A new The Batman trailer has come as a surprise drop. (Only in English sadly, there are no Hindi, Tamil, or Telugu versions.) Late on Monday, Warner Bros. unveiled a third trailer for the Robert Pattinson-led Batman movie that expands on what we know about the Dark Knight’s next adventure. The Batman trailer suggests how the Riddler/ Edward Nashton (Paul Dano) will toy with Batman/ Bruce Wayne (Pattinson) — he knows more about him than he lets on — and hints at the family secrets that Wayne will discover during his investigation. And in the process, Batman will have to make new allies, chiefly in Catwoman/ Selina Kyle (Zoë Kravitz), if he is to bring Riddler to justice.
“Bruce Wayne? I wouldn’t be bothering you here but your people keep telling me you’re unavailable,” grassroots Gotham City mayoral candidate Bella Reál (Jayme Lawson) says to Wayne at the start of the new The Batman trailer. Meanwhile, the trailer shows us why he’s “unavailable”. As we all know, Wayne has a second life as a detective and vigilante. “You know, you could really be doing more for this city,” Reál continues elsewhere. “Your family has a history of philanthropy, but as far as I can tell, you’re not doing anything.” Well, to be fair, Wayne is doing philanthropy in his own way — if that counts.
“The Riddler is asking for you,” Gotham City Police Department lieutenant James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) tells Batman, before Wayne’s butler and mentor Alfred Pennyworth (Andy Serkis) says: “The killer left this for the Batman. Why is he writing to you?” The Riddler (Dano) is really interested in the Batman and it seems he might know his real identity, given the next line in The Batman trailer: “Riddler’s latest. It’s all about the Waynes,” Catwoman (Kravitz) says as she shows up. “If we don’t stand up, no one will.” Batman tells her she has a lot of cats, and she replies she has “a thing about strays.”
“The Bat and the Cat. It’s got a nice ring,” Catwoman says elsewhere, as we see the two engage in fisticuffs that seem to have an erotic side to it. Alfred asks if she’s a new friend of his, and Wayne says he’s not so sure. “I’m just here to unmask the truth about this cesspool we call a city,” Riddler says in the new The Batman trailer as we get another look at his masked face. Riddler tells Batman that he’s a part of this, and when the latter wonders how, Riddler adds: “Oh, you’re really not as smart as I thought you were, Bruce Wayne.” There, my supposition from earlier has turned out to be true.
The Batman trailer then kicks up a notch with more action snippets, while Wayne accuses Alfred of lying to him for several years, Gordon’s senior wonders if Batman himself is “involved in this”, Catwoman wonders who Batman is under there and what he’s hiding, and Wayne pleads with Selina not to throw her life away. “Don’t worry honey, I got nine of ‘em,” Catwoman replies cheekily. Elsewhere, the Riddler crashes a funeral that Wayne is attending and unleashes a riddle: “It can be cruel, poetic, or blind. But when it’s denied, it’s your violence you may find.”
In addition to Pattinson, Kravitz, Dano, Wright, Serkis, and Lawson, The Batman also stars John Turturro as Gotham City crime lord Carmine Falcone, Peter Sarsgaard as Gotham district attorney Gil Colson, Colin Farrell as rising crime lord Penguin/ Oswald Cobblepot, Barry Keoghan as GCPD officer Stanley Merkel, and Alex Ferns as GCPD Commissioner Pete Savage. Gil Perez-Abraham, twins Charlie and Max Carver, Rupert Penry-Jones, and Con O’Neill also have roles. Matt Reeves (War for the Planet of the Apes) is the director, co-writer with Peter Craig (The Unforgivable), and producer with Dylan Clark.
The Batman will release March 4, 2022 in cinemas worldwide. After a 45-day theatrical window, The Batman will be available April 19, 2022 on HBO Max.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Box Office Crosses $800 Million Milestone
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has grossed $803 million (Rs. 6,235 crore) at the worldwide box office, since its release in theatres on May 6, to emerge as the second-highest-grossing Hollywood movie of the pandemic era. The top spot, as we all know, is occupied by the Tom Holland-led superhero film Spider-Man: No Way Home, which raked in $1.89 billion (Rs. 1,46,766 crore) during its theatrical run. That said, the Doctor Strange sequel has outperformed films such as action thriller F9: The Fast Saga ($726 million), the James Bond thriller No Time To Die($774.2 million), and The Robert Pattinson-led DC film The Batman(($768.5 million).
Of the $803 million so far, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has collected $342.1 million (Rs. 2,655 crore) in the US and Canada. The remaining $461.1 million (Rs. 3,578 crore) came from nearly 49 markets elsewhere, with South Korea ($45.9 million), the UK ($43.8 million), Mexico ($35.7 million), and Brazil ($29.2 million) being the major contributors. The film, needless to say, hasn’t been released in China and Russia.
In India, the second Doctor Strange movie has collected nearly Rs.122 crore so far, overshadowing the Ranveer Singh-led Hindi-language comedy-drama Jayeshbhai Jordaar. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness might have benefited from the fact that it was released in India nearly a month and a half after SS Rajamouli’s Telugu-language period action drama RRR, and nearly three weeks after the Kannada-language actioner K.G.F: Chapter 2.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness remained in top position worldwide during the May 20 to May 22 weekend, collecting nearly $32 million (Rs.2,484) in the domestic market alone over its third weekend. It faced limited competition from the historical drama Downton Abbey: A New Era as the film collected $16 million (Rs.1,241 crore) to secure the second spot on box office charts in the US. This, however, is not surprising as the title, a sequel to the 2019 feature film adaptation of the period TV show Downton Abbey, caters primarily to older adults.
The second Doctor Strange movie is, however, not the only film to make headlines this week as the action-packed adventure movie Uncharted — also starring Holland — crossed the $400 million (Rs. 31.03 crore) mark worldwide while the animated adventure feature Sonic the Hedgehog 2 crossed $375 million (Rs.29.09 crore). While Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness still has enough gas in the tank to put up good numbers in the days to come, it will face competition from the Tom Cruise-fronted action movie Top Gun: Maverick when it releases May 27 in theatres globally.
Directed by Sam Raimi, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness explores the concept of a multiverse, which was introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe through the Tom Hiddleston-led series Loki and examined further in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Headlined by Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness cast includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Xochitl Gomez, and Benedict Wong in key roles.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is playing in cinemas globally.
Netflix to Settle Tax Dispute With Italy for $59.1 Million, Opens First Office in Rome Hiring Over 40 Employees
US streaming service Netflix has agreed to settle a tax dispute with Italy, the company and legal sources said on Friday.
Milan prosecutors issued a statement saying they had settled with a multinational video on-demand streaming company for a period covering Oct. 2015 to 2019 and asked it to pay EUR 55.8 million (roughly Rs. 460 crore).
They gave the settlement figure without specifically naming the company involved but three sources with knowledge of the matter confirmed it was Netflix.
A Netflix spokesperson said the company was pleased to have the matter finalised.
“We have maintained constant dialogue and cooperation with the Italian authorities and continue to believe that we have acted in full compliance with Italian and international rules,” the spokesperson said.
Prosecutors had opened an investigation into potential tax evasion three years ago.
They claimed Netflix should have paid taxes in Italy because it relied on digital infrastructure to stream content to 2 million users in the country.
As a backdrop to the payment agreement, Netflix has now opened an office in Italy, setting up a base in Rome and hiring more than 40 employees.
The investigation by Milan prosecutors who argued that cables and computer servers used by Netflix amounted to a physical presence in Italy, had been triggered by checks conducted by Italy’s tax police.
© Thomson Reuters 2022
Stranger Things Season 4 Spoilers Leaked Due to Tie-in Monopoly Game: Report
Stranger Things season 4 is in the limelight for an unexpected reason as leaked images of cards from a tie-in Monopoly board game have spoiled key plot elements ahead of its May 27 debut on Netflix, as per a report. The Monopoly Stranger Things game can be “purchased fair and square” at a “national retailer”, according to a Reddit thread dedicated to the leak. While this is not confirmed, the fact remains that several retailers are advertising merchandise based on previous Stranger Things seasons to capitalise on the brand’s popularity.
According to The Hollywood Reporter report — which quotes a source close to the series — the Monopoly Stranger Things 4 board game was accidentally given the go-ahead mainly because of the “sheer scale and breadth of the Stranger Things franchising world.”
Stranger Things creators the Duffer brothers and Netflix are, not surprisingly, unhappy about the leak. In fact, the Duffer brothers are said to have had a “total meltdown” after the debacle, as they wanted to keep Stranger Things 4 plot details under wraps till the show’s premiere. They were, reportedly, also not consulted while developing the game.
Interestingly, Stranger Things season 4 is not the first title to be spoiled by tie-in merchandise. The Star Wars franchise faced a similar situation when the release of a Rey action figure with a lightsaber revealed a key plot detail from the 2015 space epic Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Such events are the reason that The Mandalorian showrunner Jon Favreau didn’t allow manufacturers to design a toy for the character of Baby Yoda — or Grogu, as you prefer — till after the series’ premiere.
Netflix could have adopted a similar approach for Stranger Things — and it might still do so for the fifth and final season — but admittedly, it does hurt sales and allows third-parties to profit, as was the case with The Mandalorian for several months.
Stranger Things season 4 is touted to be “bigger and better” than previous instalments. In fact, director Shawn Levy recently revealed that it features some episodes that are longer than his two Ryan Reynolds movies, the comedy Free Guy and the sci-fi adventure The Adam Project. The Duffer Brothers had hinted at as much earlier, noting the Stranger Things 4 episodes are “very, very long.”
The first five episodes of Stranger Things season 4 will out on May 27 on Netflix, three years after the last season aired, with the remaining four arriving on July 1.
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