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Ridley Scott moves forward with development on a ‘Gladiator’ sequel, which he plans to direct

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Gladiator
DREAMWORKS/UNIVERSAL PICTURES

Say what now? According to Deadline, Ridley Scott is moving forward with development on a sequel to his Oscar-winning 2000 film Gladiator, which he plans to direct from a script that is to be written by The Town scribe Peter Craig. The sequel will, of course, be sans Russell Crowe.

That’s not because Crowe doesn’t want to a return for a sequel, it’s just that, well, spoiler alert for those of you who haven’t seen this 18-year-old movie by now, his Maximus Decimus Meridius bites the dust in the previous film. So who will be taking the lead this time around?

The report notes that “Gladiator 2 will follow the continuing story of Lucius,” who was the son of Lucilla (Connie Nielsen) and the nephew of Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), the villainous son of Marcus Aurelius who ends up facing off against Maximus in the gladiator ring.

Apparently, Maximus “left a strong impression on the young Lucius” after defeating Commodus at the end of the original Gladiator, and so he’ll be picking up a sword and shield himself in the sequel to follow in the footsteps of the late commander-turned-gladiator.

Frankly, these days, sword-and-sandal movies, which once prospered during the golden age of Hollywood, have had a tough time winning over the interest of modern-day audiences and pretty much flop at the box office every time a studio tries to push one out. However, a sequel to a film as beloved as Gladiator could turn that around for the genre.

Scott has a lot on his plate at the moment, including his first ever TV series for TNT, which he’s currently shooting in South Africa, and a drama about photojournalist Lyndsey Addario starring Scarlett Johansson, so it’s currently unclear as to when he’ll get around to doing this Gladiator sequel.

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It’s about time Rotten Tomatoes finally decided to do something about its troll problem

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Rotten Tomatoes
FANDANGO MEDIA

It’s no secret that Rotten Tomatoes has a troll problem. It seemingly began back in 2017 when Star Wars: The Last Jedi was released and thousands upon thousands of (fake) negative audience reviews for the film flooded the site from people who dubbed it “SJW propaganda” or some other dumb shit like that.

Since then, a number of other movies have been review bombed on Rotten Tomatoes, including Black Panther, which was targeted by white nationalist alt-right trolls for obvious reasons, and Captain Marvel, which was targeted by a bunch of very sad men who were upset over Brie Larson saying she wanted the film’s press tour to be more inclusive.

In an effort to prevent any future films from being review bombed, Rotten Tomatoes finally announced today that it will be introducing “verified ratings” and “verified reviews” from users they can confirm actually bought tickets to the movie that they’re either rating or reviewing.

“We believe an Audience Score made up of these Verified Ratings is the most trustworthy measure of user sentiment we can offer right now – one that gives entertainment fans a genuine audience assessment of a movie they’re considering watching, and one which puts significant roadblocks in front of bad actors who would seek to manipulate the Audience Score,” the site wrote in a blog post.

For now, users can only verify their rating or review if they purchased their tickets through Fandango, which acquired Rotten Tomatoes from Warner Bros. in 2016 and will benefit greatly from this change, but the site says theater chains like AMC, Regal, and Cinemark “have signed up to participate in our verification program and we plan to introduce other ticket providers as well.”

The new verified ratings and reviews will go into effect this weekend for new releases like Aladdin, Brightburn, and Booksmart, the latter of which you should definitely go see because it’s probably the best thing you’ll watch so far this year.

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Linda Hamilton is back and ready to kick some robot ass in the ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ trailer

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Terminator: Dark Fate
PARAMOUNT PICTURES

Gentle reader, I regret to inform you that the long-awaited first trailer for Terminator: Dark Fate arrived early this morning and, as much as I hate to say this, I have an obligation to break it you: this thing just doesn’t look very good at all.

Sure, it’s cool to see Linda Hamilton back as Sarah Connor firing giant machine guns and rocket launchers at seemingly indestructible robots and tracking down her old buddy T-800 Model 101, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who now lives in a cabin in the middle of the woods for whatever reason.

Beyond that, though, there’s not much to be particularly excited about here. The slowed-down cover of Bjork’s “Hunter” sucks, the set pieces look incredibly lame and uninspired, and the CGI is…well, just take a look at what they did to poor Gabriel Luna in this shot:

That looks pretty fucking bad, right? My dude looks like a straight up cartoon character there.

Keep in mind, Terminator 2: Judgement Day came out in 1991 (28 years ago!) and yet the visual effects work in these movies has somehow managed to get significantly worse since then. I mean, how does that even happen? It’s truly baffling.

Either way, this is a Terminator movie we’re talking about here, so of course I’m still going to Dark Fate when it hits theaters later this year on November 2, but I’m going to do so with great concern. Consider me cautiously optimistic at this point.

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Frame this terrible new ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ poster and hang it up on my wall immediately

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Spider-Man: Far From Home
SONY PICTURES

I don’t know what the hell is going on over at the Sony Pictures marketing department, but some graphic designer who is probably severely underpaid keeps making these god-awful movie posters and for whatever reason the studio is always just like, “Yeah, that looks good enough. Send it out.”

I mean, just take a gander at this new one-sheet they put out for Spider-Man: Far From Home earlier today:

Now, I love the Spider-Man franchise as much as the next guy and I love Tom Holland as Spider-Man and I hate to clown on things I love, but holy shit that poster is hilariously bad and I want it framed and put on the wall in front of my desk immediately so I can look up and laugh at it whenever I want.

All jokes aside, though, a poster is not indicative of a movie’s quality and I’m sure Far From Home is going to be just fine. Remember that very unfortunate international poster Sony released for Spider-Man: Homecoming back in 2017? Yeah, sorry I had to bring that up.

But, the point is, that poster looked like complete and utter shit and yet the movie turned out to be great and was critically acclaimed and went on to make a ton of money at the box office, and I’m sure that will also be the case for Far From Home when it hit theaters on July 2.

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