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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Legends Of Tomorrow Season 2 has found its Vixen

After hearing that Vixen would be getting a regular role in Legends Of Tomorrow Season 2 (albeit not played by voice and live-actiona actress Megalyn Echikunwoke), we’ve been waiting to exactly who’ll personify the animal spirit totem-evoking superheroine on the big screen. Now we know, and it looks like The CW are sticking to what (or more specifically, who) they know, as they’ve raided one of their other shows for the services of Maisie Richardson-Sellers.

A major character in the Vampires Diaries spinoff in Season 1 (before reverting to major recurring character afterwards) as Rebekah Mikaelson (as well as having a brief appearance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens to add to her filmography), the sole female Original vampire, she will be playing the grandmother of Echikunwoke’s version of the character – and the first one to hold the Vixen title, made possible thanks to the time-travel device that is the show’s trademark.

The Originals -- "The Devil is Damned" -- Image Number: OR213a_0113.jpg -- Pictured: Maisie Richardson-Sellers as Rebekah -- Photo: Quantrell Colbert/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.
Maisie Richardson-Sellers in The Originals

Although we’re still slightly down that Echikunwoke won’t be reprising her role, we’re more than happy with the replacement. As well as her being excellent in The Originals, it’s nice to have Vixen as a character back. Considering she’ll be the replacement for either Hawkman or Hawkgirl (both of who she has a far more interesting powerset then), we’d take that as a fair exchange. Her one-episode appearance in Arrow was one of Season 4’s highlights, and we look forward to seeing this extended over Legends Of Tomorrow‘s second season. All that remains is to see who else is joining Rip Hunter’s merry band.

Legends Of Tomorrow: Season 2 will air in the US on The CW from 13 October 2016, and on Sky1 in the UK shortly after. You can download The 25 Greatest DC Comics Ever digital edition from now. For more news about the latest TV series, pick up the new issue of SciFiNow.

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The Mist TV series casts American Horror Story star

With so many Stephen King adaptations rolling out, we’d almost forgotten that Spike was working on a TV series based on The Mist. Well, it’s found its leading lady.

Frances Conroy in American Horror Story: Freak Show
Frances Conroy in American Horror Story: Freak Show

THR reports that the brilliant Frances Conroy, star of Six Feet Under and American Horror Story, has been cast as “Nathalie, a modern-day ecological martyr. While she is seemingly more connected to nature than most people, her instincts about her fellow humans are dead on.”

Conroy is the first to join The Mist, which is the first scripted drama for Spike (they’ve had a few get close, recently, including the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced Harvest and Red Mars). Christian Torpe is writer and executive producer, and he’s best known for creating the Danish TV series Rita.

The site describes The Mist as a “harrowing story about a seemingly innocuous mist that seeps into a small town and creates immense havoc.” In King’s novella, that mist contains legions of terrifying creatures which attack the small town’s residents, who have taken refuge in a supermarket. Is it the end of days, or does the secretive army base and Project Arrowhead have something to do with it?

The story and film’s lead character was David Drayton, played by Thomas Jane, and the antagonist was evangelical Christian and general horror Mrs Carmody, beautifully played by Marcia Gay Harden.

Frank Darabont’s film was a superb and weirdly underrated combination of old school creature feature and incredibly tense thriller, as factions formed in close quarters and words like “sacrifice” start getting thrown around. Darabont jumped from The Mist to The Walking Dead, and King’s story does seem like it could lend itself to that kind of formula, where the people are the real threat and the monsters occasionally pop up to gruesomely dispatch the expendables.

At any rate, we love Conroy (Ruth Fisher is still one of the greatest characters to ever grace television), so this is definitely good news.

The Mist will air in 2017. Keep up with the latest genre news with the new issue of SciFiNow.

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Bryan Fuller on Hannibal Season 4 talks: “I have the story”

If, like us, your heart is still bleeding a little (or a lot) due to Hannibal‘s untimely cancellation, Bryan Fuller is here to offer you a little ray of hope.

In an interview with Collider, Fuller told us that conversations about picking up the beloved series can resume next year.

“Two years after the last airing of the show, we can investigate our options […] August 2017 is when we can actually start talking about it,” he said. “That’s when we would have to see what the rights are for the character and for the story, and see who’s interested and how we get it done. I have the story, and the cast is excited for the story, so we’re ready to go if somebody wants to go.”

Indeed, the cast has consistently expressed their desire to return to these characters, and there’s no doubting the passion of the Fannibals when it comes to a demand for more episodes. However, they are extremely busy.

“The cast is game, I’m game, it’s just a matter of finding the right time where everybody’s schedules sync up, but I would love to continue to tell the story with Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen,” Fuller continued. “They’re such a fantastic collaborators, and one of the most satisfying actor-showrunner relationships I’ve ever had in this industry. So I would love to continue this story.”


Fuller also has a lot on his plate at the moment. He’s co-showrunning Starz’ American Gods TV series with Michael Green (and working with a lot of his Hannibal collaborators, which is brilliant), and he’s also creating CBS’ new Star Trek TV series, which is obviously a huge deal.

Still, if everyone can make it work, we are dying to see the story resume, and Fuller and co has spoken about finally getting into the Silence Of The Lambs storyline…And hey, if they can’t make another TV season work, we’ll definitely settle for a movie!

Keep up with the latest genre news with the new issue of SciFiNow.

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