Movie Clapper

“Black Widow” Film Kicks Off Next Phase of The Marvel Cinematic Universe

If you’ve been keeping up with the Marvel Cinematic Universe from the beginning, then you know we’re about to get one of the most highly anticipated movies to come from the studio since its launch in 2009. Scarlett Johansson will be starring in the long awaited standalone Black Widow movie, where fans will finally get the superhero’s backstory they’ve been longing for. Although fans have complained in the past that this film is overdue, Johansson believes that it’s timing couldn’t be more perfect based on where the Universe lies after Avengers: Endgame. 

WARNING: Article contains spoilers on past MCU films. 

Johansson made her Marvel debut in Iron Man 2 back in 2010. At the time, her character was revealed to be Natasha Romanoff, a Black Widow super spy who was trained by Russian operatives. She reappears in the cinematic Universe with The Avengers, and continues to make appearances as a recurring figure in all the Avengers movies, as well as Captain America The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War. 

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In her most recent appearance in Avengers: Endgame, we see the end of Romanoff’s character’s story as she sacrifices herself in order to retrieve the Infinity Stone and save all of humanity. However, years before her seemingly inevitable death – inevitable in the sense that fans knew going into the final Avengers installment that not all of their favorite superheroes would make it out of the universe’s biggest war alive – fans were still begging Marvel to give them a standalone Black Widow film. There’s been multiple references to Romanoff’s past with fellow Avenger and long time friend Hawkeye, who can forget the iconic “just like Budapest all over again” line from the first Avengers installment. Now, we finally are getting some answers and, according to Johansson, it’s happening at the perfect time. 

“For anyone who said to me, ‘Oh, this [Black Widow film] should’ve happened five or 10 years ago,’ I’m like, it would not have been as substantial. We just would not have been able to do it. This film is happening now as a result of what’s going on in the zeitgeist, and I think it’s pretty cool,” Johansson told Entertainment Weekly.

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Marvel made the announcement for the film at 2019’s San Diego Comic Con, where Marvel executives said Black Widow will take place prior to the characters death and kick off “Phase 4” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For those who aren’t aware, the timeline of the MCU is divided into phases, and over the past decade we’ve seen films that have entered into three phases of the Universe. 

Johansson went on to explain that the goal of the Black Widow film is to show a totally different side of Natasha Romanoff and highlight the aspects of her that make her a truly integral member of the MCU. More often than not, it was easy to overlook Romanoff within the past movies, as her character was often overshadowed by the flashy superpowers and advanced technology her male counterparts were constantly showing off. Now, it’s time to show what makes Natasha special. 

“[The movie] will highlight much of what makes Natasha special, emphasizing her vulnerability and her emotional intelligence. I hope that this film continues pushing that boundary, so that we can actually have more female superheroes who are inherently female, and aren’t just Batman in heels or whatever,” Johansson said.

Black Widow will be released on May 1, 2020; ten years after Natasha’s original MCU debut.

Superhero Shield

Captain America Actress Charged With Second Degree Murder

Captain America: The First Avenger actress Mollie Fitzgerald has been arrested in Kansas City and charged with second degree murder after she allegedly killed her mother.

Fitzgerald’s mother – Patricia ‘Tee’ Fitzgerald, 68 – was discovered inside her Olathe home on 20 December 2019 and had been stabbed to death by a single stab wound. Her daughter has been jailed at the Johnson County Jail on a $500,000 bond. It is unclear whether she has retained an attorney as yet.

Police have confirmed that “a 38 year old white female, known to the victim, was contacted on scene and transported to a local hospital with minor injuries. This case remains under investigation by the Olathe Police Department.”

As well as acting, Mollie Fitzgerald was trying to make a name for herself as a filmmaker, however, she was most noted for her role as Stark Girl in the 2011 movie. She also worked as Joe Johnston’s assistant director and the two worked together again in 2014 on the crime thriller The Lawful Truth which was both written and directed by Fitzgerald with Johnston starring. They also collaborated on The Creeps and Fitzgerald is currently working on the documentary Fireball.

While filming the Avengers film – a movie that took over $370 million at the box office worldwide – Fitzgerald said that “being a part of this production has been one of the best experiences of my life.”

Fitzgerald’s most recent on screen work was in 2018 when she appeared in Trouble Is My Business.

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Patricia Fitzgerald had spent the last few decades living in Houston with her husband of 40 years Terry – who was described in her obituary as the “love of her life” – and was in moving back to Kansas City.

Her brother Gary Hunziker confirmed he was not aware of the details surrounding her death stating “we were shocked. It doesn’t matter the circumstances – the loss of a sister is what it’s all about.”

Police have confirmed that they are not looking for anyone else in relation to the incident confirming that “everyone involved in the incident has been identified.”

Fitzgerald is not the first entertainer to be involved in a homicide case.

In May 2014 actor Michael Jace, who appeared in The Shield, was arrested for the murder of his wife who he shot in front of their two children and was convicted of second-degree murder in 2016. While in 1993 both Snoop Dogg and his bodyguard were arrested over the fatal shooting of rival gang member Philip Woldemariam. While Snoop’s bodyguard was acquitted claiming he shot Woldemariam in self-defense, it was not until 1996 that Snoop was also acquitted.

Police charged Soprano’s actor Lillo Brancato Jr. with second-degree murder after an off duty police officer was fatally shot in 2005. Although he was acquitted of murder he was eventually jailed for 10 years in prison for attempted burglary, being released on parole in 2013.

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Back in 1979 Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious was arrested and subsequently charged with stabbing to death his girlfriend Nancy Spungen. Police found Vicious slumped in the hallway in a drug-induced haze and he admitted to the murder. He was released on bail and died seven weeks later after overdosing on heroin at a party.

In 2010 celebrity chef Juan-Carlos Cruz was charged with soliciting murder after it was claimed he had paid two homeless people to kill his wife. Cruz pled no contest to the charge however he was charged to nine years in prison, although it is expected that he will only spend between four and five years behind bars as Cruz had not committed a violent felony.

Record producer Phil Spector was found guilty of the shooting of Lana Clarkson in 2003. Despite claiming that Spector had witnessed Clarkson committing suicide, Spector was found guilty and sentenced to a minimum of 18 years in jail. Due to the first trial ending in a hung jury during 2007, Spector lived for six years on bail before finally being put away in 2008.

One of the most famous cases in recent times was that of Olympian Oscar Pistorius, who was charged with the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Although Pistorius admitted firing through a bathroom door he continued to claim he thought there was an intruder in the house. However Pistorius was finally jailed for six years for murder in July 2016.

Finally, NFL star O.J. Simpson was charged with the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. Despite a high profile case dubbed ‘The Trial of the Century’, Simpson was found not guilty in 1995. However Simpson and Goldman’s families subsequently filed a civil suit against him and he was ordered to pay them $33.5 million for the wrongful deaths in 1997. Simpson continues to deny he had anything to do with the murders that split the nation with just as many American citizens believing him guilty as those who believe he is innocent. The case has been listed as unsolved.

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Superhero Gay Kiss Makes Front Page of Brazilian Newspaper, Regardless Of Mayor’s Opinion

(CNN)After Rio de Janeiro’s evangelical mayor tried to ban an illustration of two male superheroes kissing from a book fair, one of Brazil’s biggest newspapers decided to put it on their front page.”

Mayor Marcelo Crivella of Rio de Janeiro tried to pull Marvel’s “Vingadores: A Cruzada Das Crianças” (“Avengers: The Children’s Crusade”) from the shelves of Rio’s famous biennial book fair, due to the comic depicting two male superheroes, Wiccan and Hulkling, kissing. However, Crivella was a little late due to the comic completely selling out the first day of the fair due to its popularity, and unapologetic representation. 

The public outcry of Mayor Crivella, however, still felt like it warranted a public response, and The Folha De Sao Paulo newspaper was more than happy to take on that responsibility. 

Cover of Folha De S.Paulo

“The mission of professional journalism and newspapers like Folha is to be uncompromising with obscurantist attempts and to shed light on threats of censorship,” said Sérgio Dávila, the paper’s editorial director, on the cover seen to the left, published after Crivella’s initial statement. 

Crivella is a widely known conservative evangelical who is no stranger to being outspoken against the LGBT+ community. He’s stated in the past that he views them as a “terrible evil” that we need to “censor our children” from in order to prevent them from being exposed to “content not suitable for minors.” All actual quotes from the mayor himself.  

Fortunately for more open-minded and level headed citizens of Rio de Janeiro, the book fairs board of operations filed a preventive injunction with Rio de Janeiro’s Court of Justice the week of the fair. In a statement posted on Instagram, the organizers said the preventive injunction was intended to “ensure the full operation of the event and the right of exhibitors to market literary works on the most diverse themes — as foreseen by the Brazilian legislation,” according to CNN. 

The book fair then advertised itself as an event meant to share ideas and discuss topics including “happiness, science, motherhood, theater, trans literature, LGBTQA+ and more,” according to the Instagram post

The comic’s illustrator, Jim Cheung, who created the images back in 2010, also recently took to Instagram to discuss the controversy over his 10 year old project. 

“As an artist, my passion is to tell stories; stories of great heroism, compassion and love, with as authentic and diverse characters as possible. Characters that depict every walk of life and color, whether they be black or white, brown, yellow or green. The fact that this book, from almost a decade ago, is now being drawn into the spotlight by the mayor perhaps only highlights how out of touch he might be with the current times. The LGBTQ community is here to stay, and I have nothing but love and support for those who continue to struggle for validity and a voice to be heard.”

The controversy has opened up a conversation that’s been discussed for years now. Why are same sex couples deemed as “inappropriate” and “too mature of a concept” for children to understand but love between a man and woman isn’t? The answer is mainly systematic homophobia, but that’s a whole other article. The biennial book fair is a great example of an open and loving space intended for discussions regarding these issues. These types of spaces are growing and spreading and with that will come a lot more acceptance and understanding. The fact is, these are all simply heavy stigmas that the world still needs some help breaking. Luckily for Rio De Janeiro, its people are a lot more open-minded than the actual individuals running the country, which sounds oddly familiar…