'Jump Street' hires 'Broad City' writers, expands to include all-female sequel
Credit: Sony Pictures

'Jump Street' hires 'Broad City' writers, expands to include all-female sequel

The most meta series in town just got meta-ier

There's something lovely about creating a movie franchise that seems dedicated to the sole purpose of making wicked fun of the entire idea of movie franchises, but then again, we should be getting used to Phil Lord and Chris Miller finding a fresh way into things.

There's been coverage today about the new "Jump Street" all-female sequel, with Lucia Aniello and Paul Downs onboard to write that film. That's good new. I think "Broad City" is a terrifically-written comedy, and if them writing the movie means there's any chance we'll see either Abbi or Ilana in the "Jump Street" film, that would be awesome.

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Aaron Taylor-Johnson perfected the skid for 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'
Credit: HitFix

Aaron Taylor-Johnson perfected the skid for 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'

And Elizabeth Olsen was eager to get into the action

When making a sequel to a successful film, one of the things that happens is the introduction of new characters.

When you're making a sequel to one of the most successful films of all time, though, the actors playing those new characters would be well within their rights to be completely terrified and overwhelmed by the experience.

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Why 1988 was the best year in movie history
Credit: Universal/Touchstone/Orion

Why 1988 was the best year in movie history

From 'Rain Man' to 'Roger Rabbit,' this was the year the '80s got it right

All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays.

While I tend to think of the '80s as a crassly commercial lull between the artistic adventurousness of the '70s and the independent experimentation of the '90s, there were things about the '80s that i hold dear in terms of what I love about movies. And if you're talking about the best of the '80s, the year that crystallized all the things the decade did well was 1988, a year that looks upon closer inspection like an embarrassment of riches.

One of my twenty favorite films of all time, as outlined in this article, was released in 1988, which automatically makes it a year worth closer consideration. The '80s may have begun with one of his strongest films, but the decade as a whole was a difficult one for Martin Scorsese, one of the most vital American filmmakers working at the time. His struggles to find a place in the '80s studio game make sense because he didn't make easy films to digest, and the '80s were all about easy to digest. It was the era of the highest of high concepts, and that just wasn't Scorsese. He made the year's most controversial film, and "The Last Temptation Of Christ" remains one of his finest hours, a powerful and adult movie that explores the inner life of someone who is said to be equal parts divine and human. It's a timeless film in look and style, and as soon as it was released, the controversy died down and the film was, sadly, not a hit.

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Paul Bettany and James Spader on bringing Ultron and the Vision to life
Credit: HitFix

Paul Bettany and James Spader on bringing Ultron and the Vision to life

Spader was determined to do as much as he could while playing the 'Avengers' bad guy

On the day I did all of my "Avengers" interviews, I had Toshi and Allen with me. They'd seen the movie the night before, and they were still on spring break, so they were there on the Disney lot with me. We walked into each room and they got to meet the various actors, and they were struck with a case of the shy that day that was sort of amazing considering how many people they've met over the years.

The funniest reaction they had, though, was in one of the very last rooms we went into, where Paul Bettany and James Spader were paired. I was very careful to talk around my reactions to The Vision in my review of "Avengers: Age Of Ultron," but I'll have plenty to say in the "Second Look" piece we'll publish at the start of next week. In short, I think he does great work, and I have no idea how Marvel plans to handle that character moving forward. They've just taken a big step forward into the hyper-weird, and I'm dying to see how long audiences will go along with them for what is getting increasingly comic bookie.

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The case of the missing Mae Whitman and 'Independence Day 2'
Credit: 20th Century Fox

The case of the missing Mae Whitman and 'Independence Day 2'

The 'Duff' star has been recast in the upcoming sequel. What could be the motive?

Before we begin, I want to make something very clear. Nothing I am about to say in any way negates the very good work Maika Monroe did in both "It Follows" and "The Guest," work which got her more attention and made her into the town's new It girl at the exact moment Fox was looking for someone to star in the new "Independence Day" sequel. I get why she was hired, and I wish Monroe well. I like her work, and I am not surprised Hollywood is eager to figure out how they can cast her in bigger films.

But on the same day that casting decision is announced, I get an e-mail about the upcoming home video release of "The Duff," a film that stars Mae Whitman. The film opened to a $10.8 million weekend, and it's earned around $34 million for CBS Films/Lionsgate so far. I mention this only so that I can point out that "It Follows" and "The Guest" together only total around $15 million at the box-office. And I mention this only so I can ask the question from a position of sold financial footing…

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'Wild Tales' filmmaker set to write 'Six Billion Dollar Man' for Mark Wahlberg
Credit: Universal Home Video

'Wild Tales' filmmaker set to write 'Six Billion Dollar Man' for Mark Wahlberg

Peter Berg will direct what just got a whole lot more interesting

As soon as I walked out of "Wild Tales" at Cannes, I started wondering who the first studio would be to hire the filmmaker to make a big American movie. From just one film, it is clear right away that he's good at drama, suspense, and comedy, and he has an aggressive visual style that works whether he's staging two people having a conversation or a giant CGI sight gag involving a jumbo jet.

But the real strength of "Wild Tales" is the screenplay, a witty and savage anthology piece that lays bare quite a bit about Szifron's feelings towards his home country, Argentina, and the state of that particular union. As good as Szifron is behind the camera, he's equally gifted at the keyboard.

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From 'Ultron' to 'Aloha': HitFix's ultimate guide to 2015's summer movies
Credit: Universal/Marvel/Warner Bros

From 'Ultron' to 'Aloha': HitFix's ultimate guide to 2015's summer movies

Not just what you should be excited about, but why

When I was in high school, "Premiere" magazine made its US debut, and I still remember finding that first issue on the stands with "Dragnet" on the cover. For many years after that, "Premiere" was my favorite film magazine, bar none.

One of the best things about the magazine, particularly in its prime, was the way they put together their Summer Movie Preview issue each year. It wasn't just because they put together a comprehensive list of everything that would be in theaters during the season, but that they wrote about things from a position of authority. They knew things. They offered real insights. By the time I finished reading their Summer Movie Preview, I felt like I had a real handle on not only what I wanted to see, but just how it all came together.

As a result of that, when we put our own Summer Movie Preview together, I feel strongly that it should be both thorough and original, offering you perspective or information that you won't find anywhere else. HitFix's editor emeritus, Greg Ellwood, joined me in ranking the films and writing them up, and now we're ready to share our take on what you can expect from the summer of 2015, which gets underway Friday when "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" opens in the US, following its massive triumphant roll-out in several overseas markets.

The main thing I hope you take away from reading this is that no matter what your movie tastes, there's something out there for you this summer. I know people love to complain about remakes and sequels, but there are so many different types of things on this year's list that it seems to me you'd have to be actively looking to feel excluded to actually take any offense. Here's hoping everyone makes it out of the summer as excited as they are going in.

CHECK OUT THE 2015 SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEW RIGHT HERE!

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Simon Kinberg clarifies on 'Fantastic Four' and Reed Richards: 'He stretches'
Credit: 20th Century Fox

Simon Kinberg clarifies on 'Fantastic Four' and Reed Richards: 'He stretches'

Plus find out what a strong influence on the look of 'X-Men: Apocalypse' is

Earlier today, Donna Dickens posted a piece about something she read on the official "Fantastic Four" website that Fox created for the new movie. In particular, there was a phrase that she posted about that confused her and that led to a fairly heated and instant conversation online.

A few minutes ago, I hung up the phone with Simon Kinberg, who is a co-writer/producer on the film, because he wanted to make something very clear: Reed Richards will stretch.

So now that our long national nightmare is over, I thought we'd chat with Kinberg to figure out what happened and to check in on the film, which has played its cards fairly close to its chest so far. I told Kinberg that I found the initial website copy confusing more than anything else.

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Joss Whedon was left speechless by Paul Bettany's Vision in 'Age Of Ultron'
Credit: HitFix

Joss Whedon was left speechless by Paul Bettany's Vision in 'Age Of Ultron'

We talk to the geek icon about his last trip into the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Joss Whedon's tired.

There is a certain kind of fatigue that is particular to the directors of these giant mega-budget high stakes sequels, and if you end up talking to one of those directors, you can see it in their eyes. They're zombies. I remember talking to Gore Verbinski near the end of the third "Pirates" film, and it was like he was having an out of body experience.

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Yep, that's pretty much exactly what we thought Jared Leto as Joker would be
Credit: Warner Bros.

Yep, that's pretty much exactly what we thought Jared Leto as Joker would be

Lots of tattoos and self-modification make this version of Mr. J stand out

In what is sure to generate a ton of conversation, David Ayer has released a photo of the full Joker look for "Suicide Squad" via Twitter, and it's certainly striking.

Jared Leto is playing the character this time, and they've been teasing fans now for almost a full month with hints and glimpses. There was a paparazzi photo earlier this week of Leto on-set, showing someone a photo on his phone, and it looked like a finished Joker image.

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