Movie Studio Ran CGI Tests to Make White Actors Look Asian in GHOST IN THE SHELL

Unfortunately, the recent uproar against Hollywood’s penchant for whitewashing their movies is a completely valid one. Far too often we have seen more well-known white actors in the leading roles in movie adaptations of books, comic books, etc. that were originally another race. The only reason for this is because they feel that it will put more butts in the movie theater seats. Frankly, the practice is wrong and should be stopped.

Case in point, in 2015 we heard that Paramount was going to bring us a live-action movie of Ghost in the Shell, which is super exciting for those of us who love the manga and the animated movies. In the same breath, they announced that they had cast Scarlett Johansson as the lead character Major Mokoto Kusanagi. WHAT?!?! Needless to say, this brought out the fires of hell from fans in every country. If that isn’t blatant whitewashing, I don’t know what is. Continuing on that train of thought, pictures of Johansson were released recently, and the haters started hating again. Understandably.

This brings us to the current topic, which is, this could have been much, much worse.

Screencrush unleashed the info that a studio insider told them that Paramount did some ultra-inappropriate visual effect manipulation to try to appease the masses. Here is what they had to say:

According to multiple independent sources close to the project, Paramount and DreamWorks commissioned visual effects tests that would’ve altered Scarlett Johansson in post-production to “shift her ethnicity” and make the Caucasian actress appear more Asian in the film.
It’s the latest, and most extreme, case of “beauty work,” the new trend in Hollywood to discreetly use visual effects to tweak an actor’s appearance, making them thinner, younger or stronger. The Ghost in the Shell tests were conducted by Lola VFX, the same company that aged up (and down) Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and is considered the industry leader in so-called beauty work. Though the tests were requested by the production team, once they were developed and reviewed, the idea was rejected “immediately,” says an insider.

Screencrush reached out to Paramount, who claimed that the tests had nothing to do with Johansson.

"A test was done related to a specific scene for a background actor which was ultimately discarded. Absolutely no visual effects tests were conducted on Scarlett’s character and we have no future plans to do so."

The report goes on to say that their sources are adamant that the screen test were done on SJ and the studio is trying to deflect the fury that is headed their way once this statement is released.

I supremely dislike that the studios feel the need to bring in the biggest star instead of keeping true to the integrity of the original body of work. What makes this whole situation feel so much slimier is the fact that there are a lot of Asian actors who could have played this role. That could have brought more validity to the movie. Please don’t get me wrong, Johansson is a great actress and will probably put everything she has into this role, unfortunately this whole situation could have been avoided had they cast someone else.  

We as a fandom are extremely protective of our favorite properties and feel that anyone doing an adaptation of said properties should take as much care of them as we would. In the past, casting someone against the norm has been successful due to expert care and consideration of what we as fans will think of the finished product. When that care is not taken, the project usually fails.

I certainly hope that the group responsible for Ghost in the Shell makes something so fantastic with this movie that it won’t matter who was cast as the lead. I guess only time will tell.  

Jared Leto Spent Time With Real Psychopaths to Prepare to Play The Joker in SUCIDE SQUAD

For a lot of people, the initial sting of finding out that Jared Leto was going to be playing The Joker in the DCU was swift and painful. I know, I felt it too. Then the Suicide Squad trailer hit and I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. The one thing that I forgot was that Leto takes his job as an actor very seriously and no doubt he put as much time and effort into his role as the Joker as he would any other role.

To prove that point, Leto told EW the lengths that he went to preparing for this iconic role.

"There are a lot of things. It’s probably better to not get into it but to the Joker, violence is a symphony. This is someone who gets an extreme reward from the act of violence and manipulation. Those are the songs he sings and he is very in tune with what makes people tick. I did meet with people that were experts, doctors, psychiatrists that dealt with psychopaths and people who had committed horrendous crimes, and then I spent some time with those people themselves, people who have been institutionalized for great periods of time. I guess when you take on a role, any role, you become part detective, part writer, and for me that’s my favorite time of the entire process, the discovering, the uncovering, and the building of a character. Yeah, it’s really fun.
"It was challenging but it was also fun. He has a great sense of humor, depending on who you ask. [Laughs]"

Talk about going above and beyond to get ready for a film. Fortunately for us, I think this might have given him the perspective needed to play, in my opinion, the most evil, sinister, and sadistic bad guy in literary history.

I am thoroughly ecstatic for Suicide Squad to come out on August 5th. I know I shouldn’t overhype the movie in my mind, but it is too late to turn back now. I have a feeling it will be one of the best superhero movies of the year.

10 Actors Who Got Drunk Before Shooting Their Movie Scenes

Have you ever wondered if an actor was really drunk during a scene they were shooting for a film? Well, ScreenRant has released an interesting video that offers a list of ten actors who actually did get drunk to shoot certain scenes. Some of the actors mentioned in the video include Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis for Black Swan, Robert Shaw for Jaws, Julie Andrews for The Sound of Music, Brad Pitt and Edward Norton for Fight Club, Johnny Depp for Rum Diary, and Margot Robbie for The Wolf of Wall Street.

After they land a role in a movie, actors always look for anything they can do to ensure they deliver the best performance they can. Whether it’s physical training, getting lost in a character’s psyche, or studying up on history, there are several methods they turn to. But sometimes, it’s as simple as getting a drink or two. Some of Hollywood’s biggest films feature sequences that involve intoxicated thespians. Here are 10 actors who got drunk to film their scenes.

Graceful SUPERMAN Poster Art Captures the Essence of the 1978 Film

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Both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman have given us a much darker take on Superman, who is supposed to be a symbol of hope. Those film make me miss the good ol' days when that was what Superman actually represented, like in the original Richard Donner films. 

Today we have a Superman print to share with you that captures the greatness of the original 1978 film. It was created by artist JC Richard, and it's called “Son of Krypton.” According to io9, this was Richard's reaction after seeing Batman v Superman. He felt "he needed a reminder of the more idealized version of the character." The artist explains:

“I’m still not sure what happened. All I remember is stumbling back to the studio in a kind of mild fury, resentful of the way this new film had treated my beloved hero. So I did as I so often do, sought immediate solace in the past, threw in the 1978 movie and filled my thoughts with Reeve, Ford, Brando, data crystals and classic suit colors. Watching Superman the Movie for the 500th time, I was again inspired by Jor-El’s sacrifice and lessons, by Pa Kent’s quiet wisdom, by Clark’s extreme kindness even when faced with personal suffering and fear. Over the course of those 2 hours everything else fell away, and Superman became a hero all over again.”

I love what he's created. It's the Superman that a lot of us grew up with. This is the true Superman hero. The poster is a signed and numbered limited edition screenprint in an edition of 200. If you want to buy one, click here.  

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5 Richard Linklater Films You Have To See (If You Haven’t Already)

Richard Linklater is one of my favorite filmmakers. He does his own thing while living in his home state of Texas, proving that you don't have to give in to the corporate Hollywood machine to make it as a filmmaker. Which is great news because, let's face it, LA traffic is the worst. And while his writing style isn't for everyone, it can't be denied that he's a gifted director who knows how to get authentic c performances out of his actors. So in honor of his new film, Everybody Wants Some, I've made a list of 5 films directed by Richard Linklater that you should definitely get around to seeing sometime if you haven't already.

School of Rock: So, duh. If you haven't seen this one yet, maybe you should crawl out of the hole you've been living in once in a while. Better yet, just stay there. You're a lost cause. Jack Black is at his face-melting best. Add some prep-school kids, and you've got yourself a classic.

Bernie: No, this isn't a movie about Bernie Sanders. Also starring Black, this dark comedy would fit in the "true crime" genre. It tells the story of Bernie Teide, a lovable mortician who befriends a wealthy widow. I don't want to spoil it, but believe me: if you have a twisted sense of humor (which, of course you do,) you must watch this movie. While it isn't as well-known as School of Rock, I like it just as much for totally different reasons.

Everybody Wants Some: Linklater's most recent film has been getting amazing reviews, and it's not hard to see why. This might be my favorite film he's ever done, and I'm usually not a fan of the crazy college party movies. He's perfected his craft, combining witty dialogue with hyper-realistic situations. While some have criticized his writing as "boring" and "too real," this one shows he's clearly found a sweet spot.

Dazed and Confused: This cult classic gained popularity with the stoner crowd when it was released in 1993, and is probably best enjoyed while at least moderately high. While not my favorite movie ever (see "boring" comment above), it has several moments that have gained ubiquity. For example, the line that basically made Matthew McConaughey: "That's what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age."

Boyhood: This film was shot over a twelve year period, which is a feat all on its own. But what I loved about it is that it's essentially a time capsule of my childhood. Linklater took extra care to examine pop culture trends during each year and tailored the script to capture the feeling of every year. (Anyone else remember waiting in a ridiculously long line to get the latest Harry Potter book?) The soundtrack alone will have you saying, "Ohhhh yeah! I loved that song!"

Bonus Round: I couldn't resist including one of my personal favorites. If you've seen the previous five and want more, you should check A Scanner Darkly, based on the Philip K. Dick novel and starring Keanu Reeves. This one's unique because they actually shot it on film and then completely animated over the top of it. Weird, right?

So there you have it. 5 (technically 6) Richard Linklater films you need to see. Obviously this is a rudimentary list, so this is just to get you started. And if you're already a Linklater veteran, what are some of your favorites?

Funny Comic – What Zack Snyder’s Defense for Batman V Superman Has Led To

Zack Snyder has always defended the collateral damage in Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. I’m sure you saw one of his most recent comments in which he compared those deaths to all the deaths from the planets being destroyed in J.J. AbramsStar Wars: The Force Awakens. Well, Dorkly has released a hilarious comic strip that shows us what that defense has led to. The punch line is comedic perfection. 

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Charlize Theron Would Love to Play Furiosa Again in a New MAD MAX Film

If George Miller ever actually gets around to making another Mad Max film, it looks like Charlize Theron would be happy to jump back into her role as Furiosa. We know that Miller was hoping to feature the character again, but he was unsure if he'd be able to get Theron back. Well, after the actress walked away with the MTV Movie Award for Best Female Performance in a film she told MTV:

“I would love to bring her back to life! Are you kidding? I can see how people are kind of responding to her. I look at my little girl and I’m like, ’yeah, I’d love to play this woman again.'”

So it looks like we'll be seeing Theron kick some more ass as Furiosa when Miller eventually moves forward with a sequel to Mad Max: Fury Road. It wouldn't be the same without her, so it's awesome that she's willing to come back for more insane action.

STAR TREK BEYOND Will Get a Limited Three-Screen Barco Escape Format Release

There's an experimental theatrical experience for audiences out there called Barco Escape. It's a three screen system that pretty much surrounds the audience. It's pretty cool. If you've been to Hall H at Comic-Con, then you kind of get the idea of what that is like.  The purpose of it is to fully immerse the audience in a panoramic movie experience.

Paramount Pictures teamed up with Barco Escape to release Star Trek Beyond in the format in a limited amount of theaters around the country. 

There's special filmmaking technology that is used to shoot these scenes, and according to the press release, there's about 20 minutes of footage in Star Trek Beyond that will be adapted for the Barco Escape format. The movie is set to be released July 22nd, and you can find a list of theaters where you will be able to experience the film in Barco Escape below.

Here’s what producer J.J. Abrams had to say in a statement:

Justin Lin’s Star Trek Beyond is an epic adventure — truly larger than life. It is especially fitting, then, that we are partnering with Barco to provide an ultra wide-screen immersive experience using their unique Barco Escape format. This premium format dramatically expands the width of the viewing plane, giving filmmakers an innovative new tool with which to tell stories and audiences an enhanced new way to experience cinema.

Barco Escape is a new format, but it looks like they are going to start to expand in more theaters around the country. As of right now, here is the list of theaters that have it:

  • Cinemark Lincoln Square Cinemas – Bellevue, WA
  • Village Cinema – Meridian, ID
  • Roxy Stadium 14 – Santa Rosa, CA
  • Palladio 16 Cinemas – Folsom, CA
  • Century at Pacific Commons and XD – Fremont, CA
  • Camera 12 Cinema – San Jose, CA
  • Sierra Vista Cinema 16 – Clovis, CA
  • Cinemark XD – Los Angeles, CA
  • Cinemagic Hollywood 12 Theatres – Rochester, MN
  • Cinemark Legacy & XD – Plano, TX
  • Santikos Silverado 16 – San Antonio, TX
  • Santikos Silverado IMAX – Tomball, TX
  • Santikos Palladium AVX Entertainment – Richmond, TX

I'd watch Star Trek Beyond in this format!