Why Taraji P. Henson Made Big Changes To Her Ralph Breaks The Internet Character While Recording

The following story contains mild spoilers for the plot of Ralph Breaks the Internet, so if you haven’t yet seen Disney’s animated sequel, tread lightly.

A lot of people headed to the theaters to see Ralph Breaks the Internet over the holiday weekend. They knew going in that they’d get more time with two beloved leads from the original. But with Ralph (John C. Reilly) entering into the Internet, we got to meet a lot of new characters, starting with the Queen of BuzzTube, Yesss.

Played by Taraji P. Henson, Yesss has to help Ralph become a viral sensation so he can make enough money to pay for Vanellope’s missing game part, which they overbid for on eBay. When we spoke with Henson about the role, she explained why she helped change the part as they recorded. Henson told CinemaBlend:

The way she stands now, Yesss is a sassy but knowledgeable character with her finger on the pulse of what’s popping online. She tells it like it is, leveling with Ralph (John C. Reilly) that while his initial foray into viral video was a hit, nothing last for long on the Internet, and you have to adjust.

Which is exactly what the Ralph Breaks the Internet team did when the initial pass on Yesss was making her a little too aggressive. It’s always interesting for us to find out how characters change over the lengthy production process on an animated feature, especially when bringing in a new actress like Taraji P. Henson was to this film.

Of course, Yesss isn’t just up to speed on the viral videos that connect with viewers on the Internet. In a meaningful scene, Yesss teaches Ralph that the Comments section is a bad place to hang out, especially after Ralph reads a series of negative reactions to his videos.

Speaking about that scene, Taraji P. Henson told CinemaBlend:

Watch Taraji P. Henson discuss the work she did on Yesss during the production cycle:

Bringing new characters into the fold can be a challenge. Co-directors Phil Johnston and Rich Moore already knew that audiences were crazy for the chemistry shared by Ralph and Vanellope. But they sidelined characters like Felix (Jack McBrayer) and Calhoun (Jane Lynch) to give more time to new characters like Yesss and Shank (Gal Gadot), the skilled racer.

It paid off. Ralph Breaks the Internet broke the box office over the holiday weekend by posting a healthy $84.4 million for the five-day total. It’s already a hit for the studio, and should continue to perform well… at least until Mary Poppins Returns rolls around to steal its family-ticket thunder.

Legacies Has Some Treats Ahead For The Originals Fans

As much as we’d love to pack Legacies with so many more characters from The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, we know that’s not happening right away. However, The Originals alum Danielle Rose Russell — who now leads the spinoff as Hope Mikaelson — explained how longtime TVD Universe fans will soon get a nostalgia rush:

Nice. The Vampire Diaries started this whole thing, and it based filming for Mystic Falls, Virginia, in Covington, Georgia. The Originals was set in New Orleans, but still filmed in the Atlanta area in Conyers, Georgia. Legacies is set in Mystic Falls, so it also films mostly in Covington. (Don’t forget: The Vampire Diaries ended with Dr. Elena Salvatore opening a medical practice in Mystic Falls. It’s still there in the timeline of Legacies.)

Legacies will film in both Covington and Conyers, and Danielle Rose Russell told TVLine the spinoff will be offering fans a chance to spot familiar locations. In The Originals, Olde Town Conyers was used for several New Orleans locations. There are walking tours available to show fans where they filmed The Witches Cauldron, Gillespie’s Pub, Jardin Gris Voodoo Shop, etc.

However, Gina Hartsell of the local film office had said in late July of this year that Legacies probably wouldn’t do major filming in that location again. Maybe because it’s too familiar to fans as New Orleans? She did repeat that much of the filming would be in Covington — since that’s Mystic Falls — but she also hinted to some of the Originals locations in play:

Of course, Hope could go back to New Orleans to visit her family, and we could see those familiar Conyers, GA, locations on Legacies. That’s not the only way to go about it, but we’d love to see more of the Mikaelsons any way we can get them.

Local newspaper The Citizen reported that production work for Legacies will be done in Conyers, since Warner Bros. leases production space in the town — with the main production stage at Weaver Court, along with using the 2030 Park Drive building. There are currently Mystic Falls Tours available specific to The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, with one coming for Legacies.

Fun fact: Covington and Conyers are both just outside Atlanta, and so is Senoia, Georgia, where filming for The Walking Dead is based. Also, Pinewood Atlanta Studios is in nearby Fayetteville, GA, and that’s where Marvel based most of the recent Avengers filming.

It’ll be fun for The Originals fans to try and spot familiar locations in upcoming Legacies episodes. We’re only up to Season 1, Episode 5 this Thursday, November 29, and there will be 16 episodes to this season. We’re still hoping Caroline Forbes will show up, as opposed to just being referenced, but for now location nostalgia will have to do.

Legacies airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on The CW. Here’s what else you can look forward to watching in 2018, and what’s ahead in midseason 2019.

Elseworlds Official Trailer: 6 Awesome Moments From The Arrow-verse Crossover Promo

If you ever thought the Arrow-verse could get confusing before, the upcoming “Elseworlds” crossover is set to overindulge on twisting up fans’ expectations. The first official all-encompassing trailer dropped during the latest Supergirl episode, and it’s full of fun moments sure to inspire speculations and celebrations. Let’s dash into the trailer’s most awesome moments as if Cicada’s lightning dagger was following us.

Doctor Deegan Finds A Book

What can be more mysterious than a gigantic, dusty tome being discovered behind a stone wall? When Jeremy Davies’ crossover villain Doctor Deegan is the one discovering said tome. Fans were already aware that Doctor Deegan is the one twisting the characters’ lives around, and it looks like this book will probably be the TV shows’ stand-in for the comic book device the Materioptikon. (Seriously, I could watch a full season of just Davies as this character.)

In the comics, John Dee’s Doctor Destiny — who’s presumed to be the inspiration for Deegan — uses the Materioptikon to creative reality from people’s dreams. It does seem like the characters are experiencing nightmares, though, with Oliver-as-Barry uncomfortably having to smooch it up with Iris. But how will it all come together?

The Monitor Is Behind It All, Apparently

Since the casting was announced, LaMonica Garrett’s all-powerful alien The Monitor has been a complete enigma beyond his basic looks. Thanks to the trailer, we now know that The Monitor is apparently responsible for giving Doctor Deegan the powers to ratify Earth-1’s reality, and it’s easy to suspect that Earth-1’s citizens aren’t the only victims here.

The Monitor says that he offered Deegan “godhood,” and then says to “show them what a real god can do.” So what is Monitor up to here? Is he doing as his comic book entity did by rounding up villains (and heroes) as a way to face his nemesis, The Anti-Monitor? Or will this be a pared-down version of those events, with LaMonica Garrett’s watchful character serving some more nefarious purpose specific to the Arrow-verse? Also, is Monitor giving Deegan back the same book he’d already found?

Jay Garrick’s Big Reveal

It wasn’t entirely clear why Earth-3’s Jay Garrick was heading back to Earth-1, beyond the all-around excellence of having TV’s original Scarlet Speedster John Wesley Shipp there again. But during the trailer, it’s seemingly made clear that Jay’s home world had already experienced its own bout of identity-swapping chaos.

One can assume that it’s The Monitor who was responsible for causing havoc on Jay’s Earth-3, but did he do it specifically to bring Jay, Barry and Kara together for whatever reason? Or is the arrival of John Wesley Shipp’s speedster going to be an unforeseen problem for the mysterious alien? And does that mean we’ll get to see other heroes from other Earths? I mean, besides Supergirl and her famous cousin, of course.

Two Supermen!

Speaking of super-cousins, the “Elseworlds” trailer offers fans a double dose of the Man of Steel, although it doesn’t immediately seem like the two versions are going to be working together in respectful peace. Fans were already aware that the black-suited Superman would be showing up in the crossover, though sadly without the long hair that one of the comic versions had. In any case, we hadn’t really seen much from the traditional red & blue Supes before now.

Thankfully, it looks like Earth-38’s other super-savior will indeed be around during the crossover, although it’s still not clear in what capacity. It’s presumed the familiar hero will be the one heading back to the Kent family farm and introducing Lois Lane to audiences, but we technically still can’t be sure about any of that. Whatever happens, I’m naively hoping a Superman vs. Superman brawl takes over the entirety of one episode.

That Batarang

It could be ages before we ever actually get a legitimate Batman TV series again, with Gotham having to save its Dark Knight introduction for its series finale. But Ruby Rose is entering the fray as Batwoman, which will hopefully be a magnificent substitute. We still don’t only get to see mere seconds of Batwoman in costume, and nothing from Kate Kane in her street clothes. But hey, how about that Batarang, huh?

A non-operating Bat-signal also got a brief moment in the trailer, and I am all about seeing the Arrow-verse utilize as many elements as imaginable from the Bat mythos. If it’s just the Batarang, that’s cool, too. It’d be sweet, however, to also see Wayne Manor, a Batmobile of some kind, and other familiar weapons from the Bat-arsenal. And if Kate has a butler named Alfred…

It’s Killer Frost, Or Is It?

Those who missed The Flash episode “The Icicle Cometh” probably saw nothing askew when Caitlin “Killer Frost” Snow popped up here. However, that episode revealed that Caitlin isn’t a meta, and that Killer Frost was birthed by a semi-botched experiment. Also, her father Thomas Snow was in cahoots with Harrison Wells, Victor “Mr. Freeze” Fries and Louise Lincoln. The latter is another alter ego of Killer Frost, making her name-drop all the more interesting.

We also know that Nora Fries, the wife of Mr. Freeze himself, will be in the crossover, though we don’t know the capacity, or from which Earth she’ll be spawned. Could she be dying, as has been the go-to plot device for the character? Will Doctor Deegan be able to swap both Caitlin and Killer Frost’s identities out of that body, possibly to save Nora’s life? Or will we see a bizarre personality complex where someone new is temporarily tasked with co-existing opposite the icy villain?

You can check out the full “Elseworlds” trailer below.

There’s not much time left to wait, thankfully. The Arrow–verse’s “Elseworlds” crossover will kick off on The CW on Sunday, December 9, with a special-night episode of The Flash. Arrow will air during its normal slot on Monday, while Supergirl is flipping to Tuesday night’s slot to close the crossover out. While waiting to see how it all goes down, be sure to stay current with our fall TV schedule and our midseason premiere schedule.

Blended From Around The Web

 

Ian Somerhalder Gets Nostalgic Over The Vampire Diaries With Throwback Self Portrait

It has been too long since a dirty, disheveled Damon Salvatore stared intently into your eyes. Ian Somerhalder corrected the problem with a new — but not new to him — photo from The Vampire Diaries set. The CW series went off the air with Season 8, but this particular photo is from just before the penultimate season started filming. Somerhalder got nostalgic about the 2009-2017 series, and previewed more good stuff ahead:

Even messy, Damon still looks good. The CW fans definitely miss Damon Salvatore/Ian Somerhalder, even with the name Salvatore still front-and-center on Legacies, the joint spinoff of both The Vampire Diaries and The Originals.

This Instagram photo is from the start of filming for The Vampire Diaries Season 7, which premiered in October 2015 as the first (and, it turns out, only) season without Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert. It has only been about three years since this moment, but it does seem like a lot has changed. At least Damon’s story had a happy ending — he ended the series finale newly human, living in Mystic Falls with Dr. Elena Salvatore. It’s not the ending Ian Somerhalder thought Damon deserved, but that’s the ending he got.

It’s interesting that Ian Somerhalder took a self portrait like this every season, to document his own changes through the years, and that he tied it to the fans he met along the way. Somerhalder has always been generous with his fans — from Lost fans who still know him as Boone, to Vampire Diaries fans who will always call him Damon. We know Somerhalder has more to show fans in the coming years. He mentioned a few things in his new post, but there’s also his upcoming Netflix show, V-Wars.

V-Wars also follows vampires, but this time Ian Somerhalder plays human Dr. Luther Swann in an adaptation of Jonathan Maberry’s stories V-Wars: Chronicles of the Vampire Wars. Somerhalder posted updates on the series throughout filming for Season 1, which is currently in post-production. Netflix has yet to announce a Season 1 release date, but Somerhalder has already been pushing for Season 2.

That V-Wars premiere date is definitely something Ian Somerhalder will return to Instagram to tell fans about, and we can only hope he’ll also bring back more Vampire Diaries nostalgia feels. We know he probably won’t, but he could also theoretically pop by Legacies for a cameo as Damon Salvatore, since he and Elena should be living in Mystic Falls during the timeline of the new series.

Legacies airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on The CW. Here’s what else is still on this year, and what you can look forward to (so far) in 2019.

Elseworlds Official Trailer: 5 Awesome Moments From The Arrow-verse Crossover Promo

If you ever thought the Arrow-verse could get confusing before, the upcoming “Elseworlds” crossover is set to overindulge on twisting up fans’ expectations. The first official all-encompassing trailer dropped during the latest Supergirl episode, and it’s full of fun moments sure to inspire speculations and celebrations. Let’s dash into the trailer’s most awesome moments as if Cicada’s lightning dagger was following us.

Doctor Deegan Finds A Book

What can be more mysterious than a gigantic, dusty tome being discovered behind a stone wall? When Jeremy Davies’ crossover villain Doctor Deegan is the one discovering said tome. Fans were already aware that Doctor Deegan is the one twisting the characters’ lives around, and it looks like this book will probably be the TV shows’ stand-in for the comic book device the Materioptikon. (Seriously, I could watch a full season of just Davies as this character.)

In the comics, John Dee’s Doctor Destiny — who’s presumed to be the inspiration for Deegan — uses the Materioptikon to creative reality from people’s dreams. It does seem like the characters are experiencing nightmares, though, with Oliver-as-Barry uncomfortably having to smooch it up with Iris. But how will it all come together?

The Monitor Is Behind It All, Apparently

Since the casting was announced, LaMonica Garrett’s all-powerful alien The Monitor has been a complete enigma beyond his basic looks. Thanks to the trailer, we now know that The Monitor is apparently responsible for giving Doctor Deegan the powers to ratify Earth-1’s reality, and it’s easy to suspect that Earth-1’s citizens aren’t the only victims here.

The Monitor says that he offered Deegan “godhood,” and then says to “show them what a real god can do.” So what is Monitor up to here? Is he doing as his comic book entity did by rounding up villains (and heroes) as a way to face his nemesis, The Anti-Monitor? Or will this be a pared-down version of those events, with LaMonica Garrett’s watchful character serving some more nefarious purpose specific to the Arrow-verse? Also, is Monitor giving Deegan back the same book he’d already found?

Jay Garrick’s Big Reveal

It wasn’t entirely clear why Earth-3’s Jay Garrick was heading back to Earth-1, beyond the all-around excellence of having TV’s original Scarlet Speedster John Wesley Shipp there again. But during the trailer, it’s seemingly made clear that Jay’s home world had already experienced its own bout of identity-swapping chaos.

One can assume that it’s The Monitor who was responsible for causing havoc on Jay’s Earth-3, but did he do it specifically to bring Jay, Barry and Kara together for whatever reason? Or is the arrival of John Wesley Shipp’s speedster going to be an unforeseen problem for the mysterious alien? And does that mean we’ll get to see other heroes from other Earths? I mean, besides Supergirl and her famous cousin, of course.

Two Supermen!

Speaking of super-cousins, the “Elseworlds” trailer offers fans a double dose of the Man of Steel, although it doesn’t immediately seem like the two versions are going to be working together in respectful peace. Fans were already aware that the black-suited Superman would be showing up in the crossover, though sadly without the long hair that one of the comic versions had. In any case, we hadn’t really seen much from the traditional red & blue Supes before now.

Thankfully, it looks like Earth-38’s other super-savior will indeed be around during the crossover, although it’s still not clear in what capacity. It’s presumed the familiar hero will be the one heading back to the Kent family farm and introducing Lois Lane to audiences, but we technically still can’t be sure about any of that. Whatever happens, I’m naively hoping a Superman vs. Superman brawl takes over the entirety of one episode.

That Batarang

It could be ages before we ever actually get a legitimate Batman TV series again, with Gotham having to save its Dark Knight introduction for its series finale. But Ruby Rose is entering the fray as Batwoman, which will hopefully be a magnificent substitute. We still don’t only get to see mere seconds of Batwoman in costume, and nothing from Kate Kane in her street clothes. But hey, how about that Batarang, huh?

A non-operating Bat-signal also got a brief moment in the trailer, and I am all about seeing the Arrow-verse utilize as many elements as imaginable from the Bat mythos. If it’s just the Batarang, that’s cool, too. It’d be sweet, however, to also see Wayne Manor, a Batmobile of some kind, and other familiar weapons from the Bat-arsenal. And if Kate has a butler named Alfred…

It’s Killer Frost, Or Is It?

Those who missed The Flash episode “The Icicle Cometh” probably saw nothing askew when Caitlin “Killer Frost” Snow popped up here. However, that episode revealed that Caitlin isn’t a meta, and that Killer Frost was birthed by a semi-botched experiment. Also, her father Thomas Snow was in cahoots with Harrison Wells, Victor “Mr. Freeze” Fries and Louise Lincoln. The latter is another alter ego of Killer Frost, making her name-drop all the more interesting.

We also know that Nora Fries, the wife of Mr. Freeze himself, will be in the crossover, though we don’t know the capacity, or from which Earth she’ll be spawned. Could she be dying, as has been the go-to plot device for the character? Will Doctor Deegan be able to swap both Caitlin and Killer Frost’s identities out of that body, possibly to save Nora’s life? Or will we see a bizarre personality complex where someone new is temporarily tasked with co-existing opposite the icy villain?

You can check out the full “Elseworlds” trailer below.

There’s not much time left to wait, thankfully. The Arrow–verse’s “Elseworlds” crossover will kick off on The CW on Sunday, December 9, with a special-night episode of The Flash. Arrow will air during its normal slot on Monday, while Supergirl is flipping to Tuesday night’s slot to close the crossover out. While waiting to see how it all goes down, be sure to stay current with our fall TV schedule and our midseason premiere schedule.

Blended From Around The Web

 

How Star Trek II’s Director Feels About Star Trek Into Darkness’ Homages

J.J. Abrams second Star Trek movie, Star Trek into Darkness is best remembered for being the movie that lifts a lot of characters and story beats from the other Star Trek II, the one called Wrath of Khan. While the film is largely remembered for the way it claimed to not be doing that, and then doing exactly that, in the end, the issue was that the execution just didn’t work in the eyes of many. One of those who was largely unimpressed with Star Trek into Darkness was the director of Wrath of Khan Nicholas Meyer. While Myer says he appreciated the homage, he felt it just didn’t do anything new with the ideas. According to Meyer…

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is felt by many to be the best Star Trek movie ever made in a large franchise, so it’s understandable why Into Darkness would want to pay tribute to it. And since this was the second installment of the rebooted series, it was as good a time as any to do so. However, Nicholas Meyer tells Midnight’s Edge that, in the end, the new version just didn’t do anything interesting with the idea, just inserted the same elements into the story in a different way.

There are a pair of different “homages” to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in Into Darkness. The first comes in the character of John Harrison, played by Benedict Cumberbatch, who turns out to actually be Khan. The second comes in a finale sequence that sees Kirk sacrifice himself while Spock is forced to witness Kirk’s death, in a moment very reminiscent of Spock’s death in the previous film.

The Khan reveal doesn’t work, mostly because within the context of the film, it just doesn’t have any meaning. In the original franchise, Khan’s impressiveness is because the character had previously appeared in the television series, so his capabilities were known. In the new movie, Spock and Kirk have never heard of Khan, so the reveal exists solely for the audience, the characters in the movie are utterly unimpressed with the name, which kills the moment.

In one way I actually enjoyed the Kirk/Spock death reversal. I liked the idea that, if roles had been reversed, the scenario in Wrath of Khan would have still played out in much the same way, that the friendship between these two characters was that strong. However, in the rebooted timeline Spock and Kirk haven’t spent nearly as much time together since there was no TV series predating the films. The moment isn’t really justified. The fact that Kirk is back only a few minutes later, rather than taking an entire extra film, also weakens the moment.

Of course, in the end, it’s probably a good thing that Kirk was brought back quickly, otherwise, the next Star Trek reboot movie would have been an entire remake of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, and we probably didn’t need that. Star Trek Beyond was better than that.

Suicide Squad Director Reveals Why His Major Steppenwolf Story Was Cut

One fun thing about comic book movies, particularly those in the DC Universe, is that after they come out, filmmakers share secrets about what could have been. Zack Snyder continues to share teases from the Justice League movie he wasn’t allowed to finish. And now David Ayer is revealing on social media that Steppenwolf and the mother boxes were supposed to be a major part of his Suicide Squad movie, until he was cut off at the knees. Says Ayer:

Director David Ayer responded to a fan on Twitter who was sharing what looked like concept art from Suicide Squad, the supervillain team up movie that definitely feels like it was tinkered with, repeatedly, during production. In the concept art, we see Steppenwolf and the parademons — significant threats in Justice League — showing up in Squad.

Ayer confirms now that Enchantress, the villain played by Cara Delevingne, was originally supposed to be under the control of the mother boxes, those artifacts that caused all sorts of headaches for Batman (Ben Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and the members of the JLA in their own movie.

In addition to that, David Ayer went one step further and dropped this bomb:

This makes more sense than we expected. The final act of Suicide Squad is when most agree the story completely goes off the rails. What’s supposed to be a rescue mission turns into the members of the Suicide Squad — including Deadshot (Will Smith) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) — teaming up to fight Enchantress in a CGI-heavy mess of poor choreography and worse plotting. It looked like this:

But now that we know the Squad, throughout the course of their movie, was supposed to be tracking Steppenwolf — and that Enchantress was really under the control of the mother boxes — this changes completely what the movie could have been. There’s additional support that the mother boxes really could have been the thread connecting all of the DCEU (like the Infinity Stones over at Marvel). And a confrontation with Steppenwolf in Suicide Squad would have led to a better jumping off point for Justice League. At least, it would have helped explain why Batman was fighting parademons when that movie started.

There were plans in place at DC to connect these movies, but a few decisions derailed the overall tapestry, and instead of Steppenwolf, we got Enchantress’s evil brother. He looked like this.

Yikes. Things will start to get back on track for the DCEU when Aquaman opens up on December 21. Beyond that, DC fans have Shazam! and Wonder Woman 1984 to look forward to. The future looks bright, but the glimpses into the past are a fascinating contemplation on what might have been.

Why Ben Foster Cut Huge Chunks Of Dialogue Out Of His Latest Movie Leave No Trace

Critics are spilling gallons of ink about Ben Foster’s turn in the off-the-radar father-daughter drama Leave No Trace, which is ironic because Foster’s character in the movie often has very little to say. In Debra Granik‘s hotly anticipated follow up to her Oscar-nominated Winter’s Bone, Foster plays Will, a former soldier adjusting to life back home who prefers to life way off the grid with his daughter, Tom (Thomasin McKenzie). But when CinemaBlend spoke with Foster as he drums up awards support for Leave No Trace, he explained that the absence of dialogue for Will was a conscious choice, elaborating:

The way that I work is, I prefer to be able to see it in my mind. If I can see it, I can feel it. I’d much rather feel it than think it. When we got into it together, Debra and I, I shared essays, storybooks and photos — anything that was bubbling to the surface. And then I came to this line in the script, which was, ‘Is it a want, or is it a need?’ He’s talking to his daughter about a chocolate bar [in a grocery store], and she asked him is it a want or a need? …

I circled that line and I brought it back to Debra, and said, ‘How about you and I look at the script with a red pen, just as an exercise, and if he doesn’t need to stay it, then he doesn’t say it. And let’s see what we can get away with. Let’s see how sparse we can get away with. Let’s make his use of language as spare and as far as is what he would call belonging. And we were able to cut a fair amount of out of the script. … I’d say we cut out about 40 percent.

That’s a significant amount of dialogue chopped from a script that Debra Granik no doubt worked on for months — years, even. And it likely changed the character drastically. But changed him in a way that fit Ben Foster’s approach.

Will, in Leave No Trace, is a man who can’t get comfortable in his own skin. Back from war and embracing fatherhood, Will wants to raise Tom the best way he knows how. To him, though, this means dropping out of society and living amongst a surprise group of citizens who call the woods home.

Leave No Trace continues to show that Debra Granik excels as a storyteller focused on people we don’t normally see on the big screen. Much like in Winter’s Bone, she has incredible control over the way that characters are presented, with their layers both visible and invisible to the audience.

So when I asked her if she immediately trusted Ben Foster‘s decision to make changes to Will’s dialogue, she surprised me by saying no. Then she elaborated:

You have to be very careful. Because you’ve got to remember that someone’s starting to do changes… and yes, it’s exciting to change lines. It’s exciting, and you can add lines and you can subtract lines, but the fact is it has to be quite sober a process. Because the lab or the instructor or the coach would say to you, ‘You’ve just spent three years working on this over and over again. Are you really gonna make a good decision in 12 seconds on a set?’ After you’ve actually spent a lot of years thinking about it. That doesn’t mean that wonderful things — you get to be very open. Wonderful things do happen on the set. Wonderful things happen in rehearsal. But with Ben, you know, he had good reasons for some of the reductions he wanted to make. Some of them I agreed with them. And when I didn’t, I said, ‘Let’s try to do it both ways.’

Debra Granik went on to explain that while she can have inherent trust in an actor she has hired — be it Ben Foster or Thomasin McKenzie for Leave No Trace, or even Jennifer Lawrence for Winter’s Bone — it’s crucial that a writer-director remembers how much time has been spent honing a script before a performer got a chance to analyze it. And in addition, the script is going to get another pass in the editing room, anyhow. So rash decisions on the set aren’t always advisable.

The powerful and memorable Leave No Trace shows that Ben Foster and Debra Granik made wise decisions in the process by stripping away dialogue that might have painted a broader picture of Will (and even of his daughter). But the actor, and the movie, are saying the most by saying very little at all, and that silence could carry them to awards consideration.

You can stream Leave No Trace now on virtually all of your preferred streaming platforms, from Amazon Prime to Google Play. It will be interesting to see how the movie is received as year-end critics’ lists start to form, especially around the performances of the two leads, who are spectacular.

Blended From Around The Web

 

Wait, Was Doctor Who’s Latest Episode Inspired By Doctor Seuss?

Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Doctor Who episode “The Witchfinders”. Read at your own risk!

Doctor Who went back to a disturbing time for Season 11’s “The Witchfinders,” and there was much to talk about afterward. Alan Cumming delivered a stand-out performance as King James, proving he should always be around. As well, though, the episode’s Morax villains seemed to be fairly similar to a creature from the tales of Dr. Seuss, the Lorax. We’re wondering if the Morax and Lorax connection was intentional, or mere coincidence.

It’s easy to see how some viewers may have been confused, as there were some key similarities between its Morax and The Lorax created by Dr. Seuss. For starters, there’s the whole rhyming name thing, which caused some confusion all on its own.

Also, both the Doctor Who villain and the Dr. Seuss do-gooder were obsessed with trees, and judgmentally appeared out of the ether when careless humans cut them down. The Lorax was a bit more chill than the Morax, however, which is an alien race that’s been trapped on Earth for some time now.

The Morax were relatively harmless up until the prison containing them was effectively destroyed. That’s right, some intergalactic alien species decided it would be a swell idea to disguise a Morax prison as a tree on Earth. To their credit, it worked pretty well for a while, until a villager decided to chop the tree down because it was annoying her. (That villager, Becka Savage, was played by Downton Abbey and Happy Valley star Siobhan Finneran.)

A Morax then invaded Becka, and the symptoms of which had her convinced she was possessed by Satan. (Possibly a nod to the mythological Morax, the President of Hell.) This led to the prosecutions of other women in the area for being witches, leading to their drownings. And all so Becka could draw attention away from herself.

The ruse worked for a while, but the Doctor realized the woman was likely behind what had happened. Obviously, The Lorax played out way differently, but maybe these two creatures are related in some way?

Luckily, The Doctor was able to best the Morax army before their king could be summoned. This spared Alan Cumming’s King James, who would’ve driven The Lorax comparisons even further had he been possessed while rocking that stylin’ goatee and bushy mustache.

Neither BBC America nor Doctor Who have confirmed the episode’s inspiration actually was The Lorax, of course. But now that it’s established that this dangerous species can be contained within random trees, it’s possible they’ll return to Doctor Who to keep fans speculating.

Doctor Who is still chugging along with Season 11 on BBC America on Sundays at 8:00 p.m. ET. The fall season is beginning to wind down, but there are still plenty of shows worth checking out before the end of 2018. See those shows at our fall premiere guide, or jump ahead to 2019 and see what’s happening in the new year with our midseason premiere guide.

How The Walking Dead’s Negan Twist In The Midseason Finale Will Play Out Compared To The Comics

Major spoilers below for anyone who hasn’t yet watched The Walking Dead’s winter hiatus, “Evolution.” Be sure to watch before reading what we learned from showrunner Angela Kang.

Its midseason finale brought the mysterious Whisperers to the forefront in a very deadly way, but The Walking Dead also quietly dropped a mini-bombshell by giving Negan his freedom again. Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s smile was infectious as he realized he was no longer locked up, but what will happen next? Speaking with showrunner Angela Kang, I asked how Negan’s TV escape will compare to how it played out in the comics, since Rick isn’t around to be Negan’s moral compass. She said:

Kinda sounds like we won’t be spending a whole lot of time dealing with Negan’s bed pan antics whenever The Walking Dead comes back, for better or worse. (Father Gabriel, if no one else, might be pleased.) Could this show’s most confidently brutal villain actually be out and left to his own devices again? According to Angela Kang, we won’t be waiting long to find out when Season 9 continues.

Comics fans may be able to read something deeper into everything Angela Kang said there when putting the show’s events into context. When Negan’s cell accidentally (or not) gets left unlocked in the source material, he chooses not to make a grand escape, instead wanting to prove to Rick & Co. that his rehabilitation was genuine. To his dismay, he would have been better off slinking away mischievously in the night.

A later comic issue provided Negan another chance to grasp freedom with his fingertips, which he gleefully took. To me, it sounds like Angela Kang might have been hinting that the TV show is skipping Negan’s first comic escape altogether. The AMC series did give the former leader some humanity when he broke down and begged Maggie to kill him, so that could have been a quasi-stand-in for him trying to win Comic Rick’s trust.

In the six years or so since that Maggie and Negan’s confrontation, he had to have been planning all kinds of things to do if he was ever able to escape his cell. So I expect his story to eventually catch up with the Whisperers in a way similar to how Robert Kirkman originally plotted it. Still, I’m hoping Angela Kang and her creative team will explore Negan’s post-War personality in interesting ways.

It’s been almost surreal to have only seen The Walking Dead use Negan in such a limited fashion after he’d spent more than two full seasons raining shit on everyone else’s lives. But Angela Kang did have a reason for that happening. Elsewhere in our conversation, she explained why Negan hasn’t been around much so far in Season 9, saying this:

Nobody keeps Jeffrey Dean Morgan in a corner! And the world may be his oyster when The Walking Dead returns to AMC from its midseason hiatus, depending on how effective those conversations with Judith have been for his psyche. While waiting to learn about Negan’s next steps, check out what could be everyone’s next big TV obsessions with our fall TV rundown and our midseason premiere schedule.