Saturday 31 January 2015

First look at Game of Thrones Season 5

HBO has unveiled a teaser trailer and first look photo gallery for the upcoming Game of Thrones Season 5.

If you've not watched Season 4, be warned, there are potential spoilers...

The new season premieres this April on HBO and Sky Atlantic in the UK.

Friday 30 January 2015

Disney CEO on The Force Awakens and more Star Wars

Bob Iger, Disney CEO, issued this statement about the future of the Star Wars franchise in an annual shareholder report.

"As one of the few people allowed to visit the set during filming… and one of the fewer who’s seen most of the footage… I can assure the millions of Star Wars fans who have spent the last decade hoping for a new movie this one will be worth the wait. And it’s only the beginning of a new era of exceptional Star Wars storytelling; next year we'll release our first standalone movie based on these characters, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII in 2017, and we'll finish this trilogy with Episode IX in 2019."

Disney's recent track record of meshing creativity and commerce has been impressive. One only has to look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and adventures in a galaxy far, far away look as exciting as ever...

Thursday 29 January 2015

LEGO announces The SHIELD Helicarrier

Today LEGO announced a gigantic SHIELD Helicarrier, which is just shy of 3 feet in length, includes 5 minifigs and much more. This expansive set comes with a price tag of £270GBP.

The new set, 76042 The SHIELD Helicarrier, will be available from March.

Will you be adding this to your LEGO collection? Let me know in the comments below.

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Sony and Spotify partner for PlayStation Music

Sony's shutting down its Music Unlimited subscription service this March and is bringing Spotify to a range of the company's devices including Xperia smartphones, tablets, PS3 and PS4. More devices to follow.

"Music is a core component of the entertainment offering that consumers expect from Sony, and our goal with PlayStation Music is to provide the most compelling music experiences," said Andrew House, president of Sony Computer Entertainment.

"This partnership represents the best in music and the best in gaming coming together, which will benefit the vibrant and passionate communities of both Spotify and PlayStation Network."

A Spotify Premium subscription will be required to use the service on PlayStation.

Gamers will be able to stream music in-game. Finally, I'll be able to play Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition underscored by John Williams' soundtrack for Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Tuesday 27 January 2015

Doctor Who star plays Marvel villain for Netflix

Allons-y! David Tennant, best known for his role as Doctor Who, has joined the cast of Marvel's AKA Jessica Jones on Netflix.

He'll be playing Zebediah Killgrave (AKA The Purple Man) who has a history with Daredevil too. So, Tennant may be seen in more than one Marvel Netflix series.

Marvel's gone wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey.

How many more Doctor Who cast members, past and present, will appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: sprawling transmedia storytelling encompassing film, television and comics? Jenna Coleman was seen in Captain America: The First Avenger and Karen Gillan played Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy!

Incidentally, Marvel's Agent Carter mini-series, despite garnering universal acclaim, has yet to be picked up by a broadcaster in the UK. There are rumours Netflix may stream the series soon. This wouldn't be a stretch in view of the streaming service's increasing commercial ties with the Disney-owned company.

Looking forward to the upcoming Marvel Netflix series? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday 26 January 2015

Disney didn't use George Lucas' ideas for Star Wars

Star Wars creator and director George Lucas recently talked to Cinema Blend about his upcoming movie Strange Magic and shared this anecdote on Star Wars: Episode VII.

“The ones that I sold to Disney, they came up to the decision that they didn’t really want to do those. “So they made up their own. So it’s not the ones that I originally wrote.”

Does it matter George Lucas' ideas weren't used in The Force Awakens? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday 22 January 2015

Kate and Rooney Mara read for standalone Star Wars

Kate and Rooney Mara and Tatiana Maslany have read for roles in Gareth Edwards' upcoming standalone Star Wars movie! This is according to The Hollywood Reporter and Variety.

The acclaimed actresses are best known for their roles in House of Cards, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Orphan Black respectively.

The new movie, scheduled for December 2016, will purportedly follow bounty hunters who steal the plans for the first Death Star.

What do you think of the Mara sisters or Tatiana Maslany starring in a Star Wars movie? Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday 18 January 2015

Netflix renews deal to stream Doctor Who in the US

Following suggestions, not for the first time, Netflix and the BBC were parting ways, at the end of January, in the US. The streaming service has confirmed, to trade paper Variety, that popular time-travelling series Doctor Who and many more are staying for the foreseeable future.

Some Doctor Who fans had gone as far as setting up an online petition, which illustrates the transient nature of streaming services. Consumers are cancelling and flip-flopping between competing services to binge-view old favorites.

The renewed deal includes Classic Doctor Who, Seasons 1-7 of the current run and Torchwood spin-off.

There's no word on whether or not Classic Doctor Who will return to Netflix in the UK. I sincerely hope so. Especially as I don't own every DVD release. The Dominators, cough.

Saturday 17 January 2015

Black Widow returns for Captain America: Civil War

Directing siblings Anthony and Joe Russo, who helmed Captain America: The Winter Soldier, have confirmed Scarlett Johansson will be reprising her role as Black Widow in Captain America: Civil War.

Civil War follows events in this year's Avengers: Age of Ultron directed by Joss Whedon.

“We’ve been preparing for the movie since the last one debuted last year,” said Anthony. “So, we’ve been working on it for a long time now. We’re very happy how it’s coming along. Captain America 3 is gonna be called Captain America: Civil War and it’s going to star Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson will be back, Winter Soldier [Sebastian Stan] will be back, and Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man will also be joining us in the next film.”

Expect sparks to fly.

“The new element in this film is that Captain America and Iron Man get into a fight with each other.”

Yes, that could be considered an epic spoiler, but it's direct from the source.

Given the size of the announced cast, Civil War may be on a scale to rival an Avengers movie. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

The movie opens in the UK in April 2016.


Friday 16 January 2015

Amazon's amazing The Man in the High Castle

Amazon Pilot Season has a chequered history unlike rival Netflix. However, The Man in the High Castle, an alternate universe period piece from director Ridley Scott (Alien) and Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files), deserves a series!

As a child I vaguely remember flicking through the pages of Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle and was immediately intrigued by the premise of alternate universes. What if World War II had culminated in the German and Japanese warmachines triumph?

Unlike big screen adaptations of the author's futuristic Minority Report and Blade Runner (based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?). The Man in the High Castle is set in a 1960s America divided into Greater Nazi Reich, Japanese Pacific States and Neutral Zone. Against which there's a growing schism within the Axis Powers.

A revelation following last year's risible The After created by Chris Carter. The look and feel of the pilot artfully exudes the creative pedigree of the production team. I, literally, paused scenes simply to savour the dense and murky mise-en-scène, which evokes Dark City and not simply because Rufus Sewell stars. A masterclass in world building.

If The Man in the High Castle is commissioned for an entire series, Amazon customers must vote on their favourite pilot, we may be in for a televisual treat that could garner more Golden Globes for the studio following the success of Transparent.

Well worth an hour of your time and don't forget to vote.

Thursday 15 January 2015

Look out! Imperial TIE Fighter Pilot from Sideshow

The TIE Fighter Pilot was one of my favourite Kenner action figures from the original Star Wars trilogy.

Now Sideshow Collectibles is paying homage to the Kenner TIE Fighter Pilot. From Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Sideshow is proud to present the Imperial TIE Fighter Pilot Sixth Scale Figure.

Dispatched under the direct command of Darth Vader during the Battle of Yavin IV, the fearless, high-ranking TIE Fighter Pilot is ready to swarm the enemy and defend the Death Star from Rebel assault. Emblazoned with Imperial insignia, the pilot wears a glossy streamlined helmet and jet-black armor, fitted over a pristine standard-issue flight suit.

Pre-order the Imperial TIE Fighter Pilot (affiliate link) today.

Tuesday 13 January 2015

Billy Dee Williams returns as Lando in Star Wars Rebels

If it wasn't enough that Star Wars luminaries James Earl Jones, Anthony Daniels and Frank Oz have reprised their iconic roles in the first season of Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD.

Billy Dee Williams makes his return to a galaxy far, far away as smooth smuggler Lando Calrissian in upcoming episode Idiot's Array.

Scoundrel and Sabacc player who had lost the Millenium Falcon to Han Solo. Calrissian made his debut in The Empire Strikes Back and appeared to betray his old friend in a deal with Darth Vader, but appearances can be deceptive...

I always felt Lando Calrissian was underused in Return of the Jedi and deserved more screen time with Luke, Leia and Han! Perhaps he'll be seen in The Force Awakens?

Who else would you like to see back in Star Wars Rebels? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday 12 January 2015

Scarlett Johansson cast in Ghost in the Shell

Scarlett Johansson is taking a break from playing Black Widow, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, to take the controversial lead in Hollywood's long-gestating live-action remake of Ghost in the Shell.

The actress adroitly played a mesmeric alien in director Jonathan Glazer's divisive Under the Skin, which riffed on the enigmatic cinema of Stanley Kubrick and The Man Who Fell to Earth.

I've not seen Ms Johansson's turn in Luc Besson's Lucy, but am intrigued at the prospect of seeing her play Motoko Kusanagi, a cyborg cop.

See Black Widow back in action this April in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Saturday 10 January 2015

Marvel launches Star Wars Debut on ComiXology

Marvel has released collections of Dark Horse Comics' Star Wars back catalogue on ComiXology.

Under Marvel's rebranded label, Star Wars Debut, comic book fans can collect classic comics including the fabled Dark Empire Trilogy and many more.

Incidentally, Marvel's Star Wars #1 debuts next week. I'll be downloading day-one from ComiXology. The perfect early birthday present for this fan.

Friday 9 January 2015

Game of Thrones Season 5 premieres April 12th

HBO has announced Game of Thrones Season 5 premieres 9PM Sunday, April 12th.

Last year UK broadcaster Sky simulcast the US premiere on Sky Atlantic and its streaming service NOW TV. NOW TV, like HBO Go, broke due to unprecedented demand. Sky quickly compensated affected users (myself included) and delayed a planned price rise.

Sky has confirmed it'll be airing the new season the day after the US premiere on Sky Atlantic.

I'll be self-imposing a social media blackout, until I've watched new episodes, following epic spoilers, posted by overzealous fans of the series, during season 4. This isn't unique to Game of Thrones. Many popular drama series, including Doctor Who and The Walking Dead, are subject to intense social media scrutiny.

What are you looking forward to most in Game of Thrones? Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday 8 January 2015

Build the Millennium Falcon with De Agostini

You can now build your very own Millenium Falcon, as seen in The Empire Strikes Back, courtesy of those fine folk at De Agostini.

To celebrate this momentous release, we're offering one lucky reader two issues free.

To be in with a chance of winning, just answer this question:
Who owned the Millennium Falcon before Han Solo?

A. Jabba the Hutt
B. Lando Calrissian
C. IG-88

Please leave your answer in the comments below.

The competition is open to UK readers only and closes Friday, January 16th. The winner will be randomly selected and contacted soon thereafter. If the prize is not claimed within seven days, it will be awarded to another entrant. Good luck and may the force be with you.

Special thanks to De Agostini for supplying the competition prize.



London, UK - January 6th, 2015: De Agostini Publishing today announced the release of a brand new weekly magazine series offering Star Wars fans and model makers the opportunity to build a detailed replica of the Millennium Falcon.

Featured in the recently released teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the appearance of Han Solo’s iconic starship caused excitement around the world, demonstrating that The Millennium Falcon has still “got it where it counts”.

Officially licensed by Lucasfilm, this is the most detailed model of the Millennium Falcon ever produced, based on designs used in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

A 1:1 scale model of the original Empire Strikes Back movie prop, the Build the Millennium Falcon model includes pre-painted hull parts, removable panels, working electronics for the moving ramp, LED lighting, and many internal details including the famous dejarik hologame table. With a die cast metal and highly detailed resin construction, the completed model will measure 808mm long, 596mm wide and 192mm high.

As a result of advanced manufacturing techniques, De Agostini is now able to bring this unique model to the market in 100 issues, making it accessible for Star Wars fans and model makers. The only other comparable model previously available was from Master Replicas Inc. as a pre-assembled model at a significantly higher price. The De Agostini model will have internal features which the Master Replicas model did not have and therefore has added value.

In addition to the components for the model and assembly instructions, each issue of Build the Millennium Falcon comes with a comprehensive 16-page magazine that explores the starships, planets and conflicts from the Star Wars movies.

Issue No. 1 is currently on sale at the introductory price of £2.99 and contains components for the cockpit, some hull plating and laser parts, and the full-size blueprint for the model. Issue No. 2 is in stores from 14th January 2015 at the regular price of £8.99, and will contain the dejarik hologame table amongst other parts, along with a free screwdriver.

Subscribers to the magazine series will receive special free gifts, including a limited edition T-shirt, a Han Solo figurine, an exclusive binder for keeping the magazine safe and a display stand to show the model off to best effect.

More information and details on how to subscribe can be found on the official website, and the official Facebook page at

The series is available throughout its publication via either newsagents or via subscription, which can be cancelled at any time.

This is a unique build up product for the model collector and is not designed as a toy. As such it is not suitable for children under the age of 14.

STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks in the United States and/or in other countries of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved.

About De Agostini Publishing:
De Agostini Publishing is the world leader in the partworks market and has been publishing in the UK for over 40 years with products ranging from hobby courses to soft-educational publications for children and adults, from physical collections to general reference with a high level of digital content, and from flow packs and trading cards to innovative and unique content for the latest digital devices.

Wednesday 7 January 2015

First look at Marvel's Ant-Man

Could Marvel's Ant-Man be this year's Guardians of the Galaxy?

The trailer, which premiered during Marvel's Agent Carter, eskews bombast in favour of characterisation and humour. A strong point of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Director Peyton Reed inherited the project from Edgar Wright who left citing creative differences with the Disney-owned studio.

Enjoy the awesome.

Here’s the official spiel on Ant-Man:

The next evolution of the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings a founding member of The Avengers to the big screen for the first time with Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man.” Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, master thief Scott Lang must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

Marvel’s “Ant-Man” stars Paul Rudd as Scott Lang aka Ant-Man, Evangeline Lilly as Hope Van Dyne, Corey Stoll as Darren Cross aka Yellowjacket, Bobby Cannavale as Paxton, Michael Peña as Luis, Judy Greer as Maggie, Tip “Ti” Harris as Dave, David Dastmalchian as Kurt, Wood Harris as Gale, Jordi Mollà as Castillo and Michael Douglas as Hank Pym.

Peyton Reed directs Marvel’s “Ant-Man” with Kevin Feige producing and Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo, Edgar Wright and Stan Lee serving as executive producers. Marvel’s “AntMan” delivers a high-stakes, tension-filled adventure on July 17, 2015.

Has the trailer got your attention? Let me know in the comments below.

Tuesday 6 January 2015

Doctor Who S8 sets new ratings record on BBC America

Doctor Who ended 2014 with its highest ratings to date, on BBC America, with an average audience of 2.04 million. That's not too shabby for Peter Capaldi's inaugural series as the titular Time Lord.

The hotly-anticipated Last Christmas garnered 2.31 million viewers. All eager to discover whether or not Clara (Jenna Coleman) would leave the TARDIS? To the relief of many fans (myself included) she decided to stay on for further adventures in time and space...

It's interesting to note audience figures declining in the UK and are in the ascendancy in the US.