REEL NEWS: JUNE 1ST-JUNE 15TH
After taking a week off to remove a privileged voice from the conversation to allow people of colour to be heard, this week’s news coverage will cover the last two weeks.
Warner Bros pulled the pin on Tenet’s release date, a comic legend passed away, JK Rowling is an awful human being, the PlayStation 5 was revealed and the Black Lives Matter movement resulted in typical long overdue, snap decisions from Hollywood.
As peaceful Black Lives Matter protests threatened by insecure police officers continue around the world, actors and studios have responded in support of the BLM movement.
John Boyega, from the new Star Wars films, delivered an impassioned and heartfelt speech at a protest in London.
He proclaimed his support of the movement and his love for Black people with the belief that he was staking his career on this demonstration, with vocal people of colour being frowned upon in Hollywood.
Directors and actors like Jordan Peele, JJ Abrams and Mark Hamill vowed to attempt to work with him at any opportunity and prevent his exclusion in Hollywood.
Actors made donations to various charities such as the Black Lives Matter organisation or the National Bail Fund Network.
The cast of Brooklyn Nine-Nine made a $100,000 donation to the Bail Fund Network, which helps to release those unrightfully arrested for peacefully expressing their disdain for police brutality.
Other actors and directors decided to capitalise on the uproar against racial injustice for their own disturbingly vain reasons.
Josh Trank, director of Fant4stic (2015) revealed that originally, he wanted Sue Storm in his film to be played by a Black actress to match Johnny Storm being played by Michael B. Jordon.
He blamed the studio’s interference, probably to absolve him of not pushing for his creative vision hard enough and fighting for equal representation in major blockbuster films.
Celebrities like Aaron Paul and Sarah Paulson made a social media post with #ITakeResponsibilty admitting their fault in allowing racist attitudes to permeate inside Hollywood.
Much like with the #MeToo movement, it’s nice to know that it takes worldwide unrest and public revelations for celebrities to start giving a damn, but just enough so as to look like they're doing something and avoid having to donate a fraction of their wealth.
Likewise, studios and streaming services have started to realise the offensive material in some of their more out-dated content.
Paramount cancelled the 31-year long running, reality show Cops. I’ll give you two guesses as to why a show about police officers might not be appealing right now.
Warner Bros. removed Gone with the Wind from HBO Max before revealing that it would return, but with a disclaimer about the material and context.
Warner Bros. have handled similar situations with old Looney Tunes cartoons that have racist stereotypes, by playing a similar disclaimer at the start of the program explaining how they condone the depictions, but wish to preserve it as a time capsule of bygone era that shouldn’t be covered up but maintained as those that ignore history are doomed to repeat it.
Meanwhile Disney still cower away from acknowledging the existence of Song of the South or update their ‘Splash Mountain’ ride at their theme parks which relates to the offensive, musical film.
In the UK, UKTV pulled an episode of the John Cleese, 1970s sitcom Fawlty Towers for offensive racial slurs.
The episode titled ‘The Germans’ is certainly one of the more problematic episodes of the series with the main character impersonating Hitler in front of German tourists, as well as being shocked by a Black doctor, and an old army veteran using the N-word multiple times.
John Cleese himself responded at the removal of the episode from UKTV and Netflix by writing, “If you put nonsense words into the mouth of someone you want to make fun of, you’re not broadcasting their views, you’re making fun of them”.
The BBC then announced that the episode would be returned with a disclaimer at the start.
Along with that, Australian “comedian” Chris Lilley’s shows were removed from services due to Lilley’s blackface character Jonah from Tonga among other offenses.
Likewise, Matt Stewart and David Walliams apologised for performing in blackface for their show Little Britain which was also removed from certain streaming services.
Look, there’s nothing more I can add to the conversation that shouldn’t already be obvious enough besides the fact that no race is above any other and that Black lives are important enough to be treated as human beings.
To wrap this up, I’m going to share some Twitter accounts of Black nerds and film buffs that I follow as a way to amplify their voice.
From there I hope you go and find your own voices to follow and support.
I've also included some movies and comics from Black creators that you can watch and read to better understand the Black perspective of the world. Cause no, watching The Help does not count.
Danielle Radford-Writer for Honest Trailers and co-host on Fandom’s Screen Junkies.
Fiona Nova-Member of Achievement Hunter and Twitch streamer.
Amon Warmann-Critic for Empire Magazine.
Jacqueline Coley-Editor of Rotten Tomatoes.
When They See Us-Ava Duvernay’s mini-series on Central Park 5
Da 5 Bloods-Spike Lee’s latest Netflix film
Mudbound-Dee Rees Oscar nominated film that is unfortunately timely
Ta-Nehisi Coate’s Black Panther & Captain America-Thought provoking runs, with his Black Panther run very influential on Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther film
N.K. Jemisin’s Far Sector-DC series about the youngest Green Lantern in the far corners of space
David F Walker’s Power Man & Iron Fist-A gorgeous, kick-ass series that really should have been the Netflix shows.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled broadcast.
J.K Simmons Returning as J Jonah Jameson
We may not have seen the last of J.K as JJ.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, J.K Simmons revealed his potential return as J Jonah Jameson to the Tom Holland Spider-Man films.
Simmons said, “I don’t know if I would use the word expect” in response to whether audiences should expect to see him again.
He elaborated that he is signed on to appear, but neither Marvel nor Sony are beholden to use him for each film.
CW/DC Casting News
After announcing Ruby Roses’ depature from the Batwoman role and TV series, we now know who will be under the cowl.
It won’t be Kate Kane according to a casting call for LGBTQI+ actresses to audition for a character called Ryan Wilder.
Wilder would be female, late 20s and “likable, messy, a little goofy” which is essentially every second female character in the CW/DC universe.
Showrunner Caroline Dries revealed later on that “In fact, [Kate Kane’s] disappearance will be on of the mysteries of Season 2”
So instead of someone filling in for an absent Bruce Wayne, someone has to fill in for the fill in, who disappeared.
In other CW/DC casting news, Hartley Sawyer was fired from The Flash after some disgusting past tweets were revealed.
Sawyer played Elongated Man on The Flash before tweets that mocked violence against women and used racial slurs were brought into the spotlight.
CW have not announced if he will be replaced on the show.
More Aliens! Yay
Ridley Scott is continuing to shove more Alien films down our throat like a hatched Xenomorph.
Scott plans to follow on from his Prometheus/Alien: Covenant films with another film that will tie these timeline inconsistent films with the original Alien film.
Scott ponders in an interview with the L.A. Times, “What I always thought when I was making the first one [was] why would a creature like this be made..”, which is what he promised both Prometheus and Alien: Covenant would be.
If Prometheus and Alien: Covenant are anything to go by, fans are not interested in a Xenomorph origin story.
Bill & Ted Face The Music Trailer
Excelleeeeeeent! *air guitar rif*
Bill & Ted 3: Bill & Ted Face The Music finally has a trailer.
Stoner-bros Theodore Logan (Keanu Reeves) and Bill S. Preston Esquire (Alex Winter) have gotten old, and still haven’t written the song to unite the planet and save Earth.
The trailer reveals that the former teen-slackers are now adult-slackers and hatch a plan to find the ultimate song, by visiting their future selves and asking them what the song is.
Expect hijinks to ensue as they bumble their way through time, and possibly even alternate timelines based on a sting at the end of the trailer of heavy metal versions of themselves.
The release date for Bill & Ted Face the Music was shifted from August 21st up to August 14th after some films were reshuffled by Warner Bros. More on that later.
J.K Rowling Sucks
If there wasn’t enough reason to hate J.K Rowling.
After years of retroactively altering her works for no logical reason with gay love plots and questionable toilet procedures, Rowling has a dug a hole she can’t Leviosa her way out of.
Rowling has a history of transphobic comments and support for ill-informed trans-deniers, but recent comments have received more public backlash.
Rowling wrote, “If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people (editor note: bullshit!) but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives” and used her experience as a sexual assault victim to bolster her claims.
Well when Harry Potter and Hermione Granger call you out, you know you’re on the wrong side.
Harry Potter series actors including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Eddie Redmayne all voiced support for the trans community and against Rowling’s comments.
This comes as two Black, Trans-women, Riah Milton and Dominique Fells, were murdered in the US.
Black Lives Matter. Trans Lives Matter. Black Trans Lives Matter.
Dennis O’Neal Dies
Comic book legend Dennis O’Neil has passed away, aged 81.
O’Neil was responsible for revitalizing Batman in the 70s by returning him to his street level origins after decades on fantastical and parentally approved stories and a whacky 60s TV series.
He also introduced Crime Alley in Batman’s origins as the death of the Wayne parents, and turned The Joker into the sadistic criminal that he is instead of the prankster he used to be.
He created and killed Jason Todd's Robin and introduced Ra’s al Ghul and the Lazarus Pits which became mainstays of the Batman mythos with Ra’s and the Pit appearing in Nolan’s Batman trilogy.
He also created the Green Arrow/Green Lantern cross-country team-up series that provided social commentary as Arrow showed Lantern what regular humans deal with including drug addiction, homelessness and racial inequality.
When he worked at Marvel, he established Tony Stark’s alcoholism in the iconic storyline ‘Demon in a Bottle’ and the villain Obadiah Stane and was editor of Frank Miller’s seminal Daredevil run.
He is responsible for influencing most of modern-day superhero films, and redefined characters for generations to come.
Star Wars: Squadrons
EA have revealed a cinematic trailer for another Star Wars multiplayer game. Here we go again.
Star Wars: Squadrons is an online multiplayer game that basically takes the Squadron Assault mode from Battlefront and makes a single game out of it.
Players can customise their ships, engage in 5 v 5 online matches and play a campaign set after Return of the Jedi, with a joint story between the Rebellion and the Empire.
Star Wars: Squadrons will be a smaller game than Battlefront with a $40 USD price tag, but hopefully after the catastrophe of Battlefront II, EA have learnt their lesson.
Star Wars: Squadron will be released October 2nd, 2020.
PlayStation 5 Reveal
Sony have revealed details about the next-gen PlayStation 5, along with exclusive games and a reveal of the console design and boy is it weird.
The console itself has quickly be mocked for looking like the Tower of Sauron and a duck’s bill, among other things.
There will be a disc and digital version of the monstrous console which stands at 14 inches tall, 2 inches above Microsoft’s Xbox Series X.
In announcing the game line up, Sony revealed multiple sequels with Horizon Forbidden West, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Resident Evil 8 and Spider-Man: Miles Morales.
Many confused Spider-Man: Miles Morales for a direct sequel to the 2017 game which Insomniac denied claiming the game is a spin-off with a proper Spider-Man 2 coming later on.
No mention of price or specific release date beyond Holidays 2020 for the console, or the much asked for backwards compatibility which Microsoft have embraced.
Release Date Shuffle Returns
Finally, the Hollywood release date shuffle has struck again with the highly anticipated Christopher Nolan film Tenet finally being pushed back.
After months of speculation, Warner Bros. succumbed to the still present pandemic and moved Tenet’s release date from July 17th to July 31st.
As a result, the dominos fell with Wonder Woman ’84 being pushed from August 14th to October 2nd, which pushed Godzilla vs King Kong from November 20 to May 21, 2021 which then pushed The Matrix 4 from May 21, 2021 to April 2022.
This is so Warner can allow each of their films to have a lengthy enough presence in cinemas without overlapping with each other.
Wonder Woman 84’s shift allowed Bill & Ted Face the Music to be moved up a few weeks to fill WW84’s spot.
Unrelated to this movement, is No Time To Die which was moved up all of 5 days from November 25th to a US release date of November 20th.
As case numbers fail to diminish in America, and social unrest builds, expect more Release Date Shuffles soon.