The Dark Knight’s Infamous Pencil Trick Explained

Heath Ledger‘s Joker murdered a lot of people in The Dark Knight, but one of his more shocking kills was “the pencil trick,” i.e. grabbing a guy’s face and shoving it into an upward facing pencil so powerfully that it pierced through the man’s eye. For those who’ve wondered over the last decade how this “trick” was actually pulled off, it wasn’t through the use of a CG pencil, but simple film editing. Production designer Nathan Crowley stated:

As visual effects supervisor Nick Davis further, using a CG pencil for this sequence for The Dark Knight would have been problematic. Although it was easy enough even back then to create a CG pencil and “track it in and kinda make it disappear out,” because the movie was shot in IMAX, they avoided including unnecessary digital shots because “you can never really re-create an IMAX image.”

So instead, The Dark Knight took the practical route with the pencil trick, resulting in approximately 22 takes across two days and using two kinds of tables: a regular one and one made of galvanized rubber. Charles Jarman, the actor who played the unnamed henchman The Joker killed, mentioned that director Christopher Nolan told him they were going to do a couple shots where Jarman had to quickly sneak the pencil away as he was going down, which proved difficult to do since the pencil was stuck to the table.

This practical approach also resulted in Charles Jarman losing consciousness on several occasions. As he recalled to Vulture:

In the end, the pencil trick became one of The Dark Knight‘s most memorable scenes, and Charles Jarman believes the it ended up looking as real as it possibly could have, although if he had a similar job now, he’d want to pull it off in a different way. Of course, Joker quickly disposing of Gambol‘s goon happened early into The Dark Knight, and the Clown Prince of Crime would have another two hours to cement himself as Gotham City’s greatest terrorist… well, at least until Bane showed up eight years later.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all the latest movie news, both DC Comics related and otherwise. Don’t forget to look through our 2019 release schedule to plan your trips to the theater next year accordingly.

James Wan Actually Pitched A Blade Reboot Years Ago

James Wan is best known as a horror director, thanks to his years spent in the genre on films like Saw and Insidious. But he’s beginning to break out of that box, first with Furious 7 and now with Aquaman. The DCEU film will be James Wan’s first foray into the realm of superheroes, but not for lack of trying. The director actually pitched a reboot of Marvel’s vampire hunter Blade years ago, as he explained:

It sounds like James Wan went to Marvel Studios coming off his success with 2013’s The Conjuring, looking to capitalize by rebooting the long-dormant vampire hunter. That was his first brush with a comic book property, and given his background as a horror director, you can see why his first thought was to reboot Blade. The director was a fan of the character, and could have brought his horror instincts to the reboot and thus kicked off that side of the supernatural in the MCU.

Obviously nothing ever came of James Wan’s Blade pitch, and he eventually moved on and wound up in the waters of DC, but it is always interesting to think about what might have been. This is just another chapter to the alternate reality stories of the Marvel and DC film universes.

The Aquaman director also told the Happy Sad Confused podcast that he didn’t have a full pitch presentation for a Blade reboot; he just had an idea that he liked. Unfortunately, he no longer remembers what his specific idea was so we are left to speculate. Maybe it’s for the best, because being introduced to a great idea and robbed of it becoming a reality at the same time is a tough pill to swallow.

While James Wan didn’t get to reboot Blade years ago, nobody has done so since. The last Blade film, Blade: Trinity was in 2004. Since then, the MCU has become the dominant force at the box office, adapting weirder and less well-known characters. As such, the calls for a reboot of the vampire hunter have grown ever louder.

Wesley Snipes has been pushing for it and the topic continues to crop up over the years. The time seems as good as any too. The success of Black Panther has shown the appetite for a black superhero, and Blade is one that people are already familiar with just waiting to daywalk again. James Wan may not be the one who does it but presumably someone will get the chance at some point and the idea of having a horror director do it seems right.

As for James Wan, he had the arguably more challenging task of taking a superhero that used to be the butt of jokes and building a massive movie tentpole movie around him, complete with extensive world-building and way fancier special effects than fake teeth and blood splatter.

10 Great Movies Coming To Netflix In January 2019

The great wheel of time is set to spin once again, with January marking another fresh cycle in the course of human events. It also means that on the smaller scale of things, a new lineup of content is heading over to Netflix for all subscribers to behold. While we’ve already gone over the full list of what’s headed our way, the following 10 titles are of particular interest.

Some beloved classics, and more modern favorites, are headed to the Netflix streaming library, and throughout January you can catch these near and dear films through the courtesy of your own subscription.

The Dark Knight

One has to wonder what was going through Christopher Nolan’s mind when he was moving through all phases of production on The Dark Knight. What was once seen as a promising idea for a follow up to Batman Begins quickly became a fan-adopted classic, and it’s only been a decade since the film was first released. This title seems to be in and out of the Netflix library, like any of Gotham City’s rogues gallery of villains and their many trips to Arkham Asylum. But unlike any of those nutty funsters, this is a return that’s most celebrated.

Hell Or High Water

If you ever want to hear a story of rags to riches in the movie industry, ask someone to tell you the story of Hell or High Water. Originally released as an extremely limited indie film, this western noir masterpiece went on to become more of a success than it was expected, and eventually went on to become an awards season player. Gumption and grit define this movie on the inside and out, as Chris Pine and Ben Foster play brothers knocking over banks for a very specific reason, with Jeff Bridges being one of the men hot on their trail. Sharply written, and expertly acted, this one’s a fun night home with a couple of beers and smart-assed conversation.

Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade

The internet loves to argue over sequels, and the Indiana Jones series is one of those hotbeds of discussion that never totally fades away. Many folks favor Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom as their favorite sequel, while others would make the more logical choice and go for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. While the more overriding point here is that the entire Indiana Jones series will be on Netflix at the same time, and Raiders of the Lost Ark is the obvious favorite of the world, let’s not forget that this is the movie that gave us Sean Connery and Harrison Ford as father and son. It may not be Thanksgiving, but there’s always something to be thankful for.

Pan’s Labyrinth

Guillermo del Toro and Netflix are like hot chocolate and marshmallows. So obviously, this cocoa-esque collaboration would bring us Pan’s Labyrinth in the month of holiday festivities. Much like his entire filmography, you can definitely get a spooky vibe from what’s arguably del Toro’s best film. But looking closer, you’ll see that it’s actually a richly told fairy tale for adults, dissecting the horrors of war and the ugliness of reality with an intriguing underworld lying beneath it. To think that we almost had a more studio-friendly version of this film is the true horror, and it’s a good thing Guillermo del Toro stuck to his guns, and gave us the exact version of Pan’s Labyrinth we will be able to see on Netflix in January.

The Addams Family

Next year marks the year The Addams Family will return to the big screen, albeit it will be through the courtesy of a CGI cartoon reboot that looks closer to the art style of the original Charles Addams comics. And yet, no matter how good that film will potentially be, Barry Sonnenfeld’s live-action adaptation will always have a strong hold on fans of all things mysterious and spooky. It’s the kind of thing that happens when you nail the tone of the world as well as they did in the casting of Gomez and Morticia with Raul Julia and Anjelica Huston, respectively. If it’s always Halloween in your house, you’ll have no problem enjoying this one in the dead of winter.

The Departed

File the impending addition of The Departed to Netflix’s streaming library as another one of those fun bits of foreshadowing for 2019. With Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman set to be released at some point in the next year, it seems only fair to release the film that won the director his first (and so far only) Best Director Oscar. Of course, since Netflix is always on the hunt for another golden trophy to put on their mantle, releasing this darkly comic drama involving a cop and a gangster both pulling double agent duty could also be part of their own internal vision board. After all, The Departed won Best Picture, so who’s to say The Irishman won’t? Keep thinking big, guys!

The Mummy Returns

How quickly we forget a good time. Just last year, Universal tried rebooting The Mummy franchise as the first part of the Dark Universe debacle. While it could have been an interesting exercise in concept, it fell so flat it could be considered two dimensional. Meanwhile, The Mummy Returns, and its predecessor The Mummy, are being brought onto Netflix’s platform, as if to remind us of simpler, more adventurous times. Everyone could use a little more banter between Brendan Fraser, John Hannah, and Rachel Weisz in their lives, and that’s exactly what you’re getting here — with a side of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s big screen debut. Let the decades fall away, and pretend it’s the early Aughts again, in the privacy of your own home.


Zack Snyder’s best film in his entire career is Watchmen. Full stop. Look, I know this is my opinion, but you can rant about how the ending was changed, and you can poke fun at the speed ramping or that odd usage of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” all you want. But the fact still remains that Snyder really got what Watchmen was all about, and what it needed to come to the big screen. Now, it’s not indicated whether this will be the superior Director’s Cut, the slightly over-stuffed Ultimate Cut, or the shortened for commercial viability Theatrical Cut. That being said, all versions of the film still have the heart and soul of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ alternative history epic, and it’s something truly special to behold.

Monty Python And The Holy Grail

After announcing that the entire catalog was heading to Netflix, the day Monty Python fans in the U.S. have been waiting for has finally arrived. Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a comedy classic so storied that it not only remains as funny today as it did back in its original release, but it has a musical adaptation. When you get to that point without being taken down by post-modern think pieces, or just a general opinion of “it wasn’t as funny as we thought it was back then,” it’s worth noting. If you’ve seen it, see it again. If you haven’t, or know someone who hasn’t, isn’t it about time they did?

Disney / Pixar’s Incredibles 2

January is an embarassment of riches for Disney studio content on Netflix, as both Solo: A Star Wars Story and Ant-Man and The Wasp will both be coming online through the month, even as the Netflix and Disney deals wind down. In classic Disney form, however, the company has gone and saved its best offering for last. Incredibles 2 isn’t just one of the best animated films of 2018, it’s one of the best films of the year. Not to mention, it’s one of the best sequels to have ever come out after a lengthy wait — in this case one that spanned over a decade. It’s the perfect cherry to an incredible January, so make sure to save room for the most super dessert you could ever have hoped for!

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Why It Would Be Challenging To Bring Hamilton To The Big Screen, According Lin-Manuel Miranda

While Broadway actors sometimes transition to the film and TV world, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s success is seriously impressive. Following the award winning run of his musical In The Heights, the writer/actor took his musicality to American History with Hamilton. Hamilton is the biggest Broadway hit in years, making Miranda a household name in the process.

After gaining the notoriety and spotlight following Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda has gotten involved in the film world. The actor is starring in Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, while also working with the House of Mouse on projects like Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Moana. But it turns out that turning Hamilton into a movie would be a bit challenging for the Tony winner, as he said:

Hamilton’s tricky right, because one of the things Rob is so brilliant at is that transition from scene into song. I think he does it in Mary Poppins returns as well as it can be done. You never are like, ‘Oh man, we’re breaking it… It just happens you’re in the musical number and you’ve surrendered to it before you even know it’s going on. Hamilton is sung through, beginning to end. There’s maybe a page and a half of dialogue in the the whole thing. How do you start at that tempo and keep the ball in the air with that sort of heightened speech in a way that doesn’t feel like a concert?

Touche, Alexander. Because while the interest is certainly there for Hamilton to be adapted for the silver screen, the material itself presents certain challenges. Mainly that its completely sung through, and therefore there’s no moments for dialogue. So a specific vision is going to be needed to keep a Hamilton flick moving, if it ever happens.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s comments to AV Club show how much thought the actor/writer has put into a potential Hamilton movie. Given the musical’s blockbuster-like success, the countless Hamilton fans out there would lose their collective minds if a movie version was green-lit. Miranda brought hip hop and rap to the story of the titular founding father, helping to educate and entertain at the same time. And it’s something that could become even more significant as a blockbuster.

The musical Hamilton spans years before, during, and after the revolutionary war. The Tony Award winning show begins with Alexander Hamilton as an unknown orphan, and sees as he ascends to President George Washington’s cabinet. The story is told largely through narration, as characters like Alexander, his wife Eliza, and Washington himself recount each date and event from that time. It’s dense material, and some big cuts would be needed in order to fit the two act musical into a movie with a suitable run time.

While Lin-Manuel Miranda is unsure how Hamilton would be adapted into a movie, the non-stop narration and singing seems to have struck a chord with theater audiences. Additionally, the soundtrack is extremely popular, so audiences might not have such a hard time as you’d think. Just look at how successful the cover album was.

Of course, there have been plenty of movie musicals that are almost entirely sung through, so perhaps Lin-Manuel Miranda’s assessment of a possible Hamilton movie is off-base. Just look at 2012’s Les Miserables movie. Based off the musical of the same name, both the show and movie are completely sung through, with the actors singing live on set. That movie ended up being a critical and financial success, so there as been precedent for a sung through movie musical.

Mary Poppins Returns director Rob Marshall has helmed quite a few movie musicals, including Disney’s recent Into The Woods movie. While there was room for dialogue in that movie, it’s mostly filled with Stephen Sondheim’s iconic music. That movie also performed well, earning three Oscar nominations in the process. Musical fans are able to sit through a movie that is almost all songs, so perhaps Hamilton will end up a movie after all.

Despite Lin-Manuel Miranda’s concerns, it feels like only a matter of time before a Hamilton movie gets green-lit. The musical has been presented all over the world, and it’s still difficult to get tickets for the Broadway production. Considering how insanely popular both Hamilton and Miranda have become, there’s clearly enough interest for a movie to not only get made, but potentially make a ton of money at the box office as well.

Alas, it doesn’t look like Lin-Manuel Miranda is focusing his creative energies on adapting Hamilton for the silver screen. Instead, Miranda has been slowly chipping away at the development of an In The Heights movie. His first Broadway musical told the story of a neighborhood in Washington Heights, and helped to make Miranda a Broadway legend.

The In The Heights movie was originally going to be presented by the Weinstein Company, before Harvey Weinstein’s scandal changed the landscape of the film world forever. Lin-Manuel Miranda had to get the rights back to the In The Heights movie following Weinstein’s public fallout, a task he was successful in. And now that Mary Poppins Returns will finally arrive in theaters, it might be a good time for Miranda to continue the development of that project.

While Lin-Manuel Miranda doesn’t seem to have an interest in making Hamilton a movie right now, he’ll soon return to his Tony award nominated role of Alexander Hamilton. Miranda is reprising his part for a production of Hamilton that will benefit the relief efforts in Puerto Rico after the devastation from Hurricane Maria. As such, there’s still a chance to see the actor in the role that earned him such massive acclaim.

If Hamilton ever becomes a movie, it’ll be interesting to see if Lin-Manuel Miranda ends up playing the title character. The musical spans many years, with Alexander starting as a young man, and eventually aging quite a bit before his untimely death. Miranda is arguably too old to play the role during the first few songs, although his age would factor in positively as Hamilton’s life plays out.

You can catch Lin-Manuel Miranda in Mary Poppins Returns when it arrives in theaters on December 19th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.

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John Krasinski Reveals Which A Quiet Place Scene Convinced Him The Movie Was Going To Work

Although we can look back and check out reviews and box office and fan reactions and realize A Quiet Place does work even with its lack of dialogue, especially for people who showed up in theaters, it wasn’t always super clear the film was going to come together well. In fact, John Krasinski said in an interview that he and those involved with the movie were hopeful it would work out, but there was one particular moment on set in which it became clear to Krasinski that they were right.

It was actually a particular sign language-based scene featuring Emily Blunt that was filming when Krasinksi felt in his gut A Quiet Place was the real deal. He said:

A Quiet Place is getting plenty of awards consideration around this time and was recently listed as one of the National Board of Reviews 10 Best Movies of 2018. Which means director John Krasinski is back on the circuit to talk about the movie that quietly made a lot of money.

He told Business Insider that it was a scene involving schooling and Emily Blunt and Noah June that really clarified A Quiet Place was working. John Krasinksi is married to Emily Blunt and he’s had a lot of nice things to say about his wife during the long months he’s spent talking about A Quiet Place and its sequel since its initial release last spring.

This comment, however, takes things to another level, really. He’s talking about something Emily Blunt figured out how to do while signing words and mouthing them at the same time that really worked on camera. Just the fact he thought those things about his wife’s work on set comes off as really romantic.

This year has been monumental for movies that have come out of nowhere to have staying power at the box office. First there was Black Panther in February. Then, there was A Quiet Place in April. While A Quiet Place didn’t gross as much as the aforementioned superhero movie, only pulling in $340.7 million worldwide, it also only had a $17 million budget. So, it’s certainly a success for Paramount.

It’s not difficult to see why the studio would be pushing A Quiet Place during awards season. People really like it. It has a really solid premise. It’s pushing horror movies to the forefront during awards season once more. Even John Krasinksi has a likability factor when he’s talking about his movie that’s undeniable.

The movie has earned some nominations for smaller ceremonies so far, but we’ll have to wait and see if it can build enough momentum for the big leagues. Take a look at the full Golden Globe nominations or more on this year’s Oscars.

What Happens When Disney Runs Out Of Animated Classics To Remake?

Over the past few years, Disney has enjoyed a lot of success with live-action remakes/re-imaginings of its animated classics. From Cinderella to The Jungle Book to Beauty and the Beast, Disney is bringing its beloved and classic tales to the big screen with all the pomp and circumstance of modern blockbusters.

There are criticisms to be levied at these films, from the nostalgia play to the unwillingness to stray too far from the originals, but by and large, the remakes are critical and commercial successes. Because of that success, these remakes are becoming a big component of Disney’s box office strategy too, alongside Pixar, Lucasfilm and Marvel. That will be especially true in 2019 when Disney has a whopping three live-action remakes of its animated classics heading to theater screens: Dumbo, Aladdin and The Lion King as well as Lady and the Tramp, which is bound for the new Disney+ streaming service.

It’s an exciting prospect for Disney fans, but the amount of Disney live-action remakes in 2019 and the many that have been rumored or reported to be in some stage of development has raised an interesting inevitability; that at some point, Disney will run out of animated classics to remake. And at the current rate of adaptation, that time may come sooner rather than later. Basically, Disney only has so many movies that would be obvious candidates for live-action adaptation.

So when Disney has exhausted its supply of animated classics to remake, it will have to do something to fill that void and keep that gravy train rolling. I think there are a few possibilities at what that something could be…

Remake The Less Acclaimed/Popular Films

Walt Disney Animation Studios proper has made 57 films, from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves in 1937 to Ralph Breaks the Internet this year. But not all of those titles are classics or have the nostalgia factor like the films of the Disney Renaissance in the 90s. So if Disney is to continue adapting its animated films to live-action, it could opt for the more challenging path of remaking those that are less popular, well known and acclaimed. Home on the Range live-action, anyone… anyone?

Most of the remakes Disney has done or has in the works up to this point have been films that are bona fide classics, but Disney has plenty of other titles that aren’t viewed on that level but still have their fans and strong name recognition. Films like Hercules, Robin Hood and The Rescuers come to mind. And CinemaBlend’s Adam Holmes has argued that the underrated Treasure Planet and Atlantis: The Lost Empire are both deserving to be made for live-action.

If Disney chooses to tap films that are considered to be near the bottom of the oeuvre (The Fox and the Hound is a classic, I won’t hear otherwise), there is an opportunity to do what most of the live-action remakes haven’t: something different. By taking movies that don’t have the same devotion or acclaim, Disney can capitalize on its catalog while creating something new and better that future generations can look back upon fondly.

The Black Cauldron is considered to be one of Disney’s worst films, but a few years ago Disney locked up the rights to The Chronicles of Prydain, the series of novels upon which that film was based. We haven’t heard much since then but maybe that’s a sign Disney is willing to look to past failures for the possibility of future success.

Franchise The Classics

Of all the moves Disney could make once it has tapped its well of animated classics dry, this one seems the most likely. Instead of, or perhaps in addition to, adapting less beloved films, Disney can take the successful live-action remakes it has already done and sequel-ize them, thus creating individual franchises of Disney classics.

This strategy has already been put into action to a degree. Disney’s 2014 reimagining of Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent is getting a sequel film in 2020. Likewise Disney’s 2016 film The Jungle Book, which grossed a near $1 billion worldwide, is getting a sequel as well. Disney clearly sees an opportunity with its most popular and successful live-action remakes to continue to profit from those brands.

It’s an understandable strategy, too. Not only are the first film’s hits but the sequels will have the benefit of compounded name recognition and brand awareness thanks to the original animated movies upon which they are based as well as the first live-action remakes. The interesting thing about going the sequel route is that going beyond the narrative of the original film basically forces Disney to do something different with the story; the Mouse can’t just do a shot-for-shot remake of a film that doesn’t exist. New stories would be born from familiar ones.

It’s hard to say where something like Cinderella would go in a sequel, but movies like Aladdin, Mulan, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan and The Sword in the Stone all have worlds of mythology that Disney could expand upon to tell new stories after the remakes, all of which are in the works.

Adapt Other Properties

Another strategy that Disney could employ once it has remade all the animated classics that it deems worthy is to turn to the Mouse’s many other properties to see what might make for a good live-action film. Disney is a many-tentacled leviathan and it has plenty of properties under its belt that don’t fall under the Walt Disney Animation Studios film banner.

For example, one thing we have seen and are seeing is Disney turn to its beloved theme parks for inspiration. The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has delivered billions for the company and that’s why it is getting a reboot. Disney’s next ride adaptation, Jungle Cruise, is done filming and will arrive in 2020, and Disney still has plenty more rides it could adapt into films and then make sequels out of should it so choose.

Disney fans didn’t just grow up watching Disney stories on the big screen, the Mouse’s small screen offerings also played a role in many a childhood and Disney has an untapped reservoir of nostalgia goodness there just waiting for the live-action treatment. Cartoons like Recess, Darkwing Duck, Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers could all be brought back in a big way. And it always amazes me that Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears has never been revisited.

Jordan Peele apparently was interested in making a Gargoyles movie based on the 1994-1996 animated series. So… why isn’t that happening? Admittedly some of these properties would be better served with a computer-generated or (gasp!) hand-drawn animated film than live-action, but the point stands that Disney has a wealth of properties beyond its most famous animated movies that it can adapt for the big screen.

Take a look at our 2019 release schedule for all of Disney’s live-action remakes hitting theaters next year and check out our guide for those headed to theaters in the years to come.

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Into The Spider-Verse’s Shameik Moore Wants To Play A Live-Action Spider-Man, And Fight Tom Hardy’s Venom

Since Miles Morales’ Spider-Man first appeared on Marvel comic book pages in 2011, readers have been rallying for a big screen origin story for the young hero. Sony Animation’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse allows the fan favorite to shine front in center, beside some other amazing spider-heroes.

When 23-year-old Shameik Moore, who voices Miles Morales in the film was asked by MTV International if he would suit up for a live-action Marvel movie, he didn’t hesitate to show his deep interest to play the role, with these words:

Hope Sony is listening because we would love to see Shameik Moore lend more than just his voice to Miles Morales’ Spider-Man. The breakout star is no stranger to a stunning on screen performance, such as in the 2015 film Dope and Netflix’s The Get Down. It would be a really interesting move by Sony to bring the characters established in their animated film to life in live-action and why not use an actor who already knows the character well?

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse follows Miles Morales’ story from the beginning, as the character is bit by a radioactive spider at 13 years old. This would pose a bit of an issue for Shameik Moore as he is ten years older than Miles. The actor does realize this and pitches that for a live-action Miles Morales starring himself, they could move through time a little to make it possible.

Not only is Shameik Moore ready to swing into action, he has just the villain he’d want to fight; it even fits contractually with Sony’s sprouting Spider-Verse universe. Here’s his choice:

Yes, yes, yes! While Peter Parker is over at the MCU with the Avengers, Miles Morales could take post at Sony’s Spider-Verse that started this year with the blockbuster hit Venom. Shameik Moore wasn’t shy about his adoration for Tom Hardy, or how he would love to work with him in a Spider-Verse team up. He also believes that collaboration would challenge him as an actor to show what he’s really capable of.

Okay, this amazing pitch is kind of a long shot — especially since those who have seen it are especially praising Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse for its incredible use of animation. And the medium certainly allowed the film to show off what the live-action Spidey flicks couldn’t quite pull off.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has already been ordered a sequel and spinoff, so Shameik Moore isn’t saying goodbye to his Spider-Man role anytime soon. On the flip side, what if Tom Hardy voiced an animated Venom in one of the upcoming Spider-Verse films? Maybe we’re getting a too ahead of ourselves… check out Into the Spider-Verse in theaters this Friday.

ReelBlend #48: Avengers Trailer, Aquaman Reviews And Interviewing Clint Eastwood

ReelBlend started out as AwardsBlend (shout out to the loyal listeners who have been following us since day one), and these days, our conversations feel like they are in line with the early days of the show. We have a LOT of news to get to in the 48th episode of ReelBlend, and a lot of it has to do with the Oscar race.

To begin with, the guys — Sean O’Connell, Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy — are reacting to the new SAG Awards nominations, which gave their Best Ensemble slots to Black Panther, BlackKklansman, A Star is Born, Bohemian Rhapsody and Crazy Rich Asians. The first three movies have heard their name called numerous times, by critics groups and the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards.

But the latter two got a real boost from the SAGs, with many now believing Bohemian Rhapsody has a chance to make some serious noise in the Oscar nominations. The guys dig in-depth into what the recent nominations mean for the big-picture race.

Before they got into the Awards race, the ReelBlend boys also broke down two major trailers: the one for Avengers: Endgame; and the one for the Superman homage, Brightburn. One of us had real problems with the Brightburn trailer, so listen to what the complaint was.

As they discussed the movies opening this week, Jake, Kevin and Sean opened up about interviewing Clint Eastwood, whose new movie, The Mule, is in theaters. The guys take you behind the scenes at a junket, and the preparation that goes into interviewing a living legend.

The guys this week also give you a spoiler-free Aquaman review, before playing this week’s #Blend game, which was all about Movie Sequels. So yeah, this is a jam-packed episode.

ReelBlend is a LIVE podcast that we do on CinemaBlend’s Facebook page. As soon as we are done on Facebook, you can download the latest episode (and all of our past episodes) for FREE on our iTunes page! Visit. Subscribe. Like and comment. Review! Apple loves when you have star ratings and reviews, so if you listened, and you liked it (or even if you didn’t), let us know. We also are on Spotify. And Google Play. And basically everywhere that you download podcasts. So download us!

Meanwhile, follow the guys on Social Media! We have an official Twitter feed for the show, so follow @ReelBlend. In addition, follow the guys at @Sean_OConnell, @JakesTakesand @KevinMcCarthyTV. We will be back at it next week, LIVE on CinemaBlend’s Facebook page. See you then!

How Much Once Upon A Deadpool Made On Opening Day

When you think of the holiday season, you don’t think of Deadpool. And when you think of the Merc with a Mouth, you don’t think PG-13, but that’s exactly where we find ourselves with this week’s release of Once Upon a Deadpool. The slightly more kid-friendly, holiday-themed reimagining of this year’s Deadpool 2 arrived in theaters yesterday, December 12, and it made over $900,000 on opening day.

Including Tuesday night preview showings, the 20th Century Fox film opened at 1,566 theaters on Wednesday and is estimated to have made $953,000 according to Deadline. That number was good enough for Wade Wilson to surpass every other film at the Wednesday box office, with the exception of another holiday movie, Illumination’s The Grinch, which added another $968,000 to its domestic haul of over $226 million.

Once Upon a Deadpool will be celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas and remain in theaters until Christmas Eve. Deadpool 2 already made $318.5 million domestically and $734.2 million worldwide, and Once Upon a Deadpool‘s box office will just add to Fox’s bottom line, making for a nice little stocking stuffer for the studio.

Of course, in keeping with the spirit of the season, not every cent Once Upon a Deadpool makes will be going to the soon-to-be-Disney-owned studio. One dollar of every ticket sold for Once Upon a Deadpool during the December 12-24 time period will go to the charity Fuck Cancer, or as it is being temporarily called to keep with Once Upon a Deadpool‘s curse-averse rating, Fudge Cancer.

Once Upon a Deadpool‘s Wednesday performance shows that there was clearly was some interest in the film, even though the original version of it came out only seven months ago. Some of that interest is probably coming from younger audiences that eager to see what they couldn’t under the restrictions of the R rating.

There is also curiosity from those who saw Deadpool 2 at just what exactly this movie is and whether or not Wade Wilson can work under a PG-13 restriction (make sure to read CinemaBlend’s own Sarah El-Mahmoud’s thoughts on the matter). It will be interesting to see if this little experiment portends more PG-13 cuts of R-rated movies.

While Once Upon a Deadpool is adding to the coffers of an already successful film, there are other titles opening this weekend also looking to make their mark at the box office. Universal has Mortal Engines, which starts preview screenings at 7 p.m. on Thursday night, and Clint Eastwood’s latest directorial effort The Mule also opens this weekend.

Sony’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse opens Thursday night as well starting at 5 p.m., and is looking at a mid-$30 million opening. The animated feature riding a wave of enthusiasm and acclaim and should swing into first place this weekend.

The year is coming to a close but there are plenty of huge movies headed to theaters next year. Check them out in our 2019 release schedule.

Peter Jackson Provided Some Super Special Items To The Museum Set In Mortal Engines

While Peter Jackson didn’t actually direct the new movie Mortal Engines — that duty belonging to Christian Rivers — he did have a huge hand in its creation. After all, he’s not only credited for producing the film, but also co-wrote the script with long-time collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens. That’s not all, however, as it turns out that he also made significant contributions to the production design, as I recently learned from star Robert Sheehan,

Sitting down with Mortal Engines stars Robert Sheehan and Leila George last week, one question I asked was about all of the special details in the production design that audiences may not immediately pick up on without looking for them. While discussing the expansive London Museum set featured in the movie, Sheehan revealed that a number of the items were actually on loan from Peter Jackson, who evidently has a personal collection stocked with all kinds of historical items.

In Mortal Engines, the London Museum is essentially an archive that displays all kinds of artifacts from the world that existed before the Sixty Minute War — a human-driven cataclysmic/apocalyptic event that totally changed life on Earth and led to societies boarding giant mechanized cities. Not all of the items are properly labeled, leading to some major inaccuracies, but there is a wide range of items featured, from video game systems to Segways. And while we can’t say for sure exactly which items belong to Peter Jackson, it can be a fun guessing game for fans watching the movie.

The Easter eggs apparently don’t stop there, however, as the actors also pointed out a recurring aesthetic theme in Mortal Engines: the design presence of lions. According to Leila George and Robert Sheehan, they can be found all over the place in the film, just waiting to be noticed by audiences:

Sadly that does actually sound a lot like the world we currently live in, as I pointed out during the interview, but let’s not dwell on it.

You can watch my interview with Robert Sheehan and Leila George below — just click play on the video embed!

Co-starring Hera Hilmar, Hugo Weaving, Stephen Lang, Jihae, and Colin Salmon, Mortal Engines arrives in theaters this Friday, December 14th.