A Demon App Predicts Your Death in Countdown Trailer


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The concept of knowing when or how you might die is an interesting one that people have grappled with for centuries, an existential what-would-you-do thought puzzle of sorts. Most people assume they have years to live. But what if you were to die tomorrow? Wouldn’t you try to cheat death? It’s what made the Final Destination movies so compelling, and that concept has been updated with STX Entertainment’s new movie, Countdown.

Countdown is an app (like everything nowadays) that let’s you know when you’re going to die. Most curious people open Countdown and find out they have years to live. When a nurse (played by You actress Elizabeth Lail) downloads the app and finds out she has less than three days to live, it’s a race against the clock to try and survive. As SyFy Wire points out, the trailer feels a little reminiscent of Drag Me to Hell and ...

Clifford D. Simak’s Way Station Is Heading to Netflix


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Matt Reeves’ studio 6th & Idaho has acquired the rights to adapt Clifford D. Simak’s Hugo-winning novel Way Station as a film for Netflix, according to Deadline.

Reeves is best known for directing Cloverfield and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and is set to direct the next Batman film. His studio has a first-look film deal with Netflix, which is also working on an adaptation of George Orwell’s film Animal Farm, to be directed by Andy Serkis. There’s no indication as to when the adaptation of Way Station will hit Netflix—if it makes its way through the development pipeline—or who will direct it.

Simak first published Way Station as a serialized story in Galaxy Magazine in 1963 under the title Here Gather The Stars, and it earned the Hugo Award for Best Novel the following year. Most recently, Gary K. Wolf selected the title for his latest retrospective ...

“I have a parasite” — Venom


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The two Marc Webb-directed Amazing Spider-Man movies—particularly the second one—did a lot of work to set up a “Spider-Man Cinematic Universe.” Sony went ahead and green-lit a bunch of spinoff movie projects featuring Spider-characters The Sinister Six, Black Cat, Morbius the Living Vampire, Silver Sable, and Venom.

The whole concept was sent into a tizzy when (a) Amazing Spider-Man 2 did poorly at the box office and critically as well and (b) Spider-Man got absorbed into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But we got a Venom movie in 2018 anyhow.

Venom was created by David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane, first teased in the lead-up to Amazing Spider-Man #300 in 1988, though the character spun out of 1984’s Secret Wars where among the many “permanent changes” made to the characters participating (all of which were reversed) was Spider-Man’s new black costume that obeyed his every thought. It was later revealed ...

Paramount Pictures Is Adapting Markus Sakey’s Superhero Novel Brilliance


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With Marvel’s Cinematic Universe moving on to its next phase, other studios are looking to build their own superhero franchises. One such project is Brilliance, based on the novel by Markus Sakey. According to Deadline, Paramount Pictures has snapped up the film rights to the book, with Will Smith tapped to lead the film and Akiva Goldsman writing the script. This marks the fourth film for Smith and Goldsman, following I, Robot, I Am Legend and Hancock.

Sakey first published the novel in 2011 with Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer imprint. It’s set in a world much like our own, but where 1 percent of the population has acquired special abilities: these so-called “Brilliants” can turn invisible, detect minute patterns in the stock market, and so forth. The novel follows Nick Cooper, a Brilliant federal agent with a predictive gift and a knack for tracking down people, ...

Cixin Liu’s Supernova Era to be Adapted for Film


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Hugo-award winning author Cixin Liu’s Supernova Era will soon be adapted for the big screen!

According to China Film Insider, the movie adaptation will be written and directed by Kong Ergou, who is also currently producing an adaptation of another of Liu’s The Three Body Problem.

Supernova Era is set in the future where humanity is dying out due to radiation from a supernova. The novel follows the last generation of people as they try to shape the future. The exact timeline for the film’s production is unknown, but it is expected to be released in about two years.

The most recent movie adaptation of Liu’s fiction, The Wandering Earth, released in China in February of this year and is now China’s third highest-grossing film of all time, 2019’s seventh highest-grossing film worldwide, and the second highest-grossing non-English film to date. An English dubbed version (and also the ...

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress — Marvel’s Inhumans


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Introduced in the pages of Fantastic Four, the Inhumans—a closed community of humans who have super-powers thanks to experimentation by the Kree—have been a part of the Marvel comics universe since the 1960s, though they didn’t really come into their own as anything but supporting characters (mostly in the pages of FF) until their twelve-issue miniseries by Paul Jenkins & Jae Lee debuted in 1998. Since the turn of the century, they’ve become major players in the comics.

Making them part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has proven more problematic.

Originally introduced via single appearances by Medusa and Gorgon, the Inhuman society appeared as a group in Fantastic Four #45. Stan Lee & Jack Kirby took the hidden city of Attilan from an old backup story in Captain America Comics in the 1940s and retconned that as the Inhumans’ home.

Over the decades, Attilan moved from the North ...

“Please don’t blow up!” — Fantastic Four (2015)


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After 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer disappointed mightily at the box office, 20th Century Fox found themselves going back to the drawing board. While they did so, Marvel Studios started their inexorable rise to the top of the box-office charts, and Sony found themselves rebooting Spider-Man following their own 2007 release.

Fox decided to go Sony’s route and reboot Marvel’s first family with a movie that arrived with a thud in 2015.

The number of people involved in making this film between its announcement in 2009 and its release in 2015 are legion. Akiva Goldsman was originally to produce, though he was gone by the time the movie was made, and Michael Green (Smallville, Heroes), Jeremy Slater, Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz (X-Men: First Class, Thor), and Seth Grahame-Smith (author of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter...

Rewatching The Dark Crystal: Beyond Muppet Good and Evil


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The Dark Crystal debuted in 1982, wedged somewhat oddly between The Great Muppet Caper and the premiere of Fraggle Rock in the Great Muppet Time Line. In terms of Jim Henson’s career, placing the film chronologically is easy; figuring out how it fits into his development as an artist is a bit more complicated. The project that eventually became The Dark Crystal actually began several years earlier when Henson fell madly in love with the work of fantasy illustrator Brian Froud; they became friends, and Froud began collaborating with Henson and Frank Oz. With the help of David Odell, a former staff writer for The Muppet Show, they eventually produced the first live-action film to feature no human actors, only puppets and animatronic creatures.

The film was groundbreaking in many ways, and yet it was not considered a financial success upon release, and ...

“I am not a foolish young girl!” — Sheena


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Sheena, Queen of the Jungle was the first comic book to have a female lead, preceding Wonder Woman‘s 1941 debut by a good four years.

A creation of the Eisner/Iger Studio that produced tons of comic books in the 1930s, Sheena debuted in Wags magazine in 1937, and soon thereafter appeared regularly in both Jumbo Comics and her own title. Inspired by the works of W.H. Hudson (whose Rima, the “jungle girl” heroine of his 1904 novel Green Mansions, was an obvious inspiration for Sheena), Edgar Rice Burroughs, Rudyard Kipling, and H. Rider Haggard, Sheena would inspire many jungle queen-type characters.

Twice, Sheena has been adapted into television, in the 1950s starring Irish McCalla and in the 2000s starring Gena Lee Nolin, and between those, there was a movie in 1984.

Sheena’s storyline is a familiar one to anyone who’s read or watched a Tarzan story, or read ...

800 Panicked Questions We Have About Spider-Man No Longer Being in the MCU


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Avengers: Infinity War

New York’s friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is leaving the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

As reported by Deadline, Sony and Disney have failed to reach new agreement terms after months of negotiations and have essentially nixed producer Kevin Feige and Marvel’s involvement from further Spider-Man films.

So we just have a few questions, the first one being How dare you?

Okay, we have a few more questions, forget the first one. We’ll just leave them here:

  1. What does this mean for future Spider-Man solo films? What will they be allowed to reference? Would you have to omit any mention of the previous films? Tony Stark’s entire dad role? All of Peter’s development up until this point?
  2. Does this put a kibosh on any of Marvel’s Phase 4 or 5 plans? There were heavy rumors that Norman Osborn was going to be a big hitter villain in upcoming MCU films, but they can’t use ...

Fourth Matrix Movie Announced, With Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss to Star


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The Matrix Neo and Trinity

Twenty years and many iterations of mobile smartphones later, it’s time to dial back in to The Matrix.

Variety reports that a fourth film set in The Matrix universe is on its way, announced by Warner Bros. Picture Group chairman Toby Emmerich.

Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss will reprise their roles as Neo and Trinity, and Lana Wachowski is set to direct the film from a script by Aleksandar Hemon and David Mitchell.

“We could not be more excited to be re-entering ‘The Matrix’ with Lana,” said Emmerich. “Lana is a true visionary—a singular and original creative filmmaker—and we are thrilled that she is writing, directing and producing this new chapter in ‘The Matrix’ universe.”

No word yet on when within the The Matrix’s timeline the film may be set, or whether Laurence Fishburne will reprise his role as Morpheus and truly reunite the three leads of the original ...

Has Star Wars Abandoned Boba Fett? Or Is His Comeback Written on the Wall?


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Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Boba Fett

Aside from the grand finale of the Skywalker Saga with Episode IX, there is another Star Wars story that has everyone buzzing: The Mandalorian, premiering in November on Disney’s new streaming service. Starring Pedro Pascal, The Mandalorian is set post-Return of the Jedi, as the galaxy struggles to restructure itself after the death of Emperor Palpatine and the fall of the Empire. The titular character is a mercenary with a cowboy sort of swagger, adhering to a personal sense of justice, with a reputation for doing things his own way.

But… but isn’t that just Boba Fett?

The character of Boba Fett had a rich and complex life that played out in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, or Legends, as we now call the stories written before the canon reintegration that occurred when George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney. He escaped the Pit of Carkoon and the ...

“Should we stop the torture?” — Two Versions of Flash Gordon


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In the early 1930s, one of the most successful comic strips was Buck Rogers, produced by the John F. Dille Company. Based on a pair of novellas by Phillip Francis Nowlan published in 1928 and 1929, the strip about a person from the present who finds himself having adventures in the far future proved hugely popular, and King Features Syndicate, one of Dille’s competitors, wanted their own science fiction strip to go with it, and tasked Alex Raymond, one of their staff artists, to come up with something.

Aided by writer Don Moore, Raymond gave them Flash Gordon.

Where Rogers, in essence, traveled through time, Flash Gordon instead simply goes to another world, which is threatening present-day Earth. Gordon, a polo player and Yale graduate, and his girlfriend Dale Arden are kidnapped by a mad scientist, Dr. Hans Zarkov, and taken in Zarkov’s rocket ship to Mongo, a planet ...

Ikarie XB 1, Based on the Fiction of Stanislaw Lem, Is a Fascinating Obscurity


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The myth of Icarus isn’t about flight; it’s about falling. Daedalus’s callow son flaps too close to the sun; the glue of his wings melt, their feathers flutter away, and Icarus plummets seaward. He is the first to soar through the sky, but also the sky’s first victim. Personally, I wouldn’t name the first ship to traverse interstellar space after our fallen predecessor, but perhaps the people of the year 2163, as depicted in Czech director Jindřich Polák’s 1963 Ikarie XB 1, have conquered superstition. Or perhaps they’re tempting fate.

Polák sets his film, an adaptation of an early minor work by Polish master Stanislaw Lem, exactly two hundred years after the time of the movie’s production. American writers tended to imagine the Cold War continuing in perpetuity; more than one otherwise prophetic writer described the U.S. and USSR still at loggerheads several centuries hence. Ikarie, from ...

In the Moment, Not at It: How VR Creators Are Changing the Language of Storytelling


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Make no mistake, history does repeat. Just don’t expect an exact replication.

At the dawn of cinema, the Lumière brothers had audiences leaping from their seats when it appeared a train pulling into a station was going to break through the screen and come barreling into the auditorium. (There’s been some pushback about whether this actually happened, but I’m going with the legend.) Two years after Al Jolson’s voice poured from movie screens in The Jazz Singer, Alfred Hitchcock garbled the dialogue of a nosey gossip in Blackmail to give us a view of the world from the perspective of a guilty murderer, who could only discern the damning word, “knife.” Technicolor had already established a foothold in Hollywood, but when Dorothy opened a sepia door into the rainbow world of Oz, the process served a function beyond delivering candy colors to moviegoers. IMAX and 3D had ...

It’s Not the Chosen One’s Job to Knock on Doors — The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu


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Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

This week, we celebrate our 250th post by watching The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu, a 2009 comedy-horror flick directed by Henry Saine and scripted by Devin McGinn. Trigger warnings (in the movie, not the post) for bloody guts, rape jokes, and frequent obscenities including slurs. Spoilers ahead.

“The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind.”

Bad things are happening. In Egypt, hooded cultists unearth a stone (?) relic depicting a octopoid head. Inexplicably, water wells up beneath it, and its eyes glow aqua-blue. Two guys on a boat off the West Coast meet with gory deaths via an unseen assailant. Not long after, a California beach party ends in an equally bloody ...

It’s Not the Chosen One’s Job to Knock on Doors — The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu


This post is by Anne M. Pillsworth, Ruthanna Emrys from Tor.com Frontpage Partial - Blog and Story Content


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Welcome back to the Lovecraft reread, in which two modern Mythos writers get girl cooties all over old Howard’s sandbox, from those who inspired him to those who were inspired in turn.

This week, we celebrate our 250th post by watching The Last Lovecraft: Relic of Cthulhu, a 2009 comedy-horror flick directed by Henry Saine and scripted by Devin McGinn. Trigger warnings (in the movie, not the post) for bloody guts, rape jokes, and frequent obscenities including slurs. Spoilers ahead.

“The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind.”

Bad things are happening. In Egypt, hooded cultists unearth a stone (?) relic depicting a octopoid head. Inexplicably, water wells up beneath it, and its eyes glow aqua-blue. Two guys on a boat off the West Coast meet with gory deaths via an unseen assailant. Not long after, a California beach party ends in an equally bloody ...

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 ...

Less Than Valiant Efforts — Two Film Versions of Prince Valiant


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Prince Valiant by the great Hal Foster debuted in 1937 as a comic strip. Taking place during the mythical, fictional reign of King Arthur, the strip has chronicled the life of its title character from when he was a boy through to adulthood as a member of the Knights of the Round Table. Eighty-two years later, forty-eight years after Foster’s retirement from the strip due to arthritis, and thirty-seven years after Foster’s death, the strip is still going strong, still appearing weekly in three hundred newspapers. It’s currently written by Mark Schultz and illustrated by Thomas Yeates.

Twice, the strip has been adapted to live-action film, once in the 1950s, and again in the 1990s.

Valiant was nontraditional, in that instead of using word balloons, the story is told via illustrations and narrative captions on the sides, in the margins, and in other emptier spaces. It also followed its hero ...

It: Chapter Two Will Have Clown-Only Screenings


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Great news for those of you itching for a more, uh, immersive horror experience than simply watching It: Chapter Two on the big screen! Come September, you’ll have the chance to watch the movie in a theater stuffed head to toe with Pennywises. That’s right: Alamo Drafthouse is bringing back its clowns-only screenings for part deux of Stephen King’s coulrophobic masterpiece.

If you do choose to subject yourself to this, though, you’ll have to really commit. Official word from Alamo Drafthouse says patrons of their clown-specific screenings will have to show up in full clown regalia. That means greasepaint, horrendous onesies decked out in primary colors, an infestation of pom-poms, ill-fitting shoes, and wigs. Bonus points (we’re assuming) if you can sneak in an ancient soul-eating cosmic entity, as well.

Unfortunately, only clowns in 17 locations will be able to enjoy It with their horn-honking compatriots. For the full list ...