Wonder Woman 1984 is the long-awaited sequel of 2017's Wonder Woman, with Gal Gadot portraying the titular superhero for the fourth time in a feature film.

Originally slated for release more than a year ago, on Dec. 13, 2019, the film's debut in the United States was pushed a surprising number of times before finally seeing the light of day on Dec. 25, 2020, via HBO Max. The film was first delayed until June, 2020, due to "rushed pre and post-production," but then received an additional extra seven months for the post-production team to perfect the film due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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CULTURE

Kevin Spacey's New Holiday Video May Have Led to One Suicide Already

One of Spacey's Accusers killed himself the day after the video was released.

On Christmas Eve, disgraced (alleged) sexual predator and former actor Kevin Spacey released a new Holiday video on his Youtube channel.

In the video, titled "KTWK" (kill them with kindness), Spacey puts on the southern lilt of House of Cards' anti-hero Frank Underwood in a supposed plea for "more good in this world." The next day, one of his accusers—Ari Behn, 47—was found dead by suicide. If Spacey had known that one of the men whom he had (allegedly) assaulted was on the brink of taking his own life, would he have thought twice about releasing that video? Would he have felt any qualms about, once again, adopting the persona of the villainous President Underwood for a sequel to last year's notorious Christmas video?


KTWK www.youtube.com


In September, the anonymous massage therapist who alleged that Spacey had forced him to grab the actor's genitals died of cancer, and resulting in charges being dropped. Spacey and his legal team had vehemently denied the accusations, and now he was off the hook. What does it say then that Spacey opens his newest video, after stabbing wildly at the fire, with the claim, "It's been a pretty good year?"

In the case of Ari Behn—the author and former member of Norway's royal family who alleged that Spacey had groped him under the table at a Nobel Prize concert in 2007—it would be irresponsible to suggest that there was anything suspicious in his Christmas Day suicide. He had spoken openly about his struggles with loneliness and alcoholism—and his fear that he wouldn't live to see his three daughters grow up—but it seems like foolish optimism to imagine that he hadn't seen Spacey's newest video. And if his isolation and alcoholism were at all tied to the trauma of his encounter with Spacey, how painful would it be to see the man responsible putting on the act of a remorseless villain? How upsetting and surreal to hear the man who (allegedly) hurt you and so many others—yet continues to walk free—imploring his viewer with an ironic smile not to openly attack their enemies, but instead to "kill them with kindness."

ari behn

The video closes on that ominous line, with a stock iMovie musical sting called "Suspense Accent 07," leaving no doubt as to the intended effect. But what, other than cruelty, could be the motivation?

The character of Frank Underwood on House of Cards—before Spacey was ousted, and Robin Wright took over as the show's lead—was a man who used his cunning, his power, and his connections to avoid facing consequences for numerous crimes. More than once he killed off someone who had become a liability, and he made their deaths look like suicide. Why would a man who maintains his innocence—in the face of more than 30 accusations of sexual assault and misconduct—continue to align himself with this character whose arc is defined by evading justice? At worst, Spacey is flaunting his untouchable status. At best…what? If we assume that even one of his accusers is telling the truth, then releasing a video in which he pretends to be an impervious villain—and alludes to killing his enemies—is a heartless and horrifying act.

In February of this year Spacey's older brother, Randy Fowler, publicly called on the actor to accept responsibility for his (alleged) crimes and "take his punishment." He also expressed concern that Spacey would not be able to handle his (alleged) predation being exposed, saying, "I'm worried about him committing suicide. But then you have to think, 'Nah he's too narcissistic, he probably wouldn't do that.'" If Fowler is right about Spacey's state of mind, then a true narcissist might follow the logic of the patron saint of narcissism—Ayn Rand—who famously said before her death, "I will not die, it's the world that will end." From that perspective, even 30 suicides would pale in comparison to the tragedy of erasing the narcissist himself. From that perspective, the more Spacey can do to taunt his (alleged) victims—to make them feel helpless and hopeless—without directly implicating himself, the better.


ayn rand


There are probably more charitable interpretations, but if Spacey leaves this video up after the tragic suicide of Ari Behn, he doesn't deserve even that small charity. He should, of course, own up to any and all of his crimes—if he is guilty, plead guilty and face the consequences of his actions. But if he is too in denial, or too much of a coward to do that, the least he can do is stop rubbing his freedom in the faces of his (alleged) victims and their families—in the faces of every survivor of sexual assault who would rather not be reminded that sexual predators so rarely face justice.

If he is going to keep espousing his innocence in the courtroom, the least he could do is stop playing a villain in these bizarre holiday videos. And if he won't delete this video, then he isn't playing a villain at all. People's lives are on the line.

FILM & TV

7 Movies to Celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Freshen Up Your Pirate Speak, Landlubbers! Savvy?

With all the depressing news going on, we sea dogs need to have fun sometimes, right?

Well, today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day and it's the perfect occasion to lighten the mood around the office — and re-watch some of your favorite pirate movies.

1. Hook (1991)

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Directed by Steven Spielberg, Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman star as a grown up Peter Pan and a regular Captain Hook, respectively. Now a middle-aged lawyer, Peter Banning has to return to Neverland after his kids are kidnapped by Hook — which is going to be hard since the abandoned Tinkerbell and Lost Boys are under the leadership of Rufio now.

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FILM & TV

BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN | Top Films of 2017

Bold new narratives and moving storylines swept us off our feet this past year in cinema

Haven't had a chance to check out all of the films you've heard hype about all year? We've got you covered!

Popdust has been watching all the flicks released in 2017 and have narrowed down your watch list to the absolute best of the best before award season kicks off. Grab some popcorn and get comfy. You've got a lot of screening to do before the big ball drops!

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Top Stories

Our Pop Culture Wishlist for 2017

After the year we've had, we want to be spoiled.

The CW / Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

2016 is going to go down as infamous in the history books for lots of reasons, but we can't deny that in the realms of music, television, film, and pop culture, there have been record highs—and yes, some tragic and puzzling lows. We lost Prince and Bowie; we were gifted with stunning works by young talents like Mitski and Frank Ocean, with Moonlight and Transparent. There have been a lot of keepers and lot of...no-thank-yous. With that in mind, here's a wishlist of things we want to see, or see more of, in 2017. Good luck, 2017, you certainly have an interesting act to follow.

More Binge-Worthy Surprises

Stranger Things came out late this summer and quickly became the show that everyone was asking each other if they had watched yet. At just about 8 hours, it was perfect for binging, and the show itself, which is neither highbrow nor lowbrow, has something for everyone: kid adventure, government conspiracy sci-fi, monsters, romance, Winona Ryder. The next season of Stranger Things is going to be lit, for sure, but more unexpected, rich, and wholly entertaining shows like this could make TV in 2017 the great equalizer.

More Woman-Led Programming

Women have been at the center and the helm of some of the best programming on TV this year: from Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend as the reigning queens of the CW, to Issa Rae's Insecure, to the unapologetically feminist and ass-kicking Sweet/Vicious, it's clear that TV for, by, and about women is something we can only benefit from more, more, and more of in 2017. After the hit of Good Girls Revolt getting unexpectedly (and more or less senselessly) cancelled by Amazon, we're hoping it gets picked up elsewhere, or at the very least, another fantastic show about women's stories arises in its place.

Queer Women (Who Aren't Sociopaths)

It's a long-standing trend, or arguably even a trope, that when queer women characters do exist in film and TV, they're either evil, unstable, or both. From Sharon Stone as a bisexual serial killer in Basic Instinct to the (less extreme but perhaps more insidious) Maureen in Rent, who is flaky and disloyal in her relationships, bisexual women are frequently portrayed as untrustworthy if not downright unhinged. (Why, I don't know. Is bisexuality confusing to straight people?) Even Jane the Virgin, an overall excellent show which usually handles representation of social issues very well, has two lesbian characters: one is a murderous crime lord and the other is an alcoholic with a long history of poor decision making. Next year, can we get some more queer women we can get behind?

More Bisexual Characters

In a similar vein, we honestly need more bisexual characters altogether. Often we'll have characters who seem to be bisexual, having relationships with people of more than one gender, but the character will pull a Piper in Orange is the New Black and refuse to identify as bi. Sexual fluidity is great, but there's also no reason to treat it like a dirty word.

Bi men are particularly lacking in on-screen representation, which is a shame, because bi male representation is important for dispelling stereotypes; also a bi male character in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend gave us a fantastic 80s-inspired dance number this year, and why wouldn't we want more of that?

All of this said, we could really use more and more well-rounded representation of all kinds of queerness on TV and in film: especially, but not limited to, nonbinary characters, trans characters, and asexual characters.

Hamilton Mixtape Volume II

After the events of this fall, the Hamilton Mixtape was exactly what the world needed. Taking the Tony-dominating musical and adding a diverse and incredible array of popular musicians from Sia to Nas, plus a heavy dose of unmistakable political directness, resulted in a fantastic album. Lin-Manuel Miranda has confirmed there will be a second volume (praise), date TBD, and that it'll include Schuyler Sisters, The Reynolds Pamphlet, and more. Will the man continue to top himself? Yeah, probably.

And Speaking of Theater...More Theater in the Mainstream

Theater, to a degree, is inherently exclusive. For lots of Americans, seeing professional theater means driving to the nearest regional theater (which could still be miles away) to catch Broadway tours or local productions, and often for a good chunk of money. Even for New Yorkers, theater is frequently either cost-prohibitive, elitist and inaccessible in form, or both. Once every few years, we'll get a new major musical that teenage theater geeks listen to and find themselves through—right now, that's Hamilton; in the past it's been Rent, Spring Awakening, and so on. If we're lucky, 2017 will bring another excellent, accessible show to somewhere like The Public Theater. If we're really lucky, we'll figure out more ways to make theater-going an easier practice for everyone in the nation.

A Bomb Ass Season of House of Cards

After the year we've had, the first three seasons of House of Cards look like a legal document: dry as hell. Well, not really; they're still great piece of television. Point being, with the absurdity of our real-life political conditions having surpassed dramatized TV versions of American politics, we can only hope for a fantastic season of House of Cards (and probably every political show, honestly) as a small consolation for what this year has put us through. They've been teasing us on Twitter in response to real political events, as recently as earlier this month, and we're dying to see what the Underwoods have in store.

Hollywood power couple Sean Penn and Charlize Theron are reported to have split after 18 months together.

The pair, who started dating in December 2013, were said to have become 'secretly engaged' while in Paris in December 2014 and looked very much together during their recent red carpet appearance at the Cannes Film Festival.

Unusually for Penn, 54, talk of marriage was on the table when he spoke to Esquire UK in March this year, leading to speculation that a wedding was imminent (he was previously married to Madonna and Robin Wright);

"I wouldn't even consider it a third marriage.  I'd consider it a first marriage on it's own terms if I got married again.....I like the tradition, a friend of mine wrote a line, 'Without tradition, new things die.' And I don't want new things to die."

As recently as early May, Theron, 39, told Elle UK that Penn was "the love of her life" and saying'

"I'm a very, very lucky girl.  Very lucky.  He's hot.....Somebody walks into your life and makes you see something that you really never thought you'd be able to see."

The pair have been virtually inseparable since getting together and in January Penn filed papers to adopt Theron's son Jackson, 3.

However, since their return from Cannes, the couple haven't been seen together and have been staying at their separate homes—in fact Penn recently pulled his Malibu mansion, which was up for sale, off the market.

If the split is permanent, it may prove a little awkward later on this year when they start the promo for the film The Last Face which Penn has directed and stars Theron.