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Alessia Cara’s New Song Is For Everyone Who Wants A Better Boyfriend This Christmas

If you’re one of those people who refuses to play Christmas music before December, you might want to reconsider. The slate of new holiday music releases is only growing, and Alessia Cara is the latest to hop on board, dropping “Make It To Christmas” on Friday (November 7).

Cara’s new tune begins with an arrangement of festive strings and bells, before she begins telling a tale of a relationship gone cold. “I don’t want to be angry at mistletoe,” she sings, even telling her lover that he can break her heart on Boxing Day; as long as they’re together on December 25. It’s not all doom and gloom, though — the mood and the music pick up considerably once she hits the chorus and asks, “This time of year is precious / Please, can we make it to Christmas?”

“Make It To Christmas” is Cara’s first release since her This Summer EP in September, which included the singles “Rooting for You,” “Ready,” “Okay Okay,” and “October.” The new song also arrives a couple weeks after Liam Payne shared a similarly sentimental song about wanting his relationship to survive the holidays. Hopefully Santa grants both of their wishes this year — we’re, ahem, rooting for them.

Doctor Sleep Ending Explained: What Really Happened?

Doctor Sleep Danny Torrance walking in a red corridor

Warning: SPOILERS for Doctor Sleep are in play. If you’re not caught up with the second chapter of The Shining story, we suggest you leave this room and wait somewhere safe from spoilers before you open the door. Might we suggest The Gold Room? There’s a killer drink special, if you happen to know the bartender.

In writer/director Mike Flanagan’s hotly anticipated Doctor Sleep, the second chapter in author Stephen King’s saga beginning with The Shining, there’s a deep exploration into themes that both the book and movies in that universe have reveled in for decades. Special abilities of the mind, as well as the ties that bind us to both family and our past histories, come to life in a story that works in both King’s novels and the film universe connected to the 1980 film by Stanley Kubrick.

Those are not easy spaces to occupy at the same time, but somehow, Mike Flanagan did it with flying colors. Taking the events of both literary and cinematic canon, and merging them into one, Doctor Sleep crafts an ending that does quite a lot when it comes to its theater-friendly form. But even more surprising is how, and why, it differs from what audiences were given in Stephen King’s 2013 novel.

This is the last call for those trying to avoid spoilers, as The Overlook Hotel is open once again, with Danny Torrance (Ewan McGregor) and Abra Stone (Kyliegh Curran) about to set foot in its haunted halls.

Doctor Sleep Danny overrun by The Overlook ghosts

How Doctor Sleep’s Movie Ended

In the last act of Doctor Sleep, Danny and Abra chose to fight Rose The Hat (Rebecca Ferguson) in the ruins of The Overlook Hotel. Danny knows that the area is still rich in psychic activity, and all it takes is for him to release the evil spirits that haunted him throughout his life to finish her off. While Rose is overtaken by the evil spirits of the hotel that Danny’s had trapped for so long, they eventually possess him in a bid to try and make him kill Abra.

After an emotional moment where she cuts through his possessed mind, bringing back the real Danny, he realizes that in order to “close the door” once and for all, The Overlook has to burn. Sadly, Danny has to remain behind to get the job done, telling Abra to leave in order to save herself. Overloading the boiler to the hotel, Danny has one last moment of peace with Wendy, his mother, before he dies in the fire.

We last see him comforting Abra, telling her to “shine on” and not to hide her gifts from the world. Abra starts to own her powers in that moment, by telling her mom that Danny and her dad are okay, and there is an afterlife where they’re at peace.

Doctor Sleep Abra and Rose the Hat face to face in the woods

How Doctor Sleep’s Book Ended

As amazing as the ending to Doctor Sleep’s movie sounds, the ending for Stephen King’s book was way different. For starters, the end of The Shining’s novel saw The Overlook Hotel burning down in very much the same way it did in Mike Flanagan’s version of the follow-up. So instead of going to The Overlook Hotel to fight Rose The Hat, Danny Torrance and Abra Stone fought her at the campground that rests on the infamous lodge’s final resting place.

We see a sequence similar to how the book version of Doctor Sleep ends, when Danny and his friend Billy (Cliff Curtis) take on the members of Rose’s True Knot cult at the campground. Though instead of acting like a removal of the support group that Rose depends on (something that Mike Flanagan confirmed to our own Eric Eisenberg in an interview during the film’s press day), it’s more of a final showdown.

That’s just part of the larger change between the novel and film versions of Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep, as more people are actually alive at the end of the novel. Even the battle’s ending is different, as Rose is sent plummeting to her death, with the help of Abra, Billy and the spirit of his father, Jack Torrance. Danny finds himself putting his father to rest for good and surviving the events of the book to go back to his duties as a hospice nurse that comforts dying patients.

Doctor Sleep Abra and Danny on the Overlook's lobby staircase

Why Doctor Sleep’s Ending Change Is A Big Deal

One of the most contentious changes that was made in Stanley Kubrick’s film version of The Shining was the eventual fate of Jack Nicholson’s Jack Torrance. Rather than dying in the fires that would overtake The Overlook Hotel, Kubrick’s version of events saw Jack merely freezing to death in the hedge maze.

But Stephen King’s version of Jack from the novel sacrifices himself to destroy the hotel that tempted his darker urges, giving his family the chance to live. Mike Flanagan decided to take that redemptive ending from the book and give it to Ewan McGregor’s version of Danny. Here’s Mike Flanagan talking over some of those big changes:

Now while The Shining film still manages to be, at least in the opinions of its fans, a classic in its own right, it does miss the point that Stephen King was trying to make with Jack’s story. The movie version of Jack Torrance is more of an irredeemable killer who succumbs to madness, eventually becoming such an asshole that you want him to die. So Mike Flanagan’s new ending to Doctor Sleep redeems the legacy of the film, particularly in King’s eyes, and allows a new path to form for the future.

Doctor Sleep Abra sitting on a bench in the town square

What Doctor Sleep’s Movie Ending Means For The Shining

As Doctor Sleep has altered its ending, giving the Torrance family the vindication it always deserved in The Shining story, the world has a new champion for those who Shine: Kyliegh Curran’s Abra Stone. Mike Flanagan admits this was his intention with this story beat, as in his interview with Eric Eisenberg, he said the following:

This truly is passing the baton, in that equation. This is about giving the world to Abra, which I didn’t think could happen. In the same way that we were leaning into the sacrificial end of Dick Halloran that Kubrick had created. I felt that if Ka was a wheel, then we have to leave Dan very much the same way.

Now that Danny Torrance has redeemed himself in the way that his literary father had done in the past, Stephen King and Mike Flanagan could continue Abra’s journey as a sort of solo adventure in the films; with King being free to explore Danny in whatever context he wants in the books.

That decision gives the films and the books the ability to be their own things, but at the same time, it creates a harmony between the worlds that we’ve never seen before. Though even in cinematic death, Ewan McGregor’s Danny could still check in on Abra, much like Dick Halloran did with him throughout his life. Until he feels that it’s time to leave that dream of a world, he can help her out in any way he sees fit, making sure that she and all other possessors of this great power, will Shine for all the world to see.

Mike Flanagan’s version of Doctor Sleep exorcises a demon that’s haunted The Shining legacy for some time. With Stephen King on board with the path that the films have now taken (at least in the context of Flanagan’s handling of said canon in his second chapter), there’s a clear path forward that all can take part in, should a third story arise in this corner of the author’s vast literary universe. Though If this should be the end, it’s a fitting tribute to the power of King’s books, and the prowess that Flanagan has lent towards bringing them to life.

Doctor Sleep is in theaters now, so if you want to look a little closer at what you’ve already seen, or if you read through this rundown without seeing the film first, you can catch up with Danny Torrance’s adventures in either case.

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Why Doctor Sleep’s Rebecca Ferguson Loved Doing Scenes With The Movie’s Young Actors

In Mike Flanagan’s Doctor Sleep, Rebecca Ferguson’s Rose The Hat isn’t a big fan of children. Well, actually, she is, but only in the sense that she likes to slowly torture and eat them. It’s thrilling and horrifying to watch play out on the big screen as she targets multiple young people – including Kyliegh Curran’s Abra Stone – and it’s scary enough to make you wonder what the actress was like around the kids on set.

As it turns out, the answer may surprise you. I asked Rebecca Ferguson about that particular aspect of the Doctor Sleep filmmaking process at the movie’s recent Los Angeles press day, and she explained that it was something she actually really loved. You can watch her response – and also Kyliegh Curran talk about her time working opposite her – by clicking play on the video below!

W.C. Fields has long been attributed with the saying “Never work with animals or children,” but Rebecca Ferguson’s opinion on the matter couldn’t swing in a more opposite direction. Discussing her experience working with the movie’s young actors, she noted that there is something that you get from the interaction that is not only more authentic in the grander scheme, but gave her the ability the improve her own work. Said the actress,

It’s a particularly interesting philosophy to think about in the context of Rose The Hat’s relationship with all of the young characters in the movie, as there is a specific charged energy in every interaction. It starts with a display of sweetness with a touch of seduction, but at the end of the day she doesn’t see children – specifically children that possess what Dan Torrance refers to as “the shining” – as anything other than food. When she’s ready to feast, she gets sinister real quick.

This ability to switch personalities was something that was actually specifically observed by Kyliegh Curran on set – especially when they would casually be talking, and then the cameras would start rolling. As the young actress noted, it kind of freaked her out to a certain extent:

Funny enough, this exact complement was mirrored by Rebecca Ferguson when talking about her time working with Kyliegh Curran. As you can see watching the video above, Curran is an energetic, happy young girl, but when it came time to switch into character-mode she has a totally different attitude. Said Ferguson.

There is really some spectacular back-and-forth between Rose The Hat and Abra Stone featured in Doctor Sleep – and now is the time for you to experience it for yourself. The film is arriving in theaters everywhere tonight, so be sure to check it out, and then head back here for a wonderful spread of spoiler-centric content that we have prepared for you!

Will Edge Of Tomorrow 2 Actually Happen? Here’s What Doug Liman Says

While not the flashiest box office performer, 2014’s Edge of Tomorrow received a lot of positive reception, and two years later the sequel was announced. Doug Liman will be back to helm Edge of Tomorrow 2, a.k.a. Live Die Repeat and Repeat, and recently revealed that the screenplay is finished, but at this point, he’s not entirely certain if the sequel will actually get made. When asked what the film’s chances are of becoming a reality, Liman responded:

Even if Doug Lima felt he was too busy to direct Edge of Tomorrow 2 and was willing to hand off helming duties to someone else, you can’t make this sequel without Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, and those two are definitely not lacking for work. Blunt recently wrapped filming on A Quiet Place 2 and is next expected to shoot Not Fade Away, and Cruise is gearing up to tackle the next two Mission: Impossible movies, which are filming back-to-back.

So once Mission: Impossible 8 has wrapped, that’s the earliest that Edge of Tomorrow 2 could finally take the next step forward, and even then there could be other complications that could arise. Perhaps a point will eventually be reached where Doug Liman, Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt realize they just can’t make the pieces line up and abandon efforts to make Edge of Tomorrow 2. On the off chance that were to happen, fingers crossed this sequel could still be told in another way, like through a comic book series.

Along with Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt reprising William Cage and Rita Vrataski, respectively, Edge of Tomorrow 2 will introduce an important character who Doug Liman says is “gonna for sure steal the show.” Lima has also noted that William Cage isn’t really a full-blown hero by the time Edge of Tomorrow concludes, but he’ll have a “proper” and “way better arc” in the next story.

Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on how Edge of Tomorrow 2 is coming along. For now, keep track of what’s heading to a theater near you over the next year in our 2019 release schedule and 2020 release schedule.

How Ewan McGregor Approached Dan Torrance’s Alcoholism In Doctor Sleep

Over the years, Stephen King has levied many complaints about Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining as an adaptation of his original novel, and one of the prime targets has long been the movie’s depiction of Jack Torrance’s alcoholism. It’s true that the film does mention Jack’s addiction, but it doesn’t have anywhere near the same impact on the character’s development and descent into madness as depicted in the book.

Now, however, fences have been mended to a certain extent thanks to the creation of Mike Flanagan’s Doctor Sleep. While alcoholism may not have been a central focus for Stanley Kubrick, it is the most definitely the biggest issue facing Dan Torrance in The Shining’s sequel, and as I learned recently from star Ewan McGregor, it was absolutely an element that was emphasized on set:

I had the opportunity to sit down with Ewan McGregor for an interview late last month during the Los Angeles press day for Doctor Sleep, and one of my questions for the actor was about Dan Torrance’s problems with alcohol – and specifically how that material was handled knowing Stephen King’s opinions about The Shining. The actor explained not only that he and Mike Flanagan recognized the absolute significance of that subject matter in the source material, but also that it was an aspect of the character from a performer perspective that made him interested in taking on the role.

Based on Stephen King’s 2013 novel, Doctor Sleep picks up with Dan Torrance decades after his traumatic childhood experiences at The Overlook Hotel – but firmly establishes that the demons created there have not left him. Partially because of genetic disposition, and also because he desperately tries to drown out his psychic/telekinetic powers, he becomes a drunk and a drifter. Upon arriving in a small New Hampshire town, he starts to put his life back together, but sees both his life and sobriety threatened when he first discovers a local young girl who has similar gifts, and then learns that there are dangerous people hunting for her.

There is a very natural arc that plays out for Dan Torrance, as he has to basically try and rebuild his entire life from scratch – and that was character material that very much attracted Ewan McGregor to Doctor Sleep. Continuing his thoughts on the film’s approach to alcoholism, he explained how the recovery process was something that fascinated him:

You can watch Ewan McGregor talk about this vital aspect of Dan Torrance as a character by clicking play on the video below.

Doctor Sleep co-stars Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran, Zahn McClarnon, Cliff Curtis, and Bruce Greenwood, and will be arriving in theaters everywhere tonight. Do yourself a favor and check it out, and then be sure to return here to CinemaBlend, as we’ll have tons of spoiler-centric content waiting for you!

Star Wars: What’s Coming Up On The Big Screen Post-Rise Of Skywalker?

Rey and Kylo facing off in the Emperor's throne room

In a little over a month, the Skywalker Saga, and a 40+ year journey that began in 1977 with Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, will officially come to an end with J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. After that… well, we don’t really know what will happen after that. For the first time in a long time, we don’t know what the next theatrical feature film set in a galaxy far, far away will be.

It’s a strange place to be in, because when Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012, it seemed that the franchise would be ever-present in our lives, eventually getting to a place like corporate sibling Marvel Studios, where there were multiple Star Wars movies released every year. But after one film divided the fanbase and another disappointed at the box office, the franchise is in a very different place.

Still, up until recently, we thought we knew what was next on the docket. Back in May, Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed that the previously announced project from Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss would be the next theatrical Star Wars release after The Rise of Skywalker, set to arrive in December of 2022. That isn’t happening anymore though. The duo and Lucasfilm (as has long since become commonplace) have parted ways, leaving Star Wars’ theatrical future a mystery.

This franchise isn’t going anywhere and the next few years will give us plenty of Star Wars content on the small screen via Disney+, but this property is inherently theatrical and we want to know what’s coming up on the big screen post-Rise of Skywalker. Impossible to see the future is, but we’re going to search our feelings and make a few logical guesses based on the stuff in development or previously announced, with a few wild cards thrown in for fun.

Rey reaching out for the Jedi texts

The Origins of The Jedi

Weirdly, we didn’t find out what Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were working on until after they were no longer working on it. The duo, who seemingly left Star Wars due to a combination of toxic fandom, their Netflix deal and creative differences, were going to explore how the Jedi came to exist. It’s a fascinating idea and a time period we’ve never seen explored in a Star Wars movie and just because Benioff and Weiss are gone doesn’t mean this movie can’t happen.

We don’t know if Lucasfilm is still interested in telling this story, or if it was only interested because D&D were. What we do know is that this was theoretically going to be the next Star Wars movie and the start of a trilogy. And hey, maybe it still could be. The concept is a valid one, and for many, even more exciting now that the maligned showrunners are gone. If that 2022 release date holds, there are still three years to make a movie about the origins of the Jedi.

This project was already being developed, so it’s entirely possible that this is still a realistic possibility for the next theatrical Star Wars movie. Benioff and Weiss are gone, but there’s no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Lucasfilm just needs to find some exciting talent to take over.

Thanos beaming down in Avengers: Endgame

Kevin Feige’s Star Wars Movie

If there was a Mount Rushmore of movie producers, Kevin Feige would be on it. The Marvel Studios president has overseen the creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, an entirely new model of franchise filmmaking and the most successful franchise of all time. Now, he’s taking his talents to a galaxy far, far away. As we found out in September, Kevin Feige, an avid Star Wars fan, is going to be developing a new Star Wars movie.

Contrary to belief that he would be replacing Kathleen Kennedy at Lucasfilm, Kevin Feige, in addition to being the President of Marvel Studios, is now also the Chief Creative Officer overseeing all of Marvel’s creative efforts. As far as we know that hasn’t changed things for his Star Wars movie. We don’t know what Kevin Feige’s Star Wars movie will be, what characters it will feature or when it will take place, but we do know that he reportedly has a major actor in mind for a specific role in the film.

Although we just found out about this relatively recently, since it’s been announced and not just rumored, it seems entirely likely that Kevin Feige’s Star Wars movie could be the next theatrical release for the franchise. This possibility is an especially exciting one given his track record of being able to find talented filmmakers and work with them to deliver results that succeed critically and commercially.

Rian Johnson

Rian Johnson’s Star Wars Trilogy

Along with the Benioff and Weiss trilogy and Kevin Feige’s movie, the only other future Star Wars movies that have actually been announced is a trilogy from the writer and director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson. First announced before Episode VIII had even come out, Rian Johnson’s trilogy is largely a mystery. We’ve heard that it will move past the legacy characters, which seems like a smart and necessary move, and that it will explore a different corner of the galaxy.

So Rian Johnson’s trilogy could theoretically just slot in to where the D&D films were going land. However, while this trilogy has been announced and Rian Johnson continues to affirm his plans to work on it, it has been in doubt for some time. The backlash to his The Last Jedi was so pronounced that many have wondered if Lucasfilm would really bring the filmmaker back given the vocal objections of a swath of the fanbase, assuming he’d even want to return.

It seems entirely possible that Lucasfilm, Rian Johnson or both know that his trilogy isn’t going to happen and are just waiting for the right time to announce it. That said, Rian Johnson is seemingly one of the only directors that Lucasfilm worked well with, and The Last Jedi is one of the only films that had a smooth production. So Lucasfilm may feel confident bringing him back given that they have a good relationship. Opinions could also shift some on the director after Knives Out and he’d be freer this time around dealing with all new characters.

Darth Malek and Darth Revan

Knights Of The Old Republic

Earlier this year, it was reported that Altered Carbon creator and Alita: Battle Angel screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis was writing a script for a Knights of the Old Republic movie that could be the first entry in a potential trilogy. As far as we know, this is separate from Rian Johnson’s trilogy and Benioff and Weiss’s films (Knights of the Old Republic is not the origin of the Jedi). It’s not impossible that the movie Kevin Feige is developing is based on Laeta’s script, but it’s unclear if that’s the case.

So for now, let’s assume that Knights of the Old Republic is separate from the other movies that were or are in the works. We haven’t heard much on this since it was first reported, but given that it is in development, it has to be a contender for the next big screen Star Wars movie. That would be pretty exciting because there is probably no Star Wars movie more clamored for by the fanbase in the Disney era than Knights of the Old Republic.

Knights of the Old Republic is a videogame from 2003 that, to many, represents one of the best Star Wars stories ever written. I have my doubts that Lucasfilm would adapt the story (for some reason Lucasfilm seems averse to adaptation), but a Knights of the Old Republic movie would be a great way to get the fanbase excited again and given the time period it would be a nice contrast with The Rise of Skywalker. So Knights of the Old Republic is definitely a contender for the next big screen Star Wars movie.

Alden Ehrenreich in Solo: A Star Wars Story

Solo 2

Along with the divisive The Last Jedi, it’s impossible to say that Solo: A Star Wars Story doesn’t have a lot to do with the current state of Star Wars. After a troubled and consequently very expensive production, the second anthology film and first standalone character movie bombed at the box office, making less than half of what Rogue One did. This debacle seemingly changed the release strategy for Star Wars movies and may have eliminated any hope we have of seeing more standalone or anthology films on the big screen.

However, Solo’s ills were not entirely its fault, especially given the release date, marketing, etc. Ron Howard’s film is still fun and it probably deserves better than it got. There seems to be some real enthusiasm and demand to see another Solo movie among some of the fanbase. So while unlikely, it’s not impossible Lucasfilm could give this one a mulligan and do Solo 2.

Alden Ehrenreich was signed on for three films and there was definitely a plan to tell more of this story before the first movie flopped. Having Solo 2 be the next theatrical Star Wars movie, even if it’s in 2022, would allow Lucasfilm even more time to plot out its next steps. An anthology film like this would also be a great way to give audiences something of a breather before jumping back in to another trilogy or series of films.

The Millennium Falcon going into hyperspace

Something Else

It’s possible that none of these things will be the next theatrical film set in a galaxy far, far away. That’s the mystery; we simply don’t know what Lucasfilm’s plans are. Even if one of the above entries isn’t next, there are some other wild card possibilities that could slide in to one of the release dates Lucasfilm has carved out. These almost certainly won’t happen, but hey, anything is possible.

We now know for sure, as has always been suspected, that the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ series was once intended to be a movie. But what if it became a movie again? Each format has its own advantages, but one has to wonder if Obi-Wan becoming a TV show was a reaction to Solo. If so, it was an unnecessary one; Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi is something fans have been asking for and they’d see it regardless of the format. Obi-Wan has already been in the works, so why not just make it theatrical again? Heck, make it a trilogy of films.

Even less likely is finally doing the Boba Fett movie that Josh Trank was working on before he got fired. It seems pretty unnecessary now with The Mandalorian, but maybe that show will just get people excited for some big screen bounty hunter action.

What’s next for Star Wars on the big screen after Star Wars: Episode IX? Why not Star Wars: Episode X? The Rise of Skywalker is the end of the Skywalker Saga and has been pitched as such, but things change and no franchise is ever really gone. This won’t happen of course, Episode X may come one day, but it won’t be anytime soon. Still, I had to throw it out there.

There are plenty of exciting possibilities for the next theatrical Star Wars movie, and it could be one of the above or none of them. We don’t know what Star Wars’ future on the big screen will be, just that it has one. For now we have The Rise of Skywalker to look forward to and then a break theatrically for a couple of years, which seems like a smart decision. There will be plenty of Star Wars TV to keep us occupied though, starting with The Mandalorian.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in theaters on December 20. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to keep track of all of the movies coming out this fall and let us know in the poll below what you want the next theatrical Star Wars movie to be.

What Do You Want Star Wars’ Next Theatrical Movie To Be After The Rise Of Skywalker?

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10 Details From Spider-Man: Far From Home You May Have Missed

Tom Holland - Spider-Man: Far From Home

With an expansive cinematic universe that’s 23 movies deep so far, not to mention several other blockbusters and streaming shows currently in the works, there are certainly a lot of comic book references, subtle winks and copious callbacks swimming throughout the newest additions to this superhero franchise. This summer’s Spider-Man: Far From Home is no exception.

Jon Watts’ sequel has no shortage of easter eggs spotted throughout his film. While you have probably caught more than a few of them already, especially if you’re an eagled eyed fan, let’s take this time to point out a few of our favorites scattered throughout Spider-Man: Far From Home. Be sure to pay extra close attention to these the next time you watch the film.

Uncle Ben's Suitcase - Spider-Man: Far From Home

Uncle Ben Is On Hand For Peter Parker

As it has been noted in the past, Uncle Ben is curiously absent from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The guardian character wasn’t mentioned (or even referenced explicitly) in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and there wasn’t any mention of the belated mentor figure in Marvel’s sequel either. But if you paid close attention to Peter Parker’s suitcase, you have what appears to be one of the first direct references to the departed (or, at least, seemingly departed) character inside this expansive cinematic universe.

The initials “B.F.P.” are can be seen on the side, which indicates that the case once belonged to Benjamin Franklin Parker, i.e. “Uncle Ben.” It could just be a coincidence, but it seems more likely that Peter is keeping Uncle Ben close.

Tom Holland - Spider-Man: Far From Home

An Important Day For Spider-Man

When Peter Parker’s passport is shown for a brief second, some audience members might pay no mind to Peter Parker’s birthday, which is listed as “10 August.” If you didn’t know better, you might think that’s simply a random date to choose.

But Spider-Man super fans know that August 10th, 1962 is an important day in Spider-Man’s existence. Specifically, it’s when Spider-Man first appeared on the printed pages. The character’s comic book origins mirrors Peter Parker’s birthday in here, which is a respectable tip of the hat from the filmmakers to the inception of the monumental character.

Spider-Man: Far From Home Screenshot

Historical Documents In The World Of Marvel

Through the connective tissue of Marvel Cinematic Universe, the events that happen in, say, Captain America: Civil War, are known throughout the world. We saw this when the students in Spider-Man: Homecoming were taught about the events that happened in The Avengers, and we see that the importance of these events are taught and explored in the universe’s cinema.

Specifically, when Peter Parker and his friends are on the plane flying to Europe, they have a collection of documentaries available that reflect the lives of some of this universe’s most notable characters. Specifically, the plane has films like The Snap, Hunting Hydra, Finding Wakanda, and Nova: Einstein Rosen Bridges with Dr. Erik Selvig on hand, which Peter notices while browsing the selection. It makes you wonder what the MCU’s equivalents to Werner Herzog, Errol Morris and Alex Gibney are making professionally.

Jon Favreau - Spider-Man: Far From Home

Crusher Hogan Is Hanging Around

During his early days, Peter Parker tested his powers in the wrestling ring against his opponent, Crusher Hogan. Moviegoers might know him best for his scene in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man (though he was renamed Bonesaw McGraw and was played by the late “Macho Man” Randy Savage), but the character hasn’t been seen or referenced in any subsequent movie about the super-heroic web-shooter since then.

But when it came time for Spider-Man: Far From Home to swing into theaters, some viewers were quick to notice a poster hanging in the background that prominently featured the professional wrestler. And in a cheeky little touch, it’s seen behind Happy Hogan, the former assistant of Tony Stark (no relation). Clearly, someone was having fun.

Jake Gyllenhaal - Spider-Man: Far From Home

Mysterio Was Incognito

It’s not until the end of the first act of Spider-Man: Far From Home when Peter Parker and Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) meet formally. But for those who kept an eye on the background, you might’ve noticed that Quentin Beck had his eye on Peter well before their formal introduction. During the Venice scene, when Peter Parker is watching MJ have her picture taken with Brad Davis (Remy Hii), there is a man in a bright blue Hawaiian shirt who is, shall we say, more conventionally handsome than your average extra.

That’s because he’s actually none other than Quentin Beck himself incognito, which suggests that the character was scoping out Peter Parker well before the two of them met. You probably didn’t catch it the first time, so look out for during the re-watch.

Jake Gyllenhaal - Spider-Man: Far From Home

Mysterio Isn’t From Our Timeline… Or So He Says

When Mysterio and Spider-Man first officially meet, the former mentions that he’s not from the Earth that these characters know. Mysterio claims that instead of being from Earth 616, which is where the MCU takes place, he’s from a multiverse known as Earth 833. Both of those numbers should ring familiar to comic book fans.

Not only does Earth-616 refer to the main continuity that Marvel Comics stories take place in, but 833 is an exact reference to where Spider-Man UK is from, which serves as a fun little nod for those in the know. Obviously all this turns out to be a whole bunch of hooey once we learn of Mysterio’s real origins, but they’re fun winks all the same!

Zendaya, Tom Holland - Spider-Man: Far From Home

A Memorable Kiss For Peter Parker And MJ

There is a lot of dramatic tension between Peter Parker and MJ during their ‘will they, won’t they’ on-screen relationship in Spider-Man: Far From Home. We know from the comics and Sam Raimi’s trilogy that they’ll end up together, but this movie likes to keep the audience in suspense. Nevertheless, it is in this movie where MJ and Peter share their first kiss.

If you paid attention to the background of this scene, you might have noticed a curious detail. One of the license plates on the cars reads TASM 143. The initials obvious stand for “The Amazing Spider-Man,” and 143 represents the comic book where the original Mary Jane and Peter Parker shared their first smooch together. It’s an extremely subtle detail, but one that’s a nice sign of respect.

Tom Holland - Spider-Man: Far From Home

Peter Parker Is Back In Black

When Peter Parker is building a new Spidey suit for his impending battle with Mysterio, Happy Hogan puts on a familiar song: “Back in Black” by AC/DC. For fans of the MCU, this is a not-so-subtle callback to the origins of the expansive movie franchise.

Specifically, during the opening scene of 2008’s Iron Man, directed by none other than Jon Favreau himself, we’re introduced to Tony Stark through the rockin’ music of AC/DC. Fittingly enough, this is the song that Happy chooses to play when the late Tony Stark’s protege is making his own suit with his high-tech equipment.

Tom Holland - Spider-Man: Far From Home

The Avengers Are Memorialized

As Spider-Man is seen swinging throughout New York City, you might notice that there is a prominent statue located squarely in the heart of the city. If you pause to get a good look at it, you’ll see that it’s actually a memorial for The Battle in New York, when The Avengers saved the day from a bunch of no-good planet invaders led by Loki.

The Avengers saved the world and they got a statue to commemorate all their good deeds. After all, it takes some super-heroic individuals to save the day, and it’d only be fitting if these mighty heroes got a big statue to celebrate their bravery.

Screenshot From Spider-Man: Far From Home

1… 2… 3… 4?

It’s only a matter of time before the Fantastic Four get acquainted with the rest of the MCU. But if this background hint is accurate, we might’ve gotten our first tease about Fantastic Four’s arrival. As Spider-Man is seen swinging throughout New York City, there is a sign in the background that has the numbers “1… 2… 3… ?” prominently seen.

Now, this could be nothing, but some folks believe that it’s a subtle tease for the Fantastic Four’s arrival. Especially since the color of the numbers seems to correspond with a respective Fantastic Four member, and the text underneath reads, “We’re so excited to show you what comes next!” If that’s the case, that’s an odd-but-cheeky way to let fans know that the superhero group will soon storm in.

Truthfully, these are only a few of the hidden details and surprise easter eggs scattered throughout Spider-Man: Far From Home. Like many other Marvel movies, there are dozens to be found, and we have only discovered a mere handful throughout this latest blockbuster.

But we’re sure that you have spotted a few during your own consecutive viewings. So be sure to let is know about some of your favorite hidden surprises in the comments. Because we’re certain that there are quite a few fun little asides, background gags, cool details and delightful appearances that even our eagle eyes didn’t catch, and it’d be good to know what we (and the fellow readers) should look out for next time we pop Spider-Man: Far From Home in for a spin.

Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will return to the big screen on July 16, 2021, and he’s also set to appear in a separate, yet-to-be-revealed MCU movie. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for continuing coverage.

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We Ask John Cena And Keegan-Michael Key About My Little Pony And It Gets Weird

Playing With Fire the smokejumpers lined up in front of the kids

When sitting in a room with John Cena and Keegan-Michael Key, the conversation can go anywhere, so long as you have a star to guide you. With their latest film, Paramount’s family comedy Playing With Fire, containing a strong thread of action that draws the animated series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic into a good portion of the movie’s narrative, it felt like the atmosphere was ripe for some my Little Pony talk. So I went for it. You’re welcome.

All of that is just a well-worded prologue to the fact that yes, I asked Cena and Key which character from the massively famous Discovery Family series they thought they were. It went just as swimmingly as you’d think.

But, of course, you want to know which ponies John Cena and Keegan-Michael Key best resemble, don’t you? You wouldn’t have clicked on that headline if there was no way those goods would be delivered. Well, you can see me talking through the ponies that Cena and Key best resemble in Playing With Fire.

In an effort to really honor the My Little Pony fandom, John Cena decided to flip the tables back onto me with the following:

I’m just gonna go out on a limb, and I think this is a great way if you’re asked a question about something you don’t know about … I would like to defer to you, and answer your question with a question.

If you’ve ever watched John Cena, be it in an interview or any sort of media, you know the man’s 100% present in what he’s doing. So taking his relative absence of My Little Pony knowledge, and turning it into a funny learning experience, is just par for the course when dealing with someone that knows how to talk with people like he does. The dude is generous as anything, as we’ve seen in his recent efforts to promote Playing With Fire.

When I spoke with Cena and co-star Keegan-Michael Key during the Playing With Fire press day, on behalf of CinemaBlend, I knew that both of them were up for pretty much anything in conversation. Once you see Playing with Fire, you’ll be able to understand why this question is so, so timely and relevant.

We’re about to get into some movie spoilers, here, so if you don’t want to know about any My Little Pony gags in advance, now may be the time to bail. The way My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic ties into the structure of Playing With Fire is pretty simple. After John Leguizamo’s smokejumper Rodrigo puts the show on to help pacify the three children suddenly staying at their firehouse, we see the show’s iconography make its way into the film’s main storyline.

It all culminates in a moment that will have audiences laughing their heads off, where John Cena’s Jake Carson winds up wearing a way-too-small t-shirt that boasts Princess Celestia on the front — something he touches on in the video above. While it feels like a perfect act of synergy between Paramount and Hasbro’s AllSpark Pictures, the companies that will be collaborating on a brand new My Little Pony movie for 2021, Playing With Fire makes this partnership work in its ultimate story of an atypical family bonding through something as simple as cartoons.

Much like John Cena’s character Superintendent Jake Carson, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic’s Twilight Sparkle is all about rules. Her intent as the series begins is to learn everything she can to be the best version of herself she can be. But as the series goes on, Twilight becomes more and more aware of the value that friendship, and to a certain extent family, are needed in a person’s life.

It’s no secret that Jake’s journey is supposed to take a similar route, and the way that Playing With Fire has him travel that particular path is as funny as it is heartwarming. However, an even better fit came when assigning Keegan-Michael Key the designation as the Pinkie Pie of the group, and the man himself was even primed to take on the mantle before the words left my mouth.

Keegan-Michael Key’s character, Mark, is a sort of righthand man to Cena’s Jake, acting as a sort of hype man between his boss and the outside world. However, in the dynamics of their four-man smoke jumper team (with John Leguizamo and Tyler Mane rounding out the numbers), Mark is definitely down for more than a little good-natured ribbing. He also has a supernatural ability to offer tissues from outside of frame, and disappear from a scene in a way that only Groucho Marx would be able to pull off.

So, with those qualities in Keegan-Michael Key’s team member, he’s definitely the Pinkie Pie of the group. In discussing the parallels between both characters, Key totally understood the reasoning behind the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic character he’d randomly picked. Sometimes, the pony chooses us, and we don’t know why until someone tells us; this was definitely one of those cases.

It may still seem like a random pull to have My Little Pony represented in a movie like Playing With Fire, but it’s another one of the ways the film keeps its finger on the pulse of what it means to be a family movie in the modern market. Director Andy Fickman’s film knows the right ingredients to be the sort of potential laugh riot that’ll make kids and parents smile, and it dives into that job with both feet firmly planted in that reality.

Though, to be honest, it also makes a good case for that new My Little Pony movie to offer cameos to John Cena and Keegan-Michael Key, if not full blown major roles in this supposed reboot. It’s just something for the folks at Paramount and Hasbro to think about, as the magic of friendship enters its new phase of cinematic wonder; and definitely something that compliments the work those men have done as part of the ensemble that is Playing With Fire’s highly-effective team of family comedy assassins. Not to mention, it wouldn’t even be the most outrageous cameo for the I.P. to have ever landed.

Playing With Fire opens in theaters this weekend, with early screenings on Thursday night.

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Dennis Quaid Explains Why Midway Was Such An Important Battle For America

Director Roland Emmerich last delved into the historical realm with 2015’s Stonewall, and now he’s returned to putting his stamp on real-life events through his World War II movie Midway, which chronicles the bombing of Pearl Harbor at the end of 1941 and the Battle of Midway that occurred half a year later. Dennis Quaid is one of the main members of this ensemble cast, and when recently speaking with CinemaBlend, he gave the following explanation for why the Battle of Midway was so important for the United States:

As Dennis Quaid noted, The Battle of Midway marked a major turning point for the U.S.’s involvement in World War II. Six months after Pearl Harbor was bombed, the event that finally led to the U.S. entering World War II (two years after the gigantic conflict began), the U.S. and Japanese naval forces clashed from June 4 to June 7 1942 in the Pacific Theater, and the U.S. emerged victorious, thus turning the tide of the Pacific War aspect of World War II.

Obviously the U.S. had been embroiled in various World War II battles in the six months ahead of the Battle of Midway, but that victory has gone down as one of the greatest naval engagements in world history. So what would’ve happened if the U.S. had lost the Battle of Midway? Here’s what Dennis Quaid had to say on the matter:

While that might be a subject worth covering in an alternate history tale, Roland Emmerich’s Midway is a relatively faithful adaptation of what went down in real life. Although as is traditionally the case with historical films, there are some creative liberties taken to streamline the story and make it more digestible for audiences.

Made with a $100 million budget, Midway, which Roland Emmerich first announced he was directing back in 2017 (although he’d pitched making it at Sony in the ‘90s), is one of the most expensive independent movies ever made. Emmerich was unable to get a major studio to bankroll the project, so he sought funding from individual sources, which added up to $76 million, plus $24 million in equity from many Chinese investors.

Dennis Quaid appears in Midway as Vice Admiral William Halsey Jr., who was initially named commander of the South Pacific Area and was later named commander of the Third Fleet for the rest of World War II. Quaid is joined in Midway by Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans, Aaron Eckhardt, Nick Jonas, Mandy Moore, Woody Harrelson, Darren Criss and many others.

Jurassic World 3 Will Bring Back 2 More Familiar Faces

We already know that after much hoping and pleading from fans and cast alike, Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World 3 will bring back Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern and Sam Neill to reprise their roles from the original Jurassic Park. But the members of that original trio won’t be the only ones in this franchise returning to close out the Jurassic World trilogy. Jurassic World 3 is bringing back two more familiar faces: Justice Smith and Daniella Pineda.

The two actors made their franchise debuts in last year’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and will reprise their roles in Jurassic World 3— according to Collider. As you’ll recall, Justice Smith portrayed Franklin Webb, the systems analyst and go-to computer guy for Claire Dearing’s Dinosaur Protection Group. Daniella Pineda played Zia Rodriguez, another member of the DPG who served as the organization’s paleoveterinarian.

Plot details remain under wraps for Jurassic World 3, so it’s unknown what role the duo will play in the threequel. But with the dinosaurs now out in the wild after Fallen Kingdom, the DPG will have its work cut out for it. Maybe Justice Smith’s character can help catch ‘em all (that’s a Detective Pikachu reference folks).

Justice Smith and Daniella Pineda join a cast that includes faces of the franchise Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum. Also starring in Jurassic Park 3 are Isabella Sermon as Maisie Lockwood, BD Wong as mad scientist Dr. Wu, and franchise newcomers Mamoudou Athie and DeWanda Wise.

While we are all excited to see the return of the Jurassic Park OGs, it is cool that there will be some carryover from the rest of the Jurassic World franchise. Justice Smith’s Franklin Webb was delightfully awkward and anxiety-ridden. Daniella Pineda was also a nice addition to the franchise and proved quite capable in healing Blue, and I imagine her skills will be put to the test again in this third film before it’s over.

The cast is rounding out nicely for this climactic chapter in the Jurassic Saga(?) but I’ve got to say, with the original Jurassic Park trio returning, I’m still kind of hoping that Joseph Mazzello and Ariana Richards, who played kids Tim and Lex, can return as well, at least in cameo form. We don’t know what the future of this franchise is beyond this film so this might be the last chance to get the band back together.

We still have a ways to go until Jurassic World 3’s 2021 release date, but fortunately, we’ve already gotten a taste of what the third film in this highly successful franchise may have in store for audiences. Colin Trevorrow’s short film Battle At Big Rock gives us an idea of what a world with dinosaurs on the loose might be like.

Jurassic World 3 roars into theaters on June 11, 2021. That’s a ways off, so check out what movies are coming out next year in our 2020 Release Schedule.