(PCM) Buffy Summers, a.k.a. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a.k.a. “The Chosen One” was born on this day in 1981.
Created by writer, director and geek superstar Joss Whedon (also famous for fan favorites like Firefly and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), cheeky cheerleader-turned-vampire-killer Buffy Summers first appeared in the 1992 film Buffy the Vampire Slayer starring Kristy Swanson and Donald Sutherland.
Former soap star Sarah Michelle Gellar reprised the role in the 1997 Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series, along with an ensemble cast of monsters, misfit teens, and a dourly handsome British librarian. The show aired for seven seasons and spawned a Buffyverse of related novels, comics, games and toys, as well as countless wikis, blogs, fan fiction and art. Buffy is also the darling of academia; the show is considered the most studied work of pop culture for its influence on everything from vampire mythology to modern feminism.
Although any resurrection (get it? Resurrection? Vampires?) of the show seems unlikely, Buffy lives on in the hearts of her legions of fans. So slay a piece of cake today in her honor. Happy Birthday Buffy!
Ethel Merman (Born Ethel Zimmerman) was born on January 16, 1908. She passed away on February 15, 1984.
Ethel Merman was born in Astoria New York. Merman got her big break in 1930. Previously to that she worked as a stenographer. This job, however was only to pay the bills, in the evenings in she performed in Nightclubs. She was first hired by Lou Clayton, Jimmy Durante’s’ partner.
Merman was soon noticed and she was contracted to Warner Brothers. In those days movie professional did not go from project to project being produced by different studios. In the 1930s it was the studio system. Actors and actresses would be hired by a single studio and only worked for them. They could occasionally be lent out to other studios, but basically you worked where you were hired.
She was cast in only one film during her time in Hollywood. That was Follow The Leader starring Ed Wynn and Ginger Rodgers. This was produced by Paramount so she was lent out for that. She was paid $125.00 a week by Warner Brothers who never used her. In those days you were paid by the studio whether you worked or not. Ethel began to get bored and so she again began performing in Night Clubs. It was during this time that she actually met Durante and the two would become lifelong friends.
Merman soon went back to New York. She was hired by The Palace Theater as a Torch Song singer. Merman’s voice was a powerful Mezzo Soprano and she could be heard throughout a theater without a microphone. She was paid $500.00 dollars a week for her work at the Palace. Soon she was noticed by George and Ira Gershwin and was hired to work in their new show Girl Crazy. Her show stopping number in that show was I Got Rhythm, a song that would go on to be popular for many years New York Times noted Merman sang “with dash, authority, good voice and just the right knowing style”, while The New Yorker called her “imitative of no one.”
Merman was kept busy between Hollywood and New York for four years. In 1934, she was hired in her first starring role that of Reno Sweeney in Cole Porter’s Anything Goes. This show spotlighted Merman’s talents both as an actress and as a singer Beside the title song Merman had two other songs that would become standards, I Get A Kick Out Of You and You’re The Top. Anything goes still performed to this day in professional, regional, community and High School Theaters.
From that point on Merman’s career was set, she performed in many films and Broadway musicals but her next big show was Annie Get Your Gun which opened in 1945. Annie Get Your Gun was loosely based on the life of Annie Oakley a female sharp shooter who made name for herself working with Buffalo Bill Cody. Merman’s role of Annie gave her many memorable moments, You Can’t Get A Man With a Gun, Doing What comes naturally, and Anything You Can Do I can Do Better were a few of the big numbers performed by Merman. The big hit form the show and the song which Merman would perform the rest of her life was There’s No Business Like Show Business. This song would have an entire movie wrapped around the song itself which stared Ethel Merman, Dan Dailey, Donald O’Connor and the forever remembered Marylyn Monroe. The music and lyrics were composed by the great Irving Berlin who was at least one of if not the most prolific song writer of the 20th century; many of his songs are recorded by artists even today, most notably White Christmas.
Ethel’s next big hit was the musical Call Me Madam again with a score by Irving Berlin. In this show Ethel played a ambassador to a small European country where she falls in love with one of the government officials which causes a scandal and sends her back to Washington. Of course all turns out right in the end. The songs from this show which are notable are You’re Not Sick You’re Just In Love, The Hostess With The Mostest and It’s A Lovely Day Today.
On May 21, 1959 Ethel Merman would again star in a show that is still performed today. Gypsy! Gypsy was based on the life on the world renowned Stripper Gypsy Rose Lee. Though the show as was called Gypsy it was the story of the relationship between Gypsy and her mother Rose. Rose was the leading role, a scheming woman that would go to any lengths to make her girls stars. Merman’s Co-Star in this musical was Jack Klugman who would go on to make a name for himself in the TV shows The Odd Couple and Quincy. Three of standout numbers from this show were, Everything’s Coming Up Roses, Together and Small World.
Annie Get You’re Gun, Call Me Madam and Gypsy all had Hollywood adaptations the only one Merman was allowed to star in was Call Me Madam. The loss of the role of Rose in Gypsy to Rosalind Russell, according to Merman herself, was the most disappointing time in her career.
Merman would go on to star in revivals of her hit shows and the Broadway world still loved her. Merman was called “the undisputed First Lady of the musical comedy stage.” In the 1960s, however music styles changed and The Beatles along with Elvis Presley and many others would soon reign over the musical scene while the Broadway style would fade into the back ground.
Merman however still continued to perform. She was featured in the Comedy It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World in the 1960s and in the 70’s she had a cameo appearance in the Movie Airplane. Where she sang Everything’s Coming Up Roses. This appearance gave her career a brief resurgence and she recorded a disco version of her hits.
She would be featured in many variety and other types of TV shows. Memorable performances were on such shows as The Lucy Show, That Girl and The Love Boat When her career slowed down Merman began to volunteer in a gift shop in New York City Hospital. Merman died in her home at the age of 76 on February 15, 1984 from Brain Cancer. On the evening of her death all 36 theaters on Broadway dimmed their lights at 9 P.M. in her honor.
December 9, 1965 was a very special evening in television history. On that night A Charlie Brown Christmas made its debut.
In April of 1965 Lee Mendelson got a call from CBS asking if Charles Schulz was interested in doing a Christmas special based on his Peanuts characters. CBS would air the special and Coca Cola would be the sponsor. They wanted it for December of the same year so that gave the team about 6 months to do the whole project.
Schulz agreed immediately. The first problem was getting an outline to show to CBS within 24 hours. Schulz being the genius that he was had story idea fairly quickly. Peanuts had, by that time, 15 years of success. Schulz had written a number of strips for Christmas and so he had material to draw from but still would be able to produce a new story.
The 24 hour deadline was met. Both CBS and Coca Cola were pleased and the green light was given to produce the special.
Charles Schulz had worked previously with the animator Bill Melendez on advertisements using the Peanuts characters so it was to him that Schulz turned to again to bring the whole Peanuts gang to life. This would not be an easy task. The heads of the characters and their legs even Charlie Browns hair would all be problem that would have to be overcome.
Melendez believed that as an animator his job was to stay as close as possible to Schulz work. This he accomplished with expertise and experimentation. Peanuts would never be an easy job to lift from the comic’s page to the TV screen. But Melendez made it happen.
The script was written by Schulz. The story of Charlie Brown being disillusioned by the commercialization of Christmas and Linus bringing him back to the real meaning is well known. What is not well known is the fact that the idea of having Comic Strip Characters quoting the Bible on TV was at the very least considered crass.
Schulz thought, and rightfully so, that the Bible is for everyone and it was not inappropriate to do this. He had, in fact, used many Bible verses and references in the strip already. This was not new territory for him.
The next problem was casting the show. It had been the general policy of animation to use adult character actors to voice cartoons. Schulz did not want this either. He believed children’s voices should speak children’s lines and so a cast of young children were used. The only professional child actors used were Peter Robbins, the voice of Charlie Brown and Eric Shea the voice of Linus. The other children used were literally kids from the neighborhood. Some of the children were so young they were unable to read so their lines had to be fed to them one at a time.
There was, however, one adult voice used. The animator Bill Melendez made some odd sounds for snoopy. What he didn’t realize was that those sounds were so good that he would be the only person to play a character throughout all of the Charlie Brown specials history including the recent film that opened in November of 2015.
The children were cast the animation complete all that was left was the score. This task was given to Jazz Composer Vince Guraldi who would score many of the following Peanuts specials. His instrumental background for the kids dancing scene known as Linus and Lucy is frequently played on radio stations as a Christmas song. The opening song, Christmas Time Is Here is also a well played standard for the holiday season and continues to be recorded by various artists. Originally Christmas Time is Here had no lyrics but it was decided that there should be lyrics for the opening scenes. The task of writing the lyrics was given to the producer Bill Mendelson and though he had never written a song. He ended up writing one that will not soon be forgotten.
It takes 12 cells a second to animate characters. That’s twelve separate drawings per second for a total of 13,000 cells to make A Charlie Brown Christmas come to life. Always remember this team of people had about six months to complete the task and complete it they did.
The show was finished and sent to CBS and Coca Cola for final approval. Neither the network nor the sponsor was thrilled with the final product. The problem was they could not just allow the show go unaired as it had already been scheduled for public viewing. In other words Charlie Brown was coning to television and it was too late to stop it.
The network needn’t have worried. A Charlie Brown Christmas was aired at 7:30 on CBS and garnered a 49% share of the ratings. In other words during that half hour almost half of the nations television sets were tuned in to watch Charlie Brown. It took the number two spot for the week and was second only to Bonanza which was very popular at the time.
A Charlie Brown Christmas also took home an Emmy award in 1966 as well as the Peabody award. Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez took 15 years of work home with them as they produced more Peanuts specials.
A Charlie Brown Christmas has not missed a single year being aired since 1965 and is considered to be the only Christmas special to have that honor.
For those who love trivia, there is a missing scene from the show that only aired once. When the kids are skating all hand in hand in line together and Snoopy then whips them out, Charlie Brown is flung into a tree, but we never see where Linus ends up. This is because Linus flung into a sign that read Coca Cola.
80s Music – 100 Songs You Need To Make Your Collection Complete
This is not a list of the “Best Of” the 80s – it’s more of a roundup
of pop songs that define the era.
1. Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley #1 in 1988, the song lives on through rickrolling
2. Another One Bites The Dust – Queen Queen’s biggest song
3. I Love Rock and Roll – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts This was also performed by Britney Spears in 2001. Few people know that.
4. Wake Me Up Before You Go Go – Wham! People forget that George Michael’s partner in Wham! was Andrew Ridgeley
5. Footloose – Kenny Loggins This is probably the most-known movie song of the modern era
6. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper This was Cyndi’s first hit. Her biggest hit was Time After Time.
7. Beat It – Micheal Jackson Side two, Song one on the Thriller album.
8. Eye of the Tiger – Survivor Theme Song for Rocky III.
9. Don’t Stop Believing – Journey Would you believe this song only reached #9 in 1981?
10. I Wanna Dance With Somebody Who Loves Me – Whitney Houston Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 1988.
11. We Got The Beat – The Go-Gos The biggest hit from the famed LA band.
12. We Built This City – Starship Previously known as: Jefferson Airplane, later Jefferson Starship.
13. Blitzkreig Bop – The Ramones This was the debut single from the debut album from this iconic band. Today the song is best known as coming from the Jimmy Neutron movie soundtrack.
14. Mickey – Toni Basil Toni is an American singer, songwriter, actress, filmmaker, film director, choreographer, and dancer
15. Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves Walking on Sunshine was one of the most upbeat, definitive songs of the 80s. 2005’s Hurricane Katrina caused a decrease in radio airplay.
16. Funkytown – Lipps Inc Lipps Inc was a project put together by Steven Greenberg. Vocals were by Cynthia Johnson.
17. Dancing In The Dark – Bruce Springsteen If you look carefully at the girl dancing onstage in the video, you’ll recognize actress Courteney Cox.
18. Come On Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners The song was not based on anyone named Eileen.
19. Into The Groove – Madonna Was never released as a single. It was a 12″ dance hit.
20. Dancing With Myself – Billy Idol Billy Idol began as the lead singer for Generation X, later Gen X. Gen X were nowhere to be seen when this was released as Billy’s first US single.
21. Break My Stride – Matthew Wilder Another definitive 80s track; Matthew went on to work with No Doubt.
22. Working For The Weekend – Loverboy Not Loverboy’s biggest hit, but many radio stations start their 5 o’clock Friday hour with this song today.
23. Only In My Dreams – Debbie Gibson She was sixteen years old when she wrote, recorded and released this song.
24. Walk Like An Egyptian – The Bangles Following on the heels of fellow LA Girl Band, the Go-Gos, the Bangles went on to even bigger success with Manic Monday, Hazy Shade of Winter and Eternal Flame.
25. Kiss On My List – Hall and Oates With 21 Top 40 hits, it was hard to choose which song to include, but Kiss On My List was their first #1 of the 80s.
26. Jam On It – Newcleus If you think of 80s Break dancing, you think of this track.
27. Flashdance (What A Feeling) – Irene Cara Irene helped open 80s Movie Music with Fame (#46 below) but this was her biggest hit. The Flashdance film also introduced us to actress Jennifer Beals.
28. Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go – Soft Cell Tainted Love was first performed by Gloria Jones in 1964, Where Did Our Love Go was #1 for the Supremes in ’64 as well.
29. Born In The USA – Bruce Springsteen On Oct. 27, 1975, Time Magazine proclaimed that Bruce was the future of music. In 1984, they were proven right.
30. Electric Avenue – Eddie Grant One of the catchiest, timeless songs of the eighties, sounds like it could have been recorded yesterday.
31. Push It – Salt N Pepa This song from 1987 still works in both commercials and on the dance floor.
32. Valley Girl – Frank Zappa featuring Moon Unit This song defined the lifestyle (materialism) and linguistics (valleyspeak) of the San Fernando Valley.
33. Morning Train (9 to 5) – Sheena Easton Morning Train was just too catchy to be universally hated.
34. Axel F – Harold Faltermeyer Eddy Murphy, playing Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop, matched with this synth-pop made a hit in 1985. It was reworked into ‘Crazy Frog’ in 2003.
35. Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield Playing General Hospital’s Dr. Noah Drake was Rick’s other job in 1981.
36. I Melt With You – Modern English Featured in the Valley Girl soundtrack, VH1 declared this the #7 One Hit Wonder of the 80s.
37. 867-5309/Jenny Jenny – Tommy Tutone Co-writer Jim Keller said “Jenny is a regular girl, not a hooker. Friends of mine wrote her name and number on a men’s room wall at a bar. I called her on a dare, and we dated for a while. I haven’t talked with her since the song became a hit, but I hear she thinks I’m a real jerk for writing it.”
38. Love Shack – The B-52s This was also a top karaoke duet song in the 1990s.
39. Jump – Van Halen ‘Jump’ was Van Halen’s only number one hit.
40. Who Can It Be Now? – Men At Work This started the whole Australian Renaissance of the 80s, which ended with Yahoo Serious’ film, Young Einstein.
41. Blinded Me With Science – Thomas Dolby Backed up by 1984’s Revenge of the Nerds, this started the whole acceptance of the Nerd Renaissance of the 80s, which is still going on today.
42. Whip It – Devo Strange robotic nerd band does good. This opened the nerd music genre for the likes of Thomas Dolby and Howard Jones.
43. Old Time Rock and Roll – Bob Seger Now, this song is old time rock and roll too.
44. Rock This Town – the Stray Cats Led by Brian Setzer, the Stray Cats brought Rockabilly back to pop/rock. Brian did it again for a few months for swing rock with ‘Jump Jive N Wail’ in 1998.
45. We Didn’t Start The Fire – Billy Joel Billy should do a song like this for every decade.
46. Fame – Irene Cara From the soundtrack of the same name, this song brought movie songs into the 1980s. Fame was also a hit TV show from 1982-1987.
47. Every Little Thing She Does is Magic – The Police The Police were probably the most successful ‘New Wave post-punk reggae rock pop’ bands of all time
48. Do That To Me One More Time – The Captain and Tennille Leftover Cheesy Music from the 1970s.
49. Call Me – Blondie “Top Pop Punk Band Sells Out For Hit Movie Soundtrack” (# 1 for six weeks)
50. The Tide Is High – Blondie “Top Pop Punk Band Sells Out With Hipster Reggae Track”
51. Burning Heart – Survivor ‘Eye of the Tiger’ hit number one for Rocky 3. ‘Burning Heart’ reached number two for Rocky 4.
52. Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice You can go a long way with the catchy backbeat of Queen/David Bowie’s ‘Under Pressure’.
53. Hungry Like The Wolf – Duran Duran Named a Barbarella bad guy, they were the most successful New Wave Boy Band.
54. Kokomo – The Beach Boys Number one song in 1988, not band for a band that started making hits in 1962.
55. Don’t You Forget About Me – Simple Minds The only number one song by the band, boosted by being the hit from ‘The Breakfast Club’.
56. I Ran (So Far Away) – A Flock of Seagulls Alphabetically, this band should be at the beginning of any 80s artist list. Lead singer Mike Score based his hair on David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust.
57. Centerfold – J. Geils Band It took the band ten years to hit number one on Billboard. Their other top ten hit was ‘Freeze-Frame,’ also based in photography.
58. Safety Dance – Men Without Hats You can dance if you want to. The long-sought ‘Girl in the Safety Dance Video’ is actually Louise Court, now an editor and journalist at Cosmopolitan.
59. Two of Hearts – Stacy Q Stacy started her showbiz career as a showgirl and elephant rider for Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
60. Purple Rain – Prince 80s=Purple=Prince. From the 1984 film ‘Purple Rain’.
61. Black Velvet – Alannah Myles Myles won the 1990 Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocalist for the song. Yes, it was inspired by Elvis.
62. Almost Paradise – Mike Reno and Ann Wilson Mike was the lead singer for Loverboy and Ann was the lead vocals for Heart.
63. Let’s Dance – David Bowie This was Mr. Bowie’s second number one hit. His first was ‘Fame’ – which he did with John Lennon in 1975.
64. I Got You – Split Enz The New Zealand band didn’t crack the American Top 40 with this song, but is another definitive ’80s-sound’ song.
65. In The Air Tonight – Phil Collins This song was used in the train sequence of the 1983 film Risky Business, featuring Tom Cruise in his first major role.
66. Don’t Worry Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin A timeless acapella song. ‘Acapella’ means no instruments were used.
67. She Drives Me Crazy – Fine Young Cannibals The band got their name from a 1960 film, ‘All The Fine Young Cannibals’.
68. Nobody – Sylvia One of a handful of 80s pop tracks by female singer-songwriters.
69. Rock It – Herbie Hancock 1983’s Rock It was one of the earliest pop hits to use ‘scratching’ by deejays.
70. Straight Up – Paula Abdul This was the first of Paula’s six number one hits. (four in the 80s)
71. (tie) Ebony and Ivory – Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder Paul’s first post-Beatles collaboration, in 1982.
71. (tie) The Girl is Mine – Michael Jackson with Paul McCartney Paul’s second post-Beatles collaboration, in 1982.
71. (tie) Say Say Say – Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson Paul’s third post-Beatles collaboration, in 1983, and final number one hit.
72. On The Dark Side – Eddie and the Cruisers (Actually John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band)
73. Mr. Roboto – Styx “Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto” (Thank you, Mister Robot)
74. Total Eclipse of the Heart – Bonnie Tyler Jim Steinman produced this, Bonnie’s first and only number one hit.
75. Addicted To Love – Robert Palmer I accidentally ordered a ‘Robert Palmer’ instead of an ‘Arnold Palmer’ and now a sullen waitress is dancing behind me.
76. West End Girls – Pet Shop Boys Pet Shop Boys members Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe are the most successful duo in UK music history.
77. Murphy’s Law – Cheri A perfect example of 80s dance-pop, an old-school dance classic.
78. Oh Yeah – Yello Is it a background sound effect or a song? In either case, a timeless 80s instrumental classic.
79. Roll With It – Steve Winwood Steve’s second number one hit. It had wide airplay, from AOR (album oriented rock) to Pop to Dance/R&B stations.
80. Here I Go Again – Whitesnake The video featured Tawny Kitaen in lingerie dancing on a pair of Jaguar XJs. The song peaked at number one. Coincidence? We think not.
81. Burning Down The House – Talking Heads This song says everything you’d ever want to know about a thinking man’s American alt/pop/new wave band.
82. Karma Chameleon – Culture Club Fronted by Boy George, this was the only number one hit for the band.
83. All Night Long – Lionel Richie Lionel Richie, former lead singer for The Commodores had 13 Top Ten Hots, including 5 number ones!
84. Let’s Hear It For The Boy – Deniece Williams Deniese started her music career as a Stevie Wonder backup singer.
85. Everybody Have Fun Tonight – Wang Chung “Everybody WANG CHUNG tonight!”
86. Celebration – Kool and the Gang Kool and the Gangs biggest hit is now a timeless classic for festive occasions.
87. Man In Motion (St Elmo’s Fire) – John Parr From the ‘Brat Pack’ film, St. Elmo’s Fire. The ‘Brat Pack’ included: Rob Lowe, Emilio Esteves, Judd Nelson, Allie Sheedy and others.
88. I Think We’re Alone Now – Tiffany There was no actual ‘rivalry’ between teen singers Tiffany and Debbie Gibson. They both spent four weeks at number one. It was a tie.
89. Miami Vice Theme – Jan Hammer Another number one, grammy winning, instrumental soundtrack.
90. Puttin On The Ritz – Taco ‘Taco’ was his real name. ‘Puttin On The Ritz’ also reached number one in 1930.
91. Paranomia – Art of Noise With Max Headroom Max Headroon is actually actor Matt Frewer.
92. Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do) – Wham! Rap music was still very much underground when this was recorded in 1982, although Blondie’s ‘Rapture’ predated it by a year.
93. Blame it on the Rain – Milli Vanilli Forever blacklisted by critics for fuzzy rules about the frontmen not actually performing the music, they did have 5 catchy tunes released with a year, including 3 number ones!
94. Money – the Flying Lizards It was a hit in the loosest of terms; it reached number 50 on Billboard, but has been used in films, television and even a Taco Bell commercial.
95. Take My Breath Away – Berlin # 1, from the Top Gun soundtrack, this song also won the Oscar for for Best Original Song.
96. Escalator of Life – Robert Hazard Philly’s Robert Hazard peaked at Billboard # 58 with this song about materialism, but don’t feel too bad for him. He also wrote Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. Cyndi, and Robert’s estate, should do just fine on the royalties from that timeless classic.
97. Right Here Waiting – Richard Marx Between ‘Satisfied’ and ‘Right Here Waiting’ we heard Richard Marx sing constantly in the spring/summer of 1989.
98. Mr Soul – Neil Young (Trans Album – new version) “Respected Hippie Singer Goes Synth” Not as controversial as when Dylan went electric, but it was risky of Neil to produce and release his 1982 ‘Trans’ album. It was followed up with 1983’s ‘Everybody’s Rockin’ album, with a rockabllly theme. Oh that Neil!
99. Don’t Pay the Ferryman – Chris DeBurgh This video had heavy rotation on MTV back in 1983. *Younger Readers- MTV once showed music videos 24/7. Chris’ biggest hit was the timeless ‘Lady In Red’.
100. Wild Thing – Tone Loc Rap was just coming out of the underground in the late 1980s. This reached number two in 1988. It sampled Van Halen’s ‘Jamie’s Cryin’.
(PCM) As a person of mixed race and as a member of a blended family, the controversy surrounding Michael B. Jordan’s casting in director Josh Tranks’s Fantastic Four reboot as Johnny Storm, aka The Human Torch, continues to baffle me.
Many critics called the casting a politically correct move, an attempt by 20th Century Fox to appeal to the increasingly diverse masses, and were awaiting for some kind of an explanation as to how Michael B. Jordan and Kate Mara, playing Sue Storm, could possibly portray brother and sister in a film about four young scientists who are transformed into superheroes after a radioactive accident.
I cannot understand why it’s so inconceivable that a black man could have a white woman as a sister, but Michael B. Jordan is more even-tempered and has a bigger heart than I do, which he displayed in an editorial he wrote for EW yesterday, addressing the controversy surrounding his casting. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
It used to bother me, but it doesn’t anymore. I can see everybody’s perspective, and I know I can’t ask the audience to forget 50 years of comic books. But the world is a little more diverse in 2015 than when the Fantastic Four comic first came out in 1961. Plus, if Stan Lee writes an email to my director saying, “You’re good. I’m okay with this,” who am I to go against that?
Some people may look at my casting as political correctness or an attempt to meet a racial quota, or as part of the year of “Black Film.” Or they could look at it as a creative choice by the director, Josh Trank, who is in an interracial relationship himself—a reflection of what a modern family looks like today.
This is a family movie about four friends—two of whom are myself and Kate Mara as my adopted sister—who are brought together by a series of unfortunate events to create unity and a team. That’s the message of the movie, if people can just allow themselves to see it.
Fantastic Four, a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s original and longest-running superhero team, centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.
Fantastic Four is written and directed by Josh Trank (Chronicle) alongside co-writers Jeremy Slater (The Lazarus Effect) and Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past) and stars Miles Teller (Whiplash) as Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic, Kate Mara (House of Cards) as Sue Storm aka The Invisible Woman, Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) as Johnny Storm aka The Human Torch, and Jamie Bell (Jumper) as Ben Grimm aka The Thing.
(PCM) Warner Bros. Pictures released the new trailer for Black Mass, director Scott Cooper’s crime drama based on real-life convicted murderer and former mob boss Whitey Bulger.
The new trailer enters on a scene between Whitey and his six year-old son at the dinner table. Whitey, educating his young son on the in-and-outs of crime, gives him some priceless advice: “If nobody sees it, it didn’t happen.”
Cue Rick Ross’ “The Devil is a Lie” as Johnny Depp mows down multiple people and commits horrible crime after horrible crime. Watch the new trailer for Black Mass, in theaters nationwide September 18, below!
In 1970s South Boston, FBI Agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) persuades Irish mobster James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp) to collaborate with the FBI and eliminate a common enemy: the Italian mob. The drama tells the true story of this unholy alliance, which spiraled out of control, allowing Whitey to evade law enforcement, consolidate power, and become one of the most ruthless and powerful gangsters in Boston history.
Directed by Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart, Out of the Furnace) from the screenplay by Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth (Edge of Tomorrow), Black Mass is based on the book, Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob written by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill.
Starring alongside Johnny Depp are Adam Scott, Sienna Miller, Kevin Bacon, Juno Temple, Joel Edgerton, Rory Cochrane, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, Dakota Johnson, and Corey Stoll.
Black Mass opens in theaters nationwide starting September 18, 2015. Visit BlackMasstheMovie.com for more info!