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‘Wonder Woman 2’ casts its Cheetah



Image: jason laveris/FilmMagic

It looks like Wonder Woman 2 is assembling its own cast of wonder women. Returning director Patty Jenkins announced Friday via Twitter that indie film actress and Saturday Night Live alum Kristen Wiig will join the sequel.

The final word of that tweet (before Jenkins tags Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot), is crucial. Cheetah is a classic Wonder Woman villain, created by Doctor Psycho. She has multiple aliases which all sound like SNL characters: Priscilla Rich, Deborah Domaine, Barbara Ann Minerva, and Sebastian Ballesteros (but that one’s a man).

Though known for her comedy, Wiig has been known to skew toward dark humor or muted drama in her film roles. as with Girl Most Likely, The Skeleton Twins (with fellow SNL alum Bill Hader), or Hateship, Loveship. An actress that versatile could make Cheetah extremely compelling – or at any rate, better than Ares.

Wonder Woman 2 is due in November 2019.

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Ava DuVernay to direct DC’s ‘New Gods’



This is going to be EPIC.

Image: Cara Robbins/Contour

Ava DuVernay is confirmed to direct DC’s new superhero movie New Gods and fans of the comic are losing their damn minds.

Reported by Variety, A Wrinkle in Time director DuVernay has signed on to steer the ship for the new DC Extended Universe epic, based on the Jack Kirby-created comic.

It’ll be the second DC superhero film to be directed by a woman, following the Patty Jenkins-helmed box office smash Wonder Woman. 

While DuVernay’s current Disney film, A Wrinkle in Time, underperformed at the U.S. box office, she’s smashed it elsewhere. Selma made her the first black female director to be nominated for a Golden Globe, she was nominated for an Oscar for her documentary 13th, and she took home the directing award at Sundance for her second feature film Middle of Nowhere. Boom.

Cover of The New Gods #1, 1971

Image: The Grand Comics Database/wikimedia commons

New Gods was created in 1971 by Kirby. It centers on two planets: New Genesis, an arcadian planet ruled by Highfather, and Apokolips, an apocalyptic dystopia ruled by the formidable Darkseid. 

DuVernay paired the news with a sweet Twitter tribute to Kirby, who passed away in 1994.

Fans lost their minds over the announcement.

Super Heroes

‘Black Panther’ becomes #2 superhero movie of all time… and it’s not stopping

Charmaine Blake



Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER L to R: Ayo (Florence Kasumba) and Okoye (Danai Gurira) Ph: Film Frame Marvel Studios 2018

Black Panther has officially hit $1 billion worldwide after just four weeks in theaters.

According to a release from Disney, Black Panther is the third-biggest superhero movie domestically, behind The Dark Knight ($534.9 million, and Panther is already at $530.9 as of March 10) and The Avengers ($623.4 million).

With those numbers, Black Panther will easily outstrip The Dark Knight, most likely by the end of Saturday, and it’s pacing ahead of The Avengers Panther has roughly the same domestic gross going into its fourth weekend that Avengers did after its fourth weekend. Panther also has the advantage of opening in February (Avengers and The Dark Knight were spring/summer releases) and enjoying months in theaters with little major competition.

Beyond that, here are a few more badges that Panther wears:

  • #1 February debut ($202M 3-day, $242.1M 4-day), and February release of all time

  • #5 all-time 3-day debut ($202M)

  • #1 Monday of all time ($40.1M)

  • #2 Sunday of all time ($60M)

  • #2 second weekend ($111.6M, one of only 4 films to surpass $100M mark in second weekend)

  • #1 non-holiday third weekend ($66.3M)

Black Panther is now in theaters. Based on these numbers, you probably knew that already.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates to write Marvel’s new Captain America comics



The National Book Award winner will take charge of the next series for Marvel following on from his work on the latest Black Panther comics

Ta-Nehisi Coates will be taking over Marvel Comics Captain America, helming a new series of the comics set to drop on the Fourth of July.

In an essay for the Atlantic, where Coates serves as a national correspondent, the author of Between the World and Me explained his decision to write Captain America, the Marvel hero first conceived by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby in 1941.

Two years ago I began taking up the childhood dream of writing comics, Coates, 42, writes. To say it is more difficult than it looks is to commit oneself to criminal understatement. Writers dont write comics so much as they draw them with words. Everything has to be shown, a fact I knew going into the work, but could not truly know until I had actually done it. For two years Ive lived in the world of Wakanda, writing the title Black Panther. Ill continue working in that world. This summer, Im entering a new one the world of Captain America.

The MacCarthur fellow and 2015 National Book Award winner also wrote the latest Black Panther series, released in 2016, and co-wrote spinoffs such as Black Panther: World of Wakanda, Black Panther and the Crew, and Rise of the Black Panther.

In the essay, Coates, who will continue his work on the Black Panther series, explained his gravitation toward the story of Captain America, a beacon of patriotism and symbol of the American dream.

Writing is about questions for me not answers, writes Coates, whose most recent book was a collection of essays on the Obama presidency called We Were Eight Years in Power. And Captain America, the embodiment of a kind of Lincolnesque optimism, poses a direct question for me: Why would anyone believe in The Dream? What is exciting here is not some didactic act of putting my words in Captain Americas head, but attempting to put Captain Americas words in my head. What is exciting is the possibility of exploration, of avoiding the repetition of a voice Ive tired of.

Teaming up with Coates will be Leinil Francis Yu, wholl design the interior panels, and Alex Ross (Kingdom Come, Marvels), who will provide cover art. On Black Panther, Coatess first venture into comic book writing, the author worked with artist Brian Stelfreeze, and the first issue sold 253,259 copies in its first month, making it the best-selling comic in the month of April 2016.

The film Black Panther, released on 16 February, has been on a tear at the box office, having earned over $700m worldwide in less than two weeks. At a talk with the cast of Black Panther held at Harlems Apollo Theatre on Tuesday, Coates described the film as Star Wars for black people, calling the Ryan Coogler-directed hit an incredible achievement.

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