That Time Paul Rudd Helped Convince Leonardo DiCaprio To Join Titanic

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Leonardo DiCaprio had already made a name for himself in the 1990s with the TV series Growing Pains and movies like What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and The Basketball Diaries, but it was Titanic that catapulted him to worldwide fame. As it turns out, we have DiCaprio’s Romeo + Juliet costar Paul Rudd to partially thank for convincing him to take the role of Jack Dawson, as Rudd had learned a lot about the maritime disaster from his father. Rudd recently recalled:

Obviously it was ultimately Leonardo DiCaprio’s decision to join Titanic and work with the likes of James Cameron, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane and many more, but hearing Paul Rudd’s story on The Graham Norton Show, it sounds like the future Ant-Man star played an integral role towards nudging DiCaprio in the right direction. Rudd heard just enough about the Titanic sinking from his father, Paul Rudd, to fill in DiCaprio in on the historical event while they were on the Romeo + Juliet set and persuade his costar to join the project.

Leonardo DiCaprio might have still been a little ambivalent about boarding Titanic after his conversation with Paul Rudd, but eventually he decided he was game for the movie, and the rest is history. While its success might have initially been doubted due to its ballooning budget and several production delays, to say Titanic was a triumph would be as big an understatement as admitting that the eponymous ship wasn’t unsinkable.

Made off a $200 million budget, Titanic made $1.843 billion worldwide, making it the highest-grossing movie ever until Avatar, another James Cameron release, took the #1 spot over a decade later. Titanic’s 3D re-release in 2012 brought the movie’s worldwide haul to $2.187 billion.

Critically speaking, Titanic received a lot of positive reception and numerous accolades, which included winning 11 Academy Awards and four Golden Globes. Leonardo DiCaprio specifically earned a Golden Globe nomination for his performance, but lost to Peter Fonda for his performance in Ulee’s Gold. Oh well, taking home an MTV Movie Award was surely a nice consolation prize for DiCaprio, right?

As for Paul Rudd, who was best known pre-Romeo + Juliet from the TV series Sisters and movies like Clueless and Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, he also achieved worldwide fame through a variety of projects, with his notable credits including Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, The 40-Year Old Virgin, I Love You, Man, This is 40 and the Ant-Man movies. He can currently be seen pulling double duty as Miles Elliot and Miles’ clone in the Netflix series Living with Yourself, and he’ll appear next year in Ghostbusters 2020.

Linda Hamilton Still Can’t Believe Terminator: Dark Fate Gave Her A Fake Butt

The Terminator movies are sci-fi royalty, as James Cameron’s dystopian technological cautionary tale has entertained moviegoers for decades. The most beloved installment in the long-running property is Terminator 2: Judgement Day, with Linda Hamilton playing a far more badass version of Sarah Connor. She’s finally returning to the role for Tim Miller’s Terminator: Dark Fate, which required her to go through an intense fitness regimen to become the battle hardened character. But there’s one piece to the transformation that surprised Hamilton: her fake butt.

Linda Hamilton has been open about the hardcore process she went through to get back in Sarah Connor set for Terminator: Dark Fate, which is a direct sequel to Terminator 2. She adopted an intense fitness and nutrition regimen, and even went on hormones for a while. This was all an attempt to be in killer shape as the Terminator hunter, but after getting super lean for the role, she was forced to rock a prosthetic buttocks during filming. As she put it:

Well, that’s one way to do it. Linda Hamilton spent a year getting learner for Terminator: Dark Fate. But it seems she did too good a job, at least where her backside was concerned. Enter the fake butt.

Linda Hamilton’s comments to The Daily Mail make a great deal of sense, considering just how much time the 63 year-old actress spent on her physical transformation. Hamilton went carb-less for a year, in addition to working her butt off at the gym. In fact, she seemingly worked too much of that butt off for the filmmakers behind Terminator: Dark Fate.

Linda Hamilton also recently appeared on The Graham Norton Show, and spoke to the cognitive dissonance of slimming down, while also being outfitted with gear to make her more curvy. As she put it,

Looks like Sarah Connor will be rocking some junk in the trunk for Terminator: Dark Fate. That junk just might not have actually belonged to Linda Hamilton. But clearly the actress put her all into the training and filming for the highly anticipated blockbuster. The OG Sarah Connor is back on the big screened, joined by collaborators James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Edward Furlong.

Joker’s Iconic Stairs Have Become A Big Tourist Spot

There are tons of movie locations we’d love to visit, but sadly, many are fictional. So we can’t play with the gadgets in the Batcave, stay at the Grand Budapest Hotel, enjoy the technological wonders of Wakanda or sleep in a hammock in Hometree. One thing you can do, though, is visit the stairs from Joker. The stairs Joaquin Phoenix’s version of the Clown Prince of Crime dances on in Todd Phillips’ film have quickly become iconic, and now it seems that they have become a big tourist spot as well.

Following the film’s release, fans have flocked to The Bronx in New York City to climb the now iconic stairs. The stairs are located in New York City’s northernmost borough, where they connect Shakespearean and Anderson Avenues at West 167th Street. How appropriate that the stairs are adjacent to a street named after William Shakespeare, who was known for writing both tragedies and comedies, the very genres Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck muses his life belong in.

As noted by CNN, despite being home to The Bronx Zoo, Yankee Stadium and the New York Botanical Gardens, tourism in the Bronx isn’t what it could be thanks to its reputation as a rough place. That hasn’t stopped Joker fans from venturing there to take their picture in the place that provided such memorable images in the film, which have become immediately ingrained in pop culture and provided major meme fodder.

And while some just get their picture taken in front of the stairs, many fans have imitated the triumphant moment Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker has on the steps later in the film, when he finally truly embraces who he is. Take a look:

Thankfully, Joker didn’t inspire violence as some predicted, but instead, it has inspired… dancing? That’s right, going to the Joker steps without dancing as Joaquin Phoenix did is a missed opportunity, one that some made sure not to make. Check it out:

This is just a sample of the fans who have been drawn to the steps from the film. It seems as though they may be just a small sample though. Apparently this is a common occurrence now, possibly to the great annoyance of Bronx residents who need to use those stairs as they go about their days. One of those Bronx residents is Desus & Mero’s Desus Nice, who tweeted:

There’s an idea; maybe the funds can be put towards the mutant rat problem the city has in Joker.

Stairs might seem like an odd thing to become a tourist attraction, but this wouldn’t be the first time that people the world over have been drawn to a set of stairs due to a popular film. When Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa climbs the steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1976’s Rocky, it is a symbolic act, showing how with enough grit, determination and self-belief, an underdog can rise and stand on top of the world.

Amazingly, there is even a Rocky statue in Philadelphia commemorating the fictional boxer. People come from all over to climb the Rocky steps and raise their arms in triumph when they reach the top. It seems that now, like the Rocky stairs before them, the Joker stairs will be their own tourist spot. That said, it seems less likely though that the mass murdering clown will be cast in bronze for his own monument.

It’s easy to see why the Joker stairs have become so iconic though. The stairs are featured in the film’s posters and they appear at a pivotal point in the film. We first see the downtrodden Arthur Fleck trudging up them, on a stairway to nowhere early in the movie. Later, he dances down the stairs in full Joker attire and makeup to the tune of Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll Part 2.” It’s a moment that represents the completeness of his transformation and the freedom he now feels to have shed Arthur Fleck.

If box office is anything to go by, the Joker stairs will remain a popular tourist attraction for some time. Joker has made over $700 million worldwide and become more of a cultural touchstone than anyone could have foreseen.

Joker is now playing. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to see what else is hitting theaters this year.

How Much Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil Made Opening Weekend

This past weekend at the box office is the reason words like “lackluster” exist. It was a weekend, and people went to the movies, but that’s just about where the conversation ends. Technically speaking, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil won the weekend, but only because some movie had to do it. The film brought in only about $36 million which, while that was more or less what it was expected to do, is still a far cry from where the franchise was with its first installment.

Prior to Maleficent: Mistress of Evil hitting theaters projections had the movie hitting anywhere between $30 and $50 million for its domestic opening weekend. Certainly, hopes were for the movie to hit more on the high side of that range, but unfortunately, it landed squarely in the bottom half. It was enough to dethrone Joker as the number one movie in North America, but only just, as that film still brought in $29 million in its third weekend.

The original Maleficent was able to score $69 million in its bow back in 2014, so the sequel is coming in at just better than half the first installment. That’s a pretty significant drop. Some of that can be chalked up to the first movie hitting in the more box office friendly May rather than October, but as Joker has showed, if people want to show up in droves to see your film in October, they will.

Internationally, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is doing a bit better, combined the movie as brought in $118 million overseas, for a global total of $154 million and change, which isn’t a bad place to start, but it will be up to the international audience to save this one, as things likely won’t be improving for Mistress of Evil at home. The original movie made $240 million domestically and that’s basically impossible for the sequel now.

On the plus side, whatever Maleficent: Mistress of Evil does at the box office is just gravy for Disney anyway. The studio has five movies that have crossed the billion dollar mark at the worldwide box office and there are likely to be two more, in Frozen II and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, before the year is out.

Of course, the question now is what exactly does the lackluster performance from Mistress of Evil mean. Is Maleficent as a franchise just something that people no longer care about? Are people less interested in sequels to Disney’s live-action remakes? If that’s the case what does it mean for the proposed Jungle Book 2 and the under discussion sequel to Aladdin?

Or, was there just a problem with this movie specifically that didn’t grab audiences enough? Reviews for Maleficent Mistress of Evil weren’t great, but they certainly weren’t the worst we’ve seen either. Many movies have survived worse reviews to make box office bank.

Of course, what’s even crazier is that Maleficent: Mistress of Evil has a shot at winning the box office two weekends in a row. There are three films hitting in wide release on Friday, but none of them are of the massive tentpole variety. Next weekend’s box office may not be huge, but it has the potential to be quite interesting.

How Much Jurassic World Is Too Much? Producer Knows They Could Overextend The Brand

The Jurassic Park movies is one of the most beloved sci-fi franchises ever. Over the past few years, the property was given new life with the Jurassic World franchise. That trilogy will come to an end with the mysterious Jurassic World 3, which will unite the new cast of actors with franchise favorites like Laura Dern, Sam Neill, and Jeff Goldblum. But should we expect more Jurassic World sequels after that story wraps up? One producer has opened up about the franchise’s future, and fears of oversaturation.

Frank Marshall has had a long career as a film producer, and got involved with the Jurassic franchise in Jurassic World. He also helped bring Fallen Kingdom to theaters, and will be lending his talents to Colin Trevorrow’s upcoming threequel. Marshall recently spoke to approaching the franchise’s delicately, saying:

He’s got a point. The Jurassic World franchise hasn’t provided too much content, allowing the movies to speak for themselves. That means waiting a few years between installments, with nothing but the limited bonus content to keep fans satiated. Luckily for the generations of fans, they can head to Universal’s theme parks to get their own taste of Jurassic World, or check out the recent short film Battle At Big Rock.

Later in his conversation with Forbes, Frank Marshall went on to explain the methodical way the Jurassic World franchise is approaching new footage, and the importance of keeping moviegoers wanting more. He said:

Clearly the studio and producer are carefully choosing how much Jurassic World content is available at any given time. The two movies are currently standing on their own two feet, as the franchise is expanded through side projects like theme park attractions and the recent short film.

Frank Marshall was also kind enough to provide an update on Jurassic World 3. The last movie opened things up for the franchise, and Marshall said the following about the upcoming follow-up:

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom changed the franchise forever, as the surviving dinosaurs escaped and were free to join the world. Battle at Big Rock showed how that has affected the denizens of the franchise, and the upcoming threequel could seemingly go anywhere narratively. Especially now that the stars of the original franchise will reprise their roles in Jurassic World 3.

Jurassic World 3 is currently expected to arrive in theaters on June 11th, 2021. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Joker’s Joaquin Phoenix Accurately Depicts Pathological Laughing, According To Man With Disorder

While Joker may be based on a comic book character, the movie is designed to feel as realistic as any character based drama. In at least one respect, it seems the film has done a good job and accurately representing reality, as a man who suffers from a similar disorder to that of the character of Arthur Fleck, says Joaquin Phoenix does a realistic job of portraying a man suffering from something that causes him to burst out in uncontrollable laughter.

In Joker we see the character of Arthur Fleck begin to laugh out loud on a bus shortly after he’s been admonished by a mother for interacting with her son. While laughing, he hands the woman a card which states that he can’t help himself. He suffers from a neurological disorder which results in the laughter.

Scott Lotan suffers from the pseudobulbar affect, also called PBA, as a symptom of multiple sclerosis. He tells LADBible that his episodes of uncontrollable laughter can last for 10 minutes at a time. He says the condition has forced him to be separated from family and friends during events like the wake for his own mother and fiancee who died in a car accident.

Lotan says that all the details of an episode are accurate in the film. Joaquin Phoenix even adds an element of choking to his laughter, which Lotan says really happens as he attempts to catch his breath while being unable to stop the laughing.

It looks like Joker did its homework when including this element of Arthur Fleck’s character in the film. Representation matters and so it’s nice to see both that Joker dealt with a real disorder and also dealt with it in the right way. While the concept of a man who randomly breaks into uncontrollable laughter certainly makes sense for a movie called Joker, this wasn’t just thrown in as a plot point because it happened to work within the story.

In the movie, there’s a question of how much of the story we’re seeing is actually real. There’s even a moment in the movie where another character asks Arthur if the laughing episodes are real or if he’s just faking it. It’s a question the film pointedly avoids answering. Although, we do learn that, again, assuming that anything in the story is on the level, Arthur was the victim of abuse, and so it does appear he may be dealing with PBA as a result.

Whether or not the laughing is “real” within the context of the story or not, it seems the condition as we see it is as close to the real thing as possible. Certainly this is a condition that we don’t see represented in media often, and so it’s nice to know that the time that it does happen, it’s given the proper treatment.

Sebastian Stan Defends Marvel Movies After Scorsese And Coppola Comments

Over the past few years, superhero movies have become the most profitable genre in the business. Plenty of studios have their own shared universes, after the MCU revolutionized serialized storytelling. But recently, acclaimed filmmakers like Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola have shared their negative feelings toward these blockbusters. And Winter Soldier actor Sebastian Stan is the latest to defend the impact of the MCU.

Sebastian Stan has played Bucky Barnes in a whopping five movies in the MCU, not counting cameos in Ant-Man and Black Panther. But he’s also appeared in Oscar favorites like I, Tonya and The Martian. And following the recent comments dismissing the franchise and even calling it “despicable”, Stan spoke to how important those blockbusters are to the fans. As he put it:

Bucky Barnes has a point. There are countless fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the massive franchise has been able to affect them emotionally. And if that’s the requirement for great cinema, then Marvel Studios has done its job.

Sebastian Stan’s comments at Fandemic Tour Houston (via Comic Book) are in direct response to the recent comments made by Francis Cord Coppola. The legendary Godfather filmmaker maintained that superhero movies don’t affect audience. What’s more, he thought that Martin Scorsese’s previous comments were too kind, and that comic book movies were “despicable.”

The Captain America actor first acknowledged that Francis Ford Coppola was a personal hero of his, before Sebastian Stan offered an argument against his feelings. The fact that he was speaking at a convention was evident that moviegoers have been affected by the genre, especially the 23 movies that have made up the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

What’s more, the comics have been read for decades before they were adapted for the big screen. The Winter Soldier has lead his own series alongside Black Widow, and his story in the MCU will continue on his upcoming Disney+ series.

Francis Ford Coppola’s recent “despicable” comments quickly went viral, with certain contributors to the genre coming to its defense. Coppola is widely considered one of the best filmmakers of all time, so his opinion carries weight. And they come shortly after Martin Scorsese’s comments that comic book movies were “not cinema.”

It looks like the conversation around superhero movies in the wider cinema world will only continue. Certain movies have been recognized by the film academy before, with Logan and Black Panther receiving Oscar nominations in major categories. And Marvel Studios is showing no signs of slowing down, with plans for Phase Three and Phase Four moving forward.

The next installment in the MCU will be Black Widow on May 1st, 2020. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Zombieland: Double Tap Really Wanted Joe Pesci For A Funny Scene With The Ghostbusters

Joe Pesci is about to come back to the big screen for the first time in years thanks to Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, but it seems that, had he wanted to, he could have arrived a few months earlier if he had agreed to take the cameo offered to him by Zombieland: Double Tap.

It’s a well known story that the cameo that end up going to Bill Murray in the original Zombieland went through numerous drafts that saw a number of celebrities appearing as zombies, or in the case of the final version, fake zombies. The same situation appears to have happened for Zombieland: Double Tap, and in fact, some of those that could have appeared in the first Zombieland made a potential appearance in the sequel scripts.

Zombieland: Double Tap co-writer Rhett Reese recently revealed to Uproxx that a scene once included in the movie, that would have seen the cast of the original Ghostbusters reunite, also would have included a cameo by the Goodfellas Academy Award winner Joe Pesci. According to Reese…

The sequence that would have seen all the Ghostbusters actors playing golf together has been mentioned before. Director Reuben Fleischer recently told our own Reelblend podcast about the scene that was included in a very early draft of the Zombieland sequel. It seems that script was the catalyst for the rumor that Dan Aykroyd would cameo in the sequel.

That’s not to say that there weren’t feelers put out to try and make this scene actually happen. The other writer of Zombieland: Double Tap says that the production did reach out to Joe Pesci to see if he might be interested in showing up in the movie. It sounds like maybe a deal could have been made, if Zombieland wanted to spend a large portion of its budget on a single cameo. According to Paul Wernick…

Joe Pesci basically retired from acting years ago, and so it was always going to take something special to get him to come back. Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro probably didn’t need to pony up quite as much cash, to get Pesci to come back for The Irishman, but anybody else was certainly going to need to make it worth the actor’s while.

While a Zombieland: Double Tap cameo certainly would have been great, the actor probably made the right choice.

Yes, The Batman’s Robert Pattinson Is Psyched About Zoe Kravitz As Catwoman

After sitting in development hell for years, The Batman is finally coming together in the DCEU. Matt Reeves has begun assembling his cast and crew, convincing some A-list talent to join the upcoming blockbuster. Robert Pattinson was the first actor cast, bringing a new version of Bruce Wayne/ Batman to theaters. A few major players have been confirmed, including Jeffrey Wright, Paul Dano, and Zoe Kravitz. There’s a ton of hype around the latter casting, with Kravitz reprising the role she voiced in The Lego Batman Movie. And Pattinson pleased about the casting as well.

Fans have been waiting for The Batman to come together, so last week’s spree of casting announcements really got minds racing. Zoe Kravitz has been working for years, and has become especially well-known for her role in HBO’s Big Little Lies, as well as Fantastic Beast: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Robert Pattinson was recently asked his thoughts about Kravitz joining the cast, and he said:

Well, it looks like The Batman is going to be a fun set, at least for Robert Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz. It’s always helpful to have off camera chemistry for actors, and it should be interesting to see how this dynamic influences the pair of actors’ performances in The Batman. Catwoman and Batman have a very unique relationship, after all.

Robert Pattinson’s comments to ET make The Batman feel all the more real, as it involves interpersonal connections. While it was delayed a number of times over the years, Matt Reeves is gearing up for production in the upcoming blockbuster, which will introduce a new Dark Knight to the DC Extended Universe. Ben Affleck was originally set to direct and star in the movie, before hanging up the cowl following Justice League‘s disappointing performance.

Matt Reeves will have to find a way to organically introduce the new version of Batman, and a variety of villains from the character’s rogue gallery. The Batman was previously reported to be an ensemble film, with Gotham’s Protector battling a few foes and focusing on his detective skills. This includes Selina Kyle/Catwoman, with Zoe Kravitz as the latest actress to bring her to life in live-action.

I’m eager to see how Matt Reeves approaches Catwoman and Batman’s relationship. They can be enemies, uneasy allies, or even lovers depending on which comic plot the filmmaker is approaching. You can read up on Selina Kyle’s life on the page here.

Gotham City is clearly becoming a major setting for the DCEU, especially with Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) just a few months away. Catwoman has the potential to crossover with that cast of femme fatales in the future, so Zoe Kravitz’ upcoming performance could extend past The Batman.

All will be revealed when The Batman hits theaters on June 25th, 2021. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Terminator: Dark Fate Has Screened, See What People Are Saying

He said he’d be back. We just didn’t know how many times! Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton both return to the Terminator franchise in November with the anticipated Terminator: Dark Fate, directed by Deadpool helmer Tim Miller. The movie screened for select press, and their reactions just arrived online. Should you get excited, or is it “Hasta la Vista” to your hopes?

Our very own Eric Eisenberg managed to see an early screening of Terminator: Dark Fate, and sets a tone that will be echoed by several journalists when he basically claims that Tim Miller’s movie is the first good sequel since T2. Eric Tweeted:

In addition to the shoutout to T2, Eric made a direct comparison to JJ Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a movie that some claim was a carbon copy of the original Star Wars that also got back to the roots of what made the franchise work. That sentiment struck a chord with Germain Lussier of Gizmodo and io9, who Tweeted:

But it wouldn’t be a Terminator movie if it didn’t somehow set the stage for a new series of movies, would it? What is it about this franchise? They never just deliver one solid story. Every time they come back, it’s with a plan to relaunch a new trilogy of films, or an endless exploration into “The Future.” Just make ONE great sequel!!

Jim Vejvoda notes that this movie kind of serves both expected roles, commenting:

All looks good, though. The most negative reaction we could find from the press came from Peter Sciretta of SlashFilm, who basically points out that Tim Miller isn’t Jim Cameron. I mean, naturally.

So all in all, it looks like Terminator: Dark Fate might be the return to semi-glory that the franchise has been waiting on for the bulk of the past 15 years. After enduring the Rise of the Machines and Salvation, the bottom of the barrel appeared to be Terminator: Genisys, an abysmal reboot of the series that – stop me if you’ve heard this before – meant to launch a series of new films. That didn’t work out.

Terminator: Dark Fate stars Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Gabriel Luna and Natalia Reyes. It opens everywhere on November 1.