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Why we can’t wait for a BLACK PANTHER sequel…

Why we can’t wait for a BLACK PANTHER sequel…

With the recent announcement of a BLACK PANTHER sequel, we look at why this will be a good thing for superhero films.

They are just not going away. Disney, Marvel, DC, and any other company making superhero films will continue to make them. They just make too much damn money. At least, in the case of BLACK PANTHER and its potential sequels, we might be going in the right direction.

BLACK PANTHER shows us cinema currently evolving. It has a strong black lead (and incredible supporting cast) and it has very sparing references to the wider MCU, almost making it a standalone film. We’ve written why both of these things already, so go check those two articles out! (Links below…)  But in short, BLACK PANTHER allows black audiences, regardless of nationality, gender, religion, etc. to relate to a superhero character, for almost the first time. Sure, Blade and Storm (X-MEN) kinda count, but this is the first time that a superhero film has had a majority black cast, and the reaction to the film has been great. This has been a rare film where both critics and audiences agree on how good this film is. And now the film has even surpassed $500 million at the Box-Office – overseas! (Over $1 billion worldwide, which is just as incredible).

But BLACK PANTHER really sums up the way cinema, and specifically superhero films, is going. Black leads are becoming more prominent and production companies can bank on black actors more and more. But I particularly like BLACK PANTHER because it was essentially a standalone film. You don’t need to have seen IRON MAN, CIVIL WAR (which was Black Panther’s live-action debut), or any other Marvel flick to understand what’s going on with this film – and that’s great. Marvel seems to be adapting and evolving and moving away from every film being inherently connected – and that’s just fine with us!

Read more about BLACK PANTHER’s Box-Office success here:

Read about why scripts with black leads are big right now here and why it might be time for superhero films to stand alone here.

2018 Oscars Reaction

2018 Oscars Reaction

Another glamorous Academy Awards ceremony, and while there weren’t huge surprises, there was a brilliant unifying message that ran through the entire night… Here’s our 2018 Oscars reaction… by Jamie White.

Looking at the winners, everything seemed to fit into place. THE SHAPE OF WATER took home Best Director and Best Picture (which we predicted, by the way) as well as two further awards. Gary Oldman won for his excellent, but kinda Oscar-baity, performance as Winston Churchill, and the Pixar film COCO won the “Pixar Award”, also known as “Best Animated Feature”… There weren’t that many shocks at all, if any, but this year was an enjoyable, albeit lengthy, watch.

Special congratulations to our pal Habib Zargarpour who got a mention in the winning speech from the BLADE RUNNER: 2049 crew after they won “Best Visual Effects”. A brilliant visual achievement from everyone involved in that film, and we’re so happy for Habib!

The night as a whole can be summed up wonderfully by the “Best Actress” win for Frances McDormand. Again, not a particularly surprising result, but a stunningly rousing speech. McDormand asked for her fellow female creatives – actors, directors, producers, costume designers, sound mixers, editors, everyone – to stand up and take some much-deserved applause. This summed up the brilliant message of unity, diversity and celebrating “minority” creatives – a message that was a motif of the night and was reflected by the winners themselves.

Sure, Pixar got it usual and expected win, but COCO was a great view on Mexican culture. Guillermo del Toro’s Best Director win was another celebration for Mexico on the night. And, of course, there was a momentous win for GET OUT and Jordan Peele for “Best Original Screenplay”.

Perhaps the most relevant speech for writers came from Peele himself. Peele stated that he stopped writing, and kept going back to, GET OUT about 20 times! He never gave up on his passion project. He always believed that if and when this project got made it would make a difference – that it would mean something. And boy was he right! Take this as some inspiration for your own work, your own passion project. Don’t ever give up on that one story, that one script that you truly love…

So, all in all, a great night with diverse winners, and a nice sharing of awards between the nominees – no film took home more than four awards (THE SHAPE OF WATER won there, too.) And once again, Jimmy Kimmel was a surprisingly good host…

Congrats to all the winners – bring on this year’s films!

© WriteMovies 2017. Exclusive to WriteMovies – To syndicate this content for your own publication, contact ian (at) writemovies dot-com.

2018 Oscars Best Picture Prediction

2018 Oscars Best Picture Prediction

We hear there’s some big awards ceremony at the weekend? Well, here’s our 2018 Oscars Best Picture prediction and Best Director prediction for this year… By Jamie White.

Best Picture and Director

We’re doing something a little different here… It’s very rare that the Best Picture winner is not accompanied by Best Director, especially since the turn of the century. A Best Picture-Director split has only happened 7 times since the year 2000. And, hell, we’re confident enough that there won’t be a split this year.

So, we’re looking at the 5 Best Director nominees and picking our winner for BOTH Best Picture and Director – we’re that confident!

The nominees are…
“Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“Phantom Thread,” Paul Thomas Anderson
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro

Now, I think we can rule out DUNKIRK almost immediately. It has some recognition in categories like Cinematography and Editing, but we don’t think that’s enough for a win for Chris Nolan’s WWII epic.

The remaining four choices makes for a difficult decision – any four of these films and directors could win either category, but we just can’t see one of these directors winning and their corresponding film lucking out. So, we have to make a decision.

And we’re going with THE SHAPE OF WATER and Del Toro. For us, PHANTOM THREAD is a great film, but we don’t think Anderson has the same impact on his film as Del Toro. The same can really be said for LADY BIRD, in our opinion.

GET OUT is the main contender to Del Toro and SHAPE OF WATER, but we have to pick one winner (well, two…), and the magic of THE SHAPE OF WATER that Del Toro has transpired from other films of his such as PAN’S LABYRINTH makes it our favorite for the Oscar race.

Agree with our predictions or not? Let us now on Twitter and Facebook!

If you’re hungry for more winners, check out our Semi-Finalists announcement this Friday, then the TV and Book Awards winners the Friday after that!

© WriteMovies 2017. Exclusive to WriteMovies – To syndicate this content for your own publication, contact ian (at) writemovies dot-com.

Oscars Predictions: Best Actors and Actresses

Oscars Predictions: Best Actors and Actresses

We continue our Oscars prediction by looking at the big guns in the acting categories…
By Jamie White.

The glitz and the glamour of the Oscars really comes alive when we get to the main acting categories. These categories are arguably the most entertaining and interesting for the general audience, and this year interesting is the right word!

Best Actor

Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

This category seems pretty straight forward, to be honest – even with Daniel Day-Lewis involved!

DARKEST HOUR is one of the most blatant examples of an Oscar-bait film we’ve seen since… well LA LA LAND. Hollywood loves movies about Hollywood, after all. But, Churchill just seems like a character that someone would win an Oscar for playing. It’s about time Gary Oldman got one, too.

This category does seem to already be over, and it reminds us of the time Leo won his Oscar – the joke about him never winning was running thin, and the same can be said for Oldman. It would be a genuine shock if Oldman didn’t win this.

Best Actress

Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Meryl Streep, “The    Post”

Now this category seems more like it! And again, we don’t think the Oscar nominee stalwart in this group (sorry, Meryl!) is gonna come out on top.

For us, we see this as a three-way stand-off between McDormand, Robbie, and Ronan. McDormand is definitely the front-runner, and rightly so. And if the love for McDormand at the BAFTAs is anything to go by, this should be as much a walkover as the male category should be for Oldman.

But for some reason our very own John Sullivan has  this voice in the back of his head saying “It’s Margot’s time!” Similar wins have happened in the recent past (see Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone). But, maybe another year, John. This time we’re gonna overrule you! McDormand all the way for us.

Agree with our predictions or not? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook! Next we look at the big one – Best Picture!

© WriteMovies 2017. Exclusive to WriteMovies – To syndicate this content for your own publication, contact ian (at) writemovies dot-com.

2018 Oscars Predictions: Supporting Actors and Actresses

2018 Oscars Predictions: Supporting Actors and Actresses

2018 Oscars Predictions: Supporting Actors and Actresses. By Jamie White.

The supporting actors categories don’t’ always get the recognition they deserve. They’re sometimes overlooked because the main acting category gets SO much attention. But this year may be the most interesting and competitive supporting acting categories yet… here’s our 2018 Oscars predictions for the Supporting Actors categories…

Supporting Actor

Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Five great actors with nominations in a category so competitive it sees two actors from the same film challenging each other!

And in truth, it would be a bit of a shock if THREE BILLBOARDS didn’t see one of its stars win out here. Both Harrelson and Rockwell were excellent performers in this masterpiece.

To choose one is difficult, though. But considering the critical buzz about his performance and his BAFTAs success last night, we’re leaning towards Rockwell taking this little gold man home.

Supporting Actress

Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”

As if it couldn’t get any harder to predict a winner…

A truly outstanding group of nominees here, including Octavia Spencer who is now tied for most Oscar nominations for a black actress (tying with Viola Davis). But while we love THE SHAPE OF WATE and Guillermo Del Toro, the film’s acting isn’t it’s strongest suit.

We see this category as another two-way head-to-head, this time between Allison Janney and Laurie Metcalf – and once again, it almost hurts to pick a winner here!

But we will – and we’ll give it to Metcalf. Despite missing out to Janney at the Globes, we think this will be Metcalf’s night for her astounding performance in LADY BIRD.

Agree with our predictions or not? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook! Next we’ll look at the main acting categories…

© WriteMovies 2017. Exclusive to WriteMovies – To syndicate this content for your own publication, contact ian (at) writemovies dot-com.

Dumbledore’s homosexuality won’t be brought up in FANTASTIC BEASTS sequel

Dumbledore’s homosexuality won’t be brought up in FANTASTIC BEASTS sequel

The build-up to the FANTASTIC BEASTS sequel is heating up with its release this year – but not in the way you might expect. By Jamie White.

After it had been revealed by JK Rowling that Albus Dumbledore, best know as the Headmaster at Hogwarts, is gay, there was some backlash. The main complaints with this haven’t had anything to do with Dumbledore’s sexuality at all but how Rowling handled his coming out, and how Warner Bros. is continuing to mishandle it.

If a character of the status of Dumbledore is gay, that should be explored as part of his character within the books and the films, not just stated. Now while it’s too late to retcon the previous books and films, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald seemed to be the perfect opportunity to explore Dumbledore’s character further, especially in terms of his sexuality.

But nope. Director David Yates has confirmed that this won’t be happening with this sequel – despite saying that Dumbledore and Grindelwald fell in love. There’s still a chance that this will be explored implicitly and even in future sequels, but surely the time is now.

Many television shows are portraying homosexual characters in a good light (mostly), but major film studios seem afraid to take the plunge.

Hopefully, we see a resurgence of great LBGT characters coming out (no pun intended!) in major superhero, fantasy, and sci-fi films in the future… but for now, drama seems to be the main genre where they’re given a chance (MOONLIGHT, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, CALL ME BY YOUR NAME). Which implies that Hollywood still thinks that characters’ gay identities are still need to be ‘an issue’.

Read more on the subject right here:

© WriteMovies 2017. Exclusive to WriteMovies – To syndicate this content for your own publication, contact ian (at) writemovies dot-com.