Class exclusive: Sophie Hopkins on going back to Coal Hill

1) The British Buffy111153630-class3-large_transo6qpiblidqhyceykofbymbiowthnun16jly8a9bom6u
Doctor Who’s upcoming teen spin-off Class got people both excited and worked up this year when Patrick Ness described it as the British version of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. That statement is yet to be quantified, but star Sophie Hopkins insists that the show is surprisingly dark. “That’s the main thing that stuck out for me when I saw the trailer,” she says. “I think there’s always going to be comparisons to other teen shows before people watch Class. I’m lucky, I keep being shown little bits on the side – it’s completely different to anything I’ve seen before.”


2) Meet April

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 14:00:00 on 01/09/2016 - Programme Name: Class - TX: n/a - Episode: Class - B2B early images (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: **STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 1ST SEPT, 14:00HRS** After 4 months in production, it’s the last week of term as filming wraps on BBC Three’s brand new YA series, Class. Coming this Autumn to BBC Three! Miss Quill (KATHERINE KELLY), April (SOPHIE HOPKINS) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Simon Ridgeway

Before Class, Hopkins had mainly worked on short films, so she was excited to get to spend more time with her character, April, an A-Level student at Coal Hill. “She’s had quite a rough childhood,” she says. “She was in an accident with her parents, and her mum was left paralysed from the waist down, so she’s pretty much her mum’s sole carer… That’s been her main focus, there’s no background of her [having friends], so the people she meets in the show… it’s all new friendships, so she’s learning a lot about herself through the other people and through the challenges they face.”


3) The man behind the magicclass-2
Writer Patrick Ness, the man behind Class, has been a busy body recently, penning the script for A Monster Calls and churning out hit books. But Hopkins tells us he always found time to visit the set. “He’s like a ray of sunshine, we’re always so happy to see him. We’re really lucky to have the writer present on set a lot of the time. He’s not a man of many words, which is funny for a writer, but he’s very concise. I feel really lucky just to spend time with him talking about the role and about the project.”


4) A world of pure imagination

WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01 on 18/10/2016 - Programme Name: Class - TX: n/a - Episode: Class - Ep2 (No. 2) - Picture Shows: (L-R) Tanya (VIVIAN OPARAH), April (SOPHIE HOPKINS), Charlie (GREG AUSTIN) - (C) BBC - Photographer: Simon Ridgeway
As a long-time sci-fi fan, Hopkins is happy to finally get her teeth into the genre professionally. “I’ve always enjoyed sci-fi and fantasy, so it’s always something that I wanted to do. It crosses over to reality as well, and that’s the beauty of the Doctor Who world: you’re not completely on another planet, and everything is not – excuse the pun – alien to the audience; there are things they recognise, and things that I recognise, playing April, mixed up with a lot of good old-fashioned space monsters.”


5) Tennant or Smith?50th_iconic_wallpaper_16x9
Like everyone involved with Who, Hopkins has her favourite Doctor (or two). “I find it really difficult to choose between David Tennant and Matt Smith,” she confesses. “Whenever I see Tennant on screen I just smile – he’s so wonderful and charismatic, and I love what he gave to the Doctor. But I loved how Smith seems almost childlike in the way he discovers new things. I could watch his episodes on repeat. I couldn’t possibly say between the two of them!”


Class will stream on BBC Three in October. For all the latest TV news, pick up the new issue of SciFiNow.

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The Host by Stephenie Meyer – A Sci-fi, Romantic, Thrilling Story

Stephenie Meyer is an American author, known for her vampire romance series Twilight.

The Host is a Sci-fi romantic novel by Stephenie Meyer. The novel introduces an alien race, called souls, who take over Earth and its inhabitants. The book describes one soul’s predicament when the mind of the host body refuses to cooperate with her takeover.

The Host is about a species invading earth and taking over the minds of their hosts-the humans. This book brings out the situation that arises if these little ‘souls’ are inserted into their hosts and the humans essentially are supposed to be gone although the soul has their memories. The story is all about such two combinations of a human and a soul i.e. Melanie-the human and the Wanderer-the soul. Melanie is one of few “wild” humans – rebels who have evaded the alien souls that have taken over the Earth. With her younger brother Jamie and the man she loves — Jared Howe, She is on the run from souls who hunt down host bodies for use.

Souls are creatures that rely upon host bodies to survive. After insertion, they erase any mental presence of the being there prior and establish a claim over the body and mind. Earth is Wanderer’s ninth planet, and Melanie is her ninth host body. The Wanderer goes crazy at first trying to get rid of her but eventually they find they like each other and develop a bond together. Wanderer started having more and more of Melanie’s memories and feelings and they came to a sort of understanding with each other. She wanted her to feel all of the feelings and emotions she did so that she would not be destroyed.

When Melanie wants to know where the people she left behind are and when she and the Wanderer set out to do just that, the story becomes a struggle for survival and learning to live in a different world. Did the souls continued to occupy the minds and bodies of the humans? Was there any solution given by Melanie and the Wanderer?

In simple terms, the The Host by Stephenie Meyer delivers a gripping story of love and betrayal in a future with the fate of humanity at stake for the readers.

Science Fiction Books – the Literature of Ideas

Science fiction is the literature of highly creative ideas. By the mid ’70s, the genre of science-based ideas had grown. Apart from book, science fictions come in the form of art, television, film, theater and game. Science fiction can be synonymous with the broader definition of ‘speculative fiction’ in organizational or marketing contexts. This is a highly creative works incorporating imaginative elements which is not found in contemporary reality. This includes horror, fantasy and related genres. This kind of books are also used to raise awareness of ecological ideas, narrates dystopia future. Frank Herbert and Kim Robinson are the well known names for their serious concern with ecological issues. This kind of fiction books are written on various themes like, cosmology, creation of universe, quantum suicide, the future, symbiont, ultimate fate of the universe etc.

Out of all the genre of books that have been written so far, science fiction seems to be one that is a class apart. The feeling towards the genre is either one of extreme hatred or fanatic following. One of great science fiction books that one can remember today are “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” by H. G. Wells, “The “Red Mars” by Kim Stanley, “Servant of the Bones” by Anne Rice, “Idoru” by William Gibson and “The Time Machine”. Today these hot listed names have been replaced with modern classical space operas like Robert A. Heinlein’s “Citizen of the Galaxy and.” This kind of science fiction has a certain epic scope in the stories. They contains fighting of galaxies, a twisted concept of time, phenomenal depictions of aliens, and many more.

Fortunately, to write for this genre it is not necessary to be a “techie,” or have to be a degree holder in quantum mechanics. Good sci-fi books, could not be popular if it is not about people. It examines the human condition, perhaps in a whole new atmosphere or in a new landscape or from an “alien” perspective. To create that all-important empathy between character and reader.

The “terminal Experiment” is one of’s top 50 best selling science fiction title of all times. The “Harry Porter” was the best selling book of last year.

Batman: Return Of The Caped Crusaders trailer and art stop jaywalking

The trailer for Batman: Return Of The Caped Crusaders is here, and it’s fabulous. Watch it here, and try not to cry of happiness.

You can read the full synopsis for Batman: Return Of The Caped Crusaders here:

It’s back to the 1960s as Batman and Robin spring into action when Gotham City is threatened by a quartet of Batman’s most fiendish foes – Penguin, The Joker, Riddler and Catwoman. This time, the four Super-Villains have combined their wicked talents to hatch a plot so nefarious that the Dynamic Duo will need to go to outer space (and back) to foil their arch enemies and restore order in Gotham City. It’s a truly fantastic adventure that will pit good against evil, good against good, evil against evil … and feature two words that exponentially raise the stakes for both sides: Replicator Ray. Holy Multiplication Tables!

Adam West steps behind the microphone to bring Batman to fully animated fruition. Burt Ward joins the fun as Batman’s sidekick, Robin, giving The Boy Wonder his voice in animated form. And Julie Newmar, star of stage (Tony Award winner for The Marriage-Go-Round) and screen (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers), dons her feline ears to bring Catwoman to life.

Rick Morales (LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes – Justice League: Cosmic Clash) directs from a script by Michael Jelenic (Teen Titans Go!) and James Tucker (Justice League vs. Teen Titans).. Tucker and Jelenic also serve as Supervising Producer and Producer, respectively, on the film. Sam Register is Executive Producer. Benjamin Melniker and Michael Uslan are Executive Producers.

There’s also this really sweet art for the DVD/Blu-ray cases:

batman return of the caped crusaders

Batman: Return Of The Caped Crusaders is available to own digitally from 11 October and on Blu-ray and DVD from 1 November. Get all the latest sci-fi news with every issue of SciFiNow. 

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Fantastic Beasts new featurette: JK Rowling talks US wizarding law

Warner Bros. just released this new featurette for Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them and frankly, it’s filled with revelations about the United States’ version of the Wizarding World.

Screenwriter JK Rowling discusses what it was like for magical folk living in 1920s New York and, unfortunately, it turns out that they were often blinded by prejudice, just like Muggles. On the bright side, there’s also a first look at a Bowtruckle, so yay at that!

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is in cinemas from 18 November 2016. Read an exclusive interview with producer David Heyman in the latest issue of SciFiNow. 

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Universal wants Dwayne Johnson for the Wolf Man, maybe

Everyone loves Dwayne Johnson, so there’s a certain amount of sense to this rumour, even if there’s nothing really to back it up.

Deadline reports that Universal has been courting the incredibly busy star to lead their reboot of The Wolf Man when it eventually happens.

The rumour was an aside in their report about Johnson producing a film of graphic novel Son Of Shaolin, and simply states that “there are persistent rumors Universal wants him howling at the moon when it gets around to the Wolf Man movie that is part of its classic monsters franchise revival plans.”

This seems like the kind of rumour that we could dismiss as “standard rumour,” but, as a lot of others have pointed out, Universal have been bringing out the big guns for their Monster Movie reboots, with Tom Cruise starring in The Mummy and Johnny Depp in The Invisible Man, while Russell Crowe will be popping up in The Mummy as none other than Dr Henry Jekyll…

Obviously, they’ll have to get in line with every other film that wants to secure Dwayne Johnson’s services, which includes Rampage, Doc Savage, Jumanji, San Andreas 2, Shazam, that Big Trouble In Little China remake, his TV show Ballers, that potential Hobbs spin-off from the Fast & Furious movies, and whatever else takes his fancy. The good news for all of us that Johnson seems to be keen on making as many of these films as he physically can, so maybe he will be howling at the moon.

What do you think? Would Johnson make a good wolf man?

The Mummy will be released on 9 June 2017. Keep up with the latest genre news with the new issue of SciFiNow.

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Star Wars Rogue One new images expand the universe

In among the steady drip-feed of Rogue One-related news this week, we’ve heard various interesting tidbits: Darth Vader’s return, who Forest Whitaker is playing, etc.

Now, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, we have a whole whole host of new photos. Some are familiar (close-up shots of Jyn Erso, Cassian Andor etc), while others are new (Alan Tudyk’s K-2S0, and some cool shots of a group of Stormtroopers wading through a watery battlefield). It’s certainly intriguing, and you can look at the full range of pictures above.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be released in cinemas on 16 December 2016. You can download the Star Wars Original Trilogy: Complete Manual from now. For more news about the latest movies, pick up the new issue of SciFiNow.

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Ouija 2 trailer goes in an interesting direction

Check out the official synopsis for sequel Ouija: Origin Of Evil below:

It was never just a game.  Inviting audiences again into the lore of the spirit board, Ouija: Origin of Evil tells a terrifying new tale as the follow-up to 2014’s sleeper hit that opened at number one.  In 1965 Los Angeles, a widowed mother and her two daughters add a new stunt to bolster their séance scam business and unwittingly invite authentic evil into their home.  When the youngest daughter is overtaken by the merciless spirit, this small family confronts unthinkable fears to save her and send her possessor back to the other side.

Ouija: Origin of Evil is produced by Platinum Dunes partners Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Purge series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum (The Purge and Insidious series), alongside Hasbro’s Brian Goldner (Transformers and G.I. Joe series) and Stephen Davis (Ouija).  Mike Flanagan directs from a screenplay he wrote with his Oculus and Before I Wakecollaborator, Jeff Howard, and Universal will distribute the film worldwide.

Ouija: Origin Of Evil will be released in cinemas on 21 October 2016. For more news about the latest movies, pick up the new issue of SciFiNow.

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Spider Man Homecoming recruits Fargo star

At the moment any day that we’re not announcing a piece of Spider-Man: Homecoming casting news feels like a strange one. Whatever Marvel is planning, they’re certainly not standing still, currently boasting one of the most diverse rosters we’ve seen from one of their productions to date. Having fought for so long to get the wall-crawler as part of their in-film universe, they seem to be making the most of the opportunity.

Anyway, we digress: the latest name to be confirmed for a role on board Spider-Man’s first solo Marvel Cinematic Universe adventure is Bokeem Woodbine, who was last seen impressing us in the acclaimed likes of Fargo and Better Call Saul. Then again, he’s also no stranger to big-budget productions, having also starred in the likes of Total Recall, Riddick and The Host, although Homecoming will be his biggest stage to date.

There’s no word yet on who he’s playing, but regardless, we can view this as yet another strong addition. His TV appearances notwithstanding, he was particularly memorable in Riddick, and also has a whole host of non-genre appearances under his belt via the likes of Saving Grace and Southland. In other words, he’s versatile, so we’re sure he’ll be great in whatever role he plays.

Spider Man Homecoming Bokeem Woodbine
Bokeem Woodbine in Fargo

He joins confirmed cast members Tom Holland (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), Marisa Tomei (Aunt May), Michael Keaton (Vulture), Zendaya, Donald Glover, Martin Starr, Logan Marshall-Green, Michael Barbieri, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Hannibal Buress, Abraham Attah and Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark/Iron Man. Jon Watts is directing from a script penned by Jon Francis Daley and Jonathan M Goldstein.

Spider-Man: Homecoming will be released in cinemas on 7 July 2017. You can download The 25 Greatest Marvel Comics Ever digital edition from now. For more news about the biggest movies, pick up the new issue of SciFiNow.

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Star Trek TV series: 5 things you need to know

With the build-up to Star Trek Beyond gaining momentum, news on the TV series front has been thin on the ground of late. However, that all changed in a recent interview with Collider, during which showrunner Bryan Fuller revealed a number of interesting details about the universe’s return to its original medium..

1) It will be lean but mean1
Bucking the trend of many TV series, Fuller confirmed that the first season will be a releatively short 13 episodes long. Moreover, he also revealed that it will be one single storyline rather than adhering to the mission-of-the-week formula, saying, “There are 762 episodes of Star Trek television, so over six episodes we have to tell stories differently than they’ve been told for fifty years.”

2) It will likely feature LGBT characters

Bryan Fuller has had gay characters in his shows before (such as Alana Bloom and Margot Verger in Hannibal, which itself was brimming with homoerotic overtones), and while he didn’t explicitly state that he plans to do so in Star Trek, he did offer some hope, saying: “I think the progressive audience that loves Star Trek will be happy that we’re continuing that tradition.”

3) It will take inspiration from the Netflix formula3
As well as taking place across 13 episodes (the standard Netflix format), Fuller wouldn’t be nailed down on episode length and whether they would be 45 or 60 minutes, saying only, “They gave us parameters, and I can’t remember exactly where it was. It was sort of, ‘No more than this, no less than that.’”

4) It will keep things family-friendly4
Despite the show airing in the US on CBS All Access (which means it’s not subject to network broadcast standards and practices), don’t expect to see loads of sex and nudity: “It will likely affect us more in terms of what we can do graphically, but Star Trek’s not necessarily a universe where I want to hear a lot of profanity, either.”

5) Vincenzo Natali is on board

While directors are still being sounded out, one face already on board is Vincenzo Natali. Notable for directing the excellent 1997 thriller Cube and 2009 genetic horror fable Splice, he has since directed episodes of Hannibal, The Returned, The Strain, Orphan Black and Wayward Pines. Pretty good pedigree then.

Star Trek will air on CBS in the US in 2017, with a UK air date and channel to be announced. You can download Star Trek: The Complete Manual from now. For more news about the biggest movies, pick up the new issue of SciFiNow.

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