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News Around the Net!

August 2nd, 2018

There was a ton of exciting news out of Comic-Con recently, so let’s dig in!

Let’s start with the most exciting news: Star Wars: The Clone Wars is returning to give us the conclusion we were denied when the series was cancelled!  Wowsers!!  I never ever thought this would happen, and I am super excited.  The Clone Wars was planned as an eight-season show that would bridge the gap between Episode II and Episode III, but it was cancelled after five seasons when Lucasfilm was sold to Disney.  We got a partial sixth season when the in-production episodes were released to Netflix as The Lost Missions, and in the years since we’ve gotten bits and pieces of other planned storiesThe conclusion to Star Wars: Rebels salved a lot of the wounds from the Clone Wars’ cancellation, but I am so excited that we’re finally going to see how Dave Filoni and his team had originally planned to end the show and lead into the events of Episode III.  Here’s the terrific teaser trailer that I have already watched a number of times:

I’m also quite pleased by this first look at Star Trek: Discovery season two:

I felt mostly let-down by Discovery’s first season, but wow, that trailer looks pretty great to me and is actually sort of getting me excited for season two!  It’s certainly possible for Discovery to rebound — many Trek series have achieved greatness after a bad first season.  I love the tone of that trailer, fun without being too goofy or ridiculous.  I don’t love their decision to so dramatically rework the look of the original Enterprise, but I have to admit the Big E looks pretty good in the shots we see of her in the trailer.  And I am quite taken by Anson Mount’s take on Captain Christopher Pike.  He looks and sounds just about perfect (I like the updated version of his gold tunic — this is a far better modernization of a classic Star Trek uniform than the silly-looking regular Discovery uniforms), and I’d be pleased if Pike turned out to be a major part of the show this year.  (I’m a little concerned he’ll quickly be written out, the same way Michelle Yeoh’s fantastic Captain Georgiou was after the first two episodes of season one, but we’ll see.)  Are we actually going to see Spock in this season?  After this build-up, I certainly hope so.  Anyways, mission accomplished by this trailer, I am actually excited now for Discovery’s season two…

Here’s our first substantial look at M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass:

It’s been a long, long wait for a sequel to 2000’s Unbreakable, which was the film that made me a huge fan of M. Night Shyamalan’s, far more than The Sixth Sense.  Its been a long while since I have been satisfied by one of Mr. Shyamalan’s movies.  I am hoping so much that this breaks the streak and is the satisfying next chapter that I’ve been waiting for, for so long.  I am excited to find out…!!

Here’s the latest trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald:

That’s a well-made trailer and this Fantastic Beasts follow-up certainly looks like a fun and exciting return to the Harry Potter universe.  I love Jude Law’s young Dumbledore.  My concerns are 1) I’m not excited about Johnny Depp in the main role, and 2) after all the original Harry Potter books (and eventually movies) built up Voldemort as the worst evil wizard villain ever, it doesn’t quite work for me that there was ANOTHER terrible evil wizard villain just a few decades prior.  We’ll see if the film manages to sell this idea more satisfactorily…

Here’s our first look at DC/Warner Brothers’ Aquaman:

OK, I’m in!  That looks suitably epic.  After the tepid release of Justice League, is the interconnected DC movie universe finished?  It’ll be interesting to see where things go from here.  (Aquaman was already in the works when Justice League was released.)  I can’t say I’m super-excited for this film, but I’d be very happy if it turned out to be good…!

Sticking with DC, here’s our first look at Shazam!

I can’t believe they’ve actually made a Captain Marvel/Shazam movie!!  This trailer is pretty solid.  It teeters on the edge of stupid/too silly, but as of now I’m intrigued and interested to see if they managed to pull this off…

I thought the 2016 Godzilla reboot was OK, and I quite enjoyed Kong: Skull Island.  So I guess I plan on seeing Godzilla: King of the Monsters (and the planned 2020 release of Godzilla vs. Kong, as this “monster verse” expands).  This trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters looks enjoyably large-scale, but I can’t say it gets me too excited… will there be more to this film than just giant monsters…?  (Should that be enough for me, in a movie called Godzilla: King of the Monsters…??)

Here’s the new trailer for Matt Groening’s new animated Netflix show, Disenchantment:

I’m on board!  I’m not bowled over by that trailer, but Mr. Groening has my complete trust.  (Remember, I’m someone who considers Futurama an underappreciated gem.)

Here’s a look at Iron Fist season two:

From what I read, people seem to have come out of Comic-Con very excited by what they saw and heard about Iron Fist season two.  That trailer is OK.  I dunno, I’ve lost a lot of enthusiasm for the Marvel Netflix shows.  Iron Fist was the worst of the bunch so far.  (I still haven’t seen The Punisher season one or Luke Cage season two.)

Here’s a trailer for Seth MacFarlane’s The Orville, season two:

I watched the first few episodes of season one, found them mediocre, and stopped watching.  Maybe I should give the show another try?  The plethora of Star Trek alumni who have been involved in the series (Brannon Braga, Jonathan Frakes, Tim Russ, Robert Picardo, Robert Duncan McNeill, and many more) is certainly tempting…

So this is interesting: Netflix has acquired Andy Serkis’ Mowgli I am very excited to see Mr. Serkis’ mo-cap film.  I have been worried that this film would get buried by Jon Favreau’s very successful (and very enjoyable) Jungle Book adaptation.  (So weird to have two different adaptations of the same property coming out so close to one another.  Why does Hollywood do this all the time??)  Anyways, since the 3D was apparently a huge part of the film, will Netflix actually mount a theatrical release for the film (as they say they are planning to do)?  Is this sale a GOOD thing for Mr. Serkis’ film?  Or a bad thing?  I am very curious to see how this all plays out…

I am excited that Denis Villeneuve (Arrival, Blade Runner 2049)’s planned film adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune seems to be moving forward, and intrigued that it looks like they’re planning to split the novel into two films.  That’s probably a good idea, considering how rich and complex the novel is.  Will we finally get a truly GREAT Dune adaptation?  I am daring to hope…!

So, they’re really making yet another Terminator movie, huh?  They say this next one will really have James Cameron’s involvement — will that make any difference?  I’m not super-optimistic, but I do like this first image from the film.  I’m happy Linda Hamilton is back, and I think Mackenzie Davis is terrific.

Over the years I’ve heard murmurs of Topher Grace’s edit of the Star Wars prequels into one film.  Boy would I love to see that someday!  Well, apparently Mr. Grace has now created another fan-edit that I’d kill to see: he’s edited Peter Jackson’s three lengthy Hobbit films down to a single two-hour film!  Wow!

The biggest bad news to come down the geek-news pike in the past few weeks is the firing of James Gunn from the in-development Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3.  Mr. Gunn’s tweets from many years ago are certainly gross.  But I think there are some important points to keep in mind, first of all that they were intended as a joke.  That’s important context.  A joke gone wrong can still be offensive and worthy of condemnation.  But it’s a whole different ballgame from someone saying something like that and seriously meaning it.  Second, I think we have to seriously consider just how far into someone’s past is “fair game”?  There are clearly some actions (such as sexual assault, to name just one), about which it doesn’t matter how many decades in the past they might have happened — if and when they’re discovered, action is required.  But are public figures… and every-day people… not allowed to grow and change?  Is it right to use words uttered or written a decade ago to destroy someone?  I find myself siding with this author on the matter, as he writes about the importance of allowing growth and change in individuals.  Finally, I also find it hard to ignore the context of who it was who took down Mr. Gunn — alt-right supporters angered by Mr. Gunn’s prolific anti-Trump comments and tweets.  It’s hard not to feel like Disney got somewhat played.  This is a difficult issue, and I don’t think Mr. Gunn is without fault.  But I don’t think he deserves to have his career destroyed, and I’d love to see a situation in which he can return to helming Guardians vol. 3.  The Guardians cast certainly still supports him.  We’ll see…

Let’s end with something a little more positive.  I loved Mission: Impossible — Fallout!  And I also love this piece of promotion, in which Tom Cruise and James Corden jump out of an airplane together:

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