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From *Teen Spirit* to *A Star Is Born*: Why Are There So Many Movies About Female Music Stars?

Interestingly, what’s happening in movies right now reflects this. There have been not one, not two, but four films to come out in recent months that explore the psyche of female music stars. First there was A Star Is Born, in which Lady Gaga plays Ally, an aspiring singer who achieves supersonic fame at a devastating cost. Two months later there was Vox Lux, a gripping drama about a pop star, Celeste (Natalie Portman), staging a comeback after years of well-documented struggles.

Today, April 19, two more were released. Teen Spirit stars Elle Fanning as Violet, a young girl plucked from obscurity for a singing competition. Her Smell is an indie film about the self-destruction of a female rock star named Becky Something (Elisabeth Moss).

They’re not easy movies to watch. Three of these four characters have narratives eerily similar to Spears’, though it’s unfair to assume she was a direct inspiration. Becky Something and Celeste have full-blown emotional breakdowns in public. Violet goes clubbing one night to alleviate stress and winds up partying too hard. The only one who doesn’t quite fit is Ally, but the vulnerability she exudes in A Star Is Born‘s final scene has shades of 2007 Britney. The difference: Britney was crucified for showing weakness back then while Ally is applauded. Literally.

Elle Fanning and Max Minghella, the director of Teen Spirit, point to a few reasons why we’re getting several pop-star films in a row. Minghella thinks they might be a response to another popular music movie. “The success of La La Land has given people the confidence to green-light projects I think they’d been hesitant to for a long time,” he explains. “There was never an appetite for [Teen Spirit] to be made until La La Land did OK.”

Fanning, however, sees a more historical explanation for the trend. “Watching someone’s rise to stardom is very cinematic,” she says. “It’s a story that’s always going to be told in one way or another.” Even so, “There’s something really magical about it. It’s weird three or four filmmakers all came up with the idea to do [music movies]. Obviously there’s something in the atmosphere.”

For my part, I don’t think it’s a coincidence these movies are coming out now, a time when our culture is kinder to not just flawed pop stars but flawed women in general. We still have a long way to go, of course. As Sady Doyle, the author of Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear…and Why, tells Glamour, “All of us are raised to believe that we have the right to judge and control women’s lives and decisions. That is a perfect recipe for mob hatred and punitive vigilante cruelty.”

But the tides are turning. There isn’t as harsh of a response to women making mistakes in public as there was 10 years ago. In fact, it’s the imperfections that people are often drawn to. Take Ariana Grande, arguably the biggest pop star in the business right now, whose M.O. is complete transparency with her fans. She talks to them, tweets at them—she even shares photos of her brain scans with them. Nothing feels polished or premeditated.

20 Years Ago, Missy Elliott’s ‘She’s A Bitch’ Video Redefined What Hip-Hop Could Look Like

By Emily Reily

Though it’s more commonly known as an insult to offend and degrade, in Missy Elliott’s capable hands, “bitch” means something far more positive: a freedom of expression and a symbol of empowerment. Elliott, who’s wielded the term like a jackhammer in her raps and throughout her career, pries the contentious word open with a crowbar on the debut single off her 1999 sophomore record, Da Real World.

She’s a Bitch” (which was originally the album’s title) is a sparse, menacing rap full of synthy violins and clean, percussive beats that fade in and out amid the Timbaland-produced record. The song, released April 20, 1999, further nudged the narrative of what women can do and be in music, giving them a voice at a time before the #MeToo movement blew down the door on equal rights and protections.

But Elliott didn’t just use the word simply because it’s controversial. The lyrics to “She’s a Bitch” match Missy’s embodiment as an untouchable, yet confident woman (“She’s a bitch / See I got more cheese / So back on up while I roll up my sleeves”). The song let us know Elliott’s work to stay on top is never done.

That single and Da Real World proved she was determined to stay on track and avoid the sophomore slump. In a 1999 interview with Michael Musto, Elliott explained what “She’s a Bitch” is about: “Music is a male-dominated field. Women are not always taken as seriously as we should be, so sometimes we have to put our foot down. To other people that may come across as being a bitch, but it’s just knowing what we want and being confident,” she said.

Missy also pointed out how the word is used negatively in society as a way to describe highly successful women. She told Musto, “You don’t hear people call males ‘bitches.’ But I’ve heard that people talk that way about Chaka Khan. And Aretha Franklin.”

And she acknowledged employing the tactic in her own life. “If I’m paying people and they’re not handling my business right, I have to check them. ‘Cause sometimes you’re nice and people don’t jump on what they’re supposed to do, but if you go in there screaming at everybody — ‘Look, why aren’t my posters up?’ or ‘Why wasn’t my single out on this day?’ — then they jump right on it,” she said.

Twenty years later, the Hype Williams-directed “She’s a Bitch” video that reflected Missy’s bold stance still stands as a brash power statement that other R&B and hip-hop artists have long admired. The 1999 video featured stark images of Missy and her crew in military-style outfits, dancing under stormy skies, speeding on the interstate, or surrounded by geometric lighting. Meeting the standards of traditional beauty was not the goal here, and that’s also what set her apart.

Missy is practically covered from head to toe for most of “She’s a Bitch.” And yes, she’s bald, too. Though not explicitly rejecting the male gaze, she nevertheless renders it irrelevant. She walks toward the camera from a gray tunnel, literal guns blazing, a superwoman in a flowing black trench coat, with ammunition strapped to her uniform, fingers and nails like body armor.

It’s undoubtedly a domineering look, and Elliott has reportedly described the black, weaponized suits of armor she and her dancers wore as “ghetto S&M women.” A fitting if unconfirmed factoid preserved online states that the video’s catsuit was designed by Marilyn Manson’s tailor.

The only “makeup” she uses is strips of encrusted jewels that are seemingly brushed over her brow and forehead, offering just a hint of girliness. Flipping over typical images to bring in a more masculine aesthetic led her to uncover new definition with her aggressive, masterful style and sound.

To go along with Missy’s shiny new exterior came plenty of monochromatic color. A steely, dull sheen of black and gray covered much of the video. Rooms with bright white strips of neon light and infinite tunnels cut into Missy’s shadowy surroundings. Those lights amplified the sci-fi vibe, as if the video was lifted straight from Tron. The futuristic style further solidified her statement of what it means to be a bitch: While her team of dancers was there to back her up, she still stood alone.

That minimalist, post-modern style and alternative view of beauty was also found in her well-known 1997 video for “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)”, also directed by Williams. In that video, Elliott’s seen in what looks like an inflated garbage bag and an orange hazmat suit. Putting herself out there in a less-than-ideal, non-feminine image is a testament to her originality and refusal to follow the norm.

Like in “The Rain,” Elliott wore distinctive sunglasses in “She’s a A Bitch” — bulbous, Antman-like glasses that stretched around her face and reached toward the top of her head. The look gave her the aura of being a lone wolf – a solitary woman refusing to follow society’s lead.

Then came her most daring move in “She’s a Bitch.” With a T-shaped mohawk of spikes framing her dancers’ helmets, Missy emerged from the water in slow motion like the Loch Ness Monster — a leviathan who will flatly sink anyone who tries to best her. As she parted the waters, an obsidian-like platform in the shape of an “M” rose up to meet her. While they danced robotically underneath stormy skies, dark clouds roiled above them.

Beyond striking visuals and statement looks, hip-hop is about domination – who’s on top, who’s the best, and who gets crushed if they try to test the person on top. Hip-hop videos had to reflect that battle, and “She’s a A Bitch” showed that Elliott was a force, even early in her career.

Maury Phillips/Getty Images

Years later, at the 2017 VH1 Hip-Hop Honors: The ‘90s Game Changers, Elliott brought back that look to stunning effect. There, she recreated Williams’s vision by again rising from a murky pool of water and giving a slick, brisk performance in one of the most talked-about highlights of the evening.

Two decades after Da Real World, Elliott continues to champion a positive attitude, women’s rights, and personal freedoms in her music. In “Funky Fresh Dressed” from off her 2002 album, Under Construction, she raps, “My attitude is bitchy, ‘cause my period is heavy.” And who could forget the skit at the end of “Don’t Be Cruel” from 2003’s This Is Not A Test! that has her walking into a porn shop and ordering a whole mess of vibrators? Elliot has often said she “represents for the ladies.” With her, it’s true.

Blackpink Take Corden By Storm With Glitzy ‘Kill This Love’ Performance

Blackpink brought some fresh energy to The Late Late Show With James Corden when they were the guests last night (April 18). Their hazy, sexual energy was on full display when they performed “Kill This Love” from their new EP of the same name. They also played a hilarious game that tested their steely mettle.

Blackpink hit the stage in blinding red lights and distressed looks on their face.  It’s a look of raw sexuality, this seriousness, that gave them a larger-than-life appearance. They broke into a synchronized array of arm movements before performing fiercely to rapidly moving lights, the pink of their name being the most prominent. They were masterful with their stage presence and it ended with their backs to the audience with the crowd roaring.

The group also played “Flinch” with host James Corden. Standing behind a clear wall, their bravery was tested by fruit fired at them. Would they move or flinch? They smiled fiercely and moved subtly. It turns out, they aren’t completely invincible. But then again, we all would have moved.

Blackpink released the Kill This Love EP earlier this month. They’re currently between sets at Coachella. You’ll want to see this mystifying collective live to get the full experience.

Looks Like Dark Phoenix Might Have The Smallest Opening Of The X-Men Franchise

As the final entry in the recent run of X-Men films, Dark Phoenix has been an interesting case study when it comes to what sort of opening to expect. With several release date bumps to the film’s name, it’s hard to tell if Fox is being protective of the film’s chances in theaters, or if they’re just trying to find a good spot for it to take its lumps and move on.

In either case, it looks like we have our first big indicator of whether Dark Phoenix will rise from the ashes, or be reduced to embers. The opening weekend for the film is estimated to land between $40 – 55 million, and if this holds, there’s a good chance that director Simon Kinberg’s film will have the smallest opening of the entire X-Men franchise.

Spanning back to the year 2000, the X-Men series has had peaks and troughs when mapping its box office history. Starting with $54.5 million opening in the first July of this millennium, the series would climb to its highest opening ever with 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, which weighed in with a $102.7 mil opening.

Before these estimates for Dark Phoenix came in pegging the film with a $40 – 55 million range, the low water mark stood at 2011’s X-Men: First Class, which brought in $55.1 million in one of the few openings in the franchise taking place outside of its typical May time frame.

So in order to avoid this outcome, Dark Phoenix needs to not only stay on the high end of the opening range estimated by Box Office Pro, it needs to bury the needle and go above and beyond those numbers. It wouldn’t have to be a huge jump past the high water mark, but the more it can surpass these numbers, the better Dark Phoenix’s chances would be of recouping its rumored budget. Though the whispers of a monetary spend upwards of $200 million don’t exactly bode well.

Counter to the typical picture of comic book box office success, the X-Men series has been less consistent in its increases, but more consistent in its cyclical nature. Looking at the pattern as it stands, Dark Phoenix’s intended end of the current phase of mutant powered films couldn’t have come at a better time.

Should this new crater in the X-Men box office time line occur, there is a silver lining that’s currently presented as a con. There’d be nowhere to go but up when the X-Men franchise eventually makes to return to the box office as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Revitalizing this classic fan favorite property, with the hype of a fresh MCU coat of paint, is exactly the blockbuster that everyone will be waiting for.

For now though, we’ll have to wait and see if Dark Phoenix makes or breaks this round of fate in the X-Men universe, and if that final impressive trailer makes any difference in the matter, when the movie debuts on June 7th.

The Russo Brothers Share Their Favorite Character Arc in the MCU

Captain America in Age of Ultron

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is on the edge of a precipice, with just days left before Avengers: Endgame finally arrives in theaters. The Russo Brothers will bring Phase Three of the MCU to an end, and the stakes could not be higher. Given the state of the shared universe at the end of Infinity War, fans have spent the last year theorizing about what could come next, now that Thanos wiped out half of all life.

Our questions will be answered shortly, as Endgame is just days away from arriving in theaters. The upcoming blockbuster will end the MCU as we know it, and wrap up the characters arcs from many of the OG Avengers. CinemaBlend’s Jeff McCobb recently spoke with The Russo Brothers, and asked the co-directors about their favorite arc in the MCU. Joe Russo piped in first, saying:

Cap obviously because we spent so much time with him. And he has gone on a very extreme journey, from First Avenger to Infinity War. He went from a patriot to an insurgent, that’s a very complicated arc.

This answer shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The Russo Brothers joined the MCU in Captain America: Winter Soldier, which is widely considered one of the shared universe’s best outings. Since then, they became the architects of Phase Three, and utilized the title character in three more movies, including Endgame.

Joe Russo’s comment does make some valid points, as moviegoers have watched Steve Rogers have a pretty unbelievable journey throughout the last eight years. Captain America’s story spans decades, and featured him doing an about-face in regards to his belief system. So while the other Avengers have grown before our eyes, Cap arguably had the most seismic change this character.

In the same conversation with CinemaBlend at CinemaCon 2019, Anthony Russo echoed his brother’s sentiments, agreeing that Captain America was their favorite. He said,

I would have to say Cap. It’s just, we’ve been so focused on that character. He was our access point to the MCU as storytellers. Having been born, and grown up, and come of age during World War II. Having that all torn away from you, and waking up 70 years later. It’s a really profound journey that character’s been on. A lot of hardship. And a lot of nobility in his heart. And we’ve had a lot of fun trying to figure that character out over the years.

Once again, the Russo Brothers show that they’re great at working together. The co-directors have shared a singular vision for the MCU, and done the impossible with their work on large ensemble projects like Captain America: Civil War. And through it all, Chris Evans’ signature character has been their favorite Avenger to see onscreen.

You can’t blame The Russo Brothers for having some favoritism, as the Captain America franchise was how they were able to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and eventually rose to the top of the creative ladder. They brought a surprising amount of realism and grit to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, including stunning action sequences and plot twists that rocked the shared universe to its core.

Captain America: Civil War is another great feat, and their second go in the MCU. But rather than focusing solely on Steve Rogers, The Russo Brothers were given the challenge of bringing in most of MCU’s heroes to the playing field. It wasn’t an easy task, and moviegoers had some trepidations going into theaters. But the directors juggled a big cast, and fractured The Avengers as we know them.

You can check out our conversation with The Russo Brothers at CinemaCon 2019 below.

From the interview above, you can really see how much Captain America means to Joe and Anthony Russo. And while they’ve gotten to know all the major Marvel characters with their work on Civil War and the Avengers movies, Steve Rogers continues to be their favorite arc in the shared universe.

While plenty of moviegoers have their favorite Avenger, you can’t deny the validity of The Russo Brothers’ points. Just look at how his journey compares to other major Marvel characters. Tony Stark went from billionaire playboy to a superheroic leader, but he hasn’t changed that much since the first Iron Man movie ended. Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow continues to be a mystery, although that might change when her solo outing finally arrives. And while Thor is more responsible and humble, he’s still largely the same God of Thunder we met in his first flick.

The Russo Brothers might have a favorite in Captain America, but they’ve got plenty of character arcs to wrap up when Avengers: Endgame arrives next week. Many of the original Avengers actors are coming to the end of their contracts, so fans may finally bid goodbye to folks like Cap, Iron Man, and Thor. And given the high stakes after Thanos’ snap of death (aka The Decimation), it seems likely that at least one of those icons will end up being killed off.

In addition to ending certain character arcs, The Russo Brothers also have the responsibility of opening up narrative possibilities. While Marvel Studios hasn’t revealed their plans for Phase Four yet, the fandom is expecting quite a few sequels over the next few years. But with Black Panther, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and the Guardians all faded to dust as a result of Thanos’ victory, the future is currently unclear.

Most moviegoers assume that the dusted heroes will somehow be resurrected throughout the course of Avengers: Endgame. Exactly how that’ll be done is unclear, but it seems like Phase Four depends on it. Because unless the future is filled with prequels, it doesn’t seem like the MCU can continue on any other way.

Answers should finally come once Avengers: Endgame arrives in theaters on April 26th. In the meantime, fill out CinemaBlend’s Endgame death pool, and check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

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The Conjuring Inspiration Lorraine Warren Has Died At 92

Since the spine-chilling release of 2013’s The Conjuring, a successful franchise of sequels and spinoffs has ruled the horror genre. The interconnected universe is inspired by the lifelong work of Lorraine and Ed Warren (portrayed by Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson in the Conjuring films), who have investigated high-profile hauntings and chronicled supernatural phenomena. At 92, Lorraine passed away in her sleep on Thursday night.

The Warren’s own New England Society of Psychic Research announced the news Friday morning (via Fox 61). Lorraine was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1927 and was a self-proclaimed clairvoyant and light trance medium. She and her husband founded the society in 1952 and conducted investigations into reports of paranormal activity, such as the Lindley Street poltergeist, West Point ghost and Amityville Horrors (which spawned 17 films).

The couple wrote 10 books together and traveled across the world lecturing on their findings. Ed Warren passed away in 2009 at 79 years old. One of their early cases was for Annabelle in 1968, a Raggedy Ann doll that was reportedly possessed by the spirit of a child named Annabelle Higgins. It inspired the Annabelle movies, which will continue with Annabelle Comes Home this summer. The upcoming film will see the first appearance of the Warren’s in the spinoff series, thus making it a homecoming for the Conjuring universe.

The Conjuring is based on their assistance to the Perron family in 1971, who experience frightening paranormal sighting in their farm home in Rhode Island. Lorraine Warren served as a consultant for the first movie and even had a cameo in it. She seemed to have bonded with the actress who has portrayed her for the past six years, as Vera Farmiga took to Twitter this morning to honor her following the news of her passing. Take a look:

The couple looked to be the gritty real-life Ghostbusters who certainly made a mark on the subject matter for many belovedly scary horror movies and various supernatural and psychic phenomena. The Warren’s also inspired the The Nun spinoff which became the highest-earning Conjuring film in 2018 when it racked up over $365 million worldwide. A sequel for The Nun is on the way, along with The Conjuring 3 and The Crooked Man.

Lorraine Warren’s death also comes on the same day of the release of The Curse of La Llorona, the first Conjuring spinoff film that does not tie to the couple’s paranormal investigations, though it finds itself in the universe’s timeline between the two Conjuring films.

Although Lorraine Warren was not a filmmaker herself, she will have a lasting impact on Hollywood as her experiences continue to capture the interest of audiences and be immortalized through the dramatic portrayal of her by Vera Farmiga, who will play Warren again in Annabelle Comes Home, coming to theaters on June 28.

New John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum Clip Has Him Taking Care Of His Dog, Because Duh

Sure, John Wick might be a former hitman with a kill count in the triple digits, but he’s not a bad guy. We know this because of how much he loves his dogs and will do anything to protect them, including literally killing people. Even with the world’s assassins united against him in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, this animal lover will still make sure to take care of his pit bull, because of course he will. Check it out in the clip below:

He may occasionally shoot the wrong people in the wrong places, but John Wick still has his priorities in order, and that means taking care of his unnamed dog just as we’d expect him to. Baba Yaga pays the cab driver a gold coin to take his dog to the concierge at the Continental, thus ensuring his safety. And of crucial importance, John Wick tells his dog that he is a good dog before he goes.

This is incredibly endearing and exactly why we root for John Wick. He’s got an army of highly trained assassins out for his head and he’s worried about his dog. It’s also encouraging because it hopefully means that no harm will come to John Wick’s pit bull in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum since it’s being taken care of at the Continental.

Which makes me wonder, if he is cut off from all Continental services, are dogs the exception, never suffering consequences for their owner’s actions? Or is he still within the 1 hour window and the dog will be grandfathered in to protection? Also, if NYC cabbies are part of this underworld too, who isn’t?

It’s unclear in this clip if John Wick is still within the one hour grace period before the excommunicado order goes into effect that Winston gave him at the end of John Wick: Chapter 2 (it’s nighttime, so I don’t think so), but he is clearly in a race against the clock. So I’m wondering what his plan was.

If he’s still within the time window, maybe he initially thought he could take his dog with him to the New York Public Library and then drop him off at the Continental after and still be within the time window to take advantage of those services. Then when he saw the traffic would be too great a time suck, he opted to take care of his dog now and find a different route to where he has to go.

We’ve seen John Wick riding on horseback through rainy NYC streets, so maybe that comes after this scene as he makes his way towards the library and whatever is there that can help him, comfortable in the knowledge that at least his dog is safe.

Universal Studios Orlando’s New Hagrid Ride Reveals A Never Before Seen Harry Potter Creature

All this week the Universal Orlando Resort has been revealing new details about the upcoming new roller coaster for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure. The ride will include a number of creatures and obstacles that we have seen in the Harry Potter movies before, but the final creature revealed today will be one that nobody has ever laid eyes on. The blast-ended skrewt is a creature fans will be familiar with, but they’ll be able to actually see it for the first time on board the attraction. Check it out.

While Blast-ended skrewts are mentioned several times in the Harry Potter novels, and even appear in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, as part of the Tri-Wizard Tournament maze, they weren’t used as part of the film version, which means nobody has actually seen what a blast-ended skrewt looks like in the cinematic version of Harry Potter.

That changes in June when Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure roller coaster debuts. The attraction is designed around guests taking a Care of Magical Creatures class from Hagrid, one where the blast-ended skrewt is actually the main topic for the session. However, as it usual for Hagrid, things go slightly awry.

Blast-ended skrewts are a sort of magical scorpion. They are surrounded by armor so strong that magical spells can’t penetrate it. They have tails that shoot fire and males are capable of stinging, while female have suckers. They also apparently smell like rotting fish. I can’t say I’m excited to get the scent of that as I fly past one on the roller coaster.

Other creatures that riders will see include Fluffy, Hagrid’s three-headed dog, Cornish pixies, who will be damaging a familiar flying car, centaurs, one of which takes aim at riders with a bow and arrow, and devil’s snare. All these things live in the Forbidden Forest where the attraction is set.

It’s great to see this new attraction not only bringing to life the things we’ve seen on film, so that fans can experience them in person, but also expand the mythology of Harry Potter in new ways that we’ve never seen before. Since J.K. Rowling has played a key role in working with Universal to create the Wizarding World, we can assume this design is as canon as anything else in the films or books.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was celebrated when it first opened for being the most immersive theme park experience ever created. It was designed to not just create attractions themed to the franchise, but make you feel like you were truly standing inside it. The newest part of the world opens at Universal Orlando Resort June 13.

Triple Frontier Was Surprisingly Popular With Female Viewers

Looking at the trailer for a film like Netflix’s Triple Frontier, you might think that the film would play best with a more male demographic. The action/drama hybrid has a lot of kinetic action that people would more typically associate with a movie suited for a guy’s night out. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth, as one of Triple Frontier’s producers, Alex Gartner, clued us into the fact that the film was a surprise hit with its female viewers as well.

During a recent chat with CinemaBlend, Gartner and his Atlas Entertainment colleagues/fellow Triple Frontier producers Charles Roven and Andy Horwitz touched on the film’s reception. And while the film’s impressive reach to women isn’t a total surprise, Alex Gartner further explained why he felt the film did so well with that side of the aisle:

So not only did the absolute mountain of handsome co-stars like Oscar Isaac and Ben Affleck draw female viewers into Triple Frontier, but according to Gartner, the easy access of the film to Netflix subscribers also helped. That definitely checks out, as the numbers from the film’s first month of release showed that 52 million households took the plunge into money-snatching madness that co-writer/director J.C. Chandor had provided them.

It’s not hard to see why either, as it’s the basic model that makes Netflix originals so successful in the first place. If you already have a subscription to the service and you randomly spot a brand new movie that shows Oscar Isaac leading a group of fellow war vets into a jungle heist of epic proportions, you’re already hearing the platform’s trademark “badump” before you even know you’ve clicked on Triple Frontier’s thumbnail.

That sort of expedience isn’t lost on the Atlas Entertainment gang, as Alex Gartner also expressed as much during this same conversation. In addition to his remarks about having an overwhelmingly positive female audience for Triple Frontier, Gartner also praised Netflix for allowing this sort of lightning fast audience feedback as follows:

So while the filmmaking process for a Netflix Original film may not be different from that of a traditional studio release, the response time is certainly accelerated once a film such as this launches. Whether your film is a flop or a hit on Netflix, the word travels fast and the internet never forgets, which is even better in the case of Triple Frontier.

As the public response was quite enthusiastic to the film, particularly in the female demographic, one has to wonder what sort of projects will be inspired by such a surprising scenario. That’s left for the future to decide, but it wouldn’t be surprising to find out that more of the same could be on our way in the near future.

6 Characters Hobbs And Shaw Needs To Bring Back

Is it weird to say that it’s so damned easy to keep going back to watch the latest Hobbs and Shaw trailer over and over again? Revving up the motors for one of the potentially largest hits of 2019 certainly isn’t a hard prospect, especially when you have the right people for the job.

But mixed in the new footage we saw was an interesting development: Helen Mirren’s Magdalene, the matriarch of the Shaw clan, and in jail nonetheless. Which brings up one of the most fun pieces of the Fast and Furious franchise’s arsenal: surprise returning characters.

If Mother Shaw can cross over between franchises and return in Hobbs and Shaw, then the door is open for so many more possibilities. More specifically, there’s six characters that need to return in the Hobbs and Shaw side of the house, and they’ve all got some pretty good reasons to be brought back into the fold.

The Fate of The Furious Cipher standing in front of her arsenal, with a really creepy stare


At the end of The Fate of The Furious, Charlize Theron’s techno baddie Cipher escaped and made her way to Athens, probably planning some new plot to send the world into chaos. If that’s not the definition of a loose end, then the term needs to be revised for clarity.

However, with the Hobbs and Shaw team specializing in franchise extension, via saving the world from threats to security and intelligence, there’s a chance to tie off said hanging thread. With the titular pair ready to take on those who set out to destabilize the status quo, and Cipher being owed a proper villain rematch, the path is pretty clear to seeing these irresistible forces collide with more than a couple immovable objects.

The Fate of The Furious Mr. Nobody gesturing with his sunglasses as he speaks

Mr. Nobody

Returning audiences to the world of espionage in the Fast and Furious cinematic racetrack almost requires bringing other figures of the Diplomatic Security Service back into the fold. While we’ll probably be meeting some new personnel in this fairly new and shadowy organization in Hobbs and Shaw, it’d be nice to have a familiar face to help explain what’s going on.

It’d also be helpful to see professional smart ass/secret agent Mr. Nobody return in Hobbs and Shaw, because who doesn’t enjoy some good Kurt Russell snark? Of course, that snark is usually helpful whenever Nobody shows up, seeing as he’s the one with the intel for important missions ahead. When Mr. Nobody comes to town, you know the situation is serious, and we’d seriously like to see him back.

The Fate of The Furious Little Nobody presenting in a meeting room

Little Nobody

The man we know as Little Nobody is a given for who should be brought into the Hobbs and Shaw world. Just as Mr. Nobody is the guy with the information and the plans needed to get the job done, Little is equally helpful, though a bit wet behind the ears.

As such, he still has something to learn when it comes to saving the world, and his lessons would be best conducted in the field, with bullets flying past his head. Scott Eastwood’s young spy in the making was a fun addition to The Fate of The Furious, and even if the character eventually stays in the more driven part of the canon, a Hobbs and Shaw mission wouldn’t hurt in the character development of Little Nobody.

Fast and Furious 6 Owen Shaw with a gun in a plane's cargo hold

Owen Shaw

Family is who you fight alongside, no matter the challenge. We’ve seen that Magdalene Shaw is coming back in Hobbs and Shaw, and with Vanessa Kirby being added to the family tree, it feels like another reunion is in order. Which means Owen Shaw needs to return yet again.

Undoubtedly Magdalene is going to need some help leaving her current place of incarceration. Knowing the Shaw family, reunions are always at the most inopportune times, so the quest to break mother out of the slammer will require all three of her currently known children. Not to mention, much like Deckard himself, Owen is owed a redemption, with Hobbs and Shaw feeling like the best place to get it.

Furious 7 Sean in a parking garage with a serious look on his face

Sean Boswell

While we saw Fast And Furious: Tokyo Drift’s Sean Boswell return for a cameo in Furious 7, we didn’t see him at all during The Fate of The Furious. This is in spite of the fact that we were told actor Lucas Black would be back for two more installments in the series, which has us thinking that a new plan may be in order.

Sean could easily become a cadet in the Diplomatic Security Service, as he’s dealt with underground criminal operations in international settings. Also, with his connection to the Toretto gang not being as strong as some of the other members, it wouldn’t be hard to win him over onto the side of the law. Of course, it’d be nice for him to have a partner to navigate this new world with, which leads to the most important character return for the Fast and Furious extended universe.

The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift Han scowling behind the wheel of his car

Han Lue

No one is going to let go of the fact that Deckard Shaw killed Han Lue in Fast and Furious 6, and some how became accepted as a good guy later on in this particular universe. But, as we’ve learned in the past, just because they say you’re dead doesn’t mean you died. Just as Letty came back from the dead, it’s time for Han to come back to the world of the living.

In fact, there’d be no better way to do that then to reveal that, surprise, he was drafted into the Diplomatic Security Service and has been working as a deep cover agent. Right there, you not only bring back a fan favorite, you also squash a serious beef in the Fast and Furious canon. Also, reuniting Sean and Han for some excitement is too good of an opportunity to pass up, and since he’ll definitely be coming back in some way for the Fast and Furious sequels, you’re basically killing two birds with one stone.

The Hobbs and Shaw franchise is just starting up with this first film, so the possibilities are still up in the air. But there’s plenty of good characters to pursue once things get going, provided that they don’t already show up in this initial entry.

We’ve still got some time to see where things go, as Hobbs and Shaw doesn’t hit theaters until August 2; but if anyone wants to get out there and film some nifty post credits scenes with any of the characters above, we’re willing to accept an Executive Producer credit as a thank you.

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