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Clueless Sean Penn Thinks That The Aim Of #MeToo “Is To Divide Men And Women”

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Convicted assaulter, Milk actor, and professional goblin Sean Penn is (to put it mildly) a controversial figure in Hollywood. Now the academy award-winner has, unsurprisingly, waded into the debate surrounding the #MeToo movement – and he’s precisely as wrong as you’d expect.

Penn was on the press tour for his new Hulu show The First, with actress Natascha McElhone, and McElhone made a remark that the show’s strong female characters were a by-product of the era of the #MeToo movement. Penn, naturally, disagreed.

“I’d like to think none of it was influenced by what they call the movement of #MeToo,” Penn bristled, “I think it’s influenced by the things that are developing in terms of the empowerment of women who’ve been acknowledging each other and being acknowledged by men. This is a movement that was largely shouldered by a kind of receptacle of the salacious.”

Wading through the deliberately confounding choice of lexicon, Sean Penn clearly falls into the very familiar trappings of the “what about the false accusations?!” crowd – designed to discredit an otherwise positive movement, and which he elaborated on further by saying “We don’t know what’s a fact in many of the cases. Salacious is as soon as you call something a movement that is really a series of many individual accusers, victims, accusations, some of which are unfounded. The spirit of much of what has been the #MeToo movement is to divide men and women.”

“I don’t want it to be a trend, and I’m very suspicious of a movement that gets glommed onto, in great stridency and rage, and without nuance. Even when people try to discuss it in a nuanced way, the nuance itself is attacked. I think it’s too black and white. In most things that are important, it’s really good to just slow down.”

Yikes, okay, there’s a lot to unpack there.

First of all, yes, it’s an undeniable fact that #MeToo is obviously a series of individual accusers making separate allegations. But to deny that those allegations are coming to light because the aforementioned victims have been emboldened by their peers’ own experiences coming forward (and furthermore that the fear of career repercussions that kept so many in line has been nullified) is wilfully ignorant.

It’s a common argument, one designed not so much to attack the #MeToo movement, but to merely discredit it, to lessen its impact. The idea of reducing progress to “a trend”, something fleeting, popular for the sake of popular, inspiring imitators, vapid and hollow. Sean also falls into the same trap many of the movement’s detractors do, the concept of  ‘wanting a discussion’. Penn says he wants a discussion about #MeToo, wants to “discuss it in a nuanced way”, and that playing of the devil’s advocate is evidently something Penn feels he is entitled to. He feels he is entitled to a discussion, to mull over a movement that does not involve him (that we know of, yet, though his ramblings do come off a tad fearful), because of his own self-importance. He takes a movement designed to separate abusers and rapists from an industry where they once thrived unfettered, and attempts to reframe the narrative as one of women vs. men. It is as arrogant as it is ignorant.

Penn can be seen on the big screen later in the year, opposite noted anti-Semite Mel Gibson, in The Professor and the Madman.

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Aquaman Director Teases Two Of The Film’s Creatures, And Gosh They Look Silly

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So, Aquaman is a film that’s coming out. It feels like, as a culture, the general cinema-going public still hasn’t quite acclimated to the idea that an Aquaman film is just two months away. Like, y’know, a film about Aquaman. Aquaman.

One person looking to change that general perception is director James Wan, who shared new glimpses at some of the film’s mounted ocean creatures and… oh good lord, just look at them.


Click through to get an even-higher resolution look at what’s to come, but as you can see there’s a saddle-mounted hammerhead shark, and a tylosaurus (a sort-of prehistoric crocodile). Yeah.

Aquaman is due out on the 14th of December, rated 12A, and stars Jason Momoa as the titular rightful ruler of Atlantis. As the film’s PR campaign ramps up, WB released a five-minute extended trailer just a few weeks ago, which you can check out here.

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Halloween Scores Series-Best Opening, As Venom Crosses $450m Worldwide

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Jamie Lee Curtis’ rebootquel Halloween scored a domestic opening of $77.5 million this weekend, after an impressive $27.2M Saturday. Not only does that easily make it the best US opening for John Carpenter’s four-decade old franchise, but it also solidifies it as the second-best opening ever for the month of October behind Sony’s Venom, which netted $80.2M just a few weeks ago.

Speaking of Venom, the critically-derided, audience-adored antihero flick starring Tom Hardy took another $18 million in the US this week, and a further $32 million internationally, taking the film’s global total to a staggering $460.2 million – for perspective, that’s bottom-end MCU money, beating out titles like Thor ($449.3m), Captain America: The First Avenger ($370.6m) and The Incredible Hulk ($263.4m), and gaining on films like Ant-Man ($519.3m) and the original Iron Man ($585.2m). Venom is still yet to open in China and Japan.

Meanwhile, Warner Bros.’ smash-hit musical drama A Star Is Born is still raking in the dough. Star/director Bradley Cooper’s feature, which has garnered a big push in ticket sales from the successful stunt-casting of Lady Gaga as the secondary lead, brought its tally up to $201 million internationally this week, and looks set to continue hanging on at the box office despite fierce October competition.

All three films are in UK cinemas now, with Venom and A Star Is Born both rated 15, and Halloween rather expectedly rated 18.

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Casting News

Ana de Armas Joins Daniel Craig In Rian Johnson’s Knives Out

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Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049) has officially signed on to join actors Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, and Michael Shannon in Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson’s Knives Out.

The film, which Johnson also wrote, is scheduled to start shooting next month. Knives Out has been described as a contemporary whodunit, with Craig portraying an archetypal grizzled detective, tasked with getting to the bottom of a classic locked-room murder mystery.

Johnson is set to produce with his creative partner Ram Bergman, and studios are expected to bid fiercely for the rights to distribute the feature in the coming months. Craig was previously pencilled in to begin shooting Bond 25 for director Danny Boyle at the tail end of this year, but when Boyle departed that project following creative differences it freed up the Casino Royale actor’s schedule to join Knives Out.

Somewhat ironically, Ana de Armas can next be seen in an untitled project from Danny Boyle, which is likely to release prior to Johnson’s crime thriller.

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