TIME Sports

ESPN Sportscaster Comments on Ray Rice Stir Controversy

Commentator Stephen A. Smith has been accused of victim blaming

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Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice received a slap-on-the-wrist, two-game suspension after being arrested and indicted for allegedly hitting his now-wife so hard that he knocked her unconscious. Following the NFL’s announcement of the punishment, ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith implied yesterday on First Take that women need to be careful about what they do or say so as not to tempt men to viciously attack them:

We know you have no business putting your hands on a woman. I don’t know how many times I got to reiterate that… But what I’ve tried to employ the female members of my family, some of who you all met and talked to and what have you, is that again, and this what, I’ve done this all my life, let’s make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions, because if I come, or somebody else come, whether it’s law enforcement officials, your brother or the fellas that you know, if we come after somebody has put their hands on you, it doesn’t negate the fact that they already put their hands on you. So let’s try to make sure that we can do our part in making sure that that doesn’t happen.

He goes on:

In Ray Rice’s case, he probably deserves more than a 2-game suspension which we both acknowledged. But at the same time, we also have to make sure that we learn as much as we can about elements of provocation. Not that there’s real provocation, but the elements of provocation, you got to make sure that you address them, because we’ve got to do is do what we can to try to prevent the situation from happening in any way. And I don’t think that’s broached enough, is all I’m saying. No point of blame.

ESPN host Michelle Beadle fired back at Smith after the segment on Twitter.

She has also retweeted several violent threats that were made against her following her comments.

Smith responded by trying to clarify his position and apologizing to Beadle. He tweets that he never accused women of being wrong. But he also concludes, “I was simply saying to take all things into consideration for preventative purposes.”

MORE: The NFL Needs To Take Domestic Violence Seriously

TIME Culture

Scarlett Johansson, Lucy and the Future of the Female Action Star

Film Title: Lucy
Universal Pictures

Scar Jo's unlikely road from the other woman to superhero

This weekend’s Lucy—the action thriller starring Scarlett Johansson as a woman who has 10 times the brain capacity of other humans—may just turn out to be a hit. The film scored $2.7 million at the Thursday box office, beating out Hercules, which stars a traditionally macho hero, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. If the box office numbers continue to soar, Johansson will join the small pantheon of women who can carry an action film that isn’t based on a comic book or a young adult novel.

There are very few actresses who can accomplish that feat. Remember, we’re not counting Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games is based on the uber-popular YA series), Kate Beckinsale (the Underworld series was based on a comic), anyone who shared the screen with an equally formidable male action hero (Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2) or who starred in an action film that bombed (Jennifer Garner in Elektra). Who’s left? Angelina Jolie is probably the most well-known: she took top billing in Tomb Raider, Salt and Wanted (to varying degrees of success). Uma Thurman kicked ass in both Kill Bill movies. And Sigourney Weaver was a terrific warrior in Alien. That’s about it.

And none of those women starred in a tentpole superhero film. In fact, films focused on superheroines have historically crashed and burned (see: Halle Berry in Catwoman). But being able to carry an action film with no built-in fan base means that the people at Disney may finally feel comfortable with giving Johansson her own Black Widow film, where she plays the star, not the sidekick to Robert Downey Jr. as she does in The Avengers.

But there’s a hitch. Lucy isn’t really an action movie. It’s more a meditation on pseudo-science: action scenes are intercut with clips of animals from nature documentaries and shots of stars swirling through space. Lucy never shoots or kicks when she can just sweep bad guys out of the way with the flick of her hand. Her Marvel movies have certainly proven that she has the physicality necessary for a superhero film. But does she want her own franchise? Her resume suggests perhaps not.

Johansson has taken a strange trajectory to this spot. Her breakout roles had her playing the other woman or the unfaithful woman (even if the cheating is simply emotional): Lost In Translation, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Match Point, The Other Boleyn Girl, Vicky Cristina Barcelona and He’s Just Not That Into You all place Johansson in some sort of love triangle or cheating scandal. Why she was cast in these roles is obvious: Johansson is a classically beautiful, voluptuous blonde. Men in the audience knew she was fatally attractive, and women—based on the number of times I’ve heard female friends declare their hatred for her—were repulsed by her undeniable sex appeal.

Even as she’s moved away from the role of the hapless young woman, she’s capitalized on her dangerous beauty: her superhero character, Black Widow, is named after a spider that traps and then kills its prey; in Don Jon she played the only woman who could tame a man obsessed with porn; in Under Her Skin she’s an alien that eats men; and even though she never appears in Her, her disembodied voice is so sultry that it’s no wonder Joaquin Phoenix falls head over heels for his computer.

You may notice that these more recent films increasingly capitalize on Johansson’s intelligence and not just her body: she’s played and tricky alien, a computer, and now in Lucy, the smartest woman in the world. So while the success of Lucy may mean that Johansson can helm a Black Widow movie, taking such a simplistic roles could feel a step down for Johansson. She’s made a point throughout her career to choose pretty complex roles, working with directors like Woody Allen and Christopher Nolan and opting for lower-budget projects like Don Jon and Under Her Skin, when she could turn on her charm and have an easy road to rom-con stardom. Why go from playing hyper-smart women in artier films to reciting cliche dialogue in a superhero flick?

But the way actors afford to take “challenging” roles like Samantha in Her is by suiting up for things like The Avengers. So I suspect it will only be a few more years before we see Scarlett Johansson heads up her own Marvel franchise. Hopefully more women will follow.

 

TIME Opinion

The NFL Needs to Take Domestic Violence Seriously

Ray Rice Press Conference
Running back Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens pauses while addressing a news conference with his wife Janay at the Ravens training center on May 23, 2014 in Owings Mills, Maryland. Rob Carr—Getty Images

Ray Rice's slap-on-the-wrist suspension shows the league doesn't respect women

On Thursday, the NFL issued a two-game suspension to Baltimore Ravens’ running back Ray Rice, who this spring was indicted for allegedly hitting his now-wife so hard that he knocked her unconscious. Rice was caught by a security camera dragging his unconscious then-fiancee out of an elevator in an Atlantic City Casino after the supposed incident. The video went viral, thanks to TMZ. It is truly disturbing: at one point the elevator keeps closing on the motionless fiancee’s feet. Considering his actions, Rice’s light punishment is a joke.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has suspended players for longer because of DUIs, smoking pot and illegal tattoos. Fourteen other NFL players have been suspended in 2014, all for drug use—performance-enhancing or otherwise. Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon is currently appealing a one-year suspension for marijuana use. Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis will sit out four games for taking illegal fertility drugs in hopes of getting his wife pregnant, according to Mathis. Again, Rice will sit for just two games.

As fans, we can’t speculate on details of the altercation: Ray and Janay Rice have tied the knot since the incident, and he has publicly apologized for using violence. But what we do know is this: there’s a tape of Ray Rice dragging an unconscious woman out of an elevator; he was charged with third-degree aggravated assault; a grand jury indicted him; a trial never took place, and he has agreed to enter counseling.

We also know that the NFL has a long history of players accused of committing domestic violence. According statistics from U-T San Diego, 21 of 32 NFL teams employed a player with a domestic or sexual violence charge on their record last year. Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy, Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington and Minnesota Vikings cornerback A.J. Jefferson have all recently been arrested for assault in domestic disputes.

Excusing these players’ actions sends the message that the country’s number one sports league doesn’t care about women (unless they’re attending games or buying merchandise). And it perpetuates the idea that these actions are okay when already 25% of women will be the victim of domestic abuse at some point in their lifetime, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

And such a light sentence opens the door to victim blaming. After the video leaked, Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome speculated that perhaps a “different story” would come out, implying that maybe Janay Rice did something to deserve being hit. (To clarify, no victim of domestic violence, male or female, ever deserves to be hit.) Janay Rice fueled the fire herself in a news conference in May by saying, “I do deeply regret the role I played in the incident that night.” Some may rationalize the light punishment by pointing to Janay’s forgiving Rice and Rice’s one-on-one meeting with Goodell. That’s not the message the NFL should be sending.

The NFL’s actions have disturbed fans and players alike. Former player Scott Fujita tweeted:

Goodell promised in 2012 that the NFL would take a stand on domestic violence arrests. And two years later, Goodell is doling out two game suspensions. Get serious, NFL.

TIME Culture

The Rise of Fangirls at Comic-Con

Comic-Con International 2014 - Day 1
A costumed guest attends Comic-Con International 2014 - Day 1 on July 24, 2014 in San Diego, California. Joe Scarnici—FilmMagic

Why women are flocking to the conference

San Diego Comic-Con—an annual conference celebrating all things gloriously nerdy from The Avengers to Star Trek—has had a reputation as a boys’ club, albeit a geeky one. Many unfamiliar with the event might assume its made up of nerdy boys in Star Wars costumes ogling “booth babes.” But attend this year’s Comic-Con, which began Thursday and runs throughout the weekend, and you can visit a panel on the women of Marvel comics, watch a geek couture fashion show and meet female writers of iconic shows like The Walking Dead.

This year’s Comic-Con will draw 130,000 fans, almost half of whom are female. It will feature 12 panels focused specifically on women—more than every before. And that doesn’t even count panels that feature female writers without advertising it.

“When I was in high school I went to some local sci-fi cons, and the way I remember it, men vastly outnumbered the women. Now though when I go to cons I see that the numbers are far more evenly matched, and that’s nothing but terrific,” says Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy fame, who is hosting a panel called “Behind the Scenes of Science Fiction in Movies and on TV,” which happens to be made up of all female writers from shows like Game of Thrones and movies like Guardians of the Galaxy. “There’s nothing inherent in the ideas of fantasy, science fiction or any other genre that shouldn’t appeal to men and women equally — to everyone equally.”

Girls are taking over Comic-Con, but where did they come from and why did it take so long?

Sarah Michelle Gellar Stars In Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Sarah Michelle Gellar Stars In “Buffy The Vampire Slayer.” Getty Images

Out of the Shadows

Long-time attendees, panelists and industry insiders believe that women have always been a fan of genre, but in the last five years they have become more openly vocal about their nerdy tendencies.

“I feel like it’s perceived to be a boys’ club, but I’m not sure it ever really has been,” says Jane Espenson, who will participate in the sci-fi writing panel. Espenson wrote episodes on a wide range of sci-fi and fantasy shows, including Buffy, Game of Thrones and Battlestar Galactica (where she was the only woman in the writer’s room). She is currently a co-creator of the online show Husbands. “There were always a lot of women at those Buffy panels. Even at the Battlestar Gallactica panels because Starbuck was such an iconic female character, you’d see a lot of women showing up in fighter pilot uniforms.”

Sci-fi and fantasy have a history of being groundbreaking in terms of diversity: the original Star Trek forged the way for social change by telling stories about acceptance using aliens as a stand-in for marginalized human groups. But it took social media and conventions like Comic-Con to bring together like-minded geek girls who may have been bullied or marginalized at their schools for liking “boy things.”

“The community of women who are interested in these things are becoming more vocal thanks to things like Twitter and Tumblr,” says Jeanine Schaefer, an editor at Marvel who has worked on titles like She-Hulk and the all-female X-Men series. “It’s not that they’re suddenly here. It’s that they’re suddenly more visible.”

In a world where Game of Thrones, a fantasy show, has become the most-watched series in HBO history (an unimaginable feat just a few years ago), being a nerd has become kind of cool. “Not only is it acceptable now to enjoy these things, but it’s oddly kind of sexy to like video games and science and get what the boys are doing,” says Espenson.

And a plethora of cool female characters in these genres — from Deanerys in Game of Thrones to Mystique in X-Men — have connected with fans and inspired them to create their own badass ladies in fan fiction or even within the industry. “The number of letters that I’ve gotten over the years from young women talking about how they only survived high school because of Buffy is overwhelming,” says Espenson. “I think women see the show and want to create their own thing.”

Ashley Eckstein poses in a geek couture Darth Vader outfit to promote the Comic-Con fashion show Her Universe

Geek Couture

Nothing epitomizes the transition of girl geek culture into the limelight quite like the rise of Her Universe, a women’s clothing brand dedicated to geek-inspired fashion (think: Avengers leggings and R2D2 skirts). Founder Ashley Eckstein got the idea after she was cast in Star Wars: The Clone Wars in 2005. As a part of the franchise, Eckstein sought out Star Wars women’s wear and came up short. “I was tired of wearing men’s boxy shirts,” she says. “I wanted women’s cuts and dresses. I did my research and close to 50% of sci-fi fans are women, and 80% of all consumer purchases are made by women. I’m no mathematician, but that looked like an untapped market.”

So she started her own company in 2010. Her Universe now has licenses to create apparel based on Star Wars, Star Trek, Dr. Who, The Walking Dead, Marvel and Transformers, among other franchises. The label took off and is now a mainstay in popular stores for teens like Hot Topic.

In an effort to further reach out to female fans, Eckstein is organizing a fashion show for “geek couture” at this year’s Comic-Con. Comic-Con is of course filled with cosplay—short for costume play, in which participants dress like their favorite characters—but Eckstein spotted another movement. “I’d been noticing a trend for quite some time that girls who show up in their own costume fashions that weren’t cosplay,” she says. “They were these outfits that were cosplay-inspired but that you could wear going out, and the women were using Comic-Con as their runway.”

Eckstein worked for two years to create a real fashion show featuring designs submitted by fans. They received over 160 submissions and narrowed the show down to 36 outfits. The two winners of the show will get to design their own lines for Her Universe. Such an event would have been unimaginable at Comic-Con in the 00s.

Thor concept art on July 15, 2014. Marvel Comics

Thor Becomes a Woman

As the geeky girl has become a more visible trope online at at the convention, industry execs have realized they can reap huge profits from an untapped market of female fans. So they started reaching out directly by licensing stories to companies like Her Universe. Now, they’re taking the next step by re-examining the diversity of characters in their comic books, films and shows.

For the past four years, Marvel has hosted a “Women of Marvel” panel that highlights not only female writers and editors at Marvel Comics but also some of the brand’s female superheroes. Marvel editor Schaefer says that last year was their most successful panel ever: the room was so full with both men and women that most had to stand and many fans couldn’t even get in. This year will likely draw even more curious followers since Marvel recently announced that the popular hero Thor will become a woman.

“While we’ve always been dedicated to making our characters reflect the world outside your window, we’re making more inroads towards better reflecting the breadth of our readership by diversifying our line and making sure there’s something for everyone,” says Schaefer.

Sometimes that means creating more female heroes or allowing a woman to wield Thor’s hammer. Other times that simply means letting women know they can read comics too. “I’ve long said to get women to read comics, we don’t need to make something that all women will read because that doesn’t exist,” says Schaefer. “We just need to make sure there’s not a sign that says, ‘No girls allowed.’”

Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow Moviestills DB/Marvel

Waiting for Black Widow

But despite the community’s best efforts to welcome women, it still struggles to achieve gender parity. “I think women are represented in higher rates in sci-fi writing than in some other fields like procedurals,” says TV writer Espenson. “But we’re still vastly outnumbered.”

On the convention floor, “booth babes” still persist, beckoning fans to events like sirens in skimpy outfits. And some female fans mimic this look. “Yes, you’ll see girls dressed in sexy costumes,” says Eckstein of Her Universe. “But part of that is that these classic characters in comic books are dressed in sexy costumes, and it’s really important to the fans to be accurate.” That’s beginning to change: As part of Marvel’s effort to incorporate more women in the last several years they’ve redesigned their costumes to be more “modern” (read: a bit less objectifying).

And fans are choosing a wider range of costumes than ever before. “I would say you won’t just see Princess Leia in the gold bikini,” says Eckstein. “You’ll see Endor Leia and Leia in the white dress and girls dressed as fighter pilots.”

Many of those fans — especially teens — are donning outfits similar to those Scarlett Johansson wears as Black Widow in The Avengers films. “They’re obsessed with her,” says Eckstein. Underlying all my interviews was this cautious optimism surrounding the Black Widow character, who is perhaps the most likely female superhero to get her own franchise in the near future. As Lucy—an action film also starring Scarlett Johansson—premieres this weekend, the industry is holding its breath, waiting to see if Johansson can carry the movie and therefore merit a shot at her own Marvel film. “I can’t speak to any of our movie stuff,” says Schaefer at Marvel. “But obviously as a fan, I want [Lucy] to succeed. I want people to go out and vote with their dollars.”

A Black Widow film could pave the way for a long-awaited Wonder Woman movie (Wonder Woman will appear in Batman v. Superman in 2016, but isn’t a main character) and perhaps even an X-Men spinoff starring Mystique. But Hollywood still thinks that betting on female leads is a risk, even though they’ve proven through shows like Buffy to succeed on the small screen.

“Issues of sexism and misogyny still plague a lot of online culture, including geek culture,” says Plait. “One way to help that is to simply mainstream the issue, to stop ‘othering’ women. That’s why this isn’t a panel about being a woman in science fiction, it’s a panel about science fiction that happens to have all women on it.”

Placing these women writers and actors front and center is sure to inspire another generation of women hoping to join the industry and create their own female characters. Schaefer says every year she gets questions as to how she broke into the boys’ club. “When I was a kid, I thought it was all dudes making comics,” says Schaefer. “And then one day I saw a woman’s name and thought, ‘Wow, there’s a woman doing this. I can do this too.’”

TIME Algeria

France Confirms No Survivors in Air Algerie Plane Crash

Air Algerie Plane Crash Mali Algiers Algeria Burkina Faso
French soldiers stand by the wreckage of the Air Algerie flight AH5017 which crashed in Mali's Gossi region, west of Gao, on July 24, 2014. AFP/Getty Images

Cause of the crash still unknown, but French officials suspect bad weather to blame

President François Hollande of France confirmed Friday that there were no survivors from Flight AH5017 that crashed carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algiers. The wreckage of the plane was found Thursday in Mali, according to officials.

Both of the plane’s black boxes have been recovered and as yet, the cause of the crash remains unknown.

The Air Algerie commercial plane lost contact with controllers early Thursday an hour after it took off, as it headed into a rainstorm. The wreckage was found near the border of Burkina Faso, a presidential aide for Burkina Faso told the Associated Press.

“They found human remains and the wreckage of the plane totally burnt and scattered,” he said.

France’s Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, told RTL radio that the aircraft most likely crashed because of the storm, though he added that terrorist groups are operational in the area where the plane was found.

Nearly half of the people on the flight were French. The passengers aboard included 51 French, 27 Burkina Faso nationals, eight Lebanese, six Algerians, five Canadians, four Germans, two Luxembourg nationals, one Swiss, one Belgian, one Egyptian, one Ukrainian, one Nigerian, one Cameroonian and one Malian, officials said. “If this catastrophe is confirmed, it would be a major tragedy that hits our entire nation, and many others,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters. French officials do not believe that extremists in Mali have the weaponry necessary to have shot down the plane at cruising altitude.

This is the latest in several major flight disasters in the last week: a Malaysian Airlines flight was shot down last Thursday while flying over a tumultuous section of Ukraine, and a Taiwanese jet crashed during a storm Wednesday killing 48 people. Travelers have become increasingly nervous about flying as U.S. and European airlines have been selectively canceling flights to Israel after a rocket landed near the airport in Tel Aviv. Meanwhile, a Malaysian airline flight carrying 239 people that disappeared in March has yet to be found.

[AP]

TIME medicine

Tylenol and Panadol Prove No Better Than Placebo at Helping Back Pain

Paracetamol Reportedly Not Effective Drug For Back Pain
Paracetamol tablets sit on a table on July 24, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. In a new study published in the prestigious medical journal, 'The Lancet' the most common pain reliever for back pain, paracetamol, does not work any better than a placebo. Scott Barbour—Getty Images

Acetaminophen isn't curing your aches after all

Two-thirds of adults experience back pain sometime during their lives, and most take acetaminophen, found in brands like Tylenol and Panadol, for relief. But new research has found that those medicines are no more helpful than swallowing a sugar pill.

A study published this week in a medical journal called The Lancet split 1,643 people with acute low-back pain into three groups, each given two boxes. One group received two boxes of 500-miligram acetaminophen tablets, with instructions to use the second box “as needed’; the second group got a box of acetaminophen and an as-needed box of placebos; and the third group received two boxes of placebos. Researchers told the participants to take six tablets per day from the regular box and up to two from the as-needed box.

Over the course of three months, the researchers found no difference among the three groups. Subjects showed no variation in terms of pain, recovery time, function, disability, symptom change, sleep or quality of life. About 75% of the participants were happy with their results, whether or not they had received the placebos.

TIME Internet

Curiouser and Curiouser: This KickStarter Campaign Created the World’s Longest Tattoo Chain

They printed the entire text of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland on 2,500 bodies

A Kickstarter campaign called Lithographs Tattoos has successfully launched a line of (temporary) literary tattoos by creating the world’s longest (temporary) tattoo chain.

Lithrographs has previously created t-shirts, posters and tote bags featuring phrases from famous books. In order to attract funders for their temporary tatoo project, the company has broken up the entire text of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, into 2,500 unique phrases. Each phrase will be printed once as a temporary tattoo and sent to those who pledged. Once the project officially ends, the company will post a gallery of photos that, when put together, shows the entire book on people’s bodies.

The campaign has 5,504 backers so far,and exceeded its $7,500 goal by $27,431. With that amount of funding, Lithograph says it will create tattoos for classics like The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Ulysses and Les Miserables.

TIME movies

Matthew McConaughey, Christopher Nolan Make a Surprise Appearance at Comic-Con

Paramount Studios Presentation - Comic-Con International 2014
Actor Matthew McConaughey attends the Paramount Studios presentation during Comic-Con International 2014 at the San Diego Convention Center on July 24, 2014 in San Diego, Calif. Kevin Winter—Getty Images

They debuted a new trailer for Interstellar

Actor Matthew McConaughey and director Christopher Nolan debuted a new trailer for their film Interstellar during a surprise visit to Comic-Con on Thursday. It was the first time either of the two has ever appeared at the San Diego convention.

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“Thought it would be a fun thing to come down and see what all the fuss is about,” Nolan said to the audience in Hall H, according to Variety. So far, audiences have seen only cryptic trailers for Interstellar. Nolan explained that the movie will focus on space travel. “To be an astronaut was the highest ambition,” he said. “The idea to keep exploring space farther and farther… it (fell) off greatly. We are in a period of incredible technological change, (but it’s about) what’s in your pocket, your living room. I like the idea that we are on the cusp of a brand new era and we are traveling outwards more.” McConaughey expanded upon Nolan’s hints in more concrete detail: “Cooper is a pilot, an engineer and a widowed pilot of two children where civilization is just sustaining,” the Oscar-winner explained. “There’s food, clean water, but they don’t need any explorers, no new bright ideas. Then something happens and the dream of being a pilot agains knocks on his door.” The actor said that the movie pits his character’s loyalty to the human race against his love for his family. Though Nolan has a history of taking on ambitious projects, like the Dark Knight trilogy and Inception, the True Detective actor said, “By far, this is the most ambitious film that Christopher Nolan has ever directed.” The movie is set to premiere on Nov. 7 and will also star Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine and Casey Affleck. [Variety]

TIME movies

Check Out the Newest Picture of Ben Affleck As Batman

Batman - Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck as Batman DCComics.com

The new Dark Knight gets his close-up

For Batman’s seventy-fifth birthday, DC Comics is displaying a new, dark image of Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader at its San Diego Comic-Con booth. The image was part of a montage celebrating various depictions of Batman in comics, TV shows, movies and games, according to the DC Comics website. Affleck is set to star as Gotham’s dark knight in the upcoming Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice film opposite Henry Cavill, who played Superman in 2013′s Man of Steel. The new movie is set to drop in 2016.
MORE: See Every Batman Logo From the Past 75 Years — All In One Gif

TIME movies

Watch Jake Gyllenhall in the Nightcrawler Trailer

Nope, not about the comic book superhero

An extremely-thin, bug-eyed Jake Gyllenhall leaves a creepy impression in the premiere of the Nightcrawler trailer. The 33-year-old actor lost 20 pounds for the role.

Gyllenhall plays a TV crime reporter who is the first on the scene of car crashes and murders to catch footage for the news. It’s not long before Gyllenhall takes things too far and is slamming his hands against a mirror and crying out. “My motto is, if you want to win the lottery, you have to make the money to buy the ticket,” Gyllenhall’s character Lou Bloom says in the trailer.

Eek.

The movie is set to hit theaters on Oct. 17.

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