Monday, August 31, 2015

THE FLASH Casts Tony Todd as the Voice of Zoom

The Flash's Season 2 Big Bad has found his voice.

Variety reports that the CW series The Flash has cast Tony Todd as the voice of DC Comics supervillain Zoom.  Zoom will first encounter The Flash in the second episode this season, "Flash of Two Worlds."

"Last year, with the Reverse-Flash, we just modulated Tom Cavanagh’s voice, and this year we wanted to do something a little bit different," said executive producer Andrew Kreisberg. "Part of the mystery of the season is who or what is underneath the Zoom outfit, and so we wanted to do something like James Earl Jones as Darth Vader — this iconic voice coming out of this mask.  Last year, we thought of the Reverse-Flash as a speed warrior; this year, Zoom is like a speed demon, and no one does demon-voice better than Tony Todd."

Todd, 60, is best known as Daniel Robataille in the Candyman movies, as Ben in the 1990 Night of the Living Dead remake, and as Worf's brother Kurn on Star Trek: The Next Generation.  He's appeared in numerous horror and science-fiction roles, including the adult Jake Sisko on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Grange in The Crow, Augustus Cole on The X-Files, and Vyasa on Angel.

He's also appeared in a number of comic book projects, including Young Justice as Icon, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Smallville, and as Darkseid in two Lego DC Comics Super-Heroes: Justice League direct to home video movies.

As for Zoom, Kreisberg compared Zoom’s appearance to Marvel supervillain Venom, remarking, "The Zoom outfit is much more organic than the Reverse-Flash suit.  In a way, it’s hard to tell if it is a suit or alive…There’s no skin showing, for all you know there’s a robot underneath, or dark energy."

In addition, Kreisberg commented on what drives the character.  "For us, the best villains are the ones who don’t have megalomaniacal ‘I want to rule the world’ motivations.  Last year, the Reverse-Flash had a very simple goal which was ‘I just want to go home, and if people need to die or cities need to get wasted for me to get that, so be it.’  And Zoom has a very similar, personal goal this season…simple and easy to understand, and very primal. And just as with Wells last year, Zoom doesn’t care who gets hurt or what gets destroyed in the service of him getting his goal."

And unlike last season, Zoom's true identity will be Eddie Thawne drawn out as a mystery.  "We have to service the entire audience, both the fans and the non-fans, and I think we’ve shown up until this point a great deal of respect and reverence for the source material, so that we always feel like we’re fulfilling the comic book fans’ expectations while also not spoon-feeding them stuff directly from the comics.  So the story of Zoom and who and what he is…hopefully comic book fans will be happy because we’ve come up with a clever way to spin the tale, but that also makes it exciting for the people who aren’t as familiar with the comics and are just enjoying the show on its own terms."

The Flash returns to The CW for Season 2 on October 6, 2015.

Arthur Darvill Wants a DOCTOR WHO Companion Reunion...Someday

Believe it or not, It's been three years already since Arthur Darvill and Karen Gillan's characters Rory Williams and Amy Pond/Williams were stranded decades into the past at the end of the Doctor Who Series Seven episode "The Angels Take Manhattan."

According to a new Radio Times article, however, Darvill is up for a reunion.  It just might take...well...another 37 years.

"We should come back in forty years," the actor said.  "We could all come back and do a sort of geriatric reunion."

It seems Darvill has been doing some thinking about a story idea for a companion reunion, whenever it actually happens.  "I’ve got written an episode in my head where all the companions go into therapy together, and do like a big group therapy session," added Darvill.  "It’s a really sort of dark, depressing episode of Doctor Who, but I think it’d help them out a lot."

It's not a bad premise, considering all the near-death (or occasional death and resurrection) experiences the Doctor's various companions have had during his thirteen incarnations. And of course, actors returning to their Doctor Who companions roles after decades away is certainly nothing new, considering Elisabeth Sladen returned to Doctor Who in 2006 as Sarah Jane Smith after leaving the TARDIS in 1976's "The Hand of Fear."  Not to mention all the Classic Who actors reprising their roles for Big Finish audios these days...

In the meantime though, Darvill will be traveling through time in a different way, playing DC Comics time master Rip Hunter on the CW series Legends of Tomorrow.  "There are gonna be comparisons, because it’s a show about time travel, and we do go to different periods in time," remarked Darvill.  "And when I got offered it, that was a big concern.  But because my role in it is so different to the role I played in Doctor Who, it doesn’t feel like repeating anything.  It’s a totally different challenge to me."

"I don’t think you can do a time-travelling thing without referencing Doctor Who or Back to the Future," he added.  "This definitely puts a new spin on it."

Bryan Fuller Describes HANNIBAL's Version of SILENCE OF THE LAMBS

It's enough to make you want to have some NBC programming execs with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.

With the third and apparently final season of the NBC series Hannibal having concluded, CraveOnline spoke with showrunner Bryan Fuller in a Q&A interview about how the show would've handled the Thomas Harris novel The Silence of the Lambs if they had the rights to adapt it.

In the interview, Fuller reveals his dream casting for the book's Buffalo Bill, how Anna Chlumsky's Miriam Lass might factor in, and how to make his version of Clarice Starling different from Jodie Foster's take.  Here's the rundown...

CraveOnline: One of the things a lot of the fans wanted to see in Hannibal was The Silence of the Lambs. Obviously it never panned out in time. Do you still have any hope that you can adapt it someday, down the road, or will your plans lead you elsewhere?

Bryan Fuller: I absolutely do hope and would love to tell Silence of the Lambs with this cast. I love that novel and I think there’s fantastic ways to reimagine it for thirty years later, and… yes. Period. [Laughs.]

Crave: How would that have worked? You introduced Miriam Lass [in Season One]. Would you have brought her back in or would there just be a new character, a lot like Miriam Lass, named “Clarice Starling?”

Fuller: I adore Anna Chlumsky, and we talked about where Miriam Lass is now and what she would be doing, so yes, Miriam Lass would be - depending on Anna’s availability - as big a part as Anna’s availability would allow in a Silence of the Lambs arc.

Crave: But she would be separate from Clarice Starling?

Fuller: Yes.

Crave: I imagine, since you adapted Red Dragon by tweaking it and shifting certain plot points around, you would have to do the same with The Silence of the Lambs. What are your initial thoughts on how The Silence of the Lambs would work in a serialized format, since everyone knows the story already?

Fuller: I am imagining a parallel structure of Hannibal in the institution, with a severely scarred Chilton, now having returned to his post, and juxtaposing that, back in the heyday of Hannibal as a psychiatrist, perhaps even earlier than we met him the first time, when he had Benjamin Raspail as a patient, and weave that story in and around the modern day Silence of the Lambs tale as we know it.

Crave: We saw a dark version of Barney [Lecter’s guard] in Season Two. Would there be other plans for Barney’s character?

Fuller: If we got Silence of the Lambs we would be hitting Barney, we would be hitting Benjamin Raspail, we would be hitting Buffalo Bill… there would be the same kind of voracious need to fan fictionalize all of those characters [laughs] and reimagine certain specific scenarios that caused them to cross paths, or uncross paths as their stories were unfolding.

Crave: What about Ardelia Mapp [Clarice Starling’s roommate]? Would she have a role as well?

Fuller: Major. Major.

Crave: You’ve made excellent casting decisions so far… what would you have looked for in a Buffalo Bill?

Fuller: I would love to cast Lee Pace as Buffalo Bill. His first, most notable, award-winning career move was playing a transgendered person [in 2003’s A Soldier’s Girl], and I think it would be fascinating to return him to that side of his acting skill.

Crave: You’ve worked with him before [in Pushing Daisies]. Had Lee Pace ever come close to being in Hannibal before, in another capacity, or would you have reserved that role for him?

Fuller: Many, many, many times. Every season. We constantly asked Lee but he was always so busy, because he was making Guardians of the Galaxy and Halt and Catch Fire and the Hobbit films. So his dance card was full but we kept on asking. We had talked about him playing Francis Dolarhyde, and it was something that we were sort of hanging in the balance, to see if Halt and Catch Fire would have another season. So he wasn’t available. But I think it worked out amazingly well for us. [Laughs.]

Crave: What about Clarice? Do you have any dream casting for Clarice Starling in your version of The Silence of the Lambs?

Fuller: Well, there’s a couple of ways to go. There’s the Ellen Page way, which I think would be fantastic and more kind of in line with the Clarice that we all know. But I know I would also like to explore who Clarice would be from a different racial background. There’s something about being poor and white in the South but there’s something else about being poor and black in the South, and I think it could be the necessary gateway into the character, to make Clarice as much our own signature character as we tried to make Will Graham.

Crave: In The Silence of the Lambs and throughout the other books, Hannibal’s interest in Clarice becomes romantic. You’ve already done that with Will Graham in the show. Would Will be in that season or would Hannibal be moving on to a new romantic conquest?

Fuller: Well, I think that all depends on how Season 4 would have ended. [Laughs.]

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Casts Matt Willig as Lash

And for their pick in the 2015 Marvel Supervillain Draft, the Inhumans have selected...Matt Willig.

Marvel has released a new synopsis for Season 3 of the ABC series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which revealed that Matt Willig has been cast as the Inhuman known as Lash.  Lash is described in the synopsis as "a monstrous Inhuman whose loyalties remain ambiguous."

Willig, 46, is a former NFL offensive tackle who won a Super Bowl XXXIV ring playing for the St. Louis Rams and also played in Super Bowl XXXVIII with the Carolina Panthers. After playing in the NFL for 14 years, Willig turned to acting and has appeared on the television series NCIS, Chuck, Grimm, Dexter, My Name is Earl, Malcolm in the Middle, Terriers, and The Young and the Restless.  He also voiced The Juggernaut for the Marvel videogame Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions and appeared in the Michael Cera movie Year One.

Created in 2014 by Charles Soule and Joe Maduriera, Lash first appeared in Inhuman #1  Born in the hidden Inhuman city of Orollan, Greenland, Lash was one of the few chosen among his generation to receive the gift of Terrigenesis, an honor he believed only select members of his race were due.  When Black Bolt activated a Terrigen Bomb above New York, flooding the world with Terrigen Mists and awakening the powers of Inhuman descendants living among humanity, Lash embarked on a mission to find all the individuals affected, and judge for himself whether they were worthy to live with their new abilities. 
Making his way to Illinois, he encountered a new Inhuman named Dante, whom he attempted to persuade to join him in Orollan until he was stopped by Medusa.

Lash has the ability to convert energy from various sources and subsequently emit it from his palms.  His powers are capable of disintegrating a living being. 

And here's the full synopsis for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3...

"Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." returns for an action-packed third season, with Director Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Agent Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennet) leading the charge as S.H.I.E.L.D. searches the world for more powered people in the aftermath of their epic battle with Jiaying and her army of Inhumans. However, Coulson and the team soon find out that they are not the only group looking for these new Inhumans.

Many months after their war with a rogue group of Inhumans, the team is still reeling. Coulson is again trying to put the pieces of his once revered organization back together while also dealing with the loss of his hand. His confidante and second in command, Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), has yet to return from an impromptu vacation with ex-husband Andrew (Blair Underwood); deadly superspy Agent Bobbi Morse (Adrianne Palicki) is recovering from her traumatic torture at the hands of Grant Ward (Brett Dalton); Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) is obsessed with discovering the truth behind the mysterious disappearance of Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge); and all are on high-alert for the next move from Ward and Hydra.

Ever since the existence of Super Heroes and aliens became public knowledge after the Battle of New York, the world has been trying to come to grips with this new reality. Coulson assembled a small, highly select group of Agents from the worldwide law-enforcement organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division). S.H.I.E.L.D.’s mission: to protect those who cannot protect themselves from threats they cannot conceive.

But bigger threats loom ahead, setting the stakes even higher for the Agents, including the spread of Terrigen, an alien substance that unlocks superhuman abilities in select individuals; the emergence of new Inhumans who cannot yet control nor understand their powers; the rise of a new government organization that will go toe-to-toe with S.H.I.E.L.D.; the unknown properties of the massive alien Kree monolith, which has taken one of their own; and the constant threat of a rebuilt Hydra terrorist organization under S.H.I.E.L.D. traitor Grant Ward, who is making it his personal mission to take down Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D.

New faces, both friend and foe, will join the series, including the no-nonsense, highly-skilled and somewhat mysterious leader (Constance Zimmer) of the ATCU (Advanced Threat Containment Unit), her intimidating partner, Banks (Andrew Howard), Lash (Matthew Willig), a monstrous Inhuman whose loyalties remain ambiguous, and new Inhuman Joey (Juan Pablo Raba), who is struggling to harness his newfound abilities, among other surprising characters.

Coulson, with the help of Daisy and Mack (Henry Simmons), will work to slowly assemble a team that is stronger than ever before, combining the highly skilled Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with powered individuals in the hopes of protecting the innocent in a world where the balance of power is ever-shifting, and new dangers are constantly emerging.

“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” stars Clark Gregg as Director Phil Coulson, Ming-Na Wen as Agent Melinda May, Brett Dalton as Grant Ward, Chloe Bennet as Agent Daisy Johnson, Iain De Caestecker as Agent Leo Fitz, Elizabeth Henstridge as Agent Jemma Simmons, Nick Blood as Agent Lance Hunter, Adrianne Palicki as Agent Bobbi Morse, Henry Simmons as Agent Alphonso “Mack” MacKenzie and Luke Mitchell as Lincoln Campbell.

“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” was co-created by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen, who also serve as executive producers along with Jeph Loeb and Jeffrey Bell. “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is produced by ABC Studios and Marvel Television, and is broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format, with 5.1-channel surround sound.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 premieres September 29th at 9:00 on ABC.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

THE FLASH Casts Violett Beane as Jesse Quick

Something tells me Jesse Quick cosplay is going to be big by the end of the year.

TVLine has word that the CW series The Flash has cast newcomer Violett Beane in the role of Jesse Chambers, better known to DC Comics fans as the superspeedster Jesse Quick.

According to the article, Jesse will appear in multiple episodes of the show's second season and is described as "a brilliant but quirky college student who gets caught up in the battle between The Flash and Season 2 Big Bad (the not-yet-cast) Zoom."

Beane's two credits listed on IMDb show her appearing in the films Flay (currently in post-production) and Slash (currently filming).

Created in 1992 by Len Strazewski and Mike Parobeck, Jesse Quick first appeared in Justice Society of America (vol.2) #1 as Jesse Chambers, the daughter of superheroes Johnny Quick and Liberty Belle and a student at Gotham University.  After the superhero team her parents had been colleagues with, the Justice Society of America, reemerged following a long absence, her thesis topic became "The Impact of Superheroes on Society" and she began to follow the returned heroes, taking notes on their adventures. When her father asked her to deliver some documents to the Society, the encounter would result in her aiding the team as Jesse Quick, finally living up to her father's dream of her being a costumed crimefighter.

Just like her father, Jesse has powers of flight and accelerated speed, resulting from the state of mind achieved from the visualization of the speed-formula: 3X2(9YZ)4A and a link to the Speed Force.  She also has her mother's super-strength, enabling her to lift great weights, such as a car, with ease. As with her mother, the mechanism of her super-strength remains unexplained, which irritated her father.  She attributes her powers to a "mantra" like the formula used by her father to unlock his speed.

She soon met Wally West, the third Flash, who would later ask her to be his replacement if something were to happen to him.  It was all an elaborate plan on his part, trying to force Bart Allen, Impulse, to take his role in the legacy of the Flash more seriously, and be Wally's successor.  Although she felt betrayed, she would end up saving Wally's life, although her leg was hurt in the process.  When Wally returned from the Speed Force, he healed her leg, and the earlier deception was largely forgiven, but not forgotten.  Jesse lost her enhanced speed shortly after, and the person she blamed was Wally, who had been directly using the Speed Force energies instead of simply tapping them like the other speedsters did.  In fact, it turned out to be the villain Savitar who was the cause, having severed her connection to the Speed Force, as well as multiple other speedsters.  Nonetheless, Wally chose the depowered Jesse to accompany him to Savitar's lair, where she succeeded in regaining her powers.  During the following battle with Savitar, her father gave his life in order to protect his daughter from one of Savitar's forces and merged with the Speed Force.  Although Wally would ultimately triumph over the villain, Jesse was left to mourn her father.

Jesse accepted the reins of managing her father's corporation, Quickstart Enterprises, while also operating as Jesse Quick, even joining the members of the New Titans to stop a nuclear threat.  When the Titans were later going through a reorganization, Wally, a founding member, selected Jesse to join the roster, hoping to soothe their old wounds. After initially declining the offer, she ultimately joined the Titans, but was only on the team for a short time.  She later became a member of the Justice Society, carrying on her mother's legacy as the new Liberty Belle and married fellow second-generation hero Rick Tyler, also known as Hourman.

The Flash returns to The CW for Season 2 on October 6, 2015.

THE FLASH Casts Demore Barnes as Tokamak

Seriously, can Firestorm just get his own show already?

ComicBook.com has revealed that the CW series The Flash has cast Demore Barnes as Henry Hewitt, better known to DC Comics fans as the Firestorm villain Tokamak.

According to the article, Hewitt is described by The CW as "a charming, but cocky scientist who was affected by the same Particle Accelerator explosion that created the Flash.  When Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) recruits him to join the team at S.T.A.R. Labs, Hewitt jumps at the opportunity to fulfill his destiny as a powerful metahuman."

Barnes, 38, is probably best known as Hector "Hammerhead" Williams on The Unit, and as Tobias Budge on Hannibal.  Barnes has also had roles on episodes of Fringe, Supernatural, Covert Affairs, Hemlock Grove, Transporter: The Series, Flashpoint, XIII: The Series, and The Associates.

Created in 1983 by Gerry Conway and Pat Broderick, Tokamak first appeared in The Fury of Firestorm (Vol.1) #15 as Henry Hewitt, the Chief Executive Officer of the Hewitt Corporation and a high level director in the 2000 Committee.  He attempted to pressure U.S. Senator Walter Reilly into voting in favor of the Hewitt Industries Bill, which would effectively allow Hewitt Industries unequaled control of the energy market.  When Reilly refused Hewitt's demands, Hewitt kidnapped the senator's daughter Lorraine and experimented on her to duplicate the nuclear accident that created Firestorm.  This experiment transformed Lorraine into Firehawk, whom Hewitt brainwashed her to eliminate Firestorm.

Hewitt then performed the same experiment on himself and forged a atomic containment suit, calling himself Tokamak, a Russian term referring to a magnetic confinement device that is one of the most-researched candidates for producing controlled thermonuclear fusion power.  He fought Firestorm and Firehawk, apparently dying when his suit was breached and caused a build-up of energy to explode.

The Flash returns to The CW for Season 2 on October 6, 2015.

GAMBIT Casts Léa Seydoux as Bella Donna

Don' you be worryin' now, X-Fans.  Gambit done got himself a wife.

Deadline reports that Fox's upcoming X-Men franchise film Gambit has cast Léa Seydoux as Bella Donna Boudreaux, the woman who married Remy LeBeau.  The film stars Channing Tatum and will be directed by Rupert Wyatt.

According to the article, Seydoux was on the shortlist with Mad Max: Fury Road‘s Abbey Lee and Rebecca Ferguson of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.  They were about to test for the role, and then Ferguson dropped out to take one of the leads in DreamWorks’ adaptation of The Girl on the Train.

Seydoux, 30, is a French actress best known as Charlotte LaPadite in Inglorious Basterds, Sabine Moreau in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, and Clotilde in The Grand Budapest Hotel.  She'll be appearing as Madeleine Swann in the upcoming James Bond film Spectre, and has had roles in the films Blue is the Warmest Color, Midnight in Paris, and the 2009 version of Robin Hood.

Created in 1992 by Scott Lobdell and Jim Lee, Bella Donna first appeared in X-Men (vol.2) #8 as Bella Donna Boudreaux, a mutant with powers of astral projection and plasma blasts from the Assassins Guild in New Orleans that is rival to the Thieves Guild, to which Gambit belongs.  First meeting as children, the two became fast friends but the rivalry between the Guilds increased as they grew up. Their fathers arranged for a marriage between the two in the hopes that it would unite the Guilds. Immediately after the wedding, Bella Donna's brother Julien lashed out in jealousy and challenged Remy in a fight to the death.  Remy won, and as a punishment he was exiled from New Orleans. Choosing to make his own choices in life from that point on, he abandoned Bella Donna instead of letting her come with him.

A few years later, Bella Donna sought out Gambit to help fend off the Brood, who were attacking the Guilds.  Having persuaded Gambit and the X-Men to come back to New Orleans, they battled the new enemy with the aid of Ghost Rider (Dan Ketch).  Using her new psychic powers, Bella Donna followed Psylocke into the astral plane and expended her energy, before collapsing in Gambit's arms.  Believing her dead, he told the Thieves' Guild to take care of her, and went off for revenge against the Brood.  

As it happened, Bella Donna wasn't actually dead, but merely in a coma.  Gambit risked his life to bring her Candra's Elixir of Life, although while she was catatonic she was accidentally touched by Rogue.  She woke up without any recollection of who she was, or who Remy was, and he left her again.  Bella Donna's memory slowly returned, and she felt as if her soul had been violated. Enraged, she kidnapped Rogue's old boyfriend Cody, once again pitting herself against Gambit.  For the third time, he left her behind.

Seydoux will be the first actress to portray the character in live action, although the character was featured in the X-Men animated series episode "X-Ternally Yours."

Gambit is expected to arrive in theaters on October 7, 2016.

Friday, August 21, 2015

ABC Orders Pilot for Mockingbird Series MARVEL'S MOST WANTED

Remember that proposed Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff starring Mockingbird and Lance Hunter originally announced in April?  The one that was declared dead just a month later? Guess what, it's now getting a pilot.

Variety revealed yesterday that ABC is closing in on a deal to order a pilot for the proposed series, now titled Marvel's Most Wanted.  (Was Mockingbird not a good enough series title?) The series will feature Adrianne Palicki and Nick Blood, reprising their current roles of Marvel superhero Mockingbird and her ex-husband Lance Hunter.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. producers Jeffrey Bell and Paul Zbyszewski co-created the project for Marvel and ABC Studios, and co-wrote the pilot.  They will serve as showrunners and executive producers together with Marvel’s head of television Jeph Loeb also executive producing.

According to the article, the series is "not a spinoff, per se, but rather an entirely new project solely focused on the two characters to continue their story.  Though plot details are scarce at this point, Marvel’s Most Wanted will follow the pair and their adventures together."

ABC hasn't made any decisions regarding a premiere date or how the new show will be set up, such as introducing the show as an episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Hunter first appeared in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 opener, "Shadows," as a mercenary brought into S.H.I.E.L.D. by Isabelle Hartley together with Idaho.  He used to work for S.T.R.I.K.E. (Special Tactical Reserve for International Key Emergencies), the British counterpart to S.H.I.E.L.D. until Phil Coulson hired him as a mercenary following the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Mockingbird first appeared four episodes later in "A Hen in the Wolf House" as Barbara "Bobbi" Morse, an undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. agent posing as the head of security for Hydra Laboratories, but actually working for Coulson in order to monitor Jemma Simmons (who had also infiltrated Hydra).  When Simmons was compromised, Morse revealed her true allegiance in order to help Simmons escape and acquire valuable Hydra data.  She was later revealed to have been previously married to Hunter and to be good friends with Alphonso "Mack" Mackenzie.

The Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff is one of two new Marvel series for ABC in the works, along with a drama written by John Ridley, that has been rumored to focus on the current Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan.  ABC and Marvel also have the midseason drama Agent Carter returning for a second season during Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s midseason hiatus.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE 033: "Blink" is Up!

"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly...timey wimey... stuff."
-- The Tenth Doctor, Doctor Who: "Blink"

My good friend and co-host Jesse Jackson and I are back with another episode of Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast!  And this time, we're joined by special guest companion Heidi Jenkins as we explore the David Tennant classic, "Blink"!

Exploring this fan-favorite Series Three episode from 2007, Jesse, Heidi and I discuss things like Heidi's introduction to Doctor Whoher favorite Doctor, watching classic Doctors as homework, a Weeping Angel nightlight, Academy Award-nominated actress Carey Mulligan, having your best friend being sent back in time, wanting Sally Sparrow as a companion, the Doctor being a shifty layabout while Martha has to work, ranking the Weeping Angels as monsters, wondering why "Blink" is considered a great gateway introduction to Doctor Who considering the Doctor is barely in it, wondering why no one is concerned that Sally's best friend has vanished, wondering why the Tenth Doctor doesn't go find one of his other selves on Earth in 1969, our Reverse the Polarity segment, breaking down the second Series Nine trailer, 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 next week for our review of the Christopher Eccleston story "Father's Day" and look for more of Next Stop Everywhere on iTunes, Libsyn, Soundcloud, Stitcher and the Southgate Media Group website!

THE FANDOM ZONE 020: "Going Rogue" is Up!

"Believe me, it took much more than watching Oliver do the salmon ladder to make me trust him."
-- Felicity Smoak to Barry Allen, The Flash: "Going Rogue"

After taking a week off, Karen Lindsay and I are finally back with another new episode of The Fandom Zone Podcast!  

This week's reviews of comics on television include:

Birds of Prey 1x07 -- "Split"
The Flash 1x04 -- "Going Rogue"

We talk about things like dissociative identity disorder, Harley Quinn working for the New Gotham Police Department, wondering where The Flash is in Birds of Prey continuity, leaving mannequins behind for your split personality, the awkwardness of flirting with someone at a murder crime scene, hanging out at the Gotham Arboretum, wondering why no one knows Dr. Harleen Quinzel is Harley Quinn, Ray Stevens' "The Streak," Felicity Smoak being better on The Flash than Arrow, Felicity needing a bad boy, the awkwardness of Eddie playing love songs in Joe's car, speculating on Zoom and the Reverse-Flash, the awkwardness of Harrison Wells finding out Cisco built a weapon to stop The Flash, Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell, who should be in the big Rogues team-up, Black Adam, Dexter Myles and the Flash Museum, Captain Cold's abusive father, Iris evaluating Felicity as Barry's potential girlfriend, Matt Ryan returning as John Constantine, early thoughts on the Supergirl and Lucifer pilots, 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 The 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 our takes on the eighth episode of the 2002-03 WB series Birds of Prey and a mystery episode of Arrow, right here on The Fandom Zone Podcast!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

GOTHAM Casts Michelle Veintimilla as Firefly

Gotham is out to prove there's equal opportunity for pyromaniacs.

TVLine reported yesterday that the Fox series Gotham has cast Michelle Veintimilla as Bridgit Pike, a new female version of DC Comics supervillain Firefly.

Pike will appear in the fifth and sixth episodes sometime in late fall, and is described in the article as "Enslaved by her brothers, a notorious gang of arsonists, Bridgit Pike is forced into the family business.  When she catches the eye of Selina Kyle, the young Catwoman and the soon-to-be-Firefly team up to put Bridgit’s firestarting skills to good use.  But after a deadly encounter with the Pike Brothers, the meek Cinderella is transformed into a vengeful supervillain, hell bent on destroying those who have wronged her."

Veintimilla appeared as Sarah Branson on the Lifetime series Those Who Kill, and has had roles in the film Not Cool and on episodes of The Good Wife and One Life to Live.

Created in 1952 by France Herron and Dick Sprang, Firefly first appeared in Detective Comics (vol.1) #184 as Garfield Lynns, a down-and-out film visual effects expert who attempts to rob a theatre by faking a fire, only to be stopped by Batman and Robin.  He escapes, and in the darkness Batman sees a distant firefly, which he mistakes for Lynns' lit cigarette and chases in the wrong direction.  Inspired, Lynns becomes the Firefly, using various lighting effects and optical illusions in his crimes.

After the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, the character was reworked as a pyrotechnic expert for motion pictures who fell victim to Gotham City's severe poverty and turned to crime, displaying signs of pyromania.  Following his capture by Batman and Robin after his first robbery, Lynns took up arson as a hobby, but it soon turned to an obsession.  Believing he can see visions in the flames and inspired by actual fireflies, he built a suit and became a professional arsonist.

A second Firefly, Ted Carson, was introduced in Batman (vol.1) #126 in 1959 by Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff.  Carson was an ostentatiously wealthy gold mine heir who gambled away the family fortune and turned to crime to maintain his lifestyle.  In the current New 52 continuity, Carson was a former high school teacher who tried to incinerate everything that separated him from his ex-girlfriend Cindy Cooke.  He seemingly murdered Garfield Lynns along the way and attempted to use Lynns (a known pyromaniac) as a scapegoat for his crimes.  Carson was defeated by Nightwing and Batgirl.

Veintimilla will be the second person to portray Firefly in live action, after Andrew Dunbar in the Arrow episode "Burned."  The character has appeared in a number of animated projects, including The New Batman Adventures and Justice League (voiced by Mark Rolston), The Batman (voiced by Jason Marsden), and Batman: The Brave and the Bold (voiced by Robin Atkin Downes).

Gotham returns to Fox for Season 2 on Monday, September 21st.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

ARROW Producer Promises Return of Classic Felicity Smoak

Good news, Arrowheads -- Felicity may finally put away the Kleenex box.

One of the main criticisms of Arrow Season 3 was that Emily Bett Rickard's character, Felicity Smoak, spent most of the season crying over whatever stupid thing Oliver Queen was doing instead of being the strong, funny, adorkable Felicity we loved in Seasons 1 and 2.  Rickards wasn't happy about Felicity crying all the time, and it became so prevalent, someone actually devoted a Tumblr to it.

Well, TVLine spoke with Arrow co-showrunner Marc Guggenheim at the CBS/Showtime/The CW TCA press tour party, who promised the return of Classic Felicity in Season 4.  "The show got really, really dark last year, and I think she reacted accordingly," admitted Guggenheim.  "Certainly no one was more tired of the crying than Emily [Bett Rickards], but right behind Emily was the rest of us."   With the show picking up five months after the events of the Season 3 finale, Guggenheim added that viewers can expect the return of the "strong, capable, funny Felicity…we know and love."

As for the "Olicity" romance between Felicity and Oliver, Guggenheim used the word "organic" to describe the impact on Season 4.  "The show is still the show," he remarked, adding that "body language" will be the indication of how their relationship has changed. "Like, when Oliver and Felicity are together at her workstation, now he’s got his hand on her shoulder.  It’s a difference of degrees.  Basically, we’re treating them like two coworkers who started dating."

And hey, what about the show's flashbacks that have grown extremely tiresome and pointless to a lot of fans?  "I’ll be honest -- The episodic connection, week to week…that cart started to drag the horse for me a bit," admitted Guggenheim.  "So toward the end of last year, I said to the writers, ‘What we really need to do is not worry so much about the connection between present and past and just tell a really amazing story in the past.'" According to the article, the Season 4 flashbacks, which begin in Coast City before leading to somewhere currently under wraps, have Guggenheim "really happy."  "I feel like we have our best flashback story ever," he added.

Arrow returns to The CW for Season 4 (hopefully with less crying, as promised) on Wednesday, October 7th.

Friday, August 14, 2015

NBC Developing DC Comics Workplace Comedy POWERLESS

It's NBC, which means it'll be gone after thirteen episodes.

Deadline reports that NBC has given a pilot production commitment to Powerless, a new half-hour single-camera comedy based on the DC Comics universe from A to Z creator Ben Queen and Warner Bros. TV.  Queen will serve as executive producer and writer for the series.

According to the article, Powerless is "a workplace comedy set at one of the worst insurance companies in America — with the twist being that it also takes place in the universe of DC Comics.  The show is about the reality of working life for a normal, powerless person in a world of superheroes and villains."

The specific DC Comics characters have not been determined for the possible series, but the article claims that it is "not expected to include the biggest DC brands like Batman and Superman.  The focus of the series is on the ordinary, 'power-less' folk working at the insurance company who often envy the men and women outside their window who make headlines with their supernatural powers."

This is another attempt by NBC to make a DC Comics series, after last season's Constantine, which ran for only 13 episodes, and the failed 2011 Wonder Woman TV pilot produced by David E. Kelley that starred Adrianne Palicki.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

SUPERGIRL Casts Brit Morgan as Livewire

I'm sure she has an electric personality.

Late yesterday, Variety revealed that the upcoming CBS series Supergirl has cast Brit Morgan as Leslie Willis, better known as DC Comics supervillain Livewire.

Livewire is described in the article as "a confident, abrasive and funny shock-jock who works for CatCo Media, the conglomerate owned by Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart).  When an accident makes her as dangerous and shocking as her words, Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) must stop her."

Morgan, 27, is best known as Debbie Pelt on the HBO series True Blood.  She's also appeared in the films She Wants Me and Freeloaders, and on the television series The Mentalist, Criminal Minds, Graceland, Desperate Housewives, Cold Case, The Middleman, Greek, and CSI: NY.

Created in 1997 by Bruce Timm, Livewire first appeared in Superman Adventures #5 and on Superman: The Animated Series six months later.  Leslie Willis was a popular and controversial radio shock jock in Metropolis with a cynical dislike of Superman.  One evening during a severe thunderstorm, Willis hosted a rock concert in honor of her anniversary working at the radio station in Centennial Park.  Ignoring her producer's warnings about the storm and the public safety concerns by Metropolis authorities, Willis demanded that the show go on.

Superman showed up to help the police, when suddenly, lightning struck the stage, setting it on fire. Superman pushed Willis to safety, but was struck in the process.  The lightning ran through a wire on stage which Willis then stepped on, shocking Willis and transforming her into a ghostly-white being that could manipulate electricity.

The character was brought into the mainstream DC Comics Universe in 2006's Action Comics (vol.1) #835 by Gail Simone and John Byrne.  In the current New 52 continuity, Livewire was once a popular vlogger known for her pranks and makeup tutorials.  During a stunt where she tried to reroute all the power in the city in order to spell out a dirty message that would be visible from space, she was accidentally electrocuted, granting her superhuman abilities.

Morgan will be the second actress to portray the character in live action, after Anna Mae Routledge on the CW series Smallville.  The character was first voiced by Lori Petty on Superman: The Animated Series and appears in the animated movie Justice League: Gods and Monsters (voiced by Kari Wahlgren).

Supergirl will premiere on CBS on October 26, 2015.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Matt Ryan to Reprise John Constantine on ARROW

Well, this is one way to #SaveConstantine.

The Hollywood Reporter has word that Matt Ryan, who recently starred as DC Comics/VERTIGO character John Constantine on the short-lived (but fondly remembered) NBC series Constantine, will reprise the role on an upcoming episode of the CW series Arrow.

According to the article, Constantine will appear in "Haunted," the fifth episode of Arrow's fourth season and will "provide valuable support to Oliver (Stephen Amell) when arrows just won't suffice."

"We are thrilled to have Matt Ryan reprise the role of John Constantine on an upcoming episode of Arrow," said Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim in a statement.  Matt is an incredibly talented actor and his portrayal of this beloved character was always something we admired.  The introduction of magic and mysticism on the show this season has provided a truly organic opportunity for us to bring John Constantine to Arrow and the CW’s DC universe.  It will be a well-deserved tip of the hat to all the Constantine fans who were so incredibly supportive of that series."

This announcement comes after Amell offered to guest-star on Constantine if the drama were to see a second season, wherever it ended up.  Ryan responded to the idea with enthusiasm and said that it would be a "real pleasure to explore these guys' dynamic."

Ryan took to his official Twitter account, confirming his upcoming appearance and thanking fans...
The Arrow episode "Haunted" should air on The CW on Wednesday, November 4, 2015.

Showtime Reveals a TWIN PEAKS Teaser That's DAMN Good Coffee!

Remember...A path is formed by laying one stone at a time.

Deadline has details from Showtime's presentation at the Television Critics Association, with Showtime president David Nevins that Twin Peaks will go into production starting in September.

According to the article, "(David) Lynch is set to direct all episodes.  He and (Mark) Frost actually wrote one long script.  Lynch will shoot the series continuously as a movie, and later cut it into episodes.  Originally envisioned as being nine episodes, the series will likely run longer but the exact number of episodes is still in flux and won’t be known until after filming is completed."

Nevins wouldn't reveal any casting for the Twin Peaks revival apart from the previously announced return of star Kyle MacLachlan.  The casting for the series, it turns out, will be handled by Lynch’s company).  However, Nevins did say "you should be optimistic that the people you want to be there will be there, in addition to some surprises."

Twin Peaks was previously expected to arrive in 2017, but there's hope that the revival could be ready for 2016.  "I’ll take it when it’s ready," said Nevins.  "I hope that’s sooner rather than later."

ComingSoon has more details, with Nevins quoted as saying, "This damn fine cup of coffee from Mark and David tastes more delicious than ever.  Totally worth the extra brewing time and the cup is even bigger than we expected.  David will direct the whole thing which will total more than the originally announced nine hours."

In addition, Showtime revealed the teaser image above, showing a cup of coffee black as midnight on a moonless night that MacLachlan's character Dale Cooper prefers.  However, hidden in the circular reflection (circles and mirrors played a big part in the series) is the entrance to the town of Twin Peaks.

The official Showtime account on Twitter also posted the image, with the following message...

Twin Peaks is scheduled to return on Showtime in late 2016...or 2017.  We'll see what happens.

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE 032: "The Empty Child" is Up!

"Who am I to argue with history?"
"Usually, the first in line."
-- The Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler, Doctor Who: "The Doctor Dances"

My good friend and co-host Jesse Jackson and I are back with another episode of Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast!  And this time, we're joined by special guest companion Nicola Wood as we explore the Christopher Eccleston two-part story, "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances"!

Exploring these Series One episodes from 2005, Jesse, Nicola and I discuss things like Nicola's introduction to Doctor Whoher favorite classic and modern Doctors, Eccleston's role in bringing the show back, American audiences adapting to Eccleston's accent, lying to skeptical people on Doctor Who to get them hooked, the first true classic of the modern era, Steven Moffat's first story for Doctor Who, the Ninth Doctor suffering from PTSD, the greatness of Captain Jack Harkness, Steven Moffat's best character, the fun of historical episodes, the awkwardness of hiding your homosexual affair during the London Blitz, dancing as a sexual metaphor, a love letter to Britain, our Reverse the Polarity segment, 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 next week for our review of the David Tennant classic "Blink" and look for more of Next Stop Everywhere on iTunes, Libsyn, Soundcloud, Stitcher and the Southgate Media Group website!

Friday, August 7, 2015

AGENT CARTER Season 2 Big Bad is Madame Masque

One of Iron Man's enemies is going back in time.

Slashfilm revealed yesterday that the upcoming second season of ABC's Agent Carter will feature Marvel Comics supervillain Madame Masque as Peggy Carter's newest foe.

In a Q&A interview with Agent Carter executive producers Tara Butters and Chris Dingess during an ABC party for the Television Critics Association, Slashfilm asked them about Season 2, including how Madame Masque will be adapted for the series.  Here are their comments on the character:

Slashfilm: Are there any Marvel villains exclusively from the ‘40s you have access to?

Tara: Here’s the thing. It’s a little hard. In the comic books, a lot of the Marvel period, there are issue rights. Our villain from the season is very much a Marvel villain (Madame Masque) that we co-opted a little bit like we did Dr. Fennhoff (Dr. Faustus) in the first season.

Chris: It’s a ‘40s version of that villain.

Slashfilm: So you’ve adapted her back in time.

Tara: We’ve co-opted her.

Chris: We put our spin on her.

Slashfilm: What was modern about Madame Masque that just wouldn’t work in the ‘40s?

Tara: I think we’ve changed the look of her a bit obviously. We’ve made her an actress, which is very Hedy Lamarr. She was a ‘40s siren actress who was also a scientific genius, so that’s part of what we’re mining with this character.

Slashfilm: Have you cast her?

Tara: Yes, we have but we’re not allowed to announce it yet.

Slashfilm: Is it significant that the villain is a woman?

Tara: For me it is, because I feel like that is something that… as much as there are not enough female heroes just on television, I feel like having a female villain is just as equally powerful.

Chris: I also think because she’s a female villain, her story informs Peggy’s story in a unique way and vice versa.

Created in 1968 by Stan Lee and Gene Colan, Madame Masque first appeared in Tales of Suspense #98 as Whitney Frost, born as Giulietta Nefaria, the daughter of the master criminal Count Luchino Nefaria, in Rome, Italy.  Her mother died while giving birth and Luchino wanted his daughter to lead a respectable life, so he gave the child to Byron Frost, a wealthy financier and an employee of Nefaria, along with his wife Loretta.  Frost called the child Whitney and raised her as his own.  As a young adult, Whitney was a debutante and socialite who became engaged to politician Roger Vane.  When the Frosts died, Count Nefaria approached Whitney, revealing her true parentage and told her that he wanted her to take his place as leader of the Maggia, a Mafia-like organization based on the East Coast of the United States.  At first, Whitney refused, but when she told Roger about her father, he left her, afraid that her connections to a known criminal would hamper his political career.

Whitney accepted her father's offer to become a professional criminal mastermind and was trained by him in strategy, criminal activities, and combat.  She turned out to be a brilliant student and when her father was imprisoned, she became the new Big M, the leader of the Nefaria family in the Maggia.  Her role as Big M brought her into conflict with Iron Man, forcing Whitney to flee after a raid on his company, Stark Industries.  The plane she escaped in crashed and Whitney's face was scarred, but she was saved by the criminal Mordecai Midas and began working for him.  Midas was obsessed with gold, so Whitney hid her face behind a golden mask and began using the alias Madame Masque starting with Iron Man (vol.1) #17 in 1969.

This will be the first depiction of Madame Masque in live-action, although the character has appeared in animated form on the 1994 Iron Man animated series (voiced by Lisa Zane), and on Iron Man: Armored Adventures (voiced by Kristie Marsden).

Agent Carter is expected to return to ABC for Season 2 sometime around January 2016, during the midseason hiatus of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.