Longtime Criminal Minds DP Accused Of Groping Crew Members And Making Threats

Once again, troublesome reports have surfaced surrounding a hit CBS drama, as Criminal Minds‘ director of photography Greg St. Johns is facing an abundance of accusations from current and former crew members who say that St. Johns had a bad habit of groping people’s private parts, that he was overtly rude and confrontative on set, and that many people who put in official complaints were later fired. What’s more, the accusers claim that Criminal Minds‘ producers have dismissed or ignored the issues, even when saying that something would be done about it.

19 different former or current Criminal Minds crew members spoke with Variety about Greg St. Johns, and their claims painted a picture of a highly contentious workspace. While complaints against St. Johns go back to the show’s early years, it was in January that crew members from the show received an anonymous email stating that show producers had been contact the previous month about St. Johns’ alleged workplace behavior, and the email called out “inappropriate touching of genitalia, rear ends, verbal abuse.” It’s reported that employees from the different departments were terminated from their jobs. Not to mention other crew members who verbally expressed they wouldn’t be returning to the show due to St. Johns’ actions.

While it’s not known what came of it, an investigation was held in February by ABC Studios’ HR department, after which Greg St. Johns kept his job on Criminal Minds. Things got heated once again in April, when the show’s former digital imaging technician Tony Matulic filed an official complaint against both ABC Studios and the show’s payroll company Entertainment Partners, alleging that he was fired from the show over complaints made against St. Johns for allegedly grabbing Matulic’s buttocks. The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing then started up its own investigation into the matter.

Tony Matulic in particular claims that during his eight seasons on Criminal Minds, Greg St. Johns grabbed his butt once every couple of weeks, and that he also “frequently” grabbled Matulic’s inner thigh and flicked his nipples. Matulic claims St. Johns grabbed his genitalia once, and that he witnessed several other male crew members being touched in similar ways. He also said that the alleged sexual harassment behavior was actually a sign that St. Johns was in a good mood, pointing out that the DP’s bad moods made him verbally abusive and he would humiliate others as a way of bossing them around.

When Tony Matulic brought his discomfort up with Greg St. Johns during Season 12’s production, the director of photography was allegedly not pleased. By the end of the season, Matulic claims he was told he wasn’t being asked back for Season 13 that fall because St. Johns was said to have eliminated the job of digital imaging technician, even though the position is a regular one on many TV shows.

While Tony Matulic’s complaints against Greg St. Johns were the ones that sparked the most recent investigation, they’re just the tip of the iceberg. Many of the crew members interviewed alleged that they were touched below the belt by the employer, and that they witnessed others being pawed in the same way. One staffer said that during Season 11, he was standing near the crafts service table when St. Johns came up behind him and pulled his gym shorts down, revealing his backside and genitals to the crew members standing around. The staffer claims he complained about the incident later, and was subsequently fired, allegedly for not getting along with St. Johns.

CBS only recently fired former NCIS: New Orleans showrunner Brad Kern following an additional investigation into his allegedly volatile workplace behavior on that set and others. That, after CBS ousted former CEO Les Moonves was removed for his own set of allegations. Plus, CBS News recently fired longtime 60 Minutes producer Jeff Fager for telling one employee to “be careful” about how she covered the network’s ongoing scandals, saying that others before her had lost their jobs in trying to harm his reputation.

Blumhouse’s Halloween Really Thought Out Its Violence

The horror genre has been on a serious roll for the past few years, as new and challenging properties have hit theaters, and become both critical and box offices successes. Many of these hits come from Blumhouse Productions, including Get Out, Split, and The Conjuring franchise. Now, Blumhouse is turning its focus to the classics, with a new Halloween movie arriving in theaters in a matter of weeks. The upcoming slasher will be a canon-defying new sequel, with Jamie Lee Curtis and John Carpenter both returning in various capacities. One question fans seem especially curious about is how violent the R-rated project will be. While the original had almost no gore, the Rob Zombie movies relied heavily on it. Producer Jason Blum recently spoke to the violence in Halloween, and how carefully it was crafted, saying:

First Vice Trailer Shows Christian Bale’s Full Dick Cheney

For several decades, Dick Cheney was an architect of policy and bureaucracy, through various administrations, and in Washington D.C.’s political culture. This eventually culminated in his ascension to the post of vice president under George W. Bush’s administration, a moment that saw the office being granted the greatest level of power and involvement it ever saw. And now that story’s about to be told through the lens of filmmaker Adam McKay, as you’ll see in the first trailer for his film, Vice, which you can see below.

While we had already our first look at the footage of Christian Bale’s insane transformation into Vice’s Cheney yesterday, actually watching him play the role is a totally different experience. In particular, hearing his take on Dick Cheney’s voice is as spot on, despite how recognizable Bale has become in the last decade. This fact is only exacerbated by the fact that director Adam McKay’s got a hell of a supporting cast backing Christian Bale’s clearly killer performance.

Co-starring in Vice alongside Bale are Amy Adams as Dick Cheney’s wife Lynne, Steve Carell as former colleague Donald Rumsfeld, and Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush himself. Each member of the cast gets their moment in the trailer, and giving cinephiles their first full look at what’s sure to be an awards contender this year. All three co-stars have positions to challenge Bale’s work as Cheney, and as we saw with Adam McKay’s last film, The Big Short, he knows how to keep everyone’s plate full and spinning, while telling a singularly threaded narrative. And for those of you playing at home, Carell’s casting in particular feels like a sweet reference to the eventual fate of his Anchorman character, Brick Tamland.

Adam McKay is certainly no stranger to this type of film, especially when The Big Short saw him nominated for tons of awards–with a big win coming for his work as a co-writer on the film’s script. Given the director’s history and Vice‘s concept, the movie seems destined to take on a reputation as one of the political firebrands that’ll be making the rounds this winter. McKay’s views on politics are certainly not private, and if Vice is half as political as The Big Short, we’re in for an equally interesting film that could start out as a comedy, before sliding into something much more dark and disturbing.

When he first entered the political dramedy circuit, Adam McKay might have been a surprise contender that needed some selling to the general public. But watching the trailer for Vice, and keeping his recent history in mind, this looks like a confident progression of genres for McKay. The end result will be released to the public starting this Christmas, but if you’re wondering about any other politically charged biopics headed your way throughout the rest of this year, we’ve got you covered with our 2018 release schedule.

Will The New Mutants Be R-Rated? Here’s What The Producer Says

Before cinematic universes and comic book movies became common, there was 20th Century Fox’s X-Men franchise. The property is still going strong, although there have been a series of delays for X-Men: Dark Phoenix, Gambit, and The New Mutants. The latter is directed by Josh Boone, and is teased to be the first horror-inspired comic book movie ever. As such, fans of both horror and superheroes are left wondering what The New Mutants might be rated, especially now that Fox has had success with R-rated projects like Logan and Deadpool. Longstanding X-Men producer Simon Kinberg recently spoke to the upcoming movie’s rating, saying:

While The New Mutants is far from being officially rated by the MPAA, it seems that Josh Boone, Simon Kinberg, and everyone involved is open to the highly anticipated project getting an R-rating. We’ll just have to see how hard the project ultimately goes in its moments of horror and jump scares.

Simon Kinberg’s comments to Collider are sure to excite the hardcore X-Men fans out there, who have enjoyed seeing R-rated projects on the silver screen. While the superhero genre is almost exclusively PG-13, that all changed with the insane box office performance of Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool. While the MCU is keeping things a little more family friendly, it’s fun to see the OG superhero franchise taking big risks. Especially when it includes a horror movie set within the X-Men universe.

Aside from the concept itself, The New Mutants has a ton of excitement surrounding the film’s cast. Game of Thrones fan favorite Maisie Williams, Stranger Things‘ Charlie Heaton, and Split actress Anya Taylor-Joy all play young mutants, who may have the potential for future crossovers. Plenty of Williams’ fans would love to see her Wolfsbane interact with Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey. And technically, Taylor-Joy’s Magik is Colossus’ sister. So the possibilities seem endless. As long as Fox doesn’t push The New Mutants back again. That trailer is just too good to wait on.

The New Mutants is currently set to arrive on August 2, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Wait, Did Rebel Wilson Hint At Pitch Perfect 4?

If you saw Pitch Perfect 3 sometime after it hit theaters last spring, you probably already know that the third movie in what is currently a trilogy really wraps things up for the movie’s major characters. Each of the ladies in the a cappella troupe has plans for the future that give them goals beyond singing competitions. Still, the franchise leads love spending time together and some of the leading ladies have already stated they would be happy to see Pitch Perfect 4 happens. Therefore, when Rebel Wilson took to social media to share this fun reunion photo, I got super pumped. But take a look yourself.

In the image, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow and Chrissie Fit are hanging out and throwing up the number four as part of Anna and Skylar’s birthday celebration, which of course led to Wilson’s fanbase speculating that Pitch Perfect 4 might be on the way. Unfortunately, Wilson’s post doesn’t explicitly state another movie could all be happening. In fact, for all we know the four could simply imply the four women who posed for the Pitch Perfect-oriented picture.

Still, Rebel Wilson had to have known exactly what she was doing when she posted a picture with some of the Pitch Perfect 3 ladies and the number four. When Pitch Perfect 3 came out, there was some question as to whether or not there would be enough interest for a third film to pull a major profit. While the third movie did gross fewer dollars than the second movie, it brought in over $184 million worldwide on a $45 million dollar budget–more than the $115 million the first movie made worldwide. So, there could definitely be an appetite for another movie and we already know The Bellas love working together.

In fact, Pitch Perfect 3 director Trish Sie has already spoken out about why the franchise deserves another movie, noting a few months ago that the franchise doesn’t suck and should continue until the movies start dropping in quality. Anna Kendrick has also been happy to speak out about wanting another movie, as well, and from the looks of these images some of the other actresses are into the idea too.

The real question would be where a fourth movie could go, given we’ve seen The Barden Bellas compete in college multiple times and then on a USO tour. It’s difficult for me to come up with a plot that would enable the women to reunite on the big screen once more, but that may just be why I’m not a comedy screenwriter. In real life, the Pitch Perfect leads do reunite on the regular, and in general the franchise has always been about the chemistry the women in the group have on the big screen (and clearly in real life.) Because they dynamic is what draws people in, a lot of fans would probably be happy to see a Pitch Perfect 4. (Especially if the next movie brings Bumper back, amiright?) Now, we just need to wait for Universal to announce it. Stay tuned, and see what’s hitting theaters coming up with our full schedule.

The Walking Dead Characters Most Likely To Get Killed Off In Season 9

Spoilers below for The Walking Dead comics that coincide with this and future timelines for the TV series, so be warned.

For a character to meet a gruesome death on The Walking Dead, it’s as natural as a moth being drawn to a flame or a Savior being drawn to a leather-wearing sadist. Even though the AMC hit has a new showrunner leading the narrative charge, The Walking Dead won’t be shying away from major deaths in Season 9. And on top of all the new characters coming in, we can probably expect to see quite a few currently familiar faces being wiped out of existence.

From the news that has already surfaced (such as Andrew Lincoln’s big farewell) to the comics that we can use to draw our conclusions, all possibilities are on the table now. So let’s take a look at the Walking Dead characters that are most likely to die in horrific situations. Naturally, we’ll start with the most surefire pick of the bunch.

Rick

Chances of Dying: 99% probability and counting

Why Is It So Likely?: Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes has long been considered one of the only unkillable characters on The Walking Dead, but those assumptions were proven wrong when it was revealed the actor himself chose to exit the show to spend more time with his family. His death wouldn’t seem quite as guaranteed had the actor merely been dealing with a scheduling issue, as is the case with Lauren Cohan. And to be fair, Rick might get spared and allowed to live out in the wilderness, never to be found again. But he won’t be, because that would be the cheapest move imaginable.

Did It Happen In The Comics?: Rick is still alive and mostly well in the comics, although he has suffered quite a few more permanent injuries than his television counterpart. Perhaps TV Rick could lose a hand before losing his life entirely.

Why Is It So Likely?: Gregory is about as useful to all the other Walking Dead characters as a dry bowl of cereal is to a cow, and that analogy makes as much sense as keeping Gregory on the show for 17 more episodes. To his credit, Xander Berkeley is excellent in the role, and is capable of being as irksome and petty as the role constantly calls for, but I don’t see how he even made it through the time jump without Maggie turning him into horse feed.

Did It Happen In The Comics?: That it did, once Gregory finally went too far with his petulance. It’s unclear if the TV show will play things out in the same manner, given how ghastly the entire situation was on the page, but I’m pretty sure we’ll get some version of it.

Why Is It So Likely?: Now that Oceanside is one of the go-to communities in the post-Negan world, we’re going to see a handful of those characters more in Season 9. Which almost necessarily means that one of them is going to die before much longer. And, honestly, Beatrice’s quasi-victimization here is more process of elimination than anything else. Cyndie probably won’t bite it, since her grandmother Natania died last season, and Kathy has even less of a visual presence, so Beatrice it must be.

Did It Happen In The Comics?: Nope, since Beatrice and the rest of the Oceanside women were not part of Robert Kirkman’s original Walking Dead narrative. It is possible that her death, should it happen, will be a remixed version of someone else’s death from the comics.

Why The Eternals Movie Could Be Important For Marvel After Avengers 4

Fans and critics spent years discussing the Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s “villain problem,” and when the situation was broken down it was pretty logical. After all, we’re talking about a franchise built on the backs of its heroes, and, with some exceptions, it left the one-shot adversaries feeling temporary, disposable, and sometimes straight-up uninteresting. Fortunately, that is an issue that has fell by the wayside recently thanks to strong, compelling, and dynamic baddies, and it was this past summer that we saw the brand’s best antagonist yet, Josh Brolin’s Thanos, get his moment in the sun after six years of build-up.

How This Is Us Set The Stage For A Major Conflict Between The Big Three

Warning! The following contains spoilers for This Is Us Season 3 episode, “A Philadelphia Story.” Read at your own risk!

This Is Us‘ latest episode was rife with drama and just when things finally looked to be settling down towards the end, Kevin opened his mouth and ruined it all. Granted, he didn’t mean to make waves when he recapped the drama of the day to brother Randall and offhandedly mentioned that Kate wanted to have a baby so someone in the family could carry on their father’s legacy. Executive producer Isaac Aptaker explained why the statement hit Randall so hard, and how it set the stage for a major conflict between The Big Three:

As Isaac Aptaker points out, Randall was wounded and seething at the implication that only Kate or Kevin could carry on the legacy of Jack. Kate’s poor choice of words made it sound as though Randall can’t live or pass on Jack’s legacy to his children simply because he’s not blood-related. Is this really how Kate feels, or did she simply forget about Randall while arguing with Kevin and Rebecca earlier in the day?

Obviously, there’s going to be some fallout on This Is Us for the statement, and executive producer Elizabeth Berger assured viewers in the chat with Variety that they won’t have to wait long to see Randall call out his sister for what she said:

Randall does have a track record of making incredibly uncomfortable family moments with confrontations, so it’s unsurprising he’s wasting no time in calling out Kate for the statement. We’re pretty sure Kate doesn’t actually think Randall is an illegitimate Pearson or incapable of carrying on Jack’s legacy, and if Randall really sat and thought about it, he’d probably realize his sister more than likely misspoke. Unfortunately, the adopted Pearson is in a weird place right now and in a mindset where he’s feeling like an outsider wherever he goes, so we doubt his cooler head will prevail before starting a classic This Is Us sibling throwdown.

As tense as the moment was, it doesn’t seem guaranteed this fight will be a huge part of This Is Us‘ next episode. Randall will probably understand fairly quickly his sister didn’t mean what she said, and Kevin will probably get some blame from Kate for telling Randall about the argument out of context. The upcoming sibling showdown didn’t even make the preview for the next episode, so its more likely this argument is just a vehicle for Randall’s ongoing Season 3 story of finding his purpose and honoring both of his father’s legacies. Still, we’ll have to wait and see.

This Is Us airs on NBC Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. ET. Keep up with all the new things coming to television in the coming weeks by visiting and bookmarking our fall premiere guide.

NBC’s Chicago Crossover Will Put Some Characters Through A Family Crisis

Fans of Dick Wolf‘s Chicago shows have a big night ahead of them this Wednesday, as the big, three-show crossover is going down early in the new season. And, while we already knew that a big fire will play into this crossover, now we also know that some beloved characters will be going through quite a family crises when the drama picks up. Specifically, brothers Jay and Will Halstead will be dealing with a very scary situation. When I spoke with actor Nick Gehlfuss, who plays Will on Chicago Med, at One Chicago Day a few weeks ago, he revealed that the siblings will be worried sick about their dad, Pat.

Here, what happens is, it’s part of the crossover. Our father, we’re not sure if he’s caught in a fire. So, I’m at the hospital receiving patients coming in and he’s on the scene, [we’re] really trying to find out where our dad is. We moved him to a new building, because our childhood home, we came to find out, was falling apart, so we wanted to give him a better living arrangement. And, it just so happens that a fire starts at this big, high rise building.

Eesh. Talk about a shitty day at work. Can you imagine how (undeservedly) guilty you’d feel if you were trying to help out one of your parents by paying for them to have a much better home, but then that home turns into a towering inferno? Add to that the fact that neither Jay nor Will is going to know whether or not their father was actually caught in the fire, injured or even killed, and you can tell that the anxiety for these two is going to be even more off the charts than usual when dealing with a mass casualty situation.

While the Halstead brothers haven’t always had the best relationship, they’ve been pretty close for some time now. Much of that seems to be due to the fact that neither of them were particularly close to their father growing up or in young adulthood, and, as of a few years ago while Jay was still in the military and deployed to Afghanistan, they lost their mother to cancer. So, they seemed to have mended their relationship as a way to cope with not having much other reliable family to depend on. One of the best parts about watching these two characters has been seeing them grow as brothers, as well as characters in general. It’s always nice to watch them banter, stand up for one another or just give each other caring, brotherly advice.

Of course, even though they weren’t close to Pat for most of their lives until this point, each brother has recently made great strides to mend the father-son bond with him, as well. And, it’s worked well enough that Will and Jay banded together to try to give dear old dad a better life. Let’s hope that their efforts, and newly formed closeness to Pat, hasn’t ended up impairing his health or costing him his life. Jay and Will would likely have a very hard time getting over that.

You can see how the Halstead family drama gets resolved when Chicago Fire, Chicago Med and Chicago P.D. air the big crossover tomorrow, starting at 8 p.m. EST on NBC. To see what else you can catch on the small screen, be sure to check out our 2018 fall premiere guide.

Blended From Around The Web

 

Venom Reviews Are In, Here’s What The Critics Think

The reaction to Venom has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride, and one that might work in the symbiote’s favor. Early buzz was mixed. Then, after the world premiere, social media began to weigh in, saying Ruben Fleischer’s origin story for the alien symbiote wasn’t nearly as bad as some feared, and might even be pretty damn funny (even if some of the laughs were unintentional). Now the full review embargo has lifted, so what are critics saying?

We’ll go first. In a two-star review, CinemaBlend complained that removing Spider-Man from the Venom story is a death-blow, saying:

Arguably, you can’t have Venom without first having Spider-Man… which, in a nutshell, is the main reason that Venom, the movie, doesn’t work. Sure, director Ruben Fleischer and his seven credited screenwriters (!!) cook up an alternate origin story for both Brock and the symbiote. But removing Spider-Man from the overall equation creates too many narrative potholes around which Venom fails to weave with any sort of grace or style. Eventually, the movie gets a metaphorical flat tire, and wrecks itself on the Hollywood superhero highway.

Todd McCarthy, writing for The Hollywood Reporter, dismisses Venom as bland, stating:

At a time when the Marvel universe is both expanding adventurously (Black Panther) and wrapping up other storylines (Avengers: Infinity War), Venom feels like a throwback, a poor second cousin to the all-stars that have reliably dominated the box-office charts for most of this century. Partly, this is due to the fact that, as an origin story, this one seems rote and unimaginative. On top of that, the writing and filmmaking are blah in every respect; the movie looks like an imitator, a wannabe, not the real deal.

Matt Patches from Polygon praises Tom Hardy, even though he’s making a different movie from everyone else:

Venom would be another anonymous notch on the superhero movie belt if not for Hardy, whose dedication to batshit nonsense is a saving grace — and reason enough to make a second movie. The pieces are in place for a Venom 2 in which Eddie spends 100% of his time wrapped up with the symbiote; in which Williams, who makes a thankless role so much more than it could have been, has a character whose life extends beyond tracking her animalistic ex’s path on Waze; in which any risks are taken.

JoBlo seems to be the movie’s loudest champion, stating:

Ultimately, VENOM is better than I expected. Tom Hardy is terrific, and the actor is having a great time playing Eddie along with his new best alien pal. While the story is a bit obvious, I enjoyed the throwback to sci-fi alien invasion flicks. Ruben Fleischer has delivered a superhero feature that is frenzied and perhaps a little too facetious at times. Yet, when Venom attacks, it is a glorious thing to watch. This is the kind of movie that you can sit back and take it all in, just don’t think too hard about it. Add to that a couple of inspired cameos and you have a genuinely appealing Marvel flick.

Make the call for yourself once Venom opens in theaters later this week! Also, keep it here on CinemaBlend for a lot more from our interviews with the cast and crew at the Venom press junket in Los Angeles.

Blended From Around The Web