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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.

News

LATEST NEWS FOR APRIL

APRIL 30, 2014

STAR WARS REBELS
With all the excitement around the announcement of the Star Wars Episode VII cast, Disney and Lucasfilm have also found time to give us some more goodies on a project that we're going to see long before that December 2015 release.

Star Wars: Rebels is the new animated series that will span the timeframe between the end of Episode III and Episode IV, with the Empire hunting down the last of the Jedi Knights while the earliest seeds of the Rebellion begin to sprout. With the series scheduled to premiere this fall, Disney has announced that a first trailer will arrive this Sunday (May 4) on Disney XD during LEGO’s Star Wars: The New Yoda Chronicles at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT.

In case you can't see it there, well, here's the list of other Disney outlets that will air it at various times: Disney Channel, ABC, ABC Family, Fusion, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3. You can also catch it at www.StarWars.com, www.ABC.com, www.ESPN.com and www.Disney.com.

While you await the trailer, see below for a clip that was shown at WonderCon along with four new images posted by USA Today. Star Wars: Rebels will kick off its run with a one-hour special on the Disney Channel before settling into its regular slot on Disney XD.

Star Wars 7 Cast STAR WARS EPISODE VII
Lucasfilm is done jerking us around -- for now. The studio and director J.J. Abrams have finally confirmed the cast of the latest Star Wars film. Episode VII will be a nice blend of new and established characters. As expected, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford will reprise their roles as Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo, respectively. They'll be joined by several newcomers such as John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, and Max von Sydow. Most of these names were mentioned months before as possible contenders, but now we know they're legit. There were rumors that Lupita Nyong'o met with producers about a possible role, but it appears she didn't make the cut. That's the only major disappointment coming out of this.

Don't worry, though: Abrams hasn't forgotten about the other oldies but goodies. Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker will also return as C-3P0, Chewbacca and R2-D2.

Abrams says, "We are so excited to finally share the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII. It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again. We start shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans proud."

WB-comics WARNER BROS. PROJECTS
After finally confirming Zack Snyder has been retained to direct a future Justice League flick, The Wall Street Journal just dropped another DC bombshell.

In a piece looking into how Warner Bros. plans to capitalize on all those DC comic properties, the report confirms that the studio has a boatload of projects in the pipeline. How many? Apparently nine additional films based on DC properties are in the works, which is confirmation they’ll be more than doubling down on Snyder’s Man of Steel universe.

That list doesn’t include Justice League, though we’d think Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s gestating Sandman film and Nikolaj Arcel’s Fables could be two of those mystery projects. As for the rest? No clue, though it’d stand to reason a new Batman film with Ben Affleck could be in the offing, plus anything from Wonder Woman to Green Lantern to Aquaman or Cyborg might also be in the works.

It’ll be interesting to see exactly how many of these projects fit into DC’s unified canon, and which films could stand alone (i.e. Sandman) outside of the upcoming Justice League world.

Almost Human ALMOST HUMAN - CANCELLED
Fox has canceled Almost Human.

The futuristic Karl Urban-Michael Ealy sci-fi drama, which got off to a promising start with its late November debut, will not be returning for a sophomore season.

Almost Human, which hails from J.J. Abrams and Fringe's J.H. Wyman, took place in 2048, when Los Angeles Police Department officers are partnered with human-like androids. Minka Kelly, Lili Taylor, Makenzie Crook and Michael Irby rounded out the cast.

Almost Human launched to a strong 9.2 million viewers and a 3.1 rating in the adults 18-49 demogrpahic in live-plus-same day following a special Sunday launch, before settling into its Monday perch with a weaker showing (6.8 million, 2.3). Though ratings dropped as the season progressed, the March finale averaged 5.63 million viewers and a 1.5 rating, on par with fellow Monday drama The Following. (The Following, which just wrapped its season, has since been renewed for a third.) Fox had heavily promoted the series during the MLB playoffs last fall in hopes of attracting male viewers, much like how it marketed serial killer drama The Following the previous year, and had planned on continuing the push throughout the World Series and NFL games.

With several dramas already receiving series green lights (Broadchurch adaptation Gracepoint, Backstrom, Hieroglyph), Fox has limited shelf space with new projects such as the high-profile Batman prequel Gotham, Terrence Howard's hip-hop effort Empire and Red Band Society with Octavia Spencer, in contention for pickups. The cancellation news also comes on the same day Abrams unveiled his cast for Star Wars: Episode VII.

AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
There's just two episodes left in the first season of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D" and tonight, ABC and Marvel revealed the first scenes from next Tuesday's episode, titled "Ragtag." The episode is described as follows:

In the last episode before the epic season finale, Ward 's Betrayal and HYDRA's shocking secrets are revealed as Coulson's team goes undercover on a mission that leaves no one unscathed, on "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," TUESDAY, MAY 6 (8:00-9:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." stars Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, Ming-Na Wen as Agent Melinda May, Brett Dalton as Agent Grant Ward, Chloe Bennet as Skye, Iain De Caestecker as Agent Leo Fitz and Elizabeth Henstridge as Agent Jemma Simmons. Guest starring are Bill Paxton as Agent Garrett, B.J. Britt as Agent Antoine Triplett; Ruth Negga as Raina; David Conrad as Ian Quinn; J. August Richards as Mike. "Ragtag" was written by Jeffrey Bell and directed by Roxann Dawson.

ARROW
The CW has revealed the first clip from episode 2.21 of "Arrow" which you can check out below! Titled "City of Blood," the episode is described as follows:

"After Slade threatens to take everything Oliver loves away, Oliver decides the fastest way to stop further bloodshed is to surrender to his enemy. Knowing that surrender will surely lead to Oliver’s death, Diggle and Felicity go to extreme measures to keep Oliver from confronting Slade. Meanwhile, Thea considers leaving town, and Laurel resumes her crusade against Sebastian Blood. Finally, Slade unleashes his assault on Starling City."

Directed by Michael Schultz from a script by Holly Harold, "City of Blood" is set to air April 30. "Arrow" airs Wednesdays at 8 P.M. ET/PT on The CW.

TUESDAY, APRIL 29, 2014

SUPERNATURAL: BLOODLINES
Supernatural (The CW) Tuesday, 9 p.m. - "Bloodlines"
Spinoff time! - Supernatural is a show with impressive endurance. Even if you can find plenty of thinkpieces online proclaiming that the show should have ended a few years back, it continues to be one of The CW's highest-rated and most consisently watched series after nine years on the air. Now, Supernatural's not only getting a tenth season, but it's also taking advantage of its devoted fanbase with a potential spinoff. This week's episode will feature Sam and Dean encountering a group of monster tribes, including werewolves, shapeshifters and more, running the underworld of Chicago. Those tribes and their relationships will serve as the basis for Supernatural: Bloodlines, a potential new series that could it make on The CW's 2014-2015 slate. So, if you'd like more Supernatural goodness on your TV next season, tune into tomorrow night and check out "Bloodlines."

AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC) Tuesday, 8 p.m. - "Nothing Personal"
Cobie Smulders alert! - Last week Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. got a nice boost to its audience, topping six million viewers for the first time in weeks. It's not anywhere near the strong series premiere numbers it put up in the fall, but the momentum of the past few episodes finally seems to be translating to a little growth. This week, the show hopes to build on that growth even more with an appearance by Captain America: The Winter Soldier co-star Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill. With their list of allies growing shorter, Coulson and company team up with Hill in the continued hunt for the Clairvoyant. We've been talking about this show's ratings for months, and most of the news has been bad, or at least not good. Now, it looks like the show is poised to deliver something bigger.

GODZILLA
Throughout his many incarnations from film to TV, the most iconic thing about Godzilla has got to be that roar.

By now, most of us know about the conventional foley work that brought about the famous Gojira roar, which was crafted by composer Akira Ifukube. He created that sound by rubbing a resin-coated glove up and down the strings of a contrabass and then slowing down the playback. Simple, effective and unforgettable.

Marvel-Netflix MARVEL AND NETFLIX
With Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. finally hitting its creative stride, it has us even more excited for Marvel’s upcoming slate of Netflix series.

Marvel Entertainment’s Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada was a recent guest on the Fat Man on Batman podcast, and opened up about the approach they’re taking to Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and the Defenders miniseries.

As expected, Quesada confirmed that the shows will take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and teased some “interconnectivity” to the big-screen universe and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. But they plan on telling smaller superhero stories this time around, and we’re hoping these shows can hit the sweet spot S.H.I.E.L.D. missed in the first half of its season.

Here are some choice quotes about the approach they’re taking, and we’re digging the “noir” vibe:

“Although these are superhero stories, this is different now. This is the street level…this is the street level noir side of the Marvel Universe. Something that you haven’t really, really seen in any of our Marvel movies.And probably more ground level, than I think you’ve seen. This is not like us doing Batman, Dark Knight or any of that stuff. This is very Marvel doing street level superheroes.

The scripts are coming in. They are pretty fantastic. They’re really emotional. They’re very, very original. But at the same time, it is Daredevil. It is Matt Murdock. We will eventually, hopefully start casting really, really soon, but I’m very, very excited about it… We’re shooting in New York. That’s the fantastic thing about it is that we’re shooting at home. We’re shooting where these characters belong. These stories take place in Hell’s Kitchen.”

Netflix has proven to be a high-quality production company, and Marvel has shown more than once they can make some awesome content.

MONDAY, APRIL 28, 2014

X-Men X-MEN SERIES?
The Children of the Atom are about to embark on their seventh big-screen adventure, but could a new small-screen adventure happen, too?

Long before they became box-office draws, the X-Men were a fixture of animated television, beginning with the much-beloved X-Men: The Animated Series in 1992. Many present-day fans of Marvel's Merry Mutants first got to know them through their TV appearances, and plenty of fans of a certain generation (including me) flocked to the original X-Men films because they'd grown up watching those characters on Saturday mornings.

So in an era when Marvel Studios already has one live-action TV series on the air (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and is set to launch at least five more (Agent Carter and the Netflix series Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones and Defenders), why couldn't the X-Men make their own small-screen live-action leap? Fox, the studio for the X-films, is already into shared-universe superhero filmmaking, after all. They've united the old and new X-Men casts in a single film, and they're whispering about more X-spinoffs and a possible link between the X-Men and Fantastic Four movie franchises. Will they also follow Marvel's lead and branch this live-action universe out into television?

In a new interview with Collider, X-Men: Days of Future Past writer and producer Simon Kinberg discussed the viability of a TV future for Fox's superhero characters.

"We’re still in this place of figuring out what the future of the franchise will be, but when you look at S.H.I.E.L.D. to some extent and what Marvel is doing now with Daredevil and other shows on Netflix, it makes sense to tell some of these stories in TV partly because there’s just not enough screens to do all these characters, and also because the serialized format of comic books is better suited for TV," Kinberg said. "Because that’s it, every week you come back to the same characters different story, and in comic books every week it’s the same characters, different story."

Kinberg didn't elaborate on exactly which X-Men stories a potential TV series would focus on, but he did note that it's getting easier, and cheaper, to tell big, FX-driven stories on television, and that's an attractive prospect.

"I think what they’re seeing now is with the proliferation of new kinds of visual and special effects, there’s a way to make these stories that don’t cost $300 million every time you have to make a huge movie," he said.

So, while it sounds like something that's only in the discussion phase, it seems that Kinberg and Fox are definitely toying with the idea of returning the X-Men to the small screen in live-action form. It doesn't seem likely that some of the X-franchise's bigger names -- Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, etc. -- would commit to a TV series, and even if they did it would be expensive to keep them there. That doesn't mean it can't be done, though. The X-Men universe is positively packed with characters, including teenagers at Xavier's school, lower-profile mutant teams, and plenty of intriguing spinoff opportunities.

Batman BATMAN ANNIVERSARY
Revered comic-book royalty Jim Steranko totally sticks the landing on this beautiful Detective Comics #33 cover to help pop the cork on Batman's Diamond Anniversary. DC is rolling out 21 special Dark Knight covers this July, drawn by a regal roster of artists like Steranko, Klaus Janson, Kevin Knowlan, Cliff Chiang, Walt Simonson, Sean Murphy and Mike Kaluta. They'll be featured in an assortment of DC mainline titles such as Batman and Robin, Aquaman, Justice League Dark, Teen Titans, Batgirl, Earth 2 and others.

Hang on and enjoy the awesome art!

Zack Snyder JUSTICE LEAGUE MOVIE
Zack Snyder has signed on to direct a movie about the Justice League.

Warner Bros. president of worldwide production Greg Silverman told the Wall Street Journal that the studio is moving forward with Justice League. Man of Steel's Henry Cavill is expected to reunite with the director to reprise his role as Superman (he's also returning for the sequel, which goes into production next month). Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot, who play Batman and Wonder Woman, respectively, in the Man of Steel sequel tentatively titled Superman vs. Baman, also are expected to star in Justice League.

“It will be a further expansion of this universe,” Silverman said. “Superman vs. Batman will lead into Justice League.” A release date has not been set, but sources say it could bow in 2017, a year after Superman vs. Batman, which is set to hit theaters May 6, 2016. The movies will be shot back-to-back. Warner Bros. declined comment on release plans. Superman vs. Batman will feature many of the Justice League superheroes in cameos or supporting appearances. For example, last week, Ray Fisher, who is perhaps best known for portraying a young Muhammad Ali in the stage production Fetch Clay, Make Man, was revealed to be in negotiations to play Victor Stone, the promising football player whose life is derailed and is forced to become the hero known as Cyborg. He's slated to appear in only one scene, though that could change as the script is polished.

By confirming Snyder on a Justice League movie, the studio confirms an actual Justice League movie. The movie, which will collect all the big guns from the Warners-owned DC Entertainment, had been rumored as the goal but Warners was always mum on when, or in how many movies after Man of Steel, it would be reached.

And the Justice League movie should dampen, at least partially, the critics that have jabbed Warners for not having a superhero strategy like its rival, Marvel Studios, or for not adequately capitalizing on the intellectual property it owns. Warner came close making a Justice league movie around 2008. George Miller, the filmmaker behind the Mad Max and Happy Feet films, had a cast in place when several factors – high budget, the WGA writers strike, among them – derailed it. At the time, Armie Hammer was slated to play Batman, Adam Brody the Flash, Common as Green Lantern, among others on the roll call. The team, initially known as the Justice League of America, made its first appearance in Brave and the Bold #28. Three issues later, the team got its own title, which swiftly became DC's top comic. (The Avengers, Marvel's attempt to create their own version of a collection of its popular heroes, didn't appear until 1963.)

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2
Swinging its way into an additional 28 foreign markets this weekend, Sony's The Amazing Spider-Man 2 took in another $67.2 million for an early global total of $132 million from 42 territories.

The superhero tentpole doesn't debut in North America until May 2, officially kicking off the summer box-office season. It also opens next weekend in its remaining foreign markets, including China, Brazil and France.

Marc Webb returned to direct the sequel, which likewise returns Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone in the lead roles.

Among the movie's new foreign markets, South Korea led with $13.4 million, despite the ferry tragedy gripping the country. The movie opened to $8.9 million in Russia, followed by Italy ($6.5 million), Japan ($5.2 million), Taiwan ($4.1 million) and Venezuela ($1.5 million).

Amazing Spider-Man 2 stayed at No. 1 in the U.K., taking in $5.7 million for a total $27.8 million, while Mexico added $4.3 million for a total $19.5 million.

Imax, the favorite of fanboys, is generating big business for Amazing Spider-Man 2, with 146 screens generating $7 million in ticket sales.

GAME OF THRONES
Following Sunday's episode, titled "Oathkeeper," HBO premiered the first scenes from "Game of Thrones'" fifth episode of Season 4, which is titled "First of His Name" and will air on Sunday, May 4.

In the episode, Cersei (Lena Headey) and Tywin (Charles Dance) plot the Crown’s next move. Dany (Emilia Clarke) discusses future plans. Jon (Kit Harington) embarks on a new mission.

The episode was written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss and directed by Michelle MacLaren.

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
20th Century Fox has brought online a new character video that spotlights Hugh Jackman's Wolverine in the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Opening in theaters on May 23, the film also stars Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Nicholas Hoult, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Peter Dinklage, Omar Sy, Daniel Cudmore, Fan Bingbing, Boo Boo Stewart, Adan Canto, Evan Peters, Josh Helman, Lucas Till and Evan Jonigkeit.

The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-Men: Days of Future Past. The beloved characters from the original "X-Men" film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from X-Men: First Class, in an epic battle that must change the past – to save our future.

SUNDAY, APRIL 27, 2014

BFG THE BFG
Although it was reported just days ago that Steven Spielberg was looking at potentially next helming a story about the U-2 spy plane incident, The Hollywood Reporter today reveals that his very next project will be DreamWorks' big screen adaptation of Roald Dahl's The BFG.

Published in 1982, The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) is officially described as follows:

The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It's lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, or any of the other giants—rather than the BFG—she would have soon become breakfast. When Sophie hears that the giants are flush-bunking off to England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!

ComingSoon.net spoke with producer Kathleen Kennedy about the project back in 2012 where she said that, even then, the project was nearly ready to shoot (albeit without a director having been named).

"[It's] live action," she said, "[and] pretty far along."

Melissa Mathison, who penned E.T., adapted the screenplay for The BFG, making the project a homecoming of sorts for a lot of Amblin Entertainment talent. Frank Marshall is also producing with John Madden and Michael Siegel both serving as executive producers.

THE STRAIN
A new, spooky teaser video from "The Strain," the upcoming FX series based on the novels by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, is now online.

The series tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain spreads, Eph, his team, and an assembly of everyday New Yorkers, wage war for the fate of humanity itself.

Corey Stoll, Maestro, Sean Astin, Kevin Durand, Natalie Brown, Jonathan Hyde, Richard Sammel, Robert Maillet, Jack Kesy, Ben Hyland, and Miguel Gomez also star.

"The Strain" premieres on FX this July.

ORPHAN BLACK
The season-two premiere of Orphan Black didn’t bring in stellar numbers, but it looks like that’s because everyone just waited to watch it on DVR.

Additional rating details have been released as part of the first three days of time-shifted viewing stats, which also measure the 18-49 viewership in more detail. Turns out Saturday’s premiere of the sci-fi clone thriller was watched by a lot more people than it first seemed, with the first episode’s ratings up to 1.6 million viewers and 746,000 in the key demo — nearly doubling its 18-49 numbers.

As Entertainment Weekly put it: “The ratings went up 97 percent compared to its first-night tally.” That's better than any drama premiere, cable or broadcast, this season. That ain’t bad, and the numbers should be a lot higher than even that, because the show is fantastic.

Obviously, the series airs on an off-night for traditional original programming fare, so BBC America is banking on time-shifting to help shore up the numbers. The gamble obviously worked, and it seems the buzz surrounding the first season has also brought in some new fans. BBC America general manager Perry Simon noted that viewers have proven they'll find the show on Saturday, so they didn’t want to break the tradition:

“Our viewers are some of the most affluent and tech savvy in television, and clearly a huge number of them set their DVRs to make sure they didn’t miss it.”

New episodes of Orphan Black are currently airing Saturday nights on BBC America. Buck the trend, watch it live.

SATURDAY, APRIL 26, 2014

GODZILLA
The first featurette for Gareth Edward’s Godzilla reboot has arrived, taking us behind the scenes of the green behemoth’s next massive attack.

It looks like Edwards has upped the budget significantly from his indie hit Monsters, and we’re really digging the massive scope of this return for the King of the Monsters. The reboot is said to pit the G-Unit against malevolent creatures that threaten humanity’s very existence.

The footage includes film clips, behind-the-scenes shots and interviews with Edwards, producer Thomas Tull, and co-stars Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass), and Elizabeth Olsen (Avengers: Age of Ultron). The interviews lay the groundwork for the modern-day approach, and we’re anxious to see how this one plays out.

The film opens May 16.

Star Wars Del Rey NEW STAR WARS NOVELS COMING
We're getting a whole new slate of canonical Star Wars novels, and the first is set to arrive in just a few months.

Earlier today LucasFilm and The Walt Disney Company announced that the Star Wars Expanded Universe that's been constructed for decades through comics, novels, video games and more, is officially not considered part of Star Wars continuity going forward. For now, the only canonical Star Wars stories are the original six films, The Clone Wars animation work, and the already-announced future projects coming from Disney and LucasFilm, including (obviously) the new J.J. Abrams films and the new animated series Star Wars: Rebels.

The companies also announced that, though all those novels and comics we've loved for decades will no longer be considered canon, the Star Wars universe as it's now defined will be expanding into print media in its own right, beginning with a novel by John Jackson Miller that will take place before the events of the Star Wars: Rebels animated series, and continuing on in other books (and very likely Marvel Comics) to come. Now, we've got more details on just when we'll see the first new in-continuity Star Wars novels.

In a press release posted on the official Star Wars website today, Disney Publishing Worldwide announced a partnership with Random House-owned Del Rey Books to begin bringing all-new, in-continuity Star Wars novels to readers starting this fall. The company announced four new titles that will hit bookstores between September 2014 and March 2015, and also unveiled plans to keep all previous Expanded Universe novels in print, re-branded as "Star Wars Legends" titles.

The first novel, the aforementioned Rebels prequel by Miller, will be titled Star Wars: A New Dawn. Here's a brief synopsis from the Star Wars Books Facebook Page:

Our very first official canon novel set solidly in the legendary "Dark Times" between Episodes III and IV, A NEW DAWN will introduce readers to two main characters from the upcoming Star Wars: Rebels animated series—Kanan Jarrus and Hera Syndulla—and will feature jacket art by Doug Wheatley, as well as a foreword by Dave Filoni, one of the executive producers of The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels. It goes on sale September 2, 2014.

The second new Star Wars novel will be Tarkin by James Lucieno. As you may have guessed, it stars the iconic character played by Peter Cushing in the very first Star Wars film, and is due to be released on November 4, 2014. The third new novel, releasing in January 2015, is Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne. It will be "written entirely from Luke Skywalker's first-person point of view," and will tell a story set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. The fourth novel, Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp, will be out in March 2015, and will likely be of particular interest to readers who want to know more details about the relationship between Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader after the events of Revenge of the Sith. Here's the synopsis:

When the Emperor and his notorious apprentice, Darth Vader, find themselves stranded in the middle of insurgent action on an inhospitable planet, they must rely solely on each other, the Force, and their awesome martial skills to prevail.

So, Disney is already laying out an ambitious new slate of books for eager Star Wars readers, all part of the official continuity, and they're also keeping all of those Expanded Universe books around for new generations of readers (so we'll always have the Thrawn Trilogy, even if it doesn't technically count).

JESSABELLE
The producers who brought you Paranormal Activity and Insidious would like to introduce you to the new girl on the horror scene.

Jessabelle is the title of the latest supernatural exercise from Blumhouse Productions, the terror specialists behind the aforementioned franchises as well as films like The Purge and Oculus.

Jessabelle is also the name of the movie's central character, played by Sarah Snook, who returns to her childhood home in Louisiana to recuperate from a terrible accident and soons finds herself haunted by a malevolent spirit hidden in the house.

The film is directed by Kevin Gruetert, who was behind the camera for Saw VI and Saw 3D: The Final Chapter, and also stars Mark Webber, David Andrews, Joelle Carter, Ana de la Reguera, Larisa Oleynik, Chris Ellis, Fran Bennett and Amber Stevens.

On first look, Jessabelle seems to check off all the standard imagery found in a lot of supernatural horror movies these days -- although at least it's not a found footage film. Blumhouse, however, has put out a lot of quality genre movies in the past few years, so we're willing to give Jessabelle a chance too.

Jessabelle will haunt your local cineplex on August 29.

AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
Nick Fury's right hand is back on Marvel television next week, and we've got a clip of her reappearance.

Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) and his team are short on allies these days, with many of their former colleagues revealed as Hydra sleeper agents and several S.H.I.E.L.D. facilities completely overrun. Now, as the season finale looms, they'll get some help from a familiar face fresh off her appearance in Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders). Hill played a key role in defeating Hydra's "Insight" Helicarrier program in Winter Soldier, and with Nick Fury gone to ground, she seems to be the most senior S.H.I.E.L.D. agent left. At the end of the last Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode, we saw Agent May (Ming-Na Wen) meeting up with her mother, who was set to take her to Hill, and now it's time for Maria to show up on the show for the first time since the series premiere last fall.

The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. official Facebook page just released a 90-second clip from next week's episode, "Nothing Personal," and it features the infiltration of the secret S.H.I.E.L.D. base "Providence" by Col. Glenn Talbot (Adrian Pasdar). Hill doesn't show up until the very end of the clip, but it's clear from the way she appears that she's been busy.

STAR WARS EXPANDED
In an attempt to end months of fan speculation, discussion and concern, Lucasfilm has released a statement about the position of the "Expanded Universe" of the Star Wars franchise in relation to the new movie trilogy.

For those unfamiliar with the term, the Expanded Universe is the official designation for all Star Wars material that has not been produced directly by Lucasfilm, whether it be comic books, novels, video games or any other project. While the official Lucasfilm projects have kept to a relatively short timeframe so far (essentially the lifespan of Anakin Skywalker), material from the Expanded Universe has spanned thousands of years, creating a vast history for the Jedi Knights that reaches beyond the movies in both directions. With much of that content taking place post-Return of the Jedi, fans had wondered whether or not it would be used as canon for the new movie trilogy. Now they have an answer -- and, following recent comments from writer and producer Simon Kinberg, it's an unsurprising "no."

"While Lucasfilm always strived to keep the stories created for the EU consistent with our film and television content as well as internally consistent, [Franchise creator George Lucas] always made it clear that he was not beholden to the EU," the statement on the official Star Wars website explains, clarifying that the official canon for the franchise consists of the six movies to date, as well as the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars series. "These stories are the immovable objects of Star Wars history, the characters and events to which all other tales must align," the statement states. The upcoming new animated series Star Wars Rebels is also identified as canon.

It continues, "In order to give maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience, Star Wars Episodes VII-IX will not tell the same story told in the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe," adding that elements introduced in the Expanded Universe material remain available for use in the future. Star Wars Rebels will feature concepts that first appeared in role-playing games related to the series in the 1980s, it points out.

Some existing Expanded Universe material will be kept in print, Lucasfilm said, under a freshly established Star Wars Legends banner.

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy is quoted in the statement as saying that the company has "an unprecedented slate of new Star Wars entertainment on the horizon," referencing not just the new movie series, but also "games, books, comics and new formats that are just emerging." The continuity among these formats will be overseen by a newly formed story group to coordinate the projects' development.

A future prose project from Del Rey Books is mentioned as a result of this coordination, taking place prior to Rebels but offering "insight into a key character's backstory." Written by John Jackson Miller, the novel will feature input from Rebels producers Dave Filoni, Greg Weisman and Simon Kinberg.

The statement was accompanied by a new video from Lucasfilm about the Expanded Universe's history, including commentary from Filoni, Miller and EU author Timothy Zahn.

THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2014

Cyborg Ray Fisher BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN
Zack Snyder’s Batman vs. Superman flick just took another huge step toward being a legit Justice League prequel.

Variety is reporting that theater actor Ray Fisher has signed on to play Vic Stone, aka Cyborg, in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel. This casting scoop comes in addition to Gal Gadot’s role as Wonder Woman and Ben Affleck’s hire as the new Batman — meaning that we essentially have almost the entire Justice League set to show up when this thing opens in 2016.

Fisher is a relatively young actor, so it seems they’ll be following the typical arc of introducing Cyborg as a late-teen or young 20-something who is the son of a S.T.A.R. Labs scientist who is injured during an experiment and kept alive by cybernetic enhancements. In the comics, he eventually becomes a key member of the Justice League.

According to initial reports, Cyborg will not have a huge role in this film, but is expected to have an expanded presence in Justice League and future spinoffs. Considering how many characters they’re packing into this flick, you have to wonder if Snyder is basically using Batman vs. Superman as a de facto prequel to the eventual Justice League movie.

If so, it looks like this flick might be little more than fan service to essentially have Batman and Superman meet, then plant some origin stories for the rest of the gang before they face a big battle in the next movie. Granted, those are all things we want to see happen, but these are a lot of extremely varied characters to cram under one roof with little outside introduction.

Though it might seem surprising at first glance, Man of Steel star Henry Cavill had already hinted at Cyborg’s involvement months ago, when he noted the character could be an interesting lens through which to expand their version of the DC universe.

THE LAST SHIP
A lengthy new trailer for TNT’s new sci-fi series The Last Ship has been released, showing off a ton of action and world-building for the last survivors still hanging on.

The series is executive-produced by Michael Bay (Transformers) and stars Eric Dane (Grey's Anatomy), Rhona Mitra (Strike Back) and Adam Baldwin (Firefly, Chuck). Not a bad cast list, and like him or not, Bay knows how to make things go boom very well. So this one will have some cachet when it arrives.

Storywise, the series will follow the crew of Navy destroyer U.S.S. Nathan James, who are among the last few people left alive after a global catastrophe nearly decimates the world's population. What comes next? That’s the question the series is asking.

The series is based on William Brinkley's popular novel of the same name, though it seems to use the book's actual plot more as a jumping-off point than anything. The project also shows shades of ABC’s short-lived series Last Resort.

The series is set to premiere Sunday, June 22, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on TNT. This new trailer will run in movie theaters this weekend in an effort to build some buzz.

Pyramids PHARAOH
In case you didn’t get enough ancient Egyptian aliens from Stargate, Ridley Scott is cooking up a new series that should fill the pyramid-shaped void.

Scott (Alien, Blade Runner) has signed on with HBO to develop the new series Pharaoh, which will revolve around ancient Egypt and the influence of alien beings as an alternative explanation for the rise of empires in the region. Yeah, that could actually work. David Schulner (Kings, The Event) co-created the project with Giannina Facio and Colet Abedi.

The series doesn’t have a full pickup yet, but it’s an intriguing project, and Scott’s involvement should give it a leg up in the pilot process. The concept could be a fun one to dig into, combining historical fiction and some nice sci-fi angles.

Obviously, fans of Stargate are pretty familiar with the concept, and it sounds like Scott could be putting a spin on the old premise (minus the ‘gates, apparently).

Jason FRIDAY THE 13TH TV SHOW
On May 9, 1980, we were introduced to the legend of Pamela and Jason Voorhees. Those names would strike fear in our hearts for decades thanks to the long-running and often rebooted Friday the 13th franchise. The original film was directed by Sean S. Cunningham and famously starred a young Kevin Bacon.

These days, producers are ready to move the Voorhees' story to the small screen. Cunningham has signed on to executive-produce an hourlong series based on the films (and having nothing to do with the last Friday the 13th TV show). Bill Basso (Terminator) and Jordu Schell (Avatar) have also been tapped to write the script, which will show Jason in a whole new light.

The serial killer will be re-imagined in multiple time periods, slicing his way through victims. Other than that, not much is known about the show's premise. But we do know how they'll re-create the character. Roy Knyrim of SOTA FX will be in charge of making Jason's various looks.

“Jason Voorhees is synonymous with the genre and we plan to build on this legacy with a provocative and compelling take that expands upon the storylines that have already thrilled millions worldwide,” explained Cunningham. Horror Inc. president Robert Barsamian said: “Expect the show to take viewers in some exciting new directions that we’re confident will not only excite existing fans of Friday The 13th but also attract new audiences to the situations and characters that inhabit the small town of Crystal Lake.”

In the first film, Pamela Voorhies was the killer picking off the counselors at Camp Crystal Lake. She was driven to madness after her son Jason drowned while on their watch. Later on, Jason himself would become the killer of choice for the franchise.

Amazing Spider-Man AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
Peter Parker's back in the Spider-suit, and he's got a new lease on life and a new first issue.

As 2013 began, Peter Parker was apparently dead, and his body and life as a superhero were taken over by Doctor Octopus himself, Otto Octavius, who styled himself as a "superior" Spider-Man and got his own solo series, Superior Spider-Man. For the past 16 months, in 31 issues, Octavius lived his own version of the Spider-Man lifestyle, completing Peter Parker's Ph.D., falling in love and founding his own company. Now Octavius is (apparently) gone, and Peter Parker's got a second chance in the body he nearly lost forever. The Amazing Spider-Man #1 is easily one of the most anticipated Marvel Comics of 2014, and now you can read the first five pages, plus feast your eyes on a whole heap of variant covers.

The story, from longtime Spider-Man writer Dan Slott and artist Humberto Ramos, begins with a look back at the very, very beginning of the Spider-Man saga, the very moment Peter Parker was bitten by that radioactive spider, then flashes forward 13 years to Peter, back in his Spider-suit, swinging through the streets of New York City and finding that the neighborhood doesn't find Spidey all that friendly anymore thanks to Octavius. So why does the story begin with the scene everyone knows, the fateful spider bite that gave Peter his Great Power? Well, because it turns out more than one life was forever changed that day ...

Oh, and Peter's not the only one making a return. It looks like Electro's back too, just in time for his movie appearance.

Get ready for an all-new chapter in the life of Peter Parker. Amazing Spider-Man #1 hits comic-book stores next Wednesday, April 30.

Peter Jackson THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
Peter Jackson has announced that There and Back Again is officially no longer the subtitle of his final Hobbit flick.

Last week, we heard a report that New Line Cinema had registered a new potential subtitle for the third film in Jackson's second MIddle-earth trilogy, which had until now been titled The Hobbit: There and Back Again, after the subtitle of J.R.R. Tolkien's original novel. That report claimed that the new registered subtitle was The Hobbit: Into the Fire, but also noted that it may have been one of several potential choices for Jackson and the studio to mull over. That report also mentioned that, back when New Line announced the extension of The Hobbit from two films to three back in 2012, another potential subtitle for the third film had been registered: The Battle of the Five Armies, a name derived from the climactic final clash in the novel involving dwarves, elves, men, orcs and eagles. Now one of those two subtitles has become official.

Jackson took to his Facebook page just hours ago to tell the world that the new title of the third film will be The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. He explained that, because the subtitle There and Back Again was first chosen when he was still planning to tell the story in two films, it was originally meant to describe a film in which Bilbo would both arrive in Erebor and return to the Shire. With the story stretched into three films, though, Bilbo arrived in Erebor in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, so the "there" in There and Back Again has already been achieved. With that in mind, Jackson started thinking about a new title.

"When we did the premiere trip late last year, I had a quiet conversation with the studio about the idea of revisiting the title," Jackson wrote. "We decided to keep an open mind until a cut of the film was ready to look at. We reached that point last week, and after viewing the movie, we all agreed there is now one title that feels completely appropriate.

"And so: 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' it is.

"As Professor Tolkien intended, 'There and Back Again' encompasses Bilbo’s entire adventure, so don’t be surprised if you see it used on a future box-set of all three movies."

So, there you have it. Now we can stop speculating about the title of the third film and start speculating about just how long it'll be. That titular battle will likely be a big chunk of the film's runtime, but Bilbo and his friends also still have the dragon Smaug to deal with, and Gandalf's still off unraveling the mystery of Sauron's return, which Jackson will likely milk for all it's worth as a full-fledged lead-in to his Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The newly retitled The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies arrives in theaters Dec. 17.

THURSDAY, APRIL 24, 2014

Jerry Bruckheimer DELIVER US FROM EVIL
With the new crime-thriller horror film "Deliver Us From Evil," producer Jerry Bruckheimer is making his first venture into the horror genre.

Bruckheimer tells Zap2it at WonderCon Anaheim 2014 that the reason he hasn't backed any horror movies thus far is because he personally is not a fan of the genre. But Bruckheimer's love of a true story -- as evidenced by his reality shows like "The Amazing Race" -- won out, and he's been working on bringing "Deliver Us From Evil" to the big screen for the past decade.

Read on to find out what intrigued Bruckheimer about "Deliver Us From Evil," why he is excited about "CSI: Cyber," what he's considering with Netflix and the status on "Bad Boys III."

Zap2it: What was it about "Deliver Us From Evil" that made you decide to produce it?
Jerry Bruckheimer: I love true stories. I love reality, and the Ralph Sarchie book we bought 10 years ago kind of excited it and we thought we could get a good movie out of it. And here we are, we're talking about it. I guess we achieved it, but I'm a little slow. It took me 10 years to get here.

How did you come to find Scott Derrickson to direct it?
Scott was the first writer we went to on this, and he wrote the first adaptation of the book eight or nine years ago. And then he went off and did his three movies ["The Exorcism of Emily Rose," "The Day The Earth Stood Still" and "Sinister"] and we kept working on the screenplay. Screen Gems asked him after "Emily Rose," "What would you like to do next?" and he said, "I want to 'Deliver Us From Evil.'" And since Disney had shut Touchstone we weren't able to get it out, and so we took it over to Screen Gems, Scott did another rewrite on it, and here we are. He even directed it.

Would you be interested in doing more horror films going forward?
If it's something that excited me, the concept and the characters excited me, sure. They're hard to make for me because I don't go see them. I've seen "The Exorcist" and I've seen "Poltergeist" and I've seen "Psycho," but that's about it. You're not going to see me standing in line to see the next "Freddy" movie.

We're excited about the new "CSI" show you have coming up called "CSI: Cyber." What can you tell us about it?
Yeah, we have the new "CSI." Hopefully we'll get it on the air. It's about the CSI cyber, and it stars Patricia Arquette, so it's really a good show. It was based on a woman we met who works with the FBI, and all she does is travel around the world [following] cyber crimes. So she finds these people who are trafficking kids or whatever and seeks them out and finds them and arrests them. It's a fascinating world.

The other "CSI" shows are all rooted in their cities. Would that be the same for this?
She'll be everywhere. She's based out of Washington, but she'll be everywhere.

Anything else new for TV?
We're working on some ideas. Nothing definite yet, but we're kicking around some stuff I think you'll like. Can't talk about it yet.

I also saw your comment to Bloomberg about having discussions with Netflix. What do you think about the shift toward binge-watching and toward new outlets like Netflix?
I think it's great. I think the more opportunities us as filmmakers can use our skills in storytelling in different kinds of mediums and ways of doing, whether it's binge-watching or whether it is network television where you watch it once a week, we're glad to have it.

Netflix is looking to create its own original movies as well. Would that be something you'd be interested in?
We sell content to anybody who wants to do it. [ smiles]

You've been in this industry for so long, is there anything that you've wanted to do but haven't had a chance to?
We have 40 projects in development. We hope to get them all made. We won't, but we're trying. We left Disney and we went to Paramount, which opens up a lot more means for us to have fun in, because Disney was very focused on the Disney brand and doing PG or a very soft PG-13. Now we can go back to the movies we made, the "Con-Airs" and the "Crimson Tides."

Are you interested in starting new franchises instead of continuing some of your old ones?
Oh, absolutely. We have a lot of stuff in development. I don't know if they'll be franchises, but they're certainly interesting movies.

Lastly, I was curious if you had any updates on "Bad Boys III"?
You know, we have a very good writer [David Guggenheim] on it, and he's somebody that Sony likes a lot, so we hope that he's going to give us something that we can make.

Would you do the movie if you can't get Will Smith and Martin Lawrence back?
No, I don't think so.

What about Michael Bay?
Michael will be a part of it one way or another, I hope. We'd love him to direct it. He's very busy with "Transformers."

"Deliver Us From Evil" hits theaters on July 2.

MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000
If you haven't watched Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K), then you haven't enjoyed the wisecracks of a man and his sarcastic robots about the terrible movies they're forced to watch. The crew at MST3K made such grade-Z fare as Santa Claus Conquers the Martians rollicking good fun. The show aired its last segment in 1999. But Santa may be back on Earth with a present for us.

According to Wired,

This spring [creator Joel] Hodgson is hoping to start a new online incarnation of the show, one that will feature a fresh (and as-yet-unannounced) host and cameos from many MST3K alumni.

Even the hope of a new show is great for fans, including Time magazine, which named it one of the 100 best television shows of all time. MST3K is about a man trapped on a space station and subjected to psychological experiments; the man (initially Joel Hodgson, later Michael J. Nelson) keeps himself sane by building robot pals and making snarky comments on the onscreen action. That's the setup, anyway. The real joy of the thing was watching really clever people make amazing wisecracks about some of the worst movies ever made. The show was always funny; an Internet incarnation -- or any kind of comeback, actually -- would be welcomed.

Of course, if you've been missing MST3K, you can always find Rifftrax (led by Nelson) and its friendly rival Cinematic Titanic (headed by Hodgson) still putting in the same kind of work. While Rifftrax is an audio-only track that you purchase and play along to movies such as Starship Troopers, Cinematic Titanic stuck with the classics such as The Oozing Skull before it went on hiatus in 2013.

Then there are the parodies. Back in 1992, fan Ryan K. Johnson and friends made their own version of MST3K and parodied Highlander II and Star Trek V (we highly recommend Star Trek V). Their version, originally recorded on VHS, is now available on DVD. Another group, known as Mystery Spatula Theater, also did their own version of Fantastic Four (1994) and Dungeons & Dragons, among others.

BLOODLINES
The first footage and pics from the upcoming Supernatural spin-off, Bloodlines, have finally arrived, and it looks like an intriguing set up for a new series. Want to see?

Though the backdoor pilot is framed around a typical Supernatural episode, it definitely has a very different vibe than what fans might expect from the mothership series. Where Supernatural always has that middle America style, Bloodlines takes a much more big city approach to the monster hunting antics.

Honestly, it comes off as a little jarring, almost like they’re aiming for a more hip version of Supernatural meets Vampire Diaries. Which, this being The CW, that’s probably exactly what they’re doing. But, we’ll go with Dean’s description for now: “Godfather with fangs.”

SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR
Dimension Films has debuted a new 60-second trailer for their upcoming film Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

Opening in theaters on August 22, the comic book adaptation stars Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, Jaime King, Josh Brolin, Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eva Green, Dennis Haysbert, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven, Jamie Chung, Ray Liotta, Juno Temple, Julia Garner and Stacy Keach.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23, 2014

Tahmoh Penikett REIGN
As the first season of The CW's "Reign" draws to a close, you'll see a familiar face among the royals: "Battlestar Galactica's" Tahmoh Penikett, who will guest star as a nobleman visiting French Court.

According to E! Online, the "Star-Crossed" veteran's character, John, is more than meets the eye -- he "also happens to be a mercenary for hire."

"Reign" star Adelaide Kane tells Zap2it that the final episodes of Season 1 -- culminating in an epic May 15 finale -- will be bananas. "There's so much going on in the upcoming episodes," she says. "We have battles and returning heroes and death and destruction, and the Darkness still hasn't been dealt with yet. We have so much going on in this show."

You can watch a promo for the drama facing the French royals throughout the rest of the season at the E! link above. "Reign" airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

ARROW
"Arrow" has a Roy problem in Season 2's episode 20, "Seeing Red." Only recently saved from Slade Wilson and his mirakuru army, Roy Harper is not just thankful to those who saved him.

In fact, as Oliver and Sara find out in this video clip from the episode, Roy is merely enraged.

Probably a combination of the standard mirakuru issues mixed with trauma (mental and physical) from Slade's forced blood donation, Roy spends most of "Seeing Red" in a sort of Hulk state. It falls to the Arrow and the Canary to track down the kid before he does something that sane Roy would regret.

But that's easier said than done: When they confront Roy in Sara's old clock-tower lair, the kid gets the upper hand. Sara ends the scene knocked out while Oliver is on the floor, in obvious pain from a leg injury. Roy shows no remorse for any of this and just escapes through a hole he creates in the floor.

Will Oliver and Sara be able to stop Roy? Is the kid beyond help? Find out when the "Arrow" episode, "Seeing Red," airs Wednesday, April 23 at 8 p.m. on The CW.

CROSSBONES
John Malkovich is not doing anything halfway in his first TV series role in NBC's "Crossbones."

The Oscar-nominated actor tears into the role of legendary pirate Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard, the ruler of an outlaw settlement in the Bahamas in the early 18th century. You can get a taste of Malkovich's bigger-than-life performance in this trailer for "Crossbones."

The series also stars Richard Coyle ("Coupling," "Covert Affairs") as Tom Lowe, a British spy who poses as a surgeon to infiltrate Teach's world and attempt to foil whatever plans Teach has to move against the British empire.

Neil Cross ("Luther") created "Crossbones," which looks to be aiming for a "Deadwood"-on-the-high-seas sort of vibe. The series is scheduled to premiere May 30 on NBC.

Black Chapter BLACK CHAPTER
A few genre heavyweights are coming together for a new sci-fi thriller, and we’re actually pretty interested to see how this one turns out. Think X-Files meets Push.

Dubbed Black Chapter, the film was written by Zak Penn (The Avengers, X-Men 2) and will be directed by Len Wiseman (Total Recall, Underworld). The plot will focus on an FBI agent who is drawn into a classified military program that trains its operatives to use paranormal abilities.

The duo developed the project together, using secret government programs such as the CIA’s astral projection experiments as a jumping off point.

Here’s how Skydance's David Ellison described the project to The Hollywood Reporter:

“Len and Zak have created a truly original piece of science fiction that reimagines the spy genre set in the world of the supernatural. This is exactly the type of original storytelling that we want to produce.”

Though Wiseman stumbled with his Total Recall reboot, his Underworld films always had a mid-budget charm about them. But, he also had a hand in creating Fox’s stellar Sleepy Hollow series, so that’s another point or two back on the right side.

Penn’s involvement is also a very interesting sign, as he’s had a hand in quite a few major Marvel movies over the past decade or so. His writing credits include The Avengers, X-Men 2, Fantastic Four, X-Men: The Last Stand and The Incredible Hulk. Admittedly, some of those are hit and miss, but there’s no denying he knows his genre stuff.

SHIELD AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
With just four episodes left, how will Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wrap up its first season?

The Marvel series has really picked up the pace in the last couple of weeks, shaking the titular agency to its core, changing allegiances and even killing off characters. When we last left Coulson and his team, they were tucked away in the secret S.H.I.E.L.D. facility Providence under the care Agent Eric Koenig (Patton Oswalt), who revealed to Coulson the deeply buried secret that S.H.I.E.L.D. director Nick Fury is still alive. The team had a new base of operations, a new collection of resources and a new ally in Koenig, but things got complicated when Agent Ward -- who's still an unknown Hydra agent working for the Clairvoyant/Agent Garrett (Bill Paxton) -- showed up at the base.

So, heading into tonight's episode, "The Only Light in the Darkness," the Clairvoyant's got an agent inside Coulson's new base, everyone (especially Skye) still seems to trust Ward, and Coulson's got the added complication of trying to protect Audrey (guest star Amy Acker), the famed "Cellist" from his past, who as far as we know isn't aware that he's been alive this whole time. The stage is certainly set for some intense stuff to unfold over the next four weeks, but how will it all end, and which of the show's many lingering questions will finally be answered?

Well, in its roundup of upcoming season finales, TV Guide offered a sneak peek of what's to come in the S.H.I.E.L.D. season finale, "Beginning of the End." No plot details are stated outright, but this information could be called a SPOILER, so if you don't want to know anything at all about the season's endgame, maybe click away now.

According to TV Guide, the finale's going to give us quite a few answers about quite a few things, some of them going back to the beginning of the season. The issues at hand include "Ward's true allegiances as well as answer questions about Skye's lineage, who's controlling Deathlok and what the Clairvoyant wants with Coulson." Three of those things seem like obvious points to build up to in the midst of this S.H.I.E.L.D. versus Hydra plot, but the question of just where Skye came from is a particularly interesting thing to include. Will she have some hidden ties to Hydra? Will her true identity set up a major storyline for season two? We'll have to wait and see. The TV Guide piece also has a quote from executive producer Jeffrey Bell, who promises something "epic."

"We think the audience is waiting for a showdown between Coulson's team and Garrett's team and they're going to get a satisfying payoff to that epic conclusion," Bell said. "If they win, it comes at a price."

A showdown certainly seems inevitable, but Bell also teased the possibility of other sleepers within S.H.I.E.L.D. Add in the return of Marvel Cinematic Universe stars Samuel L. Jackson (Fury) and Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), and it looks like we're primed for the biggest episodes of this series yet.

Agents of S.H.I.E.l.D. airs Tuesday at 8/7C on ABC.

DOMINION
Syfy has released a new promo for its upcoming series Dominion. Inspired by the 2010 film Legion, Dominion centers on a battle between angels and humans. The heavenly creatures are led by Gabriel, whose sole purpose is to destroy mankind, while the angel Michael opts to protect it. This supernatural war's been raging for years, with no sign of stopping.

Humans have adapted to the angels' presence on Earth by distancing themselves. They've created angel-proof fortresses and rebuilt their cities from the ground up. But that won't be enough to keep them safe.

Dominion features a who's-who of genre actors. The series stars Anthony Stewart Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Merlin), Alan Dale (Lost, Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Luke Allen-Gale (Ripper Street, The Borgios) and Christopher Egan (Gothica, Resident Evil: Extinction).

Dominion's pilot is directed by Scott Stewart, who also helmed Legion. The series premieres June 19 at 9 p.m.

Flash Gordon FLASH GORDON
Flash Gordon could be rocketing back to the big screen.

Twentieth Century Fox has closed a deal to pick up the screen rights to the pulp comic-strip hero in a package that has John Davis producing and J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, the up-and-coming scribes who just worked on Star Trek 3, on board to write the script.

The deal is a long time coming for Davis, who spent more than a year nailing down the rights from the Hearst Corporation. The veteran producer, whose credits include Chronicle and the upcoming Man from U.N.C.L.E. among dozens of others, used his discretionary fund to get the rights. He also hired George Nolfi, who wrote Bourne Ultimatum, to pen a treatment and brought in Payne and McKay.

Gordon is the hero first created in 1934 by iconic artist Alex Raymond who, along with the lovely Dale Arden and mad scientist Hans Zasrkov, ends up on the planet Mongo fighting its tyrannical ruler, Ming the Merciless.

The popular strip spawned three Buster Crabbe serials and in 1980 came the cheesy, colorful Flash Gordon movie, which had a soundtrack by Queen and cast that included Timothy Dalton, Max von Sydow and Chaim Topol. (Sam Jones played Gordon, who original backstory of being a polo player was modernized to be a football player.)

Hollywood has been trying to make a new movie and possibly a franchise for ages, with Gordon's rights set up at Universal, Mandalay and more recently Sony, where Neal Moritz tried to launch the rocket to Mongo.

Fox exec Matt Reilly identified the project early and brought it into the studio; he will now oversee the project. (Reilly is a former Warner Bros. exec who worked on the Lego Movie at its inception.)

Before nabbing Star Trek 3, Payne and McKay previously wrote the script adapting Boilerplate, the graphic novel by husband-and-wife comics team Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett, for J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot production company. They also wrote Micronauts, a feature based on the 1970's toy line that Abrams is producing.

TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2014

STAR WARS REBELS
"Star Wars Rebels," the new Lucasfilms animated series that takes place in the "Star Wars" universe between the events of "Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" and "Episode IV: A New Hope," debuted a sneak peek clip at WonderCon 2014 in Anaheim Saturday (April 19).

IGN reports that executive producer Dave Filoni says this scene is one of the first that will appear in the series and that it is "very much derived from the scene in 'A New Hope' where they're trying to escape from TIE Fighters."

Filoni also says that "Star Wars Rebels" will feature the same group of characters throughout the series, as opposed to "The Clone Wars," which focused on a large and varied cast of characters. "You'll see [the "Rebels"] characters develop over time," says Filoni. "Hera's in every episode. You'll get to see her grow and change and I think that's incredibly satisfying."

"Star Wars Rebels" is premiering in fall 2014 on Disney Channel, before moving to Disney XD after the first episode.

X-Files: Year Zero X-FILES: PREQUEL COMIC BOOK
While we patiently wait for any news on a third X-Files film, but the universe is still alive and well in comic-book form. Next up: An intriguing prequel series set in the 1940s.

An ongoing 10th-season comic run of the series was launched in 2013 by IDW, produced by series creator Chris Carter, and now the writers are eyeing a prequel series that will follow the X-Files division in the 1940s.

The five-part series, Year Zero, will be written by Karl Kesel, along with artists Vic Malhotra and Greg Scott, and dig into the founding of the FBI’s original paranormal investigations unit that pre-dated Mulder and Scully’s little office we all know and love.

The comic will find modern-day Mulder and Scully investigating a case that dates back to the era in question, allowing the writers to tell the tale of the partners’ precursors, Bing Ellinson and Millie Ohio. The case connects with a mysterious charter named Mr. Xero, who is eerily similar to an informant encountered in the past by the previous team.

Here’s what Kesel had to say about the project, after it was announced this past weekend at WonderCon:

"I've always thought the '40s would be a wonderful setting for X-Files, with the Russian red menace, atomic mutations and flying saucers all lurking in the shadows - what I like to think of as 'UFO Noir’.

Of course, iconic characters like Mulder and Scully are a joy to write, and being given the opportunity to introduce their predecessors - Bing Ellinson and Millie Ohio - well, the truth is it's all a little unbelievable to me. But the unbelievable is what X-Files is all about, isn't it?”

This is an interesting offshoot for the franchise, and the 1940s are definitely ripe for exploration through the lens of the X-Files. Of course, we’d still prefer a big-screen sequel or miniseries, but we’ll take what we can get.

The first issue of Year Zero is set to debut in July.

AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a unique television show in that it had not one but eight prequels, plus Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the storyline of which is tying in to current episodes. In addition, the show is able to raid Marvel's pantry of superheroes and bring them to the small screen. But the newest appearance of a Marvel character is more villainous than heroic. In the next episode, we'll get to meet Marcus Daniels, also known as Blackout.

The character won't be the Blackout you know and hate, the former research scientist whose powers are tied to the Darkforce dimension that he'd experimented with.

According to Coming Soon, actor Patrick Brennan said,

"This is the way they explained it to me…This guy, Marcus Daniels, a.k.a. Blackout, was shrouded in darkness, his soul, everything about him was shrouded in darkness until he comes across this Cello player. And the music was the only light that came into his soul, and it gave him hope and it gave him some sense of what light was. I thought to myself, oh my god, you don’t even need to explain anything else. Because music, to me, is what gets me through most of the time. My kids, my wife, and music. That aspect of it totally intrigued me. I thought that was quite beautiful and very interesting, that aspect of the character."

So not only is the character different, but also he'll be tied in to the character of the Cellist, played by Amy Acker, the lost love of Agent Phil Coulson. We can imagine a plot that involves Coulson protecting the Cellist from Blackout.

But we don't have to imagine what Blackout is capable of, because we can see it for ourselves.

FARSCAPE
It's been 11 years since Farscape left the air, but it doesn't mean we've forgotten the crew of the Moya. In fact, daydreaming about John, Aeryn, D'argo, Chianna and Rygel constitutes the bulk of our workday. And we're about to have some epic daydreams: The rumors of a Farscape movie are not exaggerated. The late, great TV show will get a new chapter in the form of a television movie.

TV.com reports that the rumors of a made-for-TV movie were made official this weekend, at Wondercon. The movie will be created in the Jim Henson Creature Shop facility; directed by Brian Henson, who directed Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars and served as the show's executive producer; and written by Justin Monjo, who worked on Farscape as a scriptwriter, supervising producer and co-executive producer.

According to Tor.com,

Set to follow the awesome comics written by our favorite Keith R.A. DeCandido, the film would follow John and Aeryn's son, D'Argo (or Little D, as we always refer to him). Because their baby was exhibiting a set of interesting powers that made him a magnet for galactic villains, we find that John and Aeryn hide their son on Earth to grow up. Now the kid is 19 and ready to go into space with his parents.

The release date is as unknown as the fate of Furlow. But that means now is your chance to rewatch all four seasons, plus the miniseries that served as an abbreviated fifth season.

Never got to watch Farscape the first time around? It's about an astronaut, John Crichton, who finds himself stranded on the far side of the galaxy after stumbling across a wormhole. And as John searches for a way back, the galaxy's bad guys want the wormhole knowledge stored in his brain—and they don't care how they get it. It has an off-kilter humor, characters for whom the phrase "shades of gray" doesn't just refer to their morality, and Muppets.

DOMINION
Syfy has debuted a new teaser for their upcoming series, "Dominon," based on the film Legion by writer-director Scott Stewart.

An epic supernatural drama set in the year 25 A.E., "Dominion" explores a transformed post-apocalyptic future where an army of lower angels, assembled by the archangel Gabriel, has waged a war of possession against mankind. The archangel Michael, turning against his own kind, has chosen to side with humanity against Gabriel. Rising out of the ashes of the 25 year-long battle are newly fortified cities which protect the human survivors. In Vega (formerly Las Vegas), the largest of these cities, two houses vie for control and the stage is set for political upheaval and a dangerous power shift. Meanwhile, a rebellious young soldier begins a perilous journey as the war between the human race and the fallen angels hell-bent on their domination escalates.

Premiering on June 19 at 9/8c, "Dominion" stars Christopher Egan, Tom Wisdom, Roxanne McKee, Alan Dale, Anthony Stewart Head and Luke Allen-Gale.

MONDAY, APRIL 21, 2014

Farscape FARSCAPE MOVIE?
At the showrunners panel at WonderCon 2014, Rockne O'Bannon ("Warehouse 13," "Defiance") confirmed that "Farscape," which he launched on Syfy back in 1999, may soon be returning to the screen.

According to Spoiler TV, the movie is a ways off from filming, but O'Bannon says that the wheels are turning. "Yeah, it's the worst kept secret ... We're far from production, but yeah, the first step is Justin [Monjo] working on a script for us. We'll keep our fingers crossed."

"Farscape" ran for four seasons as it chronicled the adventures of astronaut John Crichton (Ben Browder), who is hurtled to the far reaches of space via a wormhole. It went off the air in March 2003.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" wins the Easter weekend race overall as it nears $600 million worldwide; "Fading Gigolo" prospers at the specialty box office despite Woody Allen's personal woes.

Faith-based film Heaven Is for Real soared at the Easter weekend box office, earning a stellar $21.5 million from 2,417 theaters to bury big-budget sci-fic epic Transcendence, which opened to a dismal $11.5 million from 3,455 locations.

Transcendence marks the third big-budget bomb in a row for Johnny Depp after The Lone Ranger and Dark Shadows (both of those movies opened to roughly $29 million, but never found success). In terms of Depp's openings, Transcendence came in lower than The Tourist, which debuted to $16.5 million in 2010.

Overseas, where Depp arguably remains a bigger star, Transcendence debuted to $17.4 million from 27 markets, led by China with a solid $11.4 million.

Overall, top spoils in North America went to holdovers Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Rio 2.

Captain America, staying at No. 1 for its third consecutive weekend, grossed $26.6 million from 3,825 locations to cross the $200 million mark domestically and hit $586.6 million worldwide in another major victory for Marvel Studios and Disney. Fox's animated family film Rio 2 grossed $22.5 million from 3,975 locations in its second weekend for a domestic total of $75.4 million.

Heaven Is for Real, placing No. 3 and clearly benefiting from the Easter holiday, is the latest Christian film to exceed expectations. From Sony's TriStar label, the movie opened Wednesday and earned an impressive $28.5 million in its first five days.

Produced by influential pastor T. D. Jakes, director Randall Wallace and Hollywood veteran Joe Roth, Heaven Is for Real stars Greg Kinnear and earned an A CinemaScore. The drama did its biggest business in the country's Bible Belt, but appealed to mainstream audiences as well.

The movie is based on the real-life story of Nebraska pastor Todd Burpo, whose young son said he found himself in heaven during emergency surgery. The film is adapted from the pastor's book of the same name, co-written by Lynn Vincent. "It's really a terrific result," said Sony's distribution chief Rory Bruer. "And Easter was certainly a date that was in the wheelhouse of the film."

Easter weekend provided further evidence that 2014 is indeed the year of the Bible movies. Heaven Is for Real was one of three such titles populating the top 10 chart. Noah placed No. 9 with $5 million for a domestic cume of $93.2 million, while God's Not Dead came in No. 10 with $4.8 million, pushing its total to $48.2 million.

Heading into the weekend, no one expected the $12 million Heaven Is for Real to beat Transcendence, which cost a hefty $100 million to produce. Transcendence suffered from scathing reviews and a C+ CinemaScore.

Transcendence is a blow for Alcon Entertainment, which co-financed the movie with China's DMG Entertainment, while Warner Bros. is handling domestic distribution duties. Summit International sold Transcendence overseas to independent distributors, covering much of the budget. Straight Up Films developed the project, and brought it to Alcon.

"The movie just missed its audience," said Warners executive vice president of distribution Jeff Goldstein, whose studio has a long-term deal with Alcon, home of hits including The Blind Side and Dolphin Tale.

Transcendence, coming in No. 4 in North America, still hopes to make up ground internationally.

Outside of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides in 2011, Depp's most recent films -- Lone Ranger, Dark Shadows and The Rum Diary -- have struggled badly in the U.S. Generally speaking, he remains a far more potent star overseas, although Lone Ranger and Dark Shadows still bombed. Depp was paid a reported $20 million for Transcendence. Marking the directorial debut of cinematographer Wally Pfister -- a favorite of Christopher Nolan's -- Transcendence stars Depp as a brilliant scientist whose mind is uploaded into a computer after he is gunned down. Rebecca Hall and Morgan Freeman also star, while Nolan and his wife, Emma Thomas, served as executive producers.

Easter weekend saw two other new nationwide offerings -- A Haunted House 2 and Disney documentary Bears.

IM Global's Haunted House 2 placed No. 5 with $9.1 million from 2,310 theaters, half of the $18 million opening secured by the first film. Open Road Films is distributing the comedy-horror title, which reteams director Michael Tiddes and star Marlon Wayans.

Haunted House 2, a follow-up to the 2013 box office hit, cost just $4 million to produce. Wayans co-wrote the script with his longtime filmmaking partner Rick Alvarez.

Bears placed No. 11 with a less-than-expected $4.7 million from 1,720 theaters, the lowest opening of any Disneynature title. Directed by Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey, the nature documentary follows a family of grizzly bears living in Alaska. John C. Reilly narrated the film.

Disney can certainly absorb a disappointment. In addition to Captain America 2's strong run, Frozen continues to make headlines at the global box office, where the animated film has crossed the $100 million mark in Japan, its final territory. Over the weekend, Frozen became the No. 6 title of all time worldwide with $1.129 billion in earnings, passing up The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($1.114 billion) and Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($1.123 billion). It has also passed up Ice Age 4 ($716 million) to become the top-grossing animated film at the international box office with $729.3 million.

At the U.S specialty box office, director-actor John Turturro's Fading Gigolo scored a strong opening despite the recent personal scandal surrounding Woody Allen, who also stars. The movie, from Millennium, opened to $198,379 from five locations for a location average of $39,680.

Here are the top 10 estimates for the weekend of April 18-20 at the domestic box office:
Title, Weeks in Release/Theater Count, Studio, Weekend Total, Percentage Drop, Cume
1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier, 3/3,825, Disney/Marvel, $26.6 million, -36%, $201.5 million.
2. Rio 2, 2/3,975, Fox/Blue Sky, $22.5 million, -43%, $75.4 million.
3. Heaven Is for Real, 1/2,417, Sony/TriStar, $21.5 million, $28.5 million.
4. Transcendence, 1/3,455, Warner Bros./Alcon, $11.5 million.
5. A Haunted House 2, 1/2,310, Open Road/IM Global, $9.1 million.
6. Draft Day, 1/2,486, Lionsgate/Summit $5.9 million, -40%, $19.5 million.
7. Divergent, 5/2,486, Lionsgate/Summit, $5.8 million, -22%, $133.9 million.
8. Oculus, 2/2,648, Relativity, $5.2 million, -57%, $21.2 million.
9. Noah, 4/2,537, Paramount/New Regency, $5 million, -34%, $93.2 million.
10. God's Not Dead, 4/1,796, Freestyle/Pure Flix, $4.8 million, -13%, $48.2 million.

GAME OF THRONES
HBO has brought online a first look at "Oathkeeper," the fourth episode of the fourth season of "Game of Thrones" which will air on Sunday, April 27. It's describes as follows:

"Jon welcomes volunteers; Bran, Jojen, Meera and Hodor seek shelter; Jaime and Brienne discuss his honor; Daenerys balances justice and mercy."

TRUE BLOOD
"True Blood" enters its final season this summer and, tonight, HBO debuted a new teaser which you can watch below. The series begins its ten-episode, seventh and final season on Sunday, June 22nd at 9:00 p.m.

Mixing romance, suspense, mystery and humor, the series takes place in a world where vampires and humans co-exist, after vampires have come out of the coffin, thanks to the invention of mass-produced synthetic blood that means they no longer need humans as a nutritional source.

The series follows waitress and part-faerie Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), who can hear people's thoughts, vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) and vampire Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard). Alan Ball created the show, which is based on the bestselling Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris.

SUNDAY, APRIL 20, 2014

THE REAL HISTORY OF SCIENCE FICTION
BBC America is debuting a new four-part series on Saturday (April 19) about the history of science fiction. The program will examine science fiction from "Star Wars" to "2001: A Space Odyssey" to "Jurassic Park" to "Doctor Who," aided by commentary from the stars, writers, directors and producers of the greatest examples of the genre.

Narrated by Mark Gatiss ("Doctor Who," "Sherlock"), the episodes focus on (in order) robots, space, invasion and time and feature observations and discourse from William Shatner, Nathan Fillion, Zoe Saldana, Steven Moffat, Richard Dreyfus, Ronald D. Moore, David Tennant, Christopher Lloyd, Rutger Hauer, Karen Gillan, Scott Bakula, Edward James Olmos and many more.

"The Real History of Science Fiction" premieres Saturday, April 19 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on BBC America.

LEGENDS
Sean Bean is returning to television in the new TNT action drama "Legends." The series has only been in production for two weeks, but a number of clips were presented for the WonderCon Anaheim 2014 audience in attendance to give them a sense of the show.

"Legends" tells the story of Martin Odum (Bean), an undercover FBI agent in the Deep Cover Operations (DCO) division who takes on various identities known as "legends." But Odum gets a bit too deep in his character, and another special agent named Tony Cimarro (Morris Chestnut) starts to investigate whether Odum is who he says -- or believes -- he is.

"There's something happening to Martin Odum, and his quest in this show is trying to answer that question," showrunner David Wilcox tells the audience at WonderCon. "It's not what you expect."

Ali Larter plays Crystal Quest, Odum's handler who also has a history with Odum. The "Heroes" alum says she is excited about the show because of the way it shows the ways being a legend affects a person, and lets her tap into the "different parts of myself.". "For this show, what I think is riveting about it is getting into the emotional underbelly of these really strong characters," she says.

"The whole basis of the show is ... 'who am I?' That's an exciting prospect to me," Larter continues. "It's the idea for all of us is you can start up playing one person and end up in a completely different place just by how these people's lives are yanked around."

Then there's Tina Majorino who plays Maggie Harris, a new member of the DCO team who spends some time initially behind a computer on the show. Comparisons to Majorino's "Veronica Mars" character Mac are hard to resist, but Majorino says she is excited to set the two characters apart.

"Maggie to me is a grownup. She's lived a different life than Mac has," Majorino says, clearly already exhausted with all of the Mac/Maggie jokes. "They're two completely different people." Wilcox adds, "She's going to get out from behind the computer. You're going to see her shoes, her legs; it's going to happen."

Due to the nature of legends, Bean will play multiple personas, sometimes playing other people. When asked how he switches between the different characters, Bean says, "Just changing my hairstyle, really. Put a wig on." He continues seriously, "It's fascinating because it's an actor's dream to play different characters."

"The show is not driven by cases, it's not driven by the caper. It really is driven by Sean's character and the quest that he's on and the question that's raised in the pilot," Wilcox says. "The more he digs into what this mystery is surrounding him, the more he gets trapped in this wilderness of mirrors where he has difficulties telling his legends from his life."

Wilcox says he has a seven-season plan for "Legends," and enjoys that each season will only be a concise 10 episodes. "Legends" premieres on Aug. 13, 2014 on TNT at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

SATURDAY, APRIL 19, 2014

BATMAN: ASSAULT ON ARKHAM
It's pretty sweet to see the Suicide Squad assisting the leering lunacy of The Joker and Harley Quinn in their plans to destroy Gotham with a dirty bomb and infiltrate its infamous asylum. Check out the first trailer for WB Animation's Batman: Assault On Arkham, debuting this fall in conjunction with the hotly-anticipated Batman: Arkham Knight game, which lands on October 14, 2014. Assault on Arkham is directed by DC animation veteran Jay Oliva (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns) and features the stellar vocal talents of Kevin Conroy as Batman, Troy Baker as The Joker, Tara Strong as Harley Quinn, Tony Todd as Killer Croc and Neal McDonough as Deadshot.

SUPERMAN CELEBRATES 75 YEARS
Though Zack Snyder’s version of the Man of Steel is the one we’re living with today, Superman has been kicking around for the better part of a century. Want a quick wrapup?

An epic, animated retrospective of Superman’s 75 years has been put together by Man of Steel director Snyder, animation producer Bruce Timm and director Jay Oliva, and was initially included on the Man of Steel home release.

But for those of us who didn’t pick up the movie, we finally have it online now. The clip is fascinating and zips through the various evolutions of Supes’ costume, the animation style and different comic variations. Seriously, it'll give you goosebumps.

Enjoy!

GODZILLA
Is it May 16 yet? We're going to keep asking that question until May 16 finally rolls around—the day we finally get to see the reboot of the 1954 classic (and the 1998 not-so-classic) movie Godzilla. And as we can see, even in this brief TV trailer, we have a lot to look forward to.

Here we get a short but reasonable look at the creature otherwise known as Gojira. But we also get a look at the people whose lives are altered by the dinosaur-like creature. Their fear, their hope, is tangible, even in 30 seconds. We can't wait to see what the movie can do in its running time of two hours (according to screenwriter Max Borenstein).

A post-World War II analogy about the evils of nuclear war, Godzilla has appeared in 28 movies from Japanese production company Toho, as well as television, comics, videogames and other American versions. Over the years, he evolved from an unspeakable horror to a giant green antihero. Godzilla's appeal has been long-lasting for many, while others look on films like Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster and Godzilla vs. Megalon unfondly. This reimagining puts the monster back into this monster movie.

IN THE FLESH Though The Walking Dead steals most of the headlines when it comes to zombies these days, BBC launched its own undead series last season — and here’s the first look at its freaky return.

Dubbed In the Flesh, the short-run series was one of the most innovative takes we’ve seen on the zombie trope. Ever. The series follows a city in the wake of a zombie cure, as the government attempts to reintegrate the undead back into the general population of the living. It was fresh, innovative and unsettling in its own weird way. We can't wait for the next run.

The first trailer for season two looks to up the ante quite a bit, and it seems war is brewing between the undead and the living. It looks like a nice evolution of the first season, which really hit its stride by the finale.

The series returns Saturday, May 10, on BBC Three in the U.K. No word on a U.S. air date yet, but we’d expect BBC America to pick it up at some point, much as they did the first season.

FRIDAY, APRIL 18, 2014

THE ANOMALY
Noel Clarke has come a long way since his days as dimwitted companion Mickey Smith on Doctor Who, and now he’s out to save the world in the new sci-fi thriller The Anomaly.

The story follow traumatized ex-soldier Ryan (Clarke), who is trying to unravel a sci-fi conspiracy the he finds himself at the center of after waking up in the back of a van. The only problem? His consciousness resets every 9 minutes and 47 seconds, and he’s essentially “reborn” as a new person. Think Memento meets Minority Report, maybe?

It’s an intriguing premise, and the trailer seems to set up a nice, mid-budget sci-fi thriller. The flick stars Clarke (Star Trek Into Darkness), Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries), Luke Hemsworth (Neighbours), Brian Cox (The Bourne Identity) and Alexis Knapp (Pitch Perfect). Along with starring, Clarke also directed the film, so there’s another nice Who connection to throw in.

The film opens July 4 in the U.K. Sadly, no word yet on a potential U.S. release date.

SINISTER 2
Ciaran Foy, the director behind Citadel, has been tapped to direct Sinister 2, the sequel to the micro-budget horror hit from Blumhouse and Entertainment One.

Scott Derrickson, the director of the original, made the announcement Thursday on Twitter. Derrickson is writing the script with C. Robert Cargill (the duo also wrote the original).

Ciaran has directed several genre shorts and made his feature debut with Citadel, a thriller about an agoraphobic father and a priest who try to protect the man's daughter from feral teens. It won the Midnighter Audience Award at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival.

Jason Blum's Blumhouse is producing Sinister 2 with Derrickson. Executive producing are Brian Kavanaugh-Jones and Charles Layton, as well as Xavier Marchand and Patrice Theroux of eOne.

EOne will finance the movie, which will shoot July.

Blumhouse International is handling foreign sales. BHI has a worldwide distribution and servicing deal with IM Global. Sinister, released in October 2012, starred Ethan Hawke and was one of the year's most profitable movies: It grossed over $87 million worldwide on a $3 million budget.

THE QUIET ONES
Lionsgate has released a new trailer for director John Pogue's supernatural thriller The Quiet Ones, starring Jared Harris, Sam Claflin, Erin Richards, Rory Fleck-Byrne and Olivia Cooke.

In the film, opening on April 25, a university student (Sam Claflin of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) and some classmates are recruited to carry out a private experiment -- to create a poltergeist. Their subject: an alluring, but dangerously disturbed young woman (Olivia Cooke of "Bates Motel"). Their quest: to explore the dark energy that her damaged psyche might manifest. As the experiment unravels along with their sanity, the rogue PHD students are soon confronted with a terrifying reality: they have triggered an unspeakable force with a power beyond all explanation.

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
20th Century Fox has released the final trailer for Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Opening in theaters on May 23, the film stars Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Halley Berry, Nicholas Hoult, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Peter Dinklage, Omar Sy, Daniel Cudmore, Fan Bingbing, Boo Boo Stewart, Adan Canto, Evan Peters, Josh Helman, Lucas Till and Evan Jonigkeit.

The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-Men: Days of Future Past. The beloved characters from the original "X-Men" film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from X-Men: First Class, in an epic battle that must change the past – to save our future.

THURSDAY, APRIL 17, 2014

SON OF BATMAN
DC is tying its animated films into a unified universe, and a new clip from the latest installment in that effort has arrived. Get ready to meet the Son of Batman.

The animated film, which follows along with Grant Morrison’s similarly themed comic arc, picks up with Bruce Wayne learning he has a child with Talia Al Ghul, so he takes the boy and tries to raise him. Of course, this being Batman’s kid, he is not lacking in the kung-fu skills.

This new clip shows those acrobatics and fighting skills in action, as young Damian trains outside Wayne Manor while Bruce watches from inside.

Here’s the official synopsis for the animated feature:

Batman learns he has a son, Damian – and to further complicate matters, the mother is Talia al Ghul, daughter of one of his most dreaded enemies, Ra’s Al Ghul. When the odds quickly turn against Batman and Damian, Batman must become both father and mentor to the aggressive, agile new Robin. Together they form an uneasy alliance to try and thwart the criminal enterprise of Deathstroke and his army of ninja man-bats before there are international consequences.

Son of Batman hits shelves on May 6.

AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
Next week on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., another proud Joss Whedon alum arrives.

We all know about Whedon's habit of re-uniting with old collaborators on new projects, and Amy Acker seems to be a collaborator he's got a particular soft spot for. Acker first joined the Whedon Stock Company, if you will, when she stole all our hearts as Winifred "Fred" Burkle on Angel, and has since appeared in Whedon's Dollhouse, The Cabin in the Woods and Much Ado About Nothing. So it wasn't exactly surprising to learn that she'd be making a guest appearance on the Whedon-co-created Marvel Cinematic Universe TV series as the much-mythologized cellist from Phil Coulson's (Clark Gregg) past.

Now, in the wake of Tuesday's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode, "Providence," we've got a 30-second promo spot for next week's episode, "The Only Light in the Darkness," and as we were promised, this episode features the first appearance of Acker on the show. In the promo below, we get to see her both conversing with Agent Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) and getting a little bit of concerned adoration from Coulson, who's very conscious of the danger she's in while he and his team are still labeled as fugitives.

Acker's not the only reason to check out the promo, though. It also features our first glimpse of the Marvel supervillain Blackout (Patrick Brennan) in action (yay for more people with powers on this show!) and Skye (Chloe Bennet) coming to a shocking realization about Ward (Brett Dalton).

"The Only Light in the Darkness" airs next Tuesday at 8/7C on ABC.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
Marvel Studios has released a very cool behind-the-scenes look at its upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy flick.

The sneak peek aired on ABC during last night's new Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode.

Directed by James Gunn, Guardians of the Galaxy is the penultimate entry into Marvel’s “Phase Two” cinematic universe (which will culminate with Avengers: Age of Ultron before embarking into its “Phase Three,” kicking it all off with Edgar Wright's Ant-Man and then Captain America 3).

The one-minute video includes new footage as well as interviews with stars Chris Pratt (Star-Lord/Peter Quill), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer), Vin Diesel (Groot) and Bradley Cooper (Rocket Racoon).

The film centers on an unlikely group of characters who must band together in order to defeat a cosmic force of "epic proportions," which includes big bad villain Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace) and his equally big bad enforcer, Nebula (Karen Gillan).

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy will rocket its way into theaters on Aug. 1.

Heroes HEROES REBORN
NBC shocked us all with the surprise announcement that former sci-fi hit Heroes would be coming back to life via a new miniseries. Now it sounds like we’ll also be getting a prequel.

The network is ramping up a whole slate of new digital content, and one of the flagship projects will be an online prequel series that will bridge the gap between the 2006-2010 Heroes series and the upcoming 13-episode Heroes Reborn miniseries.

The digital series will be produced by Heroes creator Tim Kring, and considering the network’s big push into digital, it should at least have a decent budget and (hopefully) provide some meaningful content that’s not just filler.

Considering that the plot of the 2015 miniseries is shrouded in mystery, there’s no telling what the plot of the digital series will actually be about. But if it’s connecting the original series to the new run, that opens up all kinds of options for returning stars and plot lines.

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
We already got the final trailer and two featurettes for X-Men: Days of Future Past this week and now 20th Century Fox has released more featurettes.

Opening in theaters on May 23, 2014, the film stars Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Halley Berry, Nicholas Hoult, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Peter Dinklage, Omar Sy, Daniel Cudmore, Fan Bingbing, Boo Boo Stewart, Adan Canto, Evan Peters, Josh Helman, Lucas Till and Evan Jonigkeit.

The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-Men: Days of Future Past. The beloved characters from the original “X-Men” film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from X-Men: First Class, in an epic battle that must change the past – to save our future.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2014

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
The final trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past has arrived, bringing a ton of new footage from Bryan Singer’s return to the franchise he helped launch.

More than any trailer before it, this latest cut finally sets the stage and offers a peek at some of the film’s bigger action set pieces — and it looks positively epic. This easily looks to be the biggest film in the X-Men series to date, and it might just be a return to form for Singer after stumbling a bit on his last few projects.

We get to see a whole lot of Wolverine as he tracks down all the disparate team members and brings good and bad guys together to save the future. We also learn how Quicksilver (Evan Peters) fits into the equation, and his introduction starts to make a bit more sense in context.

Singer’s direction seems to fit well with the First Class cast, and it’ll be fascinating to see him at the helm of both the original team and younger versions. If nothing else, this trailer looks fantastic, and we’re champing at the bit for more.

X-Men: Days of Future Past opens May 23.

Radiant Doors RADIANT DOORS
After dipping a toe into genre waters with the new supernatural drama Salem, WGN is prepping a full-fledged sci-fi series based on an award-winning short story.

The network, along with Gaumont Intl. Television, has placed a script order for Radiant Doors, a new series that would be based on Michael Swanwick’s short story of the same name. The short follows a camp filled with refugees who arrive through portals from a mysterious, dystopian future.

The Hugo Award-winning story is framed around a present-day woman named Virginia, who works in the camp and is given a future device that she attempts to hide from the corrupt bureaucrats above her, for fear she’ll help that evil future come to pass. It’s a compelling little tale, and could be a great jumping-off point for a series.

To their credit, WGN is eyeing some high-level talent behind the scenes, with Fast & Furious 6 director Justin Lin attached to direct, with the script being handled by Jeremy Doner (The Killing).

Gaumont Intl. Television CEO Katie O’Connell noted that the series came about after the team was “captivated” by the short story and its “transcendent themes.” This is a unique spin for a sci-fi series, and this is a project we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on.

Superior SUPERIOR
For Mark Millar, the movie deals just keep coming.

Ever since the adaptation of his comic Wanted hit the big screen in 2008, Millar's had a steady stream of comic book adaptations either produced or put in development, many of them in the care of producer/writer/director Matthew Vaughn, who adapted Millar and John Romita Jr.'s Kick-Ass in 2010, produced its 2013 sequel, and just produced, directed and co-wrote an adaptation of Millar and Dave Gibbons' The Secret Service, which is set to hit theaters in October. Now, Vaughn's bringing Superior, a seven-issue limited superhero series by Millar and Leinil Francis Yu, to the screen.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Twentieth Century Fox just picked up the Superior adaptation, with Vaughn serving as producer. The search for a writer is now underway. Superior, published between 2010 and 2012 under Marvel's creator-owned imprint, Icon, is the story of Simon Pooni, a formerly athletic 12-year-old boy who grows angry and bitter after losing the use of his legs to multiple sclerosis. As an escape, he turns to superhero stories, and when a strange alien monkey appears to him and grants him one wish, he asks to be transformed into his favorite superhero: A Superman analogue known as Superior. His wish is granted, but of course, there's a catch...if he wants to keep his powers, he has to sell his soul.

The project is the latest in a string of Millar-written comics in development at Fox. The studio's already got adaptations of Starlight, Nemesis and Kindergarten Heroes in the works, and Millar's also working as a consultant at the studio to help shepherd their upcoming slate of Fantastic Four and X-Men films. In a post on his Millarworld forum, Millar discussed the Superior deal, as well as his ongoing work at Fox.

"Millarworld's building quite a little home at Fox. Universal has the rights to three Millarworld properties and we have some interesting news in the next couple of weeks about another. But Fox now has a mighty five Millarworld books in various stages of development...," Millar said. "The kind of talent Fox attaches is impressive these days. From Jim Mangold to [Bryan] Singer to Josh Trank on the Marvel movies has been pretty amazing and I'm delighted with the kind of people they're attaching to the Millarworld books. They're genuinely nice people to work with and I'm more excited than anyone to see this all coming together."

So, if you're a big fan of Millar's work, the next few years could be a very fun time for you at the movies.

ROSEMARY'S BABY
On the fence about that new version of Rosemary's Baby? The first trailer has arrived to help you decide how you feel.

Genre queen Zoe Saldana (Star Trek, Avatar, Guardians of the Galaxy) will star as Rosemary Woodhouse in this update of the classic Ira Levin novel, which was made by director Roman Polanski into a 1968 film that is still considered a horror masterpiece.

Starring alongside her in the four-part NBC mini-series will be Patrick J. Adams (Suits) as her husband Guy Woodhouse and Jason Isaacs (the Harry Potter films) as Roman Castevet, head of the coven that chooses an unknowing Rosemary to bear the son of Satan.

Although the mini-series transplants the setting from Manhattan's Upper West Side to Paris, NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke recently said that the Agnieszka Holland-directed adaptation is "faithful to the spirit" of the book.

Polanski's film is one of those near-perfect page-to-screen transfers, so it will be interesting to see what this new version brings to the table. The first part premieres on Sunday, May 11. Take a look at the trailer and let us know what you think.

THE STRAIN
A new teaser video for "The Strain," the upcoming FX series based on the novels by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, is now online.

The series tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain spreads, Eph, his team, and an assembly of everyday New Yorkers, wage war for the fate of humanity itself.

Corey Stoll, Maestro, Sean Astin, Kevin Durand, Natalie Brown, Jonathan Hyde, Richard Sammel, Robert Maillet, Jack Kesy, Ben Hyland, and Miguel Gomez also star.

TUESDAY, APRIL 15, 2014

THE LEFTOVERS
A freaky new teaser for Damon Lindelof’s (Lost) new supernatural thriller The Leftovers has been released, and though it doesn’t feature a smoke monster, it still kind of freaks us out.

Based on Tom Perotta’s novel of the same name, the new HBO series focuses on a community of people left behind after an apparent Rapture-like event. Not surprisingly, when a percentage of the human population totally vanishes into thin air, the people still here go a little crazy.

This teaser shows off some nifty new footage, and by the time it ends, we get a feel for the terrifying insanity that is sure to come as this series digs into the meat of the story. Along with the high-concept premise, Lindelof has also assembled a stellar cast to make it happen.

Keep an eye out for Justin Theroux, Liv Tyler, Christopher Eccleston, Amy Brenneman, Michael Gaston and Ann Dowd when this new series debuts June 15.

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
Sunday night, the MTV Movie Awards premiered a new clip from X-Men: Days of Future Past. It features footage from the film's opening battle that shows the X-Men going head to head with a Sentinel. It's a nice mix of veterans like Kitty Pryde, Colossus and Iceman, with newbies such as Blink, Sunspot and Bishop.

Everyone's powers are on full display as they try to outrun and outwit the robot. Blink opens portals with ease while Bishop absorbs energy from Sunspot at a moment's notice. The most impressive feat is from Iceman, who's gotten much more comfortable with his powers since the last time we saw him.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is directed by Bryan Singer and co-stars James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Patrick Stewart, Michael Fassbender, Ian McKellen, Nicholas Hoult, Omar Sy, Peter Dinklage, Halle Berry, Adan Canto, Fan Bingbing, Anna Paquin, Evan Peters, Daniel Cudmore, Ellen Page and Booboo Stewart. The film opens in theaters May 23.

Expanse EXPANSE
Get ready to head into The Expanse. Along with a few other harder-edge sci-fi projects coming down the pike, it sounds like Syfy has picked up another ambitious space-set series.

The network has placed a 10-episode straight-to-series order for The Expanse, based on James S.A. Corey’s sci-fi book Leviathan Wakes, after having won the project in a bidding war. The book is said to have put a new spin on the space opera, and is being described around the industry as “Game of Thrones in space.”

The script is being developed by Academy Award-nominated duo Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby (Children of Men, Iron Man) with the Alcon Television Group. The log line calls The Expanse a thriller set 200 years in the future, following the case of a missing young woman who brings a hardened detective and a rogue ship’s captain together in a race across the solar system to expose the greatest conspiracy in human history.

In a statement via Entertainment Weekly, Syfy president Dave Howe noted that the new series fits into the network’s renewed strategy of developing high-concept sci-fi projects, with an eye toward space-set drama:

“The Expanse is epic in scale and scope and promises to be Syfy’s most ambitious series to date. Bringing this coveted book franchise to television with our partners at Alcon and the Sean Daniel Company is a giant win for Syfy, reinforcing our overall strategy to produce bold, provocative and compelling sci-fi fantasy stories. The Expanse joins a killer line-up of high-concept, high quality series, along with recently announced original projects Ascension, 12 Monkeys, the renewal of Helix, and the soon to premiere Dominion.”

MONDAY, APRIL 14, 2014

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2
"The Amazing Spider-Man 2" burst onto the 2014 MTV Movie Awards with an action-packed clip that showed Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) in all his heroic glory.

In the clip in question, Electro (Jamie Foxx) and Spidey face off in the middle of Times Square. Spider-Man tries to calm Electro down, but it doesn't work, and instead sets off an electric surge that damages one of Spider-Man's web shooters.

A cool paused sequence then commences where Spider-Man (in a very Sherlock Holmes way) analyzes the entire situation before successfully saving everyone in danger. But considering how many villains are jam-packed into that movie, that Electro is only one of many worries.

"The Amazing Spider-Man 2" premieres on May 2.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES
Something that you may have overlooked during the 2014 MTV Movie Awards was a brand new "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" commercial that aired during a break.

A lot of the 30 second clip was made up of footage from the theatrical trailer, but there were a couple surprises. The most interesting was the first look at Splinter, the rat who serves as sensei to the four brothers. There was also a shot of Megan Fox as April O'Neil, with Will Arnett's Vernon Fenwick at her side.

"Teenage Mustant Ninja Turtles" hits theaters Aug. 8.

HERCULES
Paramount Pictures has debuted the first TV spot for Hercules, starring Dwayne Johnson and hitting theaters on July 25.

Directed by Brett Ratner, the action adventure also stars Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Joseph Fiennes, Peter Mullan, John Hurt, Rebecca Ferguson, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Aksel Hennie, Reece Ritchie and Tobias Santelmann.

The film is based on the Radical Studios graphic novel "Hercules: The Thracian Wars." Everyone knows the legend of Hercules and his twelve labors. Our story begins after the labors, and after the legend…

Haunted by a sin from his past, Hercules has become a mercenary. Along with five faithful companions, he travels ancient Greece selling his services for gold and using his legendary reputation to intimidate enemies. But when the benevolent ruler of Thrace and his daughter seek Hercules' help to defeat a savage and terrifying warlord, Hercules finds that in order for good to triumph and justice to prevail... he must again become the hero he once was... he must embrace his own myth... he must be Hercules.

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
20th Century Fox debuted the opening battle from Bryan Singer's X-Men: Days of Future Past during the MTV Movie Awards.

Opening in theaters on May 23, the film stars Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, Jennifer Lawrence, Halley Berry, Nicholas Hoult, Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Peter Dinklage, Omar Sy, Daniel Cudmore, Fan Bingbing, Boo Boo Stewart, Adan Canto, Evan Peters, Josh Helman, Lucas Till and Evan Jonigkeit.

The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-Men: Days of Future Past. The beloved characters from the original "X-Men" film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from X-Men: First Class, in an epic battle that must change the past – to save our future.

EDGE OF TOMORROW
Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow have released the new TV spot for director Doug Liman's Edge of Tomorrow.

Opening in 3D, 2D and IMAX 3D theaters on June 6, the sci-fi thriller stars Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Jeremy Piven, Ciaran Hinds, Noah Taylor, Kick Gurry, Dragomir Mrsic, Charlotte Riley, Jonas Armstrong, Franz Drameh, Masayoshi Haneda and Tony Way. The movie is based on the acclaimed novel "All You Need is Kill" by Hiroshi Sakurazaka.

The action unfolds in a near future in which an alien race has hit the Earth in an unrelenting assault, unbeatable by any military unit in the world. Lt. Col. Bill Cage (Cruise) is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously dropped into what amounts to a suicide mission. Killed within minutes, Cage now finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop—forcing him to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again…and again.

But with each battle, Cage becomes able to engage the adversaries with increasing skill, alongside Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Blunt). And, as Cage and Rita take the fight to the aliens, each repeated encounter gets them one step closer to defeating the enemy.

SUNDAY, APRIL 13, 2014

James Cameron AVATAR
James Cameron offered an update on the production status of the sequels to Avatar on Saturday morning, noting that the scripts for the three planned films will be completed within six weeks.

"The second, third and fourth films all go into production simultaneously," the director wrote in a Reddit AMA. "They're essentially all in preproduction now, because we are designing creatures, settings, and characters that span all three films. And we should be finished with all three scripts within the next, I would say, six weeks."

The first sequel for the 2009 blockbuster sci-fi film is set to hit theaters in December 2016, with Josh Friedman, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver and Shane Salerno previously announced as collaborators with Cameron on the script.

"The biggest pressure I feel right now is cutting out things I love to get the film down to a length that is affordable," Cameron wrote on Saturday. "There hasn't been a problem finding new and wonderful things to include in the movie."

Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana and Stephen Lang, who portrayed the villainous Marine Colonel Quaritch, will reprise their roles in the sequel.

Cameron's Reddit AMA reply was in response to a query about whether Arnold Schwarzenegger would appear in the films. The director appeared to shoot down that rumor: "I don't see a role as the scripts are coming together that would be appropriate for him, so I would say probably not."

The director also reiterated that a planned adaptation of Battle Angel is "on hold" until after the three Avatar films were complete. Asked what he sees for the future of film, he noted that he'd like to see less emphasis on mere spectacle.

"In terms of storytelling, I'd like to see Hollywood embrace the caliber of writing in feature films that we're currently seeing in the series on television - more emphasis on character, and less on explosions and pyrotechnics," Cameron wrote. "And I'm talking the big tentpole movies, I think they're obnoxiously loud and fast."

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
Brazilian filmmaker Carlos Saldanha's new family film Rio 2 flew to the top of the Friday box office with $12 million from 3,938 theaters, enough to beat holdover Captain America: The Winter Soldier and putting the 3D animated film on course for a strong $45 million domestic debut.

The Fox Animation and Blue Sky sequel, returning Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway in the voice leads and earning an A CinemaScore across demos, opens exactly three years after the first movie took in $39 million on its first weekend domestically.

Rio 2 began rolling out in select foreign markets late last month, and has taken in north of $60 million to date. By this weekend, the $130 million film will have opened in most of the world, taking advantage of spring break holidays in the U.S. and much of Europe.

This time out, parrots Blu (Eisenberg) and Jewel (Hathaway) and their three offspring strike out on a trip to the Amazon rainforest with their owners, Linda (Leslie Mann) and Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro). The voice cast also sees the return of will.i.am, Jamie Foxx, George Lopez, Tracy Morgan, Jemaine Clement and Jake T. Austin. New voice cast members include Andy Garcia, Bruno Mars, Kristin Chenoweth and Rita Moreno.

Disney and Marvel's Captain America 2 is certainly no slouch. The sequel, earning $11.9 million on its second Friday, is expected to drop a respectable 57 percent in its second weekend to $42 million. By Sunday, the superhero movie should have surpassed the $370.6 million earned worldwide by Captain America: The First Avenger in its entire run.

Elsewhere, new supernatural thriller Oculus is beating Ivan Reitman's football drama Draft Day, starring Kevin Costner.

From Mike Flanagan, Oculus grossed $4.9 million Friday for a projected $12 million to $13 million weekend.

Relativity is releasing Oculus, costing just $5 million to make, in association with Jason Blum's Blumhouse, MICA Entertainment and WWE Studios. Teaming for the first time, Relativity and Blumhouse acquired U.S. rights to Oculus at the 2013 Toronto Film Festival for $2.5 million.

The supernatural horror title, earning a C CinemaScore, stars Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Rory Cochrane and Katee Sackhoff.

From Summit Entertainment, Draft Day grossed $3.6 million Friday for a soft $10.5 million weekend. The movie, receiving a B+ CinemaScore, stars Costner opposite Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary, Frank Langella, Sam Elliott and Sean Combs. Reitman's company, Montecito Pictures, produced the $25 million film with OddLot Entertainment.

Summit's Divergent rounded out the top five, grossing $2.4 million from 3,110 theaters. The YA film adaptation is expected to gross $7.3 million for the weekend, pushing its total domestic earnings to $125 million.

SATURDAY, APRIL 12, 2014

Divergent DIVERGENT
Like Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games before it, Veronica Roth's final Divergent novel will be split into two parts when it comes to the big screen.

Seems like there's a new movement over at Lionsgate to stretch book adaptations as far as they can go. They've done it with the Twilight saga (gag), they've done it with the Hunger Games' third book, Mockingjay, and now Allegiant is joining those ranks as well by getting two movies instead of one.

Color us surprised. The first Divergent film hasn't even broken $150 million worldwide, whereas Twilight, despite hideous reviews, brought in nearly $400 million. And the two combined can't touch the first Hunger Games film, which earned nearly $700 million.

But that's not stopping Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-Chairmen Rob Friedman and Patrick Wachsberger from taking the Divergent ball and running with it.

"Veronica Roth brings her captivating story to a masterful conclusion in Allegiant, a rich, action-packed book with material that is ideally suited to two strong and fulfilling movies. The storytelling arc and world of the characters lend themselves perfectly to two films, a storytelling strategy that has worked very well for us on the two Twilight Breaking Dawn films and about which we’re tremendously enthusiastic for the two upcoming Mockingjay films of The Hunger Games franchise."

However one may feel about Twilight, by the time Breaking Dawn rolled around, the corresponding films combined to earn more than $1.5 billion. And it would seem that Friedman and Wachsberger believe that Divergent can follow a similar path, growing its audience exponentially with each film.

Will it work? Will Shailene Woodley's take on the categorization-defying Tris Prior become the next Katniss Everdeen or Bella Swan? Certainly dystopian YA has become one of the most popular genres in Hollywood, but will that still be true on March 18, 2016, when Allegiant Part 1 bows, let alone Part 2, which won't be out until another year later?

Leviathan Wakes EXPANSE
Syfy is continuing to reinvent itself, handing out another straight-to-series order for a space odyssey based on the best-selling book series The Expanse.

The NBCUniversal-owned cable network has picked up 10 episodes of The Expanse, based on James S.A. Corey's book series that includes the well-known Leviathan Wakes.

The drama is described as a thriller set 200 years in the future and follows the case of a missing young woman who brings a hardened detective and a rogue ship's captain together in a race across the solar system to expose the greatest conspiracy in human history.

The series hails from Alcon Television Group, with Oscar-nominated screenwriters Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby (Children of Men, Iron Man) attached as writers and exec producers. Sean Daniel and Jason Brown of the Sean Daniel Co. developed the pitch with Fergus and Ostby and are also on board to exec produce. Alcon co-CEOs Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson will exec produce alongside company president Sharon Hall. Alcon's Ben Roberts will co-produce, while Ben Cook will produce. The series marks the first series order for Alcon Television Group, a division of Alcon Entertainment.

Expanse comes to Syfy as the cable network is looking to go back to its roots in the sci-fi/fantasy series it once ruled with Battlestar Galactica. The cable network in the past month alone has renewed Helix for a second season and ordered originals Z Nation, 12 Monkeys, Olympus, Dominion and six-episode space opera event series Ascension, to join a roster of originals that also includes Defiance, Haven, Lost Girl and Continuum.

"The Expanse is epic in scale and scope and promises to be Syfy's most ambitious series to date," Syfy president Dave Howe said. "Bringing this coveted book franchise to television with our partners at Alcon and the Sean Daniel Co. is a giant win for Syfy, reinforcing our overall strategy to produce bold, provocative and compelling sci-fi fantasy stories. The Expanse joins a killer lineup of high-concept, high-quality series, along with recently announced original projects Ascension, 12 Monkeys, the renewal of Helix, and the soon to premiere Dominion."

For its part, The Expanse is a three-book series that includes Leviathan Wakes, Caliban's War and Abaddon's Gate. The first book in the series was nominated in 2012 for the Hugo Award for best novel as well as the Locus Award for best sci-fi novel. Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin described Leviathan as a "kickass space opera." The best-selling book series is published in 17 countries, including China, France, Japan, Australia, Canada and Germany. Caliban's War also was nominated for the Locus Award. Alcon will retain worldwide distribution rights to the series and is currently out to cast and directors.

Fergus and Ostby are repped by CAA and Mark Gochman.

Gerard Butler GEOSTORM
Gerard Butler is attached to star in Geostorm, a sci-fi adventure feature written and to be directed by Dean Devlin.

Warner Bros. has picked up the project, which initially was being developed independently by David Ellison’s Skydance Productions. Skydance remains involved and is producing with Devlin’s Electric Entertainment.

The story sees Butler playing a stubborn but charming satellite designer who, when the world’s climate-controlling satellites malfunction, has to work together with his estranged brother to save the world from a man-made storm of epic proportions. A trip into space follows, while on Earth a plot to assassinate the president begins to unfold.

The material is in Devlin's wheelhouse. He co-wrote such destruction-laden pics as Independence Day and Godzilla. Geostorm would be Devlin's feature directorial debut, though he previously helmed episodes of TV's Leverage.

Ellison is producing with Skydance’s Dana Goldberg and Electric partners Marc Roskin and Rachel Olschan. Paul Schwake will exec produce.

Jon Berg is overseeing for the studio.

Butler is shooting Gods of Egypt for Summit and is due to star in Alcon’s remake of Point Break, which will film this spring and summer. Geostorm would begin production this fall. He is repped by CAA and Alan Siegel Entertainment.

24 Cast 24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY
It's a big day for 24. Fox's former flagship drama, revived for event series Live Another Day, is now just 24 days away from its May 5 return. And Fox is capitalizing on its favorite number by choosing today to unleash a new theatrical-style trailer, cast photo and coordinated marketing initiative.

The promos, now rolling out across broadcast, online, on-demand, radio and social networks, are aimed at raising awareness for the newest iteration of the series while shifting the focus to one of its favorite characters: Mary Lynn Rajskub's Chloe O'Brian.

"She really is such a key part of this show. We love Jack Bauer, and he's the mainstay, but Chloe has created such an important persona," says Fox executive vp marketing Laurel Bernard. "She's easily recognizable, and whenever we do research about the show, people call her out by name."

Chloe, like Kiefer Sutherland's Jack, is revisited in very different circumstances. The former CTU analyst is now an off-the-grid hacker, complete with a Girl With the Dragon Tattoo wardrobe, working for a WikiLeaks-esque website devoted to exposing government secrets. Fox launched Open Cell Friday morning, a repository for (fictional) paperwork that proves Bauer's innocence. (The new 24 picks up with Bauer on the lam in London, wanted for terrorism.) Promotional spots (like this one) of Rajskub in character and the event series' latest hashtag, #ChloeHack, are now running to point viewers to the website.

"All of our campaigns have pretty big social elements, but they don't have built-in fan bases already," adds Fox senior vp media and on-air planning Emily King. "This is giving us the freedom to not have to teach people who the characters are."

The Chloe hack is not limited to commercials and Twitter accounts. Fox is also getting disruptive and inserting 15-second spots into affiliate morning news programs. The intent is already rallying existing fans -- the 24 tease was among the most viral moments of the 2014 Super Bowl -- but its also intended to bring on new people.

"We're making sure that people know they can jump into this show without having to experience the history of it all," adds Bernard. "And having fewer episodes is going to really open it up a lot of new people."

FRIDAY, APRIL 11, 2014

Salem SALEM
Women didn't have much power in 17th century America, but females hold all of it in WGN America's witchy new show, "Salem."

Janet Montgomery plays Mary Sibley, a wealthy housewife in 1690s Salem, Mass. who has a lot more agency than her fellow townspeople realize: She's an ultra-powerful witch.

"It's liberating" to play a woman with so much power, Montgomery tells Zap2it on a March visit to the show's Louisiana set. "Women were so repressed in this period. They had no voices in society. There's some part of it where you feel like you're giving them a voice in some way."

Montgomery says there are a lot of elements she loves about the show, which fuses horror, supernatural and historical elements. "I love the time period, but I also love the fantastical nature of it and the feminine qualities of it," she says.

Adds costar Shane West, who plays Mary's long lost love John Alden, "I like a lot of the scares. It's fun to see what they're thinking of for each episode, to keep that part of the show going as well. The sets are fantastic."

"Salem" premieres Sunday, April 20 at 10 p.m./9 p.m. Central on WGN America.

Stephen Cree OUTLANDER
Exciting news, "Outlander" fans. Starz just announced that Steven Cree will be playing the role of Ian Murray in the upcoming show based on Diana Gabaldon's popular book series.

Ian is Jenny Murray's husband, which means in addition to being Jamie Fraser's best friend since childhood, he is also Jamie's brother-in-law. Ian lost part of his leg during a battle with the English, but that hasn't slowed him down. He welcomes Claire Randall into the family when she makes her way to Lallybroch.

Cree is originally from Glasgow, Scotland, where he got his start performing in theatrical productions all around the United Kingdom. The actor has appear on stage in "Cabaret," "Company" and "Macbeth," which was directed by Kenneth Branagh.

On screen, Cree can be seen in "300: Rise of an Empire" and "Maleficent," in addition to doing voice work in Pixar's "Brave." He'll also be on the small screen later this year in the second season of BBC1's "Atlantis"

"Outlander" premieres summer 2014 on Starz.

DELIVER US FROM EVIL
Horrific things inspired by actual events always carry an extra tinge of terror, and Deliver Us From Evil fits the bill with panicky perfection. Adapted from the 2001 cult novel Beware the Night, by real-life cop Ralph Sarchie, the film is rooted in diabolical doings spawned from an engrossing urban nightmare. Sarchie, a veteran of the NYPD's 46th Precinct in the South Bronx, chronicled these bad deeds based on his otherworldly police cases and occult investigations.

This latest trailer features Bana battling bloody ghouls, creepy crawling corpses and a terrifying children's toy rolling across the floor. Directed by Scott Derrickson (Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose), it stars Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez, Olivia Munn and Joel McHale.

Here's the official synopsis:

In DELIVER US FROM EVIL, New York police officer Ralph Sarchie (Eric Bana), struggling with his own personal issues, begins investigating a series of disturbing and inexplicable crimes. He joins forces with an unconventional priest (Edgar Ramirez), schooled in the rituals of exorcism, to combat the frightening and demonic possessions that are terrorizing their city. Based upon the book, which details Sarchie’s bone-chilling cases.

Screen Gems' and Sony Pictures' Deliver Us From Evil descends upon theaters on July 2, 2014.

Rebecca Romijn THE LIBRARIANS
TNT has greenlit a full season of the upcoming series The Librarians. It's a spinoff of the popular miniseries that starred Noah Wyle in the title role. This time around, Wyle will appear in a recurring capacity as a new group of actors take over. The network has announced that X-Men alum Rebecca Romijn has signed on to lead the cast, which will feature plenty of familiar faces.

The cast will include Christian Kane (TNT's Leverage, Angel), Lindy Booth (Dawn of the Dead, The Philanthropist) and John Kim (Neighbors, The Pacific) as a new set of librarians, with John Larroquette (Night Court, Deception) on board as their reluctant caretaker. Fans of the original trilogy will be pleased to know that Bob Newhart and Jane Curtin will be back to reprise their roles, but they'll also be on a recurring basis. Another great addition is Matt Frewer, who recently appeared on Falling Skies opposite Wyle.

"The Librarian movies have been a huge success for TNT, and we jumped at the opportunity to build a series around the incredible world Dean Devlin and his creative partners created," said Michael Wright, president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). "We're especially excited to have such an extraordinary cast behind The Librarians, and we're grateful to have them on board as part of TNT's continued expansion into the action-adventure genre."

The Librarians centers on an ancient organization hidden beneath the Metropolitan Public Library dedicated to protecting an unknowing world from the secret, magical reality hidden all around. This group solves impossible mysteries, fights supernatural threats and recovers powerful artifacts from around the world. Among the artifacts housed in the Library are the Ark of the Covenant, the Spear of Destiny, the Judas Chalice and Excalibur, to name a few. Only a person with special skills could be responsible for collecting and protecting these artifacts, and more importantly, for preventing them from falling into the wrong hands.

TNT has ordered 10 episodes of The Librarians, which will launch in late 2014.

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2
What do Jon Snow, Galadriel and Leonidas all have in common? They each appear in DreamWorks' How to Train Your Dragon 2 -- or, at least, their voices do. The studio has released a new trailer for the sequel that reveals an unexpected family reunion. It's been five years since Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) repaired the relationship between humans and dragons, but it looks like their happy ending is short-lived.

In How to Train Your Dragon 2, we'll see the rise of Drago Bludvist (Djimon Hounsou). He's a famous dragon hunter with plans to capture and train an army of fiery creatures. With the aid of his top trapper, Eret (Harington), Drago tries to take over the world. Unfortunately for him, Hiccup and his clan don't give in that easily. They'll join forces with a dragon lover and vigilante named Valka (Blanchett), who happens to be Hiccup's long-lost mother!

How to Train Your Dragon opens in theaters June 13.

DOLPHIN TALE 2
The trailer for Warner Bros. Pictures' Dolphin Tale 2 is here! Check it out in the player below, courtesy of iTunes Movie Trailers.

It has been several years since young Sawyer Nelson (Nathan Gamble) and the dedicated team at the Clearwater Marine Hospital, headed by Dr. Clay Haskett (Harry Connick, Jr.), rescued Winter. With the help of Dr. Cameron McCarthy (Morgan Freeman), who developed a unique prosthetic tail for the injured dolphin, they were able to save her life. Yet their fight is not over. Winter’s surrogate mother, the very elderly dolphin Panama, has passed away, leaving Winter without the only poolmate she has ever known. However, the loss of Panama may have even greater repercussions for Winter, who, according to USDA regulations, cannot be housed alone, as dolphins’ social behavior requires them to be paired with other dolphins. Time is running out to find a companion for her before the team at Clearwater loses their beloved Winter to another aquarium.

Dolphin Tale 2 hits theaters on September 19.

BATMAN
As part of the 75th anniversary celebration for the iconic character, Warner Bros. Animation has debuted the first of two animated shorts featuring Batman! This one, titled Batman: Strange Days, is directed by Bruce Timm ("Batman: The Animated Series") and features the Caped Crusader tracking down Hugo Strange in his lair.

The second short, planned to debut later this month at WonderCon, will offer another animated look at the Dark Knight, this one hailing from Darwyn Cooke ("Batman Beyond"), offering a new glimpse at the Batman of tomorrow.

THURSDAY, APRIL 10, 2014

RED DWARF
The long-running British sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf is reportedly coming back to life once again, so get ready for more weird space-set hijinks.

Series co-creator Doug Naylor is signed on to write the upcoming 11th season, which is scheduled to shoot in October. If the schedule holds, the series could debut in the fall of 2015. The news was announced at the recent Sci-Fi Scarborough convention during a Red Dwarf panel.

The series, which follows the wacky crew of a mining spaceship, originally debuted all the way back in 1988 and ran on the BBC for about a decade. Then, the series went on hiatus, until it was revived 10 years later by the UK network Dave for a miniseries run. That turned out to be a success, and they’ve kept the series around via limited runs ever since. The most recent season, Red Dwarf X, aired in 2012.

Red Dwarf is a legit sci-fi classic, and we’re glad to hear the Dwarfers will be sticking around for at least another season.

Maria Hill AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
Hot on the heels of the news that Nick Fury is heading back to Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. comes word that it’s Maria Hill's turn to make her eagerly awaited return.

TV Line reports that actress Cobie Smulders will be back as S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Maria Hill in the Tuesday, April 29, episode. Right in time for May sweeps!

Smulders made her first kickass appearance as Maria Hill on the big screen in The Avengers, and was back again in this weekend’s box-office smash hit Captain America: The Winter Soldier -- the end of which *MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD* also hinted at a new line of work for the badass agent.

Seems like Colonel Fury’s (Samuel L. Jackson) right-hand woman is to play a large role in the upcoming S.H.I.E.L.D. TV episode, and there will be a Coulson (Clark Gregg)/Hill teamup, with a whole lotta action peppered in.

The last time Cobie Smulders was in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was way back when in the pilot episode, so it'll be good to see her back with the team on the Bus.

As for Nick Fury, he’ll make his return in the May 13 season finale.

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
Jennifer Lawrence is back in blue, and thank goodness for that.

There were three people responsible for the casting of Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique in X-Men: First Class, and I'm just sort of wondering -- do they ever get together and high-five each other for a while for nabbing one of Hollywood's biggest stars before she was such a huge name? I would.

Meanwhile, in blink-and-you'll-miss-it news, Lawrence appears in this very, very, very brief clip promoting the 2014 MTV Movie Awards. MTV has snatched up an exclusive preview for Days of Future Past, which will air during their award show.

DEFIANCE
War is coming. The second season of Syfy’s hit series Defiance is just two months away, and now Syfy has finally dropped the first trailer.

The first season ended on a few epic cliffhangers, and it appears things are getting even crazier in year two. It looks like they’ll be digging into the Earth Republic storyline as Defiance becomes occupied territory for our gang of survivors.

Though it started off a little rocky, Defiance was firing on all cylinders by the time the finale rolled around, so we’re anxious to see what they’ll put together this season. One cool twist? A nice casting coup, with Terminator alum Linda Hamilton set to join the series in a guest role as Pilar McCawley, Rafe’s (Graham Greene) estranged wife.

The new season premieres June 19 on Syfy.

HERCULES
MGM and Paramount have debuted, via MTV, the first clip from Hercules, starring Dwayne Johnson.

Directed by Brett Ratner, the action adventure stars Dwayne Johnson, Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Joseph Fiennes, Peter Mullan, John Hurt, Rebecca Ferguson, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Aksel Hennie, Reece Ritchie and Tobias Santelmann.

The film is based on the Radical Studios graphic novel "Hercules: The Thracian Wars." Everyone knows the legend of Hercules and his twelve labors. Our story begins after the labors, and after the legend…

Haunted by a sin from his past, Hercules has become a mercenary. Along with five faithful companions, he travels ancient Greece selling his services for gold and using his legendary reputation to intimidate enemies. But when the benevolent ruler of Thrace and his daughter seek Hercules' help to defeat a savage and terrifying warlord, Hercules finds that in order for good to triumph and justice to prevail... he must again become the hero he once was... he must embrace his own myth... he must be Hercules.

Hercules hits theaters July 25.

Matt Damon THE MARTIAN
Matt Damon is eyeing the leading role in 20th Century Fox's The Martian. TheWrap has the news, also reporting that Drew Goddard, who was previously looking to direct, has left the project due to his commitments to both Netflix's upcoming "Daredevil" series and Sony Pictures' The Amazing Spider-Man spinoff, The Sinister Six.

The Martian is based on Andy Weir's 2012 e-book publication, which issued a print edition this past February. It is officially described as follows:

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Damon is no stranger to the genre. Among his recent credits are George Nolfi's The Adjustment Bureau and Neill Blomkamp's Elysium with Terry Gilliam's The Zero Theoreom and Christopher Nolan's Interstellar both hitting theaters this year.

Although Damon is not yet a lock, the plan is for Fox to now find a director with whom the star would like to collaborate in the hopes of pushing the film to a green light in the immediate future.

Simon Kinberg and Aditya Sood are attached to produce The Martian.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 9, 2014

THE 100
After the grisly murder of one of their own, the teens on the ground will struggle with how to punish whoever is responsible on "The 100." Unfortunately for Murphy, all the evidence seems to point to him as Wells' murderer, when viewers know that little Charlotte is the one to blame.

But once Murphy is seen as the murderer, the teens decide his punishment ... capital punishment. Are they no better than the adults on The Ark, "controlling" the population by execution? Will Murphy get "floated" on the ground? Will Charlotte get away with Well's murder?

Watch a sneak peek clip from Wednesday's (April 9) episode, "Murphy's Law," below. "The 100" airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
All hell is getting ready to break loose on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and a new trailer shows the potentially massive impact Captain America: Winter Soldier will have on the series.

Spoilers ahead for Captain America: The Winter Soldier!

As we learned this weekend in Marvel’s latest blockbuster, S.H.I.E.L.D. has been infiltrated by HYDRA for decades, and the agency was essentially dismantled by Cap and his team in their efforts to stop the HYDRA agents in the upper levels of the agency.

In a pretty ambitious move, the series is essentially taking place in real time around the film, and tonight’s episode, “Turn, Turn, Turn,” will pick up in the immediate aftermath of the movie. If they can pull it off, it’ll be one of the most effective film-to-TV crossovers in media history.

The cast and crew are selling the crossover as a series-busting event, and it sounds like all the big questions will be coming out into the open soon enough. From the Clairvoyant to Agent May’s secret phone calls, we want some answers. Here’s hoping they’re worth the wait.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesday nights on ABC.

Sinister 6 SINISTER 6
It looks like Sony's moving forward trying to make the most of its Spider-Man universe. The studio has announced a director for the Amazing Spider-Man spinoff Sinister Six. Late last year, they hired Cabin in the Woods director Drew Goddard to write the film's script, with the possibility of directing. According to The Hollywood Reporter, that possibility has turned into a definite reality.

Goddard will direct Sinister Six from his own screenplay. The story will be based on a group of Spider-Man's most notorious villains. In the comic, there have been various incarnations, which have included Doctor Octopus, Electro, Sandman, Mysterio, Vulture and Kraven the Hunter.

Sony also brought on Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Ed Solomon to write another spinoff based on Venom. That character previously appeared in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3, with reults that were ... well ... not so good. Kurtzman is also expected to direct the film. Meanwhile, he and Orci are working on the third installment of the Amazing Spider-Man series.

Goddard's spent most of his career writing and producing genre fare such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Cloverfield and Lost. In 2012, he directed The Cabin in the Woods, which he co-wrote with Joss Whedon. Goddard's also expected to write and executive-produce Marvel's Daredevil series for Netflix.

Game of Thrones GAME OF THRONES - RENEWED
HBO has renewed Game of Thrones for two additional seasons, taking the fantasy drama into its sixth cycle. News of the order comes two days after the record-breaking ratings for the fourth season premiere and weeks after renewing deals with co-creators and showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss

. "Game of Thrones is a phenomenon like no other," said HBO programming president Michael Lombardo. "David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, along with their talented collaborators, continue to surpass themselves, and we look forward to more of their dazzling storytelling."

Based on the A Song of Ice and Fire books by George R. R. Martin, Game of Thrones has grown over recent years to become the network's biggest series. The most recent season grossed an average weekly audience of 14.4 million viewers, and Sunday's return brought in 6.6 million viewers -- HBO's most watched telecast since the 2007 series finale of The Sopranos.

The pricey series, which counts Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke and Kit Harington among its sprawling cast of regulars, shoots across Europe with bases in Northern Ireland, Croatia and Iceland.

With the renewal, Game of Thrones becomes HBO's longest-running original scripted series currently on the air. It comes as no surprise given ratings and acclaim -- as well as the pay cable network's waning lineup of original scripted dramas. HBO this year will say farewell to True Blood following its seventh and final season, and Emmy darling Boardwalk Empire will also sign off after its upcoming fifth season.

Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom will return later this year for its third and final season as well. Anthology drama True Detective is also considered a lock to return but an official second-season renewal has not yet been announced. HBO this year will debut Damon Lindelof's adaptation of The Leftovers. Meanwhile, HBO has a rich comedy slate that also includes critical darling Silicon Valley, Girls, Getting On, Looking, Vice and upcoming half-hours The Brink, Ballers and Togetherness.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2
Sony Pictures has debuted another new TV spot for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. This one is dubbed "Everything Changes" and focuses on some of the key relationships in the life of Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker.

Opening in theaters on May 2, the Marc Webb-directed sequel stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx , Campbell Scott, Embeth Davidtz, Colm Feore, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field and B.J. Novak.

TRANSCENDENCE
However, in their attempt to destroy Will, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed—to be a participant in his own transcendence. For his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), both fellow researchers, the question is not if they can…but if they should.

Their worst fears are realized as Will's thirst for knowledge evolves into a seemingly omnipresent quest for power, to what end is unknown. The only thing that is becoming terrifyingly clear is there may be no way to stop him.

Transcendence, also starring Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, Cole Hauser and Cillian Murphy, opens in theaters and IMAX on April 18, 2014.

TUESDAY, APRIL 8, 2014

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
Thanks to the MTV Movie Awards Takeover, there's a new clip of "Guardians of the Galaxy" for you to feast your eyes on. The clip is an extended look at Star-Lord's (Chris Pratt) interaction with some sort of galactic force, while he's trying to steal something. It also gives a clear look at his Star-Lord costume, which is pretty cool.

"Guardians of the Galaxy" isn't in theaters until August 1, but already fans can tell this is unlike any movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's definitely funny, but there's also an element of adventure running through everything that's been shown. It's not your standard hero vs. villain story.

John Barrowman ARROW
It's been a while since John Barrowman's character of Malcolm Merlyn has been seen on "Arrow" Season 2. Briefly thought to be dead, Merlyn returned to harass Moira Queen in the first half of the season.

And then she got rid of him by threatening the League of Assassins.

Obviously, this could not possibly be the last audiences have seen of the villain. Now it looks like Barrowman ("Torchwood," "Doctor Who") might be back at the role before Season 2 ends, if a post to WhoSay is anything to go by.

The photo, posted on Thursday (April 3), is a close-up of Barrowman and Willa Holland, who plays Thea Queen -- the illegitimate daughter of Merlyn.

Bates Motel BATES MOTEL RENEWED
Get ready for more totally not creepy adventures of Norman and Norma Bates -- A&E has just renewed its "Psycho" sort-of prequel "Bates Motel" for a 10-episode Season 3, scheduled to start filming in fall 2014.

Says A&E general manager David McKillop in a press release, "The incredible writing team and talented 'Bates Motel' cast has made this series one of the most compelling original dramas on television. The brilliant twists and turns of the past two seasons keep its loyal fan base coming back for more. We are so proud of the show."

The network has not announced an airdate for Season 3. Season 2, starring Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga, airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on A&E.

HBO has released the first teaser for its new series "The Leftovers," and what it lacks in scenes from the show it makes up for in impact.

The 45-second promo plays almost like one of those viral videos half your Facebook friends are always sharing, with a narrator discussing just how many people 2 percent of the world's population is: Bigger than the population of the planet's 10 biggest cities combined, would stretch around the equator six times, things like that. It's about 140 million people, we're told.

Then, the "and what happened next changed everything" moment and the premise of the show: Those people all disappear, leaving everyone else to wonder what the heck happened and try to press on with their lives.

"The Leftovers" is based on Tom Perrotta's novel of the same title; he also co-wrote the script with "Lost" co-creator Damon Lindelof. The show is set three years after the Rapture-like event and follows the residents of a small New York suburb. The cast includes Justin Theroux, Amy Brenneman, Liv Tyler and Christopher Eccleston.

The series premieres June 15 on HBO, following the "Game of Thrones" season finale.

Z-Nation Z-NATION
The zombie genre just keeps getting bigger in the wake of Walking Dead, and now Syfy is developing its own undead drama: Z Nation.

The 13-episode series is being produced by Karl Schaefer (Eureka, The Dead Zone) and is set to debut this fall. It's being developed under B-movie production company The Asylum (Sharknado) and is described as an “action-horror series depicts the epic struggle to save humanity after a zombie apocalypse.”

Unlike The Walking Dead, Z Nation will pick up three years after a zombie virus decimates the country and follow a team of survivors tasked with transporting the only known survivor of the plague from New York to California, where the last functioning viral lab waits for his blood in hopes that a vaccine can be developed. But the survivor apparently hides a “dark secret” from the team of heroes.

It definitely sounds like it has a different flavor, and Schaefer promises it’ll add “a sense of hope to the horror of the apocalypse -- our everyday heroes take the fight to the zombies. It'll be an epic journey unlike anything you've seen before.” So, more hope than despair. If nothing else, that should at least distinguish Z Nation somewhat from the current crop.

In making the announcement, Syfy’s Senior Vice President of Programming Chris Regina noted that they hope to put a different spin on the zombie genre with this series:

“Z Nation is a unique new journey into the long established zombie genre. Instead of existential despair, the series offers hope that somehow, some way, humanity will not only survive, but triumph. In producing their first ever weekly series, our long-time partners The Asylum have created a different way of telling an iconic story.”

No word on exactly when the series will debut, or who will star, but it’s expected to show up this fall.

Mayhew-Chewbacca STAR WARS NEWS
The trio of new leads for Star Wars: Episode VII has yet to be revealed, but an actor from the original franchise is returning to reprise his role.

Peter Mayhew will play Chewbacca for Disney and Lucasfilm's upcoming sequel, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.

Mayhew played the legendary Wookiee and Han Solo's co-pilot in the original trilogy, beginning with Star Wars Episode IV - A New Hope in 1977. Rumors recently surfaced that he was reprising his role after he canceled an upcoming appearance at Texas convention Comicpalooza "due to filming." Since the convention takes place May 23-26, many fans wondered if that meant the actor would be busy with Episode VII.

Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn revealed on April 2 that the new Star Wars had already begun filming and most of the cast was set. "We have a lot of them [in place]," he said about the main actors, whose names have not been disclosed. "We're just not completely done yet."

Star Wars: Episode VII, to be directed by J.J. Abrams and slated to hit theaters Dec. 18, 2015, has been shrouded in a thick veil of secrecy, with dozens of names flying through the rumor mill for months now. THR reported that Adam Driver will be playing an undisclosed villain. Original stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher also are said to be reprising their roles.

In March, Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger said the new project would begin filming in May and will be set 30 years after the events in 1983's Return of the Jedi. "There will be some very familiar faces along with a trio of new young leads," he said during Disney's annual shareholder's meeting in Portland, Ore.

Mayhew, who also played Chewbacca in prequel film Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, has mainly spent his career playing the iconic character, but also appeared in the horror film Terror and did voice work in the British version of Dragon Ball GT: A Hero's Legacy.

Olympus OLYMPUS
Syfy, Reunion Pictures and Great Point Media today announced the new mythological drama series, "Olympus," which will take viewers into the action-packed world of humans, Gods and monsters. The 13-part series of one hour episodes will premiere on Syfy in 2015.

The team behind "Olympus" includes writer Nick Willing ("Tinman," "Alice," "Neverland") and legendary executive producer Robert Halmi Sr. ("Mr. and Mrs. Bridge," "The Odyssey," "Gulliver's Travels").

"Olympus" will tell the story of how a few brave men and women banished the Gods to the realm of the unconscious - a place they called the Underworld or the Kingdom of Hades. The series will follow the protagonist on his journey as he gradually transforms from a fresh-faced and raw young man through the dramatic experiences of betrayal, love, disappointment, empowerment and exile, until he emerges a ruthless leader of men, and a match for the Gods themselves.

The series is being produced by Reunion Pictures and Olympus TV (London) Limited in association with Great Point Media, and will begin production this summer in Vancouver and London, with the first episode written and directed by Willing. Executive Producers are Robert Halmi Sr. for The Halmi Company, Robert Halmi Jr. and Jim Reeve for Great Point Media and Matthew O'Connor and Lisa Richardson for Reunion Pictures. The series is being marketed and distributed by Content Media Group outside the US, Germany and Canada.

"'Olympus' is a fantastic blend of action, intense thrills, creatures and great story telling. It will feature characters from mythology in a way never before imagined," said Chris Regina, Senior Vice President, Programming, Syfy. "It's an excellent complement to our roster of programming and we can't wait to share the adventures of Hero with the Syfy audience."

"I'm thrilled that the team of Willing, O'Connor and Halmi are together on another exciting Syfy project. With the success of 'Tinman,' 'Neverland' and 'Alice,' we are confident that this will be another epic adventure for television," stated Halmi Sr.

MONDAY, APRIL 7, 2014

GODZILLA
"Godzilla" is coming, and its first casualty is Bryan Cranston's wife.
Warner Bros. and Legendary just dropped an extended trailer for the new reboot, and it's got everything: A devastated Cranston, a little kid witnessing the beginning of an unnatural disaster, panic in the streets, and a monster so big it can't even be shown in one frame. Seriously, Cranston says it best: "You have no idea what's coming!"
"Godzilla" crashes into theaters May 16.
TV Updates TV UPDATES AND NEWS
TV news and notes:
- Syfy is tackling Terry Gilliam's 1995 sci-fi film "12 Monkeys." The network has given a 12-episode series order to an adaptation of the movie after a pilot was ordered in 2013. The show will be written and co-executive produced by Terry Matalas and Travis Fickett. Aaron Stanford, Kirk Acevedo, Noah Bean and Amanda Schull star. "12 Monkeys" will premiere in January 2015.
- FOX is bringing back "Temptation Island" ... with a "Wife Swap" twist. The network is reportedly in talks for a pilot order of "Couples Retreat," a reality show aimed at helping struggling couples with a questionable method: "Each agree to go on a fantasy weekend with the opposite-gender partner of a similarly matched couple." No word yet on how splitting up couples for a fantasy weekend would actually help keep then together ... [Deadline]
- "Homeland" Season 4 is heading to new places, both in terms of its story and in terms of its location. Showtime announced filming on the new season will begin mid-June in Cape Town, South Africa. Filming will continue into November. A brief tease of the new season says that Season 4 will find Carrie Mathison "assigned to one of the most volatile and dangerous CIA stations in the Middle East where she is back on the front lines in the war on terror."
- AMC's "Turn" has a snazzy new theme song. Joy Williams from The Civil Wars and Matt Berninger of The National created the song "Hush" for "Turn's" opening credits, which you can watch below:
- ABC has tweaked its summer schedule a little bit, moving up the premiere of "Rookie Blue" from July 17 to June 19 and pushing back the new competition series "The Quest" from June 19 to July 31. The network will also premiere "Sing Your Face Off" -- a competition in which celebrities are made up and have to perform as different iconic singers each week -- on Saturday, May 31.
- Tom Hardy has joined the BBC miniseries "Taboo." The eight-episode series will be produced by Ridley Scott and written by Hardy's "Locke" writer/director Steven Knight. A synopsis reads: "Set in 1813, the story follows James Keziah Delaney (Hardy), a rogue adventurer who returns from Africa with 14 ill-gotten diamonds to seek vengeance after the death of his father. Refusing to sell the family business to the East India Company, he sets out to build his own trade and shipping empire and finds himself playing a dangerous game with two warring nations, Britain and America." "Taboo" will begin production in January 2015.

BOX OFFICE RESULTS
UPDATED: The superhero sequel debuts to a stunning $96.2 million in North America; "Noah" comes in a distant No. 2 as it crosses the $178 million mark worldwide.
Continuing Marvel and Disney's enviable winning streak, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is making history at the global box office, debuting to a record-breaking $96.2 million in North America for an early worldwide total of $303.3 million. In only 10 days overseas, the sequel has already taken in $207.1 million -- eclipsing the entire foreign run of Captain America: The First Avenger ($193.9 million). Domestically, Captain America 2, playing in 3,938 locations, scored the top April opening of all time. The film has a strong shot of surpassing the entire global gross of The First Avenger ($370.6 million) by the end of next weekend.
Universal's 2011 Fast Five was the previous record-holder for top April opening ($86.2 million).
Thanks to the strong launch of Captain America 2 -- which essentially kicks off the summer box office a month early -- revenue was up 22 percent year-over-year, while Disney crossed the $1 billion mark globally in terms of 2014 ticket sales (adding icing to the cake, Frozen surpassed The Dark Knight over the weekend to become the No. 9 top-grossing film of all time worldwide).
Captain America 2, directed by brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, nabbed an A CinemaScore across all demos, as well as stellar reviews from critics.
"This start is fantastic. Between the critical response and the CinemaScore, this gives us a lot of hope for how we will continue to play, considering the relative lack of competition and the benefit of three more weeks of spring break, both in the U.S. and overseas," said Disney distribution chief Dave Hollis.
Overseas, where it opened ahead of its North American launch, the $170 million tentpole took in $107.1 million for the weekend from 50 markets, including a $39.2 million opening in China.
The follow-up is certainly benefiting from the post-Avengers glow. Like the first Thor, The First Avenger launched to roughly $65 million domestically in July 2011. But the wild success of 2012's The Avengers has seen fortunes rise for the Iron Man and Thor franchises.
Returning Chris Evans in the title role, as well as Avengers stars Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson, Captain America 2 picks up two years after Avengers left off. Captain America and Black Widow (Johansson) discover there is a secret conspiracy within S.H.I.E.L.D. and fight to stop it, along with The Falcon, played by Anthony Mackie. (Some critics have described the film as an intriguing espionage tale, versus never-ending action.) The villainous Winter Soldier is played by Sebastian Stan.
Captain America 2 skewed male (64 percent), with 57 percent of ticket buyers over the age of 25. The movie drew a healthy number of couples (58 percent) and families (23 percent). Teenagers made up 19 percent of the audience.
Roughly 40 percent saw the sequel in 3D theaters, with IMAX and premium large format screens generating big returns in particular. IMAX theaters turned in $16.1 million globally, the best ever for an April opening and including $9.6 million in North America. PLF locations recorded a healthy $6.7 million in North America, led by Cinemark.
With Captain America 2 commanding such devotion, Darren Aronofsky's controversial biblical epic Noah fell 61 percent domestically in its second weekend. The event movie, placing No. 2, grossed $17 million from 3,751 locations for a domestic total of $72.3 million.
Overseas, Noah, from Paramount and New Regency, sailed past the $100 million mark internationally, taking in $45.6 million from 45 markets for a foreign total of $106.2 million and global cume of $178.5 million. The film also placed No. 2 globally. Coming in No. 3 in its third weekend in North America was Summit's Divergent with $13 million from 3,631 theaters, a 49 percent decline and pushing its domestic total to $114 million through Sunday. The YA film took in 11.1 million internationally from 44 markets for an early foreign total of $22.4 million and global cume of $136.4 million (Veronica Roth's books aren't as well known overseas).
Freestyle Releasing's Christian film God's Not Dead continues to pull in impressive numbers, posing competition for Noah for faith-based moviegoers. God's Not Dead, expanding into a total of 1,758 theaters in its third outing, placed No. 4 with $7.7 million for a domestic total of $32.5 million. The movie fell roughly 12 percent, although its not an apples-to-apples comparison, since it added so many theaters.
Wes Anderson's hit The Grand Budapest Hotel rounded out the top five as it expanded into a total of 1,263 theaters in its fifth weekend, grossing $6.3 million for a U.S. cume of $33.4 million. Internationally, Budapest Hotel took in $5.5 million from 35 markets for a foreign total of $54.3 million and pleasing global cume of $87.7 million.
There appears to be no saving Arnold Schwarzenegger's latest action offering, Sabotage, which grossed $1.9 million in its second weekend for a dismal domestically total of $8.8 million.
Among family films, Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow's The Lego Movie crossed the $250 million mark domestically and $400 million worldwide, ending Sunday with $410 million. DreamWorks Animation and Fox's Mr. Peabody & Sherman crossed $100 million in North America, earning an okay $239.6 million to date globally. Fox's Rio 2, opening early overseas, took in a stellar $22.2 million internationally from 12 markets, pushing its early foreign cume to $55.5 million (it flies into North America U.S. April 11).
Bombing at the U.S. specialty box office was Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac: Vol. 2, which debuted to $75,000 from 30 theaters for a negligible location average of $2,500. The sexual opus, already available on VOD, fared even worse than the first installment, which debuted last month in select theaters.
Among other new limited offerings, writer and director Richard Shepard's Dom Hemingway was soft, taking in $32,000 from four theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a location average of $8,000. Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Emilia Clarke and Demian Birchir star in the Fox Searchlight release.
The big winner was Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin, also starring Johansson. The film nabbed the top location average of the weekend ($35,000) as it opened in four theaters in New York and Los Angeles, grossing $140,000 for A24 Films. Making a more aggressive play was Lionsgate and Codeblack's Frankie & Alice, starring Halle Berry and based on the true story of African-American go-go dancer Frankie, who suffered from multiple personality disorder (one alter ego was a 7-year-old child, while another was a Southern white racist). Opening in 171 theaters, the drama grossed $350,000 for a location average of just $2,047. Berry stars opposite Stellan Skarsgard in the long-delayed film, which was originally set to open in 2011.
Here are the top 10 estimates for the weekend of April 4-6 at the domestic box office:
Title, Weeks in Release/Theater Count, Studio, Weekend Total, Percentage Drop, Cume
1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier, 1/3,938, Disney/Marvel, $96.2 million.
2. Noah, 2/3,751, Paramount/New Regency, $17 million, -61%, $72.3 million.
3. Divergent, 3/3,631, Lionsgate/Summit, $13 million, -49%, $114 million.
4. God's Not Dead, 3/1,758, Freestyle/Pure Flix $7.7 million, -12%, $32.5 million.
5. The Grand Budapest Hotel, 5/1,263, Fox Searchlight, $6.3 million, -26%, $33.4 million.
6. Muppets Most Wanted, 3/3,052, Disney, $6.28 million, -44%, $42.1 million.
7. Mr. Peabody & Sherman, 5/2,931, Fox/DreamWorks Animation, $5.3 million, -42%, $102.2 million.
8. Sabotage, 2/2,486, Open Road/QED International, $1.9 million, -64%, $8.8 million.
9. Need for Speed, 4/1,779, Disney/DreamWorks, $1.84 million, -57%, $40.8 million.
10. Non-Stop, 6/1,716, Universal, $1.83 million, -54%, $88.1 million.

STAR WARS NEWS
The new Star Wars -- episode 7 in the nine-picture franchise -- has already begun filming and most of the cast is now in place for the movie, Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn revealed April 2. “We have a lot of them [in place],” he said about the main actors, whose names have not been disclosed. “We’re just not completely done yet.”
Horn acknowledged there had been some problems getting the script right. “It’s all about the screenplay,” he said. “It has to be screenplay, screenplay, screenplay.” Asked if the screenplay was fully where it needed to be, he added: “It actually is now.” The script has been co-written by Lawrence Kasdan and J.J. Abrams, following an early draft by Michael Arndt.
The executive said the movie would be released in December 2015 and that the story would pick up “where 6 left off -- and where 6 left off is 35 years ago by the time this is released.”
Horn was interviewed by THR’s Stephen Galloway at Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television in Los Angeles, as part of the ongoing Hollywood Masters series. Others in the series have included Alfonso Cuaron, David O. Russell, Judd Apatow, John Singleton, Sherry Lansing and William Friedkin.
In a broad overview of his life and career -- which has included long stints as a co-owner of Castle Rock Entertainment and as president of Warner Bros., he described two of his greatest challenges: Overseeing the Harry Potter franchise and dealing with the unexpected death of The Dark Knight co-star Heath Ledger.
“I was at the studio, I think it was during the day,” he recalled about when he heard of Ledger’s death in January 2008. “It was a shock, just a shock. I got hold of his dad, Kim, from Australia. I was amazed at how stoic his family was. They came out for the Academy Awards and he won. We had a big dinner for them at the Bel-Air Hotel in a little private room there. They were so proud of him and externally they were really great. It was hard.” He continued: “Everybody was in the same place about Heath’s loss: The most important thing [was] to be sure that his family had their privacy, or whatever they wanted. Whatever it took, we did.”
Horn also addressed the increasing importance of foreign markets and their capacity to grow even more. “China is now the No. 2 market after the United States,” he said. “But just to give you some perspective, there’s 44,000 screens in the U.S. and Canada; in the U.K. there’s 4,000, Italy 4,000, Spain 4,000, France 4,800, Mexico 5,000. China has 18,000 now [for] 1.3 billion people -- 18,000 screens. We have one-quarter as many people and 44,000 screens. And they’re building 10 screens a day in China. It is a major new growth market.”
He added that international revenue was around $9.5 billion in 2004, $18 billion in 2008, and $24 billion in 2012, with “$28 billion projected for 2016. The growth is international, but they’re under-screened.”

SUNDAY, APRIL 6, 2014

GODZILLA
Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures have released an extended look at the anticipated Godzilla.
Opening in 3D, 2D and IMAX theaters on May 16, the Gareth Edwards-directed film stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn and Bryan Cranston. An epic rebirth to Toho's iconic Godzilla, this spectacular adventure pits the world's most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity's scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
UPDATED: The superhero sequel -- on course to score the top April opening of all time domestically -- will finish the weekend with $270 million or more in global ticket sales; "Noah" is a distant No. 2, declining 60 percent or more in its second weekend.
Winning over critics and moviegoers alike, Marvel and Disney's Captain America: The Winter Soldier grossed $37 million from 3,938 theaters on Friday, the biggest day ever for the month of April, not accounting for inflation. The superhero sequel is expected to earn $93 million-plus for the weekend, also an April best.
Overseas, where it opened ahead of its North American launch, the $170 million tentpole has already earned $132.2 million and should finish Sunday with a whopping global total of $270 million or more -- only $100 million behind the $370.6 million earned by Captain America: The First Avenger in its entire run. So far, Captain America 2 is pacing 40 percent ahead of the first film, which debuted in May 2011.
Universal's 2011 Fast Five was the previous record-holder for the best single day in April ($34.4 million). It likewise holds the record for top April opening ($86.2 million), a milestone Captain America 2 will eclipse.
Captain America 2, directed by brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, nabbed an A CinemaScore across all demos, as well as stellar reviews from critics.
The follow-up is also benefiting from the post-Avengers glow. Like the first Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger launched to roughly $65 million domestically in July 2011. But the wild success of 2012's The Avengers has seen fortunes rise for the Iron Man and Thor franchises.
Returning Chris Evans in the title role, as well as Avengers stars Scarlett Johansson and Samuel L. Jackson, Captain America 2 picks up two years after Avengers left off. Captain America and Black Widow (Johansson) discover there is a secret conspiracy within S.H.I.E.L.D. and fight to stop it, along with The Falcon, played by Anthony Mackie. (Some critics have described the film as an intriguing espionage tale, versus never-ending action.) The villainous Winter Soldier is played by Sebastian Stan.
With Captain America 2 commanding such devotion, Darren Aronofsky's controversial biblical epic Noah fell to No. 2 on its second Friday with $4.9 million from 3,571 locations. The Paramount and New Regency film is expected to decline 60 percent or more for the weekend. Paramount insiders note that's in line with recent Christian film Son of God, as well as with male-fueled event movies facing competition from a new tentpole.
Coming in No. 3 on its third Friday was Summit's Divergent with $4.2 million from 3,631 theaters. The YA film adaptation is expected to decline 47 percent to $13 million for the weekend, pushing its domestic total to $114 million through Sunday.
Independent Christian film God's Not Dead continues to pull in impressive numbers, posing competition for Noah for faith-based moviegoers. God's Not Dead, expanding into a total of 1,758 theaters on its third Friday, placed No. 4 with $2.2 million. The movie is projected to earn north of $8 million for the weekend for a domestic total of roughly $32 million.
Wes Anderson's box office hit The Grand Budapest Hotel placed No. 5 Friday with $1.5 million from 1,263 locations. The movie will finish the weekend with a dazzling domestic cume of $42 million.
Arnold Schwarzenegger's Sabotage continues to prove itself a box office bomb in its second outing. The action film is expected to come in No. 9 for the weekend with $1.9 million for a paltry total of $8.8 million.

SATURDAY APRIL 5, 2014

12 Monkeys 12 MONKEYS
The long journey through development for the TV series based on 12 Monkeys is over. So, did it make the cut for a series pickup?
A year after the show was first announced, Syfy revealed today (April 4) that it has placed a 13-episode order for the series, which will premiere in January 2015.
Aaron Stanford (Pyro in the X-Men movies) and Amanda Schull (Suits) will star in the series, which is an adaptation of Terry Gilliam's 1995 film that starred Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe and Brad Pitt. Noah Bean (Nikita) and Kirk Acevedo (Fringe) will co-star in the show.
In the movie -- which has quietly grown to be regarded as a modern sci-fi classic -- Willis played a mentally disturbed man sent back to our time from a post-apocalyptic future to prevent the outbreak of a plague that wipes out most of humanity and sends the survivors underground. The series will follow the same basic storyline.
Syfy president Dave Howe said, "12 Monkeys is a captivating time travel adventure and high stakes race against the clock. We are thrilled to add it to our slate of engaging and thought-provoking new scripted projects including the recently announced event series Ascension and the second season renewal of Helix from Ron Moore.”

12 Monkeys, which was first put into development in July 2013, is also the second movie-to-TV series coming down the pipeline from Syfy. Dominion, which is based on the 2010 horror/action thriller Legion, is on tap to premiere later this year.

Dreadstar DREADSTAR
Just when the Marvel and DC strangehold on epic superhero flicks may end any fresh surprises in adapting old titles, Benderspink and Illuminati Entertainment have joined forces to bring Jim Starlin's galactic adventurer Dreadstar to the silver screen. Starlin was an instrumental figure in the world of comic books in the '70s and '80s, doing time as a writer and artist on such iconic titles as Captain Marvel, Iron Man and Warlock. Some of his most notable contributions to comics were the co-creation of Thanos, Drax the Destroyer and Gamora, as well as Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu.
Starlin's Dreadstar was one of the first creator-controlled titles after heavy hitters like Neal Adams paved the way for a more equitable sharing of the wealth for those toiling in the ranks of the funny books. Debuting in Epic Illustrated magazine in 1980, it's filled with pulpy goodness of the Flash Gordon variety with human-cat hybrids, snow beasts, evil sorcerers and telepathic warriors, telling the rousing tales of Vanth Dreadstar, last survivor of the Milky Way Galaxy, torn between two evil empires, the Monarch and the Church of the Instrumentality.
He's aided in his spacefaring battles by a crazy crew of survivors: a wise mystic named Syzygy Darklock, a powerful telepath called Willow and a bizarre cat-man, Oedi. Sounds similar to Starlin's motley band of mercenaries in Guardians of the Galaxy, yet unhindered by the interconnected universe of Marvel.
Producer J.C. Spink of Benderspink calls Dreadstar his favorite science fiction story growing up, apart from Star Wars. Producing partner Ford Lytle Gilmore of Illuminati is equally smitten by the major score:
“Dreadstar is one of the most important comics on the 1980s, paving the way for creators to control their own creations,” said Gilmore. “After decades of Jim exercising that control and turning away countless Hollywood suitors, I'm excited he's trusting me and J.C. to do it right.

AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
ABC and Marvel (via Yahoo) have revealed the opening sequence to next week's episode of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." Featuring none other than Bill Paxton as Agent Garrett, you can check it out in the player below! Titled "Turn, Turn, Turn," the episode is described as follows:
"Coulson and his team find themselves without anyone they can trust, only to discover that they are trapped with a traitor in their midst."
Written by Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen and directed by Vincent Misiano, "Turn, Turn, Turn" is set to air April 8. "Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." airs Tuesdays at 8 P.M. on ABC.

TRANSCENDENCE
Warner Bros. Pictures has debuted the first TV spot for director Wally Pfister's Transcendence, starring Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, Cole Hauser and Cillian Murphy.
In the April 18 release, Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do whatever it takes to stop him.
However, in their attempt to destroy Will, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed—to be a participant in his own transcendence. For his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), both fellow researchers, the question is not if they can…but if they should.
Their worst fears are realized as Will's thirst for knowledge evolves into a seemingly omnipresent quest for power, to what end is unknown. The only thing that is becoming terrifyingly clear is there may be no way to stop him.

FRIDAY, APRIL 4, 2014

THE 100
After the shocking murder of one of their own, the teens down on Earth on "The 100" are on a hunt for a killer in their midst. But how do they find who killed Wells when they're all criminals, and the one responsible is an innocent-looking little girl?
Everyone is about to start throwing blame around, and with the mob mentality, one innocent teen faces an undeserved execution. Yeah, "The 100" is going there. Episode 4, "Murphy's Law," is the darkest yet for The CW's new series ... and that's saying something. "The 100" airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

Knoxville-Shalhoub TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES
The "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movie is adding a bit of star power with two roles that have been recast.
"Jackass" star Johnny Knoxville is joining the movie to voice Leonardo, the leader of the turtles. The voice was originally played by Pete Ploszek, the actor who also donned the motion capture suit for the role.
Likewise, Danny Woodburn has been replaced as Splinter by former "Monk" star Tony Shalhoub. Deadline broke the news with a report that the option to swap out voices of the turtles was always a possibility.
While the first trailer for the movie has been released, and in fact includes a shot of Leonardo, neither of the character's voices have been heard yet. In fact, the only turtle to speak so far is Michaelangelo. "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" is in theaters Aug. 8.

ROSEMARY'S BABY
NBC has released another short teaser for its "Rosemary's Baby" miniseries, this time with actual footage from the movie.
The 15-second promo is like the barest CliffNotes version of the story, showing Rosemary (Zoe Saldana) going from being elated at the news she's pregnant, to concerned to outright terrified. You'll also see "Suits" star Patrick J. Adams as her husband, Guy.
The miniseries based on Ira Levin's 1967 novel transplants the setting from New York to Paris. It also stars Jason Isaacs ("Awake," "Harry Potter") and Carole Bouquet as Rosemary and Guy's friendly/creepy neighbors, the Castavets, and Christina Cole as Rosemary's friend Julie.
"Rosemary's Baby" will likely air in late spring or summer on NBC.

Holly Hunter SUPERMAN/BATMAN MOVIE
The untitled Batman/Superman team-up movie has added a few more names to its cast, and one of them is an Oscar winner.
According to Deadline (via Slashfilm), Holly Hunter has joined Zack Snyder's Man of Steel sequel in an unspecified role. Hunter, who won a Best Actress Oscar for The Piano, has largely stayed away from genre fare prior to this. Apparently her character is original to this film and not taken from the DC Comics universe.
Also signing up for the big superhero bash are Callan Mulvey and Tao Okamoto. Mulvey was recently seen in 300: Rise of an Empire and will show up this weekend in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, while Okamoto played Logan's love interest in last summer's The Wolverine. Like Hunter, they are playing characters created just for this movie.
Of course, Hunter isn't the only Oscar winner in the cast: Ben Affleck (Bruce Wayne) has a couple on his shelf for co-writing Good Will Hunting and producing Argo, while Jeremy Irons (Alfred) has got a little gold man at home for Best Actor, which he won for Reversal of Fortune.
The rest of the cast includes Henry Cavill (Superman), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Jesse Eisenberg (Lex Luthor), Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Laurence Fishburne (Perry White) and Diane Lane (Martha Kent), and I imagine we might hear of a few more actors coming on board as Batman/Superman begins its long march to May 6, 2016.

TRUE BLOOD
HBO has started the countdown for the last season of True Blood. Thursday, they released the first promo for season seven, which takes us on a trip down memory lane. Instead of the good times, we're reminded of all the dead bodies the show has left in its wake.
The promo is set in Bon Temps' graveyard, which is filled with fallen friends, our favorite being Jesus Velasquez, who was played by Kevin Alejandro. His death was bittersweet, but we knew we hadn't seen the last of the actor; those of you who watch Arrow see him every week in Starling City.
True Blood begins its ten-episode, seventh and final season Sunday, June 22 at 9:00 p.m. Mixing romance, suspense, mystery and humor, the series takes place in a world where vampires and humans co-exist, after vampires have come out of the coffin, thanks to the invention of mass-produced synthetic blood that means they no longer need humans as a nutritional source. The series follows waitress and part-faerie Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), who can hear people’s thoughts, vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) and vampire Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgård). Alan Ball created the show, which is based on the bestselling Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris.

Judy Greer JURASSIC WORLD
Judy Greer is planning a trip to Jurassic World! The Wrap reports that the "Archer" star will join Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins, Jake Johnson, Nick Robinson, Irrfan Khan, Vincent D'Onofrio, BD Wong and Omar Sy for the Colin Trevorrow film.
Steven Spielberg returns to the franchise as producer with Trevorrow directing and also co-writing with Derek Connolly. Frank Marshall and Pat Crowley are also attached to produce.
Greer is no stranger to big screen science fiction and Jurassic World marks her third major genre blockbuster on the horizon. She'll appear as an ape named Cornelia in this summer's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and is set to appear in Brad Bird's Tomorrowland, hitting the big screen May 22, 2015.
Jurassic World is scheduled to be released on June 12, 2015.

24
FOX has released a new promo for "24: Live Another Day."
Premiering on May 5, the suspenseful event series once again will follow the exploits of heroic agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), as he attempts to thwart an unthinkable terrorist attack that could change the world forever. Retaining the real-time, nail-biting, fast-paced format with split screens and interweaving storylines, the series also stars Mary Lynn Rajskub, Kim Raver and William Devane reprising their original roles. Newcomers to the drama series include Yvonne Strahovski, Giles Matthey, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Michael Wincott and Judy Davis.

THURSDAY, APRIL 3, 2014

GODZILLA
Gobs of Godzilla promos are starting to come in hot and heavy in anticipation of the film's imminent arrival on May 16, 2014. This short but sweet 30-second teaser has some new footage, including the shocking silhouette of Godzilla looming through the smoke and glow of Chinese lanterns, more tsunami turmoil and a colossal lizard foot crushing the concrete.

DOCTOR WHO
It's possible Doctor Who has overused the formerly terrifying Weeping Angels. But don't worry -- this short video will fix all that. Don't blink!
Personally, I would be satisfied if we didn't see the Weeping Angels on Doctor Who for a while. Each time they've turned up, they have been less effective. Blink? Great. Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone? Solid. The Angels Take Manhattan? Eh. Time of the Doctor? Are you kidding? They were sorted in five seconds!
That being said, this stunning, first-person fanvid, Stone, could make me change my mind. It's simple, it's effective, and it made me think that the Weeping Angels would be perfect for a survival horror game.

Splinter Cell SPLINTER CELL
Following the news that the long-awaited Splinter Cell flick was on the verge of nabbing itself a director, now comes word that an Oscar nominee has been tapped as the brand-new writer for the film.
According to Deadline, Sheldon Turner (Up in the Air, X-Men: First Class), who is no stranger to blockbusters, has been hired by New Regency and Ubisoft to pen a brand-new draft for the perpetually-stuck-in-development-hell Splinter Cell flick (it was first announced about nine years ago). Lest we get too excited, it's worth noting that the previous draft was penned by someone who also has an Academy Award pedigree -- Eric Warren Singer (American Hustle, The International).
The Splinter Cell film is an adaptation of the late Tom Clancy’s super-successful videogame franchise, which debuted in 2002 to huge success and massive acclaim; with Splinter Cell: Black List the latest entry in the franchise (it was released back on Aug. 20, 2013).
Actor Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises, Mad Max Fury Road), who has long been attached to the franchise, is said to have brought in Doug Liman to step into the director’s chair.


Dominion: Official Teaser Trailer by dreadcentral DOMINION
The 2010 film Legion is coming to the small screen this summer, and a new teaser trailer for Syfy’s adaptation has arrived, showing off the first supernatural war-filled footage.
Dubbed Dominion, the series is based on the characters introduced in Legion, and it will follow the angel wars and politics among those left behind. The series is set 25 years after the start of an apocalyptic war between angels and mankind, and focuses on survivors holding on in the remnants of Las Vegas. But all that could change as one soldier takes on a mission that could alter everything.
Dominion stars Christopher Egan (Kings), Tom Wisdom (300), Roxanne McKee (Game of Thrones), Alan Dale (Lost), Anthony Stewart Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and Luke Allen-Gale (The Borgias).
The series is set to premiere this June.

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
A new clip from Amazing Spider-Man 2 has arrived, showing a face-to-face meeting between Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) and Electro (Jamie Foxx). Looks like somebody is making a deal.
The footage shows Harry unlocking Electro out of what appears to be Oscorp’s cold storage unit, and not surprisingly, the big blue guy is none too happy about essentially being tossed in an Oscorp closet and forgotten. Lucky for him, Harry comes to rally the duo around a common enemy.
We still have a while to wait until this one opens May 2, but the more we see, the more intrigued we are at director Marc Webb’s approach to Harry Osborn. DeHaan was an odd choice, but the guy was fantastic in Chronicle, so we have faith he’ll at least do something cool with the role.

Scream SCREAM
What have we known about the "Scream" television series to date? Well, Wes Craven has been circling the director's chair for the forthcoming MTV production. He's been rumored to be involved since last year. Jay Beattie and Dan Dworkin were brought in to script the pilot, however, according to TVLine, Jill Blotevogel (Harper's Island, Eureka) is apparently the writer responsible now.
The outlet adds the proposed series "kicks off with a YouTube video going viral, which will have adverse repercussions for teenager Audrey and seemingly serve as the “catalyst for a murder that opens up a window to [her] town’s troubled past."
They've added some character breakdowns as well!
- Harper Duval: A 16-year-old beauty “who’s a little too introverted and intellectual to be a social butterfly” but has nevertheless been annointed by the popular crowd to be one of their own. “She feels guilty that she has drifted away from former best friend Audrey,” but at least she’s got a Gilmore Girls-esque relationship with mom Maggie to keep her sane.
- Audrey Jesen: Haper’s former BFF is described as “the bi-curious daughter of a Lutheran pastor” who’s “more arresting-looking than pretty.” This “artsy loner” dreams of being a filmmaker and shares a close bond with tech genius Noah.
- Noah Foster: Audrey’s closest confidante is “creative, brilliant and tech-savvy enough to be the next Steve Jobs.” Lucky for him, he’s got a great sense of humor (“a la John Cusack in his teen prime”) that helps him navigate the halls of his high school. What’s more, Noah possesses “an encyclopedic knowledge of books, films, TV, apps, etc.”
- Margaret “Maggie” Duval: Harper’s mom, in her early to mid-40s, is the town’s medical examiner, “a grown-up science geek who plays down her beauty.” Maggie spends a lot of her time trying to make up for the fact that Harper’s dad abandoned them. Oh, and she’s harboring “a dark secret from her past.”

Pat Tallman WONDERCON SCHEDULE FROM WARNER BROS.
Warner Bros. Television today revealed their WonderCon plans for later this month in Anaheim, starting with exclusive screenings — on the big screen — of upcoming episodes of the new series "The 100" (Wednesdays 9/8c The CW), along with Warner Bros. Animation’s "Teen Titans Go!" (Wednesdays 6:30/5:30c Cartoon Network) on Friday, April 18. They've also set panels and Q&As with the cast and producers of both "Teen Titans Go!" and "Revolution" (Wednesdays 8/7c NBC) on April 18. On Saturday, April 19, the cast and producers of "The 100" will then take the stage for a special video presentation and Q&A with fans.
Warner Bros. Television's full schedule is listed as follows:
FRIDAY, APRIL 18
"Teen Titans Go!" Screening and Q&A
Room 300AB 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
The Titans are going back to WonderCon! Join producers Michael Jelenic ("Batman: The Brave and the Bold") and Aaron Horvath ("MAD") and members of the voice cast as they take the stage for a lively conversation and Q&A about your favorite teenage superheroes. And, of course, they won’t be coming empty-handed as they will be bringing an all-new episode to screen exclusively for WonderCon.

Special Sneak Peek Screenings
Arena 2:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
WonderCon and Warner Bros. Television proudly offer exclusive sneak peek screenings of two upcoming episodes of "The 100", plus an advance episode screening of "Teen Titans Go!"

Be the first to see the next two all-new action packed episodes of "The 100," beginning with episode six, “His Sister’s Keeper” (scheduled to air 4/23) and followed by episode seven, “Contents Under Pressure” (scheduled to air 4/30).

Revolution Special Video Presentation and Q&A
Arena 5:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.
Returning to WonderCon once more, the "Revolution" panel session, featuring stars Elizabeth Mitchell ("Lost"), Stephen Collins ("Falling Skies"), executive producer Rockne S. O’Bannon ("Cult," "Farscape") and additional names to be announced, will power up the Con with discussions on everything from nanotech head-trips to Patriot power plays to the possible re-establishment of the Monroe Republic. Join the “revolutionary” stars and creative team as they reveal exclusive information about the remaining episodes of season two.

SATURDAY, APRIL 19
The 100 Special Video Presentation and Q&A
Room 300AB 12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m.
Join the cast and producers for a lively discussion of the series, and what we can expect from the rest of the action-packed first season as The 100 lands at WonderCon for the first time. Set a hundred years after our world was decimated by a nuclear Armageddon, the series follows the surviving population on the Ark space station as they take the first step to recolonize the Earth – sending 100 juvenile delinquents to the planet’s surface to see if Earth is once again inhabitable.

The cast and producers of each series will be signing autographs and tickets will be distributed at the WonderCon Booth #585 on the morning of each panel.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 2, 2014

ARROW
The trailer for the upcoming "Arrow" Season 2 episode, "Deathstroke," is pretty impressive, what with a kidnapped Thea, lots of Slade Wilson and Oliver shooting his nemesis. Amazingly, there is a way to make it still better: LEGO.
A YouTube user named RADVisuals has taken the audio from the official trailer for The CW's show and substituted live-action for animated LEGO figures. It totally works, with all the scenes from the promo video translated into plastic. LEGO Oliver even gets to shoot Slade with an arrow in this version!
If you like the classics, you can watch the original promo below. Or you can just wait for "Deathstroke" to air Wednesday (April 2) at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

Toby Kebbell THE FANTASTIC FOUR
It looks like Josh Trank's new take on Marvel's First Family has finally found its big bad villain!
Variety reports that actor Toby Kebbell (Prince of Persia, Wrath of the Titans) has been tapped to don the mask and cape of Victor von Doom, aka Doctor Doom, the arch-nemesis of the Fantastic Four.
Apparently, the role had been chased by several up-and-coming actors, including Jack Huston and Domhnall Gleeson, before Fox decided to offer the role to Kebbell, who’ll soon be seen aping around in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes this July.
If Kebbell signs on the dotted line, he’ll be joining Miles Teller as Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic, Kate Mara as Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman, Michael B. Jordan as Johnny Storm/The Human Torch and Jamie Bell as Ben Grimm/The Thing.
Helmed by Chronicle director Josh Trank, The Fantastic Four will hit theaters on June 19, 2015. It certainly seems that the director is going for relatively lesser-known faces to fill out his cast, and with fan reaction decidedly mixed up to this point, it'll be interesting to see how it all plays out.
EXTANT
Watch out, Sandra Bullock, because another acclaimed leading lady is heading into space soon.
We finally have our first peek at footage from Halle Berry’s new sci-fi series Extant, coming to CBS this summer. The high-concept, 13-episode project is being produced by Steven Spielberg and is set to focus on an astronaut (Berry) who returns to Earth, though something she experienced in space “will change the course of human history.”
Judging by this new mini-trailer, it seems Berry’s character “doesn’t come back alone,” which makes us think she might come back with some type of alien baby that could alter the fate of the planet.

Riddler-Smith GOTHAM
FOX's upcoming Batman-inspired series "Gotham" has found its Riddler! EW reports that Cory Michael Smith (who stars opposite Kristen Stewart in the upcoming drama Camp X-Ray) is set to play Edward Nygma with the character planned to debut in the pilot episode.
"Gotham" is an origin story of the great DC Comics super villains and vigilantes, revealing an entirely new chapter that has never been told. From executive producer/writer Bruno Heller (“The Mentalist,” “Rome”), "Gotham" follows one cop's rise through a dangerously corrupt city teetering on the edge of evil and chronicles the birth of one of the most popular super heroes of our time.
"Gotham" is based upon characters published by DC Comics and is produced by Warner Bros. Television. Heller wrote the pilot, which will be directed and executive-produced by Emmy Award nominee Danny Cannon (the “CSI” series, “Nikita”).

JINN
Hitting theaters in a limited release this Friday, Jinn has brought online a clip.
The film, written and directed by Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad, was produced by Ahmad and Benjamin Dresser, and stars Ray Park, Faran Tahir, William Atherton, Serinda Swan and Dominic Rains.
The story of Jinn involves ancient mythological creatures who have never been seen in U.S. cinemas before. The premise of the jinn concept, known to over 1 billion people around the world, involves supernatural entities and revolves around creation mythology: In the beginning, three were created; man made of clay; angels made of light; and a third…made of fire. They are powerful due to their existence in a parallel world, and also because they have free will and can be both good and evil.

TUESDAY, APRIL 1, 2014

Mackey AMERICAN HORROW STORY
FX’s freaky horror series American Horror Story has thrived with its anthology format, which makes it a lot easier to open up your casting options with shorter commitment times. For year four, the series has signed one of the network’s original stars. Good news, FX fans, the bada** is back.
Michael Chiklis, who starred in FX’s award-winning cop drama The Shield, has booked a starring role in American Horror Story: Carnival. He also played the Thing in the Fantastic Four film and its sequel, but we choose to forget that. He’ll reportedly play the ex-husband to Kathy Bates’ character and father to Evan Peters’ character in AHS.
This new season will be set in 1950s Florida and follow one of the last remaining carnival freak shows in the country. As if this series weren't blood-curdling enough already, we can’t even imagine what they’ll do with this setup. Eek.
Chiklis should be a great addition, and the guy has more than proven he can definitely play dark when needed. He’ll join Bates, Peters, Angela Bassett, Frances Conroy and Sarah Paulson. Former stars Denis O’Hare, Emma Roberts, Gabourey Sidibe and Jamie Brewer are also in talks to return for Carnival.

Original Sin ORIGINAL SIN
Marvel's gearing up for its biggest comic-book event of 2014, and we've got an early look at the kickoff issue.
A few months ago Marvel announced their next major event book: Original Sin, from writer Jason Aaron (Wolverine and the X-Men, Thor: God of Thunder) and artist Mike Deodato (New Avengers, Secret Avengers). The event, launching its first issue in May, will feature the original Nick Fury gathering a team of heroes -- including Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Doctor Strange and more -- to solve the mystery of who killed Uatu the Watcher, and keep all the secrets the Watcher knew hidden.
It's an ambitious superhero murder-mystery idea, to be sure, but what if you're not entirely clear on why the Watcher matters? What if you just haven't been keeping up with what he's been up to lately? Or what if you just want a refesher course in all things Uatu? For that, you can turn to Original Sin #0 from writer Mark Waid (Daredevil, Indestructible Hulk) and artist Jim Cheung (X-Force, Avengers: The Children's Crusade). This kickoff issue will follow Nova, who just had another encounter with the enigmatic Watcher, as he wonders just what the mysterious figure who's been a part of the Marvel Universe for decades is all about.
“If you know nothing about Uatu, or you’re not up on what his deal is right now, the story in Original Sin #0 will give you all of the information you need,” Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort said. “[Presented] in the context of an emotionally affecting story featuring the Watcher and Nova – and leave you ready for him to turn up as a cold, dead corpse in Original Sin #1 and understand why that is so very unsettling and dangerous a situation.”
According to Marvel, Nova will discover a "startling secret" in the issue that will both seriously affect him and set up the events of Original Sin. So if you want a prologue to Marvel's next major event, or if you just need a Watcher refresher course, pick up Original Sin #0 in comics shops April 23.

Walking Dead-Andrew THE WALKING DEAD NEWS - SPOILER ALERT
Fresh off its bloody and deadly season finale, AMC's The Walking Dead has promoted three for its fifth run.
Alanna Masterson (Tara), Christian Serratos (Rosita) and new arrival Andrew J. West (Gareth) have been upped to series regulars for season five of the zombie drama, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Masterson made her debut on the drama from showrunner Scott M. Gimple in November, playing Tara, one of the women The Governor (David Morrissey) encounters after the fall of Woodbury. She has become loyal to Glenn (Steven Yeun) after she lost her family and watched as The Governor executed Hershel (Scott Wilson). (The show's Tara is not to be confused with the comics character of the same name.)
Serratos, meanwhile, plays Rosita, an iconic character from the comics created by series executive producer Robert Kirkman. She made her debut in the second half of season four in November as a member of Abraham's (series regular Michael Cudlitz) Army supporting his mission to bring Eugene (series regular Josh McDermitt) to Washington, D.C. She signed on to Walking Dead in September with a recurring role and option to be a regular in season five.
For his part, West made his debut during Sunday's season-four finale as Gareth, the head of the group living at Terminus -- the so-called "sanctuary for all" -- who may or may not be overseeing a group of cannibals. THR exclusively reported that the Greek alum signed on to the series in November with an option to be a regular in season five and that the character would have a big presence and play an important character on the series. (And he certainly did: Gareth currently has nearly everyone trapped at Terminus in one of the show's most dramatic cliffhangers yet.)
"Seeing Gareth and Rick and the people of Terminus and our survivors go head-to-head is going to be interesting," exec producer/comics creator Robert Kirkman told THR. "There is a very deep, dark and storied history to Terminus and how these people came to be that will be revealed in season five."
Masterson is repped by LB Talent Agency, Masterson Management and Abrams Artists. Serratos (Twilight) is with Global Artists Agency, Thruline and Stone Meyer. West is with ICM Partners and John Pierce at The Group.
Their promotions comes nearly a year after The Walking Dead promoted Chad L. Coleman (Tyreese), Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha) and Emily Kinney (Beth) to regulars for season four. This season, the series also added Cudlitz and McDermitt as well as Lawrence Gilliard Jr. (Bob) as regulars.

Pink Panther THE PINK PANTHER
MGM is hoping to introduce The Pink Panther to a whole new generation of moviegoers with a live-action/animation hybrid feature that will focus not on the classic character of inspector Jacques Clouseau but rather on the animated pink feline that appeared in the original movies’ opening credits.
David Silverman, the veteran director and producer of The Simpsons who also directed The Simpsons Movie, is attached to helm the project, and is using his Simpsons connections to help with the project: Michael Price, who writes and co-exec produces the show, is in negotiations to write the script.
Walter Mirisch, executive producer of the original Pink Panther films and television series, will serve as the producer of the new film, along with Julie Andrews, the iconic actress who is the widow of Blake Edwards, the man who directed the classic movies.
The Pink Panther was the name of the first of a series of movies from the 1960s and 1970s that featured the misadventures of the buffoonish French detective Clouseau, brought to life by the iconic Peter Sellers, who played the part in most of the movies until his death in 1980.
Apart from Sellers’ brilliance, the movies were also known for Henry Mancini’s jazzy musical stylings over the opening credits, which featured a cartoon panther of a pink shade. The panther never figured into the movies – the title of the first movie, released in 1963, referred to a jewel that thieves were after – but he unintentionally proved to be so popular he was spun off into his own theatrical animated shorts, made by Friz Freleng and David DePatie, one of which won an Oscar. A Saturday morning TV series followed, as did comic books, TV specials, and other entrees into popular culture.
The movies faded in the 1980s, and MGM tried to resuscitate the franchise first in 1993 with Roberto Benigni and, more recently, with Steve Martin, who starred in two movies, one in 2006 and one in 2009.
The latter two were in the traditional mode but Silverman, Mirisch and co. realized that there was only one Sellers and that a different spin was needed -- thus, the CG/live-action hybrid that would focus on the feline, not the detective. "For the first time, the live action franchise will be united with the world-famous cartoon character in a new hybrid feature film," said Mirisch.
Pink Panther still has plenty of currency in today’s world. Witness: A German team had a Pink Panther skating program at the Sochi Olympics while Lady Gaga sported a Pink Panther outfit earlier in March.
The new story will be an international jewel heist caper movie. The Panther will not speak (as in the early shorts) and Clouseau will not appear at all (he does, however, exist in the movie’s mythology). Yes, the Mancini score will be used. By bringing in Silverman and co., the hope is to make a family movie that will be irreverent, hip in energy, and sophisticated.
“I am delighted that the legacy of Blake’s iconic Pink Panther franchise will continue to grow in its new hybrid form. It is exciting that the quintessential ‘next step’ for our beloved Panther will be enjoyed by a fourth generation of audiences. I feel that Blake is encouraging us on,” said Andrews in a statement.
MGM’s senior vp production Cassidy Lange will oversee the film for the studio.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLIDER
Marvel Studios has brought online a new trailer for the official Captain America: The Winter Soldier tie-in game, available now on both iOS and Android. What's more, a new TV spot for the April 4 release is also available!
Continuing "Phase Two" of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America: The Winter Soldier stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Redford, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Georges St-Pierre, Hayley Atwell, Toby Jones, Emily VanCamp and Maximiliano Hernández.

AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
Ahead of its television debut tomorrow night, Marvel and ABC have debuted the opening sequence from the 16th episode of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.." Titled "End of the Beginning," the episode is described as follows:
"Agents Garrett (Bill Paxton) and Triplett are back to help Coulson's team track down S.H.I.E.L.D.'S nefarious enemy - the Clairvoyant. But will Deathlok destroy them all to protect his master's identity?"
Written by Paul Zbyszewski and directed by Bobby Roth, "End of the Beginning" will air April 1st. "Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." airs Tuesdays at 8 P.M. on ABC.

TUESDAY, APRIL 1, 2014

Mackey AMERICAN HORROW STORY
FX’s freaky horror series American Horror Story has thrived with its anthology format, which makes it a lot easier to open up your casting options with shorter commitment times. For year four, the series has signed one of the network’s original stars. Good news, FX fans, the bada** is back.
Michael Chiklis, who starred in FX’s award-winning cop drama The Shield, has booked a starring role in American Horror Story: Carnival. He also played the Thing in the Fantastic Four film and its sequel, but we choose to forget that. He’ll reportedly play the ex-husband to Kathy Bates’ character and father to Evan Peters’ character in AHS.
This new season will be set in 1950s Florida and follow one of the last remaining carnival freak shows in the country. As if this series weren't blood-curdling enough already, we can’t even imagine what they’ll do with this setup. Eek.
Chiklis should be a great addition, and the guy has more than proven he can definitely play dark when needed. He’ll join Bates, Peters, Angela Bassett, Frances Conroy and Sarah Paulson. Former stars Denis O’Hare, Emma Roberts, Gabourey Sidibe and Jamie Brewer are also in talks to return for Carnival.

Original Sin ORIGINAL SIN
Marvel's gearing up for its biggest comic-book event of 2014, and we've got an early look at the kickoff issue.
A few months ago Marvel announced their next major event book: Original Sin, from writer Jason Aaron (Wolverine and the X-Men, Thor: God of Thunder) and artist Mike Deodato (New Avengers, Secret Avengers). The event, launching its first issue in May, will feature the original Nick Fury gathering a team of heroes -- including Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Doctor Strange and more -- to solve the mystery of who killed Uatu the Watcher, and keep all the secrets the Watcher knew hidden.
It's an ambitious superhero murder-mystery idea, to be sure, but what if you're not entirely clear on why the Watcher matters? What if you just haven't been keeping up with what he's been up to lately? Or what if you just want a refesher course in all things Uatu? For that, you can turn to Original Sin #0 from writer Mark Waid (Daredevil, Indestructible Hulk) and artist Jim Cheung (X-Force, Avengers: The Children's Crusade). This kickoff issue will follow Nova, who just had another encounter with the enigmatic Watcher, as he wonders just what the mysterious figure who's been a part of the Marvel Universe for decades is all about.
“If you know nothing about Uatu, or you’re not up on what his deal is right now, the story in Original Sin #0 will give you all of the information you need,” Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort said. “[Presented] in the context of an emotionally affecting story featuring the Watcher and Nova – and leave you ready for him to turn up as a cold, dead corpse in Original Sin #1 and understand why that is so very unsettling and dangerous a situation.”
According to Marvel, Nova will discover a "startling secret" in the issue that will both seriously affect him and set up the events of Original Sin. So if you want a prologue to Marvel's next major event, or if you just need a Watcher refresher course, pick up Original Sin #0 in comics shops April 23.

Walking Dead-Andrew THE WALKING DEAD NEWS - SPOILER ALERT
Fresh off its bloody and deadly season finale, AMC's The Walking Dead has promoted three for its fifth run.
Alanna Masterson (Tara), Christian Serratos (Rosita) and new arrival Andrew J. West (Gareth) have been upped to series regulars for season five of the zombie drama, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Masterson made her debut on the drama from showrunner Scott M. Gimple in November, playing Tara, one of the women The Governor (David Morrissey) encounters after the fall of Woodbury. She has become loyal to Glenn (Steven Yeun) after she lost her family and watched as The Governor executed Hershel (Scott Wilson). (The show's Tara is not to be confused with the comics character of the same name.)
Serratos, meanwhile, plays Rosita, an iconic character from the comics created by series executive producer Robert Kirkman. She made her debut in the second half of season four in November as a member of Abraham's (series regular Michael Cudlitz) Army supporting his mission to bring Eugene (series regular Josh McDermitt) to Washington, D.C. She signed on to Walking Dead in September with a recurring role and option to be a regular in season five.
For his part, West made his debut during Sunday's season-four finale as Gareth, the head of the group living at Terminus -- the so-called "sanctuary for all" -- who may or may not be overseeing a group of cannibals. THR exclusively reported that the Greek alum signed on to the series in November with an option to be a regular in season five and that the character would have a big presence and play an important character on the series. (And he certainly did: Gareth currently has nearly everyone trapped at Terminus in one of the show's most dramatic cliffhangers yet.)
"Seeing Gareth and Rick and the people of Terminus and our survivors go head-to-head is going to be interesting," exec producer/comics creator Robert Kirkman told THR. "There is a very deep, dark and storied history to Terminus and how these people came to be that will be revealed in season five."
Masterson is repped by LB Talent Agency, Masterson Management and Abrams Artists. Serratos (Twilight) is with Global Artists Agency, Thruline and Stone Meyer. West is with ICM Partners and John Pierce at The Group.
Their promotions comes nearly a year after The Walking Dead promoted Chad L. Coleman (Tyreese), Sonequa Martin-Green (Sasha) and Emily Kinney (Beth) to regulars for season four. This season, the series also added Cudlitz and McDermitt as well as Lawrence Gilliard Jr. (Bob) as regulars.

Pink Panther THE PINK PANTHER
MGM is hoping to introduce The Pink Panther to a whole new generation of moviegoers with a live-action/animation hybrid feature that will focus not on the classic character of inspector Jacques Clouseau but rather on the animated pink feline that appeared in the original movies’ opening credits.
David Silverman, the veteran director and producer of The Simpsons who also directed The Simpsons Movie, is attached to helm the project, and is using his Simpsons connections to help with the project: Michael Price, who writes and co-exec produces the show, is in negotiations to write the script.
Walter Mirisch, executive producer of the original Pink Panther films and television series, will serve as the producer of the new film, along with Julie Andrews, the iconic actress who is the widow of Blake Edwards, the man who directed the classic movies.
The Pink Panther was the name of the first of a series of movies from the 1960s and 1970s that featured the misadventures of the buffoonish French detective Clouseau, brought to life by the iconic Peter Sellers, who played the part in most of the movies until his death in 1980.
Apart from Sellers’ brilliance, the movies were also known for Henry Mancini’s jazzy musical stylings over the opening credits, which featured a cartoon panther of a pink shade. The panther never figured into the movies – the title of the first movie, released in 1963, referred to a jewel that thieves were after – but he unintentionally proved to be so popular he was spun off into his own theatrical animated shorts, made by Friz Freleng and David DePatie, one of which won an Oscar. A Saturday morning TV series followed, as did comic books, TV specials, and other entrees into popular culture.
The movies faded in the 1980s, and MGM tried to resuscitate the franchise first in 1993 with Roberto Benigni and, more recently, with Steve Martin, who starred in two movies, one in 2006 and one in 2009.
The latter two were in the traditional mode but Silverman, Mirisch and co. realized that there was only one Sellers and that a different spin was needed -- thus, the CG/live-action hybrid that would focus on the feline, not the detective. "For the first time, the live action franchise will be united with the world-famous cartoon character in a new hybrid feature film," said Mirisch.
Pink Panther still has plenty of currency in today’s world. Witness: A German team had a Pink Panther skating program at the Sochi Olympics while Lady Gaga sported a Pink Panther outfit earlier in March.
The new story will be an international jewel heist caper movie. The Panther will not speak (as in the early shorts) and Clouseau will not appear at all (he does, however, exist in the movie’s mythology). Yes, the Mancini score will be used. By bringing in Silverman and co., the hope is to make a family movie that will be irreverent, hip in energy, and sophisticated.
“I am delighted that the legacy of Blake’s iconic Pink Panther franchise will continue to grow in its new hybrid form. It is exciting that the quintessential ‘next step’ for our beloved Panther will be enjoyed by a fourth generation of audiences. I feel that Blake is encouraging us on,” said Andrews in a statement.
MGM’s senior vp production Cassidy Lange will oversee the film for the studio.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLIDER
Marvel Studios has brought online a new trailer for the official Captain America: The Winter Soldier tie-in game, available now on both iOS and Android. What's more, a new TV spot for the April 4 release is also available!
Continuing "Phase Two" of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America: The Winter Soldier stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Redford, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Georges St-Pierre, Hayley Atwell, Toby Jones, Emily VanCamp and Maximiliano Hernández.

AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
Ahead of its television debut tomorrow night, Marvel and ABC have debuted the opening sequence from the 16th episode of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.." Titled "End of the Beginning," the episode is described as follows:
"Agents Garrett (Bill Paxton) and Triplett are back to help Coulson's team track down S.H.I.E.L.D.'S nefarious enemy - the Clairvoyant. But will Deathlok destroy them all to protect his master's identity?"
Written by Paul Zbyszewski and directed by Bobby Roth, "End of the Beginning" will air April 1st. "Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." airs Tuesdays at 8 P.M. on ABC.

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