland-emmerich, #science

Sparks fly between Caped Crusader and Catwoman in latest The Batman trailer

Robert Pattinson stars in the dual role of Gotham City’s vigilante detective and his alter ego, reclusive billionaire Bruce Wayne, in The Batman.

Bruce Wayne (Robert Pattinson), aka Batman, must grapple with a taunting serial killer and his family’s potential links to long-standing corruption in Gotham City in the latest trailer for The Batman. But he’s still got time for some heavily flirtatious fisticuffs with Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz), which should delight “Bat/Cat” shippers everywhere. The studio has helpfully titled the trailer “The Bat and the Cat,” lest anyone miss the intended focus.

As I’ve written previously, the original plan was to set the film within the DCEU, after the events of Justice League. But as Warner Bros. was rethinking the shared-universe model for its superhero films in favor of standalone films and franchises, Ben Affleck announced he was stepping down as director, and the studio replaced him with Matt Reeves. Affleck would eventually withdraw from the project altogether, following his divorce from Jennifer Garner and a stint in rehab for alcohol abuse.

Reeves said that the plot would follow a series of murders, revealing the history of corruption in Gotham and how Bruce’s family is linked to that corruption. The classic bad guys—the Riddler, Penguin, Catwoman—are also in the early stages of their development into full-fledged villains. Reeves has cited Alfred Hitchcock as a major influence on the overall look and feel of his film, as well as Chinatown, The French Connection, and Taxi Driver.

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#entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #the-batman, #warner-bros

Benedict Cumberbatch encounters dark double in Multiverse of Madness teaser

Benedict Cumberbatch stars in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

The first teaser trailer for Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness debuted in theaters this past weekend as a post-credits addition to Spider-Man: Now Way Home. Marvel has just released it to the general public, and it looks like we’re in for another eye-popping, mind-bending ride.

(Spoilers for prior events in the MCEU below, particularly in Loki, What If? and No Way Home.)

The sequel to 2016’s Doctor Strange has been in the works for years, with director Scott Derrickson initially signed on to make the film. Derrickson left the project in January 2020, citing creative differences, although it seems it was a mutually amiable parting. (Derrickson is still an executive producer.) Sam Raimi took over directing duties.

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#doctor-strange, #doctor-strange-in-the-multiverse-of-madness, #entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #marvel-studios, #mcu-phase-four

First Sonic 2 film trailer improves on Sonic 1’s weird debut

It’s hard to believe two years have passed since the outcry over Sonic the Hedgehog’s live-action film debut led producers to rethink their toothy, tiny-faced, pointy-nosed version of Sonic.

The resulting CGI redo pushed the film’s release date to Valentine’s Day 2020—and for Ars, the film gets the dubious honor of being the final film we were able to screen in a theater for the rest of 2020. But it wasn’t the worst film for that, as it included enough humor, charm, and salvaged CGI to squeak into that year’s best-of list.

But there was certainly room for improvement—which is why I’m already optimistic about how the sequel is shaping up, as evidenced by Sonic 2‘s Thursday night world-premiere trailer.

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#film-trailer, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #movie-trailer, #movie-trailers, #sonic-the-hedgehog

Neo discovers he still knows kung fu in latest Matrix Resurrections trailer

Official trailer #2 for The Matrix Resurrections.

Not even a full week has gone by since we got an exciting new trailer for The Matrix Resurrections, but with the film’s premiere just two weeks away, Warner Bros. is clearly intent on amping up the excitement. The company released another trailer on Monday, and while new footage is in short supply, everything we’ve seen thus far is finally put into useful context.

The first trailer was released in September and was set to Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” to drive home the red pill/blue pill theme. We saw Neo in therapy with a smarmy psychiatrist played by Neil Patrick Harris, and it soon became clear that we were in a brave new Matrix-constructed world. People take two blue pills daily, and everyone is glued to their iPhones and tablets—whatever it takes to keep the masses sedated.

Last week’s trailer was aptly titled “Déjà Vu” since it riffed on that key moment from the first Matrix film when Neo saw the same black cat walk past a doorway in the Lafayette Hotel. We learned that the entire preceding “reality”—i.e., the events of the original trilogy—had been changed, but not many other details were revealed.

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Sony drops first look teaser trailer for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One)

Shameik Moore and Hailee Steinfeld reprise their roles as Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy, respectively, in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One), a two-part sequel to the 2018 Oscar-winning film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Sony Pictures unveiled a first-look teaser trailer for its upcoming animated sequel Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) at the Comic-Con Experience in Brazil this weekend. Yep, it’s going to be a two-part sequel to 2018’s critically acclaimed, Oscar-winning blockbuster, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

(Some spoilers for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse below.)

The 2018 film was a mega-hit, grossing over $375 million worldwide against a $90 million budget, and won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature—a well-deserved honor. As Ars Technica’s Sam Machkovech wrote in his review, “It’s easily the best comic-nerd film in years to warmly embrace the kinds of viewers who know their comics canon front and back, all without intimidating the inevitable kid and newbie viewers attracted to this incredibly family-friendly adventure.”

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#entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #miles-morales, #sony-pictures, #spider-man-across-the-spider-verse, #trailers

New trailer for The Matrix Resurrections is heavy on the déjà vu

Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss reprise their respective starring roles as Neo and Trinity in The Matrix Resurrections.

We’re just a few weeks away from the release of The Matrix Resurrections, and Warner Bros. is whetting our appetites with a shiny new trailer.

As we’ve reported previously, series writers/directors Lilly and Lana Wachowski didn’t originally intend to make another Matrix film after Revolutions, but rumors about a possible fourth film have been swirling since 2012. Lilly Wachowski went so far as to call the prospect “a particularly repelling idea in these times” in a 2015 interview—a sharp critique of Hollywood’s preference for sequels, reboots, and adaptations.

Nonetheless, Warner Bros. officially announced the fourth film in August 2019. Lana Wachowski signed on to direct and co-write the film with novelist David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas) and Aleksandar Hemon (Sense8). Lilly Wachowski gave the project her blessing but declined to be involved, partly because she was busy with Showtime’s Work in Progress.

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#entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #keanu-reeves, #the-matrix-resurrections, #warner-bros

Visitors from other universes converge in new trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home

Spider-Man: No Way Home hits theaters on December 17, 2021.

Sony Pictures teased a new trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home yesterday, then dropped said trailer this evening at a global fan event in Los Angeles, featuring a surprise appearance by star Tom Holland. In the trailer, a magic spell gone wrong unleashes a multiverse of villainy on Peter Parker’s world. But fans hoping for confirmation of rumored cameos from Spider-Man actors of the past were once again disappointed.

(Spoilers for  2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home below.)

In 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, Peter Parker (Holland) was grieving the loss of his mentor, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), who perished in the final battle against Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. What better than a summer field trip to Europe to help him process his grief? Then Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) showed up and enlisted Spider-Man’s help in battling a series of Elementals. Peter thought he’d found a new mentor in Quentin Beck, aka Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal). But Beck had his own agenda and betrayed Peter. The two battled it out, and Beck was killed. But he got his revenge by sending doctored footage of the climactic battle to Jonah Jameson at The Daily Bugle. Not only did Mysterio’s footage frame Spider-Man for his death, but it also revealed Peter’s secret identity as Spider-Man to the world.

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#entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #sony-pictures, #spider-man, #spider-man-no-way-home

Tom Holland is a dashing young fortune hunter in Uncharted trailer

Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg star as fortune hunters in Uncharted, an origin story for the hugely popular video game franchise.

Sony Pictures has released the official trailer for Uncharted, its long-awaited adaptation based on the hugely popular action/adventure video game franchise of the same name. Movies based on video game franchises can be hit or miss, even when the games themselves are awesome. And this one has been stuck in development hell since 2008, with multiple shifts in writers, directors, and cast members. But the finished film also stars Tom Holland and is directed by Ruben Fleischer, who gave us Zombieland and Zombieland: Double Tap. And the trailer has plenty of action and humor, so color us intrigued by Uncharted.

(Some spoilers for the games below.)

Created by Amy Hennig and developed by Naughty Dog, the original Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune debuted on PlayStation 3 in 2007. Several more games followed, all receiving critical acclaim, and the franchise has sold over 41 million copies worldwide to date. The main protagonist is professional treasure hunter Nathan Drake, who claims to be a descendent of English explorer Francis Drake. The other primary characters are Victor “Sully” Sullivan, a former US Navy officer who becomes Nate’s mentor and father figure; investigative journalist Elena Fisher, who becomes Nate’s romantic partner; and Chloe Frazer, a reckless adventurer who serves as a foil to Elena.

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#entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #sony-pictures, #tom-holland, #uncharted-film

Robert Pattinson broods and batters his way through new The Batman trailer

Robert Pattinson stars as billionaire Bruce Wayne, aka the Caped Crusader, in director Matt Reeves’ forthcoming film, The Batman.

Robert Pattinson is appropriately dark and brooding and beating up bad guys in the latest trailer for The Batman, which debuted at DC FanDome this weekend. Directed by Matt Reeves, the film’s release has been delayed multiple times, but will finally hit theaters next March.

As I’ve written previously, the original plan was to set the film within the DCEU, after the events of Justice League. But as Warner Bros. was rethinking the shared-universe model for its superhero films in favor of standalone films and franchises, Affleck announced he was stepping down as director, and the studio replaced him with Reeves. Affleck would eventually withdraw from the project altogether, following his divorce from Jennifer Garner and a stint in rehab for alcohol abuse.

Reeves brought a very different vision to The Batman, saying that he wanted it to be “an almost noir-driven, detective version of Batman,” focused on Bruce Wayne’s second year fighting crime as the Caped Crusader, rather than once again retelling the character’s origin story. 

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#dc-films, #entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #robert-pattinson, #the-batman, #warner-bros

Resident Evil reboot trailer looks like a welcome return to gaming roots

When the first Resident Evil game debuted in 1998, it was an immediate commercial and critical success, spawning several sequel games, comics, novels, and a very lucrative film franchise directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and starring Milla Jovovich. But those films were only loosely based on the games, keeping a few primary characters and the basic concept, but little else. Sony Pictures just dropped the official trailer for its upcoming reboot, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, and it looks like it will hew much more closely to the source material than its big-screen predecessors.

(Some spoilers for the first two games in the franchise below, but no major reveals.)

The sixth and final film in the Anderson series was released fairly recently, in 2016. But the franchise made a ton of money, so naturally a complete reboot was in the works by early 2017, with Johannes Roberts (47 Meters Down) at the helm.

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#entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #resident-evil-film-franchise, #resident-evil-welcome-to-raccoon-city, #sony-pictures

Finch trailer is carefully tailored to push all the right warm, fuzzy buttons

Apple TV+ has dropped the official trailer for Finch, its forthcoming sci-fi film starring Tom Hanks as a robotics engineer who survives an apocalyptic solar flare, then goes on a trek to mountain safety with his trusty dog and robot sidekick. That is so Tom Hanks, amirite? Yes, this is a real movie, not a gag. Based on the trailer—carefully tailored to push all the requisite emotional buttons—the film looks like a strange mix of Cast Away, WALL-E, and Chappie. In the right hands, that unlikely mix just might work.

The title was BIOS when the film was originally announced in 2017. The global pandemic put the planned 2020 theatrical release on hold indefinitely, and Universal Pictures eventually sold the rights to Apple TV, which changed the title to Finch. There are reasons to be cautiously optimistic. The film is directed by Miguel Sapochnik, the mastermind behind several big, battle-centric episodes of Game of Thrones, including “Hardhome,” “The Battle of the Bastards,” “The Long Night,” and the hugely controversial (because of a favorite character’s heel turn) “The Bells.” The spec script by Craig Luck and Ivor Powell made 2017’s “Black List” of favorite unproduced screenplays. And you’ve got the world’s most likable everyman (Hanks) in the lead role.

Per the official synopsis:

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#apple-tv-plus, #entertainment, #film-trailers, #finch, #gaming-culture, #tom-hanks

MGM releases last trailer for No Time to Die, Daniel Craig’s final 007 film

One of the first major films to be postponed due to the pandemic was No Time to Die, Daniel Craig’s final outing as 007. Originally slated for an April 2020 release, the film was first postponed until November 2020 and then delayed again until April 2021. While some theaters remain closed around the world, MGM is sticking with its latest release dates: a world premiere at Royal Albert Hall in London on September 28, 2021, followed by a general release on September 30 in the UK and October 8 in the US. And the studio has released one last trailer to remind audiences that yes, this premiere is finally happening.

(Spoilers for the 2015 film Spectre below.)

As we’ve reported previously, this 25th installment in the franchise is co-produced by MGM and Eon Productions, with United Artists and Universal serving as distributors in North America and internationally, respectively. Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga (True Detective, Beast of No Nation), the film takes place about five years after the capture of Spectre‘s archvillain Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), a criminal mastermind and head of the organization SPECTRE. (Ian Fleming’s original character inspired Dr. Evil and his cat, Mr. Bigglesworth, in the Austin Powers film series.)

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#entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #james-bond, #mgm, #no-time-to-die

The long wait is over: Sony drops teaser trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home

Sony Pictures was scrambling over the weekend to quash a leaked teaser trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home. But now the studio has released the official version, announced during CinemaCon in Las Vegas by chairman Tim Rothman. And it’s a doozy: a full three minutes laying out the plot, with shots confirming some of the rumors that have been swirling since the project was announced—including the involvement of Doctor Strange and the return of several classic villains from prior Spider-Man films. Alas, it looks like we’ll have to wait a bit longer to see if the rumored appearances by past Spider-Man stars (from the films directed by Sam Raimi and Marc Webb) are true.

(Some spoilers for Spider-Man: Far From Home and other MCU and DCEU films below.)

In 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, Peter Parker is grieving the loss of his mentor, Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.), who perished in the final battle against Thanos in Avengers: Endgame. What better than a summer field trip to Europe to help him process his grief? Then Nick Fury shows up and enlists Spider-Man’s help in battling a series of Elementals. Peter thinks he’s found a new mentor in Quentin Beck, aka Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal). But Beck has his own agenda and betrays Peter. The two battle it out, and Beck is killed. But he gets his revenge, sending doctored footage of the climactic battle framing Spider-Man for his death to Jonah Jameson at The Daily Bugle. The footage also reveals Peter’s secret identity as Spider-Man to the world.

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#entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #sony-pictures, #spider-man-no-way-home

Final Eternals trailer is heavy on the exposition, eye-popping visuals

Plot details have been scant to date for Eternals, Marvel’s forthcoming film based on the comic book series of the same name created by Jack Kirby in 1976. We now have the final trailer, and it’s a doozy: nearly three full minutes of mostly new footage, heavy on exposition and the striking CGI-heavy visuals Marvel is known for. The trailer also answers one obvious burning question: just where were these incredibly powerful eternal beings when all the action with Thanos wiping out half of humanity was going down? I mean, humanity really could have used their help.

As I’ve written previously, the comic book storyline tells of alien Celestials who visited Earth a million years ago, creating two divergent races—the Eternals and the Deviants—by way of genetic experiments. Those experiments were also responsible for the rare emergence of mutations in certain humans, giving them super powers. The Eternals protect the human race from the Deviants, and the two races engage in recurrent violent clashes. The Eternals’ immortality and powers come from cosmic energy and their ability to channel it. A new Eternals comic series was launched in January of this year, written by Kieron Gillen with art by Esad Ribić. 

We know the film takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame and that an unexpected tragedy will force the Eternals out of hiding to join forces with humans to fight their ancient enemy, the Deviants. An extended teaser dropped in May, set to a mournful cover of “The End of the World.” The teaser didn’t convey much information in terms of plot, but it did give us glimpses of our primary characters over the course of centuries.

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#entertainment, #eternals, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #marvel-studios, #trailers

Nic Cage chews scenery with gusto in Prisoners of the Ghostland trailer

Nicholas Cage’s unusual artistic choices over the years have been frequently remarked upon by critics, and no doubt he’s been in some pretty bad films over his long and storied career (*cough* The Wicker Man *cough*). But he’s also chosen some truly original, visionary independent projects, most recently 2019’s Lovecraft adaptation Color Out of Space and the bloody horror comedy Willy’s Wonderland earlier this year. He’s currently earning critical raves for his portrayal of a chef turned truffle hunter in search of his stolen truffle pig in Pig. And now we have the official trailer for Cage’s latest film, Prisoners of the Ghostland, a post-apocalyptic thriller that looks like Max Max transported into a surreal samurai Western.

Prisoners is helmed by idiosyncratic auteur Sion Sono. While Sono isn’t a household name in the US, he has enjoyed a fair amount of fame in his native Japan and on the film festival circuit. The Hollywood Reporter once called him “the most subversive director working in Japanese cinema today, with nearly 50 films of various genres—rite-of-passage stories fueled with social transgressions, all-out sex-and-gore thrillers, hip-hop musicals, and warm human drama.” He’s perhaps best known for 2008’s Love Exposure, a four-hour (!) art-house comedy drama inspired by Sono’s own youthful experience with a cult.

Prisoners of the Ghostland is Sono’s English-language debut, and it looks like a good fit for Cage’s colorfully flamboyant, mega-acting style. (Cage himself has called his method “Nouveau Shamanic” or “Western kabuki.”) The film premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival to decidedly mixed reviews, although both Cage’s performance and Sono’s striking visuals received praise.

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#entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #nicolas-cage, #rlje-films, #trailers

New Ghostbusters: Afterlife trailer teases return of lots of familiar faces

We finally have a new trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which was delayed multiple times before landing on its current November release date. This sequel to the iconic Ghostbusters films from the 1980s introduces a new generation to the franchise. So it’s fitting that the film is directed by Jason Reitman (Juno, Thank You for Smoking), son of Ivan Reitman, director of the 1980s’ films and one of the producers on Afterlife.

As I’ve written previously, Vanity Fair offered a first look at the latest film in [checks notes] December 2019, featuring several stills—including one showing the tricked-out ambulance from the original Ghostbusters. Per the official synopsis, “A single mother and her two children move to Summerville, Oklahoma, after inheriting property from a previously unknown relative. They discover their family’s legacy to the original Ghostbusters, who have become something of a myth, as many have long since forgotten the events of the ‘Manhattan Crossrip of 1984′”—i.e., the events of the original film. 

Carrie Coon (The Leftovers) plays mom Callie, while Mckenna Grace (The Haunting of Hill House) plays her science-loving daughter Phoebe. Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things) plays son Trevor. Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) plays summer school teacher Mr. Grooberson. The cast also includes Logan Kim as Podcast, Celeste O’Connor as Lucky, Oliver Cooper as Elton, Bokeem Woodbine as Sheriff Domingo, Marlon Kazadi as Thickneck, Tracy Letts as Jack, and Sydney Mae Diaz as Swayze.

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#film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #ghostbusters-afterlife

We have our best look yet at supervillain Mandarin in new Shang-Chi trailer

Marvel’s official trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is here, giving us a bit more of the title character’s backstory. It also serves up glimpses of classic villains the Mandarin and Abomination and a supporting (yet crucial) character from 2016’s Doctor Strange.

Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, this is the first Marvel film to feature an Asian lead—Simu Liu, best known for his role as Jung Kim on the sitcom Kim’s Convenience—as well as a predominantly Asian/Asian diaspora cast and crew. Marvel continues to keep plot details tightly under wraps, except to state that the main character gets drawn into the clandestine Ten Rings organization and must confront his past. “Shang-Chi’s main problem in his life is rooted in not knowing who he really is,” Cretton has said. “He has to learn how to own every part of himself. If he doesn’t allow himself to look at all of it—the good, the bad, the light and the dark—and to own it all, he won’t be able to reach his full potential.”

The “ten rings” of the title refers to the Marvel Comics supervillain Mandarin’s Ten Rings of Power (worn on the fingers in the comics, shown as arm bracelets in footage from the Marvel film), each with a different feature: ice blasts, flames, or mind-control, for instance. As we’ve reported previously, Marvel created an entirely new character, Wenwu, who has gone by many names over the years, including the Mandarin, who made an appearance in Iron Man 3—or rather, Ben Kingsley played Trevor Slattery, an imposter posing as the Mandarin.

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#entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #marvel-studios, #mcu-phase-four, #shang-chi

The “loser, B-grade supervillains” are back in new The Suicide Squad trailer

Australian actor Jai Courtney introduces a new “early access” trailer from Warner Bros. for director James Gunn’s forthcoming The Suicide Squad, in which Courtney reprises his role as Captain Boomerang from 2016’s Suicide Squad. It’s got quite bit of new footage and some small additional details (such as why Idris Elba’s Bloodsport is in prison in the first place). Each of the three trailers released so far has been better than the last, so we have high hopes for this film.

As I’ve written previouslyThe Suicide Squad is not a direct sequel to the 2016 film; Gunn has said he wanted to take the franchise in a new direction and introduce new characters. He drew inspiration from writer John Ostrander‘s original 1980s Suicide Squad comics. (Ostrander has a small role in the final film.) Gunn has described his R-rated film as a superhero version of the classic 1967 film The Dirty Dozen, selecting characters he described as “loser, B-grade supervillains.”

Joel Kinnaman and Viola Davis reprise their 2016 roles as Col. Rick Flag and Intelligence Officer Amanda Waller, respectively, with Steve Agee playing John Economos, prison warden and aide to Waller. The squad this time around includes Elba’s Bloodsport, Peacemaker (John Cena), Courtney’s Captain Boomerang, Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), Savant (Michael Rooker), King Shark (voiced by Rooker’s Cliffhanger co-star Sylvester Stallone), Blackguard (Pete Davidson), Javelin (Flula Borg), and everyone’s favorite psycho, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie).

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#dc-universe, #entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #james-gunn, #the-suicide-squad, #warner-bros

Warner Bros. releases trailer for noir-esque sci-fi thriller Reminiscence

Hugh Jackman stars as a man who helps clients recover lost memories in the sci-fi thriller Reminiscence.

A solitary man living in a dystopian near-future helps people recover lost memories and ends up uncovering a violent conspiracy in Reminiscence, a sci-fi thriller that feels like a cross between classic film noir and ambitiously heady fare like Memento and Inception. That’s no surprise, as it’s the feature film directorial debut of Lisa Joy, co-creator (with husband Jonathan Nolan) of HBO’s critically acclaimed series Westworld.

Per the official premise:

Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman), a private investigator of the mind, navigates the darkly alluring world of the past by helping his clients access lost memories. Living on the fringes of the sunken Miami coast, his life is forever changed when he takes on a new client, Mae (Rebecca Ferguson). A simple matter of lost and found becomes a dangerous obsession. As Bannister fights to find the truth about Mae’s disappearance, he uncovers a violent conspiracy and must ultimately answer the question: how far would you go to hold on to the ones you love?

During a virtual event on Wednesday, Joy said she was inspired to make Reminiscence after finding an old photograph among her grandfather’s belongings. The picture was of an unknown woman her grandfather had never mentioned to anyone in the family. “It made me start to think about memory and our lives in general,” she said. “And the moments that maybe pass by, and maybe disappear—they don’t stay with us, those connections necessarily—but that meant something, that changed us and touched us. And how nice it would be able to go back to these memories fully for a moment, to live that life and feel the way you felt when you experienced them.”

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#entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #hbo-max, #hugh-jackman, #lisa-joy, #warner-bros

Famed Arthurian tale comes to silver screen in The Green Knight trailer

Dev Patel stars as Sir Gawain in the forthcoming epic medieval fantasy film, The Green Knight.

An ambitious young knight of King Arthur’s Round Table makes an ill-advised bargain and embarks on a personal quest in the new trailer for The Green Knight, a forthcoming film by director David Lowery (Pete’s Dragon, A Ghost Story) adapted from the famous 14th-century medieval poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Originally meant to debut at the 2020 SXSW festival, with a May 2020 theatrical release, the film was shelved in the face of the global pandemic. With theaters slowly reopening around the country (and the world), The Green Knight is finally being released this summer.

(Spoilers for the 14th-century medieval poem below.)

The original poem falls into the chivalric romance genre, relating a well-known story from Arthurian legend. (I highly recommend J.R.R. Tolkien’s translation from 1925 or Simon Armitage’s 2008 translation, recently revised.) On New Year’s Day, King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table gather at Camelot to feast and exchange gifts. A mysterious Green Knight disrupts the festivities and proposes a different kind of exchange: any one of the knights may strike him with one blow with his axe; in return, the Green Knight will come back in a year to return the blow. Sir Gawain, the youngest of the knights and nephew to Arthur, accepts the challenge and beheads the Green Knight. Everyone is shocked when the Green Knight picks up his severed head. He says Gawain must meet him at the Green Chapel one year hence to receive a similar blow, per their bargain.

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#a24-studio, #dev-patel, #entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #the-green-knight

Marvel drops first teaser for Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings

Simu Liu stars as a martial artist trying to escape his past in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

A young man who once trained as an assassin for a Chinese criminal organization discovers just how hard it can be to escape one’s past in the first teaser for Marvel Studios’ upcoming film, Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings, part of the MCU’s Phase Four. Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, it is the first Marvel film to feature an Asian lead—Simu Liu, best known for his role as Jung Kim on the sitcom Kim’s Convenience—as well as a predominantly Asian/Asian diaspora cast and crew.

The title character first appeared in a Marvel comic in 1973, after the company had tried and failed to acquire the comic book rights for the popular 1970s TV show Kung Fu (starring David Carradine). Modeled in part on Bruce Lee, Shang-Chi was originally the son of Chinese criminal mastermind Dr. Fu Manchu, trained in martial arts since childhood to become an assassin. After Marvel lost the rights to the Fu Manchu character, Shang-Chi’s paternity became murkier, but the international crime lord theme was common—although his father was revealed to be an ancient immortal sorcerer in the Secret Avengers storyline.

Shang-Chi has not traditionally had special superpowers, but his training in multiple styles of martial arts and assorted weaponry makes him a formidable opponent and a useful ally. Plus, he is a master of chi, making him even stronger and faster—fast enough to dodge bullets. When he eventually joins forces with the Avengers in the comics, Tony Stark gives him a pair of bracelets to further focus his chi (as well as some snazzy high-tech nunchaku).

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#entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #marvel-studios, #mcu, #mcu-phase-four

Mercenaries take on heist in zombie-ridden Vegas in Army of the Dead trailer

Dave Bautista stars in the zombie heist film, Army of the Dead, directed by Zack Snyder.

Fresh off the successful release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, we’ll soon be getting the director’s latest project: Army of the Dead, about a group of mercenaries that attempts a heist in a zombie-ridden Las Vegas. In a sense, Snyder has come full circle. His directorial debut was 2008’s Dawn of the Dead, an entertaining reboot of the original George Romero classic from 1978.

Army of the Dead started out as a joint project between Universal Studios and Warner Bros. back in 2007. But like so many films, it got stuck in development hell, until Zack Snyder signed on as director in 2019. Netflix picked up the distribution rights from Warner Bros. soon after.

Per the official premise:

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#army-of-the-dead, #entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #netflix, #zack-snyder

It’s the Tune Squad vs the Good Squad in Space Jam: A New Legacy trailer

The LA Lakers’ LeBron James stars as himself in Space Jam: A New Legacy, a sequel to the 1996 film Space Jam.

NBA basketball star LeBron James and a team of Looney Tunes animated characters must win a virtual basketball game against the digitized champions of an evil A.I. in Space Jam: A New Legacy, a sequel to the 1996 film, Space Jam. With its blend of live action and animation, the original became one of the most iconic films of the 1990s. The sequel updates the basic concept for the virtual age, to create what looks like a cross between The LEGO Movie (and LEGO Movie 2) and Ready Player One, with a dash of TRON for good measure.

(Some spoilers for the original film below,)

Space Jam is basically a fictional account of NBA superstar Michael Jordan’s return to basketball in 1995 after retiring in 1993 to play baseball. (It was inspired by a couple of Nike commercials.) In the film, Jordan falls into the Looney Tunes animated world to help the so-called “Tune Squad”—all the most popular animated Looney Tunes characters—win a basketball game against a group of enslaved aliens called the Nerdlucks. In addition to Jordan, NBA players Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Shawn Bradley, Patrick Ewing, Larry Johnson, and Muggsy Bogues also make cameos. (The aliens steal the latter five’s talents to transform themselves into formidable opponents.)

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#entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #hbo-max, #space-jam-a-new-legacy, #trailers, #warner-bros

Harley Quinn has new bad guy allies in The Suicide Squad red band trailer

Idris Elba and Margot Robbie headline an ensemble cast of colorful supervillains recruited for a special military tactical response team in the red band trailer for The Suicide Squad (embedded below). It’s Director James Gunn’s (Guardians of the Galaxy) standalone follow-up to 2016’s Suicide Squad. It’s actually pretty tame as red band trailers go, playing up the jokey camaraderie amid all the explosions, gunfire, and blood spatter. Tonally, Gunn’s film feels like a cross between Guardians of the Galaxy and Deadpool—in other words, it looks like a lot of fun, and it’s definitely something we’re keen to see when it debuts this summer.

(Some spoilers for prior DCEU films below,)

The original Suicide Squad took place a year after the death of Superman in Zack Snyder’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). Intelligence Officer Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) receives permission to create Task Force X, a tactical response team to combat “metahuman” threats. The group is composed entirely of criminals and supervillains and is led by Colonel Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman). The government plants nanite bombs in their necks to keep them reasonably under control, promising to shorten their sentences if their missions are successfully fulfilled. The all-star cast included Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, and Jared Leto as The Joker. 

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#dceu, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #hbo-max, #james-gunn, #the-suicide-squad, #trailers

Let them fight! Mortal Kombat red-band trailer gives fans what they want

Warner Bros. has released the red-band trailer for its forthcoming Mortal Kombat reboot, which had long languished in development hell. A Russian-dubbed version of the trailer initially leaked on reddit, according to Eurogamer, before being pulled. It’s basically a nonstop, blood-soaked fighting fest, featuring all the fan favorites from the popular video game franchise.

(Some spoilers for the games and earlier films below.)

Midway Games released the first Mortal Kombat game in 1992, which proved hugely influential for many a teenager who frequented video arcades during that era. There have been 11 main games and multiple spinoffs in the franchise thus far, all set in a fictional universe of eight different realms. The greatest warriors from the various realms must compete in a series of Mortal Kombat tournaments to conquer other realms.

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#entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #hbo-max, #mortal-kombat, #warner-bros

Jared Leto’s Joker is back in new trailer for Zack Snyder’s Justice League

Happy Valentine’s Day, DCEU fans: HBO Max dropped a new trailer for Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

Disappointed DC Extended Universe fans were clamoring for a “Snyder cut” soon after the release of 2017’s Justice League, and Warner Bros. eventually obliged them, announcing it would release the full director’s cut on HBO Max. For Valentine’s Day, the studio dropped a full two-minute-plus trailer for Zack Snyder’s Justice League to further reward the fandom’s patience. Count me among the skeptics on the question of whether we really needed a “Snyder cut,” but I must admit, based on the full trailer, Snyder’s version does seem markedly different from the theatrical release. Among other changes, the trailer includes a brief glimpse of Jared Leto’s Joker, who didn’t appear at all in the original.

As we’ve reported previously, the original Justice League was the third film in a trilogy that included Man of Steel (2013) and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). It brought together Ben Affleck’s Batman and Henry Cavill’s Superman with Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), The Flash (Ezra Miller), and Cyborg (Ray Fisher). They are on a mission to save the world from arch-villain Steppenwolf (Ciarán Hinds), a “New God” in search of three “Mother Boxes” that will enable him to terraform the Earth into something more hospitable to him and his army of Parademons.

Snyder completed all the principal photography and was well into post-production, but he stepped down as director in May 2017 following the tragic suicide of his daughter, and the studio turned to Joss Whedon (The Avengers) to complete the film. Whedon rewrote the script, adding some 80 pages, and did extensive reshoots, bringing more humor and a brighter tone into the mix. He also cut more than 90 minutes of Snyder’s original footage to accommodate the studio’s requested 120-minute runtime, although Whedon’s version retained the basic story outline. The result was what some critics called a “Frankenstein” film, struggling to incorporate the very different visions of two directors. Reviews were mixed, and while Justice League wound up grossing $657 million, the purported break-even point was around $750 million.

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#dceu, #entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #hbo-max, #snyder-cut, #zack-snyder, #zack-snyders-justice-league

Marvel drops action-packed two-minute Falcon and the Winter Soldier trailer

Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan reprise their roles as Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes in Marvel’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, coming to Disney+ in March.

Marvel Studios did the Super Bowl right by releasing a lengthy two-minute trailer for its upcoming new series, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.  Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan reprise their roles as Sam Wilson (the Falcon) and Bucky Barnes (the Winter Soldier) for the Disney+ show, which is set after the events of Avengers: Endgame. The pair will “team up on a global adventure that tests their abilities—and their patience.”

(Some spoilers for prior MCU films below.)

You may recall that after the Avengers and their many allies finally defeated Thanos in Endgame, Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) handed over his shield to Sam so he could take on the mantle. But will Sam accept it? That’s part of what The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will explore over the course of its six episodes, and showrunner Malcolm Spellman has said the tone will be similar to Captain America: Winter Soldier. Marvel is purportedly spending in the range of $25 million per episode to ensure a cinematic quality for the series.

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#disney-plus, #entertainment, #falcon-and-the-winter-soldier, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #marvel-cinematic-universe, #marvel-studios, #mcu-phase-four, #trailers

Warrior princess fights to save humanity in Raya and the Last Dragon trailer

Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina star in Disney’s new animated feature Raya and the Last Dragon.

Disney has released the official full trailer for its upcoming animated film, Raya and the Last Dragon, with Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina voicing the titular characters. It has the distinction of being the first Disney animated feature to be remotely developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, working with home equipment and mostly communicating via Zoom. The pandemic also caused the film’s release date to be shifted multiple times. It’s now slated for a March 5 release, both in theaters and on Disney+ with premier access.

Disney first announced the film during its 2019 D23 Expo and presented co-directors Don Hall (Big Hero 6, Moana) and Carlos Lopez Estrada (Frozen II, Blindspotting) at D23 the following year. The fictional fantasy land of Kumandra was inspired by several different Southeast Asian cultures—Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Laos, and the Philippines—and the production team traveled extensively to most of those countries to research the film. A Lao visual anthropologist also reviewed the final designs.

Per the official synopsis:

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#disney-animation, #disney-plus, #entertainment, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #raya-and-the-last-dragon, #trailers

Godzilla vs. Kong trailer is a rock ‘em, sock ’em monster mashup

Two powerful forces of nature collide in a battle for the ages in Godzilla vs. Kong, premiering simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max on March 26, 2021.

It’s powerful Titan pitted against Titan in the first trailer for Godzilla vs. Kong, the fourth film released as part of Legendary Picture’s “MonsterVerse” franchise, co-produced and distributed by Warner Bros. Directed by Adam Wingard, the film is not meant to be a remake of the 1962 Japanese classic, King Kong vs. Godzilla; rather, per Wingard, it will directly tie into the events of its 2019 predecessor, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and feature a “more rugged” and aging Kong.

(Some spoilers for some prior films in the MonsterVerse franchise below.)

The MonsterVerse franchise started in 2014 with Godzilla, in which a soldier tries to return to his family while caught in the crossfire of the battle between Godzilla and a pair of parasitic monsters known as MUTOs. The studio followed up three years later with Kong: Skull Island, set in 1973, in which a team of scientists and soldiers travel to the titular Skull Island and encounter Kong, the last survivor of his species. And in 2019, the studio released Godzilla: King of the Monsters, a sequel to the 2014 film, in which Godzilla and Mothra team up to defeat a prehistoric alien named King Ghidorah, who has awakened other ancient creatures (Titans) to destroy the world.

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#film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #godzilla-vs-kong, #hbo-max, #legendary-pictures, #warner-bros

Anthony Mackie plays an android supersoldier in Outside the Wire trailer

Anthony Mackie stars as an android drone pilot in the near future who must track down a doomsday device in Outside the Wire.

A drone pilot is sent into a deadly militarized zone where he finds himself working for an android officer tasked with averting a doomsday scenario in Outside the Wire, the latest high-profile feature film from Netflix. This one stars Anthony Mackie as the android protagonist, fresh off his stunning performance in the sci-fi indie film Synchronic (included in our roundup last month of the best films released in 2020). That, and Netflix’s solid track record with its feature films, are reason enough to be intrigued.

Per the official synopsis:

In 2036, America serves as a peacekeeping force and human troops on both sides are supported by robot combatants called Gumps and drone pilots monitoring skirmishes from thousands of miles away. But after headstrong drone pilot Lieutenant Harp (Damson Idris) disobeys a direct order to intervene in a conflict, the Army deploys him to a military outpost to confront the human costs of his button-pushing.

Harp’s expectations of guarding a fence are upended when his new commanding officer Captain Leo (Anthony Mackie) announces plans to infiltrate the demilitarized zone and apprehend Viktor Koval (Pilou Asbæk), a warlord who intends to launch a network of dormant nuclear weapons. Soon, Harp learns that his theoretical experience as a drone pilot means little out on the battlefield under enemy attack—especially after discovering that Leo is an A.I.-enhanced supersoldier whose strength, speed and demand for results promise to turn his real-world education into a trial by fire.

That pretty much sums it up. The trailer opens with Harp arrives for his reassignment, apparently because he has trouble following the rules—or, as Leo (the classified prototype supersoldier) prefers to think of it, an ability to “think outside the box.” A bit of a buddy-cop vibe separates the two, with Leo teasing his subordinate about the mushy inscription on the back of Harp’s girlfriend’s photo (“Awwww… ‘my gummi bear…. ‘”). We learn that Leo is capable of human emotion despite his extensive combat training (or, er, programming), and he has a neat trick of temporarily removing his tracker when he wants to go off the grid (“Sometimes you got to get dirty to see any real change”). Then the fisticuffs, property damage, and explosions kick in.

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Chloë Moretz battles gremlins on a plane in Shadow in the Cloud trailer

Chloë Grace Moretz stars as a tough-as-nails female Women’s Auxiliary Air Force captain who finds herself battling gremlins aboard a B-17 Flying Fortress in Shadow in the Cloud.

Chloë Grace Moretz (Kickass) plays a female WWII pilot on a secret mission who must contend with an evil gremlin attempting to dismantle her B-17 in mid-air in Shadow in the Cloud, a horror/action film that debuted at the Toronto International’s Film Festival in September, and is now coming to VOD on New Year’s Day.  Based on the trailer, it looks like a mashup of Gremlins meets Snakes on a Plane, with some over-the-top Vin Diesel-style action tossed in for good measure.

Set in 1943, the film had a somewhat rocky road on the way to completion. Max Landis—creator of the BBC’s Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, based on the Douglas Adams novels, and son of Director John Landis—penned the original draft script, and relative newcomer Roseanne Liang was hired to direct. Then Landis was accused of sexual and emotional abuse by eight women and dropped from the project. (In a since-deleted tweet, Director Josh Trank, who worked with Landis on the 2012 low budget superhero movie, Chronicle, said he believed the accusations and had even banned Landis from the set during Chronicle‘s principal photography.)

Liang overhauled the script herself, punching up the female empowerment angle while still maintaining the horror/action thriller sensibility. The film premiered at a Toronto drive-in, and proved hugely popular with festival attendees, even winning the People’s Choice Award for Midnight Madness. (It already holds a 74 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.) All that buzz led to a distribution deal with Vertical Entertainment and Redbox Entertainment, purportedly worth about $5 million—apparently the first “drive-in theater movie” to be so acquired, per Deadline Hollywood.

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#chloe-moretz, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #shadow-in-the-cloud, #trailers

Daisy Ridley, Tom Holland are hunted on distant planet in Chaos Walking trailer

Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley star in Chaos Walking, a film adaptation of the award-wining trilogy by Patrick Ness.

A young man and woman on a distant planet called the New World find themselves on the run from a town of religious fanatics in Chaos Walking, a forthcoming film directed by Doug Limon and based on the award-winning sci-fi trilogy of the same name by Patrick Ness. And the film boasts two megastars: Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey in the most recent Star Wars trilogy, and Tom Holland, the latest incarnation of Spider-Man in the MCEU.

The series consists of three novels—The Knife of Letting Go, The Ask and the Answer, and Monsters of Men—as well as three short stories set in the same fictional universe, intended as companion pieces to the novels. The series takes place on a planet called New World, where we meet Todd, a boy living in a religiously devoted settlement known as Prentisstown, led by the megalomaniac mayor, David Prentiss. There are no women left, and all the men are afflicted by something called the “Noise,” which makes their thoughts audible, driving many of them mad. The same is true for Todd’s little dog, Manchee. This is purportedly the result of biological warfare on the part of a native intelligent species known as Spackle, who resented the arrival of the colonizers. The germ killed all the women and left the men with the Noise.

One day, Todd discovers a patch of silence (a “hole in the Noise”) in a nearby swamp, and when he tells his adoptive parents about it, they insist he has to flee Prentisstown. Back in the swamp, Todd comes face to face with Viola, a young girl who has crash-landed on New World in a small scouting craft, ahead of an incoming ship of new planetary settlers. They are relentlessly pursued by the Mayor, his son Davy, and an evil preacher named Aaron as they seek refuge with other, more peaceful settlements—including a town called Haven that is rumored to have a cure for the Noise—in hopes of finding a way to warn the incoming ship of the potential violence they face.

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Bruce Willis returns to space to kick some alien derriere in Breach trailer

Bruce Willis battles an alien life form aboard an interstellar ark  en route to a New Earth in Breach.

An interstellar ark transporting the last humans on Earth to a new home inadvertently brings along a shape-shifting alien stowaway in Breach, a new sci-fi action film starring Bruce Willis and directed by John Suits. The trailer just dropped, and the film looks like a fairly generic mix of elements from Alien, The X-Files, and Event Horizon. But anything that lets Willis “yippee-ki-yay” his gun-toting way to saving humanity from aliens in space is okay by me.

Suits is best known for 2016’s Pandemic, essentially a zombie horror thriller shot entirely from a first person point of view, like a video game. He also directed the recently released short Diehard is Back, a fun Willis-starring commercial for Diehard batteries that pays tongue-in-cheek homage to the franchise, including a few cameos that should delight fans. (“From fighting his way to Advance Auto Parts to racing against the clock to install his new DieHard Battery—McClane will stop at nothing, to start his car again.”) So I’m hopeful that Suits can bring a fitting mix of suspense, action, and humor to Breach, and just let Willis be Willis.

Originally titled Anti-Life, the film’s premise is that a devastating plague has wiped out much of Earth’s population, and the survivors are being evacuated via an interstellar ark to “New Earth.” Willis plays Clay Young, described as a hardened mechanic who is part of the crew selected to stay awake and maintain the ark for the six-month journey. But then he discovers a shapeshifting alien (or “a malevolent cosmic terror,” per the early press materials) has also stowed away on the ark, and it seems to be intent on killing everyone on board.

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#breach, #bruce-willis, #entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #saban-films, #science-fiction, #trailers

James Corden is a snarky AI that might take out humanity in Superintelligence

An all-powerful AI (James Corden) chooses to study the most average person on Earth, Carol Peters (Melissa McCarthy), to determine if humans are worth saving in Superintelligence.

Let’s face it: this is going to a dismal holiday season for film lovers, with most movie theaters shuttered for the foreseeable future and just one major release—Wonder Woman 1984—left standing after studios shifted all their blockbusters to next year. And even Wonder Woman 1984 is likely to end up getting bumped to next year from its currently planned Christmas Day release date unless we can get this raging pandemic in check quickly.

On the bright side, streaming platforms and VOD are doing their best to fill in the gap, and the dearth of major new releases is giving a lot of smaller indie films a better chance to find an audience. Plus, HBO Max just dropped the official trailer for Superintelligence, an action comedy starring Melissa McCarthy—and directed by her husband, Ben Falcone—that will drop Thanksgiving Weekend.

But the decision to skip the usual broad theatrical release in favor of the streaming platform was made last year—before the pandemic hit. That makes this film an intriguing potential harbinger of what the media ecosystem for films might look like in the future, especially for midbudget films. It was a big marquee acquisition for the fledgling HBO Max, which officially launched in May.

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#ben-falcone, #entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #hbo-max, #melissa-mccarthy

George Clooney is a grizzled Arctic astronomer in The Midnight Sky trailer

George Clooney directs and stars in The Midnight Sky, based on the the novel Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton.

Netflix has bet heavily this year on high-profile feature films starring A-list talent: first with Chris Hemsworth in Extraction, and then with Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron in The Old Guard. That bet has largely paid off. Now the streaming platform has tapped another Oscar winner, George Clooney, to direct and star in the post-apocalyptic science fiction film The Midnight Sky. It’s adapted from the critically acclaimed 2016 debut novel, Good Morning, Midnight, by Lily Brooks-Dalton, which has been compared to Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora and Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven. The official trailer just dropped, and it’s giving us some strong Away vibes (which, alas, has been canceled by Netflix after just one season).

In the novel, a brilliant astronomer named Augustine is posted to the Arctic, scanning the night sky for clues about the birth of the universe. Then a mysterious global apocalypse occurs, prompting all his fellow scientists to evacuate. But Augustine remains behind, dedicated to continuing his research, even as the airwaves go silent. Meanwhile, a team of astronauts aboard the spaceship Aether is set to return to Earth after a mission to Jupiter. On board is Sully, who sacrificed her marriage and left her daughter behind in order to become one of the first humans to travel so far in our Solar System. The astronauts are unaware of the catastrophe that has befallen Earth, and it falls to Augustine to warn them not to return.

Snow is white, space is black

Clooney’s film adaptation looks like it will hew closely to the novel. Per the official premise: “This post-apocalyptic tale follows Augustine (Clooney, Syriana, Argo), a lonely scientist in the Arctic, as he races to stop Sully (Felicity Jones, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) and her fellow astronauts from returning home to a mysterious global catastrophe.” The cast also includes David Oyelowo (Selma, Don’t Let Go) as Commander Tom Adewole, Ethan Peck (Star Trek: Discovery), Sophie Rundle (Peaky Blinders), Kyle Chandler (Bloodline, First Man) as Matthew, Tiffany Boone (The Following) as Maya, Demián Bichir (A Better Life) as Sanchez, and Caoilinn Springall as Iris, a mysterious child that Augustine befriends in the Arctic.

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#entertainment, #film, #film-trailers, #gaming-culture, #george-clooney, #netflix, #science-fiction-television, #streaming-television