Lord of the Rings’ uncredited Gimli double did the work, and has the tattoo to prove it (Polygon)
Plenty of Lord of the Rings fans know the bit of trivia that all the actors in the fellowship got matching tattoos — except for John Rhys-Davies, who sent his stunt double. I wondered, “Who is that stunt double,” and for Polyon’s Year of the Ring package, I tracked down Brett Beattie and told his story for the first time. He was much, much more than just a stunt double.
Netflix’s Challenger documentary is a fascinating exploration of guilt (SYFY WIRE)
In this essay, I unpack how Challenger: The Final Flight does more than just masterfully tell the story of the doomed 1986 space shuttle mission. The documentary, perhaps more than it even means to, is about the power of guilt, and how people live with themselves and lie to themselves — and how guilt ultimately can’t overcome the push of “progress.”
Harry Hamlin Answers Every Question We Have About Clash of the Titans (Vulture)
For Clash of the Titans‘ 40th anniversary, I spoke with Harry Hamlin and learned that making the cult classic movie also featured clashes with the producers over decapitations, apartheid, and robot owls.
HBO’s Watchmen Grapples With Racism and Police Brutality in Powerful, Imperfect Ways (SYFY WIRE)
Watchmen tackles an important, vital topic — racism in America — but it’s raised a few eyebrows for seemingly framing the conflict as “cops versus white supremacists,” which is overly simplistic and possibly problematic. I interviewed showrunner Damon Lindelof and some of the stars to get their take on Watchmen‘s handling of such a delicate issue.
What Stranger Things Star Maya Hawke Did on Her Summer Vacation (GQ)
An interview with 2019’s breakout Maya Hawke, who also appeared in Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood, an indie movie, and released music in addition to her starring role in Stranger Things Season 3.
Christmas In July: The Disconcerting Experience Of Watching The Polar Express When It’s Sweltering Outside (Decider)
For reasons that remain a mystery because Hulu would not give a straight answer despite repeated attempts to get the story out of them, the streaming service added the Tom Hanks Christmas movie to its library on July 1st. I watched the movie in my too-hot New York City apartment to see if it held up in the summer (Spoiler alert: It doesn’t).
An Exhaustive List of All the Easter Eggs and Comic Book References in Avengers: Endgame (Vulture)
An extremely thorough round-up of every Easter egg or other sorts of reference in Avengers: Endgame. Easter egg round-ups aren’t gonna win any Pulitzers, but they’re a big part of modern entertainment coverage, so it’s important to do ’em well.
Is Donald Trump President in Marvel Comics? (Inverse)
The president in Marvel comics continuity is usually the same as the president in real life, but Trump hadn’t made any appearances in the comics in the first several months of his presidency. In this feature, I looked at the history of presidents in Marvel comics, and had a very tricky time getting Marvel representatives to give a very, very carefully worded statement.