23 June 2013

SDCC News: Supernatural Returns to Hall H

SPN panel at Hall H 2012.
In case you miss it because you've been in a remote area with no wifi or in space, WBTV has confirmed its line-up for this year's San Diego Comic Con -- Supernatural will return to Hall H with Jensen, Jared, Misha, Mark Sheppard, Jeremy Carver and Robert Singer on Sunday 21st July. MARK YOUR BLOODY DIARY RIGHT FRIGGI NOW! Click here for the official release from WBTV.  

I have shortlisted a few shows below, not limited to WBTV's stuff. I haven't had much luck locating news about which movie panels will head to SDCC this year. But looks like Captain America: Winter Solder will make an appearance. Anyhoo, see below for my shortlist. I'll be setting up my alarm for them.


This is where and when the screenings of the pilot episodes of WBTV's new shows -- Fox's Almost Human (stars Karl Urban), CW's The Tomorrow People (stars Mark Pellegrino, Robbie Amell), and CW's The 100 (stars Henry Ian Cusick) for the first time ever in public. CW's The Originals will have a special screening including unseen footage. 

Almost Human, The Tomorrow People and The 100 are very similar shows, it will be interesting to see how audience react to it. These are the shows I will be watching for sure. They are my kind of shows. Karl Urban, Mark Pellegrino and Lost's Henry Ian Cusick are on my TV this year..... HOLY SHIT! 

FRIDAY, JULY 19 (my short list)
*Schedule and room allocation to be announced*

Almost Human

Panelists: Karl Urban, Michael Ealy, J.H. Wyman

The 100  
Panelists: Eliza Taylor, Thomas McDonell, Marie Avgeropoulos, Henry Ian Cusick, Matthew Miller, Jason Rothenberg

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 
Panelists: Joss Whedon, Jeph Loeb

SATURDAY, JULY 20 (my short list)
*Schedule and room allocation to be announced*

Panelists: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Colton Haynes, Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, Andrew Kreisberg
The Originals
Panelists: Joseph Morgan, Claire Holt, Phoebe Tonkin, Charles Michael Davis, Julie Plec
Panelists: Eric Kripke (hopefully he is not flying solo, otherwise it will be awkward)

The Tomorrow People

Panelists: Robbie Amell, Mark Pellegrino, Peyton List, Greg Berlanti, Phil Klemmer, Danny Cannon

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Panelists: TBA

SUNDAY, JULY 21 (my short list)

Supernatural (HALL H. Time TBA) 
Panelists: Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Mark A. Sheppard, Jeremy Carver, Robert Singer

Source: SpoilerTV and IGN

Don't forget Zach Levi's Nerd HQ Panel will take place sometime during the event. Details to come.

21 June 2013

Robert Downey Jr Returns as Iron Man/ Tony Stark in Avengers 2 and 3

I was excited to see the closing title card of Iron Man 3 -- "Tony Stark will return." Yay, right? But then I thought, hold on a damn second, this sounds a bit strange and causes a slight confusion in my head. Four words, four simple words! 

The studio could've gone for the 'Iron Man will return" but they opted for "Tony Stark will return" instead. I guess no deal was made at the time of the completion of the production, but Marvel Studios certainly keep all options open with phase 2 and 3 in mind. What is going to happen with our favourite Genius Billionaire Playboy Philanthropist?

There are reports about whether RDJ or the Studios will make more standalone Iron Man movies and/or Avengers 2. There are reports about deal negotiation with cast members, which I chose to ignore because I hate speculation reports that add fuel to the fire and I don't care who the source or angle or agenda is. May be there is some truth in this but I honestly don't care until the official words come out. It's not like the press has made it so OMG THEY ARE DOMED. It's their job and we're all very passionate and eager to know about the future involvement of RDJ as Iron Man/Tony Stark.

Another thing to consider is that, RDJ is approaching to the very good side of life, he may not want to do a Harrison Ford and make Indiana Jones 4. But damn! RDJ is still in good shape, this guy practices Wing Chun! Then Joss Whedon came out and said he basically won't make the Avengers 2 without RDJ -- "He is Iron Man in the way that Sean Connery was James Bond. I have no intention of making Avengers 2 without him, nor do I think I'll be called upon to do that. I don't think it's in my interest, Marvel's interest, or his interest, and I think everything will be fine."

So, where am I going with this? I couldn't sleep last night and I checked Twitter at like 2am. And I get what I wanted. It's confirmed that Robert Downey Jr has signed a new deal with Marvel Studios to play Iron Man/ Tony Stark in Avengers 2 and Avengers 3. No Iron Man 4, but I'll take it! I think we have established the fact that Tony Stark and Iron Man is one, with or without his armors, he is still that son of a guy we know. 

I wasn't really worried about his return to be honest. I mean, I don't see Marvel recasting Iron Man now. Marvel is very strategic about different phases and initiatives, pun intended. The Studios started something the industry has never seen before and they are carrying it through to the end. With Joss Whedon taking the helm to develop multiple projects for Marvel Studios including a TV series focusing on S.H.I.E.L.D, I honestly think the next few years are going to be so epic, no one will be able to recover from its awesomeness. I honestly don't see how DC/ WB, or anyone in any franchise, can top that with whatever they have in mind.

I recently read a brilliant analysis from SplashPageMTV in which writer Brett White talked about how the Avengers has possibly ruined other superhero movies such as Man of Steel. I agree with the angles and the supporting points about saving people and hero's duties with reference to the Avengers. I have not watched MoS but I intent to do so eventually and write my views on this movie. Check out the article and make up your own mind.

Back to Tony Stark...he is prominently features in all the Avengers comic stories. For example, he eventually will get involved as a financier in Marvel Ultimates. Also, in The Death of Captain America he becomes the Executive Director and oversees Bucky as the new Cap. Speaking of Winter Solder, I cannot friggin wait!

To wrap up my thoughts, there are certainly unlimited materials -- characters, stories and their relationships -- which the Marvel Studios can put on screen and TV. Great things are happening to pop culture, you and I are going to explode with joy. In the mean time, revisit the DVDs, read the comics and play the games.... oh and don't forget the TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, which should give fans the life support while waiting to see the big guns in cinema. I think it will be such a treat if RDJ, or any Avengers cast members, makes a guest appearance on the TV series.

In order of release dates in USA:

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (TV series) -- premiers sometime in September on ABC
Thor: The Dark World -- November 8, 2013
Captain America: Winter Solder -- April 4, 2014
Avengers 2 -- May 1, 2015

Sometime before or after Avengers 2, we will have Star Wars VIII. Tell me, why is life so good?I honestly Star Wars VII should get the May 4th release date, which would be epic!

13 June 2013

Star Wars Into Filming As Early As 2014 -- The Pop Culture Explodes With Excitement

If the wait for the Avengers was a torture, Star Wars VII is worst. It's like Game-of-Thrones worst -- you get a ten episode season, and you spent the next ten months waiting for the next season. In another word, it's enough time to have a baby, if you are into this kind of stuff. The media doesn't waste a second to ask him about the project, and there are already fan wishlists and rumors everywhere. You bet your ass there is hype! But this is not Transformer or Fast and Furious 12. This is not a movie with Oscar buzz. This is not about superheroes. This is Star Wars -- a culture that is as powerful and influential as Star Trek. This is sacred and intergalactically epic. If you put JEDI as a religion on the censor form, you are not alone. And we all have a lightsaber...in our iPhone. 

Rick Bentley of The Fresco Bee couldn't have put this better when he wrote about J.J Abrams and Joss Whedon, "The last time two filmmakers had such an influence on pop culture was when directors Steven Spielberg and George Lucas rolled out blockbusters like Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park. They not only dominated the box office, but they branched out to find success in TV, merchandising and theme parks." The next few decades definitely belong to Abrams and Whedon. 

There are countless fans and aliens across multiple generations waiting to see what J.J Abrams will do to continue the Star Wars saga. J.J Abrams is the magician, the idea dude, the face of the up-coming Star Wars. I swear watching his stuff is like being hypnotized by his Jedi mind-trick. There is a lot of pressure to do justice -- which is my favorite word right now. If the new Star Trek was big, I think Star Wars is equally big if not bigger. He has talked about Star Wars as a fan and there was a few interviews during the Star Trek press junket referenced Star Wars too. The creative process of the new franchise of Star Trek has considerable trepidation, What can we learn from Star Wars? How can we make this cool?

How will J.J Abrams handle Star Wars“It is so massive and so important to people...I think the key to moving forward on something like this is honoring but not revering what came before.” said J.J Abrams during the Produced by Conference on the weekend. I know Star Wars so much more than Star Trek. I will finally get to feel what Trekkers felt when they saw what J.J Abrams did to their franchise.

In order to do this probably, and to do BETTER than the previous Star Wars movies, I think J.J Abrams aside, it's all on the story and dialogues. Everyone is focusing on J.J Abrams and the casting. Hey, me too! But I am also looking forward to the story. If I am taking my friends who are not Star Wars fans to watch this movie, I need to convince them it's great fun with a great story, a great script and great performance that modern fans are accustomed to. I'll watch it even if Nicholas Cage is cast. But I hate to see it fails. And to be honest, Star Wars has never failed me, even Clones has its moment. 

George Lucas is the Master Jedi himself. He revolutionised movie magic and genre movies. He has referenced Joseph Campbell's work in ways no Hollywood filmmakers had done before. After all these years, fans, writers and filmmakers are still referencing Star Wars. But let's face it, modern audience and long time fans would welcome a bit of upgrade in the dialogue department. I think it's a bold move to hire Michael Arndt to write the script. The studio knows this has to be Nolan-good! Arndt has written Little Miss Sunshine, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Oblivion. After what Chris Nolan did to reboot Batman, people are increasing referencing this approach -- how genre movies can be more 'Nolan', rather than 'Bay'. Michael Bay's movies are fun, but Nolan's movies are deeper but at the same time it doesn't take the fun away. And on the other side of the universe, you have Joss Whedon, who writes for the fanboy moments, he writes to explore all the things he is afraid of and characters that he is not. If J.J Abrams is the Spielberg of our generation, Joss Whedon is our Shakespeare.

I think Abrams and Whedon are creating a bigger impact to the pop culture than what Lucas and Spielberg have done. Abrams is more old school but he is very good at selling his visions and ideas, and Joss writes from a very dark place and put strong female characters on the pop culture landscape.

Genre shows are slowly taking over our TV (if networks don't kill them off like they did to Dollhouse and Firefly), we have Almost Human, Tomorrow's People, The 100, Falling Sky, OUAT, Revolution, Supernatural, Arrow and all those vampire stuff. The genre may or may not becomes mainstream the way procedural sitcoms, cop shows, medical and legal dramas did, but I am cool with it. Genre shows rarely get an Oscar or Emmys or Golden Globe nod, but I am cool with that too. Joss Whedon uses dialogues and J.J Abrams uses visuals and movie tricks to grab our attentions.

When people say to me, "I thought you like sci-fi and fantasy stuff". I will say no. It is not 'sci-fi' that I like. It is drama consists of the darkness, mysteries, character development and twists. I just hate categorisation, I hate labels. Like Supernatural is not sci-fi and fantasy! To me, yes you can call classify something as sci-fi, fantasy or paranormal, because they are. But the moment we put a label over it, you immediately identify it as spaceship, wormholes, ghosts, vampires, weird head pieces and make up. To me, it is so much more than that.

So... the wait is killing me! Are you nervous? I am nervous too! But super excited!! I am dying for information about the story and casting, but I don't want fans' wishlists and rumors to ruin the experience for me. I know speculation is part of the business. You need to create publicity and see fans' reaction, but part of me want them to just do it and announce it! Do you have any idea how painful the casting process and rumors were for Captain America? It killed me! And when it comes to spoilers, we can be best of friends and enemies. I don't know what I will do when I get an email from Hoyts about pre-purchasing tickets for Star Wars VIII.

How do you enjoy this experience as a Star Wars fan now? We live in a very different age now than when Star Wars first came out in 1977. I've heard how people used to go to the cinema to watch this movie and how they became fans. Back in the days, there was no highspeed internet, fansites, blogs, podcasts, social media, YouTube and conventions -- I don't know how people survived, I could barely remember what life was like before iTune and iPhone! Technology has changed the way information is travelled, shared and used. When we can't get what we want, we create our own version of things. Google search 'Star Wars mashup' and stuff you find will entertain you for hours, and may even inspire you to create a few things yourself. Fans don't ever get bored and ran out of things to do or buy. I played Revenge of the Sith LEGO game before I watched the movie. I want a Stormtrooper bobble head on my desk instead of something from Tiffany and co (ok, that's a lie). If someone has a Kickstarter project to replace J.A.R.V.I.S with Siri, I will so donate the very little left in my pocket.

How do I as a fan and as a blogger enjoy this moment with all the fun stuff that weren't even invented or popularised back in the 70s and 80s? I wasn't there as a fan, but I am here now. What do I do to have a complete fan experience? The geek calender is packed with excitement, I won't run out of materials to blog about. The next few decades belong to the geeks.  

Source: Geektyrant
If everything goes well according to plan, J.J Abrams will move his family to London, Star Wars VII will begin filming as early as 2014 and I shall start planning on meeting J.J. Abrams on a red carpet. Please Sir, can I have a picture? I must remind myself not to use the Vulcan salute.

May the force be with you.

07 June 2013

Congratulations to Danneel and Jensen!

Congratulations to Danneel and Jensen! Baby Girl, Justice Jay 'JJ' Ackles was born on May 30. Danneel announced it on her Twitter

That is a superhero name! That is an epic name! I was just reading stuff on JJ Abrams.. It's a sign! I am going to buy a lottery!

06 June 2013

Supernatural Season 8 DVD -- Details

TV Shows On DVD has posted an update on the Supernatural Season 8 DVD. The official release date is announced by WB Home Video. The DVD and Blu-ray are available on September 10th, 2013. The press release also confirms the special features, which I am very excited about!! The cover art has also been confirmed. 

Special features include: 

-- Finding Supernatural 
-- For the Defense of Mankind 
-- Angel Warrior
-- Three Producer Commentaries 
-- Deleted Scenes 
-- Gag Reel 
Source: TVShowsOnDVD

Pre-order it now on Amazon

Speaking of buying Supernatural things, my local Dymocks HAD six copies of The Essential Supernatural: On the Road with Sam and Dean Winchester last week. I was shopping around for prices online but I decided to buy it from my local Dymocks because I simply couldn't wait! Also, with shipping and stuff, the bumpy ride could course damage on the hardcover.

Guess what? When I went back to Dymocks, all six copies were sold out! Like... there are Supernatural fans in my local areas that I don't know about? SHOW YOURSELF! 

I almost cried! Don't get me wrong. I am happy there are local Supernatural fans, but I hate myself for not decisive enough. Lesson learnt -- don't underestimate the power and quantity of Supernatural fans.