Niki Caro credits Patty Jenkins with inspiring her to make live-action Mulan

Niki Caro has praised Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins for paving the way and inspiring her to helm Disney’s live-action Mulan.The New Zealand-born filmmaker, who has joined the ranks of Kathryn Bigelow, Ava DuVernay and Jenkins, who have made films…

Niki Caro has praised Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins for paving the way and inspiring her to helm Disney’s live-action Mulan.

The New Zealand-born filmmaker, who has joined the ranks of Kathryn Bigelow, Ava DuVernay and Jenkins, who have made films costing more than $100 million (£77 million), was disappointed in the almost non-existent opportunities for female directors in Hollywood when she started out.

“When I first started wanting to be a filmmaker, there was so little precedent for women doing this (big studio) work,” Caro told The Hollywood Reporter. “Patty changed the game with Wonder Woman. It was like a shot of adrenaline for me as a filmmaker.”

And for the live-action remake of the 1998 Disney animated classic, the 53-year-old hired a female-dominated crew, including cinematographer Mandy Walker, costume designer Bina Daigeler, and first assistant director Liz Tan.

Elsewhere in the interview, Caro revealed that a huge global hunt was conducted to find the perfect actress to play Mulan, with her sending a team of casting directors to almost every small village in China back in 2016.

“She’s a needle in a haystack, but we were going to find her,” she explained. “It’s impossible to make this movie without this person.”

Liu Yifei was eventually picked to play the young girl who takes her ailing father’s place in the Imperial Chinese Army to defend the country from Huns, and Caro immediately put the actress through a 90-minute physical assessment to ensure she was able to deal with the rigorous training and fight scenes during filming,

“(Liu) never complained once, never said, ‘I can’t.’ She went to her limits,” the director added.

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Gal Gadot swears by ‘super simple diet’ to keep in shape

Gal Gadot swears by a “super simple” Mediterranean diet to help maintain her enviable figure.The Wonder Woman star has revealed the secrets to achieving her incredible body, sharing that while she does plenty of sweat-inducing workouts in the gym, her …

Gal Gadot swears by a “super simple” Mediterranean diet to help maintain her enviable figure.

The Wonder Woman star has revealed the secrets to achieving her incredible body, sharing that while she does plenty of sweat-inducing workouts in the gym, her top tip is to avoid any trendy diets.

“I think we tend to make everything much more challenging and difficult than what it should be,” she told U.S. InStyle magazine. “But for me it’s easy, I’m from Israel so I follow a Mediterranean diet – it’s super simple for anyone to do.

“I try to make a huge per cent of the plate veggies, then lean protein, and then a small amount of quality, good carbs. I eat a lot of fish and huge salads with olive oil and lemon.”

The Mediterranean diet involves eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, olive oil, beans, whole grains, and moderate amounts of fish, white meat and dairy products. And research has shown it may reduce the risk of developing conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease.

The 34-year-old, who underwent an intensive training regime to prepare for reprising her role as Diana Prince in the upcoming Wonder Woman 1984, confessed she needs to switch up her workouts to avoid getting bored.

And Gadot, who served in the Israeli military, swears by plenty of recovery time after her hardcore strengthening sessions.

“I see a lot of physiotherapists – of course, we foam roll – but I need someone to go in and dig deep into the muscles,” the Fast & Furious star shared, adding that she uses high-tech massage device Theragun to help soothe her body. “I drink a lot of water to release all the toxins – I find that super important. And, of course, sleep.”

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Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck call for release of Zack Snyder’s Justice League cut

Justice League stars Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck have called for Warner Bros. chiefs to release Zack Snyder’s cut of the film.The filmmaker was in charge of the DC Extended Universe, but was forced to pull out of directing Justice League midway through p…

Justice League stars Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck have called for Warner Bros. chiefs to release Zack Snyder’s cut of the film.

The filmmaker was in charge of the DC Extended Universe, but was forced to pull out of directing Justice League midway through production to deal with a family tragedy, leaving Avengers director Joss Whedon to complete the movie, which was panned by critics upon its 2017 release.

A version that stays true to Snyder’s vision still exists, and now several of its stars are calling on studio bosses to make it available to fans.

Both Gadot, who played Amazonian hero Wonder Woman, and Affleck, who portrayed Batman, tweeted the hashtag, “#ReleaseTheSnyderCut,” with Snyder also backing its release.

“This ancient Amazonian can’t be wrong. #releasethesnydercut,” he wrote after quoting Gadot’s post.

Ray Fisher, who played Justice League member Cyborg, also backed the release of the cut, posting a photo of himself in an American football uniform – a scene that did not appear in the original cinematic release.

Aquaman star Jason Momoa claims to have seen Snyder’s version of the movie, telling MTV News earlier this month: “I have seen it. I have seen the Snyder Cut, so… think the public needs to see it.

“I’m obviously indebted to Warner and DC, and I don’t know how they feel about it. As a fan, I’m very, very happy that I got to see it.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. executives have no immediate plans to release Snyder’s cut of Justice League, but other reports have claimed it could debut on WarnerMedia’s planned HBO Max streaming service.

The original Justice League was eviscerated by critics and disappointed at the box office, earning $657 million (£508 million) worldwide against a mammoth $300 million (£232 million) production budget.

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Gal Gadot launches production company

Gal Gadot has formed a production company with her husband Jaron Varsano.The Wonder Woman actress and the real estate developer, who have been married since 2008 and share two daughters, have created Pilot Wave, through which they’ll produce historical…

Gal Gadot has formed a production company with her husband Jaron Varsano.

The Wonder Woman actress and the real estate developer, who have been married since 2008 and share two daughters, have created Pilot Wave, through which they’ll produce historical thriller Irena Sendler, in which Gadot will portray the title character.

“As producers, we want to help bring stories that have inspired us to life,” Gadot and Varsano said in a statement to Deadline. “Pilot Wave will create content that promotes the perspectives and experiences of unique people and produce impactful stories aimed at igniting the imagination.”

The Israeli star also shared the news on her Instagram page and wrote in the caption, “Pilot Wave is taking off! I’m so excited this is finally out. @jaronvarsano and I have been working on this for quite some time and I just CAN’T wait to bring to life all the amazing stories we’re working on with all of our wonderfully talented partners.”

Irena Sendler tells the story of the real-life Polish heroine who saved thousands of Jewish children during the Nazi Germany occupation of Poland during World War II. Using the Polish underground network, Sendler and others managed to smuggle Jewish children from the Warsaw ghetto. She was arrested by the Gestapo in 1943 and never revealed any information about the children, despite being tortured.

Justine Juel Gillmer will write the screenplay, while Gadot and Varsano will produce the Warner Bros. project with Marc Platt.

The couple is also developing My Dearest Fidel as a potential vehicle for Gadot. It will be written by Chris Brancato and produced by Sue Kroll.

The 34-year-old will be seen in a number of movies during 2020, including the sequel Wonder Woman 1984, Kenneth Branagh’s Agatha Christie adaptation, Death on the Nile, and action-adventure Red Notice alongside Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.

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Zachary Levi hopes Shazam will get to join the Justice League

Zachary Levi doesn’t want to be “greedy” but hopes Shazam will get a crack at joining the Justice League.The Chuck actor was unveiled as the newest member of the DC Comics universe in October 2017 when studio bosses announced that he would take on the …

Zachary Levi doesn’t want to be “greedy” but hopes Shazam will get a crack at joining the Justice League.

The Chuck actor was unveiled as the newest member of the DC Comics universe in October 2017 when studio bosses announced that he would take on the adult role in the movie Shazam!

Directed by David F. Sandberg, the plot centres on a troubled 14-year-old orphan named Billy Batson (Asher Angel), who can transform into the superhero, as played by Levi, simply by uttering the word “Shazam!”

Now, in a video interview for Digital Spy, Levi expressed how much he would like to see his character make a crossover into one of DC’s Justice League movies.

“I don’t want to get too greedy,” the 38-year-old, who is garnering plenty of positive buzz for his DC debut, commented. “First and foremost, I would love that we get to keep building this world, the Shazam! side of the DC universe.

“If beyond that, my bosses say, ‘Hey, what about going and popping into that person’s movie or they pop into your movie?’ or, God willing, they make another Justice League and Shazam gets to be in the Justice League, I want all of that.”

Other DC movies include box office smashes like 2017’s Justice League flick, as well as features like Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

The newcomer also admitted he got some tips on navigating the superhero world, but not from his compatriots at DC.

“I’ve had some buddies who have also done this in the Marvel world as well,” he shared. “Through my observation of what they’ve all done, I’ve tried to assimilate, as best I can, the things that it looks like have worked for them, but I was just kind of trying to do my own thing.

“It is very different too. It’d be very difficult to be getting tips from Batman because it’s a much darker, different kind of thing.”

Also starring Mark Strong, Djimon Hounsou, and Grace Fulton, Shazam! begins to hit cinemas from 3 April (19).

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Wonder Woman director shares the love for Captain Marvel as blockbuster opens worldwide

Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins has congratulated Brie Larson and the Captain Marvel team as the blockbuster hits movie screens around the world. Jenkins made history by becoming the first woman to direct a superhero blockbuster and her Wonder Wom…

Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins has congratulated Brie Larson and the Captain Marvel team as the blockbuster hits movie screens around the world.

Jenkins made history by becoming the first woman to direct a superhero blockbuster and her Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot, went on to break box office records – and now she’s passing the torch to Larson as she works on her film’s sequel, Wonder Woman 1984.

In a tweet to the Captain Marvel cast and crew, the filmmaker writes: “Congratulations team Captain Marvel! Can’t wait to see it and our whole WW crew wish you a great weekend.”

Larson responded: “Thank you sister!!!”

Captain Marvel is expected to debut this weekend (08-10Mar19) with $350 million (£266 million) at the global box office, which will beat the international opening of director Jenkins’ Wonder Woman by well over $100 million (£76 million) – as well as blockbuster debuts for Justice League and Deadpool 2, while coming in about $20 million (£15 million) under last year’s worldwide box office start for Black Panther.

Captain Marvel will also set new IMAX theatre records around the world by opening on 1,360 of the big screens.

The Marvel blockbuster, starring Larson as Captain Marvel and her alter ego Carol Danvers, launched in France, Italy and Korea on Wednesday (06Mer19). It opens in Germany, Russia, Brazil, the U.S. and Australia on Thursday, and the U.K., Spain, Mexico and China on Friday.

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Captain Marvel set for $350 million global opening

Marvel blockbuster Captain Marvel is set to give the global box office a huge $350 million (£266 million) boost upon its release this month (Mar19). Early estimates suggest the Disney film, starring Brie Larson as the comic book superheroine, aka Car…

Marvel blockbuster Captain Marvel is set to give the global box office a huge $350 million (£266 million) boost upon its release this month (Mar19).

Early estimates suggest the Disney film, starring Brie Larson as the comic book superheroine, aka Carol Danvers, and Samuel L. Jackson, who returns to the Marvel franchise as Nick Fury, will pick up a whopping $150 million (£114 million) debut in North America and another $200 million (£152 million) overseas.

That figure will beat the international opening of director Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman by well over $100 million (£76 million), as well as blockbuster debuts for Justice League and Deadpool 2, while coming in about $20 million (£15 million) under last year’s worldwide box office start for Black Panther.

One thing to note, according to Deadline, is the fact Captain Marvel’s advance ticket sales are passing figures hit by last April’s global juggernaut Avengers: Infinity War. Captain Marvel is winning over the critics too, scoring an 86 per cent certified fresh rating on reviews website Rotten Tomatoes.

The new film’s Hollywood world premiere took place on Monday night (04Mar19), and the movie will open in the coming days, setting new Imax records around the world by opening on 1,360 of the big screens.

Captain Marvel will launch in France, Italy and Korea on Wednesday, and Germany, Russia, Brazil, the U.S. and Australia on Thursday.

The U.K., Spain, Mexico and China will launch the movie on Friday.

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Patty Jenkins weighs up Wonder Woman 2’s Oscars chances

Patty Jenkins doesn’t want to get caught up in Oscars chat about her upcoming Wonder Woman sequel.The film, which is currently in the post-production stage, will be a follow-up to 2017’s hugely successful Wonder Woman, which saw Gal Gadot take on t…

Patty Jenkins doesn’t want to get caught up in Oscars chat about her upcoming Wonder Woman sequel.

The film, which is currently in the post-production stage, will be a follow-up to 2017’s hugely successful Wonder Woman, which saw Gal Gadot take on the titular role.

And after Black Panther received an Oscars nod in the Best Film category, people are beginning to wonder if Wonder Woman 1984 could achieve the same feat.

“I don’t want to think about it because I find that it’s too mysterious to get caught up in. I am super happy for Black Panther and I absolutely believe that more movies that are mainstream, particularly when they’re celebrated and critically reviewed and successful, why would they not be included in that form?” Patty mused to ET.

“But yet, I also am continually confused and alternately disappointed by other things that don’t get celebrated. You just have to do the greatest work that you do and know that the success of – my success of the film with the audience is the one thing I can really kind of control. How other people celebrate it or receive it, it’s great when they do but I have no idea where the Academy’s at with that.”

Wonder Woman marked a return to the big screen for Patty, who hadn’t directed a cinema movie since 2003’s Monster.

And as well as her work on the sequel, the 47-year-old has also recently gone back to her TV roots with new series I Am the Night, which reunites her with Wonder Woman star Chris Pine.

“I honestly can’t imagine why we wouldn’t (keep working together),” she said of Chris. “We definitely have a passion for doing it. I think it’s a combination of I’m a director, I want to do work that delights me and thrills me, and he does both. He thrills me with his skills and he delights me as a person. You get that marriage of like, you can do whatever I need you to do and we have fun getting there together.”

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James McAvoy hired Wonder Woman trainer to get ripped for Glass

James McAvoy found his washboard abs with the help of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman trainer for his new movie Glass.The actor portrays a character with 24 distinct personalities in director M. Night Shyamalan’s latest thriller and he concentrated on the Bea…

James McAvoy found his washboard abs with the help of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman trainer for his new movie Glass.

The actor portrays a character with 24 distinct personalities in director M. Night Shyamalan’s latest thriller and he concentrated on the Beast persona to get in his best shape for the role.

“I was like, ‘OK. I’m going to have my shirt off, aren’t I?’ And (Shyamalan) was like, ‘Yep,’” McAvoy recalls to USA Today of his motivation to get fit for the role. “I knew I had to get down in the gym and kind of back up his (character’s Beast) name. I had to give a little bit of aesthetic credibility to that fear that he’s supposed to inspire in people.”

To reach his athletic goals, McAvoy worked with Swedish personal trainer Magnus Lygdback, who trained Gadot for the Wonder Woman 1984 sequel and Alicia Vikander for Tomb Raider.

The 39 year old ate five meals a day and worked out between five and six times per week while training to play Beast, admitting his schedule was gruelling: “You’re in every day working your socks off (acting), and you’re also in the gym at five in the morning and then pretty much working out on set whenever you are the Beast to get you all pumped up and get your veins popping and get the relevant muscles swollen for the shot.”

After working so extensively to maintain a chiselled frame, James now has a new appreciation for those Hollywood hunks who are known for their consistently fit physiques.

“This was a real massive, extreme example of that for me in a way that I’ve never done before,” he explains. “(Actors) like The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) and Hugh Jackman and Chris Hemsworth – the guys who keep themselves in that condition every day – that dedication is incredible.”

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Wonder Woman release date pushed back

Wonder Woman fans will have to wait an extra seven months to see the second instalment in the franchise, after movie bosses confirmed the release date has been pushed back.Wonder Woman 1984 was due to hit screens in November 2019, but Warner Bros execu…

Wonder Woman fans will have to wait an extra seven months to see the second instalment in the franchise, after movie bosses confirmed the release date has been pushed back.

Wonder Woman 1984 was due to hit screens in November 2019, but Warner Bros executives have decided on a June 2020 release date instead.

Lead actress Gal Gadot broke the news to her fans on her social media accounts, revealing she was excited by the schedule shake-up.

“Super excited to announce that, thanks to the changing landscape, we are able to put Wonder Woman back to its rightful home. June 5, 2020. Be there or be square!!!” she wrote, referring to the original film’s release over the summer months last year (17).

Warner Bros president of domestic distribution Jeff Goldstein echoed Gal’s sentiment in an official statement.

“We had tremendous success releasing the first Wonder Woman film during the summer, so when we saw an opportunity to take advantage of the changing competitive landscape, we did. This move lands the film exactly where it belongs,” he said.

Director Patty Jenkins shared Gal’s Twitter message with her own followers, adding: “Our weekend. Feels like home. Can’t wait for the day to come to share so many people’s great work, blowing me away every day.”

The official release date for the comic book follow up is 5 June. Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Kristen Wiig and Pedro Pascal co-star, with reports that original Wonder Woman Lynda Carter, who played the superhero on the small screen in the ‘70s, will also be making an appearance.

Moving into the slot left by Wonder Woman 1984 is the rebooted Charlie’s Angels franchise, which features Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska as the three detectives.

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