March 6-8, 2020
From film to TV, gaming to collectables and everything in between, here’s what you might have missed in pop culture news this week.
Well on its way to becoming the most anticipated television project ever, Amazon’s Lord of the Rings has made their first casting decision. On the back of recent news that Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’s J.A. Bayona will take on directorial duties for the first few episodes, Australian actress Markella Kavenagh is reportedly the first cast member to sign on for the epic fantasy series set in the second Age of Tolkien’s Middle-earth.
Last weekend’s San Diego Comic Con was a veritable treasure trove of news from a myriad of pop culture franchises. First up, over on the Warner Bros./DC Comics side of the fence, we have official confirmation of a series renewal for Doom Patrol, which is expected to stream on both the existing DC Universe US-based platform and the new HBO Max platform slated for next year.
Also fresh from the DC Universe is the confirmation of a September 2019 US release date for Titans season 2, and the enormous news that the CW Arrowverse will be tackling Crisis on Infinite Earths, which will see a number of veteran DC actors resume their classic roles. This includes Linda Carter’s Wonder Woman, Burt Ward’s Robin, and even Legends of Tomorrow’s Brandon Routh donning the Superman costume for the first time since his appearance in 2006’s Superman Returns.
Over in Marvel news, SDCC saw a massive reveal including five new series planned to air on the Disney + streaming platform starting in 2020, including: Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, What If..?, Loki, and Hawkeye. For more details on these reveals be sure to check out our rundown of all the Marvel Studios reveals from their Hall H presentation.
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Netflix has released a new trailer for their upcoming martial arts series, Wu Assassins, which follows a young San Francisco chef who gets entangled in the Triad’s plans to recover an ancient and deadly power. Wu Assassins will drop on August 8.
Veronica Mars fans were stunned when the long anticipated fourth season dropped a whole week earlier than anticipated on Hulu in the US and on Stan in Australia in conjunction with the show’s own panel at San Diego Comic Con.
❗️This is not a drill ❗️
— Veronica Mars (@veronicamars) July 19, 2019
Following the Star Trek: Picard SDCC panel, Patrick Stewart has revealed that he will actually be wearing the Star Fleet uniform again for his new series, but only for flashback scenes which are set to feature in the show.
For plenty more of the sneak peeks that were released throughout 2019’s SDCC, be sure to check out our trailer roundup.
Production on the upcoming Fast and the Furious 9 has temporarily stalled due to an injury sustained on set by one of the film’s stuntmen. Reports suggest the stuntman in question suffered a fall that resulted in a serious head injury, and at this stage no further news of the crew member’s condition is publicly known.
For years, fans of the original Wesley Snipes Blade trilogy have been petitioning to have the Daywalker brought across to the MCU, and whilst Marvel Studios have indeed decided to move ahead with a new Blade movie, the lead role has now fallen to Luke Cage’s Mahershala Ali. Wesley Snipes has been quick to calm fans troubled by news of the recasting though, and has welcomed Ali to the role with an official statement praising the decision.
Todd McFarlane has provided an update on his Spawn reboot currently slated to star Jamie Foxx and Jeremy Renner. According to McFarlane, financing his project is proving problematic, and he has revealed at SDCC that he is contemplating on turning to Kickstarter to get the money he requires to to produce the film he so desperately wants made.
It’s official, Avengers: Endgame has finally broken the all-time box-office record and has knocked James Cameron’s Avatar from the top slot that it had held for ten years straight. Cameron was quick to congratulate Marvel Studios on their new record.
— Avatar (@officialavatar) July 22, 2019
During a recent appearance on the Happy, Sad, Confused podcast, director Quentin Tarantino has revealed that not only is the idea of a Kill Bill Vol. 3 still on the cards, but that it is a topic that he has very recently discussed with star Uma Thurman.
Horror fans everywhere were surprised when comedian Chris Rock was announced to be helming a fresh reboot of the Saw franchise earlier this year, and now it appears they will get to see it a lot earlier than anticipated. Variety reports that Lionsgate are moving up the original release date from October to May 2020.
In sad news, Dutch actor Rutger Hauer, best known for his role as Blade Runner antagonist Roy Batty, passed away this week at age 75. An icon in the pop culture world, Rutger also featured in beloved films such as Ladyhawke, Batman Begins and Sin City.
Blizzard has unveiled the 31st hero for Overwatch, Sigma. Sigma is a Dutch astrophysicist, and comes strapped with the ability to control gravity, which involves not a lot of cool flying, but does involve a lot of throwing up shields and orbs for big damage.
Introducing Sigma – an eccentric astrophysicist who hopes to unlock the secrets of the universe, unaware that he is being used as a living weapon. pic.twitter.com/Oi3or2VthQ
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) July 22, 2019
Hopefully, a new Yakuza game may be announced soon! The developers of Judgment and Yakuza hinted at something coming in a press conference scheduled for August 29, alongside a picture of Ichiban Kasuga from Yakuza Online. It might simply be more DLC, but fans are holding out hope to see the gang one more time.
Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus is coming to Netflix on August 16, continuing the 27-episode early 2000s animated Nickelodeon series, which became a cult classic. In the film, Zim discovers that his almighty leaders never had any intention of coming to Earth and he loses confidence in himself for the first time in his life, which is the big break his human nemesis, Dib, has been waiting for.
The popular animated comedy series Archer will be coming back for an 11th season in 2020. The announcement came during San Diego Comic-Con on Friday.
SDCC provided a wide range of other animation news, including the release date and trailer for Infinity Train, featuring 12-year-old Tulip trapped on a never ending train ride, accompanied by her robot One-One and corgi, Atticus. Infinity Train will run for ten episodes starting August 5.
In anticipation of the season 3 release of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power on August 2, SDCC also provided a new trailer.
Steven Universe: The Movie debuted its first full-length trailer at the event, which you can check out in our SDCC trailer roundup piece.
On top of this, Cartoon Network announced that both Craig of the Creek and Victor and Valentino will be joining us for another season.
The opening for Disney’s new show Owl House was also released this week.
After Neon Genesis Evangelion began in 1995, culminating in 1996 with one of the most divisive endings of all time, followed by the alternate End of Evangelion conclusion in 1997, and three Rebuild films from 2007 to now, it’s been announced that the saga is finally ending in June 2020, when Evangelion 3.0 + 1.0 screens in Japan. There’s still time to catch up on this classic show before then, with the original series now streaming on Netflix.
The latest Shonen Jump issue revealed that Matt Owens, a writer for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Luke Cage, and The Defenders, is adapting One Piece for a live-action Hollywood TV series! It’s natural to be cautious given the poor reputation of almost every live-action anime adaptation, but Owens is clearly a big fan of One Piece, and the series has the blessing and support of Eiichiro Oda himself.
Konami has revealed a new Yu-Gi-Oh! show will air next year to commemorate the show’s 20th anniversary. Cryptically, they said that ‘the history of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime will change’. Re-animated retellings of classic shows are not uncommon in anime (Evangelion, Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Sailor Moon), and given how far Yu-Gi-Oh! has diverged from where it started, this might be a great move for old-school fans.
— moetron | pKjd (@pkjd8I8) July 21, 2019
Mark Waid and Javier Rodriguez team up for the brand new miniseries History of the Marvel Universe, which will track all the major moments from the MU from its early days, right up to the modern era. Waid and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort provided a sneak peek at the issue, featuring Galactus and Franklin Richards as the last two survivors at the end of time, remembering the universe’s history before its rebirth in a new Big Bang.
This year will see a new and somewhat surprising villain added to Batman’s rogue gallery: Nora Fries, wife of classic character Mr. Freeze. The official synopsis for Detective Comics #1015 reads: “For centuries, children have been told to be careful about what they wish for, and after years of yearning for his beloved to return, Mr. Freeze finally gets it. But frozen hearts don’t melt easily, and after years in cryostasis, Nora Fries is the ultimate ice queen. Gotham and Victor Fries will never be the same again.”
Famed Image Comics character, Spawn, will be celebrating his landmark 300th issue this year. To celebrate this momentous occasion, no less than ten different covers will be designed and available to readers and collectors. Series creator Todd MacFarlane himself will be involved in the creation of five of the covers. Issue 300 will go on sale August 28.
Diving straight into the new pieces by industry giants DC comics, several action figure and statue announcements stole the limelight amongst a loaded weekend at SDCC. A couple must-have pieces for any DC collector include the just announced 1:2 Batman Red Son cowl and a stunning 1:8 Catwoman wedding figure. Modelled for true comic fans, the sets will be available in mid-2020 for global purchase.
Whilst Marvel announced a plethora of detailed and unique pieces, their Thor: Ragnarök Legend Series could just be one of their coolest to date. Designed by Hasbro with a late 2019 release date, the set includes a spectacularly designed Grandmaster – the spitting image of the beloved Jeff Goldblum. Whilst not a superhero figure, the six inch collectable is a must-have for any fan of Marvel, and is quickly generating buzz.