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Shazam! Lead Drove His Parents Nuts Practicing The DC Hero’s Magic Phrase

Although not all of them have one, many popular superheroes have great catchphrases that they shout before jumping in to save the day. The Thing says “It’s clobberin’ time!,” the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles say “Cowabunga!” and the Tick shouts “Spoon!” as he charges into battle. For DC’s Billy Batson, “Shazam!” isn’t just a catchphrase, it is actually part of his powers, turning him into an adult superhero. So naturally it’s important to get the saying right. For Asher Angel, who plays Billy Batson in next year’s Shazam!, that meant repeating the line over and over again, much to his parent’s chagrin, as he explained:

Well, I can’t say I blame Asher Angle since this is his first major movie and he wants to get it right. Shazam is the name of the hero (formerly Captain Marvel), his magic word and the name of the movie, so the delivery of ‘Shazam’ has to be on point. Of course, I can see how hearing “Shazam!” for the fiftieth time might get a bit tiresome for his parents, as Asher Angel told Entertainment Weekly. I expect that the charm of hearing their kid say “Shazam” over and over in a bunch of different ways wore off pretty quickly. But hey, I guess that’s just the reality of living with a child actor; you have to allow for their process.

We won’t know for sure how all that practice paid off until we see the movie, but I imagine we’ll be hearing the magic word plenty in Shazam! We already got two different deliveries in the trailer. The first comes when Billy meets the Wizard and says ‘Shazam’ in a quizzical and humorous manner. The second is towards the end of the trailer when Billy Batson is in some sort of Christmas market and looks like he is about to head into battle. There he delivers it with authority, so clearly Asher Angel worked on all the vocal permutations of the phrase, much to mom and dad’s delight.

What’s kind of funny about this is that walking around the house saying a character catchphrase is something kids do anyways. Countless kids have probably walked around their parent’s houses, perhaps in a Halloween costume or holding an action figure, saying “Hulk smash,” “I have the power” and “Thundercats Ho!'”. Only in this instance, the kid is a little older and he just happens to be actually bringing one of those characters to life on the big screen. So it’s not childish, it’s work.

Shazam! hits theaters on April 5, 2019. Check out our guide for all the latest news from the DCEU, and take a look at our release schedule for the biggest movies still to come this year.

New John Wick 3 Image Features The Return Of Laurence Fishburne And Ian McShane

John Wick has pissed off a lot of people in his two theatrical appearances so far, but he isn’t without allies. Ian McShane’s Winston has been arguably John’s biggest supporter, and while Laurence Fishburne’s Bowery King interest in John during John Wick: Chapter 2 was more self-serving, he nonetheless helped the hitman when no one else would. Both men will be back next year in John Wick 3: Parabellum, and the latest image from the production shows Winston and The Bowery King finally coming face-to-face.

Given their respective positions within this world’s assassin community, it’s guaranteed Winston and The Bowery King are familiar with one another, and perhaps they’ve met before the events of the John Wick movies. However, both men interacted with Keanu Reeves‘ John separately during John Wick: Chapter 2, so it’ll be in John Wick 3: Parabellum that we see them meeting onscreen for the first time. Both men are very powerful within this community of killers and colorful criminals, Winston being the manager of the Continental Hotel’s New York branch and The Bowery King being an underground crime lord commanding an army of homeless agents. Seeing them together, I can only imagine what they’re meeting about in this picture, though it’s a good bet it involves everyone’s favorite badass assassin.

As far as their relationships with John Wick go, Winston definitely cares more of John’s well being than The Bowery King. Granted, Winston was forced to tell John at the end of John Wick: Chapter 2 that he’d been declared excommunicado by the High Table for killing Santino D’Antonio on Continental grounds, as well as call in that the bounty on John’s head had been doubled and offered globally. However, Winston gave John a one hour head start and a Marker for future use, so clearly he has a soft spot for John. The Bowery King, on the other hand, only helped John in Chapter 2 because if Santino gained more power, his operation would eventually be kaput. So while Winston will hopefully still be supportive of John in John Wick 3: Parabellum, there’s no guarantee The Bowery King will follow suit.

Along with Winston and The Bowery King, John Wick 3: Parabellum‘s return characters include Lance Reddick’s Charon, Ruby Rose’s Ares and Common’s Cassian. The threequel’s new players include Halle Berry’s Sofia, Angelica Huston’s The Director, Asia Kate Dillon’s The Adjudicator, Mark Dacascos’ Zero and Jason Mantzoukas’ Tick Tock Man. Parabellum will see John trying escape from New York, fighting and killing anyone who stands in his way.

John Wick 3: Parabellum hits theaters on May 17, 2019, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates. Don’t forget to also look through our 2018 release schedule to learn what movies arrive later this year.

How Black Panther’s Sterling K. Brown Feels About The New Popular Oscar Category

With the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ decision to create the “Popular Film” award to its Oscars line-up, it’s safe to say that Black Panther has a spot comfortably saved in the category. Before the announcement of the new and controversial category, there were discussions about whether the record-breaking Marvel film would score a “Best Picture” nomination. Considering no superhero film has been recognized with the Academy’s highest accolade before, it seemed unlikely. Since Black Panther is still racking up the box office cash, was named a ‘cultural phenomenon’ upon release and has Creed director Ryan Coogler at its helm, it’s possible we could see T’Challa with all the stars on Oscars night. Among the cast is Sterling K. Brown, who is undecided about his feelings on the “Popular Film” category. Here are his thoughts on it:

It looks like Sterling K. Brown shares the same uncertainty about the category as many have expressed. “Popular” often suggests strength in numbers over recognition of quality of filmmaking that each “Best Picture” has been celebrated for. Even though the Academy clarified that films can be considered for both the “Popular Film” and “Best Picture” slots, this category could still create somewhat of a divide between what’s popular and what was considered an excellent film.

Sterling K. Brown, who played N’Jobu in Black Panther, also expressed to Variety his belief that director Ryan Coogler is an artist who created a movie worthy of recognition. This movie, which is one of the most successful entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has all the components of a blockbuster hit, with action-packed scenes and an impressive ensemble cast. However, it also certainly changed the game as far as the genre goes, delivering a significant message to the masses on race-relations, which is not usually discussed in this venue.

If Black Panther is honored at this year’s Oscars with the sole acknowledgement of “it was popular,” this won’t necessarily make fans of the film happy. It also might not show show a diverse audience that the Academy and therefore the industry is improving their ways when it comes to recognizing people of color. With the addition of the “Popular Film” category, it makes room for big movies such as Black Panther to get their own venue that could be recognized by the Academy, but could also cast a bit of a shadow over what is “art” and what draws crowds. Either way, Black Panther has already made history with its release and it will likely be long remembered.

Watch The Blacklist’s James Spader Cracking Up With Nathan Lane In Season 5 Gag Reel Clip

The Blacklist was more intense than ever in Season 5, which started out with the bombshell reveal that a major character was going to die and ended with the twist that Raymond Reddington is more duplicitous than anybody guessed. Fortunately for the actors, work on The Blacklist wasn’t nearly as intense an experience as their characters went through, as can be seen in the Season 5 gag reel. You can find the full reel on the Season 5 Blu-ray and DVD sets, but check out James Spader cracking up with guest star Nathan Lane as well as some other bloopers in this exclusive gag reel clip!

James Spader and Nathan Lane are each showbiz veterans with decades of experience on the small and big screen alike, but that doesn’t mean they’re immune to getting the giggles on set if something goes wrong! Lane guest-starred on The Blacklist for the big 100th episode that was actually one of the lighter episodes of Season 5, although Liz was busy on her dark quest for revenge while Red was getting into heist shenanigans with Abraham Stern. It provided a break from some of the Reddington family twists and pitted two acting legends against each other for some hijinks. From the quick look behind the scenes in this blooper clip, filming the episode involved some laughs when Spader’s mishap threw a wrench in Abraham Stern’s attempt to coolly double-cross him.

There were more behind-the-scenes mishaps than just the one between James Spader and Nathan Lane, however, as can be seen earlier in the gag reel clip. I never expected to hear somebody utter the phrase “mental sperm” on The Blacklist, and it’s quite clear that the actor never really intended to utter it either. Mozhan Marnò’s reaction alone is worth rewatching the footage an extra time or two! Diego Klattenhoff seemed to be having some issues multitasking as Agent Ressler attempted to walk, talk on his phone, and climb into the driver’s side of a car all at the same time, and the editors had to break out the bleep button to get the blooper on the reel. The Liz vs. Car Trunk moment is definitely worth a laugh as the badass agent is temporarily foiled by a trunk door that didn’t want to close.

The very good news is that this blooper clip is only a taste of the laughs sure to come on the full gag reel, which is available on The Blacklist Season 5 Blu-ray and DVD now. In addition to the gag reel, the Season 5 set comes with all 22 episodes on five discs, 17 deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette on the 100th episode, and two episode commentaries. You can find the full season at retailers starting August 14. The fifth season is available on digital as well.

The Blacklist will be back for Season 6, so you definitely want to make sure you’re caught up on all that happened in Season 5. Although no premiere date for the sixth season has been revealed just yet (and we do know that it’s not part of NBC’s fall lineup), we can expect the Blacklist crew back together to expand on that Reddington bombshell in the Season 5 cliffhanger and reveal what Liz intends to do about it. For some viewing options while we wait, swing by our fall TV premiere schedule.

Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Will Be Closing Rides While The New Tron Ride Is Under Construction

One of the biggest new additions to Walt Disney World is about to get underway, but that means the park will have to get a bit smaller before it gets bigger. Last year at Disney’s D23 Expo it was officially announced that the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland would be getting its own version of the TRON Lightcycle Power Run roller coaster, currently at Shanghai Disneyland. However, with construction set to get underway later this year, closures have been announced that will impact the Disney World Railroad and the Tomorrowland Speedway.

Beginning this December, the Disney World Railroad will cease operation and the train will remain parked at the Main Street Station for the duration. On the plus side, the locomotive will be available for photo opportunities that aren’t normally an option for guests, so that will be the trade-off guests will need to make. The Disney Parks Blog calls the train stoppage temporary but gives no indication when it will start back up. Construction on the Tron rollercoaster might only require the tracks to be blocked for a few weeks or a couple months, but depending on how much work needs to be done, it could actually stall the train much longer.

Then, sometime in early 2019, the Tomorrowland Speedway will also close for a period of time. Work will be done on the Speedway that will change the course of the track, as the footprint of the new roller coaster will apparently require some of the Speedway’s space. Exactly when this closure will happen was not announced, it will likely be dependent on the speed of other work, but the Tomorrowland Speedway is expected to reopen in the summer of 2019 with the newly designed course.

Usually, a new attraction only requires the closure of the one that is being replaced. Here, however, nothing is being replaced. The new attraction is being built in a mostly empty space adjacent to Space Mountain. While the initial rumors were that the new coaster would replace the Tomorrowland Speedway entirely, it seems that all that’s really happening is a minor track adjustment.

The new coaster is set to open at Walt Disney World by 2021, in time for the 50th Anniversary of the park. It’s based on a similar attraction already in service at Shanghai Disneyland. While that attraction is called the TRON Lightcycle Power Run, the Florida version has yet to be given an official name, which may mean it will deviate from the Shanghai version in some way and be called something else.

While it’s possible construction will end up closing other attractions later on, or possibly these same attractions again, it doesn’t look like the new Tron roller coaster will cause too many disruptions to the guests. And eventually, it will all be worth it, because who doesn’t want the opportunity to ride a Tron Lightcycle?

Joanna Gaines Just Finished Her First-Ever Book

Joanna Gaines has practically done it all, and she holds many titles to her name. She renovates houses. She is a reality TV host. She is the mother of five children. She’s a small business owner. And now, Gaines has somehow found the time to write a book. Does she even sleep?! As the Fixer Upper television personality announced on social media, she’s currently putting the final touches on her first book, which is currently titled Homebody. The debut book is expected to hit the bookshelves later this fall. Here’s what we know about Joanna Gaines and her introduction to the world of literature.

As Joanna Gaines revealed in the Instagram post, the design book she authored is one she has worked on for quite some time. And since she has so many other jobs to do that she probably hasn’t been able to devote her full attention to the project. Writing a book takes a hell of a lot of work, and it’s a hefty commitment for even those who spend nearly all their focus on getting it finished. But Gaines is hard at work on finishing it up, and she claims it’s currently on its way to the printer — where it is expected to be duplicated, packaged and distributed by the time it is released later in the fall.

While Joanna Gaines has opened up about her personal and professional life several times thanks to her heavily-viewed HGTV reality TV series, the Fixer Upper star claims that writing a book has been a liberating experience, one unlike anything she has previously accomplished. The words she used to describe the experience of writing a book include: “thankful,” “relieved,” “vulnerable,” “giddy” and “hopeful.” Now, fans will be given a chance to read even more words Joanna Gaines wrote when her first-ever book makes its way into bookstores and wherever else books are sold in the fall.

Here’s what Joanna Gaines said about the book, which can currently be preordered at magnolia.com.

Joanna Gaines isn’t the first Gaines to write a book. Chip Gaines is the author of two books: The Magnolia Story, which was released in 2016, and Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff, which came out last year. The first one was co-written by Joanna Gaines, which makes Homebody the first book Joanna Gaines wrote on her own, similar to how Capital Gaines was the first book that Chip Gaines wrote all by himself.

With that in mind, Homebody serves as another addition to the bookshelf for every Fixer Upper fan. Meanwhile, if you want more updates about Joanna Gaines, Chip Gaines and the rest of the Gaines clan, you can be sure to check back in with CinemaBlend for more updates on their ever-busy lives.

Watch Jerry O’Connell Hilariously Fail To Crack A Safe In Exclusive Carter Clip

Sadly, there just aren’t as many buddy comedies on TV as there used to be, but WGN’s Carter is thankfully here to continue proving the subgenre’s worth. For instance, below is an exclusive clip from Carter‘s second episode, titled “The Astronaut & The Lion King,” which features Jerry O’Connell’s actor-turned-sorta-detective and Kristian Bruun’s Dave putting on a classic bit of farce involving a locked safe. To be expected, Harley has a little trouble distinguishing real life from his TV past. Check it out!

Jerry O’Connell has plenty of dramatic roles in his past, but I think most of us would agree that he’s pretty perfect for just about every comedic role that has come his way. And as this clip proves quite well, O’Connell excels at playing dudes who are a couple of shades dimmer than others around them, with Harley Carter serving as a splendid mix of schoolboy eagerness and stereotypical Hollywood naiveté. I mean, this is a dude who really thought that airborne cinnamon would adhere to a safe’s keypad, revealing the numbers used for the code. (You can’t believe everything you see on TV…or anything you act in on TV.) Not a lot of actors can pull off a moronic move like that so successfully.

Not that we only have to talk about Jerry O’Connell’s thespian skills. In the clip, Harley and Dave are unsuccessfully trying to break into the safe of Pete Conrad, as played by Defiance‘s Douglas Nyback, who makes a last-second appearance to hold the guys up at gunpoint. Somehow, I don’t think Pete is going to surrender with his hands behind his back, so here’s hoping Harley has more spice containers around to chunk at Pete’s head.

As one of WGN America’s newest original series, Carter takes place in North Bay, hometown to TV actor Harley Carter, who returned to his old stomping ground to decompress after having a public meltdown. There, he teams with childhood friends Dave and Sam (with the latter played by Sydney Poitier Heartsong) to try and solve real life cases, relying heavily on the only-sometimes-legitimate tricks he picked up while playing a detective on television. In Episode 2, the trio will get tasked by an emotionally troubled superfan with reopening a unsolved murder that went down at a paint factory that burned down years previous. Dun-dun-dunnn!

Jerry O’Connell is having a great year in TV. Not only did he return to Billions and Drunk History, but he also joined the Big Bang Theory family as Sheldon’s older brother George, and could possibly return there when the CBS sitcom comes back. But no need to wait on that to see O’Connell cracking audiences up, since Carter has that all taken care of. (O’Connell also killed it in The 5th Quarter‘s Frank Cushman short, as well as in Adult Swim’s Cool Dad trailer infomercial.)

Don’t forget to tune into Carter tonight on WGN America to see the aftermath of Harley and Dave’s safecracking exploit. And watch new episodes every Tuesday night at 10:00 p.m. ET. While waiting between installments, head to our fall premiere schedule to see all the new and returning series on the way.

Slender Man Showed Up To A Movie Theater, And People Freaked Out

It’s no secret that cosplay is a huge element of the modern-day fandom landscape. That’s especially true in the horror world, as conventions are often chock full of fans who dress up as Halloween killer Michael Myers, Friday the 13th slasher Jason Voorhees, or Nightmare on Elm Street icon Freddy Krueger. And with Sony’s Slender Man hitting theaters over the weekend, one fan took things to a terrifying new level by showing up to a movie theater dressed as the titular monster.

Ironically enough, this didn’t actually happen at a screening the new Sony film. Per a report from News 12 Westchester, the incident occurred at a showing of Mission: Impossible – Fallout in New York. A group of kids reportedly snuck into a 7 p.m. showing of the movie, with one dressed in the signature suit and white mask that Slender Man is known to wear, silently walking into the theater during the climax of the Tom Cruise movie. A group of moviegoers was apparently terrified by the arrival of the character in the theater, and quickly rushed out of the auditorium to notify management and call the authorities.

The attendees of the Mission: Impossible – Fallout screening were understandably upset about the situation, and later accused the management at the theater of being part of the joke. However, video taken during the aftermath of the ordeal seemed to show workers at the cinema explaining that they had told the teens to wait outside of the theater for the next showing that would take place in that auditorium — a screening of Slender Man, which would explain the costume. It is against policy for movie theater attendees to wear masks to theaters, so we still don’t know if management was aware of the costume when the teens arrived at the theater.

Slender Man is based on the creepypasta character of the same name. The new film follows a group of girls in a Massachusetts down who summon the demon in order to learn more about the mysterious death of a friend. However, they soon discover the folly of their actions when the demon infects their lives and begins to drive them insane — if it doesn’t merely kill them first. Directed by David Birke, the film stars The Conjuring‘s Joey King (who has slowly but surely carved out a very comfortable niche for herself as a modern-day scream queen), as well as Julia GoldaniTelles, Jaz Sinclair, Annalise Basso, and Javier Botet.

Slender Man is now in theaters, so you have yet to see the 2018 horror movie, you can check it out! Looking ahead to the rest of this year, you can take a look at our 2018 movie premiere guide to see what other films (horror genre or not) are on the horizon!

Avengers: Infinity War’s Extended Gag Reel Features Its Own Mary Poppins Reference

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a massively popular franchise for a decade, and recently validated ten years of moviegoing with The Russo Brothers’ Avengers: Infinity War. The shared universe’s main characters united in the action-packed and emotionally devastating blockbuster. And the shared universe as a whole will likely never be the same after Thanos’ finger snap of death. Every frame of the film has been dissected in the following months, an activity which gained recent momentum with its digital and Blu-ray release. Along with plenty of new insights by The Russos, owning a copy of Infinity War also grants you access to the gag reel, which is being released in snippets online. The newest clip just dropped, and it featured Robert Downey Jr. going full on Mary Poppins in the middle of his battle with The Black Order in New York.

If that didn’t put a smile on your face, then you’re as cold as Ultron. Because despite the relative grimness associated with Infinity War due to Thanos’ ultimate victory, it’s fun to see the cast of A-List talent cracking a smile and having some fun on set. The stakes were no doubt high for everyone, but luckily the mood still had plenty of levity.

While it’s fun to watch actors like Scarlett Johansson and Chadwick Boseman break character and laughs things off, Robert Downey Jr.’s spontaneous dance number has got to take the cake. Standing in the rubble of New York City as Black Order members Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian arrive to procure the Time Stone, Robert Downey Jr. breaks into his own version of “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from Mary Poppins. That’s more, Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Ruffalo seem thoroughly psyched about it, and start busting moves of their own.

Hardcore Marvel fans will know this isn’t the first Mary Poppins reference that has snuck into a major blockbuster. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 featured Michael Rooker’s Yondu screaming “I’m Marry Poppins, ya’ll!”, in one of the sequel’s most bizarre moments. It’s since gone viral and been the subject of countless memes, with Rooker and the crew enjoying the bit just as much as the fans. As a reminder, you can check out the scene in question below.

With Mary Poppins now an official recurring joke in the MCU, we’ll have to wait and see if any more references to the practically perfect nanny pop up in the post-Avengers 4 landscape.

Another highlight from Infinity War‘s gag reel has to be the take-ruining goat seen in the opening sequence. As T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and Okoye (Danai Gurira) speak with a newly mind control-free Bucky Barnes, the goats in the background decide to add their own dialogue to the scene. While trying to work through the distraction, Gurira is the first one to break, and the giggles begin to take over them all. At least Thanos’ coming arrival didn’t totally ruin the mood on set.

You can catch the gag reel and more getting your own copy of Avengers: Infinity War, available everywhere now. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Star Trek 4 Shouldn’t Happen Without Chris Pine

For nearly a decade, the Star Trek reboot film series has helped keep the Gene Roddenberry-created franchise in the public consciousness. Set in the Kelvin timeline, Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond depicted alternate versions of Captain James T. Kirk and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise going on their own adventures, and although they haven’t been the biggest hits with hardcore Star Trek fans, critically speaking those first three movies did well overall. Over the last two years, there’s been slow, but steady movement towards getting a fourth entry in this series, informally known as Star Trek 4, off the ground, but last Friday, the news broke that both Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth walked away from the project due to pay disputes. While Hemsworth’s participation in Star Trek 4 isn’t quite as necessary (with our own Dirk Libbey saying Chris Pine isn’t needed at all), if Paramount and Skydance Media aren’t able to work out a new arrangement with Pine so he can reprise James Kirk, then Star Trek 4 shouldn’t happen at all.

For those who need a refresher, around the time Star Trek Beyond hit theaters in 2016, it was announced that Star Trek 4 would revolve around James T. Kirk meeting his father, George Kirk, who was played by a pre-Thor Chris Hemsworth and died at the beginning of Star Trek. After more than a year and a half of not hearing any major updates on how Star Trek 4 was coming along, it was finally announced that the project is moving forward with S.J. Clarkson in the director’s chair. Needless to say, Chris Pine’s absence complicates things, as Pine wants Paramount and Skydance to stick with the existing deal he already had in place with them, but the companies want him and Hemsworth to take a pay cut so that Star Trek 4 can stick to a budget. Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg and John Cho are already set to close deals to return, but as of right now, there’s no word on Pine stepping back to the negotiating table.

Star Trek 4 will already lack one main cast member since Anton Yelchin, who played Pavel Chekov, died in June 2016. Losing another would be a setback regardless, but since it’s Chris Pine, that’s especially bad. For all intents and purposes, Pine’s Kirk and Zachary Quinto’s Spock have been the faces of these Star Trek movies. William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy will always be the definitive Kirk and Spock, respectively, but for a generation that’s grown up on these reboot movies, it’s Pine and Quinto that embody these roles. Pine has had three movies now to improve his depiction of Kirk without it coming off as a cheap imitation of Shatner. Not to mention that ever since 2009’s Star Trek, Pine’s fame has increased significantly thanks to movies like Hell or High Water, Into the Woods, Wonder Woman and A Wrinkle in Time. If anything, his presence would now draw more people to see these Star Trek movies.

In any case, Star Trek 4 losing its main actor is a huge setback, and while I can’t blame Paramount for wanting to work with a smaller budget on this movie given that Star Trek Beyond underperformed at the box office, the studio should be working diligently to persuade Pine to come back. Otherwise, there’s no point in even making the movie. Assuming that Chris Pine doesn’t return to Star Trek 4, there’s one of two choices that Paramount could make.

The first is they recast James Kirk, which is certainly doable, but wouldn’t be wise. If this recasting had happened for Star Trek Into Darkness, then maybe it could have worked, like how Mark Ruffalo was brought in to play Bruce Banner/The Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Edward Norton’s sole appearance in The Incredible Hulk. But with three Star Trek movies under his belt, it’d just feel weird for Pine to be replaced by someone new this late in the game. This isn’t like the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher Batman movies, where the connectivity between movies was loose and Val Kilmer and George Clooney were easily able to fill in as Bruce Wayne after Michael Keaton departed. Also, given that the Star Trek franchise finally is back in the TV realm with Discovery on CBS All Access and the series centered on Jean-Luc Picard on the way, it’s not like these reboot movies will go on for another decade or more, or even need to. For all we know, Star Trek 4 is meant to wrap up this film series, so do you really want a new actor filling in for Pine this late in the game?

The other option is that Star Trek 4 is rewritten so that James Kirk isn’t in the story at all, which would be an even bigger mistake. The original Star Trek characters form one of the most well known casts in all of pop culture, but without Kirk sitting in the captain’s chair, it just wouldn’t feel like a proper adventure starring the Original Series era characters. It’s one thing for Kirk to be separated from his crew during a story, but to be entirely absent is just wrong. If you want to end Kirk’s story, at least have the decency to do it on screen rather than just someone mention what happened to him. Say what you will about Star Trek Generations, but at least he we saw him go out as a hero. Overall, this is a bad situation Star Trek 4 finds itself in, and if Paramount can’t entice Pine to re-negotiate, then there’s no need for the movie even being made. Star Trek Beyond had its issues, but at least it had a straightforward enough ending that we could potentially walk away from this film series and be satisfied with a clean trilogy that didn’t leave any cliffhangers.

Star Trek 4 doesn’t have an assigned release date yet, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for that information, whether or not Chris Pine and/or Chris Hemsworth will return to the movie and other updates concerning its progress. In the meantime, feel free to look through our 2018 release schedule to plan your trips to the movie theater later this year accordingly.

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