Have you got that Friday feeling? I have that Friday feeling. So let’s get right to it so we can all go get Fridayed, shall we? First up this week, with the seemingly endless reach of the Marvel and DC extended cinematic universes, and franchise-domination of the box-office in general, here are some timely thoughts on the importance of jumping-on points in keeping these universes open to newcomers — and how two of Marvel’s releases so far this year have handled them. Now, I’d argue that Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2 was plenty accessible to anyone, at least as a fun piece of popcorn fluff, but this is a thing to think about nonetheless.
Speaking of cinematic universes — and aren’t we always? — and the things that bind them, it’s been all-but-confirmed that Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, last seen in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, will be making an appearance in Marvel’s first female-led superhero outing, Captain Marvel. There’s some debate as to how big his role will be, but I’m assuming we’ll find out more soon — or not so soon, given the movie doesn’t start production until next year and isn’t slated for release until 2019.
In the meantime, most Marvel newshounds are keeping an eye on anything emerging from the production of Avengers: Infinity War, which nearing the end of shooting. This week, we got on-set images of both Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, and Paul Rudd as Ant-Man — neither of whom seemed to be having a good time. Will they make it out of their various predicaments alive? Find out in May next year.
(Or… you know… just read the Marvel schedule. [spoiler] They will. [/spoiler])
Over on the small-screen, it’s next month’s launch of The Defenders that has most Marvelites on the edge of their seats, but we’ve just scored some casting news about the second season of Luke Cage, with Mustafa Shakir and Gabrielle Dennis confirmed as the season’s villains and probably-mostly-villains, respectively. Thankfully, Luke will have just come off being teamed up with Iron Fist for eight whole episodes of The Defenders, which will leave him well-versed in dealing with even the most annoying co-stars.
Now, one of the villains of the first season of Luke Cage was a guy by the name of Mahershala Ali. A year ago, you might have only have known his face, but now you probably think of him as the guy who won this year’s Best Supporting Actor Oscar. And now, with nothing more than a casting rumour, he is single-handedly turning the possibility of a third season of True Detective from a bit of a punchline into something that people are actually excited about. Of course, at this point there is no official third season of True Detective, but at least now if it does happens, there might be a little bit less derisive scoffing.
While we’re on the topic of Marvel alumni and their newest ventures, Stan Lee is — well, as far as Marvel goes, he needs no introduction. It probably says that on his business cards — if he even needs them. I suspect he doesn’t. I suspect he just gives people a look and they know. But anyway! Stan Lee’s latest project is animated series The Reflection, a co-production with Japanese studio DEEN, and the first trailer is here here here. It is in Japanese and has no subtitles, so most of you will just be watching for the old-school anime visuals — but the series itself will get subtitles, and eventually a dub, when it is released later this month.
Maybe surprisingly, that’s not the only anime we’re talking about this week. We’ve also got a first trailer for Godzilla: Kaiju Wakusei — or Godzilla: Monster Planet, as it will be known in the US — which is that particular monsters first anime outing, due out later this year. Again: in Japanese, with no subtitles, but while the visuals are still very anime, they’re a lot less old-school than The Reflection. So pretty!
Animation seems to be the theme of the week, because this week we also got word that there’s an Assassin’s Creed animated series in the works. This has been around, at least in rumour form, for years, but now it looks like it might have an actual Name attached to it, which has elevated it from a possibly to a probably, so watch this space.
In an exciting bit of news for any horror fans that might be out there, the legendary John Carpenter has this week signed a TV development deal with Universal Cable Productions, and that means we’ll soon be getting more scares and gore on our televisions (and god knows, we’re going to need someone to pick up the small-screen gore slack once Game of Thrones finishes up).
Finally this week, a trailer that actually just missed the cut last week. Heroes of the Empire is an English documentary about the 501sk UK Garrison — a group of Star Wars Cosplayers who do good deeds — slated for release later this year. This trailer, released last week, has got something for everybody: Star Wars geeks, cosplayers, those who believe that the power of fandom can be a force for good and not just for fighting on the internet, and whose eyes fill with tears at the sight of sick kids finding a reason to smile. Or even just lovers of heart-rending piano solos and slightly soft-focused sweeping shots of the English Countryside. But with a Star Wars bent, of course. I’m usually a big old cynic about everything, but *welp*.
And, through watery eyes, that’s me done. Until next week, have a good one, folks!