THE GEEK THAT WAS – 28/02/16

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

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Oh hello you, fancy seeing you here. Yes it’s Sunday and that can only mean one thing… it’s time for The Geek That Was! There was a flurry of activity from Marvel over the last few days after allowing DC to hog the spotlight for several weeks. So prepare yourself for news about Captain America: Civil War, Daredevil season 2, Iron Fist, Most Wanted and Agent Carter.

But wait, there’s more! We’ve also got updates on The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Star Trek, Batman V Superman and WWE. Oh, and Bones as well, because my mum really likes it and it’s nearly Mother’s Day here in the UK. I hope you’ve got your mum something nice; I was going to get mine a copy of Dredd 2 but it doesn’t exist which really, really sucks. Sorry Mum.

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Here’s a cheap plug for our Facebook and Twitter pages, be sure to add us after you’ve finished the wrap up. Remember, every time I get a new Twitter follower an angel gets his wings. By ‘angel’ I mean David Borneaz, and by ‘wings’ I mean the out of court settlement Fox probably gave him to get him to work on the final season of Bones…. See Mum, that’s twice I’ve mentioned Bones.

Anyway, to the headlines…..

WB TO RELEASE R RATED VERSION OF BATMAN V SUPERMAN

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There were a few announcements this week regarding the upcoming release of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. The first was the reveal of its official running time; a bum-numbing 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes), which is about 10 minutes longer than Man of Steel and 150 minutes longer than Dredd 2, which still doesn’t exist… for some reason.

The other big announcement was that they will be releasing two versions of the film on Blu-ray; the PG-13 theatrical version and an R rated director’s cut. Clearly this announcement is an attempt to cash in on the huge success of Deadpool, which has now made a million, bazillion dollars. Okay so that’s not the real figure, but you get the point.

This feels very much like a pre-emptive stunt that will actually undermine the version of the film that is being released next month. How can you truly enjoy the movie when you know there is a potentially better version coming out further down the line? If WB wanted to make an R rated film then that’s what they should have done.

Also, does a two and a half hour film really need more footage added to it or will they simply be adding extra blood splatter to existing scenes? An R rating works for Deadpool and Wolverine, but not so much for Batman and Superman. This publicity stunt reeks of a total lack of faith in the film by WB, and the last time they lost faith in a Batman film this happened:

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Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice is released in the UK on March 25th and I am hoping it proves all of the sceptics wrong. While I have my doubts, provided there isn’t a bat credit card or bat nipples it should all be fine. Never forgive, never forget.

REHEARSALS BEGIN ON HARRY POTTER & THE CURSED CHILD: PARTS 1 & 2

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Expecto Patronum! Okay so this doesn’t really have anything to do with patronuses but that’s my favourite spell and this is my blog. Exciting news for fans of the boy wizard this week as final rehearsals began for the West End production of the 8th instalment of the Harry Potter Saga; a two part play based on an original story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany.

The play is set nineteen years after the events of The Deathly Hallows, with Harry now enjoying a happy life as a husband, father and an exemplary employee of the Ministry of Magic. But his adventures are far from over as he soon discovers when he is pulled into a mystical adventure alongside his son, Albus Severes Potter.

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The production will feature a huge cast of 42 actors including Jamie Parker, Paul Thornley and Noma Dumezweni in the roles of Harry, Ron and Hermione. The casting of Dumezweni as Hermione caused controversy amongst people who had apparently forgotten that Hermione is a fictional character, with no race specific traits who can therefore be played by pretty much anyone… so shut up.

The play will debut at London’s West End Palace Theatre in the summer of 2016, with tickets expected to cost a million, bazillion dollars. Yeah, sorry I didn’t really have time to research any acurate figures for this week’s wrap up.

NEW DAREDEVIL SEASON 2 TRAILER

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Netflix released their second trailer for Daredevil Season 2 this week and it did not disappoint. Whereas the last trailer focussed heavily on the Punisher, this one gives us an up close and personal look at Matt Murdock’s long time love interest/nemesis, Elektra. It also alludes to a lot of the themes of season 2, including the return of the Yakuza and the nefarious group known only as The Hand.

The trailer also features Daredevil’s former mentor, Stick and a possible glimpse of his group of martial arts warriors known as The Chaste. Matt and Elektra share a very unique relationship and that dynamic seems to be well reflected here in their dangerous flirtations. We also get a glimpse of the strain that Matt’s nocturnal activities are having on his relationship with Foggy.

Season 2 will be filled with the hyper realistic fight scenes that made season 1 so special and we see lots of this in the trailer, including a confrontation with a mystery assailant whose unmasking seems to be a pivotal moment. Punisher also makes an appearance and his presence causes Matt to question the effectiveness of what he does, maybe Punisher is the answer after all.

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Season 2 of Daredevil goes live on Netflix on March 18th. You can expect a steady stream of reviews on here as I intend to ignore everyone I know so I can binge it in 24 hours… in my pants… with pizza.

MARVEL PREVIEWS C-3PO COMIC

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Remember that magical moment in The Force Awakens when Han and Leia are reunited? Their eyes meet, the music swells and then C-3PO kills the moment by rambling on about his new red arm. As it turns out there is quite the story behind Threepio’s new appendage and it’s one that Marvel will be sharing in a new one shot comic next month.

The one off special is written by James Robinson (Scarlet Witch) with art by Tony Harris (Iron Man) and will reveal the ‘shocking truth’ about C-3PO’s adventures leading up to The Force Awakens. While not much is known about the story it is confirmed that the protocol droid’s escapade will not involve RD-D2. Star Wars Special: C-3PO is due for release on March 30th.

Oh, and Jar Jar Binks is rumoured to be making an appearance as well. Actually he isn’t, he isn’t appearing anywhere. Seriously are we just pretending that he didn’t happen? Because I am totally okay with that if we are.

BONES CONFIRMED FOR FINAL SEASON

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2015 saw Fox’s Bones surrounded by controversy as lead actors, Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz took legal action against the network over unpaid profits. The writing seemed to be pretty much on the wall for the show with the second half of its 11th season about to hit the air. Although it seems as if some sort of agreement has been made, at least enough for Fox to confirm season 12 of the show.

This final season will contain 12 episodes instead of the usual 22 and will offer closure to fans of the show. Showrunners Jonathan Collier and Michael Peterson will be taking the helm for this final run and have promised to deliver a satisfying ending for the fans. Bones returns to TV on April 14th. There you go Mum, happy Mother’s Day. I’m going to talk about a man who swears a lot now.

WALKING DEAD: CAN NEGAN SAY NAUGHTY WORDS?

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Negan is coming to The Walking Dead. It’s no longer a question of ‘if’, it isn’t even a question of ‘when’ anymore; it’s a question of ‘how’. For those not familiar with the comics, Negan has a unique way of speaking; his character is defined by his expletive filled rants, threats and insults. While AMC is perfectly fine with showing extreme violence, they tend to frown upon naughty words.

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Robert Kirkman and Scott Gimple have expressed their desire to show people a “full-octane Negan” but have apparently been met with resistance when it comes to his colourful dialogue. It seems that a compromise of sorts has been found with Jeffrey Dean Morgan performing multiple versions of Negan’s dialogue; the AMC friendly version and the not so AMC friendly version.

However don’t expect to see any F-bombs on the show as the more risqué takes are being saved for the Blu-ray extras. Personally I think this is a big, steaming crock of walker entrails. I don’t understand how a network can broadcast visceral and disturbing scenes of violence but draw the line at swearing. Negan’s language is an intrinsic part of his character and fans are starting to worry.

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Negan’s first scenes have already been filmed by director Greg Nicotero, who assures us that he has managed to preserve the performance without getting in to any trouble for the content. But this still feels like somewhat of a half measure. It seems TWD fans will have to wait and see, but personally nothing could diminish just how excited I am for Negan’s debut.

FEAR THE WALKING DEAD

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While we’re on the topic of The Walking Dead, AMC released a new trailer this week for season 2 of Fear the Walking Dead. The response to season 1 was generally positive although it definitely lacked the punch of the main show. We were promised a front row seat for the zombie outbreak and it didn’t really pan out that way. But it seems that this will change in the second season as the ante is most definitely upped.

Season 1 ended with our survivors seeking sanctuary on a luxury yacht off the coast of L.A. Many people have suggested that this would be a solid strategy for surviving the zombie apocalypse, but from the look of this trailer worse things actually do happen at sea. Clearly the group doesn’t spend all their time on the water as the clip does show them searching for supplies on land.

As well as a variety of land and seafaring zombies, the teaser also features a number of human survivors, it seems likely that supplies will be in high demand so piracy may become a problem for the group. They will also have to make some hard choices when it comes to letting other survivors on to the boat.

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If the season does go full Waterworld then that would definitely help to set it apart from The Walking Dead, although with an extended run of 15 episodes the novelty could wear off fairly quickly. Fear the Walking Dead returns on April 10th.

WRATH OF KHAN DIRECTOR JOINS NEW STAR TREK SERIES

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CBS announced this week that Star Trek veteran, Nicholas Meyers would be joining Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman on the creative team for their new series. Like Fuller and Kurtzman, Meyers is a Star Trek alumni having worked on several of the films including Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (AKA the best one), which he wrote and directed.

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Speaking on Meyers involvement, Bryan Fuller had this to say:

“Nicholas Meyer chased Kirk and Khan ’round the Mutara Nebula and ’round Genesis’ flames, he saved the whales with the Enterprise and its crew, and waged war and peace between Klingons and the Federation. We are thrilled announce that one of Star Trek’s greatest storytellers will be boldly returning as Nicholas Meyer beams aboard the new Trek writing staff.”

It’s hard not to feel optimistic about the show with CBS assembling an all-star team. While nothing has been officially confirmed it appears as if the casting process for the show has already begun with Candyman actor, Tony Todd being strongly tipped for a major role. We still don’t know anything about the story but it probably involves a space ship, just hazarding a guess on that one.

The show is expected to premiere in January 2017… unlike Dredd 2 which still doesn’t exist.

NETFLIX/MARVEL CASTS IRON FIST

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The relationship between Marvel and Netflix has proven to be pretty fruitful so far, with both Daredevil and Jessica Jones garnering critical acclaim and strong viewing figures. With season 2 of Daredevil on the way and Luke Cage not far behind that only leaves one Defender left to make his debut; Danny Rand AKA Iron Fist.

Of all the Defenders, Rand may be the hardest sell for Netflix. As the CEO of a major corporation who also happens to be a white guy blessed with mystical kung fu skills, Rand needs to be portrayed by someone who can make him seem both plausible and likeable. It would appear that Marvel has found their lead in the form of Game of Throne’s Finn Jones.

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Jones definitely looks the part but that doesn’t necessarily make him perfect for the role. That said the casting for all of the Marvel/Netflix shows has been fantastic so far, so I have faith. This does serve as a bit of GOT spoiler though, as it seems unlikely that he would be able to appear in both shows, suggesting a sharp exit for Sir Loras Tyrell in the coming season.

With Luke Cage still filming, there is a high chance that we could see a soft introduction for Iron Fist in that series. Cage and Rand are forever linked as part of the much loved Heroes for Hire and I am hopeful that both shows will feature a lot of interaction between the two of them. Hey, you know what else would make a great Netflix show? Dredd. Just saying.

COULD THIS BE THE END FOR AGENT CARTER?

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With just one episode left in the current run of Agent Carter it seems like this could possibly be the last we see of Peggy Carter on the small screen. Hayley Atwell has been confirmed to star in ABC’s new legal drama Conviction. She will play Carter Morrison, the daughter of a former president who heads a team that investigates cases where innocent people have been wrongly convicted.

While this is great news for Hayley it isn’t such great news for fans of Agent Carter as conflicting schedules mean that she would be unable to appear in both shows. Of course she would still have a minor presence in the MCU having most recently appeared in Ant Man, but it seems like next week’s season finale may be our last adventure with Agent Peggy Carter.

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At the risk of compromising my journalistic integrity I would just like to take this opportunity to declare my undying love for Hayley Atwell. Just in case Hayley is the kind of person to google herself and she happens to be reading this…. Hayley, I love you. I know this is sudden but I think we should get married; also can you get me tickets to the Civil War premiere? Thanks.

X-MEN: APOCALYPSE GETS NEW UK RELEASE DATE

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Can’t wait for X-Men: Apocalypse to come out? Well if you happen to be a Brit like me then you will be happy to hear that your wait just got a little bit shorter. Fox announced this week that they would be moving the UK release of the film forwards to May 18TH. That’s one whole week before America. Yeah, in your face Uncle Sam! This one’s for the Queen… or whatever.

MARVEL RELEASES SYNOPSIS FOR AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. SPIN OFF

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Spin-offs are to TV what reboots and sequels are to cinema. Some can be good, very few are great and the majority don’t do much other than tarnish the legacy of the parent brand. It seems as if Marvel and DC are doing their best to pump out as many properties as they can right now, you can’t really blame them if there is money to be made. Next up for Marvel is AOS spin off, Most Wanted.

The show is expected to air this year and will star Nick Blood and Adrainne Palicki as Lance Hunter and Bobbi Morse, AKA Mockingbird. Marvel has released the following Synopsis that seems to indicate that this will be a very different creature from AOS, with the former lovers operating entirely separately from Coulson and the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Most Wanted centres on Bobbi Morse (a.k.a. Mockingbird) and Lance Hunter of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., two ex-spies and ex-spouses who are on the run with no friends, no S.H.I.E.L.D. and a long list of enemies looking to claim a bounty on their heads. Able to trust no one but each other, Bobbi and Hunter form an uneasy alliance with Dominic Fortune, a rogue adventurer with a wealth of resources and even more adversaries, who agrees to protect them so long as they help him with his own agenda. These two heroes will help anyone in need, all while trying to uncover the conspiracy that put their own lives in jeopardy.

I can’t say I am particularly excited about this show as both characters work better within a group context. While AOS has undoubtedly improved since its early episodes, it still isn’t necessarily strong enough to launch a spin-off. But that’s not to say that this couldn’t work, more from the show as it is announced but expect Bobbi and Hunter to depart AOS before the end of the season.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR

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While there are still many questions surrounding Marvel’s next cinematic offering it seems we have been given an answer to at least one mystery. There have been many theories regarding Martin Freeman’s role in the film, it has now been revealed that he will be playing Everett Ross. Shown here standing alongside Emily Van Camp’s Sharon Carter.

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Everett Ross is an employee of the Joint Counter Terrorist Centre and an expert on Wakanda. Ross shares a long history with Black Panther in the comics which would suggest that we can expect to see Freeman reprise the role in the Black Panther stand alone film.

In other Civil War news, we can expect the events of the film to have huge ramifications on the rest of the MCU. In a recent interview directors Joe and Anthony Russo claimed that the film would have a “very dramatic ending that will be controversial for a lot of people”. If you’re familiar with the source text then it’s hard not to jump to conclusions after reading that.

Captain America: Civil War is released in the UK on April 29th. Hey Hayley, how about those tickets?

SHANE MCMAHON RETURNS TO WWE

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The rasslin world had a collective joygasm this week as Shane McMahon returned to the WWE. It’s been 7 years since we last saw Shane and in that time he has forged a successful business empire of his own away from the WWE. But he has remained in the hearts of rasslin fans thanks to his run of brutal matches during his brief in ring career, including an infamous match against Kurt Angle

In his absence Shane has been elevated to somewhat of a saviour figure by long-time fans who feel alienated by the current product. Every unpopular decision made by Vince or Stephanie tends to inspire countless online rants demanding that the pair hands the reins over to Shane. But this was just a pipe dream as Shane was done with rasslin, or at least he was until last Monday.

The fans got to have their cake and eat it when the prodigal son returned to Monday Night Raw this week to challenge his father and sister’s control of the show. As is often the case with the WWE, the lines between fiction and reality were blurred with Shane using the drop in viewers and the falling value of stock to justify the need for his takeover.

Shane’s appearance was met with a huge reaction, perhaps the biggest pop since the Rock first returned to WWE in 2011. Which is odd, as he isn’t actually a rassler. Even stranger, he now finds himself booked against the Undertaker at Wrestlemania 32 in a Hell in the Cell match for control of Monday Night Raw. While it’s certainly an interesting move it raises a lot of questions.

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The card for this year’s Mania is looking pretty lacklustre thus far and this may actually be the most interesting match of the night. But it still feels like Shane is only being used as a stand-in until Cena returns from injury to reclaim his spot like the mutant cyborg he is. Plus why would Undertaker accept the fight, wouldn’t that make him a heel?

Truthfully none of this really matters right now as Shane’s return offered a break from the bland wave of tedium that recent WWE programming has become. But I still feel that it would be better for the company to put an up and comer in that spot rather than Shane, who probably isn’t the performer to carry the company into the next decade.

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Well that about does it for this week’s wrap up. While there may not be a Dredd sequel on the horizon there’s still plenty to be excited about. Are you excited for Batman V Superman? Are you praying that you find a ticket for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in a chocolate bar? Are you sad that AMC has washed Negan’s mouth out? Do you wish I would stop saying ‘rasslin’? So many questions and you can leave all of your answers  in the comments section. Until next time… keep on geeking in the free world.

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