Associated Press AP

Why Palpatine Had To Show Up In Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker

emperor palpatine in Return of the Jedi

Last week, Star Wars Celebration blew the roof off of the internet with the first look at Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. There is lots to talk about in the new teaser, but the most popular item is probably the return of Emperor Palpatine. The classic Star Wars baddie is making a comeback, and while we are left to wonder exactly how that’s possible, it’s not too surprising that Palpatine is back. When you think about it, there weren’t any other choices for a villain because, well, there’s no one else left.

The ominous laugh of Emperor Palpatine closes out The Rise of Skywalker teaser trailer, and director J.J. Abrams later confirmed that Palpatine is definitely back for the final installment of the trilogy. The news caught fans by surprise. Even though Palpatine’s return was a popular fan theory for years, it’s still nuts to see him actually coming back.

It’s an exciting way to close out the saga that began way back in 1977, but once the lights dim down, it becomes increasingly clear that Star Wars didn’t really have any other option but to bring Palpatine back.

For starters, the news isn’t all that surprising when you consider bringing back the familiar is J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars M.O. He directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which indulged in plenty of nostalgia. A popular criticism of that film is that it’s TOO similar to the Original Trilogy. After all, there’s basically another Death Star lead by a creepy old man who appears as a hologram to a masked servant who has family ties to the good guys.

Plus, Abrams is bringing back Lando in The Rise of Skywalker, so extending the invite to Palpatine is just giving the people more of what they want. Critics of this move might say that bringing Palpatine back isn’t too exciting and a sign that this new trilogy might not have had many fresh ideas left.

I don’t think I necessarily agree with all that, but I do think that this trilogy found itself in a bit of a hole, and the only way out was by resurrecting Palpatine.

To be fair, Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy have said that it was always the plan to bring Palpatine back at the end. The problem with that though is that it’s never been entirely clear how much was planned for the story of the three new films. Even though Abrams set up some mysteries, The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson said he was working with a blank slate and had total creative freedom. That doesn’t sound like much of a plan.

Supreme Leader Snoke in The Last Jedi

The Last Jedi, for all that it does right, put The Rise of Skywalker into a pickle because it wiped all the villains off the board. Fans hyped the crap out of Snoke, who turned out to be something of a red herring and killed off pretty easily. He just wasn’t that interesting to begin with, but he was the closest thing these films had to an overarching villain.

The other option is Kylo Ren, but he’s a circle trying to fit into a square hole. Ren’s arc is so tied up in whether or not he’ll be redeemed, he doesn’t feel like a true villain. He’s too conflicted to be the final boss. So, we’re left without any villain to take us to the homestretch, unless you want General Hux to get a major promotion.

It’s also too late to introduce a new villain. Since it’s the final movie, why should anybody care about a character who pops up out of nowhere? There isn’t enough for an audience to invest in. His connection to the main characters would be tenuous at best, and it’s tough to see any motivations that would be compelling enough to get attached to.

Palpatine, however, fixes all of those problems. He’s a familiar character, so people already know his whole deal, and the movie doesn’t have to waste time introducing him. Plus, he has the nostalgia factor, and it’s a lot more fun to talk about him than it is some new guy.

While Palpatine’s motivations are thin (he wants to rule the galaxy because he wants to), that works for him. Star Wars is pretty black and white, and Palpatine is meant to be the face of ultimate evil. He’s a cruel bastard and not much else, but that’s also the point. He’s not meant to be more than that, so it’s even easier to get on board with his return because it doesn’t come with a lot of complicated baggage.

Emperor Palpatine in Return of the Jedi

Additionally, Palpatine is THE Star Wars bad guy. If The Rise of Skywalker is meant to close the book on these characters and the story we’ve come to know, it’s fitting that he’s the final obstacle. He’s technically been the main villain of two trilogies and he’s the architect of almost all the bad stuff that happens in Star Wars. Why not bring him back for one last go-around?

The whole mystery behind how Palpatine will factor into the movie can’t be undersold either. There are going to be tons of fan theories and discussions about this topic before the film arrives in December. The trailer has already drummed up a ton of buzz, and utilizing a familiar and beloved bad guy certainly doesn’t hurt in the marketing department either.

I suppose it’s not very hard to get excited for a new Star Wars movie, but Palpatine has been gone for a long time. There’s no shame in being excited that the villain will be back to laugh and shoot a bunch of lightning one last time.

I think that it’s too soon to say whether bringing back Palpatine is a good or bad decision. It’ll all depend on how he’s brought back and how he’s mixed into the plot. You can argue that it’s a lazy and safe decision, but I also think it was the only one the filmmakers could have made. Options are a lot more limited in the villain department after Snoke died and it’s too late to bring in a new bad guy. However, the advantage of Palpatine is that we at least have an idea of what to expect.

Blended From Around The Web


Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker Might Be Introducing An Intriguing New Force Power

Most of the main saga Star Wars movies have shown off new ways to harness the Force, like how Luke Skywalker was able to project himself from Ahch-To all the way to Crait in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. If a new rumor is to be believed, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will contribute to the expansion of the Force through something called “Force Flash Fights.”

It was teased during the Rise of Skywalker panel last week at Star Wars Celebration that new Force powers would be on display in the upcoming movie. Supposedly “Force Flash Fights” is likely the main power that was being alluded to, although it might be given a different name later on. So what are “Force Flash Fights”? Basically, as two Force-users are engaged in a lightsaber duel, the environment around them changes.

As Making Star Wars’ report notes, when Rey and Kylo Ren meet again during The Rise of Skywalker, both are much more powerful since we last saw them in The Last Jedi, which makes sense given that there’s a time jump. Whereas before Snoke was responsible for mentally linking the two together, apparently now they’re able to do that on their own. This time, as the two are flighting, they’re still physically in the same location, but Force-wise, the background will change to different places.

And these aren’t just any random places in a galaxy far, far away, by the way. They’ll be places that we’ve already visited in previous Star Wars movies, although no specific locations were identified. Still, considering that The Rise of Skywalker is the final chapter of the Skywalker Saga, it’d be fitting to look back at where some of the Star Wars franchise’s biggest events have gone down, even if the characters aren’t actually there.

As for how Rey and Kylo Ren end up in a “Force Flash Fight” with one another, it sounds like this could happen after that moment from the teaser trailer when Rey ignites her lightsaber, gets a running start and then leaps over Kylo Ren’s TIE Fighter as it flies towards her. She damages the ship, Kylo emerges from the wreckage and they begin this trippy battle.

However, it’s also worth mentioning that other sources that spoke with MSW say that Rey and Kylo Ren will team up against an “outside threat.” Maybe it’s Emperor Palpatine, maybe it’s the Knights of Ren, maybe it’s someone/something new that still hasn’t been revealed or even rumored, but regardless, it’s possible that if Rey and Kylo do form an alliance later in the story, they might engage in a “Force Flash Fight” with this threat.

Although this sounds like a cool way to elevate lightsaber fights up a level, given how some fans reacted to Force Projection in The Last Jedi, if “Flash Force Fights” do indeed factor into The Rise of Skywalker, I suspect that will also be met with controversy. At the very least though, seeing all these different locations flash by as Rey and Kylo Ren have their respective blue and red blades locked in combat should make for quite the visual treat if pulled off effectively.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in theaters on December 20, and you can find out when this year’s other big movies are coming out in our 2019 release schedule.

The Biggest Celebrity Hair Transformations of 2019

In our world, the answer to “Should I change my hair?” is always yes. Chop it off, add extensions, dye it pink, get bangs, or go blonder than you’ve ever been before. The point is, mixing it up is fun—as you can tell by any of the celebrities in this gallery. Some of them transform their look every season, others have a new color every week. No matter the change, though, it always leaves us talking. Ahead, the biggest celebrity hair transformations that dominated the headlines over the past year.

Kelly Clarkson’s Response to Rumors She’s Feuding With Carrie Underwood Is So Perfect

Kelly Clarkson‘s Twitter is one of the greatest things on the Internet. The American Idol OG’s clapbacks and anecdotes are simply unparalleled. Exhibit A: Last week, when she revealed a man thought she was a seat-filler at the Academy of Country Music Awards. “Literally, it made my night because he was so serious, and I just politely said no,” she tweeted alongside several laughing emojis, effectively winning the Internet for the day.

And she just did it again with a new message about Carrie Underwood. A tabloid published a report this week alleging these two music titans are feuding. It’s not true, obviously, and Clarkson confirmed as much with a hilarious tweet.

The “Since U Been Gone” singer posted the magazine cover in question, which Photoshopped an image of Clarkson looking angry next to one of Underwood, and captioned it, “Someone just sent me this & I’m like why does she get the good pic & I have the worst expression I’ve ever made w/zero muscles being used in my face ha! I officially have a feud w/whoever used this pic! At least give me a good pic if y’all are gonna be lying is all I’m sayin.”

Check it out for yourself, below.

And here’s the tweet about the seat-filler incident, in case you’re curious:

“The greatest thing by far that happened to me tonight was being asked to move because some guy thought I was a seat filler at the ACM’s tonight,” she wrote specifically about that incident.

Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson are both successful, busy legends. They don’t have time for silly feuds. And neither do I, for that matter. Cheers to Clarkson for being such an excellent sport about this kind of nonsense. Now excuse me while I listen to her Breakaway album on repeat.

New Spider-Man: Far From Home Photo Puts Nick Fury And Maria Hill Back In Action

Although Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark will not be showing up for Spider-Man’s next big screen adventure, two MCU vets will be joining Tom Holland’s Web-Slinger for his very own Eurotrip. Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury and Cobie Smulder’s Maria Hill will be enlisting Peter Parker’s help against the Elementals. A new photo from Spider-Man: Far From Home shows us these two spies back in action. Check it out:

Poor Peter Parker, he just wanted to enjoy a fun vacation seeing the sights with his friends, and instead he’s in a conference room getting scowled at by Nick Fury and getting the ‘I’m not mad, I’m disappointed’ look from Maria Hill. Presumably Spider-Man screwed up in some way or isn’t taking his mission seriously enough for Nick Fury’s taste. He’s probably not especially receptive to Spidey’s humor either.

This image from Reddit shows that Nick Fury and Maria Hill are very much on the job and counting on Spider-Man to execute some important task towards uncovering the mystery of the Elementals and stopping their attacks. We don’t know why they need him specifically, but it must be something that requires his skillset and can’t be achieved with their own guns and spycraft. Fury even gives Peter a new Stealth Suit so that nobody knows that Spider-Man has left his neighborhood.

It’s shaping up to be great year for Nick Fury. Although we don’t know if he’ll show up in Avengers: Endgame, he got his most substantial MCU adventure earlier this year in Captain Marvel. Although Nick Fury and Maria Hill showed up in Avengers: Infinity War end-credits scene, they have been largely absent from Phase 3.

So it will be good to see them back in action again, and it appears as though they will play a significant role in the events of the film. We don’t get nearly enough of Cobie Smulders’ Maria Hill, and even the actress herself wanted people to know that she is actually in this movie, despite a blink-and-you-miss-it appearance in the first trailer.

Based on that trailer, it looks like she and Nick Fury will be in the field of battle and not just calling plays for Spider-Man. That’s exciting, as Spidey will need all the help he can get and their presence ties this universe together and reminds us that even when we don’t see them, Fury and Hill are constantly working to combat threats.

With Avengers: Endgame arriving next week, hopefully a new trailer for Spider-Man; Far From Home (maybe with more Maria Hill) isn’t far behind. There are still a lot of questions we have about this film, like when it takes place in the timeline. We have heard that it picks up right after Endgame, but Marvel has misled us before in order to keep its secrets.

Nécessaire Makes the Absolute Best Body Wash of 2019

In 2019, pretty much anyone and anything can become Internet famous. I mean, an egg beat out Kylie Jenner for the most-liked Instagram photo ever. So when I recently compared a body wash to an influencer at work, everyone shook their head, nodding in agreement. Crazier things have been said, but you know what, I wasn’t wrong.

Shortly after its release last November, Nécessaire The Body Wash was everywhere. As I scrolled through my Instagram feed it felt impossible to avoid a photo of a yellowy-orange bottle propped up next to a single lit Diptyque candle, living together in bougie self-care bath routine unity.

What struck me the most about The Body Wash was the fact that I had never before seen anyone photograph their body wash quite like this. I, for one, have only ever used Dove body wash and that’s for no other reason than I don’t know what else to use. I don’t ever think about body wash at all ever. It’s just an errand—something I pick up at CVS when I run out. And for that reason, I’ve never, ever thought to Instagram it. If anything I always hide my showering products away whenever I take a picture or my friends come over to my apartment. My feelings towards body wash can best be described as the complete and total opposite of how people feel about something like Glossier: apathetic.

So when I saw everyone willingly showing off Nécessaire as if it were Boy Brow or Drunk Elephant (key elements in every Instagram girl’s top shelf and vanity photos), I really wanted in. I bought a bottle in Sandalwood and after my first shower with it I immediately understood where everyone was coming from. I didn’t just want to photograph it, I wanted to write a love letter to it.

For one, the smell is light, beautiful, and undeniably soothing. I shower with a branch of eucalyptus hanging from my showerhead and the sandalwood scent definitely adds to the spa-like atmosphere I’m trying to accomplish. One of Nécessaire’s co-founders, Randi Christiansen, has actually described the smell as “sexual.” She’s right, and the sexy smell definitely made me feel confident like no other body wash has ever done when I was massaging the foam into my skin.

Speaking of skin, mine felt incredible right after I used it. This was also a new sensation, since I typically don’t feel any longterm after effects from the body washes I’ve tried in the past. I just always assume they’re getting the job done. That wasn’t the case with Nécessaire, which made my skin feel so clean, so moisturized, and so hydrated. It became evident why when I flipped over the bottle to read the ingredients.

Nécessaire’s body wash uses gentle plant-derived surfactants instead of harsher, frothier alternatives. The formula doesn’t have sulfates, parabens, or synthetic dyes. Instead, all you’ll find is vitamins and pure essential oils (like sandalwood). Obviously the branding is also pretty (hence all the Instagram photos), but a maybe underrated detail is the simple lid design. There is no loose cap or hard-to-open flip top. You just turn and squeeze the bottle, which helps me not over-pour and waste product.

Christiansen and Nick Axelrod, Nécessaire’s other co-founder (who originally co-founded the cult beauty site Into the Gloss), started Nécessaire because they wanted a body care (and also sex care) brand that felt like a necessity and not an after-thought. Considering I now look forward to using it every night (while also occasionally propping it up against my bathroom vase for a photo opp), I think it’s safe to say they succeeded.


Nécessaire The Body Wash

Buy Now

Tara Gonzalez is the commerce editor at Glamour. Follow her at @tarigonzalez on Instagram.

Taron Egerton Says Rocketman Will Make Elton John’s Struggles ‘Magical’

The approach to telling the life story of a celebrity like Elton John is always a point of interest when discussing a film like Rocketman. Blame it on that ever blurry line between making a serious portrait of a person’s life, while also keeping things exciting. But if actor Taron Egerton is to be believed, this line won’t be that much of a problem, as Rocketman plans to use something special to marry the two sides of the issue: magical thinking.

This isn’t all that much of a surprise when you watch the trailers to director Dexter Fletcher’s biopic. Depicting moments like Elton John’s various performances at landmark venues like The Troubadour or Dodger Stadium with a sort of puckish edge to them, and with scenes that involve very musical staging and spectacle, Rocketman was always going to have somewhat of a magical quality to it.

But in a recent interview, Taron Egerton discussed more specific details on how the serious happenings in John’s very public past would mesh with these fantastical musical numbers. His remarks on this rather intereting blend were as follows:

Despite the involvement of a rather controversial figure, the musical biopic Beyond The Sea is a good example of the sort of approach that Rocketman is looking to achieve. Using the song catalogue of Bobby Darin, that film took his life and times and told them with full song and dance numbers integrated in a way that didn’t step on his personal story.

One aspect that has some moviegoers worried about how Rocketman will take off with critics and audiences is another film that Dexter Fletcher had a hand in directing: the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. While Fletcher only directed the last third of the Academy Award winning film, the issue of how that particular picture treated the life of Freddie Mercury has film fans wondering if a similar coat of gloss will be layered onto Elton John’s own history.

With a life that included fights with cocaine addiction and bulimia, as well as personal pain involving the loss of friends like Mercury to the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, you can see how Rocketman could have the potential to drop the ball. But considering the care that’s been taken by the director (and Taron Egerton himself) regarding how Elton John’s personal struggles are presented in Rocketman, I have to wonder just how magical things will get. Even with rumors of how John’s love life would be toned down for a PG-13 rating turns out to be merely scuttlebutt, that doesn’t say that all other issues on the table will be addressed equally.

Still, everything seems to be in order when compared to what Egerton told USA Today in their coverage on the film’s must-see status during this summer’s movie season. So we’re still glad to hear that Rocketman is doing the best it can to avoid being a typical biopic.

Rocketman burns out its fuse in beautiful, full colored life on May 31st.

All The Franchises Idris Elba Is In, (Plus 5 More We’d Love To See)

With a fresh Coachella set, a Netflix original series and a slew of films on the way, it’s a good time to be Idris Elba. The actor is doing a lot these days, so much so that it may be hard to keep track of every franchise he has a hand in at the moment. For that reason, we’ve compiled a list that highlights what all he has a hand in, and some of the things we’d like to see from him in the future.

Franchises Idris Elba IS In

Let’s start off with all the major franchises he’s already appeared in or officially has lined up for the future, like this first entry.

Suicide Squad


Idris Elba has joined the DCEU via James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, and was originally slated to replace Will Smith and play Deadshot. That plan has since changed, and Elba will be playing a different character, although we can only guess who. Hopefully whoever is picked has some crossover potential into other projects, and maybe the ability to get Elba his own spinoff movie.

Heimdall Thor MCU


Idris Elba entered The MCU via Thor in the role of Heimdall. After heroically sacrificing his life in Avengers: Infinity War, one would assume his time in the franchise is over, but who can ever know when it comes to superhero features. With that said, Elba’s had his complaints about the role as far back as Thor: The Dark World, so don’t be surprised if his death tends to stick in the events following Avengers: Endgame.

Stacker Pentecost Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim

In the role of Stacker Pentacost, Idris Elba delivered one hell of a speech that solidified Pacific Rim‘s status as a cult classic. Unfortunately, his death meant no future appearances in a sequel, but there are opportunities for Stacker to return should the Pacific Rim franchise venture into the prequel territory. That’s a possibility given the amount of source material on the events before Pacific Rim, so fingers crossed Elba’s feeling the urge to kick some kaiju ass again.

Bogo Zootopia


While it’s not necessarily as specific of a franchise as other entries, Idris Elba has done a decent amount of work for Disney and Pixar. Outside of his MCU work, he’s exclusively played an animal in The Jungle Book, Finding Dory and Zootopia. That’s a crazy coincidence, although maybe not given how many Disney films tend to revolve around animals in general. We’re always down to see him in more projects. Perhaps next time in a live-action feature?

Krall in Star Trek Beyond

Star Trek

For Star Trek Beyond, the third adventure featuring the Kelvin timeline version of the original USS Enterprise crew, Idris Elba hopped in as Krall, an alien warlord who sicced his minions on Captain Kirk’s crew, destroyed their ship and stranded them on his planet. Later revealed to be a Starfleet captain from more than a century ago, Krall nearly succeeded in carrying out his revenge against the organization, but he was defeated and killed before that could happen. So one can logically surmise Elba won’t be popping back up in this franchise.

Idris Elba Hobbs & Shaw

Fast & Furious

Soon, the world will get to see Idris Elba in the world of Fast & Furious, although probably not in a way some would’ve thought. Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw features Elba as a villain who has been genetically enhanced and basically has super powers. Somehow we’ve reached a point where this franchise isn’t about fast cars, although there’s few people complaining. After seeing Elba in action, it isn’t hard to see why.

Idris Elba Prometheus


This is one of the only roles in which Idris Elba played a character that shared his first name, as the actor portrayed Idris Janek in Prometheus. It was a one and done role, and surprisingly, ended in the way similar to Pacific Rim. Given his character’s death and the Alien franchise’s massive aversion to Prometheus, it’s pretty safe to say that we shouldn’t expect any more appearances from Elba in this franchise.

Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance Moreau

Honorable Mention: Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance

The Ghost Rider movies aren’t considered part of the MCU, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the other Marvel character he played before the MCU really got legs. Idris Elba played Moreau, who offered to remove the “Spirit of Vengeance” curse from Johnny Blaze. He ended up being unable to fulfill the promise, and ended up dying at the hands of Blackout.

Franchises We’d Love To See Idris Elba In

That concludes the current franchises Idris Elba is/has been involved in, although we’re sure he’ll be a part of some in the future. With that in mind, here are a handful of film franchises the actor has yet to join that it’d be great to see him in.

Skyfall James Bond

James Bond

Was there any doubt this would be on the list? Folks have called for Idris Elba to be cast as James Bond for ages, and his name floated around quite a bit following Daniel Craig’s confirmation that he was leaving as Bond. Unfortunately, Elba has been pretty adamant that he won’t be replacing him, but there’s still hope he could join one day as another character. He’d make a killer Bond villain!

Rey Poe Finn Star Wars The Rise Of Skywalker

Star Wars

Idris Elba is a bit late to the game to be a part of the Skywalker saga, but there’s still a chance he could appear in a Star Wars film in the future. Personally, I think he’d be a great fit for the Game of Thrones showrunners’ trilogy, which is rumored to involve The Old Republic. Imagine Elba playing an ancient Jedi, Sith or bounty hunter in an era before the Empire!

Newt Scamander Fantastic Beasts And Where TO Find Them

Fantastic Beasts

The Harry Potter spinoff series is still rolling strong despite less than favorable reviews of the last film, and why shouldn’t it? It’ll take more than one bad movie to turn fans off to this franchise, and bringing in someone like Idris Elba could make some forget all about how The Crimes of Grindelwald was a bit of a letdown outside of that one twist. He’d make a great villain or Auror.

Dr. Evil Austin Powers

Austin Powers

Idris Elba’s comedic prowess is a highly underrated aspect of his acting, and one that could really shine in the Austin Powers franchise. With Mike Myers interested in getting a fourth movie made, Elba could appear in a comedic role for some spy-filled adventure. This may be the closest we’ll ever get to seeing him play James Bond, so producers should try to get him involved if Austin Powers 4 actually has a shot at happening.

Orlando Bloom Pirates Of The Carribean

Pirates Of The Caribbean

As Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean reboot continues development, they’re going to need a few big names to convince audiences to jump back into this franchise so soon after the the original run. Idris Elba is a name that can put butts in seats, and considering he’s already ingratiated within the Disney family, getting in touch with him shouldn’t be too hard to do.

Those with other wishes for franchises they’d like to see Idris Elba join can share their thoughts in the comments below. Stick with CinemaBlend for updates on the actor, his films and other goings on in the entertainment world.

Blended From Around The Web


Having An Actress Playing La Llorona On Set Made A World Of Difference To The Cast

With the advancement of CG technology in recent years, actors playing off tennis balls and green screens has become common place on movie sets. As one can imagine, acting terrified at the sight of ominous neon green figures asks a lot of one’s imagination. Thankfully for the cast of The Curse of La Llorona had Mexican folklore’s “Weeping Woman” to star into the eyes of during the making of the horror film.

CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell sat down with some of the cast during SXSW, where The Curse of La Llorona had its world premiere during the film festival’s closing weekend. During the interview, the film’s star Linda Cardellini gushed about the physical presence of the evil spirit on set with these words:

The titular La Llorona (played by Marisol Ramirez) is an apparition caught between Heaven and Hell, who drowned her own children in rage and now preys to replace them with the kids of Cardellini’s character. The actress shared the difference it made for her to have Ramirez playing the evil presence, especially with the terrifying makeup La Llorona dons in the film.

In the interview, Cardellini also commented on the actress’ accessibility off camera, due to her charming personality on set. This especially came in handy when it came time for the kids on set to play opposite La Llorona. Although her appearance was one of an evil spirit, because she was so great with the kids on set, they were able to do their job without actually getting scared out of their wits of the actress.

The Curse of La Llorona director Michael Chaves pitched in, explaining how no amount of CG can replicate the kind of performance Marisol Ramirez gave as the apparition. Here’s what he said:

While it looks like having the actress on set was an overall positive experience for cast and crew of The Curse of La Llorona, actress Patricia Velasquez admitted having a co-worker with her creepy makeup makes for some off putting breaks. In her words:

Can’t blame her, La Llorona looks terrifying! Check out the cast interview below:

The new horror release belongs between the two Conjuring movies in the universe’s timeline though it’s the first spin-off to not be based on the findings of demonologist couple Ed and Lorraine Warren. Will you be braving The Curse of La Llorona this weekend? Let us know in the comments.

A Stalin Reference Was Reportedly Removed From Hellboy In Russia

Every now and then, you’ll come across an instance where a movie has been edited because it’s airing in a particular country, like how some of the entries on Steve Rogers’ to-do list in 2014’s Captain America: The Winter Solider were different depending on where the film was released. In the case of the Hellboy reboot, its Russian release was apparently adjusted so that a reference to Joseph Stalin was replaced with a different notorious historical figure being mentioned.

If you’ve already seen Hellboy, you might recall a moment when the eponymous protagonist mentions how the one-eyed with Baba Yaga, one of the movie’s side villains, once tried to resurrect Joseph Stalin. Here are his exact words:

However, per BBC News, Russian moviegoers heard this line instead:

That’s right, rather than reference the man who led the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1953, the Russian version of Hellboy decided to mention Adolph Hitler instead, another dictator from the mid-20th century. This isn’t the first time that a movie in Russia has had to deal with Stalin-related censorship, as last year the UK comedy The Death of Stalin was denied release in the country because it was deemed “disgusting” and “extremist.”

Going off social media responses, evidently many Russian viewers were not pleased with Stalin’s name being replaced with Hitler’s in Hellboy. It was also noted online that Baba Yaga mentioning Hitler doesn’t really make any sense since she’s a Russian folklore character.

For the English screenings of Hellboy in Russian, Stalin’s name was bleeped and the subtitles included Hitler’s name instead. This was one of only two ways that Hellboy was censored in Russia, the other being a Russian curse word that Grigori Rasputin (another Russian historical figure) utters being removed.

While the exact reasoning for why Stalin’s name was taken out of Hellboy, BBC’s article also noted that a recent poll showed that 70% of Russians believe Stalin played a positive role in Russian history. So this could just be an instance of not wanting to portray such a notable individual in a negative light.

In any case, the rest of Hellboy played the same in Russia as it did domestically. Hitting theaters last week, the reboot has taken a beating both critically and commercially, collecting a lot of negative reviews (it ranks at 15% on Rotten Tomatoes and has a C CinemaScore) and making only $15 million worldwide so far. There was also reportedly some major drama that went on during production.

Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more news about Hellboy, and don’t forget to look through our 2019 release schedule to learn what movies are coming out later this year.