Why Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them actually represents something new

fantastic-beasts-where-find-them-movie-poster.jpegWill you be seeing the latest Harry Potter world movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them when it hits theaters next week? The story follow Newt Scamander, a wizard with a luggage full of magical beasties, in 1920’s New York City. It is also the first in an expected five-movie series.

As far as I can tell, if that’s true, this will be the first non-adaptation movie that’s been announced to be developed as a series before it premieres and proves itself. It represents yet another shift in how studios and movie-goers see and experience movie sequels.

It’s as if tomorrow, Marvel were to announce that it was going to introduce a brand new superhero, never before seen in comics, for a five-movie series. Or if David Cameroon pronounced Avatar as the launching point of a four movie visual extravaganza before its first ticket sale. Continue reading

Book Watching: Superhero edition

Because comic books are books too, right? Here are the superhero and comic book adaptations coming soon, too soon, and not soon enough (depending on the movie).

I’m going to start with the shows, and then dive into some of the movies:

Powerless on NBC

DC Universe. It’s still all a bit vague and wishy-washy. But the rumor says this show may or may not follow the non-superpowered workers at an insurance company set in a DC superheroes-and-villains-exist universe.

Update: Right after writing this, I found myself the leaked trailer. Check it out:

Premiere: Late 2017? In the meantime, go read Trick of Light for pretty much the same premise, except also a ridiculous romance between a hunky supervillain and a geeky insurance man.

But you know which comic adaptation I’m super looking forward to?

Legion on FX

Part of Marvel’s X-Men universe, it follows the schizophrenic son of X-Men founder Charles Xavier. Except, you know, maybe he’s not schizophrenic at all. Maybe he has psychic powers.

Well, okay, we all know he totally does have powers. But the trick will probably be in seeing how long it takes him to figure that out.

Premiere: 2017. Probably late 2017. AKA not soon enough.

Iron Fist on Netflix

With the success of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and now Luke Cage, Netflix is on a roll. And it’s continuing to pull lesser known superpowered characters from the back-shelf of the superhero universe. In March 2017, we’ll get to see Marvel’s martial arts master Iron Fist adapted to the screen.

 

Premiere: March 17, 2017

Here’s the kicker (and you might already know this). There’s method to this fun Netflix madness. The channel is setting up a major crossover. All these characters, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage, make up The Defenders. You know, New York’s version of Avengers, so to speak.

It’s gonna be good. Even better, we’ll be seeing Jessica Jones return for a second season in 2017 as well. Continue reading

Book Watching: I’m really struggling to get excited about these

This week, I got TV on my mind. Book-to-TV adaptations, that is.

This is happening (TOMORROW):

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

So I’m kinda late to this game, really, because this book-to-movie adaptation is going live tomorrow. This bestseller first popped up on my radar because of Ava Green. She plays the headmistress lady and looks a lot like one of my friends who looks just like Helena Bonham Carter. (You just gotta get the angle right, but I swear they’re related, all three.)

Just based off the two covers, it looks like the book version went more gothy lit, while the movie version went more fantasy-action.

Has anyone read this book? It seems like an odd stepchild of Harry Potter and A Series of Unfortunate Events, with a dash of Lightning Thief  style action. Or something. But it’s out tomorrow if you want to see it.

Release date: September 30, 2016.

Luke Cage, from various comics by Marvel

Now, this one I’m a bit more interested in. So far, Netflix superhero adaptations has been 50-50 for me. I wasn’t a fan of Daredevil, but Jessica Jones is one of my all-time favorite superhero shows.

Luke Cage is the on-and-off love interest in Jessica Jones. From what I can tell, this stand-alone spin-off is going to take place before the events of Jessica Jones because I’m pretty sure that’s Luke’s wife in the trailer.

I’ve yet to see an invincible hero I liked, but maybe this character will be the one when this show drops tomorrow.

Release Date: September 3o, 2016

This is happening (more generally):

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

What a gorgeous, gorgeous trailer for a beautiful book. The story follows 13-year-old Conor who is bullied in boarding school and whose mother is dying of cancer. Throughout it all, Conor is visited by a monster who makes a deal with him. Perhaps it’s a dream. Perhaps it’s all in Conor’s imagination. Perhaps not.

I could watch this trailer forever.

 

Release date: January 12, 2017.

The Dark Tower by Steven King

Oh hey, remember these books? I’ve been hearing of this on and off for years, but it looks like this Stephen King series will be coming to a big screen near you in in a few months. One question, remains. How will Girl With The Dragon Tattoo director Nikolaj Arcel deal with this series’ crazy mix of fantasy, sci-fi and Western? It could go so wrong. (Or so right.) Continue reading

[Book Watching] Not Your Typical Hobbit

It’s been years since I read The Hobbit. I considered doing so before the movie, but then realized that since the films would be stretched over three years, I might as well wait for a bit because I’ll forget the end again by the time the final installment in the trilogy came out. As a result, I couldn’t tell if scenes were actually made up in the movie or if I’d just misremembered the book so poorly.

“Was Saruman in The Hobbit?” I asked my roommate as we were leaving.

“No!” she – a rabid Hobbit/Lord of the Rings fan – replied. “No! They were just making stuff up!”

So not just me, then. Continue reading

[Small Chirp] Nathan Fillion is a Greek God

Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Castle) has been cast as Hermes in the upcoming Percy Jackson sequel, The Sea of Monsters. For someone who is already worshiped as a Geek God, it’s only appropriate that he should land the role of a Greek god.

Hermes is a key supporting player in the Percy Jackson series written by Rick Riordan, as well as being the pivotal point for the main source of conflict in the books. Herme’s demigod son, Luke, becomes the main villain of the series, and the father-son dynamic between Luke and Hermes is the big reason why Luke goes over to the Dark Side in the first place. (Ha, I never realized how very Star Wars that is).

Depending on how the part is written, it may actually turn into a more melancholy role than we are used to seeing from Fillion of late. After all, absentee parenting is a central theme of the books; the gods are often absent from the lives of their demigod children, when they aren’t simply negligent. No god feels that harder than Hermes as he watches his son fight for the other side. Continue reading