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‘Black Panther’ Director Ryan Coogler Releases Official Statement Following Chadwick Boseman’s Passing



Director Ryan Coogler took to to share a heartfelt tribute to the now late ‘Black Panther‘ star, Chadwick Boseman. The world was recently shocked by the news of Boseman’s passing. He had been diagnosed with colon cancer nearly 4 years ago. In Coogler’s message, he mentions that Boseman truly valued his privacy and that he too was unaware of the hardships Boseman was going through behind closed doors. Chadwick Boseman was 43.

Before sharing my thoughts on the passing of the great Chadwick Boseman, I first offer my condolences to his family who meant so very much to him. To his wife, Simone, especially.
I inherited Marvel and the Russo Brothers’ casting choice of T’Challa. It is something that I will forever be grateful for. The first time I saw Chad’s performance as T’Challa, it was in an unfinished cut of CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR. I was deciding whether or not directing BLACK PANTHER was the right choice for me. I’ll never forget, sitting in an editorial suite on the Disney Lot and watching his scenes. His first with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, then, with the South African cinema titan, John Kani as T’Challa’s father, King T’Chaka. It was at that moment I knew I wanted to make this movie. After Scarlett’s character leaves them, Chad and John began conversing in a language I had never heard before. It sounded familiar, full of the same clicks and smacks that young black children would make in the States. The same clicks that we would often be chided for being disrespectful or improper. But, it had a musicality to it that felt ancient, powerful, and African. 
In my meeting after watching the film, I asked Nate Moore, one of the producers of the film, about the language. “Did you guys make it up?” Nate replied, “that’s Xhosa, John Kani’s native language. He and Chad decided to do the scene like that on set, and we rolled with it.” I thought to myself. “He just learned lines in another language, that day?” I couldn’t conceive how difficult that must have been, and even though I hadn’t met Chad, I was already in awe of his capacity as actor. 

Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER..L to R: Director (Ryan Coogler) and Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa/Black Panther)..Photo: Matt Kennedy..©Marvel Studios 2018

I learned later that there was much conversation over how T’Challa would sound in the film. The decision to have Xhosa be the official language of Wakanda was solidified by Chad, a native of South Carolina, because he was able to learn his lines in Xhosa, there on the spot. He also advocated for his character to speak with an African accent, so that he could present T’Challa to audiences as an African king, whose dialect had not been conquered by the West. 
I finally met Chad in person in early 2016, once I signed onto the film. He snuck past journalists that were congregated for a press junket I was doing for CREED, and met with me in the green room. We talked about our lives, my time playing football in college, and his time at Howard studying to be a director, about our collective vision for T’Challa and Wakanda. We spoke about the irony of how his former Howard classmate Ta-Nehisi Coates was writing T’Challa’s current arc with Marvel Comics. And how Chad knew Howard student Prince Jones, who’s murder by a police officer inspired Coates’ memoir Between The World and Me.
I noticed then that Chad was an anomaly. He was calm. Assured. Constantly studying. But also kind, comforting, had the warmest laugh in the world, and eyes that seen much beyond his years, but could still sparkle like a child seeing something for the first time.    
That was the first of many conversations. He was a special person. We would often speak

Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER..L to R: Costume Designer Ruth Carter and Director Ryan Coogler on set with Winston Duke (M’Baku)..Ph: Matt Kennedy..©Marvel Studios 2018

about heritage and what it means to be African. When preparing for the film, he would ponder every decision, every choice, not just for how it would reflect on himself, but how those choices could reverberate. “They not ready for this, what we are doing…” “This is Star Wars, this is Lord of the Rings, but for us… and bigger!” He would say this to me while we were struggling to finish a dramatic scene, stretching into double overtime. Or while he was covered in body paint, doing his own stunts. Or crashing into frigid water, and foam landing pads. I would nod and smile, but I didn’t believe him. I had no idea if the film would work. I wasn’t sure I knew what I was doing. But I look back and realize that Chad knew something we all didn’t. He was playing the long game.  All while putting in the work. And work he did. 
He would come to auditions for supporting roles, which is not common for lead actors in big budget movies. He was there for several M’Baku auditions. In Winston Duke’s, he turned a chemistry read into a wrestling match. Winston broke his bracelet. In Letitia Wright’s audition for Shuri, she pierced his royal poise with her signature humor, and would bring about a smile to T’Challa’s face that was 100% Chad. 
While filming the movie, we would meet at the office or at my rental home in Atlanta, to discuss lines and different ways to add depth to each scene. We talked costumes, military practices. He said to me “Wakandans have to dance during the coronations. If they just stand there with spears, what separates them from Romans?” In early drafts of the script. Eric Killmonger’s character would ask T’Challa to be buried in Wakanda. Chad challenged that and asked, what if Killmonger asked to be buried somewhere else?

Chad deeply valued his privacy, and I wasn’t privy to the details of his illness. After his family released their statement, I realized that he was living with his illness the entire time I knew him. Because he was a caretaker, a leader, and a man of faith, dignity and pride, he shielded his collaborators from his suffering. He lived a beautiful life. And he made great art. Day after day, year after year. That was who he was. He was an epic firework display. I will tell stories about being there for some of the brilliant sparks till the end of my days. What an incredible mark he’s left for us.
I haven’t grieved a loss this acute before. I spent the last year preparing, imagining and writing words for him to say, that we weren’t destined to see. It leaves me broken knowing that I won’t be able to watch another close-up of him in the monitor again or walk up to him and ask for another take. 
It hurts more to know that we can’t have another conversation, or facetime, or text message exchange. He would send vegetarian recipes and eating regimens for my family and me to follow during the pandemic.  He would check in on me and my loved ones, even as he dealt with the scourge of cancer. 
In African cultures we often refer to loved ones that have passed on as ancestors. Sometimes you are genetically related. Sometimes you are not. I had the privilege of directing scenes of Chad’s character, T’Challa, communicating with the ancestors of Wakanda. We were in Atlanta, in an abandoned warehouse, with bluescreens, and massive movie lights, but Chad’s performance made it feel real. I think it was because from the time that I met him, the ancestors spoke through him. It’s no secret to me now how he was able to skillfully portray some of our most notable ones. I had no doubt that he would live on and continue to bless us with more. But it is with a heavy heart and a sense of deep gratitude to have ever been in his presence, that I have to reckon with the fact that Chad is an ancestor now. And I know that he will watch over us, until we meet again. 

– Ryan Coogler


Brandon started Coastal House Media, formerly, in 2012, with the intent of publishing news he found exciting about upcoming and current events in the world of comic book, action and sci-fi movies. A year later, "BC" became a Verified Creator (Paid Writer) for Movie Pilot, a large fan site, dedicated to all things pop culture. [2013-2018] After Movie Pilot closed its doors, Brandon decided he wanted to give others the opportunity to continue writing and sharing their passion and excitement for entertainment news. We now have evolved into an ever-growing community of bloggers, writers and gamers who love to share our opinions with the world. We cover everything from pop culture, indie, horror, movies, gaming and streaming, to the most recent film trailers to hit the internet. Coastal House Media is dedicated to J.S.W. Thank you for planting the seed all those years ago. RIP Brother

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‘Haunted Mansion’ (2023) A Frightfully Fun Ghoulish Delight



This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labour of the writers and actors currently on strike, The Haunted Mansion movie being covered here wouldn’t exist. 

“Haunted Mansion” is Frightful Fun and an instant Halloween classic that’ll spook Foolish Mortals! With its eclectic ensemble, Grim Grinning Ghosts, and nostalgic references from the beloved attraction. Director Justin Simien & screenwriter Katie Dippold conjure a heartfelt story on loss and grief.

Inspired by the classic theme park attraction, “Haunted Mansion” is about a woman and her son who enlist a motley crew of so-called spiritual experts to help rid their home of supernatural squatters. Single mother Gabbie (Rosario Dawson) has moved into the antique house of her dreams with her nine-year-old son Travis (Chase Dillon). But not long after stepping into the home, they become blatantly aware of the spirited tenants occupying the creepy abode. Enlisting the help of grieving astrophysicist Ben (LaKeith Stanfield), Priest Father Kent (Owen Wilson), Medium Harriet (Tiffany Haddish), and haunted house expert Professor Bruce Davis (Danny DeVito), the gang hopes to put their heads together to rid the house of its supernatural tormentors. 


Welcome Foolish Mortals, are you prepared to step into the realm of the supernatural and macabre,  Disney’s “Haunted Mansion” Intriguingly, reinvigorates the timeless and traditional haunted house narrative, breathing new life into a genre steeped in history. Based on the iconic and beloved Disney attraction, this is the franchise’s latest instalment. The first was The Haunted Mansion released in 2003, starring Eddie Murphy and Marsha Thomason, back in the early 2000s, Disney attempted to bring their popular rides to the movies, and Pirates would go on to become Disney’s biggest live-action franchise ever whilst the Eddie Murphy-starring Haunted Mansion did respectfully at the box office despite disappointing results over the years, the film has gained a new appreciation from audiences and critics alike, transforming it into a cult classic. 

The film’s original audience has grown up, they are now introducing it to their children, cementing its place as a popular Halloween movie. The film regularly appears on tv programming during the Halloween season, is featured in Freeform’s 31 Nights of Halloween and is often included in lists of Best Halloween Movies in various publications to watch over the spooktacular holiday season.

Now twenty years later, home is where the haunt is as Disney opens the doors to the “Haunted Mansion” once again bringing the movie even closer to the ride through Director and previous Disneyland Cast member Justin Simien and The Heat/Ghostbusters: Answer The Call writer Katie Dippold and as I mentioned above both have conjured up a charming but spooky classic with mild horror elements and a contemporary twist, that ultimately becomes an exceptional cinematic experience that pays homage to its roots capturing the spirit (all 999 of them) 


The Mansion

When hinges creak in doorless chambers, strange and frightening sounds echo through the halls. Whenever candlelights flicker where the air is deathly still — that is the time when ghosts are present, practising their terror with ghoulish delight!

At the story’s heart, the mansion emerges as a pivotal important character, its presence looming large and ominous. Every creak of its floors, every flicker of its lights, and every concealed secret combine to form an eerie atmosphere shrouded in mystery. The first Haunted Mansion attraction has a long history from its conception as a walkthrough tour in the early 1950s. It First opened as a Disneyland ride in Anaheim, California, in 1969, the home was inspired by the now-demolished Shipley-Lydecker House in Baltimore City, Maryland. Built-in 1803, the white brick mansion featured Italianate columns and double wraparound porches with cast iron detailing. The ride would eventually inspire other variations across the world, including the one at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, in 1971, Tokyo Disneyland in 1983, Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland in 2013, and my overall favourite and superior version Phanom Manor at Disneyland Paris in 1992.


Simien’s meticulous attention to detail brings this mansion to life as the set designs breathe life and death drawing audiences into a reverse seance. It weaves an intricate web of tension and anticipation. With each shadowy corner and echoing footstep, the film maintains an unwavering grip on its audience, igniting curiosity and evoking a constant sense of unease. production designer Darren Gilford brings Gracey Manor to life by studying the Bible of Imagineering which is the Disney department that designs and builds all of the theme parks and attractions. A trip to see the attraction was a must. Following a private experience on the ride after hours, the team walked through the attraction with all of the lights on for a true behind-the-scenes look during which they captured photos and took measurements.

They truly and authentically replicated the ride experience. The structure’s proportions were amplified to make it feel grander than the park attraction for cinematic effect. One aspect the film maintains is the feeling of entering the attraction. When guests are visiting the park and they go through the gates at the Haunted Mansion, there’s a very specific angle and the camera is spot on following the Doom Buggies track and what we see when we ride the attraction.

Throughout the movie fans of the ride will notice familiar design details in Gracey Manor, such as the golden snake door handle, striped wallpaper pattern, and eerie portraits. Another spectacular touch is the bat-shaped stanchion that’s modelled after the posts connected by chains which were designed for kids to hold onto as they navigate the Haunted Mansion ride in the dark. In the séance room, an antique balloon chair pays homage to the ride’s Doom Buggies.

Kooky Cast of Characters

“Haunted Mansion” performances are nothing short of captivating, breathing life and authenticity into the characters. It’s this ensemble, who is mostly stuck with each other, that makes the film so enjoyable. No matter what happens, it’s always appealing to watch how this group plays off each other. LaKeith Stanfield brings a real heart to “Haunted Mansion”, as Ben is still dealing with the loss of his partner Alyssa (Charity Jordan), has a great friendship with the young Travis, and has great comedic timing with the entire cast. It’s especially a treat to watch Wilson, Stanfield, and DeVito together in a scene. Haddish’s over-the-top approach to being a Psychic Medium fits well within the context of the film and provides some of the comedic moments. Rosario Dawson does battle with malign spirits and Chase Dillon’s performance is among the most emotional.


Grim Grinning Ghosts

“Haunted Mansion” has ghosts, ghoulies and all sorts of frights on offer and is packed to the brim with ghosts lifted directly from the iconic attraction. The notorious Hatbox Ghost, played by Jared Leto in the film, has a huge role, as does psychic-in-a-crystal-ball Madame Leota (Jamie Lee Curtis). other, subtler ride appearances include the portraits on the walls and the ghosts dangling from the dining room’s chandelier. The film also gives the Bride — aka Constance Hatchaway, a serial killer who murdered all of her husbands with an axe, and who now haunts the mansion’s attic — her time to shine alongside the Hitchhiking Ghosts Phineas, Ezra, and Gus.

The production worked with visual effects companies, specifically DNEG. Director Justin Simien very much wanted the film and its ghosts to be grounded. He appreciated the Poltergeist [movies], or The Shining, those kinds of eerie films where he very much stayed away from complete CGI with actual actors in place. The process truly made them look otherworldly and more ethereal. 

These ghosts are in detailed costumes and when you see them on screen, DNEG created an effect where when we see a ghost, the lit side of the ghost is opaque and feels like it’s there, and then as it goes into shadow you start to see through them to the skeletal structure underneath and see the room behind it. ectoplasmic effervescence. it’s like a phosphorescent algae and as you move, it starts to light up. It is interesting to see them as they move through their space and that’s when they start to have this little effervescence that comes off of them.

Symphony of Suspense

The role of sound design in “Haunted Mansion” truly captures the auditory weaving a haunting symphony, that’ll echo in viewers’ minds long after the final credits roll. From subtle whispers that raise goosebumps to crescendos of spine-tingling intensity, the soundscapes of the Haunted Mansion, Crump Manor, and New Orleans form a visceral, immersive experience that truly elevated the film to new heights.  

Kris Bowers hauntingly composes the chilling score/soundtrack for the film. Bowers pays homage to the Disney attraction and its famous “Grim Grinning Ghosts” tune whilst also making his mark on the feature. The score tinkers through ghostly organ sounds that are mixed with New Orleans Jazz. “Grim Grinning Ghosts” has been reinvented and has been used in a fresh new way that didn’t feel over the top, and It eerily honours the song and ride. that themes and motifs of the beloved attraction are either fleshed out or reworked into variations. Other times, the first four notes are used in a leitmotif, especially when the ghosts are doing creepy things. The organ becomes useful to call us back to the sound of the ride. The sound rebels also provide a variation of the iconic tune through jazz elements as sax-section moments are playing along with the orchestra.


Final Thoughts

Even if you’ve ridden the ride hundreds of times, Dippold finds fun ways to play off what we know and truly defy the expectations of what we have for this Mansion. It builds on the lore of the ride in such amusing ways, fleshing out characters that only get a passing mention, making them essential to the narrative at hand. The narrative of “Haunted Mansion” is labyrinthinely woven with layers of suspense and mystery waiting to be explored and uncovered. As the plot unfolds, each layer is carefully peeled away, revealing fragments and revelations making this haunted story thrillingly grip us. Dippold writes about these wonderful human moments that focus on pain but also on love. It is honestly so touching how much “Haunted Mansion” handles loss, death, and ultimately how to say goodbye to our loved ones who’ve passed.

Hurry back! Hurry back! Be sure to bring your death certificate… if you decide to join us. Make final arrangements now! We’ve been dying to have you… Overall as the curtains fall on “Haunted Mansion” Director Justin Simien’s creative mind has birthed an experience that extends far beyond the boundaries of the screen and truly made me want to ride the beloved attraction straight away albeit my favourite version of the Haunted Mansion which is at Disneyland Paris called Phantom Manor which I hope is on Simien’s list to continue this spooktacular franchise with, as this gothic version of the iconic attraction is steeped with lost love and family betrayal wrapped around Thunder Mesa.  

Simien’s history working at Disneyland was perfect for bringing this world to life. his love for the attraction can be felt through his directing, making things like the Hitchhiking Ghosts, the Stretching Room, and the floating candelabra leap off-screen. 

Enter brave mortals into this famous manor together

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Indiana Jones and the Dial Of Destiny – Review



James Mangold takes directing duties for the fifth and final adventure for Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones. Steven Spielberg stays on as executive producer, helping bring to life a new adventure in a very new era. It’s taken a while to get here, but now it’s ready for the world to see.

We join Indy in 1969 as he retires from teaching, but is immediately thrust into a race against time to retrieve the fabled Antikythera, a dial that can predict fissures time and invented by Greek mathematician Archimedes. Former Nazi astrophysicist Jürgen Voller (Mads Mikkelsen) is also hunting down the dial, as is Indy’s god-daughter Helena (Waller-Bridge). Indy works with Helena in a shaky alliance to seek out the dial before Voller does, who intends to change the course of history and ensure a German victory in World War 2.

In a nutshell, a solid and enjoyable entry into the franchise that gives Indy a fitting and fond farewell. It sits comfortably beneath the golden trilogy and high above ‘Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull’ in terms of how it delivers. There is far less goofy humour, silly CGI action and cluttered cast.

The main man Harrison Ford delivers, as ever. 80 years old he may be, and yes, he is slower, more fragile and not able to do as much as he did in the past, but why should he? This is the final stage of his journey as Indy, and we’ve seen him grow through the decades. Mangold and the team don’t make light of Indy’s age but play it seriously and don’t have him do too much impossible action, letting Ford remind us how Indy is faring after a rather turbulent few years certainly feeling his age. But this does not mean Ford plays it gruff and grumbly; with his trademark twinkle and scowl, he injects warmth, humour and heart and quite possibly gives the most emotional performance for Indy across all five films.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge will ruffle feathers as she has a mouth, has hard fists and lots of spunk and isn’t afraid to bite back. She dominates her scenes and really pushes back against what Indy stands for, as she has her own personal motives and desires. But she takes a journey with Indy too, a simple arc that has her go from likeable, to not likable, and then a bit more likeable than before. Waller-Bridge attracts all the wrong kind of attention in the industry from many fans (often male) who can’t sit comfortably with her “strong, independent woman” schtick through her work than often has he pull apart established characters and films. She has that here a little bit, but certainly doesn’t de-rail the film and works well with Ford – two strong minded characters together make for a good bout of chemistry.

Sadly, we don’t have enough Mads Mikkelsen. It’s a crime when villains are underused in films and are just there to remind us that there are “bad guys” on the loose to push along the good. Mikkelsen is a fantastic actor, and plays the cunning, ruthless villain very well with menace oozing out of every pour, and has done through many blockbuster films. Here, however, his Nazi, Voller, needed more screentime to truly let us get under his skin, to allow him to become the threat that he eventually reveals himself to be. It’s just too little, too late when he really gets stuck into the meat of his motivation. That, if anything, is the biggest disappointment. He is a good mix of ‘Raiders Of The Lost Ark’ Belloq and ‘The Last Crusade’ Donovan, but we just don’t get enough of him.

The wider support cast is not too bloated all do well – Ethann Isidore as Teddy, Helena’s Moroccan “Short Round”, is harmless and adds a little to proceedings without being irritating. Boyd Holbrook plays the rather violent trigger-happy henchman Klaber, and we have a warm return for John Rhys-Davies as Sallah who will generate the biggest smile from fans in his limited screentime. Antonio Banderas and Karen Allen are present, but in more blink and you’ll miss them sort of roles.

For Indiana Jones, the action has always been a benchmark for the genre. Innovative ideas, practical stunts and a big main sequence. In ‘Dial Of Destiny’, the action is good, but not great. It’s safe. The opening 20mins set in 1944 and in / around an exploding castle and loot train harkens that classic Indy thrill. The main story has lots of chases from the New York ticker-tape parade, the Morocco tuk-tuks to the minimalist Mediterranean boat and airplane sequences. There is nothing very memorable about them; they deliver, but not to the extent of feeling real danger, seeing real stunt performers, or matching the scale of the ‘Raiders Of The Lost Ark’ truck chase or the ‘Temple Of Doom’ rope bridge.

This goes hand-in-hand with the CGI. In 2008, ‘The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull’ abused what CGI can offer and sent the world of Indiana Jones into cosmic realms and near physics defying absurdity. It’s good to see ‘Dial Of Destiny’ tone that down and use CGI to enhance certain locations and add a safety net around Ford and the others in the action. Granted, he’s 80 and can’t do as much as he did 42 years ago, so this blanket of CGI to protect him makes sense. It’s noticeable in parts, mostly during the shaky de-aging sequence, but never feels done to excess.

We have a decent score by the maestro John Williams who brings back riffs from past films, but never brings anything too memorable to this entry. Again, all very safe.

As you can see, the theme of this review is “safe”.

DOD doesn’t take big risks or make bold choices in where the story goes. It perhaps should have done in the third act. You think it will go one way, a sweep of emotion and “will they, won’t they”… and then it swerves somewhere else. And regarding the third act, it’s a shame that it feels rushed. As a send-off, it’s more fitting than those crystal skulls, but it came about rather abruptly, and it did not have that same swell of goodbye that TLC did so perfectly. Shaving time from the heavy second act would have been better, reducing the time of generic investigative exploring to focus on the sequences that deserved more time to hit hard.

Yet, it’s hard not to find enjoyment in this adventure romp. Big, bad Nazis are out to scupper the free world and our beloved grizzled leather jacket clad hero needs to punch lots of them in the face (and have lots of people shot?) to stop them, to a score of orchestral pomp and heroic risks. It’s good fun – safe, comfortable Indy fun and it doesn’t disappoint on the whole to deliver one last adventure.

Indiana Jones and the Dial Of Destiny is on general release from today

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The Lego Group Unleashes Magical Mayhem With Disney’s Hocus Pocus: The Sanderson Sisters’ Cottage Set

A spellbinding tribute to a Halloween classic.

Revisit Salem and the world of the Sanderson sisters with LEGO® Ideas Disney Hocus Pocus: The Sanderson Sisters’ Cottage. This fan-inspired set is boiling over with nostalgic details from the 1993 Disney film, Hocus Pocus.



The LEGO Group revealed a set bound to leave you spellbound– the LEGO® Ideas Disney Hocus Pocus: The Sanderson Sisters’ Cottage set.  Based on the iconic cottage from the 1993 hit blockbuster, the bewitching story has come back to life once more, revealing all the magical events that happened in the Sanderson home, now in brick form.

It’s been more than 30 astonishing years since the original Hocus Pocus film premiered, and last year saw the much-anticipated sequel Hocus Pocus 2, expanding the story of these iconic characters.  Fans can now build and display their own piece of Hocus Pocus history.  Designed by 26-year-old, Belgian LEGO fan and Hocus Pocus fan, Amber Veyt, via the LEGO Ideas platform, the original design attracted 10,000 votes and was then selected to be made into a real LEGO set.  Filled with toil and trouble, the 2,316-piece set is complete with favourite props inspired from the film in LEGO form and not forgetting the six new minifigures too, which include the iconic three Sanderson Sisters, Max, Danni, Allison & Thackery Binx as the black cat.

The cottage set can also be transformed into the Sanderson Witch Museum as seen in the films by simply adding the info-stand, the museum signage, some rope barriers, and a cash register, which can be hidden away in secret storage under the stairs.

You can also build and visit the graveyard where the action takes place and Celebrate Halloween every day with a set based on this bewitching Disney classic!

The LEGO Ideas Disney Hocus Pocus – The Sanderson Sisters’ Cottage set is available for LEGO VIPs from July 1st at and LEGO Stores for all from 4th of July, 2023 priced at $229.99/£199.99

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