Friday, January 23, 2015

HANNIBAL Season 3 Trailer is Served

The third course is being prepared.

After months of anticipation, the first trailer for the third season of NBC's Hannibal has finally debuted.  The stellar television series based on the novel Red Dragon by Thomas Harris hasn't been a huge ratings hit for NBC, but is one of the few network shows with broad critical acclaim and did well enough to earn another season of thirteen episodes.

When last we left the series, FBI Special Agent-in-Charge Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) confronted Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) and was severely wounded following a brutal pantry fight.  Dr. Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas) was pushed out of a window by Abigail Hobbs (Kacey Rohl), leaving her seriously injured.  Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) found Abigail, only to end up stabbed by Hannibal with a linoleum knife before Lecter sliced Abigail's throat.  Leaving everyone bleeding out, Hannibal was last seen boarding a plane to France with Dr. Bedelia Du Maurier (Gillian Anderson).

The new two-minute trailer opens with Will waking up in a hospital bed as he speaks in an ominous voiceover, saying "Our minds can concoct all sorts of scenarios when we don't want to believe something.  We construct fairy tales...and we accept them."

We get our first look at Tao Okamato as Chiyoh, the ward of Lady Murasaki from Harris' novel Hannibal Rising.  "Hannibal took someone from you," Chiyoh says to Will.  "Are you here to take someone from him?"  Will then asks Chiyoh if she knows where Hannibal is.

Next, we see Hannibal about to speak to an audience of art patrons before a projected image of the William Blake painting The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun, followed by fleeting images of Bedelia anxiously descending a staircase, Will in a graveyard, Hannibal shaking hands with the art patrons, Will being escorted down a set of steps by a rifle-wielding Chiyoh, Hannibal creepily touching Bedelia's shoulder, and Hannibal doing research from a series of ancient medical books.

Lastly, we see Will confront Hannibal in a set of darkened catacombs.  "Hannibal," says Will, "I forgive you."  Hannibal pauses for a moment before turning to leave.

If you'd like to see the trailer, you can check it out below thanks to the official Hannibal YouTube account.  Please note, however, that the audio only plays in the right audio channel.

Hannibal is expected to return for Season 3 on NBC sometime this summer.

X-MEN: APOCALYPSE Casts New Cyclops, Storm & Jean Grey

So, does this make them X-Men: Second Class?

X-Men: Apocalypse director Bryan Singer revealed late yesterday that he has found his new, younger versions of Cyclops, Storm and Jean Grey in the form of Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp and Sophie Turner, respectively.  The news came from Singer's official Twitter account with the following post:

Turner, 18, is the best known of the three, thanks to her role of Sansa Stark on the HBO series Game of Thrones.  This will be her first major film role, although she has appeared in the movies Another Me, Barely Lethal and Alone.

Sheridan, 18, has appeared in the films The Tree of Life, Mud, Last Man Standing and Dark Places.  His future films include The Forger, Last Days in the Desert and Scouts vs. Zombies.

Shipp, 23, is best known for her role as Aaliyah Haughton in the TV movie Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B.  She's also appeared in the movies Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel and Straight Outta Compton.  Her television roles include House of Anubis, Ray Donovan and the soap opera Days of Our Lives.

The three will take over the roles from Halle Berry, Famke Janssen and James Marsden, who previously appeared in X-Men, X2: X-Men United, X-Men: The Last Stand and last summer's X-Men: Days of Future Past.  

X-Men: Apocalypse is scheduled to arrive in theaters on May 27, 2016.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

SUPERGIRL Casts Melissa Benoist as Kara Zor-El

We have ourselves a Girl of Steel.

Entertainment Weekly reports that the upcoming CBS series Supergirl has cast Melissa Benoist in the lead role of DC Comics' Supergirl/Kara Zor-El/Kara Danvers.  The character is officially described as "Born on the planet Krypton, Kara Zor-El escaped amid its destruction years ago. Since arriving on Earth, she’s been hiding the powers she shares with her famous cousin. But now at age 24, she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be."

The 26-year-old Benoist is best known as Marley Rose on the FOX series Glee, but has also appeared on episodes of Homeland, The Good Wife, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Blue Bloods.  She will also appear in the upcoming 2015 Danny Collins.

At the TCA press tour earlier this month, CBS Entertainment chairman Nina Tassler informed critics that Supergirl will be a crime procedural.  "The beauty of it is now with shows like Good Wife and Madam Secretary, you can have serialized story elements woven into a case of the week," she said.  "She’s a crime solver, so she’s going to have to solve a crime. She’s going to get a bad guy."

Tassler also described the CBS version of Supergirl as "a very strong, independent young woman.  She’s coming into her own.  She’s dealing with family issues.  She’s dealing with work issues.  It’s a female empowerment story. If you look at the strong female characters we have on the air, it really is resonant of that…We’re big feminists.  It’s her intellect, it’s her skill, it’s her smarts.  It’s all of those elements.  It’s not just her strength, which she does have."

Created in 1959 by Otto Binder, Al Plastino and Curt Swan, Supergirl first appeared in Action Comics (vol.1) #252 as Kara Zor-El, the daughter of Jor-El's brother Zor-El and cousin to Superman. She was the last survivor of Argo City, which had survived the destruction of the planet Krypton until meteorites of Green Kryptonite penetrated Argo City's protective barrier. Sent to Earth by Zor-El to be raised by her cousin, Kara acquired powers similar to Superman and adopted the secret identity of Linda Lee, a young girl at Midvale Orphanage. 

In the current New 52 continuity, Kara's ship lands as part of a meteor shower in Smallville, Kansas, but burrows through the Earth and emerges in Siberia. Kara has no memory of the destruction of Krypton and believes herself to be dreaming. The military tracks her arrival, and a group of American soldiers in mechanized suits immediately attack her. Her powers start emerging as the fight goes on and terrify the surprised Kara. Superman arrives after she defeats the soldiers and tries to convince Kara that he is her cousin, but Kara, still believing that only three days have passed since she last saw baby Kal, accuses him of being an imposter and attacks him. Eventually, Kara accepts that Krypton has been destroyed and that Superman is indeed her grown-up cousin.

This will be the second time Supergirl has been depicted in live-action television, after Laura Vandervoort on the WB/CW series Smallville. Previously, Helen Slater portrayed the character in the 1984 film Supergirl that was a spinoff from the Superman films starring Christopher Reeve. The character has also appeared a number of times in animation, including Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited (voiced by Nicholle Tom), and the Super Best Friends Forever DC Nation animated shorts (voiced by Nicole Sullivan).

Presumably, Supergirl will debut on CBS sometime in September or October.

Anthony Mackie Discusses CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR

One of the best things about last summer's Captain America: The Winter Soldier was the introduction of Anthony Mackie as The Falcon/Sam Wilson.  And thankfully, Mackie will return for the next film, Captain America: Civil War, based on the Marvel Comics limited series Civil War by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven.

I Am Rogue spoke with Mackie about the third Captain America film, which covered topics like Mackie's familiarity with Civil War, Robert Downey's Jr.'s involvement, a possible new costume for The Falcon, and more.  Here are some of the highlights...

I Am Rogue: Have you read the graphic novel Civil War by Mark Millar and artist Steven McNiven?

Anthony Mackie: I have. You know, I'm not sure how close it will stay because I haven't read anything. I just found out literally this week. I haven't gotten a script or an outline. I don't know how much of it I'm going to be in. I have no idea how they are going to use me. But you know, the Civil War comic book, there is so much there. I don't know how they are going to condense it and make it into a movie because it is a civil war. It's epic! Look at the way it's going now when they announced Phase 3, with Black Panther and Dr. Strange coming into the fold. I have no idea what they are going to do with this movie. I just know that Cap 3 has to be better than Cap 2. So I know Cap 3 is going to be mind-blowing.

IAR: Were you excited when you heard that Black Panther would be introduced in Captain America: Civil War?

Mackie: I was. I was very, very excited. When we were shooting Cap 2 I would always have conversations with them about Black Panther because I wanted to stress the importance of that character to the movie going populous. I couldn't be happier that they cast Chadwick (Boseman). He's a remarkable young man. I've known him off and on for over ten years now. I first met him in '98 at Howard (University) down in D.C. I've only known him from a far. But the more I've heard of him from people who are in his inner circle, the more I've been proud of the fact that someone who did the work, and did their due diligence, is being rewarded at a rate like this in his career because he truly deserves it.

IAR: How important do you think it was for Marvel to get Robert Downey Jr. to star in Captain America: Civil War?

Mackie: It's huge! It's funny, I've met Robert a few times and I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know what he would be like because he is such a mega star and has had so many phases of his career. I have to say, he couldn't be more of a down to Earth, fun to be around, cool, smart person. Every time you talk to him, it's just mind-blowing the stories he tells, and the way he looks at this Iron Man phenomenon and how it's helping him in the third phase of his career to open doors to do projects that he has wanted to do forever but couldn't. The great thing about these Marvel movies is that everybody in the world sees them. Not just everybody in California and New York, everybody in the world! That’s something that an actor can only dream of having that opportunity.

IAR: Will the Falcon's costume look similar to how it did in Winter Soldier, or more like his classic costume from the comic books?

Mackie: I want my bird, man. I want my bird! The thing is, you know I've been emailing with people over at Marvel. I've putting it out there in the ethos that I'm going to have a new and improved costume and come out all flashy in spandex. So I'm hoping that I get a new and improved costume. That's my whole thing. I've just been saying it, hoping that they'll read it and say, "Alright, we have to give Anthony a new costume." Please, dress me up in spandex!

IAR: Finally, did you shoot a scene for Avengers: Age of Ultron? Will you be appearing in that sequel before audiences see you in Civil War?

Mackie: I hope. At this point, I have not. I hope, I hope, I hope, I hope. They're doing reshoots and that's why I'm letting them know I'm available. So whatever weekend they want me there, I'll fly myself out and shoot whatever scene they want me in. Even if it's like, "Oh man, it's Iron Man and Hulk." But I heard today in one of the interviews that someone thought I was in Ant-Man. I hope so! I hope I'm in Ant-Man. I hope I'm in Hulk 3, I hope I'm in Thor 3, and Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Me and Groot can boogie!

Following the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, the collective governments of the world pass an act designed to regulate all superhuman activity. This polarizes opinion amongst the Avengers, causing two factions to side with Iron Man (Downey Jr.) or Captain America (Evans), which causes an epic battle between former allies.

Captain America: Civil War is scheduled to open in theaters on May 6, 2016.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

DANGEROUS HABITS 09: "The Saint of Last Resorts Part 2" is Up!

"I'm John Constantine.  I do stupid in spades."

My friend and co-host Karen Lindsay and I are back from the long hiatus with the next episode of Dangerous Habits: The Constantine Podcast!

We give our thoughts on "The Saint of Last Resorts, Part 2," the ninth episode of NBC's Constantine, including things like picking up with the Part 1 cliffhanger, Constantine's brilliant "Hail Mary" plan, Buzzkill Manny's disapproval said plan, Karen's Pazuzu Tortilla poisoning, the rather dimwitted Resurrection Crusade, the Mexican SWAT team's tactleneck sweaters, why the earlier timeslot doesn't matter, the Hellblazer comic storyline "Hard Time," Voting for Julio, the easily defeated Original Tempter from the Garden of Eden, how demons function on the mortal plane, why Zed is better at prison breaks than Chas, topless nuns, why Anne Marie has no reason to criticize Constantine about doing things for attention, listener email, podcast crushes on Karen, options to move Constantine to another network, and more!

You can check out the episode HERE and for those of you who use iTunes, we're already available HERE, so please subscribe and rate us! If direct download MP3s are more your thing, you can find those HERE as well. In addition, we have our Dangerous Habits show page on Facebook, which you can check out HERE. And we're also on Twitter using the account @DangerousHabit5 because some bloody arse already claimed @DangerousHabits.

Be sure to share these with all of your friends, enemies, demons, angels, sorcerers, ghosts, whomever, and help build our new podcast into something special. Oh, and send us your thoughts about the show or the podcast via Twitter and Facebook. As soon as we get some more, we'll be reading them on the podcast.

Don't forget to watch the next episode, "Quid Pro Quo," this Friday on NBC, then keep checking iTunes, Libsyn and the Southgate Media Group website for our next Constantine review!

Marvel Universe to Merge with Ultimate Universe in Semi-Reboot

It's not a reboot.  Well...not completely, anyway.

The Marvel Universe, a.k.a. the 616 Universe, is coming to an least as we currently know it.  During a live press event held at Midtown Comics yesterday, Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso and Senior Vice President of Publishing and Executive Editor Tom Brevoort confirmed that Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic's upcoming eight-issue limited series Secret Wars will represent the end of both the Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe.

The story kicks off in Secret Wars #0, a Free Comic Book Day offering that features two worlds going in and one or no worlds coming out because of the "Incursion" event Hickman has been exploring in his Avengers and New Avengers titles.  The Ultimate Universe will fold into the 616 Universe and "Once we hit Secret Wars #1, there is no Marvel Universe, Ultimate Universe, or any other.  It's all Battleworld," said Brevoort.

"We are taking the best and biggest pieces of [Marvel history] and seeing how easily they coexist with one another," said Alonso, responding to a press question about this being a reboot.  "We don't expect all our moves to make everyone happy, but we think it will make for a really fascinating read through Secret Wars and beyond."  Alonso also teased the possibility of bringing back dead characters.  "If we wanted to resurrect Gwen Stacy," he said, smiling, "this would be the place to do it."

In addition to the long-running Incursion threat, Marvel has made a number of creative moves in recent months that hinted at a possible continuity reboot, such as the murders of Wolverine, Namor the Sub-Mariner and The Watcher, Nick Fury taking over for The Watcher as a character called The Unseen, the Ultimate Universe being featured in The All-New X-Men, the cancellation of Fantastic Four, various Spider-Men and Women from multiple universes appearing in the "Spider-Verse" event, and others.

Alonso confirmed that Marvel will launch a "wealth" of new series, both ongoing and minis, during Secret Wars.

"All the bits and pieces all the little sections of earths within incursion zones, all pieces that have remained, will be fused into a gigantic organism which will be Battleworld," said Brevoort.  "And this will set up all the building blocks of the New Marvel Universe.  Every world we’re going to introduce you to, every piece is a building block for the MU moving forward.  None of these are Elseworlds or What Ifs, they are not set in the past or future, and not in alternate reality.  This is the reality of the Marvel Universe."

"Every creative team has known this was coming," said Brevoort.  "We've had a line of demarcation in the sand.  Get your most immediate business done by this point because we're going into Secret Wars and it's going to have an impact on everything.  Most of those creators are working on books during Secret Wars. They may not be exactly the same book. There may not be a Guardians of the Galaxy book, but there's probably going to be something that involves some bit of that business, or stuff that may be done in Guardians in the future.  Everything is going to kind of change and shift as we go.  We're not entirely ready yet to map it all out for you."

Secret Wars #0 will arrive in comic stores for Free Comic Book Day on May 2, 2015.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Robbie Amell & Victor Garber Discuss THE FLASH's Firestorm

Get ready for more of the nuclear man.

With little glimpses of Ronnie Raymond in a few episodes of The CW series The Flash, we're about to learn a lot more about what happened to him in Episode 13, "The Nuclear Man."  The episode features Robbie Amell as Ronnie along with Firestorm's other half, Victor Garber as Dr. Martin Stein.

Comic Book Resources spoke with Amell and Garber at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, discussing their characters and teasing what fans might see in the near future.  Here are some of the highlights:

CBR: What's the dynamic like between the two characters? In the comics, there's usually a lot of banter back and forth, often to humorous effect -- how does it play out on the show?

Amell: We haven't gotten to do too many scenes like that yet, but from what we've shot, there's definitely a frustration with each other. We spend a lot [of time] in my head, battling for control. You spend a year that close to somebody, you need some time apart, so I think a little bit of the humor comes from us wanting nothing to do with each other, and being brought back together and having to team up to help out Flash. I'm really excited for future episodes, where we will get to have a little more fun together.

Garber: In my second episode, we come together knowing that we have a responsibility, and we both take that seriously. Frustration happens at first -- where I just say, "You're an idiot, I just want to get out of here" -- but then, as things progress, we realize that we have a responsibility, and we both accept that. From there on, of course, there will be banter and conflicts, which is what makes it fun.

CBR: Viewers haven't seen Martin Stein on screen yet. There's an idea of what the character might be like based on the comics, but Victor, what can you tell us about him on the show?

Garber: He is sort of a reluctant hero. He's somebody who came into this without meaning to, this conjoining experience, and then, when we are finally separated, he's sort of at a loss. He doesn't know quite who he is or what he is. I think it's a process of rediscovering his atoms, and finding himself again. He's a really smart guy who the Flash enlists for help. Barry comes to him, and they have a great meeting. I think he becomes sort of an advisor, mentor guy.

CBR: Robbie, we've seen the character of Ronnie Raymond already be two different things -- in the flashbacks, he has his life together, and then he's gone through a transformation and is definitely lost. Now it looks like he's moving to a third place, a more heroic area, as Firestorm. What's that been like for you, playing a character that in a short time, has had a wide range?

Amell: I got to have my introduction episode, with the flashbacks, quick scenes with Danielle -- all we really wanted to do was establish this relationship between the two of them, so people care when he gets killed trying to save her. The nice thing was, the producers let us have a little freedom with the lines, do our best to flirt and establish this connection on camera.

But most of my character so far has been this schizophrenic homeless guy, who's really nothing like Ronnie Raymond at all. The nice thing is, that character will soon be a thing of the past, and it's back to, like you said, a more heroic version of the first guy you saw. I like that he's a little goofier -- Danielle's character always says he's the only guy that can make her laugh. It's nice to play around with a character that's a little more lighthearted, even after going through all of this transformation.

CBR: Also on the panel, we saw the clearest view yet of the Firestorm costume.

Amell: It's got a lot of evolution to go through. It will definitely evolve. Right now, it just happens to be the wardrobe I was wearing when the splicer gets put on. The splicer is really the only piece of the costume that I think will be consistent, and that'll be a staple. I think the rest of it is interchangeable.

Garber: They're going to have more money next season, so they'll change it. [Laughs]

CBR: Sort of on that note -- obviously, both of these shows have been very successful for The CW, and there's acknowledged talks of further spinoffs. Firestorm has had his own comic several times in the past, has his own name value -- do you have any indication of a future life for the two of you together beyond "The Flash"?

Garber: Honestly, we really don't. Like Greg [Berlanti] was saying, there's a lot of talking going on, and I'm sure that we're part of that, but we're not privy to any of that.

Amell: They don't tell us crap. You guys will probably know before we do.

Garber: Really, I think all will be revealed at the same time, and it will come as a surprise to all of us.

Amell: I was the first person that told Stephen Arrow got picked up, because I happened to see it on Deadline. I called him, and he was like, "What are you talking about?" He had already booked it, they shot the pilot, but the announcement it got picked up, I saw it, I called him -- and then his phone started ringing. Sometimes it goes out to the trades before the closest people to it.

CBR: How soon will viewers see both of you together on The Flash?

Amell: You'll see us in February. The show comes back -- I think it airs five episodes straight without a break, and you'll see us a couple times in there. The episodes are really great for both of our characters, and our combined character. It's really a back story. One of them is called "The Nuclear Man," I believe.

The Flash returns to The CW tonight at 8 p.m. EST.