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Loki & Valkyrie Clash in Thor: Ragnarok Image

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Marvel Studios’ THOR: RAGNAROKL to R: Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson)Credit: Jasin Boland/©Marvel Studios 2017

Loki and Valkyrie are in the midst of a battle in the latest image to surface from Thor: Ragnarok. For Thor’s third solo film, Marvel Studios is breaking free of the template for the previous Thor films. They’ve handed the reins to the franchise over to Taika Waititi and he’s instantly injected Ragnarokwith humor, color, and the biggest supporting cast yet. Chris Hemsworth will still get the meat of the story – with his friend from work, Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) joining in – but the rest of the cast is a great mixture of familiar faces and new ones.

One of the most popular recurring characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far has been Loki (Tom Hiddleston) – who is back for a fourth appearance in Ragnarok. As shown in the RagnarokComic-Con trailer, he’ll be part of Team Thor alongside his brother, another former enemy, and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson). His dynamic with the latter has not been shown before, but the first image of the two shows that there’s room for improvement.

RELATED: HELA LOOMS LARGE IN THOR: RAGNAROK POSTER

A new image has surfaced online from Thor: Ragnarok, showing Loki and Valkyrie in the midst or at the end of a duel. Both have their daggers drawn, yet their matching defensive abilities have left them both tied up. The original source of the photo is not known, but a higher-res version should come out from said source (possibly from EW as part of their Fall Preview, which includes lots of Star Wars: The Last Jedi reveals), sooner rather than later.

[Update: EW released the high-res official Loki vs Valkyrie image so we’ve swapped it in]

Marvel Studios’ THOR: RAGNAROKL to R: Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson)Credit: Jasin Boland/©Marvel Studios 2017

Marvel Studios’ THOR: RAGNAROKL to R: Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson)Credit: Jasin Boland/©Marvel Studios 2017

While the cause of Loki and Valkyrie’s disagreement is unknown, it appears to happen while they are still on Sakaar. The marketing has shown that Valkyrie helps capture Thor and serves The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum) – making the Thor/Hulk fight possible – but Loki appears to be well-liked on that planet, as he’s been shown sitting next to Grandmaster during said fight. However, we know that at some point during Team Thor’s escape from the planet, Thor and his allies find Loki chained up. It is possible that Valkyrie wins the fight pictured above and chains him up, or that this interaction happens later (due to Valkyrie not trusting the god of mischief).

Regardless of the inciting incident, their difference will be set aside eventually. As both are shown standing on the Rainbow Bridge in Asgard with Thor and Hulk as they ready for battle against Hela (Cate Blanchett), they will ultimately decide to do what is best for the fate of the galaxy. Just because they ultimately make this decision, however, is hopefully not an indicator that this photo is part of a brief altercation. With Loki already being a fan-favorite and Valkyrie primed to be a stand out, giving the two of them a memorable exchange would be a great sequence to include in the film.

Thor: Ragnarok release date: Nov 3, 2017

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Harvey Weinstein ‘doesn’t recall pressuring Salma Hayek’ for an intimate scene in Frida, says statement

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On Wednesday (13 December) Hollywood actress Salma Hayek wrote an op-ed on The New York Times detailing her harrowing experiences with the disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Salma Hayek (left); Harvey Weinstein (right). Images via Facebook

Salma Hayek (left); Harvey Weinstein (right). Images via Facebook

She had alleged that her continuous rebuffing of Weinstein’s sexual advances had brought upon the wrath of the latter on to her, especially during the shoot of the 2002 film Frida. She said Weinstein forced her to do an intimate scene, which was not required at all, with co-actress Ashley Judd. Along with that, she was also subjected to physical assaults, death threats by him.

In a recent statement, Weinstein denied Hayek’s accusations saying all of them were not accurate. He especially refutes Hayek’s claims of having been pressurised by him into doing intimate scenes with Judd in Frida.

Vanity Fair carries a report which contains the whole statement issued by Weinstein’s spokesperson:

Mr Weinstein regards Salma Hayek as a first-class actress and cast her in several of his movies, among them Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Dogma, and Studio 54. He was very proud of her best-actress Academy Award nomination for Frida and continues to support her work.

While Jennifer Lopez was interested in playing Frida and at the time was a bigger star, Mr Weinstein overruled other investors to back Salma as the lead. Miramax put up half of the money and all of the P&A; the budget was over $12 million. As in most collaborative projects, there was creative friction on Frida, but it served to drive the project to perfection. The movie opened in multiple theaters and was supported by a huge advertising campaign and an enormous Academy Awards budget.

Mr Weinstein does not recall pressuring Salma to do a gratuitous sex scene with a female co-star and he was not there for the filming. However, that was part of the story, as Frida Kahlo was bisexual and the more significant sex scene in the movie was choreographed by Ms Hayek with Geoffrey Rush. The original unibrow used was an issue because it diverted attention from the performances. All of the sexual allegations as portrayed by Salma are not accurate and others who witnessed the events have a different account of what transpired.

Ed Norton, who was Ms Hayek’s boyfriend at the time, [worked with Mr Weinstein on the rewrite of the script in Mexico] did a brilliant job of rewriting the script and Mr Weinstein battled the WGA to get him a credit on the film. His effort was unsuccessful to everyone’s disappointment.

By Mr Weinstein’s own admission, his boorish behavior following a screening of Frida was prompted by his disappointment in the cut of the movie—and a reason he took a firm hand in the final edit, alongside the very skilled director Julie Taymor.

Hayek hasn’t yet responded to Weinstein’s denial of the accounts mentioned by her on The New York Times‘ op-ed.


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Fukrey Returns box office: Richa Chadha, Ali Fazal starrer steadily inches towards 50 cr

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The ground-breaking success Fukrey Returns proves that 2017 was a year of comedy sequels.

Starring Richa Chadha, Pulkit Samrat, Ali Fazal, Varun Sharma and Manjot Singh in leading roles, the cult comedy is steadily inching closer to the 50 crore mark. Its current box office collections stand at a neat Rs 46.65 crore.

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Richa Chadha in a still from Fukrey Returns. YouTube

Backed by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani’s Excel Entertainment, the film had crossed the 40 crore mark in just five days — unusual for a film with a cult following. It also saw consistent growth in the opening weekend.

Internationally, too, the film has been doing great and has minted over Rs 5 crore, its key markets being the USA and the UAE.

All the cast members reprise their roles in the second installment of the Fukrey Franchise, which revolves around two boys — Hunny and Chucha and their amusing encounters.


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Rajinikanth sets aside six days to meet fans; thousands of people expected to attend

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If you’re a superstar Rajinikanth fan, here’s your chance to get a photo clicked with your matinee idol. For the second time this year, the 67-year-old actor is all set to meet his fans later this month and it is expected that thousands of people are likely to grace the occasion.

In a statement released by All India Rajinikanth Fans Association on Thursday, it has been confirmed that Rajinikanth will meet his fans from December 26-31 at his Raghavendra hall. The statement added that over 1000 people per day are expected to attend the event and therefore police protection has been sought.

Letter written by All India Rajinikanth Fans association.

“He couldn’t meet most of his fans earlier this year in May. This time he hopes to meet as many as possible during the six days. A photo session from 8 am to 3 pm on all days has been planned just as last time. He will also address the gathering as and when possible,” a source close to Rajinikanth told Firstpost.

In May, addressing a large gathering of his fans, Rajinikanth clarified that he hasn’t completely ruled out a career in politics and that he will take the path if god willing. “At every phase, God decides what we have to do in life. As an actor I have a responsibility and I’m fulfilling it now. If god willing, I will enter politics. If I enter, I’ll be honest and won’t entertain those who see this as easy means to make money.”

Talking about his brief stint in politics when he supported DMK in 1996 Tamil Nadu assembly elections, he said it was a political accident. “Supporting a political alliance 21 years ago was a mistake on my part. My name was misused by a lot of politicians and some of them even earned money using my name. My support is for no party,” he added.

Rajinikanth. PTI Image.

Rajinikanth also warned his fans to stay away from drinking and smoking. He said that not only does these habits affect someone’s health but also their decision making ability. “I always used to wonder how people can lose their whole wealth just by drinking. It took me a while to realise that drinking leads to bad decision making and some bad decisions and end someone’s life. I have been personally affected by drinking and smoking, please don’t fall prey to it.”

On the career front, Rajinikanth awaits the release of 2.0 and Kaala. Both these films – which are riding on high stakes – are expected to hit the screens in 2018. Shankar-directed magnum opus 2.0, with a budget of Rs. 450 cr, is set for release on April 27, 2018.

Pa. Ranjith’s Kaala, in which Rajinikanth plays a slum lord-turned-gangster, is most likely to release during summer of 2018. It is strongly believed that he will take his political plunge in 2019.


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