June 21-23, 2019
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.
Swamp Thing has been cancelled, after only one episode aired in the US to positive reviews. It has been confirmed the remaining episodes for season one will air, just that it will not be renewed for a second outing.
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Don’t really know or understand why #Swampthing was cancelled, but I can tell you this — all the cast and crew, and producing/writing team poured their hearts into this. Really proud of everyone’s hard work. Go watch episode 2, and immortalize these 10 episodes. Swampy deserves it.
A post shared by James Wan (@creepypuppet) on
Shows that are having a little more luck and have recently been confirmed for a second season are Netflix’s Love, Death and Robots and Russian Doll.
— Russian Doll (@RussianDoll) June 11, 2019
Veteran filmmaker Steven Spielberg is reportedly working on a horror series set to air on new mobile streaming platform Quibi, which will launch in April 2020. What sets Spielberg’s latest effort apart is that the new app will only allow audiences to access and watch the series in the dead of night for the maximum effect.
Guardians of the Galaxy’s Michael Rooker has announced via his official website that he has been cast in upcoming Amazon series Dark Tower, based on the Stephen King novels, and is currently on set in Croatia where filming has begun on the pilot episode.
Filmmaker Denis Villeneuve is currently working on bringing the sci-fi classic Dune back to the big screen next year, but that’s not all he’s doing. Rumours are that he’s also further expanding the franchise, and has also been given the green light to produce a spin-off series for Warner Bros’ upcoming streaming service named Dune: The Sisterhood.
An official photo taken at Disney’s recent investor day gives us our first look at the upcoming limited Marvel Studios series Loki, which is planned to appear on Disney+. The appearance of the JAWS advertisement in the background seems to confirm rumours the show will follow the trickster god through different eras in human history.
— MCU Direct (@MCU_Direct) June 9, 2019
Hot on the heels of Sigourney Weaver recently revealing she was set to return to the Ghostbusters franchise alongside original stars Dan Ackroyd, Bill Murray and Ernie Hudson, director Jason Reitman has confirmed that the original stars have indeed all read the script.
— Ghostbusters (@Ghostbusters) June 9, 2019
In other Ghostbusters news, director of the all-female-led 2016 reboot, Paul Feig has announced he is more than keen for a sequel to his own film.
— #AnswerTheSecondCall (@KateMcKinnonAUS) June 8, 2019
A new trailer has been released for fast-approaching Batman spin-off series, Pennyworth.
E3 may be the domain of gaming news, but one movie tidbit to come out of the event’s Ubisoft panel is that Netflix has acquired the rights to the film adaptation of the Tom Clancy’s The Division videogame series, and have attached Jessica Chastain and Jake Gyllenhaal to star.
For the past two years, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has been working with director Jaume Collet-Serra on his upcoming Jungle Cruise movie for Disney. Now he’s set to continue the relationship as Collet-Serra has also been announced as the new director for Johnson’s DC outing as Black Adam.
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Cool news announcing Spanish thriller filmmaker, Jaume Collet-Serra as my director for DC’s BLACK ADAM. Jaume and I have worked together for the last two years making, DISNEY’S JUNGLE CRUISE – and I’ve been very impressed with his passion, work ethic, style, vision, tone and quality. He’s hungry to break new ground with BLACK ADAM and give the fans something very cool and special. I raise a double tequila 🥃 welcoming Jaume and can’t wait to bring to life the world’s anti-hero in black. #DC #JaumeColletSerra #BlackAdam⚡️
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A new trailer for Frozen 2 teases a further exploration at the origins of Elsa’s mysterious powers.
Amazon are going surreal in a new animated series, starring the voice talents of Alita: Battle Angel’s Rosa Salazar and Better Call Saul’s Bob Odenkirk. Undone marks the first adult animated original show on the streaming service.
Nineties kids rejoice! Before Hugh Jackman ever donned his adamantium claws, many kids got their dose of the mutant X-gene via the animated X-Men series. The show’s original creative team are reportedly approaching Disney about the possibility of a continuation of their series on the Disney+ streaming service.
Director Masaaki Yuasa has announced he’s directing his first musical anime film! This adaptation of the real-life story of Inu-Oh, a famous fourteenth-century Japanese performer and playwright, marks Yuasa’s second collaboration with Taiyo Matsumoto.
Earlier this year, Netflix original series Ultraman debuted, a re-imagining of the classic Sentai program. Now, it’s been announced that a second season has been approved for Netflix.
Get ready to armor up once again, Ultraman is coming back for Season 2. pic.twitter.com/34Bsn0MRMt
— NX (@NXOnNetflix) June 11, 2019
GKIDS has reportedly got the rights to a Chinese CG feature White Snake for North American distribution. The film was huge in China, grossing around $67 million USD when it opened in January. It will be dubbed in English but no release date has been announced. Conceived as a prequel to one of the most ancient and enduring stories in Chinese history, White Snake presents a sumptuous tale of trickster demons, deadly mythical beasts, assassins, wuxia action, and the promise of eternal love.
With E3 recently taking place, we’ve got a lot of gaming news to get through! So strap in as we talk you through some of the major points from the conference.
We got the announcements of two remakes of early 2000s classics, SpongeBob: Battle for Bikini Bottom and Destroy All Humans. We were also told about some new games, like Balder’s Gate 3, Darksiders Genesis (a Diablo-style spinoff), and the yearly FIFA.
EA was the first brave soul to go up at E3, and their press conference gave us our first look at new Battlefield V DLC, a new Apex Legends character, Wattson, and more FIFA for you sports-game fans. But, most importantly, the thing most fans are excited for, the premiere of new Star Wars: Fallen Order gameplay!
Microsoft showed off a new multiplayer third-person combat game by Devil may Cry developer Ninja Theory, titled Bleeding Edge. It may sound similar to games like Overwatch and TF2 in concept, but drawing on the developer’s history with action games, Bleeding Edge is all about getting up in your enemy’s face with melee combat, and minimal gunplay.
In terms of announcements that still seem a long way off, we have Blair Witch, Battletoads, 12 Minutes, Psychonauts 2, Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition, and Elden Ring, the latter of which is really interesting as it’s a FromSoftware game made in collaboration with George R. R. Martin. And finally, we have LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, which hosts all nine movies in one game!
For games that have more concrete release windows, Ori and the Will of the Wisps finally has a release date after being at the last three consecutive Microsoft conferences, and it’s February 11 2020! Minecraft Dungeons, a Minecraft dungeon-crawler game, comes out in 2020, with Dying Light 2. Gears of War 5 is coming later this year on September 10, another Dragon Ball Z arena-fighter RPG was confirmed for 2020, and the big one, Halo Infinite, has been confirmed for 2020, for launch alongside Microsoft’s brand-new console, codenamed Project Scarlett!
And finally, Keanu Reeves came out to talk about Cyberpunk 2077! Fans will be glad to know that it drops on April 16, 2020.
Fallout 76 is finally closer to being a full Fallout game, with NPCs, dialogue trees, new quests, and a lot more content, including a new mode called Nuclear Winter — Fallout’s answer to the Battle Royale craze. Two new Wolfenstein titles have been confirmed for July: the VR game Cyberpilot, and the mainline sequel, Youngblood.
The show-stopper for the conference was saved for the very end though, DOOM Eternal, and it looks like it was worth waiting for. More of the classic DOOM that players love, with even more of the signature crazy guns, blood and insane action. Oh, and a November 22 release date!
Ubisoft came out the gate with their biggest title, Watch Dogs Legion. You play as any member of an underground organisation in London, fighting to take back your freedom from a police state. One of the most touted features is the ability to recruit any person in London to your organisation by interacting with their unique life and completing their recruitment mission.
The showing didn’t have too much new stuff apart from that, mostly DLC for Brawlhalla, Division 2, For Honor, and Rainbow Six, but Ghost Recon Breakpoint did get a September 5 release date.
Square Enix started strong with an extended look at the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, which looks to be living up to the enormous legacy of the original set. The new gameplay shows a very interesting and unique method of integrating the old-school FF turn-based RPG combat, with new FF real-time action-game combat, including a mechanic that lets players slow down time to access their special moves. Of course, the game will still be released in episodes, with this first game only covering Midgar, but apparently it will fill up “two Blu-Ray discs’ worth,” and will have enough content to be a full game on its own. And it’s coming out on March 3, 2020!
Several other notable RPGs were announced, like Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age S: Definitive Edition, Dragon Quest Builders 2, Octopath Traveller on Steam, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered, Final Fantasy 8 Remastered, and Romancing SaGa 3 and SaGa Scarlet Grace finally coming to the West.
They ended their show with a look at the new Avengers game, which frankly, looks amazing. You’ll have a chance to play as all five members of the main team. The multiplayer deathmatch with Marvel superheroes looks insane, and they’ve promised regular free updates adding more superheroes and multiplayer content! The game will feature Supanova favourites Troy Baker as Bruce Banner, Nolan North as Tony Stark and more. Scheduled for a May release 2020.
A very nice way to round out E3 2019. Animal Crossing: New Horizons may have been pushed back another year to make it just right, but the gameplay looks like the wait will be worth it.
Perhaps the biggest announcement, saved for last, was that Breath of the Wild is getting a sequel. Apparently being ‘even darker than Majora’s Mask’, so prepare for that one!
Pokémon Sword and Shield showed off some new adorable Pokémon (there’s a corgi one now). Fire Emblem: Three Houses got a new story trailer that looks very Harry Potter-esque. No More Heroes 3 was confirmed, Luigi’s Mansion 3 got some excellent gameplay that expands on Luigi’s moveset for his Poltergust. A new Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games is coming, and, a new Contra, of all things!
Lots of big sequels, but there were some great original titles too, such as Daemon X Machina, the awesome-looking mech-battle simulator, which now has a release date of September 13.
The Link’s Awakening remake teased a brand-new mode that lets players build and share their own dungeons! It’s set to release on September 20, a good week for Switch owners.
Nintendo also dropped a trailer for the new game from legendary Platinum Studios, Astral Chain, that promises fast-paced, stylish combat, where you fight with your robotic weapon called Legion, and can take control of enemies and utilise their own abilities in combat too!
A few older games are making the jump to Switch, like Resident Evil 5 and 6, The Witcher 3, Alien: Isolation, and the classic Contra games. But what about Smash? Nintendo dropped two new characters on us! The Hero, from Dragon Quest 11, and… Banjo Kazooie, from, well, you know!
Writer Steve Orlando and artist Amancay Nahuelpan have created a new series set to be released in September. Gotham City Monsters follows on from the events of Brian Michael Bendis’ Event Leviathan, which saw the destruction of the organisation S.H.A.D.E.
Frankenstein’s a free agent, and he’s looking for a new team! @HorrorDNA has the first details on GOTHAM CITY MONSTERS from @thesteveorlando and @amancay_art: https://t.co/7aXUxdzy3V pic.twitter.com/aykYvMG3Vx
— DC (@DCComics) June 13, 2019
In Marvel news, Avengers writer Roger Stern has come back to Marvel again for a new one-shot set during his run on the title. Together with artist Ron Lim, Stern will pen an 80th-anniversary special featuring everyone’s favourite villain, Loki. Avengers: Loki Unleashed! #1 is set to release in September.
A new Batman and Darkseid baby figure has been unveiled, expected for release sometime between July – September. It’s approximately 6.1” tall and will be limited to 5000. Pre-orders are currently live.
— The Bat Force (@the_batforce) June 6, 2019
And finally, a new wave of Uncanny X-Men Marvel Legends figures has been unveiled, with Hasbro announcing Wolverine, Silver Samurai, Cyclops, Dazzler, Storm, and Iceman as part of the new series.
Lead image: ‘Final Fantasy 7 Remake’. Pic via YouTube.