There were a lot of memorable moments in pop culture in 2018, including many highs, as well as a few lows. But in addition to that, there were a few events that were just weird or shocking, to the point that some folks are still reeling months later. Yes, there were many deaths. There were also a large number of sexual misconduct accusations. But omitting those, here are a few other moments that you may recall.
12. Netflix Dropped A Surprise Movie, ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’ After The Super Bowl
Netflix has been striving to establish itself as a major outlet for original films, producing both serious dramas meant to court major awards and popcorn flicks. Its biggest release this year was arguably ‘The Cloverfield Paradox’, for which it paid big bucks to advertise during the Super Bowl and then made available to stream immediately after the game. Netflix shocked fans by simply announcing the movie, which no one had a clue was coming. Unfortunately, it wasn’t very good and probably not worth the effort that Netflix went through to keep it secret.
11. Joss Whedon Quits ‘Batgirl’
After directing Marvel’s ‘Avengers’ and ‘Avengers 2’, Joss Whedon jumped ship for Warner Brothers’ DC Universe. He approached them with a desire to helm a ‘Batgirl’ movie, then took over reshoots of ‘Justice League’. But ‘Justice League’ tanked, then Whedon walked away from ‘Batgirl’ saying that he couldn’t come up with a storyline. WB is still planning a ‘Batgirl’ movie minus Whedon, even though before his involvement, there were no plans for a ‘Batgirl’ film.
10. Jared Leto Announced As Starring In ‘Morbius’ For Sony
Jared Leto famously went method for his portrayal of The Joker in Warner Brothers’ DC Comics movie ‘Suicide Squad’. Fans assumed that he was locked in to portray the Batman villain for years to come. So everyone was shocked when Sony announced that Leto would star in ‘Morbius’, a film based on a Marvel Comics character. ‘Morbius’ will be Sony’s next free-standing comic book movie, after this year’s hit ‘Venom’. But reportedly, the door is still open for Leto to return as The Joker down the line.
9. The Hottest Marvel Character Is Apparently Thanos
In a movie filled with attractive Chrises (Evans, Hemsworth, and Pratt), plus Chadwick Boseman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland etc., for some reason, the internet decided that the hottest slice in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ was Grimace on steroids, Thanos. While the universe might be balanced, it’s also incredibly thirsty. Whatever floats your boat.
8. Sony’s First ‘Venom’ Trailer Contained No Venom
‘Venom’ was the most poorly marketed movie of the year. The actual film is packed with action, humor, and cool special effects. But the ads for it contained the most banal, generic shots that could have been plucked from any movie. The first ‘Venom’ trailer didn’t even show Venom! WTF?!
7. Batman Is Totally Circumcised
DC published ‘Batman: Damned’ #1 which included graphic depictions of Batman’s penis and buttocks. No one was really offended, but after the internet went nuts, DC tried to claim the Bat-junk was printed by accident. Strangely, the biggest controversy to emerge was from folks who oppose circumcision. Elsewhere, accounts of false Bat-Signal distress calls skyrocketed.
6. ‘Solo’ Becomes The First ‘Star Wars’ Flop
‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ was plagued with behind the scenes issues. Disney fired directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller after months of filming and replaced them with Ron Howard, who wound up reshooting almost the entire movie, causing the budget to almost double. In addition to that, after casting Alden Ehrenreich over almost every twenty-something actor in Hollywood (Ansel Elgort, Miles Teller, and more), Disney had to hire an acting coach to work with him while filming. The studio also insisted that the film be released in the summer when the three previous ‘Star Wars’ movies came out around Christmas. The result was the biggest dud in ‘Star Wars’ history. But Donald Glover looked amazing in those Lando capes, right?
5. Warner Brothers Announces a ‘Joker’ Solo Movie, Produced By Martin Scorsese
WB’s DC movies have been struggling, but it was established that Jared Leto was The Joker. So it was a shock when WB announced that Martin Scorsese was producing a stand-alone ‘Joker’ movie that would not be connected to the established DC Universe of films. Joaquin Phoenix was announced to star, while Robert DeNiro was cast in a supporting role!
4. F*** Batman
There are already several TV shows based on DC characters, so fans thought they knew what to expect from ‘Titans’. But when the first trailer was revealed, fans were stunned when Robin (Brenton Thwaites) uttered the phrase “F*** Batman.” It was the expletive heard throughout fandom.
3. Andrew Lincoln Quits ‘The Walking Dead’
Watchers were already reeling from the death of Carl on ‘The Walking Dead’, but nothing could prepare them for the announcement that the show’s star, Andrew Lincoln was leaving the show. Rating have dipped and this surely won’t help, but Lincoln’s character, Rick Grimes will return in made for TV movies.
2. Netflix Cancels ‘Iron Fist’, ‘Luke Cage’, ‘Daredevil’ and…
Netflix doesn’t disclose its streaming numbers, but everyone was under the assumption that its Marvel shows were doing just fine, so it was a real shock when it cancelled ‘Iron Fist’, although that show had been plagued by bad reviews. But it was an even bigger shock when ‘Luke Cage’ and ‘Daredevil’ quickly followed it into oblivion. It appears that Netflix isn’t keen on the fact that Disney is launching a new streaming service, Disney+ in 2019 and will also assume controlling interest in Hulu. It’s pretty much a given that upcoming seasons of ‘Jessica Jones’ and ‘The Punisher’ will be the last.
1. Disney Fires James Gunn
Conservatives that took issue with James Gunn‘s liberal views, unearthed old tweets in which the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ helmer joked about child molestation, rape, the Holocaust and 9/11 among other dicey topics. Disney immediately cut all ties to Gunn, on the eve of San Diego Comic-Con. Gunn’s distinct comedic style made a major impact on the Marvel movies, inspiring lighter entries like ‘Thor: Ragnarok’. While Gunn’s jokes, from ten years prior, were about unfunny topics, they weren’t particularly offensive. Fans are still bummed that Gunn won’t return to direct ‘Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3’… which, at this point, may never get made by anyone.
Do you agree? Were there any other moments in 2018 that were shocking? Feel free to comment below.