Saturday, June 27, 2015

THE FANDOM ZONE 014: "Birds of Prey" is Up!

"I resent that!  I'm as broody and romantically self-destructive as the next girl!"
-- Barbara Gordon to Helena Kyle, Birds of Prey: "Pilot"

You guessed it, Karen Lindsay and I are back with another new episode of The Fandom Zone Podcast!  Ah, but this time, we also have a special guest -- none other than my Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast co-host, Jesse Jackson!

This week's reviews of comics on television include:

Birds of Prey 1x01 -- "Pilot"
Daredevil 1x11 -- "The Path of the Righteous"

We talk about things like Jesse's long podcast history with Karen, the upcoming TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman's American Gods, the backstory war between Batman and The Joker, the vocal greatness of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill, my shared TitanTalk APA history with Jesse, the potential of Birds of Prey, the unexpected appearance of Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad, Dinah as the Wesley Crusher of Birds of Prey, the difference in Dinah's TV powers vs. the comics, the first mention of DC Comics' metahumans, Huntress' personality difference after being raised only by Catwoman, the cost of superhero equipment, the Arkham Asylum money booth, Mia Sara as the Big Bad Harley Quinn, comparing Birds of Prey and Gotham, Leland Owlsley wanting everyone to know he was almost poisoned, Jesse's slightly-dated Al Haig reference, Karen's possible on-air electrocution, Karen Page's monkey balloon, Vincent D'Onofrio in Men in Black and Full Metal Jacket, the return of Father Latte, Melvin Potter the Gladiator, the private basements of bad guys, the awesomeness of Karen Page saving herself, 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! If direct download MP3s are more your thing, you can find those HERE as well. In addition, we have our Fandom Zone show page on Facebook, which you can check out HERE. And we're also on Twitter using the account @FandomZoneCast.

Be sure to come back next week for the second episode of the 2002-03 WB series Birds of Prey, and the twelfth episode of Daredevil, right here on The Fandom Zone Podcast!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE 026: "Dr. Who and the Daleks" is Up!

"Young man, do you know what you have just done? You have transferred us in time and space and I haven’t even set the controls.  Now I don’t know where we are!"
-- Dr. Who to Ian Chesterton, Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965)

My good friend and co-host Jesse Jackson and I finally back with another episode of Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast!  And this time, we review the um...interesting Peter Cushing Doctor Who movie, Dr. Who and the Daleks!

Exploring this first-ever Doctor Who movie from 1965, Jesse and I discuss things like my Doctor Who birthday gift, sending our positive thoughts to Sir John Hurt for his battle with cancer, Jesse's dread of discussing the movie, the two non-canon Peter Cushing movies, Dalekmania, Roy Castle's horrible take on Ian Chesterton, Peter Cushing's fumbling movie Doctor, Susan as a young girl instead of a teenager, why the original TV episode "The Daleks" is superior, The Time Tunnel, all kinds of differences from the television series, Susan calling Ian out as a coward, Susan being the only competent one in the group, slow-moving elevators, teaching pacifists how to fight, Jesse's hatred of bad movies, my love of bad movies, our Reverse the Polarity segmentand 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?

Be sure to come back in two weeks for our review of the William Hartnell classic The Dalek Invasion of Earth, and look for more of Next Stop Everywhere on iTunes, Libsyn, Stitcher and the Southgate Media Group website!

GOTHAM Casts James Frain as Theo Galavan, Tigress' Brother

It's James Frain.  You know he's playing a bad guy.

Deadline reported late yesterday that the Fox series Gotham has cast actor James Frain in the role of Theo Galavan, the billionaire industrialist brother of Tabitha, a new version of DC Comics supervillain Tigress.

According to the article, the two new characters will be series regulars and Theo is described as "a new Gotham arrival, Galavan is the savior the city has been waiting for — he is sexy, heroic, and lovingly devoted to his sister Tabitha (yet to be cast).  But behind Galavan’s altruism is a centuries-old vendetta.  Galavan and Tabitha (aka Tigress) will take chaos and violence to a new level in order to bleed Gotham.  Their plan will lead to the creation of new villains…and the destruction of others."

Frain, 47, has appeared in numerous comics, science fiction and horror projects, including the television series Orphan Black (as Ferdinand), Agent Carter (as Leet Brannis), Intruders, Sleepy Hollow, Grimm, The Cape, True Blood (as Franklin Mott), FlashForward, Fringe, Invasion, and Threshold.  He was also featured on the Showtime series The Tudors as Thomas Cromwell, and appeared in the films Tron: Legacy, The Lone Ranger (2013), and Water for Elephants.

Created in 1938 by Fred Guardineer, the original Tigress first appeared in Action Comics #1 as a woman named Brooks, who was a thief and recurring enemy of the sorcerer Zatara.

The second Tigress, Paula Brooks, debuted in 1947's Sensation Comics #68 as a supervillain calling herself The Huntress, until it was retroactively revealed that she originally began as a member of the superhero group The Young All-Stars.  She later married the supervillain The Sportsmaster and had a daughter, Artemis Crock.

Artemis became the third Tigress, who was created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Todd McFarlane and first appeared in 1987's Infinity, Inc. #34.  Taking up her parents' career in crime, Tigress joined the new Injustice Society, renamed by The Wizard as Injustice Unlimited.  She later fell in love with the second Icicle, Cameron Mahkent, and became pregnant with his child.

Gotham is expected to return for Season 2 in September.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tom Holland Cast as Next SPIDER-MAN, Jon Watts to Direct

After a lengthy search, Sony Pictures and Marvel have agreed on their new Spider-Man. 

Marvel has announced that actor Tom Holland will portray Marvel's Peter Parker, better known to comics fans as the amazing/spectacular/sensational Spider-Man. Holland, 19, starred in the 2012 film The Impossible and played the title role in the London West End production of Billy Elliot the Musical.

The actor should first appear as Spider-Man in the upcoming 2016 Marvel film Captain America: Civil War before starring in his first solo Spider-Man film for Sony Pictures in 2017. Holland will be the sixth actor to portray Spider-Man in live-action, after Danny Seagren on The Electric Company TV series, Nicholas Hammond on The Amazing Spider-Man (1978) TV series, Takuya Yamashiro in the Japanese Spider-Man TV series, Tobey Maguire in the three Spider-Man films directed by Sam Raimi, and Andrew Garfield in the two Amazing Spider-Man movies directed by Marc Webb.

In addition, Marvel announced that Jon Watts will direct the still untitled film.  Watts previously directed the 2014 horror film Clown, he upcoming movie Cop Car and several episodes of The Onion News Network television series.

And look, here's a handy press release from Marvel...

Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios are proud to announce that after a full worldwide casting search, Tom Holland will play Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the next Spider-Man film, in theaters in IMAX and 3D on July 28, 2017.  The film will be directed by Jon Watts, director of "Cop Car," the upcoming thriller that made its debut earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival.

Marvel and Sony Pictures, and producers Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal conducted an extensive search for both the actor and the director.  The studios and producers were impressed by Holland’s performances in "The Impossible," “Wolf Hall,” and the upcoming "In the Heart of the Sea," and by a series of complex screen tests.  Following Marvel’s tradition of working with the brightest next wave of directors, Watts also went through multiple meetings with Feige, Pascal, and the studio, before winning the job. 

Commenting on the announcement, Tom Rothman, Sony Pictures Motion Pictures Group Chairman, said, “It’s a big day here at Sony. Kevin, Amy and their teams have done an incredible job.  The Marvel process is very thorough, and that’s why their results are so outstanding.  I’m confident Spider-Man will be no exception.  I’ve worked with a number of up-and-coming directors who have gone on to be superstars and believe that Jon is just such an outstanding talent.  For Spidey himself, we saw many terrific young actors, but Tom’s screen tests were special.   All in all, we are off to a roaring start.”

Feige commented, “As with James Gunn, Joss Whedon, and the Russo brothers, we love finding new and exciting voices to bring these characters to life.  We spent a lot of time with Jon and find his take and work inspiring.”

Pascal added, “Sony, Marvel, Kevin and I all knew that for Peter Parker, we had to find a vibrant, talented young actor capable of embodying one of the most well-known characters in the world.  With Tom, we’ve found the perfect actor to bring Spider-Man’s story into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”

Sony Pictures will finance and release worldwide the next installment of the $4 billion Spider-Man franchise on July 28, 2017, in a film co-produced by Kevin Feige and his expert team at Marvel and Amy Pascal, who oversaw the franchise launch for the studio 13 years ago. Together, they will collaborate on a new creative direction for the Web-Slinger.

Spider-Man, embraced all over the world, is the most successful franchise in the history of Sony Pictures, with the five films having taken in more than $4 billion worldwide.

HANNIBAL Cancelled by NBC, Producer Exploring Options

First Constantine and now Hannibal.  NBC, you're officially dead to us.

TVLine reported yesterday that NBC series has cancelled their critically acclaimed series Hannibal and that the show's current third season will be its last.

"NBC has allowed us to craft a television series that no other broadcast network would have dared," said showrunner Bryan Fuller in a statement, "and kept us on the air for three seasons despite Cancellation Bear Chow ratings and images that would have shredded the eyeballs of lesser Standards & Practices enforcers.  [NBC president] Jen Salke and her team have been fantastic partners and creatively supportive beyond measure."

Added Fuller, "Hannibal is finishing his last course at NBC’s table this summer, but a hungry cannibal can always dine again.  And personally, I look forward to my next meal with NBC."

The decision was probably an easy one for NBC, after the June 11th episode earned a series-low 1.7 million viewers and a 0.5 in the demo.

NBC issued their own statement, remarking, "We have been tremendously proud of Hannibal over its three seasons.  Bryan and his team of writers and producers, as well as our incredible actors, have brought a visual palette of storytelling that has been second to none in all of television — broadcast or cable.  We thank Gaumont and everyone involved in the show for their tireless efforts that have made Hannibal an incredible experience for audiences around the world."

So, Fannibals...What now?

According to DeadlineHannibal executive producer Martha De Laurentiis said that "we are exploring options with other potential partners" and invited viewers to "join us in sending a message to other potential partners."

The article also mentions that there's significant interest in Hannibal from other outlets, suggesting that the one that would make most sense is Amazon, which already has exclusive rights to the existing three seasons of the show as part of a four-year, five-show deal with NBCUniversal.  The deal is in the middle of its term, which would complicate potential negotiations with Amazon competitors like Netflix.

The remaining ten episodes of Hannibal will air on NBC Thursday nights at 10 p.m. EST, ending sometime in August.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Solo HAWKGIRL Series IS NOT in Development at The CW

*** UPDATED AS OF 6/23/15 ***

Comic Book Resources revealed yesterday that SpoilerTV's original article has been refuted by The CW, who informed CBR that the solo Hawkgirl series is "not true."

Renée also debunked SpoilerTV's article, with the following post on her official Twitter account...

* Original Article *

Well, that was fast.

SpoilerTV has word that The CW is developing a separate Hawkgirl series starring Ciara Renée as DC Comics character Hawkgirl/Kendra Saunders.  Presumably, this would be a spinoff from the upcoming CW series Legends of Tomorrow, which will feature Hawkgirl as a team member.

According to the article, the project is in the very early stages of development, and if The CW decides to move forward with it, it will most likely bypass the pilot stage and get a straight to series order.

Renée has already debuted as Kendra Saunders in an "easter egg" cameo at the end of The Flash season finale, "Fast Enough."  She also appeared in the first Legends of Tomorrow trailer prepared for The CW upfronts, which also featured fleeting glimpses of a CGI Hawkgirl.

The character was described and the end of March as "a young woman who is just beginning to learn that she has been repeatedly reincarnated over the centuries.  When provoked, her ancient warrior persona manifests itself, along with wings that grow out of her back, earning her the moniker Hawkgirl."

Legends of Tomorrow is expected to debut on The CW as a midseason replacement in early 2016.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

THE FANDOM ZONE 013: "Blaine's World" is Up!

"Why are you doing this?"
"Daddy issues...Megalomania...Greed...Wow, that felt really good to get off my chest."
-- Major Lillywhite and Blaine DeBeers, iZombie: "Blaine's World"

You guessed it, Karen Lindsay and I are back with another new episode of The Fandom Zone Podcast!  

This week's reviews of comics on television include:

iZombie 1x13 -- "Blaine's World"
Daredevil 1x10 -- "Nelson v. Murdock"

We talk about things like giving in to the temptation of Wayne's World resets, Karen's six degrees of separation with Rose McIver, Tatiana Maslany's male clone fail, Liv's true feelings about being a zombie, Liv and Major's "It's Complicated" relationship, comparing the After The Fire and Falco versions of "Der Kommissar," Major's dramatic action movie theme, Blaine's various dick moves, the awkwardness of not being able to donate blood because you're a zombie, speculating on Ravi's zombie cure being only temporary, crushing on Rose McIver, the awkwardness of waking up and finding that your best friend uncovered your secret identity, Foggy's college goatee and mullet, Foggy using Matt's blindness to get a better class of chicks, the evil Marvel Comics corporation Roxxon Oil, meeting the Kingpin's mom, the awkwardness of drinking poisoned champagne, Madame Gao's awesome roof garden, some comics on TV news, the movie Love Actually, why it's really not smart to go after me for taking a picture with Funko Pop figures, 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! If direct download MP3s are more your thing, you can find those HERE as well. In addition, we have our Fandom Zone show page on Facebook, which you can check out HERE. And we're also on Twitter using the account @FandomZoneCast.

Be sure to come back next week for the first of our reviews of the short-lived WB series Birds of Prey, and the eleventh episode of Daredevil, right here on The Fandom Zone Podcast!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

DOCTOR STRANGE Casts Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo

By the flames of the Faltine!

Deadline reports that actor Chiwetel Ejiofor will be playing the Marvel Comics supervillain Baron Mordo in the upcoming film adaptation of Doctor Strange starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

According to the article, however, "although he’s an enemy in the comics, don’t look for him to be necessarily a completely villainous character.  Rather, he’s an amalgamation of characters culled from Doctor Strange‘s mythology."

Ejiofor, 37, is best known as Solomon Northup in the the film 12 Years a Slave and as The Operative in Joss Whedon's Serenity.  His other films include The Martian, Salt, 2012, American Gangster, Children of Men, Kinky Boots, and Amistad.

Created in 1963 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Baron Mordo first appeared in Strange Tales (vol.1) #111 as Karl Amadeus Mordo, a student of the Tibetan sorcerer known as the Ancient One.  Mordo plotted to kill his teacher, and when the Ancient One's guest, Dr. Stephen Strange, learned of the plot, Mordo cast restraining spells to prevent him from warning his master or attacking him.  Strange selflessly decided to accept the Ancient One's offer to learn magic in order to help the old man, so the Ancient One freed him from those spells, which he was fully aware were in place, as well as of Mordo's treachery, and trained him as a formidable enemy of Mordo. Eventually Mordo was exiled by the Ancient One.

Mordo became a recurring enemy of Doctor Strange, often partnering with supernatural beings such as Dormammu, Mephisto, Umar, and Satannish.  Mordo eventually contracted terminal cancer as a side effect of his use of black magic, and renounced evil just before his death, only to later return to life.

Doctor Strange is scheduled to arrive in theaters on November 4, 2016.

THE FLASH Season 2 Gives Barry His Own Felicity Smoak

Well, if you can't have Felicity Smoak around full time, just make another one.

TVLine reported yesterday that the second season of the hit CW series The Flash will feature a new recurring role of Wendy, a new "spunky, fun and funny" love interest for Barry Allen who will be introduced in episode two.

According to the article, Wendy is "a cop for the Central City PD, Wendy is described as bright and scientific-minded — more specifically, 'Think ‘Felicity Smoak’ from Arrow,' the casting call reads."

Flash fans probably realize that "Wendy" is likely a casting call alias for DC Comics character Patty Spivot.  Created in 1977 by Cary Bates and Irv Novick, Patty first appeared in DC Special Series #1 as Barry Allen's lab assistant at the Central City Police Department who was almost doused in experimental chemicals as lightning once again struck the police labs in a similar accident that gave Barry his super-speed powers.  Barry rushed Patty to safety before the lightning could strike her, imagining a sequence of events that would lead to Patty becoming a superhero called Ms. Flash, and destroying Central City as a result of explosive side effects from her speed.

A later version of Patty harbored romantic feelings towards Barry, but knew of Barry's obsession with his mother's unsolved case, and so decided to keep her distance until Barry was ready to move on with his life.  When Barry became more open, though, he fell in love with Iris West, who would later become his wife, while Barry and Patty remained just friends. She eventually stole the gear of Hot Pursuit, a powerless version of Barry Allen from the future, and became the new Hot Pursuit.  Escaping from a group of cops in her Cosmic Motorcycle, Patty's futuristic bike detected a timestorm and initiated an emergency chronal-evac, transporting her to the year 3011 where she encountered Kid Flash (Bart Allen) and was soon killed by Brainiac.

The current New 52 version of Patty was involved in a relationship with Barry Allen and eventually found out that he is The Flash.  

The Flash will return to The CW for Season 2 sometime in October.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

THE FANDOM ZONE 012: "Speak of the Devil" is Up!

"Do you believe in the Devil, Father?"
"You mean, as a concept?"
"No.  Do you believe he exists?  In this world, among us."
"You want the short answer or the long one?"
"Just the truth."
-- Matt Murdock and Father Lantom, Daredevil: "Speak of the Devil"

As we catch up to the schedule once again, Karen Lindsay and I are back with another new episode of The Fandom Zone Podcast!  

This week's reviews of comics on television include:

iZombie 1x12 -- "Dead Rat, Live Rat, Brown Rat, White Rat"
Daredevil 1x09 -- "Speak of the Devil"

We talk about things like Karen's statue of The Corinthian from The Sandman, Karen sensing a disturbance in the Popcorn Force, not indulging Marvel's TV show name possessives, Ravi's great lines, what happened to Sin after she left Starling City, Clive the accidental cannibal, building trust through gossip seshs and fro-yo, Karen's college boyfriend, Karen's letter jacket, the Asshats on BBC America, Ravi possibly needing a full body condom, sharing our mutual disappointment of the Powers TV series, ranking the Daredevil Season 1 fights, the greatness of kyoketsu-shoges, Ben Urich's expose article fail, explaining a blind man visiting an art gallery, cashing in Father Lantom's latte offer, Person of Interest, teasing Davos the Steel Serpent, the importance of a specific Hell's Kitchen block, the awkwardness of discovering your best friend is a wanted vigilante, some comics on TV news, paying our respects to the cancelled NBC show Constantine, 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! If direct download MP3s are more your thing, you can find those HERE as well. In addition, we have our Fandom Zone show page on Facebook, which you can check out HERE. And we're also on Twitter using the account @FandomZoneCast.

Be sure to come back next week for the season finale of iZombie, and the tenth episode of Daredevil, right here on The Fandom Zone Podcast!

DAREDEVIL Casts Jon Bernthal as The Punisher

Crime in Hell's Kitchen is about to drop significantly.

Marvel has announced that the Netflix series Daredevil has cast actor Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle, better known to Marvel Comics fans as The Punisher.  The announcement describes The Punisher as "a vigilante who aims to clean up New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen by any means necessary, no matter how lethal the results."

"Jon Bernthal brings an unmatched intensity to every role he takes on," said Jeph Loeb, Marvel’s Head of Television, "with a potent blend of power, motivation and vulnerability that will connect with audiences.  Castle’s appearance will bring dramatic changes to the world of Matt Murdock and nothing will be the same."

Bernthal, 38, is best known as the dangerous Shane Walsh on the AMC series The Walking Dead, which earned him a Scream Award nomination for Breakout Performance Male in 2011.  In addition, Bernthal has appeared in the films Fury and The Wolf of Wall Street, and has had roles on the television series Mob City, The Pacific, Eastwick, How I Met Your Mother, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, CSI: Miami, and Boston Legal.

Created in 1974 by Gerry Conway, Ross Andru and John Romita, Sr., The Punisher first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man (vol.1) #129 as Frank Castlle, a vigilante who employs murder, kidnapping, extortion, coercion, threats of violence, and torture in his war on crime.  He was determined to kill Spider-Man, who was wanted for the apparent murder of Norman Osborn.  He later encountered other heroes, such as Captain America and Nightcrawler, then faced off against Daredevil, whose more liberal views of crime often put them on opposite sides.

Driven by the deaths of his wife and two children, who were killed by the mob during a shootout in New York City's Central Park, the Punisher wages a one-man war on the mob and all criminals in general by using all manner of conventional war weaponry.  His family's killers were the first to be slain.  A war veteran of the U.S. military, Frank Castle is a master of martial arts, stealth tactics, guerrilla warfare, and a wide variety of weapons.

Bernthal will be the fourth actor to portray The Punisher in live action, after Dolph Lundrgen in the film The Punisher (1989), Thomas Jane in The Punisher (2004), and Ray Stevenson in the 2008 sequel Punisher: War Zone.

The character has also appeared in a number of animated projects, including Spider-Man: The Animated Series (voiced by John Beck), The Super Hero Squad Show (voiced by Ray Stevenson), Iron Man: Rise of Technovore (voiced by Bernthal's Walking Dead co-star Norman Reedus), and Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher (voiced by Brian Bloom).

Daredevil is expected to return for Season 2 on Netflix sometime in April 2016.

Monday, June 8, 2015

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE 025: "Spare Parts" is Up!

"How did they start?!  Just a few hip replacements and breast implants?!  Vanity's a killer, isn't it?!  And where will it end?!  Sleek, heartless scavengers cobbled up from space junk and other bodies?!  But you'll look ever so stylish!"
"This age of natural development is insufficient.  We have taken charge of our own evolution."
"Excellent!  Abolish doctors!  Someone call a mechanic!"
-- The Fifth Doctor and the Cyberplanner, Doctor Who: "Spare Parts"

My good friend and co-host Jesse Jackson and I back with another episode of Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast! And this time, we review the acclaimed Big Finish Productions Doctor Who audio adventure, "Spare Parts"!

Exploring this Fifth Doctor and Nyssa story featuring the genesis of the Cybermen, Jesse and I discuss things like Jesse at Comicpalooza 2015, the importance of listening to Big Finish audios without having your MP3 player on shuffle, the inspiration for the David Tennant episodes "Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel," Jesse's new take on Peter Davison, free range companions, fun with black market body parts, geeking out on the idea of the Cybermen's origin, Steven Moffat possibly swiping the idea of Cybermen coming out of graveyards, Matty the Cybermat, trying to change history to prevent Adric's death, getting the Cyberplanner drunk, our Reverse the Polarity segment, Jesse's conversation with Dan "Strax" Starkey, trying to bring Jesse over to The Fandom Zone 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?

Be sure to come back in two weeks for our review of the 1965 Doctor Who non-canon feature film Dr. Who and the Daleks starring Peter Cushing as "Dr. Who," and look for more of Next Stop Everywhere on iTunes, Libsyn, Stitcher and the Southgate Media Group website!

CONSTANTINE Officially Dead, Cast & Writers Released from Contracts

Last call, Hellblazers.

After various attempts and social media campaigns to save Constantine, the cancelled NBC series based on the DC Comics/VERTIGO series Hellblazer, the show is now officially dead. Cast members and writers are being released from their contracts so they can find work elsewhere.

The series ran for thirteen episodes in a horrible Friday Night Death Slot at 10 p.m. EST, until NBC decided to not renew the series for the additional "back nine" of the planned twenty-two episodes.

Showrunner and executive producer Daniel Cerone posted this open letter to Constantine fans late last night on Twitter, thanking them for their support...

I promised I'd share news when I had it -- sadly, that news is not good. The cast and writers of Constantine are being released from their contracts. The studio tried to find a new home for the show, for which we're forever grateful, but those efforts didn't pan out. I'm sorry, I wasn't provided any information on the attempts to sell the show elsewhere. All I can report is that the show is over.

Many ingredients went into this TV series. From the dedicated cast that breathed these characters to life, led by Matt Ryan as the comic-made-flesh embodiment of John Constantine, to the exceptionality talented crew that put unreal images on screen, to the original Hellblazer writers and artists who gifted us a universe.

As a general principle, writers don't choose a writing career to achieve stardom. Whatever demons or insecurities drove them to find freedom of expression through written words generally keeps writers comfortably obscure behind their words. Nor do people choose writing as a means to financial freedom. I'd venture to guess that most who set out to write professionally never receive a paycheck for their hopeful scribbles or key strokes.

In fact, nobody I know ever chose a writing career -- it chose them. You write because that's what you do. Like breathing, it just happens and you have to do it and you just hope that someday somebody out there notices what you're trying to say.

If that's the dream of writers, than the writers of Constantine lived the dream, because we're leaving behind wild and passionate fans who believe in and were moved by what we tried to do. To leave such a significant, dedicated and active fan base on the table -- that's the real sadness. You all deserve many years of the series we set out to make, and we're disappointed that we couldn't deliver that to you. The good news is that Constantine will live on for years in many more forms. But our time as caretakers has ended.

Thank you for letting us in.

Daniel Cerone

For those looking to continue with the character of John Constantine, DC Comics is launching a brand-new ongoing series, Constantine: The Hellblazer, with the first issue scheduled for this Wednesday.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

THE FANDOM ZONE 011: "Shadows in the Glass" is Up!

"You get what you deserve.  It's an old saying, one that's survived the years, because it's true.  For the most part, but not for everyone.  Some get more than they deserve, because they believe they aren't like everyone else.  That the rules, the ones people like me and you, the people that work and struggle to live our lives, just live, don't apply to them.  That they can do anything and live happily ever after, while the rest of us suffer.  They do this from the shadows.  Shadows that we cast, with our indifference, with a pervasive lack of interest in anything that doesn't directly affect us, we, in the here and now.  Or maybe it's just the shadow of weariness.  Of how tired we are, struggling to claw our way back to a middle class that no longer exist, because of those who take more than they deserve.  And they keep taking, until all that's left for the rest of us is a memory of how it used to be before the corporations and the bottom line decided we didn't matter anymore.  But we do.  You and I, the people of this city, we still matter.  There's someone in Hell's Kitchen that doesn't share this belief.  He's been among us for quite some time.  You've never heard his name.  You've never seen his face.  He's stayed in the shadows, because men like him, men that want to control our city, our lives, fear the light and what it reveals.  This man must no longer be allowed to operate in the darkness.  If he has nothing to hide, let him step forward."
-- Ben Urich, Daredevil: "Shadows in the Glass"

You've waited long enough, but Karen Lindsay and I are finally back with a new episode of The Fandom Zone Podcast!  

This week's reviews of comics on television include:

Daredevil 1x08 -- "Shadows in the Glass"
iZombie 1x11 -- "Astroburger"

We talk about things like Karen's back issues, my Funko Pop Captain Cold figure, the Kingpin's morning routine vs. Daredevil's morning routine, Karen & Foggy as Matt Murdock's pulse of the city, Matt & Foggy interrogating Daredevil, the Kingpin's protection fail, flashbacks to the Kingpin's childhood, putting a dollar value on years of friendship with someone you're asked to kill, Ho Hos vs. Ding Dongs, wooden baseball bats vs. aluminum bats, Vanessa Fisk in the comics, Wesley's exasperation at the Kingpin and Madame Gao, Young Wilson Fisk's hammer time, how to dispose of a dead body, the explanation of the Kingpin's favorite painting, Batman pointing and laughing at Daredevil, Alison and Donny makin' it rain on Orphan Black, Karen's imaginary devil voice, Looney Tunes shoulder angels and devils, how to poison a zombie, the greatness of TV weatherman Johnny Frost, spoiling The Sixth Sense, ringing toilets, Ravi's zombie rat cure, my defense of Twin Peaks, some comics on TV news, 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! If direct download MP3s are more your thing, you can find those HERE as well. In addition, we have our Fandom Zone show page on Facebook, which you can check out HERE. And we're also on Twitter using the account @FandomZoneCast.

Be sure to come back next week for more on iZombie, and the ninth episode of Daredevil, right here on The Fandom Zone Podcast!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

James Wan Confirmed as AQUAMAN Director

Confirming previous rumors, Warner Bros. Pictures has announced that James Wan will direct the upcoming Aquaman film adaptation, which stars Jason Momoa as the classic DC Comics superhero.

The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, Warner Bros. Pictures.  "We’ve been so lucky to have worked with James, first on New Line’s The Conjuring and now on their upcoming The Conjuring 2," said Silverman, "and are thrilled to have him on board as we continue to expand our DC slate.  The Aquaman film will be a major tentpole picture for us and James’s span of work has proven him able to take on any manner of project, bringing his incredible creative talent and unique voice to the material."

Wan is best known as the director of Furious 7, the latest in the The Fast and the Furious film series.  In addition, Wan has directed the three Insidious films, Saw, and Annabelle.

He will also supervise the script by Kurt Johnstad (300, 300: Rise of an Empire).  Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder and Zack Snyder will serve as producers.

"James is not only a great storyteller but can make action truly explode on the big screen," said Roven, "and Jason has a dynamic presence that commands your attention.  Together, they will bring an undeniable vitality and energy to this character as he headlines his first feature film."

Momoa’s Aquaman will debut in Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice on March 25, 2016, and will probably return for Justice League: Part One, arriving November 10, 2017.  Aquaman is expected to arrive in theaters sometime in 2018.

THE X-FILES Revival Casts Joel McHale as Tad O'Malley

Time for a #sixepisodesandamovie hashtag? 

The Hollywood Reporter has word that Fox's upcoming revival of The X-Files has cast Joel McHale as Tad O'Malley, the anchor of a popular conservative Internet news network who becomes an unlikely ally for Fox Mulder.

McHale is the first new actor cast for the six-episode miniseries, joining returning X-Files stars David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson and Mitch Pileggi.  Series creator Chris Carter is scripting all six episodes and will serve as executive producer, while Mark Snow will return as series composer.

McHale, 43, is best known as Jeff Winger on the NBC/Yahoo Screen series Community, and as the host of The Soup.  In addition, he's appeared in the films Spider-Man 2, Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, Ted, and Deliver Us from Evil.  His other television work includes Sons of Anarchy, Pushing Daisies, CSI: Miami, Will & Grace, and Bill Nye the Science Guy.

The X-Files returns to Fox on January 24, 2016.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Neil Gaiman Addresses One Million Moms Petition Against LUCIFER

To the surprise of no one, the right-wing, Christian boycott group One Million Moms has a problem with the upcoming Fox midseason replacement series Lucifer, based on the DC Comics/VERTIGO series by Mike Carey and starring Tom Ellis as Lucifer Morningstar.

Last week, the group posted a petition urging Fox to "Drop plans to air Lucifer," which currently has a total 12,807 "concerned moms," only 987,193 short of one million.  The damning petition (Get it?) is described on the OMM site as follows:

FOX has plans in 2016 to air "Lucifer," a new series which will glorify Satan as a caring, likable person in human flesh.

The series will focus on Lucifer portrayed as a good guy, "who is bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell." He resigns his throne, abandons his kingdom and retires to Los Angeles, where he gets his kicks helping the LAPD punish criminals.

At the same time, God's emissary, the angel Amenadiel, has been sent to Los Angeles to convince Lucifer to return to the underworld.

Previews of the pilot episode depict graphic acts of violence, a nightclub featuring scantily-clad women and a demon.

To quote Dana Carvey's classic Church Lady character from Saturday Night Live, "Well, isn't that special."

Neil Gaiman, co-creator of the Lucifer comics character in 1989's The Sandman #4, weighed in on the petition by way of his official Tumblr account, with the following response...

'One Million Moms' Says New Fox TV Series 'Lucifer' 'Mocks the Bible,' Starts Petition Urging for Show's Cancellation

Ah. It seems like only yesterday (but it was 1991) that the “Concerned Mothers of America” announced that they were boycotting SANDMAN because it contained Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans characters. It was Wanda that upset them most: the idea of a Trans Woman in a comic book… They told us they were organising a boycott of SANDMAN, which they would only stop if we wrote to the American Family Association and promised to reform.

I wonder if they noticed it didn’t work last time, either…

Lucifer is expected to air on Fox sometime in early 2016.