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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

New Marvel's Agent Carter Recurring Cast Member Announced

Source: The Hollywood Reporter
Just moments after the news broke online, find out which legendary Marvel character is back for more...
Marvel Entertainment and ABC Studios have just announced a new recurring cast member set to star in multiple instalments of their impending period drama Marvel's Agent Carter. The eight-part series will mark the long-awaited regular return of Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain America: The Winter Soldier actor Hayley Atwell as she reprises her role as the courageous Strategic Scientific Reserve agent-in-training Peggy Carter.

Now, in truth, we'd argue that very few fans expected Atwell's character to end up as the only famous Marvel Cinematic Universe player scheduled for a return (albeit on the small-screen, but who's complaining?) next year, yet that quasi-foreknowledge doesn't dampen our enthusiasm in the slightest for the announcement that Dominic Cooper will indeed follow suit and step into the critically lauded shoes of Howard Stark on at least one occasion in Season One. Don't believe us? If that's the case for whatever reason, then feel free to cast your eyes below, dear reader, where the official tweet that alerted the world to this tantalising news-byte awaits:
Cooper - believe it or not - has only actually starred in one MCU production so far, namely The First Avenger (2011), although it's pretty safe to say that the ways in which the construct he portrayed went on to influence both his son - Tony, aka Iron Man - and the events of Avengers Assemble were plentiful to say the very least. The two studios mentioned above revealed in their plot synopsis for the show's début run that Peggy would spend the majority of her time attempting to tackle both SSR operations and covert missions conceived by none other than Stark, so don't be too surprised if Cooper's role this time around is more akin to Charlie's Angels' titular commander-in-chief rather than the gung-ho pilot we first met three short years ago (we've said it before, we'll say it again - doesn't time fly?).

Marvel's Agent Carter will première on ABC (and Channel 4 in the UK, we'd presume) in Spring 2015.

Magic Mike XXL Lead Stars & Plot Synopsis Revealed

Source: Movie Web
Matthew McConaughey may have left the building, but the newly-formed franchise still seems to be in capable hands!
Warner Bros. Pictures have today released details of the central cast ensemble for their upcoming sequel to the hit 2012 comedy-drama film Magic Mike. Dubbed Magic Mike XXL, the follow-up has been forced to trade in some of its predecessor's lead stars - The Wolf of Wall Street and Dallas Buyers Club's Matthew McConaughey representing the most notable departure by far - in favour of a host of equally accomplished thespians, all of whom should hopefully add a fresh new character dynamic to the otherwise-potentially stagnant secondary storyline.

What's that we hear you ask? You'd like to hear who the performers in question are? Well, we'd be only too happy to oblige. First and foremost amongst the new recruits is Elizabeth Banks, better known to The Hunger Games fans as the hilarious Effie Trinket and to Pitch Perfect followers as the soon-to-be director of next year's sequel to the award-winning 2013 musical comedy, who'll no doubt offer up plenty of memorable one-liners in her still-to-be-revealed role. A bizarrely common trend amongst the casting announcements, in fact, is the lack of information regarding who'll play which character, but we've no doubt that these details will be unravelled by Warner Bros. (if not by inside sources) in due course. For now, though, we'll round up the other actors who've stepped aboard the XXL bandwagon for more gloriously risqué escapades: Amber Heard (Zombieland); Jada Pinkett Smith (Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted; Gotham); Donald Glover (stand-up comedian); Andie MacDowell (Multiplicity) and Michael Strahan (ex-US footballer).

Seemingly eager to add icing to their metaphorical cake, the studio have moreover released the first official plot synopsis for XXL and whilst we can't claim that it sounds completely original at this point, there's at least room for the production team to manoeuvre the narrative into a state whereby it'll possess enough surprises to keep its viewership engaged along the way. Read on to discover the précis in full: "Picking up the story three years after Mike [still played by Channing Tatum] bowed out of the stripper life at the top of his game, Magic Mike XXL finds the remaining Kings of Tampa [the band of strippers Mike worked alongside in the original] likewise ready to throw in the towel. [...] On the road to their final show, with whistle stops in Jacksonville and Savannah to renew old acquaintances and make new friends, Mike and the guys learn some new moves and shake off the past in surprising ways."

Magic Mike XXL will strut gracefully into UK cinemas nationwide on August 7th, 2015.

Monday, 29 September 2014

New Gotham TV Trailer Released

Source: ComicBook.com
Iconic and lesser-known faces from the Dark Knight's past litter this insightful promotional teaser!
Fox have today released a new TV trailer for their ongoing detective drama Gotham. Based in an isolated narrative continuity which - for reasons still unfathomable to the majority of its fandom - will have no synergy whatsoever with the upcoming Warner Bros. cinematic blockbuster Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice or the plethora of Justice League of America-centric sequels which are purportedly set to follow in its wake, the series chronicles the rise of one James Gordon from the rank of a lowly, oft-overlooked detective to the beloved Commissioner who fans of everyone's favourite brooding superhero regard as one of Bruce Wayne's greatest allies.

By the looks of it, young Bruce - who's still got a way to go before he takes up a career in Caped Crusading if "Pilot" was any indication - will need all the aid he can possibly receive as the show's increasingly critically-analysed freshman season continues. From the Riddler to Victor Zsaz, if nothing else, the future Dark Knight isn't going to be short of adversaries in weeks to come, though quite how much involvement the recently-orphaned heir to the Wayne legacy will have in fending off said adversaries remains to be seen. In the absence of Gotham's guardian angel, though, Ben McKenzie's Gordon should ideally prove to be a fine substitute for now - and who knows? Perhaps a certain Clown Prince's first appearance in Gotham City isn't out of the question either...

Gotham continues its début run with "Selina Kyle" later today - that's September 29th, for those reading this in our race's immediate future (hello, by the way!) - on Fox and will glide into the UK via Channel 5 this October.

The Go-Between TV Adaptation Central Cast Members Announced

Source: BBC
We're finally starting to get a Broad idea of just what this audacious project might entail...
The BBC have today revealed several esteemed actors who will comprise the central cast of their impending television adaptation of L.P. Hartley's 1953 literary text The Go-Between. Consisting of a single 90-minute programme, this hotly anticipated drama is just one of a number of projects commissioned by the corporation in order to celebrate the great works of 20th Century literature such as J.B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls and Laurie Lee's Cider with Rose.

For the production's leading man and leading lady, however, the Beeb's selection of Hartley's critically acclaimed romantic drama will surely be especially significant; Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and The Iron Lady star Jim Broadbent - who'll portray the elderly version of Leo, a somewhat familiarly reflective protagonist whose retelling of the socially scandalous events which he witnessed during his childhood acts as a more-than-suitable framing device for the overall narrative, in the Pete Travis-directed version in question - coincidentally appeared in the company's initial 1971 adaptation of the text, albeit in a supporting capacity, whilst the father of his co-star Vanessa Redgrave - or as we'll soon come to know her on-screen, Older Marian - starred in that very production as none other than Older Leo himself! Given the inherent rarity of such circumstances as these, we've little doubt that the Beeb will emphasise these respective actorial and familial connections throughout the marketing campaign, yet like any ambitious TV network, ultimately they'll have to maintain faith in the strength of Adrian Hodges' script and Travis' unquestionable abilities as a helmer if they're hoping for viewers to remember the latest incarnation of one of the past century's most prestigious texts fondly.

Aside from those highly regarded headliners, we've also listed the other cast members whose contributions were announced in the official press release earlier today below, along with details of the highlights of their respective filmographies (at the time of writing, specific information on which characters some of these players will portray was not available - stay tuned for more on this front in the coming weeks):
  • Jack Hollington (Doctor Who ("The Time of the Doctor")) - Leo
  • Ben Batt (Shameless; Captain America: The First Avenger; The Edge of Love) - Role TBC
  • Stephen Campbell Moore (Season of the Witch; Johnny English Reborn; Hustle) - Role TBC
  • Joanna Vanderham (The Paradise; The Runaway; What Maisie Knew) - Role TBC
  • Lesley Manville (Coronation Street; Maleficent; Topsy Turvy) - Role TBC
  • Jack Cutmore-Scott (Newcomer) - Role TBC
  • Samuel Joslin (The Impossible- Role TBC
The Go-Between will air as part of BBC One's season of 20th Century literary adaptations in Spring 2015.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Final Star Wars: The Clone Wars - The Lost Missions Episodes Unveiled

Source: Mad the DJ
Ahsoka's demise weighs heavy on Anakin Skywalker's mind as he embarks on a new mission with Obi-Wan in Utapau...
Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm have today released a quartet of never-before-seen episodes taken from the unfinished sixth (and thus final, depending on how one views the situation) season of their hit animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Dubbed collectively as The Lost Missions, those instalments of Season Six which were completed before the axe fell on the show were released on the United States' Netflix service - much to the elation of the saga's seemingly limitless fandom - earlier this year.

That StarWars.com only saw fit to début the aforementioned four-part Utapau story arc on YouTube today might seem disconcerting to say the very least on this basis, yet all's certainly not lost. It's true that the programme's final outings - titled "A Death on Utapau", "In Search of the Crystal", "Crystal Crisis" and "The Big Bang" - aren't quite up to the usual visually-staggering standard of their immediate predecessors (or indeed the generally acclaimed original five seasons), instead sporting somewhat underwhelming partially-rendered CG visuals as a result of their unique production status (hence why they're being branded as "Story Reels" rather than full-blown chapters of The Clone Wars), but all the same, the endearingly accomplished performances of leads Matt Lanter (Anakin) and James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan) shine through effortlessly, as does the inert structural intelligence which became a defining asset of the show's increasingly audacious narratives as the years progressed. Take a look below to watch each of the four instalments in their entirety and, as ever, be sure to let us know your thoughts at the usual social networking domains!

Star Wars: Rebels, the spiritual successor to Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the first fully canon entry in the franchise's newly-rebooted Expanded Universe, will première on Disney XD with its feature-length series opener, "Spark of Rebellion", this October 3rd.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Story Reel: A Death on Utapau on Star Wars Video

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Story Reel: In Search of the Crystal on Star Wars Video

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Story Reel: Crystal Crisis on Star Wars Video

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Story Reel: The Big Bang on Star Wars Video

New FarCry 4 Gameplay Trailer Released

Source: Gamer's Honest Truth
Does the latest instalment in the open-world FPS saga look set to suffer from a delay? Far from it...
Ubisoft Montreal have today released a new gameplay trailer for their impending first-person-shooter video game FarCry 4. Intended as a spiritual successor to 2012's FarCry 3 rather than as a direct continuation of its predecessor's critically acclaimed central narrative - an attribute which shouldn't surprise series veterans in the slightest given Ubi's tendency to ret-con the franchise's previous storylines with each new instalment - this multi-generation free-roamer will allow players to exploring the fictitious, mountain-laden region of Kyrat, encountering dangerous wildlife and warlords (no sign of the brilliantly unhinged Vaas, though, sadly - we'll have to settle for Pagan Min, the crazed tyrant who gives the trail in question its name) aplenty along the way.

Now, to be perfectly honest, dear reader, we were assuredly expecting either Ubisoft or their Montreal development studio to announce a delay in the title's release schedule before too long. Unless they're both playing their cards unnecessarily close to their chests, however, it appears that mid-November will not only see the launches of Assassin's Creed Unity, LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham and the like, but also the fourth full instalment in a series which, incidentally, is celebrating its tenth birthday this year. Shall we all join together in wishing FarCry many happy returns and performing a heart-warming rendition of "For He's A Jolly Good Franchise"? Well, it was worth a shot.

FarCry 4 stampedes onto Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4 (in fact, the game'll be bundled with PS4s for those who pick the hardware up after its release), PlayStation 3 and PC via all good UK video game retailers this November 18th.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Into the Woods UK Release Delayed

Source: Front Row Reviews
Could Meryl Streep possibly look any more chilling in her fantastical state? We sincerely doubt it.
Walt Disney Pictures have this week confirmed a delay in the UK release schedule of their impending fantasy movie Into the Woods. As anyone who's kept atop of the film's marketing campaign so far will surely know, its narrative is based loosely on the Broadway musical of the same name, centring on a range of well-known fairytale constructs whose paths become mysteriously intertwined as they strive to realize and enable their desired idyllic endings.

Those members of our readership who haven't come across this project already, however, mightn't have realized until now that there's something of a catch involved. Like Les Miserables and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street before it, Into the Woods will rely solely on show-tunes (albeit far less emotionally rigorous numbers than those two genre pieces, if the curiously lyric-free teaser trailer was any indication) in order to convey its various disbelief-testing story arcs to mainstream and cult audiences alike. Whilst it transpires that said arcs won't play out on our screens until early next year rather than this Christmas, if the extra production team enables Disney's intrepid team of writers, editors and the like to craft a more finely-tuned motion picture, then who are we to object to the studio's sustained dedication to producing quality cinema?

Into the Woods will impart its first bedtime story to UK cinemas nationwide in January 2015.

New Avengers: Age of Ultron Plot Synopsis Released

Source: ComicBookMovie
A challenge like no other awaits the Earth's Mightiest (both psychologically and commercially) Heroes in their second full cinematic storyline!
Marvel Studios have released a new plot synopsis for their upcoming ensemble superhero blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron. Billed as the most ambitious and captivating instalment in the multi-medium Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise yet, the much-vaunted follow-up to Joss Whedon's hugely lauded 2012 film Avengers Assemble will introduce super-powered newcomers such as Paul Bettany's the Vision, Aaron Taylor-Johnson's Quicksilver and Elizabeth Olsen's Scarlet Witch into the mix alongside the beloved original team roster, all of whom (Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr and Scarlet Johansson included) will reprise their roles as the last line of defence against Hydra and a wealth of other antagonistic players.

In what's unlikely to be a particularly shocking turn of events for fans of the studio's work, Age of Ultron's marketing team are remaining predictably coy (not least since seven months still separate us from the blockbuster in question) here with regards to what to look out for in the finished product's long-awaited narrative (save for "unexpected action" - honestly, though, who doesn't expect that element from a motion picture of this particular ilk?), to the extent that they're refusing to brand Johnson or Olsen's characters as anything other than the Maximoff twins (no doubt due to the X-Men-related connotations of their traditional titles). That said, hints at a "dormant peacekeeping program" could suggest that callbacks to beloved classic Marvel comic-books (or even the upcoming Phase Three adventure Ant-Man, as many working for the so-called rumour mill would have gullible readers believe) could be in store and, better yet, Bettany's still-to-be-revealed artificial construct-turned-physical entity is referred to as "an old friend in a new form", implying that the character's roots will lie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe's past rather than him representing an infuriating deus ex machina-esque plot device.

For our readership's viewing delight, here's the aforementioned official précis as it originally appeared on Marvel.com last week: "When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth's Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to the Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure." Try telling us that you're not ecstatic to witness Age in its sure-to-be-spectacular entirety now!

Avengers: Age of Ultron assembles in UK cinemas nationwide on April 24th, 2015.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Assassin's Creed News Round-Up: September 22nd, 2014

Assassin's Creed Unity
Source: UbiBlog
The latest updates on both the upcoming film adaptation and new DLC campaigns are here!
Typical - we wait around for one piece of Assassin's Creed news to drop, only for an overwhelming cascade of new information regarding the future of the hit action-adventure video game franchise to land at once! Ubisoft haven't exactly shied away from revealing as much as possible about Assassin's Creed Unity, but even so, what we've learnt about the project (and various other companion products) today is nothing short of revolutionary (aptly so, we suppose, given that the French Revolution itself provides the backdrop for the series' first next-gen storyline).

Four years on from this blog's première, we'd fully expect many members of our readership to know what's coming by now, yet just in case, here's a brief précis regarding this particular article format - our 'Round-Up' pieces compile news stories relating to a specific subject and/or franchise (the Marvel Cinematic Universe saga, for example, or in this case, Assassin's Creed) so as to allow you, dear reader, to bring yourself up-to-date on the latest official developments. Without further ado, here's everything fans are sure to want to know about what's next for Arno, Ezio and company:

  • ASSASSIN'S CREED FILM ADAPTATION DELAYED - Fresh off their dual announcements of the development of a X-Men spin-off based around Deadpool and a setback suffered by The Fantastic Four, 20th Century Fox have announced that their planned blockbuster adaptation of the Assassin's Creed series (which is rumoured to be based on the storyline of Assassin's Creed II and therefore feature Ezio Auditore as its protagonist, though everything beyond the casting of Fassbender as the as-of-yet-unnamed main character is the stuff of conjecture at the moment) has been delayed indefinitely. Insiders report that a 2016 release is on the cards, but given how hectic a schedule Fassbender appears to be dealing with at this point in time (which could well be the reason for the delay, quite honestly), nothing's certain. The question that will be on everyone's lips, of course, is whether or not the adaptation in question will end up going ahead, yet to our minds, the opportunity for Fox to bring one of the world's most popular video game franchises will surely prove irresistible to the studio, regardless of the time and monetary investments required in order for them to do so. 
  • ASSASSIN'S CREED UNITY - DEAD KINGS DLC CAMPAIGN ANNOUNCED - Whilst it's safe to say that the vast majority of fans assumed Ubisoft Montreal would follow up Assassin's Creed Unity with several downloadable expansions soon after its global launch, at the same time, it seems a pretty safe assertion that the hardened followers in question were expecting said DLC to be announced after the product had shipped. Ever the defiers of convention, however, Ubi have gone ahead and confirmed that one of the DLC packs which will feature as part of Unity's Season Pass (currently selling for an RRP of $29.99) is Dead Kings, an expansion boasting a standalone narrative which takes place after the events of the main campaign. The selling point of this particular digital release is clearly the chance being offered for players to venture beyond the lofty confines of Rome as Arno and into the depths of Saint Denis (we're not speaking in metaphors here, either - the French city's catacombs will serve as the latest member of the titular Brotherhood's playground this time around), but aside from that, the prospect of sampling three exclusive new single-player missions in Paris and a wealth of supplementary activities (more details on those as they come) should be more than enough to entice even the most cynical of series veterans to return. Assassin's Creed Unity - Dead Kings will be released via the Xbox Live Marketplace, PlayStation Store and PC marketplaces in early 2015.
  • ASSASSIN'S CREED CHRONICLES: CHINA ANNOUNCED - Most publishers would probably be more than content with simply revealing one new instalment of their respective franchise in a press release, yet Ubisoft evidently didn't feel it necessary to stop there by any means. Enter Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China, a 2.5-D platformer which the studio saw fit to unveil straight after confirming the existence of Dead Kings earlier today. What with all the uproar surrounding the lack of a playable female Assassin in Unity, it really should come as no surprise that Chinese warrior Shao Jun (who first appeared in the animated spin-off movie Assassin's Creed: Embers and was trained by none other than Ezio) will act as our controllable point of entry into the Chronicles sub-series, although in light of the increasingly concerning lack of female protagonists in the video games industry overall, we're certainly in no hurry to lament the publisher's prudent decision to pander to the vocal masses and head in this direction. We're promised forays into and onto famous landmarks of the titular nation such as the Great Wall of China (amongst others), so even if the product (which will follow Dead Kings' lead in launching as part of the overall Unity Season Pass package)'s gameplay only matches the sub-par Nintendo DS and PlayStation Vita Creed outings rather than the likes of Black Flag and, indeed, Unity, its visual splendour and diversity certainly won't be called into question. Expect to see Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China sneak onto PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC via their respective digital marketplaces in early 2015.
Keep it locked at On-Screen if it's new info on Unity, Dead Kings, Chronicles and the like which you're hunting for in the coming weeks.

The Scorch Trials Announced

Source: Page to Première 
Here's hoping that the franchise's début outing goes down a storm in cinemas, lest its successor find itself prematurely burned...
20th Century Fox have today announced the development of a sequel to their impending fantasy thriller motion picture The Maze Runner. An adaptation of James Dashner's identically-named 2009 work of teen fiction, Maze Runner is due to land in UK cinemas next month (on October 10th, to be precise) but has already had ample opportunity to engross US audiences in its not-so-subtly Hunger Games-inspired narrative thanks to its (scarcely justified, though the delays between UK and US cinematic premières are rarely intended by studios as a means by which to express regional preferences) September 19th domestic launch date.

So, we hear you ask, how long will it be until said follow-up lands in an auditorium near us? Two years? Three? Perhaps even half a decade? Unsurprisingly, each and every one of those guesses are incorrect, since The Scorch Trials (as Fox are currently branding the second instalment in their rapidly-conceived franchise of big-screen literary adaptations) will in fact launch within a year of its predecessor's début in cinemas across the world. We'll keep details of what developments the future will likely (if the original novel is any indication, anyway) hold for the protagonists presented to us in this year's instalment close to our chest, but suffice to say that those eager to find out what's coming up next on-screen already have the power to do so by taking an innocent glance at the literary text's Wikipedia page - just a thought for the non-spoilerphobes amongst our readership!

The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials will set off new traps and face more dangerous challenges in cinemas worldwide on September 18th, 2015.

Game of Thrones Season Five Returning Cast Member Teased

Source: Project Fandom
WARNING - Here be spoilers for the climax of the fantasy saga's fourth run...
Recurring guest star Charles Dance has this week teased a potential re-appearance for his character, Tywin Lannister, in the fifth season of HBO's critically acclaimed fantasy drama Game of Thrones. The programme's production team are currently in the process of shooting the new ten-episode run, with filming locations ranging from the enviably sun-soaked streets of Croatia to snow-capped outskirts of Belfast.

Rest assured that writers (and execs) David Benioff and D.B. Weiss won't reveal whether or not this rumour (of sorts) is credible until the season in its entirety (or at least the instalment(s) in question, if said character does return in the foreseeable future) has aired in the United States and here in the UK, but Dance isn't exactly known for his dishonesty, hence why his claim that we mightn't have seen the last of the Lannister we love-to-loathe might well turn out to be true. Frankly, we couldn't possibly turn down the opportunity to witness more of Tywin's pre-Season One escapades - in fact, if anything we're truly intrigued to see what Benioff and Weiss might be willing to reveal about the future of Westeros by utilizing an elderly (now-deceased) resident's perspective on the fantastical realms. See for yourselves what the star of the impending period drama The Imitation Game told MTV whilst promoting his appearance in Dracula Untold: "I'm not completely missing out on [Season Five]. You haven't seen the last of Tywin Lannister, is all [I can] say." Hopefully this goes without saying, but keep it locked at On-Screen to learn more on Game of Thrones' fifth season and the implications its various story arcs may have for the denouement of the beloved A Song of Ice and Fire series.

Game of Thrones will return to HBO and Sky Atlantic for its revelatory fifth season in Spring 2015.

First Pitch Perfect 2 Plot Details Revealed

Source: Scot Scoop
Who's ac-a-ready for more? Ac-a-pologies in advance for all of the horrendous puns...
Executive producer and supporting cast member Elizabeth Banks has this week unveiled the first details regarding the plot of Universal Pictures' impending musical-comedy blockbuster Pitch Perfect 2. Directed by Banks (who's probably best known for her portrayal of Effie in the critically lauded Hunger Games film franchise), the sequel to 2012's Pitch Perfect will once again star Twilight's Anna Kendrick and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb's Rebel Wilson as members of a now-infamous a capella society known only as the Barden Bellas.

Given the success with which the impressively competent original film was met last year, few would likely blame Banks for sticking to the pre-established narrative formula and giving us more of the same in eight months' time. That doesn't appear to be the case, however, at least based on a recent interview the helmer gave to Yahoo; here's what she had to say: "The [Bellas] are now graduating [university]. They're coming to the end of their time as Bellas and figuring out how to [...] leave the nest and the comfort of each other's friendship and figure out what they're going to do with the rest of their lives." Anyone who's had the 'pleasure' of watching films such as High School Musical 3: Senior Year or American Reunion (both of which have their fair share of merits, to their credit) will know roughly what to expect from graduation-themed motion pictures of this ilk, yet we're sure that Banks is all too aware of the commonplace nature of such projects and will thus be eager to subvert the audience's preconceptions of this particular sub-genre in the most memorable manner possible. Stay tuned to On-Screen in the weeks ahead for more details on Pitch Perfect 2's narrative and increasingly potent cast ensemble as and when they come.

Pitch Perfect 2 reclaims its rightful place at centre-stage in cinemas worldwide on May 15th, 2015.

Supergirl First Season Commissioned

Source: Wallsan
Warner Bros.'s next televised superhero project isn't based around a bird, a plane or Superman - it's the next best thing.
DC Entertainment have this week announced the commissioning of a full season of Warner Bros. Television's much-vaunted superhero drama Supergirl. Comprising of an as-of-yet unknown number of instalments, the series' freshman run will air on CBS, making the possibility of its titular protagonist's actions influencing the narratives of other DC-inspired shows such as Arrow and Gotham appear unlikely to say the very least.

Rather than simply over-analysing the well-trodden territory of Warner Bros.' increasingly frustrating neglect of the potential interconnectivity between their cinematic and small-screen projects, however, we'll opt for an alternative point of entry. Let's instead take a look at where CBS' latest commission leaves us in terms of the present slate of TV series based on critically acclaimed Detective Comics properties (superhero-orientated or otherwise). Read on for our guide to the refreshingly self-assured set of pseudo-fantastical productions which await viewers in the coming months:
  • GOTHAM (Premières October 2014 on Channel 5) - A prequel of sorts to both Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy and Zack Snyder's impending multi-superhero blockbuster Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (albeit one which won't be directly connected to either of those aforementioned projects from a narrative standpoint), Gotham follows a young and spritely Detective James Gordon as he witnesses the birth of countless sinister villains who'll come to plague Gotham City and its elusive Dark Knight once the latter Caped Crusader has overcome the unparalleled emotional upheaval involved with his parents' demises.
  • THE FLASH (Premières October 2014 on Sky1) - Grant Gustin made his electrifying début in the Arrow-verse last year, yet there's not long now until his superheroic alter-ego bursts to the surface and commences his campaign to defend Central City from those physically-enhanced and psychologically-deranged criminals who are hell-bent on tearing the region apart. In the words of Oliver Queen (who makes a sublime cameo in "Pilot", we'll have you know) himself, this is a programme which clearly aspires to act "in a way that [Arrow] never could", tapping into the more light-hearted elements of the DC comic-book universe so as to rescue The CW from becoming known only for maudlin TV series "in a flash".
  • ARROW (Premières October 2014 on Sky1) - Readers should know the drill on this front by now, not least since we've sung Arrow's praises ever since its inception and in recent months have come to brand it as the strongest superhero-orientated programme to date. Season Three is set to introduce key elements of Green Arrow lore such as the Atom, the re-emergence of the enigmatic Malcolm Merlyn (who'll now be dedicated to his new ambition of turning Thea to the metaphorical dark side) and even Batman Begins antagonist Ra's Al Ghul, all of which should enable the series to reach bold new heights over the course of its next twenty-three instalments.
  • CONSTANTINE (Premières Autumn 2014; UK Broadcaster TBC) - Naturally, we'll continue to champion potential crossovers between televised DC productions in years to come, yet Constantine's all but guaranteed to remain its own isolated entity given the far-fetched nature of its procedural narratives. Based around the exploits of John Constantine, a supernatural detective with dark secrets aplenty (not to mention a British accent, which is enough of a perk in itself given the rarity of British actors snagging roles on US dramas in this day and age), the programme will surely explore the more sombre realms of the DC universe, but from what we've seen so far, Matt Ryan's hilarious portrayal of its protagonist should be more than enough to lift us out of the doldrums whenever necessary.
  • iZOMBIE (Premières Winter 2014; UK Broadcaster TBC) - Make no mistake, more than any of the other DC TV projects on the market right now, this one's not for the faint of heart. iZombie is based primarily on a lesser-known graphic novel series which fell under the 'Vertigo' sub-brand when it launched four years ago, but that shouldn't deter fans of fantasy and horror alike from sampling the programme's opening season - provided that it finds its way onto a UK network in the not too distant future, of course.
  • SUPERGIRL (Premieres 2015; UK Broadcaster TBC) - In the wake of their commissioning announcement, CBS have provided a plot synopsis for Supergirl Season One which outlines the show's basic premise and timeline, so for the most part, we'll let the précis in question do the heavy lifting. Be sure to look out for one key reference to a famed DC character who's sure to make waves if he crosses paths with the titular Kryptonian next year (if the studio can gain the rights to depict a different incarnation to Henry Cavill's silver-screen rendition, of course): "Born on the planet Krypton, Kara Zor-El escaped amidst 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."
Supergirl will take flight on CBS (and a still-to-be-announced UK broadcaster, presumably) in Autumn 2015.

Friday, 19 September 2014

First Doctor Who 2014 Christmas Special Guest Stars Announced

Embedded image permalink
Image Sources: Twitter (@bbcdoctorwho) & BBC Worldwide
Things are going to get Frost-y as the Twelfth Doctor embarks on his first festive adventure!
BBC Worldwide have just announced the names of three guest stars who are set to feature in this year's Doctor Who Christmas Special. So far, only Peter Capaldi has been confirmed to reprise his role as the Twelfth Doctor as a result of lead stars Jenna Coleman and Samuel Anderson wanting to keep the climax of Season Eight under wraps, but the revelation that the aforementioned trio of esteemed actors are hopping aboard the TARDIS this Christmas should be more than enough to keep fans content for now.

As tempting as it is, we shan't keep you in suspense any longer: Nick Frost, Nathan McMullen and Michael Troughton are the latest high-profile stars scheduled to appear in one of the world's best-loved science-fiction dramas. Whilst Frost is best known for his various big-screen collaborations with the similarly-beloved British comedian Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead and Paul amongst them), McMullen and Troughton's work on TV projects such as Misfits and Holby City inevitably means that their names won't be quite so instantly recognisable for the vast majority of viewers. That's not to say that they're not ideal additions to the Whoniverse, though - indeed, Michael has the rare honour of being the son of the Second Doctor himself, Patrick Troughton and is therefore arguably better suited to a role on the show than the vast majority of thespians! Be sure to stay tuned to On-Screen in the coming weeks as we learn more regarding the immediate future of Doctor Who and what lies in store for its latest festive outing.

The new series of Doctor Who continues this Saturday, September 20th with "Time Heist" at 7.30pm on BBC One.

UPDATE (19-09-2014, 4pm): Since we flagged up the Beeb's monumentally exhilarating casting announcement this morning, BBC Worldwide have gone one step further and announced that Coronation Street's Natalie Gumede and Pride's Faye Marsay will also star in the as-of-yet-unnamed festive instalment. Better yet, Jenna Coleman will reprise her role as Clara Oswald - it seems that the Impossible Girl's tale isn't over yet! A new promotional image of Nick Frost's still-to-be-identified character can be seen below.
Nick Frost as Commander Henderson in Hyperdrive

The Fantastic Four Delayed

Source: E Online
It's out with the old and in with the new as Marvel's iconic quartet return to the big-screen.
20th Century Fox have today confirmed a delay in the release schedule of their impending superhero blockbuster The Fantastic Four. Directed by Chronicle's Josh Trank and starring the likes of Miles Teller and Toby Kebbell (better known as Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), the third instalment in Fox's series of adaptations of the beloved comic-book saga will effectively retcon everything that has come before, taking place within a narrative continuity where the events of Fantastic Four (2005) and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2008) never occurred (a loss that we sincerely doubt many hardened followers of the classic superhero quartet will grieve over for a particularly extensive period of time).

Whereas Assassin's Creed has seemingly entered the realms of limbo (expect to see our full report on the setbacks that Michael Fassbender's much-anticipated science-fiction blockbuster has suffered later today), The Fantastic Four has thankfully not been burdened with the same level of misfortune; instead, the movie's launch has shifted back by two months in order to accommodate the gap left by the aforementioned video game adaptation. Readers are sure to find no shortage of claims that Fox are attempting to match the unprecedented degree of commercial success attained by Guardians of the Galaxy last month by moving their latest (and possibly greatest - who can say?) cinematic superhero outing to an August release date, yet we'd wager that it's more a case of the studio simply hoping to fill a vacated slot in their big-screen schedule for 2015 rather than them hoping to directly ape Marvel Studios' approach (as valid a move as that would be right now given the latter team's enduring commercial dominance). There has been no sign whatsoever of a teaser trailer for the reboot, of course, and this somewhat unexpected delay will surely make the wait a little longer, but as soon as the first video preview or other promotional material hits the net, there'll be no better place to head over to than right here at On-Screen.

The Fantastic Four will explore the boundaries of our galaxy and battle super-villains galore in cinemas worldwide on August 7th, 2015.

Deadpool Film Adaptation Announced

Source: Gamespot
Can the Merc with a Mouth talk mainstream audiences into checking out his first solo big-screen adventure? We're about to find out...
20th Century Fox have today announced a blockbuster adaptation of the long-running Marvel comic-book series Deadpool. As one would rightly expect, the film - which will share the same name as its printed inspiration - will act as a spin-off from the decade-spanning X-Men franchise and, better yet, will see Ryan Reynolds reprise his role as the titular wise-cracking, fourth-wall-breaking anti-hero who took Marvel Comics' fandom by storm upon his début in the ninety-eighth issue of New Mutants back in 1991 before eventually receiving his own series of constantly generically subversive escapades courtesy of Joe Kelly as the 20th Century came to a close.

Surprises such as these are becoming increasingly rare within the entertainment industry these days, not least as a seemingly infinite number of 'fans' often seem intent on leaking key information regarding upcoming projects and products well in advance. Save for an accidentally-released conceptual clip (a video that was originally utilized by Reynolds and the production team as a pitch to 20th Century Fox and can be witnessed in all of its hilarious glory below), though, the studio have done a noteworthy job of keeping the existence of Deadpool under wraps until now, especially given that its release date is a mere seventeen months away (which places it before the release of both X-Men: Apocalypse and The Wolverine 3 and shortly after the slightly-delayed launch of The Fantastic Four - more on that later!). Details on the long-awaited movie's screenwriter have yet to be revealed, but we can confirm that Scott Pilgrim vs. the World helmer Tim Miller will be on directorial duties; as is always the case, should readers desire to learn more about the X-Men series' most fascinating spin-off outing to date, there's only one course of action at this stage - keep it locked at On-Screen in the weeks ahead!

Deadpool will open fire in cinemas worldwide on February 12th, 2016.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Lucifer Pilot Episode Commissioned

Source: Comic Book
While their Cinematic Universe is lagging behind Marvel's counterpart, DC's small-screen efforts are unquestionably taking the lead!
20th Century Fox have this week announced the commissioning of a pilot episode of their proposed fantastical drama Lucifer. Set to be based loosely on the fictitious exploits of a little-known comic-book anti-hero who first appeared in Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen back in the 1960s before making a name for himself in Neil Gaiman's iconic 1980s graphic novel The Sandman and to be produced by Dawson Creek's Tom Kapinos, the show will join the likes of Arrow, The Flash, Gotham, iZombie and Constantine in rendering highly-regarded DC Comics constructs as fully-fledged small-screen protagonists.

Naturally, however, the following question remains: will the DC Televisual Universe (as we'll brand it until we hear otherwise from Warner Bros. and / or DC Entertainment) soon begin to buckle under the weight of its various sub-franchises? Believe it or not, this oft-speculated eventuality is actually far less likely than we might initially think, due in no small part to the fact that the beloved and up-and-coming programmes we mentioned above are owned by a variety of studios and therefore don't constantly rely on contrived crossovers (well, barring Arrow and The Flash, but they're handling their interconnectivity in precisely the right way at present) and continuity-stretching references to the countless other super-powered warriors also working to keep the Earth safe from supernatural forces on the other channel. Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. represents a prime example of how the burdens of direct connections such as these can prove detrimental in the long run (even if the programme did eventually manage to find its footing as Season One neared its end), but with any luck, Lucifer will avoid Gotham (Fox's only other DC TV drama)'s narrative territory like the plague in order to give itself the best chance of thriving in a market which is already jam-packed with budding unearthly contenders to the fantastical throne (Game of Thrones, anyone?).

The pilot episode of Lucifer will begin filming in early 2015, with the studio's intention presumably being to air an entire season of the show - provided that it receives a commission, of course - on Fox next Autumn.

Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey? Teaser Trailer Released

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Source: Screen Relish
Is it possible to milk a cash-laden donkey? Either way, this tiresomely derivative festive franchise is going to give it one last stab...
E1 Entertainment have today released the teaser trailer for their upcoming Christmas comedy film Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey?. Serving as a direct continuation of the semi-educational story arc established in 2011's remarkably hilarious Nativity! and 2013's remarkably less chuckle-worthy Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger, the third instalment in the shamelessly bloated festive saga will once again follow the youngsters who comprise St. Bernedatte's most notorious class as they come to terms with receiving an astoundingly temperamental new teacher (has there ever been a role more suited to Martin Clunes' performing talents, we ask you, dear reader?) and a similarly apathetic headmistress (played by none other than Celia Imrie) to boot.

If anyone was under the impression that the Nativity! casting team weren't particularly prominent fans of Doctor Who before now, then that illusion has been well and truly dispelled by Dude, Where's My Donkey?'s initial video preview. From Clunes (who starred in the 1980s serial "Snakedance") to Tate (best known for her portrayal of Donna Noble between 2006-2010), from Imrie (the actor who brought us the deliciously ruthless Miss Kizlet in last year's "The Bells of Saint John") to Jason Watkins (or, as we knew him last year, "Nightmare in Silver"'s chillingly manipulative theme park owner Webley - apologies to fans who've spent the last sixteen months attempting to erase that muddled Cyber-adventure from their memories) and David Tennant (who's not been confirmed to reprise his role as Danger in the Manger's quirky protagonist but is all but guaranteed to at least receive a namecheck - for fear of coming off as heartlessly patronising, we'll restrain from going into details of his history with the long-running science-fiction drama), there's no shortage whatsoever of formidable talent from the BBC's hit TV series. At the same time, the trailer itself doesn't come up short on cringe-worthy one-liners, shameless spiritual callbacks to Dude's immediate predecessors and clichéd moments so uninspired that they might as well have been recycled from Wikipedia; suffice to say that (at least at this rate) regular screenwriter Debbie Isitt will have her work cut out if she's hoping to come anywhere close to matching the rare strength and charm of the notably accomplished original piece.

Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey? will bring merriment and festive joy (not to mention a sizeable helping of mince pies, if it's got any sense about it) to UK cinemas nationwide this November 14th.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Derek 2015 Special Commissioned

Source: Channel 4
Prepare for one final trip to Broadhill Nursing Home next year.
Executive producer and lead star Ricky Gervais has this week announced the commissioning of a new one-off special episode of his hit comedy-drama Derek for broadcast on Channel 4 in the not too distant future. The show, which has amassed a weekly viewership of nearly 2 million viewers over the course of a pair of critically acclaimed six-episode seasons, centres on Broadhill, a fictitious nursing home that plays host to a range of eclectic residents and a similarly diverse team of staff, the most dedicated and instantly lovable of which is undoubtedly the titular protagonist.

In a day and age such as this where UK TV dramas struggle to maintain remarkable viewing ratings and therefore often fall prey to the axe as their respective broadcasters begin to lose faith in their future potential, for Derek to have survived three whole years in the form of a pilot episode (which was broadcast in 2012) and the two aforementioned series is a hugely commendable feat to be sure. Fans (this writer included) were probably cautiously optimistic about the possibility of a full third season of the show being commissioned after the widespread success of this year's run, yet what with the just-announced development of Gervais' The Office spin-off film Life on the Road, it was all but inevitable that the beloved British producer and writer's most successful TV venture yet would resultantly fall by the wayside. If anything, a (presumably) feature-length episode such as this might well turn out to be the perfect send-off for a programme which has constantly subverted pre-conceptions of both its genre and subject and which will thus be sorely missed by its enduringly extensive fandom.

Derek will return to Channel 4 for its heart-warming final outing in 2015.

Monday, 15 September 2014

New The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Promotional Image Released

Image Sources: Screen Rant & ComicBookMovie
Only four months to go until the Company of Dwarves stop singing about the Misty Mountains cold!
Warner Bros. Pictures have today released a new promotional image (below) for their impending fantasy film The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Based (increasingly) loosely on Chapters XVII-XIX of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic novel of the same name (no, seriously - there's only around 60 pages' worth of plot left to cover, but don't think for a second that these limitations will prevent helmer Peter Jackson from producing yet another three-hour epic), the third instalment in the commercially lucrative - yet critically divisive, to say the least - Hobbit film franchise will mark Peter Jackson's sixth and final foray into the mythologically-rich realms of Middle-Earth.

Ever the upholders of promotional consistency, Battle's marketing team have once again designed an all-encompassing banner which appears to cover all of the major set-pieces contained within the highly-anticipated blockbuster's climactic storyline. Not since The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King or The Dark Knight Rises has a director been tasked with providing a rewarding and fulfilling denouement to such a dense and highly-regarded narrative as this (Jackson might as well be the film industry's George R.R. Martin, save for the contrasting fact that he'll give his fandom their long-awaited finale in good time rather than forcing them to wait for years on end), but if anyone can pull it off, it's the man who convinced us that a CGI ring-bearer could be every bit as realistic and sympathetic a construct as his live-action counterparts. If all goes according to plan, then we can doubtless expect a conclusion for the ages - if not, well, there's always Into the Woods...

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies wages war in UK cinemas this December 12th and on December 17th in the United States.

(To see the full banner in all of its high-res glory, visit http://i2.cdnds.net/14/38/movies-the-hobbit-the-battle-of-the-five-armies-tapestry-artwork.jpg)

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 Theatrical Trailer Released

Source: Wikipedia
Katniss' final battle is beckoning - will anyone make it out of Panem's deadliest conflict alive?
Lionsgate have today released the theatrical trailer for their upcoming fantasy blockbuster The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1. The follow-up to 2013's The Hunger Games: Catching Fire picks up directly where its predecessor left off, chronicling reluctant rebel Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence)'s campaign to rescue Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) from captivity in the sinister Capitol and in doing so begin to put an end to President Snow (Donald Sutherland)'s overextended reign of tyranny once and for all.

Unsurprisingly, carrying out such an ambitious mission is far easier said than done, to the extent that it'll take director Francis Lawrence not one but two entire motion pictures in order to depict the momentous final war of Panem. Despite having utterly adored Catching Fire, we're still uncertain as to the reasons behind the chosen method of adaptation, frankly - did Suzanne Collins' somewhat mediocre third novel really contain enough dramatically purposeful material to warrant a full-scale dual-rendition? All will of course be revealed in a few months' time, yet at this late stage in the day, it's remarkably challenging to shake the sense that the marketing campaign for Part 1 so far has seemed utterly bereft of momentum, with the two trailers released up until now coming up uncharacteristically short on both high-octane action set-pieces and emotionally stirring sequences. Believe it or not, this time around, the odds mightn't necessarily be in Katniss' - or certainly Lionsgate's - favour!

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 lights the flames of rebellion in UK cinemas nationwide this November 20th (and, in case readers were wondering, will continue its efforts to set the box office alight the next day - November 21st - in cinemas worldwide).

Mojang & Minecraft Acquisition Announced

Source: Nintendo Enthusiast
Trust us, this one's a real game-changer (industry pun fully intended)!
Microsoft have today announced their simultaneous acquisition of the video games development company Mojang and the rights to the latter studio's beloved Minecraft brand. Originally crafted by Markus "Notch" Persson, the hit sandbox title débuted on PC in 2011, after which it soon became regarded as a cult classic by its vast range of followers and spawned a number of ports on current- and next-generation consoles such as Xbox 360 and PlayStation 4.

All good things must come to an end, however, and whilst Microsoft's acquisition of these two industrial and technological pioneers will surely have plenty of benefits for the franchise down the line (and, better yet, shouldn't affect the non-Xbox versions of the product either) including the inevitable expansion of its fandom and therefore commercial appeal, the loss of "Notch" at Mojang will doubtless prove to be a disheartening development for long-term series veterans and the company as a whole, if only temporarily. Thankfully, the team's official website assured readers that their most prized asset is hard at work on plenty of new "cool stuff", presumably including some of the "smaller projects" which he was apparently unable to spearhead as a result of the time and attention necessitated by a global franchise such as this one. There'll be plenty of time to discuss the long-term ramifications of Microsoft's potentially industry-altering move (further details of which can be found in the official announcement video below) in the coming weeks, but for now, we'll simply congratulate "Notch" on the extent to which his first major product thrived in the tough-as-nails modern video gaming market and wish him the very best of luck for his future endeavours.

Minecraft: Xbox One Edition and Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition are available now for purchase on the Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation Network respectively.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Mrs. Brown's Boys & Cuckoo Christmas Specials Commissioned

Source: The Evening Harold
Hot on the heels of her cinematic début, Ireland's favourite Mammy returns to BBC One.
The BBC have this week announced the commissioning of special festive instalments of their critically acclaimed (well, at least in one case) situation comedies Mrs. Brown's Boys and Cuckoo. In stark contrast to the former long-running BBC One series - which stars Brendan O'Carroll as a remarkably masculine housewife whose capacity to satirise Irish culture and customs seems to know absolutely no bounds whatsoever and will return for not one but two Christmas Specials this time around - the latter programme - which plays host to The Inbetweeners regular Greg Davies - only premièred over on the soon-to-be-deceased BBC Three last year and as such, its future beyond the just-announced Winter outing is still to be determined (officially, anyway).

Regular followers of On-Screen should be under no illusion regarding our vocal discontentment with Mrs. Brown's Boys at this stage, yet it's safe to say that the show manages to consistently surpass our expectations when it comes to viewing ratings, hence why (unlike Cuckoo, which arguably deserves every chance it can receive to endure and thrive, regardless of whether a channel shift is in order) it'll surely return long beyond this festive season and could possibly even 'earn' itself a sequel or two to the near-unjustifiably successful big-screen continuation (Mrs. Brown's Boys D'Movie) that made its way to UK cinemas during the Summer months. For those interested in reading the news as it was presented to us earlier this week direct from the proverbial horse's mouth - the latter of which landed shortly after the broadcast of the final episode of Cuckoo's second full run - here are the original announcement tweets in all of their somewhat majestic glory (well, depending on the extent to which readers engage with either of these two ongoing projects):
This year's Mrs. Brown's Boys Christmas Specials will wreak yuletide havoc on BBC One this Christmas Day and New Year's Day (TBC - the other potential airdate is Christmas Eve), whilst Cuckoo will most likely make its long-awaited return to BBC Three with a new feature-length episode this Christmas Eve.

First Doctor Who Season Nine Production Details Announced

Source: Doctor Who TV
The Doctor will return in 2015, but will he have a different accomplice by his side?
Lead star Jenna Coleman has this week confirmed the first production details on the upcoming ninth season of the BBC's best-loved science-fiction drama Doctor Who. The up-and-coming British actress will continue to portray Clara Oswald for the duration of this year's season of time-travelling adventures alongside Peter Capaldi - the incumbent incarnation of the titular eternal Time Lord - and newcomer Samuel Anderson, the latter of whom plays Coal Hill Secondary School teacher and potential TARDIS crew member Danny Pink (who's due to make his second full appearance tonight in Season Eight's fourth episode, "Listen", so be sure to give it a watch).

Beyond Capaldi, who has virtually confirmed that he'll reprise his role as the Twelfth Doctor in the show's 2015 series, though, our knowledge of the central cast ensemble of Season Nine is all but non-existent. Coleman wouldn't be drawn on whether Clara will return aboard the Doctor's now-iconic time-and-space vessel next year, although her reasons for keeping schtum are fairly valid, to her credit: "There's lots of rumours. [She and Capaldi have] sat down with Steven Moffat and we've all decided we don't want anyone to know which way [the recurring cast members situation is] going. If you know I'm in the next series - or if you know I'm off - you'll know how the story ends. There's a surprise we've got coming, it's much better that nobody knows where it's going to go - so that's where we're trying to keep it at the moment."

Thankfully, thanks to the Radio Times' interview with the programme's leading lady, we do now know that Doctor Who Season Nine will begin filming in January 2015 and will therefore presumably première on BBC One in Autumn 2015 at around the same time as Season Eight débuted on our screens last month. Let the countdown to Capaldi's second wave of galactic voyages begin...

New Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Two TV Trailer Released

Source: Screen Rant
Could Coulson and his loyal team of agents be on the Highway of Hell this Autumn? It appears so.
ABC have today released a new TV trailer (below) for the impending second season of their hit detective drama Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Based in the increasingly sizeable Marvel Cinematic Universe, the programme's ongoing narrative follows the lives of a team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who are currently in the process of trying to pick up the pieces of their near-defunct organization after it faced total destruction in the climactic moments of March's momentous big-screen blockbuster Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

What's changed since we last laid eyes on newly-appointed Director Phil Coulson and his team back in May, then? In short, not much, at least if the marketing team's election to utilize AC / DC's immortal rock anthem "Highway to Hell" as their backing track is any indication. The tune in question probably won't be the central point of focus for most fans upon their initial viewing of the trailer, though - quite to the contrary, they're likely to be more intent on actually working out quite what's going on, since the video constantly cuts between a near-endless number of varying shots of S.H.I.E.L.D. team members new and old, along with one or two new adversaries who've been confirmed to crop up in the opening instalments of Season Two. We wish our readership the very best of luck in trying to make sense of it all, as three viewings in, we're none the wiser!

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will blast back onto ABC with its action-packed season season this September 23rd and will première the first episode of its much-vaunted new run on Channel 4 sometime this Autumn.

Batman: Arkham Knight Delayed

Image Sources: Polygon & Paste
A familiar foe waits in the wings for the Caped Crusader, one who employs the enigmatic pseudonym of 'the Setback'...
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment have this week announced a delay in the release schedule of their upcoming open-world action-adventure video game Batman: Arkham Knight. Crafted and honed by Rocksteady Studios, the much-anticipated title will form the final instalment in the development studio's best-selling trilogy of small-screen adaptations of the Caped Crusader's graphically novelised escapades atop the rooftops of Gotham City.

Now, in fairness, the news that Arkham Knight will be shifting to a 2015 release date isn't completely new by any means - in fact, Rocksteady did go ahead and reveal that their latest (and perhaps greatest - time will tell) invention would hit stores in "early 2015" shortly after Sony unveiled a technologically astounding new game-play demo (which we've included below for old time's sake) at their Electronic Entertainment Expo conference in June. That won't stop fans (ourselves included) from feeling somewhat short-changed by the final official launch date, however, since they'll have to wait nearly half of next year to get their hands on a finished product which we were originally promised would ship a lot earlier. Development hitches and Rocksteady's attention to detail are sure to have been the primary causes of the aforementioned shift, but the real question will be whether Batman's extensive fandom will rally behind the Dark Knight's next foray into the realms of video gaming after this sudden change of plans. Collector's Editions such as those which have just been announced (screenshots of which can be glimpsed below this text) are all well and good for series veterans and June may well be an ideal time for the product to ship as a result of the relatively limited number of industry competitors set to launch their blockbuster titles at that precise point in time, yet the onus is now on Rocksteady to confirm that the extended wait will eventually seem worthwhile for the mainstream community of easily-deterred followers.

Batman: Arkham Knight accelerates onto PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on June 2nd, 2015. Whereas the standard version of the title will ship for approximately £50, the Limited Edition iteration (pictured below) will ship for around $100 (£80-90) and the Collector's Edition set (ditto) will go one step further by boasting a $200 (£170-90) RRP. Holy asking price, Batman!
arkham knight limited edition.jpg
arkham knight batmobile edition.jpg

Friday, 12 September 2014

Grand Theft Auto V Next-Gen Remake Release Dates Announced

Source: Rockstar Games
The hi-res remake of last year's most audacious open-world shooter is closer than we thought!
Rockstar Games have today announced official release dates for the hugely anticipated Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC versions of their critically lauded open-world third-person-shooter Grand Theft Auto V. The grand free-roaming experience in question first launched on our shores via the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 last September, yet that didn't stop Rockstar and Sony from revealing a next-generation upgrade full of aesthetic bells and whistles in June at the latter studio's announcement-packed Electronic Entertainment Expo showcase.

Whilst it shouldn't come as any major shock at this stage in the metaphorical (and literal) game to hear that Rockstar aren't coming up short on new features, the full list of upgrades itself may still stagger even the most ardent fans of the enduringly acclaimed development team. Read on to discover precisely what lies in store for next-generation players:
  • From a content-centric perspective, this reworked edition of GTA V boasts more than enough value for cash to appease sceptics: it'll ship with the original main campaign and GTA Online component, as well as all of the downloadable content which has been released with the intention of expanding both of the aforementioned game modes since the product's launch.
  • As well as boasting all of the vehicles, armaments and secondary activities which featured in the original GTA V experience and subsequent DLC packs, the next-gen version will come packaged with exclusive items galore that'll only be available to Xbox One, PS4 and PC owners (for the time being, at least).
  • On the plus side for current-generation players, though, should they choose to upgrade in a few months' time, then they'll unlock exclusive downloadable content via incentives systems which have been outlined on the official Rockstar website and will be detailed further in the weeks leading up to release day.
  • Of primary interest to most fans will be the specific elements of the original package which have been modified over the last twelve months or so and in this respect, Rockstar have thankfully been only happy to oblige with regards to providing concrete details. The updates are as follows: additional animals and plant-life; more traffic and roadside pedestrians; an improved dynamic foliage system; enhanced weather and damage visual effects; several vehicles from classic Grand Theft Auto titles such as the Dodo Seaplane (and better yet, content such as this will only be available to those who've got a copy of the 360 / PS3 version in their possession - for the time being, anyway) and more still to be revealed. As if all of that wasn't enough, anyone who pre-orders this particular version will receive $1,000,000 of in-game cash to spend from the outset; in other words, how can we really decline?
Grand Theft Auto V will launch its dastardly sophomore heists on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this November 18th, with the PC version of the title following suit on January 27th, 2015.

Frozen Theme Park Attraction Announced

Source: Vanity Fair
At this rate, the world of Frozen is becoming so enormous that it might as well replace ours!
The Walt Disney Company have today announced via their Disney Parks Blog that Walt Disney World Resort will soon play host to a fully-fledged Frozen attraction. Based over in Orlando, the beloved theme park comprises of four overarching 'lands' - the Magic Kingdom, the Animal Kingdom, EPCOT and MGM Studios - each of which feature a variety of rides and attractions based on long-running live-action and animated franchises such as The Lion King, Indiana Jones and Toy Story.

With the arrival of the characters and locales featured in quite possibly the strongest animated motion picture since Shrek into the American theme park landscape, competitors such as Universal Studios and Busch Gardens will surely have to step up their game in innovative and commercially lucrative ways if they are to entice kids (and, just as importantly, their parents) to choose their respective parks over Walt Disney World in the not too distant future. Although details on the aforementioned attraction - which will replace the frequently-overlooked Maelstrom ride in the Epcot Centre - are scarce at present, the park's marketing team are wasting no time in making the Frozen universe's presence in the United States known, as evidenced by their confirmation that the iconic Sleeping Beauty-inspired castle at the centre of easily the best-loved section of their theme park will be tweaked aesthetically in order to resemble the similarly well-known royal estate which made its début last November in Arendelle. Keep it locked at On-Screen for all the key info on all things Frozen including Walt Disney World's brewing homages to the animated blockbuster, the increasingly anticipated short film Frozen Fever and the impending Broadway adaptation...

The Magic Kingdom's Cinderella Castle will be unveiled in all of its newfound ice-laden glory this Christmas. An opening date for the new Frozen ride has yet to be revealed.

Now You See Me 2 Release Date Announced

Source: The Saint
Look closely at the revised première date, but be warned: the closer you look, the less you'll actually see...
Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment have this week announced an official release date for their upcoming magical thriller film Now You See Me 2. Set to be directed by G.I. Joe: Retaliation helmer Jon M. Chu, the sure-to-be-ambitious follow-up to 2013's remarkably confident Now You See Me will see Jessie Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson and Dave Franco reprise their roles as a quartet of talented tricksters who aspire to enter the ranks of an enigmatic organization called the Eye.

And quite frankly, we couldn't be more excited about the news if we tried. Although Now You See Me wasn't exactly an Oscar-worthy motion picture, it was doubtless one of the strongest cinematic thrillers of 2013, boasting a layered and tonally subversive narrative which managed to take its viewership off-guard on at least one occasion at the time of its début. Eisenberg and his merry band of wannabe wizards will once again be joined by Michael Caine - who played the manipulative businessman Arthur Tressler in the original - and Morgan Freeman - who took on the role of the now-imprisoned trick debunker Thaddeus Bradley - but aside from those confirmed cast members, our knowledge of the sequel's ensemble is relatively limited at this early stage in production. By all means, though, keep it locked at On-Screen in the coming months to find out more key details on the project and the manner in which its storyline will progress the character arcs of the Four Horsemen!

Now You See Me 2 will utter the all-important magic words in cinemas worldwide on June 10th, 2016.