Monday, April 30, 2012

TRON: UPRISING Uploads New Trailer and Premiere Date

Greetings, programs!

If you're a fan of the Tron films as I am, you've been wondering when Disney XD is going to premiere Tron: Uprising, their new animated series set between the original Tron and the recent Tron: LegacyActor Bruce Boxleitner returns for Tron: Uprising, along with Elijah Wood, Mandy Moore, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Lance Henriksen and Paul Reubens.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Tron: Uprising is scheduled to premiere on June 7, 2012 but a special half-hour "prelude" titled Tron: Uprising -- Beck's Beginning will air on the main Disney Channel on May 18.  The official description for the series is as follows:

"TRON: Uprising, Beck's Beginning," introduces a Beck, a young mechanic living in Argon City, a growing metropolis in a far off corner of the grid that has just been occupied by General Tesler, a henchman of the notorious Clu.  After his best friend Bodhi is ruthlessly derezzed by Clu's army, Beck seeks justice for his lost friend and launches a crusade against the regime. His rebellion captures the attention of Tron, the greatest warrior The Grid has ever known, who sees the potential in Beck and trains him to be his successor.  Labeled with the moniker of The Renegade, Beck sparks a revolution to fight for the freedom of The Grid."

Even better, a new trailer for the series has been released, which blends the distinctive visual designs from Tron: Legacy with an animated style reminiscent of the classic Aeon Flux series.  See for yourselves...

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Daredevil Film Reboot is Born Again

Man, 20th Century Fox will just not let those Daredevil movie rights revert back to Marvel, will they?

Nine months after we last heard anything substantial about the studio's film reboot of Marvel Comics' Daredevil, Deadline has reported that David James Kelly has been selected to rewrite the script that Brad Caleb Kane had previously worked on with villains Typhoid Mary and the Purple Man in mind.

David Slade is still slated to direct the reboot, but the film's story will now be drawn from "Born Again," the well-regarded 1986 Daredevil storyline from writer Frank Miller and artist David Mazzucchelli.

In the story, Matt Murdock's former secretary Karen Page has fallen on hard times, becoming a pornographic movie star and heroin addict.  Desperate to feed her addiction, she sells her knowledge of Daredevil's secret identity, which ultimately gets back to Daredevil's arch-enemy The Kingpin.  The Kingpin, of course, uses the information to ruin Matt Murdock's life piece by piece, to the point where he becomes mentally unbalanced, homeless and destitute.

Fox's decision to run with "Born Again" brings things full circle from 2006, when director Mark Steven Johnson showed interest in using the storyline for a sequel to his 2003 film Daredevil that starred Ben Affleck as Matt Murdock and Michael Clarke Duncan as the Kingpin.  At the time, Duncan also expressed interest in returning to his role, but it seems unlikely he will return for a reboot.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Apparently, there are only so many times you can keep ripping on Star Wars in half-hour specials before you need to move on to something else.

Deadline reports that the Cartoon Network Adult Swim stop-motion animation series Robot Chicken will spotlight characters from the DC Comics universe in a special slated for this fall.  The special resulted from a deal between Robot Chicken producer Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation.

Reprising the format from the popular Star Wars specials, which earned three Emmy award nominations, the DC Comics Special will feature a solid cast of actors voicing characters from the DC Universe:

Robot Chicken co-creator Seth Green as Batman, Robin and Aquaman

Paul Reubens as The Riddler

Neil Patrick Harris as Two-Face

Alfred Molina as Lex Luthor

Nathan Fillion as Green Lantern (Hal Jordan, presumably)

Megan Fox as Lois Lane

Breckin Meyer as Superman

"Having been raised on DC Comics and the Super Friends vs. Legion of Doom," said Green, "it’s exciting to tell a whole Robot Chicken story within this awesome universe."

Robot Chicken co-creator Matthew Senreich remarked, "We’ve been working with (DC Entertainment chief creative officer) Geoff Johns for over fifteen years, so playing together on this special only made it more fun to work in the worlds we all love so dearly."

If you'd like to check out some of the previous Robot Chicken sketches with DC Comics characters, here are a few of my personal favorites...

Monday, April 23, 2012

George R.R. Martin's Unseen GAME OF THRONES Cameo

Fans of TV shows tend to geek out a little when the creative forces responsible for the series appear in small cameo roles, usually with fun "blink and you miss them" roles.  Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski appeared in the series' final episode as the man who shuts the power down to the Babylon 5 space station, while writer Charlaine Harris appeared alongside the bar at Merlotte's in the Season 2 finale of True Blood.

Well, it seems Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin would also like to taste those precious few seconds of screen time.  Empire has a chat transcript that Martin did with his fans discussing a full range of topics, ranging from his writing process to his favorite sandwich, and he also addressed the subject of a cameo role in the popular HBO adaptation of his novels. It seems such a cameo was already filmed, way back in the days of the Game of Thrones pilot, but because of a casting change, the cameo was never broadcast.

"Actually, I made a cameo in the original pilot, which was filmed in Morocco," Martin explained. "I was a Pentoshi nobleman, and one of the guests at Dany's wedding to Khal Drogo. However, subsequently we recast the part of Dany, so the entire Morocco wedding sequence was cut and my brilliant cameo was left on the cutting room floor."

Originally, the role of Daenerys Targaryen was to be played by actress Tamzin Merchant (Catherine Howard on Showtime's The Tudors), but before the series aired the showrunners made a number of changes to the pilot, including recasting the role with Emilia Clarke. Martin was no longer in Morocco, unfortunately, so the cameo couldn't be reshot. However, Martin has an idea about how he could appear on the show again.

"I also had investigated the idea of being a head on a spike," he said, "and (series creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss) were going to put my severed head on a spike at one point, but then they got the quote for what that would cost. Those severed heads are expensive and our budget is tight! So unless I provide my own, I don't get to be a severed head! But one of my fans who does that sort of thing has offered me the chance to make one next time I go out to LA. How could I resist? I could have my own severed head and carry it around in a bowling bag."

So with this in mind, whenever one of the Lannister clan gets in one of their moods, be sure to look for Martin's head resting upon a spike...

Friday, April 20, 2012

COMMUNITY's Inspector Spacetime Gets a New Constable

It was bound to happen.  Inspector Spacetime, the Doctor Who parody character that appears every so often on the NBC sitcom Community, finally moved faithful Constable Reginald "Reggie" Wigglesworth aside and made way for a feisty female Constable.

In last night's episode "Virtual Systems Analysis," the study group takes a three-hour lunch, giving Abed Nadir a chance to return to his Holodeck-like Dreamatorium for another Inspector Spacetime adventure.  However, instead of bringing his best friend Troy Barnes along, Abed ends up with Annie Edison as his replacement Constable.

The Dreamatorium adventure begins with actual opening credits to the Inspector Spacetime series, complete with Abed's face as the Inspector filling the screen similar to Doctor Who opening credit sequences from 1967 through 1989.  "I am Inspector Spacetime," Abed begins in a voiceover, "and I know that which is unknown.  Duty-bound to protect a universe of unremarkables, I patrol it in the X-7 Dimensionizer with my loyal Constable Reggie.  This week, however, Reggie has been forced to go to lunch, so I'm aboard the much crappier HMS Spacetime XII, from the worst season ever, with the temporary Constable Geneva."

Annie, wearing an elaborate gown, hands Abed's Inspector a Quantum Spanner.  She attempts to roleplay Constable Geneva, giving her a heavy Cockney accent with phrases like "Oi, Guv'nor!" and "Tut tut, my Lord, wouldn't give a tuppence for that sticky wicket!"  Abed, however, isn't pleased and even corrects her (and many Community fans in the process) on the proper spelling of the Inspector's arch-enemies.  "It's Blorgons with an 'R," he explains.  "Blogon means 'Thank you' in Blorgon." 

Later on, Abed makes another attempt with Annie, suggesting a different Inspector Spacetime character.  "I've been thinking about our Inspector Spacetime scenario," he informs her.  "It might work better instead of playing Geneva, you played Rosamund.  She was a constable in Season Five and she only had three lines."

Abed and Annie eventually come to an understanding with the help of the Dreamatorium, then return to the Observadeck of the HMS Spacetime XII where a new crisis awaits.  "Inspector, set the tachyon drive to hyperjump!" cries Annie/Geneva.  "We just get to the other side of this starfield before the Blorgons intercept!"

"Blorgons?  In this sector?" questions the Inspector.  "Well, this mission has gone pear-shaped indeed.  Prepare the hyperjump on my mark!"

As you might expect, the Inspector and Geneva are then suddenly interrupted.  "Bugger the starfields, Inspector...We're too late!  Blorgons!"

A pair of Blorgons appear on the spaceship, chanting "Eradicate! Eradicate" while firing a wide spray of laser fire at our heroes.  The Inspector and Geneva return fire, but to no effect whatsoever.  "Our quantum blasters are useless against their armor!" remarks the Inspector.  "We're as cooked as Lord Nelson's mutton, we are."

"Not if I can help it," Geneva replies defiantly.  "I'll see you on the other side, Inspector...wherever that is."

"Don't you mean...whenever that is?"

All at once, Geneva bellows a battle cry, rushes directly at the Blorgons and proceeds to start punching one of them.  "Take that, Blorgon scum!  You'll blogon me for this later."

If you'd like to see some clips from the episode, you can check them out below thanks to YouTube user GreendaleSeven...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

TWIN PEAKS Art Exhibition is a Place Both Wonderful and Strange

I've got good news.  In the mood for some damn good art to put on your walls at home?  Well, there's a gallery that might be able to help but it's filled with seeeeecrets. 

The Copro Gallery in Santa Monica, California is presenting an art exhibition called "Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me," curated by Rob Wilson in association with Twin Peaks co-creator and director David Lynch.  The exhibition will run from April 21 through May 12, 2012 to honor the 20th anniversary of Lynch's 1992 film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me that served as a prequel to the ABC TV series Twin Peaks that ran from 1990 to 1991.

After a previous Twin Peaks exhibition called "In the Trees" was held in February 2011 in downtown Los Angeles, Copro contacted David Lynch about doing a sequel exhibition featuring the darker side of Twin Peaks that was explored in Fire Walk With Me.  Lynch liked the idea and discussed it with the producer of the first show was was brought on board as curator for the event.

The "Fire Walk With Me" exhibition will also feature artwork from Lynch along with stars Grace Zabriskie (Sarah Palmer), Richard Beymer (Benjamin Horne) and James Marshall (James Hurley), unreleased music from Twin Peaks and surprise guests.  The gallery is located in part of what used to be a train station, which fits the theme of Fire Walk With Me since the character of Laura Palmer was murdered in an abandoned train car by the tracks.

You can check out a preview of the featured artwork hereWrite it in your diary.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Yes, Smallville fans, you've waited long enough but it's finally time for Season 11.  Might as well start things off with the Remy Zero theme song...

There...That's better, isn't it?  Almost a year after the TV series' final episode, DC Comics has returned to this alternate Superman world with in a digital comic format that will also be released in traditional print every month.  Season 11 picks up six months after the events of "Finale," revealing what's become of various cast members and how the world is dealing with a Superman as its protector.

In this first chapter "Guardian" (Yes, the traditional one-word story titles have returned as well), Smallville TV series writer Bryan Q. Miller reintroduces us to married couple Oliver and Chloe, Lois Lane, Lex Luthor and of course, Clark Kent, now fully embracing his destiny as the world's greatest superhero.  We don't learn much in the process, although there's a new connection to the Richard Donner Superman films with Lex taking on Otis as his latest henchman/assistant.  Oh, and it seems Clark has swapped his Superman Returns uniform for a version that resembles a cross between the Shane Davis version from Superman: Earth One and the new Henry Cavill costume worn in the upcoming film The Man of Steel.

As for the art, a very bold cover by Cat Staggs (shown above) starts things off nicely with Clark as Superman bursting upwards through the series logo.  It's a very striking image that makes effective use of the widescreen layout and Staggs' rendition of Tom Welling seems more faithful to the series than Gary Frank's first cover for the print edition.  The main story belongs to Pere Perez, who produces some solid work that conveys the story even if it isn't particularly innovative or stylish.  However, some nice coloring by Randy Mayor makes the scenes set in Earth's orbit considerably more effective and interesting, especially a storm of energy that flashes behind a Russian space station.

And while I'm thinking about the horizontal/widescreen layout, while it seems to make certain things pop more than a traditional vertical comic book format, it also loses something in terms of story content.  Because it essentially splits vertical pages into two upper and lower halves, the story flow feels somewhat light with most horizontal pages containing only two-to-four word balloons per page.  Basically, ten pages of a traditional vertical format are stretched out to twenty pages, so you end up flipping through them faster and things are over before you know it.  There's also a minor issue with splash pages being repeated, with a horizontal version of half the page followed immediately with the full vertical splash that encourages flipping your iPad around in order to view it properly.

All in all though, a promising start and one that should prove interesting once things finally get going.  Lex is obviously ready to make some moves into classic Superman Vs. Luthor territory, and this energy storm that pops up out of nowhere should result in some other menace for Clark to address.  If nothing else, Smallville fans should take comfort that the saga of Clark Kent still continues and in many ways, is only just beginning.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

DAMN Good Comics -- SECRET #1

Less than a year after his previous series Secret Warriors ended, writer Jonathan Hickman is back in the espionage game and we're all better off for it.

Hickman's new Image Comics series Secret (minus the Warriors) delves into the world of private security firms like the one formerly called Blackwater and the political realm they infest.  Opening with a late-night home invasion that results in an tooth extraction for information, reminiscent of an episode from the spy TV series Alias, Hickman soon introduces us to Grant Miller, apparently the second in charge at the firm Steadfast Security Holding.  Miller, we learn, is focused on making "one of the most important law firms in Washington" a Steadfast client and he seemingly suffers no ethical dilemma whatsoever about how to do it.

As anyone familiar with Hickman's writing knows, he's all about the long game.  We get a few initial mysteries and a not entirely unexpected cliffhanger twist, but it seems the really meaty stuff is being saved for down the road.  In the meantime, though, the initial series setup is engaging and the dialogue is sharp and crisp.  The book already feels like it should be a drama series on HBO or Showtime, so don't be surprised if some TV executive producer looking for the next Walking Dead snaps this property up in the near future.

Part of that Hollywood feel is due to artist Ryan Bodenheim.  He lays Hickman's script out nicely, using close-ups and angles you see in cinematic thrillers.  His characters' faces are full of wrinkles, sunken eyes and furrowed brows, giving them more gravitas and helping to sell the atmospheric story tone.  Michael Garland's coloring attempts to do that as well, with each scene having its own distinct color scheme.  Unfortunately, this attempt to be stylish leaves a number of scenes feeling a bit drab and lifeless, but that's a minor complaint.

Otherwise, here we go, the start of another promising Image series.  And in the final words of this first issue, now we eat.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

AMC Developing Image Comics' THIEF OF THIEVES for TV

Gee, I don't think anyone saw this coming...Ahem.

With AMC continuing to score huge ratings from the TV adaptation of writer Robert Kirkman's Image Comics/Skybound series The Walking Dead, it should come as absolutely no surprise whatsoever that AMC is looking for more from the creator.

The Hollywood Reporter has announced that AMC is reteaming with Kirkman to develop a TV show based on another Image Comics/Skybound creation, Thief of Thieves, which only had its third issue released today.  They described the television adaptation as focusing on "a master thief with a dual identity who, while struggling to quit the business, opts to steal only what has already been stolen."

Kirkman and Walking Dead producer David Alpert of Circle of Confusion will reteam with Chic Eglee, whom they worked with on the first season of The Walking Dead.  Eglee, who also worked on the Showtime drama Dexter, will serve as showrunner ifThief of Thieves becomes a series.  "Much like The Walking Dead brought horror to television in a unique and groundbreaking way," said Kirkman, "I feel Thief of Thieves can do the same thing for heist stories, showing the humanity of all the characters, including the criminals."

According to the article, Kirkman developed Thief of Thieves after basing it on his experiences in the Walking Dead TV series writer's room.  Kirkman oversees the comic book series, which had its initial arc written by Nick Spencer with art by Shawn Martinbrough.

"AMC recognizes the limitless ideas generated by the comic industry," said Kirkman.  "Their dedication to bringing The Walking Dead to life as a TV show has been key to its success and I'm excited about the potential of Thief of Thieves to reach similar levels of success."

Monday, April 9, 2012

Ben Kingsley in Final Talks for IRON MAN 3 Villain

It's looking like Iron Man 3 won't feature The Mandarin as the villain after all.

Variety reported today that actor Sir Ben Kingsley is in final talks to play the lead villain role in the third Iron Man film, this time to be directed by Shane Black.  Their sources claim that Kingsley will not portray Chinese supervillain The Mandarin, who was hinted as the leader behind terrorist group The Ten Rings that held Tony Stark captive in the first film and indirectly caused the Iron Man armor to be created.

Instead, the storyline for Iron Man 3 is supposedly loosely based on "Extremis," a six-issue storyline from 2005-06 written by Warren Ellis and drawn by Adi Granov.  Variety claims that Kingsley's character will be "involved in the spread of a virus through nanobots," which could mean he might portray a version of "Extremis" character Dr. Aldrich Killian, a scientist who commits suicide at his computer early on in the story, leaving behind a note that he has stolen and unleashed the Extremis serum for some unrevealed purpose. 

And since Kingsley is 68, it's highly doubtful that his character will engage Iron Man in some physical altercation similar to previous film villains Iron Monger and Whiplash.  If the "Extremis" storyline is somewhat adhered to, that could mean Mallen, a villainous character who is injected with Extremis, may also appear in the film in order to give Iron Man someone to fight.

Robert Downey, Jr. will reprise his role as Tony Stark/Iron Man, along with Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle and Scarlett Johansson returning as Pepper Potts, James "Rhodey" Rhodes/War Machine, and Natasha Romanov/Black Widow, respectively.

Iron Man 3 is currently scheduled to arrive in theaters on May 3, 2013

Saturday, April 7, 2012

FRINGE's Alternate Earth is a World Without Batman

As if things weren't already bizarre on Fringe's alternate Earth -- the Dodgers are still in Brooklyn instead of moving to Los Angeles, Back to the Future starred Eric Stoltz instead of Michael J. Fox, Berkeley Breathed's comic strip character Opus is a peahen instead of a penguin -- now comes the disturbing revelation that DC Comics character Batman doesn't exist in this strange parallel world.

In tonight's episode, "Everything in Its Right Place," written by J.R. Orci, Matt Pitts and David Fury, FBI agent Lincoln Lee travels to the alternate Earth and assists his Fringe Division counterpart Captain Lee and Olivia Dunham with a mysterious vigilante case where criminals have gone missing, junkies have vanished, and victims have called in claiming that their assailants were attacked mid-crime.

"Maybe Batman's moved to the Bronx," jokes Agent Lee, causing the puzzled alternate Olivia to ask what a Batman is.  "The Caped Crusader, The Dark Knight..." explains Agent Lee, "...Billionaire playboy puts on a cape to clean up the streets of Gotham?"

"Oh, you mean M.A.N.T.I.S.," replies Captain Lee, referring to the short-lived FOX TV series starring Carl Lumbly that aired from August 1994 to March 1995.  Like Batman, M.A.N.T.I.S. (short for Mechanically Augmented Neuro Transmitter Interception System) was a superhero vigilante that used a vast array of technology to fight crime, but he wore a powered exoskeleton that allowed his paralyzed body to walk and also gave him other superhuman abilities.

Agent Lee, however, isn't impressed.  "Seriously?  Your superhero is an insect?"

"Oh, what," counters the alternate Olivia, "because nothing says badass like a flying rat?"

If you'd like to check out the scene, you can watch it below thanks to the kindness of YouTube user LovecraftsSon...

Friday, April 6, 2012

X-MEN Sequel Shoots in January to Avoid HUNGER GAMES Conflict

It looks like this round of film studios fighting over Oscar-nominated actress Jennifer Lawrence has been settled. 

The Hollywood Reporter states that 20th Century Fox informed talent agencies that the studio is planning on shooting a sequel to last year's X-Men: First Class in January 2013.  This move allows rival studio Lionsgate to go ahead with their August/September start date for Catching Fire, the sequel to the very popular movie adaptation of The Hunger Games.

Tensions were reportedly high between the studios last month, when Fox was considering filming the X-Men sequel this fall, creating a scheduling conflict for Lawrence who is already contracted to reprise her roles as Mystique in the X-Men sequel and Katniss Everdeen in Catching Fire.  With Fox signing Lawrence first, they had the right to exercise an option in her contract if it conflicted with a Hunger Games sequel.

Director Matthew Vaughn is expected to return for the X-Men sequel, while Hunger Games director Gary Ross remains unsigned and is supposedly engaged in heated negotiations.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

James Bond to Open the London 2012 Olympic Games

It seems British secret agent James Bond has a new assignment this summer...opening the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.

The Hollywood Reporter claims that following a personal invitation to Buckingham Palace, actor Daniel Craig agreed to film a short James Bond adventure for the opening ceremony to the London 2012 Olympic Games, directed by Danny Boyle of Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire fame.  Entitled "The Arrival," the short film also coincides with the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film series that began with Doctor No in 1962 starring Sean Connery as Bond.

The short film reportedly begins with Bond being informed of his mission while at Buckingham Palace and is then flown via helicopter to Olympic Stadium in Stratford, east London, where he will parachute into the arena.

According to British tabloid newspaper The Sun, Queen Elizabeth II may also make a cameo in the short, although the Palace is keeping details secret.  Craig, Boyle and the film crew were apparently given "unprecedented access" to The Queen's private rooms while filming.  Crew members were given strict instructions not to tell any members of the public what they were filming, and cameras and mobile phones were banned on the set.

The opening ceremony to the 2012 Olympic Games is scheduled for July 27.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The TARDIS Materializes on YOUNG JUSTICE?

No, this is not an April Fool's Day gag...but probably a very sly in-joke for Doctor Who fans.

In "Insecurity," an episode of the Cartoon Network animated series Young Justice, a very familiar-looking blue police box made a brief appearance in Star City, home to DC Comics character Green Arrow.  The scene featured Green Arrow and his new sidekick Artemis approaching a police box in a dark alley, something very out of place in America let alone the 21st century.

We quickly discover that the police box is actually a disguised transporter device to allow Artemis to travel to Young Justice's headquarters located in Mount Justice.  The police box isn't bigger on the inside like the TARDIS, but a bright light shines through the windows upon activation.

"Insecurity" was written by former Young Justice comic book writer Peter David, a longtime Doctor Who fan who also wrote the short story "One Fateful Knight" for the Doctor Who book anthology Short Trips: The Quality of Leadership.

If you'd like to view the scene, you can watch it below thanks to the kindness of YouTube user KelvingtonDemoReels...