A League Of Their Own Director Penny Marshall Is Dead At 75

Penny Marshall was a good actress, a great director and one of a kind personality. She took chances. She fought for what she believed in, and she did it all with a great sense of humor. The legendary Hollywood personality passed away this week at the age of 75, survived by generations of admirers who connected with her work.

Penny Marshall moved to Los Angeles in the late 1960s, following in the footsteps of her brother Garry who would later go on to make Pretty Woman and a bunch of other great movies. At the time, he was a writer on The Dick Van Dyke Show. He helped point her in the right direction, which eventually led to commercials, bit parts of TV shows and finally, Laverne & Shirley. She credited her brother with launching her career, but it was her natural talent as a director that progressed her into the upper echelon of Hollywood power brokers.

She was hired as a last minute replacement for the film Jumpin’ Jack Flash in 1986. Two years later, she directed Tom Hanks in Big. It was the first movie ever directed by a woman to make $100M at the box office. She hit the milestone again in 1992 with A League Of Their Own.

To me, Penny Marshall will always be the director of A League Of Their Own, one of my favorite movies ever made. To others, however, she’ll always be Laverne from Laverne & Shirley. Or Myra from The Odd Couple. Or the director of Big. Or the director of Awakenings. Or the producer of Cinderella Man. Or one of a bunch of other hats she wore during her fifty year career in Hollywood. That’s the sign of a great career and a diverse one that takes chances and produces work that really matters to people.

During her career, Penny Marshall was also involved in several much-discussed romances. During her early days on Laverne & Shirley, she was married to actor and director Rob Reiner. As he was a regular on All In The Family, the two could often note they were key players on the two most popular sitcoms in the country. Following their divorce, she also had a relationship with popular singer Art Garfunkel. Her first marriage also produced one daughter, Tracy, who was later adopted by Rob Reiner. She appeared in many of her mother’s projects, most notably as Betty in A League Of Their Own.

When Marshall was at her best, she was able to strike a great balance between comedy and genuine heart. Her better movies will continue to be watched and loved for decades to come. Our thoughts go out to her family during this difficult time.

Check Out Todd Phillips Confirming The Joker Has Wrapped

In addition to keeping the DC Extended Universe going in the coming years with entries like Shazam!, Birds of Prey and Wonder Woman 1984, Warner Bros is also delivering a standalone DC tale in the form of Joker. First announced in summer 2017, the movie began filming in September, and director Todd Phillips has confirmed that the Joker production has wrapped with the following social media post.

While nowadays it’s rarely possible for a blockbuster movie to film without at least a few leaked set photos popping up online, Joker‘s production in New York City has been quite the open book over the last three months, giving us a fairly good idea of what’s in store. But principal photography is just one step in the moviemaking process, and as Todd Phillips noted in his Instagram post, now begins the process of editing Joker together.

There’s still 10 months to go until Joker‘s release, and even though the movie worked with a smaller budget than your average comic book movie, it’s possible that some time might be said aside in 2019 for reshoots. Nevertheless, wrapping up the initial shooting period is a tremendous accomplishment, and Todd Phillips expressed gratitude for the crew that was around in New York City. Joker also shot for a little bit in New Jersey, specifically Jersey City and Newark.

Along with set photos and videos being posted online, Todd Phillips has also been fairly open about Joker‘s creative process, sharing his own looks at the making of the movie on social media. Whether he’ll continue doing so during the post-production phase or not remains to be seen, but it would be cool to get some behind-the-scenes pictures from the editing bay. Directors M. Night Shyamalan and David F. Sandberg have been similarly transparent through the making of Glass and Shazam!, respectively.

The Joker has been antagonizing Batman since 1940, and nearly 80 years later, one could argue that The Clown Prince of Crime is equal in popularity to the Caped Crusader. Joker has already been played in live action movies by Caesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and Jared Leto, but Joaquin Phoenix‘s turn as the cackling villain marks the first time that the character is the center of attention on the big screen. Leto is still holding down the fort as The Joker within the DCEU (though when he’ll return hasn’t been officially been revealed yet), but now we’re getting to see what a one-off telling of his rise to power looks like outside of the confines of a massive franchise.

In this version of the tale, which is taking cues from Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s one-shot graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke, the eponymous character is originally known as Arthur Fleck, played by Joaquin Phoenix. The actor was first rumored to be up for the role back in February, but it wasn’t until July that his involvement in Joker was finally confirmed. Phoenix had actually been interested in appearing in a “character study”-type comic book movie centered on a super villain back in 2014, but it would be another four years before his wish came true. Leonardo DiCaprio had reportedly been considered to play Joker before a deal with Phoenix was finalized.

Set in the early 1980s, Joker follows Arthur Fleck as a failed stand-up comedian who is driven to insanity and becomes a criminal mastermind leaving a trail of destruction the likes of which Gotham City has never seen before. The movie’s supporting cast includes Robert De Niro as a talk show host who somehow plays a role in Arthur’s turn to crime; Zazie Beetz as a “cynical” single mother who becomes Arthur’s love interest; Frances Conroy as Penny Fleck, Arthur’s mother; and Marc Maron as an agent working on De Niro’s character’s talk show. The cast also includes Bill Camp, Glenn Fleshler, Shea Whigham, Bryan Callen and Josh Pais.

And if you thought that The Joker is the only character from the comics who’s appearing in this movie, you’d be mistaken. Joker is also including the Wayne family, with Brett Cullen playing Thomas Wayne and Dante Pereira-Olson playing Bruce Wayne (there’s no word yet on who’s been cast as Martha Wayne). Oh, and it wouldn’t be a Wayne household without Alfred Pennyworth serving as the trusty butler. He’ll be played by Douglas Hodge.

Traditionally in the comics, Batman has played a role in The Joker’s origin story, usually by being directly or indirectly responsible for the often unidentified man falling into the vat of chemicals that turned his hair green, his skin chalk white, his lips red and ultimately transforming him into a anarchistic lunatic. The Dark Knight gave us a Joker who became unhinged without Batman’s presence and Suicide Squad showed that you can include the villain in a movie without him having face time with Batman, but Joker is still peculiar in that this version of the character is “debuting” while Bruce Wayne is still a child.

I’ve previously speculated on how Phoenix’s Joker could actually be a precursor to the real Joker who will pop up years later, but that’s hardly guaranteed to happen. In any case, Joker is definitely setting itself up to be a different type of comic book movie, having more in common with a drama like The King of Comedy than the traditional fare from Marvel and DC.

It will also be particularly interesting to see how Joker performs next fall, because if it ends up being critically and commercially successful, this could be the first in a slate of DC movies that are standalone and don’t need to be tied to anything else. The DCEU shows no signs of stopping anytime soon, but Warner Bros could take a two-pronged approach and hash out a separate label filled with content that don’t need to worry about continuity restrictions and can take a more Elseworlds-like approach with adapting source material. It all depends on how Joker is received by audiences.

Joker will be released in theaters on October 4, 2019, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for continuing coverage about its progress. Head to our 2019 release schedule to find out what other movies are coming out next year, or look through our DCEU guide to find out what projects are in development for that shared universe.

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The Insane Number Of Movies Netflix Want To Release Next Year

Netflix has been ramping up its original productions unit for some time and now it looks as if next year will be no exception. Overall, Netflix plans to produce 90 film releases in 2019. Yes, 90.

A good chunk of those 90 films should be in the traditional live action film model. There are 55 original films, all with various budgets, that will be coming out next year that will be what the average moviegoer considers to be regular films. Secondly, Netflix has also increased its documentary and animated film output, which is where the other 45 titles will come in.

As the NY Times noted in its writeup, that number may not seem too insane until you consider the output of the other major studios. Universal is cited as an example for comparison and Universal produced 30 movies in 2019. In percentage terms, 30 movies is far fewer than 90 movies.

A day ago, a study seemingly confirmed that the moviegoing public who consumes Netflix is also likely to head to movie theaters. In this environment, seemingly both theatrical releases and Netflix releases could thrive. Competition may not be as fierce as it may seem or may have seemed when Netflix got into the movie game.

Regardless, Netflix has more big productions starting to roll out in 2019. We’ve been hearing about Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman for some time, but there are also movies coming from the likes of Steven Soderbergh and Michael Bay.

The new offerings should run the gamut in terms of genre and premise.

In fact, as evidenced above there are different groups, including the groups run by Scott Stuber that encompass the 55 original films previously listed. One group is called the “Originals,” which have relatively large budgets between $20 million and $200 million. The Irishman‘s budget, for example has previously been estimated at $140 million.

The other 35 films are listed as “indies.” Traditionally when many of us think of indies, we may think of movies trying to be awards contenders, but Netflix has also delved into original movies that are closer to the content Hallmark or Lifetime are putting out, including stuff like The Princess Switch.

Netflix also is able to save some money in the budget department by not advertising in the traditional ways that big budget movies at the box office have. Instead, the subscription streaming company markets on its own platform and can market an older product for years, provided it’s a good fit for the user.

Netflix has been creating new content for years now, but getting into the film game is still a whole lot newer for the company than getting into TV productions. Clearly the subscription streaming service has some good talent in its lineup heading into 2019 and we’ll have to wait and see if any of those flicks end up competing (or being able to compete) in the big awards races.

Vice Reviews Are In, Here’s What The Critics Are Saying

Most 2018 movies expected to be in the conversation come awards season have already opened in theaters, but there are a few stragglers looking to make waves late in the game, including Adam McKay’s Vice. The director of The Big Short wrote and directed this film that stars Christian Bale as Vice President Dick Cheney. A biopic from an Oscar winner, starring a host of acclaimed actors, anchored by an unrecognizable lead, Vice has all the makings of a contender.

While Vice doesn’t come out until Christmas Day, the film has screened and reviews are in to let us know if the film’s pedigree all adds up to something special. For CinemaBlend’s Eric Eisenberg, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’ as he gave the film 5 stars, praising the work of everyone involved, especially director Adam McKay. Eric said:

Vice is vital and important filmmaking, delivered in a unique and incredible way by an exceptional filmmaker.

After films like Anchorman, The Other Guys and Step Brothers, Adam McKay took on real world issues, while still employing his comedic chops in The Big Short. Audiences familiar with that film may find something similar with Vice, as it makes the business of bureaucracy entertaining and informative, as IGN‘s William Bibbiani explained:

Vice has been told with all the caustic wit and self-righteousness that we’ve come to expect from McKay, and if you’re on his side, you’ll probably marvel at his clever storytelling, the impressive performances of his huge ensemble cast, and the way he makes learning, for lack of a better word, ‘fun.’

Christian Bale has become known for physical transformations and with Vice, he does so as an enigmatic and controversial figure. Many of the reviews indicate that this performance is indeed a career highlight for the actor, even if the film doesn’t offer much insight into who Dick Cheney actually is. Collider‘s Matt Goldberg gave the film an A- and explained that the ‘who’ is not as important as the ‘what’:

Bale is uncanny as Cheney, completely slipping into a taciturn figure and making you forget there’s even an actor there. But it’s not in service of understanding Cheney as much as it’s trying to paint a picture of what Cheney was involved in.

Those are all pretty positive reviews, but Vice is proving polarizing. While some reviewers were fans of Adam McKay’s tone and approach, others found it to be more style than substance. Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman found the film lacking when it came to its main subject, as he explained:

As outrageous, and entertainingly horrible, as much of this is to watch, like a feature-length Saturday Night Live skit staged by the editors of Politico, none of it comes close to confronting the question I went into a 2-hour-and-12-minute film about Dick Cheney in ardent hopes of getting an answer to. Namely: Who is Dick Cheney?

Those who disliked the film seemed to take issue with it not so much on political grounds, but the fact that Vice is a preaching to the choir and having a laugh without offering any nuance or real insight. The Wrap‘s Candice Frederick

Maybe McKay wasn’t really trying to indict anyone here, which is fine. But what’s missing in this and even The Big Short is a strong filmmaker’s voice. He’s not saying anything, just poking fun.

For the most part, reviewers seem to have either really liked Vice and what Adam McKay did with the film or to have really disliked it. IndieWire‘s Eric Kohn however, was able to take both good and bad away from the film in his B- review. He said:

Buoyed by a brilliant transformation by Christian Bale, it offers a smart and detailed overview of Cheney’s elaborate ruse to exploit the country’s highest authority, but undercuts its authority with crass and often clunky humor that overstates the nature of Cheney’s villainy.

Clearly Vice is not for everyone, but to me it sounds like if you liked Adam McKay’s The Big Short, you may find something to like here. You can judge for yourself when Vice opens in theaters on Christmas Day.

For all of next year’s biggest movies, check out our 2019 Release Schedule.

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Aquaman 2 Should Bring Back Two Heroes, According To Jason Momoa

After the DCEU‘s first major team-up flick with last year’s Justice League, with each release there’s no telling what DC hero or villain could show up each time around (such as that that surprising Deathstroke cameo). While Aquaman will solely focus on the comic book hero’s own world of Atlantis, once Arthur Curry’s origin story is established in the upcoming film, perhaps he could team up again with one of his fellow superheoes in a sequel. When Jason Momoa was asked who he’d like to have his back in Aquaman 2, he swiftly jumped to Ezra Miller’s Flash and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, not wanting to choose just one person. As he said:

Or both? Both is good. Jason Momoa has of course worked with both Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince and Ezra Miller in Justice League, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see them on screen for another round of world saving. With the release of Aquaman, the hero has been met with positive praise and has already had an incredible run at the Chinese box office so far, indicating that audiences are going to want to see more of the character.

Considering we haven’t seen too much of the DCEU’s Flash, it would be exciting to see Ezra Miller back on screen as the character with Aquaman as Jason Momoa suggested to Collider. The snarky speedster would be a comical partner for Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, but we’d love to see Barry Allen get his big screen origin story before signing up for another supporting role.

The Flash standalone film, said to be called ­Flashpoint, has been in development at Warner Bros. since 2014, but seen its fair share of delays since. The latest setback came because of Ezra Miller’s obligations in the Fantastic Beasts films, which has pushed back its release until 2021. Considering an Aquaman sequel hasn’t been announced, it would need at least a few years to develop — so bring on the Aquaman/Flash team up!

We’d also love to see Aquaman and Wonder Woman share the screen again in the underwater superhero’s next movie. Pairing them both makes a lot of sense too because they each have roots in myth, whereas Barry Allen is very much a modern tale. Amber Heard who plays Mera in Aquaman has already expressed interest in a Wonder Woman/Mera spinoff for the badass heroines though, so move over, Curry.

Hold your seahorses, though! Aquaman hasn’t been released yet. Warner Bros. executives are certainly waiting out to see how well the film does this weekend domestically before giving the green light to a sequel. The Atlantean adventure comes to theaters this Friday, Dec. 21.

Frank Oz Is Super Unhappy With How Disney Has Handled The Muppets

Back in 2004, Disney acquired the rights to The Muppets from the Jim Henson Company. However, it wouldn’t be until 2011 that the characters made a return to the big screen and the 2015 return to television didn’t last very long. Disney does seem to be having some difficulty finding the right way to use these characters and one person who clearly thinks the studio just doesn’t get it is Frank Oz, the man behind such iconic Muppets as Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear. He recently broke his general silence on the Disney era of The Muppets to tell people how he really feels on Twitter.

Frank Oz says on Twitter that the Disney iterations of The Muppets lack depth and honesty that are intrinsic to the characters. In a followup tweet, Frank Oz praises the work of Jerry Juhl, who wrote on every episode of The Muppet Show and was also responsible for the screenplay of nearly every Muppet feature film between The Muppet Movie and Muppets From Space. Oz says that Juhl understood the relationships between the characters as well as the wants each character had.

These things were never directly spoken about on screen, but Oz feels they’re necessary to properly writing for The Muppets and clearly doesn’t think the people currently handling the characters clearly understands them.

Disney purchased The Muppets from the Jim Henson Company back in 2004 but, beyond a previously existing theme park attraction at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, the company didn’t do much with the newly acquired characters. That changed in 2011 when Jason Segal and Nicholas Stoller wrote The Muppets, a brand new film that brought the characters out of semi-retirement by telling a story that was about the characters coming out of semi-retirement.

That movie was a pretty solid hit at the time, and it looked like The Muppets might have been getting ready for a new leash on life. However, the followup movie Muppets Most Wanted did not perform nearly as well.

This was then followed by a new TV series, also simply called The Muppets, which saw the characters running a late-night talk show hosted by Miss Piggy. The show was slightly retooled in the middle in an attempt to save it but the series was canceled after a single season.

Today, it’s hard to find the Muppets under the Disney umbrella. The original MuppetVision 3-D attraction has closed at Disney’s California Adventure and is rumored to be not long for Disney’s Hollywood Studios. They do put on a regular show at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, The Muppets Present…Great Moments in American History, but if you’re not in Orlando the only place to really find the characters these days is on YouTube. There was a rumor some time ago that the characters were in line for a new TV series on the upcoming Disney+ streaming service, but little has been heard recently about that.

For what it’s worth, Frank Oz would be more than willing to lend his experience with The Muppets to Disney to try and right the ship. However, he doesn’t expect they ever will, because the current performers of the characters would have the ability to veto any idea he had.

If it’s true that Frank Oz would never be consulted on The Muppets, that’s a true shame. There’s really no reason, beyond ego, why you wouldn’t bring him in now and again, if only to get his opinion and perspective on things. It doesn’t mean that you have to do everything the way that Frank Oz and Jim Henson would have done things, but understanding those core ideas can help Disney take the characters in new directions while still holding true to the basic things that made the characters popular.

In the end, Disney certainly wants The Muppets to be successful. Even if we want to be completely mercenary about the whole thing, if they just sit on a shelf and collect dust then they’re not making anybody any money. What Disney has been doing hasn’t been working, so a new direction is pretty clearly necessary.

Of course, the other issue is that, at this point, The Muppets just aren’t going to be a serious Disney priority. When you’ve got Marvel and Lucasfilm in your pocket, The Muppets will certainly get lost.

I have mostly enjoyed the new Muppets stuff if I’m being honest. I think the first new movie with Jason Segal and Amy Adams is excellent. I even enjoyed the TV series, though I’ll be the first to admit it was missing something. It was good, it wasn’t great. Still, the fact that the series was unable to find an audience, when there are clearly some big Muppets fans out there, shows that those fans are looking for something other than what Disney is providing.

This is really the first time that we’ve heard Frank Oz speak so candidly about the current state of these beloved characters. It seems Oz himself wasn’t really planning to make “a thing” out of all this, but the conversation got started on Twitter and this is where it ended up. And as Oz points out, it’s not like he hasn’t given Disney time to make it right.

Muppet fans shouldn’t entirely lose hope, however. Frank Oz does add to his Twitter comments that Debbie McClellan, who is the Vice President of The Muppets Studio, is somebody who does understand the heart of The Muppets, so there are people working at Disney who “get it” in Oz’s opinion. It seems that maybe they just don’t have the voice that they need to have.

What’s next for the Muppets is anybody’s guess at this point. The characters will certainly endure, they’re not going anywhere, and the original TV series and movies that caused people to fall in love with them will never go away. But whether or not whatever new Muppets shows or movies we get will be as well-loved as that classic material, well that’s the real question.

I certainly hope that Disney finds the way. Seeing the Muppets on TV or in the movies again would be wonderful.


New DVD Releases: When To Buy The Latest Movies And TV Shows In December 2018

We’re approaching the holiday season, which means there are a slew of big box sets and other fun releases the studios are putting out to entice buyers to purchase stocking stuffers for movie fans across the country. In fact, we’ve already put together a 2018 gift guide featuring some of 2018’s biggest releases.

Still, in December, there’s way more from the major studios coming out. Some big summer releases are finally making their way onto Blu-ray, DVD and Digital, including the hard copy release of Mission: Impossible — Fallout. There’s an exciting superhero release in Venom and while a lot of other big releases are movie-related, there are also a few popular TV releases as well.

Among those are Westworld: The Complete Second Season and the first season release of the new series Yellowstone.

As the month wears on and we get closer to the Christmas holiday, the new releases do taper off some, but there’s still a lot to look forward to this month, with White Boy Rick and more wrapping things up at the end of the month.

Digital releases are same day unless otherwise noted in the early Digital column. If you’d like to see Blu-ray, DVD or Digital release from November 2018, we have you covered. You can take a look at this month’s releases, below.

Tuesday, December 4 Blu-ray, DVD And Digital Releases

Mission: Impossible — Fallout
The Nun
Westworld: Season 2, The Door
The Handmaid’s Tale: Season Two
Castlevania: Season One
The Happytime Murders
God Bless The Broken Road
The Miseducation Of Cameron Post
Operation Finale
Til Death Do Us Part
Family Guy: Season Sixteen
Yellowstone: Season 1
Viking Destiny
Pop Francis: A Man of His Word
Beautifully Broken
What Keeps You Alive

Tuesday, December 11 Blu-ray, DVD And Digital Releases

The Equalizer 2
The Orville: The Complete First Season
River Runs Red
Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero
Unbroken: Path To Redemption
I Still See You
Instinct: Season One
The Last Kingdom: Season Three
Welcome Home

Week of Tuesday, December 11 Early Digital Releases

A Simple Favor
White Boy Rick
Night School

Tuesday, December 18 Blu-ray, DVD And Digital Releases

A Simple Favor
The House With A Clock In Its Walls
The Predator
Little Women
Assassination Nation
Life Itself
Fahrenheit 11/9
The Sinner: Season 2
Air Strike
Mars: Season 2

Week of Tuesday, December 18 Early Digital Releases

Bad Times At The El Royale
Mid90s (December 21)

As we wrap up 2018, there have been a slew of exciting releases that have hit homes, both via Digital and physical copies. Take a look at January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October and November. Be sure to let us know about your favorite movie or TV purchase this year and we’ll see y’all in 2019.

Shazam’s Director Has Screened Aquaman, Here’s What He Thinks

It’s been more than a year since we’ve had a DC comics movie. Aquaman hits theaters on Friday following Justice League that came out a year ago in November. However, we won’t have to wait quite that long for the next installment of the DC universe as Shazam! is coming in the spring. David F. Sandberg, director of Shazam! has now seen the DC movie that’s acting as his lead-in, and needless to say, he’s impressed. Sandberg recently tweeted…

Clearly, that’s high praise. Simply saying Aquaman was a great movie or a fun time would have been one thing, but the Shazam! director goes on to praise the action and visuals as some of the most spectacular ever.

Of course, to a certain extent, in order to work, Aquaman had to have some really impressive visuals. Large portions of the film take place in an underwater city. This meant the movie had to create not only the mythical city of Atlantis but make it look like people were existing there underwater, and had been for centuries. To a certain extent, the visuals would make or break the movie. If the underwater sequences didn’t work then the rest of the movie sort of falls apart.

It’s one thing to get some stunning digital effects on the screen, but it’s quite another to have spectacular action. That’s really where it’s all going to come down for Aquaman. Action is what sells tickets to superhero movies. We want to see impressive fights and other action sequences and, according to David F. Sandberg, Aquaman delivers that like few other movies have.

One certainly has to wonder how David F. Sandberg is now taking stock of his own movie having now seen a finished version of Aquaman. He’s next up for DC with Shazam! and while the first trailer for the film did give what looks to be an entertaining movie, it focused almost exclusively on the humor of the film. We have yet to see much action from Shazam! and while that may not necessarily be where the next DC movie will focus, it is still a superhero movie and will need some solid action sequences.

Overall, things are looking pretty good for DC right now. David F. Sandberg is far from the only person praising Aquaman as the movie is getting good reviews from critics across the board. Considering the way that most other DC properties have met with much more mixed results, it looks like things may now be headed in the right direction. We’ll have to see just how well Aquaman really does work when it hits theaters on Friday.

How Freddie Mercury’s Sister Felt About Seeing Rami Malek In Bohemian Rhapsody

A lot has been said about Rami Malek putting in fake teeth and doing quite a lot to look and sound like Freddie Mercury on the stage. At one point during filming, Freddy Mercury’s sister Kashmira, whom he affectionately calls Kash in the movie, was able to see Malek in full Mercury garb. The actor explained her reaction to Jimmy Kimmel, noting it wasn’t really as emotional as you might guess. At least, not at first. He said:

When Bohemian Rhapsody was doing press prior to release, a lot of the reactions that came out about the movie came from people who pop up in the film. Famous names like Brian May spoke out about Rami Malek and the rest of the gang performing, but it’s also nice to know that Freddy Mercury’s own family was seemingly on board with how the film played out.

Along with being a really fun movie with a toe-tapping soundtrack, Bohemian Rhapsody has earned quite a bit of support from the people who actually really lived out the story. Brian May has spoken out about the movie and what he liked quite a bit, even revealing his favorite scene in the movie is when Rami Malek talks to the band about going solo.

Roger Taylor has spoken out about watching the young men and almost feeling as if he were watching a younger version of himself. He had to remind himself that it was a fictional movie at times.

This is pretty high praise for Bohemian Rhapsody, a movie which doesn’t always fully strive to show its members in their very best lights.

As for Kashmira, Freddy Mercury’s sister only has a small role in the movie, appearing in a few family-oriented scenes. That part of Bohemian Rhapsody‘s storyline is mostly reserved for Mercury’s relationship with his father, who struggles to understand his son.

Although her part is small, it also means the real Kashmira shouldn’t have had to worry about her portrayal on the big screen too much.

Instead, she could laugh at Rami Malek in character and appreciate the movie for what it was, even sending Malek an emotional follow-up email later on, at least according to what Rami Malek revealed on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Biopics don’t always have support from the people they are following, but in the case of Bohemian Rhapsody, it seems as if the movie did.

The Trickiest Part About Making Mary Poppins Returns, According To Rob Marshall

Making a sequel to one of the most beloved movies ever is already a tricky business, but it’s one Rob Marshall decided he was willing to take on to direct Mary Poppins Returns. Our own Corey Chichizola had a chance to sit down with Marshall to discuss the new film, and the director told him that the trickiest part of the film was deciding when it was ok to directly reference the original film, specifically in the score, and when he needed to let the new film stand on its own. According to Marshall…

The reason Disney decided to make a sequel to Mary Poppins at all was certainly that the film is so deeply loved by so many. Fans will want the movie to make those references to the classic film they remember. At the same time, the new movie has to stand on its own and be its own story. Fans will want to keep their eyes and ears open as Rob Marshall says that those references are there but they’re few and far between, as he didn’t want to abuse nostalgia.

If you end up focusing too much on the old movie, as Rob Marshall says, the film just becomes a remake. Either that or your movie turns into an easter egg hunt that causes the audience to go looking for the references rather than actually watch the movie that was made.

Having seen Mary Poppins Returns already, and being a big fan of the original, I certainly noticed at least a few of the times that the score in the background included bits of music from the original film. It’s incredibly well done and while the music wants you to hear the reference, it’s not happening all the time, which makes those moments that you hear it feel special. I didn’t notice the musical cues until later in the movie, which certainly does seem to imply that Mary Poppins Returns waited until it had earned those moments. I certainly believe it did.

The good news is that you won’t need to wait too long to experience Mary Poppins Returns as the film opens in theaters on Wednesday. Check out Rob Marshall’s complete comments in the video below.