THE GEEK THAT WAS – 21/02/16

A BRIEF LOOK BACK AT THE GEEKY GOINGS ON OF THE WEEK.

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There have been two words endlessly echoing around the halls of Geektopia this week and those words are ‘reboot’ and ‘sequel’. While both have their place in the universe, the alarming rate at which they seem to be repeated is pretty upsetting. Anyway, there is a lot of that sort of thing in this week’s wrap up so be prepared.

So get comfy and brace yourself for a veritable orgy of information including news about Star Wars: Episode 8, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Ghostbusters 3, Deadpool 2, Wolverine 3, Spawn 2, Daredevil 2, Blade Runner 2 and the sequel to Mary Poppins that literally no one has been asking for.

FILMING BEGINS ON STAR WARS: EPISODE 8

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Exciting news for Star Wars fans this week as Disney and Lucasfilm released a short video to announce that filming had begun on Episode 8. Clearly they are wasting no time as Episode 7 hasn’t even finished playing in cinemas yet, not that we are complaining.

The video features director, Rian Johnson filming actors Mark Hamill and Daisy Ridley on location at the stunning Skellig Michael Island off the coast of Ireland. This suggests that Episode 8 will likely pick up almost immediately from the end of The Force Awakens.

Before anyone cries ‘spoilers’, if you’ve not seen it by now then you should be ashamed of yourself and you actually deserve to have it spoiled. So here is a meme to demonstrate how little I care about your faux geek rage… but also because I find it really funny.

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It was also announced that returning cast members Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, and Andy Serkis, would be joined by newcomers Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern, and Kelly Marie Tran.

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Episode 8 isn’t due for release until December 2017, but it is safe to say that they hype starts here. Although they are still remaining strangely tight-lipped about the first stand alone film, Rogue One. Hopefully we can expect an announcement about that in the coming weeks.

NEW DAREDEVIL TRAILER SHOWS PUNISHER IN ACTION

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Season 2 of Daredevil arrives on Netflix next month and the excitement is starting to reach fever point. Marvel and Netflix pushed it even further this week with the release of the first of two trailers that will set the tone for the coming season, with the second being released on February 25th.

The trailer gives us our first proper look at Jon Bernthal’s Punisher AKA Frank Castle, who will serve as one of the major antagonists in season 2. It seems that Daredevil and Punisher will clash violently as Frank leaves a bloody trail through Hell’s Kitchen on his quest for vengeance.

The teaser also features Daredevil’s long time nemesis and love interest Elektra, as well as returning characters Foggy, Karen and Night Nurse, but no sign of Kingpin. Season 2 looks to be just as atmospheric as the first, blending drama and action to show the darker side of the Marvel Universe.

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Jon Bernthal really is perfectly cast as Frank and early word is his performance has proved impressive enough to convince the execs to greenlight a Punisher spin off-series. Season 2 of Daredevil will be available on Netflix from Friday 18th March.

KURT RUSSELL CONFIRMED FOR GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOLUME 2

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Episode 8 wasn’t the only highly anticipated sequel to begin principal photography this week as Twitter friendly director, James Gunn announced to the world that filming had begun on Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 with this very cool image.

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But that’s not all. It had long been rumoured that veteran actor and all-round legend, Kurt Russell would be joining the cast, a rumour which mega-fan Gunn was delighted to finally confirm. Gunn revealed that Russell would indeed be playing Peter Quill’s father, which is just fantastic casting on every level.

GOTG: V2 will be deviating from the comic books where Star Lord Senior was revealed to be an underwhelming character named J’son of Spartex, so we don’t know much about Russell’s character right now but it seems likely that he will be a loveable rogue of some type.

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Still on GOTG: V2, the promo image showed Groot to still be in sapling form, resting on Drax’s shoulder. While this isn’t surprising as Baby Groot turned out to be a huge hit with audiences it will be interesting to see how much of the film he spends like this, hopefully not too long.

GHOSTBUSTERS 3 VILLAIN REVEALED

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Paul feig’s Ghostbusters reboot has been dividing popular opinion since it was very first announced. The news that it would feature an all female cast caused 30 something males around the world to weep openly into their Ghostbusters bed spreads while screaming “Urgh, girls are gross!”

Personally, the sex of the cast isn’t the issue for me, especially considering that the film will star the always fantastic Kristen Wiig, it’s more the fact that Ghostbusters is very much of its time. It just seems unlikely that this film will be able to recapture the magic of the original, even Ghostbusters 2 failed to do that with the original cast.

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Regardless of your feelings, the film is set for release on July 15th and it could very well prove everyone wrong just as Mad Max: Fury Road did, then again it could be another Terminator Genisys. At the moment we’ve not had much to go on beyond a basic synopsis, a few stills and a teaser trailer.

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We do know that the main villain, named Rowan, will be played by Neil Casey and that he will take multiple forms throughout the film. One of those forms was revealed at the New York Toy Fair this week and it is very reminiscent of the Ghostbusters logo itself.

EMILY BLUNT CONFIRMED FOR MARY POPPINS REBOOT

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Did someone say ‘totally unnecessary reboot’? Yes, in fact it was Disney who said that when they decided to make their upcoming sequel to Mary Poppins. The film doesn’t have a shooting date yet but Emily Blunt has been confirmed to star as the titular British nanny.

If you feel like Disney is curling out a big one on your childhood with this reboot then I recommend you take a spoonful of sugar, apparently it helps the medicine to go down.

BLADE RUNNER 2 RELEASE DATE ANNOUNCED

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Stop it Hollywood! You are turning the Geek That Was in to one long rant about your total lack of originality. Yes, the Blade Runner sequel is going ahead, however Ridley Scott will not be playing a part in it. Instead Sicario director, Denis Villeneuve is slated to direct.

Original Blade Runner screenwriter, Hampton Finch will be co-writing the script with Michael Green based on an original idea by Scott and Finch. The film will be set several decades after the first film with Harrison Ford reprising the role of Deckard.

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Deckard’s presence as an old man essentially invalidates the entire sub-text of the first film. Either he wasn’t a replicant or he was, but was somehow able to survive and age like Pops in Terminator Genysis. Urgh, that’s twice I’ve had to mention Terminator Genysis, this isn’t going well.

Of course it is a thrill to return to the tech-noir world of Blade Runner, but With Ryan Gosling confirmed to star I wish that they were telling a totally new story featuring him as a Replicant Hunter. Blade Runner 2 is currently scheduled for release in January 2018.

STAR WARS ACTOR RELEASES ORIGINAL SCRIPT PAGES ONLINE

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Star Wars fans received another treat this week courtesy of Chewbacca actor, Peter Mayhew. The 71 year old announced via Twitter that he would be releasing photographs of the original Star Wars script over several days, culminating in what he described as an ‘exciting announcement’.

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There are several major differences between the pages shared by Mayhew and the final version of the film that we would come to know and love. The script was famously originally entitled ‘The Adventures of Luke Starkiller as Taken from the Journal of Whills’, which is slightly less catchy than Star Wars.

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You can see more of the script on Peter’s Twitter page by simply clicking here, although maybe be a pal and wait until after the end of the wrap up to do it. There’s a fun bit about me being right about Deadpool coming up in a minute, so stick around for that.

DEADPOOL BREAKS BOX OFFICE RECORDS

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I’m not one to say ‘I told you so’, instead I like to write it in a blog so that people can read it and imagine my smug little voice in their heads. Anyway, I told you so. After a record breaking opening, Deadpool continued to prove the doubters wrong over the weekend, bringing in $150 million in the U.S. and $300 million internationally.

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This smashed the box office record for an R Rated movie set by Fifty Shades of Grey, I guess the mother’s favourite, watered down S & M fantasy just couldn’t compete to the sexual ferocity of one man and his unicorn. It is predicted that Deadpool will hit $475 million by the weekend, not bad for a film that only cost $58 million to make.

While Deadpool’s rabid fan base played an undoubtable part in its success (they’ve had £30 of me anyway), the film also benefited from an incredibly engaging marketing campaign that is still going on. Check out Ryan Reynolds’ fun promo interview with Wolverine himself, Hugh Jackman.

Following the incredible success of the film a sequel is already in the works although we don’t have to worry about Deadpool selling out. Writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick reassured fans that the next film will stay true to its roots, avoiding big budget, Michael Bay style thrills in favour of a more rebellious approach to the storytelling.

“We don’t want $150 million to go make the next movie, that’s not Deadpool. Deadpool doesn’t lift cities up into the air or battle aliens coming down to earth, that’s just not Deadpool. So we’re happy in that little small budget range that they have us in; we don’t wanna blow this next one out.”

This is really good news for fans as an inflated budget would mean more studio involvement, this way the filmmakers are free to take even more risks with the film. But Deadpool’s success has definitely paved the way for more adult super hero movies, for example….

WOLVERINE 3 CONFIRMED FOR AN R RATING

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Having seen the receipts for Deadpool it seems as if Fox have finally granted Hugh Jackman’s wish and greenlit an R Rated film for the Aussie actor’s final jaunt as Logan. Even more exciting it appears that the story will indeed be a loose adaptation of Mark Millar’s Old Man Logan.

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Old Man Logan tells the story of Logan’s journey through a post-apocalyptic world ruled entirely by villains. Having retired from the hero business, Logan tries to scrape out a living in this new world to support his family. However when his family is brutally killed, the Wolverine vows to avenge them at any cost.

Old Man Logan is a great story filled insane violence and twisted versions of familiar faces, but fans of the comic should keep in mind that Fox doesn’t own the rights to most of the characters that appear in it. So it seems likely that ‘loose adaptation’ is the operative phrase in the announcement.

TODD MCFARLENE COMPLETES SCRIPT FOR SPAWN REBOOT

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Oh look, another reboot. Todd McFarlane’s Spawn caused shockwaves in the comic world back in the 90s. It was the perfect title for that era, telling the story of a dead mercenary sentenced to hell but returned to Earth as Satan’s Lieutenant in the war against Heaven.

The comic inspired a very enjoyable animated series and a considerably less enjoyable live action film. Despite being considered somewhat of a cult classic, the film completely failed to capture the spirit of the comics, much to the frustration of its creator.

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With Deadpool showing that an R rated superhero film can indeed succeed at the box office it seems as if Spawn could be making a return to our screens in the near future. Speaking with his trademark modesty, Todd McFarlene had this to say at the New York Toy Fair:

“I need to get him back up on the big screen again to make him relevant in a big way, which we will do.”

Studios are going to spend the next few months searching for cult characters that can be turned into ‘something like that Deadpool movie’. McFarlene has a completed script and Spawn certainly has a fan base, so if Deadpool can have a shot at redemption then why not Spawn?

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This week’s wrap up was pretty movie-heavy so keep your eyes peeled for something a little bit more comic related later in the week. I do this only because I love you, but not in a friendly way, I love you in a totally creepy ‘I’m outside your house right now’ kind of way. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section and until next time… keep on geeking in the free world

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