6 Baffling Questions Raised By Upcoming Movies
The future is a dire place full of apocalyptic climate predictions and more Jeremy Renner albums. One thing we can still thankfully look forward to: movies. Until Netflix finds a way to beam dopamine directly into brains, audiences still venture out to the cinema to watch better-looking people do more interesting things. And while a lot of upcoming movies look really great, we do have some questions about a few of them. For instance ...
Cruella -- How Is Disney Going To Rationalize A Woman's Passion For Puppy Murder?
We're all familiar with the story of 101 Dalmatians, in which wealthy lady with a penchant for fur employs two filthy ruffians to help her murder scores of puppies for the sake of a new coat. That has to be the most insane amount of effort anyone's gone to for a piece of outerwear outside of the professional golf circuit.
Disney's obviously keen to remake their entire library of animated classics in uncomfortable live action, but since they already did this one with 101 Dalmatians back in the '90s, they're going in a more revisionist direction this time around. Like Maleficent, this is a prequel from the point of view of a young Cruella de Vil. Which is kind of a weird idea. There's no way to justify puppy murder, right? One rumored synopsis claims that the movie will show us the "real" origin of de Vil's "hatred of Dalmatians." But wasn't she only after the dogs to make a coat? Are we going to find out that her parents were gunned down in Crime Alley by a dalmatian?
Adding to the movie's curiosity factor, it will reportedly have a "punk vibe" and be set in either the '70s or '80s. Cruella will be played by Emma Stone, but her name will be "Estella" -- presumably, like Han Solo, her origin story will feature an awkward scene where she's given a new name by Sid Vicious or some junk. Also like Solo, Estella will have a sinister mentor who shows her the ropes, which are presumably also made of dead dog.
Is Sonic The Hedgehog Not A Hedgehog?
After the internet collectively agreed that the star of the new Sonic The Hedgehog movie looked like a cast member from an all-rodent remake of Avatar, the filmmakers pushed back the release date so they could completely redesign the character. Meaning we'll have to wait a little longer until all our questions are answered. And we have so many of them. For starters, is Sonic ... a hedgehog?
Why are we questioning this when his name clearly states he's a hedgehog? Isn't that like asking Chance the Rapper what he does for a living? Well, it turns out the reason the cinematic Sonic looks so off is that he might be an alien. They hint at this in the trailer, when Sonic refers to Earth as "your planet." And in an interview with the film's location manager, he states that the story is like E.T. because it's about a "small town coming together to help the sheriff save our alien from the bad guys." And to be fair, if Twitter had been around in the '80s, people probably would have similarly complained that E.T. is basically a 90-year-old man's genitalia with eyes.
Now, this interpretation contradicts the games' canon. In the official origin story, Sonic was "born on Earth in the early 21st century, in the town of Hardly, Nebraska," and his mother and five sisters lived in a bush next to a fast food restaurant, where they survived on "burger scraps, milkshakes and the occasional slug or bug." So we'll either get Sonic the Alien Who Somewhat Resembles a Blue Hedgehog, or a depressing tale of an impoverished Sonic scrounging for garbage with his single mother.
Joker -- Will Batman Be Fighting A Senior Citizen?
Following TV's trend of doing Batman stories in which Batman doesn't appear, this fall we're getting a Joker movie starring Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, and Marc Maron, who will presumably end the movie by asking the Clown Prince of Crime if the two of them are "good" now. One moment in the trailer that caught the attention of fans was when future Joker Arthur Fleck pays a visit to a small boy, aggressively forcing a smile on his face like every local morning show host.
As many suspected, the boy was later confirmed to be a pint-sized Bruce Wayne. Maybe in this interpretation of the Batman mythology, some strung-out weirdo shoving his germ-covered hands in Bruce's mouth is what leads to the birth of the Dark Knight. In any case, this sets up an unexpected dynamic. Joker is ostensibly an origin story for the classic villain. One would assume that in the universe of this movie, Bruce will one day grow up to become Batman and fight his famous nemesis. But let's do the math here. Joaquin Phoenix is 44. Let's guess that the kid who plays Bruce is around 10. If he's Batman by, say 30, that means the Joker would be in his mid-60s! So are they implying that in this continuity, Batman's archenemy is a senior citizen?
This has prompted theories that the Joker of this movie isn't the real Joker, but rather some kind of proto-Joker who serves to inspire the Joker that we all know. Which would be weird, because the movie is literally called Joker.
Ghostbusters High -- How Do You Make A Ghostbusters Movie Without Ghosts?
If there's one thing Dan Aykroyd likes, it's selling vodka in cranium-shaped bottles. If there are two things he likes, it's that and pitching ridiculous Ghostbusters movies. After unsuccessfully shopping a sequel in which the Ghostbusters travel to Hell itself and come face-to-face with a Trump-like demon, Aykroyd is now working on a prequel. The actor who played the bashful yet blowjob-obsessed Ray Stantz recently announced that he's written a script called Ghostbusters High, all about when the Ghostbusters met as high schoolers back in 1969, which is a thing that apparently happened.
But what are these awkward teen Ghostbusters going to do, exactly? We're guessing fans don't want to watch a movie in which child actors imitate Bill Murray and Harold Ramis while popping zits and listening to Led Zeppelin. But the original 1984 movie made it very clear that these guys had never seen a ghost before. When we first meet Peter Venkman, he's a nonbeliever.
And Ray is gobsmacked after witnessing their first ghost.
This isn't a minor prequel plot hole, like Obi-Wan forgetting that he totally owned a droid named R2-D2. Ray, Egon, and Venkman encountering an actual poltergeist is what sets the entire ghost-busting story in motion. So are they going to make a Ghostbusters movie that doesn't have any ghosts in it? Either that or the movie will end with the Lil' Ghostbusters suffering severe brain damage, all to the jaunty sounds of Ray Parker Jr.
Hobbs & Shaw -- Why Does No One Care That Shaw Killed Han?
This summer, the Fast & Furious franchise will "present" a spinoff -- kind of the way Cheers led to Frasier, if Frasier Crane eschewed radio psychiatry for battling a genetically enhanced Idris Elba. Hobbes & Shaw may sound like a PBS show about butlers or something, but it's actually a new (presumably flaming in midair) vehicle for Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Jason Statham's Fast & Furious characters.
While most of us don't go to these movies for their internal logic, one detail still bugs fans. When we first meet Statham's Deckard Shaw, it's revealed that he killed beloved character Han in The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift (which actually takes place after most of the sequels that followed it, because time has no meaning in the Furious-verse).
So does no one care that this dude murdered their friend? And aren't audiences going to be a little reticent to root for him? That's like making a Harry Potter sequel wherein Neville teams up with Voldemort. Or a Marley And Me sequel in which Owen Wilson pals around with the grim specter of death himself.
Not surprisingly, some fans have made a stink about this, trying to get "#JusticeForHan" trending on Twitter. Writer Chris Morgan defended Shaw's redemption, stating: "There's things you don't know yet." Will we finally get an explanation in Hobbs & Shaw? Ah, who cares, there's sassy banter and punching. And speaking of The Rock ...
Is The Jungle Cruise Movie About Necromancy?
After America fell in love with Pirates Of The Caribbean, tolerated The Haunted Mansion, was hopelessly creeped out by The Country Bears, and passed on Tomorrowland, Disney is still intent on turning every single one of their theme park attractions into movies. Hell, we're probably only a few years away from Sweaty Teenage Turkey Leg Vendor: The Motion Picture.
First, though, we're getting a film based on the Jungle Cruise ride, in which visitors take a lazy boat ride down a river filled with creaky animatronic animals while the ship's captain makes hacky jokes. It was probably more mind-blowing in the 1950s, what with all the brilliant racist bits. Somehow this is being turned into a movie starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Emily "The Hammer" Blunt.
The ride doesn't have much of a plot, unless you consider exhausted parents fantasizing about hurling their skipper overboard a "plot." So the screenwriters had to invent one ... and it sounds weird. According to rumors, the story finds Johnson playing a boat captain and Blunt a scientist in search of the "Tree of Life" -- the actual death-defying tree, not a Criterion edition of a Terrence Malick masterpiece. Why? Early news tidbits suggested that Blunt's character is "inspired in part by the death of her brother, which was caused by an infectious disease." Does this imply that she's trying to resurrect her brother from the dead?
The script was reportedly inspired by the classic The African Queen, which similarly sees Katherine Hepburn's character motivated to take a riverboat journey by her brother's death. Either because this rumor was false or someone at Disney realized that their story was horrifying, during reshoots, it became clear that the brother is actually alive, but presumably still sick, hence the search for a magic tree.
Who knows, the final film might be amazing. But right now, we're picturing a terminally ill man huddled in the corner of a janky boat helmed by a captain who won't stop making elephant puns.
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