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Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget: Plot, Cast, and Everything Else We Know

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Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget: Plot, Cast, and Everything Else We Know

The chickens are coming home to roost once again. Aardman Animation is gearing up to release a sequel to Chicken Run, their wildly popular 2000 animated film. Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget is set to be released in 2023. The original Chicken Run is currently the highest-grossing stop-motion animated film of all time, drawing more than $224 million at the box office. It was also the first full-length film produced by Aardman.

First announced in 2018, the sequel will reportedly follow the chickens on the island they escaped to at the end of the first film, only to see a new threat emerge against their way of life. Nick Park, co-director of the original and mastermind behind Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit, is sitting in the producer’s chair this time around. Sam Fell, director of Aardman’s 2006 hit Flushed Away, is replacing Park as director. Original writers Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell, who penned the script for the first film, are also back. Despite partnering on the original film, DreamWorks Animation will not be involved with the sequel due to their relationship with Aardman ending.

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So, what do we know about Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget? How will it continue the story established in the first film? Who is returning to the cast, and what new additions are joining them? When and where will the film be released? And what else should we know?

Chicken Run 2: The Plot

Viewers will recall that the chickens escaped the Tweedy farm and found peace on an island at the end of the original movie. The sequel will pick up right where the original left off. At an Annecy Making Of panel in 2020, the filmmakers revealed where the chickens will be in this sequel. Chicken leader Ginger and her partner Rocky will have an egg together, their daughter Molly. Molly will soon outgrow the chickens’ island just as they learn of a new threat back on the mainland. In the face of that threat, Ginger must once again rally her troops to defend the chickens’ home and very existence.

RELATED: Chicken Run: 5 Reasons Why It’s One of the Best Stop-Motion Movies of All Time

The logline, “this time, they’re breaking in,” seems to tell us that the adventure will reverse what happened the first time when they broke out of their life on the farm. It also sounds like they will use the same slapstick strategies as they did in the first outing. Director Sam Fell promised that the action sequences from the first would be back, saying:

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“All the gadgets, the kit, we’re kind of moving towards an almost-tribute to ‘Mission: Impossible’ with elements of heist and how they’re going to pull off this amazing break-in.”

From that information alone, it sounds as though the team is doing everything possible to recapture what made the original Chicken Run work while giving us a new story with new characters to root for. We still have to wait for more specific information, which likely will be revealed as the release date approaches.

Chicken Run 2: The Cast

While the Chicken Run characters we grew to know and love from the first film are returning, many of them, including leads Ginger and Rocky, will feature different voices. Shazam! star Zachary Levi is replacing Mel Gibson as heroic rooster Rocky. It was speculated that Gibson was replaced due to allegations of racism, though Aardman denied that was the case. Westworld’s Thandiwe Newton will be replacing Julia Sawalha as Ginger. This decision was also the source of controversy, as Sawalha claimed that Aardman replaced her because her voice sounded too old for the role.

Game of Thrones actor Bella Ramsey is on board as Rocky and Ginger’s daughter Molly. In addition, David Bradley of Harry Potter and Game of Thrones fame is replacing Benjamin Whitrow as elderly Royal Air Force veteran rooster Fowler. Comedian Romesh Ranganathan and actor Daniel Mays will be portraying the scheming rat partners Nick and Fetcher. Ranganathan and Mays replace Timothy Spall and Phil Daniels from the original, respectively.

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RELATED: Here’s Every Movie From Aardman Animations, Ranked

Not all characters were recast, though. Jane Horrocks is back as knitting-loving hen Babs, while Imelda Staunton will return as the cynical Bunty, and Lynn Ferguson is set to reprise her role as Ginger’s Scottish assistant Mac. Rounding out the cast are comedian Nick Mohammed and Josie Sedgewick-Davies portraying the new characters of Dr. Fry and Frizzle, respectively. While these are all the confirmed roles as of now, it is possible that additional cast announcements will follow in the coming months.

Release Date

Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget is set to be released on Netflix sometime in 2023, though we do not know when exactly in 2023 or what territories. However, Aardman’s new Wallace and Gromit film is premiering first on the BBC before its worldwide Netflix release, so it is possible that we could see a similar strategy employed here with Chicken Run. All we can do now is wait and see.

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

Hitting the three-quarter-century mark usually means a retirement home, a nursing facility, or if you’re lucky to be blessed with relatively good health and savings to match, living in a gated community in Arizona or Florida.

For Sylvester Stallone, however, it means something else entirely: starring in the first superhero-centered film of his decades-long career in the much-delayed Samaritan. Unfortunately for Stallone and the audience on the other side of the screen, the derivative, turgid, forgettable results won’t get mentioned in a career retrospective, let alone among the ever-expanding list of must-see entries in a genre already well past its peak.

For Stallone, however, it’s better late than never when it involves the superhero genre. Maybe in getting a taste of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) with his walk-on role in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel several years ago, Stallone thought anything Marvel can do, I can do even better (or just as good in the nebulous definition of the word).

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The property Stallone and his team found for him, Samaritan, a little-known graphic novel released by a small, almost negligible, publisher, certainly takes advantage of Stallone’s brute-force physicality and his often underrated talent for near-monosyllabic brooding (e.g., the Rambo series), but too often gives him to little do or say as the lone super-powered survivor, the so-called “Samaritan” of the title, of a lifelong rivalry with his brother, “Nemesis.” Two brothers entered a fire-ravaged building and while both were presumed dead, one brother did survive (Stallone’s Joe Smith, a garbageman by day, an appliance repairman by night).

In the Granite City of screenwriter Bragi F. Schut (Escape Room, Season of the Witch), the United States, and presumably the rest of the world, teeters on economic and political collapse, with a recession spiraling into a depression, steady gigs difficult, if not impossible, to obtain, and the city’s neighborhoods rocked by crime and violence. No one’s safe, not even 13-year-old Sam (Javon Walker), Joe’s neighbor.

When he’s not dodging bullies connected to a gang, he’s falling under the undue influence of Cyrus (Pilou Asbæk), a low-rent gang leader with an outsized ego and the conviction that he and only he can take on Nemesis’s mantle and along with that mantle, a hammer “forged in hate,” to orchestrate a Bane-like plan to plunge the city into chaos and become a wealthy power-broker in the process.

Schut’s woefully underwritten script takes a clumsy, haphazard approach to world-building, relying on a two-minute animated sequence to open Samaritan while a naive, worshipful Sam narrates Samaritan and Nemesis’s supposedly tragic, Cain and Abel-inspired backstory. Schut and director Julius Avery (Overlord) clumsily attempt to contrast Sam’s childish belief in messiah-like, superheroic saviors stepping in to save humanity from itself and its own worst excesses, but following that path leads to authoritarianism and fascism (ideas better, more thoroughly explored in Watchmen and The Boys).

While Sam continues to think otherwise, Stallone’s superhero, 25 years past his last, fatal encounter with his presumably deceased brother, obviously believes superheroes are the problem and not the solution (a somewhat reasonable position), but as Samaritan tracks Joe and Sam’s friendship, Sam giving Joe the son he never had, Joe giving Sam the father he lost to street violence well before the film’s opening scene, it gets closer and closer to embracing, if not outright endorsing Sam’s power fantasies, right through a literally and figuratively explosive ending. Might, as always, wins regardless of how righteous or justified the underlying action.

It’s what superhero audiences want, apparently, and what Samaritan uncritically delivers via a woefully under-rendered finale involving not just unconvincing CGI fire effects, but a videogame cut-scene quality Stallone in a late-film flashback sequence that’s meant to be subversively revelatory, but will instead lead to unintentional laughter for anyone who’s managed to sit the entirety of Samaritan’s one-hour and 40-minute running time.

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Samaritan is now streaming worldwide on Prime Video.

Samaritan

Cast
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton
  • Pilou Asbæk

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Matt Shakman Is In Talks To Direct ‘Fantastic Four’

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According to a new report, Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct the upcoming MCU project, Fantastic Four. Marvel Studios has been very hush-hush regarding Fantastic Four to the point where no official announcements have been made other than the film’s release date. No casting news or literally anything other than rumors has been released regarding the project. We know that Fantastic Four is slated for release on November 8th, 2024, and will be a part of Marvel’s Phase 6. There are also rumors that the cast of the new Fantastic Four will be announced at the D23 Expo on September 9th.

Fantastic Four is still over two years from release, and we assume we will hear more news about the project in the coming months. However, the idea of the Fantastic Four has already been introduced into the MCU. John Krasinski played Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The cameo was a huge deal for fans who have been waiting a long time for the Fantastic Four to enter the MCU. When Disney acquired Twenty Century Fox in 2019 we assumed that the Fox Marvel characters would eventually make their way into the MCU. It’s been 3 years and we already have had an X-Men and Fantastic Four cameo – even if they were from another universe.

Deadline is reporting that Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct Fantastic Four. Shakman served as the director for Wandavision and has had an extensive career. He directed two episodes of Game of Thrones and an episode of The Boys, and he had a long stint on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. There is nothing official yet, but Deadline’s sources say that Shakman is currently in talks for the job and things are headed in the right direction.

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To be honest, I was a bit more excited when Jon Watts was set to direct. I’m sure Shakman is a good director, but Watts proved he could handle a tentpole superhero film with Spider-Man: Homecoming. Wandavision was good, but Watts’ style would have been perfect for Fantastic Four. The film is probably one of the most anticipated films in Marvel’s upcoming slate films and they need to find the best person they can to direct. Is that Matt Shakman? It could be, but whoever takes the job must realize that Marvel has a lot riding on this movie. The other Fantastic Four films were awful and fans deserve better. Hopefully, Marvel knocks it out of the park as they usually do. You can see for yourself when Fantastic Four hits theaters on November 8th, 2024.

Film Synopsis: One of Marvel’s most iconic families makes it to the big screen: the Fantastic Four.

Source: Deadline

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Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase Star in ‘Zombie Town’ Mystery Teen Romancer (Exclusive)

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Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase have entered Zombie Town, a mystery teen romancer based on author R.L. Stine’s book of the same name.

The indie, now shooting in Ontario, also stars Henry Czerny and co-teen leads Marlon Kazadi and Madi Monroe. The ensemble cast includes Scott Thompson and Bruce McCulloch of the Canadian comedy show Kids in the Hall.

Canadian animator Peter Lepeniotis will direct Zombie Town. Stine’s kid’s book sees a quiet town upended when 12-year-old Mike and his friend, Karen, see a horror movie called Zombie Town and unexpectedly see the title characters leap off the screen and chase them through the theater.

Zombie Town will premiere in U.S. theaters before streaming on Hulu and then ABC Australia in 2023.

“We are delighted to bring the pages of R.L. Stine’s Zombie Town to the screen and equally thrilled to be working with such an exceptional cast and crew on this production. A three-time Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award winner with book sales of over $500 million, R.L. Stine has a phenomenal track record of crafting stories that engage and entertain audiences,” John Gillespie, Trimuse Entertainment founder and executive producer, said in a statement.

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Executive producers are Trimuse Entertainment, Toonz Media Group, Lookout Entertainment, Viva Pictures and Sons of Anarchy actor Kim Coates.  

Paco Alvarez and Mark Holdom of Trimuse negotiated the deal to acquire the rights to Stine’s Zombie Town book.

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