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1. Data shows Daredevil tops new Netflix shows

daredevil

According to a report from Variety,  San Diego-based Luth Research has been analyzing Netflix’s original content and concluded that Marvel’s Daredevil was the most popular of the streaming service’s original series in recent months, with 10.7% of domestic Netflix subscribers tuning in for at least one episode in the show’s first 11 days of airtime. With nearly 41 million domestic subscribers, that’s a viewership of roughly 4.4 million.

Behind that were The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, with 7.3% of viewers tuning in, and House of Cards‘ third season, with 6.5%. Lagging behind was the new drama Bloodline, which received a cold reception from critics an garnered a view from only 2.4% of the subscriber base.

This marks the first major glimpse into Netflix’s viewership numbers, which are typically kept confidential. The data was pulled from a sample of 2,500 subscribers, though none of the sample pool used Netflix on a television – all subscribers in the sample were using computers, tablets or phones, according to Variety.  It’s unknown whether that skews the results of the research.

Daredevil has already been picked up for a second season and is the first in a line-up of Netflix’s Marvel shows. Marvel’s A.K.A. Jessica Jones is releasing later this year, and Marvel’s Luke Cage premieres on the streaming service in 2016. Daredevil season 2 is also slated for a 2016 release.

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2. Entertainment Round-Up: Joss Whedon praises Edgar Wright, Star Trek 3 has a possible title, and more

joss whedon

After yesterday’s Valiant and Daredevil news items and today’s Eisner nominations, you’d think we could shut the door down on news for a while. But, surprise surprise, there’s still a few other items of note, here’s the rundown:

Joss Whedon, while on the press circuit for next week’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, held court with Buzzfeed, and in a pretty revealing interview about his time at Marvel that is well worth reading, he happened to elaborate on his feelings regarding Edgar Wright‘s departure from Ant-Man:

I thought the script was not only the best script that Marvel had ever had, but the most Marvel script I’d read. I had no interest in Ant-Man. [Then] I read the script, and was like, Of course! This is so good! It reminded me of the books when I read them. Irreverent and funny and could make what was small large, and vice versa. I don’t know where things went wrong. But I was very sad. Because I thought, This is a no-brainer. This is Marvel getting it exactly right. Whatever dissonance that came, whatever it was, I don’t understand why it was bigger than a marriage that seemed so right. But I’m not going to say it was definitely all Marvel, or Edgar’s gone mad! I felt like they would complement each other by the ways that they were different. And, uh, somethin’ happened.

One you hear Whedon make a statement like that, it’s hard not to wonder what could have been (not that many weren’t already). I’ve long held that parting ways with Edgar Wright was one of the biggest missteps Marvel has made thus far and the loss of his idiosyncratic take on Scott Lang would be felt pretty heavily come this July. But, movies have to be seen before you can judge them, and we’ll find out soon enough.

On that note, Avengers: Age of Ultron is currently sitting at 84% on Rotten Tomatoes with 49 reviews in. If that score holds, it’ll put the film just below Iron Man (93%), The Avengers (92%), Guardians of the Galaxy (91%), and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (89%) in the Marvel canon, if you care about that kind of thing.

– One more Ultron related note, those of you who are aspiring to be professionals in the field of journalism may not want to follow the example set by Krishnan Guru-Murthy from Britain’s Channel 4 news, whose junket press questions caused Robert Downey Jr. to walk out of the interview:

Seriously, save the hard hitting stuff for when it’s warranted and expected, not in promotional interviews for a superhero film.

– The third Star Trek film in the rebooted franchise now has a rumored title: Star Trek Beyond. The rumor comes via TrekMovie who discovered Paramount’s recent MPAA registration of the title. To be honest, I don’t love it, but it’s also a good sight better than Star Trek Into Darkness, which was an awful pun. At the very least, perhaps this ensures that exploration will be the key factor for the new Star Trek entry.

– With True Detective Season 2 just a couple of months away, HBO has released some ominous looking motion posters via the show’s official twitter feed:

 

Creepy stuff!

– And finally, in a fun little piece, here’s what this Summer’s big blockbuster releases would look like in 90’s VHS form. Oh, do I ever miss Blockbuster, until I think about the late fees and scrambling to get the latest video tapes.

0 Comments on Entertainment Round-Up: Joss Whedon praises Edgar Wright, Star Trek 3 has a possible title, and more as of 4/22/2015 8:03:00 PM
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3. Daredevil season 2 gets green light

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A second season of Daredevil appears to be in the cards, though its original showrunner won’t be returning.

Replacing season 1 showrunner Steven DeKnight are Doug Petrie (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, American Horror Story) and Marco Ramirez (Sons of Anarchy), who had a hand in the first season.

“While previous commitments unfortunately prevent me from continuing on with Daredevil into its second season,” DeKnight said in a written statement, “I could not be happier that Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez are carrying the torch. They were invaluable collaborators during our first season, and I for one can’t wait to see what they do with the show moving forward.”

DeKnight was actually the second showrunner, taking over for Drew Goddard, who left the series during season 1 pre-production, at the time to write and direct a Sinister Six film for Sony. Goddard penned the season’s first two episodes and is rumored to have contributed to an outline for the second season of the show prior to his exit.

Though Netflix already has a fairly full slate of Marvel shows in the works – “Marvel’s A.K.A. Jessica Jones” is releasing later this year, and “Marvel’s Luke Cage” premieres on the streaming service in 2016 – Daredevil season 2 is slated for a 2016 release as well.

As a huge fan of season 1, I’m looking forward to a second series. Let’s just hope the show finds a way to change costumes as quickly as it changes showrunners.

1 Comments on Daredevil season 2 gets green light, last added: 4/22/2015
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4. An Impressionistic Painting: Thoughts on Daredevil

In the fifth episode of the new Netflix series Marvel's Daredevil, lawyer-by-day, vigilante-by-night Matt Murdoch (Charlie Cox) explains to his new friend Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) how he sees the world.  Blinded in a childhood accident, Matt discovered that his other senses had become superhumanly sharp, allowing him to perceive far more than ordinary people.  "You have to think of it as

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5. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spin-off to be headlined by Adrianne Palicki and Nick Blood

ADRIANNE PALICKI, NICK BLOOD

Per a report tonight by Deadline, the recently announced Agents of SHIELD spin-off may have its stars in place, as Adrianne Palicki (who plays Bobbi Morse/Mockingbird) and Nick Blood (her ex-husband on the series, Lance Hunter) are nearing deals to star in the not yet greenlit series.

It has been said that the new spin-off will be set up in the final set of episodes of this season of Agents of SHIELD, so fans will have a pretty good idea of what the status quo of the spin-off should be in just a few weeks.

Deadline posits that due to their existing relationship, the series is likely to have a very “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” vibe, with a former husband and wife duo that are highly trained spies, but obviously with an added Marvel Cinematic Universe edge.

The pilot script is being written by Agents of SHIELD executive producers Jeffrey Bell and Paul Zbyszewski, with the latter acting as showrunner if the series is picked up.

While Agents of SHIELD hasn’t exactly performed like gangbusters in the ratings, it has at least begun to steadily improve after hitting a series low 1.4 in the 18-49 demo just a few weeks ago. The spin-off may end up filling the gap between a presumptive third season of SHIELD‘s 1st and 2nd halves, as Agent Carter‘s renewal chances continue to hang in the air.

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6. Entertainment Round-Up: Cooper cast in Preacher lead, an Oscar-winning screenwriter is developing a Marvel project, and is John Stewart your new movie Green Lantern?

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It’s Friday! Here a few of the Entertainment-related headlines that just hit the wire:

– After weeks of negotiations, AMC has found its lead for its adaptation of DC Comics/Vertigo’s Preacher, and it’s a face familiar to comic book movie fans: Dominic Cooper. The British actor, who you surely recognize as the younger face of Howard Stark (Mad Men‘s John Slattery plays him in his middle aged years) in Captain America: The First Avenger and Agent Carter, will be playing the role of Jesse Custer, with production on the pilot beginning this summer. Preacher‘s Executive Producer Seth Rogen confirmed the news on twitter today.

For you Garth Ennis experts out there, what do you think about this casting choice? Did AMC make the right move?

- 12 Years A Slave is easily one of my favorite films of this decade, and one of the only movies that’s moved me to near-tears in the theater. It is truly that moving and engrossing. So, it was with great shock today that I saw EW reporting that its screenwriter (and winner of the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for his work on the film) John Ridley is teaming up with Marvel for a mysterious television project aiming to reinvent an existing Marvel character for ABC. This project is reportedly a separate entity altogether from the already announced Agents of SHIELD spin-off that’s in the works.

Given that it’s for ABC, something like the Punisher seems like a no-go, and really, neither does Blade (both of which Marvel recently regained the rights to back to a few years back). I’ll keep my fingers crossed for Moon Knight perhaps, but really any guess is a good one at this point.

Ridley is no stranger to comics, having written The Authority and the graphic novel The American Way.

– Yes, we know all about the leaked Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer, and we won’t be posting it here for obvious reasons. Plus, the presentable version will make its way online by Monday, if not over the weekend. We’ll hold out for that. In the meantime, here’s a related unconfirmed rumor, according to Jeff Sneider (of TheWrap) on his latest episode of Meet the Movie Press, he stated that the Green Lantern that we’ll see in the 2020 reboot (and presumably the Zack Snyder directed Justice League films) will be John Stewart.

Sneider’s sources on this kind of information are generally pretty strong, so there’s likely something to this. Many fans had hoped/figured the new Green Lantern post-Ryan Reynolds would be Stewart given the younger audiences greater familiarity with the character over Hal Jordan thanks to the Justice League animated series.

Plus, he’s just an awesome character. Green Lantern: Mosaic anyone?

2 Comments on Entertainment Round-Up: Cooper cast in Preacher lead, an Oscar-winning screenwriter is developing a Marvel project, and is John Stewart your new movie Green Lantern?, last added: 4/19/2015
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7. David Tennant’s Purple Man has been spotted on-set for AKA Jessica Jones

Zebediah_Killgrave_(Earth-616)

Are you still running on a Daredevil high from over the weekend? We sure are, and we’re working on our big post-binge review which you’ll see this week. But in the meantime, for those who are done watching, how do you fill that Marvel-Netflix shaped hole that Charlie Cox and company have left in your life?

Why, with AKA Jessica Jones news of course.

Marvel’s next Netflix series doesn’t have a release date, the network still lists it as a 2015/2016 release, but filming is well underway.

One question that was brought up on a group viewing of Daredevil this past Friday, what exactly is David Tennant‘s Kilgrave/Purple Man going to look like? Will he actually have purple skin? Marvel never seems to have an issue with embracing their comic roots, though if this past weekend is any indication, they seem to be going a bit more grounded with these Netflix offerings.

Thanks to an intrepid Instragrammer, we might just have the answer. This person was able to snap a shot of Tennant on set:

purple man

So, based on that, there’s no purple skin in sight. Then again, this may be before he gets his mind controlling abilities, we can’t say for sure as of yet. But, as Daredevil has given us the most compelling Marvel villain since Loki in Wilson Fisk, I’ll be fascinated to see how they handle one of Marvel’s more frightening characters.

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8. Five More Marvel Characters That Need A Netflix Show

This past weekend Marvel and Netflix brought the gritty street story of Daredevil back onto our screens to make us all forget about 2003’s… unpleasantness. While the streaming service rarely produces concrete numbers as far as viewership goes; the consensus among social media seems to be that the show was an unmitigated success. Not only was it a story true to its comic roots, but it also measured on another important level; the leverage to bring in new readership. Sunday night I found my shelf clear of Daredevil stories like Born Again, Guardian Devil, and Fall of The Kingpin because I’d loaned them all to friends who don’t read comics but wanted to try Daredevil after watching the first few episodes.

Matt Murdock’s story was tailor made for the emerging binge culture of Netflix. Yes, a network show would have toned down some of the more violent moments of the story. But there are other reasons for it fitting better on the streaming service, one is the treatment of the material itself. A network probably would have wanted a legal procedural series, or some other form of episodic, where as Netflix releasing 13 episodes at once allowed a serialized story that couldn’t be properly contained in a 120min film.

While we’re getting more Netflix/Marvel goodness in the form of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and the Defenders; Marvel has an extensive library of characters that probably shouldn’t be brought to the big screen but would thrive in the Netflix format under the right guidance. Here’s five to consider.


 

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New Warriors

The group of young heroes led by Night Thrasher would match perfectly into the “Let’s Play” digital media culture of geekery today. It doesn’t necessarily need to be serialized as Daredevil was, but the show could be catered to either an 18 episode network season or a 13 episode Netflix binge. If it’s on Netflix, Marvel could mold it into an edgier version of a 90’s teen drama. There’ve been New Warriors stories that have dealt with harsh subjects like bullying and drug use in the early 90’s, so it wouldn’t be anything new for these characters to go darker. Plus we’d get Darkhawk, Nova, Speedball, and Namorita. Had this been in consideration before, it could have even had that moment where our heads would figuratively explode leading into the Captain America: Civil War film. Yep, that Nitro moment.


 

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Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch)

I’ll be honest, I didn’t wholeheartedly hate the Nic Cage Ghost Rider films. While they weren’t exactly what I’d hoped to see on the screen, they distracted me for 90min and I’m no worse for them. However, I’m willing to put Johnny Blaze away and do the spirit of vengeance with Danny Ketch. This is a Ghost Rider that would benefit from a long form story that explores the tragedy of his family, the relationship with his sister Barbara, the curse of Ghost Rider itself. The character comes with a stable of villains like Lilith, Blackout, and Deathwatch — just to name a few– that would make grand casting opportunities. In fact, David Lynch if you’re not going to be doing Twin Peaks take a stab at comics on TV with this character. A tale with so much gravity and lore would be incredible under the guidance of Lynch.


 

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Red Hulk

Yup, that’s going to be a weird one. Let’s face it, we aren’t going to see another Hulk film in the near future. Mark Ruffalo is playing an “incredible” Hulk in the Avengers movies and Ed Norton had a decent outing in his solo flick. Why can’t there be more than one Hulk in the Marvel cinematic U? We’ve already got Thunderbolt Ross as part of the MCU. Giving him an eight episode stint on a Netflix series that would explore the estranged relationship between him and Betty, his bottomless anger towards Bruce Banner, and his quest to recreate the Hulk as a weapon could be the subtle drama before a storm of smash. In this version, maybe Thunderbolt doesn’t become the Red Hulk. That’s sort of the beauty of exploration in different media, he could recreate a new monster for the MCU that would join a different Avengers team.


 

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Venom (Eddie Brock)

If we’re rewriting the mistakes of the past then let’s tackle one of the worst things to ever happen to a movie screen, Eric Foreman as Venom. While we wait for Marvel to reboot Spider-Man films yet again let’s say they bring Venom to the movies and do it right. There’s going to be a lot more of Eddie Brock to explore whether you go with the Ultimate version of the character or the 616 version. Taking him down the “Lethal Protector” road would open up more exploration opportunities that a Netflix show could do in short binge spurts. Not only would he be trying to be the anti-hero we want, but the character would have so much inner conflict fighting the influences of the suit itself. Indeed this would be another hurdle for the Sony/Marvel Spidey deal, but they’ve already pulled it off once.


 

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The Punisher

I will freely admit to enjoying all the Punisher movies on some level (even the Dolph Lundgren one); that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for Marvel to come in and do something better with Frank Castle. The Punisher’s challenges are similar to Daredevil’s in that they’re both characters whose stories are much too layered for a single film to properly tell. A Punisher series on Netflix could finally show what fans of the comics know; there’s more to the character than just shooting drug dealers.  Stories like Born that glimpsed the audience into Castle’s days in Vietnam or Year One that showed the path of the man after his family was murdered all offer pieces to construct Frank Castle for a mainstream audience. Where most people in film or other media go wrong with the character is the belief that –insert criminal and shoot– are the only things you need for him, those are often the worst Punisher books. The depth begins when you put him on a collision with the injustices we all hate and wish we could do something about. Obviously, you can have bullets fly in a Punisher show but the aim has to come from more than just the sight on his barrel. The bonus is if you have all the street level characters on Netflix you could even build to crossover specials with stories like Dead Man’s Hand or Hearts of Darkness.

 

Those are just a few considerations for the future of Marvel on Netflix, post Defenders.

Obviously Marvel knows what it’s doing in the entertainment industry, but what characters do you want to see in film, network TV, or digital?

16 Comments on Five More Marvel Characters That Need A Netflix Show, last added: 4/13/2015
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9. Review: the Netflix and Marvel team up push Daredevil “Into the Ring”

Daredevil-Netflix-Motion-PosterFull disclosure: I was hotly anticipating the premiere of the Marvel and Netflix team up on the Daredevil television series. Daredevil is a huge part of my comics origin story: I cut my teeth on the Guardian Devil story arc penned by Kevin Smith and expertly drawn by Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti. I fell hard for the Man Without Fear and soon discovered Frank Miller’s Elektra Saga arc, realized my childhood heroes of TMNT had written themselves into the Daredevil origin story and that was it: comics officially had my heart.

It’s a nice move to open on Matt’s origin and play it for all it’s horror and sadness. Little boy does the right thing, saves a man’s life by pushing him from a speeding truck and pays for it with his vision. The POV shot of young Matt’s vision slipping away while focusing on the face of his father was chilling and effective. Actor John Patrick Hayden strikes the right tone on “Battlin'” Jack Murdock, trying to do the best thing for his son while constantly aware of his own limitations.

Some of the early action was a tad stilted, in the way of pilot episodes since time immemorial. The human trafficking scene leaned heavily towards cliche and away from actual menace, but was saved by the beautiful fight choreography. Kudos to the fight coordination/stunt double team for their thoughtful work in representing both Daredevil’s radar and boxing background in his fighting style.

The heart of any Daredevil story, or most of them at any rate, is the relationship between Matt Murdock and his law partner and best friend Foggy Nelson. Both Charlie Cox and Elden Henson are well cast: they not only look their parts, but revel in the well-worn patter between the two old friends. An early scene in which the two shop for an office to open their law practice hits all the right notes in script and characterization. We’re meant to believe the events of The Avengers film have left Hell’s Kitchen in ruins, and therefore rents are cheap during reconstruction. This seems more of a stretch than supersonic hearing to me, after all there is a bit of real-life Daredevil in the work of Daniel Kish, but we go with it.

The entire tone of the series evokes the noir sensibilities of the Frank Miller work I was drawn to years ago, and we have veteran director Phil Abraham and showrunner Steven DeKnight to thank for it. While pitching Hell’s Kitchen as noir in present day New York again strains credulity, it’s just right for Marvel 616 and I was happy to see it. And let’s talk about Deborah Ann Woll as the beloved Karen Page. Woll brings goofiness and charm to her performance that’s just right for Karen, and her chemistry with both Cox and Henson is electric.

We get a sneak peak at the crime syndicate that will ultimately become Daredevil’s nemesis. I’m breathless with anticipation for the reveal of Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk aka the Kingpin. We’re only teased in the pilot by his voice commanding henchman Wesley via speakerphone Charlie’s Angel’s style.

There’s a great team of talent behind the scenes of Daredevil: Buffy and Angel veteran writers Drew Goddard and Doug Petrie loom large, and DeKnight’s work on the Starz series Spartacus is some of my favorite television of the last ten years. Pulling in directors like Abraham and Doctor Who vet Eros Lyn bodes well for the tone of the series going forward.

The final scenes wordlessly convey what Matt Murdock is up against as the crime fighting alter ego Daredevil: as Matt pummels the bag in his father’s old gym we see baddies literally laying plans to build their empire in DD’s beloved Hell’s Kitchen juxtaposed with further kidnappings and dirty deeds. The final image of Matt on the roof of his building, listening to the pain of his city before pulling his black mask over his eyes got my fangirl heart beating loud enough for Daredevil to hear it all the way from the Kitchen.

2 Comments on Review: the Netflix and Marvel team up push Daredevil “Into the Ring”, last added: 4/11/2015
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10. Doctor Who wrap up: BBC renews, Titan previews 3-Doctor FCBD issue and Texas celebrates “Dr. Who Day”

Doctor Who is here to stay…at least for the next five years. Whovians around the world have reason to celebrate today, as the BBC reported executive producer Steven Moffat’s comments to Doctor Who Magazine that the rebooted series would do a “minimum of 15 years” in total.  Ben Stephenson, BBC’s outgoing head of drama commissioning  was even more optimistic, saying: “As long as the people looking after it are passionate about it… there’s absolutely no reason why it can’t do another 50 years.” This announcement comes on the heels of the new series’ 10 year anniversary, celebrated by fans across the world. The show’s popularity has led even mainstream outlets like MTV News to cover the anniversary, ranking the modern episodes in order of quality.

When the modern version of the series went on the air in 2005, Doctor Who was largely unknown to mainstream America. The adventures of the time-traveling, two-hearted alien known only as “The Doctor” were confined to PBS rebroadcasts of the original or “Classic” series, which was produced by the BBC from 1963-1989. Low production values and the show’s undeniable Britishness were barriers to crossover success in the States, though a cult following developed among science fiction fans who grew up watching the series.

That all changed in 2010 when BBC America licensed the show for broadcast in the United States. Instead of waiting months for rebroadcasts of episodes, they now waited weeks. Perhaps there is no better bellwether of the shows immense Stateside popularity than the town of Denton, TX. Local comic book store retailer Tim Stoltzfus of More Fun Comics lobbied to nab an exclusive cover and won. Titan Comics released 29 variant covers for Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor Issue 1 and among them was a cover featuring the TARDIS parked outside the Denton County Courthouse.

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Local Denton artist Jake Ekiss drew the exclusive cover.

The recognition drew the attention of Denton Mayor Chris Watts, who drew up a proclamation declaring April 4, 2015 “Dr. Who Day” in Denton. Local Whovians attended a reading of the proclamation in front of the courthouse where local a local cosplay group erected a TARDIS prop. Brothers Travis and Tom Huston attended the ceremony, dressed as the Eleventh and Tenth Doctors, respectively. Tom, 12, liked seeing “so many Whovians,” while Travis, 9, said: “there aren’t many great shows on like it, our whole family watches it together.” Both brothers agreed it was  “really awesome that our courthouse is on the cover.”

Geronimo and Allons-y! The Huston brothers dressed as their favorite Doctors: Travis, age 9, dressed as Eleven and Tom, age 12, went as Ten.

Geronimo and Allons-y! The Huston brothers dressed as their favorite Doctors: Travis, age 9, as Eleven and Tom, age 12, as Ten. Photo by Cristy Flowers Huston.

Likely the Houston brothers are among the fans excited for the upcoming three Doctor issue to be released on May 2nd, Free Comic Book Day. Check out the cover and preview pages below:

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11. Entertainment Round-Up: Age of Ultron’s Vision poster, Archangel is coming to X-Men: Apocalypse, True Detective Season 2 teaser, and more

Happy Day Before Daredevil Day! Here’s a round-up of things worth paying attention to on the Entertainment-front.

Paul Bettany just unleashed the first full-blown Vision poster on Twitter. We’ve seen concept art, and a few other promotional pieces for the character’s upcoming appearance in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but this is Bettany in android mode up-close:

Vision poster

Bryan Singer added another update for X-Men: Apocalypse, this time sharing some concept art of another mutant that will be joining the cast:

archangel

Yes indeed, Archangel will be a part of the film, and according to Singer he will be played by previously announced cast member Ben Hardy.

Other than Iceman, who can’t make an appearance, it looks like we’ll be getting something pretty close to the original X-Men line-up, along with a few Giant Size X-Men additions (Storm, Nightcrawler).

– For you fans of The Incredibles, Brad Bird just confirmed that he is currently working on the script for the sequel, now that his work on his about to be released Tomorrowland is completed. In a spate of sequels from Pixar, this might be the one that may stir up the most excitement.

– And in somewhat related news, given that Nic Pizzalatto pulled a good deal of influence for his True Detective series from the comics of Alan Moore and Grant Morrison, here’s the first teaser for True Detective Season 2. Given that I loved the first season, I can’t wait for this new one:

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12. Marvel is developing an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spin-off

mockingbird

Despite hitting a series low ratings point in its desired demo just a week ago, ABC is apparently looking to spin-off their freshman Marvel television series according to Entertainment Weekly.

As for the subject matter, that remains a mystery, but here are the relevant details that EW was able to obtain:

We’re told a spinoff is being developed by SHIELD executive producer Jeffrey Bell (Angel, The X-Files) and SHIELD writer Paul Zbyszewski (Lost, Hawaii Five-0).

We don’t know is which characters from the current series will be moving over to the proposed spinoff – so let the speculation being on that. There won’t be an implanted pilot episode this season directly setting up the spinoff, either (like how CW launched The Flash out of Arrow). However, story elements that are still to come on SHIELD this year will be used to lay the groundwork for the potential new series. So by the end of the season – assuming the details for this project haven’t already leaked, which is rather unlikely – the spinoff concept should be clear.

According to TVLine, this also will not interfere with any potential plans for a second season of Agent Carter, so breathe a sigh of relief those of you (like me) that were worried this might spell doom for our favorite Marvel spy.

While, it’s hard to tell what this series will be about, the best guess I’ve seen is that it will be a Deathlok spin-off, given that the character *spoiler alert* made a surprise appearance in this week’s episode.

I can’t say I’m the biggest Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fan in the world, but much like I found The Flash to be a huge improvement on Arrow, perhaps whatever this series turns out to be will perform in much the same way. We’re sure to find out more in the next few weeks as whatever above-mentioned groundwork takes shape.

2 Comments on Marvel is developing an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spin-off, last added: 4/9/2015
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13. Daredevil’s television costume is officially revealed

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From the Netflix-Daredevil twitter account, here’s the “motion poster” that finally reveals what the final red Daredevil suit looks like.

Thoughts? For my part, it’s a bit armory looking, but perhaps in motion it’ll look not as stiff as I fear.

We’ll have more in-depth thoughts about the show after it debuts over the weekend.

 

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14. Comic-Con International and Lionsgate team for new nerd-focused VOD service

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WonderCon isn’t the only part of the CCI empire that’s going “Hollywood.” CCI has just signed a deal with Lionsgate for a new subscription video-on-demand service that will launch later this year.

Lionsgate—the studio known for The Hunger Games and the Divergent series among many others—and CCI—that’s Comic-Con International) the non-profit organization that runs the San Diego Comic-Con and WonderCon—will team to present material deemed to be of interest to the Comic-Con fanbase. And yes, the channel will have original content, as well as studio fare from Lionsgate and other studios—and historical footage from past Comic-Cons.

While a VOD service may seem a little out of character for CCI, it’s not really for those who’ve been watching closely. The new service will serve as an outgrowth of SDCC’s
Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival (CCI-IFF), which is held at Comic-Con every year with various films of fan related-interest. The new VOD service will make this a “365-day-a-year online event.”

As a studio, Lionsgate was an early adapter, exhibiting at Comic-Con to promote the low budget films that made its name long before every studio in town decided SDCC was the biggest marketing event of the year. This new CCI VOD will be the third streaming service they’ve announced: Lionsgate Entertainment World, a joint venture with the Chinese company Alibaba, recently launched; and this summer will see the debut of Tribeca Shortlist, a partnership with Tribeca Enterprises that presents firms for discerning film fans. In addition to blockbusters like The Hunger Games movies, Lionsgate has also beome a player in TV, producing and distributing shows like Mad Men and Orange is the New Black.

VOD has become the hot place to cater to niche audiences and experiment with content; exploiting the “nerdcore” audience has been on a lot of radars. “The fan base for the kind of films and television series showcased at Comic-Con has grown exponentially, and a subscription video-on-demand service is the ideal platform to capture the magic and excitement of the Comic-Con experience year-round as well as the perfect vehicle for Comic-Con fans to discover new content,” said Lionsgate President of Worldwide Television & Digital Distribution Jim Packer.

It’s also a way for CCI to branch out. The Comic-Con brand is now somewhere between the Super Bowl and the Puppy Bowl in terms of mega-awareness, and launching new ventures like this seem like a smart channel to expand it even further. According to CCI’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations David Glanzer, CCI and Lionsgate have been working on the deal for two years; it was Lionsgate’s knowledge of fan culture that sealed the deal to “deliver the unique magic of Comic-Con and the celebration of comics and popular art to our fans 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and around the world.”

Frequent dealmaker Peter Levin (Nerdist, Deadline) was also involved. He’s now President of Interactive Ventures & Games at Lionsgate and expects to “expand and enrich the world of Comic-Con for existing fans and extend it to a whole new global audience with a channel distinguished by its imaginative curation, depth and diversity of content and fierce loyalty to the Comic-Con brand.”

Sign up at the above link to find out more about the launch of this new service. Maybe it will show those two dueling nerdlebrity convention shows we told you about the other week.WonderCon isn’t the only part of the CCI empire that’s going “Hollywood.” CCI has just signed a deal with Lionsgate for a new subscription video-on-demand service that will launch later this year.

Lionsgate—the studio known for The Hunger Games and the Divergent series among many others—and CCI—that’s Comic-Con International) the non-profit organization that runs the San Diego Comic-Con and WonderCon—will team to present material deemed to be of interest to the Comic-Con fanbase. And yes, the channel will have original content, as well as studio fare from Lionsgate and other studios—and historical footage from past Comic-Cons.

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15. Young Justice’s Weisman on Rain of the Ghosts: A tale of an Audioplay, Kickstarter, and 693 Index Cards

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Television producer, comic book writer and prose novelist Greg Weisman has just added a new job description – audioplay mastermind. That’s not a euphemism, Weisman is taking his nine-book novel series known as Rain of the Ghosts and bringing it over to Kickstarter in the form of an audioplay. The author has just finished the second title in the series: Spirits of Ash and Foam. The novels and audioplay focus on Rain Cacique, a heroine with some mysteries to solve and new (ghostly) friends to hang out with. This work is also produced with the young adult market in mind – a smart decision on behalf of the creators to make the work much more accessible. With a Kickstarter campaign in the works, and a new Marvel book featuring a popular Star Wars: Rebels character known as Kanaan, Weisman is a busy creator.

Did you first build Rain of the Ghosts around the female hero Rain Cacique, or did you start with the world building first?

It was so long ago – I first developed Rain of the Ghosts in 1997. I definitely wanted to do a show around a female lead. We really did the origins of it developing a show set in New Orleans. The more I researched about the Caribbean, the more I wanted to do a show set there. Part of it, is the setting itself, and then the cast just seemed to come together with the mythology of the Taino people. It just worked for it to be a female lead in that it was something I wanted to do. So it kind of felt like more of a holistic approach in that I started more with this,

Aside from your setting and environment, how did you weave the mythological aspects into the story?

My method involves a lot of index cards and a very large bulletin board. I just started putting the index cards up moving them around and changing the order that began to coalesce for me. That’s how I began to work on the television shows, and it’s how I do the novels. On the second book: Spirits of Ash and Foam, I used 693 index cards to outline the book. I covered an eight foot tall bulletin board, a big table and a pool table before I was done – I completely covered all three. Even then, I took the index cards and wrote them up into a document. There were these two characters that in the outline were very minor. They were each in one short scene or something like that and very functionary characters. They had no drive of their own per see. As I was writing the book the characters came up and said nuh-uh. We’re way more important than that. So I had to sort of figure out what there arcs were in the second book. They turned out to be very important characters.

How did you first start to get the idea of taking the book and getting in the audioplay format?

Initially it was pretty straightforward, thought it would be really cool to make an audioplay of this. I found myself with the dilemma which would be: I have first-person narrator who is an adult male. If it’s a first-person narrator you get an adult male to read it. Then I thought, but my lead character is a thirteen year-old girl and she has most of the dialogue. Listen to this adult male trying to do the little girl voice for the whole book, it would be really awful. I decided that I would add a musical score because most audiobooks are just one guy reading with no music and no sound effects. Let me do this like a radioplay, let me do it like an episode of an animated tv series only without the animation and that’s something that I do know how to do. We cast the whole book – that’s done. What we’re doing, is raising the money on the Kickstarter for the post-production of all the Dynamic Music Partners; the group that did the music for Spectacular Spider-Man. For the editing and sound effects and all the post-production work; because this is a studio quality production without the studio interference. We get to decide whether or not it gets made and that’s what the Kickstarter is for.

Did you construct a budget for the audio play different than how you would an animated series?

I sat down and talked to a bunch of people and figured out the budget: a SAG Union production. We got a discount because we are an audioplay, and not many people have done that before. It doesn’t cost as much as it would if it was a full episode, but we have four hours worth of material. It’s a lot of bang for the buck, I called in a lot of favors and a lot of people were working for free. Most people are being paid if the Kickstarter goes through at least a little bit. Just turning it around and giving us the best work that they can give us. We broke the budget into two halves, the first half is for the voice cast, paid for by me, and the second half is the post-production which was paid for by the Kickstarter.

Did you look at the foreign market in the UK where audio plays are a known quantity?

I didn’t do any detailed research into that but I was very aware of Big Finish, and that kind of thing and I thought we could demonstrate that it’s good stuff that might be a place where we could take it. To some extent I didn’t want to get too far ahead of myself. The Kickstarter is at the halfway point and it hasn’t even been up a week yet. I don’t wanna count my chickens before the hatch in that essence.

Do you have a plan for how you will be able to market the audiodrama to more people?

I’ve got people working on the marketing side of things, obviously the social media aspects are a big part of that. The Kickstarter itself is good advertising – we were hoping to bring some more attention to not just the audioplay itself – but to everyone. I just keep trying to reach out to people, I have a comic book series called Star Wars: Kanaan that came out on Wednesday, and if that can help me reach more people for Rain…great. I have a new television show that I am not allowed to talk about yet. Eventually that will come out – hopefully that will generate more interest with me and interest in Rain. If we can make it happen we’re gonna try do it.

Are their any last words on your upcoming projects?

I got the book ready to go with Spirits of Ash and Foam which is available on Amazon or in any bookstore. If they aren’t literally on the shelf, you can go to the front desk and they will order them for you. That’s the big thing that I am pushing right now, other than that, there’s Star Wars: Kanaan which is a lot of fun. It has the first issue out now with a great second issue out in a month. I am pushing this Kickstarter, we so had a great time recording the voices. We really want a chance to finish this thing off so people remember what we did.

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16. Vertigo’s AMPED in development at USA Network

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The USA Network held its “upfronts” at which pilots are announced, and the big news was Smackdown is coming HOME to the USA Network as the WWE rolls out a more millennial friendly and aspirational “For the Hero in All of Us” program. But also, a show based on an unannounced upcoming Vertigo series is in development:

AMPED
When a neurotic family man buys an online “smart pill” to increase his focus and jolt him out of his slump, he gets much more than he bargained for.  To his surprise, the pill gives him incredible strength and power.  The project examines both the mighty highs and humiliating lows of being a real-life super hero.  AMPED is based on the characters created for an upcoming comic book by Eric Kripke (“Supernatural,” “Revolution”) for DC Entertainment’s Vertigo imprint.  Kripke will serve as executive producer/writer of AMPED, from Kripke Enterprises in association with Warner Horizon Television.


Kripke is indeed the creator of the hugely successful Supernatural and Revolution, and to all you Vertigo naysayers, this is a comfort zone for the imprint: developing network ready fare that doesn’t involve the DCU. I Zombie is doing well on the CW, so anything is possible.

Lots of other shows announced, including the return of Tough Enough (probably not with my beloved Al Snow) and a show starring Sawyer from Lost and Lori from Walking Dead for the ultimate crossover.

Also promoted at the press event were “Colony,” a futuristic drama starring Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies as the head of a family of resisters in alien-occupied Los Angeles; and “Complications,” starring Jason O’Mara as a doctor drawn into a deadly gangland saga when he saves a kid from a random shooting.


Oh and here’s a great quote about the rebranded WWE:

Peter Lazarus, USA’s ad sales chief, said they’re now focused “educating the marketplace about WWE’s positive attributes.” Those include the fact that it is mostly DVR proof through its live weekly airings and continuing storylines, and the fact that it draws a healthy amount of family viewing. The push to polish up the WWE reflects the wide-ranging new deal that NBCU and the wrestling giant struck last year, one that gives NBCU more control over advertising sales for the programs.


I didn’t have a photo from the still unannounced AMPED so I put up a photo of current WWE champ Seth Rollins. I don’t follow wrestling any more so I have no idea who this jabroni is, but one look tells you that his matinee-ready millennial look is totally on fleek.

A LOT of the shows in development have futuristic-y SF-y elements, or in other words “USA Network fare.” Why they even need to try this when Fox had to take Almost Human off the air is beyond me.

–Yr grumpy old TV fan

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17. A double dose of trailers: the Flash WonderCon sizzle reel and Justice League: Gods and Monsters

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Presented without too much ado, here’s the recent sizzle reel that The Flash production team showcased at WonderCon over the weekend. There’s some new footage of note added onto some of the stuff you’ve seen already, namely Emily Kinney as the Bug-Eyed Bandit, the return of The Mist, Weather Wizard and Rainbow Raider, and a few more glimpses at the upcoming second Arrow-Flash cross-over event.

In addition to that, here’s the first trailer for the Bruce Timm produced/Alan Burnett written Justice League: Gods and Monsters, which we detailed a bit over the weekend. I’ve so missed this animation style in DC’s recent features, which have veered more towards a sort of a grittier anime-like look over past number of years. This feels like it could be a welcome return home.

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18. That gum you like is coming back in the wrong flavor, David Lynch confirms Twin Peaks exit

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It was probably too good to be true.

Amid rumors last month that the production had hit a few financial snags, and even more dire whispers that had begun to leak out of WonderCon this afternoon, David Lynch took to Twitter to confirm all your worst fears: he will not be returning to direct Showtime’s Twin Peaks relaunch in 2016:

 

Lynch was originally scheduled to direct all 9 episodes of the upcoming limited series, but with this sudden departure, the entire endeavor is now in question. 

Is it possible Showtime could continue on without Lynch? Absolutely, especially if the Lynch/Mark Frost scripts are already in place, but would we want to see more Twin Peaks through the lens of another creative talent? Sadly, the only example of this we have to go on is the much maligned second season of the series, which saw the ongoing adventures of James Hurley and this…

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…among many other questionable decisions. Twin Peaks is such a particular property, that is clearly the product of two unique minds, it’s hard to imagine your average Dexter helmer coming in and being able to do it any justice.

Showtime has yet to comment on Lynch’s announcement, but with actors already lined up to return, including star Kyle MacLachlan; the ball is very much in their court. 

It is also very possible Lynch’s public declaration may move Showtime to give him what he wants. We’ll find out soon enough.

UPDATE: Showtime has released the following statement:

We were saddened to read David Lynch’s statement today since we believed we were working towards solutions with David and his reps on the few remaining deal points. Showtime also loves the world of Twin Peaks and we continue to hold out hope that we can bring it back in all its glory with both of its extraordinary creators, David Lynch and Mark Frost, at its helm.

 

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19. Who should play Jesse Custer in the Preacher TV Show?

The Preacher pilot is HAPPENING. I never believed this day would come. Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s scabrous, epic take on religion, armageddon and personal honor is still violent and shocking. But it’s happening.

They’ve cast Tulip (Ruth Negga)

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And Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun)

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And Arseface (Ian Colletti)

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But who will play Jesse Custer? The main man, the fallen preacher whose power allow him to take on God himself?

Maybe it should be Matt Ryan, who plays the almost sure to not return Constantine.

After all, Constantine and Jesse Custer look a lot alike.

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Actually, the front runner is said to be Dominic Cooper, who also has a strong resemblance to Howard Stark. This is all getting very confusing.

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20. Entertainment Round-Up: Fear The Walking Dead, West and Ward return to Batman ’66, Arya Stark is coming to Doctor Who

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Greetings all! I come to you from Austin, Texas today, writing this in a dimly lit Hyatt hotel room. Let’s run down a few fun things that broke over the past 24 hours in the Entertainment world.

– Last night’s finale for The Walking Dead was surely another ratings smash, and will likely notch up another victory on par with Season 4’s 15.7 million viewer finale, Wrestlemania or no Wrestlemania. Those watching also got a taste of the upcoming spin-off series, (the unfortunately titled) Fear The Walking Dead, as AMC debuted a 15 second tease for the Los Angeles-based prequel:

The first season of the new series is set for six episodes, debuting this Summer, and there is already a second season commitment in place. Get ready for year-round zombie-based drama.

Adam West and Burt Ward, while on a panel at Mad Monster Party in Charlotte, spilled the beans about a new project celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the 1966 Batman television series: an animated film! According to the pair, they’ll be reprising their iconic roles of Batman and Robin for (what is presumed to be a) direct to home media release in 2016.

Consequence of Sound got the footage of this surprising, yet very welcome announcement.

Did I ever tell you folks what a big fan I am of Jeff Parker‘s work on Batman ’66 and Batman: The Brave and the Bold?

– Lastly, hang onto your hats folks! We’ve got two fandoms converging this year, as the BBC has announced that Maisie Williams aka Arya Stark on Game of Thrones, will be appearing on Doctor Who this season/series.

In an announcement on the BBC website, showrunner Steven Moffat stated:

We’re thrilled to have Maisie Williams joining us on Doctor Who. It’s not possible to say too much about who or what she’s playing, but she is going to challenge the Doctor in very unexpected ways. This time he might just be out of his depth, and we know Maisie is going to give him exactly the right sort of hell.

Additionally, the same press release also detailed two more series episodes: “The Girl Who Died” written by new fan favorite Jamie Mathieson and Moffat and “The Woman Who Lived” by Catherine Tregenna (the first female writer of the Moffat era). Whether Williams will appear in those two episodes is not made clear based on this initial announcement.

 

2 Comments on Entertainment Round-Up: Fear The Walking Dead, West and Ward return to Batman ’66, Arya Stark is coming to Doctor Who, last added: 3/31/2015
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21. And now the Arrow/Flash Spin-Off adds a Doctor Who alum as Rip Hunter

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We barely had an hour for the just previously announced Hawkgirl casting news to settle in before another superhero has been lined up for the Arrow/Flash superhero team-up spin-off.

Arthur Darvill, known best to some segments of fandom as playing Rory Williams on Doctor Who, has signed on to play Rip Hunter on the new show.

The Wrap, who exclusively reported the news, briefly described Hunter:

The former Doctor’s Companion will play DC comic book character Rip Hunter, a roguish time traveler who hides the strains of being responsible for history itself behind a facade of charm and wit.

The character, created in 1959 by Jack Miller and Ruben Moreira for Showcase, is probably best known for starring in his own series, Time Masters, being a part of the Linear Men just prior to Zero Hour and playing a major role in 52, The Return of Bruce Wayne, and the Geoff Johns’ written Booster Gold series.

The British-born Darvill is a fascinating choice for the role, but given that he was one of the highlights of the recent Doctor Who seasons and a standout on Broadchurch, this may be another casting masterstroke.

The irony of Darvill playing a time-traveler is not lost on me.

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22. The Arrow/Flash Spin-off finds a Hawkgirl

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The still yet to be titled spin-off of The Flash and Arrow that will presumably air sometime next year on The CW continues to add to its cast, this time establishing a new character as Broadway star Ciara Renée will take on the role of Kendra Saunders/Hawkgirl.

Here’s how Deadline, who broke the news, describes this version of the character:

In the new series, Saunders is a young woman who is just beginning to learn that she has been repeatedly reincarnated over the centuries. When provoked, her ancient warrior persona manifests itself, along with wings that grow out of her back, earning her the moniker Hawkgirl.

The superhero team-up show, produced by Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg, and Marc Guggenheim has already brought on Brandon Routh, Caity Lotz, Victor Garber, Wentworth Miller, and Dominic Purcell to play their various members of the DC Universe for the series, and it’s expected that more are to join soon, including three characters that have yet to appear on television (which Deadline surmises that Hawkgirl is not one of those reported three).

Hawkgirl hasn’t gotten a lot of attention in the live action side of things, having only briefly appeared on Smallville, but the character was a standout in the DC Animated Universe having been wonderfully played by Maria Canals-Barrera in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.

Bringing on another female superhero, including one that is a person of color, is a terrific move and my excitement for this new series continues to grow.

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23. ECCC’15: Marvel Animated “One Man, Several Clips”

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Over the weekend at Emerald City Comic Con , Marvel’s Vp of animation Cort Lane threw a one man panel with lots of teases for most of the Marvel animated shows and a preview of Avengers Assemble returning only to  ‘Disassemble” .

Ultimate Spider-Man will return to finish its season in July with a new storyline titled S.H.I.E.L.D ACADEMY. Many of the characters Spider-Man recruited at the beginning of Web-Warriors will be joining him again. Even Trition from the Inhumans and Squirrel Girl are coming back. Fans can also look forward to the threat of Arnim Zola, voiced by Mark Hamill, in a look that can only be described as Kang from Ninja Turtles meets Apple Computers. In addition Robert Patrick will be voicing The Whizzer, yep that guy.

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Fans also got a look at the entire first episode of the “Disassembled” arc. If you want the spoiler run then highlight this blank space.

Episode begins with a Captain America-less Avengers battling the Adaptoid. Spider-Man joins the team in order to combat the robot who can mimic all the powers of the Avengers. Cap joins the fray alongside S.H.I.E.L.D as he’s been working for them since leaving the team an episode before. He’s even in his Winter Soldier film based costume.

The audience finds out Adaptoid is actually Ultron in disguise and he’s been after Starks tech the entire time. In a desperation move, Stark enacts his “final protocol,” destroying his labs and Avengers Tower to stop Ultron.

Cap and Stark are clearly building towards a mini inner Avengers civil war. Spider-Man is trying to hold things together, but ditched the Avengers. Cap has called for a new Avengers team, seeing Falcon, Black Widow and Hulk join his team, while Tony, Hawkeye, and Thor ban together.
The Avengers have officially disassembled, giving Ultron exactly what he wanted.

During the fan Q&A we got a few teases about the animated Marvel U:

-No kid Avengers plans.

-Plans are in the works to have animation produce something that takes place in the Marvel cinematic universe.

-No X-Men plans since those rights are still controlled by Fox, which include animation. They’ve only been able to get away with using Wolverine in his solo character costume incarnations with no X-Men ties.

To close things out, Cort showed the Guardians of the Galaxy prequel shorts leading up to the premiere of the animated series. First was Star-Lord part I. It takes most of its cues from the film version of the team, even going so far to say it may be a fill in for missing information. What we saw deals with what happened when Peter Quill was beamed aboard the alien ship as a child. In this version he’s had the Element Guns all along but is just now discovering their power.

A preview was show of Rocket Raccoon’s short. We see the moment he escapes the lab and becomes partners with Groot. You’ll hear the famous “Ain’t no thing like me…” line and it’s even got mature tones of his acceptance that he’s lost anything that will connect him to his species.

Marvel’s animation presentation was the most informative of all their ECCC panels. Cort’s division has made the Disney merger benefit Marvel without having to sacrifice much in the way of character voice.

Hopefully during Wondercon we’ll get answers to when fans will see the Guardians prequel shorts, what’s coming up in Agents of S.M.A.S.H and what the future holds for Ultimate Spider-Man once its third season ends since typically most Marvel animated series after 1997 only last between 3-5 years.

Would you want to see Marvel animated do something in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

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24. Marvel announces Southland producer as Luke Cage showrunner

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Announced today via press release, Marvel has revealed that Cheo Hodari Coker will serve as executive producer and showrunner of the third Marvel-Netflix series: Marvel’s Luke Cage.

Coker will also write two episodes of the upcoming series that will star Mike Colter as the title character.

In years previous, Coker served as the supervising producer of the cop drama Southland, and also was the co-executive producer for both Ray Donovan and Almost Human.

His writing credits also include the screenplay for the feature film biopic Notorious, which centered on the life of rapper Notorious B.I.G.

Colter will debut as Luke Cage in Marvel’s AKA Jessica Jones later this year (or possibly in early 2016, as that timetable hasn’t been quite solidified in Netflix’s release calendar).

Marvel’s Luke Cage is schedule for a 2016 release on the online network, and this is a tremendous start. I mean, who doesn’t miss Almost Human?

Here is the press:

CHEO HODARI COKER WILL SERVE AS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER AND SHOWRUNNER OF MARVEL’S LUKE CAGE FOR NETFLIX

Beverly Hills, CA — March 31, 2015 — Netflix & Marvel Television announced today that Cheo Hodari Coker will serve as executive producer and showrunner of the anticipated series, Marvel’s Luke Cage. Coker is writing the first two episodes of the series that will premiere in 2016, everywhere that Netflix is available.

Most recently, Coker served as a co-executive producer on the second season of Ray Donovan, and prior to that was a supervising producer on the critically-acclaimed, fourth season of the drama SouthLAnd. Coker was a part of the SouthLAnd team that earned the show a 2012 Peabody Award. Coker also garnered a 2013 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing for a Dramatic Series for his work on that show. Coker’s feature film credits include Fox Searchlight’s rap biopic Notorious. He authored the book Unbelievable: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of The Notorious B.I.G as well. Coker started his writing career in journalism and was a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times and contributed to VIBE, Rolling Stone, Essence, among other publications. He is a graduate of Stanford University.

It was previously announced that Mike Colter (The Good Wife, American Horror Story: Coven) will play the charismatic lead character, Luke Cage, in the series.

Marvel’s Luke Cage is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios for Netflix.

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25. Review: there’s life(lives) in the old(young) Doctor yet in Doctor Who: Ninth Doctor Issue 1

Cover_AWritten by: Cavan Scott

Art by: Blair Shedd

Publisher: Titan Comics

As Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor issue one opens you find yourself staring deeply into the eyes of Christopher Eccleston. The striking, and the nearly photo realistic panels, slowly pull back to reveal the Ninth Doctor. A voice over from a companion – most likely Rose Tyler – explains that the Doctor shouldn’t still be surprised by the infinite mysteries of space and time with all the traveling he’s done. And yet he is. Amazingly, after all we’ve seen since the 2005 relaunch of Doctor Who, the Ninth Doctor still manages to surprise comic readers and Whovians alike with his singular interpretation of the long running BBC franchise’s lead character. He’s curmudgeonly, but when he smiles it’s like the sun peeking from behind a dark cloud. In many ways he is the most optimistic of the modern Doctors, while also being the most troubled. So far all aspects of the character are well formed in this first issue of Titan’s ongoing Doctor Who Ninth Doctor series.

Writer Cavan Scott told us in an interview that this was a natural point to tell new stories about the Ninth Doctor because there is an obvious gap between episodes The Doctor Dances and Boom Town. But it stands to reason that every time the Doctor vworp vworps away, one could technically find a gap in which to set a new adventure. Still, it’s a solid choice to put the story here with the companion ‘dream team’ of Nine, Rose and Jack Harkness. The fan-favorite group, which sadly saw little in the way of screen time for all their chemistry together, is just as winning here as their televised counterparts. The Doctor hopes to show off Excroth: one of his many “favorite” planets. But when the TARDIS arrives at Nine’s coordinates they find themselves amid a field of floating meteors. Puzzled, the team are soon beamed aboard an enemy ship against their will and interrogated by a rather large and threatening robot. The robot pursues the group throughout the large enemy ship, at first taking them for emissaries of the race engaging in a pitched battle with the ship.

Not much more becomes apparent before the end of the book as to why these rather large robots are fighting a strange race of Centurion-centaur robots in the ruins of Excroth. But that’s okay. What I really loved about this book, other than the fact that the Nine-Rose-Jack dynamic was very well represented and scripted, was that it didn’t try to cram too much exposition and story set-up into one issue. Instead we get character development, which to me sets this story early on in the unseen adventures of this TARDIS-team. The Doctor is still calling Jack Rose’s “boyfriend,”  whereas by Boom Town Jack is flirting with Nine openly, who seems to enjoy it. Titan has really hit it out of the park with their Tenth and Eleventh Doctor comics (the latter being my favorite screen-to-page adaption) and the interplay so far between these three characters tells me it is well poised within those ranks.

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Many of the panels by artist Blair Shedd are lovely to behold. Where he gets it the most right for my money is in the multi-panel action scenes. Several of these use splash pages, overlaid with panels of standard action as well as silhouettes. These look great and move at the speed of the story’s fast-paced action. My only quibble is that while photo real, the art seems to stymie the action in several places. The body positioning sometimes looks a bit awkward, like a randomly paused frame of a film. Still, Shedd must be praised for how lifelike his drawings of the characters are. If fans of the series are pining for more stories from series one of new Doctor Who, they will pine ever the harder for seeing these faithful images of their beloved characters. The story of issue one ends on the companion-in-peril cliffhanger that is as much a part of Doctor Who as the Daleks. Count me among the Whovians now pining for the next issue of this ongoing series.

 

1 Comments on Review: there’s life(lives) in the old(young) Doctor yet in Doctor Who: Ninth Doctor Issue 1, last added: 4/1/2015
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