From film to TV, gaming to comics and everything in between, here’s what you might have missed in pop culture news this week.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is officially out! Supanova contributing writer Vanessa Agius described the “action-packed and heart-wrenching finale” as “an intense celebration of the work conceived by George Lucas” that carves its own path while paying tribute to its predecessors.
According to a recent interview with ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish, two new Star Trek films are now officially in development. A few weeks ago, Fargo and Legion creator Noah Hawley was announced as the writer/director for a fourth Trek film in the new rebooted timeline starring Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, and many are hoping the second film may be the long rumoured R-rate film helmed by Quentin Tarantino. Unfortunately, though, in a recent interview, Tarantino himself has stated that: “I think I’m steering away from Star Trek, but I haven’t had an official conversation with those guys yet.”
A new Sonic the Hedgehog trailer was released on Twitter this week, with Sonic asking whether The Rock was President yet. Not one to miss a beat, Dwayne Johnson was quick to reply.
So crazy I used to love playing Sonic in college. Many moons later this…
life can be so damn wildly unpredictable and surreal at times. 🤯 https://t.co/2aim2sv88O
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) December 15, 2019
Supanova fans were given a real treat last month when Grease’s Danny Zuko, aka Hollywood mega-star John Travolta, headed down under to our Brisbane and Adelaide events. Now Travolta has pulled out the old T-Bird leather jacket, joining co-star Olivia Newton-John in costume for the first time since they wrapped filming the original movie for a Grease sing-along event.
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Director Colin Trevorrow may have been replaced as the man behind this year’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but he hasn’t been idle since getting replaced by J.J. Abrams. Returning for the third film in the Jurassic World franchise, Trevorrow has recently offered a behind the scenes look at some of the new animatronics being built for the film.
— Colin Trevorrow (@colintrevorrow) December 13, 2019
Things seem to be tracking well for the Adelaide-based Mortal Kombat reboot, and now we know that principal photography has wrapped up, thanks to a Tweet from Liu Kang actor Ludi Lin. Moreover, with the film already moving into post-production, Warner Bros. has now stepped up its expected release date from March 5, 2021, to January 15, 2021.
Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn hijacked the 2019 Game Awards earlier this week, revealing a new spot for next year’s Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). Harley’s latest outing is set for a February 5, 2020, release.
David Ayer, director of 2016’s Suicide Squad, is reportedly working on another team-up film for Warner Bros., this time in a remake of the 1967 WWII film The Dirty Dozen. Accounts are, that rather than a straight remake, Ayer will be looking at a contemporary reimagining of the original film.
Almost 35 years after Tom Cruise felt the need for speed in the original Top Gun, he’s jumping back into the cockpit for Top Gun: Maverick due for release in June next year. A new trailer released earlier this week promises another break-neck adrenaline ride for the hotshot pilot.
With an official upcoming release at Palm Springs International Film Festival, the first trailer for Australian psychodrama, Disclosure is here. Its star-studded cast includes Geraldine Hakewill (The Pretend One), Mark Leonard Winter (Measure 4 Measure), Matilda Ridgway (Book Week), and Tom Wren (Secret City).
A teaser trailer has dropped for Australian post-apocalyptic series The Wandering. Its synopsis reads: “A self-exiled nomad is inadvertently forced to re-join what is left of humanity and become a guardian for a young girl after saving her from a motorcycle club of survivors called The Kellys and ignites the powder keg of war for revenge.”
Things are heating up for Marvel’s first live-action Disney+ series Falcon and the Winter Solider. Reports are that actors Desmond Chiam (Reef Break) and Miki Ishikawa (The Terror: Infamy) have been added to the cast, which will also see Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan reprise their titular roles alongside Daniel Bruhl’s Baron Zemo, Emily VanCamp’s Sharon Carter and Wyatt Russell’s John Walker, aka US Agent.
Proving that he’s intent on personally transforming himself into his big screen alter-ego Tony Stark, Iron Man’s Robert Downey Jnr. is hosting a new YouTube documentary series on Artificial Intelligence, The Age of A.I. The first four episodes were released online earlier this week, and the final four are scheduled to drop on January 15, 2020.
The hotly anticipated Netflix adaptation of The Witcher has released a final trailer ahead of this week’s season one debut. The show, headed by Man of Steel’s Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, has already been renewed for a second season and the show’s creators are hoping it will be a long-lasting series with many more seasons to come.
Another show that has been renewed for a second season before the first one has aired is the new Star Trek: Picard series which will see the long-anticipated return of Patrick Stewart to the role of Jean Luc Picard. Aussie Trekkies will be able to access the new season on January 24 via Amazon Prime.
Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson books, met with Disney+ this week regarding talks about a possible series adaptation for the new streaming platform. Riordan has confirmed it is still early days, but he’s hopeful his book series may see new life after the first two of his five-book series were previously adapted into films by 20th Century Fox.
Had some good meetings at Disney today. Way too early to know what if anything might happen, but I will keep at it! At least they knew me by name at the security gates! (zoom in on my nametag to see what I mean 😂) pic.twitter.com/BeIKS0rDhJ
— Rick Riordan (@camphalfblood) December 13, 2019
Netflix has confirmed that Aussie audiences will be able to catch up with Titans season two, and witness Dick Grayson’s transition into Nightwing, from January 10, 2020.
A new trailer for Chris Pratt and Tom Holland’s most recent animated outing, Onward, has been released by Pixar this week. The film is set to premiere March 6 and follows the adventures of two elf brothers as they try to fix the half-successful conjuring of their late father.
Following last year’s debut of the new She-Ra reboot, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, it’s been announced that Netflix and Mattel Television are now working on giving He-Man the same treatment. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe has no official release date yet, but is being helmed by Adam Bonnett (Descendants) Christopher Keenan (Justice League, Batman Beyond) and Rob David (Masters of the Universe: Revelation, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and will be produced in a CG animation style.
A new Superman: Red Son trailer, starring 2019 Supa-Stars Jason Isaacs and Amy Acker as Superman and Lois Lane respectively, has been released this week.
And Dean DeBlois, a major contributor to How to Train Your Dragon and Lilo and Stitch, has recently made deals with both Universal and Dreamworks for a variety of projects in the long-term future. While no specific details have been announced, the nature of the deal indicates that DeBlois will be helming a wide range of live action, hybrid, and animation projects.
A lot of exciting news has emerged from the most recent Game Awards! Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice was the big winner for Game of the Year, and Devil May Cry 5 grabbed Best Action Game. Kojima Production’s Death Stranding managed to secure the awards for Best Game Direction and Best Score/Music, while actor Mads Mikkelsen won Best Performance for his portrayal of Clifford “Cliff” Unger in the action PS4 title.
Control by Remedy Entertainment claimed Best Art Direction, while Call of Duty: Modern Warfare from Infinity Ward received Best Audio Design; Disco Elysium by ZA/UM snapped up Best Independent Game and Epics Games’ Fortnite unsurprisingly won Best Ongoing Game.
As for big announcements, the show-stoppers were The Wolf Among Us 2, miraculously revived from the grave, Bravely Default II, Surgeon Simulator 2, and Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II.
Also at The Game Awards, Microsoft unveiled its next-gen console, the Xbox Series X, formerly known only as Project Scarlett. The Series X will be Microsoft’s fourth-generation console and has been said to have four times the processing power of the Xbox One X, it will support 4K gaming up to 120 FPS and will also run off an SSD. Microsoft has also announced it will fully support backwards compatibility and have shown us its monolithic design, which will be able to stand upright or on its side. The Series X is slated for release during the holiday season of 2020.
In sad news for Monster Hunter fans, long-time series producer Shintarō Kojima, who worked on the very first game for PS2 in 2004, is walking away from the series. As one of Capcom’s tentpole franchises, it remains to be seen whether his departure will have a drastic impact on the direction of the series going forward.
In fighting game news, it’s been an awesome week for new character reveals. The new DLC for Samurai Shodown, Wan-Fu, dropped on December 18, and then Capcom announced that Seth, the villain from Street Fighter IV, will be coming back to Street Fighter V, with a brand-new look, on February 14 next year!
Sony has revealed a new gaming adapter for the Dualshock 4 called the Back Button Attachment, which allows players to remap its two paddle-like buttons to any function on the DS4. The adapter attaches to the bottom of the controller’s utility port and sports a follow-through audio jack, so you can still plug your headphones in. It also features an OLED display, so players can keep track of what their paddles are remapped to. The Back Button Attachment will be hitting shelves in Australia on February 14, 2020.
Fans of the sci-fi action RPG title, The Outer Worlds, will be pleased to discover Obsidian Entertainment have plans for DLC in 2020. While Obsidian hasn’t said much about what the new content will pertain to, we do know it will expand on the existing story and we will hopefully hear more about the new content in 2020.
Following the Battle of Endor, the Remnant Stormtroopers are clinging to any power they can, and, as seen in The Mandalorian, they are looking rather run-down and beat. Hot Toys Collectibles has released a highly accurate 1/6th Scale Figure depicting this new rugged appearance of the Stormtroopers, equipped with a blaster and stand base.
Funko celebrates Christmas with some adorable seasonal additions to its Pop! Christmas line, as seen below.