Some days, there are bits and bobs of news that don’t have quite enough meat on the bone for a full article. Still, they’re cool tidbits worth getting some love. We round them up for you in our Quick Hits column.

‘Black Widow’ Director Cate Shortland Was Initially ‘Puzzled’ By Marvel’s Pitch For The Movie

Despite the strictness of its narrative arc, Marvel is fairly relaxed when it comes to the concept of movie. Some directors have pitched their own ideas that Marvel has loved, sometimes Marvel tells potential directors the tone they’re going for and allow the filmmakers to pitch their original ideas within that framework. For Black Widow, Kevin Feige told director Cate Shortland during her interview process that the film should be a family drama first, superhero movie second. In a new interview with TotalFilm, Shortland said she initially found that puzzling: “[That decision] was puzzling to me. And then I realized, by the end, that Kevin and I had similar visions,” she explained. “What I really wanted to do was to expose the character and get under her skin. The family created the dynamic with which that would happen. We see a different side of the character, because she’s in scenes with people that know her from when she was a child. She’s not a superhero in those scenes; she’s a daughter or a sister.”

Joel Kinnaman Says ‘The Suicide Squad’ Is Super R-Rated

James Gunn’s upcoming The Suicide Squad is one of the most anticipated from DC. And star Joel Kinnaman says that’s with good reason. Speaking to THR, Kinnaman had nothing but praise for Gunn’s script and the world he’s built, saying the movie will be “heavily R-rated” and with “insane” action: “Yeah, that movie is going to be insane,” said Kinnaman. “The script is so funny. Every page of that script was funny, and every page made me laugh. James just has this command of that genre, but also over every aspect of comedy and even the marketing. He just understands the world so well, and since he wrote it, he really reinvents not just the concepts, but also the characters.” While Guardians of the Galaxy is beloved and excellent, The Suicide Squad feels like it’s shaping up to be something special.

The Disney+ ‘Ms. Marvel’ Lands More Directors

When the excellent She-Hulk news broke yesterday, I mentioned we’d likely have more movement on Marvel series Ms. Marvel soon. Indeed, today we get more news: It’s assembled its directing team. Bad Boys for Life directing team Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah have been tapped to direct a few episodes, along with two-time Oscar-winning documentary short director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, and genre TV director Meera Menon. Bisha K. Ali was previously named as head writer. Ms. Marvel, real name Kamala Khan, is a Pakistani-American teenager who became the first Muslim Marvel character to ever get her own comic book series. She’s since become a fan favorite and Marvel understands this: It’s already been confirmed she’ll start out in her own Disney+ series but will also appear in the movies. The search for an actor to play Kamala is ongoing.

John Boyega To Star In Political Thriller ‘The Test’

After taking on the First Order in Star Wars, John Boyega has made a name for himself fighting against oppressive people and institutions in real life, too. And soon, that will reflect once again in his work: Deadline reports that he’s set to star alongside Payman Maadi in Gavin Hood’s The Test. An adaptation of Sylvain Neuvel’s novella of the same name, The Test tells the story of a quiet immigrant (Maadi) taking a citizen evaluation test and the young behavioral psychologist (Boyega) supervising the test confronting a terrorist organization led by a far-right fanatic. Hood, who wrote the script adaptation, described The Test as “a heart-pounding psychological thriller, set in an authoritarian near-future that grabbed me by the throat and left me reeling.” Timely, relevant, and filled with tension. We’re in.

Ewan McGregor Jumps A Motorcycle Over Himself – Well, Sorta

Okay, this is just fun. Star Wars star Ewan McGregor appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and performed a death-defying motorcycle stunt: jumping over himself. Well, okay, it wasn’t death-defying. And, okay, it only barely qualified as a stunt. I mean, sure, he actually jumped over an action figure of himself as Obi-Wan Kenobi. BUT STILL. A truly breathtaking action sequence. Check out the fantastic Hod Rod-style stunt below:


Neil Patrick Harris Says The Style Of ‘Matrix 4’ Is Different Than The OG Trilogy

Actor Neil Patrick Harris recently stopped by SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Show and while the conversation covered many topics, it naturally turned to The Matrix 4. Harris, who has a small mystery role in the movie, revealed an interesting tidbit about the feel of the long-gestating sequel. While praising director Lana Wachowski, he shared that the movie will be a visual departure from the previous three: “I think she has a great inclusive energy and her style has shifted visually from what she had done to what she is currently doing,” he said before going on to explain the new movie will still feature quite a bit of wirework, a first for him. Wirework can be extremely daunting and physically grueling, but Harris is excited by it. “I’ve always wanted to be a lead in a big giant action movie with wires and stuff,” he said.

Looks Like Marvel’s ‘WandaVision’ Will Hit Disney+ This Year

With everything up in the air due to COVID-19, the Marvel series for Disney+ have been bumped around, put on pause, and reshuffled. One of those is WandaVision, the spinoff with Scarlet Witch and Vision that looks to be one of the trippier, more unique takes out of all the Marvel shows. But thanks to a recently released “Coming Soon” trailer for Disney+, it would appear that WandaVision will indeed be released by the end of this year. Check it out:

Interestingly, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier are not on that coming soon list, despite being the first series announced and despite originally being the series that was set to air first. But production on that series got shut down thanks to COVID and has only recently resumed in Budapest so it would appear Disney has decided to flip the order of release in order to give the Bucky & Sam spinoff the time it needs for post-production.

‘The Batman’ Reveals New Poster Of Robert Pattinson In The Suit

Since its panel at DC FanDome and excellent trailer reveal, Matt Reeves’ The Batman is even more anticipated than before. The second part of DC FanDome was held this past weekend and, while it was mostly focused on DC TV series, it still gave us another look at Robert Pattinson as Batman in the form of a new poster and key art drop. Pattinson’s version of the costume, which borrows from a number of different Batman looks from the comics, appears to be a more organic sort of costume than we’ve seen before, which makes sense for the storyline of him being early in his career as the Caped Crusader. The stitchwork in the cowl and chestplate is visible, giving it a rougher feel than costumes past. As we’ve seen with previous artwork for the movie, the new poster is working with the same black-and-red color scheme. Check it out:

I’m into it.

Ant-Man And Wasp Are Getting Costume Changes For The Third Movie

Speaking of costumes, it appears as though our bug-inspired superheroes are getting a costume upgrade for Ant-Man 3. Andy Park, Marvel Studios’ head of visual development, recently took to Instagram for a livestream with fans. During the Q&A a fan asked him if Ant-Man and Wasp would be getting new costumes for the third movie, which director Peyton Reed has recently said will be much larger in scope and scale and just announced the casting of Jonathan Majors. While Park couldn’t address the question directly, he did indicate that there has always been a strong link between Marvel movies and costume changes, saying, “I can’t talk spoilery things, but most movies have new costumes.” Considering all signs are pointing to them diving back into the Quantum Realm, it wouldn’t be surprising to see their suits get upgrades that are similar to the ones the Avengers wore to time travel through the Quantum Realm in Endgame.

‘No Time To Die’ Releases Character Featurette For Rami Malek’s Villain Safin

Rami Malek is set to play the villain in No Time to Die, the 25th James Bond movie. A new behind-the-scenes featurette for his character, Safin, was recently released and it gives us a deeper look at the film’s mysterious baddie. We know from the trailer that he’s a terrorist and anarchist, hellbent on eradicating part of the population via a chemical or biological agent. The featurette shows he believes himself to be the hero of the story, as many villains do. “What I really wanted from Safin is to make him unsettling, thinking of himself as heroic,” explains Malek. “Safin is a formidable adversary. James Bond has to adapt to him. Director Cary Fukunaga adds to this, saying, “What he wants and what he’s willing to do makes him a really frightening character, both personally to Bond and on a global level.” Basically, it sounds like Safin is the Bond franchise’s version of Thanos:

Chris Hemsworth Hijacked Australia’s ‘The Today Show’ To Give The Weather Report

Alright, this might not be news, but it’s certainly a bit of fun that should be shared. Chris Hemsworth has been home in Australia for the last few months, first for the pandemic and now shooting Thor: Love and Thunder. But the God of Thunder turned into the Reporter of Thunder, making a surprise appearance on Australia’s The Today Show and taking over the weather report – much to the surprise of the in-studio hosts and producers. In the meantime, he promoted an ecological conservation nonprofit. It was, as you can imagine, delightful:

Honestly? He nailed it.

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