Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker Movie Has An Official Plot Synopsis Now

It’s no secret that superhero movies are everywhere. With three shared universes battling it out for box office supremacy, there’s no shortage of projects ripped from comic books. But there are a few movies attempting to avoid superhero fatigue, and craft something new within the genre. Todd Phillips’ Joker sounds like one of those type of movies.

In stark juxtaposition to the character’s typical handling, Joker will give the Clown Prince of Crime an origin story– told through the eyes of Joaquin Phoenix’s character Arthur Fleck. Filming has been underway for the upcoming superhero flick, and now an official synopsis has been released to the public. Check it out.

Well, this should be interesting. While moviegoers are excited to see yet another take on The Joker, it appear that Todd Phillips’ upcoming project will also be somewhat allegorical. So the question remains: what the heck is this movie going to entail?

Joker‘s synopsis comes to CinemaBlend from the official Warner Bros. 2019 editorial guide, and is sure to start countless fan theories. The movie’s contents are being mostly kept under wraps, despite filming openly in New York. Joker will function outside of the DC live-action shared universe, and is a story separate from Jared Leto’s version of the character from Suicide Squad.

The Joker usually doesn’t have an origin story, at least in the most beloved forms of the character. What made Heath Ledger’s role in The Dark Knight Rises such an iconic and Oscar winning performance is because Joker is an agent of chaos. His backstory changes every time he tells it, and it’s clear that there’s only one thing on Joker’s mind: destruction.

In some ways, giving Joker a fully fleshed out origin story can be seen as a disservice to the character. There was certainly a mixed reaction when Joker was first announced by Warner Bros. But when Todd Phillips assembled an impressive cast and began sharing glimpses of the set, things quickly changed. Joining Joaquin Phoenix in the upcoming DC movie are Robert De Niro, Frances Conroy (American Horror Story), Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2), and Marc Maron.

Joker has a lot of things going for it, with its cast and director putting work to get the project out in a relatively small budget, and likely rated R. The title character is arguably the most popular comic book villain ever, so people are going to shell out. And with a release date close to Halloween, it’s also a project that casual movie fans will show up for.

Joker will arrive in theaters on October 4th, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Dancing With The Stars May Be Taking A Long Hiatus Before Next Season

After a controversial season finale, ABC’s reality competition Dancing with the Stars may be dancing away from the spotlight for a while. News of a potential hiatus came by way of one of the show’s hosts, Tom Bergeron. When a fan expressed hopes for Dancing with the Stars to return in the spring, Bergeron responded, saying:

The possibility of Dancing with the Stars not returning for a spring season is a huge deal. The reality competition has had a consistent presence on both ABC’s fall and midseason schedules for well over a decade. It may not have been the first unscripted series to pull that off, but it certainly helped to popularize it, with NBC’s The Voice and others also utilizing the twice-a-year strategy.

Dancing with the Stars premiered in the summer of 2005 and returned the following January. Following its second season in 2006, the show has consecutively aired both spring and fall seasons. Hence, its number of cycles comes out to a little more than twice the number of years it has actually been on the air.

Beyond the spring delay noted in Tom Bergeron‘s Instagram response, things possibly get even more troubling for Dancing with the Stars‘ future. Not to borrow trouble, but he says, “hopefully in the fall.” That wording could be a sign that even a Fall 2019 season may not be a done deal. All of this inspires the question: Why would ABC be wavering on the series’ return?

Maybe the network is not eyeing a spring or even fall return for the popular dance fest for a reason. ABC and show producers could potentially choose to rework the series as a summer event. That would see the popular series going back to what initially worked for it at the beginning of its run.

Dancing with the Stars broke out as a summer event series in those early days. After only finding so much success, though, the move was made to make it a bi-annual primetime entry, ultimately welcoming numerous stars from all walks of life to compete on the series.

There is another possibility for the potential scheduling shake-up as well. Perhaps, ABC is taking a step back to reassess things following negative fan reactions to Season 27’s controversial finale, as well as the voting process in general. The highly criticized season-ender saw the mirror ball trophy given to a shocking winner.

Even before the finale, Dancing with the Stars had already shocked viewers with a jaw-dropping elimination. The penultimate episode saw seeming front-runner Juan Pablo Di Pace eliminated before the finale. Di Pace ended the competition just shy of the final four. Throughout it all, viewer outcry has been swift and relentless.

Tom Bergeron doesn’t look too worried in his post, though.

Looking far ahead, Dancing with the Stars may not even have a spot set for itself in the spring. ABC has that another reality competition theoretically ready to roll in American Idol. The former Fox series was revived by ABC this past spring and has been renewed for a seventeenth season, which is expected to debut in early 2019, so Dancing with the Stars‘ spring spot could be its premiere slot.

There is a Dancing with the Stars connection to American Idol. Season 27’s winner, Bobby Bones, announced earlier in the season that he would be a full-time in-house mentor on American Idol‘s second ABC season. So, while you may not be seeing Dancing with the Stars in the spring, you may be seeing its latest winner.

Whenever Dancing with the Stars returns, it will be on ABC, so stay tuned for more updates. While that show’s fall run is over, new content is still arriving throughout this fall and the upcoming midseason.

See Milla Jovovich And A Giant Sword In First Monster Hunter Image

Monster Hunter isn’t a video game series that’s well known to the general public around here, but the first image makes the film adaptations influences quite clear. The first official look at the Monster Hunter movie is here and it includes two things you’d expect to see in any movie based on a video game, Milla Jovovich, and a big ass sword. Check it out.

The image is a pretty simple one in the grand scheme of things. It’s Milla Jovovich, a veteran of the Resident Evil film franchise, and martial arts expert Tony Jaa running across the desert, or possibly a beach. The image wouldn’t even be all that noteworthy except for the fact that Tony Jaa is carrying a sword as big as his head. If you had never heard of Monster Hunter before, you’d likely be able to tell that the new movie was based on a video game based on that alone.

While the Monster Hunter video game series is fairly popular in its native Japan and has no shortage of fans in the west, it’s not exactly a mainstream game title. While your average filmgoer has likely heard of names like Mario, Zelda, or even the previous Milla Jovovich-led Resident Evil series, unless you play games, you may not know Monster Hunter at all.

At its core, the Monster Hunter game series is exactly what it says on the tin. A game in which players take the role of a character who is a professional hunter of monsters. These monsters can be killed or trapped. The games take place in a fantasy world where humans are regularly threatened by various creatures, and the player’s job is to stop the monsters from doing damage.

Most of the games in the series have little more plot than that, though the most recent game in the franchise Monster Hunter: World has a bit more going on in the story department.

The movie will reportedly take a slightly different approach the basic material, as it will see characters from our modern world fall through a portal to an alternate dimension which appears to resemble the Monster Hunter world I just described. The modern humans will then have to become monster hunters in order to prevent the creatures from traveling back through the portal and attacking Earth.

Monster Hunter is being directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, who spent the last several years bringing us the aforementioned Resident Evil movies alongside his wife Milla Jovovich. Those movies also took some significant liberties with the source material but frequently brought us some entertaining action movies if nothing else.

The Monster Hunter movie is currently without a release date but as one expects the film will require some significant post-production time in order to create all the various monsters that need to be hunted, don’t expect to see this one before early 2020.

Benicio Del Toro Is Getting NSFW Comments About His Guardians Of The Galaxy Ride Appearance

Despite being released back in April, the events of Avengers: Infinity War are still being felt. The Russo Brothers crafted an emotionally driven blockbuster that somehow utilized almost every major character in the MCU. This even includes Benicio del Toro’s Collector from James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, who briefly appeared in the film’s second act.

In addition to The Collector’s quick appearance in Infinity War, Benicio del Toro also has a role in the ride Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT! And it’s an appearance that’s been garnering all sorts of NSFW comments from park patrons. Some choices include (in del Toro’s own words),

Such crass language for the happiest place on Earth! Still, part of me thinks the Guardians of the Galaxy like Star-Lord and Rocket wouldn’t want it any other way.

The Collector was a supporting role in Guardians 1, but still made his way to theme parks, as Disneyland’s Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT! ride is actually set within The Collector’s lair. As such, Benicio del Toro is part of the ride– further cementing his role in the MCU. And after briefly appearing in Infinity War, comic book fans are eager to see if/when the eccentric cosmic character pops back up.

As a smaller role in Guardians of the Galaxy, del Toro’s Marvel involvement isn’t quite as intense as his co-stars like Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, and Zoe Saldana. But as a protector of one of the Infinity Stones, The Collector has become an important part of the overall lore.

Of course, The Collector’s short scene in Infinity War wasn’t actually the character, but an illusion created by Thanos and the power of the Reality Stone. It turns out that his lair was all but destroyed, with fans wondering if Thanos and his followers might have killed The Collector when accruing the stone. Or, if he died in the finger snap of death.

The Collector’s future in the MCU is still a complete mystery, as the studio is keeping the contents of Avengers 4 under wraps. Furthermore, it’s unclear how/if the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise will continue. The threequel is on indefinite hold, as James Gunn was fired by Disney after controversial comments from a decade go resurfaced on Twitter.

More answers should come when Avengers 4 arrives in theaters on May 3rd, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

John C. Reilly Had An Extra Role In The Development Of Ralph Breaks The Internet

John C. Reilly is best known as an Academy Award-nominated actor, but he has proven that he can do a lot more than that. In recent years he has been additionally active as both a writer and a producer, taking a stronger creative role in the projects of which he is a part. As it turns out, this extends to Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Ralph Breaks The Internet as well, as while he’s not specifically credited in the movie, he was a presence during film’s story development, primarily providing basically a first-hand perspective for the titular character. He recently told me,

As noted, John C. Reilly had an “additional story material by” credit on the first Wreck-It Ralph, and evidently it was a positive enough experience that he was brought in to do similar work for Ralph Breaks The Internet. The subject came up earlier this month when I sat down with the actor/writer during the new movie’s Los Angeles press junket, when I asked if he felt he had a stronger creative hand in the development of the sequel. He explained that the experience wasn’t largely different from the making of the first film, but added that it was ultimately important in terms of his personal investment into the project.

Reilly, of course, voices the titular Wreck-It Ralph in the new movie, and the majority of the narrative is dedicated to his personal growth as a character (along with Sarah Silverman’s Vanellope von Schweetz). Rather than just standing on the sidelines and reading lines presented to him in a recording booth, the actor instead opted to get heavily involved with the process and ensure that Ralph’s evolution was natural and made sense. Said Reilly,

And it’s worth noting that this behind-the-scenes presence isn’t just a one-off thing for John C. Reilly. Not many films are developed like the projects at Walt Disney Animation Studios, written by teams and constantly being constructed and deconstructed, but the actor/writer/producer is still finding ways to be more involved with the movies and shows of which he chooses to be a part. That’s essentially where his head is at this point is in his career, as he explained,

You can watch John C. Reilly discuss his behind-the-scenes contributions on Ralph Breaks The Internet and more by clicking play on the video below!

Just a few months ago John C. Reilly was credited as both an actor and producer for Jacques Audiard’s The Sisters Brothers, and he’s currently developing a new series called Moonbase 8 (which is an original creation). Right now, though, you can Ralph Breaks The Internet on big screens everywhere, as the movie is now out in wide release.

Dick Van Dyke Had The Perfect Reaction To Mary Poppins Returns Being Announced

We were all probably a little surprised when we learned Mary Poppins was getting a sequel, but nobody had a better reaction than Dick Van Dyke. One of the stars of the original film says he was thrilled to learn that Mary Poppins Returns was being produced, but, ultimately, there was one important question that he needed to ask. Was there a part for him? Recently, Mary Poppins Returns co-star Lin-Manuel Miranda asked Van Dyke what he thought when he heard about the film, and the response was classic…

The answer was probably something along the lines of “we thought you’d never ask.” When Dick Van Dyke asks if he can be in Mary Poppins Returns, the correct response is to just say yes and figure the rest out later.

Luckily, the new movie has the perfect role for Dick Van Dyke. So much so that it was quite likely that if he hadn’t asked to be in the movie first, he was eventually going to be asked to return anyway. The actor had two roles in the original Mary Poppins as he played bank chairman Mr. Dawes Sr. beneath makeup and a fake beard in addition to the more famous role of Burt the chimneysweep. In the sequel, he’ll play Mr. Dawes Jr., the son of the bank chairman, who has not gotten on in years himself.

The role that’s the equivalent to Burt will be handled by a new character played by Lin-Manuel Miranda. With an only slightly less over the top accent.

There’s a clear family resemblance between the Dawes father and son, which makes sense, though the make-up work that was necessary to make Dick Van Dyke look like his previous character had a certain irony to it, considering the number of years that have passed since the first film. As Dick Van Dyke explained on ABC News.

Dick Van Dyke was 91 when production on Mary Poppins Returns was underway but he’ll be 93 by the time it comes out, with his birthday in mid-December. As hilarious as it may have been to have to put Van Dyke in makeup to play his role, the moment is sure to be one of the highlights of Mary Poppins Returns for all of the fans of the original. In that film, it was difficult to tell that Van Dyke was playing Mr. Dawes. It’s a bit more obvious now.

The other reason that Dick Van Dyke’s appearance will likely be memorable is that his scene is apparently quite emotional. People, including the director, were reportedly crying on the set following the performance of a speech that Van Dyke gives. Bring your tissues when you see Mary Poppins Returns this Christmas.

What Would It Take For Adonis To Get Back Into The Ring For Creed III?

Warning: spoilers for Creed II are in play. If you’re not caught up with the film, bookmark this page, and come back once you’re current.

By the end of Creed II, Adonis “Donnie” Creed defeats Viktor Drago in the film’s climactic fight in Russia, and the victory couldn’t be sweeter. After a first attempt left the newly crowned heavyweight champion severely beaten, and in need of recovery, the rousing final battle delivers the victory he’d been searching for earlier in the film.

But with this victory in the bag, partially thanks to his fiancee Bianca’s understanding that it was something he had to get out of his system, one has to wonder just what would bring Adonis back into the ring for a potential Creed III. CinemaBlend got to ask Michael B. Jordan himself where he felt the stakes would have to be set for the sequel, and he had this to say:

Not knowing where to go for a Creed III story may sound like a disappointment to some. However, considering the history of the Rocky franchise, it’s also a rather refreshing development. As much as this new film sets the table for some interesting pathways to a third film in the Creed series, it is realistically too soon to peg any sort of story out.

Creed II is poised to continue the good name of the franchise, and bring in a hell of a Thanksgiving result. So the conventional approach would be to, obviously, develop a sequel quickly and fast track it into production. But from the word go, the Creed series has been both eager and cautious to move forward in its storytelling.

After all, it took until 2017 to get any sort of indication that a sequel would be officially forming, and that’s two whole years after Creed brought the world of Rocky back to life. Ultimately, the challenge for Creed III would be the same as the one that everyone, especially Michael B. Jordan, faced when coming back for Creed II.

The next film has to serve a purpose that isn’t cheesy, maintains the freshness of the franchise, and above all else, keeps audience and film-maker alike interested with an organic premise. With Adonis getting pretty badly beaten in the first match with Viktor Drago, only to finally beat him in a similarly grueling rematch, it’d take a really good reason to bring this new father into the ring once again.

It’s something you can even see in watching footage of Jordan’s body language talking about a potential sequel, which you can see below:

Should Creed III happen in the near, or even not so near, future, it sounds like Michael B. Jordan won’t be signing on unless there’s a good reason to proceed. Finding that good reason is going to take some time, though there are certainly some threads left open for Creed III to potentially make that trilogy magic happen. For now though, you can enjoy Creed II, which is in theaters now, ready to pump you up for a champion’s Thanksgiving.

TV Land Just Cancelled Its Last Scripted Series

Technically, TV Land started producing its own original content back in 2004, with celeb-driven unscripted series like Chasing Farrah and I Pity the Fool. However, it was in 2010 that the network kicked off with the star-studded Hot in Cleveland, bringing Betty White back to pop culture’s forefront. That kicked off a boom of other sitcoms led by big TV stars from the past four decades, such as (George) Lopez, Kirstie (Alley) and Happily Divorced (with Fran Drescher).

Green Book Review

Think back to Natalie Portman in Black Swan, Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby, J.K. Simmons in Whiplash or, you know, Daniel Day Lewis in virtually every film he’s ever made. This occurs during Green Book, with both Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali disappearing so seamlessly into their roles that you feel like you are watching the actual men on which this story is based. So while the story may be predictable, the performances never are, and they in turn elevate the material.

It’s the 1960s in a racially divided United States of America. Frank “Tony Lip” Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen) earns paychecks bouncing rowdy patrons from Manhattan’s famed Copacabana nightclub. But the establishment is about to shut down for renovations, meaning “Lip” needs to find a new line of work to provide for his caring wife, Dolores (Linda Cardellini), and cute kids.

Opportunity presents itself in the form of Donald Shirley (Mahershala Ali), celebrated concert pianist and acclaimed composer whose about to embark on a tour of the Deep South. Remember, though, that this is the 1960s, and the Civil Rights movement hasn’t implemented much change in our society. Shirley needs a driver and a bodyguard, and he believes that Vallelonga is the right man for the job.

The Green Book of the title refers to an actual historical object, a guide that African Americans were asked to use when traveling to help them find establishments that allowed them to stay there. The South was still deeply segregated at the time of Don Shirley’s tour, so both men knew they were likely going to encounter resistance. How they handle it becomes the driving force behind Green Book, the movie.

These events actually happened. The Green Book screenplay is co-written by Nick Vallelonga, son of “Tony Lip,” and while it’s likely been Hollywoodized to work as an intended crowd pleaser, these men really did stare down systematic racism to make a point — that Donald Shirley deserved a place of honor in the very same establishments that he was being invited to play.

The lessons of Green Book are predictable, though that doesn’t make them less worthy of retelling. Using the time-tested odd-couple format, the refined and distinguished Shirley transfers culture and dignity to the slovenly Vallelonga, while the latter teaches the pianist to appreciate pop musicians like Little Richard. The duo might not change too many minds in the backwoods South, but they rub off on each other in sweet and sentimental ways.

Side note: Director Peter Farrelly — yes, one half of the comedy directors The Farrelly Brothers — balances drama and comedy here, but too often succumbs to the “Ignorant Southerners” cliché, when it wasn’t necessary. The portrayal of the South in segregated times is straight out of the Hollywood Playbook, making Green Book as subtle and nuanced as you might expect a movie by the director of Stuck on You and There’s Something About Mary can be. While I could imagine that Don Shirley and Frank Vallelonga encountered resistance from Southern restaurants and clothing establishments who weren’t ready to serve an African-American client, the fact that they meet stubborn bigots are every turn gets to be a little heavy-handed and on the nose in the otherwise dexterous Green Book.

That being said, the performances of the two men surpass any tonal missteps in Green Book, and are worthy of the price of admission to Peter Farrelly’s movie. It’s remarkable how good the actors are in their lead roles, considering they each nail polar-opposite portrayals. Mahershala Ali is quiet and calm in his space, calculating every movement and debating every turn of phrase so that Donald Shirley is a credible human character, not a stereotyped fussy snob. Ali also gets the film’s most beautiful moment, when Shirley stands on the side of the road and sees Southern workers tending to a field. In the moment, he sees how close he might be to being in their spot. But they also see the possibility they have of eventually being in his spot, and all of this is conveyed with no dialogue.

On the flip side, it’s nearly grotesque the length that Viggo Mortensen slips to physically play Frank “Tony Lip” Vallelonga. It’s not just the weight gain (though that’s significant). It’s the absence of couth that we’ve come to accept from Mortensen, a stylish performer who embraces the street in every scene of this movie. It’s a remarkable transformation, and one that will have him in a tuxedo on Oscar night, waiting to see if his name might be called as the winner of the Best Actor trophy.

It’s a pleasure watching both men work here. Green Book may be shooting fish in a barrel as it tries to reach obvious conclusions regarding race relations. But the “fish” are still important, and the “barrel” is still relevant, more than 50 years after this story actually took place. And that’s saying something.

Rating:
movie reviewed rating
3.5/5

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Sarah Michelle Gellar Apologizes After Controversial Thanksgiving Lingerie Post

Thanksgiving is all about sharing and caring. Sarah Michelle Gellar tried to honor that tradition by sharing a posting a humorous picture of herself in lingerie on Instagram, complete with a joke in the caption section. But it wasn’t well received. There were many people who were offended by the post, believing that the Buffy actress was fat shaming in her holiday-themed post. Taken aback by these claims, Sarah Michelle Gellar quickly apologized.

Suffice to say, Sarah Michelle Gellar’s lingerie post wasn’t particularly well-received by everyone visiting her Instagram page. Some people found the exposing picture to be in rather poor taste for the family-related November holiday. Plus, few followers felt she was fat-shaming as well.

The post was meant to be comical in nature, as the actress wrote in the caption section that she planned to post that picture of herself all around the house to assure herself that she won’t overeat on Thursday. But that wasn’t how it was read by some people in the comments, and Sarah Michelle Gellar felt the need to apologize.

Later, Sarah Michelle Gellar went back onto social media to issue an apology, claiming that fat-shaming “could not be further from my intentions.”

While the joke from Sarah Michelle Gellar was meant to be harmless, silly and self-deprecating in nature, that wasn’t how it was received by many people– and commenters weren’t afraid to voice their objections. The Scooby-Doo actress wanted to take the time to clarify what she meant by the ultimately-controversial post, and it should hopefully settle the unsettled waters that are currently found on her Instagram page.

Everyone slips up every once-in-awhile, and Sarah Michelle Gellar seemingly had one of those moments this week. She, therefore, took the time to try to clarify herself and apologize for any offense she may have caused.

Time will tell how Sarah Michelle Gellar’s apology will be received. While the Cruel Intentions actress didn’t mean ill-malice by the picture and what she said, it was taken the wrong way by many people and they were hurt and dismayed that the popular film and television actress would fat shame — if unintentionally. Lately, there have been more-than-a-few celebrities who’ve found themselves in hot water on social media, including Armie Hammer.

We’ll keep you posted on the newest updates and developments in this ongoing story with Sarah Michelle Gellar. Meanwhile, for the latest scoop in television, film, video games, pop culture, and a whole lot more, you can be sure to check back with CinemaBlend.