Constantine cast explains how they'll stay true to the comics and tease the 'rising darkness' @ Blastr

The cast of Constantine is dedicated.

They dropped by San Diego Comic-Con after pulling an all-night shoot. The actors just wrapped the second episode of Season 1 at 3 a.m. only to hop on a plane a few hours later. Despite their hectic schedule they were pleasant, upbeat and excited to talk with us about their show. Matt Ryan (John Constantine), Harold Perrineau (Manny), Charles Halford (Chas) and Angélica Celaya (Zed) were all in attendance.

Each actor gave us a breakdown of who they play and what they bring to the table.

Brand New Avengers 2 Props Reveal Ultron Mark One @ io9

Brand New Avengers 2 Props Reveal Ultron Mark One

Today, Marvel is displaying a whole slew of props from Avengers 2 — including Ultron's Mark One (the body he cobbles together for himself before attacking Earth's mightiest heroes) and Captain America's cracked shield.

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Propaganda Posters From The Dawn Of Star Wars' Galactic Empire @ io9

Propaganda Posters From The Dawn Of Star Wars' Galactic Empire

When the Empire rises in the wake of Revenge of the Sith, it doesn't merely want to rule the Galaxy with an cybernetically enhanced fist; it also wants to win hearts and minds. So the Star Wars: Rebels team developed propaganda posters for the fledgling Galactic Empire.

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You'll probably have a better day if you strike up a conversation with a stranger on the bus or trai @ io9

You'll probably have a better day if you strike up a conversation with a stranger on the bus or train. New psychological research shows that commuters mostly believed that talking to strangers would make their journeys worse, but discovered after doing it that it almost always made them better.

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Coulson and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are getting their own Marvel comic @ Blastr

Do you like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but find it a bit lacking in the superpowers department? Well, Marvel Comics is about to fix that.

The Marvel live-action series is about to enter its second season, and while we have seen characters like Deathlok play a major role in the story so far, and heard that characters like Mockingbird will join the action next season, some fans still miss the superhero scope that Agent Phil Coulson was first thrown into on the big screen. For many viewers who'd been dazzled by things like The AvengersAgents of S.H.I.E.L.D. just felt small, and while you might think it unfair to criticize a TV show with a much smaller budget for being not enough like a movie, the good news is that comic books have no such constraints. Fortunately for us, Marvel Comics seems to have realized that.

During the publisher's "Next Big Thing" panel Sunday at San Diego Comic-Con, it was announced that fan-favorite writer Mark Waid (DaredevilIndestructible Hulk) will script a brand-new series simply called S.H.I.E.L.D., working alongside a rotating team of artists that will begin with Carlos Pacheco (Uncanny X-Men, Ultimate Comics: Avengers) and continue with the likes of Alan Davis (Excalibur, Uncanny X-Men) and Chris Sprouse (Tom StrongBatman: The Return of Bruce Wayne).

The series will star Agent Coulson (who's already had a presence in the Marvel Comics universe) and feature other characters from the TV series, including Fitz (who, apparently, gets a monkey), Simmons, May and Skye. Waid said he hopes to focus on Coulson's superhero fandom and use that to pair the S.H.I.E.L.D. team up with a number of superheroes (Rocket Raccoon and Howard the Duck were both named) from throughout the Marvel universe for what sound like self-contained stories that will be easily accessible to fans of the show who might not be so familiar with comics. 

"This is S.H.I.E.L.D. the TV show, the unlimited budget edition," Waid said. "This is our chance to introduce a lot of the other characters into the Marvel Universe, and give them the Marvel Universe spin."

We don't know yet when the first issue of this series will hit (UPDATE: This December), but it's honestly kind of surprising that it took this long for Marvel to launch such a title in the first place. In any case, it's nice to see them take advantage of the cross-promotion opportunity now, and it's nice to see a writer like Waid, who has both an incredible knowledge of comics minutiae and a talent for getting everything to make sense for new readers, taking the helm on this project.

Marvel also released a promo image for the series by Mike Deodato, which features the S.H.I.E.L.D. team sharing the page with the likes of Captain America, Thor, Storm, Spider-Man and the Thing. Check it out below.

(Via Comic Book Resources)

This Could Be the Greatest Advance in Water Balloon Technology Ever @ io9

This Could Be the Greatest Advance in Water Balloon Technology Ever

Shut up about your high tech super soakers, because Bunch O Balloons is about to take water fights to the next level. Just look at it! You can fill like a zillion balloons all at once, and then DRIVE YOUR ENEMIES BEFORE YOU.

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What Was The Most Exciting Surprise Or Biggest Letdown Of Comic-Con? @ io9

What Was The Most Exciting Surprise Or Biggest Letdown Of Comic-Con?

They're rolling up the spacewalks in the San Diego Convention Center, and it's a great moment to take stock. What panels, exhibitions or other events were especially great? What stuff failed to meet your expectations? If you were at Comic-Con, we want to hear from you!

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Watch What Happens When You Dip a Cheeseburger in Acid @ io9

This video will let you see scientists do to a cheeseburger what Judge Doom did to that cartoon shoe in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. They dunk the cheeseburger in hydrochloric acid and see what happens. It's not an explosion, but it's a pretty good show all the same.

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Secret Tunnels in Warfare Are Less of a Threat Than You Think @ io9

Secret Tunnels in Warfare Are Less of a Threat Than You Think

Israeli troops claim that they have discovered more secret tunnels that Hamas is using to get into the country. Though the tunnels sound terrifying, military strategy experts say they have little value when it comes to battlefield results.

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Comics legend Grant Morrison unveils massive DC Comics event The Multiversity @ Blastr

One of comics' most influential and popular writers is back at DC, and he's launching what could be his most mind-boggling project yet.

Grant Morrison is known for his ambitious, often unapologetically complex approach to comics, from his magic-layered saga The Invisibles to his Silver Age love letter All-Star Superman to his reality-unraveling Final Crisis and, of course, his seven-year run on DC's Batman comics, which continues to hook readers. In the eyes of many fans (including yours truly), Morrison is a guy who just exists on another plane, who understands superheroes in ways we simply don't. He's cast his spell on loads of iconic characters over the years, including the X-Men, Animal Man, the Doom Patrol, Batman and Superman, and he's still working on his Wonder Woman take. Before we see that, though, we'll see The Multiversity, which will show us the DC Multiverse through Morrison's eyes. 


(The Multiversity #1 cover by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and Nei Ruffino)

Morrison's been working on the project -- which will feature seven stories in seven different universes, plus a two-part story that frames and links the whole narrative -- in some form or another since 2006, back when he and fellow writers Geoff Johns, Mark Waid, Greg Rucka and Keith Giffen re-worked the DC Comics Multiverse in the wake of the Infinite Crisis event. Along the way the project has picked up superstar artists including Frank Quitely, Cameron Stewart, Ivan Reis and more, and next month the first issue finally hits comic-book stores. The book's release date has been known for months, but at San Diego Comic-Con this week, Morrison made an appearance to shed more light on the book's characters and big ideas, and his vision for the Multiverse as a whole. 

The overarching story of The Multiversity follows Nix Woton, the last of the Monitors, as he goes on a quest to stop a force that threatens all of the 52 universes, but Morrison's also weaving metafictional elements into the story. Just as Barry Allen read stories about the Flash Jay Garrick as a kid, only to eventualy discover that Flash was real and living in a parallel universe, so too will Morrison's universes interlock in a similar way. The bored superhumans of Earth 16, with no villains left to fight, read the adventures of the World War II-style heroes of Earth 20, and then find that the chaos enveloping the Earth 20 heroes somehow affects them too. But even that's not the most meta Morrison gets here. He's also used the Multiverse version of our Earth as the setting for a character that not only lives in a comic book, but is a comic book.

"What does a superhero look like in this world? Well, it’s made of paper, or it’s something that appears in celluloid. So I set up the task of making the world’s first superhero and the comic being that," Morrison told ComicsAlliance. "I’m interested in the idea of religions of 'the book', that we have in this world. The way they thrive is an actual book, which is the god. It’s not just the word of god, the book itself is God. So people take instruction from it and it becomes a programming language that’s easy to go back and refer to like a manual. So I kind of wanted to do what with a superhero comic."

The saga will jump through several different universes and feature many different versions of classic DC characters, from the original Fawcett Comics Captain Marvel family to the Charlton Comics characters that inspired Watchmen to President Superman to a Vampire Batman and a dinosaur police officer. Morrison's thrown it all out there, going so far as to call the book his "ultimate statement of what DC is." That might sound daunting if you're someone who's never taken a dive into Morrison's twisted brain, but don't worry. He's also worked hard to ensure that, at its core, The Multiversity is still an accessible comic for readers of all stripes.

"The stories are good. The art is brilliant. The basic comic-book stuff is all solid. The most interesting stuff for me, and what I loved as a kid, was just the variance and the versions," Morrison said. "I think there’s just something always appealing about Vampire Batman or President Superman, these little iterations of characters, and I think that's mostly what it’s all about. That’s where the real fun lies, in creating the spectrum of how far can you get it from the core before it disintegrates? I think that in itself is just always appealing. There’s more color. There’s more powers. There’s more Earths. So if you like all that stuff in the first place, this is like more of everything. The ultimate banquet of that."

To help readers along with their journey through the 52-universe landscape Morrison's re-created for this book, a guidebook to the Multiverse will also be released in August, featuring detailed looks at each of the universes, including ones not even in the story proper. Morrison said his goal was to make each of the universes in this Multiverse a detailed, rich, viable place for fellow DC Comics creators to go and tell their own stories, and not simply a place where you find slight variations on characters you know. The guidebook will also feature this absolutely stunning map (Via EW) designed by Morrison. 

You can see a much larger version of the image at the EW link above, but even then you won't be able to see everything. You'll have to pick up the guidebook for that.

What all of this adds up to is a superstar creator realizing an idea he's had for nearly a decade in spectacular fashion. This seems to be Morrison stepping up to DC's plate and leaving it all out on the field for us to dig into, and it's likely to be an event that many of his fellow creators keep going back to for inspiration for years to come. I can't wait.

The Multiversity #1 hits comic-book stores next month. For even more details (and yes, there are many, many more) on what the book's all about, check out ComicsAlliance's excellent interview with Morrison (also featuring more artwork), and CBR's recap of Morrison's San Diego Comic-Con panel.

(Via ComicsAlliance, EW and CBR)

Supernatural Shows Us Dean's Demonic Rampage, And It's Awesome @ io9

Supernatural Shows Us Dean's Demonic Rampage, And It's Awesome

Supernatural pulled another huge status-quo change at the end of last season, and now we've gotten our first glimpse of how this massive event will play out. And let's just say Demon Dean reminds us a little bit of Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Spoilers ahead...

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Gotham boss talks avoiding Batman fatigue, their four-year plan at SDCC @ Blastr

At this year's San Diego Comic-Con, Gotham was everywhere. The cast's faces were plasted all over buses and trains, adding to its already palpable hype. Blastr spoke to executive producer and director Danny Cannon about his unique vision for the show. With such an established property and so many iconic characters, he has his work cut out for him. But Cannon is very confident in Gotham and believes it will stand the test of time.

You've confirmed that you already have the series finale planned out. Do you have a story bible that details everything leading to that moment?

I don't think we have every single thing. We've given ourselves a lot of freedom there, but thematically we know what it is. Every single story isn't beated out, but what we do have is the emotional journey of the whole thing. That we do know. That allows us to not rush any of the villains and go right, right, right back to the very first genesis of these people without any kind of time restraints.

Is there a such thing as Batman fatigue? How do you carve out your own slice of this massive universe?

I can't get enough Batman, as far as I'm concerned. I think the way we avoid Batman fatigue is all we are doing is establishing the world that will eventually need him. All we're doing is creating a city that is corrupt and decrepit and spiraling downward and giving birth to villains that are trying to out-villain each other. That theatrical hotbed, that's a great place for drama. We're just going to walk in Gordon's shoes. Down the alleys, up the stairways, into the back rooms, into the darkness of that deliciously decrepit world, and we're gonna tell a police drama. I think we can avoid any fatigue.

Do you have enough story for three or four seasons? How far down the line will you go?

We have three to four seasons and more of that emotional journey. We have a list of people that we'd like to discover. And we have a list of people that we'll meet along the way. It goes pretty far. We don't want to rush it. We give everybody their due. We make sure that everybody gets enough attention so that we can make sure that each villain is given as much time as possible.

Why did you choose Fish Mooney as Gotham's first villain?

This is somebody that was created specifically for this show. It was a way of saying to the audience, when you come to Gotham you won't just see what the comic books have given you. You won't just see those classic iconic villains. The place is inhabited with so many different characters. So we're just saying, along with these other people, here are new ones. It was another way of us making the show our own and making it unpredictable.

What year does the show take place in?

It's nondescript. We're only saying that Gotham's timeless. It didn't get a Mayor Koch or Giuliani or Bloomberg. It didn't get a bunch of Wall Street money. It didn't get retrofitted. It's just a city that got left in the past, so we don't want to say what date it is. We're just saying that the reason they're going to need Batman is because this city is rotting from the inside. That's the dreamscape.

Were you inspired by 1989 Batman

I think Tim Burton touched on all that stuff. I'm so lucky that in the Batman franchise [there] has been some of the best talent in cinema history ... So the palate is vast and complex and beautiful ... All of these things are influences. I remember when this first came up, re-reading The Dark Knight [Returns] and The Watchmen, again, which plays with time in that way but has its feet on the ground.

How action-packed will the first season be?

I wouldn't call it action-packed. I'd say this is a more old-school way of going. In other words, we don't want to go incredible over-the-top action. All of our action is going to be because the characters need it. It's necessary to the story. It's organic to the story. There is violence, of course, because the town is a dangerous place to live.

Gotham premieres Sept. 22 on Fox.

Supernatural producer on Demon Dean, new female characters and ... a musical? @ Blastr

The cast and crew of The CW’s long-running series Supernatural were out in force at the final day of Comic-Con, and they had a lot to say about season 10. The weirdest bit: There’s (kinda) going to be a musical.

Yeah, that’s right — a musical. If it were any other show, you’d say they were getting ready to jump the shark, but this is the series that’s already tackled everything from sitcom tropes to going so meta it practically redefines the term. So, heck, why not?

Believe it or not, season 10 will include Supernatural’s 200th episode, which producer Jeremy Carver teases will have “musical-ish elements” and serve as a “love letter to the fans.” But that’s not all. We’ll also get some musical fun in the season premiere, because as co-star Jensen Ackles notes, ”Demon Dean likes to karaoke.” Hmm.

There’s also the matter of that shocking finale from last season to deal with, and Carver said the Demon Dean storyline will be a major driver for this next year. The more we hear about it, the more curious we are to see where they take this. It sounds like Ackles is also having a lot of fun playing with this side of his character, and here’s what the two had to say about the arc:

Carver: “It has an enormous effect on the season and the brothers.The boys, Sam in particular, will really dig into how to rescue his brother from being a demon while Dean struggles with what it means to be a demon. We're really excited, most of all, with the brothers questioning who's the real monster. It's exciting, moving, very emotional and fun."

Ackles: “A lot of times on our show we have demons possessing a meat suit, which is lovingly what we call it on this show. This is not like that. This is actually Dean's soul that is twisted. It was interesting trying to make it the same character but a different character, just twisted and demonic.”

It also seems like we shouldn’t expect Crowley (Mark Sheppard) and Demon Dean (Ackles) to be the best of pals, despite the fact that they’re both skewing evil at this point. Plus, Dean’s always been a but unpredictable as a lowly human — so just imagine how he’ll be as a demon:

Sheppard: “I think nobody's ever going to believe that Crowley didn't know what was going to happen, right? So we'll have to see if Crowley has any control over what happens or if Crowley's even in charge. We'll have to see.”

Ackles: “With Demon Dean, at some point Crowley is going to be like, 'This was a bad, bad idea.’”

Other tidbits of note: Kevin Tran himself, aka Osric Chau, popped up in the Q&A to ask when Kevin is coming back, which got some laughs; and Carver promised a “healthy dose” of strong new female characters this season.

 Season 10 of Supernatural premieres Tuesday, Oct. 7, on The CW.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter, Zap2it, IGN)

We Are So Ready for The Kilt to Drop on Ron D. Moore's Outlander Series @ io9

We Are So Ready for The Kilt to Drop on Ron D. Moore's Outlander Series

We've seen the sexy, sexy premiere of Ron D. Moore's time traveling romance series Outlander. And it was fantastic. We loved it so much. Here are our spoiler-free first impressions.

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Coolest Comic-Con Cosplay Day 4: Everything Is Awesome @ io9

Coolest Comic-Con Cosplay Day 4: Everything Is Awesome

The con may be winding up, but not the cosplayers. The massive amount of amazing, crazy, or just plain inspired costumes seen around San Diego continues to astound us. Here are just some of the highlights from Day 4!

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HotShot trailer: Mad Max: Fury Road @ Sci-Fi Storm

The long-awaited next installment in the Mad Max franchise will debut in theaters on May 15, 2015, starring Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) and Charlize Theron (Prometheus).

What Turned This River in China into a Blood-Red Mess? @ io9

What Turned This River in China into a Blood-Red Mess?

People in Wenzhou, a prefecture in the Zhejiang province, woke up yesterday to discover that their local river had turned a dark crimson. What could have caused the sudden transformation?

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The 'Women Who Kick Ass' from Thrones, Orphan Black take over SDCC @ Blastr

Women Who Kick Ass Comic-Con Panel

Six superb actresses ruled the stage at Comic-Con's Hall H on Saturday.

Right before the madness of the Marvel Studios panel (and in front of a large captive audience), Entertainment Weekly's "Women Who Kick Ass" discussion brought out Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy), Nicole Beharie (Sleepy Hollow), Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story), Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones) and Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones) for a more laid-back but still quite thought-provoking talk about their characters, the challenges women face in Hollywood and how TV has changed the game for female roles.

Each woman spoke about acting their way through what scared them about their roles, with Maslany -- who plays nine different clones on her show -- saying, "As soon as I have fears or doubts, it’s like that’s where you have to go as an actor, because then all the surprising stuff comes out of there.” Sagal cited being raped by white supremacists and putting a gun to a baby’s head as two of the more challenging moments she's faced on her show.

Dormer was perhaps the most outspoken on the panel, forcefully citing television as being the place for all the best female roles now: "Where television is fantastic and is way ahead of film is it doesn’t feel the need to polarize women so much," she proclaimed. "Male writers, and I say this with all love and respect, often want to make a woman either the angel or the whore -- make her the witch, or put her on the pedestal. When people ask me about Margaery, I say they’re not mutually exclusive."

Paulson, who revealed she is playing a woman with two heads on the next season of American Horror Story, joked that she wants to quiz Maslany about playing multiple personalities/characters. Beharie, meanwhile, told the audience in response to a fan question that she was glad the producers of Sleepy Hollow have not made the relationship between her character, Abbie, and Tom Mison's Ichabod turn romantic (although there may be a new character introduced soon who might turn Abbie's head).

Williams spoke about the psychological damage that is being inflicted on Arya on Game of Thrones, saying, "She’s a 12-year-old girl living in this world, and we all like to brush that aside, that she actually just put a sword through someone’s throat ... you can’t live your life like that and be okay in the head forever.”

The panel concluded with a fan asking each of the women which superhero they would like to be. Williams chose Spider-Man for his agility and because he's not as in-your-face as other superheroes. Maslany picked Rafael from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for his accent. Beharie chose the Hulk so that she could really get on people if they pushed her buttons. Sagal wasn't sure if Caesar from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes qualified as a superhero, but she picked him anyway. Paulson selected Wolverine because "I look like that in the morning," and Dormer picked Batman because she finds his psychology fascinating.

You know what? These six women are all kind of superheroes already.

Ichabod is Snarky About the Banking Industry in New Sleepy Hollow Clip @ io9

Ichabod is Snarky About the Banking Industry in New Sleepy Hollow Clip

Oh, Ichabod. I don't what delights me more: 1) His confused but irate remonstrances against our modern way of life, 2) the fact that this new clip means season 2 of Sleepy Hollow is getting ever closer or 3) that chained pens and credit cards aren't even scratching the surface of America's financial crisis.

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Watch Outlander's hauntingly beautiful opening credits + entire SDCC panel here @ Blastr

<div id="file-141436" class="file file-image file-image-jpeg"> <div class="content"> <img src="http://www.blastr.com/sites/blastr/files/styles/media_thumbnail/public/outlander_keyart_1200_article_story_large_0.jpg?itok=JS5XoQft" width="100" height="100" alt="" title="" /> </div> </div> <p>Starz has released the opening credits for Ronald D. Moore's upcoming time-travel series <em>Outlander</em>. Oh, and you can also watch the entire San Diego Comic-Con panel right here, right now! How cool is that?</p><p>Written by Emmy-award-winning composer Bear McCreary (<em>Da Vinci’s Demons</em>, <em>Black Sails</em>, <em>Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.</em>, <em>The Walking Dead</em>), the hauntingly beautiful opening credits theme is an arrangement of the “Sky Boat Song” featuring the amazing vocals of Raya Yarbrough. You can go buy it on <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/outlander-main-title-theme/id903585323">iTunes here</a>.</p><p>The opening sequence -- which Starz unvealed with <em>Outlander</em> fans during yesterday’s Comic-Con premiere -- also has snippets of never-before-seen footage.</p><p>Have a look:</p><p><object id="flashObj" width="486" height="450" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0"><param name="movie" value="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&amp;isUI=1" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /><param name="flashVars" value="videoId=3698771618001&amp;playerID=673439623001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAA0Xi_s~,r1xMuE8k5NwJJtM9th7ulTVssP1QI3cp&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true" /><param name="base" value="http://admin.brightcove.com" /><param name="seamlesstabbing" value="false" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="swLiveConnect" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><embed src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&amp;isUI=1" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashvars="videoId=3698771618001&amp;playerID=673439623001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAA0Xi_s~,r1xMuE8k5NwJJtM9th7ulTVssP1QI3cp&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" width="486" height="450" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" swliveconnect="true" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash" /></object></p><p>And lo and behold! We <em>also</em> have the entire San Diego panel to share with y'all!</p><p>On hand during the panel were actors Graham McTavish (Douglas MacKenzie), Lotte Verbeek (Geillis Duncan), Tobias Menzies (Frank Randall/Black Jack Randall), Caitriona Balfe (Claire Randall), Sam Heughan (Jamie Fraser), Herself -- author Diana Gabaldon, and executive producer extraordinaire Ron D. Moore (<em>Battlestar Galactica</em>), who's totally rocking that kilt.</p><p>Have a look below and enjoy!</p><p><iframe width="640" height="360" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/zGQXVWBWrJ8?list=PLYg6DkgTt8JC6s2FHqTZI55kJm61w7TbE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p><p><em>Outlander</em> is set to premiere on Starz on Aug. 9.</p><p>(via Starz, <a href="http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/07/26/outlander-opening-credits/">Entertainment Weekly</a>, <a href="http://www.spoilertv.com/2014/07/outlander-comic-con-2014-full-panel.html">Spoiler TV</a>)</p>

These Insects Build Carapaces of Gold and Pearl @ io9

These Insects Build Carapaces of Gold and Pearl

The aquatic caddis fly begins its life in a larval stage, and must build an artificial carapace in order to survive into adulthood. When artist Hubert Dupras discovered that they build these cases out of whatever materials are at hand — including sticks and rocks — he had a strange idea.

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The cosplay of San Diego Comic-Con: Day 3 @ Blastr

We're heading into the home stretch for Comic-Con 2014, and with Saturday the biggest day for the convention, you knew the cosplay community would bring it ... and bring it they did. Check out our gallery of Saturday's best, and let us know your favorites in the comments, or on Twitter at @blastr!

The Hobbit trilogy bids a sentimental farewell to San Diego Comic-Con @ Blastr

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Peter Jackson has brought a Middle-earth movie to San Diego for the last time.

Jackson, screenwriter Philipa Boyens and cast members Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Andy Serkis, Elijah Wood and Graham McTavish all assembled in Hall H on Saturday morning (July 26) at Comic-Con for one final victory lap to promote this December's release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

They were joined by Stephen Colbert as moderator, who took the stage dressed as the Master of Laketown. Colbert is an unabashed fan of the Tolkien books and Jackson's movies, even down to reciting a poem from Tolkien by heart onstage (unlike many Hall H moderators, he knew what he was talking about). The presentation began with a video clip montage that looked back at the entire saga until now, including all three Lord of the Rings films and the two preceding Hobbit movies.

I won't lie: The Hobbit films have been a tremendous disappointment to me (and I loved all Tolkien's books and the Rings movies). But there's no questioning the fact that a lot of people still enjoy them very much, and the enthusiasm was clear in Hall H this morning.

The high point of the morning was a drop-dead hilarious blooper reel cobbled together from all of the movies that featured priceless items like Gandalf doing a strip-tease, Jackson and McKellen trading barbs on the set after McKellen flubs his lines, Hugo Weaving turning to confront Viggo Mortensen with his Agent Smith glasses on, and lots more hilarity that we can only hope appears on the mega-box set at some point in the future.

The real gem, however, was the first screening of the trailer for The Battle of the Five Armies, which had a darker, more somber tone than any previous Hobbit trailer and was even set to Billy Boyd's emotional "The Steward of Gondor (Mist and Shadow)" from The Return of the King. The effort to make parallels to that movie -- a final, massive battle and the presence of death looming over everyone -- was obvious, perhaps too much so, and the footage of armies massing and various characters in states of distress or conflict hammered home the analogy that much more. "Will you have peace or war?" Bard asks Thorin at one point. "I will have war," the dwarf leader replies.

As for the panel, Jackson revealed that he is still editing the film and they are still doing visual effects for it. When Colbert mentioned that he owed three more films (I'm not sure what exactly he was referring to, unless he meant an adaptation of The Silmarillion), Jackson quipped, “I’m sure if Warners could find a way to do that, they would certainly do it.”

Jackson also admitted that there were still a few excised scenes from The Lord of the Rings that had yet to be seen by the public, including one of a young Arwen and Aragorn, but that all the original footage was stored in a mountain somewhere (Peter Jackson, by the way, just seems permanently exhausted these days).

Of course I will go see The Battle of the Five Armies this December when it comes out -- the trailer definitely was impressive -- and there was a certain poignancy to seeing this entire saga celebrated one more time at Comic-Con. Are you looking forward to the last Hobbit film?

Return to the wasteland with epic Comic-Con trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road @ Blastr

Mad Max: Fury Road

Start your engines, because the first trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road isn't holding back.

It's been nearly 30 years since the last Mad Max movie, Beyond Thunderdome, and three years since writer/director George Miller began production on Fury Road, after decades of development hell. For a very long time it seemed we'd never see a Mad Max 4, but Fury Road is real, and it's hitting theaters next year. At San Diego Comic-Con this week, Miller and Warner Bros. Pictures unveiled the film's first trailer to a Hall H crowd who absolutely went nuts for it, and now it's online for all to see. 

So, is it as awesome as the Comic-Con audience led us to believe? Oh, hell yeah.

It's clear Miller hasn't lost his touch for practical car-chase madness, and with Fury Road he seems to be truly taking his powers into overdrive. The crashes, explosions and stunts displayed here are top-notch awesome, but there's also a beauty to it, from the overhead shot of the flares popping over the desert to the lonely view Max has in the opening seconds. If this footage is indicative of the rest of the film, this could be one of the best genre flicks of 2015. 

Mad Max: Fury Road stars Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron and Nicholas Hoult, and roars into theaters on May 15, 2015. After seeing this, that can't get here soon enough.

(Via Den of Geek)

Here's the First Mad Max Trailer, and It Will Make You a Believer @ io9

Now you can see first Mad Max: Fury Road trailer, unveiled yesterday at Comic-Con, with your own eyes. It's full of gorgeous deserts, blooming smoke bombs the color of bruises, and a giant dust storm that looms over the landscape like a terrestrial tsunami. Dystopia has never looked so desolate and fascinating.

Read more...

It's a demon-filled world in intense Comic-Con trailer for NBC's Constantine @ Blastr

John Constantine's a damn good exorcist, but by the looks of things he's going to have to start working overtime.

Like fellow new DC Comics-based shows The Flash and GothamConstantine's had a heavy presence at San Diego Comic-Con this year. On Saturday night DC and Warner Bros. screened a somewhat reworked version of the show's pilot for fans in San Diego, then released another trailer for the flick to the world. 

If you've watched the previous trailers for the series, you've seen a good bit of this footage before. There's John Constantine (Matt Ryan) meeting Liv (Lucy Griffiths) and explaining to her what her abilities can do; there's Manny (Harold Perrineau) landing on Earth and warning that something's "on the way"; there's the reveal of Doctor Fate's helmet; there's Constantine arguing with his a doctor in an asylum, exorcising a fellow asylum inmate; and so on.

There's also plenty of new footage, though, particularly footage focusing on the influx of souls in the world, many of them looking for human bodies to possess. When you take all that previously seen footage and intercut it with things like, for example, a boy who seems to be turning homicidal, and an evil-looking eye suddenly appearing in the middle of a computer monitor, the tone changes, and the stakes seem higher. Check it out.

Earlier trailers were definitely heavier on the dynamic between Constantine and Liv, but since we now know Liv isn't going to be around for very long, it seems this trailer would much rather give us more of the monsters. And it works. It's easily the darkest of the trailers so far, and it plays up the idea that Constantine and his gang are going to be surrounded by these dark forces all the time. It also, fortunately, doesn't hide the humor altogether. The final scene between John and Chas was a nice touch.

Constantine premieres Oct. 24 on NBC.

(Via Warner Bros. TV)

Extended Arrow trailer reveals a HUGE new DC villain for season 3 @ Blastr

Oliver Queen is definitely going to have his hands full next season on Arrow.

The Arrow team brought plenty of teasers about season three with them to San Diego Comic-Con this year. During the show's panel on Friday we got a first look at footage from the new season, along with hints about Thea and Laurel's futures, a better look at Roy as Arsenal, what we can expect in the flashbacks to Hong Kong, and even a very cool clue regarding Felicity's backstory. That might have been enough to keep fans sated until the show returns in the fall, but Arrow didn't stop there.

At a Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment event Saturday night another, extended trailer for Arrow season three was unveiled, and in its final seconds it teased the arrival, finally, of a villain whose presence has been felt from afar for some time on the show. Check out the trailer and the villain reveal:

Oh, yes. It seems that season three will finally bring us the Demon's Head in the flesh. Ra's al Ghul has reportedly not been cast for the series yet, and we don't know exactly when during season three he'll turn up, or where. When he does show his face, though, he'll be the biggest DC Comics villain the show's ever introduced, and he'll reportedly bring with him a different kind of villain confrontation for Oliver.

"We wanted to present Oliver with a new challenge with a villain that would speak to what Oliver was going through emotionally," executive producer Andrew Kreisberg said. "This season, Oliver is wrestling with, 'Is there a life for me beyond being the Arrow?' What the Season 3 villain comes to Oliver and says is, 'The reason you're not fully successful as the Arrow is because you're holding onto Oliver Queen. I have let go of my identity and embraced my cause and you should do the same.' It's a whole new thing where the enemy actually, in some ways, admires the Arrow and what he's doing. He just thinks that the Arrow is thinking too small."

That sort of admiration sounds very Ra's al Ghul, and it's reminiscent of the character's relationship with Batman in Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins. How that goal translates to the screen, and where it takes Starling City going forward, is still something we'll have to wait to find out, but whatever happens, it's clear that Arrow is bringing even more ambitious storytelling to its third year.

Arrow returns Oct. 8 on The CW.

(Via TV Guide)

Book Of Life Is The First Movie To Honor—Not Steal From—Day Of The Dead @ io9

Book Of Life Is The First Movie To Honor—Not Steal From—Day Of The Dead

Day of the Dead is everywhere these days; calaveras have been adopted by everyone from punks to Pixar. But for The Book of Life director Jorge Gutierrez, the holiday isn't just about the cool visuals; it's also intensely personal.

Read more...

Humanity's Last Hope Is Running Out Of Breath In The Movie Air @ io9

Produced by The Walking Dead's Robert Kirkman, Air stars TWD's Norman Reedus and Djimon Hounsou as maintenance workers in a silo containing the remnants of cryogenically frozen humanity after the air turns poison. As this first trailer reveals, something goes wrong, and the two workers have to fix it... fast.

Read more...

First Impressions: Harvey Bullock Steals Gotham From Jim Gordon @ io9

First Impressions: Harvey Bullock Steals Gotham From Jim Gordon

We saw the Gotham pilot last night at Comic-Con, along with a couple thousand other people. It was not as bad as we feared nor as good as we hoped. But Donal Logue flat-out killed the role of Harvey Bullock. He's so good, you'll wish Jim Gordon wasn't the main character.

Read more...

Marvel sets Guardians of the Galaxy sequel for 2017 @ Sci-Fi Storm

Speaking of the Guardians of the Galaxy, which opens this weekend, Marvel also announced the Guardians SDCC panel featuring star Chris Pratt and director James Gunn that they have already set a sequel for the movie, which is slotted for July 28, 2017.

Ascension: An Alternate History About a Planned Community in Space @ io9

Ascension: An Alternate History About a Planned Community in Space

New series Ascension has just finished filming on its first few episodes, and we learned a lot about it at Comic-Con on Saturday. It sounds extremely promising and got us excited for what's to come.

Read more...

You Know What Today Needs? Slime. @ io9

You Know What Today Needs? Slime.

Goopey, slippery, stretchy slime is easy to make, and way too much fun.

Read more...

We Know The Team's New Identities On Person Of Interest @ io9

Here's the sneak peek of season 4 that was shown ahead of the Person of Interest panel at Comic-Con yesterday. Finch and Reese's new alter egos are relatively pedestrian, but Root and Shaw's prove that the Machine has a sense of humor.

Read more...

Crimson Peak, Warcraft highlight Legendary's SDCC panel @ Blastr

Warcraft

Sure, Legendary made news with Godzilla and King Kong today, but the company's Comic-Con panel offered a few other treats.

With the announcement that Godzilla 2 was a go (now with more monsters!) and that King Kong was going to return to the screen in 2016's Skull Island, you would think that was enough in itself. But Legendary also previewed several more features, starting with Guillermo Del Toro's Crimson Peak.

The man himself came out to introduce a trailer for the movie, saying that Crimson Peak was offered to him by Universal (which now is home to Legendary) and that its combination of Gothic sensibility and "great beauty" made it the perfect vehicle for him to return to the kind of horror movie he did early in his career, like Cronos and The Devil's Backbone.

And boy, was he right: The trailer showed off what looks like an absolutely gorgeous movie, filmed with deep, rich colors and lush Gothic details. The trailer pushed the concept of the house itself being a living entity -- which Hiddleston hints at in his narration -- and the house itself, a full three-story set that was constructed on a soundstage in Toronto, is not just stunning to look at but positively reeks with menace and dread.

There was also a heavily romantic side to the footage and plenty of Victorian costuming and settings -- along with the movie's title emerging out of a vat of blood and a blackened, ghostly hand clutching someone's shoulder in the last shot.

I'm a longtime del Toro fan and, even feeling like his recent movies have been uneven, this trailer got me totally excited and intrigued for Crimson Peak.

Ever the trickster, del Toro spent his last minutes onstage asking fans to vocally show their support for (a) Hellboy 3 and (b) At the Mountains of Madness. If the response was anything to go by, Universal and Legendary should be gearing up for those now.

Legendary also previewed Blackhat, a cyber-thriller from the great director Michael Mann, whose list of films includes Manhunter, The Last of the Mohicans, Heat, The Insider, Collateral and Miami Vice, among others. The movie stars Chris Hemsworth as an imprisoned black-hat hacker who is freed in exchange for helping the government or the FBI or someone (it's really not clear) track down a cyber-terrorist. 

Movies based around computers are always a hard sell, since it's not very exciting to film someone sitting at a desktop tapping away. Mann seems to realize that, and despite saying in the brief discussion of the film (for which he also brought out the strapping Hemsworth) that he did a ton of research on cyber-crime, the trailer we saw (first time the public has seen anything from this, by the way) had a heavy emphasis on action, with a lot of running and chasing involving Hemsworth and others.

The movie is a rather surprise choice for the geek-heavy Legendary slate, but it was followed up by something much more in the company's wheelhouse: the premiere of a new trailer for the videogame adaptation Warcraft.

I have to tell you this: I know nothing about Warcraft and have never played the game, and I also know that most movies made from videogames tend to be disappointments both for fans of the games and regular viewers. I don't know if Warcraft will break that streak, but at the very least it looks like a real movie.

The teaser, introduced by director Duncan Jones (Source Code), featured an astounding array of eye-catching and colorful imagery, including a vault full of ornate weapons, a storm-tossed countryside and a massive throne. But it also featured an earnest and sad conversation between a human and an orc (the two opposing forces in the story) in which they reflected on fatherhood, of all things, and what they've sacrificed to protect their king and their people, respectively.

Jones is a smart filmmaker, and it seems he wantes to imbue Warcraft with meaning beyond just getting to the highest level you can while playing. But that doesn't mean he's skimping on the action. The footage in the teaser (which really was fairly brief) featured all kinds of craziness, including people shooting light beams out of their hands, humans and orcs engaged in brutal combat, and even a human diving to the ground on a giant eagle-like bird to do battle with an equally tremendous orc. 

Jones said in his brief comments that the trick of adapting the 20-year-old videogame to the screen was making it "accessible to everyone," adding, "We really want to make this an origin story. We want to show how the world of Azeroth falls into conflict between orcs and humans." The theme of war and its costs is not something you find in every videogame adaptation, but Jones might be savvy enough to see the potential in the subject matter.

Filming wrapped two months ago, but there's nearly two years of post-production ahead, with Jones saying, "It's like trying to make Avatar and The Lord of the Rings at the same time." Admittedly, the footage was striking and piqued my interest a little, but as a non-gamer I still had trouble getting excited about it. What about you? Are you looking forward to Warcraft?

Brian K. Vaughn And Fiona Staples Reveal What's Ahead For Saga @ io9

Brian K. Vaughn And Fiona Staples Reveal What's Ahead For Saga

The Comic-Con panel for Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples' comic Saga was every bit as charming as you'd expect. The pair talked about the next few issues of the comic, the importance of killing off characters, why Slave Girl is a critique of Slave Leia, and the one Saga moment Fiona Staples initially refused to draw.

Read more...

All The Arrow, Flash, Gotham & Constantine News and Trailers @ io9

All The Arrow, Flash, Gotham & Constantine News and Trailers

Saturday night at Comic-Con was host to DC's night of television, and, in addition to showing the pilots of The Flash, Constantine , and Gotham, DC discussed how each of those shows would take advantage of the huge world of comic book characters available to them. Plus, new trailers for all four shows!

Read more...

Weekly New Releases – July 29, 2014 @ Bureau 42

This week sees several James Garner films. Those released in physical media were on the schedule before his recent passing, so those are coincidental. The digital releases strike me as rapid releases hoping to ride the wave of nostalgia following his death.

Adventure Time: Princess Day
Amazon
  • DVD: US, CAN
The Big Chill (Criterion Collection)
Amazon
  • Blu-Ray/DVD: US, CAN
Caddyshack
Amazon
  • Digital: US
Dr. Slump – The Original Movies (Complete Collection)
Amazon
  • DVD: US, CAN
Rightstuf
  • DVD: US
Comments Alex: Before Akira Toriyama wrote Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, he did a gag anime and manga called Dr. Slump. This set has all five of the films that were spun off from the show.
Dracula: Dead and Loving It
Amazon
  • Digital: US
Duel at Diablo
Amazon
  • Blu-Ray: US, CAN
  • DVD: US, CAN
Comments Starring James Garner
The Garfield Show: Best Friends Forever
Amazon
  • DVD: US, CAN
Grace Kelly Collection
Amazon
  • DVD: US, CAN
Comments Blaine: Includes High Society, Dial M for Murder (a personal favorite), The Country Girl, The Bridges at Toko-Ri, To Catch a Thief and Mogambo.
Lullaby
Amazon
  • DVD: US, CAN
Mark Twain’s Roughing It
Amazon
  • DVD: US, CAN
Marty
Amazon
  • Blu-Ray: US, CAN
  • DVD: US, CAN
Midsomer Murders: Set 24
Amazon
  • Blu-Ray: US, CAN
  • DVD: US, CAN
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic – Keys of Friendship
Amazon
  • DVD: US, CAN
Mystery Science Theatre 3000: XXX
Amazon
  • DVD: US, CAN
Comments Includes The Black Scorpion, Outlaw (of Gor), The Projected Man and It Lives By Night
Noah
Amazon
  • Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital: US, CAN
  • DVD: US, CAN
The Other Woman
Amazon
  • Blu-Ray/Digital: US, CAN
  • DVD: US, CAN
Paris Blues
Amazon
  • Blu-Ray: US, CAN
  • DVD: US, CAN
Problem Children Complete Collection
Amazon
  • Blu-Ray: US, CAN
  • DVD: US, CAN
Rightstuf
  • Blu-Ray: US
  • DVD: US
Comments Alex: The full title is “Problem Children Are Coming From Another World, Aren’t They?” This is a semi-post apocalyptic anime series set on another world where humanity is driven to the brink of extinction due to a war with demons. The surviving humans have started bringing in young people with special abilities from other worlds to come and help – including Earth.
Protector 2
Amazon
  • Blu-Ray: US, CAN
  • DVD: US, CAN
The Ransom of Red Chief
Amazon
  • DVD: US, CAN
Senran Kagura: Ninja Flash
Amazon
  • Blu-Ray/DVD Limited Edition: US, CAN
  • Blu-Ray/DVD: US, CAN
Rightstuf
  • Blu-Ray/DVD Limited Edition: US
  • Blu-Ray/DVD: US
Comments Alex: Fanservice-heavy ninja anime. The limited edition features a chipboard artbox.
Separate Tables
Amazon
  • Blu-Ray: US, CAN
  • DVD: US, CAN
Teen Titans Go! – Couch Crusaders: Season 1, Part 2
Amazon
  • DVD: US, CAN
Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery
Amazon
  • Blu-Ray: US, CAN
Vampire Knight: The Complete Collection
Amazon
  • DVD: US, CAN
Rightstuf
  • DVD: US
Comments Alex: Shojo reverse harem drama anime. Contains seasons 1 & 2.
WWE Presents Money In The Bank 2014
Amazon
  • DVD: US, CAN

Finally, the picks of the week. Blaine says, “although I haven’t seen all of the episodes yet, I’d say Twin Peaks is the best of the bunch.” Alex says, “Fans of Twin Peaks should really get the boxed set. Other than that, I’m interested in checking out The Protector 2 – I enjoyed the action scenes in the first film, and I’m interested in seeing how this one plays out.”

First footage of Frozen's Elsa, see what's next for Once Upon a Time from SDCC @ Blastr

The ABC fairy tale series Once Upon a Time is bringing in one of Disney’s biggest (and newest) characters next season, thanks to Frozen. Gotta love synergy. Want to get a look at Elsa in the flesh? 

Yes, next season of the hit series will see the introduction of Elsa, and they’ve cast none other than Fringe fan favorite Georgina Haig to play the title role. She shows up at the very end of the teaser, which is otherwise loaded with massive set pieces, sword fights and even a wicked witch or two.

Robert Carlyle, who plays Rumple, teased that his character will continue to struggle with his darker side once the series returns this fall. Which is good, because Carlyle is typically at his best when playing a few different angles and showing the depth and duality:

"Rumple is such a complex character. He's an addict, and he's addicted to power and addicted to magic.”

With so many relationships up in the air heading into next season, producer Edward Kitsis also took a moment to define exactly what constitutes “love” and a “soulmate” in the Once-verse. It’s an interesting definition, and might offer a few hints at what’s to come:

“True love is when you truly love somebody, and soulmate is the idea that there’s only one person for you. … On our show, we’ve learned that happy endings aren’t always what they expect. If you love somebody but it doesn’t work out, you should love again.” 

Other tidbits of note: Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) will be sporting regular clothes this season, which is good, since Hook’s coat weighs 50+ pounds; though they think it’d be cool, don’t expect a musical episode anytime soon; and the Evil Queen will resurface soon-ish.

(Via Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Hero Complex, TV Guide)

Grimm crew talks resurrecting Renard, new Wesen in S4 + Nick's (lack of) powers @ Blastr

As it heads into year four, the little monster-hunting series Grimm has become a solid performer over at NBC. What makes it so good? Turns out the writers actively try to write themselves into corners. It’s just all part of the plan.

While chatting with the crowd at San Diego Comic-Con, co-creator David Greenwalt admitted their season-to-season plan often changes after some brainstorming, especially when fellow co-creator Jim Kouf starts bouncing ideas off the wall:

“We’re supposed to go [at the beginning of] every year and tell our betters at the network what they heck we’re doing up in our little office. Every year we have a plan, and every year [co-creator] Jim [Kouf] scares the hell out of me by saying, ‘Wouldn’t it be better if we did this instead…?’”

Kouf added: “We keep writing ourselves into corners, and then we have to figure out how to get out of them.”

The topic of Captain Renard’s (Sasha Roiz) fate was also a hot topic, and though everyone remained pretty cagey as to what will come next when season four arrives, the fact that Roiz was a part of the panel was a fairly telling tidbit. Right? Here’s what Roiz had to say about his alter ego’s future:

“I wouldn’t have faulted [the writers] if they said, ‘That’s the end of you,’ cause I know that makes for great television. I think we’re gonna try to find some sort of interesting way to bring him back to life.”

Another big change we’ll be dealing with next season is Nick’s (David Giuntoli) loss of his Grimm powers. According to Giuntoli, it’ll have a major effect on his character moving forward, as he has to lean on others for help and protection:

Giuntoli:  “Trubel’s now my seeing-eye Grimm, which is nice. I would hope I get the powers back on some level. Domestic life is much easier when you’re not having to kill monsters.”

Bree Turner (Rosalee): “We are exposed now as Wesen harboring this Grimm. We also put ourselves on the line at the wedding showing the world we’re a modern couple in the community. We’re changing the rules and not subscribing to the old-fashioned rules.”

Other notes: Don’t expect answers to the key saga, that’s coming in season five; producer David Greenwalt promises some “great new” (and “disgusting”) Wesen this season; Juliette’s character was originally conceived as a baker;  expect a “complicated” honeymoon; and they shoot in Portland because it's reminiscent of the Black Forest in Germany.

The fourth season of Grimm debuts Oct. 24 on NBC.

(Via TV Line, Entertainment Weekly)

Didn't make it to SDCC? Low-quality copy of the Batman v Superman footage just leaked @ Blastr

Sure, there are thousands upon thousands of people at San Diego Comic-Con — but not all of us are that lucky. So if you’re jonesing for some Batman v Superman footage, here’s the next best thing to being there.

The Warner Bros. and DC panel brought the first footage from Zack Snyder’s upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which showed the two superheroes giving each other steely glares in the rainy skyline of Gotham City. If you want more than just a tantalizing description, the first leaked clip from the panel has arrived online, showing off the footage.

Yes, the quality sucks, but you can still plainly make out the scene as Supes floats in the air and Batfleck — rocking his battle armor straight out of The Dark Knight Returns — looks on. Even in subpar quality, it looks amazing. Sure, fans sometimes question Snyder’s filmmaking abilities, but there’s no denying the guy knows how to film very pretty pictures.

Check out the clip below, and hurry, because who knows how long it’ll last:

(Via Movie Web)

Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man light up Marvel panel at Comic-Con @ Blastr

"This is the end of the path I started us on." -- Tony Stark

Those ominous words are spoken by Robert Downey Jr. in the earthshaking footage from Avengers: Age of Ultron that was world premiered tonight in Hall H at Comic-Con in front of 7,000 screaming, delirious fans.

The footage, unveiled near the end of the hourlong Marvel Studios presentation, starts lightly enough with the Avengers (including Don Cheadle as Rhodey!) hanging out in Avengers Tower, with each of the male heroes taking a turn at lifting Mjolnir. None of them can do it, of course, although Cap (Chris Evans) comes damn close to wiping the self-satisfied smile off Thor's (Chris Hemsworth) face.

But all the joking and teasing ends a moment later as a loud, intense mechanical whine slices through the air and a broken, shattered Iron Man suit of armor drifts into view and begins speaking to them -- in the voice of Ultron (James Spader), who says that the "only path to peace ... is your extinction."

From there, the footage goes all-out: scenes of global destruction, hundreds of people running and screaming, and the Avengers fighting unseen assailants and each other. Among the fast succession of shots were Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) cowering on the deck of the Quinjet, Thor lifting Stark by the throat, Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) stalking through a train with red fire blazing in her hand, Black Widow (Scarlet Johansson) launching her motorcycle out of the bottom of the jet and the Widow touching hands with the Hulk, all as "I've Got No Strings" plays underneath. And yes, we get a good look at Tony in the Hulkbuster suit going head to head with the Hulk in a colossal battle on a devastated city street (that got a tremendous cheer from the crowd). It all builds to an eerie shot of Ultron, red eyes blazing and mouth moving in a malevolent, robotic grin as he says, "Ain't no strings on me."

Then the title flashes across the screen and we get one last, haunting shot: Stark standing over the desolate, rocky surface of another planet, dead Avengers all around him, and Cap's shield at his feet, smashed in two.

I would say that the footage left the audience speechless, but they probably heard the roar of this crowd down in Tijuana.

Sadly, director Joss Whedon was laid up at home following knee surgery, but the rest of the Avengers (except a very pregnant Scarlett Johansson) were out in force: Downey, Jeremy Renner, Hemsworth, Evans, Ruffalo, Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Spader and Paul Bettany all came out (although we did not get to see any footage of him as the Vision).

It's just too bad that moderator Chris Hardwick spent most of their brief time asking all of them how it felt to be at Comic-Con instead of any substantial questions about the movie. Best part: Asked what he would like to see happen to Thor going forward, Hemsworth said: "Turn him into a woman ... I think this could be my Oscar."

Asked about playing Ultron, Spader responded, “I play an 8-foot robot in this movie, and I’ve always played humans until now ... shooting this film was as startling and surprising and challenging and exciting as coming to Comic-Con for the first time."

Before the Avengers portion of the panel was the Ant-Man portion, with Marvel head Kevin Feige joined by Paul Rudd (Scott Lang), Michael Douglas (Hank Pym), Evangeline Lilly (Hope Van Dyne) and Corey Stoll (Darren Cross/Yellowjacket), along with new director Peyton Reed. Reed revealed he had been coming to Comic-Con for 20 years, while the great Douglas also sought to burnish his nerd credentials by reciting Ant-Man's history (although this probably wasn't an audience that needed a refresher).

Douglas also laid out the plot as being about Pym enlisting Lang to help him with a heist in his own company, which Cross has begun taking in a direction Pym doesn't care for. Cross "does, at some point, obtain some Pym particles," noted Feige.

Although the movie has not started shooting yet, they did bring a piece of film that looked like a polished piece of preproduced effects visualization. It started with a tracking shot through an empty lab, over which Douglas intones, "Superheroes -- what a g**damn joke," before we cut to a miniaturized Lang in the suit running across a rooftop and, with Pym guiding him remotely, hitching an escape ride on the back of a flying ant after some trouble getting the suit to work properly. It was funny, adventurous and hopefully indicative of the spirit of the rest of the film, which begins shooting in two weeks in Atlanta.

For a final flourish, Josh Brolin -- who plays Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy -- came out at the very end of the hour with a toy Infinity Gauntlet on his hand, after which Chris Pratt and James Gunn confirmed via video message from London that Guardians 2 will arrive on July 28, 2017.

But here's what we didn't get: No Doctor Strange casting news, no confirmation of any other Phase Three movies except for Guardians 2, and not even subtitles for Cap 3 or Thor 3. And even some of the Avengers footage was screened in the U.K. last week. While the screened clip blew the roof off, there's a definite sense that Marvel's usual showstopping Saturday evening Comic-Con blowout was a little bit of a letdown in terms of real surprises.

Avengers: Age of Ultron Footage Shatters Our Worlds And Blows Our Minds @ io9

Avengers: Age of Ultron Footage Shatters Our Worlds And Blows Our Minds

Today at the Marvel panel at San Diego Comic-Con, we saw Ultron in action. And we met our new Thanos, Josh Brolin! And we witnessed the downfall of the Avengers in Age of Ultron. Plus new Ant-Man footage... and a Guardians of the Galaxy 2 release date.

Read more...

Sneaking Into the Science Training for New S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents @ io9

Sneaking Into the Science Training for New S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents

Today S.H.I.E.L.D. hosted a science training and technical orientation session hidden in plain sight as the Marvel's Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. Superhero Science Analysis panel. Kicking off with an ominous, "Doors secured," the panel was a solid hour of the highest intensity technical geekiery.

Read more...

The Nigerian government has confirmed that there are cases of Ebola in Lagos, the country's megacity @ io9

The Nigerian government has confirmed that there are cases of Ebola in Lagos, the country's megacity. This represents a major expansion for the Ebola pandemic, which entered Nigeria because an infected person took an airplane into the country. It's unknown how many people they were in contact with en route.

Read more...

Joe Hill's Locke & Key comic-book series to become a movie trilogy @ Blastr

When you think of the words "Locke & Key," perhaps you're thinking of the series of comic books by acclaimed horror writer Joe Hill(strom King). Or maybe you you're remembering the TV pilot ordered by Fox in 2011 yet not picked up for a series. But soon, when you think of Locke & Key, you'll be thinking of something more large scale. That's because it's about to become a trilogy of films from Universal.

At San Diego Comic-Con, Hill announced that the comic-book series will be adapted by Albert Torres, who wrote the little-seen 2008 film Henry Poole Is Here. Neither a release date nor stars have been announced.

According to Bloody-Disgusting

The incredible “Locke & Key” tells of three siblings who, after the gruesome murder of their father, move to their ancestral home in Maine. They soon discover the house has magical keys that give the bearers a vast array of powers and abilities. Little do they know (but they soon will) that a devious demon also wants the keys.

As with many works of horror, Locke & Key is violent, but the violence is off-panel, leading the reader to fill in the blanks with his own gruesome images. You can read the first pages yourself here

Hill is having a good year. This Halloween, we'll see the release of a film based on one of his novels, Horns, which looks like off-kilter fun

A Tantalizing Tidbit of Science Trivia @ io9

A Tantalizing Tidbit of Science Trivia

Rumour is we recently passed a threshold where we have now found as many celestial objects as there are people who were ever born. Sounds weirdly true. But is it a myth or fact? I decided to investigate.

Read more...

Trailer for videogame Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor looks as epic as the films @ Blastr

<div id="file-141106" class="file file-image file-image-png"> <div class="content"> <img src="http://www.blastr.com/sites/blastr/files/styles/media_thumbnail/public/MiddleEarthShadowofMordor.png?itok=lYYLv0KH" width="100" height="100" alt="" title="" /> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">The only thing more cringe-inducing than the phrase "a film based on the videogame" is the phrase "a videogame based on the film." That's because videogames based on movies usually have such tight deadlines that the developers tend to cut every possible corner so that the final product comes out pear-shaped. But now we've seen a story trailer for <i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor</i>, and we're not just pleasantly surprised; we're actually cautiously optimistic.<o:p></o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal">As we see in the trailer, we play a well-armored ranger who teams up with a ghostly stranger. 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UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 6"></w:LsdException> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 6"></w:LsdException> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 6"></w:LsdException> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 6"></w:LsdException> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 6"></w:LsdException> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 6"></w:LsdException> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 6"></w:LsdException> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="19" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Emphasis"></w:LsdException> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="21" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis"></w:LsdException> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="31" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference"></w:LsdException> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="32" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference"></w:LsdException> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="33" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title"></w:LsdException> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" Name="Bibliography"></w:LsdException> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading"></w:LsdException> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Gill Sans"; mso-fareast-language:JA;} </style> <![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> <!--EndFragment--></p><p class="MsoNormal"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor</i> will be available for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on Sept. 30, 2014.<o:p></o:p></p><p class="MsoNormal"></p><p class="MsoNormal">Via <a href="http://www.nerdist.com/2014/07/the-wraiths-identity-revealed-in-new-middle-earth-shadow-of-mordor-trailer/">Nerdist</a>.</p>

Falling Skies producers promises things get 'gnarly' later this season at SDCC @ Blastr

Steven Spielberg’s alien-invasion drama Falling Skies is currently barreling through its twisty fourth season at TNT, but the cast and crew promise things are about to get even crazier. 

The series has been through a few showrunners during its tenure, and when Battlestar Galactica alum David Eick took over this year, you could expect some big changes — and, boy, has he delivered so far. Eick has turned much of the show on its ear, throwing in new alien twists and locales as he shapes the story through his lens.

One big change was the addition of Lexi’s mini-utopia and the prison cities, and Eick explained that those starkly different places were a way for the writers to explore different “worlds” as they worked to bring the scattered cast of characters back together:

“In Tom’s world we were in darkness. Lexi’s world—it was light. It was almost like Munchkinland. In Anne’s world it was very gritty but stripped down.”

We’ve also started to see hints that the Espheni, aka the invading alien army, is dealing with some civil war within their own ranks. Eick said that’s an arc he wanted to dig into, and that concept will play a part in the remainder of season four and carry over into the show’s fifth and final season:

“These characters are not of one mind. They’re not just a hive-like simplistic being. They might have differences with one another. They might have feelings for one another. They might have jealousies that could get in the way of their agenda. In season 5 we’ll explore that further.”

Eick said he also wants to play around with the genetic-splicing angles they’ve been working in this season, to work up some “new variations on existing species” that he hopes will “scare the sh-t” out of viewers. We’ve already seen some of that in recent episodes, and Eick promised there’ll be more “terrifying” hybrid creatures to come.

Other tidbits of note: Lexi (Scarlett Byrne) will be going through a change that involves a glowing orange cocoon; and expect more from the mildly icky Ben-Maggie-Hal love triangle; Eick promises the rest of season four is going to get "gnarly."

Falling Skies is airing Sunday nights on TNT.

(Via Entertainment Weekly)

Coolest Comic-Con Cosplay, Day 3: Getting Crazier and More Amazing @ io9

Everybody put on their very best cosplay for the weekend at Comic-Con, and it showed. Here are some of the most breathtaking and creative (and funny) costumes we saw.

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Pit Filled With Thousands Of Ice Age Bones Will Be Opened To Scientists @ io9

Pit Filled With Thousands Of Ice Age Bones Will Be Opened To Scientists

A sinkhole in Wyoming where countless Ice Age animals fell to their deaths is finally being opened to scientists. A veritable paleontological trove, the 85-foot-deep pit contains the bones of tens of thousands of animals – some of which lived more than 100,000 years ago.

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Marvel announces titles and creative teams for three new Star Wars comics @ Blastr

In January 2015, Marvel Comics will return to the Star Wars universe, and these are the writers and artists who will take us there.

Ever since we heard that Marvel would get the Star Wars comic-book license back from Dark Horse (now that both Marvel and Lucasfilm are under the Disney umbrella), we've been waiting to see what the House of Ideas would do with the characters and locales of a galaxy far, far away. First we got the official news that Marvel will reprint its original Star Wars books in hefty new Omnibus editions, then we heard rumors that one of the planned new Star Wars comics would be a Princess Leia solo series. Now, at last, we officially know where Marvel will kick off its new Star Wars adventures.

At the annual San Diego Comic-Con Cup O' Joe panel headed by Marvel Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada on Saturday, three new Star Wars series were unveiled, along with the writer and artist for each series. All three books will take place between Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, in the midst of the Rebellion's struggle, and all three feature some of Marvel's biggest talents.

First, we've got a series simply titled Star Wars, from writer Jason Aaron (Thor: God of ThunderOriginal Sin) and artist John Cassaday (Uncanny Avengers, Astonishing X-Men). That series will, as you might expect, follow Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo and friends as they battle the Galactic Empire. Then we've got Star Wars: Darth Vader from writer Kieron Gillen (Young AvengersIron Man) and artist Salvador Larroca (Invincible Iron ManUncanny X-Men), with covers by Adi Granov (Iron Man, The Amazing Spider-Man), which will chronicle the events in the Star Wars universe through the eyes of its most iconic villain. And finally we've got that rumored Leia book, the five-issue miniseries Star Wars: Princess Leia by writer Mark Waid (Daredevil, Indestructible Hulk) and artist Terry Dodson (Uncanny X-MenDefenders), which will follow Leia's journey in the aftermath of Alderaan's destruction. 

All three series will debut early next year, when Marvel officially takes over the Star Wars comic-book license. Star Wars will hit stores in January, followed by Darth Vader in February, and Princess Leia in March. And to get us extra stoked for these books, Marvel released promo art for each, which we've placed in the gallery below for your viewing pleasure.

So, before Episode VII hits theaters, it sounds like we'll have a lot of reading to do (and we don't expect Marvel to stop at three comics). Get your pull lists ready, comics fans.

UPDATE: Just a few hours after these titles were announced, we've now got some unlettered, uncolored preview pages from Star Wars #1 (via Bleeding Cool), featuring Han and Chewie deep in Imperial territory. So check those out in the gallery too.

(Via ComicsAlliance)

Everything You Need To Know About Marvel's New Star Wars Comics @ io9

Everything You Need To Know About Marvel's New Star Wars Comics

Marvel's plans for their new Star Wars comics were easier to come by than the plans for the Death Star. Joe Quesada revealed the details of the series first three titles — Star Wars, Princess Leia and Darth Vader — all due early next year, and all taking place after the events of A New Hope.

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Movie Review – Hercules (2014) @ Bureau 42

The latest swords & sandal movie featuring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson hit theaters this weekend with Hercules, based on the graphic novel Hercules: The Thracian Wars. The film wasn’t screened for critics, which usually is a bad sign, but sometimes, the featured films turn out better than expected. How did things turn out for Hercules?

Cast & Crew

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Hercules
Ian McShane as Amphiaraus
John Hurt as Lord Cotys
Rufus Sewell as Autolycus
Aksel Hennie as Tydeus
Ingrid Bolsø Berdal as Atalanta
Reece Ritchie as Iolaus
Tobias Santelmann as Rheseus

Written by Ryan Condal and Evan Spiliotopoulos
Based on the comic Hercules: The Thracian Wars by Steve Moore
Directed by Brett Ratner

The Premise

Hercules and his band of companions – Amphiaraus the seer, Autolycus the rogue, Tydeus the man-beast, Atalanta the Amazon, and Iolaus the storyteller – are hired by Lord Cotys of Thrace to help his army defeat a rampaging warlord who is menacing his people, Rheseus. However, with much of the Thracian army defeated, Hercules must train what remains of the Thracian army (a rag-tag group of refugees and conscripts) into a force that can protect the kingdom.

High Points

This is a movie that doesn’t feel like it insults my intelligence. This isn’t to say the film doesn’t use cliches, or have particular points that, in retrospect, I’d consider dumb. However, when the film puts forward the idea that Herc isn’t actually a demigod, but just an ordinary man, albeit a very strong man, it sticks with it, makes it work, and when they decide to put some form of question on this point, they do so subtly.

Additionally, Dwayne Johnson is the best actor to play Hercules on screen. He has the visible physical strength that Steve Reeves and Lou Ferrigno had/have, but with more charisma and acting breadth than Kevin Sorbo did. Johnson has such screen presence that you buy that all these people would be following him not because he’s where the money is, but because they think of him as part of their surrogate family. The fact that the supporting cast has such great charisma with Johnson helps a lot too.

Low Points

The film’s second big reveal - that the king of Athens drugged Hercules’ wine and killed his family with his trained wolfhounds, comes out of nowhere, with no clues suggesting that it’s coming. The first twist has a enough clever and well written foreshadowing that I didn’t see the twist coming in the theater, but I could see the clues after replaying the film in my head. Considering this film leaves space open for a sequel, I’d have rather that second plot thread used as the focus for a sequel.

The Scores

Originality: There have been a lot of films made on the Hercules myths. This film’s take on it feels the most unique. Again, there are plot elements that have been taken from other films (like the Seven Samurai), but these concepts are ones that are re-used because they work. 4/6

Story: This film’s story isn’t particularly deep, but it is cleverly written. 4/6.

Effects: The effects we get in this film are generally not flashy. We have a few CGI critters in the listeners-minds-eye view sequences where some of the Twelve Labors are described, but the majority of the effects in the film are for crowd shots, digital matte paintings, and for some arrows and other projectiles. The less flashy scenes are really subtly done, and play into how the story is more grounded in reality. 4/6

Production: The sets and costumes are very well designed, as are the sound effects. My particularly favorite bit I like is the burn makeup on Aksel Henne’s face, which does a lot to sell his character’s background. 4/6

Acting: This is certainly the best acting performance of Dwayne Johnson’s career, in terms of the emotional range he displays. He and the other members of the band have tremendous chemistry, such that I’d like to see them in a movie together again. 5/6

Emotional Response: This is a very fun movie. I get the impression that the cast really enjoyed making this movie together, and that rapport carries over to the tone of the movie itself. 5/6

Overall: This is a solidly put together swords & sandal film, and probably one of the best films of the genre. Is it going to down as one of the greatest films in the history of cinema? No. Is this a movie that is worth checking out on a matinee showing while you waiting for Guardians of the Galaxy to come out next week? Absolutely. 5/6

In total, Hercules (2014) gets 31 out of 42.

 

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iZombie's Rob Thomas + Diane Ruggiero-Wright on building the perfect zombie show @ Blastr

The iZombie DC/Vertigo comic book created by Chris Roberson and Mike Allred was a trippy and strange detour from the typical zombie affair. So how would it translate to television under the CW umbrella, which has recently opened up new avenues of science fiction and genre television?

They hope iZombie will feature the next great woman of sass in genre television, following the path paved by Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars. So who better to run the show than Mars co-creators Rob Thomas and Diane Ruggiero-Wright? They appeared at Comic-Con International along with cast members Rose McIver, Malcolm Goodwin, David Anders, Robert Buckley and Rahul Kohli to show a brief 15-minute preview of the series to fans were wondering, "How different is it going to be?"

"I'm a big fan of the comic, and I love it, and it's funny because Chris Roberson wrote it as a TV show in mind," Ruggiero-Wright said. "But I don't know how you translate Ellie the 1960's ghosts or Spot the were-terrier without a ton of money. I don't know how you do that effectively. There's so much in the show that's inspired (by the comic), but it's subtle. Izombie is more the feeling of a young woman being torn between being dead and alive, who is she and what is life like now and her struggle."

All of the principal cast members have been changed or tweaked but are grounded in the real world. The name of the female protagonist, Gwen, has been changed to Liv, and instead of being a gravedigger she's a young med student until she becomes a zombie. After transfering her residency to the coroner's office --giving her access to brains-- Liv now works with homicide detectives and medical examiners giving The CW a new age procedural, framed by genre, as Liv tries to silence the voices in her head.

"There's a lot of procedurals, some that feature psychics or photographic memories," Ruggiero-Wright continued. "But for a person to physically take in memories and have a personal insight, and feel closer to them is something new in a way. What's unique to our show, is when she eats brains, she takes on their personality traits and abilities. In one episode she takes on the brain of a sociopath, another a seductive artist. 

"In the pilot, she's a kleptomaniac but she can also speak Romanian (as a result of eating brains). If she ate a mechanic's brain, she'd suddenly know that carburetor is broken by the sound of it. It's not like Quantum Leap, she's not jumping into other people. She takes on abilities, but she doesn't become that person."

Rules are a big part of supernatural TV shows. Where are they broken, where are they maintained, which ones do an interesting spin on them? iZombie has its own, but the main one is that zombies who continue to eat brains can and will function as normal.

"But if they become hungry," Thomas explained. "They become 'Romeros,' which are more of the traditional zombies that fall apart and become brain dead. A long time without brains, she'll start to devolve." In what is likely to be an unwritten rule of most episodes, Liv will get something good from the brain, and something bad from the brain.

Procedurals are obviously nothing new, and the zombie craze has effectively infiltrated mainstream media thanks to the success of The Walking Dead and In the Flesh, as well as infiltrating other genre shows like Supernatural and Being Human. So where does iZombie find its place among them?

"We're not going to out-Walking Dead the Walking Dead," said Thomas. "Both of us like really writing dramas with lots of levity, something like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Warm Bodies; oddly it's going to be a zombie show with heart and humor."

Liv will experience the memories through flashes and a handheld, first-person perspective, accompanied by going through the eye into the brain, in what they hope will be a cool visual. Thomas also hopes that they'll have enough of a budget to do an honorary nod to the comic and art of Mike Allred.

"We want to do it in a cool way," Thomas said. "We're opening each of our acts in freeze frames that look like comic book panels. I also want him to do our main title sequence." But we want him to draw panels in his style with all of our characters in this 25-second comic book moment, I'd love to pay homage to him."

On top of juggling what life is like as a zombie, Liv is helping a rookie homicide detective named Clive (Goodwin). Complicating her life is her ex-fiancee, Major (Buckley), who is angling to get her back and other zombies like the overarching antagonist in season one, Blaine (Anders), who understand what they need to do to survive. Unlike Liv, who does it begrudgingly, Blaine welcomes eating brains and absorbing memories. 

"Even though the brain leaves her, the experience doesn't leave her," Ruggiero-Wright explained. "It's like we're building the perfect person, because in one episode Liv is able to do these things, they become a part of the character. So you're building an extremely experienced person by the end of this with more than just her life issues. It's just a rich character."

Cult Favorite Comic Locke & Key to Become a Movie Trilogy @ io9

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DC's Jim Lee argues comic-to-film adaptations 'shouldn't' be literal translations @ Blastr

As comic-book movies continue to dominate the big screen, DC’s co-publisher has chimed in on why he thinks literal comic-to-film adaptations are a bad idea.

During a wide-ranging interview with Variety, DC Entertainment co-publisher Jim Lee talked about the inherent challenges in translating a story arc from page to screen, and touched on how literally writers and directors should take the comic canon during the process.

Basically, according to Lee, filmmakers should avoid an extremely literal translation because the film medium has a beginning, middle and end — while comics keep going and going forever (well, most of the time).

Here’s the choice excerpt:

“I know a lot of filmmakers will look at the source material and what we capture on paper and translate that entirely onto film, but it shouldn’t be a literal translation of the comic books themselves. We work in a medium that has no end. A film should have a beginning, middle and end and resolution until the next one comes out. We’re telling a story every single month. They’re different sensibilities.”

Lee makes a good point, and though it doesn’t really apply to something self-contained, a la Watchmen, it could definitely come into play when adapting arcs from long-running series as they dive deeper into the Justice League canon to build an expanded universe. But it takes a delicate balance, because being true to the spirit of a comic and literal to it are two different things — but they go hand in hand.

What do you think? Does Lee make a good point about the nuance needed to bring a comic to the big screen?

(Via Variety)

Guillermo Del Toro Showed Us Why Crimson Peak May Be His Creepiest Film @ io9

Guillermo Del Toro Showed Us Why Crimson Peak May Be His Creepiest Film

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King Kong will return in Legendary's latest monster film Skull Island @ Blastr

After successfully rebooting Godzilla, Legendary Pictures has turned its attention to another classic monster.

The Legendary panel Saturday afternoon at Comic-Con was full of massive film projects, including the Godzilla sequel, Warcraft, and Guillermo del Toro's new horror film Crimson Peak, but just when it seemed like the studio was done revving up fans with awesome new stuff, Legendary head Thomas Tull offered one more teaser for a film none of us knew about until now, featuring King Kong.

A brief teaser clip at the very end of the panel announced Skull Island, a film that will explore "the cinematic origins of another classic beast, King Kong." We have no idea who's directing the film, or who's writing it, or who's starring in it, but we know it'll take Kong back to his island home, and we know that it'll be released on Nov. 4, 2016.

We last saw Kong on the big screen in Peter Jackson's re-imagining of the original 1933 film in 2005. He's never had the same film presence as fellow monsters like Dracula or Godzilla, but he remains a cinematic icon, and given what Legendary pulled off with Godzilla earlier this year, he seems to be in good hands.

Oh, and in case you hadn't put this together in your head yet: Yes, Godzilla and King Kong are at the same studio now. Could we see Godzilla versus King Kong round two at last? Time will tell ...

(Via THR)

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