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15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist

You remember being scared by the original The Exorcist, but you may not have known these stories about its terrifying prequel.

1. The director changed late in the game.

John Frankenheimer was originally brought on to direct the prequel, but he had to withdraw due to health concerns. He passed away a month after bowing out.

2. Production didn’t go too smoothly.

Paul Schrader took the helm from Frankenheimer. Schrader had nearly completed Dominion in 2002 when the studio pulled the plug over concerns that his prequel wasn’t scary enough.

3. That’s when things got complicated.

After the studio axed Schrader’s film, an entirely new prequel, this time directed by Renny Harlin, went into production. This new film, Exorcist: The Beginning, used the same sets and much of the same cast as Dominion. It failed both critically and financially upon its release, so in an effort to recoup their investment the studio gave Schrader just $35,000 to complete his version on top of the original $30 million budget.

4. The hiatus stopped the music.

Because Schrader was forced to shelve the movie, the score was left incomplete. Composer Angelo Badalamenti finished some of the music, but the rest was completed by heavy metal band Dog Fashion Disco, who were introduced to Schrader by his son.

5. Liam Neeson originally had a part.

Neeson was slated to play Father Merrin, but he dropped out because of scheduling conflicts with Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York.

6. There’s a Swedish influence.

Taking inspiration from the original Exorcist, Schrader cast actor Stellan Skarsgård as Father Merrin because he felt Skarsgård is the best Swedish actor of his generation—just as he thought Max von Sydow (the original actor who played Merrin in The Exorcist) was the best Swedish actor of his generation.

7. Production spanned two continents.

The film’s exteriors were shot on a set built 45 minutes outside of Marrakesh in Morocco, and the interiors were shot at the famed Cinecittà studios in Rome. Production lasted 10 weeks, with five in Morocco and five in Rome.

8. Kenyan politics disrupted the whole shoot.

Schrader originally sought to shoot the film where the story actually takes place, in modern day Turkana County, Kenya, but it proved to be implausible because of the area’s war-torn and unstable political situation.

9. Actor Billy Crawford is a pop star whose records are huge in France.

French tourists swarmed the Moroccan set to get a peek at the star.

10. Clara Bellar (who plays Rachel) was cast because of her 1940s appeal.

Director Schrader also liked her work as a robot in Steven Spielberg’s A.I.

11. Filming used live hyenas.

But the critters were so camera shy they had to be replaced by CGI.

12. The huge statue has a long back story.

The giant Pazuzu statue in the crypt scenes was based on the statue from the original Exorcist, which itself was based on a real ancient artifact found in Iraq. Schrader updated the statue’s look in Dominion to reflect more African design influences.

13. There’s fine art if you look hard enough.

The mosaics in the church take design cues from similar Byzantine mosaics in the Italian city of Ravenna. 

14. African masks shaped the character design.

The elongated head prosthesis of the possessed Cheche character was based on African masks Schrader photographed while location scouting.

15. There’s a subtle John Ford tribute at the end.

The film’s closing scene is inspired by the final shot of John Ford’s The Searchers, starring John Wayne.

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Pop Chart Lab
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Comics
The Origins of 36 Marvel Characters, Illustrated
Pop Chart Lab
Pop Chart Lab

No matter what their powers, every super hero has an origin story, from Spider-Man’s radioactive bite to Iron Man’s life-threatening chest shrapnel. In their latest poster, the designers at Pop Chart Lab have taken their infographic savvy to the Marvel Universe, charting the heroic origins of 36 different Marvel characters through miniature, minimalist comics.

Without using any words, they’ve managed to illustrate Bucky Barnes's plane explosion and subsequent transformation into the Winter Soldier, Jessica Jones’s car crash, the death of the Punisher’s family, and other classic stories from the major Marvel canon while paying tribute to the comic book form.

Explore the poster below, and see a zoomable version on Pop Chart Lab’s website.

A poster featuring 36 minimalist illustrations of superhero origin stories.
Pop Chart Lab

Keep your eyes open for future Marvel-Pop Chart crossovers. The Marvel Origins: A Sequential Compendium poster is “the first release of what we hope to be a marvelous partnership,” as Pop Chart Lab’s Galvin Chow puts it. Prints are available for pre-order starting at $37 and are scheduled to start shipping on March 8.

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Disney Enterprises, Inc.
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entertainment
Your $10 Donation Can Help an Underprivileged Child See A Wrinkle in Time for Free
Disney Enterprises, Inc.
Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Theater chain AMC is teaming with the Give a Child the Universe initiative to help underprivileged kids see A Wrinkle in Time for free through ticket donations. The initiative was started by Color of Change, a nonprofit advocacy group that designs “campaigns powerful enough to end practices that unfairly hold Black people back, and champion solutions that move us all forward.”

"Color of Change believes in the power of images and supports those working to change the rules in Hollywood so that inclusive, empathetic and human portrayals of black people and people of color are prominent on the screen,” the initiative’s executive director, Rashad Robinson, said in a statement:

Director Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time is the perfect subject for the group because, as Robinson puts it, “By casting a black teenage actress, Storm Reid, as the heroine at the center of this story, the filmmakers and the studio send a powerful message to millions of young people who will see someone like them embracing their individuality and strength to save the world.”

The movie touts a diverse cast that includes Mindy Kaling, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Zach Galifianakis, and Chris Pine. The most important member of the cast, though, is 14-year-old Storm Reid, who plays the main character Meg Murry, a young girl who tries to save her father (Pine) who is trapped in another dimension. The movie is based on the acclaimed 1962 fantasy novel by author Madeleine L'Engle.

If you’d like to donate a ticket (or more), you can just head over to the Give a Child the Universe website and pledge an amount. AMC will provide one ticket to children and teens nationwide for every $10 given to the cause.

And if you’re interested in seeing the movie yourself, A Wrinkle in Time opens on March 9, 2018.

[h/t E! Online]

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