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That Time Cardi B Taught Constance Wu To Give A Lap Dance On The Set Of Hustlers

What are friends for? Whether they be best buddies, or in the case of Hustlers co-stars Constance Wu and Cardi B, valued co-workers, there’s always something that they can do to make life just a little easier. In the scenario we’re about to lay down, that “something” is tips on how to give a good lap dance.

Who says you can’t learn something new and exciting in Hollywood? In a recent interview, the Crazy Rich Asians star told a short, but incredibly funny story about how her fellow Hustlers star decided to show her the ropes:

As a former stripper herself, Cardi B is the expert tier teacher/ringer that the cast of Hustlers definitely needs, as it’s primed to tell the true story about how a group of women fleeced men in positions of high finance. Naturally, everyone from musical sensation Lizzo to Riverdale’s Lili Reinhart needs to look like they can act the part, so everyone needed some professional lessons, as well as the potential for some pointers from their recording artist colleague.

Constance Wu’s on-set lessons weren’t the extent of her education in stripping, as she also told EW that in addition to Cardi B’s informal tutelage, there were also pole-dancing classes that were given on the weekends. So her prep for the showstopping dances featured in Hustlers also included a classroom curriculum that saw her building her skills outside of when the cameras were rolling.

As if that wasn’t enough of a variety of professional stripping teachers, Jennifer Lopez’s role as the experienced veteran of the stripping scene, Ramona, required she take what could be considered A.P. classes in stripping and movement. This meant that J. Lo had to work with Johanna Sapakie, a choreographer and Cirque Du Soleil aerialist, which puts to rest any and all claims casual moviegoers may have about how much effort she, Constance Wu, and Cardi B put into their on screen professions. If that doesn’t do it, then perhaps the insanely perfect shape Lopez has gotten into for Hustlers will silence all remaining critics. Abs like that hold up in court, folks.

Hustlers is one of the first big movies to head our way in the fall movie season, with writer/director Lorene Scafaria primed to return to the big screen with a story so outrageous, it just has to be true. Which only recalls a key rule of storytelling: the more convincing everything else is, the more likely your audience will be to buy the really outrageous stuff.

So thank you, Cardi B, on behalf of moviegoers everywhere who are ready to see Hustlers grab all the loot it can walk away with on September 13th. But don’t forget any of the other box office excitement that’s set to debut between now and then, especially when our 2019 release schedule is the perfect reminder of just what’s on the way.

She Did It — Billie Eilish’s ‘Bad Guy’ Hits No. 1, Dethroning ‘Old Town Road’

The ride is over. After ruling the Billboard Hot 100 for a record 19 weeks, Lil Nas X‘s behemoth hit “Old Town Road” has been bumped from the top spot, thanks to Billie Eilish. “Duh.”

Eilish’s “bad guy” — which recently got a big boost in the form of a Justin Bieber-assisted remix — now tops the chart after an unprecedented nine consecutive weeks at No. 2. The 17-year-old also becomes the first artist born in the 2000s to top the Hot 100, and the youngest artist to reign since Lorde, who scored a No. 1 in 2013 with “Royals.” Earlier this year, Eilish also became the first artist born in this millennium to top Billboard‘s albums chart, with her debut LP, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?.

As for “Old Town Road,” it’s dropped to the No. 3 spot, behind Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello’s steamy “Señorita,” which is sitting pretty at No. 3. Don’t cry for Lil Nas X, though — his place in history is firmly cemented, and he couldn’t be happier for Eilish’s new feat.

Appropriately enough, Eilish and Lil Nas X are also at the front of the pack for next week’s VMAs — the “bad guy” singer has nine nods to her name, while the rapper trails close behind with eight. The two chart-toppers will face off in the Best New Artist race, and their respective No. 1 singles are also up for Video of the Year.

See if they take home a Moon Person (or two or three or eight) when the VMAs air live on August 26 at 8 p.m. ET, and hit play on your brand new No. 1 song below.

Fast and Furious 9 Just Added A Guardian Of The Galaxy Star

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jason Statham may be sitting out the upcoming Fast & Furious 9 due to being busy with spinoff Hobbs & Shaw, but the next entry in the Fast & Furious franchise is ensuring that there will be plenty of well-known actors involved. The latest casting update is that Guardians of the Galaxy’s Michael Rooker is being brought in to participate in the high octane craziness.

According to Deadline, Michael Rooker will be playing a character named Buddy, who is a last minute addition to the production. As the outlet noted, this makes 2020 an even bigger year for the actor. He was already slated to appear in Fantasy Island (based on the same-named TV series), Monster Problems and Amazon’s pilot for The Dark Tower, but now he also gets to take part in another popular film franchise, just two years after he bid farewell to another one of those.

Michael Rooker has assembled a wealth of credits from over three decades of acting, ranging from Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer and Mallrats to JFK and The Walking Dead, but in recent years, he’s arguably best known for playing Yondu in the first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Rooker’s Yondu died at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to save Peter Quill, and and while superhero stories are known for impermanent deaths, James Gunn has said that he doesn’t plan on resurrecting Yondu for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, leaving Rooker free to lend his talents to another film series that cherishes family.

For Model Halima Aden, World Humanitarian Day Is Personal

To most who know or have heard of me, I’m Halima Aden, model. But long before I was the first model to wear a hijab on the cover of a major magazine or the first woman to wear a burkini in Sports Illustrated, I was just a child in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya where my family resettled after fleeing the civil war in Somalia. My childhood was happy, despite bouts of malaria and nights where I couldn’t sleep due to hunger. Through it all, I knew that I was safe.

That isn’t the case for all refugees.

This month I traveled with UNICEF USA to Italy where I met with migrants and refugees who have been through hell. Since 2014, more than 70,000 unaccompanied minors have arrived, and 86 percent of them are between the ages of 16 and 17. Imagine that: These kids aren’t thinking about getting their driver’s licenses or going on first dates. They are thinking about taking a journey that will put their lives at risk to escape conflict, trafficking, and other crimes against humanity.

The route is not an easy one. After walking through the desert for weeks or months, they face a harrowing passage across the Mediterranean Sea that one in 11 people do not survive. When they reach the shores of Italy, they are safer, but their troubles are not behind them.

I met with eight resilient young women at a UNICEF-supported reception center in Palermo who survived the journey, but are still waiting to receive legal documentation. I met with Petra, who made the trek to Italy without any family, but continues to light up rooms with her infectious laugh. I met with Gabby, who has experienced pain and violence that no girl should ever know, but has the voice of an angel that could move anyone to tears. I met with Patience, who has been waiting for documentation in Palermo for almost two years, but whose conviction has never wavered.

“We refugee girls in Italy have a bright future and want a bright future and have plans to become something amazing in life. We don’t want to stay at the reception center,” she told me. “We want jobs and we know we need education to make that happen. Living here is not easy, but every day I work to show the Italian community that we are capable of being a part of this country. We are not just depending on their documents; we have skills, we have ideas and we want to change the world.”

Patience wants to become a lawyer one day. She knows nothing will be handed to her and that she needs to optimize on every opportunity that is presented to her to make her dreams come true. But she needs our help. Unaccompanied minors like Patience need to be protected from exploitation and violence and provided access to psychosocial support. Lawmakers around the world must take action to combat the root causes of violence and poverty pushing children and adolescents to flee. And it’s our responsibility to stand up for what is right and to remember that no matter their status, their location or their background, children are children.

We must use our collective voice to remind those empowered within our governments that there is no place for politics when it comes to children. As a former refugee, I implore you to remember that and support organizations like UNICEF that are working to make sure children all over the world have opportunities not just to survive, but to thrive. We will all be richer for it.

Vince Staples Gets Kids To Sell Candy Unsuccessfully In New TV Show Trailer

Vince Staples is preparing to release what looks like a new TV show on August 22 called The Vince Staples Show. Knowing Vince, this could be a clever misdirect. But thanks to a brief trailer that’s about a minute long, we have our first taste of this new intellectual property – whatever it may be. And it involves…selling candy? Who else but Vince.

The brief trailer is a creative use of misdirection. Ominous music kicks things off while a black screen is all that we can see. Vince’s voice is heard goading people along to “get right in they face with it, look them in the eyes too.” He tells whoever that he’s talking to that he doesn’t have time for cold feet, and then to look under the seat. As the terror grows at thinking what the rapper could possibly have these people doing, the deception is revealed: Vince has two kids selling candy for him. They then try and fail miserably. The name of the show then plays at the end, making us wonder exactly what other potentially crazy situations that Vince can dream up.

With the announcement of a new show (possibly), it looks like Vince’s new journey is in full swing. He recently signed a new deal with Motown Records. His last studio LP was 2018’s FM! which featured the lively single, “FUN!.”

Watch the trailer for Vince’s new show up above.

Ad Astra And Ford V Ferrari Are The Most Important Films For Fox’s Future With Disney

Ad Astra Brad Pitt looks out the spaceship window

Ever since the ambitious merger of Disney and Fox closed earlier this year, the fate of the latter studio has been somewhat of a question mark. While its new corporate parent has done everything to assure folks that it won’t fold entirely, recent developments have thrown the fate of those decisions into question.

Most importantly, there’s the recent third quarter dip in Disney’s bottom line, thanks to many factors, which included the financial failure of Dark Phoenix at the box office. Admittedly, while the company’s theme park division also accounted for the bump in the road, the film studio is admittedly the bread and butter of the Walt Disney Company’s operations.

With that core tenet in mind, it looks as if the next two films on the Fox docket, the Brad Pitt sci-fi drama Ad Astra and the Christian Bale/Matt Damon racing biopic Ford v. Ferrari, are going to be the most important films to the future of Disney’s conjoined film dominion. Here are the reasons why they’ll be so important.

Ford V. Ferrari Christian Bale smiles in front of a cluttered diner table

The Fox Brand Has Yet To Be Defined In Disney’s Corporate Structure

In the environment of the Fox/Disney merger, the exact purpose of the 20th Century Fox label hasn’t been defined just yet. Much as Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm Ltd. have their respective brands and slates of production, it would be assumed that in order for Fox to survive, it needs to prove itself useful.

Should Ad Astra and Ford v. Ferrari become box office hits, the studio would very easily have a defined lane to stay in. Operating within a PG-13 – R-rated playing field, Fox could evolve into a powerhouse that takes up the mantle that Touchstone Pictures and Hollywood Pictures once operated under in Disney in the ‘90s.

More mature projects can flourish under this banner, with mid-to-high budget figures and independent of the more blockbuster portions of the joint film operations of Disney/Fox. If this strategy pans out, more experimental films can be crafted, finding new and exciting paths for creators to take with their work.

Ad Astra Ruth Negga and Brad Pitt walk through an orange lit hallway

Both Movies Are Driven By Impressive Star Power

The importance of star power is something that’s still debated in the realm of the cinematic market. While it’s hard to try and determine which concepts will draw audiences to the theater, it’s even harder to gauge which performers can still pack ‘em in the aisles at your local movie house.

Combining the star power of both Ad Astra and Ford v. Ferrari, you’ll see Brad Pitt, Liv Tyler and Tommy Lee Jones leading that first film, with Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Jon Bernthal and even Outlander’s Caitriona Balfe taking up the cause for that second picture. That’s a lot of well-known names, appealing to a nice cross generational mix of potential filmgoers.

It’s a wide spectrum of names that could draw in just the right balance of older and younger film fans to their local cinemas. While the casts and the content of these films don’t scream Marvel Cinematic Universe levels of popularity, there’s enough firepower to rack up two outside of the box hits at the box office, and keep Fox in play for the foreseeable future.

Ad Astra Brad Pitt surrounded by buttons and instrument panels in his spacecraft

Ad Astra Is A Potential Sleeper Hit

There’s a two-pronged structure that could ensure Fox would stay alive into the foreseeable future. All that needs to happen is for the studio to rack up a blockbuster-sized hit with audiences and an awards season title that produces a killer amount of buzz. Since Fox only has a co-production credit on Terminator: Dark Fate, its blockbuster hopes are probably better pinned on Ad Astra.

In terms of the audience-friendly blockbuster, Ad Astra could replicate the record-setting success that 20th Century Fox had with The Martian back in 2015. While there’s no pre-existing source material for director James Gray’s high concept space adventure, the right comparisons between this film and the Matt Damon adaptation of Andy Weir’s exciting tale of survival on Mars could mean blockbuster returns.

A late September release window, with Rambo: Last Blood acting as the only direct competition, could put Ad Astra into a surprising position as a big ticket hit. If that happens, the losses of films like Dark Phoenix may be forgiven in the name of helping further define the type of movie Fox should be releasing.

Matt Damon and Christian Bale in Ford v. Ferrari

Ford V. Ferrari Could Be An Awards Season Contender

With Ad Astra looking to potentially win audiences over with its high minded science fiction, Ford v. Ferrari would fulfill the other side of the two-pronged structure to define the modern era of Fox movie content. That means director James Mangold could hold the key to the studio’s awards season fate.

The simple truth when it comes to 20th Century Fox is this: there are only three more films to be released on its 2019 calendar: Ad Astra, Ford v. Ferrari, and Spies In Disguise. That means the studio’s best chance for an awards season ringer is Mangold’s tale of the fateful 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ideally, this would also be a candidate for blockbuster success, what with its budget being similar to Ad Astra’s. However, this is undoubtedly a prestige player in the Fox stable, and all the money in the world wouldn’t make up for it not nabbing some sort of nominations come Oscar night. Especially when the studio’s own awards-heavy offshoot is looking at some troubled times as well.

Jojo Rabbit and Hitler run and jump through the woods

Fox Searchlight’s Fate Hangs In The Balance, By Proxy

While they aren’t part of the Fox proper release slate, the output that Fox Searchlight will be engaging in marketing to the public in the next couple of months will also be affected by how well Fox proper can get its job done.

With Ready Or Not and Jojo Rabbit as prime examples of the studio’s output for the rest of 2019, these represent the highest profile titles that Fox Searchlight has coming in the next couple of months. And while Disney has sworn to not only keep Searchlight active, but also not to interfere with their operations, should Fox fail, that could change.

The beginnings of that interference have been seen as the parent studio is apparently getting cold feet about releasing Taika Waititi’s anti-hate satire, as the Mouse House is afraid the film will alienate Disney’s core audience. If Ad Astra succeeds, then there’s a good chance that Jojo Rabbit just might be left alone, as it will earn the studio the breathing room it needs. Should it fail hard enough, we could see Fox Searchlight’s autonomy crumble, with projects such as Antlers and Downhill potentially looking for a new home in order to free up some Disney release space.

The merger between Disney and Fox changed the landscape of Hollywood in a substantial manner, and there are going to be plenty of ripples that we’ll see taking shape in the cinematic pond throughout the rest of 2019. While those particular side effects aren’t set in stone, it’s safe to say that Ad Astra and Ford V. Ferrari are going to be the two most important films for The Walt Disney Company.

The rest of the Disney film slate this year is comprised of Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Naturally, two of those movies are monolithic sure bets, while Maleficent’s sequel is a gamble, but a very safe one considering the first film’s success. So those films aren’t going to be as much of a going concern when those third quarter results are still looming fresh in studio executives’ minds and the Fox side of the house being behind such results.

We’ll see where the rest of 2019 takes Disney and Fox, but if the latter studio wants to please the former in an impressive fashion, succeeding with those two star-powered films will be essential to saving their collective skin. So if you’re interested in saving Fox and have interest in either film mentioned above, the following information will be crucial.

Ad Astra lands in theaters on September 20, while Ford v. Ferrari revs its engines theatrically on November 15. To keep track of these films, and all others being released throughout the rest of this year, take a look at our 2019 release schedule.

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The Rock Had A Secret Wedding In Hawaii

The Rock may be known for being the world’s biggest movie star, a larger than life, and just plain large actor who fronts huge blockbusters and captures the attention of millions on the big screen and on social media, but when it came to his nuptials, the man named Dwayne Johnson took a more low-key approach. The Rock, who can currently be seen in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, just had a secret wedding in Hawaii. Check it out:

As you can see, The Rock married his longtime girlfriend Lauren Hashian over the weekend in Hawaii. Despite his public visibility and possibly because of it, Dwayne Johnson and Lauren Hashian kept their wedding ceremony a secret beforehand, so this news came as a surprise. But the actor made sure to let all of his followers on Instagram know after the fact that the two had finally tied the knot

The images he shared show the loving couple dressed in their wedding attire, with The Rock getting away with wearing white no less, on a rise overlooking the Pacific ocean on what appears to be a gorgeous day. Mr. & Mrs. Rock look positively thrilled and Dwayne Johnson, in true romantic fashion, even shares a photo of the couple sharing a kiss as newlyweds, with the Hawaiian sunset glowing in the background.

The Rock kept the caption in his Instagram post short and sweet, simply saying “We do. August 18th, 2019. Hawaii. Pomaika’i (blessed)” with the Hawaiian word letting everyone know how he’s feeling at his good fortune in love. In his post Dwayne Johnson also tags Hiram Garcia, who was in attendance at the ceremony and snapped these lovely photos.

Hiram Garcia is The Rock’s former brother-in-law from his first marriage to Dany Garcia and he is currently the President of Production at The Rock and Dany Garcia’s Seven Bucks Productions.

People have been wondering when The Rock would finally pop the question to Lauren Hashian for some time now. According to CNN, The Rock met the singer and music producer in 2006 and the two started dating in 2007 but he has been in no great hurry to get married.

In the past Dwayne Johnson has said that he already refers to Lauren Hashian as his wife, so there was no rush. Last year he said that his busy schedule was a factor and that they had planned to get married, but then Lauren got pregnant and didn’t want to be pregnant in a wedding dress so they waited. That wait is finally over though, they found the time and The Rock and the woman who is his rock are officially married.

The 47-year-old Dwayne Johnson and 34-year-old Lauren Hashian already have two children together, 3-year-old Jasmine and 1-year-old Tiana and The Rock has an 18-year-old daughter, Simone, from his previous marriage.

You can currently see The Rock in Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. Hopefully the always busy Dwayne Johnson has time for a well-deserved honeymoon, because he’s got a bunch of new movies in various stages of development on the way. You can check them all out in our guide.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Latest Vacation Is Causing Controversy

Elton John is not here for the latest controversy surrounding Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

For context: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex just returned from a vacation at John’s palatial estate in the South of France. They traveled to and from the quick jaunt via private jet, which some are branding as hypocritical due to the couple’s environmentalism work. One tabloid even referred to Prince Harry and Markle’s mode of transportation as “gas-guzzling.”

But John is coming to the royals’ defense. It turns out the pop icon both paid for Markle and Prince Harry’s private jet and ensured it was carbon neutral—thus shutting down all the people who think they aren’t practicing what they preach. (According to the cyber-gear initiative Go Green, making something “carbon neutral” means calculating how much a flight makes in greenhouse emissions and then donating that amount to a charity or project that’s striving to reduce emissions.)

“I am deeply distressed by today’s distorted and malicious account in the press surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s private stay at my home in Nice last week,” John wrote on Twitter. “Prince Harry’s mother, Diana Princess Of Wales, was one of my dearest friends. I feel a profound sense of obligation to protect Harry and his family from the unnecessary press intrusion that contributed to Diana’s untimely death. After a hectic year continuing their hard work and dedication to charity, David and I wanted the young family to have a private holiday inside the safety and tranquility of our home. To maintain a high level of much-needed protection, we provided them with a private jet flight.”

John continued, “To support Prince Harry’s commitment to the environment, we ensured their flight was carbon neutral, by making the appropriate contribution to Carbon Footprint™. I highly respect and applaud both Harry and Meghan’s commitment to charity and I’m calling on the press to cease these relentless and untrue assassinations on their character that are spuriously crafted on an almost daily basis.”

See John’s tweets for yourself, below:

Twitter/@EltonJohnOfficial
Twitter/@EltonJohnOfficial

Godzilla: King Of The Monsters Director Shares Stunning Concept Art

King Ghidorah in Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Godzilla: King of the Monsters spent its time in theaters earlier this year, and now the sequel is smack dab in the middle of its home release window. To celebrate folks finally getting to watch King of the Monsters in the comfort of their own home, director and co-writer Michael Dougherty has shared some stunning concept art for the movie, starting off with some images that King Ghidorah fans will appreciate.

After decades of wreaking havoc in Japan, King Ghidorah finally made his American debut in Godzilla: King of the Monsters as the eponymous protagonist’s chief antagonist. Like the original Ghidorah, the MonsterVerse’s version of the three-headed beast is an extraterrestrial rather than a Titan native to Earth, but long ago, he was frozen in Antarctica and should have remained that way. Unfortunately, Dr. Emma Russell and her ecoterrorist partner Alan Jonah just had to set him free.

In the above pieces of concept art, we cover the full range of King Ghidorah’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters introduction, from being stuck behind the ice to attacking the Monarch forces nearby to just before he and Godzilla clash for the first time in millennia. It’s particularly cool to see the lighting crackling from Ghidroah, showing that this monster, like Godzilla and the other Titans, has more than just brawn on his side.

You can head over to Michael Dougherty’s Twitter page to see all of the Godzilla: King of the Monsters concept artwork he shared, but for right here, let’s look at the images highlighting Rodan and Mothra, the other two main monsters that the sequel introduced.

Like King Ghidorah, Rodan was in deep sleep when Godzilla: King of the Monsters started, but after Ghidorah was freed, Emma and Jonah proceeded to awaken the pterodactyl-like Titan from his volcano lair in Mexico. After failing to bring him down, Monarch tried its best to get Rodan to fight Ghidroah, but the latter swiftly beat the former and Rodan served Ghidorah until the power dynamic shifted at the end of the movie, with Rodan and other nearby Titans bowing to Godzilla.

Then there’s Mothra, who, unlike Rodan and King Ghidroah, served as an ally for Godzilla during Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Sure she got a rough awakening at the beginning of the movie and killed a few Monarch employees, but once she emerged from her cocoon as her winged and fully glorious self, she flew to assist Godzilla in the final battle. Sadly, Mothra perished when she transferred all her energy to Godzilla so he could defeat Ghidroah once and for all, but the King of the Monsters end-credits revealed, a second Mothra egg was discovered, hinting that this creature’s legacy will live on in the MonsterVerse.

While King Ghidorah is seemingly gone for good, Rodan and the new Mothra’s MonsterVerse future is shrouded in secrecy. Next year brings the long-awaited match-up Godzilla vs. Kong, and while one can imagine there will be other monsters showing up as the giant reptile and gorilla are beating each other up, it’s hard to say if Rodan and Mothra 2.0 will be involved anyway.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for any updates on their cinematic future, but as for Godzilla vs. Kong, its story will also involve Monarch learning more about the Titan’s origins and a conspiracy being uncovered to wipe these creatures off the face of the planet. The cast includes Millie Bobby Brown and Kyle Chandler reprising Madison and Mark Russell, respectively, as well as Alexander Skarsgard, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza Gonzalez, Jessica Henwick, Julian Dennison and Demian Bichir.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters is now available on Digital HD, and you can pick up your Blu-ray/DVD copy starting next Tuesday, August 27. The MonsterVerse will continue when Godzilla vs. Kong comes out on March 22, 2020, but if you’re wondering what other movies there are to look forward to for the rest of this year, head over to our 2019 release schedule.

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Early Kylo Ren Concept Art Reveals A Terrifying Early Design For The Force Awakens

The Star Wars franchise is arguably the most wildly popular property in film, spanning decades and entire generations of moviegoers. The galaxy far, far away has been growing exponentially since Disney acquired Lucasfilm, crafting main installments, standalone movies, and even an upcoming Disney+ series. It all started with J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens, and it seems that Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren originally had a much more terrifying look.

Kylo Ren is the villain of the sequel franchise, with Ben Solo’s conflicting emotions being a main through line throughout The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. Concept art for the character was recently revealed, and it turns out that he could have had a much scarier appearance. You can check out the art below, with Kylo having a close resemblance to Darth Vader’s helmet-less appearance.

Woah. While Kylo Ren is portrayed by Adam Driver as a force sensitive young man, it seems J.J. Abrams and company toyed with a much darker interpretation of the character. And it looks awesome.

This new image comes to us from Instagram, and shows a far less human version of Kylo Ren. In the concept art, he looks far less human than the character we love to hate, seemingly corrupted by the power of the Dark Side. It’s an appearance that is clearly inspired by Anakin/Darth Vader’s looks from the previous films, connecting Ben Solo to his grandfather and villain inspiration.

In the image, Ben Solo is shown to have red eyes and extremely pale skin. The eye color is the same that Anakin Skywalker had as a Dark Jedi in Revenge of the Sith, as he attacked the Jedi temple and massacred younglings. The paleness of the character’s skin also looks like Vader’s when he finally took off his mask in Return of the Jedi.

Darth Vader’s inspiration in the above concept art for Kylo Ren can also be seen in his armor and equipment. He’s shown using some sort of breathing machine, similar to the iconic one that the iconic Vader uses throughout the original trilogy. That version of the character would likely be given his own iconic breathing sounds in the process, just like Darth Vader’s signature heaves.

This concept art is in stark juxtaposition to the look J.J. Abrams eventually landed on for Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens. Instead of a monstrous Sith, Kylo is portrayed as an angry young force user who has fallen to the Dark Side. He’s completely human in appearance, although he crafts his own signature helmet as a tribute to his late grandfather. That helmet was destroyed in The Last Jedi, but it looks like he might pop it back on for The Rise of Skywalker.

It should be interesting to see how Kylo Ren’s appearance continues to change in Episode IX, as the character’s story comes to a close. For instance, he got a scar in The Last Jedi thanks to his wound from battling Rey back in The Force Awakens. Will he submit to the Dark Side and be warped by the dark power of the force like the above image? Or will he finally be redeemed, returning to the Light Side and his mother Leia? Only time will tell.

All will be revealed when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters December 20th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.