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Articles on this Page
- 04/21/17--13:57: _Shadowhunters Seaso...
- 04/21/17--14:46: _Avengers 4 Will Be ...
- 04/21/17--20:56: _Martin Scorsese May...
- 04/21/17--21:09: _Go Go Power Rangers...
- 04/22/17--14:00: _Complete Upcoming X...
- 04/22/17--14:24: _New Mutants Release...
- 04/24/17--04:01: _Guardians of the Ga...
- 04/24/17--13:30: _How George Lucas Br...
- 04/24/17--15:15: _The Dark Tower TV S...
- 04/25/17--14:14: _Eliza Dushku to Sta...
- 04/25/17--14:38: _Young Justice Seaso...
- 04/25/17--16:18: _Powerless Pulled fr...
- 04/25/17--19:59: _Teen Titans TV Seri...
- 04/26/17--03:05: _Superman Continuity...
- 04/26/17--16:29: _Guardians of the Ga...
- 04/27/17--16:47: _Titans: What To Exp...
- 04/27/17--23:45: _Neil Gaiman Thinks ...
- 04/28/17--02:20: _Guardians of the Ga...
- 04/28/17--04:25: _Stephen King’s Fire...
- 04/28/17--10:22: _The Flash Movie: Ev...
- 04/21/17--13:57: Shadowhunters Season 3 is Official!
- 04/21/17--21:09: Go Go Power Rangers Comic Coming from BOOM! Studios
- 04/22/17--14:00: Complete Upcoming X-Men Movies Schedule Updated!
- 04/22/17--14:24: New Mutants Release Date Confirmed
- 04/24/17--04:01: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Review
- 04/24/17--13:30: How George Lucas Brought Star Wars to the Big Screen
- 04/24/17--15:15: The Dark Tower TV Series Is Still in Development
- 04/25/17--14:38: Young Justice Season 3: Release Date, Synopsis, Poster
- 04/25/17--16:18: Powerless Pulled from NBC Schedule
- 04/25/17--19:59: Teen Titans TV Series Confirmed For 2018!
- 04/26/17--03:05: Superman Continuity Finally Fixed by DC Comics
- 04/27/17--16:47: Titans: What To Expect From The Teen Titans TV Series
- 04/27/17--23:45: Neil Gaiman Thinks Sandman Should Be a TV Series
- 04/28/17--02:20: Guardians of the Galaxy Comics Reading Guide For The Movie Fan
- 04/28/17--04:25: Stephen King’s Firestarter Next in Line for a Remake
- 04/28/17--10:22: The Flash Movie: Everything We Know So Far
The Shadowhunters will be back on Freeform for a third season. Here's everything we know about Shadowhunters Season 3...
Good news, Shadowhunters fans! The Freeform series has been renewed for a Season 3 ahead of its Season 2.5 summer premiere. The cast made the official announcement via Facebook Live earlier today. Check it out...
Shadowhunters Season 3 will air in 2018, but fans don't have to wait that long to see new episodes, of course. The sophomore season continues on June 5th, picking up in the wake of the winter finale cliffhanger, which saw Malec confessing their love for one another, Clary finding out Jace isn't her sibling, and someone making off with the Soul Sword. (Yikes!)
Season 2 showrunners Todd Slavkin and Darren Swimmer will be staying on as showrunners for the third season, along with executive producers McG, Michael Reisz, Matt Hastings, Mary Viola, Martin Moszkowicz and Robert Kulzer. Though Shadowhunters has dipped somewhat in the ratings since its Season 1 premiere, it has one of the most passionate fanbases of any Freeform show (or TV show, really).
depth vs. expansion: the shared universe/franchise
While Avengers 4 was originally conceived as the second of a two-part film, it will now shoot separate from Infinity War.
Avengers 4 is a hot topic these days, not only because it represents the presumed culmination towards which the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe itself has been building, but also because the film has undergone an evolution since it was first pitched to the public back in October 2014 simply as “Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2,” with Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Joe and Anthony Russo tapped to helm both parts. However, hints from over the years implying that Avengers 4 was becoming its own project are now official.
In an interview with Collider, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige put an official stamp on an idea that seemed to be inevitable: Avengers 4 (whatever it will be called,) will be a completely separate production from 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, with plans to shoot after that film has been completed. Thus, the cinematic divorce between Avengers: Infinity War (née "Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1") and 2019’s fourth Avengers entry is now official. According to Feige, the reason for this demarcation of mega-movies is simply due to logistics, explaining:
“We’re doing them one right after another… It became too complicated to cross-board them like that, and we found ourselves—again, something would always pay the price. We wanted to be able to focus and shoot one movie and then focus and shoot another movie.”
With that set, Feige also revealed a potent tidbit, stating that Avengers 4 will shoot this August. Indeed, abandoning a lofty simultaneous sequel production style – exemplified by Back to the Future II/III and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – allows both Avengers follow-ups to gestate technically and artistically in a more refined manner without a nebulous puzzle-making atmosphere. 2018’s Infinity War has been in production since January and there are intrinsically specific hurdles to be overcome, since it corrals just about every MCU hero from every film franchise, notably the space-trucking team members from Guardians of the Galaxy and Tom Holland’s Sony-held Spider-Man (who’s now officially confirmed for Avengers 4). Thus, the massive exposition endeavor required for Infinity War justifies a slow-burn approach that should dominate that movie.
Of course, that is not to say that Avengers 4 will start a completely new storyline from Avengers: Infinity War. The goal has always been to see a cosmic climax to the spectacular saga inspired by writer Jim Starlin’s 1991 Infinity Gauntlet Marvel Comics event series, centering on the celestial misdeeds of the megalomaniacal Mad Titan Thanos (Josh Brolin), who famously acquires all of the Infinity Stones, allowing him to assemble the omnipotence-granting hand accessory known as the Infinity Gauntlet. Yet, as Feige explained back in October of the altered synergy between the two Avengers follow-ups and their distinct tones:
“There’s a reason we have publicly called the first one Infinity War and the second one 'untitled', because the movies we were developing were not – certainly there’s a connection, there are with all our movies – but it’s not a first part and a second part. It’s a whole movie and a whole story, and then a whole movie and a whole story...That’s about all I can say. It’s certainly inspired by everything that has come before and everything that is hinted at before.”
It could be the case that Infinity War will center on Thanos’s quest to complete the gauntlet — hinted in his "Fine, I'll do it myself" declaration in the Avengers: Age of Ultron mid-credits scene — with Avengers 4 centering on the resolution to the cosmic consequences of his (obviously successful) evil endeavor. Interestingly, this could prove somewhat similar to the grandiose Avengers-like plans cooking over at Warner Bros. and its DC Comics heroes in this fall’s Justice League, with that team-up film centering on the initial incursion of other-worldly invaders from Apokolips, led by main villain Steppenwolf, with the presumed main event against the iconic Apokolips overlord himself Darkseid set for a sequel that will also manifest down the line as a separate production.
Regardless, Avengers: Infinity War is going to be a colossal event filled with cosmic implications for the MCU when it hits theaters on May 4, 2018. Its untitled (now separate) follow-up Avengers 4 is booked for the following year on May 3, 2019.
True crime story of early 20th Century Native American land grab killings may unite Scorsese, De Niro and DiCaprio.
David Grann's true-crime novel Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI may be adapted in a film that would bring together Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. Variations on this teaming have brought us classic movies like Mean Streets, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Gangs Of New York, New York, New York, The Aviator, The Departed, Shutter Island, The Wolf Of Wall Street and the upcoming The Devil In The White City.
Imperative Entertainment bought Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI for $5 million last year and want an A-list cast.
David Grann’s Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI digs deep into a string of mysterious deaths that happened on the Osage reservation in the early 20th century. The Department of the Interior assigned white guardians to watch over the Osage’s vast financial assets, making it easier to fleece the American Indian tribe. In the spring of 1921, an Osage woman named Anna Brown, disappeared and turned up in a ravine a week later with a bullet in her head. A short time later, her mother, Linnie, wasted away of a disease doctors could do nothing about. Anna’s brother-in-law starting to investigate the death as case of poisoning but died, along with his wife, when their house was bombed, triggering the Osage Reign of Terror.
New director J. Edgar Hoover took the case on as the FBI’s first major homicide and signed it to former Texas Ranger, now federal agent Tom White in 1925. White traced the killings to local business leader William Hale, who was after the Osage Indians’ oil.
The film adaptation of Grann’s book The Lost City of Z, starring Charlie Hunnam and Robert Pattinson. opens in theaters this week.
The new comic will focus on “personal, intimate character stories.”
BOOM! Studios can’t get enough of Power Rangers. After it launched the best selling Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comic last year they’re ready to start a new ongoing title, Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers.
Unlike the MMPR comic, which took place after Tommy joined the team, Go Go Power Rangers will be set after the very first episode of the show. Written by Ryan Parrott (Power Rangers: Aftershock) and drawn by Dan Mora (WWE, Klaus) the comic will follow Jason, Kimberly, Zack, Trini, and Billy as they navigate high school, just days after receiving their superhero abilities. The story delves into their lives of saving the world while juggling history tests, dating and after-school jobs.
“It's hard enough being a teenager and juggling relationships, school, and family,” says Parrott. “The goal of Saban’s Go Go Power Rangers is to focus on more personal, intimate character stories. We dive deeper to fully examine the wish-fulfilling, awesomeness of having superpowers, along with the pressure of that responsibility.”
Personal character stories that features the team pre Tommy? Sign us up! This era of Power Rangers has rarely been mined for material so it's nice to see BOOM! giving it the spotlight.
“The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was one of my first exposures to the superhero genre, and a big part of the appeal was the lives of these characters when they weren’t saving the world,” says Dafna Pleban, Editor in a statement. “Ryan and Dan are incredibly adept at capturing both the awesome cosmic action of being a Ranger, and the emotional reality of being a teen at the same time.”
The full synopsis for the comic can be found below, along with the cover of the first issue.
The untold, personal story of what happens to Jason, Kim, Trini, Zack, and Billy following in the days after they first became Power Rangers.
Fighting evil is hard, but surviving high school may be even harder—welcome to real life in Angel Grove.
Go Go Power Rangers will be released July 2017.
Shamus Kelley gets the MMPR love but anthology series with all the various Power Rangers alien species when? Follow him on Twitter!
When will we see Deadpool 2, the Gambit movie, X-Men 7, X-Force, or New Mutants? We have your upcoming X-Men movies schedule right here.
Now updated with official release dates for Deadpool 2, New Mutants, and X-Men: Dark Phoenix!
20th Century Fox has a Marvel superhero movie schedule that’s quite nearly as busy as Marvel Studios’ for the next few years. Even with the failure of the FantasticFour, they've got enough X-Men characters to keep everyone neck deep in mutants until further notice.
Deadpool was a runaway success for the studio in 2016, and Logan followed in that movie's edgy footsteps. New Mutants and Deadpool 2 are about to go into production, with X-Men: Dark Phoenix to follow shortly after.
Fox has finally confirmed when we can expect the next batch of X-Men movies, and let's just say that 2018 looks like it's going to be a very busy year for all our favorite mutants.
Let's get to work...
The New Mutants
April 13, 2018
Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) is directing the New Mutants movie. Boone will also co-write the film with Knate Gawley, Scott Neustadter, and Michael H. Weber. This has just entered pre-production.
The New Mutants were the first of Marvel's X-Men spinoffs in the comics, dealing with a younger crop of gifted youngsters as the core X-Men cast expanded and aged. Danielle Moonstar, Wolfsbane, Sunspot, Cannonball, Magik, and Warlock will all be part of the team, making for a more racially diverse cast than we've seen in most X-Men movies so far.
June 1, 2018
Josh Brolin has just been cast as Cable, so that's a pretty big deal. Drew Goddard is helping out with the script, too, which is a good thing. And it's going into production within the next month or so.
The first Deadpool movie did amazing business in February with an R-rating, so this should really cook with that June release date.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix
November 2, 2018
Little is known about this at the moment but the title sure reveals a lot, doesn't it? This would be the proper X-Men 7 that New Mutants most certainly is not. Simon Kinberg is probably going to direct this one.
And then there is still one other mystery date...
February 14, 2019
There are really only two possibilities here...
With Logan marking the last time Hugh Jackman will play Wolverine, the X-Men films are bound to find themselves in dire need of a new heroic "face of the franchise" some time in the next five years, and Channing Tatum as Gambit might just be the answer.
A proven box-office draw like Tatum playing a sly, shady X-Man might be the way to go. Gambit's complex backstory should provide ample fodder for a solo movie, which will apparently focus less on traditional superheroics and more on his background as a thief. Everyone loves Deadpool, but clearly he (the character, not Ryan Reynolds) doesn't have the leading man looks of a Channing Tatum. Lea Seydoux will likely play opposite Tatum as Bella Donna.
Of course, the big problem here is that Gambit recently lost director Doug Liman, and there is continual chatter that they haven't even gotten the script right yet. Not to mention the fact that they keep moving this troubled project off various release dates. We're sure it will happen eventually, but whether it still involves Liman, Tatum, or Seydoux when it does is another story.
Jeff Wadlow’s early X-Force draft was met with vocal approval from X-Force co-creator, Rob Liefeld. The above concept art comes from that era of the film's development. The problem is, Mr. Wadlow is no longer involved in this one, but Joe Carnahan just came on board to write a script, and that guy knows action movies.
We're going to first meet Cable in Deadpool 2, which will also introduce Zazie Beetz as another X-Force member, Domino. It's possible that X-Force could essentially function as Deadpool 3 if they decide to pursue the same tone.
Don't expect this one until at least 2019.
What do you think? What else do you think can make it onto the X-Men movie calendar? Let us know!
The next X-Men movie going into production is Josh Boone's The New Mutants. Here's everything we know so far.
The New Mutants were the first of Marvel's X-Men spinoffs in the comics, dealing with a younger crop of gifted youngsters as the core X-Men cast expanded and aged. So with the movie cast expanding and aging, it's natural that we'd eventually get a version of them on screen. Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) is directing the upcoming X-Men spinoff, and he's co-written it with Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber, Knate Gwaltney.
Boone is a professed New Mutants fan, and he has already confirmed that the team will look very much like those early '80s comics, and include characters like Danielle Moonstar, Wolfsbane, Sunspot, Cannonball, Magik, and Warlock. Mr. Boone also confirmed that the new X-Men movie that's about to go into production in Montreal this spring is indeed New Mutants.
New Mutants Release Date
Fox has confirmed that New Mutants will open on April 13, 2018.
The New Mutants is now officially in pre-production. Director Josh Boone made the announcement with a series of tagged Instagram posts, notably an April 5 birthday cake sporting the classic slanted logo that used to grace the covers of Marvel Comics' initial 1983-1991 The New Mutants comic series during its earlier issues.
Boone also posted a photo of himself on the Fox lot with some tags indicating his enthusiasm as the process commences on this intriguing adolescent X-Men spinoff.
New Mutants Cast
Last month the folks at That Hashtag Showhad a nice scoop. They broke a bunch of Iron Fist casting announcements and recently confirmed the characters appearing in Marvel's Inhumans TV series. It looks like they've just confirmed The New Mutants lineup, too.
[CHRIS] Male, 17 years old, Actor must be an adult (18 or over) or a legally emancipated minor; Tall, corn-fed Kentucky kid.
[ANNA] Female, 17 years old, Actor must be an adult (18 or over) or a legally emancipated minor; Russian, sexy, with an obvious mean streak.
The "Anna" here refers to her real name of Ilyana.
[ROB] Male, 16 years old, Actor must be an adult (18 or over) or a legally emancipated minor; Brazilian, cool, confident and extremely handsome.
"Rob" is Roberto D'Acosta in the comics.
[JESSICA] Female, 16 years old, Actor must be an adult (18 or over) or a legally emancipated minor; British, punk rock shorn red hair, waif-like.
They also mention that Danielle Moonstar is in the movie, but there's no casting breakdown, because she "has already been cast." We have some more info on the casting down below, but we're probably due for some official casting announcements very soon.
Back in May, a report from HitFix indicated that 20th Century Fox was lining up The Witch star Anya-Taylor Joy to play Majik and Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams as Rahne "Wolfsbane" Sinclair. 20th Century Fox denied the report, but both Ms. Joy and Ms. Williams have separately expressed their interest in the project. Well, ComingSoon reported in November that the original report was accurate, and more, Nat Wolff (The Fault in Our Stars) is going to play Sam "Cannonball" Guthrie.
Of course, there's still no official word on any of this. But director Josh Boone just posted a piece of unofficial fan art on Instagram showing off Maisie Williams as Wolfsbane.
You can read into this what you will, but again, this isn't official production art.
New Mutants Story
Coming Soon described New Mutants as anything other than your typical X-Men movie, or your typical superhero movie at all. Instead, they're going for a "Stephen King meets John Hughes" vibe with horror elements. The earliest New Mutants comics, with moody Bill Sienkiewicz artwork certainly would play into that influence.
Check out an example of the art from those early stories, and yes, the bear is important...
They've also got a genuine storyboard animatic from the film, revealing that at least one of the antagonists will be the Demon Bear which menaced the team in those same early comics. The Demon Bear is, yes, a bear, but it also feeds on negativity and has immense power of its own, so if this is the menace of the movie, you won't see any buildings coming down.
And just as a bonus, here's a pic of Boone and Gwaltney's original draft of the New Mutants movie when the scriptwriters turned it in back in April...
And if it's a hit? Well, apparently Mr. Boone has envisioned this as a trilogy of films, so we'll see if that works out.
A version of this article originally appeared on May 13th, 2015. It has been updated with new information
Star-Lord, Gamora and the gang are back, but can director James Gunn recapture the magic a second time? Read our review...
With planet-sized (pun intended) expectations surrounding its release, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and writer/director James Gunn automatically face a tremendous challenge: can a second adventure starring Marvel’s most bizarre band of misfits retain the same quirky charm, sense of freshness and overall weird and cosmically comedic tone of the first movie, while pushing the franchise forward? The answer is both yes and no.
There’s no question that Guardians Vol. 2 is missing the sheer delight of discovering this corner of the Marvel Universe onscreen for the first time. The joke of seeing a potty-mouthed talking raccoon fire off snarky asides while blowing away enemies with high-powered weapons is clearly not a surprise anymore. And all the odd little denizens and Easter eggs lurking in every corner of Gunn’s richly imagined universe are, while not predictable, certainly more anticipated.
But Gunn wisely decides to focus on adding more depth to his team, not to mention their allies and enemies, and they’re still such a likable, entertaining bunch that Guardians Vol. 2 succeeds more than anything else as a character piece. Everybody gets a turn at bat; almost all the arcs in the film are satisfying and in several cases, quite moving -- and that is just enough to keep the movie compelling and captivating despite a generally slender plot and a structure that essentially consists of a terrific opening and a knockout ending bridged by a meandering second act.
When we catch up with the Guardians at the beginning of the film, they’re as cantankerous as usual but have got their groove down: hired by an artificially created race called the Sovereign to get rid of some pesky extra-dimensional monsters, they work as well together as the Avengers but with sillier (I mean that in a nice way) one-liners. Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) barely holds it together as team leader, while an exasperated Gamora (Zoe Saldana) tries to keep the boys in line. Drax (Dave Bautista) and Rocket (voiced again by Bradley Cooper) march to their own drums in battle while Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) successfully walks the thin line between overly cutesy and hilariously naïve.
The Sovereign, led by their high priestess Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki), have captured Guardians nemesis (and Gamora’s adopted sister) Nebula (Karen Gillan), and the Guardians are interested in taking her back with them as payment for the job. But of course the team can’t do anything without getting in trouble, and after Rocket angers the highly arrogant and self-regarding Ayesha with some petty theft, they find themselves pursued by an entire space armada (amusingly controlled from what looks like a massive game arcade on the Sovereign planet).
Things look grim until a new figure injects himself into the situation: Ego (Kurt Russell), who saves the Guardians and makes a shocking revelation -- he is Peter’s long-lost father, who impregnated Peter’s mother back on Earth and later sent Yondu (Michael Rooker) and his Ravagers to retrieve his son. But Yondu adopted Peter as a potential Ravager along the way, and Ego has been searching for his progeny ever since. He invites a suspicious Peter, along with Gamora and Drax, back to his planet -- or more accurately, back to him: Ego is an ancient entity of immense power and age who has grown to the size of a planet over the years, creating his humanoid form to interact with mortal beings -- including the kind of “interaction” that he claims spawned Peter.
Meanwhile, Yondu is also searching for Peter at the behest of Ayesha but finds himself dealing with his own personal crises as well. What happens after that is best left for viewers to discover themselves, but several conflicts are set up that revolve around the central idea of family. Alliances shift and more is revealed until the expected big finish, which is capped by a genuinely moving conclusion.
With the exception of one laugh-out-loud jailbreak by an unexpected break-off team, the middle section of the movie is where it runs into trouble. Gunn dishes out a lot of exposition here, but he’s lucky enough that he’s got Russell to deliver it. With a twinkle in his eye and an enigmatic yet regal quality to his manner, the veteran actor is eminently watchable even if other characters are basically standing around during Ego and Peter’s scenes together. Also helping things along is Pom Klementieff as the empathetic Mantis, Ego’s servant who brings a sweet-natured innocence to the proceedings.
Gunn eventually makes sure to not leave anyone behind; although she doesn’t get much to do for the first two-thirds of the movie, Nebula has a searing, powerful speech toward the end which Gillan -- who’s excellent -- delivers with a piercing undercurrent of hurt and anguish. Saldana almost matches her, giving Gamora a vulnerability we didn’t quite see in the first film. Another utility player, Rooker’s Yondu, is shown to have more depth and emotional complexity than the first film let on as well; his storyline may be the most poignant of all, and the vastly underrated Rooker -- one of our best character actors -- gives it everything he’s got.
The film’s final third turns into a somewhat more predictable onslaught of CG and pyrotechnics, but at least Gunn is smart and talented enough to mostly keep the focus on his characters and integrate their own personal stories into the raging battles and explosions. Without his eye for that, as well as his skill at filling the screen with all kinds of interesting visuals and his unerring instincts with musical cues, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 could have easily gone too big for its own good or simply rehashed the tricks of the first film without adding anything to them.
Instead, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 answers questions posed by the first movie by exploring its cast of colorful miscreants in a way that almost makes it an anti-blockbuster. The strange pacing and stop-and-start plotting may feel awkward compared to the headlong rush of the previous film, but spending a little over two hours with these folks is still a hell of a lot of fun. It will be intriguing to see how the Guardians emerge from the coming apocalypse of Avengers: Infinity War, and even more fascinating to see what lies ahead for them in their own third adventure. If the biggest challenge facing Gunn, his cast and Marvel is keeping us interested in this weird little gang, they’ve met it handily.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is out in theaters May 5.
How George Lucas brought Star Wars to the big screen after years of drafts and dealing with Hollywood.
Since selling Lucasfilm, George Lucas has been very vocal about why he stopped making Star Warsfilms. The short of it is that making these movies is very hard work, that it takes it toll on a person, and that dealing with public scrutiny while making a film of that magnitude impedes the creative process. And it's a very interesting thing, the creative process behind the Star Wars saga, a franchise that came from the mind of one man, from one evolution of the script to the next. One only has to look at the earliest draft of the original Star Wars movie Lucas wanted to make to see all the work that goes into just writing these movies. That very first draft of the script is almost unrecognizable from what we eventually got on the big screen.
It's like Star Wars, but refracted through a strange lens. Here's Han Solo, but he's green, like the Toxic Avenger, and has gills. Here's Luke Skywalker, but he's a powerful general with a white beard and a flinty look in his eye.
All this can be found in what is now commonly called The Rough Draft of The Star Wars, originally written by George Lucas back in 1974. A kind of mid-point between the somewhat vague ideas Lucas first had for his space fantasy movie earlier in the decade and the fourth draft - which was used as the shooting script for the 1977 film - The Star Wars is a jarring document from the franchise's early history.
In 2013, Dark Horse produced an eight-part series of comics based on the Rough Draft, adapted by Star Wars historian JW Rinzler and illustrated by Mike Mayhew (no relation). That series has been collected together in one book, and again, it offers an intriguing insight into how Lucas conceived and reworked his ideas, and gradually amalgamated his influences into something new.
Lucas' lifelong interest in science fiction received its earliest expression in THX-1138, an unsettling dystopian thriller that was initially a 15-minute student film made in 1967 (full title: Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB), and later remade as a feature starring Robert Duvall in 1971. But Lucas really wanted to make something completely different from THX: something more hopeful, more fantastical.
Although Lucas was left exhausted by the process of making the drama American Graffiti(1972), he continued to think about ideas for a space fantasy epic while that film was in post-production. Star Wars legend tells us that the names of two now famous characters - R2-D2 ("Reel 2, Dialogue 2") and Wookiee - came during the latter stages of American Graffiti's making.
Made on a tiny budget, coming-of-age drama American Graffitiwas a huge box-office hit, and was nominated for five Oscars. It was that unexpected success which would ultimately give Lucas the creative latitude to make something as risky (and potentially expensive) as Star Wars.
Lucas' ideas first took shape in The Journal of The Whills. Less than two pages long, and yet to be officially published in full, it introduced a warrior named Mace Windy and a character called Chuiee Two Thorpe being trained as a Jedi-Templar. Even at this early stage, some of the names that would appear in Lucas'Star Wars films had already made their first appearances.
By May 1973, Lucas had worked up a synopsis for something called The Star Wars. Although influenced by such writers as Frank Herbert (writer of Dune) and EE "Doc" Smith, as well as old Flash Gordon matinee serials, The Star Wars' primary influence was Akira Kurosawa's 1958 film The Hidden Fortress. In fact, Lucas' approach to The Hidden Fortresswasn't unlike The Magnificent Seven, the Western based on Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. Lucas took The Hidden Fortress' story, about a princess and her family escaping from a more powerful rival clan, and turned it into a galactic civil war set in the 33rd century.
Nevertheless, it was this treatment that, after several unsuccessful attempts to sell the Star Wars concept to other Hollywood studios, finally found interest at 20th Century Fox. There are also signs that the elements which would one day form the big-screen Star Wars are beginning to take shape. There's an evil Empire, a giant space fortress, a general named Luke Skywalker, a planet called Yavin, and a violent confrontation in a space port cantina. As if through a haze of half-formed concepts and borrowed plot elements, something concrete was beginning to coalesce.
The Rough Draft, completed one year later in May 1974, marked another significant breakthrough for Lucas. Although still some distance from what audiences all over the world would recognize as Star Wars, it's so significant because it's the first properly completed screenplay to emerge from Lucas' typewriter. Sure, it's rough around the edges, with lengthy slabs of scene description and some odd tonal shifts, but there are signs everywhere that the pieces are beginning to move into place. The draft also marks the first appearance of the now-famous opening text crawl:
"Until the recent GREAT REBELLION, the JEDI BENDU were the most feared warriors in the universe. For one hundred thousand years, generations of JEDI perfected their art as the personal bodyguards of the emperor..."
Kane Starkiller is one of the last of these Jedi Bendu. Hiding from the now evil Empire and their allies, the Sith, Starkiller lives in hiding with his two sons, 10-year-old Deak and 18-year-old Annakin, on the Fourth Moon of Utapau. AsThe Star Wars opens, the Starkillers are found by the Empire and attacked by a deadly member of the Sith. Although the Sith warrior is no match for Kane Starkiller's superior fighting skills, the villain succeeds in killing his 10-year-old son.
Their cover blown, Kane and Annakin head to Aquilae, where the fellow Jedi, general Luke Skywalker, is about to engage in a full-blown confrontation with the invading Empire and their colossal space fortress. Annakin, a talented but somewhat callow youth, must learn to master his Jedi training and help rescue Princess Leia, whom the Empire has kidnapped with a view to using her as a means of controlling the people of Aquilae.
Whether you read the original screenplay or Dark Horse's comic book adaptation, there are at least two striking things about The Rough Draft. The first is just how hard-edged it is: sure, it's a space opera, but the tone's closer to something like Dunethan a fairytale set in space. Although a little of this draft's harshness and violence remained in 1977's Star Wars - the horrifyingly casual deaths of Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru, the blood-spattered severed arm in the Mos Eisley cantina - we can only imagine what young audience members would have made of seeing a 10-year-old boy mercilessly slain by the Sith in the opening five minutes.
The second thing to note is the sheer number of characters Lucas stuffs into his 129-page script. While some are recognizable and quite likable - not least Han Solo, who's the same cynical rogue we all know and remember, despite his frog-like appearance - others are downright bewildering. There are two seasoned Jedi (Kane Starkiller and Luke Skywalker), Princess Leia's extended royal family (including two young brothers called Biggs and Windy), a young rebel spy named Whitsun, and numerous other bit-players and nefarious villains.
Despite his name, Annakin is the closest thing we have to a proper Luke Skywalker - he's a young Jedi with much to learn, and proves himself to be quite a hero by the story's end. But he's also a difficult character to like: witness, for example, the moment where he first meets Princess Leia, who initially refuses to be rescued. Annakin's solution? A solid punch in the face. ("Starkiller punches her square on the jaw and knocks her out cold.")
Lucas would be the first to admit that he struggled with writing screenplays, and the stress of the whole process often made him feel quite ill. There's a sense, going through The Rough Draft, of a writer feeling his way around his subject, of having certain scenes clear in his mind - an assault on a battle station, laser sword fights, and so forth - but not the tone.
The Rough Draft also suffers for the lack of a specific point of view, with the action frequently chopping between different sets of characters without a solid protagonist at the story's core. R2-D2 and C3PO are in here somewhere, but Lucas hasn't yet made them the audience's waypoint into the saga, as he would in the second draft (another idea inspired by The Hidden Fortress). Their distinct personalities aren't in place yet, either. Instead of the plucky, bleepy R2 and the cowardly yet earnest Threepio, we get a pair of bickering robots who are both as infuriating as each other. Reading The Rough Draft for the first time, it's quite a surprise to see Artoo (or Artwo, as it's spelled here) speaking English ("You're nothing but a dim-witted, emotion-brained intellectual!").
The more endearing nuances of Lucas' characters didn't appear until later. The comedy pairing of R2-D2 and C3PO worked so well in the final film because R2-D2's cheerful whistles and chirps (not to mention bravery) served as a counterpoint to C3PO's whining verbosity. Similarly, Princess Leia needs the now-familiar hint of saltiness and sarcasm to really make her character resonate - in The Rough Draft, she's little more than a stubborn love interest for Annakin.
Having said all this, The Rough Draft, particularly in the form presented by Dark Horse's comics, really begins to pick up pace towards the second half, and it's exciting to see how many of the action scenes already appear here in nascent form. There's a moment of peril in a trash compactor, a rip-roaring space battle, and fights between Wookiees and the Empire (a clear precursor to the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi).
Lucas' friend and mentor Francis Ford Coppola liked this latest draft, yet Lucas clearly realized that his story was still too dense - or, at the very least, too expensive to shoot. In subsequent drafts, Lucas juggled around character traits and names, taking the attributes of Kane Starkiller, with his largely robotic body, and applying them to Darth Vader. He gradually chopped away extraneous characters and chunks of plot, too, such as the somewhat odd strand that sees the young boys Biggs and Windy put into hypersleep and ferried around the galaxy hidden in oval metal containers.
Through repeated rewriting and reordering, Lucas gradually drew closer to the Star Wars we recognize today. The second draft, published in 1975, reintroduces Han Solo and Chewbacca as friends and renegade pilots, Luke Skywalker as an ordinary farm boy rather than a grizzled general, and Darth Vader as the black-clad Lord of the Sith. Draft three, subtitled From the Adventures of Luke Starkiller, brings in Obi-Wan Kenobi and generally tightens up the story and the depictions of the characters - the sniping banter between Leia and Han Solo, for example, is now present and correct.
It was The Rough Draft, however, that provided Lucas with the road map to Star Wars' future. Although certain ideas were edited out for what would ultimately become Star Wars' shooting script, they would turn up again later on. Annikin's depiction as a somewhat aggressive young upstart would be reprised in the Anakin character we'd see in the Star Wars prequels, and The Rough Draft's bearded general Luke Skywalker is markedly similar to the young Obi-Wan in the prequels, too.
The Dark Horse adaptation of The Rough Draft, with its design work inspired from Ralph McQuarrie's early production art, is a fascinating entry point to Star Wars' creative development. Through it, we can see how Lucas was slowly working out how he could make a modern fairytale with a technological edge, blending eastern religious ideas with classical myths and pulp sci-fi action.
As an early version of Star Wars' oft-repeated motto proves - "May the force of others be with you" - Lucas still had a lot of work still to do. But The Rough Draft provided a solid foundation on which the now iconic franchise could be built.
*This article originally ran on Sept. 4, 2014.
The Dark Tower TV series is still happening...as long as the movie is a hit. Here's what we know so far.
The Dark Tower TV Series Latest News
TV Guide caught up with Ron Howard about The Dark TowerTV series, which is still on the way despite the radio silence of late. When asked about the status of the show, Howard didn't have much to say except that it's still in development.
"Dark Tower is coming out this summer," Howard said. "It's a terrific movie directed by Nikolaj Arcel. And we are working on the television component."
Howard indicated that it all depends on how the first movie goes. If it's a hit, Sony will be much more open to exploring a TV series with a younger version of Roland.
"That's not a commitment on the television side," Howard continued, "but creatively, it could work very well, hand in hand with what we'd like the movies to be."
Adapting Wizard and Glass for TV is certainly a great move for the potential franchise, considering the fact that it takes place much earlier than the other books and acts as a sort of origin story for Roland Deschain.
More on The Dark Tower TVseries as we learn it!
The Dark Tower TV Series Release Date
The Dark TowerTV series is in development, but no network has picked up the show. EW has confirmed that The Dark Tower adaptation will indeed consist of movies and a TV show that's set to premiere in 2018.
MRC and Sony Pictures, who are also releasing the film in August, will finance a 10-13 episode first season. The show is set to begin shooting sometime in 2017.
The Dark Tower TV Series Details
The show will flesh out a different part of Roland's story: that of his first adventure as a young gunslinger from the fourth book in the series, Wizard and Glass. Basically, the series will serve as the origin story for Idris Elba's character in the movies.
In fact, Elba is set to appear on the show, along with Tom Taylor, who plays Jake Chambers in the movie. Of course, since the show is about a younger Roland, a different actor will be cast in the role for the main part of the show. No sign that Matthew McConaughey will appear as of yet, but since he plays a sorcerer with many faces, a different actor could potentially be cast for the show.
Producer and co-screenwriter Akiva Goldsman will executive produce, along with Jeff Pinkner, Ron Howard, and Brian Grazer. Nikolaj Arcel, who is directing The Dark Towermovie, and screenwriter Anders Thomas Jensen are writing the script for the show and will also executive produce. A showrunner has yet to be named for the series.
Goldsman spoke briefly about how the movie and the TV show will connect: "In the movie, Roland is suffering tremendous loss. The most concrete, personal, existential heartbreak a character can have. If the movie chronicles his final reach toward hope again, the TV show is the loss of that hope."
The producer also promised that the TV show would be a much more faithful adaptation than the movie, which actually acts as a sequel to the book series, remixing certain events to fit the constraints of a film script.
MRC also released a cool, new promo that teases the setting of the show. It's a map of the different places in the Barony of Mejis, where most of Wizard and Glass takes place:
Roland's instructor, Cort, and his original ka-tet, Cuthbert and Alain, will appear on the show, although none of those roles have been cast yet.
For now, you can expect to see The Dark Tower in theaters on Aug. 4, 2017.
The Black Company, the popular hybrid fantasy novel series of Glen Cook, heads to television starring Eliza Dushku.
It’s safe to say that HBO’s Game of Thrones remains the gold standard for television adaptations of epic fantasy novel series. However, with that series heading for a designated conclusion in 2018, it appears that more fantasy novel television adaptation projects are stepping up to fill the vacuum left in its wake. One such project, a promising adaptation of Glen Cook’s The Black Company, comes to the table with a star in place and a celebrated executive producer.
It has been announced (via Deadline) that Cook’s popular hybrid fantasy series The Black Company is getting the serial television treatment developed by IM Global Television and a company coalition of David Goyer’s Phantom Four and Eliza Dushku’s Boston Diva Productions. Pertinently, regarding the latter, Dushku, a perennial favorite actress of the sci-fi/action genres, will also star in The Black Company television project for a most potent of roles, playing “the Lady,” a dark sorceress who becomes a fundamental figure regarding the balance of power in the centuries-sprawling mythology.
The ever-prolific David Goyer (The Dark Knight Trilogy, Da Vinci’s Demons) will executive produce alongside with Kevin Turen (Birth of a Nation, All Is Lost). Eliza Dushku will be credited as a producer through Boston Diva along with Nate Dushku and Ami Lourie, joined by Sam Maydew of Silver Lining Entertainment. As IM Global Television President Mark Stern states:
“Glen Cook’s books turn the traditional fantasy adventure tropes on their ear with wry, dimensional characters and a modern sensibility. We’re excited to explore this intricate and exciting world for television with David and Kevin along with Eliza, Nate, Ami and Sam.”
The Black Company is set in a world ruled under darkness by the Lady (Dushku), who, after being freed from centuries of imprisonment, betrayed her more powerful spouse the Dominator, taking control of the world. The Lady often utilizes the lethal services of the titular Black Company, a unit of amoral mercenaries, to keep potential usurpers at bay. However, members of the Company start to question their deeds upon learning that a messianic embodiment of good, the White Rose, has been reborn. The series follows the Company across forty years through an epochal war. Dushku herself is keenly aware of the ambitions involved, stating:
“The Black Company is vast in scope yet remains fundamentally relevant through the morally ambiguous choices it presents at every turn. We are excited to bring Glen Cook’s classic story to life with Mark and David, luminaries in the cinematic pursuit of science fiction and epic fantasy, who will inevitably assemble poignant characters embroiled in jaw-dropping action.”
Indeed, “vast” is putting things mildly, since The Black Company, published from 1984-2000, currently spans nine novels (ten, counting a spinoff,) and a 2018 release imminent called Port of Shadows taking place between the first two entries. Thus, there is already a sprawling mythology in place from author Glen Cook (also known for the Garrett P.I. series,) from which to draw inspiration for a very long time. Of course, we’ll have to wait a while to see how and where this series manifests.
The fans have won! Young Justice: Outsiders — aka Young Justice Season 3 — is now in production, with a 2018 release date.
Critically-acclaimed Young Justice animated series was canceled after two seasons back in 2013, never to be heard from again... or so it seemed. Fast forward three years and Warner Bros. Animation announced that it has begun production on season three of the action-animated series, to be called Young Justice: Outsiders, based on some of the most popular characters from DC Comics.
Young Justice Season 3 Release Date
Young Justice Season 3 has a official release date! Well, roughly. Warner Bros. Television announced that Young Justice: Outsiders would be hitting a "DC-branded direct-to-consumer digital service" sometime in 2018. The DC-specific digital service will also include live-action drama series Titans, a new show from Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns, Greg Berlanti, and Sarah Schechter.
According to an official press release:
Season three promises new twists, turns and dangerous new threats for the team, but most importantly, the opportunity for fans to finally continue the adventures of some of their favorite Super Heroes.
The coming-of-age series will continue to follow the lives of Nightwing, Robin, Aqualad, Kid Flash, Superboy, Miss Martian as they "strive to prove to their legendary mentors, as well as to themselves, that they have what it takes to be heroes." The first two seasons made waves a few years ago for their rich storytelling and impressive visuals. Hopefully, season three will be up to par.
Young Justice Season 3 Poster
So, why the change of heart? According to Sam Register, President of Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Digital Series:
The affection that fans have had for Young Justice, and their rallying cry for more episodes, has always resonated with us. We are excited to bring the show back for this loyal fanbase and to provide an opportunity for new viewers to discover this excellent series.
Original producers Brandon Vietti and Greg Weisman will be returning to the series.
Young Justice Season 3 Synopsis
Here's an official synopsis for Young Justice Season 3...
In Young Justice: Outsiders, the teenage Super Heroes of the DC Universe come of age in an animated world of super-powers, Super-Villains and super secrets. In the highly anticipated new season, the team faces its greatest challenge yet as it takes on meta-human trafficking and the terrifying threat it creates for a society caught in the crossfire of a genetic arms race spanning the globe and the galaxy.
NBC’s DC Comics world-set sitcom Powerless was just pulled from the schedule, possibly a sign of things to come.
It appears that NBC sitcom Powerless could be on the verge of powering down, judging by the network’s latest move. The series, set in a DC Comics superhero-inhabited world, capitalized on the comic book movie/show craze, showcasing a team of embattled Wayne Security R&D employees in their ordinary existences amongst a city filled with the fantastical. However, inauspiciously, NBC has just pulled the series from its schedule.
The news came via tweet by Powerless executive producer Patrick Schumacker, who, within the confines of the 140-character post matrix, managed to ambiguously convey both uncertainty and lament. Powerless just aired Episode 9 of Season 1 on April 20, which yielded 2.03 million viewers, which was a slight uptick from the previous week’s 1.99 million. However, with NBC's abrupt shelving of the series, the remaining two produced episodes will be left in a state of flux until something is arranged – be it an off-peak airing or simply a post-season dump as exclusives to the Season 1 DVD/Blu-ray or in streaming form. Currently, Powerless averages 2.291 million viewers for NBC on Thursday nights.
#Powerless will not air this week or next. This, I know for sure. I can guess some other things but they're not good. Thanks for watching.
— Patrick Schumacker (@PMSchumacker) April 25, 2017
Powerless stars Vanessa Hudgens as Emily Locke, a recently-hired supervisor to a group of engineers at Wayne Security, whose sanguine nature sometimes clashes with ennui-afflicted cohorts Teddy (Danny Pudi), Ron (Ron Funches), Jackie (Christina Kirk), Wendy (Jennie Pierson) and her conceited/clueless middle-management boss and forgotten cousin of Bruce Wayne, Van Wayne (Alan Tudyk). However, the series that NBC aired was the result of a significant evolution from its original vision, which was supposed to center on an insurance agency that deals with the messy aftermath of superhero incursions. The original, unaired pilot even maintained a different dynamic, with Hudgens’s Emily as a jaded established employee who hated being stuck with superhero messes.
While Powerless arguably had sporadic moments of genuine mirth, feedback for the series has been generally unkind and its DC Comics setting, acknowledged by obligatory references to the franchise superheroes, often feels like pandering, rather than earnest comic book fan service. Nevertheless, it will certainly be interesting to see what NBC does with Powerless. While cancellation seems to be the likely fate, the show has already been radically retooled. Thus, it could be the case that the network decides to salvage the series with one more retooling.
The long in development Titans live action TV series is back on, and will premiere in 2018.
A few years back, word got around of a Nightwing and the Teen Titans TV series, known simply as Titans, that Warner Bros. Pictures was developing for cable network TNT. Akiva Goldsman wrote a pilot script (we have some details on that here), and things were moving along before the plug was pulled. We figured this project was dead.
It turns, out, Warner Bros. was just biding their time. Instead, Titanswill be one of the centerpieces (along with Young Justice Season 3) of a new, subscription digital TV service that will launch in 2018.
Here's the official synopsis for Titans:
Titans follows a group of young soon-to-be Super Heroes recruited from every corner of the DC Universe. In this action-packed series, Dick Grayson emerges from the shadows to become the leader of a fearless band of new heroes, including Starfire, Raven, and many others. Titans is a dramatic, live-action adventure series that will explore and celebrate one of the most popular comic book teams ever.
Akiva Goldsman (Underground, the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery, and, of course, Batman and Robin) is back as writer, which makes us wonder how much of that original pilot script remains, along with DC President and CCO Geoff Johns, and DC TV guru Greg Berlanti. Goldsman, Johns, Berlanti will be joined by Sarah Schechter (Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Supergirl) as executive producers of the series from Weed Road Pictures and Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.
No word yet on whether this takes place in the same universe as the other DC superhero TV shows, but given the "multiverse" approach we've seen so far, it's a safe bet.
As far as the roster goes, the "and many others" from that synopsis is worth noting. Goldsman's previous Titans pilot script also included Barbara Gordon and Hawk and Dove. Geoff Johns just tweeted that we can expect Beast Boy in the lineup this time, as well.
We'll update this with more information as it becomes available, but this is very exciting news!
The latest issues of Action Comics are a perfect opportunity for Superman fans to get reacquainted with the character.
This article contains some spoilers for DC Universe: Rebirth and recent Superman comics.
It has been nearly a year since the release of DC Universe: Rebirth, an 80 page special tasked with relaunching the company’s entire line of superhero comics and making them feel like, well, DC Comics again. While Rebirth wasn’t intended strictly as a reset of the poorly-received New 52, the central concept, that something altered reality so that certain relationships were altered and others forgotten entirely, was loose enough to keep the “good lord, DC is rebooting again” howls down to a low roar, and effective enough as a mission statement to get fans (like this writer) who were frustrated by the tonal drift of the previous years back on board.
While nearly every Rebirth book offered an easy jumping-on point for new (or old) readers, there was still one major problem: Superman.
Superman was one of the most drastically changed characters by the New 52. In 2011's Action Comics #1, Grant Morrison and Rags Morales gave him a new origin, hearkening back to the character’s late ‘30s social justice roots, as a jeans and t-shirt working class champion. While in the rest of DC's line, all set five years later, he was a fully-fledged superhero, wearing an awkward new costume with a high collar, and fighting a mostly new assortment of sci-fi menaces.
Morrison and Morales’ excellent start on Action Comics was quickly marred by uneven fill-in art and an overambitious, rushed conclusion that, while interesting, did little to connect the dots with the rest of the DCU or answer additional lingering questions about Superman's new history. The character floundered throughout the New 52 era, and despite a parade of excellent creative teams (in addition to Morrison/Morales, we had Scott Snyder/Jim Lee, Geoff Johns/John Romita Jr., and Greg Pak/Aaron Kuder all trying their best), this slightly angrier, more alien Supes never really felt like DC’s flagship hero.
I’m generally of the opinion that continuity is a tedious, often unnecessary hobgoblin of the comic fan's mind, but Superman’s problems could be seen as a microcosm of what was wrong with the New 52. Superman clearly had a fresh start, but others didn’t. For example, Batman and his endless parade of sidekicks carried on as they always had. But Supes? Well, that was trickier. His marriage to Lois Lane was erased and it was never satisfactorily explained as to whether or not he had ever fought Doomsday, died, and returned. Other elements of his history were equally murky, since they never bothered filling in that five year gap between his jeans and t-shirt days and when he met the Justice League.
Adding to the confusion was the revelation that the Lois Lane and Clark Kent from the pre-Flashpoint DCU were hiding out in the suburbs of the New 52, still married, and raising their young son, Jon Samuel Kent. Conveniently, just as Rebirth kicked off, the New 52 Superman evaporated in a burst of red energy, leaving our slightly older, wiser, and more recognizable Clark as the only Superman in town.
While most of DC’s Rebirth books have been easy to pick up from the first issue with a minimum of continuity baggage, the Superman titles remained tied to the central mystery of why the hell there were two Supermen and Lois Lanes in the first place. Complicating things even further (if you can believe that) was the fact that every superhero in the DCU was well aware that this Superman, the one so recognizably “real” to readers, wasn’t the same guy they had spent the last few years having adventures with. It made for some tortured exposition in every book he popped up in over the last year.
Well, I have good news. That’s all over now.
Those of you who wanted no part of the New 52, who got a headache just reading my abridged and simplified version of these events, and who just want to read some Superman comics again finally have their official Rebirth jumping on point. You can consider Action Comics #977 (which arrived two weeks ago) and this week’s Action Comics #978 an official starting point. You don’t even need to read the four part Superman Reborn story which preceded it (which involved the reality warping imp Mr. Mxyzptlk unintentionally causing the merging of both Supermen because...ummmm...just don't worry about it).
Instead, Action Comics #977 picks up with Superman trying to get his own head straight since his reality and existence were altered by Mxyzptlk in Superman Reborn. As a result, he lets the crystal technology of the Fortress of Solitude tell him his origin story, and over the course of two issues, fans finally have all their questions answered. The official origin now contains elements of John Byrne’s 1986 Man of Steel, Mark Waid and Leinil Yu’s 2003 Birthright, and Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s 2009 Secret Origin, with a few additional pieces of inspiration from Superman: The Movie, Superman: The Animated Series, Smallville, and the 2013 Man of Steel film. Like so many of the rest of the Rebirth titles, it's a kind of "greatest hits" version of the Superman mythology.
Now, all of the important moments of the pre-New 52 Superman continuity took place as we remember them (including Lois and Clark's marriage, and Superman's death and return) while certain elements of the New 52 continuity still happened, but to THIS (the “original”) Superman, not the New 52 version of the character. Additionally, when the Supermen merged, it altered reality in such a way that now the entire DCU only ever interacted with and experienced this Superman. The other one never existed.
Is it a cheat? Maybe. But who cares? Considering how exhausted fans are by endless storylines designed to explain away the migraine-inducing minutiae of comic book continuity, this is a refreshing approach, and one that can lure in new readers looking to get a sense of what Superman comics are about these days and old ones who want their old familiar Superman back.
Writer Dan Jurgens, of course, had a hand in some of those key Superman adventures of the 1990s, and he’s aided here by solid artwork from Ian Churchill and Carlo Barberi. If only DC didn’t insist on double shipping Action Comics (and so many of their other books, the only truly regrettable component of the Rebirth era), this story might have been better served with one artist handling both issues. I should be clear, this isn’t a knock on either artist, but since 977 and 978 serve as kind of one super-sized comic, it would have made sense to get one consistent art style throughout.
While you can certainly make a case that nobody ever needs to read or see Superman’s origin story in any form ever again, this was an unavoidable, and completely necessary step. These two issues of Action Comics boil down approximately 15 years of fictional history into two easily digestible comics, and in a relative handful of panels answer all of the questions that everyone has been dodging for nearly six years. But more importantly, for the first time in far too long, it feels like we have the real Superman back.
Mike Cecchini contains approximately as much Superman knowledge as a handful of Kryptonian crystals. He often babbles about Superman stuff on Twitter.
While Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has former enemy Nebula joining the team, it seems that the first film originally planned her death.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 quickly approaches, marking the highly-anticipated sequel to a 2014 team entry that was the risky dark horse of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, one of the more notably touted occurrences in the sequel, with Karen Gillan’s former foe Nebula joining up with the titular team, becomes more poignant in the context of a revelation about the character’s originally planned fate in the first film.
Speaking to Digital Spy, Gillan unveiled an intriguing anecdote about Nebula’s evolving role in the Guardians mythos, going from villain to kind-of-hero: It seems that Nebula was originally slated to die in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. When asked if she could have imagined that Nebula’s arc would end up the way it did when she first started fielding the role, Gillan provides a potent answer, stating:
"No, I did not actually. I definitely had a feeling that there was room for the character to expand in the future, but she was originally supposed to die in the first movie, I think I remember in the script.”
Gillan, former Doctor Who companion, star of the ill-fated ABC sitcom Selfie and co-star of this month’s drama The Circle, initially shaved her famously red locks for her Guardians of the Galaxy role as the alien rogue Nebula and apparently saw the role as a one-off. In the first film, working on behalf of Lee Pace's villain Ronan, she tangled with the team, specifically, Zoe Saldana’s Gamora, Nebula’s step-sister through father-figure Thanos. However, contrary to the original script, the cybernetically-modified blue-skinned beauty managed to escape the film’s climactic events, living to fight another day after having displayed impressive fighting skills and enhanced durability. As Gillan further explains of Nebula’s role in sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2:
“She obviously did not die, then I found out that she was coming back in the second movie and then I found out we got to explore all these amazing things about her past and her relationship with Gamora, her sister, so I was really happy."
It’s rather interesting that an early Guardians of the Galaxy script, written by director James Gunn and Nicole Perlman, would have a fateful Marvel Comics character such as Nebula die in her first film appearance. Fans familiar with Marvel Comics’ Infinity Gauntlet 1991 comic bookevent series – the inspiration for next year’s mega-movie event Avengers: Infinity War and its unnamed 2019 sequel – know that Nebula plays a key role, at least in the comic version of the story. Nebula, the purported granddaughter of Thanos in the comics, helps the Mad Titan in his megalomaniacal endeavor to achieve omnipotence with the Infinity Gauntlet until she betrays him, taking the Gauntlet for herself in an omipotent ownership that would be cut short after it ends up on the hand of Adam Warlock.
Nevertheless, Nebula joins the titular "a-holes" in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which hits theaters on May 5. She’s also booked to reprise the role in Avengers: Infinity War in a run that just might emulate her comic book case of celestial kleptomania when that film arrives on May 4, 2018.
The Teen Titans are getting a live action TV series in 2018 and we wonder about the details of the show.
Nightwing and the Teen Titans are coming to television, thanks to a pilot from Akiva Goldsman for TNT, and the timing couldn't be better. At a time when superhero dramas, particularly DC Comics related ones, are in an almost impossible ascendancy on TV, Titans has the potential to mine some of the best comic storytelling of its era, particularly Marv Wolfman and George Perez's incredible run on New Teen Titans in the '80s. Thanks in no small part to the groundwork laid in those comics, Nightwing and the Teen Titans are uniquely suited for cable TV.
Fans have been clamoring to see Nightwing in live-action for nearly twenty years. Sure, they teased us a little in the Joel Schumacher Batman films (notably with elements of Chris O'Donnell's Robin costume in Batman and Robin), and even more in The Dark Knight Rises (I'd still pay several times to see Christopher Nolan direct Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a Nightwingmovie), but we've never properly seen Dick Grayson strike out on his own in the black and blue (or black and red, depending on which era you're reading) garb. Now we're not only going to get Dick Grayson on TV, but also on the big screen, in an actual Nightwing movie (which has no relation to this project).
Nightwing has proven relentlessly popular over the last 30 years. There's a combination of factors at work: the cool name, the even cooler costume (not the disco v-neck one), and the fact that Dick Grayson brings a little more swagger and humor to his brand of superheroics than his pointy-eared mentor. Acrobatic showmanship, a hint of martial arts, some tonfa sticks, a sleek outfit, and you've got a character who is about as fun and appealing as a superhero can be this side of Spider-Man.
Nightwing is also unique in that there's an implicit understanding with the audience. All anyone has to know is that "he was Robin" to get the fact that he already has 10 years of crime fighting experience under his belt, and the showrunners won't have to fill in too many blanks.
While this may seem shallow, it's still worth pointing out one more time that Nightwing has a perfect, remarkably simple superhero costume that should look terrific in live action. You get someone with the build and athleticism that Stephen Amell brought to Arrow, put him in a functional Nightwing costume, and it will be pretty tough to screw this up. Just take the costume from the Young Justice animated series and duplicate that as closely as possible, and this should look just fine. Remember when The Vampire Diaries' Steven R. Mcqueen hinted he wanted the part a couple of years ago? You think he's still interested?
The Batman Connection
Despite the continued success of Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl, the simple fact remains that Batman is Warner Bros.' safest, most bankable media star. Note who got top billing in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The easiest way to introduce a bevy of lesser-known characters to a TV viewing audience is to anchor them firmly in a world that casual fans understand.
While it's been years since we've last seen Dick Grayson in the flesh on screen, and folks who are less familiar with comic book lore may not know the name Nightwing, they all know the name Robin. For many, the concept of Batman's kid sidekick growing up and stepping out of his mentor's shadow will seem like quite a novel concept. And even if we never actually see Batman/Bruce Wayne, the knowledge that he's only a batphone call away for Dick if the situation (or the ratings) get dire should be enough to keep folks tuning in.
The wording in the announcement said that "Dick Grayson emerges from the shadows." That probably means we'll get to see Dick choose his Nightwing identity, but the fact that he's only recently stepped out of Batman's shadow should allow lots of teases about Gotham City's most famous resident.
So far, all we know for sure is that the team will consist of Nightwing, Starfire, Raven, and Beast Boy. But the announcement indicated that there would be "many others" involved, too. An earlier version of this project also included Barbara Gordon and Hawk and Dove. This probably won't be the end of it, though. Looking at the most iconic Teen Titans lineup there are some notable omissions.
Could we get Keiynan Lonsdale to as Wally West/Kid Flash on here? Does the fact that Vic Stone/Cyborg is tied up in the Justice League movie mean he's off limits for the show? And what about Donna Troy/Wonder Girl? At the very least, we're going to see a significant representation of the most potent Titanslineup, even if everyone can't make it to the party right away.
We still don't know if Titans will exist in the same superheroic television universe as the other CW shows, but with Greg Berlanti on board, we know it will at least be part of DC's TV "multiverse."
Keep in mind that when Marv Wolfman and George Perez took over creative duties on Teen Titans in 1980, DC Comics wasn't exactly known for the kind of extended superhero storytelling that Chris Claremont and John Byrne had been busy perfecting over on Uncanny X-Men at Marvel. Wolfman and Perez were "writing for the trade" long before there was such a thing, and several of their stories are so tailor-made for season-long cable TV arcs that you would almost think they were written with exactly that in mind.
"The Judas Contract," something probably better suited to a show's second season (and recently adapted as an animated movie), is probably the defining Titanstale. Involving the infiltration of the team by a new young hero and the subsequent betrayal and fallout, it practically reads like a short season of a cable drama.
While we haven't heard anything yet to officially indicate that Donna "Wonder Girl" Troy will be part of the team, she's part of the same iconic lineup that includes the confirmed Nightwing, Starfire, and Raven, and it just wouldn't feel like the Titans without her, right? The "Who is Donna Troy" storyline about Donna discovering more about her difficult past, is another tale that could easily drive a b-plot all season long.
And don't even get us started on Raven, daughter of a demon, and her Dad, the demon Trigon. In fact, let's talk about some of those villains...
If there is one substantial stumbling block for Titans, it might be that two of its most important villains were big baddies on Arrow. But while the Brother Blood of Arrowbore only passing resemblance to the supernatural cult leader of the comics (despite a terrific performance by Kevin Alejandro), leaving him open to a more powerful/supernatural interpretation on this show, Arrowdid a much more thorough job with Slade "Deathstroke" Wilson (played by Manu Bennett). That one may be a tougher act to follow, unless they're able to actually use Manu Bennett on this show for the role.
Trigon, Brother Blood, and Deathstroke may not be household names like the Joker or Lex Luthor, but without spoiling any of this for fans less familiar with the comics, each are capable of manipulating an entire season's worth of twists and turns all on their own. And who knows what lesser villains they may enlist, or who might make their way over from Gotham City to annoy Nightwing?
We're looking forward to seeing what they do with this, but done right, Titans could end up being the very best of the latest crop of superhero shows.
Warner Bros. wants to make a Sandman movie, but Morpheus' creator knows that he belongs on TV instead.
I realize that in the age of "peak TV" it's easy to get greedy and just start thinking that everything should be a TV series. Why wait years in between installments when your favorite piece of intellectual property is adapted for the screen when you can get your fix weekly, right? I'm guilty of this, too. But sometimes, well...sometimes it's the right thing to do.
Let's take DC's Sandman, one of the most celebrated comics of the '80s and '90s. Neil Gaiman and a pantheon of brilliant artists produced what is considered by many to be the definitive finite extended comic book series. Sandman is a mythology unto itself, with a story that spans centuries, and its measured, slow burn approach feels like it anticipated the prestige cable drama format by about 10 years.
Warner Bros. is, of course, intent on turning Sandman into a big budget movie. As recently as last year, Joseph Gordon-Levitt was getting set to produce (and possibly direct and star) with Eric Heisserer (Arrival) working on a screenplay. It fell apart. At the time, he confessed that a story like this isn't really something that's suited for the big screen.
Well, Neil Gaiman agrees. And right now, he should know. Mr. Gaiman is currently celebrating the imminent release of Starz's small screen adaptation of his best novel, American Gods (something else that might have been a little too much for one film), and while promoting it, the inevitable question of the Sandman movie came up.
"If I had control over Sandman,"Gaiman told The Hollywood Reporter, "which I do not, because I signed the deal when I was 26, and I knew what I was getting into," he would send it to TV.
"For a long time, I've been saying with a movie, you'll have to throw so many things out," Gaiman said. "Why not... take all the bugs in Sandman, and make them features. The fact that you have 75 issues, plus a whole bunch of stories? You have 80 episodes. That's a good thing! The fact that you have adult themes and adult things? That's now a good thing. It will be very strange to take Sandman to TV, but I really do think it's the most important thing we could do."
There's a certain irony in the fact that Lucifer, who was a Sandman supporting character, has his own TV series that's about to enter its third season on FOX. Of course, that show has little resemblance to the comic version, and we wouldn't necessarily endorse such a drastic departure for something like Sandman. Eventually, Warner Bros, who have been trying to make a Sandman movie for well over 20 years now, might finally figure out what fans, and Neil Gaiman, have known all along. "You can't crack it, because it's too big!"
The modern version of Guardians of the Galaxy came from meager beginnings and exploded over time. We have a helpful guide for you.
With the success of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy films, the old question once again arises. Where does someone who likes the movies start with the comics?
Surprisingly, when it comes to Guardians of the Galaxy comics, the reading path is relatively streamlined...to a point (things get scattershot once Marvel realizes Quill and company are a money factory). There’s a real starting point and you honestly don’t have to go back to the characters’ original issues. Rocket Raccoon’s early adventures are entirely different from how we know him today, Groot didn’t become a loveable scamp until the mid-00s, and the whole starting point of the Guardians as we know them was when Drax got a bit of a reboot.
If you’re new to comics or don’t know too much about Marvel, remember that there are two different kinds of Guardians of the Galaxy. The originals were heroes from the future, but you don’t really need to read those. The link between them and the current Guardians is mentioned here and there, but they’re not worth studying up on. For the Guardians you know and love from the movie, you really don’t have to go that far back. How convenient is that?
Enjoy this road map to what you need to read to get into Guardians of the Galaxy. I'm trying really hard not to get into spoiler territory, but sometimes that can't be helped. For instance, one of the books is called The Thanos Imperative. That very title is a spoiler.
Here we go...
DRAX THE DESTROYER (2005-2006)
This miniseries is widely considered the moment when Marvel decided to really push the cosmic corner of their universe, which previously had mostly been fodder for stories about how much Jim Starlin loves Thanos. Fittingly, this is a new beginning and it starts with a character that really needed a new coat of paint.
For years, Drax the Destroyer was considered nothing more than “Space Hulk” because, honestly, that’s all they gave us. There was an interesting backstory buried in there, but at the end of the day, he was a big, green, angry, dumb, super-strong guy dressed in purple. He was basically the Hulk with a hate-on for Thanos.
This four-issue miniseries works on literally rebuilding the character. Drax is on a prison transport that crashes onto Earth. There, he forms a bond with an antisocial girl named Cammi (think Mandy from Grim Adventures) while fighting off some of the fellow space prisoners. Stuff happens and Drax ends up reborn in a less bulky body and is more about taking people out with his cunning and killing skills than, "DRAX SMASH!"
Basically, he wasn't the Hulk anymore. He became much more like Riddick. Like, he is so blatantly Vin Diesel, which makes it funny how they did a Guardiansmovie with Vin Diesel playing a completely different role while casting “poor man’s Vin Diesel” as Drax.
This series is luckily collected in the same books as...
You might as well just save yourself some time by getting the collected editions for this, since it has everything you need to read as well as the Drax the Destroyer miniseries before it. Otherwise, here’s how it works. They did a one-shot called Annihilation: Prologue. In this comic, we get to see a bunch of our players and the initial look at our threat, the Annihilation Wave. Who’s behind it, I won’t spoil in case you don’t know. What I will spoil is that by the end of the first issue, it looks like everyone is screwed.
From there, we get four four-issue miniseries that take place concurrently against the same threat: Silver Surfer, Nova, Super-Skrull, and Ronan. Yes, Ronan the Accuser, crazy movie villain, is a protagonist. His miniseries introduces Gamora to the Marvel cosmic resurgence while Drax and Cammi show up in Nova’s book.
Thanos is also a pretty big deal in all of this, even if he isn’t the main villain. We still don’t have the Guardians of the Galaxy yet, but we’re getting many of the core characters. Peter Quill has a supporting role that I totally forgot about, but that’s because he’s a lot different from how we know him these days. Plus the Nova series is the first of many footprints that Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning will leave when it comes to cosmic Marvel.
Once those four minis end, we get Annihilationproper. There, it’s a big team-up between all the remaining heroes from the different stories. It’s really awesome and you’d be a fool to skip it. Afterwards, there’s a two-issue epilogue called Annihilation: Heralds, which ties up a loose end in the story. It’s a decent read, albeit not essential.
ANNIHILATION CONQUEST (2007-2008)
Annihilationdid well enough to get itself a follow-up and we’re led one step closer to Guardians of the Galaxy being a thing. Conquestis essentially the Guardians of the Galaxy origin story. It’s told in the same way as Annihilation, more or less. The prologue shows a new threat completely unrelated to what we got in Annihilation, but on the same level. It’s something that will spread across the universe and destroy all life if not stopped...if it can be stopped. At the center of this is Peter Quill, who blames himself for what's happening.
Again, we’re given four stories that run concurrently, then funnel into Annihilation: Conquest. The difference here is that at this point, Nova already has his own ongoing series, so the Conqueststuff takes place from Nova #4 to Nova #7. Otherwise, we also get miniseries for Starlord(no hyphen back in 2007), Quasar, and...ugh...Wraith.
Listen, if you are getting these via the single issues and not the trades, it’s totally okay to just pretend Wraithnever happened. Marvel’s been doing a good job with it.
As you can guess, the Starlordminiseries is a pretty big deal. Not only does it put Peter Quill in a leadership role, but it also reintroduces both Rocket Raccoon and Groot. Groot has the same speaking gimmick we know and love (or you hate because you hate fun), but is a bit of a jerk here. Rocket, on the other hand, is a bit more upbeat than what we’re used to. Still, the beloved Rocket/Groot bromance begins here.
Oh, and Mantis is there too. She's kind of a big deal now.
Once Annihilation: Conquest hits its first real issue, we find out who’s really behind the threat. Again, I won’t spoil who it is, but it is someone who is a bit well known to Marvel movie fans, so if you can read it surprised, you should be delighted.
No, it’s not Thanos.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2008-2010)
Guardians of the Galaxy #1-25: Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Paul Pelletier, Brad Walker and Wes Craig
Rather than do Annihilation 3: Die Darkman Die, Abnett and Lanning go directly to a Guardians of the Galaxy ongoing. The five members from the movie are all here as well as a handful of other characters. Some we’ll surely see in the future Marvel movies like Adam Warlock and others who we probably won’t like Bug. Bug’s awesome and all, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for him in Guardians of the Galaxy 3.
Guardians of the Galaxy itself isn’t an event, which means that you’ll have to prepare yourself for a handful of tie-ins to actual events. Stuff like Secret Invasion and War of Kings. Despite being another space-related event, War of Kings is something you don’t really have to worry about on its own. Just stick with this comic’s 25 issues without any real distractions. It’s the most straightforward run you’ll get on this whole list, so take it in.
Despite the distractions of event story tie-ins and time travel, Guardians of the Galaxy still gets to tell its main story, which is set up from day one when Mantis tells the reader that there’s a traitor in the midst, but she won’t tell the team because she's annoying like that. Regardless, it’s a great run and it’s what inspired the idea of giving the team a movie in the first place.
Plus, there’s even a quick Star-Lord vs. Ronan fight tossed in there before anyone knew that would be such a big deal!
THANOS IMPERATIVE (2010)
Around this time, Marvel had a habit of stealth canceling comics by having them lead into a miniseries and then walking away once it’s done. That’s what Thanos Imperative is to both Guardians of the Galaxy and Nova. The story is what should be the epic finale of the Abnett/Lanning cosmic run at Marvel, but not quite. I’ll get to that in a second.
The story has to do with an alternate universe called the Cancerverse. See, many years ago, Marvel killed off a superhero named Captain Mar-Vell and gave him a really sweet, touching death told in its own comic back when stuff like that didn’t happen so often. In this alternate dimension, Mar-Vell’s counterpart rules because Death has been taken out of the picture. Nobody dies. Life itself is a cancer and it threatens everything. It’s such a big threat that Thanos is on the same side as the heroes.
This one doesn’t have the same reading list gimmick as Annihilationand its sequel. Just read Thanos Imperative: Ignition and then the six-issue miniseries. There’s an epilogue issue called Thanos Imperative: Devastation, but don’t worry about it. That’s a launching point for The Annihilators, another attempt at creating a cosmic superhero team (featuring guys like Silver Surfer, Ronan, and Beta-Ray Bill), but that concept never really takes off.
Consider Annihilatorsextra credit, if only for the Rocket Raccoon backup stories.
AVENGERS ASSEMBLE (2012)
By the time we get Avengers Assemble, the whole Guardians of the Galaxy concept has been practically dead and buried. In fact, there are some major happenings in Thanos Imperative that completely affect the Guardians roster. Brian Michael Bendis doesn’t care about such things. He has a tendency to introduce characters in his stories written very differently from where he found them. Guys like the Hood, Luke Cage, the Sentry, and so on. He'll make them well-known, but on his terms.
His Avengers Assemblerun starts out as just an Avengers story, but soon stretches into something more cosmic, giving us the first meeting between the Avengers and the Guardians. Some huge plot points from Thanos Imperative are completely ignored, which rightfully annoyed fans. Bendis would finally get to explaining things about two years later, presumably because he got annoyed at readers bugging him about it. Or maybe he just didn't want it distracting from the initial relaunch for new readers.
This is a real turning point due to how Marvel was getting into full movie hype mode. Not only is this series meant to piggyback onto the success of the Avengersmovie, but it’s meant to reintroduce the Guardians of the Galaxy so that readers will be a bit more interested in their eventual film.
It also springboards into the next phase...
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2013-2015)
While I’ve harped on Bendis for his, “yeah, whatever, we’re doing this now,” storytelling, he’s still really good and there’s a reason why he’s pretty much Marvel’s top writer. His version of Rocket does get a bit angry and catchphrasey, but I’m not sure if that’s Bendis’ call or mandated to make him more in line with the then-eventual Bradley Cooper version.
While the roster changes a little bit, it has a rather interesting approach. You have the five movie characters and the others are attempts to get more eyes on the franchise. For example, early on, Iron Man joins the team. It’s great just for the small-fish-in-a-big-pond take on him where he’s no longer the smoothest, smartest man in the room and it humbles the hell out of him. Other members of the team include the current Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers, the one getting her own movie), Venom, and Angela.
If you don’t know who Angela is, don’t worry about it. She’s honestly more interesting due to the behind-the-scenes reasons for her being in this comic, but that would take too long to explain. Just enjoy her fun BFF relationship with Gamora.
Of course, it would be wasteful just to have one comic for these guys...
ROCKET RACCOON (2014-2015)
Being the big breakout star of the movie, Rocket naturally got his own solo series out of the deal. While the other members of the team cameo, the book ultimately has little to do with the Guardians outside of Groot. Instead, it focuses on the wacky space adventures of Rocket as he becomes raveled in a series of stories that are linked to his secret origins. It stands as its own thing and doesn't tie into the big picture, but if you're a fan of the character, it's worth checking out.
If anything, at least read the fifth issue. It's a self-contained story with a hilarious gimmick.
LEGENDARY STAR-LORD (2014-2015)
Also capitalizing on the movie’s success was a solo series about the team’s charismatic leader. While not as cartoony, it had the same goofball adventuring feeling as Rocket’s book. Peter wrestles with a lot of problems, such as feelings of vengeance, his own greed, a bounty on his head, and most challenging of all, maintaining a long-distance relationship. It also introduces the revelation that Peter has a half-sister out there in the universe, only she had the misfortune of being raised by their father.
Legendary Star-Lord is very light on the Guardians, but it does build towards the next big entry on the list.
THE BLACK VORTEX (2015)
Black Vortex is a mini-event crossover between the X-Men and the cosmic corner of Marvel. As a follow-up to the Marvel event Infinity, Thane (son of Thanos) teams up with Star-Lord's Earth-hating father J'son. Together, they amp themselves up with the Black Vortex, a special mirror that gives people crazy cosmic powers. Though with great power comes great conflict.
The X-Men, the Guardians, and Nova team up together to put a stop to this and even power themselves up. Then Ronan the Accuser gets involved because, what the hell, might as well have him clash with the Guardians since that's what the movie-going public knows.
Regardless, the adventure ends with the reveal of a union between the two superhero teams that will mean much for the Guardians for...well, about a year and a half, I guess.
In terms of Guardians of the Galaxy and Legendary Star-Lord, it takes place right before the end and only has an epilogue before those books come to a close. On the flipside, it comes towards the beginning of Guardians Team-Up.
GUARDIANS TEAM-UP (2015)
The title sums it up. The Guardians team up with different Marvel heroes in each issue as told by a different creative team. The first arc has them work alongside the Avengers in the comic book introduction of the movie-style incarnation of Nebula. After that, it's the Black Vortex tie-in issue.
Once that's settled, we get a bunch of done-in-ones. Gamora fights alongside She-Hulk. Rocket works with the Pet Avengers. Gamora swashbuckles with Nightcrawler. Drax tries to heist with Ant-Man. Silver Surfer and Groot do mopey space stuff. Star-Lord joins forces with Spider-Man. Then to finish it off, Deadpool and Rocket team up to face their mutual enemy Macho Gomez.
Nothing pressing in there, but at least we get to see a panel of Drax wearing Zubaz and a fanny pack.
As a follow-up to Rocket's series ending, Groot gets his own adventure. Groot insists on visiting Earth and it doesn't take long in their trip for Rocket to get captured. From there, it becomes a rescue mission where Groot teams up with three incompetent Skrulls, a robot programmed to pump gas, and obscure Marvel character Numinus. Plus the Silver Surfer shows up again.
Not only is this comic hilarious, but it also has a ton of heart, especially when we discover why Groot wants to see Earth so much. The book features a new origin for Groot and even retcons how he and Rocket met. Sadly, Annihilation: Conquest is swept under the rug.
I absolutely recommend reading this.
WHAT IF THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY TRIED TO FREE THANOS?
What If? Infinity: Guardians of the Galaxy: Joshua Williamson and Jason Copland
Marvel released a batch of comics relating to Infinityin one way or another. They gave us some great moments, like Norman Osborn wielding the Infinity Gauntlet and Black Bolt merging his power with Dazzler's to annihilate Thanos. But the most enjoyable one centered around the Guardians.
By the end of Infinity, Thanos was imprisoned in amber and the Illuminati secretly held them captive. This story shows that Guardians becoming aware of this, leading to a full-on Guardians vs. Illuminati battle. Not only is it lifted by Rocket's humorous narration (the panel where he imagines his own cartoon series is killer), but the ending is both badass and a nice middle finger to Earth's heroes.
See, once Secret Wars is over, Marvel goes full-on crazy with Guardians stuff. Not only do they get another ongoing and a high-concept spinoff, but all the heroes from the first movie get their own comics. While I'll get to the rest in a bit, Star-Lord is the one that feels rather important. It's a follow-up to Humphries' previous run, but essentially tells two stories. The latter is about expanding on the background of a major development in the main Guardians of the Galaxy book.
The other is a new look at Star-Lord's origin. Namely, it introduces Yondu into the fold. Yondu's always been an odd duck with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, since he's loosely based on the archer from the original, futuristic version of Guardians. Now we get to see a movie-friendly take on him that exists in the present. Apparently, he's the ancestor of the classic hero.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2015-2017)
Bendis finishes off his run on the characters and starts off with an interesting roster. Not only is Quill no longer the leader, but for a comic property that gradually fits into the public perception, it now has three team members who we most certainly won't be seeing as Guardians on the silver screen any time soon. This includes a brand new Star-Lord and, of course, the ever-loving Thing, who needs something to do now that Fantastic Four no longer has its own comic.
The series goes strong, but unfortunately the latter half centers around the garbage fire event known as Civil War II. Luckily, this is one of those things where you can read the tie-in story and not have to worry about reading the event story itself. If anything, it's worth powering through just for the explosive finale.
ROCKET RACCOON AND GROOT (2016)
Skottie Young's wacky space adventures with Rocket and Groot continue, though they never quite reach the heights of the first Rocket series, nor that Groot comic by Jeff Loveness. The first few issues deals with a story where due to some time-and-space weirdness, Rocket and Groot are presumed dead while Rocket is an amnesiac space dictator and Groot has carved messages into his bark like the guy from Memento.
Once that's done with, we get a bunch of one-shots until Nick Kocher takes over. From there, it again ties into Civil War II, but it's not bad at all, since Rocket and Groot get to team up with Gwenpool. Gwenpool is good.
If you're a wrestling fan, the existence of the Drax book is rather fascinating. After CM Punk left WWE because stars like Batista could just waltz in and take the high-profile spots from mainstays like Punk, Punk's star power lands him the ability to write a comic about Batista's cinematic alter-ego. Regardless, his collaboration with Cullen Bunn has plenty of energy and even leads to the wonderful image of Fin Fang Foom dressed as a farmer.
Feeling like an outcast among his superhero team, Drax decides to go off and kill Thanos. That doesn't happen due to his ship being a piece of crap and he instead gets roped into an adventure that includes space dragons, a redemptive Terrax, gladiator fights, and the return of his old sidekick Cammi.
If anything, read it for Hepburn's art style. It's fantastic.
GUARDIANS OF INFINITY (2015-2016)
As we've already established, there are two versions of the Guardians of the Galaxy. You have the distant future guys who had comics back in the 60s and the more modern day space team who this list is based on. BUT...what if there was another team? Let's say a thousand years ago? Guardians of Infinity is a big eight-issue team-up between all three iterations of the Guardians of the Galaxy. All written by Dan Abnett, one of the fathers of Guardians being such a big deal to begin with.
Not only that, but each issue has a backup story by a different creative team. One of which is co-written by Darryl "DMC" McDaniels. Sure, why not.
Fittingly, this series is written by Nicole Perlman, the co-writer of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. This story takes place in the past, showing how Gamora went from Thanos' puppet daughter to a more heroic warrior. Naturally, that means Nebula gets to have a presence as the comic tries its hardest to fit in with the film's continuity.
Gamora annihilates the Badoon horde responsible for her people's genocide, only to discover that there's a princess hidden away. Gamora seeks her out, partially out of revenge, partially to complete her mission, and partly out of relief of having something to live for.
ROCKET RACCOON (2017)
As a follow-up to the whole Civil War II nonsense, the Guardians are temporarily grounded. In fact, Grounded's the label they use for this and the next entry on the list. That means we get five issues of Rocket grumbling at how much Earth is the worst planet. Well, "Earth sucks," is the thing he says at least twice an issue.
It's your average fish-out-of-water story, only with a space raccoon who weirds out every single Earthling he comes across. Check it out as he tries to find a way off Earth while complaining about how lame Earth guns are and trying to evade Kraven the Hunter.
Man, Rocket vs. Kraven. How did it take us that long to get to that pairing?
Remember that whole fish-out-of-water thing I mentioned? At least Rocket has the excuse of being an alien. Peter Quill was born here. It's just...spending a lot of years in space will change your perceptions about home, I suppose.
Now nothing more than a random dude on Earth (with a laser gun and cool facemask), Quill becomes aimless and lonely. The only people he can confide in are Old Man Logan (due to sympathizing with his plight) and an old man he's forced to hang out with as community service. Hanging out with Logan leads to barfights and those aren't smiled upon by the law. Ironically, he starts paying off the fine by becoming a bartender at a supervillain bar.
And that's where we are with the Guardians of the Galaxy. All of these series have ended or are about to end and we're right about to start yet another collection of new comics. Gerry Duggan and Aaron Kuder are going to do a new Guardians of the Galaxy ongoing with the same five members as the first movie. Hell, they even have Baby Groot on the cover for the sake of synergy. Then we also have a new Rocket(no "Raccoon") series by Al Ewing and Adam Gorhan. Finally, Christopher Hastings and Flaviano will team up to give us I Am Groot.
Man, when it rains, it pours.
Everything goes over Gavin Jasper’s head, but you should still follow him on Twitter anyway.
The new version of King’s pyrokinetic thriller will be directed by Akiva Goldsman.
Stephen King’s 1980 novel Firestarter is going to be adapted as a feature film for the second time, it was announced on Thursday night (April 27) at the Overlook Film Festival in Mount Hood, Oregon. The news was revealed by producer Jason Blum (Get Out, Split, The Purge, just about every horror film out these last few years) and the man who will direct the picture, Akiva Goldsman.
King’s novel focused on a little girl named Charlie who develops the ability to start fires and control the flames with her mind. A secret government agency known as the Shop -- which injected Charlie’s parents with the drug that gave them moderate telekinetic abilities but passed along to Charlie her much more immense powers -- wants to use Charlie’s gift as a weapon.
The book was first adapted in 1984 by director Mark L. Lester (after John Carpenter walked away from the project over budget cuts), with a young Drew Barrymore as Charlie, David Keith as her father, Martin Sheen as the head of the Shop and George C. Scott as a Shop assassin who becomes obsessed with the girl. While the script was remarkably faithful to King’s novel, the overall production and performances -- especially Barrymore’s -- were deemed weak by the critics and the movie flopped. A TV miniseries sequel, Firestarter: Rekindled, surfaced in 2002 on the Sci-Fi Channel.
In other words, Firestarter is ripe for a remake, but…Akiva Goldsman? Yes, he won an Oscar for writing A Beautiful Mind, but his other writing credits include movies like I, Robot, The Da Vinci Code, The 5th Wave and others that did not come close to winning awards for anything. His sole directing credit until now is 2014’s disastrous A Winter’s Tale (although his latest one, Stephanie, debuted last night at the festival) and let’s not forget, he also wrote Batman & Robin. We can forgive a lot of things, but not that.
Goldsman also wrote the film version of King’s The Dark Tower, which is supposedly coming out this August and is said to be quite loosely adapted from King’s epic. Oddly, he won’t write Firestarter; that screenplay is being handled by Scott Teems. There’s no word yet on a release date.
The Flash movie is supposed to come out after Justice League, but it has hit some delays.
This article contains a Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice spoiler. You've been warned.
The Flash movie was supposed to go into production soon, but after losing its director late in 2016, that is now in doubt. Rick Famuyiwa, who replaced previous director Seth Grahame-Smith back in June left the project, apparently over the old, reliable "creative differences." Famuyiwa did a revision of the script that Grahame-Smith had written after work by Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
Whew. You got all that?
But with Famuyiwa gone, it's time for another pass on that script, and Variety reported in January that Joby Harold, who worked on the upcoming King Arthur: Legend Of The Swordfor Warner Bros., is taking a shot at a draft. And not just any shot, he's apparently doing the dreaded "page one rewrite."
The previous draft that Famuyiwa worked on had a role for Ray Fisher as Vic Stone/Cyborg, possibly as a significant piece of the movie. It's not clear if that will still be the case with Harold's draft.
So who is going to direct? According to Screen Junkies, Robert Zemeckis (the Back to the Future trilogy, for one thing) has been in Warner Bros. orbit for the director's chair, although they sound far more certain about this than other sources do, so don't put too much stock in this yet. I'm going to make some inquiries of my own, and I'll update this when we hear more.
The Flash Movie Release Date
At this point, it's all but certain that we can kiss that March 2018 release date goodbye.
The Flash is currently scheduled to open on March 16, 2018. While Warner Bros. hasn't officially moved that yet, they're going to. There's no way this one makes it to that particular finish line.
The Flash Movie Cast
Ezra Miller will play Barry Allen in The Flash movie, and he made his first appearance as the character in two brief sequences in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and another in an equally brief scene in Suicide Squad.
Kiersey Clemons (Dope) will play Iris West.
Billy Crudup (you may know him as Dr. Manhattan in Watchmen if you're looking for more comic book-centric roles) will play Barry Allen's father, Dr. Henry Allen.
The above image comes from the Justice League trailer, and it indicates that they're taking a similar approach to the Barry/Henry relationship as what we saw explored on The Flash TV series.
As for whether Ray Fisher will still be in the movie as Cyborg, DC Extended Universe executive producer Deborah Snyder may have revealed a little about that during an interview with Forbes a while back.
"As you can imagine, when we get to the Flash movie, Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher — who plays Cyborg — are kind of our youngest characters, and they have a really nice comradery with each other," Ms. Snyder said. "Ezra is super funny, so the tone of that film will be very different than the rest of them."
It's not clear if she's talking specifically about The Flash movie or if she's just referring to the room for different tones and points of view within the DC superhero movies. Teaming Flash and Cyborg would not only help set up Cyborg's solo movie, but might help set the film apart from some other superhero movies, too.
The Flash Movie Story
As for what form the movie might take, there are no real details available yet, but Ezra Miller seems to have given it some thought. "Barry Allen is the hero of the Silver Age, who follows a lot of really interesting discoveries in physics", he said. "It's like, where he comes from, we've figured out the event horizon was there, and then he was the character that was created through our mythos machine of comic books to break that event horizon so we could explore in fantasy. I think that's an interesting idea - and also what the fuck does that do to someone?"
One thing we know for sure, it won't have anything to do with The Flash TV series, so you can set that out of your mind. Miller commented on that a little a while back, saying "I think it's awesome! Come on, we're The Flash! It's parallel universes! Grant Gustin is The Flash and I'm The Flash - don't you see? It's the Event Horizon, we crossed it baby!"
There was a hint of the parallel universe angle (or certainly time travel) in the character's brief appearance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
The Flash Movie Costume
As you can see from the above image from the Justice League teaser, this is a more technologically-based costume than the one we see on the television series. There are indications he'll have a more low-tech version when we meet him in Justice League, before Bruce Wayne helps him get the new one together.
We'll update this with more official info as we get it.