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Friday, 28 February 2014

New Jurassic World Guest Stars Revealed

Talented performers from The Amazing Spider-Man and Life of Pi sign on for the 2015 sequel.
Deadline has tonight confirmed two new guest stars set to feature amongst the cast of Universal Pictures' 2015 science-fiction adventure film Jurassic World. The fourth instalment in Steven Spielberg's renowned franchise of prehistoric exploits will take place years after the events of Jurassic Park III and (hopefully) serve as an overhaul to the already-jumbled narrative continuity established in the original trilogy.

First up is Vincent D'Onofrio, who will portray the film's currently-unnamed antagonist. D'Onofrio has had an extensive and illustrious career on both the big- and small-screens so far, his most recent appearances including Men In Black: The Series and The Break-Up. Accompanying in a supporting role will be Irrfan Khan, who superhero fans and fantasy fans will most likely recognise for his portrayals of the mysterious Dr. Ratha in The Amazing Spider-Man and adult Pi in Life of Pi respectively. World's headliners at present are Chris Pratt (The LEGO Movie; Guardians of the Galaxy) and Bryce Dallas Howard (As You Like It; Spider-Man 3), but if these casting revelations are anything to go by, director Colin Trevorrow is looking to prioritise a satisfying narrative over an all-star ensemble (and quite right too, if we do say so ourselves).

Jurassic World stampedes into cinemas worldwide on June 12th, 2015.

Doctor Who Experience Re-Launch Announced

A new era of Doctor Who brings with it a rejuvenated Cardiff-based attraction.
Den of Geek have just confirmed that an expansion and regeneration (see what we did there?) of BBC Worldwide's Doctor Who Experience will occur later this year. Scheduled to coincide with the premiere of Peter Capaldi's first season as the eponymous Time Lord, the updated interactive experience will apparently star Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, as well as featuring a number of villains from the BBC science-fiction drama's past and present.

The Experience's new rooms and setpieces will be constructed over a (estimated) period of six weeks, but the attraction's behind-the-scenes exhibition will remain open during the construction process to allow fans to experience the aftermath of the interactive segment. Props and costumes from this year's Season Eight are expected to be added to the exhibition on top of the upgraded narrative, and if and when we hear official details on the nature of the various upcoming alterations, you'll be the first to know right here. Nevertheless, despite the relative ambiguity regarding what's to come for the attraction, we're glad to hear that Steven Moffat and the production team are prepared to tweak even the most inconsequential elements of their narrative universe in order to suit the series' continuity and provide further incentives for fans to travel to the home of the show's ongoing production.

Doctor Who Experience is open now at Porth Teigr, Cardiff Bay, with its rejuvenated interactive walkthrough segment set to be revealed to the public this Autumn.

First The Flash Promotional Image Released

What do you think of the costume?
Meet Grant Gustin's incarnation of DC's speedy hero this Autumn.
The CW have tonight released the first promotional image (left) of their upcoming superhero drama The Flash. A spin-off of the studio's superb series Arrow, this adaptation of yet another DC comic-book character will commence filming on its pilot (i.e. test) episode next week.

Fans of the mother show may recall that the Flash's human alter-ego Barry Allen appeared in Arrow's two-part mid-season finale The Scientist and Three Ghosts last year, played by Glee's Grant Gustin. Well, it's precisely this incarnation of the patience-challenged racer who will serve as the protagonist for the main series, with Gustin set to reprise his role for as long as The CW are willing to produce further episodes and seasons. Barry was out for the count in a coma induced by a supernatural (and super-powering...?) lab accident in Three Ghosts, so we wouldn't be surprised if the pilot picks up with him awakening to reunite with his Central City allies and to begin discovering his newfound abilities. Of most importance for now, though, is this simple, self-resolving question- doesn't Grant look smashing in his modern reinvention of that classic costume, ear-adorning lightning bolt and all?

The Flash will debut on The CW this Autumn.

Minecraft Film Adaptation Announced

As expected, The LEGO Movie has opened the door for a whole host of shameless brand-promoting motion pictures.
Creator Markus Persson has today announced the development of a film adaptation of his hit sandbox video game Minecraft. First launched on PC in 2011 by developer Mojang, the title has amassed an incredible cult following in the two years that have succeeded its worldwide premiere, recently having been ported to Xbox 360, Xbox One and PS4, with a Nintendo WiiU version currently in the works for release later this year.

In truth, this particular project was one that we should have seen coming from a mile off, particularly in light of the ongoing commercial success of The LEGO Movie across the globe. Indeed, motion picture productions based on iconic brands such as Monopoly and Cluedo are already on the cards, so if anything, that a more recent mainstream phenomenon gets its chance to shine in the spotlight should be lightly applauded. At the same time, however, let's hope that the trend doesn't continue for too long, since we'd wager that no one is particularly eager to witness another atrocious blockbuster a la Battleship in the immediate future!

For all the latest news on Minecraft's future iterations on PC and other consoles, as well as further details on the film adaptation itself, keep it On-Screen in the months ahead.

Batman: Arkham 3 Reveal Imminent

A new adventure lies in store for the Dark Knight, courtesy of Rocksteady!
Kotaku have today revealed the existence of promotional materials timed to coincide with an imminent announcement of a new entry in the Batman: Arkham video game franchise. Reportedly dispatched to GameStop stores in the US today, the artwork features the series' bat-shaped logo with a fire-engulfed border, and as is usually the case for such pre-announcement concept art, should mean that a fully-fledged press release from the relevant publisher isn't too far away.

One of the universally acclaimed Batman: Arkham City (2011)'s side missions may in fact allude to the significance of the flaming rendition of the Dark Knight's iconic symbol of nocturnal justice. In a chance encounter with the mysterious watcher Azrael, our hero is informed of a dangerous Prophecy for days to come, involving "events [occurring] that [he] cannot stop", "the warrior who will close the gates of Hell" and, most importantly, the "fires" that will "rage" and "burn" both Gotham and its Caped Crusader. Could it be that such an apocalyptic event awaits us in what seems guaranteed to be Rocksteady's third contribution to their prized saga? Expect to learn the first hints of the truth in just a few short days' time (next week would be our guess!)...

Batman: Arkham Origins- Cold, Cold Heart will retail on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and PC marketplaces this April 22nd.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Call The Midwife Fourth Season Commissioned

We could have called this if we'd been living under a rock, but congrats to Jessica Raine and co all the same!
The Radio Times have today confirmed the commissioning of a fourth season of the BBC's period drama Call The Midwife. Set in the midst of the Second World War, the series focuses on a band of British midwives who must deal with an all-manner of unlikely cases of pregnancy whilst encountering romance, legal disputes and other challenges along the way.

At the heart of Midwife's appeal lies its stellar central cast, and nothing's changed on that front as its first three seasons have progressed. An Adventure In Space And Time's Jessica Raine, Miranda's Miranda Hart and Cemetery Junction's Bryony Hannah are just a select few of the consistently remarkable actresses who headline the show, and it's a safe bet that the vast majority of them will reprise their much-loved roles next year. The Radio Times weren't able to reveal whether a third Christmas Special was in the works for the programme to broadcast later this year, yet the strong ratings for the show's previous festive outings alongside the Beeb's other high-rating seasonal specials (Doctor Who, Mrs Brown's Boys and Strictly) indicates that its return to a Christmas Day slot will be all-but-guaranteed.

Call The Midwife continues on BBC One this Sunday, March 2nd and will be back for a fourth season of medical hijinks in January 2015.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Teaser Trailer Première Date Announced

Michael Bay sets out to ruin another classic childhood franchise this Summer.
Paramount Pictures have today announced a release date for the first teaser trailer for their upcoming live-action fantasy movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Directed by Michael "Destroyed Transformers" Bay, this reboot follows several attempts to revive its franchise, including a mediocre CGI animated effort (TMNT) released way back in 2007.

By placing it within the series of trailers attached to next month's Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Paramount appears to be aiming to piggy-back off of the success of Marvel Studios' latest record-breaking blockbuster contribution, and the studio are guaranteed to structure their first preview in a manner which conforms to the preferences of superhero followers. That Megan Fox is virtually the reboot's highest-profile star speaks wonders for its potential to flop harder than The Lone Ranger, although perhaps having The LEGO Movie's Will Arnett (aka Batman) along will soften the blow somewhat.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will sneak into cinemas worldwide on August 8th, with the teaser trailer set to launch alongside Captain America: The Winter Soldier on March 28th.

Stella Fourth Season Commissioned

Ruth Jones' "tidy" Welsh sitcom will be back for a new run in 2015.
Sky have today confirmed the commissioning of a fifth season of their hit comedy-drama Stella. Set in Wales, the series stars Gavin & Stacey's Ruth Jones in the lead role of its eponymous protagonist, along with Doctor Who's Catrin Stewart, Cemetery Junction's Steve Spiers and The Office's Patrick Baladi (no sign of James Corden yet in any greater capacity than a cameo, but at least there's a further opportunity now!).

Suffice to say that this particular effort from Jones only qualifies as "bang tidy" for a certain viewer demographic, yet it has evidently sustained its popularity on Sky's flagship broadcaster enough to last nearly half a decade. What with the seemingly weekly cancellations of countless other great programmes, if nothing else, it's reassuring to know that subtler and often more engaging projects such as this are being kept afloat for future instalments. The current run of Stella is broadcasting weekly on Friday nights, with a bumper-length Christmas Special also planned for the end of 2014. For all the latest news on Ruth Jones' work and industry developments on the small-screen front in general, keep it On-Screen in the weeks ahead...

Stella continues with the sixth episode of Season Three tomorrow, February 28th, returns for a Christmas Special this Christmas (bet you didn't see that one coming, eh?) and will air its fourth season on Sky1 in Spring 2015.

Muppets Most Wanted 'Sequel Song' Trailer Released

In the words of Animal, "SEQUEL!" Seriously, is it March 28th yet?
Walt Disney Pictures have just unveiled a new trailer (below) for their upcoming comedy blockbuster Muppets Most Wanted. The sequel to 2012's The Muppets will pick up directly after the original motion picture's narrative, as Jim Henson's band of iconic puppets find themselves once again at a loose end and must set out on a world tour in order to resurrect their popularity across the globe.

If this potentially hilarious follow-up's marketing campaign has left you wanting for teases of its musical numbers, then want no more. Most Wanted's opening song is titled Sequel Song, and as you might expect on the basis of its name, its lyrics are about as metatextual as you can possibly get. Sequelitis, extras, the industry's reliance on franchises and rehashed plots are just a few of the relevant issues that go under the radar here in a brilliantly satirical manner, ensuring that the next month or so will prove to be one of the most difficult periods to endure yet. We'd truly love to proclaim that it's time to meet the Muppets, but there's a way to go yet. Our solution entails two simple-yet-crucial words: Muppets Marathon. You're welcome.

Muppets Most Wanted capers into UK cinemas nationwide on March 28th.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The Defenders Production Details Announced

Take three guesses at the filming location for Netflix's array of superhero TV series and you'll get it!
Marvel Studios and Netflix have this afternoon confirmed several production details for their upcoming collaboration on a variety of TV video-on-demand projects. Based loosely on Marvel's classic comic-book series The Defenders, this franchise of five TV shows will comprise Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist, the titular heroes of which will then team-up for a mini-series adaptation of Defenders itself.

It shouldn't come as a huge surprise for seasoned fans of Marvel's big-screen and small-screen efforts to learn that each of these much-anticipated sagas will be filmed in Manhattan, New York. More enticing still is the news that each of the aforementioned runs based on solitary heroes will comprise 13 one-hour episodes, bringing the cumulative episode total (when we include the 4-8 episodes of Defenders too) to around 56-60 episodes of no-holds-barred super-powered entertainment. All being well, we can live in hope that the various narratives can be integrated seamlessly into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Agents of SHIELD's storyline has done recently, and better yet, perhaps a cameo or two from these B-list comic-book characters in future big-screen outings won't be out of the question either...

Daredevil will commence shooting this Summer ahead of a Spring 2015 première on Netflix.

More Game of Thrones Season Four Teaser Clips Début (UPDATE)

40 days to go until the beloved TV adaptation commences its latest run...
HBO Studios have today released two new preview clips of the imminent fourth season of their fantasy drama Game of Thrones. The ten-episode run picks up soon after the events of the Red Wedding, with Robb and Catelyn Stark slaughtered and House Lannister rapidly preparing for another marriage ceremony like no other.

Be warned, there isn't much in the way of new content to be gleaned from these brief teaser videos (below). The first focuses on Danaerys, her faithful servant Jorah Mormont and her strengthening dragon offspring, while the second features a mysterious direwolf and investigates the situations of the remaining Stark children. On top of those, we've placed a stellar fan-made trailer for Season Four at the bottom of this article- backed by Lorde's incredible cover of Everybody Wants To Rule The World, this stunningly professional preview can lay claim to the title of the finest trailer for the new run we've yet seen on our screens- HBO, take heed!

Game of Thrones returns to Sky Atlantic for its fourth season of visceral confrontations and dark secrets on April 7th.
UPDATE: Entertainment Weekly have also revealed the iconic promotional image set to adorn all Season Four-related printed marketing material from today onwards. Featuring the season's tagline "Valar Morghulis" (all men must die, apparently) and a rather ominous approaching crow, the poster can be found below!

Marvel News: Amazing Spider-Man Future, X-Men: Days Teased

All the latest on The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and beyond, plus a new Future Past teaser!
The superhero film industry continues to march on in its quest of cinematic domination, not least through its frontrunners' seemingly daily marketing updates regarding its latest big-screen instalment. Yesterday saw the release of a bunch of new details on The Amazing Spider-Man blockbuster franchise and a Vine mini-teaser trailer for this Summer's crossover-sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Without further (or should that be future? No, of course it shouldn't, we take it back.) ado, then, here's our round-up of everything that's hot right now in the world of Marvel's secondary studios:
  • THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 3 DIRECTOR ANNOUNCED- Sony Pictures confirmed last night that Marc Webb will direct the third motion picture instalment in their rebooted Spider-Man franchise. With this reinstatement, Webb has become the first director since Christopher Nolan to helm all three instalments of a superhero trilogy, and although details of the cast are still rightly under wraps, Andrew Garfield has confirmed that he's contracted to reprise his role as Peter Parker and his wall-crawling alter-ego for (at least) this high-octane climactic outing. The Amazing Spider-Man 3 hits cinemas on June 10th, 2016.
  • VENOM & THE SINISTER SIX RELEASE SCHEDULE TEASED- Amy Pascal (the co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment) moreover revealed the studio's intentions for its franchise's immediate future. "We are expanding the Spider-Man universe into The Sinister Six and Venom", she said, "So [...] we [will] have Spider-Man movies every year". By the sounds of it, The Amazing Spider-Man 3's 2016 release will precede a 2017 launch for The Sinister Six, a 2018 début for The Amazing Spider-Man 4 (already officially confirmed and dated) and a 2019 première for Venom, all of which will ensure that Sony pit their one and only owned Marvel character against Marvel Studios and Fox for at least another five years to come (for better or for worse, we suppose)!
  • X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST VINE TEASER RELEASED- Director Bryan Singer has unveiled a six-second teaser clip (a YouTube version of which can be found below) for 20th Century Fox's upcoming ensemble flick X-Men: Days of Future Past. This promotional update doubtless implies that a full new trailer is on the way, and as soon as it's announced and/or has landed, you'll be the first to know right here. X-Men: Days of Future Past assembles in UK cinemas nationwide this May 22nd.
For all the latest news, reviews and features on Marvel Studios, Sony Pictures and 20th Century Fox's upcoming superhero film releases, keep it On-Screen in the days ahead!

Being Human USA Cancelled

Another one bites the dust- the US version of Toby Whithouse's fantasy drama is no more.
SyFy have today announced that their fantasy drama Being Human USA will not return for a fifth season later this year. A remake of Toby Whithouse's BBC Three series of the same name, this particular incarnation of the show starred Sam Witwer (Smallville, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed), Sam Huntington (Fanboys) and Meaghan Rath (Cyberbully).

To its credit, the project amassed a considerable cult following amongst its North American (SyFy) and Canadian (Space) audiences in its four years on air, even if it didn't go down with quite such a storm when it was ported over here in the midst of the UK version's ongoing run. Once our Being Human had bit the proverbial wolf-shaped bullet, though, even the show's domestic fandom appeared to become more welcoming of its American port in light of it being the only surviving version of Whithouse's marvellous creation. All good things must come to an end, it seems, and six years on from its début on BBC Three in 2008, if nothing else we can celebrate the endurance of a franchise which could easily have been lost amongst the troves of identikit fantasy productions that were produced before and during its remarkable televisual reign.

For all the latest news on UK and US TV commissions, cancellations and developments, keep it On-Screen in the weeks ahead.

Ripper Street Third Season Commissioned

Your cries have been heard- Ripper Street returns on Amazon Prime this year.
The BBC and Amazon have today announced the commissioning of a third season of the former's period detective drama Ripper Street. Axed by the Beeb in December 2013 after its second run amassed underwhelming viewing figures, the show will make its presence known once more via a timed Video-On-Demand release on Amazon Prime and subsequently a televised broadcast on BBC One.

In case you hadn't heard (as was the case for this writer until now), Amazon Prime is the online retailer's new name for their Lovefilm service, and not only will it receive the third season exclusively for a few months, but the service additionally holds the rights to offer both Seasons One and Two of the show. Filming for the next run of dastardly cases will commence in May, with the majority of Ripper Street's lead stars expected to return in some capacity and guest stars yet to be announced. Although the news doesn't exactly solve the BBC's increasing tendency to axe blockbuster dramas in their prime (one only needs to seek out Being Human or The Hour for evidence of this concerning trend), it at least signals a step in the right direction for a broadcasting corporation which too frequently places emphasis on its comedies and its so-called 'talent' programmes...

Ripper Street continues with a new season of crime-fighting escapades on Amazon Prime this Winter, with a BBC One broadcast set to follow in Spring 2015.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Batman: Arkham Origins- Cold, Cold Heart DLC Trailer Released

The Dark Knight faces off against Mr Freeze for the first time this Spring.
Warner Brothers Montreal have today unveiled the first full trailer for their upcoming downloadable narrative expansion of their 2013 open-world action-adventure title Batman: Arkham Origins. Titled Cold, Cold Heart, the DLC expansion pits the Caped Crusader in a deadly battle with Victor Fries, aka his soon-to-be long-term adversary Mr Freeze, and gives players the opportunity to don the XC (Extreme Conditions) Bat-suit in due course.

For those who've rightly tried to erase the memory of Origins from their minds, just as a reminder, this was a prequel to Rocksteady's critically lauded Batman: Arkham Asylum and its 2011 successor Arkham City. Sadly, WB Montreal's sophomore outing was a major disappointment by comparison, its narrative lacking in the dramatic tension of the first two games and its open-world seeming curiously sparse when placed alongside the dense planes created by Rocksteady just a few short years before. Word has it that Rocksteady are hard at work on a fully-fledged sequel to City for release later this year, so hope yet resides for the franchise's redemption, but right now, we'll live in (ambitious) hope that this DLC can be met with anything other than a cold reception (sorry).

Batman: Arkham Origins- Cold, Cold Heart glides onto Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and PC marketplaces on April 22nd.

Shrek 5 Teased

It appears that Shrek still has a way to go until his Happily Ever After!
Jeffrey Katzenberg has just revealed that a fifth instalment in the Shrek film franchise may soon enter the works. The series appeared to reach a natural conclusion in 2010 with its fourth outing, Shrek Forever After (which earned itself an underwhelming 3* score at On-Screen at the time), but it turns out that you can't keep a 'good' (read: cash-hoarding) franchise down for particularly long.

Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Entertainment, had this to say to Variety on the brewing project: "We like to let [the films] have a little bit of time to rest. But I think you can be confident that we'll have another chapter in the Shrek series. We're not finished, and more importantly, neither is he." His words come in the wake of Merlin Entertainment's announcement yesterday that Shrek: A Far, Far Away Adventure will open in County Hall and other venues, indicating that as Warner Brothers' classic Harry Potter series makes a resurgence with spin-off films and interactive global attractions in the years to come, so too will perhaps DreamWorks' best-loved saga of fantasy movies be around for a fair while yet!

Shrek: A Far, Far Away Adventure will début at London's County Hall in 2015.

Godzilla Theatrical Trailer Released

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Taylor-Johnson headline this potent franchise reboot.
Legendary Pictures have today released a full theatrical trailer for their upcoming fantasy thriller Godzilla. Set to launch in the midst of this year's Summer of Film blockbuster season, the latest remake of the classic Japanese monster franchise will star Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston, Kick-Ass' Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Avengers: Age of Ultron's Elizabeth Olsen.

How's it looking at present? Well, readers can find out for themselves by clicking the Play button on the preview clip (below), but suffice to say that it's a tad difficult to call how this one will turn out. Prometheus, Star Trek Into Darkness and Pacific Rim are all prime examples of Summer blockbusters which prioritized special effects and computer-generated imagery over narrative integrity, leading to them producing a mediocre taste in their respective viewership's mouths. Perhaps Godzilla can buck the trend, yet our judgement must naturally be reserved until we've experienced the final product as a whole.

Godzilla crashes into cinemas worldwide on May 16th.

The Michael McIntyre Chat Show Première Date Announced

Michael McIntyre (credit BBC/Hat Trick)Everyone's favourite sprightly comedian chats with Lily Allen, Alan Sugar and more next month...
The BBC have today announced the airdate of the first episode of their upcoming talk show The Michael McIntyre Chat Show. Hosted by (and we bet you won't have seen this one coming) comedian and Britain's Got Talent judge Michael McIntyre, the programme's first season will comprise of six one-hour instalments, broadcasting on Monday evenings so as to avoid competition with the likes of Graham Norton, Alan Carr or Jonathan Ross over the weekend.

First up on the slate of guests in the series are Lily Allen, Lord Alan Sugar and Sir Terry Wogan. Presumably each of these British icons will be on hand to promote an upcoming release in one form or another, but for now, all we have got confirmed from the BBC Press Office is that Allen is doing the rounds for her new single Air Balloon. Short of a drastic alteration to the traditional chat show format, expect a live performance of the song (and perhaps her dazzling seasonal cover of Keane's Somewhere Only We Know, if we're lucky?) to round off proceedings as well. More of McIntyre's guests will be announced in due course, and you'll be the first to know right here when they're made official.

The Michael McIntyre Chat Show débuts on BBC One this March 10th.

Glee 100th Episode Setlist Announced

A momentous occasion requires a momentous celebration- check out the full song list!
Fox have this week announced the songs which are set to feature in the 100th episode of their musical comedy Glee. Set to return on Sky1 next month, the show took a mid-season hiatus over the Christmas holidays in order for its execs to map out the remainder of its fifth season and its final run accordingly after the tragic death of Cory Monteith last Summer.

The two-hour episode (split over two weeks) doesn't carry a title just yet, but on the plus side, we know that its premise is based around Sue Sylvester's election to permanently close the Glee club, leading to a final nostalgic retrospective from Will and the gang on the good times before the show moves to New York for the remainder of its six-season storyline. The setlist (the majority of which fans voted for themselves) is looking mighty impressive so far, as you'll see below:

  • Keep Holding On- Puck (originally performed by Avril Lagine)
  • Valerie- Santana and Brittany (originally performed by Amy Winehouse)
  • Defying Gravity- Rachel and Kurt (originally performed by Idina Menzel)
  • Raise Your Glass- Brittany and April (originally performed by Pink)
  • Toxic- Santana, Brittany and Quinn (originally performed by Britney Spears)
  • Happy- Holly, April, Will, Mercedes and Blaine (originally performed by Pharrell Williams)
  • Party All The Time- Holly (originally performed by Eddie Murphy)
  • Total Eclipse of the Heart- Will and April (originally performed by Bonnie Tyler)
  • Loser Like Me- Blaine, Artie, Sam and Tina (originally performed by Glee's cast)
  • Be Okay- Rachel and Santana (originally performed by Ingrid Michaelson)
  • I Am Changing- Mercedes and Kurt (originally performed by Jennifer Hudson)
  • Just Give Me A Reason- Quinn and Puck (originally performed by Pink)
  • Don't Stop Believing- Rachel, Blaine, Will, Artie and Tina (originally performed by Journey and Glee's cast)
Glee returns to Sky1 in March, and the 100th episode of the programme will commence broadcasting via Fox on March 18th.

Assassin's Creed V Press Release Leaked?

Rumour has it that the fifth full instalment in the annual franchise will be set in London!
Entertainment website Uproxx has today unveiled what appears to be a leaked press release from the shrouded-in-secrecy marketing campaign for Ubisoft Montreal's currently unannounced action-adventure title Assassin's Creed V. The alleged leak follows Ubisoft Toronto exec Jade Raymond's revelation yesterday that the next instalment in the annual video game franchise will not take place in Japan's Samurai Age but instead in her favourite (still undisclosed) era of human history.

Don't take this as official or genuine by any means just yet, but here's how the supposed upcoming press release reads at Uproxx:

"Today, Ubisoft announced Assassin’s Creed® V, the next major release in the award winning, best-selling franchise. Assassin’s Creed V serves as the introduction to an all new hero, setting and gameplay mechanics as the Assassin’s Creed franchise hits a new era.
Assassin’s Creed V has been in the development cycle for almost three years, at Ubisoft Montreal and Ubisoft Toronto with development support from Ubisoft studios at Annecy, Quebec and Montpellier. Assassin’s Creed V will release on the PlayStation®4 from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC. The game will release worldwide on November 4, 2014.
In the events of the ongoing Industrial Revolution, Assassin’s Creed V follows the story of Samuel Fey, as he enters the Assassin Order in a time of change and Templar rule. Fey is a successful and respectful entrepreneur, who works outside the corrupt law to guarantee the security of his own and others’ futures. Taking place during the closing years of the Industrial Revolution in Victorian London, players will explore all new locales as they uncover the truth behind the hidden ongoing rebellion.
Assassin’s Creed V is the turning point for the franchise, featuring completely revised stealth and combat mechanics, powered by the next-generation Ubisoft AnvilX engine and all-new gameplay features and systems. While Assassin’s Creed acts as Ubisoft’s rescope for the franchise, it maintains the key touch points that the series is built upon."

If this particular report does turn out to be true, then one question that will arise as a result is just what will become of the Creed franchise on current-generation consoles. Well, rumours are abound that another instalment is set in Russia (teased by the Assassin's Creed: Initiates Facebook page), and after reports emerged last year that there would be separate current-gen and next-gen outings for the series in 2014, it's perhaps possible that the former of the two versions will in fact be set in Russia rather than Victorian London. It's worth taking this all with a substantial helping of salt until official word comes straight from the horse's mouth at Ubisoft, yet we have to admit, this does all sound relatively credible and could be the start of a promising future for the still-successful video game saga.

Assassin's Creed will return for a new instalment this Autumn.

RIP Harold Ramis (1944-2014)

Our brief tribute to the star and writer of Ghostbusters, who passed away yesterday.
We are immensely saddened to report the passing of Harold Ramis. The American performer, director and writer died yesterday at the age of 69 after a resurgence of his autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis, an illness with which he had struggled since the Summer of 2010.

With such a long and illustrious career behind him, perhaps the greatest challenge of reporting this tragic event is knowing quite where to start. Harold is undoubtedly best known by a generation of science-fiction fans for starring in the 1984 cult classic Ghostbusters, penning its screenplay alongside Dan Aykroyd and contributing to the various sequels and spin-offs which spawned in the years that followed its release. In all honesty, though, that franchise is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of this late great's filmography, his later appearances in productions such as Year One, Knocked Up, Second City Television and Orange County in a variety of capacities across a range of mediums speaking wonders as to his infinite talents and the terrible loss which the entertainment industry has suffered today with his death.

I can't confess to have seen Ghostbusters as of yet, but will provide my definitive thoughts on the film and in particular Ramis' performance in the weeks ahead here at On-Screen. For now, my thoughts go out to Harold's family and his close friends in this incredibly challenging period of grief and necessary cherishing of the time they spent in his company. As a final tribute to Harold, here's a trailer from the marketing campaign for the 1984 original that briefly showcases this lost legend's unparalleled actorial talents.

LEGO The Hobbit Release Date, DLC Campaign Announced

"You'll have a tale or two to tell when you come back..."
Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment and TT Games have today announced the UK release date of the latest instalment in their LEGO platforming video game franchise. Titled LEGO The Hobbit, the spiritual successor to 2012's LEGO The Lord of the Rings will depict the events of both An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug and boast an updated version of its predecessor's open-world Middle-Earth.

That's not all, however: in addition to the 16 levels covering the storylines of the first two films in Peter Jackson's trilogy of The Lord of the Rings prequels, developers TT confirmed that a downloadable campaign of extra levels will be utilised to adapt the events of this December's There & Back Again onto the small-screen. In other words, classic setpieces of J.R.R. Tolkien's original novel The Hobbit such as the fall of the villainous Smaug, the White Council's reclamation of Dol Gudur by force and the momentous Battle of Five Armies are still on the way to the LEGOverse, albeit in a slightly condensed and belated form. With any luck, each of the locations included in the DLC pack will be integrated into the already-extensive free-roaming experience that allows players to explore Middle-Earth's locales in all of their shining glory.

LEGO The Hobbit journeys onto PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo WiiU, Nintendo 3DS and PC this April 11th- check out a new gameplay preview from VG 24-7 below.

South Park: The Stick of Truth UK Censorship Announced

Cartman and the gang's quest for the fabled Stick of Truth will be two minutes shorter here.
Ubisoft Entertainment have today announced the censorship of over two minutes of gameplay content from their upcoming RPG South Park: The Stick of Truth. Based on Matt Stone and Trey Parker's iconic Comedy Central animated series, this current-gen exclusive title has undergone a taxing development cycle, but after countless delays, the product recently went gold and is confirmed to release next month.

When it does ship in the UK, though, seven 20-second mini-games will be omitted from the main campaign. These sections apparently included images involving abortion and anal probes (yes, really!), and as such were censored by the British Board of Film Classification before they could be displayed in the UK version of the game. In their place will be a black screen with white text describing what would have occurred in these controversial miniaturised interactive sequences. Not since the infamous 'No Russian' level in 2009's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 have we seen such an explicit alteration to the presentation of supposedly inappropriate content in a video game, yet even if it would have attracted criticism from some quarters of the British gaming community, surely it's up to us as to whether we desire to see said sequences or not? Either way, in this instance the choice is being taken out of our hands altogether. It seems that YouTube will provide the only means through which we can experience the 2 minutes and 40 seconds that our copies of Stick of Truth lack!

South Park: The Stick of Truth retails on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC this March 7th.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Ted 2 Lead Stars Revealed

Seth McFarlane's greatest creation since Family Guy makes his comeback next year.
Deadline have today confirmed the lead stars of Universal Pictures' upcoming comedy film Ted 2. The direct successor to Seth McFarlane's surprisingly competent 2012 flick Ted was announced last year, although there's still a while yet until we see it in theatres come the Summer of Film season in 2015.

The first casting announcement (beyond McFarlane's return, of course) is no real shocker- Mark Wahlberg will reprise his role as the original instalment's hapless protagonist John Bennett. Since his franchise début two years back, the American performer has gone from strength to strength in terms of his prominence within the action, and he'll star at the helm of Transformers: Age of Extinction this Summer to prove it. Nevertheless, we're glad to see that Wahlberg recalls his comedy roots and is willing to make a return to what is arguably one of his best-loved characters.

More surprising, however, is that Amanda Seyfried will take over from Mila Kunis as Ted 2's leading lady. Kunis is suspected to appear briefly in the sequel (and we hope to heaven above that her cameo is more substantial than Lindy Booth's degrading, uncharacteristic return as Katie in Kick-Ass 2), yet Seyfried- best known for her roles in Mamma Mia, Jennifer's Body and Les Miserables- will certainly be the primary actress of the piece this time around. On the bright side, she's more than proved her talents in the past, so even if the loss of Kunis is a small crime in itself, at least her substitute is a wholly worthy successor.

Ted 2 comes to life in cinemas worldwide on June 26th, 2015.

Shrek UK Attraction Announced

"I like that boulder- that is a nice boulder!" Let the memes commence, as Shrek returns.
Merlin Entertainment have today announced the development of a family attraction inspired by DreamWorks Pictures' Shrek animated film franchise. Set to open exclusively here in ye old United Kingdom, the interactive experience sounds as if it will resemble the superb Doctor Who Experience which resided in London's Kensington Olympia venue during 2011 before moving over to a Cardiff establishment the following year.

Here's DreamWorks and Merlin's official spiel direct from their press release: "This landmark attraction, which will transport visitors through a live interactive adventure featuring Shrek, Fiona, Donkey, Puss in Boots and other favourites from the beloved franchise, will see an initial rollout of six attractions over nine years." Once kids and their folks (and fans whose inner child still dominates their spending) have finished exploring the guided tour of a Far, Far Away and its neighbouring locales (in "a Shrek interactive walkthrough adventure", according to the press release), they'll even have the chance to meet costumed characters from the studio's other animated franchises including Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. In short, if any parents are seeking a cheaper way to appease their younglings than a trip to one of the various Disney World parks, then DreamWorks have just presented an appealing solution.

The Shrek attraction will open its doors at County Hall, London in 2015.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 'Rise of Electro' Trailer Released

By our count, there's only around two minutes of the superhero sequel which we HAVEN'T seen now!
Sony Pictures have today released the final (we hope) theatrical trailer for their Summer of Film superhero blockbuster The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The sequel to 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man takes Andrew Garfield's iconic web-slinger into his most dangerous territory yet with the emergence of Paul Giamatti's Rhino, Dane DeHaan's Green Goblin and worst of all Jamie Foxx's Electro onto the streets of New York City.

Titled Rise of Electro, this 3-minute preview (below) predictably emphasises the follow-up's central antagonist. Indeed, in some regions the film goes by the title The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Rise of Electro, as if the overly generous marketing campaign hadn't already placed Foxx's incarnation of the tragic villain at the centre of its narrative. If we have any genuine concerns at present, they're mainly based around the aforementioned promotional onslaught's reluctance to hold back many of the motion picture's major setpieces, bar the inevitable adaptation of the classic Death of Gwen Stacy comic-book storyline. Perhaps Sony have a few big shocks in store for the movie's climax, but right now, it seems as if their approach will need to be adjusted in terms of how forthcoming they are regarding The Amazing Spider-Man 3, Venom, Sinister Six and The Amazing Spider-Man 4 in years to come...

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 crawls into UK cinemas nationwide on April 18th.

Assassin's Creed V Setting Teased

Rough luck awaits for fans anticipating a Samurai Age-set chapter of the franchise!
Managing director Jade Raymond has today hinted at the historical setting of Ubisoft Montreal's upcoming action-adventure video game Assassin's Creed V. Following on from the events of last Autumn's Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, the latest instalment in the annual franchise will introduce a new member of the iconic Creed of killers, as well as continuing the present-day storyline involving the resurrection of a tyrannical goddess.

For the third time running in three consecutive years, then, we'll be moving to a different era of human history to explore the age-old Assassin-Templar conflict in greater detail. Where, or rather when, will that be? Ubisoft Toronto's Raymond obviously can't go into specifics ahead of the product's official reveal later this year (likely in May, but don't quote us on that until the announcement occurs), but she was still able to confirm one era in which the narrative will not be set. Although her Adweek interview doesn't offer her exact words, it paraphrases her as stating that ACV will not encompass Japan's Samurai Age, instead placing its narrative compass on what is apparently Raymond's favourite historical era. For more on the project, its storylines (both past and present) and its refined gameplay engine, keep it On-Screen in the weeks ahead!

Assassin's Creed V will ship for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Nintendo WiiU and PC in October.

Xbox One UK Price Cut, Titanfall Bundle Announced

Microsoft's strive to best Sony in the next-generation war reaches new heights...
Microsoft Corporation have today announced two major developments in the marketing strategy of their Xbox One video games console. The news comes with less than a month until the worldwide release of their much-vaunted online first-person-shooter Titanfall, and given the nature of the promotional deals, its timing comes as no surprise.

As of Friday February 28th, the Xbox One will retail for £400 in UK marketplaces nationwide. The pricing alteration represents a £25 reduction of the original £425 RRP, and more shocking still is that Titanfall will be bundled free with this package (while stocks last). Respawn Entertainment's massively multiplayer experience recently received a beta for Xbox One and PC which was met with critical acclaim, offering hope aplenty for the final product's potential. With the game set to retail for a £45 RRP on the next-gen hardware, the overall deal effectively means that the hardware is shipping for a price of approximately £355, and with the PlayStation 4 currently selling for £350, that pretty much brings the two consoles directly in line. It's only a temporary amendment, but Microsoft's move may yet contribute to the turning of the tide in terms of the ongoing, bitter console war. Oh, and the WiiU's out there somewhere too, in case you're one of the millions who has forgotten...

Titanfall will retail on Xbox One and PC this March 14th and its Xbox 360 port will launch on March 28th.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season Six Trailer Released

Just a short time to go until we journey back to a galaxy far, far away.
Walt Disney Pictures have just released the first full preview of the imminent sixth season of Lucasfilm's science-fiction animation Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Going under the collective name The Lost Missions, the final series will depict the concluding days of the titular fictional conflict, as Jedi Master Yoda ventures to the homeworld of the Sith to discover the truth behind a hidden galactic mystery which threatens to change his Order forever.

In case you missed the news when it first emerged, this batch of long-awaited sci-fi romps will début exclusively on Netflix next month. The only potential issue, as ever, is that in crafting storylines which come in such close proximity to the events of 2005's hit franchise finale Revenge of the Sith, the writing team risk having to actively avoid the narrative territory of the Battle of Coruscant and (naturally) Order 66. Indeed, though the video (below) teases at least one mention of 'Protocol 66' from Darth Sidious to Count Dooku, the former Sith Lord's emphasis on the Jedi Order's ignorance of this hidden protocol in the Clone Army's genetic make-up implies that the Order as a whole will remain blissfully unaware of events to come, as is only right in continuity terms (and boy, can the Star Wars fandom become riled up at even the slightest alteration to the established timeline).

Star Wars: The Clone Wars- The Lost Missions premières via Netflix along with the feature-length movie pilot and the first five seasons of the show on March 7th.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues UK Retail Release Announced

Ron Burgundy literally fights a minotaur to land in UK retailers this Spring!
Paramount Pictures have today confirmed the UK release date of the DVD and Blu-Ray retail version of their 2013 comedy film Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. Set to re-release in cinemas with an Extended Cut (imaginatively titled Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Continued...) later this week, the sequel follows the ever-controversial news anchor Ron Burgundy as he encounters racial dilemmas, 24-7 news networks and even the occasional Ghost of Stonewall Jackson in his bid to reunite his divided family.

As well as the standard theatrical version of the film which launched last December, the Blu-Ray will come packaged with both The Legend Continues Continued... AND an 'Unrated' cut of Will Ferrell's latest big-screen outing. The latter rendition will probably inhabit a middle ground of sorts between its box office predecessors, although until more details on the set are unveiled, we can't be sure on that front. What is certain, on the other hand, is that DVD owners will once again be short-changed, since the standard edition will only contain the original theatrical cut. If ever there was a time when distributors ceased to put effort into the cheapest version of their retail releases, it's sadly right now.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Continued... commences its broadcast in UK and US cinemas this Friday February 28th, and Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues lands on DVD and Blu-Ray via UK high-street and digital retailers this April 28th.

Game of Thrones Season Three Breaks UK Retail Records

Any illusions that Game of Thrones suffers from diminished popularity here in the UK can be cast aside...
HBO Studios have today announced that their Game of Thrones Season Three DVD box-set has broken a new retail record in the UK. Released on Monday February 17th, the set collates all ten fifty-minute episodes of the 2013 run from Valar Dohaeris to Mhysa, including (but of course not limited to) the events of the now-infamous Red Wedding in its penultimate instalment, The Rains of Castamere.

As of today, the 5-disc DVD release (currently retailing for £21.99 in Sainsbury's and £25 on Amazon.co.uk) is the fastest-selling TV box-set of the decade. "We always knew this would be a big release," HBO's Marketing Director of Home Entertainment Ian Fullerton said of the news, "It's great to see it doing so well across the market." If you've missed the studio's multi-season adaptation of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novels, then there's no better time than right now to make amends for that error, with the Seasons 1-3 box-set also available now for a reasonable £50 RRP ahead of the series' impending fourth run, set to air in both the United States and the United Kingdom.

Game of Thrones returns for ten devastating new episodes on Sky Atlantic this April 7th.

First Doctor Who Season Eight Guest Stars Announced

Danny Pink (play by Samuel Anderson), a new recurring character in Doctor Who Series 8Danny Pink joins Ian Chesterton, Barbara Wright and Clara Oswald this Autumn!
The BBC have today revealed four performers who are set to feature in the upcoming eighth season of their acclaimed science-fiction drama Doctor Who. Starring Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, the new run takes place after the events of The Time of the Doctor, as everyone's favourite Time Lord recovers from his latest regeneration in Victorian England before commencing his quest to find and restore his home planet Gallifrey.

While any news on the Who front is always welcome, in particular it's the casting of Samuel Anderson which has generated the most substantial discussion from fans today. Anderson has previously starred in Emmerdale (alongside Coleman, incidentally!), Gavin and Stacey, The History Boys and Casualty, but with his acquirement of the recurring of Danny Pink, a teacher at Coal Hill School who finds himself drawn into the Doctor's life in an explosive manner, he'll surely be thrust further into the limelight than ever before, just as Noel Clarke and Arthur Darvill were in recent years. The production team won't reveal as of yet whether Pink will join the TARDIS crew on a permanent basis after Season Eight, but the truth of his destiny in the Time Vortex will become apparent later this year.

Moreover, Episodes 4 and 5 are heading in front of the cameras this week, and so as to avoid filming spoilers, the show's marketing division has confirmed a couple more faces that we can expect to see within the two instalments. The former of the pair will welcome Gangs of New York's Robert Goodman into the Whoniverse, and the latter features both Broadchurch's Jonathan Bailey and Death in Paradise's Pippa Bennett-Warner. None of those actors could be classified as household names, but if and when we hear details of the famed thespians battling the Time Lord this season, no doubt the announcement(s) will come in separate press releases as 2014 progresses. In some quarters of the interweb, reports claiming that the two adventures will form a two-parter can be found, yet for now, we'll have to await confirmation or denial in the next issue of Doctor Who Magazine, due out on Thursday March 6th.

Doctor Who returns for a new season of voyages through time and space on BBC One this August.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Heroes Fifth Season Commissioned

Been Holding Out For A Hero recently? If so, NBC have you (and Bonnie Tyler) covered!
The National Broadcasting Company has today announced the commissioning of a fifth season of their science-fiction drama Heroes. Titled Heroes Reborn, the latest run of the US series will comprise of 13 episodes, with their weekly running time still to be confirmed.

More than most dramas before it, Heroes' history has been turbulent to say the very least. Whereas its first season averaged 14.3 million viewers in the States and Season Two managed a 13.1 million average, by the time of its fourth series, NBC's pet project had dropped to the 4 million mark and continued to waver in strength as the season progressed. That NBC elected to act it was no major surprise, then, and only exerts further pressure on Reborn to succeed where its predecessor failed. Word has it that Season Five will be a isolated entity in narrative terms so as to enable accessibility for the unseasoned viewership, but we'll have to be patient if the wait for its première is to be a smooth one.

Heroes: Reborn will air on NBC and an unannounced UK broadcaster in 2015.

Rev Season Three Broadcast Window Confirmed

Pregnancy, homosexual marriage and more go under the radar as the Tom Hollander sitcom returns...
The BBC have this week confirmed a broadcast window for the third season of their situation comedy Rev. Starring Tom Hollander, Olivia Colman and Hugh Bonneville, the series is based around a modern Anglican reverend who must come face-to-face with a number of contemporary religious issues which threaten to destabilize the very foundations of his church-going community's beliefs.

In all honesty, Rev's continued omission from BBC One's programming strikes us as a bemusing decision from the studio, particularly given the number of renowned stars who feature amongst its charming cast ensemble. Perhaps it's the dense subject matter of the programme, yet that didn't stop The Vicar of Dibley or Twenty Twelve from gracing their flagship channel, nor are the infinitely inferior Mrs Brown's Boys or Outnumbered restrained from ascension by their own occasional forays into controversial territory. Whatever the reason, the aforementioned restriction is a small tragedy, and shouldn't deter anyone seeking a worthy new sitcom to fill their time from following the show when it re-emerges.

Rev returns to BBC Two with six new episodes in March.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Coming Up This Week: February 24th-March 2nd

This week is bigger and Burgundier than ever, as we head into 2014's busiest month yet!
Where on Earth has February gone? Thankfully, one of the traditionally calmer periods of the year (in the entertainment industry's case, at least) has turned out to be eventful enough, but rest assured that in March, the industry resumes its gloriously hectic output in full force.

The next seven days are a neat segue-way between these juxtaposed tranquil and packed periods, teasing us with several major releases that will begin to define the month ahead. If February can be regarded as the annual calm before the storm, then boy oh boy, is a storm brewing as we move into March. Here's our comprehensive round-up of all of the titles that you can't afford to miss before this month's imminent climax:
  • THOR: THE DARK WORLD DVD & BLU RAY- Another instalment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Phase Two franchise locks into place this week, as the sequel to 2011's Thor lands in high-street and digital retailers. The Dark World sees Chris Hemsworth reprise his role as the Asgardian Avenger, plus integrates Doctor Who's Christopher Eccleston into its star-studded cast as the universally-feared conqueror Malekeith. The performance that carries the follow-up, however, is undoubtedly Tom Hiddleston, whose Loki has never been more deceptive, dangerous or downright captivating than he is here. (Monday February 24th)
  • ARROW: TIME OF DEATH- Black Canary may have joined the ranks of Team Arrow earlier this month in Heir to the Demon, but just what are the implications of her recruitment for Felicity? This is just one dilemma facing Emily Bett Rickards' faithful tech whiz in Season Two's fourteenth episode, not to mention the emergence of the equally computer-savvy villain the Clock King onto the Starling scene. Even if she, Diggle, Oliver and Sara can overcome their latest adversary, though, there's still the small matter of Slade on the horizon, and you can expect his influence on proceedings to come to the forefront this time around...(Wednesday February 26th- The CW)
  • DOCTOR WHO: TALES OF TRENZALORE- No, sadly it's not time for Doctor Who's return to BBC One just yet! All the same, we Whovians welcome any opportunity to witness an expansion of its continuity in one form or another, and BBC Books' latest eBook release will do just that in fine measure. Tales of Trenzalore takes place within the 900-year window in which the Eleventh Doctor battled his greatest foes to protect the town of Christmas, revealing the threats posed by classic alien enemies such as the Mara, the Autons and the Krynoid (now there's one to send you straight over to Wikipedia!) during what appeared to be the Time Lord's final life. Sure, it's no substitute for a full-blown season of Capaldi adventures, but until August, Tales is as close as we're going to get! (Thursday February 27th)
  • ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES CONTINUED...- Check out this post for full details. In essence, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Continued... is an extended cut of last December's sublime comedy sequel which bumps the original 119-minute running time up to 139-minutes and apparently packs over 700 new jokes. If viewers passed on the chance to find out the identity of "the chicken of the cave", Ron Burgundy's least favourite colour and whether his ex-wife's latest boyfriend can control events with his mind, then the moment has finally come for that error to be rectified. For those who've already witnessed Anchorman 2's greatness, a new incentive to return to auditoriums still awaits in the form of an entirely exclusive dance number- what more could you possibly want? (Friday February 28th)
  • THIEF- The video gaming industry is on the road to recovery in March via a host of major, much-anticipated releases and Eidos is leading the charge into this period of reinvigoration with their latest project, Thief. Set in a pseudo-Victorian realm, this series reboot is launching on both current- and next-generation hardware, and while it's unlikely to match the scale of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt or the humour of South Park: The Stick of Truth, it may yet boast some of the most refined stealth game-play to grace our consoles in 2014. (Friday February 28th- Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PC)
  • OSCARS 2014 AWARDS CEREMONY- As if all of those mighty additions to this year's entertainment roster weren't enough, the oncoming week will culminate with what is pretty much the biggest night of the next twelve months for the film industry in particular. 12 Years A Slave, American Hustle, Captain Philips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena and The Wolf of Wall Street are all set to vie it out for the Academy's Best Picture award, but as ever, that's just a single component of an evening which is jam-packed with entertainment- if UK fans succeed in keeping themselves occupied until 2am in the morning, that is! (Sunday March 2nd- Sky Movies Première)
  • AND THERE'S MORE- Doctor Who: The Web of Fear and One Chance will both accompany Thor: The Dark World to DVD retailers everywhere tomorrow, February 24th too.
Better yet, the landscape only becomes more crowded next week, as An Adventure In Space And Time's Original Television Soundtrack lands on our shores, Marvel's Agents of SHIELD: TAHITI and Arrow: The Promise broadcast for the first time, Star Wars: The Clone Wars comes to Netflix with its long-awaited sixth season The Lost Missions, Ralph Fiennes leads an all-star cast in The Grand Budapest Hotel and, best of all, Trey Parker and Matt Stone's first full video game project reaches fruition with South Park: The Stick of Truth's worldwide début...

Arrow 'Suicide Squad' Promotional Image Released

Diggle is set for a suicide mission in Season Two's sixteenth outing!
The CW have this weekend released the first promotional image for the impending sixteenth episode of their superhero drama Arrow. Titled Suicide Squad, the upcoming instalment will introduce a famed team of anti-heroes who frequently generate ripples across the DC comic-book universe.

This elite squad's roster of antagonists has varied considerably across the years, but with one notable constant at its helm- Amanda Waller. Last glimpsed in The CW's Superman saga Smallville, in Arrow she has been pulling the strings behind-the-scenes for some time now, her pit-stops at the residences of Starling City's incarcerated legions entailing a recruitment run for the titular gang. Within the televised version of the Squad's line-up will be Deadshot (Lone Gunmen, Dead To Rights, The Huntress Returns, Home Invasion, Keep Your Enemies Closer), Shrapnel (Blast Radius), Lyla (Diggle's ex-wife) and...Diggle himself. Suffice to say that the latter member's induction into the team is a reluctant decision, although Waller and Lyla must pose an objective which is tempting enough to convince him to temporarily co-operate with the forces of evil. All will be revealed in good time, it seems...

Arrow: Suicide Squad will air on The CW this March 19th and on Sky1 this April 3rd.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Frozen Breaks UK Animated Film Box Office Records

Domestic audiences prove that they STILL want to build a snowman.
Walt Disney Pictures have announced today that Frozen has reached yet another milestone in its box office reign. The latest big-screen effort from Walt Disney Animation Studios focuses on two princesses, Anna and Elsa, who come into conflict as they re-open the gates to their long-isolated kingdom, and its flagship musical number Let It Go has gone on to reap critical acclaim in the weeks following the movie's release.

There'll be little doubt in the minds of the studio's execs that Idina Menzel's spellbinding tune has contributed greatly to Frozen's latest achievement. The victory in question? It has now become the highest grossing original animated film of all-time in the UK. This prestigious record was previously held by the 2001 hit Monsters Inc, but as the seasonal motion picture approaches a £38 million total figure in the UK, it has surpassed the Monsters University predecessor and is well on the way to matching animated sequels such as Toy Story 3 and Shrek 2. In case you missed the news and/or the movie itself, you'll now find a Sing-Along Edition of Frozen in cinemas across the UK for a limited time- why not catch it and find out precisely why we've been singing its praises ever since our 5* review last December?

For all the latest news, reviews and features on Walt Disney Animation Studios' upcoming projects, keep it On-Screen in the days ahead!

The LEGO Movie 2 Release Date Announced

Engage the hyperdrive for another voyage into the LEGO universe!
Warner Brothers Pictures have today confirmed a global release date for the recently-announced sequel to their animated motion picture The LEGO Movie. Currently playing in cinemas, the first instalment in the studio's newfound franchise is proving to be both a commercial and critical hit, not least through earning a 5* score here at On-Screen.

At present, the blockbuster slate for 2017 and in particular its Summer of Film is fairly ambiguous. The Croods 2, Despicable Me 3, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, an untitled Marvel project, an untitled Disney Pixar production and Avatar 3 are all scheduled for release within the year as a whole, but there's plenty of time yet for studios to sort out their roster and scheduling dates in this case. Clearly Warner Bros have a lot more confidence with their second big-screen adaptation of the toy franchise, however, since they've moved it to the heart of the Summer of Film rather than having it head to cinemas in the early stages of the year again. Precise details on the second chapter's production team are scarce at this point, yet so long as we hear the words "Everything Is Awesome", "Batman", "Good Cop" and "Spaceship" crop up at one point or another, we're sure that it'll be another winner!

The LEGO Movie 2 builds its narrative in cinemas worldwide on May 26th, 2017.

New Captain America: The Winter Solider, Muppets Most Wanted TV Spots Début

It's time to reconvene with the Muppets...and the All-American Avenger, of course!
Walt Disney Pictures have this week released two new TV trailers for their major March motion pictures, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Muppets Most Wanted. The former is the latest instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, taking its World War Two hero into present-day America and its ongoing conflicts, whereas the latter is the much-anticipated follow-up to 2011's spectacular The Muppets, this time recruiting Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell and Tina Fey in its cast.

On the whole, Disney look set to dominate the next month or so of film releases, not least since March is lacking in many other noteworthy flicks. Veronica Mars, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Divergent will be launching in close proximity to Muppets and The Winter Soldier, but none of them have a hope of matching the latest instalments in two franchises which have a track record of unprecedented financial success. If one of those aformentioned B-listers does break out and top 'em, then we have our edible Fozzy Bear hat replicas at the ready.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Muppets Most Wanted will launch in UK cinemas nationwide on March 28th.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Continued... Announced

Relive classic moments like "chicken of the cave" and "I'm BLIND!" next week.
Paramount Pictures have today announced the UK and US box office release of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Continued... for later this month. This re-release will take the form of an extended edition of the original film, clocking in at 139 minutes and apparently featuring a total of 763 new/revised gags*.

While Anchorman: Wake Up, Ron Burgundy! had a similar premise upon its DVD release within the original Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy package, its spiritual successor won't be forming an entirely new narrative out of deleted scenes and out-takes. Instead, virtually all of the jokes in the original cut will be substituted with those not selected in post-production, and some new scenes will be added onto the core narrative, including (but not limited to) an exclusive musical number which until now has never been seen by the viewing public. Director Adam McKay has warned, though, that this is one for the hardcore fanbase, so our advice is don't go along to your local auditorium to see it unless you've been in a glass-case of emotion ever since last December's version of the sequel came to an end...

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Continued... marches into UK and US cinemas bearing weapons from the future on February 28th (for one week only!).

*(give or take)

Thursday, 20 February 2014

New Terminator: Genesis Guest Star Announced

Another (relatively unknown) star joins the growing ensemble of the potent action reboot...
Paramount Pictures have today announced another member of the cast for their 2015 science-fiction blockbuster Terminator: Genesis. A reboot of the popular film franchise, Genesis will boast a completely revamped cast ensemble (well, barring one particularly notable exception- Arnold Schwazeneger will reprise his role as the franchise's iconic gunman) and a narrative which is separate from The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and, most importantly, the atrocious Terminator: Salvation.

The latest addition to the project is Jai Courtney, who will portray the character of Kyle Reese in the much-anticipated revival. In the past, Courtney has been attached to projects such as Jack Reacher and A Good Day To Die Hard, and as such, it's safe to say that he'll be hoping for more praising reviews from critics than those received by those two aforementioned action duds. His character is best known as the father of the franchise's central protagonist John Connor (set to be portrayed by Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' Jason Clarke) and the boyfriend of Sarah Connor (here played by Game of Thrones' Emilia Clarke), which will inevitably bring down the weight of expectation upon his rendition from fans. All the same, we wish Jai the best of luck with a performance that could potentially define his career...

Terminator: Genesis proclaims "I'll be back" in cinemas worldwide on July 1st, 2015.

Mr Selfridge Third Season Commissioned

Anyone grieving over The Paradise's demise now knows exactly where to point the finger of blame!
iTV have today announced the re-commissioning of their period drama Mr Selfridge for a third season. Comprising of a further ten episodes, the latest run will continue to depict the tale of Henry Gordon Selfridge (played by Jeremy Piven) and his budding franchise of department stores' rise to fame.

Though we'd imagine that many of our readers veer firmly out of the direction of shows such as these, the announcement is no doubt connected to the BBC's recent cancellation of their fledging period programme The Paradise, which faltered considerably in the ratings war against this particular iTV project last Spring. Even if Mr Selfridge is hardly top-notch viewing in its current state, it's still clearly performing strongly enough to warrant its return next year, and with Downton Abbey looking set to bite the bullet come the end of its fifth season this Autumn, don't be surprised if the studio place more and more of an emphasis of their true-story adaptation from now on.

Mr Selfridge will return for its third season of commercial coercions in January 2015.

Wolfenstein: The New Order Release Date, Doom IV Announced

Two major projects are on the horizon from the publishers of Skyrim!
Bethesda Softworks have this week announced the UK release date of their upcoming first-person-shooter Wolfenstein: The New Order. Set for release on both current-generation and next-generation consoles, the game marks the most visceral instalment yet in this long-established action franchise and will revolutionise traditional mechanics so as to make the overall experience simultaneously accessible and faithful to the series' past.

While the news of Wolfenstein's official release window seemed inevitable to most of us, though, what has come as a shock is the sneaky coupling of a full game announcement within MachineGames and Bethesda's official press release. All pre-ordered copies of The New Order will, in fact, be bundled with a beta code for the online multiplayer trial version of a new Doom video game, a project which until now had only been discussed within the rumour mill. Sure, it's a far cry from a new chapter in the Fallout franchise, but given the colossal cult appeal of the original trilogy of Doom titles, the move to make another instalment has a lot of logic behind it. The only major bone of contention, though, will be how Bethesda go about redeeming the franchise after its lacklustre HD remake on 360 and PS3 last year. Stay tuned for more details on the currently-nameless sequel in the coming weeks here at On-Screen...

Wolfenstein: The New Order will retail for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PC on May 23rd.

Veronica Mars UK Box Office Release Announced

Kristen Bell is back in the project that no-one thought would ever get off the ground!
Warner Brothers Pictures have today confirmed that their impending mystery film Veronica Mars will receive a (limited) release in UK and Irish cinemas. The flick sees Frozen's Kristen Bell reprise the role of the titular detective, whose TV series became a cult hit and has gained an impressive following ever since its cancellation by The CW in 2007.

Suffice to say that if you're a fan of the detective genre in light of recent hits such as Sherlock and Ripper Street, then this one should be right up your alley. Expect to see a review from us of this Kickstarter-assisted project in the weeks following its UK launch. Here's a list of the theatres in which Veronica Mars will play at the same time as its US nationwide release:
  • EMPIRE Leicester Square
  • EMPIRE Birmingham
  • EMPIRE Newcastle
  • Showcase Dartford
  • Showcase Bristol
  • Showcase Cardiff
  • Showcase Nottingham
  • Showcase Leicester
  • Showcase Manchester
  • Showcase Glasgow
  • Movies@Dundrum Dublin
Veronica Mars will launch its investigation in UK and US cinemas on March 14th.