‘Black Widow’ Breaks Pandemic-Era Box Office Records

Scarlett Johansen as Black Widow
Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow
Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow

Whoa – the latest from the Marvel Cinematic Universe – “Black Widow” – totally crushed pandemic-era box office records.

From Variety:

The superhero adventure raked in a mighty $39.5 million from 4,160 theaters on Friday, the biggest single-day gross since the onset of COVID-19.

Through the weekend, “Black Widow” is poised to generated a huge $87.8 million, which would best the benchmark previously set by “F9” and its $70 million debut.

The final opening weekend number for the Cate Shortland-directed movie could shoot even higher with positive word-of-mouth. As the first Marvel film to open in theaters since the start of the pandemic, “Black Widow” is already receiving a warm welcome from MCU fans.

From USA Today:

Black Widow explores the story of Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) in a prequel to the events of Avengers: Infinity War and follows the title character as she navigates the consequences of her past and her journey toward a heroic future.

The film stars Johansson alongside Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova, Rachel Weisz as Melina Vostokoff, and David Harbour as Alexei Shostakov (Red Guardian).

Marvel Studios Drops Mega Teaser For Upcoming Films

Scarlett Johannsen
Scarlett Johannsen
Scarlett Johansson as ‘Black Widow’

Marvel Studios wants to remind folks that while the pandemic set their release schedule for super-hero flicks back a bit, they plan to drop several new cinematic adventures soon.

From GMA:

A title card reads, “We go to escape, to get lost in a story, to feel connected, to share moments we will remember forever” before the Marvel montage shows an opening night movie audience going bonkers during the climactic final battle from 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame” to prove the point.

The video then switches to Marvel Studios’ opening fanfare and snippets of its pandemic-delayed releases — “Black Widow,” opening July 9, and “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” opening Sept. 3 — and then to a never-before-seen peek of “Eternals,” opening Nov. 5, from Oscar-winning director Chloé Zhao.

The fast-paced video teaser also shares these release dates further in the future:

• “Spider-Man: No Way Home” on Dec. 17
• “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness” on March 25, 2022
• “Thor: Love and Thunder” on May 6, 2022
• “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” on July 8, 2022
• “The Marvels” on Nov. 11, 2022
• “Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania” on Feb. 17, 2023
• “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3” on May 5, 2023

DC Comics Teases Possible ‘Justice League Queer’ Series

Superman with an LGBTQ Pride flag
Superman with an LGBTQ Pride flag
(image via DC Comics)

DC Comics is asking fans to vote on 16 different stories to determine which one will be made into a complete comic book series.

One of the 16 contenders is titled, “Justice League Queer.” The description for the series reads, “Eight young queer heroes investigate a series of monstrous manifestations around the world and discover that something much more terrifying is coming.”

Some of the other possible titles include Green Lanterns: Underworld On Fire, Lobo / Animal Man: Scorched Earth, Robins, Blue Beetle: Graduation Day, Nightrunner: Love in Paris, Superman & Lois: Ignition, and Suicide Squad Seven.

The voting on the very different stories is going on right now in round robin style.

In the first round, “Justice League Queer” is up against a series called “Robins” which tells the tale of former Batman sidekicks meeting up.

It looks like Aqualad and Dreamer make the JLQ team

With three days left, “Robins” is currently leading “Justice League Queer” 54% to 45%.

I’d totally love to see what an LGBTQ Justice League would look like.

And yes, I voted 🙂

Aquaman Comes Out As Queer In New ‘Young Justice: Outsiders’

(screen capture via Young Justice: Outsiders)

In a new episode of DC Universe’s Young Justice: Outsiders, the character of Aquaman is shown swimming up to his boyfriend Wynnde, a member of the underwater court of King Orion, and delivering a smooch.

The character – whose real name is Kaldur’Ahm – was once known as Aqualad but has since taken up the mantle of Aquaman in the series.

Young Justice, which chronicles the adventures of teenage superheroes and sidekicks, originally ran on Cartoon Network for two seasons from 2010 to 2013 but was cancelled due to low toy sales by partner Mattel.

Fan outcry plus strong viewership on Netflix reruns prompted DC Comics to revive the series this year via its newly-launched streaming platform, DC Universe.

For decades comic books have led the way in terms of LGBTQ representation from the X-Men (whose characters are seen by many as a metaphor for marginalized communities) to the recent announcement that Marvel is looking at “transgender actresses only” to cast a new, upcoming role.

Ryan Reynolds Hopes To See More Pansexual Deadpool In Upcoming Sequels

Deadpool (image via 20th Century Fox)

 Speaking at San Diego’s Comic Con over the weekend, movie star Ryan Reynolds says he would like to see Deadpool’s infamous pansexuality explored in future films in the superhero franchise.

“I certainly think that this universe needs to represent and reflect the world in very real ways,” Ryan told fans during a Deadpool 2 panel this past weekend. “The great thing about Deadpool is that we’re allowed to do things that other superhero movies don’t necessarily do.”

Without being specific, Reynolds expressed his personal hope that Deadpool’s sexuality will be explored more fully in upcoming sequels.

“It’s something that I’d love to see more of, certainly through Wade, certainly through this universe,” said the 41-year-old Canadian actor.

In addition to the trademark pansexual quips made by the character Deadpool, Deadpool 2 did give us the first superhero LGBT relationship.

Female super sidekicks Yukio and Teenage Negasonic Warhead were featured as a romantic couple in the action flick.

In 2015, director Tim Miller, who helmed the first Deadpool flick, was adamant that the popular anti-hero would be pansexual.

“Pansexual. I want that quoted. Pansexual Deadpool,” he said in an interview with The Guardian at the time.

Pansexual refers to a person who sees no barriers when it comes to sexual partners regardless of their gender or gender identity.

In the comic books, Deadpool is definitely written to be pansexual. And there have been plenty of zippy one-liners alluding to wide-ranging sexual topics, but so far Deadpool’s only physical attraction has been to his girlfriend played by Morena Baccarin in the two Deadpool films.

While superhero movies have lagged in developing LGBTQ characters, there has been a lot more progress when it comes to superheroes on TV, especially in the DC universe.

It was just announced that transgender actress/activist Nicole Maines has been confirmed to play the first trans superhero “Dreamer” in the Supergirl TV series.

And producer Greg Berlanti recently shared he’s developing a new series for The CW for openly lesbian superhero, “Batwoman.”

DC’s Legends Of Tomorrow featured two gay superheroes on a parallel world, “Citizen Cold” and “The Ray,” in a recent crossover event played by out actors Wentworth Miller and Russell Tovey.

Trailer: Hunky Jason Momoa Stars As ‘Aquaman’

Jason Momoa stars as the king of the seven seas, Aquaman, in the upcoming super hero adventure film from Warner Brothers

One of the most highly-anticipated reveals of this weekend’s Comic Con in San Diego came when Warner Brothers shared the first trailer for the upcoming Aquaman starring hot and hunky Jason Momoa.

In the aftermath of last year’s disappointing Justice League, fans are hoping this new entry in the DC universe will turn the tide.

Directed by James Wan, the film explores Aquaman’s ongoing contention with his royal legacy. But after years of being somewhat useless as an action hero in much of the Justice League adventures in the 60s and 70s (plus the animated Super Friends series), Wan is clearly going for a roller-coaster adrenaline rush approach.

The official log line reads, “The film reveals the origin story of half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry and takes him on the journey of his lifetime—one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be…a king.”

The plot of the film follows Aquaman’s origin story being the son of a lighthouse keeper Tom Curry (played by Temuera Morrison) who rescues and falls in love with Atlanna, queen of Atlantis, played by Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman.

As an adult, Aquaman (real name Arthur Curry) is called to oppose his half-brother, Orm (the always on-point Patrick Wilson), a longtime foe of Aquaman’s who goes by the monicker Ocean Master. Orm has been ruling Atlantis for some time and now intends to destroy the surface world over polluting.

Fellow Atlantean Mera (Amber Heard) finds Arthur and urges him to return with her and take up the throne of Atlantis.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, which describes the movie as “Game of Thrones underwater,” Wan says he views Aquaman as a ‘quest film.’

This will be Momoa’s first outing as THE lead of a major movie. It will be interesting to see if he and his massive pecs can carry the film.

Aquaman opens in theaters December 14.

The Flash Reveals “Kid Flash”

Pardon me as I geek out a bit 🙂

The CW’s The Flash has shared a sneak peek at Keiynan Lonsdale, the show’s upcoming new hero, “Kid Flash.” Lonsdale makes his first appearance in costume during tonight’s Season 3 premiere.

From EW:

The sneak peek comes on the heels of Grant Gustin revealing that The Flash will be adapting the famed Flashpoint comic book storyline, in which Barry Allen finds himself in an alternate timeline where his mother is no longer dead, and most of the world’s heroes are more like villains these days: Aquaman is at war with Wonder Woman; Batman is Thomas Wayne, not Bruce Wayne; and Captain Cold is actually a Central City hero named Citizen Cold.

It’s unclear if Wally’s new powers come as a result of being affected by the second particle accelerator explosion — in which Barry tried to get his powers back — or if this Kid Flash exists purely in the Flashpoint storyline. It’s likely the former since the show has invested in creating this costume, so Wally should be going full Kid Flash this season — maybe even as a result of Barry’s absence. Now the question remains whether Jesse Quick was also affected and obtained powers.

The Flash returns Tuesday, July 12 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.

Russia Produces It’s Own Super-Hero Flick – “Guardians”

The Verge has the details:

The combined gross of Marvel’s superhero movies is in the billions of dollars. The Russian film industry wants to replicate that success, but money isn’t the only goal of such a film.

A Russian superhero film has the power to speak to its nation’s values and history, the way Marvel superheroes have done for the USA. Which is to say Russian viewers might prefer to see themselves as the heroes rather than the villains. Guardians, or Zaschitniki, is the closest a Russian film has come to capturing the scope and production quality of the Marvel Universe.

In Guardians, a band of men and women from different corners of the Soviet Union volunteer for (or are forced into) a DNA-augmenting program that gives them special powers.

3.6M views in two days.

(h/t JMG)

New Trailer: “X-Men: Apocalypse”

Excuse me while I geek out a bit.

Squee!!!

Clip description:

Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshipped as a god. Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel’s X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible.

Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign.

As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.

In Theaters – May 27, 2016