James Cameron Explores His Cinematic Creative Process With Masterclass

James Cameron

James Cameron
Image: Masterclass

Legendary director James Cameron has hopped on board the Masterclass train and is finally teaching his principles and techniques for directorial success.

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/Film states that in his Masterclass, Cameron breaks down his most successful films (Aliens, The Terminator, Titanic, and Avatar) by exploring his creative process. He teaches subscribers to create engaging characters and stories, story-world building, and why utilizing advanced technology can enhance any film. The class also offers production advice no matter how big or small the budget.

Cameron is a confident director who assures students that they will walk away with expansive knowledge about various filmmaking processes. “I’ve been directing films for almost four decades, and if there’s one thing I’ve realized, it’s that learning is a constant process,” Cameron said. “Every filmmaker stands on the shoulders of the filmmakers who came before them, and I hope that my MasterClass will allow members to filter and develop my techniques through their own subjective lens and experiences.”

David Rogier, the founder of Masterclass, is excited to have one of the most talented directors exposing his filmmaking process to a general audience. “Having directed two of the top three highest-grossing films of all time, there’s no question the impact that Jim has had on both the film industry and film fans around the world.” He adds, “In his class, Jim takes our members behind the camera and, for the first time in his career, shares what he’s learned in four decades of directing epic films.”

The Masterclass platform launched in 2015 and features video lessons from professionals across all creative mediums. Cameron joins the likes of other acclaimed directors who have Masterclass sessions like Martin Scorsese, David Lynch, and Werner Herzog.

Have you used Masterclass before? Do you think it’s a good investment? Want to hear the thoughts of people who’ve used their services before!


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Updates From The Suicide Squad, John Wick: Chapter 4, and More

The heroic villains of James Gunn's DC Comics movie The Suicide Squad line up on the beach.

It’s like that shot of the Stormtroopers on the beach in Rogue One, but even better, because King Shark’s here.
Image: Warner Bros.

The Toxic Avenger expands its cast once more. Get ready for a new look at Snake Eyes next week with new teasers. Masashi Ando and Masayuki Miyaji’s gorgeous post-apocalyptic film The Deer King is coming to the states. Plus, get ready for Van Helsing’s last hurrah. To me, my spoilers!

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Illustration for article titled Updates From The Suicide Squad, John Wick: Chapter 4, and More

John Wick: Chapter 4

Deadline reports Mortal Kombat’s Hiroyuki Sanada is the latest to join the cast of John Wick: Chapter 4 in an undisclosed role.


The Toxic Avenger

According to THR, Johnny Coyne and Sarah Niles are the latest to join the cast of The Toxic Avenger remake. Coyne is said to play “a shadowy criminal figure” while Niles has been cast as “a corrupt city official.”


She’s Still Here

Deadline also reports Jennifer Carpenter and Mickey Rourke will star in She’s Still Here, a horror film about “a desperate widower who is being tormented by the vengeful spirit of his deceased wife. Exasperated, he enlists the aide of his ghost-hunting nephew to decipher the haunting’s meaning and bring peace to his household.”

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The Suicide Squad

Entertainment Weekly has a new photo of the Suicide Squad.

Illustration for article titled Updates From The Suicide Squad, John Wick: Chapter 4, and More

Photo: Warner Bros.

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Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins

Snake Eyes’ official Twitter page has released six “character teasers” in the form of motion comics.

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The Deer King

We also have a trailer for Masashi Ando and Masayuki Miyaji’s new animated feture about a man and his daughter navigating a post-apocalyptic world, set to come to the US later this year.


Let the Right One In

THR reports Madison Taylor Baez will play the lead role of the daughter, Eleanor, in the Let the Right One In TV series at Showtime. “After she was bitten by a mysterious creature, Eleanor and her father, Mark, were forced to live in the shadows and commit shameful acts to keep her alive. When she returns to New York City, Eleanor meets a friend who reignites her desire to regain her humanity, even as her condition brings out an animalistic power.”

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Motherland: Fort Salem

Spoiler TV has synopses for “A Tiffany”, “Nor Our Daughters” And Brianna’s Favorite Pencil” — the third, fourth and fifth episodes of Motherland: Fort Salem’s second season.

Raelle prepares to show her ability to the top brass, while Abigail struggles with her new role. Tally begins to question her unsettling dreams. Anacostia and Scylla form a plan to infiltrate the enemy further.

Anti-witch sentiment boils over as the Unit defends the first witch testing center at its grand opening. Anacostia and Scylla go undercover to follow the Camarilla.

The Unit competes for a chance to commune with the dead during Samhain. Scylla and Anacostia search for Camarilla leadership by attending a Halloween gala and make a horrifying discovery.

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Van Helsing

Finally, The penultimate three episodes of Van Helsing will now air back-to-back this Friday, ahead of the series finale airing next week.

Hey #Helsingers , SURPRISE.

This Friday starting 8/7c, THREE new episodes of #VanHelsing will be premiering on @SYFY.

Then get ready, because the SERIES FINALE is coming next Friday, June 25.

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Banner art by Jim Cook

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10 Things We Liked About The Handmaid’s Tale Season 4 (and 6 We Didn’t)

Elisabeth Moss as June Osborne in season four of The Handmaid’s Tale wears a subdued red coat.

Elisabeth Moss as June Osborne in season four of The Handmaid’s Tale.
Image: Hulu

The Handmaid’s Tale season four was much improved. It dismantled the God Complex that June/Offred (Elisabeth Moss) had spent most of season three building around herself, while finally acknowledging how much June’s trauma has damaged her. But even if things were better this time around, some of the Hulu series was still a letdown.

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Season four takes place shortly after the season three finale when June helped dozens of children escape to Canada in a move that’s been deemed “Angel’s Flight.” June is riding the sweet high of sticking it to Gilead and starts behaving recklessly, putting her friends in danger to satisfy her thirst for revenge. Even though she’s determined to stay in Gilead until she can rescue her daughter Hannah (Jordana Blake), eventually she has to choose survival and (finally) flees to Canada. June and her husband Luke (O.T. Fagbenle) struggle to pick up the pieces, but it’s not enough. The pending trial of her abuser Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes)—combined with the fact that his wife Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski) is now pregnant—pushes June over the edge.

This isn’t damning with faint praise: I found season four of The Handmaid’s Tale to be a provocative look at post-traumatic stress disorder. But it wouldn’t have been hard for the series to turn things around after how season three ended. The creators turned June into a superhero, defying the laws of the show’s established world by doing whatever she wanted with little repercussion. Maybe that was on purpose, representing the unrealistic hope everyone had placed in her, but it often felt like the fantasy blurred with reality. There are still elements of that in season four, but overall this stretch of episodes was about June’s emotional scars—and what happens when we let our pain define us. Here’s a look at some of the highlights and lowlights from season four of The Handmaid’s Tale, which ended its 10-episode fourth season on Wednesday (this post contains spoilers through the season four finale, “The Wilderness”). The series has already been renewed for season five.

What did we like about The Handmaid’s Tale season 4?

Illustration for article titled 10 Things We Liked About The Handmaid's Tale Season 4 (and 6 We Didn't)

Did June finally get out of Gilead?

You made it!

You made it!
Image: Hulu

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Yes, she did. Ceeeeeeeelebrate good times, come on! I had to start with the most obvious thing because the show bent over backward finding excuses to keep her in Gilead.

How was Elisabeth Moss’ performance?

In short: Fantastic. June/Offred has always been the focal point of The Handmaid’s Tale—after all, it’s literally her tale. But Moss took things to the next level with season four. The veneer of Angel’s Flight Offred has shattered, and in its place is a traumatized woman who cannot (or will not) separate herself from the pain she’s endured. You see it when she beams with satisfaction as she convinces a Jezebel to poison a bunch of Gilead officers, or when she screams in Serena Joy’s face that God is going to take her baby away as punishment for all her past sins. It’s been grafted onto her bones and etched into the lines on her face. Moss has been with this character for several years, and you can tell she knows June to her core. It’s here we really see that connection coming to the forefront, with a performance that’s uncomfortable and unpredictable. Moss isn’t afraid to get right into the camera, spit flying from her mouth and her eyes rolling into the back of her head—almost possessed by her own damage. It’s not often we see actors letting themselves go the way Moss does here, and I feel that’s to be commended.

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Where did June go wrong?

June has a firm talk with Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski).

June has a firm talk with Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski).
Image: Hulu

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This season saw June “breaking bad,” morphing from a rebel leader into an obsessed vigilante. Things went wrong pretty quickly, starting with the season four premiere “Pigs,” but in a way it’s been building to this for years. I appreciated that season four of The Handmaid’s Tale cracked the veneer of Hero Offred and presented her emotional journey more candidly. A problem I had with season three was that June’s actions were filtered through a positive lens, which placed a specific spin on her actions. Some may view that as intentional, but I don’t. It felt more like Girl on Fire Syndrome than the writers playing a long game. After all, last season’s tagline was: “Blessed Be the Fight.”

Season four took that away and showed June reaping what she’d sown. June treated everyone around her as pawns. She got her friends hurt, even killed, and they had nothing to show for it other than small victories against a system that continues to overwhelm them. By the time she got to Canada, everyone connected to her was either captured or killed. The show isn’t telling us she’s the bad guy, but it’s no longer telling us she’s the good guy either. It’s stepping back and letting the audience decide whether we support her actions, all the way through that major season finale death.

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Did Fred Waterford die?

“Do they have Zoom in heaven?” (that’ll make sense further down)

“Do they have Zoom in heaven?” (that’ll make sense further down)
Image: Hulu

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Bye bitch. I think we were all ready to say goodbye to Fred Waterford a while ago. This was a bad dude. He was so obsessed with his own glory that he refused to recognize the harm he’s caused anyone else, including June herself. It’s not that he was incapable of shame—we saw snippets of him struggling to cope as interrogators asked him about the scores of women he and his comrades brutalized—it’s that he cut himself off from those feelings because the guilt that would ensue would be too much to bear. There was something grossly satisfying in watching Fred Waterford, who thought he was going to walk free after agreeing to collaborate with the U.S. government, slowly realize that things were over for him. I have mixed feelings about seeing June, Emily, and several other escaped handmaids chasing down Fred in the woods to beat him to death—as it’s answering violence with more violence—but you can’t deny that this was a long time coming.

What happened in the hotel shower?

This is pre-shower Canada but trust me the shower is awesome.

This is pre-shower Canada but trust me the shower is awesome.
Image: Hulu

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A long-overdue break, for us and June. I think all of us were June Osborne when she took that first post-Gilead shower in a fancy hotel. There’s a bit of controversy over whether those conveniently placed bottles of L’Occitane shampoo and conditioner were product placement, but still.

How are the other Handmaids and Marthas dealing with freedom?

June takes the management out of anger management.

June takes the management out of anger management.
Image: Hulu

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That’s one of the biggest questions of the season, and the answer is as complicated as it needs to be. Much of season four takes place in Canada, before and after June’s escape. It’s there we spend time exploring just how much Gilead changes people—not just June, but all the people around her. It’s like the Hotel California of oppressive theocracies: you can check out, but you can never leave.

Every Gilead refugee represents a different aspect of trauma and recovery. Moira (Samira Wiley) is taking a therapeutic approach, believing that true strength comes in letting go of Gilead’s pull. Rita (Amanda Brugel) struggles with shaking off her role as a Martha, finding comfort in cooking, cleaning, and taking care of a freed child who wasn’t happy to leave the only life he’d ever known (even if it was built on a lie). Serena Joy employs an “ends justifies the means” tactic, pretending her pregnancy is proof that God’s cool with her abuse. And Emily’s (Alexis Bledel) answer is avoidance, telling everyone she’s “fine” even though we all know she’s screaming inside. There’s no right or wrong way to cope with trauma. Everyone is different, just as everyone’s trauma is different. The show doesn’t place a value judgment on how anybody in the series is coping with what Gilead did to them. It gives us a chance to absorb their actions and choices, and decide for ourselves how we feel about it… and what we’d do in their place.

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What happened to Luke and Janine?

Luke (O.T. Fagbenle) struggles to cope with June’s actions.

Luke (O.T. Fagbenle) struggles to cope with June’s actions.
Image: Hulu

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Every character experienced growth this season, but two characters who got long-overdue development were Luke and Janine (Madeline Brewer). These are two people who are deeply connected to June, through her past and present, and with that comes joy and pain in equal measure. Fagbenle in particular was a powerhouse this season, making us feel every bit of Luke’s struggle to rekindle his relationship with a woman he barely recognizes anymore—and is in love with someone else. Janine stepped up as well, pushing back against June’s bullshit and Aunt Lydia’s manipulation (there are also hints she could become an Aunt herself). We even got a glimpse at Janine’s life pre-Gilead, when she was tricked into going to a Crisis Pregnancy Center, faux clinics that employ aggressive tactics to coerce pregnant people into keeping their fetuses. As someone who once interviewed a volunteer from one of those places for an article on sex education, I can tell you The Handmaid’s Tale was right on the money. Even if it felt a little on-the-nose at times. Spot-on.

What role did Mckenna Grace play?

Esther (Mckenna Grace) stops Janine (Madeline Brewer) from eating poisoned berries.

Esther (Mckenna Grace) stops Janine (Madeline Brewer) from eating poisoned berries.
Image: Hulu

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Is there anything this actress can’t do? Mckenna Grace has played everyone from a young Sabrina Spellman on The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina to a ghostbuster in the upcoming Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Her turn on The Handmaid’s Tale is hard to watch but it’s remarkable. She takes on a 14-year-old commander’s wife named Esther helping the Mayday Resistance, and we learn that her much older husband has “shared” her with other commanders in an attempt to get her pregnant. You feel every bit of her fury, shame, and confusion in her performance, which is top-notch. Grace might be one of the greatest up-and-comers in film and television right now.

What did June say in her testimony?

June prepares for her testimony.

June prepares for her testimony.
Image: Hulu

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Episode eight, “Testimony,” centers around a pretrial hearing for Fred Waterford, who’s facing life in prison for crimes he committed in Gilead. June shows up to the courthouse to give testimony, which was filmed in a single shot with a mostly still camera and no cutaways. For several minutes, Moss details the years of sexual assault, abuse, and emotional trauma she suffered at the hands of the Waterfords. Once again, Moss’s performance in this scene is exemplary, and I found myself in tears as June shared her story on the podium. Not only was it evocative, it served as a general recap of the series up to this point, reminding me of things even I’d forgotten had happened to her. For example, how the Waterfords originally forbade her from seeing her daughter, Nicole, all while expecting her to provide breastmilk. As a parent who’s breastfeeding, that feels unconscionable.

It’s important to note that this episode was also directed by Moss. I didn’t agree with every off-camera decision she made this season (there’s one major example further down) but I thought this whole episode was fantastic. I wouldn’t be surprised if she got an Emmy nomination for her directorial work this season.

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Is Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments going to be adapted?

Hannah (Jordana Blake) comes face-to-face with her mother, whom she no longer recognizes.

Hannah (Jordana Blake) comes face-to-face with her mother, whom she no longer recognizes.
Image: Hulu

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The Handmaid’s Tale has long since moved past the original novel, even though June/Offred is still the main protagonist. But we’re getting hints that this could change in season five or beyond. In 2019, Hulu bought the rights to Margaret Atwood’s follow-up, The Testaments, but the network didn’t make it clear whether it was going to add the story or spin it out into a separate show. It’s now becoming clear that Handmaid’s will shift into Testaments. In season four we spend a lot more time with Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd), who’s one of the three protagonists in the sequel, seeing what her life is like away from June’s sphere. Then, there’s the whole thing with the story’s other leads; a young woman in Gilead named Agnes (which just so happens to be Hannah’s new name) and a Canadian resident who escaped Gilead as a baby named Nicole. Could we see a time jump that places June’s two daughters front and center? Only time will tell, though sadly not soon enough…


What didn’t we like about The Handmaid’s Tale season 4?

You’re getting an awful lot of blood on that baby, June.

You’re getting an awful lot of blood on that baby, June.
Image: Hulu

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Why is June still in The Handmaid’s Tale?

All signs pointed to this season being June’s last. She finally escaped Gilead, she told her entire story (her handmaid’s tale, if you will), and she got revenge on her abuser. The season even ends with a blood-covered June tearfully telling Luke she’s going to leave after a final moment with Nicole. But reports suggest June is going to be back in season five, dealing with the consequences of killing Fred Waterford and turning her back on her family. This could be a great plotline, I’m not saying it won’t be, but part of me was hoping we were saying goodbye to June. Her journey has come full circle, for better and worse, and it’s time to see a new story emerge.

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Why was everyone running in slow-motion?

You can just picture the slow-motion happening here.

You can just picture the slow-motion happening here.
Image: Hulu

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There was a lot of it, especially in the episodes Elisabeth Moss directed. It didn’t matter who was running or why, made me chuckle every time. Still a weird choice.

Why did June encourage Esther to murder?

June’s about to make another bad decision.

June’s about to make another bad decision.
Image: Hulu

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June did some horrible things this season (I’m still upset that she sexually assaulted Luke, an action that narratively tracked—she was trying to “reclaim” her body in a gross, wrong way— but was unpleasant to witness). The moment that reeled me the most was in the season four premiere, “Pigs,” when she encouraged Esther to murder one of her assaulters. June took on the role of a kind, loving mother figure as she manipulated an underage girl into committing a horrible crime. Seeing as how one of the main things this season is coping with trauma in one’s own way, watching June push someone else into doing things her way was pretty disgusting.

Did Nick get married?

How dare you.

How dare you.
Image: Hulu

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Yes, yes he did. This wasn’t a bad thing—it made sense in the story. I just don’t like it.

What role did Reed Birney play?

Hey there hi there ho there, gonna torture ya now!

Hey there hi there ho there, gonna torture ya now!
Image: Hulu

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Reed Birney briefly joined the cast this season as Lieutenant Stans, a Gilead officer who tortures June for information about her fellow handmaids. The actor was fine, but his character felt like he belonged in a comic book series rather than a grounded drama. He was weirdly chipper and happy-go-lucky as he waterboarded June and pushed Marthas off the roof. He reminded me of Horned Rim Glasses from Heroes, or the Bug Man who went undercover as a door-to-door salesman in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That character trope might be unsettling, the suburban dad who threatens to rip your fingernails off as he invites his buddy to a backyard BBQ, but he doesn’t fit in The Handmaid’s Tale.

Did they seriously mention Zoom?

I wonder if they’re on each other’s MySpace Top Friends lists.

I wonder if they’re on each other’s MySpace Top Friends lists.
Image: Hulu

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These are the last words Fred and Serena Joy said to each other.

Fred: “We could try to Zoom…”

Serena Joy: “Sure Fred, we can Zoom.”

I don’t know whether this was shameless product placement or someone thought it would be a tongue-in-cheek reference to the pandemic, but this was the worst moment of the season. Not only was it stupid and made my IQ drop 15 points, it raises so many questions. Most of which: how the hell did fucking Zoom of all things survive the takeover of America? If that wasn’t bad enough, the last shot of Serena Joy this season is her gently touching her baby belly while waiting for a call from Fred that will never come. ON ZOOM.

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Florida Republican Recorded Threatening Opponent With ‘Russian Hit Squad, Close-Battle Combat, Mac-10s, Silencers Kind of Thing’

Republican attorney William Braddock was caught on a recording threatening rival GOP candidate for Congress Anna Paulina Luna, pictured here in October 2020 in Tampa, Florida.

Republican attorney William Braddock (not pictured) was caught on a recording threatening rival GOP candidate for Congress Anna Paulina Luna, pictured above in October 2020 in Tampa, Florida.
Photo: Chris O’Meara (AP)

William Braddock may have set some kind of Florida record: In the state’s crowded pack of Republican bozos running for Congress, he’s the only one in recent memory (and possibly ever) to allegedly threaten a political opponent with murder by a heavily armed Russian-Ukrainian mafia death squad.

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Politico reported on Thursday that Braddock, an attorney and long-shot candidate who was virtually unknown until now, threatened conservative activist Erin Olszewski not to support rival Republican Anna Paulina Luna for Florida’s 13th Congressional District because he had assassins working for him. During a 30-minute phone call—which Olszewski secretly recorded and subsequently handed to the police—Braddock violated the first rule of contract killing and explained his plan to pay for Luna’s murder in excruciating detail over the phone.

About three minutes into the audio, Braddock said “I have access to a hit squad, too, Ukrainians and Russians.” He added that when this Eastern European dream team struck, any bystanders who didn’t endorse him might get added to the kill count: “Don’t get caught out in public supporting Luna… Luna’s gonna go down and I hope it’s by herself.”

Luna has been endorsed by Donald Trump and describes herself as a “hybrid” of Sarah Palin and disgraced Representative Matt Gaetz (another Florida politician involved in a disturbing scandal). She won the Republican primary in the district in 2020 but lost to former Florida governor and incumbent Representative Charlie Crist, a Democrat, in the general by a 53-47% margin. Crist is vacating his seat in Congress to once again run for the governorship. That provides a potentially juicy special election opportunity for Luna and other Republicans to take back the district, which before Crist was elected in 2016 hadn’t sent a Democrat to Congress in 36 years.

As Politico noted, Olszewski herself is a shady character:

Olszewski, a nurse by training, became a conservative figure last year after penning a book called “Undercover Epicenter Nurse: How Fraud, Negligence, and Greed Led to Unnecessary Deaths at Elmhurst Hospital,” which some in the health care industry have called disinformation.

So this is all kind of a right-wing clusterfuck where everyone involved is some flavor of untrustworthy, but that’s Florida for you.

Braddock, who apparently did not consider the possibility he could be being recorded or that Olszewski might have been pressing him for more specifics for evidentiary purposes, explained on the phone that he would immediately send out the order if polls showed Luna in the lead.

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Politico wrote:

“My polling people are going to charge me $20,000 to do a poll right before the primary. And if the poll says Luna’s gonna win, she’s gonna be gone. She’s gonna disappear,” Braddock said in the recorded call, pledging Olszewski to secrecy. “For the good of our country, we have to sacrifice the few. … For the better or the good of the majority of the people, we’ve got to sacrifice the few.”

Later in the call, Olszewski asked what would happen if “Luna is gonna win” and Braddock assured her that wouldn’t happen.

“She’s gonna be gone. Period. That’s the end of the discussion. Luna is not an issue,” he said.

Olszewski pushed him, asking “how do we make her go, though? I just don’t understand that.”

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The voice identified as Braddock continued to clarify exactly on what timeline the killings would be carried out, how they would do it, and even what type of machine pistols would be used:

“I call up my Russian and Ukrainian hit squad, and within 24 hours, they’re sending me pictures of her disappearing,” Braddock said. “No, I’m not joking. Like, this is beyond my control this point… Russian mafia. Close-battle combat, TEC-9s, MAC-10s, silencers kind of thing. No snipers. Up close and personal. So they know that the target has gone.”

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At another point in the call, Braddock clarified that he doesn’t “want to have to end anybody’s life for the good of the people of the United States of America” and that it would “break my heart,” Politico reports. He continued, “But if it needs to be done, it needs to be done. Luna is a fucking speed bump in the road. She’s a dead squirrel you run over every day when you leave the neighborhood.”

Wow! That sure is one heck of a plan. Anyone else want to explain how else they could do it better directly into this microphone-sized box in my right breast pocket? No? Didn’t think so. Let’s move on, because that’s not all of it.

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Politico reached Braddock via text, because apparently just about anyone can get him to dig a hole deeper over the phone. He responded the recording is “allegedly me… there is no proof of that” and is “a dirty political tactic that has caused a lot of people a lot of stress and is completely unnecessary.”

Florida is a two-party consent state where recording a call without the other party’s permission is a third-degree felony, although Olszewski said police assured her she would not face charges for turning it in. Braddock threatened that whoever was in possession of or shared the recording would face civil suits over lack of consent, and he would also “file with the local police department” for “felony charges.”

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“The folks in possession of whatever recording they think they have of myself or someone else (which may even be altered and edited) will be facing civil damages suit(s) when the paperwork is file [sic] with the county and felony charges after I file with the local police department,” Braddock wrote to POLITICO. “I strongly advise not to get involved because the civil suits will continue to be filed until people stop sharing them because whomever is on the recording did not consent to be recorded in my humble opinion.”

While Braddock appears to think this non-admission is very clever, one would think anyone who didn’t explain their plan to hire hitmen in-depth would recall not doing so and simply deny it. For example, I have never done that. As a lawyer, he should also remember that criminal charges aren’t offered on-demand at police stations.

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Olszewski and Luna both received restraining orders against Braddock last week. In her request for the temporary stalking injunction, the Tampa Bay Times reported, Luna accused two additional Florida Republicans who failed to win seats in Congress in 2020, Matt Tito and Amanda Makki, of involvement. Makki lost a primary race against Luna in 2020; she told the Times that Luna was simply unable to handle running against another candidate and “exhibiting behavior that I would say is concerning.” Tito, who is considering running in the GOP primary against Luna, said the purpose of the injunction was to “embarrass us” and “keep us out of the race,” adding he barely knew Braddock and Makki. He suggested to local media he’s considering filing a defamation claim.

Braddock didn’t officially register his campaign until Monday, sometime after he would have been well aware the recording would become public.

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Blacula Will Rise Again to Seek Revenge in New Reboot

Blacula (William Marshall) claiming another victim.

Blacula (William Marshall) claiming another victim.
Screenshot: Power Productions

In William Crain’s 1972 Blaxploitation cult classic Blacula, an 18th century Nigerian prince is unwittingly transformed into a vampire by the Dracula after unsuccessfully petitioning the legendary ghoul for help in destroying the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. The original Blacula’s premise was distinct and novel when the movie first premiered, and MGM’s banking on it being the sort of story that current day audiences want to see more of.

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Variety reports that Deon Taylor (Fatale) has signed on to direct and co-write with Micah Ranum (The Silencing) a new Blacula reboot set in the modern day that will explore many of the same themes featured in the original, though according to the trade “the reboot picks up where the original saga left off, after the 1973 sequel Scream Blacula Scream, and will be set in a metropolitan city post-coronavirus pandemic.”

The movie’s official description gives even more background: “Blacula is an ancient African prince who is cursed by Dracula after he fails to agree to end the slave trade. Blacula is entombed and awakens 200 years later ready to avenge the death of his ancestors and of those responsible for robbing his people of their work, culture, and heritage as they appropriated it for profit.”

Right off the bat, MGM’s new Blacula feels very much in line with the current wave of horror and other genre fiction that’s attempted to address and unpack the complexities of anti-Black racism. What’s going to end up determining whether the reboot can hold a candle to the original movie, and stand out in today’s pop cultural landscape, is if it has a genuinely interesting story beyond its obvious nostalgic appeal.


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Aardman Teams With Netflix for a Truly Adorable Holiday Special

Bronte Carmichael voices titular hero Robin in Netflix and Shaun the Sheep Studio Aardman Animation's new festive movie, Robin Robin.

It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!!!
Image: Netflix

We have officially hit the point in the northern hemisphere where it’s very hot outside but every studio wants to tell you about all the festive holiday programming they’ve got coming later this year. We’ll excuse Aardman and Netflix’s latest though, because look how fuzzy those animals are.

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The streamer has announced a new partnership with Aardman—the beloved UK-based studio behind Chicken Run, Shaun the Sheep, Wallace & Gromit, and more—to develop Robin Robin, a new animated special to launch this Holiday season. The special stars Bronte Carmichael as the titular Robin the Robin, a hatchling whose egg falls from her nest, leading to her being raised by a family of mice, and giving her a life where she’s not quite a bird, not quite a mouse, but a feisty go-getter nonetheless, looking to prove herself in the strange world she’s grown up in.

Carmichael is joined in the main cast by Adeel Akhtar as Dad Mouse, the loving father to four of his own mouse children before adopting Robin into the family, and acting legend Richard E. Grant as Magpie, a collectible hoarder who takes the young Robin under his wing on her journey of self-discovery. But perhaps the most delightful casting of all is X-Files icon Gillian Anderson, who will play Robin Robin’s villain Cat, a…well, cat, whose voracious appetite to eat all things around her puts her at odds with our avian hero. If all the above adorable imagery wasn’t enough, here’s a new poster as well, which is mostly an excuse to melt over Robin’s faux-mouse ears:

Far too cute. You almost forget that it’s hot as hell outside and that you’re going to have to wait another five months before you can see more in action—Robin Robin will stream on Netflix from November 27.


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Updates From Stranger Things Season 4, Evil Dead Rise, and More

Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in Stranger Things season 3.

There are rough times ahead for Eleven.
Image: Netflix

Paul Rudd says production’s begun on Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania. American Horror Story taps Neal McDonough for a major role. Plus, behind the scenes on F9, and Orphan star Isabelle Fuhrman teases the film’s spooky scope. Spoilers, away!

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Illustration for article titled Updates From Stranger Things Season 4, Evil Dead Rise, and More

The Toxic Avenger

Deadline reports Julia Davis and Elijah Wood have joined the cast of The Toxic Avenger reboot in currently undisclosed roles. It recently picked up Kevin Bacon as the villain.


Evil Dead Rise

THR also has word Gabrielle Echols, Morgan Davies, and Nell Fisher have joined Evil Dead Rise as a trio of “siblings in peril.”


Ant-Man & The Wasp: Quantumania

Production on Marvel’s Quantumania has officially begun in London according to Paul Rudd in an Instagram post from Kansas City Chiefs’ wide receiver, Tyreek “Cheetah” Hill.

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Mortal Kombat Legends: Battle of the Realms

THR reports a sequel to last year’s Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge is in production. In addition to returning cast members Joel McHale, Jennifer Carpenter, Jordan Rodrigues, Patrick Seitz, Artt Butler, Robin Atkin Downes, Dave B. Mitchell, Ikè Amadi as Jax Briggs, Grey Griffin, and Fred Tatasciore, the incoming cast include Matthew Mercer as Stryker & Smoke; Bayardo De Murguia as Sub-Zero/Kuai Liang; Matt Yang King as Kung Lao; Paul Nakauchi as Lin Kuei Grandmaster; Emily O’Brien as Jade; and Debra Wilson as D’Vorah.

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Orphan: First Kill

During a recent interview with Collider, Isabelle Fuhrman stated she believes audiences will be “shocked” by Orphan: First Kill.

I think people will be shocked by that story. It’s very different from what most people would expect and [Julia Stiles] is absolutely incredible in it, and we had a lot of fun making the movie together. It’s definitely a story about the two of us and our relationship, and Esther’s way that she came to the United States and how she found herself there.

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Nightwing

Chris McKay told Den of Geek he hopes the Chris Pratt-starring The Tomorrow War will reignite Warner Bros. interest in his Nightwing movie.

What I hope is that Warner Brothers and DC watch The Tomorrow War and get really excited again about the Nightwing movie that we’ve been talking about, I hope that we get a chance to go out and make that Dick Grayson and Nightwing film. That particular part of Robin, growing from being under Batman to becoming Nightwing, and Bludhaven and all that stuff… It’s a really personal story to me.

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Fear Street

The first two films in the Fear Street trilogy have been rated “R” for “strong bloody violence, drug content, language, sexual content, nudity and language throughout.

Fear Street Part 1: 1994 – Rated R for strong bloody violence, drug content, language and some sexual content.

Fear Street Part 2: 1978 – Rated R for bloody horror violence, sexual content, nudity, drug use, and language throughout.

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[Bloody-Disgusting]


Old

Meanwhile, M. Night Shyamalan’s Old has been rated PG-13 for “strong violence, disturbing images, suggestive content, partial nudity, and brief strong language.” [Bloody-Disgusting]

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F9

A new behind-the-scenes video showcases F9‘s practical stunts.


The Devil’s Tail

We also have a trailer for The Devil’s Tail, a new horror anthology with segments directed by Taz Pereyra, Carlota Martínez Pereda, Samantha Timms, Nicole Goode, Erica Scoggins, and Laurel Vail.


American Horror Story: Double Feature

Deadline has word Arrowverse star Neal McDonough has been cast as Dwight “Ike” Eisenhower in the tenth season of American Horror Story. The outlet notes the character is “not the 34th U.S. President” but rather “a character with the same name.”

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Stranger Things

Finally, new set photos see Eleven being carried out on a stretcher. Head on over to Metro to see more.

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Banner art by Jim Cook

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James Gunn Lauds The Suicide Squad’s ‘Sh*tty Supervillains’

Some of The Suicide Squad's "shitty supervillains," including Idris Elba's Bloodsport, look aghast at something.

So shitty, these supervillains.
Image: Warner Bros.

Director James Gunn knows he’s not working with the best characters. That’s what makes them so great. In a series of interviews and tweets, Gunn laid the groundwork for what fans can expect from The Suicide Squad—including its runtime and whether folks should stay in their seats through the end credits.

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What is The Suicide Squad?

The Suicide Squad is a quasi-sequel and soft reboot of DC’s antihero saga previously brought to the big screen by David Ayer. It sees the return of Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, alongside Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, and Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag. This time around, the titular Suicide Squad isn’t battling a giant god cloud in the sky. Instead, they’re on a mission in Corto Maltese to stop a bunch of alien materials from winding up in the wrong hands. Or as Gunn put it, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly: “It’s a war-caper movie with shitty supervillains.”

Who are the new Suicide Squad members?

They’re joined by a vast cornucopia of new characters from DC Comics. They include David Dastmalchian as Polka-Dot Man, John Cena as Peacemaker (he’s also getting a spinoff on HBO Max), Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher 2, Peter Capaldi as the Thinker, Guardians of the Galaxy veteran Michael Rooker as Savant, and Steve Agee and Sylvester Stallone portraying the body and voice of King Shark. Also joining the cast is Idris Elba as Bloodsport whose connection to Superman from the comics was confirmed by Gunn on Twitter. He wrote: “Bloodsport is in prison for taking [Superman] down with a kryptonite bullet.” Even though he’s a villain who’s powerful enough to take down the Man of Steel himself, Elba said he’s mostly playing it like himself. “He’s a real reluctant member of the Squad,” Elba told EW. “He’s a bit grumpy. He’s not the warmest guy. Yeah, just playing myself, really.”

Is there a post-credit scene in The Suicide Squad, and what’s the runtime?

Gunn’s also teased a few extra things fans can expect when they sit down to watch The Suicide Squad. For example, he confirmed that the film will be two hours and 12 minutes, though he added “no one ever planned for it to be this long.” And though he previously hinted there could be more, the director also said there will definitely be a post-credits sequence. Whether it’ll tie into the larger DC Expanded Universe, or just be a fun Easter Egg, will have to wait for when The Suicide Squad comes out on August 6.

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A Classic Horror Story Looks Gory and Terrifying

A blood-covered woman holds a shotgun in a screengrab from Netflix's spooky A Classic Horror Story.

Matilda Lutz in A Classic Horror Story.
Screenshot: Netflix/YouTube

Ever since Scream kind of reinvented the idea, meta-horror has been a rather familiar subgenre. These days, a horror movie barely even feels like a horror movie if one of the characters hasn’t seen Halloween 50 million times or drops in a few references to David Cronenberg or Dario Argento. Netflix’s new film, A Classic Horror Story, looks like it’s built on that skeleton as well, but takes things to a whole other level.

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Directed by Roberto De Feo and Paolo Strippoli—with a story by De Feo, Strippoli, Lucio Besana, David Bellini, and Milo Tissone—A Classic Horror Story is a new Italian horror film coming to Netflix on July 14. A teaser was released last month that described it as “Italian Midsommar meets Texas Chain Saw Massacre” and from this trailer, that description is right on the money.

So, so many horror references here. The idea of a group of people in a camper getting stranded is exactly Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Those shots of large groups of cult-like people gathering is exactly like Midsommar. The torture devices bring to mind Saw. The characters directly reference It. There’s a character in some kind of wooden, almost Jason Voorhees type mask. The main character toting a shotgun feels like The Evil Dead. Everyone literally ends up in a cabin in the woods, which is both Cabin in the Woods and about a billion other horror films. The font in the trailer is the font from Halloween. We could go on and on.

We don’t really know much about the film beyond that but the official YouTube description couldn’t be more tantalizing: “A camper. A car crash. An abandoned house. Children’s music in the background. Think you’ve seen it before? Look again.” We have no idea what that means but if somehow the film subverts all this in an interesting, scary way, this movie could be special.

A Classic Horror Story comes to Netflix on July 14.


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A Quiet Place 2’s Ending Will Inform the Spin-off, According to John Krasinski

The remaining Abbott family of A Quiet Place 2--Regan, Marcus, Evelyn and her new baby--traverse away from their home.

They’re charting unknown waters—or perhaps a new movie.
Image: Paramount Pictures

A Quiet Place Part II writer and director John Krasinski has handed over the reins of the franchise to Jeff Nichols (Midnight Special), and he couldn’t be happier with how things are going. In fact, there’s already a script for the third movie, which Krasinski said is “going to do something that we haven’t done before.”

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Illustration for article titled A Quiet Place 2's Ending Will Inform the Spin-off, According to John Krasinski

In a recent interview on the Empire Podcast, Krasinski said Nichols is in the process of “turning in” the script for a third A Quiet Place movie, which stemmed from an idea (with plenty of notes) Krasinski himself had for where the series should go. He shared that Nichols was his first choice to take over and that it’s going even better than expected because the director has hit the ground running on the whole thing. “Truly the only person I had in mind when asked whether I would hand this off was Jeff. I think he’s one of the best filmmakers. Mud is one of my favorite movies, and so real and intimate. It’s exactly the sort of paints we’re painting with in A Quiet Place—very organic characters you fall in love with. So he was my first choice for this, and when he said yes I was over the moon,” he said. “I pitched him my story, he’s gone and developed the world on his own with that jumping-off point, and I’m so thrilled. He’s actually just turning in a script now, and I loved it. I absolutely loved it, and I can’t wait to see him shoot this thing.”

Krasinski was cagey about whether the third movie will continue the story of Evelyn Abbott (Emily Blunt) and her family’s survival against a deadly invasion of creatures that hunt by sound, or focus on new characters or settings in the franchise’s expanding world. But he did say that the events of A Quiet Place Part II—particularly the ending [Spoiler Alert], where the rest of the world learned about the signal that can incapacitate the creatures—will play a significant part in what’s to come for the Abbotts and everyone else. “The ending of the last shot is, now that the world knows about it, what will the world do with this answer, or with this weapon? Will they be responsible with it, or will they not be responsible with it?” he said.

A Quiet Place Part II is currently in theaters. No expected release date for the third film has been announced yet.


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