Ranking The Classic Lion King Characters

The Lion King 1994 Simba, Pumbaa and Timon

There are few films that are more beloved than The Lion King. The Disney animated classic is a golden-tier masterpiece, a wonderful, excellently realized work filled with spectacle and splendor that has dazzled audiences of all ages and through multiple generations. It has inspired direct-to-DVD sequels, an award-winning soundtrack, an acclaimed, long-running stage musical and thousands of dollars in merchandise, not to mention the “live-action” CG remake that’s set to be released next month.

There’s no telling yet if The Lion King (2019) will live up to the original. Chances are, Jon Favreau’s latest movie may not match the expectations and rise up to the high status of the original. That’s not to say that it’ll be bad; it’s just damn-near impossible to top the original Lion King. But Disney is trying anyway. Before that film strolls into theaters on July 19th, let’s take a look back at the 1994 classic, shall we? Specifically, all the great, lovable characters.

You know these characters. You love these characters. And it’s never easy to rank one against the other. If you’ll indulge us, it’s going t be a lot of fun to rank the characters from The Lion King, and I’ll explain — to the best of my ability — why one character might go above another. Just remember: this movie is a classic for a reason. All these characters come together to tell a great story, and the movie would not be the same if one or another was taken out of the picture. Just because a character is placed at 10 opposed to three does not make that character any less lovable.

So, just remember that in the scheme of things, the ranking may not reflect your favorites. So, we encourage you to let us know in the comments which ones you believe deserve to be ranked higher! With that said, here’s the characters from The Lion King, ranked!

Gopher - The Lion King

14. Gopher

When you think about all the great Lion King characters, there are many animals that come to mind. Unfortunately, Gopher is (probably) not one of them. In fact, it’s almost cheating to put him in this list. The character, voiced by veteran voice actor Jim Cummings, is an informant for Zazu and he doesn’t really make much of an impression in the original theatrical cut. He pops his head out only briefly in the film, letting people know about the hyenas invading the Pride Land, and you’d be more than forgiven if you forgot all about this guy.

It’s only in the extended 2003 version that the character of Gopher is given a moment to shine. Ultimately, there is a reason why the musical sequence Gopher appears most prominently in didn’t make its way into the theatrical version. He’s a bit of a nothing character, to be quite honest.

Serafana

13. Sarafina

You’d think that Nala’s mom would play a bigger role in the scheme of things when it comes to The Lion King. In the film, Sarafina, voiced by Zoe Leader, doesn’t play any sort of extended role. She barely has any lines in the film. The majority of her screen time is spent sleeping, mourning or licking her daughter. In fact, it’s unclear if she’ll even appear in the new remake.

While Nala wouldn’t be the lioness she is at the end of the film if it weren’t for her mother, it’s hard to say that she’s a compelling, interesting or memorable character. Nothing against this loving, dependable mother, but when it comes to strong characters, she’s ultimately a bit lacking here.

Sarabi - The Lion King

12. Sarabi

Where would Simba be without his mother? Nowhere, and that’s an undeniable truth. During his rise into kingdom, Sarabi, voiced by the late Madge Sinclair) is there to support her son and care for him through thick and thin. She is a great mother and a dependable supporter of her son’s journey, particularly when it comes time for Simba to fight Scar for the throne. Unfortunately, however, when it comes to Sarabi’s character, she isn’t quite as memorable or well-defined as the rest of the character who walk among the pride. Granted, Sarabi is not a bad character. Not at all.

She is loyal, kind, caring and considerate, and she develops these traits into her son, Simba, and plays a big role into why he is such a great king by the end of the movie. But when it comes to the characters you think back on when you fondly remember The Lion King, the same fact of the matter is that Sarabi doesn’t instantly come to mind, which is why she ranks lower.

Again, there is nothing necessarily wrong with her character, other than she could’ve arguably been a bigger part of the story, but when there are so many great characters in The Lion King, it’s hard to say that Sarabi deserves a higher ranking than a number of the characters who will be listed soon. But since Sarabi is going to be played by the great Alfre Woodard in Jon Favreau’s new film, there’s a good chance she’ll play a bigger, more prominent role in the newest film.

Shenzi, Banzai and Ed

11-9. Shenzi, Banzai & Ed

Because honestly, how can one rank any of these three hyenas over the other? They’re a trio, and since they’re almost always lumped together, it only makes sense they’re ranked by each others’ sides. Scar’s dim-witted, deeply unreliable group of hench-animals don’t necessarily do their job well, but they’re certainly reliable when it comes to providing laughs and entertainment value. Their screeching laughs might make them a bit grating for a few audience members, but since they’re working with the bad guys, they’re not supposed to be the most likable characters in the world. Thankfully, however, they still know how to make people entertained — particularly the younger audiences in the crowd.

Voiced by Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin and Jim Cummings, respectively, in the animated film, The Lion King has an assortment of wonderfully odd and kooky characters throughout the pride. And when it comes to recognizable character design, enjoyable antics and even a bit of a menacing threat in one key moment, these three hyenas aren’t the best of the bunch, but they’re certainly distinctive and entertaining in the right moments. And it’s a credit to the film that they’re not relied upon too much to keep the younger audiences engaged.

In the remake, they’ll be voiced by Florence Kasumba, Eric Andre and Keegan-Michael Key in live-action format, although Banzai and Ed were renamed Kamari and Azizi, respectively. I’m still having a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea of Eric Andre being in a big Disney movie, but we’ll have to wait and see how it plays once the film is released.

Zazu - The Lion King 1994

8. Zazu

The red-billed hornbill who serves as the majordomo to Mufasa and then Simba, Zazu is a bit prissy and he might follow the rules too much. But he is nevertheless a loyal, diligent and dutiful guardian in the right moments. While he doesn’t want Simba or anyone else under his care to be caught up in trouble, he clearly cares about Mufasa and his kin. In fact, Zazu makes great strides to bring Simba and Nala out of danger whenever they are in trouble.

Voiced by Rowan Atkinson, Zazu might not be the character in The Lion King who earns the most respect or wins over people’s affections. He is funny in a dry sort of way, and the character can also be tender and heartfelt in the right moments. In some respects, he’s among the more underrated characters in The Lion King, and it’ll be interesting — and, no doubt, amusing — to see John Oliver take on the role in the new remake.

Nala - The Lion King

7. Nala

Who would Simba be without Nala? It’s impossible to say. Their childhood friendship bloomed into a romantic adult relationship, and if it weren’t for Nala, voiced by Moira Kelly, there’s no telling if Simba would even live up to his title as the rightful king of the pride. She is a pivotal character in The Lion King, and one who proves herself to be among the most determined and dedicated fighters against the tyranny that is Scar’s rule after Mufasa’s death.

Through her heart, her guidance, her wit, her good sense of humor and her bravery, Nala is one of the main reasons why The Lion King is such a strongly-realized movie with a wide array of beloved characters. She provides the strength and resistance that is needed for justice to be resorted at the end of the movie, and she provides a guiding, loving spirit that is crucial to Simba’s success throughout childhood and adulthood in his journey towards becoming the king of the lions.

There’s no denying that it’s an extremely important role, and Beyonce Knowles should hopefully make the most of it when she takes on the voice acting duties in this summer’s live-action remake. After all, it takes a Queen to know how to play a great queen.

Timon - The Lion King

6. Timon

During a moment of great existential doubt, caught between childhood and adulthood, Simba is given comfort, guidance and care by a pair of unlikely guardians: Timon and Pumbaa. Not wanting to be this lion cub’s dinner, they help this cub learn the ways of “Hakuna Matata,” which translates to “no worries.” Their problem-free philosophy helps Simba forget — if only temporarily — about the troubles that plague him in his Pride homeland, which is overrun by Scar and his dastardly hyenas. While Timon and Pumbaa adopt a worry-free mindset, they come to the rescue when Simba’s in danger.

While Timon and Pumbaa are rarely inseparable, their personalities are so distinct that it’s hard not to separate them. Timon the meerkat, voiced by Nathan Lane, is the louder, smarter and more outspoken member of the duo. He’s a problem-solver, a quick-thinker and he knows how to get himself and his loyal bud out of danger when a problem arises. Sometimes, that involves impromptu luaus. While undeniably a comedic relief character, they do play a major role in the lead character’s journey and the positive outcome of the movie.

Through heart and humor, Timon is reliable for a quick laugh or good comfort. It’s hard to imagine anyone’s voice other than Nathan Lane’s coming out of the character’s mouth, but Billy Eichner is great casting.

Pumbaa - The Lion King

5. Pumbaa

While Timon is definitely the brains of the group, lacking the sharp mindset that keeps the group from getting into too much trouble, Pumbaa, voiced by Ernie Sabella, is simply more lovable of the two. If you disagree, let me know in the comments, but it’s hard to think of many people who don’t love Pumbaa. The big-hearted warthog finds himself unable to make too many friends due to his high flatulence rate; basically, he’s misunderstood among his animal brethren, but he’s easy to love whenever he’s on-screen. Charming, good-humored, happy go lucky, and always quick with a smile, it’s hard not to love Pumbaa. Thanks to his sensitive soul and his warm demeanor, he’s always a bright, energetic presence whenever he’s on the screen.

He might be messy and stinky, and he might not be the most socially-presentable of all the animal characters in the film. But once you get to know him, much like Simba, it’s hard not to fall for his charms. Timon might have a better understanding the world and know how to work around their problems, however rarely those come up for them, but Pumbaa will always support his friends, and his caring heart and wonderful personality play a big role in making him one of the most beloved animated characters of the ’90s. Seth Rogen certainly has big shoes to fill when he tackles his familiar character.

Scar - The Lion King

4. Scar

Easily among the most distinctive and despicable villains in Disney history, Scar is a mischievous, cunning antagonist, one who has been filled with spite and resentment for years and one who isn’t afraid to kill or endanger others if it means he will take over the throne. He’s a dark, foul character, and yet, he is a magnetizing presence. A great film often relies upon a great villain, and Scar is certainly one memorable menace for our main character.

Richly voiced by Jeremy Irons, who uses his familiar baritone to ooze bitter resentment and dastardly intentions, Scar is a lion with evil intentions and it’s always apparent that he is up to no good. While that character might not have a lot of range and layers, he is dangerous in a distinctive, deranged sorta way that is instantly engaging, leaving you wondering when he’ll exact his revenge and when Simba will serve his spiteful uncle his own downfall. While it’ll be hard to top Jeremy Irons’ performance, Chiwetel Ejiofor is certainly a great actor, and he’ll hopefully bring a great performance to this role.

Mufasa - The Lion King

3. Mufasa

In the original Lion King, Mufasa is a wise, respectful and diligent ruler of the pride. He’s also a stern, yet caring and loving, father to Simba, making sure that he understands the sacrifices, responsibilities and duties that go into becoming a great leader. Not everyone can be a king, and there are certainly only a few great ones. Yet, Mufasa’s insightful, dutiful rulings are just and kind, and they provide a great role model and mentor for our lead, Simba.

Iconically voiced by James Earl Jones, so much so that he’s the only actor who has returned to reprise his role in live-action, Mufasa is a noble lion and a beloved ruler. He sets forth grandiose ideas and great values, but every decision he makes comes from a place of guidance and love. His death scene remains one of the most haunting in Disney history, while his spiritual farewell is one of the most gorgeous and most adored scenes to ever come from the Mouse House. Mufasa is many things, but above all else, he is a great — if tragically short-lived —character.

Rafiki - The Lion King

2. Rafiki

In times of great personal trouble, one could only wish to have someone as eccentric, yet insightful, as Rafiki to guide them to their destiny. It can never be easy to love a parent or a loved one. Everyone grieves differently. But when it comes to the sudden, tragic and heartbreaking death of Mufasa, poor dear Simba is at a loss, left to resort to the disillusioned mindset of Timon and Pumbaa to get his mind off his worries. Alas, that can only provide some fleeting memories. But when push comes to shove, everyone has their responsibilities, and that’s especially true for Simba. And while Simba might not want to take on his duties as King at such a sensitive, tender point in his life, Rafiki knows the truth must come to pass, and what must come to pass.

Once Rafiki learns that Simba is alive, he goes to find the forgotten heir to the throne and tries to convince him that it is his destiny to live up to his father’s future. Though he is reluctant, he helps impart some kind, yet crucial, wisdom that helps Simba know the truth and the light in his path. He is a character full of benevolence and insight, yet he is also funny and steadfast — not to mention quick to use some awesome martial arts at the right time.

Through his actions and his words, Rafiki helps save the day as a guiding spirit and heartfelt provider. He might not win as many hearts as a few other characters on this list, but he’s easily one of the most important and critical characters inside the film. While Robert Guillaume did a wonderful job bringing this character to life in the animation version, hopefully John Kani lives up to the promise too.

Simba - The Lion King

1. Simba

Because how could we name anyone else? The Lion King is Simba’s story; sure, there are a bunch of characters who help Simba on his quest to become the true king of the pride, but it’s ultimately his growth, resilience and his maturing spirit that makes the movie such a rich, timeless classic. It can be easy to say that any of the other characters in the film are better since they get more memorable moments, funny lines or likable interactions. But without Simba, there wouldn’t be a Lion King. Because the movie rides on his shoulders. Simba’s moving story is absolutely key to its success.

Simba’s journey follows a cub who rises into his destiny, and while the story expands throughout a great deal of time, it’s through our understanding and respect for Simba’s hard-pressed journey that we get so emotionally invested. In order for this story to work, we need to believe that this character can be a trustworthy and rightful king, no matter what the rules of the land say. We have to want to see him be rewarded with his destiny. Thankfully, the character, voiced by Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Matthew Broderick, more than fulfills its duty, serving as a great, well-rounded protagonist.

There is no doubt that Donald Glover has a lot riding on his portrayal of the character. But we know he has what it takes to make this story even more great. And when it comes to Simba, there’s no denying that it wouldn’t be right to have any character other than this king in the top spot. It’s only fitting here.

Of course, it’s hard to say which characters truly deserve their individual rankings. I’m just one man; I’m sure you might disagree with a few choices I made. Therefore, please feel free to put your personal rankings down below. We can talk again whenever The Lion King (2019) hits theaters everywhere next month.

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Toy Story 4 Director Explains Why The Toy Story Movies Didn’t End With 3

The Toy Story franchise was a groundbreaker when it debuted in 1995, and ushered in a new age of animated blockbusters. Since then, Andy’s toys have never been truly far from theaters, as a trilogy of movies arrived in theaters, breaking our hearts in the process. Toy Story 3 was especially devastating, and seemed like a perfect ending to the trilogy. And that’s why news of the fourth movie was originally so surprising.

Josh Cooley directed Toy Story 4, picking up the story now that Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the toys are Bonnie’s. The upcoming fourth movie has been teased to be a super emotional story, which is saying something after the events of the threequel. Cooley recently explained why the franchise continued on after Toy Story 3, saying:

Touche. While the original trilogy about Andy and his toys was wrapped up with Toy Story 3, the individual characters still have more storytelling possibilities. Specifically Woody, who will be reuniting with Bo Peep throughout the course of the fourth movie.

Josh Cooley’s comments come from the recent Toy Story 4 press day, which CinemaBlend’s Jessica Rawden was in attendance for. Cooley didn’t direct Toy Story 3, that honor went to Lee Unkrich for the 2010 release. As such, he had the same concerns about the fourth movie, and whether or not another story needed to be told.

Ultimately he decided that Toy Story 4 would be largely about Woody, and his life post-Andy. Tom Hanks’ character has always been the most loyal to his kid, and it was a seismic change to see Andy leave him and the group with Bonnie in the threequel. So there should be some emotional baggage to unpack in the fourth movie, especially once Woody reunites with Bo Peep.

But just because another story came in the form of Toy Story 4 doesn’t mean we should expect the franchise to continue on indefinitely. In fact, the advertising and comments from cast/crew certainly make it seem like the fourth movie will be the last. Later in the Toy Story 4 press conference, producer Jonas Rivera spoke to the upcoming movie’s ending, and how it may be a proper fit to wrap up the story. As he put it:

While Toy Story 3 had a perfect potential ending for the franchise, it looks like the filmmakers in charge of Toy Story 4 were sure to give the toys a satisfying conclusion as well. But considering how strong the trend of nostalgia is, you can never say never when it comes to Woody and company.

Toy Story 4 will arrive in theaters on June 21, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint And Tom Felton Are Down To Return To The Franchise

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is still going, fairly, strong, on the big screen thanks to the Fantastic Beasts franchise, but we for many fans there will never be anything quite like the original eight films. While seeing new characters and stories within the Wizarding World will be exciting for some, others will only be interested in seeing more adventures with their favorite Hogwarts graduates. Could we ever see them again? If the opportunity arises, both Ron Weasley and Draco Malfoy are up for it.

Rupert Grint, who played Ron, and Tom Felton, who played Draco, were both in attendance at the Grand Opening of Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort. The roller coaster is the newest addition to the theme park’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter area. While there, EW asked the pair if they would ever return to the franchise that made them stars. Felton was so willing he said he’d almost do it without being paid…

On the one hand, there had to be a love for the role and the movies overall for these actors to be willing to spend a decade doing basically nothing else but inhabiting these characters. At the same time, once that decade was over, it would shock nobody if the actors wanted to do literally anything else but ever play those roles again.

However, Rupert Grint feels the same way as Tom Felton. Even though the man behind Ron Weasley once considered leaving the Harry Potter movies mid-franchise, he’d now be willing to return, saying…

I’m not sure what sort of closure Rupert Grint feels he needs, one would have thought Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows provided that pretty well, but maybe not.

The most obvious place to see the original Harry Potter cast return would be in an adaptation of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the stage play that follows the children of Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy, but also includes appearances by the adult versions of the original characters. Fans have been wondering since the play debuted if we might get a big screen version, though any movement in that direction has remained under wraps.

With three more movies in the Fantastic Beasts franchise still planned, it will likely be a good six years or more before that story is done, and while it seems almost certain that something new will come from the Wizarding World once we get there, it’s unlikely we will hear much about what that is until then.

But then again that would be perfect, a new Harry Potter movie about six years from now would make all the original actors old enough to have kids that were old enough to attend Hogwarts.

Why Tessa Thompson And Chris Hemsworth Were Excited To Join The World Of Men In Black

It’s not exactly hard to see why the Men In Black franchise would bring aboard Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth as the new leads of the brand. Not only are they both wonderfully talented and immensely popular, but they have also proven to have fantastic chemistry together, as seen in Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame. Given all these factors, it makes every kind of sense that they would be cast as the stars of Men In Black International – but what adds an interesting wrinkle to the situation is the fact that Thompson and Hemsworth each had their own specific reasons for jumping into the world.

Earlier this month I had the incredible opportunity to fly to London, England to cover the global press day for Men In Black International, and it was while sitting down with Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth that I learned of their interesting individual paths that led to being a part of the movie. You can watch their responses by clicking play on the video below:

While speaking with producers Laurie MacDonald and Walter Parkes at the Men In Black International junket, I had learned that it was the character of Molly a.k.a. Agent M that inspired the return of the Men In Black franchise – so it’s only fitting that part of where Tessa Thompson’s enthusiasm for the project came from simply being a fan. Discussing why it was a film she wanted to be a part of, she acknowledged her appreciation of science-fiction that can be grounded in reality, and explained how M really fit the bill for her:

Continuing, Thompson made a note that Agent M possesses an important personality quality that made her feel legitimately connected to the character was her inquisitiveness. Her drive in life is knowing more about the secrets of the universe, and that kind of enthusiasm was not taken for granted by the actress when preparing for her performance. She explained,

Tessa Thompson also acknowledged the influence of simply getting to reunite with Chris Hemsworth, with whom she gets to have a very different kind of adventure than what we’ve seen so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This was a sentiment shared by Hemsworth as well, but he also added how being a part of Men In Black International was part of a career turn for him.

In the past, Chris Hemsworth has been rather open about some of the more disappointing projects he’s taken on – like Thor: The Dark World and The Huntsman: Winter’s War – and along similar lines he was very open during my interview admitting that some of the films he did in the past just didn’t make for satisfying experiences. This one, however, was one he did because of love for the material and love for his collaborators, and it made for a much better time on set. Said the actor,

Audiences will get their chance to see the fruit of Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth’s labor this weekend, as Men In Black International is hitting theaters across the country. It’s expected to take the number one spot at the box office, so go check it out, and then head back here to CinemaBlend for a whole lot more of our coverage!

All The Batman Villains Rumored To Show Up In Matt Reeves’ DC Movie

Batman fighting villains in New 52 comics

One of the reasons Batman is still popular 80 years after his introduction is because of his colorful lineup of villains. Many of his iconic adversaries have been depicted on film, but the Batman movies have usually stuck to only featuring between one-three of these baddies per project.

Evidently that won’t be the case with The Batman, as director and writer Matt Reeves has not only said that the movies will feature a “rogues galley,” but it’s also been reported that as many as six villains could show up. Thanks to The Hollywood Reporter, GWW and Discussing Film, we now know who these six villains might be.

Keep in mind that none of this information has been officially confirmed. It’s possible that The Batman will trim down the number of villains, or it might even be the case that even more antagonists could will show up to trouble the Robert Pattinson’s Caped Crusader. Either way, the following candidates definitely make for a solid lineup of foes.

Penguin comics

Penguin

It’s been a long time since we last saw Oswald Cobblepot, a.k.a. The Penguin, depicted in a live action movie, with Danny DeVito bringing the character to life in 1992’s Batman Returns. However, apparently the DC film franchise has been wanting to bring him in for some time, with The Batman and Birds of Prey both having its eyes on him. Birds of Prey ended up using Roman Sionis, a.k.a. Black Mask (played by Ewan McGregor), as its main antagonist.

We have yet to learn if Penguin will be the The Batman’s main villain or a supporting baddie. However, to differentiate this version of the character from the DeVito version, it would be interesting to see him as the owner of the Iceberg Lounge and using the nightclub as a cover for his illicit activities.

Catwoman comics

Catwoman

We last saw Selina Kyle, a.k.a. Catwoman, on the big screen in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises. In keeping with the modern depictions of the character, Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman wasn’t a villain, but more an anti-hero-turned-ally. All that’s been said so far about The Batman’s Catwoman is like most of her other incarnations, she’s a burglar, so expect to see her stealing diamonds and other valuables.

Catwoman is also well-known for being Batman’s most consistent love interest, which both Batman Returns and The Dark Knight Rises explored. Perhaps The Batman followed suit, although if she ends up teaming up with Penguin or one of the other villains, needless to say that would complicate any romantic venture between the two.

Riddler comics

Riddler

Just like with Penguin, it’s been a long time since we last saw The Riddler in a live action movie, and Jim Carrey’s version of Edward Nygma was an extremely comical take on the character. That may have worked for Batman Forever, but The Riddler has been depicted as a more serious villain in recent decades. With The Batman being a noir tale, a darker Riddler is surely called for.

Since The Batman will highlight Bruce Wayne’s detective skills, The Riddler would work excellently as the main villain since his whole gimmick is leaving riddles and puzzles behind for the Dark Knight and the GCPD to solve. So yes, we’ll see Batman using his fists against criminals, but Riddler can function chiefly as a compelling cerebral threat.

Firefly comics

Firefly

Now we come to a Batman villain who hasn’t appeared in a live action movie yet. The original Firefly, real name Garfield Lynns, was originally depicted as a villain who utilized lighting effects during his crimes, but ever since the Crisis on Infinite Earths reboot, he’s been presented as a professional arsonist who sets fires not just while committing crimes, but also because he has an obsession with flames.

The TV series Gotham featured a female take on Firefly named Bridgit Pike, but it looks like The Batman will be going with the traditional Garfield Lynns version. As visually interesting as Firefly is, he’s not really main antagonist material, so in The Batman, I’d expect him to either be working for one of the other enemies or be operating on his own as a side threat that Batman quickly takes down.

Two-Face comics

Two-Face

Tommy Lee Jones’ Two-Face in Batman Forever felt like a Joker ripoff, and while Aaron Eckhardt’s turn as Harvey Dent is one of the more underrated elements of The Dark Knight, he didn’t get to be Two-Face for that long, and that version of the character never screamed ‘super villain.’ The Batman offers the opportunity to give audiences a Two-Face that’s all in on the two/duality gimmick, but also more serious and tragic.

The thing that separates Two-Face from most other Batman villains is that because he relies on his coin for making all important decisions, depending on what side it lands on, he has the capacity to do good, or at least make a decision that benefits Batman or another good guy rather than his own self interest. So while you can expect The Batman’s Two-Face to be a crime boss, it could be intriguing for the movie to present a scenario where thanks to pure chance, the scarred Harvey Dent ends up having to help Batman.

Mad Hatter comics

Mad Hatter

Here we have the other Batman villain who hasn’t graced the silver screen yet. Jervis Tetch, a.k.a. The Mad Hatter, is a brilliant scientist who uses technology to mind control people, often times inserting special devices in headware to ensure his victims will obey his every command. Because he so enamored with Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, he also frequently has his goons dress up as other characters from the novel.

Whether or not Mad Hatter’s look is toned down for The Batman, the idea of mind control being thrown into the mix adds a level of terror we haven’t seen in a Batman movie. All these other villains are capable of frightening the citizens of Gotham City, but having one of them force people to unwillingly do their dirty work presents a unique challenge for the masked Bruce Wayne.

The Batman casts its shadow in theaters on June 25, 2021, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on its development, including which villains will definitely appear. For now, you can look through our DC movies guide to learn what else this franchise has in the works.

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Looks Like Spider-Man: Far From Home’s Opening Will Surpass Homecoming’s

After the epic Avengers: Endgame, Peter Parker is thankfully back, feeling good and no longer a pile of dust! With Spider-Man: Far From Home, he has an action-packed adventure ahead of him with his high school buddies in Europe. As he branches out beyond his “friendly neighborhood” so will the audience lining up to see him.

Spider-Man: Far From Home is looking at a massive debut in the range of $150 to $180 million when it opens at the top of July, per THR. This would best Spider-Man: Homecoming’s 2017 opening weekend of $117 million domestic gross before earning $880 million at the worldwide box office.

There is one sneaky catch: the sequel opens on Tuesday, July 2. So these projections are based on a six-day Independence Day weekend, whereas Homecoming opened the Friday after July 4, and ended its first six days with a little over $144 million. This gives Far From Home the upper hand to not only surpass the 2017 blockbuster, but break the current July opening record. If Far From Home nabs those high projections, it can beat out 2011’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 No. #1 spot at $169 million.

Over its first three days, previous projections have Spider-Man: Far From Home at numbers comparable to Homecoming’s at $90 to $120 million, but the days Tuesday to Thursday likely won’t be as profitable as the weekend. The blockbuster will open in China four days earlier than North America, giving the film a boost in foreign markets before it even hits theaters domestically.

Past MCU sequels have notoriously outpaced their origin films for the Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, Captain America, Thor and Iron Man. This particular release also follows Endgame, which was the MCU’s highest earner and currently the second highest grossing movie of all time. Fans are curious about how Endgame impacts the universe and what’s coming next in Phase 4. Far From Home is the official end to Phase 3 and the Infinity Saga.

Tom Holland’s Peter Parker once again stars, but he’s joined by Sam L. Jackson’s Nick Fury and Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio as he is enlisted to help them fight the Elementals and learn of the Multiverse. The teenager also looks to be dealing with a budding romance with Zendaya’s MJ and the tragic loss of his mentor, Tony Stark.

Captain Marvel exceeded expectations in its first weekend back in March when it made $153 million during its opening weekend before making $1.1 billion, and Avengers: Endgame just about crushed every record in the book with its $357 million debut before racing to $2.73 billion box office running total. Considering Marvel’s towering 2019, perhaps Spider-Man: Far From Home will join its fellow films among the highest earning films of the year?

Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into theaters on July 2.

The Cloverfield Monster Explained

Cloverfield destroyed New York skyline

In 2008, Cloverfield introduced us to a monster that most would originally be known as “The Cloverfield Monster,” and would later receive the name of Clover. With a reappearance in 2018’s The Cloverfield Paradox, and a tangential connection to 2016’s 10 Cloverfield Lane, Clover’s legacy would grow into a cinematic universe bound by creatures not of this earth.

With the appearance of such beasts came a lot of questions, specifically pertaining to that of Cloverfield’s Clover, as the monster was pretty well hidden in the pre-release marketing for director Matt Reeves and producer J.J. Abrams’ found footage epic. Seeing as we’re well past that point though, it’s time for some answers.

The burning questions surrounding Case Designate Cloverfield’s star subject are about to be answered, so prepare to learn everything you’d want to know about Clover, the Cloverfield Monster.

Cloverfield Clover being attacked in New York

What Is The Cloverfield Monster?

Clover, the Cloverfield monster, does not have an official species designation. As such, we have no true name for the species that it belongs to. However, there is an official government designation that covers it to a certain extent. The Cloverfield Monster is known as a “Large Scale Aggressor”, or “LSA” for short.

Speculated to be a creature of either underwater or interdimensional origin, Clover is an infant specimen of its species, separated from its family. Overridden by a sense of panic, the creature engages in destroying New York City landmarks as it makes a path through the city and squares off with military forces trying to kill it. It’s huge, frightened, and strong.

Cloverfield the Statue of Liberty's head lying in the street

What Are Its Powers/Abilities?

Clover the Cloverfield Monster does not have any particular powers or special abilities, as the creature is a newborn and we haven’t really seen this species in action for an extended enough period of time to discern any special powers. Most likely though, the Cloverfield beast in question does not have any powers/abilities that would allow it to achieve any spectacular feats.

What the Cloverfield Monster did show us, as seen during the events of Cloverfield, is that it’s a pretty tough beast. Taking on small arms fire, numerous rounds from an armored tank, and even a sustained drop of several bombs, Clover was able to continue conducting a parade of destruction throughout New York City. This forced the military forces on site to resort to the “Hammer Down” protocol, which saw several bombs being rained down on Clover, in an attempt to kill it. According to the notes from the Special Investigation Mode of the Blu-ray release for Cloverfield, Clover is dead.

Cloverfield Clover being bombed near Columbus Circle

Can You Destroy The Cloverfield Monster?

It is unknown what methods were used in the “Hammer Down” protocol, so we don’t know exactly how you can destroy or even weaken the monster from Cloverfield. As we never saw the aftermath of that action, we don’t know exactly what it takes to kill a Large Scale Aggressor. So the question isn’t if you can destroy the creature from Cloverfield; but rather how much force is enough?

With the “Hammer Down” protocol theorized to have the ability to wipe out the island of Manhattan, and the ordinance required to take Clover down being listed as “significantly heavier” than the Mark-82 bombs previously used, it sounds like quite a bit of force is required to take down this species of creature. This is especially troublesome when considering Clover is, again, a newborn.

The Cloverfield Paradox crew members monitoring the power experiment

Where Did The Cloverfield Monster Come From?

Originally, it was presumed that Clover was woken up from the depths of the sea, as hinted at in the Cloverfield ARG campaign. At the end of the 2008 film, what looks like an object falling into the ocean from the sky was credited as awakening this young creature. Later reports would indicate that it was a satellite owned by the in-universe Tagruato Corporation, named “ChimpanzIII,” that did the job. Though the original story also included some elements such as deep sea drilling that supposedly agitated this creature, its presumed family, and its ecosystem, more information suggests that the Cloverfield monster really isn’t of this world.

As shown in The Cloverfield Paradox’s 2028 timeframe, it’s to be presumed that the unnamed species of Cloverfield Monsters was actually unleashed as a part of the Cloverfield Station incident, which tore a hole in the fabric between dimensions and saw both worlds’ versions of that same station mixed together. There is also a distinct possibility that these creatures may have been created from this incident.

The Cloverfield Paradox a Cloverfield monster poking its head out in the clouds

Where Else Has The Cloverfield Monster Been Seen?

During the finale of The Cloverfield Paradox, it’s revealed that in the aftermath of the trans-dimensional event that originated from Cloverfield Station’s power experiment had unleashed not just one, but several Cloverfield Monsters onto the Earth that is the setting for that particular film. We see one other example of Clover’s species of origin, and it’s unsettling for one big reason: it looks to be a full grown adult.

This specimen was so huge that it was able to poke its head above what looks like the lowest level of cloud cover on Earth, which roughly hovers around 6,500 feet. Clover’s height, estimated to be around 250 feet or higher, which is mostly due to the baby version of this monster walking on all fours for the most part. This suggests, as creature designer Neville Page has theorized, that these creatures are much taller, due to being able to walk upright on two legs.

10 Cloverfield Lane a mutant space worm attacks Michelle

Are There Other Monsters In The Cloverfield Universe?

In addition to Clover, and its species of Cloverfield monsters, there are other monsters to be spotted within the universe. In addition to Clover being designated as a “Large Scale Aggressor”, there are also “Human Scale Parasites”, or “HSPs” for short. You would know them better as the creepy, crab-like creatures that attack the team of survivors Cloverfield follows, and they appear to engage in a symbiotic relationship with the Cloverfield monster species. The bite of the HSP is deadly, as Lizzie Caplan’s Marlena was seen to have fall ill and explode in the aftermath of an attack by these creatures.

Meanwhile, in 10 Cloverfield Lane, a throwaway line about John Goodman’s Howard Stambler having a theory on “mutant space worms” turned out to hit a little too close to home. As we saw in The Cloverfield Paradox, Cloverfield Station was experimenting with the effects of their space station on a worm colony, only to have those worms disappear. Some were found inside of a crew member on the station, in a post-mortem dissection; while others may have mutated into the huge creatures we saw Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Michelle face off against in the finale. Though there’s a chance that much like Clover and the Cloverfield Monster species, these were creatures from another universe displaced into the one shown in 10 Cloverfield Lane.

Over a decade later, and three films deep, the Cloverfield universe is still giving fans new creatures to behold, and leaving more questions in their wake each time a new film drops. If the franchise continues, through future Netflix films or even the “true sequel” to Cloverfield that fans have been promised, here’s hoping we get some more information on these beasts and what makes them tick. Let’s not forget that knowing is half the battle, and with what we know, we’d say we’re about a quarter of the way towards being ready to fight.

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9 Harry Potter Easter Eggs Found On Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

After a long wait that seemed to drag on forever, Universal Studios Orlando has finally unveiled its latest attraction for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and the wait has been worth it. Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure is what the park is touting the first “story coaster,” and it is jam packed with references to the Harry Potter films and universe at large in addition to being an amazing ride.

But what exactly can be found while waiting in line for this exciting attraction? Well, CinemaBlend was invited to a special preview of the coaster, and in our journey through the line, we found quite a few nods both subtle and obvious that attendees will find particularly interesting while waiting in line and while riding the attraction through the Forbidden Forest. Take a look, and keep those eyes peeled if you happen to be in the queue.

Monster Book Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

The Monster Book Of Monsters And Hagrid’s Gloves

Once visitors make their way into the building and down through the tunnels, they’ll be treated to what appears to be Hagrid’s workshop. In it, he appears to be in the midst of some important and dangerous work judging by his massive gloves on the table. Right next to it is “The Monster Book Of Monsters” which was a required and dangerous book for the Care of Magical Creatures.

Mermaids Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Merpeople Artwork

The Merpeople seem to pop up quite a bit in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and with good reason. They’re one of the more terrifying creatures in the franchise, so not seeing any on this ride would’ve been a disappointment. Alas, there isn’t a water feature in which they pop out during, but this nice artwork line-goers will trot past on their way into the building is a nice touch.

Blast-Ended Skrewt Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Blast-Ended Skrewt

That’s right, Harry Potter fans, Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure has brought one of the frequently mentioned creatures from the books to life. This massive creature was actually created by Hagrid, who achieved the hybrid through the mating of a Manticore and Fire Crab. Given that, it’s only fitting that it’s positioned right next to the animatronic Hagrid at the ride’s start. The movie’s never featured one of these creatures, so be sure to get a good look!

Golden Egg Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire

The Tri-Wizard Tournament Egg

Tucked away in the area with the rest of the dragon’s eggs is a very special artifact that Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire fans (who know the movie is one of the best) will recognize. The golden egg that entrants used to discover the secrets of the Merpeople challenge is sitting in a cabinet to the right of the eggs on shelves. It’s not hard to find if you’re looking, but can be missed.

Wizard Glass Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure Universal Stu

Images In Stained Glass Windows At Hagrid’s Hut

This is an odd easter egg found in Hagrid’s Hut that, frankly, we haven’t figured out just yet. At first, it appeared the stained glass was recycled glass from whoever used it, but closer inspection reveals a wizard in the window of one, and what looks like a phoenix in the other window. The writing on both seems to be gibberish, but maybe one of our readers knows what it’s about.

Wizard Graffiti Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Wizarding Graffitti

Just inside the building on stone walls, ride-goers can squint and read the numerous scrawlings that litter the walls. There are scores of Harry Potter references such as the Ravenclaw house motto and things like “I love Hufflepuff,” and there might have even been a heart with a “J” and “L” (James and Lily?) in it. The implication, it seems, is that these are the ramblings of Hogwarts students, so perhaps there are some lines written by our favorite characters.

Niffler Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Niffler

There are lots of posters of beasts on Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, but Nifflers get highlighted specifically because they weren’t in Harry Potter. As far as we saw, this is the first and only Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them character in the queue, which is a pretty big glow up for such a small creature! It also seems like Nifflers are responsible for a variety of digging and clanking heard while waiting in line, but we aren’t sure.

Dragon Eggs Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Creature Eggs

We’d be remissed to bring up actual eggs on a post about easter eggs, and Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure has a good amount of them. The size of these bad boys appears to implicate these are dragon eggs, although they aren’t the only creatures in this universe that lay eggs, so we’ll just call them creature eggs for now. Due to their size, these aren’t that hard to spot, so don’t worry about keeping eyes peeled here.

Thestrals Harry Potter

Thestrals

At the beginning of the ride, Hagrid instructs riders on the coaster to “not mind the Thestrals” despite the fact that there are no creatures to be seen. Of course, that might actually be the point considering Thestrals are invisible to those who haven’t been personally touched by and don’t truly understand the significance of death. It’s kind of a deep easter egg, and one has to wonder if the park may not add some during Halloween months.

Alligator Bonus

Bonus Universal Easter Egg: Alligator

Now, it’s entirely possible that Hagrid may have an alligator or two in his care, as one think he’d like non-magical beasts all the same. With that said, there’s a wooden alligator on the path that seems to be more of a nod to Florida than anything in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It’s a cool nod for sure, and one of the few references on this ride that don’t involve the film franchise.

Are there any others more subtle easter eggs we overlooked? Be sure to drop those down in the comments so that others can get a chance to seek them out, and be sure to plan a trip to Universal Studios Orlando to ride Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure soon! As for other things happening with theme parks that are related to movies and television, be sure to stick with CinemaBlend.

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William Shatner Isn’t Concerned Over Quentin Tarantino’s Star Trek Possibly Being Rated R

When a franchise like Star Trek modernizes or even diverts slightly from its well-worn brand, fans can sometimes get a bit upset. With the potential Quentin Tarantino film in the Star Trek universe aiming for a more R-rated approach that’ll presumably include his trademarks of ribald language and copious blood, that upset has been simmering for some time.

And yet, there’s one person who’s helping stem the tide, in the form of unlikely ally and Star Trek legend William Shatner. Which is exhibited in a recent exchange the man behind the original Captain Kirk had with a concerned citizen of Starfleet, shown below:

Though, on the other side of the coin, William Shatner does pose the question of why people aren’t “melting down” over the usage of words previously considered verboten from the Starfleet code of conduct, and that’s where the issue comes full circle. Because that sort of thing has, indeed, caused fans to be upset.

When Star Trek: Discovery used the word fuck in a pivotal moment of its first season, it prompted think pieces and fan response that wasn’t exactly the rosiest of circumstances. So while the precedent of the language being used falls in line with Star Trek history, the upset to such a prospect in a feature film, as shown on Twitter, is just as baked into the argument.

Ultimately, the debate will probably be settled on a couple of key terms that should please William Shatner and his lack for concern, as well as the presence of concern from the fans. And those are the feelings of the current Star Trek movie cast.

Should fans choose to see this still percolating Tarantino film, there’s one thing that the opposing side and even William Shatner can take comfort in: at least in a Quentin Tarantino version of Star Trek, the swearing will feel right at home.

We’ll see what happens with the Quentin Tarantino Star Trek project, as it still has some work to be done before even thinking of existing. But, if you’re in the mood for some Tarantino action on the planet Earth, you can see Once Upon A Time In Hollywood when it debuts on July 26. Also, for all of you William Shatner fans out there, you can catch the man himself on tour as he’s making the rounds with special screenings of The Wrath of Khan throughout this year and next.

Toy Story 4 Is At 100% On Rotten Tomatoes, Because Of Course

Wait, are Woody and Buzz are helping Bonnie with her homework – because they may have just pulled off an A+ franchise. The Toy Story movies have always been a critically-acclaimed and universally loved franchise, and this looks to continue with the release of Toy Story 4.

After critics started to file their reviews earlier today, the animated film has scored a perfect 100% on Rotten Tomatoes with almost 70 reviews on the board. This follows the distinction the other films have received from critics over the years, as Toy Story and Toy Story 2 also share 100% on the Tomatometer, with Toy Story 3 just a tad lower at 98%.

The good buzz around Toy Story 4 has revolved around a few positives pointed out by the film’s early audiences. CinemaBlend’s own Mike Reyes named Toy Story 4 “the sequel I never knew I needed, and it’s quite possibly the best Toy Story to ever be told” in his 4.5 of 5 star review. Others have described it as the funniest of the four, the themes taking Pixar to “some of its most daring territory in years” and it sure to “leave you a weeping mess”.

Looks like Toy Story 4 has a ton to offer audiences. The movie can double up as a family-friendly affair and a conclusion that will be close to all who grew up watching these toys adventure. Although Toy Story 3 famously ended the trilogy wistfully as Andy gave away his beloved childhood toys to Bonnie, this installment offers up more laughs with the characters and lessons for them to learn. It’s been teased as an emotional one, even for actors Tim Allen and Tom Hanks, so bring on those tissues.

Toy Story 4 sees the return of just about every character from the first three films, including the triumphant comeback of Bo Peep– who was notably absent from the 2010 threequel. While the toys are on vacation with Bonnie, her craft project Forky escapes and Woody goes after him. On the way he reunites with her and meets a cast of new toys including the villainous Gabby Gabby, Canada’s greatest stuntman: Duke Caboom, and carnival animals Ducky and Bunny.

Duke is voiced by Keanu Reeves, who is having a seriously amazing moment in the spotlight right now with his various viral projects such as John Wick 3 and Always Be My Maybe. Key and Peele are the voice behind Ducky and Bunny’s hilarious moments as well and Good Girls’ Christina Hendricks is Gabby Gabby.

After Pixar has been pumping out a series of sequels for their famed characters for years, but Toy Story 4 will reportedly mark its last one for years. It’s nice to hear the studio took great care in bringing the Toy Story films back for a fourth time and this film is worthwhile for fans to see.

Toy Story hits theaters on June 21. Are you excited to see it? Let us know in the comments below!