Marvel sure is being pretty free with the rumors of new reshoots for Avengers: Endgame, which means they’re planning to crush our hearts in new and unexpected ways with this movie.
We know that we can often expect spoilers from Tom Holland, Mark Ruffalo, or Sebastian Stan. The three are infamous in the Marvel Cinematic Universe fandom for telling us things they probably shouldn’t. To the point where now, they do it as jokey bits and it has kind of taken the fun out of it.
That being said, Marvel is still extremely secretive about what they share with the public before one of their films is released. Remember when they filmed a ton of extra footage for Avengers: Infinity War so that no one would really know how it was going to end? So why are they so open about who is currently doing reshoots for Avengers: Endgame—especially with characters that are supposed to be super-dead, not just dusted? There’s no way they aren’t involved in something as big as Zoe Saldana publically announcing that she’s been back as Gamora.
My personal theory is simple: We’re going to see the Avengers who vanished in the snap or died throughout the duration in the film as a ploy that Thanos uses against the Avengers who are still alive. Which is evil, even for Thanos. Bringing their images to life using the Reality Stone to show the remaining Avengers what they lost? Using Gamora to get back at Nebula?
This is my explanation as to why Marvel is letting us see that Zoe Saldana did reshoots.
Or maybe I’m thinking too hard into this. Maybe it is simple! We know that Thanos had a flashback to baby Gamora after the snap and maybe his conscious is now Gamora. Since he killed her to obtain the Soul Stone, maybe she can sway him, come to him in visions and talk to him. Or, since Karen Gillan was doing reshoots (and Marvel let her say so on Twitter), maybe this is a flashback with the whole family.
Theories are still floating around as to how the snapped Avengers will return to the franchise or if they even come back to this reality (I still think we might just be seeing Peter Parker and the others in an alternate timeline, it is a comic book franchise after all). That being said, it is still interesting to note that Marvel is giving us a lot more information than they did for Avengers: Infinity War, so maybe this is all smoke and mirrors to make us think we know what’s going on when we have no idea what pain Marvel has in store for us.
Anne Hathaway has signed on to play the Grand High Witch in Robert Zemeckis’s new adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book The Witches. The book follows the adventures of Luke, a seven-year old boy who encounters a convention of witches while on vacation with his grandmother, and is turned into a mouse by the witches.
The book was previously adapted by Nicolas Roeg in 1990, with Angelica Huston playing the role of the Grand High Witch. The film was commercially unsuccessful, but holds a rare 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It is now considered a cult classic, and is easily one of the scariest films of our childhood. While the film deviated from the book’s dark ending, Zemeckis plans to hew more closely to Dahl’s beloved novel.
There’s a lot to get excited about here: Hathaway is a fun choice for the Grand High Witch, and it’s always nice to her play against type as a mean girl (see Ocean’s 8). And while the film is said to follow the book more closely, the location has been moved from England to Alabama, and Luke and his grandmother will be African-American. Zemeckis wrote an earlier draft of the script with Black-ish‘s Kenya Barris. In addition, Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro are on board as producers.
Guillermo del Toro was originally attached to direct, and it’s a major loss that he will only be producing on the project. Then there is the Zemeckis of it all: As much as I love Back to the Future, Zemeckis hasn’t made a decent film since Forrest Gump. As his passion for cutting edge technology and VFX grows, he seems to have lost the original storytelling magic that made his earlier films so iconic.
His last few efforts have been met with poor reviews, most recently the Steve Carell starrer Welcome to Marwen. It’s assured that the special effects in The Witches will be excellent, but I am sad to lose the Jim Henson designs of the 1990 film. I just hope Zemeckis doesn’t turn The Witches into a Polar Express-style nightmare.
It’s also disappointing that we will never get to see Cuaron and GDT’s planned stop-motion version of the film, with a script written by GDT. I can imagine that would have been a suitably disturbing take on the story.
What do you think of Anne Hathaway’s casting? Are you looking forward to The Witches reboot?
We previously covered the allegations and news that SMILF creator Frankie Shaw was under investigation for “abusive behavior and violations of industry rules.” Now Shaw is speaking out about this in an interview with NBC’s Today with Kathie Lee and Hoda.
Sadly, it was only briefly, but she did address the allegations, saying: “This is my first time doing this job and we moved fast, and I was learning on the go and I’m just really grateful that I can take these lessons of being a more aware and in-tune showrunner moving forward.”
“I’m just really grateful that I can take these lessons of being a more aware and attune showrunner moving forward.”
To recap, here are the things that Shaw is accused of doing according to the Hollywood Reporter piece that came out last year:
“[…] according to sources, Rosie O’Donnell, who plays the character if Tutu on the show, contacted Showtime executive Amy Israel as well as executive producer Scott King, in order “to express concern about a chaotic and troubled set” especially due to, allegedly, “Shaw’s treatment of fellow actress Samara Weaving.”
Weaving is leaving the show and “she claimed her contract was breached during the filming of a sex scene in the second season.” In said scene, Shaw is alleged to have instructed video monitors to be turned on even though the set was supposed to be closed.”
Samara Weaving had a non-nudity clause in her contract that Shaw was allegedly bullying her into breaking. One part of the report claims that when Weaving said no about appearing nude, “a source says an exasperated Shaw pulled her into a trailer, yanked off her own top and demanded to know why Weaving had a problem being nude when Shaw had no such concerns. (Shaw’s lawyer says her breasts were not exposed when she yanked up her shirt.)”
Now, I’ve never been a creator or showrunner of a show, but I can imagine that if you are a feminist and want to create a healthy work environment you don’t demand that people who don’t want to appear nude do so (when it’s in their contract that existed when you hired them) and pull off your own top in response, exposed breasts or not. It’s unprofessional at least and sexual harassment at worse. She’s your employee and co-worker, that sort of behavior is unacceptable. Add that to the claims that Shaw kept a segregated writing room, and it’s just not a good look all around.
While Rosie O’Donnell is standing beside Shaw now, it should be noted that she was the one who brought attention to the treatment of Samara Weaving.
Shaw’s statement leaves me cold. Lack of experience running a show can lead to multiple problems, but racism and harassment should not be among those things that should be considered “growing pains.” Shaw has been a working actress since 2oo5, she’s been on sets before. Another human being’s suffering at your hand is not a test run, and I wish she’d actually had something more thoughtful to say.
What Shaw did shouldn’t be excused because she’s a woman. She’s a professional and earned the opportunity to lead the charge and she squandered it. I hope she can right the ship since the show is moving forward, but we shouldn’t be quick to forget what she is accused of doing.
Season four of The Magicians returns to SyFy on January 23rd, so we thought it was the perfect time to go through the ups and downs of season three, which is available now on Netflix.
The Mary Sue’s Kaila Hale-Stern and Princess Weekes have just returned from a long journey of binge-watching the most recent season. Here’s what we loved and, well, what we took to just about as well as Alice on Julia’s magic.
Silence Is Golden:
The best episode of the season is surely “Six Short Stories About Magic,” in a daring non-linear format that shows the same events from six different characters’ perspectives. By the time we arrive at Harriet (Marlee Matlin)’s story, the episode has built up considerable tension and raised the dramatic stakes. Then we get an extraordinary silent sequence, told entirely in sign language and subtitles.
I’ve never seen anything quite like it, and on a show about magical powers with storylines that have involved gods and monsters, this was its most gripping moment to date. It was also incredible to watch the masterful Matlin, an Academy Award-winning actress for 1987’s Children of a Lesser God, reveal Harriet’s truths as a deaf character whose deafness does not play into her plot but is simply another element of her characterization. We got to witness what unfolded while immersed in her perspective, and it’s not an experience I’m going to forget.
Penny, Penny, Penny:
Princess goes into this further, but the charming Arjun Gupta really got to stand out this season as Penny, especially in the episode “Be the Penny.” The risks that The Magicians took this season with offbeat and boundary-breaking episodes really paid off. As has been the case in previous seasons, episodes like Penny’s, “Six Short Stories About Magic” and “A Life In the Day” demonstrate that the show is at its best when it focuses on character and character interactions instead of convoluted bigger-picture pieces. There was also great development for previously “supporting” characters like Kady, Fen, and Josh this season, and they became part of the group.
I love that The Magicians found a way to give us yet more Penny by bringing Penny 23 into the mix, thus neatly sidestepping the issue of “our” Penny being stuck in the Underworld and out of action, at least for the time being. I’d watch an episode comprised entirely of Pennys from different timelines interacting with each other. Hey, if we can have multiple Quentins and multiple Joshes, they can make this happen.
Queliot For the Win, or When Shippers’ Dreams Come True
Quentin and Eliot slept together in a threesome with Margo in season one, and there’s always been a charged quality to their friendship. But one of the most fantastic things about The Magicians is that it seems to understand the fluid sexuality of its post-collegiate set, and hooking up with someone of the same sex is treated as perfectly normal and often goes unremarked upon.
That’s unbelievably refreshing, especially when you consider that Jason Ralph’s Quentin Coldwater is the “romantic lead” of the show, even if The Magicians has become a compelling ensemble drama. There aren’t many shows that would depict their male lead as bisexual, and even better, bisexual without any angst about it. Quentin’s other relationships are marked with drama, but his bond with Eliot is unfailing.
That’s why the season three episode “A Life In the Day” feels like an extraordinary culmination of these themes. In the episode, Quentin and Eliot travel back in time and end up spending an entire lifetime together as they try to solve one of the quest’s puzzles. It’s not long before they’re resigned to their fate to remain there, and Quentin kisses Eliot one night, who embraces him in return. While Quentin goes on to have a son with a woman, it’s Eliot who raises the boy with him, and it’s clear that theirs is the true partnership. “We had a family,” they realize upon being restored to their timeline. The montage of their life together is beautiful and heartbreaking.
As Michael Ahr wrote over at Den of Geek, “What show other than The Magicians could get away with showing an entire lifetime of existence catering to a specific ‘ship’ in its fandom while still beautifully serving the overall story?” I honestly can’t think of another show that would have or could have done so, or would have had the courage and confidence to pull it off. And sexual relationship aside, Quentin and Eliot are a wonderful example of a loving and supportive male friendship. More of all of this, please.
I’ve found it hard to care about The Magicians‘ Narnia knock-off for a while. Fillory is a joke that doesn’t get better with the telling, and much of the time there this season felt like the show was dragging its feet. The endless political machinations weren’t really worth it until the second-to-last episode with its cheeky electoral politics.
Margo was the bright spot of Fillory this season as she came increasingly into her own and “got shit done,” to paraphrase Penny. But the endless back and forth with the Fairies, the Fillorians, and the weird segway with the “Floater” people felt tiresome when the plots happening elsewhere were much more intriguing. Sometimes the show seems to want to make Fillory a funny place, and sometimes it wants Fillory to be its Westeros, like the bizarre storyline where Margo’s husband-to-be is murdered at the altar by his creepy little brother. When the best part of your alternate universe is foul-mouthed messenger bunnies, it may be time to move on.
Alice Or Should I Say Willow:
Alice is a complicated character who has gone through a lot, but it felt like this season, she was mostly trapped in echoes of plots from previous shows. Like Buffy‘s Willow, she was a hugely powerful and clever witch who basically became corrupted by magic, and as with Willow’s tiresome magic = drugs arc, there were several Alice is jonesing for magic bits (like paying to suck a vampire’s blood in a shady back alley), her willingness to suffer physically for Julia’s magic, and her overwrought final turn that since she couldn’t handle magic, everyone was better off not having it.
Like any good-person-turned-into-a-bad-creature tale previously told on Buffy or The Vampire Diaries, Alice also struggled with what she did as a niffin, including a moving episode where her father pays for her transgressions, but she was all over the place this season. I know her own struggle with her identity is meant to be part of what’s going on, but it started to feel exhausting and confusing. It wasn’t until we got a glimpse of “old” Alice in the 23 timeline that I realized how much I missed knowing what she stood for.
And speaking of derivative, both Princess and I felt let down by the last episode’s conclusion. Not Eliot’s reveal—that looks like it’ll be fun, and the more Eliot the merrier—but the fact that the memory wipe was basically the finale of The Good Place season two. These episodes aired three months apart, so it’s likely The Magicians had already plotted and filmed their last episode at that point, but it still didn’t feel particularly innovative. Kudos for calling Margo “Janet,” though, in a nod to her name in the books.
Fairy Lives Matter Today* (This is a Blight reference, I’m sorry):
If you’d told me that at the end of the third season, I would be rooting for the Fairy Queen, I would have called you a liar, but in this storyline, the writers of The Magicians really kicked ass at subverting our expectations. For most of the season, the fairies are a thorn in Margo and Eliot’s side, which considering how much we love them, instantly made us want to kick their ass.
However, everything changed in episodes “All That Josh” and “The Art of the Deal,” when we discover that the reason that fairies exist in Fillory is that human Magicians hunted fairies to near extinction because their bones could be ground up into magic dust. The fairies that remain in our world are those few who sacrificed themselves so that the rest could escape death/enslavement. As a result, the fairies of Earth are servants to Magicians, who abuse and kill them. This twist transforms the Fairy Queen from a pure malevolent force to a really powerful character. All that she has done has been the result of trying to ensure the survival of her species and the people she screws over are the very ones who would have continued to enslave her kind.
As she tells Julia: “Short memories are the privilege of the oppressor.”
Be the Penny:
Penny is one of the best improvements from the book’s source material to the show. Not only is Arjun Gupta super gorgeous, but he brings a much-needed comedic commentary to the show. Penny’s “death” episode is one of the great experimental episodes of the show. As an astral projection, he can go around and see the reactions to his death and they are not great. No one cries and no one can pronounce his last name. The only one of the main cast to cry for him his Margo (who is the other major POC on the show so points for that funny subtext), who says she always thought they were going to bang.
Our Lady of the Tree:
Julia’s rape is one of the dark points of The Magicians. While canonical to the books, watching it on screen was especially difficult considering all the sexual assault on television we’d experienced. It was also heartbreaking to see Julia, a character who had worked so hard to find magic, be tricked and harmed in such a way.
The trauma added on when it became clear this season that having Reynard the Fox’s seed (the rape god in question) gave Julia extra power. It was a complicated storyline, but The Magicians did take the time to explore the psychological ramifications of that, and season three really brought it all together in an excellent way.
Despite magic being turned off, Julia still has a spark of it, and that is because Our Lady of the Underground gave Julia Reynard’s spark. At first, Julia rejects it because she does not want her power to come from him. Slowly, it becomes clear that the Spark no longer belongs to Reynard. Throughout the season, Julia grows it through performing acts of penance and goodness until she ascends into a full-on goddess. Even then, Julia gives up that godhood to help turn on magic for everyone showing that Julia is the best and while I wanted her to remain Out Lady of the Tree, I’m glad she used her power to help others. Julia was unquestionably the most powerful character this season.
It was also excellent getting to watch Reynard be torn down and left with nothing. Screw him and his “feminist bookshelf.”
Go Ask Alice:
Unlike Kaila, I actually really enjoyed Alice’s storyline. While I do get the Willow comparisons, I think that Alice gets called out a whole lot more for her bad behavior than Willow really ever did. Alice has experienced a major trauma. She sacrificed herself to save everyone from The Beast and as a result, became a niffin, a spirit of pure magic. As a niffin, she was powerful and amoral, killing for whatever she wanted, including slaughtering an entire family of creatures to see them die pretty. Then Quentin brings her back and Alice is forced to give up all that power and knowledge without her consent because Quentin wants “his Alice” back.
In season three, Alice is dealing with trying to redefine who she is, and being torn between who she was as a niffin and the person she was before all of that. This leads to not only a bunch of mistakes on her part, but I think it comes from a real emotional conflict. That huge change, magic being gone, and the death of her father all happen within a short period of time. For someone like Alice, who has always been a powerful and intelligent Magician, she is dealing with a lot of things she can’t just fix anymore.
Still, she shouldn’t have trusted the Library.
After an episode watching Quintin and Eliot have an entire life together, all of a sudden Felicia Day’s character appears as Poppy Kline. She’s there to have some information about dragons, selfishly give Quintin one of the seven keys that brings about deep, suicidal depression and just be … quirky? It’s Felicia Day so I know that’s a big nerd get, but her character adds very little and is gone quickly. It is very irritating to have a character like Quentin explore their bisexuality and then immediately be given an opposite-sex love interest. While I’m glad the show doesn’t shy away from exploring “Queliot,” it also always seems to yank it out of reach just when it’s getting good.
We critique The Magicians because we thoroughly enjoy it, and so we want to praise when it excels and point out when it wanders from the fairy path. There’s no denying that this is one of the most fun and watchable shows in genre TV, and that it’s aging like a fine wine that would be fast swallowed down by the Physical Kids.
The Magicians succeeds in being fantastical and yet more true to the nature of human beings than a great many properties currently streaming out there. It’s definitely one of the most self-aware and tongue-in-cheek, and every season, the cast and their characters grow stronger. If that’s not magic, we don’t know what is.
What did you think of The Magicians‘ third season? Will you be tuning in for the fourth?
Spider-Man? Captain America? Pennywise the Dancing Clown? Alice in Wonderland? Cedric Diggory? Serial killers? A dream! In Netflix’s upcoming The Devil All The Time, the two Captain America: Civil War stars will be part of a “midwestern gothic” piece following an odd array of people for over twenty years.
Chris Evans, Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, Bill Skarsgard, Mia Wasikowska, and Eliza Scanlen will star in “The Devil All The Time,” a midwestern gothic involving a serial killer couple, a faith-testing preacher, and a corrupt local sheriff in a story told across two decades pic.twitter.com/C0mMe0y2K7
Can we hope that Evans and Holland are the serial killing couple?
The novel the project is based on is by Donald Ray Pollock, and is “set in the violent soul-numbing towns of southern Ohio and West Virginia,” according to Publisher’s Weekly. The Netflix film will be directed by Antonio Campos.
In all honesty, I’m mainly interested in this serial killing couple, because serial killers? Yes please, sign me up. Chances are we’ll see Evans take on a detective again (like his time on Broadway in Lobby Hero) but a girl can hope, right?
Maybe this is why subscription prices are going up at Netflix—they’re pulling in the A-listers and keeping us glued to our couches to watch all this new content. Whatever, we’re here for it and I’m going to watch The Devil All The Time like my life depends on it.
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One of the next Disney films to be adapted to live-action will be one of the closest things Disney has to a “cult hit”, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The film will be penned by David Henry Hwang, with music by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz. Mandeville films and Josh Gad will produce, with some rumors flying that Gad will play the titular character. The film will draw from both the animated film and the novel by Victor Hugo, but will not draw from the stage version that briefly was on Broadway.
Disney has been in a constant state of remaking their animated properties as live action films, with The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast drawing major box office numbers. This year will see three live action remakes: Aladdin, The Lion King, and Dumbo. At this point, they seem content to remake their entire animated catalogue rather than produce new films. It doesn’t help that remaking Hunchback isn’t a good idea in the slightest.
Hunchback has gained popularity for sweeping visuals and stunning music, but it is also a story that is filled with ableism. The idea of having another abled actor take on a disabled role plays into a long history of disabled actors being shut out from major work. Gad can carry dramatic scenes, but that still does not change the fact that he is an able-bodied actor who should not be playing this role in the first place.
Then there’s the question of Romani representation. Esmeralda will have to be played by a Romani actress, otherwise, the film will be whitewashing her role*. The film centers on the oppression of the Romani people, with frequent use of the slur “g*psy” to refer to these characters. This would require a sensitivity and awareness of anti-Romani stereotypes. I would feel more comfortable with the film if it had a Romani creative behind the scenes, and I’m going to be worried about this going forward until the casting is announced, which hopefully will not be terrible.
There’s also the fact that this is a difficult story to translate into a Disney film. The first one didn’t succeed at the box office, probably because the songs contained words like licentious; that tends to be a hard one for car ride singalongs. The story is about racism, ableism, and oppression, and without a gentle touch, this can be a mess of well-intentioned problems.
The screenwriter is a Tony award-winning playwright for M. Butterfly, so his script might be fairly decent. Still, there is plenty to worry about with regards to the narrative and the way that certain elements will be handled. Also, Disney does not need to keep remaking animated films. There have to be plenty of ideas for live-action properties that aren’t just shot-for-shot remakes of their earlier successes.
Only time will tell if this is a total disaster, mildly forgettable, or a surprise success. My fondness for the music hopes that it won’t be a complete mess, but I really do not think Disney is ready to make this film the way it needs to be made, and the story is dated as well. It might be time to look elsewhere for a script idea.
*Yes, in the original novel Esmeralda is white, but that was changed in the Disney version and will probably be reflected in this live-action version as well because the book origin is messy.
Imagine, if you will, going through the airport and the kid in front of you has a Spider-Man suit. Would you think he’s just a big fan or Spider-Man himself? Honestly, chances are that I’d be the one with the Spider-Man suit, so I can’t say for certain.
In a new scene for Spider-Man: Far From Home, we find Peter Parker standing in front of the airport security being questioned about his suit and, in true airport security fashion, the suit seems to be a normal set of pajamas. But a banana? You can’t bring that on a plane.
My main question about Spider-Man: Far From Home is: what is this movie going to be? From the trailer, it seems much lighter than Marvel movies have been as of recently. However, there’s a theory that Tony Stark is dead in the movie so that’s why he’s not in the trailer and that may dampen the mood a bit.
I have a new theory based on this scene, however. We know that Peter Parker vanished at the end of Avengers: Infinity War and there have been quotes from Kevin Feige that the film takes place after Avengers: Infinity War and, with that knowledge, what if Peter is dreaming of this adventure? What if, in whatever dimension the snapped Avengers have gone to, Peter Parker is dreaming of his friends and what they can be doing on their summer vacation that he now doesn’t get because of Thanos?
Feige would then, technically, not be lying to us, because the movie would have to take place after Infinity War for this theory to be true. And it would explain why Tony wasn’t there, because Tony didn’t get snapped away. But you know who did? Nick Fury and guess who is in Spider-Man: Far From Home?
It may be a little far-fetched but I think it is the only way to make sense of Kevin Feige openly confirming that the film comes after Infinity War when we don’t know how Peter isn’t dead. As far as we know, everyone that snapped is gone forever. So maybe these Disney+ shows and new movies take place in this other dimension where our heroes are alive and those heroes left behind can’t be in them because they are still alive in Thanos’s world. After all, we know that the Soul Stone creates a “pocket dimension” of its own, that keeps its occupants in a sort of idyll.
But anyway, Peter Parker can’t get through security, just like the rest of us, and it means that he is without a banana and straight up lying to a woman so she doesn’t know that he’s Spider-Man … even though she clearly doesn’t know who that is or care about it.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is flying into theaters this July 5th but we may get to see Peter in Avengers: Endgame? What’s Marvel doing to us all?
We’re in the home stretch for Captain Marvel promotion now, which means all the teases are coming our way. Today, Marvel has released ten new character posters for most of the film’s major players, including one special feline friend. This is an excellent look at some characters who haven’t taken the front seat in promotion, such as Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch) and Minn-Erva (Gemma Chan), and it still keeps the air of mystery surrounding some of the other characters.
Let’s break down the posters, which you can see for yourself at the bottom of this post.
We’ve got posters for Carol (Brie Larsen), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Minn-Erva, Korath (Djimon Hounsou), Maria Rambeau, Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), and Goose the cat, as well as posters for Jude Law and Annette Bening’s mysterious characters. We still don’t officially know who either are playing, though there’s plenty of speculation and hints about both.
We’ve written about the indications of just who Jude Law is actually playing before. On the flip side, Bening is rumored to be playing the Supreme Intelligence, which would fit with what we’ve seen of her character in the trailer; her appearance would be a departure from the character’s usual comic book appearance.
One notable absence from the lineup is Ronan the Accuser, played by Lee Pace. Both Ronan and Korath appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy as antagonists, but here they have not yet begun their villainous journeys. Korath is second-in-command of Starforce, serving under Law’s character, and Ronan is a member of the Kree military. This film probably won’t show their entire descent into villainy, but we’ll most likely see seeds planted that can later be picked up by future films.
Goose (a.k.a. the artist formerly known as Chewie in the comics) getting his own poster is also just a genius marketing move. People love cats, especially cute ones. Goose is absolutely adorable, and we’ve already seen a great clip of Fury cooing over Carol’s friend. But is Goose a flerken, a dangerous alien species that looks similar to Earth’s cats? Or is Goose a Skrull? The second option is highly unlikely, but it’s fun to speculate.
Without further adieu, here are all ten posters in all their glory. Take a look at how awesome they are, and then let us know which Captain Marvel character you’re most looking forward to seeing in the comments section.
The “horny teenage boy” narrative is a well-worn staple of the coming of age genre. Films and television series have mined humor and pathos out of hormone-riddled young men unable to keep it in their pants who are on a mission to lose their virginity by any means necessary (even/especially at the expense of their female counterparts).
Sex Education takes a refreshingly different tactic with the story of Otis Milburn (Hugo‘s Asa Butterfield) a tightly wound teen who can’t even masturbate without having a panic attack. Otis’s affliction is made all the more ironic because his mother Jean (Gillian Anderson) is a renowned sex therapist. This leaves Otis with an extensive knowledge of human sexuality, if zero personal experience.
Otis is content to spend his days at school as a fly on the wall, palling around with his openly gay best friend Eric (Ncuti Gatwa in a scene-stealing role) until resident bad girl Maeve (Emma Mackey) recruits him to offer sex advice to the fellow students. The duo quickly set up a sex ed clinic where teens willingly pay money to solve their sexual problems.
Each episode brings a different teen couple struggling with different sexual issues, and this is where the series soars. There’s easy humor to be found in the sexual foibles of youth, but Sex Education tackles sex positivity with empathy and unexpected sweetness. A girl doesn’t want to have sex with the lights on because she’s insecure about her body. A lesbian couple can’t find the right rhythm because they lack chemistry. Each issue is treated with sensitivity and understanding, providing a delightfully nuanced look at sexuality and intimacy. The show understands that sex isn’t just about the act itself, but the emotions and insecurities that go along with it.
What makes the show so unique is its unwillingness to stick to stereotypes. Otis is knowledgeable about sex but can’t connect with his own body. Eric is flamboyant but he also struggles with his conservative family and his connection to his church. Maeve is a rough girl living in a trailer park, but she is a brilliant writer and is wickedly smart. The series cleverly subverts the classic teen tropes by allowing its characters to have depth and complexity. Jackson (Kedar Williams-Stirling) may be the head boy and the swim team star, but he also has issues with anxiety. Gillian Anderson’s Jean is a sex expert but shies away from real intimacy.
There’s a lot to enjoy in this smart series, which takes place in present day but has a timeless, John Hughesian quality to it. The teens listen to vinyl, ride their bikes, and often dress like they’re from decades past. But unlike Hughes, the ensemble is diverse and consent is emphasized. Otis and Eric’s friendship is genuinely moving and delightful, which is still rare to see onscreen between straight and gay men.
Perhaps what sets the series apart from other teen dramas is the vulnerability it allows the characters (especially the male characters) to experience. For the teens of Sex Education, sexuality isn’t just a physical urge but an emotional experience.
Let me start this off by saying that I know, in the past, I have acted as if I hate Tony Stark. I do not hate Tony Stark. If anything, I secretly love him, but my allegiance to Team Cap has caused me to broadcast some animosity. I have my issues with things he’s done, but I don’t want Tony Stark to die.
So how do I feel about the theory, based on his absence from the trailer, that he is dead in Spider-Man: Far From Home? Hahahahahahaahahahahahahahah no thank you.
The idea that we won’t have Tony Stark in the MCU isn’t okay by me—many of us are hoping that he’ll survive Endgame and continue to make cameo appearances in other heroes’ stories. So I’m right alongside all the fans who have taken to Twitter to share their concern over the lack of Tony in the Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer.
Now, obviously, Tony Stark couldn’t appear in the trailer because that could potentially ruin the reveal of his fate in Avengers: Endgame. While we expect that Far From Home is situated after the events of Infinity War/Endgame, Marvel and Sony haven’t been keen to clarify the timeline; Far From Home goes so far as to not show the dates on Peter’s passport.
Sure, we know that most of Infinity War‘s dusted will likely come back, but Tony’s life or death in the final fight is bound to be one of the biggest moments of the movie. So it’s not surprising that fans are picking apart the trailer for any advance signs that might point to what happens.
I, however, am just going to pretend the trailer was like “Oh Tony became a stay at home dad and was too busy to realize something was going wrong” and then he’ll show up later. Let’s Mr. Mom Tony Stark, please.