The Tick is not like any superhero show you’ve seen before

THE team behind The Tick will be the first ones to tell you there are a lot of superhero TV and movies around.

The Tick’s creator Ben Edlund calls it a “pangea” — in other words, a supercontinent.

It can feel like that. With 19 superhero shows currently on or coming soon to TV (and that’s only the American live-action sample), plus almost half a dozen movies a year, it’s well past saturation point.

So how does a show like The Tick, now streaming on Amazon Prime Video, stand out in such a crowded field?

“It’s amazing how full the menu of superhero options is,” Edlund told news.com.au while in Sydney promoting his show. “There’s a natural fatigue and we’re trying to engage with that fatigue. I think its value is The Tick doesn’t have to support some ages-old, completely entrenched and very serious canon.

“The value of a Marvel or DC universe is it’s a serious reality that you take part in. Ours is serious in its own way but we’re something new. We’re not bound to those rules. We take you on a ride that’s kind of meta in terms of what we’re doing in relation to the superhero culture we’ve grown up in.

“We have innate comedy inside our universe because it’s a funhouse reflection of that immovable universe, not necessarily Marvel or DC but the massive pangea we’re facing culturally. We get to be the dumbarse version of it because we never had any other pretensions.”

One of two leads on The Tick, Griffin Newman pointed out that The Tick has another advantage over other superhero shows.

“We’re the only superhero thing right now that isn’t tied into another cinematic or television universe. We’re a completely standalone show,” he said. “When I tell people it’s not a Marvel thing, you see they are immediately five per cent more interested. Not because they don’t like Marvel stuff, but because it’s got to a point where the price of entry feels really high for people. Am I going to sit there and not know what’s going on because I didn’t read this comic book 30 years ago or I didn’t see these six other movies that are tangentially connected? I love that we can tell just one story.”

Arthur is not your average superhero sidekick, precisely because of his averageness.Source:Supplied

Of course The Tick isn’t completely new. Edlund created the character in 1986 when he was 18 years old, originally as a mascot for a Boston comic book chain’s newsletter before getting his own run.

The comic was adapted as an animated series in the mid-nineties before getting a live-action cult remake in 2001 with Patrick Warburton in the blue suit but that was cancelled after nine episodes.

Now, Edlund gets a third go at it.

The superhero parody is based on the relationship between The Tick, a blue superhero played by British comedian Peter Serafinowicz (Fraaaaan!) and Arthur (Newman), a dweeby everyman whose own past tragedy spurs his obsession with taking down The Terror (Jackie Earle Healey). The show even has a Superman pastiche called Superian.

The first six of its 12-episode season dropped on Amazon’s streaming platform last Friday with the back half due to be released sometime next year.

The show was developed out of Amazon’s “pilot program” which differs from traditional models in that prospective new series make the first episode and then is voted on by viewers as to whether it gets picked up for the full season. The Tick’s existing fanbase over the last 30 years gave the show an advantage and, in the words of Edlund, it “blew the doors off that Amazon voting process”.

Since creating The Tick in the 1980s, Edlund has carved out a career as a writer in episodic television. After the 2001 incarnation of The Tick was cancelled, he found himself on the writing staff of short-lived but beloved cult show Firefly, having previously worked with Joss Whedon on the screenplay for Titan A.E. After Fireflywas canned, Edlund moved over to the final season of Angel, where he wrote the well-received puppet episode “Smile Time”. He’s also worked on Supernatural, Point Pleasant and two other comics-based shows, Powers and Gotham.

It was with a fellow Whedonverse alum, David Fury, that he co-created and executive produced this iteration of The Tick.

Chief villain, The Terror — apparently an “ancient narcissist who likes to put giant Ts everywhere”. Sound like anyone we know?Source:Supplied

Satirical humour is laced throughout the entire series but, in a feat for a parody, it’s not cynical. There’s something charmingly innocent about the endeavour, as embodied by The Tick, a hero so pure he doesn’t appear to have any emotional baggage or agenda other than to do good. It’s refreshing.

“What’s strange about superhero fiction is the trend is moving away from saving people,” Edlund said. “There’s not a lot of the superhero being on the beat and saving people in trouble. Now, in one form or another, it’s about factionalism. Those people are against my faction, we fought for centuries and now we’re going to express this battle in the time of today and I have my special hammer.”

Newman, a lifelong The Tick and superhero fan, agreed.

He added: “The fundamental thing is I really like the idea that people who have power choose to do the right thing. Every time I’m doing a scene where Arthur and The Tick are helping people, interacting with civilians, Peter and I look at each other and go, ‘isn’t this great?’. That’s what superheroes are supposed to be.”

War for the Planet of the Apes review: A riveting conclusion to a classic blockbuster trilogy

Caesar (Andy Serkis) showing off his best revenge face.20th Century Fox
Outside Twentieth Century Fox and those making the film, you could have counted the number of people who believed a contemporary Planet of the Apes prequel was a good idea on one monkey mitt. It never should have worked.

Nonetheless Rise of the Planet of the Apes defied expectations and broke technological boundaries to tell a story richer in character and emotion than any other blockbuster vying for box office supremacy in the summer of 2011.

Andy Serkis was the star, bringing to life a young ape named Caesar: the world’s first truly intelligent ape. Through performance capture the Lord of the Rings actor charted Caesar’s arc from sheltered youngster to outcast adolescent to budding revolutionary.
And yet, Rise wasn’t wholly successful. Serkis’ star turn was magnificent and broke new ground, but most of the film’s human stars disappointed with performances either phoned in or held back by a lack of faith in the performance capture tech at work.

It was with Matt Reeves’ sequel, the very different Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, that the series found an identity that really worked. There was confidence in performance capture, and everyone working on the film rallied around it.

Rise ended with Caesar’s intelligent apes breaking free of their human captors as a ‘Simian Flu’ began to spread across the world, killing humans in droves and causing society to crumble. Set 10 years later, Dawn’s story masterfully dealt with the biggest obstacle facing the sequel: how do you make apes the sympathetic heroes in a film about the inevitable end of humanity?

The answer is a story full of characters who aren’t heroes or villains, and who are stuck in tricky situations. Dawn’s humans and apes just want to survive, but their coming together creates a delicate tension and conflict seems inevitable.

In the end it isn’t a human that causes it, but an ape named Koba, driven by hatred for humankind.

War for the Planet of the Apes begins five years later, with an army of humans hunting Caesar down. The ape leader is his usual peaceful self, eager to avoid conflict unless absolutely necessary, and sends a message to the humans to this effect.

The colonel (Woody Harrelson) alongside soldiers and an ape which has aligned itself with the humans.20th Century Fox
His message of peace falls on deaf ears, leading to a devastating attack the aftermath of which reveals a new side to Caesar. Driven by a burning hatred and aided by a small group of his closest allies, Caesar embarks on a mission to kill the ruthless colonel orchestrating the attacks on his kind.

War for the Planet of the Apes isn’t the war movie you might expect. Instead it’s part-western and part-biblical epic. Why biblical? Well, Caesar has long been destined to become a Moses-like figure in the history of intelligent ape-kind, and this film completes his legend, drawing unmistakable parallels as it does so.

It’s also a character piece about Caesar and the colonel, who come to represent their respective species. The former is still learning the full breadth of his emotional range, seeing in himself the parts of Koba that drove the rogue ape to madness. The colonel, played by Woody Harrelson, represents the desperation and mania of mankind on the brink, the actor conveying this through a performance ripe with messianic bravado.

Exchanges between the two are fantastic, and serve as the best proof of Caesar’s evolved language skills. His vocabulary has expanded rapidly since Dawn, the change helping bridge the gap between this trilogy and the future established in those original sci-fi classics.

One other ape that does talk readily is Steve Zahn’s Bad Ape, an ape that has developed his level of intelligence separately from Caesar’s clan, establishing the broader effects of the Simian Flu and hinting at the series’ potential future.

Ceasar and ape pals search for a thief.20th Century Fox
Bad Ape (whose name comes from what zookeepers used to call him) brings an element of humour to the otherwise serious film. The light-hearted moments are infrequent, but well-timed to add welcome levity. One of the film’s best gags comes shortly before the final set piece, and might just be the best joke in the whole trilogy.

Despite the wealth of things to praise about these films, it’s important to recognise their biggest flaw. Rise, Dawn and War have all lacked substantive female roles. Freida Pinto’s primatologist was woeful, Keri Russell was under-served by her character in the sequel and in War there’s not a single major speaking role for a woman.

In part this is because the lead female character is mute. Amiah Miller’s Nova is a young girl picked up by the apes as they embark on their journey, and her circumstances relate to a heartbreaking mystery, but it doesn’t exactly rectify the sins of this series’ past.

Matt Reeves does an exquisite job balancing tone and keeping a serious franchise about a ridiculous situation consistent and sincere. There might still be people who laugh at performance capture apes doing human-like things, but these films transcended this obvious silly factor a long time ago.

Of course seeing a chimp brandishing a shotgun or a gorilla riding a horse is fundamentally entertaining, but this series has done more than enough at this point to earn the suspension of its audience’s beliefs.

Side note: will horses eventually overthrow their ape masters to create a planet of horses? I want to see those movies next.

Best Netflix horror movies: A Nightmare on Elm Street, Jaws, The Shining, The Sixth Sense and more

Horror villain Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare On Elm StreetNew Line Cinema
In the mood for an unbridled gore fest? There’s bound to be a horror film to satisfy your appetite on popular streaming site, Netflix.

Perfect for themed sleepovers or if you’re brave enough, a solo binge watch experience, here are some of the best terror inducing movies that should be on your list.

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Labelled “The first Iranian vampire Western,” this black and white horror offering from Iranian-American director Ana Lily Amirpour not only impressed the viewers but also received an applause from the critics. A stunning vampire in a chador spends her days listening to music and her nights walking the streets of an Iranian town called “Bad City,” where anyone unfortunate enough to be seduced are rewarded with her deadly fangs. Until she meets Arash, who somehow compels her to resist her vampire instincts.

It Follows

It Follows was inspired by a recurring nightmare that director David Robert Mitchell had as a kid. The film is about a girl who has the ill-omened fate of being relentlessly followed by a scary invisible force until it catches her or she can transfer it to someone else through sexual contact. The perpetual fear of inevitable doom is what unsettles the mind of the viewer, making this film so riveting.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

The original film that gave rise to nine franchise films is finally on Netflix. Perhaps, the most famous horror film of all time, A Nightmare on Elm Street hovers right on top of every horror movie buffs’ favourite films list. Wes Craven gave the world a seminal horror villain in Freddy Krueger and Johnny Depp his Hollywood debut in this genre defining classic.

The Shining

Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance in The ShiningWarner Bros
The Shining is the inimitable Stanley Kubrick’s version of the 1977 novel by Stephen King. In a role of a lifetime, Jack Nicholson provides a chilling interpretation of a struggling writer under the influence of spiritual forces. There are some iconic quotes from the movie that has survived the test of times−”Heeeere’s Johnny” being one of them. Nicholson is said to have improvised the line which would later become one of the American Film Institute’s Top 100 Movie Quotes.

Zodiac

Zodiac tells the tale of a serial killer in San Francisco Bay Area in the late 60s and early 70s, leaving cryptic clues after each of his crimes. Although the film did not hit perform well at the box office like some of David Fincher’s other offerings like The Social Network, Fight Club and Seven, Zodiac is still considered a masterpiece by the director. Backed by a strong cast in Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo and Jake Gyllenhaal, the thriller is worth a watch even 10 years after it was first released.

The Invitation

The Invitation is about a dinner party that slowly builds up tension and treats the viewers with shocking surprises along the way. Karyn Kusama’s horror-thriller was reportedly supposed to have a notable cast including Luke Wilson, Zachary Quinto and Johnny Galecki, but Logan Marshall-Green totally holds his own as the lead until the very end.

The Sixth Sense

Cole Sears, played by Haley Joel Osment, is hounded by visions of the dead in his everyday life. M. Night Shyamalan has managed to create a spine-chilling film that’s capable of making grown men think twice about getting out of bed at night. The twist ending of The Sixth Sense is one of the most unexpected in film history.

The ending to The Sixth Sense is one of the most iconic twists to ever be revealed in a motion pictureGetty
The Host

Directed by genre maestro Bong Joon-ho and starring one of South Korea’s biggest superstars Song Kang-ho, The Host had success written all over it from the very beginning. Inspired by real events, a monster emerges when US military officials dump 200 bottles of formaldehyde in Seoul’s Han River. The story revolves around a man trying to retrieve his daughter from the clutches of the daunting creature.

An American Werewolf in London

A fantastic mix of horror and comedy, An American Werewolf in London still holds a strong appeal for viewers 36-years after it first hit the cinema. Directed by John Landis, the film tells the tale of two American college students on a tour in Britain when they are attacked by a werewolf. The transformation is still one of the best horror movie scenes ever.

The Babadook

What happens when the monster from your child’s creepy pop-up book comes to life? You get the ultimate scare-fest on screen. Touching on the frustrations of parenthood, The Babadook is an Australian film that feeds on the one bankable horror flick tool— anticipation. Foreboding really is the scariest factor in this movie with Essie Davis’ resolute performance also demanding a nod.

Pontypool

This Canadian psychological thriller is a bit of an unorthodox zombie film that actually works. It revolves around a small Ontario town where a deadly virus is quickly spreading through spoken language.

The Crow

While not an all-out horror film, The Crow still manages to make our blood run cold. Brandon Lee plays Eric Draven who is brought back to life by a supernatural crow in order to seek revenge for the rape and murder of his fiancé. Lee, who gives a stellar performance, tragically died in an accident on set, further adding to the gothic aura of the movie.

We Are Still Here

As if the title itself wasn’t creepy enough, We Are Still Here provides some serious blood-curdling moments. When a grieving couple moves into a cursed house, they’re faced with some hellish confrontations with supernatural forces. The slow-pace might deter some in the beginning but the movie soon kicks the fear-factor it up a gear.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter in Sweeney ToddDreamWorks Pictures / Warner Bros. Pictures
When you put Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter together in a movie directed by Tim Burton you can bet it’s going to be a grand gothic fest. The film adaptation of the Tony Award winning musical doesn’t disappoint in any aspect. The story of Sweeney Todd “The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” and his accomplice Mrs. Lovett is a bloody jamboree that you’ll enjoy until the very end.

The Midnight Meat Train

As the title suggests The Midnight Meat Train is a gory horror flick that takes place on a late night train. Bradley Cooper plays Leon Kaufman a photographer who crosses path with a serial killer Mahogany played by Vinnie Jones. Mahogany is the master of macabre as he mercilessly butchers his victims picked from among subway commuters.

Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy

If you’re a die-hard fan of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, then this four hour long documentary is the stuff of your dreams. It covers the entire horror franchise except the 2010 A Nightmare on Elm Street remake.

Hellraiser

Clive Barker’s adaptation of his own novella, Hellraiser, clearly isn’t for the fainthearted. Hardcore violence and butchery make for some very disturbing imagery. But that’s exactly how the film manages to keep audiences on the edge of their seats throughout.

We Are What We Are

This horror film is the story of Parker family with a very disturbing tradition— cannibalism. Fans of this Mexican remake can rejoice as both a prequel and a sequel of the film have been announced. Relive the horror on Netflix before they are released.

They Look Like People

This indie offering is one of the newest additions to Netflix. The story is about a young man who starts hearing voices about evil power soon taking over the world and having to decide a course of action that might involve saving his best friend. Despite its flaws, They Look Like People still makes for a rousing watch.

The Void

This 2016 Canadian film finds a group of people trapped in a run-down hospital where they have to fend off attack from hooded cult figures.

Jaws

A still from the film JawsUniversal Pictures
Steven Spielberg’s undying classic, Jaws, has aged like a good old wine. The great white shark terrorising Amity Island is one petrifying thriller that makes for a fascinating watch every single time.

Extraordinary Tales

An animated feature of five of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories, you can watch Extraordinary Tales to try something different. While the film could’ve been better on many fronts, it’s still makes for an interesting watch when binge watching on horror flicks is the only plan for the day.

Hush

A definitive home invasion movie, Hush is about a deaf and mute writer who just wants to live a solitary life somewhere in the woods but is faced with a terrible struggle against a sadistic masked killer. Be prepared for some breathless action in one of the most imaginative horror films to hit the cinemas in recent years.

Sleepy Hollow

Another Tim Burton and Johnny Depp project, Sleepy Hollow follows the tale of police constable Ichabod Crane who has been sent to the village of Sleepy Hollow from New York to investigate a series of murders by the Headless Horseman. Depp is right on top of his game in the film, making it one of his many memorable performances.

Housebound

This super entertaining haunted-house thriller was New Zealand’s finest movie export of 2014. It follows the hapless story of a woman sentenced to house arrest in a house infested with other worldly entities. At times funny and enduringly scary, Housebound has all the ingredients that fans of the genre seek.

Will The Simpsons Movie 2 ever happen? Director David Silverman hopes so

The Simpson family. From left to right, Maggie, Mar- oh you know who they are.Fox
Hard as might be to believe, it has been ten years since the release of The Simpsons Movie in cinemas. The long-awaited big screen debut of America’s first family of television was a resounding success, but a sequel never followed.

Fox’s TV series heads into its 29th season this year, with at least two more planned taking the show into 2020. Matt Groening’s creation is a cultural touchstone and remains enormously popular, but a return to the silver screen still hasn’t happened.

“I’d love for there to be another one,” director of the first film David Silverman told Entertainment Weekly in an interview marking the film’s tenth anniversary.
“We’re still a ways away from it,” he added. “We talk about this and that. We’re thinking it over, but nothing’s happening just yet.”

Writer and producer Al Jean added that a sequel has been discussed “just in the vaguest strokes, just in the possibility of it,” and that any potential follow-up is still in “the very earliest stages.”

“I certainly am cautious about a couple things,” Jean said. “I wouldn’t want it to be risky in terms of budget, and I would not want it to be anything that we did purely for the money. I would want it to be a really great movie.

“I personally feel no need for another one unless it’s great.”

It took 18 years for Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie to transition to cinemas, and one of the biggest reasons why was the workload imposed on the Simpsons team, who’d still be developing a TV series.

Silverman referenced this in the interview, saying: “It’s still daunting because it really knocked the stuffing out of us to do the movie and the show at the same time.”

The Simpsons Movie saw the family exiled from Springfield as a government plan to enclose the town in a giant glass dome is enforced. On the outside, it’s up to The Simpsons to get back home and save the town from being blown up.

In October, executive producer James L. Brooks revealed (to nobody’s real surprise) that 20th Century Fox “very much” wanted a sequel after the original took more than $500 million at the worldwide box office.

“Maybe we will and maybe we won’t—that’s where it is,” he explained. “How do we divide our labours, and do we believe in the idea we have? We may go into a more active exploration of a second movie soon.”

In 2015 Al Jean revealed that season 26 episode The Man Who Came to Be Dinner tells a story that was once saved as the potential plot of a Simpsons Movie sequel. In the episode, The Simpsons are captured by aliens Kang and Kudos and taken to their homeworld on Rigel 7.

Jean said it had been “seriously considered” before it was used in the episode.

Avengers 4 heading to Tokyo as Josh Brolin confirms Thanos’ return

Artwork for Avengers: Infinity War revealed at Comic Con.Marvel Studios
Next April Marvel Studios will bring its cinematic universe of superheroes together to take on their most dangerous foe ever and conclude ten years-worth of storytelling across (by then) 18 blockbuster films.

Avengers: Infinity War is one of the most anticipated and ambitious films ever made, but it’s only the first-part of an epic story that will conclude one year later in the as-of-yet untitled fourth Avengers film.

Directors Anthony and Joe Russo are currently filming the two films back-to-back, with the production currently transitioning to Avengers 4 as Infinity War enters post.
Both films are shrouded in mystery, but now we know a little more about Avengers 4, with filming set to take place in Tokyo in August.

A casting call revealed earlier in July that the filmmakers are after actors to play Japanese gangsters and cafe patrons for filming on 17 and 18 August.

According to the call, Marvel Studios is after men aged 20 to 49 with “slender builds” to play the characters.

The call also reveals the scenes will be shot at night, and “will involve rain work and facial prosthetics”.

At the same time, Josh Brolin confirmed on Instagramthat he’s heading back shortly to continue his motion-captured performance as the Mad Titan Thanos, the film’s antagonist who is trying to seize control of the entire galaxy.

“Going back for more more MORE!” he wrote. “I want it all.” Brolin’s inclusion was expected given he’s the big bad of the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

In July Marvel revealed the first footage from Infinity War to select crowds at Disney’s D23 fan convention and San Diego Comic Con. The footage showed a myriad of MCU characters taking on Thanos, and not exactly looking like they were going to win. The footage was not made public, but did make its way online.

Avengers: Infinity War will feature every hero introduced to the MCU so far, and around 60 established characters in total. The film will be about Thanos acquiring the infinity stones that will give him control over all time and space.

To name just a few of those heroes… deep breath now… there’s Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), War Machine (Don Cheadle), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Vision (Paul Bettany), Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista), Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Groot (Vin Diesel), Flacon (Anthony Mackie), Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Ant-Man (Paul Rudd), and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman).

And probably Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury.

Infinity War is set for release on 27 April 2018. Avengers 4 is set to release on 26 April 2019.

Tilda Swinton nearly played Pennywise the clown in Stephen King horror It

Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise.Warner Bros
Since its terrifying debut trailer, upcoming horror adaptation It has looked like it’ll be one of the big hits of the year. Based on the book by Stephen King, the film will tell the story of a seemingly-cursed US town and sightings of a creepy clown that’s haunted it.

Pennywise the clown is being played by Swedish actor Bill Skarsgard, but over the weekend it emerged that Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton was once a front-runner for the horrifying role, first made famous by Tim Curry in the 90s TV mini-series.

The news was revealed by producer Barbara Muschietti during a set visit (via Vanity Fair) after a reporter asked if Swinton had been considered. Surprisingly, she said yes.
“She wasn’t available,” said Muschietti, whose brother Andrés directs the film. “No, no I swear to god. She was not. We had a slot to shoot the movie and she wasn’t available so she didn’t even audition. But of course, we all thought about it.”

“We auditioned literally hundreds of potential Bob Grays or Pennywises and it was an amazing process,” she said. “We got to audition people that don’t audition anymore and a huge gamut of talent; women, younger age, older age, we really went through the spectrum of actors.”

Originally, British actor Will Poulter was set to take on the role, but a scheduling conflict put that to rest so Skarsgard was called up.

Muschietti went on to discuss what Skarsgard brought to the role, claiming it to be closer to the source material than Tim Curry’s portrayal.

“For us, the Pennywise is the Pennywise in the book which is quite different,” she said. “I think Bill went for that, and he did an amazing, amazing performance and we gave him several tests. Again, because he’s a shapeshifter, we wanted to make sure that he could play in different grades, right? And he did.

“He’s amazing. And what’s even more amazing is that he kept the character very unpredictable, and that’s what scares us the most, when you don’t know what way he’s going to go.”

It is set in the 80s on film, rather than the 50s, and concerns a group of children who encounter Pennywise the clown, a seemingly supernatural creature living in their town’s sewers who may be responsible for a string of tragedies in the area.

It is set to release on 8 September.

Disney’s Lion King remake may have found its Scar in a British Oscar-nominee

Scar, as voiced by Jeremy Irons, in 1994’s The Lion King.Disney
Jon Favreau has assembled quite a cast for Disney’s Lion King remake, but it’s only now that we know who may be playing treacherous villain Scar in the latest high-profile reimagining from the House of Mouse.

British Oscar-nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor is in talks to take on the role first made famous by Jeremy Irons in Disney’s 1994 classic, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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Should he sign up, he’d be joining a cast that includes Donald Glover as hero Simba and James Earl Jones, reprising his role as Mufasa from the 90s animated hit.

Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen will play Timon and Pumba, while Last Week Tonight comedian John Oliver will play Zazu.

It’s not yet known who will play lioness Nala but reports have suggested that Favreau is after Beyonce for the role.

In the classic, Shakespearean tale, Scar betrays Mufasa to become king of the animal kingdom, casting a young Simba out. The young lion prince then walks the jungles and deserts beyond the kingdom until his eventual return.

Chiwetel Ejiofor, best known for his roles in 12 Years a Slave, The Martian and Doctor Strange, strikes as a perfect fit for the role. Just last month, around Disney’s D23 fan-convention, Hugh Jackman was linked to the role until the rumours were quickly debunked.

Favreau got the gig after his critical and commercial success in reimagining The Jungle Book, which blended incredible CGI and motion-capture performances with a lone human star, Neel Sethi as Mowgli.

That film also had an impressive cast, with Lupita Nyong’o as Raksha, Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Christopher Walken as King Louie, Ben Kingsley as Bagheera and Bill Murray as Baloo.

The Lion King won’t feature any humans – unless its plot deviates wildly from the original – meaning it will be an entirely computer-generated film, only one with the same near-photo-real imagery.

The film is the latest effort from Disney to remake and reimagine its back-catalogue of animated hits, following on from Jungle Book, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and, earlier this year, Beauty and the Beast.

Remakes of Mulan, Dumbo and Aladdin, as well as a sequel to Mary Poppins, are currently in the works.

Space Jam 2 director wants to ensure he makes a worthy sequel to the cult classic

Michael Jordan (middle, human) in Space Jam.Warner Bros
We know Space Jam 2 is happening, that LeBron James will be its leading man, and that it will be directed by Fast & Furious alumni Justin Lin, but the film still isn’t any closer to entering full production.

Lin has offered fans an update however, revealing that things are progressing slowly to ensure the best possible end product, despite studio Warner Bros seemingly eager to get the film done sooner rather than later.

“A lot of times now with these big tentpoles, everybody’s trying to jam a movie into a limited time. I feel like I’m too old for that. I want to make sure that we do everything right,” Lin said on a recent Television Critics Association panel (via Slash Film).

“Warner Brothers has been great,” he went on to say. “I feel like it’s been very precious. Everybody at the studio’s been calling, ‘Let’s go, let’s go’ and I’m like [it’s] not right yet.

“To me, the challenge is we have actors who are also professional athletes, so schedule is something that is tough. I’ve been really wanting to push that genre, but to do that you need the right amount of time.

“So there’s a logistical challenge but also creatively, to do a sequel 20 years later with a new cast and also to be able to, in a relevant way, bring the Looney Tunes back. That’s very important to me to do it right. I feel I’ve done nine different iterations already and we’re going to keep going, but we’re getting closer every day.”

It was revealed in May that legendary Cleveland Cavaliers basketball player James was in talks with Warner Bros about Space Jam 2, as was Lin.

On casting the film, he said: “There’s one thing that I’ve learned, there are so many sports and Space Jam fans. I run into them and everybody’s volunteering to be in the movie so I don’t think it’s going to be a problem.

“I feel like the studio’s been great because I ask for a playground and the time to really explore and that’s what we’ve been doing this whole time.

“It’s a different challenge because [LeBron] is a professional basketball player. He’s not retired. When the first one happened, it was during a strike and Michael Jordan was retired. From what I’ve learned in film, you have to be passionate and when you’re ready, you’ll make it happen.”

Released in 1996, Space Jam starred sporting legend Michael Jordan as himself alongside the likes of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and other Looney Tunes characters in a story that saw them take on a team of monsters in Looney Tunes Land.

It’s ridiculous, but that’s why it became a cult favourite.

Aquaman Jason Momoa gets the best birthday gift from wife Lisa Bonet: ’38 is the greatest to date’

Jason Momoa is currently filming for his highly anticipated movie AquamanDC Comics
Jason Momoa is a tough man on screen as seen in his unforgettable portrayal of Game Of Thrones’ fierce Dothraki King Khal Drogo. Now, he is all set to play the iconic superhero Aquaman.

On social media the actor has won the hearts of millions of fans with his ever smiling and charming personality. This time, for a change, it was his loving family that melted the hearts of his fans as the Aquaman star revealed how his wife Lisa Bonet and children gave him a surprise visit on the movie set on his birthday. The actor turned 38 on 1 August.

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“I have never been so surprised in my life. 38 is the greatest to date,” the actor wrote on Instagram as he shared an image of himself along with his wife and two children Lola Iolani Momoa and Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha Momoa. In the image the actor can’t seem to keep his eyes off his 49-year-old wife.

In the picture, the family is surrounded by a group of Hawaiian warriors dressed in native attire. “I love u my loveee my babies my friends and OHANA to my cast and crew. Mahalo for caring. It was so beautiful. Mahalos to all the warriors It was an honor,” he added.

The 38-year-old Game Of Thrones actor met Bonet in 2005 and got married in November 2007 after having their first baby. Though the couple remain public shy, they never miss a chance to declare their love for one another on social media. Momoa often addresses his wife as the “moon of my life” and “partner in crime,” on Instagram.

In June this year, the camera-shy actor urged the Australian press to respect his children’s privacy while they were on a holiday. “Thank god for all my blessings Finally with my OHANA. Please please please. Australia Paparazzi Let me papa bear with my babies,” he captioned an image where he was seen roaming along the sea line with his children.

Momoa will play the titular character in Aquaman and is currently filming for it in Australia. His performance in Batman vs Superman: The Dawn Of Justice may have been restricted to a blink-and-miss-it cameo, but he still had fans swooning. Now they are eagerly waiting to see more of him in the upcoming DC superhero film Justice League.

Aquaman is scheduled to release in 2018.

Leaked Avengers Infinity War trailer surfaces online again: Will Iron Man and Captain America reunite?

Robert Downey Jr, Tom Holland and Chris Pratt on the sets of Avengers Infinity WarMarvel
Much to Marvel’s annoyance, the trailer of Avengers Infinity War was leaked soon after its preview at Comic Con San Diego. But due to copyright issues, the footage was later taken down from the internet.

The leaked footage has finally made its way to YouTube, giving an eyeful to fans about the fates of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and Spider Man.

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Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have already seen their favorite Avengers battling and thrashing every alien invasion that has threatened the earth. This time, however, they are not fighting an alien, but will be facing Thanos, the Mad Titan.

The trailer shows superheroes flexing their muscles to fight and defeat the greatest threat on earth. Tony Stark and Captain America must put a united front before the greatest enemy they have ever encountered but the war may not be as easy as the previous ones.

The leaked trailer for Avengers 3 begins with the audience cheering to the voice over of Mantis who says: “We are arriving.” Star Lord, the captain of his spaceship Milano asks his Guardians to stay prepared for what comes next. He says: “Alright Guardians, don’t forget this might be dangerous so let put on our mean face.”

To the surprise of Gamora, Drax and Rocket Raccoon, the body of Thor falls and hits the windshield of the spaceship. They bring his unconscious body inside Milano. He later wakes up thanks to Mantis] and is surprised to see his space saviors. “Something is very wrong,” the Norse God speculates as he arrives somewhere in the galaxy along with the Star Lord and his team of cosmic Avengers.

Thanos will be the main villain in Avengers Infinity WarMarvel
Cut to Scarlet Witch who appears to be dodging some powerful force on Earth while Spider Man senses danger. In another scene, Loki emerges on the screen to offer the Tesseract to someone gigantic (many believe it may be Thanos). Tony Stark appears to give a little Ted talk as he encourages his team on attacking the greatest super villain. “We have an advantage. He is coming to us. So that’s what we will use.”

Marvel’s Avengers Infinity War will hit the theaters on 4 May 2018.