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    Author Christie Golden returns to the dark side of Star Wars with an enjoyable, morally ambiguous tale.

    The best parts of Battlefront II: Inferno Squad read like good fanfiction. The characters think of their friends as their real family; two Imperial agents have to go undercover as a couple at a fancy wedding; and emotional relationships are heightened. Those are common subjects in the fanfic world, and I was delighted and amused to see them here. After the first half is over, the tie-in novel loses some steam, but fans who are ready to become invested in this elite Imperial team will probably be satisfied by the majority of the story.

    Let’s get this out of the way first: that title is goofy. Inferno Squad they are indeed, but most of the novel takes place while the four Imperial agents are undercover, trying to blend in with what remains of Saw Gerrera’s partisans after the Rebel extremist’s death on Jedha. As a tie-in to both both Star Wars Battlefront II and the Star Wars universe as a whole, the book has a lot of ground to cover, and it does it pretty neatly. Iden Versio, the only daughter of a high-ranking Imperial family, is placed in charge of the tean of elite high-ranking Imperials. Their mission is to go undercover, find out how the Partisans are targeting key Imperial leaders, and destroy the Rebel cell.

    From there, it’s a case of the Empire’s best and cruelest against the Rebellion’s messiest and most desperate. Most of the book is set at the Partisan base. After the galaxy-spanning events of Battlefront: Twilight Company, I was surprised that the team travels so little in Inferno Squad, but that isn't a problem. Instead, it feels like a puzzle, in which the reader works along with Iden to figure out the relationships and secrets among the Partisans. Unfortunately, some plot points are glossed over, or perhaps left for the game to tell - I was hoping for more resolution between Iden and Gideon Hask, who has both a deep friendship and a slight rivalry with Iden. Although it was suspenseful to wonder whether someone would blow their cover, the fact that the squad couldn’t spend much time together for risk of revealing their plan meant that the amount of character development possible between them was limited in the second half of the book.

    The four members of the undercover squadron are easily distinguishable and have complex internal lives, even if the dialogue is a bit stiff. The beginning of their missions against the Partisans is a bit rushed, and there are times where the characters are clearly explaining themselves to forestall readers’ questions. But I generally found them engaging, especially Iden.

    Iden never thinks of herself as cartoonishly evil, even though she and her team sometimes display the proud viciousness of a cat dropping a dead animal on the doorstep. She tends to blurt things out even when she doesn’t mean to, but that isn’t her only negative trait. Although fellow Imperial officers think that she gained her rank due to her father’s prominence, the book shows that Garrick’s emotionally manipulative attitude toward his daughter hurt her as much as it helped. This is shown in a few notable moments. In one, Garrick refuses to honor Iden’s survival after the Death Star explosion, saying that she probably only fought drunken revelers. This clearly effects Iden’s own internal monologue: she is always waiting for her father to punish her, waiting for him to say that she isn’t good enough. Often, directly or indirectly, he does.

    Iden’s relationship with her father and her attitude in general were both decently well-drawn. She is clearly both strong-willed and utterly shaped by her father, even to an extent that she doesn’t realize. The Empire runs on hate and the Rebels run on hope - this is true even of noble Iden and the cut-throat Partisans. “If hope is all you have, then you already are nothing,” Iden thinks, and the fact that she believes this informs a lot of her decisions. Author Christie Golden never forgets to bring Iden’s situation back to her personal history.

    Iden’s second-in-command and best friend, Gideon Hask, gets less consistent character development, as I mentioned before. He both admires and competes with her, and the balance tips toward the latter near the end of the book without much resolution. He’s an enjoyable character, though, an “elegant” Imperial who reminded me a bit of Sinjir Rath Velus. The engineer Del Meeko and intelligence expert Seyn Marana are also characterized well enough, in part through their relationships with members of the Partisans. Both have some qualms about what they have to do not for the Empire, but for the Partisans.

    On the other side of the war are characters like Staven, the Mentor, and Dahna of the Partisans. Staven follows in Saw’s footsteps, and Gray continues the characterization that was set down for him in Rebel Rising by making him an organized leader with an undertone of macho sliminess. The Mentor’s mystique felt a bit unearned, but it wouldn’t be Star Wars without an old mentor figure. Similarly is the planet the Partisans inhabit: its perpetual twilight seems like an easy metaphor, but sometimes Star Wars needs those.

    The Sequel Trilogy era has introduced a lot of sympathetic characters from the Imperial ranks. Rae Sloane is perhaps the character who recurs the most and has grown the most in the new book canon. Grand Admiral Thrawn starred in an enormously popular novel of his own in the new canon. Later this year, we’ll get a novel about Captain Phasma. When I started Inferno Squad, I was concerned about how any author might be able to balance writing an Imperial character with the generally black and white morality of Star Wars. Iden is not a Force user compelled by a dark master, but it's still important to show that what she's doing is wrong. She is a young person shaped in large part by her family. The book portrays her actions as villainous, but prevents some of the bigger questions by pitting Inferno Squad against the Partisans instead of the larger Rebellion. Many Rebels would agree with her assessment of the Partisans, and her squad members have a variety of opinions beyond Imperial writ.

    It could have been easy to make these characters blind followers of the Empire, but they aren’t that, and they aren’t misunderstood heroes either. It’ll take Battlefront II to show exactly what story Inferno Squad will tell, but my main takeaway from the novel was that it portrays them as people. Iden’s drive to be the best - her belief that hope is a desperate resort by people who don’t have the skill to outmatch their enemies - makes her characterization clear. The novel wasn’t perfect, but definitely made me look forward to the campaign.

    Read and download the full Den of Geek SDCC Special Edition magazine here!

    ReviewMegan Crouse
    Jul 25, 2017

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    Dome Karukoski will direct Tolkien, a biopic about The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings author J.R.R. Tolkien.

    News Joseph Baxter
    Jul 25, 2017

    While the major works of John Ronald Reuel (J.R.R.) Tolkien have been adapted in an epic manner in contemporary film with director Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit Trilogy, a long-gestating project will covet another story connected to the influential author: namely, his own. While said project, a biopic to be titled Tolkien, has been in the pipeline for a few years, it has reportedly locked down a director and commenced casting.

    It is being reported by Deadline that Dome Karukoski will direct Tolkien, working off a script by David Gleeson (The Front Line, Cowboys & Angels) and actor-turned-writer Stephen Beresford (Pride). The Finnish director Karukoski is known for films from his home country such as 2017’s Tom of Finland, 2014’s The Grump and 2010’s Lapland Odyssey. With that creative crew set into place, casting for Tolkien is reportedly starting under the auspices of production company Chernin Entertainment at the behest of Fox Searchlight.

    This is the first major movement on the J.R.R. Tolkien biopic endeavor since las fall, when the same trade reported that the project – then-titled Middle Earth– had tapped James Strong (Broadchurch, Downton Abbey) to direct, working off a script by a burgeoning screenwriter Angus Fletcher. However, the premise of the project in its current form as Tolkien seems to be the same, chronicling the author’s youthful experience, in which friendships, love, and an outcast status at school, all leading to the horrors of the trenches in the First World War.

    Indeed, Tolkien explores the circumstances that shaped Tolkien into becoming the author of the fantasy novels and the fictional world whose title the biopic brandishes. The film will show how the marriage of young Tolkien to Edith Bratt was interrupted in 1914 by World War I. After some deliberation, Tolkien signed up for the military, experiencing four years of the world-altering global conflagration. The experiences would become the inspiration for Tolkien’s conception of 1937’s The Hobbit; a mythology he would expand exponentially with 1954-1955’s The Lord of the Rings novel trilogy, along with several supplemental Middle Earth-based stories, many of which would be published posthumously under the editorial stewardship of his son Christopher.

    Tolkien certainly has compelling source material to utilize in telling the iconic author's story, which was wrought in not only war, but a quirky romance. Moreover, it will be interesting for fans both casual and passionate to witness the events that drove a certain young second lieutenant in the British Army to conjure the magical, ethereal, quasi-medieval world of Middle Earth and weave the intricate details of its sprawling mythology.

    Read and download the full Den of Geek SDCC Special Edition magazine here!

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    Neill Blomkamp confirms that he will direct The Gone World, adapting a sci-fi time-travel film, based on an upcoming book.

    News Joseph Baxter
    Jul 25, 2017

    Since Neill Blomkamp’s long-discussed Alien sequel project was seemingly stultified by the recent underperformance of Alien: Covenant, the director is shifting his attention to another project that’s been on his wish list since late-2015 in The Gone World, a film adaption of the upcoming sci-fi-themed thriller novel of the same name by Tom Sweterlitsch.  

    Blomkamp confirmed his director status with 20th Centruy Fox for The Gone World by taking to Twitter, touting an advance copy of Sweterlitsch’s novel, which is currently set for release on February 6, 2018.

    The story of The Gone World takes place in 1997, centering on a woman named Shannon Moss, a member of a clandestine, X-Files-esque division of the NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service), who is tasked with investigating the mysterious murder of a Navy SEAL and to find the victim’s missing teenage daughter. However, this case exists well beyond the clearance of ordinary law enforcement, since it pertains to the spaceship, U.S.S. Libra, which evidence (and Moss’s past experiences,) point to being lost in a time travel incident. Thus, the investigation sends Moss to the future, specifically a possible future (due to the fragility of the timeline), where she discovers far-greater implications in an apocalyptic, humanity-ending cataclysm. – Quite the journey from a mere murder investigation.  

    The Gone World author Tom Sweterlitsch has already made an entertainment industry impact with his 2014 sci-fi novel Tomorrow and Tomorrow, a virtual reality thriller, which also has a film adaptation in the works, with Captain Fantastic helmer Matt Ross attached to direct. Indeed, the preemptive movie deal for Sweterlitsch’s yet-to-be-released follow-up novel is clearly an auspicious sign; something that early reviews already affirm. Sylvain Neuvel, author of Sleeping Giants, claims that it's a “gut-twisting tale” that “bends both time and the mind.”

    This should be an interesting project for the celebrated South African helmer Neill Blomkamp, who first made a global impact with his 2009 alien allegory District 9, followed up with 2013’s Matt Damon-starring Elysium and the 2015 robot drama Chappie. Indeed, the content of The Gone World should mesh well with Blomkamp’s repertoire of visual spectacle, mixed with a tinge of agitprop. In fact, based on the story description, this could end up becoming his most grandiose film.

    Read and download the full Den of Geek SDCC Special Edition magazine here!

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    We chat with Inhumans stars Serinda Swan and Anson Mount about the joyful relief felt after screening footage of Medusa's hair.

    News David Crow
    Jul 25, 2017

    In a world filled with social media critics who are quick to shower praise or utter condemnation at the drop of a hat, releasing a new project—especially one based on something as intensely popular as a Marvel property—can be a bit intimidating. Will it be faithful or sacrilege, creative or tacky? It is hard to “win” in this environment, especially when folks are basing their opinions on teasers and fleeting moments of special effects. This is something Inhumans star Serinda Swan is more than aware of when we sit down to chat the day after the Inhumans San Diego Comic-Con panel.

    The panel the night before went over well—and even had some fun at the expense of the online trolls who went digitally nuclear when the first Inhumans teaser dropped in May, revealing Swan as Medusa, an Inhuman queen famous for her magic-like hair that constantly moves with a life of its own. Due to the special effects being unfinished, the teaser included a wig that left diehard fans less than thrilled, and pop culture sharks out for blood in the water.

    Yet the SDCC panel began with Swan and Jeph Loeb, executive vice president of Marvel Television, mocking the derision at the redheaded wig that Swan now wears in the ABC series. Perhaps they knew they could, because only moments later they unveiled over 10 minutes of footage, plus an extended Inhumans trailer that featured Medusa’s hair in full spertine glory, proving it does have a fluid quality when it swims through the air like it were water, and defends the Inhuman queen from creepy attention.

    The audience erupted.

    Thus when I sat down with Swan and Anson Mount who plays the silent but regal Inhuman king, Black Bolt, I had to ask if there was any vindication the night before after all the online complaints.

    “What are you talking about?” Swan laughs. “With my hair?! Everyone loved it right off the bat.” She then appears to take delight in the character’s new reception post-SDCC.

    She says, “Yeah, it was really incredible to have Marvel back us up in that way. And this is the thing, Marvel does the most incredible CGI, they just do it…. I think the CGI of the hair is one of the first times they ever had to do it in history at this capacity, so it was just waiting and trusting. And yeah, when the critics first came out and talked about my wig head, it’s hard because I’m really invested in her and I love her. And I know this whole other side we can’t talk about yet, and so to have everybody come onboard last night and just see all the videos and the pictures, and just the swell of support? It meant the world to me.”

    Anson Mount who is no stranger to fervent fan communities after appearing on AMC’s Hell on Wheels, could relate to experiencing the intensity of a scrutinizing spotlight within mere seconds.

    “When the first trailer came out, I think I had my performance criticized in one review of the trailer of which I was onscreen for maybe six seconds,” Mount shrugs with a smirk. “I mean what do they see? But it’s just in the digital age when anybody can be in the ‘news media,’ which I say with air quotes, people are so eager to be a critic or to leave impressions about something—they’re willing to roll the dice. And that’s not journalism.” Mount also credits Digital Media, who has been working for months on all the special effects in Inhumans, including Medusa’s hair, which has only just begun to wrap its way onto fans’ screens.

    Swan reflects on this, as well as the thrill of seeing fans finally embrace her interpretation of the superheroine.

    “She’s been around since 1965,” Swan considers. “She started with like the Fantastic Four; she’s been with the X-Men; she’s one of the most diverse Marvel characters across the whole universe. So how do I bring her in this tiny slice with new technology in Hawaii, in a way that people haven’t seen before, and make them feel like I represented someone they have loved properly? It’s terrifying. So when I read those things sometimes, I’m like, ‘Oh my God! I’m so sorry, I promise we’re trying!’ So yeah, last night I went home with the biggest smile on my face and just felt like a million bucks. It was great.”

    Both actors also hope their versions of these characters will offer something fresh in the increasingly saturated superhero market. Whereas most superheroes are about normal people granted extraordinary abilities, particularly at Marvel, the Inhumans are literally based around royalty and the kind of strange psychology that breeds… even in beings with superpowers.

    Says Mount, “I think from the very beginning of drama, we’re interested in the gods, and from the Renaissance, we’re interested in the royals, because they deal with something that most of us don’t have to deal with, which is situations where politics is thicker than blood. There’s something about it that we watch thinking, ‘Would I be able to survive in this? What would I do? What kind of family member or royal would I be?’”

    Fans will get to ponder just that when Inhumans premieres first in IMAX theaters on Sept. 1 and then on ABC on Sept. 29.

    Read and download the full Den of Geek SDCC Special Edition magazine here!

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    The Gifted stars Emma Dumont, Jamie Chung, and Stephen Moyer tell us of how the X-Men series deals with modern bigotry, sexism, and racism.

    News David Crow
    Jul 25, 2017

    Of all the many, many creations in Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s extensive oeuvre, few have ever proven as potent for allegory and transmutative topicality as the mutants themselves. In other words, no superhero creation has been as fertile for political commentary as the X-Men. This is something that The Gifted, a new Fox network series set in the X-Men universe, is going to expand on in new and challenging ways for 2017. And it’s something the cast is very proud about.

    “Yeah, I’m going to say straight-up you guys, our show’s about bigotry,” actress Emma Dumont tells me during an interview for The Gifted after the series’ San Diego Comic-Con panel. “I’m sorry, but we see it in the first scene when Blink’s running for her life and a cop could easily kill her dead with zero consequences, because of prejudice, because of prejudging her for something people are uncomfortable with, that they don’t understand, because people are born with this thing, and that is literally where we live.”

    She’s not wrong on either count. The series indeed begins with Blink (Jamie Chung) being pursued due to looking different by police forces that aim to arrest her or worse. For being born in a minority group, she is aggressively targeted and she only escapes by the skin of her teeth in an impressive action sequence. From there, things only get more heated, and Dumont, who plays Magneto’s daughter Lora Dane, aka Polaris, is hopeful the show can start larger conversations, not unlike how Loganincorporated modern immigrant and refugee prejudices into its mutant lore earlier this year.

    “It is heartbreaking, but I hope this show throws up a mirror on society,” says Dumont. “Because it’s ridiculous and it is worth talking about, and so important. We’re shooting in Atlanta, which we love. We love filming in Georgia, because it was such a big part of the civil rights movement in the United States, and yeah our mutant underground is based on the underground railroad. I mean, we aren’t trying to hide it, we’re not being cool. We’re being like, for real, these are the issues we want to talk about.”

    In fact, it’s par for the course for television to use allegory to discuss current, uncomfortable events. Jamie Chung in the same interview points out to me how a sitcom like M*A*S*H* used its Korean War setting to not-so-secretly talk about events in the then-timely Vietnam War.

    “It’s extremely important, I think that is why Matt [Nix] wanted to create this show and highlight it,” Chung says of The Gifted showrunner. “It’s not comparable to what people are actually going through… but I think it makes our show quite different because we are highlighting those current events issues.”

    And while we haven’t gotten a fully expansive look yet about how The Gifted will address these issues in its 10-episode run, already from the first 20 or so minutes I’ve seen, there are noticeable hints. For instance, the crux of the series is about a minority group being kept under very careful watch and discriminatory attention by the U.S. government. And the male lead of the series, True Blood’s Stephen Moyer, plays a U.S. prosecutor who is likely a patriot and a caring family man that is seeking to keep “undesirables” out of society. For our security.

    In a separate interview, Moyer also underlines a new way that the mutant metaphor is being utilized in The Gifted.

    “One of the things they’ve setup that I like is that mutants and humans can live together, that’s absolutely fine,” Moyer says with a hint of skepticism. “But mutants aren’t allowed to use their powers in public for detrimental means. So I was just thinking about it over there. You can cut your vegetables with your laser eyes in private but you’re not allowed to do it outside. And so he thinks he is doing the right thing by his family by protecting them from that. By taking people who can’t control those powers, by taking them out of society, he thinks he’s doing the right thing.”

    The Moyer character’s depiction of arbitrary government rules that constrain the personal lives of individuals can conjure up images of how, until recently, members of the LGBTQ+ community were allowed to do whatever they want—as long as they didn’t try to legalize it through marriage. Or how transgender folks in many states are still not allowed to use the bathroom that corresponds with their identity.

    Similarly, both Dumont and Chang note how their characters are especially marked for persecution given physical mutations that signify them as different, whereas the male mutant on the shows do not have that problem.

    “The girl mutants, us two, have things physically on us that we can’t hide that we’re mutants,” Dumont explains. “Specifically, Blink but also Polaris. The boys can completely hide that they’re mutants. They go out into the world, they seem normal. When we go out in public, people, they know.” When asked if this is an allusion toward very modern and painfully pertinent sexism, Dumont says, “Yeah, exactly.”

    In the best X-Men tradition, The Gifted appears poised to look at what issues lead to persecution in 2017 and give it superpowers. That’s a pretty powerful thing in its own right.

    The Gifted premieres on Monday, Oct. 2 on Fox.

    Read and download the full Den of Geek SDCC Special Edition magazine here!

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    Iwan Rheon played one of TV's great villains on Game of Thrones, but his pragmatic politician in Marvel's Inhumans is something else.

    News David Crow
    Jul 25, 2017

    Iwan Rheon played one of the most memorably nasty villains in television history on Game of Thrones, a bastard-born psychopath named Ramsay who rose up to lead his father’s house—after sending papa to the sweet hereafter—and who did just generally gruesome things that remain too unspeakable for polite company. Thus when he got cast as the antagonist in Marvel’s Inhumans, another television series that mixes feudalism and fantasy, some eyebrows were raised. Yet when we spoke with Rheon at San Diego Comic-Con over the weekend, he wanted to not only stress yet again that Maximus is nothing like Ramsay, but that people need to generally move on from this false equivalency.

    Indeed, there is something to be said about the mere fact that on Inhumans, Rheon’s Maximus is a concerned brother of the inhuman royal family—an intensely powerful clan of beings who’ve quietly been living on the moon for generations. And a difference of opinion from the series’ central hero, does not a sociopath or serial killer make.

    “It’s so different that hopefully when the series airs and people actually get to see him, they’ll stop going, ‘Um he’s just playing another [bad guy], it’s exactly the same,’” Rheon muses with the faintest touch of exasperation. “It’s starting to get annoying for me now.”

    In that vein, Rheon contrasts how different ABC’s Inhumans is from the world of HBO’s Game of Thrones.

    “Ramsay’s like evil, he wants to cause pain,” Rheon says. “He hasn’t thought about what he’s doing next, he’s just a psychopath… he’ll just do anything in order to get further. He doesn’t really have a plan. He’s like, ‘Alright, I’ll kill him’ and he kills his father, because he’s got a threat. He doesn’t have any emotion. Maximus is very thoughtful and he’s a politician. He isn’t evil and he wouldn’t hurt people; he doesn’t have that in them. He’s a revolutionary who wants to change the way things are. Ramsay just wants to hurt things.”

    In fact, Rheon imagines that on balance, if viewers came in cold to Inhumans and watched things from Maximus’ point-of-view, as opposed to that of his kingly brother, Black Bolt (Anson Mount), they might come away siding with the younger brother. After all, he is the only inhuman who after being exposed to terrigenesis gas lost the ability to keep superpowers, making him a bit of a pariah among the other godlike royals.

    “Had he had another life or been another person, he’d be in the mines of the lower caste system that the society lives in,” Rheon explains. “So the fact that he was the king’s brother meant he got to stay in the royal family and avoided that. So he’s kind of a man of the people, really. He understands the lower class, and he feels it is an archaic system that needs to be changed, especially with the eminent threat of humanity discovering these inhumans on the moon. And he has a very, very different opinion of how to deal with that, which is where you get the conflict with his brother Black Bolt… Maximus thinks he would do a much better job as king and possibly he could, and the ideals he has on paper, you’d probably support him if it was in this political climate. He’s a very charismatic leader.”

    So perhaps there is still a touch of a game of thrones being played, after all?

    The first two episodes of Inhumans debut at IMAX cinemas on Sept. 1. The whole series will begin its run on ABC on Sept. 29.

    Read and download the full Den of Geek SDCC Special Edition magazine here!

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    What's next for Mon-El on Supergirl Season 3? Chris Wood told us what excites him about the character.

    News Mike Cecchini
    Jul 26, 2017

    This article contains spoilers for the ending of Supergirl Season 2.

    One of the biggest mysteries of Supergirl Season 3 involves the fate of Mon-El whose escape pod vanished into a wormhole as he left Earth to avoid an agonizing death by lead poisoning. There was little doubt that Mon-El would return this season, and with Chris Wood present in the press rooms at San Diego Comic-Con, it's pretty clear he'll be around, even though there aren't any new details about it. But a recurring theme at this year's SDCC when it came to the assorted superhero shows was actors who simply couldn't say much (see also: Danielle Panabaker talking Killer Frost on The Flash and pretty much everyone on Arrow).

    While Mr. Wood admitted that the cast has only read scripts for the first two episodes of the season so far, he gave thoughtful answers when confronted with some of the criticisms about Mon-El as a character, and he definitely has an idea of where he might be going next as a character, even if it doesn't include any story specifics.

    "I felt very lucky and very happy with the arc that I had in that some of the criticisms early on about the closed-mindedness of Mon-El and where he came from on Daxam, it was easy to jump on as a reader of the scripts early on the 'this guy sucks' bandwagon," Wood said. "But the whole point is finding a way to take a character from a very selfish place to the ultimate sacrifice at the end...That's the biggest journey you could give any character, which is to have them always do the thing that will protect them and end by doing the thing that sacrifices themselves. For me, that’s the best part of it."

    "Sometimes people are not going to like the character, and sometimes they’re not going to like the decisions that the character makes," he continued. "But Mon-El is a hero. At the end of the day, in the comics, he’s a hero."

    It's true that Mon-El took awhile to take truly heroic action on the show, but this next part of Wood's statement in particular stands out. "The whole point of this character is to watch the evolution of this character who is flawed, going from this mess into donning a cape and looking like an image of purity and heroism. For me, that’s the coolest part of the character."

    Is Chris Wood hinting that we're finally going to see Mon-El in the red and blue costume in Supergirl Season 3? In a way, this echoes what Finn Jones told us about Danny Rand in Iron Fist and The Defenders, which is that these somewhat immature characters, despite sharing names with superheroic counterparts in the comics, weren't really ready for that title. But while the costume thing is pure speculation on my part, there's clearly going to be some kind of shift in Mon-El as a character this year.

    "Obviously if and when he comes back, where he’s been, what happened to him, what he carries with him because of whatever experience he had will throw some really cool new dimensions into the show in a way that fans will be pretty excited about," Wood said. 

    At the end of Supergirl's second season, I theorized that the wormhole Mon-El's pod fell into is likely a portal to the Phantom Zone. In the comics, that's where he had to go in order to escape a fatal case of lead poisoning. He was finally freed 1,000 years in the future by the Legion of Super-Heroes (for more on his twisty turny, timey-wimey comic book history, click here).

    Readers of this site know that I've been seizing every opportunity to grasp at Legion of Super-Heroes references on these shows (there's a Legion flight ring in Superman's Fortress of Solitude, for one thing), so please forgive my rampant speculation here. But if Mon-El returns from a stint in the future with a new costume, a flight ring emblazoned with a stylized L, and a newly superheroic attitude, I'm going to be very happy.

    Read and download the full Den of Geek SDCC Special Edition magazine here!

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    The New Warriors will be a Marvel TV series, and the roster will feature fan favorite, Squirrel Girl.

    News Mike Cecchini
    Jul 26, 2017

    Are you ready for a half-hour comedy series set in the Marvel Universe? One that features younger heroes with offbeat codenames and superpowers? Well, you'd better be, because Marvel and ABC are developing New Warriors as a 10 episode series on Freeform. Kevin Biegel will write the first episode and serve as showrunner.

    The New Warriors first appeared in Marvel Comics in the late '80s/early '90s, and featured young heroes with unfortunate names like Night Thrasher and Speedball. 

    The series has just added Keith David as Ernest Vigman, described by THR as "a caustic municipal employee who butts up against the hopeful energy of the New Warriors." Vigman appears to be an original creation, not a character from the comics.

    Here's the official synopsis from Marvel:

    “Marvel’s New Warriors” is about six young people with powers living and working together.  With powers and abilities on the opposite end of the spectrum of The Avengers, the New Warriors want to make a difference in the world… Even if the world isn’t ready.  Not quite super, not yet heroes, “Marvel’s New Warriors” is about that time in your life when you first enter adulthood and feel like you can do everything and nothing at once — except in this world, bad guys can be as terrifying as bad dates.

    Milana Vayntrub (This is Us) has landed the all-important role of Squirrel Girl (via THR). The character is descibed (in case you aren't reading the comics) as "a totally empowering fan girl—tough, optimistic and a natural leader. Doreen is confident and has the powers of a squirrel… She’s acrobatic, can fight and talk to other squirrels. Her most important trait is that she has faith in people and teaches them to believe in themselves."

    The full cast list (via THR) with descriptions (courtesy of TV Line) follow...

    Squirrel Girl - Milana Vayntrub

    Superpower:“The powers of a squirrel, the powers of a girl” (i.e. she is acrobatic, strong, can fight… and can talk to squirrels)

    A natural leader, Doreen is confident and tough, but not innocent. Her greatest quality is her optimism. She also takes her pet squirrel, Tippy Toe, everywhere.

    Mister Immortal - Derek Theler

    Superpower:Cannot die. Ever. Maybe. So he says.

    The team troublemaker and lothario, Craig is kind of like “The Most Interesting Man Alive,” except he’s more cocky than confident and, at times, charmingly grumpy. Although Craig’s superpower seems amazing, he hasn’t made use of it at all. (He’s lazy and figures if he has all the time in the world to learn how to fight, what’s the rush?)

    Night Thrasher -  Jeremy Tardy


    A local “hero” with his very own YouTube channel, Dwayne is brilliant, strong, noble and maybe a bit full of himself. But he also deeply believes in justice – at least his version of it. Dwayne hides the fact that he comes from a really rich family because he’s afraid he’ll lose his street cred.

    Speedball - Calum Worthy

    Superpower:Can launch kinetic balls of energy

    Having grown up watching Quinjets take off from Avengers Tower, Robbie loves the idea of being a hero. Alas, while you would think that throwing kinetic balls of energy would be awesome and effective, his are completely out of control.

    Microbe - Matthew Moy

    Superpower:Can talk to germs

    Zack is a shy hypochondriac whose ability nearly makes him a telepath – the germs tell him where you’ve been, what you ate and who you hung out with. As such, it’s impossible to keep secrets around him.

    Debrii - Kate Comer

    Superpower:Low level telekinetic; trickster

    Confidently out as a lesbian, funny and quick-witted Deborah has experienced deep loss in her personal life as a direct result of super “heroics.” She’s the one who calls people on their BS and has no fear of putting her opinions out there.

    "Marvel's New Warriors have always been fan favorites and now particularly with the addition of Squirrel Girl, they are Marvel Television favorites as well," Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb said in a statement. "After the amazing experience we've had with Freeform on Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger we can't think of a better place for our young heroes."

    We'll probably see New Warriors hit Freeform in 2018. We'll update this with more information as it becomes available.

    Read and download the full Den of Geek SDCC Special Edition magazine here!

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    Night Manager’s Stephen Garrett and Twilight creator Stephenie Meyer will bring The Rook to series for Starz.

    News Tony Sokol
    Jul 31, 2017

    Twilight Saga creator Stephenie Meyer will executive produce the new supernatural spy series The Rook for Starz. The showrunner on the series will be television icon Stephen Garrett. Garrett most recently executive produced The Night Manager.

    “We are thrilled to add the talents of Stephen Garrett and Stephenie Meyer to our creative family and forge our partnership with the Lionsgate Television Group and Liberty Global,” said Starz President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Albrecht. “The Rook is instantly addictive from the very first scene and introduces what we believe will be one of the most fascinating and thrilling female protagonists on television.”

    Meyer was the best-selling author of 2008 and 2009 in the U.S., selling over 29 million books in 2008 and another 26.5 million in 2009.  She also co-produced The Host, based on her #1 New York Times best-seller, and Austenland with Hibbett. 

    “Stephenie is one of the world’s great creative talents, and Stephen has an incredible track record in bringing remarkable stories to the screen,” said Lionsgate Television Group Chairman Kevin Beggs and President of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution Jim Packer.  Starz describes The Rook as a “riveting supernatural thriller about a young woman pursued by shadowy paranormal adversaries while grappling with extraordinary abilities of her own.”

    According to the official synopsis:

    The Rook tells the story of a young woman who wakes up in a London park suffering total amnesia – surrounded by dead bodies, all wearing latex gloves. Pursued by shadowy paranormal adversaries, grappling with peculiar ‘abilities’ of her own, she must fight to uncover her past, and resume her position at the head of Britain’s most secret (supernatural) service… before the traitors who stole her memory can finish what they started.

    The Rook is a major premium property driven by an amazing creative team, and it’s not only a terrific addition to the STARZ platform but the perfect series to launch a content alliance with our friends at Liberty Global.”

    The Rook is adapted and co-produced by award-winning playwrights and screenwriters Sam Holcroft (Rules for Living) and Al Muriel (Precious & Rich) based on the novel by Daniel O’Malley.

    “The Rook is another important step in Liberty Global’s premium scripted content strategy. Shot in the UK, this project is a perfect fit for Virgin Media as well as our other European markets,” said Liberty Global chief programming officer Bruce Mann. “

    The series, which we look forward to making available exclusively to millions of Liberty Global subscribers worldwide, is an amazing supernatural thriller which we are excited to have in the hands of an elite creative showrunner like Stephen Garrett.  We’re also delighted to be partnering with our good friends at Lionsgate and Starz.”

    “Everything starts with great writing,” said Character 7’s Executive Chairman Stephen Garrett.  “To be conspiring on The Rook in partnership with Stephenie based on a book that is as dazzling as it is surprising and working with the talented team of Sam and Al, is the perfect springboard for thrilling television.”

    Meyer and her Fickle Fish producing partner Meghan Hibbett will also produce an adaptation of Lois Duncan’s teen classic Down A Dark Hall, starring Uma Thurman and AnneSophie Robb, with Temple Hill’s Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey, for Lionsgate.

    The series will be produced by Lionsgate and Liberty Global, the world’s largest international TV and broadband company.  The series will air on the STARZ platform in the U.S. beginning next year.  Liberty Global will feature the series exclusively on demand in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.  Lionsgate will distribute the series worldwide. 

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    This novel take on a century-old story will break your heart.

    FeatureKayti Burt
    Jul 31, 2017

    I was predisposed not to like Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook, a Peter Pan prequel from the point-of-view of Captain Hook. Not only is Peter Pan one of my favorite stories of all time, but I worried that this book was simply jumping on the Villain Retelling Bandwagon.

    I should not have doubted author Christina Henry, who also successfully added to and commented upon Alice in Wonderland canon with her novels Alice and Red Queen. The characters and world of Peter Pan is in safe hands.

    The story of Lost Boy.

    As advertised, Lost Boy tells the story of Jamie, the original Lost Boy and the boy who will become Captain Hook. Through his young eyes, we see Neverland and Peter Pan like never before. Here, Peter is not a reckless, innocuous youth who never wants to grow up; he is a dangerous sociopath who values his games and eternal youth above all else.

    "The ground of Hook as an adult has been walked by many other writers and filmmakers," Henry told Den of Geeklast week at San Diego Comic Con. "That wasn’t where I wanted to write. I wanted to know about who he was before he was Hook."

    Lost Boy is a gory, gutting retelling, one that would not work without a strong central character we know, like, and understand. Jamie is that character, a nurturing type who looks after the other Lost Boys while Peter plays his games. When the novel begins, he loves Peter best of all. They have been together literally longer than Jamie can remember. He is Peter's favorite. But, as Jamie begins to become disillusioned by The Island and Peter's games, all of that changes.

    The empathy of Lost Boy.

    Where did the idea for Lost Boy come from? Henry has an 11-year-old son who was obsessed with the story of Peter Pan when he was five. They would watch the 1953 Disney animated film and read the story over and over again.

    "All those times I was experiencing Peter Pan with him, I started thinking, why does Captain Hook hate Peter Pan so much?" Henry said. "Why does this adult hate this kid?" It was a question that sparked a novel. "I always say, if there was no Henry, then there would be no Lost Boy."

    It's this empathetic, relationship-driven question that drives the thrust of the Lost Boy narrative, and makes the book a fascinating exploration of boyhood, friendship, and the intersection of the two.

    "One of the things I was trying to get at in the book," said Henry, "is the way groups of boys can be both really brutal with each other in a careless way, but also really tender and how they’ll tend to follow the most charismatic leader. And, obviously, Peter's a charismatic leader. And so they follow him."

    Reading this book, it's not hard to understand why this is the first book that made Henry cry while writing it. This book will break your heart, and it's the empathy on every page that will do it. Henry believes in the vital humanity of this proto-Captain Hook, thus so does the reader. This book would not work if we didn't believe in Jamie's humanity, if we didn't understand in an emotional sense what makes him turn against Peter. If we can't imagine ourselves making the same choices and feeling the same things as Jamie, were we in his shoes.

    The darkness of Lost Boy.

    I won't spoil the twists, turns, or ending of Lost Boy (you will be able to guess some, though not all, from your prior Peter Pan knowledge), but I will say that things get dark.

    "When I started thinking about this book a few years ago, I had originally intended that maybe it would be like a steampunk thing and it would be a little bit more light-hearted," said Henry. "But, you know, the more I started thinking about it and the more I started writing, the darker it became ... I thought the only thing that’s that deep and viscious is a relationship where you used to love the person."

    While this book is intended for adults, not children, Henry doesn't spare the horror because of the characters' young age. "People talk about kids like they're really innocent," said Henry, "but I always say that the reason why Roald Dahl’s books have been so successful for so many years is because Roald Dahl doesn't pretend that the world is a good place. He believes that bad things happen and bad things happen to kids and that’s present in all of his books: an awareness."

    Kids have to live in an unjust world, too, and they see that unfairness and injustice and, sometimes, horror, whether we adults like it or not. Lost Boy is the story of Jamie beginning to truly process the lifetimes of horror he has witnessed during his time with Peter.

    Was there any pushback from Henry's editor or agent about the darkness of this book? No, said Henry, but there was some concern from the sales and marketing department about setting the right expectations for would-be readers.

    "They wanted to make sure that people knew it would be a dark book. They didn’t want people looking for a light-hearted Peter Pan book to be surprised, so those concerns went to the cover design."

    Guys, it's a dark book.

    "It’s not a YA book. It’s a book that’s written for adults. It goes in the adult section, so I hope that will mitigate some of the concerns, but I have spoken to a few parents who have come up to me at signings and said, ‘I have a 12-year-old who really loves Peter Pan. Would she like this?’ And I’m like, ‘Maybe you want to wait a couple of years.’ It’s a case-by-case basis. Usually I do say that my editor calls it Lord of the Flies meets Peter Pan. If your kids aren’t ready for Lord of the Flies, they’re probably not ready for my book, either."

    Putting a spin on an existing story is nothing new.

    Henry is far from the first person to put her own twist on a familiar story, and the tradition of adapting, retelling, and reimagining Peter Pan itself goes back a long way, to its very beginning. Original author J.M. Barrie retold the story of The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up multiple times.

    Peter Pan first appeared as a character in the Scottish writer's 1902 adult novel The Little White Bird before getting his own 1904 stage play, dramatized in the 2004 Johnny Depp movie (and current musical) Finding Neverland. After that, Barrie wrote the 1911 novel Peter and Wendy.

    When asked about the current popularity in villain retellings like Wicked or Maleficent, Henry says this is nothing new, but rather part of an "eternal game of telephone" we have been telling as a culture since the beginning of storytelling. Henry draws a link between the Greek story of Cupid and Psyche to the French fairy tale Beauty and the Beast to Norse fairy tale East of the Sun and West of the Moon.

    What we did, pretty much from the time we started telling stories, is we gather around, and someone would tell a story. And whoever heard that story would go someplace else and tell that story, but with their own flourish, right? So the story starts to change already in the first retelling. And then someone else would hear it and they would tell it to somebody else and it would change again, so it’s like this eternal game of telephone.

    Henry speaks of the collaborative nature of these ongoing myths. In her own storytelling, she often looks for the "imaginative space" in existing stories...

    One of the things that I do and one of the things that I think a lot of authors do when they're retelling stories is they're finding the empty space in the original story and filling it in for themselves. That was me, wanting to answer this question of 'Why does Hook hate Peter Pan?' I filled in the space. I don't think I answered every question, and so there’s still imaginative space in there for the reader to fill in that space for themselves.

    While the retelling, reimagining, and expansion of already-existing stories is nothing new, our modern idea of ownership over a story and the copyright law that goes with it is relatively new. If you've spent any time in fandom, then it's a topic of conversation you are no doubt familiar with: Can a story be owned?

    This question seems to interest Henry as well, who mentions Glen Weldon's The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture and the character of Batman as a great example of this discussion. In the book, Henry notes, Weldon addresses "how the Batman we have today is so different from the original conception of Batman and how each generation has sort of claimed that their Batman, the one that they grew up with, is sort of the authentic Batman."

    "It really gets into this issues of fandom and ownership and what is the authentic character?" said Henry. "Is there an authentic character or is there space for all of these ideas to exist?"

    What's next?

    Want to know what happens after Lost Boy? You're in luck! There are plenty of Peter Pan stories, including the original, that will continue the story for you. "My idea was that it would be almost like a true prequel," Henry said, "so this is Hook's story and the sequel is Peter Pan. So, to find out what happens next, read Peter Pan."

    As for Henry, she just finished writing His Mermaid, "a tale of magic, mermaids, and P.T. Barnum," according to Henry's official website. With her next novel finished, Henry is on the lookout for ideas for her next project. When asked about narrative spaces in other iconic stories she might like to explore, she has some ideas...

    "The Tempest is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays and I’ve always wondered what happened to Miranda after. And I liked to imagine her older, like who is she now? That’s something I might write someday ... I’ve [also] been really toying with a kind of post-apocalyptic Red Riding Hood.

    Whatever Henry puts her mind, and pen, to next — whether it be a fresh spin on an old tale or something less explicitly connected to our "eternal game of telephone"— I'll be reading.

    Order Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook via Penguin Randomhouse or Amazon.

    Read and download the full Den of Geek SDCC Special Edition magazine here!

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    Get your first look at Zazie Beetz as Domino in Deadpool 2!

    NewsMike CecchiniJoseph Baxter
    Jul 31, 2017

    Deadpool 2 has the lofty task of following up the film industry's biggest surprise story of 2016 in Deadpool, which turned a meager (for a blockbuster) $58 million budget into a $783 million global phenomenon. With Ryan Reynolds set to reprise his role as the Marvel Comics Merc with a Mouth, he will be joined by a classic comic book rival in Cable, played by Josh Brolin, who makes a detour from his Marvel Studios gig as Thanos in 2018's Avengers: Infinity War to play an equally-iconic antagonist to our antihero.

    John Wick's David Leitch is directing Deadpool 2. While the Deadpool 2 script is still officially in the hands of original film scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, it was revealed to Collider that screenwriter extraordinaire Drew Goddard has been brought onboard to work on the film’s script as a consultant.

    Deadpool 2 Latest News

    Deadpool 2 is now in production, so expect news to hit faster than bad chimichangas!

    Ryan Reynolds, who has made himself the #1 source for official Deadpool 2 news in the universe, was the first to (officially) announce that Atlanta's Zazie Beetz landed the role of Domino. In true Ryan Reynolds fashion, he did it on social media. And now he's done it again, revealing the first official look at Ms. Beetz as Domino, mirroring how Reynolds' Deadpool costume was first revealed.

    Domino is an assassin for hire, and founding member of X-Force, who first appeared in the very same comic that first introduced Deadpool, New Mutants #98. With an X-Force movie set to follow Deadpool 2, we can see where this is going.

    Anyway, don't expect this to turn into an X-Force movie or anything like that.

    Deadpool 2 Release Date

    Production on Deadpool 2 is now underway, which gives it plenty of time to make its June 1, 2018 release date.

    Read and download the full Den of Geek Special Edition magazine here!

    Deadpool 2 Trailer

    Logan didn't have a post-credits scene. Instead, it has kind of a pre-credits scene, which is basically a wacky teaser for Deadpool 2. It's not quite a trailer, but it's 100% legit, stars Ryan Reynolds, and was directed by David Leitch. This won't appear in the movie, but there's definitely a touch of what you'll see in it here in terms of tone.

    Watch Deadpool on Amazon

    And by "tone" we mean "exactly what you expect/want out of a Deadpool movie." There's some nice symmetry to letting Ryan Reynolds drop this one before 20th Century Fox, since he's apparently the person responsible for the test footage leak that finally got this movie the greenlight in the first place a few years back. He continues to "deny" that.

    Watch it here. It's pretty great. ALSO it has come to our attention that mobile users are having trouble seeing the video, so you can click here to watch it if it isn't coming up. Sorry about that.

    A couple of things worth noting here:

    1. You can see the word "Hope" scrawled on that phone booth. This could be a joke, considering the Superman: The Movie theme is playing, that Superman's "S" is "a symbol of hope."

    However, it probably refers to Hope Summers, who is Cable's adopted daughter and holy moley does this get too confusing to get into right here.

    2. You can also see "Nathan Summers coming soon!" written on there. In other words, that's Cable, and it's no secret whatsoever that Cable is in this movie.

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    The hunt for a Suicide Squad 2 director continues, but one of the stars expects to shoot in 2018.

    News Mike CecchiniJoseph Baxter
    Jul 31, 2017

    While David Ayer's next DC Universe movie priority appears to be the Harley Quinn led Gotham City Sirens movie, there are still plans for a sequel to the movie that introduced her to the big screen. Warner Bros. is still game for Suicide Squad 2. Considering the first film broke August box office records and took in an impressive $745 million worldwide, this shouldn't be a surprise. Adam Cozad, who recently wrote The Legend of Tarzan for the studio, is writing Suicide Squad 2.

    It looks like they're serious about getting this one together sooner rather than later, and the hunt for a director is still ongoing.

    Suicide Squad 2 Director

    Jaume Collet-Serra, who was briefly attached to direct Suicide Squad 2, is now officially off the film. Earlier in July, reports surfaced that Collet-Serra, coming off the 2016 shark survival thriller The Shallows, would occupy the Suicide Squad sequel director's chair first broken in by David Ayer. However, it seems that the power of both Disney and megastar Dwayne Johnson came callling, resulting in Collet-Serra instead being tapped to directJungle Cruise, an auspiciously lucrative Pirates of the Caribbean-style Disney theme park attraction movie adaptation. With Jungle Cruise set to shoot in spring of 2018, a clear scheduling conflict with Suicide Squad 2 was created for Collet-Serra, forcing him to make a choice. Thus, the search for Suicide Squad 2's director continues.

    Mel Gibson had apparently been in "early talks" with Warner Bros. for the Suicide Squad 2 directing job. It's almost tough to imagine Gibson going from the weighty themes of Hacksaw Ridgeand its subsequent acclaim to a sequel to a movie that received a critical savaging in 2016, but here we are. Gibson confirmed the talks to Entertainment Tonight, saying, "I just met some guys about story points. It's not a done deal or anything. But it's just fun to shoot the bull when it comes to stories. And if we can elevate any kind of concept it's good. We'll see."

    Gibson is far from the only director being discussed, either. Life director Danny Espinosa is also reportedly in the mix, and there will probably be more names surfacing shortly. Variety adds Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) and Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies) to that mix, too.

    But the fact that WB is considering a director like Gibson does underline their commitment to director focused projects, even with the currently struggling DC Extended Universe. They replaced Ben Affleck with the well-regarded Matt Reeves on The Batman recently, and other names that were mentioned in connection with that project included George Miller and even Ridley Scott. Maybe Gibson makes sense after all.

    Guy Ritchie of Snatch and King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword was interested at one point, as well.

    “I quite fancy doing Suicide Squad 2," he told Variety's Playback podcast, "because I thought I could do a good job with it. I can’t do it because I’m doing something else, but I’ve felt I could really do something with that." Given the tone of the first one, he would seem like a good fit for a sequel, and his name would be consistent with WB's quest to get distinctive directors for their superhero franchises.

    We'll let you know when there are more details on the director front.

    Suicide Squad 2 Cast

    Joel Kinnaman, who plays Rick Flagg in the first film, talked to THR about the sequel's progress, stating, "As far as I know they're writing the script and I think the plan is to shoot it sometime in 2018, but that could change," adding, "I think I'll definitely come back for it."

    Suicide Squad 2 Release Date

    There's no release date yet for Suicide Squad 2, and it seems that Gotham City Sirens is the higher priority for the studio at the moment. But you'll get your next taste of the DCEU with Justice League on November 17, 2017. There are some unclaimed dates on the calendar, though, including June 14, 2019 and November 1, 2019. Maybe one of those will go to Suicide Squad 2. The full DC superhero movie release schedule can be found here.

    Read and download the full Den of Geek SDCC Special Edition magazine here!

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    Avengers 4 will arrive in 2019 as a separate production from 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, with Josh Brolin returning as Thanos.

    News Joseph Baxter
    Jul 31, 2017

    Avengers 4 (title to be determined,) 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, with Avengers 4 now standing as its own project, the latest news confirming the return of a certain big bad of a Mad Titan is a significant revelation.

    Avengers 4 Latest News

    Josh Brolin has confirmed his return as Thanos for Avengers 4 via his Instagram. While there was little doubt over his continued status as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s tyrannical Mad Titan, the idea of the two upcoming Avengers sequels being separate entities, in the very least, hinted the possibility (unlikely as it was,) that 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War would be a self-contained story. Moreover, Brolin is fielding Marvel movie double duty, since he’ll also make his debut in Fox’s X-Men film universe as the popular, time-travelling, giant-gun-toting ornery badass hero Cable in 2018’s Deadpool 2; a role that realistically could demand a (schedule-conflicting) reprisal in upcoming film properties traditionally connected to the character such as The New Mutants. However, with this latest Instagram post, Brolin has given the definitive word that he’s returning as Thanos for Avengers 4; a revelation that also confirms the four-quel’s plot-continuing connection to Avengers: Infinity War.

    Going back for more more MORE! I want it all. #mcu #marvel @marvelstudios @disney @prevailactivewear

    A post shared by Josh Brolin (@joshbrolin) on

    Read and download the full Den of Geek Special Edition magazine here!

    Avengers 4 Cast

    Tom Holland will, indeed, return as Spider-Man for Avengers 4. While Holland's new Wall-Crawler already filmed his appearance in 2018's Avengers: Infinity War, his status for the subsequent 2019 follow-up was a bit unclear, especially as Sony Pictures continues conjuring plans for Spider-Man spinoff films. However, in April, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige confirmed Holland's Spidey for Avengers 4, albeit with the caveat, "for now."

    Avengers 4 Details

    In July, it was reported that Avengers 4 will reportedly end the MCU's 22-movie arc, going back to 2008's original Iron Man. Thus, the film's status as the colossal climax of the MCU as we know it can be taken as fact. Of course, the MCU will keep going with plenty of projects, including the Sony-collaborated Spider-Man films. However, significant change is nigh.

    Back in April, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, talking to Collider, 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 start shooting in 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 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. 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.

    Avengers 4 Release Date

    Avengers 4 (title to be determined) is booked for a release on May 3, 2019. Of course, this comes a year after Avengers: Infinity War unleashes cosmic implications for the MCU when it hits theaters on May 4, 2018.

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    Legendary playwright Sam Shepard helped develop Off Broadway into a creative force.

    News Tony Sokol
    Jul 31, 2017

    Playwright, author, and actor Sam Shepard, who spearheaded the Off Broadway movement, died on July 27 from complications of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), the theatre public relations firm Boneau/Bryan-Brown announced. Shepard was 73 years old. Known for such plays as Buried Child, which won the Pulitzer Prize for drama, Curse of the Starving Class and A Lie of the Mind,  Shepard’s 1969 science fiction play The Unseen Hand influence Richard O'Brien's stage musical The Rocky Horror Show.

    Shepard wrote 44 plays as well as books of short stories and essays. Besides his 1979 work Buried Child, his plays, True West and Fool for Love were also nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. 11 of Shepard’s plays won Obie Awards including Chicago and Icarus’s Mother in 1965 and Red Cross and La Turistain 1966. Shepard was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as pilot Chuck Yeager in 1983’s The Right Stuff.

    Described by New York magazine as "the greatest American playwright of his generation,” Shepard’s early Off Off Broadway plays were black humored absurdist works.  But he developed towards extreme realism. Shepard wrote the plays The Rock Garden, Operation Sidewinder, Mad Dog Blues, Suicide in B Flat, Inacoma, and True West.

    Sam Shepard was born November 5, 1943, in Fort Sheridan, Illinois. He described his father, Samuel Shepard Rogers, Jr., as "a dedicated alcoholic.” His mother, Jane Elaine was a teacher. Shepard spent his teenage years as a ranch hand, and studied agriculture Mt. San Antonio College, where he fell under the influence of playwright Samuel Beckett.

    Shepard began his stage career as a busboy at The Village Gate. He became involved in the Off-Off-Broadway theatre scene starting in 1962 through the head waiter, Ralph Cook. He was soon producing plays landmark theaters like La MaMa and Caffe Cino.

    Shepard began writing screenplays like Don't Come Knocking, Michelangelo Antonioni's Zabriske Point and Robert Frank's Me and My Brother. Shepard begin acting in 1978, playing a land baron in Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven, and Rodeo in Renaldo & Clara, which Shepard wrote with Bob Dylan. Shepard appeared in dozens of films including All the Pretty Horses, Black Hawk Down, Swordfish, Baby Boom, Fool for Love and The Pelican Brief. Shepard also performed with the psychedelic band the Holy Modal Rollers.

    Shepard had a long working relationship with singer-songwriter Patti Smith, who wrote the music to Shepard’s play Cowboy Mouth. The two-person play about a kidnapping was first performed, with Smith as one of the leads, on April 29, 1971 at the American Place Theater. It was produced as a double bill with the play Black Bog Beast Bait, which starred Shepard’s then-wife actress O-Lan Jones. Smith and Shepard were having an affair at the time. Shepard was married to Jones from 1969 to 1984. They had one son, Jesse Mojo Shepard, aged 47. 

    Shepard had a thirty year relationship with actress Jessica Lange, who he starred with in the film The Notebook, until they separated in 2009.  The couple have two daughters, Hannah Jane Shepard, aged 31, and Samuel Walker Shepard, aged 30.  

    Shepard is survived by his children and his sisters, Sandy and Roxanne Rogers.


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    Kevin Smith's Superman Lives script would feel right at home with modern superhero blockbusters and TV shows.

    Feature Mike Cecchini
    Aug 2, 2017

    This article contains some Batman v Superman spoilers.

    Imagine if you will, a briskly paced superhero movie. One with a sense of humor tempering its nine-figure action sequences. One that is faithful to the spirit (if not the letter) of the character’s comic book and multimedia legacy and peppered with lively dialogue. It features plenty of Easter eggs from elsewhere in its fictional universe, and cameos from other heroes and villains to keep astute comic book fans happy.

    Sounds a lot like the Marvel Studios or DC superhero TV formula, doesn’t it?

    It also applies to Kevin Smith’s unproduced Superman Lives screenplay. While Smith’s two drafts will forever be associated with the excesses of the aborted Tim Burton era of the project, the reality is, Burton didn't come on the project until after Smith's second draft had been turned in.

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    While the legendary interference of Jon Peters is still inescapable (and you can see his fingerprints on the process, particularly as we transition from Smith’s first draft to the second), there’s something about Smith’s attempts that not only come off as utterly sincere in their love for the Man of Steel, but here in the Marvel Studios/Legends of Tomorrow era, suddenly feel familiar in their earnest enthusiasm for the source material. Hell, Smith even describes his script as "fan fiction" in The Death of Superman Lives documentary.

    Smith’s early frustrations and ongoing clashes with Warner Bros., and specifically, producer Jon Peters, are well documented. Hell, you can let him tell you all about it himself in this video…

    Here’s what you need to know about Warner Bros. and Superman at this point, though. In 1997, Warner Bros. had been trying for at least five years to bring Superman back to the screen after the creative and commercial disaster that was 1987’s Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. Nearly every attempt to do this contained the following elements: a Brainiac/Luthor team-up (the better to sell more toys with), the death of Superman (same reason), a Superman who wore multiple costumes (guess why?), and a darker, more cynical take on the character (because it was the ‘90s).

    Kevin Smith, on the other hand, was a 26 year old indie filmmaker, who had three comedies to his name: the cult classic Clerks, the underrated Mallrats, and the critically acclaimed Chasing Amy. While Chasing Amy was a more "mature" work than his previous movies, and Smith was a lifelong comic book fan who managed to get plenty of fanboy humor into his projects, he was still an offbeat choice for the stalled Supermanmovie. 

    Smith’s Superman Lives is in many respects the movie that Warner Bros. had already been trying to make for over five years. It's got the Brainiac/Luthor stuff, the "toyetic" approach, and it’s a “Death of Superman” movie that also does its very best to establish Supes as an edgy, alien loner. Well, that’s what the studio wanted at least. But for all its flaws, Kevin Smith’s Superman Lives feels almost like a blueprint for the fan-centric shared universe set-ups that are now standard issue in superhero movies (don’t forget, that's a feature that's less than a decade old), and its tone and pacing wouldn’t be entirely out of place in a Marvel Studios production.

    In this screenplay, Superman and his supporting cast read very much like classic depictions of these characters, and it’s easy to hear Tim Daly and Dana Delaney, Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher, or even Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder reciting a lot of the Clark/Lois dialogue. Smith’s Luthor has more than a little Gene Hackman in his DNA, too.

    But this is indeed a “Death of Superman” movie, and Supes is fighting Doomsday to the death well before the halfway point of the film. Killing and resurrecting Superman also fulfills one of the infamous Jon Peters requirements that Superman remain mostly bereft of powers and without the traditional red and blue costume for a significant chunk of the movie, while the studio gets their wish for more toys via a transforming/sentient suit of armor that he wears for the second half of the flick. It’s not ideal, and what begins as a briskly paced, even traditional Superman yarn goes off the rails a little, but it never becomes as mean-spirited or bleak as Batman v Superman.

    Smith wrote two drafts (dated Jan. 31, 1997 and March 27, 1997). Notable differences include the first draft opening on Krypton with a more traditional Superman origin sequence while the second opens on Brainiac in space before cutting to Superman being well established in Metropolis (the second draft establishes the Jor-El/Brainiac connection via flashback later in the movie). The two passes are nearly identical, although you can see Peters’ (and the studio’s) increasing influence in the second draft. That’s where the infamous giant polar bears appear, and L-Ron, Brainiac's “cute/snarky robot sidekick” (a re-purposed Justice League character, I might add), sees his role amped up a bit. Also, the Eradicator becomes a little more versatile, offering more opportunities to sell transforming toys and weapons.

    In order to placate Peters’ demand that Superman fight a giant spider at some point in the film, Smith gave the seemingly incongruous idea a comic fan-friendly name: the Thanagarian Snare Beast. Imagine, for a moment, that this movie had been made, that name alone would have made this the first film to tease a DC Cinematic Universe that extends beyond the worlds of Superman and Batman, since Thanagar is known as Hawkman’s home world. 

    The nerdy stuff doesn’t end there. One of Luthor’s hapless employees is a Dr. Shuster, a reference to Superman’s co-creator Joe Shuster. Metropolis landmarks like Hob’s Bay (and it’s colloquial name of “Suicide Slum”) are mentioned by name, and the second draft includes an appearance by Cat Grant, working as a TV reporter for WGBS, the station that employed Clark Kent in the ‘70s, and which is owned by Morgan Edge, a man with ties to Darkseid, the warlord of the planet Apokolips (granted, Edge isn’t named in Smith’s scripts, and we did finally see GBS pop up in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a movie that also teases the introduction of Darkseid). Smith even gets in on the action with his own creations, naming Kryptonian elders Dan-Te and Ran-Dal after View Askewniverse regulars.

    Both drafts feature Suicide Squad’s Deadshot in the first action sequence to introduce Superman. It’s a good device that I’m surprised isn’t utilized more often in superhero movies. Why not start your hero off taking out some secondary costumed villains? Think of it like the James Bond tradition of a pre-credits action sequence to get the audience’s blood pumping before the credits and the main course of the movie itself.

    It’s the first draft version of that scene which is a little more fun, though. In a sequence taking place in the fictional country of Corto Maltese (you may know it from the pages of Frank Miller and Klaus Janson’s The Dark Knight Returns, and recently used to great effect on Arrow), Deadshot is joined by Aquaman villain Black Manta and they namecheck Challenge of the Super Friends villain team the Legion of Doom. Yeah.

    That was toned down a little for the second draft, eliminating Black Manta, his aquatic craft, and the Legion of Doom reference, in favor of some action in Metropolis. You can sense a hint of Smith’s frustration creeping into the description of Superman’s first appearance on screen, too…

    A SONIC BOOM fills the air. Deadshot looks to THUG #1.


           Tell me that was your stomach.

    High above, a streak of RED descends at a rapid rate, rocketing

    into the pavement, leaving a hole in the ground.


           Oh, shit...

    The street beneath their feet explodes, and the same red streak

    flashes past Deadshot, taking with it the Boy in the blink of an

    eye. All immediately mobilize.




    The thugs grab the Governor as a VAN screeches up.


    The Boy is set down lightly on the roof. He opens his eyes, which

    then go wide. Before him stands SUPERMAN (um... 90's style)

    Most famously, both drafts of Smith’s script contained an appearance from Batman himself, appearing on the screens of Metropolis’ equivalent of Times Square to deliver a brief eulogy at Superman’s funeral. While the two heroes never actually interact, let alone exchange pleasantries about each other's mothers (what with Superman being "dead" and all), this would have been the first official crossover between the two franchises, although Metropolis was name-checked in Batman Forever, and Bats makes a crack about Superman in Batman & Robin. What's remarkable about all of these nods to DC Comics is how they feel celebratory and not obligatory set-ups for future franchises and team up films. 

    Smith told Wizardmagazine in 1999 that had his film been made, he had a cast in mind. For the most part, it’s pretty darn good. 

    His dream cast included (wait for it) Ben Affleck (then 25 years old and enjoying some acclaim for his performance in Smith's Chasing Amy, before his work on Good Will Hunting would launch his career even higher) for Clark/Superman. Affleck, of course, later achieved internet infamy as Daredevil and is now generally lauded as one of the only good things about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Affleck also cut an appropriately square-jawed and handsome figure as Superman actor George Reeves in Hollywoodland, and the young actor would have been a good fit for Superman as written here.

    For the rest of the Daily Planet staff, Smith wanted Linda Fiorentino (who he later used to great effect in Dogma) as Lois Lane, who would have been 36 at the time. Smith felt that Lois should come off as a little older and more experienced than Clark Kent, which is perfectly in keeping with how she was being portrayed in contemporary Superman comics, Superman: The Animated Series, and on Lois & Clark.

    Frasier’s John Mahoney would have been Smith’s pick or Perry White, and that might have been a marriage of actor and character as on the money as J.K. Simmons and J. Jonah Jameson in the Spider-Man films. Mahoney’s Frasierco-star David Hyde Pierce would have provided the voice of the cybernetic Eradicator, and reading the script, it’s easy to hear his voice delivering those lines.

    Not all of Smith’s dream cast seem quite as well-suited, however. We were spared Jason Mewes as Jimmy Olsen, for one thing. Smith also envisioned Jack Nicholson as Lex Luthor. The Lex of these drafts is quite a funny and energetic character, and it’s easy to see Nicholson delivering some of his sarcastic barbs, but he might have brought too much baggage to the role so soon after delivering an unforgettable performance as the Joker in another notable superhero movie (especially when you consider that the dream was to get Michael Keaton to cameo as Batman). Smith also envisioned Mallratsand Chasing Amy star Jason Lee as Brainiac, which doesn’t seem like the strongest choice until you consider that under Burton, Tim Allen was considered for the part, so really, no good was likely to come of any version of Brainiac destined for the screen during this era.

    Once Tim Burton was brought on as director, though, that was the end of Smith's time with the Man of Steel. There would be no third draft. I’m not here to go into too much detail about something that has been dragged around the internet practically since the internet as we know it was a thing. Anyway, you've got Jon Schnepp's exhaustive and fun The Death of Superman Lives documentary for that. Smith’s drafts were quickly jettisoned by Burton in favor of a stranger one by Wesley Strick, and culminated in an even weirder one by future Nightcrawler scribe Dan Gilroy, who turned in a screaming bonkers Batman and Robin-esque draft, before everything fell completely apart and JJ Abrams was brought in to give things a fresh start.

    By comparison, Kevin Smith's Superman Lives attempts are fairly tame, and with the right director and cast, it might have been embraced by audiences. Studios weren't quite ready in 1997 to let a fan of the material run as wild with a comic book property as Smith did on these pages. Things have certainly changed.

    Smith did get to guide the destinies of some notable superheroes in the aftermath, including some well-received work as a comics writer on titles like Daredeviland Green Arrow. He finally get his shot at live action superheroics as the director of two excellent episodes of The Flash as well as this week's Supergirl episode, appropriately titled "Supergirl Lives." Maybe he's due another shot at writing Superman. Even accounting for Superman Lives' raw imperfections, it's clear he understands the character better than some of Supes' current big screen stewards.

    Warner Bros, of course, finally got their wish to kill Superman almost 20 years later in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

    Mike Cecchini has read virtually every draft of every unproduced Superman screenplay of the last 40 years. For real. Pity him on Twitter.

    Read and download the full Den of Geek Special Edition magazine here!

    This article first ran on April 4, 2016.

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    The CW will, again, unite the heroes of Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow in fall 2017.

    News Joseph Baxter
    Aug 2, 2017

    The CW have successfully turned the concept of gigantic crossover events of its Greg Berlanti-developed DC Comics series into an annual thing. Thus, with time quickly creeping up for another sublime small screen superhero association that will, again, team the heroes of Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow, the network has unveiled the details for their 2017 crossover event.

    While plot details of the 2017 crossover are still being kept a secret, we now know when to expect the television event.

    Supergirl will kick off the crossover on Monday, November 27 at 8 p.m.

    Arrow will then be passed the baton later that night (on a special, non-timeslot airing,) on Monday, November 27 at 9 p.m.

    The Flash continues pushing the storyline in the Speed Force on Tuesday, November 28 at 8 p.m.

    Legends of Tomorrow will host the culminating chapter that same night on Tuesday, November 28 at 9 p.m.

    This schedule represents some changes from last year’s “Invasion!” crossover, which conformed to The CW’s 2016-2017 schedule, which had Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow on a four-night, Monday-Thursday configuration. This consolidation of the crossover into a two-night event may be designed to remedy the ratings disparities in last year’s event, which saw an odd drop-off in its climactic chapter in Legends of Tomorrow. Indeed, despite the 2016 crossover’s overall uptick, a good portion of the audience did not stick around for the conclusion; something The CW does not wish to repeat.

    Yet, this year's two-night approach is still very much a scheduling experiment. As The CW president Mark Pedowitz explains in a statement on the strategy:

    "We felt that, in this particular case, we already had Flash and Legends paired. It would be better and tighter in terms of storytelling to make it like a two-night, two-hour miniseries. We thought this was a tight, concise way of doing it. Next year, we may go back to four nights.”

    One notable detail about the 2017 crossover is that it will likely be the first true four-way crossover event. While last year’s “Invasion!” did span all four CW series, the storyline’s kickoff on Supergirl manifested simply as a teaser at the end of the episode; one that was recapped in the second part on Arrow, rendering the Supergirl portion as pointless. Additionally, while Black Lightningis set to debut in The CW’s cavalcade of DC Comics stars this season, it is unlikely that the electricity-wielding hero will be taking part in the 2017 crossover and that series will, for now, remain a separate superhero offshoot. However, it’s still early enough for plans to change.

    With that, fans, especially of the comic-book-savvy variety, are left to speculate on what DC Comics-inspired storyline (if any,) the 2017 crossover could adapt. While speculation for last year’s crossover plot was wild, very few predicted that it would adapt Keith Giffen and Bill Mantlo’s obscure and forgotten 1988-1989 Invasion! DC comic book crossover. Will they go the obscure route again? Will it be something major, like the time-bending 1994 comic book event Zero Hour? Or, will Flash actor Grant Gustin's recent comment about wanting to adapt 1985-1986's monumental Crisis on Infinite Earths story come to fruition earlier than he hinted?

    Read and download the full Den of Geek Special Edition magazine here!

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    Let's add an Eternal Warrior movie to the expanding slate of the Valiant Cinematic Universe.

    News Jim Dandy
    Aug 2, 2017

    Dave Bautista, the actor best known for his portrayal as Drax in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, let slip an interesting tidbit about an upcoming project.

    That's right: he's working on an Eternal Warrior movie with Valiant Comics.

    Gilad Anni-Padda is one of three immortal brothers (along with Ivar and Aram Anni-Padda - we'll come back to them) who gained immortality and limited super powers from a mysterious artifact in Ur. Gilad becomes the designated defender of the Geomancer, the chosen defender of Earth. His long life made him a badass soldier, expert in any form of combat known to man.

    No Eternal Warrior movie had been previously acknowledged by Valiant. We've known about Bloodshot, Harbinger, and Archer & Armstrong movies, all at various stages of development, for some time now, but a movie starring Gilad is a new development. Rumor is that it will be somehow involved with the Archer & Armstrong film, which makes sense. Aram Anni-Padda, after becoming immortal, becomes a drunk and goes on to have zany adventures with his recovering fundamentalist best friend Archer.

    Stay tuned to Den of Geek for more news about the Valiant Cinematic Universe, or any updates on where the third Anni-Padda brother, Ivar, ends up.

    Read and download the full Den of Geek Special Edition magazine here!

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    We spoke to Stephen King about The Dark Tower movie and what he'd like to see in a potential sequel.

    News John Saavedra
    Aug 3, 2017

    This Dark Tower article contains minor spoilers.

    Although Stephen King published the first Dark Tower story, "The Gunslinger," in the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in October 1978, it was decades before anyone even considered turning the writer's 8-book series into a blockbuster movie franchise. A lot of that had to do with technology, of course. There was a time when The Dark Tower series, which takes place in a universe full of grandiose settings, high fantasy, and strange machines was thought impossible to adapt. Certainly, if The Dark Tower movie had come out in the 80s or 90s, some parts of King's vision would have been unable to become a reality. 

    Thanks to heavy doses of CGI, this is no longer the case. The Dark Tower has finally come to the big screen. While the jury is still out on whether fans deem it a worthy adaptation, reviews have been less than favorable. That's not exactly a good sign for a film franchise in its infancy, but a greenlight on a sequel will ultimately be decided by the box office numbers. Will Constant Readers turn out for The Dark Tower? Sony sure hopes so.

    If we were to get a sequel, what might see we in The Dark Tower 2?

    Naturally, we decided to go straight to the source for the answers. At a press event this week, we caught up with King and talked to him about what elements of the books he wishes had made it into the movie and what he hopes might show up in a potential sequel.

    "Well, there are things that I think the hardcore fans are going to wish were in the movie," King told Den of Geek. "All I can say is, if the movie's a success, there will be a sequel."

    With a runtime of only 95 minutes, The Dark Tower is quite economical in its storytelling. Some of the narrative decisions will undoubtedly prove to be a bit controversial in terms of what's missing from the movie and how events have been remixed in this "sequel" to the book series. (If you remember, the final book ends with Roland's quest starting all over again.)

    King paints a pretty intriguing picture for the sequel, though. While he stressed that he doesn't decide what's in the movies, King did mention a few things he'd love to see in the next one.

    "I'd love to see those doors into our world -- and there's some of that in this movie," King said, referring to the portals in The Drawing of the Three, the second book in the series, that lead Roland to Eddie Dean and Odetta Holmes (later Susannah Dean). Eddie and Susannah join Roland's ka-tet (the group that travels with the gunslinger to the Dark Tower), along with Jake Chambers and Oy the Billy-Bumbler.

    That's not all King would like to see from The Drawing of the Three, either: "I would love to see Roland on the beach with those lobstrosities."

    The lobstrosities appear early on in the book. They're monstrous creatures that look like a cross between scorpions and giant lobsters. When Roland encounters these monsters, they attack him and claim two of his fingers, one toe, and a chunk of his calf. Their bites are also poisonous. Yes, Roland is a little worse for wear after this particular fight. 

    How willing Sony would be to get rid of two of Idris Elba's fingers in the sequel remains to be seen. Perhaps don't bet on it. Elba looks damn good dual-wielding his sandalwood guns. 

    When asked if he thinks elements from The Drawing of the Three will definitely make it into the sequel, King answered simply, "I think that would probably happen. I think that would be the logical place to go." 

    This echoes what director Nikolaj Arcel told Cinemablend about what parts of the series the potential sequel would adapt: "The best way to continue the series, if we are lucky enough to continue, would be with what is actually book two, because now the other characters start coming into the story. They start gathering the band of heroes. This is really only trying to encompass novel one, with elements from some of the other novels."

    Arcel also confirmed that Eddie and Susannah would show up in the next movie. "Yes. Of course. There's no way you can continue the story without bringing them in."

    One thing that King did emphasize during our talk was that he hopes the next movie will be rated R, which would ultimately allow the filmmakers to adapt some of the series' darker material. King said that the rationale behind making the first movie PG-13 was to make it more accessible to general audiences and not just diehard adult fans. 

    "I was totally signed off on that," King said concering the PG-13 rating. "I think it’s the right thing to do. I want as many people in the tent as possible for all kinds of reasons, part of it having to do with the dynamic between the gunslinger and the boy because I think that's a father and son relationship. But I'd love to see the next picture be R."

    Of course, neither a sequel or an R rating for The Dark Tower 2have been confirmed. It remains to be seen if Sony will want to invest in a second movie despite the very cold critical reception. We'll keep you updated as we learn more. 

    The Dark Tower is out in theaters on Friday, Aug. 4.

    Read and download the full Den of Geek Special Edition magazine here!

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    A major step forward for The Dark Tower TV series: Walking Dead alum Glen Mazzara will serve as showrunner.

    News John Saavedra
    Aug 3, 2017

    The Dark Tower TV Series Showrunner

    THR reports that former Walking Deadexec producer Glen Mazzara will serve as showrunner for The Dark Tower TV series. According to the outlet, Sony and MRC is still looking to attach a network or streaming service for the project. At the moment, the companies are hoping for a short order first season of 10 to 13 episodes. 

    "I’ve been a Stephen King fan for decades and the opportunity to adapt The Dark Tower as a TV series is a great honor," Mazzara told THR. "The events of The Gunslinger, Wizard & Glass, The Wind Through the Keyhole, and other tales need a long format to capture the complexity of Roland's coming of age — how he became the Gunslinger, how Walter became the Man in Black, and how their rivalry cost Roland everything and everyone he ever loved. I could not be more excited to tell this story. It feels like being given the key to a treasure chest. And oh yeah, we’ll have billy-bumblers!"

    Mazzara's involvement is definitely great news. He's responsible for what is arguably the greatest season of The Walking Dead after taking over for Frank Darabont in season 3. Hopefully he can bring a bit of his magic to The Dark Tower

    The showrunner has also been attached to a prequel to The Shining called The Overlook Hotelfor some time. No news on that front, though. 

    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 wrote the script for the show and will also executive produce. Glen Mazzara will serve as showrunner.

    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. 

    TV Guide caught up with Ron Howard about The Dark Tower TV 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."

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    We have an official opening date for The Cursed Child on Broadway.

    NewsKayti Burt
    Aug 3, 2017

    From the moment Harry Potter and the Cursed Child first opened in London's Palace Theatre last summer, American fans have been asked when the sequel to the Harry Potter book series will come to New York. It's happening, Potterheads.

    Here's everything we know about the play's Broadway debut...

    The Cursed Child Broadway Cast

    It's official! Seven of the cast members from the original West End production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be debuting the production on Broadway.

    According to Variety, Jamie Parker (Harry), Noma Dumezweni (Hermione), and Anthony Boyle (Scorpius Malfoy), who all won Olivier Awards for their roles, will be returning for the Broadway production. I enjoyed Boyle so much in the role, I wrote a whole feature about the character and his interpretation of it.

    Sam Clemmett (Albus Potter), Paul Thornley (Ron), Poppy Miller (Ginny), and Alex Price (Draco) will also be returning from the original West End cast. New members of the 28-member cast include: Byron Jennings, Kathryn Meisle and David Abeles.

    The Cursed Child Broadway Release Date

    We have an official release date! According to Entertainment Weekly, The Cursed Child will open on Broadway on April 22, 2018 in the Lyric Theatre.

    The Cursed Child Broadway How to Get Tickets

    Tickets will be available for purchase on October 12, with a registration period happening before that on October 1st to October 5th. If you don't pre-register, you won't be able to get tickets. More information when we have it!

    The Cursed Child Broadway Theater

    The Cursed Child will open at the Lyric Theatre. Producer Colin Callender said of the discussion:

    We are still subject to planning, but assuming we get the go ahead, we will have the theatre of our dreams that will be intimate enough for a drama, yet big enough for us to follow in the footsteps of the London production and continue to provide low priced tickets throughout the auditorium.

    This explains why Cirque du Soleil's Paramour just unexpected announced plans to leave the Lyric Theatre, which will be closed for "renovations" in April. 

    It sounds like the renovations will be a complete Potter-driven retrofit that will include making the theater slightly more intimate (going from 1,900 to 1,500 seats to accomodate the tone of the show) and remodeled the front of the house as well so that the immersive experience begins as soon as fans enter the building. 

    Hopefully, we'll also get something as cool as the giant nest atop the Palace Theatre...

    Producer Sonia Friedman told Pottermore that the creative team headed over to New York in September to look at potential venues for The Cursed Child, and settled on The Lyric Theatre. Between now and the spring of 2018, the theater will undergo a massive, multi-million-dollar transformation.

    Set designer Christine Jones said of the planned transformation: "The hope is that this theater will have its own soul and its own identity, very much a New York theater from the period and not just a recreation of what was made in London ... It's an incredibly unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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