From film to TV, gaming to comics and everything in between, here’s what you might have missed in pop culture news this week.
The Walking Dead comics may have come to an end, but its zombie-infested world is about to expand again on our television screens with a second spin-off series. Currently going by the working title Monument, the makers of the new series have just released a teaser revealing the cast and some concept art. The new series is set to be released in the first half of 2020.
— The Walking Dead (@TheWalkingDead) July 30, 2019
Whilst DC’s Swamp Thing is coming to an end with its final episode on the DC Universe streaming platform this week, producer Mark Verheiden has hinted that fans should stick around after the credits for a special reveal. Many expectant fans are keeping their fingers crossed for the possibility of a Justice League Dark reveal, which many feel the series has been building toward.
Dropping this Friday — the final episode of #SwampThing 2019. Expect some resolution, some strangeness, maybe even some tears. And whatever you do, STICK AROUND after the credits for… well, you’ll just have to see!
— Mark Verheiden (@MarkVerheiden) July 29, 2019
American Horror Story is channeling the classic slasher films of the 1980s with the teaser trailer for their latest season, American Horror Story 1984. Deliberately reminiscent of cult film series Friday the 13th, this latest season seems to be an interesting departure from the show’s previous seasons.
We’re only a few short months away from the latest CW Arrowverse show Batwoman making its way onto our TV screens. In anticipation, the network has released a new poster featuring the first season’s main villain, Alice, played by Rachel Skarsten.
— Batwoman (@CWBatwoman) July 26, 2019
Barely a week seems to go by without us hearing more news from Amazon’s upcoming Lord of the Rings series, and most recently we have been treated a teaser revealing the show’s creative team. For Tolkien fans, good news comes as this confirms the involvement of world-renowned Tolkien expert Tom Shippey and Tolkien artist John Howe, both of whom were heavily involved in the Peter Jackson films.
Also from Amazon, audiences have been treated to a new teaser for the second season of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan.
DON’T PANIC! The newly Disney-owned Hulu streaming service is reportedly working on a new Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy TV series based on the classic Douglas Adams novels.
The fourth and final season of Preacher is set to air on Stan August 5, and recently, Supanova TV host Chris Knight visited the show’s Melbourne set to chat with the cast. Check out the interviews here.
The Walking Dead’s Andrew Lincoln is already geared up to headline his own Rick Grimes spin-off film, but before that he’s headed Down Under to star opposite Naomi Watts in Penguin Bloom, an adaptation of the best-selling novel by Bradley Trevor Greive and Cameron Bloom. Set on Sydney’s northern beaches, the film tells the story of a young family struggling to come to terms with a near-fatal accident that left their mother paralysed.
In other Australian film news, the God of Thunder is also set to return to film in Australia, with Marvel Studios announcing that Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder will film at Sydney’s Fox Studios, following on from their previous Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings announcement. Production is expected to begin in March 2020 with principal photography slated for August 2020.
Over on the DC side of things, New Gods director Ava DuVernay has recently been fielding fan questions via Twitter about her upcoming DCEU outing, and has confirmed that both Darkseid and the Furies will indeed appear in her film adaptation.
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) July 30, 2019
In a recent interview, Alita: Battle Angel star Rosa Salazar has confirmed that she would be more than willing to return to the role of Alita in the event that a sequel to this year’s film gets greenlit. At present, the decision on whether or not to continue the franchise will rest with Disney, given their recent acquisition of Fox.
Stephen King fans are in for a treat when It: Chapter Two gets released this September, as director Andy Muschietti has revealed the final runtime of the horror film will clock in at a hefty 165 minutes – just 17 minutes shy of Avengers: Endgame’s 182-minute length. But there’s still more to come, as Andy’s sister and It producer Barbara Muschietti has hinted at an extra 45 minutes of footage on top of that, which may very well make its way into a future director’s cut.
Deadpool’s Ryan Reynolds has recently honoured the five-year-anniversary of leaked test footage which ultimately saw the first Deadpool film greenlit due to overwhelming public support.
Recent DLC from Nintendo has meant that The Hero from Dragon Quest is finally available to play in Smash Bros. Ultimate!
Speaking of DLC, Janemba has been leaked by Nintendo as the next fighter for Dragon Ball FighterZ, a very welcome decision to balance out the hero/villain ratio on the roster. Currently, there are almost as many variations of Goku on the roster as there are major villains, so Janemba is a welcome addition to the cast. The final two characters in the Season Pass are Gogeta Blue and Broly, from the new Broly movie.
16-year-old esports player Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf recently won the Fortnite World Cup Final, with a prize of $3 million USD. Wouldn’t everyone love to be a millionaire from playing their favourite game?
Canadian animator Michel Gagne has released a teaser for his newest feature, The Saga of Rex. He has been credited as an artist for various films such as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Teen Titans GO! To the Movies and My Little Pony: The Movie. He is also currently working on effects animation for the upcoming Netflix series Magic: The Gathering.
Disney is pumping out a lot of content for both broadcast and their online steaming service. With LEGO Marvel Spider-Man: Vexed by Venom due to be released August 3 on Disney XD, and a number of new T.O.T.S. animations during the month of August.
Cartoon Network is also churning out shows during August, notably the series premiere of Infinity Train with a five-night event starting Monday 5, and an intriguing crossover episode of OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes with Sonic the Hedgehog on Sunday 4.
Award-winning preschool TV series Puffin Rock has been greenlit for a movie produced by its co-owners Cartoon Saloon, Penguin Books and Dog Ears.
The creative team of Big Mouth, Brutus Pink, has not only renewed the series for three more seasons, but has also signed a multi-year deal with Netflix to produce more animated series and films as Netflix continues to increase its animation catalogue.
Australian anime fans will have the chance to see Makoto Shinkai’s new mega-hit Weathering With You very soon, as it comes to Aussie cinemas on August 22! The film is absolutely demolishing the box-office, crossing four billion yen in its second week, and retaining its #1 spot at the cinema.
Junji Ito is one of the most prolific horror mangaka of all time, and his terrifying stories and ridiculously detailed artwork have frightened readers for years. After getting a subpar TV treatment with The Junji Ito Collection, director Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes 2006) intends to give it another go, with a new live-action adaptation of Tomie. The series will launch on new streaming-platform Quibi, and will be broken up into ten-minute episodes.
PLUS ULTRA! The super-powered students of Class 1-A are set to return to the big screen later this year in My Hero Academia: The Movie – Heroes: Rising! The franchise’s hotly anticipated second film will introduce an all new villain for the fledgling heroes to combat, and is scheduled to hit Japanese cinemas on December 20.
Bittersweet news in the designer toy world, this week, as Supanova alumnus Ashley Wood announced that “the era of 3A is coming to a close”. Wood made the announcement via social media, reporting that co-founder Kim Fung Wong will be continuing the company’s licensed properties through Threezero. Wood assured fans that “this is not the end”, and thanked them for their support over the past 11 years.
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The era of 3A is coming to a close. Kim and I are forging ahead in different directions. I wish Kim nothing but the best on the journey he is taking Threezero in and I’m grateful to have spent so many years in the trenches with the man. I’m proud of what 3A has produced and accomplished these 11 years. It’s been a sincere honor and privilege to work with all of the 3A crew, past and present. My journey, my art, and my worlds, however, are heading towards new frontiers with head held high and brush in hand. And to the fans – Thank you. 3A could not have been what it was without you. Rest assured – this is not the end, it’s another beginning. The band remains the same, only the label is changing. See you in the Underverse. – Ash (@ashleywoodart ) #3A #ThreeA #Worldof3A #WO3A #WorldofThreeA #AshleyWood #Endofanera #Underverse #UnderverseHQ #changes #NewBeginning
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Chronicle Collectibles continues to establish its relationship as an industry heavyweight with this week’s newest reveal. Chronicle Collectibles has recreated the Shaving Cream Embryo storage containers from the 1993 film Jurassic Park. Recreated using the original on-screen prop, the collectible is sculpted with real aluminium and features incredible hand-painted detail. It’s currently available for pre-order and is expected to ship mid-2020.
— Tested (@testedcom) July 29, 2019
Fans of Wonder Woman will be stoked with DC’s latest release as they celebrate her current rebirth run with a powerful DC Designer Series statue. Designed by Jenny Frison, the statue is based off her Issue #18 variant cover appearance and is currently shipping worldwide.
On the Marvel front this week, new variant covers that were announced at SDCC have been released, tying into upcoming The Amazing Mary Jane series. The new covers can be found at most comic books stores. The new series synopsis reads: “This fall, Leah Williams (AGE OF X-MEN: EXTREMISTS; GIANT MAN) and Carlos Gomez (UNCANNY X-MEN ANNUAL, Red Sonja) bring you… intrigue plus more action, glamor, grit, and – we’ll say it – sass than anyone’s previously dared fit in five fabulous issues! Face it: you don’t wanna miss this!”
In September, Spawn will take the record as the longest-running creator-owned comic ever. In celebration of this milestone, Image Comics has released two new covers for next month’s incredible 300th issue. One of the covers has been illustrated by creator Todd McFarlane and legendary artist Greg Capulo, and features Spawn ready to wreak havoc, complete with two submachine guns. The other cover has been illustrated by Capulo and showcases Spawn’s might while showing off his sword and energy blast. The issue will be written and drawn by McFarlane as well as: Capullo, Francesco Mattina, Jason Shawn Alexander, Clayton Crain, Jerome Opeña and others. Spawn #300 goes on sale August 28 from Image Comics.
DC’s upcoming new version of Legion of Super-Heroes is set to have an amazing hero joining the ranks. Recently, Brian Michael Bendis shared a team portrait illustrated by Ryan Sook, which showed a figure standing toward the back, wearing what looks to be the Helmet of Nabu. Comic fans will recognise the headgear as belonging to mystical master Doctor Fate. The new series will debut in stores September 18, followed by Issue 2 on October 2, and the launch of the ongoing Legion of Super-Heroes in November.