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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

THE FLASH Solo Movie FLASHPOINT Finds New Directors


Third time's the charm?

Variety has reported that Warner Bros. is in negotiations with directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein to helm the DC Extended Universe film Flashpoint, the Flash solo movie starring Ezra Miller based on the DC Comics limited series.

Daley, 32, is known as playing Sam Weir on the NBC dramedy Freaks and Geeks and as Dr. Lance Sweets on the Fox series Bones.  With Goldstein, he co-wrote last year's Spider-Man: Homecoming, Horrible Bosses 2, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatlballs 2.  The two also co-wrote and co-directed the 2015 Vacation remake, and co-directed the upcoming movie Game Night.

According to the article, Warner Bros. attempted to bring in Miller's Justice League co-star Ben Affleck to direct, but he passed on the project.  Flashpoint's previous director Rick Famuyiwa left the project in October 2016, citing "creative differences" as the reason.  Famuyiwa had replaced Seth Grahame-Smith, who also left the project in April 2016 and also cited "creative differences" as his reason.

In addition, Warner Bros. decided to take the Flashpoint script in a different direction, with Joby Harold turning in a new draft after a page-one rewrite.  Reportedly, the studio took its time finding a new director because Miller is about to shoot Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the second film in the Fantastic Beasts franchise.  Earlier this month, Warner Bros.' promoted Walter Hamada to oversee DC-based film production.


The five-issue limited series Flashpoint was released in 2011, written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Andy Kubert.  In the series, Barry Allen wakes up to discover everything and everyone around him has changed.  He's not the Flash, nor does he have powers, his mother Nora Allen (deceased in his own timeline) is alive, while his father, Henry Allen, died of a heart attack three years ago.  Captain Cold is Central City's greatest hero, the Justice League is never established, and even Superman is seemingly nonexistent.

Barry Allen drives to the Batcave, where Batman attacks him.  Batman is revealed to be Thomas Wayne, who in this timeline, lost his son, Bruce, along with his wife.  At Wayne Manor, Barry tries to explain to Thomas about his secret identity as the Flash and his relationship to Bruce Wayne.  Barry's memory begins to spontaneously realign itself to the altered timeline and Barry realizes that the world of Flashpoint is not a parallel dimension, but an alternate reality.  Barry's ring ejects Eobard Thawne's Reverse-Flash costume and causes Barry to believe that his enemy is responsible for changing history.  Barry decides to recreate the accident that gave him his powers in a bid to undo the damage caused by Thawne, but his initial attempt fails and leaves him badly burned.

A second attempt at recreating Allen's accident restores his powers and health.  He concludes that the Reverse-Flash changed history to prevent the formation of the Justice League.  He also learns that Kal-El was taken by Project: Superman.  Flash, Batman and Cyborg join the cause to stop Wonder Woman and Aquaman, who are on opposite sides of the Atlantean-Amazon war.  The Marvel Family transform into Captain Thunder, also transforming Tawky Tawny. Captain Thunder attacks Wonder Woman and appears to be winning until Enchantress reveals herself as the Amazon spy in the Resistance and uses her magic to restore the Marvel Family to their mortal forms. Penthesilea (who was secretly one of the conspirators of the Atlanteans-Amazons war, along with Orm) kills Billy Batson, causing a massive explosion that cripples the opposing forces.

In the wake of the devastation, Thawne appears in front of the Flash.  The Reverse-Flash reveals that Flash himself created the Flashpoint timeline by traveling back in time to stop him from killing Barry's mother.  Barry pulled the entire Speed Force into himself to stop Thawne, transforming the timeline by shattering the history of his allies.  Thawne resets Barry's internal vibrations, enabling him to remember this.  According to Thawne, these actions transformed him into a living paradox, no longer requiring Barry to exist and allowing him to kill the Flash without erasing his own existence.  Thawne continues to taunt Barry with this knowledge until Batman kills him with an Amazonian sword.  Thomas insists that Barry puts history back to normal to undo the millions of deaths.  Now knowing the point of divergence, the Flash restores the timeline.  As he enters the timestream, a dying Thomas thanks him for giving his son a second chance and gives Barry a letter addressed to Bruce. Barry then meets with his mother and bids a tearful farewell to her.

Traveling back in time, Barry merges with his earlier self during the attempt to stop Thawne. While traveling through time, Barry realizes he can see three different timelines — DC (New Earth), Vertigo (Earth-13), and WildStorm (Earth-50).  A mysterious hooded figure (later revealed to be a cursed immortal Pandora) tells him that the world was split into three to weaken them for an impending threat, and must now be reunited to combat it.  The DC, Vertigo, and Wildstorm universes are then merged, creating a brand new DC Universe. Barry then wakes up in a similar manner to the beginning of Flashpoint, also retaining all his memories from the alternate timeline.  Believing that everything is over, Barry remembers Thomas' letter and gives it to Bruce, who is still the Batman in this timeline.  Bruce, deeply touched by his father's sacrifice to ensure his son's life, cries and expresses his gratitude to Barry for informing him of the events that transpired before the timeline was reset.

This will be the third time Flashpoint has been adapted, after the 2013 animated film Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, and the Season 2 finale and Season 3 of The CW series The Flash.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

THE WALKING DEAD Gets Season 9 with New Showrunner Angela Kang


The Walking Dead refuses to die.

The Hollywood Reporter has word that the AMC series The Walking Dead has been renewed by the cable network for a ninth season.  Writer/co-executive producer Angela Kang has been promoted to executive producer and showrunner, replacing Scott M. Gimple, who will now serve as chief content officer and oversee both The Walking Dead and spinoff Fear the Walking Dead, as well as gaming and future brand extensions on multiple platforms.  Kang becomes the fourth showrunner on The Walking Dead, after Frank Darabont, Glen Mazzara and Gimple.

The move follows the controversial decision by Gimple to fire Chandler Riggs, who plays Carl Grimes, and a signficant drop in ratings, which saw the midseason finale viewing drop from 10.58 million in Season 7 to 7.89 million in Season 8.  A Change.org petition for Gimple to be fired as showrunner has currently reached over 82,000 signatures.

"The Walking Dead is a special show which started in an entirely different era of TV," remarked Gimple, "and continues, in this new era, to confidently take chances to tell compelling stories that excite audiences and make them deeply connect with its characters, adapting Robert Kirkman’s brilliant comic book.  As the show closes in on its tenth year, I’m honored to keep working with the talented, dedicated people behind and in front of the camera to make it all it can be, while expanding the world of The Walking Dead with new narratives like Fear the Walking Dead and a whole host of truly cool stories ahead.  Angela is a big part of the heart and soul of The Walking Dead, and I’m thrilled to help facilitate her vision of the show’s next era."

"I am beyond thrilled to be stepping into this new role with The Walking Dead," said Kang.  "Working on this series and having the opportunity to adapt Robert Kirkman’s amazing comic has been a fangirl dream come true for me.  I’m excited to continue working with Scott and the wonderfully supportive folks at AMC, and can’t wait to share the next chapter of the story with our fans next fall."

"This is an enormously important day for the entire The Walking Dead television universe," said Charlie Collier, president of AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios.  "We are proud to acknowledge Angela’s significant contribution to the series and to set a clear path forward for a ninth season under her direction.  Further, with gratitude and admiration, we also recognize Scott’s broad impact on, and leadership of, the content that fuels our TWD universe.  Together, we will dream bigger and more broadly than ever before.  I know I speak for Angela, Scott and everyone at AMC when I say thanks most of all to the fans and the many talented people who have helped AMC play Dead."

According to the article, Gimple's deal comes after he added oversight of Fear the Walking Dead.  Created by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman and Dave Erickson, Fear saw Erickson leave as showrunner at the end of Season 3.  Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg will take over as showrunners on Fear and report to Gimple,  Keeping Gimple in-house at AMC Studios became increasingly important after Kirkman chose to move his overall deal from AMC to Amazon.

The Walking Dead returns to AMC for the second half of Season 8 on February 25th.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

SUICIDE SQUAD: HELL TO PAY Animated Film Cast Announced


If you're a Suicide Squad fan, there's going to be hell to pay. 

The Hollywood Reporter has revealed the voice cast for Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, the upcoming Warner Bros. Animation film based on the DC Comics antihero superteam. 

According to the article, Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay "sees Amanda Waller's secret team Task Force X (consisting of Deadshot, Bronze Tiger, Killer Frost, Captain Boomerang, Harley Quinn and Copperhead) sent to retrieve a powerful mystical object that they will risk their lives to steal. Unfortunately for the Suicide Squad, there are other villains who want the prize, and they must win a race to get it, in order to stay alive."

And here's the full cast list:

Deadshot - Christian Slater
Bronze Tiger - Billy Brown
Captain Boomerang - Liam McIntyre
Killer Frost - Kristin Bauer van Straten
Copperhead - Gideon Emery
Harley Quinn - Tara Strong
Amanda Waller - Vanessa Williams

Zoom - C. Thomas Howell
Scandal Savage - Dania Ramirez
Professor Pyg - James Urbaniak

Silver Banshee - Julie Nathanson
Vandal Savage and (Count) Vertigo - Jim Pirri
Maxum Steel - Greg Grunberg
Blockbuster and Tobias Whale - Dave Fennoy
Knockout - Cissy Jones
Dharma - Natalie Lander
Punch - Trevor Devall
Two-Face - Dave Boat





 This will be the third time the Suicide Squad will appear in an animated project, after the Justice League Unlimited episode "Task Force X" and the animated film Batman: Assault on Arkham.

Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay is expected to be released on blu-ray, DVD, and digital sometime in Spring 2018.

GHOSTWOOD 025: "The Final Dossier, Part 1" is Up!


"It's not often I'm tempted to begin one of these suggesting 'He made the world a better place by taking early retirement,' but in this case, I'm willing to make an exception.  My own interaction with this knuckledragger was fleeting, but he left a vivid impression, not unlike the livid marks on the soon-to-be-wife's neck after he nearly strangled her.  His entire lifespan could easily be written off as a scathing indictment of our public education system.  But to be fair, you'd probably have to go way back to the crossroads where cro-magnon and neanderthal went their separate ways and say, "Leo's forebears took the path less traveled.'"
-- Albert Rosenfield (autopsy report of Leo Johnson), Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier

It is happening again...My co-host with the most Xan Sprouse and I are back at last with a new episode of Ghostwood: The Twin Peaks Podcast!  This time, we begin our review of Twin Peaks: The Final Dossierthe second Twin Peaks novel from co-creator Mark Frost!  

LET'S ROCK!

In our latest episode, Xan and I discuss things like holiday craziness, Xan meeting Sherilyn Fenn, Harry Goaz and Kimmy Robertson at the Steel City Comic Con, celebrating the death of Leo Johnson, Twin Peaks High School kids overdosing on their own drama, Twin Peaks really needing more teenager hangout spots than the Roadhouse, Doc Hayward's shady "Grade 2 concussion" excuse, the still-unrevealed backstory of Ben Horne and Eileen Hayward, Donna Hayward's downward slide, Lara Flynn Boyle dating Jack Nicholson, Gersten Hayward's downward slide, Xan's disappointment at Ben's failed redemption, wondering what's up with the Ghostwood prison, wondering what happened to John Justice Wheeler, Billy Zane and Treat Williams in The Phantom, Jerry Horne's marijuana enterprise, Annie Blackburn and Norma Jennings being half-sisters, Norma's stepmother Vivian being a truly horrible person, Dale Cooper suffering from "white knight syndrome", and more!

If you'd like to check out our latest episode, you can find us on...

iTunes -- RIGHT HERE
Direct MP3 downloads/Libsyn -- RIGHT HERE
YouTube -- RIGHT HERE
Ghostwood's Facebook page
Ghostwood's Twitter account

Be sure to come back soon for Part 2 as Xan and I continue our review of Twin Peaks: The Final Dossierthe second Twin Peaks novel from co-creator Mark Frost!  Look for more of Ghostwood: The Twin Peaks Podcast on iTunes, YouTube, Libsyn, and the official Southgate Media Group website!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE 103: "42" is Up!


"You're telling me that I can phone anyone in all of time and space on my mobile?"
"As long as you know the area code."
-- Martha Jones and the Tenth Doctor, Doctor Who: "42"

Ringing in the new year of 2018, my partner in time Jesse Jackson and I are back with a new episode of Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast!  This time, we review "42", the 2007 episode from Series Three of Doctor Who, featuring David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor and Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones!

In this episode, Jesse and I discuss things like trying to get a feel for how Chris Chibnall will write for Doctor Who Series Eleven when he takes over as showrunner, the answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything, telling a Doctor Who story in real time, enjoying a straightforward story as comfort food, the Tenth Doctor keeping his jacket on even when it's a really hot environment, RTD's bad decision to make Martha have unrequited love for the Doctor so soon after Rose, Martha's mom Francine having such animosity for the Doctor, setting up the return of the Master, the Doctor's recreational mathematics, 
my Reverse the Polarity segment, new feedback from Paul from Australia, teasing our upcoming DC Comics podcast, and more!

If you'd like to check out our latest episode, you can find us on...

Google Play Music -- RIGHT HERE
iTunes -- RIGHT HERE
Stitcher -- RIGHT HERE
Direct MP3 downloads/Libsyn --  RIGHT HERE
Next Stop Everywhere's Facebook page
Next Stop Everywhere's Twitter account

And hey, if you'd like to pick up the officially official Next Stop Everywhere t-shirt, you can find it on TeePublic right HERE!  Help support the show and feel free to post pictures on our Facebook page of you or some other cool person you know wearing the shirt!

Be sure to come back in two weeks as Jesse and I review "The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood", the 2010 two-parter from Series Three of Doctor Who, featuring Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor, Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, Arthur Darvill as Rory Williams, and the first appearance of the Silurians in the modern era!  Look for more of Next Stop Everywhere on iTunes, Google Play Music, YouTube, Libsyn, Soundcloud, Stitcher, and the official Southgate Media Group website!

New KRYPTON Trailer Teases Adam Strange & Kandor


Stranger things are about to happen on Krypton.

During yesterday's presentation at the Television Critics Association press tour in Pasadena, California, Syfy released a new trailer for their upcoming series Krypton, based on lore from the DC Comics character Superman.

The new one-minute trailer opens with a voiceover from Superman's grandfather Seg-El (Cameron Cuffe), who says, "The story of my family is one of triumph...and sacrifice.  How we lead a revolution against tyranny.  And now, it falls on my shoulders to save my world."

We glimpse an unusual space vessel comprised of coils approaching Krypton, then hear the voice of Adam Strange (Shaun Sipos), who hands Seg-El Superman's cape and warns, "Someone from the future is coming to destroy Krypton, because where I'm from, your grandson becomes the greatest hero of the universe."

A cover of "Save Tonight" by Zayde Wølf starts playing, accompanying a montage of fleeting images including Kryptonian military officer Alura Zod (Ann Ogbomo) drawing her weapon on Seg-El's mother Charys (Paula Malcolmson) as Seg-El screams while being restrained by guards.  

We also glimpse the House of El's command key, from the Superman movie Man of Steel, and a city inside a purple globe attached to something fibrous, possibly teasing the bottle city of Kandor.

The final shot shows Seg-El inserting the command key into a console, and watching as it activates a huge, spiral gate that leads to another chamber.  He resumes his voiceover, remarking, "The story of my family isn't about how we died.  It's about how we lived."

If you'd like to check out the trailer, you can view it below thanks to Syfy's official YouTube account...



Krypton
debuts March 21, 2018 on Syfy.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

THE X-FILES' Chris Carter Struggles to Explain "My Struggle III" Revelation


The truth is (hopefully) still out there.

Last night's premiere of The X-Files Season 11, "My Struggle III," delivered one of the series' most shocking and controversial revelations to date, dividing the fanbase of X-Philes into those either blown away or downright disgusted by the latest plot twist in the series' alien mythology arc.

The very moment "My Struggle III" ended at 9:00 p.m. EST, Entertainment Weekly posted an interview with X-Files creator Chris Carter, who wrote and directed the episode, and attempted to explain the revelation was 18 years in the making.

Needless to say, SPOILER WARNINGS are in play here, so consider yourselves warned...

Okay, so the episode's final scene features FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) having a conversation with Carl Gerhard Busch Spender (William B. Davis), better known as the Cigarette Smoking Man (CSM), who reveals his very skeevy connection to William Scully, the son of FBI Special Agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson).

The connection, as we learn, dates back to the Season 7 episode "En Ami" (French for "as a friend" and written by Davis), where CSM manipulates Scully into taking a road trip with him using a false promise of a cure for cancer.  We flash back to the footage of CSM creepily telling Scully "I confess I’ve always had a particular affection for you.  I assure you my intentions are honorable…My affection for you is special…"  CSM eventually pulls up to a house, with Scully asleep in the passenger seat, and puts on a pair of leather gloves.  Scully wakes up the next morning in pajamas that weren’t hers and accuses CSM of drugging her, which he scoffs at and denies.  And later, in the Season 7 finale "Requiem," Scully learns she's pregnant and believes the father to be Fox Mulder (David Duchovny).

Well, CSM tells Skinner he impregnated Scully with alien-assisted science to create "the first superhuman child."  Skinner demands to know who William’s father is, if it's not Mulder, and CSM replies, "I am.  William is my son."  At this point, everyone watching the episode officially freaks the hell out.  But let's keep in mind that CSM is a lying liar who lies, so is he just manipulating Skinner here?  More importantly, is Carter just manipulating fan expectations, only to reveal something else later on in Season 11?  For those who paid attention, the tag at the end of the opening credits said "I WANT TO BELIEVE", only to fade into the words "I WANT TO LIE", so maybe there's still more to CSM's story.  

And here's Entertainment Weekly's Q&A with Chris Carter, which includes some rather awkward comments that probably won't improve fans' opinion of Carter...

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First, the premiere reveals what we saw in the finale was all a vision Scully was having. Did you know that two years ago?

CHRIS CARTER: Yes. If you look at how I staged the scene in Mulder’s office, the way I staged the scenes on the bridge with the spacecraft hovering above Scully, you can see that was part of a plan. The camera pushes right into her eye at both ends of the show, and it was all of a piece.

EW: Are you concerned that fans will feel like they were denied real resolution on that scenario?

CC: You know, it’s playing with the story, the characters and the history of the characters I hope in an interesting way that will be satisfying — not necessarily in the immediate future but it will make sense once we get to this season’s finale.

EW: Likewise, back in Season 7, did you know at the time what was really going on when CSM drugged Scully?

CC: Yes.

EW: So William’s parentage reveal has been part of your plan for the show since 1999?

CC: Yes. But, of course, if The X-Files never came back, we would have never gotten to explore it.

EW: When CSM says he’s William’s father, is he literally his father, to some biological extent? Along with alien DNA?

CC: No. He’s the figurative father if he’s not the actual father. He didn’t rape Scully. He impregnated her with science.

EW: I suspect fans are going to have some strong feelings about Mulder not being the father and Scully being impregnated by CSM while she was drugged. What led you to this move?

CC: It adds to the characters in an interesting emotional way. And because the audience is now in on this truth, and Mulder and Scully are not, these revelations are huge for this show because they’re huge for the characters. Mulder and Scully’s life history, both professional and personal, are the heart of the show.

EW: How does this impact the storyline moving forward?

CC: It does impact it in a big way and you’ll see that in the arc of the series… This fact is hovering over them and everything they do and say to each other is kind of loaded as they’re walking in the dark. It makes for interesting storytelling to put the audience in a privileged point of view that could ultimately explode in the end.

EW: Gillian Anderson has said this might be her last season. You’ve hinted it might end on a cliffhanger once again. Are you concerned about the show possibly ending with things still unresolved?

CC: I always end it as if it were the last one. It’s become a thing you come to anticipate with this show with “The Erlenmeyer Flask” in season 1 — we closed The X-Files and killed off a beloved character [Deep Throat played by Jerry Hardin]. Things are often sacrificed in the finale. That’s the interesting thing for me. There’s a vertical corner in the final that I think will get people’s attention…

The X-Files Season 11 continues Wednesday nights on Fox at 8:00 p.m. EST.