The Russo Brothers Had To Lie To Avengers: Endgame Actors For The Final Scenes

Spoilers ahead for Avengers: Endgame. If you haven’t seen it, look away.

Avengers: Endgame has been in theaters for nearly two weeks, and moviegoers haven’t stopped discussing and dissecting every frame of The Russo Brothers’ masterful blockbuster. The co-directors managed to do the impossible, crafting a complicated emotional story that had a a ton of connections to the greater MCU. And it’s a story that included the epic death and funeral of Tony Stark.

Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man has been the heart and soul of the MCU since its inception, and the character went out in a truly epic way. The final moments of Avengers: Endgame showed Tony Stark’s funeral, complete with some surprise cameos. But it turns out that The Russo Brothers had to lie to the talent in order to keep the secrets of Tony’s fate under wraps. As Joe Russo recently explained:

Marvel Studios is known for its secrecy, and stakes were especially high for Avengers: Endgame. The blockbuster was the cumulation of 22 movies, so The Russo Brothers went to great length to keep the film’s spoilers under wraps. Even from the cast.

Tony Stark’s death was an emotionally devastating aspect of Endgame, and the OG MCU hero was given the respect he deserved after wielding the new Infinity Gauntlet, and snapping past-Thanos and his forces out of existence. The Russo Brothers added the “I am Iron Man” line very late into the film’s process, while the funeral scene was exactly what moviegoers needed in the moment.

The funeral was a who’s who of MCU characters, but that also meant a ton of actors who had the potential to spoil Tony’s fate. In their same conversation with EW Radio, Anthony Russo spoke to the excitement of filming with such a great ensemble, while also be worried about Endgame‘s contents being kept under wraps. As he tell it,

Talk about a twist. It must have been quite the pivot in emotions going from a wedding to a funeral, but The Russo Brothers had to do everything they could to guard the secrets of their Avengers movies. And it’s an effort that has paid off, as both Infinity War and Endgame delivered countless plot twists, and made an insane amount of money at the box office.

It should be interesting to see how the MCU continues on without Tony Stark. Spider-Man: Far From Home looks it’ll address just that, and is set to arrive shortly.

Avengers: Endgame is out now, and Spider-Man: Far From Home will hit theaters on July 2nd. In the meantime, check out out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Ryan Reynolds Rick Rolls Pokemon Fans With ‘Leaked’ Version Of Detective Pikachu

Pokemon is a massive global franchise with a huge fan base. You can be sure that a lot of people are going to be quite excited to see the first live-action adaptation of the franchise Detective Pikachu, when it arrives in theaters on Friday.

People are so excited that they might be tempted to view a pirated version of the film that seemed to hit YouTube recently. Luckily, Ryan Reynolds himself tracked down the illegal file and made the powers that be aware of it. Of course, in doing so he also drew attention to it. I wonder if that was on purpose?

The file is titled Pokemon Detective Pikachu full picture and if you look at it, as I did only for research purposes, you see that it’s an hour and 42 minutes long, which makes it long enough to be a feature film.

As you begin to view it you get the opening logos of Warner Bros. and the other companies involved in producing the film as well as a scene that includes Justice Smith which certainly looks to be from the finished film. Everything looks legit, (well, not legit) and in remarkably good quality.

The most interesting thing might be the R. Reynolds watermark in the corner, which would seem to be indicating that this was the actor’s copy of the movie that somehow got out.

Of course, we know, there’s a punchline coming and if you watch past about the one minute and nine second mark, you see what it is. Pikachu jazzercising, for an hour and 40 minutes. Check it out.

For the record, as somebody who has already seen Detective Pikachu, legally, the brief bit of the actual movie you get isn’t even the actual opening scene, but it is from the movie.

My favorite bit has to be the distortion that’s been added to the video to make it look like Pikachu dancing is actually from an old VHS tape from the 1980s.

This is pretty much prime Ryan Reynolds. Whether he’s promoting a Deadpool movie or a Pikachu movie, he’s clearly having a lot of fun with it/ Of course, since Pikachu’s voice never appears, it doesn’t seem Reynolds had all that much to do with actually creating this video, so praise also goes to the digital artists who created it.

While the dance moves get repeated, there’s no obvious looping of the video, which just makes everything here that much more impressive. Some significant work went into a video of making Pikachu dance for over an hour and a half. I have no idea why this exists, but I sort of love that it does.

It’s more than a little mesmerizing and the digital music is also hypnotic. Is anybody else watching more of this video than is probably healthy?

While movie piracy is certainly an issue, and Detective Pikachu will probably be no different, most serious fans are probably going to want to check this one out on the big screen anyway.

Detective Pikachu hits theaters Friday.

Spider-Man: Far From Home May Be Hiding A Classic Villain In Plain Sight

Spider-Man has one of the deepest Rogues Galleries next to maybe only Batman on screen. There are so many different places that new Spider-Man movies can go with villains, that we can now see enemies like The Vulture (Michael Keaton) and Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) in the MCU for the first time because the previous Sony films already have exhausted classic comic characters like Green Goblin or Doctor Octopus.

But the Sony/Marvel Spider-Man movies also have the ability to seed the backgrounds with potential villain possibilities. Michael Mando played Mac Gargan, aka Scorpion, in Spider-Man: Homecoming. And there is a character named Dimitri in the upcoming Spider-Man: Far From Home who may or may not be set up to eventually become The Chameleon.

We asked Far From Home director Jon Watts specifically about the rumor that actor Numan Acar, who plays Dimitri, was being set up to be The Chameleon on screen, and the director revealed:

The character of Dimitri shows up in a blink-and-you-miss-it moment in the trailer. He works for Nick Fury, and he can be seen to the left of Peter in this shot:

But when CinemaBlend visited the set of Spider-Man: Far From Home last year, we learned even more about how Dimitri will be used in the story.

As it turns out, Nick Fury really will hijack Peter Parker’s European vacation. After Fury recruits Spidey in Venice, he plans to place Dimitri on the class bus, taking the place of the driver, so he can drive Peter to locations where the Elementals are showing up. Executive Producer Eric Carroll walked us through the bulk of the plot for Far From Home, and told us this about Dimitri:

It sounds almost like Jon Watts is asking Numan Acar to disguise himself as the school bus driver to stay near Peter Parker on this trip, and bring him to the places Nick Fury needs Spider-Man to be. Could he be… a chameleon, working for Fury?

For those who might not be aware, The Chameleon is Spider-Man’s earliest foe, appearing in issue No. 1 of The Amazing Spider-Man comics, dating back to 1963. He’s a master of disguise, a villain whose face is featureless and can basically pretend to be anyone. He’s also related to Kraven the Hunter, and damn if Numan Acar doesn’t look like he’d make an amazing Kraven, as well.

But we can’t get too far ahead of ourselves here. Spider-Man: Far From Home already has Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), and four Elemental creatures who are meant to represent MCU versions of Hydro-Man, Sandman, Molten Man and more.

Tom Holland Warns Of A Spider-Man: Far From Home Scene That Will Be An Emotional Punch In The Face

Jon Watts’ initial Spider-Man movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming, was more emotional than you might remember. Yes, it had its lighter moments, and inspirations from the high school classics delivered by John Hughes. But there were tough, emotional beats in that movie as well, which Watts and leading man Tom Holland weren’t afraid to embrace and wallow in. And it sounds like they are back at it in the upcoming Spider-Man: Far From Home.

CinemaBlend recently traveled to the London set of Spider-Man: Far From Home and watched the creative team work. During a sit-down conversation with Tom Holland, we brought up complicated scenes from Homecoming that really stuck with us, from the scene of Peter Parker pushing himself out of the rubble – a direct callback to The Amazing Spider-Man No. 33, “The Final Chapter” – to his verbal standoff with Michael Keaton in the car outside of Liz’s dance.

We asked if Spider-Man: Far From Home includes tense, emotional moments similar to these, and Holland immediately opened up, stating:

Now that is a tease. Tom Holland couldn’t come close to giving us any more context about the scene he is discussing. At the same time, Holland was pretty guarded during the whole visit, because when he sat down to discuss Spider-Man: Far From Home, none of us had yet to see Avengers: Endgame. That movie didn’t even have a title yet. And as far as we knew, Spider-Man was dust.

Naturally, now, we know that he’s back… and if you saw Avengers: Endgame, you know how he comes back! The latest trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home sort of shows how he is going to pick up the pieces following Endgame, so why don’t we let that teaser tell the story:

In Spider-Man: Far From Home, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) needs to take a break from that superhero lifestyle, so he agrees to accompany his classmates on a European jaunt. Only, once there, he gets caught up in a series of global attacks that are being investigated by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and a new ally, Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal).

As much as Spidey wants to sit this one out, Fury and Beck need his assistance to take down Elementals – creatures that are from another dimension, or multiverse, and could cause real problems for the world at large.

Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into theaters on July 2. Stay here on CinemaBlend for a lot more coverage from our visit to the movie’s set.

Spider-Man: Far From Home Hopes The Elementals Will Raise The Stakes

It’s no secret that the classic Spider-Man villain Mysterio will be turned on his head – er, fish bowl – when Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: Far From Home opens in theaters later this year. We have been told that Mysterio will be an ally to Spidey, hired by Nick Fury to respond to a new threat. And in the latest trailer for Far From Home, it was revealed that Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal) will hail from an alternate Earth, opening up the doors to a Multiverse in the MCU.

So if Mysterio isn’t this film’s major villain, than who is? Well, when CinemaBlend visited the London set of Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: Far From Home last year, we first learned about the switch Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios planned to introduce with Mysterio. And we started to hear more about The Elementals, creatures inspired by the natural elements that will spring up around the globe.

We have seen traces of these creatures in the early marketing for Spider-Man: Far From Home, and the creative team confirmed to us that these threats are based on villains Spidey has faced off in his comic books over the years. More on those in a moment. For starters, Jon Watts opened up to us about introducing the Elementals, explaining:

Spider-Man definitely does seem to be out of his element (sorry, I had to do that) in this story. First, he’s out of New York City, and needing to fight in European locations he’s never seen before. The sequel will stage battles in Venice, Prague and London, with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) encountering this universe’s version of Sandman in Mexico City.

Of course, there’s a theory running around, which we can not confirm, that these Elementals are illusions controlled by Mysterio. The character from the comics is supposed to be a master of illusions, and we could see Quentin Beck conjuring these beasts to fight so that he can win over the trust of people who have just lost some key Avengers. Is that really Mysterio’s dubious plan?

As for Spider-Man himself, Tom Holland tells us that he was just happy to have these antagonists in the sequel because he felt it gives him better opportunities to see Spidey in fight mode. The new trailers did show off Peter Parker taking down enemies in his Iron Spider suit, his Stealth Suit, and a new suit he appears to wear in London. On the action, Holland told CinemaBlend:

Will he be able to? It’s going to be difficult, but we have learned through the years never to bet against Spider-Man.

Sony’s Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into theaters on July 2. We have plenty more content from the set coming to CinemaBlend, so stay tuned.

How Does One Return The Soul Stone? We Asked The Avengers: Endgame Writers

SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Avengers: Endgame. If you have not yet seen the film, read on at your own risk!

While we don’t actually see it play out, Captain America takes on one hell of a mission at the end of Avengers: Endgame. Needing to shut down off-shoots in reality, he volunteers to travel in time and put the Infinity Stones back where they belong – ultimately also deciding to live out a normal life with Peggy Carter and fully experience the second half of the 20th century. Most of the trip is pretty straight forward, from bringing the Tesseract back to the secret S.H.I.E.L.D. facility in 1970, to bringing the Power Stone back to Morag in 2014, but of the individual six missions, the returning of the Soul Stone would seem to be a strange and unique challenge.

As audiences will remember, unlike most of the Infinity Stones (which could be taken by the Avengers provided they had proper containment), the Soul Stone was a bit trickier to acquire. Rather than simply being recovered from an amulet or extracted with a special device, obtaining the ingot not only required a trip to the mysterious planet Vormir, but also making an important sacrifice. Knowing this, an interesting question is raised about Captain America’s final mission: how does one go about returning the Soul Stone?

This is a matter that vigorously rolled around in my head following my first screening of Avengers: Endgame, and I was fortunate enough to recently have the opportunity to ask the perfect people about it. Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely for the latest episode of our HeroBlend podcast, and I made it a personal priority to ask them about the Soul Stone. It was a question that they not only appreciated, but also had an answer for, explaining,

There was some hope among fans that Captain America returning the Soul Stone to Vormir would potentially mean the resurrection of Black Widow, who died so that the Avengers could acquire the key treasure during their time heist, but that’s evidently not the case. While Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely’s answer was a tad jokey, it seems that once that particular trade is made, there are no takebacks – so despite Cap making the effort to fix the timeline, that particular death is permanent.

This information also seems to confirm that the upcoming Black Widow movie will definitely be a period piece that will be set prior to the events of Avengers: Endgame. This is something that has been rumored for a while now, but if the titular heroine is most definitely dead in the Marvel Cinematic Universe then there really aren’t any other story options available to the filmmakers.

Of course, there is also still another major component that needs to be discussed here, which is that Captain America returning the Soul Stone would presumably also result in a reunion with his World War II nemesis, Johann Schmidt a.k.a. the Red Skull. Because of the way things play out in Avengers: Endgame, it’s a situation that is simply left to our imaginations, but one has to figure that Steve Rogers would be pretty damn surprised to discover the fate of the former head of Hydra following his handling of the Tesseract in 1945.

That being said, the writers of the latest Marvel Studios blockbuster definitely wish it was a reunion that they could have somehow included in the movie. After all, in addition to writing both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, they also penned the scripts for the entire Captain America trilogy. I asked Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely if the 2019 film had ever included a scene where Cap and Red Skull were reunited, and they explained what happened thusly:

And while one could hope that perhaps someday we’ll get to see a movie that features Captain America’s version of Infinity Watch, it sadly sounds like that’s never going to happen. This is specifically because directors Joe and Anthony Russo have confirmed Chris Evans’ retirement playing the character, and that’s most definitely a film that you couldn’t make without him. Perhaps the actor will eventually change his mind and decided that he really misses the character, but for now audiences should really just feel satisfied with the perfect send-off that he gets in the new film.

This particular conversation is just a taste of the awesome, deep dive discussion I got to have with Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely about Avengers: Endgame, so do yourself a favor and listen to the HeroBlend interview in full by clicking play on the embed below!

Does this take on the Soul Stone jive with your own personal theories following Avengers: Endgame? Are you like Christopher Markus and truly wish that a Captain America-Red Skull reunion happened on the big screen? Let your voice be heard in the comments section below.

Avengers: Endgame is now playing in theaters all around the world, and we’re really only just getting started with our in-depth analysis and what the movie means for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We have many more features and articles coming your way in the next few weeks, so stay tuned here on CinemaBlend – and be sure to subscribe to our HeroBlend podcast so that you’ll get to listen to new episodes as they are released every Friday!

Lady In The Tramp’s Controversial Song Is Getting Changed For The Remake

Out of all the classic Disney songs still stuck in your head since childhood, there’s one we’re okay with forgetting: “The Siamese Cat Song.” It’s racist and it’s annoying! Thankfully, Disney’s upcoming Lady and the Tramp live-action remake will not be including the song in the soundtrack. Instead, pop sensation Janelle Monáe will be replacing it by penning an original new track.

The Grammy-nominated musician will be lending her talent to the Disney+ movie to refresh the problematic track with her artist collective Wondaland. She will also be adding her own take on “He’s a Tramp” from the original 1955 film and voice a Pekingese dog named Peg, per EW.

“The Siamese Cat Song” isn’t just being changed; there won’t be any trace of it, as the cat breed will not have a presence in the remake. It’s a crucial move for the studio to excise the Asian stereotypes portrayed in the original film that make the animated film dated, and Disney’s decision to enlist the woman behind 2018’s Grammy-nominated Album of the Year Dirty Computer is also a juicy meatball on top.

Among Disney’s many beloved animated films, Lady and the Tramp hasn’t remained as relevant, except for the signature “Bella Notte” scene. Perhaps the remake will breathe some new light into the tale. The movie stars Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok) and Justin Theroux (The Leftovers) as the titular star-crossed doggos. The film also features Sam Elliott as Trusty, Benedict Wong as Bull and Ashley Jensen as a female version of the Scotty dog named Jock.

Thomas Mann from Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and Kong: Skull Island will be Lady’s human owner Jim Dear. Kiersey Clemons, who previously starred in Flatliners and Hearts Beat Loud, will play his wife Darling. The movie is directed by Charlie Bean, who helmed The LEGO Ninjago Movie and Disney Channel’s Tron: Uprising series.

The Lady and the Tramp remake will be the first Disney film to be released exclusively for its new streaming platform launching in November. It was recently announced the movie will be available to stream on the first day Disney+ comes out. Among the other new content on Disney+ to look forward to at launch is Jon Favreau’s Mandalorian television series and a show called The World According to Jeff Goldblum.

Disney+ will launch on November 12 at the impressive price of $6.99, making the price of Lady and the Tramp alone half the price of a movie ticket if you forget all the other options to be found on the streaming service. The addition of Janelle Monáe and Wondaland’s musical tastes to the film certainly looks to bring something new to the movie and reimagining some dated memorable moments from the classic film.

Aquaman 2: What We Know So Far

Aquaman in his costume in Aquaman 2018 Jason Momoa

In 2018, James Wan’s Aquaman became a remarkably surprising smash hit. Nobody really knew what to expect from it for multiple reasons, given that it was following the disappointing release of Justice League; centered on a character who had never had his own live-action solo movie; and was facing stiff competition at the box office in the form of Mary Poppins Returns, Bumblebee, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. To everyone’s shock, however, the film not only became a billion dollar hit, but now stands as the biggest worldwide earner in the history of DC Comics adaptations.

Naturally, the excitement that the project generated immediately led Warner Bros. to solidify a future for the franchise, and within a few weeks of Aquaman’s release we learned about their plans to develop an Aquaman 2. But what will the project be about? Who will be making it? When will we actually get to see it? These are all major questions that we’re here to discuss.

In this latest edition of our What We Know So Far guides, we’re going to break down all of the information that’s currently available about Aquaman 2, and provide you with all of the most recent news that we’ve heard about the project. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

Sharks in Aquaman

What Is The Aquaman 2 Release Date?

It’s typical for Hollywood studios to try and produce sequels as quickly as they possibly can. After all, they don’t want to let the heat of a burgeoning franchise die down, and the more time that passes means there’s more opportunities for audiences to be distracted by other big properties. That being said, Aquaman 2 is taking an extra minute to find its way to theaters, as Warner Bros. has announced that the blockbuster follow-up is currently scheduled to be released on December 22, 2022.

So, why is Aquaman 2 coming out about four years after its predecessor? For starters, producer Peter Safran has noted that the filmmakers behind the movie don’t feel the need to rush the project, believing that giving the sequel the most development time possible will ultimately be beneficial for the final product. But that’s not the only reason. Not only is the film going to need some legitimate time to actually get made from a logistics standpoint (it’s not super easy creating those underwater environments), but there are also many other DC Extended Universe titles in the works that the studio is developing between now and December 2022.

Arguably, the biggest of these is Wonder Woman 1984, which will be coming out in summer 2020, but they are also in the midst of making Cathy Yan’s Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), Matt Reeves’ The Batman, and James Gunn’s Suicide Squad 2. All of those blockbusters are set to come out between now and December 2022, and will deserve their own special attention from WB.

Jason Momoa as Aquaman in Aquaman

What Is The Aquaman 2 Rating?

The world of comic book movies has changed a great deal over the years. For the longest time, the concept of an R-rated superhero blockbuster seemed absolutely insane, as just by the nature of the rating a project would presumably be dismissing what was seen as a massively important demographic: teenagers. Then Tim Miller’s Deadpool came along and completely shattered that notion forever by making nearly $800 million worldwide. After that, the entire concept became much more acceptable, and we have seen multiple examples since.

That being said, audiences shouldn’t expect Aquaman 2 to receive any rating other than a PG-13 when it finally hits theaters.

Admittedly, final decisions in this arena aren’t typically made until the film is near completion and the MPAA gets a look at the product that’s heading to theaters, but it’s basically impossible to believe at this point that Aquaman 2 will be made with anything other than a PG-13 rating in mind. After all, it’s not really a character who is known for R-rated behavior in the comics, and the first movie functioned perfectly fine without any kind of extreme violence, overt sexuality, or adult language. So while there isn’t really any kind of official word available in this arena, it’s still pretty obvious what direction the project will go in.

James Wan with Amber Heard Jason Momoa and Willem Dafoe making Aquaman

Who Is Writing And Directing Aquaman 2?

Since breaking out in 2004, director James Wan has become one of the industry’s most significant franchise masterminds. After all, his career not only started with the launching of the Saw movies, but since then he has also brought to life the terror featured in the worlds of Insidious and The Conjuring (not to mention the fact that he also directed Furious 7). The filmmaker is no stranger to sequels at this point, and is definitely going to be involved with Aquaman 2 as a producer at the very least, but what’s not 100% clear yet is if he’s also going to be working on the film as a director.

While James Wan may be great at starting new series, he typically doesn’t stick around for too long in the director’s chair, as he’s only actually helmed two direct sequels to his movies: Insidious: Chapter 2 and The Conjuring 2. To his credit, he seems to prefer creating new worlds over repeatedly revisiting them. That being said, the idea of him directing Aquaman 2 isn’t off the table yet, and one can imagine that Warner Bros. is doing everything in their power to bring him back.

We’re still waiting for final decisions on the director front, but at the very least Aquaman 2 does have a writer set who’s working on the script. David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, who was a co-writer on the first Aquaman, has been hired to pen the script for the sequel. The filmmaker has a bit of sequel experience on his resume already, having written Wrath Of The Titans, The Conjuring 2, and the upcoming The Conjuring 3, and it seems that Warner Bros. trusts him with the responsibility of structuring a proper follow-up to the biggest DC Comics adaptation ever.

Arthur Curry a.k.a. Aquaman Jason Momoa

Arthur Curry a.k.a. Aquaman

Jason Momoa has had many ups and downs over the course of his career – from playing Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones to his disastrous Conan The Barbarian remake – but now he’s found some real stability courtesy of the DC Extended Universe. He first won a lot of people over with his charismatic turn as Arthur Curry a.k.a. Aquaman in Justice League, but the solo movie was really his show, and now the actor is a bona fide blockbuster star.

Aquaman, of course, went through some major changes in the 2018 movie, and it will be fascinating to see how he develops as a character through the events that play out in Aquaman 2. Initially the guy was seriously rough around the edges, being a part of two very different worlds, but belonging to neither of them, but he became a very different hero by the end of the debut solo movie.

Not only did he finally begin understanding his place in the world, but he also found himself declared as the king of the seven underwater kingdoms – including Atlantis. But what kind of ruler will he actually be? Will he have what it takes to make the hard decisions that are required in the job? Will he be able to forge peace during threats of war? These are all big, lingering questions that will surely be addressed in the upcoming follow-up.

Mera Amber Heard in Aquaman

Mera

One could make a very strong argument that Arthur Curry would never have been able to ascend to the throne of Atlantis without the assistance of Mera in Aquaman, as she was there to support him every step of the way. She was the one who first got him involved in the fight against Orm in order to save the world; she saved his life multiple times; and all throughout the story provided crucial information that allowed Arthur to find the Trident of Neptune and solidify his claim. She was absolutely vital to the events of the blockbuster, and one can imagine that won’t change in the slightest when it comes to the sequel.

While there hasn’t been official word just yet, Amber Heard is expected to reprise her role as Mera in Aquaman 2, presumably working closely with the new king of Atlantis and making sure that he makes not only the right calls, but operates as a just and righteous leader. Exactly what her story will entail beyond the relationship is currently a mystery, but, hopefully, we’ll get more information on that front as more details come out about the development of the project.

Yahya Abdull-Mateen II as Black Manta in Aquaman

Black Manta

One of the biggest question marks going into the making of the first Aquaman was in regard to how the film would treat one of the heroes’ most iconic villains: Black Manta. After all, while comic book fans have loved the look of the undersea antagonist for decades, it was unknown if the character would actually properly translate to the big screen (particularly his large, wide helmet). As it turned out, however, Black Manta, as played by the awesome Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, was one of the best parts of James Wan’s 2018 blockbuster. And, while his role was ultimately fairly limited in terms of screen time, that should change a lot in the upcoming Aquaman 2.

Obviously the first movie was primarily dedicated to establishing the “origin story” of its titular superhero, but fans also got to see how Black Manta became Black Manta in the DC Extended Universe. Initially we meet him as a mercenary pirate pulling jobs with his father (Michael Beach), but he sees his life get turned upside down during a job gone wrong. Aquaman not only manages to stop a hijacking mission that he’s on, but also watches his dad die as the Atlantian refuses to help him. He swears vengeance against Arthur Curry, and we expect to see a lot more of that vendetta in Aquaman 2, especially because he’s getting help from a key ally…

Dr Stephen Shin Randall Park in Aquaman

Dr. Stephen Shin

Only being added to the film during reshoots, Randall Park’s Dr. Stephen Shin didn’t exactly have an extensive role in the first Aquaman, but he definitely made an impression – living up to the expectations of his comic book counterpart. Dr. Shin is a scientist who is obsessed with the existence of Atlantis, and while he has a tremendously hard time convincing anybody that he is right, he also never wavers in his commitment to his theory. Unfortunately, his passion may take him to some pretty dark places in Aquaman 2, as he will, apparently, be teaming up with Black Manta as part of the movie’s plot.

We know about this team-up courtesy of the end credits scene in Aquaman, which primarily centered on Dr. Shin and Black Manta. Beginning in the follow-up to the battle in Sicily, Italy, Shin rescues the laser-shooting antagonist as he is injured and floating in the ocean, and brings him back to his private lab. After healing Manta, Shin proffers a deal: if the former promises to help prove the existence of Atlantis, the latter will do what he can to support the mission of vengeance against Aquaman.

Vulko Willem Dafoe in Aquaman

Vulko

Played by Willem Dafoe, Vulko was introduced to audiences as one of the most influential people in the life of Arthur Curry, as he was the one who taught the future Aquaman about Atlantis when he was a kid, and even went as far as to actually train him to use his abilities. They were estranged for many years afterward, but through all that time Vulko remained loyal to the heir to the throne, and even when it potentially would cost him everything, he did what he could to support Arthur through the events of Aquaman.

It’s not currently known if Willem Dafoe will return to reprise his role as Vulko in Aquaman 2, but it’s probably a safe bet. After all, he not only survived the events of the 2018 blockbuster, but he will also likely be a key advisor to Arthur as he tries to figure out what kind of king he is going to be. Hopefully we’ll get more specifics as we get closer to the film getting made.

patrick wilson orm aquaman

Orm

James Wan and Patrick Wilson clearly enjoy working together, as Aquaman was actually their fifth collaboration as director and actor – with the star playing the movie’s principal antagonist, Orm. It was perhaps because of this relationship that the blockbuster made the decision to not kill off the former king of Atlantis, also known as Ocean Master, and instead have him imprisoned for his actions. Obviously this means that he’s still alive in the DC Extended Universe, and could potentially be back for Aquaman 2, but exactly what his role would be is unclear at this point.

Based on the information mentioned above, it definitely seems like Black Manta and Dr. Stephen Shin are being set up as the primary villains in the sequel, but that doesn’t mean that Orm won’t have some kind of role to play in the action. Patrick Wilson has gone on the record saying that he doesn’t expect that he will be the big bad of Aquaman 2, but also noted that he’d be happy to reprise the role should James Wan make the request. We’ll just have to wait and see as more information about the blockbuster comes to light.

We’ll keep updating this feature as we get closer and closer to Aquaman 2, so be sure to occasionally come back, and stay tuned for all of the latest updates about the production here on CinemaBlend!

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The Gambit Movie Has Been Shelved

Ever since Gambit was officially announced back in 2014, five years after Taylor Kitsch played the first live action incarnation of Remy LeBeau in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, it’s been repeatedly been delayed, and when last we heard, it was supposed to come out on March 13, 2020. However, now Disney has acquired 21st Century Fox, and rather than continue that studio’s pattern of pushing Gambit back, the Mouse House has opted to just take the movie off the board entirely.

Jared Leto Explains Why He’s So Excited To Play A Vampire In Morbius

Although Jared Leto’s return to the DCEU as The Joker may is looking slim these days, with Joaquin Phoenix soon taking on the role in a standalone movie, the actor will be playing a comic book villain on the Marvel side. Following the massive success of Sony’s first Spider-Verse installment, Venom, Leto will star as anti-hero Morbius the Living Vampire.

In the midst of filming Morbius in London ahead of the title’s summer 2020 release date, Jared Leto has shared why playing a vampire has always been an interest of his with these words:

During his childhood, Jared Leto loved watching classic vampire movies, perhaps including 1931’s Dracula starring Bela Lugosi. He was also an avid reader of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles novels, which were adapted to film in the form of 1994’s Interview with the Vampire and 2002’s Queen of the Damned.

The actor also cited Gary Oldman’s Dracula in Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stroker’s Dracula from 1992 as a favorite, along with fellow vampire films The Hunger and Thirst. In the Variety interview, he did admit to skipping over Hollywood’s last popular vampire franchise, the Twilight movies, because he was “just too damn old.”

Morbius is a villain who popped up in the Spider-Man comic books in the ‘70s. He was originally Dr. Michael Morbius, a biochemist who attempts to cure his rare blood condition by using a serum made of vampire bat DNA. The treatment results in Morbius taking on traits of a vampire such as having bloodthirst, an aversion to light, super strength, super speed and healing abilities.

The film will also star Adria Arjona from Triple Frontier as Martine Bancroft, who is his fiancée in the comics. Doctor Who’s Matt Smith as the film’s villain, Loxias Crown, who is Morbius’ best friend and also suffers from the same blood disease. Jared Harris will play a mentor to Morbius and Tyrese Gibson will play an FBI agent on the vampire’s blood red trail.

Morbius is the beginning of Sony’s big plans to create their own Marvel universe based on Spider-Man characters. Following the success of the MCU from Disney and Warner Bros’ DCEU, the rival studio wants to use its Marvel rights to their full potential and reportedly has the next eight years mapped out with Spider-Verse movies and television shows underway.

Jared Leto’s vampire character is set to hit theaters on July 31, 2020. Are you excited to see him take on his next villainous role this time from Marvel? Sound off in the comments below.