DC TV Watch: Did ‘Gotham’ Just Introduce the Real Joker?

THR rounds up the major twists, new mysteries and more from all the DC Comics TV series.
Welcome back to The Hollywood Reporter’s weekly DC TV Watch, a rundown of all things DC Comics on the small screen. Every Friday, we round up the major twists, epic fights, new mysteries and anything else that goes down on The CW’s Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl and Black Lightning and Fox’s Gotham. Note: The Flash and Supergirl did not air new episodes this week.

Another year of superheroes | Earlier this week, The CW renewed every single Arrow-verse series including freshman drama Black Lightning. Arrow will return for season seven, The Flash will return for season five (reaching a milestone 100th episode, so expect an event episode with many crossovers), while Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow will return for season four. Other CW series returning next season are Supernatural, Riverdale, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Jane the Virgin and freshman series Dynasty.

Legends of Tomorrow

Ava fever | With the Legends of Tomorrow season four renewal came the announcement that Jes Macallan has been promoted to series regular. That means her Time Bureau agent, Ava Sharpe, will be around for a full season of romantic ups and downs with Sara (Caity Lotz). But since Legends revealed that Ava is merely one of thousands of clones from the future, this unfortunately doesn’t automatically mean good things for Ava and Sara’s relationship. Currently, they’re still broken up after Ava rejected Sara’s crazy idea of letting Mallus out of his cage to try and defeat him once and for all, and therefore rejected her proclamation of love as well. But even if they do get back together in the finale once the Mallus problem is resolved, Macallan’s presence in season four doesn’t mean their relationship will last, despite it being one of the rare lesbian relationships in the comic book TV show genre. This version of Ava might actually die in the fight against Mallus, leaving Rip (Arthur Darvill) to simply pluck yet another Ava clone from the future to replace her, as he’s done 12 times before. It’s likely that Legends will introduce more versions of Ava next year to play with the clone mythology, because why introduce a storyline of thousands of the same character if you’re not going to have fun with it? Especially on a show as wild as Legends, which introduced a young Barack Obama, giant killer gorilla and evil winged demon come to life all in the same episode, there’s no telling just how weird Legends will get next season. [Casting news first reported by EW.com.]

Ready for more magic? | At least another one of Sara’s exes is sticking around for good. Now that Legends is guaranteed to return for season four, that means Matt Ryan will also be a series regular next year. John Constantine is officially going to join the Waverider for an entire season, which is the news all Constantine fans have been waiting to hear ever since NBC canceled Ryan’s critically loved live-action series about the occult detective. The character has dipped his toe into the Arrow-verse many times since then, but it’s taken years for any of the Greg Berlanti-produced shows to realize what a gold mine the character is, especially when he has fit in so well with so many different characters. Now that he’s finally been welcomed full time on The CW, fans will get to see him on a weekly basis where he truly belongs: in a universe filled with wacky and charismatic characters just like him.

Runs in their blood | Just one week after Ben McKenzie teased the arrival of the real Joker, Gotham revealed how that would even be possible. Cameron Monaghan pulled double duty in this week’s episode as maniacal Jerome Valeska, sporting a permanently scarred smile, as well as his never-before-seen-or-mentioned twin brother, Jeremiah. His more soft-spoken, calm and intellectually gifted brother seemed normal at first, but Jerome confronted him about how Jeremiah made everyone believe that Jerome was trying to kill him when they were younger. If Jeremiah was framing his own twin for attempted murder when they were just kids, there’s no telling what else he’s capable of. And with Jerome’s new gas, which he intends to unleash upon his brother and all of Gotham and makes its victims laugh uncontrollably until their faces rip open into wide, bloody smiles, it’s clear that Gotham is going to make Jeremiah the new real Joker. Once he’s hit with the laughing gas, he’ll be even more lethal and unpredictable than Jerome, whose psychopathic behavior was shaped by years of abuse instead of a mentally altering drug. And Jeremiah will also sport the iconic Joker smile, just in a different way than Jerome’s scars. This is a very clever way to pay off the years of Gotham producers and stars denying that Jerome is the Joker while also keeping Monaghan in the family and allowing him to create yet another memorable Joker performance. Expect Gotham to transform Jeremiah into the new Joker and kill his brother since Monaghan won’t be pulling double duty for much longer.

Unmasked | Every superhero show has to entertain a storyline involving the hero/vigilante getting “unmasked” only so they can come up with a solution to clear their name and continue operating under their secret identity. It’s essentially a rite of passage for superheroes, and without fail, it happens on every show. Black Lightning took on that old superhero trope in this week’s episode, but in a way that made viewers forget they were watching a comic book series. Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) was framed for dealing drugs to his students so that shadow government organization ASA could test him for metahuman powers, believing him to be Black Lightning. Instead of immediately fast-forwarding to when the ASA transported Jefferson to a black site, the series slowed down and showed in gruesome detail the horrors and reality of what it means to get arrested. Jefferson was booked, abused by guards and suffered extreme indignities in the process like full-cavity searches. This kind of attention to detail about what it’s really like to get arrested, especially as an innocent black man, is hardly something that Arrow-verse comic book shows usually traffic in, but Black Lightning didn’t pull any punches to show the truth of the situation. Eventually, Jefferson was cleared thanks to Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Gambi (James Remar) using a hologram of Black Lightning running around Freeland while Jefferson was still locked up. And Inspector Henderson (Damon Gupton) exposed the corruption of the police chief, clearing Jefferson’s records and proving Jefferson was framed. So while this week’s episode ended on a happy note, it will be hard to forget the images of what Jefferson had to endure, proving that tropes don’t always have to tell the same old story.

Arrow

The end of OTA | After six years of working side by side as the Original Team Arrow, Diggle (David Ramsey) and Oliver (Stephen Amell) broke up their bromance for good. In this week’s episode, Diggle realized that everything bad that had happened over the last year with the team breaking up and Diaz’s (Kirk Acevedo) rise to power was all because of Oliver’s questionable choices. The more Oliver spread himself thin with his marriage, raising his son and becoming the mayor, the less he could focus on Star City and being the Green Arrow. And with Oliver refusing to give the hood back to Diggle, he finally snapped. The two former best friends said things they’ll never be able to take back, blaming each other for all the dead bodies left in their wake. After a knock-down, drag-out fight, Diggle quit Team Arrow. These two men have been in fights before, but never this brutal or cruel. This is definitely a turning point for both of them, and it’s one they can’t ever go back on. Even if they do become friendly allies again, they’ll never be able to get back to the kind of bond or trust they shared before this moment. With the recent season seven renewal, fans will definitely get another year of watching Diggle and Oliver, but it’s never going to be the same. Diggle’s going to join ARGUS, so he might not even be in the same scenes with Oliver. Hopefully, fans enjoyed the OTA scenes while they lasted, because this is truly the last time this dynamic will be seen.

Gotham airs Thursdays on Fox. Legends of Tomorrow airs Mondays; The Flash and Black Lightning air Tuesdays; Arrow airs Thursdays; and Supergirl returns Monday, April 16, all on The CW.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

‘Amityville: The Awakening’ Loses Summer Release Date at the 11th Hour

The Weinstein Co. and Dimension Films were finally supposed to release the latest installment in the classic horror franchise later this month.
Amityville: The Awakening is losing its prime summer release date at the 11th hour.

The Weinstein Co./Dimension Films announced Wednesday that the horror movie will no longer hit theaters on June 30.

Dimension partnered with Blumhouse Productions on The Awakening, which stars Bella Thorne, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Cameron Monaghan, Thomas Mann and Kurtwood Smith.

The story follows a young girl who moves into a new home with her single mother and comatose young brother, who makes a miraculous recovery as other strange phenomena occur.

The umpteenth installment in the classic horror franchise, Amityville: The Awakening has been pushed back numerous times. The pic, directed by Franck Khalfoun, was first supposed to be released in January 2015. It was subsequently moved to April of this year before relocating to Jan. 6, and then to June.

No new release date has been announced.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Cameron Monaghan’s Long, Twisted Journey to Bring the Joker (Back) to Life

The ‘Gotham’ scene-stealer talks death, return and what makes charismatic showmen so dangerous.

From the moment Theo Galavan drove a knife through his neck in Gotham‘s second season, Jerome Valeska—resident proto-Joker of Fox’s Batman prequel—knew he would return. Or, rather, the actor behind the smile, Cameron Monaghan, was sure he’d be back in Gotham City one day. Gotham‘s producers, realizing they had a bona fide scene-stealer on their hands, were already putting pieces into place to bring back the once-and-future Clown Prince of Crime to clash with David Mazouz’s bite-sized Bruce Wayne.

This left Monaghan, who made his mark in Showtime’s Shameless, with a guaranteed job down the road…and a whole lot of time to spend inside the head of a violent, psychotic carnival clown. Now, thanks to a few devoted followers and some Dr. Frankestein-esque shenanigans, Jerome is coming back to Gotham, and Monaghan has used that year of prep time to showcase a character bigger, badder and better than ever. Well, “better,” relative to “dead.”

I hopped on the phone with the actor a few hours before his big Gotham return (well, his conscious return) to discuss stepping back into the clown-shoes of the man who would be Joker.

How early did you know you were coming back to Gotham, and what did the producers tell you, exactly?
Cameron: I knew pretty much from the third episode I shot in the second season, episode 203, which is when my character dies [laughs]. While we were shooting it, I had a couple conversations with producers who said “Hey, we really like what’s going on, and we have some plans for the character already. We possibly could bring you back next season, maybe something involving the Hugo Strange character, or the Dollmaker. We’re not quite sure the fine details, but know it’s an option for us.”

I was able to then use this past year and a half to kind of think about what I wanted to do, and start planting the seeds of ideas. That was a unique opportunity to really get time to prep.

How much freedom were you given during that time to craft this character the way you wanted?
C: A lot. A lot of freedom. I’ve been given more and more leeway. As you live with a character longer, you claim more ownership over it. You become more defensive of it. It becomes like a person that you know. And with Jerome, because I’ve had so much time to inhabit him, I’ve played around within him a lot. I came to set pretty much in-character from the second I put the makeup put on.

“I felt like the only way to play [Jerome] would be to push the buttons of the other characters. The best way to get genuine reactions was to shock them.”

From there, I would go off-script, a lot. Obviously, there are specific circumstances and beats that have to be hit for the story to make sense. But there’s leeway within the interactions themselves. Jerome is a very reactive character. I felt like the only way to play him would be to push the buttons of the other characters. The best way to get genuine reactions was to shock them; hit them with sucker punches, take them off-guard, push them off-balance. I had a lot of fun being able to be the showman. There’s this sequence in episode 314, in the final episode before the break, where he really steps into his own as the showman, the ringleader. Literally. In doing that, he takes the main stage. I had a lot of fun making a meal of it, doing whatever struck my fancy to a captive audience. A lot of fun.

Do any specific quirks or improvisations you added to Jerome spring to mind?
C: Jerome has a walk that I very specifically wanted to be his. The way he holds his arms. He has this tic where, because he was stabbed in the throat, I’ve given him an affectation. His voice has slightly changed. It’s rougher, and wheezier, which has affected his laugh as well. It comes out in these staccato croaks, or it’ll go into a higher pitch. But he has this weird tic where he clears his throat, and puts his entire body into it. It’s hard to describe, but when you see it you’ll know what it is. That’s one specific thing that I always liked doing because it instantly made everyone around me uncomfortable [laughs].

It was more playing with the dialogue and the humor of him. He does have such a mean-hearted humor to him, so being able to say anything I wanted to say, and feeling safe within the set and given the room to do that, and being with actors who were able to handle it was really great.

Can you talk specifically about working with David [Mazouz], who plays Bruce Wayne? Because, almost more than anyone, you want to make sure the chemistry is there between Jerome and Bruce.
C: Absolutely. It was almost entirely off-the-cuff. David is a guy I really liked already from being on the show before, a really sweet, intelligent kid. Coming into this season, the first thing I noticed was how he’s continued to grow as an actor as he’s grown in age. He was really present and really capable of showing the necessary restraint with his character to counteract against the insanity and over-the-top nature of mine.

“I’d show up on the day, as Jerome, and [David Mazouz] had to trust that if I would choose to grab him—sometimes I’d grab him by the face or by the coat collar or something—he was O.K. giving it back and being confident enough to stand it.”

We have a big arc playing off each other in this season, these few episodes. There was a lot of give-and-take between us, and most of it wasn’t rehearsed. There was some stuff that had to be rehearsed, there’s a big set-piece fight, a big physical confrontation that obviously had to be planned ahead of time. But for the most part, I’d show up on the day, as Jerome, and he had to trust that if I would choose to grab him—sometimes I’d grab him by the face or by the coat collar or something—he was O.K. giving it back and being confident enough to stand it. He was really great within the scenes and gave me a lot to work with and bounce back off of. That relationship is so key to understanding both of these characters. It gives a glimpse into both their psyches, their conflicting philosophies that are burgeoning and developing over the course of these episodes.

Something I’ve always found interesting is how often comic book storytelling reflects reality; Gotham delved into it already, earlier this season. And what’s so interesting about Jerome is this cult-like following he’s built. Did you see any real-life reflection in that aspect of the character? What do you think it is about charismatic but dangerous people that attract that type of following?
C: People are attracted to confidence, and a commitment to ideas, no matter what those ideas are. People can gravitate towards something being said passionately, or violently, or expressively. Jerome has that in spades. He understands the dynamics of a crowd. He understands how to play to it. He started learning in the second season, when he invaded the police department and slaughtered all the cops, he started to understand what it meant to be in his role. So he comes back as this sort of messiah figure, and he fancies himself as this twisted savior of these people. In his mind, in his ideology, he really believes that he is freeing these people. Which is a very frightening idea, and is reflective, I think, of certain ways people can twist ideology or reality in their favor to manipulate other people for their personal gain. Especially for manipulating young people to sacrifice themselves, sometimes violently, for their cause. That’s sort of what we’re tapping into, with this character. The idea that he exists in everyone; in some dormant state, there is the potential to be someone like Jerome. You could be as awful as him if you’re inspired enough, or fanatical enough, or you’ve lost touch with reality enough.

“That’s sort of what we’re tapping into with this character. The idea that he exists in everyone; in some dormant state, there is the potential to be someone like Jerome.”

That’s sort of what we’re tapping into, with this character. The idea that he exists in everyone; in some dormant state, there is the potential to be someone like Jerome. You could be as awful as him if you’re inspired enough, or fanatical enough. If you’ve lost touch with reality enough, you can latch on to an idea. I think there’s a certain reflection of that in our modern times.

But that being said, we tried to make this story timeless enough…I think that’s something comics are good about. They survive aging in a way that a lot of stories can’t because they are mythic and heightened. They’re about iconoclastic figures that don’t necessarily age at the same rate as a different story might.

Gotham airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. EST on FOX.

Source: Observer

New Project Movie: “The White Devil”

‘Shameless’ Actor Cameron Monaghan Set To Star In ‘The White Devil’

Gotham and Shameless actor Cameron Monaghan is set to star in supernatural thriller The White Devil, directed by South African filmmaker Jahmil Qubeka.

Roberi Media and Spier Films will finance and produce the title, which begins shooting in Cape Town, South Africa, in the spring. Qubeka will direct from a script he adapted with Julian Paul Stein from Justin Evans’ 2011 novel.

The story sees a young American high school senior, who hopes to put his past behind him when he is enrolled by his father into a prestigious British boys’ academy. Soon he learns that the school has a past as well – one haunted by a vengeful former student who quickly forms an unhealthy attachment to him.

Robert L. Stein and Michael Auret will produce with Morris Ruskin as exec producer. Shoreline Entertainment is handling foreign sales for the title, which will be shopped to buyers at the American Film Market.

Monaghan is best known for his work on Showtime’s hit series Shameless, which kicked off its seventh season this month. He’s worked on feature films such as Phillip Noyce-directed The Giver and upcoming Amityville Horror.

Roberi Media financed and produced suspense thriller The Call, starring Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin; The Road Within, starring Dev Patel, Zoe Kravitz and Robert Sheehan; and Careful What You Wish For, starring Nick Jonas, Isabel Lucas and Dermot Mulroney. Recent titles from Spier Films include the Mads Mikkelsen-Eva Green starrer The Salvation and Young Ones, a sci-fi Western starring Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult and Elle Fanning. Morris Ruskin’s credits include Glengarry Glen Ross and The Man From Elysian Fields.

Monaghan is repped by Industry Entertainment, UTA and Chad Christopher.

Source: Deadline