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The Zocalo Today

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.

Latest

NEWS FROM OCTOBER 2015

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 30, 3015

SOUTH OF HELL
Horror auteur Eli Roth has a new supernatural series hitting the airwaves soon, but you might not have actually heard about it. Want a peek?

Dubbed South of Hell, the seven-episode series is set to air on cable network WE tv. It stars Mena Suvari (American Beauty, American Horror Story, American Pie) as a rogue demon hunter named Maria Abascal who has a supernatural force living inside her that feeds on the evil she exorcises from others. Yeah, this sounds intriguing. Along with Roth, the series also boasts Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity, The Purge) as a producer. So yeah, a solid horror pedigree behind the camera.

Though WE tv might not seem like the most obvious place for this freaky project to debut, it’s worth noting the female-focused cable network has previously run supernatural fare Charmed and Ghost Whisperer as part of its re-run programming package — so an original supernatural drama isn’t too much of a stretch. It also marks the network’s first original scripted genre series.

Regardless, it’s nice to see a network go outside-the-box and offer up a fresh horror series. Here’s hoping it’s actually good.

South of Hell debuts with all seven episodes Nov. 27 on WE tv. It will also be available via VOD.

ARROW MEETS CONSTANTINE
The moment Constantine fans have been waiting for is almost here, and now we have a ton of nifty pics and footage from Matt Ryan’s cameo in the Arrow-verse.

Ryan is set to reprise his role as DC antihero John Constantine in next week’s episode of Arrow, dubbed “Haunted.” This version of the character originated in NBC’s short-lived Constantine series (R.I.P.), and we’re giddy to see him again. With Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) being resurrected to co-star in Legends of Tomorrow, it was the perfect opportunity for the master of the dark arts to step in and lend a hand.

The network finally dropped some footage from Ryan’s appearance in the preview for next week’s episode, and it seems he will (not surprisingly) play a major role in the proceedings. He also seems to be a natural fit for the Arrow-verse, which has embraced its mystical side over the past two seasons. We get to see Oliver call John (so the two, perhaps, already know one another?) and ask for help, so it seems the Sara story will be quickly coming to a head.


THE FLASH
After bidding farewell to a few fan-favorite characters in last season’s finale, The CW’s Flash is getting ready to (kind of) replace one this week.

Spoilers ahead for The Flash’s Season 1 finale and Season 2 premiere!

As we learned in the Season 2 premiere, Ronnie Raymond, aka Firestorm (Robbie Amell) took to the air once the singularity opened above Central City and was (seemingly) killed, closing it and averting the catastrophe. That was sad in itself, but it turns out the other half of Firestorm, Dr. Stein (Victor Garber), actually needs another half of Firestorm to keep him alive. So the search is on for a super-replacement.

We’ll get to meet the new-look Firestorm in Tuesday night’s new episode, after Team Flash goes on a search to find someone who can bind with Stein and take on those epic powers. Grant Gustin (Barry Allen) teased that things don’t go as planned and revealed there are actually “ a couple” of Firestorm options and they have some “fun scenes” vetting the candidates.

So who wins the gig? As we’ve gleaned in some footage already, ex-athlete and current mechanic Jax (Franz Drameh) will be the new Firestorm, and Darmeh dropped some intel to TV Line on what we can expect:

“He’s not power-hungry for it, and in that respect, he won’t abuse [the powers]. Jax does not want to be a hero. He does not want these powers, [but] he has to step up and embrace it and do his job. It’s going to be fun to see this whole new Firestorm and just how Jax reacts with Stein. There’s a lot of back and forth, and it’s a love-hate relationship between the two.”


SUICIDE SQUAD
Following the new images and character details that popped up this morning, even more high-res Suicide Squad photos have been released online featuring better looks at the members of Task Force X.

Suicide Squad stars Will Smith (The Pursuit of Happyness, Focus) as Deadshot, Joel Kinnaman (RoboCop, Easy Money) as Rick Flagg, Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street) as Harley Quinn, Jai Courtney (Divergent, The Water Diviner) as Captain Boomerang, Cara Delevingne (Anna Karenina, Pan) as Enchantress, Karen Fukuhara as Katana, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, Jay Hernandez as El DIablo, Adam Beach as Slipknot, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, and Jared Leto as The Joker. There’s also mystery roles for Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood, Raymond Olubowale, Alex Meraz, Jim Parrack, and Common.

Created by Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru back in 1959, the Suicide Squad team has included countless DC villains among its ranks, including Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, Bane, Killer Frost, Poison Ivy, Count Vertigo, Deathstroke, and Harley Quinn. The CW’s “Arrow” introduced their own version of the team in the most recent season of the series and the recent animated film, Batman: Assault on Arkham, offered another version of the team. Suicide Squad is scheduled for release on August 5, 2016.


GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY 2
With writer-director James Gunn already starting pre-production in Atlanta on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the casting process has gotten under way as well. The Hollywood Reporter reveals that newcomer Pom Klementieff (Oldboy) has signed on for a mystery role in the highly-anticipated superhero sequel, which is scheduled to start production in February 2016. Variety also reports that Marvel and James Gunn wanted Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey to play the unspecified villain, but he turned down the role.

Insiders claim that a final decision on the villain role should be made within the next two weeks, but it isn't clear who the front runners may be, after Matthew McConaughey passed. The actor revealed in May that he has been offered both Marvel and DC Comics projects, but he wouldn't specify which scripts he read. It's worth noting that James Gunn didn't finish the script for Guardians of the Galaxy 2 until early June, so it's unlikely that this sequel is one of the projects he read for, especially after Variety's report claims that the actor only recently turned down the villain role.

As for Pom Klementieff, insiders claimed that the actress seemed to have an "edge" with studio executives and the director, but it isn't clear what other actresses tried out for the role. The studio held a round of chemistry reads, with the role calling specifically for an Asian actress. Regardless of who she is playing, if her deal is finalized, Pom Klementieff will become the first new cast member to join Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Vin Diesel (Groot), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Bradley Cooper (Rocket Raccoon) and Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer) in the sequel.

James Gunn is directing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 from his own screenplay, with Kevin Feige producing. The director has teased plenty of story details throughout the past year, including that fans will get a definitive answer as to who Star-Lord's father really is, and it won't be the same character as the comics, J'son. The filmmaker has also teased that, since the first movie revolved around mothers, the sequel will center on fathers. With production about to start in a few months, hopefully new details will surface soon.

Pom Klementieff has mostly worked in France, starring in films such as Borderline, Sleepless Night and Delicacy. She made her American debut in 2013's Oldboy remake, where she played Haeng-Bok, a henchwoman for Sharlto Copley's character The Stranger. She most recently starred in Hacker's Game, which hit theaters back in March. Do you have any theories about who Pom Klementieff may be playing in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2?

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 comes to theaters May 5th, 2017.


STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
In less than two months, Star Wars: The Force Awakens will finally hit theaters, thus bringing to an end a constant flow of rumors regarding this highly-anticipated adventure. Three trailers have been released thus far, and new details have slowly started to be revealed, but there is still so much we don't know about this new Star Wars movie that will not only spawn a new trilogy, but three spinoffs as well. Today we have a new rumor from Star Wars News Net, which claims that the iconic Yoda will return in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The site's source is an unidentified non-US resident who works in audio dubbing for the international release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Unfortunately, no details about this Yoda scene were released, and it's worth noting that, while this beloved Jedi died in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi, he did return as Force Ghost at the end of the movie. It's possible that he could return to offer some wisdom to his last pupil, Luke Skywalker, who has been mysteriously absent from all of the footage released thus far.

Yoda was voiced in the original and prequel trilogies by Frank Oz, who returned to voice the character in Star Wars Rebels, which is set between Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. Frank Oz revealed back in February 2013 that he would be willing to provide the voice of Yoda once again in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but it was never confirmed that he will be back. Star Wars News Net also has another untested rumor, which comes from another non-US resident source, whose friend is an actor. This unidentified actor was reportedly approached to take on the role of a "dark character," and from the scene he was shown, this character may switch from the dark side to the light side "for the first time ever." This implies that the character has already been established as part of the Dark Side, but this unidentified actor added that it wasn't clear if this will actually happen or not. It's worth noting that this actor may not have even been reading scenes from the actual movie, but a scene created specifically for auditions. Then again, this source says the rest of the scene except for his lines was entirely blacked out.

It's possible that this source could be referring to one of the newly established villains, such as Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson) or Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis), but the phrase "for the first time ever" seemingly indicates that this character has already been established as part of the dark side of the Force. Since both Darth Vader and the Emperor died in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi, it isn't quite clear which "dark" character could move over to the light. Do you have any theories as to who this dark character may be? What do you think about rumors of Yoda's return?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes to theaters December 18th, 2015.


ILLUSTRATOR NORIYOSHI OHRAI HAS DIED With a heavy heart I pass along news that illustrater and heavyweight kaiju artist Noriyoshi Ohrai has passed away. Responsible for two eras of Godzilla poster artwork, Ultraman and famous for his international Star Wars pieces, Ohrai's illustrations enhanced what "epic" could look like.

Mr. Ohrai died of pneumonia at a hospital in Kunitomi, Miyazaki. He was 72.

Before the Heisei Godzilla series made it to North American shores, young fans were entranced by Ohari's romanticized interpretations of the films. It would hardly be an exaggeration to say his work sparked great hype and a need to see the 1990s Godzilla movies. Ohrai would continue his tradition of mythic, monumental images for select Millennium Godzilla films.

Thoughts and prayers go out to Ohrai's family, friends and loved ones for their tremendous loss.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2015

STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT
Last week we primed you for the upcoming release of Star Wars Battlefront with a gauntlet of 50 Ranked Star Wars Video Games to reminisce over. Now here's the newest gameplay launch trailer direct from the Paris Games Week press conference for Electronic Arts and Dice Studios' Star Wars extravaganza, with AT-ATs, speeder bikes, T.I.E. fighters, X-Wings and legions of stormtroopers and rebel infantry clashing on Endor, Hoth, Tatooine and the mysterious planet of Sullust.

A variety of gameplay modes using many original trilogy characters like Dath Vader, Princess Leia and Boba Fett are injected into the highly-anticipated game, from massive multi-player invasions and secret solo missions to split-screen cooperative sessions for both offline and online combat action.

Eager gamers who pre-order Battlefront will be among the first fans to experience the Battle of Jakku from The Force Awakens, available as a DLC add-on on December 1, 2015 and December 8, 2015 for all others.

March into the madness of this epic Star Wars melee and tell us if you're amped for the ambush of awesome!

Star Wars Battlefront is set to assault your PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on November 17.

THE FLASH
From last night’s episode of The Flash, The CW has released a brand-new clip that seemingly hints at the arrival of a major DC villain.

The clip features Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten), who continue to hit it off in the most adorable geeky way. During their conversation, though, there are hints that they’ll be on the hunt for a shark-man metahuman. How cool is that?

After pulling off Grodd rather beautifully last season (and he’s coming back later this year), it looks like the superhero TV series will be tackling King Shark next. The humanoid shark-man villain has been recently depicted in the comics as a mutated hammerhead shark post-Flashpoint continuity. But before that, his appearance was similar to a great white.

Long story short, King Shark was first introduced as a Superboy foe back in the mid-1990s but has since then been a major thorn in the side of many a character, including Jimmy Olsen and Aquaman. He was even a member of the Suicide Squad (the character was even rumored to be in David Ayer’s Suicide Squad movie for a time) and Secret Six.

INTRODUCING FIRESTORM — Barry (Grant Gustin) and the team look for another Firestorm match for Dr. Stein (Victor Garber). When the team meets Jefferson “Jax” Jackson (guest star Franz Drameh), Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) has her reservations about whether Jax is the right match for Dr. Stein. Iris (Candice Patton) surprises Joe (Jesse L. Martin) while Barry and Patty (guest star Shantel VanSanten) grow closer. Stefan Pleszczynski directed the episode written by Kai Yu Wu & Joe Peracchio (#204).


THE DISCOVERY
Academy Award nominee Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Social Network) is set to star alongside Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies, Mad Max: Fury Road) in The Discovery, a science fiction love story set in a world where the existence of the afterlife is scientifically proven. The film will be directed by Charlie McDowell (The One I Love).

With The Discovery, McDowell reteams with The One I Love‘s Justin Lader. They co-wrote The Discovery‘s script, which is set a year after the world changing discovery of a provable afterlife. Hoult plays the son of the man responsible for the discovery and Mara plays a woman he falls in love with whose life is tinged by a tragic past.

Endgame Entertainment and Protagonist Pictures are co-financing The Discovery, and Protagonist will introduce it to buyers at the AFM. ICM Partners is handling domestic rights. Alex Orlovsky of Verisimilitude is producing the film alongside James D Stern of Endgame Entertainment.

McDowell’s The One I Love was released in theaters in 2014. It stars Mark Duplass (“The League,” Safety Not Guaranteed) and Elisabeth Olsen (“Mad Men,” High-Rise) as a married couple who, after experiencing a rift in their relationship, head for a weekend getaway to try and reconnect. From there, the story takes a few surprising turns. If you’d like to check it out yourself, The One I Love is now streaming on Netflix.

The Discovery is scheduled to begin production in Rhode Island in January 2016.

THE GOOD DINOSAUR
A new TV spot for Disney•Pixar‘s The Good Dinosaur has been released and you can check it out below! Directed by Peter Sohn and produced by Denise Ream, the film opens in theaters on November 25.

The Good Dinosaur asks the question: What if the asteroid that forever changed life on Earth missed the planet completely and giant dinosaurs never became extinct? Pixar Animation Studios takes you on an epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo (voice of Raymond Ochoa; “The Night Shift,” “Rizzoli & Isles”) makes an unlikely human friend. While traveling through a harsh and mysterious landscape, Arlo learns the power of confronting his fears and discovers what he is truly capable of.

The film’s voice cast will also include Jeffrey Wright (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay), Steve Zahn (“Treme,” Saving Silverman), AJ Buckley (“Murder in the First,” “Justified”), Anna Paquin (“True Blood,” X-Men), Sam Elliot (“Justified,” The Big Lebowski). Frances McDormand (“Olive Kitteridge,” Fargo), Marcus Scribner (“black•ish”), and Jack Bright (Monsters University).

Peter Sohn made his directorial debut with the Pixar short film Partly Cloudy. He has worked in the art, story and animation departments, and also has voiced the characters of Emile from Academy Award- winning Ratatouille and Scott “Squishy” Squibbles from Monsters University.

Denise Ream produced the Golden Globe-nominated film Cars 2 for Pixar Animation Studios, and served as associate producer for Disney•Pixar’s Academy Award-winning film Up. She also has an extensive background in producing visual effects and animation for live action films.


SUPERGIRL - #1 NEW SERIES
CBS has announced that the pilot episode of Supergirl, which premiered last night, opened as the season’s #1 new series premiere in viewers and adults 18-49, according to Nielsen preliminary live.

The episode averaged 12.94 million viewers, 3.2/10 in adults 18-49 and 4.0/10 in adults 25-54 and 1.8/07 in adults 18-34 from 8:30-9:30 PM. The series is also the season’s #1 new series premiere among men 18-34 (1.7/07), men 18-49 (3.3/10) and men 25-54 (4.3/11). Among key women demographics, Supergirl ratings averaged 2.0/07 in women 18-34, 3.0/09 in women 18-49 and 3.8/10 in women 25-54.

With 7-day playback, Supergirl is projected to increase +46% in viewers (to 18.9m), +65% in adults 18-49 (to 5.3) and +63% in adults 25-54 (to 6.5).

Hailing from Warner Bros. TV and Berlanti Productions (who also produce the hit DC Comics series “Arrow” and “The Flash” for The CW), Supergirl is based on the characters from DC Comics and centers on Kara Zor-El, who escaped the doomed planet Krypton with her parents’ help at the same time as the infant Kal-El. Protected and raised on Earth by her foster family, the Danvers, Kara grew up in the shadow of her foster sister, Alex, and learned to conceal the phenomenal powers she shares with her famous cousin in order to keep her identity a secret.

Years later at 24, Kara lives in National City assisting media mogul and fierce taskmaster Cat Grant, who just hired the Daily Planet’s former photographer, James Olsen, as her new art director. However, Kara’s days of keeping her talents a secret are over when Hank Henshaw, head of a super-secret agency where her sister also works, enlists her to help them protect the citizens of National City from sinister threats. Though Kara will need to find a way to manage her newfound empowerment with her very human relationships, her heart soars as she takes to the skies as Supergirl to fight crime.

Supergirl season one airs Mondays at 8:00pm ET/PT.


DOCTOR WHO NEWS
Jenna Coleman is leaving ‘Doctor Who’ sometime this season and there appears to be some uncertainty behind the scenes of the popular series, but fans can rest assured of one constant: Peter Capaldi will return for at least one more season after the current ninth.

A statement from the BBC reads:

Peter is keen to complete three years playing the Doctor to round off his storylines. That will take us until the end of next year. After that, who knows?

One seeming conclusion that could take away from this statement is that the tenth season will actually be a full season, not another ‘Special Collection’– the series of fewer “specials” that wrapped up Season Four (with the departure of David Tennant) and led up to Season Five (the introduction of Matt Smith, the Eleventh Doctor). This had been rumored, and those rumors were fueled by Capaldi’s on-the-record statements about the grueling pace of filming the series. But it seems that despite the physical demands, Capaldi is eager to take another spin in the TARDIS at least for one more series.

But that doesn’t mean all is peachy keen with the series. Unfortunately, ratings have dipped. Some point to Capaldi as a possible cause, as he is older than previous Doctors, namely the two prior, the enormously popular David Tennant and Matt Smith. There was talk that the BBC was eyeing a younger replacement should Capaldi not return, specifically Robb Stark himself, ‘Game of Thrones” Richard Madden, the real life boyfriend of Coleman. But that was just talk and Capaldi IS returning, while Coleman is leaving, so it’s probably unlikely that Madden will replace Capaldi whenever he does vacate the role.

Finally, there is talk that the BBC is pressuring longtime showrunner Steven Moffat to step down. There are certainly vocal Whovians that aren’t happy with Moffat’s handling of the series, but as for now, there’s been no word of this actually coming to pass. But with all these alleged sparks flying, there have also been some whispers that Season Ten, whatever form it takes, won’t debut until 2017! That would mean that after season nine wraps up next spring, there will be no new Who for nearly a year at least!

Take all rumors with a grain of salt. At this point, all we know about the future of the series is that Coleman is departing and that Capaldi isn’t. And for the moment, neither is Moffat. And keep in mind, even if the ratings have slipped, the show is still a monster hit!

In the meantime, just sit back and enjoy the current season!


INDIANA JONES 5
Indiana Jones rumors have a persistant hold upon the internet. It has now become big news whenever Harrison Ford will continue to be involved in the franchise. There has been much talk of recasting Indiana Jones, of a possible fifth story that involves casting a younger actor. This would hypothetically be done by either framing the fifth movie as a prequel film or as a sort of passing on the torch film. However, Total Film recently addressed these rumors head on in their latest issue during an interview with Frank Marshall. They asked Marshall about the speculation that Chris Pratt would replace Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones: Marshall would only say:

“There are a lot of rumours,” Marshall admitted. “We haven’t even sat down to talk about Indy yet… at some point we’ll sit down. But there’s a bunch of people who could probably take the baton.”

Marshall also mentioned that they’re “not doing the Bond thing where we’re going to call somebody else Indiana Jones… we have to figure this out.”

I believe that Marshall’s words indicate that the script of Indiana Jones 5 is still undergoing constant rewrites. In my opinion they are attempting to continue the Indiana Jones franchise, but recognize that Harrison Ford may soon be too old to play the role of Indiana Jones. In addition, it seems that Indiana Jones as a franchise may have been put on the backburner due to Star Wars being prioritized in the LucasFilm deal.

It also sounds like a potential search for new cast members has also been conducted at least on a superficial level. However, I do believe that Frank Marshall’s comments indicate that whoever is casted would more likely be a ‘spiritual’ sequel to Indiana Jones rather then Indiana being a title. In my opinion there is one way that this could be implemented successfully. I would not be adverse to seeing Indiana Jones being the inspiration for another adventurer in a sequel. Someone who has possibly studied Indiana’s life story and possibly hopes to emulate it, is my best hope.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2015

JESSICA JONES
Well, it took a while and a couple of teaser spots, but fans have finally gotten what they’ve been clamoring for: Netflix has finally released the first official trailer for Marvel’s Jessica Jones!

There’s a lot of fantastic footage in the first trailer featuring our titular superheroine, played by Krysten Ritter, who looks a force to be reckoned with when showing off her awesome superpowers. The trailer also emphasizes the evil menace of Kilgrave (aka Purple Man in the comics), played by David Tennant, making it quite clear that this series will be much darker in tone than Marvel and Netflix's Daredevil. Also featured in the trailer is Mike Colter’s Hero for Hire, Luke Cage, who is set to get his own series sometime next year.

After a tragic ending to her short-lived super hero stint, Jessica Jones is rebuilding her personal life and career as a detective who gets pulled into cases involving people with extraordinary abilities in New York City.

All 13 episodes of Marvel's Jessica Jones will premiere on Netflix on Nov. 20.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES
Screen Gems has released the first official U.S. trailer for its big-screen adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Penned by Seth Grahame-Smith, the 2009 book on which the movie is based is a parody take on Jane Austen’s seminal 19th-century novel Pride and Prejudice.

P&P&Z stars Lily James (Downton Abbey, Cinderella) as zombie-ass-kicking heroine Elizabeth Bennet and Sam Riley as Mr. Darcy, who’s no slouch at killing the undead either. The movie also features Doctor Who’s Matt Smith in the role of Mr. Collins, Charles Dance (Game of Thrones) as Lizzie’s dad, Mr. Bennet, Lena Heady (Game of Thrones) as Darcy’s aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire) in the role of Mr. Wickham.

The trailer opens as if it were any other idyllic Jane Austen movie, before it quickly goes full-on zombie-apocalypse mode, with blood and gore and some nice action scenes and zombie deaths. And that shot of the zombie mom with her undead baby? Just chilling.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies will hit movie theaters on Feb. 5, 2016.


WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
Widespread carnage struck the pre-Halloween box office as four new films bombed — including offerings from Vin Diesel and Bill Murray — while Danny Boyle's critical darling Steve Jobs hit a glitch when expanding nationwide.

Instead, Ridley Scott's The Martian, Sony's family entry Goosebumps and Steven Spielberg's Cold War drama Bridge of Spies topped the chart.

The Martian, from Fox, reclaimed the crown in its fourth weekend, narrowly beating Goosebumps with $15.9 million from 3,504 theaters for a soaring domestic total of $166.4 million. It also dominated offshore, earning another $30 million from 72 markets to rocket past the $200 million mark for a global payload of $384.4 million, according to Rentrak.

Domestically, Goosebumps grossed $15.5 million from 3,501 locations in its second outing for a strong domestic cume of $43.7 million. Internationally, the movie earned $5.8 million from 24 markets for an early foreign cume of $9.2 million and worldwide total of $53.1 million.

Bridge of Spies, starring Tom Hanks, held up especially well in its second weekend with $11.4 million from 2,811 theaters for a 10-day domestic total of $32.6 million. DreamWorks, Participant Media and Disney partnered on the $40 million historical drama, which fell a scant 26 percent, less than the drops for past October titles Gone Girl, The Social Network and Captain Phillips.

Disney is also celebrating Ant-Man's late run in China, where the superhero movie took in another $22 million this weekend for a 10-day total of $81.9 million and global tally of $493.8 million. Sony's Hotel Transylvania 2 also remained a vibrant player, coming in No. 2 internationally with $28.7 million to race past the $300 million mark globally and finish Sunday with $315.8 million in worldwide ticket sales.

Bridge of Spies, which Fox is handling overseas in many markets, also is doing well for a historical drama, taking in $5 million from 23 markets for an early global cume of $39.7 million.

In the U.S., Steve Jobs was expected to generate as much interest among adults as Bridge of Spies, considering the attention surrounding Boyle's biopic, starring Michael Fassbender as the legendary and controversial Apple co-founder. But the Universal film had to settle for a seventh-place finish after grossing $7.3 million from 2,493 theaters.

Those backing Steve Jobs had wanted to land somewhere in the teens, but are counting on a long run throughout awards season (an A- CinemaScore should help word of mouth). Jobs is over-indexing in upscale theaters in major cities, including the Bay Area — home of Apple — but falling flat in Middle America. Two weekends ago, the $30 million movie scored the top location average of the year to date when opening in New York and Los Angeles. Through Sunday, its domestic total is $10 million.

"We're going to redouble our efforts to support these markets," said Universal domestic distribution chief Nic Carpou. "It's working great in these theaters now, and we want to make sure it continues to do so."

Aaron Sorkin wrote the adapted script for Boyle's film, with Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels starring opposite Fassbender.

In terms of other movies written by Sorkin, Moneyball launched to $19.5 million in late September 2011, while The Social Network debuted to $22.4 million. Both of those movies played nationwide from the outset.

The Last Witch Hunter came in No. 4 with $10.8 million from 3,082 theaters, a poor start considering its production budget of $75 million to $80 million. The Lionsgate movie, starring Diesel as an immortal witch hunter who attempts to stop a plague from destroying New York City, will need to do strong business overseas. So far, it has earned $13.4 million from 53 markets for an early global total of $24.2 million. It has yet to roll out in a number of major markets.

Lionsgate, whose financial exposure is reduced by co-financing partners and foreign presales, had banked on a debut in the mid- to high-teens.

Marking a franchise low, Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension landed at No. 6 with $8.2 million. The 3D horror film is only playing in 1,656 theaters, compared to nearly 3,000 locations for the last Paranormal Activity film. That's because many cinema owners refused to play the Halloween offering because of a bold deal between Paramount, AMC and Canada's Cineplex to make the Blumhouse-produced film available in homes earlier than usual.

Ghost Dimension, however, is a franchise best in 12 of 33 markets including Me.

According to Paramount, Ghost Dimension generated $3.1 million at AMC locations on Friday and Saturday, more than any other film playing at the country's three other largest chains, Regal, Cinemark and Carmike, all of which passed on the movie. Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore said this proves there was plenty of demand for Ghost Dimension. "The issue isn’t that people didn’t show up because of the VOD window," he said.

Overseas, Ghost Dimension, costing in the mid-teens to produce, impressed with $18 million from 23 markets, including $2.3 million in Mexico and $2.3 million in the U.K. The film is a franchise best in 12 of 33 markets and is the third-best horror opening in Mexico and the second-highest horror opening in Brazil.

Ghost Dimension and Last Witch Hunter both skewed male, while 66 percent of Ghost Dimension's audience was under the age of 25 (usually, horror titles skew female).

Blumhouse and Universal's Jem and the Holograms and Barry Levinson's Rock the Kasbah, starring Bill Murray, didn't even crack the top 10 in their debuts. Rock the Kasbah took in $1.5 million from 2,012 theaters, the worst start for a film starring Murray and for Open Road Films.

Kasbah stars Murray as Richie Lanz, a rock manager past his prime who accompanies a performer (Zooey Deschanel) on a USO tour in war-ridden Afghanistan. When she bails, he comes across a young singer (Leem Lubany) who could be the biggest discovery of his career, and arranges for her to appear on Afghan Star, the equivalent of American Idol. Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson and Danny McBride also star in Rock the Kasbah.

Younger females out-and-out rejected Jon M. Chu's Jem and the Holograms, based on the popular '80s cartoon about teenage girls longing to become famous performers. The live-action movie earned $1.3 million from 2,413 theaters — the worst opening of all time for a major studio release going out in 2,000 or more theaters, a record previously held by another music-themed film, Warner Bros.' August 2015 release We Are Your Friends ($1.8 million).

It's also the third worst start of all time for a new film playing in 2,000 theaters, followed by Rock the Kasbah. The two movies to have done worse were indie titles that weren't backed by a major distributor, or serious marketing spend — Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure ($443,901) and Delgo ($511,920).

If here's any solace, it's that Universal and Hasbro spent $5 million to make Jem, starring Aubrey Peeples, Stefanie Scott, Aurora Perrineau, Hayley Kiyoko, Ryan Guzman, Molly Ringwald and Juliette Lewis. Blum, Scooter Braun and Hasbro produced.

New offerings at the specialty box office included Carey Mulligan's period British drama Suffragette. The specialty film debuted to $77,000 from four theaters for a location average of $19,250 for Focus Features, the best of the weekend.

Drama I Smile Back, starring Sarah Silverman, opened to $16,036 from two theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a meek location average of $8,010 for Broad Green Pictures. The film is a tough sell, since most moviegoers are used to seeing Silverman in comedic roles.

Among holdovers, Room expanded into a total of 23 theaters for a location average of $11,059 for A24. Truth, starring Robert Redford and Cate Blanchett, posted a theater average of $6,534 as Sony Pictures Classics expanded the movie into a total of 18 locations.


AMAZING STORIES RETURNS
NBC is getting into the weekly anthology game.

The network is teaming with Hannibal boss Bryan Fuller to revive 1980s anthology Amazing Stories, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. EW first reported the news.

The sci-fi series ran on NBC for two seasons from 1985-87 and focused on the strange, fantastic and supernatural stories.

Fuller will pen the script for the drama and exec produce alongside Universal Television — who produced the original — and Amblin Television's Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank. Steven Spielberg, who created the original series, is not involved.

The project, which marks Fuller's return to NBC after the network axed critical favorite Hannibal, comes as weekly anthologies have been drawing increased attention from broadcast and cable networks alike. (The prolific producer next has Starz drama American Gods due.)

Netflix recently picked up new episodes of weekly anthology Black Mirror and The CW tried its hand at the latter last year with a reboot of Tales From the Darkside, where each episode was designed to feature at least one story with a completely different cast.

The weekly format marks the next incarnation from such season-long anthologies as Fargo, American Horror Story, American Crime and True Detective, which have become more commonplace.

Amazing Stories also becomes the latest reboot this season as broadcast networks look for the familiar in a bid to break through an increasingly competitive landscape of 400-plus original scripted series. NBC is revisiting Cruel Intentions and Hart to Hart, among others; ABC is developing a My Best Friend's Wedding sequel as well as a female-fronted take on Fantasy Island. CBS is rebooting Nancy Drew, MacGyver, Training Day and H.G. Wells' The Island of Dr. Moreau; Fox is readying Behind Enemy Lines; The CW is prepping The Notebook and Friday the 13th; and studio 20th Century Fox Television is shopping a reboot of The A-Team, while Norman Lear is rebooting One Day at a Time (though there is no network yet attached). Fox also has revivals of The X-Files and Prison Break in the works after recently rebooting 24.

SUPERGIRL
CBS has released new Supergirl clips and a behind-the-scenes featurette on the pilot.

Supergirl will premiere on Monday, October 26 at a special time (8:30-9:30pm) before it moves to its regular time slot on Monday, November 2 from 8:00-9:00pm.

Melissa Benoist leads the cast of Supergirl as the title character with a cast that also includes Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen, Laura Benanti as Alura Zor-El, Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant, Chyler Leigh as Alexandra “Alex” Danvers, Jeremy Jordan as Winslow “Winn” Schott, Jenna Dewan Tatum as Lucy Lane (sister of Lois), Iddo Goldberg as Red Tornado, David Harewood as Hank Henshaw, Peter Facinelli as Maxwell Lord, and Dean Cain and Helen Slater.

Hailing from Warner Bros. TV and Berlanti Productions (who also produce the hit DC Comics series “Arrow” and “The Flash” for The CW), Supergirl is based on the characters from DC Comics and centers on Kara Zor-El, who escaped the doomed planet Krypton with her parents’ help at the same time as the infant Kal-El. Protected and raised on Earth by her foster family, the Danvers, Kara grew up in the shadow of her foster sister, Alex, and learned to conceal the phenomenal powers she shares with her famous cousin in order to keep her identity a secret.

Years later at 24, Kara lives in National City assisting media mogul and fierce taskmaster Cat Grant, who just hired the Daily Planet’s former photographer, James Olsen, as her new art director. However, Kara’s days of keeping her talents a secret are over when Hank Henshaw, head of a super-secret agency where her sister also works, enlists her to help them protect the citizens of National City from sinister threats. Though Kara will need to find a way to manage her newfound empowerment with her very human relationships, her heart soars as she takes to the skies as Supergirl to fight crime.

The pilot episode of Supergirl was written by Ali Adler (“No Ordinary Family”) and Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “The Flash”). They will also executive produce along with Sarah Schechter and Warner Bros. TV.

SHERLOCK - NEW YEARS DAY
While everyone waits patiently for Season 4 of PBS and Masterpiece’s popular show “Sherlock,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, BBC One has reported that the mysterious Victorian era “Sherlock Special” will be called Sherlock: The Abominable Bride, and it will air on PBS and BBC One on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2016 at 9 p.m. Eastern in the States (on PBS and on the Masterpiece website).

This will be the first time that an episode of Steven Moffat’s popular show will air in both countries on the same day, similar to how they’ve handled the “Doctor Who” Christmas Specials.

It’s also been announced on the BBC One Twitter account that Moffat and co-writer Mark Gattis are “busy writing away right now” with plans to start shooting Season 4 in the spring.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2015


LEGENDS OF TOMORROW
The CW’s new DC series Legends of Tomorrow already assembles an eclectic group of heroes (and antiheroes), but it turns out it’ll also have its very own archer. Look out, Arrow — you might have a bit of competition.

Previous casting reports had the series, a spinoff of The Flash and Arrow, searching for an African-American or biracial male actor who will take up arms in place of a missing hero. Comic Book now confirms that character will be DC hero Connor Hawke, who has served as both the Green Arrow and Red Arrow during his tenure. It sounds like he’ll be rounding out a roster that already includes The Atom, White Canary, Rip Hunter, Captain Cold, Heat Wave, Hawkgirl, Firestorm and a few others.

Oh, one more thing: In the comics, Connor Hawke is also the son of Oliver Queen and his former girlfriend Sandra Hawke. Wait, what? Before you freak out too much, the report notes the small-screen version of the character will not be the son of Oliver and Sandra. So, that presents us with a few options.

This version of Connor Hawke could be the Green Arrow from an alternate universe, or perhaps the Green Arrow from the future (son of Oliver and Felicity, perhaps?). Or, he could just be some guy who decides to suit up and help save the world. As for the missing hero bit? That really has us curious. Regardless, this should make for a fascinating addition — and also provide some of that nifty archer action we’ve come to love on Arrow.


EMPRESS
Mark Millar, the comics writer Hollywood loves, is at it again.

The creator behind such comics turned movies as Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kick-Ass is teaming up with one of Marvel’s top artists, Stuart Immonen, for a new sci-fi adventure that is sure to draw Hollywood interest, a comic titled Empress.

“It’s a big, fun, bombastic space opera,” says Millar of the book, which is eyeing an April start from Marvel’s creator-owned imprint Icon for what is envisioned to be three arcs of six issues apiece.

The story centers on the wife of a galactic dictator (think someone akin to Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordon) who makes the decision to take her three kids and leave her evil husband. With the aid of a bodyguard, she tries to take her brood — Aine, her 15-year-old daughter who wants to be with her father; Adam, her gentle soul of a 10-year-old son (below) who she knows would not survive the trials ahead to be an elite ruler; and Puck, her 18-month-old — to her home world. Oh, and as an added twist, the planet of which she is queen is Earth … 65 million years ago.

About his heroine, named Emporia, he says, “She was young and impressionable when she married this dictator, just twenty years old, but now she’s in her mid-thirties and realizes she has to get out of there. What seemed glamorous at 20 suddenly feels terrifying and for both her own sake and the sake of her kids she knows she has to leave. The trouble is, her husband is the most feared tyrant in the universe. How do you leave him and where do you go?"

“I think all the best science fiction has a very human element at the heart of it and a mother wanting to leave a dangerous relationship is very easy for readers to relate to. I’m not really interested in high-concept ideas as much as human emotions being the driving force of a story. Even Star Wars was really just a lonely kid who wondered who his real father was.”

The comic re-teams Millar and Immonen after more than 15 years apart. The two worked together on a few Action Comics for DC in the late 1990s. Immonen has grown into a fan favorite artist and is coming on to the book after a run on Marvel’s best-selling Star Wars comic.

“I’ve been wanting to try out a drawing style that was more open than my recent body of work for some time, but had not found the right project,” says Immonen. “As it happens, Mark’s blend of high adventure and space fantasy seemed like the perfect venue in which to explore a European-and Asian-influenced ligne claire approach, with influences ranging from [Valerian and Laureline co-creator] Jean-Claude Mézières to [manga artist] Tetsuro Ueyama."

Wade Von Grawbadger will be inking the book and Dave McCaig the colorist.

Millar is keeping mum on any Empress adaptation but after the screen success of his earlier works such as Wanted, turned into a hit Angelina Jolie movie in 2008, and Kick-Ass, studios and producers were keen on working with the man. When Kingsman grossed $413 million worldwide this year and set in motion a sequel, it only cemented his screen savvy.

Among Millar’s comic books getting adapted are the time travel adventure Chrononauts, set up at Universal with Chris Morgan producing, and Nemesis, on its way to Warner Bros with Scott Free producing. Meanwhile, the rights to Huck, his latest comic that was released last week, were just picked up by Studio 8.


THE WHISPERS - CANCELLED
The network has canceled the summer drama after one season, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Co-star Milo Ventimiglia first shared the news on Twitter, telling a fan that season two was "sadly not happening."

Developed during the traditional 2014-2015 pilot season but benched until the typically low-rated summer, The Whispers initially was described as a race against the clock to defeat an unseen alien enemy out to destroy the world using children. ABC pulled back on the alien reveal from the pilot and turned the series into more of a mystery thriller.

The series opened to respectable returns — 1.5 million among adults 18-49 in its Monday at 10 p.m. slot — and ranked as ABC's highest-rated summer scripted premiere since the now-canceled Canadian import Rookie Blue. With three days of delayed viewing, that jumped 53 percent to a 2.3 — becoming the highest-rated three-day gainer among summer debuts on any network since CBS' Under the Dome in 2013. With seven days of DVR returns, it grew to a 2.5. While live viewership dipped,The Whispers remained a standout performer with the DVR set.

From Amblin Television and creator Soo Hugh (Under the Dome), the show ran into trouble when the options on the cast — including stars Lily Rabe, Barry Sloane and Ventimiglia — lapsed midway through its run, on June 30. ABC toyed with granting the series a second-season renewal by bringing the stars back for a limited run and bringing in new additions.

Producers on the drama had pitched a season two plan that involved "many but not all of the characters from season one," showrunner Zack Estrin told THR in June, when ABC was looking for a way to extend the options on the cast, including Rabe. Insiders say Rabe and other castmembers were not happy with the network's decision to shift the show from Los Angeles, where the pilot was filmed, to take advantage of tax incentives in Vancouver, Canada.

Of ABC's summer scripted series, only Mistresses — produced in-house via ABC Studios — will return, after the network axed Rookie Blue and limited-run drama The Astronaut Wives Club ended its run.

For Amblin TV, meanwhile, the company has seen its roster of originals slide of late after CBS canceled Under the Dome and Extant, TNT wrapped Falling Skies and Fox trimmed Minority Report. The fate of TNT's Public Morals remains unclear, while The Americans still remains a staple on FX. The company recently saw American Gothic picked up straight to series at CBS.


ASH VS. EVIL DEAD
Starz has struck that licensing deals with TV networks and digital platforms around the world representing more than 100 countries and territories for new original series Ash vs. Evil Dead.

Starz will have its first-ever same-day premiere of the first episode of the series, based on the classic Evil Dead horror films, on Halloween, citing strong demand by fans and distributors.

That means that distributors in some international markets can debut the show before Starz airs it in the U.S. at 9 p.m. on Oct. 31.

Among the international networks and digital providers that have taken the show and will premiere it on Oct. 31 are Amedia in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, C More in Scandinavia, Fox Action on the Fox+ Premium service/Fox Latin America Channels in Latin America/Brazil, Sky TV in New Zealand, Stan in Australia, Starz Play Arabia in the Middle East and North Africa and Super Channel in Canada.

"Fans of The Evil Dead have spoken with great passion and interest around the world, sparking high buyer demand for Ash vs. Evil Dead," said Michael Thornton, chief revenue officer at Starz “ We are delighted to be able to provide flexibility to many of the key buyers serviced by Starz Worldwide Distribution and Starz Digital,and thus allow for a wave of local Ash vs Evil Dead worldwide premieres on the 'groovy' date of October 31."

The 10-episode first season of the half-hour series is executive produced by Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, Bruce Campbell, the original filmmakers, and Craig DiGregorio who also serves as showrunner.

The cast is led by Campbell (Burn Notice) who reprises his role as Ash Williams, Lucy Lawless as Ruby, a mysterious figure who believes Ash is the cause of the Evil outbreaks, Ray Santiago (Touch, Meet the Fockers) as Pablo Simon Bolivar, an idealistic immigrant who becomes Ash’s loyal sidekick, Dana DeLorenzo (A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas) as Kelly Maxwell, a moody wild child trying to outrun her past and Jill Marie Jones (Sleepy Hollow) as Amanda Fisher, a disgraced Michigan State Trooper set to find Ash and prove his responsibility in the murder of her partner.

The series picks up with Ash as a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind, forcing him to step up.

Even though certain international time zones will see linear-channel premieres of Ash ahead of the U.S. given the special same-day approach Starz decided upon for the launch of the show, the debut episode will be available for Starz Play and Starz On Demand subscribers in the U.S. as of 12:01a.m., providing an early viewing opportunity for those who can't wait or worry about spoilers on social media platforms.

"In general, we like to have a day between our and everyone else's start" to a new show, Thornton tells THR about the decision to go day-and-date. "We had to think long and hard about do we not have the world premiere on the channel?" The decision came down to the special circumstances. "This property is such a unique one. It's an event," he explains. "We snuck a preview at Comic-Con, and people really went crazy for it."

Gene George, Starz's executive vp, worldwide distribution, says the premium TV company felt offering a same-day debut for the show internationally made sense and talked to its distribution partners abroad about the idea. "We thought about it for Halloween, which has become much more popular globally.‎ There is awareness of that date internationally, and it is becoming more popular," he tells THR. "We wanted to give our partners a chance to capitalize on that. We thought it gives our partners a little bit of an edge ... It's something we have never done before."

He emphasizes that Starz went with the same-day premieres because it felt right for the property‎, not to extract additional revenue. "It is not about money," George says. "It is about making it a global event and supporting our partners."


AGENT CARTER
Kurtwood Smith (“Resurrection,” “That ‘70s Show,” RoboCop) will join the Marvel’s Agent Carter cast when the series returns to ABC with its second season in 2016.

Kurtwood Smith will play Vernon Masters, a veteran of the War Department with a keen understanding of how to work the system. Although the specific name doesn’t ring a bell as far as the Marvel comic book continuity goes, the last name Masters does have some ties to S.H.I.E.L.D. Tony Masters was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who, after gaining the ability to mimic any fighting style he witnesses, took on the identity of the Taskmaster. Could Kurtwood Smith’s Vernon Masters character be related? Only time will tell.

“We had the pleasure of working with Kurtwood on both ‘Resurrection’ and ‘Chaos,’ and were well aware of what a commanding presence he is,” said Executive Producers Tara Butters, Chris Dingess and Michele Fazekas. “So when we were developing the character of Vernon Masters, we wrote it with him in mind. We just never thought we could actually get him. Thankfully, we were wrong.”

“We’ve been fans of Kurtwood’s work for years, from his villainous turn in ‘RoboCop’ to his role as a father confronted with the return of his long-dead son in ‘Resurrection,’” said Executive Producer/Head of Marvel Television, Jeph Loeb. “That type of range makes him a perfect addition to our cast for Peggy’s second thrilling solo adventure.”

Marvel’s Agent Carter returns for a second season of adventure and intrigue, starring Hayley Atwell in the titular role of the unstoppable secret agent for the SSR (Strategic Scientific Reserve). Dedicated to the fight against new atomic age threats in the wake of World War II, Peggy must now journey from New York City to Los Angeles for her most dangerous assignment yet. But even as she discovers new friends, a new home–and perhaps even a new love–she’s about to find out that the bright lights of the post-war Hollywood mask a more sinister threat to everyone she is sworn to protect.

The Marvel’s Agent Carter cast includes Hayley Atwell as Agent Carter, James D’Arcy as Edwin Jarvis, Chad Michael Murray as Agent Jack Thompson and Enver Gjokaj as Chief Daniel Sousa.

It was also recently announced that supporting cast for season two will include Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark, Bridget Regan as Dottie Underwood, Wynn Everett as Whitney Frost, Reggie Austin as Dr. Jason Wilkes, Currie Graham as Calvin Chadwick, Lotte Verbeek as Ana Jarvis and Lesley Boone as Rose.

Tara Butters, Michele Fazekas, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Chris Dingess, Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Joe Quesada, Stan Lee and Jeph Loeb are executive producers. Marvel’s Agent Carter is produced by ABC Studios and Marvel Television.

GHOST IN THE SHELL: THE NEW MOVIE
FUNimation Entertainment announced today the North American theatrical dates for the release of Ghost in The Shell: The New Movie. This is the first movie in more than ten years for the Ghost in The Shell sci-fi franchise, which will screen in more than 330 theaters across the United States and Canada on November 10, 11 and 16, 2015.

DreamWorks Pictures is currently in pre-production on a Ghost in the Shell live-action movie starring Scarlett Johansson (Lucy, Avengers: Age of Ultron) and directed by Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman), which is expected for release on March 31, 2017.

“‘Ghost in The Shell’ is truly an iconic franchise in the world of anime, and FUNimation is pleased to bring this long awaited, new film to audiences across North America,” said Gen Fukunaga, founder and CEO of FUNimation. “Long-time fans as well as new fans from last year’s Arise series will be blown away by this action packed movie.”

“This is the ‘Ghost in The Shell’ film for the modern era. We encourage fans to purchase tickets in advance so they don’t miss the opportunity to experience all of the action on the big screen,” said Mike Duboise, EVP and COO of FUNimation.

For more than 25 years, “Ghost in The Shell” has delivered a compelling story and artistic experience resulting in an international fan base that keeps coming back for more. The first theatrical release for the franchise screened in 1995, which originated six years earlier in 1989 as a manga series. In 2002, “Ghost in The Shell” became a televised anime series. Last year’s four-part saga “Ghost in The Shell: Arise” gave fans the opportunity to delve deeper into the origin stories of the characters they have come to know and love.

Set in a futuristic Japan after the end of a brutal world war, science has advanced by leaps and bounds giving humanity the choice to prolong life and reduce suffering with the use of sophisticated cybernetics. With all of humanity linked into one system of minds and personalities known as ghosts, the biggest threat to civilization is the cyber terrorists capable of hijacking people’s bodies and memories.

When a ghost-infecting virus known as Fire-Starter begins spreading through the system resulting in the assassination of the Japanese Prime Minister, Major Motoko Kusanagi and her elite team of special operatives are called in to track down its source. As they delve deeper and deeper into their investigation, they uncover traces of government corruption and a shadowy broker that bears an all-too-familiar face.

When your target can be anywhere and look like anyone, the only choice you have is to trust your ghost, and hope you aren’t infected too.


ARROW
The CW and DC Entertainment have released more than a dozen new Arrow photos from the fourth episode of the show’s currently airing fourth season. Titled “Beyond Redemption,” the episode is set to air Wednesday, October 28.

“Beyond Redemption” is officially described as follows:

Laurel deals with the aftermath of Nanda Parbat — Laurel (Katie Cassidy) must deal with the repercussions of taking Sara (guest star Caity Lotz) to Nanda Parbat. Meanwhile, Oliver (Stephen Amell) asks Captain Lance (Paul Blackthorne) for a favor and while he’s not surprised at the response, he is surprised at what he finds out next.

Arrow stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, Katie Cassidy as Dinah “Laurel” Lance, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Willa Holland as Thea Queen, Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak, John Barrowman as Malcom Merlyn, with Paul Blackthorne as Detective Lance. The series is executive produced by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg and Sarah Schechter.

After defeating his most formidable foe to date and riding off into the sunset with longtime flame Felicity Smoak, Oliver Queen (a.k.a. The Arrow) left Starling City with the hopes of beginning a new life. But will Oliver ever truly be able to leave behind his past as the Arrow, and, if so, what becomes of the team he has worked so hard to assemble? Will Diggle, Thea, and Laurel be left to continue Oliver’s crusade without him? And with Malcolm Merlyn having ascended to the top of the League of Assassins as the new Ra’s al Ghul, is anyone really safe?

“Beyond Redemption” was directed by Punisher: War Zone‘s Lexi Alexander. It was written by Beth Schwartz & Ben Sokolowski and will premiere next Wednesday, October 28 at 8:00pm ET/PT on The CW.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2015

THE X-FILES
Fox has released a brand-new TV spot for the X-Files revival six-part event series. And it's glorious.

The thrilling new 30-seconds promo featuring some new shots of Special Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) aired during last night’s episode of Gotham before being unleashed online and it asks -- or rather, Mulder does: “What if our work, the X-Files. Everything we’ve been led to believe in is a lie?” What if, indeed!

THE MAGICIANS
Along with all the sci-fi fare currently in the pipeline, Syfy is also taking a shot at a new fantasy series in early 2016.

Dubbed The Magicians, the series is based on Lev Grossman’s best-selling books of the same name. The early footage has looked intriguing, and the easiest log line is basically a more grown-up spin on Harry Potter. The series will follow a group of young magicians as they come to grips with their power and try to save humanity from magical threats. Yeah, could be fun.

The footage here gives us a feel for the tone and some of the characters, and it looks great. The series is part of a larger push by Syfy (Corporate owner of Blastr -Ed.) to upgrade its offerings of sci-fi and fantasy. The Magicians joins other high-profile projects such as Childhood’s End and The Expanse, all of which will hit the airwaves in 2016.

Here’s the official synopsis:

The Magicians stars Jason Ralph (A Most Violent Year, Aquarius) as Quentin Coldwater, a brilliant grad student who enrolls in Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, a secret upstate New York university specializing in magic. He and his 20-something friends soon discover that the magical fantasy world they read about as children is all too real— and poses grave danger to humanity. Stella Maeve (Chicago P.D.), Hale Appleman (Teeth), Arjun Gupta (Nurse Jackie) and Summer Bishil (Towelhead, Lucky 7) also star in this one hour drama.

The Magicians is set to premiere on Syfy in January 2016.


POWER RANGERS
Another Power Ranger has joined the cast of Lionsgate‘s upcoming feature film. Relative newcomer Dacre Montgomery will play the Red Ranger, joining the previously-announced Naomi Scott (The Martian, “Terra Nova”) as The Pink Ranger.

Dacre Montgomery’s name did not appear on the recently rumored Power Rangers short list, but his involvement was confirmed by the film’s official Instagram account. You can check out the embed of the announcement below. The initial story also suggested that Daniel Zovatto (It Follows), Ross Butler (“Chasing Life”) and Brian “Sene” Marc (“Major Crimes”) are in contention for the role of the Black Ranger.

Screenwriters Zack Stentz and Ashley Miller (X-Men: First Class, Thor) wrote the screenplay for Power Rangers, which is described as a modern reinvention of the long-running franchise. In it, a group of ordinary high school kids find themselves infused with extraterrestrial powers and must harness those powers as a team to save the world. Original creator Haim Saban is acting as producer along with Brian Casentini and Allison Shearmur.

Saban’s “Power Rangers” franchise is the brainchild of Haim Saban, creator and producer of the original “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” hit series that launched in 1993. Following its introduction, “Power Rangers” quickly became the most-watched children’s television program in the United States and remains one of the top-rated and longest running boys live-action series in television history. The series follows the adventures of a group of ordinary teens who “morph” into superheroes and save the world from evil. It is seen in more than 150 markets around the world, translated into numerous languages and is a mainstay in the most prominent international children’s programming blocks.

20th Century Fox previously released two feature films, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie in 1995 and Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie in 1997.

Set to be directed by Project Almanac‘s Dean Israelite, Power Rangers will debut in theaters on January 13, 2017.


CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
The full Marvel January 2016 solicitations have been released and, over at SuperHeroHype.com, we’ve got a full gallery with more than 100 different comic book cover and official synopses for all the books hitting stores shelves first thing next year. Among a number of different surprises contained in the solicitations is this Captain America: Civil War comic book cover, showing off the key players from the May 6, 2016 release.

Set for release in the United States on May 6, 2016, Captain America: Civil War is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo from a screenplay by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely. It is set to feature the return of Chris Evans as Steve Rogers / Captain America, this time joined in his “solo” film by fellow Avengers Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark / Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow, Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson / Falcon, Paul Bettany as The Vision, Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton / Hawkeye, Don Cheadle as Jim Rhodes/War Machine and Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch.

Sebastian Stan will also be back as Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier alongside Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa / Black Panther, Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter / Agent 13, Daniel Brühl as Baron Helmut Zemo, Frank Grillo as Brock Rumlow / Crossbones, William Hurt as General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, and Paul Rudd as Scott Lang / Ant-Man. The film is also supposed to debut Marvel’s new Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland.

Captain America: Civil War picks up where Avengers: Age of Ultron left off, as Steve Rogers leads the new team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers while they try to protect the world from a new and nefarious villain.

HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2
Lionsgate has debuted new The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.

With the nation of Panem in a full scale war, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) confronts President Snow (Donald Sutherland) in the final showdown. Teamed with a group of her closest friends – including Gale (Hemsworth), Finnick (Sam Claflin), and Peeta (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 that also includes Academy Award-winner Jennifer Lawrence, 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 theaters and IMAX on November 20, 2015.


STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT
When fans took on the Star Wars Battlefront beta last week they got a taste of what it’s like to take to the battlefield as Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. Each provides different advantages for their respective side and can easily turn the tide of the fight. Now that the beta is in the books, and we’re less than a month away from the game’s release, EA and DICE have revealed three more hero characters that will be playable including: Leia Organa, Han Solo, and Emperor Palpatine.

In the game, Leia will be equipped with a unique trait called Trooper Bane, a hard-hitting, boosted blaster shot that can eliminate an enemy combatant in one hit; the Enhanced Squad Shield, and the Supply Drop ability that drops power ups for teammates nearby. Furthermore, players that spawn near Leia will spawn as Alderaan Honor Guards instead of their regular uniforms.

Han Solo’s special abilities include Rapid Fire, which sees the players blaster firing as much as possible without overheating for a duration of time; Lucky Shot, a “build up and release” power that is effective against vehicles, and the Shoulder Charge power; which mimics the scene from Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope wherein Han charges into a group of Stormtroopers.

Emperor Palpatine’s abilities include the iconic Force Lightning, the speedy Force Dash, in addition to being the team’s support character by providing additional power ups for teammates.

Star Wars Battlefront will be available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on November 17.


STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
Will Star Wars: The Force Awakens be the biggest movie of all time? If advanced ticket sales are any indication, yes, it will be! On Fandango alone, the pre-ticket sales for Star Wars 7 have been 8 times higher than the first day sales of previous record holder The Hunger Games. Tickets went on sale Monday night following the debut of the third and final trailer. And today, the sequel to one of the biggest sci-fi franchises of all-time is continuing to shatter records on several ticket selling sites. If you didn't secure your tickets yet, you may have to wait awhile after the film's December 18 release date before you'll actually get to see the movie. About the record setting pre-sale, an insider at Fandango had this to say,

"Movie theaters are continually adding new show times on Fandango to meet the phenomenal demand. The enthusiasm for this year's most anticipated movie is out of this world and we expect it to continue all the way to its debut on December 18."

Even before the third and final Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer launched to a billion screaming fans, several sites experienced crashing and outages. Deadline reports that even with two more months to go before the film is In theaters, it has already acquired a domestic gross of $6.5 million. And the pre-sales have already broken every IMAX record.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is set to open on approximately 390 IMAX theaters in the U.S. alone. The film has already pummeled IMAX records set by The Dark Knight Rises, Marvel's The Avengers and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, all of whom had $1+ million pre-sales. AMC has also reported that the J.J. Abrams directed sequel has set a single-day davcnaced ticket sales record, beating the previous record holder by 10 times the amount of ticket sales. In less than 12 hours, AMC managed to sell out more than 1,000 shows across the country. AMC is now in the process of adding showtimes. There are now nearly 4 million tickets available for the opening weekend between December 18 and December 20, with tickets stretched across various platforms that include IMAX, 3D, Dolby Cinema at AMC Prime and AMC Dine-In Theaters.

IMAX is currently responsible for 38% of all ticket sales grosses, with The Force Awakens to undoubtedly be the biggest IMAX movie of all time. Disney Springs 24 theater in Orlando is holding an exclusive Star Wars opening night event event that includes an after party. That venue sold out 17 showtimes in just a few hours. It's expected that a number of theaters will be staying open for 24 hours through December 18 and possibly heading into the weekend. The Fandango rep also had this to say about the record-shattering ticket sales.

"This is an extraordinary time for the industry, which experienced unprecedented ticketing demand last night for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In fact, Fandango traffic surged to 7 times its typical peak levels, propelling Fandango's advance sales for Star Wars to a record-setting first day of pre-sales. For Star Wars, we have already sold 8 times as many tickets as we did on the first day of sales for the previous record holder."

Did you already secure your Star Wars: The Force Awakens tickets? If not, keep trying! It sounds like more and more theaters are going to start offering tickets well into the witching hour all throughout the opening weekend. All hope is not lost. And if this steady stream of business keeps up, expect the movie to obliterate every single box office record that currently stands in its way. This is surely going to be one for the books!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes to theaters December 18th, 2015.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2015


STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
Will it be the best half-time show ever? The new “Star Wars” poster was just released on Twitter along with the surprise news that there will be an exclusive look from the highly anticipated “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” movie released during ESPN’s Monday Night Football game broadcast.

While the NFC East rival match up between Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants will draw millions of viewers, news of being able to catch a first look at star-studded “Star Wars” film will no doubt score a major spike in viewers for ESPN.

While the collaboration may seem strange, the two networks are actually closely related. Disney owns both ESPN and LucasFilms. After the full trailer premieres, tickets will go on sale to see the new “Star Wars” when it hits theaters on Dec. 18. Directed by J.J. Abrams, the movie stars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher,Mark Hamill, Lupita N’yongo, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Gwendoline Christie, and Daisy Ridley.

Monday Night Football airs on ESPN at 8:15 p.m. ET/PT.

THE LAST WITCH HUNTER
The Last Witch Hunter is a high fantasy mixed with modern-day adventure about Kaulder, a warrior who slays a witch-queen and is cursed with immortality. We have two clips plus a trailer. It seems that there could be more to this sword-and-sorcery story than first meets the eye.

From what we can see in the trailer, Kaulder is less concerned with Conan-like glory and more focused on his own grief over the loss of his wife and daughter. If this isn’t just trailer hocus-pocus, and Kaulder’s heartbreak is actual part of the film’s storyline, this could be one of the braver acting choices from star Vin Diesel. After all, most people only recognize him behind the wheel of a fast and furious car.

In a way, Diesel is responsible for the film’s existence: According to HitFix, Vin Diesel had written the intro to the 30th-anniversary edition of Dungeons & Dragons, in which he described his witch hunter character. The Last Witch Hunter writer Cory Goodman then wrote his film around that character.

Will this movie be as fun as your D&D campaign? We’ll know soon: The Last Witch Hunter drops on Oct. 23.

LEGION
The Marvel television empire is getting even bigger, and now cable network FX is getting in on the action. Next up: Legion, based on the comic story of Professor X’s son.

FX has placed a pilot order for Legion, which is the story of a troubled young man who may be more than human. According to Marvel, the pilot introduces the story of David Haller: Since he was a teenager, David has struggled with mental illness. Diagnosed as schizophrenic, David has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for years. But after a strange encounter with a fellow patient, he’s confronted with the possibility that the voices he hears and the visions he sees might be real.

David Haller is the son of Professor Charles Xavier in comic lore, though since there’s no mention of an X-Men connection, it stands to reason this could be an unconnected spinoff just focusing on this one corner of the universe with some reimaginings. Which, sure, could be a lot of fun.

The best part? The creative team is top-notch, as Fargo mastermind Noah Hawley has signed on to write the pilot with Bryan Singer (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Lauren Shuler Donner (X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Wolverine), Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Jeph Loeb (Daredevil), Jim Chory (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and John Cameron (Fargo).

Though the relationship between Fox and Marvel has been a bit chilly at times, it seems that between Legion and Hellfire they’ve worked through a lot of those issues (at least for the small screen). For fans, that’s awesome news. And FX seems to be going all-in on comics shows, what with the just-announced Y: The Last Man and Southern Bastards on the docket.

SPECTRE
EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Sony Pictures have released a new SPECTRE spot.

In the film, a cryptic message from the past sends James Bond (Daniel Craig) on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE.

Meanwhile back in London, Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), the new head of the Centre for National Security, questions Bond’s actions and challenges the relevance of MI6, led by M (Ralph Fiennes). Bond covertly enlists Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw) to help him seek out Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), the daughter of his old nemesis Mr White (Jesper Christensen), who may hold the clue to untangling the web of SPECTRE. As the daughter of an assassin, she understands Bond in a way most others cannot.

As Bond ventures towards the heart of SPECTRE, he learns of a chilling connection between himself and the enemy he seeks, played by Christoph Waltz.

Directed once again by Sam Mendes, SPECTRE is written by John Logan and Neal Purvis & Robert Wade. The 24th Bond film hits theaters and IMAX on November 6, 2015.

DOCTOR WHO
Following her appearance in “The Girl Who Died,” The BBC has released new Doctor Who trailers featuring Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams in “The Woman Who Lived,” the sixth episodes (of 12) from Series 9 that will air on Saturday, October 24.

England, 1651. Deadly highwayman ‘the Nightmare’ and his sidekick stalk the dark streets of London. But when they find loot that is not of this world, they come face to face with the Doctor. Who is the Nightmare in league with? And can the Doctor avoid the hangman’s noose and protect the Earth from a devilish betrayal?

THE WALKING DEAD
The Walking Dead ratings show that the AMC program remains the #1 show on television among adults 18-49, extending its unprecedented three-year run as the only cable program in history to ever hold the top spot. Its 90-minute season six premiere on October 11th delivered 19.5 million viewers, 12.8 million adults 18-49 and 12.1 million adults 25-54 in live+3 ratings, which include three days of time-shifted viewing. The episode is the highest-rated premiere for the 2015/2016 season among adults 18-49 and adults 25-54 in live+3 viewing.

“Talking Dead,” the live aftershow hosted by Chris Hardwick that recaps the evening’s episode, delivered 6.5 million viewers, 4.2 million adults 18-49 and 4.0 million adults 25-54 in live+3. Sunday night’s season premiere featured showrunner Scott M. Gimple, executive producer Greg Nicotero and Ethan Embry (Carter).

“What an unforgettable week for all who love ‘The Walking Dead’ – from sharing the premiere with more than 13,000 screaming fans at a packed Madison Square Garden to our sixth season return on Sunday as the number one show in all of television. We’re so humbled and proud of the way this incredibly ambitious episode has been received,” said Charlie Collier, president of AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios. “All credit goes to the amazing talent that continues to drive this show, beginning with Robert Kirkman, Scott M. Gimple, the executive producers, cast and crew and, of course, the terrific fans who inspire us all.”

The season six premiere of The Walking Dead also dominated social media. “The Walking Dead” was mentioned in nearly 1 million tweets on October 11th (956,480), generating 3.6 billion potential impressions via 825,000 unique users. The top four hashtags on October 11th on Twitter were all related to The Walking Dead, and the show was the most engaging television program for the week on both Facebook and Instagram.

AMC announced from The Walking Dead 2015 Fan Premiere Event at Madison Square Garden on October 9th that the second half of the show’s season six will premiere Sunday, February 14th at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. As in previous seasons, the show’s sixth season of 16 episodes will be airing in two parts, with the final eight returning next February. Internationally, The Walking Dead will return for its mid-season debut in 125+ FOX International Channels (FIC) markets within 24 hours of the U.S. premiere, as part of FIC’s continued commitment to broadcast the series near day-and-date globally.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2015

DOCTOR WHO
BBC America has released the first look at “Game of Thrones” star Maisie Williams guest-starring on “Doctor Who” as Viking girl Ashildre, who is part of a clan that the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara (Jenna Coleman) must train to defend themselves against a deadly threat.

In the clip of “The Girl Who Died,” Clara and Ashildre desperately try to save themselves and Ashildre’s fellow Vikings from a death chamber whose walls are closing in fast.

BBC America also released a short interview with the “Game of Thrones” star, talking about how great the two fandoms colliding has been.

“When it was announced that I would be on ‘Doctor Who,’ everyone lost their minds a little bit because you’re crossing over fandoms,” says Wiliams, comparing it to her co-star Sophie Turner getting a part in “X-Men”. “When you cross over to a different geeky fandom world, everyone’s like, ‘This is insane!’ So it was such a nice buzz.”

However, she says there’s also a lot of pressure.

“It’s nice to know that there’s a bit of hype around it before comes out, but it also is a lot of pressure too because now you’ve got to two these two episodes and are people going to like them? I hope it lives up to everyone’s expectations and I can’t wait to see how people like it,” says Williams.

Williams’ “Doctor Who” two-episode arc begins Saturday, Oct. 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on BBC America.

SLEEPY HOLLOW
Sunday at NYCC is typically a day for parents to come with their kids, walk around, take in the ambience, and not much else. But as was the case with the entirety of the con this year, Sunday got stepped up in a lot of ways.

One of the ways NYCC made Sunday a little more content-heavy was by hosting some of the cast from Sleepy Hollow, a show that's already swinging for the fences again after a bit of a sophomore slump in their second season.

I had a chance to interview actors Lyndie Greenwood, Zach Appelman and Nikki Reed, along with producer and writer Raven Metzner. In the video below we chatted about the show's evolution; the addition of some new characters, including seamstress and super spy Betsy Ross; and some of the monsters we'll see in the coming episodes.

Some things you won't see in that video but are worth mentioning:

- Raven revealing how his parents' superstitions about names dictated the weakness for the monstrous wraith for Season 3's second episode.

- The reveal that Abby, Crane and company will face off against a genie.

- If Lyndie Greenwood could face off against any villain on the show it would be a slasher, especially one like Michael Myers.

- The ongoing argument over whether Abby and Crane will ever get romantic. They shouldn't, by the way. But the writers apparently talk about it constantly.

Sleepy Hollow airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. EST on Fox. If you gave up on the show last year, I highly recommend giving it another shot.


HUNTERS
With The X-Files set to return, it might seem like a strange time to launch a new show about a hidden alien conspiracy that threatens mankind and a lone agent out to get to the bottom of it. Syfy's Hunters, however, has enough of a pedigree that it might stand to thrive even in the shadow of Fox's fan-favorite classic. It's based on the popular Alien Hunter books by Whitley Strieber, and one of the main people behind bringing it to television is Gale Anne Hurd, who's done some producing work on some stuff you might know, like The Walking Dead and Terminator.

New York Comic Con was kind of a coming-out party for Hunters, so we took the opportunity to talk to Hurd, Strieber and showrunner Natallie Chaidez about the show's origins, the nature of its alien menace and what we can expect to see when it debuts on Syfy in April of 2016.

CONTINUIUM
Continuum (Syfy) Friday, 11 PM - "Final Hour"

Series finale! - Yes, we've finally reached that moment. Continuum is over, after several seasons of clever and critically acclaimed time-travel storytelling. We don't yet know exactly how things will end up, but we do know this isn't the kind of show to leave us wallowing in mystery forever, so with a little luck we'll get the satisfying finale we deserve.


HACK/SLASH
Tim Seeley’s acclaimed horror comic book series Hack/Slash is finally getting an adaptation. The Hollywood Reporter today brings word that the rights have landed at Relativity Television where A Good Day to Die Hard and X-Men Origins: Wolverine scribe Skip Woods has been tasked with developing a script.

Published first by Devil’s Due and later by Image Comics, Hack/Slash is officially described as follows:

At the end of every horror movie, one girl always survives… in this case, Cassie Hack not only survives, she turns the tables by hunting and destroying the horrible slashers that would do harm to the innocent! Alongside the gentle giant known as Vlad, the two cut a bloody path through those who deserve to be put down… hard!

Over the years, Cassie Hack has gone up against quite a few varieties of “slashers.” She has even crossed over with comic book characters like Evil Ernie and faced off against some familiar movie characters, such as Child Play‘s Chucky, the Reanimator and even the Evil Dead franchise’s Ashley J. Williams.

The Hack/Slash comics themselves are currently on a publishing hiatus. The ongoing Image series ended in 2013 after 25 issues, while 2014 saw the release of the five-issue miniseries Hack/Slash: Son of Samhain.

Skip Woods will also executive produce the Hack/Slash series alongside Adrian Askarieh and Ray Ricord. Daniel Alter and Geoffrey Yim are also attached as co-executive producers.

For a detailed look at the long history of Hack/Slash in Hollywood, check out ShockTillYouDrop’s exclusive feature from 2010.


AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
Powers Boothe has just landed his second Marvel Cinematic Universe role. Marvel today revealed that the Sin City star (who previously played a member of the World Security Council in Marvel’s The Avengers) will play a recurring role on the currently-airing third season of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.

Powers Boothe will play a character named Gideon Malick, officially described as, “a notorious man whose loyalties remain a mystery”.

“Gideon is incredibly menacing,” explains Executive Producer/Head of Marvel Television, Jeph Loeb, “and in him we have a character that even the stone-cold Grant Ward would fear. Only someone of Powers’ caliber could deliver the type of ominous and powerful performance we needed.”

Although the name Gideon Malick doesn’t appear in the comic books, there is an X-Force character who goes by the name of Gideon. It is a near certainty, however, that the rights to that Gideon are held by 20th Century Fox. A more likely comic book connection ties to the characters’ last name. Albert Malik (spelled slightly differently) was the name of the second man to take on the mantle of the Red Skull.

The Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. cast includes Clark Gregg as Director Phil Coulson, Ming-Na Wen as Agent Melinda May, Brett Dalton as Grant Ward, Chloe Bennet as Agent Daisy Johnson, Iain De Caestecker as Agent Leo Fitz, Elizabeth Henstridge as Agent Jemma Simmons, Nick Blood as Agent Lance Hunter, Adrianne Palicki as Agent Bobbi Morse, Henry Simmons as Agent Alphonso “Mack” MacKenzie and Luke Mitchell as Lincoln Campbell.


SPECTRE
EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Sony Pictures have released a new seasonally-appropriate Day of the Dead-themed SPECTRE IMAX poster.

In the film, a cryptic message from the past sends James Bond (Daniel Craig) on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE.

Meanwhile back in London, Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), the new head of the Centre for National Security, questions Bond’s actions and challenges the relevance of MI6, led by M (Ralph Fiennes). Bond covertly enlists Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw) to help him seek out Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), the daughter of his old nemesis Mr White (Jesper Christensen), who may hold the clue to untangling the web of SPECTRE. As the daughter of an assassin, she understands Bond in a way most others cannot.

As Bond ventures towards the heart of SPECTRE, he learns of a chilling connection between himself and the enemy he seeks, played by Christoph Waltz.

Directed once again by Sam Mendes, SPECTRE is written by John Logan and Neal Purvis & Robert Wade. The 24th Bond film hits theaters and IMAX on November 6, 2015.

RATCHET AND CLANK
The trailer for next year’s Ratchet and Clank movie has arrived and you can check it out in the player below, courtesy of iTunes Movie Trailers. Gramercy Pictures will release the Ratchet and Clank movie nationwide on April 29, 2016.

A CG-animated movie based on the iconic PlayStation video game, the Ratchet and Clank movie follows two unlikely heroes as they struggle to stop a vile alien named Chairman Drek from destroying every planet in the Solana Galaxy. Ratchet is the last of his kind, a foolhardy “lombax” who has grown up alone on a backwater planet with no family of his own. Clank is a pint-sized robot with more brains than brawn. When the two stumble upon a dangerous weapon capable of destroying entire planets, they must join forces with a team of colorful heroes called The Galactic Rangers in order to save the galaxy. Along the way, they will learn about heroism, friendship, and the importance of discovering one’s own identity.

Directed Kevin Munroe and co-directed by Jericca Cleland, the Ratchet and Clank movie was also scripted by Munroe alongside T.J. Fixman and Gerry Swallow. The voice cast includes Paul Giamatti (American Splendor, Love & Mercy), John Goodman (The Big Lebowski, The Monuments Men), Bella Thorne (The DUFF, Alexander and Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day), Rosario Dawson (“Marvel’s Daredevil,” Sin City), Jim Ward (WALL-E, “The Fairly Oddparents”) James Arnold Taylor (“Johnny Test,” “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”), David Kaye (Up, “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble”), Armin Shimerman (“Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) and Sylvester Stallone (The Expendables, Creed).


X-MEN/HELLFIRE
Marvel announced today that they are developing two new TV shows with X-Men producers Bryan Singer, Simon Kinberg and Lauren Shuler Donner, for Fox and FX. Fox is developing Hellfire, which is only a working title at this point, while FX has issued a pilot order for Legion. Neither project has been branded as an X-Men series, but they both feature characters set within the same universe, based on characters from the Marvel comics.

Set in the late 1960s, Hellfire -- which will be produced by 20th Century Fox Television and Marvel Television, with 20th Century Fox handling the physical production -- follows a young Special Agent who learns that a power-hungry woman with extraordinary abilities is working with a clandestine society of millionaires - known as "The Hellfire Club" - to take over the world. J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, who wrote an early version of the Star Trek Beyond script, have been set to write the pilot and executive produce. Here's what David Madden, President, Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company had to say in a statement.

"We are thrilled to partner with Marvel to bring this world to television and build upon the vibrant mythology that has captivated fans for years. These powerful and dynamic characters are complicated and larger-than-life, the pace and visual imagination are unrelenting, and the story takes place during one of the most explosive eras in recent history. We are so looking forward to working with this incredibly talented team."

Hellfire is a co-production of 20th Century Fox Television and Marvel Television. Evan Katz (24: Live Another Day), Manny Coto (24: Live Another Day), Patrick McKay (Star Trek Beyond) and JD Payne (Star Trek Beyond) are co-creators. McKay and Payne will write the pilot script, based on a story by Katz, Coto, McKay and Payne. Lauren Shuler Donner (X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Wolverine), Bryan Singer (X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse), Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Fantastic Four), Jeph Loeb (Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel's Daredevil) and James Chory (Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel's Daredevil) will executive-produce the pilot, alongside Katz and Coto, who will serve as showrunners. Here's what Jonathan Davis, President, Creative Affairs, 20th Century Fox Television, had to say in his statement.

"Hellfire is a unique opportunity to be able to go deeper with some of these extraordinary characters, but to also dramatize new characters and give TV viewers a chance to experience this expanded world in an explosive way that everyone will be talking about. The action at the center of Hellfire will be dynamic and will satisfy the rabid fans, but that said, newcomers will surely be addicted too!"

FX Networks has ordered the pilot for Legion, the story of a troubled young man who may be more than human, it was announced today by Nick Grad and Eric Schrier, Presidents of Original Programming, FX Networks and FX Productions. The pilot introduces the story of David Haller. Since he was a teenager, David has struggled with mental illness. Diagnosed as schizophrenic, David has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for years. But after a strange encounter with a fellow patient, he's confronted with the possibility that the voices he hears and the visions he sees might be real.

Noah Hawley (Fargo, Bones) will write the pilot and serve as an Executive Producer along with Lauren Shuler Donner (X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Wolverine), Bryan Singer (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Superman Returns), Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Martian), Jeph Loeb (Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel's Daredevil), James Chory (Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel's Daredevil) and John Cameron (Fargo, The Big Lebowski). The pilot for Legion will be produced by FX Productions and Marvel Television, with FXP handling the physical production. Here's what FX's Nick Grad had to say in a statement.

"Legion is just the sort of ambitious story that Noah excels at. His adaption of Fargo for television was one of the most acclaimed television events in recent memory. It's also an honor to partner with Marvel on Legion and to enlist such an accomplished team of Executive Producers to create this pilot."

Legion is the latest project from Hawley and Cameron, two of the Executive Producers of the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning FX limited series Fargo. It's worth noting that, the lead character in Legion, David Haller, is the mutant son of Professor Charles Xavier and Israeli Holocaust survivor Gabrielle Haller in the comics, but it isn't known if this connection will be made in the series.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2015

DAREDEVIL - SEASON 2
The first teaser trailer (shown at New York Comic Con over the weekend) for Marvel and Netflix's upcoming second season of Daredevil has made its merry way online.

The video starts with a very cool Season 1 recap of sorts before giving us our very first footage from Daredevil Season 2. Said new footage not only reveals our first look at Elodie Yung’s Elektra (she’s seen here putting on her mask), but we also get our first glimpse of Jon Bernthal’s Frank Castle, aka the Punisher. Granted, we only see his back, but even that is enough to get me psyched for that Punisher vs. the Man Without Fear showdown that's bound to go down next year. If you listen closely, you can hear the Punisher prime his gun and say "Beg" at the end.

Also back is our dynamic trio of Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) and Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll), with Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple also popping up in the new footage.

The hit Marvel series is set to premiere on Netflix in the spring of 2016.

THE LIBRARIANS
The Librarians Season 2 debuts in November, but the cast was at New York Comic Con to give everyone a sneak peek. Watch Blastr's editor-at-large, Aaron Sagers, chat with cast members Rebecca Romijn, John Larroquette, Lindy Booth, John Kim and Christian Kane about what we can expect in the show's sophomore season. Also, John Larroquette makes us think of the critically important show Night Court, which makes us think of its very 1980s NY opening credits and Markie Post's mullet, so here's this as a digression.


BEAUTY AND THE BEAST - LAST SEASON
It's the end of the line for The CW's Beauty and the Beast.

The network on Tuesday announced that the upcoming fourth season of the remake starring Kristin Kreuk and Jay Ryan will be its last.

From CBS Television Studios, the drama is loosely based on the 1980s CBS series of the same name. It launched during the 2012-13 broadcast season and aired in the fall until its third season, when it was moved to the summer as part of the network's bid to increase original scripted fare during the little-watched period.

The series, under showrunner Brad Kern — who joined in season two — was handed an early season four renewal four months ahead of its third-season debut.

Never much of a ratings performer — season one averaged 1.61 million total viewers during its 22-episode run — season three, its first 13-episode order, averaged 879,000 total viewers.

A premiere date for season four has not yet been announced, but it is expected to premiere in 2016 — either midseason or again in the summer.

"I truly like it as a summer series," CW president Mark Pedowitz told reporters at TCA in August. "It gives us original programming. One of our stated goals for the network was to have year-round programming. We’re doing more and more of this, and having Beauty and the Beast gives us some scripted programming for summer. We are developing other things at this point for next summer. So I plan to keep it there."

The news comes as The CW has little real estate on its schedule. The network renewed nearly all of its originals (save for the final season of Hart of Dixie and canceled Messengers) and picked up only three new series for 2015-16, with only one (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) debuting in the fall. That leaves Arrow/Flash spinoff Legends of Tomorrow and Julie Plec's Containment still to be scheduled.


DOMINION CANCELLED
It's the end of the road for Syfy's Dominion.

The NBCUniversal-owned cable network has opted to cancel the drama based on the 2010 feature film Legion, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

“Led by [series creator] Vaun Wilmott, the talented cast, producers, writers and crew of Dominion have done a tremendous job bringing this ambitious, cinematic series to the screen over the past two seasons," said a Syfy spokesperson in a statement. "We thank them, as well as our producing partners Universal Cable Productions, Bold Films and Film Afrika.”

Starring Chris Egan, the drama's ratings dropped off 47 percent in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic (300,000 in live-plus-same-day returns) and 45 percent in total viewers (900,000).

The series was part of the first wave of new orders to come after Syfy renewed its focus on science-fiction fare. The network has a robust slate of high-profile dramas coming up including The Expanse and Childhood's End — both of which are due in December — as well as fellow freshmen The Magicians and Hunters, both due in 2016. Its returning fare includes season two of 12 Monkeys as well as Killjoys and Dark Matter.

On the pilot/development side, the cabler has Incorporated, from Matt Damon and Ben Affleck; David Goyer's Superman prequel Krypton, as well as Hyperion, Brave New World and The Final Odyssey.

The future of pricey drama Defiance has not yet been determined.

THE LAST WITCH HUNTER
Lionsgate has just released a new The Last Witch Hunter clip, featuring stars Vin Diesel (The Fast and the Furious, Guardians of the Galaxy) and Rose Leslie (“Game of Thrones,” Honeymoon).

The modern world holds many secrets, but the most astounding secret of all is that witches still live amongst us; vicious supernatural creatures intent on unleashing the Black Death upon the world. Armies of witch hunters battled the unnatural enemy across the globe for centuries, including Kaulder (Diesel), a valiant warrior who managed to slay the all-powerful Queen Witch, decimating her followers in the process. In the moments right before her death, the Queen curses Kaulder with her own immortality, forever separating him from his beloved wife and daughter in the afterlife. Today Kaulder is the only one of his kind remaining, and has spent centuries hunting down rogue witches, all the while yearning for his long-lost loved ones. However, unbeknownst to Kaulder, the Queen Witch is resurrected and seeks revenge on her killer causing an epic battle that will determine the survival of the human race.

Directed by Breck Eisner (The Crazies), The Last Witch Hunter also stars also stars Elijah Wood (The Lord of the Rings, “Wilfred”) and Michael Caine (The Dark Knight, Interstellar).

The Last Witch Hunter hits theaters on October 23.


Z-MEN
Lionsgate has announced they’re partnering up with comic book publisher Double Take, a subsidiary of leading video game developer and publisher Take-Two Interactive Software, for a film adaptation of the comic series Z-Men.

Written by Jeff McComsey, Z-Men is the flagship title in Double Take’s recently-launched universe surrounding the classic horror franchise Night of the Living Dead.

“We’re delighted to expand our relationship with our friends at Take-Two by partnering with their comic book arm, Double Take, in bringing Z-Men to the big screen,” said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairs Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger. “We continue to diversify our portfolio with films adapted from novels, video games and board games and look forward to translating 2T’s graphic novel into a spine-chilling film for moviegoers and comic book fans alike. It is yet another example of the strong underlying intellectual property on which our film and television content is based.”

“We are pleased to expand our partnership with Lionsgate, who has the right team to bring to life on screen what Double Take brings to life in comics,” said Double Take General Manager Bill Jemas. “We look forward to seeing Lionsgate’s creativity transform the Z-Men story into an exciting feature film, and everyone on the Double Take team is incredibly enthused at this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

The series is officially described as follows:

“It’s 1966 and the Oval Office is in an uproar; there’s been a spree of mass murders in Western Pennsylvania (and reports of the dead returning to life). President Lyndon B. Johnson assigns the head of the Secret Service to send agents into the field to investigate. Agents Stuart and Clancy are given the opportunity to serve their country and see if the zombie apocalypse has indeed begun.”

OUTSIDERS
During the season two premiere of WGN America’s critically-acclaimed series “Manhattan” on October 13, the network will give viewers a first look at their upcoming drama “Outsiders” (premiering early 2016) with the release of a dramatic first trailer.

The ensemble cast for “Outsiders” includes: David Morse (“Treme,” The Hurt Locker) as Big Foster, a gruff and powerful heir to leadership; Joe Anderson (“The Divide,” Across the Universe) as Asa, a member of the Farrell clan looking to rejoin the family after a stint with the outside world; Thomas M. Wright (“The Bridge,” “Top of the Lake”) as Sheriff Wade Houghton, a cop who has a history with the Farrells, and grapples with a few troubles of his own; Ryan Hurst (“Sons of Anarchy,” “Bates Motel”), as Lil Foster, a massive mountain man and son of Big Foster; Gillian Alexy (“The Americans,” “Damages”) as G’Winveer, a survivor and Asa’s confidante; Kyle Gallner (American Sniper, “Veronica Mars”) as Hasil, an intuitive soul who feels rejected by the group; Christina Jackson (“Boardwalk Empire,” “Deception”) as Sally-Ann, a beautiful girl from a mining town who is fascinated by the Farrells and Hasil in particular; Francie Swift(Hostages, “House of Cards”) as Haylie, a cunning, all-American community relations manager with the encroaching coal company; and Phyllis Somerville (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, “The Big C”) as Lady Ray, the regal yet tough leader of the Farrell clan.

A Sony Pictures Television and Tribune Studios production, “Outsiders” is written and created by award-winning playwright Peter Mattei, who executive produces alongside Fedora Entertainment’s Emmy Award winner Peter Tolan (“Rescue Me,” Analyze This), Emmy Award-winner Paul Giamatti (“John Adams,” Sideways), Dan Carey (All Is Bright) for Touchy Feely Films and Fedora’s Michael Wimer (2012, Rake). “Outsiders” explores the epic struggle between the Farrell Clan, who have lived atop the rugged Shay Mountain for over two hundred years, and their battle to defend their land and their way of life from the town below and anyone who would dare to challenge them.

“Outsiders” is WGN America’s third original series, coming off of its breakout original drama “Salem” and Emmy Award-winning drama “Manhattan.”

THE BATMAN: BAD BLOOD
DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation have released the first trailer for the upcoming Batman: Bad Blood, the latest in their DC-animated films.

Plot details on Batman: Bad Blood are still under wraps, but the film will follow up the storylines from Son of Batman and Batman vs. Robin and see the introduction of both Batwoman and Batwing into the world of the animated DCU.

Jason O’Mara will once again provide the voice of the Dark Knight in the film along with Stuart Allen as Robin, Sean Maher as Nightwing and Morena Baccarin as Talia al Ghul. New additions to the cast include Yvonne Strahovski as Batwoman, Gaius Charles as Batwing and Ernie Hudson as his father Lucius Fox.

Batman: Bad Blood will debut on Digital HD, DVD and Blu-ray in early 2016.

THE X-FILES ANIMATED
FOX has just released online a new X-Files animated teaser that aired during tonight’s episode of Gotham.

The X-Files returns to FOX with a special two-night event beginning Sunday, Jan. 24 (10:00-11:00 PM ET/7:00-8:00 PM PT), following the NFC Championship Game, and continuing with its time period premiere on Monday, Jan. 25 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT).

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprise their iconic roles as Agent Fox Mulder and Agent Dana Scully in the upcoming event series which will encompass a mixture of stand-alone investigative episodes and those that further the original show’s seminal mythology. In the opening episode, Mulder and Scully take on a case of a possible alien abductee. The all-new episodes will feature appearances by guest stars, including Joel McHale (“Community”), Robbie Amell (“The Flash”), Lauren Ambrose (“Dig,” “Six Feet Under”), Annabeth Gish (“The Bridge”), Annet Mahendru (“The Americans”), Rhys Darby (“Flight of the Conchords”), Kumail Nanjiani (“Silicon Valley”) and William B. Davis, who reprises his role as “Cigarette Smoking Man.” Three of the episodes are written and directed by Chris Carter, with the remaining new episodes written and directed by original series veterans Glen Morgan, Darin Morgan and James Wong.

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.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2015


THE SKIN TRADE COMING TO TV
Riding the wave from Game of Thrones, the entire George R.R. Martin catalog is a hot commodity these days. The latest project to wander out from the ether? Martin’s 1989 novella The Skin Trade.

Cinemax has placed a pilot script order for a TV series based on the story, which Martin describes as a “werewolf noir.” According to Deadline, the story will focus on Willie Flambeaux, "a collections agent who happens to be a werewolf, and his friend, Randi Wade, a private investigator, who discover a dark secret behind a series of grisly murders in their decaying industrial city."

Here’s an excerpt from Martin’s announcement on his blog:

“The deal is closed, and Cinemax has ordered the pilot script. This being Hollywood, of course, you never know where things will end... but if they like the script, we'll shoot a pilot, and if they like that, hey, who knows, maybe we'll get a series on the air.

Which would be very cool. I have always thought there was a TV series (or maybe a feature film) in Willie Flambeaux and Randi Wade. Those of you who know the story of DOORWAYS, my ill-fated ABC pilot from the early 90s, may even recall that it was SKIN TRADE that I was actually trying to sell back in 1991, when I flew out to LA for a round of pitch meetings. So we're a few decades late... “

Along with several reprints over the years, The Skin Trade was most recently turned into a comic book by Avatar Press (with Martin on co-writing duties) in 2013. This seems like a project that’s been near and dear to Martin's heart for decades, so it’s nice to see it finally coming to fruition.

THE SHANNARA CHRONICLES
When one hears that MTV is producing a series based on Terry Brooks' much-beloved Shannara books, the reaction is a strange one. This is, after all, the network that brought us 16 and Pregnant and The Jersey Shore. They're going to tackle an epic fantasy series that launched in 1977 and just saw its latest release in June of 2015? Really?

On hand to reassure fans that, yes, MTV could not only handle making this kind of show but excel at it, were Brooks himself, along with producer Al Gough, director Jonathan Liebesman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Wrath of the Titans) and cast members Manu Bennett, John Rhys-Davies, Austin Butler and Poppy Drayton. And boy howdy, were they all excited to be a part of this thing. John Rhys-Davies, in particular, offered up some fairly hyperbolic statements about the quality of the writing for the series, and while one expects that kind of talk at what is essentially a promotional opportunity, there's something about Rhys-Davies' sonorous baritone that makes you want to believe.

Also pretty impressive was the new trailer for the series, which dazzled the crowd so much that it was shown twice. It featured some impressive-for-a-TV-budget visual effects, as well as key moments with every cast member. Perhaps the most rewarding for fans was the chance to see Manu Bennett, who has played villain (Azog from the Hobbit films) after villain (Deathstroke from Arrow), taking on the role of the virtuous druid Allanon. Bennett himself said that the chance to play a good guy after being an antagonist so often was a big part of what drew him to the show.

There were a lot of the usual platitudes about how great the cast and the production were, but one key really homed in on by Gogh and Liebesman was that they want to raise the bar for visual effects on TV. Liebesman cited Game of Thrones episode "The Watchers on the Wall," with its sweeping depiction of a massive battle, as the benchmark they set for themselves to clear with Shannara Chronicles. That's a bold statement to make, but both Liebesman and Gogh were adamant that they wanted to cut no corners in bringing Terry Brooks' far-future fantasy kingdom to life.

All in all, I walked out of this panel more curious than anything else. The trailer (which you can watch below) is arresting, no doubt, but it's full of quick cuts and short shots, and we've yet to really see how the series will pace out and whether Rhys-Davies' claims about the quality of the writing will hold true. Nevertheless, it's obvious that MTV is making a big genre push with Shannara Chronicles, and it left this fantasy fan at least somewhat hopeful that they can pull it off.


SYFY'S THE EXPANSE - NEW YORK COMIC CON REPORT
It’s no secret that Syfy has taken a lot of flak the last few years with science-fiction fans for seemingly abandoning the very genre it was meant to celebrate. For fans yet to be convinced that the network is serious about re-staking its claim as a pioneer in science-fiction programming, I feel confident in saying The Expanse is the show that will put geek hearts and minds at ease.

If fan reaction at New York Comic Con is any indication, Syfy (Blastr’s parent company) has a winner on their hands with this adaptation of James S.A. Corey's series of novels. The epic space opera landed at NYCC, treating fans to an advanced screening of the premiere episode a full two months before its television debut. My own excitement has been building ever since I had a chance to visit the massive set last winter, and has steadily increased as the marketing has ramped up and more footage has been released.

The passion for the series is evident, not just in Syfy’s financial commitment to the show ( they won an aggressive bidding war to bring the series to TV), but also in the way the cast and crew talk about the source material, working closely with James S.A. Corey to adapt the books, and the commitment to even the smallest details that set this political noir space drama apart from anything else.

During the panel, series creators and executive producers Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby talked about how having the authors in the writers' room has been incredibly beneficial to writing the script, despite the move being a typically unpopular decision with screenwriters when trying to adapt books to film or TV. They talked about their approach to building a comprehensive world on screen, not just one that’s visually beautiful, but also one that really tells the story about the people living in this universe, be they humans, Martians, or Belters - the natives of Ceres. Not only did playing a Belter require actor Thomas Jane (Detective Miller) to lose weight, but he also had to learn a new language made up just for the show. It’s this commitment to detail that’s drawing comparisons to Battlestar Galactica, Game of Thrones, and other notable sci-fi works.

For the cast, who continually sang praises of Corey’s books (though they note they only read enough not to hinder their portrayals of their characters), they’ve been equally in awe of the set design and amount of practical effects being incorporated into the show.

If you couldn’t make it to NYC for the Con this year, or missed out on The Expanse panel, you can watch a replay (sans the premiere episode) on Periscope @thecherness.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
Joe Wright's big-budget Pan is looking like a major loss for Warner Bros. after opening to $15.5 million from 3,515 theaters in North America, a disastrous start for a film that cost $150 million to make.

Instead, Ridley Scott's The Martian won the weekend race with a better-than-expected $37 million from 3,854 locations after declining a mere 32 percent in its second outing for a domestic total of $108.7 million. The space epic, starring Matt Damon, also continued to dazzle overseas, earning another $58.1 million from 74 markets for an early foreign total of $119 million and global total of $227.7 million.

Among new markets, The Martian earned a massive $12.1 million in South Korea, the largest Fox opening of all time and an industry best for the month of October. In Germany, it opened to $7.1 million, two times larger than Gravity and 27 percent ahead of Interstellar.

The Martian and Hotel Transylvania 2 both beat Pan overseas. Pan opened to a muted $20.5 million from 52 markets representing 40 percent of the foreign marketplace, putting its early foreign total at $40.6 million (it opened two weekends ago in Australia). Unless it does big business internationally, Warners is facing a steep loss. One hope is China, where Pan rolls out Oct. 22. So far, it is doing best in Latin America, while struggling in Europe.

In the U.S., Pan also got beat by Sony's rival family offering Hotel Transylvania 2, which took in $20.3 million from 3,768 theaters in its third weekend for a North American total of $116.8 million. Hotel Transylvania 2 also remains a formidable force overseas, grossing a strong $22.7 million internationally from 59 markets for a foreign cume of $90.9 million and worldwide total of $207.7 million.

In short, families didn't show much interest in Wright's Peter Pan origins tale, starring Hugh Jackman, Rooney Mara, Garrett Hedlund and newcomer Levi Miller. The film received scathing reviews and a B+ CinemaScore from audiences. Warners has had a tough ride at the box office this year, and Pan furthers its woes after box-office losers Jupiter Ascending and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. The studio declined official comment on Pan, but one distribution source said "the movie failed to bring in an audience of any size."

Originally, the live-action family title was set to open this past July and be a prominent summer player, but Warners knew there were problems and pushed its release back at the eleventh hour, saying reshoots were needed. The film is a special-effects extravaganza, with virtually no real sets.

Pan isn't the isn't the only high-profile movie that bombed.

Robert Zemeckis' The Walk expanded nationwide Friday into more than 2,515 locations after debuting to a muted $1.6 million last weekend in an exclusive Imax run. The film, which has awards aspirations, took in $3.7 million for a seventh-place finish and domestic total of $6.4 million. It's the lowest nationwide start on record for the filmmaker, and the seventh-worst bow of all time for a film opening in more than 2,500 locations (the early Imax run is a mitigating factor).

Sony and TriStar surely hoped for more, although The Walk cost a modest $35 million to make, so the studio's financial exposure is limited. "We're disappointed. It's a film we are very proud of," Sony distribution chief Rory Bruer said. "But what a great hold on Hotel Transylvania. That's really good news."

Overseas, The Walk is also doing muted business, earning $5.2 million from 60 markets this weekend for an early foreign total of $7.1 million and global cume of $13.5 million.

One new offering eagerly embraced by audiences in New York and Los Angeles was Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs, from Universal. The Steve Jobs biopic took in $521,000 for the weekend from four theaters, putting its location average at $130,236 — the best showing of 2015 to date and the biggest since American Sniper ($158,354).

It's also among the top screen averages of all time, and the fourth-best for a title going out in four theaters behind The Grand Budapest Hotel ($202,792), American Sniper and Moonrise Kingdom ($130,749).

Steve Jobs' performance bodes well as it prepares to expand timed to awards season. The critically acclaimed film was written by Aaron Sorkin and stars Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels. The film skewed young for an adult drama, with 51 percent of the audience under the age of 35, and skewed slightly male (53 percent).

Boyle's film will be playing in more than 60 theaters next weekend before rolling out nationwide on Oct. 23.

Documentary He Named Me Malala, another awards hopeful, expanded into a total of 446 theaters in its second weekend, earning an estimated $670,000 for a location average of roughly $1,502. That puts the movie's early cume at $752,000 for Fox Searchlight.

Elsewhere, The Intern — a bright spot for Warners — continued to hold well, grossing an estimated $8.5 million from 3,224 theaters in its fourth weekend for a domestic total of $49.2 million. The Anne Hathaway-Robert De Niro comedy placed No. 4, followed by Denis Villeneuve's awards contender Sicario with a pleasing $7.2 million from 2,620 locations.

Overseas, The Intern earned another $14.8 million from 62 markets for a strong foreign total of $57.6 million and global take of $106.8 million.

From Lionsgate, Sicario has now earned $26.7 million domestically and $16.7 overseas for an early global haul of $43.4 million.

THE MARTIAN - I LOVED IT
Whether you like science fiction or not, The Martian is one of the best movies I've seen in a very long time. It has suspense, humor, thrills, and a sense of wonder that everyone can enjoy. Matt Damon is absolutely amazing.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2015


ANT-MAN AND THE WASP
Marvel has just announced that this summer’s hit (and fun) superhero/caper movie Ant-Man is officially getting a sequel slated for their upcoming Phase 3.

Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) will return alongside Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) on July 6, 2018, with Marvel’s Ant-Man and the Wasp. Yup, that’s the title. It’ll mark the first Marvel film that will be named after a female superhero, ahead of their Captain Marvel movie, you guys.

The Ant-Man sequel will lead to a few movies shifting their release dates. Black Panther is moving up to Feb. 16, 2018, and Captain Marvel will now hit movie theaters on March 8, 2019. Marvel has also announced that three untitled MCU movies will premiere on May 1, 2020, July 10, 2020, and Nov. 6, 2020 -- three in the same year.

This announcement for Ant-Man and the Wasp won’t totally come as a surprise (well, besides that title, that is) to most, since it has earned $178.5M domestically and $231.3M internationally, for a global total of $409.8M. Ant-Man is the #9 film of the year domestically (not bad for a movie fans had no real expectations for) and will open in China (its last international market) on Oct. 16.

At least we won’t have to wait until July 2018 to see Paul Rudd suit up again, since we'll find him being brought into the Avengers fold to break Bucky (Sebastian Stan) out of his predicament and side with Team Cap in Captain America: Civil War, set to be released on May 6, 2016.

JESSICA JONES “Jessica Jones. I. Know. Everything.” Netflix has released yet another new teaser for Marvel's upcoming Jessica Jones series. And this time, it features David Tennant’s sinister villain Kilgrave, aka Purple Man.

Can a full trailer not be far behind? Let's hope so. But back to the promo at hand.

Not only does it put the spotlight on the villain of the piece, but the teaser is also giving us our first proper look at Krysten Ritter’s titular character, the former superheroine-turned-private eye.

It boasts a creepy, goose-bump-inducing monologue by the former Tenth Doctor as Kilgrave, the man who will torment (and I'm putting this mildly) our heroine in the series. Which, as some of you may already know, is just what he did in the comics, times a bazillion.

All right. I’ve got to say (again) that the whole thing sounds sinister as heck. It's made even more disturbing as Jessica creates a collage from various pics that ultimately forms an image of Kilgrave’s intense gaze. He's looking right. At. Her. Brrrr ...

I can't wait to see what David Tennant will bring to the series, since I think he's a terrific actor (and he was my favorite Doctor) and can play total creeps really well (check out 2005's TV miniseries Secret Smile to know what I mean). But will he be as riveting as Vincent D'Onofrio was in the role of Kingpin in Netflix's first Marvel series, Daredevil? I'm hoping that he'll blow D'Onofrio's performance out of the water.

The whole of the 13-episode Jessica Jones series will premiere on Nov. 20 on Netflix.

SHERLOCK
We still don’t know when the special will actually air, but now we have the first trailer for the period-set Sherlock special. Want to see?

The trailer gives us a good look at Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Watson (Martin Freeman), rocking the classic Victorian garb and one particular mustache to die for. We don’t know much about the actual plot, but producer Steven Moffat has teased that he wants to use the unique one-off to tell a classic “ghost story,” with a version of Sherlock who is more refined (which fits for the era).

It’s awesome to see Moffat & Co. try something this unique with the hit series, basically tossing the characters and premise back to Victorian England (which, yeah, fits with Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories) with no real explanation other than the fact that it’s something cool to do.

No air date has been set, though we’d expect the special to arrive within the next couple of months.

SHADOWHUNTERS
ABC Family (to be called Freeform in January 2016) revealed the new Shadowhunters teaser trailer at the New York Comic Con.

Based on the bestselling young adult fantasy book series The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, Shadowhunters follows 18-year-old Clary Fray, who finds out on her birthday that she is not who she thinks she is but rather comes from a long line of Shadowhunters – human-angel hybrids who hunt down demons. When her mother, Jocelyn, is kidnapped, Clary is thrown into the world of demon hunting with mysterious Shadowhunter Jace and her best friend, Simon. Now living among faeries, warlocks, vampires and werewolves, Clary begins a journey of self-discovery as she learns more about her past and what her future may hold.

The series stars Katherine McNamara as Clary Fray, Dominic Sherwood as Jace Wayland, Alberto Rosende as Simon, Emeraude Toubia as Isabelle Lightwood, Matthew Daddario as Alec Lightwood, Isaiah Mustafa as Luke Garroway, and Harry Shum Jr. as Magnus Bane.

Shadowhunters is produced by Constantin Film and executive produced by Ed Decter and McG. McG will also direct the first episode.


FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
The Hollywood Reporter brings word that the Beast of the Apocalypse himself, Ron Perlman (Hellboy, “Sons of Anarchy”), has joined the cast of Warner Bros. “Harry Potter” spin-off film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Perlman will reportedly play a goblin in the film, which is currently filming in England.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set to star Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Colin Farrell, Jon Voight, Carmen Ejogo, Gemma Chan, Jenn Murray and newcomer Faith Wood-Blagrove. The David Yates-directed film follows Newt Scamander (Redmayne), the Wizarding World’s preeminent magizoologist, who in his travels has encountered and documented a myriad of magical creatures, ultimately leading to his penning the Hogwarts School textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is being produced by David Heyman, producer of all eight of the blockbuster Harry Potter features; J.K. Rowling; Steve Kloves, who scripted all but one of the Harry Potter films; and Lionel Wigram, who served as an executive producer on the last four installments of the franchise. Rowling herself is supplying the screenplay.

Warner Bros. Pictures has the first Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them set for a worldwide release in 3D and IMAX on November 18, 2016.

STAR WARS REBELS
Star Wars Rebels Season 2 is set to return television October 14, and Lucasfilm and Disney XD (via StarWars.com) have today released the full 3-minute trailer which gives us some surprising new revelations on what’s in store for the crew of the Ghost.

As Star Wars Rebels Season 2 opens, the crew of the Ghost is now a very real threat to the Empire. That’s bad news, because Darth Vader’s been assigned with the task of mopping them up. Undeterred, the rebels seek out old friends and new allies, hoping to rally the formidable alliance which began to crystallize at the end of Season One. Vader will dispatch new agents to counter their growing coalition, but the Sith Lord’s battle with the Rebels could be more personal than anyone realized.

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.


X-MEN: APOCALYPSE
20th Century Fox and Mars Chocolate North America announced a partnership today between M&M’S and the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse and even released a cute image of the Yellow and Green M&M’S as Magneto and Storm (which you can see below). Tucked away in their press release, however, is the actually interesting part, the X-Men: Apocalypse synopsis! It reads as follows:

“Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshiped as a god. Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel’s X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.”

In addition to Fassbender, McAvoy, Lawrence, and Nicholas Hoult as Magneto, Professor X, Mystique, and Beast, the film will also see the return of Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggert, Evan Peters as Quicksilver, Lucas Till as Havok and newcomers Alexandra Shipp as Storm, Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, Ben Hardy as Angel, Tye Sheridan as Cyclops, Olivia Munn as Psylocke and Lana Condor as Jubilee. Oscar Isaac is starring as the film’s title antagonist.

Said to be the conclusion of a trilogy started with X-Men: First Class and continued with X-Men: Days of Future Past, the Bryan Singer-directed X-Men: Apocalypse is set for release on May 27, 2016.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2015

THE X-FILES
We've been waiting for months to see more than a glimpse of the revived X-Files series from creator Chris Carter and stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. It feels like everyone involved, including some of the original show's best writers and actors, is just as excited to make this show as the fans are to finally see it again, and that adds an air of joy to the whole thing that I personally find intoxicating.

Still, until this week, all we'd really seen of the new series were mere glimpses, very brief teasers and set photos. Last night, though, Fox changed that with a two-part trailer reveal during broadcasts of Gotham and Minority Report. All told, it's a little more than a minute of footage, and it still doesn't tell us much, but it does make the whole thing feel a bit more real.

UPDATE: Fox finally released their own official version of the trailer, cutting together all of the footage, and it turns out they added a bit more. Now we've got a full two minutes of new X-Files, including our first true look at Joel McHale's character, who's seeking out Mulder in a search for the truth.

One thing many fans were wondering about the revival is how Carter and company would tackle the show's ongoing conspiracy themes in an age when everyone carries around the Internet in their pocket, and it seems they're going at it head-on, working in our surveillance culture and our new obsession with drones. Plus, we got some tantalizing glimpses of what looks like a very old alien crash site, and then there's my personal favorite moment: the return of the Cigarette Smoking Man.

The X-Files finally returns in January.

SNOWPIERCER
The director behind 2013's amazing post-apocalyptic epic Snowpiercer is putting together one hell of a cast for his next project.

According to The Wrap, Jake Gyllenhaal is in talks to star in Okja, the new movie from Korean director Bong Joon-ho. But Gyllenhaal isn't the only well-known actor to be attached to the movie. Tilda Swinton, who appeared in Bong's Snowpiercer, is already signed for Okja, while Paul Dano, Bill Nighy and Kelly Macdonald are also all in various stages of negotiations to join the picture.

Not much is known about Okja, except that it will be multi-lingual, like Snowpiercer, and will feature a Korean actress in the lead role. Best of all, it's a monster movie, and considering that Bong also made the excellent 2006 monster film The Host, that's great news indeed.

Okja is expected to go into production in early 2016, with shooting to take place in both South Korea and New York City. Nothing else is known yet about the plot or characters.

The Host and Snowpiercer were both terrific movies, and the latter marked the first time that Bong worked with English-speaking actors. He landed Swinton, Chris Evans (in possibly a career-best performance), Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, Ed Harris, Alison Pill and John Hurt for that one, and is clearly going for an international feel for Okja as well.

HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART 2
Lionsgate has debuted the new The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 final trailer!

With the nation of Panem in a full scale war, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) confronts President Snow (Donald Sutherland) in the final showdown. Teamed with a group of her closest friends – including Gale (Hemsworth), Finnick (Sam Claflin), and Peeta (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 that also includes Academy Award-winner Jennifer Lawrence, 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 theaters and IMAX on November 20, 2015.


DAREDEVIL - SEASON TWO
It was around this time last year that the world got their first look at some Marvel’s Daredevil concept art thanks to a Joe Quesada piece being featured on a New York Comic Con exclusive poster. A year later, the Netflix series is a massive hit and season two is on the way in 2016. With NYCC happening this weekend, Quesada, who serves as Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment, is back today with a brand-new piece of Daredevil concept art, teasing season two.

Marvel’s Daredevil season two will feature the return of Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock (who moonlights as The Man Without Fear), Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page, Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson, Scott Glenn as Stick and Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple. The new season will also see Jon Bernthal debut as Frank Castle (aka the Punisher) with Elodie Yung also set to appear, playing the deadly assassin Elektra Natchios.

Marvel’s Daredevil is Executive Produced by Doug Petrie (American Horror Story, Buffy The Vampire Slayer), Marco Ramirez (DaVinci’s Demons) and Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods, Lost), along with Marvel TV’s Jeph Loeb (Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel’s Jessica Jones.) It is is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios.

Season one of Marvel’s Daredevil is now streaming on Netflix with season two slated to debut in 2016. Before then, though, we’ll get the launch of Marvel Studios’ second series when Jessica Jones debuts on the service Friday, November 20.


ARROW
Ahead of the premiere tomorrow night, The CW and DC Entertainment have released a new promo image for Arrow Season 4 featuring another look at Willa Holland’s Thea Queen all suited up as Speedy! Titled “Green Arrow,” the season premiere is officially described as follows:

“Oliver and Felicity’s blissful getaway is cut short when Thea and Laurel pay them a visit and tell Oliver they need his help back in Star City. The city has been attacked by “Ghosts,” assassins led by a dangerous man named Damien Darhk (guest star Neal McDonough). However, when Oliver returns, Diggle makes it very clear that he doesn’t want Oliver on the team.”

Arrow stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, Katie Cassidy as Dinah “Laurel” Lance, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Willa Holland as Thea Queen, Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak, John Barrowman as Malcom Merlyn, with Paul Blackthorne as Detective Lance. The series is executive produced by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg and Sarah Schechter.

After defeating his most formidable foe to date and riding off into the sunset with longtime flame Felicity Smoak, Oliver Queen (a.k.a. The Arrow) left Starling City with the hopes of beginning a new life. But will Oliver ever truly be able to leave behind his past as the Arrow, and, if so, what becomes of the team he has worked so hard to assemble? Will Diggle, Thea, and Laurel be left to continue Oliver’s crusade without him? And with Malcolm Merlyn having ascended to the top of the League of Assassins as the new Ra’s al Ghul, is anyone really safe?

The Arrow Season 4 premiere is scheduled to air on Wednesday, October 7 at 8:00pm ET/PT.


ASSASSIN'S CREED
With production already under way on Assassin's Creed, the cast is starting to fill out even more, with Brendan Gleeson and Jeremy Irons signing on to star. Brendan Gleeson has come aboard to play the father of Marion Cotillard's character, with Jeremy Irons playing the father of Michael Fassbender's Callum Lynch. They join a cast that also includes Ariane Labed, Michael K. Williams, Carlos Bardem and Denis Menochet.

The story is about a revolutionary technology that unlocks genetic memories. Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) experiences the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day. Fans got their first look at Michael Fassbender's Callum Lynch back in August with the first official photo.

Justin Kurzel is directing from an adapted screenplay by Scott Frank, Michael Leslie, Bill Collage and Adam Cooper. Frank Marshall, Arnon Milchan, Jean-Julien Baronnet, Conor McCaughan, Fassbender and Pat Crowley are producing. The project is based on the wildly popular Assassin's Creed video game series, which has sold over 91 million units since it was first launched.

Back in August, it was revealed that the Assassin's Creed adaptation is set in the same video game universe, with the game franchise's head of content, Aymar Azaizia, teasing that "familiar faces" from the games will pop up in the movies. No other characters from the games have been confirmed at this time, but with casting still happening while production is under way, perhaps we could find out new details soon. Filming is currently happening in Malta, although it isn't known how long production is supposed to last.

Brendan Gleeson most recently starred in Edge of Tomorrow and Stonehearst Asylum. He will next be seen in Suffragette, opening October 23, In the Heart of the Sea arriving December 11 and The Free State of Jones, opening March 11, 2016. Jeremy Irons portrays Alfred Pennyworth in the highly-anticipated Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and he will also be seen in the upcoming High-Rise.

Assassin's Creed comes to theaters December 21st, 2016.


FLATLINERS
Not having quite plundered all of the 80s for every possible remake, Hollywood is now starting to eviscerate the 90s. The latest quasi-classic to get the reboot treatment is Flatliners, which came out just on the cusp of the 1990's emerging into their own as a viable landscape for cinema. The original film contains elements from both eras, making it unique in the sci-fi horror genre. At this time, it's not known how the storyline will be skewered or altered, if at all.

Ellen Page is in talks to headline this version of Flatliners. It isn't known if she will play the role of Dr. Rachel Mannus, originated by Julia Roberts. It's possible that this version could introduce a whole new set of characters. The rest of the ensemble cast from the original included some heavy hitters from that time period, including Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, William Baldwin and Oliver Platt. None of the original cast is confirmed to appear in the new movie. But a cameo or two is not out of the question this early in development.

Seeking answers about the afterlife, Chicago medical student Nelson (Kiefer Sutherland) persuades his fellow pupils to help him end his life, and then resuscitate him in the nick of time. Atheist David (Kevin Bacon), playboy Joe (William Baldwin) and the troubled Dr. Rachel (Julia Roberts) also journey into the unknown, looking for meaning in their own lives. As the experiments become more perilous, each is forced to contend with the paranormal consequences of trespassing on the other side.

The original Flatliners was directed by Joel Schumacher, and the film marked the second collaboration between him and his The Lost Boys star Kiefer Sutherland. The film was the first that really pushed Joel Schumacher's love of neon lighting to the next level, and it gave the horror thriller a unique and distinct look that is certainly of it's time period. It's doubtful that Niels Arden Oplev will bring the same aesthetic.

That said, Niels Arden Oplev is a unique and talented filmmaker in his own right, and should be able to craft something new and exciting from this material. He is best known for directing the original Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. He last directed Dead Man Down, a thriller starring Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace and Terrence Howard. On Flatliners, Niels Arden Oplev will be working from a screenplay penned by Ben Ripley. He is best known for his work on the sci-fi thriller Source Code starring Jake Gyllenhaal. David Blackman and Laurence Mark will serve as producers.

Flatliners, which opened in 1990, was nominated for a sound effects editing Oscar. Ellen Page can next be seen in Freeheld, where she plays the life partner of a police officer who is dying from cancer. She co-stars alongside Julianne Moore. It opens in limited release on October 2. The actress also has Into the Forest coming form A24, but it doesn't have a release date yet. Flatliners was released August 10th, 1990.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2015

SPECTRE
SPECTRE is set to strike next month, and Sony Pictures wants to inject your eyeballs with a riot of sensational superspy action with the final release trailer.

Here's the film's official synopsis:

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.

Sit back and settle in for Daniel Craig slugging it out in a slew of exotic locales, rip-roaring gunplay, villainous sneering, looping choppers and metal-mashing car chases, all orchestrated to bring your Bond-loving blood to a boil.

Directed by Skyfall's Sam Mendes, SPECTRE opens on Nov. 6, 2015, and also stars Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, Monica Bellucci and Lea Seydoux.

STAR WARS REBELS
Sarah Michelle Gellar’s mysterious Star Wars Rebels role has been revealed, and she ain’t no princess.

When news came out that the Buffy the Vampire Slayer star would be voicing a character on the Disney XD series, people really got excited and assumed she would be playing Princess Leia (rumors were even fueled by Gellar, who posted a pic of herself as Leia, buns and all, on her Instagram). But not so!

Gellar has revealed to BuzzFeed that she’ll actually be playing one of the new big bad villains of the second season of Star Wars Rebels. She’ll play an Inquisitor called the “Seventh Sister.”

Described as a cunning and crafty villain who’s brought in by the Empire to track down the Rebels, Gellar will share some on-screen time with hubby Freddy Prinze Jr., who voices the Jedi leader of the Rebels, Kanan Jarrus.

As for the creation of her character, the actress said that she didn’t get to see the design before she went into the recording booth and that some of her mannerisms and hand movements were added later to the animation.

“They would record my mannerisms — sometimes when I would get into character I would do certain things with my hands, and then a couple weeks later I would see that in the drawing. They sort of reflect and mirror each other."

Star Wars Rebels returns on Oct. 14.


DAMAGE CONTROL
The superhero studio supreme is introducing some funny business into the TV wing of the Marvel Universe.

The Hollywood Reporter says that ABC has ordered a script from Marvel for a half-hour comedy pilot called Damage Control, based on the Marvel Comics property that has been the subject of four limited comic-book series.

The concept focuses on the title organization, which is charged with cleaning up the wreckage left behind by battles between superheroes and supervillains. Lost a powerful ray gun? Need a wedding rescheduled after a massive fight pulverized the venue? Looking for that prize African parrot that's gone missing and may be turned to stone or goo? Damage Control are the folks you call.

The original Damage Control first appeared in the comics in 1989 and was founded by Mrs. Ann-Marie Hoag, with initial funding supplied by Tony Stark and Wilson Fisk (yes, the Kingpin himself).The company has changed hands a few times, although Mrs. Hoag is the current owner.

The show is being developed by former Daily Show and Colbert Report writer/producer Ben Karlin, who will be one of three executive producers along with David Miner (Parks and Recreation) and Marvel TV head honcho Jeph Loeb. If it's picked up, it will be the third Marvel series to hit the ABC airwaves, following Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter, with a fourth (Marvel's Most Wanted) and fifth (a secret project being developed by John Ridley) possibly on the way as well.

SUPERNATURAL
It’s hard to believe we’re less than a week away from the premiere of Supernatural’s 11th season, but judging by some new footage dropped by The CW, the Winchesters haven’t lost a step in their old age.

The network has released a new trailer and clip from the season premiere, “Out of the Darkness, Into the Fire,” which focuses on the immediate aftermath of the evil badness the boys unleashed last season. All of the core cast looks worse for the wear, while Sam and Dean have apparently wandered into something that has killed a whole lot of people. The clip shows off an extended look at that discovery, but it’s the trailer that really steals the show.

Set to the folk tune “O, Death,” the trailer is positively haunting. It does a great job of establishing the tone for the season, and for a show on the back end of its decade-long run, it manages to feel unique. Though Supernatural has been through a few dry spells, they’ve kept the quality fairly high throughout — so here’s hoping Season 11 is a high point in the twilight of the Winchesters’ battle against the forces of evil.

Season 11 of Supernatural debuts October 7 on The CW.


KINGKILLER CHRONICLE
Lionsgate has won the ferocious bidding war against MGM and Warner Bros. to bring Patrick Rothfuss’s epic fantasy series, The Kingkiller Chronicle, across several platforms. The series will be developed simultaneously into movies, television series and videogames, The Hollywood Reporter revealed today. The (lofty) goal is to adapt several stories across those different media at the same time.

The Kingkiller Chronicle recounts the life and times of Kvothe, a magically gifted young musician, magician and adventurer who grows to become the most notorious wizard of his world.

The first book in the trilogy, The Name of the Wind, was published in 2007. Book two, The Wise Man’s Fear, was released in 2011, while the third novel, The Doors of Stone, is tentatively set to hit shelves in 2016. The second novel, as well as three novellas that were published between 2013 and 2014, have sold more than 10 million copies. The books are so popular, it’s said that only George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones comes before Rothfuss's series in terms of bestsellers in the modern epic fantasy genre.

“Honestly, I've never been very interested in a straight-up movie deal,” said Rothfuss. “But Lionsgate was willing to work out something different, a multiplatform deal where they develop the films, TV series, and games simultaneously. That will give us the screen time to develop the characters and show off the world. What's more, through this whole process, they've treated me with amazing respect. I never thought a studio would approach me as a creative partner who understands how stories work.”

Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-president Erik Feig — who will oversee the development on the movie side along with creative executives Jeyun Choi Munford and Jessica Switch — said about the project:

“Pat Rothfuss’s imaginative storytelling, the spellbinding character Kvothe and the vivid world of Temerant in The Kingkiller Chronicle series have a passionate and savvy fan base and the potential to reach an even broader audience in adaptation,” said Feig. “It is rare that a property comes along with a world so rich and multilayered that it lends itself to exploration across film, television and video game audiences at the same time.”

Executive VP Television Chris Selak will be in charge of the TV side of the franchise, while Peter Levin, the company’s president of interactive ventures and games, will oversee the videogames.

Feig added that the books were not only unique to support multiple media, but that the franchise “even demands multiplatform exploration.”


THOR 3: RAGNAROK
Taika Waititi, who co-wrote and co-directed the vampire spoof What We Do In the Shadows, is in negotiations to direct the third installment of Marvel’s Thor movies, titled Thor: Ragnarok.

Chris Hemsworth is reprising his role of the Norse god of thunder.

Waititi’s emergence as the choice caps off a round of intense meetings that took place over the last month. Ruben Fleischer, Rob Letterman and Rawson Marshall Thurber were the other directors that were finalists for the gig.

Waititi is the latest head-scratcher from Marvel for their pick to direct a big-budget extravaganza, especially one steeped in the Norse mythology and an Apocalypse myth.

Waititi is best known for his comedic work — co-starring with Jemaine Clement in What We Do In the Shadows, the well-regarded vampire parody that debuted at Sundance.

He wrote and directed episodes of Flight of the Conchords and is a writer on Disney’s upcoming animated feature Moana, which will star Dwayne Johnson.

(Fun fact: he appeared with Ryan Reynolds in Green Lantern, the 2011 adventure movie from Marvel’s superhero movie rival, Warner Bros.)

While Waititi may not be the obvious choice for a movie such as a Thor installment, the kind of outside-of-the-box thinking behind hires like Waititi's has served Marvel well. The studio tapped comedy directors Joe and Anthony Russo for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a move that turned out so well that the brothers not only directed the third Captain America movie, they are now working on the new Avengers outings.

Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn is another example of someone from the fringes that Marvel brought into the majors.

THE FLASH
We’re just two days away from The Flash Season 2 premiere and The CW has debuted more promos for the first episode of the season. The Flash stars Grant Gustin as Barry Allen/The Flash, Candice Patton as Iris West, Rick Cosnett as Eddie Thawne, Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow, Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon and Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West. The new season will see the addition of newcomers Teddy Sears as Jay Garrick, Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West, Shantel VanSanten as Patty Spivot, Violett Beane as Jesse Quick, Demore Barnes as Tokamak, and Candyman himself Tony Todd as the voice of the new “big bad,” Zoom.

The Flash is executive produced by Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, David Nutter and Sarah Schechter.

Following the defeat of Barry Allen’s arch-nemesis Eobard Thawne (aka Reverse Flash), Team Flash quickly turned their attention to the singularity swirling high above Central City, which fans last saw consuming everything in its path. Armed with the heart of a hero and the ability to move at super speeds, Barry charged into the eye of the singularity, but will he actually be able to save his city from impending doom?

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
Ridley Scott's 3D space epic The Martian rocketed to a $55 million opening in North America, coming in ahead of expectations and almost beating Gravity to nab the top October opening of all time, according to Sunday estimates.

The Martian, from 20th Century Fox, continues Hollywood's love affair with space, and comes exactly two years after Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity opened to a record $55.8 million. Last November, Christopher Nolan's Interstellar debuted just north of $47 million. If The Martian does better than expected Sunday, it could beat Gravity and become the new October record-holder.

Overseas, The Martian also placed No. 1, blasting off with $45.2 million from 49 markets, or 40 percent of the marketplace, for a global debut of $100.2 million. It soared to $10.3 million in the U.K., the top showing ever for Scott and star Matt Damon, and is pacing well ahead of Gravity and Interstellar in numerous markets.

The other big headline internationally was Lost in Hong Kong, which grossed $41 million in China to clear the $200 mark at the Chinese box office in just 10 days.

Drew Goddard wrote the adapted script for The Martian based on Andy Weir's best-selling book about a NASA astronaut left for dead on Mars. The movie, costing $108 million to produce, is a critical darling and earned a glowing A CinemaScore from audiences. Damon stars opposite Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Pena, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan and Aksel Hennie.

The filmmakers worked closely with NASA throughout the making of The Martian. And last week, just as the movie prepared to open, the space agency — which hopes to have a man on Mars in the 2030s — held an an urgent press conference to announce it has confirmed the discovery of liquid salt water on the red planet (NASA says the timing was a coincidence).

"Science is at the heart of The Martian and is presented in a very accessible way," said Fox distribution chief Chris Aronson. "This movie has the potential to get people excited about our space program again."

Males made up 56 percent of ticket buyers, while 72 percent of the audience was over the age of 25. Roughly 45 percent saw it in 3D. The Martian's performance is no small feat considering its running time of 141 minutes (Gravity was 91 minutes), and the fact that it didn't have a berth in Imax theaters. Gravity and Interstellar both saw big returns from Imax.

Instead, Imax was committed to an exclusive run of Robert Zemeckis' The Walk, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as French artist Philippe Petit, who gained fame after he walked on a high wire between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974.

The Walk, playing in 365 Imax theaters and 83 PLF locations not carrying The Martian, had trouble finding its footing, grossing a meek $1.6 million to come in No. 11 and putting its five-day debut at $2 million. Heading into the weekend, tracking suggested the $35 million film would take in $3 million for the three-day weekend.

Sony/TriStar used the exclusive Imax run to highlight the film's 3D format and to build word-of-mouth in advance of The Walk's nationwide opening on Oct. 9. Two weeks ago, Universal's Everest earned $7.2 million when debuting exclusively in Imax and PLF theaters.

"We believe so much in this film," Sony distribution president Rory Bruer said. "We will be heavily marketing the film this week to promote its wide release. That's what it has always been about. It's all about the long haul for us."

The 375 PLF theater operators carrying The Martian instead of The Walk were no doubt happy with their decision. PLF theaters were running at capacity, with The Martian generating a total of $6 million, or 11 percent of the total opening gross.

Elsewhere, Denis Villeneuve's critically acclaimed Sicario expanded nationwide with gusto, grossing $12.1 million from 2,620 theaters to place No. 3 behind The Martian and holdover Hotel Transylvania 2. From Lionsgate, the drug cartel drama nabbed an A- CinemaScore and stars Benicio Del Toro, Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin.

Sicario took in another $3.3 million internationally for a foreign cume of $10 million and global haul of $25.1 million (its domestic total is $15.1 million).

Sony's Hotel Transylvania sequel remains a winner in its second outing. The animated film took in $33 million for a 10-day domestic total of $90.5 million after falling a scant 32 percent. Overseas, it grossed another $20.4 million from 50 markets for a foreign cume of $59.8 million and global total of $150.3 million. It's especially huge in Latin America, where it came in ahead of The Martian in Mexico, among other countries in the region.

Nancy Meyers' The Intern also held nicely in its second weekend as well, grossing $11.6 million for a North American tally of $36.5 million for Warner Bros. The Anne Hathaway-Robert De Niro comedy took in $15.7 million from 57 markets overseas for a foreign cume of $35.6 million and global total of $72.1 million.

Fox sequel Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials rounded out the top five, grossing $7.7 million in its third outing for a domestic cume of $63.2 million. Globally, the movie jumped the $200 million mark after grossing another $13.7 million internationally from 58 markets for a foreign cume of $147.8 million and worldwide tally of $211 million through Sunday.

Johnny Depp's Black Mass placed No. 6 in is third weekend with $5.9 million for a domestic total of $52.5 million.

Everest followed with $5.5 million in its second weekend in wide release for a North American cume of $33.2 million. It's a far bigger player overseas, where it grossed $16.4 million from 65 markets to jump the $100 million mark internationally. Through Sunday, the film's worldwide total is $136.5 million.

New openings at the U.S. specialty box office included Davis Guggenheim's acclaimed documentary He Named Me Malala, the story of Malala Yousafzai, who became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner in history after she was shot by the Taliban for insisting upon an education. The film opened to $56,000 from four theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a solid location average of $14,000. Next weekend, Fox Searchlight expands Malala into more than 400 theaters.

LGBT drama Freeheld, starring Julianne Moore and Ellen Page, also began its platform run, albeit to tepid results. The Lionsgate title grossed $40,000 from five theaters for a location average of $8,000.

The Metropolitan Opera's The Met: Live in HD kicked off its 10th season with Saturday's live transmission of Verdi’s Il Trovatore, which earned a strong $2 million from 900 screens.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2015

ARROW
The CW’s hit superhero series Arrow returns next week, and now we have an extended peek at the new status quo. Turns out the city is doing (mostly) all right without the Arrow. Or at least, it was.

Executive producer Wendy Mericle provides some context in the new trailer, which features her interview and some new footage from the season premiere. We get to see more of the team’s visit to Oliver and Felicity, where they ask them to return to Starling Star City and join the good fight. We also learn a bit more about the “ghosts” Damien Darhk is using to wreak havoc and destroy the city. There's also some fill-in material from the past few months, with Team Arrow (sans the Arrow) cleaning up the streets.

As for Mericle, she provides an update on what we’ve missed over the past several months. Thankfully, we’ll be able to jump past the learning curve for Thea’s version of Speedy and Laurel’s take on the Canary. They’ve been doing the job for months while Oliver and Felicity were away, and they’re well equipped to kick butt and take names in Season 4. We also get to see more of Diggle’s new costume in action, which actually looks a bit better than that initial (Magneto-esque) pic.

Arrow's new season begins Oct. 7 at 8/7c on The CW.


STAR WARS: BEFORE THE AWAKENING
Disney and Lucasfilm want to make dang sure you're primed for the events that launch the next chapter of the Star Wars Saga when J.J. Abrams' The Force Awakens catapults into a galaxy of theaters on Dec. 28, 2015. Their potent force of tie-in comics, sticker sets, visual dictionaries, novels and illustrated YA books is geared to fill in the gaps between our last on-screen experiences inside the confines of the Lucas Universe.

To further the effort, Disney has assigned Greg Rucka (Star Wars: Shattered Empire) to write a new prequel anthology book highlighting the backstories of The Force Awakens characters, Finn, Rey and Poe Dameron.

This upcoming collection, called Before the Awakening, will act as companion material to the dizzying series of Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens products and should shed some revealing light on the lives of these three pivotal characters. With Rucka on board the trio's origin tales, it should be required reading leading up to December's space opera spectacle.

Greg Rucka's Star Wars: Before The Awakening hits stores on Dec. 18, 2015.

FLASH
The CW has unleashed a fresh new trailer for the upcoming second season of The Flash.

The exciting new promo gives us our first look at this season’s newest Big Bad: Zoom (voiced by horror icon Tony Todd). A DC Comics character, Zoom is another speedster who comes from the same alternate universe (that’d be Earth-2) as Golden Age Flash Jay Garrick, aka the Cimson Comet (I do love those awesome monikers), played by Teddy Sears.

Garrick is set to replace Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) as Barry Allen’s (Grant Gustin) new mentor this season, but don't worry! Cavanagh is back as a series regular as the real Wells, but from an alternate universe. Still, I have to admit what I'm looking forward the most to see is the “Flash of Two Worlds” team up in the face of this brand-new threat.

In The Flash Season 2, following the defeat of Barry Allen's arch-nemesis Eobard Thawne (aka Reverse Flash), Team Flash quickly turned their attention to the singularity swirling high above Central City, which fans last saw consuming everything in its path. Armed with the heart of a hero and the ability to move at super speeds, Barry charged into the eye of the singularity, but will he actually be able to save his city from impending doom?

The Flash premieres on Oct. 6 on The CW. Are you excited about the Scarlet Speedster’s return to our TV screen? Which new character are you the most excited to meet for the first time?

UPDATE: Hot on the heels of the new promo with Zoom, The CW has released a One Week Trailer which introduces us to the new Firestorm, Jay Jackson (Franz Drameh). Not much is known about the character besides the fact that he’ll be in Legends of Tomorrow, and he’s said to be the last person Professor Stein (Victor Garber) wants to be sharing Firestorm with.


DOCTOR WHO SPINOFF
The forthcoming series, titled, Class, hails from bestselling young adult author Patrick Ness, BBC Three announced Thursday.

Set in contemporary London, Class centers on incredible dangers that breaking through the walls of time and space. With darkness coming, the city is left unprotected. The announcement promises to reveal a side of Doctor Who and Coal Hill School that fans have never seen before.

Ness, whose works include the Chaos Walking trilogy and A Monster Calls, will exec produce the project with longtime Doctor Who executive producer Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin. BBC Cymru Wales will produce Class in association with BBC Worldwide for BBC Three. The series will begin filming in and around Wales next spring for a 2016 debut.

“No one has documented the dark and exhilarating world of the teenager like Patrick Ness, and now we're bringing his brilliant story-telling into Doctor Who," said Moffat in a statement. "This is growing up in modern Britain - but with monsters!”

Eight, 45-minute episodes have been ordered of Class, which marks Ness's first TV series. His young adult novel of the same name is due out next year.

"I'm astounded and thrilled to be entering the Doctor Who universe, which is as vast as time and space itself," he said. "There's so much room there for all kinds of amazing stories, and to work with Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin to find a place to tell one of my own has been an absolute joy. I can't wait for people to meet the heroes of Class, to meet the all-new villains and aliens, to remember that the horrors of the darkest corners of existence are just about on par with having to pass your A-Levels."

Added BBC Three controller Damian Kavanagh: “We’re excited to give Patrick Ness this opportunity to work with us at BBC Three and the Doctor Who family. Patrick understands young audiences and I’m delighted he will use his incredible skills as a storyteller to delight audiences on BBC Three. BBC Three will always innovate and offer opportunities for brilliant new talent."

This is the fourth Doctor Who spinoff, following Torchwood, which ran for four seasons, the short-lived animated series K-9 and the children's series The Sarah Jane Adventures, which lasted five seasons. Doctor Who recently kicked off its ninth season on BBC One and BBC America.


WATCHMAN SERIES CONSIDERED BY HBO
Update: HBO has confirmed earlier reports with the following statement: “Preliminary discussions regarding Watchmen have occurred but we have no additional information and no deals are in place.” The original story follows.

Meetings have reportedly taken place between fan-favorite premium cable outlet HBO and director Zack Snyder about developing a Watchmen series, says Collider. What remains unclear is if the TV series would be a prequel to the film, a retelling of the original source material, or a sequel to the movie. Check back here for any updates as we learn them.

Snyder’s feature adaptation of Watchmen was released in 2009 and brought in just $185 million at the worldwide box office at the time. The long-awaited adaptation of the Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons series starred Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Carla Gugino, and Patrick Wilson. Adaptations of the series had been attempted by director Terry Gilliam and writer David Hayter, though neither ever went past the development stage.

Since the film’s release, DC Comics released an extensive “Before Watchmen” comic line, telling stories from the past of the heroes at the center which could serve as the basis for a television series.

Should the Watchmen series move forward, it’s unclear how much involvement Snyder would have in it as he’s currently editing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and is beginning prep work on two Justice League films that will debut in 2017 and 2019.


DOCTOR STRANGE
Over the course of Phase One and Phase Two, Marvel has told several origin stories. Back in August 2014, a rumor surfaced that one of Marvel's most highly-anticipated movies, Doctor Strange, was going to shake things up a bit, discarding the origin story from the comics and starting with Dr. Stephen Strange already established as a superhero. With production now set to begin in November, Kevin Feige debunked that previous report, revealing that they are sticking with the origin story from the Doctor Strange comics, while teasing that they may have a different way to tell it.

"For some reason people sometimes talked about how we're not doing an origin story, we're bored of origin stories. I think people are bored of origin stories they've seen before or origin stories that are overly familiar. Doctor Strange has one of the best, most classic, most unique origin stories of any hero we have, so why wouldn't we do that? That was sort of always the plan. How you tell that origin, perhaps there are ways to twist it or play with that, but for the most part, it's a gift when the comics have something with such clarity of story and of character. That doesn't always happen in the comics, and when it does, you use it."

Benedict Cumberbatch signed on to play the Sorcerer Supreme back in December, with Tilda Swinton starring as The Ancient One, Chiwetel Ejiofor portraying the villainous Baron Mordo and Rachel McAdams set to play the female lead. While her character has not yet been confirmed, there are rumors that she is actually playing Linda Carter, a.k.a. Night Nurse. Kevin Feige wouldn't confirm her character's identity, but he did state that she has a very large role in the story.

"She plays a very, very big part in the movie and represents a certain point of view of the worlds that we experience in that movie, but Doctor Strange, without a doubt, is the character we follow through the movie."

Back in July, Tilda Swinton revealed in an interview that she wasn't sure if Marvel wants her to play The Ancient One as a man or a woman. In the comics, The Ancient One has always been portrayed as a man, and, given Tilda Swinton's history of playing androgynous characters in films like Constantine, We Need to Talk About Kevin and Snowpiercer (a role originally written for a man), many were wondering what the actress truly meant by those comments. Kevin Feige clarified that The Ancient One would be a woman, although her portrayal will be quite "ambiguous."

"We get an amazing actress to play an amazing character, and do it in a way that's very unique and doesn't fall into any outdated stereotypes that sometimes pop up in the comics from years past. It's funny you ask 'Will Tilda Swinton be playing a woman?' and you ask it because she does an amazing job of being sort of ambiguous in terms of gender. I think you'll see us playing it in ways that she's played other characters that way. Clearly she's a woman, but it is very ambiguous in her portrayal."

Scott Derrickson is directing Doctor Strange from a script by Jon Spaihts, based on the comic book character created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. What changes to Doctor Strange's origin story do you think will be made in this new Marvel adventure? Let us know what you think, and stay tuned for more on Doctor Strange as we get closer to production starting up.

Doctor Strange comes to theaters November 4th, 2016.

Sandra Bruckner (sgbruckner@aol.com)
Editor/Publisher
ISN News: The Zocalo Today

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