What If Joaquin Phoenix Isn’t Really Playing The Joker?

The upcoming Joker movie from Todd Phillips is an odd kind of comic book movie, and not just because it’s a character-driven piece being made off a $55 million budget, a stark contrast to the blockbusters usually populating this genre. Joker is, as one would guess, telling the origin story of Gotham City’s Clown Prince of Crime. Unlike in the comics, though, Batman will have no role to play in the cackling criminal’s creation, as Bruce Wayne is still a youngster during this period. Which leads me to wonder, what if Joaquin Phoenix‘s Arthur Fleck isn’t the real Joker? He is a Joker, to be sure, but what if his purpose is to ultimately inspire the man who will one day become The Joker.

In case you haven’t been keeping up-to-date on what’s happening with Joker, the movie is unconnected to the DC Extended Universe, hence why we’re not seeing Jared Leto with green hair, chalk white skin and red lips. Instead, it’s a standalone movie set in the early 1980s, following Arthur Fleck, a failed standup comedian who turns to a life of crime and chaos in Gotham City. For a while, Joker himself was the only confirmed character from the comics (duh), but then Thomas Wayne was cast, and last month, Bruce Wayne and Alfred Pennyworth followed. No doubt we’ll learn who’s playing Martha Wayne soon enough.

It’s the Bruce Wayne part of this that’s particularly interesting. His parents are still alive, meaning he’s somewhere between 8-12 years old. Joaquin Phoenix, on the other hand, turned 44 a few weeks ago, so let’s assume that Arthur Fleck is the same age as well. That means Arthur has over 30 years on Bruce, so by the time Bruce ages to adulthood and dons the cape and cowl in two decades, Phoenix’s version of The Joker will be in his mid-60s or pushing 70.

Traditionally in the comics, Batman plays a role in Joker’s creation by being the direct/indirect reason this individual, whatever his original name was, falls into that vat of chemicals and is horribly disfigured. Clearly that’s not happening here, not just because of Bruce Wayne’s age, but because the Arthur Fleck Joker is wearing clown makeup, like Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight. But the age difference is still a big deal, as Batman and Joker are usually around the same age. Seeing a Batman at his physical prime throw down in fisticuffs with a geriatric Joker isn’t exactly a fair fight.

This Joker movie clearly has no problems with not staying faithful to the source material, so maybe in this world, the eponymous antagonist is just several decades older Batman. But I don’t think it’s that simple. Unofficial photos and footage from the Joker set show that the clowned-up Arthur Fleck will lead a crime wave across Gotham City, meaning a lot of people will know who he is and what he’s all about. Since this is a standalone movie, it wouldn’t be surprising if Arthur’s reign of terror ends with him dying, but what if his actions indirectly lead to the real Joker being created decades later?

It’s not like there isn’t precedence for a Joker identity misdirect. Like the Joker movie, the TV series Gotham takes a lot of creative liberties with its adaptation of the Batman mythos, particularly where The Joker is concerned. For four seasons, the cackling, psychopathic Jerome Valeska (played by Cameron Monaghan), while never actually referred to as Joker, was clearly meant to be a tribute to the Clown Prince of Crime.

After Jerome died, his twin brother, Jeremiah, was exposed to a special insanity gas, turning his skin white and his lips red, and finally giving him the drive to explore his darker instincts.The Valeska brothers resemble The Joker in their own ways, but Jeremiah definitely looks the part better. Still, even with Gotham‘s final season over a month away, we still don’t know with absolute certainty if Jeremiah is meant to be the true Joker or if a third individual will be brought in to claim that “honor.”

Going back to the Joker movie, assuming Batman and Joker remain roughly the same age in this continuity, that means there’s some kid in Gotham City who will see Arthur Fleck as The Joker either on television or in person. The sight of this criminal will sit with this kid as he grows up, and when the “one bad day” comes that he crosses paths with Batman as an adult and is physically altered, that trauma, along with the memory of Arthur Fleck and whatever other disturbing tendencies were lurking beneath the surface, will lead to him becoming the new Joker; one who will leave an even deadlier legacy behind.

However, even if we assume that Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker isn’t the true Joker, that doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t have an impact on Bruce Wayne’s life. Clearly Arthur Fleck and his followers will cause a lot of mayhem in Gotham City during Joker, and who’s to say that won’t hit the Wayne family directly? Thomas and Martha Wayne will be alive at the start of Joker, but I suspect they won’t be by the end of the movie.

What if during Arthur Fleck’s crime wave, that’s when the Waynes are murdered in Crime Alley? Joe Chill could be remain the mugger who guns down Thomas and Martha, or, taking a cue from the 1989 Batman movie, maybe Arthur Fleck does the horrible deed himself. Either way, not only will Bruce forever be haunted by his parents’ death and be pushed on the path to vigilantism (as per usual), he’ll also remember how the Arthur Fleck Joker played a role on that night. So when a new Joker hits the scene years later, Bruce will be even more compelled to neutralize him, but sadly, the fight between Batman and this Joker is destined to go on for a lot longer than anyone in Gotham City would like.

Joker arrives in theaters on October 4, 2019, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for continuing coverage. You can also look through our 2019 release schedule to find out what else is coming out next year, or you can look through our DCEU guide to find out what’s in development for that superhero franchise.

Do you think Joaquin Phoenix is playing the actual Joker?

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Cardi B Is Sad She Keeps Losing Weight After Having A Baby

Motherhood is typically a joyous occasion. Once you bring a child into this world, your perspective changes, your mindset reinvents itself and you see the wonders of life through fresh eyes. But for Cardi B, motherhood is a little bit depressing too — notably since the musician keeps losing weight due to her first child, Kulture. During a session on Instagram Live, the rap artist voiced her disdain for shedding pounds since giving birth to her baby girl. She said:

As Cardi B noted in the Instagram address, it has been a difficult time for the rap musician. That’s not to say that motherhood has treated her poorly. Far from it. Rather, she is depressed because she’s unable to gain weight while providing for her infant child. As it turns out, this is an ongoing issue.

As it turns out, Cardi B has mourned weight loss since her teenage years. The rap artist claims she “hates it” when she loses weight, and she finds it “stressful” when she doesn’t have an appetite and cannot eat. As she continued to admit in her ongoing Instagram confessional, she really wants to put on the pounds again, but she hasn’t found any luck yet in that regard. Hopefully, today’s Thanksgiving festivities can help in that particular regard.

Furthermore, to prove her point, Cardi B also recorded some footage of her post-pregnancy body to show how much weight she has lost. Check it out.

On Thanksgiving, you often hear people worrying about whether they’re going to pack on the pounds. But it’s rare for someone to find themselves stressing about the weight they can’t put on today. Hopefully, Cardi B finds what she’s looking for. And we hope she finds her appetite again soon too. It might be an unusual position to be in today, but it’s still a stressful one for the artist, and we hope Cardi B finds herself less anxious in the future.

Here’s hoping things get better for Cardi B. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to keep you posted on the newest updates on Cardi B and her baby daughter, Kulture. We’ll also keep you updated on all the latest news in film, television, video games, pop culture and a lot more right here at CinemaBlend.

Rachel Bilson’s Take Two Cancelled By ABC After One Season, But There’s Hope

The cancellation of networks’ summer TV shows is continuing, this time, over at ABC. The Alphabet Network has decided the fate of the Rachel Bilson starrer, Take Two. Unfortunately for fans, that decision was to cancel the procedural. There is hope that it may not be done with its run quite yet, though.

Like many shows that were cancelled by their original network, Take Two may find a second life on a streaming platform. The crime procedural is being looked at by not one, but two streaming outlets, per THR. Those interested streamers were not identified.

Of course, there are arguably three platforms to choose from — Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. Let’s consider the contenders.

Netflix tends to be seen as the savior of cancelled series. This year, the streaming giant stood in the gap to revive Lucifer after Fox cancelled it. That series had a three-season run and developed a robust fan following. Take Two has one season with 13 episodes under its belt.

That said, Netflix is already streaming a Rachel Bilson-led series. The platform currently has her CW series, Hart of Dixie, streaming. They would know if it is a considerably popular pick among subscribers. If it is, they could be interested in having a new series that stars her in it. Netflix is not the only streamer with a Rachel Bilson show on its roster though.

Hulu is streaming the series that made Rachel Bilson a breakout star. That’s right, Hulu has teen drama The O.C.‘s dramatic run. Why not pick up a show starring one of its prominent stars? It makes sense Hulu would. Plus, having saved shows like The Mindy Project, it lines up that Hulu would be interested in Take Two.

Amazon is probably the least likely streamer to take on Take Two, although the platform has saved shows in the past. A detective crime procedural seems like a less obvious save for Amazon. So, it could be a long shot.

The number two seems to be both a lucky and unlucky number for the show, so who knows if that bodes well. It has two streaming platforms interested in it and its title features the number. On the other hand, it was not renewed for Season 2 by ABC. Time will tell if a streamer decides to give Take Two a second chance.

The ratings may have been flat by network standards. Albeit that may not be the same one streaming platforms’ use to gauge it by. It is also worth mentioning that Take Two aired in the summer months. Summer shows usually have lower ratings.

Take Two starred (or stars) Rachel Bilson and Eddie Cibrian in the lead roles. The creators of Castle also created the currently cancelled series. Castle and Take Two had a lot in common plot-wise. Both centered on a person shadowing an investigator for research.

In the case of Richard Castle, it was to inspire his work as a novelist. In Take Two, Rachel Bilson’s Sam starts shadowing Eddie Cibrian’s private investigator as part of researching a potential acting role.

Sadly, for Take Two, it has yet to secure the long run accomplished by Castle. Stay tuned to see if a streamer ends up helping change that. In the meantime, television will continue heating up fall and the midseason.

Why The Walking Dead Has Been Using Negan A Lot Less In Season 9

Spoilers below for the most recent episodes of The Walking Dead, so be warned.

With two time jumps, a host of new characters, a grown-up Judith and a set of new mysteries, The Walking Dead looks and feels completely different from past season. One of the biggest changes is the pronounced lack of Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s formerly monolithic villain Negan. Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang spoke with CinemaBlend ahead of the midseason finale, and I asked how intentional it was to keep Negan on the back burner in differentiating Season 9 from previous years. In her words:

I think it’s because the last chapter of the story of The Walking Dead was this All Out War story that was so heavily focused on Negan and the Saviors. When I came into working on this season with the writers, I really thought, ‘Okay, we’ve kind of told that chapter of the story, so let’s see what our characters are up to now.’ Negan, and his legacy, is something that really hangs heavy over our characters. But I wanted to tell that story through what the others are doing. And I think that in a lot of ways, by having sort of key moments with him this season, those moments are very memorable. And I think Jeffrey does an amazing job, but we wanted to kind of show off a bit of an evolution with his character. I just felt that for the, for the way that the particular story was going this season, that less was more, you know?

That explanation may not fully sate the biggest Negan fanatics out there, but it’s obviously important to note and appreciate that the TV show kept him alive in the first place. Sure, that’s how the story plays out in the comic book, but then Rick and Maggie also remained part of the core narrative in The Walking Dead comics, so those source material comparisons are certainly not guarantees in any sense.

In many ways, it’s understandable where Angela Kang & Co. were coming from. For two full seasons, The Walking Dead‘s protagonists feuded with the epitome of post-apocalyptic tyranny. With Season 8 wholly dedicated to the All Out War arc, neither the writers nor the characters were allowed much time to calmly sit back and take it all in. With Season 9, however, those opportunities have been refreshingly ample, with only the sporadic trip down to Negan’s cell giving viewers a look at how the former leader is doing.

He’s not doing so well, either. At first, Negan seemed content to try and work some psychological villainy on Rick, Michonne and others, but even he had to realize that he couldn’t just disgustingly charm his way out of this one. He eventually broke down hardcore in front of Maggie, soothing the latter’s thirst for revenge. But even though he seems a bit more mentally put together 7+ years after first being imprisoned, Negan’s inner demons have not been vanquished inside his cell.

Angela Kang explained that limiting Negan’s screen time was purposeful, and that it’s more of a temporary thing than a longterm one. More Negan is on the way, so don’t worry. But before that could happen, Kang explained to me how they wanted to use other characters’ points of view to supplement the big bad’s current story.

Negan definitely has his moments to shine, and he’s got more coming up, but it was a conscious decision, just from a storytelling perspective of wanting to show where everybody was at in the aftermath of that war. And it felt more powerful to kind of focus on the people who were not in the prison cell, while also giving us an insight into Negan. From episode to episode, when we see him, he’s definitely in a different place than we’ve ever seen him in the past.

If somebody would have gone back to the night the Season 7 premiere aired, and told me that Negan would one day be a sobbing mess in direct relation to having bashed Glenn’s brains in, I would have been suspicious to say the least. Sure, Negan was a human being in the days before the walker outbreak changed everything, but his Here’s Negan backstory showed him off to be a major prick even before he turned into a murderous leader.

Truly, it’s Negan’s monstrous actions and powerful influence that still make him such a formidable threat behind bars with no place to go. Few characters could remain so dangerous under similar circumstances, especially after breaking down and sobbing over being separated from a bloodied baseball bat. (Sure, the bat represents his wife Lucille, but it’s still a bat.) Yet, Walking Dead fans and characters are fully aware that it would take but a single mishap for Negan to escape and once again loom large over these communities.

At this point in the comics, just such an interesting incident occurs. Under questionable circumstances, Negan is able to walk free from his cell, but instead of going on a deadly rampage or fleeing the area altogether, he chose to hang back and prove his newly developed trustworthiness to Rick. It’s extremely hard to tell how the TV show will adapt this portion of Negan’s story, considering Rick isn’t around anymore to judge the villain’s behavior anymore.

In fact, it’s difficult to foresee where any of Negan’s later comic arcs are going to get brought to live-action, given all the foundational Walking Dead changes that have gone down on AMC. His biggest personal connections were mainly with Rick and Carl, both of whom are long-gone from the TV series. As well, Maggie and Negan’s story took different turns as the narrative played out. Neither Rick nor Maggie are dead, but they likely won’t cross paths with Negan again for a long while, if at all.

While waiting to see how Negan’s story shakes out, stay tuned for more from CinemaBlend’s interview with Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang, in which we discussed those X scars, the Whisperers and more.

Don’t forget, The Walking Dead‘s midseason finale airs on AMC on Sunday, November 25, at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see what new and returning shows will be popping up during that hiatus, head to our fall TV schedule and our midseason premiere guide.

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Yes, Sometimes Kanye West Doesn’t Like Kim Kardashian’s Raunchy Instagram Photos

For Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West, modesty is not in the cards. Both celebrities live very public and open lives, and they are both willing to reveal themselves at a moment’s notice — emotionally when it comes to Kanye, and physically when it comes to Kim Kardashian. But some people have wondered if Kanye West is ever bothered by Kim’s laissez-faire attitude towards clothing. According to Kim, the answer is: well… sometimes, yes. She says:

The admission came during Kim Kardashian West’s most recent appearance on Ellen. The topic of Kim Kardashian’s Instagram came up, and the talk show host was wondering if Kanye West ever gets bothered by his wife’s openness towards wearing little clothing and posting those photographs on social media. Kim admits that he’s not always happy about it, but she also claims that she goes through “waves.” There are times when she is more “conservative,” as she puts it, but there are other times where Kim Kardashian is feeling really good about herself and she’s willing to show the world what she’s got. As Kim Kardashian West puts it, it’s a “cycle,” and like most couples, they have their ups-and-downs. But they are sticking together.

When you are constantly in the media spotlight, as Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West often are, it can be hard to be bashful about anything. They have well-established themselves as outspoken and revealing people, and that’s likely one of the reasons why they’ve found love in each other’s arms. Kanye West wants Kim Kardashian West to be true to herself and do whatever she wants to do, but there are times when he finds himself maybe a little bothered by his wife’s habit of posting raunchy photographs on social media. But at the same time, he’s glad Kim Kardashian is so confident in herself.

Check out the confessional clip from Ellen with Kim Kardashian West below.

Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West have had their fair share of struggles and disagreements in the past, and some of those disagreements become public thanks to one party or the other admitting it openly (naturally). But through these troubles, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West remain together for themselves and their children, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change soon. If it does, of course, we’ll keep you posted. We’ll also keep you posted on all the latest news, updates and developments in film, television, video games, pop culture and a whole lot more right here at CinemaBlend.

The Rocky IV Honest Trailer Is A Glorious ‘80s Callback

Creed II wouldn’t exist without Rocky IV. For better, and for worse. So as you are coming home from Steven Caple Jr’s hard-hitting sequel, dive back into Sylvester Stallone’s 1985 classic, which expanded what was possible for the Rocky saga, and embraced every cheesy ’80s cliché known to mankind.

The Honest Trailer for Rocky IV points out most of the things you assumed about the sequel, but maybe didn’t take the time to vocalize. By the time the fourth chapter in the franchise rolled around, Rocky already had punched his way through Apollo Creed and Clubber Lang, and he needed a bigger challenge.

So he took on Communism. The entire political thought process behind Communism. Personified by the giant known as Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren, a perfect physical specimen).

To get there, though, Rocky IV needed some of the staples that had helped make the Rocky movies special. Yep, I’m talking about training montages. Lots of training montages. Including — as they point out — a montage ABOUT previous training montages from the earlier three Rocky movies.

The Honest Trailer takes its usual swipes. But it also educates. For example, did you know that Ivan Drago only had 46 words of dialogue in the entirety of Rocky IV? That’s pretty awesome. His longest sentence might be, “If he dies, he dies.” Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) isn’t exactly loquacious, but Drago makes The Italian Stallion look like he’s a character in a David Mamet play.

One thing that the Honest Trailer misses out on spoofing? The incredible 1980s soundtrack on display in Rocky IV. “Eye of the Tiger” always will be a rock track associated with the Rocky franchise. But Rocky IV has deeply memorable tunes, that often powered the montages.

If this doesn’t get your heart pumping, nothing will:

What does this all have to do with Creed II? Well, if you didn’t know, Ivan Drago killed Apollo Creed in Rocky IV, during a meaningless exhibition fight. Now that Apollo’s son, Donnie (Michael B. Jordan), has stepped in the ring, he has a grudge match against Drago’s son (Florian Munteanu). It’s all going down.

Creed II is expected to do very well over the Thanksgiving holiday, competing with Ralph Breaks the Internet but pulling in tickets from a different fanbase. Will the Rocky saga continue in yet another movie after this? We shall see.

Tim Allen Spills Some Key Details About Keanu Reeves’ Toy Story 4 Role

Did you know that Keanu Reeves was in Toy Story 4? We didn’t, either, but what a pleasant surprise! We’re just now starting to learn more about next year’s Pixar sequel, which will return Tom Hanks and Tim Allen as iconic toy characters Woody and Buzz. And it was the later who revealed Reeves’ role in Toy Story 4, explaining:

Tim Allen makes a very tiny gesture with his fingers as he explains the size of Keanu Reeves’ toy in Toy Story 4 on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. But a quick scan of IMDB doesn’t have Keanu Reeves listed at all, so this mysterious part is breaking news.

The focus of the marketing on the first trailer fell on Forky (voiced by Veep‘s Tony Hale), and from what we can tell, Forky is a craft project — probably created by Bonnie — who has an existential crisis when he comes to life. Deep stuff.

After meeting Forky in the first teaser, Toy Story 4 unveiled a second look that showed off Ducky and Bunny, two new characters voiced by Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key. Check that out here:

As Tim Allen elaborates in this Jimmy Fallon interview, there are several new characters who will be introduced in this sequel, and now we know that Keanu Reeves will voice one of them. The Toy Story sequels have done an excellent job at bringing in memorable new people, from Jessie (Joan Cusack) and Barbie (Jodi Benson) to the menacing Lotso. Way to ruin the smell of strawberries for us, you huggin’ bear.

Watch Tim Allen talk about the emotional ending of Toy Story 4, elaborating on what Tom Hanks has said about the movie, without revealing any spoilers.

So far, thankfully, the people involved with Toy Story 4 have revealed a few fun things without giving away the farm. That means we will patiently wait for the full movie to get here on June 24, 2019. It’s the only Pixar title on the radar for a while, so let’s hope Toy Story 4 delivers in a massive way!

The Haunting Of Hill House Creator Offers Season 2 Update That May Disappoint Fans

The end-of-year holiday season may be upon us, but fans haven’t stopped talking about or thinking about Netflix’s horror masterpiece The Haunting of Hill House. The family-oriented fright fest has amassed universal praise for its dense storytelling and visual flair, and nearly everyone is hoping that creator Mike Flanagan and Netflix will reteam for Season 2. It turns out the filmmaker does have some ideas about a second season, but fans might not like what he had to say when asked about bringing the Crain family back.

That’s the kind of quote that could easily inspire mini-revolts from fans who only want to learn more about the Crain family’s complicated history and strained relationships. Mike Flanagan almost cursed himself by doing such a good job in structuring the events and characters within The Haunting of Hill House. He made the Crain siblings’ dysfunctions as palpable as can be, even if viewers couldn’t wholly sympathize with the ghost-tinged family. To leave them behind wouldn’t be ideal, to say the least.

Of course, it’s understandable why Mike Flanagan would feel that way about possibly returning to The Haunting of Hill House for Season 2. Not many stones were left unturned by the time the finale ended, and the Crain’s ties to the house’s mythology were fully laid out and seemingly severed, although one major theory points to a far darker ending.

Hill House star Paxton Singleton told CinemaBlend his hopes for Season 2 centered on the writing career of Steven Crain. His pitch was for the show to follow Steven for one or more of the supernatural incidents that were covered in his books. Now that he can legitimately believe in ghosts and evil spirits, perhaps he could stumble upon another severely haunted abode in his travels. But that would be a project for another filmmaker, I guess, since Mike Flanagan would presumably pass.

Of course, any and all fretting might be for naught, since Netflix hasn’t actually put in an order for The Haunting of Hill House Season 2 yet. And according to Mike Flanagan, a decision on that front may not come for a while.

Mike Flanagan is currently filming Doctor Sleep, the Stephen King-penned sequel to the seminal classic The Shining. That highly anticipated project went into production relatively recently, and Flanagan told TVLine that conversations with Netflix about The Haunting of Hill House‘s future will likely be postponed until he’s finished with Doctor Sleep. The horror sequel is set for a 2020 release, but fans hopefully won’t have to wait that long to hear something more about where Hill House could go next.

Personally, I would love to see more from the Crain family in Season 2, although that’s largely because of how well the characters were written, and how at home the actors felt within the roles. If Mike Flanagan and his creative team are able to craft an equally engaging and heartbreaking storyline for an equally talented acting ensemble, though, I already have popcorn waiting to pop in the Red Room.

What Would You Prefer To See In The Haunting Of Hill House Season 2?

How Kurt Russell Really Feels About The Rock’s Big Trouble In Little China Movie

The Rock frequently has multiple projects on his radar, though not all of them come to fruition. We know that he’ll team up with Jason Statham for Hobbs & Shaw, and he and Emily Blunt will take a Jungle Cruise in 2020. Others are mere rumors, like the Big Trouble in Little China movie that Rocky plans to make. Original China star Kurt Russell was asked what he thinks about the idea, and he didn’t hold back, stating:

Kurt Russell helped to turn the original Big Trouble in Little China from an unusual concept into a cult hit. In John Carpenter’s 1986 adventure, Russell plays Jack Burton, a sarcastic truck driver who finds himself in a heap of trouble when he helps his friend’s fiancée escape a sorcerer.

As Russell was discussing the movie with USA Today, he said the fact that Jack was a leading man who didn’t know his role helped make Big Trouble In Little China feel fresh and special. He told the outlet:

Kurt Russell actually has no ill will towards The Rock, who he has starred alongside in the Fast & Furious franchise. In fact, to make sure that there is no bad blood, Russell goes on to say:

But you can tell from Russell’s reaction to this news that he’s not 100% thrilled by the idea of someone trying to refresh Big Trouble in Little China.

And we can’t blame him. Even though The Rock has come out and clarified that he wouldn’t try to play Jack Burton in the new movie — and that it’d more be made in the tone and tenor of the original movie — that’s still really hard to replicate without forcing the issue. John Carpenter and Kurt Russell had a special bond when it came to storytelling, which created gems like The Thing and Escape From New York. Trying to replicate that is a tightrope walk, and not one I’d wish on anyone, even a star with the charisma of The Rock.

We will see if that Big Trouble in Little China movie ever happens. Not that The Rock needs it. So if it does move forward, this likely means that he DOES have a great idea. Time will tell. Until then, bookmark our Upcoming The Rock Movies guide, to see which movies of his will be in theaters soon.

The Middle’s Sue Heck Spinoff Just Got Some Really Bad News

Having spent nine seasons being an unofficial member of the quirky Heck family, fans were sorely disappointed when ABC called it quits with The Middle. _A silver lining appeared in the form of a spinoff project focusing on daughter Sue Heck’s presumably awkward emergence in the outside world. Unfortunately, that silver lining has been shattered, as ABC announced it will not be moving forward with the follow-up comedy _Sue Sue in the City.

Considering the premise for Sue Sue in the City was so different from The Middle, at least from the outset, it seemed like a good way to spin the “franchise,” as it were, in a new direction. However, ABC had some concerns with taking the next step with the spinoff. Production studio Warner Bros. TV apparently does still have faith in the project, though, with Deadline reporting that Sue Sue in the City may get shopped around to other networks to see if more interest lies elsewhere.

The chances aren’t always that great for networks to pick up another channel’s passed-on projects, but WB TV could have a decent shot here. For one, The Middle somewhat quietly amassed a gigantic fandom in the near-decade it was on the air, so the built-in audience is there. Two, ABC faced a very similar situation last year with black-ish by giving up on its spinoff based on Yara Shahidi’s Zoey. That show was later picked up by Freeform, where it’s been a modest hit.

Hey, Fox could also be a good option for where Sue Sue in the City could end up. After all, the network saved Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing a year after its cancellation at ABC, and the mildly controversial sitcom is now Fox’s biggest comedy hit.

As far as plotlines go, Sue Sue in the City was set to follow Eden Sher’s goob-tastic Sue Heck as she took her eternal optimism outside of Orson and over to the big and bustling city of Chicago. Audiences would have gotten to watch Sue try and figure out the complicated ins and outs of moving up in the world. Co-starring in the pilot were Silicon Valley‘s Chris Diamantopoulos, The Middle vet Brock Ciarlelli, SMILF‘s Kimberly Crossman, SNL vet Finesse Mitchell, and newcomer Aaron Branch.

The Middle spinoff was just ordered to pilot in August, and was still announcing cast additions in October, so it’s fairly surprising that ABC has already made a decision. (Especially a negative one.) While no reasons were given for the lack of interest, it could possibly be tied into the recent announcement that Channing Dungey would be stepping down as ABC President after less than three years.

Channing Dungey was a major force behind spearheading the network’s comedy spinoffs, and there’s another one on the way in the form of The Goldberg‘s long-gestating follow-up centering on Tim Meadows’ principal and Bryan Callen’s coach. That project already got the series order green light, and is set for a 2019 premiere. So let’s hope nothing about this Middle spinoff news affects Schooled in any way.

What do you guys think? Are you hoping to see Warner Bros. get Sue Sue in the City sold off to another network? Let us know in the comments, and stay tuned for all the shows that definitely are coming to TV during the rest of the fall season, and then in the midseason.