Updates on Loki, Birds of Prey 2, and More

The latest poster from Marvel's Loki series featuring Wunmi Mosaku in armor, Tom Hiddleston in a suit, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw in an action pose with a spear.

Loki’s got some new work colleagues.
Image: Marvel Studios

Morning SpoilersIf there’s news about upcoming movies and television you’re not supposed to know, you’ll find it in here.

Emily Blunt talks Marvel rumors, and Margot Robbie updates us on the chance of a Birds of Prey sequel. Get a brief glimpse of Edgar Wright’s next film, Last Night in Soho. Loki gets a peculiar new friend in a poster for his new show. Plus, rejoice! Supergirl’s outta the Phantom Zone. Spoilers, go!

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Illustration for article titled Updates on Loki, Birds of Prey 2, and More

The Last Will and Testament of Charles Abernathy

Rachel Nichols will star alongside Peyton List, Bob Gunton, Austin Stowell, Briana Middleton, David Walton, and Reese Alexander in Alejandro Brugués (Juan of the Dead, Nightmare Cinema, Pooka Lives!) latest horror movie, The Last Will and Testament of Charles Abernathy. Based on a script by Joe Russo and Chris LaMont, the film follows “billionaire Charles Abernathy (Gunton) who, on the eve of his 75th birthday, invites his four estranged children back home out of fear that tonight someone—or something—is coming to kill him. To ensure his family will help protect him from whatever’s coming, Abernathy puts each of their inheritances on the line—they’ll get nothing if he’s found dead by dawn.” [Deadline]


Fantastic Four

Emily Blunt denied to Insider she’s been cast as Susan “The Invisible Woman” Storm-Richards in the MCU’s upcoming Fantastic Four movie.

That is fan-casting. No one has received a phone call. That’s just people saying, ‘Wouldn’t that be great?’ I love Iron Man, and when I got offered Black Widow, I was obsessed with Iron Man. I wanted to work with Robert Downey Jr. It would’ve been amazing. But I don’t know if superhero movies are for me. They’re not up my alley. I don’t like them. I really don’t. It’s been exhausted. We are inundated—it’s not only all the movies, it’s the endless TV shows as well. It’s not to say that I’d never want to play one, it would just have to be something so cool and like a really cool character, and then I’d be interested.


Birds of Prey 2

According to Margot Robbie, there’s currently “no sequel in the works” to Birds of Prey.

I don’t know if that is on the horizon anytime soon. I don’t think it’s a no. But no, there’s no sequel in the works that I’m aware of at this stage.

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[Den Of Geek]


The Suicide Squad

The Suicide Squad has been rated “R” by the MPAA for “strong violence and gore, language throughout, some sexual references, drug use, and brief graphic nudity.” We can only hope all of the above is related to King Shark. [Bloody-Disgusting]

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Last Night in Soho

Empire has a new photo from Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho.

Illustration for article titled Updates on Loki, Birds of Prey 2, and More

Photo: Focus Features

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Venom 2: Let There Be Carnage

We also have a new Venom 2 poster from China.

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Loki

Marvel has released a new Loki poster which intriguingly includes some sort of Mr. DNA-esque mascot for the Time Variance Authority, Miss Minutes.

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Illustration for article titled Updates on Loki, Birds of Prey 2, and More

Photo: Disney+


Legends of Tomorrow

Comic Book has photos from “Bay of Squids”the upcoming Cuban Missile Crisis episode of Legends of Tomorrow. More at the link.

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Illustration for article titled Updates on Loki, Birds of Prey 2, and More

Photo: The CW

Illustration for article titled Updates on Loki, Birds of Prey 2, and More

Photo: The CW

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Illustration for article titled Updates on Loki, Birds of Prey 2, and More

Photo: The CW

Illustration for article titled Updates on Loki, Birds of Prey 2, and More

Photo: The CW

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Illustration for article titled Updates on Loki, Birds of Prey 2, and More

Photo: The CW


The Handmaid’s Tale

“Will she get out?” asks the trailer for next week’s episode of The Handmaid’s Tale. 


Kung Fu

Nicky is ordered “No Kung Fu for a week!” in the trailer for next week’s episode.


Nancy Drew

Nancy Drew receives a mysterious job offer in the trailer for “The Purloined Keys.”


Superman & Lois

Superman, Lois, and their super-powered teenage sons continue the face the challenge of everyday life in the trailer for next week’s return episode.


Supergirl

Lastly, Kara finally escapes the %&$#ing Phantom Zone in the trailer for Supergirl’s August 24 return.


Banner art by Jim Cook

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Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Superman Movie Could Be a Period Piece

Illustration for article titled Ta-Nehisi Coates' Superman Movie Could Be a Period Piece

Image: DC Comics

Early reports say that Ta-Nehisi Coates’ already much-anticipated Superman movie could take place in the 20th century, which offers some very interesting options for what’s going to be an extremely interesting movie.

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This information comes from a piece today from the Hollywood Reporter, which clarifies the process is still so early that this is merely a possibility rather than Coates’ definitive pitch, since “Coates isn’t expected to deliver his Superman script until mid-December.” But here are the vague details as of now: “The Superman film appears to be moving onto its own track and won’t be part of the [DCEU], as of now. Sources tell THR that Coates is crafting a Kal-El in the vein of the original Superman comics and will have the protagonist hail from Krypton and come to Earth. While the story is currently being crafted and many details could change, one option under consideration is for the film to be a 20th century period piece.”

There are some very interesting potential stories to be told about a Black Superman throughout the 20th century even if “period piece” is purposefully vague. I can imagine a movie that takes place in 1978, the year the first Christopher Reeve Superman movie came out, to directly compare and contrast how the two heroes would be received by the world. But it could be even more powerful to see the challenges faced by Coates’ Superman during the character’s original comic setting in the 1940s or during the civil rights movement of the ‘60s.

When Joe Siegel and Jerry Shuster first created Superman in 1938, the last son of Krypton was, for lack of a better term, a Social Justice Warrior rather than a superhero who fought supervillains. He caught criminals, sure, but he also stopped fought poverty, protected victims of abuse, and in a 1946 radio serial even took on the Ku Klux Klan. Bringing Superman back to those roots could be absolutely fascinating to see on screen, especially compared to the spectacle that was Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Again, this is all merely speculation for now, so anything is possible. The prolific Coates has plenty of time to consider all his storytelling options.

As a reminder, this project was announced just this past February and will be produced by J.J. Abrams, but has no director attached just yet. The report notes on that front, “Insiders say Warners and DC are committed to hiring a Black director to tackle what will be the first cinematic incarnation of Superman featuring a Black actor.”


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Making Fun of Superman Is Tradition

Calvin Ellis as he appears on the cover of Infinite Frontier #1.

Calvin Ellis as he appears on the cover of Infinite Frontier #1.
Screenshot: Bryan Hitch/DC Comics

As part of DC’s new Infinite Frontier relaunch—meant to build on the foundation laid by its Death Metal and Future State titles—the comic publisher’s set to put out a new miniseries. It kicked off with the massive Infinite Frontier #0 featuring a bevy of creative talent ahead of writer Joshua Williamson and artist Xermanico’s takeover for the following five issues later this summer.

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In press releases, DC Comics explained that Infinite Frontier’s meant to explore the dynamics of its new multiversal status quo now that essentially all of the publisher’s different realities have been brought back into the canonical fold. Tangled and messy as DC’s various Crises had previously left the multiverse (something that’s always made it difficult to jump into DC’s comics), the promise of Infinite Frontier is a fresh start where the possibilities are seemingly endless. One of those possibilities was Calvin Ellis, DC’s Black Superman from Earth 23, being put front and center in a new story exploring his place in the larger world. Early solicitations for Infinite Frontier #1 made clear that Calvin would factor into the plot significantly, but what really caught a number of peoples’ attention about the character’s big return to DC’s comics was one of the comic’s variant covers from artist Bryan Hitch.

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Calvin Ellis as he appears on the cover of Infinite Frontier #1.
Image: Bryan Hitch/DC Comics

Ahead of Infinite Frontier #1’s upcoming release, an Aquaman fan account on Twitter posted an image of Hitch’s variant. Though some were glad to see Calvin back in action, many were quick to voice their distaste with the odd placement of the character’s hairline. Of course people’s specific jokes about Calvin’s fivehead were all different, but they were all ways of expressing disbelief that a Black man who was also the President of the United States and the most famous superhero on the planet would be caught in public with a haircut that made him look like Sinestro.

The predominantly white mainstream comics industry is well known for its history of doing a piss-poor job when it comes to illustrating Black characters with respect and beauty. This is also what made it so disappointing, though not exactly surprising, when Hitch himself chimed in with a now-deleted post on one specific thread telling a couple of people to “fuck off” for dragging his illustration. It’s easy to understand why people’s comments might have gotten to Hitch, who is a white British man—but it is also very easy to understand why people made fun of Hitch’s drawing of a fictional Black man with a truly outlandish way of styling his hair.

What was particularly telling about this entire situation is that Hitch’s illustration does actually bear a general resemblance to artist Valentine De Landro’s (who is Black) take on the character recently seen in Infinite Frontier: Secret Files #1. The overall shape of Cal’s hairline is similar in style between De Landro and Hitch’s art, with the key difference being the hair’s placement, which reads as unnatural in Hitch’s piece. It’s also worth noting that Hitch also drew Infinite Frontier: Secret Files #1’s cover where Calvin is again shown to have a hairline that arcs upwards in ways that most Black people’s hair simply doesn’t grow, or at least not how they would choose to cut their hair.

Superman coming down to help a family find their dog.

Superman coming down to help a family find their dog.
Image: Valentine De Landro/DC Comics

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Even if one were to excuse the variant cover’s oddness as more of a perspective issue, what was immediately lost in Hitch’s snap reaction to people’s valid and relatively tame criticisms was the fact that making fun of Superman is a major part of the tradition surrounding the 80+ year old character. DC’s Superman has always been as silly and ridiculous as he is noble and indestructible. That duality is a part of the character’s charm that some have come to appreciate over time as we gain a better understanding of how archetypical characters like Superman can contain multitudes. People who like to pretend that they’ve never cracked a dumb joke about Superman wearing his underwear on the outside, or understand how fans frequently poke fun at the character’s Boy Scout energy are lying to themselves. Beyond the actual text of stories where characters jab at Clark Kent for those sorts of things, Superman occupies such a prominent space in pop culture that it’s very common for people to hold him up as an example of a character worthy of derision for one reason or another.

It’s hard to argue that people were really punching down by raising an eyebrow at Calvin’s Fourth World hairline because, at the end of the day, feedback is simply that. In this instance, that feedback wasn’t just honest and straightforward, it was part of the much larger, longstanding roast fans have been putting the Superman brand through for years that Calvin Ellis now has a special place in.

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Infinite Frontier #1 hits stores on June 23.


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Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Could Have Had an Even More Ridiculous Title

Hey, remember this terrible scene from Batman v Superman? Good times.

Hey, remember this terrible scene from Batman v Superman? Good times.
Image: Warner Bros.

When it was announced that the DC Extended Universe’s follow-up to Man of Steel would be titled Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, people had quite a laugh. After all, it sounded like Batman was going to sue Superman, presumably for all the manslaughter by depraved indifference he committed at the end of his debut movie. However, it turns out the movie’s title could have been much, much more ridiculous.

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Speaking at Justice Con this past weekend (via Collider), director Zack Snyder and screenwriter Chris Terrio revealed that the reason Batman is “v” Superman as opposed to “versus” Superman is because they didn’t want it to sound like some lame “versus” movie, which is funny because it is absolutely and unequivocally a “versus” movie. But that’s apparently not the title they really wanted.

“The whole ‘v’ instead of ‘versus,’ it was like this crazy negotiation,” Snyder said at the con. “I was like, ‘Guys, can’t we just do something like Son of Sun and Knight of Night, or something that’s a little bit more poetic?’”

On one hand, Son of Sun and Knight of Night is pretty clever since Superman derives his powers from Earth’s yellow sun, and Batman is the ultimate night person. On the other hand, this is a terrible, hoity-toity title for a movie starring two of the most popular superheroes in the world whose names are essential to gaining mass audiences’ attention and interest.

If nothing else, it’s a good reminder that it’s really fine that Zack Snyder is no longer in charge of the DC cinematic universe. Yes, his cut of Justice League was infinitely better than the theatrical release, but his vision for these superheroes has always been prohibitively adult, over serious, and self-aggrandizing.

What I want to know is if there are even hoitier and/or toitier titles for the movie out there. If you have ideas, please share them in the comments! My vote is for A Tale of Two Marthas: Who Is Donna Justice?


For more, make sure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom.

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Updates On Furiosa, Flash, and More

Furiosa’s heading to the road once more this summer.

Furiosa’s heading to the road once more this summer.
Image: Warner Bros.

Morning SpoilersIf there’s news about upcoming movies and television you’re not supposed to know, you’ll find it in here.

Vin Diesel is bringing Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots to real life. Jamie Foxx’s vampire hunter movie expands its cast. Loki producer Nate Moore suggests that there could be room for more than one season of the show. Plus, a glimpse of Superman & Lois’ return. Spoilers away!

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Illustration for article titled Updates On Furiosa, Flash, and More

The Flash

According to The Wrap, Michael Keaton is now officially attached to reprise his role as Bruce Wayne/Batman in The Flash. This comes after the actor made recent comments that he would potentially reconsider future roles due to covid-19 safety concerns.


Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots

Variety reports Vin Diesel is attached to star in a film adaptation of Mattel’s Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots from Rampage screenwriter, Ryan Engle. The story is said to follow “a father (Diesel) and son who form an unlikely bond with an advanced war machine.”


Spaceman

Deadline has word Paul Dano and Kunal Nayyar have joined the cast of Spaceman—Netflix’s upcoming film adaptation of Spaceman of Bohemia starring Adam Sandler and Carey Mulligan.

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Day Shift

Snoop Dogg, Scott Adkins, Meagan Good, Karla Souza, Eric Lange and Zion Broadnax have joined the cast of Netflix’s upcoming vampire film, Day Shift, starring Jamie Foxx. The film will sees Foxx as “a hard-working, blue-collar dad who just wants to provide a good life for his quick-witted daughter, but his mundane San Fernando Valley pool cleaning job is a front for his real source of income, hunting and killing vampires as part of an international union of vampire hunters.” [THR]

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The Munsters

Bloody-Disgusting additionally reports Rob Zombie’s upcoming film adaptation of The Munsters is rumored to be a Peacock exclusive “that will open day-and-date in theaters via Universal Pictures/UPHE, similar to what Warner Bros. is doing with HBO Max.”

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Furiosa

Production on Furiosa begins this June in Australia, which director George Miller describes as an “epic” taking place over several years.

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From

Deadline reports EPIX is now developing From, a new horror series from John Griffin that will “unravel the mystery of a nightmarish town in middle America that traps all those who enter. As the unwilling residents fight to keep a sense of normalcy and search for a way out, they must also survive the threats of the surrounding forest—including the terrifying creatures that come out when the sun goes down.” Jack Bender is attached to direct the first four episodes.

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Loki

In a recent interview with Indiewire, producer Nate Moore suggested Loki “lends itself to multiple seasons in a way where it’s not a one-off.”

The one that comes to mind — and that probably isn’t a secret — I think there’s a lot of storytelling in Loki that’s really irreverent and clever and cool, but also lends itself to multiple seasons in a way where it’s not a one-off. Tom Hiddleston, I think, is doing some of his best work on that show. It really is kind of amazing. I think of all the great stuff he’s done, but this show is going to show such different sides and really the true scope of his range. I think that show is going to surprise a lot of people.

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Superman & Lois

The CW has released a new poster for the May 18 return of Superman & Lois. 

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Debris

The latest piece of alien debris has the ability to “reset reality” in the trailer for next week’s episode, “Do You Know Icarus?”


Birdgirl

Finally, the Sebben & Sebben building comes to life in the trailer for next week’s episode of Birdgirl.


Banner art by Jim Cook

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The Major Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror Anniversaries of Spring 2021

Bowie, Loki, Thor, Marion.

Bowie, Loki, Thor, Marion.
Image: BLF, Marvel, Paramount

Let’s face it. We’re all old. Even if that’s not technically true, there’s always something a person can say or do to make you feel that way. One of those is when we realize a movie we feel an affinity for is way older than we remember it being. The best course of action? Use the fact that your favorite movie is about to celebrate a landmark anniversary and watch it again!

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We’ve collected a slew of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror films celebrating some big anniversaries this year. You’ll probably see us highlighting a few of them individually as the year goes on—in fact, you’ll find two examples at these links—but for now, take a look and bask in the nostalgia.

Below, we’ve got all the significant movie anniversaries (in io9’s coverage areas, naturally) coming up in April, May, and June. We’ll be sharing more soon but for now, take some time to make a new watchlist for yourself.


1961 – 60 Year Anniversaries

Atlantis, The Lost Continent.

Atlantis, The Lost Continent.
Image: TCM

Atlantis, the Lost Continent (May 3) – Not exactly a beloved film but when any high-concept genre film is celebrating 60 years, you’ve gotta give it its due. George Pal directed this tale of how Atlantis sunk into the sea; at the time, it was criticized for using stock footage from bigger, better movies.


1971 – 50 Year Anniversaries

Willy Wonka, Willy Wonka!

Willy Wonka, Willy Wonka!
Photo: Paramount

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Escape from the Planet of the Apes (May 21) – The third Planet of the Apes film is generally considered to be one of the best, as it follows apes who escape their planet only to get stuck in a time warp and sent to the past, which just so happens to be the present of the film’s release. A genius idea that plays out in some fascinating ways.

Willard (June 18) – Sometimes the simplest ideas can be the creepiest. Take for example Willard, about a young man who befriends a bunch of rats and tries to control them. It’s not the best film but the sight of all those rats doing all different things never leaves you. It was remade in 2003 with Crispin Glover in the lead role.

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Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (June 30) – Though it may be the biggest anniversary on this list, 50 years ago, Willy Wonka was not a hit at the box office. (Willard outgrossed it easily.) But screenings on television, home video, and more have grown this film into an all-time classic that’s more popular now than it’s ever been.

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1976 – 45 Year Anniversaries

The Man Who Fell to Earth

The Man Who Fell to Earth
Photo: British Lion Film

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The Man Who Fell to Earth (May 28) – David Bowie is, rightfully, best known for his eclectic, sensational music career. However, he gained even more God-like status by starring in this sci-fi film as an alien hoping Earth can save his people. It’s a dense, weird, excellent movie and a new TV show based on it is currently in the works starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Naomie Harris, and Clarke Peters.

Logan’s Run (June 23) – Lucky you, we already wrote about the wonder that is Logan’s Run and you can read it here.

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1981 – 40 Year Anniversaries 

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Raiders of the Lost Ark
Photo: Paramount

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Friday the 13th Part 2 (May 1) – Since Jason isn’t the killer in part one, that means this year brings the actual 40th anniversary of noted machete fanatic Jason Voorhees. And we all love Jason, don’t we?

The Burning (May 8) – When it opened a week after Friday the 13th, this similar, nature-set slasher film fizzed upon release. But in the years that followed, the star-studded cast and ultra gory kills have turned The Burning into a staple of the genre.

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Clash of the Titans (June 12) – The final film in the career of effects legend Ray Harryhausen, Clash of the Titans is high-adventure fantasy done right, at least for the time. The practical effects are excellent and the cast knows exactly what kind of over-the-top, wild movie they’re in.

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Raiders of the Lost Ark (June 12) – The first Indiana Jones film is incredible for so many reasons. It’s fun, funny, exciting, the story is excellent, etc. But what I can’t get over is the expectations fans must have felt when the men behind Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Star Wars teamed up to create a new hero. It more than delivered on those expectations, and it was so good it lives on to this day.

Superman II (June 19) – Before there was Justice League, there was Superman II. This epic superhero sequel was plagued by behind-the-scenes controversies that needed large pieces reshot and, later, had a version released by the original director (in that case Zack Snyder, in this Richard Donner). All of which is interesting but also it’s the Superman film that featured Terrence Stamp as General Zod—that’s straight-up iconic.

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Dragonslayer (June 26) – These days, humans fighting and riding huge dragons on screen is pretty standard. But in 1981, it was not, and that’s a big part of why Dragonslayer cemented itself in the hearts and minds of anyone growing up in the era. It’s a little dated now, but that’s also part of the charm.

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Also: Excalibur (April 10), The Howling (April 10), For Your Eyes Only (June 26), The Great Muppet Caper (June 26)


1986 – 35 Year Anniversaries 

Short Circuit

Short Circuit
Photo: Sony

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Critters (April 11) – To this day, if I see a round, black object somewhere, I think of Critters. This goofy yet scary horror film about little furry creatures that will eat you creeped me out for years simply because it felt more realistic than Gremlins. It’s not, of course, but considering several sequels were made, it probably means I’m not the only one.

Short Circuit (May 9) – A robot becomes self-aware in this hugely successful comedy that was everywhere when it was released. In the years since, the fact that it features a white man playing a highly-offensive depiction of a person of color has overshadowed that, and rightfully so. Nevertheless, Johnny 5 is alive will still hold nostalgia for many.

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SpaceCamp (June 6) – We love SpaceCamp so much we wrote about it five years ago on its 30th anniversary. You can read it right here.

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Also: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (May 11), Top Gun (May 16), Poltergeist 2 (May 23), The Karate Kid Part II (June 2) (Several of those aren’t exactly io9 but come on, who doesn’t love em?)


1991 – 30 Year Anniversaries 

The Rocketeer

The Rocketeer
Photo: Disney

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Drop Dead Fred (April 19) – Speaking of films that creeped me out growing up, Drop Dead Fred is another. Oh sure, it’s merely the story of a woman whose imaginary friend from childhood never leaves. But that dude was creepy AF and I’m not sure I ever got over it.

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (June 14) – Every generation has their Robin Hood. Errol Flynn, Sean Connery, a British fox, Taron Egerton, etc. If you grew up in the 1990s though, your Robin was Kevin Costner in this epic, excellent retelling of the classic Robin story. For our money, still one of the best Robin films ever.

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The Rocketeer (June 21) – If The Rocketeer was released in 2021, it would be a massive hit. The nostalgia, spectacle, and optimism fans have come to crave in their blockbusters is all right here in this excellent origin story of a man who uses a special rocket pack to fight Nazis. Just a fantastic movie. Rewatch it if you haven’t in a while.

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1996 – 25 Year Anniversaries  

Twister

Twister
Photo: Warner Bros.

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The Craft (May 3) – Even today, it’s rare to see movies starring a bunch of young women that aren’t specifically about love. The Craft was that, 25 years ago, and while there’s certainly some romance in there, the bonds and rivalries between these young witches struck a chord that reverberates to this day. (Blumhouse recently made a sequel.)

Barb Wire (May 3) – I was 16 years old when Barb Wire came out. It starred Pamela Anderson. Suffice to say, I was a fan of Barb Wire for reasons beyond the comic book adaptation being pretty lame and exploitive.

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Twister (May 10) – Talk about a disaster movie touched by the finger of God. A fantastic cast, a great score, incredible effects and direction, all add up to one of the best disaster movies of the era. Here’s some more on this modern classic:

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Mission: Impossible (May 22) – Can you believe a quarter of a century has passed and this Tom Cruise franchise is not just still going, but getting better with each and every installment? Brian DePalma’s original feels different from the newer films, but it’s still tense, propulsive, and awesome.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (June 21) – Hunchback is probably the end of Disney Animation’s renaissance of the 1990s but the animation is completely mind-blowing and the songs very much hold up, though they aren’t as popular as the filmmakers probably hoped.

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The Nutty Professor (June 28) – “Hercules! Hercules! Hercules!” Eddie Murphy’s transition into more family comedy began with this special effects-heavy remake that was beyond popular when it was released. It was everywhere, and rightfully so. It’s very weird, gross and funny.

Also: Sabrina the Teenage Witch (April 7), James and the Giant Peach (April 12), Mystery Science Theaters 3000: The Movie (April 19), Dragonheart (May 31), The Arrival (May 31), The Phantom (June 7), The Rock (June 7), The Cable Guy (June 14), Eraser (June 21)

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2001 – 20 Year Anniversaries  

Shrek

Shrek
Image: DreamWorks

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The Mummy Returns (May 4) – This sequel to The Mummy is obviously not as great as the original. Most notably though, it was the first film to cast a very popular wrestler at the time who was trying to break into acting. I’m not sure exactly how things worked out though for him though. His nickname was *checks notes* “the Rock.”

Shrek (May 18) – Sometimes movies come out that capture the hearts of any and everyone who sees them. In 2001, Shrek was that movie. The incredible voice cast combined with top-notch animation and a heartwarming story spawned a huge word-of-mouth hit that became an instant part of pop culture history.

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Moulin Rouge (June 1) – A kinetic, period love story set to pop songs from throughout history, Moulin Rogue is a delightful, powerful, unforgettable film. It smashes genres together in incredible ways which have given it a life way beyond the screen.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (June 15) – When Angelina Jolie played Lara Croft in 2001’s Tomb Raider, the casting was so perfect that, when the role was recast a few years ago, you probably had the thought “Why not just cast Angelina Jolie again?”

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A.I. Artificial Intelligence (June 19) – Though Stanley Kubrick died in 1999, a few years later his friend Steven Spielberg took materials Kubrick had for a potential film, and finished them. The result—basically a modern Pinocchio about young android who gains consciousness—is solid, but maybe more noteworthy for its existence. Which we’re very glad about.

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The Fast and the Furious (June 22) – “What if Point Break, but with cars? And in 20 years, the story will get so big, planet Earth won’t be able to contain it?” Yup.

Also: Josie and the Pussycats (April 11), A Knight’s Tale (May 11), Evolution (June 8), Atlantis: The Lost Empire (June 15)

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2006 – 15 Year Anniversaries

MI:3

MI:3
Photo: Paramount

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Mission: Impossible III (May 5) – It took 10 years for three movies to come out in the Mission: Impossible franchise (see above) but this third film, J.J. Abrams’ directorial debut, set it off in a whole new direction.

X-Men: The Last Stand (May 26) – Let’s see. Directed by Brett Ratner. Botches the Dark Phoenix storyline. Kills several main characters. There are lots of things not to like about The Last Stand. But this cast and these characters. even in a bad story, makes a movie well worth watching and remembering.

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Cars (June 9) – Okay, the fantasy logistics of cars who live and breathe can be a little awkward and confusing. But this first film in the franchise has plenty of heart and action, making it maybe not the best Pixar film, but a solid one. And one that has endured well beyond many others.

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Superman Returns (June 28) – The year 2006 was not a great one for superhero movie directors. Here, Bryan Singer helms a Superman story starring Kevin Spacey. Yeaaaaaaah. It’s a shame too because reusing John Williams’ score and some of the effects are great. We just aren’t sure if you can separate all that. At least Brandon Routh carried on the mantle.

Also: The Da Vinci Code (May 19), The Omen (June 6), Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift (June 16), Click (June 23)

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2011 – 10 Year Anniversaries 

Loki and Thor

Loki and Thor
Photo: Marvel Studios

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Source Code (April 1) – Duncan Jones, Jake Gyllenhaal, complex time loops to help save a bunch of people…Source Code is all kinds of awesome

Insidious (April 1) – One of my favorite horror franchises in recent memory, this first film follows a family forced to fend off creatures from another dimension called the Further. Absolutely terrifying and fantastically interesting.

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Super (April 1) – Did that trailer for The Suicide Squad pump you up? Well, James Gunn has already made a kick-ass, violent, poignant R-rated superhero film and it turns 10 this year. It’s called Super and Rainn Wilson and Elliot Page star in what’s a highly underrated comedy.

Scream 4 (April 11) – I’ve got to revisit Scream 4. I love the first three films so much but remember being wholly disappointed in this one. And yet, fans have turned around on the film in recent years.

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Fast Five (April 15) – In 2001, the Rock and the Fast and Furious franchise were introduced to theaters everywhere. Ten years later, the two came together in the film that supercharged the franchise into one of the biggest in the world.

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Thor (April 17) – Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston have become such household names by now it’s easy to forget that in 2011, they were both basically newcomers taking on these massive roles in the Marvel franchise which was just starting to blossom. The movie was good then but plays even better now.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (May 7) – On Stranger Tides is the odd Pirates of the Caribbean movie that 100% exists but feels mostly forgotten by time because it’s just not that good. And yet it’s got Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane, sothere’s some merit here. Also, oddly enough, Wikipedia lists it as “the most expensive movie ever made.”

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X-Men: First Class (May 25) – It took five years but, finally, director Matthew Vaughn was able to get his hands on the X-Men, and he knocked it out of the park with this period prequel introducing new characters and old characters just kicking unholy amounts of ass.

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Super 8 (June 9) – After bringing Star Trek back in a new and exciting way, J.J. Abrams decided to go full Spielberg and tell a nostalgic sci-fi tale with a cast of kids. The E.T.-influenced Super 8 never reaches those heights but makes for a watchable, cool experience never the less.

Green Lantern (June 17) – While Green Lantern is, to this day, a punchline, it was an early indication that DC was swinging for the fences with its characters right along with Marvel. This didn’t work and derailed many plans with it, but the movie was ambitious and well-cast, even if mostly unsuccessful.

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Transformers: Dark of the Moon (June 23) – Transformers is pretty good. Transformers 2 is really bad. Transformers 3, aka, Dark of the Moon, course corrects a bit towards “not bad” in what would be the last gasp of mediocrity in Michael Bay Transformer movies. (Four and five are absolutely awful.)

Also: Hop (April 1), Hanna (April 7), Winnie the Pooh (April 15), Priest (May 13), Melancholia (May 18), Kung Fu Panda 2 (May 22), The Smurfs (June 16), Cars 2 (June 18)

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Updates From Godzilla vs. Kong, Superman & Lois, and More

A Clash of Titans.

A Clash of Titans.
Image: Warner Bros.

Morning SpoilersIf there’s news about upcoming movies and television you’re not supposed to know, you’ll find it in here.

Danny Trejo is heading to Wolf Mountain. The new Chucky show has tapped a familiar Curse of Chucky star. Peacock’s take of Margaret Atwood’s Maddaddam has recruited the Battlestar reboot’s producer. Plus, what’s next on The Flash and Riverdale. To me, my spoilers!

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Illustration for article titled Updates From Godzilla vs. Kong, Superman & Lois, and More

Wolf Mountain

Deadline reports Danny Trejo has just wrapped filming Wolf Mountain, an upcoming werewolf movie co-starring Saw’s Tobin Bell and Latin singer Malu Trevejo. Directed by David Lipper, the story follows a man “who begins having vivid dreams of his parents’ death. He decides to go back to the spot where they were killed, 20 years ago, accompanied by his brother and his brother’s family. But legend has it there is something mysterious roaming the woods.”


Godzilla vs. Kong

A new international trailer includes additional footage of MechaGodzilla.


Chucky

Entertainment Weekly confirms Fiona Dourif will reprise her Curse of Chucky character, Nica Pierce, in the upcoming Child’s Play TV series at Syfy.

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I Know What You Did Last Summer

Meanwhile, Deadline reports Chrissie Fit has joined the cast of I Know What You Did Last Summer in a currently undisclosed role.

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Maddaddam/Battlestar Galactica

Deadline also has word Mike Lesslie has stepped down from producing the upcoming Battlestar Galactica reboot at Peacock to focus on a television series adapting Margaret Atwood’s Maddaddam—the third book in her post-apocalyptic Oryx & Crake trilogy.

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Dead in the Water

According to Bloody-Disgusting, AMC will produce a digital series tying into the sixth season of Fear the Walking Dead called Dead in the Water, which will tell the story of “a submarine crew fighting for survival” against underwater zombies.

Cut off from the surface world just as the apocalypse hits, the submarine becomes a nuclear-fueled walker-filled death trap with no way out.

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Debris

Gen Z uses alien technology against boomers in the synopsis for “Supernova” — the April 5 episode of Debris.

When the team investigates a group of teenagers who are using Debris to kill the elderly, Bryan faces increasing pressure from Maddox to get answers out of Finola.

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[Spoiler TV]


Riverdale

Cheryl leads the River Vixens in a new clip from “Destroyer” — this week’s episode of Riverdale.


Superman & Lois

Jordan learns his secret origin in the trailer for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” — next week’s episode of Superman & Lois.


The Flash

Finally, the Flash takes on a brand-new supervillain named Psych in the trailer for next week’s episode.


Banner art by Jim Cook

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Zack Snyder Delves Into Justice League’s Ending—and What Could’ve Come After

Batman lives a Knightmare of his own design in Batman v Superman.

Batman lives a Knightmare of his own design in Batman v Superman.
Image: Warner Bros.

Four years on from the release of Joss Whedon’s mangled Justice League—the ramifications of which are still being felt, both at Warner Bros. and among fandom circles alike—Zack Snyder’s Justice League has been unleashed upon the world. But this is a Zack Snyder project, so of course it’s far from over.

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Speaking to Vanity Fair today, Snyder blows wide open the largest addition he made to his four-hour-long take on Justice League. That addition was made possible by the film’s financial injection to properly “finish” what the director already had when he first departed the project under tragic circumstances. But “finish” feels wrong to say, when those additions actually untie plot threads of his Justice League to set the stage for multiple new movies.

“They didn’t want me to suggest more films to come, they wanted me to cul-de-sac it as much as I could,” Snyder told Vanity Fair, before offering a fascinating, grim, but astonishingly true sentiment about comic book blockbusters as we know them. “I’m like, ‘Look, that’s just not the genre.’ It’s not the comic book genre to end the story, regardless if we ever make [another] one or not.”

So he didn’t. And while these are movies that may never be seen, the director then went on to set up what could’ve happened in two more Justice League films—the conclusion to what he believes is a “five-part trilogy,” alongside Man of Steel, Batman vs. Superman, and now Justice League. If you’ve not had the four entire hours to sit down with the new film just yet, you’re going to want to turn around now.

Illustration for article titled Zack Snyder Delves Into Justice League's Ending—and What Could've Come After

Snyder’s Justice League concludes its gargantuan runtime—divided into six “parts,” even if it is presented as one long, continuous thing on HBO Max—with a roughly 30-minute long epilogue sequence. It’s here you’ll see things like Harry Lennix’s Martian Manhunter appearing to Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne (Snyder originally wanted John Stewart’s Green Lantern, but Warner Bros. pushed back against usage of the Green Lanterns in general, presumably due to its own plans for that stable of characters), and an expanded version of what became the 2017 film’s post-credit scene, a team-up between Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor and Joe Manganiello’s Deathstroke that would’ve set the stage for Affleck’s now-scrapped solo Batman movie.

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But the bulk of its runtime is given over to an alternate-reality known as the “Knightmare sequence,” previously hinted at in Batman v Superman and the theatrical release of Justice League as an alternate future where DC’s New Gods/Apokolips character Darkseid successfully subjugates the Earth. It’s here Affleck’s Batman—alongside Ray Fisher as Cyborg, Amber Heard’s Mera, Ezra Miller’s Flash, and Manganiello’s Deathstroke—gets a scene Snyder always wanted to do: putting him up against Jared Leto’s Joker.

“The cool thing about the scene is that it’s Joker talking directly to Batman about Batman,” Snyder said. “It’s Joker analyzing Batman about who he is and what he is. That’s the thing I also felt like fans deserved from the DC Universe. That is to say, the Jared Leto Joker and the Ben Affleck Batman, they never really got together.”

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The Joker’s barbs set the stage for an alternate reality that would’ve been explored, and ultimately undone (as it is in this version of Justice League), across two more films. Calling back to a line from future-Flash in Batman v. Superman—in which the speedster tells “our” Batman that “Lois Lane is the key”—Snyder wanted to explore a timeline where, knowing that Superman’s true weakness is his greatest love, Darkseid’s agents hunted down Amy Adams’ Lois Lane and, after Batman fails to stop them, murder her. “Darkseid comes to Earth. Superman says to Batman, ‘Guard Lois. This is a war between me and Darkseid. If you can help me as a friend, keep Lois safe,’” Snyder explained. “Lex tells Darkseid that the key to Superman’s weaknesses is killing Lois Lane. For whatever reason, Batman fails. Darkseid comes back and kills Lois. Batman fails, he hesitates. They were in an argument.”

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This would’ve created the reality now seen in Justice League’s epilogue, where Batman’s ragtag group of survivors attempt to go back and change time, avoiding the wrath of Superman, now controlled by Darkseid’s mastery of the Anti-Life Equation—a powerful command from the comics that lets whoever successfully masters it dominate the minds of the galaxy. But that’s not even the wildest thing about Snyder’s revelations. It’s why Batman fails to save Lois: he’d fallen in love with her in the time between Superman’s death and resurrection.

The final Justice League movie would’ve seen Batman’s apocalyptic team successfully manage to go back in time to the moment of Lois’ death and encourage the past Batman to overcome his feelings and sacrifice himself to save Lois and all of reality. “Superman doesn’t succumb to the Anti-Life Equation,” Snyder said of this new, Batman-less timeline. “Then the final movie has Aquaman leading the forces of Atlantis, Diana leading forces of Themyscira, and Superman and Flash leading the forces of [humans] against Darkseid in a giant war.”

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You can’t have a DC Universe without a Batman for long, and that’s where the 2021 version of Justice League comes back into the picture. When Snyder’s film picks up with Lois, a brief shot of her rummaging through a dresser reveals a positive pregnancy test. It’s never picked up on in the film again, but according to Snyder, that would’ve set the stage for the big reveal of his third Justice League film. “It was going to be Lois and Superman’s son,” Snyder concluded. “He doesn’t have any powers, and then he was going to end up being the new Batman. Twenty years later, on the anniversary of [Batman’s] death, they take young Bruce Kent down to the Batcave and they say, ‘Your Uncle Bruce would’ve been proud if you did this.’”

It’s…a lot to take in. And the fact that Snyder has unleashed this bucketload of information to the public as his cut finally sees the light of day indicates that, perhaps, he’s doing so as a way to let fans know that for all the set up in the “Snyder Cut” as we now know it, this future series of movies won’t ever actually get made. After all, now you know all the ins and outs of what would’ve been a wild trifecta of Justice League movies, do you really need to see it unfold?

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But then again, this is Zack Snyder, a man who’s become very keenly aware of the power of wielding his fan’s desires in the last four years. “I didn’t think I’d be here talking about [a restored] Justice League,” Snyder teased to Vanity Fair. “So never say never.”

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is now streaming on HBO Max.

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Superman & Lois Is Starting to Realize It’s a Superhero Show

Clark’s distractions find him behind in the chase for Thaddeus Killgrave.

Clark’s distractions find him behind in the chase for Thaddeus Killgrave.
Image: The CW

This week’s Superman & Lois centers the classing superhero story push and pull—whatever is Clark Kent going to do about balancing his life with his family and his life as the Man of Steel? But while the episode has some smart approaches to an age-old trope, it finds itself asking a similar question of the show in the process.

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“Haywire” pulls on an increasingly messy tangle of threads that all eventually try to converge into a similar debate, revolving around Clark’s renewed focus on spending time with his family as he continues to perform heroics as Superman. Clark is the uncomfortable target of a visit from the in-laws—this case in particular being his kinda-sorta boss at the DOD and Lois’ father, General Sam Lane (Dylan Walsh), who shows up to support Jordan’s first Smallville High football game and then proceeds to spend the rest of his time whining that Clark is being Superman 90% of the time rather than 100% of the time. Meanwhile, as Jordan and Jonathan celebrate the first win of the season, the latter discovers that picked-on, injured teammate Tag (Wern Lee) is hiding a strange secret beyond his broken arm.

And then there’s Lois, who, muzzled by the threat of legal action from Morgan Edge, tries to take him on before a Smallville council vote to give him rights to the town’s mines—and loses, frustratingly so, momentarily fraying her relationship with Clark when he’s not there at a time she needed him most. Throw in villainous scientist Thaddeus Killgrave (Brendan Fletcher) briefly breaking out of custody because of Clark’s lack of focus on Metropolis, and you’ve got a recipe for impending disaster as Superman has to wrestle with the idea of carving out a part of his life that’s solely his own.

Those are the interesting parts of those beats, and the bits where “Haywire” doesn’t threaten to collapse in a heap of set up and promise that, soon enough, Superman & Lois will fall more in line with its siblings on the CW. But even with those moments, Superman & Lois is slowly but surely being pushed from the more grounded, character-driven arcs that have made the first three episodes so interesting, and into larger, more explosive, more comic-book-y realms.

Sam might have left his argument with Clark humbled by Lois—she’s furious that he would try to parent her children for her—but he does so to go set up that mysterious Anti-Superman project hinted at by Captain Luthor (remember Captain Luthor? Superman & Lois barely feels like it does, despite being four episodes in). Lois being unable to stop Morgan from gaining the Smallville council’s support means he’s suddenly found himself a convenient pile of “X-Kryptonite”—a gimmick from the comics accidentally created by Supergirl of all people, that temporarily grants non-metahumans Kryoptinan powers—hidden in the town’s mines. And Jonathan and Jordan’s arc seemingly ties into that when it’s revealed the secret Tag’s hiding from the team isn’t the result of resentment from his teammates bullying him, but because he’s started displaying erratic, uncontrolled, vibrating superspeed abilities.

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Image: The CW

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This all might be fine, but it means right now that every thread of the show is currently pushing toward comic book stakes. And in an episode that’s meant to be about Clark taking a stand that his priorities will favor his family more than being Superman, that’s not great, because it means those stakes are eventually going to require an escalation where the answer is decided for Clark. Yes, he can still be a goofball romantic and try his hardest for his boys, but no matter where he turns in the corners of his life, it’s all going to come down to problems that Superman has to solve, not Clark Kent. And that’s a shame, because the superhero side of things is where Superman & Lois feels the most aimless, like it’s slowly falling back into line with the rest of the CW’s DC oeuvre and not where it finds itself the most interesting. In spite of the encroachment by all the superheroic setup, there are beats and character moments in “Haywire” that really work, even if they are a little bit earnestly cheesy.

Every time Jonathan and Jordan’s relationship veers closer to setting the two on the arc of the former being jealous about the latter crowding his space as “the popular football kid,” it gracefully sidesteps to build out their relationship as brothers who genuinely, sincerely care about each other. Lois standing up to her father’s toxic helicopter parenting that she’s been through once already in her life—and emboldening Clark to take a firmer stand on his private life, too—is a fascinating twist in their usual distant, but still warm relationship. Hell, even the moment between her and Lana getting drinks together works beyond the “girl’s night” schmaltz; it gives us more insight into the latter’s relationship with Kyle, mirrored in turn by the goofy, lovably earnest move Clark makes at the climax of the episode, turning the Kent farm barn into a romantic fairy-light-and-candle-lit dinner date for Lois.

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Image: The CW

A move cheesier than an entire dairy farm’s output? Absolutely. But it makes good on Clark inevitably being pulled away from said cheesefest in a way that doesn’t read as the typical balance of power in superhero relationships that “the work” will always come first, strongly pulling Clark’s arc over the episode together in the process.

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After all, what is the story of Clark Kent and Lois Lane, one of comic’s most iconic couples, if not earnest and cheesy? That remains Superman & Lois’ greatest strength now, even as its tone in these episodes so far has played with and inverted that lightness in equally interesting ways. Hopefully that human heart remains the dominating factor of the show, even as things inevitably ramp up on the superhuman side of things—otherwise the lesson about priorities learned by Clark here might ultimately go to waste.

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Kevin Feige Teases The Falcon and The Winter Soldier’s Mysterious New Marvel Comics Location

Sam and Bucky are going travelling.

Sam and Bucky are going travelling.
Screenshot: Marvel Studios

Morning SpoilersIf there’s news about upcoming movies and television you’re not supposed to know, you’ll find it in here.

Fede Alvarez teases his Texas Chainsaw Massacre follow-up. Work has begun on Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers and The Midnight Club. Henry Golding teases reshoots on Snake Eyes. Plus, what’s to come on Supergirl and The Flash. To me, my spoilers!

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Illustration for article titled Kevin Feige Teases The Falcon and The Winter Soldier's Mysterious New Marvel Comics Location

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

In a recent interview with Bloody-Disgusting, director Fede Alvarez described the next Texas Chainsaw Massacre film as “Old Man Leatherface, suggesting it will follow the recent trend of sequel-ignoring follow-ups in the vain of 2018’s Halloween. 

It is a direct sequel, and it is the same character. It is old man Leatherface.


Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers

Production has officially begun on the live-action Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers movie.


Peter Pan & Wendy

Coming Soon reports production has additionally begun on Disney’s live-action Peter Pan.

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A House on the Bayou

/Film reports Blumhouse is producing eight new horror films exclusively for Pennyworth’s EPIX. The first in the series, A House on the Bayou, comes from writer-director Alex McAulay and is said to follow “a troubled couple and their preteen daughter who go on vacation to an isolated house in the Louisiana bayou to reconnect as a family. But when unexpected visitors arrive, their facade of family unity starts to unravel, as terrifying secrets come to light.”

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Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins

Reshoots on Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins are currently underway according to actor Henry Golding on Youtube.


Troll

NFI has our first look at Tomb Raider director Roar Uthaug’s latest film about a giant troll attacking Norway.

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Illustration for article titled Kevin Feige Teases The Falcon and The Winter Soldier's Mysterious New Marvel Comics Location

Photo: Netflix


The Falcon and the Winter Solider

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Kevin Feige hints that the show will utilize a location that was not “previously available” to Marvel Studios prior to the Disney-Fox merger:

There’s a setting in particular that people have already glimpsed in some of the trailers that is a setting from the Marvel Comics that was not previously available to us, but it’s more of an Easter egg in and of itself.

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Previous set pictures included elements of the Madripoor flag as set dressing, suggesting that Feige is teasing the infamous Southeast Asian island nation home to many of the Marvel Comics universe’s most notorious gangs and lucrative business dealings—and has many ties to the X-Men.

Meanwhile, in conversation with Comic Book Movie, series writer Malcolm Spellman appears to confirm Danny Ramirez plays Falcon’s successor, Joaquin Torres.


Supergirl

TV Line has photos from the March 30 season premiere of Supergirl. Click through for more.

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Illustration for article titled Kevin Feige Teases The Falcon and The Winter Soldier's Mysterious New Marvel Comics Location

Photo: The CW

Illustration for article titled Kevin Feige Teases The Falcon and The Winter Soldier's Mysterious New Marvel Comics Location

Photo: The CW

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Illustration for article titled Kevin Feige Teases The Falcon and The Winter Soldier's Mysterious New Marvel Comics Location

Photo: The CW

Illustration for article titled Kevin Feige Teases The Falcon and The Winter Soldier's Mysterious New Marvel Comics Location

Photo: The CW

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The Midnight Club

Production has officially begun on Mike Flanagan’s adaptation of Christopher Pike’s The Midnight Club.

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Sasquatch

Hulu has released a new trailer for the Duplass Bros.’s upcoming documentary series investigating a triple homicide allegedly committed by a Sasquatch.


Black Lightning

Painkiller enjoys his own backdoor pilot in the promo for next week’s episode of Black Lightning.

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The Flash

Abra Kadabra returns in the trailer for next week’s episode of The Flash, “Central City Strong.


Superman & Lois

Captain Luthor hunts Lois Lane in the trailer for next week’s episode of Superman & Lois.


Snowpiercer

Finally, the second season of Snowpiercer draws to a close in the trailer for March 29’s two-hour finale.


Banner art by Jim Cook

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