As always lots of pop culture goodness came cascading out of San Diego Comic Con wrapped up just under a week ago.
This intro is far too short a beast to capture it all which is why you check out Den of Geek’s excellent round-up which has all the big, exciting stuff you need to know (trust me, you do, you really, really do).
But one of the big highlights is the release of a slew of great trailers for movies and TV shows, of which I’ve selected the eight that are exciting me the most. (For the full list, see Vulture.)
Let the watching begin!
Created, written and executive produced by Mika Watkins, the series centers on “a group of strangers who find themselves stranded on a spacecraft bound for a distant planet. The abandoned passengers must work together for survival, but quickly realize that one of them is far from who they claim to be.” Paul W.S. Anderson of the Resident Evil franchise and Alien vs. Predator will direct the first two episodes. (synopsis via Coming Soon)
Seriously everyone! If anyone ever comes up to you in the future and says “Come on a spaceship to a distant planet, it’ll be fun, it will be lifechanging and everything will be better!” — JUST … SAY … NO because stuff like Origins just keeps on happening. Far better to sit back in the comfort of your non-terrifying loungeroom and stream the show, which actually looks pretty gripping, presumably without a hostile, malignant threat in the background.
Origin premieres on YouTube Red in late 2018.
This is how season 4a ended (SPOILERS!)
Sometime after the destruction of the Gonzalez Dam, Madison meets Al whom she tries to rob without success. Madison eventually gives Al a story from when her children were little and explains how she is trying to protect their innocence. Upon their departure, Al gives Madison some food, a radio and a map, allowing her to find her children. Al’s kindness inspires Madison to form the stadium community, but Al never learns Madison’s name. In the present, Naomi and Morgan struggle to get supplies to save John Dorie’s life while Al and Charlie struggle against an attack from Alicia’s group. The subsequent revelation that Al met Madison and Morgan’s intervention convinces Alicia to stop her path of vengeance. At night, Alicia’s group finishes telling their story about the fall of the stadium, including how everyone else died when they tried to flee and were overrun. Madison is revealed to have led the infected into the stadium to contain the herd and give her children, Strand and Luciana a chance to survive. Madison ultimately sets the herd ablaze within the stadium, sacrificing herself in a successful attempt to save the others. In honor of Madison’s memory, Al names the story after her and the group shares the same noodles Al gave to Madison when they first met. (synopsis via Wikipedia)
Is it the living or the dead from which you have more to fear? Hard to say really but I’d put my money on the living who have shown a depressing propensity, ever since Fear the Walking Dead (and its parent The Walking Dead, which has a season 9 trailer) debuted for making things worse not better, pretty much every step of the way. You can outrun zombies but not human nature it seems as recent deaths (is Madison actually dead hmm? No one actually saw it soooo …) attest all too well.
Fear the Walking Dead season 4b returns 12 August US and 13 August Australia.
Following the global success of 2014’s Godzilla and this year’s Kong: Skull Island, comes the next chapter in Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ cinematic MonsterVerse: an epic action adventure that pits Godzilla against some of the most popular monsters in pop culture history. The new story follows the heroic efforts of the crypto-zoological agency Monarch as its members face off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. When these ancient super-species—thought to be mere myths—rise again, they all vie for supremacy, leaving humanity’s very existence hanging in the balance. (synopsis via Coming Soon)
As monster movies go, both Godzilla and Kong: Skull Island were actually pretty good, sporting the usual blockbustery bells and whistles of course but suffused with way more intelligence and emotional resonance than anyone expected. It’s hard to say if Godzilla: King of the Monsters will reward us in the same way, especially given the overwrought trailer which just seems a little bonkers honestly, but I’m hopeful we’ll be 3 for 3 come next year.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters premieres 30 May 2019 Australia and 31 May 2019 in USA.
Nightflyers follows eight maverick scientists and a powerful telepath who embark on an expedition to the edge of our solar system aboard The Nightflyer – a ship with a small tightknit crew and a reclusive captain — in the hope of making contact with alien life. But when terrifying and violent events begin to take place they start to question each other — and surviving the journey proves harder than anyone thought. The series is based on author George R.R. Martin’s novella and the 1987 film of the same name. (synopsis via Coming Soon)
See Origins – to repeat – DO … NOT … GET … ON … A … SPACESHIP … sure it sounds like fun but then there’s death, running and screaming and a compulsive need to go running back to Earth. Only in this case, you can’t. Far better, once again, to watch it all unfold instead.
Nightflyers premieres on syfy in the northern autumn and Netflix internationally.
Showrunners Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts explained to the crowd that Star Trek: Discovery season 2 will edge away from “the backdrop of war” and into a “more exploratory phase and a more diplomatic phase,” steadily becoming “a bit more of a Trekian chapter.” (synopsis via Den of Geek)
Good lord but Star Trek: Discovery season 1 was a cold and fascinating ride. Not everyone liked it but I loved its grittier, earthier take, far more humanly fallible take on the future where things are good, but not perfectly good. For all its futuristic trappings, if feels real and possible and with Sonequa Martin-Green lending strength and vulnerability to her role as Michael Burnham, you can’t really go wrong especially now the show has added TOS-ness.
Star Trek: Discovery season 2 premieres late 2018/early 2019 on CBS All-Access in USA and Netflix internationally.
We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Strong). (synopsis via Coming Soon)
This looks wonderful! Apart from the ’70s TV show which I loved, my knowledge of Shazam is sketchy. But by gosh if this gleefully spirited, sweet little trailer is any indication and I think it is, DC could have a real hit on their hands. Zachary Levi is perfectly, beautifully cast and it seems to capture what it would be like for a kid who’s never had any breaks, to get an almighty big life-changing one. Let the happy superhero stuff begin!
SHAZAM! premieres 4 April 2019 and 5 April 2019 US and UK.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is the second of five all new adventures in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. At the end of the first film, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) was captured by MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), with the help of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne). But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escaped custody and has set about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings. In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) enlists his former student Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world. (synopsis via Coming Soon)
OK confession – I have never read the Harry Potter books but I have seen all the films and loved them. Hence, I approach any films in this universe from a cinematic rather than literary perspective and honestly the first film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film ticked all the boxes and then some. What a fun romp with real heart and some pretty big stakes. Granted the second film looks darker and far more intense but I’m still expecting some wit and whimsy along, since Rowling seems to have the ability to balance the dark and the light to astoundingly good storytelling effect.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald premieres 15 November Australia and 16 November US and UK.
In Disenchantment, viewers will be whisked away to the crumbling medieval kingdom of Dreamland, where they will follow the misadventures of hard-drinking young princess Bean, her feisty elf companion Elfo, and her personal demon Luci. Along the way, the oddball trio will encounter ogres, sprites, harpies, imps, trolls, walruses, and lots of human fools.
The series will feature the voice talents of Abbi Jacobson (Broad City) as Bean, Nat Faxon (Tammy) as Elfo and Eric Andre (The Lion King) as Luci. They will be joined by John DiMaggio, Billy West, Maurice LaMarche, Tress MacNeille, David Herman, Matt Berry, Jeny Batten, Rich Fulcher, Noel Fielding, and Lucy Montgomery. (synopsis via Coming Soon)
Postmodern parodies are brilliantly good fun usually and Matt Groening looks to have hit a completely off-the-charts good home run with his tale of a non-trope observing princess and her unusual travelling companions. Sure all the usual fairytale elements are in play but not in any configuration you’ll find a kid’s storybook and we will be all the better for that. When we can stop laughing, that is.
Disenchantment premieres 17 August on Netflix.
- THE GOOD PLACE bonus!
We all know it’s a very funny and enormously clever show – who knew that the existential quandaries of the afterlife could be so damn funny – and that season 3 is going to be AAAAA-MAZING, but did you know that the gag reel is not “meh” at all (don’t listen to The Medium Place!) but actually wonderfully entertaining too?
You want more? Here’s The Good Place gang at #SDCC 2018!