“Disneyworld has become a popular location for Republican fundraisers. A favorite activity is to ride through It’s a Small World and deport most of the dolls.” –Conan O’Brien
“Disneyworld has become a popular location for Republican fundraisers. A favorite activity is to ride through It’s a Small World and deport most of the dolls.” –Conan O’Brien
“Former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner is planning to open a new farm-to-table restaurant in Queens. So, whatever you do, don’t ask to see the special.” –Seth Meyers
“Hillary Clinton has been calling President Obama’s foreign policy a failure. She either wants to be a president or a Fox News anchor. We’re not sure.” –Conan O’Brien
J. Michael Straczynski has announced plans to reboot Babylon 5 as a movie. One reason for doing it his way is that Warner owns the television rights but Straczsynki retained the feature film rights:
Speaking at San Diego Comic Con last week, Straczsynki announced that he would soon be sitting down to write a Babylon 5 feature film, which is envisioned as a reboot of the iconic sci-fi series. JMS said that he plans to get the script locked down by the end of 2015 and the film would then enter production the following year in 2016.
Next to nothing is known about the plot for this Babylon 5 feature film, beyond the fact that it is a reboot of the concept seen in the series. That said, J. Michael Straczynski has stated that he would like to use cast members from the series, such as Bruce Boxleitner and Mira Furlan, in new roles in the feature film. “I’d love to see Bruce as the President of the Earth Alliance”, he said.
The hope is that Warner Bros, who produced the Babylon 5 television series, would step up and green-light a “big budget” feature film once the script has been completed. But owing to the nature of the deal that Straczysnki inked with the studio to produce Babylon 5 in the early 1990s, he, rather than Warner Bros, owns the feature film rights to the show. Should Warner Bros. choose not to greenlight a B5 movie, Straczynski would still proceed with the feature, which would then be funded and produced through his Studio JMS banner on a budget of $80 – $100 million.
Although Syfy passed on the show, there is still some hope for a remake of Blake’s 7.
The BBC has renewed Doctor Who for an eighth season since the show returned, again staring Peter Capaldi, with the shows to be presented in a continuous run. Steven Moffat said recently that there are no plans for either the return of the Master or for a tenth anniversary show (which would seem strange after doing a 50th). Moffat has also expressed a willingness to do a Doctor Who/Sherlock cross over, but others involved are not interested. Would it look something like the video above, except with Peter Capaldi instead of Matt Smith?
Above is, perhaps, how Captain America: The Winter Soldier should have ended. Directors Joe and Anthony Russo discussed their upcoming projects, Agent Carter and the third Captain America movie:
Before turning their attention to the next feature, the Russos are directing several episodes of the spin-off TV series Agent Carter, debuting on ABC in January 2015. The miniseries follows the solo adventures of Peggy Carter, the love of Captain America’s life and founder of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the 1940s. From there, the brothers will tackle the third film, which picks up “a couple years” after Winter Soldier left off. Although the heart of the movie will be Steve Rogers’ complicated relationship with his childhood friend Bucky Barnes, the themes of politics and power will still be in play. “The character was invented for an explicitly political purpose. So it’s hard to get away from that nature,” Anthony tells Yahoo. It’s also important to the directors that Captain America doesn’t become another disillusioned antihero. As Joe sees it, “his morality is part of his superpower.”
While they’re not leaking any major details from the 2016 film, the Russo brothers promise that they’re “bringing some new elements to the table that will give us a twist on Winter Soldier.” Does this mean that Steve Rogers will pass the Captain America shield to Bucky Barnes (aka the Winter Soldier) or Sam Wilson (aka the Falcon), both of whom have donned the stars-and-stripes in the comics? With actor Chris Evans shifting his focus to directing, and Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie already in place as the Winter Soldier and the Falcon respectively, the next film could allow a new hero to step in.
Elsewhere in the Marvel universe, FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper (Twin Peaks) will be meeting SHIELD. Kyle MacLachlan has been cast to play Skye’s father on Agents of SHIELD. Chloe Bennet said at Comic-Con that next season will also involve more hair. Skye will have bangs and Brett Dalton will do the evil-Spock thing of the mirror universe and have a beard as the evil Grant Ward.
Defiance has done a good job of creating a world with numerous well-developed characters and alien races, but often while watching I wonder if there is any point to it all. It lacks the big story ideas of a Babylon 5 or Battlestar Galactica. The showrunner, Kevin Murphy, did work on BSG and I am glad that he got away from the idea of doing the show as a “science-fiction crime of the week.”
AX: How did DEFIANCE started and how did it change when you came onto the project during its development?
KEVIN MURPHY: The original version was a little more of a closed-ended procedural, it was kind of more of a science-fiction crime of the week, and we were in the process of changing that when CULT got picked up and [original DEFIANCE co-creator/show runner] Rockne O’Bannon left. I then had a choice that I wasn’t sure that the show was going to work in the incarnation that it currently was in, and I didn’t want to have responsibility for something that didn’t work. So I gave Syfy a choice. I said, “I’ll transition you into your next show runner, and I’ll make sure that casting continues and produce the pilot, but I’m not going to stay on for the series unless I believe in the show.” And they were like, “Well, what would you want to do to it?” And it was basically, “Well, it involves getting rid of pretty much all the scripts, and let me give you my pitch.”
So I did the pitch, worked it out with the writing staff, and at this point, it was Rockne’s last day, and he was helping us to kind of reconceive it, and Scott Stewart, the director, was very involved in the process, and so was Michael Taylor, who had worked on BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and was a member of staff under me. And we pitched the whole thing to [then-Syfy Channel president] Mark Stern while he was driving in his car on vacation with his family in Palm Springs. And he had his wife and kid in the vehicle with him, and the pitch lasted about ninety minutes, because we pitched the entire story from beginning to end, every single beat, and by the time he pulled into the hotel in Palm Springs, we had finished our pitch and he was like, “Okay, I love it. Go write it.”
AX: Did you make major changes to the characters?
MURPHY: The PAPER MOON thing I added, the idea that Nolan [the town’s new law officer, played by Grant Bowler] came in from the outside and that he was a con man and a drifter and a huckster and a criminal. That was all stuff that I added. The idea that Amanda has only been mayor for six weeks and she’s the former mayor’s assistant and no one takes her seriously, that was an addition; the idea that Irisa [Nolan’s adopted Irathient daughter, played by Stephanie Leonidas] uses knives and Irisa being sort of the feral badass was an invention of mine. And Michael. When I say “me,” I’m including Michael Taylor, who was definitely my partner in crime. We would not have gotten that script in the shape it needed to be in without Michael at my side.
In follow-up of an item from last week, the cast of The Big Bang Theory did settle on a new contract. The top three stars, Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco, will each earn $1 million per episode for the planned upcoming three seasons, and there is talk of potentially adding an eleventh season.
“The New York Times came out in favor of marijuana legalization. Apparently, someone told them that marijuana users are really into ‘buying papers.’” –Seth Meyers
“A federal judge ruled yesterday that California’s version of the death penalty is unconstitutional. Apparently the difference is California’s version has avocado on it.” –Seth Meyers
“Marvel Comics announced that the next Captain America will be black. He has the same powers as white Captain America except he has to show ID when he votes.” –Bill Maher
Bill Maher had a rant against all those Republican lies about Obamacare which, despite being repeatedly debunked, are still out there–neither dead or alive, like Dick Cheney. The same is true about all those other lies which Republicans tell, since facts do not matter to them. Video above and transcript (via Daily Kos) follows:
And finally, New Rule: Now that there’s been an uproar over all the neocons who lied about the Iraq War with no consequences, someone must tell me why there isn’t a similar uproar over all the Republicans who lied about Obamacare with no consequences. (audience applause) It’s been four years since the bill passed. Has anybody come across even one death panel? The next liberal to tell a Republican, “you’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts”, should really just admit they’ve never seen Fox News. (audience cheering and applause)Now, look, I get it that neither party has a monopoly on lying, and in fact they all do it so often, they’ve invented their own word for it — “I misspoke”. But how come the rule for one party — the Republican Party — is that when they get caught in a lie, they don’t have to stop telling it?
They said Obamacare would use death panels. It doesn’t.
They said it was a government takeover, and the insurance industry is making record profits.
They said it covered illegals. It doesn’t.
They said it was a job killer. It hasn’t been.
They said there were elves who bake cookies in trees. Well, almost. (audience laughter and applause)
Now for sure, Obama also told a lie when he said everybody who likes their health care plan can keep it. And for about 2% of the population, that did turn out to be false. The difference is, he stopped saying it! He stepped up and said, you’re right, my bad, because he understands there’s this thing called observable reality. (audience applause)
But on the Republican side, observable reality needs more study. (audience laughter) Which is why their talking points that have been disproven, remain! Like a guest who’s been asked to leave a party, but does not.
It reminds me of a horror movie where you think you’ve killed the lie, but it won’t stay dead. Which is why I call them zombie lies. (thunder crackles and camera shakes)
Ooh, what an effect! (audience laughter) Excuse me, I have a weak heart.
Yes, zombie lies. Remember “fracking doesn’t cause earthquakes”? Zombie lie! So stop saying it!
Voter fraud? We studied it, it’s not an actual problem. Stop zombie lying about it.
Their entire economic philosophy — cut taxes for the rich, and it trickles down — is a zombie lie! (audience cheering and applause)
And all these zombie lies are still out there, roaming the countryside, neither alive nor dead. Like Dick Cheney. (audience laughter and applause)
Hungry for brains. Like Dick Cheney. (audience laughter)
I mean, we think we’ve eradicated one, but it turns out it’s just lying dormant in a cave full of bat blood, like the ebola virus. Or Dick Cheney. (audience laughter)
Dick Cheney, who did not even bother in his recent return from the dead to update the lies he told about Iraq the first time. He’s still out there saying, “Well, Saddam was building a bomb, and he was working with al-Qaeda.”
What?? It’s like when Chuck Berry sings “Sweet Little Sixteen”. You’re 90, man!
There is no shame in their game. One week they’re out there saying, “No one will sign up for Obamacare.”
And the next week, “Oh, OK, they signed up? Sure, OK, but they aren’t paying the premiums.”
“Oh they are? OK, uh, well, they’re paying, but it’s not the young people.”
“Oh, it is? It’s the young people? OK. Uh, OK, but it only covers you if you’re gay.” (audience laughter)
You know, you just wanna go, wait, when did we switch over? What happened to yesterday’s lie? It’s still out there forever, like a plastic bag in a tree. But now we’re just using the new one?
Yes, because what they do is they pass a zombie lie down to dumber and dumber people, who believe it more and more.
Hank Paulson may be over the one about climate change being a hoax, but it’s still good enough for Sean Hannity. Who then gets quoted by Michele Bachmann. Who forms the intellectual core of the thinking of Victoria Jackson. And when you think the zombie lie has finally gone to die at the idea hospice of the absolutely stupidest people on Earth, there it is being retweeted by Donald Trump.
We were spoiled by the high quality of television shows airing in late spring, including Orphan Black, Continuum, Hannibal, Fargo, and Game of Thrones. The summer season does not look like it will come close, but at least we have come a long way from the days in which we were limited to the major networks which only aired reruns. So far Extant appears to be the most promising. Sure, being a network science fiction show it is bound to degenerate into all the standard cliches, but the first episode was interesting and well made. If nothing else, it looks better than Under the Dome and True Blood (which I’m only sticking with because it is the last season). It might help that Mickey Fisher, who wrote the pilot, says he was inspired by Steven Moffat and Doctor Who. Spoiler TV lists seven facts you need to know about Extant.
My next show on my list of new summer shows worth viewing (of those which have actually started) is The Last Ship. It is certainly not a must-see genre show at this point, but it has been entertaining. The show does have a little of the early Battlestar Glactica feel in which one military ship is on their own. Instead of Cylons, they are being chased by a Russian ship which is after the research they have so far, and the scientist working on it, regarding the plague which has killed off most of the planet. Sure, one would think that with the possibility of the crews of only two ships left alive on earth (along with some isolated people elsewhere) they might realize there is no point in fighting and that they can work together, but that would leave out most of the drama. Besides, ultimately the surviving humans and Cylons did learn to work together. With 24 concluding tomorrow, The Last Ship might be a good replacement for fairly mindless action. The shorter season of 24 has certainly helped the storyline on 24, with it not dragging events out for weeks (or hours on the show) as was often the case in the past.
After watching the premiere of The Almighty Johnsons I plan to pass on the show unless I hear more favorable reports on it. This is a show from New Zealand now carried by Syfy about a family in which the members learn they are reincarnations of Norse gods when they turn twenty-one. Their powers are rather limited, sort of matching the low-budget feel of the show. One brother has the power to convince people to believe his stories, and uses it to get women into bed. Another has the power to turn things hot or cold, and uses it to make a woman’s nipples become erect under her shirt. That’s hardly enough to sell me on the show so far, but the pilot does suggest a more serious storyline is beginning.
Based upon last season, the best show of the summer is probably returning tonight, Masters of Sex. Hitflix reports that the second season is better than ever.
The fate of genre comedy for the upcoming year is now becoming clearer. The Big Bang Theory has been renewed for three years. Community will no longer air opposing The Big Bang Theory but was saved by Yahoo last week, and Joel McHale sounds happy about the opportunity of setting Dan Harmon free without the constraints of network television:
McHale told The Hollywood Reporter that the show’s fans will be pleased by Community‘s shift from NBC, where it has aired for the past five seasons, to Yahoo Screen. “I’m so excited because now there will be no commercial breaks, the restraints I’m assuming will be way less and it’s like this just playground now for [show creator] Dan[Harmon].” Added McHale: “Unencumbered Dan Harmon is very exciting.”
The actor said that Yahoo Screen execs “really believe in the show” and have the marketing muscle required to spread the word about the show’s new home. He doesn’t have trepidation about airing new episodes on an unproven original-content provider, given how much success Netflix has had with its original programming. “I think Community fans have proven that they will find the show,” he said.
Sony Pictures Television has committed to 13 new episodes of the series, launching this fall, although McHale said that more episodes could get made “if [the first batch] goes well.” The entire cast will appear in all 13 episodes, and as far as the contracts are concerned, McHale said he won’t be making less money from Sony per episode than he was from NBCUniversal. “I really like money, so it works out great,” McHale joked.
According to McHale, all of his co-stars are looking forward to bringing the show back. “I know the cast is excited because it’s a whole new frontier, and we wont be up against Big Bang Theory, and we know Yahoo’s really excited to get us out there, and that is incredibly helpful when the people who are paying for you to make it are excited about it,” he added.
Now that Community fans are getting their sixth season, what about that movie? “People are already talking about” the possibility of streaming the much-hoped-for film on Yahoo Screen, McHale said. He added that Harmon and executive producer Chris McKenna plan to make the movie “epic” and not just “like an episode,” although McHale doesn’t think that anyone has started working on the film’s script yet.
Of potential new comedy shows with a genre connection which I have preciously discussed, one was picked up to air in the fall and the other wasn’t. The Amy Pond Show, officially called Selfie, was picked up by ABC. I’ve heard questions regarding its quality, but of course I’ll check out any show staring Karen Gillan and John Cho.
How I Met Your Dad, the spin off of How I Met Your Mother, was not picked up, with CBS insisting upon some changes in the pilot. Initially there were reports that rather than changing the pilot, Thomas and Bays planned to try selling it elsewhere. It looks like it is dead for now, with the possibility that they might revive plans to try to sell the show in the future. I wonder if it might not be better to develop a new comedy with a new idea rather than rehashing what they already did.
The synopsis for the first episode of season three of Arrow reveals that Detective Lance remains alive, and that Oliver finally asks Felicity out on a date:
In the aftermath of this victory, Season 3 opens with Arrow now a hero to the citizens of Starling. Crime is down, people feel safer, and Captain Lance even calls off the Anti-Vigilante Task Force. Basking in his success, Oliver believes he can finally have a private life and asks Felicity out on a date. But the second Oliver takes his eye off the ball, a deadly villain reappears in Starling, forcing Oliver to realize that he can never be Oliver Queen — not as long as the city needs The Arrow.
There may be more superheroes in season three, including the casting of Brandon Routh (who played Superman in Man of Steel) as Ray Palmer, The Atom.
An unparalleled scientist and inventor, Ray will play an unexpected role in the lives of Oliver and (rumored love interest) Felicity as the new owner of Queen Consolidated. Palmer’s plans for Queen Consolidated’s Applied Sciences Division will be shrouded in mystery.
News came out last week that Orphan Black has officially been renewed for a third season. We also found that Tatiana Maslany was snubbed for an Emmy award a second time.
TrekMovie.com looks at How Seinfeld Influenced Star Trek’s Legacy
Besides having a movie versions of Gone Girl coming out in October, earlier books by Gillian Flynn are being filmed. Dark Places will be released as a movie in September and her first novel, Sharp Objects is now being made into a television series.
Five scripts of episodes of the upcoming season of Doctor Who have leaked on line. Steven Moffat called this, “‘horrible, miserable and upsetting’. Since then unfinished black and white versions of the first two episodes of the season have also leaked on line.
First we heard that Better Call Saul would be a prequel to Breaking Bad. Next there were reports that it would take place over different eras. Now it reportedly will be a prequel series taking place in 2002. Now we might never learn if Jesse made it to Alaska.
If you miss Continuum now that it is finished for the season, here’s another time travel story, Time Travel Lover: It is about a guy about to hook up with a girl who is then visited by his future self: