Saturday, August 30, 2014

Believe It or Not, Fox is Rebooting THE GREATEST AMERICAN HERO

I bet you didn't see this scenario coming.

Deadline reported yesterday that Fox has given a put pilot commitment for a modern reboot of the classic ABC television superhero series The Greatest American HeroThe new version will be overseen by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, writers and directors of The LEGO Movie, who will executive produce the hourlong action comedy along with original creator Stephen J. Cannell's daughter, Tawnia McKiernan.

According to the article, Rodney Rothman will write the pilot, which "will chronicle inner-city teacher Isaac’s adventures after his discovery of a superhero suit that gives him superhuman abilities.  Unfortunately for Isaac, he hates wearing the suit and has to learn how to use its powers by trial and error because he quickly misplaces the suit’s instructions.  He also has to deal with a government handler who has very different objectives than him and struggles as to whether he should use his newfound gifts to help others or just himself."

The original 1981-83 ABC series ran for three seasons for a total of 44 episodes and starred William Katt as Ralph Hinkley (changed temporarily to "Hanley" following the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan), a Los Angeles public school teacher of special education high school students, who receives a red suit that gives him superhuman abilities from a group of aliens.  Ralph immediately loses its instruction booklet, and has to learn how to use its various superpowers by trial and error, often with comical results.  Ralph is assisted by his lawyer girlfriend Pam Davidson (Connie Sellecca) and FBI Agent Bill Maxwell (Robert Culp).

The show's opening theme song, "Believe It or Not" by Joey Scarbury, was popular enough to debut in the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 on June 13, 1981 and peaked at #2 two months later, spending a total of 18 weeks in the Top 40.

In 1986, the cast reunited for a pilot movie for NBC called The Greatest American Heroine, which revealed that several years after the final episode, Ralph's secret identity was finally made public, resulting in his becoming a celebrity.  This angered the aliens who gave him the suit, and they tasked him with finding a new hero to wear the costume and use its powers for fighting evil.  Ralph found a young woman named Holly Hathaway (Mary Ellen Stuart), an elementary school teacher who spends her off-hours time looking for lost kittens, raising environmental awareness, and serving as a foster mother.  The rest of the episode deals with her learning how to use the suit with Bill Maxwell's guidance, and the pair trying to develop a working relationship.  The pilot was never broadcast by NBC, but re-edited as the final episode of the original series for syndication and home video.

And here's the Season One opening to The Greatest American Hero, featuring Joey Scarbury's classic theme...

Friday, August 29, 2014

AGENT CARTER Casts Enver Gjokaj & Chad Michael Murray

At last, S.H.I.E.L.D.'s predecessor is getting a staff.

The Hollywood Reporter revealed today that the upcoming ABC television series Agent Carter has cast two of the series' regular roles.  Enver Gjokaj will play the role of Agent Daniel Sousa, while Chad Michael Murray will be Agent Jack Thompson.  Both agents meet Hayley Atwell's character Peggy Carter when she accepts a position at the Strategic Scientific Reserve in New York City.

The article also provided a synopsis for the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe series, which will consist of eight episodes that fill the gap between the first and second half of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s second season.  Set in 1946, one year after the events of Captain America: The First Avenger, "peace has dealt Carter a serious blow as she finds herself marginalized when the men return home from fighting abroad.  Working for the covert SSR, Peggy must balance doing administrative work and going on secret missions for Howard Stark all while trying to navigate life as a single woman in America, in the wake of losing the love of her life — Steve Rogers."

Best known as Victor/Anthony Ceccoli on the Joss & Jed Whedon series Dollhouse, Gjokaj has appeared in a number of geek-friendly shows, including Extant, The Walking Dead, Witches of East End, Person of Interest and Community.  He also appeared in Joss Whedon's 2012 film The Avengers as a "young cop."

As for Murray, most will recognize him from his role of Lucas Scott on One Tree Hill and his recurring roles of Charlie Todd on Dawson's Creek and Tristin Dugray on Gilmore Girls.  He's also appeared in a number of films including Fruitvale Station, A Madea Christmas and the 2005 remake of House of Wax.

Steve McFeely, Christopher Marcus and Marvel's Jeph Loeb will serve as executive producers.  Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Anthony and Joe Russo will direct episodes two and three of the series and Captain America: The First Avenger director Joe Johnson could follow with episode four.

Agent Carter doesn't have a specific premiere date, but is expected to begin sometime in January 2015 after Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. goes on winter hiatus.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

ARROW Recasts Rila Fukushima as Katana

Well, so much for Devon Aoki.

Deadline reported yesterday that the CW series Arrow has recast the role of Tatsu Yamashiro, better known as the DC Comics superhero Katana.  According to the article, previous actress Devon Aoki pulled out due to a scheduling conflict, so the recurring role will now be portrayed by Rila Fukushima, best known as Yukio from the 2013 movie The Wolverine

According to the article, Tatsu will be "one of Oliver’s mentors in the [Hong Kong] flashbacks and a critical influence on his journey to eventually become The Arrow of present day."  Tatsu's husband, Maseo Yamashiro, will be portrayed by Karl Yune.

Created by Mike W. Barr and Jim Aparo, Katana first appeared in The Brave and the Bold (vol.1) #200 in 1983. Skilled in martial arts, Katana was married to Maseo Yamashiro until Maseo was killed by his brother Takeo with a sword, a katana called Soultaker, as their children are killed. Tatsu took possession of Soultaker and learned that her husband's spirit resided inside her sword, allowing her to hear his voice.

Originally introduced as a regular member of the superhero team The Outsiders, Katana eventually received a short-lived ongoing comic book series and recently appeared in the pages of Green Arrow during the storyline "The Outsiders War." The character has also appeared in two animated series, Batman: The Brave and the Bold and Beware the Batman.

Arrow returns to The CW on October 8, 2014 at 8 p.m. EST.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

GOTHAM Director Discusses Mr. Freeze, Harvey Dent & The Joker

Sounds like Arkham Asylum could fill up faster than Batman fans think.

Nuke The Fridge shared an exclusive interview with Danny Cannon, the director of the pilot episode for Fox's upcoming Batman prequel GothamIn the interview provided during the Television Critics Association party for Fox, Cannon shared his thoughts on a number of Batman's villains that could be brought into the series, in addition to the younger versions of Catwoman, The Penguin, The Riddler and Poison Ivy. 

Cannon also remarked that he has no current plans to direct any more episodes, but will remain with the series as a consultant.  Here are some highlights taken from the article:


Nuke the Fridge: You mentioned to me you’d like to see a version of Mr. Freeze on Gotham. Is that something that could happen in the first year?

Danny Cannon: Oh yeah, we all have our favorite villains. That was my favorite villain and I still think the origins of that story are really beautiful and tragic. The technicalities of it are quite beautiful too, so that’s something I keep bugging Bruno (Heller, the series' showrunner) about.

Nuke: Does that require a little more science fiction?

Danny Cannon: Not really. Not really. Depending on how you do it. I just find him a very tragic character.

Nuke: I assume it won’t be a guy in a cryo suit.

Danny Cannon: Well, luckily we’re in a show where we go way, way back for the origins, so perhaps he’s just a man who goes through a tragedy and he doesn’t know how to express his anguish yet, but he’ll find a way.


Nuke: Would Harvey Dent have graduated college yet, let alone running for office? Do you imagine we could see a young Harvey Dent?

Danny Cannon: I would say that would be a good thing to hope for because he’s a fascinating character.

Nuke: He is, but have we ever seen him before he’s DA?

Danny Cannon: I don’t think so. I don’t think we’ve seen a young lawyer, or a young DA or a trainee.

Nuke: Is he Bruce’s age? What would Harvey Dent be able to contribute to Gotham City as a kid?

Danny Cannon: I always assumed that Harvey was older than Batman. I always assumed that Batman was a younger man. I don’t know but it certainly gives us really great problems to have. I always imagined Batman as a young vigilante. I never imagined him as middle aged.

Nuke: So Harvey could be a law student at this point.

Danny Cannon: I would say that was a good guess.


Nuke the Fridge: There have been some theories going around that every episode will introduce a red herring for The Joker. Are you going to take it that far?

Danny Cannon: Absolutely not. No, I think that’s a rumor that got spread very quickly. I think what got said originally was: will The Joker be introduced in the first season. We were like, “We’re uncertain, but a lot of other people will and perhaps one of them will resemble him.” I think that was just a teaser that may have gone too far.

Nuke: But it’s not going to be the comedian from the pilot, right?

Danny Cannon: Probably not, no.

Gotham debuts on Fox on September 22, 2014.

Monday, August 25, 2014

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE: Episode 001 - "Deep Breath" is Up!

"Look at the eyebrows...These are attack eyebrows!  You could take bottle tops off with these!" 

Jesse Jackson and yours truly are back once again with our third episode of Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast, which we are of course treating as Episode 1 just because we can.  In this review of "Deep Breath," the first episode from Doctor Who Series Eight that aired this past Saturday, Jesse and I share our thoughts about the episode and try our very best to entertain you while not saying something completely stupid in the process.  (That last bit's usually on me...)

We'll cover things like the new opening credits and theme arrangement, the Scotification (is that even a word?) of Doctor Who, Clara Oswald stepping her game up, who that mysterious Scary Poppins woman calling herself "Missy" might be, some lovely reviews of the podcast posted on iTunes, and more!

Yes, for those who have been wondering, we are finally available on iTunes RIGHT HERE, so please subscribe and tell your friends.  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?

Oh, and tune in for the next Doctor Who episode "Into the Dalek" on BBC America this Saturday, then keep checking iTunes and the Southgate Media Group website for our next review!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

THE FLASH Casts Greg Finley as Girder

Central City is about to show some rust.

Entertainment Weekly reports that the upcoming CW series The Flash has cast Greg Finley in the role of Tony Woodward, better known to Flash fans as the DC Comics supervillain Girder

Woodward will appear in Episodes 6 and 7 of the show's first season and is described in the article as being able to "transform his skin into living metal" after the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator explosion.  In addition, "The Flash tries to stop Tony when he goes on a crime spree, but this is not the first time Barry Allen has faced Tony—Tony was the bully who used to torment him as a child."

The 29-year-old actor is best known as Drake on the CW series Star-Crossed and has also appeared in episodes of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Emily Owens M.D., House, Cold Case and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Created in 2001 by Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver, Girder first appeared in the one-shot special The Flash: Iron Heights as a steelworker named Tony Woodward who causes a riot at the plant after assaulting a female co-worker, and ends up thrown into a vat of molten metal that contains scraps from various S.T.A.R. Labs experiments. His body is changed into living iron and he gains superhuman strength in the process.

The Flash premieres on The CW on Tuesday, October 7th, with Girder presumably first appearing on November 11th.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE: Episode 000.5 - "New New Doctor" is Up!

Clara, be our pal and tell us...Are we good men?

Jesse Jackson and yours truly are back once again with our second episode of Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast, which we are of course treating as Episode 1/2.  In this second warmup podcast before the Doctor Who Series Eight premiere on Saturday, Jesse and I cover a number of subjects to get you ready for the 34th season of the world's longest-running science fiction television series.

Starting with the new Doctor Who specials on BBC America, we also cover how to plan your Doctor Who viewing party and how to prepare yourself for a new, new Doctor.  We also answer some listener e-mail and talk about our new officially official Next Stop Everywhere Facebook page and Twitter account.  Don't forget to Like and/or Follow us, okay?

Be sure to watch Peter Capaldi's first episode "Deep Breath" on BBC America this Saturday and then keep checking the Southgate Media Group website for our long-awaited (by us at least) "Deep Breath" review and also for more great podcasts!