Ben Affleck No Longer Directing THE BATMAN, Matt Reeves in Running to Replace Him

Ben Affleck said that if he couldn't put together a story and script for The Batman that he was happy with he wouldn't direct the movie. Well, he's just dropped out of the film and will no longer direct. He's still attached to star in the film and produce it, though. In a statement to Variety, Affleck said: 

“There are certain characters who hold a special place in the hearts of millions. Performing this role demands focus, passion and the very best performance I can give. It has become clear that I cannot do both jobs to the level they require. Together with the studio, I have decided to find a partner in a director who will collaborate with me on this massive film. I am still in this, and we are making it, but we are currently looking for a director. I remain extremely committed to this project, and look forward to bringing this to life for fans around the world.”

This news was followed by a tweet from Variety's Justin Kroll who said that Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Cloverfield director Matt Reeves is "high on the list of directors they are looking at." There's no confirmation of this and no deal has been made. As of right now, he's just a name on a list, but he's a solid director that I wouldn't mind seeing make a Batman movie. No other names on this list were offered.

There's no other information given as to why Affleck dropped out, but according to inside sources, the "decision was solely made based on what’s best for the project and had nothing to do with the recent disappointment of Affleck’s recent directing job Live by Night." I thought Live By Night was a solid film, but it bombed at the box office because, in my opinion, it wasn't marketed very well. 

Regardless of that, Affleck is out as the director of The Batman, and someone else is going to come on board to replace him. I'm kinda bummed out by this news because Affleck is a talented director, and I think he would've done something great with the film. Hopefully, whoever the studio does end up bringing on to direct will give us something great.  

Peter Capaldi Announces His DOCTOR WHO Departure

In 2014 Peter Capaldi joined the eighth season of Doctor Who as the 12th incarnation of The Doctor. After three seasons, it's now time to say goodbye as the actor has announced that he will be leaving the series this Christmas.

When talking to  BBC Radio 2 (via Doctor Who Twitter), Capaldi said, “[I]t will be my last... This will be the end for me… I feel it’s sort of time for me to move on to different challenges.” He went on to say:

"One of the greatest privileges of being Doctor Who is to see the world at its best. From our brilliant crew and creative team working for the best broadcaster on the planet, to the viewers and fans whose endless creativity, generosity and inclusiveness points to a brighter future ahead. I can’t thank everyone enough. It’s been cosmic."

Capaldi will be leaving the series at the same time as showrunner and executive producer Steven Moffat. He will be replaced by Chris Chibnall. I'm sure we'll learn who will be taking on the role of the 13th Doctor at the end of the year. 

I'm actually ok with Capaldi leaving show as he was a version of The Doctor that I never really liked or connected with. That being said, he obviously wasn't my favorite Doctor, so I'm excited to see who will come on board to replace him. If you were a Capaldi fan, I do understand your disappointment over his departure. 

With Moffat leaving the series as well, things are going to get interesting, and I have no idea what to expect. Doctor Who series 10 will introduce Pearl Mackie as Bill Potts, the Doctor’s new traveling companion. It's set to premiere on April 15.

How do you all feel about this being Capaldi's final season as The Doctor? 

We Wish This Incredible Fan-Made STAR WARS Roller Coaster Was Real

The Imagineers at Disney have already designed a number of Star Wars-themed attractions for the Star Wars Lands that are coming to Disneyland and Walt Disney World, including a Millennium Falcon ride. But if they're still looking for ideas, they might benefit from taking a page from this fan's playbook.

/Film points us to YouTuber Chuck Maurice, who has created an awesome fan-made Star Wars roller coaster in Planet Coaster, a PC game in which you can design every element of your own rides. Maurice's creation takes place in a contained, indoor, Space Mountain-style area, and it whisks fans through the attack on the Death Star from A New Hope. He did a terrific job creating these elements in a digital version, and though it seems like it'd be super expensive to make in real life, I'm guessing Disney has the resources to make something like this if they wanted to. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

The ride begins at the 1:53 mark.

Sundance Review: Peter Dinklage’s REMEMORY Is an Ambitious Neo-Noir Film That Doesn’t Hit Its Potential

Rememory was one of the films I was most excited to see at Sundance. The brief description I read really stood out to me, and I’m a huge fan of Peter Dinklage. Combined with the fact that this was one of Anton Yelchin’s final films, I was anxious to see it. I think my hopes were too high because I’ll admit I was a little disappointed.

Rememory tells the story of Sam (Dinklage), a lonely model-maker with a regrettable past. He takes it upon himself to solve the mysterious death of Gordon Dunn, who invented a machine that allows people to objectively view their own memories as a form of therapy. This new technology, while highly sought-after, has unforeseen flaws. Sam has to track down and eliminate potential suspects one by one, using their memories to look for clues. He uses his models as a visual layout, a unique take on the wall with photographs and string often seen in crime thrillers.

This film is a neo-noir with an ambitious plot that sometimes gets out of control. There are too many characters, and it felt like no single storyline got the time it deserved. It would have been nice to explore the story a little more in-depth. Because the plot is spread so thin, I felt like I couldn't emotionally connect to any part of this story. I kept thinking how great this story could have been if it were told as a television series.

I will say this, though, the score was fantastic, and Dinklage shines as the lead. I would love to see him in more leading roles. And of course, Yelchin is as good as ever, playing one of the first participants in the testing of the Rememory machine. It was really emotional to see him onscreen again. So while it wasn’t a perfect film by any means, I wouldn’t say pass this one over entirely.

Marvel Casts Lead Roles in Their CLOAK AND DAGGER Series

Marvel has announced that they've cast the lead roles in their upcoming new series Cloak and Dagger. Actor Aubrey Joseph (The Night Of, Run All Night) has been cast in the role of Tyrone Johnson, a.k.a. Cloak, and former Disney Channel star Olivia Holt (I Didn’t Do It) will play Tandy Bowen, a.k.a. Dagger.

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 Executive producer and showrunner Joe Pokaski said in a statement:

“The characters of Tandy and Tyrone have always stood out to me ever since I first met them in the pages of Marvel comics when I was a boy. When Olivia and Aubrey read for the roles, these characters leapt off the page. We’re so excited to see what these talented young actors bring to the Marvel Universe.”

 Jeph Loeb, Head of Marvel Television and Executive Producer, added:

“Marvel is delighted to have found our 'Cloak & Dagger.' Olivia Holt and Aubrey Josepn encompass the true essence of the characters and we are excited for the audience to see them in these roles.”

I'm not familiar with either of these actors, but the creative team developing the project seem to have found what they are looking for in them. They definitely look like they fit their roles. 

The series will focus on Tandy Bowen and Tyrone Johnson, the eponymous Cloak and Dagger, as they learn to use their newly-acquired super powers while also falling in love with each other. Cloak is capable of teleportation through the “dimension of darkness” but can also leave foes stranded in the other world as well. Dagger has the ability to create light daggers with her mind, which she can control as well. Her daggers are capable of both draining life from their targets, or healing them.

The series is scheduled to debut on the Freeform Channel in Winter 2018. Hopefully, they end up giving fans something really cool. 

8-Bit Cinema Takes on ROGUE ONE in Latest Episode

It's only been a month and a half since Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was released in theaters, but Star Wars fandom is already looking ahead to Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi and Phil Lord and Chris Miller's young Han Solo movie. But before we dive into the next entry in the saga, let's take a quick look back at Rogue One through the eyes of 8-Bit Cinema. The only thing I don't agree with in their adaptation is the heart that pops up between Jyn and Cassian at the end; I felt like the movie didn't really support a strong romantic reading of their relationship. But I guess that's one of the points that's left vague enough for people to argue and theorize about. How about you? Did you think Jyn and Cassian had a notable love story in the theatrical cut of Rogue One?

HIGHLANDER Remake Being Developed as a Trilogy That Will Combine Story Elements From the Franchise

John Wick co-director Chad Stahelski is the latest director who has been attached to the Highlander remake, which has been in and out of development for over a decade. During a recent interview with Collider, Stahelski talked about the film and explained why the movie is taking so long to get into production and that there's just so much material to work with. They are taking the best story elements from across the franchise and implementing it all into one story that will be spread out across a trilogy of films:

"I think the TV series hit on a lot of great stuff wasn’t in the feature, between the watchers and all the different types of immortals. How do we get this into a feature mode before we dribble it into the TV world? Well, let’s restructure it in parts, let’s look at it like it was a TV show, let’s look at it like it was a high-end trilogy. How to we tell the story of The Gathering, The Quickenings, The Immortals and how do we really build this world out even more so than the original project? That’s what we’re restructuring right now. It’s taking all the good stuff that we had before I was involved in the project from the script; redeveloping the script to give us really good chapters one, two and three; and expanding the world."

This is the first time we've heard that the studio is looking to develop a whole trilogy for the film franchise reboot. He goes on to talk about their vision for this project, explaining: 

"The vision we’re trying to get across and what we’re trying to develop, I equate very close to Star Wars. The first one is a very satisfying ending but it does leave the door open and that’s kind of how I see this. I would really like to expand it over three. I see The Gathering happening over three. It’s tricky, don’t get me wrong, that’s why we’re still developing it. We want to be able to tell three complete stories that all kind of fit. I think the Star Wars trilogy, at least up to The Empire Strikes Back, is a good example of how we want to process it."

I thought it was amusing that he made a point of letting us know that he's not a big fan of Return of the Jedi. I hope that Stahelski will get to realize his full vision of the story because as you know, if the first film fails, they won't get to make the other two chapters. The director goes on to talk about the tone of the film and reveals one element from the '80s film that he can't see the remake without:

"The tone of the first one just hit at that weird music video edge in the 80s that had Queen and for some reason, Queen just fits. I don’t think you can do Highlander and bring about that kind of tone again with the mythological world and take it too seriously. Just as we did with Wick, you can’t kill 80 people over a puppy and take yourself seriously. We got to let the audience know that we’re having fun and that there is a world here.

"Point being I can’t see Highlander without Queen, without the queen center, without having Freddy Mercury, 'Prince of the Universe,' and all this stuff. I can’t picture the movie in my head without it."

I love what Stahelski did with John Wick and I hope that he can bring that kind of badassery to Highlander. It's good to know that he and his team are taking their time developing the film to make sure it will be something that the fans will enjoy. It's definitely going to be interesting to see what his vision of Highlander turns out to be. 

Learn About the Struggles of Living in a Japanese Apartment With This Humorous Video

While we as Americans are not all that different from our international brethren fundamentally, we are almost entirely different culturally. In addition to insanely long work hours, it appears it's just as much of a job to have an apartment in Japan! While it would be cool to have a high tech tub that auto fills to your preferred temperature, can't I just have a normal shower?! I'm also super uncomfortable with the amount of water they're letting get everywhere in this video, WHAT ABOUT MOLD?

Learn about bathing and other crazy parts of Japanese apartment living in this humorous video by Rachel & Jun