Star Wars: Ahsoka starts filming this month

As the first series of The Book of Boba Fett comes to a close, Lucasfilm is gearing up to begin production on Ahsoka, the upcoming live-action Star Wars series. This is a series that a lot of Star Wars fans are very excited about because we finally get to see Ahsoka in action, in her own series. As she embarks on a quest to find Ezra and Thrawn.

Production on Star Wars: Ahsoka will begin by the end of the month, according to Production Weekly.

The Mandalorian Series 3 wraps production in March. If this is the case, we may expect to see both shows launch before the end of the year.

Rosario Dawson will reprise her role as Ahsoka Tano, with a supporting cast including Natasha Liu, who is said to be playing a live-action version of Sabine Wren. A character who originated in Star Wars: Rebels.

New target books on the way

BBC Books has announced that it will be expanding the Doctor Who Target range with five new titles in Summer 2022, all published on 14th July 2021, each with newly commissioned cover artwork by Anthony Dry.

Penned by the original scriptwriter the late David Fisher and adapted from his 2011 and 2014 audio novelisations, The Stones of Blood, and The Androids of Tara are now being released as two glorious Target books for fans to add to their collections.

These will be accompanied by a Target edition of The Fires of Pompeii by James Moran, as well as The Eaters of Light by Rona Munro and The Zygon Invasion by Peter Harness.

For Doctor Who fans, the range of novelisations published by Target Books in the 1970s and 1980s holds a special place. There was a novel published for almost every Doctor Who serial between 1963 and 1989, with very few (five, actually) notable exceptions.

Since 2012, BBC Books has been successfully reissuing these classic paperbacks and expanding the Target range to include all-new novelisations of modern-era Doctor Who episodes. The Stones of Blood by David Fisher – An ancient stone circle becomes a battleground as the Fourth Doctor must outwit the deadliest alien criminal this side of hyperspace.

The Androids of Tara by David Fisher – The Fourth Doctor and Romana’s search for the fourth segment of the all-powerful Key to Time leads them to the planet Tara.

The Fires of Pompeii by James Moran – It is AD 79, and the Tenth Doctor and Donna arrive in Pompeii on the eve of the town’s destruction. Mount Vesuvius is ready to erupt and bury its surroundings in molten lava, just as history dictates. Or is it?

The Eaters of Light by Rona Munro – The Twelfth Doctor takes Bill and Nardole back to 2nd century Scotland to learn the fate of the ‘lost’ Ninth Legion of the Imperial Roman Army. 5,000 soldiers vanished without explanation – how?

The Zygon Invasion by Peter Harness – It took three Doctors to broker a fragile peace between Zygons and Humans. Now the Twelfth Doctor must face the fallout alone. With his allies compromised and his companion believed dead, can he stop the world from plunging into war?

These latest additions to the collection, all by the original writers of the TV episodes, will help Target fans complete their classic and modern-era collections.

James Moran said:

“I’ve been watching Doctor Who and reading the Target books for as long as I can remember. The books were an essential part of my childhood, examining the amazing cover art, and “seeing” stories that aired before I was born. I loved learning new words from them, like “capacious”, and am beyond thrilled to become part of this publishing legend!”

Rona Munro said:

“It’s wonderful to have another chance to revisit the ideas of my last Doctor Who story, Eaters of Light, they are ideas that have been with me for a very long time and Doctor Who, as always, proved to be the largest and most exciting world in which to realise them.”

Peter Harness added:

“Like many, many others, I learnt to read and to love books by reading Target novelisations. The Saturday afternoon journey to Garland’s bookshop in Bridlington to see if any new Doctor Who stories had materialised on their shelves. Scouring markets and second-hand shops in hope of finding an old copy of Doctor Who and the Sea Devils. Desperately pester my poor cousin until he finally lent me his copy of Doctor Who and The Doomsday Weapon. Making my Grandad read me The Enemy of the World when he would’ve much preferred to fall asleep with the newspaper. There is a sense of magic and excitement about Target books which has stayed with me my whole life. And I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful it feels to be writing my own Target book of one of my own Doctor Who stories.”

The books are due for release during the summer of 2022.

The King’s Man arrives on Dinsey+ in the UK and Ireland on February 9th

Dinsey+ has announced that The King’s Man, will launch on their platform on the 9th of February.

“The King’s Man” follows one man who must race against time to stop a collection of history’s worst tyrants and criminal masterminds gathering to plot a war to wipe out millions. Discover the origins of the very first independent intelligence agency in “The King’s Man.”

The film is directed by Matthew Vaughn and stars Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Rhys Ifans, Matthew Goode, Tom Hollander, Harris Dickinson, Daniel Brühl, with Djimon Hounsou, and Charles Dance.

Matthew Vaughn, David Reid and Adam Bohling are the producers, and Mark Millar, Dave Gibbons, Stephen Marks, Claudia Vaughn and Ralph Fiennes serve as executive producers. “The King’s Man” is based on the comic book “The Secret Service” by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons, and the story is by Matthew Vaughn and the screenplay is by Matthew Vaughn & Karl Gajdusek. 

For our friends in America, the film will debut on Hulu on February 18th.

Read our review here.

Quantum Leap reboot in development

In news that will please all 90s geeks. The long-rumoured comeback of Quantum Leap has moved a significant step closer to becoming a reality.
A revival of the iconic 1990s sci-fi series starring Scott Bakula and Dean Stockwell has been handed a pilot order by NBC.

Dr Sam Beckett (Bakula) stepped inside the Quantum Leap accelerator and vanished 30 years ago.
A new team has been formed to relaunch the project in the hopes of unravelling the mysteries surrounding the machine and the man who built it.

It’s currently unknown if Bakula is attached to reprise his role or producing the new Quantum Leap but apparently has had conversations about potentially getting involved.

Bakula’s co-star on the original series, Dean Stockwell, died in November at age 85.

The original NBC series, which aired 97 episodes from 1989-93, featured Bakula’s physicist Sam Beckett time-hop through various eras by “leaping” into the bodies of other people. Stockwell played Beckett’s sidekick, Admiral Al Calavicci, who appeared as a hologram to guide him through the weekly adventures.

Last year, Scott Bakula told the late Bob Segat on his podcast:

“The rights were a mess for years. I don’t know if they’re even sorted out now. That’s always been the biggest complication,” he said back then. Bakula added that he had spoken occasionally to series creator Bellisario over the years about a potential comeback, “and he would always say, ‘I can’t write it without thinking of you and Dean.’”

The reboot will be written and executive produced by La Brea co-showrunners Steven Lilien and Bryan Wynbrandt and executive produced by Blindspot creator Martin Gero as well as Quantum Leap creator/EP Don Bellisario and EP/co-narrator Deborah Pratt.

Angela bruce returns to Doctor Who

Brigadier Winifred Bambera returns to the UNIT front line in her own brand new series of full-cast audio dramas from Big Finish Productions.

Angela Bruce, who made her Doctor Who debut in the 1989 TV adventure Battlefield, will don camo garb once more for a new series of audio adventures set to begin in June 2022, according to Doctor Who Magazine issue 573.

Bruce is also recognisable to sci-fi fans for her performance as Brigadier Winifred Bambera in the 1989 Doctor Who serial Battlefield, as well as her portrayal of Dayna Mellanby in Blake’s 7 audio drama The Syndeton Experiment.

Her other notable credits include Red Dwarf (as Deb Lister, a female counterpart of Dave Lister in a parallel universe), Prime Suspect and Only Fools and Horses in which she played Councillor Murray.

Angela Bruce said: “If I wasn’t Brigadier Bambera as she is now in this wonderful box set, I’d marry her. I would. I’d marry her. I find her irresistible. Within one character, you get to have all the control and all the power that you have ever desired. I feel deep joy in bringing her back. It’s really nice being thought of. It’s really nice that Big Finish has thought, ‘Brigadier Bambera, we haven’t heard anything from her for a while.’ And you go, ‘Oh really, you’d like to hear from me? You’d like to write something for Brigadier Bambera?’ YES! Bring. Her. On.   You’re meeting Bambera – and me – at a time when I’m full. Bambera’s happy in her own skin. And so am I. So this is the right time to meet her again. I think fans will love these new UNIT adventures. It’s brought that hunger back in me. Brigadier Bambera’s getting stronger every day.”  

This will mark Angela Bruce’s first time playing the character since she last appeared in the 2011 Big Finish story ‘Animal’.

UNIT – Brave New World: Volume 1 (title TBA) is now available to pre-order as a collector’s edition box set (3CD + download) at £19.99 or on download only at £16.99, exclusively from the Big Finish website.  

 

Trailer: Bel-Air

In 2019, a fan of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air proposed rebooting the comedy as a gritty drama, even creating a faux trailer to depict how it may appear.

Three years later, Will Smith, the show’s lead, has made it a reality, and the first official teaser has been released.

The title character continues to migrate from his hometown of West Philadelphia to his aunt and uncle’s fancy estate in a wealthy LA suburb.

However, the show’s tone has been twisted and turned upside down.

The new show, simply titled ‘Bel-Air’, is a serious drama, as opposed to the original comedy of the 1990s original.

The original saw Will move in with his rich relative, after getting into a fight with a local bully. That still happens in the remake, but guns and police are involved. Will’s Uncle, Judge Philip Banks-played by Welshman, Adrian Holmes, pulls some strings to get Will out of trouble.

The new trailer also introduces us to the new incarnations of cousins Carlton, Ashley and Hilary, as well as butler Geoffrey, played by Jimmy Akingbola.

Will Smith collaborated on the new show with Morgan Cooper, an aspiring filmmaker who created the original teaser.

Smith said:

“Three years ago, my guy Morgan Cooper uploaded his fan trailer to YouTube, showing how he envisioned the Fresh Prince as a drama. Now, here is the first full look at his retelling of the story that’s always been so close to my heart.”

Morbius delayed for the sixth time

Morbius, a Spider-Man spin-off, has been postponed for the sixth time.

Morbius will now open on Friday, April 1 instead of the previously scheduled Friday, January 28. The film’s star Jared Leto announced the news on Twitter.

The official reason given for Sony’s decision to postpone Morbius is due to a surge in COVID-19 cases fueled by the Omicron variation.

However, there is speculation that the film’s delay is down to the success of Spider-Man: No way home. No way home earned $1billion in just two weeks of its release. It’s still going strong now, selling out show after show. If this is the reason, I think it’s a wise move. Spider-Man: No way home is overperforming all box office projections. Morbius is a film, with a character most people are unfamiliar with. Even if it did really well, it wouldn’t do ‘no way home’ numbers and would look like a flop comparatively.

Morbius was initially due to open in July 2020. But was delayed due to the original covid outbreak. It sees Leto’s titular character go up against his childhood friend Loxias Crown, AKA Hunger, played by Matt Smith.

Trailer-The Batman

A new trailer for The Batman has just been released by Warner Bros. It’s called “The Bat and The Cat,” and it’s our best look yet at the film.

It primarily focuses on Batman and Catwoman, as well as the type of connection they’ll have.
It also includes a lot more of The Riddler, as well as a secret he’ll divulge about the truth of Gotham City, which involves Bruce Wayne!

The trailer is jam-packed with fresh footage, and it looks absolutely fantastic.

Here’s the synopsis:

“Two years of stalking the streets as the Batman (Robert Pattinson), striking fear into the hearts of criminals, has led Bruce Wayne deep into the shadows of Gotham City. With only a few trusted allies — Alfred Pennyworth (Andy Serkis), Lt. James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) — amongst the city’s corrupt network of officials and high-profile figures, the lone vigilante has established himself as the sole embodiment of vengeance amongst his fellow citizens. When a killer targets Gotham’s elite with a series of sadistic machinations, a trail of cryptic clues sends the World’s Greatest Detective on an investigation into the underworld, where he encounters such characters as Selina Kyle/aka Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz), Oswald Cobblepot/aka the Penguin (Colin Farrell), Carmine Falcone (John Turturro), and Edward Nashton/aka the Riddler (Paul Dano). As the evidence begins to lead closer to home and the scale of the perpetrator’s plans becomes clear, Batman must forge new relationships, unmask the culprit, and bring justice to the abuse of power and corruption that has long plagued Gotham City.”


Spider-Man: No Way Home is the first pandemic-era film to earn $1bn

The latest Spider-Man film has become the first pandemic-era film to gross more than $1 billion (£750 million) at the global box office.

In addition, Spider-Man: No Way Home was named the highest-grossing film of 2021.

According to media data analytics firm Comscore, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was the most recent film to gross more than $1 billion.

Since the pandemic began two years ago, no other Hollywood film has come close to surpassing that box office milestone.

The latest Marvel Cinematic Universe picture grossed $1.05 billion worldwide over the weekend.

Even while the Omicron variety of Covid-19 has spread swiftly over the world, generating new concerns about indoor events, the Sony-Disney co-production reached its milestone less than two weeks after its premiere.

China, which is currently the world’s largest cinema market, has not yet seen the film.

Tom Holland reprises his role as Peter Parker in Spider-Man: No Way Home, featuring Zendaya as MJ and Benedict Cumberbatch as the wizard Doctor Strange.

Listen to our review of the film here.

Amy Pascal and Kevin Feige discuss Spider-Man’s future

Amy Pascal, the longtime producer of the Spider-Man series, and Kevin Feige, the CEO of Marvel Studios, have an unusual creative partnership, as they demonstrated in a new interview.

Whilst speaking with the New York Times, about Spider-Man: No Way Home and the future of the wall-crawler, the dynamic-duo addressed Pascal’s previous comments that Tom Holland would star in a new “Spider-Man trilogy”.

Pascal said:

“We’re producers, so we always believe everything will work out, I love working with Kevin. We have a great partnership, along with Tom Rothman, who runs Sony and has been instrumental, a great leader with great ideas. I hope it lasts forever.”

Feige added:

“Amy and I and Disney and Sony are actively beginning to develop where the story heads next, which I only say outright because I don’t want fans to go through any separation trauma like what happened after ‘Far From Home.’ That will not be occurring this time”.

In 2019, the original deal between both studios ended, leading to a financial dispute between Disney and Sony. For a while, it looked like Peter Parker’s time in the MCU sandbox was done. Fourteunetly, cooler heads prevailed and the studios got to work on no way home.

In the interview, Pascal and Feige also discussed how they first collaborated. Feige had worked as an unofficial script consultant on The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Most of his advice wasn’t taken up by Sony. When the film was released to widespread negative reviews, she and Feige met to discuss the next way forward. He suggested a co-production deal, with Marvel studios taking control of the character. She didn’t take the suggestion well.

“I threw a sandwich at him,” she said.

Feige added:

“She said, ‘I really want you to help on this next movie. We have these great ideas for the next one. It’s amazing stuff and I said, ‘I’m not good at that — giving advice and leaving. The only way I know how to help is if we just make the movie for you.’”

Despite Pascal’s initial scepticism, she and Sony eventually warmed to the idea after Feige offered more concrete proposals for how to integrate Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe:

She said:

“He said ‘I have an idea. What if Tony Stark makes Peter’s suit?’ And as soon as he said that, I understood the possibilities of what we could do together. To have Iron Man and Spidey in the same world, one rooted more in technological innovation — the new suit — and less in medical experimentation, which is where we were confined before, felt so much more modern.”

Since then, each of Marvel’s “Spider-Man” films, starring Tom Holland and produced by Pascal, has been a critical and commercial triumph, with most fans dubbing Holland “the best Spider-Man ever”.

Personally, as a fan. I’m excited to see where this partnership goes. They’ve opened up the multiverse now and with Sony continuing to make their own Marvel movies, the possibilities are truly endless.