Thursday, March 20, 2014

More Flash Characters to Appear on Sister Show Arrow

Originally published on For Your Excitement.  20 March  2014.

An upcoming episode of Arrow will preview more of The Flash’s new cast. Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow and Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon will appear in Arrow’s episode 19, “The Man Under the Hood.”

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Arrow executive producer Mark Guggenheim commented on the decision to introduce the characters prior to the premiere of the spinoff. “It allows us to further flush out The Flash universe in Arrow. We get to see their dynamic.”

While the circumstances of Caitlin and Cisco’s visit to Starling City remain unknown, we do have a few details about the characters themselves. Both work for S.T.A.R. labs, she as a bioengineering expert and he as a mechanical engineering genius. In the comics, Caitlin eventually becomes the villain Killer Frost but Cisco becomes Vibe, a hero who joins the Justice League of America.

Geoff Johns, Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, who head up The Flash’s writing team, will pen the Arrow episode in which Panabaker and Valdes appear. The full pilot for the series about the Scarlett Speedster will air in October. “The Man Under the Hood” will air in April.

ABC Unveils S.H.I.E.L.D’s Newest Character Deathlok

Originally published on For Your Excitement.  20 March  2014.

Way back when Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiered we met a troubled, frustrated guy named Mike Petersen. Sixteen episodes later, Mike has made quite a transformation. Into Deathlok.

The new images released by ABC show Petersen’s (J. August Richards) Deathlok costume in full.

Petersen was first introduced as a part of the Centipede super solider program. He later switched sides and effectively joined up with Agent Coulson’s team before being blackmailed into handing Coulson over to the baddies. In a last act of heroism, Petersen tried to save the agent but was caught in an explosion, kidnapped by The Clairvoyant and converted into Deathlok via a robotic leg and an eye implant.

Personally, I’m thrilled that S.H.I.E.L.D. has kept Richards coming back as Petersen. I was disappointed to see him exit at the end of the pilot and this is a great role for the actor who is best known for his other Whedonverse character, Charles Gunn on Angel.

As for the state of the Deathlok costume, comic book fans may be dismayed to see a distinct lay of tech with IO9 saying, “He looks like an evil bounty hunter from a cheap sci-fi show from the ’70s.” Comics Alliance adds, “his costume looks a little bit like some leftover wardrobe from the Dune movie or a really fancied up seatbelt buckle,” but also points out, and I agree, that the costume is a step closer to the comics’ undead cyborg. Let’s remember that Petersen still has three of his four original limbs at this point. There’s plenty of time for the evolution to full cyborg, complete with a menacing red eye, later.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Deathlok episode will air April 1 on ABC. In addition to Richards’ return, the episode brings back Agents John Garrett (Bill Paxton), Antoine Triplett (B.J. Britt), Victoria Hand (Safron Burrows), Jasper Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernández) and Felix Blake (Titus Welliver).

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Marvel Looks To The Past And Into The Future In Assembling a Universe

Originally published on For Your Excitement.  19 March  2014.

Greetings Agents and Marvel fans! In lieu of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tonight we got to enjoyAssembling a Universe. This mini documentary tracked the progression of Marvel Studios from its inception in 2006 to its present day status as a geek and box office juggernaut. If you missed this featurette, shame on you. Check out the recap here but then go see this awesome timeline of Marvel’s rise to cinematic greatness for yourself.

Clark Gregg described Marvel’s films best saying, “These are all chapters in a giant pop culture mythology, and I love that.” Let’s take a look at some of those chapters (minor spoilers ahead!):

Big Independent Studio: Back in 2006, the still-new Marvel Studios decided to try to create its own cinematic universe. They chose heroes Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk as their starting points. Though Hulk was well known, Iron Man was almost immediately lampooned by the media and critics as a second-rate character. At the time, bigger Marvel names like Spider-Man and the X-Men were tied up with other studios. After struggling to find a writer for the Iron Manfilm, Jon Favreau finally stepped up with a passion for the project. He cast Robert Downey Jr. because he saw the film as though it were any other independent movie and he wanted the best actors possible. Downey Jr.’s casting came as a surprise to many but also solidified Marvel’s intent: to make great movies with exceptional stories, characters and actors. The studio even reached out to let fans know, via a Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury cameo, that Iron Man was the start of an Avengers universe.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Get Out Your Torches Oncers: It’s Time For A “Witch Hunt”

Originally published on For Your Excitement.  17 March  2014.

Where to start Oncers? Tonight we added a new branch to the far too crowded Once Upon a Time family tree. We also learned that last week’s preview for this episode completely spoiled us for the not-so-big “flying monkeys are people” reveal. But most importantly, in my incredibly biased opinion, we find out the fate of someone near and dear to my Rumbelle heart. Get out your torches; it’s time for a “Witch Hunt.”

What you need to know:

Regina and Robin, sitting in a tree…:In Regina’s castle, the Wicked Witch sends one of her monkey minions to get the Queen. He swoops upon the Storybrooke company and nearly snatches up Robin Hood’s adorable son. Regina saves the kid and makes the flying monkey into a cuddly stuffed animal for the boy. Belle rightly surmises that the person occupying Regina’s castle must be from Oz, hence the flying monkeys and green smoke. “The bookworm’s right,” Regina replies. She goes into the tunnels that run underneath her castle, which aren’t protected by the spell. Robin decides to join her as thanks for saving his son and also because he loves her! Alright, maybe not yet but very soon Oncers. They arrive to find Regina’s blood-magic-sealed door is open.

The usual suspect: The Queen, who is devastated by Henry’s amnesia, privately informs Emma that she didn’t cast this new curse. However, at a town hall meeting later, everyone gangs up on Regina and Emma joins with the mob mentality. The Queen (like me) is ticked about this because oh my gosh haven’t they suspected her enough?! So she creates an earthquake and vanishes. Soon after, Emma meets her in her office and we learn this was a “clever” plan to fool everyone into thinking Emma wasn’t looking at all of them as suspects. Hey maybe she should talk to the random new girl no one remembers from the Enchanted Forest! Zelena is just in Granny’s chatting up Mary Margaret about her baby.

Friday, March 14, 2014

George R.R. Martin Fills Game of Thrones Producers In on Series Ending

Originally published on For Your Excitement.  14 March  2014.

In what is clearly an attempt to make Games of Thrones fans hate and love them even more, the producers of the HBO show have revealed they know how the series ends. Showrunners DB Weiss and David Benioff told Vanity Fair that they sat down with A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin to talk about the series conclusion.

“Last year we went out to Santa Fe for a week to sit down with [George] and just talk through where things are going, because we don’t know if we are going to catch up and where exactly that would be,” Benioff said. “If you know the ending, then you can lay the groundwork for it. And so we want to know how everything ends. We want to be able to set things up. So we just sat down with him and literally went through every character.”

Just the thought of this knowledge is enough to make most fans drool with envy. The TV series, just like the books, continues to leave many questions tantalizingly unanswered, such as the ultimate fate of the Starks, Jon Snow’s heritage, and which king or queen will take the Iron Throne.

The sit down with the HBO producers was certainly necessary as Game of Thrones rapidly closes in on catching up with Martin’s books. When the show returns for its fourth season, it will complete the adaptation of Martin’s third book in the series. This leaves two other currently completed books to pull from until the author, notorious for his slow writing, finishes more.

“It’s a little complicated, because we have the five books, but then we don’t have anything beyond that, because he’s still working,” Benioff admitted. “It’s sort of an unusual position in terms of adaptation because, you know, we’re catching up. It’ll be interesting to see what happens. And we’ve talked to George. The lucky part is that George works with us and he’s a producer on the show.”

The author still has The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring to finish writing in the seven book series so he couldn’t tell Weiss and Benioff everything just yet. “I can give them the broad strokes of what I intend to write, but the details aren’t there yet,” Martin said. “I’m hopeful that I cannot let them catch up with me.”

Whenever Martin does finish those last two books, it will mean the end of the TV series will be drawing near as well. Weiss stated the show will not “just keep on going because it can.” Rather he and Benioff recognize that the series has a natural end and they have to respect that. Speaking with the wisdom so many other producers lack, he said, “I think the desire to milk more out of it is what would eventually kill it, if we gave in to that.”

Game of Thrones returns to HBO on Sunday, April 6.

Captain America To Take On Batman And Superman In The Ultimate Box Office Clash

Originally published on For Your Excitement.  14 March  2014.

Proving that they really just don’t care about whatever DC is doing, Marvel has decided to keep their Captain America 3 release date despite DC planning to release their Batman/Superman film on the same day. Fanboys and girls, get ready for a throw down on May 6, 2016.

In January, DC issued a clear challenge to the Disney-owned Marvel when they moved up their Man of Steel sequel from July to May. Marvel had already staked out May 6 for an untitled film, and this week we learned that film is Captain America 3, which means it’s time for DC to rethink their strategy.

The truth is Marvel has been hammering DC in the cinematic world. With Avengers 2 underway and Captain America: The Winter Soldier due out on April 4, Marvel is on a definite high. DC, on the other hand, is putting together some mash-up movie with Ben Affleck taking over Batman’s cape and cowl and Henry Cavill returning as Superman.

As Scott Mendelson at Forbes notes, “Warner Bros. has little choice but to pick a new release date. It has officially lost this game of chicken and will lose any showdown with Captain America 3 by default…Batman/Superman must unequivocally succeed in order for Warner Bros. to do whatever Justice League plans they have up their sleeve.”

Interestingly, The Hollywood Reporter, which first broke the Captain America 3 news, cites industry experts who believe it is highly unlikely the two superhero films will actually open the same weekend. Really what this means is, we’re all waiting to see who blinks first: Marvel or DC?

Adrian Pasdar To Bring Major Glenn Talbot To Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

Originally published on For Your Excitement.  14 March  2014.

Adrian Pasdar is bringing Major Glenn Talbot and his glorious moustache to Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The studio recently announced the addition of Pasdar as a new thorn in the side of Agent Coulson and his team.

The famously mustachioed Talbot is Hulk-hater General Ross’ right hand man. Talbot frequently appears in the Hulk comics hunting the green rage monster and his Bruce Banner alter ego. On Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., he won’t be engaging in his favorite pastime but he will remain, as Pasdar says, a “sanctimonious jerk.” The character is slated for one episode on the ABC show and Pasdar hinted there might be more.

“As willing as I am to jump when Jeph (Loeb, Marvel TV president) calls, there had to be a little bit more in it than just an episode for me,” he said to The Hollywood Reporter. “I can’t say much more but the mustache is in a locker and it’s being taken out and prepped as we speak for next week.”

Pasdar certainly knows a little something about supernatural powers. He played Nathan Petrelli on NBC’s Heroes and S.H.I.E.L.D. will hardly be Pasdar’s first outing with Marvel. He’s voiced Iron Man in several of the studio’s animated features.

His turn as Talbot on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will air in April on ABC.