From film to TV, gaming to comics and everything in between, here’s what you might have missed in pop culture news this week.
Disney+ has officially launched in the US, and one new special featured on the platform is Expanding the Marvel Universe. In addition to providing some early looks at a zombie Captain America, and Black Panther’s T’Challa as Star Lord in the animated Marvel’s What If? series, it has also given Marvel fans their first glimpse at concept art from the upcoming Falcon and the Winter Soldier series. This includes a look at Wyatt Russel’s US Agent character in what appears to be an updated version of the Captain America costume. This fits with earlier rumours the series will see the US Government overruling Steve Rogers’ choice of successor and bestowing the title of Captain America on someone else. Aussie fans will get their chance to see it for themselves on November 19.
The Master Chief is making the leap from your X-Box to your TV screen. Showtime, in conjunction with 343 Industries, has recently announced the cast for its upcoming Halo television series adaptation based on the cult video game franchise. The Master Chief himself is set to be played by American Gods’ Pablo Schreiber.
— Halo on Showtime (@SHO_Halo) November 8, 2019
Reports are that Warner Bros. is planning a Friends reunion special with the six original stars for their own streaming platform, HBO Max, due for release next year. Talk is that the special will take the form of an unscripted talk show as opposed to a new episode.
Meanwhile, the future of the US-based DC Universe streaming app may be in doubt, with many wondering whether its shows will end up being rolled into Warner’s HBO Max when it launches. One thing we do know, however, is that regardless of which platform it exists on, fan-favourite Titans will be back for a third season, with its second season nearing finale in the US.
Fans of Amazon’s hit fantasy series Carnival Row can celebrate with the news that filming has now officially commenced on season two. Daredevil season three showrunner Erik Oleson will be taking over the reins from season one’s Marc Guggenheim.
The stories of The Burgue are far from over. Orlando Bloom, @CaraDelevingne, @TheDavidGyasi, @TamzinMerchant and more of your favorites are now in production on Season 2 of #CarnivalRow. pic.twitter.com/Y5q8627D9Q
— Carnival Row (@CarnivalRow) November 11, 2019
In some controversial news, the recent announcement that a digital recreation of ‘50s heartthrob James Dean would appear in a film adaptation of Gareth Crocker’s novel Finding Jack has drawn fire from fans and celebrities alike, with Chris Evans, Elijah Wood and Zelda Williams being just a few to speak out against the decision. It would seem, however, that CMG Worldwide, who are responsible for bringing Dean back to the screen, reportedly has plans for other deceased celebrities, and they currently hold the rights to digitally recreate over 400 celebrities including the late Burt Reynolds.
In April this year, Paramount released a trailer for their upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog film, and the fan backlash over the character’s design was heard loud and clear. Just a few days after the original trailer was released, the film’s director announced that the film’s release would be delayed by three months with the CGI completely redone to appease troubled fans. Now we finally have our first look at the freshly redesigned Sonic in a brand new trailer. Sonic the Hedgehog is now slated for a February 2020 release.
Star Wars fans prepare for another round of the Han Shot First debate, as the latest version of A New Hope being released on Disney+ will include a completely new version of the infamous Han and Greedo scene, which was originally put together by George Lucas for the intended 3D re-release prior to Lucasfilm’s purchase by Disney. The latest version of the scene, which was originally altered to have Greedo shoot first in the 1997 special edition, will now have Han and Greedo shoot simultaneously.
Congratulations go to the Clown Prince of Crime, with DC’s Joker setting a new record as the most profitable comic book movie of all time. Whilst this year’s Avengers: Endgame may still hold the record as the highest-earning film of all time, it did cost $365 million US to make, whereas Joker only cost Warner Bros. $62.5 million and has now earned over 15 times its original budget, while still going strong.
Hello Sidney, what’s your favourite scary movie? Get ready passengers, next stop on the reboot train is the cult ’90s horror franchise Scream. Reports are that Spyglass Entertainment is in the process of moving forward with a fresh reboot of the series originally conceived by horror legend Wes Craven.
More details have emerged about the Adelaide-based production of the Mortal Kombat reboot. The film’s writer Greg Russo has confirmed that Aussie stunt actor Elissa Cadwell, who has appeared in films like Aquaman and Dora and the Lost City of Gold, will be playing the vampire character Nitara.
— Greg Russo (@WriterRusso) November 11, 2019
Stan has revealed the cast for the second season of its hit original series Bloom, with Jacqueline McKenzie (Romper Stomper), Gary Sweet (House Husbands), Bella Heathcote (Strange Angel), Toby Schmitz (Black Sails), Jackson Heywood (Home and Away), Scott Lee (Home and Away), Ed Oxenbould (Puberty Blues) and Lucy Barrett (Neighbours) joining the likes of Jacki Weaver, Bryan Brown and Phoebe Tonkin and more. With production kicking off earlier this week in Victoria, season two will hit the streaming service in 2020.
Bloom is BACK and the cast is STACKED🤩
The brand new season of the Stan Original Series #Bloom will include returning stars Jacki Weaver, Bryan Brown, @1PhoebeJTonkin, Genevieve Morris, John Stanton, plus newcomers Jacqueline McKenzie, Bella Heathcote, Jackson Heywood & more. pic.twitter.com/DJheqckQDq
— Stan. (@StanAustralia) November 12, 2019
Psychological horror Sweet River has commenced shooting in Byron Bay and Tweed Heads, transforming them into a sleepy town with some not-so-buried secrets. The film will star Lisa Kay (Heartbeat, Indian Summers), Martin Sacks (Blue Heelers, Underbelly) and Genevieve Lemon (Top of the Lake, The Dressmaker) and, according to Cinema Australia, is about “a woman whose search for her young son’s body leads her back to sleepy Billins, a sugar cane town with a dark history. Hanna’s investigations uncover more than she expected and threaten to expose the town’s secrets… secrets that both the living and the dead will fight to protect”.
Great news for One Piece fans this week, the brand-new film, One Piece Stampede, arrives this week on Australian shores for a limited theatrical release! This begs the question, with the same production company and a lot of the same staff behind it, will Stampede be as good as Dragon Ball Super: Broly!?
Pixar has released its first trailer for new animated feature, Soul, scheduled to release in theatres June 19, 2020. Directed by Pete Docter, the man behind Inside Out, the film follows Joe Gardner, a New York music teacher who dreams of being a jazz musician.
Netflix and Nickelodeon have just entered a new years-long partnership in order to produce a wide range of original animated films and series. No word on anticipated projects yet, but this news comes as no surprise after the confirmation of a live-action Avatar the Last Airbender adaption coming to Netflix a few months back.
And fans of the popular Dungeons and Dragons live-stream run by Matthew Mercer, Critical Role, will be delighted to hear that an animated series has been greenlit and will be produced by Amazon Prime. Titled Critical Role: The Legend of Vox Machina, the series will focus on the first campaign from the party of voice-actors.
Developer BioWare has hinted that Dragon Age 4 might be in the works. A tweet was posted to mark 10 years since the first Dragon Age title. It also revealed that there will be a community party on December 4 for the series. So we’ll have to hold on until then to find more out, but at this point, it seems unlikely we’ll see the new Dragon Age game any time soon.
Today marks 10 years of Dragon Age! This year we’re excited to join the community’s party on December 4th and celebrate a decade together in the world we all love. See you on 12/4 for Dragon 4ge Day!
— BioWare (@bioware) November 3, 2019
Fans of The Outer Worlds can expect to see the newly beloved sci-fi RPG coming to Nintendo Switch as early as Q1 of 2020. While we already knew the game was bound for the Switch, a rough date was yet to be confirmed for its release. The greatest part of this news is we now know how soon we’ll be able to play this awesome title on a handheld console. The Outer Worlds originally released on October 25 for Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC.
Death Stranding finally hit PS4 consoles last Friday and now the highly anticipated Kojima title is available for pre-order on PC. In a Tweet from Kojima Productions back in late October, the PC release was announced after the company thanked everyone for their support of the game. While the release date for PC isn’t locked in yet, we’ve been told to expect it in early summer of 2020. For us in Australia, that will mean we can expect it sometime in middle of the 2020.
Thanks to all of you who have been supporting #DEATHSTRANDING!
DEATH STRANDING release on PS4 is November 8, 2019!!
Furthermore, KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS is happy to announce that DEATH STRANDING will be coming to PC in early summer of 2020!!#kojimaproductions #deathstrandingpc pic.twitter.com/Sk4clWWY1X
— Kojima Productions (@KojiPro2015_EN) October 28, 2019
Players of Super Smash Bros Ultimate received Terry Bogard from Fatal Fury, the fourth downloadable character on the Fighter Pass, last Wednesday. Terry was announced as the latest addition to the Smash line-up early in September during a Nintendo Direct and is now the 74th character in the Nintendo crossover fighting game.
This week in comic news, Wonder Woman gets an upgraded vehicle. One of the most iconic elements of Wonder Woman’s character is her fantastic Invisible Jet. Originally introduced in 1942, the Invisible Jet is a unique part of comic culture and is instantly recognisable. The new jet will debut in the new Wonder Woman comic issue, on sale now.
Batman will be mourning the loss of another family member, as he comes to terms with the death of Alfred at the hands of Bane. Releasing in February 2020, Batman: Penyworth R.I.P is a one shot written by James Tynion IV and Peter J. Tomasi with artwork by Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira and more. The official synopsis reads as follows: “If Alfred was the glue that held the Bat-Family together, how will Batman deal with that all falling apart?”
This week also marks the one-year anniversary of the passing of comic legend Stan Lee. In memory of the iconic comic creator, Marvel Comics has released an illustration depicting Lee surrounded by the likes of Iron Man, the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, She Hulk, Doctor Strange and others.
Remembering Stan “The Man” Lee: his legacy will live on in the Marvel Universe and the hearts of Marvel fans everywhere. pic.twitter.com/dvAkpCBS22
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) November 12, 2019
Lastly, Marvel is launching a brand new comic series which will see Falcon and Winter Soldier teaming up, ahead of the much anticipated Disney+ show. The new series will be written by Derek Landy with art by Federico Vicentini and currently does not have an official release date. Marvel has, however, released an official solicitation, which reads as follows: “An office of dead government agents. A gifted new killer. And two ex-Captain Americas… When a dramatic attempt on the life of Bucky Barnes reunites him with Sam Wilson, the two old friends are plunged headlong into a race to uncover the new leader of Hydra before a mass casualty event announces the terror group’s resurgence to the world. The clock is ticking.”