Thursday, October 30, 2014

SUPERGIRL Casting Reveals Kara's Sister & Heroic Debut

To quote the legendary Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi, "Sister..."

Over a month after receiving a series commitment, TVLine revealed some casting information for the upcoming CBS series Supergirl, based on the DC Comics character.  Casting will be handled by David Rapaport, who also oversees casting for The CW's Arrow and The Flash.

For the lead role of Supergirl/Kara Zor-El/Kara Danvers, the show is "eyeing Caucasian females, age 22 to 26, to play 24.  As the series’ mythology goes, Kara at age 12 was sent from her dying home planet of Krypton to Earth, where she was taken in by the Danvers, a foster family who taught her to be careful with her extraordinary powers.  After repressing said skills for more than a decade, Kara is forced to bust out her super moves in public during an unexpected disaster.  Energized by her heroism for the first time in her life, she begins embracing her abilities in the name of helping the people of her city, earning herself a super moniker along the way."

One of the main supporting roles was also revealed, a new foster sister for Kara named Alexandra "Alex" Danvers.  According to the article, Alex is "Kara’s gorgeous, brilliant, science-minded foster sister.  Growing up, Alex was partly jealous of her sibling yet also fascinated by her abilities, prompting Alex to learn as much as she could about alien anthropology, sociology and culture.  Today, Alex works for a secret government organization and, alongside her heroic sis, will face many challenges, both mundane and super."

The Supergirl pilot was scripted by Ali Adler (No Ordinary Family) and Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash), who will executive produce the series with Sarah Schechter of Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television.

Presumably, Supergirl will air on CBS sometime in Fall 2015.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Marvel Announces Phase 3 of Marvel Cinematic Universe

During a special presentation at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood Tuesday, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced Marvel Studio's plans for Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Marvel officially confirmed rumors that their Black Panther, Captain Marvel and Inhumans properties would be adapted into movies and that Black Panther will star Get on Up's Chadwick BosemanConcept art for Black Panther's costume was also provided.
In addition, Marvel confirmed that Captain Marvel will feature the character Carol Danvers, the former Ms. Marvel, as Marvel's first female superhero movie.
They also announced the full titles for the sequels to 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier and 2013's Thor: The Dark World, which will be called Captain America: Civil War and Thor: Ragnarok.  Guardians of the Galaxy will also receive a sequel directed once again by James Gunn, although there is no subtitle as yet.
So with these announcements, the upcoming Marvel Studios film schedule leading up to The Avengers: Infinity War Parts One and Two in 2018 and 2019 looks like this:


Monday, October 27, 2014

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE: "In the Forest of the Night" is Up!

"Do you think that's how Spring begins -- with a group message on Tree Facebook?  Do you think that they send texts to each other?"

My good friend Jesse Jackson and I are back with another episode of Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast!

This time out, we give our thoughts on "In the Forest of the Night," the tenth episode from Doctor Who Series Eight, including things like overkill on fairy tales, Clara's inconsistency as a character, impressing kids with a TARDIS, more really bad Doctor Who science, Danny suddenly being okay with Clara lying to him, the Doctor once again doing nothing and letting the crisis resolve itself, listener comments, the writers Pip and Jane Baker, our Reverse the Polarity segment, bad Doctor Who parenting, some shameless pimping of Dangerous Habits: The Constantine Podcast, and more!

And for those who still aren't aware of this yet, we're available on iTunes RIGHT HERE as well as Stitcher RIGHT HERE, so please subscribe and tell your friends about us. If you're looking for direct MP3 downloads, you can find them RIGHT HERE as well. Oh, and don't forget we have an officially official Next Stop Everywhere Facebook page and Twitter account, so be sure to Like and/or Follow us, okay?

Have fun watching "Dark Water" on BBC America this Saturday, then keep checking iTunes, Stitcher and the Southgate Media Group website for our next Doctor Who review!

Benedict Cumberbatch in Talks to Star in DOCTOR STRANGE

Okay, now is the Doctor finally in?

Deadline is reporting Benedict Cumberbatch is about to enter negotiations to star in Marvel Studios' upcoming film, Doctor StrangeThe article claims that Cumberbatch is the studio's replacement choice for Joaquin Phoenix, who entered negotiations this past July for the role of Dr. Stephen Strange but talks ended, forcing Marvel to start over.

The 38-year-old actor is best known as the modern Sherlock Holmes on the BBC series Sherlock, as Khan Noonien Singh from last year's Star Trek Into Darkness, and as the voice of Smaug the dragon in The Hobbit trilogy.  He's also starred in a number of notable films, including The Imitation Game, The Fifth Estate, 12 Years a Slave, Parade's End, War Horse and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

Previously, Jared Leto was rumored for the role of Dr. Stephen Strange and back in June, The Dark Knight Rises' Tom Hardy was reportedly under consideration by Marvel but supposedly had scheduling conflicts. One month earlier, Justin Theroux was named as being in the running.

Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Doctor Strange debuted in 1963's Strange Tales #110. Dr. Stephen Strange began as an arrogant and egotistical neurosurgeon that suffers permanent damage to his hands as a result of a car accident. He searches around the world for a way to repair his hands, ultimately coming across a master sorcerer known as The Ancient One in the Himalayas. When Strange learns that Baron Mordo, the Ancient One's disciple, intends on killing his master, the Ancient One agrees to teach Strange the mystic arts after Mordo is defeated.

Doctor Strange is scheduled for release in theaters on July 8, 2016.

THE FLASH Casts Malese Jow as Linda Park

Barry Allen's love life is about to get a bit more complicated.

The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that the new CW series The Flash has cast Malese Jow as DC Comics character Linda Park.  The role will be recurring, with Linda's first appearance in the series' twelfth episode.

According to the article, Linda will be "a quick-witted reporter for the Central City Picture News.  She befriends Iris (Candice Patton) while at work and helps her navigate the fast-paced world of journalism.  When she meets Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) at a local bar, the two hit it off and become quick friends."

The 23-year-old actress is best known as Anna on the CW series The Vampire Diaries and as Julia Yeung on the series Star-Crossed.  She's also appeared as Alice Cantwell in the 2010 film The Social Network and various episodes of Castle, CSI: Miami, Desperate Housewives and Leverage.

Created by William Messner-Loebs and Greg LaRocque in 1989's The Flash (vol.2) #28, Linda Park first appeared as a Keystone City television reporter who regularly dealt with Wally West, the third Flash, whom she didn't like.  After Wally helped free her from possesion by the spirit of an 800-year-old Irish bard, the two became close and started dating.

Their love grew, and even with many obstacles such as Linda being abducted and having her memory replaced by Abra Kadabra, Wally and Linda eventually married.  Linda soon became pregnant with twins, but miscarried after being attacked by Zoom, only to have her pregnancy restored when a later battle between The Flash and Zoom time-traveled back to the moment and prevented the injury that caused the miscarriage.  Linda gave birth to Jai and Iris West, who began to age rapidly due to their father's speed powers, until Linda used advance alien science she had learned to stabilize the twins' powers.  Linda has yet to be reintroduced into the current New 52 continuity.

Jow will be the third actress to portray Linda Park in live action, after brief cameo appearances in the 1990-91 series The Flash (played by Mariko Tse) and in the Arrow episode "Three Ghosts" (played by Olivia Cheng).  Linda also appeared on the animated series Justice League Unlimited, in the episode "Flash and Substance" (voiced by Kim Mai Guest).

Sunday, October 26, 2014

DANGEROUS HABITS: Episode 001 - "Non Est Asylum" is Up!

"It's easier to deny danger than to face it, but make no mistake if you don't listen to me, you'll be dead by morning."

My friend/co-host Karen Lindsay and I are back with the first full episode of Dangerous Habits: The Constantine Podcast!

We give our thoughts on "Non Est Asylum," the pilot episode from Constantine Season One, including things like our first impressions of Matt Ryan as John Constantine, the show Sleepy Hollow, the Newcastle incident, NBC's network standards, Constantine's punk band Mucous Membrane, future DC Comics guest stars, swapping Zed Martin for Liv Aberdeen, crossovers with other DC Universe TV shows, fanboying vs. geeking, and more!

You can check out the episode HERE and for those of you who use iTunes, we're already available HERE, so please subscribe and rate us!  In addition, we have our Dangerous Habits show page on Facebook, which you can check out HEREAnd we're also on Twitter using the account @DangerousHabit5 because some bloody arse already claimed @DangerousHabits.

Be sure to share these with all of your friends, enemies, demons, angels, sorcerers, ghosts, whomever, and help build our new podcast into something special.  Oh, and send us your thoughts about the show or the podcast via Twitter and Facebook.  As soon as we get some, we'll be reading them on the podcast.

Have fun watching "The Darkness Beneath" on NBC this Friday, then keep checking iTunes, Libsyn  and the Southgate Media Group website for our next Constantine review!

DAMN Good Television -- CONSTANTINE: "Non Est Asylum"

Once upon a time in 2005, fans of the DC Comics/VERTIGO series Hellblazer suffered through Keanu Reeves as a blasphemous Americanized version of British occult detective/magician John Constantine.  The film Constantine, directed by Francis Lawrence, introduced mainstream America to the character and despite Reeves' matching black hair and black trenchcoat, was actually a decent R-rated movie that did pretty well at the box office.
When news of a new Constantine television series was announced last September, fans were understandably skeptical.  Adapting a mature readers comic book series like Hellblazer on NBC, of all places, seemed like a pretty bad idea considering current network television standards.  And sure enough, some of those antiquated network standards prohibit showing a chain-smoking character actually smoking while scenes of extreme violence and gore are perfectly fine, as anyone who has seen NBC's wonderful series Hannibal can attest.  However, the producers remain firm that Constantine is indeed a smoker, so you'll see him playing with his lighter or stubbing out a cigarette now and then as a workaround.

This first episode, written by Batman Begins and Blade writer David S. Goyer and showrunner Daniel Cerone opens with Constantine (Matt Ryan) voluntarily receiving electroshock treatment as a patient of the Ravenscar Psychiatric Facility for the Mentally Deranged.  We quickly learn that he's receiving therapy for a past traumatic event taken straight from the comics, involving a 9-year-old girl named Astra Logue.  This Newcastle incident, we later find out, involved Constantine and a group of friends attempting to save Astra from possession by calling up a more powerful demon named Nergal, only to have Nergal drag Astra into Hell after dismembering her.

Noticing a strange group of cockroaches, Constantine follows the trail to a possessed female patient.  Swiftly exorcising the unrevealed demon, the cockroaches reveal the words "Liv Die" on a nearby wall, which forces him to check himself out of the facility.  He soon finds a young woman named Liv Aberdeen (True Blood's Lucy Griffiths) at a car rental facility in Atlanta, Georgia, who seems understandably freaked by parking lot pavement caving itself into a giant pit just before Constantine shows up in yellow taxi cab.

Right out of the gate, Ryan already seems to have a better grasp of John Constantine than Reeves did, playing him as cheeky and a bit arrogant while masking his personal pain and inner demons (no pun intended).  Because this is the pilot episode, Constantine tends to deliver a lot of exposition to explain what's going on, helped by Liv, whose sole purpose here is to ask what's going on, as any good companion on Doctor Who has done for the past fifty years.

We're soon introduced to Manny (Lost's Harold Perrineau), presumably an angel sent from Heaven to drop ominous plot point teases on Constantine and get him to investigate whatever demonic force is on the way.  And then we meet Chas Chandler (Charles Halford), Constantine's best mate and driver of said taxi cab that crashes immediately Social Distortion's cover of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" plays on the radio.  After getting out of the cab, Chas gets a live power cable through the chest (Hey, it happens), but we soon learn that Chas apparently has the ability to heal from fatal injuries.  Somehow.

Constantine takes Liv to her father's secretly secret mill house in the middle of the woods, which apparently stores a number of powerful mystical artifacts/easter eggs, including the Helm of Nabu which belongs to the DC Comics sorcerer Doctor Fate.  This seems to blatantly hint that the supernatural corners of the DC Universe after definitely in play, opening up the series to possible appearances by Swamp Thing, Constantine's ex-girlfriend Zatanna, Deadman, the Phantom Stranger, Doctor Occult, you name it.  Since we know that Emmett Scanlan has been cast as Jim Corrigan, it shouldn't be too long before The Spectre rises as well.

As the episode progresses, we also meet Ritchie Simpson (played by the terrific Jeremy Davies, another Lost veteran) who was one of Constantine's mysterious Newcastle crew from back in the day and now serves as the expert hacker every show seems to need these days.  Constantine asks Ritchie to hack Atlanta's power grid as part of the big masterplan to deal with Furcifer, the electrical demon messing with Liv.  Viewers unfamiliar with Hellblazer will get the feeling that Constantine burns through friends and allies like pawns on a chessboard, using them as necessary tools that often can be sacrificed in his crusade against the forces of Hell.

After Furcifer is dealt with rather effectively with an impressive visual effects display, Liv is quickly written out of the series due to a change in creative direction after the pilot was filmed and in her place arrives Zed Martin (Angelica Celaya), another character straight from the Jamie Delano run of Hellblazer.  Zed is only teased in the final moments, as we see her drawing (or is that channeling?) various images of John Constantine that come off as a lovely tribute to various Hellblazer comic artists.

All in all, Constantine seems like a series full of potential, even though this pilot episode often feels rushed and cramped with information and backstory.  Some Hellblazer fans may remain bitter about the show being on NBC instead of HBO or Showtime, but it's more than obvious that the showrunners are trying to incorporate as many elements from the comics as possible and that they're already using some of the best material.  So if you're still on the fence about this series, grab yourself a pint, sit down, give it a try for a few episodes and see if it grabs you.  Just hopefully, not into Hell...