Tor.com content by

Molly Templeton

Thanos’ Snap Was Always a Stupid Idea and Science Agrees

As far as life-ending gestures go, the snap was always kind of goofy. And don’t tell me the snap was just a visual way to depict Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet-powered action. He literally had to snap his fingers! Captain Marvel holds his fingers apart to try to keep him from rubbing his gauntleted digits together! The finger-snap mattered, for no justifiable reason other than that we now get to refer to the Snapture, and that portmanteau is good.

But it also was just silly. You have infinite power, you just do what you want. You don’t have to act like you’re kicking off a jam session. And besides that? It’s impossible to snap one’s fingers while wearing a giant metal glove. Science has proven this.

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Marie Lu’s Legend Is in Development as a TV Series

Marie Lu’s 2011 novel Legend—the first in a dystopian series of the same name—is in the works as a TV show. Deadline reports that Lu is working with Bound Entertainment (the company started by Snowpiercer producer Samuel Ha) to develop her debut YA novel, which is set in a future Los Angeles, flooded and ruled over by the Republic of America.

Lindsay Sturman (a writer and producer on Supergirl and Teen Wolf) is writing the pilot with Lu and serving as executive producer.

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To Finish Reading The Expanse Books or Watching The Expanse TV Series First, and Related Adaptation Dilemmas

On November 30th, the final book in The Expanse series will be published. On December 10th, the sixth season of the series adaptation begins its six-episode closing run. Watching the latest trailer for this final season, I had a lot of thoughts—Drummer, you can’t make me cry in a trailer; why does Avasarala look so serene, where are her swears; what the HELL was that??!?—but among them, one question rose to the top. Which am I going to finish first? The books or the adaptation?

This is a particularly weird question where The Expanse is concerned because the series will never really catch up to the books, which do a serious time jump in book seven. The series, we expect, ends around the end of book six, mostly. Sort of. I think. (It also involves a novella that seems more closely tied to the last three books.) But will there be spoilers in the show? If I finish the last book before December 10th, will I be distracted by what I know about the end of the series? Which one do I want to have more chance of surprising me?

Would the answer to this be more obvious to me if I’d started reading the books before watching the series?

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Bradley Cooper Is a Great Liar In the Final Nightmare Alley Trailer

Director Guillermo del Toro has taken a step back toward the real world for his latest film—but it still looks fantastic. Nightmare Alley, the director has said, has no fantastical elements. So one can only assume that Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper) is just absolutely full of it as he tells his interrogators—and their lie-detecting machine—that he’s had dealings with the beyond.

But Stan’s hardly the only untrustworthy face in this carnival underworld. There’s the dangerously alluring Lilith Ritter (Cate Blanchett), a psychiatrist with some iffy methods; the excellently named Clem Hoately (Willem DaFoe), simply sitting in the dark looking menacing; Ezra Grindle (Richard Jenkins) muttering about how they deal with snake charmers; and, amidst it all, Rooney Mara as a girl named Molly who looks so innocent that she must have something up her sleeve.

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Visitors From Every Universe Make an Appearance in the Spider-Man: No Way Home Trailer

Two years ago, in Spider-Man: Far From Home, everyone found out Peter Parker was Spider-Man. Now, he’s dealing with the fallout from that—and his solution to the problem only makes things exponentially worse.

The official trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home builds cleverly on the first teaser for the movie, assuming you already know the key detail on which that teaser focused: that Peter (Tom Holland) asks Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to make it so that everyone forgets he’s Spider-Man. But mid-spell, he has second thoughts. What about MJ (Zendaya) and Ned (Jacob Batalon) and Aunt May (Marisa Tomei)?

Peter’s indecision is disastrous on a cosmic scale.

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The Latest Trailer for The Expanse’s Final Season Looks for a Reason to Hope

There’s a new trailer for The Expanse, and I am not lying when I say I shrieked at the end of it. Readers of the Expanse novels—and specifically, in this case, novellas: You’ll very much want to keep watching after the title card. It seems like it’s the end of the trailer. It is not.

But this trailer has something for every Expanse fan: Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) plotting; Bobbie (Frankie Adams) being breathtakingly competent; the Roci maneuvering; Holden (Steven Strait) being captainly; Amos (Wes Chatham) being soft and also tough; Naomi (Dominique Tipper) putting things together; Marco Inaros (Keon Alexander) being a schemer; Drummer (Cara Gee) growing into her role as leader; and a whole lot of space action.

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It’s the End of the World and Nobody Actually Cares Much in the Don’t Look Up Trailer

Don’t Look Up is, according to this trailer, “based on real events that haven’t happened yet.” In writer-director Adam McKay’s new film, Leonard DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence play two astronomers—a professor and his grad student—who discover a deadly threat facing the Earth: a planet-killing comet is on a collision course with our home.

But the bigger threat might be humanity itself, as no one seems to care. In the trailer, they face an indifferent president (Meryl Streep); her idiot son (Jonah Hill); a pair of inane TV hosts (Cate Blanchett and Tyler Perry); and some bros who just want to film themselves with Kate (one bro is played by Timothée Chalamet). Also, Ron Perlman shoots a gun at the comet.

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An Actual Bus Driver Has a Few Notes On Shang-Chi’s Bus Fight Scene

Early in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, our hero (Simu Liu) and his best friend Katy (Awkwafina) have a dramatic encounter on a bus. It’s not just a cool fight; it changes Shang-Chi’s life (and Katy’s!) and leads directly into everything that follows. And it involves a man with a laser sword arm (Florian Munteanu).

It also involves a runaway bus, a livestreamer, and some San Francisco geography that suggests perhaps a tesseract was used in the designing of bus route 1. On Twitter, an actual San Francisco bus operator who goes by Mack wrote a thread to “rate the SFT transit factors of The Bus Scene,” and it’s gold. Always use your mirrors, friends! Never look over your shoulder.

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Disney+ Is a Dirty Tease, Offers Only the Teeniest Peek at Obi-Wan Kenobi

All week, we’ve been waiting, convinced—perhaps beyond rationality—that Disney+ Day would bring a trailer for Obi-Wan Kenobi, arguably the most hotly anticipated of the many Star Wars spinoff series the platform has planned. (Personally I’m all in for Ahsoka, but the return of Ewan McGregor is nothing to sneeze at.)

And now we’ve got… a two-minute promo video with no actual footage from the series. There’s some nifty concept art, and McGregor truly seems delighted that he’ll get to face off with Hayden Christensen again, but this is mostly just McGregor and director Deborah Chow (The Mandalorian) saying vague things that we pretty much already knew.

But yes. The art looks cool.

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Star Trek: Discovery’s Shazad Latif Is Disney’s Captain Nemo

He never captained a ship for Starfleet, but Shazad Latif (Star Trek: Discovery) will be in command on the upcoming Disney+ series Nautilus. As Deadline explains, Latif will “play the iconic role of Captain Nemo, the enigmatic Indian prince who steals a fantastical submarine from the East India Company and sets sail in search of adventure under the sea.”

The series, which also has director Michael Matthews on board, is an origin story for Nemo, inspired by Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

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The Spiderwick Chronicles Are Coming to Disney+

Today is Disney+ Day, which means the streamer is announcing a whole host of trailers, release dates, and other promotional mayhem—including word that a series adaptation of Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi’s beloved Spiderwick Chronicles is in the works!

The five-book series follows the adventures of three siblings who discover a secret world of fairies in a run-down estate called Spiderwick.

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What Makes a Long Book Feel Too Long?

I have been reading the same book for what feels like weeks. 

Technically, this isn’t true. I read the book in question for about ten days. This is a perfectly reasonable number of days in which to read a book. Any number of days is a perfectly reasonable number of days in which to read a book, to be clear. But I read fast, generally, and I was frustrated. “I have read two books worth of book already,” I complained to my partner, “and I have an entire book worth of book left to go?!?”

He responded with a question that brought me up short: What was different about this very long book than, say, a Robin Hobb book, or a volume of The Expanse? What made this long book feel long, when I’ve read so many other long books that didn’t feel ponderous and slow, no matter how long it took to read them?

Why did ten days feel like three weeks? [Read more]

It’s the End of the World and Christmas Will Be Totally Fine in the Trailer for Silent Night

And we thought our holiday dinners were stressful. In Silent Night, Nell (Keira Knightley) and Simon (Matthew Goode) are trying to host the perfect Christmas. But it’s also the last Christmas. Ever. Because everyone’s going to die in the morning.

“May we all rest in peace!” is perhaps not your average holiday toast.

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Will Robinson Will Face the Danger In the Final Season of Lost In Space

There are a lot of TV shows coming out in the last few weeks of this year. Like, a lot. But don’t let the final season of Netflix’s wonderful, underrated Lost in Space get lost in the shuffle. The Robinsons aren’t just lost; they’re separated. The robot menace is bigger than ever. Everything seems bigger than ever in this new trailer, which suggests the show—once a fairly intimate story about am extremely messy stranded family—wants to go out with a massive bang.

But also this needs more Judy.

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Netflix’s Elves Are Not Exactly Santa’s Little Helpers

A very basic lesson one might pick up from horror stories is this: Don’t go on vacation in remote locations and expect to have a nice relaxing time. Maybe just don’t go into the woods at all? At least not after dark.

This lesson has not been learned by the family at the center of Elves, a six-episode Danish series premiering on Netflix later this month. En route to their holiday vacation cabin, they hit… something. Dad’s in denial, but the daughter wants to see what it was. What she finds is strange and squeaky and small. Like any kid with a soft spot for an injured creature would do, she brings it home to recuperate.

This is obviously a good idea and will lead to a very peaceful and merry Christmas for all.

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