March 6-8, 2020
From film to TV, gaming to comics and everything in between, here’s what you might have missed in pop culture news this week.
Fans of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse will rejoice in news that Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the duo behind the award-winning animated Spidey film, have just signed a five-year deal with Sony Pictures Television to produce a whole suite of animated and live-action TV shows. Based on Spider-Man and other related characters that Sony still retains the rights for, we can all expect to see a whole lot more of the webslinger and his friends in the very near future.
Excited for this. We’ve got some big plans I think you all will dig https://t.co/bmsRvZfiV0
— Chris Miller (@chrizmillr) April 29, 2019
In a recent interview with Variety, iZombie series producer Rob Thomas has promised that the fifth and final season of the show, which premieres on Stan TODAY, will wrap everything up neatly and not the leave audiences with any unanswered questions.
Next up for Thomas is a return to the city of Neptune, in the revival of his other cult series Veronica Mars, which is scheduled to begin airing on Hulu in July. The official release trailer offers just as much mystery and bloodshed as fans would expect.
Hulu has also dropped a tense new trailer for the third season of The Handmaid’s Tale, which is scheduled to air in June.
Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, the brains behind the Benedict Cumberbatch-led Sherlock series, have recently announced the full cast of their forthcoming three-part Dracula mini-series. Jonathan Aris (The Night Manager), Sacha Dhawan (Iron Fist), Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Misfits), and Catherine Schell (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) are all slated to join Danish actor Claes Bang, who is taking on the role of the undead Count himself.
Returning to TV zombies, Netflix has officially announced that the Drew Barrymore-led zombie comedy Santa Clarita Diet will not be renewed for a fourth season, meaning that the cliffhanger ending of the recently released third season will be the final offering for the show.
— Santa Clarita Diet (@SCDiet) April 15, 2019
Also on the Netflix front, new series The Society is scheduled to drop next week. The show follows a group of teenagers who are mysteriously transported to a facsimile of their wealthy New England town without any trace of their parents.
Netflix has also officially announced that the second season of Dark will be released on June 21. The award-winning mystery series that transcended borders and connected with audiences around the world continues the story of four families and their attempts to change their fate within their tightly knit community. The established ensemble cast is joined by Sandra Borgmann, Winfried Glatzeder, Dietrich Hollinderbäumer and Sylvester Groth through eight hour-long episodes.
Disney’s Marvel Studios has announced that two new TV series based on Ghost Rider and Helstrom are planned to air on Hulu in 2020. The decision not to include the new shows on the family-friendly Disney+ service indicates that they are both aimed at more mature audiences.
But that doesn’t mean that Disney+ is without any exciting new projects. According to a recent interview with Ron Howard, Disney+ are working on a new Willow TV series, to be written by Solo: A Star Wars Story scribe Jon Kasdan.
Star Wars favourite and Supa-Star alumnus, Peter Mayhew, who played the iconic Chewbacca for most of the film franchise, passed away earlier this week, aged 74. His family issued a statement on Facebook, delivering the heartbreaking news.
Sadly, Boyz n the Hood and 2 Fast 2 Furious director John Singleton also passed away, aged 51, after suffering a stroke which had earlier hospitalised him.
Blumhouse Productions are once again teaming up with Goalpost to bring us a new depiction of The Invisible Man. With Leigh Whannell scripting and directing, the project has also signed Elisabeth Moss and is scheduled to begin filming in Sydney in July.
We’re all living in a post-Avengers: Endgame world now, and the fourth Avengers film not only marks the final outing for many fan favourites, but is also smashing all kinds of box office records like a rampaging Hulk in a China shop. In its opening week, the film is close to nearing US$1.4 billion in worldwide box office takings, almost doubling the opening weekend takings for Avengers: Infinity War and overtaking the total earnings of Black Panther’s entire box office run.
Following hot on the heels of the live-action Detective Pikachu, which is premiering next week, the live-action Sonic the Hedgehog has dropped its first trailer, offering a look at Jim Carrey’s take on the villainous Dr Robotnik.
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has announced two new faces in his forthcoming Suicide Squad sequel/reboot. Portuguese actress Daniela Melchior is appearing in the role of Ratcatcher, a supervillain with the ability to control an army of rats, while Ant-Man’s David Dastmalchian has signed on to play Polka-Dot man.
Gunn may not have much time to catch his breath after finishing Suicide Squad though, before moving straight on to finish his Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy. Production for the Guardian’s third outing is rumoured to begin early next year, though a great amount of pre-production work on the film was completed earlier on, prior to Gunn’s removal and subsequent rehiring by Marvel Studios.
Noah Centineo has recently confirmed that he has been cast as none other than the warrior hero He-Man in the forthcoming Masters of the Universe reboot, which is scheduled to begin filming later this year.
In a Tweet celebrating Gal Gadot’s 34th birthday, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins has released a new image of Gadot from the forthcoming Wonder Woman 1984.
Happy Birthday to my most spectacular, incredible, amazing, beautiful, loving, powerful, hilarious and awe inspiring friend and partner. I love you more than words can say. Happy Birthday @GalGadot #WW1984 pic.twitter.com/eRqmuFWdlX
— Patty Jenkins (@PattyJenks) April 30, 2019
During a Gearbox livestream, the studio revealed and highlighted some of the new and interesting features coming to the third instalment of the Borderlands series. Features such as improved movement controls and a few flashes of just some of the insane types of guns we’re going to see in the full release were shown. We caught a glimpse of faces both old and new, including the classic and ever charming Claptrap, who is set to make a return with a different voice actor.
By far the biggest change in Borderlands 3 is that the player now makes their way around the galaxy in a spaceship called “Sanctuary”. While we seemingly won’t be able to pilot our new hub, it can be used to enter hyperspace to travel to new worlds. More exciting news is that the game will see future campaign DLC for those interesting in expanding an already massive game. Also, you may breathe a sigh of relief, as the game will reportedly not have any free-to-play microtransactions. Borderlands 3 is set to drop September 13 this year.
Epic Games, the studio behind Fortnite, has recently purchased the studio responsible for Rocket League. Psyonix promises fans of the game that this will only bring about good things, and they can expect Rocket League to improve further with the efforts of Epic’s strong team. Rocket League itself already has a season pass in the style of Fortnite, rewarding players with extra skins and cars for leveling up and sticking with the game each season. This does mean that Rocket League will be leaving the Steam store later this year, finding a new home on Epic’s online service. Console fans need not worry about any drastic changes, though, as the shift will only affect PC gamers. Expect big changes in the near future.
The latest major update to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is now live on the PS4. PC and Xbox One are expected to follow within the next week or so. Those who have purchased the Black Ops season pass will see a few extras added to the experience. Fans can enjoy new maps, modes and also a new solider for those who want to try out a new class. Changes to the Blackout battle royale mode have also been made, as well as the introduction of new weapons and challenges to the Zombie game mode.
Those excited for Batman: Curse of the White Knight will be delighted to hear that each issue will be accompanied by an 8-bit style short released before the books hit shelves. The episodes, animated by long-time fan Chris Fequiere, will be posted to the comic’s creator Sean Gordon Murphy’s Instagram, and the first can be found here:
BATMAN: Curse of the White Knight 8-bit episodes! To help promote the book, me and @DCComics will be releasing one episode before each issue. Special thanks to @ChrisFequiere for animating. pic.twitter.com/43Pk1t2fC7
— Sean Gordon Murphy (@Sean_G_Murphy) April 30, 2019
And in further Batman news, the Batman Who Laughs miniseries has reportedly been extended into the summer and will end in a way that introduces the story for the newest Batman/Superman project that’s in the works.
Marvel has announced a new Valkyrie series, which focuses on Jane Foster who, no longer wielding Mjolnir and serving as Thor, takes up arms as a Valkyrie. Scheduled for release in July, the series is written by Jason Aaron and Al Ewing, with interior art by Carlos Alberto Fenández Urbano.
And finally, in lieu of our usual weekly comic book picks, we’ve curated a guide to Free Comic Book Day 2019. Get out there tomorrow and have some fun!