Harley Quinn And The Joker Are Coming To PUBG

Most of the news surrounding Battle Royale games these days seems to center around Epic’s Fortnite; new skins, new maps, new events, and new content are always pouring into the game. However, PUBG Corporation hasn’t been sitting by idly. The developers managed to secure a rather significant acquisition for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds: The Joker and Harley Quinn.

The announcement came courtesy of a minute and a half trailer that was released today. It starts with the official logo of DC Entertainment, color-splashed in the Suicide Squad motif. The trailer then transitions into machinima as we see that Harley and the Joker from the Suicide Squad movie are running around using the weapons and wearing the clothes that they donned in the live-action film. The trailer rounds out with the two driving out of the compound while a prison guard takes aim at their vehicle.

It must be noted that the team definitely took a lot of time in making sure that Harley looked like a dead ringer for Margot Robbie’s portrayal of the character. We see that she’s sporting the two colorful pigtails, the tight t-shirt, the over-the-top gold spiked bracelet and matching color with “Puddin” scrawled across it. Everything right down to her hockey-themed pumps made the cut.

Unfortunately, Jared Leto’s rendition of the Joker doesn’t quite look as inspired as the way Harley is portrayed in the game. He just kind of has some generic clown makeup on and the tattoos, but it looks more like a guy cosplaying as the Joker for a Halloween party rather than a direct replica of the one from David Ayer‘s film.

Even still, the crossover with DC’s property seems to show that PUBG Corporation is no longer sitting by idly while Epic scoops up all the Battle Royale goodies. Just recently Epic Games signed a deal with the NFL to allow the official team kits to appear in Fortnite. The company also signed a deal with Marvel Entertainment earlier in the year that allowed the developers to implement Thanos from Avengers: Infinity War into the game.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was really the first standalone game to bring Battle Royale gameplay into the mainstream, but after Bluehole turned the studio into PUBG Corporation and focused solely on developing the third-person shooter with more content and updates, there wasn’t a whole lot of spicy news or additions added to the game the way Epic went out of its way to craft a loose narrative around the events within Fortnite with its seasonal content.

It took a while but PUBG Corporation seems to be making moves to really get in on the hype train by bringing popular characters to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Maybe we’ll see a few more DC characters make an appearance like Deadshot or Deathstroke? That would be pretty cool.

You can look for Harley Quinn and the Joker from Suicide Squad to arrive in the game on PC and Xbox One soon.

YouTube May Finally Be Coming To Nintendo Switch

One of the most-requested features for the Nintendo Switch is a YouTube app and, based on some rather odd occurrences on Nintendo’s own website, rumor has it that the wait may soon be over.

According to forum posts on ResetEra and NintendoHome (via Polygon), a YouTube app has kinda-sorta started making an appearance on Nintendo’s website. On those forums, folks have come out of the woodworks telling the same story: They were tooling around on Nintendo’s site, looking through the games catalog, and a YouTube app appears as a possible suggestion.

Clicking on the suggested YouTube app apparently doesn’t do anything, as there is currently no product page for any such app. Still, as the original report points out, its existence is leading some to believe that the app is likely on the way. This certainly wouldn’t be the first time a game or application was outed by an image or page that wasn’t supposed to go live yet.

But, again, since neither Nintendo nor YouTube have made any sort of official announcement, we’d recommend you take this as the rumor it is for the time being. That could have been a placeholder for an app that fell through a year ago for all we know. That doesn’t seem super likely but, again, best not to bank on anything until we’re actually watching Fortnite and Blackout videos for hours on end through YouTube on the Switch.

If this rumor turns out to be true, though, it’ll likely make the day of plenty of Switch owners. Here in the west, the only streaming service available on the Switch is Hulu. That’s great and all, but since oodles of other apps are available on every other device known to man, it seems odd that Nintendo’s new home console/portable hybrid would be a holdout. Netflix announced earlier this year that it was still considering bringing an app to the Switch, but no definite plans were being kicked around just yet.

Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if additional streaming apps start making an appearance on the Switch soon. I’ve held for a while now that additional streaming apps would not be an option on the Switch until its premium online service became available. That happened a couple of months ago and, as far as anyone knows, it has been smooth sailing. Now that Nintendo has a bunch of folks paying 20 bucks a year for access to online services, it would make sense that they are now ready to start putting some actual ink into deals with other streaming apps.

Nintendo is also rumored to have another Direct coming up this month, and a YouTube app being made available just in time to avoid family during the holidays would certainly be a nice announcement to include in the presentation. Agree? Think the Switch is better off without streaming apps? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

There’s A Reason The New Super Mario Movie Should Be Better Than The Last One

There are bad video game movies and then there’s 1993’s Super Mario Bros., a reviled depiction of perhaps gaming’s most recognizable character. Now, a quarter century after being burned by that film, Nintendo is partnering with Illumination Entertainment to give the plumber another crack at cinematic greatness. Illumination Entertainment founder Chris Meledandri is confident that the new film will fare better than the last one because Nintendo icon and Super Mario Bros. creator Shigeru Miyamoto will be involved, as he explained.

Chris Melendandri reasons that one of the previous film’s many problems was that those making it didn’t involve Shigeru Miyamoto and figured that they knew better than the man who created these characters. We all saw how well that approach worked out. Melendandri owns that he has made this mistake in the past as well and it will not be one that he makes with the new animated film.

Based on Chris Melandandri’s comments to Variety, it sounds like Illumination Entertainment will be working closely with Nintendo and Shigeru Miyamoto for this new Super Mario Bros. movie. That input should give this film an opportunity to succeed where the 1993 film failed so spectacularly. Of course being better than the last one isn’t exactly the highest flagpole for this Mario to jump over.

Nintendo has been extremely reticent to allow its IPs to be adapted after the calamity of Super Mario Bros., so perhaps involving Shigeru Miyamoto is part of what convinced the gun-shy games company to give Hollywood another chance.

Game and movies are two different mediums, and while Shigeru Miyamoto might not know how to make movies, what he does know is these characters and why people connect with them and they have endured for so many years. The Nintendo legend created Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, F-Zero and Donkey Kong, so he’s probably someone worth listening to.

Just knowing Shigeru Miyamoto is involved should help video game fans to feel optimistic about this project. That alone won’t guarantee success though as adaptation is always tricky, as Chris Melendandri elaborated:

The Illumination founder hit on part of what makes Mario especially difficult to adapt by talking about the thinness of the original form. The Mario games have always been known more for their gameplay than their stories. These aren’t especially cinematic in the traditional sense like many modern video games and they don’t have the epic stories that demand the movie treatment like Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda.

So Illumination has its work cut out for them finding that depth Chris Melendandri talked about, all while not losing what fans love about the games and the characters.

That’s part of what is encouraging about this new film being done at Illumination in the animated realm. Mario is simply too weird, crazy and abstract to work in live-action without some bastardization like we got in the original film. Animation allows this new movie to be just as psychedelic as the games themselves with the Mushroom Kingdom and a plumber who earns coins by hitting his head against floating blocks.

Super Mario Bros. is in priority development at Illumination, and while there is no release date yet, it could hit theaters as early as 2022 (hopefully followed not long after by a proper live-action Zelda movie).

The Purge Renewed For Season 2 At USA

Fans of TV horror got a new series in 2018 with The Purge, which brought the action of the popular film franchise to the small screen. It was one of USA’s most ambitious projects to date, and the big question was whether the premise that made for hits on the big screen could be a hit for TV. Well, we now have an answer. USA has officially ordered a second season of The Purge.

It’s not altogether surprising that The Purge scored a second season. The popularity of TV shows can be somewhat harder to quantify than box offices for movies, but the ratings for the show rank it as USA’s current #1 drama, with an average viewership of 1.2 million. The good news comes hours before the Season 1 finale hits the airwaves.

Just as each Purge movie goes in a different direction with the one night each year when all crime (including murder) is legal, we probably can count on each season of the Purge show to try new things. The Purge seems like a great fit for an anthology, which is already a format that works well for another cable horror series.

Season 2 will reportedly be “digging even deeper into the mythology” of the franchise. Showrunner Tom Kelly spoke with CinemaBlend and other press outlets during a set visit ahead of the Season 1 premiere about the potential of The Purge as an anthology, saying this:

The original plan for The Purge was for the show to be an anthology if it were to score additional seasons beyond the first. There’s no guarantee at this point that the plans prior to the premiere haven’t shifted in some way or other, so we’ll have to wait and see. An anthology format could make the TV show feel all the more cinematic, with a new batch of characters dealing with a new batch of problems each time around.

Tune in to USA on November 6 at 10 p.m. ET for the Season 1 finale of The Purge.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s Box Office Drop May Not Really Affect Episode IX

The box office response to recent Star Wars films has many wondering what’s going to happen when Episode IX arrives next year. With Star Wars: The Last Jedi not doing as well as The Force Awakens and the lukewarm response to Solo: A Star Wars Story, is the franchise in trouble? It turns out that, if you look at the history of Star Wars, there’s every reason to believe that the next entry in the new trilogy is going to be just fine, and will see a significant increase over the numbers of The Last Jedi.

A quick look at the box office response to both the original and prequel Star Wars trilogies, as well as what we’ve so far in the current trilogy, shows what appears to be a pattern immerging. All three of the first films in the three trilogies have been huge movies. The original Star Wars: A New Hope, The Phantom Menace and The Force Awakens all set box office records when they debuted. The Force Awakens is still the highest grossing domestic movie of all-time.

These movies were so big that it would have been difficult for any movie to compete, and as it turns out, the sequels all had trouble. The numbers show (via Forbes) that Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Attack of the Clones and The Last Jedi all saw significant box office drops as compared to the previous film, about a 1/3 drop in total. In the case of the current trilogy, we’re talking about a domestic total for The Force Awakens of about $936 million dropping to $620 million for The Last Jedi. In absolute terms both numbers are massive, but in comparison, it looks like a significant loss of interest.

However, if past is prologue, Star Wars: Episode IX may have nothing to worry about, as both Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi and The Revenge of the Sith saw their box office numbers get a 20-25% boost over the middle entry of the trilogy. If this pattern holds then Episode IX could see a domestic box office of as much as $775 million.

While that number is still down from where The Force Awakens was, an increase over The Last Jedi would surely be evidence that there’s nothing “wrong” with Star Wars right now. The box office drop for The Last Jedi, combined with a lackluster performance for Solo: A Star Wars Story has led some to wonder, or claim outright, that there’s a problem with the franchise or a backlash from fans that have been unhappy with the direction of recent installments.

While Solo is an outlier case without a lot of historical precedents to consider, it does seem like it’s just normal for Star Wars movies to see the second film have a box office drop with a third entry getting a boost. Three movies may be a small pattern, but it’s a pattern.

It’s also a pattern that makes sense. With all three trilogies, there was excitement surrounding the first entry. In the case of the original film, it was simply a movie that nobody had seen the like of before. In the case of the next two, it was something fans hadn’t seen in years and were excited to see again. After that, the luster has worn off somewhat. We’ve seen it before, so the second film feels less urgent, we don’t need to see it on opening night like we did the last one. It’s also the middle story, we know that more is coming, so it’s not like we’re never going to see a Star Wars movie again.

The final entry, however, is the end, and everybody wants to know how a story ends. This drives moviegoers back to the theater so they don’t have to wait to see how things wrap up. We won’t know for sure if that’s going to happen here, but the evidence that it has happened before certainly indicates the possibility.

In the case of the original trilogy, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is currently viewed as the best film in that series, if not the entire franchise, so the fact that it saw such a steep box office fall is telling. The box office numbers aren’t a measure of a film’s worth, especially in the long term.

In the case of the prequels, while there’s certainly a large number of people who would argue, both then and now, that Star Wars: The Attack of the Clones is the worst film of that trilogy, the film’s badness didn’t keep people away from the release of Revenge of the Sith. While there are certainly those with a bone to pick over The Last Jedi, the negative response is far from universal. While some seem to loathe the recent film, just as many loved it which would seem to be a strong argument for the future success of Episode IX. If the prequel trilogy can recover, surely so can this one.

The Last Jedi was a divisive film to say the least, there’s no argument about that. While it’s unclear just how big the backlash actually was, it certainly existed. And who knows, if Episode IX doesn’t see a box office similar to the other two trilogies, it could be evidence that something is very different now.

However, what’s different could be something else entirely. In the case of the first two trilogies, the final movie had the potential to be the last Star Wars movie we’d ever see. That isn’t the case anymore. While we still don’t know what the next movie will be, we do know for sure that there will be a next movie, maybe not in this story, but something Star Wars related at any rate. Maybe that will make Episode IX less urgent after all. Maybe making Star Wars movies a more regular thing means they won’t be the “event” movies that they once were. Or maybe Episode IX is going to be just fine regardless. Even if the movie makes less money than this pattern predicts, it’s still going to be insanely profitable. Disney and Lucasfilm only need to worry when that changes, and it certainly hasn’t yet.

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The Time John Stamos Almost Accidentally Masturbated To Fuller House

Anyone who’s gone through fertility treatments will likely tell you that it’s a long, draining process with lots of ups and downs. They probably won’t regale you with tales of going to the fertility clinic and having to give sperm samples, though. No, apparently, that’s what actor John Stamos is for. He recently shared his personal fertility clinic story with a ton of people who weren’t expecting it, and it turns out that he almost brought a child into this world by watching a certain Netflix show that he has some personal history with.

This is an absolutely true story and I’ve been waiting to tell this story …Trying to get pregnant and we had to do a thing, and we had to go to a fertility, ya know, place. And I had to go give a sperm sample. I can’t believe I’m finally getting to tell this story. And I went into this little room where they go, ‘Go in there…’ And they said, ‘If you need any stimulation or whatever there’s videos and there’s a TV here, just turn the thing.’ I turn the TV on and it’s on Fuller House. And I’m like, if I’m going to masturbate to myself it’s going to be my old self not the new one.

Oh, that wacky John Stamos, amirite? Supposedly, when he and his wife, Caitlin McHugh, were trying to get pregnant, a trip to the doctor almost turned into a masturbatory Fuller House session for Stamos. Can you imagine? Going into the…sample room (I don’t know what they call them, but that seems like a polite term.) to do your solo, baby-making business, needing a little additional inspiration and then being forced to spy yourself and your friends on the TV when you turn it on?

I cannot imagine that an occurrence like this wouldn’t set the donation and collection process back by at least a few minutes as one gets those images out of ones head and mentally tunes into some sexier stuff. Of course, that might depend on just how sexy the TV show is that you’re a part of, but that’s neither here nor there.

Fuller House, as most of us know, is a decidedly un-sexy show. As the modern day spinoff of the hit sitcom Full House, which ran on ABC from September 1987 through May 1995, Fuller House focuses on now grown Tanner daughters D.J. and Stephanie, along with their childhood friend Kimmy, moving back into the home they grew up in with their kids in tow. Everyone is reprising their roles from the original show, including John Stamos, who plays Uncle Jesse on both shows.

I find three things absolutely remarkable about this story. First of all, John Stamos is unbelievably eager to share this information on national TV, which he does quite out of the blue during his appearance on Busy Tonight when asked by host Busy Philipps if he and his wife binged any television shows after their, now six month old son, Billy arrived. Stamos actually says twice how excited he is to finally get to tell this story. Most people would be mortified by the idea of a bunch of strangers (ok, a bunch of anyone) thinking about them as they attempt to masturbate, but, such embarrassment is not for those of the Stamos family line, I suppose. So, good on you, John.

Secondly, let’s all think about the last time we started up Netflix, shall we? For any device that I’ve used the streaming service on, if I’m not already in Netflix, and, certainly, if I have to turn on the device first, I then have to go to the app or website. From there I get the familiar “Dun, dun,” and go to the home screen. Do you get my meaning here? At no point have I ever experienced turning on my TV and Netflix just being open, ready to go and playing a show. I’m not saying John Stamos is lying, per se, but he seems to have, at the very least, left some things out of this very exciting story. Things which give me a…pregnant pause. But, I digress…

Last, not to over think this, but why would Netflix even be an option in a room that is essentially a small, one-person sperm factory? It’s not like there’s an adult section to the site, where you can get the best in new and classic porn. You’d have to pick some obscure foreign film and just hope for sexytimes that make you feel good enough to get the job done. How is that not a massive time waster for the man trying to jangle his jingle (Or jingle his jangle. I don’t know what this imaginary man is working with.) and get back to his daily life?

At any rate, John Stamos, Fuller House actor, newlywed and new father, would like us all to know what the real problem was with this scenario as he sat (Stood?) in that sample room at the doctor’s office and watched himself, Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin, Andrea Barber and others frolic wholesomely across the screen: John Stamos does not masturbate to his current, 55-year-old, self!

No way, sirs and madams. John Stamos is only interested in masturbating to himself if he can watch the younger, more innocent Stamos fill the screen with his gleaming teeth, wicked smile and jet black (’80s) rock star hair. His youthful joie de vivre permeating every inch of the screen and making men want to be him…and women want to be with him. Really, who can resist this:

I mean, we can all understand where John Stamos is coming from with this. There are very few people who look back at pictures of themselves from when they were much younger and don’t go, “Wow, I was kinda hot.” So, I guess it’s good to know that Stamos, who is widely regarded as one of the slowest aging stars in America, has similar thoughts about his younger self as most of us regular, wrinkle-filled folks do.

Let it be known, though, that John Stamos didn’t confirm or deny that he actually decided to use Fuller House, or Full House for that matter, as his masturbatory fuel on that fateful day at the doctor’s office. And, if you’re anything like me, you realize that such details are best left between John Stamos and his hand.

Busy Tonight airs on E!, Sundays-Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EST. Catch John Stamos on the new Lifetime series You, which airs Sundays at 10 p.m. EST and joins a whole host of new and returning shows for the 2018 fall premiere season.

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Incredibles 2’s Honest Trailer Tears Into The Sequel Repeating The Original

Since it had been fourteen years since one of Pixar’s most beloved films, The Incredibles hit theaters, the sequel was much-anticipated and expectations were sky high. For many fans, Incredibles 2 proved worth the wait, exceeding the quality of the first film and soaring to be Pixar’s highest grossing film to date. The film is now available to ow,n and it’s come time to revisit the animated superhero film and stretch it apart with the latest episode of Honest Trailers. Check it out:

Screen Junkies continues to poke fun at popular movie releases with this entry surrounding Incredibles 2 with quite a few jabs at Pixar itself. Foremost, the episode begs the question, is the company feeding us the same story lines over and over? And why does it always seem to work on us? One must remember that Pixar has a tried-and-true production formula that has found its victory time and time again and well “if it ain’t broke” right? As the Honest Trailer illustrates, Incredibles 2 used many of the same plot devices at the first, almost to the tee in this case and we loved every minute of it.

Just as in The Incredibles, the sequel had the family of supers learning to work together to fight an unsuspecting villain, after one of the parents is lured to work under them. Incredibles 2 did switch up the script, this time giving Elastigirl more time on screen to flex her muscles along with the screen-stealing Jack Jack growing into all his powers. While at its core the two films hold many similarities, I’d argue Incredibles 2 skillfully built on the roots of the original in a way some of their other sequels missed the mark on. The Honest Trailer does a great job of illustrating how Pixar tends to end a staggering amount of their films with a chase scene, dating all the way back to the “To Infinity and Beyond” moment in 1995’s Toy Story.

While Pixar started out as an innovative and creative animation company, delivering previous features such as Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo and Cars, it was only a matter of time before they turned them into franchises. Recently, Pixar has been releasing a greater number of sequels than original films, oftentimes not up to par with its original films. Incredibles 2 felt like an outlier as it set the Pixar sequel standard that the Toy Story films started. The Honest Trailer highlights this, noting the worst of the bunch, Cars 2.

While we might be woke about Pixar’s frequent patterns after that Honest Trailer, the company won’t turn away its audiences any time soon as long as their formula is executed as beautifully and enjoyably as before. Toy Story 4 is up next on Pixar’s line-up, coming to theaters on June 21, 2019. After almost a decade of radio silence from the merry band of toys and the incomparable track record of the franchise, Incredibles 2 could soon be dethroned as Pixar’s biggest success.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ Ahsoka Actress Is Having To Unlearn The Character For Season 7

News of Star Wars: The Clone Warsreturn was more than welcome to fans, and apparently, it’s an effort that hasn’t been without its struggles thus far. Ahsoka Tano voice actress Ashley Eckstein certainly hasn’t complained about getting the opportunity to return to the show when discussing the unique challenge of reprising Ahsoka for Season 7, but did say she had to do a bit of unlearning of the character following her time on Star Wars Rebels.

As Ashley Eckstein mentioned, there’s quite a difference between the Ahsoka Tano who appeared in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and the one seen in Star Wars Rebels. Eckstein’s Rebels portrayal, which was her most recent, featured a much more mature Ahsoka. Obviously, that wasn’t going to fly for Clone Wars Season 7, so Eckstein had to shed the more sagely Ahsoka persona to play the younger one fans of the first series would be familiar with.

It’s not a complete transformation, however, as Ashley Eckstein told CBR this Ahsoka will be different as well due to the events of Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 6. Things will pick up not long after Ahsoka left the Jedi Order and show her contemplating her next move. We know where she ends up in Star Wars Rebels, so we’re guessing the remaining episodes will put Ahsoka on a path that shapes who she is in Rebels.

As for other details about the return of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ashley Eckstein tried to remain as tight-lipped as possible. Despite her unwillingness to spill a bunch of yet to be revealed secrets, Eckstein did reassure curious fans that progress is being made and she has faith in Dave Filoni’s abilities (and the crew) to do Season 7 right.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars‘ return is set to go down on Disney’s upcoming streaming service and feature 12 episodes that deliver some closure to iconic animated show that went unfinished. Folks can currently binge the series on Netflix, or check out what new things are coming to television in the near future over at our fall premiere guide.

Khloe Kardashian Throws Up Muddy Thong Photo After Reliving Tristan Thompson Cheating Scandal On TV

For viewers of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, the newest episodes of the reality TV series have been particularly revealing — notably in how they share intimate footage of what exactly went down when Khloe Kardashian discovered that her boyfriend, professional athlete Tristan Thompson, cheated on her with other women. It was a difficult situation for all parties involved.

And while things between Tristan and Khloe have calmed down and everyone is starting to get along again when it comes to the family circle, it is still a hard subject to revisit — particularly through footage that was captured during that moment. But in the tradition of being very revealing, Khloe Kardashian posted scantily clad photos of herself taken on the beach.

The Instagram photos find Khloe Kardashian in front of an unknown body of water, covered in sand and mud with hardly any clothing on. The caption for the snapshot quotes Pablo Neruda, as she contemplates about love that’s so deep, “the ocean would be jealous.” The photos show Khloe Kardashian is what appears to be a thong, a shirt and nothing else. And Khloe K doesn’t appear to mind her lack of modesty.

These beachside photos from Khloe Kardashian showcase a confident, assured Khloe Kardashian– perhaps in contradiction to the angered, saddened version of herself which is being projected on television at this time. As the E! television personality admits, it can be difficult to revisit these tough days when you have moved past them, both emotionally and through the benefit of time. But she is also grateful for the opportunity to look back and reflect.

On Twitter, Khloe Kardashian admitted that watching these latest episodes of Keeping Up with the Kardashians has been extremely difficult — particularly since she has to relive the debacle involving Tristan Thompson and his cheating scandal, which came to light shortly before Khloe gave birth to her first child, her daughter, True Thompson. Here’s what Khloe Kardashian said in a reflective tweet, where she talked about the whole affair.

It is never easy to revisit past pain, and Khloe Kardashian is learning that lesson again. While she has had the opportunity to rewatch and revisit several different situations in her life, this one is among the hardest she has seen captured on video. But she believes that it is beneficial to rip that band-aid off, and recount on the heartbreak she felt and the strides she has taken to move on and to move forward– away from this challenging test in their coupling.

Khloe Kardashian and Tristan Thompson have both admitted that they’re hoping to work past this struggle and reconnect as a couple. They are reportedly going forward with their original plans to move in together in Cleveland, Ohio, where Thompson is based. If they are under the same roof, they have spent a lot of time together, and they have likely learned how to move past this difficult time in their lives — despite what’s projected on the television. Meanwhile, for more updates and developments related to the Kardashians and a lot more, be sure to check back in with CinemaBlend.

Shrek Is Getting Its Own Reboot

Once upon a time, Shrek was one of the most popular animated franchises in the world. What started out as a cinematic adaptation of the children’s book Shrek! by William Steig turned into a pop culture heavy-hitter that led to sequels, short films, TV specials and even a spinoff film for Puss in Boots. Today, it’s been announced that like so many properties before it, the Shrek franchise is getting the reboot treatment from Universal Pictures.

This time around, it’s Chris Meledandri, the producer of the Despicable Me franchise, that’s overseeing these new versions of Shrek and Puss in Boots. As reported by Variety, Universal has taken Meledandri with finding “some fresh story lines” to reintroduce the ogre and his supporting cast to new generations of moviegoers. However, unlike traditional reboots, which start from scratch and bring aboard new actors, Meledandri doesn’t want to mess with Shrek‘s cast and would like to bring back Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas, among others. Meledandri explained:

When you look back on those vocal performances they’re awesome, and while you certainly could make a case for a complete reinvention, I find myself responding to my own nostalgic feelings of wanting to go back to those characterizations. The challenge for us has been to find something that really does feel like it’s not simply yet another film in a series of sequels.

While there have been instances of an actor playing the same character within two different continuities of a franchise (Judi Dench as M in the James Bond movies, for example), usually the term ‘reboot’ means putting a new spin on an existing property and ignoring what came before. Chris Meledandri’s comment makes it sound like he wants it both ways with Shrek; to have the original voice cast return, but to also make sure this new movie can be enjoyed as a standalone tale rather than be looked at as Shrek 5.

New of a Shrek reboot comes two years after Universal’s parent company, Comcast, bought Dreamworks Animation, which counts Shrek among its properties, for $3.8 billion. Chris Meledandri is just getting started figuring out how to handle the Shrek reboot, but the producer noted that it’s only a matter of time before we get to revisit this fairy tale world. As he put it:

There’s a tremendous amount of fun to be had in that world, but it’s a high bar to find a story that’s truly world. You want to find something in the narrative that really feels like a departure.

Chris Meledandri also added that after Dreamworks Pictures was purchased by Universal, he was given the opportunity to oversee Dreamworks Entertainment. However, because Meledandri is already keeping busy enough as the CEO of Illumination Entertainment (which he founded), he decided to he wouldn’t have been able to manage two companies and maintain the same level of quality, so he didn’t snag that particular job.

It’s been over a decade since Shrek 5 was announced. After Shrek 2‘s release in 2004, Dreamworks’ Jeffrey Katzenberg stated that the Shrek franchise had been outlined as a five-movie story since the first movie was being developed, and Shrek 5 was intended to be released in 2013. However, in 2009, Shrek 4, later titled Shrek Forever After, was deemed to be the final Shrek movie, thus resulting in Shrek 5 been scrapped.

Shrek Forever After came out in 2010, and while it was a box office hit, making over $752 million worldwide off a budget between $135-$165 million, it earned mixed critical reception. The fourthquel saw Shrek signing a contract drafted by the nefarious Rumpelstiltskin and living in an alternate reality where Shrek was never born. By the end of the movie, Shrek no longer felt like he needed to live like a “real ogre” again, and after being transported back to his reality, he embraced the life he’d made with his family friends.

For several years, it looked like Shrek Forever After would remain the final story in the Shrek franchise, but then talk of Shrek 5 resumed in 2014 when Jeffrey Katzenberg hinted that the project could still become a reality. In 2016, NBCUniversal chief Steve Burke mentioned that there were talks in motion to revive the Shrek franchise, and a year later, Michael McCullers, who was hired to write Shrek 5, said that the movie would be much different than its predecessors.

It’s unclear if Chris Meledandri is using any or all of Michael McCullers’ script, or if he’s wiped the proverbial board clean and envisioning a new version of Shrek, but either way, it’s looking likelier than ever that Shrek and his pals will be returning to the big screen. Whether or not this “reboot” will actually just be a standalone sequel or if it will actually interpret these characters through a new lens remains to be seen.

But let’s also not forget Puss in Boots! The swashbuckling cat was introduced in Shrek 2 and stuck around for the other sequels, but then in 2011, he starred in his own spinoff, which chronicled one of his pre-Shrek 2 adventures. The Puss in Boots movie made $555 million worldwide off a $130 million budget and earned a lot of positive reviews.

With a performance like that, it’s no wonder a sequel, eventually titled Puss in Boots 2: Nine Lives & 40 Thieves, got the green light, and after originally being dated for November 2, 2018, it was pushed to December 21, 2018. However, by January 2015, Puss in Boots 2 was removed from the release schedule to to behind-the-scenes restructuring, and since then there haven’t been any major updates about it. Like with Shrek, we don’t know with 100% certainty yet if this new Puss in Boots movie will actually just be the long-awaited sequel or a true reboot, though I imagine that there are plenty of people who would prefer Antonio Banderas reprising the feline fencer.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on the return of the Shrek franchise. In the meantime, you can find out what’s heading to theaters next year by looking through our 2018 and 2019 release schedules.

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