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DC Motherbox

Pierce Brosnan to Play Doctor Fate in ‘Black Adam’

by @HolocronJosh for @DCMotherbox

Pierce Brosnan has been tapped to play Doctor Fate in the upcoming DC film ‘Black Adam’ starring Dwayne Johnson.

Brosnan is perhaps best known for playing James Bond in ‘The World is Not Enough’ and ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’, and was the last actor to play 007 before Daniel Craig inherited the role. He has also starred in ‘Mamma Mia’ and ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’. More recently, Brosnan can be seen in the Eurovision Song Contest film for Netflix.

Brosnan will play Doctor Fate, aka Kent Nelson, a character derived from the comics and who was given the Helmet of Fate. He will star alongside Dwayne Johnson, the lead actor, and the film is scheduled to begin production this April.

‘Black Adam’ has already signed on many big names, including Aldis Hodge as Hawkman, Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher, and Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone.

This casting comes just one day after the news that Helen Mirren will play the villain in the upcoming Shazam! 2 film. In the comics, Shazam and Black Adam are arch rivals, so expect to see these two upcoming films intersect in some way.

Although it has no current release date, Black Adam is expected to release sometime in 2022.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

Images courtesy of WarnerMedia, Parade, and DC Films

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DC Motherbox

Helen Mirren Joins Cast of ‘Shazam: Fury of the Gods’ as Villain

by @holocronGeorge for @DCMotherbox

Academy Award winner Helen Mirren has joined the cast of Shazam: Fury of the Gods, the sequel to David F. Sanberg’s 2019 film.

Mirren will play the villain Hespera, who is described as the daughter of Atlas. Hespera doesn’t appear to be based on any DC Comics character in particular, at least based on her name, but Atlas has appeared in various projects, including Jack Kirby’s run in the mid-1970s.

This isn’t Mirren’s first foray into blockbuster territory. In addition to her illustrious career, the Oscar winner has played roles in the Fast and Furious and Red franchises.

Mirren is an impressive addition to the growing cast of the Shazam sequel. She joins West Side Story actress Rachel Zegler, whose character is still being kept secret.

Shazam: Fury of the Gods sees the return of Zachary Levi and Asher Angel sharing double duties as the titular superhero. David F. Sanberg will continue his work in the director’s seat following the strong positive critical and fan reception to the first film in the franchise.

Stay tuned for more coverage of Shazam: Fury of the Gods ahead of its release in June 2022.

Images courtesy of Warner Bros, The Telegraph, and DC

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Marvel Tesseract

Black Widow Moves To July 9, Will Release in Theaters and Disney+

by @holocronGeorge for @Mar_Tesseract

Black Widow has moved release dates once again, this time to July 9, and will now premiere on Disney+ as well as in theaters. This has proven to be Disney’s preferred model during the COVID-19 pandemic which has forced movie theaters to close for months. This month, LA and New York state theaters finally reopened for the first time in months, yet Disney seems to believe that moving the latest Marvel Studios film back two months gives it the highest chance of success.

Like Raya and the Last Dragon, the latest Disney film, Black Widow will premiere on Disney+ through the premiere access model, in which subscribers pay a fee to watch the movie on top of the monthly subscription fee.

Elsewhere, Shang Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings moves to September 3. Shang Chi previously occupied the July 9 spot before Black Widow was pushed back. There’s no word yet on whether or not Shang Chi will also have premiere access.

Until then, Marvel fans can look forward to the latest episodes of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, as well as Loki, which premieres June 11.

Images Courtesy of Disney and Marvel Studios

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Marvel Tesseract

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier Had Disney+‘s Highest Viewed Premiere Episode Ever

by @holocronJosh for @mar_tesseract

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier premiered last Friday to great reviews from critics and fans alike. The highly anticipated show was clearly a smash hit in terms of viewership, with Disney officially announcing that The Falcon and The Winter Soldier had the most watched premiere in the steamer’s history.

TFATWS beats out other popular shows on Disney+, such as The Mandalorian and WandaVision. The first episode of the show, titled ‘New World Order’, was praised for its grounded approach, showing Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes engage in regular, everyday activities. Although later episodes of the season will, in all likelihood, increase the action and scale of the show, the pilot allowed for fans to understand these two titular heroes on a deeper level, seeing their lives in a different light. No wonder fans can’t get enough.

Episode 2 of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier premieres Friday on Disney+.

Images courtesy of Disney+ and Marvel Studios

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DC Motherbox

WarnerMedia CEO Casts Doubt on The Continuation of the Snyderverse

by @holocronJosh for @DCMotherbox

WarnerMedia CEO Ann Sarnoff recently spoke with Variety about the release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, the highly anticipated DC project that was met with critical and public acclaim acclaim since it’s HBO Max debut on March 18. Since then, many have wondered if a sequel to the film will be developed, especially given some of the plot arcs that are set up. Many have demanded a continuation of this tale, evidenced by #RestoretheSnyderverse trending on Twitter for days after Justice League’s release. On this fan demand, Sarnoff stated:

“I appreciate that they love Zack’s work and we are very thankful for his many contributions to DC. We’re just so happy that he could bring his cut of the Justice League to life because that wasn’t in the plan until about a year ago. With that comes the completion of his trilogy. We’re very happy we’ve done this, but we’re very excited about the plans we have for all the multi-dimensional DC characters that are being developed right now.”

Sarnoff instead cited the production of upcoming DC projects as the future of the brand. The Batman, The Suicide Squad, and more are currently in various stages of development.

This news is sure to be disappointing for the fans that enjoyed the Snyder Cut, but as the director of that film said himself, never say never. The release of the allusive Snyder Cut of Justice League seemed far fetched not so long ago, and now the film is out with newly shot scenes that set up potential sequels even included. If Snyder’s sequels are never realized, fans can be happy that his version of Justice League was released, as well as having other DC films and shows to look forward to.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is now streaming on HBO Max.

Images courtesy of HBO Max, WarnerMedia, and DC

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Marvel Tesseract

Hawkeye Spin-off Series Centered on Echo in Development for Disney+

by @holocronGeorge for @mar_tesseract

The upcoming Hawkeye series may already be getting a spin-off series, according to Variety. Echo, a deaf and Native American character that will be played by Alaqua Cox in Hawkeye, is said to be the focus of this spin-off. 

In the comics, Echo works closely with Daredevil and other Marvel characters, and was the first to go by the name Ronin, a mantle that Hawkeye took on in Avengers: Endgame after the death of his family.

Hawkeye is slated to release in the fall of 2021, and stars Jeremy Renner, Hailee Steinfeld, Vera Farmiga, Tony Dalton, and Alaqua Cox. Steinfeld will play Kate Bishop, a young archer who becomes an apprentice to Renner’s Hawkeye.

Marvel fans have plenty of other projects to look forward to. There are several shows in active development for Disney+, including Loki (releasing this June), Ms. Marvel, What If?, Moon Knight, and She Hulk. These are in addition to The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, which is currently airing weekly on the streaming service. 

Images courtesy of Disney and Marvel Studios

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Star Wars Holocron

New Star Wars Novel ‘Ronin’ Announced

by @HolocronJosh for @sw_holocron

Del Rey Books have officially announced a new Star Wars novel written by Emma Mieko Canon. Titled ‘Ronin’, this latest project is inspired by the upcoming Star Wars: Visions, an anime series slated to premiere on Disney+ later in 2021. Del Rey teased that Ronin is a “Star Wars book unlike any before it” in their announcement tweet, an exciting prospect for fans already looking forward to the upcoming anime series Visions.

In late 2020, Lucasfilm gave a brief description of the series:

“Presenting all-new, creative takes on the galaxy far, far away, Star Wars: Visions will be a series of animated short films celebrating Star Wars through the lens of the world’s best anime creators. The anthology collection will bring 10 fantastic visions from several of the leading Japanese anime studios, offering a fresh and diverse cultural perspective to Star Wars.”

Del Rey stated that Ronin will be an original novel and story and will release on October 12, 2021. Until then, Star Wars fans can dive into the new, incredible world of The High Republic in a series of Star Wars novels, comics, and publishing projects.

Images courtesy of Lucasfilm, Disney, and Del Rey

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Film Codex

Box Office Report: Weekend of 3/19 – Raya and The Last Dragon Retains Top Spot as LA Theaters Reopen

by @holocronJosh for @FilmCodex

Raya and the Last Dragon, the latest Disney film that opened with a hybrid theaters/streaming model, topped the box office once again this weekend. Raya dropped 9% from last week to earn another $5.2 million from 2,261 theaters. Overall, Raya has now taken in $23.4 million domestically, not including the rentals on Disney+, the numbers of which have not been officially released.

In second place was, once again, WB’s Tom and Jerry, which added another $3.8 million to it’s domestic total of $33.6 million. Tom and Jerry is arguably the biggest box office surprise of 2021, coming in above expectations and proving to many that movie theater attendance is on the rise once more. The Courier, Chaos Walking, and The Croods: A New Age round out the top 5, with $2 million, $1.925 million, and $620k respectively. 

This was a big weekend for the box office and the film industry. After months of closures, LA movie theaters finally reopened, yet another sign that things are starting to return to some sort of normalcy. Coupled with the return of New York cinemas, and more theaters that are poised to open up soon, the box office is showing signs of life for the first time in over a year.

This is a good sign for Black Widow, the Marvel Studios film that is currently slated to release on May 7. The rise in vaccination numbers and a decrease in COVID-19 cases means that movie theaters will, in all likelihood, remain open from now on, barring an unexpected surprise. From this, one can deduce that movies like Black Widow could be set for release in some form. Disney CEO Bob Chapek said this week that the company are looking to “remain flexible” and “make the call [on Black Widow and other films] probably at the last minute”. Chapek is clearly hinting at the possibility of a hybrid model, akin to Raya and the Last Dragon, and all signs are pointing to this form of release for the long awaited Marvel film.

Images courtesy of Disney and Warner Media

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Marvel Tesseract

10 Things You Might Have Missed in the Premiere of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier

by @holocronGeorge and @holocronJosh for @mar_tesseract

Lieutenant Joaquin Torres

Torres was in Tunisia with Sam Wilson as the latter fought back against the plane hijackers in the big action sequence of the first episode. He later appears undercover in the episode as he attempts to stop a bank robbery, and reports his findings on these serial thieves to Wilson. In the comics, Torres becomes The Falcon to Sam Wilson’s Captain America. Expect to see more of him in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier and the MCU in general. 

Redwing

Sam uses Redwing in the air battle in Tunisia, and later repairs his electronic sidekick to make sure it’s good to go again. Redwing first made an appearance in Captain America: Civil War, and is Sam Wilson’s sidekick in the comics. In the source material, Redwing is an actual bird, compared to technology in the MCU.

Enfys Nest

In the scene in which The Flag Smashers cause chaos and steal yet again (and Torres gets hurt), one of these villainous individuals is seen putting on her mask. The audience can see her red, curly hair, and this actress is Erin Kellyman, who will go on to have a bigger role in TFATWS. Kellyman is best known for her role as Enfys Nest in Solo: A Star Wars Story. 

Georges Batroc

One of the hijackers seen early on in the episode is Georges Batroc, who is seen in the opening action scene of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and fights Steve Rogers. Batroc is played by Georges St. Pierre, a famed UFC fighter. 

On Your Left

A recurring theme in the relationship between Sam Wilson and Steve Rogers was the way in which both kept saying “on your left” to each other, a trend that started in the second chapter of the Captain America trilogy. As many fans pointed out after a trailer reveal for the show, Sam Wilson stands beside a photo of Captain America, which is on his left. 

The Captain America Museum’s Endgame Reference

Image courtesy of Buzzfeed

Rhodey and Wilson walk through the Captain America museum early on in the premiere, and fans can see a section dedicated to Cap’s “final mission”, which describes the events of Avengers: Endgame and the return of the infinity stones across time and space.

Bucky on the Floor

“Your bed. It’s too soft. When I was over there, I’d sleep on the ground and use rocks for pillows like a caveman. Now I’m home, lying in bed, and it’s like-“

“Lying on a marshmallow. Feel like I’m gonna sink right to the floor.”

The first episode of TFATWS had many callbacks to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, including a reference to his exchange between Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson. Bucky wakes up from his nightmare sleeping on the floor, highlighting that he too feels uncomfortable in his own bed, instead choosing to lay on the hard ground. This only adds to Bucky’s internal struggles and guilt in this episode.

Paul Walter Hauser

Sebastian Stan is best known for his role as Bucky Barnes in the MCU, but has also appeared in several non-Marvel films, including the critically acclaimed “I Tonya”, in which he appeared alongside Margot Robbie and Paul Walter Hauser. On Bucky’s list of those he wanted to make amends with, the name “P.W. Hauser” appears, a reference to his costar from that film. 

The Alley

Bucky stops a fight between Yori and a man named Unique in an alleyway, a callback to Steve Rogers fighting a group of bullies in an alley in 1940’s New York, as seen in Captain America: The First Avenger. 

Zemo’s Notebook

The end credits of the episode have many hidden references and call backs, one of which being Zemo’s notes from Captain America: Civil War that make Bucky turn into the Winter Soldier. Seventeen, daybreak, and furnace all appear in the credits, and are all part of the sequence of words  that Zemo used against Bucky. 

Images courtesy of Disney+ and Marvel Studios

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Marvel Tesseract

REVIEW: The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – Episode 1

by @holocronJosh for @mar_tesseract

Warning: This review contains spoilers for The Falcon and The Winter Soldier – Episode 1

“How does it feel?”

“Like it’s someone else’s.”

The final words exchanged between Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson hold weight and are explored more deeply in the debut episode of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Fresh off of the season finale of WandaVision, the highly anticipated second Disney+ series from Marvel Studios premiered this week with a solid, albeit slow start. 

The episode, titled New World Order, kicks off with a relentless action sequence that feels like it’s straight out of an MCU film, once again showing the cinematic qualities of the series released on Disney+ so far. The action is fast paced and reminiscent of some of the more bandheld work seen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Speaking of that film, it’s a cool little parallel to see both Cap and Sam fight Batroc at the start of their respective projects. The sequence seems to last just a tad too long, but it serves as a great, tension-filled jumpstart to the series.

Perhaps a little unusually, however, that ends up being the only real action sequence of the whole episode. After his escapades in the Middle East, Sam repairs his tech and heads back to Washington, D.C., where he gives away the Cap shield to the U.S. government, believing that it would be put in a museum. This scene gives us the first surprise cameo of the show, as Rhodey (Don Cheadle) enters and he and Sam have an important conversation about taking up the Captain America mantle. Like the first scene of the episode, Sam’s internal conflict regarding his worthiness for the shield and title of Captain America shows and affirms that this thread is the most interesting part of his screentime in the premiere debut. He feels that being Cap is too much pressure and that he won’t be able to live up to Steve Rogers’ heroics, thus believing that the only way forward is to retire the mantle all together. This inner conflict is one that is ripe for a TV show, and is bound to be explored in later episodes of TFATWS. With the total runtime of the series expected to be around six hours, that’s a lot of time for Sam’s conflict to truly be explored and, ultimately, resolved. There’s a lot of potential here with this, although the premiere only touches the surface of Sam’s decision.

Unfortunately, the other Sam-centric content in the episode falls a little flat. It was inevitable that Sam was going to be given quite a bit more characterization in this series relative to his role in the MCU films, but none of it is particularly captivating, especially for a premiere episode. Sam’s relationships with his sister and her children, in addition to attempts to save the family business, are explored in a manner that really isn’t too gripping. It’s unique to see an Avenger like Sam taken out of the battlefield and into his personal lie, where the audience gets a look at him in a way we haven’t before. And it’s unique to see an Avenger do something as seemingly menial as going to the bank, but it ultimately results in a series of choppy, unadventurous scenes in which the audience is left wondering where it’s going or what effect this plot will have on the show overall. 

Meanwhile, as the title suggests, the other half of the episode focuses on Bucky Barnes, aka The Winter Soldier. Similar to the episode’s approach to Sam, there is a very purposeful, slow-paced tone employed to highlight Bucky’s life beyond the battlefield. Bucky is seen dealing with the guilt of his past and his work with Hydra, waking up from a dream which sees him raid a public space and kill everyone in his vicinity (a scene beautifully reminiscent of his endeavors as the Winter Soldier in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America; Civil War). Bucky visits a therapist later in the episode, another example of a hero doing a regular, everyday task. Although he denies having a nightmare, his horrific acts still weigh on his mind as he woke up in such a fright and even goes as far to befriend Mr. Nakajima, an older man whose son Bucky killed in the past, and is one of many on a list of individuals that Barnes hopes to make amends with. The scenes with Mr. Nakajima and Bucky really highlight the latter’s humanity and just how far he’s come in this universe. The audience really gets inside Bucky’s head in these scenes in a manner more interesting than Sam’s so far. It’s difficult to not empathize with Bucky as his guilt is so palpable. It was always assumed that he had this feeling of guilt in Civil War, Infinity War, and even Endgame, yet those movies had so many other moving parts that they were unable to truly focus on what was going on inside Bucky’s head. In TFATWS, the audience can really see his guilt and conflict, along with the way in which he’s trying to make amends. Overall, Bucky’s scenes are the best parts of this episode. 

Towards the end of the episode, there is a tease of what is to come, as Sam communicates with a military colleague named Torres (who fans may recognize from the comics) seen earlier in the episode who outlines a bank robbery in Switzerland that was committed by a group of serial thieves. This is bound to come up again this season, and the set up is interesting enough to keep the audience’s attention. Also at the end of the episode, a new Captain America is revealed, played by Wyatt Russell, which only adds to Sam’s internal conflict. Mackie delivers the best acting episode of the episode in this scene, as he conveys complex emotions of regret, grief, loss, and fear all in a single moment without saying a word. 

Overall, New World Order is an unexpectedly slow-burn of an inaugural episode. The premiere largely serves as a check-in with these two Avengers before we get into the meat of the show. Given that TFATWS is only six episodes, it’s slightly surprising to see the first chapter start slowly, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It gives the creators’ time to introduce the individual arcs for the two title characters, in Sam’s decision to hand over the shield and Bucky’s guilt about the lives he’s taken. It’s just a shame that the episode isn’t a bit more gripping and a bit less choppy.

Verdict: 7/10

The Falcon and The Winter Soldier gets off to a solid start as it reintroduces us to Sam and Bucky, while providing new looks at their backstories. Although the episode struggles to find its footing, it provides enough interesting set-ups to have us eagerly awaiting next week’s installment. 

Images Courtesy of Disney+ and Marvel Studios