Tor.com content by

Molly Templeton

The Sequel to Ghostbusters: Afterlife Gets a New Director

Ghostbusters: Afterlife, a film Vanity Fair described as existing “solely to restart a moribund franchise, so that a dormant conveyor belt of product may groan back into motion,” is getting a sequel. I mean, of course it is. As the review said, the first film existed in order to restart a franchise, and here we are, back on the nostalgia train, with one small change. According to Deadline, Afterlife director Jason Reitman (son of Ivan) is giving up the director chair to Gil Kenan.

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Robert Pattinson Gets Cloned in Bong Joon Ho’s Mickey 17—But Not Until 2024

It might be hard to follow Parasite. Bong Joon Ho’s last film won four Oscars, one of which was the first Best Picture Oscar won by a non-English language film. It broke international box office records and was the must-see film of 2019.

But Bong’s next film, which was announced early this year, looks more than promising. Mickey 17, based on a novel by Edward Ashton, stars professional weirdo Robert Pattinson (The Batman) and is about a clone, which is already enough to fully have my attention. And now we’ve got a date to mark on our calendars—and a very tiny teaser of what’s to come.

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Maybe Margot Robbie’s Pirates of the Caribbean Movie Isn’t Dead in the Water After All

Last month, Margot Robbie told Vanity Fair that the female-centric Pirates of the Caribbean movie that she’d been developing with Christina Hodson (Birds of Prey) had walked the plank. But that ship may not have sailed just yet, according to Jerry Bruckheimer (who’s produced all the Pirates films, including At World’s End, pictured above).

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The Mandalorian Returns In Just Three Months

Though The Book of Boba Fett certainly felt like The Mandalorian season 2.5, we technically haven’t seen Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) in his own show for a full two years—not since a certain Jedi showed up with an offer to train a certain tiny green friend.

All that’s behind us after Boba Fett, but there’s still the matter of the Darksaber, the entire troubled planet of Mandalore, Din’s cult-like upbringing, oh, you know, just some small stuff for him to deal with. And now we know when that story will start: The Mandalorian’s third season premieres on March 1, 2023.

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Not All Is Well In Space in the Trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

SPACE OTTER! SPACE OTTER!

Sorry, were we supposed to be enthused about Star Lord? There is a SPACE OTTER in this trailer. The rest of the gang’s all here—sort of—but there is one little shot of Rocket (Bradley Cooper) hugging a space otter, and that’s clearly the most important thing about the somewhat belated return of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

I’m not dragging them for being late, mind you. This is the first thing anyone says here: “We were gone for quite a while.”

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Meet the Maximals in the Trailer for Transformers: Rise of the Beasts

They’re robots; of course their franchise never dies. After an uncountable number of Michael Bay Transformers movies, the robot series is headed off in a new direction. And it’s historical fiction, too! By which I mean it’s set in the ’90s. (Hey, it worked for Captain Marvel.)

And this trailer wastes no time in getting to its point: Say hello to the beast-transforming Maximals and their leader, Optimus Primal (voiced by Ron Perlman).

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Can Any Book Truly Be Timeless?

Last week I went to see a band, which is a fairly normal occurrence for me. It wasn’t just any show, though; it was a date on a 30th anniversary tour, a celebration of a record that came out decades ago.

It did not feel particularly celebratory. But it did feel specific. The Lemonheads’ It’s a Shame About Ray is an album from the early ’90s, made at that specific time, riddled—to those who listened to it both then and now—with potholes of nostalgia, splashes of memory. I can’t hear it without hearing the echoes of when I first heard it.

But it’s not timeless. I’m not sure music can be timeless; it’s ephemeral and visceral at once, subject to the recording tools of its day, bent and shaped by so many forces and talents and skills and feelings that it almost can’t not be of a moment.

Can the same be said of books?

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Wednesday Steals Stranger Things’ Crown as Netflix’s Most-Watched English-Language Series

It’s her day—we’re just allowed to hang out on it. In its first week on the streaming platform, Netflix’s Wednesday pulled in eyeballs for 341.23 million viewing hours, beating out even the hotly anticipated Stranger Things 4 (which had 335 million). The two supernatural tales were both the #1 series in 83 countries in their debut week.

You could chalk this up to any number of factors: The affection many of us adults retain for Christina Ricci’s ’90s version of Wednesday Addams. Love for the Addams Family in general. The perfect deadpan of Jenna Ortega, who plays a barely-blinking Wednesday with crisp confidence. And, of course, the perpetual appeal of Tim Burton.

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If You Like Remembering Scenes From Video Games You’ve Played Thousands of Times, You’ll Love the Super Mario Bros. Movie Trailer

You know it’s serious business as soon as the music starts. They trailered-up the Super Mario Bros. theme—which is to say, slowed it down, made it different. This is a movie trailer! Not a bunch of scenes animated from every Mario game you’ve ever played!

It’s kind of both, actually? It’s-a certainly got Mario, and Luigi, and Donkey Kong, and Peach and Toad and all the rest. As for a plot, you know this one. For some reason, the lil’ plumber needs to save the world(s).

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Kristin Cashore’s Seasparrow Finds Hope in the Most Harrowing Places

I do not think I’m the only person who’s slowly and surely fallen a bit in love with Hava over the last few novels in Kristin Cashore’s Graceling Realm series. The spy (and secret half-sister of Queen Bitterblue) moved around the edges in Bitterblue, making the most of her Grace (an unlikely and unique power) of hiding and disguise. In last year’s Winterkeep, her role in Bitterblue’s court became rather more prominent—not a position with which Hava was comfortable. 

She takes center stage on her own terms in Seasparrow, which picks up after the explosive end of Winterkeep. The whole world is facing something entirely new: the existence of a weapon far beyond anything previously in existence. Hava’s task is to translate documentation of the weapon’s development. Bitterblue’s is to decide what to do with that information.

But readers of any of the first four Graceling Realms novels will know what they’re really in for. This is a Kristin Cashore novel. There is a plot—a taut and harrowing story—but we are here for a different kind of journey: that of a young woman learning some difficult and necessary truths.

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SFWA Names Robin McKinley the 39th Damon Knight Grand Master

The Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association has announced that the latest recipient of its Damon Knight Grand Master Award is Robin McKinley, the acclaimed author whose works include the beloved Beauty and The Hero and the Crown. McKinley joins an impressive lineup of authors to win this lifetime achievement award; previous Grand Masters include Nalo Hopkinson, Peter S. Beagle, Connie Willis, Ursula K. Le Guin, Isaac Asimov, C.J. Cherryh, Jane Yolen, and William Gibson.

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