Friday 29 May 2015

Bumblebee may get a Transformers spin-off movie

The Transformers cinematic franchise is undergoing a seismic shift to encompass transmedia storytelling as seen in the spectacularly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Universe.

A writer's room is being assembled, by director Michael Bay and producer Steven Spielberg, including Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), Jeff Pinkner (Fringe) and Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari (Ant-Man), with the aim of developing sequels and spin-offs set in the same cinematic universe. One such project maybe a prequel set on the robots' homeworld of Cybertron.

Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner has hinted at a Bumblebee spin-off:

"As we go forward, we would imagine several more Transformers Movies,” Goldner said (via “Not just in the current lineage but also spin-offs and focusing on certain key characters that are beloved by the world over. Many of you know Bumblebee; the yellow Camaro… formally known as a yellow VW Bug. He is a beloved character by kids all over the world. We could see stories told around Bumblebee and other characters. We are in a process of building the brand equity around the comic book business, our TV Business, our digital gaming business and adding to that our new movie business of Transformers.”

Despite my enthusiasm for the first Transformers movie, the franchise quickly derailed, in creative terms, despite continued box office success. That said, I enjoyed Age of Extinction more than I'd care to admit; I'm a sucker for dinosaurs and robots...

Thursday 28 May 2015

Andy Serkis’ Star Wars character officially revealed

The name of Andy Serkis' character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been officially announced in an exclusive interview with photographer Annie Leibovitz at

“I can remember, from the very beginning,” Leibovitz tells, “I was astounded by the universe that George [Lucas] had created. I’d never seen anything like it. It was just unbelievable, and the actors and characters really resonated with all of us. It was a great, great visual story that continues to carry forth today.”

Fans who are sensitive to spoilers may wish to stop reading...

Actor Andy Serkis has become synonymous with motion-capture performance: from The Lord of the Rings to Planet of the Apes. The Force Awakens will be no exception. Serkis is playing Supreme Leader Snoke and his brooding intonations were heard in the first teaser trailer.

Safe to assume Snoke's a villain? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday 22 May 2015

John Williams on scoring The Force Awakens

John Williams' soundtrack for Star Wars sparked a lifelong passion for film music.

I'll never forget being gifted a copy of the original soundtrack album for my sixth birthday and religiously listening to it - playing with action figures or reading comic books - as I convalesced post head injury. The music fired my imagination and, perhaps most importantly, encouraged optimism for the future and adventures unknown.

The Oscar-winning composer talks to Vanity Fair's Bruce Handy about returning to a galaxy far, far away and reprising familiar themes from the original trilogy for The Force Awakens.

Here's an extract from the interview in which Williams contrasts working with George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, and JJ Abrams:

"It’s actually very similar. My meetings with George had to do with spotting the film, selecting areas in which music would be played, and pretty much we agreed on all that. He always left me free to write the music. And J.J.’s done the same thing. We've had a few preliminary meetings, and I've played him some music at the piano, which he seemed to like very much. His latest instruction to me was, “Just do your thing.” Which is giving me a good sense of freedom, a good free swing at the ball. I don't know how much you know of him, but he is a delightful person. Enormously bright. I've been very impressed with him in meetings with a great variety of people. His generalship is assured and warm and inviting and inclusive. If I can say it, he’s a fabulous young man whose future is so brilliant and so promising. I don't know how old he is, but he’s a young man to me. [Abrams is 48; Williams is 83.] He’s enormously impressive."

You can read the full interview here.

Thursday 21 May 2015

Brad Bird passed on Star Wars for Tomorrowland

Director Brad Bird (The Incredibles and Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol) explains why he passed on directing Star Wars: The Force Awakens in favour of Tomorrowland.

“It absolutely was [a tough decision],” he said. “But there was no way to do [Star Wars] without junking this film, and we had already gotten George Clooney involved and I was excited about this film. I understand they had to get [The Force Awakens] made, and they would've had to push it in order for me to do it.”

The Tomorrowland director was asked if he would return to the Star Wars universe?

“Right now I'm writing Incredibles 2, so I've got my hands full!”

Tomorrowland, which is garnering praise from critics, appears to reprise Disney's other successful film franchise based on a theme park ride. Pirates of the Caribbean. Hopefully it won't be diminished by inferior sequels.

Monday 18 May 2015

Power Rangers Dino Charge at MCM London Comic Con

London Comic Con is just around the corner and the Power Rangers are ready to unleash their power at the Con! Throughout the weekend of May 22-24, fans are invited to celebrate the Power Rangers at London Comic Con with a variety of exclusive activities, fun meet & greets and special giveaways.

Power Rangers activities include:

· Power Rangers Dino Charge Episode 1 Premiere: Get a sneak peek at Power Rangers Dino Charge episode one before its debuts on POP TV in August 2015.
· Exclusive Product Offers: Be the first to own the Power Rangers Dino Charge Morpher & Dino Megazord available at the Bandai booth (#2541). Also receive Bandai’s exclusive FREE gift-with-purchase Comic Con t-shirt.
· Special Guests: Meet the Red and Blue Dino Charge Rangers at the Bandai booth throughout the weekend.
· Giveaways: Enter to win a Legacy DVD box set and full range of collector items at the Bandai booth. The limited edition Legacy DVD box set spans across the first 20 seasons of the Power Rangers series, including over 270 hours of action-packed entertainment across 98 DVDs. FREE Power Rangers Dino Charge posters will also be given away throughout the weekend.

Are you attending MCM London Comic Con? Let me know in the comments below.

Saturday 16 May 2015

Would you watch a Marvel and Star Wars channel?

Disney may be planning to launch Marvel and Star Wars channels according to Daily Finance (via ScreenCrush).

"We have said that with these channels and these brands — ESPN, ABC, Disney, maybe even down the road something related to Star Wars and Marvel — we do have an ability as a company to take product, specifically filmed entertainment, television, movies, directly to consumers," said Disney CEO Bob Iger during an investors call.

Branded channels are a no-brainer. Perhaps the might of Marvel and Lucasfilm could be harnessed in a co-branded channel?

There has been talk of a rumoured deal with Apple, which would bring exclusive or timed exclusive channels to the Cupertino-based company's streaming device.

WWDC is only a few weeks away and an official announcement wouldn't be beyond imaging in June. Especially as Apple hasn't updated Apple TV since 2013 and there's the small matter of Star Wars: The Force Awakens opening in cinemas this December.

This would bolster Apple's proposition in a crowded streaming market where Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast vie for consumers' cash.

Would you watch a Marvel and Star Wars channel? Let me know in the comments below.

Friday 15 May 2015

DC's Legends of Tomorrow first look

It's been a busy week in the DC Universe (DCU)!

Arrow season 3 concluded, Supergirl took to the skies in one of the best first look previews I've ever seen and DC's Legends of Tomorrow begins in 2016.

Here's the series synopsis:

"When heroes alone are not enough … the world needs legends. Having seen the future, one he will desperately try to prevent from happening, time-traveling rogue Rip Hunter is tasked with assembling a disparate group of both heroes and villains to confront an unstoppable threat — one in which not only is the planet at stake, but all of time itself. Can this ragtag team defeat an immortal threat unlike anything they have ever known?"

Doctor Who fans will be delighted to see Arthur Darvill playing time traveller Rip Hunter. Thus cementing the timey-wimey antics begun in The Flash's breakout first season.

Warning! The following first look contains mild spoilers for the season finale of Arrow.

Whilst Supergirl stands alone on CBS. The potential for an epic network crossover with The CW's Arrow, The Flash and DC's Legends of Tomorrow can't be overlooked by the powers that be at Warner Bros.

Tuesday 12 May 2015

Marvel's Agent Carter relocates to Los Angeles

Whilst UK viewers await news of if/when Agent Carter's first season will be shown. Here's the latest on the second season.

“Dedicated to the fight against new atomic age threats in the wake of World War II, Peggy must now journey from New York City to Los Angeles for her most dangerous assignment yet. But even as she discovers new friends, a new home — and perhaps even a new love — she’s about to find out that the bright lights of the post-war Hollywood mask a more sinister threat to everyone she is sworn to protect.”

Do you think Angie will move too? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday 11 May 2015

Doctor Who and more confirmed for LEGO Dimensions

Start saving brick fans!

Doctor Who, Portal 2, Jurassic World, The Simpsons and Scooby-Doo are appearing on LEGO's toys-to-life portal this September. They will be joining Back to the Future, DC Comics, LEGO Movie and The Lord of the Rings.

LEGO Dimensions isn't pulling any punches. Imagine the Doctor with Marty McFly, Batman and Chell as his companions aboard the TARDIS.

Disney Infinity 3.0 will have the force on its side this year. Star Wars makes its debut and there'll be a tie-in with The Force Awakens. However, it's not LEGO is it?

Sunday 10 May 2015

Is Captain Phasma the new Boba Fett?

Vanity Fair exclusively revealed Captain Phasma is played by Game of Thrones' Gwendoline Christie in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Captain Phasma, a name harkening back to the saga's film serial inspiration Flash Gordon, is arguably the coolest looking Star Wars movie character since Darth Maul and, my favourite, Boba Fett. If looks could kill...

Roll on Force Friday! I've already cleared deskspace, in my study, for a Captain Phasma action figure.

Friday 8 May 2015

ABC renews Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter

ABC has renewed both Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter after seemingly nixing plans for a rumoured S.H.I.E.L.D. spin-off series. The spin-off was thought to focus on Lance Hunter and Bobbi 'Mockingbird' Morse.

Agent Carter's first season garnered rave reviews, but has yet to be broadcast in the UK after being passed on by Channel Four. Perhaps the success of Daredevil may persuade Netflix to stream the series. I've reached out to the streaming service and will update if a response is forthcoming.

Meanwhile Marvel's arch-rival DC Comics is on spectacular form with its live-action television franchises. Arrow and The Flash continue to win deserved praise and will soon be bolstered by DC's Legends of Tomorrow.

Thursday 7 May 2015

Emily VanCamp returns as Agent 13 in Civil War

The dust is starting to settle around Avengers: Age of Ultron's blockbusting conquest of cinema screens the world over.

Next year's Captain America: Civil War sees The Winter Soldier's Agent 13, as played by Emily VanCamp (Revenge), return. She'll be joining a cast that dwarfs the two Avengers movies. Ant-Man will be there too, following his origin story this July.

Civil War takes its cue from the comic book series, but there's scant detail how it'll play on the big screen and whether or not Spider-Man makes his feted debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, here's a synopsis to whet your appetite.

"Captain America: Civil War picks up where Avengers: Age of Ultron left off, as Steve Rogers leads the new team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers while they try to protect the world from a new and nefarious villain."

On a technical note. Civil War will be filmed using a new 2D digital IMAX camera co-developed by the company and Arri. As such it won't be shown in 3D, which is fine by me.

Excited? Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday 3 May 2015

The Force Awakens skips May Fourth for Force Friday

Tomorrow is Star Wars Day, but fans can look forward to Force Friday this September. That's when Disney unleashes merchandise for The Force Awakens.

“Every lightsaber, every action figure, every LEGO set tells a story for generations of Star Wars fans, and this global event is a celebration of those stories. We're excited to be part of the countdown to this enormous movie moment,” said Josh Silverman, executive vice president, global licensing, Disney Consumer Products.

The very cool packaging features the mysterious villain Kylo Ren.

Start saving for Friday September 4th now.

Friday 1 May 2015

Star Wars Rebels Season 2 premieres this June

Star Wars Rebels returns to US television screens, in a one-hour movie event, June 20th on Disney XD.

Star Wars Rebels: The Siege of Lothal sees the return of Darth Vader, voiced by James Earl Jones, as the Dark Lord of the Sith continues to hunt down the Jedi and pursue the rebellion against the Galactic Empire.

New episodes will continue to rollout in the Fall.

Here's the tantalising season two trailer in all its glory.

No news regarding an international premiere for the one-hour movie. However, given the anticipation surrounding The Force Awakens, it would be surprising if it wasn't sooner rather than later.

Monday is Star Wars Day. How are you celebrating? Let me know in the comments below.