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Hugh Jackman On His Friendship With Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner: “We Don’t Talk Politics”

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Thank You For Smoking director Jason Reitman’s forthcoming political biopic The Front Runner, which chronicles the three-week period in which American Senator Gary Hart’s considerable lead in the 1988 presidential campaign was derailed over an alleged extramarital affair (he would go on to lose to George Bush Sr.), was always going to stir the pot in the current political climate. And it was a fact that Reitman acknowledged whilst premiering the movie last night.

“I think I’m like anyone alive today,” Reitman told the audience at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, “I wake up, I pull out my phone, and I go, ‘Fuck!’”

“I look around me and go, ‘How the hell did we get here?’ And in this story, I found a thread that I wanted to pull on — this story about the line between our public and private life, about how journalists and candidates get along, and that touched on gender politics,” the director went on to explain, drawing parallels between the scandals of the past and our desensitised nature today, “1987 acts as a prism through which you can have a calm conversation about tricky topics.”

Those tricky topics certainly prickled at the film’s star Hugh Jackman. Jackman, who portrays Senator Hart in the film, came under fire earlier in the year after a picture found its way online of his birthday party, which was attended by President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, and her husband Jared Kushner – both of whom have high-ranking positions in the current White House.

“I’ve known those guys for 15 years,” Hugh Jackman said, evidently uncomfortable, “and we don’t talk politics at birthday parties.”

When pressed if he did have a political message to share, Jackman was brief: “Vote! I’m an Ozzie, so I don’t get to vote, but if you can, you should vote [in the midterms].”

The Front Runner is due for release in UK cinemas on the 11th January, 2019, and will be rated 15.

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Ezra Miller Promises A Flash Solo Movie Is Still Coming

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Warner Bros.’ proposed solo movie based on the fastest man alive, The Flash, is inarguably one of the most troubled productions in modern Hollywood, having gone through four directors already (and is on, at least, its fifth script). But the movie’s star, Ezra Miller, is still convinced the film is coming:

“Nothing is ever certain in this world,” Miller said, whilst out promoting Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, “But as certain as things get, we’re making a f*cking crazy-dope Flash movie… Anyone who knows about Barry Allen knows he may arrive late, very late, but once he gets there, it’s all solved. We have to trust.”

Miller first made their appearance as Barry Allen, the alter-ego of the scarlet speedster, in a brief cameo in director Zack Snyder’s much-maligned Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice back in 2016. They later had a larger role, and fully in costume, in Snyder and Joss Whedon’s Justice League in 2017, which also suffered a critical slaughtering.

Many are seeing the next crop of DCEU films (Aquaman, Shazam!, and Wonder Woman ’84) as the studio’s attempt at making their shared universe of comic book movies – originally supposed to compete with the Marvel Cinematic Universe – more palatable to mainstream audiences, in what appears to be something of a soft-reboot; all three are proposed to have a lighter, more appealing tone, as opposed to the dreary, drudging depression of Snyder’s original vision).

The implication is, as things currently stand, that the next three films will play out as planned, and then The Flash’s solo feature (written by Joby Harold, and directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein) will be designed to act as a hard reboot for the franchise. Said reboot will be centred around, and indeed take its title from, an adaptation of the popular DC comic book event Flashpoint.


For those not in the know, Flashpoint was a 2011 ‘event series’ of comic books written by fan-favourite scribe Geoff Johns, and pencilled by artist Andy Kubert. The book acted as the catalyst for a line-wide reboot of DC’s comic books that became known as the New 52 (so named because it launched with fifty-two new comic books starting from scratch), and told the tale of The Flash’s misguided attempts to save his mother from her murder at the hands of his time-travelling arch-nemesis, the Reverse Flash. In doing so he causes a time ripple, or ‘flashpoint’, that plunges his world into a dystopian alternate future where Aquaman and Wonder Woman are at war, Superman never donned his cape, and Bruce Wayne was the one gunned down in an alley – inspiring his father Thomas to take up the mantle of the Batman, and driving his mother Martha to become the Joker.

It’s unknown how much of that will carry over to Ezra Miller’s solo feature, but Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is already signed on to make an appearance in the film.

Flashpoint is due to begin filming in late 2019, and is expected for release in 2021.

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Legendary Composer John Williams Conducting New Music For Star Wars Theme Park

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John Williams, the symphonic maestro responsible for such classic Hollywood soundtracks as Superman, Jaws, Jurassic Park, ET, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and Raiders of the Lost Ark will return to the galaxy far, far away to create new music for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

The themed amusement parks, which are currently being added to both Disneyland in Anaheim and Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando, Florida, will – like all Disney parks – have music playing in the background at all times in order to create a magical and otherworldly ambience. It is this music that will feature brand new, exclusive compositions from the decorated composer, designed to complement the remote trading outpost of the planet Baatu (which the parks will represent).

The new music will be the penultimate project centred around the classic franchise for Williams, who has previously announced that 2019’s presently-untitled Star Wars: Episode IX will feature his final full orchestral score for the series.

Five-time Oscar-winner John Williams first wrote music for George Lucas’ beloved sci-fi creation in 1977, with his score for the original film (which included the iconic opening fanfare and the so-called ‘Force Theme‘ – originally entitled ‘Binary Sunset‘ – that have both since become staples of the series) currently listed by the American Film Institute as the greatest movie soundtrack of all time. He would then go on to create original arrangements for every subsequent episodic Star Wars film (with Michael Giacchino handling duties on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and responsibilities for Solo: A Star Wars Story falling to John Powell).

The planet Baatu can currently be glimpsed in certain endings to the Disney Parks’ popular Star Tours simulator ride, and was heavily featured in Timothy Zahn’s novel Thrawn: Alliances.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is due to open next year, and is due to be a fully immersive world that will even give visitors the opportunity to fly the Millennium Falcon.

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Scores $253M Global Opening

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The return of Newt Scamander had a magical time at the box office this weekend, as Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald took in a stupendous $253 million during its three-day debut.

The prequel-sequel to 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which adds Jude Law to its cast as a young Albus Dumbledore (the beloved character previously portrayed by Richard Harris and Michael Gambon), drew in a solid $62 million domestic. The figure is below its predecessor, which opened to $74 million, but is only slightly below industry predictions (which foretold a $65-$75 million opening).

The Crimes of Grindelwald made up that slack internationally, however, with a worldwide cume of $191 million. All told, a $253 million opening is just about right on the money for insider estimates, but those celebrations could be short-lived. Poor word-of-mouth is already hurting the film’s box office chances, and the feature still has a fair way to go to break even (despite a budget of $200 million, the flick has also had a costly and ubiquitous marketing campaign that will have undoubtedly widened Warner Bros.’ margin for profitability).

WB will clearly be hoping to see the Potter prequel demonstrate similar legs to its franchise-starter, which ended its global theatrical run with a commendable $814 million, but it’s certainly up against it following press reactions. Now, a film receiving a critical drubbing is by no means a death knell in this day and age, especially in a year in which Sony’s Venom is nearing $800 million worldwide on a budget of $100 million. That film currently sits at a miserable 29% on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 35 MetaScore – compared to Grindelwald’s less-apocalyptic 40% and 53 MetaScore, respectively – but Fantastic Beasts is still certainly facing an uphill struggle.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is in UK cinemas now, rated 12A.

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