The Dragon Knight Executive Producers

ComingSoon spoke to executive producers Peter Hastings and Shaunt Nigoghossian about the latest Dreamworks animated series, Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight. It is now streaming on Netflix.

Tyler Treese: Peter, you also developed the previous Kung Fu Panda series, Legends of Awesomeness. This time, you got Jack Black back as Po. How exciting was it to get him involved? He just brings such an energy to the performance, and that’s such a big name to be attached.

Peter Hastings: Well, it’s just like what you said, it’s just super exciting to get him. We’d already started, and it was right at the beginning of the pandemic. We all went home, and it was like, “I wonder if Jack is also sitting at home?” And so he was available and wanted to do the series. So we had a meeting, it just kind of clicked. He’s read the scripts, he’s really enjoyed it. And then he comes in. Mick Wingert, who did a couple of the other series, does a fantastic job, but Jack is Jack. He’s got this secret sauce … he just is that guy, you know? Po is Jack Black. And so he comes in with enthusiasm and he comes in enjoying it. We get to play while we’re doing the voice and it really just elevates the whole thing. And then of course it also deliciously makes our show a little more high profile that Jack is in it, because that would definitely attract me, hearing that. So he’s just a bonus all the way around.

Shaunt, talk to me about the storyline structure you went with here for the show. It has that big two-part finale and it’s quite the journey. It’s not as much a week-to-week thing, it’s almost like one big film.

Shaunt Nigoghossian: It is. That’s exactly what it is. That’s, exactly what Peter pitched. In the beginning, this was the idea here from Dreamworks was we want to make, basically, one long movie. We want to make it extremely cinematic. We want to follow characters. We want to dive into Po in a way that we don’t have enough time to in the movies because we have to get to the plot and get to this and get to that. So this is really the first opportunity we’ve had where the technology’s good enough to make something look around feature level on TV budget, but also to be able to expand on a story and expand the characters in this way. So we’ve taken that cinematic approach with the visuals, [and] even with the dialogue. We allow time and space, we just allow people to not talk and just feel, which, usually in TV, you’ve got to keep it moving because there’s so much to do. But this form really gives us an opportunity to just do things we haven’t done before. It’s very exciting.

Peter this is another chance to come back to this series. So what were the biggest lessons that you learned from Legends of Awesomeness that you were able to apply here?

I think it’s the understanding of the character of Po and that he is the engine that drives it. Sometimes you have a series with a strong character like we do on this one, and they inform everything. They inform the pacing, they inform the design, they inform the style of humor, the emotional stuff, the fighting kind of thing. And I think on that show, [it was] really learning that Po is this kind of character: He’s a lovable loser who can kick butt. And it’s such a great combination because the comedy is in there, the emotion is there, and the action is also in there. This show, design-wise and the final picture is such a step up. I’m just constantly amazed. I see a lot of rudimentary animation, and then when we finish doing the lighting and the effects and all that kind of stuff, I’m just like, “oh my gosh, this looks so good.” It’s surprising and super fun to watch. But I think mainly just knowing Po’s psyche so well was really the benefit of the first series.

Shaunt, we get introduced to Wandering Blade in this series, he’s voiced by Rita Ora. What did you enjoy most about exploring that dynamic that she has with Po and getting to really introduce her to this audience?

Nigoghossian: One thing I’ll say is that when we first were listening to all the dialogue from all the different actors, Rita really stood out. We did a casting call, and so we had a bunch of different voices, and Rita’s voice is so unique and individual that we all were just like, “no, no, that’s the one!” And we weren’t sure how she was going to do, because she hasn’t done this type of project before. She’s done very many other things. But she came in and she just like knocked it out of the park. She’s as good a voice actor as anybody who’s a voice actor. And so it’s kind of fun to work with her because even in the physicality, her character is very stern and very hardened, and she’s got a mission and she doesn’t move a lot.

She doesn’t smile. Her head doesn’t move that much. Her body doesn’t move. So anytime someone has her doing something like this [turns head], I’m like, “nope, pull it back.” And when she fights, she’s rigid — that’s kind of her thing. But Po, when he walks, he bounces and he’s like, “come on Blade! Let’s do this or whatever!” His fighting style is Kung Fu, so you can see both in the physicality, in their actual design, and their color and everything, they are opposites to each other. When he walks, he walks like this, and she walks like this. That’s the fun part, is that in our series, she has to learn to be like this and he has to learn to be like this. They have to learn from each other. That’s the magic.

Peter, Netflix and streaming has really changed how people watch shows, and so many people binge shows now. Are there any considerations towards that when you’re making a show now?

Hastings: Oh yeah, absolutely. Our first season is 11 episodes, and it’s basically four hours. So it’s kind of like a four-hour movie. I actually heard a funny joke that someone said: “do you want to watch a 10-hour movie?” “No.” “Do you want to watch 10 separate hour-long episodes back to back?” “Okay.”

We’re all so used to that now — diving in and watching the next show. So there are certain things that definitely … some mechanical things. Very often on streaming shows, there’s definitely a hook at the end of an episode that almost forces you out of curiosity to keep watching. And the other thing is that you know you can lay things in that aren’t necessarily going to pay off until a couple [of] episodes later.

But the thing is, a lot of the audience really watches it like a movie. It’s like we have this first season coming out on July 14th, and I know a lot of people will watch the whole thing that weekend, almost like a movie. So I think what it does is [it] gives us freedom. We don’t have to wrap everything up inside every episode, and it just kind of flows. I encourage people to watch it straight through or watch several episodes at once. It’s a little more fun.

Nigoghossian: There’ve also been a couple of times when we’ll be like “oh man, this episode’s long. We have to cut something.” And we start another episode where we replay the beginning of the last episode, and Peter’s like, “ah, they’re going to watch it one right after the other. Let’s just get rid of it!”

Shaunt, I was really glad to see the legendary James Hong return, and it’s wild seeing him be this active still at 93. How great was it to involve the character in Mr. Ping here?

Nigoghossian: He’s the best, hands down. He is the best. He is the most fun, amazing guy to work with. So Peter does the recording and Peter probably has a bunch of stories, but I can tell you from the art side, the crew just cracks up listening to his dialogue because he does things that no one else does. We have a scene where he is break-dancing, Mr. Ping. And just the sounds he makes for break dancing are like, “what?! , where does he come up with this?” So yeah, he’s fun. And most of the lines that he says … I don’t know if it’s just sort of where he is from or his acting chops or what, but he says lines in the weirdest ways that no one else could ever do it his way. And it’s just so much fun to work with it. It makes you twist Mr. Ping’s neck sometimes because it’s like, I don’t know what acting to do with that, but it’s cool.

Hastings: Yeah, he’ll read a line, and I might explain the context of the line to him, but then he’ll read it like six times every time, all completely different, and they all work. So it’s always a challenge to find the perfect one. And he’s so great. He’s also the only person who’s been in every single Kung Fu Panda iteration.

Peter, you’ve had such a great career of work. With Pinky and the Brain and Kung Fu Panda and a lot of Dreamworks’ catalog, it’s able to be fun for the whole family. It’s not just targeting kids. It’s not pandering towards adults. You’re able to find this great middle ground. So what’s the key to that balance.

Hastings: I think there’s a few things, and I kind of always been that since I started with, Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain and those shows. One of the things was [that] we wanted to make ourselves laugh. That’s really what happened a lot on those shows. Then it’s about not being inappropriate, but I think that … here’s the really central thing. I think of it not as for kids, not as for adults, but for people. What works for people? And then basically, there are simple emotional cores to things that you feel if you’re five years old or if you’re 50 years old. So there’s that, and I just always want to make shows that I would be willing to watch and want to watch. That’s pretty simple. So I’m not making it kind of for other people, I’m making it for people, including myself.

Shaunt, you did such great work on Blood of Zeus. Are you involved on season two of that?

Nigoghossian: Unfortunately I was on this show while I was finishing up season one of Blood of Zeus. So when Blood of Zeus Season 2 started, I was still here. I couldn’t jump over to that. But there is a great director working on that who’s going to take the reins. I’ve worked with him before and he’s going to do an awesome job. The scripts are amazing on Blood of Zeus season two, I can tell you that. They take it up a notch from season one. People are going to be very happy,

Hastings: As a testament to our show, Shaunt had just come off Blood of Zeus. It was his big hit, and they were like, “come back, come back, come back.” And he’s like, “I think I’m going to stay on this one. I’m going to stay on Kung Fu Panda.” And he has done such an awesome job with the team.

It really speaks to your versatility, going from something more adult-animated to the classic Dreamworks fun for the whole family vibe.

It’s interesting, because when you work on something adult, you’re dealing with a lot of really cool themes and everything. With Blood of Zeus, it was really fun to work on that. In my career, I’ve also worked in prime time and I’ve also worked in comedy. And I worked for young kids and I’ve done a lot of things. And Kung Fu Panda is the show where I actually get to put all of the skills together. I’m not limiting, “oh, I can’t do comedy on this show. I can’t do this.” So it’s almost harder to do Kung Fu Panda because you have so many things to balance, but it’s also the greatest challenge. And there’s a point in your career where you’re just like, “I just need something harder. I just need something different. I just need something that’s challenging all of me.” That’s what the show has been but in a fun way.

Peter, you’ve done so much great work with this franchise. Are you still interested in doing more adventures in the Kung Fu Panda world? Because I think as we see here it’s been established that it can go in so many interesting directions even like with or without Po.

Hastings: To me, Po is really the engine on this thing, and he’s such a great character. It’s just one of those characters that gets so well developed and the people become so familiar with, that you can say, “What if Po opens a Kung Fu studio? What if Po buys a cruise ship? What if Po [does this]?” and it’s like, if you’re familiar with a fun character, you go like “that could work. There could be something there. That could do that.” And that’s why the whole franchise has succeeded through the movies and the TV shows. It’s just because it’s not about “how are we going to come up with another story?” It’s like, “how are we going to have more fun with this character? “You know? So I think it keeps going.

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Jon Bernthal Gets Back to Work in TV Remake

Showtime has dropped an official trailer for American Gigolo, its forthcoming TV remake of Paul Schrader’s 1980 neo-noir film. It stars Jon Bernthal as he takes over the role of Julian Kaye, originally played by Richard Gere. The series is set to make its debut on September 9.

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The video, which you can check out below, features Julian Kaye. After spending more than a decade in prison, Julian finally gets acquitted of a crime he didn’t commit. As he returns to society, he finds himself having a hard time going back into the escort scene. Meanwhile, he must also find out who had him framed for murder.

Showtime’s American Gigolo is a present-day reimagining of the iconic 1980 film. “Bernthal will play Julian Kaye, who is introduced 15 years after he’s been arrested for murder,” reads the synopsis. “He’s struggling to find his footing in the modern-day Los Angeles sex industry, while seeking the truth about the setup that sent him to prison all those years ago and also hoping to reconnect with Michelle, his one true love.”

Joining Bernthal are Gretchen Mol (Boardwalk Empire) as Michelle, a character previously portrayed by Lauren Hutton in the original, Rosie O’Donnell (SMILF) as homicide Detective Sunday, Lizzie Brocheré (Falling Water) as sex work ring heiress Isabelle, Gabriel LaBelle (Dead Shack) as a younger version of Julian named Johnny, Leland Orser (Ray Donovan) as Richard Stratton, a self-made tech billionaire, and guest star Wayne Brady (The Wayne Brady Show) as Lorenzo, Julian’s best friend and mentor.

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American Gigolo was originally developed by David Hollander, who left the project last April following his misconduct allegations. Executive producers are original film producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman, and KristieAnne Reed, with Bernthal set as a producer. It is a production by Paramount Television Studios.

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Live-action Lilo & Stitch Remake Has Found Its Director

The Hollywood Reporter has reported that the live-action Lilo & Stitch remake has brought on Dean Fleischer-Camp as its director.

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Fleischer-Camp, who most recently directed Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, will helm the film, while Mike Van Waes is set to write the script. Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich of Rideback will produce, and Rideback’s Ryan Halprin is executive producing.

The Lilo & Stitch live-action remake was first put into development in 2018, though it has seemingly seen little movement since then. Originally released in 2002, Lilo & Stitch is Disney’s 42nd animated feature. The film was well-received and has since been a favorite film to many, with Stitch quickly becoming another iconic mascot for Disney.

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“Lilo is a lonely Hawaiian girl who adopts a small ugly ‘dog,’ whom she names Stitch,” reads the original animated film’s synopsis. “Stitch would be the perfect pet if he weren’t in reality a genetic experiment who has escaped from an alien planet and crash-landed on Earth. Through her love, faith, and unwavering belief in ohana, the Hawaiian concept of family, Lilo helps unlock Stitch’s heart and gives him the ability to care for someone else.”

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MultiVersus Trailer Previews Iron Giant Gameplay Before Open Beta Rollout

MultiVersus, the free-to-play platform fighter starring characters from Looney Tunes, Steven Universe, Scooby-Doo, and a whole host of other Warner Bros. properties, is just about ready for a soft launch through an open beta. Player First Games Co-Founder Tony Huynh appeared in a new video to announce said open beta, which launches on July 26 on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5.

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The announcement comes alongside a new gameplay trailer showcasing all the characters that appeared in the alpha and the first gameplay from the Iron Giant, the unlikely inclusion from the classic 1999 Brad Bird film. However, younger players might recognize him more from his guest appearances in Ready Player One and Space Jam: A New Legacy.

In the trailer, the Giant is a big bruiser, using his rocket jets to stay high above the stage and unleash significant strikes. Like the rest of the cast, he quips during battles, speaking in the same slow monotone as the film, but it’s Jonathan Lipow and not Vin Diesel this time, who played the character in the film. However, many actors are reprising their role for the game, as Maisie Williams, Kevin Conroy, and Matthew Lillard are playing Arya Stark, Batman, and Shaggy, respectively.

Giant also features a huge S on his chest by default, a callout to the film and the character’s love of Superman. At least one line from the trailer calls out this connection, showcasing that there will be unique conversations when certain warriors team up in-game.

RELATED: MultiVersus Closed Alpha Preview: Warner Bros.’ Lovingly Crafted Platform Fighter

According to an FAQ on the game’s website, players who participated in the closed alpha will get early access to the beta on July 19, and those who haven’t played yet can gain early access via Twitch Drops in the coming days. Confirmation emails for those who get in early will go out on July 15. Anyone who plays the open beta will also see their progression and cosmetic unlocks continue to the final release.

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Dune: Part Two Has Found Its Shishakli

Deadline has announced that Swiss actress Souheila Yacoub will be playing Shishakli in Dune: Part Two, the sequel to Denis Villeneuve’s 2021 film adaptation of Dune.

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In the Dune novel, Shishakli is described as a Fedaykin squad leader from Sietch Tabr — the Fedaykin being the indigenous Fremen’s guerrilla fighters. In 2021, Yacoub starred in A Brighter Tomorrow, known in French as De bas étage. As a teenager, Yacoub was part of the Swiss National Rhythmic Gymnastics Team.

Dune: Part Two will once again be directed by Denis Villeneuve. The returning cast includes Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Zendaya, Javier Bardem, and Josh Brolin. Joining them is Christopher Walken as Emperor Shaddam IV, Florence Pugh as Princess Irulan, Austin Butler as Feyd-Rautha, and Léa Seydoux as Lady Margot.

RELATED: Dune: Part Two Release Date Delayed Further into 2023

Last year, Dune went on to garner critical acclaim from fans and critics alike. Earlier this year, it racked up a whopping 10 Academy Award nominations and won six of them, including Best Original Score, Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, and Best Visual Effects.

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PlayStation Stars: Sony Charts Out New Gaming Loyalty Program

Earlier today, Sony announced a new way for gamers in its ecosystem to earn rewards known as PlayStation Stars. This new program is seemingly similar to the Sony Rewards program that used to be heavily integrated with PlayStation before being overhauled a few years ago. PlayStation Stars isn’t out just yet, but will be entering a phased rollout later this year.

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On PlayStation Blog, Sony VP of Network Advertising, Loyalty & Licensed Merchandise Grace Chen laid out what players can expect once Stars launches. The loyalty program is free to join and allows anyone playing PlayStation games to earn points for completing campaigns and activities. These can include a simple monthly check-in playing any game, earning specific trophies, and even becoming the first person to earn a platinum trophy in a particular title, something that seemingly favors those who get pre-release copies of games.

Chen also laid out that purchases on the PlayStation Store would automatically earn players points. Whether achieved through a round of Fortnite or monetary investment, points are redeemable for PSN wallet funds and “select PlayStation Store products.” That last line isn’t specific to what those products could be, but it would likely be free downloadable games in the same vein as Nintendo’s rewards program.

The blog post also reveals that Sony will offer digital collectibles as an option for points redemption. Chen describes these as “digital representations of things that PlayStation fans enjoy, including figurines of beloved and iconic characters from games and other forms of entertainment, as well as cherished devices that tap into Sony’s history of innovation.”

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In a chat with the Washington Post, Chen clarified that these collectibles were not associated with NFTs or the blockchain. She also confirmed that there’d be no way to trade or sell them. Instead, these figurines will exist similar to the digital trading cards and Funko Pops offered via smartphone apps for years.

In that vein, Chen details in the blog post that there’d be “ultra rare” collectibles “to strive for.” In that way, it seems that Sony is cashing in on the same FOMO attitude that NFTs thrive on without delving into the technology’s worst aspects and trying to sell images of chimps wearing Blasto hoodies and Tomba wigs.

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Iman Vellani Was ‘Euphoric’ Over Final Big Ms. Marvel Reveal

Ms. Marvel wrapped up its first season and while its finale didn’t quite match the highs of other Marvel Cinematic Universe shows, it did at least leave viewers with a few final morsels to chew on. Ms. Marvel herself, Iman Vellani, recently took part in a Reddit AMA to discuss one of the twists and how she couldn’t stop giggling while shooting that crucial scene.

ComingSoon spoiler alert

The scene in question basically states that Kamala Khan is a mutant, something that’s further emphasized by the guitar in the background that plays part of the X-Men: The Animated Series theme song (which also played in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness when Professor X rolled in). Vellani answered more than a few questions regarding the choice, giving various replies that all revolved around her joy with the decision.

“Honestly I’m very happy we went this route,” she said in one reply. “I’m a huge X-Men fan and what an incredible honor to be the first official mutant in the MCU! It was the original intent for the comic character anyway.”

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Sana Amanat, who executive produced the show and co-created the Ms. Marvel character, told Empire that making Ms. Marvel a mutant was originally the plan while writing the comic. However, she stopped before fully calling the show’s Kamala Khan a mutant, implying that she’s not at liberty to be more direct.

“When we were thinking about the character of Kamala back, back, back in the day in 2012, 2013, when [comic writer G.] Willow [Wilson] and myself were ideating, we originally wanted to make her a mutant. That was the whole intention, to be able to do that,” said Amanat. “Is she a mutant, question mark? I don’t know. I don’t know, guys! All I know is that we use the word ‘mutation’, and that’s all I can say. I will say, I think this is opening up doors for a lot of great storytelling, obviously, as a huge fan, um… of the word ‘mutation.’ I’m really happy about it.”

Ms. Marvel is typically portrayed as being an Inhuman that received her powers after they were awakened through accidental exposure to Terrigen Mist, a “mutagenic, or mutation-causing, substance.” According to Polygon, Marvel actively tried to minimize X-Men (and, therefore, mutants) in the mid-2010s, possibly explaining why Ms. Marvel had Inhuman roots since she was created around that time. When asked if she prefers Inhumans or mutants, Vellani explained the strengths of both routes.

“I respect both!” she said. “I love the comics to death and I love what we have done. Both mediums are very different and I think that certain things like the powers have to be reimagined to fit a larger scale live-action series but I think our show still stays true to those core themes and the tone from its source material which is the only thing that should matter.”

She continued in another reply about working with the strengths of the medium and how Inhumans might not smoothly make the jump to a film or television show.

“No, I’m not sad we aren’t gonna see the Inhuman connection,” she explained. “I love the comics and the Inhumans but they are such wild and over-the-top characters in the best way possible and I think those stories work best in that medium. I don’t need to see all my favorite characters in live action, to be honest. The MCU doesn’t establish which characters from the comics are worthy of a larger platform or which characters are most popular. There are so many comic characters that I honestly don’t want in the MCU because I just love those comics too much.”

Vellani also noted that it felt “absolutely fantastic” and “euphoric” to become a mutant before then explaining how she almost couldn’t keep it together for that scene, which she said was the hardest one to film.

“The M word scene was by far the most challenging scene to film and I say that with all seriousness,” said Vellani. “The take you see in on D+ is one of two takes we got where I didn’t giggle when Matt [Lintz, who plays Bruno] said the word. I just couldn’t believe it. I still can’t say that word IRL without letting out what sounds like a Ron Swanson giggle.”

RELATED: Ms. Marvel Explained: What Happened to the Clandestines?

Vellani even said in a post on Marvel’s website that she freaked out when she read the script and sent Kevin Feige an all-caps email about it. In addition to sharing more tidbits about Vellani’s excitement regarding her new origin story, the article had input from some of the creatives behind the show and they explained why they made the choice to go down that path. Head Writer Bisha K. Ali said it wasn’t even something they had concepted while writing the show and came to fruition because they wanted to answer a certain question.

“It wasn’t from the beginning [of the show],” said Ali. “With Marvel, something’s always a moving piece, and we’re trying to solve this question of, ‘If any of [Kamala’s family] put the bangle on, would they have powers?’ The answer was always no, from a character perspective, no. So, right from the get-go, making Kamala different from the rest of the Khans made sense.”

There are many questions that have yet to be answered, but they seem to be playing at something more grand. Feige stated in May that where her powers come from is specific to the MCU. Amanat also said around that time that altering Ms. Marvel’s powers was the “right move because there are bigger stories to tell.” With those comments in mind, it’s possible that her MCU-exclusive status as a mutant could be the key in explaining why her powers are so different in the show and might even be yet another tease hinting at the broader role of mutants in the MCU. The MCU has already been inching into X-Men territory with cameos from Patrick Stewart’s Professor X and Evan Peters’ Pietro Maximoff, so this could be another nudge in that direction. However, it will likely be some time before the truth comes out.

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Marvel’s Avengers Is Holding Weeklong Sale on MCU Outfits

With the premiere of Thor: Love and Thunder and the finale of Ms. Marvel, the MCU’s most prominent summer blockbusters have come and gone. However, players can still pick up gear from their favorite shows and films on the cheap within Marvel’s Avengers. Players can log in from now until July 21 and get half off every MCU costume in the marketplace outside of the newest one, Thor’s new duds from his latest film.

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Marvel's Avengers Is Holding Weeklong Sale on MCU Outfits

Not every MCU skin has been discounted, as Crystal Dynamics has only put eight in the store. The MCU skins on sale for 700 Credits are:

  • Hawkeye (Avengers: Endgame)
  • Kate Bishop (Hawkeye)
  • Spider-Man (Spider-Man: Far From Home)
  • Ms. Marvel (Ms. Marvel)
  • Captain America (Captain America: The First Avenger)
  • Thor (Avengers: Endgame)
  • Black Panther (Captain America: Civil War)
  • Iron Man (Avengers: Endgame)

Marvel’s Avengers has kept things up to date with the MCU as of late, welcoming in Mighty Thor as a playable hero just before Thor: Love and Thunder introduced a godly Jane Foster to the films. However, the game was ahead of the curve when it came to Ms. Marvel, integrating the popular comics character well before the character’s Disney+ show.

MORE: MultiVersus Trailer Previews Iron Giant Gameplay Before Open Beta Rollout

Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix look like they are continuing the game’s trend of matching with the MCU, as a prominent Avengers leaker reported that She-Hulk is coming to the action RPG. She was supposedly originally going to come out earlier but was reportedly delayed in order to line up with the Disney+ show. Actor and streamer Techniq accidentally talked about the character during an Xbox stream, too, further lending credence to the aforementioned report. It’s not definite confirmation, but the annoyed tone from Lead Designer Brian Waggoner does suggest that Techniq spilled the beans. That same prominent Avengers leaker also stated that Bucky Barnes is the next hero, so it’s unclear how it will all roll out.

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Samuel L. Jackson’s Best Movie Performances

Iconic Roles is a look at some of the best performances in film and television by actors and actresses.

Samuel L. Jackson is one of the most beloved actors in Hollywood. The 73-year-old actor has built a career out of loquacious killers who often drop f-bombs to spice the dialogue up. Over the years, he worked with highly-appreciated directors such as Spike Lee and Quentin Tarantino. Now, he returns as the voice of Jimbo, a cat who used to be a samurai, in Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank.

Here are five examples of the best movie performances from Samuel L. Jackson.

Jungle Fever (1991)

The fourth collaboration between Lee and Jackson resulted in the actor’s breakout role. After portraying the unpredictable crack addict Gator Purify, Jackson captured everyone’s attention in Hollywood. Jungle Fever also featured some soon-to-be major stars, including Wesley Snipes, Annabella Sciorra, Lee, Ossie Davis, and Halle Berry, among others. Jackson won the award for Best Supporting Actor at that year’s Cannes Film Festival. Lee and Jackson also worked together in School Daze (1988), Do the Right Thing (1989), Mo’ Better Blues (1990), Oldboy (2013), and Chi-Raq (2015).

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Jackson and Tarantino clicked from the first time they worked together. In Tarantino’s masterpiece, Jackson portrayed the lethal assassin Jules Winnfield, Vincent Vegas’s partner-in-crime. The movie is regarded as one an all-timer thanks to its peculiar narrative structure and unforgettable characters. Jules’ monologue starting with “the path of the righteous man” still stands today as one of the best scenes in cinematography history. The ensemble cast starred John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Tim Roth, as well as Ving Rhames, and Uma Thurman. Pulp Fiction took home seven Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. Jackson also scored his first and only, Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Incredibly, the film only won one for Best Original Screenplay.

Jackie Brown (1997)

In his third movie, Tarantino adapted Elmore Leonard’s novel about a flight attendant who smuggles money into the United States. The task to portray the dangerous Los Angeles gun runner Ordell Robbie was entrusted to Jackson, who put on a performance that was rewarded with a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Motion Picture. Tarantino and Jackson also cooperated in Django Unchained (2012) and The Hateful Eight (2015). The actor cameoed in Kill Bill: Volume 2 as the organist Rufus in addition to narrating Inglorious Basterds (2009).

The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy (1999-2005)

One of the most unexpected and well-welcomed surprises of the Star Wars prequel trilogy was seeing Jackson landing a role as the Jedi Master Mace Windu. It’s hard to pick which one among the three installments featured a better look at Windu, who had a fair amount of screen time despite the trilogy featuring actors like Hayden Christensen, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, and Ian McDiarmid, among others. The prequel trilogy was a box-office success, with all installments grossing over $1 billion. Among other impressive deeds, Windu went really close to defeating Palpatine once and for all. The fans’ only regret is that Jackson couldn’t drop one of his well-known f-bombs due to the project’s PG-13 nature.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

In recent years, Jackson spent a lot of energy bringing to life the general of S.H.I.E.L.D., Nick Fury. The character first appeared in the post-credit scene of 2008’s Iron Man, and it was better explored in the subsequent Marvel Cinematic Universe installments. One of Jackson’s best performances as Fury was in Anthony and Joe Russo’s second Captain America film. In the story, Fury helps the titular hero, Black Widow, and Falcon defeat the mysterious Winter Soldier. Jackson’s resume includes 11 MCU credits in addition to some appearances on ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The actor will return as Fury in the upcoming Disney+ series Secret Invasion, in addition to other long-feature projects.

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Joseph Quinn Reflects on Stranger Things, Working With Gaten Matarazzo

ComingSoon caught up with Stranger Things Season 4 star Joseph Quinn, who put in a season-stealing performance as Eddie Munson. Quinn spoke about his emotional final scene in the series, which had to be filmed months apart, and being part of the social phenomenon that is the Netflix series.

“It was lovely [working with Matarazo],” Quinn told ComingSoon. “He’s a great person to work with. But logistically it was quite a weird scene to film. We shot it at the end of a very grueling night shoot, where we started at 6:00 p.m. or maybe 8:00 p.m. and then finished at 6:00 a.m. So it was a proper nocturnal night shoot, and we’d done all of the fights and stuff. Then I was in makeup, prosthetic makeup surgery, being worked on by four or five brilliant makeup artists, and then wheeled out and chopped on the floor. We managed to get my coverage before the sun came up and then literally months later we shot Gaten’s coverage. So it was quite weird knowing that that scene wasn’t quite done. But we were both very relieved to get that monkey off our back. It was such a delight doing that with him because he’s so great.”

RELATED: Stranger Things Seasons Ranked Following Season 4 Volume 2

Overall, the experience of being a part of Stranger Things feels like hitting the lottery for Quinn.

“It feels kind of insane. It is very rare … something comes out maybe once or twice in a generation that touches people’s hearts in the way that this show does. It’s multi-generational and the themes within it seem to transcend so many cultures — which is phenomenal. And so to be a part of that happens once in an actor’s career, if you are unfathomably lucky. I feel that, and to have had such a brilliantly written and empathetically written character with such a strong beginning, middle, and end … it’s a little bit of a lottery ticket. I sound like a broken record, but yeah, I feel very lucky.”

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