End of an Era as Netflix Cancels Remaining Exclusive Marvel Shows “Jessica Jones” and “The Punisher”

Five years ago, Marvel and Netflix entered into a partnership to produce miniseries for streaming featuring street-operating Marvel superheroes, with a shared setting in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This brilliant move enabled Marvel to tell more mature and violent stories separate from the more general-patronage fare of the MCU films.

The results of the Marvel-Netflix were, for the most part, major successes on online streaming, with gritty adventures featuring Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and the Punisher. However, following no more than three seasons in some these shows, Netflix had begun cancelling these MCU miniseries one by one.

As CNBC reports, Netflix has announced the cancellation of its last two Marvel Television co-productions this Monday, February 18. These are “Jessica Jones” starring Krysten Ritter and “The Punisher” with Jon Bernthal. The latter just had its second, and now final, season premiere on the streaming giant on January 18, with the former’s third, already finished but not yet dated.

“We are grateful to Marvel for five years of our fruitful partnership and thank the passionate fans who have followed these series from the beginning,” read an official statement from Netflix regarding the cancellation of the last remaining MCU miniseries in their lineup.

While all companies involved seem to enforce a rule of silence over the reasons, this decision most likely comes from the impending launch of the Disney+ exclusive streaming platform this year, for which the House of Mouse has started pulling out most its media content from Netflix.

In line with this, Marvel has slated new streaming series that are being developed for streaming on Disney+, to be top-billed by existing characters from the MCU movies such as Loki, Vision and Scarlet Witch, Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

All seasons made of the Marvel-Netflix shows will remain on the latter’s platform for a time, despite their cancellation. Netflix meanwhile is branching into other comic book properties to adapt, such as the Millarworld label by veteran comic-book creator Mark Millar. It has already premiered a new series based on the Dark Horse Comics title “The Umbrella Academy” last week.

Advertisements

List of Characters Called “Captain Marvel” in the Comics, Aside from Carol Danvers

The first film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for 2019 is arriving in March, and it will serve as a new franchise storyline prequel tying into the ongoing arc that will culminate in “Avengers: Endgame” just the month after. This is “Captain Marvel” starring Brie Larson as Carol Danvers, a human air force pilot who receives alien super-powers and becomes a cosmic champion bearing the name of the comic-book label.

While in the adaptation of the character into the MCU makes her the first character to be styled as “Captain Marvel,” in the original Marvel Comics the name becomes a legacy title, with multiple characters having assumed it since the original – a male alien – appeared in Marvel Comics on 1967. In anticipation for the release of “Captain Marvel” on the MCU, we’ll list the various Captains that have appeared in the main Marvel comic-book timeline:

Captains Marvel

250px-Captain_Marvel_29

  • Mar-Vell (1967) – an actual militia captain of the extraterrestrial Kree Empire, he original went to Earth on a mission to assess its space programs and determine if they would threaten Kree galactic interests; his disillusionment with his superiors cause him to defect and become protector of Earth; notable for his storyline ending in 1980 when the character died of cancer; he knew Carol Danvers from his Earthling cover identity; despite studio secrecy, fans theorize that Jude Law’s character in the movie his Mar-Vell

monicarambeau.jpg

  • Monica Rambeau (1982) – a New Orleans police officer (harbor patrol) that gained powers from exposure to an extra-dimensional weapon’s energy discharge; she is actually the first female Captain Marvel in the comics and was also a member/leader of the Avengers

180px-Ssa6

  • Genis-Vell (1993) – a clone son of Mar-Vell engineered through gene material of him and his lover Elysius; like his father he died, but was later resurrected and then “killed” again

header_2011_captainmarvel

  • Phylla-Vell (2004) – willed into existence by one instance of Genis-Vell altering the main Marvel universe; presented as Genis’ “sister” created in the same manner as him; as the fourth Captain Marvel (and the second female, comics-wise) she was a member of the comic-book Guardians of the Galaxy and was later killed by Thanos

250px-Capmarvelskrull

  • Khn’nr (2007) – actually an infiltration agent of the Skrull Empire, locked into the appearance and (imitation) powers of Mar-Vell; he explains himself as having come to be through hi-jinks in the spacetime continuum from when the original Mar-Vell was alive; later embraced his implanted memories as the real ones and fought against his fellow Skrulls during the Secret Invasion, and was killed

250px-MarvelBoy1-2000

  • Noh-Varr (2000) – a Kree space sailor from an alternate dimension that was stranded in the main Marvel universe; alternately ally then enemy of Earth, he is inspired by a dying Khn’nr to become its protector and assume the Captain Marvel identity
  • Carol Danvers (1968) – a human and US Air Force officer first introduced as the security chief of a classified missile base; she becomes Mar-Vell’s major Earth ally and accidentally gets her genetic structure melded with his in the explosion of an alien “psyche-magnetron” device; with her super-powers she becomes the first Ms. Marvel, carrying that identity for most of her career until deciding to style herself as Captain Marvel in a 2012 Marvel Comics storyline

“Captain Marvel” premieres March 8.

“Pirates of the Caribbean 6” Development Halts with Departure of Writers; Franchise Might Be Over for Disney

A great deal can be said about Disney’s film series “Pirates of the Caribbean,” which was based on one of their theme park rides. The very first movie in 2003 can be argued to have revitalized the pirate movie genre, and in over a decade and a half the film franchise achieved a $4.5 billion global box office gross.

Recent entries haven’t been as lucrative in earnings, doubled with problems trying to keep on actor Jonny Depp who plays the “Pirates” face character Captain Jack Sparrow. Disney has bounced ideas of a reboot without Depp/Jack, even tapping some writers for it. But things have stalled.

Fortune tells us that Disney has fallen back into a rut regarding the production of a new installment of “Pirates of the Caribbean,” which would also serve as a reboot to the film franchise. That is because assigned screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, best known recently from 20th Century Fox’s blockbuster “Deadpool” movies, are announced to no longer be attached to the “Pirates” project.

With the departure of the writing team, and with now update on anyone else picking up where they left off, it appears any production for more “Pirates of the Caribbean” may no longer be on.

The genesis of the “Pirates” franchise had been a very unusual story of unlikely success in itself. As already stated, it was originally a theme park ride. And when the initial movie “Curse of the Black Pearl” came out, it was under the shadow of prevailing moviemaking wisdom that pirate films don’t sell at all.

To this, “Black Pearl” had answered with an astonishing $300 box office blitz in the US for 2003. It also netted a Best Actor Oscar nomination for Johnny Depp, crystalizing his characterization of Captain Jack Sparrow as the new-age archetype of a romanticized Caribbean pirate.

Disney had been frantic to revitalize the “Pirates” film series as a possible alternative should its current reigning subsidiary franchises “Star Wars” and the MCU begin to falter. But with the loss of their writers for a sixth film, and the feasibility of making such a movie without the iconic Jack Sparrow character, it may be time for the studio to figuratively bury the franchise.

Filming for Post-Phase 3 MCU Film “Eternals” Might Start Early this August

Marvel Cinematic Universe fans are all on tenterhooks this year as the film “Avengers: Endgame” nears its premiere date on April. With that, the longest storyline arc of the live-action superhero franchise, Phase 3, comes to an end with what feels like a soft MCU reboot. Post-Phase 3 movies are already on the way such as “Spider-Man: Far from Home” following in July, and more.

The general theme for some of the announced MCU titles after “Endgame” is that some of them are from lesser-known Marvel Comics series. One of these is “Eternals,” which has a new filming schedule announced.

Screen Rant has it that Marvel Studios has stated a new date for the official start of camera work for “The Eternals” a full month ahead of the last date scheduled. This also comes with a set location change. Whereas production was first reported in November 2018 to begin this September in the UK, this time filming will be done in August at Atlanta instead.

Already Marvel Studios has tapped names to spearhead this MCU film, with brothers Matthew and Ryan Firpo to work on the script as of May last year, and then Chloe Zhao to sit in the director’s chair later in fall 2018. Barring any delays in getting casting started, there is the possibility that “Eternals” will be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movie lineup 2020.

Part of the reason for this schedule adjustment is a general reshuffling of filming dates for MCU films in the wake of “Avengers: Endgame” and the end of Phase 3. A potentially R-rated “Black Widow” solo movie under director Cate Shortland was supposed to start its own production at the end of this month, but has been moved to June.

Little is known about the plot for “The Eternals,” based on characters created by legendary comic book artists Jack Kirby. Rumor has it that, like the source comics, it might begin millions of years ago well before prehistoric times, and thus serve as a prequel to the whole MCU franchise.

“Frozen II” Trailer: List of Points to Discuss

When Disney’s 2013 animated film “Frozen” became an avalanche of an international blockbuster and fountain of memes, talk immediately turned to making a sequel for it; and not just any home-video follow-up like of old but a true theatrical-release continuation. True, there have been two shorts during the interim, but fans are really looking forward to “Frozen 2” which Disney pegged for 2019.

After a disappointingly hilarious “teaser” after the end credits of “Ralph Breaks the Internet” last year, “Frozen” followers can finally bask in the glory of the first official preview for the second film, released Wednesday, February 13.

In just about a minute and a half, the “Frozen II” sticker may have just cured some fans who may still have franchise fatigue from the original film and its subsequent shorts, plus intrigued bandwagon detractors by its more action-packed sequences and foreboding visuals. Let’s list the trailer’s important scene points and talk about them.

  1. Elsa’s new getup – from the prim and restrained royal gown to her ice dress with thigh-high slit, Elsa in “Frozen” evolved from a paranoid fidgety lady to a sassy woman reveling in freedom; her reconciliation with her sister Anna aside, Elsa maintained her snowflake-pattern dress fashion with only minimum seasonal modifications; for the sequel the Queen of Arendelle finally goes significantly different with what appears to be an ice pantsuit with leggings, for greater mobility
  2. Elsa’s sea run training – the escape across from the coronation was one of the many stunning visual sequences from the first film, done by a scared witless Elsa across a relatively calm fjord; having already worked past her issues Elsa looks more confident in testing the potential of her ice powers further by trying to navigate a stormy sea; but why her intense physical exercise?
  3. The strange ice diamonds – as Anna is witness, Arendelle palace seems to have been suddenly surrounded by numerous snowflake-like diamonds; perhaps they have something to do with her sister; but where did they come from?
  4. Kristoff’s reindeer army – yes, Kristoff is never too far from his trusty reindeer mount Sven; but now it seems they have to answer a situation that needs lots of hoofed reinforcements; what do you think?
  5. Anna’s “Cliffhanger” act – famously remembered for initially failing at rock climbing in “Frozen,” Anna certain seems to match Elsa for picking up some action girl physical skills; is there a motivation for their peak form?
  6. The unquenchable fire – there has never been a physical flame that Elsa’s ice cannot quench, until now; and if she can’t put out these strangely-colored fires, Olaf might pay the price
  7. The girl and the figure – we see a new brown-haired girl walking along an autumnal forest until she’s startled by a figure bursting through the leaves, as if yanked up; could the first one be the “girlfriend” desired by LGBT Elsa-fans for their queen?
  8. Where are they going? – Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Sven seem to be taking leave of Arendelle in order to go into a new land that is in autumn; what could be waiting for them ahead?
  9. The ambush – great danger instincts, reflexes and swordplay on Anna’s part; but who or what was that which tried to ambush their adventuring party at the end of the teaser?

“Frozen II” premieres this November.

disneyfrozeniiposter

“Star Wars” Film Project Offered to “Game of Thrones” Show-Runners Might be Another Full Trilogy

It has already been stated before that the upcoming Episode IX of the third “Star Wars” trilogy, set to premiere this December, will be the final end as it were of the saga of the Skywalker family, whose several family members have been among some of the strongest users of the Force in the Galaxy. As a part of the Disney brand however, Lucasfilm has been exploring various avenues to produce more stories in film for the eternal struggle between Light and Dark in the “Star Wars” setting.

The “Star Wars Story” anthology had been such an option. Several movie and TV producers have been approached and some ideas have been pitched. Now a new movie project buzz has come out involving the show-runner tandem of HBO’s “Game of Thrones”.

Cinema Blend has it that Dave Benioff and D.B. Weiss, who adapted George R.R. Martin’s fantasy book series into the award-winning HBO program, will now be working on their own film trilogy in the “Star Wars” vein.

This is a specification of an earlier report from the previous year, where they have been offered by Lucasfilm a chance to work on a spinoff movie or two. Now they appear to be taking up the same trilogy project that had once been given to “The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson. The 2017 movie’s polarized reception hushed up any talk about a Johnson “Star Wars” trilogy.

If this report is actually substantial, then it might explain why, with “Game of Thrones” finale season 8 coming to HBO in April, Benioff and Weiss haven’t seemed to start work on their other big TV project, the alternate-history drama series “Confederate.” HBO programming president Casey Bloys did tell TV Line that the “Thrones” show-runners have been roped to work on the offered “Star Wars” films next, putting “Confederate” on hold.

Aside from movies, the overall “Star Wars” media experience has been going strong, with the current main animated series “Star Wars Resistance” already green-lit for a second season, plus the live-action series “The Mandalorian” that will premiere on Disney+ streaming.

List of Possible New Marvel Shows Being Planned on Hulu

We are well aware of the recent shifts in the general media landscape where TV series connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe are concerned. Where once there was a thriving multi-show MCU presence on Netflix, only two of them remain while everything else has been canceled.

Under the polite excuses one can only surmise that the streaming giant wants no part in indirectly promoting new MCU series that will launch with Disney’s own exclusive streaming platform this year or next. But if observers are concerned that Disney will be hoarding all TV productions of its Marvel subsidiary then they can rest assured with this development.

Polygon reports that there’s a new media partnership that Marvel Television has inked with over-the-top media streaming company Hulu. This will lead to the production of four new series featuring more Marvel characters from its massive library.

Granted, the fact that these shows are going to potentially be on a media platform that Disney has a stake in (and one that might grow once the acquisition of Fox and its own Hulu share is completed) is a different fish compared to the Netflix situation. But still, it does point out that Disney will not be a proprietary media hog with their incoming Disney+ streaming service.

Here we have a list of the four planned Marvel series planned for Hulu. There is no word yet if they will also be set in the MCU as the Netflix series were. Let’s see:

  1. Howard the Duck – one of Marvel’s more off-the-wall creations; Disney almost got into a rights dispute over it against Marvel, now moot with the latter joining the former; Kevin Smith and Dave Willis (“Aqua Teen Hunger Force”) will write and executively produce
  2. MODOK – a series with a villain protagonist, a baddie that normally tangled with tech-themed Marvel heroes in comics; recognizable as a giant head with a tiny vestigial body, supported by a bio-tech flying platform; show-runners will be Patton Oswalt and Jordan Blum (“American Dad”)
  3. Hit-Monkey – a supporting character for X-Men supporting character Deadpool, he is an intelligent Japanese snow monkey that learned ninja skills from an assassin; his TV story will also be handled by another tandem, Will Speck (“Blades of Glory”) and Josh Gordon
  4. Tigra and Dazzler – with Chelsea Handler and Erica Rivinoja as show-runners, this show brings together two females superheroes, one from the Avengers camp and the other from the X-Men; Tigra (Greer Nelson) is a magically-enhanced superhuman famous for being a sexy tiger-woman in a bikini, with fur, tail and claws, plus cat-like strength and reflexes; Dazzler (Allison Blaire) is a pop star and mutant that can convert sound waves around her into solid light with various special effects

The presence of X-Men related characters in the titles seems to indicate that the Disney-Fox deal, which will regain the film/TV use of X-Men characters, seems all but done now. No release date was given as to when the shows will appear on Hulu. For now, the ball’s in the Disney+ Marvel shows as well as the MCU in general.

List of Heroic Keyblade Wielders Active in Square-Enix’s “Kingdom Hearts III”

Towards the end of January, Disney and Square-Enix finally released a game that has kept fans waiting for a decade and a half: “Kingdom Hearts III”. So long had been the gap between this and “Kingdom Hearts II” (despite the latter getting remixed several times until 2014) that some gamers who got this last month actually mourned online the fans who passed away before its time.

And indeed, what transpired in this epic action RPG title was something of a grand enough conclusion to the saga that began with the first installment from 2002, even if it left room for continuing the story even afterwards.

Kingdom Hearts III” sees the final struggle between the righteous wielders of the Keyblades against the sinister Organization XIII and its leader Master Xehanort (voiced by Rutger Hauer following the death of Leonard Nimoy), over who shall control the power of the titular Kingdom Hearts.

Over the preceding games, a number of characters possessing Keyblades stood out to confront the plans of Xehanort and Organization XIII to prevent Kingdom Hearts from falling into Darkness in “Kingdom Hearts III.” They are:

  1. Sora – franchise main hero since the first game, his quest becomes the driving narrative of the “Kingdom Hearts” series
  2. Riku – franchise secondary hero; antagonist during much of the first game and supporting character for most of the rest; his nature would prove the interdependence of Light and Darkness on one another; he was the original wielder of the Kingdom Key Keyblade until his emerging darkness made it seek Sora instead
  3. Kairi – franchise main heroine since the first game; a damsel in distress for most of the games she appears in, until receiving a Keyblade from Riku due to having “inherited” worthiness to wield from Aqua
  4. King Mickey Mouse – King of Disney Castle; originally fighting as a Keyblade Master to eliminate Darkness and preserve Light, he learned from Riku that neither cannot exist without the other and thus decides to fight for their balance
  5. Terra – Keyblade Master and former apprentice to Eraqus; became host to his mentor’s heart and was also briefly possessed by Xehanort; Riku passed on the ability to wield Keyblades to Riku before the events of the first game
  6. Aqua – Keyblade Master and former apprentice to Eraqus
  7. Ventus – Keyblade apprentice under both Eraqus and Xehanort prior to the latter’s evil turn; left comatose after his darkness was separated from him to create Vanitas
  8. Roxas – the Nobody of Sora that came to be when Sora opened his heart with a Keyblade to free Kairi’s heart; having come from a Keyblade wielder, he retains the same ability; originally part of Organization XIII, he became fed up with the constant manipulation and reunited himself with Sora, only to gain his own complete being via the Organization’s Replica ability
  9. Xion – the 14th member of Organization XIII and a Replica of Roxas; this enabled her to wield Keyblades as well; her close bonds with Roxas and Axel eventually proves her salvation
  10. Axel/Lea – a member of Organization XIII and their designated hit-man; became close with Roxas and Xion, eventually becoming a whole being and gaining the ability to wield Keyblades himself

“Kingdom Hearts III” is available on the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One.

Fans Slam First “Aladdin” Remake Trailer Showing Genie Will Smith

 

As everybody who follows the Disney hype train knows, there are a series of films coming out in this year alone that are all live-action remakes of their celebrated Animated Canon. Taking after the frenetic production and release pace of its sister film franchise the Marvel Cinematic Universe, no less than three of these “conversions” will hit theaters before 2019 is out.

First the wonder of the flying elephant “Dumbo” in March, Disney will follow up in July with “The Lion King”. And between them is the magical remake of the 1993 classic “Aladdin”; at least that’s how Disney wants the movie to come across.

So far, many fans are unconvinced. The major sticking point of course has been the casting of Will Smith as the Genie of the lamp – a role many insist can only be performed by the original 1993 voice actor, the late Robin Williams. Disney must have hoped that finally showing Smith in CGI as the live-action Genie will quell discontent. But as BBC goes, opinion may have only gotten worse.

A new teaser from Disney was put up by Will Smith himself on Instagram, re-spinning visuals already shown in its predecessor and adding new sequences: Aladdin in the collapsing Cave of Wonders, the “Prince Ali” entrance number, and finally Aladdin rubbing the lamp to release Will Smith as the Genie.

“I told y’all I was gon’ be Blue!!” Will wrote on his Instagram page. “Y’all need to trust me more often!” His Genie self says on his first scene in the trailer, “You really don’t know who I am? Genie? Wishes? Lamp? None of that ring a bell?” While some of his comments there are somewhat supportive, the rest of social media is just up at arms with the depiction.

Several of the Twitter rants on Genie Smith paint his CGI look as the stuff of nightmares. Others on the other hand are willing to be patient until the “Aladdin” remake release this May, in the hope that Disney will clean up the special effects. Until then, it looks like this blue guy has also become the stuff of memes.

 

List of Licensed Toy Tie-Ins for MCU “Captain Marvel” from Diamond Select Toys

The release of a major blockbuster movie based on a “child-friendly” property like superheroes is bound to come with some tie-in merchandise. And if it’s from a powerhouse studio like Marvel Studios (under Disney), then you can expect many toy brands partnered up to bring quite the variety of products.

For instance, Captain Marvel which premieres March next year has just been announced to be having tie-ins coming out from Diamond Select Toys, the toy-making sister company of Diamond Comics Distributors. Thus far they have two products announced, but they sound quite impressive. Let’s put them in a nice list.

Diamond_Select_Toys_Logo

  • Marvel Movie Minimates: Captain Marvel Box – 2-inch DST “minimate” minifigures with articulated and exchangeable body parts; SRP $24.99 due to release in spring 2019
  1. Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel
  2. Kree Soldier Att-Lass
  3. Kree Sniper Minn-Erva
  4. Skrull Agent Nuro
  • Marvel Select: Captain Marvel (Starforce Uniform) Action Figure – 7-inch fully articulated (16 points) action figure of Captain Marvel in her Kree Starforce uniform; facial likeness of Captain Marvel film lead actress Bree Larson; SRP $24.99 due to release in summer 2019

Captain Marvel arrives in cinemas just over a month before the premiere of Avengers: Endgame, late April 2019.