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- 03/30/17--14:42: _Legion Season 2: Wh...
- 03/30/17--15:02: _American Gods TV Se...
- 03/30/17--16:02: _Legion Season Final...
- 03/30/17--20:38: _Batgirl Movie Lands...
- 03/31/17--12:45: _Warner Brothers Sue...
- 03/25/17--14:24: _Justice League Movi...
- 04/02/17--23:31: _Will Black Sails Se...
- 04/03/17--13:18: _Exclusive: Robotech...
- 04/03/17--21:30: _Flintstones #10 Exc...
- 04/04/17--03:21: _The Walking Dead Se...
- 04/04/17--14:07: _The Defenders Relea...
- 04/04/17--15:08: _Scott Snyder & Greg...
- 04/04/17--15:46: _The Tick Season 1 C...
- 04/04/17--19:09: _Invincible Movie Co...
- 04/04/17--20:34: _The Walking Dead Se...
- 04/05/17--12:00: _Netflix's Anne: Tra...
- 04/05/17--12:46: _New Warriors TV Ser...
- 04/05/17--18:59: _MAD Magazine Profil...
- 04/06/17--00:21: _Justice League Movi...
- 03/28/17--15:38: _The Flash: David Da...
- 03/30/17--14:42: Legion Season 2: Where Will the Story Go Next?
- 03/30/17--16:02: Legion Season Finale Ending Explained by Noah Hawley
- 03/30/17--20:38: Batgirl Movie Lands Joss Whedon
- 03/31/17--12:45: Warner Brothers Sued Again Over The Conjuring
- 03/25/17--14:24: Justice League Movie Set Visit: New Gods & A New Tone
- 04/02/17--23:31: Will Black Sails Season 5 Happen?
- 04/03/17--13:18: Exclusive: Robotech Comic Interior Artist and Cover Revealed
- 04/03/17--21:30: Flintstones #10 Exclusive Preview Pages
- 04/04/17--03:21: The Walking Dead Season 8: A Spoiler-Filled Guide to All Out War
- 04/04/17--14:07: The Defenders Release Date Revealed in Teaser
- 04/04/17--15:08: Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo Reunite for New Batman Comic Event
- 04/04/17--15:46: The Tick Season 1 Casting News and Everything to Know
- 04/04/17--19:09: Invincible Movie Coming
- 04/04/17--20:34: The Walking Dead Season 7 Fixed Itselt, But Not Enough
- 04/05/17--12:00: Netflix's Anne: Trailer, Release Date, Cast
- 04/05/17--12:46: New Warriors TV Series Coming From Marvel
- 04/05/17--18:59: MAD Magazine Profiles President Trump in Upcoming Book
- 04/06/17--00:21: Justice League Movie Villain Details From Ciaran Hinds
- 03/28/17--15:38: The Flash: David Dastmalchian on Abra Kadabra's Magic Tricks
Legion is mind-warping in the best possible way, but always leaves us guessing. Here are our biggest burning questions for Legion Season 2!
Legion is that wonderful sort of television show that leaves you on the edge of your seat, yet constantly asking yourself, “Wait, what just happened? Did I miss something?”
Even though season one mostly wrapped up the big mysteries, this labyrinth of a series begs many more questions, and season two will surely produce a million more. Here are the biggest questions we have for Legion Season 2.
Cary and Kerry
The relationship between Cary and Kerry is one of the more interesting dynamics on the show, a mutant ability that’s unseen in the X-Men comics and films. Their closeness and co-dependence provided some of the most poignant moments during season one. Though things were tense between the pair in the finale, after the Shadow King was seemingly defeated it looked as if the symbiotic duo had made amends.
But what if they haven’t? Could season two find Kerry asserting her independence while Cary faces separation anxiety? When Legion returns, I hope the specifics of their powers take some focus. What would happen if Kerry never returned to Cary’s body? How long can they feasibly stay apart? Would Kerry cease to exist if Cary was killed?
Watching Cary’s pained expressions and near collapse in season one when Kerry was in danger and looked as if she might not survive was such an impactful moment. I’m sure we’ll see more of those from the Loudermilks in season two.
Left nameless until the final episode, Clark emerged late in the game as the anti-mutant, physical antagonist of the series. In the finale we witnessed Clark grappling with the injuries he sustained from David during the pilot, watching him try to rehabilitate from the horrible burn wounds and seeing the impact the accident had on his family. In that opening sequence, Clark transforms from nameless interrogator to a hardened, multi-dimensional character harboring an intense desire for revenge. It also appears that Clark’s involvement in Division 3 is a family affair, with his husband Daniel also serving a role in the organization, but Daniel seems higher up.
How much skin do they have in the game? Where does their fear of mutants stem from? Hopefully their roles in Division 3 and the mysterious organization's origins and scope of power are uncovered. Clark makes for a different and intriguing villain on Legion.
Syd also speculates that he has a soft spot for David. Is that true? Is it possible that Clark becomes an ally?
The specter of Professor X’s wheelchair loomed large over Legion for comic fans before he was revealed to be David’s true father on the series. After we received confirmation that the show would be sticking to its comic roots in “Chapter Seven,” the biggest question is if and when Professor X will appear. He may have already indirectly popped up on the series in the form of David’s “rational mind,” but will we actually see old cueball in the flesh? Would James McAvoy or Patrick Stewart be willing to cameo?
About the prospect of having Professor X appear on Legion, creator Noah Hawley recently said, "I think that’s something we’re definitely going to approach. It’s a creative conversation, but it’s also a sort of corporate conversation, you know, on some level, in terms of the movie studio and their relationship to the X-Men and the characters they want in the movies and want to protect potentially. And were we to want to have Professor X on the show, or even Patrick Stewart on the show, James McAvoy or one of those actors, is a conversation both with the actor and with the studio. So, I don’t know, I haven’t really dived into that quandary yet, but certainly I need to start thinking about it.”
It sounds like a lot of this is up to Fox and whether they’re willing to allow one of their biggest cinematic chess pieces to be used in a different game. Were Professor X to appear, it certainly could have major implications for the direction of the story, possibly moving us into something more closely resembling the X-Men world that we know, but I wouldn’t bet on it. Hawley seems keen to keep the setting and timeline of the series a mystery, as well as keep telling stories that are completely unbeholden to the source material or movies. I’d expect Professor X’s involvement to be nothing more than a brief cameo, but Legion certainly proved to me that anything could be possible.
Fingers crossed for a showdown with The Shadow King!
Oliver and Melanie
Poor Melanie just can’t keep her man. Just as she had gotten Oliver back from the astral plane, moments after he finally seemed to remember her, the Shadow King took up residency inside of his mind. Now Oliver is on the run in a fast car with Lenny, certainly speeding to cause chaos somewhere near. Pairing Jemaine Clement and Aubrey Plaza feels like a no-brainer to me. Both actors have such unbelievable energy on this show; I imagine their scenes will be combustible.
The main questions are what exactly The Shadow King’s next move will be and how intensely will Melanie react to Oliver’s mental capture? Does The Shadow King want to take revenge on the Summerland gang, or will he be the one to escalate a war between Division 3 and the mutants? Melanie will surely be worried about Oliver once she realizes that he’s the new host for the parasite, will her love for her husband get in the way of her ability to stop him? Will she lose focus on Summerland’s other adversaries?
David and Syd
David really can’t catch a break either. He and Syd were enjoying a quiet moment mere minutes after he finally removed a parasitic evil entity from his mind that literally ruined his entirely life, and he’s instantly zapped back into the next horror show, sucked inside of a flying drone floating off to who knows where.
Obviously the question there is evident: who’s behind it? We hear Division 3 in the finale order something called “Equinox,” could this be that? But the real question I have regards Syd. I have an odd suspicion that it was really Syd that faced down Kerry as The Shadow King in the hallway at Summerland in David’s body. It may not be the case, but if it is, would that mean that Syd as David was really the one to get sucked up by that drone?
Syd’s reaction to David being taken away just felt a little odd. I don’t know, but their relationship has only known turmoil. Let’s see how it survives this next season.
The new main titles for American Gods are hypnotic. And we have a whole lot more to know about it than that too!
On top of all those amazing trailers we just got, Starz just dropped the official American Gods main titles, and they're dark, bloody, and filled with imaginative visuals. Just like we hoped a TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman's bestselling novel would be — and, let's face it, what we've come to expect from co-showrunner Bryan Fuller.
Feast your eyes on this gnarly glory below!
Also the latest trailer, in case you missed them, which also features scenes of Ian McShane hanging out in kitchens, which is what we've come to expect from co-showrunner Michael Green. Check it out...
Starz also uploaded its SXSW American Gods panel onto its YouTube page. Check it out...
In other recent news, we've got a first look at American Gods' Mr. Nancy/Anansi, played by Orlando Jones...
Jones did a great interview with Vanity Fair in which the photo is featured. Topics discussed include Jones' own fannishness around American Gods and Bryan Fuller, as well as the possibility of a Anansi Boys spin-off series. What are the chances we might get a Anansi Boys TV show? Jones said:
All I know for sure is that when Michael and Bryan had called me and asked me about playing the character and walked me through what they were thinking, part of the discussion at that time was Anansi Boys, and that they wanted to spin it off and pursue that character. As you know, the first season is really about setting up the world of American Gods and introducing you to all the wonderful characters. If there is a spin-off of any kind, I’d love to do it. I love this character. I love these writers. I’ve been fortunate that this is one of the most exciting and incredible experiences I’ve been able to do as an actor, and I’ll continue for as long as I possibly can.
So, it's a definite possibility, but it also definitely too early to tell. American Gods hasn't even premiered yet.
We also have an official release date for American Gods... The adaptation will debut on Starz on Sunday, April 30th at 9 p.m. ET. The show will enjoy its world debut at the SXSW festival in Austin on March 11th, so look for first impressions around that date.
Neil Gaiman recently talked to the Wall Street Journal about the new show, elaborating that American Gods will be eight episodes and will only make it a third of the way through the books. Gaiman talked about the freedom the TV show has in branching out from Shadow's perspective. Episode four, for example, will give us Laura's perspective, starting all from before Shadow and Laura met.
Speaking more generally about how the show has turned out, Gaiman said: "Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, the showrunners, have done a remarkable job and watching Ian McShane bring Mr. Wednesday, who is Odin, to life is an absolute joy."
To listen to the interview, check out the video below...
American Gods Release Date
American Gods will debut on April 30th at 9 p.m. ET on Starz.
American Gods Trailer
The first trailer for American Gods has arrived. Check it out below:
American Gods Summary
For those unfamiliar with American Gods, here's the official synopsis Starz released for the TV series:
The plot posits a war brewing between old and new gods: the traditional gods of biblical and mythological roots from around the world steadily losing believers to an upstart pantheon of gods reflecting society’s modern love of money, technology, media, celebrity and drugs. Its protagonist, Shadow Moon, is an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to Mr. Wednesday, a conman but in reality one of the older gods, on a cross-country mission to gather his forces in preparation to battle the new deities.
American Gods TV Series Production
Filming has officially begun on the 10-episode first season. Shooting will begin in Toronto and will continue in various American locations. Writer Neil Gaiman, showrunner Bryan Fuller, director David Slade (seated), showrunner Michael Green, and series star Ricky Whittle were all on hand for the promotional photo...
American Gods has also added three new members to its ever-expanding and impressive cast: Cloris Leachman (Malcolm in the Middle) as Zorya Vechernyaya, Peter Stormare (Prison Break) as Czernobog, Chris Obi (Snow White and the Huntsman) as Anubis, and Mousa Kraish (Superbad) as The Jinn.
At one point, HBO had planned American Gods as a series of six 10-12 episode seasons, but it never quite materialized. Back in February of 2014, Freemantle Media picked up the rights, and the project found a home at Starz in 2014 with Bryan Fuller (Heroes, Hannibal) and Michael Green (who is going to be very busy the next few years with Blade Runner 2, Wolverine 3, and Prometheus 2 on his menu) as showrunners.
In an interview with Crave Online, Bryan Fuller talked about plans for American Gods to be a kind of "Marvel Universe, not with superheroes but with gods... As detailed and integrated as the Marvel Universe is, and doing that with deities is something that excited all of us."
In other words, this won't just be a straight adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel, and is instead being looked at very much as long form television, which may lead to more down the road. "In success we may have spin-offs of American Gods that follow lesser gods in greater detail than you might in the main series," Mr. Fuller added.
Neil Gaiman gave fans a glimpse of the concept art, as well. This would be the bone orchard that Shadow dreams of in the book. It looks suitably moody...
The first episode of season one will also be called The Bone Orchard, per this tweet sent out by Bryan Fuller...
— Bryan Fuller (@BryanFuller) March 28, 2016
American Gods Casting
Shadow and Laura Moon
American Gods has gone on an all-star casting frenzy since first Fuller first told us how much diversity was important in casting this show back in May. British actor Ricky Whittle, best known for his role as Lincoln on The 100, has been cast in the lead role of Shadow Moon.
Australian actress Emily Browning, best known for her roles in A Series of Unfortunate Events and Sucker Punch, will be playing his wife Laura Moon.
— American Gods Amazon (@AmericanGodsTV) December 17, 2016
Jonathan Tucker (Parenthood) has been cast as Low Key Lyesmith, Shadow's prison cellmate with a fast-talking personality and a past that is much more interesting than meets the eye. (For a clue, try saying his name outloud.)
Deadwood's Ian McShane (who worked with Green on too-soon-cancelled political drama Kings) will be playing Mr. Wednesday, "a crafty and endlessly charismatic con man, full of perverse wisdom, curious magic, and grand plans. He hires ex-con Shadow Moon to be his bodyguard as he journeys across America, using his charms to recruit others like him as he prepares for the ultimate battle for power."
Well, we already mentioned Zorya and Czernobog in our "latest news" section above, but rounding out the old gods crew is: Pablo Schreiber (Orange Is the New Black) as Mad Sweeney, and Yetide Badaki (Masters of Sex) as Bilquis. Mission Impossible star Sean Harris was originally cast in the role of Sweeney but pulled out of the project a week into production for personal reasons.
But even though the show is well into shooting and a trailer has already been released (see below), American Gods' cast continues to grow. According to Entertainment Weekly, the show has cast Jeremy Davies as Jesus — yep, Jesus. Here's the official description of his character:
Resurrected on Ostara’s feast day, Jesus has always been generous in sharing the Easter holiday with the ancient goddess. But the overly empathetic Son of God would be crushed to know that Ostara harbors some deeply buried resentment over the issue.
Davies is best known for his role as physicist Daniel Faraday on Lost. He also played Dickie Bennett on Justified.
American Gods has also added Psych star Corbin Bernsen to the cast as an Old God named Vulcan. Here's a character description, courtesy of Deadline...
Vulcan is one of Mr. Wednesday’s (Ian McShane) oldest allies. He’s created a comfortable life for himself by harnessing his powers for the modern world, which makes him resistant to Wednesday’s plans.
Entertainment Weekly released a sneak peek look at Vulcan, a new god created for the TV adaptation. Played by Corbin Bensen, Vulcan was not featured in Neil Gaiman's book, but was a character created by Gaiman nonetheless. Gaiman had intended to write an episode for the first season of the show (though scheduling made it impossible), and Vulcan was a part of the brainstorming for that episode.
Speaking about the new character, Bryan Fuller tells EW:
Vulcan's the god of the volcano and the forge, and what is the modern-day extrapolation of what that god could do? We started talking about America’s obsession with guns and gun control and, really, if you're holding a gun in your hand, it's a mini volcano, and perhaps, through this character, there's a conversation to be had.
Michael Green elaborated more on how the Vulcan character came to be, saying:
He's a brand-new addition who came from an experience Neil had. He was going through a small town in Alabama where he saw a statue of Vulcan. It was a steel town and, as he told the story, there was a factory that had a series of accidents where people were killed on the job and they kept happening because an actuarial had done the numbers and realized that it was cheaper to pay out the damages to the families of people who lost people, rather than to shut down the factory long enough to repair, and that occurred to him as modern a definition of sacrifice as there might be ...
What’s interesting about a god like Vulcan who has bound himself to guns is it’s an evolution of what he was to what he could be, and that’s finding a new place in a world that didn’t have a place for old gods. That comes with a series of compromises but also a series of benefits for him. To say that maybe you can find a new place in this country, that it doesn’t always have to be so hard, makes him an interesting person as someone with a long history with Mr. Wednesday.
Bryan Fuller sat down with Amazon to talk about the show, specifically the character of Bilquis and "the strangest audition" Fuller has ever participated in...
— American Gods Amazon (@AmericanGodsTV) December 20, 2016
Crispin Glover has been cast in the all-important role of Mr. World, the "seemingly omniscient leader at the center of the New Gods coalition." Mr. World must keep an eye not only on his enemies, but his own "allies." As the official description reads, "he realizes that their ringleader, Mr. Wednesday, poses an imminent threat."
Bruce Langley (Deadly Waters) will play Technical Bogy.
Omid Abtahi (Argo) will play the recurring role of Salim, a “sweet, sad, and put-upon foreigner who is one half of a pair of star-crossed lovers,” in season 1. The role comes with an option to become a regular in season 2.
The Iranian-born actor played the character Salim in Showtime's Sleeper Cell and Homes in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.
Gillian Anderson has been cast in the role of Media, the public face of the new gods, in the TV adaptation of American Gods. Media takes the form of several iconic celebrities to serve as the publice face and sales representatives for the new gods, living off of the attention people give to their various digital screens. She is clever, quick on her feet, and able to spin almost any situation.
Anderson has previously worked with Bryan Fuller on Hannibal, so this casting is such a surprise, but it is infinitely awesome.
In yet another brilliant piece of casting, Orlando Jones has joined the cast of American Gods as Mr. Nancy, "the old African trickster god more commonly known as Anansi, and one of Mr. Wednesday’s (Ian McShane) oldest confidantes. Like Wednesday, Nancy is ready to bring this new America (and its new gods) to its knees, desperate to light a fire and watch the whole world burn."
Demore Barnes has also joined up as Mr. Ibis, "the keeper of stories, past and present, and he recounts them with great relish. His old fashioned sensibilities do not preclude a wry wit."
Kristin Chenoweth has joined the cast of American Gods as Easter. "I'm so excited to be reunited with my Bryan Fuller," said Chenoweth during the American Gods panel at SDCC 2016.
Comedian Dane Cook has moved away from the spotlight after a brief run as a buzzworthy name in comedy, but it appears he'll be resurfacing on Starz. Cook may get to be the comic relief in the upcoming American Gods series. Deadline reports the comedian and actor has signed on to play Shadow Moon's best friend Robbie. Here's his character description:
Cook’s Robbie promises to hold Shadow’s (Ricky Whittle) job for him while he’s in prison. Robbie is married to Audrey, best friend to Shadow’s wife Laura (Emily Browning), and he provides another shoulder for Laura to cry on while Shadow is away.
American Gods TV Show Images
A new poster for American Gods has arrived out of SDCC 2016. Check it out:
Starz just released the first image of Bilquis, played by Yetide Badaki (Aquarius). Bilquis, also known as the Queen of Sheba, "is an ancient goddess of love who craves the worship she inspired in eras long gone, and is eager to find that same relevance in today’s world." Showrunner Bryan Fuller chatted with Den of Geek about the role, saying:
One of the exciting things for us in adapting this is that we get to expand characters, so Bilquis, who is only in a chapter of the book, then you don’t see her again, is a major player in this world.
Though Bilquis only appears in two chapters in the American Gods book, her character makes quite an impression. We can only imagine what that role might look like in an expanded form...
All hail Gillian Anderson, aka American Gods' Media. The actress, who will be guest starring in the series as the mouthpiece of the New Gods, just shared an image of herself in the juicy role. Check the Marilyn Monroe-esque loveliness out below, then scroll down to our character section to learn more about Anderson's role in the upcoming series...
— Gillian Anderson (@GillianA) June 30, 2016
Entertainment Weekly unveiled the first official images from the series, featuring Ricky Whittle as Shadow Moon and Ian McShane as Mr. Wednesday...
The Legion season finale saw things fall into place and creator Noah Hawley explains what THAT ending means going into Season 2.
Warning: Spoilers for the Legion Season 1 finale, “Chapter 8.”
Legion just concluded a poignant, pathos-packed (albeit circuitous) inaugural season, setting the pieces of its proverbial chess board for Season 2. While the series, inspired by Marvel Comics’ X-Men lore, spent most of the season focusing on the reality-warped internal turmoil of Dan Stevens’s David Haller, aka Legion, the finale, “Chapter 8,” has – figuratively and literally – unshackled his unfathomably powerful mutant telepathic mind. However, the act has unleashed his vengeance-seeking nemesis. Creator Noah Hawley explains the implications for Legion Season 2.
Speaking in a media conference call (via TV Line), Hawley dishes on the creative reasoning behind the events that transpired in “Chapter 8.” The episode saw the Pandora’s Box that is David Haller’s mutant mind get pried opened as Cary (Bill Irwin) and Melanie (Jean Smart) successfully extracted the incorporeal essence of the evil mutant telepath Amahl Farouk, aka the Shadow King from David’s mind after tenuously keeping it at bay with a technological halo.
However, in the chaos, Melanie’s husband Oliver (Jemaine Clement) – just freed from decades of exile in the astral plane – had his body taken over by the malevolent mutant, making a subsequent escape. Yet, while the enemy who hid in David’s mind almost his entire life in several forms is now free in the real world, David still “won,” having purged Farouk. – That was, until a Marvel movie-like post-credit sequence saw David scanned and sucked into a mysterious flying orb!
As Hawley explains of this souring of David’s victory:
“We wanted to keep the pressure on. ‘Out of the frying pan and into the fire’ is a pretty good approach to storytelling.” Adding that he wants to follow a “proud tradition” of Marvel movies’ post-credits scenes and “give people the feeling of watching the credits, to let them absorb the complete story they just watched, and then tease them as to what Chapter 2 is going to be.”
Considering the monumental occurrences in the finale, the post-credits teaser incident may have come across and wantonly random. However, the primary theme of the season has centered on the idea that David’s immense powers make him, as Melanie puts it, a “world breaker.” Thus, it’s natural that more mysterious enemies will show up – in this case with futuristic mystery orbs – to address the apocalyptic implications his continued existence yields. Yet, the coming Season 2 conflict between David and the Oliver-inhabiting Shadow King could manifest in a mythically binary good vs. evil dynamic. As Hawley further explains:
“There’s going to be something very complicated about going to war with yourself, really… we’ve now created a villain for David that is worthy of building a whole story around.”
Pertinently, the episode started with a sympathetic portrait of a seemingly inconsequential antagonist in Hamish Linklater’s clandestine Division 3 government interrogator, who was severely burned earlier in the season after attempting an “enhanced” information extraction from David. Yet, the Legion-like way in which this was shown was designed to explain how one of David’s enemies will become a key ally in the coming Season 2 fight against a greater threat. Commenting on the Interrogator-centric opening, Hawley states:
“I thought it’d be very interesting to start this episode from his point of view, so he’s not just a horribly burned villain walking on screen. He’s a person who has lost something, and is struggling to hold onto his humanity. Now, he has a much more sympathetic energy to him… in his movie, David is the villain.”
Indeed, the inevitable, “world-breaking” mutant mega-battle in Legion Season 2 will leave everyone else – be it secret government organizations or mysterious parties armed with futuristic people-abducting orbs – panicking in the periphery and sides will need to be chosen. It is in this oblique, but nevertheless artful way that the Season 1 finale sets the Season 2 stage effectively.
Legion Season 2 is expected to premiere on FX sometime in early 2018, likely mirroring the February 2017 series debut.
WB and the DCEU are moving ahead with a standalone Batgirl movie, and Joss Whedon has signed on to write, direct, and produce!
Holy Shifting Brand Loyalty, Batman, we’re getting a Joss Whedon directed Batgirl movie! Indeed, fans of the DC Extended Universe at Warner Bros. can probably begin the hype train now, because Whedon, the prolific writer, director, and god among nerds, has finally found a follow-up to his one-two Avengers punch at Marvel Studios.
The news was broken by Variety on Thursday that WB is moving ahead with a Batgirl movie that could stand apart from Ben Affleck’s brooding corner of the DCEU. Whedon apparently got a very impressive deal from the the studio, since he has signed on to write, direct, and produce the superheroine picture. There are currently no other producers attached, but the movie will be overseen by the studio with Toby Emmerich, president and chief content officer of Warner Bros., and Jon Berg and Geoff Johns.
Whedon has had a long career creating and writing for female characters who kick ass, whether it be Sarah Michelle Gellar’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Summer Glau as River Tam in the Firefly and Serenity combo. He of course became an A-list director after the wild success of 2012’s The Avengers, yet he seemed to take more pleasure in his micro-budgeted William Shakespeare adaptation, Much Ado About Nothing, the following year than he did in the big budget superhero sequel that came afterward. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine that he will get more creative control for Batgirl than he had on Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Batgirl, aka Barbara Gordon, is one of the most important characters in Batman comic book mythology, and has become an independent and beloved superhero all her own. She first appeared in 1967’s Detective Comics #359, written by Gardner Fox and penciled by Carmine Infantino. The studious daughter of Commissioner James Gordon, Barbara secretly moonlighted as the adventurous and thrill-seeking Batgirl.
She eventually joined the “Bat-Family,” which includes Batman and his rotating posse of sidekicks before being grievously paralyzed by the Joker in Alan Moore and Brian Bollnd's iconic (and controversial) The Killing Joke. Afterward, Barbara became another kind of aspirational figure for young children with disabilities as the Oracle, where she proved just as heroic operating from a wheelchair as she did in a cape. More recently, her time as the Oracle has been retconned from comic book history, and Barbara has been crime-fighting solo as a millennial heroine in the Batgirl comic book series.
Entertainment Weekly adds that the movie will apparently be based on Gail Simone and Ardian Syaf's recent run on the character during the New 52 era, which saw the character in the days following her miraculous recovery from a spinal injury, and taking on new villains.
Arguably, a version of the character appeared in 1997’s infamous Batman & Robin. However, that Batgirl was one Barbara Wilson, niece of Alfred Pennyworth. She was played by Alicia Silverstone in that movie.
There's no release date set at this time, but we'll let you know when that changes.
Warner Bros. is having a devil of a time in new suit over The Conjuring.
Ask any demonologist and they will say it’s a little bit harder to exorcize a demon than the movies would have you believe. Warner Bros thought it cast out the sins that came with its blockbuster horror movie franchise The Conjuring. But Demonologist author Gerald Brittle says karma is a bitch. Brittle is suing the studio, as well as director James Wan, screenwriters Chad Hayes and Carey Hayes and RatPac-Dune Productions for copyright infringement. And the devil of it is, Brittle wants $900 million in damages or he’ll expose the real life paranormal investigators.
According to the lawsuit, paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren gave Brittle exclusive rights to their story and they violated their agreement when Lorraine Warren gave Warner Bros. the right to use the cases without the author’s permission.
The suit cites a 1978 agreement that had a no “competing work” provision barring the Warrens from making contracts based on the “same subject” as The Demonologist. The contract specifically lists making competing stories about their “lives and experiences as paranormal investigators.”
“This pattern of ongoing infringement by Defendants in the instant matter has caused Brittle irreparable harm,” according to the complaint. “Brittle seeks disgorgement of all of Defendants’ profits derived from said infringement and an injunction to insure the pattern of infringement is stopped.”
I’m not sure what it means, but I love the word disgorgement. Brittle also wants an injunction to stop the release of Annabelle 2, which is scheduled to hit theaters on August 11. The author of the 1980 book also wants work on any other films connected to the Warrens cases to stop. This includes the already-announced spinoff The Nun, about the demonic nun at the center of The Conjuring 2 which is to be directed by Corin Hardy.
Warner Brothers and its New Line division were already sued over The Conjuring in April 2014, by producer Tony DeRosa-Grund and his Evergreen Media. The first Conjuring movie made more than $320 million at the box office. Annabelle, the first Conjuring spinoff, grossed over $256 million.
We were on the set of the Justice League movie with Zack Snyder Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, and more to discuss the DCEU epic!
This article will will contain some minor Justice League movie spoilers.
He stands alone on the rooftop waiting, always waiting, in a context that should be as familiar to moviegoers as the blinding floodlight behind him, which shines its bat-shaped insignia into perpetual darkness. His name is James Gordon and he has been here before, hat and moustache in hand, patiently anticipating that distant thunder to finally roll up in the shape of a Dark Knight. Yet, something is different about this scene, for as the lightning cracks ever closer, it becomes apparent that he awaits not one superhero but four who manifest in a flash of light.
Suddenly, the police commissioner is face-to-face with three fabulously costumed do-gooders he’s never met before. It is in this moment that Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, and Cyborg are at last working together in what appears to be near the end of their film’s first act. And lest the vision of rain-soaked rooftops and lightning-illuminated sets remind you too much of last March’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and its ominous tones, this Justice League sequence immediately lets observers know they’re playing a whole different ballgame.
After all, when Gordon becomes confused by Wonder Woman uttering the word “Parademon,” Batman explains with perfect deadpan, “Flying Monkeys.” Just like that, you know you’re no longer in the DCEU’s version of Kansas.
Of course, this is not actually on a rooftop at all, but rather one of the many soundstages devoted to Zack Snyder’s Justice League at Warner Brothers’ Leavesden Studios in England. It’s day 31 of a 111-day shoot, as well as the first time J.K. Simmons has been onset with a moustache, trench coat, and fedora that appears to have been loaned out by a Detective Comics panel. And this is simply one of the many eye-catching things that I and a few other journalists were allowed to spy in an instant this Friday afternoon in June.
Certainly more gothic than anything seen in Christopher Nolan’s vision of Gotham, the GCPD rooftop is surrounded by a sea of green screen that will undoubtedly be replaced with cityscapes every bit as operatic as the gargoyles that hang out above the cast from a rounded terrace in the center of the building made of glass and rusted steel. Appearing as almost like a lighthouse shipwrecked on top of the building, it is the entrance to a steam-filled exterior that has the surreal combination of Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller, and Ray Fisher all in-character and in-costume (or in Fisher’s case, a gray bodysuit that accompanies the red lights glowing from one of his eyes and chest).
During this scene, Gordon has called in Batman to help with the disappearance of eight missing scientists in Gotham and Metropolis that have all been kidnapped by creatures from another world. Actually, make that nine scientists, as Fisher’s Cyborg reveals when materializing separately from the other three heroes, much to Wonder Woman’s surprise and delight. He mentions a ninth disappeared PhD of obvious personal importance since he was stolen from S.T.A.R. Labs. In this moment, Wonder Woman knows well about the insectoid beasts responsible, and the Jack Kirby-styled MacGuffins that they seek: Mother Boxes.
With four heroes now on a quest to stop the Parademons from discovering these items’ location, three of the heroes do the full-Batman and vanish on Gordon while his back is turned. When the police commissioner whirls around, however, the Flash lingers as equally perplexed as Gordon about his colleagues’ absence. “What, they just left?” Miller’s superhero smirks. “That’s rude.”
It might be, but the line is one of the many moments that would appear to signal the DCEU’s new temperament.
“There’s definitely room for more humor,” Ben Affleck tells us between set-ups. Coming over to the journalists unprompted and happy to chat, the Oscar winning filmmaker still has on much of his Batsuit and the black raccoon eyes that appear when the mask comes off. He does still remark though that his multiple pounds of leather makes him envy Fisher’s “silk pajamas.”
On his original point, Affleck continues, “DC movies are, I think, by their nature still a little more gothic, or a little bit more mythic, rather, than some comic book movies are. But [BvS] was a heavy, dark movie, because it was really rooted in Dark Knight Returns, which is a heavy, dark book. This [movie] is not that… it’s about multilateralism and it’s about hope, and it’s about working together, and the kind of conflicts you have trying to work with others.”
Indeed. If there seemed to be one theme reiterated again and again during our incredibly detailed set visit, by talent both in front of and behind the camera, it is that Justice League is about turning a page from the darkness of the last DCEU picture, and finally bringing this franchise out into a sun as shiny as the Flash’s new red costume.
A Tonal Shift That Comes in a Flash
Prior to this set visit, Justice League has been at the epicenter of an online culture obsessed with rumor and innuendo. While Batman v Superman broke March box office records by earning $166 million in its first weekend, this follow-up has seen some behind-the-scenes changes that have caused the internet to speculate about similar transitions in the film. However, from top-to-bottom, the Justice League team presents the picture of a movie that was always naturally progressing towards a lighter, more optimistic tone—elements that were perhaps then doubled down upon after this past spring’s critical reception.
For his part, director Zack Snyder seemed at ease with the process of blockbuster moviemaking, if exhausted at the end of a long day’s shoot, when he addressed a room full of reporters with a mojito in hand.
“I’m like, obsessed with tone in the movies,” Snyder says when considering the creative and perhaps commercial choices made in producing Justice League. “Tone has always been like the main thing that I go after with a movie. And I really wanted the tone of the three movies to be different chapters and not be like the same note that you strike… I really wanted that and I do believe that since Batman v Superman came out, and we really wrapped our heads around what Justice League would be, I did think that the tone has—because of what fans have said and how it was perceived by some—that we have really put the screws to what we thought the tone would be, and I feel like just crushed it that even little bit closer.”
For Snyder, this is exemplified in how he sees this film as being about creating a team from disparate personalities who offer different qualities and cinematic flavors than we have previously seen in the DCEU. Comparing his film to The Magnificent Seven, the director insists that he always intended the story to be a very different animal. In this go-round, Batman gathers a team of superheroes together, as opposed to trying to tear another one down. Consider that while Bruce Wayne wanted to kill Superman in BvS, in Justice League he remarks to Jim Gordon that there are now not enough of them around in the world.
On that very note, Zack Snyder, as well as producers Deborah Snyder and Chuck Roven, presented at the end of the day a newly edited together scene of Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne meeting Ezra Miller’s Barry Allen.
The sequence itself plays like almost a distant cousin of that time when Tony Stark introduced himself to Peter Parker. In this new sequence, Ezra Miller’s Barry (with a newly shorn haircut after BvS) comes home to a decrepit warehouse that has been retrofitted into some kind of loft with his homemade Flash costume hanging on display with its own mini-spotlight. Michael Wilkinson, who also designed Henry Cavill and Affleck’s previous superhero suits, took special pride in how un-slick it appears with its multiple pieces (148 in total). It is also fascinatingly wrapped in conduit wires that will light up with electricity when Flash gets up to his true high speeds.
Still, at the moment, it is hanging from a wall in full-display for Bruce Wayne, who sits in Allen’s chair expectantly. “I do ice dancing,” Barry demurs as Bruce studies the design. Eventually, the increasingly graying billionaire loses his patience and throws a batarang at Barry’s head, which the young superhero admires as the world slows to a crawl and the bat-weapon drifts by; he then plucks it out of the air, just as in shock at the revelation that Bruce Wayne is Batman as Bruce is at confirmation that Barry is the fast kid he’d previously seen on a CCTV feed.
Having apparently been burned by some “noes” before this moment about building a team, a truly in awe Bruce Wayne reluctantly begins his sales pitch: “I’m putting together a team, people with special abilities. You see, I believe enemies are coming—”
Bruce isn’t able to finish his second sentence before Barry blurts out, “Stop right there. I’m in.” Now even more confused by this kid’s existence, Bruce persists, “Are you sure, just like that?!” But Barry shrugs. He needs friends.
The scene might seem basic in print, but so much of it works based on how pitch perfect Ezra Miller’s delivery is both on-camera and off. In fact, it is easy to see that the filmmakers already know they have Justice League’s scene-stealer on their hands, and this little scene goes a long way towards already being more fun than anything in this past Easter weekend’s superhero extravaganza.
For his part, Ben Affleck is open to comparisons between his Batman and Miller’s Flash with the natural chemistry between dour Batman and fun-loving Robin in the comics.
“There’s an element of that to it,” Affleck says. “There’s a quality to really what Ezra does that is young and fun, and full of life and excited about what they’re doing that’s so in contrast to who Batman is. It’s a little bit of that natural yin and yang to playing scenes with him. So, there’s not the ward aspect to it, but there is kind of a little bit of the mentor.” Perhaps that is why a cardboard cutout of Flash’s shinier, more metallic final costume left out, accidentally revealed to us that Bruce Wayne and Alfred will later design a costume upgrade for Barry (the costume’s image has a “Wayne Tech” logo).
Indeed, Deborah Snyder spoke to us separately about how she thinks both Miller’s Flash and Fisher’s Cyborg will open Justice League up to younger audiences that might not have found as much to enjoy in Batman v Superman, particularly those that did not care for that film's the deconstructionist approach.
“We hear what everyone has to say because we care what the fans say,” she reflects about that latter film’s reception. “At the same time, each story that we’re telling is a completely different story, and I think what’s really great is where we’re going is kind of what the audiences wanted. We just had to take the characters from somewhere to bring them up to where they are. That was kind of our journey.”
Building a Bigger DC Universe
And to continue that journey, Deborah Snyder and Chuck Roven also introduced us to an office filled with a bounty of concept art, as well as more than a few props (on a personal aside, it is a pretty geeky thrill to hold Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth or fail to comprehend the ancient Greek lettering on her new sword and shield). In this setting, the basics of the plot were laid bare.
Slated to take place a few months after the events of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the death of Superman has left Batman in a place of soul-searching. Whereas he began the last film at the end of his career, he and Gal Gadot’s Diana Prince have a renewed purpose of putting together a team to honor Kal-El’s memory… which might not be a moment too soon since Roven and Snyder confirmed that the DC comics fiend Steppenwolf would be the villain of the piece, though he has yet to be cast.
Hardly a surprise since the evil alien’s digital silhouette appeared in a deleted BvS scene, the inclusion of Steppenwolf confirms that Jack Kirby’s New Gods and planet Apokolips (the intergalactic hellscape synonymous with Darkseid) will play prominent roles in Justice League. Indeed, Deborah Snyder referred to the Mother Box technology as “Apokoliptian” and dating back further than just the events in the last several films.
At some point in Justice League, there will be a flashback to what Roven calls the time “before history.” In this sequence, which if effective would appear to resemble the prologue from Fellowship of the Ring, the races of mankind, the Amazonians, and the Atlanteans will gather to divide the Mother Boxes amongst themselves. The red one will go into the possession of the Amazonians, the silver Mother Box will belong to the Atlanteans, and finally the black Mother Box will be left with humanity, as we saw glimpsed in the found footage origin of Cyborg in Batman v Superman.
It is the location of these Mother Boxes which leads the Parademons to kidnap the scientists as mentioned in the aforementioned GCPD scene. However, their presence will go to some much stranger places if the concept art is to be believed. In the flashback, ancient Atlanteans and Amazonians will be gleaned, including Zeus, the Greek god who is the father of Wonder Woman (at least in recent DC Comics). The Amazonians themselves look fiercely feral with simple leathers and cloths hiding little skin—or their blades and arrows. But more daunting in its ambition is the concept art glimpsed from Atlantis.
Justice League will be going under the sea, and by the looks of the images provided, filmmakers are planning to explore more than a simple half-crustacean band down where it’s wetter. One especially grandiose piece depicts Jason Momoa’s Aquaman controlling a shimmering Mother Box in his Secret Grotto while his Atlantean guards look on—mermen guards to be exact.
Also, we were able to glimpse the actual costumes Momoa will wear as Aquaman, Amber Heard (who according to concept art will have red hair) will don as Queen Mera, and finally the silvery aesthetic intended to garb Willem Dafoe, who costume designer Michael Wilkinson revealed would be playing Vulko, an ancient Atlantean adviser to Aquaman and Mera. All have a translucent and elastic armor of different colors that when backlit glow like the gnarliest fish living in the Mariana Trench.
In one piece of concept art, it is revealed Aquaman eventually joins the Justice League team by entering Batman’s Flying Fox (an aircraft vessel big enough to house the Batmobile) as it emerges from underneath the lake outside of Wayne Manor.
Yet, the most curious discovery amongst all of these images is the lack of Superman in action with the team. In fact, not even director Zack Snyder could confirm that we would see Henry Cavill’s Superman, even though he spoke about how important it was to build to this film where Superman could become more like the character fans love.
“I wanted to get to a Superman that had a reason to be Superman, you know?” Zack Snyder says while explaining his reasoning for the Man of Steel being so morose in previous films. “Like a reason to feel the way he felt about humanity or the way that we all understand from the comic books, as far as his moral compass goes, he’s pretty much [been]. But I feel like he had to go through something to be that.” Snyder then stops himself to add with a laugh, “And I’m not saying he shows up in this movie.”
Perhaps not, but the filmmaker also went on to compare his two most recent movies by saying, “Death is darker than, say, resurrection or team-building.” So, make of that what you will.
The Flying Fox and the Knightcrawler
Yet, in the absence of a man who you might believe can fly, there will be plenty of other airborne spectacles. Of particular delight will probably be the Flying Fox, which according to concept art will look more like a flying tank, similar to Zack Snyder and production designer Patrick Tatopoulos’ Batmobile from Batman v Superman, only bigger and with wings.
“The funny thing about this is it is [similar] to a B-52,” Tatopoulos says when remarking on its massive size. “A bomber usually has a cockpit in the front, you have a long cargo. So the first design I did for it, the cockpit was in the front, so it looked like a bomber. And it just didn’t really work, and I took the cockpit and slid it all the way to the back. And suddenly, it became like the Batmobile.”
He adds, “Pushing everything back and making it look like knuckles, it’s not a slick plane, it’s just a massive Batman plane like the car.”
According to the concept art, it will be more lethal than knuckles as well. Big enough to store the Batmobile in its mid-section while still having room for troops beneath the cargo hold, and a bridge on top of that, the front of the Flying Fox also has a gun turret that would not look out of place in a Star Wars movie. Presumably, it will be a useful weapon if flying Parademons attack.
While most of the Flying Fox has yet to be built, whether on a stage or in a computer, we did visit the set of Bruce Wayne’s new hangar in the film that will store this massive Spruce Goose. As a reference for the set, Tatopoulos used submarine factories and bunkers from the First World War. Likewise, the production designer imagines the space to be a mixture “of modern and ancient technology together.” Filling in the slanted walls is a black, industrial aesthetic every bit as aggressive as any piece of metal on Batman’s car. Small water pits also punctuate the floor in the center of the room, near grading and a work table.
Unconnected to the Batcave, this location may yet serve as Bruce Wayne’s new base of operations in the film with a bank of computers sprawled in one corner, each playing in loop the video origins of the other Justice League members teased in Batman v Superman; there is also a Batmobile sitting comfortably next to the sloping metal walls. The bottom of the Flying Fox dangles above the main work table, apparently controlled by futuristic tech that will be added (along with the rest of the jet) in post by CGI. Around the set, there are curious nuggets of Bruce and Alfred’s latest obsessions, including ancient parchments with foreign texts and drawings devoted to sea creatures hidden deep beneath the waves.
But as impressive as the set is, it is dwarfed by the one Tatopoulos designed for the tunnels below Stryker’s Island.
Previously appearing for half a second in Batman v Superman as the landmass situated directly in the center of Gotham City and Metropolis’ shared bay (it’s where Doomsday landed after falling from space in the third act), it will play an even more pivotal role in Justice League. As it turns out, there is a decrepit brick and mortar tunnel that serves as a byzantine monument to the art deco style underneath these dark waters. It was a tunnel meant to connect Gotham and Metropolis that began construction in 1929 before being abandoned for mysterious reasons in the 1930s.
This is also the location of a massive action sequence since Parademons have set up a nest down in this subterranean labyrinth. It’s Tatopoulos’ favorite set, and he showed off several immersive parts of it. The first is a ventilation tower, made of crumbling brick and shattered, dusty glass. Climbing up the steps and reaching a cement floor that feels suspiciously like rubber, it is not hard to imagine an action sequence taking place in this area, which is several floors below what would be a giant fan. A hole in one of the brick walls is also a curiosity.
Further, the set includes a massive tunnel with abandoned and unfinished subway tracks that are submerged in their gravel. One wall is also of brick, and the other is to be finished by computers, but the tunnel is just wide enough to drive a Knightcrawler through.
The Knightcrawler will be Batman’s other new toy that unlike the Batmobile can go underground and make its own tunnels since it consists of a cockpit large enough to hold four superheroes, as well as four massive crab-like arms that will be perfect for punching through walls. While I was only able to study the cockpit in-person (the arms will be added in post-production), plenty of concept art exists that shows Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, and Cyborg in the vehicle as it climbs through tunnels that look, perhaps not so coincidentally, like the sets we visited.
In this sequence, there are striking images of Wonder Woman exiting the Knightcrawler to slaughter a Parademon with a sword while inside a ventilation tower, the Knightcrawler roasting another Parademon with a flamethrower, and all four heroes escaping the Knightcrawler as it drowns in a flooded tunnel.
Instantly, it becomes clear that we might have walked into the climax of either the first or second act: Batman, Wonder Woman, and the rest meet on a GCPD rooftop to figure out that Parademons are kidnapping scientists and hiding in the tunnels beneath Stryker’s Island. Upon Cyborg’s arrival, Flash quips, “Now that he’s here, I don’t think we can all fit in the car.” Batman responds, “I’ve got something bigger.”
But what happens after that Knightcrawler falls beneath the flooded tunnels? I imagine the Flash could suggest they need a water guy (or a bigger boat). But as it stands, the scope and ambition of the film’s new style is an intentional world away from what has come before, and the DCEU is definitely growing.
As Snyder explains it, “I think that the nice thing about working on Justice League is it is an opportunity to kind of really blow the doors off of the sort of scale, and the bad guys, and team-building, and all this stuff that I think I can justify as [being] a big, modern sort of comic book movie.”
In terms of scale, Snyder and Warner Bros. are definitely already there.
Justice League hits theates on Nov. 17, 2017. This article was first published on June 21, 2016.
Is there a chance we could see a Treasure Island based Black Sails Season 5?
Black Sails, our favorite pirate drama ever, is over. Long live Black Sails. While the Black Sails series finale left us satisfied, we've grown rather fond of this crew, and if Starz ever wanted to head to Treasure Island for Black Sails Season 5, we'd set sail with them.
“Making Treasure Island, I think, is an interesting idea that we have definitely talked about,” Executive Producer Dan Shotz told us back in October of 2016. “While [the show] is such a lead-up to it, it kind of lives outside of [the book] a little bit. Where we’re going to leave everybody, you can now read the book and you can look at it with a totally different lens, which I think was our goal. I don’t necessarily know if it would fit the children’s story that is Treasure Island, but maybe we could do our own version of a children’s story. The Black Sails version."
"Our goal with the ending was to get as close as possible to Treasure Island,"producer Robert Levine told Deadline. "It was to try to leave you in a place where you could finish the show and then start at page one of the book, and start reading it, and have it not only make sense in the narrative sense, but also be something of a new story for you. Because now you could fill in a lot between the lines in terms of the characters, and their relationships, and their histories."
"We talked about a bunch of different versions of ways the show could go on," Jonathan Steinberg added in the same interview with Deadline. "A few of them felt interesting and felt like things that might be fun together. But they didn’t quite feel like the show, and I think the closer we got to the book, the more it felt apparent that the book is the book, and the show is the show. They can talk to each other, and they can inhabit the same universe, but for them to overlap just didn’t quite feel right. And I think the ending, where it landed, everybody felt like they were in the right place. They felt like they got back to some version of the place they started as a different person with a different outlook."
So it doesn't sound like Black Sails season 5 is all that likely, but we'll leave you with some hopeful words Luke Arnold told us last October. "It would be amazing to come back, see some of the gang again, and do some more in 10-years-time.”
The new Robotech comic features a variant cover by Mike Dialynas and we’ve got it right here.
The Robotech comic from Titan Comics has slowly been ramping up and we’ve got an exclusive look at one of the covers, drawn by Mike Dialynas, which you can see below.
It's interesting to note that it says the comic is "suggested for mature readers." Does that speak to the content being harder and edgier? Robotech comics certainly were never just for kids back in the day.
The cover also reveals that Marco Turini will be the interior artist on the comic, joining Brian Wood as writer. It’ll be interesting to see how Turini’s art compares to past Robotech artists and the unique style he’ll bring to the Robotech universe.
Over the last few months we’ve gotten other looks at the upcoming comic, including a cover by classic Robotech comic artists the Waltrips. Other variants have included covers styled after the original Robotech action figures and one by Stanley “Artgerm” Lau.
When speaking about the Robotech comic back in February, President of Animation at Harmony Gold, Tommy Yune teased that the comic will surprise fans.
“It starts with the universe that is familiar. We start from the beginning with the SDF-1. We want to have all the fans come in on the ground floor and watch the Robotech universe unfold and throw in some twists and turns that they aren’t going to expect.”
Check that cover out here...
Everything about this cover is amazing. All the characters have so much personality here. Rick especially looks really pleased to be in comic book form again. Minmei also seems delighted to be a star again. Dare I say it's her time to be a star? (See what I did there?)
Speaking about his inspiration for the cover, Dialynas says that, "I wanted to do a homage to the images I knew of from the series a cool looking Veritech in space and our lead characters front and center. I'm glad the guys at Titan and Harmony Gold agreed and chose this cover from the few layouts i drew up."
Dialynas actually got into the series thanks to a Greek newspaper giving away the series. "It was a rough ride cause trying to get your hands on these, they only had 1 episode per week per disc! Sometimes some of the discs didn;t work cause they where burnt from being in the sun too long hanging in the kiosk! So after seeing the first ten I was hooked and decided to hunt down and watch the rest and the movies."
For more information about the Robotech comic, head over here.
Shamus Kelley's reaction to this cover pretty much matches Claudia's face. Follow him on Twitter!
Clod the Destroyer goes to war with the Lizard People in the next issue of DC's The Flinstones.
Most of the time when these preview pages are offered to us, we gladly take them. DC's been on a good run lately, and I haven't had to fake enthusiasm for any of them.
With that in mind, they sent over a preview of this week's issue of The Flintstones, and, well, you can probably guess how that went.
You may already know that The Flintstones is the funniest comic on stands. Even the crossover with Booster Gold last week, which is a flatly ridiculous concept, was perfect. Mark Russell has somehow managed to match his absurd satire to a setting that amplifies it through its simplicity, and he has an art partner in Steve Pugh who is an ideal fit for his blend of humor. Every issue is the best that week.
And holy crap did you guys read the Snagglepuss backup in Suicide Squad/Banana Splits(a sentence I can't believe I just typed)? Snagglepuss as a gay southern gothic playwright testifying in front of the House Unamerican Activities Committee (still can't believe it) was unbelievable. Russell is a singular talent who should be a superstar. I can't wait to keep reading his work.
Here's the official word from DC:
THE FLINTSTONES #10 Written by MARK RUSSELL Art by STEVE PUGH Cover by DENYS COWAN and BILL SIENKIEWICZ Variant cover by NICOLA SCOTT Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details. Bedrock is in ruins and its citizens believe their mayor, Clod the Destroyer, is to blame! Meanwhile, Bamm-Bamm develops his first crush. Can his best friend Pebbles help him get the girl?
Hit the gallery to check out the pages!
The Walking Dead is headed for all out war in season 8. Here's what you should expect.
This Walking Dead article contains MAJOR SPOILERS for the show and comics.
The Walking Dead season 7 ended with a bang, as all of the different factions introduced this year converged for war. Rick, Ezekiel, and Maggie will lead Alexandria, the Kingdom, and the Hilltop, while Negan and Jadis round out this universe's version of the Axis Powers. The Saviors and the garbage people certainly have the numbers, but the heroes are determined to fight back and free themselves from the oppressive villains. I put my money on Sheriff Rick.
While the first half of the season was a bit slow in terms of story progression, the second half covered quite a bit of story in eight episodes. In all, season 7 adapted three arcs: "Something to Fear,""What Comes After," and "March to War," with a few liberties taken here and there - such as the introduction of Jadis and the garbage people and Sasha's fate.
The first half of season 8 will probably take its time with the conflict between Rick's Militia and the Saviors, if for no other reason but the budget. Call me a bit cynical, but it's likely that season 8 won't deliver a big battle sequence until the midseason finale - usually the moment The Walking Dead tends to go very big (except in the case of season 7's midseason finale, of course.) The show has a tendency to drag out certain character arcs or events from the comics at a sometimes frustrating pace, and I don't see that really changing much when it comes to one of the comic's most action-packed arcs.
Here's what might happen in The Walking Dead season 8 based on what we know from the comics:
All Out War
The first half of season 8 (which is what I'm focusing on here - I'll do a separate guide for the second half) will most likely cover material from just one arc, "All Out War," from the comic book series by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard. If you want to pick up the complete arc in trades, that's Vol. 20 and 21 or issues #115-126.
The "All Out War" arc really is what it says on the cover. It chronicles the war between the Militia (Alexandria, the Hilltop, and the Kingdom) and the Saviors, including several battles both at the Sanctuary and Alexandria. Again, these events will most likely be spread out - and one of the fights in the first part of the arc was sort of remixed for the season 7 finale, actually - so you can probably expect to see only one of these battles in 8A.
My guess would be that we'll see the Militia's first attack on the Sanctuary, where Negan is bunkered in after being surprised by the Hilltop and Kingdom's forces at Alexandria - much like in the season 7 finale. In the comics, Rick's plan is not to go head to head with the Saviors at the Sanctuary but to lure a large walker horde to the enemy base in order to cut off Negan's main force from the smaller Savior outposts. The Militia's plan is then to take the outposts, chipping away at the Saviors' numbers.
It's a plan that works for the most part except that a character named Holly dies after being captured by Negan. Much of Holly's final storyline plays out like Sasha's. Negan offers a zombified Holly back to the settlement as a peace offering. Holly, who has a bag over her head as she walks into Alexandria, bites Denise (yes, the doctor who died in season 6 of the show) and all hell breaks loose in the settlement, as the Saviors begin to lodge grenades over the settlement's walls. This actually inspired a bit of the battle in the season 7 finale, except zombie Sasha caught Negan by surprise when he opened the coffin.
Moving up this second confrontation to season 7 means that the writers are free to add a lot of build-up to the first battle at the Sanctuary. For example, I fully expect that we'll see a version of the attacks on the individual outposts BEFORE the bigger attack on the Savior base.
In those smaller confrontations - which would be a fun, action-packed way to open season 8 - Rick and Ezekiel split into two groups to take out two outposts. While Rick's team succeeds in taking out all of the Saviors at their outpost, Ezekiel's force is ambushed and many are killed, including Shiva, who sacrifices herself in order to save the King from a walker horde. The loss of his men and loyal pet seriously shakes up Ezekiel's confidence in his own leadership, which could be a major setback for his TV counterpart as well. It's likely that we'll see the Militia beaten back a bit in the early part of the season, especially since Negan has overwhelming numbers at his disposal, and the midseason finale will inevitably be when the tide turns in the good guys' favor.
There are still plenty of threads left over from season 7 that will undoubtedly fill in the blanks in season 8. Character-focused storylines will still make up the bulk of the season, even though it's adapting a largely action-oriented arc. This doesn't account for any original storylines the show might throw at us. Will we get our first glimpse of the Whisperers, for example? (That's probably not going to happen, considering how many factions already exist in this universe, but this fan-favorite zombie cult could eventually make its way to the show in the latter half of the season.)
Gregory is perhaps season 7's most glaring cliffhanger. It's pretty clear to me that Gregory will not join the Militia's cause on the show, instead choosing to side with Negan in order to save his own life at the expense of his people. In the comics, Gregory makes a surprise appearance at the Sanctuary during the Militia's attack, and he declares that the Hilltop will side with the Saviors. While several Hilltoppers switch sides at Gregory's behest, Paul "Jesus" Monroe remains at Rick's side.
Fortunately for the Militia, the Hilltop doesn't make up the bulk of their fighting force in the comics, something Gregory led Negan to believe when they struck a deal to work together against Rick et al. Negan literally kicks Gregory out of the Sanctuary during the battle, and the cowardly leader is forced to make his way back to the Hilltop where he's welcomed by Maggie's fists. Yes, it's safe to assume that Maggie will take full control of the Hilltop by the end of season 8.
As for Gregory, it can be assumed that the cowardly villain will follow a similar trajectory to his comic book counterpart, especially since he was headed to meet with Simon in the penultimate episode of season 7. While we didn't catch up with him in the finale, I think we'll probably see what Gregory's up to at some point in 8A. I have a feeling that things won't fare well for him.
The writers have taken a few liberties with Eugene's storyline in "All Out War," especially when it comes to the character's allegiance. While he's also captured by the Saviors in the comic book, Eugene shows a bit more resilience on the page, refusing to make ammo for Negan and eventually escaping the Sanctuary. The show has played this storyline a bit differently, making Eugene a fully pledged Negan follower by the end of season 7. While Eugene hasn't done anything truly questionable under Negan, it's clear that the coward has shifted his allegiance just enough to warrant Rosita trying to blow him up.
Of course, it's not too late for the man with the iron mullet. He does show that he still cares about his friends when he helps Sasha commit suicide instead of letting her suffer under Negan's rule. Eugene could yet redeem himself by continuing to be a saboteur inside the Sanctuary.
In the comic, Eugene is helped in his escape from the Sanctuary by other Saviors, something that could potentially repeat itself on the show. My guess would be that Dwight will eventually help Eugene escape, although this particular storyline has a lot of potential to play out very differently.
Oceanside was one of season 7's bigger surprises, primarily because the settlement has never actually been explored in the comic. While it does exist and is mentioned several times in Kirkman's original work, the show has fleshed out this particular settlement far beyond the writer's original intent.
This settlement by the sea is unique in its own right, being made up of women and ruled by women. It's a very welcome counterpart to the Saviors' much more patriarchal society. Oceanside is also a great addition to the already impressive cast of female characters on the show. It'll be interesting to see if they actually join the fight in season 8.
The last time the show visited Oceanside, it was for a very tense meeting with Alexandria. Ambushed by Rick and his group, the women of Oceanside were rounded up and forced to give up their guns. Some members of the group, such as young Cyndie, felt that Alexandria's cause was just, though, and willingly gave up their weapons and even considered joining the fight. In time Oceanside may finally agree to join the Militia. After all, Oceanside has a very big bone to pick with Negan.
Speaking of new settlements, Jadis and her garbage people are perhaps the standout new group of the series. Straight out of a Mad Max film, Jadis' group is something of an enigma. We've not spent too much time learning about their past - which honestly might be the reason why they work so well, although a flashback episode in season 8 would certainly be justified.
After the twist in the season 7 finale, the garbage people have been established as villains, and it remains to be seen how their relationship with the Saviors might evolve - or if the alliance is only temporary. I'd certainly like to see much more of this group and learn more about how they work and why they live in a junkyard.
While Jadis actress Pollyanna McIntosh revealed on Talking Dead (via Bustle) that the group's name is the Scavengers, the garbage people don't really have any relation to the Scavengers from the comics. (The Wolves filled in for the comic book Scavengers in season 6 - this all gets a little confusing!) In fact, some fans have theorized that the garbage people might actually be the precursor to the Whisperers. As Jadis mentioned in her introduction, her people are good at adapting, which means that whatever happens in season 8 could turn Jadis' group into a full blown killer zombie cult. Again, it's a theory.
Dwight remains one of the most polarizing characters on the show, and now there's the question of where his allegiance truly lies. By the end of season 7, he's working as a double agent for the Militia. Although he must side with Negan in public, Dwight is secretly feeding Rick and his people information about the Saviors' plans.
We last see Dwight with Negan, Simon, and Eugene, as they prepare to go to war. Dwight and Simon remain Negan's most important lieutenants, and Dwight will have to figure out how to exploit that next season. There's also the possibility that Dwight is actually playing Rick et al at the behest of Negan, who loves to play mind games with his enemies. It could be that Dwight has faked his defection in order to get more info on the Militia's plans. As far as the comics go, Dwight does indeed turn against Negan and helps the heroes during the war. Negan has pushed Dwight to the limit and now he wants revenge.
One thing left hanging for Dwight is the whereabouts of Sherry. This could be something season 8 will explore further. Sherry is the reason Dwight decides to turn on Negan, so bringing her back might add a bit more tension between the two, especially if Dwight has to help her hide from the Saviors.
Speaking of Negan...
While the villain is far from meeting his maker by the end of season 7, many fans are wondering what might await the character next season. Assuming all of "All Out War" plays out in season 8 - I have my doubts - there could be some major cold-blooded retribution awaiting the SOB. It's really a question of how close the writers want to stick to the comics in terms of the aftermath to the war.
In the comic, Negan is eventually defeated and taken prisoner, sentenced to life in an Alexandria jail cell. While this certainly works well in the book, it might be a little tricky when it comes to the show. Keeping Jeffrey Dean Morgan locked in a cell for whole seasons might not be the best use of the actor's time, unless he only makes guest appearances every few episodes.
It doesn't help that the reception to the live-action version of Negan has been a bit mixed. JDM is very charismatic and plays the character pretty close to the source material, yet there have been issues with how the villain translates to TV, seeming cartoonish at times - at points almost a parody of the comic book character. More than once, the villain was cited as one of season 7's biggest flaws. The show could perhaps rid itself of a bit of baggage by killing Negan. It would certainly take hardcore fans of the comic by surprise.
So if you're wondering if the show will eventually kill off Negan, I'd say its very up in the air at this point, although given showrunner Scott M. Gimple's penchant for sticking pretty close to the source material, I'd say we may still have quite a bit of time left with Negan - perhaps well beyond season 8.
Don't forget to listen to Den of Geek's Walking Dead podcast, No Room in Hell:
Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Iron Fist, and others will team up as The Defenders in 2017! Here's everything we know.
Marvel's plan to team Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist (and possibly some members of their supporting casts) in The Defenders Netflix series are well underway, and we'll see it later this year. The Defenders showrunners are Douglas Petrie and Marco Ramirez (Daredevil Season 2), with Drew Goddard (Daredevil Season 1, The Martian, Lost) returning as executive producer. The Defenders is currently filming in New York City. There are some new set photos floating around if you like that sort of thing.
The Defenders Release Date
Marvel's The Defenders now has a premiere date! A security footage-style teaser video titled "Midland Circle Security Elevator B" features street level MCU heroes in a blindfolded Daredevil, bullet-ridden hoodie-rocking Luke Cage, suit-sporting Iron Fist, and a camera-shy Jessica Jones awkwardly sharing an elevator and some obligatory Muzak. However, the time code in the upper-right ending with "08:18:20:17" divulged the long-awaited crucial bit of info.
In that oblique move, Netflix has officially revealed that The Defenders will premiere on August 18, 2017.
The Defenders Trailer
Check out the original teaser, which makes it pretty clear what's up in terms of the team, plus a bonus voiceover from everyone's favorite asshole sensei, Stick:
Huge bonus points for appropriate use of a Nirvana song.
The Defenders Story
It's not much, but it's all we've got right now...
Marvel’s The Defenders follows Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. A quartet of singular heroes with one common goal - to save New York City. This is the story of four solitary figures, burdened with their own personal challenges, who realize they just might be stronger when teamed together.
“Every one of them is following their own trail of bread crumbs, trying to unpack a mystery in New York,” showrunner Marco Ramirez told Entertainment Weekly. “We wanted them all caught off guard. Once they’re in that room together, it’s kind of like, ‘Oh, s—, who are you?'”
The Defenders Cast
Charlie Cox will return as Matt Murdock/Daredevil, as will Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, Finn Jones as Iron Fist, and Mike Colter as Luke Cage. Don't be surprised if some other characters we meet along the way join the party, like Jon Bernthal's Punisher. Expect supporting cast from each of their shows to at least make appearances, and that will likely include Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson.
“We're incredibly excited to be able to bring our four street level heroes together in an epic tale woven by Doug and Marco whose work on Marvel’s Daredevil speaks for itself,” said Executive Producer/Head of Marvel Television, Jeph Loeb in a statement when the showrunners were announced in April 2016. "They write and produce not only great action and adventure, but also the heart and touch of humor that's makes us Marvel. With the inclusion of Drew Goddard, we've got a team that's as formidable as the Defenders themselves."
“This is the big one. Four amazing casts, four amazing series, now all in one amazing story,” added showrunners and Executive Producers Douglas Petrie and Marco Ramirez. “We are thrilled at the opportunity to deliver the show that both we and the fans have been waiting for.”
The first hero who isn't yet a headliner to be confirmed for the series is none other than Simone Missick's Misty Knight. “I believe I’m safe to say that I will be on The Defenders,” Simone Missick told The Wrap.
Misty is a huge highlight of Marvel's Luke Cage Netflix series, so having her in The Defenders should be treat.
The Defenders official Twitter account just keeps dropping casting bombs on us. The latest is that Elodie Yung will appear as Elektra. This show gets better by the day.
They also confirmed that Jessica Henwick, who will first appear in Iron Fist, will reprise her role as Colleen Wing in the upcoming Defenders team-up series. Here's a brief snippet of Henwick kicking butt:
— The Defenders (@TheDefenders) November 3, 2016
The official Twitter account also confirmed what we already knew, that supporting characters from other Netflix shows like Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Daredevil like Elden Hensen's Foggy Nelson, Deborah Ann Woll's Karen Page, Scott Glenn's Stick, Simone Missick's Misty Knight, and other will be part of the series.
— The Defenders (@TheDefenders) November 2, 2016
— The Defenders (@TheDefenders) October 31, 2016
— The Defenders (@TheDefenders) November 1, 2016
And it doesn't look like we'll get Vincent D'Onofrio's Wilson Fisk in this one, unfortunately.
Marvel's The Defenders Netflix series will consist of eight episodes (the usual count for their assorted solo series if 13), and Marvel has announced the director of the first two episodes. S.J. Clarkson, whose credits include episodes of Jessica Jones, Vinyl, and Orange is The New Black will occupy the big chair for those crucial first two installments.
“S.J.'s take on the material is outstanding. We loved her work on “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” and couldn’t think of a more talented and accomplished person to helm the first two episodes of Marvel’s The Defenders,” said Marvel’s Head of Television and Executive Producer, Jeph Loeb in a statement.
The Defenders Villain
Sigourney Weaver was announced as the antagonist to deafening applause on the NYCC Main Stage back in October. Since then details have been scarce...until now.
Entertainment Weekly has our first look at Sigourney Weaver as the mystery antagonist of Marvel's The Defenders Netflix series, although this still doesn't tell us a whole lot. We know her name is "Alexandra" and that's all they're telling us. At least for the moment.
Here's a photo of her in character, which marks the first official set photo we have from the series at all!
“We knew it would take something massive to pull these four characters from their individual worlds to work together,” Defenders showrunner Marco Ramirez told EW, “but also small enough that it felt like it existed in our world.” Start your speculation engines, comic fans!
Last month, Ms. Weaver spoke to Movies.com a little about what to expect.
"It has a wonderful cast, and we're doing it right here in New York, which means a lot to me...Basically the four heroes come up against this really nice woman, who I'm playing...It's been a blast and I really love my character. I love the shows, too, which I wasn't familiar with before doing this. A real love letter to New York. To me they're not superheroes; they're people with a gift. It's just a different scale, and I'm really enjoying the scale of it. The apocalyptic thing is a little harder for me to understand."
EW also unveiled the first proper look at the team together:
We'll update this with more information about The Defenders Netflix series as it becomes available.
A version of this article originally ran on April 11th. It has been updated with new information.
One of the greatest Batman creative teams of all time is reuniting for a new summer event called Dark Nights: Metal.
Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, the creative team behind the critically praised and successful run on New 52 Batman, are reuniting for a new comic book event called Dark Nights: Metal, which will star the Dark Knight as well as the rest of the Justice League. The news was revealed by Snyder and Capullo at Fan Expo Dallas, where they also dropped some hints regarding the event's story.
Dark Nights: Metal will tie into other things going on in the current Rebirth books, especially the Death of Hawkman series that just wrapped in March. This new event will see Batman investigating the mysteries of Nth Metal, a Thanagarian element that gives heroes like Hawkman and Hawkgirl their powers.
A previously announced Batman mini-event, Dark Days, which will be written by Snyder and James Tynion IV and drawn by John Romita Jr., Jim Lee, and Andy Kubert, will act as a prologue for Dark Nights, although the connection is not currently clear.
Dark Nights will see the entire original New 52 Batman team reunite. Along with Snyder and Capullo will be colorist FCO Plascencia and inker Jonathan Glapion.
Check out the promo for the miniseries below:
Snyder revealed in a tweet that the series will be self-contained and last for six issues, starting in August. He also described Dark Nightsas a "DC wide event," promising that promos for Wonder Woman and Superman tie-ins are upcoming. The Green Lanterns will also play a role in the event.
Snyder said in a press release, “I’ve been planning Metal for as long as I’ve been writing Batman. But this is bigger than Batman. Greg and I started dropping clues during 'Court of Owls,' we continued through our Joker stories and we placed our biggest hints in the run that culminated with Batman #50. And now we’re back to tell a story that breaks everything apart. This will be the definitive project of our careers. Metal takes us in an entirely new direction. Greg and I will dig beneath the surface of all the stories we’ve told to find a place of terror and twisted nightmares.”
“I want Metal to be built upon the stories happening now in Rebirth and create new material that feels really modern and different,” continued Snyder. “And above all, it’s going to be fun. Even with terror and nightmares, it won’t be grim. Dark Nights: Metalwill be celebratory, huge and crazy. I’ve said it before: I am going for out-of-control dinosaurs and lasers.”
More Batnews as we learn it!
Amazon’s The Tick television pilot has yielded a series order and we have the latest news you need to know!
The Tick pilot arrived last year on Amazon as a long-gestating television reboot of Ben Edlund’s classic indie comic book series, popular 1990’s Fox animated series and gone-too-soon 2001-2002 Fox live-action series. While the casting of English comedian and Guardians of the Galaxy actor Peter Serafinowicz as the mighty blue buffoon was initially met with questions, he embodied the role quite well, yielding fan feedback and numbers successful enough to warrant a subsequent series order.
As The Tick Season 1 gets ready for a proper run on Amazon, here’s the info you need to know!
The Tick Season 1 Latest News
Scott Speiser is the newest addition to The Tick cast. According to Deadline, Speiser has been booked for a regular role on the series, though his character was not confirmed. Speiser has fielded an array of television guest roles across his career, notably with appearances on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., NCIS, Mike & Molly, Intelligence and Criminal Minds. He also recently had a daytime soap run on The Young and the Restless.
The Tick Season 1 Cast
Yara Martinez, who played the sinister Ms. Lint in the pilot, has been promoted to a regular, marking the first major move going into The Tick Season 1.
Patrick Warburton, who played The Tick in the 2001-2002 Fox series and executive produces the Amazon iteration, will reportedly return to the franchise onscreen for a secret role of some kind.
The Tick pilot stars Peter Serafinowicz (Guardians of the Galaxy), Griffin Newman (Vinyl), Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen), Valorie Curry (House of Lies) and Brendan Hines (Scorpion) will return for the series.
The Tick Season 1 Release Date
The Tick Season 1 doesn't quite have an official release date as of yet. The pilot – along with comedies Jean-Claude Van Johnson and (the not at all lascivious) I Love Dick made a streaming debut on Amazon on August 19, 2016. While, it’s not exactly apparent if The Tick’s proper series debut will make that timeframe, it does seem reasonable to assume that it will arrive sometime within 2017.
The Tick Season 1 Story
While storylines for The Tick's full series debut are unknown, here are some details dropped about show in the aftermath of the pilot's premiere.
“This has been a labor of love for Amazon, Sony, and all of us,” said creator and executive producer Ben Edlund, in a statement. “The only way for this to have value was if we found a wholly new expression of The Tick and Arthur's story in live-action, and I think we're on to something.
“Visually and thematically this new Tick lives in the textures and rhetoric of today's superhero saturation tsunami -- and for it to be something you want to watch for hours, it needed to find its way to a story with heart and stakes, as well as absurdism. Is it a radically new hybrid of humor and super heroic action with characters you will care desperately about? YES! Yes it is.”
The Tick is being called dark and offbeat. Here is the official synopsis:
“In a world where superheroes have been real for decades, an underdog accountant with zero powers comes to realize his city is owned by a global super villain long-thought dead. As he struggles to uncover this conspiracy, he falls in league with a strange blue superhero. The Tick stars Peter Serafinowicz (Guardians of the Galaxy), Griffin Newman (Vinyl), Jackie Earle Haley (Watchmen), Valorie Curry (House of Lies), Yara Martinez (Jane the Virgin) and Brendan Hines (Scorpion).
The Tick Season 1 Details
Ben Edlund (Supernatural), who created The Tick and co-created the 1994-1997 animated series, will write and executive produce the series. Edlund also wrote and produced the series Firefly, Angel and Supernatural. He is currently working on Fox’s DC Comics drama Gotham.
Patrick Warburton, who starred on the original series, will be one of the executive producers. Original executive producer Barry Josephson and original studio Sony Pictures TV are also back on board. The Tick is executive produced by Barry Josephson (Bones) and Barry Sonnenfeld (A Series of Unfortunate Events), directed by Wally Pfister (The Dark Knight).
We can't believe it took this long, but we're finally getting an Invincible movie.
If you only associate Robert Kirkman's name with the zombie horror of The Walking Dead, you're missing out on a key piece of his career which has run for nearly as long. Kirkman is the co-creator (along with Ryan Ottley and Cory Walker) of Invincible, one of the longest running and most successful independent superhero comics in recent memory. Considering the runaway success of The Walking Dead on TV, you'd think we'd have seen Invincible make the jump to live action by now.
Well, it's finally time. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg will write, direct, and produce an Invincible movie for Universal. Rogen and Goldberg are no stranger to adapting long running, beloved comics, as they're behind AMC's Preacher TV series, as well. The short version on Invincible is that it's about the superheroic journey of a high school student who happens to be the son of Earth's mightiest hero. I won't lean too hard on my personal preference that some of the pacing and reveals of Invincible would work better on TV than as a movie franchise, because this is still exciting news.
“For nearly a decade I've had to endure the ‘what about Invincible?’ question as fans have watched The Walking Dead grow into the multi-media monstrosity it has become over the years,” Robert Kirkman said in a statement (via The Hollywood Reporter). “The answer was always that we were waiting for the right team to partner with. That team has arrived! The esteemed misters Goldberg and Rogen have proven themselves to be top-notch directors with a keen collective eye for stunning visuals after slumming it by writing hit after juggernaut hit.”
"No matter how much damage it causes our bodies, minds, and our most intimate relationships with those we love, we will not rest until Invincible is as great a movie as it deserves to be,” added Rogen and Goldberg.
No word on a release date yet, but we've waited over a decade so a few more won't kill us.
The second half of The Walking Dead Season 7 improved upon the tepid first yet still couldn’t overcome bigger issues.
This Walking Dead article contains spoilers.
It was when Rick smiled.
That’s when I became hopeful The Walking Dead season 7 could turn things around.
7A was a brutal, boring first half of the season by almost any metric. The show lost 5 million viewers after the premiere and never recovered. The first half of the season was disorganized, slow-moving, and tedious. Fan support was down, reviews were scathing or indifferent. I mean look at this:
Most times people swear off a TV series, they don't mean it. But look at Walking Dead ratings after the S7 opener. It lost viewers forever. pic.twitter.com/PI2xXqMpPw
— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) April 3, 2017
Then we get our merciful midseason breather and The Walking Dead went away for two months to figure its shit out. When it came back, it seemed markedly better. Characters were almost all together again for the first time in a long time.
In episode 9, “Rock in the Road,” the show decided to stop playing its most loathsome game “Hide the Daryl” and the shaggy-haired weirdo was allowed to attend a Hilltop meeting of the minds with all his friends. The Alexandrians got the opportunity to kill a whole horde of walkers creatively, with two cars and a wire. Then the end of the episode came and the gang was surrounded by steampunk trash people and Rick smiled.
That smile was the best moment of the entire season to me because it doesn’t make much sense. Smiling is a very inappropriate reaction to being surrounded a group of hostile individuals holding guns who both look and smell like garbage. But that’s what I liked about it.
Maybe Rick was smiling because he got his mojo back and was supremely confident in his recruiting abilities. These new hostiles represented hope that Rick could now get the numbers to defeat the Saviors. Or maybe he was smiling because he couldn’t help but appreciate how strange his life was. One day you’re tucking little Carl into bed in your home in Georgia and the next you’re disheveled, unshowered, and surrounded by people with stupid haircuts in a post-apocalyptic garbage dump.
Whatever the reason he smiled, it was so welcome. The Walking Dead is a dark show that has much to say about the dismal nature of humanity. “We are the walking dead, yada, yada, whatever and all that.” But at its best, it should also be fun.
There’s a moment that reflects this in the newest issue of The Walking Dead comic. I will speak about it as vaguely as possible to avoid any spoilers, but skip the next paragraph anyway if you don’t want the slightest bit of spoilers.
Two characters are participating in an incredibly life or death activity. They are in the presence of enough zombies to present an existential threat to not only their own lives but their entire community’s and everything they’ve worked so hard to build. Still, as they’re working to divert the horde of zombies to a safer location, they can’t help but remark to each other, “Hey, this is kind of fun.” This is a terrifying situation but at least they feel useful. At least they can do something about it. At least they’ve lived this long and proven so much about their character, skills, and humanity to themselves and others.
When Rick smiled, that’s what I thought of. Just one episode into the new half-season, the show seemed to understand something that I had always wanted it to understand and acknowledge: this is supposed to be fun.
The Waling Dead did get that. A later episode literally took place in an amusement park, as Rick and Michonne dispatched zombies Zombieland-style. The Walking Dead fixed itself and got better. Just not better enough.
Season 7B was a marked improvement, but it didn’t change the fact that season 7 itself was a bad season.
One of the problems was the season’s big bad: Negan. The Negan of the Robert Kirkman universe is a tool - not just in behavior and the author’s use of him. Negan was introduced because Kirkman needed someone to die in issue #100. Enter this stock, potty-mouthed guy with a barbed-wire baseball bat. Kirkman has since said that he never anticipated keeping Negan around. His initial ending was supposed to be just a few issues after he was introduced. But then Kirkman kept on thinking of new and exciting uses for his interesting villain. The tool of Negan kept on working so the writer kept him around. This makes his character arc improvisational, which keeps it fun.
The Negan of the TV show, however, isn’t allowed any such improvisation. He’s walking down the same tracks as his comic counterpart even when it doesn’t make sense for him to do so. Negan isn’t allowed to grow or change or improvise because the comic book Negan already did that and its this Negan’s job to dutifully follow that Negan’s path. Hell, they wouldn’t even let Jeffrey Dean Morgan keep his beard.
This has created a bland villain whose ideology and motivations the show can’t quite nail down. Not even in a fun, unexpected way but rather an inconsistent and frustrating one. Negan as a villain in the Walking Dead season 7 is every henchman in this SNL Peter Pan skit.
Still, the show could have survived a bad antagonist. It’s done it before. The real problem with season 7 was much larger, and in hindsight, we were kind of foolish to think it ever could have been overcome.
The structure of season 7 was set up in such a way that it was impossible for a good season of TV to be produced by it. I don’t want to dwell on comparisons to the comic but it’s necessary in this case.* The portion of the comic that season 7 covers is from about three volumes made up of 18 issues. That may seem like a lot (particularly when the entirety of season two was just a couple of issues), but in reality that’s an amount of story that takes a reader about an hour or so to read.
*Plus I recently just read them all for the first time and basically compare EVERYTHING to the comic these days. Ughhh taking out the trash? The Walking Dead comic is better.
Season 7 takes that hour or so of reading and stretches it to about 13-14 hours of TV watching. This wouldn’t be a bad thing if the TV writers felt less beholden to the comic. Instead, they want to make sure every last bit of the comic is translated to a full season. And in that translation there is far, far, far too much white space that needs to be filled with garbage people, both metaphorical and literal.
That’s what doomed season 7: time management. To some extent, writing a TV show is all about time management. The network is nice enough to give you a season order, let you know how many episodes you’re getting, and then it’s the writers and producers jobs to figure out how much time those episodes should cover.
The people behind The Walking Dead are good at their jobs. The writers can write, the actors can act, and Greg Nicotero can create the coolest zombies in the business.* It was just one critical wrong decision that made it almost impossible for them to create an entertaining season of television.
*Seriously, regardless of how you feel about The Walking Dead, never forget how remarkable the makeup and CG work is in creating some of the most amazing monsters TV has ever seen.
Blame AMC and its greed if you want for forcing a 16-episode season upon the writing staff rather than 12 or 13 episodes. Still, when you know you have 16 episodes you have to plan accordingly, and The Walking Dead didn’t.
Television shows are fragile ecosystems. You can have all the necessary factors in place to create a worthwhile show, but if one timing or structural aspect in the planning stages goes wrong, you’re pretty screwed. That’s what we witnessed this season. There was simply not enough story to cover the episode order. And in that vacuum of story we got inane bullshit that we didn’t need. The finale gave Sasha the send off she deserved but not enough to make me forget what the rest of the season did to her.
Go back and watch ANY scene that includes Sasha and/or Rosita and tell me if the dialogue is even necessary. Both characters' lines could have been replaced with angry garbling noises and the essence of their scenes would have remained the same.
But I digress. This is about forgiveness. When Rick smiled, I was happy. There was joy back in the show. And that joy did remain for the final eight episodes, including a somewhat cathartic finale. Still, in season 8 there needs to be major structural changes. Whether that means planning story more meticulously or simply throwing the comics to the wind and embracing the improvisational nightmarish fun of the zombie apocalypse is up to Gimple and the writers.
The eight-episode adaptation of the beloved book comes from Breaking Bad writer/producer Moira Walley-Beckett.
Here's everything you need to know aboutAnne, the eight-episode Netflix/CBC TV adaptation of the much-beloved Lucy Maud Montgomery novel Anne of Green Gables...
We've got an official trailer for Anne, and it's full of so many of the classic moments from the books/the beloved miniseries! Is it too similar? Hard to say. But, if you're a fan of the story, you probably have May 12th marked off on your calendar. (I know I do.)
Check it out...
And here's the Anne date announcement in which we got our first look at footage from the new series. In the ginger-themed teaser, we get a glimpse at Anne, Diana, and Gilbert. What do you think?
And here's a trailer of the 1985 adaptation, for nostalgia's sake...
Anne Release Date
Netflix will release Anne on May 12th, 2017.
Anne has found its Anne-with-an-"e." After a casting search involving 1,889 girls from around the world, Anne has cast 14-year-old Irish-Canadian actress Amybeth McNulty in the title role.
Anne creator Moira Walley-Beckett said of the casting:
Amybeth is a wonderful and sensitive actress who embodies all of Anne’s qualities. She’s soulful and inquisitive, mercurial and passionate. Her ability to convey pain and joy is breathtaking. Amybeth is Anne for a new generation.
Of filming in Prince Edward Island, McNulty, who lives in Ireland, told the CBC:
First of all, anywhere you turn is a postcard, instantly," McNulty said of the experience of filming in P.E.I. "It's so gorgeous and the people are amazing, they're so lovely and welcoming. It was so amazing to shoot there, to think that's where Anne of Green Gables is, and is so loved.
In addition to awesomely having the same last name as a The Wire character, McNulty already has some acting cred. She started acting at the tender age of six and has appeared in the film Morgan, the TV showsAgatha Raisin andThe Sparticle Mystery, as well as on stage in London Regent Park'sThe Sound of Music.
Here's a sneak peek of what McNulty will look like as Anne in Anne...
Anne has also cast Geraldine James (Sherlock Holmes, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) and R.H. Thomson (The Englishman's Boy, Road to Avonlea) as Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, respectively. They can also be seen in the clip above.
Anne Writer & Director
The eight-episode adaptation has impressive behind-the-scenes pedigree. Moira Walley-Beckett, a producer and writer on Breaking Bad, will write all eight episodes of the adaptation. Walley-Beckett won an Emmy for her season 5 script "Ozymandias," which is often hailed as one of the best episodes of television ever. Walley-Beckett also created the ballet drama Flesh and Bone for Starz.
Speaking to the CBC about what makes this adaptation of Anne of Green Gables different from the many others, Walley-Becket said:
We're off-book. We're the essence of the book, we have the heart and soul of the book, we have our iconic moments that everyone can't wait for, and we're telling a new story. I think that is one reason why it's entirely its own ... This is a very grounded, real version of the story. Life in Prince Edward Island in the late 1800s was a hard, gritty, scrappy life. It was messy, it was covered in red mud ... The weather, the seasons, it's all part of our story. It's not doilies and teacups, it's life.
The two-hour pilot will be directed by Whale Rider's Niki Caro, which also implies a certain modern visual flair that — though I adore the 1980s CBC adaptations — will mark a first for Anne of Green Gables adaptations. This is, really, the first TV adaptation attempted since the evolution of filming technology has made much more possible when it comes to television shows, which tend to have a tighter budget and filming schedule compared to feature films.
Anne — Where to Watch
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix will handle all distribution of Anne outside of Canada, which will surely mean a lot of hits in America where the 1985 TV adaptation of Lucy Maud Montgomery's beloved book series is a cult classic. Not to mention all of the fans the books about the red-haired orphan who finds a home on Prince Edward Island in the 1890s have in Japan. (And, apparently, there was also a 1972 British TV adaptation of the novels, too?)
Netflix Vice President of Content Elizabeth Bradley said of the project...
Anne Shirley is one of Canada’s greatest gifts to the world, known and loved internationally, so we’re thrilled to be working with the CBC and Northwood [Entertainment] to bring this charismatic character to both new and old fans around the world.
Um, agreed. Anne will stream globally on Netflix and air on CBC in Canada in 2017.
Filming on Anne is already underway in Ontario, with previous filming on Prince Edward Island. The young cast has taken over the show's official Instagram account during the filming, and the results have been pretty amazing...
The New Warriors will be a Marvel TV series, and the roster will feature fan favorite, Squirrel Girl.
Are you ready for a half-hour comedy series set in the Marvel Universe? One that features younger heroes with offbeat codenames and superpowers? Well, you'd better be, because Marvel and ABC are developing New Warriors.
The New Warriors first appeared in Marvel Comics in the late '80s/early '90s, and featured young heroes with unfortunate names like Night Thrasher and Speedball. There's no word on who would make up the TV roster, except for one important name: Squirrel Girl. Yes, Squirrel Girl, former Great Lakes Avengers member and star of current Marvel Comics sensation The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson. The character is descibed (in case you aren't reading the comics) as "a totally empowering fan girl—tough, optimistic and a natural leader. Doreen is confident and has the powers of a squirrel… She’s acrobatic, can fight and talk to other squirrels. Her most important trait is that she has faith in people and teaches them to believe in themselves."
Freeform, the YA-centric Disney cable network, has won the bidding for New Warriors, and it's going straight to series over there with a 10 episode order. Kevin Biegel (Cougar Town, Scrubs) will write the pilot and likely serve as showrunner. Freeform is also developing Marvel's Cloak and Dagger, which is currently in production.
Here's the official synopsis from Marvel:
“Marvel’s New Warriors” is about six young people with powers living and working together. With powers and abilities on the opposite end of the spectrum of The Avengers, the New Warriors want to make a difference in the world… Even if the world isn’t ready. Not quite super, not yet heroes, “Marvel’s New Warriors” is about that time in your life when you first enter adulthood and feel like you can do everything and nothing at once — except in this world, bad guys can be as terrifying as bad dates.
There's been all manner of internet craziness recently surrounding the idea of Anna Kendrick as Squirrel Girl after comments she made about enjoying the comic, but that's unlikely to happen within the confines of a half hour TV series. Riverdale and Stranger Things actress Shannon Purser has also expressed interest in the character. Karey Burke, the executive VP of programming and development for Freeform told The Hollywood Reporter that "I'm interested to see if name actresses feel right," for the role.
"Marvel's New Warriors have always been fan favorites and now particularly with the addition of Squirrel Girl, they are Marvel Television favorites as well," Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb said in a statement. "After the amazing experience we've had with Freeform on Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger we can't think of a better place for our young heroes."
We'll probably see New Warriors hit Freeform in late 2018. We'll update this with more information as it becomes available.
What? We worry? MAD About Trump: A Brilliant Look at Our Brainless President is too long to tweet.
The usual gang of idiots at MAD magazine are taking a look at the unusual gang of idiots that are currently running the White House and they are dazzled by the depths of the stupidity. America’s iconic satirical publication, running on empty since 1952, dumps on Trump with the new MAD About Trump. Written and illustrated by MAD’s half-massed staff, it will come out as a book, because, at 128 pages, it is too long to tweet. The book will have a cover price of $12.99, still cheap.
MAD About Trump will chronicle The Donald’s rise from obnoxious “businessman to really obnoxious reality show host to uber obnoxious ‘Commander-in-Tweet.’
The book is “all-out comedy assault on the most idiotic idiot to ever reach the White House (George W. Bush and visitors included),” reads the official press release. The publishers promise an that President Trump is “mercilessly mocked, relentlessly ridiculed and savagely satirized.” In includes a new introduction by CNN’s Jake Tapper.
MAD magazine was dumbing down America long before the art of the dealmaker was making America dumb again. Best known for the suffering they imposed on Tricky Dick Nixon long, long after he was a tired punchline, MAD held mocked every president with the mercy Trump is saving for the White House turkey. He even looks a little like Alfred E. Newman with little hands.
MAD will not offer refunds on this book when Trump is impeached.
Mad About Trump is scheduled to arrive in stores on June 14.
Ciaran Hinds is Steppenwolf in the Justice League movie, and he reveals a little about the villain's motivation.
This article contains some Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice spoilers.
This is the one that the DC Extended Universe is building towards. Five years after The Avengers showed us that it was possible to pull off a non-mutant superhero team on the big screen, we'll finally see a JusticeLeaguemovie. Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice director Zack Snyder has wrapped filming on Justice League, from a script by Batman v Superman's Chris Terrio.
Justice League Movie Villain
In order for the Justice League to form, they need a threat with power levels that only a team of heroes could take down, right?
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice made it pretty explicit that Darkseid is on his way to this world, and there were several visual cues for those who are interested. We broke those down (along with lots more comic references in the movie) right here. But he isn't the villain of the Justice League movie. A deleted scene from Batman v Superman released online offered a look at a monstrous creature on a Kryptonian ship, who turned out to be another Fourth World related despot (and Jack Kirby creation), Steppenwolf.
Steppenwolf is basically Darkseid's cousin, a powerful warrior from Apokolips who wields a pretty crazy energy axe.
Ciaran Hinds (you may know him as Mance Rayder on Game of Thrones which makes him a particularly cool choice for this part) is playing Steppenwolf in the film, and the actor spoke about how they got him into character. "Basically they’re going to construct something, digitally, and then they will use my eyes and mouth,"the actor told The Independent. Hinds describes Steppenwolf as "old, tired, still trying to get out of his own enslavement to Darkseid, [but] he has to keep on this line to try and take over worlds.”
Here's what Steppenwolf looked like in that Batman v Superman deleted scene:
And here's Ciaran Hinds as Mance Rayder. You may start your Photoshop engines accordingly...
It's still inevitable that we'll see Darkseid in these movies, and he'll probably still be a presence in the first one. DC Comics used him as the catalyst for the formation of the Justice League in the current comic book series. He's a pretty big gun to burn this early, though, so holding him back for Justice League Part Two sound about as logical as anything else we've heard.
Justice League Movie Release Date
Justice League is scheduled for a November 17th, 2017 release, with a sequel to follow on June 14th, 2019. The complete DC superhero movie release calendar can be found here.
Justice League Trailer
Here's the newest trailer...
Here's also a look at the first footage that arrived at SDCC 2016! This was our first glimpse of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman working together on the big screen.
Check out the trailer below:
We talked to David Dastmalchian about his turn as iconic villain Abra Kadabra on The Flash...
You may recognize this week's The Flash guest star David Dastmalchian from some of his previous on-screen comic book adaptation appearances. Dastmalchian played one of the Joker's henchmen in The Dark Knight. More recently, he had a memorable turn as Dwight, one of Jerome's most fanatic followers on Gotham.
Now, he's adding to his DC Comics cred with a guest starring role as villain Abra Kadabra on this week's episode of The Flash...
We had a chance to chat with Dastmalchian about his role as Abra on The Flash...
The Flash's Abra is very similar to his comic book character.
In his comic book introduction, Abra Kadabra had quite the comic book set-up. A citizen of the 64th century, Abra longed to have an audience that would appreciate his magic tricks. Thus, he traveled back in time to use future technology to convince audiences of his "magic" tricks. When the accolades from a regular old magic show weren't enough, Abra turned to a life of crime. We wrote more about his comic book history here.
How similar to comic book canon is Abra Kadabra? Very similar, says Dastmalchian, who started reading comic books himself when he was just a kid. When he got the script for The Flash, he happened to be reading DC Rebirth's Titans, which features an incarnation of Abra Kadabra as its villain.
Dastmalchian said of The Flash's Abra Kadabra: "The manifestation that we conjured for the show is, hopefully, pleasing for the audience because I feel like we take the history from the DC mythology ... and bring all of that into the world of this show."
Things are going to get bad for Barry.
Similar to what Oliver is currently dealing with over on Arrow, villains are at their scariest when they know what a hero personally values. For Barry, that is saving Iris' life (among other things). As we see in the promo, Kadabra knows the identity of Savitar, the dude destined to kill Iris in front of Barry's eyes (unless he can change the future). And Abra is making considerable use of that future-knowledge and he's not here "ruffling feathers," but rather to punish Barry for dashing his dreams in the future.
Knowing what Barry cares about is "part of my bag of tricks," Dastmalchian teased, because using his knowledge about Barry's fate is "what makes the show enjoyable — and by 'show,' I mean my magic tricks." Abra could keep Barry in a cage or even kill him, says Dastmalchian, but what would be the point of that for a showman like Abra Kadabra? Abra's knowledge, paired with his desire to put on a show, "only makes [him] more powerful."
"And that’s the great thing about working in this medium, one of the many fun things about movies and television shows inspired by comic books, is that they don't always end with our heroes winning," said Dastmalchian, adding: "With what I know, all I’ll say is that things are gonna get real bad for Barry."
Dastmalchian is interested in expanding the character.
Abra Kadabra is a recurring villain in The Flash comic book canon. Might Dastmalchian be interested in continuing on with the character after tonight's episode?
Dastmalchian said he had a lot of fun playing Abra Kadabra on The Flash and would love to come back to The Flash, but that "a magician never reveals his tricks." (Well played, sir.) For now, he hopes his Abra Kadabra in tonight's episode stands on its own.