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Idris Elba James Bond

Idris Elba Pegged as the Next James Bond

Despite quashing rumors two years ago, gossips are twittering that Idris Elba has been pegged as the next James Bond once again.

Back in 2016, Elba said “I think I’m too old for that man, running around in cars and ladies and martinis, who wants to do that?”, yet people are still unconvinced.

After the producer of the film franchise, Barbara Broccoli, recently stated that “it is time” for a non-white hero to take play the suave British spy, fans have gone into frenzy.

The Luther (2010-2018) star further fanned the flames of suspicion when he published a rather playful tweet saying “The Name’s Elba. Idris Elba”. Was he simply teasing or was this an early announcement?    

Daniel Craig is said to be giving his fifth and final performance in Bond’s next installment. He played the fascinating character for more than 10 years, his first performance being in Casino Royale (2006). Danny Boyle was originally lined up to direct the forthcoming the 25th film in the series. However, recent reports say that Boyle has withdrawn himself from captaining the next chapter due to “artistic differences”. This drama surrounding the franchise has only added to the anticipation of the famous fictional character’s fate.

Elba has been a favorite to replace Craig since 2014 when the digital hack of Sony revealed documents with Amy Pascal, co-chair of the company, putting the actor forward for the role. Since then, he has been top of the public’s list. Elba is also the top choice amongst “bookies”, who are hastily taking bets on the subject.

A poll held by cinema chain ODEON rendered these results with regards to favourite actors to fill the role. Fans were asked to name their favourite choices for 007 and, unsurprisingly, Elba came out on top:

  • Idris Elba: 26 percent
  • Tom Hardy: 22 percent
  • Tom Hiddleston: 11 percent
  • Aidan Turner: 5percent
  • James Norton: 5 percent

Film 25 won’t hit the silver screen until October 2019, but until then, we can imagine, rumours on the next James Bond actor will continue to circulate.

What do you think about Idris Elba being pegged as the next James Bond—is it likely? Which actor do you want to see in the role?

Further reading: The Relevancy of BlacKkKlansman

BlacKkKlansman

The Relevancy of BlacKkKlansman

The Spike Lee-directed, Jordan Peele-produced summer movie BlacKkKlansman was everything you can imagine from the title. A story based on real events has hit the movie world to surprising success. Making over $10 million dollars in sales on its opening weekend, it also received countless standing ovations at festivals, including the theater I saw the movie in. The in-depth story of the first black officer in Colorado Springs quickly transitions into a sting operation, where the same officer successfully infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan. Set in the 70s, the story is littered with racial bias and nuances of the time period. Strong racial language made the story a bit heavy at times but to see a glimpse of the neo-Nazi ideology unfold will serve as a beacon for truth for many years. Let me explain why.

BlacKkKlansman is not some righteous portrayal of a cop doing good for his people but simply an accidental operation that turned out to land on the morally right side of history. It is more of a detailed manifestation of the undertones of white nationalism and white supremacy. It is distinct and precise in its approach to gain access into the world of the “Organization” better known as the KKK.

Spike Lee showcases his directorial genius by creating a film that almost reminds you of a self-serving KKK documentary than a counter-operative mission against them. He slowly takes the audience through the underworking of hatred and how it is derived through the use of “white nationalism” and “white supremacy,” while displaying the glaring differences between “white power” and “black power”. The movie starred John David Washington as Ron Stallworth, and Adam Driver as Flip, who becomes the white version of Ron Stallworth when the KKK asks to meet him in person. The interesting dynamic is that Flip is a Jewish man who has never acknowledged his heritage. The film is a peculiar depiction of a black man, Stallworth, discovering himself alongside a Jewish man, Flip, who is discovering his own religious and political ideology as he fights through the racial discomfort in the presence of neo-Nazi’s, who believe the Holocaust was a hoax.

This film was not made for black folks to stand and clap at the end. This movie was made for white Americans who seem to align themselves with hateful rhetoric, purposely or not. This movie is more about the group of white cops who allowed this black man to infiltrate and thwart the radical ways of the KKK chapter in Colorado Springs. Spike Lee uses smart and seemingly clear-cut references that make you feel as if the story could happen at this very moment in time. This was displayed most effectively in a scene with storied activist/philanthropist Harry Belafonte sitting in the famous bamboo chair that Huey Newton of the Black Panthers sat in, telling a story to the Black Student Union. In this scene, Belafonte recounts a story about Jesse Washington, a black man who was lynched in 1916. This story sets a tone for the climax of the film and offers some insight on how black America has dealt with oppression and violence throughout the century.

Why is BlacKkKlansman so relevant?

This movie is relevant because it is eerily relatable to the political climate of today. President Donald Trump’s lack of empathy and disregard for human life has stirred racial feelings similar to the timeframe of this film. It comes on the one-year memorial of the death of Heather Heyer, who was murdered last year at the Unite the Right Neo-Nazi March in Charlottesville, Virginia, which is detailed before the closing credits. This unimaginable hatred still exists in our country and BlacKkKlansman doesn’t shy away from that point at all.

Spike Lee has publically spoken out against the president and he isn’t reluctant in dealing with that in the dialogue of the movie. He was able to drop subtle lines that make you think and at times cringe. Overall, the film is great and full of small details worth exploring on your own. The biggest take away I got from the film is that it was a black man articulating the story of the KKK. In a world full of cultural appropriation, it was a clear-cut thorn to the side of the KKK and as a black man, I appreciated every moment of it. I do want to give a legitimate shoutout to That 70s Show star, Topher Grace, who played a young David Duke, Head Master of the KKK. The cast who played the Neo-Nazi organization was phenomenal and really made the movie as real as they can make it.

What we learned

If we only learn one thing from the film, it’s is that in order to fight hatred and racism we need to work together. It can’t be the hated fighting the hateful while the undecided sit on the sidelines. Those that are not on the side of hate should put their lives and careers on the line as we do to eradicate these hateful ideologies from our American society. BlacKkKlansman will go down as one of Spike Lee’s most important films.

Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman- 4.5 out 5 stars

Further reading: Bo Burnham on Eighth Grade

Summer Blockbusters

Summer Blockbusters 2018

So far, 2018 has been a stonker of a year for film—read on for the most anticipated upcoming summer blockbusters releases this year.

Major production companies and indie production houses across the board have already presented cinema-goers with an incredible slate of films so far this year. Marvel’s Black Panther alone served to be one of the highest grossing movies of all time, racking up over $1 billion at box office. So, what does summer 2018 have in store?

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom 

Dinosaur fans rejoice! The second in the Jurassic World franchise, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, will hit theaters come June 22. This time around, the story follows Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) on a mission to rescue dinosaurs from Isla Nublar under the false impression that they will be saved from extinction. It’s not until later on that they learn that scientists want to genetically mutate these rare creatures in order to turn them into living weapons.

Hereditary 

Set the be the scariest film of the year, Hereditary first debuted at Sundance festival in January of this year and has received major critical acclaim at advanced screenings ever since. When the grandmother of the troubled Graham family passes away, dark family secrets slowly unravel. Starring Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne and Alex Wolff, Hereditary is set to hit theaters June 8.

Sorry to Bother You 

Starring Lakieth Stanfield from the wildly successful Get Out (2017), Sorry to Bother You is a comedy that follows telemarketer Cassius Green, who discovers that sounding ‘white’ over the phone is the secret to his success. A film with a stark underlying comment on one of the biggest political discourses in America today, this film is likely to become one of the biggest summer blockbusters to date. See it in cinemas from July 6.

Eighth Grade

Eighth Grade is comedian Bo Burnham’s first foray into directing, and will hit the big screen from 13 July. This slice-of-life movie follows teenager Kayla (Elsie Fisher) as she tries to survive the last week of an abysmal eighth grade year before finally heading off to high school. Already causing a stir in the movie scene, this highly anticipated film is a wonderfully frank look at the life, anxieties and worries of a 13-year-old in the internet age.

Crazy Rich Asians

Based on a novel of the same name by Kevin Kwan, Crazy Rich Asians follows economics professor Rachel Chu as she accompanies her partner to Singapore to attend his best friend’s wedding. It is not until she lands in Singapore that she discovers her boyfriend comes from an extremely wealthy family and she is unwittingly thrust into the world of Asia’s rich and finest. This romantic comedy will be released in America August 17.

Further reading: Ocean’s Eight Confirmed for Release This Summer

Ocean's 8

Ocean’s 8 Confirmed for Release This Summer

Five years, eight months and 12 days: that’s the amount of time Debbie Ocean has dedicated to hatching one of the most daring heists ever to be attempted. The number of days the world has waited for a Hollywood flick to accurately and justly represent women: uncountable. Enter Ocean’s 8, which aces the Bechdel test—an indicator for the active presence of women in films—no questions asked.

Ocean’s 8 has been confirmed for release this summer and diehard fans are going nuts. The movie seeks to disrupt the status quo and redefine Hollywood’s generic blockbuster formula—promising to do so in style. It’s not often that a film has eight leading ladies—in some cases you would be hard pushed to find a single one. This begs the question, is Ocean’s 8 laying the foundations for a new era of filmmaking?

With a cast of accomplished female actresses at the helm, we have no doubt that Ocean’s 8, the fourth installment in the renowned series, will be a smash hit at the box office. Director Gary Ross collaborated on writing the script for the film with Olivia Milch. The original trilogy’s director, Steven Soderbergh, is also on board as producer—much to the delight of Ocean’s enthusiasts. Ross had originally conceived the idea for an addition to the franchise five years ago and proceeded to bring his idea to Soderbergh. “If he [Soderbergh] hadn’t been involved, I don’t think I would have done it. It was great working together,” Ross recollects.

Oscar winner Sandra Bullock stars in the leading role as Debbie Ocean, the estranged sister to Danny Ocean (George Clooney), who was the lead character in the original Ocean’s 11 (2001). Playing Ocean’s specialist team are Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna and Oscar nominee Helena Bonham Carter, with Anne Hathaway as their target. Each female is known in her own right and brings a different dimension to the film.

The Ocean’s 8 story unfolds in New York—and was filmed entirely on location—which presents the perfect arena for the high-stakes; flashy and flamboyant plotline. The collective of skilled women plan to steal the Toussaint, Cartier’s one-of-a-kind diamond necklace, valued at $150 million at the illustrious Met Gala.

The crew and cast recall the instant chemistry of the key members and their pride in taking part in such a production. “You can’t underestimate the power of visual representation. To an eight-year-old, we’re not trying to say: ‘Go have a life of crime.’ But we’re saying: ‘Go do what you want. There’s space for you, and there’s space for you to do it with your friends, and there’s room for all of you.’ I think the films that have an ‘everybody in’ mentality and message for people who have historically been excluded, that’s a really good thing,” Hathaway commented.

On the topic of ethnic diversity and authentic female representation in the film, Awkwafina said: “When it comes to representation and diversity, there’s a difference between throwing in people of color and women, and then actually representing them accurately and authentically. The important thing about the characters in this movie—especially the people of color in this movie—is that’s not defining our characters. I am a New Yorker from Queens and Asian-ness has nothing to do with it. That’s representation. That’s where we’re going. I think this movie is going to be a step toward a right direction.”

Cartier was apparently an invaluable partner for the project, creating a specifically modified version of the stunning Toussaint necklace. “The Toussaint is one of the largest necklaces in their collection, sitting in their vault,” says executive producer Diana Alvarez. “The people at Cartier were incredible consultants and their expertise was a huge help to us. They allowed us to shoot at the Cartier Mansion.”

Ocean’s 8 is confirmed for release this summer on June 8, 2018—no doubt the masses will be waiting with baited breath until then.

Further reading: Ready Player One: Spielberg Revisits His Roots

Ready Player One

Ready Player One: Spielberg Revisits His Roots

Spoilers ahead, read at your own risk!

He was the fantastical curator of our childhoods; countless classics of his filled our screens (and our hearts) such as Jaws (1975), Jurassic Park (1993), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). These blockbusters—whose glimmering themes opened up new realms of cinematic possibility—carved him out to be one of the most prolific directors of all time. Steven Spielberg is now back with his new motion picture, Ready Player One (2018) and let’s face it…it’s awesome! This is the sort of rip-roaring adrenaline adventure that gave him his name and, unsurprisingly, audiences are eating it up like candy. 

A treasure trove of pop-culture

Ready Player One is based on Ernest Cline’s science fiction novel of the same name, which has since become a worldwide sensation. The film adaptation is set in 2045 in Columbus, Ohio (a slight variation from the book) where the overpopulated world is on the brink of chaos. Our protagonist, Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan, X Men), lives within a decaying vertical trailer park: a modern-day shantytown that looks every bit as bleak as it sounds. The downtrodden citizens of Earth are looking for salvation, which they find in the comfort of the OASIS—a virtual reality to plug into. In this vast cyber world, anything and everything is possible. You can be whomever you want. For any filmmaker, this is an unmissable opportunity to get creative. Where will you transport your viewers when the sky’s not even the limit?

In the opening scenes, we discover the true definition of “no boundaries”. The screen erupts in an explosion of action as a race between thousands of cars commences through the streets of New York. During this time, a DeLorean—driven by Watts’ avatar Parzival—outmaneuvers a Tyrannosaurus rex (a not-so-subtle reference to Spielberg’s own work). The scene begins a feature-length-long game of spot the pop-culture reference, with characters and objects bombarding the audience from every angle. Familiar entities like the A-team van, Lara Croft, Mechagodzilla and a thundering King Kong are just the tip of the iceberg in this fandom extravaganza. The OASIS itself is a visual marvel, a feat of technical genius. Although the world has been created using CGI, it doesn’t feel overly gimmicky.

The plotline of the film is relatively straightforward, which, compared to the franticness of the frames, is a relief. We follow Watts/Parzival as he battles against other players to find the elusive “golden Easter egg”, the discovery of which will lead him to inherit the fortune of the game’s creator—James Halliday (Mark Rylance). This geeky gazillionaire—who resembles a mismatch of Steve Jobs, Einstein and Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man (1988)—poses as a sort of ghostly mentor to Watts.

Knowing that the one to succeed him and run the OASIS will be charged with a great power, Halliday crafts a number of challenges to decide the victor. Of course, there are evil competitors in the race for the golden Easter egg. After all, the film would lack urgency without them. The villain in Ready Player One comes in the form of the businessman Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn), who satisfies our palates for a textbook sci-fi bad guy. Watts/Parzival must complete the tasks before Sorrento manages to do so. He’s joined by his fellow avatars Art3mis—Samantha in the real world (Olivia Cooke); Aech—Helen in the real world (Lena Waithe) and the rest of the ‘high five’ gang.

Fandom within the film revolves around the 80s and 90s: when Halliday and the digital universe came of age. Some of the pop-culture references are obvious, while others are clearly designed for hard core fans to study as they skim the film frame-by-frame upon its release on DVD. The cast do an exceptional job at portraying passionate gamers, with Sheridan and Cooke making a charming duo. Rylance provides the definitive performance as Halliday; playing the role of an awkward genius seems to agree with him somehow.

Just a few niggles

There is a huge build-up during the length of the feature that leads to a little bit of an anticlimax. While all loose ends are neatly tied off, there is a distinct lack of resolution. After obtaining the golden Easter egg, Watts and his fellow teammates decide to close the OASIS for two days a week to encourage people to experience the world outside. However, there is no real indication that he intends to use his riches to tackle the supreme poverty around them. While there is a snifter of hope that things may improve, we are also left to ponder the possibility of the world reverting back to how it was. Would it not have been more poignant to scrap the OASIS program entirely, realise that the physical world needs saving and that human interaction is more precious?

Similarly, although the action in the film is pertinent to the storyline, it occasionally comes at the cost of character development. While there are some touching moments between the hero and heroine, these quickly dissipate as a result of a sudden chase or shootout. 

What the critics are saying

Being Spielberg’s first science fiction release since War of the Worlds (2005) and considering his reputation, expectations for the film have been decidedly high. On the whole, the movie has received terrific critical reviews: PostTrak reported that filmgoers gave it an 82 percent overall positive score and a 65 percent “definite recommend”. Jonathan Pile from Empire commented: “Spielberg has seemingly done the impossible: balancing sugar-rush nostalgia with an involving story to create a pure, non-cynical, cinematic ride that recaptures the magic of his early films.”

Recent reports have shown that Ready Player One is now the second biggest movie release of the year in terms of the global box office, with its worldwide total currently residing at $523,718,18. The blockbuster has prospered particularly overseas in China where it has earned $163 million thus far.

Recapturing the magic

Watching Ready Player One is like playing witness to somebody recapturing their youth. There is a distinct sense that the director has tried to evoke the magic of the films in his “golden era”. There are several comparisons that can be made to his earlier work. For instance, Spielberg was known to identify with fatherless boys during the beginning of his career (Finding Neverland (2004), Hook (1991), Catch Me If You Can (2002))—being an orphan, Watts is no exception to this rule. Although there are sinister moments, Ready Player One makes a point of not taking itself too seriously. This ambitious project by Spielberg is pure unabashed nostalgia—although you don’t need to be a pop-culture nut to enjoy it. Never in such a long time has a film felt as though Spielberg was revisiting his roots.

Further reading: Film Review: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Cannes Film Festival

Netflix Pulls Out of Cannes Film Festival

Streaming giant Netflix pulls out of Cannes Film Festival this year after a new rule change was made banning films without a theatrical release in France from competing for the main prizes.

In an interview with Hollywood trade publication Variety, Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, said that the company will not be changing its release strategy to satisfy the new rule. Commenting on pulling out of the prestigious event, Sarandos said, “It was not our decision to make.” He called the new rule, which was imposed by the festival’s artistic director Thierry Frémaux, “completely contrary to the spirit of any film festival in the world.”

While Netflix will be able to screen films not in the competition, Sarandos maintains that this would be an unlikely route for the company to take. “We want our films to be on fair ground with every other filmmaker.

“There’s a risk in us going in this way and having our films and filmmakers treated disrespectfully at the festival. They’ve set the tone. I don’t think it would be good for us to be there.”

Frémaux responded to Netflix’s announcement saying, “Any film in competition should be open to distribution in theaters.”

He continued, “We made offers for two films by Netflix this year, one out of competition and one in competition. Netflix did not wish to release the [competition title] in theaters. According to the rule, this film will not be in the competition. The film could not be in the competition. Films must be open to the possibility of being distributed in cinemas. It’s too bad.”

Cannes Film Festival started life more than 70 years ago as an art house showcase. It has attracted major celebrities and commercial films over the decades, giving it its stellar reputation as one of the most important festivals in the world.

Cannes Film Festival will run from May 8 to May 19 in France.

Further reading: Stranger Things Creators Sued for Plagiarism

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures TV Series in Development

Fans of Academy Award-nominated Hidden Figures (2017) rejoice; entertainment news site Variety has reported that a TV series inspired by the film is currently in development.

According to Variety, the TV series, which is currently in the early stages of development, is to appear exclusively on the National Geographic channel in a bid to produce more scripted fare. Producing alongside the major channel will be Peter Chernin and Jenno Topping from Chernin Entertainment. Chernin and Topping were the original executive producers of Hidden Figures.

The film was based on a book by the same name written by author Margot Lee Shetterly. Hidden Figures tells the true story of the black female mathematicians who were crucial to the success of the NASA American space program in its early years—despite the challenges they faced because of the color of their skin.

The slate for the film boasted an all-star cast including Tarahi P.Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe as the film’s protagonists.

Hidden Figures was nominated for three Oscars this year including Best Film, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress.

Further reading: ‘Black Panther’ to Break Saudi Arabia’s 35-year Cinema Ban

Black Panther

‘Black Panther’ to Break Saudi Arabia’s 35-year Cinema Ban

 Marvel’s Black Panther (2017) is to break Saudi Arabia’s cinema ban by opening the first cinema in the country for 35 years later this month.

The news comes after a deal was made with the world’s biggest cinema chain, AMC, who have planned to roll over 40 movie theaters throughout the Kingdom throughout the next five years.

Saudi Arabia had cinemas back in the 70s, but its powerful conservative clerics had them shut down for religious reasons.

The move looks to contribute to the Vision 2030 initiative—unveiled by the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman—to bring entertainment to Saudi Arabia. Vision 2030 aims to help expand the Saudi economy by reducing its current reliance on oil, providing more jobs and encouraging Saudis to spend their money in their native country rather than abroad.

Black Panther will have its own gala premier on April 18 in Riyadh, the country’s capital and will show for five days following the event. The 620-seater cinema theater is a converted symphony hall located in the King Abdullah Financial District.

AMC’s chief executive Adam Aron said of the theater venue: “We think it’s going to be the prettiest movie theater in the world. It’s a dramatic building.”

An inside source told Reuters that the cinemas would also not be segregated by gender as is usual protocol in the nation’s public places. This move demonstrates an exciting time for the country as more liberal policies are being unrolled.

Saudi’s culture minister Awwad Alawwad said, “The restoration of cinemas will… help boost the local economy by increasing household spending on entertainment while supporting job creation.”

Stranger Things

Stranger Things Creators Sued for Plagiarism

The creators of the hit Netflix TV series Stranger Things (2016) and Stranger Things 2 (2017), Matt and Ross Duffer (known in Hollywood as the “Duffer Brothers”), are being sued by producer Charlie Kessler for plagiarising his short film Montauk (2012). Kessler has said that he originally pitched his short film and a feature script (titled The Montauk Project) to the Duffer Brothers back in 2014.

Stranger Things, which first aired on Netflix in 2016, was originally sold to the major streaming service under the same title, Montauk. As with Kessler’s short film, the show had initially been set in Montauk, Long Island. The show was later named Stranger Things and the location shifted to Indiana.

The original logline of the series after it received the greenlight from Netflix’s executives reads: “Described as a love letter to the 80s classics that captivated a generation, the series is set in 1980 Montauk, Long Island, where a young boy vanishes into thin air. As friends, family and local police search for answers, they are drawn into an extraordinary mystery involving top-secret government experiments, terrifying supernatural forces and one very strange little girl.”   

Similarly, Kessler’s narrative involves a young boy that goes missing, a nearby military base conducting experiments on children and a supernatural monster from another dimension.

A spokesperson for Kessler has said of the case: “After the massive success of Stranger Things that is based on the Plaintiff’s concepts that the Plaintiff discussed with the Defendants, Defendants have made huge sums of money by producing the series based on Plaintiff’s concepts without compensating or crediting Plaintiff for his concepts.”

Kessler is suing the Duffer Brothers for breach of implied contract and seeks monetary damages at trial.

The Duffer Brothers have since denied these claims. Alex Kohner, the directors’ lawyer, said in a statement to the Press Association, “Mr Kessler’s claim is completely meritless. He had no connection to the creation or development of Stranger Things. 

“The Duffer Brothers have neither seen Mr Kessler’s short film nor discussed any project with him.”

Kohner added: “This is just an attempt to profit from other people’s creativity and hard work.”

Stranger Things is one of the most popular television shows on Netflix. Netflix experienced its most popular streaming day of the year when the first episode of the second season aired in October 2017.

Further reading: Matt Damon and Ben Affleck to Support Inclusion Rider

Bomb Threat

Man Arrested on Suspicion of SXSW Bomb Threat

Trevor Weldon Ingram, 26, has been arrested on suspicion of emailing a bomb threat to the Fair Market concert venue during the South by South West (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas.

Ingram has been charged with making a terroristic threat and, if found guilty, could face up to 10 years in jail. A statement released by Bud Light, the show’s sponsor, said that police were “able to identify and locate the suspect believed to be tied to this threat and at 11:08pm a warrant was signed” for Ingram’s arrest.

The statement added, “There are no indications of any broader security concerns for any activities relating to this incident.”

The threat, which took place March 17, led to the cancellation of a SXSW concert that was due to showcase hip hop musicians The Roots, Ludacris and Rapsody. Police were called to the venue promptly but found nothing suspicious.

Roots’ drummer Questlove took to Twitter on the day of the threat to say “no one is Mr ‘show must go on’ than me. But we can’t risk our lives if we are told there was a bomb threat.”

The bomb threat comes amid a tense and troubling time for Austin. The city has been on high terror alert following several fatal letter bomb attacks which have occurred in recent weeks and an explosion that injured two people late on Sunday night. No arrests have been made in connection with the letter bomb attacks.

One of the letter bomb incidents killed 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House on March 2 at his home in Austin, Texas.

Another attack of a similar nature killed 17-year-old Draylen Mason and left his mother seriously injured on March 12. A separate package explosion occurred within hours of the attack, leaving a 75-year-old woman in critical condition.

All victims are people of colour. Austin police chief Brian Manley said “we are not saying that we believe terrorism or hate are in play, but we absolutely have to consider that.”

Further reading: Woman Attempts Murder with Poisoned Cheesecake