Social Media Pays Tribute to Stan Lee on His 98th Birthday

Stan Lee Tributes
(Getty Images/Barbara Davidson)

The end of December is typically reserved for the celebration of a great man’s birthday, a man who has had an enormous impact on the world. The 25th may be Jesus’s birthday, and joy to the world, but December 28th is Stan Lee’s birthday and Excelsior!

The man who created Marvel comics, including dozens of characters who have become household names, was born 98 years ago. Sadly, he passed away before he could reach his nearly-100th birthday, but his legacy is stronger than ever, especially now that the Marvel Cinematic Universe dominates popular culture (including streaming!)

Yesterday, people across social media made sure that while Stan Lee may be gone, he is far from forgotten. Tributes poured in across Twitter.

From the official Stan Lee Twitter account:

From Iron Man himself:

Various and pop culture sites:

From newsmen praising Lee’s positive influence on the youth:

To other famous creatives who were influenced by the man’s work:

And fans like us:

Whether you were a hardcore comic book nerd or someone who just watched the movies, you were familiar with Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four and the Hulk and dozens of other famous and less well-known characters that lee and his company created. Comic books have become a major source for most modern entertainment, and Lee is one of the reasons.

He didn’t quite make it to 100, but his work will live forever.

Disney+ Will Be Debuting 10 New Star Wars Shows and 10 New Marvel Shows

The Mandalorian
(Disney+)

Get ready for a lot more exploration of the galaxy far, far away. Disney announced a MASSIVE new slate of content on their investor call Thursday, including the news that Disney+ will be debuting 10 (!) new Star Wars series over the next few years.

This is the way.

Disney also announced they will be debuting 10 (!) new Marvel series on Disney Plus over the next couple of years as well. It’s all part of how media companies are re-imaging streaming and how they cultivate subscribers. This massive commitment to new streaming content is on the heels of the tremendous success of Disney’s “The Mandalorian”, now wrapping up its second season.

The movies are going online, and more specifically, to streaming services. This move is slated to make Disney+ a much more attractive option, as they are looking to double down (and more) on what’s worked for the platform. There will also be 15 new other series (a combo of live-action, animated, and Pixar stuff).

No specific details were unveiled for what the 10 shows will be, but we know a handful of Marvel shows that are slated to debut soon, as well as the Star Wars Obi-Wan miniseries with Ewan McGregor and a Cassian Andor “Rogue One” prequel series.

We are going to get a LOT of new Star Wars streaming content, and if it’s half as good as “The Mandalorian”, this could mark a new focus for the future of the Star Wars universe (let’s face it, Mando was much better than any of the new movies).

The Disney+ Chairman of Media and Entertainment said on the call that “With these Disney+ originals, along with theatrical releases and library titles, we will be adding something new to the service every week.”

Huge news for fans of The Mandalorian, Star Wars, Marvel, and people with kids who were already roped into committing to the new streaming platform.

Peter Dinklage Is Becoming a Superhero in ‘The Toxic Avenger’ Reboot

Peter Dinklage Toxic Avenger
(Getty/Jeff Kravitz/Troma)

‘Game of Thrones’ star Peter Dinklage is slated to star in the ‘The Toxic Avenger’ reboot that was recently announced. It won’t be Dinklage’s first appearance in a comic book movie, naturally, as he did guest star in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ as Eitri, the Dwarf King who helps Thor make his battle axe. This time, though, Dinklage will be the star.

Dinklage is a gem of an actor. He was truly terrific in Game of Thrones as Tyrion Lannister (no matter how you feel about that final season), and also in just about everything else he’s ever done (even his Entourage cameo!). While we’d love to see Dinklage do even more movies with Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa (they do have one coming!), this sounds like a great role for him.

For those unaware, ‘The Toxic Avenger’ is neither a Marvel nor a DC superhero, which makes it unique just for that. The 1984 movie was closer to a B-movie than high art and that was sort of the point. It was a superhero parody, and went heavy on the common tropes, while also integrating some themes about environmental issues.

The backstory is pretty basic; a physically unimpressive janitor falls into toxic waste and emerges disfigured but with super strength. Then there’s the requisite crime-fighting, big boss battle, etc etc. While not Earth-shattering at the time of its release, the Toxic Avenger did go on to become something of a cult classic, with several sequels.

Some have described Toxic Avenger as a cross between Deadpool and Spider-Man and while that sounds like wishful thinking, Dinklage is an outstanding choice for a role like that.

It’s not the Avengers we know and love, but all it needs to be a hit is Dinklage and Avenger.

Twitter Wants Jack Black To Join the MCU After His Spider-Man Cosplay Goes Viral

Spider Black
(Twitter/JackBlack)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has thrived by finding the right actors who can strike a balance between charisma and comedy. It encompassed some of our biggest movie stars, like Robert Downey Jr., Chadwick Boseman, Chris Evans, Chris Pratt, Paul Rudd, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, and more. But there’s one star fans are petitioning to join the club, the one actor they think could take the MCU to the next level.

Jack Black.

All it took to win over the fickle MCU fans was a quick Tik-Tok video of the star doing his…best?…. Spider-Man impression.

From there, Twitter did its thing, starting out by claiming he could’ve replaced Chris Pratt as Star-Lord with ease, and then it blew up from there, with fans imagining what MCU roles he would’ve nailed, echoed Black’s past wishes to have Nacho Libre join the Avengers, and even speculate what future roles and characters would be best if Black does join the MCU.

Jack Black is funny, can do some emotional scenes, and checks that charisma box too. So, if you got to do a superhero movie draft and re-write history; which superhero role do you think Jack Black would’ve crushed?

Deadpool Enters MCU, Sequel Moving Forward With Writers From ‘Bob’s Burgers’

Deadpool 3 entering MCU
(FOX Twitter/deadpoolmovie)

Deadpool is officially out of limbo. The kickass franchise, helmed by one of our favorites in Ryan Reynolds, delivered two fun movies while at FOX. Once acquired by Disney, many were left wondering if there would even be a Deadpool 3. And now, it is officially clear there will be, as Deadpool 3 is moving forward and has hired ‘Bob’s Burgers’ writers Wendy Molyneux and Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin.

Ryan Reynolds is great. He pulled Rick Moranis out of retirement, he relates to how all parents feel during quarantine life. But there’s no question the Deadpool movies have been his best work. And we weren’t sure what would happen once Marvel got its hands on the Merc with a mouth. Would they tame him? Bury the character? Replace Reynolds and go for a more family-friendly PG-13 approach?

Now, we have our answer, no and no. Deadpool is back, and he’s staying rated-R (where he belongs). There was even acknowledgment of the writer hire on the movie’s official Twitter page.

It’s a big move forward for the franchise, as Reynolds had said just months ago he ‘didn’t know what was happening’ in regards to another Deadpool, while still connecting with fans over the character. Supposedly, Reynolds and Marvel bigwigs had been interviewing writers to lock in to a great idea for the next movie and now that they have their duo, the project takes a big step forward.

So now Deadpool gets to officially enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe and gets to keep the edge that made the first two movies such a hit with fans. Will we see other MCU characters (or X-Men???) in the next one? Only time will tell there. Until then, fans can at least be relieved that the FOX-Disney merger didn’t kill the franchise, and they won’t be getting a Disney-fied sequel either.

But don’t get too excited, there’s a long way to go.

Sequel to Keanu Reeves’ Constantine Is in the Works, Says Costar

Keanu Constantine Sequel
(Warner Bros)

We live in the golden age of comic book movies, which means that some that just missed the cut may get a second chance at relevancy. One possible film that could fit the bill is a rumored sequel to Keanu Reeves’ 2005 superhero movie “Constantine”, and that sequel looks like it could be happening. Peter Stormare, one of the co-stars of the film, shared on Instagram that the “sequel in the works.”

Keanu is in a much different place now than he was in 2005, having ascended to near iconic status in Hollywood. A man who can do no wrong, and he’s also shown he’s capable of delivering a sequel, having released another Bill and Ted movie while also working on yet another Matrix film.

Peter Stormare, who played Lucifer in the 2005 movie about Reeves’ occult detective John Constantine, who can communicate with half-demons and half-angels, recently shared a picture of him from the movie with a simple message about a sequel.

 

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A post shared by PeterStormare (@therealstormare)

The movie was inspired by DC Comics (particularly Constantine’s Hellblazer comics), but it landed without the fanfare of some of Keanu’s other franchises (cough cough ‘The Matrix” cough cough). It hovered around a 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, although the movie has developed a cult fanbase over the subsequent years.

Reeves, hot off his John Wick-charged rejuvenation of his career, and working on his own comic book, could probably make another Constantine movie work. He said in an interview last year that he ‘always wanted to play’ the character again, and that he loved the world and the character.

The original director, Francis Lawrence, said previously the movie had been stymied by being PG-13, and that they would’ve loved to make a sequel to do the ‘really dark, scary version.’

With comic book movies having a much bigger audience in 2020 than in 2005, a darker ‘Constantine’ sequel with Reeves back as the main character would be a sure-fire blockbuster. Hopefully, in this case, Lucifer is telling the truth.

Kevin Smith and James Gunn Pay Tribute to Stan Lee on Anniversary of His Passing

Kevin Smith Stan Lee
(IG/thatkevinsmith)

The year is 2020 and comic book movies have ruled the box office and streaming platforms for years. But there is one legend who helped pave much of the way for our current entertainment bonanza, and Kevin Smith was one of the many to pay tribute to the great Stan Lee on the second anniversary of his passing.

The genius behind many of our most beloved characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Stan Lee created a lot of stories we’ll be enjoying variations of for a long time. Kevin Smith took to Instagram on the anniversary of his passing to remark about how much Lee meant to him.

Yesterday marked 2 years since @therealstanlee crossed the rainbow bridge, called back to wherever heroes rest eternally, after being on loan to Earth for nearly a century. His death was a great loss, but his life was filled with huge wins.

These pics were taken at the @legionmofficial shoot, when I interviewed Stan for a VR retrospective of his entire life and career (which is still forthcoming). I remember I was walking to @jaymewes’ house when I got the news from @jordanmonsanto. It was a gut punch on a lot of levels, made worse by the fact that I was scheduled to go see him the following week. I still get glassy-eyed thinking about how lucky I was to not only meet The Man, but also to work with Stan so many times. But even more than that! I got to be a friend. Thanks for everything, True Believer. Miss you much. Excelsior forevermore. #KevinSmith #stanlee #legionm”

 

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A post shared by Kevin Smith (@thatkevinsmith)

Smith, the creator of a few iconic movies himself, such as “Mallrats” and all the “Jay and Silent Bob” films, was always a champion of Lee. He even put the comic book legend in “Mallrats” for a cameo, a precursor of sorts to the great Stan Lee cameos in the Marvel movies.

“Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn also had a touching tribute to Lee on the anniversary of his passing:

 

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A post shared by James Gunn (@jamesgunn)

He was one of the greatest storytellers of all time, and probably the greatest comic book creator ever. Even now, a couple of years after his death, it’s clearer than ever that the impact of his life will be felt for decades to come.

Disney+ Debuts New Trailer for Classic X-Men Cartoon Along With All Five Seasons

X-Men Animated Series New Trailer Disney+
(YouTube/Disney Plus)

Since the 2008 release of Iron Man, Marvel Studios has dominated box offices with 23 game-changing movies and counting. Before there was Robert Downey Jr.’s badass Iron Man or Chadwick Boseman’s unforgettable Black Panther, there was Fox Kids Network’s classic animated series.

Saturday mornings were already the absolute best time to be a kid, plopping down in front of the TV with a bowl of Sugar-O’s and the whole weekend ahead of you. From 1992-1997, it was also a time to get lost in the Marvel universe with the X-Men animated series. For five glorious years and 76 unforgettable episodes, the series cemented X-Men in our hearts forever.

For those lucky and committed enough to own the series on DVD, you’ve been able to enjoy perhaps the best version of X-Men ever created uninterrupted. For the rest of us, there’s been no (respectable) way to watch the nostalgic series, save for the episodes we watched so many times we could essentially watch them on-demand if we closed our eyes. That is, until now.

Disney+ is quickly making a name for itself as the streaming service that brings us back to simpler times. Though you can stream some incredible original content like The Mandalorian, Disney+ is also the home of nostalgia. You can watch classics like the 1973 Schoolhouse Rock series, the 1987 version of DuckTales, the OG Mighty Ducks, and now, the X-Men animated series.

All five action-packed seasons are available on Disney+ now, and to celebrate, Disney released a more modern version of the show’s trailer. The new trailer still contains the same wonderfully grainy animation, but the brand new transitions and added graphics give the whole thing a more contemporary vibe.

As if being able to watch the quintessential Marvel series isn’t enough good news, rumors are circulating that Disney+ may take things one step further and continue the series where it left off. I know we’ve come a long way since the 90s in terms of animation, but if the rumors turn out to be true, hopefully, they can find a way to make sure the character’s lips absolutely don’t match up with the dialogue. Something about the puppet vibe really adds to the 90s ambiance.

Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield are Joining Tom Holland’s MCU Spider-Man 3

Maguire, Garfield Spider-Man 3
(Sony/Marvel)

It was starting to seem inevitable, to be honest.

When the news broke that Jamie Foxx was reprising his role as Electro in the next MCU Spider-man movie, it initially seemed strange. Why would Foxx play the same role he played in the Andrew Garfield Spider-man series that no one liked and most of us have forgotten? Then the news broke that Benedict Cumberbatch was bringing his Dr. Strange to the Spider-man sequel as well, and suddenly it started to make sense.

The MCU is delving into the multiverse. Or at least the Spider-verse.

Now, with the news that Garfield and Tobey Maguire may also appear in Tom Holland’s next Spider-man flick, the cat is out of the bag. Spider-man Into the Multiverse did it first, albeit in animated fashion, and DC is doing it with the Batmans in the forthcoming Flash movie, and now the MCU is getting into the game with Spider-Man.

We probably should have known something was up when JK Simmons showed up as J. Jonah Jameson at the end of Spider-man: Far From Home, especially since that film’s Mysterio also mentioned the multiverse. But it wasn’t until the recent series of announcements – some of which remain rumors (the Maguire/Garfield news is out of FanDom Wire), but it all adds up – that it became obvious. The rumor is that the three Spider-mans will join forces to defeat their foes in the final act of the movie.

If these reports are true, odds are the multiverse will play a role in the MCU’s post-Thanos phase. This was already hinted at with the title of the next Dr. Strange movie – Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness – but Dr. Strange is a unique character whose abilities allow for multiple realities, at least in theory (as we saw in Infinity War). The fact that the multiverse is spreading into Spider-man as well may mean it will become a unifying part of the next round of MCU stores.

It’s a bold, complex idea that will take a lot of work to pull off, but it’s also an exciting way to top the Infinity Stones saga. Here’s hoping they manage it!

Missing the Avengers? Here’s a Complete List of Upcoming Marvel Films To Tide You Over

upcoming marvel movies
Disney

Anyone else feel like their last decade has been completely consumed with Marvel? Sure, we had kids. They’re great. Yes, we also made a point to go to all the new Star Wars movies (even the shitty ones). But the 22-film Avengers story that ended with Endgame has understandably taken up the most time in our lives. Think of it like this: Even if each move in the MCU only lasted 2 hours, that’s still a total of 44 hours we’ve spent with Marvel characters during the last twelve years. That’s basically an average workweek. But, guys. It gets better because, dun dun dun, there’s more on the way!

We would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge and memorialize the one character and actor we will sorely miss. Sadly, Chadwick Boseman passed away in August 2020, leaving millions of fans devastated and the future of a return to Wakanda in jeopardy. We don’t yet know the fate of Black Panther 2. As much as we’d love to see more of T’Challa and his family, no one could possibly replace or replicate the power and grace Boseman brought to the screen.

What’s ahead from Marvel? Let’s take a look. Just keep in mind that the global COVID-19 pandemic has already sent the movie industry spiraling and postponed many release dates. We’re including what we know so far and will be updating with any new relevant information.

Black Widow

May 2021

That’s right. Natasha Romanoff (and Scarlett Johansson) returns! What can we expect? While most details are being kept behind lock and key, there are two interesting tidbits. First, rumor has it that the story will follow Natasha’s life before she joined the Avengers, making it a prequel of sorts. Florence Pugh (Little Women) is also involved and rumored to play Yelena, who takes on the role of Black Widow after Natasha.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

July 2021

Remember the epic Iron Man 3 fake-out when we thought we were meeting MCU’s Mandarin, but clearly, weren’t? This time around, we’ll meet the real guy, played by Tony Leung. And if you liked the decidedly not white casting with Black Panther expect to be equally pleased with Shang. Marvel has filled the film with an almost entirely Asian cast. Representation matters.

Eternals

November 2021

Comic nerds are especially excited about this film because it’s a chance to see their Jack Kirby-created comic come alive in a way only Marvel is capable of doing. Bonus: Angelina Jolie is on board to play Thena.

Untitled Spider-Man: Far From Home Sequel

December 2021

Between Tom Holland’s chaotic filming schedule and all the bumps and blows delivered by the coronavirus, this long-awaited film continues to be pushed back. We know basically nothing. Zendaya’s Mary Jane will return, though! But, don’t worry, folks. Holland and Zandaya are both too young to play out that awful cancer-causing-sperm storyline Marvel released a few years ago. (*cringe*)

Even More To Come

2021 is stacked, right? That’s only the beginning. Just like the previous ten years, Marvel plans to keep us in theaters for another decade. Here’s a quicker look at what else is ahead.

Thor: Love and Thunder (February, 2022)
Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness (March, 2022)
Black Panther 2 (May, 2022 — Plans will probably change following Boseman’s untimely death.)
Captain Marvel 2 (July, 2022)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (TBD)
Blade (TBD)
Ant-Man 3 (TBD)

Here are some Avengers and Marvel jokes to whet your appetite

Marvel’s greatest villain is Thanos. DC’s greatest villain is Rotten Tomatoes.

I don’t know why marvel hasn’t tried to advertise on the hulk. He’s a giant banner after all.

Benedict Cumberbatch and his Marvel character have one thing in common… Both of their last names are strange.

What’s the name of the Frozen/Marvel Universe crossover movie? Thaw.

How many Marvel Characters does it take to change a lightbulb?
Just one, but every couple of months another one changes the same lightbulb.

Which superhero runs in marathons?
Irun Man!

Why didn’t Tony Stark like his new assistant?
Because he wasn’t Happy.

What does Tony Stakr cook with?
Pepper Pots

Wouldnt it be amazing if Silver Surfer and Iron Man teamed up?
They would be such great alloys.

What do you call David Banner when he won’t speak to you?
The Incredible Sulk.

What did Iron Man say to Ant Man?
Stop bugging me.

When did Spiderman and Black Widow first meet?
On the web.

Why did Iron Man sleep in the rain?
To get some rust.

How do you get a baby star lord to go to sleep?
You rocket.

Why does Loki hate the day after Wednesday?
Because it’s Thor’s day.

Why does Iron Man think Thanos is a pessimist?Because he’s a Universe half empty kind of guy!

7 Marvel Beer Bottle Openers That Make Drinking…Inevitable

7 Marvel Beer Bottle Openers
(Amazon)

I just had a birthday, and in the weeks leading up to it, my wife must have asked me what I wanted 20 different times. I never had an answer. Sometimes I pulled my dad’s old “for the kids to get along” chestnut out of my ass, sometimes I shrugged and said, “Between you and the kids, I already have everything I could possibly need, honey!” Sometimes, after she stopped laughing at me, I simply said, “beer.”

I wish I’d taken a spin around Amazon before she closed the books. Because while I did get that beer…thanks, honey… I could have also got some Marvel cooking accessories or even better, a sweet-ass bottle opener to use with that beer.

Unbeknownst to me until just recently (and a good several days after my birthday has come and gone), Amazon has a whole collection of Marvel-themed bottle openers, and they are pretty cool.

Thor’s Hammer

Thor's Hammer

 

Buy various styles on Amazon for $9 to $14

Thor’s Stormbreaker Axe

Stormbreaker Axe Bottle Opener

Buy it on Amazon for $16

Hulk’s Fist

Hulk's Fist Bottle Opener

Buy it on Amazon for $13

Hydra

Hydra Bottle Opener

Buy it on Amazon for $14.25

Deadpool

Deadpool Bottle Opener

Buy it on Amazon for $8

Venom

Venom Bottle Opener

Buy it on Amazon for $21

And my personal favorite, Thanos’s glove. Because when you’re in your forties and you have kids, drinking is… inevitable.

Infinity Gauntlet

Infinity Gauntlet Bottle Opener

Buy it on Amazon for $10

So the next time you crack a beer, you can do it with a replica of one of your favorite Marvel items.

Whatever it takes.

Just a heads up, if you buy stuff using the provided links, The Dad may collect a small commission.

Dr. Strange Joins Cast for Spider-Man 3, Opens Door for Spider-Verse

Spider-Man and Strange
(Marvel/Sony)

We got some big Marvel news Thursday when The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Benedict Cumberbatch would be joining the cast of Spiderman 3 and reprising his role as Dr. Strange. The announcement opens the floodgates for fan theories that this could signal the possibility it’s going to be a Spider-verse movie.

We already knew Jamie Foxx was going to be back as Electro, which he last played in The Amazing Spiderman 2 starring Andrew Garfield. And bringing Dr. Strange into the mix could open the door to the Spider-verse possibility, given his abilities, and we could be looking at a multi-dimension storyline.

Cumberbatch will reportedly be playing the mentor role to Holland’s Spider-Man, which was filled nicely by Tony Stark/Robert Downey Jr and Nick Fury/Sam L. Jackson in the first two movies. Cumberbatch will be shooting the second Dr. Strange movie, “Multi-verse of Madness”, around the same time, so the Spider-verse theories don’t sound too off.

The concept worked brilliantly in the animated film Into The Spider-verse, and with Dr. Strange’s ability to travel the multiverse, it wouldn’t be far-fetched. Well, any more far fetched than typical for the MCU (I get that different Spider-men in different dimensions already sounds a little wonky). The Sorcerer Supreme popping up in Spidey 3 has fans excited about what it could mean.

The movie is slated to start shooting later this month in Georgia and is supposed to be released at the end of next year. Of course, it’s entirely possible the world’s least favorite pandemic could change that. But whenever it happens, it’s sounding like it’s gonna be a memorable outing in all realities.

Samuel L. Jackson Coming To Disney+ in Nick Fury Series

Samuel L Jackson to voice Alexa
(Getty/Jon Kopaloff / Stringer)

Even during a pandemic, Marvel keeps making news.

We just found out that the Black Widow movie and Eternals were delayed from theaters again, thanks to the pandemic. We also got a (weird, awesome) trailer for WandaVision and learned that it will be the first MCU show to hit Disney+, arriving sometime before the end of the year, landing before the Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki. And they announced that Tatyana Maslany (Orphan Black) will be starring in the She-Hulk series, about which we know little else.

But perhaps the biggest news of all is the latest: Disney+ is bringing a Nick Fury show to the airwaves, and Samuel L. Jackson is coming with it.

The news of the Fury series comes out of Variety and so far we don’t know a thing about it. The last we saw of the eyepatched leader of (the now-defunct) SHIELD, he was lounging on a spaceship somewhere out there in Spider-Man Far From Home’s post-credits scene.

Will this show tackle his outer space adventures? Will they de-age him, Captain Marvel style, and watch as he builds SHIELD and assembles the Avengers? Will any of those Avengers make an appearance on the show?

We have no idea. Not that we need to. Samuel L. Jackson is probably the biggest star yet to hop from the MCU’s theater screens onto Disney+’s streaming platforms, and further solidifies the promise that these series will play into the MCU’s movies, once those finally get back in action.

Having shown up in 11 of the 23 MCU movies, Fury is a big part of the universe, and a major piece of connective tissue. It’s hard to imagine that whatever he’s up to on his show won’t somehow play into the movies, considering how integral he’s been to the forming of the team, and the importance of his relationship to Captain Marvel, who’s sure to play a big role in the next phase of the MCU.

We’ll see what happens, but it’s exciting that a movie star of Jackson’s stature is carrying his role over to Disney+.

I hope they allow swears.