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Jake Gyllenhaal Pens Heartfelt Essay Praising Ryan Reynolds And His ‘House of Deadpool’

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It’s common knowledge that Nightcrawler star Jake Gyllenhaal and Deadpool dynamo Ryan Reynolds are close personal friends, with the former even showing up hilariously in a video celebrating the latter’s GQ Man of the Year win in 2016.

For the latest issue of Hollywood trade magazine Variety, Gyllenhaal was asked to pen an op-ed celebrating Reynolds’ inclusion as one of the 50 influencers on their New Power in New York list, which you can read in full here:

I first met Ryan many years ago, and he struck me immediately as quick and warm and thoughtful, a gentleman in an era of foppish putzes, the unlikely love child of Mel Brooks and Dorothy Parker and Gary Cooper. He was also taller than me. Against my wishes, we became close friends.

Audiences got to know Ryan a bit through his work in a string of romantic comedies. He was undoubtedly charming and handsome (annoying), but he never quite had the space to fire on all cylinders. What we all want for our friends in this business is for the world to see what we see, and as actors, that only happens in a perfect storm of timing and the full luck. After years of waiting and struggling to fit his unfortunate, pear-shaped physique into the skinny jeans of a conventional romantic lead, Ryan made his own luck with Deadpool.

Ryan built the house of Deadpool brick by brick, constructing a space that inspired him and let him stretch to every corner of the room. The remarkable success of Deadpool may have shocked the suits who took a chance on financing that ragtag superhero movie, but for the people who know and love Ryan, it was no surprise that the whole damn world rallied as soon as it had the chance to really see him: all of the edges and darkness, the crackerjack wit borne from a lifetime of sensitivity and sadness, and against all odds, the openness.

But make no mistake about it: For all of the effortlessness that Ryan projects, the man works tirelessly. He writes all night so he can be present for his kids and wife all day (and thanks to Aviation gin [which Reynolds owns], he can pull off the latter).

So often — too often — the wildly talented people of our world funnel the lion’s share of their energy into their work, but as good a writer and comedian as Ryan is, he is a better friend and father and husband. And that, for me, is the true mark of power.

Deadpool 2 is out now on Digital, DVD, Blu-Ray, and 4K. Jake Gyllenhaal is currently in Venice, shooting Spider-Man: Far From Home.

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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Box Office News

The Grinch Eyeing $50m+ Opening Weekend

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Illumination Animation’s forthcoming The Grinch, with Benedict Cumberbatch voicing the green grouch, has landed on early tracking – and Universal could be looking at quite the Christmas present.

Yes, by all accounts, The Grinch is looking at a minimum $50m opening weekend, with that number potentially ballooning as the weeks roll on and the film’s marketing pushes deeper into the public consciousness.

It’s worth bearing in mind that the franchise (and character) has proven itself before to have both presence and staying power; 2000’s live-action version, starring Jim Carrey in the title role, opened to $55 million and went on to score $260 million total, not adjusted for inflation.

The Grinch is due out in UK cinemas on the 9th November, rated PG.

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Venom Producer Gives Weak Excuse For Carnage Not Being The Film’s Villain

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When a Venom movie sans-wallcrawler was first announced, many assumed that the smart move would be pitting the black symbiote against well-known comic antagonist Carnage; a red palette-swap of the film’s titular antihero, inhabited by serial-killer Cletus Kasady.

However, that turned out to not be the case. Sony still went with the age-old classic superhero movie villain formula (exactly like the hero, but, y’know, evil – see also; Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, etc etc.) but eschewed the better-known Carnage for, of all characters, Riot – a silver-coloured symbiote inhabited by Carlton Drake, head of the LIFE Foundation, and birthed from an oft-forgotten 90s comic book arc.

When asked the reasoning behind the decision to scrape through the bottom of the Marvel barrel and to drudge up a Z-lister like Riot for their initial, flagship Spidey-cinematic-universe-minus-Spidey feature, producer Matt Tolmach gave an almost unbelievably pathetic excuse:

“[If you have Carnage] you have two origins, and it really limits. We thought about it long and hard. It limits what you can do with the origin of Venom. So, what do you do with that? Well, then the movie itself becomes the origin of Venom, and then Carnage enters the equation. That was always the idea, that you would be setting it up, from the very beginning.”

Now, putting aside that the movie gives an origin to Riot as part of its structure, and the fact that the movie’s post-credits scene gives a pretty complete set-up for Cletus Kasady (portrayed by Woody Harrelson, donning an incredibly cheap-looking ginger wig), it’s still a staggeringly weak reason. Complaining that a villain also needs setting up – something that most superhero origin films manage to pull off quite neatly – smacks of an almost impressive level of laziness. Granted, once you’ve done ‘Venom vs. Carnage’, there’s not a tremendous amount of places left to take a webslinger-less Venom franchise, but it’s still going to feel deliriously samey when/if Venom 2 rolls around.

Venom stars Tom Hardy and is in cinemas now, rated 12A.

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