Original Suspiria Writer Is Not In Love With The Remake

Dario Argento created a memorable monster when he committed Suspiria to the screen in 1977. As the writer/director of the famed horror film, you can imagine how attached he is to one of the film’s that he’s best known for creating. With that in mind, one would assume that the 2018 remake from director Luca Guadagnino would get under his skin more than a little bit.

But as it turns out, the reason Argento is upset with the remake is for artistic reasons than incendiary ones, as he called the film out for specific behaviors. In particular, he had the following critiques:

Now while that isn’t a sick burn in the measures of our times, Dario Argento’s criticism of the new version of Suspiria definitely strikes hard. Rather than being just a couple of colorful remarks of displeasure that could have easily been fun and personally rewarding, Argento has actual artistic claims to make on 2018’s well-received and certainly WTF redo.

In particular, the criticism of Suspiria 2018 lacking the most vital components to both a horror film, as well as any film in general, is a dressing down that‘s devastating, while carrying significant weight. Though it’s certainly something that can be disputed, as again, the public response to Luca Guadagnino’s version was quite favorable. With a 66% on Rotten Tomatoes when all was said and done, much of the critical community seemed to enjoy the fresh, modern take on Dario Argento’s storied classic.

But alas, Dario Argento wasn’t taken with 2018’s Suspiria, and that’s just the way it is. Rather than just blindly rubber stamp or trample the film into the ground though, he had valid concerns that he voiced in his conversation with Interview Magazine. Agree or disagree, no matter what the MPAA has to say on the matter, it’s a solid thought.

Of course, you can compare and contrast for yourself, as the 1977 version of Susperia is available on home video in a brand new 4K restoration, and can also be streamed on Tubi. As for the 2018 version, you can catch it now on home video and on Amazon Prime’s streaming catalog as of May 3.

The Russo Brothers Reveal The One Avengers: Endgame Actor Who Got The Full Script

If you were one of the many fans who broke the internet (and records) when Avengers: Endgame pre-sale opening night tickets went online, today it’s time to start the final week countdown. Due to all the secrecy surrounding this MCU installment, you better believe the Avengers cast are feeling the anticipation about the release – partly so they can finally talk about it but also to find out what happens in their own movie.

Much of the Avengers cast were not trusted with the full scripts for the Avengers films, except for one per recent comments by the Russo Brothers. In Joe Russo’s words:

Looks like Iron Man may be the only actor entrusted with keeping the entirety of Endgame underwraps ahead of the release. The remainder of the cast were only given parts of the script that included their character’s lines or in Tom Holland’s case only his own lines as Joe Russo recently told IndieWire:

Wait… was Tom Holland’s Spider-Man dusted in Infinity War just so he wouldn’t be able to do press for Endgame? The press tour has been a stressful undertaking for the surviving Avengers cast, who have had to dance around questions about the little they do know about the movie. So imagine what it’s like for RDJ, who may know just as much as the filmmakers. He does have the talent of being a good actor on his side to cover up the secrets for fans.

It makes sense that Iron Man and potentially Captain America would be on the shortlist of the actors able to read these scripts since their story arcs are at the forefront as Endgame closes out their arcs with this film. Anthony Russo did admit in the Rotten Tomatoes interview that behind-the-scenes this method isn’t always an easy option with these words:

The Russo’s explained that they keep the scripts away from the cast to make it easier for the actors to not have conversations about spoilers and because they want to replicate the unique experience they had as a kid going to the movies when the spoiler-ridden internet wasn’t a place they could go.

There is something special about going into a movie and not knowing what you’re going to see and it’s why Avengers: Endgame will be such an exciting experience for fans. The movie arrives on April 26th.

New Toy Story 4 Clip Has Toys Realizing They’re Made Of Fluff

One of the themes that has been present throughout the Toy Story series is toys coming to grips with the fact that they are toys and finding out what it means to be a child’s plaything. It appears that theme will continue on in Toy Story 4 to hilarious results. A new clip from Toy Story 4 has some of the movie’s new characters getting an unsettling look at what they’re made of. Take a look:

The stuff on the inside is generally supposed to stay on the inside, and when it comes out it can make for a traumatic experience, as Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key’s Bunny and Ducky find out here. Their shocked and frightened responses to seeing a fellow plush toy bisected by the razor sharp claws of a house cat is quite the turn from earlier in the clip where they had a cavalier and antagonistic attitude towards Buzz Lightyear.

The scene is like something out of a horror movie where there is blood everywhere, only in this instance, it is fluff and, as is often the case with toys in this series, they aren’t really prepared to be confronted with their own mortality and nature in such a dramatic way. It’s a funny clip that shows that these new characters will provide plenty of humor and great lines in the fourth installment of this series.

I also dug the idea that this cat is a true menace, a boogeyman to toys that must be avoided at all costs. It just goes to show that when you leave the comfort and relative safety of the carnival and go on an adventure with Andy’s/Bonnie’s toys you’re going to see some stuff and be put in harm’s way.

Maybe the plastic toys that aren’t filled with fluff like Buzz and Bo Peep can take point on this one. Where is Keanu Reeves’ Duke Caboom when you need him?

This clip also gave us another look at Bo Peep, who has become something of an Indiana Jones-like toy in her time since she left Woody and the gang and became a lost toy. She is clearly well equipped for this kind of adventuring (maybe she has a squirt bottle). Whether she is ultimately a good guy or not is an open question though.

Even if it was planned all along, making a sequel to an already perfect trilogy is a tricky proposition, and there is an argument to be made that Disney shouldn’t have done it. We won’t know for sure if Disney was right to do so until we see it, but judging by the trailers and clips we’ve seen from Toy Story 4, it has the heart, humor, great character moments and clever insights into life as a toy that we’ve come to expect from this series.

Toy Story 4 arrives in theaters on June 21. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to keep track of all the big movies headed your way as we approach prime blockbuster season.

Tessa Thompson Says Taika Waititi Might Return For Thor 4

It’s currently a very exciting time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The last 21 movies and decades of filmmaking will come to a head when Avengers: Endgame arrives in theaters in just a few days. While fans are eager to see how the surviving heroes will take the fight to Thanos, Endgame‘s arrival will also allow Marvel Studios to reveal its plans for the future.

For the first time in many years, the MCU hasn’t revealed its next phase of movies yet. This decision was made to ensure the secrets of Avengers: Endgame stay in tact, as the release schedule and titles have the ability to be spoilers. This includes the fate of the Thor franchise, especially since Chris Hemsworth’s contract with the studio is up. Tessa Thompson made her Marvel debut as Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok, and recently teased that director Taika Waititi might be back or another sequel, saying:

Does anyone else have chills? Taika Waititi brought the Thor franchise to new places with Ragnarok, and it was a change that really connected with audiences. As such, the fandom was hoping he might return, and allow Chris Hemsworth’s character to have another run in theaters. And those talks might just be happening.

Tessa Thompson’s comments to LA Times are sure to excite the many moviegoers who shelled out money to see Thor: Ragnarok in theaters. The Thor franchise hasn’t always been a favorite of the MCU, but Taika Waititi changed that with his Marvel debut. The director’s signature sense of humor and perspective were put into the threequel, not dissimilar to what James Gunn does with Guardians of the Galaxy. One movie like that isn’t enough to satisfy the rabid fanbase, who are hoping a fourth Thor may be in the cards, with the director in tow.

Thor: Ragnarok spun the property on its head, and broke all the rule. The Warriors Three were unceremoniously killed off, Thor was given a sister, and all of Asgard was ultimately destroyed. Along the way, the God of Thunder teamed up with Hulk and Loki, and newcomers Korg, Miek, and Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie.

Valkyrie made a strong first showing in Ragnarok, and fans were eager to see more of the alcoholic Asgardian. But while she was on the Asgardian ship at the film’s mid-credits scene, she was noticeably absent from the events of Avengers: Infinity War. But Endgame’s character posters revealed that she survived the snap, so fans are expecting her to appear in The Russo Brothers upcoming blockbuster.

Valkyrie’s possible role in Avengers: Endgame will be revealed when the highly anticipated movie finally hits theaters on April 26th. In the meantime, be sure to fill out CinemaBlend’s Endgame death pool, and check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Why I’m Excited For Disney+

At The Walt Disney Company’s Investor Day presentation last week, the Mouse House finally revealed what it has in store for its upcoming Disney+ streaming service, and it is a lot. Disney is coming out guns blazing with a slew of content and an aggressive price point that make Disney+ a compelling value proposition for consumers in a crowded streaming field.

There’s a lot to be excited about when the service debuts this November, from the first ever live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian to all the MCU series to the Imagineering documentary series. And I’m hopeful that classic Disney catalog animated series like Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Gargoyles and Recess will finally be available in their entirety on Disney+.

All the TV coming to Disney+ is great, but I’m also really excited for the potential benefits this new platform offers on the movies front. Read on to see why.

Avengers: Infinity War

The MCU And Star Wars All In One Place

The Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars are the two most successful franchises ever, and eventually they will both be viewable in their entirety on Disney+. These franchises both have a high re-watchability factor, and if you’re a fan of either of them, having guaranteed access to them anytime on Disney+ is an enticing prospect.

Once Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is out, you’ll be able to binge all nine films in the Skywalker Saga in one place. Consider the current situation with Avengers: Endgame as well. Many Marvel fans want to re-watch some of the previous MCU movies before The Infinity Saga comes to a close, but currently you can’t do that on streaming, even across multiple services. You would have to own physical copies or pay rental fees. Even as an advocate of physical media, I find this appealing, especially since Disney+ will support 4K and HDR, so I won’t need to upgrade nearly two dozen movies to get great quality.

Stargirl, Anna Kendrick and Timmy Failure

New And Original Movies

Disney has found a lot of success theatrically thanks to its massive brands and recognizable IPs. The studio makes the most successful and popular blockbusters in the industry, but that’s basically all it makes. There is a sameness and safety to Disney’s theatrical strategy of rotating tentpoles from established properties that is wildly lucrative, but predictable. The Disney+ platform provides the company a way to do something different, as Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Productions President Sean Bailey said at the Investor presentation:

Disney+ affords us the opportunity to tell more stories from a variety of genres. We will always remain true to the values of what a Disney live-action film offers, but we’re able to take some risks, which is really exciting. While theatrical box office right now is being driven by giant blockbuster events, there are amazing stories and characters that are yearning to be enjoyed by the whole family.

For a studio sometimes criticized for only making blockbusters, this is exciting. Already Disney+ has the holiday comedy Noelle starring Anna Kendrick, the coming-of-age novel adaptation Stargirl and the kid caper Timmy Failure, to name a few. It’s awesome to see Disney branching out, taking risks and allowing for more creative freedom by telling different kinds of stories than it does on the big screen. Sean Bailey also indicated that the same love and care will be given to these Disney+ movies as the company’s theatrical titles, and that’s exciting.

Lady and the Tramp

Remakes Of Less Popular Disney Animated Movies

There is an argument to be made that Disney is going for cheap nostalgia dollars by remaking its animated classics in live-action, but people love them and they are largely successful. Yet as Dumbo recently showed, not all of the studio’s animated classics are really built to be box office smashes. But that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a solid live-action remake, and Disney+ provides a place for a smaller-budgeted remake to land.

One of the launch titles for Disney+ is a live-action reimagining of Lady and the Tramp starring the voices of Justin Theroux and Tessa Thompson. There’s also a remake in the works of The Sword in the Stone. Disney may run out of titles popular enough to be big screen blockbusters, but its catalog is extensive and has many films that could find new life in remakes on Disney+. We’d love to see Atlantis: The Lost Empire and Treasure Planet get some love too, but those two might require big screen budgets. The Black Cauldron maybe?

National Treasure

Live-Action Sequels And Reboots Could Have A Chance On Disney+

This isn’t so much a promise of Disney+, but a hope for the nascent streaming service. Disney has a long history full of great and beloved titles beyond its revered animated movies. Disney hasn’t indicated as such, but it seems like an ideal place for reboots and sequels of the studio’s live-action properties that no longer fit within its big-screen strategy. Or more specifically, the long awaited, frequently-asked-for National Treasure 3.

Bob Iger hasn’t doused hopes for National Treasure 3, and if finding a place for it on Disney’s crowded theatrical calendar was a problem, that obstacle could be removed if it releases on Disney+ instead. The hope for National Treasure 3 isn’t the only exciting possibility though. A reboot of The Rocketeer was in the works, and while we haven’t heard much about it recently, that too may be have a better chance to soar on Disney+. And that reported TV movie reboot of Hocus Pocus should really be a proper sequel dropping on Disney+ next Halloween.

The Disney Vault

No More Vault

Has there ever been a more brilliant and infuriating invention than the Disney Vault? Disney’s strategy of only making its animated movies available on home video for a limited time to create demand and make each re-release an event has long frustrated fans of the studio’s classic films. Disney has even employed this tactic in the streaming and digital realms; with the Aladdin remake on its way, the 1992 original is unavailable for streaming or digital purchase.

Like Robin Hood stealing from Prince John, Disney+ is busting that vault wide open and raiding it for subscribers. The vault program will not apply on the service and Disney+ will be the one-stop shop for fans of Disney’s animated classics. That means no more searching stores or different streaming services in vain when the mood strikes you to watch one of your childhood favorites. That convenience is awesome and as someone who grew up with Disney’s animated movies, it will be nice to know I can watch them all in one place.

It is still early and Disney+ hasn’t even launched yet, but it already has a lot going for it. The potential for Disney+ to reward Disney fans by offering both beloved existing films and unique new movies is immediately evident and exciting.

Disney+ launches in the United States on November 12 with a monthly rate of $6.99 or an upfront yearly price of $69.99. We’ll keep you updated on all the latest news on Disney+ as it arrives.

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Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Will Feature Yoda, Other Surprising Returning Personalities

Yoda and Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge promises to open up a new corner of the Star Wars universe. It creates an outpost on a planet at the edge of wild space where guests will be able to interact with new characters, eat new food, and experience all new attractions. However, it wouldn’t be Star Wars if the new land didn’t also include those elements of the franchise that we’re familiar with. At the recent Star Wars Celebration it was revealed that several classic characters will appear in the new land, including Jedi Master Yoda.

Of course, since the time period for the new Galaxy’s Edge land is set in the era of the new trilogy, don’t expect to actually see Yoda anyplace in the new land, except possibly as merchandise. Yoda has been long dead by the point in which this part of the story is taking place. However Chris Beatty, the Executive Creative Director at Walt Disney Imagineering did reveal that Yoda would be heard someplace in the new land, and that Yoda’s voice was being provided by Frank Oz, the voice of Yoda throughout all of the films.

Exactly how the voice would be heard wasn’t revealed. It could be part of one of the E-ticket attractions inside the new land, though neither of them strikes me as particularly Jedi enough to make Yoda make sense there. Perhaps Yoda will help guide you as you build your own custom lightsaber, which will be something you’ll be able to schedule for yourself in one of the Black Spire Outpost shops.

However, Yoda isn’t the only classic voice who will be returning for Galaxy’s Edge. Fans of the original Star Tours will remember the pilot, named R3x, who was voiced by Paul Reubens. While the current version of the attraction doesn’t have R3x flying, Galaxy’s Edge will have the character back, as a DJ at Oga’s Cantina.  Margaret Kerrison, Story Editor at Walt Disney Imagineering says the new R3x is going to be a lot of fun…

We worked with so many incredible voice-over actors. One of the ones that we definitely wanted to bring back was Paul Reubens. We were super excited to bring him back and nobody was more excited than Paul. He was really great to work with. He really, really was. He brought in a lot of inspiration and new lines for us. Let’s just say you will be thoroughly entertained in Oga’s Cantina.

Reubens apparently recorded a lot of new dialogue for his new role, where he’ll be playing a lot of brand new music written specifically for the land. Some of that music is being attributed to the band Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes, which is the group more widely known as the “Cantina Band” from Star Wars: A New Hope. Take a listen to some of it below.

One more classic Star Wars character who will be seen at Black Spire Outpost is the alien Nien Nunb. First seen as Lando Calrissian’s co-pilot during the attack on the second Death Star in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Nien Nunb was seen as an X-Wing pilot in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and he’s also a background character in Star Wars: The Last Jedi who survives until the evacuation on Crait.

Nien Nunb in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Nien Nunb will also appear in Galaxy’s Edge in some capacity, and he will be voiced by the same man who gave him a voice back in Return of the Jedi, even though, according to Galaxy’s Edge project lead Scott Trowbridge, making that happen was a little bit tougher this time around…

I love this story because Nien Nunb, when he was voiced in his original appearance, was voiced by a young man who was a student in the bay area at the time. Actually, was from Kenya. He spoke a unique dialect and had a unique sounding voice. But then, time passed and the gentleman, whose name is Kipsang, went back to Africa. We kind of lost track of him. But when we decided we were going to bring Nien Nunb back for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, we actually went to Kenya, tracked him down, to record the original voice actor for Nien Nunb to play in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge because that’s the kind of thing you want us to do.

All of these characters get added to the list of Star Wars characters we already knew would be appearing. All of the main heroes and villains of the current trilogy will also appear on Batuu. We’ll see Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, and even Kylo Ren as part of the Rise of the Resistance attraction. Fans of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Rebels animated series will meet an incredibly life like animatronic of Hondo Ohnaka

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will also see new music written for it created by John Williams, the man who has written nearly every note of music for the galaxy far, far away. It won’t simply be ambient music throughout the land, as that would potentially break the illusion that you actually standing on an alien world. I’m sure, however, that Disneyland and Walt Disney World have found plenty of other ways to include the music.

Whatever your level of love for Star Wars, there’s going to be so much going on in Galaxy’s Edge that you’re going to find something that strikes a chord. Disney never gives the entire game away and with all this announced only slightly over a month before the new land opens, there’s almost certainly more to see and hear that we don’t know about yet.

We’ll find out when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens at Disneyland on May 31 and at Walt Disney World August 29. If you want to guarantee yourself access to the new land, you’ll need to book a Disneyland Resort hotel stay during the land’s first three weeks, as that will get you a no-cost reservation to enter Black Spire Outpost.

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Is The New Mutants Being Delayed Again?

The New Mutants has had a rough go on the way to being released, with so many factors and obstacles getting in the way of telling this horror tinged tale adjacent to the X-Men universe. And just as we’d gotten used to the idea that there was a countdown to an actual release of director Josh Boone’s superhero horror-show, new rumors speculate that the film is, yet again, suspected to be bumped to a later release date.

A supposed source at Fox says that The New Mutants isn’t going to make its currently specified August 2 release date. This comes after the film was already moved from its original home of April 13, 2018 to the seemingly more comfortable February 22, 2019. Now it looks as if there’s going to be another hunt for prime calendar real estate, as two factors have apparently delayed director Josh Boone’s motion picture for the time being.

While we’ve seen Disney start to make decisions about Fox projects recently, choices that have left films like Mouse Guard out in the cold, that new footage is still lingering unfilmed. Whether it’s due to scheduling or creative differences, no one knows at this point, but it’s a crucial enough stumbling block that The New Mutants might not be seen for some time now.

Fox’s unknown source spoke with genre news site iHorror and said that while there isn’t a new release date in the works, it’ll be “far away from August.” So if you were hoping that 2019 would still see two mutant powered hits coming our way, those odds just reduced dramatically. How far away from The New Mutants’ initial release date is far enough isn’t known, but the invocation of that very phrase is enough to assume that this calendar year is probably off the table. That is, unless Disney and Fox plan to do some sort of stealth drop onto a streaming platform as previously rumored, which honestly wouldn’t be such a bad idea at this point.

Fate has not been kind to The New Mutants, and should this rumor pan out, it will be another sling and arrow of misfortune sent the way of that particular film. Though, should Dark Phoenix effectively rekindle the fire between the moviegoing public and the X-Men franchise, there could be a push to get the film out, in one form or another, by the end of 2019.

The New Mutants, unless someone comes forth in the next couple of days and corrects the assumption, is slated for release on August 2. Should that change and a new date be announced for some point within the year, we’ll not only report back, but we’ll update the 2019 release schedule to reflect the project’s new status.

Can Taron Egerton Really Sing Like Elton John In Rocketman?

If portraying a famous icon on the big screen while they’re alive to see it doesn’t sound stressful enough, let’s throw in this… singing like them too. Not just any celeb, but iconic singer Elton John. This circumstance could go horribly wrong, but it appears to be a major strong point in the upcoming biopic Rocketman. According to Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher, the audience is in for a treat when they see Taron Egerton as the British pop star. Here’s what he said:

That’s right… the fantasy musical will have the actor recreating some of Elton John’s most recognizable performances, looks, life moments and is even pulling off his hits with his own vocals tool. If Rami Malek can score an Oscar for primarily lip-syncing to Freddie Mercury’s Queen vocals, imagine the accolade in store for the Kingsman star.

It sounds like a lot of pressure, but if you’ve seen Illumination’s animated film Sing then you’ve already seen Taron Egerton nail a Elton John track– just as Johnny the Gorilla. It certainly helps that the actor received some high praise from the legend himself. Check out what Rocketman’s music producer Giles Martin said of his singing in the upcoming film:

Over the years, there’s certainly been tons of artists take on Elton John’s songs or impersonate his vocal stylings, so the fact that Elton said Taron has impressed him the most says a lot about how much faith the musician has in the film star. Elton John is an executive producer on Rocketman, and it’s putting his life out there on the big screen. So it’s safe to say the movie wouldn’t exist if he didn’t believe in the actor playing him.

Taron Egerton seems to have certainly felt the weight of the role, previously saying he just wants to make the singer happy with his portrayal. What looks to have taken the edge off as Giles Martin also explained is Elton John’s interest in the actor putting his own interpretation on screen. Here’s what Taron said of his time as Elton John for Rocketman:

Check out Taron Egerton’s vocals for yourself below, along with the filmmakers gushing about his talent:

Taron Egerton seems to have bonded with Elton John during the process of making Rocketman. The two even performed “Tiny Dancer” together at an Oscars after party a couple months ago. Fans can witness Taron taking on the icon’s story when Rocketman hits theaters on May 31.

Disney Just Dropped Its First Fox Project After The Merger

For all the glee that came with the X-Men and the Fantastic Four now being freed up to come to the MCU, Disney’s purchase of 21st Century Fox carries some major downsides. People will and have lost their jobs as a result of it and projects in development at Fox face the potential axe under Mickey’s regime. Now Disney has dropped its first project after the merger, the big budget adaptation Mouse Guard.

The high-profile film from The Maze Runner director Wes Ball was a mere two weeks out from the production start date when Disney decided to suddenly halt the project, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Yet, although Mouse Guard is the first casualty to come post-merger, it isn’t necessarily dead; it just won’t be releasing under the Disney or Fox banner. Mouse Guard may yet see the light of day because the producers of the film are being allowed to shop it around to other studios.

Mouse Guard is a four-quadrant blockbuster with franchise potential that is ready to start filming, so there is already interest from other studios. One of the film’s producers, Planet of the Apes series and future Batman helmer Matt Reeves, has an existing production deal at Netflix, so Mouse Guard could land there. Another possibility is Paramount, where Maze Runner producer Wyck Godfrey is the head of the motion picture group.

Mouse Guard is based on the comic series of the same name written and illustrated by David Petersen. It tells the story of a world free of humans where anthropomorphic mice live in a harsh medieval world where the brotherhood of the Mouse Guard is sworn to help keep their fellow mice safe. Given the medieval setting, Mouse Guard has naturally earned the elevator pitch ‘Game of Thrones with mice.’

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and After Earth scribe Gary Whitta handled the adaptation for the film that is set to star Idris Elba, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Samson Kayo and Andy Serkis. With an acclaimed source material (and presumably a built-in audience), big name actors already attached and production so close to beginning, Disney pulling the plug seems strange. So why did Mickey drop Mouse Guard? What’s the cause of this mouse on mouse violence?

While it is not clear exactly why Disney gave the medieval mice the axe, one of THR’s sources indicated that it has to do with the fact that Mouse Guard was set to use motion capture and digital effects, provided by WETA, to bring the creatures of the film’s world to life. The concern was that this was a bit too similar to what Disney is already doing with “live-action” remakes like The Jungle Book and The Lion King.

Personally, I would find that to be an odd line of thinking considering both of those aforementioned titles have been or will be major box office hits (Lion King isn’t out yet, but come on). And Mouse Guard would be completely different than either of those two. Maybe Disney has a live-action remake of The Rescuers in the works we don’t know about.

Another possible reason for the red light is that Disney wants its newly acquired Fox arm to stay out of the blockbuster realm and instead focus on low-cost family films as well as PG-13 and R-rated movies, with the exception of James Cameron’s Avatar series. At a budget of $170 million, Mouse Guard definitely doesn’t qualify as low-budget.

Hopefully Mouse Guard finds another home because it has a lot going for it and it sounds like it has the potential to be something new and different in the blockbuster landscape.

We’ll keep you updated on Mouse Guard and the continuing fallout from the Disney-Fox merger. In the meantime check out our 2019 Release Schedule to see all the biggest movies headed to theaters this year.

Yes, J.J. Abrams Consulted George Lucas Over The Rise Of Skywalker

The Star Wars franchise has been expanding impressively over the last few years, thanks to Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfim. It all started with J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which introduced a new class of characters to interact with franchise favorites like Luke, Leia, and Han. Since then, the galaxy has continued to grow through standalone films and the upcoming Mandalorian live-action TV series. But all eyes are on the main franchise, especially since Episode IX will end the Skywalker Saga forever.

J.J Abrams is back in the director’s chair for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and there’s a ton of pressure to deliver. In addition to wrapping up the current trilogy, the upcoming blockbuster must also end the narrative George Lucas began back in A New Hope. But the generations of fans should rest easy, because Abrams consulted with Lucas early in the process. As he recently revealed:

Well, this is exciting. Because although George Lucas isn’t intimately involved in the current trilogy of Star Wars movies, it appears he did have some input regarding The Rise of Skywalker. So perhaps we’ll all get the ending the beloved space opera deserves.

J.J. Abrams’ comments to MTV News are sure to excite Star Wars fans, especially the OG moviegoers who saw Episodes IV-VI in theaters in the 70s and 80s. While the prequel series left something to be desired, Star Wars is only possible through George Lucas’ vision and ambition. The last few movies may not have been what Lucas planned for the sequel trilogy, but at least he was consulted ahead of the franchise’s big finale.

From the first The Rise of Skywalker trailer, it does look like J.J. Abrams is taking a more traditional approach to the sequel. While Rian Johnson subverted fan expectations in The Last Jedi, Abrams will have to provide a satisfying conclusion, and wrap up a ton of narrative threads. That includes taking the group of characters on an adventure together, rather than keeping their plots separate.

As a reminder, you can check out the first trailer for The Rise of Skywalker below.

The gang’s all there, including Carrie Fisher’s Leia, courtesy of unused footage from the last two movies. The movie’s trailer and title were released last week at Star Wars Celebration, and set the internet aflame. While anticipation was already high, Palpatine’s laugh in The Rise of Skywalker‘s trailer proved that J.J. Abrams could potentially go anywhere for Episode IX.

More information should come as the movie draws closer. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is set to arrive on December 20th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.