Wendell Pierce Wants To Be New Voice of ‘Family Guy”s Cleveland

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In response to recent re-evaluations of casting choices for racially specific animated characters, Mike Henry has stepped down from the role of Cleveland Brown on Family Guy and The Cleveland Show after 20 years of voicing the character.

While it's undecided who will be taking over the role moving forward, Wendell Pierce has thrown his hat in the ring via Twitter. Check out his post below, where he says he is "starting a campaign" to voice Cleveland in future episodes of The Cleveland Show:

Not every actor has the guts to publicly declare the wish to play a certain role, so Pierce gets points for that alone. Not to mention, he's quite accomplished as an actor.

Known best for his roles in the critically-acclaimed drama series The Wire, Treme, and Suits, Pierce has racked up some pretty impressive credits. He's more than qualified to take over the voice of Cleveland, and he's a big enough Family Guy fan to know how to do it just right.

The news of Henry departing from the role of an African American character is just one of the many examples of animated series recasting characters to be ethnically correct. Hank Azaria of The Simpsons will no longer be voicing Indian Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu, and Jenny Slate has resigned from her role of Missy, who is bi-racial.

No recasting decisions for The Cleveland Show have been made yet, but as Pierce's tweet gains momentum, who knows? Fox may have found their new Cleveland.

Gallery — Fox Franchises That Could Have New Life at Disney:

Colin Kaepernick Scripted Series Is Officially Coming to Netflix

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NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Ava DuVernay are working on a scripted series for Netflix, according to Variety. The six-episode series, currently titled "Colin in Black and White," will follow Kaepernick's high school years, as he grows up a young black man adopted by a white family.

The show will also explore Kaepernick's journey to football stardom and his path toward civil rights advocacy. Kaepernick will narrate the series as well as serve as an executive producer. DuVernay will be collaborating with writer Michael Starrbury, both of whom worked on the Netflix limited series When They See Us.

The former 49ers player drew global attention in 2016 after he began kneeling during the national anthem before games. The simple gesture was in protest of America's police brutality. In light of recent events in the country, Kaepernick's story has become more relevant than ever. Said DuVernay to Variety, "With his act of protest, Colin Kaepernick ignited a national conversation about race and justice with far-reaching consequences for football, culture and for him, personally. Colin’s story has much to say about identity, sports and the enduring spirit of protest and resilience."

DuVernay tackled systemic race issues in her  2016 documentary 13th on Netflix, which she directed, produced, and co-wrote. The film was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 89th Academy Awards. 13th has had a resurgence in viewership amidst the protests following the death of George Floyd by the hands of the police.

There's no news yet on when we can expect the Kaepernick series to hit Netflix. As production is barely beginning to start up again due to coronavirus concerns, it might be a while. Still, with a solid creative team, it looks like it's going to be worth the wait.

Gallery — The Best Netflix Originals of All Time:

Watch Horror Villain Jason Voorhees in Funny ‘Wear a Mask’ PSA

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If there's someone who knows a thing or two about wearing facial masks, it's Jason Voorhees. The starring character of the Friday the 13th franchise is now appearing in a New York-centric ad campaign aimed at raising awareness for the benefits of wearing facial masks during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Ogilvy ad agency is behind the new ad, which finds the notorious slasher wandering the streets of New York, with the narration sorrowfully starting, "It's not easy. The mask kind of makes people uncomfortable. I wish everyone could see me for who I am. I'm just trying to fit in."

It's a lonely existence for Jason, with people going out of their way to avoid him as he wanders through landmark New York locations. He can't even seem to hail a cab. But eventually the reasoning dons on him as a little girl approaches him and presents him with some additional facial covering, which you see Jason putting on over his mask.

"Wearing a mask can be scary. Not wearing one can be deadly" is the ad's tag line. Watch it in the player below.

Ogilvy's health division captioned their Instagram post with the following message: "Wearing a mask has proven to be an easy and important way to stem the spread of the #coronavirus, yet many New Yorkers still aren't doing it. This is especially true of younger people who may feel invincible to #Covid19. How can we get them to pay attention to this life-saving message? Tap into pop culture and entertain them. Don't preach. Don't fear-monger. Do the opposite. Make them smile, engage and share with their peers. As the tri-state area begins to open, Toby Trygg, Executive Creative Director at Ogilvy Health, aligned with the talented folks at @chimneygroup to help create this timely PSA."

In New York, there have been over 397,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases with over 31,000 deaths. Overall in the U.S., there have been over 2.5 million confirmed cases with over 125,000 confirmed deaths. As New York begins to re-open certain businesses, the Jason Voorhees message is just one of the ways in which the state is trying to continue to promote the benefits of facial masks and social distancing.

Jason has seen a bit of a comeback of late, with horror rock enthusiasts Ice Nine Kills recently celebrating the 40th anniversary of the original Friday the 13th film with their musical parody, "Jason's Mom," a take off of the Fountains of Wayne track "Stacy's Mom."

Gallery — The Best Horror of the 2010s:

Source: Watch Horror Villain Jason Voorhees in Funny ‘Wear a Mask’ PSA

Watch ‘Deadpool”s Ryan Reynolds Crash An ‘X-Men’ Cast Reunion

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As a part of Global Citizen's Global Goal: Unite for Our Future fundraising event this past weekend, Hugh Jackman led a virtual reunion for the cast of X-Men. Featured guests included Halle Berry, Patrick Stewart, and Ian McKellen.

Everything goes well for a brief moment, before the conversation is hijacked by an unwelcome visitor: Ryan Reynolds, a.k.a. Deadpool. Soon, it becomes a competition of who can leave the chat soonest. Watch the full clip below:

We all know Deadpool knows how to crash a party. While you could technically consider him as a part of the X-Men franchise, he's never fought alongside the rest of the gang onscreen. That doesn't stop him from inserting himself into the reunion, even though he doesn't have much to contribute.

And yep, things get awkward pretty fast. One by one, each cast member leaves in favor of a different reunion — Sophie Turner's got a Game of Thrones reunion, James McAvoy is on his way to a Split reunion, and so on. Eventually, it's just Jackman and Reynolds… until they're joined by Liev Schreiber (Sabretooth). Schreiber observes that the call has become an X-Men Origins: Wolverine reunion. He's not wrong.

Obviously, Reynolds' appearance was premeditated. But that doesn't stop the clip from being organically funny. We wouldn't be surprised if Reynolds came up with the idea to participate in the Zoom call himself.

Gallery — The Best Marvel Costumes of All Time:

Sacha Baron Cohen Pranks Alt-Right Rally, Leads Racist Sing-Along

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Sasha Baron Cohen managed to infiltrate an alt-right event — disguised as a country music singer — filled with right-wing militia members and other conservative Americans.

In what is probably his most elaborate prank to date, the comedian and Borat star attended a March for Our Rights rally in Olympia, Washington on Saturday (June 27) and found a way to get on stage to perform a horribly racist song.

The song featured lyrics about the coronavirus, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Anthony Fauci, the World Health Organization, CNN and more. Cohen even sang about chopping up journalists like "the Saudis do" and infecting Obama with the "Wuhan flu."

"Dr Fauci, what we gonna do? / Inject him with the Wuhan flu," Cohen, who was dressed in overalls and a fake beard, sang. "Hillary Clinton, what we gonna do? / Lock her up like we used to do."

Many attendees were reportedly willing to sing along with the performance and genuinely seemed to enjoy it before they realized they were being trolled.

"He came on stage disguised as the lead singer of the last band, singing a bunch of racist, hateful, disgusting s–t," Yelm city council member James Connor Blair wrote on Facebook. "His security blocked event organizers from getting him off the stage, or pulling power from the generator."

You can check out a video of Cohen's performance, below:

Cohen has yet to take responsibility for the stunt, but it's possible he may have pulled the prank for Season 2 of his political satire television series Who is America? (He previously pranked high-profile people like Sarah Palin, O.J. Simpson and former vice president Dick Cheney.)

Source: Sasha Baron Cohen Pranks Conservative Rally Into Absurdly Racist Sing-Along

The Best Films of 2020 So Far

href=”//screencrush.com/author/mattsinger/” rel=”author” title=”Matt Singer”>Matt SingerUniversal/A24/Netflix

2020 is already half over. Can you believe it? Time flies when you’re trapped in an endless quarantine in the midst of the worst pandemic in a century!

I kid because the first six months of 2020 has been the longest and most challenging 15 years of my life. But I’m still here! And so are the movies, even if movie theaters themselves have seen better days. In years past, I would limit any sort of “best of” list to films that only got theatrical releases. The pandemic may have finally done away with that long-standing rule — and it’s certainly blurred the already flimsy line between film and television. At this point, the only thing those two words describe is length and format. Very few movies are shot on film (and almost none are projected on it), and “television” is increasingly watched on devices other than TVs. Words are weird.

So whether they did screen in theaters, premiere on VOD, or go straight to streaming, here are the ten best “films” I saw in 2020 so far. All in all, it’s been a pretty good year for cinema, even if it’s been a bad year for literally everything else. I can’t wait to see what the remaining 40 months of 2020 hold in store!

Gallery — The Best Films of 2019:

Beyoncé To Release ‘Black Is King’ Visual Album on Disney+

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Beyoncé is gearing up to release a visual album on Disney+ next month.

The 38-year-old superstar made the big announcement late Saturday (June 27) night with a teaser trailer for the film that was solely posted to her website. Disney confirmed that the movie has been in production for one year.

The "Spirit" singer will write, direct and executive produce the project, which will accompany music from her 2019 studio album, The Gift, which was released in conjunction with The Lion King remake. Bey voiced Nala in the re-imagined animated film and provided music for the movie.

"Black Is King is a celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience," Disney and Parkwood Entertainment said in a statement. "The film is a story for the ages that informs and rebuilds the present. A reunion of cultures and shared generational beliefs. A story of how the people left most broken have an extraordinary gift and a purposeful future."

Disney said that the visual album will reimagine "lessons of The Lion King for today’s young kings and queens in search of their own crowns."

"The voyages of Black families, throughout time, are honored in a tale about a young king’s transcendent journey through betrayal, love and self-identity," Disney said in a press release. "His ancestors help guide him toward his destiny, and with his father’s teachings and guidance from his childhood love, he earns the virtues needed to reclaim his home and throne."

Black Is King will be available exclusively on Disney+ on July 31.

Watch the trailer, below.

Source: Beyoncé To Release ‘Black Is King’ Visual Album on Disney+

‘Bill + Ted Face the Music’ Gets New Release Date

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The film industry's attempt to resume has led to a lot of shifting of release dates planned for 2020. One of the many films affected by the Covid-19-caused shift is the third Bill & Ted movie, which is now moving to an Aug. 28 release.

One of the primary reasons for the shift was that the Christopher Nolan-directed film Tenet, which was expected to be one of the summer's major draws, recently moved into the week of Aug. 12, where Bill & Ted: Face the Music was initially set to arrive.

The Covid-19 delay and the shuttering of movie theaters since March has led movie studios to hold their films. leading to a more packed release schedule. As a result, there's more competition for viewers especially as the film industry resumes and that has led to a more difficult scheduling task, providing the best chances for movies to succeed. Moving away from the Aug. 12 release gives Bill & Ted two full weeks clear of the likely summer blockbuster.

In this latest installment, Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter reprise their roles, now entering middle age and having not yet met the expectations of creating music that was prophecized in the previous films. Receiving a warning from the future that they have a limited time left to create a song that will save the Earth, Bill and Ted call upon their families, friends and some famous faces to try to complete their task.

This latest installment returns William Sadler as the Grim Reaper (aka Death) and introduces Brigette Lundy-Paine and Samara Weaving as Bill and Ted's daughters.

Bill & Ted Face the Music Trailer

25 Actors Who Transformed Into Real-life Rockstars for Movies

Source: ‘Bill + Ted Face the Music’ Gets New Release Date

‘Mulan’ Gets Bumped Back to Late August

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Let’s just call it what it is: The summer movie season is all but officially over.

While a few titles had held on to dates in mid and late July, with a couple movies to follow in August, it’s become increasingly clear that audiences will either not be able to return to theaters in a few weeks — or won’t want to for fear that they might get sick as coronavirus cases around the country have risen steadily. Yesterday, Warner Bros. moved Tenet from July 31 to August 12. And today, Disney moved its live-action remake of its animated classic Mulan from July 24 to August 21.

Here was Disney’s Alan Horn’s statement on the news, via Deadline:

While the pandemic has changed our release plans for ‘Mulan’ and we will continue to be flexible as conditions require, it has not changed our belief in the power of this film and its message of hope and perseverance. Director Niki Caro and our cast and crew have created a beautiful, epic, and moving film that is everything the cinematic experience should be, and that’s where we believe it belongs – on the world stage and the big screen for audiences around the globe to enjoy together.

The movement of the summer’s last two tentpoles caused a ripple effect through the releases of the smaller movies still hoping for their own theatrical runs in July and August. Most notably, Bill & Ted Face the Music jumped from August 14 (where it would now have to compete with Tenet) to August 28.

Of course, all these little moves assume that the situation around the country will improve next month. At this moment, there’s scant evidence available that will happen. I’m not entirely sure why you would push a movie back just a few weeks at this point, unless these studios believe there’s some chance the larger markets around the country might be open again soon — or if these constant, small moves are a good way for a steady flow of free press because any time they adjust the release calendar sites like this one have to write about them. Either way, I’m more skeptical Mulan and Tenet will open this summer now than at any other point. But I would be happy to be wrong.

Gallery — The Most Surprising Movies on Disney+:

‘The Simpsons’: White Actors Won’t Voice Non-White Characters

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After years of controversy, The Simpsons voice actor Hank Azaria recently confirmed that he would no longer provide the voice of Apu, the Indian-born proprietor of Springfield’s Kwik-E-Mart. Apu is hardly the only non-white character on The Simpsons voiced by a white actor, though — or at least he wasn’t until today. In a statement, Fox announced that “moving forward, The Simpsons will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters.”

The move could have an impact on the show’s supporting cast. Azaria also voiced Bumblebee Man, the pratfall-prone star of a Spanish-language sitcom (who always wears a bumblebee costume), and Carl, one of Homer’s drinking buddies at Moe’s Tavern and co-workers at the power plant. Harry Shearer voiced Dr. Hibbert, the town’s genial doctor. The entire main Simpsons cast is white, which would mean the show would have to bring in new actors to voice these characters (or other non-white characters) in the future.

The Simpsons’ announcement comes as numerous streaming services have pulled down episodes of popular shows like 30 Rock that contain examples of blackface, and after other white voice actors announced they would stop voicing their non-white characters, including Jenny Slate from Netflix’s Big Mouth. That’s a relatively new show, of course; The Simpsons has been on the air since 1989. The show is expected to return for its 32nd season in the fall.

Gallery — 31 Years of Simpsons Chalkboard Gags Ranked From Worst to Best:

Margot Robbie To Star in New ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Film

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Ahoy, mateys. Lower the sail! Raise the anchor! Prepare to set sail for Reboot Island!

Okay, so while I clearly am not qualified to write the picture, Disney is getting ready to restart the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise with a new approach. The Hollywood Reporter says they have brought in Margot Robbie to star in a “female-fronted” Pirates movie, written by Christina Hodson, who did the screenplay for Robbie’s Birds of Prey.

According to THR, this is a wholly new take on the concept of pirates in the Caribbean. Don’t expect to see Captain Jack:

While plot details are being kept in Davey Jones’ locker, the project, in early development, is not intended to be a spinoff of the long-running franchise that had pirate Jack Sparrow at its center but rather a wholly original story with new characters under the Pirates moniker, itself inspired by the long-running attraction at Disneyland. The new project is said to be separate from the already announced reboot of the popular franchise that has Pirates scribe Ted Elliott and Chernobyl creator Craig Mazin developing the story.

I’m not sure why you would have two different Pirates reboots at the same time, unless you don’t think one of them is going to pan out or you’re planning to turn Pirates into some kind of cinematic universe featuring different ships with different characters who eventually meet up. That could be kind of fun, I suppose, although the Pirates franchise as a whole really felt like it ran its course by the final Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales in 2017.

At this rate, though, any new Pirates movie is probably like three to five years away. By then, people may miss the property enough to be excited by a new take on it, especially from Robbie and Hodson. I do think this Reboot Island concept has some promise.

Gallery — The Best Disney Villains in History:

Covid Town Hall Tantrums Edited Into ‘Parks and Rec’ Are Amazing

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It might have ended in 2015, but Parks and Recreation applies a little too well to the era of coronavirus. Consider for example this fan-made supercut that’s making the rounds on social media. It mixes up shots and clips from Parks and Rec with authentic footage from recent town halls in Florida and other states, where locals protested such controversial measures as requiring people to wear masks that could help save their lives and the lives of others

But what about “the 5G?” What about the terrorists? What about the “sex slaves that wear masks?” These folks bring up some trenchant points. Watch the video right here:

Even if the series ended more than five years ago, Parks and Rec already reunited for a socially-distanced special that aired on NBC back in April. (Remember April? It was 12 years ago so your memory may be fuzz.) The show featured almost the entire original cast, including Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Jim O’Heir, and Retta. The special got good reviews but this clip makes us think it wasn’t enough. Can we get a sequel where Poehler and company react in character in real time to these sorts of clips? That would be interesting.

Anyway, wear a mask please. We don’t want to see you in the next one of these Parks and Recreation mashup clips.

Gallery — The Best TV Shows of the Decade:

The Director of ‘Wedding Crashers’ Has An Idea For a Sequel

href=”//screencrush.com/author/mattsinger/” rel=”author” title=”Matt Singer”>Matt SingerNew Line Cinema

Wedding Crashers, starring Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson as a pair of hard-partying dudes who love [checks notes] crashing weddings, grossed over $200 million in 2005, becoming one of the five biggest domestic hits of the year. Three of the other four biggest hits of the year all got sequels, but not Wedding Crashers, which is sort of surprising, since the movie was hugely successful, didn’t cost that much to make, and was seemingly very easy to duplicate. (They [checks notes again] crash wedding again. Or maybe a few bar mitzvahs.)

The film’s director, David Dobkin, explained why 2 Weddings 2 Crashers never happened in an interview with Uproxx about his very fun new Netflix movie, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. Dobkin said the studio wanted another Wedding Crashers “by Monday morning of opening weekend” of its release. He even discussed the possibility with Vaughn and Wilson but, Dobkin explained, “I don’t want to make the same movie again.”

The studio would ask for a sequel almost every year — and every year he’d say no, but then a few years ago Dobkin realized that there could be a way to make a sequel fun and different, simply because they’ve waited so long to make it. More than 15 years later, the characters would be older, and they crashing would look a lot different. Here’s how he described the idea:

My friends that are in their late 40s who, either their marriages didn’t work out or they never even necessarily ended up with the girl that they wanted to marry. In either version, you can’t just have the life you want because you want it. And when you get later in age and you find that even going out dating is weird and strange and you’re looked at as a bit of an old man. I was like, that’s funny. How can we take that? That would be the story I would want to see of these two guys, and so we started hashing it out and we played around with it. It seems very promising.

Dobkin says the movie is still just an idea, although he “connected” with both stars in recent weeks and “there’s something that may be close.” Right now no one is having weddings to crash, so take your time guys.

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HBO Max Will Keep Its DC Comics Movies Available After All

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DC fans were understandably a little upset when they learned that just weeks into HBO Max’s existence, the new streaming service was already removing a bunch of its superhero titles. That was despite the fact that a whole subsection of the HBO Max, including a prominent tab on the home page, was supposed to be devoted to DC Comics and its stable of characters. After subscribers raised a stink, HBO decided to reverse course. Via press release, they’ve announced that “by popular demand” the DC Comics movies will be sticking around “through December 2020.”

The full list of Warner Bros. DC movies that will be available through the rest of the year on HBO Max is:

  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
  • Justice League
  • Suicide Squad
  • Superman: The Movie
  • Superman II
  • Superman III
  • Superman IV: The Quest For Peace
  • Superman: Unbound
  • Watchmen (movie)
  • Wonder Woman

WarnerMedia, which owns HBO Max and DC Comics is the awkward position of having two different streaming services with slightly overlapping content — because they also have a DC Universe streaming service that offers many of these same films, plus other TV series inspired by DC superheroes along with a selection of comic books. Limiting some superhero stuff to DC Universe might get a few people to subscribe to both services … but when you’ve already got people paying a hefty $15 a month for HBO Max, it’s tough to tell them they need to pay more if they want to watch Suicide Squad. 

Gallery — Every DC Comics Movie, Ranked From Worst to Best:

I Love Splash Mountain. It’s Time to Change It.

href=”//screencrush.com/author/mattsinger/” rel=”author” title=”Matt Singer”>Matt SingerBloomberg via Getty Images

Some regular visitors to “The Happiest Place on Earth” are not so happy.

That is not surprising. A certain subset of hardcore Disney fans are fiercely protective of the company’s history, both good and bad. Others are ultra-sensitive about any perceived concession to notions of diversity or sensitivity in any facet of modern life. So the decision Disney announced this week — retheming its popular Splash Mountain attraction around The Princess and the Frog and retiring its characters from Disney’s notorious Song of the South — angered both groups.

A Twitter thread of the “worst” reactions catalogues several recurring themes in the complaints — such as the idea that insists that whatever problems exist in Song of the South do not exist in Splash Mountain, which features the cartoon characters from the 1946 film, including Br’er Rabbit and Br’er Bear, but not the humans like Uncle Remus. The argument: “Splash deals exclusively with the cartoon characters.”

That’s certainly true; while Disney made a questionable decision turning Song of the South into Splash Mountain, they developed it in the mid-1980s — at almost the exact same time the company began withholding the film from public view — and they did try to mitigate its more objectionable content by avoiding any of the racist stereotypes in the original text. Stripped of context, Splash Mountain is a lovely, charming ride. Guests board a log that floats past scenes of Br’er Rabbit and company set to Song of the South’s famous music, including the beloved “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.” Even some Disney fans who would not defend Song of the South have publicly defended the ride, claiming that at this point so few people have even seen the original movie that Br’er Rabbit and the rest are known more for the ride than the film anyway. So what’s the harm in keeping it?

I’ve ridden Splash Mountain numerous times at Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida. It’s a classic of its kind; immersive, sweet, and surprisingly thrilling. It’s got great music, and it cools you off on a hot Orlando afternoon without getting you soaking wet. The ride, in and of itself, is not offensive.

In and of itself. The more defenses I read of Splash Mountain, the more they remind me of defenses of Song of the South. The movie (which I wrote about at length a few years ago here) is not as flagrantly or risibly racist as D.W. Griffith’s infamous silent epic The Birth of a Nation. Song of the South’s Uncle Remus, played by James Baskett, is treated respectfully — almost reverently. The film doesn’t mock its Black characters. This is, after all, a Disney movie.

The problem, as I wrote in 2016, “isn’t necessarily what Song of the South depicts, but what it chooses not to depict”:

The words ‘slave’ and ‘slavery’ are never uttered, and the specifics of the economic relationship between the blacks and whites (Master and slave? Employer and servant?) are left deliberately vague. By stripping out any concrete details of time and place, Disney essentially turned the plantation system into a ludicrous utopia where blacks and whites live in harmony — a harmony where the only thing that’s clear is that the blacks are inferior and servile to the whites, but are content to work the fields anyway.

Again, all of these ideas are unspoken, tucked away in subtext. They’re easy to ignore — if the viewer wants to ignore them. That’s how you get responses to the Splash Mountain retheming announcement like the one I read on Facebook just yesterday that defended Song of the South thusly: “It is a very cheerful film and Uncle Remus is very good friend with the children and helps them see life in a different way.”

In other words, the movie is as harmless as "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" — except that classic Disney tune was inspired by an old folk song with a name so objectionable I refuse to reprint it here. That’s Song of the South, and the entire classical Disney approach, in a nutshell: Wholesome, inoffensive comfort food that draws upon our collective feelings about a more innocent, idealized past. But perhaps some subjects, such as the race relations in Civil War-era America, shouldn’t be turned into comfort food.

I don’t believe Disney should lock Song of the South away in its famous “Disney Vault.” Hiding it allows Disney to pretend its own corporate history is as simple and happy as the film’s portrait of Reconstruction. I would prefer an approach similar to how Warner Bros. recently addressed including Gone With the Wind on HBO Max, with an introduction from film scholar Jacqueline Stewart that adds valuable historical and critical context.

One point Stewart makes during her Gone With the Wind introduction feels particularly relevant to Song of the South and Splash Mountain. “[Gone With the Wind]’s treatment of this world through a lens of nostalgia,” Stewart says of Victor Fleming’s blockbuster, “denies the horrors of slavery, as well as its legacy of racial inequality … The film’s style, plot, and legendary status are so extravagant, in fact, that for many viewers its racial politics are hardly noticed.”

Which brings us back to Splash Mountain. It depicts an innocent, idealized version of Song of the South — which was already an innocent, idealized version of the same period featured in Gone With the Wind. On Splash Mountain, Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear trap Br’er Rabbit in a beehive and toss him in a briar patch. In the scenes from Song of the South that inspired that section of the ride, they trick Br’er Rabbit with a Tar-Baby. Certainly the version in the ride itself is less disrespectful. That doesn’t change where it came from. Splash Mountain riders who only care about their own memories of the attraction are using that same “lens of nostalgia,” and the ride’s handsome style, plot, and legendary status, to overlook the material’s troubling elements.

That’s why, as much as I’ve enjoyed Splash Mountain in the past, I think it’s beyond time to remove the Song of the South material. If we’re being totally honest, the last time I went on Splash Mountain, I thought the animatronics were starting to look a little creaky anyway. Jacqueline Stewart also says that “classic films have been and continue to be a major influence on popular views of history.” If theme park rides work the same way, then the Princess and the Frog version of Splash Mountain will not only bring a much-needed update to a fun ride, it will have a positive influence, too.

Gallery — The Worst Movies Posters in History:

12 Box Office Flops That Became Cult Classics

href=”//screencrush.com/author/claireepting/” rel=”author” title=”Claire Epting”>Claire EptingNew World Pictures/20th Century Fox

Typically, a film’s success at the box office reveals a lot about its future. The better a movie does, the more likely we’ll see a sequel or franchise. But every now and then, a great movie comes along that just tanks in theaters. It can be due to bad marketing, or other times it’s simply lost in a sea of movies in the same genre. Either way, sometimes a gem of a movie slips through the cracks, ultimately losing all chances of hope (and in some cases, millions of dollars).

However, there is hope for these movies — they can be reborn as cult classics. What exactly is a cult classic? Basically, it’s a movie that has an extremely passionate and dedicated fanbase, usually developed years after its release. Here are 12 beloved films that once started out as box-office flops, but have since gained legendary cult film status.


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Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ Pushed Back Again

href=”//screencrush.com/author/mattsinger/” rel=”author” title=”Matt Singer”>Matt SingerWarner Bros.

As coronavirus cases continue to rise around the country, particularly in the South and West, it’s become less and less likely that the delayed summer movie season would begin as (re)scheduled in mid and late July. According to the New York Times, the U.S. saw 36,975 new cases yesterday, almost 50 percent more than the daily total two weeks ago, while many states are reporting their highest number of infections of the entire pandemic. Even if theater chains follow through with their announced plans to reopen by July, they may not be legally allowed to operate in many parts of the country. Audiences might be too scared to show up even if they can leave the house.

So this news is not shocking: Warner Bros. is pushing back Christopher Nolan’s Tenet a second time. It had initially been scheduled for release on July 17, then moved back slightly to July 31 to accommodate theaters slowly reopening their doors. Now the movie will not come out until August 12 at the earliest. If anything, the surprising part is that Warner Bros. only delayed the film for another two weeks. What difference will two weeks make? In two weeks, things could be drastically worse than they are now. It’s hard to imagine them looking drastically better.

That leaves Mulan as the last holdout in July; it’s still technically slated to premiere on July 24. According to The Hollywood Reporter, however, that movie is “expected to push back” from that date as well. If I was a betting man, I wouldn’t put any money on either of these titles arriving before the fall. And if I was a sane man, I wouldn’t go near any theater showing them before then, even if they do come out.

Gallery — The Best Road Trip Movies of All Time:

Another Jurassic Park Character Will Return For Jurassic World 3

href=”//screencrush.com/author/mattsinger/” rel=”author” title=”Matt Singer”>Matt SingerUniversal

After nibbling around the edges of the old Jurassic Park in the first two Jurassic World films, the upcoming third installment of the franchise, Jurassic World: Dominion, will take a big bite out of the original film’s mythology, like a tyrannosaurus clamping down on a lawyer hiding inside a bathroom. Director Colin Trevorrow has already confirmed that series’ legacy stars Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, and Laura Dern, will all reprise their roles as Alan Grant, Ian Malcolm, and Ellie Sattler. It’s like a high school reunion, only with a lot more dinosaurs eating people.

Now Collider reports that another character from the original film will return as well. Their sources claim that Campbell Scott has been cast as Lewis Dodgson, the guy who gave Dennis Nedry the tricked-out Barbasol can in the first movie that he used to smuggle dino embryos out of Jurassic Park.

Nedry’s scheme is what sets off the chain of events that dooms the original Jurassic Park, and he got killed in the process of trying to steal the embryos. The Barbasol can vanished as well. Although Dodgson only appeared in that one scene in Steven Spielberg’s film, Collider notes that in Michael Cricton’s Jurassic Park novel, “Dr. Lewis Dodgson was the head of product development at genetics company BioSyn, a rival of InGen” and that the character appeared in the novel of The Lost World (though not the film version). That could be a clue as where Dominion is headed.

Jurassic World: Dominion is scheduled for release on June 11, 2021.

Gallery — The Best Sci-Fi Movie Posters in History:

‘The Magic School Bus’ Is Getting a Live-Action Movie

href=”//screencrush.com/author/claireepting/” rel=”author” title=”Claire Epting”>Claire EptingPBS/Getty Images

Elizabeth Banks will be joining the cast of Scholastic Entertainment’s live-action movie adaptation of The Magic School Bus as charismatic school teacher Miss Frizzle. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film will be produced by Scholastic alongside Universal Pictures, Marc Platt Productions (Mary Poppins Returns), and Banks’ own Brownstone Pictures.

Based on writer Joanna Cole and illustrator Bruce Degen’s best-selling children’s book series, The Magic School Bus television show debuted in 1994 and ran for four seasons. Since then, the show has been aired on PBS for 18 consecutive years. Each episode’s storyline follows Miss Frizzle and her class as they embark on a field trip in their magic yellow school bus, which can transform into an airplane, submarine, or even a spaceship. It’s also the only kid’s show that we know of that takes you inside a human nostril.

Educational facts are woven into each story, as the kids get to experience the stuff in their science books for themselves. Said Scholastic Entertainment producer Iole Lucchese in a statement: "We are delighted to bring to life the iconic Ms. Frizzle and her zest for knowledge and adventure in a fresh new way that inspires the next generation of kids to explore science and supports the dedicated teachers who help make science real and accessible for young learners every day."

The series was adapted by Netflix in 2017, 20 years after the show’s conclusion. Titled The Magic School Bus Rides Again, the animated show follows the adventures of Miss Frizzle’s younger sister Fiona (Kate McKinnon). However, the upcoming Universal picture will be the first big-screen adaptation in the show’s 26-year history.

Gallery — The Best Children's Shows of All Time:

Splash Mountain Will Be Reimagined As ‘Princess & the Frog’ Ride

href=”//screencrush.com/author/mattsinger/” rel=”author” title=”Matt Singer”>Matt SingerDisney

In recent weeks, fans have petitioned Disney to retheme its popular Splash Mountain ride because it is based on Song of the South, the company’s most controversial movie. The ride first opened at Disneyland in 1989, shortly after the film’s 40th anniversary and around the same time Disney stopped making the movie available because of its stereotypical and racist depictions of African Americans. (If you’ve never watched Song of the South — which Disney has kept out of circulation for decades — everything you want to know about the movie is right here.)

Two more Splash Mountains opened at Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland in 1992, where they have remained amongst the most popular attractions ever since. No wonder; it’s an entertaining log flume ride with impressive animatronics and great songs like the famous “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.” But even if Disney has kept Song of the South out of public view, it’s still the movie that birthed the attraction, which is why many have wanted it changed.

Finally, this week, Disney announced they will “reimagine” Splash Mountain with a new concept is based on The Princess and the Frog that will be “one that all of our guests can connect with and be inspired by.”

More details, via Disney Parks Blog:

The theme is inspired by an all-time favorite animated Disney film, “The Princess and the Frog.” We pick up this story after the final kiss, and join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure – featuring some of the powerful music from the film – as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance

This will be the first attraction based on Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, which came out in 2009 as the first Disney movie featuring an African American princess. Those who’ve argued in favor of a rethemed Splash Mountain have often cited The Princess and the Frog as a perfect replacement, since the story’s aquatic setting — much of the action takes place in the bayou — would work perfectly with the ride’s log flume concept. To me, it makes total sense. (In the blog post, Disney says it has been working on the ride “since last year.”)

There is no announced date for the reimagined Splash Mountain’s reopening but Disney did say “conceptual design work is well underway.”

Gallery — Cool Movie Theme Park Rides That Were Never Finished:


Everything New on Netflix in July

href=”//screencrush.com/author/mattsinger/” rel=”author” title=”Matt Singer”>Matt SingerNetflix

Netflix has dozens — literally dozens — of new shows and movies in July, with new stuff to watch almost every single day of the month. Someone needs to calculate how many hours of content they’re releasing and figure out how much it’s even physically possible to consume in 30 days time. My guess is it’s a tiny percentage of the total stuff on the list below.

The highlights include The Old Guard, a new action film starring Charlize Theron and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, an update of the cult classic TV series Unsolved Mysteries, a new season of The Umbrella Academy, and something called Down to Earth With Zac Efron in which “actor Zac Efron journeys around the world with wellness expert Darin Olien in search of healthy, sustainable ways to live.”

Zac Efron, thank you.

Here’s the full list of new titles on Netflix in July. Get watching:

Avail. 7/1/20
Chico Bon Bon: Monkey with a Tool Belt: Season 2 — NETFLIX FAMILY
Chico Bon Bon and his Fix-It Force crew are on call to solve any problem, from heating up a cold cup of cocoa to rescuing a sandwich from a safe.

Deadwind: Season 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Corruption and murder collide as Helsinki detectives Sofia Karppi and Sakari Nurmi scour the city for the rumored connection.

Dream weddings really do come true as experts Jeremiah Brent, Thai Nguyen and Gabriele Bertaccini help couples pull off their perfect celebration.

Under the Riccione Sun — NETFLIX FILM
While vacationing on the beaches of Riccione, a group of teens become friends and help each other manage romantic relationships and summer crushes.


Unsolved Mysteries — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY
The iconic series UNSOLVED MYSTERIES is back! Fusing signature elements from the original series with contemporary immersive, character-driven storytelling, the new episodes are rooted in the experiences of ordinary people who have lived the unthinkable — from the trauma of a loved one’s unexplained disappearance or horrific death, to the shock of a bizarre paranormal encounter. Alongside detectives and journalists, family members offer clues, present theories, and identify suspects, hoping one viewer holds the key to solving the mystery. From the creators of the original docuseries, Cosgrove/Meurer Productions, and 21 Laps Entertainment, the producers of Stranger Things.

#Anne Frank – Parallel Stories
A Bridge Too Far
A Thousand Words
A Touch of Green: Season 1
A Walk to Remember
Abby Hatcher: Season 1
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm
Charlotte's Web
Clash of the Titans (1981)
Cleo & Cuquin: Season 2
Cloud Atlas
David Foster: Off the Record
Definitely, Maybe
Delta Farce
Donnie Brasco
Double Jeopardy
Fiddler on the Roof
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
Killing Hasselhoff
Kingdom: Season 1-3
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events
Mean Streets
Million Dollar Baby
Paranormal Activity
Patriots Day
Quest for Camelot
Red Riding Hood (2011)
Schindler's List
Sleepless in Seattle
Sleepy Hollow
Stand and Deliver
Starsky & Hutch
Sucker Punch
The Art of War
The Devil's Advocate
The F**k-It List
The Firm
The Karate Kid
The Karate Kid Part II
The Karate Kid Part III
The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
The Town
The Witches
This Christmas
Total Recall (1990)

Avail. 7/2/20
In a rollicking special, Thiago Ventura jokes about life in the hood, politics and more, explaining how actions speak louder than words.

After waking up in a morgue, an orphaned teen discovers she now possesses superpowers as the chosen Halo-Bearer for a secret sect of demon-hunting nuns.

Avail. 7/3/20
The Baby-Sitters Club — NETFLIX FAMILY
Netflix’s new series THE BABY-SITTERS CLUB is based on the best-selling book series, that follows the friendship and adventures of Kristy Thomas (Sophie Grace), Mary Anne Spier (Malia Baker), Claudia Kishi (Momona Tamada), Stacey McGill (Shay Rudolph), and Dawn Schafer (Xochitl Gomez) as the middle-schoolers start their babysitting business in the town of Stoneybrook, Connecticut. Rounding out the cast, Alicia Silverstone plays Elizabeth Thomas-Brewer, the selfless single-mother of Kristy Thomas and love interest of all around good guy Watson Brewer, played by Mark Feuerstein. Ann M. Martin, the beloved series author and producer on the new series, was the first to conceive the idea of these inspiring young girls with different backgrounds, personalities and opinions that were brought together by a business venture they conceived and bonded through the friendships they forged. The adaptation of the contemporary dramedy that continues to champion friendship, female empowerment and entrepreneurship was led by Rachel Shukert (Glow) as showrunner and Lucia Aniello (Broad City) as executive producer.

Cable Girls: Final Season: Part 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
When Lidia's biggest rival uses a prison camp to enact revenge, Lidia and her friends become even more defiant in their fight against Franco's regime.

Desperados — NETFLIX FILM
A panicked young woman (Nasim Pedrad) and her two best friends (Anna Camp & Sarah Burns) fly to Mexico to delete a ranting email she sent to her new boyfriend. On arrival, they run into her former beau (Lamorne Morris), who soon gets caught up in their frantic scheme.

A paranormal researcher searches obsessively for a cursed home where something terrible happened to a mother and her child long ago.

Southern Survival — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
The BattlBox crew tests out a variety of products designed to help people survive dangerous situations, including fires, explosions and intruders.

Avail. 7/5/20

Avail. 7/6/20
A Kid from Coney Island

Avail. 7/7/20
Dr. Seuss' The Lorax

Avail. 7/8/20
The Long Dumb Road

Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY
Astrologer Walter Mercado, with 120 million viewers at his peak, was sui generis: a peacock in macho culture, a naive biz whiz, a courier of hope.

At an Australian immigration detention center, four strangers — a troubled woman, an anguished refugee, a bureaucrat and a struggling dad — cross paths.

When four very different men appear in her life, a single mother who hasn't dated in years begins to rediscover love — and herself.

Yu-Gi-Oh!: Season 1

Avail. 7/9/20
Japan Sinks: 2020 — NETFLIX ANIME
After catastrophic earthquakes devastate Japan, one family's resolve is tested on a journey of survival through the sinking archipelago.

The Protector: Season 4 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Vizier and the Immortals rule over modern Istanbul, Hakan travels to the past to stop a war, and Zeynep undergoes a powerful transformation.

Avail. 7/10/20
The Claudia Kishi Club — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY
Asian American creatives pay passionate tribute to the iconic, stereotype-busting "Baby-Sitters Club" character in this heartfelt documentary short.


Down to Earth with Zac Efron — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
In this travel show, actor Zac Efron journeys around the world with wellness expert Darin Olien in search of healthy, sustainable ways to live.

The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants in Space — NETFLIX FAMILY
Best friends George and Harold — along with their classmates and tyrannical principal — are recruited for a mysterious mission in outer space.

Hello Ninja: Season 3 — NETFLIX FAMILY
In their third season, the adventure-loving ninjas learn new katas, meet Wesley’s cousin, Gen, and visit Baa-chan’s hometown of Osaka, Japan.

O Crush Perfeito (Dating Around: Brazil) — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
In this reality show, six singles meet five different blind dates at trendy hot spots in São Paulo. Who will they choose for a second date?


The Old Guard — NETFLIX FILM
Led by a warrior named Andy (Charlize Theron), a covert group of tight-knit mercenaries with a mysterious inability to die have fought to protect the mortal world for centuries. But when the team is recruited to take on an emergency mission and their extraordinary abilities are suddenly exposed, it’s up to Andy and Nile (Kiki Layne), the newest soldier to join their ranks, to help the group eliminate the threat of those who seek to replicate and monetize their power by any means necessary. Based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Greg Rucka and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (LOVE & BASKETBALL, BEYOND THE LIGHTS), THE OLD GUARD is a gritty, grounded, action-packed story that shows living forever is harder than it looks.

Twelve ordinary citizens on jury duty must decide the fate of a respected headmistress accused of two murders.

Avail. 7/14/20
The Business of Drugs — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY
To detail how drugs push people into risky — even deadly — behaviors, former CIA officer Amaryllis Fox investigates the economics of six illicit substances.

On est ensemble (We Are One) — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY
Activists around the world fight injustice and drive social change in this documentary that follows their participation in the music video “Solidarité.”

Urzila Carlson: Overqualified Loser — NETFLIX COMEDY SPECIAL
Urzila Carlson keeps the laughs coming with thoughts on "The Biggest Loser," sex tapes and boxed wine in a stand-up special from Melbourne, Australia.

Avail. 7/15/20
Married Alma spends a fateful weekend away from home that ignites passion, ends in tragedy and leads her to question the truth about those close to her.

Gli Infedeli (The Players) — NETFLIX FILM
From campy lies to sexy surprises, this collection of vignettes captures the follies of several men as they fumble with fidelity and relationships.

Skin Decision: Before and After — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Plastic surgeon Dr. Sheila Nazarian and skin-care expert Nurse Jamie use the latest procedures to transform clients and bring out their best selves.

Sunny Bunnies: Season 1-2

Avail. 7/16/20
Fatal Affair — NETFLIX FILM
Ellie (Nia Long) tries to mend her marriage with her husband Marcus (Stephen Bishop) after a brief encounter with an old friend, David (Omar Epps), only to find that David is more dangerous and unstable than she'd realized. FATAL AFFAIR is directed by Peter Sullivan.

Indian Matchmaking — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Matchmaker Sima Taparia guides clients in the U.S. and India in the arranged marriage process, offering an inside look at the custom in a modern era.

Three best friends in their 40s start relationships with younger men while on vacation.

Pride & Prejudice (2005)

Avail. 7/17/20
Boca a Boca (Kissing Game) — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
In a Brazilian cattle-ranching town, adolescents panic when they're threatened by the outbreak of a contagious infection transmitted by kissing.


Based on the New York Times bestselling book, Cursed is a re-imagination of the Arthurian legend, told through the eyes of Nimue, a young woman with a mysterious gift who is destined to become the powerful (and tragic) Lady of the Lake. After her mother's death, she finds an unexpected partner in Arthur, a humble mercenary, in a quest to find Merlin and deliver an ancient sword. Over the course of her journey, Nimue will become a symbol of courage and rebellion against the terrifying Red Paladins, and their complicit King Uther. Cursed is a coming-of-age story whose themes are familiar to our own time: the obliteration of the natural world, religious terror, senseless war, and finding the courage to lead in the face of the impossible.


Avail. 7/18/20
Gigantosaurus: Season 1
The Notebook


Avail. 7/19/20
The Last Dance
In the fall of 1997, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls began their quest to win a sixth NBA title in eight years. But despite all Jordan had achieved since his sensational debut 13 years earlier, “The Last Dance,” as coach Phil Jackson called it, would be shadowed by tension with the club’s front office and the overwhelming sense that this was the last time the world would ever see the greatest player of all time, and his extraordinary teammates, in full flight.

Avail. 7/20/20
Ashley Garcia: Genius in Love — NETFLIX FAMILY
On the heels of the Fall Ball, Ashley continues her California adventure — and explores the thrills and spills of teen romance.

Avail. 7/21/20
How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast): Season 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
As Moritz and the MyDrugs crew ramp up their hustle, the online drug shop grows more successful — and even more dangerous.

Ip Man 4: The Finale

Jack Whitehall: I'm Only Joking — NETFLIX COMEDY SPECIAL
Award-winning actor, comedian, and presenter Jack Whitehall is back with more hilarious quips and shocking stories in his second Netflix original comedy special, Jack Whitehall: I'm Only Joking. The hour-long set features a disastrous audience interaction, absurd tales of Jack's [in]famous father, and an uncomfortable story from the Berlin airport. Filmed at Wembley Stadium in January of this year, Jack Whitehall: I'm Only Joking premieres globally on Netflix on July 21, 2020.

Street Food: Latin America — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY
From the creators of CHEF'S TABLE, the hit series STREET FOOD returns for a new culinary adventure. The newest installment will travel to six countries in Latin America and explore the vibrant street food culture of Oaxaca, Mexico; Salvador, Brazil; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Lima, Peru; Bogota, Colombia; and La Paz, Bolivia. Each episode highlights the stories of perseverance and culture that bring life to each country's cuisine.

Avail. 7/22/20

Fear City: New York vs The Mafia — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY
This docuseries chronicles how the feds took down the five mafia empires of New York City at the height of their powers during the 1980s.

Love on the Spectrum — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY
Finding love can be hard for anyone. For young adults on the autism spectrum, exploring the unpredictable world of dating can be even more complicated.

Norsemen: Season 3 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
This season of the Norwegian Viking comedy goes back in time to tell the story that led to Season 1. Don’t worry, there is still plenty of pillaging and plundering.
The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion

When a young woman's murder shows similarities to a decade-old cold case, a new police commander must break the silence permeating an Owl Mountain town.

Open Road Pictures


Avail. 7/23/20
The Larva Island Movie — NETFLIX FAMILY
The island adventures of silly larva buddies Yellow and Red get a feature-length treatment, taking their slapstick fun to the next level.

Avail. 7/24/20
¡A cantar! (Sing On! Spain) — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
In this new singing contest, players face off on some of the biggest hits, and the jackpot of up to 30,000 euros grows every time they hit the right note.

Animal Crackers — NETFLIX FILM
A family inherits a neglected circus … along with a magical box of animal crackers that turn whoever eats one into a real, live animal.

Dragons: Rescue Riders: Secrets of the Songwing — NETFLIX FAMILY
When a musical dragon with a beautiful voice hypnotizes the dragons and people of Huttsgalor, the Rescue Riders have to find a way to break the spell.

In the Dark: Season 2

The Kissing Booth 2 — NETFLIX FILM
In this sequel, high school senior Elle juggles a long-distance relationship, college apps and a new friendship that could change everything.

Ofrenda a la tormenta — NETFLIX FILM
Amaia investigates several suspicious infant deaths and horrific rituals. Meanwhile, people around her risk grave danger. Part 3 in the Baztan Trilogy.

Avail. 7/26/20
Banana Split
Shameless: Season 10

Avail. 7/28/20
Jeopardy!: Collection 6

Netflix’s critically acclaimed, Emmy-nominated series Last Chance U returns for Season 5 in a brand new setting to give viewers a raw, authentic look at the junior college football program at Laney College in the heart of Oakland, CA. After clinching the title of state and national champions in 2018, the Laney Eagles have a hard season to follow and a lot to prove. Going into his eighth season and having built the program from the ground up, powerhouse head coach John Beam must fight to rally the team amidst countless setbacks. Season 5 brings intensity both on and off the field as players battle injuries, stress, and personal demons while finding much needed support in the community and taking pride in their scrappy mentality and motto “Laney Built.”

Avail. 7/29/20
A duplicitous young man finds success in the dark world of social media smear tactics — but his virtual vitriol soon has violent real-life consequences.

Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons: Season 4 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Journalist Raphael Rowe lives like an inmate while investigating dangerous prisons in Paraguay, Germany, Mauritius and Lesotho.

Avail. 7/30/20
Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie

Transformers: War For Cybertron Trilogy — NETFLIX ANIME
On their dying planet, the Autobots and Decepticons battle fiercely for control of the AllSpark in the Transformers universe's origin story.

Avail. 7/31/20
Four teen enemies band together to exact revenge on their bullies until they get blamed for a crime they didn’t commit. Will they get mad — or get even?

Latte and the Magic Waterstone — NETFLIX FAMILY
In this animated adventure, brave hedgehog Latte sets out to retrieve a magic stone from a greedy bear king and restore water flow to the forest.

Seriously Single — NETFLIX FILM
Two besties with polar opposite views of men, sex and love navigate the complicated singles scene together in this romantic comedy.

Discover the special bond — and uncommon competitive spirit — shared by the world's Rubik's Cube-solving record breakers in this documentary.

Sugar Rush: Extra Sweet — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Four teams of brilliant bakers battle it out for sugary success as they race against each other and the clock over three rounds of competition. This season the challenges are harder, the creations are more spectacular and the rewards are even sweeter. Hosted by Hunter March, judges Candace Nelson & Adriano Zumbo return for the Extra Sweet season.

Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix

The Umbrella Academy: Season 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
The super-powered Hargreeves siblings return for Season 2.

Vis a vis: El Oasis (Locked Up) — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
After years of stealing jewelry, Zulema and Macarena recruit four other women for a final heist worth millions, to take place at a narco family wedding.

Gallery — The Funniest Netflix Thumbnails:



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Jenny Slate Will No Longer Voice Black Character on ‘Big Mouth’

href=”//screencrush.com/author/mattsinger/” rel=”author” title=”Matt Singer”>Matt SingerGetty Images/Netflix

Animation is a world where, in theory, anyone can play anyone — because actors only provide voices that are supplemented by artists. In recent years, that’s caused issues for shows like The Simpsons, where a white actor, Hank Azaria, voiced an Indian character, Kwik-E-Mart manager Apu, for decades. Azaria announced a few months ago that he would no longer voice Apu, and in Azaria’s defense, he began portraying the character while the first George Bush was the President of the United States.

The practice of casting white actors as the voices of minority characters didn’t end in the late ’80s or ’90s or even the 2000s — new shows have continued it. On Netflix’s Big Mouth, for example, the character of a half-Black/half-Jewish girl named Missy Foreman-Greenwald was voiced by Jenny Slate, who is Jewish, but not Black.

Here’s a scene from Big Mouth featuring Missy:

Slate has voiced Missy for three seasons. But with even greater scrutiny on issues of systemic racism in Hollywood and the media in recent weeks, Slate has now announced that she can “no longer play” Missy, and will not continue with the show. In a lengthy Instagram post, Slate said that when she first took the role she reasoned “that it was permissible for me to play Missy because her mom is Jewish and White — as am I. But Missy is also Black, and Black characters on an animated show should be played by Black people. I acknowledge how my original reasoning was flawed, that it existed as an example of white privilege and unjust allowances made within a system of societal white supremacy, and that in me playing “Missy,” I was engaging in an act of erasure of Black people.”

Big Mouth creators Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin, and Jennifer Flackett posted their own apology and explanation to Kroll’s instagram, in which they wrote they “sincerely apologize for and regret our original decision to cast a white actor to voice a biracial character. We made a mistake, took our privilege for granted, and we’re working hard to do better moving forward.” They also noted that Missy will be recast with a Black actor, and that they “look forward to being able to explore Missy’s story with even greater authenticity in the years to come.”

It is sort of shocking that a show like Big Mouth, which premiered three years ago, cast Slate as a Black character in the first place, but it’s not an isolated incident; on another Netflix cartoon, BoJack Horseman, Alison Brie voiced a Vietnamese woman for six seasons. (Show creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg recently laid out the entire situation, and admitted his mistakes, on Twitter.)

The larger issue here, beyond it being an animated form of blackface that perpetuates stereotypes, is how doing this systemically repeatedly hands white actors the roles that could be given to actors of color. And that needs to change. In the meantime, Netflix has already renewed Big Mouth for at least three more seasons.

Gallery — The Best TV Shows of 2020 So Far:

Disneyland Postpones Reopening Plan

href=”//screencrush.com/author/mattsinger/” rel=”author” title=”Matt Singer”>Matt SingerGetty Images

Closed for months because of the pandemic, Disney has spent recent weeks preparing to reopen all of its theme parks around the world, with most expected to begin welcoming back tourists wearing mouse-shaped hats in mid- and late July. That includes the company’s original park, Disneyland, which had previously announced a plan to reopen by July 17. That would have been an appropriate day for an opening; it marks the anniversary of the park’s original opening day back in 1955.

Alas, that plan is now off the table. On the same day that California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state had over 7,000 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, Disney announced that its Disneyland reopening plan was officially (and indefinitely) on hold because the company is waiting for “reopening guidelines from the state” which are not coming “until sometime after July 4”:

Given the time required for us to bring thousands of cast members back to work and restart our business, we have no choice but to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort hotels until we receive approval from government officials. Once we have a clearer understanding of when guidelines will be released, we expect to be able to communicate a reopening date.

Disney also needs to come to terms with the unions that represent its thousands of employees; thus far, the company says, they have “signed agreements from 20 union affiliates.” The previously announced plan to reopen the nearby Downtown Disney shopping and dining area will proceed as scheduled on July 9. Those looking to ride Space Mountain, however, will need to wait a while longer.

Gallery — Movie-Based Theme Park Rides That Were Never Made:

Universal Plans ‘Twister’ Reboot

href=”//screencrush.com/author/mattsinger/” rel=”author” title=”Matt Singer”>Matt SingerUniversal

It is, once again, headed right for us.

Variety reports that one of the biggest movies of the ’90s is now up for rebootification. That would be Twister, the 1996 thriller about Helen Hunt and the late Bill Paxton as a pair of storm chasers trying to understand the science behind tornados.

Despite the fact that neither Hunt nor Paxton were huge stars at the time, and despite the fact that the movie was based on nothing more than the notion that tornados look cool (and could be portrayed onscreen better than they ever had in the past thanks to digital effects), Twister became a massive blockbuster. It was the second-highest grossing film of 1996 behind only Independence Day. It made more money than the first Mission: Impossible, The Rock, and Jerry Maguire. It even got its own (somewhat hilarious) Universal Studios theme park attraction for a time.

Now it’s getting a reboot, with Top Gun: Maverick’s Joseph Kosinski “in negotiations” to direct it:

Frank Marshall will produce the pic and the studio is currently meeting with writers to pen the script. Plot details are vague on this latest version, but the original film starred Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt, who play storm chasers and a couple on the brink of divorce. They team up to chase tornadoes in order to deliver their advance weather alert system that has to be placed in the path of the Twister.

Paxton passed away in 2017. But Helen Hunt’s still around, and so is original Twister director Jan de Bont. What’s he up to these days?

Gallery — Reboots That Are Also Sequels:

The Lord of the Rings TV Series Casting For ‘Funky-Looking’ Faces

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Do you have an overbite? Are you extremely and almost dangerously hairy? Are you very very short? Or super-duper tall? Are you missing teeth? Do you have “long skinny limbs”? Have you been burdened with “acne scars, ears that stick out,” or a “bulbous or interesting nose?” Do you have a false eye that you can remove on command?

If any or all of these sound like you definitely check out this Facebook ad from BGT talent agency, who are currently casting for Amazon’s upcoming TV series adaptation of The Lord of the Rings and are looking for, in their words “funky-looking” people to fill out the cast. They literally asked for people with false eyes that can be removed on command.

The Facebook post includes a whole list of types they want:

  • Short people under 4 foot 12 (we know that 4 foot 12 is 5 foot)
  • Tall people over 6 foot 5
  • Character faces, wrinkles and lots of them please
  • Androgynous men and women
  • Hairy hairy people of all ages and ethnicities
  • Tall, Long Lithe dancers
  • Circus performers who can juggle, stilt walk!
  • Stocky mean-looking bikers
  • Eurasian people of all ages.
  • Hispanic – Latino, Mexican, South American
  • Red heads all ages, shapes and sizes.
  • HAIR HAIR HAIR – if you natural red hair, white hair, or lots and lots of freckles.
  • Middle-earth don’t manscape, apparently.

    Interested parties are welcome to email evelina@bgt.nz — but you need to be “a New Zealand resident or hold a valid New Zealand work visa.” Sorry to all the stocky, mean-looking bikers who can also juggle and stilt walk out there in the good old United States of America. Perhaps someday they’ll reboot Sons of Anarchy just for you.

    Gallery — The Dumbest Sequel Subtitles in History:

    [H/T Lite 98.7]

    Brooklyn Nine-Nine Trashed 4 Episodes After George Floyd’s Death

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    Pretty much every TV show is struggling to adjust to the new reality of the world in 2020, but few series are under as much pressure as Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the long-running comedy series about a group of New York City cops starring Andy Samberg. After the death of George Floyd and massive protests against police brutality, people might just not want to watch funny police hijinks right now, no matter how much they previously liked the show, its creators, or its stars.

    In the immediate aftermath of Floyd’s death, the cast and creators of Brooklyn Nine-Nine collectively donated $100,000 to the National Bail Fund Network, which was a welcome gesture. Now the team is looking to next season, which presents a major challenge. Series star Terry Crews told Access Hollywood that the show already discarded four episodes it had planned for next year because they didn’t work in light of the events of recent weeks.

    As he put it:

    We’ve had a lot of somber talks about it and deep conversations and we hope through this we’re going to make something that will be truly groundbreaking this year. We have an opportunity and we plan to use it in the best way possible. Our show-runner Dan Goor, they had four episodes all ready to go and they just threw them in the trash. We have to start over. Right now we don’t know which direction it’s going to go in.

    Productions everywhere are delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic, which adds another complicated layer to shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine. How much of reality do you acknowledge? And if you do acknowledge it, how do you make it funny? There’s not a lot to laugh about right now. We’ll see what they come up with when the show (hopefully) returns to NBC in late 2020.

    Gallery — The Best TV of 2020 So Far:

    ‘Fortnite’ Is Hosting A Christopher Nolan-Themed Movie Night

    href=”//screencrush.com/author/claireepting/” rel=”author” title=”Claire Epting”>Claire EptingWarner Bros. Pictures

    As traditional movie theaters struggle to find their footing amidst this global pandemic, alternative forms of film viewing are finding their way to the surface. At-home VOD and drive-in theaters have gained popularity, and now Fortnite is gearing up its platform to feature an in-game movie night. Not just any movie night either — this one is Christopher Nolan-themed. This Friday night, log onto the Fortnite server to view one of three Nolan films (Inception, The Prestige, and Batman Begins), depending on your location.

    The event is officially called Movie Nite, and will take place on Fortnite’s new Party Royale island on the big screen. For players in the United States, the screen will play Inception at 8PM ET and again at 11:55PM ET. Those in the U.K. and Canada will be able to view The Prestige at 12PM ET. For the full list of movie showings per country, check out the official Fortnite Party Royale website.

    Movie Nite will operate very much like the Travis Scott Fortnite concert, in that players will be able to jump in and out at any time during the festivities. That means you better be there at 8pm sharp if you want to catch the whole picture. The movie won’t wait up for you, very much like at an actual movie theater. Just a month ago, Nolan used the Party Royale server to premiere a new trailer for his upcoming feature Tenet. This is the first full-length movie event to take place in Fortnite. Who knows, maybe it will become a regular thing?

    Fortnite’s Movie Nite will take place June 26 at 8PM ET. Better get there a little early to make sure you get a good seat.

    Gallery — Cerebral Sci-Fi On Streaming:

    ‘Muppets Now’ Trailer: The Muppets Try Improv

    href=”//screencrush.com/author/mattsinger/” rel=”author” title=”Matt Singer”>Matt SingerDisney+

    If you’re not a Broadway and/or history buff, the most exciting title coming to Disney+ in July has to be Muppets Now, the first new Muppets TV show in several years. The six-part season is also billed as the Muppets’ “first-ever unscripted series” which should be interesting. Can’t wait to see how good Beaker is at “yes, and”ing Dr. Bunsen Honeydew!

    It also features a bunch of celebrity cameos, and a couple of new characters.Here’s the show’s new trailer:

    And this is the show’s official synopsis:

    In a true first for the studio, “Muppets Now” is an unscripted series filled with improv comedy, off-the-cuff gags, and the Muppets’ celebrity friends. In the six-episode season, Scooter rushes to make his delivery deadlines and upload the brand-new Muppet series for streaming. They are due now, and he’ll need to navigate whatever obstacles, distractions, and complications the rest of the Muppets throws at him. Overflowing with spontaneous lunacy, surprising guest stars and more frogs, pigs, bears (and whatevers) than legally allowed, the Muppets cut loose in “Muppets Now” with the kind of startling silliness and chaotic fun that made them famous. From zany experiments with Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker to lifestyle tips from the fabulous Miss Piggy, each episode is packed with hilarious segments, hosted by the Muppets showcasing what the Muppets do best.

    Muppets Now premieres on Disney+ on July 31. New episodes will go up weekly on Fridays.

    Gallery — The Best TV Shows on Disney+:

    Henry Cavill Reveals Why He’s Most Excited to See the Snyder Cut

    href=”//screencrush.com/author/claireepting/” rel=”author” title=”Claire Epting”>Claire EptingDC Films

    If at first you don’t succeed, recut the movie and try again. 2017’s infamous superhero crossover Justice League is getting a cape-lift and a 2021 release, recut by the film’s original director Zack Snyder. The Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice director had to depart from the project due to a family tragedy, so Avengers director Joss Whedon stepped in to finish things up in post. The resulting film is a mish-mash of styles and creative visions, receiving all around poor reviews and box office revenue. Now, Snyder will be releasing a revised cut on HBO Max, in an attempt to set things right.

    In Variety’s latest Actors on Actors interview, Patrick Stewart spoke with Superman actor Henry Cavill about his Justice League experience. When asked about his opinions on the new “Snyder Cut,” Cavill replied that he didn’t know much more than we did, except that it’s going to be “Zack’s final vision” for the movie. Cavill continued, “I’m just really happy that Zack got to realize his vision. I think it’s important for a filmmaker and a storyteller to have their intended vision released and shown to the world, and I’m looking forward to seeing it myself. It’s been quite the ordeal.”

    Cavill agreed that Justice League suffered from a “mix of visions,” and believes that watching the Snyder cut will be a “very enjoyable” experience. We can't wait to see it for ourselves.

    Gallery — Actors Who Have Appeared In Marvel and DC Films:

    Doctor Compares Going to Movies Maskless to ‘Russian Roulette’

    href=”//screencrush.com/author/mattsinger/” rel=”author” title=”Matt Singer”>Matt SingerGetty Images

    Although confirmed cases of coronavirus are rising swiftly in areas of the United States — the number of new cases is back up over 35,000 today, according to the New York Times — major movie theaters are still proceeding with their reopening plans. All of the big multiplex chains currently expect to be open by the middle of July, with new safety regulations in place to try to protect guests. The plans include limiting the number of tickets sold to any one movie, increased cleanings, and, in a some cases, requiring guests to wear masks.

    Movie lovers like myself desperately want to go back to theaters. But they all want to know the answer to one question that is very difficult to answer: Is it safe? Vulture put that question to Dr. Robert Lahita, chairman of medicine at St. Joseph’s Health in New Jersey and professor of medicine at New York Medical College. By and large, Lahita was encouraged by the steps theaters are taken to protect guests, saying he was “actually surprised at how thorough some of the planning is.”

    If it sounds like a “But!” is coming, that’s because there is — and that is the reluctance on the part of some of these theater chains to mandate masks, or for those that are “requiring” masks to allow exceptions for those eating concession snacks. Dr. Lahita says you’d “have to be nuts” to go to a theater without a mask, and compares that decision to “Russian roulette.”

    Overall, Lahita believes you’re “95 percent safe if you go to the movies [with all of the stated measures in place],” and certainly safer than you would be attending live theater. Still, that sounds like a pretty big if — since we don’t know how carefully the “stated measures” will be enforced, how many guests will refuse to follow the rules, or how much snack sales will cancel out the benefits of regulations about masks.

    So, is it safe? That’s not for me to say. Personally, I tend to prefer leisure activities that do not draw comparisons to infamous scenes from The Deer Hunter. You can read Lahita’s full assessment of movie theater safety at Vulture.

    Gallery — Why We Miss Movie Theaters During the Pandemic: