Musing on a life changing event, aka IRON MAIDEN *air guitars*

Everyone has that sort of event – you meet someone, read something or hear something that utterly changes your worldview from that moment on. I’ve had more than a few of them in my time. My list includes such things as It’s Alive by the Ramones, Return of the Jedi, and even The Da Vinci Code. (My wife and I were set up by mutual friends at a showing, I didn’t go see it of my own free will. I’m mad, but I’m not crazy) I won’t be talking about those though. This one was sparked by a book, but not any old book mind you. The Book of Revelations, chapter and verse 13:18 to be precise…

Woe to you, O Earth and Sea

For the Devil sends the Beast with wrath

Because he knows the time is short

Let him who hath understanding reckon the Number of the Beast

For it is a human number

It’s number is Six Hundred and Sixty Six…

If I close my eyes I can still see it – I was in my early teens, though I don’t remember what year exactly. A family holiday is taking place, but this is all I remember, outside of the horrors of the walk to the outside toilet. It’s near midnight, an almost perfect time for metal, my headphones are plugged into my Walkman and Three Hours of Power (Triple J’s heavy metal show) is on. All that’s lacking is a thunderstorm, lightning strike or Viking invasion to make it more metal and even then, I’m not sure I would have noticed. I don’t remember what played before or after, just the song that would change my life forever more.

The intro had my curiosity, all doom and devils and a Vincent Price soundalike, then Bruce Dickinson whispering of horrific dreams and evil faces and then it hit my ears. THAT BIG SCREAM. It was the sort of scream that echoes down the ages, a primal scream of rage and frustration, said to have been borne of several hours in the studio repeating the first four lines of the song. The sort of scream that doesn’t just put hair on your chest, it puts hair EVERYWHERE. Pure audio testosterone. Within those few brief seconds I knew, with all certainty in my barely formed teenage mind that I was hooked and I have been ever since.

It’s not just Dickinson’s scream though – Clive Burr’s jazzy drumming, the interplay between Dave Murray and Adrian Smith on guitar and Steve Harris’s bass work (That man’s right hand has to be a machine – it’s the only thing that can explain his bass work) just meld together into something magical. Seeing them live in 2008 was one of the most amazing nights of my life – seeing grizzled mullet wearing men as excited as teen girls outside a Beiber gig is not something you forget in a hurry, let alone a women dressed for an elegant garden party descending into the pit and emerging post show drenched in sweat and beaming.  I can’t properly explain the appeal – I could talk for hours about the quality of the song writing, the at times inhumanly skilled musicianship (Watch Steve Harris’s right hand during Run to the Hills), or the sheer joy that the band have for what they’re playing and that they continue to do so. It’s a glorious and magnificent noise that I love with all my heart and I thank the universe daily that I was exposed to it.

So yeah, Costa Zoulio, you have my lifelong thanks. Without that moment my life would be a lot less metal and all the poorer for it. *throws horns*

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Let’s do the Time Lord again!

We’re on time this week! Bizarrely…

I’m torn between Slayer’s Raining Blood, played on the banjo, and James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender doing impressions of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen for the greatest thing I’ve seen this week. MacAvoy might win it, solely for the freak out when Stewart asks him to say ‘Space…’

We start this week kind of angry again. I know, I know, what a surprise… Why? I was just getting to that… Film scholar Natalie Wrayford was curious as to the lack of Princess Leia themed merchandise at Disney stores, and got a pretty brutal response to her enquiry. Granted, Disney hasn’t had the license for that long and are no doubt ramping up for Episode 7, but you’d expect them to do better than this. Maybe they haven’t learnt from the recent shortages of Frozen merchandise, or were stuck trying to think of something other than the gold bikini. The outrage has resulted in a Twitter campaign based around the hashtag #WeWantLeia and hopefully will result in some good news, or at least some Leia action figures that aren’t her in the metal bikini. Mind you, we’re also still waiting for JJ Abrams to announce the mystery new female character in Episode 7 – how many Bothan’s have to die for that information? Meanwhile, Leia herself, Carrie Fisher, has spoken about wanting to get the character right, while at a recent convention, also saying she wanted the famous hair buns to return, but in grey.

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 Help us Obi-Wan Kenobi, you’re our only hope!

 Sydney is joining Melbourne and Brisbane in getting it’s first gamer bar! Spawn Point, located in Clarence St in the CBD, is set to open in August and will feature a mix of new and classic consoles available for play. There’s no word if tabletop gaming will be encouraged, but that would be awesome. In further gaming news, Lego Batman 3 has been announced, with a first trailer being released. There’s also trailers for The Strain, Earth to Echo and The Book of Life (Produced by Guillermo Del Toro) while in an unexpected bonus, there’s the first American trailer for Snowpiercer, which is getting a US release with the 25 minutes that Harvey Weinstein wanted to cut left intact. Hooray for small victories!

Remember the High Elf who attacked a car while on LSD? Well, he gave an interview this week and he’s a very special kind of crazy. Why is it when role-players make the news they always talk to the crazy ones? Couldn’t you just be a regular kind of weird? Like the guy who trimmed his hedge into a Dragon or the academic who claims that Britain has an underground network of 15,000 vampires? (And yes, he claimed role players were among them) There’s also been news about the new edition of Dungeons and Dragons – you’ll be able to get a free PDF of the rules, known as Basic D&D. It’ll contain rules for character levels 1 to 20 and have the Cleric, Fighter, Rogue and Wizard classes, with Dwarf, Elf, Halfling and Human as racial options. At launch it will have the basic, but with the release of the Player’s Handbook in August the PDF will expand to include monsters, magic items and all the rules needed to run the game.

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 Come on, Papa needs a new Sword of Wounding!

A reboot of the Stargate movie series has been announced, with both Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin working on the project. There’s no word if any of the TV series (SG-1, Atlantis and Universe) will factor into it, but I’m expecting they won’t. Emmerich is currently busy with Independence Day 2, which is being rewritten at the moment. Turning to sequels I actually want to see, Taylor Kitsch has been talking about the John Carter sequel we never got and it’s kind of heartbreaking. For all the flaws that film has, it still deserved a larger audience, or, to be slightly crazy, an audience that gave it a chance in the first place. No, it’s not perfect, and there’s parts that fall over quite badly, but it’s a far better film than the promos made it look like.

A sequel to World War Z is being written, Alfonso Cuaran has said he has no idea no idea about either The Shining prequel  or the Harry Potter spin-off he was said to be directing and the first teaser poster for Bananaman has been released. We still have no idea who’s actually involved with it (The Goodies better be in there somewhere!), but it’s a spiffy poster. Kevin Smith has been claiming that Dawn of Justice is the lead in to a 5-6 movie Justice League series and we have the first on-set photos from the Terminator reboot.

Rumour has it the BBC were considering cancelling Doctor Who after David Tennant left and singer/songwriter Foxes will be appearing in the next season (No, I’ve never heard of her either) while a group of fans with a lot of spare time and talent have created the Doctor singing the Time Warp. I’m honestly surprised it’s taken this long for someone to do that…

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Good to know what our parliamentarians are getting paid to argue about.

A casting sheet for the next season of Game of Thrones has been leaked and as it’s mostly Dornish characters, it means my hope of seeing Damphair on screen is even more forlorn. I have no idea why a discount travel website would do this, but cheapflights.com.au featured a Dothraki for Beginners guide. Marvel has cast Daredevil for the Netflix series and John Wesley Shipp (Who played the Flash in the 90’s series) will have a recurring role in the new series. Online service Hulu is in talks to being back Community and Halle Berry’s ‘Rosemary’s Baby in Spaaaaace!’ series Extant will premiere on Amazon Prime.

We end this week with word that two of the most overblown spectacles in recent history are joining forces – there’s to be an Avatar themed Cirque du Soleil show. I remember when James Cameron made movies…

Quote of the Week:

[The Doctor is cornered by four Angel Hosts in the kitchen.]

The Doctor: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait! Security protocol one! Do you hear me? One! One-ah! [The Hosts pause their attack.] OK. That gives me three questions. Three questions to save my life, am I right?

Host: Information: Correct.

The Doctor: No, that wasn’t one of them! I didn’t mean it! That’s not fair! Can I start again?

Host: Information: No.

The Doctor: No! No, no, no, no! That wasn’t a question either! Blimey… One question left. One question. All right. So. You’ve been given orders to kill the survivors but survivors; therefore, must be passengers or staff. But not me. I’m not a passenger, I’m not staff. Go ahead, scan me. [The Hosts do so.] You must have bio-records. No such person on board. I don’t exist. Therefore, you can’t kill me. Therefore, I’m a stowaway; and stowaways should be arrested and taken to the nearest figure of authority. And I reckon… the nearest figure of authority… is on deck 31. Final question. Am I right?

Host: Information: Correct.

The Doctor: Brilliant. Take me to your leader. I’ve always wanted to say that!

Doctor Who – Voyage of the Damned 

Cheers,

Gavin

 

The difference, old chum, is I’m not wearing hockey pads.

We’re late, again, as I’m sure you guessed. What’s the reason for this? Well, there was a medieval fair (I bought a drinking horn from the people who made my wife and I’s wedding rings), my 4th wedding anniversary and a few other excuses I could cite, but mostly, the blame can be laid at the feet of Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag. Those who have played it will understand, those who won’t just understand yet how awesome it is to be an assassin AND a pirate. 20140523_153115

Yes, yes they are. And my wife is even cooler.

Writer/Producer David Goyer has been in the news a lot, after making some rather unkind comments about Martian Manhunter and She-Hulk in a now deleted podcast. We won’t repeat any of them (You can find them at the link), but suffice to say they caused something of a shitstorm, with a universally negative reaction. Even Stan Lee has given his two cents on the matter, with two of the better looks at the situation coming from blogger Steve Darlington and FILM CRIT HULK. As far as I know Goyer hasn’t commented, but podcast host Craig Mazin has and as apologies go, I’ve seen better ones from 6 year olds. Let’s move on shall we?

To cleanse the palate from that, the first teaser trailer for the new season of Doctor Who has landed, with the show set to air in August. Karl Urban has called for a Kickstarter to fund a Dredd sequel, we’ve seen the first trailer for TV show The Quest, which is Survivor meets Dungeons and Dragons (And looks a lot less insulting than King of the Nerds) and the next Superman film now has an official title: Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice. Meh. Could be better, could be worse.

It was announced earlier today that Gareth Edwards will be directing the first Star Wars spin-off movie. It’s not known who or what the film will be about, but the list of upcoming projects that was leaked this week, if true, says we’re getting a Boba Fett film. (Edwards is going to be a busy boy, what with two Godzilla sequels on the way) JJ Abrams shot a message from the set, promoting a new charity venture, Force for Change, and announcing a competition to win an appearance in the movie. Watching the creature walk past made my heart skip a beat – practical effects and puppets, be still my beating heart… There’s also been reports of Chewbacca and Stormtroopers filming in Iceland, though to counter that, the game Attack Squadrons (said to be almost finished) has been cancelled. Do you know how long I’ve been waiting for another good Star Wars flight game?

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The highlight of my teenage years.

Trailer wise, there’s been an ‘international trailer’ for Transformers: Age of Extinction, along with 3 new TV spots. There’s also a second trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy and a third for Jupiter Ascending, which has a long way to go to match Amazing Spider-Man 2’s record.  We would bring you the teaser for Big Hero 6, but a pox on trailers for trailers. Ahem. There’s the first looks at Kingsman: The Secret Service, which has the classic street thug recruited by MI6 routine, but with Colin Firth, teasers for upcoming SyFy shows Ascension and Dominion and the first trailer at Dark Dungeons, the adaption of the legendary anti Dungeons and Dragons tract by Jack Chick. ARE YOU READY TO RPG?

One of the most controversial games of the 90’s, Night Trap, may be returning, and yeah… Halo 5 and Far Cry 4 have been announced and we’ll be getting a new Rockstar game before March 2015, though what it will be is still a mystery. I’m hoping for a sequel to Red Dead Redemption myself, but I love a good western. We also have a new trailer for Arkham Knight, which has the return of Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series) as the voice of Batman, after he sat out Arkham: Origins. I’ve said it before and will say it again – if someone doesn’t mod the Adam West Batmobile in this, I’m going to be very disappointed. Because a world where Kevin Conroy’s Bat-Voice say’s ‘Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed’ is a vastly better world to the one in which we live and to argue otherwise is somewhere on the scale of MONUMENTALLY STUPID between invading Russia in winter and paying to watch Adam Sandler movies.

We have more information on the release of the new edition of Dungeons and Dragons! There’ll be a starter box set (With pre-gen PC’s, dice and an adventure) available mid-July, with the release of the three core books (Players Handbook, Monster Manual and Dungeon Masters Handbook) released between August and November, in an effort to reduce errors. They’ll be complimented by a pair of adventures, Horde of the Dragon Queen and Rise of Tiamat,  where players will be pitted against Tiamat, one of the most legendary foes in the history of the game. Surprisingly, it’s not all from Wizards of the Coast – the miniatures line has been licensed to Wiz Kids, makers of Mage Knight and Hero Clix, while the adventures to be released alongside the core books were created by Kobold Press.

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Everything’s better with Dio. EVERYTHING.

Bad news everybody! Edgar Wright has left Ant-Man, with the dreaded artistic differences  being cited as the reason. A new director is yet to be announced and best of luck to them – they’ll need it. There’s been no comment from Marvel, while Wright issued a now deleted Tweet, but Guardians director James Gunn has written about the split, while Joss Whedon hoisted a Cornetto in support, a gesture reminiscent of the famous Mexico City 68 salute. Furthermore, it’s been announced that Drew Goddard has left the Netflix Daredevil series, with Steven S De Knight announced as the new showrunner.

It’s been confirmed that Agent Carter will be 8 episodes long (Or at least it’s first season will be), which is a very good thing and has made me very happy – the American system of as many episodes as possible really annoys me. There’s some pictures of Hawkeye’s new costume in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Hugh Jackman wants Wolverine to join the Avengers, seemingly just so he can fight the Hulk and actress Eden Sher had a meeting with Marvel, which has to mean she’s playing Ms Marvel, right?

Now, I have very little to back this up with, but apparently a pilot is being written for a Locke Lamora TV series. (Based on the books by Scott Lynch) If this happens I’ll be a very, very happy man. For those who’ve not read the books, they’re a fantasy series about a group of thieves called the Gentleman Bastards and are FUCKING AWESOME. No, you don’t get anymore – go read the first book (The Lies of Locke Lamora) and tell me that wouldn’t make a great series. Former Walking Dead showrunner Glen Mazzara is working on a TV version of The Omen, Robert Downey Jr has bought the rights to an episode of Charlie Brooker’s  series Black Mirror and the comic series V-Wars (From IDW Publishing) is being adapted for TV. Turning to the web, the sci fi comedy Space Happens is seeking funding and Chris Hardwick’s All Star Celebrity Bowling is coming to AMC!

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 Are you interested yet?

The first picture of Gal Gadot as Diana Prince in Batman vs Superman has leaked and Kevin Smith won’t shut up about Ben Affleck’s Batsuit. We’ve seen the first poster for Minions (The Despicable Me spin off), Molly Ringwald and Juliette Lewis have joined Jem and the Holograms and Gobber (Craig Ferguson) will be coming out in How to Train Your Dragon 2. If any of you feel the need to scream ‘But think of the children’, blame Craig Ferguson – it was his ad-lib. Oh, and LIGHTEN UP. Alfonso Cuaran is line to direct both the first Fantastic Beasts film (The Harry Potter spin off) and a prequel to The Shining, a sequel to the Lego Movie is in the works, as is a two movie version of Stephen King’s It.

We end this week with some fantastic cosplay – a street performer dressed as a transforming Bumblebee and the magnificence that is Baby Predator, which is something between utterly adorable and pants wettingly terrifying. Either way, it’s deserving of applause.

Quote of the Week:

“… It’s perfect! Locke would appreciate it.”

“Bug,” Calo said, “Locke is our brother and our love for him knows no bounds. But the four most fatal words in the Therin language are ‘Locke would appreciate it.'”

“Rivalled only by ‘Locke taught me a new trick,'” added Galo.

“The only person who gets away with Locke Lamora games …”

“… is Locke …”

“… because we think the gods are saving him up for a really big death. Something with knives and hot irons …”

“… and fifty thousand cheering spectators.”

Scott LynchThe Lies of Locke Lamora

Cheers,

Gavin

Stuff happened. People are stupid.

Welcome readers!

This week, we’re angry. ‘So what else is new?’ I hear you say. Well, we have good reason to be this time! It’s rare I touch on politics, but the axing this week of the Australian Interactive Games Fund has me fuming. I’m even angrier about the fact that this is the first I’ve heard of it, as this is the sort of thing that should be on my radar. Furthering that anger was the news that Community has been cancelled. #DarkestTimeline, as I believe the hip kids are saying. I also had my long held belief that people are fucking idiots reinforced with the release of the list of 2013 baby names from the US. There’s 8 Briennes, which is nice. 1135 Arya’s. (I admit, I like the name, but I plan to give my children geek middle names) 10 Bellatrix’s. 15 Theon’s. (What?) And 241 children named Khaleesi. IT’S A TITLE, NOT A NAME YOU FOOLS. And let’s not even start on names like Rydder, Kaptain, Rebelle and Xzaiden – do people who do this hate their children or did I miss a memo?

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As crossovers go, it’s still better than Alien vs Predator.

The US army has released it’s ‘In case of Zombies read this’ plan and LARP takes another step towards the mainstream, with the surge in popularity in the US of Archery Tag, a version of Dodgeball with foam arrows. I WAS DOING THAT BEFORE IT WAS COOL! Fucking bandwagon jumpers… In property news, Bran Castle (Said to be the inspiration for Castle Dracula) is for sale, for the eye watering cost of $135 million dollars. I can’t say I’m too enthused, as the upkeep on that would be murderous. Castle Duckula on the other hand…

The world lost a legend this week with the death of artist HR Giger, whose work produced wonder and nightmare fuel in roughly equal amounts. He is perhaps best known for his design work on Ridley Scott’s Alien, which alone would be enough to cement his place in history. We may never see his like again, or at the very least, never see anyone that freakin’ wierd. Scott has paid tribute to him, while in related news Michael Fassbender has confirmed Prometheus 2 is a go, which will have to wait as Scott’s next film is set to be The Martian, starring Matt Damon.

Zack Snyder’s been busy this week, after giving a first tease of the new Batmobile, he’s revealed the first look at Ben Affleck as Batman. Hard to comment given the nature of the shot, but there doesn’t appear to be any Bat-Nipples, so that’s a good start. There’s a short featurette about Gotham, along with some new photos of the cast looking all broody and intense. A campaign has also sprung up to get Batman co-creator Bill Finger credit on the show, in addition to Bob Kane. Why you ask? Well, there’s a whole lot of he said/she said over the years as to who exactly created Bats, with a lot of people arguing that Finger deserves co-credit.  Anyhow, in news no-one should be able to complain about, a group of fans shot a live action version of the intro to Batman: The Animated Series.  

We’ve had our first looks at the upcoming Arrow spin off The Flash this week, with the first brief look after the promo for Arrow’s season finale. There followed swiftly by a first teaser and finally a 5 minute long extended trailer, that while it may show a little too much, is all the better for it. We also have the first synopsis and promo logo for Agent Carter, which has me far more excited than I should be.

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About as excited as Haley Atwell is I’m guessing.

There’s talk of a Namor movie being made, with Zac Efron to star. For those of you who have no idea who I’m talking about, think Aquaman, but angrier. Lauren Shuler Donner keeps talking about wanting to make Deadpool and in news we’ve been dreading, Channing Tatum has been confirmed as playing Gambit in an upcoming X-Men film.  Despite what I’ve said previously, he might not be all bad – at least it’s not like it’s the Jack Black Green Lantern that was talked about. In other film news, Harrison Ford has been invited to appear in the planned Blade Runner sequel and Roberto Orci will be directing the third Star Trek film, which will be his debut as a director. Hopefully he’ll cut down on the lens flare. I’m still not putting money on it though.

The following piece of news should really be read to the sound of the 20th Century Fox fanfare – shooting has begun on Star Wars: Episode 7. Expect plenty of leaked photos, wild speculation and fanboy frothing at the mouth. (We rage because we love) Some interesting rumours about the film has also come to light, which seem to revolve around ignoring the prequel films as much as possible and finally releasing the original versions of the classic trilogy. Interesting…  Turning back to Episode 7, there’s talk about Adam Driver’s character and confirmation that we won’t be seeing Wedge Antilles, with actor Dennis Lawson saying he’d been approached but wasn’t interested. Shame that, but I can’t blame him – how many of you would want to revisit something you did over 30 years ago? We also have a trailer for a documentary seeking funding called Elstree 1976, looking at the bit players of the original trilogy.

We’ve a fan-made trailer for the next Dresden Files book, Skin Game, that’s been endorsed by author Jim Butcher. It’s been sufficiently long and my memory is sufficiently poor that I’ve no real idea what’s going on, but for a fan effort it’s mighty impressive. Now, if you only know the character through the TV series (Which I’ll admit I didn’t mind), I can’t urge you enough to read the books. They’re witty, packed with awesome characters and aren’t the size of house bricks like other series we love that we could mention. *cough*A Song of Ice and Fire*cough*.

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 POLKA WILL NEVER DIE!

There’s a new poster and trailer for Transformers: Age of Extinction and as terrible as I think it’ll be, the sight of Optimus Prime riding Grimlock into battle still makes me as excited as a 6 year old on a  sugar rush. There’s also a look at the action figure versions of Slog and Snarl (I guess you can’t have a character in this day and age called Slag) which look… well… ugly. We also have the first looks at Deliver us from Evil and Monsters: Dark Continent (A sequel to the Gareth Edwards film) and a new trailer for Edge of Tomorrow. TV wise, there’s looks at new shows Wayward Pines and Hieroglyph, one is which is an M Night Shyamalan production and The Librarians, a spin-off of the made for TV movie series, that stars Rebecca Romijn and Christian Kane.  It looks as fun as it is silly, which means I’ll be mining it for ideas for any upcoming roleplaying games I run.

The first trailer for Constantine has been released and blimey, it looks good. DISCLAIMER: I’ve not read much Hellblazer (Basically, just Dangerous Habits) so I’m not well versed in it, but it looks like this version has actually paid attention to it. We also have the first clip from the show – is it wrong I hope the business card bit becomes a running gag? And yes, in case you were wondering, there are people on the Internet yelling about wanting Keanu Reeves to play the role again. In that film’s defence, everything up to the magic shotgun is pretty good, with Tilda Swinton and Peter Stormare being bloody amazing. It’s a combination of the magic gun, the appearance of Shia LeBouf and Constantine not being British that sink it. If you’d made it about another part time exorcist, it might have made a far better film.

The first film in the Harry Potter spin off series Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be released in late 2016, Sigourney Weaver will be returning for the Avatar sequels and we were somewhat stunned to discover that Blumhouse Productions (Makers of such fine films as Paranormal Activity and The Purge) turned down a pitch from John Carpenter. Now, while I grant you his recent work may not be up to standards (I don’t know, I haven’t seen it), this is the man who made Big Trouble in Little China, one of the most perfect films ever made.  You let the man make his movie and DAMN THE CONSEQUENCES!

Jack-burton And the cheque is in the mail!

Actors Hermione Norris and Frank Skinner will be appearing in the next season of Doctor Who, which is currently shooting in Lanzarote. (A reference that only Classic Who fans will understand) Furthermore, director Rachel Talalaly (Whose directed such films as Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare and Tank Girl) will be directing two episodes of this season. Now all we need is some female writers and we might be getting somewhere! There’s plans for a remake of Alien Nation and TNT is preparing several new sci-fi series, with a sequel to the Stephen King story Firestarter and the time travel drama Fix-It Men, about a group travelling back in time to avert a global catastrophe. Hannibal has been renewed, we have a synopsis for Heroes Reborn and the episode titles for the rest of this season of Game of Thrones, which will be taking a 1 week break after the next episode. Boooo!

We end this week with the origins of the term ‘Red Herring’ and footage of a man who built himself a set of retractable Wolverine claws, and as a result of this, is having THE BEST DAY EVER.

Quote of the Week:

“I lunged, low and quick, and drove about a foot of cold steel into his danglies. Hey, I don’t care what kind of fearie or mortal or hideous creature you are. If you’ve got danglies, and can lose them, that’s the kind of sight that makes you reconsider the possible genitalia-related ramifications of your actions real damned quick.” Jim Butcher – Proven Guilty

Cheers,

Gavin

It’s a trap!

I’ve been musing over character concepts for an upcoming LARP this week, and while I’ve a few ideas that are workable concepts, I’m going with the one that will give me an excuse to buy another kilt. What? I’m a simple man at heart and kilts are incredibly comfortable.

We start this week looking at the world of television, as May the 4th brought us the first proper trailers for Star Wars: Rebels. I’m not sure what to make of it, as in places it look pretty cheesy, but hearing the line “Focus your fire on… on the Jedi!” gives me hope. That and it scores a lot of points for referencing early Ralph McQuarrie concept art (Zeb looks eerily similar to early sketches of Chewbacca) and their use of West End Games material – I might have a pile of books for that game over 3 feet high… That and it’s just great to have the Galactic Empire as villains again – there’s something about the scream of a TIE Fighter or the rumble of a Star Destroyer that puts me in a happy place.

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Kuat Drive Yards Imperial I Class Star Destroyer. Accept no substitute.

There’s rumours that Obi-Wan and Lando will also be appearing in the series and while I’m quite happy to see them again, especially Lando, , I also really don’t want to. Yes, I keep saying it, but it continues to be true – sometimes leaving a little mystery works far better than flat out telling us. Remember how we all thought finding out what the young Anakin Skywalker was like? Remember how that turned out? Yeah…

We also have the first trailer for the young Jim Gordon series Gotham, which has been picked up for a full series. Showrunner Bruno Heller (Rome) has plans to introduce early versions of Batman’s rogues gallery, including the most famous of Batman’s enemies. Whoever plays that has very, very big shoes to fill…

It’s been a good week to be a DC Comics TV show, as Constantine (Which has released the first image this week) and The Flash also got picked up. DC aren’t alone though, with Agents of SHIELD getting a second season and the much hoped for Agent Carter series being confirmed, which will air before the 2nd season of SHIELD. Starz is adapting the novel Blackbirds (About a woman who can tell you when you’ll die), TNT are working on Proof, a supernatural medical drama and the CW are working on iZombie, about a medical student who becomes a zombie. Brains? Lastly, comics writer Tony Lee is working on the show The Nest, which was co-created by Alaina Huffman (Stargate Universe). I’d love to tell you more, but that’s all I know. Meanwhile, in the bad news section, both Star-Crossed and the reboot of The Tomorrow People have been cancelled.

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 You’ll be watching my show right?

 Yes, we’ll get to all things Episode 7 now, OK? JJ Abrams and Lawrance Kasdan made a short video saying not very much and the first of soon to be many rumours about the title of the film isThe Ancient Fear. Do I like it? No. Do I hate it? Kind of. Still, it could be worse – it could be some of the alternate names registered for Batman vs Superman. *shudders* There’s nothing of any real substance yet, apart from the shooting nickname, which will be AVGO, and that Chewbacca took a selfie. Well, that and Disney have confirmed that there’s at least three spinoffs on the way – let the milking of the cash cow commence!

Franklin Storm (Father of Jonny and Sue) has been cast in the Fantastic Four reboot and Lou Ferrigno has been saying there’ll be a Hulk solo movie after Avengers: Age of Ultron. I’ve no idea who he knows, but since he could break me in half without breaking a sweat, I’m not going to argue with him. Robert Downey Jr is developing a supernatural comedy called Cloaked, director Andres Muschietti has left the reboot of The Mummy over ‘creative differences’ and a new live action Mighty Morphin Power Rangers movie has been announced. Dear 90’s nostalgia – YOU CAN STOP NOW.

John Goodman and Ken Watanabe are among the voice cast of Transformers: Age of Extinction, with Goodman voicing Hound and Watanabe the voice of Drift. Frank Welker (The original voice of Megatron) will finally appear in the films, in a role previously played by Leonard Nimoy, which should be cryptic enough for most.  Matt Smith has joined Terminator: Salvation and has been chatting about Peter Capaldi’s Doctor, saying he got some hints on the new season from Steven Moffat.  Yes, yes, I know… [River Song] Spoilers… [River Song]

doctor-who-capaldi

I’d make a joke, but I’m scared he’d find me…

There’s the first first poster and image from Interstellar, Christopher Nolan’s new film – the trailer is due in a week or so and will hopefully tell us what’s happening. There’s a look at the action figures for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie and both Laura Linney and Sir IanMcKellen have signed up for a new Sherlock Holmes movie. Trailer wise there’s not much – an ‘extended’ trailer for the TV series Extant (Rosemary’s Baby IN SPAAAAAACE!) and the final trailer for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

We leave you this week with a couple of interesting titbits – researchers have developed a method to tell when guys are playing girls in MMORPG’s and there’s a Kickstarter I thought deserved some more attention. It’s for an RPG called The Queens Cavaliers, set in an alternate universe 1600’s. Not only are you encouraged to swash your buckle, but dressing in fashion will help just as much as your swordplay.

Quote of the Week:

[After surviving a gladiatorial fight, at which point they would have been free]

Miek: No hmpfing! The Red *kik* King to pardoning us now.

Hulk: Red King?

Miek: The Emperor. His planet. We just living here.

Hulk: He runs this stupid world?

Miek: As much as he grabbing anyway.

[The Hulk leaps at the Red King’s seat]

Hulk: Finally. Hulk knows who to smash.

Planet Hulk – Issue #92

Cheers,

Gavin

There is a great disturbance in the Force…

I might have spent a little too much time indoors of late, as I’ve started absentmindedly composing bad Viking-esque poetry about my house, which I’ll spare you. You’ll thank me. Also, I tried to introduce my godson to Star Wars, which didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. When Darth Vader made his entrance on the Tantive IV, I was hoping for something, I don’t know, fearful or terrified, a reaction worthy of one of cinema’s greatest villains. Instead he turned to me and asked:’Is that Batman?’ *sigh*

It’s been a big week for that galaxy, with the first official announcement of the cast list for Star Wars Episode 7. Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher are returning, along with Max Von Sydow (Flash Gordon), Andy Serkis (The Lord of the Rings), John Boyega (Attack the Block) and Adam Driver (Girls) among others. We still have very little detail as to who’s playing who, nor how large a part the original cast will have. There’s a report that Ford’s part is gigantic (Yes, there’s a very cheap joke there, but I’m not going to make it), but that could just be Abrams doing the ‘No, it’s TOTALLY not Khan’ routine again. On that note, can we get someone to punch him in the junk if he tries that again, please?

Colbert Wars

 

For that matter, what about the ‘You Rebel scum’ guy?

There’s one thing that’s been nagging me about it though, and others have put it far better than I can, namely io9’s Annalee Newitz: where the hell are the women? Let’s break it down shall we?

The original trilogy: Princess Leia.

The prequel trilogy: Padme Amidala.

The new film: Princess Leia and an unknown role

We have Carrie Fisher and Daisy Ridley and… that’s it. Apparently another female lead will be joining, but that’s still not nearly enough. Yes, 2 major female characters is more than in the entire original trilogy, so it’s progress. It just happens to be piss poor progress.

Now, there are female speaking roles scattered throughout, but they consist of Aunt Beru, Mon Mothma, Jocasta Nu (The Jedi Temple’s librarian) and a few random background extras. Aayla Secura doesn’t get a line, let alone to draw her lightsaber before she’s gunned down by Order 66, to add insult to injury. With the word recently that the Expanded Universe (Novels, video games etc) won’t be canon for the new films (Though they’ll continue to mine it for ideas), it does rob us of a lot of fantastic female characters and also lessens the chance of Benedict Cumberbatch or Hugo Weaving playing Grand Admiral Thrawn. However, if we can get close to an equal gender representation, then that is a price I’m happy to pay.

For all the terrible parts of the EU (Darksaber and The Crystal Star, I’m looking at you) there were some amazing female characters – Mara Jade (Who started out trying to kill Luke and later became his wife), Han and Leia’s daughter Jaina (Who became the Sword of the Jedi), Imperial Intelligence chief Ysanne Isard and warrior princess Tenel Ka. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Anyhow, the old material will remain in print under the title Star Wars Legends, with the covers to the first four ‘new’ novels released this week.  The first will tie in to the new animated series Star Wars Rebels, with the others spotlighting Luke Skywalker, Grand Moff Tarkin and the Lords of the Sith, Palpatine and Vader.

a_long_time_ago_star_wars

It’s amazing the power that one simple sentence still has over me.

Warners have confirmed that Zack Snyder will be directing Justice League, with the movie set to shoot after he finishes Batman vs Superman, which will hopefully get a better title before it’s released. Speaking of that, it’s gotten even more crowded, with actor Ray Fisher cast as Cyborg. Warners are said to have another nine films in development, with Fables and Sandman said to be among them. But really, who cares about any of that – Stan Lee has shot a cameo for Guardians of the Galaxy!

Joe Quesada has confirmed that the Marvel Netflix series will be part of the MCU, Tim Blake Nelson is now part of the Fantastic Four reboot, where he’ll play Harvey Elder, better known as the Mole-Man, the Spider-Man spin off Sinister Six could be shooting next year and there’s been talk of an X-Men TV show. Me? I’m just hoping they update the theme tune from the 90’s cartoon.

Microsoft are planning a TV show based on the roleplaying game Deadlands, SyFy US have announced a plethora of new shows, including adaptions of Frank Miller’s Ronin, Lev Grossman’s Magician series and the time travel story Pax Romana. Here’s hoping that A: some of them actually make it to the screen and B: they’re actually any good. They also announced a third Sharknado film, so it’s more a case of 2 steps forward, 1 GIANT LEAP BACK.

0976360160_01__SS500_SCLZZZZZZZ_V53600972_

The Good, the Bad and the Undead…

A synopsis has been released for the movie adaption of book series Goosebumps, plans are afoot to bring The Phantom back to cinema screens and Kevin Smith is working on a Christmas themed horror movie, Anti-Claus. Wasn’t he talking about quitting movies after Red State, or did I miss a memo? The Assassin’s Creed movie has a new director, Steven Spielberg is to direct a new version of the Roald Dhal story The BFG and Hugh Jackman reckons the third Wolverine film will be his last time playing the character, which is fair enough.

In this week’s instalment of ‘DON’T YOU FUCKING DARE’ comes word of a new Dad’s Army movie. Don’t. Please, just don’t. I’m sure you can make a decent version, but surely this could be stopped before that? It’s pure speculation at the moment, but we could be getting a Sherlock Christmas special, Fox have cancelled Almost Human and a Friday the 13th series is in the works, which is said to take place across different times and look into the Voorhees family past. Dredd’s producer has given an update on the sequel, saying despite Karl Urban’s recent comments there’s very little progress and a new synopsis for Mad Max: Fury Road has been released.

Footage wise, there’s a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trailer, which is mostly the previous trailer with a tiny bit of new footage which makes even less sense. How is William Fitchner both an amoral scientist and the leader of an evil ninja clan? I’m not saying he can’t be both, but there’s only so many hours in the day. We’ve three new clips from X-Men: Days of Future Past and a new episode of the Judge Dredd fan series Cursed Edge has arrived. We end this week with a gloriously cute K-9 poodle skirt. *sigh* It’s great to see geek clothing that’s more than a t-shirt, though I continue to grumble that Her Universe don’t ship to Australia – there’s a shirt there that’s perfect for my niece.

Quote of the Week:

Jagged Fel: “You also have to play politics, which is like piloting an unarmored shuttle through the worst meteor shower in history, and just as productive. I think sometimes the only reason I’m not as unhinged as Daala is because I’m younger.”

Jaina Solo: “My mother isn’t unhinged.”

Jagged Fel: “No, but she left the Chief of State’s office and took up a profession where she could cut people in half when she got annoyed.”

Star Wars: Conviction

Cheers,

Gavin