Greetings, kids! It’s Friday where I – and most of you – are, which means it’s time for a quick tour of the pop-culture universe before we all go off and do the weekend thing.
To kick off this week, we need to talk about what is going on over in the DC Universe. This week has seen a pretty constant trickle of news out of that side of the comics family, not a lot of it making much sense, but let’s try to break it down.
First off, we got wind that the Joker is getting a Martin-Scorsese-produced origin story from Warner Bros. Which wouldn’t be surprising on it’s own, except for the fact that one of the few details that anybody had about this “gritty and grounded hard-boiled” (not my words) project was that it wouldn’t be starring Jared Leto. Now there have been several Jokers over the decades, but Leto has gone out of his way over the past couple of years to make the part his own… for better or *cough* worse… so this seems odd. And maybe deliberate.
That said, it still wouldn’t be a big deal, except the very next day we got the announcement of another Joker movie. This one is also being made by Warner Bros, and is a “criminal love story” (again, not my words) also featuring Harley Quinn. And this one is starring Jared Leto. And is looking likely to be helmed by the guys behind Crazy, Stupid Love and I Love You Phillip Morris, if you’re looking for more of an idea of the tone.
And there is, of course, a Suicide Squad sequel to come first, which will also feature Leto’s Joker. So, to sum up: three upcoming films, two centred around the one character, from the same studio, starring two different actors and with three different feels. That’s… not confusing at all.
And in the meantime, there’s whatever is happening with The Batman. Earlier this week we got reports that Matt Reeves — who took over the project when Ben Affleck stepped aside earlier this year — had described the film as a stand-alone, and not part of the greater DC Universe. Given where Ben Affleck’s Batman sits in the Universe, including right near the heart of Justice League, this is slightly baffling, to say the least. And, of course, Reeves has since come out and clarified what he meant: The Batman is part of the DCU, it’s just that the movie will only focus on Batman, and not feature Marvel-style cameos from all his Justice League pals. So that’s that. I guess. Still, after last week’s “just joking round” comments about Ben Affleck’s future in the role, there seems to be a lot more turmoil and clarification happening around Batman than there really should be. A bigger story or just the media over-reacting to every little thing? Only time will tell…
Moving right along, things seem to be going more swimmingly at Marvel, with the release of another Thor: Ragnarok poster — this one featuring all of the key cast and the same colourful feel as the rest of the movie’s art so far. It could use more Goldblum, but that’s really a minor quibble, because what couldn’t?
Small-screen Marvel fans also got a treat this week, with a trailer for The Punisher neatly tucked in at the end of the credits for the last episode of The Defenders — which means, if you’re like me, you saw it in a teeny-tiny box at the corner of your screen while having to endure a full-screen ad suggesting you watch Iron Fist, so here it is again. The Punisher also showed up at the very end of trailer for The Defenders a few weeks ago, but *minor spoiler* not in the show itself, so this post-credits trailer was almost expected. It’s as dark and gritty and splatty as we all knew it would be, so at least that is right with the world.
Still on the Defenders, I’m not really sure what to make of this one. It looks like US Network ABC are looking to develop a “Jessica Jones-esque” series of their own — this time a comedy in the feel of Guardians of the Galaxy. Now, as someone who thinks Jessica Jones was the best of the Netflix series so far, and that Krysten Ritter’s Jessica Jones was the best part of The Defenders, but who also really enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy, I don’t know if this is something I should look forward to or run very far away from. My instinct, given the comedy angle and the so-far lukewarm reception that Marvel-ABC’s The Inhumans is getting, is the latter, but I’m willing to keep an open mind. For now.
In other news, the second season of Stranger Things is still to air but Netflix have announced that there will be a third — and maybe even a fourth, but that would probably be it. Not bad going for what seemed like a very self-contained single-season show… let’s hope the Duffers find enough story to make it work.
From the realm of upcoming big-screen releases, we got a new poster for Bladerunner 2049 this week, and, like the Thor: Ragnarok artwork, it’s sticking to it’s established aesthetic. We also got images of two new vehicles being rolled out for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, including the latest iteration of the AT-AT, the AT-M6. The Last Jedi is only a few months out from release so we’re probably going to getting more and more of these small snippets of info over the next little while. Hurrah! (Or Boo! if you’re a spoiler-phobe who wants to be surprised by absolutely everything come December 15!
And finally, last week we got that interesting twitter snippet about a possible future for Sense8. This week one of the show’s cast has reacted. It’s the kind of non-reaction that doesn’t really mean anything, but it’s also not a flat-out denial, and I want to kick your weekend off on an optimistic note, so let’s all do a happy dance and hope it makes happy things happen.
And with that, I’m done. Have a most excellent weekend, folks!