THE GEEK THAT WAS – 06/03/16

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

Happy Mother’s Day to all the geeky mummas out there! Thank you for encouraging us to follow our passions, I remember how my mother used to create makeshift Batman costumes for me and take me to the toy shop to look at the latest Star Wars figures, actually that was only last week. But most of us wouldn’t be the geeks we are today without our mums, so be sure to show a little love today. Although maybe not as much love as this guy…

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Anyway, that’s enough soppiness; our mum’s may have given birth to us, fed us, clothed us, loved us and raised us, but they aren’t as good as Batman. This is why I plan to put my mum in a home so I can sell her house and use the money to buy myself a Batmobile. Is there truly any better gift a parent can give their child than a Batmobile? Ponder that this Mother’s Day.

On to the wrap up, it’s been a slow week in Geektopia but we still have plenty to discuss. So get ready for an informative assault on your puny human senses, featuring news about Batman, Charmed, Venom, American Gods, Sandman, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Finding Dory, Ghostbusters 3, The Walking Dead, The Dark Tower and Wolverine 3.

CHRISTIAN BALE UNSATISFIED WITH BATMAN

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With Batfleck soon to be unleashed on the viewing public it was his predecessor who made headlines this week. Christopher Bale revealed in a recent interview that he was less than satisfied with his own portrayal of Batman in the Dark Knight trilogy. Going so far as to say the he felt as though he “didn’t quite nail it.”

It seems he had intended to show a darker side of Batman, focussing more on his ‘inner monster’. However the arrival of Heath Ledger’s scene stealing Joker scuppered those plans. As Bale puts it “Heath turned up, and just kind of completely ruined all my plans. Because I went, ‘He’s so much more interesting than me and what I’m doing.'”

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While it’s hard to dispute the fact that Ledger overshadowed everything else in The Dark Knight, Bale was exceptional as both Bruce Wayne and Batman… apart from that voice, which was pretty much unforgivable. I am still convinced that Batfleck will end up being the best on screen representation of Batman, provided he doesn’t end up sounding like a pervert with laryngitis as well.

CHARMED TO RETURN TO TV

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Three is the magic number, or at least it was for fans of Charmed until its cancelation in 2006. With “reunion” being the key word on every unimaginative exec’s lips right now it seems like anything that worked once could be viable for a return. It appears that Charmed may be next cult show to get recycled and the original cast are eager to get in on the action. Actress Alyssa Milano had this to say:

“We are all open for [a Charmed reunion]! It seems like that’s going to happen any second. I just feel like with all these reunions, and we still have such a cult following, that I feel like someone’s going to put that together at some point, and we’re all totally on board for that!”

Shannon Doherty has also shown interest in being involved in the project. The notoriously difficult actress was fired from the show in 2001 and replaced with Rose McGowan, so it will be interesting to see if she is invited to join the reunion.

Were you a fan of Charmed? My mum likes it which is why I am talking about it here. Happy Mother’s Day Mum, I’m sorry I said I’d put you in a home. It’s still happening though.

SONY TO MAKE VENOM STAND ALONE FILM

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Sony had big plans for their Spider-Verse before that ship was sunk by the hot turd of an iceberg that was The Amazing Spiderman 2 (sorry, but that film was awful). Part of those plans included a Sinister Six movie and a Venom V Carnage stand alone film. With Sony collaborating with Marvel on yet another Spiderman reboot it seemed like that those plans had been ditched, until now.

Sony announced this weekend that they would be going forward with their plans for a Venom solo film; however the film will be completely separate from the Spiderman reboot. It is not really clear how the logistics of this will work as Venom only exists as a direct result of the symbiote’s encounter with Spiderman, and Tom Holland’s Parker is too young to have dealt with Eddie Brock yet.

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There are several possibilities of how this could be handled. Firstly the film could be set in the near future; if we don’t see Spidey then there is no need to explain how old he is at the time. Another option is that the film exists within its own continuity, similar to how Deadpool acknowledged X-Men but wasn’t bound by it. Finally, this Venom could have an entirely new origin story.

Unlike the Spiderman reboot, Sony will not be teaming with Marvel on the film and they haven’t released any details as of yet. It’s not known if the film will turn out to feature Carnage as well, but if there is no Spidey then it kind of makes sense that Venom would be the anti-hero taking on something much worse than himself.

Whatever happens, it couldn’t be any worse than the Topher Grace in Spiderman 3.

IAN MCSHANE JOINS CAST OF AMERICAN GODS

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The cast of Bryan Fuller’s American Gods is starting to shape up nicely, with Deadwood actor, Ian McShane being the latest name to join its ranks. McShane will be playing the role of Mr Wednesday, a mysterious con man who wields an ancient power. The show is based on the highly successful book by Neil Gaiman who had this to say about the casting

“When you write a beloved character (beloved with, or despite, or because of all his faults) like Mr. Wednesday, you get to watch the internet trying to cast the role. I’ve seen a hundred names suggested, but few make me grin like Ian McShane does.”

The series will follow Wednesday and his bodyguard, Shadow Moon, as they travel across the US in preparation for a heavenly conflict. Fans of Deadwood will know just how perfect McShane is for this role and I can’t wait to see the end results. American Gods is due to start filming next month and is expected to hit our screens later this year.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT LEAVES SANDMAN ADAPTATION

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So it’s good news for one Neil Gaiman adaptation but sad news for another. Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been working for several years to bring an adaptation of Gaiman’s beloved Sandman to the big screen. JGL had served as executive producer on the project but he had also been widely rumoured to be playing the role of its lead character, Morpheus.

However this week saw the sudden departure of JGL from the project, siting the old chestnut of creative differences. He released the following statement:

“Recently, as you also might know if you like to follow these sorts of things, the sorta “ownership” (for lack of a better term) of the Sandman material changed hands when Warner Brothers shifted the entire catalogue of Vertigo comics (an imprint of DC) to their subsidiary, New Line. And a few months ago, I came to realize that the folks at New Line and I just don’t see eye to eye on what makes Sandman special, and what a film adaptation could/should be. So unfortunately, I decided to remove myself from the project. I wish nothing but the best for the team moving forward.”

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While I could never quite see him as Morpheus (Tom Hiddleston all the way), JGL has fought tooth and nail to make this film happen. His passion for Sandman was readily apparent which made his involvement seem so vital, so it is disappointing to see him go. But it begs the question what are New line doing with Sandman that is so bad that it could force JGL to quit? More news as it comes.

NEW VILLAIN REVEALED IN AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns next week with a very different version of Grant Ward serving as the big bad for the second half of season three. Having been brutally murdered by a vengeful Coulson, Ward’s corpse was then possessed by a powerful entity that used his body to cross over into our world. It’s your classic dead megalomaniac meets world devouring monster scenario.

Showrunners Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen finally revealed the entity of beasty that is now the proud owner of its very own Ward suit, and it is someone comic book fans will be familiar with. The creature is none other than Hive, a powerful Inhuman that was turned into a monster by HYDRA. Although on AOS, Hive is an ancient force that has been worshiped by HYDRA for centuries.

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Bret Daulton has been consistently fantastic as Evil Ward, so it’s not surprising that the showrunners have decided to keep him around a little longer. It makes sense that Hive’s origin has been altered for the show as Inhumans have only just been introduced to the MCU, but it will be interesting to see how closely they stick to the source text beyond that.

JENA MALONE CUT FROM BATMAN V SUPERMAN

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When WB announced that they would be releasing a longer, R rated cut of Batman V Superman on Blu-ray it seemed like a desperate attempt to cash in on the box office success of Deadpool. But it turns out that the extended cut will feature more than just a bit of extra gore and the occasional curse word. Despite the film coming in at 150 minutes it seems that there was still quite a lot that had to be cut from the final film.

One major victim of these cuts is Jena Malone, who was rumoured to have had an important role in the film. While director Zack Snyder has said that Malone’s character will have a huge impact on the wider WB/DC universe it apparently wasn’t significant enough to stay in the film. It was never confirmed who she would be playing but the most likely names are Barbara Gordon or Carrie Kelly.

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Snyder has confirmed that Malone will be reinstated in the longer cut, but will we be seeing Batgirl or Robin? It seems most likely that Malone will be playing Barbara, but I’d rather see her as Oracle than Batgirl. However this would stop Snyder from being able to have lots of slow-mo shots of her punching people in their faces while wearing sexy spandex, so it probably won’t happen.

NEW FINDING DORY TRAILER

Disney released a new trailer for their Finding Nemo sequel, Finding Dory, this week. While it is very much a case of ‘more of the same’, the film looks like it will be an awful lot of fun. The story revolves around Dory’s search for her lost family and features a lot of familiar faces as well as some new ones. Pixar really can do no wrong… unless they try and make films about talking cars, they tend to be rubbish.

I feel like I should probably write a bit more about this, but I genuinely don’t have much to say about it. Even if it is awful it’s not like it could detract from the legacy of the original in anyway. Unlike some unnecessary sequels which are very much in danger of doing that. Speaking of which…

NEW GHOSTBUSTERS TRAILER

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There was a time when saying the word ‘Ghostbusters’ would make people smile; maybe they would sing the song, maybe they would quote their favourite line for the film, or maybe they just liked the way it sounded out loud. Now in 2016, that word pretty much leads to a guaranteed argument; arguments about reboots, arguments about sexism, arguments about arguments.

To say the Ghostbusters reboot has been divisive would be a huge understatement. There are those who have opposed the project since it was first announced, the idea has never appealed to me but I felt it best to wait and see before going full Simpsons Comic Guy and declaring it the “worst… movie… ever.” Well the first trailer was released this week and it wasn’t exactly a winner.

Much like the Jurassic World and The Force Awakens, Ghostbusters 3 appears to recycle pay homage to the plot of the original; three brilliant but failing scientists band together to fight supernatural menaces, they are eventually joined by a fourth member who lacks the scientific credentials but adds some much need street smarts to the team. Together they must face a new enemy who is using their power to amplify paranormal activity in New York.

Truthfully it doesn’t look as bad as some people are making it out to be, but it really doesn’t look very good either. The effects actually manage to look worse than the original and everything about it just feels totally forced. It felt like I was watching a trailer for the director’s cut of Scooby Doo 2: Monster’s Island. Sony needed to make a big impression with this trailer; sadly they failed to do so.

THE WALKING DEAD: NEGAN ORIGIN STORY COMING SOON

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Followers of this blog will know about my obsession with TWD antagonist, Negan. For my money he ranks alongside Joker as one of the greatest and most charismatic comic villains of all time. Despite Negan’s lengthy tenure in the comics, we still know relatively little about him beyond his interactions with Rick Grimes. What kind of man was he before the fall of society? It seems we will find out soon.

Robert Kirkman announced this week that he will be revealing Negan’s back story in a 48 page mini-series to be featured in the new Image+ Magazine. The story will be spread over 12 issues and will cover Negan’s life before the zombie outbreak, during its earliest days and his rise to power as the leader of the Saviours. Charlie Adlard will be providing the artwork for the series.

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Image+ is a new magazine featuring news, exclusives and other rubbish from Image. While there are currently no plans to release the story anywhere else I wouldn’t be surprised to see it pop up in trade paperback form. Either way, you can rest assured that I will be tracking down a copy of it so keep your eye peeled for the first review in May.

IDRIS ELBA AND MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY TO STAR IN DARK TOWER

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There has been talk of a big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series for a number of years. At one point Russel Crowe and Javier Bardem were marked for the lead roles but nothing ever came to fruition. But it seems the wait is finally over for fans of the epic series as Sony will be bringing it to our screens in January 2017.

A Royal Affair director, Nikolaj Arcel has been slated to direct with Idris Elba playing the legendary gunslinger, Roland Deschain and Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey playing his villainous nemesis, Walter O’Dim AKA The Man in Black. This is some inspired casting as both these men are incredible actors who will bring this beloved story to life.

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The casting has of course been met with some controversy due to the change in race of the main character. However, if you had read the books you would know that changing the race of the character makes very little difference to the content of the story. So if this is a problem for you then maybe just have a little cry about it and then come and join the rest of us in the real world.

Stephen King did allude to some changes that will affect the story, stating that the film will cover material from the middle of the series and it would also take place in the modern world. This is likely to ruffle the feathers of some fans, but it could also work quite well. As is often the case we will just have to wait and see, but I for one am very excited.

LEIV SCHRIEBER IN TALKS TO APPEAR IN WOLERINE 3

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Let’s be brutally honest here, the last two Wolverine films weren’t great. The director’s cut of Wolverine wasn’t so bad, but it still wasn’t very good and the less said about X-Men Origins the better. But despite a less than stellar legacy it’s still hard not to get excited about Fox’ upcoming adaptation of Old Man Logan, AKA Wolverine 3.

We already know several things about the film; it will definitely be Hugh Jackman’s last time playing Logan, the film will most certainly be R rated, and it will only be loosely adapted on Mark Millar’s ‘Old Man Logan’ as Fox doesn’t have the rights to use the other Marvel characters featured in the story. If only they could strike some sort of deal with Marvel…. and then give back Dr Doom!

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While Hawkeye, Red Skull and Hulk may not be appearing in the film it seems Sabretooth will, with X-Men Origins actor, Leiv Schrieber in talks to reprise the role. Schrieber is an amazing actor but do we really want to have any links to that awful film in what could finally be a decent Wolverine movie?

The whole point of Days of Future Past was to reset the timeline so X-Men Origins and Last Stand didn’t have to exist anymore. While it makes sense from a continuity point to bring Schrieber back, I am hoping they will use the new timeline as an opportunity to present a much better version of Sabretooth. It’s not like it could be any worse.

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Well that about wraps thing up for this week, I’d love to stay and geek with you a little longer but I have a Mumma Geek to go and spoil. I hope she likes Star Wars merchandise because that’s what she got for Mother’s Day. If you feel particularly excited/offended by anything I have said here then feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section, but until next time… keep on geeking in the free world.

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