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From film to TV, gaming to comics and everything in between, here’s what you might have missed in pop culture news this week.
This past weekend saw a massive amount of reveals for the new Disney+ streaming platform at the 10th annual D23 Expo. Since then, news has been released that Wyatt Russell will be joining the cast of the Falcon and the Winter Soldier in the role of John Walker, U.S. Agent. In the comics, he had a brief run donning the persona of Captain America. This fits with rumours that the show will see the US Government being decidedly uncomfortable with Steve Rogers’ choice of successor, and planning to bestow the title of Captain America to someone other than Sam Wilson’s Falcon.
Also in MCU series news, artist Andy Park has revealed the official poster he designed for WandaVision. Not only does the poster confirm the show’s ‘50s-esque sitcom setting, but also teases the first onscreen appearance of the classic Scarlet Witch costume via the shadows in the corner.
WANDAVISION!!! Official D23 poster I had the honor of painting during the early concept phase of preproduction. This @DisneyPlus show is gonna be something totally fresh.. & weird! #ElizabethOlsen #PaulBettany @DisneyD23 #D23Expo #D23Expo2019 #Disney+ @MarvelStudios #WandaVision pic.twitter.com/VJU4p05Pmb
— Andy Park (@andyparkart) August 25, 2019
Marvel Studios may have garnered a lot of attention this week, but DC is also keen to show off, and have released another full-length trailer for their hit series Titans, which will begin airing on the US-based DC streaming platform next week.
In other DC TV news, the fifth season of Legends of Tomorrow will be the final tour on the Waverider, as series regulars Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford depart. According to the show’s executive producers, the exit is a natural conclusion to their character’s stories.
— Brandon Routh (@BrandonJRouth) August 23, 2019
Thank you @LoTWritersRoom for the opportunity to play in a world I love so much. Thanks to @GBerlanti and to @mguggenheim & @philklemmer for believing Nora could live past her first 3 eps of S3! What a ride. Proud to have been able to call @warnerbrostv and @TheCW my home. https://t.co/HzwQ8RQSOY
— Courtney Ford (@_CourtneyFord_) August 23, 2019
Back to Disney+, whilst fans only just got their first good look at the upcoming Star Wars live action series, The Mandalorian, via a new trailer, word is that Disney isn’t wasting any time and have tapped director Rick Famuyiwa to begin filming the first episodes of season two in October this year. In the meantime, Star Wars fans get to look forward to season one, an untitled Cassian Andor Rogue One prequel series and the Obi-Wan series, which will see the triumphant return of Ewan McGregor to the role of the Jedi Master.
Bohemian Rhapsody star and upcoming Bond villain Rami Malek is returning to the fourth and final season of Mr. Robot after an extended break from the role. A new trailer promises a bloody ending to the hit show.
Speaking of bloody endings, American Horror Story 1984 has just released another trailer, honouring the classic slasher flicks of the ‘80s.
Last but certainly not least, Netflix’s live-action anime adaptation of Cowboy Bebop has reportedly cast The Gifted’s Elena Satine in the pivotal role of Julia.
Star Wars fans were left speechless this week when sizzle reel footage from The Rise of Skywalker hit the internet and revealed the sight of Rey cloaked in black and wielding a reticulated, double-bladed red lightsaber. Whether this is a Force Vision or an actual hint at a possible turn to the dark side is currently unclear, but it has undoubtedly stirred a great deal of speculation. Keen eyed fans were also quick to point out, however, that Rey’s unique new weapon is actually a design previously seen in the Clone Wars animated series.
Another big reveal from last weekend’s D23 was the announcement of Game of Thrones’s Kit Harrington joining the cast of The Eternals alongside his fellow GoT Stark family member, Richard Madden. Harrington is set to take on the role of Dane Whitman a.k.a. Black Knight.
A new trailer has dropped for Joaquin Phoenix’s turn as Batman’s greatest foe. The new Joker film provides an alternate origin story for the clown prince of crime and marks the first Elseworld film in DC’s more relaxed cinematic universe. Joker is slated for an October 4 release.
James Gunn’s Suicide Squad has seen a massive injection of new talent in the past week, with new cast members reportedly including Firefly and Castle’s Nathan Fillion, Guardian of the Galaxy Vol 2’s Steve Agee and even Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi taking on unknown roles. The cast’s first table read is expected to take place early September in time for principal production to kick off on September 23.
The sequel to last year’s Halloween reboot, dubbed Halloween Kills, has recently cast ’80s teen star Anthony Michael Hall as Tommy Doyle, the child babysat by Jamie-Lee Curtis’ character Laurie in the original film, and a role that was also once played by a young Paul Rudd in 1995’s Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers. Halloween Kills is set for a 2020 release and will be followed up by Halloween Ends in 2021.
Last week we spoke of the new Mortal Kombat reboot casting their Jax, Mileena and Liu Kang, and now they have reportedly found their Sonya Blade and Kano. Jessica McNamee from The Meg will take on the role of Blade, whilst Aussie actor Josh Lawson will be taking on Kano. This latest Mortal Kombat film is aiming for a hard R rating and will feature fatalities as a key part of the film, with an expected release date in March 2021.
Artist Andy Park has struck again, letting those of us not lucky enough to attend D23 in person get a good look at the posters he designed for the event. The poster for the upcoming Black Widow film also gives us the first official look at David Harbour’s Red Guardian and the film’s main villain, Taskmaster.
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BLACK WIDOW!!! Official D23 poster I had the honor of painting. This character is very near & dear to me since this is like the gazillionth time I’ve concept designed/painted this iconic Avenger. What a cast, what a crew, this is gonna be a good one! #BlackWidow #Avengers @MarvelStudios #ScarlettJohansson @FlorencePugh @dkharbour #RachelWeisz #Taskmaster @DisneyD23 #D23Expo #D23Expo2019
Excellent! Production on Bill and Ted Face the Music officially wrapped on the weekend, giving star Keanu Reeves plenty of time to get ready to return to another one of his famous franchises, The Matrix. The third instalment of the most excellent buddy-film series is scheduled for an August 2020 release date.
It’s the last day of filming. Whoa.
— Bill & Ted 3 (@BillandTed3) August 24, 2019
Netflix has surprised everyone by not only dropping a new trailer for El Camino, a follow-up film to the cult series Breaking Bad, but revealing the release date is only a short wait away. The film will see Aaron Paul return to the role of Jesse Pinkman following his escape from captivity, which occurred during the series finale.
Also from Netflix, Aussie director David Michôd is tackling the life of King Henry V in The King with Academy Award nominee Timothée Chalamet in the role of the famous monarch. Fellow Aussies Joel Edgerton and Ben Mendelsohn are set to join the cast alongside Robert Pattinson and Lily Rose-Depp, daughter of Johnny Depp.
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Despite last week’s messy breakup between Sony and Disney in regards to the future of Spider-Man in the MCU, reports are that screenwriters Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, who penned both of the previous Tom Holland Spider-Man films, are already at work on a script for a third film for Sony. Director Jon Watts, however, may not return and rumours are that Disney is trying to court him to tackle a future MCU property.
There have been exciting things happening in animation as of late, with The Simpsons producers confirming that there have been talks with Disney for a potential movie sequel as well as a spin-off show. Through the acquisition of Fox’s film and TV assets, Disney has now become the proud owner of the iconic animated series that has become a staple in the television landscape, and with this, all 30 seasons of The Simpsons will be on Disney’s new streaming service Disney+.
For Adult Swim and Genndy Tartakovsky (Samurai Jack, Dexter’s Laboratory and Star Wars: Clone Wars) fans, a special five-night programming event will be kicking off on October 7 with the release of Primal, which follows a caveman at the dawn of humankind who, through shared tragic events, forms an unlikely friendship with a T-Rex. Primal does not use dialogue to tell its story, instead, it relies on graphic imagery and music to tell the story of two natural enemies surviving a harsh and unforgiving world together.
Studio Trigger’s first feature film is getting more exciting every week, with the latest update being the newly unveiled dub cast. GKids streamed a trailer that showed off some of the performances we can expect, alongside the gorgeous animation Trigger has become known for. Among the big names are Billy Kametz as the hero, Galo, and Johnny Yong Bosch as the villain, Lio. The cast also includes Crispin Freeman, Yuri Lowenthal and Matt Mercer.
Weathering With You continues to cross enormous milestones, with the film now being selected by the Japan Film Makers Association to be their entry in the Academy Awards’ Best International Feature Film category. This is only the third anime to ever be selected, after Pom Poko and Princess Mononoke, and the first one that isn’t a Ghibli film.
If you’re as interested in watching up-and-coming talent in the anime industry as we are, do yourself a favour and check out this new short-film from Toei Animation for their new project Jurassic. The world in Jurassic is exactly like our own, until countless ancient creatures, like dinosaurs, suddenly appear! The short is bright, colourful, energetic, and beautifully animated. It’s directed by Megumi Ishintani, whose first major directorial work was storyboarding and directing the final episode of Dragon Ball Super.
Finally, it turns out we’re not the only ones to get caught out in fannish moments! Supanova alumna Morgan Garrett (Tokyo Ghoul, Attack on Titan) recounted her fangirl moment on-stage with Drake Bell (Drake & Josh) in this hilarious, must-watch episode of Supanova TV!
Capcom continues to show its strength, with the announcement of Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection. The previous Mega Man Legacy collections have been fantastic nostalgia throwbacks, but now it’s even better because we get to play as Zero, something that fans have been waiting for. The new collection drops on January 21.
New information has been revealed about Persona 5 Royal, which is, in essence, the Special Edition of Persona 5. According to producers on the project, the rerelease will have “30% more features”, but they’re not all designed to simply stretch the runtime, they’re going to “deepen the feeling of the game”. What this actually means is yet to be seen, but it seems to indicate a focus on increasing quality rather than just quantity.
The Pokémon Masters app is finally out! DeNA really looks to be hitting the ground running once again with this game, with the first Story Event coming out on September 2. In the event, players will get to battle alongside the legendary rival character Blue, and fight other iconic Kanto trainers.
Yakuza 7 has been formally announced as a complete redesign for the new series. With a new main character in Ichiban Kasuga, a new location in Yokohama, which is reportedly three times the size of Kamurocho, and most importantly, the fast-paced action gameplay has been ditched for a traditional turn-based JRPG style, similar to Persona 5.
Finally, in what’s shaping up to be a pretty great-looking DBZ game, Dragon Ball Z Kakarot has shown off a new character that players will get to control in the story: Trunks!
Hellboy fans will be happy to hear that Mike Mignola is teaming up with Krampusnacht collaborator Adam Hughes for a brand new comic series. The ghostly tale, titled Hellboy & The B.P.R.D: The Seven Wives Club, is an original one-shot that will be on shelves by Christmas. The story will follow Hellboy as he comes to the rescue of a young girl, whose quest for ghosts goes horribly wrong. The comic will be available December 11 from Dark Horse Comics.
Marvel Comics will be re-introducing a familiar face to their 2099 series in the form of The Punisher. Readers last saw the future version of the vigilante in 2016’s Contest of Champions, where 2099’s Punisher, Jacob Gallows, was killed by an alternate version of Frank Castle. Fans will be excited, as it looks like Gallows may be coming back, as Ron Lim’s variant cover alludes to the original Punisher from this timeline. However, it also seems that someone else may have taken up the mantle, and there may be an entirely new face under the mask. The series debuts in November with Punisher 2099 #1.
Star Wars has some impressive news, as it appears that Chewbacca will go head to head with Darth Vader himself in a fistfight for the ages. Star Wars #74 from Marvel Comics will debut the incredible scene, with additional storylines intertwined. The official synopsis reads: “Can HAN, LEIA, and DAR CHAMPION survive a head-on battle with a STAR DESTROYER? And what happens when CHEWBACCA takes on LORD VADER himself in hand-to-hand combat? And the Rebellion’s search for a new home…a base safe from the reach of the Empire…begins.” The exciting issue will be available in November.
DC’s upcoming graphic novel Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass is set to reveal a completely new look at the Joker. DC recently tweeted an image of the revamped character from the graphic novel. The exciting new title will be available from September 3.
DC Collectables has released a smaller version of its ‘Batman vs Killer Croc’ Hush Statue. The figure comes sculpted with immaculate detail and stands at 7 inches tall, making it the ideal collectible to grab without breaking the bank.
In further news, industry giant Sideshow Collectibles has once again outdone themselves with their latest reveal. Standing at 21 inches tall, the new Gambit figure is a must-have for X-Men fans.
It was a big week for Funatics, with brand new licenses announced by Funko. Earlier in the week, fans were thrilled to learn that new collectibles coming for Speed Racer, Gladiator, Dungeons and Dragons and Tombstone.
Exciting additions to already existing sets were also announced this week – new Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones and Stranger Things. Another Pop! Ride has been added to the Lord of the Rings collection with Gandalf and Gwaihir. In Game of Thrones, a newly-designed Brienne of Tarth and a Deluxe Pop! Vinyl of Hodor holding the door. Last but not least is a release for Stranger Things fans, Robin and Alexi. All of these Pop! Vinyls are now available for pre-order.