Peter Jackson Is Directing A Beatles Documentary

What do The Beatles and The Lord of Rings have in common? No, besides the Hobbits and bandmates sharing mop-like hairdos and going through quite the unforgettable journey. Both their stories will be adapted through the eyes of Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson, since his latest project will be on the iconic British band’s Let It Be album era.

With Peter Jackson’s latest project, the World War I documentary They Shall Not Grow Old, he’s just announced he’ll next be working on another starring Beatles bandmates John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr in the studio working on their final album Let It Be, circa 1969.

The director has his hands on over 50 hours of unreleased footage and 140 hours of audio of the band’s work on the album, long considered to the most turbulent time in their history, leading to the band’s breakup in 1970. Peter Jackson told Entertainment Weekly that the documentary will be a unique experience for fans because it will showcase the band’s creative process and put to rest the myths associated with this period for the band.

Past Beatles documentaries have shown Beatles footage during their concerts, movies and interviews, but Peter Jackson describes his project as the ultimate ‘fly on the wall’ experience Beatles fans have long dreamt about, along with describing the footage as “funny, uplifting and surprisingly intimate” amidst some moments of drama between the band.

The exclusive footage was shot in the studio by Michael Lindsay-Hogg 18 months before the band members went their separate ways. It’s been long characterized as a time of argument after argument between them in the midst of recording classics including “Let It Be,” “The Long and Winding Road” and “Get Back.”

The intention behind the album was to perform the song live in the studio and capture the entire band playing at once directly on tape. The album was recorded before their iconic Abbey Road cover hit shelves. Let It Be wasn’t released until a few weeks after The Beatles officially called it quits.

Peter Jackson’s documentary about the legendary British band is currently in production and does not have an official title or release date yet. The director hopes this project will give fans a different perspective of the negative association with the making of “Let It Be” as in Jackson’s words they watch “four friends make music together.”

It’s an exciting project for the Lord of the Rings director to take on and for Beatles fans to anticipate. It also comes right as Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody has found incredible success with audiences and during awards season, and with the musical Rocketman, loosely-based on Elton John’s life and music, hitting theaters on May 31.

Why The Grinch Was Pushed From Its Original Release Date, According To The Director

Last November saw the release of Illumination’s The Grinch, arriving 61 years after Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! was originally published and 18 years after the live action movie starring Jim Carrey hit theaters. However, originally the plan was for the The Grinch to come out on November 10, 2017, but in mid-2016, it was pushed back to its final 2018 release date. When I asked co-director Scott Mosier if there was any specific reason why The Grinch was delayed, he attributed it needing a little extra time to ensure that the movie was the best it could be. He explained:

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Scott Mosier over the phone ahead of The Grinch’s release on Blu-ray and DVD, and when the conversation turned to The Grinch’s year-long delay, he made it clear that pushing the movie back was necessary. Fortunately for Mosier and his team, producer and Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri was all for having The Grinch come out in 2018 instead if it resulted in a better product.

Anyone who follows movie news regularly knows that release dates aren’t cemented once they’re announced. There are various factors that can lead to a studio postponing a movie (or occasionally even being moved up the calendar), and as Scott Mosier noted, animated projects in particular deal with delays often. But along with the usual time-consuming animation process, Mosier also mentioned that because The Grinch is a Seussian-creation, that meant extra attention was required for the movie to look unique. As Mosier, who co-directed The Grinch with Yarrow Cheney, put it:

For this adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ classic Christmas tale, Benedict Cumberbatch brought the green-furred curmudgeon to life, and The Grinch’s other voices included Cameron Seely, Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson, Angela Lansbury and Pharrell Williams. It is now the second highest-grossing Christmas themed movie of all time with its over $508 million haul worldwide, trailing only behind Home Alone.

The Grinch is now available for purchase on Digital HD, and the Blu-ray and DVD copies hit shelves next Tuesday, February 5. As for what there is to look forward to on the big screen this year, scan through our 2019 release schedule for that information.

Should Marvel Introduce The Black Knight In Avengers: Endgame?

Avengers: Endgame isn’t just a never-ending hype machine. It’s also a never-ending rumor machine, and each one just feeds into each other in an endless loop. One of the latest rumors that recently began picking up steam was that Endgame would be introducing the superhero known as the Black Knight. He’s a pretty random character to include, but April solicitations for Marvel Comics hint that there might actually be some meat to this rumor.

I wouldn’t blame anyone for not knowing about the Black Knight. He’s a C-List Marvel character who has gone through a few different incarnations over the years. One of the most prominent versions of the Black Knight is Nathan Garrett, a descendent of the same Black Knight from Arthurian Legend. He becomes a super villain, battles the Avengers, and is eventually mortally wounded by Iron Man.

His nephew Dane Whitman takes up the mantle and becomes a superhero to redeem his family. He wields a cursed sword called the Ebony Blade, rides a pegasus, and joins the Avengers. It’s this version of the character that’s relevant to us and the one that Marvel may be teeing up for a theatrical debut.

Marvel Comics is no stranger to building up hype for Marvel movies. Usually, the comics have some sort of tie-in for an upcoming movie such as releasing Civil War 2 in time for the feature film or incorporating movie costumes into the pages.

All of that just makes good business sense and with Endgame being one of the biggest movies of the year, you better believe the comics are going to do something to capitalize on that!

Solicitations for Marvel’s April issues recently arrived online. For those who don’t know, these are all the comics that Marvel will be releasing that month, and usually, they are good teases for upcoming storylines months in advance.

Notably, Marvel has decried that April is Avengers True Believers Month, and will be releasing a series of reprints of classic Marvel issues. Not so coincidentally, all of these issues are tied to major characters in the final two Avengers films like Thanos, Gamora, Nebula, Ronin, and even Thor’s hammer, Stormbreaker. Even less coincidentally, April is when Endgame premieres in theaters.

What internet theorists have noticed is that two of these issues feature the Black Knight. Specifically, the two issues are Avengers (1963) #260 and #343. The Black Knight was a part of the Avengers for these stories, which has helped give these Avengers: Endgame rumors a boost. Of all the thousands of issues that Marvel could have chosen, is it just a coincidence that two of them have the Black Knight?

Well, maybe. Avengers #260 is a Nebula story while #343 is a seemingly obscure tale about evil Avengers from another dimension that try to kill the good ones. The inclusion of the latter is super interesting and people might want to pay more attention to that, but as far as the Black Knight goes, he does have a little bit more backing him than this reprint.

Rumors about the Black Knight’s involvement began even before the solicitations. Jeremy Conrad of MCU Cosmic tweeted that he had heard that the MCU had plans for Black Knight and that they already knew how he’d be introduced. The tweet was accompanied by a picture of the secret city in the Quantum Realm that was briefly glimpsed in Ant-Man and the Wasp.

The implication is that Black Knight is from this interdimensional city, which is a departure from the comics, but it wouldn’t be the first time the movies went off script. The reliability of those rumors is up for debate, but coupled with Avengers True Believers Month, it gets a little bit stronger.

It is odd that the Black Knight of all characters would be featured twice on these reprints, but that could be chalked up to a coincidence. These issues aren’t strictly about the Black Knight and he just happens to be on the Avengers during these particular missions. Another character, Hercules (literally the same Greek god from mythology), also shows up in those same issues, and I doubt that Marvel has plans for him. We’ve got already got Thor filling the god quota and Wonder Woman has the market cornered on Greek mythology.

That being said, it might not be such a bad idea to introduce Dane Whitman to the MCU. As a medieval knight, he brings something different to the table that no other hero does. Even if the knight stuff is too much for people, the character does have costumes that tone down his knighthood, making him a bit more relatable.There’s certainly no other character that has that same aesthetic right now in the MCU.

Additionally, his lack of popularity means that Marvel can get away with altering his character and story as much as they see fit. It’s a lot easier to make changes to a lesser known character than a popular one like Spider-Man, where there’s fan backlash if you go too far in one direction. I can’t see too many people getting worked into a tizzy over the Black Knight.

In fact, this is a character who could benefit from an update. His heyday was back in the 80s when he was on the Avengers and Marvel hasn’t really been able to find much use for the character since. It could be that the MCU is just what he needs. Even Iron Man and Captain America were struggling to get mainstream attention before the MCU, so the movies could bring a necessary spark of life.

Even if Avengers: Endgame ends up being three hours long like it’s rumored to be, it’s tough to imagine how the movie possibly has enough time to introduce an entirely new character. Endgame already is going to be busy enough trying to wrap up all the Avengers’ storylines, but the Black Knight cameo might not be extensive. It could be as simple as a name drop.

I doubt Marvel is spilling the beans on this anytime soon and we’ll surely learn more the closer we get to April 26.

Should Avengers: Endgame include the Black Knight?

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Ben Affleck’s Role As Batman Is Still Unclear

Among the many movies in development for Warner Bros’ DC Universe is Matt Reeves’ solo Batman flick, which has finally started coming together. For instance, the script is accounted for by the writer/director, with casting reportedly moving forward soon. The question on everyone’s minds is who will answer the Bat Signal and play the Caped Crusader in the film?

In a recent interview, Matt Reeves updated fans on the status of the project, explaining the casting process will soon begin, after he puts the finishing touches on the script. But he didn’t say a word regarding if Ben Affleck will be reprising his Justice League role, or if they’d be going in a different direction.

When The Batman was first being developed at Warner Bros, Ben Affleck had quite a stake in the project as he was attached to write, direct and star in the film. After he took a reduced role int eh blockbuster and Matt Reeves took over as writer/director, the question of whether Affleck would be continuing to play Batman has been floating in the air.

Ben Affleck’s recent time in rehab to focus his efforts on recovering from his alcohol addiction could certainly be playing a part in the actor and studio’s silence about the future of his Batman role. On the other hand, Affleck’s involvement with the DCEU have not been blockbuster and critical successes. Both Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League didn’t leave a strong impression on audiences, despite the actor’s strong performance.

Since their releases, the studio seems to moving away from building upon those particular movies. Apart from Wonder Woman and Aquaman, the upcoming DCEU slate includes a completely new set of heroes.

That’s not to say this had much to do with Ben Affleck’s performance as Bruce Wayne/Batman in these films. In fact, many fans were pleasantly surprised about how perfect the actor was as the iconic character, and are hoping to see him take on the hero in a film of his own. The actor may no longer share the same interest, especially since he exited developing his Batman project.

In Matt Reeves update to The Hollywood Reporter, he said he is hoping for a 2021 release date for his film, which he describes as a “noir Batman tale” that will show the character in “detective mode” more than ever seen in other film iterations. The Batman will have a Rogue Gallery of villains, reportedly including The Penguin.

Considering the current direction of the DCEU, Ben Affleck doesn’t have to reprise his role of Batman for it all to work. The shuffling of actors under the mask of the Bat was common throughout the ‘90s.

As The Batman moves forward this year, it will certainly soon become clear about whether Ben Affleck has a place as the Dark Knight. Until then, there are some exciting DCEU releases coming up in 2019, including Shazam! on April 5 and Joker on October 4.

Vice’s Christian Bale And Dick Cheney Have The Same Birthday, And It’s Today

At the upcoming 91st Academy Awards, actor Christian Bale will be going for his second Oscar, this time for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of former Vice President Dick Cheney in the film Vice. Christian Bale completely disappeared into the role, assuming Dick Cheney’s look, his speech and his mannerisms. Director Adam McKay has now let everyone know that the eerie similarities between Christian Bale and Dick Cheney extend off the screen as well. Take a look.

Christian Bale and Dick Cheney were indeed both born on January 30, the former in 1974 and the latter in 1941. So Christian Bale turned 45 today and the former Vice President turned 78. Alongside this fun fact, Adam McKay hilariously wished them both Happy Birthday in his tweet, which is funny considering that if you’ve seen Vice, you know that the director isn’t Dick Cheney’s biggest fan.

Nor is Christian Bale based on his hilarious Golden Globes speech where he thanked Satan for inspiration for the role. Something tells me that Christian Bale and Dick Cheney are not having a joint birthday party today, even though they share a birthday. It’s honestly quite impressive that Christian Bale and Dick Cheney were born on the same day though, and I don’t know if a Best Actor statue is enough to award such a feat.

Christian Bale is so talented that he was method acting in the womb, carefully choosing when to be born so that it would coincide with the birthday of Dick Cheney, the future Vice President he would one day play in a feature film, who was only Deputy Assistant to President Nixon in 1974. Eat your heart out, Daniel Day-Lewis.

This is such a strange coincidence, but it just adds another layer of fun mystique to Christian Bale’s memorable performance in Vice. The actor is famous for his physical transformations for his movie roles, but Vice may be his most impressive yet, as he became not a fictional character, but a real life person whose looks, speech patterns and mannerisms are a matter of public record. Although Bale admits that he should probably stop changing his weight so much.

Long-term damage to his health aside, Christian Bale might have some new gold for his mantle for his efforts. His transformative performance as Dick Cheney has already netted him a Golden Globe for Best Actor, and he may yet get an Oscar at next month’s ceremony.

Vice is still playing. Check out our 2019 release schedule for all the biggest movies still to come this year, and stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all your Oscars coverage and movie news.

Kevin Smith Just Dropped Major Info About Zack Snyder’s Planned Justice League Trilogy

Just like the The Avengers did in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Justice League saw the starring heroes of the DC Extended Universe coming together to defeat a threat none of them could have handled on their own. Unlike The Avengers, Justice League was drastically altered during the course of its creation from what director Zack Snyder originally planned, with the final cut resembling a Frankenstein-like creation that underwhelmed critically and commercially. As a result, the plan to make more Justice League movies has been put on hold, but filmmaker and longtime DC Comics fan Kevin Smith has provided details about what Snyder supposedly had planned for his Justice League trilogy, and it would have seen the cosmic side of the DCEU opening up even further.

During the latest episode of Fatman Beyond, Kevin Smith mentioned that during his trip to the Star Wars: Episode IX set in London months back, he met members of the crew who had also worked on Justice League. They claimed to have seen storyboards (illustrated by DC’s co-publisher Jim Lee) for what was in store for all three Justice League movies back when Zack Snyder was still working on Justice League. Regarding that first movie, what we saw in theaters was basically the same story that was conceived, only at the end, a Boom Tube opens up (presumably the same one that those Parademons dragged Steppenwolf through), and on the other side was Darkseid, Steppenwolf’s master. He sees the Justice League on the other side and vice-versa, which paves the way for Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg to take the fight to Apokolips in Justice League 2.

One would imagine Justice League 2 would have also seen the protagonists either visiting New Genesis as well or meeting some of its denizens given that that world and Apokolips are the two main anchors of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World mythology. But that wouldn’t have been the only cosmic element in the sequel. Apparently the Green Lantern Corps would have been involved as well. In fact, remember that deleted Justice League scene (part of which was also in a trailer) where Alfred Pennyworth meets Superman and tells him that he prays he’s not too late? Kevin Smith heard that when that scene was shot, green lights were flashing on Jeremy Irons, meaning that Alfred was originally interacting with Green Lantern, although it wasn’t said specifically which Emerald Knight.

However, similarly to how things turned out for the heroes of the MCU at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, Justice League 2 would have ended poorly for its heroes. They would have been defeated by Darkseid, who then goes to Earth and “levels” it. Meaning that the Knightmare vision that Bruce Wayne had in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice would have come to pass, and Justice League 3 would have seen the heroes making one last stand against Darkseid and the forces of Apokolips.

Needless to say that this is a lot to chew on, though keep in mind that this information is by no means official. Even if it is true, one also can’t rule out that the details have been embellished by these crew members, either accidentally or on purpose. Nevertheless, hearing about this Justice League trilogy, I can’t help but agree with Kevin Smith that “we might have missed something.” And that’s not even taking into account other things we’ve heard about these Justice League sequels, like how Zack Snyder was interested in killing off Batman. It makes one wonder even more what the Snyder Cut would have looked like.

Assuming all this information about the Justice League trilogy is true, then clearly Zack Snyder had a grand vision for these heroes. Counting Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, that adds up to the five-movie run that we’d previously heard had been in the works. It is worth noting, though, that Justice League 3 has never been a guarantee. Back when the initial slate of DCEU movies was announced in late 2014, Justice League: Part Two, as it was known then, was scheduled to come out this June. But then plans changed so that Justice League would be one movie as opposed to be split into two parts, and then Justice League 2 was eventually taken off the calendar.

As things stand now, while Justice League 2 hasn’t officially been scrapped, given that Justice League was met with mixed reviews and only made $657 million worldwide off a $300 million budget, it’s hard to say if a sequel will ever get made. Currently, Warner Bros is less concerned with tying the various DCEU movies together and more focused on keeping each entry standalone, even though they all still exist in the same continuity.

One thing is likely, though: if Warner Bros and DC re-explore making Justice League 2, Zack Snyder won’t be creatively involved. Although he is named as an executive producer on several upcoming DCEU movies, directing-wise, he’s moving on, such as helming Army of the Dead for Netflix and developing The Fountainhead. Again, we could still see a follow-up to Justice League someday, but I seriously doubt it will closely resemble what Snyder envisioned.

Fortunately for those of you who’ve wanted to see the Fourth World mythology explored more deeply on the big screen, you’re in luck. Director Ava DuVernary is helming a New Gods movie, and rumor has it that will see Mister Miracle and Big Barda clashing with Granny Goodness and the Female Furies. It’s a good bet that Darkseid will appear too considering his importance to this corner of the DC universe. Whether or not Darkseid or any of his other minions will ever battle the Justice League in a different movie and try to finish the job that Steppenwolf started, that’s hard to say.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all the latest updates concerning the DCEU, which continues on April 5 with the release of Shazam!. If you’re curious about what else this franchise has on the way or in the works, browse through our handy guide.

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Cold Pursuit’s Tom Bateman Had A Hard Time With His Racist Lines

In order for any action movie to really work, it needs a good villain. The villain serves as a foil to the movie’s protagonist, while functioning as the catalyst for everything that happens in the hero’s journey. And while some villain outings are more successful than others, you can’t deny the pressure and honor playing a big screen antagonist.

Liam Neeson has faced off against many villains throughout his long career, in action movies like the Taken franchise, and beloved properties like Star Wars and Batman Begins. In his upcoming movie Cold Pursuit, Neeson’s character Nels Coxman faces off against psychotic gangster Viking, played by Tom Bateman (Murder on the Orient Express). I recently spoke with Bateman about his villainous character, where he revealed how it was sometimes difficult to utter Viking’s lines, saying:

While booking the villain of a Liam Neeson movie was no doubt thrilling for Tom Bateman, that doesn’t mean he enjoyed every second on set. Especially when filing scenes that required him to let out a slew of hateful language to his scene partners.

Having seen Cold Pursuit myself, I can confirm that Tom Bateman’s concerns stand to reason. Viking spews plenty of vile and nasty words throughout the movie, sometimes including racist comments during his unhinged rants. While this actually helps bring some over the top levity to the project, that didn’t make the 29 year-old actor’s job any easier while in principal photography.

In our same conversation, Tom Bateman also spoke to the flip side of the argument, expressing how fun it was to wrap his lips around such horrifying dialogue. In addition to helping him craft a character totally separate from himself, the actor enjoyed how the over-the-top language elevated the scene. As he told it,

The dialogue for Cold Pursuit may have been a bit challenging for Tom Bateman to say, it also seems like that challenge was part of the fun for the actor. You can check out my full conversation with Bateman below.

From our interview, Tom Bateman’s enthusiasm for his Cold Pursuit role is palpable. It’s also clear from his performance, which cinephiles will get to enjoy in just a matter of days, as the latest Liam Neeson revenge flick hits theaters.

Cold Pursuit will arrive on February 8th, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

The Rock Wants Jason Momoa To Play His Brother In Fast And The Furious Franchise

What the future holds for the DC shared unvierse is too unclear at the moment, so it’s unclear if we’ll ever see the likes of Black Adam and Aquaman squaring off. But that doesn’t mean we won’t see The Rock and Jason Momoa sharing the screen together. The Rock actually wants Jason Momoa to play his brother in the Fast and Furious franchise. In fact, Dwayne Johnson has already tried to make it happen, as he explained:

The Rock and Jason Momoa were working to make a team-up happen for the newly titled Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Show (One title, two ampersands, how high octane is that?!) but it didn’t come together. Dwayne Johnson wanted Jason Momoa to play the brother to his character Luke Hobbs in the spinoff film, which definitely would have gotten action fans and cinephiles excited.

Unfortunately, Jason Momoa’s schedule was too packed, presumably with Aquaman duties, for him to be able to film for Hobbs & Shaw. It’s kind of funny to hear The Rock talk about someone else’s schedule being too full considering how impossibly busy he himself always seem to be. Although the two actors couldn’t make it work this time, The Rock is hopeful in his Instagram post that for the next Hobbs movie, they can make this team-up happen.

While we won’t see Jason Momoa as Luke Hobbs’ brother in Hobbs & Shaw, we will see the character’s family. The Rock’s initial comments about Momoa came after a fan asked about the Aquaman actor in a post  showing the Hobbs family from the upcoming film. We had heard that this spinoff would feature members of both Hobbs and Shaw’s families, and that image featured Luke Hobbs and his four brothers.

The four brothers, played by Cliff Curtis, Josh Mauga, John Tui and Dwayne Johnson’s real-life cousin and WWE wrestler Roman Reigns (née Joseph Anoa’i) run a custom car shop in Western Samoa and are a very tight knit family.

We don’t yet know how exactly the Hobbs family fits into the plot of this film, but it’ll be interesting to see if there are any hints dropped in the film or at least some wiggle room to allow for a sixth Hobbs brother played by Jason Momoa to appear in a future film. Although maybe, if it comes to fruition, Jason Momoa would play a different role other than Hobbs’ brother.

As far as future films go, The Rock sounds confident already that Hobbs & Shaw will be successful enough to spawn a sequel. The actor is very high on Hobbs & Shaw, and the way the film is allowing him to embrace and showcase his Samoan heritage. He’s even gone so far as to call it the movie he’s been waiting for his entire career.

Jason Momoa is coming off of a massive win with Aquaman and there’s little doubt that he’ll be working on the sequel before too long. But hopefully he and The Rock can find someway to make it work for him to appear in the next Hobbs & Shaw film, because it would be awesome to see these two action stars onscreen together.

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw races into theaters on August 2. For all of the huge movies headed to theaters this year, check out our premiere guide.

Matt Reeves Updates Fans On Status Of The Batman

DC’s live-action universe has had a fascinating tenure in theaters, full of both peaks and valleys. But things appear to be on the upswing for Warner Bros.’ shared universe, as it’s currently surfing on the massive box office and critical success of James Wan’s Aquaman. Fans are eager to see what’s coming next, with a handful of movies being actively worked on by the studio, including Matt Reeves’ Batman solo flick.

Matt Reeves’ Batman movie, which is working under the title The Batman, has been long gestating over at Warner Bros. With Ben Affleck’s character helping to kickstart the shared universe with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League, the Dark Knight’s fans are eager for the character to finally get his own solo flick. The director recently updated the public on the status of the movie, saying:

It’s very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale. It’s told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it’s going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional. It’s more Batman in his detective mode than we’ve seen in the films. The comics have a history of that. He’s supposed to be the world’s greatest detective, and that’s not necessarily been a part of what the movies have been. I’d love this to be one where when we go on that journey of tracking down the criminals and trying to solve a crime, it’s going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation.

Does anyone else have chills? It looks like Matt Reeves is breaking new ground with The Batman, bringing a more detective-heavy project to theaters. While Batman is known as the world’s greatest detective, his movie appearances have usually been more action and adventure heavy.

Matt Reeves’ new comments to will no doubt elicit a mix of emotions from movie fans. Perhaps the most obvious choice is relief, as Matt Reeves seems committed to making his Batman movie a reality. Tons of DC projects have been announced over the years, with many of them never coming to fruition. Considering how long The Batman was been in the writing stages, fans were nervous the project wouldn’t happen. Add in Ben Affleck’s unknown status as Batman in the shared universe, and things were looking very precarious for the developing blockbuster.

But it looks like The Batman is still happening, with Matt Reeves working hard at crafting the story and tone of the upcoming movie. What’s more, he’s hoping to bring something wholly unique to theaters, with a laser focus on Batman’s psyche and the detective skills that are at the hear of his work as a vigilante. Sure, fighting and action will inevitably happen, but the solo flick will also break new ground for the Dark Knight.

In his same conversation with THR, Matt Reeves spoke to the upcoming casting process for The Batman. Furthermore, he’s still hoping to bring a variety of Batman’s villains into the narrative, as well. He elaborated, saying:

There will be a Rogues Gallery. The casting process will begin shortly. We’re starting to put together our battle plan. I’m doing another pass on the script and we’ll begin some long-lead stuff to start developing conceptual things.

There you have it. Batman will be battling a variety of baddies throughout the course of his solo movie, although Matt Reeves didn’t tease exactly who those characters might be. Some of DC’s biggest villains come from Batman’s rogue gallery, so there’s plenty of iconic characters to choose from– many of which will delight the fandom ahead of the film’s release.

With superhero movies being the most popular genre in filmmaking, tons of talented filmmakers and actors want to get in on the fun. Certain actors have already campaigned to play Batman villains for the DC Universe, so they’re no doubt hoping to get a call from Matt Reeves during his upcoming casting process.

The most guilty offender of this type of campaigning is Beauty and the Beast actor Josh Gad. Gad has made his interest in playing Batman villain The Penguin abundantly clear over the past few years, and he’s shown no signs of slowing down. Every few months, Gad will post a mysterious image of Penguin on his social media, sending the internet into a frenzy. While Penguin was originally rumored to appear in Birds of Prey, perhaps The Batman is the opportunity to bring Cobblepot to the silver screen.

It should be fascinating to see how Matt Reeves ultimately decides on his Batman villain. With The Batman reportedly much more noir-focused, he may want to choose the more dark and broody characters for Gotham’s Protector to track down and bring to Arkham Asylum. That being said, Suicide Squad already introduced Killer Croc and Harley Quinn, while Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) will bring Black Mask and Victor Zsasz into live-action for the first time.

Aside from an official title or release date, the biggest mystery surrounding Matt Reeves’ Batman movie is whether or not Ben Affleck will be playing the Caped Crusader. Matt Reeves didn’t comment either way during his recent interview, Warner Bros. might not have settled on an official plan of action yet. Affleck has been heavily rumored to be approaching the door with his DC character, after his first three movies were critical failures. And with the actor focused on his substance abuse and mental health issues at the moment, his role as Batman feels all the more precarious.

Still, the newly clarified tone for Matt Reeves’ movie is going to make generations of Batman fans very happy. With DC seemingly back on track with its shared universe, comic book fans are eager to see Batman finally get the spotlight. While Ben Affleck’s characterization was arguably the best part of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, it wasn’t technically a Batman movie. Luckily things seem to be moving forward, and Matt Reeves appears to be committed to the developing blockbuster.

There is currently no release date for Matt Reeves’ Batman movie. The next installment in the DCEU will be Shazam! on April 5th, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

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That Time David Alan Grier Turned Down Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

Can you imagine anyone besides Jim Carrey playing Ace Ventura? Certain roles are only associated with specific actors, and the over-the-top pet detective absolutely goes hand-in-hand with the rubber-faced comedian. But Hollywood loves a good casting-couch story, where roles are offered to actors who pass, and it allows us to imagine how different the world might have been if one other person said yes. For example, Carrey’s In Living Color co-star David Alan Grier says he was offered the role, explaining:

David Alan Grier was reliving his past successes – and career near-misses – during an interview on the Howard Stern show. And Grier talked about attending the world premiere of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, which opened in 1994. The way Grier tells it, he was going to show support for Jim Carrey, his friend. The two were active on In Living Color, and Grier made sure to laugh as hard as he possibly could, so that his friend would feel supportive.

But David Alan Grier was convinced that the movie would be a total flop. A disaster! As he recalled to Howard Stern:

And it was then that David Alan Grier admits that the project was put to him as a potential starring vehicle, and he passed on it. This was part of a much larger conversation where Grier was telling Stern that he also auditioned for the role of George Costanza on Seinfeld, but didn’t take it seriously because he didn’t understand it, and didn’t think it would be funny. He denies the rumor that he was offered the role of George, but he says he did audition. That, too, is a role that, in our minds, belongs to Jason Alexander.

Here’s David Alan Grier opening up about significant roles that he missed over the course of his career.

At the time, David Alan Grier had his own movie rolling into theaters. He co-starred with Damon Wayans in the superhero spoof comedy Blankman, so he, too, was helping to bring In Living Color talent to the screen. Now I’m imagining a world where Carrey co-starred in Blankman, and Grier was Ace Ventura. Strange times.