Johnny Depp is a divisive celebrity, to say the least. So, of course, it only figures that he would find another divisive celebrity, and help produce a controversial project about his life. He’s doing just that, by putting his weight behind a new musical about Michael Jackson and his signature glove.
Page Six reports that Johnny Depp’s company Infinitum Nihil is producing Julien Nitzberg’s “For the Love of a Glove: An Unauthorized Musical Fable About the Life of Michael Jackson, as told by his Glove.” According to the musical’s writer, the project got off the ground after he was initially recruited by a TV network to write a biopic about the controversial singer. He said that they struggled with how to tackle Michael Jackson’s child sexual abuse allegations, and that he came up with a, um, creative way around it:
Julien Nitzberg said he hoped to develop the idea into a musical but, for somewhat obvious reasons, struggled to find funding. He connected with Johnny Depp’s production company through another project that fizzled out, but they showed an interest when he told them about his idea.
And they were apparently interested enough to help fund the “For the Love of a Glove” endeavor. The musical is taking a leaf from Hamilton’s book, and has cast the villainous glove as the story’s narrator. According to Julien Nitzberg, it will star both actors and life-sized puppets, who will bring some of the more notorious figures in Michael Jackson’s life to the stage, including the rest of the Jackson 5, Corey Feldman and Bubbles the Chimp.
To say the premise for the musical will be controversial may be the understatement of the decade. But it’s also likely to draw the kind of attention a new musical needs to thrive. Michael Jackson’s life became a prominent headline this year in the wake of HBO’s documentary Leaving Neverland. And “For the Love of a Glove” is not the only project about the King of Pop that’s currently in development, either. There is an authorized musical, MJ, that’s due to hit Broadway next year. Bohemian Rhapsody’s producers are at work on a biopic of their own, and they’ve promised the darker parts of Michael Jackon’s life won’t be sanitized (or blamed on a glove).
“For the Love of a Glove” premieres in Los Angeles on January 25, 2020.
It’s been a busy year for the Avatar2 cast and crew. They’ve been hard at work filming the first sequel to the 2009 blockbuster. But they still took time out to show their thanks to fans this holiday weekend — and to provide an exciting glimpse of the film’s enormous set.
Avatar 2 and Avatar 3 filmed at the same time, with the live-action segments completed after the motion-capture work. On November 29, the official AvatarTwitter account announced that filming for the Avatar sequels had come to a close for the year. But it was anything but a melancholy message. They announced, “That’s a wrap, Na’vi Nation! It’s our last day of live-action filming in 2019, and we’re celebrating with a sneak peek. Check out this photo of the aft well deck section of the Sea Dragon, a massive mothership that carries an array of other sea-going craft in the sequels.”
Included in the tweet was an aerial shot of the Avatar sequels set. It’s hard to make out the finer details in the midst of the various set pieces and equipment. But the photo does clearly show a large pool with the new vessel. It’s a rare look behind-the-scenes of the much-anticipated sequel. And it definitely shows us a bit of what they’ve already hinted at — that the film will deal heavily with Pandora’s oceans.
Fans were quick to respond to the tweet, and seemed eager for more. And the Avatar Twitter team stuck around to answer some questions. They apologetically informed a fan that there won’t be an Avatar 2 trailer any time soon. But they did remind fans that there will be plenty to keep fans busy in 2020 — like a mobile game.
So far, there’s been somewhat of a shroud of mystery around Avatar 2. We’ve learned that some of the first film’s most popular characters will return, and that we’ll also see plenty of new faces. There’s a lot we still don’t know, though — like, for instance, the title, and how James Cameron will expand the world out for the three films that are set to follow.
For fans of the burgeoning Avatar franchise, this sneak peek was a long time coming. The first two sequels were originally announced in 2010 — and at one point Avatar 2 seemed slated for a 2020 release. But over the past almost decade, more films have been announced — and the Disney/Fox merger also led to a delay. And James Cameron has also been waiting for technology he feels is good enough to properly capture all the underwater action of Avatar 2. In other words, it’s been a long journey to get to the point where we even see behind-the-scenes pictures. And hopefully we’ll get a few more sneak peeks before Avatar 2 (probably) hits theaters in December of 2021.
Though it may be hard to believe in the year of Joker, The Irishman has quickly become one of the most divisive films of 2019. Whether it’s the use of anti-aging technology, director Martin Scorsese’s decision to release the movie via Netflix, or if it’s really a masterpiece, there are plenty of opinions floating around. Now that The Irishman is finally available to stream, the conversation has turned toward its epic runtime — and some are arguing it would have worked better as a TV series. Martin Scorsese disagrees.
At three and a half hours long, The Irishman requires a better-than-average attention span. But in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the iconic director was quick to dismiss any idea that The Irishman should not have been a movie. He told the magazine:
It’s hard to argue with the man — especially since he and star Robert De Niro spent more than a decade trying to get The Irishman made. Martin Scorsese credits Netflix with producing the film, and believes they took a big risk in letting him have the final say in what ended up on screen. He told Entertainment Weekly that traditional studios are mostly concerned with profit, and he’s sure they would have balked at the film’s ending.
Martin Scorsese’s defense of Netflix comes at a time when the studio has faced some serious backlash. Fans and industry insiders were frustrated with the decision to offer only a limited number of screenings in theaters around the country before it debuted on the streaming platform. And The Irishman is just the latest in a string of Netflix releases that have caused a huge debate about the rise in streaming and how it affects Hollywood’s many traditions.
Even if The Irishman was a gamble for Netflix, it has already paid off. The movie is one of the most critically acclaimed of the year. Despite controversy over how Netflix distributed the film, it seems to be a sure bet for Oscar nominations. And for Martin Scorsese, it’s a win too. Not only did he finally get to work with Al Pacino, but he was able to fully realize his vision for a story he’s wanted to tell for years.
One of the new kings of comedy, Kevin Hart, has gone from stand-up comedian to full-fledged movie star. He often uses his comedic talents to bring bold characters to life on the big screen. Kevin Hart movies keep viewers laughing, returning to see sequels, and flocking to his new projects.
In December, Kevin Hart returns to the world of Jumanji with co-stars Karen Gillan, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jack Black, and Nick Jonas. Jumanji: The Next Level is sure to be a hit for Kevin Hart. The success of Jumanji and other Kevin Hart movies shows that viewers will repeatedly pay to watch him deliver energetic comedic performances. We selected the Kevin Hart movies on this list based on the criteria that he was either the lead or one of the main supporting characters. We also ranked them based on Hart’s performance, and the movie’s overall entertainment factor.
10. Get Hard
Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell join forces in Get Hard. This 2015 comedy is all about the over-the-top antics that their characters go through to prepare for prison. The FBI falsely arrests James (Will Ferrell) for fraud and embezzlement, allowing him 30 days to prepare for ten years in prison. He hires Darnell (Kevin Hart) to give him a crash course on how to “get hard” for prison life. Darnell knows nothing about prison life because he’s never been there, but he fakes it to ensure that James pays him $30,000 for teaching him how to survive prison.
Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell are two of the funniest actors and comedians working today, so Get Hard should have been a comedy classic, but sadly, the movie relies too much on prison stereotypes for laughs. Get Hard just never quite lives up to its potential, and Ferrell and Hart’s talents feel a little underutilized in this movie.
9. Central Intelligence
Central Intelligence teams up Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart in the first of their film projects together. In this one, Johnson plays Robbie, a former high school outcast who has now become a CIA agent, while Hart plays Calvin, a former popular high school student who finds himself unfulfilled in his life. The two reunite and work together on a dangerous secret mission.
The two actors have great onscreen chemistry, and clearly enjoy working together, but Central Intelligencefalls flat on many of its comedic elements. It’s an okay film, but Hart and Johnson excel together better in some of their other projects.
8. Night School
In 2018, Universal Pictures released Night School, starring Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart. Hart plays Teddy Walker, a man who returns to school to get his GED so that he can obtain a job at a financial investment firm. Tiffany Haddish plays his night school teacher Carrie. She really cares about her students’ success, so she may use a few unusual teaching tactics.
Mainly, Night School is about a bunch of wacky characters coming together to get their GED, and the love story between Teddy and his fiancée, Lisa (Megalyn Echikunwoke). Teddy and Lisa’s romance is one of the most interesting parts of Night School — it’s easy to root for them. Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart have both had success playing outrageous characters, so Night School might have been a bit funnier seeing them both play unconventional characters, especially to see how they played off each other’s comedic energy as those characters.
7. The Upside
Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart star in The Upside. In The Upside, Hart plays Dell Scott, a man recently released from prison who looks for work to keep his parole officer happy. Cranston plays Philip Lacasse, a quadriplegic looking for an in-home caregiver. Nicole Kidman plays Yvonne Pendleton, Philip’s personal assistant. The film is based on the real life of French businessman Philippe Pozzo di Borgo. The Upside is also a remake of the French film The Intouchables.
By design, The Upside is an inspirational movie about overcoming obstacles, and about two men bonding over their misfortunes, while learning and growing from each other. It’s not the most innovative idea or concept, and both Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart have given stronger performances in other roles, but the film delivers enough feel-good inspiration to work. The Upside also seamlessly blends drama and comedy — with quite a few scenes that deliver funny moments, and other ones that produce intense drama.
6. The Secret Life of Pets
TheSecret Life of Pets is like Toy Story but with cute — but possibly psychotic — pets. The movie shows viewers what happens when humans leave and pets are left to their own devices. The Secret Life of Pets has an ensemble cast that includes voice-overs by Louis C.K, Eric Stonestreet, Jenny Slate, Kevin Hart, and Dana Carvey. In The Secret Life of Pets, Hart plays Snowball, a white rabbit.
Secret Life of Pets is a PG rated family movie, so it is a lot more family friendly than Kevin Hart’s normal films, but it’s a very different role for him. Snowball is the antagonist in this animated film, and Hart plays the villain role very well. The Secret Life of Pets is one of the few films where Hart is allowed to use his animated voice and nature in a menace way. Kevin Hart not only plays a great villain in Secret Life of Pets, but the film overall is fun to watch for viewers of all ages.
5. The Wedding Ringer
Kevin Hart plays a professional best man in The Wedding Ringer. Realizing that he has no friends, Doug Harris (Josh Gad) hires Jimmy Callahan (Kevin Hart) to pretend to be his best friend, and to find him some groomsmen for his upcoming wedding.
The Wedding Ringer is part buddy adventure film, part a male version of Bridesmaids. Josh Gad and Kevin Hart’s opposite comedic styling works really well in this film, and all the groomsmen, especially Alan Ritchson’s Kip, deliver in their supporting roles. TheWedding Ringer isn’t a revolutionary bromance-comedy adventure movie, but it is a very fun one. Gad and Hart are very enjoyable to watch together in Wedding Ringer.
4. Think Like A Man
Kevin Hart joins an ensemble cast in this romantic comedy based on the best-selling dating advice book by Steve Harvey. Think Like a Man follows several couples as they try to keep their romance going, despite some complications. The women in these relationships use Steve Harvey’s book Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man for guidance.
In Think Like a Man, Kevin Hart’s character Cedric is mainly used as the comic relief throughout the movie. He acts as a narrator and constantly talks about his ex-wife Gail (Wendy Williams), despite pretending that he’s happy about being single. The ensemble cast all fit their roles, but Kevin Hart is one of the most standout characters in Think Like a Man: He has some of the most memorable lines and moments in the movie.
3. Ride Along
Ride Along is a buddy cop comedy about a cop in training (Kevin Hart) teaming up with his future brother-in-law (Ice Cube) to prove himself as a cop and as a man. Ride Along also includes supporting roles by John Leguizamo, Tika Sumpter, and Laurence Fishburne.
Buddy cop comedies work best when two polar opposites are paired together, and Kevin Hart and Ice Cube expertly deliver this odd couple duo. Ride Along has been such a box office success because viewers love watching Ice Cube’s tough persona paired with Kevin Hart’s lively comedic persona. The star power of Hart and Cube has turned Ride Along into a franchise film with at least three movies in the series.
2. About Last Night
Kevin Hart takes on one of his few romantic comedy roles in About Last Night. The film follows two new couples as they deal with the difficulties of falling in and out of love. Michael Ealy and Joy Bryant play one pair, Danny and Debbie, while Kevin Hart and Regina Hall play the other couple, Bernie and Joan.
Regina Hall and Kevin Hart get to play the extreme, loud, and crazy couple compared to Michael Ealy and Joy Bryant’s more practical couple. About Last Night works so well because of the dynamic between Hall and Hart. It’s almost a shame that these two aren’t paired together in more movies, because in this film, they deliver hilarious performances in every scene together. The way Kevin Hart and Regina King play off each other in About Last Night almost feels like it’s all improvised. They see what one does and tries to match the other with enthusiasm and comic prowess. It’s really a joy to watch these two together in About Last Night.
1.Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle continues the story of 1995’s Jumanji starring Robin Williams. In the 2017 Jumanji , four friends are transported inside of an old video game. They must overcome obstacles, and their game weaknesses, to reach the last level, thus freeing them from being in the Jumanji game.
Jumanji : Welcome to the Jungle works so well because it doesn’t try to recreate the original movie, but creates a modern concept of the Jumanji world and game. The cast, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Dwayne Johnson, Nick Jonas, and Karen Gillan, also completely embrace the silliness behind the concept, creating a fun, action blockbuster. Kevin Hart also hits all the right comedic notes in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, as well as showcasing even more why he and Dwayne Johnson are becoming a dynamic duo.
Based on the trailer, the sequel Jumanji: Next Level looks even funnier than Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. If the next Jumanji sequel turns out even better than the previous one, then this could be a Kevin Hart movie franchise that continues on for many years to come. Catch Kevin Hart and the rest of the Jumanji: Next Level cast in theaters on December 13.
It has been fascinating to watch the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy unfold in the franchise’s new, Disney-owned era, not just because of the way things have gone, but also because of the ways they could have gone quite differently, and in some cases almost did. The production of these films has been a riveting saga unto itself. This has resulted in a myriad of ‘what if’ questions about the paths not taken and where they might have led.
So as we now approach the end of the Skywalker Saga and the first chapter of the Disney-Lucasfilm relationship with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, it’s worth taking a look back to examine these pressing ‘what if’ questions and perhaps do our best to answer them. And as far as ‘what if’ questions concerning the Sequel Trilogy are concerned, there is one that is more obvious, compelling, and meaningful than all the rest.
In December, the 42-year Skywalker Saga will come to a close, but the person who started it will not be the person who ends it. I’m talking of course about Star Wars creator George Lucas and the question that will forever be asked about Star Wars: Episode VII, VIII, and IX. What if George Lucas’ ideas had been used for the Sequel Trilogy?
To be clear, I’m not asking what if George Lucas directed the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy as he did the Prequels. That’s another question entirely and far less appealing. What I’m talking about and what I think most Star Wars fans would love to know is, what if, under the modern, Disney-owned Lucasfilm, George Lucas’ ideas and his vision for this story were used for the Sequel Trilogy.
We will likely never know the answer but if we search our feelings we can try to come up with one.
It Could Have Happened
Part of what makes this ‘what if’ so compelling is that it feels like we just missed it, like if one or two different decisions had been made this alternate history would have been our reality and the Sequel Trilogy films would have carried a ‘Story by George Lucas’ credit. That’s because back when Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012 with the intent of making new Star Wars movies, it also purchased George Lucas’ outlines for three new films.
Prior to the sale, George Lucas had tapped screenwriter Michael Arndt to write a treatment for the Sequel Trilogy based on his ideas. However, despite purchasing George Lucas’ outlines for the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy, Disney was not contractually obligated to use them. And as we all now know, Mickey Mouse took advantage of that little loophole.
Disney did not base Star Wars: Episode VI, VIII, and IX on the vision of the franchise’s creator and instead did its own version. J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan took over on script duties for Episode VII, replacing Michael Arndt — who apparently struggled with his take — and they ultimately went in a different direction. As Disney CEO Bob Iger revealed in his memoir, George Lucas felt betrayed when his script outlines and ideas for the Sequel Trilogy were scrapped.
We’ll get into the why of it all and whether or not the decision looks good or bad in hindsight, but the point is that George Lucas did have ideas of where he wanted the story to go that he clearly outlined for the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy. And those ideas were not used, now residing the mysterious ether of what might have been, an expanded universe containing the canon that wasn’t.
What We Know About George Lucas’ Sequel Trilogy
There have been a lot of things said over the years, by George Lucas and others — some contradictory — about whether or not he intended to make three trilogies back when the originals were taking the world by storm. But there is evidence that he has had this third trilogy in mind for a long time.
It’s also possible and even likely that his vision for what Episode VII, VIII, and IX would be has changed over the years. So we don’t necessarily know his definitive vision and whether the story he had in his head in the late ’70s and early ’80s is what he gave to Disney when he sold Lucasfilm. So we can only go on what he’s said and what we’ve heard.
According to George Lucas himself, in James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction, the Sequel Trilogy was going to go into the microbiotic world, where it would deal with the Whills, creatures that control the universe and feed off the Force. So George Lucas’ vision would have involved diving deeper than we ever have before into the nature of the Force that governs the galaxy far, far away.
The George Lucas Sequel Trilogy would have also, like the Expanded Universe (now Legends) books, focused on the grandchildren of Anakin Skywalker, with indications that they would have been more prominent in the story than the legacy characters. There have been contrary accounts as to the age of these grandchildren in Lucas’ outlines, with some saying they were teenagers, a dicey prospect that conjured images of Jake Lloyd in The Phantom Menace. But Lucas himself said at a Tribeca Talk that they would have been in their 20s.
Those grandchildren would have likely been the girl Kira, who would go on to become Rey, and Sam, both glimpsed in an art book for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It also seems likely Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker would have played something of the Obi-Wan Kenobi role training either his or Leia’s children, similar to what happened with Ben Solo.
What We Don’t Know
While we know that George Lucas’ Sequel Trilogy would have continued and concluded the story of the Skywalker family with the third generation, there is plenty that we don’t know. Beyond the children of the original trio and the returning Luke, Han, and Leia, we don’t really know what other characters these films would have included. And more critically, we don’t know what the story of these films would have been.
The lack of knowledge about the actual story represents a huge blind spot when trying to guess what George Lucas’ Sequel Trilogy would have been like. Based on the concept art for The Force Awakens, there are indications of things like Jedi killers and an Anakin/Vader Force Ghost, but it is difficult to discern what ideas originated with George Lucas and which ones were created by Michael Arndt or someone else.
George Lucas said that his films would have gone into the microbiotic world, but what does that mean and how big a part in the story would it have been? Would the Millennium Falcon have been shrunk down Fantastic Voyage-style to go fight Force germs? What was the arc of the story over the three films and what was the journey for the characters, both the new and the legacy ones, actually like? Who would the villains have been? What’s the central conflict?
It’s basically impossible to craft a detailed theory of what George Lucas’ Sequel Trilogy would have been like without these critical story elements. Yet while that makes this hypothetical difficult to evaluate, it also makes it an endlessly compelling mystery.
Disney’s Decision Was Understandable…
While we’d all love to know what George Lucas’ Star Wars Sequel Trilogy would have been, the fact that we never got it is unsurprising and somewhat understandable. Disney had just purchased this massive asset in Lucasfilm and it was critical that it delivered a Star Wars movie that was a hit and relaunched this brand as a viable and potent part of the Mouse House’s business strategy moving forward.
George Lucas’ last Star Wars films were the Prequels and while those films are viewed a bit more favorably nowadays and were theStar Wars films for an entire generation of fans, the perception around them was terrible. It is understandable that Disney wanted to play it safe and appeal to the lapsed fans that disliked the Prequels by giving them a film that adhered to the style of the Original Trilogy.
Plus, based on the few things we’ve heard about George Lucas’ trilogy, you can see where alarm bells of concern might have went off. Having young leads likely conjured troubling comparisons to The Phantom Menace. It also seems like Disney would want to avoid the obvious parallels between the Whills and the microbiotic world (which almost seemed like Lucas trolling) and the much-maligned introduction of midi-chlorians.
There is definitely something of a grass is always greener quality to George Lucas’ Sequel Trilogy. Sure, a lot of people, including actor Simon Pegg, miss George Lucas’ influence on Star Wars now, but that is only with the benefit of hindsight after two Sequel Trilogy films, neither of which was universally loved. It’s entirely possible that people would have hated a trilogy based on Lucas’ ideas, another testament to a creator who fell out of touch, who tinkered and retconned too much and whose creation would be better off without him.
…But Perhaps Not The Right One
Despite the flaws of the Prequels, we still wish we could see George Lucas’ Sequel Trilogy, or at least know what it would have been like. There may indeed be a grass is greener mindset informing this desire, but there are also plenty of reasons why this ‘what if’ should have been what actually happened.
Besides doing right by George Lucas, the big appeal of a George Lucas Sequel Trilogy is that whether everyone ultimately loved it or not, it would have been the real story. In a way, the current Sequel Trilogy is just big budget fan fiction. We aren’t getting the true canon, what the creator of this story had in mind. We’re getting six parts out of his nine-part story. It’s an incomplete vision and incredibly sad that we won’t ever get to know how his Saga truly ended.
This wouldn’t be so bad if George Lucas seemed to approve of the current Sequel Trilogy, but we know he doesn’t. So it’s hard not to want to see what the vision of the creator was from start to finish. There’s also reason to think that this wouldn’t have been a repeat of the debacle of the Prequels.
If George Lucas had directed Episode VII–IX that would be one thing, but the way we’re looking at this is if these films were still made at Disney using Lucas’ ideas, but with a different filmmaker. George Lucas is a great storyteller but not always a great director. If someone else had handled the script and directing duties on the Prequels, like Steven Spielberg or Ron Howard, using Lucas’ ideas, you probably would have had three great films.
A Sequel Trilogy using his ideas could have had the benefit of George Lucas’ storytelling and creativity, while also having a more competent director like J.J. Abrams executing that vision onscreen. George Lucas loves to experiment and try new things and we can safely say that his Episode VII wouldn’t have been a rehash of A New Hope.
So the creator had some input, but how much of his input was utilized and will manifest onscreen is another matter entirely. But it is not outside the realm of possibility that while the journey was different, the Sequel Trilogy will still end in a place similar to where George Lucas would have taken it.
We’ll never get to see George Lucas’ Sequel Trilogy on the big screen. Nor will we see his vision play out in an alternate reality animated series (which would be awesome). And he definitely wouldn’t, and likely legally couldn’t, publish his Sequel Trilogy treatment for fans to read. Nevertheless, we will forever continue to wonder, what if?
There’s a good chance that you’ve seen Bradley Cooper’s acclaimed film, A Star is Born, maybe even several times over since its release last year. The actor’s 2018 directorial debut was a critical and commercial smash, which isn’t something you often say about the third remake of a world-famous movie. Alas, the performer pushed himself and defeated the odds to make an emotional wallop of a film, one that’s benefitted enormously by tremendous performances from Lady Gaga, Sam Elliott and Bradley Cooper himself in the lead role. But did you catch all these little details and easter eggs sprinkled throughout?
Movies will pride themselves with hidden details and multiple surprises. A lot of blockbusters will fit in Easter Eggs or hidden background details that the make the movie just as rewarding upon rewatch. Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born prides itself in being an old-fashioned, character-driven story that provides heartfelt performances and commendable filmmaking. Be sure to look out for these details (or keep them in mind) the next time you watch it.
Naturally, there will be spoilers for A Star is Born found throughout this article. Be warned accordingly.
Jackson Maine Loses So Much Weight During His Rehab Stint That His Wedding Ring Is Loose
During an extremely embarrassing incident at the Grammys with Ally (Lady Gaga), Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) decides it’s time to clean up his act and enter rehabilitation for his crippling alcohol dependency. It’s months later that we’re reacquainted with the troubled professional musician. It’s clear that he has changed, especially physically. While his conscious still weighs heavy, Jackson has lost a considerable amount of weight, as seen by his notably looser wedding ring. It’s a small touch that serves as a visual cue for the further loosening grip on Ally and Jack’s continuously fractured marriage.
Bradley Cooper Spent Months Altering His Voice In Order To Fit The Role Of Jackson Maine
Bradley Cooper is a commendably dedicated actor. The A-lister reportedly gained 40 pounds in muscle mass in just 10 weeks for his Oscar-nominated performance as Chris Kyle in American Sniper, and that level of dedication is similarly present in his acting preparations for A Star Is Born. Specifically, Cooper worked intensely with a dialect coach to lower his voice to turn it into a more raspy growl, which is akin to his co-star Sam Elliott’s recognizable vocal chords. This is present in Cooper’s entire performance, including his singing. It took about a year of back-and-forth with the dialect coach before the actor/director felt confident in his voice for Jackson Maine. Additionally, Bradley Cooper learned how to play the guitar and the piano to play this character.
Noodles’ Daughter Was Played By Dave Chappelle’s Real-Life Daughter
As we’ll discuss more in-depth throughout the article, Bradley Cooper used a lot of real-life friends, acquaintances, relatives and untrained actors to fill out his supporting cast. That includes Dave Chappelle’s real-life daughter, Sonal Chappelle, playing the daughter of his character, Noodles, during one key scene toward the middle of the movie. Casting choices such as this one help to build a sense of authenticity around the movie, grounding it in realism — even during the film’s more heightened moments. It also adds meaning to the scene’s commentary on family and legacy.
That Was Actually Bradley Cooper’s Dog In The Movie
Additionally, when Jackson Maine and Ally Maine decide to adopt a dog to add to their home, the adorable pooch they pick up is none other than Cooper’s own dog, Charlie. The canine, who is named after Bradley Cooper’s late father, Charles Cooper, arguably steals nearly every scene it is in, and any scene where Cooper is affectionally cuddling the dog is not acting. It’s clear that the actor/director has a wealth of love for his little co-star.
Jackson Maine’s Ear Doctor Was Played By Bradley Cooper’s Actual Ear Doctor
Furthermore, Bradley Cooper blurs the bridge between fiction and reality with A Star Is Born by hiring his real-life ear doctor, William Slattery III M.D., in his movie to play Jackson Maine’s ear doctor. The actor/co-writer/director needed an ear doctor for his movie, notably since his character suffers from tinnitus, and he figured why not hire the real deal? As the doctor revealed in an interview with The Cut released shortly following the movie’s release, Bradley Cooper was grilling the professional ear doctor with several questions related to the writing process for the character.
Then Slattery got a ring from Cooper, asking him if he wanted to play the small part in the film. While Slattery didn’t have any acting experience — professional or otherwise — prior to his work in the Oscar-winning movie, he took the opportunity nonetheless, and it’s another example of how Cooper adds acute realism to his movie.
Lady Gaga’s Real-Life Dancers, Choreographer And Hair/Make-Up Stylists Play Roles In The Movie
In addition to professionals from Bradley Cooper’s life making their way into the hit movie, the actor/director also hired Lady Gaga’s real-life dancers, hair and make-up stylists, and choreographer to play Ally’s respective entourage in A Star Is Born. Once again, the logic seemed to be that if they were good enough to help Lady Gaga throughout her day-to-day celebrity lifestyle, they should know what it takes to play Ally’s crew in this acclaimed film. Sure enough, it was a decision that paid off, once again adding a fine sense of actuality to the well-told story and giving it a sense of authentic reality.
The Costume Designer Loaned Her Own Wedding Dress To Lady Gaga
In 1976’s A Star Is Born, Barbra Streisand is famously wearing her own wedding dress during a scene where her character is marrying Kris Kristofferson’s character. In that similar vein, Ally’s own humble wedding dress isn’t Lady Gaga’s wedding gown, but it does belong to the film’s costume designer, Erin Benach. She let the musician/singer wear the outfit during the movie’s intimate wedding sequence near the middle of the film.
The First Day Of Shooting Was At Coachella
As it has been noted several times throughout the course of this article, Bradley Cooper took many efforts to make his movie feel connected to reality. The first-time filmmaker made his middle budget movie feel both extravagant and grounded in equal measure, allowing many real life people to play a role in his retelling of one of Hollywood’s most beloved love stories. With that, it’s perhaps only fitting that the movie began production on the stage as part of Coachella. Many eager fans got an opportunity to be in the crowd during one of the movie’s most pivotal scenes. If you were wondering why there are no cell phone pictures or footage of this filmmaking process, it’s because they were all collected beforehand.
The Opening Titles Were In Direct Reference To 1954’s A Star Is Born Plus Nods To Other 3 Versions
It is no secret that 2018’s A Star Is Born is the fourth iteration of the Hollywood cautionary love story. It follows behind the 1937 version, the 1954 remake, and the 1976 remake (each of them have their respective fans). While Bradley Cooper’s remake harkens back to the 1976 version more often than not, the first-time director pays his respects to all three movies — in some subtle ways and some not-so-subtle ways. For instance, Lady Gaga singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is a tribute to Judy Garland, who starred in the 1954 remake.
There are also several references to Ally’s nose, which is directly related to Barbra Streisand, who starred in the 1976 tale. And all four films feature the line “I just wanted to take another look at you,” which is one streamline in all four versions. Additionally, the big, bold red title card is a direct reference to the title card found in the 1954 version.
The Ending Of The Movie Was Changed During Production
In every iteration of A Star is Born, the tragedy unfurls as the leading man takes his life, leaving his love interest with a broken wounded heart. The means through which every character commits suicide is different, but in Bradley Cooper’s original script, this movie was going to have an ending that harkened back more directly to the 1937 original, which saw Fredric March’s Norman Maine walking into the ocean in order to drown himself. Reportedly, Bradley Cooper intended to shoot a similar ending for his movie, even scouting a few different oceanside locations in order to shoot this pivotal scene.
Then it was changed to have Jackson Maine ride his motorcycle to his doom, which would’ve been more in line with the 1976 version. Ultimately, Bradley Cooper forged his own path with the ending to his directorial debut, which ends with our tortured main character hanging himself in his garage. There are also rumors that suggest that this scene is the final one shot for Cooper’s movie, though that information hasn’t been officially confirmed yet.
If you are thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433.
These are only a few of the surprise details laced in Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born. But there are surely several more to be found throughout this film. Be sure to let us know if there are any other noteworthy details that weren’t mentioned above that should be shared with fans of this iteration of the movie.
With Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker only three weeks away, tons of fans will get to finally witness how J.J. Abrams’ movie will close out the saga that began back in 1977. But for one massive Star Wars fan, counting the days to the blockbuster epic wasn’t a luxury he could realistically wait for. On behalf of a terminally ill patient, a hospital in England reached out to Disney about the fan’s final wish: to see Rise of Skywalker with his young son.
Just three days after the request was made on Twitter, the Rowans Hospice patient and his family became the first fans to see the conclusion to the Skywalker Saga. Chairman and CEO of Disney Bob Iger helped organize the exclusive screening in Hampshire, England. Take a look at what happened at the hospital below:
On Friday morning, the dying Star Wars fan was given the honor to see the highly-anticipated fantasy film with his son – his only hope left. In the original Twitter message, the hospice staff made their plea by explaining “time is not on his side.”
As shown in the pictures, Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker travelled with a man named Jonathan on a laptop over to Hampshire so that the patient could see the film. Characters dressed as Jedis, Chewbacca, and stormtroopers visited the father and son, offering them helmets and blasters of their own, probably to protect their anonymity. They do hold deep galaxy secrets now!
Following the screening, the hospital released a statement including these warm words from the Star Wars fan. In his words:
His wife also took the time to thank Disney as well, calling the response to their wishes “truly mind-blowing.” She thanked the massive Star Wars community and talked of fans visiting them, sending messages and sending out gifts to support the family.
The day prior, Disney boss Bob Iger took to Twitter to announce the studio would be granting the Rowans Hospice patient with a screening of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Check out his words below:
Additionally, Star Wars icon Mark Hamill reached out via Twitter to thank Bob Iger and Disney for making the screening happen. Hamill said he hoped the patient enjoyed the movie and got an “extra-special satisfaction” in knowing he saw it even before Hamill did. How incredibly special that he beat the Luke Skywalker actor!
The star-studded whodunit mystery-comedy Knives Out opened November 27, the day before Thanksgiving. The movie made $6.2 million on Thanksgiving day, per Variety, which suggests the movie could make as much as $45 million across the five-day holiday weekend.
If so, that would double the initial estimates that Knives Out could make $20-$25 million. More recently, Knives Out was looking at $25-$30 million. But now even Lionsgate is confident enough to forecast an opening of $39 million, with the ultimate number coming in on Sunday. I’m thinking at least $40 million, with $45 million not out of reach. But we’ll see.
According to THR, Knives Out was made on a production budget of about $40 million — which is slightly surprising, to me, considering the heavy-hitter cast from Daniel Craig and Chris Evans to Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, and Toni Collette. So a domestic opening weekend around $40 million would be a great start. It wouldn’t cover marketing costs, but it also wouldn’t include the money made at the international box office.
As Forbes noted, Knives Out‘s opening is a big win and even better than the $29 million Friday-to-Sunday debut of the November 2017 Agatha Christie adaptation Murder on the Orient Express. However, Forbes suspects the distinctly American Knives Out won’t be able to make as much money overseas as Kenneth Branagh’s movie. (Murder on the Orient Express made $102M domestic, $249M international.)
Critics and fans are neck-and-neck with positive endorsements for Knives Out on Rotten Tomatoes — 96% and 95%, respectively. The film also earned an A- CinemaScore from moviegoers polled on opening night. That’s the same score that Frozen II got.
There’s no question positive buzz is driving this Knives Out win, but lack of new movies for adults probably helped. Frozen II is still going to dominate the box office this Thanksgiving weekend, but Knives Out is cleaning up in its own lane.
Never underestimate the draw of a good murder mystery — or even a just OK one like Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston’s Murder Mystery. The more stars you can add, the better, and Knives Out has a ton. It’s also just refreshing to see an original movie do so well. It’s not a sequel, not part of a franchise, not based on a true story or any other material. Rian Johnson just wrote the damn thing and made a movie. Bless him.
Rian Johnson is certainly enjoying the raves for Knives Out, which he both wrote and directed. And even though he seems to be more than fine with the criticism about Star Wars: The Last Jedi, this has to feel like a great personal endorsement, no?
In 2021, J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world will officially be returning to the big screen with a third Fantastic Beasts film, starring the likes of Eddie Redmayne, Johnny Depp, and Jude Law. The spinoff franchise has offered up fans another look of the universe introduced to them with the Harry Potter series – mixing in new elements with callbacks to the original stories. Such as 2018’s Crimes of Grindelwald transporting audiences back to Hogwarts to meet a younger Dumbledore.
Now Harry Potter’s Warwick Davis is hoping to return to the franchise for a Fantastic Beasts film after taking on three makeup-heavy roles throughout the series. Davis played a Goblin Bank Teller and Professor Filius Flitwick in Sorcerer’s Stone before returning to play the key role of Griphook the Goblin (and continuing as Flitwick) later in the series. Here’s what he says about finding a Fantastic Beasts part:
Warwick Davis seems confident he could find another place in the spinoff franchise and per his words to Daily Express, he’ll be having a talk with J.K. Rowling about it next time he runs into her. The actor plays the most prevalent Goblins in the original movies, so if the author wanted to bring the race of magical beings back for a Fantastic Beasts sequel, Davis is the guy to call!
Considering the franchise may place a higher focus on Jude Law’s Dumbledore and the Hogwarts school, audiences could perhaps learn more about Filius Flitwick’s origins (or his lineage) before he became the Head of Ravenclaw House. His story may have had something to do with the events being told in the Fantastic Beasts movies. Who knows? Even if not, the actor could certainly take on a fourth character too!
Fantastic Beasts 3 is expected to begin shooting in spring 2020 and hit theaters on November 12, 2021.