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  1. Following in the footsteps of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the next entry of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man film series, Spider-Man: No Way Home, is pulling in the multiverse. It was announced last year that Jamie Foxx and Alfred Molina will reprise their roles of Electro and Doctor Octopus, respectively; villains from previous Spider-Man film series. Now it’s been clarified that where Doc Ock is concerned, this is indeed the same version of the character we previously saw in 2004’s Spider-Man 2. Alfred Molina confirmed his involvement in Spider-Man: No Way Home during an interview with Variety. Molina also noted that when he spoke with director Jon Watts, the filmmaker told him that Doc Ock’s story will continue from “that moment” in the river, i.e. when it looked like Ock was sinking to his death after stopping his fusion reactor from destroying New York City. When Molina pointed out that his character was supposed to have died in Spider-Man 2, Watts simply said, “In this universe, no one really dies.” Molina also said the following about how it feels to play Doctor Octopus again after all these years: " It was wonderful. It was very interesting going back after 17 years to play the same role, given that in the intervening years, I now have two chins, a wattle, crow’s feet and a slightly a slightly dodgy lower back. " Of course, it’s not like Spider-Man 2 came out just a few years ago or even during the early 2010s. Alfred Molina’s first Doctor Octopus outing happened 17 years ago, and Molina asked Jon Watts how they would deal with the fact that he looks noticeably older compared to when he was in Spider-Man 2. Watts simply noted how actors like Robert Downey Jr. and Samuel L. Jackson have been digitally de-aged in prior MCU movies, so the same technology will be utilized for Molina. The actor also amusingly noted that since “the tentacles do all the work,” his changed physicality wouldn’t be as much of an issue for Spider-Man: No Way Home. Now that we know that the Doctor Octopus appearing in Spider-Man: Far From Home is the same one from Spider-Man 2, it’d be reasonable to infer that Jamie Foxx will be playing the same Electro from 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Granted, that’s not confirmed yet, but even if it is, don’t expect him to look just like he did last time. Foxx already let slip that in No Way Home, his version of Electro won’t be blue. It’s also been rumored that Willem Dafoe will show up as Green Goblin, the first Spider-Man villain we ever watched unleash havoc in a cinematic setting. Between all these villains, plus Doctor Strange showing up and even Charlie Cox rumored to be appearing as Matt Murdock, there’s a lot being packed into Spider-Man: No Way Home. Oh, and let’s not forget that Spider-Man: Far From Home ended with Peter Parker not only being framed for Mysterio’s death and the Elemental attack on London, but having his secret identity revealed to the world. So needless to say there’ll be a lot on Peter’s plate in the threequel, but even with all this information, no official No Way Home plot details have been revealed yet. Content source : CinemaBlend .
  2. A report published by the UK Intellectual Property Office shows that a quarter of all online entertainment consumers downloaded or streamed content illegally last year. Many pirates pay for content but turn to illegal sources when availability is lacking or when the costs become too high. ukEvery year the UK Government publishes a new edition of its Online Copyright Infringement Tracker. This report is the result of an annual survey that polls the piracy habits of people twelve years old and above. Earlier this week the UK Intellectual Property Office published the tenth wave of the report. As always, there are some positive changes compared to earlier years, as well as some negative ones. Fewer Pirates Starting with the good news, the study finds that the overall level of copyright infringement across all content categories has dropped. In previous years this number was stuck at 25% but has now reduced to 23%. This means that nearly a quarter of the people who consumed online content have used illegal sources. While this is a big number, the survey also shows that many of these pirates consume content legally as well. For example, 20% of all film fans occasionally pirate content, but only 3% use piracy services exclusively. The same effect can be found in other content categories, including music consumers of which 18% used unauthorized sources last year, but only 2% did so exclusively. For games, these numbers are 10% and 2% respectively. For the above categories, a relatively small percentage of the pirating public used illegal sources exclusively. However, that picture is the other way around for software and digital magazines, where the majority of all pirates never purchased anything legally. Sports Piracy is Booming Similar to last year, the highest percentage of pirates can be found among the live sports streamers. Of all the people who consumed sports streaming content last year, 37% used illegal channels. That is up from 34% last year. Roughly a third of the sports streaming pirates never used legal services. This brings us to the motivation people have to pirate content. Here we see a familiar picture emerge as well. People pirate because something is not available or because they can’t or don’t want to pay additional costs. Movie fans, for example, may not want to pay for yet another monthly streaming subscription to see a film. Or, the content they desire may not be legally available at all, as we have seen with some of this year’s Oscar contenders. COVID Had a Limited Impact Despite some small shifts in piracy levels not much has changed. There is a small decline in music, movie and TV piracy, while the proportion of sports, gaming and software pirates increased a bit. Interestingly, the COVID pandemic doesn’t appear to have a strong or lasting effect. Some people reported that their piracy activity increased, but there aren’t necessarily more people who pirate. “In terms of levels of infringement, the findings from the qualitative phase showed that while many reported no change in their use of illegal sources, some noted that owing to their general consumption in entertainment increasing, so too did their use of illegal sources,” the report notes. How to Stop Pirates? While the yearly reports help to track how piracy trends develop over time, it does little to address the problem. However, the latest report does give some advice on how to motivate pirates to ‘go legal.’ The study tested a variety of messages focused on the negative consequences of piracy, to see what would make pirates change their behavior. This leads to some interesting insights. For example, mentioning the financial losses of big corporations or the broader economy has virtually no impact. People don’t seem to care that the revenue of major movie studios or sports organizations is impacted. A more effective approach, according to the study, would be to focus on the financial impact piracy has on individual artists and employees who work in the creative industries. Those messages even impacted hardcore pirates, who also showed concern about their own risks, including malware and viruses. Finally, hasher punishment could work as well, according to one of the report’s conclusions. “There is potential to explore messages around risk of greater legal action and consequences for those who infringe – this is not currently seen as a viable threat but was mentioned by a few as a potential deterrent if enforced more widely.” A summary of the tenth copyright infringement tracker survey is available on the UK Intellectual Property Office website. While not mentioned, it may also make sense for the entertainment industries to change something themselves. After all, harsher publishment is not going to improve the convenience, availability, and cost of legal alternatives. Content source: TorrentFreak.
  3. Google was asked to remove a TorrentFreak article from its search results this week. The article in question reported that "The Mandalorian" was the most pirated TV show of 2020. Interestingly, it's not Disney who takes offense with our reporting, but GFM Films. mandalorianIn recent years, Google has had to process an incredible number of takedown requests, aimed at ‘pirate’ sites in search results. While most of these notices do indeed list links to copyright-infringing content, not all do. Every week we see obvious errors, where sites such as IMDb, Wikipedia,, and NASA are targeted. By now we ignore most of these mistakes but in some instances, we take them personally. That’s also the case for a DMCA takedown request Google received a few days ago. This notice claims to identify several problematic URLs that allegedly infringe the copyrights of Disney’s hit series The Mandalorian. TorrentFreak Targeted This is not unexpected, as The Mandalorian was the most pirated TV show of last year, as we reported in late December. However, we didn’t expect to see our article as one of the targeted links in the notice. mandalorian-takedown Apparently, the news that The Mandalorian is widely pirated – which was repeated by dozens of other publications – is seen as copyright infringement? Needless to say, we wholeheartedly disagree. This is not the way. Takedown Protest We will certainly put up a fight if Google decides to remove the page. At the time of writing, this has yet to happen. The search engine currently lists the takedown request as ‘pending,’ which likely means that there will be a manual review. The good news is that Google is usually pretty good at catching overbroad takedown requests. This is also true for TorrentFreak articles that were targeted previously, including our coverage on the Green Book screener leak. Not Disney Finally, it’s worth noting that this takedown request doesn’t come from Disney, as one might expect. Instead, it was sent by the company GFM Film, which doesn’t immediately ring a bell. At first, we thought that the German camera company GFM could have something to do with it, as they worked on The Mandalorian. However, earlier takedown notices from the same sender protected the film “The Last Witness,” which is linked to the UK company GFM Film Sales. Since we obviously don’t want to falsely accuse anyone, we’re not pointing fingers. What we know for sure, however, is that our news article didn’t host or link to any infringing content. Content source: TorrentFreak
  4. The Philippines Government and local Internet service providers have agreed to establish a voluntary mechanism through which pirate sites can be more effectively blocked. After receiving a verified complaint, the plan is for ISPs to block infringing platforms within two hours, although new legislation may be needed to speed up the initial verification process. blockAlongside various initiatives to discourage Internet users from visiting pirate sites, including improved legitimate offerings, governments, rights holders and service providers are pressing ahead with their site blocking plans. Broadly speaking, site blocking takes place under two regimes – court-ordered injunctions and voluntary arrangements between stakeholders. The former can prove effective but there are considerable costs involved and blocking doesn’t always happen as swiftly as rightsholders would like. Voluntary arrangements, on the other hand, are less formal and have the advantage of being less adversarial, not to mention less expensive. Philippines’ Authorities and ISPs Reach Agreement In common with most regions of the world, the Philippines has a problem with piracy but a new agreement announced this morning hopes to reduce the number of citizens being able to directly access pirate sites for their fix. A joint announcement by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and the country’s internet service providers reveals that a voluntary agreement has been reached to block pirate sites in a streamlined and swift manner. The proposal was tabled last week by IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba during a focus group discussion attended by around 50 representatives from government agencies and ISPs, including Globe Telecom, Inc., Smart Communications, Inc., PLDT, Inc., Sky Cable Corp., Converge ICT Solutions Inc., and DITO Telecommunity Corp. How the System Will Work Via a memorandum of understanding, the parties have agreed to form an alliance that will define coordination protocols that will enable pirate sites to be quickly blocked following an official complaint of infringing activity. The system will work as follows: In the first instance, rightsholders will present a complaint to IPOPHL which will work to assess the evidence and the need for action. “The duration of IPOPHL’s investigations will depend on the merits of the case and evidence submitted, but we always ensure a speedy and thoroughly validated decision,” says IPOPHL’s IP Rights Enforcement Office (IEO) Officer-in-Charge Director Ann N. Edillon. Edillon says that the complaints validation process is a “fine-toothed comb” that aims to ensure that all evidence points to infringing activity before a blocking order is handed down. The requirements for blocking are yet to be published so at this stage the relevant thresholds are unclear. When IPOPHL is satisfied that blocking is warranted it will hand down an order to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), the government body responsible for the supervision and control of all telecoms services, television and radio networks in the country, including ISPs. Once received and validated by NTC, the blocking order will be distributed among the participating ISPs listed above, which will then go about the practicalities of blocking. At this point, the ISPs believe that blocking can be put in place within two hours but according to the government, further streamlining is not out of the question. Reducing the Steps Before Blocking The validation process carried out by NTC after receiving a blocking order from IPOPHL can reportedly take a few days, a delay that rightsholders would like to reduce. The government says that some of the ISPs are willing to cut out the ‘middle man’ and take their blocking orders directly from IPOPHL. Others, on the other hand, say that this would require a new law that would formalize IPOPHL’s authority to directly block pirate sites, without the involvement of NTC. Another scenario would see IPOPHL hand down a blocking order to NTC, which would immediately forward it to ISPs. IPOPHL Signs MoU With Anti-Piracy Group AVIA Earlier this week the IPOPHL announced the signing a memorandum of understanding with the Asia Video Industry Association (AVIA), an anti-piracy group responsible for protecting the interests of video and TV rightsholders in the region. The MoU envisions cooperation on several fronts including the sharing of information to help prevent and reduce piracy in the Philippines, the development of piracy monitoring and site-blocking processes and their implementation, and assisting local authorities to build their anti-piracy expertise. “I eagerly look forward to the work with AVIA in the months ahead,” said IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba during a virtual signing ceremony. “Together, may IPOPHL and AVIA successfully stamp out the infringers and enable Filipino film and video producers, artists and contributors to wholly enjoy the rewards they deserve and to continue creating fresh original works for the benefit of society, culture and economy.” AVIA CEO Louis Boswell said that piracy is on the increase in the region and since hosts of pirated content are often outside the country, site blocking is the obvious solution. “Site blocking is a responsible means of not allowing access to pirated sites. We have experience now in multiple markets all around the region that site blocking, where it is done properly, can be incredibly effective at reducing the levels of piracy in a market,” Boswell said. As part of the agreement, the IPOPHL has agreed to take action against pirates based on information provided by AVIA. Content source: TorrentFreak .
  5. Under-fire law firm Njord Law pressured a cooperative housing association to settle a proposed lawsuit, despite none of the parties having any idea who the infringer was. In a clear sign that copyright trolls' answer to every response is "pay us", Njord simply kept dropping the settlement amount until paying became the least painful option. copyright trollWhen copyright trolls scour BitTorrent swarms looking for IP addresses, they have absolutely no idea who sits behind them. ISPs can eventually be forced to hand over the subscribers’ personal details but even then there’s no solid proof of who carried out the infringement, if there was one. Cases tend to get decided on the balance of probabilities, meaning that an individual in a single-occupancy household finds themselves in a much more tenuous position and under pressure to settle. But what happens when there are multiple occupants or even multiple households with many, many potential infringers? In Denmark, it appears, the response from copyright trolls remains the same: We don’t care who infringed: Pay us. Law Firms’ Reputations Destroyed Aggressive copyright-trolling has developed into a worldwide scandal over the past 15 years, with numerous lawyers finding themselves suspended and even imprisoned for their behavior. But even now, law firms wander into the fire nonetheless, with Denmark’s Njord Law just the latest example. After accusing thousands of Danes of illegally sharing movies using BitTorrent, Scandinavian law firm Njord Law approached many for cash settlements despite their clients not holding the copyrights to the content in question. As a result, a partner in the firm and the firm itself have been charged with serious fraud offenses dating back to April 2017. As that case develops in the background, those targeted with questionable settlement demands are stepping forward with stories that only reinforce what observers have known for some time: Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. Copyright Trolls Target Cooperative Housing Association The whole idea of copyright enforcement is to find the actual infringer and force them to compensate the rightsholder for their actions. For copyright trolls, however, finding the actual infringer doesn’t seem as important as finding someone who will simply take responsibility and pay, even if they aren’t guilty of anything. This notion is underlined by a case reported by Berlingske (paywall), involving 37-year-old Christie Bak, who in 2019 was chairman of the board of a cooperative housing association in Copenhagen. The association received correspondence from Njord Law, who alleged that the association’s Internet connection had been used to download and share a porn film. To settle this matter the law firm wanted a payment of DKK 7,500 (around US$1,200) with the suggestion that things could get much more expensive if the matter went to court. The association contacted the law firm, informing them that they had no idea about any porn downloads so were considering employing a lawyer to deal with the matter. This, of course, would cost the association money, something copyright trolls are only too aware of. Balancing The Books At this point in a copyright troll matter, both parties are led into their own set of calculations. Most law firms don’t want to take cases to court since early settlements are far more lucrative and less hassle. On the other hand, they are well aware that if their target lawyers up, they might not get anything. So, at this point, many copyright trolls attempt to make it more attractive to settle and less attractive to mount a defense. This case was no different. After the housing association indicated it could fight back, Njord Law made a counteroffer of DKK 4,000 (around US$640) to make the matter go away, an amount getting dangerously close to the cost of hiring a lawyer to send a couple of “back off” letters. Counteroffer Made The Association Suspicious Christie Bak informs Berlingske that the rapid reduction of the amount being demanded raised her suspicions. If Njord Law were originally prepared to go to court with the evidence they had, why were they now offering to settle for much less? “Was it because they had a thin case? Did they think it would be nice if they could just get some money out of us? It seemed strange,” she says. Discussing the matter with members of the cooperative’s board, Bak says it was made clear that if someone had been responsible for the sharing of the movie, they could just come forward and the association would’ve simply paid the settlement “in good conscience”. In the event, no one in the entire association knew anything about the alleged infringement. Housing Project Has Shared Internet, No Infringer Identified Unable to identify who (if anyone) had carried out the alleged infringement, Njord Law was informed that it could’ve been anyone, including various holidaymakers who also had access to the association’s Internet connection. This prompted the initial reduction to DKK 4,000 but that amount was rejected by the association. In this case, knowledge was power. The association wrote back to Njord and informed the law firm that they were aware that Njord’s file-sharing cases were floundering in the courts, with three cases in particular already having been rejected. They also informed Njord that the evidence of its copyright troll partners was also being questioned in the media. “The only thing we saw was some paper with some [IP address] numbers on it. There was no letter or explanation. It also did not appear where they got the numbers from. How could we be sure that it was not something they had manipulated? There was no guarantee of authenticity on it. It was just a lot of print,” Bak informs Berlingske. Njord Law Reduces Settlement Amount Yet Again Following this response, Njord – having previously stated the strength of its case – quickly dropped its demands to DKK 2,500 (US$400) – an amount that would be gobbled up by a lawyer in a matter of minutes, should the association choose to defend itself in a lawsuit. In the event, the board did the calculations and took the decision to pay Njord off, a decision that Bak says she now regrets. Journalist Freja Marquardt contacted Njord Law with a request to comment on the matter, including previous correspondence with the law firm suggesting that lawsuits aren’t filed against entities offering Internet in “open access conditions”. No Comment – Legal Ethics Njord lawyer Lars Lokdam told Marquardt that due to the company fully complying with the rules of legal ethics, it was impossible for him to talk about the case since the settlement was private. On the related matters, including not filing lawsuits against those who enter into dialogue or have widely accessible Internet, he refused to answer any questions. What appears clear, however, is that at least in some instances (and certainly in this case), companies like Njord Law and their copyright troll partners have little interest in targeting the actual infringer. What they want is someone – anyone – to pay up and when they do, it is mission accomplished. The big question then is whether legal ethics stretch to having innocent parties pay for the alleged crimes of others, particularly when there may not have been a legal basis to demand a settlement or bring a case in the first place. During the course of its live criminal investigation against Njord Law, these questions and more could be answered by the State Prosecutor for Serious Economic Crime (SØIK), which currently believes the law firm defrauded Danes out of at least 7.5 million kroner (US$1.22 million). Content source: TorrentFreak.
  6. Every week we take a close look at the most pirated movies on torrent sites. What are pirates downloading? 'Godzilla vs. Kong' tops the chart, followed by ‘Zack Snyder's Justice League'. 'Chaos Walking' completes the top three. godzilla vs. kongThe data for our weekly download chart is estimated by TorrentFreak, and is for informational and educational reference only. These torrent download statistics are meant to provide further insight into the piracy trends. All data are gathered from public resources. This week we have one new entry in the list. “Godzilla vs. Kong” is the most downloaded title. The film can be watched online legally on HBO Max, but that’s not available everywhere. The most torrented movies for the week ending on April 12 are: Movie Rank Rank Last Week Movie Name IMDb Rating / Trailer Most downloaded movies via torrent sites 1 (1) Godzilla vs. Kong 6.7 / trailer 2 (2) Zack Snyder’s Justice League 8.4 / trailer 3 (3) Chaos Walking 5.7 / trailer 4 (…) Thunder Force 4.4 / trailer 5 (4) Raya and the Last Dragon 7.7 / trailer 6 (6) Wonder Woman 1984 5.8 / trailer 7 (5) The Father 8.3 / trailer 8 (7) Coming 2 America 5.5 / trailer 9 (8) Monster Hunter 5.3 / trailer 10 (back) Tenet 7.5 / trailer Note: We also publish an updating archive of all the list of weekly most torrented movies lists. Content source: TorrentFreak.
  7. Winning the Oscar for "best picture" is the most prestigious accolade a movie can get. Aside from the honor that comes with it, revenue tends to increase as well. The same is true for piracy. Data collected by TorrentFreak shows that being nominated already triggers a piracy boost. This is something to keep in mind, especially in countries where legal options are lacking. 2021 oscarsIn two weeks, the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony is scheduled to take place in Los Angeles. The Oscars are the most prestigious film awards and millions of movie fans are looking forward to seeing what this year’s “Best Picture” will be. Fans had to be patient as the official ceremony was delayed by a few weeks due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Oscar Piracy That’s not the only thing that changed. The legal availability of many top contenders, including Nomadland, is also lacking in several countries. That’s the result of closed theaters and slow digital releases. A few weeks ago UK piracy tracking firm MUSO warned that the unavailability of these movies could trigger a piracy boom. The piracy numbers for Oscar winners tend to shoot up every year. When these films can’t be accessed legally, this will only be worse. Do Nominations Boost Piracy? With this in mind, we certainly plan to take a closer look at how the upcoming winners will ‘perform’ on pirate sites. That said, could it be that the nominations themselves have had an effect already? To research this we looked at a sample of torrent downloads of the Best Picture nominees “Nomadland” and “Judas and the Black Messiah”. The timeframe starts March 5th, ten days before the nominations were announced, and ends ten days after, March 25th. Generally speaking, pirated movie downloads will vary quite a bit throughout the week, usually peaking on the weekend. While the nominations were announced on a Monday, we decided to add the non-Oscar contender “Honest Thief” as a control. Piracy Peaked The results in the graph below clearly show that the downloads for both Oscar contenders peaked after the nominations were announced. Meanwhile, there is no significant change in downloads for “Honest Thief,” which even appeared to dip a little bit. pirate oscar nominees Percentage-wise, the nomination boost is obvious as well. On the day after the nominations, “Nomadland” downloads were 213% higher than the week before. A week later, these had dropped by more than 50% again. A similar pattern can be seen for “Judas and the Black Messiah” which saw a 74% increase compared to the week before, to then drop by more than 50% a week later. Availability is Key It is worth noting that pirated copies of all these films were available in a high-quality format during the entire period, so that didn’t impact the results in any way. The only logical conclusion is that Oscar nominations act as a promotion. This drives legal consumption but also piracy. With that in mind, the rightsholders would be wise to make sure that their content is available legally when the winners are announced. — Note: The data used in this article comes from Iknow, which tracks torrent downloads through DHT and PEX. While it may not be able to track all downloads, it’s a substantial sample, which acts as a good proxy for the overall interest on all pirate sites and services. It is worth stressing that this sample only looks at torrent downloads. Views on streaming platforms, direct downloads, and other piracy sources can’t be measured directly. That said, we assume that the trend will be similar there. Content source: TorrentFreak.
  8. Hi Everybody! With some of the minor changes coming to the site. Staff has thought to get input from our loyal users. Since OVH has been dragging their feet getting up our new servers, we're focusing our efforts in some prep work. I assure you the support tickets are in and we have our best hamsters on the case. In the meanwhile, other teams of the staff have been developing features that users have been inquiring about. This post is to gauge, should we change any of the user class names? If so, what is your suggestion? We have come up with a couple related to the film/tv industry. We would love our users input, so please comment your suggestions. Remember they have to sound like their on the same level. EX an Extra wouldn't be an Engineer level. To make it easy, each class has a number below assigned. When you post your suggestion, please post it as Runner 10 > Extra Grip 30 > Cat Member Camera Op 30 > I like this one! Runner 10 > Extra / Makeup Girl / Master Handshaker Grip 20 > Roadie / Cast Member Key Grip 30 > Best boy / Electrician / Suggestions? Camera Op 40 > ? Boom Op 50 > ? Gaffer 60 > Film Buff / Talent Scout / ? Engineer 70 > ? Donor 80 > Investor ?
  9. Every week we take a close look at the most pirated movies on torrent sites. What are pirates downloading? 'Godzilla vs. Kong' tops the chart, followed by ‘Zack Snyder's Justice League'. 'Chaos Walking' completes the top three. godzilla vs. kongThe data for our weekly download chart is estimated by TorrentFreak, and is for informational and educational reference only. These torrent download statistics are meant to provide further insight into the piracy trends. All data are gathered from public resources. This week we have two new entries in the list. “Godzilla vs. Kong” is the most downloaded title. The film can be watched online legally on HBO Max, but that’s not available everywhere. The most torrented movies for the week ending on April 5 are: Movie Rank Rank Last Week Movie Name IMDb Rating / Trailer Most downloaded movies via torrent sites 1 (…) Godzilla vs. Kong 6.7 / trailer 2 (1) Zack Snyder’s Justice League 8.4 / trailer 3 (…) Chaos Walking 5.7 / trailer 4 (2) Raya and the Last Dragon 7.7 / trailer 5 (4) The Father 8.3 / trailer 6 (6) Wonder Woman 1984 5.8 / trailer 7 (4) Coming 2 America 5.5 / trailer 8 (8) Monster Hunter 5.3 / trailer 9 (7) Cherry 6.5 / trailer 10 (5) Tom and Jerry 5.4 / trailer Note: We also publish an updating archive of all the list of weekly most torrented movies lists. Content source: TorrentFreak
  10. Battle of The Blutopians: Season Two Welcome to Season Two of "The Battle of The Blutopians"! We are celebrating our 4th Anniversary by inviting our users to fight over prizes in this *hopefully* annual event. This year there are 3 Events and that means there will be 3 Winners, each will be granted the user class of BluRoyalty for Six Months. This class will be entitled to Freeleech, Double Upload, and H&R Immunity for the entire duration of their reign. The winners will also receive 1 Million BON Credits , 10 Freeleech Tokens & 3 Invites. May the best Blutopians win! The Events: 1) RAW DVD Upload Challenge Upload as many New, not currently available RAW DVD Releases to Blutopia before May 1st, 2021 (00:00 GMT) Upload as many new RAW DVDs to Blutopia. The Film, Anime, or TV Show must not have been released as a Blu-ray or HD/UHD WEB-DL. The challenge begins NOW and ends May 1st, 2021 (00:00 GMT). All site rules must be followed. Uploads that need to be corrected by Staff and/or breach the rules will be disqualified. Uploads must be seeded until May 1st or they will be disqualified. Please make a list of all your uploads that qualify in a single reply to the linked forum post. If this is not done you will not be entered into the contest. Update your list as you go! Do not leave it to the end and do not make additional replies. The first recorded Upload will be awarded the point for that release. Some users will have releases stuck in Mod Queue – As long as it was uploaded first, it will count. If there is a tie, the user with the most number of snatches across the qualifying torrents on May 1st will win. All Qualifying entries will be awarded Double Upload. 2) Best Trailer/Commercial for Blutopia Create a video trailer for Blutopia that is 30 to 60 seconds in length. Use content from the Blutopia site, and library of torrents. Show off the features of the site and our great community. Use your creativity! Do not upload your trailer to YouTube! Create a torrent and make it available to download. Label it like this [Great Battle Season Two] Blutopia Trailer - Creative Title Of Your Choice 1080p DD 5.1 x264-Username. Please encode your trailer using x264 at 1080p. Uploads must be seeded until May 1st or they will be disqualified. All Trailers will be awarded Freeleech and Double Upload to encourage community judgment. Community will judge with The Thank Button. On May 1st, 2021 (00:00 GMT) the Trailer with the most Thanks will win. Site Staff will vote if there is a tie. All Entries and Vote are due by May 1st, 2021 (00:00 GMT). 3) Best Blutopia Theme Create a CSS Theme for Blutopia which user can add as an external stylesheet. Host your CSS Theme on GitHub and provide a URL as a comment on the Event Forum linked here. Include the base theme that is selected in settings to which your external CSS is applied on top of in your comment Please include a description of your theme and a screenshot of the theme in desktop view in your comment. Mobile support is optional and theme should not be judged in mobile view. Note: Themes that are compatible with Blutopia should be compatible with any trackers using vanilla UNIT3D Community Edition. Please keep the theme on GitHub permanently if possible. Community will judge with the comments Like Button. On May 1st, 2020 (00:00 GMT) the Submission with the most Likes will win. Dislikes are NOT used for judging. Site Staff will vote if there is a tie. All Entries and Votes are due by May 1st, 2020 (00:00 GMT).  Special thank you to everyone who makes BLU great!
  11. Dear Film-Paleis Users, Donation action at Film-Paleis. Of course this is not mandatory as on many sites. As you know, we send a donation a maximum of 1x per month. For the users who want to make a donation to us. They can reply to this pm for further information. For 5 euros no less than 25 credit points. For 10 euros no less than 100 credit points. + VIP Status + 1 Year Donorship For 20 euros but no less than 250 Credit points. + VIP Status + 3 Years Donorship With every donation from 10 euros you will also receive 1 year donorship. For higher donations you can always ask how many points you will receive. Donation is not mandatory with us .. !! But due to the high costs, we sometimes have to ask for a small donation. For questions about donations, please only answer THIS PM, other staff members cannot help you with this. Have fun at Film-Paleis.
  12. In the summer of 2020, a long-running case filed by several movie companies against Swedish ISP Telia was concluded in favor of the rights holders. The result was Sweden's first 'dynamic' blocking injunction against The Pirate Bay and several other platforms. The law firm responsible for that victory has now been handed a prestigious industry award for its efforts. The Pirate BayHaving largely given up on tackling individual file-sharers with direct legal action, the mainstream movie, TV, and music companies have been taking a different approach. The theory is that if pirates can’t easily reach torrent and streaming platforms using their regular Internet connections, then that will eventually result in more sales from legal platforms. Rightsholders try to achieve this goal by taking internet service providers to court and attempting to convince a judge that they should block access to infringing sites to avoid liability. The practice is underway in several regions, including in Europe, where thousands of sites are blocked by ISPs. In Sweden, the first big win came in 2017 when the Court of Appeal ruled in favor of Universal Music, Sony Music, Warner Music, and the Swedish film industry, ordering local ISP Bredbandsbolaget to block access to The Pirate Bay. But of course, this was just the beginning. Legal Action To Force Telia To Block The Pirate Bay In 2018, following legal action by the Swedish Film Industry, Nordisk Film, Disney, Paramount, Columbia, Disney, and Twentieth Century Fox, ISP Telia was ordered to block subscriber access to several ‘pirate’ sites – The Pirate Bay and streaming platforms Fmovies, Dreamfilm and NyaFilmer. The case was struck down on appeal but the matter was far from over. Following a second bite at the cherry, the Patent and Market Court ordered Telia to block access to the four pirate sites. Perhaps more importantly, however, the Court also responded favorably to a call to issue a flexible or ‘dynamic’ injunction. Instead of chasing pirate sites to new domains, proxies, mirrors, and IP addresses, new locations could be added to otherwise static injunctions, without the need for a new process. Telia didn’t like the outcome of that case and filed an appeal, arguing that website blockades are easy to circumvent and therefore ineffective. However, in the summer of 2020 the Court found that blocking efforts are effective enough to deter some people from piracy and any risk of over-blocking (i.e blocking non-infringing sites) is minimal. At that point, Sweden was given it very first dynamic blocking injunction. Law Firm Behind The Win Handed Prestigious Industry Award Earlier this week, Synch – the law firm that fought the case against Telia on behalf of more than a dozen film companies – was recognized by its industry peers for its achievements in Sweden. During a virtual ceremony in London for the Managing IP Awards 2021, the company was handed the Impact Case Award for the most significant case of the year. “In the case, Synch successfully represented a total of 16 Nordic and American film companies/studios against Telia where the court judged that the internet provider has participated in copyright infringement by providing internet connection to its subscribers who gained access to films and TV series that were illegally made available to the public by The Pirate Bay and three other services,” a statement from Synch reads. Synch notes that the Patent and Market Court of Appeal had to weigh the film companies’ interests in preventing copyright infringement against the costs of blocking for Telia, and the freedom of Internet users to freely impart and access information. Ultimately, the Court found that the rights of the film companies come first, partly because of the illegal nature of The Pirate Bay and the named streaming sites. “It’s fun and honoring that Synch won this prestigious award last night,” said lawyer Sara Sparring who together with lawyer My Byström and lawyer Jim Runsten ran the case at Synch. “The case has received a lot of attention because it is the first time in Sweden a court has issued a dynamic injunction.” The rest of this year’s award winners can be found here. Content source: TorrentFreak
  13. Two years after Emma Watson’s tenure as Hermoine Granger in the Harry Potter films ended, the British actress switched things up with an appearance in Seth Rogen’s apocalyptic stoner comedy This Is The End. The 2013 film had Rogen, James Franco and many other famous people playing versions of themselves living in the end of days. Since the movie came out, there have been rumors that Watson left the production early, which Rogen is now clarifying once and for all. Last week, Seth Rogen addressed rumors of Emma Watson’s early departure from This Is The End by assuring that there were no hard feelings between him and the Harry Potter actress. He claimed that when she returned to set the following day, it was to say goodbye to the production, and she still promoted the film with the rest of the cast. Following his recent words about the situation, Rogen took to Twitter to share a follow-up statement: As the post explains, Emma Watson did not “storm off the set” of This Is The End during the filming of a scene. Seth Rogen said that the particular scene that she decided not to do had “changed drastically” from what she had initially agreed to. As Rogen remembers it, Watson spoke up about the “uncomfortable position” he believes he placed her in, and he was very happy and impressed she spoke up about it. Seth Rogen said that he and the Harry Potter star agreed that they would not do the scene together. He felt like he needed to clarify the situation after he believed a narrative had spread regarding Emma Watson being “uncool or professional,” which he called “complete bullshit.” Rogen showed some regret about how he handled the situation at the time, sharing that he wished he had “done more” to prevent Watson’s early exit from the film. According to the prior rumors, Emma Watson decided to “storm” off set during the filming of the gimp sequence with Danny McBride and Channing Tatum. The report also claimed that at the time, the 22-year-old had a “freak out” moment on set. Rogen’s recent words seem to indicate that it was a dramatization of what actually went down on the This Is The End production. It’s great to see the actor stand up for the actress, and the quotes he gave GQ Magazine in the midst of his new weed company Houseplant getting off the ground. The story had previously not been addressed, leading some to believe Emma Watson had perhaps been a bit of a diva on the set of This Is The End, and that just doesn’t seem to be true. There’s no beef here between Seth Rogen and Emma Watson. Content source: Cinemablend
  14. Back in February, Bruce Campbell all but officially confirmed that he will be in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. Posting a photo of the London skyline, the actor wrote on Twitter, "Boy, it was a blast, working in a certain city, with a certain director on a certain movie with a certain actor - it sure was!" and the message was pretty clear that he had the opportunity to once again collaborate with longtime friend Sam Raimi. What we don't know at this point is anything about the role that he is playing in the blockbuster, and Campbell has crafted an April Fools Day prank taking advantage of that fact – suggesting that next year we will get to see a Marvel Cinematic Universe/Evil Dead crossover. As you can see below, Bruce Campbell has "accidentally" posted a photo of his Doctor Strange In The Muliverse Of Madness script, and while the words "Ash Williams" and "Necronomicon" aren't actually featured, there is no questioning the amazingness that is being implied here: Obviously this is a joke, and one would be incredibly foolish to take it seriously (hence the name of the holiday), but does anyone else really, really wish that there is some kind of double-reverse pranking going on here? Posting this on April 1st, Bruce Campbell knows that nobody is going to take it seriously, but what if it actually is real and (while dancing around copyright) Doctor Strange And The Multiverse Of Madness finds some way to actually have Ash Williams appear? Again, it's totally nuts to believe it will happen, but it isn't all that outlandish to believe that the Marvel Studios film could feature a scene like this one. The film presumably is going to feature Doctor Strange doing some hopping around the multiverse, so the idea of him accidentally ending up at the Evil Dead cabin isn't totally preposterous. And while we don't actually know anything about the plot of Doctor Strange 2, it's not impossible to believe that the Darkhold is somehow involved following its appearance in the final episodes of WandaVision (which we know is directly tied to Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness via Scarlet Witch). Need more? Does the fact that there is a Marvel Zombies vs. The Army Of Darkness series do anything for you? Regardless, this is weirdly a win-win situation. If we do wind up seeing this scene in Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, we'll all be able to laugh because the Evil Dead star tricked us into thinking that it was just a prank. And if he instead has a totally different role to play in the sequel, that's great too! Just getting to see Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell work together again is always going to make us happy, independent of anything else that happens. Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness is still in production, but will be heading to theaters on March 25, 2022. Content source: Cinemablend
  15. A group of movie companies is continuing to put pressure on the Popcorn Time app and After filing a copyright infringement lawsuit earlier this month, they are now asking the court to freeze the VPN provider's PayPal funds. In addition, the movie outfits want the domain locked, to prevent it from being transferred. logoA group of movie production outfits, including affiliates of the film studios Millennium Media, Voltage Pictures and CineTel Film, has taken legal action against key piracy players in recent years. The makers of films such as “Hunter Killer,” “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” and “London Has Fallen,” have gone after individual file-sharers, apps such as Popcorn Time and Showbox, and pirate sites including YTS. and Earlier this month, the movie companies expanded their efforts by targeting VPN providers. This includes a lawsuit against, which was sued in tandem with a Popcorn Time app and hosting provider Voxility. VPN providers are generally neutral services that simply route the traffic of their customers. However, according to a complaint filed at a Virginia federal court, went much further than that. The movie companies accuse the service of actively promoting piracy. Thus far, has yet to respond in court and the same is true for the operators of the Popcorn Time app. Amended Complaint The plaintiffs aren’t sitting still though. This week, they filed an amended complaint, naming Mohamed Amine Faouani as the sole operator of parent company ‘Wicked Technology’. The movie companies allege that the VPN previously operated through a Belize company, which was dissolved after it was named in a Canadian Popcorn Time lawsuit. The amended complaint also adds the Hawaiian company 42 Ventures as a plaintiff. This company, which lists attorney Kerry Culpepper as director, owns the Popcorn Time trademark which it previously used to negotiate a settlement with the operators. The rightsholders accuse both and Popcorn Time of encouraging and facilitating copyright infringement, as we previously reported in detail here. Interestingly, Voxility is no longer listed as a defendant, but it’s not clear why the company was dropped. Freeze PayPal Funds Shortly after updating the complaint, the rightsholders asked the court for a restraining order to freeze the PayPal funds of’s parent company ‘Wicked Technology’ and prevent the domain from being transferred. In their motion, the companies mention that the owner previously dissolved the Belize company after running into legal issues, so they want to make sure that the funds are properly secured. “Without the temporary restraining order requested, Plaintiffs will likely suffer irreparable harm because the Wicked Defendants will transfer the funds from PayPal to a different provider in a foreign jurisdiction,” their motion reads. The movie companies don’t know how much money is in the PayPal account, but they believe that it’s less than the potential damages, which add up to several million dollars. “Although Plaintiffs do not know the balance of the Wicked Defendants’ PayPal accounts, it is likely that the amount of damages to which Plaintiffs are entitled […] far exceed any amount contained in any of their PayPal accounts.” More Info From PayPal, Cloudflare and GitHub The plaintiffs further request permission to obtain information from PayPal regarding’s transactions. In addition, they want Github and Cloudflare to share any information they have on the anonymous operators of “Plaintiffs respectfully request that the Court grant them permission to conduct limited expedited third-party discovery directed to PayPal, Github and CloudFlare for the purpose of seeking to identify Defendants and the scope of each Defendants’ activities,” they write. The court filings show that the movie companies and Culpepper are maintaining their pressure on the defendants. For now, neither nor have responded to the allegations but both remain online. —- A copy of the amended complaint is available here (pdf) and the request for a preliminary injunction and expedited discovery can be found here (pdf)
  16. This March, Leslie Odom Jr. became an Oscar nominee twice over for his acclaimed supporting turn in Regina King's One Night in Miami... Through his portrayal of singer Sam Cooke, the Hamilton actor only continues to impress with his dynamic versatility, particularly as he's one step closer to EGOT status (he was Emmy-nominated in 2020). The Tony/Grammy-winning performer is an immense talent, to say the least, and you would think that he has tons of projects lined up in the near future. Alas, that's not the case. At the moment, Leslie Odom Jr. only has a few on the near horizon, but there are several projects worth keeping an eye on. There are many 2021 movie releases coming soon for film fans. If you love the actor/musician, here are the specific movies and shows that you should look forward to — including Central Park Season 2. Central Park Poster Central Park Season 2 - June 25th, 2021 (Completed) As one of the newest streaming services on the web, Apple TV+ doesn't have a ton of high-profile shows on their platform just yet, but one of their most notable is Central Park, an adult animated musical-comedy from Bob Burgers' Loren Bouchard. Also created by Nora Smith and Josh Gad, the show was met with glowing praise — as well as some controversy — during its first season, and Apple TV+ is happy with what they've got. The freshman series was not only renewed for Season 2 but for a third season as well, with the second season premiering on June 25th. With a voice cast that includes Gad, Titus Burgess, Leslie Odom Jr., Daveed Diggs, Stanley Tucci, and Kathryn Hahn, along with Emmy Raver-Lampman (who'll replace Kristen Bell), Central Park is among the most ambitious animated projects on television (or, rather, on streaming) right now, and one imagines that it'll continue to up the ante with the new seasons. Details remain limited as far as what we can expect from this new block of television, but Leslie Odom Jr.'s role as Owen Tillerman is another great showcase of the actor's musical talents, particularly as he was Emmy-nominated for his vocal performance. We'll have to wait to see what's in store for Odom Jr's character in the newest season. Leslie Odom Jr. - One Night in Miami ... The Many Saints Of Newark - September 24th, 2021 (Completed) There's no denying that The Many Saints of Newark, the cinematic prequel to HBO's The Sopranos, is a major event. The cinematic extension to one of the most acclaimed shows ever, this period piece from screenwriter David Chase and director Alan Taylor has some big expectations, to be sure, but the movie has some great involved, too. In addition to Alessandro Nivola starring as Richard "Dickie" Moltisanti, along with Michael Gandolfini stepping into his father's shoes to play a younger version of Tony Soprano, The Many Saints of Newark will also feature the acting talents of Vera Farmiga, Corey Stoll, Jon Bernthal, John Magaro, Joey Diaz, Ray Liotta, and Leslie Odom Jr. Their roles in The Many Saints of Newark aren't specified just yet, but we won't have long to wait to see their characters on the screen. The movie is completed. It was supposed to come out last year, but the pandemic pushed the release to September 24th, 2021. In addition to premiering in theaters, this much-anticipated Sopranos prequel will also be available on HBO Max that same day, which is fitting. Leslie Odom Jr. - Murder on the Orient Express Needle In A Timestack - TBA (Post-Production) Filmed back in 2018, Needle in a Timestack is the newest movie directed by Academy Award-winning screenwriter John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) and has taken its sweet time hopping onto the silver screen. With a starry cast that includes Leslie Odom Jr., Freida Pinto, Cynthia Erivo, and Orlando Bloom, this romantic sci-fi drama has an intriguing premise, to be sure. It follows a marriage that's challenged when a time traveler gets involved (don't you hate it when that happens?) but otherwise, details remain limited. There's so much talent involved in this project that it's hard not to be curious. When we'll get a chance to see Needle in a Timestack for ourselves, though, remains a mystery. Based on the short story by Robert Silverberg, John Ridley's forthcoming adaptation has been in limbo for at least a few years now, which isn't the most encouraging sign. However, it was recently announced that Ridley is attached to make a paranormal thriller for Blumhouse, which suggests that the filmmaker is ready to move on from this long-delayed project. Here's hoping that Needle in a Timestack's extended post-production process isn't a worrying sign. This movie could be something special, particularly as a starring vehicle for Leslie Odom Jr. Hoping for the best with this one. Leslie Odom Jr. - Hamilton Untitled Leslie Odom Jr./Kerry Washington Pilot - TBA (Announced) Admittedly, Until the Wedding, the tentative title for an ABC pilot starring Leslie Odom Jr., might not be coming together. Announced and shot in 2019, the series wasn't included in the station's 2020 TV line-up, which suggests that it's not happening. That said, it's such a high-profile pilot that you have to wonder if it'll get picked up elsewhere. Executive produced by Odom Jr., alongside Kerry Washington, this remake is based on an Israeli series called Ad Hatuna, and it tells the story of how one couple's decision to get married affects everyone in their lives. It's inspired by real-life progressive pastors Touré and Sarah Roberts. Also starring in this pilot opposite Odom Jr. is Kelly Jenrette. Additionally, the pilot's supporting cast includes Olivia Thirlby, E.J. Bonilla, Michael Stahl-David, Trent Garrett, and Hailey Kilgore. From director Fred Savage and writer Saladin K. Patterson, this project hasn't seen any developments since 2019. It's not unreasonable, therefore, to assume that it's dead. But we'll see what the future holds. Leslie Odom Jr. - Hamilton Recent Leslie Odom Jr. Projects While Leslie Odom Jr.'s future is still being shaped, the actor had quite an eventful 2020. Most notably, Hamilton premiered on Disney+. Additionally, as noted earlier, audiences got their first chance to see Odom as Sam Cooke in Regina King's Oscar-nominated feature directorial debut, One Night in Miami ... Furthermore, Odom could be seen in Freeform's mini-series, Love in a Time of Corona. Additionally, earlier this year, Odom starred in the Golden Globe-nominated musical, Music, which was directed by Sia. We'll have to wait to see what comes next for the star, especially if he walks away with an Oscar or two, and we'll keep you posted on the latest news right here at CinemaBlend.
  17. Last seen becoming friends with the Titan we know as Godzilla, Millie Bobby Brown’s Madison Russell is currently one of the leading human characters in the MonsterVerse. Through her role in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Madison became a central figure in understanding and advocating for the lizard god, and that role persists in Godzilla vs. Kong. However, in director/fan Adam Wingard’s entry in this struggle of Titans, there’s has been a bit of a change in Brown’s character and how she operates. I was recently able to speak with Millie Bobby Brown, as well as several of her Godzilla vs. Kong co-stars, and chatting with a returning veteran of the MonsterVerse meant it was time for reflection. In this case, looking at how Madison Russell changed from first time marveling at the beauty of Titans beside her mother in Godzilla: King of the Monsters was a subject of interest. It’s not every day that a family like the Russells struggles with their home life against the backdrop of gigantic monsters wrecking Boston, and that experience has changed Millie Bobby Brown’s character in the following sense: " She’s changed quite a bit. Her mother passed away, so she’s just trying to kind of carry on her belief system, which is preserve nature, take care of your environment, take care of the animals in it. So she’s really taking that seriously, that role, and she’s almost trying to become her mother again. " You can see this change almost immediately in Godzilla vs. Kong’s narrative, as the film doesn’t waste time reintroducing us to the surviving Russell family. After an initial attack from Godzilla wrecks a facility belonging to the shadowy Apex Cybernetics, Madison clashes with her father Dr. Mark Russell (Kyle Chandler) over whether he’s really done a heel turn on humanity. Mark is naturally skeptical of the supposed scaly savior, because people and Titans can change. However, much like her late mother, Madison Russell isn’t ready to write off her side of the Godzilla vs. Kong fight card. As such, Millie Bobby Brown gets to be a driving force behind that half of the story’s action, with her trust squarely set in would-be sidekicks Julian Dennison’s Josh Valentine and Brian Tyree Henry’s Bernie Hayes. What they discover throughout the duration of their Godzilla vs. Kong adventure is truly unbelievable, but also something that only Brown’s character could help uncover. It’s at this point that I’d be remiss not to mention how Godzilla vs. Kong is a sort of junction point for the future of the MonsterVerse. No clear plan has been announced to the public as to where the potential franchise might head next, and in these sorts of movies, the human roster isn’t always guaranteed to return, even if they do survive. When’s the last time you heard the name Ford Brody? While Madison Russell does get to progress through Godzilla vs. Kong, it may be the final time we’ve seen this character at work. At least, that’s how it sounded when speaking to Millie Bobby Brown about what was so interesting about returning to her Godzilla: King of the Monsters protagonist. In fact, her exact words were as follows: " It was really nice to come back to her, just being able to finish off that character feels right to me, to kind of continue to evolve Madison. " If Millie Bobby Brown has indeed concluded her time in the role of Madison Russell, Godzilla vs. Kong is certainly a fantastic button to put on such a tenure. Without spoiling anything, Madison goes on one hell of an adventure and proves herself to be as tenacious and capable as her parents before her. Should this be her swan song, you can be sure Brown’s character will be one that is definitely mentioned in the continuing history of the MonsterVerse. Which just means that folks who want to see more of Millie Bobby Brown’s character, or even more MonsterVerse action, will need to get out there and support Godzilla vs Kong. The film is now running both in various theatrical formats, as well as on the HBO Max platform through April 28, so there’s plenty of ways to get this adventure into your life. However, if you’re not an HBO Max subscriber and would like to see the battle from the ringside seats in your living room, check out the six month prepaid discount being offered to newcomers to the platform! It’s what Godzilla and Kong would want you to do.
  18. It's hard to believe that this April marks Forgetting Sarah Marshall's 13th anniversary. Jason Segel's unorthodox-but-heartfelt-and-often-funny rom-com was a delightful mix of raunchy humor and romantic sweetness. Aided by a top-tier comedy cast, which also includes Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Russell Brand, Paul Rudd, Bill Hader, and Jonah Hill, this Judd Apatow production propelled Segel into leading man status, started Nicholas Stoller's directing career, and lead to 2010's spin-off film, Get Him to the Greek. Thus, it was quite a charming comedy hit, which begs the question, "What are they doing now?" Let's see! Here's what the Forgetting Sarah Marshall cast is working on at the moment. Also, it's worth noting that the film is available to stream on Amazon Prime on April 1st! Jason Segel (Peter Bretter) As Peter Bretter, our lovelorn composer who travels to Hawaii to get his mind off his traumatic break-up, only to run into his ex — and her new lover — on the trip, Jason Segel made his own starring vehicle with 2008's outrageous Forgetting Sarah Marshall. In addition to playing the leading man, Segel wrote the film, too, based on his own experiences. Furthermore, Segel also wrote and starred in 2011's The Muppets, The Five-Year Engagement, and Sex Tape. For TV lovers, Segel is known for CBS' long-running sitcom, How I Met Your Mother. He also appeared in short-lived shows like Freaks & Geeks and Undeclared. His other film credits include I Love You Man, Jeff Who Lives At Home, Bad Teacher, Knocked Up, The Discovery, and The End of the Tour. Recently, Jason Segel starred in Our Friend. He also created, wrote, directed, and acted in AMC's anthology series, Dispatches from Elsewhere. Additionally, Segel appeared in Quibi's Home Movie: The Princess Bride. Next, the actor stars in The Sky Is Everywhere. Kristen Bell (Sarah Marshall) In the role of Sarah Marshall, a famous TV star who dumps Peter after a long-standing relationship, Kristen Bell plays a heartbreaking character in Nicholas Stoller's directorial debut. Prior to this titular role, Bell was best known for playing another titular character in Veronica Mars. She later played this part in a film continuation and Hulu's revival. Also, Bell starred in Showtime's House of Lies, as well as NBC's Heroes and The Good Place, the latter for which she was Golden Globe-nominated. In film, the actress appears in Spartan, Pulse, Fanboys, Couples Retreat, When in Rome, You Again, Burlesque, Scream 4, The Lifeguard, and the Bad Moms movies, which reunited her with Mila Kunis. Also, Bell lent her voice to the Frozen movies and The CW's Gossip Girl. Recently, Kristen Bell was heard in Apple TV+'s Central Park, as well as the Disney+ short film, Once Upon a Snowman. Next, she stars in Queenpins. Additionally, the actress is attached to several upcoming projects, both in film and television, including Molly and the Moon, The Woman in the House, Do, Re & Mi, and Gossip Girl's revival. Mila Kunis (Rachel Jansen) Playing the part of Rachel Jansen, a kind-hearted receptionist who forms a close kinship with Peter during his vacation stay, Mila Kunis became the real love interest in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Most famously, Kunis starred in Fox's long-running sitcom, That '70s Show. The actress also voices Meg Griffin in Family Guy. Additionally, Kunis is regularly heard in Robot Chicken. Her other notable film credits include Black Swan, for which she was Golden Globe-nominated, Friends with Benefits, Ted, Oz the Great and Powerful, Jupiter Ascending, The Spy Who Dumped Me, Friends with Benefits, Extract, The Book of Eli, American Psycho 2, Get Over It, Max Payne, Date Night, and the Bad Moms movies, alongside Kristen Bell. Additionally, Kunis can be heard in Wonder Park. Most recently, Mila Kunis starred in February's Breaking News in Yuba County. She also guest-starred in Curb Your Enthusiasm. Next, the actress appears in Four Good Days, which comes out this May. Additionally, Kunis will star in Netflix's Luckiest Girl Alive. Russell Brand (Aldous Snow) As Aldous Snow, a charismatic, self-infatuated English rock star who dates Sarah shortly after her break-up with Peter, Russell Brand plays a competitive personality in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Later, the actor reprised this standout part in Get Him to the Greek. Also, Brand starred in Arthur (2011) and voiced the main character in Hop. His other film credits include St. Trinian's, Bedtime Stories, Rock of Ages, Army of One, and The Tempest. The voice actor can also be heard in Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2, Trolls, and The Simpsons. Additionally, Brand played a recurring role in HBO's Ballers. Most recently, Russell Brand lent his voice to Four Kids and It. Next, Brand will be seen in Death on the Nile and heard in Minions: The Rise of Gru. Outside of acting, the comedian also keeps an active YouTube account. Additionally, Brand has authored several books, including My Booky Wook: A Memoir of Sex, Drugs, and Stand-up and, most recently, 2019's Mentors: How to Help And Be Helped. Paul Rudd (Chuck/Kunu) In the role of Chuck, who goes by the name "Kunu," a cool-talking, ocean-loving surf instructor who doesn't always offer the sagest advice, Paul Rudd plays a scene-stealing supporting character in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. The actor's other notable film credits include Wet Hot American Summer, Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, This is 40, Clueless, Role Models, I Love You Man, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and the Anchorman movies. He also plays Ant-Man in the MCU. Additionally, Rudd stars in Netflix's Living with Yourself. Most recently, Paul Rudd provided a voice role in the Audible series, Escape from Virtual Island. He also appeared in A Parks and Recreation Special and Quibi's Home Movie: The Princess Bride last year. Additionally, the actor guest-starred in The Simpsons and At Home with Amy Sedaris. Next, Rudd stars in Apple TV+'s The Shrink Next Door. He'll also soon be seen in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Currently, Rudd is reprising his title role in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, which is now filming. He also plays the Marvel character in Disney+'s What If ...? Bill Hader (Brian Bretter) Playing the part of Brian Bretter, Peter's stepbrother and best friend who often gives some tough love advice, Bill Hader plays a mindful supporting character in 2008's Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Most notably, Hader was a long-standing cast member on Saturday Night Live, for which he was Emmy-nominated. Hader is also the star and co-creator of IFC's Documentary Now! The actor's other notable film credits include Tropic Thunder, The Skeleton Twins, Trainwreck, Adventureland, The To Do List, Men in Black 3, Superbad, Hot Rod, Pineapple Express, and IT: Chapter 2. Additionally, as a voice artist, Hader is heard in the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs movies, Monsters University, Inside Out, Finding Dory, Sausage Party, Toy Story 4, The BFG, and Ralph Breaks the Internet, as well as Bob's Burgers, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, and South Park. Currently, Bill Hader stars in HBO's Emmy-nominated dark comedy, Barry, which he also created and writes and directs. Next, Hader will be heard in the Addams Family sequel. Liz Cackowski (Liz Bretter) As Liz Bretter, Brian's wife and the only woman he has ever been in a relationship with, Liz Cackowski played a cheery character in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Her other film credits include I Love You, Man, The To Do List, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, and the Neighbors movies. Additionally, Cackowski can be seen in Netflix's Wine Country, which she co-wrote and co-produced. Her other writing credits include Saturday Night Live, Up All Night, Community, Funny or Die Presents ..., The Jeanine Tate Show (which she starred in), The Last Man on Earth, and the MTV Movie Awards. On television, Liz Cackowski can also be seen in Speechless, Happy Together, Children's Hospital, and SNL. Additionally, the actress can be heard in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Cackowski was seen in HBO Max's An American Pickle last year. Outside of acting, she was also a writer for this year's Golden Globes Awards. Jonah Hill (Matthew Van Der Wyk) In the role of Matthew Van Der Wyk, a kind-hearted waiter who's an obsessive fan of Aldous, Jonah Hill played a friendly supporting character in Nicholas Stoller's Forgetting Sarah Marshall. One year before this movie's release, Hill gained notice and acclaim for Superbad and Knocked Up. He also co-starred in Get Him to the Greek. His other notable film credits include 21 Jump Street, Funny People, This is the End, 22 Jump Street, Accepted, Hail Caesar!, War Dogs, The Sitter, Cyrus, and The Beach Bum. His voice can also be heard in the How to Train Your Dragon films, The Lego Movie, Horton Hears a Who!, Sausage Party, and Megamind. Additionally, Jonah Hill is a two-time Oscar-nominated actor for his supporting turns in Moneyball and The Wolf of Wall Street, respectively. He also starred in Netflix's Maniac. Furthermore, Hill wrote and directed Mid90s. Also, the actor has screenwriting credits for both Jump Street films and Why Him? Next, Hill appears in Netflix's Don't Look Up. Da’Vone McDonald (Dwayne) Playing Dwayne, a caring bartender, Da'Vone McDonald was a conversational character in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. He also appeared in Get Him to the Greek. McDonald's other notable film credits include Drillbit Taylor, Walk of Shame, The Five-Year Engagement, The Gambler (2014), A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, Funny People, Miss March, and InAPPropriate Comedy. On TV, the actor was seen in Drunk History, The PET Squad Files, Dads, Raising Hope, and House. Most recently, he appeared in 2019's The Turkey Bowl and Grand-Daddy Day Care. His next project is unannounced. Jack McBrayer (Darald Braden) As Darald Braden, a recently-married man who's insecure about pleasing his sexually-demanding wife, Jack McBrayer plays a timid character in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Most notably, McBrayer is known for his Emmy-nominated performance on NBC's 30 Rock. He also received an Emmy nomination for his guest role in Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell. Additionally, as a voice actor, McBrayer is known for Wreck-It Ralph and Ralph Breaks the Internet. He's also heard in Phineas and Ferb, Wander Over Yander, Big Mouth, Smurfs: The Lost Village, Bob's Burgers, Despicable Me, and Star Trek: Lower Decks. The actor also starred in the short-lived series, The Jack and Triumph Show. Jack McBrayer's other notable film credits include Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, The Campaign, Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Movie 43, Cooties, and The To Do List. Next, he'll be seen in Queenpins alongside Kristen Bell. McBrayer will also be heard in Songs for a Sloth. Maria Thayer (Wyoma Braden) In the role of Wyoma Braden, Darald's sexually-liberated newlywed wife, Maria Thayer plays a frisky supporting character in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Away from this movie, Thayer is known for her lead roles in Adult Swim's Eagleheart and truTV's Those Who Can't. Also, the actress played the title role in Hallmark Channel's Annie Claus is Coming to Town. Also, Thayer is known for Comedy Central's cult-favorite series, Strangers with Candy. On the big screen, meanwhile, Thayer appeared in Accepted, Hitch, State of Play, Table 19, Storytelling, and Strangers with Candy's film continuation. Most recently, Maria Thayer appeared in a few episodes of NBC's Superstore. The actress also guest-starred in the pilot for Peacock's Punky Brewster reboot, as well as the latest season of A.P. Bio. Additionally, Thayer was recently seen in I've Got Issues. Forgetting Sarah Marshall is currently available to stream on Peacock.
  19. CinemaBlend participates in affiliate programs with various companies. We may earn a commission when you click on or make purchases via links. In 2014, over a decade and a half after his first completely Hollywood-produced appearance failed to impress, Godzilla returned for a second go at American cinematic glory. Fortunately, not only did the Godzilla reboot earn much better critical reception than its 1998 predecessor, it also launched the MonsterVerse franchise, which is about to deliver its fourth entry, Godzilla vs. Kong. However, having Godzilla collide with King Kong wasn’t a plan in motion from Day One. During my recent interview with Godzilla vs. Kong co-writer Max Borenstein, I asked if he and the others who crafted the MonsterVerse were always determined to bring King Kong in, or if that was a development that happened later on. Recalling the days of working on 2014’s Godzilla, Borenstein answered: " Well, early on, during production of the first Godzilla, maybe when we were in postproduction, is when I first spoke to the head of Legendary at the time, Thomas Tull, and producer Mary Parent and Alex Garcia, who’s the executive who’s been in charge of the franchise since then, about this idea of doing a Kong film, and Thomas’ vision, because he’s a huge fan of big monsters and Godzilla and Kong, was to eventually build toward Godzilla vs. Kong. [Those were the] sort of adventures he had in mind to bring about, but it was sort of one step at a time. I only became aware of that once we were like, ‘Ok, Godzilla turned out pretty well, so let’s aim for a Kong movie, and here’s why we want to bring them together. " You have to remember that when 2014’s Godzilla hit the scene, other than the MCU, shared cinematic universes hadn’t quite hit the level of popularity in Hollywood they enjoy nowadays. So even though Godzilla has battled all sorts of monsters over the decades under the Toho banner in Japan, it’s understandable that the focus was on simply providing an enjoyable Godzilla story in the early creative stages. But as Godzilla reached the end of production/went into post-production, it was decided that it’d be worth bringing King Kong into the mix, and from there, it was only logical that there come a day when the massive gorilla and gargantuan reptile duke it out, just like they did in Japanese cinema in 1962. And thus, Kong: Skull Island followed Godzilla three years later, i.e. 2017, 12 years after Peter Jackson’s King Kong remake. Rather than being set in contemporary times, the action took place in 1973 and primarily on Skull Island, rather than Kong being dragged back to the United States halfway through the story like in the original King Kong movie and remake. Then Godzilla: King of the Monsters followed in 2019 and brought Rodan, Mothra and King Ghidorah into play, and now Godzilla vs. Kong is almost upon us! Related Should You Be Team Godzilla Or Team King Kong? Director Adam Wingard Has A Great Take While the MonsterVerse could have taken a Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice-like approach and immediately pitted these two against each other after Godzilla, the creative minds behind the franchise decided to build up to that epic conflict, and now we’re just hours away from learning who will emerge victorious. Following that, it’s unclear what’s being planned for the MonsterVerse, although this latest movie does plant some proverbial seeds involving the franchise’s deeper mythology that can surely bloom in the coming years. You can Godzilla vs. Kong in theaters or on HBO Max for a one-month period starting tomorrow, March 31 (sign up for the streaming service with this link). Keep track of other movies set to come out later in the year with our upcoming 2021 movies schedule.
  20. Although the ongoing #ReleaseTheSnyderCut trend has become outdated thanks to Zack Snyder’s Justice League reaching HBO Max earlier this month, the unprecedented director’s cut movement has inspired some new fan campaigns. #ReleaseTheAyerCut and #RestoreTheSnyderVerse. DCEU fans are hoping to see David Ayer’s true vision for 2016’s Suicide Squad, and the filmmaker is providing context as to why the theatrical release was so disappointing. On the Monday following the drop of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, WarnerMedia Studios CEO Ann Sarnoff made blatant comments about the studio moving away from Snyder’s planned Justice League arc after the HBO Max release. Warner Bros has no plans to continue the SnyderVerse, nor will it apparently entertain the director’s cut of the first Suicide Squad movie. Even so, David Ayer is speaking out about why his film may deserve a second pass by describing his Suicide Squad experience. In his words: " I get it, it's a business. It's frustrating because I made a really heartfelt drama and it got ripped to pieces and they tried to turn it into Deadpool, which it just wasn't supposed to be. And then you take the hit, you're the captain of the ship, my name was on it. [Laughs] Even though it didn't represent what I actually made, I would take all the bullets and be a good soldier. I made an amazing movie. It's an amazing movie, it just scared the shit out of the executives. " In a recent interview with EW, David Ayer spoke candidly about Warner Bros’ role in changing the Suicide Squad film the director had intended for 2016 moviegoers. The superhero blockbuster came out the summer directly following Fox’s Deadpool success, and the studio reportedly made some changes to Suicide Squad to resemble the Marvel film. Sadly, that meant changes to Ayer’s intentions for the film and some dismal responses about the highly-anticipated DCEU entry. Similarly to Zack Snyder’s vision for Justice League, it seems as though David Ayer had a darker and more heartfelt approach to his comic book movie, but some of it was switched out to more resemble the snarky tome of the Ryan Reynolds-led Deadpool, which had become a runaway hit. One of the key changes to Suicide Squad Ayer has noted is the diminished amount of Jared Leto’s Joker. The performance reportedly had a lot more to it than audiences saw in theaters back in August 2016. Suicide Squad made comparable numbers at the box office to Deadpool in 2016, but it was pulled apart by critics and fans alike. Though it did still manage to become a big cultural moment and introduce Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn to the DCEU. Following its reception, David Ayer has been removed from plans to continue the storyline and James Gunn came in to make The Suicide Squad, which is coming this summer. Check out the trailer below: James Gunn’s version will see the return of some familiar members from the 2016 movie, along with a huge new cast including Idris Elba, Sylvester Stallone and Pete Davidson among them, as well as redirect the title to a new vision different from David Ayer’s. The Suicide Squad is coming to theaters and HBO Max on August 6. What do you think? Would you like to see The Ayer Cut? Vote in our poll below.
  21. For the past several years, Daisy Ridley has been heavily linked to the Star Wars franchise, thanks to her lead role as Jedi Knight Rey in the sequel trilogy. Her time in the galaxy far, far away seems to be at an end, though, and fans are now hoping she’ll join another major franchise. Some Marvel Cinematic Universe devotees are hoping she’ll take on the role of Jessica Drew in a potential Spider-Woman film. Not too long ago, Ridley appeared to show interest, causing many to believe she was putting herself in the running for the role. Now, the actress is providing some clarity regarding those rumors. Daisy Ridley recently recalled being asked about Spider-Woman and confirmed that she did indeed like the idea. Though as she recently told, the public at large may want to slow down before gifting her with spider powers: " Well, it's funny because someone asked me off the cuff about the Spider-Woman rumors recently, and I went, 'Oh, that sounds great.' Apparently, I've now declared myself a frontrunner to be Spider-Woman which isn't true! It's funny because I don't really choose things...I [didn't] set out to do another 'big film.' I just read the [Chaos Walking] script, loved it, and loved the idea of it. " So at this point, Daisy Ridley is not actively pursuing the role of Spider-Woman. Like most actors, Ridley would just prefer to wait for something to come her way so that she can determine whether or not she vibes with the material. Still, in the same interview, she continued to say that the idea of joining the MCU does seem fun: " Basically, should something come along and be great, of course I'd be open to anything. I just finished WandaVision. What they did with it is so amazing and different and interesting. To be particularly in that world, which is ever shifting and reimagining itself would be very exciting. " Daisy Ridley would be a solid pick for Jessica Drew, and she’d be a firm addition to the MCU as a whole. As of right now, it’s not completely clear as to whether or not Marvel Studios has plans for the character, but there’s a chance the character could be at the center of Olivia Wilde’s female-led Spider-Man spinoff. When it comes to possibly headlining a franchise not anchored by an ensemble, Daisy Ridley does find it a bit daunting. This comes from watching the Spider-Man fandom that surrounds her Chaos Walking co-star, Tom Holland. Ridley, however, could certainly power through and carry her own Marvel franchise. Daisy Ridley is a Disney alum, so Marvel is certainly aware of her and could reach out to her at some point. Of course, we’ll just have to wait and see how things progress before we gush about Ridley rubbing shoulders with the Avengers.
  22. South Korean supergroup BTS issued a statement on Monday night condemning the recent wave of anti-Asian violence and hate that is sweeping the U.S. and shared their own experiences of the racism they have faced for being Asian. The statement, posted in Korean and English on BTS' official social accounts, begins with the band offering their "deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones." Although no specific events are mentioned, the statement comes after the March 16 shootings outside Atlanta, in which a gunman visited three Asian massage parlors and killed eight people, including six Asian women. BTS Release E-Book Celebrating 'Connect, BTS' Global Art Project ARTIST MENTIONED BTS Mindful not to make themselves the focus, the band's statement then highlighted moments when they "faced discrimination as Asians," including enduring "expletives without reason and were mocked for the way we look" and being "asked why Asians spoke in English." The statement stresses that the band's "own experiences are inconsequential" compared to recent events but that the racism was "enough to make us feel powerless and chip away our self-esteem." The band stressed that "what is happening right now cannot be dissociated from our identity as Asians," and that they took their time to consider carefully how they would use their voice to speak up on the issue. BTS Announce Release Dates For Japanese Album 'BTS, The Best' & New Song 'Film Out' In a call to action, BTS ends the statement by affirming that "we stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected." Last year, BTS gave their public support for the Black Lives Matter protests against racism and police brutality that began in the U.S. and spread around the world. In June, BTS and their label Big Hit Entertainment donated $1 million to groups associated with Black Lives Matter, with further millions raised by band's loyal global fanbase. The full statement in English is below: We send our deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones. We feel grief and anger. We recall moments when we faced discrimination as Asians. We have endured expletives without reason and were mocked for the way we look. We were even asked why Asians spoke in English. We cannot put into words the pain of becoming the subject of hatred and violence for such a reason. Our own experiences are inconsequential compared to the events that have occurred over the past few weeks. But these experiences were enough to make us feel powerless and chip away our self-esteem. What is happening right now cannot be dissociated from our identity as Asians. It required considerable time for us to discuss this carefully and we contemplated deeply on how we should voice our message. But what our voice must convey is clear. We stand against racial discrimination. We condemn violence. You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together.
  23. Slowly but surely, the world of the big screen is coming back. Things have been looking up since the start of 2021, and things only seem to be improving as we move deeper into the spring. This past weekend proved to be quite excellent evidence of that growth, as more than five movies grossed more than $1 million between Friday and Sunday (a first since the pandemic first shut down theaters), and leading them all was Ilya Naishuller's Nobody with a strong opening performance. While the Bob Odenkirk-led action movie didn't exactly break any records, Box Office Mojo says that the film pulled in $6.8 million during its first weekend playing on the big screen. It marks the third highest grossing start for an action movie since the start of the pandemic, behind Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman 1984 ($16.7 million) Christopher Nolan's Tenet ($9 million). The movie played in over 2,400 theaters around the country, resulting in an average of $2,772 per location. Taking into consideration some of their other releases from the past year, Universal Pictures is likely pleased with the results from the box office. In the last few months of 2020 the studio became much more confident about launching titles on the big screen thanks to the deal that was struck with AMC Theatres, and Nobody made more in its first three days than movies like Thomas Bezucha's Let Him Go ($4 million), Paul Greengrass' News Of The World ($2.3 million), and Christopher Landon's Freaky ($3.6 million) did during their respective theatrical openings. If all things are relative, it's a win. Nobody is actually one of two big recent box office success stories, however, as Walt Disney Animation Studios' Raya And The Last Dragon has put up some strong numbers since it debuted earlier this month (both in theaters and on Disney+ with Premiere Access). The film got off to a surprisingly slow start when it first arrived in cinemas, selling fewer tickets than Tim Story's Tom And Jerry did during its February launch, but it has successfully changed its own narrative. The $8.6 million that it made during its opening has since become a domestic total of $28.7 million – with $3.8 million coming from this past weekend. Again, success is relative (the movie would have probably made more than 10 times that amount by now under normal circumstances), but we're trying to stay positive here. As for the other members of the seven figure club this week, the aforementioned Tom and Jerry came in third, earning an additional $2.5 million; Doug Liman's Chaos Walking came in fourth place with $1.2 million added to its $11.5 million total; and Dominic Cooke's The Courier snagged fifth place with a take of $1.1 million after being added to 208 new theaters. This past weekend allowed us to be optimistic about what's to come when it comes to growth at the box office, and things are only looking up given what's coming out this week: Adam Wingard's Godzilla vs. Kong. Thanks to an early release overseas, the film already has a worldwide total of $123.1 million, and it will be interesting to see how the domestic numbers add to that. It's a story we're definitely staying on top of, so be on the look out for updates, and check out the MonsterVerse blockbuster on the big screen starting this Wednesday, March 31.
  24. Making his 007 debut in 2006’s Casino Royale, actor Daniel Craig had what was possibly one of the most infamous scenes in James Bond history. Tied to a chair and stark naked, Bond finds himself at the whim of the nefarious villain Le Chiffre, played by Another Round actor Mads Mikkelsen. What ensued was a torturous experience where James Bond has his crown jewels whipped by a knotted rope; a scene that, if it were left up to the actors, could have been even more brutal. Reunited by Variety for a very informative video chat, the Casino Royale co-stars spilled a lot of fun stories from the beginning of Daniel Craig’s reboot arc. But if you’re going to get James Bond and Le Chiffre in the same room, one of two things has to come up: their supposedly laughable poker battle or the ball whipping incident. Both were discussed, with Mads Mikkelsen revealing the process that reined in the madness on the latter: " I do remember we had an extensive conversation with Martin Campbell, and we were like, because we came from rock and roll films, we were just diving into that scene and we came up with so many cool ideas, and Martin was listening and listening, and at a certain point he said, ‘Guys, guys, come back, come back, it’s a Bond film.’ We just left that. We were somewhere else. … It was always a scene that was on the edge. We were never sure if it was going to be in there or not, because it was on the edge for a Bond film. " While the finished scene in Casino Royale apparently was toned down from the extreme energy that Daniel Craig and his iconic co-star were working with, it was still a bit harsher than what the 1953 book intended. For starters, in Ian Fleming’s version of events, Le Chiffre wielded a “cane carpet beater” that he lightly flicked underneath Bond’s chair. But in director Martin Campbell’s second outing meant to introduce a new 007 to the world, he went balls to the chair with a thick, knotted rope. It was certainly a far cry from Daniel Craig’s first day on the set, kicking ass and taking names. And make no mistake, that Casino Royale scene was actually carried out. Mads Mikkelsen was really whipping Daniel Craig in a chair, just with an added layer of protection. Though as Craig and Mikkelsen waxed nostalgic, it was learned that even that protection had its moment of weakness: " Craig: So I’m sitting in a chair, which had… and I’m naked. … And I had a, I don’t know what it was made of, it was fine and it worked, it was a sort of thing that was the shape of my backside, in the chair. Which I sat in… Mikkelsen: stop the knot. Craig: [Mads] was actually swinging that thing right up under the chair, and it was hitting me, the chair, as hard as it sounded. So I kind of had to give over to the fact that this thing wouldn’t break. Because he was swinging the fuck out of it. Mikkelsen: It did break, a couple times. And it was made out of some plywood, so you got splinters. It was a wonderful day for me—you, maybe not so much! It was a brutal day, obviously. It was eight hours of you screaming your lungs out. " The chair torture in Casino Royale actually exceeds its literary source material when it comes to its cruelty. In Chapter 17, entitled “My Dear Boy,” Le Chiffre’s methods against James Bond’s manhood are more exacting, but still quite painful. That said, the character is described as having a more girthy presence than Mads Mikkelsen’s more svelte and handsome version in the movie. Also, Le Chiffre is smoking and working on a pot of coffee as he works his foe over in a much nicer room than we see in Casino Royale’s film adaptation. As you’ll see in the scene itself, this Le Chiffre is no frills and all pain, which is an approach that actually helps modernize Ian Fleming’s work into a version that fits the rest of the bells and whistles the film contains. But try not to flinch at the thought of splinters, as you watch that interrogation unfold: With Daniel Craig getting ready for the fall release of his final James Bond film, No Time To Die, and Mads Mikkelsen talking up the Oscar-nominated film Another Round, we won’t see a shortage of either participant in this discussion. And that might be hysterically complicated by the fact that, after reading the details above, their memorable showdown in Casino Royale won’t easily be shaken from the mind. Of course, the ball’s in their court as to whether or not that story shall persist or if it’ll die down.
  25. While Godzilla vs. Kong isn't set to make its domestic debut until this Wednesday, director Adam Wingard has been busy making some massive follow-up plans. Back in mid-February it was reported that he had signed on to make a sequel to John Woo's Face/Off, one that is apparently looking to bring back Nicolas Cage and Jon Travolta – and while you'd think developing that project would be enough to handle for the filmmaker, he is expanding his upcoming slate by also working on a big screen Thundercats movie. Deadline has broken the news of Adam Wingard's involvement with extensive quotes from the filmmaker expressing his incredible love for the original animated series – which first premiered in 1985 and ran for 130 episodes across four seasons. Apparently when the director was a sophomore in high school his obsession actually had a devastating impact on his grade point average, as he spent all of his time ignoring his studies and instead hand-writing his own epic Thundercats blockbuster. Said Wingard, " My real obsession with ThunderCats came in high school, the pinnacle of me deciding I wanted to be a filmmaker, and pushing in that direction…I actually spent most of my 10th grade year, I completely blew it. I didn’t pay attention in school, made terrible grades. And the reason? I was writing my ThunderCats screenplay through my entire tenth grade year. And I was hand writing it. The screenplay itself ended up being 272 pages long. I still have it. It was one of those things where I would carry around my notebooks and talk about it. I didn’t even realize the kids in my class were making fun of me as they would ask me questions about my ThunderCats screenplay. " For those who don't know, the general rule in screenwriting is that one page equals about a minute of screen time, so what teenage Adam Wingard put together was a version of Thundercats that was four-and-a-half hours long. This won't be the movie that he is now developing (perhaps he can at the very least port over some details?), but the passion for the material is still very much a part of his life. As he explained, he was riding on a high after finishing work on Godzilla vs. Kong (a movie he says the studio "loves"), and it was at that time that he learned a big screen version of Thundercats was being developed by people with whom he previously worked. Wingard decided to take a shot at landing the gig, and they have given him the opportunity. He said, " I heard there was a ThunderCats script out there and it happened to be set up with some of my producers on Death Note. I asked them, I want to rewrite this script with my friend Simon Barrett. This is a huge passion thing for me. Nobody on this planet knows or has thought as much about ThunderCats as I have. They gave me the reins. I saw this as an opportunity to do a new type of fantasy sci-fi spectacle film that people have never seen before. It’s got a rich mythology; the characters are fantastic. The colors. " Obviously one of the biggest challenges for the film is going to be translating what was originally 2D, hand-drawn animation into modern style, and Adam Wingard has some ambitious plans to get that done. He doesn't want to make a live-action Thundercats movie (respectfully citing Tom Hooper's Cats as a worst case scenario), but instead wants to make a kind of hybrid that we've never seen before. Said Wingard, " I want to do a ThunderCats film that takes you back to that ‘80s aesthetic. I don’t want to reinvent the way they look; I want them to look like ThunderCats. I don’t want to do it live action, either. I don’t want it to look like Cats, I don’t want those kinds of issues — no disrespect to that director, whom I don’t mean to throw under the bus any more than everyone else has. I want to do a movie you’ve never seen before. A hybrid CGI film that has a hyper real look and somehow bridges the gap between cartoon and CGI. That’s the starting point, and Simon Barrett and I are getting into the script now. " What's unfortunately not clear is how Adam Wingard is developing this project alongside his Face/Off 2, but that's information that will come in time (it's probably more likely that the latter comes first, if not because it is the movie that will have a much shorter total production schedule). It may be a minute before we get more updates about the Thundercats movie, but the director's excitement surely gets us excited for his vision. Godzilla vs. Kong arrives in theaters this Wednesday, March 31, in theaters and on HBO Max.