Comparing The Star Trek Reboot Movies To The Next Generation And The Original Series

Star Trek Beyond Kelvin timeline crew

Star Trek has been a successful franchise for over 50 years, and while it has always had a home on television first and foremost, Star Trek has continued to be important on the big screen as well. We’ve seen 13 big screen outings called Star Trek, but those 13 films have had three separate casts and been part of two unique timelines.

So which block of Star Trek movies is truly the best? We’ll break down each part of the franchise, look at the good and the bad, and try to figure out which one is the real winner.

William Shatner in Star Trek II The Wrath of Khan

Star Trek: The Original Series

The first run of Star Trek followed Captain James T. Kirk, played by William Shatner and his crew of the starship U.S.S. Enterprise. Kirk was frequently counciled by his Science Officer, Lt. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and his ship’s Doctor Leonard, “Bones” McCoy. The series that spawned the films saw the Enterprise on a five-year mission to explore the galaxy.

Following the original run of Star Trek on television and its unfortunately short run of only three seasons, the cult popularity of the series and television reruns kept the Star Trek name out there, and the series actually became more popular over time. This led to Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979, a film that saw the original cast make their return to the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise. This was followed by Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in 1982, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock in 1984, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home in 1986, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier in 1989, and finally, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country in 1991.

There’s a familiar pattern in the early Star Trek movies that even the most passionate Star Trek fans will admit is true: the odd numbered films aren’t very good. The first Star Trek movie barely feels like the Star Trek fans know and love. It’s an odd film that sees the Enterprise crew investigating a nebulous cloud in space, and things never make much more sense than that.

Of course, following that film, we got one of the most popular Star Trek films ever made, The Wrath of Khan. Ricardo Montalban chews all of the scenery as the villain and is a large part of why the movie is so good, but the rest of characters feel more comfortable as well. It also has the most heartbreaking ending in the franchise.

The original series films are a mix of everything. There are some awful stories and some great ones. Some that could have been good, but don’t quite get there, and others that are better than they deserve to be. When the adventure is worthy of the characters, the original run of films work, and when it’s not, the movies falter.

Star Trek: First Contact

Star Trek: The Next Generation

20 years after the original Star Trek went off the air Star Trek: The Next Generation brought the franchise back to TV. This series starred Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, and while the basic premise of the show was the same, the new Enterprise in on an ongoing exploration of the galaxy about a century after the events of The Original Series, The Next Generation found its footing by focusing on character-driven stories rather than intergalactic adventure.

In 1994, the Next Generation crew would take over the film franchise with Star Trek: Generations, a film that actually included some of the Original Series cast, but was still ultimately a TNG movie. That would be followed by Star Trek: First Contact in 1996, Star Trek: Insurrection in 1998, and then Star Trek: Nemesis in 2002.

The thing that made The Next Generation great as a series largely made the movies a much tougher sell. You could never give a broad cast like this enough to make them feel well used in a two-hour film the way you could over the course of a TV season. As such, the entire run of TNG films largely failed to find an audience among fans or critics.

Having said that, there is one major exception, in that Star Trek: First Contact isn’t simply the best of the Next Generation movie, it’s one of the best Star Trek films of the entire franchise, I would argue its contention as the best Star Trek movie ever made, and as such, the TNG era of films can’t be ignored.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture Crew

Star Trek: Reboot (Kelvin Timeline)

While the first two segments of the Star Trek film franchise have their foundations in television, the newest ones do not… at least, not directly. The new Star Trek movies take us back to the era of James T. Kirk, Spock and McCoy, but rather than being a simple reboot or a direct sequel, the first film actually establishes that it is taking place in an alternate timeline. On the day of Jim Kirk’s birth, an alien ship from the future travels back in time and alters the events of the past, allowing the new movies to create new stories while still leaving the original series of films as part of “canon.”

The first Star Trek film arrived in 2009 It was followed by Star Trek Into Darkness in 2013, and then Star Trek Beyond in 2016.

The alternate timeline idea was a pretty gutsy movie for the Star Trek franchise, but it has to be said that it largely works. In fact, it’s what makes the first movie work at all. The actors, like Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Karl Urban, are all able to channel their 1960s counterparts and give the characters a life of their own simultaneously. Having said that, some decisions just didn’t work, like trying to do their own version of Wrath of Khan with the second movie. It’s the sort of decision that vividly reminds you that this was done before and done better back then.

Having said that, the new Star Trek does allow the rest of the bridge crew, Uhura, Sulu and the rest, to be much more fully realized characters then they ever got to be in the original run of movies, so there is something of great value that the new movies add. The entire reboot cast is solid, and the movies actually let them all show that.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture Crew

The Original Series Vs The Next Generation Vs The Reboot

It can be a little difficult to compare the three different corners of the franchise. If nothing else, they each have a different number of movies to their credit, and the newest franchise isn’t officially dead yet, though things aren’t looking good. Still, there are a few places that can be compared.

It’s hard not to love The Next Generation cast above the others. They really were so incredibly good. Of course, as stated, they rarely had a chance to prove that in the movies. The Original Series movies were almost always focused exclusively on Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, and the rest of the crew usually had little to do but mind their stations. The reboot franchise has done a little something to fix this, especially most recently in Star Trek Beyond, a movie that’s better than the box office leads one to believe.

Of course, the Original Series films focusing on Kirk, Spock, and McCoy work because William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and Deforest Kelly were a legitimately great trio.

The Original Series has more ups and downs on the whole, but that’s also at least partially because they had more chances. The odd/even see-saw is true, as Movies 2, 4, and 6 are great films while 1, 3, and 5 are not. And The Final Frontier deserves special consideration as quite possibly the worst Star Trek movie ever made.

As mentioned earlier, Star Trek: First Contact is the shining beacon of the Next Generation films. It’s one of the best, but the other three are pretty well panned by a lot of critics, and for good reason.

The reboot franchise is generally viewed as being pretty good, though I would argue Star Trek Into Darkness is a pretty serious mess. and even the 2009 Star Trek, while it’s better than many feared it would be, is still only a “good” movie, not a great one, as many would claim.

In the end, it’s difficult to not give the win here to the original run of films. Everything that the reboot movies have done well, they largely owe to the Original Series cast. If I was including the television work here, I might be willing to give the nod to The Next Generation, but on the big screen alone, the stories just aren’t as good on the whole.

We certainly haven’t seen the end of the Star Trek franchise on the big screen. We might still see a fourth entry in the reboot franchise, and Quentin Tarantino has made comments that he’d like to make a Star Trek movie, so this debate certainly isn’t over. But at the moment, the originals are still the best.

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8 New Netflix Horror Movies That Are Just In Time For Halloween

Netflix and Chills logo

As anyone who practices the fine holiday of Halloween would tell you, part of getting it right comes down to having a lineup of seasonal films ready at a moment’s notice. While there are definitely some classics that always help to make the season fright, there’s always the thrill of jumping into a random film, hoping to find a new favorite.

So leave it to Netflix to come through with a lineup of spooky originals, as well as some recent gems from outside of its walls. Toss in a couple of older favorites, and you have a candy bag’s worth of thrills and chills from between now and October 31. Here’s eight new films heading straight to Netflix, just in time for All Hallow’s Eve!

We Have Always Lived In The Castle Sebastian Stan talks down to Taissa Farmiga

We Have Always Lived In The Castle

Author Shirley Jackson is someone whose work always comes out to shine at this time of year. We Have Always Lived In The Castle is certainly no exception, as its tale of two sisters (Alexandria Daddario and Taissa Farmiga) who don’t seem to be able to leave the house is making a streaming debut at this very time. A piece lavish with period settings and costumes, this twisted mystery co-stars Sebastian Stan as a young man who would try to change the sister’s fates. Something tells us that’s not going to work out so well.

In The Shadow Of The Moon detectives studying a crime scene

In The Shadow Of The Moon

Serial killers are scary enough on their own, but a killer who just happens to return every nine years is something that’s downright frightening. A Philadelphia detective is about to learn that the hard way in the Netflix original In The Shadow Of The Moon, as Boyd Holbrook’s Thomas Lockhart is determined to crack that very sort of case. Of course, Lockhart becomes so obsessed with trying to solve it that he starts to stumble on some troubling details, so it’s probably good that Michael C. Hall is one of this film’s co-stars. He seems to know a thing or two about serial killers defying all reason.

Scream 2 Ghostface sneaks up behind Sarah Michelle Gellar and her friend

Scream 2

If you’ve been re-watching the original Scream on Netflix, but have been disappointed you couldn’t just launch into the very meta sequel, Scream 2, have no fear! Wes Craven’s 1997 sequel to the smash hit that rewrote the rules on slasher horror is joining its predecessor on the streaming giant’s library. In fact, now that Scream 2 is back, you’ll be able to watch all four Scream films in a movie marathon to die for. Just remember, if you’re going to park it in front of this particular series of films, you should always follow the rules of any good horror movie.

In The Tall Grass a random kid stands with a dog, in the middle of a dirt road

In The Tall Grass

Stephen King and his son Joe Hill once wrote a short story together that was so frightening, the ads dared you to read it right before you went to bed. While your mileage may vary with In The Tall Grass’s scare content, it’s undoubtedly an intriguing piece of short fiction. And it’s about to get even more exciting now that director Vincenzo Natali, famous for films like Cube and Splice, is making a play to become a part of the King club himself. It stars Patrick Wilson and Rachel Wilson (no relation, strangely enough) as a brother and sister on a road trip through middle America. It’s one that they might not survive, as a lost boy in a cornfield calls out to them, dragging the siblings into a tale that is totally classic King.

Fractured Sam Worthington racing to save his daughter from falling

Fractured

Another tale in the genre of “cross country road trips from Hell,” Fractured stars Sam Worthington as a father who has to bring his daughter to the ER after breaking her arm during the ride back home. Before he knows it, he’s passed out and wakes up to find that his daughter and wife have disappeared; and no one has any record of them even being in the hospital. Naturally, Worthington’s protagonist is determined to get to the bottom of things, and the answers he finds might not be what he wants to hear.

Sinister 2 a group of kids in the attic, ready to watch a movie

Sinister 2

The sequel to 2012’s surprise horror hit Sinister, Sinister 2 sees Bughuul torturing a family on the run from an abusive husband/father. Of course, seeing as this is a horror movie and all, the family unfortunately chooses a residence that the mythological boogeyman resides in, leading to some further adventures in home movies, tortured nightmares and murdered parents. But fortunately for you, the audience, those scares are on the other side of the screen.

Eli Kelly Reilly looks at her son through a plastic bubble

Eli

What’s worse than being sick with a mysterious illness? If you’re the central character in the Netflix original Eli, the answer is “having to seek treatment in a potentially haunted house, with a less than trustworthy doctor caring for you.” Starring Yellowstone’s Kelly Reilly and Lili Taylor, this is actually another film from the director of Sinister 2, Ciaran Foy. So if you want to double up on kids being threatened by haunted houses, you have your pair already laid out.

Rattlesnake Carmen Ejogo holds her daughter's face in her hand

Rattlesnake

Random rule of the road: if someone happens to offer you a cure for a rattlesnake bite, in the middle of nowhere, no strings attached, make sure to ask them if there really isn’t a catch. Carmen Ejogo’s protagonist in the Netflix original Rattlesnake sure wishes she knew that, as a mysterious stranger does save her daughter’s life, but makes her swear to kill a random stranger in return. Sometimes the fine print is implied in the deal, so make sure you bargain with mysterious strangers wisely.

All of these titles will be coming on line through Netflix starting this weekend and straight through to the end of October. So be sure to check your queue to see when specific titles you’re interested in are available.

For those of you also looking to catch some offerings on the big screen, be sure to look through our 2019 release schedule to find out what’s heading to a theater near you for the rest of the year.

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How I’d Love To See Thor: Love And Thunder And Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 Connect To Each Other

Peter Quill, Rocket, and Thor at the end of Avengers: Endgame

The Guardians of the Galaxy movies have been my favorite part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe pretty much from the moment that Peter Quill turned on his Walkman and started dancing across the surface of Morag. However, Thor’s arc since Thor: Ragnarok has been pretty impressive, and I also can’t wait to see where this character goes in Thor: Love and Thunder. Needless to say, watching Thor sail away from Earth with the Guardians of the Galaxy at the end of Avengers: Endgame was incredibly exciting.

Having said that, it doesn’t appear that these characters will actually be spending much time together in their next movies. Originally, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 was going to be the next MCU movie we saw, but following the James Gunn situation, that movie has been delayed to an undisclosed date, and we’ll be seeing Thor: Love and Thunder first, in a little over two years.

Assuming that the Guardians of the Galaxy aren’t a major part of Thor: Love and Thunder, and every indication is that they’re not, there’s just too much else set to go on there, then the opening of the movie will need to explain how Thor ended up separated from them, even if only briefly, to connect the dots between the end of one movie and the beginning of the next. Similar to the way Thor talks to a corpse at the beginning of Ragnarok to explain what he’s been up to since the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron.

What I propose is an opening scene that includes cameo appearances by the Guardians actors, something which could certainly happen. Maybe they’re dropping Thor back at New Asgard, and he’ll need to return to Earth somehow to run into Jane Foster again after they’ve had some adventures together. Or perhaps they’re on some alien world. However it’s done, we learn what they’ve been up to since Endgame and why Thor needs to go off on his own now. The camera follows Thor and the Guardians fly off for parts unknown.

But then here’s the kicker: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 opens with the exact same scene.

Literally, the same sequence that opens Thor: Love and Thunder opens Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, the only difference is that when Thor and the Guardians part company, the camera follows the Guardians rather than Thor. The idea being that the two adventures are taking place more or less simultaneously, in different parts of the galaxy.

We can even take the idea a step further. What if the post-credits sequence to Love and Thunder sees Thor and the Guardians reuniting. All of them look like absolute hell, like they’ve been through the ringer a couple of times. Thor says something like “Have I got a story for you guys!” Rocket cuts him off with “Whatever it is, we can beat it.”

This sets up Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. We’ve actually been teased with the ending, but we won’t actually know what happened to them all until we see the movie. Since Marvel has a film scheduled for February 2022, which is the first Marvel slot after Thor: Love and Thunder‘s release, we could, at least conceivably, see that movie next.

We certainly wouldn’t want to wait too long to pay off this fictional post-credits sequence, but Marvel has two open slots in 2022, and either would work for these purposes.

If we wanted to take things to an even deeper level, we could see actions taken in one move have direct repercussions in the other. That’s a bit trickier, as you’d see things happen with no explanation in Love and Thunder, then learn the cause for them in Guardians 3. You’d also discover that things Thor did in his movie impacted the Guardians in theirs. That’s probably a bridge too far and runs the risk of being too confusing, but if Marvel made it work, it could be awesome.

Seeing the events of Captain America: Civil War from Peter Parker’s perspective at the beginning of Spider-Man: Homecoming was a really fun way to handle that, and this would ultimately just be a slight variation on that concept.

This wouldn’t be the first time that we saw different parts of the MCU happening literally at once. According to the MCU’s official timeline, the events of Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk and Thor all happen in the same week. We see the close connection between Iron Man 2 and Thor in the post-credits scene for the the former film. The first act of Thor has already happened while Iron Man 2 is going on.

When James Gunn wrote the script for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, it was almost certainly with the understanding the movie would immediately follow Avengers: Endgame.

The fact that this is no longer the case doesn’t necessarily need to change Guardians in any significant way, but if the movie was written to open with a Chris Hemsworth cameo and/or an explanation as to why he’s not in the rest of the movie, that scene technically is no longer necessary as that explanation will need to be part of Thor: Love and Thunder instead. If that’s the case, we can just transplant the scene that would have been in Guardians 3 into Love and Thunder, and then we can keep it in Guardians too, because why not?

I think this would be a fun way to keep these two parts of the MCU connected. Everybody seems to love the idea of the Asgardians of the Galaxy as a thing, and if there’s a chance of that happening at all down the road, then we need to keep Thor and the Guardians connected in some way, even if the next stories we’re going to get won’t see them cross over.

There are, of course, a million different ways these stories could be handled, but I think it would be really fun to see something like this transpire. There’s certainly no reason that it couldn’t work. As far as what Marvel Studios will actually do, we’ll have to wait until 2021 to find out.

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Moviepass Is Shutting Down

On this Friday the 13, we say RIP to MoviePass! The moviegoing subscription may have looked like dead service walking for some time now, but it’s about to be official. As of tomorrow, Sept. 14 at 8 a.m., Moviepass will cease to exist, as the company’s CEO Mitch Lowe has just revealed.

In a letter to subscribers, CEO Mitch Lowe explained the company’s efforts to relaunch the service without success. MoviePass subscribers will no longer have the service starting Saturday morning and will be appropriately refunded for the period of service they already paid in advance for. The letter states users do not need to request for a refund in order to receive one, and will not be charged moving forward (via THR).

MoviePass also said it is “unable to predict if or when the MoviePass service will continue,” but does hope “to find a path that will enable us to continue the service in the future.” The service was owned by parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc., and the service boasted incredible early success. It will remain an early leader in introducing the movie ticket subscription service that has since been adopted by AMC Theatres, Regal Cinemas and Alamo Drafthouse.

The service’s impending failure could be seen previously through MoviePass’s faced public financial roadblocks. Last summer, members encountered service interruption while the Helios and Matheson Analytics borrowed $5 million to resume operations.

Then, MoviePass placed members on a rollercoaster over its pricing plans, ticketing restrictions and Mitch Lowe reportedly even blocked user passwords during the opening of Avengers: Infinity War to stop them from using the service.

The end of MoviePass follows Sinemia’s recent shutdown in April after “insufficent funding.” However, the service has inspired AMC’s Stubs A-List service, which has over 900,000 subscribers after launching in summer 2018. AMC members pay $20 to $24 per month (depending on their region) for three movies a month at AMC Theatres in any format.

Cinemark additionally reportedly has 800,000 members in its $10 a month Movie Club since 2017. Regal Cinemas just launched its unlimited service a couple months ago starting at $18 a month, and Alamo Drafthouse now has a Season Pass subscription as well.

Although it failed, MoviePass did show other businesses that movie theater subscriptions could be a viable business. It’s perhaps a guinea pig and cautionary tale to the future of ticketing services moving forward.

4 Disney Villains Who Need Their Own Movies After Maleficent and Cruella

Disney villains Maleficent and Cruella

When Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent first graced theaters in 2014, Disney’s fondness for re-imagining its classics was only beginning. The studio has released at least one remake a year since then, culminating in this year’s record of a whopping four of its kind: Dumbo, Aladdin, Lion King and now Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Considering each of its successes, Disney is likely to keep ‘em coming too! Who knows, in the future maybe even more Disney villains can quench the thirst audiences have to explore dark characters (with horror’s current renaissance) and relive nostalgic Disney fairytales?

After the Maleficent sequel, the studio will also tell the origin story of Cruella de Vil, with Emma Stone starring as the puppy-murderer in “punk-rock” ‘70s London. Cruella comes in 2021, but will Disney continue to tell more stories centered on their famous villains after that? There are tons of ways the studio can subvert its well-known tales by focusing on the antagonists of the stories. Here’s some more Disney villains who could be explored with their own movies.

Ursula and Ariel "Poor Unfortunate Souls" The Little Mermaid

Ursula

There’s already the perfect title for this: Poor Unfortunate Souls! Ursula is just about the most fabulous villain Disney has thought up, and there’s plenty of room to explore her life aside from her dealings with Ariel in her very own solo flick. When the sea witch is introduced in The Little Mermaid, it’s pretty clear Ursula regularly preys on other mer-folk. She’s a clever con-woman in a sense, who has certainly rehearsed that show-stopping number time and time again. Now, I want to know what happens behind the scenes!

She references her “nasty” past, but has since made the switch to helping out the “miserable, lonely and depressed.” Maybe Ursula has a dodgy past with the royals of Atlantica? The Disney novel Poor Unfortunate Soul: A Tale of the Sea Witch says Ursula is Triton’s sister – now that would be an interesting story to learn about! What turned her away from her family? Maybe a hunger for power when Triton was in line for the throne? That sunds about right. After seeing the visuals in Aquaman, this story could be beautiful on the big screen, maybe after the live-action Little Mermaid is released? Melissa McCarthy could star? Or give Lizzo a second chance at the role and make it an original “Good as Hell” musical!

Hades and Megara in Hercules 1997 animated film

Hades

Wow, were the ‘90s were good to Disney fans, but I feel like we just don’t talk about Hercules enough. The 1997 animated movie had it all: gospel singers, Danny DeVito and Greek mythology, what’s not to love! No, seriously – Hercules was awesome. However, there are a few hurdles the studio could face if they went for a straight to live-action version. Like how there were two live-action films about Hercules (played by Dwayne Johnson and Twilight’s Kellan Lutz) in 2014, and both weren’t great!

A great way for the studio to bring to life its beautiful vision of Greek Gods back to the big screen and avoid these comparisons would be to change up the perspective and have it center on Hades. The god of the underworld was hilarious along with being deliciously evil. There’s tons of story opportunities that could center on the River of Lost Souls and the various dealings Hades makes with those who wish to have their loved ones again. It could even feature Megara’s origins or why him and Zeus are such enemies! Oh, and I vote Robert Downey Jr. takes on the role now that he’s done with the MCU!

Kronk and Yzma in Emperor's New Groove rollercoaster to evil lab

Yzma

Disney Animation may have had a weird experimental period in the early ‘00s, but looking back, the studio produced some pretty memorable gems! (Like, Lilo & Stitch is actually one of Disney’s best ever, in this writer’s opinion). The Emperor’s New Groove may have been a wacky one, but that’s where it thrived, and Yzma and Kronk were easily the big scene-stealers of the 2000 film. Disney, please make a buddy comedy starring the two – it would be glorious!

Yzma literally built a roller coaster – dare I say, theme park – underneath the palace and has loads of potions that turn people into animals, while Emperor Kuzco was busy being carried around and looking in the mirror. The protagonist of Emperor’s New Groove is half as interesting as Yzma, and it would be so fun to see the villain shine in her own solo flick. I get the sense she’d been pushed around for years before deciding to murder Kuzco. She’s hilarious, and how often does an older woman get the opportunity to be center stage in a major Disney film? Hollywood is oozing with talent who could take her on: Susan Sarandon, Diane Keaton, Sigourney Weaver, etc. This needs to happen, stat!

Dr. Facilier "Friends on the Other Side" song Princess and the Frog

Dr. Facilier

One more villian who could thrive on the big screen with their own solo movie is The Princess and the Frog’s Dr. Facilier. The suave witch doctor arguably has the most show-stopping musical number in the 2009 animated film. “Friends on the Other Side” is not only catchy as heck, but introduces an intriguing character who has called upon dark magic in order to make a living in New Orleans. The villain comes from a poor upbringing that led him to prey on people’s greed and attempt to take down the La Bouffs.

By the end, he’s clearly bitten off more than he can chew with the underworld, but it would be interesting to see the underworkings of his origin! The character is certainly commanding, complex and has quickly become a fan favorite over the past ten years. While a remake for Princess and the Frog seems a bit hasty considering its age, a solo movie for Dr. Facilier could be a big hit! Huge talents such as Donald Glover, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy or Anthony Mackie could potentially don the crossbones hat too!

If Disney continues to reimagine their animated movies in live action, exploring its popular villains is a great way to shake up the stories fans already know and there’s certainly a ton of potential in these characters!

Which Disney Villain Would You Like To See Get Their Own Movie Next?

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Hayley Atwell Confirms She’ll Appear In Both Of The Next Mission: Impossible Movies

Last week, writer/director Christopher McQuarrie announced that Hayley Atwell, best known for her time as Peggy Carter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, will be joining the Mission: Impossible franchise, which Atwell confirmed soon after. At the time, it was unclear if she was only appearing in Mission: Impossible 7 or if she’d also be present in Mission: Impossible 8, but now the actress has set the record straight and declared it’s the latter.

Hayley Atwell turned to Instagram to inform the masses that she’ll be in both of the next Mission: Impossible movies, adding the following about getting to work with Christopher McQuarrie and Tom Cruise:

Given how well-known Hayley Atwell has become this decade, it was to be expected that her role in the Mission: Impossible universe would likely be important, but that was still no guarantee that she’d be around for both movies. Now Atwell has cleared up the matter and we can look forward to her character taking part in Mission: Impossible 7 and Mission: Impossible 8, although we’re still in the dark about if this individual will be an ally or enemy to Ethan Hunt.

Last year’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout is the most successful of the franchise so far, grossing over $791 million worldwide and earning critical acclaim. So needless to say it was expected that another Mission: Impossible movie would get the green light, but in January of this year, Paramount Pictures announced that Christopher McQuarrie would return to make two more Mission: Impossible sequels that will be filmed back-to-back.

So far Hayley Atwell is the third actor confirmed to appear in both Mission: Impossible 7 and Mission: Impossible 8. Obviously Tom Cruise will reprise Ethan Hunt, a character he’s played for nearly 25 years, and Rebecca Ferguson also revealed she’ll be back as Ilsa Faust, who was a key player in Rogue Nation and Fallout.

It was also rumored we could see Alec Baldwin and Henry Cavill in these movies again, almost certainly in flashbacks or hallucinations given that both their characters died in Fallout. Ideally we’ll get one or more casting updates for the next Mission: Impossible movies before the year is over.

As Hayley Atwell noted, it’s been a big year for her. In addition to cameoing as Peggy Carter in Avengers: Endgame and vocally reprising the character in the upcoming Disney+ animated series What If… ?, she also starred in the West End production Rosmersholm and appeared in Blinded by the Light, and will be seen next in the Netflix series Criminal: UK, which drops on Netflix next week.

Mission: Impossible 7 will be released in theaters on July 23, 2021, and Mission: Impossible 8 will follow on August 5, 2022. We here at CinemaBlend will keep you up to date on how both movies are coming along, but for now, check out our 2019 release schedule to learn what’s coming out for the rest of the year.

Terminator: Let’s Untangle The Franchise’s Convoluted Timelines Ahead Of Dark Fate

Terminator: Dark Fate Sarah Connor stands with a shotgun

History is written by the winners, or in the case of a series like the Terminator films, whoever currently holds the rights. Originating with James Cameron’s 1984 classic The Terminator, and spawning five sequels, including the upcoming Terminator: Dark Fate, the movies have captivated, and confused, audiences for almost four decades.

The confusion comes from the fact that throughout those films, the timeline of events has been established, erased, re-written, erased again and then totally reinvented on the bones of pre-existing history (and that’s not even counting what goes down in the Sarah Connor Chronicles TV series). We’ll let you catch your breath, as we say that we’re just as confused as you are, and we’re going to do something about it!

It’s time to clear up the history of John Connor, Judgement Day and an assortment of so many machines starting with the letter “T” that you’d think you were in a coffee shop. Come with us, if you want any of this to make sense.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day a Terminator amidst the wasteland of LA

Judgement Day – The Event That Started It All

Before we dive into the timelines of Terminator franchise, let’s talk about the moment that each one of them hinges on: Judgement Day. Now depending on which timeline you’re looking at, this moment happens at various times, but the result is always the same.

Skynet, an artificial intelligence network that humanity trusted for its own defense, becomes self-aware and ultimately annihilates nearly all of humanity. With pockets of survivors banding together to form a resistance, humanity is led by one man: John Connor, the savior of the human race.

Skynet always sends a robot of some sort to try and kill John, while various figures (human and robotic) are sent back to protect him. So long as John survives, humanity is safe; whether Judgement Day is prevented or not.

The Terminator T-800 raises his gun to fire in the club

The Cameron Timeline: 1984 – 2029 (The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Terminator: Dark Fate)

In the original James Cameron timeline, The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgement Day work off of basically the same set of key points in time. Judgement Day occurs on August 29, 1997 in this timeline, kicking off the apocalypse and eventually setting into motion our salvation.

In 2029, just as John Connor and his commandos defeat Skynet, the machine intelligence sends back two machines to try and kill him. The original T-800, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, is sent back to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) before she can give birth to her son, John.

As a protector and ultimately the father to John, Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) is sent back by John Connor himself, in order to make sure the T-800 doesn’t achieve its objective. Through his brief romance with Sarah, John is conceived and ultimately Sarah proceeds to survive and destroy the T-800.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day John Connor, Sarah Connor, and the T-800 stop and stare

Eleven years later, in 1995, John (Edward Furlong, who will gleefully return for Terminator: Dark Fate) is the direct target of Skynet, with his opposition sending a new unit to take him out, The T-1000 (Robert Patrick). However, John Connor sends himself a new protector to fight this menace: a reprogrammed T-800 unit from 2029. The very machine that was supposed to stop him from even being born is now sworn to not only save him, but also his mother, Sarah.

Judgement Day is prevented yet again, and supposedly permanently, after Sarah and John destroy the T-1000, as well as the lab that Skynet and the Terminators were being built in. But as we’ve seen in the run up to Terminator: Dark Fate, the events of these first two films are quite crucial to where the timeline will be headed in the future. Clearly humanity still faces an apocalypse in Dark Fate‘s future, but it’s unclear if it results from a delayed Judgement Day or something entirely different.

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines Katherine Brewster and John Connor duck from an attack

The Brancato/Ferris Timeline: 1984 – 2032 (Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines, Terminator Salvation)

While James Cameron’s Terminator timeline is officially going to wipe out all of the sequels we’re about to talk about, he’s doing so for a very good reason. In the case of the next two films, the basic foundation of Cameron’s story is implemented, but a wildly different message is at its heart by writers John Brancato and Michael Ferris.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day told us that there was no fate but what we made for ourselves, but Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines basically counters that with the notion that some things, like Judgement Day, are just inevitable. And this time, Skynet has a brand new plan, along with a brand new model of menace, ready to protect its dark future.

While Judgement Day doesn’t take place in 1997, as previously predicted, Sarah Connor dies of cancer in that very year. John Connor (Nick Stahl in T3) goes off the grid at that point, and for a time, he rejects his supposed fate and is allowed to live in relative peace for the next seven years.

The T-X, a hybrid of the metal endoskeleton from the T-800 and the shape shifting liquid metal alloy from the T-1000, is sent back to 2004 and tasked with not only taking out John Connor, but also all of the lieutenants he’ll enlist in the future war against Skynet.

This new timeline sees the T-X being sent back from 2032, and another reprogrammed T-800 is sent back as well. Only this time, John’s wife Kathrine Brewster is the one who sends humanity’s protector back, and only she can give it orders.

Terminator: Salvation John Connor and Marcus Wright make their way through the machine factory

While John and Katherine think they can prevent Judgement Day, as previously accomplished in the Cameron Timeline’s story, it appears that the moment is a fixed point in time that cannot be avoided. Skynet takes over all military computer systems after being sold as a cyber-security cure all that would combat a mysterious computer virus that had been plaguing the world at the time, and begins its attack on humanity.

At 6:18 PM, as the nuclear holocaust rained down on the Earth, John Connor and Katherine Brewster are safely hidden in a bunker, ready to assume their roles as the leaders of the human resistance.

Shortly before this newly rescheduled Judgement Day took place, a new player was put onto the board: an experimental hybrid known as Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington). Executed on death row in 2003, his body was basically entrusted to Skynet in order to create a new type of Terminator with a basis of human biology.

This all eventually leads to Terminator: Salvation’s piece of the timeline, as we catch back up with an older and battle hardened John (Christian Bale) and Katherine (Bryce Dallas Howard) in the then-far flung year of 2018. Despite all of the action in Salvation’s plot, there’s only really two important beats it contributes to its ultimately unfinished story: John Connor meets and save a young Kyle Reese (Anton Yelchin), ensuring his own existence, and John is ultimately given Marcus’ heart to ensure he lives to fight on to either the end of the war and/or his death in 2032 at the hands of a rogue T-800.

Terminator: Genisys Kyle Reese and John Connor say goodbye by the time machine

The Kalogridis/Lussier Timeline – 1973 – 2029 (The Terminator, Terminator: Genisys)

Now here is where things start to get really weird. The events of the last film released in the Terminator series so far, Terminator Genisys, both build themselves on top of the original Terminator film, but wildly alters the timeline. Writers Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier took The Terminator’s timeline, and for the most part stuck to its original roots.

2029 is now the key year where John Connor (Jason Clarke) and Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) are knocking on Skynet’s door and ready to end our war with the machines. And, as you would expect, the machine intelligence sends a T-800 back to 1984, at the exact place and time that The Terminator saw him arrive. Only this time, the plan is a bit different.

In Terminator: Genisys, another T-800 (known as “Pops”) is sent back to 1973, with the express purpose of protecting and raising Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) so that they can take out the evil T-800 before the events of The Terminator can even happen. That then forces Skynet to send another assassin, yet another T-1000 (Byung-Hun Lee), back to 1984 so that Kyle Reese can be taken off the board just as he arrives in the past. Pops and Sarah save Kyle, and then embark on the most radical departure in the Terminator timeline.

In a last ditch effort to ensure victory, Skynet really pulled out all the stops, creating two new models: the T-3000, a nano-converted John Connor who became a Terminator himself, and the T-5000 known as Alex (Matt Smith), a version of Skynet from another universe that converts John into his cybernetic form of villainy. Alex is also the brain inside the new threat in the Terminator series: the operating system “Genisys.”

Terminator Genisys cast

Due to all of the changes to the Terminator Genisys timeline, Judgement Day is supposed to take place in 2017, when Genisys/Alex goes online. However, Sarah, Pops and Kyle prevent this from happening, thanks to taking out the T-3000 formerly known as John, and destroying the Cyberdyne labs that housed Genisys’ core.

In another example of timelines not completely finished, the film reveals that Genisys/Skynet/Alex was not totally destroyed, which would mean something if Terminator: Genisys was a hit. But it wasn’t, so it doesn’t.

There’s a lot of wibbley wobbly timey wimey stuff that’s gone into the Terminator timeline up until this point, and as you can see, it’s a little bit confusing to keep it all together. As James Cameron has helped craft the story for Terminator: Dark Fate, and wiped out all of the confusing sequels, we could be headed for a nice, compact timeline that’s easier to keep track of.

We won’t know what dark fate is in store for us, or the characters of Terminator: Dark Fate, until November 1. But until then, we’ll have plenty of time to figure out what we’ll miss, what we’ll be glad to see go, and what still doesn’t make sense, in this fractured time-space continuum we call the Terminator franchise.

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James Gunn Announces Full Cast Of The Suicide Squad

It’s been a minute since we last saw the DC Extended Universe’s version of the Suicide Squad, but the officially-designated Task Force X will be back in theaters soon, this time under the helm of James Gunn. While we’ve gotten some casting confirmations and reports for The Suicide Squad over the past several months, Gunn has officially unveiled the full cast for this sequel/reboot/relaunch/whatever this movie is. Check it out!

The Suicide Squad charges into theaters on August 6, 2021, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on its development. Don’t forget to also look through our DC movies guide to learn what else is in the works for this superhero franchise.

South Park Creators Want To Make More Movies, And Not For Streaming

Later this month, Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s animated series South Park will begin its 23rd season on Comedy Central. Although the frequently controversial and almost always hilarious show has already been renewed through 2022, it’s not the only project Matt Stone and Trey Parker have on their minds. The South Park creators actually want to make more movies, as Matt Stone explained:

They may be best known for South Park on TV, but Matt Stone and Trey Parker have big screen experience as well. Trey Parker wrote and directed the 1997 comedy Orgazmo and the duo worked together on South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut and Team America: World Police. So as they told The Hollywood Reporter, they think of themselves as filmmakers and want to dive back into that space with a new movie.

Matt Stone acknowledges that the movie business might be a hassle and that with so many different platforms, everyone is working in television now, but that does not dissuade them. They don’t care about the hurdles and headaches of the movie business, they just want to make one. They sound extremely eager about it too, like they’re just itching for the opportunity to make more movies.

This isn’t just an abstract desire either; Matt Stone and Trey Parker have some things in mind for new movie projects. These film projects are not South Park-related, so Kyle, Kenny, Cartman and Stan’s escapades will be confined to the small screen for now. Stone and Parker wouldn’t divulge to THR what exactly their movie plans entail, but Matt Stone did describe them as “really fucking killer ideas.”

Stone and Parker’s last film, the puppet comedy Team America, was 15 years ago and in the time since then, we’ve seen the rise of streaming services. So with the South Park creators so keen on making more movies, you might think that they could take their movies to one of the many platforms available today (Disney+ is the obvious candidate right?). But the two have no interest in making movies for streaming platforms, as Matt Stone made clear:

Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, Steven Spielberg and Matt Stone & Trey Parker: defenders of the theatrical experience. Movies on streaming platforms might be in vogue right now, but releasing a movie that way does not interest the South Park creators. They want to make more movies and they want them to be seen by audiences on the big screen.

Although Trey Parker also hinted that they really like premiere parties, their reasoning seems to primarily be that they want people to see their movies with a crowd. That is something that can’t be replicated at home, no matter how nice your home theater system and even if you invite a bunch of people over.

Seeing a movie with a packed theater (of hopefully courteous people) is an incredible experience. And if we are to assume that Matt Stone and Trey Parker have comedy movies in mind, they want theaters full of people all laughing together.

South Park Season 23 premieres on Comedy Central on September 25. Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to keep track of all the movies coming to the big screen this fall.

Jamie Foxx Tried To Talk Idris Elba Out Of Doing Django Unchained

Seven years and two more releases later, Quentin Tarantino’s biggest commercial hit is still Django Unchained. Even though the western was controversial, it made close to a half-billion dollars worldwide and was showered with acclaim. When Jamie Foxx recently attended Toronto International Film Festival, he spoke again about his iconic role as the titular Django Unchained character. And why not?

The actor fought through some pretty stiff competition before he nabbed the role of Django in the 2012 Tarantino film. After Will Smith turned down the movie over the movie’s dark themes of vengence, Idris Elba was next in line for the part. Jamie Foxx recalled crossing paths with Elba when he was in the running and the role came up. Foxx then tried to deter Elba with these words, as he recalled at TIFF Talks:

Idris Elba is not only a magnificent actor, but is well-known to have audiences ogling and swooning. He was even bestowed People’s coveted “Sexiest Man Alive” honor in 2018. He’s been fan-cast as the next 007 actor and scored big roles in Luthor, Thor, Pacific Rim and, most recently, Hobbs & Shaw.

Before he was Hollywood’s favorite eye-candy, Jamie Foxx could spot his beauty a mile away and tried to use it to his advantage. He basically told Idris Elba he was too good looking to play the 2012 role. It’s kind of a clever way to go about it because it never sounds like he’s not complimenting him!

Ultimately, Idris Elba didn’t lose out on the part because of his conversation with Jamie Foxx at all. Quentin Tarantino reportedly decided he was too British for a role rooted in the American experience. Yes, it’s yet another controversial decision from Quentin Tarantino, but at least he’s consistent. Here’s what he told The Sun in 2013:

It’s good Quentin Tarantino isn’t in the business of superhero filmmaking, because Tom Holland would be out of a job! Anyway, once he decided against Idris Elba, he moved to a shortlist that included Terrance Howard, Chris Tucker, Tyrese Gibson and Michael K. Williams. When he met Jamie Foxx, he’d found his Django. In Tarantino’s words:

And the rest is history! Jamie Foxx is Django. It’s one the actor’s most memorable roles to date, and he still calls Quentin Tarantino “the best director out there.” He may reprise his role in a Django/Zorro crossover reportedly in the works from writer Jerrod Carmichael.

Jamie Foxx next stars alongside Brie Larson and Michael B. Jordan in Just Mercy from upcoming Shang-Chi director Destin Daniel Cretton. The court drama is about a defense attorney (Jordan) who clears the name of death row prisoner Walter McMillian (Foxx). Just Mercy comes to theaters on January 10, 2020.