July 21, 2019

Who’s Playing Who In The Eternals, In Case You’re Not Up On Your Marvel Mythology

The Eternals are coming. The newest squad in the Marvel Cinematic Universe were unveiled at Comic-Con in San Diego this weekend, and they run deep. With an A-list cast (Angelina Jolie! Richard Madden! Salma Hayek!) led by director Chloé Zhao, the Eternals will probably be household names in no time.

Even if you haven’t heard of the Eternals before, you’ve probably still heard of them: creator Jack Kirby actually drew inspiration from Greek and Roman mythology when assembling this team of immortal superheroes. The running gag is that the Eternals inspired human mythology and religion over tens of thousands of years — the god Mercury is actually the Eternal Makkari, and so forth — but humans are simply not that great at documenting history. Like the gods themselves, the Eternals are beautiful and almost infinitely powerful.

Admittedly, it does get more confusing when you consider that Greek gods and mythological figures do actually canonically exist in Marvel comics (to keep it simple, they’re generally called the Olympians, and even clashed with the Eternals once or twice). But here’s where the MCU comes in: to offer fans a tidier version of the Eternals story, and to turn yet another obscure and slightly confusing comic property into an inevitable cultural sensation.

If you, understandably, can’t wait for the film to hit theaters next November, here’s a quick guide to the stars of The Eternals to tide you over until then.

Angelina Jolie Plays Thena

Jolie plays Thena, the warrior daughter of the Eternal Zuras. You might have guessed it, but there are deliberately strong parallels to Athena and Zeus — Thena’s origin story actually begins when she changes her birth name, Azura, so that she and her father could serve as Athena and Zeus’ human representatives on Earth. Along with being a formidable warrior (with your standard super strength, among other abilities; it’s not clear which powers exactly she will have in The Eternals), Thena is a noted scholar, having studied under both Eternal and human teachers across millennia.

Photo: Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic.

Salma Hayek Plays Ajak

In a clever bit of gender-bent casting, Hayek is playing Ajak, the leader of the Eternals. In the comics, Ajak spent much of his time in Central America and became a deity to indigenous populations in the region: the Aztecs thought he was Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent, and the Incas worshiped him as the lord of flight, Tecumotzin. During ancient Greek times, Ajak was also confused for Ajax, a hero of the Trojan War. At Comic-Con, Hayek introduced her character as a “strong woman,” adding that there are “a lot of mother instincts in this Eternal, who is not supposed to have kids.”

Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

Richard Madden Plays Ikaris

Madden, of Game of Thrones, The Bodyguard, and Rocketman fame, is Ikaris. His character actually has a personal relationship to the Icarus of legend: in the comics, Ikaris was the father of Icarus, who was born to a human mother. Icarus died in the comics as in did in his myth — by devising a winged flight suit, flying too close to the sun, and falling to his tragic death — and in mourning, Ikaris took his son’s name to honor his memory.

Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

Brian Tyree Henry Plays Phastos

Not much is known about Phastos, who will be portrayed by Henry. Phastos is known for his intelligence and is often confused for the Greek god Hephaestus. He reportedly has the pedigree to back it up; according to Nerdist, the character built most of the Eternals’ devices. As many fans have pointed out, this is not Henry’s first foray into the world of Marvel — he voiced Jefferson Davis, the father of Spider-Man Miles Morales, in 2018’s Oscar award-winning Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.

Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.

Kumail Nanjiani Plays Kingo

Nanjiani is playing Kingo, who is described as a samurai and master swordsman who parlayed his skills into a successful career as a film star and producer. No details have been released regarding how The Eternals will adapt Kingo from the comics, but Nanjiani is bound to bring some always welcome comic relief to the film. “[Marvel movies] have action, drama, romance, comedy — they have everything. So I’m just excited to be able to do all of that,” Nanjiani said at Comic-Con.

Photo: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images.

Lauren Ridloff Plays Makkari

Ridloff is making MCU history as the franchise’s first-ever deaf superhero — and in yet another departure from the comics, Ridloff, a woman of color, plays the Eternal Makkari, who is originally portrayed as a white man. Makkari has superhuman speed and a history of meddling with human affairs, from the Trojan War to the reign of Vlad the Impaler to the Battle of the Alamo. He’s also a skilled engineer and scholar, according to Polygon.

Photo: Araya Diaz/WireImage.

Don Lee Plays Gilgamesh

Lee, one of South Korea’s most popular actors, is playing Gilgamesh, named after the legendary hero and Mesopotamian king (it is unclear whether he actually is the Gilgamesh of lore). After years in exile, he also was dubbed “The Forgotten One” and became the physically strongest of the Eternals. “I can’t wait to show you the power of Gilgamesh,” Lee said at Comic-Con. When asked whether Gilgamesh or the Incredible Hulk would win in a fight, he (of course) said Gilgamesh, but not after quipping, “Is Mark Ruffalo here?”

Photo: Dominique Charriau/WireImage.

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Mahershala Ali Will Star In Marvel’s Blade Reboot & The Internet Is Wild With Joy

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July 21, 2019

Mahershala Ali Will Star In Marvel’s Blade Reboot & The Internet Is Wild With Joy

Marvel Studios’ president, Kevin Feige, said it best: “When Mahershala [Ali] calls, you answer.” And the audience at San Diego Comic-Con clearly agreed — when Feige announced that Ali will be starring as superhero Blade in an upcoming Marvel film and brought the actor on stage, the room erupted with applause.

The announcement was made Saturday at an Hall H presentation. Shortly after, Feige told The Hollywood Reporter that Ali contacted Marvel after winning an Oscar for his role in Green Book. He expressed an interest in playing Blade and, according to Feige, the rest is history.

In the comics, Blade is a human with certain vampire-like powers that he uses to hunt vampires. He was previously portrayed by Wesley Snipes in Blade, Blade II, and Blade: Trinity, three films often credited as some of the first successful Marvel Comics adaptations.

Just announced in Hall H at #SDCC, Marvel Studios’ BLADE with Mahershala Ali. pic.twitter.com/mtrDBy5OV0

— Marvel Studios (@MarvelStudios) July 21, 2019

It’s hard to think of someone who would be better suited for the role than two-time Oscar winner Ali — and both Marvel superfans and leaders seem to agree. “Two Oscars, a surefire Emmy, and now a Marvel franchise of his very own,” tweeted screenwriter Cheo Hodari Coker. (Coker created Marvel’s Luke Cage on Netflix , which featured Ali as the villain Cottonmouth.) “Everybody wants to be the King...and Mahershala is the king.”

Two Oscars, a surefire Emmy, and now a Marvel franchise of his very own. Everybody wants to be the King...and Mahershala is the king.

— Cheo Hodari Coker (@cheo_coker) July 21, 2019

Director and actor Taika Waititi, who is helming the Thor series for Marvel, was also, apparently, a big fan of the casting choice.

Find someone who looks at you the way Taika Waititi looks at Mahershala Ali

(Photo by @karadefrias) pic.twitter.com/LLOT9hPWZk

— Al Kennedy (@housetoastonish) July 21, 2019

And he wasn’t alone.

Mahershala Ali is the new #Blade. That might be the best casting ever. Sorry, Wesley Snipes. #Marvel pic.twitter.com/ImuW2hH1BH

— Ethan Anderton (@Ethan_Anderton) July 21, 2019

MAHERSHALA ALI AS BLADE THE ACCURACY pic.twitter.com/DKCeKeqvH2

— tiny t⎊ny (@woIvern) July 21, 2019

We had to endure Mahershala in GREEN BOOK to be rewarded with BLADE

— Ira thee Third (@ira) July 21, 2019

The news of a Blade reboot is also making original fans nostalgic for Snipes’ iconic performance.

OMGGGGG!!!!! My heart belongs to Wesley Snipes but Mahershala is an excellent choice! https://t.co/xwPJcsj44X

— Rebecca Theodore-Vachon (@FilmFatale_NYC) July 21, 2019

Now that a new Blade movie is announced, let's remember that time Wesley Snipes was mad at the director of Blade: Trinity so he made the entire cast stay late because he refused to open his eyes for a scene. They ended up just CGing the eyes in. pic.twitter.com/W1QXOr1qlY

— Imran Khan (@imranzomg) July 21, 2019

Some people on Twitter are suggesting Marvel tap Snipes for some kind of role. Maybe Ali can make another call.

I need @wesleysnipes in the new #BladeMCU somehow, to pass the torch (or #Blade, if you will 😎) to Mahershala Ali.

Let’s do this, @Marvel @MarvelStudios! pic.twitter.com/zcfORyy93t

— April (@ReignOfApril) July 21, 2019

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July 20, 2019

Is That Beloved Veronica Mars Character Really Gone? Here’s Your Only Shred Of Hope

Warning: MAJOR spoilers ahead forVeronica Mars season 4 finale, “Years, Continents, Bloodshed.”

There is an air of doom hanging above Veronica Mars season 4. The unhinged bomber running around Neptune certainly adds to the general atmosphere of danger, but that’s not the only source of dread fueling the Hulu drama. Veronica Mars ’ eight new episodes repeatedly suggest someone may die by the end of finale “Years, Continents, Bloodshed.” Veronica’s dad Keith Mars (Enrico Colantoni) tearfully panics about putting his daughter, titular heroine Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell), in the line of fire. Veronica’s boyfriend Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) has a risky job. Muggers are speeding around Neptune holding people at knifepoint.

Then you arrive at “Bloodshed” to learn the Veronica Mars revival wasn't bluffing. There is a beloved victim hiding in the series' cast: Logan, husband to Veronica at the time of his death. Fans are going to have an impossible time accepting the episode marks Logan’s end, especially after his wildly endearing season. So, what if they don’t have to? What if there’s a tiny shred of possibility Logan is still alive?

Let’s look at the evidence.

At face value, it seems very obvious Logan dies in a fiery explosion in the last few minutes of “Years, Continents, Bloodshed.” After Veronica figures out pizza boy Penn Epner (Patton Oswalt) is the copycat Neptune Bomber and sends him to jail, she and Logan head to City Hall to get married. Their wedding is short and sweet, and then the newlyweds are set to head off to Sedona, AZ for their honeymoon. As Veronica packs, Logan goes to move his wife’s car (Neptune’s street cleaning schedule is a running plot point of season 4). Then, the car explodes.

The explosion comes down to the more confusing parts of Penn’s second-to-last bombing limerick, which goes, “Their flesh we will squeegee at midday 'round Fiji, plus the heroes around whom we’re doting.” Penn slipped a bag into Veronica’s car during the finale rush to find Don McNotten (Clark Duke), the red herring bomber. Penn calls Veronica a “hero” when he’s put into police custody for the final time. The bag in Veronica's car goes off at 5 p.m. Pacific Time, when it is precisely noon on the island of Fiji (the existence of Neptune’s Fiji's Sandwich Shop is another red herring). It’s likely Penn timed the explosion to Neptune’s street cleaning schedule and expected “hero” Veronica would be moving her car at that time.

Logan was just the well-meaning collateral damage in Penn’s scheme to eliminate Veronica.

However, Veronica Mars gives viewers one ray of hope for Logan's off-screen survival. A death is only truly real in a TV murder mystery when we see a body, or, at minimum, some hard evidence of a corpse, like dental remains or a charred watch. Since Logan was allegedly in the middle of an explosion, a single remaining tooth would work best for the narrative — in stories like these, some random molar always manages to survive a blaze. Yet, the Hulu show gives us no such tangible proof of Logan’s death.

Instead, the show offers us little information about Logan’s experience during the explosion, seemingly on purpose. We see Logan open Veronica’s car door right before the bomb goes off, but we never glimpse him inside of it. Then, we witness the very edges of the explosion from Veronica’s second floor bedroom. Her high-up windows don’t look directly out onto the street, so we have no idea where Logan actually was during the blast.Even Veronica, who is blown away from the windows during the explosion, has no clue.

In the last act of the finale, we jump forward a year later. There is no explanation of how police confirmed Logan died. We’re supposed to assume the explosion erased all of Logan’s remains, but Veronica Mars season 4 is direct rebuttal against assumptions around crimes. This is a show about only believing the facts, not what someone or something claims is the truth.

If Logan didn’t die in the explosion, the obvious question is: Where is he, then? The flash-forward proves Veronica has spent the last 365 days mourning her husband’s death and dedicated her life to traveling the country solving new mysteries. If Logan is alive, wouldn’t he have come back to Veronica? Well, as every soap in the history of television has proven, amnesia is a great way to create tension in dramas. It’s possible Logan was thrown in the blast, knocked out, and woke up far from the scene of the crime without his memories. It would be very Jane the Virgin, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible.

Alternatively, Veronica Mars puts a lot of effort into telling viewers Logan disappears for long periods of a time, without notice or explanation, for his shadowy naval job. This big plot line never really affects the story past giving Veronica the option to contemplate sleeping with ex Leo D'Amato ( New Girl ’s Max Greenfield) while Logan is away. Considering how much time Veronica spends nodding at Logan’s mysterious job, those results are fairly anticlimactic. That is unless, Logan's career C-plot can explain his “death.”

If Logan did survive the explosion somehow, he would be a huge asset to the U.S. government. A highly trained naval officer who is already used to disappearing for weeks on end and is now believed to be dead by his loved ones? The mission possibilities write themselves. Amnesia, the U.S. government, or both keeping Logan and Veronica apart? Nothing could be more Them.

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Don't Worry, Wanda Winters Is Still All About Her Pythons After Queer Eye

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July 19, 2019

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July 19, 2019

Your Guide To Queer Eye Season 4, The Most Charitable Season Yet

It's hard to believe Queer Eye is already on its fourth season, even harder is that, this many episodes in, they're still finding ways to make us cry our eyes out. In season 4 of Queer Eye the Fab Five are once again headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, making stops throughout the state, along with excursions to that other Kansas City in Kansas and grooming guru Jonathan 's hometown of Quincey, Illinois. But, this time, the Heroes in these eight new episodes, streaming today, are those giving back to their communities in big ways. Whether it's starting an arts foundation for the Latinx community or building homes for homeless veterans, these men and women are devoting so much time to others that they've forgotten about themselves. And that's where the Fab Five comes in.

They're offering some help to those who are way too charitable to ever ask for it themselves. Honestly, though, everyone needs a little trim, some well-fitted pants, and a place to Zen out after a long day. Not to mention, a pep talk from Karamo, who is serving us all the ugly cries this season.

For those who want to better prepare themselves for all the tears, this Queer Eye season 4 episode guide is here to let you know when you're gonna need that hanky. Seriously, tissues? In this climate?

Episode 1: “Without Further Ado”

Meet Our Hero: Kathi Dooley runs the music department for the public schools in Quincey, Illinois and was also Jonathan's high school orchestra teacher. She doesn't a remember a time when she wasn't singing and dancing and teaching, which means she gives everything she's got to her students and doesn't leave much time for herself. Case in point: she gets all her clothes from home shopping channels because she doesn't have a minute to go to the mall.

Why Was She Nominated? Kathi's assistant, Sarah, wants to make sure this dedicated teacher starts going home at a reasonable hour so she no longer has to sleep on the cot in her office. Most importantly, she wants Kathi to stop putting herself last on her to-do list.

The "Big Event": Kathi needs some help putting together her annual fundraiser, which helps raise money for student musicians. Bigger, though, might be Jonathan getting a chance to cut Kathi's fiery red mullet, which she had long before he even knew her.

Most Tear-Jerking Moment: JVN letting his former teacher know how much her just treating him like he wasn't different meant to him then and now. Seriously, grab some water, you're gonna be dehydrated after this chat.

Best Fab Five Antic: Former Blue Devil cheerleader Jonathan shows off his skills and henny, she's still got it.

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Episode 2: “Disabled But Not Really”

Meet Our Hero: Wesley Hamilton is a 30-year-old community activist from Kansas City, Missouri, who runs his own foundation, Disabled But Not Really, which provides fitness and nutrition programs for others who are disabled, but not really. The wheelchair-bound single father to 10-year-old Neveah (Heaven, spelled backwards) was paralyzed from the waist down after being shot when he was 24. He was bedridden for two years, but through fitness he's found a positive outlook on life. Now he wants other people to see how much he's changed not only on the outside, but on the inside, too.

Why Was He Nominated? His mom, Dawn Henderson, wants to see the Fab Five help her son have more independence in his own home, which is not wheelchair accessible. She'd also like to see him overcome some of his inner demons stemming from his accident.

The "Big Event": Wesley's attending a fundraiser for his non-profit and the guys need to make him feel good inside and out.

Most Tear-Jerking Moment: When Wesley thanks his mom for putting her life on hold for seven years while he recovered from his accident.

Best Fab Five Antic: That long sensual shot of Antoni smelling a peach could only be more on brand if it was an avocado he was sniffing. Though, he might have met his match in this episode, since Wesley is also a passionate foodie. Do we smell spin-off?

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Episode 3: “Stoner Skates By”

Meet Our Hero: John Stoner's lifestyle is a "little unpredictable," in the words of his 10-year-old daughter Lucy, who is the youngest nominator in the show's history. The 38-year-old single dad is a healthcare consultant, but outside of work he's better known as "Cat Suit Guy" because of the literal cat onesies he wears to professional sports games. Seriously, they're a trip, but one could understand why his daughter thinks it's time for a wardrobe change.

Why Was He Nominated? Lucy wants to see her dad grow up a little so she doesn't have to be the parent. When we first meet them, she's the one waking her dad up to go to school. This is after she makes them both scrambled eggs for breakfast.

The "Big Event": He's going to attend his daughter's first ice skating competition as a proud papa. Not to mention, make her some homemade apple cinnamon pancakes to help her carbo-load for her big day.

Most Tear-Jerking Moment: John opens up to Karamo about his struggles with depression, admitting he hasn't been able to talk to many people about it.

Best Fab Five Antic: Antoni absolutely freaking out over John's adorable corgi. Seriously, he can't stop loving on that pupper who is clearly a very good boy. Just don't tell Bruley, we wouldn't want to make him jealous.

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Episode 4: "How Wanda Got Her Groove Back"

Meet Our Hero: Wanda Winters is the founder and CEO of the Pythons Drill Team, which has been her everything since 1986. In fact, the Kansas City, MS native devotes so much time to her dance team, she's somehow forgotten to put furniture in her house. The squad has also put an emotional wedge between her and her two daughters, who would like to have their mom back. It's definitely not easy watching Wanda's daughters tell their not so warm and fuzzy mom how they really feel about their relationship.

Why Was She Nominated? Joe, the Pythons' music director, and Gregory, the creative director, want to see Wanda find a life outside the drill team.

The "Big Event:" Wanda needs to look her Taraji P. Henson best for the premiere of the documentary about her Pythons.

Most Tear-Jerking Moment: Wanda suffers from traction alopecia and never shows her natural hair so watching her embrace her natural look is an emotional moment.

Best Fab Five Antic: The guys all getting to be part of the Pythons for the day. No surprise, Karamo and Jonathan are A+ superstars, but the other guys, well, not so much. It's OK Bobby, those guys have nothing on your interior design moves.

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Episode 5: "On Golden Kenny"

Meet Our Hero: Kenny Yarnevich, a kind 64-year-old bachelor from Kansas City, Kansas spends most of his time at the St. John's Catholic Club, which he's the president and manager of. When not behind the bar at the old fashioned social club and bowling alley, he's often alone in the house his late parents once owned, which is a dusty shrine to them.

Why Was He Nominated? Kenny's been single all of his life and has never been in love and his sister, Kathy, and his two nieces, Rachel and Megan, want to see him put himself out there more. Especially, since Kenny considers himself a people person.

The "Big Event:" Kenny's going to host his first ever party at his house, a Yarnevich family reunion, complete with a meal cooked by him. It's the first time his family's been to his house in 15 years.

Most Tear-Jerking Moment: It's hard not to cry right along with Kenny as he realizes he's spent a lot of his life thinking he was a failure.

Best Fab Five Antic: The guys have fun bowling with Kenny, but even with the granny roll, JVN still struggles to stay out of the gutter.

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Episode 6: "A Tale Of Two Cultures"

Meet Our Hero: Deanna Munoz is a second generation Mexican-American living in Kansas City, MS. The 42-year-old mother of four is the founder of the Latino Arts Festival, a one-day fest that celebrates the underserved and underrepresented artist community in Kansas City. But, this Chicana steeped in lowrider culture admits that because she doesn't speak Spanish and feels insecure about her cooking, she often feels disconnected from her roots.

Why Was She Nominated? Deanna's son, Dalinuel, thinks his mom could use some help with her "professional presence" so she can build her foundation. It's why the Fab Five is looking to give Deanna a professional makeover that will make her feel more empowered as a businesswoman, but still make her feel like herself.

The "Big Event:" Deanna needs a new look for the third annual Latino Arts Festival, a one-day event that celebrates art, poetry, and lowriders. For the first time, Deanna will be speaking at the event and she's got to feel confident in what she's wearing.

Most Tear-Jerking Moment: When Deanna realizes Bobby has gotten her a space of her own for the foundation she's working on, it's cry city.

Best Fab Five Antic: The guys lowriding is a real sight to behold. Though, Antoni feeling vindicated for putting Greek yogurt in his guacamole is also a vibe.

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Episode 7: "Soldier Returns Home"

Meet Our Hero: Brandonn Mixon is a 28-year-old veteran, who co-founded the Veterans Community Project, which builds tiny homes for homeless vets. The father of three is the nonprofit's go-to construction guy, but fashion isn't really his thing. In fact, his VCP partners had to change their dress code policy specifically for him. Brandonn is so consumed with work that he's concerned he and his wife of nine years, Alexa, are growing apart. He admits he's had trouble opening up to her since coming back from the army after being medically discharged.

Why Was He Nominated? Brandonn needs a more professional look for the days when he's not working construction. They also want to help him feel comfortable opening up to those he loves.

The "Big Event": The VCP is having a fundraiser in which Brandonn is expected to give a speech to the donors. He also wants it to be a special date night for him and Alexa so he's got to look good. That means no coveralls.

Most Tear-Jerking Moment: When Brandonn talks to Karamo about feeling lost after being discharged from the military.

Best Fab Five Antic: All the talk about the unfortunate phallic symbol Brandonn has on his wall. As Bobby says, it's literal "balls to the wall" in the Mixon house.

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

Episode 8: "Farm To Able"

Meet Our Hero: Matt Moreland is a fourth generation dairy farmer from Harrisonville, Missouri who's an agriculture advocate trying to expand his brand to bring in more income. He's very recently divorced and still trying to adjust to the fact that his two young kids are no longer in the house with him everyday. The 33-year-old has had a tough year (he's also selling his dairy cows), so now the guys are coming to help him take care of himself. And maybe, give his mom a day off from having to cut his hair.

Why Was He Nominated? His childhood friend Lacey wants the Fab Five to help him start a new chapter after his divorce. One, in which, he puts himself first.

The "Big Event": The guys are helping his newest venture Red Barn Ranch, a farm-to-table event space, get off the ground with a dinner to thank all those who have helped him get through this long year. He's even making butternut squash soup for the occasion.

Most Tear-Jerking Moment: Matt talking about what it's like to not have his kids to come home to.

Best Fab Five Antic: JVN's screams over homemade pumpkin cookies, Antoni waxing poetic over fresh milk, and Bobby making out with a calf is the down-home QE content you didn't know you needed. Oh, but you so do.

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.

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