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First Man’s Jason Clarke Fires Back At Political Criticism: “It’s Nonsense”

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La La Land director Damien Chazelle’s latest film came under fire last week, following erroneous reports spread by right-wing news outlets without verification that First Man, the biopic of astronaut Neil Armstrong that recently opened to rave reviews at the Venice Film Festival, did not feature any shots of the American flag on the moon.

The rumour started when star Ryan Gosling described the original moonwalk “not as an American, but as a human achievement”. Said comment irked the blindly-patriotic flag-waving conservative crowd on social media , and later morphed into the false claim that the film did not feature the flag on the moon. The comments were even picked up by Republican senator Marco Rubio, who wrote on Twitter: “This is total lunacy. And a disservice at a time when our people need reminders of what we can achieve when we work together. The American people paid for that mission, on rockets built by Americans, with American technology and carrying American astronauts. It wasn’t a UN mission.”

But now actor Jason Clarke, who portrays astronaut Edward Higgins White in First Man, has bit back at the criticism, calling it “nonsense.”

“It’s just nonsense. The film itself can be interpreted as patriotic. It’s just silly and naïve I think. Of course it celebrates one of the greatest acts of America and Americans and humanity and mankind,” before adding, “People look for conspiracy theories rather than looking for the truth.”

Despite the reports being completely off-base, it hasn’t stopped so-called ‘true Americans’ from review-bombing the film on IMDb, where it currently sits at a 5.2 audience rating. Critically, the flick boasts an 81 MetaScore, and an 82% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

First Man is due for release in the UK on the 12th of October, and will be rated 12A.

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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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Box Office News

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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