Game of Thrones pulled off another epic shocker last night, and the writer, showrunners, and actor at the center of the mayhem discuss “The Lion and the Rose.”

Yes ladies and lords, it’s true. King Joffrey Lannister Baratheon is dead, slain by the pen of George RR Martin.

Martin, the author of the A Song of Ice and Fire series upon which Game of Thrones is based, wrote the screenplay for last night’s episode. The author, who has now gotten to kill Joffrey off twice, spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the experience.

“I didn’t want [the story] to be unrelentingly bleak,” Martin says. “Every once in a while you have to give the good guys a victory.”

Within the structure of A Storm of Swords, the third book in the series, Martin says that “Joffrey’s death was in some ways a counterweight for readers to the death of Robb and Catelyn. It shows that yes, nobody is safe — sometimes the good guys win, sometimes the bad guys win.”

Martin is also full of praise for Jack Gleeson, the young Irish actor who brought the loathsome Joffrey to life.

“I think Jack was sensational,” Martin says. “He’s like the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet. He’s really bright and a fiercely intelligent young man… He created someone that everybody hates, and loves to hate, and that’s a considerable feat of acting.”

Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss also chimed in on what made Joffrey and Gleeson so unique.

“The thing about Joffrey is that typically your villain is such an alpha,” Benioff observed. “But Joffrey is actually this scared little kid, and if somebody stands up to him, he backs down in typical bully fashion. So what makes him so scary is he’s the ultimate spoiled boy who’s got unlimited power.”

Added Weiss, “far more often than an evil alpha male out to do evil for the sake of evil, bad things often come from people who are unfit to occupy positions of power, who find themselves in positions of power they are not suited for… For anybody who’s read history books or read the newspaper, that feels true.”

Gleeson, whose audition Benioff and Weiss sat in on as a curtesy, also heavily influenced the writers. “As he started speaking he changed our concept of what the character could be,” Benioff said. “I don’t think we expected to spend as much time with Joffrey until we cast Jack.”

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The showrunners also praised Gleeson’s performance in Joffrey’s final scene among the living. “So many other actors would have chosen a much more flashy route,” says Benioff. “He made it feel real as he always has… It’s a character you’ve despised for so long and wanted to see him killed, yet you’re seeing a young man — still a boy, really — choke to death, which is a horrible thing to witness.”

Gleeson himself, who also spoke to Entertainment Weekly, admitted that his purple-hued death scene was a bit of a challenge for him. “You want to do the scene and character justice. It’s a complicated scene; I’ve never had a death on screen before.”

Unlike most deaths of Game of Thrones, which play out with the aid of sword, arrow, or dagger, Joffrey’s demise is brutally biological. “You want it to look believable — the choking and the coughing,” Gleeson says. “It’s calming to know I’m in the great hands of [director] Alex Graves.”

The actor also says that he hopes fans have a mixed reaction to Joffrey’s extraordinary exit.

“There will be a delight that the person tormenting their favorite characters is gone,” he says, “but I would like to think there’s a certain sadness at the loss of the delight people take in hating a character like Joffrey.”

How do you feel about Joffrey’s death?

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Quiz: How well do you remember the 2007 Oscars?

3:32 pm EST, January 18, 2017

As the 89th Academy Awards approach, we take a trip back to 2007 to see how memorable the ceremony really was 10 years ago.

Ah, the Oscars. What a night. Glitz and glamour, lots of rich and beautiful people crying and thanking each other. What’s not to like?

Related: 2016 Oscars: Leo finally wins, Mad Max: Fury Road cleans up

Read full article

As the 89th Academy Awards approach, we take a trip back to 2007 to see how memorable the ceremony really was 10 years ago.

Ah, the Oscars. What a night. Glitz and glamour, lots of rich and beautiful people crying and thanking each other. What’s not to like?

Related: 2016 Oscars: Leo finally wins, Mad Max: Fury Road cleans up

In 10 years, will we look back at the 2017 Oscars and remember every detail of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling awkwardly accepting award after award for La La Land while the other nominees politely clap and try not to grit their teeth? Or will the event fade into distant memory?

Maybe we can get an answer to that question by dialling back the clock to 2007 and see just how clearly we remember the 79th Academy Awards.

How did you do? Tell us how well you remember the 79th Academy Awards in the comments!

The nominations for the 89th Academy Awards will be unveiled Tuesday, January 24.

You may know that one of those dogs-are-so-great-and-warm-our-hearts movies, A Dog’s Purpose, is hitting theaters very soon. Unfortunately, it’s now embroiled in controversy.

TMZ has released a video from the film’s Canadian set depicting a German Shepherd being forced into a fast-moving stream of water. As you can tell, the dog clearly does not want to go in it.

The most upsetting part of the video comes at the very end when we see the dog finally in the fake river but having trouble staying above water. The crew calls cut to rescue him/her.

Read full article

You may know that one of those dogs-are-so-great-and-warm-our-hearts movies, A Dog’s Purpose, is hitting theaters very soon. Unfortunately, it’s now embroiled in controversy.

TMZ has released a video from the film’s Canadian set depicting a German Shepherd being forced into a fast-moving stream of water. As you can tell, the dog clearly does not want to go in it.

The most upsetting part of the video comes at the very end when we see the dog finally in the fake river but having trouble staying above water. The crew calls cut to rescue him/her.

“Sources connected to production tell us eight outboard motors were used to churn the water and recreate a rushing river,” says TMZ. “The dog eventually got in the water — or was forced in — but was quickly submerged.”

At 1:28 in the below trailer you can see a scene that looks similar to what was being filmed in TMZ’s video:

Universal and their partners at Amblin told TMZ in a statement, “Fostering a safe environment and ensuring the ethical treatment of our animal actors was of the utmost importance to those involved in making this film and we will look into the circumstances surrounding this video.”

A Dog’s Purpose stars Dennis Quaid and Britt Robertson. It opens next Friday, January 27.

Update: Josh Gad, who voices a dog in the movie, issued the following statement on Instagram. He speaks highly of the film but says he finds the leaked video “disturbing.”

“While I do not know all of the details and cannot speak to the level of care and caution that went into this moment (as I was never on set for the marking of this film), I am shaken and sad to see any animal put in a situation against its will.”

Since apparently some of you did not see the statement I issued last night, here it is again.

A photo posted by Josh Gad (@joshgad) on

We’re suddenly way less interested in seeing this.

Moviegoers may be getting the Spidey we’ve all been hoping for! A new report reveals that Sony’s animated Spider-Man movie, set to hit theaters in 2018, will focus on the Miles Morales Spidey.

Update (January 18, 2017): Sony Animation confirmed on Wednesday, January 18 that their animated Spider-Man movie will star Miles Morales!

Read full article

Moviegoers may be getting the Spidey we’ve all been hoping for! A new report reveals that Sony’s animated Spider-Man movie, set to hit theaters in 2018, will focus on the Miles Morales Spidey.

Update (January 18, 2017): Sony Animation confirmed on Wednesday, January 18 that their animated Spider-Man movie will star Miles Morales!

Original story (May 2016): Heroic Hollywood, who has a good record of breaking superhero news, is the source behind the exciting development. As was previously announced, the animated Spider-Man movie will be produced by LEGO Movie helmers Phil Lord and Chris Miller. The duo are also set to direct the Star Wars Han Solo spinoff for Lucasfilm.

Who is Miles Morales? As we wrote in a lengthy tell-all about the character last year:

Miles Morales is the current Spider-Man in Marvel’s Ultimate Comics series. Introduced in 2011, Miles is a black-hispanic young man who, like Peter Parker, is a talented scientist and self-proclaimed nerd. However, unlike his predecessor, Morales steps into the superhero’s shoes at the surprisingly young age of 13.

Raised in Brooklyn, Miles was born into a family plagued by criminal activity. Before settling down with his wife Rio, Miles’s father Jefferson used to be crime partners with his brother Aaron (Miles’s uncle). However, where Jefferson tried to shrink away from the lifestyle, Aaron continues to embrace it — assuming the role of classic Marvel villain the Prowler. After pulling off a heist on Oscorp, Aaron unknowingly takes a genetically modified spider home with him. It is at Aaron’s house that Miles is bit by the spider and starts the transformation into Spider-Man.

Where Peter Parker relished the opportunity to become spidey, Miles is reluctant to enter the world of vigilantism. What’s more, his family’s criminal history causes him to question whether or not he can ever be a hero, or if evil is hardwired into him.

Oh, and one other cool thing about him: The guy is immortal, unlike the Peter Parker version of Spider-Man.

Related: Who is Miles Morales? We explain everything

The rumor mill was alive with chatter about the MCU’s Spidey being the Miles Morales version last year, but obviously those reports never panned out. The Peter Parker version of Spider-Man was introduced in Captain America: Civil War, played by Tom Holland. He’s getting his own spinoff film, Spider-Man: Homecoming, next year.

Telling the Miles Morales story on screen may be just the thing the animated Spider-Man movie needs in order for it to draw people into the theaters in December 2018. We’ve had enough Peter Parker stories!

2018 will be a great year for super hero diversity: Marvel’s Black Panther starring Chadwick Boseman will be released a few months earlier.