Entertainment

Get a First Look at Tessa Thompson in ‘Men In Black’ Spinoff

News of Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth collaboration on the new “Men In Black” has literally had us pinned to the edge of our seats since first hearing about the project in March. So of course, we couldn’t help but become dually pumped when, over the weekend, Thompson posted a sneak-peak photo of the upcoming film to her Instagram wall. You want to know how we can already tell there’s gonna be a big difference between the 90s original and the reboot? Tessa Thompson makes that suit look good

Thompson’s spoiler pic hints that the new movie will take us to faraway lands.

In the photo, simply captioned “Buds in Black,” Thompson and Hemsworth treck through an isolated golden desert with the sun beating down their umbrellas and the signature black suits of the original franchise. While it’s unclear if the umbrellas are part of the ensemble or simply there to keep the two stars cool in between takes, we’re pretty sure this setting means the pair will be headed to a faraway planet like Mars. Which means that my excitement level for this movie just rose about 1,000 percent.

The last time we saw Thompson and Hemsworth on the big screen was in the third Thor movie, “Thor: Ragnarok,” where Hemsworth played the titular superhero character and Thompson came on the scene as the new superhero Valkyrie.

This time around, the two are set to star as humans (for once) who hunt aliens on Earth and hopefully save the universe (again).

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☯️ #MIB @chrishemsworth

A post shared by Tessa Thompson (@tessamaethompson) on

Unfortunately, there isn’t much that we currently know about the new MIB. Just as with the “Jurassic World” spinoff, this new MIB movie is a spinoff, meaning that it takes place in the same universe as the first three. However, although the first three movies took place in New York City (where Will Smith’s Agent J and Tommy Lee Jones’ Agent K are based), filming for MIB has been happening in London and now Morocco, according to People.

Although there’s not much we know about the plot (besides that it also stars Liam Neeson, Kumail Nanjiani, Rafe Spall and Rebecca Ferguson), fans are eagerly awaiting this film’s release. One fan of the actress commented in the post that Thompson and Hemsworth “should always make movies together.” Which, let’s be real, is not wrong.

Twitter reactions have been just as positive over the release of this new image.

Is it even possible to look at the pics and not wish for more of this collab?

Literal emojis are being created to express how people feel about this collaboration.

And seeing Thompson in that suit has everyone ready to restyle their wardrobes.

Although there are still eight months before we can see Tessa Thompson suit up as Agent T (or whatever her name will be), here’s hoping that the sneak-peek photos will keep coming and that they will continue to be as fun-filled as what we’ve seen so far. If Thompson’s and Hemsworth’s chemistry in the MIB spinoff is anything like what we saw in “Thor: Ragnarok,” then this film is sure to be a hit. And I, for one, can’t wait.


Read: When Moms Are Incarcerated: HBO’s “The Sentence” Shows How Unjust Mandatory-Minimum Sentences Rip Families Apart

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This Quietly Posted IMDB Page Could Mean ‘Coco 2’

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This Quietly Posted IMDB Page Could Mean ‘Coco 2’

To say our worlds were rocked when Pixar finally gave us a touching film about la cultura a few years ago would be the biggest understatement of the century. ‘Coco,’ the 2017 American 3D computer-animated fantasy starring Gael García Bernal and Benjamin Bratt filled our hearts and also brought us to tears. Still, as satisfying as the film was, there’s no doubt it left us craving more. And it looks like we might just get it.

An IMDB page for Coco 2 has been created and I’m sorry but I can’t stop freaking out!!

According to IMDB user anthandsoc-95189 who appears to have long had the inside scoop on upcoming films, ‘Coco 2: Return To the Land Of the Living’ is in the works! Some digging around has also revealed that another sight might have information on the plot and characters of the sequel film. Of course, this information has yet to be confirmed and might be purely a wish, but if it is we’ll dream big!

According to IMDB ‘Coco 2’ will take place 6 years after the first film

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The IMDB page says “It’s been 6 years since the events happened for Miguel. But when Hector, Imelda, and his great grand-abuelos need Miguel’s help to come back to the Land of the Living because some mysterious sinister masked skeleton is haunting and rules their world with an iron fist and sword and hates music.”

Which means, if IMDB is correct, we haven’t seen the last of Mama Coco!

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Sweet Coco could have a really big role in the new film!!

Of course, other sites have other insights into the could-be sequel…

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Because of course everyone has an opinion!

According to Fandom.com ‘Coco 2’ will take place six years after the first film.

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

We’ll see Miguel’s family attempt to throw him a fiesta, but sadly Miguel, still upset about Mama Coco’s death, will be upset.

When Miguel meets a sophisticated, ghostly and well-bred skeletal spirit Miguel will attempt to return to The Land Of The Dead for a vacation.

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Now that’s an insane idea for a spring break.

In this version of the sequel, Miguel will a dark black hole to go back to The Land Of The Dead, to see Papa Hector and Mamma Imelda.

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Of course, Miguel will be astonished when he sees his old family members for another time and finally gets to see Mama Coco.

Soon enough, Miguel is racing against time, once again, to avoid being a skeleton.

‘Coco’ / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

But this time, Marcel might not be so bothered by the idea of living amongst the dead for forever.

Of course, all of this is speculative. Who knows if Pixar has plans for a sequel in the works, but as one fan points out this clip by Pixar on the DVD release has some great hints!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VplFL0KS75s

Fingers crossed!

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Cast For Titanic Director’s ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Begs The Question Of Whether Or Not It’s Okay To Change The Race Of Minority Characters

Entertainment

Cast For Titanic Director’s ‘Alita: Battle Angel’ Begs The Question Of Whether Or Not It’s Okay To Change The Race Of Minority Characters

It’s no secret that Latinas are severely underrepresented in television and media. In fact, the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film found that only seven percent of 2017’s top 100 films featured Latina actresses. For this reason, a film like “Alita: Battle Angle” should be a big deal but the movie’s Latina casting has many claiming Asian erasure. “Alita: Battle Angel” is a futuristic cyberpunk film produced by James Cameron and Jon Landau. The movie adapted from the popular Yukito Kishiro manga “Gunnm” is set in a sci-fi-filled future, cyborg Alita struggles to find her place in a world she has no memory of. Out February 14, 2019, this film has been in the works for years. Pre-production began in the early 2000s but was delayed due to Cameron’s work on “Avatar” and its sequels. The film is directed by Sundance Festival Award-winning director Robert Rodriguez.

With a pack of creative behemoths at its back, the new film brings a mass of brilliant storylines and stunning visuals.  However, it’s the cast behind “Alita” that’s creating buzz.

The role of the film’s main character and futuristic cyborg is played by Peruvian-Canadian actress Rosa Salazar of “Bird Box”.

Kodansha Comics

Using motion capture technology, the film uses CGI to depict Alita in her robotic form. Despite the fact that so many minorities often see the occurrence of a Latina star in a major motion picture as cause to celebrate, there are concerns over the issue of non-Japanese women taking on the role of a character from a Japanese source. Erasure of Alita’s Japanese background has been met with criticism and backlash since the film’s early production days. The controversy was first sparked back in 2016 with Salazar’s initial casting. Critics were quick to say that the casting of a non-Asian as Alita was another example of Asian erasure in Hollywood. The debate gained new life after the first trailer for the movie was released in December 2017.

This time, it was Alita’s overwhelmingly large eyes that gave viewers pause. Large, expressive eyes are a stylistic element used in Japanese anime and manga. Some viewers felt that keeping this characteristic but with a non-Asian character was tantamount to whitewashing the film.

“It signals to the audience, ‘Yes this is Japanese and we’re not trying to erase the source material,’” Vice contributor Carli Velocci wrote of the new movie. “Yet that’s what they’re doing. Alita’s eyes are the only thing that is distinctly Japanese about the movie, which features no main Japanese actors or characters.”

Whitewashing has been an issue before in major Hollywood films such as “Ghost In The Shell” and “Aloha.” In both of these examples, characters confirmed to be Asian were played by white women. Marvel’s “Iron Fist” and “Doctor Strange” are also guilty of this casting error.

These examples make it seem like “Alita” is a clear case of whitewashing but the situation is more nuanced than that.

Twitter / @unnecesarus

To better understand the controversy of this claim, we need to explore the origin of the film’s story. Yukito Kishiro created “Gunnm” in Japan during the 1990s but the manga doesn’t take place during that same era. Instead, “Gunnm” is set in a futuristic world in a city called Iron City. This dystopian city is located in what is essentially the midwest. Despite heritage, Kishiro didn’t write a story with explicitly Asian characters.

“The author, Yukito Kishiro, did something very different: He wrote manga that is not set in an Asian world,” producer Landau shared. “He wrote it set in a place called Iron City, which is a melting pot. He actually set it in Kansas.”

It’s not unusual for creators to set their worlds in places unique or foreign to their own homes. Manga and anime especially have entire subgenres that set stories in far off places. For example, the “Gundam” series and many other titles of mecha Animation are often set in outer space or a futuristic society. Other subgenres of sci-fi animation also follow this pattern.

Still, some fans argue that “Alita: Battle Angel” is a Japanese product which means there is an expectation of race.

Twitter / @nico_nothere

Julian Abagond, a New York blogger who writes about race and culture, explained this way of thinking.

“If I draw a stick figure, most Americans will assume that it is a white man. Because to them that is the Default Human Being,” he wrote. “Americans apply this thinking to Japanese drawings. But to the Japanese the Default Human Being is Japanese! So they feel no need to make their characters ‘look Asian.’ They just have to make them look like people and everyone in Japan will assume they are Japanese – no matter how improbable their physical appearance.”

Understanding this cultural position adds another layer to the question of Alita’s race. Still, if she is Asian, explicitly or not, this raises a new debate. Replacing marginalized people with white actors has been an issue in Hollywood since the beginning of the film. White characters in “yellowface” were used to represent Asian characters in media. It’s an act that is overwhelmingly panned in today’s society.

So, if we’ve established that it’s not okay for white characters to play minorities, where do we stand on the subject of minorities playing other minorities?

20th Century Fox

Taking traditionally white characters and reimagining them as people of color has become a recurring trope in media. In “Deadpool 2,” fan favorite Domino – who is white in comics – was played by black actress Zazie Beetz. “Spider-man: Homecoming” featured Zendaya as white character Mary Jane Watson. These changes bring a much need dose of representation to products otherwise lacking diversity

However, is it okay to make similar changes to a character who may also be a minority? With Alita’s unknown, possibly Asian ethnicity, does casting her as a Latina add representation or erase her true culture?

Since the situation is so nuanced, there’s no clear answer when it comes to Alita but the general answer would be erasure. Changing characters from one underrepresented group to another doesn’t further the cause of seeing our stories depicted in media. Instead, it just perpetuates the deletion of narratives that need to be heard.

Regardless of this controversy, early reviews of the futuristic “Alita: Battle Angel” say it’s sure to be a blockbuster thriller. As a result, maybe a big box office will lead to even more movies featuring Latina star power. Only, next time, hopefully, our characters will be featured in stories of our own.

Read: ‘West Side Story’ Casting Does It Right By Giving Us Rachel Zegler As Maria And Afro-Latina Ariana DeBose As Anita

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