The Best Avengers: Infinity War Ideas Marvel Decided Not To Use

It’s fair to say that Avengers: Infinity War lived up to the insane amount of hype leading into the release date. The film was fun, had great action, featured high stakes, and had more than a few crushing character deaths. Most people who left the theater did so with either a smile on their face or tears in their eyes (in a good way), which only makes you wonder about the ideas that didn’t make it in front of the camera.

Well, courtesy of Avengers: Infinity War – The Art of the Movie, we now know what some of those ideas would have been, and they are fascinating. No film travels the same path throughout its production journey, often taking side roads and detours. Blockbuster films throw all kinds of ideas at the wall to see what sticks and this can often result in concepts wildly different than what ends up on screen. Infinity War was no different, but just because these ideas were axed, doesn’t mean they aren’t awesome on paper. Here are some of the coolest ideas that Marvel scrapped for Infinity War.

Red Skull Looked Like A Nightmare

The reappearance of the Red Skull was one of the biggest surprises of the film, but fans would have had their eyes pop out if Marvel had picked a different, more horrific design that was created. Concept artists create tons of different designs for every character and some of the ones for Red Skull had a huge horror angle. Rather than have what’s basically Skull in a Dementor costume, the character would have leaned into his ghostly appearance. Some designs feature Skull with an ugly cracked face, while another has a shirtless, shriveled Skull with a tumor-like growth over his eyes. The Soul Stone would have done a number on old Skull.

Spider-Man and Doctor Strange Fight Outriders

Throughout Infinity War, Spider-Man and Doctor Strange are on Team Space and sit out of the Wakanda battle because they are busy fighting Thanos directly. The two of them never come face-to-face with any Outriders, but one piece of concept art depicts the two of them doing just that. Instead of fighting in Wakanda, it looks like this moment would have been in New York City when the Black Order come for Strange. The art shows Spidey battling Outriders while an unconscious Strange is webbed up in a cocoon. It looks like the Black Order were at one point going to bring some back up with them to Earth.

Spidey’s Back In Black

Sticking with Spider-Man, the Web-Slinger had a lot of different designs for his Iron-Spider costume. Some of these were straight adaptations of the one he wore in the comics, but one was noticeably unique. The suit was entirely black, which will immediately remind Spidey fans of his symbiote costume. However, don’t jump to any Venom conclusions yet because the suit still looks Stark-made, just in a black coloring. While not a symbiote, it’s still interesting to learn that Marvel was playing around with the black costume, which is Spider-Man’s most iconic look outside of his classic red and blue.

Thor And Rocket Fight A Giant Snake

Fans who have been following Infinity War marketing since Day 1 will recognize the above concept art of Thor and Rocket Raccoon. It was one of the first images released for the film, but this is actually only a piece of the image. The Art Of book reveals the whole thing, which shows the duo and Groot battling a giant snake. At some point in this movie about space rocks, Thor and Rocket were going to fight a giant two-headed serpent. This beast is likely the MCU’s take on the Midgard Serpent, a massive snake so long that it can wrap around the entire planet, and is said to usher in Ragnarok. Apparently, Thor’s mission for a new weapon was envisioned as more of a mystical journey that would have culminated in this battle. It was probably taken out because it looks like it’s for an entirely different movie than this one.

Hulk Was In The Battle Of Wakanda

The Hulk mostly sits out Infinity War, only appearing right at the beginning and then refusing to come out again. The film’s trailer infamously misleads fans on that detail by showing Hulk in the Battle of Wakanda, but there was an early version of the story where Hulk WAS fighting. The concept art shows an entirely different take on the Wakanda action in which Hulk didn’t mind going head-to-head against Thanos one more time. In fact, Hulk, Captain America, Black Widow, Groot, and Black Panther would have held Thanos down while Thor plunged his ax into Thanos’ chest. This mirrors exactly what happened during the battle on Titan with Iron Man’s team, who were ultimately chosen to do this scene instead of the Earth crew.

Thanos Unleashes The Power Of The Soul Stone

After spending a good chunk of the movie trying to acquire the Soul Stone, Thanos doesn’t appear to use it much in battle outside of a quick moment. In one of the most fascinating pieces of concept art, a splash page reveals Thanos using the Soul Stone against the assemblage of Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy on Titan. The illustration shows what appears to be the orange soul of each character getting ripped from their bodies. It’s a stunning piece of art, but I can see how it never made it to the theatrical release. How exactly do you come back from having your soul split from your body? It would have made Thanos too powerful to defeat at that stage in the movie.

Iron Man’s Armor Transforms Into A Rocket

Tony Stark has been keeping himself busy before Infinity War and has built his most powerful suit to date. Utilizing nanotech to make a variety of weapons, Iron Man was one of the only characters to draw blood from Thanos. He showed off some incredible tricks, but one piece of concept art shows the potential for what else he could have done. Mainly, Iron Man could have turned himself into a rocket. The art features Iron Man with huge boosters and a pointed tip resembling the nose of a missile protruding out of his chest. The idea seems to be that this is the form he would take for space travel, but his armor extensions and weapons ended up taking a more straightforward route. Nothing wrong with bigger guns and a sword!

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Willem Dafoe Loves That Aquaman Was A Totally Different Experience From Spider-Man

It’s been 18 years since the launch of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, but soon Willem Dafoe will be making his return to the comic book movie genre. Going from Marvel to DC, he is set to play Vulko in James Wan’s Aquaman — which will be out next month. Naturally the two filmmaking experiences were quite different for the actor, but this was something that Dafoe fully embraced, as he recently explained to me during an interview:

Before Aquaman makes its way into theaters, fans of Willem Dafoe will be able to see his impressive work in Julian Schnabel’s At Eternity’s Gate — and it was at the new movie’s Los Angeles press day that I got to sit down with the actor. After a discussion about his performance as famed artist Vincent Van Gogh, I asked him to compare and contrast his time on the Spider-Man and Aquaman sets, and he explained that while they were really totally different adventures, he really loved that variety.

In Spider-Man, of course, Willem Dafoe played Norman Osborn a.k.a. The Green Goblin, who was the main villain in the first movie, and then had cameos in the sequels. His role isn’t quite as big in Aquaman, with Vulko serving as a mentor for the titular hero, but even beyond that it’s pretty easy to see how the two productions likely differed. Hell, the new film is likely going to have him underwater for all of his scenes, which alone must have been a new experience.

Speaking to the contrasting comic book features on a larger level, Willem Dafoe explained that finding variety in the projects that he chooses is an important aspect of his work. He recognizes that he’s at a special place in his career that allows him to make those kinds of choices, but he also feels that they are important in keeping him fully engaged with the work. Said the actor,

You can watch Willem Dafoe talk about Spider-Man, Aquaman, and mixing things up career-wise by clicking play on the video below.

While Willem Dafoe fans will have to wait until December 21st to see him in action as Vulko, one of the best performances of his career will be getting a limited release in theaters this Friday. At Eternity’s Gate, which co-stars Rupert Friend, Mads Mikkelsen, Mathieu Amalric, and Oscar Isaac, chronicles the final years of Vincent Van Gogh’s life, beautifully captured by Julian Schnabel in the aesthetic of the painter’s incredible work. Stay tuned for more about the film, and more from my interview with Dafoe this week here on CinemaBlend.

Spike Lee Has Plans To Do A Big, Singing-And-Dancing Musical

Over the course of his career, Spike Lee has been an experimental filmmaker — never limiting himself in terms of tone, genre, or medium. He’s directed not only numerous comedies and dramas, but also multiple documentaries, shorts, concert films, stand-up specials, Broadway plays, and more. There’s very little that he hasn’t tried, but there is one particular genre he has a lot of interest in, as I recently learned:

This Rotten Week: Predicting Fantastic Beasts 2, Instant Family, And Widows Reviews

While once seen as a box office dead zone, November has become a big blockbuster season for the movie industry in the last decade or so, and it’s because of big titles like the ones coming out this week that the reputation will continue. This Friday we get a return to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, an awkward family comedy, and an all-female heist flick. Get ready for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Instant Family and Widows.

Just remember, I’m not reviewing these movies, but rather predicting where they’ll end up on the Tomatometer. Let’s take a look at This Rotten Week has to offer.

Rotten Watch Prediction

When we last left Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), he’d given New York City a little dose of Fantastic Beast magic, and helped get Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) sent away to Wizard prison. But now in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald we see the titular villain escape and start gathering an army. It’s a blast from the Harry Potter-world past, with a young Dumbledore making an appearance (played by Jude Law) and the story of how the second-most dangerous wizard of all-time made his way up the power chain.

Director David Yates has had a lot of control over the Harry Potter Universe, having helmed the last five features in the franchise with resounding critical success. Going in reverse chronological order, he’s directed:

Sadly, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald looks like it may be the first real critical misstep for the franchise. Early reviews are trending the wrong way, with critics with the Tomatometer sitting at 57% through 42 reviews. The negative reviews tend to revolve around a theme of “disconnected plot lines.” It’s a shame, because this universe is still so fertile with stories, but this one might be a miss.

Rotten Watch Prediction

Oof, does Instant Family look cringe-worthy. I get the premise: family adopts a bunch of foster kids and hilarity ensues. However, the trailers don’t make it look good at all, and I wonder about the treatment of the subject matter. I suspect critics see it much the same way, and I’d be shocked if it finished much higher than the basement.

Director Sean Anders doesn’t provide much in the way of critical confidence. He worked with Mark Wahlberg on Daddy’s Home 1 and 2 (34% and 19%) while also helming That’s My Boy (20%) and Horrible Bosses 2 (34%). The dude has been critically panned every step of the way, and I don’t suspect this latest will be any different. Between canned jokes, a faulty premise and corny writing, there’s very little reason to suspect it finishes anywhere close to fresh.

Rotten Watch Prediction

When a group of thieves are gunned down by cops during a botched heist, their wives are left to pay back the money that was destroyed in take-down. It sounds like it could be a slapstick comedy, but Widows is anything but. Directed by Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave – 95%), the film is built with a brilliant ensemble of talented actresses, and notably has Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) credited as one of the screenwriters.

Critics are coming in with overwhelmingly positive reviews, and it looks like Widows might be in the discussion as we get closer to Oscar time. They use words like “hard-hitting” and “gritty,” and praise the performances of the leads while also recognizing the writing is tight all around. I don’t suspect the current score moves much over the course of the week, and we will see this as one of the best-rated movies of the year.

Overall, I only went one for three last week, though the two misses were awfully close. Overlord (Predicted: 87% Actual: 81%) fell within 10%, as critics loved the tone of the flick. It’s rare to get the new twist on the World War II movie, but they pulled it off with this one about a group of stranded soldiers stumbling upon a Nazi-lab horror show.

Meanwhile, The Grinch (Predicted: 67% Actual: 55%) just missed. Most critics agreed with my assessment that this was a safe and vanilla retelling of the original, made to mostly bring the story up to date after the Jim Carrey live-action weirdness. But it still just wasn’t a great film, and that kept the score closer to the middle and as “Rotten” instead of “Fresh.”

And finally, The Girl In The Spider’s Web (Predicted: 55% Actual: 43%) came up Rotten. This franchise has had such a weird path, with this one based on a book outside the original Millennium Trilogy, and this film had a hard time connecting. It was hard to imagine the flick having much critical success from the get-go – I just went a little on the wrong side of the dial.

Next time around we’ve got Creed 2, Ralph Breaks The Internet, and Robin Hood. It’s gonna be a Rotten Week!

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The Walking Dead: 14 Biggest Takeaways From The Time Jump

Warning! Major spoilers below for the latest episode of The Walking Dead, so be sure to watch before reading on.

The Walking Dead‘s “Who Are You Now?” was important in a way that no other episode has been in the past. It needed to fully close out Rick’s story while also planting enough seeds to make possibilities seem endless in the future. For the most part, it did just that, and I never found myself wishing for Rick and Maggie to show up and carry a scene.

Instead, the episode inspired plenty of other reactions from moments both major and quiet, and characters both new and old. With the universal understanding that “More Jerry!” is the biggest takeaway from any Walking Dead installment, let’s look at all the other hot takes that were shambling around.

Michonne Is In Full Beast Mode

In the years that passed after Rick went missing, Michonne only grew more comfortable with her skills as a leader and an enforcer. (Not to mention her fabulous hairstyle choices.) And even though viewers got to see softer sides of her during the episode, Michonne’s confidence and innate rage were on full display during “Who Are You Now?” and as it always goes with a Danai Gurira-heavy episode, it was a wonder to behold.

Michonne Has Another Kid Now!!!

The Walking Dead showed a deft sense of timing when making the second biggest reveal of the episode. Just after Judith had upped the emotional ante by saying she was forgetting Rick and Carl’s voices, viewers heard a brand new voice. That voice belonged to a child that Michonne apparently had at some point in the time jump. The obvious instinct is to say that the lil’ dude is Rick’s, but was he even old enough? Let the conspiracy theories rain down.

Hell Yeah, The Whisperers!

For anyone who didn’t see those final moments already in The Walking Dead‘s first Season 9 trailer, that must have been one shit-storm of a shock. Walkers that can think and talk would make for a frightening reformation of post-apocalyptic ethics, but this isn’t the next phase of natural evolution. It’s The Whisperers! While not quite a full introduction, Eugene and Rosita became fully aware of the disguised threat’s existence, so everyone should beware!

Rosita And Father Gabriel, For Realsies?

Remember when romance was a scarce resource on The Walking Dead? Not so much in Season 9. We just got used to Father Gabriel and Jadis-or-Anne having a botched fling, and now he’s all kissy and chummy with Rosita? When did that go down? And how jealous is Eugene? It seemed like he was going to set up a love triangle by confessing his love for her just before the Whisperers arrived, which would be true to the comics. But was he?

Judith Is The Best (Non-Carl) Kid Character Yet

The Walking Dead is regularly responsible for awkward and awful younger characters, but the series has reached an apex with Cailey Fleming’s 10-year-old Judith Grimes. She exudes all of Rick’s swagger while maintaining the moral code of both the Grimes family and childhood in general. She emotes. She lands her lines with seemingly effortless skill. And in so many ways, she is already the perfect way for The Walking Dead to fill Carl’s shoes. Or his hat, as it were.

‘Negan & Judith’ Works Better Than Expected

In the comics, Carl’s story started getting great after he lost his eye and started having therapeutic conversations with Negan. In theory, Judith shouldn’t be able to slip into that role so easily, since Negan relates far easier to a pubescent male than a pre-pubescent female. Yet somehow, Angela Kang & Co. make it work, and it’s so easy to believe in Judith knowing she always has the upper hand in those conversations.

That Radio Should Get Really Important Soon

One of The Walking Dead biggest comic arcs kicks off with Eugene achieving radio communication with someone in the outside world. The TV show teased it previously with Gabriel’s CB radio, but he had a lot more time and comm tech at his disposal in “Who Are You Now?” Naturally, Eugene helped boost the signal, so viewers will almost certainly hear a new voice in the near-ish future. Where will it come from, though?

Eugene’s Hair Is A Masterpiece

When it comes to TV hairstyles, Josh McDermitt was basically royalty for rocking Eugene’s evolving mullet. But I think everyone can agree things are more hunky-dory now that he’s grown it out into a post-mullet concoction. In some shots, he look like he’s a kerosene-fueled jetpack away from becoming The Walking Dead‘s resident steampunk farmer. The hair really made his badass walker-stabbing moment all the more awesome. Naturally, Eugene crumbled by the end, but he was on top for a few minutes.

Daryl Makes Nature Happen Now

With the communities at odds, of course Daryl is out on his own. I didn’t expect nature to treat him like a Disney character, though. By just looking at a fish, he made it want to be impaled. (Probably.) By just looking at that disgusting walker, he made a beautiful bird suddenly appear to use that walker’s face-hole worm to feed its nested young. I almost wish Carol hadn’t arrived in the end, just to see if Daryl discovered any dwarves or big-footed rabbits.

Carol Rules, And Fuck Jed

Carol showed off all of her skills in this episode, at first appearing in full-on domesticated mode as Ezekiel’s wife and Henry’s mother. Of course, Henry fucked up and almost got them robbed by Gross Former Savior Jed – his birth name. That’s when Carol proved her phoenix is still there just below the surface, and she burned Jed and the others alive to stop them from ever threatening anyone again. Henry better learn something from his momma.

Magna’s Pretty Shitty For A Desperate Person

I definitely won’t deny that Alexandria’s council-based process for accepting new citizens is as intimidating and impersonal as possible. But for someone actively seeking to secure permanent residence, Magna went about everything all wrong. To everyone but Judith, she was rude, standoffish, and purposefully withheld important information. What, was she just testing Michonne’s mettle? I get that she’s protective or whatever, but she should probably react more positively to procedure upon arriving at Hilltop.

Kelly And Connie Need All The Screen Time

Luke’s diversity speech, though heavy-handed, spoke to The Walking Dead‘s own character pool limitations. As young black female recurrers, Lauren Ridloff’s Connie and Angel Theory’s Kelly are a delightful sidestep from the status quo. Because Connie is deaf, the sisters speak through sign language, adding new layers to how The Walking Dead utilizes silence and communication. Plus, Kelly’s answer about her teenage naivety before the outbreak was instant proof that all of her conversations will be the best.

Big Papa Ezekiel > Older Henry > Younger Henry

One of the most exciting aspects of this time jump involved Henry getting older and hopefully more mature. I can say that Matt Lintz is indeed more believable as a warrior trapped in a hard-headed kid’s body. However, all it took was one expertly delivered reprimand from Ezekiel to chop Henry back down to size. I gotta say, Ezekiel is even more winning as a stern father than he is as the Shakespearean leader of the Kingdom.

That Bridge Is Never Getting Fixed

To be expected, the episode started off on a melancholy note directed at Rick’s absence during the time jump’s span. Viewers listened as Michonne carried on the latest in many one-sided conversations with her missing partner, and it was then revealed she was at the doomed bridge where he sacrificed himself. Perhaps this is the hottest take of all, but I don’t think anyone is going to rebuild that bridge. [Cue all the gasps.]

What did you guys think about The Walking Dead‘s transition from Rick’s reign to this advanced new world? I’m assuming that next week will be centered at Hilltop, where someone will actually address the fact that Maggie isn’t around anymore either. Unless she is… But she probably isn’t.

Don’t forget to watch the next two episodes before Season 9 comes to its winter hiatus. The show airs Sunday nights on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET. And when that hiatus does get here, our fall TV premiere schedule will help everyone find new shows to keep up with.

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Overlord’s Villain Subtly Channels Christoph Waltz’ Inglourious Basterds Character

In director Julius Avery’s Overlord, actor Pilou Asbaek plays a real mean sonofabitch. He plays Commander Wafner, a Nazi who takes particular pleasure in targeting the movie’s heroes. It makes for a fun performance, and if you’re paying close attention, you may notice the specific nods he includes to one of the most famous Nazi characters of the modern era:

Those who have seen writer/director Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds will never forget the genius performance by Christoph Waltz as Hans Landa, and that apparently includes Pilou Asbaek. The Academy Award-winning turn was at the front of the actor’s mind when starring in Overlord, and that extended to both his costuming and behavior.

I learned about this specific Inglourious Basterds reference when I sat down with Pilou Asbaek and Julius Avery earlier this fall following the movie’s world premiere at Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas. I had asked both of them what it was about the script that made them feel they had to be a part of the project, and Asbaek noted that it was a desire to play a really horrific villain to the point where it’s practically cliche.

While Overlord and Inglourious Basterds are two very different films, they are similar in the sense that they are both premises born in alternate history fiction set during World War II. The latter sets up Adolf Hitler being assassinated while his close comrades die in a burning theater; while the former suggests that the Nazis experimented with mutant zombies in hopes of creating thousand year soldiers for a thousand-year reich.

As you might have been able to tell from much of the marketing for Overlord, Pilou Asbaeck’s character winds up becoming one of these specialized, horrific soldiers – and it led him to get some very specific training from one of the most talented performers currently working in the industry.

You can watch Pilou Asbaek go further in his discussion about his approach to the role of Commander Wafner in Overlord by clicking play on the video below.

In addition to Pilou Asbaek, Overlord stars Jovan Adepo, Wyatt Russell, Mathilde Ollivier, Bookeem Woodbine, Ian De Caestecker, and John Magaro, and the film is produced by J.J. Abrams through his Bad Robot shingle. The film is out in theaters now – and for more about what the rest of 2018 has to offer on the big screen, be sure to check out our movie release schedule.

Outlander Spoilers: What Claire’s Devastating Choice Means For Season 4

Warning: major spoilers ahead for the second episode of Outlander Season 4, called “Do No Harm.”

Outlander has taken the Frasers to a whole new world for its fourth season. Aside from the hanging of a countryman, that whole new world seemed full of great opportunity for them up until Stephen Bonnet’s deadly attack. The Frasers’ circumstances weren’t the best as they approached Jocasta Cameron and her River Run. The good news is that Jamie’s aunt Jocasta welcomed Jamie, Claire, and Young Ian with open arms. The bad news is that River Run is a North Carolina plantation, and Jocasta owns more than a hundred slaves.

Given that Claire is a woman originally of the 20th century and Jamie knows all too well how it feels to be forced into labor by an oppressive ruling class, neither was happy about the slave situation, and even Young Ian didn’t see them as property. As if it wasn’t bad enough that River Run was tended by slaves, Claire was forced to make a devastating choice between her modern sensibilities and the general attitude toward slavery in Colonial America. Here’s what happened.

It didn’t take long for Claire to stand out at River Run with her attitude toward slavery. Upon meeting a slave by the name of Phaedre, she asked her to call her Claire, and only amended it to “Mistress Claire” when the others in the room where clearly aghast at her comment. Jocasta picked up on Claire’s distaste for slavery, and needled at her until Claire came clean about what was bothering her.

Claire’s statement that she doesn’t agree with holding people as property (while Phaedre was present to help fit Claire into one of Jocasta’s old dresses) shocked Jocasta, who asked if Claire was a Quaker, as only Quakers were known to hold such views. Claire covered well enough by claiming that she’d picked up her attitude toward slavery after treating some Quakers.

The stakes got even higher when Jocasta used a party that celebrated Jamie, Claire, and Young Ian’s arrival to announce that she was naming Jamie as her heir to River Run, which she just so happened to do without consulting Jamie. Claire made it clear to Jamie that she could not own slaves, so Jamie suggested that they free the River Run slaves to do their small part to make the world better.

Unfortunately, Jamie soon learned courtesy of another slaveowner by the name of Andrew MacNeil that freeing slaves wasn’t as simple as just declaring them free and then paying them a fair wage. An owner had to prove via petition that a slave had done something like save his or her life, and a hefty fee was involved for freeing slaves. Furious, MacNeil told Jamie that there was danger to their idea of freeing slaves.

Freeing slaves could mean trouble for slaveholders en masse in the area, and they wouldn’t take kindly to Jamie’s actions. According to MacNeil, others came forward with similar ideas (and ideals) in the past, and they disappeared. Jamie was not to be discouraged, but they didn’t get much further into the discussion. News came of trouble at the River Run sawmill, where a slave had cut off the ear of a white man.

Jamie and Claire raced to the scene, with Jamie as Jocasta’s representative and Claire as healer intent on trying to reattach the man’s ear. When they arrived, however, they discovered the newly de-eared man and his friends hoisting a slave by the name of Rufus up by a hook that was embedded in his abdomen.

Horrified, Jamie pulled a pair of pistols and demanded that the men stop hanging Rufus on the hook, and Claire decided it was more important to get Rufus back to River Run for treatment than to reattach anybody’s ear. More than one person made the point to the Frasers that the law was not on Rufus’ side, as any slave who attacked and drew the blood of a white man was to be hanged. The local plantation owners and other white men did not take well to the Frasers’ action.

Claire did everything in her power to save Rufus, and she succeeded in removing the hook, putting him on the road to recovery. He woke up long enough to share the heartbreaking story of how he became a slave when he was kidnapped from Africa and separated from his beloved sister. All signs seemed to point toward Rufus having the physical fortitude to survive… but he did not have the lot in life to be allowed to do it by the slaveholders.

The other white men in the area formed an angry mob and stormed toward River Run, and Jocasta had no choice but to stand outside her own house and stall for time until Jamie produced Rufus. He only had until midnight, at which point Rufus would apparently be horribly tortured rather than just simply hanged now. Jamie went to Claire, and he shot down her suggestion that they protect Rufus and say he ran away.

Jamie revealed that the slaves who worked with Rufus would be punished for what he had done if he ran. There was no good choice, and he made a suggestion that appalled Claire and explains the title of the episode. He asked if she could perhaps ease Rufus on his way, as she had previously done for Colum. Claire was repulsed at the prospect of ending the life of somebody she was capable of saving, and her oath to do no harm was clearly on her mind.

With rocks flying through windows and a torch-wielding mob screaming for blood outside, however, Claire’s 20th century oath was far from the top priority. She made Rufus a tea that she laced with a poison and gave it to him, telling him that it would help him sleep. Weeping, she talked with him as he began to shut down, and he finally asked if she thought he would ever see his sister again. She said he would, and he died.

After Rufus was dead, Jamie took him out of the house to the angry mob waiting outside. Not dissuaded by his death, the men lynched his corpse, hauling his body high up into a tree and leaving him there. Jocasta, Jamie, Claire, Ulysses, and many other slaves had to watch as the awful thing happened.

Claire likely won’t soon forget the men and system that forced her to kill a man out of mercy despite her oath to do no harm, and the death of Rufus likely means the Frasers won’t be staying at River Run for too long. We’ve known for a while that Season 4 wasn’t going to take place entirely at Jocasta’s plantation, and Claire is going to want far from slavery as soon as possible. They may leave River Run sooner than some viewers expected.

The Frasers do have some obstacles in their way when it comes to leaving River Run. Stephen Bonnet’s attack (and the change from the book that will impact a huge plot twist later on) left them without any money or gems to sell, and Jocasta may not be inclined to supply them to leave River Run behind when she clearly intends Jamie to run her plantation.

Who knows? Maybe the ordeal with Rufus and Claire’s distaste for River Run with all its slaves will bring Jocasta around to the idea of them leaving a little easier. Maybe Young Ian needs to continue bringing a sprayed-by-skunk Rollo into the house for Jocasta to want them gone! We’ll have to wait and see. New episodes of Outlander air on Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Starz.

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How The Flash’s Rag Doll May Change Things Up For The West-Allens

The Flash has teased rough waters ahead for Barry and Team Flash, with the bendable new villain Rag Doll set to cause problems in “All Doll’d Up.” Actor Troy James’ contortionist character may impact the West-Allen family in a potentially permanent way. Speaking with CinemaBlend, James says Rag Doll’s Barry-napping will change things up for the super-family.

It’s interesting in the sense that when you find out what Rag Doll is trying to do, and how he gets involved with the West-Allen family. You know that Barry gets kidnapped, and Iris has to step up to save the day. I think it will be really interesting seeing how that affects the family dynamic going forward in the show.

As has been the case before, Iris will have to step up and save Barry from almost certain doom. The role reversal will seemingly put Iris back in the face of danger, and recent preview footage depicts Iris ready to face Rag Doll with Ralph at her side. How Barry will react to that is anyone’s guess, although we can assume The Flash isn’t going to be too upset that his wife steps in to save him from his flexible and frenzied foe.

Perhaps the answer lies in other family ties beyond Barry and Iris’. Troy James teased that Rag Doll’s behavior could be a result of his upbringing, revealing viewers will learn more about this combination variation of The Flash villain, and the origins that inevitably lead to his situation in his Arrow-verse debut.

Rag Doll has a whole bunch of family issues, and you get to see that in the episode as well. I think you’ll find out why he is the way he is.

Troy James shared with CinemaBlend that the Arrow-verse version of Rag Doll will be a blending of the two portrayed in DC Comics. Specifically, Rag Doll will have the natural flexibility of OG Rag Doll Peter Merkel, but also the sadistic nature of his son Peter Merkel Jr. The more twisted nature of James’ live-action villain could be the result of past family trauma(s), which could have both Barry and Iris looking inward at their own parenting decisions.

Now, Iris’s mothering skills probably won’t turn out to be as bad as Rag Doll’s parents’ presumably were, but maybe the encounter will give her a bit of perspective on how heavily her and Barry’s behavior impacts their future-daughter After all, Iris allegedly choosing to dampen Nora’s powers in the future does some extensive damage to their relationship, and no amount of apologizing seems to be fixing it.

If Rag Doll is as chaotic as we hope, his actions might just be enough to convince Iris to avoid dampening Nora’s powers. If that happens, it could totally alter Nora’s timeline, which means just about everyone’s timeline would be different.

That’s just speculation, however. Promos for The Flash‘s upcoming episode do not feature Nora. We’re not sure what the future speedster’s up to during this quest to save Barry, but I’d find it surprising if she were unavailable to help daddy dearest in his time of need. Perhaps the reason she’s not involved is due to her ineffective collaborations with Iris, which would itself play into the over-arching theme of how Rag Doll may effect the West-Allens.

Troy James couldn’t reveal all the secrets of The Flash‘s episode ahead of its premiere, but told CinemaBlend he was more than thrilled to be on The CW series. The actor has found much of his work in genre series over the years, and achieved new heights of fame in 2018 for showcasing his insane flexibility on America’s Got Talent. James wasn’t sure if The Flash casting team saw his viral video, but did have his suspicions, since the turnaround time on his casting was as fast as Barry.

I’m pretty sure that the powers that be in casting saw my America’s Got Talent video. Because when I sent them my tape, the turnaround was within the hour. I sent them my demo tape, and then an hour later, they called back and said ‘How quickly can you make it to Vancouver for The Flash?’

Now also known for his stellar work in Channel Zero: The Dream Door as Pretzel Jack, and as a Mongrel on The Strain, Troy James is becoming a no-brainer choice for physically unique antagonists who are creepy as hell. Since The Flash doesn’t get too spooky all that often, CinemaBlend’s Nick Venable asked the actor if his experience on the Flash set saw him trying to get a frightening rise out of his temporary co-stars. He said this:

It’s funny, because I wanted to, but at the same time, I was very well aware that we were on the set of a superhero show, a really popular superhero show. And probably I’m like a guest star, and I don’t want to cause any mischief. I don’t want to get in trouble. [laughs] I kept feeling like, ‘What the heck am I doing on the set of The Flash with all of these really awesome people?’ But we did get into some behind-the-scenes mischief. I have some cool pictures I’d like to show everyone when the episode airs.

Troy James has already posted a couple behind the scenes photos to his Instagram, and that statement would indicate more are on the way when “All Doll’d Up” actually airs. In the meantime, fans can only guess how he used his unique bending abilities to amaze his Flash co-stars when the cameras weren’t rolling. It wouldn’t take much, as his America’s Got Talent video is still more than enough to cause a person’s jaw to drop to the floor.

People have also experienced some jaw-dropping at the expense of Troy James’ Channel Zero: The Dream Door character Pretzel Jack, who is straight up nightmare fuel for even the bravest of folks. James noted the timing of the two projects created an interesting parallel between the childhood clown and the metahuman psycho.

Both of those happened around the same time, and there are some similarities. Because you know, Pretzel Jack is a killer contortionist clown, and then you have Rag Doll, who kind of does have the clown motif going on there with the white face and, you know, the Raggedy Ann hair. But they are different. Rag Doll talks. [laughs]

Hear Rag Doll talk soon, as The Flash airs on The CW Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. For a look at what else is happening on television before 2018’s end, be sure to visit and bookmark our handy fall premiere guide.

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Viggo Mortensen Apologizes For Using N-Word During Green Book Promotion

Viggo Mortensen has apologized for using the n-word during a panel discussion of his film Green Book. The panel was attended by his co-star Mahershala Ali, who later said he accepted Mortensen’s apology. After Mortensen’s initial comment was met with surprise and criticism, he issued this statement:

As Variety noted, Viggo Mortensen had used the n-word as an example of speech that’s no longer common. The context is tied to his film Green Book, which is set in the Deep South in the 1960s. Mahershala Ali plays Jamaican-American pianist Don Shirley, with Mortensen as a mob enforcer serving as the world class pianist’s security.

No one appears to be questioning Viggo Mortensen’s intention, but he now regrets his choice of words during the ArcLight Cinemas Hollywood screening.

Green Book, directed by Peter Farrelly, has had nothing but positive attention up to this point. It was a surprise winner of the Audience Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, immediately launching into into Oscars contention.

So while Mahershala Ali is not happy with his co-star’s word choice, he is also not willing to let this moment distract from the film and the intended message. Ali shared his own statement, accepting Viggo Mortensen’s apology, while making it clear the use of the full n-word was “hurtful” and wrong:

Mahershala Ali continued (via Variety) by saying the use of the full n-word within the black community is already debated, and its usage should continue to be examined within the black community.

Mahershala Ali already has an Oscar for Moonlight, and he could win again for Green Book. Viggo Mortensen currently has two Academy Award nominations under his belt for Eastern Promises and Captain Fantastic. Green Book will expand its release in theaters November 21. Here’s the full 2018 fall movie release schedule.

Nintendo’s Wii Is Getting Rid Of Its Streaming Services

While the Nintendo Switch continues to build an impressive library of video games, and slowly begins to lure in non-gaming apps to its line-up of available software, the previous generation Nintendo devices are slowly beginning to lose access to their streaming services, as Nintendo begins to routinely get rid of the Wii’s apps.

TechRadar reports that Nintendo is axing support for the streaming apps on the Wii. This comes in connection with Netflix sending out a letter to Wii users notifying them that the app will no longer be available on the Wii starting January 31st, 2019.

Netflix isn’t the only one leaving the Wii’s app repository. Other apps are also leaving the platform as well, including Hulu, Crunchyroll, and Amazon Prime.

These services going kaput on the Wii will only affect the Wii. The Wii U will supposedly not be affected by these changes. So if you still have the apps installed on the device, you’ll still be able to use them without any problems.

All of the streaming apps being removed from the Wii coincides with Nintendo also shutting down the Wii Shop Channel in early 2019. So all the online apps and services will shut down anyway.

It’s not all bad news, though, if you’re a Nintendo fan. If you’ve already switched over to the Switch then you’re in good hands when it comes to some of the video streaming apps. There’s Hulu, which launched for the Switch back in 2017 and was one of the first non-gaming apps that Nintendo allowed on the Switch. Just recently, Nintendo managed to allow the YouTube app to go live on the Switch, which you can download right now for free.

With Hulu and YouTube on the Switch, there are now rumors beginning to spread that Netflix may soon find its way onto the Switch as well. Since last year, a number of people have been asking about the streaming app appearing on Nintendo’s hybrid console. But there was a lot of deflection whenever the topic came up, mostly because, at the time, Nintendo wanted to focus on first-party software and courting third-party studios. The efforts have mostly paid off, with companies like Epic Games bringing over Fortnite and Psyonix bringing over Rocket League, both of which support cross-play compatibility.

So while the Wii’s services begin to wind down, the Switch’s services are beginning to grow and expand. Netflix still hasn’t quite confirmed any release on the Switch, but we know for sure that the streaming service — along with Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and every other major streaming app — will cease to function after January 2019 on the original Wii.

It wasn’t a bad run for the system, given that it came out way back in 2006 and has been supported by said services for the last 12 years. Typically, game consoles are supported at a max for maybe a decade, with the longest generation being the seventh, which extended from 2005 up until 2013.

With the Wii prepping to finally have all of its services retired, don’t be surprised if the Wii U will be receiving those same messages about app support coming to a close sometime in the near future.