Joker (2019) – Non-Spoiler Review

A Warner Bros Picture, Written by Todd Phillips and Scott Silver, Directed by Todd Phillips.

Joker has become the centre of a media storm that is totally missing the point the film is trying to make, and is therefore letting down this incredibly powerful and intellectual movie, which also features one of cinema’s great performances from Joaquin Phoenix.

The movie itself is remarkably good, it really is better than anyone could have realistically expected. Todd Phillips has crafted a Gotham City that feels so lived in, full of horror, and on the brink of revolution that it makes Arthur’s descent feel incredibly authentic. The things he has to endure are heartbreakingly real and agonising to watch, it is so evident how the people and world around him crafted this monster. There are so many surprises so I cannot go into it, but the chain of events that lead to “when you bring me out, can you introduce me as Joker” feel so natural and terrifying. Saying all of that, there is absolutely no way his actions should be defended and I don’t think the movie does that at any point, which I hope people can see. It builds to an incredibly unique, thrilling, and startling last 30 minutes that will go down in cinema history.

The films visual style and character focused drama has incredibly strong ties to the past Scorsese films, specifically Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, and this is made even more evident with Robert De Niro’s presence in the film, in a role that is small but crucial. Zazie Beetz is sympathetic and a good addition as well, but this film totally belongs to one man, and he is Joaquin Phoenix. From the vulnerabilities he presents in Arthur, to the bizarre and horrific laugh, the physical transformation, to the absolutely chilling edge he brings to the character, Phoenix has truly re-defined the Joker and has delivered one of the most complex and impressive acting performances in recent memory.

This is a film about society. It is a society that lets down the mentally ill, the poor, the most vulnerable among us, and it is often the rich and powerful that are the main contributors to this horror. It is Gotham City in the 1980s, but it is almost every real life city in 2019, and that is haunting. The outrage about how this film may inspire mass shootings is shocking and wide of the mark, and is almost in itself a more likely way of inciting violence. Joker actually acts as a warning for the horrors that could follow if we continue to act as we do, and I hope this message manages to cut through the noise.

I sincerely hope the outrage quietens down and this film can be seen for what it is. The movie experience feels almost like a fever dream that Arthur goes through, and the way Phillips handles all the important subjects I’ve previously mentioned and mixes them brilliantly into the Batman mythology shows the level of research that was done, and really proves to me that this film should feature in the awards race across the board, but the one certainty is that Joaquin Phoenix must be nominated for his mesmerizing performance.

Send in the clown…

Word Count = 547

Rating = 4.5/5

Updated Oscar Predictions

This is my updated predictions for this year’s Oscars, exactly a month on from my last predictions. These are likely to continue to wildly change over the coming months, but this how I believe things may currently play out.

Best Picture

This is a hard to predict category as much can change with the reception of these films in the next months, and you never know how many films the academy will actually nominate as they rarely go up to the 10 they are allowed.

Ford v. Ferrari (Fox)

Joker (Warner Bros)

Just Mercy (Warner Bros)

Little Women (Sony)

Marriage Story (Netflix)

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony)

The Farewell (A24)

The Irishman (Netflix)

The Two Popes (Netflix)

1917 (Universal)

Wildcard = Parasite (Neon)

Best Director

There are many factors that can influence this category but it is rare a director is nominated here if their film is not nominated for Best Picture as well.

Greta Gerwig – Little Women

James Mangold – Ford v. Ferrari

Martin Scorsese – The Irishman

Noah Baumbach – Marriage Story

Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Wildcard = Bong Joon Ho – Parasite

Best Actor

This category is likely to be filled with very high profile actors this year, and in a rare turn for the Oscars, could be filled by performances from some of the year’s biggest box office films as well.

Adam Driver – Marriage Story

Christian Bale – Ford v. Ferrari

Joaquin Phoenix – Joker

Leonardo DiCaprio – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Robert De Niro – The Irishman

Wildcard = Adam Sandler – Uncut Gems

Best Actress

This is a category that looks wide open at this point of the year with very few sure bets, and that should make for a very exciting few months as we see how this unfolds.

Awkwafina – The Farewell

Lupita Nyong’o – Us

Renee Zellwegger – Judy

Saoirse Ronan – Little Women

Scarlett Johansson – Marriage Story

Wildcard = Charlize Theron – Bombshell

Best Supporting Actor

This proves to be another fascinating battle where some actors who really delivered lead performances could be moved into this category as they may be seen as having a better chance of winning here or to get out of the way of a co-star who is viewed as having a better chance as lead.

Al Pacino – The Irishman

Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Anthony Hopkins – The Two Popes

Jamie Foxx – Just Mercy

Joe Pesci – The Irishman

Wildcard = Robert Downey Jr – Avengers: Endgame

Best Supporting Actress

This category is also a wide open one this year, with a couple of actresses (Margot Robbie/Laura Dern/Nicole Kidman) having the possibility to be nominated for one of a couple of films this year, and it will be interesting to see if this goes against them and they end up splitting the vote.

Florence Pugh – Little Women

Jennifer Lopez – Hustlers

Laura Dern – Marriage Story

Margot Robbie – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Zhao Shuzhen – The Farewell

Wildcard = Maggie Smith – Downton Abbey

Deep Dive into Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn)

Yesterday saw the long anticipated release of the first full trailer for DC’s Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn). The film releases in just over four months, and it is a fascinating next step for the much discussed DCEU, and in this post I will take a look at what the movie will be about, why it became what it did, and the impact it could have on the future of the DCEU.

Back in 2016, following the huge commercial success of David Ayer’s Suicide Squad, it was announced he would direct a film called Gotham City Sirens. This would reunite him with Squad standout Margot Robbie, who would again play Harley Quinn, and would also feature two of DC’s most popular characters in Catwoman and Poison Ivy. However, due to the critical fallout from Suicide Squad, and the multiple Harley projects that were then tentatively announced, the film never got made. The DCEU has only released 4 films since Suicide Squad in August 2016 as it has been trying to course correct, but through this time, they have been determined to get Harley Quinn back on the silver screen as soon as possible. This then lead to them offering Margot Robbie a Harley Quinn solo film, which she would then proceed to produce. However, due to Margot’s feeling that Harley should be part of a ‘girl gang’ and the fact she wanted to highlight lesser seen DC heroine’s, this all lead to the announcement that Harley would feature in a Birds of Prey film, and Margot also took the great step of hiring Cathy Yan to direct, as she is an Asian director who had only made a couple of very small indie films, but was given an opportunity that is readily given to many men, but rarely to women or people of colour.

In the comics, Birds of Prey usually features Barbara Gordon (Batgirl/Oracle), Helena Bertinelli (Huntress) and Dinah Lance (Black Canary), but two scripts were written, one with Gordon in and one without (but both featuring Harley, who isn’t a part of the team usually). In the end, the script chosen didn’t feature Gordon, and this is long rumoured because she may play a big part in Matt Reeves’ new Batman trilogy, which will link into the main DCEU, but in a way so far undisclosed. This has been a recurring theme in the development of Birds of Prey, I believe the reason there isn’t a Gotham City Sirens film is because Reeves wants to cast his own Catwoman and have her as a main character in The Batman, and he also wants to have his own Penguin be a part of that film, which is why the Penguin is no longer a villain in Birds of Prey like was originally intended. I feel like this has resulted in Birds of Prey being something of a throw together to still ensure Harley gets her return to the DCEU, and hopefully will be a fun building block to continue this part of the cinematic universe, building towards a Gotham City Sirens movie and much more in the near future.

As for the film itself, it will focus on Harley Quinn after she has broken up with the Joker and she is searching for emancipation, while also crossing paths with Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez), and Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Basco), with Ewan McGregor starring as villain Black Mask who is chasing them down. The trailer shows us the film will be packed full of action, style, and humour, with a huge focus on Harley Quinn and her emotional development. It looks like it is presenting a neon dripped version of Gotham City unlike we have seen before, and I personally cannot wait for it, and the way it will set up the future.

Margot Robbie will return again as Harley Quinn in 2021 for James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, and after that, I wouldn’t be surprised if she appeared in at least a film a year in the DCEU for years to come. Long live “the one, the only, the infamous, Harley Quinn”.

Spider-Man’s Second Homecoming

How Tom Holland’s Peter Parker dramatically returned to the MCU, what this move will mean for all parties involved, and how Deadpool may be key.

One of the most public negotiations in studio history has seemingly taken its final turn with the news that a “third film in the Spider-Man: Homecoming series” will launch in July 2021 and will be produced again by Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, and Amy Pascal. In the most simple of terms, this means that Tom Holland’s Peter Parker will still be a part of the MCU during his third and presumably final solo film. The third film will apparently be “Peter Parker centric” and will have to deal with the shocking cliff hanger to Far From Home where (spoiler alert) a dying Mysterio framed Peter for his death, and outed him as Spider-Man to the whole world, so it is key that the film will still be a part of the MCU to finish this story.

The new deal also means that Spider-Man will appear in one undisclosed future MCU movie, which will take Holland’s MCU appearances as Peter Parker to 7, which is more than double any other actor has played the role and it includes 3 solo films, which ties with the amount of solo films that Tobey Maguire had in 2002-2007.

As to what the future MCU film will be, there are multiple options that make sense. It is likely to be at least a large supporting role due to the nature of these negotiations, and with this also in mind, it is likely the appearance will take place soon, with 2022 being the absolute latest. Looking at the options ahead, 2020 has Black Widow (an already filmed prequel to Infinity War) and Eternals (a generation spanning film focusing on gods), and neither of these films have any reason to feature Spider-Man, and therefore can be ruled out. We move to 2021, which kicks off with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings; this is a character that does have history in the comics of teaming up with Spider-Man but the film is an important introduction to a character in the MCU that will likely be hugely overshadowed by the most popular superhero in history appearing in his film, and Marvel is too smart to allow this to happen. Then comes Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in May of 2021. This film will feature Doctor Strange and Scarlett Witch exploring the multiverse (which could’ve been used as a way to explain Holland’s exit if a new deal couldn’t be reached) and this therefore allows for plenty of opportunity for Spider-Man to feature. If you add into it that the characters have an established MCU relationship, it is the MCU film just before Spider-Man 3, and both are based in New York, then it makes it the most likely place for the character to appear in the films already set, as Thor: Love and Thunder has enough characters already and Spidey doesn’t really fit into that world.

However, I believe that it is most likely that this undisclosed appearance will take place in 2022, where Marvel has yet to specify what the films will be. The most likely two films that Spider-Man could appear in would be a theoretical Avengers 5/Young Avengers where he could again take centre stage in another billion dollar Marvel mash up, but there is a chance that we wont get another Avengers film until at least 2023, as we have been told the Avengers are taking a break post Endgame, and May (where Avengers films have always launched, with the exception of occasionally launching in the last week of April) has already been given to Black Panther 2.

With this in mind, my best guess and also the way I really hope they go with this, is to have Holland’s Parker be the one to co-star in Deadpool 3. This would be a great way to introduce Reynolds’ Wade Wilson to the MCU as the two characters have one of the biggest comic book backgrounds as a duo of any characters, and Holland and Reynolds would have perfect chemistry, as Holland’s awkward Parker would perfectly mash with Reynolds’ sarcastic Wilson. Deadpool is already an incredibly valuable character and will be the only one to survive the X-Men’s move to the MCU, and surely Feige and friends will recognise how perfect this would be for all involved.

However, this may not be the end of Holland as Parker, because there is always a chance another new deal will be struck, and due to the characters age and the amount of storylines and popularity, Spider-Man could continue as the centre of the MCU for many years to come in a deal that would benefit both Sony and Disney (In the 5 Holland has appeared in so far; 1 made over 800 million dollars, 2 have grossed over a billion, and 2 have grossed over 2 billion). This could see Peter Parker in multiple different MCU movies as well as continuing his own solo films every couple of years, but for now that is mere conjecture. For now, Tom Holland is back in the MCU (despite never leaving on screen) and we can’t wait to see what is ahead for the web slinger.

*In a post that will be uploaded in the upcoming days, I will look into the future of Sony’s own Spider-Verse, and due to Kevin Feige’s recent comments, how Spider-Man may feature in that universe as well.

Ad Astra (2019) – Non-Spoiler Review

A 20th Century Fox Picture, Written and Directed by James Gray.

Brad Pitt battles internal demons, daddy issues, and the void of space in James Gray’s stunning astronaut drama.

This movie has often been pitched as “2001 meets Apocalypse Now” due to the grandeur and scale of the film, as well as its focus on the huge isolation you would feel in the inconceivable vastness of space. These themes are all certainly present, but I also feel it draws great comparison with First Man, the Ryan Gosling film from last year, where Gosling played Neil Armstrong, a man who very rarely showed his emotions and remained remarkably calm under the most extreme of pressure, similar to Pitt’s Roy McBride in Ad Astra.

From start to finish, Brad Pitt appears in almost every scene of the film and his character is one who struggles to show his emotions (his emotions are only brought to the surface later on in the film when his mission to reach his father becomes increasingly intense). Pitt delivers a very complex and layered performance that only a few actors would be able to do to the level that he does, and this is a credit to the man who himself has said that he is probably a “character actor trapped in the body of a leading man”. He will very likely find himself in the nominations as a supporting actor for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but Pitt truly deserves double recognition and I would not be surprised to see him nominated in the leading actor category too for this film.

Gray uses the visuals of space to explore the terrifying possibility that we are truly alone in the universe, and the lengths at which some people will go to escape the realities of their existence on earth. The film also focuses heavily on Pitt’s admiration and fear of his long lost father, and the very same father’s toxic traits that Pitt’s character fears he may have inherited. Ad Astra provides more questions than answers, and in this case, this approach actually works. It is incredibly intellectual and thought provoking in a way that most blockbuster films rarely are anymore, and that is why it stands out from the crowd, and I hope that it is still in the conversation during this year’s awards season.

Word Count = 390

Rating = 4.5/5

The Emmy Results

I recently made my predictions for the Emmy’s and we now have the results, so here I will look at what I got right, and what I surprises occurred.

The big takeaways of the night for me were Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s incredibly deserved wins for Fleabag and most of all, the incredible Jodie Comer winning best actress in a drama for her role as Villanelle in Killing Eve was a great surprise and totally deserved.

Overall, in my predictions I got 14 correct out of 27, and from what I wanted to win, there was 9 out of 27. Thanks for following along with thus blog and over the coming months I will have plenty of coverage of the movie awards race, all the way up to the Academy Awards.

Outstanding Comedy Series

Prediction – Barry

My Winner – Fleabag

The Winner – Fleabag

Outstanding Drama Series

Prediction – Game of Thrones

My Winner – Bodyguard

The Winner – Game of Thrones

Outstanding Limited Series

Prediction – When They See Us

My Winner – Sharp Objects

The Winner – Chernobyl

Outstanding Television Movie

Prediction – Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

My Winner – Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

The Winner – Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

Outstanding Variety Talk Series

Prediction – Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

My Winner – The Late Late Show with James Corden

The Winner – Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

Prediction – Saturday Night Live

My Winner – Who Is America?

The Winner – Saturday Night Live

Outstanding Competition Program

Prediction – RuPaul’s Drag Race

My Winner – N/A

The Winner – RuPaul’s Drag Race

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Prediction – Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul

My Winner – Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul

The Winner – Billy Porter – Pose

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Prediction – Sandra Oh – Killing Eve

My Winner – Jodie Comer – Killing Eve

The Winner – Jodie Comer – Killing Eve

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Prediction – Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones

My Winner – Alfie Allen – Game of Thrones

The Winner – Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Prediction – Julia Garner – Ozark

My Winner – Maisie Williams – Game of Thrones

The Winner – Julia Garner – Ozark

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Prediction – Bill Hader – Barry

My Winner – Ted Danson – The Good Place

The Winner – Bill Hader – Barry

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Prediction – Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep

My Winner – Phoebe Waller-Bridge – Fleabag

The Winner – Phoebe Waller-Bridge – Fleabag

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Prediction – Henry Winkler – Barry

My Winner – N/A

The Winner – Tony Shalhoub – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Prediction – Alex Borstein – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

My Winner – Betty Gilpin – GLOW

The Winner – Alex Borstein – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Prediction – Jharrel Jerome – When They See Us

My Winner – Sam Rockwell – Fosse/Verdon

The Winner – Jharrel Jerome – When They See Us

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Prediction – Patricia Arquette – Escape at Dannemora

My Winner – Amy Adams – Sharp Objects (My performance of the year)

The Winner – Michelle Williams – Fosse/Verdon

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Prediction – Ben Whishaw – A Very English Scandal

My Winner – Ben Whishaw – A Very English Scandal

The Winner – Ben Whishaw – A Very English Scandal

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Prediction – Patricia Clarkson – Sharp Objects

My Winner – Margaret Qualley – Fosse/Verdon

The Winner – Patricia Arquette – The Act

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series

Prediction – Miguel Sapochnik – Game of Thrones (The Long Night)

My Winner – David Benioff and D. B. Weiss – Game of Thrones (The Iron Throne)

The Winner – Jason Bateman – Ozark (Reparations)

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series

Prediction – Bill Hader – Barry (ronny/lily)

My Winner – Harry Bradbeer – Fleabag (Episode 1)

The Winner – Harry Bradbeer – Fleabag (Episode 1)

Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special

Prediction – Johan Renck – Chernobyl

My Winner – Stephen Frears – A Very English Scandal

The Winner – Johan Renck – Chernobyl

Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series

Prediction – Don Roy King – Saturday Night Live (Host: Adam Sandler)

My Winner – Don Roy King – Saturday Night Live (Host: Adam Sandler)

The Winner – Don Roy King – Saturday Night Live (Host: Adam Sandler)

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

Prediction – David Benioff and D. B. Weiss – Game of Thrones (The Iron Throne)

My Winner – Jed Mercurio – Bodyguard (Episode 1)

The Winner – Jesse Armstrong – Succession (Nobody Is Ever Missing)

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

Prediction – Alec Berg and Bill Hader – Barry (ronny/lily)

My Winner – Phoebe Waller-Bridge – Fleabag (Episode 1)

The Winner – Phoebe Waller-Bridge – Fleabag (Episode 1)

Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special

Prediction – Ava DuVernay and Michael Starrbury – When They See Us (Part 4)

My Winner – Craig Mazin – Chernobyl

The Winner – Craig Mazin – Chernobyl

Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series

Prediction – Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

My Winner – N/A

The Winner – Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Predicting The Emmy’s

The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards will air on 22nd September 2019 where the Academy will hand out its awards for the best of TV in the June 1 2018 until May 31 2019 period. I have done a deep dive into what the industry is saying in order to provide my predictions and have also added in which of the nominees I would like to win, and also in some cases, have added shows I would have liked to see nominated. There are certain of the big nominees that I have yet to have the chance to see so cannot put them in the bracket of my winner, but they may have been in there if I had seen them (the big ones are Barry/Chernobyl).

It was another amazing year in TV with some more superb work being done. The most talked about was the final season of Game of Thrones which is a show I have absolutely adored but was left disappointed with the final season. Shows like Killing Eve, Bodyguard, and Fleabag have really continued to break the mould and set new standards for the medium.

Without further ado, here is my list of Emmy predictions:

Outstanding Comedy Series

Prediction – Barry

My Winner – Fleabag

Should’ve been a contender – GLOW/Bojack Horseman

Outstanding Drama Series

Prediction – Game of Thrones

My Winner – Bodyguard

Should’ve been a contender – Daredevil

Outstanding Limited Series

Prediction – When They See Us

My Winner – Sharp Objects

Should’ve been a contender – Good Omens

Outstanding Television Movie

Prediction – Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

My Winner – Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

Should’ve been a contender – N/A

Outstanding Variety Talk Series

Prediction – Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

My Winner – The Late Late Show with James Corden

Should’ve been a contender – N/A

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

Prediction – Saturday Night Live

My Winner – Who Is America?

Should’ve been a contender – N/A

Outstanding Competition Program

Prediction – RuPaul’s Drag Race

My Winner – N/A

Should’ve been a contender – N/A

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

Prediction – Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul

My Winner – Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul

Should’ve been a contender – Richard Madden – Bodyguard

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

Prediction – Sandra Oh – Killing Eve

My Winner – Jodie Comer – Killing Eve

Should’ve been a contender – Maggie Siff – Billions

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Prediction – Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones

My Winner – Alfie Allen – Game of Thrones

Should’ve been a contender – N/A

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Prediction – Julia Garner – Ozark

My Winner – Maisie Williams – Game of Thrones

Should’ve been a contender – N/A

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

Prediction – Bill Hader – Barry

My Winner – Ted Danson – The Good Place

Should’ve been a contender – Will Arnett – Bojack Horseman

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Prediction – Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep

My Winner – Phoebe Waller-Bridge – Fleabag

Should’ve been a contender – Alison Brie – GLOW

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Prediction – Henry Winkler – Barry

My Winner – N/A

Should’ve been a contender – N/A

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Prediction – Alex Borstein – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

My Winner – Betty Gilpin – GLOW

Should’ve been a contender – Emma Mackey – Sex Education

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Prediction – Jharrel Jerome – When They See Us

My Winner – Sam Rockwell – Fosse/Verdon

Should’ve been a contender – Benedict Cumberbatch – Brexit

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Prediction – Patricia Arquette – Escape at Dannemora

My Winner – Amy Adams – Sharp Objects (My performance of the year)

Should’ve been a contender – Florence Pugh – The Little Drummer Girl

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Prediction – Ben Whishaw – A Very English Scandal

My Winner – Ben Whishaw – A Very English Scandal

Should’ve been a contender – N/A

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Prediction – Patricia Clarkson – Sharp Objects

My Winner – Margaret Qualley – Fosse/Verdon

Should’ve been a contender – Eliza Scanlen – Sharp Objects

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series

Prediction – Miguel Sapochnik – Game of Thrones (The Long Night)

My Winner – David Benioff and D. B. Weiss – Game of Thrones (The Iron Throne)

Should’ve been a contender – Miguel Sapochnik – Game of Thrones (The Bells)

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series

Prediction – Bill Hader – Barry (ronny/lily)

My Winner – Harry Bradbeer – Fleabag (Episode 1)

Should’ve been a contender – Harry Bradbeer – Fleabag (Episode 4)

Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special

Prediction – Johan Renck – Chernobyl

My Winner – Stephen Frears – A Very English Scandal

Should’ve been a contender – Jean-Marc Vallée – Sharp Objects (Falling)

Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series

Prediction – Don Roy King – Saturday Night Live (Host: Adam Sandler)

My Winner – Don Roy King – Saturday Night Live (Host: Adam Sandler)

Should’ve been a contender – N/A

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

Prediction – David Benioff and D. B. Weiss – Game of Thrones (The Iron Throne)

My Winner – Jed Mercurio – Bodyguard (Episode 1)

Should’ve been a contender – Erik Oleson – Daredevil (A New Napkin)

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

Prediction – Alec Berg and Bill Hader – Barry (ronny/lily)

My Winner – Phoebe Waller-Bridge – Fleabag (Episode 1)

Should’ve been a contender – Raphael Bob-Waksberg – Bojack Horseman (Free Churro)

Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special

Prediction – Ava DuVernay and Michael Starrbury – When They See Us (Part 4)

My Winner – Craig Mazin – Chernobyl

Should’ve been a contender – Neil Gaiman – Good Omens (The Very Last Day of the Rest of Their Lives)

Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series

Prediction – Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

My Winner – N/A

Should’ve been a contender – N/A

Casting The Batman (2021)

In 2021, Matt Reeves’ The Batman will release into cinemas and launch a new era for the Dark Knight. The rumours are that it will be a detective focused film that will have most of Batman’s rogues gallery already existing in Gotham. Most sources seem to imply the film will feature Catwoman, Penguin, Two-Face, Riddler, Mad Hatter and Firefly, along with the usual characters of Alfred, Gordon, and Lucius Fox.

These are not particularly predictions, but what my ideal cast would be from these characters that are rumoured to be featured in the film. I will select by top choice, my back up, and then a dream casting that usually will be very unlikely to happen. I’m sure many people will disagree with these choices but these are simply my personal picks and I welcome discussion about it.

Bruce Wayne/The Batman:

Robert Pattinson (Confirmed)

Selina Kyle/Catwoman:

Top Choice – Ana De Armas

Back Up – Lily James

Dream – Ana De Armas (She is rumoured to actually be the front runner for the role)

Oswald Cobblepot/The Penguin:

Top Choice – Toby Jones

Back Up – Peter Dinklage

Dream – Andy Serkis (Unlikely due to directing Venom 2 which releases at the end of 2020)

Harvey Dent/Two-Face:

Top Choice – Daniel Kaluuya

Back Up – Zachary Quinto

Dream – Denzel Washington (Unlikely to take on comic book role, especially when it is not lead)

Edward Nygma/The Riddler:

Top Choice – David Tennant

Back Up – Eddie Redmayne

Dream – David Tennant/Matt Smith (Matt Smith is unlikely as he is in Morbius in 2020 in the Spider-Man universe)

Jervis Tetch/Mad Hatter:

Top Choice – Paul Dano

Back Up – Simon Pegg

Dream – Jake Gyllenhaal (Is already Mysterio in MCU/this is a smaller role he would be unlikely to take)

Firefly:

Top Choice – Carey Mulligan

Back Up – Kristen Bell

Dream – Amy Adams (Is already Lois Lane in the DCEU)

Detective James Gordon:

Top Choice – Bryan Cranston

Back Up – Dennis Haysbert

Dream – Brad Pitt (Seems to be taking a bigger step back from acting after his successful 2019 and concentrating more on producing)

Alfred Pennyworth:

Top Choice – Ralph Fiennes

Back Up – Jared Harris

Dream – Daniel Day-Lewis (He has apparently retired from acting and would have been unlikely to take the role anyway)

Lucius Fox:

Top Choice – Lakeith Stanfield

Back Up – John David Washington

Dream – Lakeith Stanfield

Bonus

These characters seem very unlikely to appear in the first Batman film but could appear in future Batman or DCEU films in the future (especially for Poison Ivy who could very likely star in a Gotham City Sirens film alongside Harley Quinn and Catwoman). Joker is likely on a hiatus following Suicide Squad and Joker, but the character is the most iconic villain in cinema history and it is unlikely a full Batman trilogy would happen without the Joker featuring at some stage.

Poison Ivy:

Top Choice – Ruth Wilson

Back Up – Haley Bennett

Dream – Emma Stone (She has already been a part of the Spider-Man franchise and is unlikely to take on another role like this yet)

Joker:

Top Choice – Bill Skarsgard

Back Up – Sam Rockwell

Dream – Leonardo DiCaprio/Joaquin Phoenix (DiCaprio would be very unlikely to take on a franchise role and Phoenix has already played the character in 2019s Joker which is billed as a one off)

The Future of the DCEU

The DC Extended Universe has been technically alive since Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel in 2013, but it really kicked into life in 2016 with Snyder’s Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. However, despite many good aspects, since its inception it has been plagued by a poor critical reception and large backlash’s on social media. The box office of these films had been incredibly high (until Justice League finally broke the run) but the series has had few smash hits both critically and commercially.

Man Of Steel earned solid reviews (with criticism over the violent ending) and solid box office, but not good enough for a standard sequel as Warner Bros opted to turn the sequel into a crossover with Batman to launch their own cinematic universe in response to Disney’s MCU. Batman v. Superman grossed huge box office but was trashed by critics and many fans, but Ben Affleck’s Batman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman received praise. A similar situation occurred in that summer when David Ayer’s Suicide Squad premiered to more huge box office but even worse reviews. Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn was a definite stand out, but Jared Leto’s Joker was poorly received.

It was lucky then that the next movie was 2017s Wonder Woman which was the DCEU’s first critical smash and box office sensation. However, it was unfortunate that it was just a few months later that the much edited Justice League released to horrific reviews and low end box office on a huge budget, and it spelled the end of the DCEU as we knew it.

Affleck and Cavill would never return to their roles, but it was the debut of Jason Momoa’s Aquaman and Ezra Miller’s Flash. It wasn’t for another 13 months that the DCEU would release a film, but when it did, James Wan’s Aquaman was a huge hit with fans and critics, and became the DCEU’s first billion dollar entry. This was followed soon after by the equally well received Shazam, but unfortunately the box office for this entry was very low, and it got caught in between the storm of Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame.

Later in 2019 will see the release of Joker, but this more arthouse film will not be a part of the DCEU and therefore any further related films will not be included in this prediction as they will not be part of the main DCEU.

When looking at what the future holds, I have factored in the films already dated, the films we know are in development, and some of my researched predictions based on the popularity of certain characters and the trends of superhero cinema. So here are my predictions of the next 8 years of the ever changing DCEU:

2020

Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn) (Confirmed)

Wonder Woman 1984 (Confirmed)

2021

The Batman (Confirmed)

The Suicide Squad (Confirmed)

The Trench

2022

Black Adam

The Flash

Aquaman 2 (Confirmed)

2023

The New Gods

Wonder Woman 3

Gotham City Sirens

2024

Batgirl

The Batman 2

Green Lantern Corps

2025

Birds of Prey vs Gotham City Sirens

Superman

The Flash 2

2026

Supergirl

Justice League 2

Aquaman 3

2027

Batgirl 2

The Batman 3

Cyborg

The Future of the MCU – Movies

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the most successful franchise in Hollywood history and with Avengers: Endgame, it has the most successful movie in history as well. Despite all this, the MCU is just getting bigger and bigger still, with an expanding slate of films and TV shows.

However, here I will specifically look at the movies (I will explore the Disney+ TV slate in a future post) and judging by the already established release dates, the films we know are in development, and my researched estimates, I have put together a look at what could be the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Disney has recently acquired Fox and it’s range of Marvel characters can now join the MCU so this will factor in hugely to the future of the MCU, but they are unlikely to join for at least another few years. Also, judging by the ongoing situation where Spider-Man seems to be leaving the MCU due to a dispute with Sony, many things have to be considered here and I have put a lot of thought into it. I am presuming Spider-Man will unfortunately not be a part of the MCU for the foreseeable future but this could change at any time if Disney and Sony reach a compromise.

This specific universe could go on for decades but here I specifically look at the next 8 years, so my predictions for the immediate future of the MCU are as follows:

Phase 4

2020

Black Widow (Confirmed)

Eternals (Confirmed)

2021

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (Confirmed)

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Confirmed)

Thor: Love and Thunder (Confirmed)

Phase 5

2022

Blade

Black Panther 2 (Confirmed)

Fantastic Four

2023

Captain Marvel 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Deadpool 3

2024

Shang-Chi 2

Avengers 5

X-Men

Phase 6

2025

Blade 2

Doctor Strange 3

Iron-Heart

2026

Nova

Black Panther 3

Deadpool and the Wolverine

2027

Captain Marvel 3

The New Guardians

Fantastic Four 2

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