Sounds Like Venom 2’s Andy Serkis And Tom Hardy Have Serious Chemistry

Venom 2 is now filming and it sounds like director Andy Serkis and star Tom Hardy are a match made in Symbiote heaven. It was an exciting surprise to hear Serkis would be directing the sequel to Sony’s Marvel Universe hit. Serkis is famous for his performance capture roles, but he’s also a serious dramatic actor (please watch his episode of the British TV series Accused) and director of the films Breathe and Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle.

Now that Venom 2 is up-and-running, producer Matt Tolmach talked about director Andy Serkis’ dynamic with Eddie Brock/Venom star Tom Hardy:

I bet it’s a blast with them on set. Both Andy Serkis and Tom Hardy seem very passionate about their work and not at all afraid to jump in there and take big, bold risks. That’s part of why this collaboration feels exciting and — as Matt Tolmach told ComicBook — special.

Not that Venom 2 marks the first time Tom Hardy and Andy Serkis have worked together. They only just recently collaborated for A Christmas Carol, the fantasy series airing on the BBC and FX in December 2019. Hardy is one of the producers and he also has an acting role. Serkis plays the Ghost of Christmas Past, and while promoting that role, he also mentioned Hardy was very involved in shaping the script for Venom 2.

The first Venom film was directed by Ruben Fleischer and came out in October 2018. It got bad reviews, but fans seemed to love it, and it broke several October box office records (that were in turn broken this year by Joker). Venom managed to make $856,085,151 worldwide — with more than $642M of that from the international box office — so it marked a great start for Sony’s Marvel Universe. That universe is continuing with Jared Leto’s Morbius in July 2020 before Venom 2 arrives in October 2020.

Tom Hardy recently posted (then deleted) some photos from the set of Venom 2, and I for one am hoping his dog does have a role in the movie. In addition to Venom 2, Tom Hardy also has the Al Capone movie Fonzo coming out at some point, as written and directed by Josh Trank. And do you think we’ll ever see movement on the next Mad Max movies?

Meanwhile, Andy Serkis is also said to be playing Alfred Pennyworth in Matt Reeves’ The Batman. So he has a foot in the DC world, a foot in the MCU as Ulysses Klaue, and somehow still a third foot (!) helping Sony to branch out its own Marvel universe. That universe should include Tom Holland’s Spider-Man at some point, now that Marvel Studios and Sony have agreed on a new custody arrangement.

Venom 2 just started filming so it may be a minute before we see official photos, a trailer, or other information beyond what we know right now. It’s scheduled for release on October 2, 2020.

Jamie Lee Curtis Has Blunt Thoughts About Parents Showing Kids Halloween

Halloween is a classic horror property and also an R-rated horror franchise. With that in mind, you’d think most parents would keep their kids away from Michael Myers and co., but that’s not always so. Franchise lead and longtime scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis has some blunt thoughts about parents allowing kids to watch Halloween, however.

In fact, during a recent appearance on CinemaBlend’s ReelBlend podcast in support of Knives Out, Jamie Lee Curtis got into the nitty gritty or why it really rankles her when she finds out kids have been able to see any of the Halloween franchise movies before they are really the suitable age for it.

Well, no one will ever accuse Jamie Lee Curtis of not speaking her truth. When the topic of Halloween came up on ReelBlend, the actress spoke out about how “there are things that are too sophisticated for children,” bringing up times when she has been exposed to fans at book signing events and in other moments and how oftentimes parents of young children would reveal their young child’s fandom from a young age.

It’s almost as if the absolute disconnect between the parents’ understanding of how Jamie Lee Curtis might feel about kids watching Halloween and how she herself feels puts her in her own little personal hell in those moments. You can hear her full thoughts on parents letting young kids watch violent, R-rated films on ReelBlend:

She’s not the only one trying to keep little kids away from R-rated movies, as some theaters have even enacted policies on this very topic. She does explain that as a parent and someone who does feel strongly about these topics, she’s generally the first voice in the room paying attention to the marketing and the branding for the film. According to Jamie Lee Curtis, this also came up with Knives Out.

While Knives Out is PG-13, there is murder in it and it’s certainly not the same kind of movie as Frozen II, which is comfortable for most kids of most ages. Halloween as an R-rated property with numerous movies under its umbrella (and another, Halloween Kills, on the way), some of which are scarier or more violent than others, but none of which are really meant for young kids. I’m assuming if Jamie Lee Curtis thinks the double digits rule applies with this property as well she’s more in the “high double digits” camp. Luckily, your kids needn’t wait quite so long to age into seeing Knives Out.

Regardless, it’s clear that this is an issue that is near and dear to Jamie Lee Curtis’ heart, likely because she is a mother herself and she’s spent a long time in the the industry being confronted by fans that let their kids do things she would never dream of in a million years. Now’s probably not the best time for me to say Halloween was the very first R-rated horror movie I ever saw, but I guess given I was in late middle school, maybe my girl JLC will give my mom a pass.

How Much Driving Does Christian Bale Actually Do In Ford V Ferrari?

How much race car driving did Christian Bale actually get to do for Ford v Ferrari? Bale plays British World War II veteran/professional driver Ken Miles in the sports drama, which is based on a true story. Bale lost about 70 pounds for the role, but that doesn’t mean he went so Method he became a professional race car driver and was given the keys to the kingdom.

Ford v Ferrari producer Peter Chernin was asked how much driving Christian Bale is actually doing himself in this movie. Here’s Chernin’s response:

At least preserve the mystery, man! But, yeah, there are only so many stunts actors would be allowed to do, and I can imagine insurance issues, as well as just practical issues, would lead a movie like Ford v Ferrari to look to professionals for the major driving scenes. And are we sure Christian Bale even drove himself to work in the morning or was he picked up and brought to set?

You may or may not have read that both Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise were once attached to Ford v Ferrari. During THR’s Producer Roundtable discussion, Peter Chernin said the movie was in development about 15 years, so there were many changes. That came up when Once Upon a Time in Hollywood producer David Heyman jumped in to talk about Brad Pitt driving in Quentin Tarantino’s movie:

Sounds like that much driving is OK for an actor on set — and let’s be honest, if Tom Cruise were on set for Ford v Ferrari he’d insist on doing a lot of the driving himself, even if he ended up with injuries. But Ford v Ferrari had some tricky racing scenes, as Peter Chernin explained, and just choreographing them was the biggest challenge of the film:

Ford v Ferrari took pains to match history as much as possible, although certain things were changed from the real story. Fans have really taken to the movie, giving Christian Bale and Matt Damon rave reviews and launching the film to #1 at the box office in its opening last weekend. It’s going to have to pump the brakes this weekend, though, for Frozen II and company. But Ford v Ferrari will still be in theaters if you want to check it out.

To 3D Or Not To 3D: Buy The Right Frozen II Ticket

Frozen II Elsa feeds a woodland gecko with snowflakes

Six years have passed since Disney first brought the world of Arendelle to life, thanks to the studio’s hugely successful franchise starter Frozen. A couple of memorable songs, some animated shorts and some rivals to the throne later, we’ve got Frozen II breaking the ice and bringing audiences from a very familiar world into the unknown.

Of course, what we always knew was the moment this movie arrived, it’d have a 3D version for fans to feast there eyes upon, prompting us to ask the age old question: to 3D, or not to 3D? If you’re curious how we felt about Frozen II as a movie, head over to our official review for that rundown.  If you simply want to see if this long-awaited sequel is worth the extra 3D money, or if you’re better off buying a pair of royal gloves, then this is the place to be.

3D Fit Score

5/5

If a movie like Frozen II is ever a bad fit for a 3D conversion, then it’s probably the end of the medium as we know it. Between action sequences, musical numbers, and a good amount of new locales being explored throughout the film’s chain of events, there’s a lot of visual splendor to explore. Provided, of course, the actual conversion effort holds up.

Planning & Effort Score

3/5

The planning and effort behind Frozen II’s 3D version is a solid effort, which audiences can easily watch for the most part. With the exception of two key metrics, the rest of the film’s efforts hold up pretty well, giving the audience beautiful sights to behold. Though, unfortunately, the brightness in the screening observed for this evaluation was very murky, and in terms of “Before The Window” thrills, there’s not a consistent enough level to excite the eye.

Before the Window Score

3/5

When it comes to Frozen II, you’d expect quite a bit to be flying out at the audience. In a series that has environmental elements that sometimes fill the screen with objects like ice crystals and flying boulders, there’s a hope those assets will catch the eye by breaking the barrier between the audience and the film. There are limited films that do manage to deliver this effect, and even then it’s at an inconsistent enough clip that you have to wait for a big set-piece or song for it to really kick in. Though whenever Olaf is facing the audience, his carrot nose does provide a bit of 3D magic in this regard; still, you have to look really hard for that magic.

Beyond the Window Score

4/5

The depths drawn to Arendelle and the magical lands that Frozen II’s plot roams across are a prime example of what a solid understanding of spatial reasoning looks like in a 3D movie. Characters and their environments are clearly defined, making the action easy to follow. However, the most impressive showcases of depth have to be the new locales in the film, as everything from floating ice crystals to deep, dark caves have a good amount of detail to show off.

Brightness Score

3/5

Chances are, if you have a problem with a film’s levels of 3D brightness, it may not totally be the fault of the conversion effort. Rather, the theater you’re watching a film like Frozen II at may not have properly calibrated their projection rig before or between their 3D showings on schedule. While your mileage may vary in this respect, the showing of Frozen II observed for the purposes of this write-up was really washed out. For a film that’s supposed to be a colorful family-friendly affair, a good portion of this film takes place in dark or overcast scenarios, and the brightness of the projection does not make up for it at all.

Glasses Off Score

4/5

If your eyes start to feel a little strained in a 3D movie, you may be tempted to remove your glasses and stare at the blurry image that’s on the screen. At least, that image should be blurry, as the 3D effect is drawn by manipulating the image show on the screen into two plains of vision that unite once you put those tinted glasses on. In the case of Frozen II, there’s a healthy amount of blur on display, with the occasional 2D anchor to keep the picture grounded. A couple of sequences here and there may feel a bit subdued in this respect, but the majority of the film keeps a good blur on, especially in the background elements.

Audience Health Score

3/5

As far as the action of Frozen II is concerned, there’s no problem with how the audience is shown the events on screen. There’s no scenes that wonk out the eyes, and even the fast moving illusions of light that Elsa confronts during a key musical number manage to be fleet of foot, but still visible to the eye. Unfortunately, the greatest deduction when it comes to audience health in this film is, of course, the brightness factor, which did lead to parts of this movie being hard to watch.

3D Fit Score 5
Planning & Effort Score 3
Before the Window Score 3
Beyond the Window Score 4
Brightness Score 3
Glasses Off Score 4
Audience Health Score 3

Frozen II is OK in 3D. If your family really wants to see this one on the big screen in 3D, it’s not completely broken, but lacks some key components needed to be outstanding. Your best bet may be to check out another premium format experience, with better picture or sound quality. But if you’re going to see Frozen II with the 3D option invoked, you should go to a theater you trust to keep their equipment properly calibrated.

How Will You See Frozen II?

Be sure to visit our full To 3D Or Not To 3D Archive.

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What J.J. Abrams Really Thought Snoke’s Twist In Star Wars: The Last Jedi

It’s hard to believe it, but Star Wars‘ Skywalker Saga will come to an end in less than a month. J.J. Abrams’ The Rise of Skywalker will hit theaters come December, and will wrap up the nine-film narrative that began with A New Hope. Abrams is also wrapping up the sequel trilogy, which he personally kickstarted with The Force Awakens. The most recent installment in the main franchise is Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi, which subverted fan expectations. This includes killing off Andy Serkis’ mysterious Supreme Leader Snoke. And now Abrams has finally addressed that shocking plot twist.

Snoke had a very brief appearance in The Force Awakens, as a hologram giving orders to Kylo Ren and General Hux. Fans had endless theories about the villain’s backstory, so it was a big shock when he was unceremoniously killed in The Last Jedi‘s second act. J.J. Abrams recently addressed Rian Johnson’s handling of Snoke, saying:

Well, that’s a very mature perspective. While J.J. Abrams clearly didn’t plan to kill Snoke off so quickly, he respects Rian Johnson’s unique vision for The Last Jedi. But the question is: what did Abrams originally have in store for the Sith Master?

J.J. Abrams’ comments to Rolling Stone might help to quell the naysayers who are still sore about Rian Johnson’s bold narrative choices in The Last Jedi. Johnson purposefully subverted fan expectations in his first Star Wars flick, cutting down popular theories like he was using a lightsaber. Snoke’s backstory was never revealed, and Rey’s parentage was thoroughly anticlimactic. This resulted in some backlash when Episode VII hit theaters in 2017, although critics seem to have calmed down in the years since. And Lucasfilm was happy with his work, as he’s going to develop more movies for the space opera.

The Force Awakens seemingly set up Supreme Leader Snoke to be the big bad of the trilogy, similar to Palpatine in the original trilogy. His appearance was mystifying, and theories popped up relating him to various characters in the galaxy far, far away. The character got more screen time in The Last Jedi, but Kylo Ren struck down his master, and became the new Supreme Leader of the First Order.

Snoke actor Andy Serkis has also expressed disappointment in his character’s fate, no doubt hoping to appear in Episode IX, and have his backstory fleshed out in the process. But we shouldn’t expect him to return in The Rise of Skywalker. Luckily, Palpatine is somehow going to factor into the narrative, which should make hardcore fans very happy.

The Star Wars franchise as we know it will come to an end when The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies. And our 2020 release list to look ahead toward the New Year.

J.J. Abrams Reveals Why The Rise Of Skywalker Really Feels Like ‘The End’ Of Star Wars

Rey, Chewie, Finn and Poe on the Millennium Falcon

Less than a month from now, on December 20, the four-decade Skywalker Saga will officially come to a close with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. We know this is the end of the story that began in 1977 with Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, but why is it the end? When asked this question, director J.J. Abrams revealed why The Rise of Skywalker really felt like ‘the end’ of Star Wars and the right time to close this chapter. He said:

I felt going into this, even on [Episode] VII — I don’t remember if this was discussed or not, but it felt like this was the final trilogy. It felt like it earned being the conclusion of that story. Who’s to say what comes next? Is there something else to be done that involves any of these characters? I’m working on nothing [Star Wars-related], so I’m not hinting at anything. I’m just saying, who’s to know, but it just felt like the end.

For J.J. Abrams, who as we all know was not originally supposed to direct Star Wars: Episode IX, the Sequel Trilogy has always felt like the end of Star Wars to him. Years ago, when he was making Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he never looked at it as the first part of a trilogy that would ultimately be followed by Episode X, XI and XII. This always felt like the final trilogy to him, a three-film third act to a nine-film saga.

So when J.J. Abrams was working on The Force Awakens, he saw it as the beginning of the end. Now working on The Rise of Skywalker, he has reached that end that he felt like Star Wars was heading towards. And in J.J. Abrams’ mind, the time is right for the Skywalker Saga to conclude.

As the director told Rolling Stone, he believes that the Star Wars story has earned the right to end and this Sequel Trilogy has earned the right be the concluding chapter in it. To J.J. Abrams, it feels like the right time to wrap up this story and the arcs of these characters that he and countless fans around the world have grown to love since 1977.

Although The Rise of Skywalker feels like the end of Star Wars to him and the end of the journey for its characters, J.J. Abrams concedes that he doesn’t know what comes next and what the future holds for Star Wars. There’s always the possibility for more stories with these characters somewhere down the line, so it’s not impossible that this final chapter could wind up with an epilogue, but as far as J.J. Abrams is concerned, this feels like the finish line.

However, as Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus once said, “There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.” So although J.J. Abrams really felt like The Rise of Skywalker was the end of Star Wars, delivering a satisfying ending is no easy thing. Expounding on the challenge of that, J.J. Abrams said:

It’s an ending. It’s not a beginning. It’s the end of not just one trilogy but three. It’s a far larger movie in terms of scale. Narratively, there’s much more going on everywhere I look — visual effects, more moving pieces. It’s the most challenging thing I’ve ever been involved in. By a lot. It’s been breakneck from the time that Kathy called me, and trying to figure out the what and the why and the how has been challenging. But you don’t want to go thinking, ‘I got this.’ Because then you’re screwed.

Wow, no pressure there. It has often been said that J.J. Abrams is great at starting things, but not necessarily as strong at finishing them. Here he acknowledges that ending something like Star Wars’ Skywalker Saga is incredibly difficult. He’s not planting new seeds for future movies, so he has to wrangle all the weeds from eight other films into something presentable in this movie.

J.J. Abrams has talked about wanting The Rise of Skywalker to be a cohesive ending, and he reiterates that point here. To him, this ending is not just the ending of the Sequel Trilogy he started in 2015, nor is it just the ending of the iconic Original Trilogy that started it all. It’s an ending to everything, including George Lucas’ loved and loathed Prequel Trilogy. That’s a lot of responsibility and a lot to take into account.

The director admits as much, saying how much narrative ground this film has to cover and how many moving pieces are involved. On a technical level, it’s been challenging too, with the amount of visual effects. Then you add in the fact that J.J. Abrams wasn’t supposed to direct Episode IX, which put this daunting task on a constrained timetable and it looks positively overwhelming.

J.J. Abrams, who has directed multiple blockbusters in his career, including Star Wars, admits that The Rise of Skywalker is the most challenging thing he’s ever done by a wide margin. He followed Han Solo’s advice to not get cocky and remained humble during the process of bringing about the Skywalker Saga’s end. With any luck, he was up to the task and delivers a satisfying film that brings closure to the Skywalker Saga and lives up to that legacy.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker blasts into theaters on December 20. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to see what other movies you can look forward to this year.

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Frozen II Has A Post-Credits Scene With A Callback To The First Movie

Olaf has experienced fall in Frozen II

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We’re about to get into some spoilers for Disney’s long-awaited animated movie Frozen II. To explain the end-credits scene, I first need to explain a moment from the movie. So, seriously, if you don’t want to be spoiled, please check out one of our other lovely articles.

It’s becoming more and more common for movies to offer mid-credits, end-credits, or post-credits scenes and Frozen II is no exception. Like some other Disney movies before it — Ralph Breaks The Internet comes to mind – the movie offers an extra scene for fans that’s the right level of fun for both adults and kids.

If you were hoping for a big Disney animated universe tie-in, however, you may be disappointed to learn the House of Mouse is not teasing Frozen 3 with this last scene. In fact, the post-credits scenes is just more of a fun extra for fans; luckily, it does tie in to both the sequel and the original movies and that at least is definitely worth talking about.

What Happens In Frozen II And How It Ties Into The Post-Credits Scene

Again, I wasn’t joking about the spoilers. One of the funniest moments in Frozen II involves Josh Gad’s Olaf. It comes after, he, Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Sven head into the enchanted forest after Elsa starts hearing a voice coming from that direction. They end up getting trapped in the forest, where they encounter former Arendelle soldiers (including the one played by This Is Us’ Sterling K. Brown) and a group of native people known as the Northuldra. These people have been stuck in the enchanted forest for a while and are out of the loop about Arendelle, Elsa’s powers and plenty of other stuff the audience already knows.

Whilst there, Olaf has some ‘splaining’ to do. In fact, he has to explain how he’s a magical talking snowman to these strangers they have just met in the enchanted forest and how Elsa has magic she is able to use, despite being from Arendelle where — as the Harry Potter Universe Americans call it — people are most definitely no-maj. He does so through a hilarious montage scene where he recaps the events that went down during Frozen. This includes a joke about Anna and Elsa’s parents dying that is aimed more at the adults in the theater. The rest of the montage should hopefully be funny for a wide swath of audiences though.

Later, during the post-credits scene, this joke is brought back up, only this time Olaf isn’t talking to the Northuldra clan. Instead, he’s explaining how some of Elsa’s other creations came to life to some of her other actual creations. This is where the Frozen tie-in is really worked into the movie, although it’s worth pointing out the entire plot of Frozen II builds on things we have learned about Elsa and Anna, their parents, and the kingdom of Arendelle during Frozen. So, I’m certainly not trying to argue the bit after the end credits is the only time the movie strives to do this. It is a fun Easter egg for fans, however. And we know how fond Disney movies are of Easter eggs.

snowgies 2019

Frozen II’s Post-Credits Scene Is Also A Nice Callback To 2013’s Frozen And ‘Frozen Fever’

Not only is Frozen II’s big end credits scene a nice callback to a joke made during the actual events of the sequel, it also brings in another snowman who came to life – that of the giant snow monster named Marshmallow and the little snowmallow babies that now live with him. We know Marshmallow from the original animated film, but the snow-babies are actually from “Frozen Fever,” the short film about Elsa’s epic sneezing day.

In “Frozen Fever,” Elsa literally can’t stop sneezing and each time she sneezes she brings a snowbaby, known as a “snowgie” into the universe. Although adorable by nature, they are also mischief-filled creatures and are ultimately sent off to the snow palace to hang out with Marshmallow. Still, it’s a nice callback to bring them into a scene with Olaf recapping how things have happened in a humorous manner, thus calling back to other franchise projects as well as the successful joke that occurs earlier in Frozen II.

Considering this is one of the funniest moments in the movie, I’m glad it was brought back in as a post-credits joke. I’m also happy to learn Marshmallow is still hanging out in the Frozen universe.

A Final Note On Frozen II’s Post-Credits Scene

Look, you have to get through a lot of credits before you get to the post-credits scene. As much as I’m sure your family loves Olaf, if you have screaming children, hungry children, or probably the most likely scenario of children who need to pee, I totally understand if you don’t stick around for the extra animated bit. I will point out though that Disney always brings in the babies that were born during the time the movie was in production, so that’s a fun bit as well, if your kids can manage to sit through it.

The good news is, even if they can’t, you’ll be able to see the extra scene streaming on Disney+ at some point anyway, and you can re-watch Frozen via the platform already (“Frozen Fever” is still on Netflix). If you haven’t purchased Disney+ yet, the company is still offering a free 7-day trial, although we understand if you want to wait until your kids can scream out the lyrics to “Into the Unknown” over. And over. And over again.

Frozen can be seen in theaters now, and it’s coming just ahead of the Thanksgiving rush next week. Be sure to take a look at what else is coming with our holiday schedule.

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Brie Larson Proves Just Because You’re A Marvel Star Doesn’t Mean You Get Disney+ For Free

It’s been a little over a week since the new streaming service Disney+ launched. Just checking in, are we all okay? The ability to stream all this content can be overwhelming – especially between The Mandalorian’s Baby Yoda filling our hearts or the beauty of throwback hits like Darkwing Duck and Boy Meets World binge watches. And let’s not forget Marvel hits such as Avengers: Endgame having a new spot on the service.

But sadly, it sounds like the big stars you can watch on the service don’t get a complimentary Disney+ account from the studio. You know, the one that has the top six grossing movies of 2019 – each earning over $1 billion worldwide, including Endgame’s $2.79 billion gross (the highest of any movie ever)! Brie Larson recently joked about it. In her words:

The Captain Marvel actress was being congratulated during an interview on The Ellen Show for the record-breaking success of Avengers: Endgame. The comedian asked Brie Larson if she received any of the loads of cash the movie earned, when she said “I don’t even have a Disney+ account!” Larson then took the “opportunity” to make her case to the studio, even giving a shout out to a role from her early career, Disney Channel’s Right on Track. Take a look:

Now, you would think big Marvel stars such as Brie Larson would get automatic access to Disney+ as some kind of perk for working for the Mouse! But, as the Captain Marvel star confirms, this is not something the company offers. Or perhaps it got lost in her email somewhere? Now that she’s made her case, she must have one now! Right?

The Incredible Amount Of Money Cats Allegedly Cost To Make

According to a report from The Guardian, Cats is estimated of having a budget of around £230 million, which converts to approximately $297 million. Now keep in mind, this number is by no means official, so don’t go touting it as such just yet. It’s usually after a movie comes out that its budget is unveiled, though there’s no guarantee that’ll happen with Cats.

But if this is correct, Universal certainly spared no expense with its cinematic adaptation of the popular Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, which in turn was inspired by the 1939 poetry collection Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot. Interestingly enough, it still wouldn’t rank as the most expensive movie ever made.

Thus far the movie that’s come with the biggest price tag is 2011’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, with the adjusted total adding up to around $378.5 million. If Cats did indeed cost around $297 million to make, that would rank it at sixth place on the adjusted for inflation list, trailing behind 2007’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and Justice League, both of which cost around $300 million, and 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story, which cost somewhere between $275 million, and that’s not even accounting for post-production work.

Needless to say that Universal took a big risk if it dropped that much money on Cats. For one thing, while it’s been a Broadway mainstay for decades, Cats isn’t necessarily an incredibly popular property to the general public. Even more important, it’s opening the same day as Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which we can logically assume will draw in a lot of people and likely be crowned the box office king that weekend.

Again, we don’t know for sure if $297 million is Cats’ finalized budget, but even if it’s more in $200-$250 million territory, it’ll be an uphill battle for Universal to break even on this one, let alone make a profit. Still, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle opened opposite Star Wars: The Last Jedi two years ago and it became a surprise commercial hit. Maybe Cats will end up following suit.

Directed by Tom Hooper, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Lee Hall, Cats follows a tribe of felines called the Jellicles over the course of a single night as they decide which among them will ascend to the Heavenside Layer and be reborn. Its all-star cast includes James Corden, Judi Dench, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Jason Derulo, Rebel Wilson and newcomer Francesca Hayward.

Cats opens in theaters on December 20, and if you’re curious about what other movies are coming out before the year is over, look through our 2019 release schedule.

9 Great Movies Coming To Netflix In December 2019

The Secret Life Of Pets 2 Max looking angry through his cone of shame

As the final month of new Netflix content in 2019 is upon us, we too must also look at the final frame of new and exciting movies headed to the platform’s library in December. Next month, recent favorites and newly added classics will take the stage, making sure you get the most out of that subscription fee that Netflix HQ claims on a monthly basis. If you’re curious about what else is coming next month, head over to the full rundown of December 2019’s additions. Otherwise, it’s time to get underway with the great movies coming to Netflix in that very month.

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery Austin with a woman on his shoulders

The Austin Powers Trilogy

Whether the Austin Powers trilogy has aged well or not is a debate that the world can have on its own stage. That’s not what we’re here to talk about today though, as the world of streaming knows where to find this international man of mystery in all three of his cinematic adventures. To be honest, that first entry still holds up the best, both as a movie and as a socially acceptable work of comedy. But no matter what, Dr. Evil will always remain one of the funniest villains this side of the ransom demand, without frickin’ question.

Malcolm X giving a speech outdoors

Malcolm X

November brought Netflix audiences a challenging visual experience, as Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman delivered three and a half hours of drama to the platform. And if your movie muscles are newly stretched out by sitting for an experience of such length, then Spike Lee’s historical biopic Malcolm X could be your next extended play sitting in front of your streaming queue. Denzel Washington stars as the titular Civil Rights pioneer, in a film that details his struggles through life and his dedication to the cause of racial equality. It is as powerful as it is extensive, and if you’ve got an afternoon to give over to its entirety, Malcolm X is an experience not to be missed.

It Comes At Night the family eating by lantern light

It Comes At Night

Writer/director Trey Edward Shults is currently having a pretty good year with his family drama Waves making a name for him in this year’s lead-up to awards season. It’s nt surprising, especially when you consider he’s mined a very similar vein of material with his horror tinged drama It Comes At Night. While the film looks more like a straightforward scare fest on the outside, this ensemble piece is actually more adjacent to that genre, with the drama of a father trying to protect his family from a viral epidemic taking center stage. Whether this film scares you or not is up for discussion, but It Comes At Night will most certainly unsettle you.

Lawless cast lined up in front of a cloudy background

Lawless

Another talent having a very good 2019 is Shia LaBeouf, as his acting in The Peanut Butter Falcon and Honey Boy have gotten rave reviews throughout this year. So if you’re interested in getting more LeBeouf for your buck on Netflix, you’re in luck come December, as period drama Lawless will be there to oblige. Based on the historical novel The Wettest County In The World, director John Hillcoat’s film focuses on the Bondurant family, a trio of brothers involved in bootlegging moonshine in the Prohibition-era South. While LaBeouf and his co-star Tom Hardy may have gotten into some scraps during production, their family chemistry makes this star-studded picture work like a charm.

Goldeneye 006 and 007 sweep the warehouse

Goldeneye

Before we get started on talking about why Pierce Brosnan is way too hard on himself for his time as James Bond, we’d like to let you know that Goldeneye and the three other Brosnan-era Bond films will be on Netflix towards the end of December. Which is good, because if you’ve been hankering for some of the ‘90s’ finest Bond action, but don’t seem to have the right streaming library on hand to do so, you’ll be in luck. And, of course, Goldeneye is one of the man’s best turns in the role, as his cool and calm demeanor, mixed with a truly boyish grin and a deadly energy, helped revitalize this classic spy for future generations. Plus, this is the only James Bond film with Sean Bean in it, so surely this film gets points for that respect.

Tomorrow Never Dies Bond and his co-stars in front of a wall of monitors

Tomorrow Never Dies

Here’s where we get into underrated Pierce Brosnan territory, as most folks will tell you Goldeneye is the best, if not the only good James Bond movie in the man’s four film run. However, a case can be made that Tomorrow Never Dies might be a better film in the canon, as Brosnan squaring off with Jonathan Pryce’s deliciously evil Elliot Carver is something that puts this film on a path to greatness. Then again, no matter which film you argue is the best Pierce Brosnan outing as James Bond, it’s 99% certain you won’t be saying Die Another Day. But if you do, that’s available on Netflix too, you monster.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 Max and Duke watch Liam eat like a dog

The Secret Life Of Pets 2

What good is a streaming platform if they don’t have anything for the kids to watch, especially during holiday break? Just when you thought all of the fun may have gone to another streaming service, in comes this summer’s The Secret Life of Pets 2 to liven things up for your little ones. The continuing adventures of Max, Duke and their pals will be headed to a Netflix account near you soon enough, and just in time for you and your family to ring in the new year with this Universal/Illumination crowd pleaser.

As per usual, we have to warn you that all titles are subject to change and availability. So if there’s something that looks missing, or not in its place, you should check the complete December 2019 rundown of Netflix titles to double check your work. Otherwise, we suggest you binge responsibly, and stream yourself into the new year with the fun and fantastic content in the month to come. We’ll see you back here around the same time in December, as we take a peek at the presents 2020 will bring in its first month of operation.

Which of these Netflix December 2019 additions to do you plan on watching first?

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