Dhaka, Aug 10 (UNB) - Avengers Endgame was a conclusion to not just the Infinity Saga of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it was also the end of the road for a few major characters. Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark sacrificed himself at the end of the movie so that he could snap Thanos and his forces out of existence and save the universe.
While it was expected that there would be important casualties, few had anticipated something this big. The character was easily the most popular in the MCU, and his death has had a great impact on the emotionally invested fans.
As it turns out, Stark’s demise was planned as far back as 2015, during the production of Captain America: Civil War. During a Q&A with Empire, Feige revealed, “I remember pitching that to Robert Downey Jr. probably in December of 2015, I think. I pitched him the idea of the two-part finale for Avengers and Spider-Man: Homecoming, which was a part of that leading into it. It took a little while, but eventually it came together.”
He added, “I think at first it doesn’t seem real that this journey will come to an end. But as it got closer to filming, it really was emotional for all of us, and particularly for him.”
This proves the incredible amount of groundwork that was laid by Feige and the other creatives at MCU to make the climactic events in Endgame possible.
Feige also revealed that he and others wanted the death of Tony Stark to evoke the same emotion that was evoked after Wolverine’s death in Logan. Just like Downey Jr, Hugh Jackman starred in the role in several films of the X-Men universe. Feige said, “We saw Logan like the audience did, in a theatre having nothing to do with the making of that film and went, ‘oh my god, what an amazing ending for Hugh [Jackman] as this character. And there are only a handful of examples where an actor so associated with a character can go out perfectly. And Logan is the only one that jumps to mind right now, there are not that many of them. And that’s what we desperately wanted to give Robert, and that was what our focus w
The sequel to Rani Mukerji starrer 2014 crime thriller Mardaani finally has a release date. The Gopi Puthran directorial will hit the screens on December 13, 2019. The first installment was directed by Pradeep Sarkar.
In Mardaani, Mukerji played the role of Shivani Shivaji Roy, a cop whose interest in the case of a kidnapped teenage girl leads her to investigate into the racket of human trafficking by organised crime cartels. Jisshu Sengupta, Tahir Raj Bhasin and Saanand Verma played supporting roles. The film was acclaimed by critics and also proved to be a box office success.
In the sequel, Rani reprises the role of Shivani Shivaji Roy. The film will have her locking horns with a 21-year-old villain who is described as “pure evil.” Produced by Aditya Chopra like the original, Mardaani 2 went on floors in March this year.
Rani had spoken to ANI earlier about the film and said, “In Hichki, they (audience) came to know about the symptoms of Tourette’s which not many people knew in India. With Mardaani we got to tell people how the menace of child trafficking exists in our lives even though we don’t want to see it but it is rampant around us. In Mardaani 2, we will again tackle a subject that will be shocking; it will show something very real, very alarming to audiences and make them aware of what’s happening in and around our lives.”
Rani Mukerji was last seen in the 2018 film Hichki.
New York, Aug 10 (AP/UNB) — Shia LaBeouf is trying to show how different he is from his co-star in "The Peanut Butter Falcon," Zack Gottsagen.
"Hey, Zack," says LaBeouf. "Are you a good opera singer?"
"Yes!" replies Gottsagen with a smile.
"Hey, Zack. Are you good scuba diver?"
"Yes!" responds Gottsagen, just as quickly, just as brightly.
LaBeouf shakes his head in awe. Like the 33-year-old LaBeouf, Gottsagen, is an actor. He's one year LaBeouf's senior and he has Down syndrome. Truth be told, he can't sing a lick of opera and isn't much for scuba diving. But that's never stopped Gottsagen.
"No matter what you ask him, he's good at it. He was raised a special, magical kid since he was young. There's no self-doubt in him," says LaBeouf. "You ask me if I'm a good actor and I'll tell you I'm s---."
Six years ago, Gottsagen met Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz at an acting workshop for disabled people at a camp in Santa Monica, California, organized by Zeno Mountain Farm. They immediately noticed Gottsagen who, while playing the bad guy in a Western, would with an air of danger take off his glasses and put down his drink before saying his line.
Gottsagen, who works as an usher at his local movie theater in Florida, told them he wanted to be a movie star.
"We had to have a really frank conversation about how there aren't many opportunities for people with Down syndrome to act in movies that go into theaters. He kind of got really emotional and he just said, 'Well, let's do it together then!'" recalls Schwartz. "It was his idea. It was a great idea."
Schwartz and Nilson had only toiled on the peripheries of Hollywood, working on commercials and short films. Nilson, once a hand model, doubled for Brad Pitt. But, inspired by Gottsagen's determination, they checked out some books from the library about how to write a screenplay.
They put together a script about a wrestling-obsessed young man with Down syndrome who breaks out of his assisted living home and embarks on a "Huck Finn"-like adventure across the North Carolina outer banks and joining up with a destitute crab fisherman running from his debtors (LaBeouf).
It took extreme effort to make it a reality. Nilson and Schwartz went broke and became homeless in the process. For a spell, Nilson lived in a tent without much food. "For better or worse, we went a little bit crazy getting that promise we made to Zack to happen," says Nilson.
But with Gottsagen starring, the filmmakers scraped together some money and began attracting an enviable cast drawn to the project's good heartedness. The film co-stars Dakota Johnson, John Hawkes, Bruce Dern and Thomas Haden Church. After it premiered at SXSW earlier this year, "The Peanut Butter Falcon," which opened in theaters Friday, won the audience award. Reviews have been excellent. Gottsagen's dream has come true.
"I hope some people could have the opportunity to go for their dreams," Gottsagen said in an interview alongside LaBeouf shortly after taping appearances on the "Today" show and "Good Morning America." ''Follow your heart and maybe someday you can be a movie star."
What's striking about Gottsagen is how he's taken his good fortune in such stride. Having long loved movies (he counts "Grease" as his favorite) and studied acting since has a kid, Gottsagen is remarkably comfortable in the spotlight. He has even taught acting to others with Down syndrome. He worked for his big break. He earned it.
Instead, it's those around Gottsagen whose lives have changed, particularly LaBeouf's. The intense actor and sometimes meta-artist who has been known to battle self-destructive tendencies didn't know what exactly he was getting into when he, a month before shooting, got off an airplane in Georgia and hopped into the back of a pick-up. Nilson and Schwartz sat in the front, Gottsagen and LaBeouf in the back, holding each other as the truck swerved.
They quickly became close, spending their evenings watching wrestling and their days on 12-hour shoots across the Georgia countryside, swimming in rivers, dancing on railroad tracks and having watermelon fights. Like their characters, there was nothing "cheeseball," just honesty and tenderness and equality between them.
"I was quite unintelligible to myself before I met him. He had more self-awareness coming into this picture than I do, which is saying a lot," says LaBeouf. "Walking out, I've adopted a lot of his self-love and his confidence. It's leading to self-love, which is leading to an ability to receive love, which is what was lacking in my life. And I would run to alcohol. I just hated myself. Just a big self-hater."
In the middle of production in 2017, LaBeouf was arrested for public drunkenness . A video captured him making sexist and racist remarks to police officers. LaBeouf has since gotten sober, and he credits Gottsagen with his turnaround.
"He knows about my pain intimately. We'd be sitting there watching wrestling every night. He'd be eating ice cream. I'd be drinking gin. I'd tell him, 'You gotta stop eating all that ice cream.' He'd say, 'You gotta stop drinking that gin,'" says LaBeouf. "This man's a year older than me. He's been acting longer than me and he's healthier than I am. He has more friends than I have, has longer lasting loving relationships."
At that, LaBeouf begins to tear up. Gottsagen leans his head against his co-star and wraps his arm around him. They tell each "I love you."
"I was doing things for Shia because I just don't like to see old Shia act like this. I wanted to see the new Shia that I know," says Gottsagen. "I have respect for other stars in films and I want Shia to be nice with them, except for those stars who don't care about Shia. That would be their loss. I don't care about what they do, but I care about Shia a lot more. Shia can do anything."
Gottsagen turns to LaBeouf and says, "I do mean it."
"I know you do," LaBeouf replies. "You mean everything that you say."
Gottsagen is by any measure exceptional. Census figures have shown 19% of the U.S. population has a disability, but representation has lagged in movies. According to a study by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative , just 2.5% of characters in the 100 most popular movies of 2017 where depicted with a disability. And those roles are usually played by actors without one.
"The only way to get past that stigma is to actually give him an opportunity to unveil his humanity on you," says LaBeouf of Gottsagen. "I think that's what the movie does. Our trade secret is heart. You're watching two people connect and it enlarges your humanity. It introduces you to this brave man, this beautiful man."
Dakota Johnson also grew especially close with Gottsagen, tending to his battered feet, scheduling rehearsal time and organizing trips, like one they took to a water park. Gottsagen was a leader on set, too. After each day of shooting, he'd take the directors' bullhorn and say a few encouraging words to the cast and crew.
Those relationships have continued. LaBeouf says he called Gottsagen from rehab. They're still in regular contact.
"This is the least judgmental friend that I have, the most supportive, the most consistent. It didn't stop," says LaBeouf. "If you asked me if I was an opera singer now, I'd think about it."
It has been months since Marvel Cinematic Universe’s big finale Avengers: Endgame hit the big screen, but the buzz around the movie refuses to die down. Post the film’s digital release, Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo answered a few burning fan questions during an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit.
Here are the six major reveals by the filmmakers.
On the sequence of time portals
“We spent a lot of time in the edit room playing around with the sequencing of the portals. We probably didn’t lock that section of the movie until about a month before the film was in theaters. We always wanted Sam to be the first one to communicate with Cap via his comm, and Sam was last in Wakanda, so logically the first portal that would open would be the Wakanda portal. And the first person that would logically walk through a portal from Wakanda would be the King himself, bringing his army once again to the defense of Cap and the world,” Joe Russo said.
On Captain America wielding Mjolnir
“Our interpretation of the famous scene in Avengers: Ultron was that when Cap realized he could pick up Mjolnir he quickly chose not to, because he didn’t want to embarrass Thor,” Anthony Russo said.
On Tony Stark’s death
Confessing that the day they had to shoot Robert Downey Jr’s character Iron Man’s death was perhaps the toughest day on the film sets, Joe Russo said, “I think Tony’s arc is incredibly tragic and unquantifiably heroic. As a father myself, contemplating the notion of being presented with the choice of saving the universe at the cost of losing your life, and knowing that your child would lose their father, and that your wife would lose a husband, is painfully difficult to comprehend. It’s a choice that only the greatest amongst us could make.”
On Vormir and the Soul Stone
“For the centrepiece of Vormir where you retrieve the stone, we referenced ruins that were used for human sacrifice as an inspiration,” Anthony Russo said.
“The choice to keep the soul stone out of the storytelling wasn’t entirely ours. But, we were thrilled that the stone had remained a mystery in the MCU and that we were able to use it for such a surprising purpose,” he added.
Easter eggs in Endgame
During the session, the directors said that there are still more easter eggs to be discovered in the finale.
A superhero movie they wish to direct
“We’ve always loved us some Wolverine,” Anthony Russo said.
Beverly Hills, Aug 8 (AP/UNB) — Jussie Smollett is gone from "Empire" but his character will live on, at least in photos.
Smollett's Jamal Lyon, who last season married Kai (Toby Onwumere), will be away on his honeymoon when the Fox drama returns Sept. 24 for its sixth and last season, Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier said Wednesday.
"You'll see pictures of him in the background," Collier said, without elaborating. He promised "surprises at the beginning of the season that you're going to love."
In a Q&A with TV critics, affirmed series producer Lee Daniels' decision to drop Smollett from the hip-hop family drama.
Daniels had initially supported Smollett after the actor claimed he suffered a racist and anti-gay attack in Chicago. But when Smollett faced charges for allegedly fabricating the attack, Daniels said the matter had become painful and frustrating for him and the "Empire" cast .
Prosecutors dropped the charges against Smollett in March, but a special prosecutor could charge him again .
Asked why Fox had extended Smollett's contract despite his legal peril, Collier said the network wanted to properly assess the situation before making a decision about Smollett's future with "Empire."
Whether an "Empire" spinoff could happen remains to be seen. Collier said the focus now is giving the drama the "huge send-off" it's earned by virtue of its pop-culture impact, but he's open to the possibility.
"We're in the Lee Daniels and Danny Strong business," he said of the show's co-creators and executive producers. "If there's more stories to be told, we want to hear it."