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Electro’s Redesigned Powers In No Way Home Explained By VFX Team

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Electro’s Redesigned Powers In No Way Home Explained By VFX Team

Electro had the biggest character update in Spider-Man: No Way Home. VFX supervisor Chris Waegner explains the decisions behind the redesign.

The Spider-Man: No Way Home visual effects supervisor recently discussed the redesign of Electro’s powers. No Way Home premiered in December 2021 and quickly shot to the top of the box office, a spot it seems likely to hold even after 6 weeks. Directed by Jon Watts, Spider-Man: No Way Home saw Peter Parker (Tom Holland) face the multiverse with the help of MJ (Zendaya), Ned (Jacob Batalon), and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). The MCU’s first introduction of the multiverse on the big screen brings with it a host of old villains and two more Spider-Men (Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield) from previous movie series.

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Among these returning villains is former Oscorp electrical engineer, Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), known as Electro. In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, a tragic accident involving a tank of genetically modified electric eels turns Max into a blue being with electric powers. When Electro returns in No Way Home, however, he has shed his blue coloring and now emits yellow lightning which is more closely connected to his mainstream comic book incarnation. In addition to the new costume, Electro’s powers behave differently in No Way Home than they do in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Electro seems more electricity than man. Now, Electro uses an arc reactor to power himself.


Related: No Way Home Was Smart To Not Show Maguire & Garfield Spider-Man Epilogues

Visual effects supervisor for Sony Pictures Imageworks, Chris Waegner, explains some of the changes made to Electro’s character in an interview with Before & Afters. Waegner says their team designed Electro to be more dynamic in Spider-Man: No Way Home, so that his powers would threaten the heroes just with his presence. He also mentions how they thought about Electro’s lightning appearing on screen for No Way Home‘s final battle. Read Waegner’s full explanation below:

“For this show we pitched the electrical effects being more violent and staccato with moments of pure energy. The idea being, that when he zaps from location to location or he’s hovering taunting our heroes, the electrical effects are almost disorienting for our heroes. There’s always an electrical storm in the air surrounding Electro, almost like being near a giant Tesla coil. It opened up so many creative possibilities for the artists when lighting these shots, even though he may not have been in frame, once the electrical look had been established, we had the ability to do dynamic lighting which posed the threat of him nearby.We did a deep dive researching Electro’s updated look, reviewing many different real electrical events while trying to determine what was best for him. We even went back to comic book reference and incorporated some of that into his new look. If you just look at lightning references, you can find all kinds of crazy visual stuff, there are so many different types of lightning. Electricity presents itself in so many different forms, we ended up creating an updated stylized look we felt was both threatening and beautiful, while offering us some cinematic freedom in a night sky for our sequence.”

With Electro’s redesign, Sony not only updated the character, but they gave him an instant moment of growth. In Spider-Man: No Way Home, Peter Parker tries to save the villains who were past saving in their home universes. For Electro, whose biggest obstacle as Max Dillon was feeling isolated and insecure, losing his blue coloring and inhuman body clears that obstacle without neutering him as a villain. He still has the power and confidence to fight Spider-Man, but now his motivation’s been shifted. This makes his final reconciliation with the Spider-Men more believable.

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By merging together three separate Spider-Man series in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Sony and Marvel had set themselves a difficult task. They risked losing a character beloved by fans amidst the huge collection of returning characters, but overall the movie honored all its characters. Adding more to Electro’s storyline with his redesign was like a special treat.

Next: Sony Has No Excuse Not To Give Andrew Garfield Another Spider-Man Movie Now

Source: Before & Afters

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  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
  • The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Jul 28, 2023


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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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