We’re All Mary Poppins, Y’all — Talking GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY on LEVEL ELEVENTY-SEVEN #119


Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (2017)
Written & Directed by James Gunn
Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Pictures
136 minutes, rated PG-13

 

In this special episode of Level Eleventy-Seven, we take a spoiler-ish look at the latest entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (with a few digressions along the way, of course…).

From Groot’s greatness (and not so greatness) to Yondu’s arc, from the wild “Hey, that’s…!” beginning to the climactic battle between the stars, Vol. 2 has all the pieces that make a Marvel film … a Marvel film. It’s got humor, pathos, family issues — more than just Peter and his father — great character moments, and Groot.

Plus, plenty of possible setups for the next chapter, as Vol. 3 will be James Gunn’s swan song (at least for now). What pieces of this story will inform the last installment in the first trilogy? Will it be… nope, you gotta listen.

The panel: Maia Ades, Mindy Inlow, Sam Sentman, Dan Handley, Jason Hunt

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What’s Baking In The Blumhouse Kitchen?

Jason Blum has discovered a way to take unwanted films, produce them with a low budget, and walk away from the theater laughing with pockets filled with money. His work through his production company, Blumhouse, has become reliable enough that Universal has staked him for a 1o-year deal to balance out the blockbuster and family films they release.

Blum went into filmmaking, looking for the reaction from people. His father owned an art gallery and it frustrated Blum that “the world was tiny, and to appreciate contemporary art, [people] needed a history of art, a formal education.” Movies reach many people and, especially with the horror genre, the instant connection and reaction is visibly present, quite the opposite of what he grew up with.

With his production company, he developed a formula that helps everyone involved. The budget starts with $5 million, more for sequels. If the project stays under that budget, they keep the remaining balance as well as creative control. Blumhouse will provide a guide to filmmakers on how to get more commercially appealing results. However, the filmmaker still has the final say.

They do not provide a release date for the films until it is finished and the production company sees the final result and decides whether to move forward or to shelve it. And that is a possibility.

This works. Blumhouse has nearly $2.8 billion in box office grosses, TV studio productions, and book releases. Since they are not spending a lot, it allows them to pick up the projects no other company sees fit to do.

And Blum is proud of that: “It’s the great thing about the movie business. Most of the successful movies we’ve done, no one else wanted to do.”

So far, Blumhouse is having a good year. They’ve had two huge box office hits – M. Night Shyamalan’s Split and Jordan Peele’s Get Out, plus J.D. Dillard’s Sleight and recently premiered Akiva Goldsman’s Stephanie. And it appears this mini power house has no signs of slowing down. Let’s take a look and see what Blumhouse is cooking in their kitchen.

Truth Or Dare

Truth Or Dare comes from writer-director Jeff Wadlow (Bates Motel, Kick Ass 2). Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars) is finalizing her deal to star.

The story follows a college student in Mexico who is talked into playing a supernatural version of Truth or Dare. However, the game doesn’t stop there and follows her back home.

The screenplay is adapted from a story written by Michael Reisz, Wadlow, Chris Roach, and Jillia Jacobs. It will be produced by Blum and Blumhouse’s Couper Samuelson with Wadlow and Roach executive producing.

Only You

Only You will star Golden Globe nominee David Oyelowo and is written and directed by Jacob Estes (Mean Creek). The plot is under wraps; however, it has been explained to be thriller involving time travel.

Blum will produce with Oyelowo executive producing with Couper Samuelson, Jeanette Voltron, and Jay Martin.

Oyelowo was nominated for a Gold Globe for his role as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Ava DuVernay’s Selma. He will soon be seen in Paramount and Bad Robot’s new Cloverfield movie. He also voices Agent Kallus in the animated series Star Wars Rebels.

Sweetheart

The upcoming survival horror film Sweetheart comes from Sleight director J.D. Dillard. It will star Hanna Mangan Lawrence (Containment, Spartacus: Vengeance), Benedict Samuel (Gotham, The Walking Dead), Kiersey Clemons (Dope), and Emory Cohen (Brooklyn).

The plot for this project is also being kept under wraps.

Blum, Bill Karesh, Dillard, Alex Theurer, and Alex Hyner will produce. The story was co-written by Dillard, Theurer, and Hyner.

Sleight was Dillard’s feature directorial debut and took in $1.7 million on it’s opening weekend. He is also currently attached to direct and co-write the remake of The Fly for Fox.

Firestarter

After the premiere of Akiva Goldsman’s Stephanie at the Overlook Film Festival in Oregon, the director and Jason Blum announced they were teaming up again for a new adaptation of Stephen King’s 1980 novel, Firestarter.

The novel is about a young girl with pyrokenisis and is used by a government agency who attempts to harness her powers as a weapon. It was made into a film in 1984 and starred a young Drew Barrymore.

Stephen King and Goldsman have had a long relationship. King has given his blessing for Goldsman to do this and will also receive a producer credit on the project.

Goldsman is writing the script with Scott Teems (Rectify). Goldsman also pointed out that they would be focusing on the original novel instead of the 1984 film adaptation. Other projects that Goldsman and Blum have worked on include Paranormal Activity 2, 3, and 4. He also wrote King’s adaptation for The Dark Tower.

No release date has been given.

Halloween

Since the last two remakes of the Halloween franchise from Rob Zombie did not pan out like expected, Danny McBride and David Gordon Green are teaming up with Blumhouse to remake the classic horror film. They state their goal is to ground the series in a more realistic state.

According to McBride:

It was just very simple and just achieved that level of horror that wasn’t corny and it wasn’t turning Michael Myers into some supernatural being that couldn’t be killed. That stuff to me isn’t scary, I want to be scared by something that I really think can happen. So, for us, we were like we have to make sure that this is something we actually would want to see or else its’ not worth doing. We came up with a take that we thought was cool, and then we actually went and pitched to John Carpenter, and he loved it. He was into it. It was like insane to have his seal of approval and to have him respond to where we were talking about taking Michael Myers next.

Carpenter will join as an executive producer on the new film with Blumhouse Productions.

The series has had its ups and downs during the last twenty years. Even with the renewed interest of horror films in the late 90’s, thanks to Scream, Halloween only received a lukewarm reception, even with Jamie Lee Curtis making a reappearance.

Maybe this time around, McBride and Gordon Green can properly scare the audiences into the theater.

Glass

Spoiler warning for M. Night Shyamalan’s Split.

At the end of the multiple personality thriller, it was revealed that the film takes place in the same universe as the 2000 film Unbreakable. Now, Shyamalan has announced that Glass will be released next year and act as a sequel to both Split and Unbreakable.

He hasn’t revealed anything about the story, but that Glass will finally answer nearly two decades’ worth of questions about a possible sequel to Unbreakable, which will feature the return of Bruce Willis as David Dunn, Samuel L. Jackson as Elijah Price/Mr. Glass and how they interact with James McAvoy’s Split character and Anya Taylor-Joy as Casey Cooke.

Shyamalan’s script has been completed. He will direct with Blumhouse producing. Currently the released date is January 18, 2019.

The Purge

The success of The Purge franchise surprised many, showing that audiences were intrigued by the concept of a twelve-hour freedom from the law. The original film had a budget of $3 million and grossed over $89 million. The following two installments each earned over $110 million. Currently the fourth film will be released in July 2018.

However, Blumhouse has now announced they are teaming with Syfy and USA to also bring The Purge to the small screen.

Franchise creator James DeMonaco and Jason Blum spoke at the NBCUniversal’s upfront and described the series as “an entirely new chapter in America’s 12 hours of annual lawlessness.” Unlike the films, the series would focus on the other 364 days of the year and how the law affects the people.

The Purge television series will air on Syfy and USA in 2018.




Netflix To Reveal The Secrets Of THE DARK CRYSTAL

There are a few films from my childhood that I religiously watch at least once a year. Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal is one of these. So, you can probably guess the level of my excitement when Netflix announced this week that they have greenlit a 10-episode prequel series called The Dark Crystal: Age of Rebellion.

The show returns to the world of Thra and takes place six years before the 1982 movie. It will follow three Gelflings who discover untold secrets about the tyrannical Skeksis and seek to overthrow them.

The Jim Henson Company will produce. Louis Leterrier will direct as well as executive produce with Henson’s Blanca Lista. Rita Peruggi will serve as producer. Jeffery Addiss, Will Mathews, and Javier Grillo-Marxuach will lead the writing team. They have also brought back Brian Froud, who was the creative designer for both The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth.

The original film was co-directed by Jim Henson and Frank Oz and grossed over $40 million on a $16 million budget. It is only one of three feature films Henson directed in his career, along with The Great Muppet Caper and Labyrinth.

It has been reported that the series will feature “state-of-the-art creatures created by Jim Henson’s Creature Shop and Brian Froud.” Between the beautiful work that Froud has done with the original film and Labyrinth, Leterrier’s powerful storytelling, and the quality of Netflix produced shows, it seems this could be an amazing show. Netflix’s Cindy Holland said in a statement, “I can’t wait for families around the world to see how we bring these unique characters to life.”

And unique they are.

Henson’s original inspiration for the visual aspects of The Dark Crystal came after he saw an illustration by Leonard B. Lubin in a 1975 edition of Lewis Carroll’s poetry showing crocodiles living in a palace, wearing elaborate robs and jewelry. He then used his short lived The Land of Gorch, which takes place on an alien world with no human characters, as the film’s conceptual roots. Co-director Frank Oz states that Henson’s intention was to “get back to the darkness of the original Grimms’ Fairy Tales,” believing it was unhealthy for children to never be afraid.

So, Henson wrote a 25-page story called The Crystal while snowed in at an airport hotel.

Henson chose Froud as concept artist after seeing one of Froud’s paintings in the book Once Upon a Time. Froud’s inspiration came from Swedish painter and illustrator, John Bauer, known for his landscape and mythology based work.

The Skeksis were inspired by the seven deadly sins, having to double up on a few since there were ten Skeksis. Froud originally designed them as deep sea fish, but later changed them to a mix between predatory birds and dragons, with an emphasis on giving them a penetrating stare.

As for the Mystics, they were designed to be more connected to the natural world, released of all materialistic urges unlike their Skeksis counterparts.

When the film was released in December 1982, it came with mixed reviews. It was a darker film than Henson’s previous films, causing some concern for parents. Plus, it had the competition of Tootsie and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. However, it brought in $40 million and became the 16th highest grossing film of 1982 in North America as well as a favorite with fans of Henson and fantasy.

The original film is gorgeous. As a child and even now as an adult, I’m easily swooped into the fantasy world that Henson and team created. I always recommend this film to people since it is not your typical Henson film. A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to see it again on the big screen and was in complete awe and yes, talking with the film (quietly).

I am excited to see how the prequel will be and can guarantee that people will find me imitating the Chamberlain’s sing-songy “MMMMMMM” till the show is released later this year.

Check out the teaser and let us know what you think!

https://youtu.be/OGzVYyV_Jsg




ZOMBPOCALYPSE NOW: Team Zombie Reviews ALIEN: COVENANT

Alien: Covenant (2017)
Screenplay by John Logan and Dante Harper
Story by Jack Paglen and Michael Green

Directed by Ridley Scott
Scott Free Productions/Brandywine Productions/20th Century Fox
122 minutes, rated R

Team Zombie got a chance to attend a press screener of Ridley Scott’s latest foray into the universe he created over 30 years ago, and Mr. Adair and Mr. Harvey sit down with Miss Inlow to have a chat about it. It… isn’t pretty.

Timothy: “Science Lady” is Karine Oram, played by Carmen Ejogo.

Dustin: I can’t remember names, you know that.

Timothy: “Capable Pilot Lady/Tennessee’s Wife” is Maggie Farris, played by Amy Seimetz.

Dustin: I liked her, but nope. Not going to stick.

Timothy: She was good in Wristcutters: A Love Story and Upstream Color, and she’s a director and writer in her own right.

Dustin: What are you doing here, with this?

Timothy: Well, considering one of the problems with this film is how it is crap at establishing relationships between characters, or even defining most of the characters outside of the jobs they do, making them either interchangeable or making some people – you, for example – have to use nicknames like “Science Lady” to remember what they actually do in the film…

Dustin: You decided to try and help me by telling me their names and who played them. You know this doesn’t work, right? Beth from The Walking Dead was “Daughter-Fodder” for two years, Tim. Two years.

Timothy: I continue to hold out hope. Demián Bichir played Sergeant Lope, the head of security. His character was married to the security guy who got sick and, well, spoilers, I suppose. That guy was Nathaniel Dean, playing Hallett, who we know was married to Lope because the Wikipedia page says so.

Dustin: I do know who played the young couple I liked, who did the things on the ship and stuff. That was Jussie Smollett and Callie Hernandez. I don’t remember the names of their characters because the film doesn’t care about that stuff either.

Mindy: So are you two going to sit here and throw shade at the film or just let people cut the chase and hear what you really think about Alien: Covenant? Sheesh. Hey Folks-at-Home? Listen to these two tell me all about the movie they saw, here on this special movie edition of Zombpocalypse Now. Then tell us what you think and we’ll be back with more undead things next week.

 




AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Hits Us Over and Over with Emotion Hammers — LEVEL ELEVENTY-SEVEN #118

AgentsOfSHIELD_logoSM
Episode 422 “World’s End”
Written by Jeffrey Bell
Directed by Billy Gierhart

It’s the season finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — and we have got confirmation that the show will be back next season, only on Friday nights (more on that later).

Aida/Ophelia takes crazy to the extreme with her Scorched Earth policy, and it looks very much that Jemma… wait, what just happened? Fitz is still broken a bit, and we have to wait to learn the fate of Philinda. While Coulson and May do get to have a few moments about the bottle and what led to drinking it, we don’t get everything we’d like to see between the two of them.

Plus: the return of the Ghost Rider! Chasing the Darkhold, and all the terrible that comes with it, including the organic body Aida inhabits. Because it comes from a very bad place.

What happens next? Where are our heroes being held? Will this be the introduction of S.W.O.R.D.?

 

Next season, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. makes way for Inhumans, which will have an 8-episode running following Once Upon a Time on Friday nights.

The panel: Mindy Inlow, Sam Sentman, Dan Handley, Timothy Harvey

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ZOMBPOCALYPSE NOW: The SANTA CLARITA DIET Season Finale!

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With The Walking Dead done for the season, #TeamZombie turn their attention to the first season finale of the darkly comedic feast that is Santa Clarita Diet! It’s Zombpocalypse Now!


Season 1, Episode 10 “Baka, Bile and Baseball Bats”

Written by Clay Graham, Directed by Dean Parisot

Timothy: Could you cough a bit more? And maybe tap on the table a few more times?

Dustin: I was sick, and you know it. And I… tap on things. Sometimes. Not all the time.

Timothy: Mmmm hmmm. You know I can’t cut all of those out, right?

Dustin: You know I don’t think about that at all, right?

Mindy: While these two descend into petty bickering, as is their wont, I would just like to point out that we did get the podcast back under 35 minutes for the first time in weeks, which would be even more impressive if the actual episode of Santa Clarita Diet we were talking about was actually over 30 minutes itself, but hey. We take our victories where we can. Also, for whatever reason, we again have a lot of air noise in the recording that fiendishly resisted removal, so maybe Mr. Harvey needs to check on the recording gear and see what the issue there is. We’ll keep you apprised, because we do want the listening part of this thing to be as pleasant as possible. 

Stay tuned for a special Movie Review edition of Zombpocalypse Now, out later this week, where Tweedledee and Tweedledum over here will explain to me what went wrong with the latest film in the Alien franchise, Alien: Covenant. Be advised that they swear a lot, so bleeping will be plentiful. They really are not meant to be out among the civilized peoples. 

Dustin: Hey…

Mindy: ALSO, if you enjoy this podcast, please rate and review us on iTunes and Podcasts.com, because that helps new listeners find us, and that’s always nice. If you don’t enjoy this podcast, it’s Tim and Dustin’s fault.

Timothy: Hang on…

Mindy: AND, please listen to all the other great podcasts we have on SciFi4MeRadio, because very few of them have as many squabbling children as this one.

Timothy: Lady has a point.

Dustin: It’s a fair cop. 

Mindy: We’ll see you all next week, where we’ll talk about things and stuff, and probably American Gods. Thanks for listening!

 

 




Cancellations & Renewals Part One: What Survived for the Fall TV Schedule?

Alrighty now. These last few weeks we have been getting updates to what shows have been saved and what shows are biting the dust. Plus we have been keeping track of what newbies have been picked up by the networks that just may be interesting. So below is a list (with more coming as news comes out from the remaining upfronts) so that our readers can properly plan for their 2017-2018 TV time.

Click on the links for additional stories on those shows. And if you see that we have missed your favorite genre show, let us know so we can share it with others!

Listed below are the series pick-ups we know about:

  • Black Lightning (The CW)
    • Retired superhero Jefferson Pierce steps back into his secret identity as the wanted vigilante Black Lightning when a local gang tries to recruit his daughter, a star student with powers of her own.
  • The Crossing (ABC)
    • Refugees from a war torn country seek asylum in an American town. However, these refugees are from American and the war they flee is 250 years in the future.

https://youtu.be/4qNDIe8tcr8

  • Deception (ABC)
    • Superstar magician Cameron Black’s career ends due to a scandal. So he joins the FBI to become the first consulting illusionist, using his art of deception, illusion, and influence to help the government solve crimes that defy explanation.
  • Ghosted (Fox)
    • A skeptic is forced to work with a believer of paranormal to solve unexplained occurrences in Los Angeles for a government agency.

https://youtu.be/ubbjVowDuys

  • The Gifted (Fox)
    • Two parents take their children on the run after they discover their children have mutant abilities.

https://youtu.be/4I_htkGJAZ4

https://youtu.be/qTzW9rMcbzk

  • The Inhumans (ABC)
    • The Inhuman Royal family escape Hawaii after a military take over with the goal to save themselves and the world.

https://youtu.be/6-5aJgj3TPg

  • The Orville (Fox)
    • Set 400 years in the future, a motley crew of a not-so-top-of-the-line exploratory ship, the Orville, join the divorced captain and first officer as they navigate fascinating and sometimes dangerous adventures as well as their work environment.

https://youtu.be/Yy9sKeCE8V0

  • The Passage (Fox)
    • A girl tries to save the human race from a post-apocalyptic world run by vampires.
  • Searchers (The CW)
    • A pragmatic brother and free spirited sister team up ten years after their parents death to discover their mothers terrible and bizarre stories will guide them to discover the great legends, myths, and explainable mysteries of the world.
  • Star Trek: Discovery (CBS All Access)
    • New Star Trek series, plot unknown, but it’s said to take place between Enterprise and The Original Series, and may be set in the Prime universe instead of the J.J. Abrams “Kelvin” timeline.

https://youtu.be/CKuZINgyR-c

  • Big Hero 6 (Disney XD)
    • Big Hero 6 will continue where the film ended with the continuing adventures of 14-year-old tech genius Hiro, his lovable, cutting-edge robot Baymax and their friends as they protect their city from scientifically enhanced villains while also balancing out regular life as new students at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology.

https://youtu.be/lERm84raglA

  • Ducktales (Disney XD)
    • The adventures of Scrooge McDuck and his nephews as they search for treasures around the world and protect Scrooge’s fortune.

https://youtu.be/nY_xCXE0sIc

  • Ghost Wars (Syfy)
    • A local outcast in an Alaskan town must over come the towns prejudices and his own personal demons to be able to harness his repressed psychic powers to save the locals from a mass haunting that is threatening to kill them.
  • The Haunted (Syfy)
    • Four siblings reuinted after the death of their parents, trying to fix their fractured relationships so they can face the literal ghosts of their pasts in order to survive.
  • Krytpon (Syfy)
    • The show follows the Man of Steels grandfather of the house of El after they are shamed and ostracized as he fights to redeem his families honor and save his world from chaos.
  • Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger (Freeform)
    • The story of two teens with powers — she can throw light daggers, he can engulf people and objects in darkness — who are drawn together in a romantic entanglement made more complicated by the differences in their backgrounds.

https://youtu.be/411EofIqiaM

  • Marvel’s New Warriors (Freeform)
    • Six young people with powers who work and live together. However, their powers are not quite like the Avengers. They want to make a difference in the world – even if the world is not quite ready for them.
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man (Disney XD)
    • The animated story of an unsure but courageous teenage who has to learn to be a hero from the very beginning.

https://youtu.be/RmRh4o0y8Iw

  • Siren (Freeform)
    • According to legend, Bristol Cove once was home to mermaids.  A mysterious girl arrives and proves the folklore to be true which starts a battle between the townsfolk and the predatory creatures trying to reclaim their right to the ocean.

https://youtu.be/QrtY7OnVlw8

  • Castle Rock (Netflix)
    • Set in Stephen King’s fictional down of Castle Rock, each season would follow a different set of characters and storylines with intersecting themes and certain characters from previous seasons.
  • Marvel’s Runaways (Hulu)
    • A diverse group of six teenagers discover they have one thing in common: their parents are a part of an evil crime organization.

Listed below are the renewals that we know:

BROADCAST:

  • The 100 (The CW)
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC)
  • Arrow (The CW)
  • Exorcist (Fox)
  • The Flash (The CW)
  • Gotham (Fox)
  • iZombie (The CW)
  • The Last Man on Earth (Fox)
  • Legends of Tomorrow (The CW)
  • Lucifer (FOX)
  • Once Upon A Time (ABC)
  • The Originals (The CW)
  • Riverdale (The CW)
  • Supergirl (The CW)
  • Supernatural (The CW)
  • Timeless (NBC)
  • The X-Files (Fox)

CABLE:

  • 12 Monkeys (Syfy) – through fourth and final season in 2018
  • American Horror Story (FX) – through Season 9
  • Beyond (Freeform)
  • Channel Zero (Syfy) – through Season 4
  • Colony (USA)
  • Dark Matter (SyFy)
  • The Expanse (SyFy)
  • Fear the Walking Dead (AMC)
  • Humans (AMC)
  • Into the Badlands (AMC)
  • The Last Ship (TNT)
  • Legion (FX)
  • The Librarians (TNT)
  • The Magicians (SyFy)
  • Outlander (Starz) – through Season 4
  • People of Earth (TBS)
  • Scream (MTV)
  • The Shannara Chronicles (moving to Spike)
  • Shadowhunters (Freeform)
  • Van Helsing (Syfy)
  • Westworld (HBO)
  • Z Nation (Syfy)

STREAMING:

Listed below are the cancellations we know about:

  • Emerald City (NBC)
  • Frequency (The CW)
  • Making History (Fox)
  • Powerless (NBC)
  • Scream Queens (Fox)
  • Sleepy Hollow (Fox)
  • Son of Zorn (Fox)

 




AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Marks a Return With Whedon Banter — LEVEL ELEVENTY-SEVEN #117

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Episode 421 “The Return”
Written by Maurisa Tancharoen & Jed Whedon
Directed by Kevin Tancharoen

Our intrepid Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are back in the real world, and it’s not without its hangups. What with Mack still being in the Framework and May trying to shoot Ophelia and Fitz getting in the way and the two of them whisking out BAMF-style and Coulson not wanting to admit he cracked open the bottle and oh, how many robot copies of the Russian are there now?…

But at least it appears that Fitz won’t be the villain of next season (is there a next season?), at least not yet. He again demonstrates just how good a heart he has, even in the face of utter sociopathic murderous rage from his wanna-be girlfriend who suddenly finds that she’s… not? uh-oh. What was that about a woman scorned?…

Next week: the Ghost Rider returns!

The panel: Mindy Inlow, Sam Sentman, Timothy Harvey, Jason Hunt

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ZOMBPOCALYPSE NOW: A Little Salt For The SANTA CLARITA DIET

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With The Walking Dead done for the season, #TeamZombie turn their attention to the final episodes of the darkly comedic feast that is Santa Clarita Diet! It’s Zombpocalypse Now!


Season 1, Episode 8 
“How Much Vomit?”
Written by Aaron Brownstein & Simon Ganz, Directed by Steve Pink

Season 1, Episode 9 “The Book!”
Written by Sarah Walker, Directed by Tamra Davis

Zombpocalypse Now: Santa Clarita Diet

Dustin: I really don’t remember recording this episode. My sinuses are trying to kill me.

Mindy: You did. We were there.

Dustin: I’m not sure I believe you. 

Timothy: Dude. Your voice is right there. You use the words and everything.

Dustin: You could have constructed it out of pieces of previous episodes. 

Timothy: I so don’t have the time for that. Are you insane?

Dustin: Mindy is a cyborg now. She could have… used her cyborg powers.

Mindy: This is true. I do have the vast and terrible cyborg powers.

Timothy: Uh huh. Sure you do. Anyway, I would like to apologize to the folks at home for some weirdness with the audio. The levels are off, so it jumps up and down a bit on the volume in places.

Mindy: You can understand us though. Well, as much as anyone can ever understand us.

Timothy: We do make sense at least some of the time.

Dustin: Do we though? Eh. Maybe. I still don’t remember recording this. My sinuses are trying to kill me. Have I mentioned that?

Mindy: You have. And I’ll just mention that we have a lot of other podcasts you can listen to on iTunes and Podcasts.com, and we would love it if you’d rate and comment on this podcast. It helps people find it and build our audience.

Timothy: That would be great, yes. Thanks for listening folks, and we’ll be back next week with more Zombpocalypse Now!

 




HBO Plans To Branch Out With GAME OF THRONES Spinoffs

For the last six years, audiences have been mesmerized by HBO’s series adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s Game Of Thrones books. Recently they’ve announced that the series will end after season eight. However, fans of Westeros will not have to mourn too long after the end because HBO announced deals with four different writers to explore other story lines of other inhabitants of the world. If these shows are picked up (yet to be determined), it will also mark the first-time HBO has made a spinoff series of one of their hits.

They have not declared a timeline for the development of the projects. “We’ll take as much or as little time as the writers need and, as with all our development, we will evaluate what we have when the scrips are in,” a spokesperson said.

The four projects will each explore different times periods in Westeros, but whether they will be prequels, sequels, or spinoffs with a main character remain unknown. Martin has claimed to have thousands of pages of the history of Westeros and there are plenty of minor characters that could be explored.

The writers chosen are Max Borenstein (Kong: Skull Island), Jane Goldman (Kingsman: the Golden Circle), Brian Helgeland (Legend), and Carly Wray (Mad Mend). Goldman and Wray will each work separately with creator George R. R. Martin.

Last year at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, HBO programming president Casey Bloys said that HBO had talked about possible spinoffs but it had to make sense creatively. At this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff suggested they would not be involved if the spinoffs did occur, feeling that it would be good to get new blood in with new visions.

Season 7 of Game of Thrones will premiere July 16 with seven episodes. Weiss and Benioff have already begun writing the eighth and final season which will have six to eight episodes.




AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Is Back in the Real World, and Yikes! — LEVEL ELEVENTY-SEVEN #116

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Episode 420 “Farewell, Cruel World”
Written by Brent Fletcher
Directed by Vincent Misiano

Back to our regular programming as the gang gathers in the post-convention bunker to discuss the latest really tough to watch episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — and not because it was badly written, but because there was plenty of emotionally-charged scenes that really worked. It’s a really solid episode with a lot of moments that build to a few gut-wrenching final minutes. As we predicted, Fitz looks like he’s going to have some … issues. And our intrepid heroes inside the Framework will have to live with the knowledge that they’re not “real” in the traditional sense, but then what are they?

And now that most of the team is out of the Framework, what does it mean for everyone? How does Fitz cope with the monster he became inside? How does everyone process Mack’s decision? What will happen to PhilLinda?

The panel: Maia Ades, Mindy Inlow, Sam Sentman, Timothy Harvey, Jason Hunt

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GEARS OF WAR Movie Adaptation Finds A Writer

After nearly a decade in the works and an announcement last fall, the Gears of War movie has been assigned a writer. Shane Salerno, who currently has been working on the four upcoming Avatar sequels, will be penning the script for the Universal Pictures project.

Last fall, Universal and Microsoft announced the Gears movie was in development. Rod Fergusson, head of the developer of the Microsoft subsidiary studio, The Coalition, said the film was the next logical step for the Xbox franchise. The film will be produced by Scott Stuber and Dylan Clark of Bluegrass Films.

The film will not be based on the Gears video game, but will instead be set in the same universe, a post-apocalyptic planet called Sera where a squad of commandos battle hordes of aliens known as Locusts. At the fall announcement, Fergusson also stated that their goal was to simply copy over the story from the game, but to make the best Gears movie possible rather than one that was the most faithful to the games.

Gears of War was first launched in 2006 and has led to sequels that has grossed more than $1 billion worldwide. Originally, New Line cinema tried unsuccessfully to bring the franchise to theaters in 2007 with Len Wiseman attached to direct. Microsoft acquired the property in 2014 and now has been able to move forward since they partnered with Universal in 2016.

Not only has Salerno been working on the Avatar projects, he also did the screenplays for Armageddon and Oliver Stone’s Savages. He also co-wrote the story for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands.

There is no word yet on a release date.




From Planet Comicon 2017: LEVEL ELEVENTY-SEVEN Episode 115 Live

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Episode 419 “All the Madame’s Men”
Written by James C. Oliver & Sharla Oliver
Directed by Billy Gierhart

Live from Planet Comicon 2017!

The gang takes time to discuss Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the episode where Daisy uses her powers without pain, May becomes a traitor to Hydra, and Coulson goes on television to claim his place as an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

https://youtu.be/k2V2IkNRm9c

 

The panel: Maia Ades, Mindy Inlow, Dan Handley, Sam Sentman, Timothy Harvey, Jason Hunt

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ZOMBPOCALYPSE NOW: How To Lose Friends And Eat People With The SANTA CLARITA DIET

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With The Walking Dead done for the season, #TeamZombie turn their attention to the darkly comedic feast that is Santa Clarita Diet!


Season 1, Episode 6 “Attention to Detail”
Written by Leila Cohan-Miccio, Directed by Craig Zisk

Season 1, Episode 7 “Strange or Just Inconsiderate?”
Written by Ben Smith, Directed by Lynn Shelton

Santa Clarita Diet

 

Dustin: Weren’t we going to try and keep these things to 30 minutes?

Mindy: Actually, I’m kind of amazed you two have kept it under 45.

Dustin: “You two“? You’re in this thing too, missy.

Mindy: I think that if you count the number of digressions that happen on this show, you’ll find I am pretty much in the minority. By a significant margin.

Dustin: Give it time.

Timothy: Anyway. Hello ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to Zombpocalypse Now, your weekly podcast about Dead Things and More. We are watching Santa Clarita Diet, and unlike The Walking Dead

Dustin: Which has been known to be funny in all the wrong ways.

Timothy: … THIS show is meant to be funny. And it really is.

Mindy: Oh, yeah, it is. And it’s really fun to watch you two laugh so much.

Dustin: I never laugh. I am a very serious person.

Mindy: Uh huh.

Timothy: Anyway. Thanks for listening folks. Please do us the kindness of commenting and rating us wherever you’re listening…

Dustin: iTunes, Podcasts.com…

Timothy: … because that helps more people find us, and it lets us know what you think of our ramblings.

Mindy: AND, you can come see us live at Kansas City’s Planet Comicon, April 28th-30th! We’re live-streaming the Con!

Dustin: AND we’re doing a panel! Saturday, April 29th! Noon o’clock! Our awesomeness in all our glory!

Timothy: We do hope to see you there. Thanks for listening!

SciFi4Me 20% Off at HumanCharger. Use coupon code scifi4me during checkout. Expires 12/31/2017.

 




Upfront With Freeform

While it may be that time of the year when networks are announcing show renewals, we can’t overlook the newbies that will be joining the journeymen. Here is a run down of the new series Freeform has to offer:

Siren

This mermaid drama is set in the coastal town of Bristol Cove. According to legend, it was once the home to mermaids. A mysterious girl arrives and proves the folklore to be true which starts a battle between the townsfolk and the predatory creatures trying to reclaim their right to the ocean. The series stars Alex Roe (The 5th Wave), Eline Powell (Game of Thrones), Fola Evans-Akingbola, Ian Verdun, and Rena Owen. Siren is based on a story by Eric Wald and Dean White who are both serving as executive producers.

https://youtu.be/QrtY7OnVlw8

Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger

Two teens from very different backgrounds find themselves with newly acquired superpowers which mysteriously link them to each other, one who can emit light daggers and the other who can engulf others into darkness. While they find they work better together, their feeling make their new complicated world even more challenging. The show stars Olivia Holt (I Didn’t Do It), Tyrone Johnson (The Night Of), J.D. Evermore (The Walking Dead), Miles Mussenden (Queen Sugar), Gloria Reuben (Saints & Sinners), Andrea Roth (Rescue Me), and James Saito (One Life to Live). Joe Pokaski is showrunner and will executive produce with Jeph Loeb and Jim Chory.

https://youtu.be/E5hrFVQiGyk

Marvel’s New Warriors

 

The series centers around young adults with “powers and abilities on the opposite end of the spectrum of The Avengers” who are not quite ready to be heroes but want to be. The list of these special characters include Squirrel Girl (acrobatic, strong, can talk to squirrels), Mister Immortal (cannot die…maybe?), Night Thrasher (no power, honorary hero with a YouTube channel), Speedball (can launch kinetic balls of energy), Microbe (talks to germs), and Debrii (low level telekinetic, trickster). This half hour show is written by Kevin Biegel and Steve Ditko while Jim Chory and Jeph Loeb executive produce.

And in to top off this sweet line up for the next year, Freeform has also announced the return of Shadowhunters for season 3. Twenty new episodes have been ordered ahead of the return of season 2.

The show inspired by Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments Series will start the new season with the Shadowhunters and the Downworlders reeling from the winter finale’s New York Institute incident. As the rift between the sides become bigger, the team and their Downworld friends are put in the middle of the divide.

The show stars Katherine McNamara, Dominic Sherwood, Alberto Rosende, Emeraude Toubia, Matthew Daddario, Isaiah Mustafa, and Harry Shum Jr. Last January, Freeform announced that Will Tudor would be joining the series.

The second half of season two begins on June 5.

https://youtu.be/EXqLJ-urwko