Thursday, October 30, 2014

SUPERGIRL Casting Reveals Kara's Sister & Heroic Debut

To quote the legendary Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi, "Sister..."

Over a month after receiving a series commitment, TVLine revealed some casting information for the upcoming CBS series Supergirl, based on the DC Comics character.  Casting will be handled by David Rapaport, who also oversees casting for The CW's Arrow and The Flash.

For the lead role of Supergirl/Kara Zor-El/Kara Danvers, the show is "eyeing Caucasian females, age 22 to 26, to play 24.  As the series’ mythology goes, Kara at age 12 was sent from her dying home planet of Krypton to Earth, where she was taken in by the Danvers, a foster family who taught her to be careful with her extraordinary powers.  After repressing said skills for more than a decade, Kara is forced to bust out her super moves in public during an unexpected disaster.  Energized by her heroism for the first time in her life, she begins embracing her abilities in the name of helping the people of her city, earning herself a super moniker along the way."

One of the main supporting roles was also revealed, a new foster sister for Kara named Alexandra "Alex" Danvers.  According to the article, Alex is "Kara’s gorgeous, brilliant, science-minded foster sister.  Growing up, Alex was partly jealous of her sibling yet also fascinated by her abilities, prompting Alex to learn as much as she could about alien anthropology, sociology and culture.  Today, Alex works for a secret government organization and, alongside her heroic sis, will face many challenges, both mundane and super."

The Supergirl pilot was scripted by Ali Adler (No Ordinary Family) and Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash), who will executive produce the series with Sarah Schechter of Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television.

Presumably, Supergirl will air on CBS sometime in Fall 2015.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Marvel Announces Phase 3 of Marvel Cinematic Universe

During a special presentation at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood Tuesday, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige announced Marvel Studio's plans for Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Marvel officially confirmed rumors that their Black Panther, Captain Marvel and Inhumans properties would be adapted into movies and that Black Panther will star Get on Up's Chadwick BosemanConcept art for Black Panther's costume was also provided.

In addition, Marvel confirmed that Captain Marvel will feature the character Carol Danvers, the former Ms. Marvel, as Marvel's first female superhero movie.

They also announced the full titles for the sequels to 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier and 2013's Thor: The Dark World, which will be called Captain America: Civil War and Thor: Ragnarok.  Guardians of the Galaxy will also receive a sequel directed once again by James Gunn, although there is no subtitle as yet.

So with these announcements, the upcoming Marvel Studios film schedule leading up to The Avengers: Infinity War Parts One and Two in 2018 and 2019 looks like this:

Monday, October 27, 2014

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE 010: "In the Forest of the Night" is Up!

"Do you think that's how Spring begins -- with a group message on Tree Facebook?  Do you think that they send texts to each other?"

My good friend Jesse Jackson and I are back with another episode of Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast!

This time out, we give our thoughts on "In the Forest of the Night," the tenth episode from Doctor Who Series Eight, including things like overkill on fairy tales, Clara's inconsistency as a character, impressing kids with a TARDIS, more really bad Doctor Who science, Danny suddenly being okay with Clara lying to him, the Doctor once again doing nothing and letting the crisis resolve itself, listener comments, the writers Pip and Jane Baker, our Reverse the Polarity segment, bad Doctor Who parenting, some shameless pimping of Dangerous Habits: The Constantine 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?

Have fun watching "Dark Water" on BBC America this Saturday, then keep checking iTunes, Stitcher and the Southgate Media Group website for our next Doctor Who review!

Benedict Cumberbatch in Talks to Star in DOCTOR STRANGE

Okay, now is the Doctor finally in?

Deadline is reporting Benedict Cumberbatch is about to enter negotiations to star in Marvel Studios' upcoming film, Doctor StrangeThe article claims that Cumberbatch is the studio's replacement choice for Joaquin Phoenix, who entered negotiations this past July for the role of Dr. Stephen Strange but talks ended, forcing Marvel to start over.

The 38-year-old actor is best known as the modern Sherlock Holmes on the BBC series Sherlock, as Khan Noonien Singh from last year's Star Trek Into Darkness, and as the voice of Smaug the dragon in The Hobbit trilogy.  He's also starred in a number of notable films, including The Imitation Game, The Fifth Estate, 12 Years a Slave, Parade's End, War Horse and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

Previously, Jared Leto was rumored for the role of Dr. Stephen Strange and back in June, The Dark Knight Rises' Tom Hardy was reportedly under consideration by Marvel but supposedly had scheduling conflicts. One month earlier, Justin Theroux was named as being in the running.

Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Doctor Strange debuted in 1963's Strange Tales #110. Dr. Stephen Strange began as an arrogant and egotistical neurosurgeon that suffers permanent damage to his hands as a result of a car accident. He searches around the world for a way to repair his hands, ultimately coming across a master sorcerer known as The Ancient One in the Himalayas. When Strange learns that Baron Mordo, the Ancient One's disciple, intends on killing his master, the Ancient One agrees to teach Strange the mystic arts after Mordo is defeated.

Doctor Strange is scheduled for release in theaters on July 8, 2016.

THE FLASH Casts Malese Jow as Linda Park

Barry Allen's love life is about to get a bit more complicated.

The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that the new CW series The Flash has cast Malese Jow as DC Comics character Linda Park.  The role will be recurring, with Linda's first appearance in the series' twelfth episode.

According to the article, Linda will be "a quick-witted reporter for the Central City Picture News.  She befriends Iris (Candice Patton) while at work and helps her navigate the fast-paced world of journalism.  When she meets Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) at a local bar, the two hit it off and become quick friends."

The 23-year-old actress is best known as Anna on the CW series The Vampire Diaries and as Julia Yeung on the series Star-Crossed.  She's also appeared as Alice Cantwell in the 2010 film The Social Network and various episodes of Castle, CSI: Miami, Desperate Housewives and Leverage.

Created by William Messner-Loebs and Greg LaRocque in 1989's The Flash (vol.2) #28, Linda Park first appeared as a Keystone City television reporter who regularly dealt with Wally West, the third Flash, whom she didn't like.  After Wally helped free her from possesion by the spirit of an 800-year-old Irish bard, the two became close and started dating.

Their love grew, and even with many obstacles such as Linda being abducted and having her memory replaced by Abra Kadabra, Wally and Linda eventually married.  Linda soon became pregnant with twins, but miscarried after being attacked by Zoom, only to have her pregnancy restored when a later battle between The Flash and Zoom time-traveled back to the moment and prevented the injury that caused the miscarriage.  Linda gave birth to Jai and Iris West, who began to age rapidly due to their father's speed powers, until Linda used advance alien science she had learned to stabilize the twins' powers.  Linda has yet to be reintroduced into the current New 52 continuity.

Jow will be the third actress to portray Linda Park in live action, after brief cameo appearances in the 1990-91 series The Flash (played by Mariko Tse) and in the Arrow episode "Three Ghosts" (played by Olivia Cheng).  Linda also appeared on the animated series Justice League Unlimited, in the episode "Flash and Substance" (voiced by Kim Mai Guest).

Sunday, October 26, 2014

DANGEROUS HABITS: Episode 001 - "Non Est Asylum" is Up!

"It's easier to deny danger than to face it, but make no mistake if you don't listen to me, you'll be dead by morning."

My friend/co-host Karen Lindsay and I are back with the first full episode of Dangerous Habits: The Constantine Podcast!

We give our thoughts on "Non Est Asylum," the pilot episode from Constantine Season One, including things like our first impressions of Matt Ryan as John Constantine, the show Sleepy Hollow, the Newcastle incident, NBC's network standards, Constantine's punk band Mucous Membrane, future DC Comics guest stars, swapping Zed Martin for Liv Aberdeen, crossovers with other DC Universe TV shows, fanboying vs. geeking, 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!  In addition, we have our Dangerous Habits show page on Facebook, which you can check out HEREAnd we're also on Twitter using the account @DangerousHabit5 because some bloody arse already claimed @DangerousHabits.

Be sure to share these with all of your friends, enemies, demons, angels, sorcerers, ghosts, whomever, and help build our new podcast into something special.  Oh, and send us your thoughts about the show or the podcast via Twitter and Facebook.  As soon as we get some, we'll be reading them on the podcast.

Have fun watching "The Darkness Beneath" on NBC this Friday, then keep checking iTunes, Libsyn  and the Southgate Media Group website for our next Constantine review!

DAMN Good Television -- CONSTANTINE: "Non Est Asylum"

Once upon a time in 2005, fans of the DC Comics/VERTIGO series Hellblazer suffered through Keanu Reeves as a blasphemous Americanized version of British occult detective/magician John Constantine.  The film Constantine, directed by Francis Lawrence, introduced mainstream America to the character and despite Reeves' matching black hair and black trenchcoat, was actually a decent R-rated movie that did pretty well at the box office.
When news of a new Constantine television series was announced last September, fans were understandably skeptical.  Adapting a mature readers comic book series like Hellblazer on NBC, of all places, seemed like a pretty bad idea considering current network television standards.  And sure enough, some of those antiquated network standards prohibit showing a chain-smoking character actually smoking while scenes of extreme violence and gore are perfectly fine, as anyone who has seen NBC's wonderful series Hannibal can attest.  However, the producers remain firm that Constantine is indeed a smoker, so you'll see him playing with his lighter or stubbing out a cigarette now and then as a workaround.

This first episode, written by Batman Begins and Blade writer David S. Goyer and showrunner Daniel Cerone opens with Constantine (Matt Ryan) voluntarily receiving electroshock treatment as a patient of the Ravenscar Psychiatric Facility for the Mentally Deranged.  We quickly learn that he's receiving therapy for a past traumatic event taken straight from the comics, involving a 9-year-old girl named Astra Logue.  This Newcastle incident, we later find out, involved Constantine and a group of friends attempting to save Astra from possession by calling up a more powerful demon named Nergal, only to have Nergal drag Astra into Hell after dismembering her.

Noticing a strange group of cockroaches, Constantine follows the trail to a possessed female patient.  Swiftly exorcising the unrevealed demon, the cockroaches reveal the words "Liv Die" on a nearby wall, which forces him to check himself out of the facility.  He soon finds a young woman named Liv Aberdeen (True Blood's Lucy Griffiths) at a car rental facility in Atlanta, Georgia, who seems understandably freaked by parking lot pavement caving itself into a giant pit just before Constantine shows up in yellow taxi cab.

Right out of the gate, Ryan already seems to have a better grasp of John Constantine than Reeves did, playing him as cheeky and a bit arrogant while masking his personal pain and inner demons (no pun intended).  Because this is the pilot episode, Constantine tends to deliver a lot of exposition to explain what's going on, helped by Liv, whose sole purpose here is to ask what's going on, as any good companion on Doctor Who has done for the past fifty years.

We're soon introduced to Manny (Lost's Harold Perrineau), presumably an angel sent from Heaven to drop ominous plot point teases on Constantine and get him to investigate whatever demonic force is on the way.  And then we meet Chas Chandler (Charles Halford), Constantine's best mate and driver of said taxi cab that crashes immediately Social Distortion's cover of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" plays on the radio.  After getting out of the cab, Chas gets a live power cable through the chest (Hey, it happens), but we soon learn that Chas apparently has the ability to heal from fatal injuries.  Somehow.

Constantine takes Liv to her father's secretly secret mill house in the middle of the woods, which apparently stores a number of powerful mystical artifacts/easter eggs, including the Helm of Nabu which belongs to the DC Comics sorcerer Doctor Fate.  This seems to blatantly hint that the supernatural corners of the DC Universe after definitely in play, opening up the series to possible appearances by Swamp Thing, Constantine's ex-girlfriend Zatanna, Deadman, the Phantom Stranger, Doctor Occult, you name it.  Since we know that Emmett Scanlan has been cast as Jim Corrigan, it shouldn't be too long before The Spectre rises as well.

As the episode progresses, we also meet Ritchie Simpson (played by the terrific Jeremy Davies, another Lost veteran) who was one of Constantine's mysterious Newcastle crew from back in the day and now serves as the expert hacker every show seems to need these days.  Constantine asks Ritchie to hack Atlanta's power grid as part of the big masterplan to deal with Furcifer, the electrical demon messing with Liv.  Viewers unfamiliar with Hellblazer will get the feeling that Constantine burns through friends and allies like pawns on a chessboard, using them as necessary tools that often can be sacrificed in his crusade against the forces of Hell.

After Furcifer is dealt with rather effectively with an impressive visual effects display, Liv is quickly written out of the series due to a change in creative direction after the pilot was filmed and in her place arrives Zed Martin (Angelica Celaya), another character straight from the Jamie Delano run of Hellblazer.  Zed is only teased in the final moments, as we see her drawing (or is that channeling?) various images of John Constantine that come off as a lovely tribute to various Hellblazer comic artists.

All in all, Constantine seems like a series full of potential, even though this pilot episode often feels rushed and cramped with information and backstory.  Some Hellblazer fans may remain bitter about the show being on NBC instead of HBO or Showtime, but it's more than obvious that the showrunners are trying to incorporate as many elements from the comics as possible and that they're already using some of the best material.  So if you're still on the fence about this series, grab yourself a pint, sit down, give it a try for a few episodes and see if it grabs you.  Just hopefully, not into Hell...

Thursday, October 23, 2014


"I'm the one who steps from the shadows, all trenchcoat and cigarette and arrogance, ready to deal with the madness.  Oh, I've got it all sewn up. I can save you.  If it takes the last drop of your blood, I'll drive your demons away.  I'll kick them in the bollocks and spit on them when they're down and then I'll be gone back into darkness, leaving only a nod and a wink and a wisecrack.  I walk my path alone...Who would walk with me?"
-- John Constantine, Hellblazer #41: "The Beginning of the End"

I'm very proud to announce that my friend and co-host Karen Lindsay and I have just launched our brand-new Constantine podcast, Dangerous Habits, as part of the Southgate Media Group. Our first introductory recording, "Episode 000 -- Meet the Hosts," was posted late last night and you can listen to it HEREAnd for those of you who use iTunes, we're already available HERE.

In addition, we've set up a Dangerous Habits show page on Facebook, which you can check out HEREAnd we're also on Twitter using the account @DangerousHabit5.  Be sure to share these with all of your friends, enemies, demons, angels, sorcerers, ghosts, whomever, and help build our new podcast into something special.

Karen and I became acquainted with one another through our mutual friend Jesse Jackson, my co-host on Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast.  After Karen was kind enough to fill in for Jesse on an episode of NSE, I realized how much fun I had talking with her and wanted to partner with her on something else.  Initially, I was hoping to start up a Twin Peaks podcast with her, until I learned that she was never a fan of the ABC series.  (I know, no accounting for taste...)  So, knowing that Karen was a fan of the DC Comics/VERTIGO series Hellblazer, I asked Rob Southgate of Southgate Media Group if there was an opening for a Constantine podcast.  He already had one lined up, but was open to launching a second, so I pitched the idea to Karen and here we are.  A bit Machiavellian on my part, I know, but hey, this is John Constantine after all and I think he'd respect me for it.

This first podcast covers our backgrounds as Hellblazer fans, including our love for the Garth Ennis masterpiece "Dangerous Habits" (Say, that's a great title...) and what we're looking forward to with the new NBC series.  Next time, we'll give our takes on "Non Est Asylum," the pilot episode, and we'll share our thoughts on each new episode after they air.

Oh, and our deepest thanks to Rob Southgate at Southgate Media Group for letting this happen and for all his help in getting us up and running.  Be sure to check out Southgate's website at the link above for Next Stop Everywhere and more great podcasts, okay?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

GOTHAM Casts Morena Baccarin as Dr. Leslie Thompkins

You'd better start your online petition to bring in Nathan Fillion as well...

TVLine has revealed that the new Fox series Gotham has cast Morena Baccarin in the role of Dr. Leslie Thompkins, best known to Batman fans as the woman who comforted young Bruce Wayne after his parents were murdered.  The role will be recurring, beginning sometime in early 2015.

According to the article, Thompkins is "a gifted and dedicated physician who was a friend of the late Thomas and Martha Wayne.  She is determined to use her skills to aid Gotham’s most in need, which currently means working at the newly opened Arkham Asylum’s Home for the Criminally Insane.  In addition to her medical skills, her coolness under pressure will serve her well as she finds herself drawn to Ben McKenzie’s James Gordon and into more and more dangerous waters."

Baccarin is best known as Inara Serra on the television series Firefly and the film Serenity, and as Jessica Brody on the Showtime series Homeland.  She also starred as Anna on the 2009-11 remake of the series V, and has voiced a number of DC Comics animated projects, including Son of Batman (as Talia al Ghul), Justice League (as Black Canary), and Batman: The Brave and the Bold (as The Cheetah).

Created by Dennis O'Neil and Dick Giordano, Dr. Leslie Thompkins first appeared in 1976's Detective Comics #457 as a inner-city doctor who was inspired by the Wayne murders to spend the rest of her life helping slum kids avoid a life of crime.  Every year on the anniversary of the murder of his parents, Batman would visit the now elderly woman in Park Row (now referred to as Crime Alley).  However, Leslie had no idea he was the same boy she had helped decades earlier.

In later years, Leslie was depicted as a close friend of Thomas Wayne, who took it upon herself to look after Wayne's son, Bruce, after the boy's parents were murdered, often acting with Alfred Pennyworth as a parental figure and guardian.  Leslie disapproved of Bruce's activities as Batman, and felt partly responsible for his transformation, fearing that somehow she failed him as a role model.  She also had been linked to Alfred romantically on more than one occasion.

Baccarin will the first actress to portray Thompkins in live-action, although the character has appeared on Batman: The Animated Series (voiced by Diana Muldaur).

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE 009: "Flatline" is Up!

"Could you just not let me enjoy this moment of not knowing something? I mean, it happens so rarely."
-- The Twelfth Doctor, Doctor Who: "Flatline"

Despite some health issues concerning my father requiring rescheduling, my good friend Jesse Jackson and I have returned with another episode of Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast!

This time out, we give our thoughts on "Flatline," the ninth episode from Doctor Who Series Eight, including things like the coolness of the Boneless, the tiny TARDIS, Clara serving as the replacement Doctor, the movie Slither, the Doctor's awareness of how he's perceived, Missy's iPad of the Nethersphere, Steven Moffat's eventual replacement as showrunner, our Reverse the Polarity segment, listener email, teasing a new Southgate Media Group 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?

Have fun watching "In the Forest of the Night" on BBC America this Saturday, then keep checking iTunes, Stitcher and the Southgate Media Group website for our next Doctor Who review!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mark Frost Writing TWIN PEAKS Book to Reveal Characters' Fates

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

The Hollywood Reporter has word that Mark Frost, co-creator of the 1990-91 ABC series Twin Peaks, is writing a new Twin Peaks book that will reveal various characters' fates since the series ended.

Flatiron Books, a division of Macmillan, will publish The Secret Lives of Twin Peaks, an inside look into what happened to the various characters of the town of Twin Peaks, Washington since viewers last saw them almost twenty-five years ago.  According to the article, "The book promises to offer a deeper look into the central mystery of the original series, which ended abruptly, leaving many plot points unresolved."

In a statement, Frost remarked, "This has long been a dream project of mine that will bring a whole other aspect of the world of Twin Peaks to life, for old fans and new.  I couldn’t be more thrilled."

This news follows on the bombshell dropped earlier this month that Twin Peaks is returning for a new nine-episode series on Showtime in 2016, which will pick up twenty-five years after the original series ended.  With a number of the original actors having passed away since the series finale, it seems likely that some of their characters' fates will be addressed in Frost's new book.

A number of official Twin Peaks books were published in the early '90s, the most notable one being The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer, written by David Lynch's daughter Jennifer.  Other books included The Autobiography F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper: My Life, My Tapes (written by Frost's brother Scott), Twin Peaks: An Access Guide to the Town, and the audiobook "Diane.." - The Twin Peaks Tapes of Agent Cooper that was written by Scott Frost and performed by Kyle MacLachlan.

The Secret Lives of Twin Peaks is expected to be released sometime toward the end of 2015.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Warner Bros. Announces DC Comics Film Schedule Through 2020

DC Comics fans, you've had to deal with smacktalk from Marvel fans for quite a while now, but your time has finally come.

The Hollywood Reporter has word that Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tuijihara has announced the studio's plans for films based on DC Comics properties through 2020.  Ten films for the new DC Cinematic Universe were named, although some of them were previously confirmed.  Here's the rundown...
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice directed by Zack Snyder (2016)
  • Suicide Squad directed by David Ayer (2016)
  • Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot (2017)
  • Justice League Part One directed by Snyder, with Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Amy Adams reprising their roles (2017)
  • The Flash starring Ezra Miller (2018)
  • Aquaman starring Jason Momoa (2018)
  • Shazam (2019)
  • Justice League Part Two directed by Zack Snyder (2019)
  • Cyborg starring Ray Fisher (2020)
  • Green Lantern (2020)
In addition, Tuijihara's press release also mentioned standalone films for Superman and Batman. 

DC appears to have beaten Marvel to the punch by announcing Wonder Woman and Cyborg, featuring female and African-American superheroes that have yet to be featured in any solo Marvel film. 

It seems the rumored Flash/Green Lantern team-up film isn't happening after all, with solo films for both characters instead.  The simple Green Lantern title is also interesting, implying a possible reboot from the 2011 film starring Ryan Reynolds, although that could easily change between now and 2020.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

CAPTAIN AMERICA 3 to Adapt CIVIL WAR with Robert Downey, Jr.

You can't keep a good Iron Man down.

Variety revealed yesterday that Robert Downey, Jr. is close to reprising his role as Iron Man/Tony Stark for Captain America 3, which will feature will adapt the Marvel Comics event Civil War and begin Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

According to the article, Captain America 3 "will pit Stark against Captain America’s alter-ego Steve Rogers, played by Chris Evans, as they feud over the Superhero Registration Act, which forces anyone with superhuman abilities to reveal their identities to the U.S. government and agree to act as a police force for the authorities.  Stark supports the program, but Rogers does not, saying it threatens civil liberties, causing sides to be taken and Rogers, among others, to go on the run to avoid arrest.  The moral question and battle with his Avengers teammate essentially makes Stark a villain of sorts in Captain America 3, providing Downey with a meaty role he could play out into future Marvel films, including a fourth Avengers."

It seems Marvel originally wanted Downey for just a small role in the film, which would have required just three weeks of work, but Downey wanted Stark to have a larger role, which would give him more screen time and naturally a bigger payday.  This reportedly angered Marvel Entertainment head Ike Perlmutter, who ordered the screenwriters to write Iron Man out of the script entirely.  Even though the deal appeared dead, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and Downey’s representatives continued talks in hopes of working out their issues.

The article claims that Downey, who earned $50 million for The Avengers alone, will collect around $40 million plus backend participation for Captain America 3, and will get an additional payday if Captain America 3 outperforms Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s $714 million worldwide total.

Anthony and Joe Russo, directors of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, will return for Captain America 3 and the brothers are currently working on the script with Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.

In addition, Marvel Comics also teased yesterday that there will be a new Civil War #1 sometime in Summer 2015, presumably so that a collection can be out in time for Captain America 3.  It's not yet known if this will be a direct sequel to the original 2006-07 limited series by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven or some form of reboot.

Captain America 3 is scheduled to arrive in theaters on May 6, 2016.

Monday, October 13, 2014

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE 008: "Mummy on the Orient Express" is Up!

"You know, Doctor, I can't tell if you're a genius or just incredibly arrogant."
"Well, on a good day, I'm both."

My good friend Jesse Jackson and I have returned with another episode of Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast!

This time out, we give our thoughts on "Mummy on the Orient Express," the eighth episode from Doctor Who Series Eight, including things like Agatha Christie, the running theme of soldiers and war, sentient computer acronyms, Clara's inconsistent behavior, the series Castle, the polarizing Twelfth Doctor, Queen's song "Don't Stop Me Now," Doctor Who haters hating, our popular Reverse the Polarity segment, listener email, the revival of Twin Peaks, 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?

Have fun watching "Flatline" on BBC America this Saturday, then keep checking iTunes, Stitcher and the Southgate Media Group website for our next Doctor Who review!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

ARCHER Drops ISIS Name for Rather Obvious Reasons

Yuuuup, phrasing.

The Daily Beast has word that in light of recent world events involving the militant Islamic organization once called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the FX animated spy comedy series Archer is dropping the spy organization name ISIS (short for International Secret Intelligence Service) from the show starting with the upcoming Season 6. 

During the season premiere, Malory Archer (Jessica Walter) is shown talking on the phone with her son Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) and explaining to him that the CIA are now their overlords.  In the background, you can see two movers rolling out a large, circular sign featuring the ISIS logo.

Creator Adam Reed along with executive producers Matt Thompson and Casey Willis made the decision after initial concerns from FX.  "We were waiting for it to go away — at least I was," said Reed.  "Back in Season 5, FX said, ‘This might be a thing,’ and I thought, ‘Maybe it won’t be?  Maybe it’ll be the mole that I’m gonna ignore and nothing will happen.’  We got sort of lucky and could organically make a merger with the CIA, so we went back and retroactively painted out the ISIS logos in parts of the show, and we just don’t talk about it in dialogue."

"We won’t say ISIS anymore, and the only visual representation of it will be that sign rolling off the show," added Thompson.  "It’s just the most awful thing, and we didn’t want to have anything to do with it.  There were people online saying that we should address it and say, ‘Oh, I can’t believe these guys have co-opted our name.’  That’s the way South Park would do it, coming after them and saying, ‘These assholes stole our name,’ but that’s not the way the Archer universe works, where it’s all our own creations.  In our universe, they don’t exist."

The name and logo won't be retroactively removed from Seasons 1 through 5, however, so any repeats on television will still feature ISIS.  In addition, there's still the matter of all that ISIS-related merchandise to address.  "I’m one of the few people that has the white ISIS cup and it’s mixed in with all my other cups," said Walter.  "The other day, I was looking at it and thought, ‘Should I throw it out?  But it reminds me of Archer.’"

Added Reed, "I gave my Dad one of the ISIS hats and he said, ‘You know son, I’m not going to be able to wear the hat anymore.  I’m gettin’ looks at the hardware store.’  I was at a meeting with the FX execs and I said, ‘You know, with all this extra ISIS merchandise, you should just make the bad guys buy it.’  Dead silence.  And then they said, ‘We have a lot of ISIS merchandise.’  So I guess that’s all going to a landfill somewhere."

Archer is expected to return to FX for Season 6 sometime around January 2015.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

THE FLASH Casts Andy Mientus as Pied Piper

Flash news...Flash news EVERYWHERE...

TVLine is reporting that the CW series The Flash has cast Andy Mientus as Hartley Rathaway, better known to DC Comics fans as the Pied Piper, one of the Rogues who join forces to plague the Fastest Man Alive.

The Pied Piper will make his debut in Episodes 11 and 12 and will be openly gay, as he is depicted in Flash comics.  Piper is described in the article as "One of DC’s original Rogues, Hartley is a bona fide genius who used to work at S.T.A.R. Labs until a falling out with his mentor, Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh).  The particle accelerator robbed Hartley of his hearing, but inspired him to create a series of sonic weapons that he uses in an effort to punish Wells by destroying his new protege: The Flash."

The 27-year-old actor, who is openly bisexual, is best known as Kyle Bishop on the NBC series Smash and is slated to appear as a regular on the ABC Family series Chasing Life. 

Created in 1959 by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, the Pied Piper first appeared in The Flash (vol.1) #106 as Hartley Rathaway, who was born deaf but was cured as a result of researched funded by his wealthy father.  He became obsessed with sound and experimented with sonic technology, eventually inventing a technique of hypnotism through music and a way to cause deadly vibrations.  Growing bored of his lifestyle, he turned to crime as the Pied Piper and frequently clashed with Barry Allen, the second Flash.

In 1991, William Messner-Loebs and Greg LaRocque had Piper come out as gay in The Flash (vol.2) #53.  Having reformed as a supervillain, Piper became friends with Wally West, the third Flash, and revealed his sexual preference during an opening sequence in the issue where Wally asks Piper if he's heard rumors that The Joker is gay.  Wally reacts to the news awkwardly at first, but quickly adjusts and remains good friends with Piper.

In the current New 52 continuity, Hartley is now the conductor of Central City's orchestra and is described as a "reformed vigilante."  He is dating Director David Singh, Barry Allen's superior at the Central City Police Department Crime Lab, and later assists the Flash and former Rogue teammate Captain Cold against the newly united Rogues.

This will be the character's first depiction in live-action, although a female version of the character was rumored to be planned for a second season of the 1990-91 Flash TV series that never happened.  He was seen in the Justice League Unlimited animated series episode "Flash and Substance" in a bar where the Rogues hang out.

The Flash airs Tuesday nights on The CW at 8:00 p.m. EST.

THE FLASH Also Casts Victor Garber as Firestorm

So, can we have a Firestorm spinoff series now?

The Hollywood Reporter has word that the new hit CW series The Flash has cast Victor Garber as DC Comics character Dr. Martin Stein, who becomes one half of the superhero Firestorm.

According to the article, Dr. Stein will be a recurring character and will debut in the series' twelfth episode.  Stein is described as "a brilliant but arrogant nuclear physicist who has sacrificed everything, including a marriage, for his work in transmutation.  After he discovers the particle accelerator fused him with the younger, more impulsive Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell), he races to find a way to separate the two before it's too late."

Best known as the badass spydaddy Jack Bristow on the ABC series Alias, the 65-year-old Garber has appeared in a number of notable films and television series, including Argo, Legally Blonde, Titanic, Sleepless in Seattle, Sleepy Hollow, Charlie's Angels (2011 series), Flashpoint (!), Stargate Universe and more.  He also voiced the DC Comics supervillain Sinestro in the animated film Green Lantern: First Flight.

Created by Gerry Conway and Al Milgrom, Professor Martin Stein first appeared in 1978's Firestorm, the Nuclear Man (vol.1) #1. In his original incarnation, Firestorm was created during a nuclear accident that allowed high-school student Ronnie Raymond to fuse with Stein into a nuclear-powered superhero that soon became a member of the Justice League of America. The character went through a number of iterations over the years, including Russian nuclear technician Mikhail Arkadin, Stein as a Fire Elemental, and a teenager from Detroit named Jason Rusch. In the current New 52 continuity, Ronnie and Jason became Firestorm after Jason used one of Professor Stein's creations called "The God Particle" to transform them.

Although Martin Stein has appeared in the animated series Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show (voiced by Olan Soule), this will be the character's first depiction in live-action.

The Flash airs Tuesday nights on The CW at 8:00 p.m. EST.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

DAMN Good Television -- THE FLASH: "Pilot"


After a hiatus of only 23 years, fans of the CBS series The Flash finally have a second season of their favorite Fastest Man Alive.  Although the thing is, John Wesley Shipp has been replaced as The Flash by a much younger Grant Gustin and the show is now on The CW as a spinoff of the series Arrow.  Apart from the overall improvements in special effects, costuming, lighting, camerawork, etc., it's...basically the same show.  Well...um...sort of.

This 2014 version was first announced in July 2013, with the idea of debuting Barry Allen on two episodes of Arrow followed by a third episode later in the show's second season where he would become The Flash.  This was going to essentially serve as a back-door pilot for a Flash spinoff series, until the decision was made to film a proper standalone pilot episode instead.  And having learned lessons from making Arrow, executive producers Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and Geoff Johns chose to fully embrace the DC Comics Universe right off the bat, exploring the concept of strange superpowers the way Arrow often avoids in favor of a more realistic approach.

The first episode, directed by Smallville and Arrow pilot veteran David Nutter, opens with a brief taste of Barry Allen racing through Central City as The Flash before flashing back to his childhood at the age of eleven.  We see the return of Shipp now playing Barry's father Henry Allen, and the loving relationship he has with his wife Nora before everything goes to hell.  Waking up to a weird sight of water floating up from a nearby fishtank, Barry goes downstairs to find his mom caught in the middle of a strange, yellow blur racing back and forth.  Unable to reach Nora because of the blur, Henry tells Barry to run and suddenly, young Barry finds himself blocks away from his house...in a flash.

Jumping ahead about twelve years or so, we see the adult and constantly late Barry Allen arriving at a crime scene that introduces his former legal guardian, Detective Joe West (Jesse L Martin), and his boss, Captain David Singh (Patrick Sabongui) of the Central City Police Department.  As forensic assistant Barry examines the crime scene with mental observations texted across the screen for viewers similar to the BBC series Sherlock, we learn that a pair of criminals called the Mardon brothers (Clyde and presumably, the more important Mark) have caught the attention of the CCPD.

Gustin picks up right where he left off after his two Arrow episodes earlier this year, continuing to show Barry's awkward but well-intentioned charm, making him quickly likeable and relatable to the audience.  And with the tragic murder of Barry's mother under mysterious circumstances yet to be explained and his father's false imprisonment for said murder, Gustin gives Barry a vulnerability that makes you instantly sympathetic to the character.

We then meet Iris West (Candice Patton), Joe's daughter and Barry's future love, and get a glimpse of Barry's unrequited crush that is pretty much the norm for any male superhero.  Even with Iris seeing Barry as just a friend (for the moment at least), Patton and Gustin have a good chemistry that wants you to see these two hook up despite the somewhat skeevy notion that the two grew up together in the same house as foster siblings. 

Barry and Iris end up going to S.T.A.R. Labs to hear Dr. Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) speak about his exciting new particle accelerator that we know from Arrow is destined to go completely FUBAR.  Iris' laptop is stolen during Wells' speech, forcing Barry to give chase and also show us how slow he currently is.  After sucker-punching Barry with a laptop to the stomach, the thief is quickly caught by Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett), who was given the nickname "Detective Prettyboy" and immediately becomes Barry's rival for Iris' attention.

Barry returns to his spacious loft apartment, returning us to a very important scene from the end of the Arrow episode "Three Ghosts."  Essentially, we get an expanded version this time, as Barry is caught in the particle accelerator energy wave and is struck by lightning, which sends him crashing into a nearby rack of chemicals.  He wakes up nine months later in S.T.A.R. Labs, syncing the series up with the start of Arrow's Season 3, and meets tech geek Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) and the frosty Dr. Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker).  Together, they provide the necessary expository explanation that Barry's accident has placed him in a constant state of cellular regeneration, which Barry sums up as "Lightning gave me abs?"

As the pilot episode progresses, Barry discovers his super-speed stopping an arrested criminal reaching for a cop's gun and after a brief sprint in a nearby alley, we're literally off and running.  Harrison (now in a wheelchair), Cisco and Caitlin quickly form Barry's science support for his newfound abilities, testing his speed on an abandoned Ferris airfield that possibly foreshadows a Green Lantern connection.  During the test, Barry suddenly recalls seeing a blurred yellow figure during his mother's murder that makes him wonder if the man who killed his mother had the same powers as he has.  (Spoilers for anyone who hasn't read the DC Comics limited series Flashpoint -- he does.)

On top of all this, Clyde Mardon has returned with spiffy new weather-controlling abilities, Iris is now secretly dating Eddie Thawne without telling her father, and Joe flat out tells Barry that all the strange stuff he saw as a kid never happened and he needs to accept that Henry Allen murdered his wife.  As a result, Barry runs off to Starling City and has another meeting with special guest superhero The Arrow for advice.  Stephen Amell has a nice cameo role here as his character Oliver Queen, who tells Barry that "You can inspire people" in a way that he can't and that he's able to "save people -- in a flash."  (Say, that's catchy...)

So naturally he does, after obtaining a spiffy scarlet suit from Cisco and Caitlin that's supposedly aerodynamic, but looks a bit loose and leathery instead.  The inevitable superhero vs. supervillain showdown ensues that ultimately hints at Mark Mardon's appearance somewhere down the line and reveals Barry's new identity and powers to Joe in the process.  Later on, Barry visits his father Henry in Iron Heights prison and reassures him that he knows Henry didn't kill his mother.

That pretty much sets up Season One, teasing a number of possible supervillains for the future (Don't blink or you'll miss a certain busted cage) along with a number of character conflicts that should prove interesting.  However, there's a very important epilogue that you should be playing very close attention to that I won't spoil here apart from saying someone is far more than he seems and we may get to see a rather huge DC Comics event at some point.

All in all, The Flash left the starting position strong and with some solid storytelling and great special effects to showcase superpowers, has the potential to become bigger and better than ArrowThe series should provide a fun, brighter change of pace from the gritty crime and corruption on Arrow and Gotham, with far more depth and creativity than Smallville had during its 10-year run.  And with the show's willingness to bring in Shipp along with his co-star Amanda Pays, fans of the original Flash series should be in for a real treat. 

Anyone else up for a Mark Hamill episode after he finishes filming Star Wars Episode VII...?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

TWIN PEAKS' Mark Frost Talks 2016 Revival & What Fans Can Expect

"Harry, I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange."
-- Special Agent Dale Cooper to Sheriff Harry S. Truman

Hot on the heels of yesterday's announcement that Twin Peaks will be returning to Showtime in 2016 for a 9-episode continuation of the original series set 25 years later, TVLine sat down with Twin Peaks co-creator and executive producer Mark Frost for a Q&A session that teased what fans might be able to expect in two years.  Here are some of the highlights:

TVLINE: For about two years now, rumors have been circulating about a Twin Peaks revival being in the works. How long have you and David (Lynch) been formulating this?

FROST:  David and I stayed in touch and remained closed friends throughout all these years. It was about three years ago this summer we were having lunch at [famed Hollywood eatery] Musso & Frank, where we often used to go. And we were just kicking stuff around and we started getting some ideas in our heads about Twin Peaks. Suddenly, it felt like a place we wanted to visit again. And that was the kickoff.

Was Showtime the first place you went?

We didn’t go to anybody else. Showtime was the first and only [network] we spoke to about this. There was a nice sense of continuity there, because Gary Levine, who’s the right-hand man to [Showtime president] David Nevins, was our [creative] representative on the show when we were on ABC. We’ve known Gary a long time. We trust Gary. We like Gary. We had a really great meeting with them. And David [Lynch] really loved the artwork on David [Nevins]‘ office walls. And they loved the show. And that’s how it all came to be.

Just to confirm, this is not a remake, correct? It’s a continuation, like TNT’s Dallas?

It is not a remake. The story continues. The seeds of where we go were planted where we’ve been.

In the series finale, Laura Palmer tells Agent Cooper in the Red Room, “I’ll see you again in 25 years.” That can’t be a coincidence, can it?

When you see it, you’ll know.

Are you looking at this as Season 3 of Twin Peaks?

Not really, but just because my brain doesn’t work that way. I’ve always said that Twin Peaks to me was like a novel we filmed every page of. So this is more like we found another volume of the saga, and now we want to bring that to life too.

Will the nine episodes revolve around a new mystery?

If I told you that I would have to give the Kill command to the Predator drones that are circling your house now. And that wouldn’t be cool. [Laughs]

Will the world of Fire Walk With Me be considered a part of the “Canon”?

I think it should be. It’s definitely part of the mythology of the show, and it reflects the work that was done before and it will have some bearing on the work as we go forward.
Is it your goal to bring back as many of the original cast as possible?

Those who want to see old faces, and those would like to see new faces, none of them will be disappointed. It’s far too early to talk specifics about people. We’re not at that stage in the process.

In the past 25 years, several cast members have passed away, most notably former set dresser turned scariest TV character ever, Frank Silva (AKA Killer Bob). How will you handle that loss?

I can’t really say. That’s a tough one to go into without giving away too much.

Will Angelo Badalamenti do the score?

Too early to say.

If it’s a success, could there be more?

We’ve learned never to say never. Anything is a possibility.

The second season was rather polarizing, and some fans felt let down by how the story ended. Are you looking at this as an opportunity to bring the story to a more satisfying conclusion?

It’s our hope that these episodes will give the fans everything they felt they hadn’t gotten the last time we left off.

Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask, how’s Annie?

[Laughs] Funnily enough, I just showed the second Austin Powers movie to my son last night, who asked me about [Heather Graham]. And I said, “Oh, that’s Annie.” And he said, “Who’s Annie?” And I said, “No, no. The question is How’s Annie?” And judging by how Annie looked in that movie I’d say Annie’s fine.

NEXT STOP EVERYWHERE 007: "Kill the Moon" Is Up!

"Tell me what you know, Doctor, or else I'll slap you so hard you'll regenerate."

After my weekend hiatus away the show, Jesse Jackson and I together again with another episode of Next Stop Everywhere: The Doctor Who Podcast!

This time out, we give our thoughts on "Kill the Moon," the seventh episode from Doctor Who Series Eight, including things like a creepy story that morphs into something else entirely, the Twelfth Doctor's alien detachment, the return of the Doctor's yo-yo, the Doctor's accuracy of piloting the TARDIS, the wonky science of the moon cracking open and being suddenly replaced, Kevin Smith's Superman movie that mercifully never happened, that horribly awkward abortion debate metaphor, why voting with lights doesn't quite work for the planet Earth, our popular Reverse the Polarity segment, teasing our plans for what happens after Series Eight ends, 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?

Have fun watching "Mummy on the Orient Express" on BBC America this Saturday, then keep checking iTunes, Stitcher and the Southgate Media Group website for our next Doctor Who review!