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Wordle Welcome and thank you for dropping by. Babylon 5 brought many of us together -- and it remains with us, despite the fact that is no longer in production. The good thing is that the internet gives a LOT of ways to stay in touch. Don't be shy. Join in the discussion today or drop by Facebook or Twitter.

If you have questions or items for the news, drop me a line at sgbruckner@aol.com.
NEWS FOR THE MONTH OF JUNE

TUESDAY, JUNE 30, 2015

DOCTOR STRANGE
"Ant-Man" is more than just the final movie in Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe; it's also the first Marvel superhero origin story to happen in a post-Avengers world, and "Doctor Strange" is hot on its heels.

"Ant-Man" is the first Earth-set standalone Marvel origin story since 2008's "The Incredible Hulk," as "Thor" and "Guardians of the Galaxy" were set in different realms and "Captain America: The First Avenger" took place in the past. In "Ant-Man," Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is well aware of Iron Man, Captain America and the rest by the time he is asked to don the Ant-Man suit, and that is a trend that will happen more and more with each new character Marvel Studios introduces.

Phase 3 of the MCU contains five origin movies: "Doctor Strange" is the first with its Nov. 4, 2016 release, and after that are "Spider-Man" and "Black Panther" (both characters confirmed to be introduced in 2016's "Captain America: Civil War"), then "Captain Marvel" and "Inhumans."

Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige spoke with Zap2it about how "Ant-Man" is setting the trend of origin stories in a post-"Avengers" MCU. Though he says that concept isn't something Marvel has overtly discussed, the fact the Avengers already exist as these other people get their superpowers is something the movie franchise will "acknowledge to a certain degree more so in other films."

"'Doctor Strange,' for instance, is kind of [in his own world]. He's in New York, but he's a surgeon and he's got his own thing going on, and when he has to try to fix his hands he goes on another journey," Feige says. He expands on the journey to Birth.Movies.Death, saying "Strange leaves New York in search of something and heads east."

Even though that story will be a bit standalone, "Doctor Strange" is just as integrated into the MCU as the rest of the Marvel films. "All these movies are connected, so they inhabit -- as the comics did -- the same universe," Feige tells Zap2it. "Like Ant-Man, Doctor Strange lives in a world where aliens came out over Grand Central Station. Again, he also is a brain surgeon. When he's in the operating room, he's not thinking about those other things. He's working on what he's working on."

Feige offered an interesting tease about the plans for future origin stories, saying, "'Ant-Man' and 'Panther' and 'Captain Marvel' going forward -- assuming they're all chronological -- will have that as a backdrop, which to us is fun."

He later clarified his "assuming they're all chronological" comment to io9. "Certainly we could [set another one in the past]," he says. "There are no rules. I think the majority of them will be chronological, but not all of them necessarily."

"Doctor Strange" stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the title character, and "Sinister's" Scott Derrickson is directing. It's due in theaters on Nov. 4, 2016. Meanwhile, "Ant-Man" bows on July 17, 2015.

DC COMIC ARCHIVE
This story first appeared in the July 3 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

At first, the idea seemed unthinkable: DC Entertainment, one of two big comic book companies based in New York (along with Marvel), announced in 2013 that it would leave its home of nearly 80 years for the headquarters of parent Warner Bros. in Burbank, more than 3,000 miles away.

"It was the most difficult decision of my career," says DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson, who made the call knowing many longtime employees would not be able to follow. But as the division has become more important to Warners' film, television and games businesses — in the fall, seven live-action TV shows will be based on DC characters, and an ambitious slate of interconnected films will begin with 2016's Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice — it made sense to put all 230 employees under one roof.

The move west didn't merely uproot the staff; it also meant a cross-country trip for DC's celebrated library on Broadway, which was stored in a vault and included nearly every comic the company has published as well as a collection of licensed merchandise and oddities. (Collectively, DC's copies of the first appearances of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman are worth more than $2 million.)

Special movers, working with Warner Bros. Archives, packed nearly 100,000 comics and 8,000 hardcover books into 600 boxes, and a security team escorted them to a giant truck in mid-March. DC executives tracked the vehicle via GPS, and another security team oversaw the collection's unloading. "It was like medevacking the heart from New York to Burbank," says Nelson.

To chronicle the move, DC invited THR to visit the library on both ends of its journey.

On April 13, DC's cross-country move was complete when employees showed up at the company's 35,000-plus-square-foot space at The Pointe, a Burbank office park down the street from the Warner Bros. lot. The new headquarters for Batman and Superman is classic California — bright and open — compared with its cramped, brown space in New York. DC occupies the second, third and half of the ninth floors, with its library vault housed on the first floor of the building — which also is home to Legendary Entertainment, Los Angeles public television station KCET and FremantleMedia North America.

Executives from other Warners divisions can visit and take meetings in DC's space, and the occasional star or athlete who wants to check out the collection can pop in for a peek. (The allure has generated talk of exhibiting some of the library's key pieces more prominently, though no plans have been drawn.)

Overall, the move went as smoothly as possible, with no major damage to the collection reported. Nelson, whose office door boasts a transparent Wonder Woman image, says the new environment has affected employees and their work: "There's a happiness that comes with being so close to the studio — seeing people they haven't seen on a regular basis — and being in a creative space that feels like a comic company."


GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: VOL. 2
The official title for the follow-up to Guardians of the Galaxy has been confirmed, and for those hoping it would hint at plot details about the movie — bad news, sadly. Everyone else, prepare for Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2.

The title was originally reported by Collider after Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige accidentally revealed it during an interview with the site. Writer/director James Gunn later confirmed it on Twitter.

The sequel was originally announced at Comic-Con in 2014 as Guardians of the Galaxy 2. The movie will be release May 2017.


SANDMAN
Sandman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s adaptation of the acclaimed 1990s Neil Gaiman comic book series, is leaving Warner Bros.

It's not traveling far, however, only being segued off to Warners’ sister arm New Line.

The move is part of a larger reshuffling of the deck between DC Comics and its edgy imprint Vertigo. DC projects, those involving the four-color heroes such as Batman and Wonder Woman and Flash, and are — or could be — part of an interconnected cinematic release, will remain in the Warner fold.

Vertigo titles, which are more creator driven and tend to push the envelope in terms of boundaries and content, will now look to be adapted by New Line.

There are some exceptions. Shazam, which has been in development at New Line with Dwayne Johnson attached to star, remains at New Line.

Justice League Dark, which is also known as Dark Universe, will remain under the Warners banner. Dark consists of DC’s supernatural heroes such as Constantine, Swamp Thing, Zatanna, and Deadman among others. In the past, Constantine and Swamp Thing and some of those ilk had their own titles published under the Vertigo imprint but have since been integrated into the DC Universe. The movie version will attempt the same.

Dark, the adaptation, was to have been directed by Guillermo del Toro, but insiders say the filmmaker, who is working on a sequel to Pacific Rim even as he preps his gothic horror movie Crimson Peak, is no longer attached to the project.


STAR TREK BEYOND
It’s official! Star Trek Beyond is, as previously rumored, the official title of the next big screen adventure of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701! Director Justin Lin confirmed the title today with a tweeted image from the set, showing off the franchise’s familiar delta shield on some form of Starfleet uniform.

The new film, now in production, will feature the return of Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin and John Cho along with Idris Elba as the film’s villain and Sofia Boutella in a mystery role. J.J. Abrams, who directed the last two films, is producing the third film in the rebooted franchise. Lin, four-time The Fast and the Furious director, is set to direct from a script by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung.

Paramount Pictures has Star Trek Beyond scheduled for a July 8, 2016 release, which happens to be exactly two months to the day before the franchise’s 50th Anniversary. Although it wasn’t the first episode produced, “The Man Trap,” in which the crew of the Enterprise encounters a deadly shapeshifting salt vampire, introduced the world to “Star Trek” on September 8, 1966.

FANTASTIC FOUR
Following the TV spot on Friday, 20th Century Fox has released another TV spot for their upcoming reboot of Fantastic Four. The trailer features some brand-new footage from the upcoming film.

An origin story said to be inspired largely by the “Ultimate Fantastic Four” comics (the first arc of which was written by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Millar with Joe Kubert illustrating), Fantastic Four offers a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s original and longest-running superhero team. The story centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.

“Marvel’s First Family” will include Whiplash‘s Miles Teller as Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic), “House of Cards” star Kate Mara as Sue Storm (The Invisible Woman), Fruitvale Station and Chronicle‘s Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm (The Human Torch) and The Adventures of Tintin‘s Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm (The Thing). Dawn of the Planet of the Apes‘ Toby Kebbell will also star as Doctor Doom alongside Reg E. Cathey (“The Wire”) as as Dr. Franklin Storm and Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother, Where Art Thou?) as Harvey Elder, aka The Mole Man.

Fantastic Four features a screenplay by Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past), who is also a producer on the film. Directed by Josh Trank (Chronicle), the film is set for release on August 7.


JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK LOOSES DIRECTOR
Guillermo del Toro is no longer attached to direct Warner Bros.' highly-anticipated Dark Universe, also known as Justice League Dark. The news follows a report from April, where Guillermo del Toro himself hinted that he may not have time to direct the project, even though the script is already completed. It isn't clear who Warner Bros. may be seeking to replace the director at this time.

The director is currently putting the finishing touches on his haunted house thriller Crimson Peak, which hits theaters this October. And he is prepping to shoot the sequel Pacific Rim 2, which already has an August 4, 2017 release date in place. There have also been rumors that Hellboy 3 may be be in the works, but the director hasn't said anything definitive about this long-rumored sequel thus far. It is believed that he will shoot Pacific Rim 2 next, sometime this fall.

Back in December, it was rumored that characters such as John Constantine, Zatanna, Brand/Deadman and Jason Blood will be featured in Dark Universe, but that report was never confirmed by the studio. The project will remain at Warner Bros., under their DC Comics universe, while other projects based on Vertigo Comics, such as Sandman, will be moved over to New Line Cinema. Are you disappointed that Guillermo del Toro is no longer making Dark Universe? Let us know what you think, and stay tuned for more details.

Dark Universe is in development .


DAREDEVIL
Netflix’s ‘Daredevil’ was a resounding success, almost immediately getting the greenlight for a second season, but with a few changes. Showrunner Steven S. DeKnight has been replaced by Douglas Petrie and Marco Ramirez, both writers and producers with extensive resumes working on hit shows like ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ ‘True Blood’ and ‘DaVinci’s Demons.’

The first season saw Daredevil/Matthew Murdock (Charlie Cox) standing up to the rampant crime in Hell’s Kitchen, while The Kingpin/Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) approached from a different direction, gutting the impoverished area in order to rebuild it. Fans were thrilled recently, however to learn that a new threat was rising in Season Two– The Punisher/Frank Castle played by Jon Bernthal best known as Shane on ‘The Walking Dead.’ And this isn’t a one-off guest spot. Ramirez sums up the upcoming batch of episodes by simply saying “Daredevil vs. The Punisher.”

Though Daredevil uses violence to achieve his goals, he draws the line at killing… a boundary that The Punisher does not share. Frank Castle is a former Marine, whose wife and kids were killed in a Mafia shootout in Central Park. From that moment on, The Punisher was born and declared a one-man war against the underworld, blowing away anyone who stands in his way.

Though The Punisher is technically on the side of good, his lethal means of achieving his goals, often brings him into conflict with different heroes in Marvel Comics.

The deadly antihero has already been the subject of three live-action movies. Dolph Lundgren played the vigilante in a low-budget film that bore little resemblance to the source material in 1989. In 2004, Lions Gate licensed the rights to ‘The Punisher’ and released a movie with Thomas Jane in the title role, with John Travolta as the villain. A sequel was planned, but lingered in development for years before Lions Gate scrapped it and threw together a reboot ‘Punisher: War Zone,’ replacing Jane with Ray Stevenson.

MONDAY, JUNE 29, 2015


MICRO
Jurassic World producer Frank Marshall and Dreamworks are dipping into the diminishing well of available Michael Crichton novels for their next sci-fi project with Micro, Crichton's fringe science techno-thriller centered around a shadowy Nanotech corporation and a shrunken group of research students roaming the wilds of a Hawaiian rainforest.

Micro was Crichton's final novel before his untimely death in 2008, and carries with it all the familiar elements we've come to love from his imaginitive works like The Andromeda Strain, Jurassic Park, Sphere, Congo, Prey and many others.

Published posthumously in 2011, after being discovered as an untitled, unfinished manuscript on the author's computer at the time of his death, Micro was completed by The Hot Zone's Richard Preston using Crichton's own remaining notes and research and released by Harper Collins to mostly enthusiastic review.

With the film slated for immediate development to capitalize on the current fever for miniaturized superheroes and alt-science entertainment, Dreamworks Studios has teamed up with veteran producer Frank Marshall (Poltergeist, Hook, Raiders of the Lost Ark) and Sherri Crichton and Laurent Bouzereau of Crichton's estate to bring this diminutive odyssey to life. No director or casting choices have been announced.

ANT-MAN
As word from early screenings starts to leak out, Marvel has dropped a new trailer for Ant-Man that is loaded to the brim with new footage.

The new trailer is a Japanese cut, with Japanese voiceover, though the footage is all still in English. Instead of squarely focusing in on the superhero aspects, this trailer picks up with Scott Lang's (Paul Rudd) day-to-day life — working a dead end job, and trying his best to be a decent father to his little girl Cassie. It adds some fresh context to the film, and shows off a bit more of the quirky tone.

This being a superhero movie, it does eventually get to the crux of the action, and does an excellent job breaking down the basic plot in a few beats. The gist: Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) is about to use the Ant-Man tech for nefarious purposes, so Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) enlists Lang (Rudd) to help him stop Cross and save the world.

But the big question remains: Is Ant-Man actually any good? According to reactions from the first screening this week, all signs point to...probably. Most reactions have been generally positive (though at this point, you can kind of take them with a grain of salt), which is at least an indication that this thing isn't a total trainwreck. The consensus seems to be that it's a solid, quirky Marvel movie — not mind-blowingly good, but also not a mess.

But, it sounds like the most intriguing part of the movie might not actually be part of the movie. We don't know what they are, and wouldn't want to spoil them here anyway, but early reports indicate Ant-Man will have two massive post-credit scenes that will have a huge effect on the MCU. Again, we don't know what they are, but all buzz points to something big and bigger.

Ant-Man opens July 17.

JUSTICE LEAGUE: GODS & MONSTERS
DC's Justice League: Gods & Monsters promises to be an unsettling romp into a trippy dimension where Superman is the offspring of Zod, Batman is Kirk Langstrom of Man-Bat fame, Wonder Woman is the wife of Orion and an unwary populace is ripe for a furious revolt.

Check out this first clip for Bruce Timm's (Batman Beyond, Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series) latest venture into the DC toybox, a strange dark ride inside the heart of superhero angst and identity, started by the 3-part Justice League: Gods & Monsters Chronicles web-series on Machinima. Take a look at the final release trailer, then slip into this new clip titled, Under Us, and see if it's something you'll consider sinking your faith (and dollars) into.

Here's the official synopsis:

In an alternate universe, the Justice League is a brutal force that maintains order on Earth. Superman is the son of General Zod, who was rocketed to Earth as a child and raised by a family of Mexican immigrants. Batman is Kirk Langstrom, a scientist who has inadvertently transformed himself into a vampire in an attempt to cure his cancer. Wonder Woman is Bekka, who was the bride of the New God Orion. However, the Justice League's unaccountability is challenged by the world's governments following the suspicious deaths of renowned scientists.

Justice League: Gods & Monsters is being released by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital HD beginning July 14, 2015, and on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on July 28th, 2015.

SUPERGIRL
A new trailer for CBS’ upcoming DC Comics TV series Supergirl has been officially released by Canadian broadcasting channel Global.

It’s apparently one very similar to a trailer leaked online a while back that was taken down as fast as a speeding bullet...well, you know the deal. Starring Melissa Benoist as Supe’s cousin Kara Danvers, aka Supergirl, the show also features Calista Flockhart, Mehcad Brooks, David Harewood, Jeremy Jordan and Chyler Leigh, as well as former Supergirl Helen Slater and former Superman Dean Cain as Kara’s Earth parents, Sylvia and Fred Danvers.

Here’s the series synopsis attached to the Global trailer:

In the vast DC Comics Universe of super heroes, the rich mythology of Superman, the planet Krypton and the House of El is perhaps the most famous and instantly recognizable. Enter Supergirl (Melissa Benoist). Born Kara Zor-El on the doomed planet Krypton, the preteen Kara escaped at the same time as the infant Kal-El, but didn't arrive on Earth until many years later after being lost in the Phantom Zone. Protected and raised by her adopted family, the Danvers, Kara grew up in the shadow of her foster sister, Alex, and learned to hide the phenomenal powers she shares with her famous cousin. Years later, at age 24, living in National City and working as an assistant for Catco Worldwide Media mogul Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart), Kara has spent so many years trying to fit in that she forgot to ever stand out. All that changes when she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and become the hero she was always destined to be.

Supergirl will premiere on Monday, Oct. 26 at 8:30 PM on CBS (and I can only assume on Global as well), and will then move to its regular Monday 8 PM slot the following week, on Nov. 2.

FEAR THE WALKING DEAD
In the wake of last week’s hearth-thumping first-look promo debuted by AMC, now comes the first clip from their Walking Dead spinoff series, Fear the Walking Dead.

The 30-second clip features guidance counselor Madison (Kim Dickens), who’s trying to reassure a student that news reports of a virus or a microbe that's spreading aren’t as serious as he thinks them to be: "You need to spend less time online, OK? The authorities would tell us." Famous. Last. Words.

Instead of taking place around Atlanta, Ga., Fear the Walking Dead is set on the West Coast in Los Angeles and recounts the early days of the zombie apocalypse. The storyline of the companion series centers around Travis (Cliff Curtis), a divorced teacher, and Kim Dickens’ Madison. Frank Dillane (son of Game of Thrones’ Stephen Dillane) plays Madison's son Nick, a young man with a troubled history with drugs, while Alycia Debnam-Carey stars as Alicia, her ambitious daughter.

Fear the Walking Dead will premiere on AMC in August 2015.


GOTHAM NEWS
Following the earlier reveal that James Frain had joined the cast of “Gotham” as half of a brand-new villain duo, TVLine brings word that the other half has been cast in the form of Jessica Lucas (Cloverfield, Evil Dead). Lucas will take on the role of Tabitha Galavan, the “Gotham” version of the DC villain Tigress. Together, she and her brother will bring chaos and violence to streets of Gotham, which will lead to the creation of other DC villains.

There have been a few different versions of the character Tigress, one such example going all the way back to the Golden Age of comics where she made her debut in Action Comics #1, the same debut as Superman. Other versions have come along since then, the second Tigress Paula Brooks even starting out as a hero before transitioning into a villain.

“Gotham” is an origin story of the great DC Comics super villains and vigilantes, revealing an entirely new chapter that has never been told. From executive producer/writer Bruno Heller (“The Mentalist,” “Rome”), “Gotham” follows one cop’s rise through a dangerously corrupt city teetering on the edge of evil and chronicles the birth of one of the most popular super heroes of our time. The series stars Ben McKenzie, Donal Logue, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor, Erin Richards, David Mazouz, Camren Bicondova, Zabryna Guevara, Cory Michael Smith, Victoria Cartagena, Andrew Stewart Jones, and John Doman.

“Gotham” airs Mondays on FOX with season two set to premiere on September 21.


SECRET WARRIORS
Variety brings word that some new additions are coming to the cast of “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” as characters from the comic team “Secret Warriors” will be making their way to the series.

Assembled by Nick Fury in the source material, members of the Secret Warriors include the super speedster Slingshot; Stonewall, the son of Absorbing Man (another “Agents of SHIELD” character); the teleporting Manifold; the mystic Druid; Phobos, son of Ares the god of war; and the pyrotechnic Hellfire. One of the founding members of the team is already a character on the series, Chloe Bennet’s Daisy “Quake” Johnson. Check back here for more news on the Secret Warriors in “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” and check out the teaser art below. The outlet also reports that at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, SHIELD ambassadors will be “roaming the convention to find the most dedicated fans and rewarding them with limited edition ‘Secret Warriors’ pins.” Fans will be able to track the movements of the ambassadors on Twitter (@AgentsOfSHIELD) to secure their own pin. “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” is executive produced by Joss Whedon (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Marvel’s The Avengers); Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen, (“Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” pilot co-writers, “Dollhouse,” “Dr.Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog”); Jeffrey Bell (“Angel,” “Alias”); and Jeph Loeb (“Marvel’s Agent Carter,” “Marvel’s Daredevil,” “Lost”). “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” is produced by Marvel Television and ABC Studios and returns for a third season on Tuesdays this fall on ABC.

FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2015

AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had an eventful Season 2 this past year, with revelations of destiny, dueling S.H.I.E.L.D.s, dysfunctional family drama and the dominating rise of The Inhumans.

Here's an engaging interview by HeyYouGuys with actor Clark Gregg chiming in about the upcoming season's surprises, Skye's bone-rattling transformation into Quake, Agent Coulson's unfolding journey, formation of the Secret Warriors, his potential role in Captain America: Civil War and even his thoughts on the new Spider-Man reboot.

First hear Gregg postulate on the show's reinvention and future directorship of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the difficulty of Agent Ward's redemption, then tell us if you're dialed in for the new season when it premieres on ABC on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, at 9/8c.

STAR WARS: BATTLEFRONT
Though this Tatooine melee may be momentary, it showcases the incredible clarity and mesmerizing level of detail of EA's Star Wars: Battlefront, coming to gaming platforms in November. Join the attack as Rebels take down a serious squad of straight-shooting stormtroopers in this footage featuring the co-op "survival-mode" gameplay. This prestige title was by far one of the most enticing offerings at last week's E3 convention in Los Angeles, and the intense interest should translate to record sales when it debuts weeks before December's Star Wars: The Force Awakens supernova.

Have a look and tell us if you're anxious to absorb Battlefront's cosmic combat.

Star Wars: Battlefront strikes on Nov. 17, 2015, for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

HEROES REBORN
The first official trailer for Heroes Reborn has finally been released online, featuring a slew of new characters (including fan favorite Zachary Levi) and some welcome, familiar faces (Hiro! H.R.G.!).

Along with the goosebump-inducing trailer, NBC has also unveiled a first extended — and very detailed (so be aware of possible SPOILERS) — synopsis for Tim Kring’s upcoming 13-episode event series. Heroes Reborn reprises the concept of the critically acclaimed 2006 series chronicling the lives of ordinary people doing extraordinary things with their newfound abilities.

Here’s the synopsis:

A year ago, a terrorist attack in Odessa, Texas, left the city decimated. Blamed for the tragic event, those with extraordinary abilities are in hiding or on the run from those with nefarious motives.

Two such vigilantes include Luke (Zachary Levi, "Chuck") and Joanne (Judith Shekoni, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2"), who are seeking to avenge a tragic loss.

Noah Bennet, aka H.R.G. (Jack Coleman, "Heroes"), has gone off the grid but conspiracy theorist Quentin Frady (Henry Zebrowski, "A to Z") finds him and opens his eyes to the truth behind the Odessa tragedy.

While in hiding, some are discovering their newfound skills. Awkward teen Tommy (Robbie Kay, "Once Upon a Time") just wants to be normal and win the girl of his dreams, Emily (Gatlin Green, "Criminal Minds"), but normalcy is virtually impossible after learning of a new ability that terrifies him. Coming from a very sheltered upbringing, a bold and ethereal teenager, Malina (Danika Yarosh, "Shameless"), has been told she is destined for greatness. In Tokyo, a quiet and unique young woman, Miko (Kiki Sukezane, "Death Yankee 3"), is trying to track down her missing father while hiding an extraordinary secret that will make her a force to be reckoned with. Elsewhere, a different type of hero is emerging through former soldier Carlos (Ryan Guzman, "The Boy Next Door").

Meanwhile, Erica (Rya Kihlstedt, "Masters of Sex"), the head of the highly successful tech conglomerate Renautas, has an agenda of her own.

For better or for worse, some are fated to cross paths with assorted heroes of the past, including Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka), Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg), Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy) and the Haitian (Jimmy Jean-Louis), among others. Yet, together, their ultimate destiny is nothing less than saving the world and mankind.

The series will have a major presence at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, with a panel taking place on Sunday afternoon in Hall H, the biggest venue of the convention center.

Heroes Reborn is set to premiere on Sept. 24.



X-FILES RETURN
It feels like it has been a pretty rapid turnaround for the return of FOX’s iconic series “The X-Files. Officially announced back in March, six new episodes are on their way to the network in 2016 and, with production already well underway, EW is today sharing a number of brand-new images from the show’s return. In the gallery viewer below, you can check out new shots of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as Fox Mulder and Dana Scully (including a magazine cover photo), images of guest stars Annet Mahendru (“Homeland”) and Joel McHale (“Community”), the title page of the first new episode (“My Struggle”), and series creator Chris Carter working behind the scenes!

Mitch Pileggi will also be returning as Walter Skinner with William B. Davis back as the Cigarette-Smoking Man. Rumors that Annabeth Gish and Robert Patrick will reprise their roles as special agents Monica Reyes and John Doggett persist, although their involvement has not yet been confirmed. There’s also the potential for The Lone Gunmen (Bruce Harwood’s Byers, Tom Braidwood’s Frohike and Dean Haglund’s Langly) to appear as well. Although the trio was apparently killed off in the ninth season episode “Jump the Shark,” the currently-running IDW comic book series has revealed that the Gunmen are secretly alive and well. Whether or not that continuity will tie in any way to the new series, however, remains to be seen.

“The X-Files” originally premiered in September 1993. Over the course of its nine-season run, the influential series went from breakout sci-fi favorite to massive global hit, and became one of the most successful television dramas of all time. The show, which earned 16 Emmy Awards, five Golden Globes and a Peabody Award, follows FBI special agents Scully (Anderson) and Mulder (Duchovny) as they investigate unexplained cases – “X-Files” – for which the only answers involve paranormal phenomena.

Mahendru’s character, Sveta, is said to be a repeat alien abductee.


AQUARIUS RENEWED
NBC has given a second-season renewal for its 1960’s-themed drama “Aquarius,” starring David Duchovny as an LAPD cop on the hunt for Charles Manson, it was announced today by Jennifer Salke, President, NBC Entertainment.

The critically-acclaimed drama made TV history in May as the first broadcast series to be streamed in its entirety following its debut, with NBC making all 12 “Aquarius” episodes available online for the four weeks following its intial NBC telecast.

Salke commented, “With its riveting drama and innovative release strategy, ‘Aquarius’ has excited the critics, hooked millions of viewers and energized our summer. It’s no secret that the way people watch television is evolving, so we took a unique approach to how we delivered ‘Aquarius’ and it’s driven some record numbers for NBC Digital and helped us reach viewers who might have otherwise overlooked a great summer drama.”

Added Robert Hayes, Executive Vice President of NBC Entertainment Digital, “Beyond generating some truly impressive view totals, the network’s unique release strategy with ‘Aquarius’ has helped us gain new insights into viewership patterns, binging behavior and social engagement, significantly expanding our knowledge of how people are watching our shows online.”

“Aquarius” delivered the most-watched first 24 hours for a summer series premiere ever on NBC.com and the NBC App. With the surge in viewership generated by “Aquarius,” NBC Digital (NBC.com, the NBC app and Hulu) went on to log its biggest summer weekend ever. Through 28 days, it’s the #2 most-viewed drama premiere ever on NBC.com and the NBC App, behind only “The Blacklist.”

“Aquarius” also stars Emma Dumont, Grey Damon, Gethin Anthony and Claire Holt. Writer John McNamara (“In Plain Sight”) serves as executive producer with Marty Adelstein (“Prison Break”), David Duchovny and Melanie Greene. “Aquarius” is a production of Tomorrow Studios, a joint partnership between Marty Adelstein and ITV Studios.


STAR TREK 3 BEGINS SHOOTING
While Paramount has yet to confirm a start date, it looks like Star Trek 3 has officially begun production! Stars Zachary Quinto, who plays Spock, and Zoe Saldana, who plays Uhuru, both share Instagram photos and video as they prepare to hit the set. We even get to see Zoe Saldana doing an impression from the classic 80s movie, Coming to America.

Star Trek 3 has not officially announced the title Star Trek Beyond, but writer and star Simon Pegg has openly called the movie that in past interviews. Initial shooting is taking place in Stawamus Chief Provincial Park, in Canada. TrekCore have even provided a map of where filming is taking place. Though, it should be noted, no plot details have been revealed at this time.

Star Trek 3 is set to open next year, hitting in the summer with a July 8, 2016 release date. Things are up and running smoothly today, so it seems the film will likely hit that intended release window. Though, Paramount does not shy away from moving it's higher profile release dates to better accommodate a movie, as they proved when they shifted Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation out of December and into this summer. Justin Lin is directing Star Trek Beyond, and he's bringing his Fast & Furious cinematographer Stephen Windon along for the ride. Take a look as Spock emerges, and Uhuru pretends to be a big, mean dog, along with the shooting location map.

"In honor of my first day back and the memory of my dear friend leonard go to:
http://bit.ly/LoveOfSpock and support his son adam's documentary: FOR THE LOVE OF SPOCK!!"

Star Trek 3 comes to theaters in 2016.

THURSDAY, JUNE 25, 2015


GOTHAM NEWS
Fish Mooney is out of the picture, which means there's a vacuum in Gotham City for a new evildoer -- or two new evildoers, in the case of "Gotham" Season 2.

Deadline reports James Frain, whose recent TV credits include "Orphan Black" and "True Detective," will play one half of a new villainous duo. He'll portray Theo Galavan, a "billionaire industrialist" who is "the savior the city has been waiting for."

Except, of course, he's not. He and his sister Tabitha, who eventually becomes supervillain Tigress, "will take chaos and violence to a new level in order to bleed Gotham." They're motivated by a "centuries-old vendetta," and together they'll end up creating new villains for main characters James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) to contend with.

Frain is a familiar face to TV fans. Beyond his most recent roles, he's appeared on "Agent Carter," "Intruders," "Grimm," "The Cape" and "True Blood." His professional interests clearly seems to lie in fantasy and science fiction, which means he'll be a perfect addition to the "Gotham" family.

Though Jada Pinkett Smith's Fish Mooney seemingly died at the end of "Gotham" Season 1, the cast and creators tease she might not be gone forever. "Never underestimate Fish Mooney and never, ever underestimate what these colorful characters in 'Gotham' are capable of," executive producer Danny Cannon teased to Zap2it.

Little is known about "Gotham" Season 2, but Chris Chalk, who plays Lucius Fox, and Nicholas D'Agosto, who plays Harvey Dent, were promoted to series regulars. The series will return in the fall, airing Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX.


MR. ROBOT
Only one episode in and "Mr. Robot's" titular character (Christian Slater) has proven to be someone you can't take at a surface glance.

In the show's pilot episode, the elder hacker recruits Rami Malek's Elliot to join his hacker organization, which plans to bring down the world's financial system to even the monetary playing field.

It's something Elliot is all for when he first gets the proposal, but when he finds himself in the grasp of Evil Corp -- the Fortune 500 company that stands for everything Elliot despises -- he has to question exactly who he's gotten into bed with by trusting Mr. Robot.

"It's a fascinating character. He's cult leader-esque guy that uses his skills to seduce and manipulate Elliot's character into this f*** society organization," Slater explains to Zap2it. "It's definitely a question of what his true motives are, of what the real plan is."

No one should expect to understand Slater's character that easily though. It'll be a slow process as the show evolves.

"The pilot doesn't give everything away in the first episode. One of the things I really appreciate is that Sam [Esmail, creator] is a really big fan of 'Breaking Bad' and 'House of Cards' where you can actually build characters. You don't have to give everything away immediately," Slater explains. "I'm looking forward to that as we continue to film and discovering really what this character's true motivations are at the end of the day. It's going to be a fascinating journey to take."

The "end of the day" may not even be Season 1, as USA announced Wednesday (June 24) that the show will be getting a Season 2 with a minimum of ten episodes. That fits right into Esmail's plan, who originally adapted the show from his original screenplay.

"When I originally wrote it, this was a feature. I turned it into a show but I knew what the ending was and the ending is still going to be that way," Esmail says. "I would say the first season is the first act of that."

While Mr. Robot's true motives will take their time coming to light, the show is already asking big questions and playing with high stakes as Elliot climb's under Robot's wing.

"There's a save the world dilemma. What Mr. Robot is proposing may have some good immediate consequences. You won't have to pay your student loan off, but what does that mean in the larger sense? Is that really a good thing? Is that really a bad thing?" Esmail says.

Esmail hopes that those questions, along with the show's gritty storytelling, will hook audiences in for the ride -- even if they aren't always completely sure what's going on.

"If it excites you, if you think it's cool, if there are elements of it that you think are bada**, then you should watch it. Not knowing what it's about is even cooler. You can get to keep asking questions," he says. "Fall down the rabbit hole with us."

UPDATE:
"Mr. Robot" has been green lit for Season 2 ahead of its television series premiere on Wednesday, June 24.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY
The Paranormal Activity franchise is set to reach its horrifying conclusion come October with the fifth and final movie.

Titled Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, the horror film will be released in theaters on Oct. 23, 2015. Right in time for Halloween! The 3D found-footage movie (the first of the franchise) will finally reveal Toby and answer a lot of questions that are still lingering about the franchise. Indeed, producer Jason Blum promised we’ll get to know about the origins of the modern-day hauntings and the mysterious demon Toby:

"It's coming to an end. This is it, the finale. We're saying it before the movie opens. We're not going to grind this horror franchise into the ground. This will keep Paranormal Activity as part of this culture and this particular time in a really fantastic way. We couldn't go just teasing. All the questions that everyone has asked from the past Paranormal Activity films: What does Toby look like? What's the backstory to the families? These questions have been teased out. Now they will be answered."

Producer Oren Peli added: "We've done well without showing Toby, being able to create tensions and scares based on audiences' imagination. But people are very curious."

Directed by Gregory Plotkin, The Ghost Dimension follows a new family, the Fleeges — father Ryan (Chris J. Murray), mother Emily (Brit Shaw) and their young daughter Leila (Ivy George) — who move into a house and discover a video camera and a box of tapes in the garage. When they look through the camera's lens, they begin to see the paranormal activity happening around them — including the re-emergence of young Kristi and Katie.

HARBINGER DOWN
With CGI effects dominating genre films, it's always admirable to us when filmmakers go old-school and rely on traditional methods of creature design. Witness this tentacled terror hunting humans in the new euro trailer for Harbinger Down, a sci-fi horror movie about research students aboard a fishing vessel who discover a bit more than kelp clumps in the cold Bering Sea.

Starring Lance Henriksen (Aliens, Pumpkinhead) and showcasing the retro monster magic of Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr. of StudioADI, the Academy Award-winning character effects studio behind the non-CGI wizardry for Enders Game, X-Men: First Class, Spiderman 3, Starship Troopers, Skyline, Tremors and Alien 3, Harbinger Down ventures into the familiar territory of films like The Thing, Deep Rising, Deep Star Six and Leviathan, but retains a raw indie charm all its own.

Here's the official synopsis:

A group of grad students have booked passage on the fishing trawler Harbinger to study the effects of global warming on a pod of Orcas in the Bering Sea. When the ship’s crew dredges up a recently thawed piece of old Soviet space wreckage, things get downright deadly. It seems that the Russians experimented with tardigrades, tiny resilient animals able to withstand the extremes of space radiation. The creatures survived, but not without mutation.

Now the crew is exposed to aggressively mutating organisms. And after being locked in ice for 3 decades, the creatures aren’t about to give up the warmth of human companionship.

Directed by Alec Gillis and also starring Camille Balsamo, Reid Collums, Winston James Francis, Milla Bjorn, Mike Estime and Giovonnie Samuels, the crowdfunded Harbinger Down is primed for a limited theatrical run and VOD launch on Aug. 7, 2015.


LEGENDS OF TOMORROW
Deadline brings word that frequent Greg Berlanti collaborator Phil Klemmer is set to be the showrunner for the upcoming “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.” Klemmer has previously worked on three Berlanti-produced series including “The Tomorrow People,” “Golden Boy” and “Political Animals,” and also previously worked on the series “Chuck” and “Veronica Mars.”

When heroes alone are not enough… the world needs legends. Having seen the future, one he will desperately try to prevent from happening, time-traveling rogue Rip Hunter is tasked with assembling a disparate group of both heroes and villains to confront an unstoppable threat – one in which not only is the planet at stake, but all of time itself. Can this ragtag team defeat an immortal threat unlike anything they have ever known?

“DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” stars Victor Garber (“The Flash,” “Alias”), Brandon Routh (“Arrow,” Superman Returns), Arthur Darvill (“Doctor Who”), Caity Lotz (“Arrow”), Ciarra Renee (“Pippin”), and Franz Drameh (Edge of Tomorrow), with Dominic Purcell (“The Flash,” “Prison Break”) and Wentworth Miller (“The Flash,” “Prison Break”).

Based on the characters from DC Comics, the new series hails from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television. Greg Berlanti (“The Flash,” “Supergirl,” “Arrow”) serves as executive producer alongside Marc Guggenheim (Eli Stone, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters), Andrew Kreisberg (“The Flash,” “Warehouse 13″) and Sarah Schechter (“The Flash,” Pan).

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24, 2015


CAPTAIN MARVEL COMIC BOOK
Captain Marvel fan-favorite writer Kelly Sue DeConnick may not be sticking around after Marvel’s Secret Wars ends, but the comic-book series will be in extremely capable hands come issue #1.

The new team taking over Captain Marvel includes Marvel’s Agent Carter showrunners Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas, with Kris Anka pulling art duty. Now, that's what I call a great piece of news, since I thought Agent Carter was absolutely fa-bu-lous.

In an interview with Fast Company, Butters said about her new gig: "It's been really fun playing in a world where you can do anything. In comics, there is no budget."

The new series will take places eight months after the conclusion of Secret Wars, with some changes coming up. S.W.O.R.D. (Sentient World Observation and Response Department) — the military agency whose mission is to protect Earth from intergalactic threats — is no more in the Marvel Universe (the comic-book one), and Carol Danvers is stepping up to the plate in order to take over those same responsibilities. Editor Sana Amanat said:

"Carol is really meant to be a soldier and a commander, and also a diplomat. We're really trying to build up this space complex and this space world. You'll really feel like there's an extension of the Avengers world into space, but not necessarily lost out in the Guardians of the Galaxy cosmos. It's rooted in Earth but also an extension into the galaxy."

With a whole new mission comes a whole new look. Butters and Fazekas got together with Anka to create a new Captain Marvel character design; including a new haircut. Tara Butters explained:

"We've slightly modified her costume to kind of reflect her new status quo. There's been a lot of controversy about Carol Danvers' haircut. We really wanted to make sure it was consistent and streamlined. Last year I think a lot of people couldn't get her hairstyle—sometimes it was short, sometimes it was long—so we went in and designed exactly what she would look like. Kris really wanted to go shorter, because he felt it aligned with what her new look is all about."

"She's military," added Fazekas. "She's not going to have this huge mane of hair. It needs to be practical."

Besides the outward physical changes and her new mission, the character will remain the same ol’ Carol Danvers. "We're not so much changing anything as building on what already is there," Fazekas said. "I love that she's conflicted about things; she's so different than Captain America or other superheroes. Does she even want this?"

The new Captain Marvel #1 will hit comic-book stores in the fall.


INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE
20th Century Fox has finally revealed the official title for the highly anticipated sequel to Independence Day, a first official synopsis and a few behind-the-scenes pics and concept art.

Titled Independence Day: Resurgence, the film is set 20 years after the events of the first movie. In it, humanity needs to band together (again) and pool its resources to fight off a new alien invasion. Director Roland Emmerich is back at the helm for the ID4 movie sequel and told Empire Online: "We call it in the film the War of '96. It’s like a post-World generation that’s unified, and that's amazing to see a world come together with a common enemy. That's a resurgence."

The cool piece of concept art revealed by Empire (the pic above) depicts the military piloting an alien craft through what’s left of a city. Emmerich said: "The world is totally rebuilt. They had alien technology and anti-gravity, so they could rebuild quite fast. Imagine what we would do with alien technology and who would have it."

As for the aliens, the Idependence Day director is keeping them under wraps. However, he did explain this "urban disintegration" apocalyptic vision (seen in the piece of concept art) refers to the aliens’ massive city-destroying weapons based on the moons of the solar system. Empire points out that this could explain the Moon Tug vessel, seen in the gallery below, Liam Hemsworth’s character, Jake, will be piloting in the movie.

Now, here’s the official synopsis:

We always knew they were coming back. After INDEPENDENCE DAY redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.

Independence Day: Resurgence sees the return of original cast members Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox and Brent Spiner, and features newcomers Liam Hemsworth, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jessie Usher, Maika Monroe and Sela Ward.

The movie is set to hit theaters on June 24, 2016.


DOCTOR STRANGE
By the crimson bands of Cyttorak, Marvel's own Master of the Mystic Arts will be awarded his own comic-book series later this year in anticipation of the new Benedict Cumberbatch Doctor Strange feature film. Once the expansive Secret Wars event is finished this fall, Doctor Strange will star in an all-new title as part of an extensive Marvel relaunch written by Jason Aaron (Star Wars, Thor), with art by Chris Bachalo (Uncanny X-Men, X-Men: Age of Apocalypse).


Though a frequest guest in more recent story arcs like Fear Itself and Original Sin, and a member of the Defenders or occasional guest Avenger, Doctor Strange has not been featured in his own individual book since 1996. Originally created by Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko, Strange first appeared in Strange Tales #110 in 1963 and eventually got his first 15-issue solo series in 1968.

His modern reinvention will focus on the unexpected repercussions of dabbling in sorcery and the magical arts and is intended to deliver a deeper level of humanity and relatability to a character mostly known for his detached icy-coldness. He's also being given an arsenal of axes, swords and bows to help combat interdimensional demons and otherworldy entities encountered in his attempt to offer up his services to a disparate group of black magic victims.


In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Aaron expounded on the exciting reboot of Doctor Strange and the added elements he hopes will bring about a resurgence of interest in the classic character in advance of Marvel's big-screen adaptation coming in November of 2016.

"We wanted a Doctor Strange who was always having to work for what he gets, and to show that when he shows up and uses his powers, it’s not like Captain America throwing his shield or Thor throwing his hammer," Aaron said. "Strange has to worry about repercussions that those other heroes don’t have to worry about, because he’s a Sorcerer Supreme. We’re talking about the forces of magic. So whatever he does has repressions.

"Any of this stuff with magic, there’s always a cost to it. I think that’s kind of the only rule of magic we ever really talk about—everything he does, there’s a price to it. It’s not about tearing everything down that he’s been before and throwing that out. This is just sort of him taking another step, adding another piece to his arsenal, so to speak. And just seeing him be able to dive into situations, and get his hands dirty in a way you haven’t seen him do before.

"But I like that we’re getting to kind of rebuild Doctor Strange from the ground up," Aaron added. "I think what we’re doing speaks to what made Doctor Strange cool and unique in the Marvel Universe. Even back in the 1960s when he first appeared, he was kind of the first guy who dealt with the occult and the mystical in Marvel. So I like that it sets him off from the other heroes we know. Really, the story that begins in Doctor Strange #1 is just the beginning—the beginning of one big arc that will really redefine who Doctor Strange is and what his status quo is going forward."


Thanks to the folks at Entertainment Weekly for this illuminating interview and art preview.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE GHOST DIMENSION
Paramount Pictures and Blumhouse Productions have released the first Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension trailer, which you can watch below. Opening in theaters on October 23, the film marks the final installment of the franchise, which began in 2009 with Paranormal Activity.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension centers on the Fleeges — father Ryan (Chris J. Murray), mother Emily (Brit Shaw) and their young daughter Leila (Ivy George) — who move into a house and discover a video camera and a box of tapes in the garage. When they look through the camera’s lens, they begin to see the paranormal activity happening around them – including the re-emergence of young Kristi and Katie. The video camera footage will be presented in 3D in theaters.

“All the questions that everyone has asked from the past ‘Paranormal Activity’ films: What does Toby look like? What’s the backstory to the families? These questions have been teased out. Now they will be answered,” producer Jason Blum said previously.

Gregory Plotkin directs The Ghost Dimension from a script by Adam Robitel and Gavin Heffernan. Oren Peli produces with Jason Blum, and Steve Molen is executive producer.

HEROES REBORN
Following the key art that was released yesterday (check it out below), NBC has debuted a new promo for the upcoming revival series “Heroes Reborn."

Returning cast members include Jack Coleman as H.R.G., Jimmy Jean-Louis as The Haitian, Masi Oka as Hiro Nakamura, and Greg Grunberg as Matt Parkman. The cast also includes Zachary Levi (of NBC’s “Chuck” and Thor: The Dark World) along with Robbie Kay (“Once Upon a Time”), Danika Yarosh (“Shameless”), Judith Shekoni (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2), Kiki Sukezane (Death Yankee 3), Henry Zebrowski (NBC’s “A to Z”) and Gatlin Green (“Criminal Minds”).

The supernatural phenomenon begins again with a fresh crop of inspiring heroes who take on the ultimate struggle between those with extraordinary abilities and those with nefarious motives to hunt and harness their powers. Epic adventures await these newly empowered allies as they cross paths with some of the original characters, unlocking the mysterious fate of the universe and their place within it.

Tim Kring serves as writer and executive producer. Peter Elkoff and James Middleton also executive produce. “Heroes Reborn” is produced by Universal Television, Imperative Entertainment and Tailwind Productions.

“Heroes Reborn” will air on Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST starting September 24.


NEW SPIDER-MAN
Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios have announced that, following a lengthy casting process, actor Tom Holland (The Impossible, In the Heart of the Sea) will play Peter Parker/Spider-Man in their next Spider-Man film, which is set to hit theaters on July 28. 2017. In addition, director Jon Watts, director of the upcoming thriller Cop Car, will helm the feature.

Marvel and Sony Pictures, and producers Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal conducted an extensive search for both the actor and the director. The studios and producers were impressed by Holland’s performances in The Impossible, “Wolf Hall,” and the upcoming In the Heart of the Sea, and by a series of complex screen tests. Following Marvel’s tradition of working with the brightest next wave of directors, Watts also went through multiple meetings with Feige, Pascal, and the studio, before winning the job.

“It’s a big day here at Sony. Kevin, Amy and their teams have done an incredible job,” Tom Rothman, Sony Pictures Motion Pictures Group Chairman, said. “The Marvel process is very thorough, and that’s why their results are so outstanding. I’m confident Spider-Man will be no exception. I’ve worked with a number of up-and-coming directors who have gone on to be superstars and believe that Jon is just such an outstanding talent. For Spidey himself, we saw many terrific young actors, but Tom’s screen tests were special. All in all, we are off to a roaring start.”

“As with James Gunn, Joss Whedon, and the Russo brothers, we love finding new and exciting voices to bring these characters to life,” Kevin Feige added “We spent a lot of time with Jon and find his take and work inspiring.”

Amy Pascal added, “Sony, Marvel, Kevin and I all knew that for Peter Parker, we had to find a vibrant, talented young actor capable of embodying one of the most well-known characters in the world. With Tom, we’ve found the perfect actor to bring Spider-Man’s story into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”

Sony Pictures will finance and release worldwide the next installment of the $4 billion Spider-Man franchise, in a film co-produced by Kevin Feige and his expert team at Marvel and Amy Pascal, who oversaw the franchise launch for the studio 13 years ago. Together, they will collaborate on a new creative direction for the Web-Slinger.

TUESDAY, JUNE 23, 2015

I'M BACK

The family has a new addition and I took a few days off to be with the new little guy. He is adorable, but you knew I would say that.


JAMES HORNER DIES IN PLANE CRASH
Oscar winning film composer James Horner has died in a plane crash Monday (June 22).

The composer of such films as "Titanic" and "Braveheart" was piloting a small plane when it crashed about 60 miles north of Santa Barbara, Calif. in the community of Ventucopa. According to The Hollywood Reporter local fire fighters responded to a call at 9:30 a.m. where they found the debris of the plane and no survivors. The cause of the crash has not been determined at this time.

Horner's assistant Sylvia Patrycja confirmed the 61-year-old's death on Facebook saying, "We have lost an amazing person with a huge heart and unbelievable talent. He died doing what he loved. Thank you for all your support and love and see you down the road."

Horner was a two time Oscar winner, taking home both the awards for best dramatic score and original song in James Cameron's epic 1997 film "Titanic." Additionally he was responsible for scoring films such as "Field of Dreams" (1989), "Braveheart" (1995), "Apollo 13" (1995) and "Troy" (1994).

The loss of the composer is already deeply being felt in Hollywood, with many people he worked with taking to social media sharing their memories and admiration.


HANNIBAL CANCELLED - BUT LOOKING FOR NEW HOME
After three succulent seasons of defying the ratings odds, Hannibal won't be back for a fourth course.

NBC has officially announced that Hannibal has been canceled, according to TV Line. The show's current third season will be its last, with the finale scheduled to air in August. Showrunner Bryan Fuller said in a statement:

"NBC has allowed us to craft a television series that no other broadcast network would have dared, and kept us on the air for three seasons despite Cancellation Bear Chow ratings and images that would have shredded the eyeballs of lesser Standards & Practices enforcers. [NBC president] Jen Salke and her team have been fantastic partners and creatively supportive beyond measure."

Fuller, whose next job is adapting Neil Gaiman's American Gods for Starz, added:

“Hannibal is finishing his last course at NBC’s table this summer, but a hungry cannibal can always dine again. And personally, I look forward to my next meal with NBC.”

Perhaps to acknowledge the high regard in which the perpetually low-rated show has been held over these last three years, NBC also issued its own statement:

"We have been tremendously proud of Hannibal over its three seasons. Bryan and his team of writers and producers, as well as our incredible actors, have brought a visual palette of storytelling that has been second to none in all of television -- broadcast or cable. We thank Gaumont and everyone involved in the show for their tireless efforts that have made Hannibal an incredible experience for audiences around the world."

The news can hardly come as a surprise, and the truth is that Mads Mikkelsen's fantastic intrepretation of Dr. Hannibal Lecter was allowed to continue preparing his macabre meals long past when most series with the same ratings would have been consigned to the kitchen garbage disposal.

The sheer quality of the show in all departments -- it was one of the most beautiful programs ever mounted on broadcast television, not to mention one of the most gruesome -- as well as a loyal if small fan base, are what kept Hannibal going all this time. But it was sadly going in the wrong direction: The June 11 episode scored a 0.5 in the demo and was watched by just 1.7 million viewers (a series low).

So even though they are part of Blastr's corporate family too, this is an honest call not to be too harsh on NBC. Hannibal got every chance in the world, which is reflected in Fuller's own statement. Sure, we'll never get to see how the series might have adapted the Red Dragon and The Silence of the Lambs novels, but perhaps that's not such a bad thing either.

UPDATE: Hannibal may be leaving NBC, but the show may not be quite dead yet.

Amazon Prime is currently streaming the first two seasons of the show, so that outlet may be a natural first choice as a new home for future seasons. Of course there's also Netflix and all the other new options available these days to make sure that a "hungry cannibal" can in fact "dine again."


ARROW
The Season 3 finale of Arrow practically gave everyone a happy ending. Oliver and Felicity (literally) drove off into the sunset, Thea and Laurel embraced their roles as protectors of Starling City, and Malcolm got what he always wanted -- absolute power.

Even though Oliver defeated Ra's al Ghul, he refused to take his place at Nanda Parbat. That honor went to Malcolm, who happily took the gig as leader of the League of Assassins. The last we saw of him, he was asserting his newfound authority over the deadly army. He really seemed at peace with his position. So, have we seen the last of Malcolm Merlyn? Nope!

According to his portrayer John Barrowman, Malcolm will be back on the scene in Season 4. While speaking at Las Vegas Comic-Con, the actor gave the audience an update on his Arrow status.

"We start filming [Season 4] in July, I just finalized my deal about a week ago … it was just about working out dates and stuff. I’m very excited about going back. I can’t tell you anything, because I do know a bit of what’s gonna happen, but if you love Malcolm Merlyn, if you love Oliver Queen, if you love Thea Queen, if you love the Canary sisters [cheering] … I say that with a bit of a twist and a joke, you’re gonna love what’s gonna happen across the DC world."

Arrow returns this fall on The CW.


MILES MORALES
Even before Marvel Comics decided to smash its main "616" universe and its popular alternate "Ultimate" universe together in this summer's Secret Wars event, Ultimate Spider-Man Miles Morales was interacting with the main Marvel Universe. All the way back in 2012, he got to star alongside the main Marvel Universe's Peter Parker in the dimension-spanning Spider-Men, and we already knew, thanks to teases for the All-New All Different Avengers series coming later this year, that Miles would be sticking around. Now it seems he's doing more than just co-starring in a team book.

Marvel announced over the weekend that, this fall, in the wake of Secret Wars, Miles will star in his very own series: Spider-Man. Miles' co-creators, writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli, will kick off his new adventures in the Marvel universe with a story that Marvel's announcement describes like this:

"A stranger in a strange land, Miles patrols the rooftops of a New York City that is very different from the one he knew. A world where countless heroes guard it’s skies and streets. A world where Miles is counted among the ranks of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, the Avengers. A world where Peter Parker is still alive," the published said in a press release. "Though their paths have crossed before the landmark series Spider-Men, with Miles now living in Peter’s universe – is this town big enough for two Spider-Men? More importantly – how did Miles come to be here in the first place?!"

Miles has been a favorite among comics fans of all kinds pretty much ever since his 2011 debut in the wake of Ultimate Peter Parker's death. Critics have praised the book, readers have grown to love Miles, and the character continues to be a shining example of how to introduce meaningful diversity into pop culture. Now he gets to hang permanently with Marvel characters that have been around since the '60s, with his creators still charting his journey.

“This is a very big deal to [Sarah and I],” Bendis said. “For [Miles] to have grown up and flat-out earned his place in the Marvel Universe, as Spider-Man, is frankly so much more than we could have hoped for when we first sat down to design him and his life. When it became clear that I was going to follow Miles into this new adventure I was really hoping that Sara would see the value in it being both of us that do this together. I was thrilled that she agreed immediately.”

Spider-Man #1 arrives this fall.

INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE
Announced yesterday on the film’s livestream Q&A, Roland Emmerich’s Independence Day sequel has an official title! June 24, 2016 will be the day we celebrate our Independence Day Resurgence!

You can check out the new motion title treatment below, as well as the first images from the much-anticipated sci-fi sequel, offering a look at a key vehicle operated by the Earth Space Defense (ESD) – the Moon Tug! What’s more, ComingSoon.net has spent the day visiting the Albuquerque Studios set and we’ll be bringing you lots of exciting news and interviews with the cast between now and the film’s release next summer!

Starring Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman, Judd Hirsch, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jessie Usher, Maika Monroe and Sela Ward, Independence Day Resurgence is officially described as follows:

We always knew they were coming back. After Independence Day redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global spectacle on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.

Independence Day Resurgence features a script by Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin and James Vanderbilt, James A.Woods and Nicolas Wright.


MARVEL AT COMIC-CON
Marvel Entertainment has revealed their plans for panels and signings for the Marvel Television side of things at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con including panels for both “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” and “Marvel’s Agent Carter.”

On Friday, July 10, the world-famous Marvel Television Presents panel returns as Jeph Loeb (Marvel’s Head of Television) brings you exclusive news and surprises about your favorite action-packed Marvel series on ABC. Join Jeph, showrunners, and the casts of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “Marvel’s Agent Carter” for this must-see panel that’ll have everyone talking!

Then, on Saturday July 11, catch Marvel Animation Presents and see what’s ahead in the world of Marvel Animation. Join Stephen Wacker (VP, Current Series – Marvel Animation Studios), Cort Lane (VP, Animation Development & Partnerships), and Eric Radomski (SVP, Production & Creative Director, Animation) for exclusive first looks at the exciting new seasons of hit animated series: “Marvel’s Avengers: Ultron Revolution” and “Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man vs. The Sinister 6.” Also, be there to catch exclusive never-before-seen footage from “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy” animated series! Star-Lord, Groot, Rocket, Gamora and Drax are back for even more intergalactic adventures in the highly-anticipated new animated series coming to Disney XD this fall.

You’ll also have a chance to meet with the stars of your favorite Marvel Television series on ABC at two exclusive signing events at the Marvel booth (#2329) on Saturday, July 11!

Full Marvel Television schedule:

FRIDAY, JULY 10

Marvel Television Presents — Panel Session
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM in Ballroom 20
Join the casts and producers of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “Marvel’s Agent Carter”!

FRIDAY, JULY 11

“Marvel’s Agent Carter” – Cast Signing Event
10:00 AM at the Marvel Booth (#2329)
Cast Attending: Hayley Atwell, James D’Arcy, Tara Butters (EP), Michele Fazekas (EP), Chris Dingess (EP), Louis D’Esposito (EP) and Jeph Loeb (EP)

Marvel Animation Presents – Panel Session
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM in Room 6BCF
Go behind-the-scenes into the world of Marvel Animation!

“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” – Cast Signing Event
2:30 PM at the Marvel Booth (#2329)
Cast Attending: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Brett Dalton, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Nick Blood, Adrianne Palicki, Henry Simmons, Luke Mitchell, Maurissa Tancharoen (EP), Jed Whedon (EP) and Jeph Loeb (EP).

Please note that both signings are ticketed events and passes will be available on a first-come, first-served lottery basis beginning at 9:30 AM on Saturday, July 11 at the Marvel Booth (#2329).

DRAGON BLADE
The historical epic Dragon Blade has already scored an impressive $120 million since opening in China this past February. Now U.S. moviegoers will get their chance to experience the action and majesty when it opens on September 4, and Lionsgate Premiere has revealed a new trailer.

Dragon Blade brings action spectacle on a grand scale to US audiences. Featuring an international cast led by Jackie Chan, John Cusack and Academy Award-winner Adrien Brody, the film features the fight for the Silk Road when East and West collide. When corrupt Roman leader Tiberius (Adrien Brody) arrives with a giant army to claim the Silk Road, Huo An (Jackie Chan) and his group of trained warriors teams up with an elite legion of defected Roman soldiers led by General Lucius (John Cusack) to maintain the delicate balance of power in the region. To protect his country and his new friends, Huo An gathers the warriors of thirty-six ethnic nations together to fight Tiberius in an incredible epic battle.

Directed by Daniel Lee (14 Blade, Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon), the film stars Jackie Chan (Rush Hour, 1911), John Cusack (Being John Malkovich, High Fidelity), Adrien Brody (The Darjeeling Limited, Splice), Peng Lin (Little Big Soldier, The Viral Factor), Si Won Choi (“Athena: Goddess of War,” “Extravagant Challenge”) and Sharni Vinson (You’re Next, Bait). Chan also produces Dragon Blade alongside Susanna Tsang.

THURSDAY, JUNE 20, 2015


MEG: A NOVEL OF DEEP TERROR
Steven Alten's best-selling sci-fi novel, Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror, has been languishing in development hell for nearly 20 years, but with monster movie fans flocking to Jurassic World and holding viewing parties for Syfy's crazy Sharknado franchise, momentum has shifted toward landing this beastly fish onto the big screen.

Now cult horror director Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, Hostel) has provided the missing link to hook Meg and swing it into production to capitalize on the current fervor for fantastic creatures (and prehistoric creatures, cough cough Jurassic World's $500 million opening weekend). Alten's 1997 book and its subsequent sequels center around the heroic exploits of U.S. Navy deep sea diver Jonas Taylor and his attempts to destroy a 60-foot prehistoric Megalodon shark causing havoc off the California coast. No casting announcements have been made, but Warner Bros. is banking on this becoming a tentpole project filmed from a screenplay by Dean Georgaris (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - The Cradle of Life, Paycheck), so expect some stellar names to be mentioned.

Here's the official synopsis of the novel:

On a top-secret dive into the Pacific Ocean’s deepest canyon, Jonas Taylor found himself face-to-face with the largest and most ferocious predator in the history of the animal kingdom. The sole survivor of the mission, Taylor is haunted by what he’s sure he saw but still can’t prove exists – Carcharodon megalodon, the massive mother of the great white shark. The average prehistoric Meg weighs in at twenty tons and could tear apart a Tyrannosaurus rex in seconds.

Written off as a crackpot suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, Taylor refuses to forget the depths that nearly cost him his life. With a Ph.D. in paleontology under his belt, Taylor spends years theorizing, lecturing, and writing about the possibility that Meg still feeds at the deepest levels of the sea. But it takes an old friend in need to get him to return to the water, and a hotshot female submarine pilot to dare him back into a high-tech miniature sub.

Diving deeper than he ever has before, Taylor will face terror like he’s never imagined, and what he finds could turn the tides bloody red until the end of time. MEG is about to surface. When she does, nothing and no one is going to be safe, and Jonas must face his greatest fear once again.


ROBIN: SON OF BATMAN
Damian doesn't often get the measure of respect he deserves as the potential heir to the Wayne fortune and son of the Dark Knight, but his vigilante star is rising. Check out this 5-page peek with covers for Robin: Son of Batman #1, with story and art by Patrick Gleason (Damian: Son of Batman) and variant cover by Robbi Rodriguez, taking Bruce Wayne's defiant son on a solo odyssey outside the confines of Gotham City to rescue his giant man-bat companion, Goliath, from the Middle Eastern kingdom of Bialya and its elder tyrant, Abush. With Bruce Wayne assumed dead and Jim Gordon cavorting around town in the new armored Batsuit, this is the perfect time for the hot-headed Damian to strike out on his own and test his the limits of his superhero legacy.

Here's DC's official synopsis:

The son of a Bat and a Demon, Damian al Ghul has set out to forge his own identity - and atone for the shameful Year of Blood! Will he be aided or hindered by the behemoth Goliath? And what mysterious legacy trails behind him? Join writer/artist Patrick Gleason as he chronicles the globe-hopping adventures of Robin: Son of Batman!

Robin: Son of Batman #1 hits the shelves today, June 17, 2015.


GHOSTBUSTERS
Although Paul Feig’s upcoming Ghostbusters is said to be said in a new continuity from the original films, executive producer and franchise star Dan Aykroyd revealed today to Comic Book Resources that the new adventure will “[refer] to the to the first two in a really neat, classy way.”

“[It’s] going to be hot!” says Aykroyd, admitting that, as EP, he’s now a “cheerleader” for the franchise. “The new one’s going to be big! The interplay, and with each of them, their individual voices are so well defined. They’re just such different characters, and there’s a friction. There’s a dynamic there. I’m not going to spoil it for people, but it’s going to be big, big! …This is all going to introduce [the franchise] to a whole new generation of girls that are going to want to be Ghostbusters. We always needed them.”

Meanwhile, Academy Award nominee Emma Stone has revealed that she was offered a role in the film, but ultimately decided to pass.

“The script was really funny,” she tells the Wall Street Journal. “It just didn’t feel like the right time for me. A franchise is a big commitment—it’s a whole thing. I think maybe I need a minute before I dive back into that water.”

The new Ghostbusters is currently set to star Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon as the Ghostbusters team with Chris Hemsworth having recently signed on to play their receptionist.

Ghostbusters will be entering production shortly, targeting a July 22, 2016 release.

LEGO DIMENSIONS
In a new E3 trailer, GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System), the fictional, artificially intelligent computer system and main antagonist in the Valve Corporation’s Portal video game series, puts the heroes of LEGO Dimensions through multiple tests that can only be solved by using the LEGO Toy Pad.

LEGO Dimensions, the upcoming entertainment experience that merges physical brick building with interactive console gameplay, will include gameplay from “The Simpsons,” “Doctor Who,” Ghostbusters, Portal, Jurassic World, Midway Arcade, LEGO Chima and “Scooby Doo!” These fan-favorite worlds, most of which have never before been in a LEGO video game, will converge with the previously-announced DC Comics, The Lord of the Rings, The LEGO Movie, The Wizard of Oz, LEGO Ninjago and Back to the Future worlds in one thrilling adventure playable with the LEGO Dimensions Starter Pack.

LEGO Dimensions will be available for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii U on September 27, 2015.

SECRET LIFE OF PETS
Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures have revealed the first teaser trailer, images and poster for their animated animal movie The Secret Life of Pets.

The fifth fully-animated feature-film from Illumination (Despicable Me, Hop and the upcoming Minions), The Secret Life of Pets is a comedy about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day.

Comedy superstars Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet and Kevin Hart make their animated feature-film debuts in The Secret Life of Pets, which co-stars Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Jenny Slate, Bobby Moynihan, Hannibal Buress and Albert Brooks.

Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborator Janet Healy produce the film, which is directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2), co-directed by Yarrow Cheney and written by Brian Lynch and Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio. It is set to open on July 8, 2016.

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2
Sony Pictures Animation has revealed the new Hotel Transylvania 2 trailer!

Everything seems to be changing for the better at Hotel Transylvania… Dracula’s (Sandler) rigid monster-only hotel policy has finally relaxed, opening up its doors to human guests. But behind closed coffins, Drac is worried that his adorable half-human, half-vampire grandson, Dennis, isn’t showing signs of being a vampire. So while Mavis (Selena Gomez) is busy visiting her human in-laws with Johnny (Andy Samberg) – and in for a major cultural shock of her own – “Vampa” Drac enlists his friends Frank (Kevin James), Murray (Keegan-Michael Key), Wayne (Steve Buscemi) and Griffin (David Spade) to put Dennis through a “monster-in-training” boot camp. But little do they know that Drac’s grumpy and very old, old, old school dad Vlad (Mel Brook) is about to pay a family visit to the hotel. And when Vlad finds out that his great-grandson is not a pure blood – and humans are now welcome at Hotel Transylvania – things are going to get batty!

Released in 2012, the original Hotel Transylvania was helmed by Genndy Tartakovsky, the creator of hit animated series like “Dexter’s Laboratory” and “Samurai Jack,” and grossed more than $350 million at the worldwide box office.

Again directed by Tartakovsky and featuring a script by Adam Sandler and Robert Smigel, Hotel Transylvania 2 hits theaters on September 25.

PEANUTS MOVIE
20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios are thrilled to share the brand new trailer for The Peanuts Movie! Check it out as Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus and the rest of the beloved Peanuts gang make their big-screen debut, like they've never been seen before, in state of the art 3D animation. This time out, Charlie Brown is going to become a winner, even if it kills him!

In The Peanuts Movie, Charlie Brown, the world's most beloved underdog, embarks upon an epic and heroic quest to prove he's more than just the town screw-up. At the same time, his best pal, the lovable beagle Snoopy, takes to the skies to pursue his arch-nemesis, the Red Baron. From the imagination of Charles M. Schulz and the creators of the Ice Age films, The Peanuts Movie will prove that every underdog has his day.

Steve Martino, best known for Ice Age: Continental Drift and Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who, sets out to perfectly recreate the magic of the original Charlie Brown specials, some of which are honored in this latest sneak peek. Paul Feig, who will remake Ghostbusters with an all-female lead cast, produces this family animated adventure with the promise not to make Charles M. Schulz's iconic characters hip or cool . Check it out, as Charlie Brown and Snoopy set out to impress the new kid in school. She may just be too pretty for words!

TIME OUT OF MIND
Oren Moverman, known for hard hitting dramas The Messenger and Rampart, returns with a relentless and brutal look at life on the streets in the new movie Time Out of Mind. Richard Gere makes his move for Oscar gold with this Fall release. He is joined by a stellar ensemble cast that includes Jena Malone, Danielle Brooks and Jeremy Strong.

Evicted from his squat and suddenly alone on the streets, George (Richard Gere) is a man without a home. Struggling with his demons and desperately trying to connect with the daughter he abandoned, he navigates the system, hustling for change and somewhere safe and quiet to gather his thoughts. But the streets are relentless and soon, George finds himself teetering on the edge, alone and abandoned.

Time Out of Mind is Oren Moverman's powerful portrait of a man on the margins of society, a visually stunning film that brings the experience of homelessness into sharp, deeply empathetic focus. Take a look at this sneak peak, which features Richard Gere giving one of the most powerful performances of his career. Then be sure to mark your calendar for September 9, when the film will hit select theaters from IFC.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 17, 2015


AMERICAN GODS COMING TO STARZ
Neil Gaiman's American Gods novel is ascending to a premiere spot on Starz' 2016 schedule after being shuffled around various prospective networks.

When HBO abandoned its plans for a prestige, six-episode event series, Freemantle Media and Starz picked up the project in turnaround last year with Bryan Fuller (Heroes, Hannibal) and Michael Green (Blade Runner 2, Wolverine 3, Prometheus 2) attached as showrunners. Now Starz has officially lit the green light on American Gods, and casting has apparently already begun for its perfect Shadow Moon and Mr. Wednesday.

The Hugo and Nebula award-winning fantasy saga was first published in 2001 and has been translated into more than 30 languages. Here's the official synopsis of Gaiman's celebrated novel:

The plot posits a war brewing between old and new gods: the traditional gods of biblical and mythological roots from around the world steadily losing believers to an upstart pantheon of gods reflecting society’s modern love of money, technology, media, celebrity and drugs. Its protagonist, Shadow Moon, is an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to Mr. Wednesday, a conman but in reality one of the older gods, on a cross-country mission to gather his forces in preparation to battle the new deities.

Gaiman, who will also executive-produce his book's adaptation, seemed especially pleased with the supernatural project's forward momentum.

"I am thrilled, ‎scared, delighted, nervous and a ball of glorious anticipation. The team that is going to bring the world of American Gods to the screen has been assembled like the master criminals in a caper movie: I'm relieved and confident that my baby is in good hands. Now we finally move to the exciting business that fans have been doing for the last dozen years: casting our Shadow, our Wednesday, our Laura..."

No word yet on exact production start dates, but expect American Gods to be part of Starz' prime-time 2016 lineup.

BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT
Rumors of the Joker's return to Rocksteady's upcoming Batman; Arkham Knight have been only slightly exaggerated, as seen in this new footage shown at yesterday's Sony panel during the big E3 2015 event in Los Angeles.

Here we finally get to see the flaming fate of the Joker in this peek at the opening moments of the game's epic storyline, with that signature grin remaining baked onto his crispy skin. Then stay tuned for a fearful sequence inside a coffee shop as complaints against a smoking customer lead to a terrifying zombie encounter orchestrated by the maniac Scarecrow.

Batman: Arkham Knight should bring instant joy into the hearts of hardcore Bat-gamers when it's released on June 23, 2015, and feverish anticipation is erupting in advance of the roll-out.

Have a look at this gruesome new trailer and tell us if you're primed to pounce on Arkham Knight next week.

STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT
Playstation has unleashed a Star Wars Battlefront trailer, as well as over five minutes of awesome multiplayer gameplay footage for EA’s upcoming Star Wars videogame.

The videos were revealed as part of Sony Playstation’s E3 conference (which included a section dedicated to Lucasfilm and Star Wars). First off, the gameplay trailer which is set on the ice planet of Hoth. You get to see the battle from the POV of both the Rebellion and the Empire. Keep your eyes peeled for your favorite father-son duo.

Also announced is a new Survival Mode specific to the "Missions" section of the game. Single players or two players in co-op will have to take on waves of enemy AIs. You'll be able to play in Survival Mode on all the planets in the game, including Endor, Hoth, Sullust and Tatooine. The explosive and action-packed trailer sees the player as a Rebel fighter, fighting off stormtroopers, interacting with your troops and destroying AT-ATs.





CRIMSON PEAK
Two international character posters for the upcoming Crimson Peak have turned up online today. One features two-time Academy award nominee Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, A Most Violent Year) while the other offers a look at the character played by Tom Hiddleston (Marvel’s The Avengers, Only Lovers Left Alive).

Also starring Mia Wasikowska (Stoker, Alice in Wonderland), Charlie Hunnam (“Sons of Anarchy,” Pacific Rim) and Jim Beaver, the Universal Pictures release is directed by Guillermo del Toro, the man responsible for films like Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone, and written by both del Toro and Matthew Robbins. Set in the aftermath of a family tragedy, the film follows an aspiring author, who is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds… and remembers.

A co-production between Legendary and Universal Pictures, Crimson Peak is produced by Del Toro, Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni and Callum Greene with Jillian Share serving as executive producer. Look for it to hit both 2D theaters and IMAX beginning October 16!

STAR WARS REBELS
A new clip from the one-hour Season Two premiere of “Star Wars Rebels,” titled “The Siege Of Lothal,” has debuted online featuring a tease of the confrontation between Ezra, Kanan and that iconic Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Vader.

Continuing the epic tradition of the legendary “Star Wars” saga, “Star Wars Rebels” unfolds between the events of Star Wars: Episodes III and IV and tells the story of the motley but clever crew of the starship Ghost who together face threatening new villains, encounter colorful adversaries and embark on thrilling adventures. In its second season, “Star Wars Rebels” will feature recurring appearances by fan-favorite characters including Darth Vader and Ahsoka Tano with James Earl Jones reprising his iconic role from the films and Ashlecky Eckstein returning to voice the “Clone Wars” character. Dee Bradley Baker will also return this season as Captain Rex (as well as Gregor and Wolffe).

The cast for the series is made up of Freddie Prinze, Jr. as Kanan, Vanessa Marshall as Hera, Tiya Sircar as Sabine, Steve Blum as Zeb, and Taylor Gray Ezra. In addition, the series has brought back a number of classic characters with Stephen Stanton voicing Grand Moff Tarkin (played by Peter Cushing in the original film) along with Phil LaMarr as Bail Organa and other original actors for some characters including Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, Frank Oz as Yoda, and Anthony Daniels as C-3PO.

Season Two of “Star Wars Rebels” premieres at 9:00pm ET/PT on Saturday, June 20 on Disney XD.

TUESDAY, JUNE 16, 2015


BATES MOTEL - TWO SEASON PICK-UP
A&E has signed on for two more 10-episode seasons of its critically-acclaimed "Psycho" prequel drama "Bates Motel," starring Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga, to return in 2016.

The pick-up will take the series through Season 5, but it's not yet known if that is the planned ending for the series from creators Anthony Cipriano, Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin.

"The vision of our incredible creative team has exposed the steady breakdown of the relationship between Norman and Norma Bates," says A&E general manager Rob Sharenow. "We are thrilled to bring fans two more seasons to witness the next stages of Norman's transformation into the most notorious psychopath in cinematic history."


STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE
Looks like Star Wars: Rogue One has nabbed itself an Oscar winner.

Variety reports that Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland, Taken 3) is "in negotiations" (but it looks like a slam-dunk) to join the cast of director Gareth Edwards’ upcoming stand-alone Star Wars movie, which stars Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Ben Mendelsohn (The Dark Knight Rises, Bloodline), Diego Luna (Elysium), Sam Clafin (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay) and Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler). Below is the movie’s first synopsis:

"A rogue band of resistance fighters unite for a daring mission to steal the Death Star plans in Star Wars anthology film, ROGUE ONE."

Felicity Jones will star as one of those rebel soldiers, while sources are reporting both Riz Ahmed and Diego Luna will also play fellow Rebel Alliance fighters. No word on the role Whitaker could be playing yet. Disney and Lucasfilm have yet to comment.

Star Wars: Rogue One will take place between the events of Episodes II and IV, but will be closer to Star Wars: A New Hope time-wise. It will be released in theaters on Dec. 16, 2016.

KILLJOYS
Killjoys (Syfy) Friday, 9 p.m. - "Bangarang"
Series premiere! - This week, Syfy's quest to return to hard sci-fi form continues with what looks to be an action-packed new show. Killjoys will visit territory that franchises like Star Wars have already covered pretty thoroughly -- bounty hunters in space -- but it'll do it with a style that we've never really seen on TV before, even from the likes of Firefly. The show follows a trio of bounty hunters as they work in The Quad, a planetary system on the brink of war. They love to have a good time at work, and they want to remain impartial, but can they? We'll find out as the show progresses. Everything we've seen so far is stylish, sexy and clever. Let's hope the full episodes can keep delivering that.

THE LEFTOVERS
A new trailer for the second season of HBO’s The Leftovers has arrived, and it points to a major change of direction (literally) for the supernatural mystery drama.

The series focuses on the humans left behind after approximately 2 percent of the Earth’s population disappears during a mysterious event. It’s a fascinating premise, and led to some tense (and often dour) hours of television this past year. For year two, it seems the focus will be shifting to a town in Texas that had zero “departures” (aka mysterious disappearances).

The new teaser trailer shows a massive pile of people headed to the small town of Jarden, in the hopes of finding some answers in regard to those who disappeared and those left behind (get it?). It’s a nice setup, and definitely fits the mysterious tone of the first season. Considering the project is masterminded by Damon Lindelof (Lost) and the book’s talented author, Tom Perrotta, that’s not much of a shock.

The second season of The Leftovers is set to debut this fall on HBO.

PIXELS
Sony Pictures has just brought online a new TV spot for their upcoming ’80s arcade comedy-action film Pixels and it features some newly released footage.The film, which stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Josh Gad, Peter Dinklage and Brian Cox, hits theaters on July 24.

In Pixels, intergalactic aliens misinterpret video-feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war against them and attack the Earth, using the games as models for their various assaults. President Will Cooper (James) has to call on his childhood best friend, ’80s video game champion Sam Brenner (Sandler), now a home theater installer, to lead a team of old-school arcaders (Dinklage and Gad) to defeat the aliens and save the planet. Monaghan plays the team’s unique weapons specialist.

The film is directed by Chris Columbus from a story by Tim Herlihy and a screenplay by Tim Herlihy and Timothy Dowling, based on the original short film of the same name by Patrick Jean. Pixels is produced by Adam Sandler, Chris Columbus, Mark Radcliffe, and Allen Covert. Executive Producers are Barry Bernardi, Michael Barnathan, Jack Giarraputo, Heather Parry, Tim Herlihy, Steve Koren, Patrick Jean, Benjamin Darras, Johnny Alves, Matias Boucard, Seth Gordon, and Ben Waisbren.


COMING TO DVD THIS WEEK
Things kick off this week with Chappie, the third film from District 9 and Elysium‘s Neill Blomkamp. If you’ve yet to add any of his films to your collection, you’re in luck! This week also sees the arrival of a three-film box set, Blomkamp 3.

Other recent big screen releases include the Blumhouse horror thriller The Lazarus Effect, the Liam Neeson-led Run All Night, and the Vince Vaughn comedy Unfinished Business, while, on the indie side of things, we’re getting Time Lapse, a sci-fi thriller starring “The Flash’s” Danielle Panabaker, and Welcome to Me, an offbeat comedy drama starring Kristen Wiig as a somewhat mentally-unbalanced woman who, after winning the lottery, decides to create her own television show.

This week also brings two more Studio Ghibli titles to HD, including the Academy Award-winning Spirited Away and the Whisper of the Heart spinoff feature, The Cat Returns.

When it comes to the Criterion Collection, it’s all about Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn this week. My Dinner with Andre gets a Blu-ray upgrade while Jonathan Demme’s recent A Master Builder comes home for the first time. Both films are also available alongside the previously-released Vanya on 42nd Street in Criterion’s 3 Films box set.

Once again, Scream Factory has a pair of cult classics debuting in HD with a double-feature disc offering both 1961’s giant prehistoric lizard bonanza Reptilicus and 1977’s killer octopus adventure Tentacles.

On the small screen front, this week brings us the third and final season of HBO’s The Newsroom along with, available on DVD only, massive complete series sets for classic sitcoms The Odd Couple and Laverne & Shirley.


MALEFICENT 2
Disney is moving forward with a sequel to last year's blockbuster Maleficent, hiring screenwriter Linda Woolverton to write the script for this follow-up. Deadline reports that Disney is keeping star Angelina Jolie "in the loop," and that the sequel is being written for the actress to reprise her title role. It isn't known if other cast members will be back, such as Elle Fanning (Aurora), Sharlto Copley (Stefan), Lesley Manville (Flittle), Imelda Staunton (Knotgrass), Juno Temple (Thistlewit), Sam Riley (Diaval) and Brenton Thwaites (Prince Philip).

The studio will have to make a whole new deal with Angelina Jolie to come back for Maleficent 2, although the actress doesn't have a great track record with sequels thus far. She has developed sequels for Salt and Wanted, but neither project has gotten off the ground yet. Joe Roth is coming back to produce, but it isn't clear yet if director Robert Stromberg, an Oscar winning production designer who made his directorial debut on Maleficent, will be back at the helm.

Maleficent was a revisionist take on the iconic Sleeping Beauty villain, with the story told from her perspective, as we see her transform from her forest kingdom's fierce protector to a revenge-seeking villain after she was betrayed and her heart turned to stone. Maleficent took in over $760 million worldwide from an $180 million production budget.

Maleficent was released May 30th, 2014.

MONDAY, JUNE 15, 2015

Storm Troopers STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
The first wave of official images of Star Wars: The Force Awakens merchandise has been unleashed, and thanks to the good folks over at EW, we now have a first look at the awesome First Order Stormtrooper — the redesigned white armor of the Empire’s foot soldiers.

In the gallery below, you’ll first see the 9-inch LEGO Buildable First Order Stormtrooper; the second pic shows Hasbro’s Black Series 6-inch First Order Stormtrooper (I totally want one of those); and the third is a sleek Mattel Hot Wheels First Order Stormtrooper car. Sadly, actor John Boyega’s Stormtrooper, Finn, isn’t seen unmasked in any of them, but this is apparently his team.

These toys (along with a lot more Star Wars merchandise) will be available at San Diego Comic-Con from July 8-12.

Directed by J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: The Force Awakens stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Lupita Nyong’o and Max von Sydow. It is set to be released on Dec. 18, 2015.

Jurassic World WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
Obliterating all expectations, Universal's Jurassic World roared to a record $204.6 million debut in North America and $511.8 million globally, rescuing the action-adventure franchise from the brink of extinction 22 years after Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park first hit theaters.

The $150 million tentpole, bestowed with an A CinemaScore, proves that dinosaurs are every bit as potent as superheroes: Jurassic World's estimated weekend bests the $191.3 million launch of sequel Avengers: Age of Ultron last month to bite off the No. 2 domestic opening of all time, almost matching the $207.4 million launch of The Avengers in May 2012.

Globally, the movie posted the largest weekend bow in history, eclipsing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 ($483.2 million) and becoming the first film to ever cross $500 million in one weekend, thanks to an international haul of $307.2 million from 66 markets, the second-biggest foreign opening after Deathly Hallows 2 ($314 million).

"This is absolutely a four-quadrant movie and is working on so many levels. The release date was awesome, and everybody stayed off of our date," said Universal domestic distribution chief Nick Carpou.

So when might a Jurassic World sequel be announced? "We're saying if the filmmakers agree, we'd love to have another movie. But right now we are concentrating on this movie," Carpou continued.

Internationally, China led overseas with $100.8 million, followed by the U.K. and Ireland ($29.6 million), Mexico ($16.2 million), South Korea ($14.4 million), France ($12.5 million), Australia ($12.1 million), Germany ($11 million) and Russia ($9.4 million).

In North America, some rival studios have Jurassic World tying with or beating the first Avengers, but Universal is being cautious in projecting Sunday traffic because of Sunday night's NBA Finals game. Studios always estimate their weekend number on Sunday morning, followed by any adjusted figures on Monday.

The performance of the long-awaited fourth installment no doubt furthers Chris Pratt's star power a year after Guardians of the Galaxy propelled him to leading man status (Pratt shares top billing in Jurassic World with Bryce Dallas Howard).

Heading into the weekend, tracking suggested Jurassic World would open to an impressive $125 million-plus domestically, but it quickly transformed into a T. rex on steroids, thanks to older moviegoers seduced by the nostalgia factor and a massive turnout among younger moviegoers who grew up watching the first three movies on television and going to Universal theme parks.

According to Rentrak, 58 percent of ticket buyers were males, while 50 percent of the overall audience was under the age of 25, a prized demo that has become increasingly AWOL at the multiplex, particularly younger males.

Jurassic World is another major victory for Universal Pictures chairwoman Donna Langley and her team, who shepherded recent hits Furious 7, Fifty Shades of Grey and Pitch Perfect 2. Over the weekend, the studio sped past Warner Bros. and Disney to claim No. 1 in domestic market share for the year with more than $1 billion in ticket sales.

Playing in 4,273 theaters, Jurassic World received the widest North American release in the studio's history. And it did huge business in 3D houses, which contributed roughly 48 percent of all domestic revenue, a strong showing considering 3D has been on the decline (RealD is the dominant provider of 3D systems in the U.S.) Moviegoers feasted on the film in Imax locations, which ponied up a record $44.1 million globally and $20.6 million domestically. Premium large format screens also saw record traffic, turning in a sizable $16.2 million.

Set two decades after the events in Jurassic Park, the movie stars Pratt as a dinosaur trainer at the massive Jurassic World park. But when a genetically engineered dinosaur named Indominus Rex gets loose, he and park manager (Howard), whose two young nephews have come to visit, are tasked with stopping the animal before it kills thousands of park visitors. Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson also star.

Colin Trevorrow directed the film based on characters created by Michael Crichton. Legendary co-financed the film, with Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment co-producing.

No other studio dared open a movie nationwide opposite Jurassic World, although making a high-profile entry at the specialty box office was Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, which Fox Searchlight launched in 15 theaters in select markets. The Sundance Film Festival favorite grossed $210,000 for the weekend for a screen average of $14,000. Many think even Earl ended up being impacted by Jurassic World.

Also at the specialty box office, Brian Wilson musical biopic Love & Mercy enjoyed a strong second weekend as it expanded into a total of 573 theaters, moving up to No. 10 with $1.7 million and an estimated domestic total of $4.7 million for Roadside Attractions and Lionsgate.

Elsewhere in the top 10, Melissa McCarthy's action-comedy Spy held relatively well despite Jurassic World, falling 45 percent to $16 million for a 10-day domestic total of $56.9 million for Fox and director Paul Feig.

Other movies saw steep drops, including Entourage, which tumbled 58 percent in its second weekend to $4.3 million, putting its North American total at $25.9 million.

DRAGON BALL
Following the official announcement of the series back in April, the first promo for the upcoming “Dragon Ball Super” (Japanese title; tentative for English release) has debuted online (via Anime News Network).

Reuniting the franchise’s iconic characters, “Dragon Ball Super” will follow the aftermath of Goku’s fierce battle with Majin Buu, as he attempts to maintain Earth’s fragile peace. Overseen by Dragon Ball’s original creator, Akira Toriyama, and produced with Fuji Television, “Dragon Ball Super” will draw on its historic past to create a bold, new universe welcoming to fans and endearing to new viewers.

Introduced as a manga in “Weekly Shonen Jump” (published by SHUEISHA Inc.) in 1984, “Dragon Ball” has evolved into a globally beloved brand. Seen in more than 70 countries, with over 230 million copies of its comic books sold, “Dragon Ball” remains one of the most popular anime series of all time.

“Having loved Dragon Ball since childhood, it is very exciting to be a part of this project,” producer for Fuji Television Osamu Nozaki previously said. “Mr. Toriyama has developed a plot that’s not only a dream come true for Dragon Ball’s millions of fans, but one that will foster in a new generation of viewers.”

The first “Dragon Ball” anime in 18 years, “Super” is produced by Toei Animation. Check back here for further information on a domestic release of “Dragon Ball Super.”

Red Queen RED QUEEN
Elizabeth Banks (‘The Hunger Games‘,’Pitch Perfect 2′) has already moved on from just acting and will be sitting in the director’s chair for the book to film adaptation of ‘Red Queen.’

Having starred in ‘The Hunger Games’ and having huge success directing the sequel to ‘Pitch Perfect’ it seems like a no brainer that she would be looking to direct a young adult action film that could potentially spawn a trilogy with how well they’ve been doing at the box office. I’m sure it helps that ‘Pitch Perfect 2′ made $70.3 million at the box office on its opening weekend and held its own by pulling in higher viewership than fan favorite ‘Mad Max: Fury Road.’

The novel is written by Victoria Aveyard and is a young adult romance and fantasy tale which is the first book in a trilogy. Universal Pictures optioned the film in 2013 and has put together a screenplay by Gennifer Hutchison (‘Breaking Bad’.’Star Trek: Enterprise’) with Pouya Shahbazian (‘Divergent‘,’Insurgent‘) on board as the producer.

‘Red Queen’ gives us a new world of segregation but instead of skin color we see it is the color of a person’s blood that sets them on their path for life. Red blooded humans are basically slaves to those who are born with silver blood. The silver blooded humans also have the bonus of having supernatural powers which helped cement their place as the ruling class. Only, the social norms are thrown to the wolves when Mare Barrow is born with red blood but develops electricity-based powers and has to fight in order to save her family.

Cristine Rose HEROES REBORN
NBC has added another familiar face to ‘Heroes Reborn‘ as Cristine Rose (‘How I Met Your Mother,’ ‘What Women Want’) is set to return as Angela Petrelli! On the original series Angela had the ability to see the future while dreaming and was the mother of Peter and Nathan Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia and Adrian Pasdar respectively). What is interesting is at this time neither of her sons are said to be returning to the cast, though that could change by the time we actually see the show air. Of course, Ventimiglia has said that Peter would not be making a comeback on the series so I’m curious as to how they’ll be explaining away their lack of appearing on screen.

Cristine won’t be alone for this 13-episode relaunch of the series as she’ll be joining some familiar faces as so we we already know that Jack Coleman, Greg Grunberg, Masi Oka, Sendhil Ramamurthy, and Jimmy Jean-Louis will all be reprising their roles. Not only will this be a great way to bring new characters into the world that ‘Heroes’ built but we’ll be seeing quite a few familiar faces in this reunion that is far too long in the making.

The new faces that she may be partnered up with or against are Zachary Levi, Ryan Guzman, Dylan Bruce, Robbie Kay, Danika Yarosh, Gatlin Green, Judith Shekoni, Kiki Sukezane, and Henry Zebrowski. Though we don’t really know that much about who they will be playing quite yet.

Hopefully ‘Heroes Reborn’ can capture the spirit and quality of the first season and not end up the lame duck that ‘Heroes’ came to a close with. The superhero market faces stiff competition these days with Marvel and DC having such huge successes on the small screen so NBC will really have to give us something special when the series airs.

‘Heroes Reborn’ will take over NBC’s Thursday night 8pm time slot this Fall.

FRIDAY, JUNE 12, 2015


CHRISTOPHER LEE IS DEAD
Christopher Lee, a veteran movie actor with nearly 300 credits to his name, has died at the age of 93. Lee died of respiratory problems and heart failure on Sunday (June 7), and The Guardian reports his wife of over 50 years did not want to release the news publicly right away in order to inform all of the family members.

In recent years, Lee was best known for his portrayal of Saruman in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy and the two "Hobbit" movies. But prior to that, he appeared in a wide variety of films, ranging the "The Wicker Man" and the 1970 version of "Dracula" to the new "Star Wars" movies and "Police Academy: Mission to Moscow."

In the 1950s and '60s, Lee, with his dark looks and deep voice, was a staple of the horror movie genre, making dozens of movies for Hammer Studios. Those also introduced him to Peter Cushing, with whom he starred in over 20 films; the two became close friends.

In recent years, Lee also worked with director Tim Burton quite a lot. He had small roles in "Sleepy Hollow," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "Sweeney Todd," though the "Sweeney Todd" role was eventually cut. Lee also did some voice work on Burton's "Corpse Bride" and "Alice in Wonderland."

The actor was a singer, releasing four heavy metal albums and three EPs between 1998 and 2013. Not bad for a man in his 80s and 90s.

Lee was knighted in 2009 for services to drama an charity and was given the BAFTA fellowship in 2011. He is survived by his wife Birgit Kroncke and daughter Christina.

ANT-MAN
Just in case you didn't know that Ant-Man is connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a new TV spot and some posters are here to help.

Outside of diehard Marvel fans, the rest of the mainstream public might not know who Ant-Man is, or anything about his long history within the Marvel Universe as a founding member of the Avengers. While that history has been altered at least to some degree for the Ant-Man movie, Marvel Studios apparently wants to make sure that you know Earth's Mightiest Heroes are not that far away.

First, there is this new TV spot, in which Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), the thief recruited by Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) to become the new Ant-Man, suggests that a call to the Avengers might be a good idea:

And then there are the posters below, which couldn't be more explicit in reminding you that Earth's Tiniest Hero exists in the same universe as Marvel's A-listers. It's not as if Iron Man, Cap or Thor appears in Ant-Man (as far as we know, anyway), but Marvel wants to make sure that moviegoers know they're all from the same stable of superheroes (which will become even clearer when Lang shows up in Captain America: Civil War).

Is Marvel worried about the box-office response for Ant-Man? A six-minute preview is rolling out this weekend in front of Jurassic World, and now this spot and these posters are being deployed as well for what was supposed to be more of a standalone movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We'll see how it all pays off when Ant-Man opens on July 17.



DOCTOR STRANGE
Not only has Chiwetel Ejiofor been confirmed for Marvel's Doctor Strange, but we know now which role he is playing.

Following speculation in January that Marvel Studios was chasing the Oscar-nominated actor for a key role in the Sorcerer Supreme's big-screen debut, Deadline reports that not only is Ejiofor signed for the movie, but he'll be playing Stephen Strange's archnemesis, Baron Mordo.

Or at least a version of him: Deadline also states that the film's Baron Mordo will be an "amalgamation" of characters from the Doctor Strange canon and may not be completely villainous in the movie. The comic-book Mordo first debuted in the August 1963 issue of Strange Tales, a disciple of the Ancient One whose plan to kill his teacher is foiled by new student Stephen Strange, earning the latter Mordo's undying wrath.

We already know that the Ancient One will be portrayed by Tilda Swinton, so it's likely we'll see some version of that storyline play out in the movie. And it's not like Marvel hasn't combined characters before: The villain played by Mickey Rourke in Iron Man 2 drew from both Whiplash and the Crimson Dynamo, for example.

However the story plays out, Doctor Strange now has a trio of top-shelf actors lined up in Ejifor, Swinton and of course Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role. Doctor Strange comes out Nov. 4, 2016, directed by Scott Derrickson (Sinister) from a script by Jon Spaihts (Prometheus).


THE FLASH
The CW’s Flash took a few pages from the Arrow playbook, then took off running and arguably became a better show. Well, the playbook is coming back out.

TV Line is reporting the producers have put out a casting call for a character that is described as “Think ‘Felicity Smoak’ from Arrow.” Hmm. The character is named Wendy, and she's described as a “spunky, fun and funny” romantic interest for Barry. She’ll be introduced in a major recurring role as a new officer at the Central City Police Department. She’s also described as bright and scientific-minded.

Considering we’re only in year two of this series, it makes sense they’d hold off a bit on (potentially) putting Barry (Grant Gustin) and his longtime crush Iris (Candice Patton) together. It’s already been implied, due to time-travel shenanigans, that Barry and Iris will end up together in the future, at some point. Not to mention the fact that the couple are often married in the comic canon.

As for how it’ll work in execution? It might not be a bad move, honestly. The Season 1 finale saw Iris’s almost-fiancee, Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett), heroically sacrifice himself to stop the Reverse-Flash, just moments after Iris and Eddie decided to throw destiny to the wind and make a go of it. Iris will almost certainly need some time to deal with that loss, and considering pretty much every relationship he’s had to date has ended badly, Barry deserves a bit of fun.

Now, let the great debate begin between Iris and Caitlin ‘shippers, before we add Wendy to the mix.

FANTASTIC FOUR
20th Century Fox has released a new TV spot for director Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four, opening in theaters on August 7.

An origin story said to be inspired largely by the “Ultimate Fantastic Four” comics (the first arc of which was written by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Millar with Joe Kubert illustrating), Fantastic Four offers a contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s original and longest-running superhero team. The story centers on four young outsiders who teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe, which alters their physical form in shocking ways. Their lives irrevocably upended, the team must learn to harness their daunting new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.

“Marvel’s First Family” will include Whiplash‘s Miles Teller as Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic), “House of Cards” star Kate Mara as Sue Storm (The Invisible Woman), Fruitvale Station and Chronicle‘s Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm (The Human Torch) and The Adventures of Tintin‘s Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm (The Thing). Dawn of the Planet of the Apes‘ Toby Kebbell will also star as Doctor Doom alongside Reg E. Cathey (“The Wire”) as as Dr. Franklin Storm and Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother, Where Art Thou?) as Harvey Elder, aka The Mole Man.

Fantastic Four features a screenplay by Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past), who is also a producer on the film.


INTO THE BADLANDS
AMC has just released the first two stills from their upcoming fall series, “Into the Badlands,” starring Daniel Wu. In addition to headlining, Wu also serves as an executive producer on the series.

Said to be a genre-bending martial arts series, “Into the Badlands” is very loosely based on the classic Chinese tale “Journey to the West.” In a land controlled by feudal barons, the series tells the story of a ruthless, well-trained warrior named Sunny (Wu) and a young boy who embark on a journey across a dangerous land to find enlightenment.

Emily Beecham (28 Weeks Later, The Village), Sarah Bolger (“The Tudors,” In America) and Oliver Stark (The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box, My Hero) also star.

AMC has ordered six, one-hour episodes, which will premiere in late 2015. The project was created by writers/showrunners Al Gough and Miles Millar (Shanghai Noon, “Smallville”). They’ll serve as executive producers along with David Dobkin (The Judge, Wedding Crashers, Shanghai Knights), Oscar-nominated producers Stacey Sher and Michael Shamberg (Pulp Fiction, Contagion), and Stephen Fung and Wu (Tai Chi Zero).

From AMC Studios, “Into the Badlands” will be distributed internationally by Entertainment One Television (eOne).

THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.
Warner Bros. Pictures has debuted the new trailer for Guy Ritchie’s big screen adaptation of the ’60s TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Set against the backdrop of the early 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. centers on CIA agent Solo and KGB agent Kuryakin. Forced to put aside longstanding hostilities, the two team up on a joint mission to stop a mysterious international criminal organization, which is bent on destabilizing the fragile balance of power through the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology. The duo’s only lead is the daughter of a vanished German scientist, who is the key to infiltrating the criminal organization, and they must race against time to find him and prevent a worldwide catastrophe.

The film also stars Alicia Vikander, Jared Harris, Elizabeth Debicki, Luca Calvani and Hugh Grant. The script was written by Ritchie and Lionel Wigram, and the action adventure was produced by Ritchie, Wigram, John Davis, Steve Clark-Hall and executive produced by David Dobkin.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. will be released in theaters on August 14, 2015.

THURSDAY, JUNE 11, 2015


UNIT: EXTINCTION
Big Finish have revealed who would be joining Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) in a new Doctor Who audio spinoff adventure, UNIT: Extinction, part of UNIT: The New Series ... and one of them is a beloved fan favorite.

Let’s get the good news out of the way first: Ingrid Oliver will be returning in her role of UNIT scientist Osgood (she'll also be back on the show's upcoming ninth season), the Doctor’s biggest fan ever. Producer David Richardson said:

"We’re so happy to have Kate and Osgood joining us at Big Finish. This team has been so captivating to watch on TV, and we’re looking forward to throwing some deadly challenged in their paths in these kinetic new episodes."

The audio adventure will feature a slew of new UNIT characters, one of them being Lieutenant Sam Bishop, who’s described as "an international trouble-shooter for UNIT who is sent [to] the world’s most dangerous hotspot." The role will be played by Warren Brown (Luther, X Company). Richardson said of Brown's casting:

"We’ve worked with Warren several times before, and even though he’s one of the busiest leading men around, he’s said he’ll be there for Big Finish. So we’ve created a principle role in UNIT especially for him, and he’ll be am essential member of the global team."

Rounding up the cast are Ramon Tikaram (Game of Thrones, Jupiter Ascending) as Colonel Shindi, and James Joyce (Downton Abbey, The Musketeers) in the role of loose cannon UNIT officer Captain Josh Carter. Here's a synopsis/description of the upcoming Doctor Who spinoff audio adventure:

In UNIT: Extinction, Kate and her team confront an alien invasion by the Nestene Consciousness and its army of plastic Autons.

The upcoming box set is set to be released in November 2015, and you can pre-order it now. Three more UNIT audio adventures will follow every six months.

MINORITY REPORT
Here's a fresh teaser for Minority Report, Fox's sci-fi crime drama coming to the network this fall.

The premise, adapted from Steven Spielberg's 2002 film starring Tom Cruise and originally inspired by Philip K. Dick's classic 1956 short story, takes place 10 years after the events seen in the movie, with the Precrime Agency being disbanded and a lone Precog Dash (Stark Sands) prowling a 2065 Washington D.C. for telepathic hints of evil doings with the help of a skeptical detective, Lara Vega (Meagan Good). The visuals and production values look enticing, and it will be interesting to see if Fox's gamble on this TV adaptation will lure enough viewers to keep it rolling past an initial season.

Here's the official synopsis:

The future is coming. Based on the international blockbuster film by executive producer Steven Spielberg and the first of his films to be adapted for television, MINORITY REPORT follows the unlikely partnership between a man haunted by the future and a cop haunted by her past, as they race to stop the worst crimes of the year 2065 before they happen. Set in Washington, D.C., it is 10 years after the demise of Precrime, a law enforcement agency tasked with identifying and eliminating criminals…before their crimes were committed. To carry out this brand of justice, the agency used three precogs – “precognitives” Dash, Arthur and Agatha – who were able to see the future. Now, in 2065, crime-solving is different, and justice leans more on sophisticated and trusted technology than on the instincts of the precogs. Precog DASH (Stark Sands, “Inside Llewyn Davis”) – driven by his terrifying, but fragmented visions – now has returned in secret to help a brash, but shrewd police detective, LARA VEGA (Meagan Good, “Think Like A Man” franchise, “Californication”), attempt to stop the murders that he predicts. As they navigate this future America, they will search for Dash’s missing twin brother, ARTHUR, and elude others who will stop at nothing to exploit their precog abilities. Also complicating matters is Dash and Arthur’s ingenious, but reclusive, foster sister, AGATHA (Laura Regan, “Mad Men,” “Unbreakable”), who just wants Dash to return home. A drama of crime and conspiracy, this is a timeless story of connection: two lost souls, Dash and Vega, who find friendship, purpose and redemption in each other.


HYPERION
Dan Simmons' classic sci-fi novel Hyperion is being adapted at last -- as an event series for Syfy.

The cable network (which, full disclosure, is Blastr's corporate parent) announced this morning that it will team with producer/actor Bradley Cooper (American Sniper), Oscar-winning producer Graham King (Argo) and director/producer Todd Phillips (The Hangover) to bring the massive novel -- the first in a tetralogy -- to the screen.

Cooper, King and Phillips will executive-produce the series, which is being penned by Boardwalk Empire writer Itamar Moses. Cooper said in a statement:

“It is an absolute honor to enter into the world created by Dan Simmons that is arguably one of the greatest works of science fiction, and help realize it for television audiences."

Syfy president Dave Howe added:

“As Syfy continues to forge important partnerships with award-winning talent on and off screen, this powerhouse team led by Bradley Cooper, Graham King and Todd Phillips brings an extraordinary track record in producing entertainment of the highest creative ambition. Epitomizing the gold standard of science fiction story-telling, Hyperion tackles smart and provocative themes that help define Syfy's development vision.”

Those comments aren't just boilerplate. Hyperion is a modern sci-fi masterpiece that has long confounded attempts to adapt it as a motion picture, with Cooper himself trying for years to make it happen. Set in the 28th century, it takes place long after humankind has abandoned the Earth (which was destroyed by an artifically generated black hole) and spread out into the far reaches of space as the Hegemony of Man through the use of a vast teleportation network created by AIs.

With the Hegemony beset by an imminent invasion from the Ousters (alleged barbarians who reject the Hegemony's AI-dependent culture and live in deep space), seven pilgrims are sent to the remote planet Hyperion, where strange structures known as the Time Tombs -- guarded by a brutal, time-traveling monster called the Shrike -- may be altering the course of human history.

The original novel was followed by The Fall of Hyperion, Endymion and The Rise of Endymion, so there's a lot more material there to adapt if Hyperion scores. The event series is really the perfect format for this complex, multi-layered story.


THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.
Warner Bros. has just released a new poster for Guy Ritchie’s big screen adaptation of the ’60s TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. This one features super spies Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) front and center, accompanied by Alicia Vikander’s Gaby Teller and the omniscient face of Elizabeth Debicki as Victoria Vinciguerra.

Set against the backdrop of the early 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. centers on CIA agent Solo and KGB agent Kuryakin. Forced to put aside longstanding hostilities, the two team up on a joint mission to stop a mysterious international criminal organization, which is bent on destabilizing the fragile balance of power through the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology. The duo’s only lead is the daughter of a vanished German scientist, who is the key to infiltrating the criminal organization, and they must race against time to find him and prevent a worldwide catastrophe.

The film also stars Alicia Vikander, Jared Harris, Elizabeth Debicki, Luca Calvani and Hugh Grant. The script was written by Ritchie and Lionel Wigram, and the action adventure was produced by Ritchie, Wigram, John Davis, Steve Clark-Hall and executive produced by David Dobkin.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E. will be released in theaters on August 14, 2015.


X-FILES
FOX’s has revealed the first on-set image of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson returning as FBI Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully on the six-episode revival of “The X-Files.” You can check out the photo below, which features series creator Chris Carter looking on as well!

Mitch Pileggi has also confirmed that he’ll be back as Walter Skinner, and Joel McHale will play a conservative internet news anchor in the new episodes. Previous reports indicate that William B. Davis’ Cigarette-Smoking Man and Annabeth Gish and Robert Patrick’s special agents Monica Reyes and John Doggett are also set to return, but this hasn’t been confirmed.

“The X-Files” originally premiered in September 1993. Over the course of its nine-season run, the influential series went from breakout sci-fi favorite to massive global hit, and became one of the most successful television dramas of all time. The show, which earned 16 Emmy Awards, five Golden Globes and a Peabody Award, follows FBI special agents Scully (Anderson) and Mulder (Duchovny) as they investigate unexplained cases – “X-Files” – for which the only answers involve paranormal phenomena.


INDEPENDENCE DAY 2
The Licensing Expo 2015 is in full effect right now, with every major studio bombarding Las Vegas with a look at their latest offerings. One of the most anticipated movies making a scene at the event is Independence Day 2, and today we get a look at the first teaser poster. The image is iconic, and recalls the original marketing strategy of Independence Day, which stormed theaters in 1996. Only this time, the aliens return with complete global decimation on their minds.

After Independence Day redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global catastrophe on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens' advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction in Independence Day 2.

The first teaser poster certainly captures the essence of the plot synopsis previously released by 20th Century Fox. It should be noted that this poster is strikingly similar to a piece of fan art that has been around for awhile, which we've included below. Roland Emmerich returns to direct this follow-up, with many of the original cast returning as well, including Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox, Brent Spiner, Bill Pullman and Judd Hirsch. Take a look at the teaser, which comes courtesy of Collider.


HALO 5: GUARDIANS
‘Halo 5: Guardians’, developed by 343 Industries and published through Microsoft, will once again welcome Nathan Fillion, actor of ‘Castle’, ‘Firefly’, and ‘Serenity’, to fight alongside Master Chief.

Fillion has previously starred in ‘Halo 3′, ‘Halo 3: ODST’, and ‘Halo Reach’, using his physical appearance and voice for his character Gunner Sergeant Reynolds (yes, that is an intentional reference to ‘Firefly’) in Halo 3, and Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck in ODST and Reach.

Once again, Fillion will return as Edward Buck for ‘Halo 5′, but as revealed through the July issue of Game Informer, his character model will look shockingly accurate to the actor’s features:

Back in his initial appearance in ‘Halo 3′ Nathan Fillion discussed his loyalty to the ‘Halo’ franchise that spurred him to star in the game in the first place:

I’m a Halo guy. The Bungie folks were kind enough to have me do a voice for Halo 3. So there’s nothing like sitting down to a nice game of Halo and shooting at myself. I like to get online, and the reason I like it is I’ve got a lot of friends in Canada and New York, all over Los Angeles and at great distances. Sometimes I take off for months at a time to go work, and my social time is on that box. You put on a little headset and unwind with your friends. You hang out, you laugh, it’s good times. And when it’s all done, you don’t have to send anybody home. No one’s drunk all your beer. You just say, ‘Good night, I’m going to bed,’ and it’s off and it’s done.

Game Informer is devoting their July issue to covering ‘Halo 5′, including a front cover display and a 12 page spread discussing the upcoming game’s mechanics, characters, plot, and multiplayer.

‘Halo 5′ is set to release on October 27, 2015 for the Xbox One. Pre-orders are available now.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 10, 2015


DAREDEVIL NEWS
We’ve been wondering which direction Marvel will take Daredevil in its second season, and now the Netflix series has added a major (deadly) heavyweight from the comic canon.

Marvel has confirmed that Walking Dead alum Jon Bernthal will play Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, in Season 2 of Daredevil. It’ll mark a massive addition to the hit series, and finally reveals Marvel’s plan for the murderous antihero in regard to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Some fans might’ve been holding out for a new movie (after the two recent, pre-MCU attempts underwhelmed), but after seeing the gritty tone of Daredevil’s first season, the skull-clad killing machine might be a better fit for the small-screen world.

We don’t know much about how they’ll introduce the character into the Daredevil-verse, but Marvel teases that The Punisher will surface as a vigilante who aims to clean up New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen by any means necessary, no matter how lethal the results. So perhaps he’s inspired to action by Daredevil’s progress in Season 1 but doesn’t share Murdock’s code of conduct? It could work, and would make for a natural entry point. Also, this would have to mean there’s an eventual Punisher series waiting in the wings down the line, right? This would be an excellent way to test the water for a backdoor pilot.

Bernthal is likely best known for his portrayal of Shane in the early seasons of The Walking Dead. He’s also had memorable roles in Fury and Mob City. The guy is an imposing and intense actor and should be a perfect fit for Frank Castle. Plus, his tenure on The Walking Dead proved the guy knows his way around firearms.

"Jon Bernthal brings an unmatched intensity to every role he takes on, with a potent blend of power, motivation and vulnerability that will connect with audiences," said Jeph Loeb, Marvel’s Head of Television. "Castle’s appearance will bring dramatic changes to the world of Matt Murdock and nothing will be the same."

Work is ramping up soon on the second season of Daredevil, which will be executive-produced by Doug Petrie (Buffy The Vampire Slayer), Marco Ramirez (Daredevil) and Drew Goddard (Cabin in the Woods). The excellent debut season is streaming now on Netflix (seriously, go watch it).


FANTASTIC BEASTS
For the longest time, J.K. Rowling didn't use her Twitter account. She just signed up and kept it there as a placeholder so no impostors could step in and take her place on social media. Once she got active on the site, though, she got really active, using her tweets for everything from fundraising to politicial arguments to, of course, interacting with fans who still have plenty of questions about the Wizarding World she created.

The Wizarding World is on Rowling's mind a lot these days, because eight years after the final Potter book was released and four years after the final Potter film hit theaters, she's returning to the universe with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, an adaptation of sorts of the Wizarding World textbook of the same name. The film will follow magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) as he journeys around the world collecting information on magical creatures for his writing, and will be set 70 years before the events of the Harry Potter series. The film will mark Rowling's screenwriting debut, and because she's neck-deep in working on it right now, she's been happy to provide eager fans with a few hints about what we might see.

On Sunday, in response to fan questions about Scamander's adventures in America, Rowling dropped some news that's not only big for Fantastic Beasts, but big for Potter fans in the United States who always wanted a Hogwarts of their very own. Yes, there is an American wizarding school out there.

JUSTICE LEAGUE: GODS AND MONSTERS CHRONICLES
It’s not often DC lets someone tear apart the “Big Three,” but when Bruce Timm comes calling, they listen. Get ready for a very different take on Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.

Timm chatted with Bleeding Cool about his new project Justice League: Gods and Monsters, which is a new animated Machinima web series that is also set for a Blu-ray film release as a feature film (it’s also spawned a companion comic-book series). The series basically serves as a hard reset of the DC universe, with Timm telling his own weird stories in his own weird world. Batman is a vampire (literally), Superman is the son of Zod, and Wonder Woman is a New God.

The look evokes that iconic Batman: The Animated Series vibe that Timm is known for, but this ain’t your usual Saturday morning cartoon. This is hard PG-13 material right here, and Timm has had a blast tearing this thing apart and putting it back together. It’s an intriguing pitch, and Timm doesn’t seem afraid to take it to the extreme. Here’s how he described the concept, and it’s a fascinating peek into the creative process:

"I was for some reason thinking of the silver-age versions of The Flash and Green Lantern and basically what they did there with those characters was they kept the name and the gimmick of the golden-age versions and threw everything else out. They gave them new costumes, new alter egos and even changed the way their powers worked. And I thought, wouldn’t it be exciting to apply that same process to the big three. Usually the big three are sacred, you’re not allowed to mess with them. You don’t tug on Superman’s cape …

Part of the fun of these what if stories isn’t just seeing what happens to the characters but seeing what happens to the rest of the universe around them. Knowing that I wanted to keep it somewhat grounded in the DC universe, but kind of an off-kilter tangent… I went back to the origin story and I had this idea that what if at the moment of concept Superman was the son of Zod instead of Jor-El? That’s a major game changer.

I got really excited about that and I moved on to Batman. I always remember this quote from Bob Kane who said Batman was half Dracula and half Zorro. I always liked that Batman had this dark and creepy look and had all these vampire references in his costume. I wanted to do a vampire Batman, but I knew he wasn’t going to be Bruce Wayne… and I remembered the character of Kurt Langstrom in the comics who was Man-Bat. So I took Langstrom and instead of making him Man-Bat I made him a vampire Batman.

Wonder Woman was tougher to figure out. Alan Burnett and I were discussing the character. All of our original ideas were staying in the realm of Greek mythology. We had this idea we kind of liked, instead of being the daughter of Hippolyta and molded out of clay, she was going to be the daughter of Zeus. She was basically going to be Athena. She was basically going to be a female Thor and her dad was going to be an asshole like Odin. And we wondered what Olympus would look like if it was created by Jack Kirby. I came up with this design for her that had a lot of Kirby influence in it. So we were going along that line and literally a week later the new 52 comes out and sure enough Wonder Woman was going to be the daughter of Zeus. So we couldn’t do that and had to go back to the drawing board. So Alan was looking at the design I had done of Wonder Woman and said she kind of looked like one of the New Gods and I went ‘well duh’ she’s a New God. That pulled our bacon out of the fire there."

Check out the first episode below, which introduces a very different, animated version of Harley Quinn (Timm goes so far as to call her the “skanky” version of the iconic character he created on Batman: The Animated Series). Oh, there’s also a blood-sucking Batman who is ... a far cry from the Dark Knight you’re used to seeing.

SPECTRE
EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Sony Pictures debuted a new 60-second TV spot for the 24th James Bond movie, Spectre, during Tuesday night’s NBA Finals game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors.

Directed by the Academy Award winning Sam Mendes (Skyfall, American Beauty), Spectre stars Daniel Craig (Casino Royale, Munich), Ben Wishaw (Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, I’m Not There), Naomie Harris (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, 28 Weeks Later), Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Invisible Woman), Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained, Inglourious Basterds), Monica Bellucci (Irreversible, Malena), David Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Man with the Iron Fists), Léa Seydoux (Inglourious Basterds, Blue is the Warmest Color), Stephanie Sigman (Miss Bala, Pioneer), Andrew Scott (Locke, “Sherlock”) and Rory Kinnear (Quantum of Solace, The Imitation Game).

In the movie, a cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organisation. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.

SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion), as Bond fans know, is a fictional global terrorist organization featured in Ian Fleming’s novels, as well as the films and video games based on those novels. The organization was led by the villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld, although the cast is definitely playing it coy about whether or not Blofeld will actually appear in the new film.

Spectre, written by John Logan and Neal Purvis & Robert Wade, hits theaters and IMAX on November 6, 2015.

LEGO MARVEL'S AVENGERS
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and TT Games have released the new trailer for the upcoming LEGO Marvel’s Avengers, recreating the climactic fight from the first “Avengers” film.

Play as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in their quest to save the world while reliving some of the most amazing moments from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including the famed Battle of New York between the Avengers and Super Villain Loki as seen in Marvel’s The Avengers. Plus moments from this summer’s blockbuster hit Avengers: Age of Ultron and many more!

Re-imagined in LEGO form and told in TT Games’ signature, classic LEGO humor, LEGO Marvel’s Avengers will be available this winter for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS and Windows PC.

BATMAN VS SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE
Last week, it was announced that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice would have a huge presence at Licensing Expo 2015. This was later followed by a new image of the Batmobile being used in the movie. With the event officially kicking off this week, Warner Bros. and DC Comics have finally unveiled the official synopsis for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. And it pretty much reveals what we've long known about the movie:

Fearing the actions of a god-like Super Hero left unchecked, Gotham City's own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis's most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it's ever known before.

It's not yet clear if we'll get a good look at any of the toys or merchandise planned for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. A first look at Suicide Squad is also planned for Licensing Expo 2015. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice will be headlined by Henry Cavill as Kal-El and Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne. Also appearing in the cast are Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Gal Gadot, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons and Holly Hunter. The film will set up the two-part epic Justice League Part 1 and Justice League Part 2. We'll have to hold our breath and wait to see if anything else big gets released from the DC Comics Cinematic Universe during the expo this week.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice comes to theaters March 25th, 2016.


SENSE8
Have you already binged the entire 12-episode first season of ‘Sense8′ on Netflix? The highly anticipated sci fi drama, from the minds of The Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski became available in its entirety on Friday June 5th. The show focuses on a diverse selection of eight individuals from around the globe, with wildly disparate lives and backgrounds, who suddenly become mentally linked with one another, gaining each other’s skills but also uncovering their deepest secrets.

If you have caught ‘Sense8,’ either the entire season or just a few episodes, you may be intrigued to hear a bit of insight from members of the cast. You’re in luck, as four of the series regulars, Daryl Hannah (Angelica “Angel” Turing), Naveen Andrews (Jonas Maliki), Brian J. Smith (Will Gorski) and Jamie Clayton (Nomi Marks) sat down to discuss the show and their roles with interviewer Karamo Brown.

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Daryl Hannah’s character Angel serves as the “mother of the group,” another sensate from an earlier generation who must guide the new members as they discover and explore their mysterious link.

As Andrews noted, this show is not structured like a typical TV program, comparing each episode to a movie.

Critical reaction has been mixed, with some praising ‘Sense8′ for bucking traditional mores. But others find it a bit muddled and confusing. It seems as if those ‘Heroes‘ comparisons are accurate, in both a good and bad way. But over all, the reviews have been better than average.

TUESDAY, JUNE 9, 2015


WAR MACHINE
Netflix and Brad Pitt might just be the next peanut butter and jelly: a perfect combo. The streaming site announced on Monday (June 8) that the actor is set to star in the leading role of the satirical comedy "War Machine."

The Netflix original film, which is produced by Netflix and Pitt alongside his Plan B partners, follows a "rock star" general in charge of commanding the American war in Afghanistan. He must team up with his motley staff of commanders and press advisers to navigate the world of "delicate international alliances, ... the charged battlefield of Washington politics, the voracious appetite of the media and the day-to-day management of the war itself."

"We are so excited to be a part of the inspiring commitment by Netflix to produce cutting-edge content and to deliver it to a global audience," Pitt says in statement.

"War Machine," which is inspired by Michael Hastings novel "The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan," begins principal photography in August 2015 and will be available to Netflix members and in select theaters sometime in 2016.

STAR WARS REBELS
The launch of Star Wars Rebels last fall was a refreshing odyssey into the foundation years of the Rebellion and a sterling example of Disney magic while rolling out its shiny new Star Wars Universe after the entertainment empire's purchase from George Lucas in 2012.

The second season airs on Disney XD on June 20, and anticipation is simmering as we count down to even more delicious Star Wars candy in December. To prime you for the perilous Season 2 one-hour special, we've got a new trailer entitled The Siege of Lothal, with Darth Vader dispatched to Ezra's home planet of Lothal to hunt down the freedom fighters responsible for the the death of The Inquisitor and destruction of Grand Moff Tarkin's flagship Star Destroyer, The Sovereign. Have a look as lightsabers flare, dire punishments are declared and the galaxy is alive again with the epic swirl of battling spaceships.

Star Wars Rebels Season 2 premieres on Disney XD on Saturday, June 20, 2015 at 9/8c.

REGALICERATOPS
Here's the newest edition to the dinosaur kingdom, a crowned, multi-horned cousin of the Triceratops that paleontologists have affectionately nicknamed Hellboy, after Mike Mignola's kitty-loving, pancake-feasting comic-book demon.

Officially given the royal designation of Regaliceratops, its 600-pound petrified skull was unearthed in Canada and featured a jagged, bony bonnet along the top ridge of its head. This impressive creature was first discovered 10 years ago jutting out of a steep cliff above the Oldman river south of Calgary in Alberta, and its species identification was announced to the world on Thursday in the journal Current Biology. Regaliceratops is the latest member of the chasmosaurine family of large horned herbivores that lived some 68 million years ago and must have been the envy of the swamps with that awesome ornamental headgear.

“There are these really stubby horns over the eyes that match up with the comic-book character Hellboy,” said study leader Caleb Brown of the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Alberta, Canada, where the fossil now calls home.

KILLJOYS
Syfy is going back to its space opera roots in less than two weeks with a brand-new sci-fi series titled Killjoys, which follows a trio of intergalactic bounty hunters (aka reclamation agents) as they chase down fugitives throughout the Quad — a distant planetary system teetering toward a bloody class war.

The upcoming TV show (it'll also air on Space in Canada) comes from the creative mind of showrunner Michelle Lovretta — who gave us the dark fantasy series Lost Girl — and stars Hannah John-Kamen (Black Mirror), Aaron Ashmore (Warehouse 13) and Luke MacFarlane (Person of Interest). Here's a description:

Leading the Killjoys team is Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen), a gorgeous, former assassin with a complicated past; her loyal partner John (Aaron Ashmore), a witty, technical wizard with a vulnerable heart; and his estranged brother D’avin (Luke Macfarlane), an elite soldier with an expertise in combat tactics. Together, the three Killjoys form a highly accomplished team of bounty hunters, each with distinct and valuable specialties to offer as they navigate the culturally rich, politically complex, and economically polarized worlds of The Quad.

The upcoming 10-part series will also feature genre vet Amanda Tapping (Stargate SG-1) in a guest-starring role as a super clever scientist who keeps her true intentions from the Killjoys, thanks to her charismatic charm. In order to whet our appetite, and ahead of the June 19 premiere on both Syfy and Space, a first-look featurette has been released, giving us some cool info into the Killjoys' sci-fi world. Coming June 19.


INVINCIBLE IRON MAN
Despite the fact that Iron Man is a bona fide A-lister when it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the comic company has had a bit of trouble elevating Tony Stark to elite status on the page. That could change soon.

As more of Marvel’s All New, All Different universe starts to come into view, we finally know what comes next for Tony Stark. Marvel has officially announced the relaunched series Invincible Iron Man, with the star-studded creative team of writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist David Marquez. The duo previously collaborated on hit titles such as Ultimate Comics Spider-Man (which featured Miles Morales), the modern-day Guardians of the Galaxy run and the ambitious All-New X-Men. Not a bad resume to bring to the table.

The move is part of a larger push from Marvel to capitalize on the big-screen success of Iron Man, and they believe the Secret Wars shakeup is the perfect time to do it. So, yes, there’s a reason he’s heading up the team in the above key art. Here’s what Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso told IGN about the plan:

"There's a reason he's front and center. We had an internal conversation. How is it that Iron Man, the character we've put into our films, is arguably the most recognized superhero and widely liked by both male and female demographics? What is it about him that people are connecting with? Obviously, one, I think they boiled Iron Man down to his essence, the fact that he's such a layered, flawed individual. He's the megalomaniacal jerk with a heart of gold. We just decided that we're going to go for broke. We're committed to this, and we're signing the talent to do just the trick in terms of signaling our commitment to what we're doing."

Considering how much love risky comics like Hawkeye, Guardians of the Galaxy, Rocket Raccoon, the new Thor and Ms. Marvel have garnered in recent years, it’s mind-boggling to think that Tony Stark himself can’t find a consistent foothold. Yes, some of Matt Fraction’s Invincible Iron Man stuff was excellent, and Kieron Gillen’s run of Iron Man wasn’t all bad. But the lingering AXIS spinoff Superior Iron Man showed Marvel didn’t really know what to do with the character as of late.

Here’s hoping Bendis is the guy to finally get it back on track. He’s done it before, and we’re psyched to see where he takes the new-look Iron Man.


AKIRA
The Akira movie is back on again at Warner Bros. Pictures. Marco J. Ramirez, the writer who will be co-showrunner for the second season of “Marvel’s Daredevil” on Netflix, will write the script for the long-in-development adaptation of the Japanese manga by Katsuhiro Otomo, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Andrew Lazar (American Sniper) and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way are producing the film, for which the studio acquired the rights back in 2008. It’s had plenty of talent attached before. The closest it came to being made was in 2012, when Jaume Collet-Serra was to direct Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Ken Watanabe and Helena Bonham Carter.

The movie adaptation has carried this synopsis for years: Set in a future city environment called New Manhattan, the sci-fi epic follows the leader of a bike gang who must save his best friend, who has been experimented on by the government causing him to develop dangerous and destructive psychokinetic powers.

Drew Crevello and Nik Mavinkurve are overseeing Akira for Warner Bros. Pictures.

Z FOR ZACHARIAH
In the chilling new trailer for ‘Z for Zachariah,’ we get our first glimpse into the post-apocalyptic world of the adaption of Robert C. O’Brien’s 1974 novel, where a nuclear holocaust has left a lone woman, played by Margot Robbie (‘Focus,’ ‘Suicide Squad‘) seemingly the last human alive on earth. She finds herself alone in a fertile valley teeming with life that has somehow survived the nuclear fallout. Soon enough, she is found by a second survivor, played by (‘Serenity’), a scientist going crazy from radiation exposure as well as his own quest to find another living human being. Naturally, Margot’s character initially distrusts the man, but as time passes the two manage to put aside their suspicions and become friends, eventually forming a relationship. Then a third man enters the valley, played by Chris Pine (‘Star Trek’), and loyalties are put to the test, as all struggle to survive in the post-apocalyptic world.

The trailer shows off the tone of the film, with tensions and fears running rampant as the 3 struggle to survive and find some semblance of normalcy, as well as the loneliness and depression of the three last people on the planet. With all the apocalyptic films made of late, the film is definitely going to attract moviegoers currently grooving with that idea, though clearly this will be more artsy than say ‘San Andreas.’

Look for the film to open on August 21st!

“In the wake of a nuclear war, a young woman survives on her own, fearing she may actually be the proverbial last woman on earth, until she discovers the most astonishing sight of her life: another human being. A distraught scientist, he’s nearly been driven mad by radiation exposure and his desperate search for others. A fragile, imperative strand of trust connects them. But when a stranger enters the valley, their precarious bond begins to unravel.”

JURASSIC WORLD
In 4 days, The Park Is Open and Jurassic World will come roaring into theaters across North America! The wait has been long, but well worth it, if early reactions to screenings of the film are anything to go by. The final, full-length trailer for Jurassic World has been released and features no real new footage, but a different mix of dialogue and music. The Tyrannosaurus Rex has remained hidden from every trailer, leaving it to be a massive reveal for when you see the film yourself this week! Along with the new trailer, another, new movie clip has also been released featuring Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins) evading the Indominus Rex by jumping off the side of a water fall.

MONDAY, JUNE 8, 2015


CONSTANTINE - NO SECOND SEASON
Sadly, "Constantine" fans won't get their dream of a second season. Executive producer Daniel Cerone revealed via Twitter that the show is dead in the water after it was unable to find a new home, following NBC's cancellation.

"The cast and writers of Constantine are being released from their contracts," Cerone writes in a long message. "I'm sorry, I wasn't provided any information on the attempts to sell the show elsewhere. All I can report is that the show is over."

After NBC opted not to bring the show back, a swarm of fans rallied to get s second season elsewhere, possibly on The CW. Even the network's own stars offered to appear on the show, should it get renewed. Unfortunately, that'll never come to pass.

"You all deserve many years of the series we set out to make, and we're disappointed that we couldn't deliver that to you," Cerone writes. "The good news is that Constantine will live on for years in many more forms. But our time as caretakers has ended."


THE STAND MOVIE - LIMITED TheSERIES
Would The Stand work better as a movie or a TV event? Well ... how about both?

That's apparently the path that the long-developing remake of Stephen King's classic novel is taking now, according to The Wrap.

Sources close to the project say that a deal is being worked among Warner Bros. Pictures, CBS Films and Showtime to make The Stand as an eight-part miniseries -- which will lead to a feature film that brings the story to a grand finale.

Josh Boone is still on board to write and direct the saga, which he has mulled doing as both a single three-hour movie and a series of four feature films. Shooting is tentatively slated to begin early next year, and the whole thing -- the miniseries and the climactic movie -- will be shot at the same time. The expanded scope will give Boone a chance to stay extremely faithful to King's 800-page-plus novel.

If this sounds vaguely familiar, that's because Ron Howard's proposed adaptation of King's The Dark Tower -- which is showing some signs of life after being left for dead -- went for a similarly ambitious format at one stage, with three feature films bridged by two limited TV series.

The producers, Boone, King and studio execs are reportedly going to meet next week to finalize the plan, and talent agents have been put on the alert as well. Boone is apparently going to chase some major stars for the project (we wonder if Matthew McConaughey is still a possibility).

None of the parties involved have made this official yet, but stay tuned for more action to come. In the meantime, let this discussion begin: Where should the miniseries end and the movie begin? The obvious answer, to us, is to send the book's heroes off on their quest to confront the evil Randall Flagg as the series cliffhanger, with that final battle -- the "stand" of the title -- to form the basis of the movie.

EXTINCTION
We've been waiting for word of this intense post-apocalyptic sci-fi film since it began filming in Budapest back in 2014, and now it's finally secured a distributor and official U.S. release date.

Directed by Miguel Angel Vivas (Kidnapped) and starring Matthew Fox (Lost, Speed Racer, Alex Cross) and Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice), Extinction follows the horrific events unfolding in the aftermath of nuclear winter as neighbors must band together against a rampaging mob of mutated zombies in the iced-over New England town of Harmony. Originally titled Welcome to Harmony, it boasts an eerie 30 Days of Night-like atmosphere matched with the survival dynamics and gruesome zombie decor of The Walking Dead that rabid horror fans should flock to.

Here's the official synopsis:

For nine years, Patrick (Matthew Fox), Jack (Jeffrey Donovan) and his daughter Lu (Quinn McColgan) have outlasted the zombie apocalypse by shutting themselves off in the snowbound town of Harmony. The monsters have seemingly disappeared, with no sign of other survivors, but the constant fear of the unknown is starting to take a toll on this makeshift family. When Patrick goes scavenging for food, he discovers the undead have returned and evolved into something terrifying, beyond imagination. Will the last breath of the human race survive a second zombie apocalypse?

Vertical Entertainment unleashes Extinction in theaters and VOD on July 31, 2015.

ANT-MAN
Marvel's marketing approach has been a bit mixed in regard to Ant-Man, with early trailers veering wildly between humor and action (but not quite as seamlessly as Guardians of the Galaxy managed). Well, the house that Tony Stark built is putting in a course correction.

Dating back to when Edgar Wright was developing this thing for the past decade or so, Ant-Man seemed like a different kind of animal when compared to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is a lesser-known character for the mainstream, and brings one of the weirdest names and quirkiest power sets yet to the big screen. We still don't know exactly how the movie will turn out, but Marvel wants to make dang sure you know this guy is set to eventually hang out with the rest of The Avengers (and by eventually, we mean next year in Captain America: Civil War).

A new TV spot set around the tagline "The Marvel Universe is about to get a lot bigger," opens with quick shots of Cap, Hulk, Iron Man and even Rocket and Groot ("We didn’t screw up the movie with the Raccoon, so trust us here!"). It is also built a bit different when compared to previous trailers, and this one seems to follow the Marvel formula a bit closer. Honestly, it feels like some of those later Guardians of the Galaxy spots, which made a push to connect the narrative threads to the bigger films.

We still don’t know how much this thing will actually tie in to The Avengers, but Marvel is keen to remind potentially confused moviegoers that this is the same world that just blew up the box office with Age of Ultron. Though The Avengers sequel was far from perfect, it was admittedly still a fun flick. Heck, at this point, we're almost inclined to just give Marvel the benefit of the doubt.

Bring on Scott Lang!

Ant-Man opens July 17.

THE MARTIAN
On the heels of the recent first-look photos, 20th Century Fox has released an innovative first look at director Ridley Scott’s science fiction action adventure The Martian. In the player below, you can watch a faux informational video shot by Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) that offers a look at his team’s manned mission to Mars! The video made a surprise debut on Twitter this morning after being linked by real-life former NASA astronaut Mike Massimino! Underneath the video, you can also check out a new character sheet in the gallery.

In the film, Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible, rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return.

Based on a best-selling novel, The Martian features a star-studded cast that also includes Jessica Chastain (Interstellar, Zero Dark Thirty), Kristen Wiig (Welcome to Me, The Skeleton Twins), Kate Mara (“House of Cards,” Fantastic Four), Michael Pena (Fury, End of Watch), Jeff Daniels (“The Newsroom,” Dumb and Dumber To), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave, Children of Men) and Donald Glover (“Community,” Mystery Team).

The Martian is produced by Ridley Scott, Simon Kinberg, Michael Schaefer, Mark Huffam and Aditya Sood. Look for it to hit theaters November 25.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE ROGUE NATION Paramount Pictures has released a new Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation TV spot, which you can check out below! At the same time, word comes via USA Today that the underwater stunt seen in yesterday’s full trailer -in which Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) has to do a dangerous dive without an oxygen tank- was in fact very, very real.

“It’s something I have always wanted to do,” said Cruise of his latest death-defying stunt. “Christopher McQuarrie and I have been thinking about it since working on ‘Edge of Tomorrow.’ I have done a lot of underwater sequences. But we wanted to create a suspense underwater sequence without cuts. So doing that sequence was really interesting. We’re underwater and we’re doing breath-holds of 6 to 6 1/2 minutes. So I was doing all my training with the other stuff (on-set). It was very taxing stuff.”

In Rogue Nation, Ethan and the team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate – an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF.

Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie (The Way of the Gun, Jack Reacher), the new Mission: Impossible movie stars Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner (Marvel’s The Avengers, Kill the Messenger), Alec Baldwin (The Departed, “30 Rock”), Simon Pegg (Star Trek, The World’s End), Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction, Dawn of the Dead), Simon McBurney (The Last King of Scotland, The Theory of Everything) and Rebecca Ferguson (Hercules, The Red Tent) and features a screenplay by Will Staples and Drew Pearce.

A Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot production, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation will hit 2D and IMAX theaters July 31.

FRIDAY, JUNE 5, 2015


NICHELLE NICHOLS SUFFERS STROKE
Nichelle Nichols was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital Wednesday (June 3) night after suffering a mild stroke, reports TMZ.

Nichols is awake and resting at the hospital while doctors test the severity of the stroke, according to a statement her reps gave to the site.

The 82-year-old actress is best known for her role as Lieutenant Uhura in the "Star Trek" original series and six of the franchise movies. She also had a recurring role on NBC's "Heroes."

Nichols' "Star Trek" costar George Takei tweeted on Thursday (June 4) that he heard about his friend being taken to the hospital but had no news about her condition.

We understand #NichelleNichols has been rushed to the hospital. We don't have any diagnosis on her condition but our thoughts are with her.

-- George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) June 4, 2015

Nichols' stroke comes just months after fellow "Trek" icon Leonard Nimoy passed away from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in February.

SENSE8 - PREMIERE DATE IS HERE “Sense8,” the sci fi thriller from J. Michael Straczynski and Andy and Lana Wachowski, will make its Netflix debut on June 5.

The Wachowskis’ first television venture, the series is touted as “a gripping global tale of minds linked and souls hunted.”

Brian J. Smith (SGU Stargate Universe), Tuppence Middleton (Jupiter Ascending), Aml Ameen (The Maze Runner), Doona Bae (Cloud Atlas), Miguel Silvestre (Velvet), Tena Desae (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), Max Riemelt (Amnesia) and Jamie Clayton (Dirty Work) play eight characters who are both emphatically linked — which gives them the ability to access each other’s thoughts, feelings and deepest secrets — and hunted by an organization that wants to learn more about this power through any means possible.

Daryl Hannah (Kill Bill), Naveen Andrews (Lost), Freema Agyeman (Doctor Who), Alfonso Herrera, Erendira Ibarra and Terrence Mann (The Dresden Files) also star.

FALLOUT
Here's the first heartwarming trailer for Bethesda Game Studio's long-delayed Fallout 4, starring Dogmeat (or a descendent) padding around the post-apocalyptic wasteland looking for his former pre-war family.

Fallout's trademark open-world wandering is showcased here as Dogmeat roams the suburban wilds of the Boston area, embodied by the familiar landmarks of the North End, Charlestown and Old Ironsides herself, the USS Constitution. We get a glimpse at the look of the world both pre- and post-apocalypse (with graphics that many are saying don't exactly look next-gen) with Ron Perlman's gruff narrator, hovering airships, cannibal zombies, Vault 111, patrol robots, marauding monsters, Paul Revere's statue, armored exo-suits and a radical rocket-powered antique warship.

No word yet of the official plot until Bethesda's big E3 presentation next week, but this is an absorbing preview of the horrors and heroics to come.

Z FOR ZACHARIAH
Two men and a woman are the sole remaining survivors of a nuclear holocaust in the first trailer for Z for Zachariah.

When we meet the young woman played by Margot Robbie (Suicide Squad), she is living alone in a fertile, thriving valley that has somehow avoided the effects of the nuclear cataclysm that has apparently ruined the rest of the world.

A second survivor, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor (Serenity), comes onto the land and, after casting aside their initial suspicions, the pair form first a friendship and then something more. But as you might expect, that relationship is put to the test when a third person, played by Chris Pine (Star Trek Into Darkness), enters the scene.

The trailer plays up the loneliness of the setting and the tension that is all but inevitable given the situation the three survivors find themselves in. Z for Zachariah (which is based on a 1974 novel of the same name by Robert C. O’Brien) is directed by Craig Zobel, who made an excellent psychological drama called Compliance a few years ago. Zobel's new movie seems to fit well into the current wave of independent, character-driven sci-fi films we've seen crop up in recent times.

The official synopsis, a poster and the trailer are below. Take a look and let us know if Z for Zachariah makes your "must-see" list. The movie opens on Aug. 21.

Here’s the synopsis:

In the wake of a nuclear war, a young woman survives on her own, fearing she may actually be the proverbial last woman on earth, until she discovers the most astonishing sight of her life: another human being. A distraught scientist, he’s nearly been driven mad by radiation exposure and his desperate search for others. A fragile, imperative strand of trust connects them. But when a stranger enters the valley, their precarious bond begins to unravel.

JUSTICE LEAGUE: GODS AND MONSTERS CHRONICLES
Animation legend Bruce Timm is getting his own corner of the DC universe to play in, and here's our final look at Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles.

The new animated series, which will roll out as an online exclusive on Machinima, is essentially set in a bizarre alternate-reality version of the DC universe. This is a world where Zod is Superman's father, Batman is (literally) a vampiric Man-Bat, and Wonder Woman is the child of Ares, God of War. Yeah, if you're having a bit of trouble recognizing your favorite hero, that should explain why.

The pitch is obviously a bit of a risky one, but Timm's (Batman: The Animated Series) involvement adds a ton of legitimacy to the idea. The guy was responsible for much of the iconic DC animated stuff in the late 1990s, producing Batman Beyond, Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League: The Animated Series.

Ahead of the premiere next week, the studio has dropped a final trailer that shows off some new footage (including this world's version of Harley Quinn!) and a bit more of the setup. Not surprisingly, the world is having a bit of trouble deciding if DC's legendary heroes are here to help or hurt us. The look of the show is classic, throwback Batman: The Animated Series, which is its own kind of retro cool.

The show premieres June 8 on Machinima. A second season has already been ordered for 2016.

STAR WARS: UPRISING
Disney has wasted no time shaking up the status quo in the Star Wars universe (see: the latest issue of Marvel’s Star Wars comic), and now that new continuity is making its way to the mobile gaming space.

The company has officially announced the new mobile game Star Wars: Uprising, which will be set in the era between Return of the Jedi and the upcoming The Force Awakens. The game will be centered around “key events” in the Anoat Sector, inclusive of Hoth and Cloud City, and will allow players to create characters, go on missions and organize crews and factions to participate in wide-ranging battles. Users will have the option of playing as a smuggler, a bounty hunter, a rebel guerrilla, a diplomat, a gambler, etc.

The game is being developed by Kabam (Marvel Contest of Champions, Fast and Furious: Legacy), in collaboration with Disney and Lucasfilm. As you’ve likely guessed, the game will be set in Disney’s official, new continuity that aims to encompass everything from comic books to novels to TV shows, movies and videogames.

Disney said they would be rolling out new Star Wars material in just about every medium, and it seems like they meant it. Between the Rebels TV show, Marvel's new comics and games like this, it's fascinating to think about just how much new Star Wars stuff we'll have before The Force Awakens even opens in December.

Star Wars: Uprising is set to be released soon, and beta testing should ramp up in the coming weeks.

DEFIANCE
We’ve been getting closer and closer the past two seasons, but it looks like the shtako officially hits the fan in the third season of Defiance.

A new teaser trailer for the future-set series, which airs on Syfy, has been released, finally showing off some fresh footage from the upcoming Season 3. If you’ve been following the series thus far, it looks like things are going to get a whole lot more interesting. For fans looking to jump in during the slow summer months, this could be a good place to do it, with the action actually ramping up.

The third season aims to pay off several lingering storylines, with the town under siege and pretty much all the drama exacerbated by the arrival of a new alien species long thought extinct in the Defiance-verse. Yep, the oft-mentioned Omec will be showing up this season, led by young Kindzi (Nichole Galicia) and her father, T’evgin (Conrad Coates).

Along with the Omec, the other alien races will also be getting some screen time this year. Season 3 will also deal with the political fallout of the Earth Republic’s downfall, as the Votanis Collective looks to take advantage of the power vacuum. Air travel will also play a larger part in this season, in the wake of Irisa using her abilities to rearrange the wreckage orbiting the planet to help clear the skies.

Defiance returns with a two-hour premiere Friday, June 12, on Syfy.

KNIGHTS OF SIDONIA
Netflix picked up the first year of acclaimed Japanese anime series Knights of Sidonia not long ago, and now we have our first peek at Season 2.

The debut trailer for Season 2 has officially been released, and the story picks up as the seed ship Sidonia continues to search for a new home for humanity among the stars while escaping life forms that destroyed our solar system more than 1,000 years ago. The anime series is based on the popular manga series by Tsutomu Nihei.

The logline for Season 2 teases that a hero will rise to save a world (or spaceship) that is under siege by an alien threat. Judging by the first trailer, it looks to bring the trippy, deep-space battles you’ve come to expect from the series. Seriously, those are some nifty action sequences. The new, 12-episode season will premiere in its entirety on July 3. The first season is available now for binge watching.


SCREAM
Back in October, it was revealed that the upcoming television adaptation of the hit slasher franchise “Scream” would forgo using the iconic “Ghostface.” Now, the brand new mask for MTV’s “Scream: The TV Series” has been revealed (via EW) and though it bares a slight similarity, it’s notably different from the classic killer’s facade.

“The [original] mask is so iconic. If you were to have that mask in a television series, but you weren’t following any of the characters [from the original], I believe that would be misleading the audience,” executive producer Jaime Paglia tells the outlet.

Executive producer Jill Blotevogel added that the new design not only has its roots in the original Scream’s killer but other horror icons as well.

“It evokes some of the Jason hockey mask and the white Michael Myers mask,” she says. “But it’s still first and foremost evocative of the Scream mask. It’s sort of a reinvention while also paying homage.”

Fans of the original films will be pleased to know however that the new mask has the stamp of approval from director Wes Craven as well.

“The new mask is cool and scary and takes the series into a new direction,” the filmmaker, who helmed all four “Scream” movies, said. “It also ties into the story, which I won’t give away.”

In “Scream: The TV Series,” everyone has secrets. Everyone tells lies. Everyone is fair game. What starts as a YouTube video going viral, soon leads to problems for the teenagers of Lakewood and serves as the catalyst for a murder that opens up a window to the town’s troubled past.

The “Scream: The TV Series” stars Bex Taylor-Klaus, Willa Fitzgerald, John Karna, Connor Weil and Amadeus Serafini.

The show’s premiere, set to air June 30 on MTV at 10 PM EST, features Bella Thorne in what’s apparently a recreation of the original film’s classic opening sequence. Jamie Travis (For a Good Time, Call…) directed the pilot.

THURSDAY, JUNE 4, 2015


AQUAMAN
Warner Bros.' "Aquaman" officially has a director -- James Wan.

Deadline reports that Wan will take over "The Justice League" spin-off fresh off his success with "Furious 7."

Previous to the drag-racing hit, Wan was most known for his horror movie titles like "The Conjuring." However, "Furious 7" proves the director knows how to handle a big budget, big stunts and continuing a major franchise.

"The Aquaman film will be a major tentpole picture for us, and James's span of work has proven him able to take on any manner of project, bringing his incredible creative talent and unique voice to the material," says Warner Bros' Greg Silverman in an announcement.

Wan will oversee the script being written by Kurt Johnstead. Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder and Zack Snyder have all signed on as producers.

"Game of Thrones" star Jason Momoa takes the title role as the reluctant ruler of the underwater Atlantis. He must stop his people from revolting against the land dwellers that are ravaging their ocean home.

"Aquaman" is due out in 2018, following the release of "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" in 2016 and "The Justice League" in 2017.


X-FILES
While Yahoo has aired the Season 6 finale of "Community" and teased there's more to come from the show, star Joel McHale has already lined up his next job, and it's a good one. McHale has been cast as a guest star in FOX's revival of "The X-Files," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

He will play Tad O'Malley, who's described as an anchor at a conservative Internet news network. Somehow that position puts him in touch with Fox Mulder (David Duchovny), to whom he becomes an "unlikely ally."

"The X-Files" will return for six episodes on Jan. 24, 2016, after ending its nine-season original run in 2002. Returning alongside Duchovny are co-stars Gillian Anderson and Mitch Pileggi, along with creator and executive producer Chris Carter.


ELEMENTARY
Exciting casting news for TV fans -- John Noble is joining "Elementary" in Season 4 as a series regular, playing none other than Sherlock Holmes' (Jonny Lee Miller) estranged father.

In the Season 3 finale of the CBS crime drama, Holmes relapsed on drugs following a particularly personal case. In the Season 4 premiere, his father is coming to town to deal with his son in person. Fans will remember that Holmes' father was instrumental in Sherlock's first rehab stint and in setting up Joan Watson (Lucy Liu) as Sherlock's sober companion.

Noble fans are plentiful after his outstanding work on "Fringe" and "Sleepy Hollow" for FOX. In fact, "Elementary" creator Robert Doherty says Noble's work on "Fringe" was "tremendous."

"We could not be more delighted to have John Noble taking on such an important role," says Doherty. "We've enjoyed his work for many years now -- especially his tremendous run on 'Fringe' -- and cannot wait to see him opposite Jonny and Lucy. It's going to be an exciting season."

Noble also recently appeared in a memorable role on fellow CBS drama "The Good Wife" and has a prolific stage career.

"Elementary" will air at 10 p.m. ET/PT this fall on CBS, though a premiere date has not yet been announced. It's expected to return after the run of Thursday NFL games, which should be late October or early November.


TANGLED
Rapunzel is letting her hair down on TV in 2017.

Disney announced on Wednesday (June 3) that it will be airing "Tangled," an animated series based on Walt Disney Animation Studios' 2010 film of the same name.

Both Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi will reprise their original roles as Rapunzel and Eugene (a.k.a. Flynn Rider), respectively. The series -- which is aimed at "kids, tweens and families" -- is set between the events of the feature film and the start of the 2012 short film, "Tangled Ever After." Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater will reunite for the project.

This time around, Rapunzel will have to figure out life in her new kingdom as she learns to live with her parents and the people of Corona. The good news is that she'll have some friends to help her along the way: Eugene (of course); the "plucky" chameleon sidekick, Pascal; the "no-nonsense" horse, Maximus; the Snuggly Duckling Pub Thugs; and a new addition, "tough-as-nails handmaiden" Cassandra.

"Her irrepressible spirit and natural curiosity about the world drives [Rapunzel] to the realization that there is so much more she needs to learn before she can truly accept her royal destiny," reads Disney's description of the series. "She boldly puts her crown and impending marriage on hold to seek out epic adventures, much to the dismay of the King who, after missing out on Rapunzel's youth, must accept that his daughter is now an independent young woman."


TIME SALVAGER
These days, Michael Bay is likely best known as the explosion auteur behind the massively successful Transformers franchise, and this looks to be his next (likely explosion-filled) project.

It's being reported that Paramount Pictures has picked up the rights to Wesley Chu's upcoming science fiction novel Time Salvager, which is set to be published in July. Per the report, Bay is attached to direct, while the book's author has signed on to executive-produce the adaptation.

In a nutshell, the story basically follows humans on a near-apocalyptic Earth who travel back in time to bring back resources — all while trying to ensure they don't actually alter the timeline. It's a fascinating concept, and though we haven't actually read the book (since it isn't out yet), the premise holds a ton of big-screen promise.

Check out the official synopsis below:

Convicted criminal James Griffin-Mars is no one's hero. In his time, Earth is a toxic, abandoned world and humans have fled into the outer solar system to survive, eking out a fragile, doomed existence among the other planets and their moons. Those responsible for delaying humanity's demise believe time travel holds the key, and they have identified James, troubled though he is, as one of a select and expendable few ideally suited for the most dangerous job in history.

James is a chronman, undertaking missions into Earth's past to recover resources and treasure without altering the timeline. The laws governing use of time travel are absolute; break any one of them and, one way or another, your life is over. Most chronmen never reach old age; the stress of each jump through time, compounded by the risk to themselves and to the future, means that many chronmen rapidly reach their breaking point, and James Griffin-Mars is nearing his.

On a final mission that is to secure his retirement, James meets Elise Kim, an intriguing scientist from a previous century, who is fated to die during the destruction of an oceanic rig. Against his training and his common sense, and in violation of the chronmen's highest law, James brings Elise back to the future with him, saving her life, but turning them both into fugitives. Remaining free means losing themselves in the wild and poisonous wastes of Earth, somehow finding allies, and perhaps discovering what hope may yet remain for humanity's home world.

Time Salvager will be available to purchase July 7.


STAR WARS
When you think about the state of Star Wars lately, obviously the most attention is going to be on The Force Awakens. It's big, it's flashy, and it's the first Star Wars flick in a decade, but it's far from the only thing interesting in a galaxy far, far away right now. For many fans (including me), it's almost equally interesting to watch how the Disney era of Star Wars canon is slowly but surely evolving. We've seen it on TV with Star Wars Rebels, in print with the many books Disney's planning in the coming months, and of course, in the pages of Marvel Comics, where Han, Luke and Leia are having brand-new original trilogy-era adventures in the pages of Star Wars by Jason Aaron and John Cassaday.

Over the course of the book's run so far, Aaron and Cassaday have teased a mysterious woman on the trail of Han Solo, and when the cover for Star Wars #9 hit the 'net on Monday, her full face was revealed for the first time. Though the character's name hadn't yet been revealed, fans started guessing, and based on both her appearance and her pursuit of Solo it seemed like the odds were pretty good that she was Salla Zend, an ex-girlfriend of Han's and a fellow smuggler who was first introduced during the Dark Empire comic-book series back in 1992. It would certainly have been a big enough deal if Zend had made the leap from the old Expanded Universe to the new one, but it turns out that's not who this woman is. She's actually ...

BIG SPOILERS FOR STAR WARS COMICS AHEAD. IF YOU HAVEN'T READ IT YET AND INTEND TO, YOU MIGHT WANT TO TURN BACK NOW.


Still here? OK, here's the reveal from today's Star Wars #6.

That's right. Hands off Han Solo, ladies. He's taken.

Obviously, this is a big bombshell with big implications for the rest of Star Wars continuity going forward, at least in the pages of Marvel Comics. We don't know yet how long Han's marriage has lasted, or will last, but we do know that it seems to be a pretty unhappy one. We also, of course, know that the films are still canon, and in the films Han pursues his relationship with Leia without ever bringing up a marriage. Now, that could mean he's an even bigger scoundrel than we all thought he was, or it could mean that, by the time The Empire Strikes Back rolls around, the marriage is over one way or another. Whatever the case, we're definitely going to keep reading Star Wars comics to see how this turns out.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE ROGUE NATION
Paramount Pictures has brought online the new Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation trailer.

In Rogue Nation, Ethan and the team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate – an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF.

Written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie (The Way of the Gun, Jack Reacher), the new Mission: Impossible movie stars Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner (Marvel’s The Avengers, Kill the Messenger), Alec Baldwin (The Departed, “30 Rock”), Simon Pegg (Star Trek, The World’s End), Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction, Dawn of the Dead), Simon McBurney (The Last King of Scotland, The Theory of Everything) and Rebecca Ferguson (Hercules, The Red Tent) and features a screenplay by Will Staples and Drew Pearce.

A Paramount Pictures and Bad Robot production, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation will hit 2D and IMAX theaters July 31.


STRANGERLAND
Alchemy has provided ComingSoon.net with your exclusive first look at the poster for the thriller Strangerland, starring Nicole Kidman, Joseph Fiennes and Hugo Weaving. You can view the poster below and you’ll find the trailer underneath.

In the film, when Catherine (Nicole Kidman) and Matthew Parker’s (Joseph Fiennes) two teenage children suddenly vanish in a dust storm, the couple’s relationship is pushed to the brink as they confront the mystery of their children’s disappearance in the soaring desert heat.

Kim Farrant (Naked on the Inside) directs Strangerland from a screenplay by Michael Kinirons and Fiona Seres. Te film premiered at Sundance in January and will be available On Demand and in theaters on July 10.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3, 2015


PRISON BREAK ON FOX
"Prison Break" is back from the dead, y'all. The prison-centered drama is being revived as a limited series over at FOX.

If it returns, it will only be 12 or so episodes, which would be contained in a closed-ended storyline, reports TVLine. As of right now, there's no news as to whether or not Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell will return as their original characters: Michael Scofield and Lincoln Burrows, respectively.

Zap2it reached out to FOX, but the network and studio declined to comment.

The show, which ran for four seasons from 2005 to 2009, follows two brothers working together to break out of prison. After Lincoln is accused of murder and imprisoned at Fox River, his brother Michael commits armed robbery so he can gain access to the prison and then help his brother escape. The show ultimately inspired a spin-off series from mobile phones, a magazine, a novel and a video game.

Earlier in 2015, Miller and Purcell told E! News that they "floated the idea" of a revival to FOX and that the network was "maybe definitely" excited about it, which means there's a possibility "Prison Break"s' Lincoln and Michael might return. Until then, they'll always have "The Flash" and "Legends of Tomorrow."

GOOD DINOSAUR
The first teaser for Pixar's "The Good Dinosaur" has been released and wants to take you to a very different planet Earth -- one where dinosaurs never went extinct.

The short clip asks what it would be like if the asteroid that hit Earth six mission years ago missed the world and, instead, flew right by. The answer, it seems, is dinosaurs and humans not only cohabitating, but becoming friends.

"The Good Dinosaur" stars Lucas Neff as Arlo, a young Apotosaurus who gets separated from his family and befriends a cave-boy named Spot. Bill Hader, Judy Greer, Frances McDormand, Neil Patrick Harris and John Lithhow also lend their voices to the movie.

"The Good Dinosaur" hits theaters Nov. 25.

ANT-MAN
An extended, minute-long TV spot for Marvel’s Ant-Man has just hit the web. You might have seen a couple TV spots already, but this one brings even more humor for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s tiniest superhero (small in stature only, of course). The latest television ad has lots more snippets of new footage featuring our former-thief-turned-superhero-in-the-making Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) in action. We’re also getting our first look at Lang interacting with Michael Pena’s character, Luis. And it’s quite funny.

In "Ant-Man," Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) approaches master thief Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) with a suit that grants him the ability to shrink in size but increases his strength! Scott must embrace his inner hero and put the suit to good use and save the world under Pym's leadership.

Directed by Peyton Reed, Ant-Man stars Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll, Evangeline Lilly, David Dastmalchian, Michael Pena, Bobby Cannavale, Abby Ryder Fortson, Judy Greer, Wood Harris John Slattery and Gregg Turkington. The movie will shrink into hit theaters on July 17, 2015.

TRON 3 - FAN PETITION
If you’re bummed that Disney recently pulled the plug on TRON 3, you’re not alone. Luckily, several thousand fans are rallying to let Disney know there is still interest in the vintage sci-fi franchise.

After 2010’s TRON: Legacy underwhelmed at the box office, word on a potential sequel remained relatively mum until a few months ago, when news broke that Disney was planning to move forward with a followup that brought back Legacy stars Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde (among others) for a new adventure.

Well, at least until the turgid Tomorrowland opened to mediocre box-office numbers, which apparently made Disney think twice about taking a shot on another far-fetched (and expensive) sci-fi flick. Not to mention the fact that Disney’s release schedule is already loaded with sure-fire hits from Marvel and Star Wars. Luckily, not even the shot-callers at the Mouse House can deter fans with a dream to get back into The Grid.

One New York-based fan decided to kick off a Change.org petition asking Disney to put the project back into active development, and in just a few days the petition has collected 25,000 signatures (and counting). You've gotta love the democratizing power of the Internet.

Though TRON: Legacy was far from a masterpiece, it was still a fun bit of sci-fi filmmaking (with some insane visuals and an awesome soundtrack), and we’d still like to see a sequel at some point. Here’s hoping that if enough fans make their voices heard, Disney might just hear them.

If you’re interested, you can sign the petition right here.


THE DARK TOWER
At this point, it's hard to think of the Dark Tower film adaptation without thinking of development hell. The project's been developing for eight years, gone through three different studios and flirted with several different incarnations, including a combination of big- and small-screen adaptations. There may be a light at the end of the tunnel, though. Back in April, Sony and MRC picked up the project and agreed to co-finance the first film in a planned Dark Tower series, with a possible TV element developing as well. Producers Ron Howard, Akiva Goldsman, Brian Grazer and Erica Huggins were all still on board (Howard's been trying to get this off the ground for years), and Goldsman (who won an Oscar for A Beautiful Mind) and writer Jeff Pinkner (Fringe) had written a new draft of the script. Things seemed to be looking up for The Dark Tower. Now there's another sign of progress.

Deadline reports that director and screenwriter Nikolaj Arcel is "the choice" to direct the first film for Sony and MRC, and "talks will begin shortly" in the hope that Arcel will both direct and possibly rewrite the film. Arcel isn't very well known to American audiences yet, but he's very much a rising star in Hollywood. He's best known at the moment for co-writing the original Swedish adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and for co-writing and directing the 2012 historical drama A Royal Affair (featuring breakout work by Hannibal's Mads Mikkelsen and Ex Machina's Alicia Vikander), which earned him a Silver Bear for Best Script at the Berlin Film Festival and an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film. That led to Hollywood opportunities including an adaptation of Don Winslow's novel The Power of the Dog and a new adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's novel Rebecca. Now he seems set to add The Dark Tower to his workload, too.

Arcel might not have much experience in the way of massive franchises at the moment, but he is a massive Dark Tower fan, so much so that he learned to read and speak English just so he could experience the book in writer Stephen King's native language. He's got lots of experience as a writer, he's proven his chops as a director, and he seems like a good choice to navigate the darker corners of King's universe. The big question is: Will this Dark Tower movie attempt actually go forward?


RUPTURE
AMBI Pictures principals Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi today announced that Peter Stormare (Fargo, 22 Jump Street), Kerry Bishé (Argo, “Sex and the City”), Lesley Manville (Maleficent, Mr. Turner) and Ari Millen (“Orphan Black,” “12 Monkeys”) have been cast in the sci-fi adventure thriller Rupture, starring Noomi Rapace (Prometheus, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Michael Chiklis (Fantastic Four, “The Shield”).

In the film, Renee Morgan (Rapace) is a single mom who lives with her 12-year-old son, Evan, in a quiet suburban home. Unbeknownst to both, their every move is being observed. While running her daily errands her car breaks down and she is violently kidnapped by a group of strangers. About 24 hours later, in an anonymous laboratory, she is tied up and questioned about her medical history, including her great fear of spiders. Soon her captors explain to her that her genetic abnormality can potentially allow her to Rupture, in which her own alien nature can be released. The experience of one’s deepest fear (in Renee’s case spiders) causes this transforming her into her true self.

Production begins today in Toronto, Canada.

Iervolino and Bacardi (The Humbling, In Dubious Battle), who own and run the movie development, finance, production and distribution group AMBI, are teaming with American Sniper producer Andrew Lazar and his Tango Pictures Production banner to produce the film. Tango is a partnership between Christina Weiss Lurie, Steven Shainberg, and Lazar. Christina Weiss Lurie (Inside Job, Adam), will serve as producer as well.

Steven Shainberg (Secretary) is directing the film, which is based on a story by Shainberg and Brian Nelson (Hard Candy, 30 Days of Night). Nelson wrote the screenplay.

AMBI Distribution, the worldwide sales arm of AMBI Group is handling worldwide sales.


MEGA-MAN
Dentsu Entertainment USA has partnered with Man of Action Entertainment to develop a 26-episode animated series based on Capcom’s iconic video game franchise “Mega Man” for the global market, it was announced today by Yuichi Kinoshita, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dentsu Entertainment USA, Inc. Under terms of the deal, Dentsu Entertainment holds worldwide broadcast and licensing rights for all aspects of the new “Mega Man” TV series.

Dentsu handpicked Man of Action Entertainment, creators of Ben 10 and Generator Rex, to create, write and executive produce the all-new “Mega Man” animated series. Disney/Marvel’s Academy Award-winning feature Big Hero 6 utilized the characters and team created by Man of Action, the bi-coastal creative studio and writers’ collective formed by creators and acclaimed comic book writers Joe Casey, Joe Kelly, Duncan Rouleau and Steven T. Seagle. Marvel called upon Man of Action to produce and write “Ultimate Spider-Man” and “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble” for their successful launches on Disney XD. The new “Mega Man” series has a target air date of 2017, coinciding with the franchise’s 30th anniversary.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to introduce an all-new ‘Mega Man’ to loyal fans and kids,” said Kinoshita, commenting on the deal. “Having a celebrated character from Japan reimagined by Man of Action is the ideal project for Dentsu Entertainment USA.”

Man of Action’s Rouleau said, “The 1990s ‘Mega Man’ TV series was cool and different than other series targeted at kids during that time. It featured great action, but also brought the laughs. Mega Man is a character that is even more relevant for today’s kids and we are really looking forward to creating something new that still respects the long tradition of the character.”

The “Mega Man” franchise is grounded in a series of video games, first launched in 1987, featuring battles fought by the eponymous blue robot protagonist and an ongoing cast of allies and enemies. The “Mega Man” multiverse has spawned over 130 video games on multiple gaming systems, selling over 30 million copies worldwide, as well as a plethora of toys, comics and collectibles. A highly-rated “Mega Man” TV series was popular in the USA in the 1990s and aired for several seasons.

BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT
Following the Red Hood DLC preview that debuted yesterday, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Rocksteady Studios have released another Batman: Arkham Knight trailer, showing off the playable Harley Quinn DLC available to all who pre-order the game.

Batman: Arkham Knight brings the award-winning “Arkham” trilogy from Rocksteady Studios to its epic conclusion. Developed exclusively for New-Gen platforms, Batman: Arkham Knight introduces Rocksteady’s uniquely designed version of the Batmobile. The highly anticipated addition of this legendary vehicle, combined with the acclaimed gameplay of the Arkham series, offers gamers the ultimate and complete Batman experience as they tear through the streets and soar across the skyline of the entirety of Gotham City. In this explosive finale, Batman faces the ultimate threat against the city that he is sworn to protect, as Scarecrow returns to unite the super criminals of Gotham and destroy the Batman forever.

The Batmobile is brought to life with a completely new and original design featuring a distinct visual appearance and a full range of on-board high-tech gadgetry. Designed to be fully drivable throughout the game world and capable of transformation from high speed pursuit mode to military grade battle mode, this legendary vehicle sits at the heart of the game’s design and allows players to tear through the streets at incredible speeds in pursuit of Gotham City’s most dangerous villains. This iconic vehicle also augments Batman’s abilities in every respect, from navigation and forensics to combat and puzzle solving creating a genuine and seamless sense of the union of man and machine.

Batman: Arkham Knight will be debut for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on June 23.

TUESDAY, JUNE 2, 2015

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
Eddie Redmayne is joining Daniel Radcliffe in the elite ranks of "Harry Potter" franchise leads. Warner Bros. officially announced that the Oscar-winner will star in "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" as Newt Scamander.

"Eddie is a fearless actor, brimming with invention, wit and humanity," director David Yates says in a statement. "I couldn't be more excited about the prospect of working with him as we start this new adventure in J.K. Rowling's wonderful world, and I know she feels the same way."

Yates directed the final four "Harry Potter" films, so he's no stranger to Rowling's world. She, meanwhile, is writing the scripts for the planned trilogy.

"Eddie Redmayne has emerged as one of today's most extraordinarily talented and acclaimed actors," Warner Bros. Pictures' President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production Greg Silverman says. "We are thrilled to welcome him into J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World, where we know he will deliver a remarkable performance as Newt Scamander, the central character in 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.'"

Scamander is a Hogwarts-alum living in the early 1900s who goes on to become a magizooligist -- hence the movie's fixation on "fantastic beasts." Fun fact: He also is Luna Lovegood's grandfather-in-law.

Redmayne was long considered the front-runner for Newt, but there are plenty of other parts left to be filled. The likes of Saoirse Ronan, Kate Upton, Dakota Fanning and Steve Zisis are reported to be auditioning for the films.

"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" is based on Rowling's 2001 "Harry Potter" companion book of the same name. It's due in theaters on Nov. 18, 2016.

BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is a reasonable guy who's going to experience some very unreasonable things.

That's because the star of this past weekend's box-office champ San Andreas is in talks to headline a remake of John Carpenter‘s 1986 action/martial arts/supernatural thriller Big Trouble in Little China. According to The Wrap, 20th Century Fox is developing the project from a script by Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz, who wrote Thor and X-Men: First Class.

Johnson will play Jack Burton, a trucker who finds himself trying to rescue a green-eyed girl from the clutches of an evil sorceror in San Francisco’s Chinatown district. The original film is apparently one of the former wrestler's favorites (hopefully he'll get to say the line of dialogue about "unreasonable things" that we've paraphrased above).

Burton was played in the original by Kurt Russell, marking his third collaboration with Carpenter after Escape From New York (1981) and The Thing (1982). Although the film has become a cult classic over the years, it was not a success when it came out, grossing just $11 million against a $20 million budget.

The movie's failure disenchanted Carpenter with the major Hollywood studios, and he went back to making independent films like Prince of Darkness and They Live. If the new Big Trouble in Little China makes it to the screen, it will be the fifth movie from Carpenter‘s filmography -- after Assault on Precinct 13, Halloween, The Fog and The Thing -- to go through the remake machine, with a sixth possibly on the way in Escape From New York.

You can see Johnson now in the earthquake epic San Andreas, and of course he's signed to play Black Adam in the Warner Bros./DC movie Shazam way down the line in 2019.

LAST GREAT TIME WAR
Introduced by former showrunner Russell T Davies when Doctor Who returned to our TV screens back in 2005, the Time War has been an object of fascination for Whovians everywhere because it defined the new man the Doctor had become when we saw him again in "Rose." And if there’s one thing that gives current showrunner Steven Moffat sleepless nights, it’s the guilt he feels for reversing the outcome of said Time War in the 50th-anniversary special, "The Day of the Doctor."

Long story short, the Last Great Time War (which was time-locked by the Doctor) took place between two of the universe’s mightiest alien races: the Time Lords and the Daleks. It was fought "for the sake of all creation" and led to the apparent destruction of the Doctor’s beloved homeworld of Gallifrey. Only two known Gallifreyan survivors -- the Doctor and the Master -- and a number of Daleks were left. Even though the war supposedly lasted roughly 400 years in linear time, it actually lasted an eternity because it was fought throughout all of time. Speaking in the newest issue of Doctor Who Magazine (#487), Moffat said:

"The Day of the Doctor was a success. Record ratings, awards, rave reviews. By any measure, it did alright. But two years later, I’m still haunted by the guilt.

"I know some of you, including friends of mine, were upset that we reversed the outcome of the Time War. My defence, however feeble, is that given the chance, the Doctor would do exactly that. And it was his birthday, how could I deny him that chance? What could define him more? This man who always finds another way? And there he is, at every moment of his life, proving to himself – literally – that there is always a better path.

"Ah, well. My heart was in the right place, at least. But in this job you always need two!"

ANT-MAN
With the big screen debut of Ant-Man less than two months away, Marvel has just brought online a dozen new Ant-Man stills, one of which features our first look at David Dastmalchian’s Kurt.

Ant-Man stars Paul Rudd (This is 40, They Came Together), Evangeline Lilly (“LOST,” The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies), Corey Stoll (This is Where I Leave You, Non-Stop) and Michael Douglas (The Game, And So It Goes) and brings a founding member of The Avengers to the big screen for the first time. Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang (Rudd) must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Douglas), protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

Also starring are Judy Greer (“Archer,” Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Bobby Cannavale (Chef, Blue Jasmine), Michael Pena (End of Watch, Fury), Martin Donovan (Inherent Vice, Insomnia), Wood Harris (Dredd, Remember the Titans), John Slattery (“Mad Men,” Iron Man 2), Gregg Turkington (“Gravity Falls,” The Comedy), Abby Ryder Fortson (“Togetherness,” “The Whispers”), David Dastmalchian (The Dark Knight, Prisoners) and T.I. (Takers, “House of Lies”), Ant-Man features a script by Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Paul Rudd and Adam McKay.

Ant-Man is scheduled to open in theaters on July 17, 2015.

24-SPIN OFF
According to TVLine, FOX is currently in development on a spin-off to the hit show “24” which would feature a new lead male character in place of Kiefer Sutherland’s Counter Terrorist agent Jack Bauer.

Series showrunner Howard Gordon told the site that the plan in place right now is to put the spotlight on a new male antihero working with an older, more seasoned female agent, the latter of whom will not be Kate Morgan (Yvonne Strahovski), although that character may make periodic appearances. Sutherland will also appear off-and-on as a guest star throughout the run of the revamped “24,” which will launch as a limited series in “real-time” with the potential for longer seasons in the future.

Bauer last appeared in 2014’s limited run “24: Live Another Day,” and that show’s Manny Coto and Evan Katz will serve as writers and executive producers on the spin-off alongside Gordon.

HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY - PART 2
Lionsgate has debuted a new teaser poster for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 teasing the downfall of ruthless President Snow (Donald Sutherland)!

With the nation of Panem in a full scale war, Katniss confronts President Snow (Donald Sutherland) in the final showdown. Teamed with a group of her closest friends – including Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick (Sam Claflin), and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) – Katniss goes off on a mission with the unit from District 13 as they risk their lives to stage an assassination attempt on President Snow who has become increasingly obsessed with destroying her. The mortal traps, enemies, and moral choices that await Katniss will challenge her more than any arena she faced in The Hunger Games.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 is directed by Francis Lawrence from a screenplay by Peter Craig and Danny Strong and features a cast including Academy Award-winner Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Willow Shields, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone with Stanley Tucci and Donald Sutherland reprising their original roles from The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The lineup is joined by The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 co-stars Academy Award-winner Julianne Moore, Mahershala Ali, Natalie Dormer, Wes Chatham, Elden Henson and Evan Ross.

The film will be released in 2D, 3D and IMAX3D theaters on November 20, 2015.

BETSY PALMER-FRIDAY THE 13TH STAR DIES
Original Friday the 13th star Betsy Palmer, who played Jason Voorhees' mother Pamela, passed away earlier today at the age of 88. The actress passed away from natural causes while at a hospice care center in Connecticut. Her longtime manager Brad Lemack confirmed that she died earlier this week.

Betsy Palmer started her career in the 1950s, appearing in a number of guest-starring roles on TV shows such as Inner Sanctum, Kraft Suspense Theatre, Studio One, Playhouse 90 and Danger. After only working sparingly throughout the 1960s and the 1970s, Betsy Palmer took on the iconic role of Pamela Voorhees in the classic horror film Friday the 13th, admitting later that she only took on the role because she needed money to buy a new car. She reprised that role just one year later in Friday the 13th Part 2.

The actress other movie credits include Mr. Roberts with Henry Fonda, The Long Gray Line with Tyrone Power and Maureen O'Hara, Queen Bee with Joan Crawford, and The Tin Star with Henry Fonda and Anthony Perkins. She also played Virginia Bullock in the hit 1980s TV series Knots Landing and her last role was as the title character in 2007's Bell Witch: The Movie. The actress is survived by her daughter, Melissa Merendino.

MONDAY, JUNE 1, 2015

ASH VS. EVIL DEAD
A new teaser for Ash vs. Evil Dead has been released, giving us our first peek at Ash (Bruce Campbell) and his trademark chainsaw hand. The iconic phrase “Groovy” might also make a cameo.

Producer Sam Raimi is hard at work putting this series together ahead of its 10-episode debut this fall on Starz, and though they still haven’t shown off any actual footage, this teaser clip at least gives us a feel for Campbell’s seasoned version of the veteran Deadite hunter. The series will also star Lucy Lawless, Ray Santiago, Dana DeLorenzo and Jill Marie Jones.

There've been rumblings of a new Evil Dead sequel for years, but it turns out it took a TV adaptation to bring Campbell back to the role that made him a geek god. We're still a bit apprehensive to see how this translates to the long form, but regardless, who doesn't want more chainsaw-wielding, monster-snarking Bruce Campbell?

Here’s the series’ official synopsis:

Campbell will be reprising his role as Ash, the stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead. When a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind, Ash is finally forced to face his demons –personal and literal. Destiny, it turns out, has no plans to release the unlikely hero from its “Evil” grip.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
After one of the worst Memorial Day weekends in nearly 14 years, the box office rebounded with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s biggest movie as a solo star, New Line and Warner Bros.’ disaster flick San Andreas, co-starring Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario, Paul Giamatti and Archie Punjabi, which opened in 3,777 theaters on Friday. After scoring $3.1 million in Thursday previews, the movie blew up with $18.2 million on Friday on its way to an estimated $53.2 million, or $14,085 per theater for the weekend. It’s Johnson’s biggest opening movie outside the “Fast and Furious” franchise, topping previous best G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and it received a good “A-” CinemaScore with 3D making up 44% of its opening weekend. It added another $60 million internationally in 60 overseas markets with Mexico scoring $10 million and the UK grossing $6.7 million in their opening weekends.

Second place went to Pitch Perfect 2 for a second weekend in a row with $14.8 million, down 52% from Memorial Day weekend with $147.5 million grossed domestically in three weeks. Overseas, it has grossed $80.7 million bringing its global total to $228 million. That’s close to twice the global gross of the original Pitch Perfect in 2012 in just a little over three weeks.

Brad Bird’s sci-fi adventure Tomorrowland (Disney), starring George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie and Raffey Cassidy, dropped to third place with $13.8 million, down 58% from its opening Memorial Day weekend, with $63.2 million grossed so far domestically. It added another $29.3 million internationally, including its first days opening in China, to bring its international total to $70 million and worldwide to $133 million.

George Miller’s well-reviewed apocalyptic action flick Mad Max: Fury Road, starring Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, added $13.6 million (down 45%) in its third weekend, dropping to fourth place with a domestic total of $116 million.

Already the highest-grossing movie of the year domestically, Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Age of Ultron (Disney) took in another $10.8 million to take fifth place for a domestic total of $427 million and with another $17.6 million grossed internationally this weekend, that brings its worldwide total to $1.3 billion, still trailing behind Furious 7.

The other new movie of the weekend, Cameron Crowe’s Aloha, starring Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, Alec Baldwin and Bill Murray, opened in 2,815 theaters. With some of Crowe’s worst reviews of his career, it didn’t attract much of an audience, opening in sixth place with just $10 million, or $3,552 per theater. (Note: We originally had this weekend estimate listed incorrectly.)

The horror remake Poltergeist (MGM/Fox) took a massive 65% plunge in its second weekend, dropping to seventh place with $7.8 million for a total of $38.3 million in ten days.

Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara’s comedy Hot Pursuit (MGM/New Line/WB), Far from the Madding Crowd (Fox Searchlight), starring Carey Mulligan, and DreamWorks Animation’s Home took eighth through tenth place with less than $2 million each.

The box office was down nearly $30 million from the same weekend last year when Angelina Jolie’s Maleficent opened with $69 million, while Seth McFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West opened in third place with $16.8 million.

THE WICKED + THE DIVINE
It’s a good day for Eisner-nominated comic book series. On the heels of news this morning’s that BOOM! Studios’ Lumberjanes is being planned as a big screen feature, Deadline brings word that The Wicked + The Divine, currently up for three Eisners, is being developed for television by none other than fellow industry talent Matt Fraction and Kelly Sue DeConnick! They’ll produce the upcoming series for Universal Television through their Milkfed Criminal Masterminds.

Created by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie, The Wicked + The Divine is published by Image Comics and began last year. On their official site, Image offers the following description:

Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like “Young Avengers” and “Phonogram” reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever.

Shortly after the series launched, Gillen told Comics Alliance that the plan was for the story to run between 30 and 60 issues in total. At the moment, ten issues have been published with the 11th set to hit shelves next Wednesday, June 3.

May News Archive.

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