Bleats

Elizabeth Banks' Salty Defence Of 'Charlie's Angels' Flopping Completely Misses The Point

It's been a bad morning, Charlie.

After a big marketing push lasting months, Elizabeth Banks’ glitzy Hollywood reboot of Charlie’s Angels starring Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska has landed with an epic thud instead of the heavenly triumph everyone was expecting.

Coming in with middling reviews and an even more depressing box-office haul that’ll almost certainly result in a loss for those who put up moolah for the film.

Needless to say that Charlie’s Angels was a disappointment and it’ll undoubtedly bring up questions over why the film was even made, but Elizabeth Banks has some strong words to detractors questioning the decision to make it, regardless of it flopping (via The Wall Street Journal):

“You’ve had 37 Spider-Man movies and you’re not complaining! I think women are allowed to have one or two action franchises every 17 years —I feel totally fine with that.”

Not sure if Spider-Man is the best example to drop here if you’re trying to defend Charlie’s Angels.

She’s not entirely wrong here – we have had quite a few Spider-Man movies in the last couple of years and the quality has varied wildly. But no disrespect, Elizabeth, you seem to be missing the point as to why Charlie’s Angels failed and it has nothing to do with feminism or women getting action franchises.

It’s a simple case of supply and demand. Despite all the criticism, many people still want more Spider-Man whereas not many people (relatively speaking) wanted a new Charlie’s Angels with Kristen Stewart as a lead. The simple question we need to ask of any film is “does this need to exist” and it’s hard to make a good case in this instance.

Throw in factors like fewer people going to movies in favour of streaming at home, reboot-istis, and a troubled production that resulted in a poor script, the chances of this reboot of Charlie’s Angels succeeded was pretty low.

We also need to remember the major reason the older Charlie’s Angels movies worked – and those weren’t as big as what you remember them to be either given how expensive they were – is because of the combined star power of Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu at the time rather than the quality of the films.

And let’s not forget the failed 2011 TV reboot of Charlie’s Angels, which came and went with barely a peep.

Sorry to break it to you like this.

This isn’t to say that filmmakers shouldn’t make action movies and franchises for women. Hit films like Halloween, Wonder Woman, and Captain Marvel shows that films starring female badarses do indeed draw in crowds.

It’s just that for this particular case, Charlie’s Angels isn’t the winning horse Elizabeth Banks thought it was.

Star Wars Nearly Got A Black Han Solo Had George Lucas Not Gotten Cold Feet

Missed opportunity.

Han Solo is arguably the most popular character in Star Wars, so much so that Harrison Ford visibly resents all the attention he gets for breathing life into the half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder. But had the cogs of history turned slightly differently, George Lucas would’ve not only cast someone else as Han Solo, the character would’ve been black.

In Empire‘s “Secret History of Star Wars” feature, it was revealed that George Lucas wasn’t looking for anyone with any specific background or ethnicity for the role of Han Solo and he wound up seeing a lot of people for the role.

One of the people Lucas saw for the role was a young black actor by the name Glynn Turman and was impressed by the guy’s audition. From Turman’s point-of-view, he thought Lucas was “very professional” and decidedly not “Hollywoodish,” which made his audition easy.

All the pieces were in place for Turman to get the role of Han Solo… except George Lucas got cold feet.

That’s an understatement.

Due to how he envisioned the relationship between Princess Leia and Han, Lucas got nervous that controversy would arise from having an interracial relationship onscreen. This is pretty preposterous nowadays but keep in mind that the 70s were a much different time and folks weren’t quite as open-minded back then.

Lucas worried the controversy that may arise from seeing a black Han Solo getting together with a white Princess Leia will overshadow Star Wars as a whole and so he decided to cast Harrison Ford instead just to be on the safe side.

Yeah, yeah don’t get cocky, kid.

It’s an absolute shame we never got the black Han Solo George Lucas wanted as it would’ve made Star Wars one of the more progressive sci-fi films ever, but his concerns were understandable given the context (again, it was the 70s).

Still, we’re left with what might’ve been had Glynn Turman got to play that scruffy-looking nerf herder instead of Harrison Ford. He’ll likely be far more grateful and less grumpy when asked about the character compared to Ford that’s for sure.

Never Forget When JK Rowling Likened Being A Werewolf To Having AIDS

There are many, far better analogies to use and you go with that one?

JK Rowling has done a pretty good job at George Lucas-ing all the goodwill she built up from the Harry Potter series. While she has said questionable things about the series over the years, some funny and some less so, the one that still sticks out was when she compared those suffering from lycanthropy (i.e being a werewolf) in Harry Potter to those suffering from HIV/AIDS in the real world.

The only appropriate reaction.

Back in 2016, Rowling dropped a book of Harry Potter trivia, titled Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies, and it contained a very interesting tidbit about how Remus Lupin, the series’ token werewolf character, was meant to be a metaphor for the stigma faced by those suffering from diseases like HIV/AIDS.

“Lupin’s condition of lycanthropy was a metaphor for those illnesses that carry a stigma, like HIV and AIDS. All kinds of superstitions seem to surround blood-borne conditions, probably due to taboos surrounding blood itself. The wizarding community is as prone to hysteria and prejudice as the Muggle one, and the character of Lupin gave me a chance to examine those attitudes.”

Okay, I see what you’re trying to say there, JK Rowling, but how could you not see the issue with that particular metaphor?

Look, we’re confused too.

HIV/AIDS is a disease spread by bodily fluids that suppresses the body’s immune system. It is something folks have to treat and monitor every day, and there’s still a big of a negative stigma about the disease among uninformed people.

Being a werewolf means you can live a normal life except for whenever there’s a full moon, in which case you’d turn into a vicious, uncontrollable beast who could infect others with lycanthropy by biting others. Oh, and many people in Harry Potter hate werewolves.

I can see how JK Rowling is trying to compare the negative stigma of being a werewolf to the negative stigma of having HIV/AIDS, but using a fictional beast that infects others through biting as a metaphor perhaps isn’t the best idea.

If Rowling wanted to talk about AIDS and the stigma associated with it, she could’ve just given a character AIDS instead of going through the trouble of making someone a werewolf and explaining to fans what it all actually means.

Probably should’ve gone back to the drawing board on this metaphor, JK Rowling.

Unsurprisingly, folks on the internet weren’t too happy about this little metaphor and JK Rowling responded on Twitter by, well, side-stepping the issue a bit before essentially saying “this has been known for a while, you just missed it.”

Perhaps is a good thing she has resorted to revealing oddball facts like how wizards and witches dispose of their bowel movements because god forbid we get another problematic JK Rowling metaphor.

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