Amazon Announces That its Middle-earth Series Will be Shot in New Zealand


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New Zealand will once again be home to Middle-earth. Amazon announced that its upcoming series based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Legendarium will begin production in Auckland “in the coming months.”

The series is expected to take place in the Second Age of Middle-earth, potentially set in Númenor, Tolkien’s version of Atlantis, and prior to the forging of the Rings of Power.

In its press release, showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay said that they “needed to find somewhere majestic, with pristine coasts, forests, and mountains, that also is a home to world-class sets, studios, and highly skilled and experienced craftspeople and other staff.” The release didn’t come with any information on casting, or when the series is expected to debut on Amazon Prime Video.

In July, Amazon announced its production team for the series, which includes familiar names such as Tom Shippey, John ...

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Amazon Announces That its Middle-earth Series Will be Shot in New Zealand


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New Zealand will once again be home to Middle-earth. Amazon announced that its upcoming series based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Legendarium will begin production in Auckland “in the coming months.”

The series is expected to take place in the Second Age of Middle-earth, potentially set in Númenor, Tolkien’s version of Atlantis, and prior to the forging of the Rings of Power.

In its press release, showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay said that they “needed to find somewhere majestic, with pristine coasts, forests, and mountains, that also is a home to world-class sets, studios, and highly skilled and experienced craftspeople and other staff.” The release didn’t come with any information on casting, or when the series is expected to debut on Amazon Prime Video.

In July, Amazon announced its production team for the series, which includes familiar names such as Tom Shippey, John ...

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The First Trailer for Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark? Reboot Is Here


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There’s a new Midnight Society in town! Nickelodeon has released the first trailer for the upcoming reboot of its spooky classic, Are You Afraid of the Dark?

As in the original series, a group of friends gathers around a campfire to try and out-scare each other with increasingly spoopier tales. It looks as though the main story in the three-part limited series focuses on a Carnival of Doom that finds its way into real life, and the kids have to figure out how to make it out alive.

Are You Afraid of the Dark? hits Nickelodeon October 11.

Surprise! A Jurassic World Short-Film Is Coming to FX This Weekend


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Gather ’round, dino lovers! A brand-spanking-new Jurassic World short film is coming to FX this weekend. Director Colin Trevorrow made the surprise announcement himself on Tuesday, tweeting just the poster, the deets, and a short cast and crew list, plus one classic Jeff Goldblum quote (no, not that one).

Called Battle at Big Rock, the short-film stars André Holland, Natalie Martinez, Melody Hurd, and Pierson Salvador, and is written by Emily Carmichael.

There’s no word the run-time or any plot details, but Trevorrow’s tweet and poster is full of little Easter eggs begging for speculation. The eagle-eyed folks over at Slash Film noticed that the vehicles in the poster don’t look like those found on the Jurassic Park islands (they’re right: it looks like just a regular RV hooked to a car), which led them to theorize that the story could be set post-Fallen Kingdom and follow ...

Watch the First Trailer for See, Apple’s Upcoming Jason Momoa Show


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Image: Apple

During its iPhone 11 announcement event today, Apple unveiled a new trailer for one of its upcoming shows, See, which stars Aquaman star Jason Momoa as the leader of a tribe living in a post-apocalyptic world where everyone has lost their vision.

Momoa plays Baba Voss, the leader of a small community in the midst of the wilderness, centuries after a virus killed off much of humanity and left the survivors blind.

As we see in the trailer, things change when a pair of infants are born who can now see, bringing some hope to the world. However, the children are put into danger when a queen orders her followers to kidnap the children, believing that “the evil of light once almost destroyed the world.” It’s up to Baba Voss to keep them safe. The trailer provides some sweeping visuals of the post apocalyptic world, showing off ancient ...

Joe Abercrombie Shares His Detailed Revision Process


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Joe Abercrombie A Little Hatred

A Little Hatred, the first book in Joe Abercrombie’s new trilogy The Age of Madness, comes out next week, which means the Lord of Grimdark is hard at work on books 2 and 3. Book 3, The Beautiful Machine, is currently in the initial drafts phase, and the author announced last month that he’s in the final rounds of revision for book 2, The Trouble With Peace.

While many authors prefer to keep this part of the writing grind private (which, hey, we totally get), Abercrombie’s been very forthcoming about his revision process. In an ongoing Twitter thread, the author broke down all the steps he takes to whip a draft into shape. Check them out below!

Is the She-Ra Universe Expanding?


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HUGE spoilers abound for season 3 of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, so don’t even THINK about clicking through if you haven’t seen it yet. Netflix is that-a-away.

Here’s some lovely filler space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seriously, if you’re not caught up, begone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last chance…

 

 

 

 

 

 

A LOT happened in the latest season of She-Ra, which dropped on Netflix August 2. Although it was only six episodes long, there were portals, adventures in the Crimson Wastes, new characters, foiled sacrifices, family squabbles, alternate realities, baddies going good, and the reveal of two major origin stories. The first is that Adora isn’t an Etherian at all, but rather a First One who was kidnapped through a portal by the Horde. The second is that Hordak is actually a botched clone of Horde Prime,  who’s ...

Andy Serkis Will Direct the Venom Sequel


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Venom new trailer Tom Hardy

The Venom sequel has found its director! On Monday, The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Andy Serkis will be overseeing Tom Hardy’s continued descent into gooey, tonguey symbiotic goodness.

While Serkis has a few recent directing credits (2017’s Breathe and 2018’s Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle), it’s actually his Gollum and Gollum-adjacent work that set him apart. According to THR, “his expertise with CG and performance-capture technology is one of the factors that landed him the Venom 2 gig.” In an earlier feature for Wired, Serkis looked back on his 15+ years of experience—from The Lord of the Rings through Star Wars: The Last Jedi—and the filmmaking tools that have evolved alongside the way.

So, does this mean Venom 2 will stick little white dots all over Tom Hardy? As IndieWire points out, the Venom character was completely CGI in the first film.

“It ...

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost Team Up Again for Amazon Studio’s Truth Seekers


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Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have fought off zombies in Shaun of the Dead, solved a series of occultist murders in Hot Fuzz, and (mostly) survived the apocalypse in The World’s End. Now, the stars of the Cornetto Trilogy are injecting some comedy into the paranormal reality show genre with a parody of Ghost Hunters and similar series.

Truth Seekers, picked up by Amazon Studios, centers on a pair of paranormal investigators who visit haunted churches, underground bunkers, and abandoned hospitals looking for signs of ghostly activity. According to Variety, the first season sees “their supernatural experiences grow more frequent, terrifying, and even deadly as the pair begin to uncover a conspiracy that could threaten the entire human race”.

Frost is set to play Gus, one half of the ghost-hunting duo, but little has been revealed about Pegg’s character, Dave.

Pegg said: “Nick and I are ...

Darkseid and the Furies Will Be In New Gods, Plus More Updates from Ava DuVernay


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New Gods Jack Kirby Ava DuVernay

If, like us, you can’t wait for Ava DuVernay’s upcoming adaptation of Jack Kirby’s New Gods, then you’ll be pleased to know some iconic characters will definitely be showing up in the film. On Tuesday, the director did a round of #AskAva on Twitter, and she included key New Gods updates while answering fan questions.

First up, she confirmed that Darkseid and the Furies will 100% be part of the story.

(In a tweet from 2017, she also revealed that Big Barda⁠—who, by the way, is a member of the Furies⁠—is her favorite superhero, so it’s safe to say she’ll be making an appearance as well.)

DuVernay ...

Mark Hamill Has a Story About His Star Wars Screen Test With Harrison Ford


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Just when we thought we knew all there is to know about the original Star Wars trilogy, Mark Hamill has gifted the internet with a fun anecdote about the first time he met Harrison Ford. Over the weekend, footage of the pair’s screen test for Star Wars: A New Hope resurfaced on Twitter, and boy, does Hamill have a story.

“My screen-test for @starwars w/ Harrison on the 1st day I ever met him,” Hamill wrote in response to CNBC journalist Carl Quintanilla’s tweet of the video. “Neither 1 of us had read the script at this point, only this 1 scene. I asked George what kind of movie it was—’Let’s just do it, we’ll talk about that later’ We never did talk about it later—we just did it.”

The scene in question is a testy discussion between Han Solo and Luke Skywalker that didn’t make it into the ...

Here’s Your First Look at Baron Zemo’s Mask in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier


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Baron Zemo is finally donning the purple mask. As CBR reported, Daniel Brühl surprised fans during the massive Phase 4 news drop at Comic-Con last week when he appeared onscreen in-character as Zemo. After promising to “say hello to some old friends,” he put on the mask for the first time. Now, stills from the vid have made their way to Instagram.

Brühl posted them himself on Tuesday, writing, “Longing, Rusted, Seventeen, Daybreak, Furnace, Nine, Benign, Homecoming, One, Freight Car.” As you’ll remember, those are the trigger words that turn Bucky into the Winter Soldier, so it definitely seems like Zemo will be using them again in the upcoming Disney+ series.

There’s no word yet on the show’s plot, but at least we have a release date. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is arriving in Fall 2020.

Westworld Season 3 Goes Full Blade Runner


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If the brooding piano in the opening of credits of Westworld always makes you feel like you’re watching the sci-fi TV equivalent of a depressing Radiohead song, then season 3 might suddenly seem like a different show. Not that it won’t be depressing, but, basically, that the show is no longer secretive about who is a robot Host and who isn’t. If the previous seasons were Radiohead, the new season is full-on Daft Punk. The season 3 trailer for Westworld was revealed on Saturday at San Diego Comic-Con, and because the Hosts are out in the real world now, the show feels like what would happen if Blade Runner was a giant war.

Speaking at the Westworld panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Nolans said “When we started, Westworld was a dystopia. And now, three seasons in, it’s kind of a best-case scenario. The form of AI we have on ...

Marvel Studios Announces Eternals Cast and Release Date!


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Marvel Studio appeared at San Diego Comic-Con to introduce us to some Eternals! The studio has announced a (stellar) cast, an official release date, and they dropped a logo!

The cast will include Richard Madden as Ikaris, Angelina Jolie as Thena, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Salma Hayek as Ajak, Lia McHugh as Sprite, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, the Forgotten One.

Here’s another look at the logo:

But best of all? We’re getting the movie next year, on November 6, 2020.

Star Trek: Picard Trailer Brings Back Data, Seven of Nine and Hugh the Borg Drone


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Did somebody say they wanted more Borg and androids in their new Star Trek? Because if you did, get ready for this: the new series Star Trek: Picard will feature not only the return of Jean-Luc Picard but also Mr. Data and…Seven of Nine from Star Trek: Voyager and Jonathan del Arco, you know the guy who played Hugh, the nice Borg drone in The Next Generation. This is not a fan-fiction fever dream. This is happening.

On Saturday at the Star Trek Universe Panel at San Diego Comic-Con it was revealed that the following actors are returning for the Picard series: Jeri Ryan, Brent Spiner, and Jonathan Del Arco, playing Seven of Nine, Data and Hugh (Third of Five), respectively.

UPDATE: We have a trailer! 

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We’re Getting a New Janet! Dogs are Serenaded! Highlights from The Good Place Season 4 Panel at SDCC 2019


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The Good Place panel opened with scenes from the upcoming fourth and final (sniff!!!) season, which apparently involved a bay elephant telling the secrets of the universe. With that out of the way, a panel made up of Ted Danson (Michael) Kristen Bell (Eleanor) Manny Jacinto (Jason) William Jackson Harper (CHIDI!!!), Darcy Carden (JANET! JANET!) and Michael Schur (Creator God) shared tales from the set and talked aobut saying goodbye to their characters. We’ve rounded up some highlights below!

Jameela Jamil began on a philosophical note, saying: “It’s so cool to know we’re completing the story as it was supposed to be completed.”

D’Arcy Carden attempted to be cool about The Good Place ending, but admitted: “Its sad as hell. We can say it’s great, but it sucks.” Jamil added: “We ...

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3 New Captain Pike, Number One and Spock Short Treks Are Coming This Year


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It looks like Trekkies who wanted a spin-off  Star Trek series featuring Captain Pike, Spock and Number will get their wish. Sort of. A total of three new mini-episodes of Short Treks will focus on Captain Pike, Spock and Number One.

The news broke on Saturday at San Diego Comic-Con during the Star Trek: Universe panel and Alex Kurtzman even teased that a spin-off series focused on the USS Enterprise with Anson Mount, Ethan Peck and TK could happen. Saying “Do you want Captain Pike, Spock and Number One getting their own show?” The crow freaked out in the affirmative.

In addition to the classic-era Short Treks, other ...

The Final Trailer for IT Chapter Two Is Here


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Those lucky enough to be at San Diego Comic-Con were treated to a sneak peek at the new IT Chapter Two trailer on Wednesday night, and word on the street said it was scary as hell. Now, the clip has been uploaded for the rest of us, so we can float too.

The (yep, terrifying) clip opens innocuously enough with a flash-back of Bill giving Beverly a ride on his bicycle down the streets. “Something happens to you when you leave this town,” Mike says in a voiceover. “The farther away, the hazier it all gets. But me, I never left. I remember all of it.” From there, a clap of thunder and that horrible doo-doo-doo sound that plays whenever Pennywise appears signals a quick departure into horror territory…

As Den of Geek reports, three of the scenes in the trailer were were also shown as extended clips during ...

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Culture or Madness? How Jack Vance’s Worldbuilding Redefined “Adventure”


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Author Jack Vance was such a driven world-creator that I’m beginning to suspect it was less of a talent and more of a compulsion. For a timely example of Vance’s relentless societal construction, take the Planet of Adventure quartet of novels, the middle two books of which are celebrating their fiftieth anniversary this year. The books have already been summarized quite well on this site, but I’ll give you the quick version: Space explorer Adam Reith arrives on the planet Tschai, and discovers that four alien races already call it home. The reptilian Chasch arrived thousands of years ago, followed by their enemies, the pantherlike Dirdir and the hulking amphibious Wankh. There’s also a mysterious race called the Pnume who are indigenous to Tschai. And there are humans—lots of them.

The Dirdir, it turns out, gathered up some neolithic humans when they visited earth tens of thousands of years ...

io9 Reveals the First Look at the New Star Wars Book Thrawn: Treason


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Thrawn: Treason by Timothy Zahn

Publishing this month, Timothy Zahn’s Thrawn: Treason is the third installment in the Star Wars: Thrawn series, and takes place before the battle for Lothal’s liberation, as depicted in the series finale of Star Wars: Rebels. And io9 has a first look at the book. Some initial details ahead!

Not only does General Admiral Thrawn find his TIE Defender project on hold in favor of Director Krennic’s future Death Star plans (as depicted in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), but an unexpected run-in with his former protégé Commander Eli Vanto redirects Thrawn’s attentions back towards his people, the Chiss. Essentially, Thrawn finds his loyalties being tested and split once more.

So, what exactly has Thrawn been up to in the events leading up to Thrawn: Treason?

  • After rescuing Force-sensitive Chiss from the Grysk, Thrawn continues to check up on his TIE Defender prototype with a visit to ...