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News Around the Net!

Let’s begin today with this: the single best joke told by every president, from Obama to Washington.

Fox has greenlit 12 episodes of a 24 spin-off series, 24: Legacy.  It’s hard to imagine my watching that since I didn’t make it past the first two episodes of 2014’s 24 revival mini-series Live Another Day.  I watched 24 from episode 1 of season 1, and at first I was evangelical about this amazing, intense serialized show.  But truth be told the only seasons I really loved were those first two years (and even those seasons had plenty of problems).  I stuck around for years afterwards and while there were some high points, I tended to find myself continually disappointed.  I finally bailed before the final season.  I had high hopes that Live Another Day would be a return to the show’s original greatness, but those first two hours just felt like more of the same.  Oh well.

Far more exciting: Netflix has announced a Wet Hot American Summer sequel!  The so-obvious it’s genius Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later will be eight episodes and, you can be assured, high on my must-watch list.

Was this seriously going to originally be the opening shot of Star Wars: The Force Awakens???  Love it!

So this is awesome: the Language Creation Society has just submitted a friend-of-the-court brief in Paramount’s suit attempting to halt production of the Star Trek fan-film Axanar.  Seems this Language Creation Society objects to Paramount’s contention that they can copyright the Klingon language.  You’ve got to read this article, it is nerdy and hilarious and wonderful.  To restate my position, I strongly object to Paramount’s heavy-handed effort to squash this fan-made film.  (After creating the amazing fifteen-minute Prelude to Axanar, this group of Trek fans fund-raised on Kickstarter — full disclosure: I have donated — to create a full feature-length film telling the story of the Five Years’ War between the Federation and the Klingons.  This is an event that is part of the backstory of Star Trek: The Original Series.  The planned film would focus on telling the story of Starfleet Captain Garth of Izar in the years before he became a crazy villain, as seen in the Original Series episode “Whom Gods Destroy.”)  To be clear, it is probably true that the Axanar folks are in violation of Paramount’s copyright, but who really cares?  These fan films are not a competition with Paramount’s official Star Trek efforts.  These fan-made projects are done by Trek fans who love Trek.  I absolutely guarantee you that every single Trek fan who donated to Axanar is going to buy a ticket (perhaps many!) to see Star Trek Beyond.  By trying to destroy this fan-made labor of love, Paramount is really being heartless towards the fans of its franchise.

If you haven’t seen Prelude to Axanar, watch it now:

Pretty awesome for a fan-made short film, am I right?

I thought Neil Blomkamp’s planned Alien 5 film (that would ignore Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection and bring Sigourney Weaver back to the franchise, bringing back Ripley and Hicks and Newt, characters who were all killed off in Alien 3) was dead once Ridley Scott’s Alien project, a sequel to Prometheus now named Alien: Covenant was green-lit.  But Sigourney Weaver still thinks it’s going to happen, and I very much hope she’s right.  That interview with Ms. Weaver is a great read, most particularly for her thoughts on Alien vs Predator:  “I haven’t seen them but heard the Alien doesn’t beat the Predator, and I thought ‘Fuck that!’”  Gotta love Sigourney Weaver.

With the release of Shane Black’s The Nice Guys almost upon us, the great folks at BirthMoviesDeath.com have given us a wonderful look back at the buddy-comedy ouevre of the talented Mr. Black.  Definitely worth a read.  (Mr. Black’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is one of my favorite movies ever.)

With Batman v Superman failing to light the world on fire, I am curious to see how Warner Brothers’ planned slate of additional DC Universe movies is going to progress.  Devin Faraci from BirthMoviesDeath has an interesting look at some of the behind-the-scenes goings-on.  I am also intrigued to follow development of the planned Ben Affleck solo Batman film, which apparently will feature a boatload of villains.  That is not usually a sign of success.  But Mr. Affleck’s Batman was one of the best things about Superman v. Batman, so I have hope.  On this topic, let me also recommend Mr. Faraci’s terrific editorial, looking at how the bizarre murder of Jimmy Olsen in Batman v Superman bodes ill for the future of this developing DC movie universe.  I agree one hundred percent.

Let’s also let Mr. Faraci fill you in on an exciting rumor from the Marvel universe: that Nathan Fillion will be playing Wonder-Man!  OK, it might just be an easter-egg cameo, but this is spectacular casting and I hope we someday see Mr. Fillion play the role for real.  That would be amazing.  (And, by the way, I totally got that Arkon in-joke that Mr. Faraci mentioned!  I am a nerd!!)

In other Marvel news, it makes sense that the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War movies won’t just be called Infinity War Part 1 and Infinity War Part 2, but that they’ll have separate, distinct titles.  Here’s hoping Part 1 is called The Thanos Quest (after Jim Starlin’s amazing story from the nineties).  I would also be very happy if one of these films was titled The Infinity Gauntlet rather than The Infinity War.  (I prefer Gauntlet as a title, and I also prefer that classic Marvel miniseries over its sequel, The Infinity War.)

I loved Jon Bernthal as the Punisher in season two of Netflix’s Daredevil.  But I am not thrilled at the news that Mr. Benthal’s Punisher will be getting his own solo Netflix series.  They made the exact right decision to have the Punisher be a supporting character in Daredevil, where he was basically a villain (albeit a three-dimensional one).  I think the character works best in a supporting role — both in the comics and on-screen — where he can play off of other heroic characters.  I’m not so interested to see him as the lead in his own show, where he’ll theoretically be the heroic lead.  But so far Netflix is three-for-three with their Marvel shows so I will withhold judgment for now…

Ron Howard is working on a Beatles documentary?  OK, I’m in for that!

Some interesting trailers have dropped recently:

This trailer for Captain Fantastic is… um… interesting.  Viggo Mortensen and Frank Langella have my attention.  After watching this trailer I’m not sure I’m going to be rooting for Viggo Mortensen’s character in this movie, but this seems like an interesting story.

Movie made from Stephen King stories are always very hit-and-miss.  I love the cast of The Cell but I’m not sure this trailer has me hooked yet:

Am I crazy or does this movie seem like a feature-length adaptation of “Epitah One” and “Epitah Two” from Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse…???

Whatever your political affiliation, this trailer for the documentary Weiner looks like an absolutely insane behind-the-scenes look at the polarizing, humiliated politician and his failed campaign for mayor of New York.  That Mr. Weiner would grant the cameras such behind-the-scenes access is staggering.  I can’t wait to see this film:

I wrote the other day about the upcoming animated adaptation of Batman: The Killing Joke.  I am very curious to see what they’ve done, and I would nothing more than for this to be the compelling, adult, dark Batman story that the Alan Moore/Brian Bolland original graphic novel is.  This trailer, though, is not very impressive:

That animation looks terrible.  I truly hope that’s not what the finished film is going to look like.

I’ll leave you all with this to ponder: Robert Rodriguez and John Malkovich have made a movie that no one will be allowed to see until a hundred years from now??  Is this a joke???

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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