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Looks Like The Simpsons Movie 2 Is Finally Happening

Ever since The Simpsons made their first jump to the big screen there has been talk of a potential sequel, now it looks like the follow-up is actually happening. While the future of 20th Century Fox isn’t entirely clear, as the merger with Disney gets underway, the film studio has decided to make a move to partner with its own television arm when it comes to producing animated films, and one of the projects in development is a second Simpsons Movie.

The original The Simpsons Movie came out in 2007 back when The Simpsons animated series was still short of its 20-year anniversary. Now, on the verge of the show’s 30th birthday, it seems that we might get a second movie. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a sequel is “in development” as part of a collection of Fox animated motion pictures that would include big screen outings for both Bob’s Burgers and Family Guy as well.

The decision to get Fox TV’s animated series up on the big screen comes on the heels of an animation deal with Dreamworks Animation that has expired, and now that Comcast, the company that lost the bidding war over Fox to Disney, now owns the studio, Fox needed to do something else in order to keep animated films coming. Working internally certainly makes a lot of sense.

If you’re still a fervent Simpsons fan, then this is fantastic news. However, while The Simpsons is still a popular series, many would argue that it doesn’t have quite the fire it once did. It certainly makes one wonder what the appetite for a Simpsons Movie sequel would be. The first one was certainly good, and there’s no reason a sequel couldn’t be just as good, but I’m not sure I see people running to the theater to check this one out.

Of course, with the series staring down the barrel of a 30th season, and the fact that this movie is still being described as “in development,” meaning it’s likely in the very early stages, there’s one thingFox could probably do to make the movie a massive hit. Make it the end of The Simpsons. It doesn’t necessarily need to tell some kind of wrap-up story, but if the series were to end its run, and then return one last time on the big screen. You’d probably get fans from the past 30 years showing up at the theater just to say goodbye to the show that so many have grown up with.

Of course, with Disney slowly beginning to take control, it’s very likely that things with future Fox films will get a lot more confusing before they become clear. We’ll keep following this one to see if The Simpsons Movie 2, ever becomes real.

Don’t Worry, Thor’s Roommate Darryl Survived Thanos’ Snap

Earlier this year, Thanos snapped his fingers, unleashed the full force of the Infinity Stones, and wiped out half of the universe. Avengers: Infinity War proved itself as the most devastating Marvel movie yet, leaving many to wonder which characters survived the film. One specific personality that some have wondered about is Thor’s roommate, Darryl, and luckily, we can now confirm that the lovable housemate survived — though he’s now saddled with much more work at his job. Check out a video posted by Daley Pearson, below!

So, not only did Thor survive Thanos’ finger snap at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, but his beloved roommate managed to make it out alive as well. As that video lays out, Darryl was left unaffected by Thanos’ actions, but he was indirectly very inconvenienced because the deaths of half of his co-workers resulted in far more work. Goodbye, half of the universe, and goodbye Sundays.

Of course, there’s a reason why this video was posted in the first place; it served as a happy birthday message to Chris Hemsworth/Thor. At the end of the clip, Darryl plays the Happy Birthday song for his former roommate, and we’re left to hope that we will one day see a reunion between these two buddies.

While this video obviously offers up a hilarious return for Darryl, it also hammers home the profoundly dark effects of Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and The Wasp‘s endings. Not only did half of the Marvel Cinematic Universe heroes perish when Thanos snapped his fingers, but half of all life in the galaxy was wiped from existence. We still don’t entirely know what that means in terms of how the Marvel world will be affected, but something tells us that Avengers 4 will likely go into much deeper detail to explore how the world has changed in the wake of that genocidal act.

For those of you who have no idea who Darryl is, he debuted in the viral “Team Thor” video that premiered online near the release of Captain America: Civil War. Directed by Thor: Ragnarok filmmaker Taika Waititi, the short hilariously explained where Thor was during the events of Civil War and offered up some great moments for Chris Hemsworth to show off his comedic chops. If you have yet to see the video, you can check it out, below!

If you want to revisit the traumatic results of the Thanos snap, then make sure to pick up your copy of Avengers: Infinity War on Digital HD, 4K, and Blu-ray today! As for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we will see the resolution of the Thanos arc next year when Avengers 4 debuts in theaters on May 3, 2019!

The Debate Over Cruise Vacations: Wonderful or Torturous?

Why We Love Them

I am a Travel Loner. When the crowd heads off to see the sunset, I go east. Once, before a Costa Rican volcano tour even reached the volcano, I paid a taxista $100 to take me back to the capital, far from the chatty tourists on the bus.

I spent a lot of years dragging my suitcase up those long stairways to European train platforms because I thought cruises were stupid. I was entirely sure that only old folks and sheep go on cruises. Who wants to board a gigantic floating condominium? Who would choose to be…

Marvel’s Karen Gillan Reveals How They Shot Nebula’s Infinity War Torture Scene

Spoilers ahead for Avengers: Infinity War.

As the behemoth blockbuster becomes available for home purchase, there’s been a resurgence of excitement over Avengers: Infinity War. The Russo Brothers did what seemed impossible, and brought together the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s characters for an epic and emotional journey that ended with one killer twist. Among these characters were the Guardians of the Galaxy, including Karen Gillan’s complicated and deeply damaged Nebula. When she was introduced Infinity War, Thanos had his adopted daughter in captivity, torturing her in order to get the location of the Soul Stone from Gamora. Gillan recently shared a photo from filming the scene, and it’s pretty awesome. Check it out.

That’s a lot of blue. While Karen Gillan has clearly become experienced with blue makeup from her various appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the added blue screen room shows just how heavily Avengers: Infinity War leaned on visual affects. The locations were rendered beautifully, and it’s fun to see how the sausage gets made on such a giant movie.

Karen Gillan’s Instagram post shows how Nebula’s opening scene in Infinity War was actually filmed. In the final film, Nebula is shown being literally stretched and disconnected from her various metal pieces, with Thanos using the Power Stone to torture his daughter. Gillan was there and in full costume and makeup, but laying on a frame that would support her, and give the CGI artists a baseline to create the scene around.

Nebula suffered terrible abuse from Thanos when she and Gamora were growing up, as he’d replace a part of her each time Gamora bested her in combat. So when Thanos harmed her again, Zoe Saldana’s character had no choice but to bring her father to the location of the Soul Stone.

While Nebula has mostly been a supporting character and occasional antagonist in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, it should be interesting to see how she factors in the main narrative of the MCU in Avengers 4.

Smart money says Nebula gets her time to shine in Avengers 4, especially because she is one of the few characters (especially Guardians) to survive Thanos’ finger snap of death in Infinity War. She’s currently stuck with Tony Stark on Titan, while Rocket was left devastated and alone in Wakanda. With Nebula mourning her sister and likely doubly hellbent on revenge, it would be cool to see her join forces with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and attempt to reverse her father’s finger snap. And if someone is going to get the honor to actually kill Thanos, Nebula is a good candidate.

All will be revealed when Avengers 4 arrives in theaters on May 3rd, 2018. Infinity War is available digitally and on Blu-ray now. Be sure to check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

No, Michael Bay Is Not Involved With The Dora The Explorer Movie

A fan-favorite children’s property is going to get a live-action update next year when Sicario: Day of the Soldado actress Isabela Moner steps in as Dora the Explorer for the film version of the beloved cartoon. With less than a year to go until James Bobin’s Dora the Explorer debuts in theaters, audiences finally got a chance to see Moner in the role, but there has still been some confusion about the project online. Specifically, some reports have suggested that Transformers director Michael Bay is involved in the film, but Bay recently took to social media to debunk those rumors and confirm that it’s not his project. Bay wrote:

So, while the Dora the Explorer movie is being developed over at Paramount (which is often the home for Michael Bay films) Bay himself isn’t actually working on the project in any capacity. As Bay explained in his post, he is currently in the process of developing 6 Underground for Netflix with Ryan Reynolds, and the Platinum Dunes production company is currently in the midst of development on a sequel to John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place. Put all of that together, and it looks like Bay and Platinum Dunes are too busy to work on Dora in the first place.

Of course, it kind of makes a lot of sense to confirm that Michael Bay is not involved in the Dora the Explorer movie. The educational TV show is not necessarily known for bombastic action, and when we consider Bay’s work on films like The Rock, Transformers, or 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, we’re reminded that bombastic action is kind of his calling card.

Though Michael Bay is not involved in Dora the Explorer, there are still plenty of people associated with the film that are worth getting excited about. As mentioned earlier, Isabela Moner (who worked with Bay on Transformers: The Last Knight) is set to take on the titular role, with Overboard star Eugenio Derbez lined up to star alongside her as Alejandro Gutierrez. Additionally, the film has enlisted director James Bobin — who has made a name for himself in recent years with his work on The Muppets, Flight of the Conchords, and Alice Through the Looking Glass — to direct the project based on a script written by Nicholas Stoller.

So, while Michael Bay is not involved in the Dora the Explorer movie, we will make sure to bring you any and all relevant updates related to the project as new information about it surfaces online. Dora the Explorer is currently lined up to debut in theaters on August 2, 2019, but until then, make sure to take a look at our 2018 movie premiere guide to keep yourself up-to-date on everything set to debut on the big screen this year!

The Middle Spinoff Is Officially Moving Forward At ABC

For nine seasons, The Middle was one of the most popular shows on TV that too few people were talking about, and its farewell earlier this year was mourned by millions and millions of TV viewers. Thankfully, ABC isn’t completely done with the Heck family yet, and the network confirmed it is moving forward with the long-rumored spinoff centered on daughter Sue Heck.

ABC has finally gone public with news that a pilot has been ordered for a currently untitled The Middle spinoff focused on actress Eden Sher’s socially cringe-worthy Sue Heck, and some details have now emerged about what viewers could expect to see if the project gets ordered to series. The Middle offshoot will take a trip completely outside of the familiar Indiana setting, with Sue heading out to pursue career goals in Chicago. And as one might imagine, it will be quite an awakening for the young woman, who will have some maturing to do in the big city.

The Middle‘s series finale seemingly gave Sue a solid wrap-up, showing that she was still in college before taking a jump forward in time to reveal that she eventually married the family neighbor Sean Donahue, as played by Beau Wirick.(Though not before the proper amount of break-ups.) The spinoff, however, won’t center on that future timeline, and will instead take place during the period before the flash-forward and after the finale’s general timeline. As in a few years later, according to TVLine, and not immediately after.

News about The Middle‘s spinoff first popped up back in May, just after Season 9 concluded. And star Eden Sher was talking about the pilot moving forward during San Diego Comic-Con, though ABC had stayed mum on the subject until now. Nothing was mentioned about The Middle‘s other stars showing up, though we can’t imagine Sue going very far without talking about her exciting new experiences with Patricia Heaton’s Frankie and Neil Flynn’s Mike.

Thankfully for fans, The Middle‘s spinoff won’t be seeking out new talent in order to put it together. Series creators Eileen Heisler and DeAnn Heline will be writing the script for the Sue-fronted project, and will also be executive producing. It’s unclear at this time if they would take on showrunner duties if the project gets ordered to series.

ABC’s current crop of comedies is still doing well with viewers, but long-time staple Modern Family presumably doesn’t have many seasons left, and more recent series like Splitting Up Together and American Housewife are similar to The Middle in the “popular without a whole lot of buzz” department. ABC did develop a spinoff for black-ish last season, though grown-ish ended up moving over to Freeform for its debut season. The network is also busy putting together The Conners, a spinoff that aims to capitalize on the Roseanne revival’s giant audience without its star’s polarizing social media views. If this new comedy moves forward, The Middle‘s follow-up could end up filling The Conners‘ time slot in the midseason.

The Middle is currently finished with its nine-season run, but you can catch some recent episodes on Hulu while waiting for more spinoff news. And you can also head to our fall premiere schedule to see what else is heading to primetime.

Mamma Mia 2! Has Quietly Made A Lot Of Money

Discussions of the recent box office have focused on movies like Mission: Impossible and the ever-present Disney machine, but another film has quietly been raking in cash without many people noticing. Mamma Mia! Here we go Again has been putting together a solid run at the global box office, with a total of over $280 million in the four weeks since release.

While the musical sequel that includes all the ABBA songs you didn’t know has done a little over $100 million domestically, it’s nearly doubled that number overseas, including an impressive $54 million in the United Kingdom, making a top five movie of the year. It seems that the universal appeal of Swedish pop music means that the movie crosses language barriers and works for pretty much everybody. For the record, the movie has done over $7 million in Sweden, which makes it the number two movie of the year in the nation, slightly behind Avengers: Infinity War.

So far, it looks like the trajectory of Mamma Mia! Here we go Again might be similar to that of another recent movie musical, The Greatest Showman. The Hugh Jackman-led film where he played P.T. Barnum ended its box office run with $434 million. It took about the same amount of time to break $100 million, though it’s hard to make a direct comparison due to Showman opening during the holiday season. That film also was never number one at the box office, but it had remarkable staying power, remaining in the top 10 for almost three months.

While it remains to be seen if Mamma Mia is going to do quite as well as The Greatest Showman, it’s already an unqualified hit. The sequel had a reported budget of about $75 million. Even with marketing costs added in it’s clear this movie is making money. At this point, the only question is does ABBA have enough songs to justify a third movie?

Of course, while Here we go Again has done really well, it doesn’t actually hold a candle to the original Mamma Mia! which was an absolute force of nature. The first movie did over $600 million worldwide. While it only did a little over $140 million domestically, it was huge around the world. While the sequel may have done a healthy $7 million in Sweden, the original did $25 million.

What does seem clear is that musicals, while they’re not nearly as prevelant as they once were in Hollywood, are still quite popular with audiences. Hopefully, the success of movies like Here we go Again, The Greatest Showman and La La Land, will help make sure that fans of musicals will at least get a regular drip feed of song and dance in the movies.

Some Critics Say the Biracial Actors in ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Aren’t Asian Enough—But I Call Bullshit

A few weeks ago, a friend texted me about dim sum using only Chinese characters. “Oh no, you’re fake Asian. Hold on,” he continued before he translated his order into English for me. “Fried dough, scallion pancakes with egg, and soy milk.”

“You mean you tiao, but okay,” I replied. “My family only eats it with juk.” I speak very little Cantonese—I’m talking 20 words at most—but when it comes to dim sum, I know how to order.

We’ve been friends for years, and while I can usually put up with his antagonistic brand of teasing, it’s been getting to me lately. I’m “only” half-Asian, something the world feels the need to remind me of at every turn, like when the guy at dim sum hands me a fork and I hear my dad say my name as he’s speaking Cantonese to my Nainai. But I’m also Italian, which for some reason didn’t come up when the popular girl in seventh grade called me a chink, and when everyone—at the coffee shop, in the cab—plays the “but where are you really from?” game. I might be made up of two ethnicities, but I don’t really count as either.

That’s why I’m probably more offended than most at the “controversy” surrounding some of the cast members of Crazy Rich Asians and why, conversely, their inclusion is so legitimizing to me. Henry Golding, the male lead, and supporting actress Sonoya Mizuno are both half-Asian—and thus, according to some critics, not Asian enough to star in the movie. Actress Jamie Chung referred to Golding’s casting as “bullshit” in an interview. (She later apologized.) One op-ed about Golding had the candid title, “We’d Love to See a Full Asian Lead for Once.”

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PHOTO: Sanja Bucko

I understand the frustration at the constant whitewashing in Hollywood. (See: Scarlett Johanssen playing a Japanese character in Ghost in the Shell, Emma Stone starring as a woman of Hawaiian descent in Aloha, and Matt Damon somehow playing the hero in a movie literally entitled The Great Wall, as if we haven’t been defending that shit for centuries.) It’s so rampant that a producer even suggested casting a white woman for the lead to Crazy Rich Asians author Kevin Kwan—who, of course, gave it a hard no.

But to impose whitewashing narratives onto biracial people feels like erasure of half of who I am. And, for me, it’s not “whitewashing,” anyway. It’s more like “whatwashing”: What are you? What’s your background? It’s what so many mixed-race people who don’t pass as white have to contend with on a daily basis.

Since when does being more than one thing cancel the other out? According to Golding, who’s Malaysian and English, some people implied he won the role because he’s half-white, as if being biracial comes with special perks. Please. Science, for what it’s worth, backs me up here. (See how Asian I am?) A 2008 study from UC Davis found that Asian-Caucasian mixes are twice as likely to suffer from psychological disorders, like depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, than full Asians. Lauren Berger, one of the authors, surmises that a lower or conflicting ethnic identity—that is, the extent to which someone ascribes to one identity over another—may contribute to it.

It’s hard to establish any sort of ethnic identity when I keep receiving conflicting messages about what that identity is. I’m too white for my Chinese friends to consider me a “real” Asian, but still Asian enough to catch the occasional slur. And I don’t understand why other people are slicing and dicing my ethnicity in the first place, something both Golding and Mizuno have called out. “If I can’t play that [Asian] part, what can I play?” Mizuno asked in an interview earlier this month. “A part that’s half Japanese, a quarter English, and a quarter Argentinean? How many parts are there for that?”

Golding concisely summed it up in an interview with Glamour: “It was quite strange that people were saying I wasn’t Asian enough. It’s like, ‘Oh, you’re not Asian enough to play an Asian role.’ So what does that mean for people who come from mixed heritage? I grew up in Asia; I’m Malaysian. You can try to justify how Asian you are, but you’re never going to make everybody happy … When does the point come that these stereotypes are thrown to the wind? Making something the norm is the only way of not making it a talking point.”

However, I think one reason for it may be my own doing. I refer to myself as “half”: I’m half-Asian, or, if I’m feeling generous, half-Chinese and half-Italian. I’ve been saying it for as long as I can remember, mostly because it’s succinct and typically satisfies whoever’s rude enough to ask. And it’s accurate (although recent results from 23andMe suggest that there’s some Mongolian and North African mixed in there).

PHOTO: Courtesy of Deanna Pai

But maybe I should start to replace the word “half” with “both.” I am both Chinese and Italian. One doesn’t have to negate, or overpower, or defer to the other. It’s like how my comfort food is fried rice with lap ceung, but I’m also freakishly good at making dragged pastas like cavatelli. Both can be true.

In a new interview, Golding described this ownership over identity in a way that made me tear up. “There was always a struggle with being Asian and not being Asian enough. It’s going to be down to me to own my race,” he said. “Once you’re secure with yourself, it doesn’t matter who the fuck says whatever.”

It’s validating to see people like me confront similar feelings in real time. They get it! And better yet, they’re talking about it. Sure, the haters will hate. They’ll say we’re fake Asians, that we’re not Asian enough, that we’re watered down. But that won’t make it true.

Deanna Pai is a writer and editor currently based in New York.

Why The Wasp Shouldn’t Get Her Own Movie, According To Evangeline Lilly

While team-up movies like Avengers: Infinity War are often the best part of the MCU for fans, the goal for many actors is leading their own solo superhero movie. However, one Marvel actress isn’t interested. Evangeline Lilly who plays the Wasp recently admitted that she’s not really looking for a Wasp solo movie down the road, as she feels the interaction between her character and Ant-Man is part of what makes Wasp special and fun for her. According to Lilly…

It’s true that Ant-Man and the Wasp have been a duo for a long time in the comics, while most of the rest of the current MCU roster is made up of solo heroes who occasionally team up. That’s not to say Wasp hasn’t been given solo adventures in comics, but they do seem to be more the exception than the rule. Evangeline Lilly told a crowd at Boston Fan Expo (via ComicBook.com), that she’s fine with the MCU imitating that strategy on the big screen.

The chemistry between Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne was one of the highlights of the first Ant-Man, even before Evangeline Lilly got to become a superhero herself in Ant-Man and the Wasp and it only got better from there. Lilly herself seems to feel that without that interaction something in her character would be lost.

Of course, that’s not to say that Evangeline Lilly is entirely against separating her character from Ant-Man under the right circumstances. She does reveal one scenario under which she’d be more than happy to leave Paul Rudd behind.

Seeing an all-female version of the Avengers would be awesome and the Wasp would be necessary. The character was a founding member of the Avengers in the comics and would certainly belong alongside other female MCU heroes like Black Widow and the forthcoming Captain Marvel.

Of course, at this point, when we’ll see the Wasp again at all is a bit up in the air. Hopefully, everything will be fine once Avengers 4 is over.

A Classic Chevy Fit for a Hometown Parade

Josh Siegel, 29, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who lives in Brookline, Mass., on his 1955 Chevrolet 210, as told to A.J. Baime.

This Saturday, the Woodward Dream Cruise will roll through Metro Detroit, within a half-mile of the home where I grew up. It is billed as the world’s largest car cruise, with over a million spectators. I will drive my 1955 Chevrolet 210 in the cruise, for the 13th time.