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Disney Confirms That The X-Men Will Join The MCU Following Fox Merger

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It was inescapable; the moment the rumours began to swirl about The Walt Disney Corporation adding 20th Century Fox to its long list of acquisitions, comic book fanboys everywhere began salivating at the thought of Wolverine finally getting to kick seven bells out of the Hulk.

Fox has owned the rights to the X-Men (and, unfortunately, the Fantastic Four) since 1993, and as such the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been barred from using any of the fan-favourite mutants ever since – despite the fact that the X-Men and the Avengers regularly team-up in the comics. The MCU has largely stayed away from any and all mutant-related characters and storyline adaptations, save for director Joss Whedon’s Avengers: Age of Ultron in 2015, which saw siblings Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch (portrayed by Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen respectively) featured prominently. In the comics, the two were mutants, and the children of classic X-Men villain Magneto, though in the MCU they were referred to as ‘miracles’, and their heritage never alluded to. Indeed, as of X-Men: Days of Future Past in 2014, Evan Peters has portrayed Fox’s version of Quicksilver. The MCU’s incarnation was swiftly killed off, and Fox’s Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch has never been mentioned by name, appearing only as a young girl beside her brother in a solitary scene – a confirmation many saw as a compromised workaround (the siblings were, traditionally, both Avengers and X-Men characters, meaning the studios would have shared-ownership, and simply split the two between them).

With the legal allowance earlier this year of the Disney / Fox merger, many have been eagerly awaiting the news that the Marvel universe would finally be complete, and come that news now has; yesterday, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Disney CEO Bob Iger stated unequivocally that the X-Men were coming to the MCU:

“I think it only makes sense. I want to be careful here because of what’s been communicated to the Fox folks, but I think they know. It only makes sense for Marvel to be supervised by one entity. There shouldn’t be two Marvels.”

That ‘one entity’ is of course the man, the myth, the legend himself, Mr. Kevin Feige. Feige has been in charge of Marvel Studios, spearheading the entire shared universe concept, since prior to the release of Iron Man in 2008 and has been instrumental in the creation and running of the MCU for over a decade. To date, the MCU has now made $17.5 billion, and is the most successful film franchise of all time.

When Iger was somewhat jokingly asked if fan-favourite X-Men character Deadpool could become an Avenger, Iger was slightly more cagey: “Kevin’s got a lot of ideas. I’m not suggesting that’s one of them. But who knows?”

Whilst the idea of R-rated character Deadpool trying desperately to get past the censors in a PG-13 Avengers flick is undoubtedly hilarious, it seems most likely that he’ll be kept away from the larger Marvel ballpark – though definitely expect a cheeky reference or two to the merger whenever the merc’ with a mouth next appears.

Deadpool 2 and Avengers: Infinity War are both out for home release now, on DVD, Blu-Ray and 4K.

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Guillermo del Toro to Direct Stop Motion Pinocchio for Netflix

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Pinocchio Movie Marker

Fresh off his Oscar win for “The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro is set to make his animated feature film directing debut. Del Toro has received the green light from Netflix to film “Pinocchio,” a stop motion musical version of the classic children’s tale about a puppet who wants to be a real live boy. He will write and produce the film in addition to directing it.

According to Variety, The film will be set in Italy during the 1930’s, a particularly fraught historical moment and a time when fascism was on the rise and Benito Mussolini was consolidating control of the country. Production on “Pinocchio” will begin this fall. Del Toro previously set “The Devil’s Backbone” and “Pan’s Labyrinth” against a totalitarian backdrop, although he placed those stories in Franco’s Spain.

“No art form has influenced my life and my work more than animation and no single character in history has had as deep of a personal connection to me as Pinocchio,” said del Toro in a statement. “In our story, Pinocchio is an innocent soul with an uncaring father who gets lost in a world he cannot comprehend. He embarks on an extraordinary journey that leaves him with a deep understanding of his father and the real world. I’ve wanted to make this movie for as long as I can remember.”

Del Toro previously collaborated with Netflix on its Emmy award-winning television series “Trollhunters,” the first installment of the DreamWorks’ Tales of Arcadia trilogy. The next chapter, “3Below,” is set to debut on in December and it will be followed by “Wizards” in 2019. He created the upcoming Netflix horror anthology series, “Guillermo del Toro Presents 10 After Midnight.” Del Toro’s other credits include “Crimson Peak” and “Pan’s Labyrinth.”

The project comes as Netflix is investing heavily in children’s entertainment — a move that will be increasingly important as Disney prepares to launch its own streaming service. To that end, the company has backed the likes of “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events,” along with upcoming series such as “She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” and “Gabby’s Dollhouse.”

Del Toro will collaborate on “Pinocchio” with the Jim Henson Company, the company behind “The Dark Crystal” and ShadowMachine, the creator of “Bojack Horseman.” Lisa Henson, ShadowMachine’s Alex Bulkley, Corey Campodonico, and Gary Ungar of Exile Entertainment will produce the film. Blanca Lista will co-produce it.

Patrick McHale (“Over The Garden Wall”) will co-write the script, and Mark Gustafson (“Fantastic Mr. Fox”) will co-direct the movie. Guy Davis will serve as co-production designer and the film’s puppets will be built by Mackinnon and Saunders, the team behind “Corpse Bride.”

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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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