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Bond 25 Script Is Reportedly Getting A Rewrite From Bourne Writer

The next James Bond movie recently had its release pushed back, and now we may have some more details as to why. Originally set to bow in February 2020, the film has now been pushed back to April and the reason appears to be that there is a general feeling that the script needs work. It also is getting a set of fresh eyes as The Bourne Ultimatum writer Scott Z. Burns has reportedly been handed rewrite duties.

According to the Playlist, this isn’t a simple polish of the existing script by longtime Bond script writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, but a major overhaul that, assuming no other changes are made after Scott Z. Burns is finished, is likely to net him the top screenwriting credit for the new movie.

The 25th James Bond movie has had a long road already, and it seems that things are far from over yet. For the longest time it seemed that the only important question regarding the next Bond film was whether or not Daniel Craig would return to the lead role. After numerous rumors in either direction, and the betting odds perpetually shifting between one potential new candidate and another, Craig did agree to return.

However, that, as it turned out, was actually only beginning. Danny Boyle was brought in to direct the film and he brought his frequent collaborator John Hodge to pen the script. Boyle eventually left the production following creative differences and Hodge’s script apparently went with him.

Cary Fukunaga is now directing the next Bond film and the script being used was written by Purvis and Wade, who have been involved in the Bond franchise since Pierce Brosnan was in the lead for The World is Not Enough.

It’s unclear exactly what the issue is with the current script so it’s impossible to know exactly where Scott Z. Burns is focusing his efforts, but it does sound like the problems are significant.

Bond 25 was set to go before the cameras next month, but that start date has been pushed back to April along with the revised release date. Either way, that still doesn’t give Burns a great deal of time to whip Bond 25 into shape. He’s only got a couple of months to apparently completely overhaul the script from something that’s apparently not good enough into something that everybody is happy with.

On the plus side, Eon Productions picked the right guy for the job. Burns is an accomplished script doctor who has done uncredited work on numerous films to punch up existing projects. He’s certainly got the skill, though it sounds like this movie requires a lot more work.

Among other things, this means that everything we’ve heard about what the new Bond movie might be about is completely in flux. Even if all the previous rumors were accurate, all of those details may have changed once the new version of the script is ready.

If filming begins as scheduled in April we can assume the new script was a success, otherwise, we might be in for more delays before it’s all said and done.

Happy Death Day 2U Is Really Good, So Why Didn’t More People See It?

The original Happy Death Day opened on October 13, 2017 to a robust $26 million. Critics largely dug the “Groundhogs Day meets Slasher/Horror” genre mix, and Jessica Rothe sold the insanity of having to live your final day over and over until you broke the loop. A sequel made all the sense in the world, and yet, the incredibly clever Happy Death Day 2U opened to a lackluster $9 million in estimated ticket sales over the weekend. While not a disaster – because Blumhouse kept the reported budget at $9 million for the sequel – that opening number still begs the question, “Why the hell did y’all snooze on Happy Death Day 2U?”

Most sequels outperform their predecessors at the box office, as the studio no longer has to educate the audience on what to expect. Happy Death Day 2U brought its entire cast back, so fans of the original should have been curious as to where the story was going to go after the initial thriller.

We’re going to get into spoilers for the rest of this article, so punch out of this if you haven’t yet seen Happy Death Day 2U – which is a LOT of you – and go see that sequel!

The marketing for Happy Death Day 2U might have hurt the film’s chances of luring an audience, but with good reason. The trailers and commercials made it seem like a rehash of the first film, with Jessica Rothe’s character, Tree, waking up to relive her birthday again. And again.

But that’s because the ads for Happy Death Day 2U hid a major plot point of the sequel, and something that set it apart. While there are slasher elements to this one, writer/director Christopher Landon took a sci-fi approach to try and explain the time loop, and I thought 2U was more clever than the original film. Different, by design, but more inventive and actually emotional.

Part of me wonders if the Valentine’s Weekend release date worked against Happy Death Day 2U? Putting the original in October, when mainstream audiences are looking for a scare, probably helped to propel the first movie to box office heights. February has proven to be a fertile month for movies to open, but this weekend, more theatergoers chose either Alita: Battle Angel or the date-night-friendly Isn’t It Romantic, both of which performed better at the box over opening weekend.

It’s very possible that positive word of mouth from the people who did see Happy Death Day 2U propels it in the weeks to come. Upcoming releases like How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World and Fighting With My Family aren’t exactly competing for the horror crowd. I’ll continue to beat the drum for Happy Death Day 2U, mainly because I love the fact that it branched away from the roots of the original, while still finding ways to build on the central storyline. Not to mention the fact that Christopher Landon told us he has the idea for a third movie, and he promises it’s bonkers. But with this box-office opening, he might not get a chance to make it.

If you made it this far, and you are one of the ones who simply decided to skip Happy Death Day 2U over the weekend, head to the comments section and let us know why. We’re curious. And then bookmark our 2019 Movie Release Schedule, so you can stay up to date with everything else that is opening for the rest of the year.

A Star Wars Twitter Account Dropped A Teasy Message And Fans Are Freaking Out

If you’re a serious Star Wars fan, then odds are you’ve been more than a little excited in recent weeks. It’s 2019 now, which means we’ve entered the same calendar year in which Star Wars: Episode IX will be released. The film’s marketing push should be getting under way any minute now. Any…minute…now… Fans have serious expectations that a title and a trailer are just on the horizon. Fans what to get the first look and they want it now, but nothing seems to be moving on the Lucasfilm side of things. Although, a recent tweet from the Star Wars UK Twitter account, has people wondering if something may be about to happen.

If this is the calm before the storm, then the storm is coming, right? And the storm will be here soon, right? And the storm, in this case, is the trailer for Star Wars Episode IX, right? Or, barring that, at least the release of the first poster which includes the title of the bloody movie, right?

By this time two years ago, the title for Star Wars: The Last Jedi had been released, which led many to expect that we’d have more information about the final film in the trilogy by now than we actually do. At the same time, that means that a title announcement could come at any time, and so fans remain on edge wondering when it will happen. Comments like this one from an official social media page are the sorts of things that get attention. Does this mean some sort of announcement is imminent?

It is, of course, possible that this is an intentional reference that “the storm” is on the way and we should all be ready for something to drop soon. Of course, it’s equally possible that this is just a general statement. Things are calm now, just wait until the promotional machine goes into gear.

Principal photography on Star Wars: Episode IX was announced to have officially wrapped on February 15 and this tweet was released the next day. It could just be a reference that with filming done, things are calm in the Star Wars universe for now, though that will be changing before too long. The Twitter account is the one dedicated to UK fans, and that’s where most of the filming for Episode IX took place.

If there’s a silver lining to all this madness, it’s that there is very likely an end date where we know we’ll have all the answers, or at least all the answers Lucasfilm will give us. Star Wars Celebration starts on April 11 and if the event doesn’t end with a title and a trailer being revealed, you can be pretty sure that Star Wars fans might not leave Chicago standing. If somehow that event ends and we still don’t have a trailer you can be pretty sure there will never be one.

Things might be revealed before the event of course, but the closer we get to it without a title or a trailer the more likely it becomes that Lucasfilm will just wait until then.

Whether this tweet is a specific harbinger of things to come to just a general comment on the state of Star Wars, it’s certainly accurate. Whether it’s even possible to make fans more excited then they already are is unclear, but apparently Star Wars is going to try.

James Cameron Had The Idea For Alita: Battle Angel All The Way Back When Sin City Was Filming

James Cameron doesn’t seem to do anything quickly. He’s just now working on sequels to Avatar after talking about them for the last decade. However, it seems that the writer/director/producer’s latest project, the Robert Rodriguez directed Alita: Battle Angel, has been an idea kicking around since even before Avatar became a thing. In a recent interview, Rodriguez reveals that James Cameron first presented the idea of Alita to him back when he was working on Sin City, and Cameron already had a lot more than a simple concept. According to the director…

Of course, Alita would not become the next movie James Cameron would direct, because the aforementioned Avatar would then become the film that took up all of Cameron’s time. Cameron himself hasn’t directed a feature film since Avatar, largely because while those sequels have taken a decade to get off the ground, they’ve always been a work in progress.

Yet, Alita: Battle Angel would also never be an idea that completely disappeared either. It would always be something James Cameron would want to make happen. Eventually, he would decide that in order for it to happen at all, somebody else would have to direct it, and so Cameron’s friend Robert Rodriguez, who had been shown the idea all those years ago, would end up taking the chair.

Sin City was released in April of 2005 so we’re looking at sometime in 2004 or early 2005 or so when this first meeting actually happened.Clearly, based on the material Robert Rodriguez tells Rolling Stone Cameron had already created, this wasn’t entirely a “new” idea even then.

Rodriguez himself admits that bringing the comic book to life was going to be a tall order. It’s likely at least partially for that reason that we didn’t actually see the movie for 15 years. Technology needed to progress to a point where the design would work.

It seems we’re there now, and so far Alita: Battle Angel is being embraced by the audience. It did better than expected at the box office over this past weekend, bringing in $36 million since Thursday, and while it likely still has a long way to go financially speaking, creatively, it looks like James Cameron was able to get exactly what he wanted on the big screen.

One can only guess what he has in store for those Avatar sequels.

How Brian May Feels About The People Hating On Bohemian Rhapsody’s Success

By almost all accounts, the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody has overperformed. Financially, the movie is a juggernaut, having tallied more than $844 million in worldwide tickets sold (and counting). It has five Oscar nominations, including a nod for Best Picture. And yet, Queen guitarist Brian May hears the complaints from the haters who don’t appreciate the movie’s success. To that, May replies:

You simply can’t please all of the people, all of the time. But Brian May’s message to the vocal detractors, captured in this Deadline interview, appears to be, “Mamma mia, let it go!” May says the band is used to this kind of reaction, and that Queen even got it for their music. While they were selling records and pushing the envelope of what a rock outfit could be, they’d get criticized for refusing to conform. No surprise, then, that Bohemian Rhapsody still is facing some backlash.

Personally, the box office numbers for Bohemian Rhapsody should be all that Brian May and the people who worked tirelessly on the movie need to reference when pointing out how the movie connected with its potential fan base. It’s the movie equivalent of a winning sports team pointing at the scoreboard as they mock opposing fans. With numbers that inch closer to $1 billion every day, Rhapsody definitely lured fans back to the theater, something May pointed out to Deadline:

The ultimate prize for Bohemian Rhapsody would be a Best Picture win at the Oscars on February 24. And while I think that’s unlikely, this year’s Awards Season has been about as unpredictable as any in recent memory. Right now, the top prize could go to any of the eight selected Best Picture nominees, and I wouldn’t be stunned. Do you think BoRhap has a Best Picture shot? Vote in the poll, and let us know.

Can Bohemian Rhapsody win Best Picture?

This Rotten Week: Predicting How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Reviews

We’ve only got one movie on the docket this week, but it’s the culmination of a lot of practice with a fictitious beast over the course of nearly a decade. Get ready for How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

Just remember, I’m not reviewing these movies, but rather predicting where they’ll end up on the Tomatometer. Let’s take a look at This Rotten Week has to offer.

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III is back in How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the final installment in the tutorial on dragon training. This time he and Toothless travel to another world searching out an albino dragon hottie that could unlock all of the secrets of the dragons’ past and future. It looks like a petty enticing setup.

This is the third title in the How to Train Your Dragon series, with the previous two features finishing with 98% and 92% scores respectively on Rotten Tomatoes. Both were helmed by Dean DeBlois, who got the opportunity to complete his trilogy by taking the helm of The Hidden World as well. It stands to reason that this new one will be just as good as its predecessors, and the early reviews already suggesting that will be the case. The Tomatometer is currently sitting at 96% with more than 70 write-ups of the film posted online. This one is falling right in line with the previous two movies, and I’m not predicting a lot of movement over the course of the week.

It was another successful week for the Rotten Watch last time around, with two of the three movies falling within range of the prediction. Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel (Predicted: 59% Actual: 60%) didn’t knock anyone’s socks off, but it wasn’t a disaster either from a critical perspective. This is the score you could kind of see coming from some of the earlier reviews and the way the tide was turning. It’s something of a groundbreaking movie from a cinematic and visual perspective, but, according to critics, the story didn’t exactly keep up the pace.

Meanwhile, Happy Death Day 2U (Predicted: 55% Actual: 67%) could very well end up a predictive win with a little more time and just two more negative reviews. That being said, the follow up to the slasher take on Groundhog Day once again landed with critics. It finished well into the “Fresh” realm, which is kind of shocking considering the premise. But that’s what happens when you just make a solid movie.

Finally, Isn’t it Romantic (Predicted: 67% Actual: 68%) was another near-direct hit. The rom-com send up finished well with critics, with writers generally enjoying the tongue-in-cheek approach to the typical romance narrative. Most agreed that Rebel Wilson carried the flick even through it’s slower moments. It doesn’t sound like it’s a great film by any stretch, but it was warmly received overall.

Phylicia Rashad Is Everybody’s Mom

Phylicia Rashad, right, and Susan Kelechi Watson in a scene from the NBC drama ‘This Is Us.’
Phylicia Rashad, right, and Susan Kelechi Watson in a scene from the NBC drama ‘This Is Us.’ Photo: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Phylicia Rashad has two children, but she has acted as a mother to many more in a career defined by maternal roles.

It began 35 years ago with the introduction of Clair Huxtable on “The Cosby Show,” the paradigm-shifting sitcom that permanently imprinted Ms. Rashad on generations of viewers as a mother figure. From then on, her most memorable parts have formed a sort of mom-heavy family tree, though with much variation among the characters.

“Mothers are the same and yet they’re not. Know what I mean?” says the 70-year-old actress.

Ms. Rashad won a Tony Award in 2004 for her portrayal of Lena Younger, struggling on behalf of her children in “A Raisin in the Sun.” In the “Creed” movies, sequels to the “Rocky” saga, she tried to safeguard her boxer son. On TV, she was a power-hungry matriarch in “Empire,” scheming on behalf of her politician son. Even younger viewers know her as a matronly force, thanks to her cameo in the music video for Drake’s “In My Feelings” (now with 181 million YouTube views). From a balcony, she shooed the rapper away from her house and her daughter.

Ms. Rashad’s latest fictional mom is in the hit TV series “This Is Us,” an NBC drama that dives deeply into parent and sibling relationships. She appears in one episode, airing Tuesday. She plays an educator who clashes with her daughter (played by Susan Kelechi Watson).

Motherhood was just one factor in understanding the character. “Humanity,” Ms. Rashad says, is more important to doing her job. “What does this person want, in this moment and beyond? These are honest questions that you ask yourself in developing any role.”

Ms. Rashad, who was raised in Houston and studied fine arts at Howard University in Washington, D.C., played some mothers in her theater work before “The Cosby Show” premiered in 1984. She says she had an advantage in such roles after giving birth to her first child, a son, in 1973.

From that point, she recalls, “I could look at actresses portraying mothers and I could see who was a mother and who wasn’t. It had nothing to do with their talent. There was a sense.”

Ms. Rashad, right, on opening Night of ‘A Raisin In The Sun’ on Broadway in 2004.
Ms. Rashad, right, on opening Night of ‘A Raisin In The Sun’ on Broadway in 2004. Photo: Getty Images

During her audition for the role of Clair Huxtable, she was startled by one scene’s resemblance to a real situation from her own life.

“When I read the script, I said, ‘Who’s been hiding in my closet!’ The scene was Theo [Malcolm-Jamal Warner] not having done his homework properly, and his room was a mess, and Clair was exasperated. And I was having that same discussion with my son, before I got that script.”

She recalls modeling Clair’s character on two women she admired: a former neighbor who became a state supreme court judge, and a family friend who worked with disabled people.

“They were both given to service, they loved music, and loved to dance and laugh. Both loved their husbands and adored their children, and were fierce about it,” she says.

As a mother of five, Clair Huxtable joined a long line of sitcom moms, but the character broke ground as an African-American lawyer and feminist. She was stern, but also intuitive and sexy, with a hard look as familiar as her peals of laughter.

“My best friend came to a taping and said, ‘Phylicia, you ought to be ashamed of yourself, taking these people’s money. You’re just up there being yourself,’” she says.

Ms. Rashad, left, and Raven-Symoné in a scene from ‘The Cosby Show.’
Ms. Rashad, left, and Raven-Symoné in a scene from ‘The Cosby Show.’ Photo: Everett Collection

When tens of millions of people were tuning in for each episode of “The Cosby Show,” Bill Cosby was sometimes referred to as “America’s Dad.” That standing was destroyed with his 2018 conviction for sexual assault, a crime for which he is serving up to 10 years in prison.

Ms. Rashad is in demand, with an as yet unrevealed role in an upcoming Tyler Perry project titled “A Fall From Grace” and another role as an instructor in a series for the Oprah Winfrey Network called “David Makes Man.”

None of her mother roles made her real-life role as a parent any simpler. “It’s easy when you’re scripted and the children are scripted too,” she says.

During the phone interview for this article, Ms. Rashad briefly paused to take a call from her son. He was checking to make sure she had arrived home safely after driving through a snow squall.

When she was carrying her second child, Ms. Rashad concealed her pregnancy on camera during tapings of “The Cosby Show.” Born in 1986, daughter Condola Rashad is an actress who stars on the Showtime drama “Billions.”

Ms. Rashad, left, with her daughter Condola Rashad, who is also an actress.
Ms. Rashad, left, with her daughter Condola Rashad, who is also an actress. Photo: Getty Images

Her mother recalls, “When she was a little girl, my daughter would say, ‘Mommy, there’s always something about every character you play that stays with you and you bring home.”

Not so in the case of Violet Weston, the fire-breathing matriarch of “August: Osage County,” whom Ms. Rashad played on Broadway in 2009. (“Violet did not get past the edge of my dressing room. She was madness,” the actress says.)

Her other less-than-perfect stage moms include: Big Mama in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (a 2008 production directed by Ms. Rashad’s sister, Debbie Allen) and Medea, the character in the Greek tragedy who kills her own children.

In 2004, when Ms. Rashad portrayed a 285-year-old soothsayer in the Broadway premiere of August Wilson’s “Gem of the Ocean,” she heard a theory about the unifying theme of her acting career.

After one performance, Ms. Rashad recalls, her mother, Vivian Ayers, a poet and playwright, told her, “No matter who you’re playing, you’re always being me.”

Write to John Jurgensen at john.jurgensen@wsj.com

Fans Are Divided Over the Meaning of Lady Gaga’s Latest Tattoo

When it comes to keeping her fans guessing, Lady Gaga is truly a professional. We never know what to expect next from Mother Monster, and whether she’s taking the reins of a giant robot or showing up to the red carpet looking like an IRL princess, we’re always left amazed. And after debuting a brand-new tattoo, the singer has once again left fans puzzled, with many trying to solve the mysterious meaning behind her ink.

Just days after debuting a new tattoo inspired by A Star Is Born, Lady Gaga showed off some arm ink featuring musical notes on a scale. As noted by Refinery29, fans on Instagram soon pointed out that the fifth line required of sheet music was missing from Gaga’s ink. Deleting the post, she returned moments later, showing the addition of a fifth line with the caption: “musical crisis averted.”

However, fans are now divided on how the notes are meant to be read. While some fans believe the music is spelling out G-A-G-A by reading the notes in treble clef, others pointed out that if you read the music as being in bass clef, the notes spell out B-C-B-C, which could be a possible nod to her manager Bobby Campbell or her Star Is Born costar Bradley Cooper.

One fan believed it might be a clue to future music, tweeting, “I’m betting that is the title of LG6, and she’s doing the rock hand gesture, maybe rock genre??? Or am I reaching.”

And one user decided that we’ll simply never know until Lady Gaga explains, tweeting, “There’s no treble clef so we really have no idea what those notes are…could be ABAB or BCBC….”

Luckily, Mother Monster seems to have settled the debate herself, confirming that the tattoo is “my name, written in music.”

Phew, mystery solved.

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Want more from Teen Vogue? Check this out: Lady Gaga Said Mike Pence Is the “Worst Representation” Of Christianity

Aquaman Just Topped Batman V Superman At U.S. Box Office, Could It Pass Wonder Woman?

Aquaman is the overall king of the DCEU, but not at the domestic box office. There’s now just one colleague left to conquer … and she may be out of his league.

Yep, Aquaman is still in theaters and it’s still breaking records. There was already a lot of back-patting when Aquaman had a strong opening overseas. There was more applause when it became the first DCEU movie to break $1 billion dollars. There was still more cheering — along with some surprise — when it managed to pass The Dark Knight Rises as the highest-grossing DC Comics movie ever.

But it wasn’t done!

James Wan’s movie just passed Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice at the domestic box office.

Aquaman has made $1,130,771,102 overall at this point, and that’s from $799,400,000 at the foreign box office and $331,371,102 at the domestic box office. Batman v Superman: BvS made $873,634,919, with $543,274,725 from the foreign box office and $330,360,194 at the domestic box office.

So you can see that Aquaman just now passed BvS at the domestic (U.S./Canada) box office, which is still the biggest market in the world. (China is inching closer at No. 2.)

Wonder Woman will be tough for Aquaman to beat on the domestic side. That film has a lower overall gross of $821,847,012, but a full $412,563,408 of that came from the domestic box office. That’s the most of any DCEU film, and even more than its foreign gross of $409,283,604.

If we’re just talking domestic box office, here are the current numbers via Box Office Mojo, not adjusted for inflation:

Wonder Woman: $412,563,408
Aquaman: $331,371,102
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: $330,360,194
Suicide Squad: $325,100,054
Man of Steel: $291,045,518
Justice League: $229,024,295

So for Aquaman to pass Wonder Woman at the domestic box office, it has to make more than $81 million dollars from here. Is it possible?

Aquaman opened in theaters in late December, but here were are in mid-February and this past weekend it played in 1,264 theaters and made $1,885,000 at the domestic box office, placing #12 on the February 15-17, 2019 chart. That’s pretty impressive. And it’s not even counting money from anywhere it’s still playing overseas.

It’s hard to gauge what’s really possible for Aquaman from here, since the film has been underestimated this whole time. Ordinarily I’d say no, it’s not likely to pass Wonder Woman‘s U.S. total, but … maybe.

Warner Bros. is apparently moving forward with a sequel to Aquaman, with or possibly without director James Wan. There’s also talk of a spinoff following The Trench. The other day, Aquaman himself, Jason Momoa, got crazy excited about something DC-related, and went screaming down the DC office hallways. Is he excited for the sequel? Maybe he saw his paycheck for the next movie. Either way, we’ll stay on top of the box office numbers, and all future details on DCEU movies. For now, keep up with what’s headed to theaters this year with our 2019 movie release calendar.

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