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Vanessa Hudgens Is Doing Another Netflix Christmas Movie And This One Has Time Travel

While it’s true that most people think of the Hallmark Channel when it comes time to binge brand new Christmas movies every year, Netflix has slowly been stepping things up in that warm-feeling inducing genre for the past few holiday seasons. Last year, in fact, the streamer brought us the Vanessa Hudgens (and Vanessa Hudgens) led The Princess Switch, which featured the Hudges playing a duchess and a baker from Chicago who realize they look identical and decide to switch places during the Christmas season. Well, it would seem that Hudgens and Netlfix enjoyed being in business together, because she’s just boarded another holiday film for the company, The Knight Before Christmas. And, this time, there’s time travel.

As if a pleasant Christmas movie where two beautiful people fall quickly in love weren’t enough, The Knight Before Christmas will add in the oh-so-familiar magic component which is common to many holiday films. The movie will focus on, you guessed it, a brave English knight who is forced to seek out his true quest when a sorceress accidentally sends him to the modern day from their medieval era. In our time, he, of course, discovers that he’s falling into deep romantic love with a kind high school science teacher, who just so happens to be disenchanted by the whole idea of falling in love.

I don’t know about you, but to me this already sounds like a curl up with a cozy blanket and a warm (possibly spiked) beverage holiday movie home run. For real, can I add this to my queue right now?

Hudgens isn’t content to just act in The Knight Before Christmas, either. According to Deadline she will also executive produce the movie, alongside Brad Krevoy (who also served as executive producer on The Princess Switch and has a resume filled with Christmas movies), Amanda Phillips Atkins, Lorenzo Nardini, Jimmy Townsend and Eric Jarboe. The feature will be directed by Monika Mitchell (Lifetime’s The Christmas Contract), written by Cara Russell and will also star Josh Whitehouse (Poldark, the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel).

Aside from the fact that The Knight Before Christmas has some holiday movie pedigree working for it behind and in front of the camera, it’s hard not to be excited about having yet another Netflix-based Christmas film to dive into in the holiday season ahead. And, any lover of these movies who also enjoys the fact that they frequently deal in magical coincidences / real life Santa Claus / other hints or outright evidence that the holidays are a special time of year, should be especially excited about the time travel aspect.

I can already see how some of this will play out. Our medieval hero will be shocked that Vanessa Hudgens’ teacher is allowed to work and wasn’t married off by the age of 13. He will be incredibly surprised by any building larger than four stories, flummoxed by cars, confused by cell phones and possibly daunted by the sheer amount of everything that is everywhere. But, and this will be a very important but, he’ll be a steadfast believer in love and capable, even in all his modern day mystification, of leading our heroine to a place where she can let her guard down and fall into his hunky loving arms. The big question will be whether she goes back in time with him (bad idea) or he stays put in our time.

Seriously, you guys, if you’re not convinced that Vanessa Hudgens, she of the High School Musical legacy, has made a perfect choice in deciding to tackle The Knight Before Christmas I’m convinced that your holiday season might just be a mostly joyless affair. While there’s no debut date set for The Knight Before Christmas right now, it’s set to begin filming this April and will likely be ready to stream on Netflix before you put your holiday decorations up.

Colin Farrell Loved The Dumbo Sets So Much He Spent Extra Time Just Wandering Around

Few auteurs have made as big an impact on modern cinema than Tim Burton. The filmmaker’s style is identifiable from a mile away, and it’s a specific aesthetic that has driven some of the most visually interesting features to be released in the last 35 years. His work possesses many charms, including a wonderful practicality, and it’s that particular element of Burton’s filmmaking process that really boggled the mind of Colin Farrell in the making of Dumbo.

Unlike many of the stars of the new Disney film (including Eva Green, Danny DeVito, and Michael Keaton), Colin Farrell didn’t have the experience of working with Tim Burton prior to the making of the new live-action adaptation, but that just meant that the entire experience was brand new to him. This was something that he very much reveled in during production, as he recently told me about how he would actually spend extra time on set when nobody was around, taking it all in. Discussing his expectations for working with Burton, Farrell explained,

Colin Farrell wore his appreciation for the beauty of Tim Burton’s Dumbo on his sleeve when I had the opportunity to sit down with him earlier this month during the new film’s Los Angeles press junket. During the interview he mentioned that he had met the director years before making the new movie – specifically they had a chat while drinking coffee poolside at the Roosevelt Hotel (don’t you just love Hollywood?) – but that meeting apparently didn’t fully prepare the actor for the experience of collaborating with the filmmaker. So when he arrived and saw the massive, practical, and colorful sets that had been built for the live-action adaptation of the Disney animated classic, he was really blown away.

There are some actors who can’t get off set fast enough when they are done with a day of production on a movie, but that most definitely wasn’t the case for Colin Farrell in the making of Dumbo. Instead, he found that the experience of being alone on the massive circus sets that had been built overwhelmed him with emotions – particularly a thankfulness that he has a life that allows him to be a part of beautiful art. Said Farrell,

In Dumbo, Colin Farrell stars as Holt Farrier, a circus performer who we first meet at the start of the story when he returns from fighting in World War I. He is beyond elated to once again be with his two children, Milly (Nico Parker) and Joe (Finley Hobbins), but he’s also not quite the man he used to be, as an injury sustained during battle led to him losing his left arm. He does his best to try and return his life to what it was before he left, but finds challenges from his disability. It’s a scary and hard time, but optimism soon arrives in the form of a young elephant with ears so big that they allow it to fly.

The seventeenth film from Tim Burton, and also starring Alan Arkin in addition to all the names mentioned above, Dumbo will soon be arriving in theaters – scheduled to land on March 29th. Between now and then, be sure to stay tuned here on CinemaBlend, as we have plenty more coming from my interviews with the movie’s cast and filmmakers.

This New Game of Thrones Photo Gives a Big Hint About Who Ends Up on the Iron Throne

One of the biggest mysteries going into Game of Thrones season eight is who will, ultimately, end up on the Iron Throne. There are several fan theories about this, but a new pic HBO just dropped offers a strong clue.

Take a look at the pic for yourself, further below. At first, it just looks like a normal rendition of the Iron Throne, but check out the bottom. See those eyes? For this graphic, HBO literally put the throne on top of Drogon, one of Daenerys Targaryen’s three dragons. We never see creatures in photos of the throne, so this is an interesting development.

And it could mean a number of things. Or nothing! However, the dominant theory is Drogon’s presence means Daenerys ends up on the Iron Throne, and she takes her dragons with her. They’re a scary trio, so it’s probably wise she doesn’t leave them behind if she does win the throne.

It’s important to take all these theories and hypotheses lightly. HBO is notorious for including images in Game of Thrones promos that never actually make the show. That being said, I’m fully on board with Daenerys taking the throne once and for all. Jon Snow, who?

This isn’t the only big GoT theory to pop up in the last few days. A Redditor named DaughtersOfTheHarpy posted a convincing hypothesis nine days ago suggesting the Night King is after Bran Stark. “The Night King has had many opportunities to kill Jon,” they write. “If he was after him that bad, he would have killed him by now.” Good point.

We’ll find out the answers to these theories and more when Game of Thrones season eight premieres Sunday, April 14 at 8 P.M. ET on HBO. That’s only a few weeks away, but it feels like a lifetime.

Best Suits For Women 2019: The 22 Most Stylish Options

Over the past few seasons, designers have offered up more and more reasons to ditch the antiquated notion that suits are only for those who work in corporate environments. Sure, you can still pick up a traditional 9-to-5 blazer-and-trouser combination, but now you can also find options in springtime pastels, playful patterns, and—for the warmest days—short and skirt sets.

It used to be that a spring dress was the first thing on anyone’s shopping list come March—whether a gingham dress or a floral one—but this season, consider a suit. They have all the charisma of a dress, coupled with the ability to mix with spring blouses or colorful denim with ease. It’s multiple outfits for the price of one. Have we made our case yet? Check out 22 of our favorites at the moment.

Looks Like Hulk And Thanos Will Get A Rematch In Avengers: Endgame

It’s a super exciting time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Over a decade of filmmaking will come to a head when Avengers: Endgame arrives in theaters next month, completing Phase Three of the behemoth franchise. The anticipation is made all the more high due to the twist ending of Infinity War, which saw Thanos succeed in uniting the Infinity Stones and wiping out half of all life in the galaxy.

There are a ton of questions going into Avengers: Endgame, as the studio has been keeping its cards close to the chest ahead of the film’s release. Aside from the new suits and rumored time travel, a big question surrounding the upcoming movie is the role of The Hulk. The big green guy was noticeably absent through most of Infinity War, refusing to come back out after being beat down by Thanos in the opening scene. Now it appears that a rematch is coming, according to leaked merchandise. Check out the photo below.

Does anyone else have chills? Thanos and Hulk will hopefully come to blows again in Avengers: Endgame, whenever the latter finally agrees to resurface. Given the state of the galaxy after The Decimation, the surviving Avengers are going to need all the help they can get. That is, if this leak from Twitter is to be believed.

Years after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, Hulk finally returned to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Thor: Ragnarok. He spent years on Sakaar, with with the big green guy in full control of Bruce Banner’s body for the entirety of that time. Hulk and Bruce’s power dynamic is clearly off, and thats a narrative that continued through Avengers: Infinity War.

Thanos laid waste to the Asgardian ship in the film’s opening scene, in his quest to find the Space Stone. But our heroes had a few cards up their sleeve, and Hulk was able to briefly get the jump on the Mad Titan. But he wasn’t strong enough to keep up with Josh Brolin’s villain, and Thanos quickly got the upper hand and knocked Hulk out. But it appears that round two is coming with Endgame.

Bruce Banner might not have gotten his own solo movie after Phase One, but Mark Ruffalo’s character still had an interesting arc throughout the last two slates of movies. Ruffalo and Kevin Feige crafted a three movie narrative for the character, played out across Thor: Ragnarok, Infinity War, and Endgame. So just like Phase Three, that story will come wrap up next month when Endgame finally arrives in theaters.

Hulk was noticeably absent from the trailers for Avengers: Endgame, so The Russo Brothers are trying to keep his plot line under wraps for the time being. Instead, we should expect plenty of Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner, at least until things really heat up with the upcoming battle against Thanos.

Avengers: Endgame will arrive in theaters on April 26th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

How Much Money Us Is Expected To Make During Its Opening Weekend

It looks like the shapeshifters will hand the baton off to the doppelgängers at the box office this weekend, as the MCU’s smash hit Captain Marvel makes way for Jordan Peele’s horror film, Us. Jordan Peele’s debut film Get Out wound up becoming wildly profitable, earning over $250 million on a $4.5 million budget. And although it is far too early to tell if Us will enjoy similar success, it does look like it will get off to a strong start opening weekend.

The horror movie from Universal and Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw productions is tracking to open in a wide range from $38 million to $48 million according to The Hollywood Reporter. There is even a belief among some box office analysts that Us could reach or crack the $50 million mark this weekend.

Based on this tracking, things are looking good that Us will come in first at the box office, beating out Captain Marvel in its third weekend in release. Even at the low end, a $38 million opening bow would improve on Get Out’s $33.4 million domestic debut in 2017. Us cost more than Get Out though at $20 million, but it still looks poised for box office success.

These predictions are up from the earlier tracking that had the film landing between $35 million and $40 million. Those numbers came in before the Usbuzzy premiere at the South By Southwest Film Festival and before the positive reviews started coming out. Now it’s the week of the release and the buzz has increased and the opening weekend box office tracking seems to reflect that.

Other than Captain Marvel, which has been in theaters for a couple of weeks now, Us will not have any major competition this weekend; no other studio putting out a wide release opposite the follow-up to Jordan Peele’s box office hit, Get Out.

If Us manages to go as high as $50 million this weekend, it will be a feat similar to what A Quiet Place managed last year. John Krasinski’s film too had a buzzy SXSW premiere and opened in early April to $50 million. Like A Quiet Place and Get Out, Us will also likely benefit from positive word of mouth.

The reviews are in for the film and they are very positive, indicating that Jordan Peele has once again delivered. Only this time, it is a true horror film, yet one that still give you plenty to think about once you leave the theater. As the kind of film that is likely to inspire discussion, it may drive people to the theater to participate and perhaps even have repeat viewings, as star Winston Duke has recommended.

Us opens on March 22. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to see all the other movies you should have your eyes on this year.

Triple Frontier’s Twist Was Actually Ben Affleck’s Idea

Warning: spoilers for Netflix’s Triple Frontier are in play. If you haven’t seen the film yet, and want to remain unspoiled, bookmark this page and come back later.

It’s a moment that comes as a shock to everyone who watches Triple Frontier: the moment where Ben Affleck’s Tom “Redfly” Davis is taken out by a fatal headshot, thanks to a rash action he’d taken earlier in the film. The karmic consequence of killing a handful of farmers, it’s a kill that shocks and surprises anyone who would expect someone like Affleck to make it to the end of the movie. But as co-writer/director J.C. Chandor recently explained, the decision to kill Ben Affleck’s character was not only spawned in a re-write, it was from a note from Affleck himself. Chandor’s version of events goes like this:

Killing off any random character that wasn’t Ben Affleck might have worked in Triple Frontier. Doubly so, considering that by time Affleck’s lead is killed while defending his friends in a mountain range fire fight, it really felt like the whole team would be walking away from this caper with their lives. But even in the movies, when it’s your time to go, it’s time to go.

According to remarks Ben Affleck made to Collider during the Triple Frontier press day, that decision was inspired by, among other things, a random crime drama from the 1980’s. That specific film, and the effect it had on Affleck’s decision, can be read below:

As mentioned before, Tom’s death is the consequence of his cold blooded murder of South American farmers trying to claim some of the money stolen in Triple Frontier as their own. If it wasn’t for that particular incident, Ben Affleck’s character wouldn’t have been hunted down by one of the farmer’s sons, and he would have lived happily ever after. Or as happily as he could have with $5 million. But who was originally supposed to die?

While J.C. Chandor isn’t divulging which Triple Frontier character was originally on the chopping block, the smart money would be on either Garrett Hedlund’s Ben or Charlie Hunnam’s William originally taking the big dirt nap. With one being shot during the actual robbery, and the other going out of their way to protect their brother, the process of elimination helps narrow it down to those two characters. And comparatively, they could be considered characters secondary to Affleck’s Tom or Oscar Isaac’s Santiago.

This only makes the effect of this big rewrite all the more impressive. The finished film doesn’t feel like it has just two “star” team members and three “secondary” characters. Rather, the entire team of Triple Frontier is important in their own individual ways. So no matter died, it would have stung. But the fact that it was Ben Affleck is even more shocking, as it violates the conventional wisdom that a star of his stature always makes it to the end. A decision to which we, as movie fans, must say bravo.

Triple Frontier is currently available on Netflix, and being shown in limited theatrical release.

Rogue One Originally Had A Happy Ending

The epic conclusion to 2016’s Rogue One was bold, tragic and yet incredibly satisfying. One might call killing off each and everyone of the rebels introduced to in the Star Wars spinoff a brutal ending, but it added new depth and emotion to A New Hope and showed the stakes of the series’ conflict more than ever before. However, the scene that sticks in our minds of most when we think Rogue One wasn’t initially in the backbone of the script.

Shocking isn’t it? Rogue One’s co-writer Chris Weitz recently said before he came on to the project, the spinoff actually had a happy ending. In his words:

Wait? Does this mean Jyn and Cassian were going to originally tie the knot at the end of Rogue One? Chris Weitz doesn’t specify, but what could have been certainly doesn’t top the perfect finale we got in the 2016 spinoff. Looks like the writers’ early draft was aimed to please the Disney brand, but wasn’t doing service to the story to be told.

When Chris Weitz came on as screenwriter, he told The Cult Popture Podcast that he pushed for the characters’ mission to become a suicide mission for this smart reason:

If the writers didn’t kill off the cast of Rogue One, fans would have certainly wondered why they were never mentioned in the Star Wars franchise starting with A New Hope. In the movie, they are able to send out the weakness of the Death Star to the Rebellion right before their demise, allowing for Luke Skywalker’s heroic journey to still make sense and feel untouched. So, the end of Rogue One just had to end the way it did and without it, the movie would not have been so highly regarded by fans.

Thanks to positive reception of Rogue One, the series is getting a spinoff of its own for the studio’s upcoming streaming platform Disney+. The Rogue One television series will by a spy thriller starring Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor, taking place before the events of the 2016 movie. The developing series has The Americans writer and executive producer Stephen Schiff signed on as the showrunner.

Disney+ has a Star Wars series titled The Mandalorian from Jon Favreau coming to the platform when it launches later this year. The Skywalker saga is also set to conclude when Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters on December 20, 2019.

Disneyland Is Teasing Big Changes For Spider-Man In Upcoming Attraction

Right now at Disneyland Resort construction is ongoing to transform a corner of Disney California Adventure into a new Marvel superhero themed space. We already knew that one of the new attractions would be focused on your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, and now we have a bit of new information about the upcoming attraction, and it will apparently be used to create an all-new version of the character exclusive to Disney Parks.

Most of the new information we got from the Disney Parks Blog comes in the form of back story. We already knew that each Marvel themed area at the various Disney parks was designed to work like a local Avengers outpost for the education and training of new recruits. This will include, at both Disneyland Resort and Disneyland Paris, the creation of the Worldwide Engineering Brigade (or WEB, because Spider-pun) by Tony Stark. The purpose of WEB is to develop advancements in super powered technology, and the first assignment that WEB has been tasked with is creating new enhancements for Spider-Man’s suit.

It’s not clear what these new enhancements will be, but if they’re truly “new” then we’re talking about seeing Spider-Man with powers that we haven’t seen him use in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or potentially even in the comics.

Exactly how this will work is not set out in detail but the idea of the attraction is clearly something interactive where guests will be able to help create these new powers, as such, there may be multiple different new abilities you can give the wall-crawler, perhaps with the idea being that you can go back to the attraction multiple times and create new powers.

Of course, it’s also made clear that the goal of the attraction is to let guests engage with the superheroes and the super powers, so get ready to use these new abilities yourself.

In addition to the new attraction, Disney also revealed that a new walk around character for Spider-Man is coming to the parks who will be dressed in an original costume. The new design was created by Marvel Studios‘ Head of Visual Development Ryan Meinerding.

One of the questions I’ve had about the new Marvel land from the beginning was in what ways, if any, it would be connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The one existing Marvel attraction at Disney California Adventure, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout, uses the cast of the films and the new Ant-Man and the Wasp attraction at Disneyland Hong Kong does the same. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean these two parts of Marvel are connected. putting Spider-Man in an entirely originally designed costume in the parks would seem to indicate a separation between the two worlds.

That doesn’t mean Tom Holland won’t appear in the attraction, we don’t know that for sure one way or another, but making the theme park universe it’s own thing certainly opens things up and gives the storytellers more options.

This is the exact opposite idea of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, where it has been made clear the events that take place within the new land are as much canon as anything that happens in the movies.

In addition to the Spider-Man attraction we know that the new Marvel land will open next year in California with another attraction focused on Doctor Strange. An E-ticket ride focused on the Avengers will follow at some point in the future as apart of a second phase in the land.

Having a NICU Baby Is It’s Own Trauma

Elizabeth Wieland is a stay-at-home mom and part-time preschool teacher in Phoenix, Arizona. Seven years ago, Elizabeth and her husband Jon endured one of life’s most unexpected and painful journeys: a pregnancy loss of one of their twins and a nearly four month stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) with their surviving son Jacob. Even though Jacob’s birth was a bright spot, memories of their time in the NICU still haunt them. This is their story, as told to Rachel Wells.

When my husband and I found out we were pregnant with twins, we were thrilled. We had been through two healthy pregnancies already—we knew the drill. But one day, while standing at the kitchen table working on a project with one of my boys, I felt something strange, almost like a pop, or a tiny gush, in my abdomen. Something was wrong.

My husband and I went to the hospital but they sent us home telling us not to worry—everything looked fine for my 16-week pregnancy. We had no idea until the 20-week ultrasound a few weeks later that the pop I’d felt was my water breaking for one of the twins. I was immediately put on bed rest and given a list of homework: check my temperature a few times a day, check for infection, drink a ton of fluids. With two kids already at home, it was a big ask but we were managing. But after four weeks of being on bedrest, the unthinkable happened: I started bleeding.

After initially rushing to the hospital only to be sent home with another non-diagnosis, we ultimately learned that Twin A had “demised.” I was shattered, the clinical terminology further splintering my heart.

Baby A hadn’t demised—my son had died.

Still in shock, we were sent home from the hospital but that evening, the bleeding returned, so we rushed back, terrified about the safety of the second fetus in my womb. I was admitted me to the hospital for closer monitoring, unsure how many of the remaining 24 weeks of my pregnancy I’d spend in a hospital bed. Every night when the nurses came to check on me, they would say, “Okay, stay pregnant.” Yeah, I’m trying here, I thought.

Still in the hospital, still on bedrest and now 23-weeks pregnant, I was feeling sick all the time. There were no signs of contractions, so my nurses believed my pain was just indigestion. But one night, after hobbling to the bathroom, I realized something much more serious was happening. After frantically buzzing my nurse, I learned my body was beginning to deliver the fetus of the demised twin. My son, the baby we’d already named Joel, was being born.

Throughout the night, the next day, and the following evening, I experienced contractions until baby Joel was delivered stillborn. I chose not to hold his body. It’s one of the biggest regrets of my life but at the time, it felt like the only way to hold onto my quickly eroding sanity. I needed every ounce of strength I could muster for Twin B, our son Jacob, who was still growing inside me.

For a few precious days, everything was calm. Then, Jacob’s water broke and at 23-weeks—just past the point of viability—my husband and I decided with our doctor it was time to have a C-section. I thought we were past the worst part, but as soon as our son Jacob was born, he was taken to the NICU—it would be his home for the next 115 days and entirely new type of trauma for me.

The NICU never leaves you. As soon as you walk through the automatic doors, the smell of disinfectant and loss works its way into your skin, imprinting itself in your memory.