3 Things You Didn’t Know About Jupiter Ascending

Jupiter Ascending has not been a critically praised film, neither has it been a success at the box office. But the science fiction film has already begun its transformation into a beloved cult film, despite only being released in February of 2015; online blogs, fan-created works and other material dedicated to the film have been circulating since its release, despite the negative reviews. One of the reasons for the film’s success with fans may be its performances—particularly that of Eddie Redmayne, who’s over the top performance has been described as the “strangest, yet best” performance in the film. The following are 3 unique trivia facts about the film that may just surprise you.

Eddie Redmayne’s character has a more complex past in the script

There are numerous references in the film to Channing Tatum’s character Caine tearing out the throat of another character, although the victim is never mentioned. Many fans have speculated that Eddie Redmayne’s character was the victim, but it is never confirmed in the final cut of the film.

However, in the earlier drafts of the film, the script makes it clear that it is Eddie Redmayne’s character—Balem—who was the victim of the attack. This is reflected in the costume choices for the character, which feature high collars, as well as Eddie Redmayne’s raspy voice in the role.

The original script was a “sci-fi fairytale.”

In the original script, Mila Kunis’s character Jupiter Jones is not the genetic reincarnation of a deceased space queen. She is instead a superior genetic copy of the queen who, because of her superior genes, has the right to challenge the queen and take her place. In the original script, the queen was not only alive, but the primary antagonist of the film—it is the queen who sends assassins after Jupiter, much like the fairy tale Snow White, where a queen sends a huntsman to kill a girl because she has surpassed her in beauty.

The original script was also considerably longer than the 2-hour film; the script had a projected running time of almost 3 and a half hours.

Natalie Portman was slated to star in the film

The role of Jupiter Jones was originally going to be played by Natalie Portman, who ended up dropping out of the film for unknown reasons. Several other actors were considered for the role before Mila Kunis was ultimately cast.

 

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How Carrie Underwood Saved the Live TV Musical Special

NBC’s The Sound of Music Live was a truly unprecedented ratings success. The ratings for the special live musical program were the highest NBC had seen since the finale of ER almost a decade prior. And the ratings for the rerun of the special broke records for reruns—another astonishing feat!

The ratings for The Sound of Music were sky-high, but the reviews for the production were anything but glowing. Most reviews unanimously agreed that the star of the show—namely, country music star Carrie Underwood—were a complete dud for almost the entire performance. Especially when compared to the performances by the supporting cast, almost all of whom had experience on Broadway and in the theater.

Was
Carrie Underwood’s performance less than stellar? From most points of view, yes. Her vocals are exceptional when she is singing country music, but she did not have the training necessary to sing the score of The Sound of Music—and it doesn’t help that the music is most well connected to the pipes of Julie Andrews, whose soaring soprano in the role will never be forgotten. Her acting was amateur compared to the experienced members of the cast, and many critics likened her stiff and awkward performance to that of a high schooler in their school play.

Despite the fact that her performance was almost universally criticized, fans of live TV musical specials should be thanking Carrie Underwood. Why? Because it was Carrie Underwood who made the special ratings smash. Underwood has an extensive fan base in the country music genre, and in fact the bulk of the high ratings for the special came from Carrie’s home state—not likely a coincidence!

Without the high ratings of The Sound of Music Live, NBC would have never greenlit their next live musical: Peter Pan Live based on the musical originally written for Mary Martin. The production values of Peter Pan Live were even higher than the Sound of Music, and the production team went the extra mile by adding in new content and even bringing in the daughter of the original composer to write new songs for the show. And although the ratings of Peter Pan Live weren’t as good as The Sound of Music, they were successful enough that NBC (and other networks) has announced it will be doing either The Music Man or The Wiz for its live musical of 2015.

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A Quick Guide to the Awards of Beyonce

Beyoncé is one of the most successful musicians in the past several decades. She is well known for her impressive vocals, award winning albums, chart topping singles, popular clothing and design lines, and even her occasional foray into film acting. Beyoncé has won dozens of awards throughout her career for many reasons: her fashion design, her music, her acting, her humanitarian efforts, and even her work in journalism. The following is a quick and handy guide to some of the most notable awards that Beyoncé has earned so far in her career.

Humanitarian Awards

Beyoncé is best known for her singing, but she should also be known for her humanitarian efforts. Beyoncé frequently donates to charities and other foundations and she has received nominations for several humanitarian-related awards. In 2008, she won the International Pediatric Hall of Fame award from the Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Music Awards

Beyoncé is best known for her music and has won many prestigious music awards for her albums, vocal performances and music videos.

Her Grammy Award wins include the Grammy Awards for Best R&B song (2001, 2004, 2010, 2015); Best Contemporary R&B Album (2004, 2007); and Best R&B Performance (2015).

Her American Music Awards include the International Artist Award in2007; Favorite Soul/R&B Female Artist in 2009, Best Soul/R&B Female Artist in 2011, and Best Soul/R&B Album in 2014.

Her Billboard Music Awards include New Female Artist of 2003, New R&B Artist of 2003, Female Artist of the Decade in 2009, Billboard Woman of the Year Award in 2009, billboard Millennium Award in 2011, and Top R&B Album in 2012.

Her MTV Video Music Awards include Best Female Video in 2003, Best Choreography in Video in 2003, Best Female Video in 2004, and Video of the Year in 2009, Best Choreography in 2009, and Best Video with a Social Message in 2014.

Retail/Fashion Awards

Beyoncé isn’t best known for her work in the fashion and design industry, but she has received numerous awards for her clothing and perfume lines. Her perfume ‘Heat’ was especially successful and won her numerous nominations and awards. Her fashion awards include the Best Feminine Perfume from the Academia Del Parfume for ‘Heat,’ Best Fragrance of the year in 2011 from the CEW Beauty Awards, again for ‘Heat’; Best Fragrance from the Dutch Drugstore Awards for ‘Heat’; and the Gold Award from the Design of the Times Awards for ‘Heat.’

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4 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About the Music in Frozen

Like Disney’s other animated fairy tale films, Frozen was written as a musical; the music of Frozen, like the film itself, is beloved by Disney fans young and old and has spent multiple weeks at the top of the music charts. The music of Frozen has not only sold soundtracks, but musical merchandise as well—such as singing dolls, music boxes, and talking books. But how much do you really know about the music of Frozen? Let’s take a look at 4 facts that might just surprise you!

“Let It Go” changed the course of the film

The original concept for “Frozen” was to have Elsa be a villainous character, in counterpoint to her innocent sister Anna. This all changed when the producers of the film were given the demo of Let It Go to listen to; they immediately decided that Elsa would be a much more interesting character if she were not a villain, but a misunderstood young woman with powers beyond her control.

The film did have to go through some rewrites before it could be used, however. One line in particular was banned by the producers—“Couldn’t keep it in, God knows I tried” had to be changed to “heaven knows I tried.”

Idina Menzel auditioned for a different Disney princess

Idina Menzel, who made waves with her performance as the singing and speaking roles for Elsa, auditioned for the role of Rapunzel in Tangled several years prior. She didn’t get the role, but it was her audition for Tangled that earned her the role of Elsa.

Almost 1/3 of the film is musical

Of the films 109 minutes, almost 30 are musical!

Several songs didn’t make it into the final film

There are many songs which were ultimately cut from the final film, including songs that were leftover from previous incarnations of the Frozen storyline. Among the deleted songs areSpring Pageant, a song originally song by a young Elsa and Anna about a prophecy; Life’s Too Short, a witty and satirical duet between Elsa and Anna that was replaced with the reprise of For the First Time in Forever; and a song called More Than Just a Spare, which was written for a subplot that was cut from the film. The subplot detailed how Anna was seen as the “spare” while Elsa was the “heir” to the kingdom.

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Things You Didn’t Know About The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything is a critically acclaimed, award-winning and Academy Award nominated film that stars Eddie Redmayne as the famous Stephen Hawking. Redmayne’s performance in the film has earned him several awards, in addition to an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his performance. The film was a critically success and saw success in the domestic and international box offices as well; the following are 4 interesting facts that you may not know about The Theory of Everything.

Stephen Hawking enjoyed Redmayne’s performance

Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking
Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking

Eddie Redmayne played the real life Stephen Hawking in the film. Hawking, who was diagnosed with ALS in his early 20s, watched the film and emailed the director (James Marsh) with his thoughts. He noted that there were moments in the film where he “thought he was watching himself.”

Stephen Hawking’s voice is copyrighted

The distinct voice of Stephen Hawking, made possible by a machine which uses a computer generated voice, is actually copyrighted. The filmmakers had to get permission from Hawking to use his copyrighted voice in the film, which they deemed necessary for the film’s realism, as any differences between the film’s Hawking generated voice and the real Hawking’s generated voice would be immediately noticed by audiences.

Eddie Redmayne spent time with Stephen Hawking

Theory of everything
Theory of everything

Actor Eddie Redmayne met with Stephen Hawking once before production began on the film. Redmayne spent three hours with Hawking, although according to Redmayne they did not talk much. “I just didn’t feel like I could ask him intimate things,” said the actor. He later went on to interview 40 different ALS patients in order to get a better understanding of the progression of the disease, as well as how the disease affected them emotionally, mentally and physically.

Eddie Redmayne’s performance as very physical

Eddie Redmayne’s performance as the gradually degenerating Stephen Hawking required a lot of physical contortion and precision. He practiced in front of a mirror for hours to get the right amount of contortion in his body. Eddie Redmayne also met with a special trainer who helped him prepare his body for the stress and, despite this preparation; the actor says that he suffered from back troubles and pain during the film. He reports that he would often sit motionless in between takes to keep himself in character. “I was obsessive,” the actor later admitted. “I’m not sure it was healthy.”

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Other Disney Films That Could Use a “Maleficent” Spin

Maleficent was Disney’s first foray into the concept of “fractured fairy tales” that, rather than twist an existing fairy tale, twisted their own animated interpretation of a fairy tale. The film was considered a critical and box office risk due to the fact that Disney’s Sleeping Beauty is one of their most beloved fairy tales, and a new interpretation of the characters and story could be poorly received by its many fans. However, the film was a surprise hit that not only made records in both domestic and international box office sales, was well received by critics and well received by most Disney fans.

With the success of Maleficent, Disney has announced that they may be creating new live action “twists” on their stories in the future. Which Disney films could do well with a “Maleficent” spin? Let’s take a look!

Tangled

Although Disney’s Tangled is a fairly recent film, there is still plenty of room for re-interpretation, especially if Disney decides to use Mother Gothel as an original character. The “spun” version of Tangled could focus on how Mother Gothel found the flower that gave her the power of eternal youth, which would potentially make her a more understandable (if not more sympathetic) character. Like Maleficent, the film could focus on the relationship between two women—in this case, Mother Gothel and Rapunzel; or even Mother Gothel and the queen, if they decided to alter the story a bit.

The Little Mermaid

Disney may already be planned a fractured book version of Ursula’s story, but since The Little Mermaid is so beloved, they may be wise to adapt this upcoming novel into a film.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves is the film that saved Disney and arguably changed the world of animated films forever. A re-interpreted version of this fairy tale could definitely be a good choice for Disney, especially if they manage to work the magic they did with Maleficent, and pay just enough homage to the original without making it a direct live action adaptation. For this “spun story,” they could go the most obvious route and focus on the Evil Queen—or they could go in a completely different direction and focus on a character who is often overlooked; in other words, the Prince in the story, or even the Dwarves!

 

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Breaking Bad

AMC’s Breaking Bad is one of the most successful shows of the 21st century. The show routinely earned high ratings, even in its later seasons, and it took home numerous nominations and awards for its writing, direction and, of course, its stellar cast. The show has even inspired a spin-off series which may be coming in 2015. But there are still many things that you don’t know about Breaking Bad; the following are 5 interesting trivia facts about AMC’s Breaking Bad.

Jesse was meant to be killed off early on

Showrunner Vince Gilligan revealed in the recorded audio commentary for the DVD release of season 1 that the character of Jesse was originally meant to die very early–in fact, he was originally written as dying at the end of season 1. However, the writers decided to alter the character’s fate after filming began and they saw Aaron Paul’s performance as the character.

The characters really smoke (in a way)

When characters are shown smoking meth on the show, the actors are actually smoking–just not illegal drugs. The actors are smoking “fake meth” created with sugar or, in some cases, rock candy. They do not actually inhale the smoke, however.

RJ Mitte really has cerebral palsy

Walter Jr, played by RJ Mitte, is depicted as having cerebral palsy in the show. Mitte actually has cerebral palsy; however, his condition is not as intense as the character in the show, and he had to learn how to act more affected by cerebral palsy for filming.

Other actors were considered for Walter White

Bryan Cranston was not the first actor considered for Walter White. In fact, he was not considered a front-runner by both Sony and AMC, due to the fact that his most recent role was the very comedic one of the dad on Malcolm in the Middle. Other actors considered for the role included John Cusack and Matthew Broderick. Ultimately, of course, Cranston was cast.

The show uses color to great affect

The show frequently uses colors to represent the characters and even their morality. For example, Jesse typically wears yellow and red–except when he is in recovery from drugs, when he wears gray to represent his ambiguity. Walter is shown wearing green because, according to the writers, he is “stuck between” his two lives as a family man and a drug lord.

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4 Things You Didn’t ‘Know About House of Cards

Netflix’s popular political drama House of Cards is about to enter its third season, and many fans can’t wait to get more of this award-winning, thrilling and engaging political show. Kevin Spacey recently won the Golden Globe award for his performance in the series, which is one of Netflix’s most popular original shows. How much do you really know about House of Cards? Let’s look at 4 things you didn’t know about this award winning series.

Two actors are married in real life

Michael Gill, who plays President Garrett Walker, and Jayne Atkinson, who plays Secretary of State Cathy Durant, are actually married! The show’s frontrunner David Fincher had no idea that they were a couple until the show’s editing team was putting together the credits for the episode where Durant first appeared.

Kate Mara had final say in casting Lucas Goodwin

Kate Mara was cast as Zoe Barnes, the ruthless journalist who isn’t afraid to stop at nothing to get the information–and the headlines–that she wants. Mara was given the final say in who was cast as her co-worker (and sometimes lover) Lucas Goodwin due to the fact that the two would need to have an exceptional amount of chemistry together for the characters to really work. It was Mara who ultimately decided on Sebastian Arcelus, who was (until his role in the series) best known for his roles on Broadway, including a long-running role in Wicked: the Musical.

Rachel wasn’t meant to be a developed character

Rachel Posner, a young prostitute played by Rachel Brosnahan, was not meant to be more than an occasional recurring character without any development. However, Beau Willimon decided he wanted to give the character a much bigger and more developed role after he met Rachel Brosnahan in person. He subsequently rewrote the character and included her in more storylines, giving her a backstory and motivation that was not present in the earliest storyboards created for the series.

Joel Schumacher hasn’t watched any episodes before directing

Joel Schumacher was brought in to direct the fifth episode of the series. However, Schumacher had never actually watched any of the episodes and put his own spins and changes on the episode. In doing so, however, he broke some of the “rules” that David Fincher set for the series; Fincher ultimately loved the changes Schumacher made and kept them.

 

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Why You Should Be Watching Jane the Virgin

Jane the Virgin is one of the latest shows offered by the popular network The CW, which primarily focuses on television shows aimed at teenage and young adult audiences. Jane the Virgin is a comedy-drama that has been making waves due to its diverse cast, excellent writing, and the fact that it has (unlike most CW-based shows) earned critical acclaim. If yon aren’t yet watch Jane the Virgin, consider the following reasons why you should be adding the series to your DVR queue.

It made Golden Globes history

Jane the Virgin was the very first show in the history of the CW network to be nominated for a Golden Globes. The show was nominated for Best Actress in a Television Series Musical or Comedy as well as Best Television Series Musical or Comedy. While the show didn’t win for Best Musical or Comedy, lead actress Gina Rodriguez won the Golden Globe for Best Actress for her performance.

It’s based on a telenovela

The show is very loosely based on a popular telenovela from Venezuela, called Juana la Virgin, which is sometimes also translated as “Juana’s Miracle.” The original telenovela focuses on a 17 year old girl named Juana who was accidentally impregnated via artificial insemination due to human error at a hospital; Juana seeks out the father and develops a relationship with him, which is thwarted by the fact that he is already married.

Jane the Virgin focuses on a young woman named Jane (Jane is 23 in the show, considerably older than the 17-year old Juana) who has taken a vow to remain a virgin until she is married. She is accidentally inseminated during a routine checkup by doctor error and, like Juana, she seeks out the biological father of her child. Unlike the telenovela, Jane already has a relationship with this man–who just so happens to be a former crush that now owns the hotel where Jane is employed, who is (in true telenovela style) also a cancer survivor with a playboy attitude.

It has a great cast

He show can get a bit too “telenovela” dramatic at times, but its cast is truly the highlight of the series. Gina Rodriguez turns in a critically acclaimed (and award winning!) performance in the role, while Justin Baldoni is excellent as Rafael, the father of Jane’s child, who feels conflicted between his potential role as a father, his former relationship with Jane, and his strained relationship with his wife.

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