August 7-9, 2020
Sydney Showground Olympic Park
From film to TV, gaming to comics and everything in between, here’s what you might have missed in pop culture news this week.
Titans season two is shaping up to be much larger in scope than its first. Only a handful of episodes into the new season in the US, and the show has already introduced a number of new characters such as Deathstroke, Doctor Light, Bruce Wayne, and Rose Wilson (who is destined to become Ravager). Now they have also released a new promotional image of Arthur Curry’s sidekick Aqualad, played by Drew Van Acker.
In other DC news, CW’s Arrowverse looks like it will be getting a new Green Arrow after Oliver Queen hangs up his bow at the end of his eighth and final season. Rumours are the CW is currently developing a new Arrow spin-off set in the future featuring Oliver’s daughter, Mia Smoak, taking up her father’s mantle. And on Arrow’s final season, a new trailer has dropped teasing the return of many familiar faces.
Audiences have long come to expect that if a certain Game of Thrones actor is cast in a TV series or movie, they’re probably better off not getting too attached to his character. So often has Sean Bean been killed on screen over the years, it’s now become somewhat of a running joke, and even Bean himself seems to have had enough. During a recent interview, Bean has suggested he’s starting to turn down roles where his character dies.
Luke Cage’s Mike Colter is swapping out superpowers for the supernatural in new series, Evil. Colter plays a former priest-in-training who travels the world investigating claims of demonic possession and other phenomena, when he joins forces with a sceptical forensic psychologist played by Westworld’s Katja Herbers. Evil begins airing in the US later this week, though there is no word yet about when it might hit Australian screens.
I zee nothing! In a completely unexpected turn of events, long-running ‘60s comedy series Hogan’s Heroes may be coming back in the form of a sequel series set in modern times. Reports are that the original co-creator, Al Ruddy is looking to helm a series focused on the modern-day descendants of the show’s original characters, who team up for an international treasure hunt – most likely for something originally hidden by Colonel Hogan and his odd group of WWII POWs.
In other reboot news, Supernatural’s Jared Padalecki already appears to have his next gig lined up when the show’s final season finishes airing. Padalecki will be trying to channel his inner Chuck Norris, as it is rumoured he is being eyed to helm a remake of Norris’ long-running Walker Texas Ranger.
The Sixth Sense and Glass director M. Night Shyamalan has joined the ranks of Apple TV+, and has released a teaser for his upcoming suspense series Servant starring Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint. Servant will be ready to stream on Apple TV+ on its November 1 launch date.
In sad news, Aron Eisenberg, best known for playing Nog on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine passed away this week aged 50.
Things are heating up for Matt Reeve’s The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson as a version of Bruce Wayne who is relatively new to the job of being Gotham’s masked vigilante. Two new casting rumours have recently bubbled to the surface, first of all, Superbad’s Jonah Hill is reportedly being courted to play one of two villains, either the Penguin or the Riddler. Secondly, Westworld’s Jeffrey Wright is reported to take on the role of Commissioner Jim Gordon, though if last week’s plot hint from Kevin Smith is accurate, it may actually be Captain Jim Gordon at this stage in the timeline.
Things seem to be going in circles for Indiana Jones 5, which is Lucasfilms’ next big project after releasing Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Originally rumoured to be one of Harrison Ford’s conditions in signing on to appear in The Force Awakens, Indy 5 was first slated to be written by the Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull scribe David Koepp back in 2016. Since then he was replaced by Solo: A Star Wars Story’s Jon Kasden, but now the ball is officially back in Koepp’s court after he confirmed his return to the project. Indiana Jones 5 already has an official July 2021 release date.
Following last week’s reveal of the entire The Suicide Squad cast by director James Gunn, he has now followed up with a behind-the-scenes snap of some of the new additions to the franchise via his Twitter account. Of those pictured is Mayling Ng, who is thought to be reprising her role as the Amazon Orana from 2017’s Wonder Woman.
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) September 23, 2019
Bright, the Netflix original film by the first Suicide Squad director, David Ayer, holds the record for their most expensive original project to date, and the streaming platform had also greenlit a sequel before the first movie was even released. Now, however, Smith’s co-star Lucy Fry confirmed that whilst production on Bright 2 was originally supposed to begin earlier this year, it has now been delayed indefinitely due to Smith’s increasingly busy schedule, but she remains hopeful they will get to make it soon.
Fantastic Beasts star Eddie Redmayne has recently revealed that whilst work on Fantastic Beasts 3 is scheduled to begin sometime early next year, author J. K. Rowling is still busily finishing off the script. At the moment the third Fantastic Beasts film is set for a late 2021 release, which should give the series’ co-star Ezra Miller plenty of time to get to work on his solo Flash film.
Original Jurassic Park stars Laura Dern, Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum are set to return for Jurassic World 3, and will star alongside Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. Whilst all three actors have had some interaction with the franchise since the original film, this will mark their first time onscreen together since their first outing.
Nick Fury is coming to your lounge room! Amazon has announced that actor Samuel L. Jackson will be the first celebrity to provide his voice to their Alexa celebrity voice pack.
Spider-Man fans were delighted to see J.K. Simmons reprise his role as J. Jonah Jameson in a Spider-Man: Far From Home post-credit scene, and now The Daily Bugle news site has been made real by Sony.
Fideo Films has released the official trailer in for Nightwalkers, Australia’s first-ever vampire horror series mashed with action and comedy. Dawn of the Dead actor, Ken Foree makes a special appearance. The series will be released on ABC TV and iView October 4, and on YouTube Red October 14.
Bonsai Films has dropped the first official trailer for Slam, following a successful festival run. Co-written and directed by Partho Sen-Gupta, Slam follows Ricky Nasser, a young Australian whose peaceful suburban life turns into hell when his sister, Ameena, disappears without a trace. Slam stars Adam Bakri, Rachael Blake, Rebecca Breeds, Darina Al Joundi, Abbey Aziz, Danielle Horvat and the late Damian Hill, with a limited release from October 17, 2019.
Finally, after eight years as a studio, Paramount Animation has revealed its own unique mascot and logo for film and TV productions. This new mascot, named Star Skipper, and logo will now join the ranks of other iconic studios such as Pixar and Dreamworks.
Disney has released a new trailer for Frozen 2. Delving into the mystery of Elsa’s powers, Frozen 2 is set for release in theatres November 22.
Wanting to learn more about black holes? Well, NASA has got you covered with a new animation called NASA’s Guide to Black Hole Safety. With a style that is very reminiscent of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the step-by-step safety guide is available on Youtube.
Also debuting on YouTube is a brand new Spider-Ham animated short, Spider-Ham: Caught in a Ham. The lovable character, played by John Mulaney, continues to branch out from his appearance in Into the Spider-Verse with another slapstick-comedy solo adventure.
If you’ve been enjoying the new Fruits Basket revival, then chances are you’re still probably reeling from the emotional rollercoaster that the series has been thus far, and if you’re not watching it, A) Why not? and B) Go and start it now! The first season is over, but you got time to catch up before season two! That’s right, the ride ain’t over yet, we got way more manga to cover in the second season, which starts in 2020!
And speaking of dramatic romance anime that just won’t quit, Given wrapped up its broadcast run this week, but studio Blue Lynx was very quick to assure fans that this isn’t the last time we’d see the colourful cast, as the Given movie is on track for a 2020 release.
Do you ever wish there was more of Boruto’s Dad in your Boruto anime? Well, consider your wishes granted! For the 20th anniversary of the series, Boruto and young Naruto from the original series will be meeting! How? Who cares!? We’re all gonna find out on October 6 anyway, when the new arc begins!
Some weeks ago it was revealed that famed writer Gen Urobuchi was working on a new “hardcore mecha” anime, and now we finally have the fruit of his (and the other staff’s) labours within our reach. The new anime is called OBSOLETE, and is a YouTube Original.
And in sad news this week, industry veteran J. Michael Mendel, producer of The Simpsons and Rick and Morty, has passed away. His passing was marked by friends and colleagues, including Rick and Morty creator Justin Roiland. Mendel’s impressive career has seen him win several Emmys for his work, including The Simpsons in 1995, 1997 and 1998, as well as for the now-famous episode of Rick and Morty, Pickle Rick, in 2018.
My friend, partner, and line producer Mike Mendel passed away. I am devastated. My heart breaks for his family. I don’t know what I’m going to do without you by my side Mike. I’m destroyed.
— Justin Roiland (@JustinRoiland) September 23, 2019
In an announcement on Playstation’s State of Play live-stream earlier this week, we discovered The Last of Us Part II is nearing completion and will be released early next year. The gameplay and story trailer shows main character Ellie in various scenarios that will require stealthy looting, item crafting and numerous violent encounters with a range of different enemies and weapons. The Last of Us Part II comes to Playstation 4 on February 21, 2020.
The classic Nintendo racing game, Mario Kart, has received its mobile release this week with Mario Kart Tour. The game, available on both iOS and Android, features all our favourite Nintendo characters, multitudes of customization options and some of our all-time favourite tracks.
Creators of Ark: Survival Evolved, Studio Wildcard, has announced that its epic pirate MMO, Atlas, will be sailing onto consoles next month. On its release to Xbox Game Preview, you’ll be able to dive straight into the seven seas and start your swashbuckling adventure, with features like ship and land combat, ship customization and the inevitable hunt for buried treasure! Atlas docks on the Xbox One October 8.
A launch trailer for the new Destiny 2 expansion, Shadowkeep, was revealed on Wednesday. Shadowkeep takes Guardians back to the Moon for new quests, exotics and activities. This is the fourth expansion to Bungie’s acclaimed looter-shooter and will be similar in size to the third expansion, Forsaken. Shadowkeep launches on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on October 1.
Here’s something really amazing that’s a bit closer to home. The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia is our biggest ‘living’ archive of… well, exactly what it says on the tin, and now they want to include Australian video games! Eight games have been selected for starters:
ComiXology is releasing a new comic series, adding to their rapidly growing catalogue of original content. Quarter Killer is a cyberpunk-themed action story surrounding Quentin Kidd, an ex-corporate computer hacker who offers their services to those willing to pay in quarters, an untraceable form of payment. Quarter Killer is co-written by Vita Ayala and Danny Lore, with art by Jamie Jones and lettering by Ryan Ferrier.
The God of Thunder is gearing up for an epic one-shot written by legendary comic writer Walter Simonson. Thor: The Worthy will feature Thor joined by Beta Ray Bill and Lady Sif. With art from Mike Hawthorne and Sal Buscema, the comic is sure to be one to remember.
Marvel’s Star Wars storyline will be coming to an end in December with a huge one-shot. The finale will be written by Charles Soule, Greg Pak, Simon Spurrier and Ethan Sacks, featuring a massive line-up of artistic talent, including Luke Ross and Roland Boschi. The 56-page one-shot special issue sees Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa and Han Solo leading the Rebel Alliance to build a new secret headquarters on Hoth, while Darth Vader continues to scour the galaxy for them.
Hot Toys has released a 1/6 scale Jawa & EG-6 Power Droid two-pack, as seen in Star Wars: A New Hope. Complete with a sandy Tatooine-themed diorama accessory to display the figures on, the pack features multiple interchangeable accessories and specially lit LED eyes to accurately depict the on-screen appearance of the Jawas.
Get your hands on the limited-edition X-Men Psylocke Premium Format Statue from Sideshow Collectibles this week. It stands at approximately 21.5” and is delicately painted with elaborate colours.
As NYCC approaches, Funko is still managing to have time to focus on its common collections. Recent additions include Pop! Icons, Bill Nye the Science Guy, additions to the Pop! Games line with Borderlands 3, and two new design variations of the Wynonna Earp Pop! Vinyl.