Awkward: Disney+ Is Giving Aladdin’s Prince Anders His Own Spinoff And The Backlash Is Intense

Disney might want to work on its timing. Just days after Aladdin’s star confessed to having career troubles, the studio announced it’s producing a spinoff for Disney+ that stars the relatively obscure Prince Anders. And thus far, the backlash has been pretty intense.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news of the standalone film on December 6. It’s not a surprise that Disney would try to leverage Aladdin’s success. The film has grossed over $1 billion around the world since it hit theaters in May 2019. What is surprising is that the studio would put its weight behind a character that few seem all that enthusiastic about. The spinoff news probably wouldn’t have been met with much enthusiasm under normal circumstances. But the recent news that the actor behind the titular hero, Mena Massoud, hasn’t gone on a post-Aladdin audition added a layer of frustration for fans.

In an interview with The Daily Beast, the Aladdin star expressed his frustration that studios don’t seem interested in considering him for roles, despite proving that he is capable of successfully leading a big budget movie. Fans were already miffed about Mena Massoud’s struggle — so Disney really couldn’t have picked a worse time to announce they’re moving ahead with a spinoff that no one seems to have asked for.

On Twitter, few people who reacted to the news of the Aladdin spinoff seemed to think it was a good idea. And those who were critical of the move had a range of reasons to be skeptical. Many pointed out that Disney’s decision to announce the Prince Anders movie so soon after Mena Massoud’s announcement was in poor taste:

Others offered praise for Prince Anders actor Billy Magnussen but still found the new announcement “very odd”:

Tweeters were quick to point out that Disney seems to have some pretty weird priorities when it comes to producing franchise spinoffs:

The general consensus among Aladdin fans on Twitter seemed to be that of all the characters in the film, Prince Anders was one of the worst candidates for a solo movie:

To many fans, it did seem “random” to single out Prince Anders first:

One fan contended the claim that Prince Anders was a character that fans were invested in — and pointed out that race could be a factor in Disney’s decision:

It remains to be seen whether there is actually any real demand for the streaming service’s planned spinoff. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Disney+ project is separate from the rumored Aladdin sequel, which is still in the early stages of development. There’s no official word yet as to whether Mena Massoud will be a part of either film.

James Bond’s Wildly Expensive No Time To Die Watch Is Ready For Your Wallet, Er, Wrist

Daniel Craig confirmed No Time to Die is his final James Bond movie, so this is his final new watch. He helped design Omega’s fancy Seamaster Diver 300M 007 edition watch for the 2020 movie. You can see him wearing one in the new trailer, and that’s it in the photo above.

Look, I’m not a watch person and I don’t have anyone I know who’d want a 007 watch, but there’s gotta be a big market out there. I’m fascinated by it. Because there are two options for this watch — the cheaper one is $8,100 on a NATO strap and the more expensive one is on a titanium mesh bracelet for $9,200. (The $9,200 version is apparently the one Daniel Craig advocated for.)

I was just complaining that Marvel Studios’ Infinity Saga box set was too expensive at $550. This? It’s a watch. These days, most people just check their phones, don’t they? But there are still watch people — like Daniel Craig — and I’m sure it’s also an heirloom for families. It should certainly be protected from gun battles and other scrapes, so don’t take it into spy combat like James Bond.

Apparently Daniel Craig is the first Bond to collaborate with Omega for Bond’s watch. Craig also described what he wanted in a press release (via GQ):

Bond wore Rolex watches until a 1995 switch to Omega, which was considered the more historically accurate watch for a real British Navy man like James Bond. James Bond is big on brands, including his iconic Aston Martins. This year, according to The Sun, one of Bond’s cars is reportedly the new Aston Martin Rapide E, the first all-electric Aston Martin. Speaking of expensive, CNN said that car, priced upon ordering, ran around $330,000.

No Time to Die is Daniel Craig’s fifth and final James Bond film, after Casino Royale (still his best), Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and Spectre. He initially didn’t want to return for this film but by the time it wrapped, he made a drunken speech about it being the best experience he’d had.

The first Bond 25 movie trailer came out earlier this week, showing more of Rami Malek’s new villain Safin, Lashana Lynch’s new 00 agent Nomi, Ana de Armas as CIA agent Paloma, and the return of several familiar characters from recent films — including Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw as Q, Ralph Fiennes as M, Jeffrey Wright as Felix Leiter, Christoph Waltz as Blofeld.

Check out the first No Time to Die trailer again:

No Time to Die opens first in the U.K. on April 2 before we get it over here on April 8, 2020. Keep up with everything heading to the big screen next year with our 2020 movie release date schedule.

If Die Hard Is A Christmas Movie, That Means Lethal Weapon Is Too

Lethal Weapon Mel Gibson aims a gun next to some Christmas lights

Every Christmas the same old debates come out to play. Was Ebenezer Scrooge really changed? Did Mrs. Deagle really deserve to die at the hands of Gremlins? Does fruitcake count as a war crime? But one of the greatest debates is over what sort of film constitutes as a “Christmas Movie,” and both Die Hard and Lethal Weapon have been put through that particular wringer one too many times. So let’s settle this all with one simple equation, which if it doesn’t pass muster, should settle the debate for good: If Die Hard is a Christmas movie, that means Lethal Weapon is too.

We’re going to weigh in on both films individually, as well as pull in some evidence from the people behind both films as to why this case is as solid as Roger Murtaugh’s sensibilities. Of course, there will be a chance for you, the public, to weigh in with your own thoughts on the matter. But for now, let’s get into the case of whether both Die Hard and Lethal Weapon are Christmas movies.

Die Hard Bruce Willis crawls through the ventilation shaft with a lighter

Why Die Hard Is Definitely A Christmas Movie

One of the biggest debates in modern film discourse has to be about whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie. Some feel that the setting is enough to land the film a slot in their holiday rotation, while others think the case is extremely flimsy and not worth the time. However, take the following rundown into consideration.

Bruce Willis’ John McClane is a man who’s separated from his wife, missing his family on the holidays, and ultimately trying to reconcile with Bonnie Bedelia’s Holly. Truly learning the meaning of family, and how much he misses her, John fights off iconic baddie Hans Gruber (played with historic relish by the late, great Alan Rickman,) as he tries to put the Grinch on Christmas for everyone in Nakatomi Plaza.

By the end of the movie McClane’s heroism pays off, Reginald Vel Johnson’s Sgt. Al Powell overcomes his traumatic experience in the line of duty to save the day, and it starts snowing paperwork on the aftermath. With lessons of selfless devotion to duty and family, a Christmas Eve setting, and several sweet seasonal needle drops, Die Hard is definitely a Christmas movie; no matter what Bruce Willis himself has said on the matter. But just to be sure, let’s take a look at how Lethal Weapon meets those standards.

Lethal Weapon Mel Gibson talking in front of a truck of Christmas trees

Does Lethal Weapon Meet The Standards Of A Christmas Movie?

Knowing what we know about Die Hard, we can begin to look into just what makes Lethal Weapon a Christmas movie more effectively. Is the film set at Christmas? Like most, if not all of writer Shane Black’s filmography, yes it is. Does the film have a message of selfless devotion to duty and family togetherness? Danny Glover’s Roger Murtaugh exemplifies those values perfectly, and we see that through his relationship with his own family around Christmas time.

But the one big thing that really ties Lethal Weapon into the Christmas movie canon, besides the opening usage of “Jingle Bell Rock,” or even the fact that the film has an action set piece set in the middle of a Christmas tree lot, is Mel Gibson’s Martin Riggs. A suicidal mess who’s a loose cannon, Riggs isn’t exactly the jolliest cop on the LAPD beat when we meet him.

And yet, through the caper that throws him together with Murtaugh as a partner, Riggs goes through a Christmas Carol style journey that helps him become a better man. Making a friend in Roger Murtaugh, Martin Riggs eventually becomes a better person after a harrowing Christmas, and even spends Christmas with the entire Murtaugh family; allowing him to give a symbolic gift that proves he’s a changed man. Does Lethal Weapon meet the standards of a Christmas movie? It absolutely does, and to help prove that fact we have evidence provided by none other than Die Hard writer Steven de Souza, who freely admits that thanks to Lethal Weapon, Die Hard was inspired to become a Christmas classic in the making!

Die Hard Bruce Willis running through the office with a machine gun

What Do The People Behind Die Hard Have To Say About It?

In his case to pitch both Lethal Weapon and Die Hard as Christmas movies, Steven de Souza cites a pretty important source: legendary film producer Joel Silver. A man who was involved with both of those movies, as well as other megahits of the ‘80s like Commando, Predator, and Road House, de Souza told a journalist at Dazed Digital that not only are both Die Hard and Lethal Weapon considered Christmas movies, they were deliberately made to be considered as such.

De Souza explained the scenario as follows:

The Christmas setting is in [Die Hard’s] source novel, Nothing Lasts Forever, by Roderick Thorpe. … One of our producers, Joel Silver, had made Lethal Weapon the previous year, which was also set during the holiday, and he had decided he liked all his movies to take place at Christmas, as they would then very likely be played on television every December and we would all get residual checks. Obviously, he was right!

Not only is Lethal Weapon considered a Christmas movie because it falls into the same criteria that Die Hard does when being evaluated in a similar context, the film was the inspiration for making John McClane’s holiday adventure a holiday themed classic. Throw in the fact that the novel that inspired Die Hard was also a tale set at Christmas, and you’ve got a tight circle of proof that these two films are cinematic tree toppers to any good holiday themed marathon.

At their hearts, Die Hard and Lethal Weapon happen to be movies that show characters in a tough spot during the holidays. Through a journey of the soul, and some action packed adventure, they eventually discover that their personal baggage doesn’t matter. What matters is that they have friends and family they cherish, and through the magic of Christmas (and some gunfire) they learn this lesson just in time to celebrate with the ones they’re closest to.

When all else fails, Joel Silver made sure they were Christmas-y enough to enter heavy rotation in December, so whether you want to take the sentimental route or the logistical one, Die Hard and Lethal Weapon are definitely considered Christmas movies. So no matter what the polls may say, the facts tell a different story. But, of course, just because there’s a compelling argument of logic and reason in front of you doesn’t mean there’s no room for other opinions.

Below this very case study is a poll that you can take to weigh in on how you feel about both Die Hard and Lethal Weapon being considered as Christmas movies. You also have the usage of the Comments section, where you can leave notes explaining just why you feel so strongly in either case. And if you’re still in the fighting mood, head over to our explanation as to why Iron Man 3 is a Christmas movie, because we don’t make the rules, we just make the arguments!

Are Die Hard and Lethal Weapon Both Christmas Movies

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Peter Sarsgaard Has Joined The Batman, But As Who?

After a long and rough start, Matt Reeves’ The Batman has been surprising us on a pretty regular basis with casting info. And, Reeves himself has been using his Twitter feed to update fans on many of the casting decisions made so far. Just today he posted a welcoming gif of actor Peter Sarsgaard to let us in on his casting, but we all have the same question now: Who, exactly, will Sarsgaard be playing in The Batman? Well, I’m betting on a certain coin-loving villain who never starts off as one.

This take on the tale of The Dark Knight is said to feature a more in-depth look at Batman’s skills as a detective, as well as using a rogue’s gallery approach to the baddies it will use. So, instead of one or two major villains menacing the movie, and the typical set up or quick removal of a third evil-doer, The Batman has been said to have at least six Big Bads scheduled to pop up all over the place and cause tons of trouble for Bruce Wayne’s alter-ego.

Over the summer, rumors of just who these villains could be showed up, and while the whole list hasn’t been confirmed by Matt Reeves or anyone else close to the production, three of those villains have been cast so far. Right now, we have Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman, Colin Farrell as Penguin, Paul Dano as The Riddler, as well as John Turturro as crime boss Carmine Falcone (who was not originally rumored). From that first rumor we’re still looking to see who might play Firefly, Mad Hatter and Two-Face. And, I have to say, if you look at Reeves’ announcement tweet, Peter Sarsgaard does look like a certain lawyer turned supervillain:

OK, so Peter Sarsgaard doesn’t look like a well-trained criminal mastermind in this gif, but he does look like an attorney. I mean, am I right, or am I right? (I’m clearly right.) While I have no idea what project of Sarsgaard’s this is from, it should also be noted that, while the caption doesn’t say he’s playing Harvey Dent / Two-Face in The Batman, an astute Twitter follower of Reeves’ did point out that there are two faces in the image. OMG. I just got the good kind of chills you guys.

Of course, this would not be the first time we’ve seen either Harvey Dent or Two-Face in live action if Peter Sarsgaard is, indeed, taking on that coin-flipping role. Billy Dee Williams played Dent in Tim Burton’s Batman in 1989, Tommy Lee Jones brought him screaming to life in Batman Forever (1995), Aaron Eckhart had the part in The Dark Knight (2008) and we also saw the character on Fox’s Gotham.

I can easily see Peter Sarsgaard starting off as Gotham’s hot shot District Attorney, only to get horribly scarred by acid or in some other painful way, lose his mind and start making all his decisions based on the toss of a coin. Sarsgaard might not look very intimidating in the above gif, but he’s played his fair share of dangerous individuals, and would certainly be up to the challenge of switching personalities on a dime. (Or, quarter, because that’s what people use for coin flips, right?)

Of course, we will likely have to wait a bit until we get real confirmation (as opposed to a sly hint) of who Peter Sarsgaard is playing in The Batman, which opens on June 25, 2021. Until then, be sure to check out what you can catch on the big screen in 2020!

Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker’s Billy Dee Williams Really Never Thought He’d Play Lando Again

The last Star Wars trilogy of the Skywalker Saga has been packed full of exciting returns from the original cast, and the last installment will be no exception. Rise of Skywalker will mark Billy Dee Williams’ first time reprising his iconic role of Lando Calrissian since The Return of the Jedi. For the returning actor, he never thought he’d see the day. In Williams’ words:

In the words of his fan-favorite character, Billy Dee Williams likely thought as he grew older the deal would be “getting worse all the time.” Reprising a beloved character is not an opportunity every actor gets decades later. But, here he is donning the cape and turning on Lando’s charm again for the conclusion to the long-running saga.

As Billy Dee Williams told Variety, putting on the blue and yellow costume was an amusing experience for him to go back to. His original appearances as the character only really added up to 15 minutes of screen time, but Lando has since become so much larger than just a supporting character in a Star Wars movie.

Lando was the first black character in the franchise, before Samuel L. Jackson’s Mace Windu, John Boyega’s Finn or upcoming newbie Naomi Ackie’s Jannah joining the universe. Billy Dee Williams gets to share the screen with the crew of new characters fans have been following for the past four years, along with injecting some nostalgia into the runtime.

Additionally, the late Carrie Fisher will reprise her role in the Rise of Skywalker in a “profound” way, as J.J. Abrams recently told CinemaBlend. Even though the Princess Leia actress died before she could see 2017’s The Last Jedi premiere, the filmmakers found a way to add unused footage from The Force Awakens into the scenes of the final film.

But, just how will Billy Dee Williams’ Lando Calrissian fit into Rise of Skywalker? He may be pining over not having the Millenium Falcon back in his hands. Per an early image, it looks like Poe Dameron is having a ball test flying Han Solo’s famous ship!

The Lion King’s Alfre Woodard Responds To Elton John’s Criticism

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Creating remakes of beloved properties has always been a tricky business, but the company behind the powerhouse mouse, Disney, has been rolling out live-action remakes for some of their most well-known animated movies for several years now. A new version of Mulan is coming our way in 2020, while films like Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo, Aladdin and The Lion King are already behind us. While the (actually, not really) live action Lion King made goo-gobs of green at the box office, not everyone was happy with it. You know, like Elton John.

Elton John, who was an integral part of making the music for the animated Lion King, went on record a few weeks ago to say that he wasn’t happy with the new film, stating that he felt it was a “huge disappointment.” This specifically applied to what was done with the songs he had so lovingly crafted for the original, which were re-recorded by the new stars, who included Beyoncé, Donald Glover, Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner. Well, now we know that Alfre Woodard, who voiced Sarabi in the remake, isn’t the least bit bothered by John’s words.

Well, this is a relief, isn’t it? We love Alfre Woodard. We love Elton John. Whose side would we have taken if this turned into a battle royale?!

Elton John’s big complaint about what was done with his songs in the new Lion King is that they “messed the music up” when they re-recorded the songs, which he felt led to a loss of the “magic and joy” which were held in the original versions. John also revealed that he was “extremely sad” to not have been invited to play more of a part in the new direction taken with his music and said he didn’t feel he was “treated with the same level of respect” as the first time around.

Regardless, it’s not hard to see where Alfre Woodard was coming from when she noted to Us Weekly that she simply doesn’t worry about things like reviews. Once you do a movie (especially an odd direct-to-video movie), and know that you’ve given the performance your all, the only thing you really can do is clear the remnants of the character out of your psyche and move on to the next job.

When the job is done, it’s done. I’m sure it’s always lovely to know that someone enjoyed a project you did, but hearing that it wasn’t liked, for whatever reason, doesn’t add anything to or take anything away from the experience of making it. So, as Alfre Woodard does, it seems like a good practice for actors and filmmakers to just get on with the gettin’ on afterward, positive reviews or not.

Woodard didn’t say if this has always been her practice once she’s done with a project, but for someone who has 120 film and television credits dating back to 1978, it’s probably served her well to stay away from reviews.

You can watch the animated The Lion King right now on Disney+ (here’s a link for a free 7-day trial if you haven’t subscribed yet), while the 2019 version will surely be along on the service before too long.

Jumanji Press Reveals What Happens When The Rock And Kevin Hart Do Too Many Interviews In A Row

With Jumanji: The Next Level hitting theaters next week, the film’s stars are currently doing press for the sequel to the surprisingly and wildly successful 2017 film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Stars like The Rock and Kevin Hart are professionals and are used to long press tours at this point, but everyone has their breaking point. Take a look below to see the Jumanji press reveals what happens when The Rock and Kevin Hart do too many interviews in a row.

First off, putting Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart together for interviews is either a really terrible idea or a really amazing one– and I lean towards the latter. The two friends and co-stars have frequently shown, in interviews, through social media banter, pranks on film sets and onscreen roles, that pairing them together is a recipe for both disaster and hilarity.

You combine that potent dynamic between the two and multiply it by the number of interviews they’ve done together in a row as a part of Jumanji: The Next Level’s world tour and you’re just asking for trouble. All it takes is The Rock and Kevin Hart in a room, a helping of fatigue, a dash of deliriousness and the right catalyst, and you get what you see above from The Rock’s Instagram.

The interviewer basically tees up the duo to riff and say the most absurd thing possible by asking if they have any party tricks. The Rock starts to say something and as soon as Kevin Hart pipes up, it’s as if The Rock already knows exactly what he’s about to say, such is the friendship between the two.

Kevin Hart obviously couldn’t help himself and tells the interviewer that Dwayne Johnson’s party trick is that he can tie his balls together. I’m guessing that’s not going to be in Jumanji: The Next Level.

As a comedian, actor and apparent anatomy expert, Kevin Hart notes that older guys have long balls, making them capable of such maneuvers. Mind you, Dwayne Johnson is only seven years older than Kevin Hart.

Because he’s The Rock, he can do things mere mortals cannot do. The common man may be able to tie them in a knot and tie them in a bow, but The Rock can manage it without using his hands. A true feat. As party tricks go though you’ve got to be careful where you try that; know your audience is what I’m saying.

As entertained as the two are by one another, the best part might be the cameraman sitting behind them recording the interview. He puts his hand over his mouth to try to contain his laughter at these two.

On his Instagram, Dwayne Johnson says press junkets will never be the same again and he’s definitely making a case that he and Kevin Hart need a break and have done one too many interviews. Of course if the desire is to produce this kind of hilarity, get them exhausted enough and ask a random question and you don’t know what they’ll say.

Fortunately, the press tour won’t be the only funny part about this movie. The early reactions to Jumanji: The Next Level indicate that it too is laugh out loud funny.

Jumanji: The Next Level opens on December 13. Check out our 2020 Release Schedule to see what movies are headed to theaters next year.

Netflix And Movie Trailers Of The Week: Black Widow, Mulan, And More

Natasha in Black Widow

Another work week has passed, and the weekend is finally upon us. This time of the year is busy for just about everyone, so it’s more than possible some of the entertainment news of the past five days has gotten passed you. But fear not, as CinemaBlend provides updates you care about, including a weekly round up of the biggest trailers. Marketing a movie is a big part of the business, and trailers are the perfect way to drum up excitement– either months in advance of on the home stretch. And with streaming services like Netflix and Disney+ producing original content, there’s even more trailers than ever before.

This week brought a mixture of trailers, including both streaming and theatrical releases. Disney in particular made some big moves, debuting a few trailers for its many properties. Below are the biggest trailers of this past week.

Black Widow

This one was a long time coming. After a decade of playing Natasha Romanoff, Scarlett Johansson will finally get her own solo movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Set between the events of Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War, Cate Shortland’s upcoming blockbuster should help cue us further into the mysterious character’s psyche and history. This trailer was relatively short, but introduced the other “family” Natasha had besides The Avengers. This includes two more widows played by Florence Pugh and Rachel Weisz, as well as David Harbour’s Red Guardian. The movie is the first installment in Phase Four, and will reportedly provide closure for Black Widow fans after her shocking death in Avengers: Endgame. Black Widow will arrive in theaters on May 1st, 2020.

Mulan

Over the past few years, Disney has made a habit of producing live-action adaptations of their animated classics. And this trend has seen great success with projects like The Lion King, Maleficent, and Beauty and the Beast. The next of these movies coming down the pipeline is Niki Caro’s Mulan, although it looks like this version will be quite different from the beloved 1998 movie of the same name. The upcoming movie’s first teaser broke the internet because of the lack of cartoon characters like Mushu. And it’s unclear if any musical numbers will happen, although an orchestral version of “Reflection” can be heard in this new full trailer. Mulan stars Liu Yifei as the title character, alongside Donnie Yen and Jet Li. It will arrive in theaters on March 27, 2020.

Togo

Disney+ has been around for about a month. And in addition to having plenty of classics from the House of Mouse, there’s also been some original programming. For movies this includes Anna Kendrick’s Noelle, but another Disney+ original is coming with Togo. Directed by Ericson Core, the movie follows Great Race of Mercy, which saw dog sled teams bring medicine to a remote Alaskan town. The movie stars Willem Dafoe as real-life figure Leonhard Seppala. But it also stars his team of sled dogs, especially the runt who turned out to become a leader. Togo looks like it’s going to be a heartbreaker of the film, as the House of Mouse has made some truly devastating dog-related movies in the past. And those didn’t even have Dafoe. Togo will be available to stream December 20th on Disney+. You can read our official review here.

The Assistant

On a decidedly darker tone is the upcoming drama The Assistant. Directed by Kitty Green, the upcoming movie focuses on a young college graduate who takes a job an assistant to a high powered man in entertainment. Set over the course of her first day on the job, protagonist Jane quickly notices the toxic work culture, and decides to do something about it. The movie feels directly inspired by the Me Too movement, and has its leading lady in Ozark standout Julia Garner. The trailer steadily builds in tension, as we watch Jane suss out the situation she’s gotten herself into. Early praise for The Assistant also appears alongside the footage, which should help drum up excitement. The Assistant will arrive in select showings January 31st, before a wider release in February.

Greed

To end the list on a light note is the upcoming satirical comedy Greed. Directed by Michael Winterbottom is a movie that pokes fun at the ultra rich, and those who may suffer as a result of this inequity of wealth. The movie stars comedian English comedian Steve Coogan and Isla Fisher as a pair of over the top socialites. The trailer follows as they act all matters of ridiculous, and royally piss off everyone around them. But they’ve got a public image problem, attempting to turn the tides with one great party. The cast is rounded out by Kingsman‘s Sophie Cookson, comedian David Mitchell, and Harry Potter alum Shirley Henderson. Greed will arrive in theaters on February 21st, 2020.

Clearly there are tons of exciting movies coming, including both theatrical releases and those coming via streaming services like Disney+. This week was a significant one for Disney in particular, as trailers came from Black Widow, Mulan, and Togo. Each project occupies a different corner in the House of Mouse, and it should fascinating to see how each one ultimately performs.

CinemaBlend will continue to provide you with trailer roundups every week, so be sure to check back anytime you need an update on all things trailers. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

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Why Anna Kendrick Decided To Do A Christmas Movie For Disney+

‘Tis the season for another Christmas movie binge! Between Hallmark, Netflix and the classics, this December is already packed with tons of new holiday movies to cozy up to. And, for those who’ve gifted themselves Disney+, the streaming service released a new comedy of this kind, Noelle. Anna Kendrick, who stars as Santa Claus’ cheery daughter in the movie, jumped at the opportunity. In her words:

Sounds like it was a no-brainer! Anna Kendrick is known for playing jolly characters such as Cinderella in Disney’s adaptation of Into the Woods and voicing Princess Poppy in Trolls, but Noelle allowed the actress to really dig into a world of her own. It’s sugary-sweet that it was one wrapped in Christmas lore, too! Kendrick’s Noelle lives in the North Pole, where she skates around town and goes to a hot cocoa cafe.

Noelle follows Noelle as her brother Nick (played by Bill Hader) struggles to take over the Santa title from their late father. He’s not really getting the hang of the new role, so Kendrick’s character gives him the advice to take a couple of days off. But, Nick decides to run with her offer and plans to getaway for good. So, Noelle and Elf Polly (Shirley MacLaine) take Santa’s sleigh to Arizona to find him.

Anna Kendrick gets to play around with the mythology that goes along with the Christmas holiday in her Noelle role as her character becomes a fish-out-of-water on her adventure to find her brother. The actress re-learned how to ice skate for the movie (with some hazard) and looks like she had some creative control about her character, per her words to Oh My Disney.

Noelle was one of the few movies to be released on Disney+ on the first day of the streaming service’s debut last month. The holiday release and a live-action remake of Lady and the Tramp, along with a ton of movies and television shows from Disney’s collection were ready to watch on day one. The streaming service already has another new movie on the way later this month, too! Togo: an adventure between a man and his dog in the Alaskan wilderness, starring Willem Dafoe.

Disney+ is also adding some more favorites to its streaming collection in December such as Thor: Ragnarok, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Glory Road. After you watch Noelle again, you can check out the full list of new December titles to enjoy this holiday season.

Rogue One’s Felicity Jones Would Love To Play Jyn Erso Again

In director Tom Harper’s The Aeronauts, which is in limited release now before dropping on Amazon Prime later in the month, Felicity Jones plays a hot air balloon pilot who embarks on a death-defying mission. Of course it’s not the first time she has played a headstrong character with a dangerous assignment. The Oscar-nominated actress notably starred in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. While that film was only a standalone, Rogue One’s Felicity Jones would love to play Jyn Erso again. When asked about the possibility, she said:

Although her character’s fate (see: vaporized) in Rogue One makes such a possibility unlikely (though not impossible), Felicity Jones would love the opportunity to play Jyn Erso again– as she told Business Insider. Despite all of the reshoots and whatnot, the actress seems to have really had a great time making the first, and to date only successful, Star Wars anthology film and would be totally onboard for another go round.

Felicity Jones really liked the character of Jyn Erso and it seems that playing her was a very rewarding and enjoyable experience. So if the opportunity to revisit that came around, Felicity Jones wouldn’t say no. Of course the problem with that is that such an opportunity seems improbable given the fact that she perishes on Scarif at the end of Rogue One, with the suicide mission to obtain the Death Star plans proving to be just that.

Despite Jyn Erso having died completing her mission, Felicity Jones thinks suggests a possibility she could return. The actress proposes a possible reincarnation for the daughter of the J. Robert Oppenheimer of the galaxy far, far away. To date we’ve not really seen reincarnation as a part of the Star Wars universe, although the return of Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker may alter our perception of what’s possible.

So far in Star Wars, characters never come back to life, but they can return from death to the land of the living as Force Ghosts. Unfortunately for Jyn Erso, she was not a Force user, making this possibility unlikely.

However, Jyn Erso’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story counterpart Cassian Andor is coming back. Diego Luna will be reprising his role as the Rebel spy in an as-yet-untitled series on Disney+ set before the events of Rogue One. Now on the surface this might be an obvious place for Felicity Jones to get to play Jyn Erso again, but it wouldn’t really make sense.

When Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor meet in Rogue One, it’s for the first time. So seeing them go on missions together pre-Rogue One wouldn’t fit with existing continuity. However, the time period after her father Galen Erso’s capture might be fun to explore. We know that after Saw Gerrera rescued her, Jyn Erso was trained as a rebel fighter and child soldier in his army. Later when they abandoned her, she became a criminal.

This would be an interesting time period to explore but even wouldn’t really work in the Cassian Andor series if you jumped back and forth between his perspective and hers, because the two would never meet. Plus she’s supposed to be much younger during that period.

Still, there is more to discover about Jyn Erso in the comics, books and other ancillary Star Wars materials. As for Felicity Jones, she’s got a pretty full plate film-wise, but maybe she could return to Star Wars as an alien at some point.

You can see Felicity Jones in The Aeronauts, in limited release now and dropping on Amazon Prime on December 20. Check out our 2020 Release Schedule to see what is headed to theaters next year.