Let's Talk About the Ending of Furiosa @ io9

Dementus and his minions in Furiosa.Image: Warner Bros.

What a lovely, lovely day! After years of anticipation and discussion, George Miller’s follow-up to Mad Max: Fury Road is finally here. Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is now in theaters and it acts as a perfect compliment to that 2015 masterpiece, giving the character of Furiosa an intense backstory while also building out the world of the Wasteland.

And while there’s nothing wildly surprising in the film, especially since we know what happens immediately after, we do love the ending a lot and figured you might want to dive into it a bit after seeing the film. Major spoilers follow.

All of Furiosa leads up to the character (Anya Taylor-Joy) finally getting face to face with Dementus (Chris Hemsworth), the maniacal warlord primarily responsible for ruining her life by kidnapping her and killing her mother. The showdown happens, Furiosa is victorious, but we then see multiple versions of the exact conclusion. It’s Miller’s wink at legend and storytelling. An acknowledgment that what’s real and what’s told are not always the same, especially in mythology.

What’s fascinating here is that the legends of how Furiosa defeated Dementus are way less exciting than the truth. What Furiosa actually did to Dementus wasn’t simple and straightforward. It was brutal. It was, in fact, epic, and proves that her legend is merely a fraction of her reality. She’s a mythical creature but in real life, she’s even better.

So what happens? Well, all throughout the movie, we see that Furiosa carries a seed with her. It’s a seed given to her by her mother as a reminder of her home. It’s her most prized possession because it’s not only from her home, it also represents the possibility of renewal.

The seed doesn’t factor into the final fight but it becomes crucial right after. Instead of just killing Dementus, we see that Furiosa somehow figures out a way to use his body as the soil to give life to the seed. He becomes part of its roots, forever stuck in agony, as the seed slowly sucks the life out of him and transforms into a beautiful fruit tree. Basically, Dementus becomes the basis for Furiosa’s rebirth. It’s an inexplicable, but brutal and fascinating fate for Hemsworth’s character. One ripe—pun intended—with meaning.

Furiosa then picks a piece of fruit, brings it to Immortal Joe’s wives, and leads them to a War Rig where, in Mad Max: Fury Road, we’ll see them attempt to escape. The film goes right up until to the next movie. Then, in the end credits, it even shows a little Fury Road highlight reel just as a reminder.

So Furiosa ends with the character becoming a Wasteland legend and linking up perfectly with the next film. In terms of endings, it doesn’t get much better than that.

What did you think of Furiosa’s ending? Did you see it a different way? Let us know below.


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Dawn of the Dead's Gaylen Ross on Filming the Zombie Classic, Including Its Original Ending @ io9

Fran (Gaylen Ross) heads to the mall to escape zombies in Dawn of the Dead.Screenshot: United Film Distribution Company

George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead arrived 10 years after he invented the modern zombie movie with 1968's Night of the Living Dead. To mark the 45-year anniversary of its U.S. release in 1979—an international co-production, it world-premiered in Italy in 1978—star Gaylen Ross, who’s also in Romero and Stephen King’s 1982 anthology film Creepshow, reflected on her experiences making the movie and its enduring legacy.

Speaking to Variety, Ross said she signed on to play Fran, a Philadelphia TV producer turned zombie-apocalypse survivor, before she even knew who Romero was. Once cast, she took an active role in helping shape the character. “It was an interesting dialogue that George and I had at the beginning about how are we going to make Fran not a victim, and part of the characters that were active?,” she recalled. “He rewrote it while we were working, because he also felt we needed to empower her more.”

Amid some fun behind-the-scenes tidbits about what it was like filming nights at a mall that was open for customers during the day—Dawn of the Dead had to take a pause when the Christmas decorations went up—and how Ross faked her way through an ice-skating sequence, the actor turned documentary filmmaker shared her memories of the film’s original ending. As horror fans have long known, Romero did not at first intend for Fran and Ken Foree’s character, Peter, to make a desperate yet hopeful escape. “We shot it! I prepared all day for it,” she said. “George was going to kill us off—Peter was going to put a gun to his head, and I was going to put my head through the blades of the helicopter. [Make-up artist Tom Savini] had already cast the head for that effect ... but then the decision was that this was too dark an ending and that somebody had to survive. Whether or not anybody believes that we survived if I was driving a helicopter or not is another story.”

While Ross admits she was surprised Dawn of the Dead became a hit when it was released—and says its enduring impact is “incredible”—she knew all along that she was part of a special project. “What I learned from George wasn’t so much his horror vision, but a respect and a generosity to actors, giving them the space ... the one thing that George had for everybody was a kindness and a respect. No matter how horrible the story was, he did that—and that’s why actors would return.”

Read the full interview with Gaylen Ross over at Variety.


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Star Wars Just Introduced a Fun New Droid in Galaxy's Edge @ io9

Image: Disney Experiences

Speculation about new character arrivals in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has circled for weeks as a mysterious tarp appeared stationed on Batuu at Disneyland. Today Disney Experiences confirmed two new Star Warscharacter arrivals, who speak through one: a modified R1 series astromech droid named Bard, owned by Tohan Lege, the storyteller known as the Lore-weaver.

Bard will be seen starting tonight at the Black Spire Spaceport in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge during the Fire of the Rising Moonsfireworks celebration
at Disneyland. Disney Experiences describes the characters as follows: “Introducing the celebration is Tohan Lege, the storyteller known as the Lore-weaver. Pursued by those in power who would silence his voice, Tohan adopted Black Spire as his home and wrote of its colorful history and the fiery spirit at its heart. His droid, who he fondly called Bard, allows us to hear the Lore-weaver in his own words, each night as Black Spire celebrates the Fire of the Rising Moons.”

Through Bard, Tohan Ledge will speak in recordings that will envelop park guests in more Star Wars lore for the themed land, the release continues. “He met and spoke to anyone he could, and began to record its history. To ensure that the stories would endure, Tohan found an old astromech droid left behind at the Depot. The mechanics helped him get it working with scrap parts and luck. Tohan called the droid Bard, and together they recorded the Lore-weaver’s stories, until there were no more to tell.”

It’s exciting to get more official in-universe history through new forms of entertainment at Galaxy’s Edge, with a unique way to experience a new view of Disneyland’s fireworks spectacular through Fire of the Rising Moons. Accompanying Bard and Tohan’s stories will be selections from John Williams’ Star Wars film scores during the 13-minute show. Park guests can experience it from various areas throughout Batuu, including the Black Spire Spaceport (near Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run), the TIE Echelon docking platform (near First Order Cargo), and the speeder garage (near Droid Depot).

Watch Fire of the Rising Moons at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge on select nights as part of Season of the Force; it will continue performances past the Star Wars season’s end on June 2.


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Doctor Who's Stylish Stars Discuss Whovian Fashion @ io9

Universal Studios Hits Play on Summer and Horror Nights Reveals in This Week’s Theme Park News @ io9

Photo: Universal Studios Products and Experiences

It’s a mega-movie summer at Universal Studios Orlando with the East Coast resort punching up cinematic nostalgia and the opening of DreamWorks Land. With nighttime shows themed around the likes of Back to the Future, E.T., Ghostbusters, Jaws, Trolls, and Shrek, movie fans of all ages can get into vacation mode like in the movies.

Meanwhile, Halloween Horror Nights is bubbling beneath hot summer concrete at Universal too, as a few non-IP houses have been revealed for this fall’s scares. Fingers and toes crossed the first IP is Beetlejuice (Beetlejuice Beetlejuice)—we said it thrice, so it’s sure to come true!

There’s no doubt we’ll get more spooky info from theme parks all around at Midsummer Scream, which has announced that Universal Studios, Knott’s Scary Farm, and Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor (they’re baaaack) will be announcing more about their haunt slate at the annual convention. Additionally, Disneyland’s Fantasmic! returns sans epic dragon and Furiosa gets its own Wasteland-inspired food menu at Alamo Drafthouse.

For this and more theme park news, read on!

Visit a swamp far, far, away in DreamWorks Land

Photo: Universal Studios Products and Experiences

Opening on June 14, DreamWorks Land at Universal Studios is a new family friendly area inspired by the animated worlds seen in Shrek, Trolls, and Kung-Fu Panda. There’s themed rides and experiences where you can meet Shrek in his swamp, ride a gentle Trollercoaster, and learn kung fu moves with Po. Don’t forget to try the Shrek face pretzel complete with green cheese slime dip!

Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, E.T., Jaws, and Shrek Merch at Universal Studios

Debuting at Universal Orlando Resort’ new Summer Tribute Store will be a new collection of products inspired by the films featured in the upcoming mega-movie experiences opening this summer: Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Jaws, Jurassic World, and Shrek. Guests will be invited to hit up a 1980s-themed Tribute Store Plaza at Universal Studios Orlando, with three highly immersive “mega” rooms: the nostalgic Mega Video Rental video store, a retro Mega Castle Arcade, and the majestic Tribute Theatre. Inside each space will be Instagram-able photo-ops with movie nerd Easter eggs for each film.

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando Houses

Before we see which major movie, TV, or game IP manages to be unleashed as a house at Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights, Orlando has revealed six non-IP haunted houses for their east coast fall event.

Slaughter Sinema 2: “If you’re dying for a B-movie horror marathon, head to the Carey Drive-in. Scream through scenes from creature features, grindhouse gore, spaghetti westerns, and more.” A sequel to one of Halloween Horror Nights Orlando’s all-time great houses.

Goblin’s Feast: “Welcome to the Goblin’s Feast Tavern and visit the goblin village where a lavish feast is being prepared for goblins, orcs, hobgoblins, and witches. And you’re the main course.” New for this year!

Major Sweets Candy Factory: “You’ve been invited to chaperone a field trip to a candy factory. But this sweet tour is about to turn sour when free samples transform the kids into candy-coated killers wielding sharpened candies.” Based on the fan-fave scare zone!

The Museum: Deadly Exhibit: “You’re going to check out the Rotting Stone, the local folklore museum’s infamous new exhibit. An evil spirit escapes from within, possessing the other displays and decaying everything in its path.” Also new for this year.

Monstruos: The Monsters of Latin America: “¡Ten cuídado! With La Muerte as your guide, you’ll be asking for piedad from these three terrifying monsters: the blood-sucking Tlahuelpuchi, owl-faced witch La Lechuza, and bone-ripping El Silbón.” This house was originated at Halloween Horror Nights Hollywood and was hands down one of the best in recent history; we’re excited for East Coast haunters to get to experience it.

Triplets of Terror: “You’re invited to the Barmy triplets’ birthday bash. But beware, they celebrate by recreating their family’s murders. Prepare for a gory gathering.”

Disneyland’s Fantasmic! returns, minus epic Maleficent dragon

But the nighttime waterside show has resurrected the classic Peter Pan sequence on the sailing ship Columbia! Watch the updated show without Maleficent’s dragon, which at least went out in a blaze of glory, starting Friday at the Disneyland Resort.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure pays homage to her father

More of Tiana’s family backstory is set to be explored in the queue for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure with nods to Tiana’s dad, a World War I veteran, as seen in the image above.

Fast food a la Furiosa

There are four new limited-time Mad Max universe meals and drinks inspired by Furiosa at Alamo Drafthouse screenings, starting today through June 10.

Midsummer Scream Theme Park Haunt Panel

Image: Midsummer Scream

In just two months Halloween convention Midsummer Scream will kick off spooky season—and theme park haunt creatives will be on hand to discuss this year’s attractions, including Universal Studios Hollywood: Halloween Horror Nights. The convention run July 26-28 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, CA. If you’re going, the Midsumme Scream app is now available for download.

Turning Red at the Academy Museum

On Saturday, May 25, there will be a screening of Pixar’s Turning Red at the Academy Museum in Los Angeles, CA. At part of its Calm Morning program. It will feature a sensory-friendly gallery exploration and a family workshop inspired by the film; according to the museum, “during the workshop, families can try out voice acting paired with clips of Turning Red that depict different strong emotions in our Shirley Temple Education Studio Foley room and sound booth!” You can reserve tickets here.


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The Last of Us Part II's Jeffrey Wright Joins The Last of Us Season 2 @ io9

Jeffrey Wright attends the 55th Annual NAACP Awards on March 16, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer (Getty Images)

HBO’s smash-hit video-game adaptation The Last of Us has added a veteran of the source material to its second season: Oscar nominee Jeffrey Wright, who’ll be stepping back into the role of Isaac Dixon. Wright’s previous genre credits include another big HBO series in Westworld, as well as Marvel’s animated What If... ? series and as Jim Gordon in The Batman.

Variety describes Isaac in The Last of Us Part II game as “the quietly powerful leader of a large militia group who sought liberty but instead has become mired in an endless war against a surprisingly resourceful enemy.”

Wright’s casting further elevates The Last of Us’ star-studded cast, which includes the returning Pedro Pascal, Bella Ramsey, Gabriel Luna, and Rutina Wesley, as well as new faces Kaitlyn Dever (in the key role of Abby), Isabela Merced, Young Mazino, Ariela Barer, Tati Gabrielle, Spencer Lord, and Danny Ramirez, and Catherine O’Hara.


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Alex Garland's Controversial Civil War Is Now Playing at Home @ io9

My fellow Americans, Civil War is now on demand.Image: A24

One of the year’s best and most polarizing movies just made its way home. Alex Garland’s Civil War, the terrifying near-future thriller about a United States that’s no longer so united, is now available on demand. It grossed almost $70 million domestically, which means plenty of movie fans saw it, but even more didn’t. So now, if you were on the fence, you can check it out in the comfort of your own home.

We reviewed the film when it opened in April and praised it for being not at all what you expect. From the trailers, it seemed like it was just going to be a movie about a Democrat vs. Republican, North vs. South conflict inspired by modern politics. But it’s not that at all. I mean, it’s “inspired” by that concept in that it’s about Americans fighting each other. However, we never find out what the issues are. We barely even get concrete definitions of who is on what side. The film objectively attacks the story from the viewpoint of journalists just trying to capture the story. And it’s a powerful storytelling device.

Civil War is available to watch on basically every digital platform that’s out there. Its distributor, A24, has created this handy link to all of them so you can click there and go to the service of your choosing. And we recommend you do. While Civil War may have been a tough watch in the theater, it’s a powerful, worthwhile film that’ll leave you thinking all about it.

When the film was released, we were lucky enough to talk to its writer and director Alex Garland about it. Here’s a quick clip of him breaking down the film’s ending. So, spoilers.

Alex Garland on Civil War’s Intense Ending

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New House of the Dragon Featurette Is Here to Remind Us Who's Really in Charge @ io9

Image: Courtesy of HBO

House of the Dragon season two is nearly upon us, and while it’s been a year and a half since the season one finale, fans will easily remember the key players from the Game of Thrones prequel: Rhaenyra Targaryen and her family, aka the Blacks, and Alicent Hightower, the newly crowned Aegon II, and their crew, aka the Greens. But what about the biggest stars of the Targaryen civil war, which is called the Dance of the Dragons for a reason?

Max is here with a helpful new video to remind you about all about the scaly, terrifying, sorta-tame-but-not-really dragons that have been a crucial element in House of the Dragon so far, and will only see their importance escalate as House Targaryen continues to splinter into a terrible war. While the video’s rounding up all the dragons, it’s also reminding us who rides them—or used to ride them, in the case of, say, Laenor Velaryon, who left Seasmoke riderless after faking his own death and fleeing Westeros.

House Targaryen & Their Dragons | House of the Dragon | Max

And who could could forget Vhagar, the largest dragon of them all, and also the culprit who gobbled up Rhaenyra’s son Lucerys (and his dragon) at the end of season one? House of the Dragon’s players are definitely not going to let that one go.

Ahead of season two’s arrival, Max is rolling out a curated “World of Westeros” collection to help fans prep for all the fresh drama. Along with an array of trailers and behind-the-scenes content (“Inside Every Episode,” “Meet the Characters,” “Meet the World,” etc.), it gathers what the streamer deems to be Game of Thrones’ most important episodes:

S1E1 Winter is Coming
S1E9 Baelor
S1E10 Fire and Blood
S2E6 The Old Gods and the New
2E9 Blackwater
S3E4 And Now His Watch Is Ended
S4E2 The Lion and the Rose
S5E6 Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken
S6E5 The Door
S7E6 Beyond the Wall
S8E6 The Iron Throne

And, for funsides, the best battles from Game of Thrones too:

S6E9 Battle of the Bastards
S5E8 Hardhome
S4E9 The Watchers on the Wall
S2E9 Blackwater
S8E3 The Long Night

For all your Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon needs, head to Max.


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Betty and Veronica Join the Demon Fight as Archie Comics: Judgment Day Continues @ io9

Guess who?Image: Archie Comics

Aubrey Sitterson and Megan Hutchison’s Archie Comics: Judgment Day returns for its second installment June 19, and io9 has a sneak preview today. The Archie Horror mini-series event takes place in an alternate version of Riverdale plagued by demons that—terrifyingly—often spawn from Archie’s friends and loved ones, which complicates his mission to destroy ‘em all.

Here’s the official synopsis of Archie Comics: Judgment Day #2; the script is by Sitterson, art by Hutchison, colors by Matt Herms, and letters by Jack Morelli.

“The epic Archie Horror event continues, as does Archie’s quest. Jughead’s trying his best to act as Archie’s conscience and voice of reason, but with so many people once familiar and even beloved to Archie turning into demonic monstrosities, can Archie maintain his grip? Maybe if Jughead gets more people on his side, they can talk some sense into him—are Betty and Veronica up to the task of bringing back the Archie they know and love from Alistair’s grasp?”

In a statement provided to io9, writer Sitterson expanded a bit on his process. “Reader experience is always front of mind for me, along with my desire to create the kinds of comics that I desperately want but find to be exceedingly rare,” he said. “That means crafting something with care, that reads as the result of a series of deliberate, conscious, and artful choices made at every step of the process; this extends even to the printing of the book and the new Archie Premium Event format. We don’t want to make a quick, breezy, or even easy read; there’s an immense amount of thought going into every page of Judgment Day and, in keeping with that, it should be read differently than other comics. It’s our hope that readers pore over every page and, if they feel compelled to flip back to reread a caption or inspect a piece of art... good. It’s by design.”

Added artist Hutchison, “Aubrey will make notes in the script about specific things and I’ll text him about different ideas—all things hidden in the background, character designs, visual cues, etc. We intentionally hid things visually for the readers to find for themselves. Aubrey is a visual writer and I come from production design for film so we both build up worlds for the reader to visually immerse themselves in.”

Keep reading for an exclusive peek inside the comic; see those demons fighting Archie at the bottom of the first spread? Those are demonic versions of rich-kid twins Alexandra and Alexander Cabot. Also, as teased above, Betty and Veronica drop by to help Jughead as he tries to keep Archie’s head on straight. We’ve also included the cover and its variants. You can pick up the issue June 19!

Archie Comics: Judgment Day #2 exclusive

Image: Archie Comics

Archie Comics: Judgment Day #2 exclusive

Image: Archie Comics

Archie Comics: Judgment Day #2 exclusive

Image: Archie Comics

Archie Comics: Judgment Day #2 exclusive

Image: Archie Comics

Archie Comics: Judgment Day #2 main cover by Megan Hutchison and Matt Herms

Image: Archie Comics

Archie Comics: Judgment Day #2 variant cover by Francesco Francavilla

Image: Archie Comics

Archie Comics: Judgment Day #2 variant cover by InHyuk Lee

Image: Archie Comics

Archie Comics: Judgment Day #2 variant cover by Reiko Murakami

Image: Archie Comics

Todd McFarlane’s Spawn Hires an Oscar-Nominated Screenwriter @ io9

Image: New Line

James Gunn’s Superman gets an update. King Kong joins Monarch: Legacy of Monsters. Plus, the Dexter prequel series casts its leads. To the victor go the spoilers!


Terrifier 3

Bloody-Disgusting reports Tom Savini has joined the cast of Terrifier 3 in an undisclosed role.


Superman

In response to a fan on Instagram (via Comic Book), James Gunn revealed he’s “a little over halfway through shooting” Superman.


Spawn

In a new interview with Comic Book, Todd McFarlane revealed he’s hired two-time Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Scott Silver (The Fighter) to rewrite his Spawn screenplay.

There’s a script but the writers are, they’re not quite sort of satisfied with their own work, which is what all of us creative people are. We put it on paper and then we criticize ourselves. So they’re going through sort of an extensive sort of rework and rewrite of it. I was just on the phone a couple of days ago with Scott Silver, the guy who’s sort of manning the lead of it right now. He’s also the writer of Joker and Joker 2. We’re all planning and hoping and moving towards having this done so that we can take it out so that we can find our studio finally pre-Joker 2 launch, which comes in October.


INFernal

Four friends— two of whom are undead, one a pig demon from Hell — must locate a mystical blade after a heavy metal summoning ritual goes disastrously wrong in the trailer for INfernal.

INfernal - Official Trailer (2024)

Dexter: Origin Sin

TV Line reports Patrick Gibson has been cast as the young Dexter Morgan in Showtime’s upcoming prequel series, while Christian Slater will his adoptive father, Harry Morgan. Molly Brown has been additionally cast as Dexter’s sister, Debra.


Hit-Monkey

Variety additionally reports Christin Miloti has joined the cast of Hit-Monkey’s second season as Iris, a character who has “grown up vowing never to be like the father, Bryce, who abandoned her. When fate brings them back together, she realizes that she and her old man are cut from the same cloth as they hurtle towards a final reconciliation.”


Monarch: Legacy of Monsters

Monarch: Legacy of Monsters co-creator hyped King Kong’s arrival in season two during a recent interview with Gold Derby (via Bloody-Disgusting).

I think where we left the season gave us so much fertile territory for storytelling. Keiko comes back, we appear to have lost Colonel Shaw, we have this reunion with the family… that feels like a great launch pad for Season 2.

We want to continue to tell this human story, we want to continue to tell the story of the Randa family and Kate and Kentaro and their father Hiroshi and now their grandmother Keiko. But there also is a hunger for more spectacle, for more monsters.

How do we make it bigger and better? We reveal Kong at the end of the first season so there’s gonna be an expectation you’re gonna see more of Kong that we want to deliver on.


Interview with the Vampire

Spoiler TV has photos from “No Pain,” the third episode of Interview with the Vampire’s second season. More at the link.

Photo: AMC
Photo: AMC

The Walking Dead: Dead City

The Walking Dead: Dead City has released a brief, behind-the-scenes look at season two.

BTS Look At Season 2 Of The Walking Dead: Dead City

Star Wars: The Acolyte

Finally, Lee Jung-jae fights Amanda Stenberg in a new clip from Star Wars: The Acolyte.

The Acolyte | Mae and Sol Fight | Streaming June 4 on Disney+

Star Wars: The Acolyte Gets Rave First Reactions @ io9

The cast and crew of The Acolyte.Image: Lucasfilm

Live-action Star Wars is back in a big, big way. Thursday night, Lucasfilm and Disney held their big premiere for Star Wars: The Acolyte, the latest Disney+ show set in a galaxy far, far away and, so far, it sounds like people really, really like it.

io9 was lucky enough to snag a seat at the Los Angeles event and watch the first two episodes of the eight-episode series. And, well, we loved it. While pretty much every Star Wars movie or show that’s come out since 1977 has required some knowledge of previous characters or lore, all The Acolyte requires you to know is it’s Star Wars. Know the Force? Know the Jedi? Great, you’re ready to rock.

Beyond that, you’re presented with a very simple, very accessible, character-driven almost crime procedural about a Jedi Master (Lee Jung-jae) who tracks down his old apprentice (Amandla Stenberg) because she may, or may not, have murdered a fellow Jedi. No one is good, no one is bad, anyone can live, anyone can die, it’s just a cool story anyone can jump right into. There’s obviously much, much more than that but that’s the basic episode one set up.

Below, read a slew of early reactions to the show from press and influencers and discover the world for yourself on June 4 when The Acolyte debuts on Disney+.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trekreleases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

The Essence of Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Was You Made the Experience @ io9

Image: io9/Gizmodo

A year after the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser took its last flight, here’s a look back at the best of Disney Parks’ bold venture into the immersive entertainment space—and why in the end, it couldn’t quite work.

At io9, Star Wars and fantastical realms of sci-fi coming to life are a major component of what we write about through films, shows, and theme park experiences. And that’s because bringing to life some of the idealized futuristic worlds we hold dear presents a lot of challenges—particularly when they’re brought into a very real world that may only really share themes of banding together with civil unrest against a fascist tyranny. In Star Wars the people find ways to come together and play a role to defeat the bad guys; in real life things are far more complicated.

To many Star Wars fans who were able to check out Galactic Starcruiser during its short-lived existence, the attraction presented a chance to act on the frustration many share in their day to day lives of watching atrocities happen and feeling like there’s little we can do about them. There was an irony in this, since Galactic Starcruiser was part of Disney, a major corporation that prioritizes its financial bottom line.

And indeed, Galactic Starcruiser’s exorbitant cost turned off a lot of folks who thought it was a hotel—which it never was, instead more resembling a fancy theater camp where you could wallflower it or actively participate in your own corner of Star Wars. Hotels are generally built around recreational, relaxing areas like a pool or a spa; the only amenities that reflected a familiar Disney vacation aspect aboard Galactic Starcruiser were the dinners and the Galaxy’s Edge excursions at adjacent Walt Disney World. On a surface level, that’s what probably misled regular folk—vacationers who don’t actively follow the immersive experiences niche—into thinking Galactic Starcruiser was a Disney Cruise on land. Coming on board to realize it was not, and that you had to get involved in ways that could be compared to pretending to be a coach for your fantasy football league, in a realm where you’re in the game, threw the unprepared off. That’s a big part of what ultimately led to Disney shutting down the attraction, which at its core was a community-building endeavor born out of Imagineering and Lucasfilm’s story trust to inspire at least a portion of people to feel like if they could be a part of a story like Star Wars, then perhaps they could take their experiences from it to the real world, in small and big ways.

While there’s a lot of outrage out there to deconstruct the pared-down end result that came from an ambitious idea, many folks who got to visit Galactic Starcruiser enjoyed the experiment, whether they saw it as an imaginative interactive playground to bring their loved ones to or experience on their own. It was a sandbox: if you wanted to be there to cosplay while trying funky-looking food and drinks, that was a path you could take; if you wanted to embrace the childlike wonder of lightsaber training and blasting baddies into space, there was that too. And some people just wanted their kids to play and meet their heroes.

The milage varied on how open and social you were willing to be to find the path of best enjoyment. On my own visit, I went in as a disenchanted space witch on her honeymoon, and with the intention of leaving behind how limited I felt in being able to change the real world. I quickly made an alliance with some reluctant scoundrels to help the good guys out, playing up some Cassian Andor vibes (I pretended to be a relative). I had some issues with having to be on my “data-pad” (what that really means: one’s own phone) to do the more gamer app stuff around Galaxy’s Edge; that was not for me as a non-gamer. But I found that character interaction and roleplay on board the ship to be a highly rewarding experience. I befriended other guests, young and young at heart; moved smuggled goods about (how did they know I’d be down to hustle the Empire?); and when my beloved and I needed a romantic space moment to share our vow renewals, the in-room droid—D3-O9, who encouraged me to help the Resistance—performed a whole ceremony that makes me cry to this day, because right after, she sacrificed herself and got attacked by the First Order.

That event, like in any hero’s journey, quickly radicalized me and I was able to find the Rebel princess for the people inside me I’ve dreamed of being since I was a little girl. Then it was on and along with the Padawans in training we led stormtroopers to their own imprisonment by pretending to lock up Chewbacca, used a fake proposal to move precious cargo, and stood tall with a galactic pop-star along with our fellow Resistance members to back up Rey when Kylo Ren showed up for the epic finale. And finally—when the good guys won—I was able to step into my power and begin the Jedi (witch princess) training I’d felt I long abandoned hope for. As soon as I ignited my lightsaber on that last night, I was ready to fight again.

Oh—and here are the vows D3-O9 recited for us:

D3-O9: You have come today to declare your promise of devotion to your chosen partner.

Please repeat after me:

...We vow to share our triumphs and troubles...

...No matter what difficulties may come...

...We share in each other’s successes...

...Not with jealousy, but with joy and admiration...

...We promise each other a life cycle...

...Filled with curiosity, humor, and adventure...

...We pledge unquestionable devotion...

...for we are worthy of each other’s love.

You are destined. The galaxy has connected you amongst the millions of other inhabitants. Though you may have once traveled singular paths, you now travel united, and stronger for it. Cherish your bond, and seek to share it, for your bond shall inspire others to seek their own. From love to love, the galaxy grows stronger. And you are now a part of that great and unending chain.

Like those who did find the best of our experiences to outweigh the kinks that had so much potential to be ironed out, it is nice to feel a part of that “great and unending chain” with those whose lives were enriched by the experience of the GalacticStarcruiser.

Read more about io9's invited visit to Galactic Starcruiser here.


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Happy Birthday to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom @ io9

Forty years of fortune and glory.Screenshot: Lucasfilm

Put on your best white tux, smuggle a diamond, and throw on “Anything Goes.” May 23 is the birthday of Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom—the franchise’s weirdest entry,for a whole lot of reasons. And since it was released in 1984, that makes today its 40th anniversary. Happy birthday Indy!

Last year, before the release of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, we did a deep dive into why Temple of Doom is still so fantastic but also so polarizing. It’s just a drastic tonal shift from the previous film, Raiders of the Lost Ark, but still has a ton of heart and excitement. So please, if you want to read more about the film itself, head over to that link.

Here though, we just thought we’d share the amazing trailer for the film and let fans talk about it to celebrate its 40th. Forty years of Sankara Stones. Forty years of Short Round. Forty years of rope bridge action. Forty years of Snake Surprise and Chilled Monkey Brains. Oh, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, you’re a wild one.

INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM | Official Trailer | Paramount Movies

What are your favorite moments in the film? Also, where do you rank it among the other Indiana Jones adventures? Surely it’s at least in the top three, right? Are you a loose canon that thinks Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (which celebrated its 16th birthday on May 22) is better?

Let us know below and happy birthday to one of the quintessential films in the careers of Spielberg, Harrison Ford, George Lucas, and the rest of the gang.


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10 Best Cult Movies on Netflix Right Now @ io9

Top Secret!Screenshot: Paramount Pictures

Netflix is a go-to for must-watch series like 3 Body Problem and Stranger Things, but it’s not really a cult movie destination. If you dig deep, though, you can turn up some offbeat sci-fi and horror gems. With io9's previous Netflix cult-movie guide now mostly outdated, here’s a fresh list culled from the streamer’s current selection.

Repo Man

Repo Man Official Trailer #1 - Harry Dean Stanton, Emilio Estevez Movie (1984) HD

Alex Cox directs Emilio Estevez and Harry Dean Stanton in this 1984 tale of a punk rock kid who takes a job repossessing cars, only to get mixed up with a Chevy Malibu that’s literally out of this world. Endlessly quotable, with a killer soundtrack too. Watch on Netflix.

Top Secret!

Top Secret! (1984) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

Here’s another endlessly quotable one from that magical year of 1984, in which Val Kilmer—making his feature film debut—plays a goofy Elvis Presley type who gets caught up in espionage shenanigans in East Germany. From the same zany slapstick specialists who also brought us Airplane! and The Naked Gun, the latter of which is getting a remake soon starring Liam Neeson. Watch on Netflix.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) Official Trailer [HD]

Netflix currently has almost all the Nightmare films (sorry if you’re a fan of Freddy’s Dead or crossover Freddy vs. Jason), but for pure cult status, you have to go with 1987's Dream Warriors. Set at a hospital for troubled teens who haven’t slept well in months, it features a young Patricia Arquette, a pre-stardom Laurence Fishburne, and the return of original Final Girl Heather Langenkamp. Plus, you can’t beat that Dokken theme song. Watch on Netflix.

It Follows

It Follows Official Trailer 1 (2015) - Horror Movie HD

Nearly 10 years after its release, we’re still having nightmares about this dread-filled tale of a college student (Maika Monroe) infected with a strange curse, in which an entity that can look like anybody pursues her... relentlessly, exhaustingly, terrifyingly. Watch on Netflix.

Madame Web

MADAME WEB – Official Trailer (HD)

The reviews were not kind, but certain audiences found things to like about Dakota Johnson’s recent foray into Sony’s Marvel realm. Is it too early to declare Madame Web a cult movie? Here’s your chance to stream it and be on the cutting edge of re-appreciation. Watch on Netflix.

Starman

Starman (1984) - Official Trailer

Back to 1984 again, this time for John Carpenter’s sci-fi romance about a widow (Indiana Jones’ Karen Allen) who reluctantly agrees to help an alien (Jeff Bridges) who’s taken on the exact form of her dead husband. Watch on Netflix.

Firestarter

Firestarter (1984) - Official Trailer (HD)

Not the remake—this is the 1984 original starring Drew Barrymore as Stephen King’s young pyrokinetic heroine, Martin Sheen as the government baddie who’d very much like to turn a tiny girl into a terrifying weapon, and George C. Scott as the assassin obsessed with taking her down. Watch on Netflix.

X

X | Official Trailer HD | A24

Before MaXXXine arrives to show you what happened next, take another trip to that grimy Texas farm to remember the porn movie shoot gone gruesomely awry that finally inspires Mia Goth’s character to try her luck in Hollywood. Watch on Netflix.

Body Double

Body Double - Trailer

Our final selection from 1984 is Brian De Palma’s neo-noir Hitchcock riff about a struggling actor (Craig Wasson, who’s also in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors!) obsessed with spying on his sultry neighbor—then becomes entangled in danger when he witnesses her brutal murder. Or does he? Watch on Netflix.

Starship Troopers

STARSHIP TROOPERS [1997]– Official Trailer (HD) | Get the 25th Anniversary 4K Ultra HD SteelBook Now

Released in 1997 but somehow as timeless as ever, Paul Verhoeven’s sci-fi satire draws from the Robert Heinlein novel but adds its own slick, glossy blend of soap-opera drama, stylized storytelling, and buggy gore. Would you like to know more? Watch on Netflix.

Meet the Characters of Beetlejuice Beetlejuice: New, Old, and Very Old @ io9

The Juice and his wife, Delores. Image: Warner Bros.

There’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to Beetlejuice Beetlejuice. Tim Burton finally returning to this wild world he created all those years ago. Michael Keaton hopping back into one of his most iconic characters. Finding out what’s happened in the years since with Winona Ryder’s character Lydia, especially after the traumatic experience of the original film. And did Beetlejuice ever get to the front of the line in the waiting room?

Then there’s discovering what new things and people the world of Beetlejuice still holds. The latest trailer reveals a bunch of that but it all goes by so fast. So, Warner Bros has released nice, clean, close-up character posters for not just the big three returning characters—Beetlejuice (Keaton), Lydia (Ryder) and Delia (Catherine O’Hara)—but all the new characters too, like Lydia’s daughter Astrid (Jenna Ortega), Beetlejuice’s wife Delores (Monica Bellucci), as well as Rory (Justin Theroux) and Wolf Jackson (Willem Dafoe).

Things are about to get really weird come September 6. See all the characters in our slide show.

Beetlejuice

Image: Warner Bros.

Lydia

Image: Warner Bros.

Astrid

Image: Warner Bros.

Delia

Image: Warner Bros.

Delores

Image: Warner Bros.

Bob the Shrinker

Image: Warner Bros.

Rory

Image: Warner Bros.

Wolf Jackson

Image: Warner Bros.

Tackling the Legend of Zelda Film @ io9

Linda H. Codega Tells io9 All About Their Queer Fantasy Debut Novel, Motheater @ io9

Image: Erewhon Books

io9 has several acclaimed authors among its alumni, including Annalee Newitz, Charlie Jane Anders, Evan Narcisse, and Andrew Liptak. Another former io9-er, Linda H. Codega, will join their ranks early next year with the release of fantasy novel Motheater, and we’re thrilled to be debuting the cover and talking to the author about it today.

Here’s a synopsis of Motheater:

“After her best friend dies in a coal mine, Benethea ‘Bennie’ Mattox sacrifices her job, her relationship, and her reputation to uncover what’s killing miners on Kire Mountain. When she finds a half-drowned white woman in a dirty mine slough, Bennie takes her in because it’s right—but also because she hopes this odd, magnetic stranger can lead her to the proof she needs.

Instead, she brings more questions. The woman called Motheater can’t remember her true name, or how she ended up inside the mountain. She knows only that she’s a witch of Appalachia, bound to tor and holler, possum and snake, with power in her hands and Scripture on her tongue. But the mystery of her fate, her doomed quest to keep industry off Kire Mountain, and the promises she bent and broke have followed her a century and half into the future. And now, the choices Motheater and Bennie make together could change the face of the town itself.”

Check out the full cover below—the artist is Erica Williams, and the designer is Kensington Art Team—and read on for io9's email interview with Codega!

Image: Erewhon Books

Cheryl Eddy, io9: What does the cover art represent (or reveal!) about Motheater’s story?

Linda H. Codega: Blue Jays are a unique part of Appalachian cunning (magic, to you lowland folk), and I was so happy to see this one take center stage on the cover. There are a lot of pieces of the story on the cover—critter skulls, moths, cicadas, and the sycamore tree. I don’t know if it reveals anything, but after you finish the book, you will certainly be able to draw some conclusions about the story based on the cover.

io9: Motheater takes place in the Appalachian mountains. What personal meaning does that setting have for you, and how does setting your novel there help shape the story?

Codega: I spent a chunk of my formative years in the mountains, and I have a lot of love for the rural Southern culture where I grew up. The Appalachian mountains are some of the oldest in the world, and they have been very badly used by industrial corporations that do not respect the land, the people who live there, or the communities. Motheater could not be set in anywhere but Appalachia. It’s so regionally specific, from the folkloric spirits that haunt the hollers to the core political conflict the story revolves around. The ideas of resistance and community are so dynamic and can often feel at odds with each other, but that struggle feels intrinsic to a lot of small Appalachian towns. Also, any excuse I can use to put a snake-handling church in a story, I’m going to take.

io9: Tell us about your two main characters, and what draws them together.

Codega: Bennie and Motheater face being “outsiders” to the place they call home. It draws them together, but it’s not a very healthy relationship. Bennie is largely responsible for saving Motheater’s life multiple times, and she really drives the story as a woman who feels as if she’s lost everything; and all she has left is this weird witch who talks to the mountain and keeps bringing bugs into her apartment. She’s making a lot of unwise decisions in the pursuit of justice. One of which ends up in her bed.

io9: What are the biggest conflicts in Motheater?

Codega: The social conflict in this book comes from the way that extractive industries have ravaged the Appalachian mountains from early coal mining operations to mountain-top removal popular in the ‘70s, to contemporary real-world pipeline projects that are currently being protested near the fictionalized setting of this book. The Appalachian region has always had resistors to exploitative and extractive industry. This book is about carrying on that tradition. Motheater was actually directly inspired by the Yellow Finch Tree Sits—a nearly three-year, continuous occupation that greatly delayed the Mountain Valley Pipeline project, which seeks to cut through the heart of Appalachia and is continually protested to this day. It’s not in the book, but I’ll say it here: Doom to the Pipeline.

Also, people are dying in the mountain in very weird ways, and Bennie’s fixing to put a stop to it. That’s the plot though, so we won’t go into it too much.

io9: What can you reveal about the fantasy and supernatural elements that are part of the story?

Codega: A lot of the magic is rooted in the Neighbor tradition that was (and still is) a very Appalachian practice. Neighbors can be thought of as hedge witches, who use both natural remedies and a folkloric Christianity-based system of work in order to perform small miracles. There’s also a lot of the magic in this book that is much bigger than that, but it’s supposed to be read as a bit... wretched. It’s not typical Neighbor work, and it’s not supposed to happen. A big question this book asks with regards to magic is, “what if a god acted like a human being?” with all the foibles, fears, and rage of a human. Gods probably shouldn’t act like humans.

io9: Is Motheater a standalone story or will it be part of a series? What excites you the most about releasing Motheater as your debut novel?

Codega: Standalone! This book is the classic debut; a little self-pitying, slightly twee, and wonderfully earnest. I love the South and the Appalachian mountains, and this book is a long goodbye to this area of the world that I’ve been missing for a decade.


Motheater releases January 21, 2025; you can pre-order a copy here.


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The Acolyte's Cast Is So Ready to Share Their New Take on Star Wars @ io9

Screenshot: Star Wars YouTube

It goes without saying that Star Wars fans are extremely excited for The Acolyte, which arrives on Disney+ June 4 to reveal a Jedi-centric crime tale set a century before The Phantom Menace. A new behind the scenes video reveals that The Acolyte’s cast has equal levels of excitement about the series.

Carrie-Anne Moss is stoked to play a Jedi. Amandla Stenberg is stoked that she got to do a fight scene with Matrix legend Moss. Dafne Keen can’t even put into words the feeling of getting to hold a lightsaber for the first time. Lee Jung-jae, meanwhile, is still trying to keep his cool about being inStar Wars.

The Acolyte | Creating the Acolyte | Streaming June 4 on Disney+

“I’m so excited for fans to see the show,” Stenberg adds. It’s mutual, Mae! Created by Leslye Headland (Russian Doll), The Acolyte also stars Manny Jacinto, Charlie Barnett, Jodie Turner-Smith, Rebecca Henderson, Dean-Charles Chapman, and Joonas Sutotamo. And the wait to experience this intriguing new piece of Star Wars is nearly over: The Acolyte arrives with a two-episode premiere June 4 on Disney+.


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10 Things We Learned From Assembled: The Making of X-Men '97 @ io9

Image: Marvel Animation

X-Men ‘97 just wrapped up its first season on Disney+, and we’re still trying to recover from the thrilling conclusion. To hold us over until season two, here are the best behind-the-scenes tidbits we learned from the new doc Assembled: The Making of X-Men ‘97 to geek out about until the show returns.

The special explores the comic book adaptation’s series continuation from the ‘90s to now, while still remaining set in the same era where it left off. Supervising producer and head director Jake Castorena, head of Marvel Animation Brad Winderbaum, and episodic director Emi Yonemura—along with the new and returning cast, and more—all appear to celebrate the iconic Marvel show, which continues the X-Men’s legacy.

Timeless X-Men themes guided the way

Image: Marvel Animation

X-Men have always treated being different in a very different way. “Life is hard, and it’s gonna be hard, but you can do it together—you can find a team, you can find your family, and you cam actually make a difference,” Emi Yonemura said, explaining why it was important to bring back the show.

It all went back to the original pitch

Image: Marvel Animation

The show’s original pitch was about reviving the series. The team always wanted to continue the show they loved and directly line up the stories started in the ‘90s by emulating fans’ memories of the program. The new team brought back original showrunners Eric and Julia Lewald and director Larry Houston as producers. And like Stan Lee told them in the ‘90s, they told the new crew they had their back for this new iteration.

X-Men: The Animated Series had an unsung hero

Image: Marvel Animation

The Fox Kids cartoon had a secret hero: then-CEO Margaret Loesch, who brought on the original team to do 14 episodes. She believed in the X-Men so much she put her job on the line; her studio exec higher-ups told her if it failed she’d be fired. And in fact, before the show even released, they fired the entire team—but that was short-lived as the show became a hit and was renewed.

Action was key to revitalizing the series

Image: Marvel Animation

Action on screen is modernized this time around with modern tech to push the limits. The X-Men ‘97 team took inspiration for its action sequences from both live-action cinema and animation from the ‘90s. Instead of using cell-drawn animation with flat backgrounds, the new team opted to blow past it for “emotional effect” into a more three-dimensional space with anime inspiration. Using digital intermediate (DI) tech, they threw filters on X-Men ‘97 that were stylized from ‘90s films, adding jitter and noise grain to make scenes more explosive in widescreen.

The music was as important as ever

Image: Marvel Animation

They knew that had to keep the opening titles, which celebrate the characters in a “very distinctive, strong, and driving way,” original director Houston shared. He did the opening drawings for the original series before the music came into play; to match the artwork, it took 12 versions before they landed on the 13th, which is the theme we know and love.

Assemble the X-Men

Image: Marvel Animation

Supervising producer and head director Jake Castorena said the topics the OG show handled were very important to continue this time around. He was influenced by everything, down to the original voices that had a sense of humanity that saw them through. Therefore, X-Men ‘97 opted to bring back as many original voice actors as they could. Houston also mentioned how they cast based on theatricality and emotion.

Casting memories

Image: Marvel Animation

Lenore Zann, who plays Rogue, didn’t initially audition but went to callbacks. She got it immediately. Wolverine’s Cal Dodd had a similar experience. Both felt their casting was meant to be. Alison Sealy-Smith, who plays Storm, is a Shakespearean actor who connected to Storm as a Queen. She quickly felt that they had similar natural strengths; they both “go big or go home.” Beast actor George Buza is a comic book nerd who read the script and knew it was X-Men immediately which was like his Star Wars.

A superhero homecoming

Image: Marvel Animation

The cast missed these characters. They recorded in the same studio as they did in the ‘90s for X-Men‘97. They also watched episodes to get back into it, and all quickly fell back into step effortlessly. Like stepping into a “well worn leather jacket,” Zann said about voicing Rogue again. The whole cast didn’t actually realize X-Men: The Animated Series was still so big until Comic-Con two years ago; it felt like a homecoming to learn they’d made so many people’s childhoods.

Voice cast switch-ups honor the past and future

Image: Marvel Animation

A.J. LoCascio auditioned to take over the role of Gambit when the audition tried to hide that it was an X-Men project. The character was called Johnny but the reference was “Ray Potter as Gambit”—so he checked the other parts references and, since he’s a fanboy himself, realized it was the X-Men. Potter, the original voice of Gambit, took over the role of Cable for X-Men ‘97.

The X-Men are just as powerful today than ever

Image: Marvel Animation

Zann, who loves the X-Men mythology, described the original scripts and their continuation, as “archetypes, like Greek and Roman gods and goddesses.” That influenced the new creative team to continue to explore Magnus and Charles’ dream and bring it back just like those who came before. But they didn’t want to emulate a time capsule of the original, so they carefully tooled it to be a spiritual successor. Houston proudly said that the original creators stuck to the tenet “Don’t write down to kids, write up to kids”—and they are happy to see that continue.

Brad Winderbaum added, “Kids see the world around them, they see the racism, they see social unrest.” Much like the X-Men did for him growing up, he said, the characters and stories can do the same for kids now—and help them not feel alone. It’s a show about tolerance, something that the X-Men has always represented.

Watch Marvel Animation’s X-Men ‘97 and Assembled: The Making of X-Men ‘97, as well as X-Men: The Animated Series, on Disney+.


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Steven Spielberg's New Movie Will Battle Avengers and Star Wars @ io9

Steven Spielberg’s next movie is coming summer 2026.Photo: Presley Ann (Getty Images)

Forty years to the day after Steven Spielberg sent Indiana Jones on a mine cart chase, he’s chasing his next movie, and it sounds like a biggie. The legendary director just set May 15, 2026 for the release of his new movie, which is being described as a “new original event film.” David Koepp, who penned Jurassic Park and War of the Worlds for Spielberg, is writing the script based an idea by Spielberg himself.

We don’t specifically know what the film is about yet but Variety believes it has something to do with UFOs. That, plus Koepp writing, and especially the early summer release date that sees it open between heavyweights like Avengers: The Kang Dynasty (currently slated for May 1, 2026) and The Mandalorian and Grogu (currently slated for May 22, 2026), one has to assume it’s a big summer blockbuster-type movie.

Spielberg’s last few attempts at the kind of film he literally helped invent have largely been met with apathy. He released Ready Player One in 2018, but that was in March, and before that The BFG in July 2016. In 2008, he had a massive summer hit with Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (also written by Koepp), but it certainly didn’t elicit the raves of his other Indy movies. For the last true Steven Spielberg summer blockbuster, you have to go back almost 20 years to 2005's War of the Worlds--and even then, there’s an argument to be made it didn’t reach true Spielberg levels of adoration. So, it’s been a minute.

As much as we did adored Spielberg’s last two movies, West Side Story and The Fabelmans, it’s exciting that he’s getting back into the summer movie season. It’s freaking Steven Spielberg, maybe the greatest to ever do it, opening a movie between the two biggest franchises on the planet. It’s hard not to get excited about something like that.


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Beetlejuice Brings Ghoulish Chaos in the New Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Trailer @ io9

Image: Warner Bros. Discovery

The ghost with the most has broken free to wreak more afterlife mayhem on the living Deetz family. The long-awaited sequel to Tim Burton’s horror comedy Beetlejuice—perfectly titled Beetlejuice Beetlejuice—arrives September 6, and we’ve got a fresh peek at the action in thanks to a brand-new trailer.

Michael Keaton (Birdman) slips right back into his iconic role as the chaotic bio-exorcist, summoned once again by the Deetz family when Lydia’s (Stranger Things’ Winona Ryder) daughter Astrid (Wednesday’s Jenna Ortega) becomes entangled in some dangerous purgatorial shenanigans. In the trailer, we see her reading a flyer she finds in the Maitland home attic that looks like a personal ad—which entices her to “exor-cise” her right to RIP, along with a hilarious sketch of you-know-who on a heart-shaped bed with the words “Looking for a love connection?” on top.

Here’s the latest trailer from legendary goth auteur Burton, who directs what looks like an imaginative sequel from a screenplay by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (Wednesday).

BEETLEJUICE BEETLEJUICE | Official Trailer

Well, that looks like a frightfully funny feast of stop-motion—not to mention a return to the Burton wackiness that we’ve missed. We cannot wait to see more of Lydia and Astrid’s mother and daughter dynamic as the past from the original films is unleashed to haunt them. Astrid sharing she thinks the dead have it easier than the living feels on brand for the family. Catherine O’Hara (Schitt’s Creek, The Nightmare Before Christmas) is also back as Delia Deetz, who we get to see coming face to face with Beetlejuice in the land of the dead, including the infamous waiting room.

Plus there are new new cast members played by Justin Theroux (The Leftovers),who tags along with Lydia as Beetlejuice keeps wooing her; Monica Bellucci (Spectre), as Beetlejuice’s wife who’s out to find him; Willem Dafoe (Poor Things), who shows up as a freaky case worker; and Arthur Conti (House of the Dragon). Seeing the clip of Dafoe with shrunken Beetlejuice head in the waiting room was fun—but it makes us wonder how the trickster demon ends up as a general manager of the dead (with a photo of teen Lydia on his desk).

Beetlejuice Beetlejuice will be a big event to usher in spooky season this year, opening in theaters September 6.


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Star Trek: Discovery Discussion – Lagrange Point @ Bureau 42

After Moll and the Breen capture a mysterious structure that contains the Progenitors’ power, Captain Burnham must lead a covert mission to retrieve it before the Breen figure out how to use it.

Chris Hemsworth's Furiosa Character Was an Organic Creation @ io9

Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.Image: Warner Bros.

Many of the characters that appear in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga we’ve met before: Furiosa, of course. Immortal Joe. The War Boys. But one of the new additions, Chris Hemsworth’s Dementus, is not only mad and exciting, he changed throughout the filmmaking process.

io9 spoke to Hemsworth recently about the film and, since the entire script for Furiosa is backstory for the title character, we asked what backstory George Miller provided him for Dementus. It turns out, not as much as you’d think. “He had a lot of ideas, but the beauty of filmmaking is how you start off with one expectation and you end up in a very different place,” Hemsworth said. “I think for both of us, the character evolved in a really satisfying way.”

One example the Thor star gave was the fact Dementus carries around a small teddy bear with him. At first, it was just part of the weird, creepy, Wasteland costumes created for the series but then it became more. “The teddy bear, for instance, didn’t necessarily hold much value in the script but then became sort of a totem and it became a representation of his past and something that he passed on,” Hemsworth said.

“The organic nature and growth of characters, it doesn’t always happen like that,” he continued. “But I found it satisfying because of the collaboration with Anya [Taylor-Joy] and I. Even from rehearsal, she would say things and do things that would make me think differently about how my performance was going to go. And then the culmination of the final scene in the movie was quite different than it was on the page due to the discussions we were having back and forth. And so, I mean, that’s the joy of it. You want to be surprised each time and we were.”

We think you’ll also be surprised when you see where Dementus came from, what he wants, and especially where he ends up in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, which is now in theaters.

Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth on Collaborating with Mad Max Director George Miller

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Star Trek: Discovery Just Pulled Off the Heist of the Century @ io9

Photo: Michael Gibson/Paramount+

Star Trek: Discovery has always had a bit of a problem with the penultimate episodes of its seasons—episodes that have to come to some sort of juddering climactic halt for whatever’s happening that week, to set up the dire stakes coming in the finale episode the week after. At long last, as the series looks to its very last episode, it’s managed to at last pull it off: an episode that feels great as it is, while also effectively setting that final stage.

Photo: Michael Gibson/Paramount+

“Lagrange Point” is a deceptively simple episode for one that ultimately has to leave a lot on the table for next week’s final send off for the show. The tension is non-stop, as the Discovery finds itself failing in a race against time and Moll’s Breen forces—themselves being chased by fleets of rival Breen ships, who’ve learned of Primarch Rhun’s death after last week’s shenanigans—and failing, when they both manage to make to to the seeming location of the Progenitor tech, only for Moll’s ship to scoop up the mysterious package before Discovery can. But that means one thing and one thing only can help our heroes: heist time? Heist time.

For as beloved a Trek trope as infiltrating enemy bases and heists are, Discovery’s not actually done anything quite like this before, but it clearly has a lot of fun in doing so here. There’s a great little scene in Burnham’s ready room where they lay out the plan of action—two teams of two, Alpha (Reese and Adira) and Bravo (Michael and Book), will sneak aboard the Breen flagship disguised as foot soldiers, with one team planting a transport tracker on the Progenitor tech, and the other infiltrating the bridge to lower shields in time for everyone and their prize package to transport-poof-out in an instant. But aside from the heisty vibes, what makes it so fun is something we get to then see throughout the episode: Star Trek is, at its core, a series about competence porn, and beautiful people being smart and doing things they’re extremely good at, extremely well. Everyone in this room, from Adira all the way up to Michael, knows that they can do this, and instead of simply being told that, we get to watch them prove it over the next 40 minutes or so.

Photo: Michael Gibson/Paramount+

And it’s exactly that: a fun heist! Throughout, aboard Discovery, we get to see Rayner lead the bridge crew in preparing for any eventuality, a nice little release on his season-long arc of not entirely being sure he belongs with this crew. Back at Federation HQ, we also get to see Saru’s return, as he’s thrust into the Federation’s last-ditch diplomatic effort to try and get the chasing Breen forces to not engage Moll and Discovery. And then of course, on the Breen ship there’s all the heisty action. We get some great little moments of each team having to try and pretend to be aggressive Breen to fit in; Michael and Book even manage to sneak in a quiet moment together to look back on their relationship just in case everything’s about to go to hell; and of course, there’s inevitably a good couple of scraps when their cover is nearly (and then actually) blown. There’s a lot of tension that there perhaps otherwise wouldn’t be if this wasn’t the penultimate season of the entire—where we might safely assume that everyone will be fine, because there’s another season of Discovery around the corner. There’s no season around the corner this time! Everyone might not be fine! Well, except for the fact that like we said, this is a bunch of people who have, after five seasons, assured themselves and the audience alike that they’re really good at their jobs, and everything goes off damn near perfectly.

For the most part. After all, this is the penultimate episode of the season, and not a regular one, so it would be a pretty bold move for everything to go perfectly for our heroes with one episode still left to go. After Michael and Book get discovered planting the tracking device, the action ramps up even further as Discovery has to get involved as a distraction, decloaking from its vantage point to launch a hail mary charge at the Breen ship’s shuttle bay, in the hopes it can essentially ran a hole in its shielding structure and blast the Progenitor package and the captured crew out into space, picking them up there. Again, fun! Again, tense! Again, people who are good at their jobs being good at them! You can’t really ask for more than that, but at the same time, again that would make for a very dull set-up for a series finale if everyone just got what they wanted without a hitch.

Photo: Michael Gibson/Paramount+

So, in a final act of desperation, Moll—who has been sending Breen after Breen into the opened package to try and investigate the mysterious portal within, with none of them returning no matter what they try—leaps inside the Progenitor package/portal too. And Michael being Michael, she cannot help but leap in after her, hoping that whatever’s in there isn’t immediately lethal. So, even as Discovery slams into the Breen shuttlebay, beams everyone but Michael back aboard, and makes it out in (mostly) one piece, the Progenitor package cracks open to reveal a mysterious portal... and seemingly no signs of what could be beyond it or even if Michael is alive. The stage is set for our final episode on this cliffhanger, but again, it’s set up really well across this whole episode, instead of feeling like a cliffhanger that slams in out of nowhere on an otherwise loosely related adventure. Again and again, “Lagrange Point” hits home to us that our heroes are good at what they do, regardless of the odds, and so we get that again in another cathartic release on the Discovery bridge to end the episode: Rayner, no longer dancing around it, but sitting in the captain’s chair with a rousing message to the team—his team—that they’re going to save the day and get their captain back.

We’ll find out next week just how they do it, but given the confidence on display here? There’s very little doubt they’ll send themselves, and Discovery as a show, off with anything but an extremely competent bang.


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Doctor Who Teases Its Strangest Villain Yet @ io9

Image: BBC

The cast of Jurassic World 4 expands. Street Fighter gets its first logo. Plus, Doctor Who hypes its strangest villain yet. To me, my spoilers!


Jurassic World 4

THR reports Rupert Friend (Asteroid City) has joined the cast of Jurassic World 4 in a currently undisclosed role.


Blue Balls

Variety also has word that Star Trek: Discovery’s Blu del Barrio and Ian Alexander will star alongside Clare Noelle and Charlie Hiscock in Blue Balls, a vampire comedy from director Léa Fae Caddigan. The story is said to follow “Emma (Clare Noelle), who, back at home in her small town, wants nothing more than a night of driving around and hanging out with her best friend, Mara (Blu del Barrio). But when they meet Tom and Jack, Mara invites these two strangers back to their place to get to know each other better. The only problem is that Emma is a virgin as is Tom. But Tom’s not a sexual virgin, he’s a vampire who’s never killed before and he’s hoping tonight will be the night for him to join a centuries-old vampire fraternity. As the two humans fight for their lives with every weapon they can find, this horror show turns into a comedic blood battle for their freedom.”


Twisters

Twisters has been rated PG-13 “intense action and peril, some language and injury images.”

[Comic Book]


The Gorge

Bloody-Disgusting additionally reports Scott Derrickson’s The Gorge has also been rated PG-13 for “intense sequences of violence and action, brief strong language, some suggestive material and thematic elements.”


Street Fighter

Collider (via DiscussingFilm) has the official logo for the new live-action Street Fighter movie from Danny & Michael Philippou.


Paddington in Peru

DiscussingFilm also has the first poster for Paddington in Peru.


Harold and the Purple Crayon

Sony has released a second trailer for Harold and the Purple Crayon set to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON - Official Trailer 2 (HD)

Evil

TV Line reports Anna Chlumsky has joined the cast of Evil’s final season as the “funny, charming, genuine and likable” Ellie, “a guest at the Bouchards’ house for a wake, where she befriends a grieving Kristen.”


The Boys

During a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, former Supernatural showrunner Eric Kripke stated it would be a “bummer” not to have Jared Padalecki appear on The Boys.

Texts have been sent. I feel like it would be a bummer to not have Jared on the show one way or another at this point, even if it’s just the one-episode thing. He’s been shooting Walker, but with that show wrapping up, maybe he’ll have some time to come in and play with us. I would love it. We have definitely talked about it.


The Boys: Mexico

In another recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Eric Kripke stated there are “a lot of hurdles” in the way of a potential spinoff of The Boys set in Mexico.

They are still making the deal with the writer [Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer] for the pilot. He has an amazing pitch, and we all giggle and think about how fun it would be. But there are a lot of hurdles for that show before it’s a real show. He’s got to write an amazing pilot, he’s probably got to write an amazing episode 2. I think he can and he will, but we’re a while away from truly starting to drop in the Easter eggs and the setups and stuff.


Doctor Who

Speaking with The Radio Times, Russell T. Davies stated the villain of this week’s episode of Doctor Who is “hard to describe” and “possibly the strangest you’ll ever see.”

Episode 4 has got possibly the strangest villain you’ll ever see. You have to come and watch - even in an interview like this, it’s hard to describe. You’ve got to come and watch episode 4 to understand what’s going on.


Dark Matter

Spoiler TV also has a couple images from “Wordless,” the fifth episode of Dark Matter.

Photo: Apple TV+
Photo: Apple TV+

As they learn more about the Box, Jason and Amanda see alternate versions of their lives. Jason2 begins training a potential investor.


Star Wars: The Acolyte

Finally, a new TV spot for Star Wars: The Acolyte leans into the show’s horror elements.


Our Stranger Things Longing Intensifies With First Stage Show Trailer @ io9

An image from the Stranger Things stage show.Image: Netflix

We’re still months away from the fifth and final season of Stranger Things, so while we wait, it might be time to travel to London. That’s where the most recent piece of mythology in the series can be found and now, for the first time, we’ve got a real good look.

In December, a stage play called Stranger Things: The First Shadow opened in London’s West End. Set in 1959 Hawkins, it follows a young Henry Creel, revealed to be the evil Vecna in the fourth season of the show, when he first arrived in town, and shows how he became the first of a group of kids with special abilities. Beyond that, not much has been known or seen from the show. That is, until today, when Netflix released the first trailer for the production.

Stranger Things: The First Shadow | Meet Henry Creel | Netflix

As it is set just over two decades before the show, several of the main adults are seen here as younger versions of themselves. Characters such as Jim Hopper, Bob Newby, Joyce Maldonado, and even Dr. Brenner. It looks kind of amazing and only makes us that much more excited for the show to come back one last time.

Of course, the biggest problem with this trailer is that you can only see the full show by heading to London. However, you now have more time than you may have thought. The First Shadow was just extended into 2025, giving fans plenty of time to make travel plans to see the origins of this popular franchise.

Written by Kate Trefry and directed by Stephen Daldry as well as Justin Martin, Stranger Things: The First Shadow is now showing at the Phoenix Theatre in London. Visit the official site for more info, tickets, and more.


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10 Standout Sci-Fi, Horror, and Fantasy Series on Max @ io9

House of the DragonPhoto: Ollie Upton/HBO

You’ve already set a reminder for Dune: Part Two’s arrival on Max next week, and we’ve previously assembled lists of other genre movies the streamer has on offer. But don’t forget about all the excellent genre series, too; House of the Dragon returns next month and Dune: Prophecy arrives in the fall, and in the meantime there’s plenty to catch up on or experience for the first time.

Here are 10 standout sci-fi, fantasy, and horror series streaming on Max, all of which are either HBO or Max Originals.

Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon

House of the Dragon Season 2 | Official Trailer | Max

Two separate George R.R. Martin-inspired series set hundreds of years apart in the same world, Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon share quite a few themes and aesthetics—including intricate political maneuverings between power-mad royals and nobles, and gleefully gruesome violence. However, despite the fact that they have the same theme song, they have their own distinct characters and conflicts. Game of Thrones ran for eight seasons and if you somehow missed it along the way—or if you feel like revisiting favorite twists and battles—you can watch its drama and darkness on Max. And now’s your moment to catch up on House of the Dragon season one on Max before it returns for season two June 16.

The Last of Us

The Last of Us | Official Trailer | Max

This critical and commercial smash—easily one of the greatest video game adaptations to date—won’t be dropping its much-anticipated second season until next year. So there’s plenty of time to watch or re-watch Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) make their perilous, thrilling, and heartbreaking journey across the pandemic-ravaged post-apocalypse. Watch on Max.

Station Eleven

Station Eleven | The Beginner’s Guide | HBO Max

Speaking of the pandemic-ravaged post-apocalypse, Station Eleven—based on Emily St. John Mandel’s best-selling novel—might not have raked in as much hype as The Last of Us, but it earned its share of acclaim. It’s a 10-episode miniseries, so the one season is a complete story. Watch on Max.

The Leftovers

The Leftovers: Final Season Trailer (HBO)

Carrie Coon, Christopher Eccleston, and Justin Theroux lead an ensemble cast in this remarkable series, which started with the question “What would happen to the people left behind if the Rapture (or something like it) happened, and a portion of the world just disappeared?” From there, and then over the course of three seasons, it became a wild, wonderful, surreal, heart-wrenching, and thoughtful journey. There’s really no other show like it. Watch on Max.

The Outsider

The Outsider: Official Trailer | HBO

This Stephen King adaptation starring Ben Mendelsohn and Cynthia Erivo starts off like a crime story, and The Outsider does have elements in common with the more grounded True Detective. Its antagonist, however, is eerily supernatural, in uniquely specific ways that make chasing them down absolutely terrifying. Just one season was made, but we sure would have loved to see more. Watch on Max.

Lovecraft Country

LOVECRAFT COUNTRY Trailer 2 (2020) Jordan Peele, J.J. Abrams TV Series

Lead actor Jonathan Majors may have fallen from grace, but the rest of the cast (Jurnee Smollett, Aunjanue Ellis, Courtney B. Vance, Wunmi Mosaku, Michael Kenneth Williams) can help you forget that, as will the gripping story (adapted from Matt Ruff’s novel) that emerges in this tale of racism in 1950s America, wrapped in occult themes drawn from the desk of H.P. Lovecraft. Watch on Max.

Los Espookys

Halloween Tricks of the Trade | Los Espookys | HBO

This Spanish-language horror comedy series ran for just two seasons, but swiftly gained a cult following for its unique set-up and offbeat characters: horror-obsessed friends who decide to turn that obsession—which dovetails with their talent for creating supernatural illusions—into a career of sorts. Watch on Max.

True Blood

True Blood - Season 1: Trailer - Official HBO UK

Vampires owned part of the conversation about Peak TV thanks to this hugely popular, Anna Paquin-starring series set in a corner of Louisiana that’s home to a surprisingly high number of sexy supernatural creatures. It ran for seven seasons, is based on the Charlaine Harris novels, and introduced most of the world to a certain Alexander Skarsgård. Watch on Max.

30 Coins

30 Coins: Official Trailer | HBO

Cult filmmaker Álex de la Iglesia (The Day of the Beast)masterminded this Spanish horror series, which has two seasons (so far, a third installment is not yet confirmed). It follows a priest in exile who must draw on his experience as an exorcist when strange happenings—possibly tied to the Biblical coins used to pay Judas for his betrayal of Jesus—start happening in his village. Eduard Fernández plays the exorcist, and season two saw Paul Giamatti join the cast as an American billionaire driven by sinister motivations. Watch on Max.

Watchmen

Watchmen | Official Tease | HBO

After the groundbreaking comic by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, and the reasonably entertaining Zack Snyder movie, even big Watchmen fans wondered: what more could an HBO series bring to the table? Turns out, a whole hell of a lot, in a highly acclaimed single season that brought surprising new depth and textures to the subversive superhero story. Watch on Max.

James Wan Wants to Bring Back The Munsters for Universal's Monsterverse @ io9

Photo: John Springer Collection/CORBIS (Getty Images)

The Conjuring filmmaker James Wan is gearing up to build out another universe of monsters with 1313, a reimagining of the The Munsters for Universal. The Wrap reported the development of the project between Wan’s production company Atomic Monster, Lab Brew, and UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group.

The Munsters reboot’s official logline describes the upcoming horror project, titled 1313 after the family’s iconically spooky street number on Mockingbird Lane, as a new take on the ‘60s era sitcom that “lives and breathes within the Universal Monsterverse.” So expect Herman, Lily, and the family to know or be more directly related to the Universal Monsters, even though the original show did an excellent job at incorporating the lore and even costumes from the monster films into loose variations of the characters. 1313 was developed by horror maestro Wan, who’s also serving as an executive producer with EP and showrunner Lindsey Anderson Beer and co-EP Ingrid Bisu. Atomic Monster’s Michael Clear and Rob Hackett serve as additional EPs.

“We are very intentional about the stories we are telling, and there is always going to be a market for authentic, compelling and entertaining television,” UCP chairman Pearlena Igbokwe was quoted in the Wrap about the company’s planned slate, including this revamp of The Munsters. 1313 is the third attempted reboot for the series after NBC aired Bryan Fuller’s Mockingbird Lane pilot in 2012 as a Halloween special, and Seth Myers spearheaded another one through development back in 2017. Most recently, Rob Zombie offered his own take on The Munsters in a movie that had a straight to video and digital release.


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How The Dark Knight Helped Bring Fallout to Life @ io9

Fallout and Dark Knight: what’s the link? The approach.Image: Prime/Warner Bros.

Besides the name “Nolan,” The Dark Knight and Fallout don’t have much in common. One is based on a comic book, the other a video game. One is set in a modern setting, the other is post-apocalyptic. But Jonathan Nolan, co-writer of The Dark Knight and executive producer of Fallout, found the approach to one had a big impact on the other.

In Los Angeles this week, the Hollywood Reporter was on hand to watch Jonathan have a chat with his brother, the Oscar-winning director of The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan, about the new Prime Video series. Chris asked his brother about the approach to adapting a video game and Jonathan explained that he felt confident about it because of Batman.

“I don’t know I would have had the guts to do it if we hadn’t gone through the experience on Batman,” he said. “I think often about your casting Heath Ledger [as the Joker] and the months of—I’m not even sure how aware you were of it, because you’re not online; I at the time was very online, and sort of very aware of the fact that people thought, ‘Oh, they’ve blown it,’ right? Because they couldn’t quite see it, it didn’t quite map onto their—it wasn’t Jack Nicholson.”

It’s funny to think back about internet backlash over something that’s now so beloved, right? Anyway, Jonathan Nolan continued. “I remember watching that and being terrified, because we’d written the draft, and you start of thinking, ‘How’s this gonna work out?’ And I think the answer was, it worked out very, very well,” he said. “That gave me the courage to sort of go, okay, look, if you approach these things not for the fans, but as a fan—find something that you love and try to treat it with as much respect as you can and trust that respect and love will show through, even if you have to, in the case as you pointed out, you have to make choices.”

Which is the approach he and the team took for Fallout and, putting it mildly, that turned out fairly well. Both fans and critics liked it, and now season two is on the way. Read more about the double Nolan convo over at the Hollywood Reporter.


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Predator and Black Panther Will Collide in a New Marvel Mini-Series @ io9

A sneak of the cover for Predator vs. Black Panther #1 by Ken Lashley.Image: Marvel Comics

This summer, there’s going to be a hunt in Wakanda. io9 is incredibly excited to announce that writer Benjamin Percy and artists Chris Allen and Ken Lashley are teaming up on a new Marvel Comic called Predator vs. Black Panther, a four-issue mini-series that will debut on August 21.

It’s the follow-up to last year’s Predator vs. Wolverine series where Predators (the evil creatures seen fighting both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Amber Midthunder) got a taste of a few new elements: Wolverine’s adamantium and Wakanda’s vibranium. Now, one such Predator is heading to the African nation to obtain the mineral for his tribe, and that’ll put him in direct contact with the nation’s protector, the Black Panther.

There will also be warring Predator tribes, a Predator King, and a whole lot more. Below, you can see the exclusive debut of the cover to issue number one, an image from inside the issue, and a Q&A with Benjamin Percy for the series.

A sneak of the cover for Predator vs. Black Panther #1 by Ken Lashley.Image: Marvel Comics

Germain Lussier, io9: At what point did you know that Predator vs. Black Panther would be your follow-up to Predator vs. Wolverine and how did you come up with the connective tissue?

Benjamin Percy: I put all of my creative poison into Predator vs. Wolverine, so it was extremely gratifying to see the reader and retailer response—for the floppies and for the collected trade. The strong sales encouraged the idea of expanding the storyline. If the first installment was about the hunt for a man, it made sense to elevate the stakes and make this book about the battle for a kingdom. There are a number of reasons that Black Panther makes for a great adversary and Wakanda makes for great stage (including the fact that the perimeter shield, when locked down, creates a hunting preserve). But then you throw vibranium into the mix, and you’ve got a really interesting (and fresh) Predator narrative. The Yautja covet their weapons and trophies—and the kingdom’s vast stores of this rare cosmic metal would be impossible to resist.

io9: When writing a story about characters that originated in a movie series like Predator, do you have to adhere to any canon? If so, who do you talk to about that and if not, is there any limit in terms of character or mythology you put on yourself?

Percy: Those who read Predator vs. Wolverine will know that I adhered to canon in a dancing-between-the-raindrops kind of way. Is it officially canon? I honestly don’t know. But I’m treating it like it is, because I want people to feel like the story matters, like the Yautja have been in the 616 all along, hunting.

io9: From the cover image we’re revealing, this looks like a whole new design for the Predator. How was that developed?

Percy: Chris Allen is doing interior art for the series, and holy hell can he draw. He’s such a force—and has such an eye for detail. Every millimeter of his panels contributes richly to the story. He spent a lot of time designing our Yautja, so get ready for a showcase of armor and designs worthy of the Met Gala(ctic).

Interior Predator vs. Black Panther #1 by Chris Allen.Image: Marvel Comics

io9: We heard this story has some kind of “Predator King” in it, what can you tease or tell us about him?

Percy: What’s the Black Panther story people are most familiar with? The battle over the throne between T’Challa and Killmonger. I’m channeling something similar to that here—except on a cosmic scale. This Predator King has two sons who are at war with one another. Vibranium might be the weapon that determines their claim.

io9: For someone who maybe follows movies more than comics, how are your versions of Predator and Black Panther in this story different from ones we’ve seen on screen?

Percy: If you’re a comics nerd, I will feed you. If you’re a movie nerd, I will feed you too. And if you’ve never read or seen anything about Predator or Black Panther, you can get fed as well. I want these to be evergreen titles, and the best way to accomplish that is to honor legacy while not overly burdening the reader with continuity homework.

io9: Finally, does Predator vs. Black Panther include any teases of a match-up you might be cooking up next? Or do you have any ideas of who you’d like to see next?

Percy: I not only know what match-up is coming next, I have plans for the match-up that follows it. We’ll see how it all plays out, but we’re for sure locked in for the third story (which I am so, so damn excited about).

Predator vs. Black Panther, written by Benjamin Percy (Predator vs. Wolverine, Wolverine, Ghost Rider, Hellverine), drawn by Chris Allen (Marvel Stormbreaker artists, Black Panther) with cover art by Ken Lashley (Predator vs. Wolverine), is out August 21.


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Lego Star Wars Has Never Looked as Stunning as This @ io9

Image: Hue Hughes

If you’re a fan of Star Wars, Lego, or both, you might want to clear a few minutes right now. Photographer Hue Hughes has generously shared with io9 some of his stunning photographs of Lego Star Wars pieces and we are completely obsessed.

According to Hughes, who resides in Bluffton, SC, all the photos you’re about to see were captured for real. All the different effects? Created practically. “The only digital manipulation was color grading, the addition of lightsabers, glowing eyes, and the sun and moon,” Hughes said.

“I like using matches and a fog machine when I shoot,” he continued. “The match creates a warm light source, while the fog machine creates an atmosphere. I create all of my own environments using common materials. Backing powder, sand, and construction paper make up the bulk of my building materials. I shoot many of my images at high speed to capture the particles of sand and baking powder flying through the air.”

You get a tiny glimpse of what’s in store above but click through to see a ton more. And once that’s done, head over to Hughes’ official website, Instagram, and Reddit page for much more. It’s not just Lego Star Wars either.

Vader and his TIE

Image: Hue Hughes

AT-AT and AT-ST

Image: Hue Hughes

Watch out Golden Rod!

Image: Hue Hughes

Sandtrooper

Image: Hue Hughes

Rancor party

Image: Hue Hughes

Smokey TIE

Image: Hue Hughes

Snowy Scout

Image: Hue Hughes

Kylo woods

Image: Hue Hughes

Meet your match

Image: Hue Hughes

Graveyard

Image: Hue Hughes

“Boba Fett’s Starship”

Image: Hue Hughes

Jungle walker

Image: Hue Hughes

Twin suns

Image: Hue Hughes

UCS living

Image: Hue Hughes

Snow battle

Image: Hue Hughes

Empire attack

Image: Hue Hughes

Beast wars

Image: Hue Hughes

Speeder bikes

Image: Hue Hughes

An evil discovery

Image: Hue Hughes

Solo Vader

Image: Hue Hughes

Luke 1, AT-AT 0

Image: Hue Hughes

Camping Jawas

Image: Hue Hughes

Moonwalker

Image: Hue Hughes

Vader strikes back

Image: Hue Hughes

On to the next one

Image: Hue Hughes

Marvel's Vision Will Return to Disney+ With a Little Help From Star Trek: Picard @ io9

Paul Bettany as a pale, angry Vision at the end of WandaVision.Image: Marvel Studios

Earlier this month, bigwigs at Marvel and Disney made it clear they’d be making a strategic decision to release fewer movies and TV shows going forward. Now we know at least one new Disney+ series that’ll be part of that scaled-down plan: a show centering Vision which will bring back Paul Bettany as the character (last seen not quite himself at the end of WandaVision) and be showrun by Star Trek: Picard’s Terry Matalas.

Variety had the scoop on the as-yet untitled series, noting that it’s not due until 2026. Beyond Bettany’s return and Matalas coming aboard, not much more is known about the plot; Marvel fans, of course, will recall that Vision has been through a rollercoaster of existence since being killed by Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War. He played suburban hubby as part of the elaborate, magical illusion created by Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) in WandaVision, then stepped back into the real world in a ghostly-white form to fight himself in the WandaVision finale. As Variety reminds us, “Wanda’s Vision restored the ghost Vision’s memories, then Wanda allowed her Vision to fade from existence. The new show will take place after those events, as ghost Vision presumably explores his new purpose in life.”

The trade also notes this is a different version of the Vision series than an earlier incarnation from Jac Schaeffer, who created WandaVision but is now hard at work on Disney+ spin-off Agatha All Along, due later this year.

Are you excited for Vision’s return, and to see what Bettany will do with the character next? What do you make of Matalas joining the Marvel team?


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

Liam Hemsworth's Witcher Sure Looks a Lot Like Henry Cavill's Witcher @ io9

Liam Hemsworth as Gerald of RiviaScreenshot: Netflix YouTube

In real life, if you look at them side by side, Liam Hemsworth and Henry Cavill don’t really resemble each other. But put them in White Wolf wig and costume, and turn the brightness way down, and... man, The Witcher’s continuity problem isn’t seeming so dire now.

After on-set photos of Hemsworth in his Geralt of Rivia ensemble leaked earlier this week, Netflix released a very short video revealing the first official glimpse of him in character. It’s gloomy, sure, but who else reacted by muttering “I can’t believe it’s not Cavill?”

The Witcher: Season 4 | First Look | Netflix

Season four of The Witcher—as previously announced, the show will end after its fifth installment, with seasons four and five filming back to back—is now in production, so don’t hold your breath for a trailer anytime soon. The fourth season of the adaptation of Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher novels will be the first without Cavill as the titular monster-hunter, but it will feature the return of Anya Chalotra, Freya Allan, and Joey Batey as Yennefer, Ciri, and Jaskier the bard—plus a few more new faces, including Laurence Fishburne and Sharlto Copley.

You can watch the previous three seasons of The Witcher on Netflix now.


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The First Acolyte Clip Reveals a Blistering, Surprising Jedi Battle @ io9

Screenshot: Star Wars YouTube

We’re used to seeing Star Wars characters fight with lightsabers. But the first clip from upcoming Disney+ series The Acolyte shows us some highly skilled, absolutely relentless hand-to-hand combat. Even Master Sol (Lee Jung-jae) is confused: “You attack me without a weapon,” he says to Mae (Amandla Stenberg), his attacker. “Why?”

The context isn’t yet clear enough to answer his question, but kudos to the fight choreographer. Check out the clip!

The Acolyte | Mae and Sol Fight | Streaming June 4 on Disney+

We don’t want to set our hopes too high, but everything we’ve seen so far from The Acolyte makes us very, very excited to plunge in to these dark new Star Wars waters. Set at the tail end of the High Republic era, around a century before The Phantom Menace, The Acolyte will follow Master Sol (played, as noted above, by Squid Game breakout Lee) as he turns crime-solver, tracking down a former Padawan (Stenberg’s character) who has—as you can clearly see in the clip—turned against the Jedi to embrace a new malevolence.

The show is created by Leslye Headland (Russian Doll) and also stars Manny Jacinto, Dafne Keen, Charlie Barnett, Jodie Turner-Smith, Rebecca Henderson, Dean-Charles Chapman, Joonas Sutotamo, and Carrie-Anne Moss.

The Acolyte arrives with a two-episode premiere June 4 on Disney+.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

Marvel's Upcoming What If? VR Game Gets a Revealing First Trailer @ io9

Soon you’ll be able to enter the world of What If?Image: Marvel Studios

What if Marvel Studios, Disney+, Industrial Light & Magic, and Apple all came together for a single project? Well, we don’t have to ask “What If?” It’s actually happening. It’s called What If…? – An Immersive Story, it’s a virtual reality experience exclusive to Apple Vision Pro, and the first trailer is here.

Created by Marvel Studios and ILM Immersive, the experience will see the user team up with the Watcher and Wong to traverse the multiverse and interact with variants of characters such as Thanos, Hela, the Collector, Red Guardian, and others. That makes it the first-ever interactive Disney+ Original story. Here’s the trailer.

Marvel Studios’ What If…? – An Immersive Story | Official Trailer | ILM Immersive & Disney+

“What If…? – An Immersive Story is the result of what can happen when you bring together the incredible talent at ILM Immersive, Marvel Studios, and Disney+ to push the boundaries of technology in the service of telling our stories in new and exciting ways,” executive producer Shereif M. Fattouh said in a press release. “This project touches upon the cornerstone of the desire that our studios share to constantly experiment and innovate, and thanks to the capabilities of Apple Vision Pro, we get to place you directly inside a Universe that means so much to us all. I can’t wait for fans to become the hero in this completely new way.”

io9 was lucky enough to be given a hands-on demonstration of the hour-long experience this week and will report back on it soon. But, for now, if you happen to have an Apple Vision Pro, you’ll be able to grab What If…? – An Immersive Story for free on May 30.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

George Miller on Why He Was Hard-Wired to Make Furiosa @ io9

George Miller with Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth in Furiosa.Image: Warner Bros.

When a film is a huge success, we often imagine studios pressuring filmmakers to follow it up. “Get the sequel out fast,” is the prevailing thought. And while sometimes that happens with varying degrees of success,George Miller told io9 he didn’t feel any pressure to follow up Mad Max: Fury Road after that film’s success. He just kind of had to, deep in his bones. And so Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga was born.

As most people know, the first seeds of Furiosa came in the development of Fury Road. To give the actors backgrounds for their characters, Miller developed elaborate backstories for each. And in the case of Furiosa, that morphed into a whole separate screenplay. One that the writer-director very much liked. “The whole theory was that if Fury Road got enough traction we’d at some point, come and make this film,” Miller told io9.

But that was around 2015. It’s currently, spoiler alert, 2024. So what was the film’s journey in between? Well, Miller made 3000 Years of Longing and Warner Bros. experienced multiple changes in not just ownership but direction of its film studio.

“I knew [Furiosa] would happen at one point,” Miller said. “You’re drawn to stories first. You feel a gravitational pull to stories or a compulsion to tell a story. I’m a habitual storyteller. I started as a little kid and now it’s just part of how I work and how I am. The stories compete in your head, almost, in a Darwinian way. And some of them, you’re saying, ‘You know, this is the one that I most want to tell at this point.’ And that’s just how it happens. And luckily, the planets aligned, and we were able to sort of do it.”

Miller calls the current Warner Bros. film group, led by Michael De Luca and Pamela Adby, “a very, very film-friendly group of people” and heaps praise on the relationship. “[They’re] people who understand the relationship between a studio and filmmakers is not adversary, it has to be collaborative,” Miller said. “And it’s not just in their words, it’s by their actions. And we benefited from that immensely in the making of this film. Unlike the well-documented troubles we had on Fury Road.”

So, by hell or high water, Furiosa was made. George Miller had to. And this weekend, he’s giving it to us.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

‘It’s Visual Music’: Director George Miller on His Filmmaking Style @ io9

The Monsterverse Loses a Director @ io9

Image: Legendary

Steven Kostanki’s Deathstalker remake releases its first image. Another new look at Alien: Romulus. Plus, you’ll have to read a YA novel to find out what happened at the end of Goosebumps’ first season. Keep watching the spoilers!


The Possession at Gladstone Manor

Bloody-Disgusting reports Barbara Crampton, Lin Shaye, Caylee Cowan, Jesse Metcalf, Charlotte Kirk, Darren Weiss, and William Mapother are attached to star in The Possession at Gladstone Manor, a horror film from director K. Asher Levin.

The story is said to follow Jamie Black, who “discovers her mother has gone missing” and “resolves to investigate by applying for the same job her mother held at Gladstone Manor. Jamie soon finds evidence that her mother isn’t the only missing person and that she may be dealing with sinister forces beyond this world. Desperate, she enlists the help of her brothers – Rupert and Chris – and Sam (Chris’ fiancée): all of whom are professional criminals and former marines. Once Jamie arrives at the house, she is immediately greeted by a mysterious and evil Nurse, and soon realizes the residents of Gladstone Manor are an enemy like no other, with a dark power she’s never faced. Trapped in the house, she must rely on her brothers and future sister-in-law to save her.”


Godzilla x Kong/Monsterverse

Due to “timing issues,” THR reports Godzilla x Kong’s Adam Wingard will not return to direct a third installment of Legendary’s Monsterverse franchise.


Menace

According to Fangoria, IFC Films and Shudder have acquired the distribution rights to Menace, a “sci-fi horror” film starring Isabel May. Directed by Randall Okita, the plot concerns “a research student who has a psychotic breakdown and is remanded to the custody of her aunt and uncle in a small town. When strange things start happening around her and people start disappearing, she isn’t sure what is real or what is her imagination.”


The Death of Robin Hood

Variety also reports that A24 has acquired the rights to The Death of Robin Hood, a dark reimagining of the legendary outlaw from Pig director, Michael Sarnoski. Starring Hugh Jackman and Jodie Comer, the film sees Robin Hood as “a battle-worn loner [who] finds himself gravely injured and in the hands of a mysterious woman, who offers him a chance at salvation” for his “past after a life of crime and murder.” Production is expected to begin sometime next year.


Deadpool & Wolverine

A recent disclaimer from Ryan Reynolds suggests Deadpool & Wolverine will “completely sidestep Marvel’s mandated after credit sequence.”

Disclaimers

Deathstalker

Variety has our first look at Daniel Bernhardt in Steven Kostanski’s remake of the 1983 fantasy film, Deathstalker.

Photo: Raven Banner Entertainment

Alien: Romulus

Fandango has a new image from Alien: Romulus.


Beetlejuice Beetlejuice

Fandango additionally has a new poster for Beetlejuice Beetlejuice ahead of tomorrow’s trailer.


Star Wars: The Acolyte

During a recent interview with IGN, showrunner Leslie Headland stated Star Wars: The Acolyte does not include “any Nightsisters” but was “inspired by them.”

The Clone Wars [inspired The Acolyte], a lot being inspired by Nightsisters. We don’t have any Nightsisters in this show, but being inspired by them, being inspired by Asajj Ventress. My favorite episode is The Wrong Jedi. I definitely took some inspiration from that.


Goosebumps

Bloody-Disgusting reports the cliffhanger to the first season of Goosebumps will only be resolved in an upcoming young adult novelization releasing this October 1.


Star Trek: Discovery

Spoiler TV has photos from “Lagrange Point,” this week’s episode of Star Trek: Discovery. More at the Link.

Photo: Paramount+
Photo: Paramount+

After Moll and the Breen capture a mysterious structure that contains the Progenitors’ power, Captain Burnham must lead a covert mission to retrieve it before the Breen figure out how to use it.


My Adventures With Superman

Finally, Task Force X discovers Kryptonite in a new clip from the second season of My Adventures With Superman.

EARLY PREVIEW: My Adventures with Superman S2E1 | adult swim

"Big Germs" — short fiction by Rudy Rucker @ Boing Boing

Rudy Rucker

Zoe sits on the steps behind her family's house. Her dog Bowser lies flopped on the damp earth. It's April in California. Zoe savors the neighborhood sounds, copying her sensations and comments to an uvvy patch on the back of her neck.  — Read the rest

The post "Big Germs" — short fiction by Rudy Rucker appeared first on Boing Boing.

Downton Abbey Trivia @ Bureau 42

Put on your finery, make sure the silver is polished, and let’s have some trivia. For episode 278 of the Dorky Geeky Nerdy trivia podcast, I have Downton Abbey trivia for you lovely people.

Bureau 42 Movie Review – Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (2024) @ Bureau 42

Now that Japan has shown us what they can do with their iconic monster, how does the US do when they add their iconic ape to the action?

 

Cast and Crew

Director: Adam Wingard

Writers: Terry Rossio, Adam Wingard, Simon Barrett

Rebecca Hall as Ilene Andrews
Brian Tyree Henry as Bernie Hayes
Dan Stevens as Trapper
Kaylee Hottle as Jia
Alex Ferns as Mikael
Fala Chen as Iwi Queen
Rachel House as Hampton
Ron Smyck as Harris

Premise

Two ancient titans, Godzilla and Kong, clash in an epic battle as humans unravel their intertwined origins and connection to Skull Island’s mysteries. (From IMDB)

High Point

Giant monsters beat each other up.  Any kid who smashed action figures together over and over will recognize the same thing as it happens on the screen with expensive CGI.  That’s why this movie exists, and it delivers on its promise.

Low Point

This is about as deep as the movie gets.  Thinking about it any deeper at all destroys the fun.  Catastrophic human death and destruction happens repeatedly, even having one mean person unceremoniously consumed in front of you before they are completely forgotten a scene later.  Even the way the monsters fight is absurd to the point that full professional wrestling moves are used.

The Scores:

Originality: 1/6 The only reason this movie got a single point at all was because they came up with a small outline of a story around the giant toys monsters hitting each other.

Effects: 5/6 This is a CGI slugfest, but because Godzilla Minus One came out so close and that Godzilla looked better (for cheaper.)

Acting: 3/6 The actors perform their parts well enough, but the assignment wasn’t difficult.

Emotional Response: 4/6 There are emotional moments that hit, and the movie conveys the feelings the inhuman characters have enough that you can follow along.

Story: 3/6 The story is on par with a fighting video game’s explanation for why the player is fighting each successive character in the one-player mode.

Production: 5/6 Each of the pieces to create this movie fell nicely into place, with new versions of existing toys characters to keep it interesting.

Overall: 3/6

In total, Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (2024) receive 24/42

More 3 Body Problem Is Coming, But How Much More? @ io9

Liam Cunningham as Wade, Jess Hong as Jin Cheng, and Sea Shimooka as Sophon in 3 Body Problem.Photo: Ed Miller/Netflix

Fans of 3 Body Problem were thrilled to hear the show had been renewed by Netflix, but something about the announcement was puzzling. Usually, when a show gets greenlit for more, there’s a specific announcement about what that means: another season, two more seasons, a special array of finale episodes, etc. That wasn’t the case for the sci-fi hit.

Instead, 3 Body Problem’s renewal just came with messaging that said “the story continues” and “3 Body Problem returns.” A post on Netflix’s Tudum confirmed that the show will continue to be “created, executive produced, and written by the returning trio of [David] Benioff, [Dan] Weiss, and [Alexander] Woo,” but that “all other details are under wraps including the number of seasons and episodes which will be revealed at a later date.”

Today, speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, which further pointed to Netflix’s recent upfront presentation making similarly vague promises of “additional episodes” to “finish the story,” Benioff, Weiss, and Woo sounded confident they’ll be able to realize their full vision for the show. According to the trade, the trio wouldn’t name a number of episodes, but teased “seasons,” and “that the number of hours aligns with their original plan to adapt author Liu Cixin’s two remaining novels in his Hugo-winning trilogy.”

Like the books, the 3 Body Problem series has been a commercial and critical hit, and the trio told THR they’re currently writing the next season—which they estimate will be a three-year process. “We’re now at a place where we get to tell the rest of the story,” Benioff said. “And, yes, we have enough time to tell the rest of the story the way we want to and that’s immensely gratifying.”

Given that timeline, fans shouldn’t expect new 3 Body Problem episodes anytime soon—but knowing they’re on the way, and will build toward a satisfying conclusion, should help ease the wait.

You can watch season one of 3 Body Problem on Netflix now.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

How Will Time Travel Change Perry in Season 2 of Outer Range? @ io9

Marvel's X-Men Movie Takes Its First Big Step @ io9

Ten years after the release of Days of Future Past, a new X-Men movie is coming.Image: Fox

Every movie starts with a script and a movie we’ve all been waiting for is finally getting one. Michael Lesslie, the writer of last year’s The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds & Snakes, is in negotiations to write Marvel Studios’ upcoming live-action X-Men movie.

Deadline broke the news of the hire, which was first teased by TheInsider earlier this month. It’s a huge piece of news because it shows that Marvel Studios and its president Kevin Feige have concluded the long search for an idea and direction to take X-Men, a group of characters that was unavailable to them for most of the history of the MCU. That, of course, changed when Disney bought Fox and in the past few years, we’ve slowly started to see the iconic characters pop up: Kelsey Grammar as Beast in The Marvels. Patrick Stewart as Professor X in Doctor Strange 2. Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine in Deadpool and Wolverine. And, of course, the Disney+ show X-Men ‘97.

But a live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe version of the X-Men is the big one—the one we all imagined when Feige got control of Fox’s characters (Fantastic Four too but more so this). Seeing the mutants share the screen with the Avengers is the surefire next way to reach the heights of Avengers: Endgame. With a script now in the works, talks can begin to turn to casting and directors. Will it be a whole new team of X-Men? Will Feige and Marvel pick and choose from the Fox cast? There are so many questions that are now getting closer than ever to being answered because a script is in the works.

As for Lesslie himself, in addition to the Hunger Games adaptation, he also had a hand in the upcoming Now You See Me threequel, suggesting he’s someone Hollywood is high on in terms of franchises. But few franchises in history are as big as X-Men, so hopefully he takes thing to a whole new level.

We expect to learn much, much more about what’s coming at Marvel Studios both at San Diego Comic-Con in July and D23 Expo in August.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who.

A Spoilery Star Wars Rumor Heats Up After YouTube Edit @ io9

Amandla Stenberg on The Acolyte.Screenshot: Lucasfilm

Star Wars fans have been buzzing about a potentially huge reveal in new footage from The Acolyte, and now a curious change to that footage on YouTube adds fuel to the fire of its accuracy.

The Acolyte, which debuts on Disney+ June 4, is about a Jedi Master named Sol (Squid Game’s Lee Jung-jae) who sets out on a mission to investigate crimes that are being committed by his former apprentice, Mae (Amandla Stenberg). Did she do it? Did she not? A new TV spot ends with Stenberg’s character pleading with her master that “I didn’t do it! Believe me.” Only, something isn’t quite right. This is where this rumor comes in. Here’s the clip, called “Plan.”

The Acolyte | Plan | Streaming June 4 on Disney+

Note: If what follows is true, it reveals a potential major plot point in The Acolyte. If you want to be extra safe and not be spoiled, we suggest leaving now.

In the moment at the end of the footage, fans (such as the ones over at Bespin Bulletin) noticed that the subtitles originally referred to Stenberg as “Osha” instead of “Mae,” which is the character’s name that has been publically revealed. That, along with the fact “Osha” is dressed completely differently than “Mae,” feeds a rumor that Stenberg is playing twins on The Acolyte, one on the path of the Dark Side, one on the path of the Light Side.

But is that true? Is it not? Was it a mistake? Those are questions we don’t have answers to but io9 did notice a fairly significant piece of evidence strongly suggesting someone did not want the “Osha” character name out there.

At some point since the “Plan” TV spot was uploaded three days ago, the subtitle settings on YouTube appear to have changed. The subtitles on the video default to “English (Auto Generated),” which does not have character names. On the contrary, every other video on the Star Wars YouTube that we checked has an additional option called “English (United States),” which does have character names. So, did Lucasfilm ask for those to be turned off to protect the secret? We don’t know. io9 reached out to Lucasfilm for clarification or clarity on this matter and will update the post if or when we hear back.

Left, the subtitle setting on every other video on Star Wars YouTube. Right, the settings on “Plan”Screenshot: YouTube

Again, maybe this is just a mistake. Maybe after this post goes up, the subtitle settings will be updated (or rewritten). Maybe Osha is another character entirely. Or, maybe, someone messed up, got caught, and this is covering up the spoiler. What do you think is true?

We’re sure to find out soon when Star Wars: The Acolyte premieres June 4 on Disney+.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel, Star Wars, and Star Trek releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about the future of Doctor Who

Disneyland's Elite Club 33 Is Getting Its Own Whodunnit Mystery Movie @ io9

Image: io9/Gizmodo

Hidden right above Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean, the ride that started the Disney Parks attraction-to-movie pipeline, is the members-only Club 33, an exclusive destination for industry professionals, insiders, the rich and the famous, and their lucky friends. There’s plenty of mystique built into Club 33, something a just-announced mystery film aims to take advantage of.

Deadpool & Wolverine director Shawn Levy, along with Dan Levine and Dan Cohen, are producing the film through 21 Laps Entertainment, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The script will be written by Darren Lempke (Goosebumps), whose pitch is described as having Clue and Night at the Museum vibes—and maybe also, we hope,a touch of Knives Out lite.

THR shared a description of the film, which is less about high-society people trusting friends with their membership for an opportunity to have the fanciest meal at Disneyland—though there’s an element of that. The fictional spin, which is perhaps tied to the Society of Adventurers and Explorers who weave Disney attraction tales and universes together, will follow “Kim, a young aspiring detective living in present-day New York, who receives a mysterious invite to the highly secretive Club 33. In this case, it’s a magical and exclusive dining club that exists outside of time and space. The club’s members are the greatest and most iconic members from the past: geniuses, royalty, and history-makers.”

Dare to enter Club 33?Image: io9/Gizmodo

Just the outlandish nature of that makes us intrigued and we would love to see someone like Ayo Edebiri be the detective and get into wacky Disney timey-wimey-ness (we can say that now since Doctor Who is on Disney+) with historical figures. And that’s not even the whole story: things will take a turn when “a murder is committed moments after her arrival [and] the patrons look to Kim to solve it. Kim, who despite her brilliance can’t seem to get out of her own way, must rise to the occasion and find a way to capture the criminal amidst the greatest minds history has to offer.”

For more updates on the Club 33 film and other Disney Parks universe movies stay tuned here at io9.


Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

Netflix Lifts the Lid on Sweet Tooth's Epic Third and Final Season @ io9

Image: Netflix

Netflix fantasy Sweet Tooth—based on Jeff Lemire’s DC comic series—will unveil its third and final season in June, and the stakes are sky-high for the hybrid kids and their allies. Today brought a new trailer and images highlighting new characters, including those played by Star Wars’ Kelly Marie Tran and The Expanse’s Cara Gee—as well as season three’s journey to Alaska.

Sweet Tooth | Final Season Official Trailer | Netflix

Here’s the detailed summary shared by Netflix: “Having defeated General Abbot in the battle at Pubba’s Cabin, Gus (Christian Convery), Jepperd (Nonso Anozie), Becky (Stefania LaVie Owen), and Wendy (Naledi Murray) embark on a journey to Alaska in search of Gus’s mother, Birdie (Amy Seimetz), who has been working to uncover the mysterious origins of the deadly Sick. Along the way, they are joined by Dr. Singh (Adeel Akhtar), who may have his own dangerous beliefs about Gus and his role in reversing the virus. Meanwhile, a new threat emerges in the form of Helen Zhang (Rosalind Chao), her daughter Rosie (Kelly Marie Tran), and the ferocious Wolf Boys, who seek to restart human birth and view Gus as the solution to their plans. As they navigate through perilous terrain, Gus and his group of friends find refuge at the Outpost in Alaska, where they meet a new ensemble of characters including Siana (Cara Gee) and her hybrid daughter Nuka (Ayazhan Dalabayeva). With the clock to find answers running out, alliances are tested and destinies intertwine, all leading to a thrilling climax that will determine the fate of humanity and hybrids.”

On Netflix’s Tudum blog, Sweet Tooth executive producer, writer, director, and showrunner Jim Mickle said season three is wrapping up much as he envisioned from the start, but also, “in a lot of ways it takes on its own life ... I think you set out to tell these landmark pieces of Gus’ story and the big pieces of the comic book, but the beauty of long-form storytelling and Gus’ journey over 24 episodes is the characters themselves tell you what they want to be.”

Mickle also teased that season three will find that “everybody is dealing with some kind of wound or emotional loss ... everybody is looking inward and looking to move on and ultimately learning that life doesn’t stop. You have to keep putting one foot in front of another.”

You can watch the first two seasons of Sweet Tooth on Netflix now. Scroll through for more looks at season three! It runs eight episodes and arrives June 6.

Sweet Tooth season 3

Image: Netflix

Sweet Tooth season 3

Image: Netflix

Sweet Tooth season 3

Image: Netflix

Sweet Tooth season 3

Image: Netflix

Sweet Tooth season 3

Image: Netflix

Sweet Tooth season 3

Image: Netflix

Sweet Tooth season 3

Image: Netflix

Sweet Tooth season 3

Image: Netflix

Sweet Tooth season 3

Image: Netflix