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Telltale’s Guardians Of The Galaxy And Minecraft Were Almost Very Different

Now that Telltale Games has basically let go almost all of its staff, we’re starting to get quite a few stories from behind-the-scenes about the production of various games, alternate endings, and postmortem details about various projects, including Guardians of the Galaxy and Minecraft.

Over on GamesIndustry.biz, it was revealed that during a presentation at the Sweden Game Conference, Emily Grace Buck, the former narrative designer at Telltale Games, broke down some of the design decisions that led to a misreading of Telltale’s games and the audience that they were making the games for. Buck explained how Guardians of the Galaxy ended up being tonally different from what fans of the series may have been expecting:

I can definitely see how that happened, and it’s something I both agree and disagree with. Buck states that originally Telltale’s take on Guardians of the Galaxy was filled with humor and comedy, and that it was all extricated in place of the darker tone the game went for. In a way, some of the darker elements did actually help add gravitas to the overall story, and, in the later episodes, it helped give weight to some of the decisions that can be made that drastically alter the character development, especially for Drax and Rocket. Being too lighthearted likely would have diminished the impact of certain subplots; but on the flip side, maybe being more comical would have made the entire adventure more appealing and entertaining for a broader audience.

It’s easy to pick apart what supposedly didn’t work in hindsight, but it’s not always easy to tell what wouldn’t work while you’re actually working on the project… unless it’s Minecraft.

Buck noted that some of the original thematic elements for Minecraft: Story Mode were designed with a ‘T’ for Teen rating in mind, not younger kids. This was something that the studio had to go back and redo after initially developing the story.

Now in a case like that, it’s pretty obvious that there’s some sort of misreadings going on if the game that was supposed to be designed for little kids is being made to appeal to teens and adults.

It kind of speaks volumes to the kind of corporate culture at Telltale where some of the franchises weren’t quite being built around the kind of topical matter that they should have been from the start. Rewriting, redoing and remaking content is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor, and not only can it hurt the finished product in terms of story consistency, but it also ramps up the overall budget.

Obviously there were a lot of issues that culminated in Telltale shutting down, but based on Buck’s retelling of what was happening with some of the franchises, it appeared as if misreading what the audience wanted helped contribute to the less-than-stellar sales that some of Telltale’s titles produced.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 May Be Looking At These Four Directors

According to SuperBroMovies, among the directors currently on Marvel’s shortlist for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 are Dee Rees, Michelle MacLaren, S.J. Clarkson and Jane Campion. Keep in mind that even if these women are truly in consideration for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, that doesn’t mean any of them will necessarily get the job. There could be other names being kicked around, and we also can’t discount that someone could snag the gig who’s never even rumored. Nevertheless, let’s go over each of these four women’s resumes.

Dee Rees made her feature film making debut with 2008’s Eventual Salvation, and nearly a decade later, she delivered the Academy Award-nominated Netflix movie Mudbound. Earlier this year, Rees praised Ryan Coogler‘s work on Black Panther, so maybe she’d be interested in contributing to the MCU.

Michelle MacLaren is best known for directing episodes of TV shows like Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and The Deuce, but she’ll soon make the jump to the big screen with Cowboy Ninja Viking. MacLaren was also originally supposed to direct Wonder Woman, but due to creative differences, she stepped away and Patty Jenkins replaced her. Maybe Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 could be MacLaren’s opportunity to return to the superhero genre.

Like Michelle MacLaren, S.J. Clarkson has an impressive TV resume, which includes Dexter, Jessica Jones and The Defenders, among many others. Back in April, Clarkson was hired to direct Star Trek 4, but since that movie is currently in limbo due to Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth stepping away, one wonders if she could be pulled from that to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

Finally, Jane Campion is arguably best known for directing 1993’s The Piano, which earned her an Academy Award for Best Director nomination. Campion is currently overseeing the TV series Top of the Lake, but Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 could be a way for her to leave a mark in the world of blockbuster filmmaking.

Something tells me we’ll hear about more directors being eyed for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 in the near future, but these names are a promising start. Obviously it’ll be difficult whoever is hired as the new director to fill James Gunn’s shoes and bring the same kind of energy he infused into the first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies, but at least they won’t lack in the talent department.

Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for news about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3‘s development, and be sure to learn what else the MCU has coming down the line in our Marvel movies guide.

God Friended Me And More Just Got Great News From CBS

Fall TV season is in full swing at this point, with many of the shows in the lineup already several episodes in. Now, CBS has revealed three of its freshman series that it’s apparently quite happy with, as they all received full season orders. Viewers can expect a full season of God Friended Me, as well as The Neighborhood and the Magnum P.I. reboot.

God Friended Me is arguably one of the unlikeliest hits of the fall season. Airing Sunday nights on CBS means that episodes can be pushed back due to NFL football games running longer than expected. Admittedly, NCIS: Los Angeles has survived just fine on Sunday nights despite unpredictable football delays, but NCIS: LA aired on Mondays or Tuesdays for its first seven seasons, gaining a sizable audience there before making the move to Sunday primetime.

A dramedy about God friending an atheist on social media seemed to me like one that wouldn’t last too long in that time slot, even if it did enjoy early ratings success thanks to viewers who stuck around after football ended. Despite my predictions, God Friended Me has been solid, with an average viewership or more than 10 million people after three episodes in the 8 p.m. time slot on Sundays. Its viewership is an 8% increase over the viewership for the same slot this time last year.

The Neighborhood also scored a full season order. Starring Cedric the Entertainer, Max Greenfield, and a 2 Broke Girls alum, it isn’t doing as well as God Friended Me, but it’s still delivering an average of more than eight million viewers per week. Notably, The Neighborhood‘s numbers mark a boost of 14% over last season in the same time. The show that previously held the slot was Kevin Can Wait, which seemed poised for a long life on CBS until viewers dropped out, following the leading lady getting killed off.

The comedy airs on Mondays at 8 p.m. ET. Given its current success in that slot, CBS could have a winner and new anchor for the foreseeable future on Monday nights. We’ll have to wait and see.

The third show to score a full season order was none other than Magnum P.I., which rebooted the original series that starred Tom Selleck and his iconic mustache. The new Magnum didn’t come with a mustache on its leading man, but that hasn’t prevented folks from tuning in. Magnum P.I. currently averages more than nine million viewers per week, and that is a massive bump from the same time slot last year.

In the 9 p.m. ET time slot on CBS, Magnum P.I.‘s average is up a whopping 50% from last season. CBS has another hit reboot on its hands. I now have to wonder what the fate will be for Happy Together, which is the new series that airs between The Neighborhood and Magnum P.I. on Mondays. It may be a bad sign for the series that its two lineup neighbors were given full series orders without any good news of its own. Was this another dud for Damon Wayans Jr?

Free Willy Child Star Is All Grown Up And Getting Arrested For Domestic Violence

It has been some time since audiences were widely acquainted with Jason James Richter, the former child actor best known for his work in the lead role of Free Willy. Since starring in the whale-based coming-of-age drama, as well as its sequels, Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home and Free Willy 3: The Rescue, the actor has kept working but his profile has been much lower. He hasn’t re-acquired the fame he once had in his youth, and now, he’s reportedly in a whole bunch of deep legal concern. As it’s being reported, Richter was just taken into custody for charges related to misdemeanor domestic violence.

Here’s what we know about Jason James Richter’s recent arrest. As it was reported by TMZ, the one-time child actor was taken into custody on Monday in the San Fernando Valley. It is believed that the arrest is related to charges of misdemeanor domestic violence. He was released from jail on Wednesday, following a two-night stay in jail. As of the time of writing, he is charged with one count of battery, related to a significant other with no physical injury, as well as one count of vandalism. If he is found guilty of these crimes, there’s a good chance Richter will spend a year inside a jail cell.

According to the report, here’s what happened. Near 7 p.m. on Monday, Jason James Richter was arguing with his girlfriend. The argument was believed to be about one of her co-workers. Richter kept asking the woman if she was having an affair. That’s around the time things got heated.

Jason James Richter reportedly left in the middle of the heated disagreement, but he wasn’t gone for long. It was shortly thereafter that he came back to the residence, as the woman told the police in her report, and she locked herself in the bedroom. Richter then proceeded to try to break down the door and get to the girlfriend. When Richer broke the door down, he allegedly took her into the living room. She claimed he “grabbed” her by the wrists, although the cops claimed there were no marks visible on her person. It was four hours later when she filed the police report, claiming domestic violence.

Jason James Richter and his attorneys are denying the allegations at this time, claiming the argument never got physical. It will ultimately be up to the court to figure out what happened that evening, and they will determine whether or not Richter is guilty of the crimes he is being accused of right now.

In addition to the Free Willy movies, Jason James Richter is also known for his role in The Neverending Story III, as well as for appearances in Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, Bones, Tekken, and Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior. The former child actor will next be seen in The Brawler, Driver, Infidelity, 818 and Ghost in the Graveyard, all of which are expected to be released either later this year or sometime next year. We’ll keep you posted on the latest news and updates in pop culture and more.

Criminal Minds Is Delivering Even More Romance In Season 14

Criminal Minds generally isn’t the show many of us think of when it comes to television romance, and the show has always focused more on catching criminals than sending its characters into the dating pool. Well, one big romance already began blooming (or re-blooming, in this case) in Season 14, and now another is in the works. Emily Prentiss is getting a love interest, and he should be able to keep up with her.

The new love interest for Emily Prentiss will be a Supervisory Special Agent by the name of Andrew Mendoza. Stephen Bishop of Imposters fame landed the role. You don’t have to worry that Mendoza will be introduced in one episode and then solely exist as an off-screen love interest for Prentiss. TVLine reports that Bishop is on board to recur in Season 14, so we should see a decent amount of him.

You also don’t have to worry that Prentiss and Mendoza will bond over something mundane. They’ll come together in an exceedingly Criminal Minds kind of way. She’ll meet him in an unexpected way, and showrunner Erica Messer (who recently weighed in on how long she thinks Criminal Minds should last) states that “they are able to kind of hit it off even though” the circumstances aren’t ideal for building a romance.

What are these circumstances? Well, unsurprisingly, they will be bloody. The episode will center on a situation in which someone is being killed every 27 minutes in Washington. The murder weapon? A machete. Erica Messer also teased that the episode “almost plays in real-time,” so it should be an intense hour of television.

For this case, Pretiss will be working closely with the field office in Washington, and she’ll have to collaborate with Mendoza, whose position is more or less equal to hers in her own office. Unless Mendoza is transferred to the BAU we all know and love, these two won’t be direct coworkers as they work out their feelings for each. That’s probably good news for the rest of the BAU!

Honestly, good for Prentiss that she’s getting some love in Season 14, along with Rossi. Given that Season 14 could be the final for the long-running series, perhaps the introduction of Mendoza could lead to a happily-ever-after for Prentiss. Of course, that wouldn’t be riding off into the sunset for somebody like her, but she deserves to be happy.

Three episodes of the 15 that were ordered for Season 14 have already aired, and one of those was the 300-episode milestone. If Criminal Minds does wind up cancelled at the end of Season 14, nobody can claim that it wasn’t a successful series for CBS. Ending at Season 14 would mean it falls short of someday matching the season count of fellow CBS show NCIS or NBC’s juggernaut Law & Order: SVU. We’ll have to wait and see.

Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long to see Stephen Bishop in action as SSA Andrew Mendoza. New episodes of Criminal Minds air on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CBS. For more viewing options now and in the not-too-distant future, swing by our fall TV premiere schedule.

The Hilarious Big Lebowski Scene John Goodman Was Nervous To Shoot

Jeff Bridges may have been the star of The Big Lebowski, but John Goodman was quite the scene stealer playing unstable Vietnam War vet/bowling enthusiast Walter Sobchak. One of Walter’s funniest moments in the 1998 movie was when he smashed up a sports car with a crowbar to show what happens when “you fuck a stranger in the ass.” But recently Goodman revealed that he was initially nervous about yelling out all those obscenities in what he thought was a crowded neighborhood. Goodman recalled:

I can’t blame John Goodman for feeling this way. It’s one thing to angrily yell and drop f-bombs on a movie set with only the cast and crew around, but to do it a residential area at night, when people are winding down or even asleep, is another matter entirely. Fortunately, as Goodman soon realized, those houses were empty, so he didn’t need to feel self conscious at all about letting out the rage.

In case you need a refresher on why John Goodman’s Walter decided to take a crowbar to a car in The Big Lebowski, you can watch the scene unfold in the clip below.

Of course, this is just one of Walter’s many hilarious moments in The Big Lebowski, with others including him pulling a gun on someone over a bowling game, declaring to The Dude that he can get ahold of a toe easily to repeatedly telling Donny to “shut the fuck up.” Walter is definitely unhinged, but if you’re looking to be entertained and don’t mind a little danger, he’s worth having around.

The Big Lebowski celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, and remembering how the Corvette shoot went down was one of the many things John Goodman brought up when speaking to Today about the movie alongside Jeff Bridges and Steve Buscemi. Although The Big Lebowski initially earned mixed reviews and was a box office disappointment, its reputation improved significantly and is now considered to be one of the Coen brothers‘ best films, to the point that it was added to the National Film Registry in 2014.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all the latest and greatest movie updates. The Coen brothers’ next movie, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, will hit Netflix on November 16. As for what’s heading to theaters over the next year, browse through our 2018 and 2019 release schedules for that information.

What The Guardians Of The Galaxy 3 Delay Might Mean For Marvel’s Phase 4 Plans

After being indefinitely delayed, it appears that Marvel doesn’t expect to get around to making Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 for several years. On the face of it, this is only a problem if you’re a serious Guardians of the Galaxy fan and were looking forward to the third installment. However, in the broader scope of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this is potentially a much bigger deal. While Marvel has said little about what Phase Four was going to be all about, the studio had said Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was going to set the stage for the entire next phase, so if the movie isn’t going to be out until 2022 or later, what does that say about Phase Four?

In short, it says that Phase Four probably isn’t going to be what we’ve expected it to be. We certainly don’t expect the MCU to go on a hiatus until 2022, so we’ll likely see several Marvel movies released in between Spider-Man: Far From Home and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Phase Four will be well underway before we see Star-Lord, Rocket and the rest again.

However, if that means Guardians Vol. 3 won’t be there to launch to the MCU into Phase Four, then the cosmic focus that we’ve been told the new phase will have may not become a reality at all. There hasn’t been any indication that we’ll get another Thor movie anytime soon and it’s equally unlikely we’ll be jumping that quickly into a Captain Marvel sequel. There just aren’t a lot of other cosmic heroes available to take the place of the Guardians.

The thing is, if Marvel wanted to, they could almost certainly get Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 off the ground at or near its original release date if they made that a priority. They have a script, written by James Gunn before his unceremonious dismissal, and all indications have been that the plan was to use that script. Finding a director shouldn’t actually be that hard. This is Marvel. There’s likely a line out the door of people interested in being part of the MCU.

Even if Marvel decided to go back to formula, get a new script, hire a new director, and recast an angry Dave Bautista, it still wouldn’t take them two and a half years to be ready to go into production. This extensive delay seems odd. Why would Marvel know, right now, that Guardians wasn’t going to begin shooting until 2021? It would seem this is an intentional decision the studio has made to wait. So why are they doing it?

Just today, it was announced that Disney’s Jungle Cruise movie was essentially taking over a release window where an Untitled Marvel movie had been set. That film has been taken off the calendar and not given a new date, so the current MCU schedule isn’t just being shifted around, it appears to be going through real change. Jungle Cruise is an untested property that has now been given a prime summer release date. It could be that Disney is just very high on Dwayne Johnson’s new movie and wanted to give it a bigger date than next October, or it could be that Disney needed to fill that hole with something because the Marvel movie needed to be pulled, and it was available.

The issue isn’t just that Phase Four may be changing because Guardians Vol. 3 has been delayed, It’s that Guardians Vol. 3 may be delayed because Phase Four is changing.

The fact that the Disney/Fox merger may be finalized by the first of the year can’t be ignored here. When James Gunn originally said he was hanging around after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 to make a third film and work on Phase Four as well, the idea of getting back the X-Men and the Fantastic Four was far from being a reality. However, when Marvel Studios had to sit down and figure out what to do after letting James Gunn go, it was a real thing that was happening. If there was a time to reconsider the way forward, this was it.

Perhaps, after looking at the situation, Kevin Feige and company decided that with the future of the Guardians franchise in question, they needed to just shift gears entirely. Keeping the MCU more Earth based, at least for a while, would be safer, but with new characters on the way, it could still be made to feel fresh and new, something distinct from the previous phase.

If the decision was made to include mutants or the Reed family in Phase Four, then at that point you actually want to move Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 further down the line. You want the first films of the new phase to set this stage and Guardians isn’t necessarily the franchise you want to do that.

While there’s a lot we don’t know regarding the films that Marvel is planning to put out in Phase Four, the ones that have been strongly rumored so far are a Black Widow movie and Black Panther 2. Neither is particularly cosmic.

There is another reason that you might want to move Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 to as late as possible. If any of the rumors were true that there were some within Marvel who wanted to give James Gunn a second chance, the odds of that actually happening go up the longer we wait. After a few years, it could be announced that James Gunn has “learned his lesson” and he and Disney have reconciled. I don’t honestly believe that will happen, but it could happen.

Of course, all this is supposition that is based on a rumor, so it’s possible the premise is faulty. If it is true, however, that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is no longer going to be the launchpad it once was, then clearly something else will be, and it will likely send us someplace entirely different within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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The Murder On The Orient Express Sequel Has Been Delayed, Here’s Why

After the sneaky success of the 2017 film adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, a sequel announcement soon followed. Kenneth Branagh is returning to direct and star as Belgian detective Hercule Poirot in Death on the Nile, with an entirely new star-studded cast to accompany him on another mystery to solve. The sequel was originally set to brave Star Wars: Episode IX with the same release date on December 20, 2019, but in light of the Disney-Fox merger, Death on the Nile has just been moved to hit theaters on October 2, 2020 instead.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox has recently been discreetly rearranging its release calendar to coordinate with its new partner studio. In addition to the delay of Death on the Nile, Fox also pushed space thriller Ad Astra starring Brad Pitt from January to May 24, 2019 and action-comedy Stuber starring Dave Bautista from May to July 12, 2019. Ad Astra‘s shift to share an opening with Disney’s live-action Aladdin remake seems a bit counterproductive to the coordinating strategy, but with both the studios having packed schedules, releases were bound to face off at some point anyway.

While federal regulations prohibit Disney and Fox film executives from directly working together to complement the other’s schedules, here we are seeing the effects of the merger already taking flight. The new $70 billion marriage between the studio giant will officially be in place on January 1, 2019, so more shifts and strategies will likely continue to take place between the paired studios as they prepare their budding partnership.

While 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express received mixed critical reviews and never quite made it to No. 1 at the box office, the movie was among the quieter hits of the year. It stirred up $352 million worldwide on a budget of $55 million, making it quite the success. The film is based on the 1934 Agatha Christie novel of the same name, and its star-studded cast, including Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Josh Gad and Michelle Pfeiffer, likely drew in the big crowd.

Death on the Nile is aiming to replicate the success of its predecessor with an entirely new cast, except for Kenneth Branagh’s return as the main mustachioed Detective Poirot and Tom Bateman reprising Bouc. Wonder Woman‘s Gal Gadot was the first new actor to join the sequel, and she will play Linnet Ridgeway Doyle, a rich heiress who approaches Poirot to help her. Armie Hammer has also signed on to Death on the Nile. The project is reportedly set to begin production in mid-2019.

Considering the rocket-high anticipation for Star Wars: Episode IX, Fox’s decision to move Death on the Nile‘s release date isn’t a half bad one. If the sequel replicates or surpasses the success of Murder on the Orient Express, the studio could have an Agatha Christie franchise on their hands after it comes out on October 2, 2020.

Black Ops 4 Opens Black Market, Offers Double XP This Weekend

Treyarch Studios has announced that, not only is Black Ops 4 launching its first Double XP weekend, but also another update boasting the game’s Black Market, which is full of extra loot to unlock. If you’re looking for some extra reasons to play the latest Call of Duty through the weekend, faster leveling and swag aplenty should probably do the trick.

The above tweet rolled out through the Treyarch twitter feed heading into the weekend. In it, the developer announced that the next several days will offer additional reasons to pop into the Multiplayer, Zombies or Blackout modes in Black Ops 4, beginning with twice as many experience points as you’re used to earning. No matter what platform you’re playing on, you’ll earn double XP through Sunday evening or, if you’re playing Zombies, double “Nebulium Plasma,” which is used for upgrading your loadouts in that particular mode.

Also noted in the recent tweet was that an update is expected this weekend boasting stability fixes and additional improvements, with additional details to be revealed “soon.” Well, this morning we found out what a big portion of that update includes, so long as you’re playing on the PlayStation 4. If you’re gaming on that particular platform, the Black Market is officially up and running as of Friday, Oct. 19, with support rolling out to the Xbox One and PC starting seven days later. Yes, we agree that’s lame, but that’s how things are done these days.

The Black Market is being billed as the “one-stop shop for awesome gear,” where players can spend currency on things like new emotes, weapon skins and the like. There’s also a new feature called the “Contraband stream,” which pretty much operates like a Battle Pass in Fortnite. In short, you earn extra cosmetics simply by playing the game and leveling up. Also like in other games, the Contraband list will change by “seasonal Operations,” which are expected to last for a couple of months. During each of these operations, you can unlock even more weapon skins, character skins and the like.

The full announcement explains that each season of Operations will include brand new characters for Blackout, new Signature Weapons, new outfits for the Multiplayer mode’s Specialists, as well as new Tags, Stickers and Gestures to make your characters more unique. Given how successful this type of system has been in other games, it’s no surprise to see it pop up in Call of Duty and will likely serve as a solid tool to keep dedicated players coming back for more.

As if that’s not enough, Special Event streams are also coming to Black Ops 4, beginning Oct. 20 on PlayStation 4 and seven days later on other platforms. This stream includes even more gear based on a given them and, considering the season, it should come as no surprise that the first one is based on Halloween.

As if that’s not enough, Blackjack’s Shop is launching in November that will allow players to flat-out purchase additional cosmetic gear with the stock refreshing on a weekly basis.

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