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Movies with more diverse casts also make more money at the box office, according to a study


hidden figures

According to The Los Angeles Times, a new study and database created by the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has confirmed something that’s been on a lot of minds over past several months with movies like “Hidden Figures,” “Get Out,” and “Wonder Woman" performing so well at the box office: Movies starring people of color, women, and LGBTQ actors make money.

The study suggests that a diverse cast means a more diverse audience, which means more money at the box office. (Though it's important to note that correlation does not necessarily mean causation.)

CAA examined the diversity of the top 10 billed actors in 413 theatrical films released from the start of 2014 through the end of 2016, along with box-office performance and audience demographics. It found that the most successful films at the box office had a relatively large share of nonwhite viewers — of the top 10 grossing movies in 2016, 47% of the opening weekend audience (and 45% in 2015) were people of color. And films with what the CAA regards as "truly diverse" casts tend to outperform ones with less diverse casting.

The most successful film studied was 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” starring Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac.

“The hope is that seeing real numbers attached to the success of the inclusion of more voices and diverse casts will be further motivation for studios, networks, and others to be really conscious of the opportunity,” CAA President Richard Lovett said.

The LA Times also reports that CAA’s revenue from multicultural clients went up by 14% between 2015 and 2016. CAA was also recognized in a USC study for representing the “largest share of female and African American directors.” Those directors include "Selma" director Ava Duverany and "Wonder Woman" director Patty Jenkins. 

SEE ALSO: Why 'Wonder Woman' matters to women — and is already changing the movies we watch

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Disney is accused of stealing the idea for 'Inside Out' in a lawsuit


inside out

Though 2015's Inside Out may have won the hearts and minds of audiences everywhere, a new lawsuit claims that adoration belongs elsewhere.

A new lawsuit filed by an expert in child development claims that the concept for the film was stolen from a pitch for a TV project she presented to Disney and Pixar executives, reports Variety.

Denise Daniels claims that, in 2005, she brought together a creative team and produced a pilot for a show titled The Moodsters, which was intended to help children understand their emotions through representing them as five different characters: happiness, sadness, anger, love, and fear.

Inside Out imagines the world inside a child's brain, as controlled by five emotions: here joy, sadness, anger, fear, and disgust. Daniels claims she discussed her own idea with several executives for Disney and Pixar between 2005 and 2009, including a detailed phone conversation with Inside Out's eventual director Pete Docter.

The lawsuit alleges that Disney, therefore, breached an implied contract by not compensating her for her idea. She is seeking unspecified damages. 

Doctor has stated in the past that the idea for Inside Out was derived from seeing his own daughter's emotional development, and how that changed over time, starting work on it in 2009.

He told an audience at the LA Film Festival in 2015, “She became a lot more reclusive and quiet. We didn’t literally get eye-rolls, because she knew that would get her in trouble, but she gave off that kind of feeling. And that got me wondering, ‘What’s going on in her head?’ That’s when I thought of emotions as characters. This could be exactly what animation does best. And that’s what led us on this five-year journey.”

A spokesperson for Disney has issued the following statement: "Inside Out was an original Pixar creation, and we look forward to vigorously defending against this lawsuit in court".

SEE ALSO: RANKED: Every Pixar movie from worst to best

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Here are all the movies leaving Netflix in July that you need to watch right now


Working Girl

Netflix has released the titles that will be leaving its streaming service in July, so take a break from your tans and watch some great movies before they're gone.

There's some very worthy stuff you should consider: Mel Brooks’ classic “Blazing Saddles,” the late Adam West as the Dark Knight in a movie version of his popular “Batman” TV series from the '60s, and Melanie Griffith putting the moves on Harrison Ford (and facing off against Sigourney Weaver) in the '80s classic “Working Girl.”

Here's everything that's leaving Netflix in July (we've highlighted the titles we think you should watch in bold):

SEE ALSO: Everything we know about the Han Solo movie directors being fired — and what happens next to the "Star Wars" spinoff

Leaving July 1

“Blazing Saddles”
“American Pie Presents: Band Camp”
“Flicka 2”
“9/11: Stories in Fragments”
“Secrets: The Sphinx”
“Working Girl”
“Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”
“An Unmarried Woman”
“Hello, Dolly!”
“MacGyver” (Seasons 1 - 7)
“Ghost Whisperer” (Seasons 1 - 5)
“Futurama” (Season 6)
“Day of the Kamikaze”
“Mystery Files: Hitler”
“Mystery Files: Leonardo da Vinci”
“Nazi Temple of Doom”
“The Hunt for Bin Laden”
“The Incredible Bionic Man”
“History in HD: The Last Bomb”
“Secrets: A Viking Map?”
“Secrets: Richard III Revealed”
“Shuttle Discovery's Last Mission”
“Titanic's Final Mystery”
“Samurai Headhunters”
“America's Secret D-Day Disaster”
“Black Wings”
“Blondie's New York”
“Bombs, Bullets and Fraud”
“Death Beach”
“Hip Hop: The Furious Force of Rhymes”
“American Pie Presents: Beta House”
“American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile”
“Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging”
“While You Were Sleeping”
“Kate & Leopold”
“El Dorado”

Leaving 7/3/17

“The Last Samurai”
“Two Weeks Notice”

Leaving 7/6/17

“Los Heroes del Norte” (Seasons 1 - 2)

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The fired Han Solo movie directors who nearly finished it could now lose millions


Phil Lord Chris Miller Getty final

The Directors Guild of America is suddenly a major player when it comes to what happens with the director credit on the untitled Han Solo-focused "Star Wars" movie.

On Tuesday, directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord were reportedly fired from the movie by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy following creative differences. The two had spent months shooting the movie and now with a few weeks left of principal photography, Lucasfilm is scrambling to find a replacement to finish the movie.

Many in Hollywood are now turning to the DGA, which protects the interests of feature film and television directors, to bring clarity to the options Miller and Lord have when it comes to director credit and residuals on the movie.

The Hollywood Reporter points out that the DGA has a strict rule, which prohibits replacing the director with someone else from the film’s team, except in the case of an emergency. The rule was created to discourage producers from forcing out the director and taking over a picture.

So even though reports have the movie's screenwriter, Lawrence Kasdan, as a potential replacement, according to this rule he would not be allowed.

That leaves other names floating around like Ron Howard and Joe Johnston (1995's "Jumanji"). But if either takes the job another question comes up: Who gets director credit on the finished film?

han solo cast photoThe DGA frowns upon multiple director credits. In the DGA Creative Rights Handbook, it states "only one Director may be assigned to a motion picture at any given time." There are exceptions, as waivers can be sent to get a directing duo the same credit (presumably this would have happened for Miller and Lord). But it's very hard to know if in this case, the DGA would allow a three-name credit.

There is no appeals process with the DGA. What they decide is final. 

Currently, Lord and Miller have not taken their names off the movie. But if they do, they would potentially lose millions of dollars. 

THR reports that the rules state if a director pulls their name from a movie, a pseudonym is put in their place (often the DGA uses the name "Alan Smithee"). The fired directors might also have to forfeit all residuals, which for a "Star Wars" movie would be a good chunk of change. It is not clear if the duo would lose their residuals if they don't pull their names but are just off the movie.

The DGA did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment, but it's obvious the lawyers and agents for the directors, Lucasfilm, and the DGA will be working some late hours trying to figure all this out. 

SEE ALSO: Everything we knew about the about the Han Solo movie directors being fired — and what happens next to the "Star Wars" spinoff

Join the conversation about this story »

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Ron Howard is taking over the Han Solo 'Star Wars' movie


Ron Howard Getty

After days of speculation, Oscar-winning filmmaker Ron Howard has signed on to take over as director of Disney and Lucasfilm's untitled standalone Han Solo movie.

The announcement was posted on StarWars.com on Thursday.

“At Lucasfilm, we believe the highest goal of each film is to delight, carrying forward the spirit of the saga that George Lucas began forty years ago,” Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, said in a statement. “With that in mind, we’re thrilled to announce that Ron Howard will step in to direct the untitled Han Solo film. We have a wonderful script, an incredible cast and crew, and the absolute commitment to make a great movie. Filming will resume the 10th of July.”

Howard comes on the movie after its original directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller ("The Lego Movie"), were reportedly fired by Kennedy over creative differences on the "Star Wars" film.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, sources say Howard will soon meet with the actors — Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, alongside Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton, and Michael K. Williams — to settle everyone's nerves and see the rough edit.

The movie was scheduled to shoot for three and a half more weeks and there will be five weeks of reshoots. THR reports that the latter is common for most large franchise movies.

Howard has over 40 directing credits to his name, including 1995's "Apollo 13" and 2002's "A Beautiful Mind," which earned him a best directing Oscar. 

Phil Lord Chris Miller Getty finalThe move by Kennedy to fire Lord and Miller shocked many in Hollywood, as the duo was close to completing principal photography on the movie, which will follow the early years of Han Solo as a smuggler. Lord and Miller have also developed considerable clout after the success of "The Lego Movie."

It's still unclear how the director credit for the movie will be handled. If Lord and Miller take their names off the movie, they could potentially lose millions in residuals. However, it's not the Directors Guild of America's preference to list three names for a director credit. 

SEE ALSO: Everything we knew about the about the Han Solo movie directors being fired — and what happens next to the "Star Wars" spinoff

Join the conversation about this story »

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Every Michael Bay movie, ranked from worst to best


Michael Bay Francois Durand Getty final

Love him or hate him, director Michael Bay has spent the last two decades completely dominating the box office.

Though he’s a punching bag for critics, Bay’s movies — from the action-comedy “Bad Boys” to the thrilling “Armageddon” — have grossed over $2.1 billion at the United States box office in his career. Only Steven Spielberg has brought in more coin.

The divide between critics and audiences is most obvious with Bay’s “Transformers” movies. Though the highest-ranking of any of the movies on Rotten Tomatoes only has a 57% score ("Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"), the franchise, entirely directed by Bay, has taken in over $3 billion worldwide

With Bay’s latest, “Transformers: The Last Knight” (currently in theaters), marking the final time he’ll helm a movie in the franchise (or so he says), we thought this would be a good time to look back on his profitable, yet underappreciated, career.

Here are all of the movies of Michael Bay, ranked from worst to best:

SEE ALSO: The "Wonder Woman" cinematographer explains how he pulled off its most miraculous scene

13. “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” (2009)

Though most felt Bay and star Shia LaBeouf did an impressive job kicking off the franchise with 2007’s “Transformers,” the sequel didn’t give audiences hope that the movies would get any better. With a 19% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the sequel started the critical bashing of the franchise that continues to this day.

“Revenge of the Fallen” is best known for it marking the last time Megan Fox would appear in the movies. She was fired for saying in an interview that working with Bay is a “nightmare” and for comparing him to Hitler

12. “Pearl Harbor” (2001)

Having just come off of the blockbuster “Armageddon,” Bay could do no wrong in the eyes of Hollywood. And with that power he went and made a three-hour movie about Pearl Harbor. The problem was, it was awful.

Starring Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, and Kate Beckinsale, this epic may be cool to look at, but the story it tells is a complete bore.

11. “Transformers: Age of Extinction” (2014)

The beginning of the Mark Wahlberg era of the franchise, the film has little to enjoy and clocks in at a mind-numbing 2 hours and 45 minutes. But audiences didn’t seem to care — the movie took in over $1 billion worldwide

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The fired Han Solo directors believed they were hired to 'make a comedy'


Phil Lord Chris Miller Getty final

On Thursday, Lucasfilm announced that Oscar-winner Ron Howard would be taking over the directing reins of the untitled Han Solo movie following Tuesday's shocking news that its original directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller ("The Lego Movie,""21 Jump Street"), were fired.

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, who is also a producer on the movie, would only go so far as to say in a statement that both sides had "creative differences," a term often used in Hollywood when a falling out occurs.

But what were those differences? 

Entertainment Weekly is reporting that the main friction between the directing duo and the Lucasfilm brass was the level of comedy in the movie.

Han Solo, the legendary space smuggler from the "Star Wars" saga, was always played with a sarcastic humor by its original actor, Harrison Ford. So the idea that a movie focused on a younger version of the character, to be played by Alden Ehrenreich, would have some laughs.

But according to what sources tell EW, the duo thought they were making a full-on comedy.

"They thought they were brought on to make a Phil and Chris movie," said a source. Or as EW writer Anthony Breznican put it: "Lucasfilm and producer Kennedy believed Lord and Miller were hired to add a comedic touch; Lord and Miller believed they were hired to make a comedy."

Lord and Miller allowed their actors, which includes comic Donald Glover playing Solo's friend Lando Calrissian, to improvise, sources told EW. In some cases the directing duo significantly changed parts of the story while shooting on set.

Kathleen Kennedy Gustavo Caballero GettyIn the world of "Star Wars," this is a major no-no, going all the way back to when George Lucas oversaw the franchise. So when Kennedy and her team saw dailies and found actors improvising and scenes being shot not as they were planned on the page, the relationship began to sour.

EW learned that when reshoots were planned, Lord and Miller began to push back, believing they had found the right movie, and it deviated greatly from what screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan ("The Empire Strikes Back,""The Force Awakens") had penned.

Lord and Miller were told they were fired on Monday.

This is an example of two sides that were not right from the start. It would be hard to imagine Kennedy and her team didn't realize how Lord and Miller work. Perhaps the thinking at Lucasfilm was that the duo were flexible to toe the line and play by the "Star Wars" rules. Clearly that wasn't the case.

The firing of Lord and Miller came as a shock to many because, up until this week, there weren't any signs that there were troubles with the movie. As many are looking back for hints, i09 caught something Lord said at last year's Star Wars Celebration when talking about the character of Han Solo:

"I sort of relate to him. He doesn’t want to do anything that he’s told. When told not to do something, it makes him want to do it more."

That has a whole new meaning today. 

SEE ALSO: Ron Howard is taking over the Han Solo "Star Wars" movie

Join the conversation about this story »

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Here's what it's like to have an actor play your wife in a movie


the big sick emily v gordon zoe kazan

The INSIDER Summary:

  • In "The Big Sick," Kumail Nanjiani plays a version of himself.
  • Zoe Kazan plays his wife, Emily V. Gordon.
  • It's weird.
  • Gordon wasn't involved in casting the person who plays her.
  • Nanjiani tells INSIDER that it's important to separate the actual person from the movie character version.

In "The Big Sick," Kumail Nanjiani — most famous as being Dinesh Chugtai in "Silicon Valley"— plays a young comedian whose ex-girlfriend goes into a coma because of a mysterious illness. He then tries to bond with her parents while taking care of her. And at the same time, he's trying to chart his own path from his own parents, who expect him to get an arranged marriage.

It's an idiosyncratic story — and a true one. Based on Nanjiani's own life experience a decade ago, "The Big Sick" renders his traumatic and life-changing experience into an emotional romantic comedy.

But while Nanjiani plays himself in the movie, his now-wife, Emily V. Gordon, isn't an actress. So he cast Zoe Kazan to play her instead. It still hews close to real life, though: Kumail's character is named Kumail, and Emily's character is named Emily.

That begs the question: What's it like to play yourself in a movie about your own life, while someone else replaces the person who's supposed to be your life partner?

zoe kazan kumail nanjiani big sick

Nanjiani told INSIDER that while casting, he made a distinction between the fictionalized version of Gordon, who has been shaped into a character that serves the movie, and the real person he's in love with.

"We weren’t trying to recreate the specifics of our relationship on screen," Nanjiani said.

Nonetheless, it was still odd.

"I was always like, ‘I’m not going to talk to her as if this actress is my wife,'" Nanjiani said. "I’m going to try to talk to this person, and have a relationship with this person. It’s going to be different than my relationship with my wife, but I’ll talk to this person. And it’ll feel slightly different, but as long as it feels different and sweet and loving, then it will be OK."

michael showalter kumail nanjiani emily v gordon

The real Emily also wasn't involved in the casting for the role, even though she was involved for much of the rest of the movie (she and Nanjiani co-wrote the script). Nanjiani thought it would be best not to throw the auditioning actresses off with her presence.

"We figured it would be like a weird pressure for the actresses to come in and have the person they’d be playing there," he said. "We wanted to be very clear: you’re not trying to play this person, you’re trying to play the part as it’s written in the movie and as it services the movie."

Though Nanjiani co-wrote and stars in the movie, he didn't direct it. Instead, he entrusted that responsibility to Michael Showalter, who previously directed him in "My Name is Doris" and who knew him from professional comedy circles. As the director, Showalter, in effect, had the responsibility of telling Kazan, who's playing Nanjiani's wife, how to act around Nanjiani.

showalter kumail nanjiani zoe kazan big sick set

Showalter said it was a strange responsibility, but he saw his role as being the person who shepherded Nanjiani's and Gordon's vision into being the best possible version of itself, rather than imposing his own version on the story.

"When I read the script, I felt like I could see in my mind’s eye what they wanted to accomplish, and I felt I could help them accomplish that," Showalter told INSIDER. "My role wasn’t so much to not interrupt their vision, it was to help bring their vision into reality."

As it turned out, Gordon approved of Kazan's casting. Nanjiani noted that, because the character is in a coma for a huge chunk of the movie, they needed an actress who could make an impression even when she was unconscious. Kazan fit the bill.

"You need to have the right quality where she’s so urgent and energetic when she’s there," Nanjiani said. "But then when she’s gone you still feel her presence and miss her at the same time. And Zoe just had that."

Join the conversation about this story »

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Most Americans would rather stay home than go to the movies and it's especially true this summer


Despicable Me 3

There are some big, expensive movies coming out this summer, including another Spider-Man reboot and the latest "Transformers," but enthusiasm for them among Americans is lacking.

According to a poll from our partner, MSN, people aren’t that excited for summer 2017’s biggest movies — and the one they’re most excited about might come as a surprise.

MSN polls its readers, and then uses machine learning to model how a representative sample of the United States would have responded, using big data, such as the Census. It's nearly as accurate as a traditional, scientific survey.

MSN asked its readers how interested they were in some of 2017’s biggest summer movies in two categories. Those break down into action movies (“Spider-man: Homecoming,” “Transformers: The Last Knight,” “War for the Planet of the Apes”) and kids' movies (“Despicable Me 3,” “The Emoji Movie,” “The Lego Ninjago Movie”).

The poll separated the MSN audience into groups depending on how often they go to the movies, ranging from never to once a week or more. Among everyone, 69% said none of the action movies sounded good, and 60% said none of the kids titles sounded good.

People are most excited for "Despicable Me 3." 51% of regular moviegoers are excited, and 21% of people who never go to the movies are excited, which is huge compared to their 1% interest in "The Emoji Movie."

The action movie people are most excited to see this summer is "Spider-Man: Homecoming," but excitement is low compared to "Despicable Me 3." Of regular moviegoers, 25% are excited about the reboot, and 28% of people who go to the movies a couple times a month are excited about it.

Of all the movies, people are least excited about "The Emoji Movie" and "Transformers: The Last Knight." The latter, as it happens, is already getting terrible reviews, though the four "Transformers" movies so far have made a total of about $4 billion worldwide.

The charts below show how interested (or uninterested) the MSN audience is in this summer’s biggest movies.

MSN Summer 2017 movies poll

MSN Summer 2017 Movies poll

At the same time, movie theater attendance has been declining for years. From 2006 to 2015, movie theater attendance in North America has declined from 4.4 billion admissions to 3.8 billion. 

Movie Theater Attendance

MSN's data shows the low level of interest in new movies could be due to streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, HBOGo, and iTunes, along with regular old TV. It's much easier (and cheaper) to wait until you can watch a movie from the comfort of your own couch. 

When asked if they would rather go to the movies or watch something at home, 78% of respondents said they would prefer to stay home. Only 15% said they would like to go out to the movie theater.

SEE ALSO: 35 movies coming out this summer that you need to see

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Why critics say 'Transformers: The Last Knight' is '2017's most toxic movie'


Transformers The Last Knight 2 Paramount final

"Transformers: The Last Knight," the fifth movie in Michael Bay's already critically maligned franchise, is out this week, and the reviews aren't looking good. 

The movie has a 15% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and critics are having a field day with their creatively harsh criticisms of what might be the worst movie in the franchise and one of the worst movies of the year. 

Critics agree that the story is hard to follow, and it's just not as much fun as the previous films, and some critics suggest that this is likely because Michael Bay just doesn't particularly care anymore. 

Here are some of the things critics are saying about "Transformers: The Last Knight":

SEE ALSO: The 10 biggest box-office bombs of 2017 so far

The story is so complex that it’s impossible to explain or comprehend.

"I am not going to try to explain the story — after watching this movie I may never try to explain another story ever again."—Observer

"A movie that is at once loud yet incoherent, complex yet idiotic, and expensive yet worthless."—Star-Telegram

"Either this movie is dumb or I am."—ScreenCrush


It makes other bad movies look good.

"2017's Most Toxic Movie" Rolling Stone

"Every time Michael Bay directs another Transformers abomination (this is the fifth), the movies die a little. This one makes the summer's other blockbuster misfires look like masterpieces."—Rolling Stone

It feels like Michael Bay no longer cares if the movies in this franchise are any good.

"Perhaps the most dispiriting thing about this entry in this already-quite-dispiriting franchise is that Bay does not particularly seem to care one way or another this time."—Paste

"Michael Bay is back with another mammoth budget to throw at the screen in the latest Transformers monstrosity."—The Independent

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Ron Howard says joining the 'Star Wars' Han Solo movie is 'gratifying'


Ron Howard Frazer Harrison Getty final

Just a day after being named the new director of the untitled Han Solo movie, director Ron Howard found himself in the position of having to talk about it while attending the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on Friday.

The Hollywood Reporter writes that while speaking to an audience at the festival about creativity in media, Howard told moderator Martin Sorrell, the founder and CEO of British ad company WPP, that the chance to come on and direct the latest "Star Wars" anthology movie was "a little opportunity that came my way." 

Howard was chosen to take on the project after its original directors, Chris Miller and Phil Lord ("The Lego Movie"), were fired by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy over creative differences

"It's gratifying to lend my voice to the 'Star Wars' universe now," Howard told the audience. Mirroring what he had tweeted when official word came out that he would be directing the movie on Thursday:

Though Howard told the audience the story of when he and his wife stood in line, twice, for hours to watch the original "Star Wars" movie in 1977, his link to the saga goes back farther than that. 

Howard was the star of George Lucas' second feature film, the 1973 hit "American Graffiti," and recalled Lucas bringing up the early idea for "Star Wars." According to Howard, when Lucas told him the story, Howard thought it was "crazy."

The decision to hire Howard may seem like a random one for fans, but if Lucas had his way the Oscar-winner would already have had a "Star Wars" credit. Back when Lucas was deciding if the "Star Wars" prequels were to be made, he originally didn't want to direct them. Howard was one of the directors he reached out to direct the first of the prequels, "The Phantom Menace."

"He told me he had talked to Robert Zemeckis, Steven Spielberg, and me," Howard said while talking on the Happy Sad Confused podcast in 2015. "I was the third one he spoke to. They all said the same thing: 'George, you should do it!' I don’t think anybody wanted to follow-up that act at the time. It was an honor, but it would’ve been too daunting."

The Han Solo movie will start back up production on July 10.

SEE ALSO: Every Michael Bay movie, ranked from worst to best

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A new Netflix documentary about the Gawker vs. Hulk Hogan trial will change how you see the case


Nobody Speak John Pendygraft Sundance Institute

Any documentary filmmaker would like to delve into the trial between Hulk Hogan and Gawker: a high-profile case filled with sex, betrayal, and outlandish courtroom testimony.

But director Brian Knappenberger also saw something more troubling beneath the surface. The case was also a fight against the freedom of the press. Regardless of what you may think of Gawker's content, ruling against the site in this case could open the floodgates for silencing other media whenever it runs a negative story on a person with influence.

It was a scary thought to Knappenberger. And then it became a reality.

Currently on Netflix, Knappenberger's latest documentary, "Nobody Speak: Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and Trials of a Free Press," is a fascinating look at the story behind the Hogan win against Gawker for posting a sex tape of the former pro wrestler. The $140.1 million verdict in favor of Hogan led to Gawker closing its doors and its publisher Nick Denton going into personal bankruptcy.

Peter ThielBut two months after the verdict, it was revealed that Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel was responsible for financing Hogan's case against Gawker. It was also revealed that the major motivation for Thiel to do that was less because he was sympathetic to what Hogan was going through and more that he wanted Denton and Gawker to feel his wrath after the site ran a story in 2007 outing him as being gay.

"This notion of a nine-year grudge and this epic tale of revenge was so spectacular," Knappenberger told Business Insider at this year's Sundance Film Festival. "That's when I really started work on the movie."

Knappenberger — who previously made the movies "The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz," on internet activist Aaron Swartz, and "We Are Legion," about the hacker group Anonymous — got in touch with Denton and Gawker editor-in-chief (who also posted the Hogan sex tape video) A.J. Daulerio to be in the film as well as Hogan's lawyer David R. Houston.

They all took some convincing to come on camera and talk for the movie, according to Knappenberger, but at the end of the day they agreed because they all wanted to tell their sides of the story.

Brian Knappenberger Alberto E Rodriguez Getty final"The Gawker guys were angry," he said. "They wanted to talk, and David Houston wanted to tell his story."

There was also a time that Knappenberger thought he would get Hogan to participate, but ultimately Hogan declined.

"They didn't want him to say something that would hurt the settlement," Knappenberger said of Hogan. "But even if we got him now I would add him in the film."

In many ways, "Nobody Speak" portrays Hogan in a sympathetic manner, basically as the pawn in Thiel's mission to destroy Gawker (Knappenberger said he also tried to get Thiel to be in the movie, but Thiel declined Knappenberger's numerous requests). And the movie shows how other people with money and influence can and do silence the media.

Knappenberger also showcases what happened to the Las Vegas Review-Journal at the end of 2015. The paper's staff was suddenly told that the paper had been sold, though they were never told who the new publisher was. A group of reporters found that the son-in-law of Las Vegas casino titan Sheldon Adelson was a major player in the purchase of the paper. According to the movie, Adelson had a vendetta with the paper's columnist John L. Smith, who wrote unflattering things about him in a 2005 book. Smith was even ordered after the paper was bought that he was never to write about Adelson in any of his pieces. 

For Knappenberger, there's no other way to look at it: The suppression of the media by billionaires is happening. But it was the election of Donald Trump as president that influenced the movie the most.

"It went from cautionary to holy f---," Knappenberger said. "Things that seemed lighter before now seemed serious."

Donald TrumpKnappenberger said the making of "Nobody Speak" was a fast process that constantly changed, but it's the ending that has become the most nerve-wracking, as he's gone through numerous versions to paint a most up-to-date picture of Trump's dislike toward the media.

"What we've seen is disturbing," he said of Trump. "Calling reports scum, calling them vile, slime, it's just a regular feature in his speeches. The blacklisting of the press... This is a clear intimidation of the press. I think all of that is scary."

Knappenberger said he doesn't see the press lying down and playing dead, but he hopes the new administration will be a wake-up call to the media to be on their game.

"The press should be adversarial, should be confrontational, should be questioning those in power, that's the role of the press," he said.

And that's why Knappenberger believes the loss of Gawker is such a huge blow for journalism. As one former Gawker editor says in the movie, "If you're not pissing off a billionaire, what's the point?"

"Yeah, they insulted people, but why is there not a place for that in this media environment?" Knappenberger said. "This is free speech. We protect hate speech. We protect a lot that one side or the other doesn't like. Thiel's response that Gawker is a 'singular, sociopathic bully' is absurd. That is only true if you live in a world without Facebook or Twitter."

When speaking to Knappenberger before the movie's world premiere at Sundance, the director wasn't too nervous about Thiel or Adelson's representatives showing up with legal papers. "We're ready for it," he said (none were ever given). But he added, the bigger issue is getting people to understand that the loss of the free press is "the most important thing facing our country."

"Lots of other films at Sundance have legitimate causes and important things and I wouldn't say this is more important than those causes," he said, "it's just that you can't do anything about those causes unless you have this first. Free speech, First Amendment rights. Without that, there's no democracy."


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NOW WATCH: Marvel just dropped the first trailer for 'Black Panther'

The latest Transformers movie has the lowest box office opening ever for the franchise


Transformers The Last Knight 2 Paramount final

Though Paramount is not done making Transformers movies, it seems audiences have had enough with watching the legendary Hasbro toys on the big screen.

"Transformers: The Last Knight," the fifth movie in the franchise, took in a dismal $69.1 million on over 4,000 screens since it opened last Wednesday, according to Variety.

That's the lowest opening ever for the franchise.

Whether audiences have had enough with the incessant CGI explosions of director Michael Bay (who has helmed all the movies up to this point) or their long running times with little attention to storyline, "The Last Knight" looks like everyone's breaking point.

The movie only took in $15.6 million on its opening day. That's also the lowest opening day ever for the franchise, which started 10 years ago.

And critics, who have never been kind to Bay or the franchise, really dug into "The Last Knight," as the movie only got a 15% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That's the lowest score for any Transformers movie.

And the franchise still isn't over. Its spinoff movie focused on fan favorite Bumblebee is coming out next year.

But all wasn't bad at the movies this weekend. "Wonder Woman" continues to wow audiences. Taking in $25.2 million over the weekend, the latest release from the DC Comics Extended Universe has now surpassed $300 million domestically (over $650 million globally).

The Big Sick Amazon LionsgateIndie titles "The Big Sick" and "The Beguiled" also had some impressive opening weekends.

"The Beguiled," Sofia Coppola's latest movie (released by Focus Features), followed up its successful Cannes Film Festival world premiere, in which Coppola won the best director prize, by taking in $241,000 over the weekend. It had a pre-screen average of $60,000 at the four screens it played. The movie will open in wide release next week.

But "The Big Sick" was the big winner. Proving Amazon's $12 million purchase at this year's Sundance Film Festival was worth every penny, the movie — which Judd Apatow produced and "Silicon Valley's" Kumali Nanjiani starred in — had a $435,000 opening with a $87,000 per-screen average on the five screens it was released on (Lionsgate handled the film's theatrical release). That's the best opening screen average for 2017, beating the $42,000 by Disney's "Beauty and the Beast."

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Alison Brie says she looks for acting work that 'terrifies' her


Alison 2x1

Best known for her comedic work in movies and TV — and her recurring role as Trudy Campbell on “Mad Men” — Alison Brie is on the cusp of taking her career up a notch. And she’s getting there by taking on some edgy material.

On Friday, you’ll see her as the lead in the fictional origin story of how the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling got off the ground in the 1980s with the new Netflix series “GLOW.” Then a week later she and Aubrey Plaza star as horny nuns in the indie comedy “The Little Hours,” in which they seduce an attractive man-servant (played by Brie’s husband Dave Franco) who has mysteriously shown up at their 14th-century convent.

Brie recently talked to Business Insider about shedding her girl-next-door persona; how many times Franco put her through watching “The Room” in preparation for “The Disaster Artist,” an upcoming movie about the making of the bad-movie classic (directed by Dave’s brother James Franco); and her excitement about playing Meryl Streep’s daughter in the the upcoming Steven Spielberg movie “The Papers.”

Jason Guerrasio: "The Little Hours" marks the first time you and Dave have starred in a movie together. Were you guys interested in working together on a project?

Alison Brie: We were. I sort of unofficially signed on first. I've known ["The Little Hours" director] Jeff [Baena] for a couple of years.

Guerrasio: Since you did "Joshy"?

Brie: Yes. And I've known Aubrey for years just because we were both at NBC at the same time and knew each other socially. And then I worked with Jeff very briefly on "Joshy" and developed a friendship. Jeff invited me out for coffee and said he had an idea he wanted to talk to me about and pitched me this movie. And Jeff is so smart and he basically studied this time period and this topic and just as he described to me these stories from "The Decameron" and adapting them into a film. Us playing nuns in the 14th century and that Aubrey would be one of the nuns and possibly Molly Shannon — the whole idea just got me very excited. It's so unique and the majority of movies getting made today are remakes or stories that have been done before. I feel almost everything you see has a quick log line of "it's this meets this" and this was not like that at all.

The Little Hours Gunpowder SKy

Guerrasio: But was it also exciting that it was edgier than the nice girl-type roles you usually get?

Brie: Definitely. I'm always looking for that. I feel that's always the goal, to try to do work that is different from material that I have done before where characters are different or some aspect of it is different or exciting in some way. And with "The Little Hours," another big part of it was — I mean, hearing that it's going to shoot in Italy didn't hurt at all — but that it was also unscripted. Jeff had a detailed 20-page outline for what the plot of the movie would be and what would happen in each scene but there was no script so there was this feeling of it being an experimental film. That we would go to Italy with this group of people that we know and love to perform with and we would make it up together as we went along. That, to me, seemed like an amazing adventure. It kind of scared me and I'm always intrigued by things that scare me. I like to run at stuff that terrifies me.

Guerrasio: I wondered about how you pulled it off, particularly the sexuality of it. I mean, you're there with your significant other and he's taking part in some racy scenes. I know it's all performance, but did those scenes ever get weird or uncomfortable for you?

Brie: No. It really didn't. Jeff had told me the premise of the movie before Dave had signed on to do the movie, so I knew that it was about this guy who shows up and all the women seduce him. And I said, "Who are you thinking of for the guy?" Because I'm thinking, God, I hope it's someone that I respond to. And when he said Dave I was relived. And I sort of helped convince Dave a little bit to do the movie.

Guerrasio: That's funny.

Brie: I just felt, how much fun would it be to go to Italy together on this strange adventure with this movie? Also, both of us are professional and we watch each other do romantic scenes all the time. If anything, it was more comfortable because I knew all these people so well.

the disaster artist

Guerrasio: This won't be the last time you and Dave will be in a movie together. You'll both be in "The Disaster Artist," so how many times has Dave put you through watching "The Room"?

Brie: [Laughs] Um, I think only one time.

Guerrasio: Wow. I figured at least a couple of times.

Brie: Dave signed on to do "The Disaster Artist" very early on to work with James. This was still when they were putting the movie together. So I didn't think I was going to be involved at all. I was around while Dave was doing his research, but we never watched the movie together. Then we listened to the book on tape of "The Disaster Artist" together. So from listening to that he said, "You have to see the movie now that you know the backstory," so we bought a copy of "The Room" at Amoeba and we put it on and two minutes in I was like, "I have to have a drink, I can't watch this totally sober." But the crazy thing about that movie is it's so genuine.

Guerrasio: I’ve heard people who are fans of the movie like Jonah Hill and Paul Rudd, and I'm sure James feels the same way. They don't love it because they think it's bad — they appreciate the work that's gone into it and want to champion it.

Brie: Yeah. And it's really an endearing and inspiring story about two friends trying to make it into the entertainment industry.

Guerrasio: I talked to your trainer Jason Walsh. He said you did all your own stunts for "GLOW."

Brie: I did.

Guerrasio: Did you suffer any injuries from doing all the wrestling moves?

Brie: No. Not at all. I hate to disappoint you —

Glow Erica Parise Netflix final

Guerrasio: No, it confirms that what Jason said is true: You are a badass.

Brie: [Laughs] It definitely does. No, I think the work I did with Jason definitely helped to keep me safe. Because we certainly got banged up. I had visible bruises, you can see them on my legs and butt in episodes of the show, but we had a great wrestling trainer for the show, Chavo Guerrero Jr. He comes from a long line of wrestlers, so he was incredible with us and very patient and made us all fall in love with wrestling. And our stunt coordinator, Shauna Duggins, whose main priority really was our safety and breaking down these moves so we would be able to do them for 10-12 hours at a time. And obviously there were tricks. If the camera doesn't show all the way to the mat, there would be a pad there that we would land on. And a bigger move, like a suplex, we would limit the amount of takes. We would say, "We got five suplexes in us today, so tell us when you got the shot."

Guerrasio: You also recently have been cast in Spielberg's "The Papers," about how the Pentagon Papers were released. Can you get into who you will be playing?

Brie: I’m playing Lally Weymouth, Katharine Graham's daughter. So Meryl Streep is playing Katharine and I'm playing her daughter.

Guerrasio: Have you had a chance to meet up with Meryl yet?

Brie: I met her very briefly on set when she finished shooting a scene and she could not have been lovelier. I'm over the moon, I couldn't be more excited about that movie. I could burst into tears right now just talking about it. It's a dream come true.

Guerrasio: You are really at a point now where your profile is rising. What's the next elevation? Would you go the superhero route if called upon?

Brie: I hope that's the case. I would love to. I think especially after working on "GLOW," where we all felt like we were superheroes, in a way it has satisfied my desire to do something like that. But in some ways it's only whet my appetite. But I guess I feel very lucky that I've been able to work on such different projects recently. All different time periods and genres. So that looking forward is the goal. I love working in comedy. I would want to continue doing that, but I would also like to do more dramatic roles. Since wrapping "Mad Men" I have missed that a little so I'm excited to work on "The Papers" at that capacity. Just continuing to work with great people.

Guerrasio: Is there a superhero character you would drop everything to play?

Brie: Oh gosh, no. I'm open for any. Just call me and offer. [Laughs]  

"GLOW" is available on Netflix Friday. "The Little Hours" opens in theaters June 30.


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NOW WATCH: Terry Crews explains how intermittent fasting keeps him in shape

‘Baby Driver’ is a summer movie that finally lives up to the hype


Baby Driver Sony

Writer-director Edgar Wright has shown his affection for genre filmmaking by doing everything from the beloved Cornetto trilogy (“Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz,” and “The World’s End”) to the equally beloved “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” and now it looks like he has another for his dedicated fans to gush over, with the thrilling heist movie “Baby Driver” (in theaters on Wednesday).

Using a mix of incredible needle-drops, insane car chases, pitch-perfect performances, and a stellar script, Wright’s latest is a summer release that finally lives up to the hype.

The story revolves around a twentysomething named Baby (Ansel Elgort) who can basically do anything he wants in a car, as long as he’s got his tunes playing on his iPod. With that skill set, Baby is a getaway driver for a crew of bank robbers in Atlanta. Wright gets right into the action from the start, showing Baby’s moves as he escapes the police following his team’s robbery, headed by Buddy (Jon Hamm).

Baby gets everyone back to the safe house where we meet the brains of the operation, Doc (Kevin Spacey). And we quickly realize Doc has been forcing Baby to do jobs for him since Baby tried to rob him. Doc tells Baby he’s got one more job to do and then they are square.

Baby goes back to his life until called upon. During his break between heists he falls for a diner waitress, Debora (Lily James). Through that relationship, we learn a little more about Baby: his parents died in an auto accident (he was in the car, too), which still haunts Baby, and he listens to music constantly to help his permanent tinnitus.

Baby Driver 2 SonyDoc eventually calls and Baby is back on the job, this time working with the crazed Bats (Jamie Foxx). Once more, Baby has to go on a bonkers car chase to flee the scene. But when he gets back to the safehouse, Doc gives Baby a reality check — he will always be his wheel man.

This leads to the final job, one that involves Buddy, Bats, Doc, and even Debora, who gets roped in.

Wright delivers a story with little dead spots and great dialogue for Foxx, Hamm, and Spacey to shine. And the visuals by legendary cinematographer Bill Pope just add to the enjoyment.

One scene that stood out for me wasn't one of the chases, but the beginning of the movie when Baby goes to get the robbers coffee. All shot in one take, the choreographed sequence has Elgort gracefully weaving down the street to the beat of the song, at one time even imitating a trumpet player during the song's solo when he’s next to a music shop that has a trumpet hanging in the storefront window. Pope also moves the camera to lyrics that show up on the sidewalk and telephone poles.

Elgort plays the character of Baby similar to Ryan Gosling in “Drive” (which director Nicolas Winding Refn took from Ryan O'Neal in Walter Hill's 1978 classic, "The Driver") — quiet and methodical — which is good because there are some instances when Elgort has to do some heavy acting and comes off a little green. But Foxx, Hamm, and Spacey pick up the slack.

“Baby Driver” has been a passion project of Wright’s for years and it certainly shows. There are some movies where you can see the care put into it, and this movie has it. From the sound editing that has almost every movement and gunshot in sync to the music, to the meticulous song choices (tracks by The Beach Boys, Beck, T. Rex, and The Commodores are just a few featured), Wright has made a movie that showcases his incredible moviemaking talents and should be instantly included in the conversation with the best car chase/heist movies of all time.


SEE ALSO: Alison Brie says she looks for acting work that "terrifies" her

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NOW WATCH: Marvel just dropped the first trailer for 'Black Panther'

Drama on the Han Solo movie set included a fired editor and a last-minute acting coach for its star


han solo cast photo

After last week's surprise firing of directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller from the upcoming Han Solo "Star Wars" anthology movie, more stories are surfacing about the unstable production.

The Hollywood Reporter has learned that, as previously reported, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and the directing duo did not hit it off from the start of production. Both sides struggled with control as there was a constant battle over how scenes should be shot and how much Lord and Miller could stray from the script, written by "Star Wars" veteran Lawrence Kasdan ("The Empire Strikes Back,""The Force Awakens").

In one instance, the trade was told by sources that Lord and Miller only did three different setups (camera placements) for a scene shot on the Millennium Falcon, versus the 12 to 15 that a movie of this size usually does. This led to limited options to choose from in editing.

And the duo's improvisational style didn't go over well for many of the crew. Known for their comedies "The Lego Movie" and the "21 Jump Street" franchise, in which Lord and Miller collaborate heavily with their cast, on a movie of the size of a "Star Wars" project, that led to hundreds of crew members standing around waiting for marching orders, according to THR.  

Lord and Miller also shot some scenes by delivering improvised lines to the actors. According to sources, once Kasdan saw this he demanded that every line be said word for word. THR reports that Lord and Miller did do takes for scenes as it was written in the script. 

alden ehrenreichBut in May things got really bad. Lucasfilm fired editor Chris Dickens and replaced him with Pietro Scalia. And the company also brought on an acting coach for its star Alden Ehrenreich, who plays young Han Solo, a rarity this late in a production.

According to THR, Lucasfilm wasn't satisfied with the performance Lord and Miller were getting out of him. It's possible Ehrenreich wasn't pleased with Lord and Miller, either. Star Wars News Net reports that the actor voiced his concerns about how the character was coming across to a producer who then sent it up the ladder to Kennedy. One source told SWNN that Ehrenreich 's performance of Solo is "oddly comparable to Jim Carrey’s performance in 'Ace Ventura' at times." 

Kennedy's decided to steady the ship by having Kasdan shadow Lord and Miller, similar to Tony Gilroy coming on to direct reshoots for Gareth Edwards' "Rogue One." But Lord and Miller pushed back, leading to Kennedy firing them. 

When the crew was told Ron Howard would be taking over the movie, they broke into applause, according to the THR story.

Though sources say the footage Miller and Lord shot is "very usable," the plan is for Howard to shoot until September. Production was originally supposed to wrap in July.

The untitled Han Solo movie is still slated for a May 25, 2018 release. 

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Guillermo del Toro says his 'only' regret is turning down the chance to direct a Harry Potter film


del toro pacific rims

Guillermo del Toro doesn’t have many regrets, but he does regret turning down the opportunity to direct a "Harry Potter" film.

The Mexican director revealed this detail during a 90-minute masterclass at the Annecy Festival while discussing his illustrious filmography.

One member of the audience asked, “I remember you said that you don't lie awake sleepless about movies that you didn't end up doing" but del Toro interjected to say, "the only one is 'Harry Potter,' and then, I lay there and go 'oh f---.'"

The "Pan’s Labyrinth" director was originally approached to direct the third film, based on J.K. Rowling’s "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," but felt the tone of the earlier movies were too “bright and happy.”

"They came to me once, for the third one," del Toro told MTV in 2007. "I've read them all, and when I read the books before the movies were done, I always pictured Charles Dickens - they were very Dickensian."

“The situation of Harry Potter reminded me a lot of Pip from 'Great Expectations.' I saw them as deeper, more creaky, more corroded; then [the stories] were textured very differently when the first two movies came out. They were so bright and happy and full of light, that I wasn't interested.”

Alfonso Cuarón went on to direct "The Prisoner of Azkaban" and after seeing the darker turn of the franchise, Guillermo was much more interested in directing one of his own. "They seem to be getting eerie and darker,” he explained. “If they come back to me, I'll think about it."

Sadly for the "Hellboy" director, Warner Bros. never came back to him, leaving Mike Newell to direct "Goblet of Fire" and David Yates to helm the remaining movies. There could still be a chance for del Toro to direct a film in the Harry Potter universe as the "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" film series will feature five films in total.

Yates returned to direct the first film, released last year, and the second one (expected in 2018), but it has not been confirmed that he will helm all five.

"Fantastic Beasts 2" will be released on November 16, 2018, and the third film on November 20, 2020.

SEE ALSO: JK Rowling: There were 2 Harry Potters

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Here's what you need to know about the new 'Harry Potter' fan film


voldemort character poster

The INSIDER Summary: 

  • "Voldemort: Origins of the Heir" is a new Harry Potter fan film made possible by a crowdfunding campaign.
  • The movie will explore how the character Tom Riddle became Voldemort.
  • The film is not endorsed by or affiliated with Warner Bros. or author JK Rowling.
  • A new trailer for the film is getting mostly positive reactions so far.

After fans learned that we would be reentering the world of 
Harry Potter with Fantastic Beasts and its several sequels, we were undoubtedly thrilled — especially since many of us Potterheads were *very* critical about the controversial Cursed Child screenplay. But if waiting to see how Jude Law and Johnny Depp actually fare in the HP universe is getting a bit tedious, there’s good news: A new fan film about Voldemort’s backstory is set to come out this year, and it looks absolutely magical.

Over Memorial Day weekend, Potterheads were treated to a trailer for Voldemort: Origins of the Heir, a new fan film from indie production house Tryangle Films that sets out to contextualize the life of Tom Riddle. Created by Gianmaria Pezzato and Stefano Prestia, the film originally gained funding through a semi-popular crowdfunding campaign. However, once Warner Bros. got wind of the Kickstarter, both parties began talks around copyright violations. Luckily for Harry Potter fans though, the movie studio agreed to let the film continue with production if it became a nonprofit project and clearly advertised that it was not endorsed by, affiliated with, or associated with Warner Bros. or JK Rowling.

According to the official film website, the creators first came up with the idea of investigating the backstory of Tom Riddle while rereading the sixth Harry Potter book. They wanted to better understand the context in which Tom Riddle became Voldemort, as well as explore the few years after graduation when Riddle came back to Hogwarts. “There are some clues in the books which have not been transposed at all in the movies, but a lot goes unspoken,” the creators say. “This is the story we want to tell: the rise of the Dark Lord before Harry Potter and his first demise.”

voldemort set

Here’s what we know so far about the story. Heir to Gryffindor Grisha McLaggen (who never appeared in any of the Harry Potter books) suspects something is awry when Hepzibah Smith, descendent of Helga Hufflepuff and noted collector of magical objects including Salazar Slytherin’s locket and Helga Hufflepuff’s cup, was found brutally murdered. Although the wizarding media claims that the murderer was Smith’s house elf, McLaggen senses dark magic was at play, specifically Tom Riddle, and vows to stop him before he can do any more harm.

So far, fans have taken to Twitter to voice how impressed they are with the trailer’s stunning graphics and CGI that makes this fan video seem far more professional than amateur. In fact, most of the reaction to the one-minute trailer has been outrageously positive, even without JK Rowling’s input and expertise driving the production. (BTW, we’re still waiting for Rowling to tell us how she really feels about the movie, despite many fans asking her about it on her social media.)

Since producers are still casting for Fantastic Beasts 2 and the official film probably won’t be released until late 2018, we’re definitely willing to give this new fan film a chance — especially since it’s set to come out for free on YouTube by the end of this year.

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NOW WATCH: 'Harry Potter' fans are skeptical about the new film — here’s why

A popular fan theory that Spider-Man actually first appeared in 'Iron Man 2' has been confirmed


tom holland spider man homecoming spiderman

The INSIDER Summary:

  • Tom Holland plays Spider-Man in Marvel's movies, including the upcoming "Spider-Man: Homecoming."
  • He confirmed a popular fan theory that his character first shows up in 2010's "Iron Man 2."
  • It's a scene where a kid almost fights a big robot — before Iron Man swoops in to save him.

Tom Holland — who's playing Peter Parker AKA Spider-Man in Marvel's movies— confirmed a theory that fans have been wondering about for nearly a decade.

As it turns out, Peter Parker was teased back in 2010's "Iron Man 2," way back when the partnership with Sony, which own the rights to use Spider-Man in movies, and Disney, which owns Marvel, was a mere glint in Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter's eye.

In "Iron Man 2," a young boy faces down a robot that's causing chaos in a crowd. Before the robot gets to blow him up, Tony Stark swoops in and takes down the robot.

"Nice work, kid," he says, before flying away.

That kid's name, according to fan theorists? Peter Parker.

The age of the boy makes sense, given the release of "Iron Man 2" in 2010 and Peter Parker's character being about 15 years old in "Spider-Man: Homecoming."

Holland told The Huffington Post that he asked Kevin Feige, the head of Marvel Studios, about the theory, and Feige confirmed it.

"I can confirm that as of today. I literally had a conversation with Kevin Feige only 20 minutes ago. Maybe I’ve just done a big, old spoiler, but it’s out there now,"Holland told HuffPo. "It’s cool. I like the idea that Peter Parker has been in the universe since the beginning."

Later in the Marvel movies, Peter Parker and Tony Stark turn out to be buds. Stark recruits Parker as a sort of "Avengers" intern in "Captain America: Civil War." And Stark is a prominent character in the forthcoming "Spider-Man: Homecoming" movie, if the trailers are anything to go by. You can see the movie on July 7.

Join the conversation about this story »

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A popular fan theory that Spider-Man actually first appeared in 'Iron Man 2' has been confirmed


tom holland spider man homecoming spiderman

The INSIDER Summary:

  • Tom Holland plays Spider-Man in Marvel's movies, including the upcoming "Spider-Man: Homecoming."
  • He confirmed a popular fan theory that his character first shows up in 2010's "Iron Man 2."
  • It's a scene where a kid almost fights a big robot — before Iron Man swoops in to save him.

Tom Holland — who's playing Peter Parker AKA Spider-Man in Marvel's movies— confirmed a theory that fans have been wondering about for nearly a decade.

As it turns out, Peter Parker was teased back in 2010's "Iron Man 2," way back when the partnership with Sony, which own the rights to use Spider-Man in movies, and Disney, which owns Marvel, was a mere glint in Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter's eye.

In "Iron Man 2," a young boy faces down a robot that's causing chaos in a crowd. Before the robot gets to blow him up, Tony Stark swoops in and takes down the robot.

"Nice work, kid," he says, before flying away.

That kid's name, according to fan theorists? Peter Parker.

The age of the boy makes sense, given the release of "Iron Man 2" in 2010 and Peter Parker's character being about 15 years old in "Spider-Man: Homecoming."

Holland told The Huffington Post that he asked Kevin Feige, the head of Marvel Studios, about the theory, and Feige confirmed it.

"I can confirm that as of today. I literally had a conversation with Kevin Feige only 20 minutes ago. Maybe I’ve just done a big, old spoiler, but it’s out there now,"Holland told HuffPo. "It’s cool. I like the idea that Peter Parker has been in the universe since the beginning."

Later in the Marvel movies, Peter Parker and Tony Stark turn out to be buds. Stark recruits Parker as a sort of "Avengers" intern in "Captain America: Civil War." And Stark is a prominent character in the forthcoming "Spider-Man: Homecoming" movie, if the trailers are anything to go by. You can see the movie on July 7.

Join the conversation about this story »

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