From film to TV, gaming to comics and everything in between, here’s what you might have missed in pop culture news this week.
Last weekend’s New York Comic Con provided a boon of new series trailers, and none were probably more well-received than the long-anticipated Star Trek: Picard series featuring the return of Patrick Stewart’s beloved Jean-Luc Picard. The new trailer not only revealed the show’s January 2020 release date, but also gave fans a good look at returning Next Generation characters Data (Brent Spiner) and William Riker (Jonathan Frakes).
Also dropped during NYCC was the final trailer for HBO’s upcoming fantasy series His Dark Materials, based on the books by Phillip Pullman. Starring James McAvoy, Dafne Keen and Lin-Manuel Miranda, His Dark Materials has already been renewed for a second season ahead of its November release date in the UK and US. Australian audiences will also be able to watch the series via Foxtel, though no official release date has yet been announced.
The Walking Dead has just announced its plans for its latest, still untitled, spin-off series. Set 10 years after the zombie apocalypse, this latest addition to the Walking Dead universe will focus on a group of young teenagers who have only ever known a zombie-infested world.
— The Walking Dead on AMC (@WalkingDead_AMC) October 3, 2019
And in other Walking Dead news, AMC has officially announced that the original show has been renewed for an 11th season, which will also see the return of Lauren Cohen’s Maggie as a series regular.
Netflix has revealed its Christmas present to fans, announcing that the second season of its Lost in Space remake will debut in time for some festive season binge-watching.
Titans season two seems intent on expanding its own DC universe, and latest details released about the season’s sixth episode not only reveal the proper introduction of Conner Kent (Superboy) and his dog Krypto into the show, but the episode synopsis also reveals the inclusion of Lionel Luther (father of Lex) and Martha Kent.
Todd Phillips’ controversial Joker film has exploded at the box office, overtaking last year’s Venom to become the highest-earning film with an October opening. Whilst critics have been divided about the film, audiences seem too enthralled with Joaquin Phoenix’s take on the Clown Prince of Crime, and even the animated Joker himself, Mark Hamill, has given his official seal of approval.
The #JokerMovie opens today. The awesome Joaquin Phoenix, Todd Phillips & Scott Silver brilliantly reimagine the character as never seen before! 2 thumbs up from that old-school, comic book version… me. 👍👍🃏 pic.twitter.com/Ex4is4OvPC
— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) October 4, 2019
Lord of the Rings’ Dominic Monaghan has traded Middle Earth for a galaxy far, far away, and given fans their first look at his character from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Whilst we still don’t know much, his costume is distinctly reminiscent of the rebel soldiers on Endor during Return of the Jedi, which might hint to his being involved with the Resistance.
— Dominic Monaghan. (@DomsWildThings) October 5, 2019
This last Saturday was the official James Bond day, in honour of the premiere of the first Bond film, Dr No in 1962. To celebrate 57 years on, the official Bond Twitter account has released its first poster of the upcoming 25th film, No Time to Die.
Another spy making his way back to the big screen is Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne. According to a recent interview with Bourne producer Ben Smith, work has begun on another Bourne film, with the aim of tying directly into the upcoming Treadstone TV series.
Wowsers! Inspector Gadget is reportedly getting another live-action reboot courtesy of Disney, and is set to be produced by Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich, who also worked on Guy Ritchie’s live-action Aladdin. It is not yet known whether Disney is planning a theatrical release, or are aiming to release directly to their Disney+ streaming service.
It’s been more than 10 years since James Cameron’s Avatar set the cinemas alight with its state-of-the-art visual effects, and now we finally have our first official look at the production of Avatar 2. The film’s official Twitter account revealed a shot of Cameron himself wielding a 3D camera for a new water-based shot.
Wave machines, blazing fire, and @JimCameron wielding a 3D camera — just another day on the set of the Avatar sequels!
— Avatar (@officialavatar) October 2, 2019
Proving himself a hero truly worthy of the suit, Spider-Man’s Tom Holland is credited with being the one responsible for having Sony and Disney return to the table and ensure the character’s return to the MCU. Reports are it was Holland who personally reached out to Disney CEO Bob Iger and Sony’s Tom Rothman to implore them to return to negotiations.
Doctor Who’s Peter Capaldi is sporting a new look for his role in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. Capaldi’s co-star Mayling Ng has recently shared a photo of herself and a newly shorn Capaldi from the set of the film.
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Black Widow’s Florence Pugh, who is set to play Yelena Belova, has officially wrapped filming on the upcoming MCU film. This news follows on from Stranger Things’ David Harbour wrapping photography last week.
— Florence-Pugh.net (@florencepughnet) October 3, 2019
Keanu Reeve’s John Wick universe is set to get a whole lot bigger. In addition to a planned John Wick 4, as well as The Continental TV series spin-off currently in the works, a new spin-off film Ballerina, focusing on a young dancer/assassin trained at The Academy shown in John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum is also reported to be in the pipeline. Directed by Len Wiseman (Underworld, Live Free or Die Hard), it is unknown whether Reeves himself will appear in the film, though he is credited as an executive producer.
Sam Raimi, director of the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man films, is returning to his cult Evil Dead franchise, and has confirmed at New York Comic Con that a new film is currently in development. According to Raimi, however, franchise star Bruce Campbell is ‘tired of me throwing blood on him’, thus will not be reprising his role as Ash in the latest film, though he will return to help Raimi produce the movie.
Netflix has commenced production on their live-action adaptation of popular anime series Cowboy Bepop. The 10-episode series is currently being filmed in New Zealand, with the original anime director, Shinichiro Watanabe, serving as a consultant on the production.
A trailer for The Dustwalker, starring Jolene Anderson, has been released. Filmmaker Sandra Sciberras offers up both thrilling sci-fi action and intense viral horror when a mysterious alien parasite infects the residents of a small outback town, turning the inhabitants into crazed killers. As the numbers of uninfected dwindle, the survivors must band together and find help if they hope to expel the parasite from their loved ones and survive the night. The Dustwalker will premiere at Monster Fest this Saturday.
Stan has an original drama set to premiere this upcoming summer starring Australian icon Russell Crowe alongside Charlie Hunnam, known for his role in Sons of Anarchy. Adapted by Shaun Grant, True History of the Kelly Gang explores notorious outlaw Ned Kelly’s youth up until his dying day.
During a 24-hour Pokémon live-stream, a new Galarian form of Ponyta was revealed in an area known as the Glimwood Tangle. The new form was later confirmed to be an exclusive for the upcoming title, Pokémon Shield, while the recently announced Sirfetch’d will be exclusive to Pokémon Sword. Galarian Ponyta was also confirmed to be a psychic type Pokémon, possessing new ability, Pastel Veil, which will prevent itself and ally Pokémon from being poisoned, as well as healing poisoned ally Pokémon when they switch in. Pokémon Sword and Shield arrive in stores on November 15.
PlayStation has finally announced the highly anticipated PlayStation 5, with some details on the features for Sony’s next-gen console. It will feature a solid-state drive for improved storage, 4k Ultra HD Blu-ray Playback, support for real-time ray tracing, a new Dualshock controller with adaptive triggers and haptic feedback, along with the ever desirable feature of backwards compatibility for PS4 and PSVR titles. PlayStation 5 is expected to drop by the end of 2020.
Developer of Doom Eternal, id Software, have announced via Twitter that the title won’t be ready for its initial release date of November 22. They revealed the new release date has been pushed back for PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One to March 20, 2020 as they continue to develop and polish the next title in the Doom series. A new release date is yet to be revealed for the Nintendo Switch version, but we can hopefully expect it in the near future.
An update on DOOM Eternal: pic.twitter.com/2LWrfh6e4Z
— DOOM (@DOOM) October 8, 2019
Apex Legends will be receiving a Halloween-themed game mode in their haunting October collection event, Fight or Flight. The new mode is called Shadowfall, and will feature a nighttime version of the original Apex map, Kings Canyon, where 35 solo players will drop in a race to survive the end. Players downed in this game mode will then join the Shadow Squad, where they’ll be unable to use weapons, but in exchange will become faster and stronger with melee attacks. The Halloween event will also feature two legendary weapon skins and a whole stack of event-limited cosmetics to collect. Fight or Flight swoops into Apex Legends from October 15 to November 5.
Something wicked this way comes. 🌘
Introducing the Fight or Fright Collection Event, where darkness falls upon Kings Canyon in a haunting all-new limited-time mode: https://t.co/iZm17wQIVI pic.twitter.com/ZR2j1I7a3f
— Apex Legends (@PlayApex) October 7, 2019
In the next big update for World of Warcraft, titled Visions of N’zoth, two new playable allied races will become available to players. For the Horde, players will be able to access the Vulpera, a fox-like race that were introduced in the Battle for Azeroth expansion. Alliance players will be able to start as a Mechagnome, which is a mechanised version of the original gnome race. However, as allied races, they will need to have certain requirements fulfilled on other characters in order to be recruited. While we don’t have a date for Visions of N’zoth yet, the races are currently available to test on the 8.3 Public Test Realm.
As the war to safeguard Azeroth’s future escalates, two new playable Allied Races will be ready to take up arms with the Horde and the Alliance—vulpera and mechagnomes—in the next content update.
— World of Warcraft (@Warcraft) October 7, 2019
Another playable character has been revealed for the Square Enix Avengers game. Kamala Khan, a.k.a. Ms. Marvel in the comics, is also the main character of the Avengers game story and is the one who has to bring the Avengers back together.
In fantastic news for Australian anime fans, Madman will be bringing Studio Trigger’s insane-looking first feature film Promare to cinemas on October 24, in both sub and dub! With the pedigree of Hiroyuki Imaishi and Kazuki Nakashima, the creatives behind Gurren Lagann and Kill la Kill behind it, it’s sure to be an awesome experience.
On the Netflix front, it seems they’re working on another collaboration with Masaaki Yuasa, after his very well-received Devilman Crybaby adaptation. This time they’re adapting a seminal Japanese science-fiction novel, Japan Sinks, about a family trying to escape from a wave of cataclysmic natural disasters that hit the island nation.
DEVILMAN crybaby director Masaaki Yuasa takes on Sakyo Komatsu’s classic disaster novel with Japan Sinks:2020, an original anime series coming next year! #JapanSinks pic.twitter.com/FoysLXNn0I
— 🐐🎃 NheX 🦇🔪 (@NXOnNetflix) October 8, 2019
The Animaniacs reboot, which was announced in mid-2018 with Steven Speilberg helmed as executive producer and is set to be released on Hulu, has made an exciting announcement. The original voice cast of the hit ’90s cartoon, Rob Paulsen (Yakko), Jess Harnell (Wakko) and Tress MacNeille (Dot), are returning to their beloved characters.
— The Animanicast (@animanicast) October 8, 2019
Netflix has announced they will be serving some Green Eggs and Ham on the November 8! Adapted from the beloved Dr Seuss children’s books, the 13 episode series is animated by Warner Bros. Animation studios and features the voice talents of Adam Devine, Michael Douglas, Ilana Glazer, Diane Keaton, Keegan-Michael Key, Eddie Izzard and many more.
First up from DC, Harley Quinn seems to be a fan of a certain Marvel hero. Since the Harley Quinn comics are typically irreverent in its style and tend to break the fourth wall consistently, it comes as no surprise that, in her latest issue, as pointed out by CBR it appears she is sporting the logo of Marvel’s Hawkeye on her backpack.
Marvel Comics has released teaser art for the upcoming X-Force #1, which features a security problem for the mutant team. The official synopsis reads as follows: “X-Force is the CIA of the mutant world—one half intelligence branch, one half special ops. Beast, Jean Grey and Sage on one side, Wolverine, Kid Omega and Domino on the other. In a perfect world, there would be no need for an X-Force. We’re not there…yet.”
Fans of Masters of the Universe should be quick to get their hands on the He-Man 1/6 scale action figure, the first of Mondo’s new line of figures from the show. Including over 30 points of articulation with nine weapon accessories, this figure is an epic addition with endless pose possibilities.
Funko has announced all-new Pop! Vinyl lines this week, starting with Black Mirror, featuring characters from fan-favourite episodes like Ashley Too and San Junipero. New Pop! Vinyl for Miami Vice and Mortal Kombat were also announced this week.