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What Are We Mad About This Week?!: It Chapter Two, a new Face/Off, and more 007 debate
Welcome to What Are We Mad About This Week?!, a new SYFY WIRE series that rounds up the biggest geek culture uproars of the week and adds a little bit of context for those who missed out.
There's no denying that the internet, no matter how you feel about it, is a breeding ground for debate in all forms. Not all of it is healthy, but we're looking to fill you in on all the latest, best debates so you can pretend to know what your friends are talking about.
This week, we're looking at all the changes to Stephen King's It for It Chapter Two, the news that there's a Face/Off reboot on the way, and the ongoing debate over who should hold the next title of Bond, James Bond.
Let's dive in!
01. It Chapter Two...
In peak "you can't make everyone happy" news is the premiere of It Chapter Two, director Andy Muschietti's highly anticipated follow-up to 2017's It. The issues people have with the sequel are myriad and vary from complaints about the length to the ending to Pennywise not being a good queer ally (the internet contains multitudes), but I will try to explain the biggest issues as succinctly as possible here for you.
Obviously, spoilers for It Chapter Two are below:
First up is the ending, which changes the classic novel ending from a simple battle of wills to a CGI funhouse battle against an overgrown Pennywise. To defeat him, the Losers Club ends up insulting him to death (which, for the record, is definitely how I'll eat it one of these days). Some fans of King's novel were none too happy about how showy the end was.
There's also the bit about how in the novel, the Losers Club members actually end up forgetting one another again, as the novel uses memory as a weapon throughout. In the movie, the group seems to remain friends after defeating It, resulting in a much happier ending (I, for one, like a happy ending, but can't necessarily begrudge book enthusiasts for their woes).
Among the other changes for folks to consider are the way Stan Uris' suicide is framed (his suicide is viewed as heroic), Mike Hanlon's further involvement in the storyline (the one person of color is actually on screen for longer), and making Richie Tozier queer (and implying that he was always in love with his friend Eddie Kaspbrak).
There are plenty of threads to poke at, which is great because art is made to be analyzed! Or you could be mad about none of this and just enjoy the movie, which is also great! Take your pick!
02. There’s a new Face/Off in the works...
The same person who wrote the new Sonic the Hedgehog movie, Oren Uziel, has been tapped by Paramount Pictures to write a new Face/Off movie. Y'know, Face/Off. The 1997 movie starring Nicolas Cage and John Travolta. The one with the insane action sequences and questionable deepfake face-swapping tech.
Yes. I know.
Among all the arguments about potentially sullying the memory of a cult genre flick and no one being able to replace Cage and Travolta (neither actor has reportedly signed on to be in the film because no one has reportedly signed onto this yet-to-be-written film) are continued debates about why we, as a society, cannot let things lie and why we keep rebooting movies and series rather than coming up with original scripts.
That, I couldn't tell ya. But in a culture where people write lists on the internet about celebrity doppelgangers, something about a new Face/Off seems weirdly pertinent. The face-swapping tech may not even be necessary.
But you do have to admit the face-swapping will look so much better in the new movie. Just sayin'.
03. Pierce Brosnan said he supports a female 007…
On Monday, The Hollywood Reporter ran an interview with former James Bond actor (and Meryl Streep's one true love in Mamma Mia!) Pierce Brosnan. In said interview, he was asked about the future of the James Bond series. Brosnan, bless his soul, threw his hat into the ever-contentious "should James Bond always be a white dude?" ring.
"I think we've watched the guys do it for the last 40 years, get out of the way, guys, and put a woman up there. I think it would be exhilarating, it would be exciting,” Brosnan told THR.
People had things to say.
Just as when fervor about Idris Elba potentially taking over the Bond legacy reached a peak (he isn't, by the way), the average argument about why 007 should always be a white man goes a little something like this: Ian Fleming wrote the character that way in his novels, and why would we change a character so enmeshed in popular culture now after he's been this way onscreen for over half a century? (Granted, the arguments usually use harsher language than I just did, but you get the gist.)
Well, times change and so do standards for diversity onscreen. Change can be nice! Some people have pointed out, rightfully so, that the 007 role is a title — a title that can go to anyone beyond James Bond, even a woman or a person of color or even another white man who has nothing to do with Mr. Bond. So there's that.
And while some people made jokes about making things fair by replacing Lara Croft with a man as a kind of retaliation (Indiana Jones exists, friends), there's really no easy answer here. Not that that will stop people from being mad.