Thursday, January 29, 2015

A.K.A. JESSICA JONES Casts Rachael Taylor as Hellcat

Jessica Jones is making friends.

The Hollywood Reporter has word that the upcoming Netflix series A.K.A. Jessica Jones has cast Rachael Taylor in the role of Patricia "Trish" Walker, better known to Marvel Comics fans as Patsy Walker, a.k.a. the Avenger called Hellcat.

According to the article, Walker is "Jessica's best friend, who works as a syndicated radio talk show host, former model and child TV star known to her adoring fans as 'Patsy' Walker. As Jessica's closest friend, Trish helps her embark on the most dangerous case of Jessica's career."

Taylor, 30, is probably best known as Maggie Madsen in the 2007 film Transformers.  In addition, she's appeared on the television series Crisis, 666 Park Avenue, Charlie's Angels (2011), and Grey's Anatomy.  This will be her second Marvel Comics-related role, after her appearance in the 2005 movie adaptation of Man-Thing.

Created in 1944 by Ruth Atkinson, Patsy Walker first appeared in Miss America Magazine #2 a teen romantic-comedy character until she was reconceived as a superhero in 1972's Amazing Adventures (vol.2) #13 by writer Steve Englehart.  She later hooked up with the Avengers on a couple of adventures, took Tigra's old costume as The Cat, and formally adopted the superhero identity of Hellcat in 1976's The Avengers (vol.1) #144.

Hellcat switched over to join the Defenders in 1977 and eventually met Daimon Hellstrom, the Son of Satan, whom she later married.  Becoming an occult investigator, Patsy was driven mad and ended her life through suicide before being resurrected in Thunderbolts 2000 Annual.  After briefly rejoining the Defenders, Patsy has recently assisted her fellow Avenger Jennifer Walters, a.k.a. She-Hulk, on various cases as a private investigator for her law firm.

A.K.A. Jessica Jones is scheduled to debut on Netflix sometime in late 2015 or early 2016.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

SUPERGIRL Casts Mehcad Brooks as Jimmy Olsen

Supergirl has a love interest...and he's none other than Superman's pal!

The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the upcoming CBS series Supergirl has cast Mehcad Brooks as classic DC Comics character Jimmy Olsen.  Brooks joins Melissa Benoist in the hourlong drama.

Olsen is described in the article as "a photographer at CatCo.,
where Kara works.  He's the 
salt of the earth and this only makes Kara crush on him even more.  The character has recently been living and working in National City though the reason is still a secret.  As Kara emerges as Supergirl they grow closer."

Brooks, 34, is probably best known as Matthew Applewhite on the ABC series Desperate Housewives and as Eggs on the HBO series True Blood.  In addition, Brooks has appeared in the film About Last Night and on episodes of Necessary Roughness, Alcatraz, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Dollhouse, The Game, Ghost Whisperer and Cold Case.

Created in 1938 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Jimmy Olsen first appeared in Action Comics (vol.1) #6 as an unnamed "office boy" with a bow tie until he was formally introduced as Jimmy Olsen on the Superman radio show The Adventures of Superman in 1940.  Jimmy first appeared as a named character in Superman (vol.1) #13 in 1941, where he became a cub reporter and photographer for the Daily Planet newspaper as a co-worker with Clark Kent, Lois Lane and Perry White.

Brooks will be the latest in a long line of actors to play Jimmy Olsen, beginning with Jack Kelk and Jack Grimes on the Adventures of Superman radio show, followed by Tommy Bond in the film serials Superman (1948) and Atom Man vs. Superman, Jack Larson on the television series Adventures of Superman, Marc McClure in the four Superman films starring Christopher Reeve and the 1984 film Supergirl, Michael Landes and Justin Whalin on the TV series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Sam Huntington in the film Superman Returns, and Aaron Ashmore on the TV series Smallville.

Supergirl will presumably debut on CBS sometime this September or October.

ARROW's Katie Cassidy Discusses Taking Over as Black Canary

Well, better late than never.

After frustrating Arrow fans as a clueless love interest in Season 1 and as a pill-popping alcoholic in Season 2, Katie Cassidy's character Laurel Lance finally suited up as her comic book alter ego Black Canary in last week's episode "Left Behind."  The development seemed a little uncertain because of Laurel's sister Sara fighting crime as The Canary, with many fans feeling that Sara should remain as the show's official version of Black Canary. However, with Sara's death earlier this season, it seems Laurel is indeed the chosen one, and no one is more pleased about that than Cassidy...

"I can’t tell you how happy it made me," Cassidy said to Entertainment Weekly.  "I remember at the end of Season 2, they needed to fit Sara’s (Caity Lotz) jacket on me and I started to cry when I put it on.  I’ve been waiting for this for so long.  I’m so happy and honored.  From day one, I knew that eventually that’s where they were planning to go with the character, but I didn’t know when and it’s television, anything can happen.  Honestly, there’s no words that can even explain lucky, excited, grateful, thrilled I am.  For the Black Canary fans, I hope they’re happy with my performance and my take on the character. I hope people are happy."

However, it sounds like Laurel's new road as a superhero is going to be a rocky one with some character conflicts.  "Even though it’s messy, you can tell there’s fire," remarked Cassidy.  "She has some skill, but she’s not trained.  But then she proves herself because she has so much heart and drive.  Arsenal (Colton Haynes) is the first person to come around to it."

After the trilogy of Oliver's disappearance and what happens to Starling City in his absence is over, Laurel will face off against Sara in an episode called "Canaries," which features the return of Caity Lotz...somehow.

"You’ll be surprised how much Sara is a part of Laurel in Season 3 in her going from avenging her sister’s death to honoring her sister’s death to becoming her sister," said Cassidy.  "Sara is so much a part of Season 3 as a character even though she’s physically not there.  It stays with her and the show.  It’s what gets Laurel out on the streets.  It’s what she wants to do.  She has a choice.  The difference between Sara and Laurel is that Sara didn’t have a choice.  When her and Oliver were on the island, she had to go through that with him.  Laurel has a choice.  She takes her sister’s position, but she it comes from her heart and again avenging her sister’s death and honoring her sister."

And on the subject of Sara's murderer, Thea Queen (Willa Holland), Cassidy added that fans will be "surprised by her reaction."  And there's also Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable) to deal with since Laurel believes he killed Oliver.  "She will seek vengeance on those who she feels deserves it," said Cassidy.

Arrow airs on The CW Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

First FANTASTIC FOUR Reboot Trailer Is Not Very Fantastic

Well, that was...interesting.

After months of posts on the interwebz from outraged Fantastic Four fans, the first teaser trailer to Josh Trank's Fantastic Four reboot finally dropped to an overall "Meh."  The good news is, the trailer isn't completely horrible and actually has some impressive visuals along with a strong science fiction emphasis.

The bad news is, it's not the Fantastic Four.  At least, not the one Marvel and its fans want.

With the Marvel logo nice and prominent (and oh, how they must love that), sad piano music begins to play and a rumbly Voiceover Guy asks "How did we get this far?  Human beings have an immeasure desire to build.  Our future depends on us furthering these ideals, a responsibility that rests on the shoulders of generations to come."

And at this point, as sad violin music accompanies the sad piano, you start to wonder if you're watching a trailer for the sequel to Christopher Nolan's Interstellar instead.

We see Reed Richards (Miles Teller), apparently fresh out of high school and looking around at what appears to be an impressive research facility.  Susan Storm (Kate Mara) is intently analyzing various global monitoring screens while rocking some Beats by Dre headphones.  Ben Grimm (Jamie Bell) appears to be trying out for high school baseball (note the school bus in the background), while Johnny Storm (Michael B. Jordan) seems to be working on his car inside a garage that looks like my college apartment living room.

"But with every new discovery," continues Voiceover Guy as we see the Four don spacesuits and enter a dimensional travel machine as Susan and Johnny's father Dr. Storm (Reg E. Cathey) looks on with grave concern, "there is risk...there is sacrifice...and there are consequences."

We then see the Four either crawling around slowly on the ground, bursting out from a big rock (Hi, Ben!), venting flame out of his special space-wacey suit (Hi, Johnny!), or stretching his left arm towards something off screen (Hi, Reed!) before the FANT4STIC...errr, Fantastic Four title comes up.

Lastly, we see programmer and blogger (I kid you not) Victor Domashev (Toby Kebbell), lying stretched out on a medical table as Reed looks on.  "Be ready for what's coming," whispers Doctor Doomashev."

"What is coming?" asks Reed.

"The answers," replies Doctor Doomashev as we hear some dramatic nail hammering noises, and see the Fantastic Four (with Ben all nice and rocky as The Thing) looking up at a huge stream of energy shooting upward from a series of stone pillars and ripping open the sky.

Yes, even the Fantastic Four is now dark and gritty.  Thanks, Hollywood.

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

Fantastic Four is scheduled to arrive in theaters on August 7, 2015.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Fox Confirms X-MEN TV Series in Negotiations

A fiver says it'll be called Westchester.

TV Insider has word that negotiations are in process for a possible X-Men television series, based on the Marvel Comics superteam created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.  This follows on rumors since last fall that the project was in development.

"It's in negotiations," Fox Entertainment chairman Gary Newman confirmed.  "We're cautiously optimistic, we had a good meeting with (Marvel).  That will not be on a fast track creatively.  This is just the deal, now we have to find the creative."

The problem is, while 20th Century Fox controls the film rights to the X-Men characters, the comic itself is owned by Marvel, which is now owned by Fox's rival Disney.  A live-action television series would require Marvel's approval.  According to the article, the talks are focusing on deal points first, so there's no writer and no firm concept yet, although online speculation claims the series might be based on the X-Men spinoff comic series X-Factor.) In addition, because the possible series will take time to develop, Newman doesn't believe a show would be ready before the 2016-2017 TV season.

Simon Kinberg, writer of the 2014 film X-Men: Days of Future Past, told Collider last April that an X-Men TV franchise was just a matter of time.  "We're still in this place of figuring out what the future of the franchise will be," said Kinberg, "but when you look at S.H.I.E.L.D. to some extent and what Marvel is doing now with Daredevil and other shows on Netflix, it makes sense to tell some of these stories in TV."

This would be the second time the X-Men will appear in live-action on television, after Fox aired the Generation X TV movie in 1996, which was based on the X-Men spinoff comic that included past and present X-Men members Banshee, Emma Frost, Jubilee and M.  In addition, the much-beloved X-Men animated series aired on Fox for five seasons from 1992-97.

A.K.A. JESSICA JONES Casts David Tennant as the Purple Man

David Tennant in a Marvel TV series?  Oh, yes!

Marvel has officially announced that the upcoming Netflix series A.K.A. Jessica Jones has cast David Tennant as Zebediah Kilgrave, better known to comics fans as the villainous Purple Man.  Kilgrave is described in the announcement as "An enigmatic figure from Jessica’s past, Kilgrave’s reappearance will send shockwaves through the former super hero’s world."

Tennant is best known for his role of the Tenth Doctor on the BBC series Doctor Who, which he starred in from 2005-2010 and recently reprised in 2013 for the fiftieth anniversary special, "The Day of the Doctor."  He's also known for the role of DI Alec Hardy in the series Broadchurch, which he reprised as as Detective Emmett Carver for the US version Gracepoint.  Tennant has also appeared in the films Fright Night (2011), How to Train Your Dragon, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as Barty Crouch, Jr.

"I'm so honored and excited by the prospect of David inhabiting this multifaceted character," said executive producer/showrunner Melissa Rosenberg.  "He can deliver the most heart-wrenching moment to the driest of lines, and all points in between. He'll make Kilgrave a truly original villain."

"Anyone familiar with David's work knows he brings an incredible level of dedication to any role he inhabits, a level we knew we would need from the man playing Kilgrave," said Jeph Loeb, executive producer/Marvel’s head of television.  "While most know him for his roles as a hero, we can’t wait to unleash a whole new side of this talented actor."

Created in 1964 by Stan Lee and Joe Orlando, the Purple Man first appeared in Daredevil (vol.1) #4 as Zebediah Killgrave (note the extra "L") as an international spy who was sent to infiltrate a chemical refinery.  During the mission, Killgrave was accidentally doused with a chemical that turned his hair and skin purple.  After being caught outright and questioned, Killgrave discovered that the nerve gas had given him the ability to command the wills of other people.

Primarily an enemy of Daredevil, the Purple Man was revealed to have considerable history with Jessica Jones.  During the time when she was the superhero Jewel, Killgrave used his mind control powers to subdue her, forcing her to live with him while psychologically torturing her for several months.  He ultimately sent her off to kill Daredevil, but Jones became confused and mistook the Scarlet Witch for Daredevil, attacking her instead. Jones was beaten into a coma by the Avengers, before they discovered that she was mind-controlled.  The incident with the Purple Man left Jones so traumatized that she left her life as a superhero behind and became a private investigator.

A.K.A. Jessica Jones will premiere on Netflix sometime in late 2015 or early 2016.

Friday, January 23, 2015

HANNIBAL Season 3 Trailer is Served

The third course is being prepared.

After months of anticipation, the first trailer for the third season of NBC's Hannibal has finally debuted.  The stellar television series based on the novel Red Dragon by Thomas Harris hasn't been a huge ratings hit for NBC, but is one of the few network shows with broad critical acclaim and did well enough to earn another season of thirteen episodes.

When last we left the series, FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) confronted Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) and was severely wounded following a brutal pantry fight.  Dr. Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) was pushed out of a window by Abigail Hobbs (Kacey Rohl), leaving her seriously injured.  Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) found Abigail, only to end up stabbed by Hannibal with a linoleum knife before Lecter sliced Abigail's throat.  Leaving everyone bleeding out, Hannibal was last seen boarding a plane to France with Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson).

The new two-minute trailer opens with Will waking up in a hospital bed as he speaks in an ominous voiceover, saying "Our minds can concoct all sorts of scenarios when we don't want to believe something.  We construct fairy tales...and we accept them."

We get our first look at Tao Okamato as Chiyoh, the ward of Lady Murasaki from Harris' novel Hannibal Rising.  "Hannibal took someone from you," Chiyoh says to Will.  "Are you here to take someone from him?"  Will then asks Chiyoh if she knows where Hannibal is.

Next, we see Hannibal about to speak to an audience of art patrons before a projected image of the William Blake painting The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun, followed by fleeting images of Bedelia anxiously descending a staircase, Will in a graveyard, Hannibal shaking hands with the art patrons, Will being escorted down a set of steps by a rifle-wielding Chiyoh, Hannibal creepily touching Bedelia's shoulder, and Hannibal doing research from a series of ancient medical books.

Lastly, we see Will confront Hannibal in a set of darkened catacombs.  "Hannibal," says Will, "I forgive you."  Hannibal pauses for a moment before turning to leave.

If you'd like to see the trailer, you can check it out below thanks to the official Hannibal YouTube account.  Please note, however, that the audio only plays in the right audio channel.

Hannibal is expected to return for Season 3 on NBC sometime this summer.