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- 04/14/17--15:54: _Fear the Walking De...
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- 04/14/17--15:54: Fear the Walking Dead Season 4 Confirmed by AMC
- 04/14/17--20:25: Justice League: Mortal - The DC Superhero Movie You Never Saw
- 04/14/17--22:18: Star Wars: Captain Phasma Comic and Novel Coming
- 04/17/17--10:58: Deadpool Reading Guide: Get to Know The Merc With a Mouth
- 04/17/17--13:17: Fifth Annual Philip K. Dick Sci Fi Fest Coming to NYC
- 04/18/17--15:57: Spider-Man Confirmed for Avengers 4
- 04/18/17--16:38: Valiant's Harbinger Movie Moves Closer to Production
- 04/18/17--17:15: Krypton TV Series Trailer Arrives
- 04/18/17--23:04: Krypton Trailer Breakdown and Analysis
- 04/19/17--03:30: Agents of SHIELD Season 4 Episode 18 Review: No Regrets
- 04/19/17--12:57: Still Star-Crossed: Release Date & Trailer
- 04/19/17--15:23: New Warriors TV Series Character List Revealed
- 04/19/17--22:25: Fahrenheit 451 Movie Coming From HBO
- 04/20/17--13:24: Wheel of Time TV Series Moves Forward
- 04/20/17--15:07: Paul McCartney’s Animated Film Gets French Producer
- 04/20/17--15:45: Exclusive First Look at Robotech #1
- 04/20/17--16:48: Locke & Key TV Show Gets Pilot Order From Hulu
- 04/20/17--17:05: Dark Matter Is DC's New Artist-Centric Comic Book Line
- 04/20/17--19:08: Upcoming TV & Film Adaptations of Neil Gaiman's Work
Fear the Walking Dead Season 4 is a go, with the The Walking Dead spinoff showcasing more undead madness on the western front.
Fear the Walking Dead Season 4 is happening, folks! As the tonally-divergent west-North-America-set spinoff series of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead zombie apocalypse television continuity readies the premiere of Season 3 in June, it appears that network AMC is confident enough to grant the series a preemptive greenlight for Season 4.
Fear the Walking Dead Season 4 Renewal
The Fear the Walking Dead Season 4 renewal news comes with the intriguing caveat of a shakeup in the showrunner slot. In late March, it was revealed that the spinoff series’ current showrunner Dave Erickson will step down upon the conclusion of Season 3’s airings. Having signed a multi-year deal with AMC, Erickson will subsequently remain under the network umbrella for other projects.
Now, this is where things get interesting. The Season 4 renewal arrives with the news that AMC has brought Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg, formerly of ABC’s Once Upon a Time, onboard as co-showrunners starting with Season 4. Yet, the incoming co-captains will be joined by an interesting overseer in The Walking Dead mothership showrunner Scott M. Gimple, who additionally boards Fear the Walking as an executive producer.
As Joel Stillerman, president of original programming and development for AMC and SundanceTV expresses in a statement:
“We’re very excited to continue the journey of Fear The Walking Dead, and truly look forward to working with the talented team of Andrew Chambliss, Ian Goldberg and Scott Gimple.”
Chambliss and Goldberg also chime in, stating:
“We are thrilled to be joining Fear The Walking Dead and couldn’t be more excited to work alongside the wonderful team at AMC on this show. We love this universe and are truly honored to have the chance to contribute to it.”
Chambliss and Goldberg should bring an interesting perspective to The Walking Dead show continuity at the helm of the spinoff series. However, the idea that Gimple, who has become somewhat of a scapegoat for The Walking Dead’s controversial ratings-declining Season 7 woes, has – at least on the sideline – joined the spinoff could be indicative of something regarding not only Fear but the state of the mothership show as it rounds Season 8 this fall.
Fear the Walking Dead Season 4 Release Date
While the Fear the Walking Dead Season 4 renewal did not come with the reveal of its (presumed 2018) premiere date, it does seem feasible that, with Season 3 arriving on June 3, the series may have found itself in an early summer cycle; something that this early renewal should accommodate.
We take a closer look at the Justice League movie that almost was... George Miller's Justice League: Mortal.
Mad Max: Fury Roaddirector, George Miller, was once set to helm a Justice League movie nearly a decade ago. The project was known as Justice League: Mortal and it was far more than an unproduced script. A full cast was in place, sets and costumes were in production from Weta Workshop, and filming was all set to begin in Australia before things got...complicated.
It's a shame, too. Based on the script I read, Justice League: Mortal would have been a fairly impressive, very recognizable representation of DC's flagship super team. It also would have beaten The Avengers to the big screen by at least a couple of years.
I took a careful look at the Justice League: Mortal script and rounded up some of the other available information out there. We even spoke with George Miller about what it was like to have the plug pulled on a $250 million superhero movie just days before shooting was scheduled to begin.
Only have a couple of minutes? We can give you a video breakdown of the project to get you started. But if you want more detail, you can read the whole article!
Let's get going...
Justice League Mortal Script
Michele and Kiernan Mulroney (who went on to pen Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadowsafter this movie failed to materialize) wrote the Justice League: Mortalscript, and all things considered, it's a fun, breezy read. The script was handed over to Warner Bros. in June of 2007 and received a positive response from executives, and it's easy to see why.
The characters are in costume and in action on virtually every single page from the get-go, and there's plenty of opportunity for merchandising between the heroes and the endless array of robotic bad guys they square off with. Everyone (yes, even Aquaman) gets a chance to shine, and the idea of introducing a new DC cinematic universe with all of the characters together and then spinning them off into their own films certainly must have seemed attractive, even in those pre-Marvel Studios days.
While it's refreshing to see these characters presented pretty much exactly as you would want to see them, with little in the way in deconstructionism or even soul-searching on display, it does make the proceedings feel a little lightweight. Justice League: Mortal sometimes reads more like an extended episode of the Justice League Unlimited animated series. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but things move along a little too easily considering how many characters need to be introduced.
The film is bookended with a funeral sequence for a hero, although we don't find out who it's for until the end. Once that shocking opening is out of the way, it's made clear that superheroes are already well-established on Earth. In fact, they're so well-established that Wonder Woman is addressing the UN to discuss the fact that humanity (with the help of their superpowered protectors) appears to have achieved world peace. Even Bruce Wayne's faithful aide, Alfred, tells Bruce that crime in Gotham City has been reduced to a "nuisance."
It's an interesting opening gambit, almost like a far-reaching, optimistic version of Watchmen, but it's glossed over so quickly (Wonder Woman's speech to the UN is broadcasting on a TV in the background of a restaurant where Barry Allen and Iris West are eating), and referred to so infrequently afterwards, that it's almost inconsequential. It makes for a nice change of pace from the origin story addiction on display in most superhero movies, and the novelty is more in how these characters get together and interact rather than how they came to be in the first place.
It's never made quite clear how long superheroes have been operating, but I figure five years is a safe bet, especially for Batman, who has probably been operating longer than any of them. The world's superhumans have never teamed up on a large scale, but some of them appear to have met before.
The Flash functions as the POV character of the film. Despite his great power, he's the joking everyman, constantly in awe of the other heroes around him. It's not necessarily the most in tune with traditional depictions of Barry Allen (although one could argue that Grant Gustin's version of the character could slot right in here), and Barry's sense of humor is similar to how the Flash of the Justice League animated series (although on that show, he's Wally West) was presented. The fact that a 17 year old Wally West is also hanging around makes things a little distracting, as his personality is almost indistinguishable from that of his Uncle's.
Wonder Woman, on the other hand, is the most "outgoing" member of the team. I mean that inasmuch as she has apparently already met/worked with Superman (they're on a first name, not codename basis), Aquaman (who she has some romantic tension with), and possibly Martian Manhunter. She's also the public voice of the metahuman community. When we first meet her, she's addressing the United Nations in that television broadcast, which is a nice way to set up Diana as an ambassador, although little is made of her Amazon background. It's safe to assume that's all in place, though.
In short order we're introduced to the rest of the team once the Martian Manhunter finds himself the victim of a mysterious attack that leaves him in the uncomfortable position of bursting into flames whenever he's exposed to oxygen. As each member of the team goes to his rescue, they each find themselves compromised by nanotechnology that exploits their weaknesses.
Why is this happening? Because Batman's been hacked, and his files on how to take out assorted superhumans if they ever got out of line are now being exploited by Bruce Wayne's buddy Maxwell Lord, who is also playing around with the government's super secret OMAC technology.
How did this happen? Because Talia al Ghul slipped some tracking tech into Batman's shorts during one of their romantic interludes.
Why is that happening? Because Maxwell Lord wants revenge on the world for horrible experiments done to him as a child as part of the OMAC Project, which left him with some low-level psychic abilities. Simple, right?
Eventually, everyone gets back on their feet, they make their peace with Batman despite the fact that he's a pointy-headed, paranoid, fascist dick, and get ready to take on Maxwell Lord and the OMAC cyborgs...who unfortunately have innocent people inside them. In the course of this, Superman ends up mind-controlled and the team has to deal with a Kryptonian running amok on top of everything else.
Remember what I said about Flash getting the most screen time? Well, he also gets the most dramatic moment. See...remember how I said this is bookended with a funeral?
Barry Allen sacrifices himself to get rid of Maxwell Lord (who has become a cybernetic doomsday device) by basically running so fast he merges with the Speed Force and sucks the giant OMAC into oblivion with him. Ummmm...it actually reads a lot better than I make it sound. Wally West then takes up his Uncle's heroic mantle and joins the team at the end. All the Flash stuff is handled really well throughout the movie, from representations of how Barry sees the world when he's moving at full speed to his relationship with Iris West. His death definitely would have hit an unspoiled audience pretty hard, since he's by far the most likeable character in the movie.
The Comic Book Influences
What's remarkable about Justice League: Mortal is how utterly faithful to the source material it is. It's not just an unashamed representation of the DC superheroes that make up the team's roster, it's almost slavishly devoted to the Justice League stories of the early 21st century.
The core team consists of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash (Barry Allen), Aquaman (complete with his prosthetic "water hand"), Green Lantern (John Stewart), and J'onn J'onzz (The Martian Manhunter), with an assist from Wally West. If the team sounds familiar, that's because it's virtually identical to the core team that made up the (still excellent and well worth your time) Justice League animated series. All you have to do is swap Wally West's Flash for Barry Allen's, and try and get Hawkgirl in the mix somewhere.
Comic fans who read my (admittedly kinda perfunctory) summation of the script's events will probably recognize a bunch of story elements from Justice League comics of the era, too.
The first is JLA: Tower of Babelby Mark Waid and Howard Porter. This is the now infamous tale where the Justice League are defeated because someone gets a hold of Batman's files on everybody's weakness. It's a great comic, although an early symptom of the "with enough prep time, Batman could defeat god" problem. In the hands of less talented writers it's an irritating trope that cheapens everyone involved. Tower of Babel, incidentally, was adapted as a truly awful DC Animated Universe film called Justice League: Doomed. While many of those DCAU movies are a really good time, avoid that one.
The other is The OMAC Project by Greg Rucka and Jesus Saiz. This was another matter of Batman's good/bad intentions backfiring, as a satellite of his ("Brother Eye") that was built to monitor the Justice League ends up activating cybernetic sleeper agents all over the world (OMACs), at the behest of Maxwell Lord. In the comics, Wonder Woman decides that Maxwell Lord is too dangerous to live and snaps his neck as assuredly as lazy writing in a modern Superman movie, whereas in Justice League: Mortal, Superman and Wonder Woman refuse to do the deed, but Batman, ever the douchebag, is happy to.
The funeral sequence that bookends the film is reminiscent of Identity Crisis (although it wasn't the same character taking the dirt nap in that one). And since that funeral is for the Flash (and, for real, this movie isn't ever getting made, so please don't yell at me about spoilers), his death sequence is quite similar to how he exited our realm in Crisis on Infinite Earths, right down to the empty costume fluttering to the ground once he vanishes.
It also packs enough DC Comics Easter eggs per page to make even a Marvel Studios exec say "you might want to take that down a notch." In the course of its 128 pages we're treated to references to offscreen DC supervillains like Scarecrow, Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Parasite, Solomon Grundy, and Catwoman, Batman love-interests like Julie Madison, Silver St. Cloud, and Vicki Vale, plus DC landmarks like Arkham Asylum, The Slab, and Stryker's Island prison. Even the "Planet Krypton" restaurant chain from DC's post-Kingdom Comeexperiments with the continuity altering "hypertime" plot device shows up a few times, and there's a reference to a "Hal Jordan Memorial Park" that Green Lantern John Stewart is designing in his day job as an architect.
There's a fun closing sequence with the newly-formed team rushing off to fight Starro, the intergalactic menace that brought the original Justice League together in the first place in the Brave and the Bold #28 way the hell back in 1960.
Justice League Mortal Cast
Justice League: Mortal had an ensemble cast that would have consisted of Adam Brody (The Flash), Armie Hammer (Batman), Common (Green Lantern), DJ Cotrona (Superman), Megan Gale (Wonder Woman), Hugh Keays-Byrne (Martian Manhunter), Santiago Cabrera (Aquaman), with Zoe Kasan as Iris Allen. On the villainous side we had Jay Baruchel as Maxwell Lord and Teresa Palmer as Talia al Ghul.
The above cast photo by the way, is (according to the good folks at Comics Alliance who pointed it out to us) "Hammer in the back row, Cotrona directly in front of him, Cabrera, Brody, Palmer, Van Borssum and Osborne in the second row from the front, and Miller, Baruchel, and Keays-Byrne in front. The woman to the left of Cotrona may be Wonder Woman actress Megan Gale. The man to the right of Cotrona has not been identified."
There are still some fun superhero connections to be made here, too...
Armie Hammer (sort of) got to play a superhero in Disney's ill-fated The Lone Rangermovie and his name did briefly resurface in connection with Batman once Christian Bale hung up the pointy cowl. DJ Cotrona never got to play Superman, but he did play Flint in GI Joe: Retaliation. Common recently spoke about the possibility of giving Green Lantern another go before taking on a mystery role in the Suicide Squad movie. Megan Gale, by the way, can be seen in Mad Max: Fury Roadas the Valkyrie along with Hugh Keays-Byrne as Immortan Joe.
Why Didn't it Happen?
There are several reasons, some are creative, while others are just a question of beauracracy and economics. Timing was definitely a factor.
By some accounts, Justice League: Mortal was mere days away from filming, with Weta having built nearly everything from sets to props and costumes, with special effects pre-vis already set to go. I've exhausted myself trying to track down images of the costumes that Weta designed for this film, but there's very little out there other than some concept art which you can see below. By all accounts, they were rather remarkable. There's a fun video of Armie Hammer freaking out a little bit over how cool his Batman costume "with all the carbon fiber and mechanics and springs and pistons" on it (there's an appropriate story purpose for that stuff, by the way, Batman is injured and is wearing high tech arm and knee braces) would have looked.
Adam Brody remembers trying on an early version of the Flash costume. He told MTV that “It was kinda what you’d think, without [certain features]; it was the first, rough-draft version...We were in Australia for some table reads and fittings and whatnot for a few weeks with George Miller and his camp, and that was a great experience. I don’t regret a second of it; I had a really good time and a lot of positive things came from that.”
Our own Don Kaye had a chance to ask George Miller about why Justice League: Mortal had its plug pulled at the last minute. "Well," he began, "it's weird." We don't doubt it.
He did clarify things, though:
"There was a writers strike. There was some legislation with a tax rebate to make it in Australia. It was the first film that came up, and there was a debate about whether it was Australian content even though I was driving it. It didn’t have to be Australian content, but Australian control. But there was a board that no longer exists that the government cobbled together from people who knew nothing about the film industry. And they voted -- they struck it down by one vote. We were all ready. Once that happened and then the writers’ strike happened…it fell apart."
But there's always the lingering issue of whether Warner Bros. was comfortable having different versions of its own characters competing with each other for audience dollars. Superman Returns had opened in 2006 with Brandon Routh in the title role, and while it underperformed at the box office, a sequel had been penciled in for 2009. Smallvillewas in the middle of some of its most successful seasons. DJ Cotrona would have made the third live-action Superman vying for attention at the same time.
Adam Brody believed that Warner Bros. "just didn’t want to cross their streams with a whole bunch of Batmans in the universe and all the other reasons they didn’t make it." Justice League: Mortal would have been in production while the promotional machine for Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight was in full gear, and with the third film in that Batman trilogy on the horizon, an "unassociated" Batman might not have been welcome. Meanwhile, the big screen Batman of the era, Christian Bale, seemed less than enthused by the whole affair, saying "It’d be better if it doesn’t tread on the toes of what we’re doing," and "it would be better if it comes out after Batman 3."
I also have to wonder how Christopher Nolan felt about the whole thing. By the time "Batman 3" (which we know as The Dark Knight Risesthese days) was in production, Warner Bros. was already making impatient noises about competing with Marvel Studios' shared universe model, and that was a game that Mr. Nolan wasn't at all interested in playing with his Batman films.
So, now that the world has had a good dose of Mad Max: Fury Road, which appears antithetical to many of the traditional CGI-laden superhero movie aesthetics we've become accustomed to over the last few years, the question remains: would George Miller ever want to try again?
"I mean I’m a DC man," Mr. Miller told us. "Like a lot of these things, of course, they're deeply rooted in Greek mythology, and I’m very into mythology and so on. But I’ve got a lot of stuff on my plate and not enough time to do it. If it was something I’d be interested in…If I could do it so it felt fresh, that’s my biggest thing."
We suspect he could. Too bad he didn't get his chance with Justice League: Mortal.
Justice League: Mortal Concept Art
There are some folks making the documentary about George Miller's Justice League movie (apparently called Miller's Justice League: Mortal) and they gave fans our first taste of what they might have in store for everyone, via Twitter. Check out some concept art and costume designs from the movie...
The above image comes from around the film's climax.
Get a look at Aquaman right here. It's a more traditional take than what we're seeing with Jason Momoa in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Note his "water hand."
And then here's one more image of Wonder Woman to close things out. If we see more, we'll post them here!
Mike Cecchini has read more unproduced superhero scripts than your average studio executive. Make fun of him on Twitter.
This article originally ran on May 29th, 2015.
Wondering what happened to Captain Phasma after that unfortunate trash compactor incident and before Star Wars: The Last Jedi?
We were so excited when we learned that Game of Thrones' Gwendoline Christie had a role in The Force Awakens. We were even more excited when we saw the awesome chrome armor she would sport, and that she had the equally awesome name of Captain Phasma.
As you might imagine, we were a little disappointed when Captain Phasma didn't get a hell of a lot to do in that movie, and apparently ended her days in the Starkiller Base trash compactor.
Wait...no she didn't!
Marvel Comics will release Star Wars: Captain Phasma later this year, a four issue mini-series set in the days after The Force Awakens. So yes, we'll find out how she got out of that trash compactor. But more importantly, we'll get the story of one of the most intriguing new Star Wars characters fleshed out. Kelley Thompson and Marco Checchetto are the creative team on this one.
(courtesy of StarWars.com)
But that's not all. Del Rey Books will also release a novel, Phasma, by Delilah S. Dawson on September 1st. We're looking forward to both of these, and hope to see more of the mysterious Captain Phasma in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. when that film opens on December 15th.
So you loved the Deadpool movie and want to know more about the character? We have a complete guide to Deadpool comics for you.
As time moves forward, more and more people start getting into Marvel's Merc with a Mouth, Deadpool. A character who has existed for two and a half decades, Deadpool has been featured in a lot of stories. Some are incredibly good. Some are incredibly bad. It's hard to keep track of what's worth checking out.
At times, I wake up in a cold sweat, dreaming about someone new to comics coming across a trade of Deadpool Corps and thinking, "Wow! A whole team of Deadpools! This has to be great! I'll buy it!" The poor souls. The poor, damned souls.
I've read an excessive amount of Deadpool books over the years. I've experienced his highs and lows. The mainstream books that fell flat and the obscure appearances that are underrated.
We're going to skip the first couple years of his existence because it's really not worth looking at. His first appearance in New Mutants #98 is forgettable and he doesn't do anything memorable in the pages of X-Force. He stars in a miniseries called Deadpool: The Circle Chase by Fabian Nicieza and Joe Madureira, which was okay, but not worth tracking down. He's still a full-on villain in the comic and thus comes off as unlikeable until a brief moment in the end. You can skip it.
But whatever you do, don't skip these...
Deadpool v.2 (also known as Deadpool: Sins of the Past) #1-4
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Ian Churchill
Interestingly enough, the first really good Deadpool story came from Mark Waid's lack of research. Marvel asked him to do a Deadpool mini and he was like, "Yeah, sure, whatever." Then he read up on who Deadpool was and regretted his decision. Regardless, he was able to work out a pretty rad four issues.
The comic introduces the relationship between Deadpool and Siryn, culminating in a fantastic character moment during a big fight against the Juggernaut in the final issue. Juggernaut and Black Tom Cassidy are the main villains of the story, during the weird point in the 90s where Cassidy has a wooden hand. The story isn't the most memorable thing in the world, but it gives us Wade being a good guy, Siryn, Dr. Killbrew, and Ian Churchill's grotesque depiction of Deadpool without his mask on. Joe Kelly's run gets all the praise, but Sins of the Past is like the prototype.
Deadpool v.3 #1-33, Daredevil/Deadpool Annual '97, Deadpool/Death Annual '98, Baby's First Deadpool Book
Writer: Joe Kelly
Artists: Ed McGuinness, Kevin Lau, Bernard Chang, Shannon Denton, Pete Woods, Walter McDaniel, Steve Harris, and Anthony Williams
If it wasn't for Joe Kelly, nobody would care about Deadpool. He'd be an obscure piece of '90s trivia who would have been killed off years ago. Kelly built on Waid's miniseries and gave us nearly three years of solid comics that mixed the character's well-known humor and – this is important – pathos. The main story of the series is that a government group brings in Deadpool because they need him to do a deed they deem heroic. Deadpool then has to prove that he can in fact be a hero.
This opens Pandora's box for him because it isn't so simple. While he has his positives, he can't just suddenly be a good person. There's a ton of moral baggage in his history and his willpower to walk straight in the light of tragedy is questionable at best. Then there's the details of his actual mission, which make him question himself even more as it gets closer and closer to go-time.
Despite all the serious stuff and character building, it's still hilarious. It gave us the classic Street Fightergag, which was popular enough to be referenced multiple times in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. The best use of humor is issue #11 where Deadpool and his housemate/prisoner Blind Al go back in time and end up in an old 60s Spider-Man comic. Old art is reused and edited so that Deadpool is a stand-in for Spider-Man and Al is a stand-in for May. Notable for being one of the first times anyone in comics ever pointed out how ridiculous Norman Osborn's hair is.
The complete Joe Kelly Deadpoolis available in the Deadpool Classic trades. You can buy this volume on Amazon.
Deadpool v.3 #50, 51, 54, 55
Writers: Jimmy Palmiotti and Buddy Scalera
Artists: Darick Robertson and Georges Jeanty
If there's one major flaw in Kelly's Deadpoolrun, it's that he gave him a pretty complete character arc and there was a feeling that whoever followed up was screwed. Christopher Priest got an A for effort, but his run on the character wasn't really grabbing the heart of the nation. In-between the end of Kelly's run and the beginning of Simone's run, this volume of Deadpoolwas a bunch of hit-or-miss stories.
One of the better ones comes in a two-issue tale where Deadpool reluctantly finds himself with a sidekick. After failing to prevent a mob hit, Deadpool is bound by honor to temporarily adopt the victim's son Christopher and keep him safe. Christopher absolutely hates Deadpool and blames him for his father's death, but enough of an understanding is met where they agree to take out the man who called the hit. While he lacks the healing factor, Poolboy/Kid Deadpool is quick in understanding sniper gunplay and explosives. It's a shame he only made a few appearances after and then was completely forgotten about.
Another good story comes a few issues later, where Deadpool meets with the Punisher for the first time. There's not too much meat on the story other than Deadpool being hired by a mobster to assassinate Frank, but the action is great and gives us a scene that I hold dear to my heart where Deadpool beats Frank with a lead pipe while insisting it's a delicious Fruit Roll-up. Maybe you had to be there, or maybe you just need to read the issue.
Oh, and Tim Bradstreet – the guy who did all those realistic Punisher covers – draws Deadpool for issue #55's cover. It's totally sweet.
Deadpool v.3 #65-69
Writer: Gail Simone
Gail Simone's Deadpoolrun is probably her best work and it says a lot that she was able to be so memorable with only five issues to her name. She gives Wade a new supporting cast and status quo, where he runs his own business Deadpool, Inc. While the run is mostly about Deadpool being stricken with mental entropy from an evil psychic mercenary named Black Swan, there are all sorts of little adventures in there, including the very memorable subplot where Deadpool carries Spider-Man villain the Rhino around on a keychain.
There are a lot of hilarious gags and sweet moments tossed in there, including a scene in the finale involving Deadpool's "assistant," a crazed homeless man named Ratbag. The payoff is really one of the more selfless moments in Deadpool's history. The run also features appearances by the Taskmaster, back when he had his cool Skull Man from Mega Man 4 redesign. I miss that look.
Agent X #1-7, 13-15
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Alvin Lee and Udon
When I said that Simone only had five Deadpool issues to her name, that might not have been 100% accurate, depending on how you feel about Agent X. Agent X is a direct follow-up to the last arc of Deadpool v.3, featuring the same supporting cast (Sandi, Outlaw, Taskmaster) and starring a mysterious gentleman named Alex Hayden. The amnesiac Hayden has the same zest for mercenary work, a face-full of scars, and a juvenile sense of humor. This leads several to believe that he's really Wade Wilson and doesn't know it.
At the very least, the comic has the same spirit. Unfortunately, Simone and the Udon guys leave after #7 and it's thrown to various other writers before being cancelled. Normally, that would be fine, but Simone set up a very specific mystery about Hayden's connections to Deadpool and Deadpool is still missing since the end of his previous solo run. Considering they needed Deadpool back in order to do Cable/Deadpool, Marvel had the original creative team return for three more issues to wrap everything up. It's a very satisfactory conclusion.
Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Artists: Mark Brooks, Patrick Zircher, Lan Medina, Reilly Brown, Staz Johnson, and Ron Lim
Cable/Deadpool (or Cable & Deadpool) is rather nice in how self-contained it is for such a respectable run. Sure, it has tie-ins to House of M and Civil War, but there are no confusing crossovers or annuals or specials to muck it up. Just fifty straight issues of strong quality from the guy who co-created one of the two main characters. Other than a brief moment in the Kelly run, Deadpool and Cable have never seen eye-to-glowing-eye, so the series is about two hated enemies with nothing in common growing into a total bromance. It's wonderful. Nicieza hits all the right character moments and the quality rarely dips.
There are two main flaws with it, though.
One, while Nicieza's a great writer most of the time, he has the tendency to write plots that only seem to make sense to himself. He'll have some kind of maguffin in the story that will do something overly complicated and I really have no idea what's going on no matter how many times Deadpool says, "Oh, I get it now!"
The other big problem is how Cable exits the series during the tail end because of stuff going on in the main X-Men books. For the rest of the comic, it's all about Deadpool doing his own thing in a series that's not supposed to just be about him. It's still good, but not as good and it's completely understandable that they end it 50 issues in for the sake of relaunching the series.
Superman/Batman Annual #1
Writer: Joe Kelly
Artists: Ed McGuinness, Ryan Ottley, Sean Murphy, and Carlo Barberi
Now, you might think it's kind of weird to have a DC comic on a reading guide for a Marvel character, but bear with me. This one-shot tells the story of how Superman and Batman discover each other's secret identities as a cruise ship enters the Bermuda Triangle. As crazy things are wont to happen, it opens up a portal to Earth-3 and the Crime Syndicate shows up to cause trouble. Meanwhile, Deathstroke the Terminator is hired to assassinate Bruce Wayne. The only one capable of getting in his way is Earth-3's answer to Deathstroke...who is a jokey mercenary...written by Joe Kelly.
Yes, Earth-3 Deathstroke is very obviously Deadpool. Presumably, that's his name too, but every time he gets ready to introduce himself, he gets horribly maimed. The whole issue is a hoot and the idea that we're getting Deathstroke vs. Deadpool out of it is icing on the cake.
Wolverine Origins #21-25
Writer: Daniel Way
Artist: Steve Dillon
When Daniel Way was rumored as the new Deadpoolwriter, I was incredibly apprehensive based on his terrible take on Venom. Granted, Way's Deadpoolwas definitely more miss than hit (more on that in a sec), but he did start strong. In fact, his best writing came from his first big take on the merc. In Wolverine Origins, Way and Steve Dillon had Deadpool target Wolverine.
The first few issues are a treat, turning it into a Chuck Jones type of cartoon where Deadpool terrorizes Wolverine by dropping pianos on him and other ridiculous things. It introduces Way's short-lived Pool-o-Vision, where Wade hallucinates and can't tell reality from daydreams. It's a terrible gimmick most of the time, but works here because Steve Dillon is doing it. Dillon's work is notorious for giving everyone the same ugly horse face, so to see him suddenly go all Tex Avery with the way he draws Wolverine is the best.
Later in the arc, we get a fantastic issue where Deadpool rants about why he hates Wolverine, revealing his own self-hatred. It's really one of the best single issues for that character and makes it all the more disappointing that Way never hit that promise in all the time he wrote Deadpool after that.
Deadpool v.4 #1-7, 10-12, 15-18
Writer: Daniel Way
Artists: Paco Medina and Carlo Barberi
Daniel Way got to write a lengthy run on Deadpoolwith 65 issues (two of them were .1 issues) during a time when Deadpool's mainstream popularity was really starting to take off. This is too bad as it wasn't all that good. I mean, it started out pretty good. The first year had a lot of energy and it looked like it was going somewhere, not counting the issues where it does a meaningless crossover with Thunderbolts. Immediately after, though, we get one of the most entertaining Deadpool stories ever when he takes on Dark Avengers' Hawkeye (Deadpool's on-again/off-again friend Bullseye). It's awesome, funny, off-the-wall, and action-packed. If there's a reason I stuck with the book longer than I should have, it's because of these issues.
Afterwards, there's a decent storyline where he tries to join the X-Men, but the rest of Way's stuff is for the birds. The humor is flat, there's zero direction, there's seemingly never any payoff to anything, the inner-voice gimmick means Way doesn't need to include a supporting cast (which Deadpool seriously needs), and his Deadpool is simply an unlikeable dick. There's no reason to actually care about him. Then towards the end, Way starts bringing back old Deadpool antagonists without actually understanding any of them.
Still, that first year or so was pretty sweet. It's available in Deadpool: The Complete Collection by Daniel Way.
Shang-Chi Master of Kung Fu #1 (Super Issue)
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Kody Chamberlin
A few years ago, Marvel had a tendency to release huge 48-page one-shots for random characters. They're in black and white with various creative teams doing short stories. Shang-Chi got one and it's every bit worth reading. The cover story is actually called "The Annual Race to Benefit Various and Sundry Evil Organizations and Also the Homeless. Now with Beer and Hot Dogs" and it's a trip.
The best way I can even explain it is a surreal and at times nightmarish version of Wacky Races featuring Shang-Chi, Deadpool, and a bunch of outlandish factions on motorcycles. The fact that it's Jonathan Hickman writing it makes it one of the better "under the radar" comics Marvel's given us in the past decade. The non-Deadpool stories are worth it as well.
Deadpool: Suicide Kings #1-6
Writers: Mike Benson and Adam Glass
Artist: Carlo Barberi
Suicide Kings is a miniseries that doesn't really have much to say. It's slightly difficult for me to even explain why I have it on the list. There's nothing high concept and even unique about it. It's just a Deadpool vs. Tombstone story. I guess it's just fun. Deadpool gets framed for a terrorist act and has to find who set him up. Doing so gets him into fights and team-ups with Daredevil, Spider-Man, and the Punisher.
The Punisher stuff is the most entertaining, seeing as how this takes place during the brief window of time when Frank has access to lots of black market superhero/villain tech. So if you want to see the Punisher flying around on a Goblin Glider with one of Klaw's sonic blasters, this is the comic for you. I guess it's just a good go-to Deadpool story that has no real baggage to it.
See? That wasn't so bad. The rest of our favorite Deadpool stories are on the next page!
Mortal Engines, a film written by Peter Jackson, will see Middle Earth veteran Hugo Weaving join the cast.
The 2018 film adaptation of Philip Reeve’s popular teen-aimed apocalyptic novel series Mortal Engines appears to be running on all cylinders. With legendary writer/director of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies Peter Jackson working on the script with his repertory team of (his wife) Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, we know the screenplay is being tackled by a trio who understand what it takes to adapt epic fantasies.
Here's everything we know so far!
Mortal Engines Latest News
Hugo Weaving is the latest cast member to jump onboard the proverbial post-apocalyptic traction vehicle that is writer Peter Jackson’s Mortal Engines, reports Variety. While the identity of Weaving’s character in the project is unknown, his joining yields another reunion that should delight fans of Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth Sextet, in which he played the mission-making ancient elven Lord of Rivendale Elrond in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and its prequels The Hobbit Trilogy.
Weaving has also fielded a variety of iconic signature roles in his career outside of Middle Earth, first establishing himself as a household name with his villainous performance as Agent Smith in The Matrix Trilogy, the crimson-faced A-list villain Red Skull in Captain America: The First Avenger, the masked anarchist vigilante in 2005’s V for Vendetta and was the voice of Decepticon big bad Megatron in director Michael Bay’s Transformers films, amongst an array of other great roles.
Mortal Engines Cast
Hera Hilmar headlines Mortal Engines as protagonist Hester Shaw. The actress was notably seen on Starz’s 3-season run of Da Vinci’s Demons, Discovery miniseries Harley and the Davidsons and in films such as The Fifth Estate, Anna Karenina and the March release of The Ottoman Lieutenant, opposite Game of Thrones actor Michiel Huisman (who also starred in the Harley miniseries), which also features Ben Kingsely and Josh Hartnett.
Robert Sheehan is her co-star, playing Tom Natsworthy. Sheehan has been seen on the just-released second season of Amazon drama Fortitude opposite Dennis Quaid. He’s also appeared in notable projects such as the mystery thriller The Messenger, comedy Moonwalkers opposite Rupert Grint and Ron Perlman and this film’s name-similar Freeform show-spawning box-office bomb counterpart The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.
The supporting cast consists of names like Stephen Lang (Avatar and its upcoming sequels), Ronan Raftery (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Jihae (Mars), Aaron Jackson (Pete’s Dragon), Kee Chan (Red Dog: True Blue) and Leila George (Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?).
Mortal Engines Story
Beginning with Reeve’s 2001 original novel, continuing with three subsequent sequels, Mortal Engines is set thousands of years in the future in the aftermath of a global catastrophe that left the world decimated on a geological level. To escape the constant threat of earthquakes and volcanoes, which apparently left North America uninhabitable, the city of London was transferred onto a massive wheeled vehicle called a Traction City and resort to roving the world, raiding the waning resources of other cities in a dynamic called “Municipal Darwinism.”
Amidst this bleak backdrop, the story of Mortal Engines focuses on two young cast away characters looking to get themselves away from the desolation. The story centers on Hester Shaw (Hilmar), a revenge-seeking drifter who finds common cause with Tom Natsworthy (Sheehan), combining their efforts to find and board the massive predatory vehicle that is London.
Mortal Engines Crew
In the director’s chair for Mortal Engines (not“Instruments,”) is Christian Rivers, a longtime acquaintance of the Jackson/Walsh/Boyens power trio who was part of the visual effects department for many of their films, going back to the Rings Trilogy, who worked as a splinter unit director on the last two entries of The Hobbit Trilogy. Rivers recently ran second unit for director David Lowery on 2016’s Pete’s Dragon. Jackson, Walsh and Boyens are credited producers on Mortal Engines along with Amanda Walker, Deborah Forte and Ken Kamins.
Mortal Engines Release Date
Production is set to start in New Zealand in spring 2017, with a release date of December 14th, 2018.
New York festival celebrates the science fiction films inspired by Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick, who dared to dream electric dreams, wrote the novel that created the BBC series The Man in the High Castle. He also wrote the books that the films Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, and Total Recall were based on. Dick is best known for the science fiction masterpiece Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, which was the basis behind Ridley Scott’s 1982 classic Blade Runner. The innovative and influential writer will be the center of the ﬁfth annual Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival from May 25-30, 2017.
"I am very excited to present this year's ﬁfth annual festival in our home of New York City. The lineup includes ﬁlms from throughout the world and represents talent across all backgrounds and beliefs," Daniel Abella, the founder and director of the festival, said in a statement.
"Science ﬁction continues to entertain but also inform us about current and future trends and it is our mission to bring together likeminded people tied by a common purpose to remain human in a world of progressive dehumanization."
The timing couldn’t be more fortuitous. Dick’s stories will soon be streamed in a “hugely ambitious” 10-part anthology series based on his short stories Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams for Amazon. The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival will spotlight over 100 ﬁlms, exclusive premieres, discussions, virtual reality demonstrations and celebratory gatherings.
"Philip K. Dick's message is that in spite of forces marshaled against the human spirit, both political and technological, humanity can prevail if we ﬁnd the will and determination to pave a better future. This festival represents his voice,” Abella said.
"Reality is whatever refuses to go away when I stop believing in it." Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) was one of the 20th century's most profound novelists and writers within the science ﬁction community. His exploration, analysis and beliefs led to the publishing of 44 novels and 121 short stories.
Dick's enormous library of works led to several ﬁlm and television adaptations including Blade Runner (1982), Total Recall (1990), Minority Report (2002), Paycheck (2003), A Scanner Darkly (2006), Radio Free Albemuth (2010), The Adjustment Bureau (2011), Total Recall (2012) and Amazon's series The Man in the High Castle (2015).
The writer’s enormously effective views composed of ﬁctional universes, virtual realities, technological uprising, dystopian worlds and human mutation foresaw a signiﬁcant observation at the current state of government and contemporary life.
“Sentient robots have been a classic science fiction trope for decades, and with the popularity of works like Her, Ex Machina, and Westworld, they're not going away anytime soon,” reads the description of one of the many panel discussions that will be held.
The festival supports “freethinking ﬁlmmakers equipped with the knowledge of our world, brave enough to see beyond the barriers of existence and who give to an art form that unites the masses.”
The fest opens Thursday, May 25 at the Lovecraft Bar NYC (50 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009). The Pre-Festival Filmmakers Reception starts at 7:00 p.m. and runs to midnight.
“A special reception honors the ﬁfth annual ﬁlm festival's anniversary and celebrates its lineup of indie cinema's most visionary ﬁlmmakers,” reads the official announcement. The gathering, hosted at one of the city's most lively and atmospheric establishments, is open to all ﬁlmmakers, guests and pass holders.
Among the films:
Monochrome (2016), directed by Kodi Zene. Synopsis: Traded and sold as currency, the outcast people known as "Hues" are hunted down in a black and white world.
The Plague Doctor - Trailer (2014) Director: Emanuele Mengotti. Synopsis: Upon being called to care for an elderly man, a young doctor ﬁnds himself trapped in deranged visions mixing his reality with the obscure legend of an ancient Italian mask and the echoes of a timeless love.
2BR02B: To Be or Naught to Be (2016) Director: Marco Checa Garcia. Synopsis: Set in a dystopian future where population is strictly controlled, a father waits for his children to be born. In a deserted hospital waiting room, one man must ask himself exactly what he is willing to do to give his children a chance at life, any life at all.
FTL (2017) — North American Premiere Director: Adam Stern. Synopsis: A lone astronaut testing the ﬁrst faster-than-light spacecraft travels farther than he imagined possible.
Sociopaths (2016) Director: A.T. Run Synopsis: A girl encounters an android on the street. She ﬁnds something strange about the experience and decides to follow the android to give it a "message."
The Plan (2016) Director: Pierre Teulières. Synopsis: In an isolated mansion, a creature follows the orders of his master in order to accomplish a plan that will change the world. Meanwhile, a desperate father is looking for his missing daughter.
Olfactory (2016) Director: Christopher. Synopsis: Olfactory is a system that allows users to re-experience memories and when an app programmer hacks the system to alter his memories he loses his grip on reality.
Anamnesis (2016) Director: Sebastien Tobler. Synopsis: A brilliant neuro-cyberneticist attempts to rehabilitate her lost lover who, unable to feel emotions violently questions his existence in a reality that is never what it seems.
Entropy (2016) Director: Tim Cahn. Synopsis: A spaceship travels beyond Earth.
Feature Documentary Time: 8:00pm - 10:00pm The Future Is Planning a Farewell Tour (2017) Director: Milton Moses Ginsberg. Synopsis: Presenting clips from past and present science ﬁction ﬁlms and interviews with members of the scientiﬁc and political communities, the acclaimed editor and director of Coming Apart (1969) and The Werewolf of Washington (1973) examines if these ﬁlms are just entertainment or predictions of humanity's future and demise.
Animated Sci-Fi Shorts Time: 11:00am - 12:00pm WeiTing InTheSky (2016) Director: Bob White. Synopsis: Imagine a weak signal containing an alien movie from outer space. When threatened a pair of metallic beings strike back.
Remote Viewing Short Documentary + PKD Talks Series Time: 3:00pm - 5:00pm A Life Gone Wild (2016) — World Premiere Director: Maryanne Bilham-Knight. Synopsis: A biopic of visionary artist and writer Ingo Swann, the "father of remote viewing," the CIA's paranormal spying program and longtime friend of Philip K. Dick. Swann's life on the frontier of the paranormal included creating the Stargate Project, "psychic probes" of Jupiter, Mercury, the Moon and Mars which detailed many features that came to be veriﬁed years later by NASA. Drawing on archives and new interviews, the ﬁlm is also an exploration of the nature of reality as perceived via the six senses of the world's most-tested psychic.
The Tomorrow Paradox (2016) — NYC Premiere Director: Bruce Wemple. Synopsis: A young insomniac's black-market sleep aid sends his mind time traveling one day into the future where he is the suspect in the disappearance of a girl he hasn't met yet.
Remember (2016) Director: George Kacevski. Synopsis: A virtual reality sci-ﬁ ﬁlm exploring humanity's relationship with technology and its inﬂuence on our reality.
The End of the Lonely Island (2016) — East Coast Premiere Director: Renchao Wang. Synopsis: A girl named comes to a lonely island to save the world in less than 24 hours as men in black are chasing her. What does she bring with her and how could she save mankind from the supernova explosion?
Megellan (2017) Director: Rob York. Synopsis: After NASA picks up a trio of mysterious signals from within our own solar system, an astronaut is dispatched on a multi-year solo mission aboard the Magellan spacecraft to investigate the sources.
Philip K. Dick Fest will take place at:
THURSDAY, MAY 25 - Filmmakers Reception (50 Avenue B, New York, NY 10009).
FRIDAY, MAY 26 - The Museum of Moving Image (36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria, NY 11106). Block One: International Sci-Fi Shorts Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
SATURDAY, MAY 27 - The Soho Playhouse
SUNDAY, MAY 28 - The Soho Playhouse
MONDAY, MAY 29 - The Producers Club
TUESDAY, MAY 30 - Cervantes Institute
The Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival launched in 2012 as New York City's ﬁrst festival of its kind.
Organized by individuals and ﬁlmmakers who understand the difﬁculties and challenges of presenting a unique narrative in a corporate environment, the festival embraces original concepts and alternative approaches to storytelling in the form of independent science ﬁction, horror, supernatural, fantasy, metaphysical and virtual reality ﬁlms.
Since 2013, the Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival has held international gatherings in Lille, France, Łódź, Poland and Cologne, Germany and many screenings throughout the year. For more information on the festival held for ﬁlmmakers by ﬁlmmakers, visit thephilipkdickfilmfestival.com.
Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige confirmed that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will also appear in Avengers 4.
It appears that Tom Holland’s current version of Marvel’s Underoos-sporting, web-slinging mascot Spider-Man is staying in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the foreseeable future. The news comes after recent reports of grandiose plans by Sony for Spider-Man spinoff movies cast a small shadow of doubt on the character’s continuing MCU presence.
In an interview with THR, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is, indeed, booked as far ahead as the MCU’s untitled Avengers 4, which is scheduled for release on May 3, 2019. “That’s as far as it goes for now," Feige said.
Some might wonder why the sure-thing idea of Spider-Man continuing to appear in these money-printing projects is “news.” However, reports in the past months indicated that Sony was shifting focus to non-MCU Spider-Man spinoff projects, recalling plans going back nearly a decade, centering on signature comic characters like A-list antagonist Venom, the collective of Spider-Man-hating rogues The Sinister Six and the sartorially-shiny femme-fatale Silver Sable. While Feige’s confirmation seemingly mitigates fears of an early MCU exit by Spidey, his curious caveat of “for now” may just keep the anxiety alive – for now. When asked why Marvel wasn’t involved in said spinoff project, Feige explains:
“We had a very particular plan about Spidey himself.”
With some hints of diverging visions for Spider-Man between Marvel and Sony, the possibility remains that a Spider-Man MCU exit could see Sony take their proverbial ball and go home with their own projects after the Wall-Crawler’s appearance in Avengers 4. That film will be a direct follow-up film to the team-up of MCU heroes (which includes Spidey) to fight the Infinity Gauntlet-wielding Mad Titan himself Thanos (Josh Brolin) in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. By the time 2019's Avengers 4 hits, Spider-Man’s solo debut in this summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming will be long in the books and its unnamed, already-greenlit sequel will be around the corner that July. Thus, Sony might just reassess Spidey’s continuing MCU presence if Homecoming proves to be an autonomously bankable franchise.
At least, for now, Feige’s words have anchored Tom Holland’s Spider-Man for both parts of the MCU’s culminating cosmic clash in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War and its untiled 2019 follow-up. Of course, the character, who effectively stole the show in Civil War, will experience the ultimate test outside of his high-school exams, when he becomes the centerpiece of a solo movie in Spider-Man: Homecoming, which hits theaters on July 7.
The Harbinger movie now has two writers.
Harbinger, the opening entry in the new Valiant Cinematic Universe, picked up two new writers for a quick script rewrite ahead of production, according to Deadline.
Justin Tipping and Joshua Beirne-Golden have been brought on board to touch up the script for Valiant and Sony Pictures' flagship series. The comic centers on Peter Stanchek, a Psiot (Valiant code for "mutants") with a host of powers ranging from telekinesis to the ability to successfully unlock the powers of other Psiots with a 100% success rate. He joins the Harbinger Foundation, led by Toyo Harada, another powered individual with designs on reshaping the course of human history and secretly one of the best villains in comics. Spoilers: he's a bad hombre.
Tipping and Beirne-Golden previously collaborated on Kicks. The films will be produced by Neal Moritz, a producer on the Fast & Furious franchise. Harbinger is the first in a five-film series, to be followed by Bloodshot and sequels to both, before they tie together in the fifth movie, tentatively planned to be loosely based on Harbinger Wars, the first crossover from the most recent iteration of the Valiant comics universe.
A huge part of Valiant's recent success has been their measured, methodical approach to building the universe. They had a set plan for expansion, and that expansion was driven by the story, not by arbitrary market decisions. The other key to that program was to hire top talent and give them the space to build their characters and tell their stories. It looks like they're following a similar template with the Valiant Cinematic Universe, and if past results are at all predictive of future returns, we should be in for a solid batch of movies.
No release dates for these films has been announced yet, but with a director attached to Bloodshot and Harbinger in rewrites, expect an update from Den of Geek soon.
Krypton, Syfy's series about Superman's grandfather will be here later this year, and the first trailer is really impressive.
Announced back in December of 2014, Syfy's Kryptonwill take the Gothamroute, and tell a pre-Superman story. So if Smallvilledidn't go far enough back for you, Krypton should do the trick. Syfy has ordered a pilot that will be directed by Colm McCarthy, and written by David S. Goyer (Man of Steel) and Ian Goldberg (Once Upon a Time). Sleepy Hollow's Damian Kindler is on board as series showrunner.
The first trailer for Krypton is here, and I have to say, it's an impressive one. Despite the prominent mention of the name Kal-El, and the repeated use of the House of El crest (you know, Superman's "S") this trailer at least looks like Krypton is going to forge more of its own path than other notable TV prequels like Gotham or Smallville.
What might be the most interesting development here is that it at least appears to take place in the same universe as the DC superhero movies, rather than the TV shows. The aesthetic on display here is heavily influenced by what we saw in Man of Steel, from the color scheme of Krypton itself, to the design of the House of El crest, to the overall texture of the costumes and sets.
See for yourself:
The fact that this trailer has made its way out into the world would seem to indicate that the prospects of Krypton getting picked up to series are looking good. There's no release date set, but this will probably arrive in late fall/early winter 2017.
We have more details here...
Krypton TV Cast and Characters
Camerone Cuffe (who recently appeared in Florence Foster Jenkins) will play Superman's grandfather, Seg-El. Varietyhas some character details:
"Seg-El is the scion of the once prosperous El family and is blessed with an intuitive brilliance for all things technical. He is now living in Krypton’s lowest caste after his family was stripped of its rank."
In addition to Mr. Cuffe as Seg-El, Georgina Campbell will play Lyta Zod, who is, as you expect, an ancestor of Superman villain General Zod. According to Deadline, Lyta Zod "is a member of Krypton’s military caste and the daughter of a general, Alura Zod. Lyta Zod serves as a cadet — and has also been having a clandestine, forbidden romance with Seg-El (Superman's paternal grandfather)."
Ian McElhinney (Barristan Selmy on Game of Thrones) will play Seg-El's grandfather, Val-El. According to Deadline, Val is "a rogue genius who believes that space exploration is a basic form of self-defense, and he has tried, without success, to warn the Kryptonian elite about the arrival of an ancient threat." Could that be Brainiac? An earlier TV Line description said "Seg’s genius grandpa defied death by going into the Phantom Zone, and is a staunch believer in space exploration."
Elliot Cowan is Daron Vex, "the Chief Magistrate of Kandor. His real business is defending Krypton’s established oligarchy against heretics and dissidents."
Ann Ogbomo (World War Z) is Primus Alura Zod, "Lyta Zod’s mother and a leader of Krypton’s military guild. She is an extremely tough and demanding training officer."
Rasmus Hardiker (Your Highness) is Kem, "a brilliant engineer as well as Seg-El’s best friend and partner in an underground tech-repair business."
Wallis Day (The Royals) is Nyssa Vex, "a junior magistrate and the daughter of Daron Vex."
Aaron Pierre (Tennison) is Dev-Em, "a cadet under the command of Primus Alura Zod." Incidentally, Dev-Em is from the comics, and is one of the Phantom Zone criminals who periodically ends up on Earth to annoy Superman. Dev-Em was a background character in Man of Steel, for example.
(thanks to Deadlinefor the casting descriptions above)
We're still waiting on the casting of Ter-El, Seg-El's Great Grandfather.
Krypton TV Story
Here's the closest thing to an official synopsis we have right now.
Years before the Superman became a superhero, the House of El was shamed and ostracized. This series follows The Man of Steel’s grandfather as he brings hope and equality to Krypton, turning a planet in disarray into one worthy of giving birth to the greatest Super Hero ever known.
"It takes place 200 years before Man of Steel," Mr. Goyer told ComicBook.com at a press junket back in October. Whether he means it's actually intended as a prequel to the film version of Krypton remains to be seen. Warner Bros. has so far been cagey about crossing over their film and TV universes. It sounds possible, though, as Mr. Goyer also said they had "only scratched the surface" in the first act of Man of Steel.
We'll get you more on Kryptonas we hear it. We'll probably get news on whether the pilot is picked up by the end of the summer.
Syfy's Krypton TV series is a Superman prequel that shows a lot of promise with its Man of Steel influenced design choices.
The first trailer for Syfy's Krypton TV series has hit the internet...perhaps a tad earlier than the network intended. As of this writing, Krypton is only a pilot, and Syfy hasn't picked it up for a full series order yet. But based on the reaction to this trailer, I get the feeling they'd be silly not to.
I have to say, I've been burned by Superman prequels in the past (Smallville), Batman prequels in the present (Gotham), and I'm not exactly the biggest fan of the DC Extended Universe movies. But based on this 90 seconds of footage, Krypton looks really promising. The opening narration aside, it doesn't feel like it's going out of its way to bury you with specific "you know what happens next!" references, and it leans heavily on science fiction and yes, even Game of Thrones vibes.
It's early to get my hopes up, but if nothing else, the visuals are tremendous. While this may or may not be an official prequel to the events of the Man of Steel movie, it certainly looks like it could be, and that movie was at its absolute best when doing its Kryptonian sci-fi worldbuilding.
Here's the trailer in case you haven't seen it yet.
So, I don't go shot by shot or in order in the trailer. I'm just pulling out things that jumped out at me and trying to make connections.
Spot something that I didn't? Throw it in the comments or hit me up on Twitter!
Alright. Let's get to work.
Right from the start, you can see the visual nods to Man of Steel. The depleted, desert look of Krypton, and that particular color scheme, looks very much like the version we got in Man of Steel, and that's clearly no accident. David S. Goyer, who wrote that film, is also writing Krypton.
The Supergirl TV series also borrows a little of that color scheme for their Krypton flashbacks, but it's way more apparent here.
Here's a look at the surface of Krypton from Man of Steel for comparison's sake:
But just in case you had any lingering doubts about what kind of aesthetic they're going for here...
That is very much the Codex key from Man of Steel. Well, that, or a piece of technology startlingly like it.
Still not convinced?
"It's not an S..."
This is unquestionably the Man of Steel version of the House of El crest. This is actually my favorite version of the Superman shield in all of pop culture history, and despite the fact that I'm pretty lukewarm on some of the choices the DCEU movies have made, I love Krypton's aesthetic, the Superman costume, and this logo in particular.
It looks even better here than it does in the movies since it's glowing in proper primary colors, too.
While the other DC TV shows are part of a "multiverse" rather than a typical shared universe with the movies, it kinda looks like Krypton is going to be a straight up DCEU prequel.
This appears to be Kandor, but this leads me to some problems with my Man of Steel continuity.
I'm pretty sure that all the action we saw take place in Man of Steel took place in Kandor, and that city most certainly didn't have a dome. But whenever I think of Kryptonian cities, my mind wanders to "bottled" Kryptonian cities, and from there, it's not much of a leap to a dome. In the comics (not to mention other versions of the Superman story, including Smallville), Kandor went bye-bye long before Krypton itself did, usually because Brainiac came along and scooped it up, leaving nothing but a crater in its place. I would love to see Brainiac play some kind of role on this show.
On the other hand, the comic version of Argo City, Supergirl's hometown, had a dome over it, and that's one of the reasons it initially survived Krypton's explosion. Although the Supergirl TV series hasn't taken that route, and anyway, this show isn't set in that continuity.
But I also feel the need to point out that when you look at the Kryptonian landscape from Superman: The Movie, the cities were isolated clusters kind of like this, too, usually with a central dome of some kind (although the cities themselves weren't domed).
I have to appreciate the Kryptonian architecture, though.
Before Krypton was depicted as a crystalline ice world in Superman: The Movie, one of its key influences was the work of Alex Raymond and the original Flash Gordon comic strip. For decades, alien cities in general defaulted to a kind of art deco "Raymondism," especially Krypton. This is the first time I've really seen this attempted in a modern way in live action, and it's really cool.
You could totally have shown me this picture and told me "hey, check out a look at Mongo from this new Flash Gordon TV series" and I would have been really excited. But yeah, the fact that early Krypton looks the way Krypton did for nearly the first 50 years of comics is a really nice touch, and a cool change of pace from the crumbling society we glimpsed in Man of Steel.
Unless I'm mistaken, the guy in the black robe is Elliot Cowan as Daron Vex. He's probably not a good guy.
Those black robes, though...
...they sure remind me of the ceremonial garb that Jor-El wore when pronouncing sentence on criminals in Superman: The Movie. This probably isn't an accident, because clearly, there will be trials on this show...
These appear to be judges. That multi-face mask is a really cool design, and vaguely reminds me of the floating blue Science Council heads from the opening of Superman: The Movie that scared the living crap out of me as a kid.
I'm really digging the Kryptonese embroidery on that robe. Also, don't let anyone tell you otherwise: the language is called Kryptonese. People from Krypton are Kryptonian, but they speak Kryptonese. This is one of the few things that the Supergirl TV series gets wrong and it bugs me a little every time.
I probably shouldn't let things like that bug me, huh?
ANYWAY...we were talking about trials.
Hey, it's Barristan Selmy! That's Game of Thrones' Ian McElhinney as Val-El, the great, great grandfather of Superman (and the grandfather of this show's protagonist, Seg-El). There's no Val-El in the comics, but there is a Van-El (well, Van-L because in ancient Kryptonian history, that's how their names were spelled...oh god, why did I know what without having to look it up?), so maybe those early reports that Mr. McElhinney is playing "Val-El" were wrong, and he's Van-El? It doesn't matter.
I'm sure that the significance of the blue bodysuit and red cape isn't lost on anybody, but this is a really great shot.
What's he on trial for? Well, Kryptonians frown on space travel, for one thing, and he kind of looks like he's wearing some kind of pilot's harness. Or he could be part of that revolution that the voiceover teases.
Either way, it appears that he's getting shipped off to Ye Olde Phantom Zone. You can spot those judges up on the right, too. My big question is, will he be sent to the Phantom Zone in a giant stone penis sarcophagus like we saw in Man of Steel? OK, that's not really my "big question."
Also, again, that Kryptonian architecture has that super cool Flash Gordon flavor.
It would appear that Val-El makes it out of that Phantom Zone, though.
It's not clear what this revolution is all about. But there's a great comic from the 1980s called The World of Krypton by John Byrne and Mike Mignola (yes, the Hellboy creator), which also told of Superman's ancestors. In that story, Krypton went through a kind of "clone wars" of there own. Clones were used to keep everyone young and healthy (they were replacement parts), and the debate about that became heated enough to plunge the planet into civil war.
I doubt that's what they're going for here, but it would be cool to see it touched on.
I don't know who's getting wiped out here, but I presume it's another member of the House of El. I also really like this shot, and that cape is hot stuff. I don't know who that is in the cape, but absent from the rest of this trailer is Aaron Pierre as Dev-Em. Could this be him?
I love the fact that we're getting a TV show with Dev-Em on it. That's a Phantom Zone villain who has been annoying Superman since like, 1961.
That's Cameron Cuffe (Florence Foster Jenkins) as Seg-El, he's Superman's paternal grandfather and the guy giving the voiceover narration that is hopefully only here for the trailer rather than as an ongoing device on the show. He first appeared in that World of Krypton comic I mentioned above, although his name there is spelled Seyg-El.
I can't help but notice that Seg-El has a kind of "working class" look to his attire most of the time. I'm sure Kryptonian class war is coming.
Cuffe definitely has those strong "House of El" features, but while "in continuity" his son will be Russell Crowe's Jor-El, he kinda looks like he could father someone who looks like Brando's version...
Right? Anyone want to take bets on how many times I can bring up Superman: The Movie when talking about this show? Because really, I'll use any excuse to do it.
That's Georgina Campbell as Lyta Zod, and yes, she is you-know-who's ancestor. Her crest here seems to be different than the Zod crest we saw in Man of Steel, which is interesting, unless this is just a general military caste crest rather than a House of Zod thing. Unless Zod's crest was meant to denote rank rather than name, which would also make perfect sense.
Also, there's a pretty steamy looking sex scene glimpsed in this trailer. Remember in the opening of Man of Steel where they made a big deal out of the fact that Kal-El was born "the old-fashioned way?" In the comics of the '80s/'90s, not only was natural childbirth not a thing on Krypton, neither was the fun part. Babies were made 100% in test tubes (or "birthing matrixes") and sex was considered primitive and barbaric. I wonder how many rules Lyta and Seg-El are breaking?
That's Wallis Day from The Royals as Nyssa Vex. I don't think this character has a comic book counterpart, but there was certainly a Car-Vex in Man of Steel, so this is an ancestor.
Is this the mysterious "Fortress" that the elder El is telling Seg-El to find? Or is it a tunnel to the center of Krypton?
In World of Krypton, the terrorist organization Black Zero basically empties some kind of nuclear destabilizing agent into Krypton's core, which helps hasten the planet's destruction centuries later. Could this be a nod to that?
And yes, don't @ me, I know that the Black Zero was the name of the ship in Man of Steel.
Again, the Man of Steel vibes are strong in this shot. This looks both like the Codex repository and, perhaps, something else.
Is there a city contained in that globe? If so, there's my Brainiac theory again.
The young soldier who Seg-El is beating the crap out of here boasts the same military haircut we saw on Michael Shannon's General Zod in Man of Steel.
Alright, Science Council! See anything I didn't? Let me know in the comments or shout 'em at me on that Phantom Zone of futility, Twitter! I'm just kidding, we all know Facebook is the actual Phantom Zone. That place is awful.
An old friend returns and a hero falls as things heat up within the Framework on Agents of SHIELD.
This Agents of SHIELD review contains spoilers.
Agents of SHIELD: Season 4, Episode 18
It’s funny, I think the reason that this season of Agents of SHIELD has been so successful is that most of this season has felt like a classic SHIELD story. Since the beginning of the MCU’s inaugural TV series, it felt like the series has been struggling to find a sense of identity, a sense of purpose. At first it was a place to deeply explore the MCU after the first Avengers film, then, it kind of became a place to introduce the Inhumans to the MCU. Heck man, even the beginning of this season felt like it wanted to be more of a Ghost Rider back door pilot that a SHIELD story. But now, within the Framework of AIDA and Doctor Radcliffe, things feel like a classic SHIELD tale.
And what a tale it is. Pure HYDRA versus SHIELD action like Stan and Jack created. But unlike past seasons, this HYDRA versus SHIELD war is not overshadowed by the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s not like SHIELD is cleaning up for the Avengers or existing in the shadows of the bigger Marvel guns, this is pure SHIELD drama. In this week’s episode, we have a good news bad news situation for SHIELD fans. The good news is that we saw the return of the late and lamented Agent Tripp! You remember Tripp. He served with SHIELD in the first season of the show and became very close with Skye. He was one of the first to die of Terrigen exposure and the coolest thing about Tripp was that he was related to a former Howling Commando. Tripp was a direct link to the classic comic book SHIELD and it was a profound loss when he was KIA. Well, Framework Tripp made his debut this week and is damn good to see him.
Sadly, there is no reunion between Tripp and Daisy as the former Skye is still being held by HYDRA. We get to check in on Skye a few times this week as she is locked up next to a still devastated Doctor Radcliffe. These scenes were done to show how broken Radcliffe has become since the death of his wife, but they also serve as a reminder that a powerless Daisy Johnson is still a wild card within the Framework. But kids, she doesn’t remain powerless for long.
But where we have a return we also have a tragic and painful farewell. Simmons, Patriot, Coulson, and Ward stage a rescue mission to extract Tripp. While kicking HYDRA ass, the agents discover that HYDRA are holding many “subversives,” including kids, inside the same facility. The agents try and save the kids in a riveting rescue that not only sees the return of Tripp, but also a throwdown between a strength serum enhanced HYDRA May and Patriot.
You see, May is dosed with the same super steroid that enhances Director Mace in the real world. Patriot is able to defeat May and it is still weird to see evil Melinda May in action. The episode did a really good job creating subtle contrasts between real world May and Framework May. Framework May fights with an ugly brutality that contrasts the real May’s grace. But evil May loses and Patriot is able to stage a rescue of the kids held by HYDRA. Tragically, this brave act leads to Patriot’s death. While saving a kid (a kid that used to be a student of Coulson’s), Patriot falls.
Remember now, Mace is one of the agents placed in the Framework by AIDA, so when Patriot dies in the Framework, Mace dies in the real world. So we must say goodbye to Agent Mace who we see flatlining in the real world at the end of the episode. It really seems like Mace has been part of this show for a long time, and it really hurt to see him quietly expiring while trapped in AIDA’s machine. It is one of the most haunting deaths in the history of the show. In fact, I’d put it right up there with Lincoln’s death from last season. Thankfully, the death of Mace led to some good because when May sees Patriot’s noble sacrifice, she wakes up. In the episode’s stinger, May frees Daisy and brings her a gift. You know it, son, that gift is a Terrigen crystal so the Framework is going to shake a bit next week when Quake is reborn.
So now May has been awakened, and Leo Fitz is the only agent left to be made aware of the real world. But Framework Fitz may very well be irredeemable. This Fitz has one thing in his life the real world Fitz doesn’t -- and that’s a father. But the senior Fitz is very much an abusive, manipulative smarmy prick and his son is not much better. Both father and son are fiercely loyal to HYDRA with the younger Fitz in love with Madame HYDRA. Of course, Framework Fitz doesn’t have the influence of Simmons in his life so we are left with a Red Skull-like force of evil.
Seeing May wake up definitely provides some hope, but Fitz really is a grade A heel. Can you imagine that the fate of the agents is based on Fitz doing the right thing -- and there’s a doubt that he’ll do it? While many of the agents exist in this shade of grey area, Fitz has always been a pure white hat. One has to ask, if and when the agents escape the Framework, how will Simmons see Fitz knowing that this capacity for evil exists?
There’s so much more going on in the episode as well. There’s Mack trying to redeem himself after betraying Daisy. There’s the constant question of perception versus reality using Mack and the very real love he has for his unreal daughter serving as the focal point of this powerful theme. There’s Ward acting as a good guy in the Framework when we all know what a bastard he was in the real world. And oh, Coulson breaks out in hives when he sees Ward? Hives? That’s some funny stuff right there.
As we close for the week, we are reminded of what a great agent Tripp was and we are reminded of how much we will miss Mace even though we haven’t spent much time with him. This Framework arc has brought Agents of SHIELD to lofty heights and I really can’t wait to see what happens next.
In case you were wondering, the comic book version of Jeff Mace, aka The Patriot, died of cancer at a ripe old age. So at least that can keep you warm as you cry your eyes out over Mace’s TV death. Man, that hurt.
This Romeo and Juliet "sequel" from Shonda Rhimes has a terrible name, but it also has a great cast and a unique premise.
Shonda Rhimes' period drama Still Star-Crossed finally has a premiere date. The Shakespeare-inspired tale of what happened to the Capulets and Montagues after the end of Romeo & Juliet (because who hasn't asked that question?) will premiere this summer.
Still Star-Crossed Release Date
Mark your calendars, Still Star-Crossed will premiere on ABC on May 29th at 10 p.m. ET, following The Bachelor.
Still Star-Crossed Trailer
ABC released the first official trailer for Shonda Rhimes' Still Star-Crossed, the TV show billed as a sequel to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, last year. Though the premise's announcement was originally met with snark and doubt, this trailer is actually pretty interesting. Check it out...
Still Star-Crossed is based on a book of the same name by Melinda Taub, and follows the character of Rosaline (Lashana Lynch), Juliet's cousin. In the wake of Romeo and Juliet's untimely deaths, Rosaline is taken in by Juliet's grieving parents, as tensions in Verona rise. Going by the trailer, it looks like this drama will be filled with romance, action, and plenty of behind-the-scenes political machinations — just like that other Shonda show.
Still Star-Crossed Cast
The production values on this series look great (the pilot was filmed in Spain), as does the cast, which includes some familiar faces, like Anthony Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Merlin). Reign's Torrance Combs will also appear in the series.
It also stars: Grant Bowler, Wade Briggs, Dan Hildebrand, Lashana Lynch, Ebonee Noel, Medalion Rahimi, Zuleikha Robinson, Sterling Sulieman, and Susan Wooldridge.
It's also always refreshing to see a show with so many characters of color — especially a period drama, where creators so often hide behind the inadequate excuse of "historical accuracy" to explain non-diverse casts. Could Still Star-Crossed potentially expand its theme of a community at war to include some exploration of race relations? Because that would be cool.
ABC hasn't had the best time with period dramas in recent years. Agent Carter didn't perform as well as the network would have hoped and was cancelled after two seasons, and Galavant (if you consider the muscial dramedy a period drama) was similarly middling in the ratings. Perhaps the Midas touch of Shonda Rhimes and Still Star-Crossed can break ABC's bad luck streak when it comes to period dramas...
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.
Here's the official breakdown of the New Warriors character roster, courtesy of TV Line:
Doreen Green (Squirrel Girl)
Superpower:“The powers of a squirrel, the powers of a girl” (i.e. she is acrobatic, strong, can fight… and can talk to squirrels)
A natural leader, Doreen is confident and tough, but not innocent. Her greatest quality is her optimism. She also takes her pet squirrel, Tippy Toe, everywhere.
Craig Hollis (Mister Immortal)
Superpower:Cannot die. Ever. Maybe. So he says.
The team troublemaker and lothario, Craig is kind of like “The Most Interesting Man Alive,” except he’s more cocky than confident and, at times, charmingly grumpy. Although Craig’s superpower seems amazing, he hasn’t made use of it at all. (He’s lazy and figures if he has all the time in the world to learn how to fight, what’s the rush?)
Dwayne Taylor (Night Thrasher)
A local “hero” with his very own YouTube channel, Dwayne is brilliant, strong, noble and maybe a bit full of himself. But he also deeply believes in justice – at least his version of it. Dwayne hides the fact that he comes from a really rich family because he’s afraid he’ll lose his street cred.
Robbie Baldwin (Speedball)
Superpower:Can launch kinetic balls of energy
Having grown up watching Quinjets take off from Avengers Tower, Robbie loves the idea of being a hero. Alas, while you would think that throwing kinetic balls of energy would be awesome and effective, his are completely out of control.
Zack Smith (Microbe)
Superpower:Can talk to germs
Zack is a shy hypochondriac whose ability nearly makes him a telepath – the germs tell him where you’ve been, what you ate and who you hung out with. As such, it’s impossible to keep secrets around him.
Deborah Fields (Debrii)
Superpower:Low level telekinetic; trickster
Confidently out as a lesbian, funny and quick-witted Deborah has experienced deep loss in her personal life as a direct result of super “heroics.” She’s the one who calls people on their BS and has no fear of putting her opinions out there.
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.
Michael Shannon and Michael B. Jordan will star in HBO's adaptation of Ray Bradbury's sci-fi cautionary tale, Fahrenheit 451.
HBO heard that you like dystopias, so they're going back in the vaults to bring you one of the seminal dystopian works in all of fiction. HBO is developing a Fahrenheit 451 movie, based on Ray Bradbury's classic work of disturbing and increasingly prescient sci-fi. In the 1953 novel, released during the peak of the McCarthy era panic, books are outlawed and "firemen" go around to make sure that they go up in smoke, lest any unapproved ideas make their way out into the world.
In the unlikely event that the words HBO and Fahrenheit 451 in close proximity to each other aren't enough to get you excited, perhaps the cast will. Michael B. Jordan will play Guy Montag, the young fireman who starts to realize that maybe he's in the wrong line of work. HBO veteran Michael Shannon will play Captain Beatty, Montag's commanding officer at the fire department.
Ramin Bahrani and Amir Naderi are adapting Bradbury's book, and Bahrani will direct. The timing, of course, as we find ourselves on the receiving end of an increasingly bizarre parade of "alternative facts" couldn't be more appropriate.
We're not anywhere near a release date yet, but we'll update this article with more information as it becomes available. With any luck, we'll all live long enough to see this one on our screens.
Wheel of Time, the sprawling fantasy novel mythology by Robert Jordan, will be adapted by Sony as a television series.
One of the most popular fantasy franchises of the literary world in The Wheel of Time has taken a crucial step towards a live-action adaptation. Originally authored by Robert Jordan, the 80 million-selling 1990-2013 book series depicts a sprawling mythology, amalgamating feudal and magical tropes with elements of Eastern mysticism. Now, Sony will be the benefactor of a television adaptation series.
According to Variety, Sony Pictures Television is moving forward with a serial adaptation of the The Wheel of Time, producing the project along with Red Eagle Entertainment and Radar Pictures. Of course, this should be a large scale endeavor, since the novels of Robert Jordan (nom de plume of James O. Rigney Jr.), three of which were completed by Brandon Sanderson after Jordan’s 2007 death, build an intricate mythology governed by the titular seven-spoke Wheel of Time powered by an incorporeal celestial source of power. Like the Force in Star Wars, it is a binary power utilized by gifted people called “channelers.” The story is spread across epochs in the continuing battle against Shai’tan (or, the Dark One) who, upon breaking free of imprisonment from the Creator, exerts influence on the malleable to lead the Source toward evil.
The Wheel of Time will be run by Rafe Judkins, who assumes duties as writer and executive producer. Judkins is no stranger to genre television, serving as a producer and writer on ABC’s Marvel series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Netflix horror series Hemlock Grove. He was also a story editor for NBC’s beloved geek-wish-fulfillment spy series Chuck. Judkins will be joined by executive producers Rick Selvage and Larry Mondragon of Red Eagle and producers Ted Field and Mike Weber of Radar Pictures. Additionally, the property’s authorial legacy is in place with Jordan’s widow Harriet McDougal onboard as a consulting producer.
Sony’s role as catalyst to The Wheel of Time comes after several years of starts and stops, going back to 2000 when original author Jordan was still alive. A pilot called Winter Dragon, starring Billy Zane and Max Ryan, aired on FXX on February 8, 2015 (at 1:30 a.m.) to no fanfare or fruition. However, McDougal herself made media ripples last April when she announced what she called “exciting news” about the property; something that required the clearing of some legal issues before moving forward. With her latest update indicating the resolution of the legal issues, McDougal speculates that The Wheel of Time will become a “cutting edge TV series.”
The Wheel of Time has potential to be an ambitious large scale small screen project that captures the imaginations of peak television connoisseurs. It will be interesting to watch as things develop.
The oldest movie company in the world will adapt Paul McCartney’s High in the Clouds children’s novel.
Paul McCartney loves the French enough to sing in the language for the refrain in the song “Michelle,” off the Beatles’ Rubber Soul album. Now the former Wingsman has another reason to love them. McCartney’s animated feature film adaptation of his children’s book High In The Clouds was picked up by French company Gaumont. Gaumont is the oldest film studio in the world and High in the Clouds be its first animated feature project for the U.S. The film has been in development since 2009.
High in the Clouds was written by McCartney and Philip Ardagh and illustrated by Geoff Dunbar, who worked with the musician on the 1984 animated film Rupert and the Frog Song. The novel was published by Faber and Faber in October 2005. The book’s main message is the importance of preserving nature and letting animals live free and in their natural habitat.
“When Wirral the Squirrel is forced to leave his woodland home, destroyed by the expansion plans of the evil Gretsch, he vows to find the fabled land of Animalia, where all the animals are said to live in freedom and without fear,” reads the book’s official synopsis.
“Aided and abetted by Froggo the hot-air-ballooning frog, Wilhamina the plucky red squirrel, and Ratsy the streetwise rodent, Wirral's personal quest turns into a full-blown plan to save enslaved animals everywhere - a plan which is fraught with danger.”
McCartney wrote eight or nine original songs for the film. Deadline reported that one of the songs featured in High in the Clouds is a collaboration with Lady Gaga.
"Had a beautiful session with Sir Paul McCartney and friends. Working on one of his many secret projects! Killer musicians, vibe, and lots of laughs," Gaga wrote on Instagram in February. "Always a good time with my buddy. I'll never forget when he called me last year to work and I hung up the phone cuz I thought it was a prank!"
One of the musicians on the project is reportedly Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready.
High in the Clouds will directed by Cody Cameron (Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2). The screenplay was written by Josh Klausner (Date Night).
The is no release date for the film or the soundtrack.
Titan Comics gives us a sneak peek at Marco Turini’s art for the new Robotech comic.
It’s been a long time coming but we’ve finally got a solid look at the new Robotech comic. Before we get to the exclusive pages from the comic, the story summary provided by Titan should provide some context.
Check it out:
Not just another retelling of the Macross saga ... In July, the story continues as we bring Carl Macek's original vision full circle. Taking into account every iteration of the series, this new Robotech #1 casts a fresh eye over classic characters like Rick Hunter, Lisa Hayes, Lynn Minmei, Roy Fokker, Claudia Grant, and Henry Gloval. Brian Wood and Marco Turini take us back to a Macross Island where *nothing* can be taken for granted.
Taking into account every iteration of the series? What could that mean? Will Brian Wood and Marco Turini's comic be a redo of the story that more closely unites the three sagas much like how the novels did back in the day? If it isn’t just another retelling of the Macross saga, could this be set in a new continuity?
With that summary in mind, take a look at the interior pages by Marco Turini.
Already we’re seeing some divergence from what we saw in the series. Roy is flanked by some guards on the flight deck from the first episode. Rick has a different flight suit and some neat shades. Why is Rick’s fanjet being pursued by fighters? We’re eagerly looking forward to the answers.
Below are most of the covers released for the Robotechcomic series.
COVER A: STANLEY ‘ARTGERM’ LAU
COVER B: KARL KERSCHL
COVER C: BLAIR SHEDD ACTION FIGURE VARIANT
COVER D: MICHAEL DIALYNAS
COVER E: WALTRIP BROS. RETRO VARIANT
COVER F: BLUE LINE VERITECH SKETCH VARIANT
COVER G: 1:10 VARIANT - KARL KERSCHL (MINMEI)
Stay tuned to Den of Geek for all things Robotech and get hyped for the comic series! Robotech #1 hits stand on July 26th.
Shamus Kelley needs some sweet Rick Hunter shades. Follow him on Twitter!
Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson will direct multiple episodes.
The Locke & Key TV series has a home! According to The Hollywood Reporter, Hulu has given the show a pilot order, with Carlton Cuse (Lost) set to serve as showrunner. The good news continues, with Doctor Strange's Scott Derrickson attached to direct the pilot. If the pilot goes to series, Derrickson is expected to direct multiple episodes, according to Deadline.
Third time's the charm? After two previous attempts to bring fan-favorite comic Locke & Key to the screen (once for TV, and once for film), IDW Comics finally seems committed to make a Locke & Key TV show happen. With Hulu on board now and Cuse involved in the project, odds seem better than ever that we'll finally get an adaptation of this beloved comic.
Last year, IDW Entertainment released news that Locke & Key writer Joe Hill (he wrote the story for the comics, with art by Gabriel Rodriguez) was on board to write the pilot and executive produce the TV show adaptation as a straight-to-series project. It's unclear how Hulu and Cuse's involvement might change that plan, but Hill had previously said in a statement:
I love this story. The seven years I spent working on Locke & Key was the happiest creative experience of my life, and there still isn’t a day when I don’t think about those characters and miss visiting with them. The six books of the series are very like six seasons of a cable TV series, and so it feels only natural to bring that world to the little screen and to see if we can’t scare the pants off viewers everywhere.
Locke & Key begins with the story of three siblings returning to their family's ancestral home following the brutal and mysterious murder of their father. As they explore the house and its surroundings, it becomes clear that there are wonderful and terrible things lurking on the grounds. It is a comic book horror classic.
Previously, a TV show adaptation made it all the way to the pilot stage, but never garnered a pick-up. The episode was screened at Comic Con in 2011 and, as someone who was there for said screening, I can vouch for its awesomeness — a character-driven exercise in horror that deserved to continue its story.
The TV adaptation had Josh Friedman as a showrunner (The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Avatar 2) and an all-star cast that included Miranda Otto, Sarah Bolger, and Ksenia Solo. Check out the trailer...
Sadly, this version of Locke & Key never made it past a pilot, but the pop culture world seems better poised to embrace an on-screen version of this horror comic now. Not only are there way more comic book adaptations on TV and film, but Joe Hill has become more of a household name, especially with the recent film adaptaion of Horns. Hopefully, this adaptation is good and garners enough of an audience to ensure its continuation. Universe, you owe us this.
Dark Matter is a new line of DC comics focusing on "epic graphic storytelling" from a group of legendary artists.
As teased by Batman comic book veteran Scott Snyder just a few weeks ago, the recently announced Dark Nights: Metal event is only the beginning of a new artist-centric line of books from DC. At C2E2, DC unveiled Dark Matter, a new line of books that features the work of renowned artists Greg Capullo, John Romita Jr., Jim Lee, Tony S. Daniel, Andy Kubert, and more. Writers include Scott Snyder, Dan Abnett, James Tynion IV, and Dan DiDio.
While Dark Matter's flagship title is Dark Nights: Metal, a Justice League story with a focus on Batman, the rest of the line will tell stories with lesser known or forgotten DC characters. New Challengers, a new Challengers of the Unknown book written by Snyder and drawn by Kubert, is a particular highlight of the new line. Dark Nights will serve as an introduction to the rest of the Dark Matter characters.
Here are the details for the new books:
DARK NIGHTS: METAL
Debuting in August
Written by Scott Snyder with art by Greg Capullo
It all begins with DARK NIGHTS: METAL, a story that will examine every choice a hero doesn’t take and every path they don’t walk, opening up worlds that are forged by nightmares. Characters and stories from each of the Dark Matter books will be plotted throughout this series.
Debuting in September
Written by Dan Abnett with art by John Romita Jr.
Honor Guest was the world’s deadliest assassin, until she traded it all for a chance at a “normal” life in the suburbs, free from the constant death and destruction. But as her former life comes back to haunt her, Honor must strip away her suburban persona and protect her family as THE SILENCER.
Debuting in September
Written by Dan DiDio and Justin Jordan with art by Kenneth Rocafort
Forever changed by the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL, a teenager struggles to live through high school as he comes in contact with Dark Matter and gains the power to teleport through the Dark Dimension. But each leap brings the new hero one step closer to succumbing to the allure of his new power and its dark origins.
Debuting in October
Written by James Tynion IV with art by Jim Lee
Born at the dawn of time, five siblings find that with eternal life comes eternal war. As the forces of destruction march into the modern world, they operate from the shadows, recruiting the elite against the foes who seek to bring about Armageddon. They are humankind’s hope sprung eternal….they are the IMMORTAL MEN.
Debuting in October
Written by Robert Venditti with art by Tony S. Daniel
Ethan Avery only wanted to serve his country, but promises of becoming the ultimate weapon leave the new recruit living a nightmare. Cursed with the ability to unleash an unstoppable monster for one hour at a time, Ethan only wants to live out his life in peace. But if he can tame the monster inside, it might just be able to do more good for the country than Ethan ever expected.
Debuting in December
Written by Scott Snyder with art by Andy Kubert
Characters live on borrowed time, running from death toward the greatest mysteries, wonders and terrors of the universe! It’s a new cast, new mission, but in conversation with the history and greatness of the original Challengers of the Unknown. The story starts with Challengers Mountain returning after having been missing for years, and only gets wilder from there…
“What excites me most is that this series of books takes full advantage of the talent and vision of the creative team,” said DC Publisher Dan DiDio in a press release. “Comics are a visual medium and with these titles, the artists are working hand in hand with the writers in shaping the look and direction of their characters. In reaffirming the craft of making comics, we’ve brought together a master class of talent, led by Greg Capullo, Andy Kubert, Jim Lee and John Romita Jr., to help set the style, tone and visual direction for these books. With these four industry giants taking the lead, I feel we can bring the power and energy expected from superhero storytelling back to the page.”
“Dark Matter is a return to bringing both the writer and artist to the fore to unlock their full potential,” explained Publisher Jim Lee. “At the talent summit we discussed what was missing in comics and how we could create something that’s new for this generation of fans. The result was Dark Matter. You’ll see bombastic action scenes and a visual narrative driven by the artist. This approach has energized the creators involved, myself included, and we’re going to have a lot of fun with these books.”
The lead up to Dark Matter begins in June with the first part of a two-part Batman story, Dark Days: The Casting #1. More on Dark Matter as we learn it!
Besides American Gods, what other Neil Gaiman adaptations are heading (or not heading) to TV and film screens near you?
Who doesn't love a good Neil Gaiman adaptation? The British author is prolific, yet still manages to maintain a consistent quality and eccentricity in his work. The American Gods TV show is about to premiere on Starz, but it's far from the only Gaiman adaptation in the works.
A bumper harvest of Neil Gaiman-penned projects are currently in development, and due to arrive on the big and small screen and elsewhere in the next few years. Let's take a look at what has a release date, what is in development, and what might never come to be...
Neil Gaiman Film Adaptations
Sandman - Development Hell
It's meant with no disrespect to the terrific Coraline and Stardust when saying that Sandman is likely to be the biggest Neil Gaiman project to date at the movies... that is if it ever makes it there.
Originally seemingly moving jollily ahead at New Line Cinema after a switch from Vertigo, The Sandman movie adaptation has suffered its fair share of setbacks in the last few years, with writers Jack Thorne and Eric Heisserer both departing the project. The latter, who left in October of 2016, suggested that the adaptation might make a better TV show than a movie, which is a fair assessment of the sprawling, epic story.
At one point, Joseph Gordon-Levitt was attached to produce, star in, and perhaps direct the film, but he also dropped out last year. Will this adaptation ever make it to some size of screen? We'll keep our ear to the ground.
Hansel & Gretel — Film Rights Acquired
Gaiman's take on Hansel & Gretel arrived in graphic novel form in 2014, and the movie rights to it were promptly snapped up. Juliet Blake, who produced The Hundred-Foot Journey, is the person who's picked them up.
No timescale, screenwriter or director details have been made available since the 2014 acquisition.
How To Talk To Girls At Parties — May 2017 (Cannes Film Festival)
Finally, a Gaiman film adaptation that is definitely happening! Based on a Gaiman short story, How To Talk To Girls At Parties is about a female alien on Earth who finds herself in Croydon. Such is her desire to explore the most dangerous places on the planet.
The film has a great cast, starring Elle Fanning, Alex Sharp, Nicole Kidman, Ruth Wilson, and Matt Lucas.
How To Talk To Girls At Parties was directed by the very capable John Cameron Mitchell, who co-wrote the script with Philippa Goslett. On his resume? The brilliant Hedwig And The Angry Inch. A24 acquired the U.S. distribution rights, but there is no official release date as of yet.
The Ocean At The End Of The Lane — In Development
The Ocean At The End Of The Lane is a lovely book, and prior to its publication, it was revealed that the film rights had already been acquired, and a director was attached.
Focus Features is the company that was attached to the film, with the project having been bought by Tom Hanks' production company, Playtone. Joe Wright — who directed Atonement, Hanna, and Anna Karenina amongst others — was said to be attached to direct.
That was back in February 2013, however, and there doesn't appear to have been much progress on the project since then. It looks like a case of wait and see for now.
The Graveyard Book — In Development
This one seems to be stuck in limbo a bit. The original plan with the film adaptation of The Graveyard Book was that Henry Selick — who brilliantly realised Coraline in stop motion animation — would bring it to the screen. Disney had backed the project, but it put the brakes on it back in 2012.
However, since then, it appeared to come back to life as a live-action venture that was attracting the interest of Ron Howard (Rush, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind). Unfortunately that was back in January 2013. Collider asked Howard about the project last year, and the director seemed to have some hope for it as a possible future film. Do with this information what you will.
The Books Of Magic — Development Hell
A project that seems almost permanently stuck in development hell now is an adaptation of Gaiman's comic book miniseries, The Books Of Magic. Plans for a film date back to 1998, when Gaiman himself was attached an executive producer, and Warner Bros had the rights. It would be fair to say that the development process had problems, with both Gaiman and Paul Levitz eventually telling the studio that the screenplay they had developed did not bear much relation to The Books Of Magic anymore.
Back in 2006, Gaiman told Superherohype that he was looking to developing The Books Of Magic into a film or TV series himself, along with writer Matt Greenberg (who'd worked on early scripts for the project). There's been no progress since, sadly.
Signal To Noise — Development Hell
Not much is known about this one. The graphic novel Signal To Noise was one Gaiman did alongside Dave McKean, and the plan was for McKean to turn it into a feature film. As Gaiman says on his own website: "Neil is only helping here and there with it, reading over Dave's script and helping him get financing." He also confirmed that McKean had planned to direct the film. We've not heard more on it for some time, though.
Neil Gaiman TV Adaptations
American Gods — April 30th (Starz)
After a false start with HBO and Cinemax, who let their option on Gaiman’s generously proportioned 2001 fantasy novel expire earlier this year, FremantleMedia came to the rescue of the mooted American Gods TV adaptation, and have since found it a home on US cable channel Starz.
Hannibal showrunner and all-round fantasy and sci-fi maven Bryan Fuller (Star Trek: Voyager, Pushing Daisies, Dead Like Me) co-wrote the eight-episode first season with Heroes’ Michael Green. The TV adaptation has a great cast, including Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, Orlando Jones, Gillian Anderson, Crispin Glover, Emily Browning, and more. We've see the first four episodes of the season and it's something special. A Neil Gaiman adaptation done right.
Interworld — In Development
Originally conceived for screen, Gaiman and Michael Reeves eventually put the Interworld story across in book form, where it was then in turn optioned in 2007 by DreamWorks Animation.
Last year, it switched from the film to TV track when Universal Cable Productions announced that it would be developing Interworld into a TV show. The TV adaptation has Hamilton producers Jeffrey Seller and Flody Suarez in its corner, but we've not had any updates on the project since last summer. More news as we hear it.
Anansi Boys — In Development
Production company Red was announced in 2014 as developing a mini-series adaptation of Anansi Boys for the BBC. However, now that Starz/Freemantle is producing American Gods, that plan seems somewhat confused?
We've heard mentions of Red developing Anansi Boys as a TV show from Gaiman over the years, but, recently, Orlando Jones (who plays Anansi in American Gods) told Vanity Fair that Fuller and Green "wanted to spin it off and pursue that character." Either way, things are looking pretty good for Anansi Boys, depending on how American Gods does.
Good Omens — 2018 (Amazon)
A six-part TV adaptation of Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's bestselling book is coming to Amazon next year before airing on the BBC in the UK. Gaiman is serving as showrunner for the miniseries, which will bring the story of an angel and a demon coming together to try to prevent the apocalypse to the screen.
Neverwhere — In Development
Back in 2015, Deadline gave us all hope when it reported that US movie and TV producer Mark Gordon has joined forces with The Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence on a new TV adaptation of Neverwhere, an urban fantasy that takes place in "London Below."
Neverwhere began life as a 1996 TV series (featuring Peter Capaldi!) before being turned into a successful novelization and radio drama. Given that Gaiman has announced a Neverwhere sequel called The Seven Sisters, the timing has never been better for a TV adaptation of this beloved fantasy work.
Missing, Presumed Dead Adaptations
Gaiman's Smoke And Mirrors short story has actually turned up online in film form as a finals film project by a student at Boston University, which you can see here. However, back in 2002, Harvey Weinstein took out an option on the story, with the idea of writing and directing it himself. It was set to be a short film, but it never, ultimately, happened.
Death: The High Cost Of Living
Warner Bros had been developing this one, potentially as a project for Neil Gaiman to direct himself. Rumors had linked Shia LaBeouf with the male lead, but as Gaiman told Vulturein 2010: "The new powers that be at DC and Warner basically closed everything down."
Whilst Gaiman has admitted it may yet come back to life, it doesn't sound like breath-holding is a good idea. Not, er, that it is at the best of times.
The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish
A good decade old this project, when Sunbow Entertainment looked to do an animated television adaptation of The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish. Sunbow was seeking financing for the project, and footage was reportedly produced, but it didn't get much further. A shame — the plan had been to mix 2D, 3D and photographic elements, with 2D hand drawn characters on top. Not to be, though. Sob.
This one was adapted by David S. Goyer, who told SciFi Wire back in 2004: "I think it's the best script I've ever written." He planned to direct the film take on Murder Mysteries, but the project stalled — and has remained stalled — when a studio wouldn't back it. No word has been heard on a MurderMysteries film for a good decade.
Please note: This article does not include released projects, or scripts that Gaiman has written based on other peoples' books.