In probably the most bonkers casting choice (yes, more than Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa), Bryan Cranston goes from being the one who knocks to the one who recruits teenagers with attitude in the upcoming Power Rangers reboot. We’ve already met the misfits who will gain super-strength and morphing powers; now, the latest trailer reveals Rita and Zordon himself.
Logan is the best fumbling dad slash reluctant comic book hero in the latest trailer for Logan, his standalone Wolverine-and-Professor-X-road-trip movie that looks kinda great. The two, who seem to be the last of their kind, are trying to make a run for it and hide from the cyborg baddies, when they pick up another passenger: young mutant Laura Kinney (Dafne Keen), a.k.a. X-23—a fact that the trailer fully embraces, showing her in action.
So many stories of leaving Earth to establish new homes on distant planets don’t consider what happens when we reach the fringes of our new territory—when distant space stations, and little else, mark the edges of human expansion. Some of these stations are established in neutral zones for negotiating with alien races; others are outposts to watch for old enemies’ returns; still others are cut off from the center of civilization, failed colonies or secret hiding places.
Space is limitless, human civilization less so. Hop aboard and set a course to explore the edges of space (and, in some cases, time) with these five stations.
Yes, we know, we’ve all read Jon Negroni’s Pixar Theory, which draws connections between the 14 Pixar films that came after Toy Story in a tangled web that incorporates magic, sentient animals, and artificial intelligence. But Disney’s new video “Pixar Easter Eggs,” posted almost four years after Negroni’s deep dive, attacks the same question from a different angle.
While FX’s adaptation of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s comic book series Y: The Last Man is still very much in the early stages, the network nonetheless provided some updates this week at the Television Critics Association winter press tour—proving that Vaughan and showrunner Michael Green have been hard at work since the latter joined the project a few months ago. According to FX’s President of Original Programming, Nick Grad, the network is waiting on Green and Vaughan’s script: “We’re supposed to get a script in the next couple months.”
Grad also revealed that, unlike FX’s limited series American Horror Story, American Crime Story, and Fargo, this adaptation of Y is “going to be an ongoing series.” It’s the most logical choice, as Vaughan and Guerra’s 60-issue narrative (which spanned five years both in real life and in the story) is incredibly serialized. There wouldn’t really be a way to present it as a limited series, unless one took the angle of focusing, one season at a time, on the disparate groups of women surviving post-plague. But considering that the series is named after Yorick Brown, the eponymous “last man,” that would probably be too slow of a burn, narratively. Instead, we’ll have to see if Vaughan and Green decide to follow the major arcs of the comic book series when it comes to season finales, or go in an entirely different direction.
This time last year, George R.R. Martin posted a New Year’s update to his blog, in which he announced that The Winds of Winter would not be published before season 6 of HBO’s Game of Thrones. While Martin has not yet provided a similarly formal update for 2017, he did recently respond to a fan’s question by saying that he thinks the sixth installment of A Song of Ice and Fire could be published this year.
Woody Harrelson is really leaning into the “quirky mentor” role: After providing dry commentary and roundabout advice to Jesse Eisenberg in Zombieland and Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games, he’ll be mentoring Alden Ehrenreich’s young Han Solo in the upcoming Star Wars standalone film, directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. StarWars.com confirmed the news today, with the directors saying, “We couldn’t be more excited to work with an artist with as much depth and range as Woody. His ability to find both humor and pathos, often in the same role, is truly unique. He is also very good at ping pong.”
What’s remarkable is the way “nerd” is such a badge of honor now. Growing up, I’m sure I wasn’t the only kid who read Spider-Man comics and learned how to do the Vulcan salute, but it wasn’t like it is today. I get the sense that today’s young people are proud to be smart and curious, to design new things, and tackle big problems in unexpected ways. I think America’s a nerdier country than it was when I was a kid—and that’s a good thing! —President Barack Obama
In an early 2016 interview with Popular Science, Barack Obama praised the nerdiness of American citizens, especially young people, by comparing it to his own upbringing: where reading comics and playacting your favorite pieces of entertainment was more of a solitary exercise than a group identifier, where it marked you as weird instead of filled with potential. One inarguable legacy of Obama’s presidency will be the encouragement of nerd culture and the fostering of its analytical and imaginative aspects into innovative fields of industry. Never before has a U.S. president so visibly and consistently championed science fiction/fantasy literature and the sciences.
Orbit Books has acquired three new novels from N. K. Jemisin, the Hugo Award-winning author of The Fifth Season (for which she won Best Novel, the first black writer to do so) and The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, among others. The first of these books will be a contemporary fantasy, which marks Jemisin’s first time writing in our world, exploring themes of race and power in New York City. This as-yet untitled novel has a projected publication date of April 2019.
Riverhead Books will publish an epic fantasy trilogy by Marlon James, winner of the Man Booker Prize for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings. Over the course of three books (Black Leopard, Red Wolf; Moon Witch, Night Devil; and The Boy and the Dark Star), The Dark Star Trilogy will unravel the tale of eight mercenaries hired to locate a missing boy; nine years later, the boy is dead and only three mercenaries remain, locked in the dungeon of a dying king awaiting trial for the boy’s death. Each book will take on one perspective—the Tracker, the Moon Witch, and the Boy—and reveal, Rashomon-style, what the previous books got right and wrong about the story.
Belle (Emma Watson) seriously channels The Sound of Music in this latest trailer from Disney’s live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, but instead of singing about the hills being alive, she’s yearning for an adventure in the great wide somewhere. (The little bit we hear is from “Belle (Reprise)” from the Broadway show, a reminder that the movie will be adding more songs than in the original animated film.)
So… next trailer we get some of “Gaston” and/or “Be Our Guest”?
“I had another name, but it’s forbidden now.” So opens the first teaser for The Handmaid’s Tale, which Hulu dropped this weekend. We’re introduced to the dystopian Republic of Gilead through the eyes of Offred (Elisabeth Moss), but we also glimpse her former life, before her old name was forbidden. This makes the dystopian portions much more chilling, as we see Offred running with other protestors, being dragged away from her husband and daughter, and conditioned to become a Handmaid.
A few years ago, Jo Walton (inspired by a conversation with Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden) took on the sort of challenge that we love doing at Tor.com: She counted up the number of science fiction and fantasy book titles pulled from two classic poems, William Blake’s “The Tyger” and Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress,” to see which had inspired more titles.
You can read Walton’s tally here; in this post, we’re doing a deep dive into some of the titles from each to see the different ways in which authors have interpreted the oft-quoted words of these poets. We also spotted a few other SFF titles in other famous poetry, including a holy sonnet taken quite literally for a disturbing SF sequence…
Read on and share your own cross-genre finds!
Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale premieres in just a few months, but there are still Handmaids to meet! We already know that Elisabeth Moss plays the titular Handmaid Offred, renamed for the man who owns her, and that Samira Wiley is her best friend Moira, from the time before the dystopian Republic of Gilead. Now, we meet Ofglen, Offred’s fellow Handmaid and confidante, played by Gilmore Girls’ Alexis Bledel.
At The Guardian, critic Ralph Jones has taken exception with what he perceives as Sherlock‘s slow transformation of its protagonist from brainy to brawny—starting in season 3 but also exemplified in the season 4 premiere “The Six Thatchers,” which had Holmes involved in a major fistfight in a pool. Sherlock started out as an Everyman, albeit one with incredible mental faculties, Jones argues; now, he is moving out of the natural realm and into the campier sphere of 007—making the Great Detective more resemble an international man of mystery, or as Jones puts it, “a mutation named Sherlock Bond.”
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