Pixel Scroll 2/15/16 Cause Pixels Like Us, Baby We Were Born To Scroll

(1) STAR WARS VIII. Cameras are rolling for the next chapter of the Star Wars saga, written and directed by Rian Johnson.

(2) THAT WAS THE FUTURE THAT WAS. A 1983 cover of BYTE.

Byte videotext cover

And if I squint real hard, will one of the options say, “I’ll be back”?

(3) EYE SING THE BODY ELECTRIC. A mere $3.50 on eBay!

Eye Sing

Twilight Zone Prop Reproduction From the only Twilight Zone episode, scripted by Ray Bradbury, I Sing The Body Electric comes a Facsimile UnLimited original – entitled: Eye Lettuce, it represents one of the eyes available for the fabrication “Grandma”.

(4) RONDO NOMINATING OPEN. If you’re a fan who’s enjoyed James H. Burns’ columns for File 770, affirming that you’d like to see him as a nominee for this year’s Rondo Awards could make a difference.

Check in at the Classic Horror Film Board’s Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards threads “For Best Blog or Online Column: James H. Burns at File 770” and “The Geography of Eden” for “Best Article”. While a nomination apparently is not decided by raw numbers, enthusiastic comments are likely to help,

(5) APEX ACQUISITION. Apex Publications has acquired Yours to Tell: Dialogues on the Art & Practice of Writing by Steve Rasnic Tem and Melanie Tem, and expects to release the book in 2017.

Yours to Tell is a writers guide to fiction based on Steve and Melanie’s writing processes and experiences they’ve had teaching fiction, including two stints at the annual Odyssey Writing Workshop in New Hampshire.

About Yours to Tell, Steve says, “The book consists of a series of dialogues in which we discuss a number of topics on the writing of fiction, a method which we developed while teaching and continued to use for various articles and columns on both genre and non-genre writing. This is a unique approach for a writing guide, and has the advantage of presenting two different, but complimentary points of view for the basic issues of craft and encouragement which face all writers, whatever their level of skill and experience. We made this guidebook dense with practical information, empowering for new writers desiring a path for learning the craft, and inspiring even for those with more experience but wanting a fresh and encouraging view of the fiction writing process.”

(6) RECOGNIZING THE LESSON. “GUNN: ‘Hollywood Will Misunderstand The Lesson’ Of DEADPOOL’s Success” is the warning quoted by a Newsarama story.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 director James Gunn has come out with a very positive review of 20th Century Fox’s Deadpool, but warns that some in Hollywood already have misguided reasons on why the film is a success.

“I love Deadpool even more – the film is hilariously funny, has lots of heart, and is exactly what we need right now, taking true risks in spectacle film,” Gunn posted on Facebook.

However, Gunn takes issue with the perception of an unnamed studio executive who stated (via Deadline) that Deadpool succeeded because “The film has a self-deprecating tone that’s riotous. It’s never been done before. It’s poking fun at Marvel. That label takes itself so seriously, can you imagine them making fun of themselves in a movie? They’d rather stab themselves.”

“Come on, Deadline,” said Gunn, going on to state that saying Marvel wouldn’t poke fun at itself is “rewriting history.”

“Let’s ignore Guardians for a moment, a movie that survives from moment to moment building itself up and cutting itself down – God knows I’m biased about that one. But what do you think Favreau and Downey did in Iron Man? What the f*** was Ant-Man??!”

Gunn goes on to say that he worries studio executives will learn the wrong lessons from Deadpool.

Deadpool was its own thing. THAT’S what people are reacting to. It’s original, it’s damn good, it was made with love by the filmmakers, and it wasn’t afraid to take risks.”

(7) TODAY IN HISTORY

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAY BOY

  • Born February 15, 1954 – Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons.

(9) CONTINUED NEXT SLATE. Vox Day posted his slate for another Hugo category – “Rabid Puppies 2016: Best Related Work”.

The preliminary recommendations for the Best Related Work category:

  • Appendix N by Jeffro Johnson.
  • Between Light and Shadow: An Exploration of the Fiction of Gene Wolfe, 1951 to 1986 by Marc Aramini.
  • The Story of Moira Greyland by Moira Greyland.
  • Safe Space as Rape Room by Daniel Eness.
  • SJWs Always Lie by Vox Day.

(10) OCCURRING IN NATURE. The weekly science journal Nature for at least a decade has run an SF short story on the last page of each issue. The story in the February 4 issue was Robert Reed’s “An investment for the future.”

Nature’s brief background statement about author Reed says —

Affiliations

Robert Reed is the author of several hundreds stories and a few novels. He won a Hugo before it was controversial. He lives in Lincoln, Nebraska.

(11) FAVORITE SON. Jim C. Hines pleads for equal time for the “Adventures of Michigan Man”.

From time to time, I see people collecting headlines about the wacky adventures of “Florida Man.” I decided to take a look and see what my home state’s “superhero” has been up to lately…

Two of his ten amusing examples:

(12) KEYBOARD KOMEDY. Meanwhile, Ohio Man was surprised when his fingers didn’t type what his brain commanded.

(13) DREAM LOUDER. At The Space Review, Dwayne Day’s article “In space no one can hear you dream” discusses the importance of entertainment set in outer space.

Space enthusiasts, particularly those who have a vision of humanity spreading out into the solar system and establishing settlements, have had a difficult time convincing anybody other than a small group of true believers of the legitimacy of their cause. To have a broader impact they need as much help as they can get, particularly in the form of mass entertainment that can shape the popular culture and influence the general public, making settlement seem not fantastical or crazy but instead acceptable, as simply another step in human evolution….

The Expanse is the closest depiction of what space settlement advocates must see when they dream—and yet it is not a very positive vision of the future….

Life is not entertainment and entertainment is not life. But space advocates need popular entertainment to provide positive depictions of humanity’s future in space, not negative ones. They need a culture that is not hostile to their religion, and so far they haven’t gotten that, not even from the most sophisticated portrayal of solar sci-fi to date. Dying of asphyxiation or starvation on Ceres is not an appealing vision, and none of these examples of popular entertainment have provided a satisfactory explanation of why humanity should spread out into the solar system. So far popular entertainment is not helping. Perhaps somewhere right now a space advocate is penning the next great movie about humans moving beyond low Earth orbit, one where the achievement may involve struggle, but where the payoff is greater than simply survival against all odds. After all, survival is a heck of a lot easier by simply staying on Earth.

(14) DEPRESSION ERA MARS. BoingBoing reproduces the colorful alien tableaux from the astonishing “Psychedelic Space Alien themed Art Deco style 1931 high school yearbook” produced by Los Angeles University High School.

(15) MARS MY DESTINATION. Motherboard has the story about how “Britain’s Mapping Agency Made a Map of Mars”.

We’ll need maps when we go to Mars, too. At least, that’s the thinking behind British mapping organisation Ordnance Survey’s new map of the Martian landscape, which presents an otherworldly location in a format earthly ramblers will find familiar.

“There’s certainly no reason why you couldn’t imagine a future where someone might actually use a map on Mars in the same way that they would use a map on Earth,” said cartographic designer Chris Wesson, who made the map of a patch of Martian topography 3672 by 2721 km across, to a scale of 1:4 million.

(16) MARTIANS NEED PHONES TOO. This 1995 ad for AT&T stars Ray Walston who played a Martian living on Earth in the 1960s TV series My Favorite Martian which is the in-joke

[Thanks to John King Tarpinian, Dave Doering, Martin Morse Wooster, Mark Olson, and Will R. for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Steve Davidson.]

266 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 2/15/16 Cause Pixels Like Us, Baby We Were Born To Scroll

  1. Thing Explainer is related to science fiction because it explains science in an easy, accessible and fun way. And science fiction is easy, fun pop culture about sciency futuristic stuff like – to stereotype – space travel, aliens and rocketships.

    I’d question the inclusion of the Puppy stuff because – for me – a fiction award is like a buyer’s guide. It’s ‘we know what we’re talking about in SF&F, and we think this is the best of the year.’ A Worldcon outsider looking for good books/essays related to SF&F would be baffled by a book taking the mick out of another book associated with a controversy that happened last year.

    Happy belated birthday, Mike.

  2. @Snowcrash – thanks! I’ll probably hate watch it when it gets to basic cable. I don’t want to pay to see it.

  3. @Vivenne Raper: Oh, dear, you’ve been listening to Puppy propaganda again.

    A NEBULA is “we know what we’re talking about and this is the best.”
    A HUGO is “the people who went to Worldcon this year thought this was good.”

    Do not confuse SFWA and WSFS; that way lies madness and lack of facts.

  4. I should note, that I’ve never liked the Fantastic Four. I just don’t think that they are an interesting group of heroes and their most notable stories are notable for other characters (e.g. The Silver Surfer). So, The Fantastic Four movie not being that good? Well the previous attempts at movies weren’t that good and the assorted cartoon series were weaker examples of Marvel related cartoons and so on. Changing everything about them for a movie is probably a *good* idea.

  5. @lurkertype I’m not disagreeing with the voting pool. I’m saying that the Hugos’ credibility comes from Worldcon voters historically having good taste in books. Anyone can set up an award. Not every award is seen as prestigious.

    I can set up an award for a local bookclub and we can nominate a piece of fiction that’s an injoke about some daft thing that happened at a meeting. I wouldn’t expect anyone outside of our club to trust that recommendation. Why should they? They don’t care.

    You can nominate what you want 🙂 But – in a sense – if you’re thinking ‘meta’, you’re casting off responsibility for the award having wider significance outside of Worldcon. A fair few people heard about the Puppies, but only a few thousand (at most) understand the kerfuffle well enough to appreciate (or not) the writings about the subject. In contrast, most Anglo-American geeks have heard of Felicia Day and xkcd.

  6. “Although now that I write that, I can’t see any reason for any role to be White as a default merely because Asgaardians are typically thought of as Northern European.”

    Techno-space-aliens might as well be green for me.

  7. “Has anyone mentioned Frog Thor? That was silly. A Black Heimdal is not silly.”

    Actually, it is. Heimdal is known as the white aesir. 😛

  8. Thanks. Forgot about him until I saw the picture (wasn’t there some controversy over casting that role too?

    Not as much. There were people who didn’t know squat about Hogun, so they treated him as a new character. There were people who know a lot about Hogun and know that in the comics he’s from “Zanadu,” a vaguely Mongol-esque land, so even though comics-Hogun looks Russian/Slavic, a more Asian-looking Hogun isn’t remotely “wrong.”

    And then there were the people in-between, who didn’t know enough to know that they didn’t know enough about the character, and some of them whined about Asgardians having to be white on the grounds that the cultures that worshipped them were, even though Hogun’s not Asgardian. But nobody much listened to them.

  9. I see someone fell victim to one of the classic blunders – The most famous of which is “never get involved in a land war in Asia” – but only slightly less well-known is this: “Never go in against Kurt Busiek when comics knowledge is on the line!”

  10. Didn’t Skyfall make the whole Bond as code name thing” a lot more difficult to fanwank, what with the whole parents graves and ancestral home bits?

    Obviously, when they make a new Bond, they replace all his memories with the Bond-programme memories. Skyfall is property of HMG – Bonds are supposed to visit there once, as part of their programming, not to return later.

    Wasn’t Black Nick Fury explicitly modelled on Samuel Jackson? There you go Phantom – if Mark Millar can get something right, there’s hope for you too!

  11. There are series of valleys in Scotland which historically were populated by the clan McBondish. Rather like the way the British Army recruits Gurkhas, the intelligence service recruits from the the descendants of clan McBondish.

  12. John Carter did not suck because of a lack of respect for the book.

    Firstly because it didn’t suck.

    Secondly, because the first book is a poor basis for a movie. it was Burroughs first novel, he made it up as he went along and it is not a good novel. Yes, yes, it is striking and vivid and memorable and so on – but as a novel, it is pretty poor.

    Bob Clampett worked on an animated version in 1935, and later said: “”Edgar was smart enough to understand that one couldn’t just literally translate his Mars books page by page into animation; it just would not be cinematic. So, he gave me a great deal of freedom to dream up and be inspired by his writing and develop a cartoon story on my own”

  13. It seems a great shame that Marc Aramini’s fantastic book on Gene Wolfe’s short stories will likely be overlooked because of its publisher and its appearance on this slate. Day has clearly included it because he published it, but as I understand it, no other publisher was interested.

    Disclaimer: I run the Ultan’s Library website about Gene Wolfe and we’ve recently reprinted Wolfe’s “A Solar Labyrinth” alongside Aramini’s chapter on the story. I’m British and as leftie as they come, so I have no ulterior motive other than it’s a great work and deserves to stand alongside Michael Andre-Driussi’s Lexicon Urthus and Peter Wright’s Attending Daedalus as an important study of a major author.

    I can only attribute the lack of reviews and critical interest to the politics of the publisher and, more likely, the fact that nobody has read or engaged with Wolfe’s short fiction as much as Aramini.

  14. Good luck getting that outfit into a Disney film…

    When the film was coming out somebody somewhere linked to an obsessively illustrated version of the book – it may have been a comic, I can’t remember – but I have the distinct impression of something like Oglaf without the jokes…

  15. RDF on February 16, 2016 at 6:56 pm said:

    And it just occurs to me – mammalian attributes, lays eggs, lives in a desert surrounded by red sand…

    OMG – John Carter was never on Mars – he was simply transported to Australia…

    So it was actually an extremely unfaithful adaptation of Prehysterical Pogo in Pandemonia!

  16. It’s an -example- of the kind of change that guys with no respect for the source material make.

    They had so much disdain for the source material and the genre in general that it was doomed from the start, but making Johnny black in principle need have had no substantive effect on the story that couldn’t be filled in with a fragment of dialogue or a shot of some family photos or whatever, and then carry on as normal. Making Johnny female would have changed the tone of things, certainly,m but people do distaff versions of the classics – particularly Shakespeare – all the time and still treat the text with great respect. But not reverence. Start treating the source material as Holy Gospel and you’ll end up with nothing particularly interesting to say.

    As I recall, nobody cared

    Oh, people cared. oh man, the nerdrage. Mark Millar deliberately modeled his Fury for the Ultimate universe on Jackson. That, via a zeitgeisty avalanche, seemed to lead to the actual casting of Jackson in the films, leading to the changing of Fury in the main universe – the new Fury there is old Fury’s nephew. Oh, man, the nerdrage, but it was sheer popularity that carried it along. And oh God don’t talk about the brainspasms that hit over hispanic Ultimate Spider-Man. But it was a great comic and it went over well, so he’s still around.

    Apparently, although it is a bit silly since he’s the only black guy we ever see in Asgard.

    Don’t blame Idris Elba for the shitty worldbuilding in those films.

    When you change important things for reasons other than storytelling, it breaks the story.

    I guess it’s just interesting what you regard as important. Skin colour seems to be incredibly important and integral to the storytelling? Considering the huge numbers of variations and alternative versions of various characters that have appeared in the comics themselves, this has demonstrated quite conclusively to be completely wrong.

  17. making Johnny black in principle need have had no substantive effect on the story that couldn’t be filled in with a fragment of dialogue or a shot of some family photos or whatever

    One interesting thematic thing you could get out of one of the Storms being adopted — it’d make the Fantastic Four into a family that creates itself rather than born as one. In the comic, after all, they’re the only two blood-related characters of the original four, with the other two being a guy who later marries into the family and, um, Ben.

  18. I’ve just recalled that urban legend has it that George Clooney was lined up to play Fury in a film – until someone gave him a copy of the Garth Ennis Fury Max mini-series, which was… not respectful. As well as being cynical an ultra-violent it had Ennis’ less attractive adolescent tendencies on full display. Clooney read it and was so put off that he declined the role, which may or may not have ultimately cleared the way for Jackson stepping in, I don’t know. Ennis returned to Fury for an incredible, brilliant epic, My War Gone By, which eschewed any reference to superheroes and instead took an epic tour of the seedy espionage underbelly of the Cold War from the fifties to the seventies.

  19. The idea of extended family has been put to good use in the comics, or at least since the Hickman run, which was when I really started following it.

    Oh God, I’ve just remembered what John Byrne said when they cast Jessica Alba as Sue Storm for one of the earlier films, to the effect that latina women who dye their hair blonde reminded him of prostitutes… It never ends, does it?

  20. Also, when I read “change race to check a box for politically correct reasons” I hear “update character to appeal to new markets and generate buzz.” Also maybe open up some new storytelling possibilities. I could give successful examples of this – Miles Morales, Kamala Khan – but the names would mean nothing to the Phantom since he doesn’t read comics or know much about them.

  21. Everyone knows that David Hasselhoff is the ‘true’ Nick Fury!

    Sadly, I’m sure there are some people whose first exposure to Nick Fury was Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD and they have been conditioned to think Fury looks like the Hoff.

    Like thinking that Harry Potter looks like Daniel Radcliffe.

  22. @jim henley: Just think what would have happened had Tom & Mary Bierbaum ever got to write FF.

  23. In fairness, I can’t think Loki without seeing Hiddleston these days. Even classic, Rhinegold Loki.

  24. I tend to think Hiddleston is just a disguise that the more lupine* Loki uses to confuse nerdy fans into do his bidding at conventions.

    * Not the flower.

  25. My standard response to nerdrage of the “they changed a character’s race/sex/sexuality and it is DESECRATION because everyone’s identity in comics stays the same forever” is: okay, so did the Joker kill Batman’s parents? Joe Chill? Some rando mugger? Are the Kents alive when Clark goes to Metropolis? What *is* Lex Luthor’s problem, exactly?

    …but surprisingly, the Respect The Source Material fanboys don’t get their shorts twisted about any of that.

  26. @Hampus Eckerman – Actually, it is. Heimdal is known as the white aesir. 

    But Frog Thor. Which pretty much is my answer to any canon argument based on race. 😉

    I live with someone who knows all the comics ever. It’s an interesting world that I won’t ever share because I ran into comics gatekeepers at a vulnerable age, but I admire the skill that goes into knowing all the things.

  27. The problem with the superheros at the big 2 is that new stuff does not sale. So the best method to add diversity, in my opinion at least, making new characters fails because no one buys them. So you end up having to replace or remake established characters, with limited success so far.

    @ Isabel Cooper

    Everyone of those chances cause fan outrage. It may not show up as much because stuff like that usually does not come up that often in the comics themselves unlike chancing the main character which is front and center all the time. Look up HEAT (Hal’s Emerald Attack Team) to see that changing people favorite characters can set off fires without having race or sex involved. And often the changes are just stupid and go against the history of the characters. For example Rucka’s run on Wonder Woman ,which I loved, made her a Vegetarian which made no sense with her history and her reverence for Artemis. Whereas doing the same thing to Batman would not have bothered me.

  28. Hampus Eckerman on February 17, 2016 at 12:46 am said:

    Heimdal is known as the white aesir.

    Of course that could be an ironic nickname like “Curly” or “Tiny”.

    Incidentally, at least some scholars think that the Vanir (which are “immigrant” gods in the mythology) represent the religious traditions of the Saami people, so there could easily be a lot more visible diversity in Asgard than we’ve traditionally seen.

  29. @Jonathan Sadly, loads of stuff gets overlooked. I recently discovered Robert Charles Wilson had written a book called Affinities about internet tribalism and the trials and tribulations of social media. It was published by Tor this year. You’d expect it to be everywhere – it got a mention on BoingBoing and on Tor.com. No one else seemed to care.

    Unfortunately, fandom is very fragmented and no one can read everything. The solution is probably for us to form our own ‘affinities’ and signal boost stuff that we enjoy.

  30. Good luck getting that outfit into a Disney film…

    And remember – Dejah Thoris is a Disney princess now!

    (My annoyance with the film – they kept calling her Dejah. As someone with a double first name myself, I really get annoyed at people who call me Lee instead of Lee Ann)

  31. I think Affinities was discussed quite a lot earlier in the year; it’s just it got eclipsed by stuff that came later. Early stuff has an advantage in some ways, but late stuff has an advantage in others (witness the apparent success of Barsk in the Nebulas).

  32. Vivienne Raper: I recently discovered Robert Charles Wilson had written a book called Affinities about internet tribalism and the trials and tribulations of social media. It was published by Tor this year.

    It came out last April and I read it then. It’s pretty good — but I had a bit of an issue with the underlying premise required to make the book work, because it required human beings to behave in a way that I didn’t think was fully consistent with human nature as it has historically manifested. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting and inventive book, and very good in a lot of ways. But then, I am a big fan of Robert Charles Wilson’s books.

  33. Now, now. Probably the still-nameless group of people apparently controlling what Phantom is allowed to read didn’t let him read the relevant comics. This is what censorship gets us, people!

    Me, I just want a movie with Frog-Thor and Hiddleston chewing the scenery around him.

  34. There are trival acts of altering the source material. The minor alterations in the LotR trilogy did very little to alter the narrative that was received from the source material.

    There are non-trivial acts of altering the source material. Such as the Hobbit trilogy. Erg. Excess padding in multi-farious forms ruined the first movie. I didn’t bother with the second two.

    But Phantom? Lighten up, Francis.

    Regards,
    Dann

  35. Fantastic Four movies keep changing HERBIE the robot to some flaming jerk I can’t bring myself to care about. C’mon, guys! Just honor the source material!

  36. Heimdal is known as the white aesir.

    And Thor is known as “redbeard” for his big, bushy red beard.

  37. I was never able to get into the comics as they didn’t stay true to the Norse mythology they were based on. Talk about not honoring your source material. And too many readers get upset when stuff is true to the original pre-comic mythology. Geez guys grow up. 😉

  38. Xtifr:

    “And Thor is known as “redbeard” for his big, bushy red beard.”

    He is represented with a red beard in the danish comic “Valhalla”. Which is far superior to the Marvel one and much closerbto the source material.

  39. The minor alterations in the LotR trilogy did very little to alter the narrative that was received from the source material.

    Jackson completely fucked up the adaptation. Gimli as comic relief. Denethor as just another dickhead. Faramir. Saruman and Gandalf spinning each other in circles. Let’s have some more CGI!
    What I wouldn’t give for an adaptation that stayed true to the source – I couldn’t give two shits what colour Frodo’s skin was.

  40. Jackson made two changes I really didn’t like: cutting the Scouring of the Shire, and making Saruman under Sauron’s control. The first I can accept as necessary (the movies were long enough as it was) but the second one really altered some of the major themes of the book.

  41. My particular Jackson hates:

    Helm’s Deep is all about standing alone against the dark. The last hope of Rohan against the monstrous army. There is no hope, there will be no relief. So a company of Elvish Special Forces deflates the whole point. And then the Elves get slaughtered and have no impact on the story!

    The extended Return of the King makes a spectacular mistake in showing what happened to Aragorn and just what the army of the Dead is capable of. In the theatrical version you get the Battle of Pelanor Fields done very right (though I’d have cut the elephant surfing), with Theoden’s last charge still sending shivers just thinking of it. Best. Cavalry. Charge. Ever.

    So you get the death charge of the Rohirim, the tide of battle beginning to turn back, the arrival of the corsairs and ZOMG, it’s Aragorn and look who he’s got with him! Really good bit of cinema. So inserting a scene to say “Aragorn did sway the army of the dead, this is what they can do, and the next time you see ships with black sails you should think it’s a good thing” wrecks that mood something rotten.

  42. Thing Jackson Did That I Hate: Having Faramir fail the test of the Ring. I can forgive a lot (although I mourn the loss of the Scouring of the Shire, where Merry, Pippin and Sam were the heroes and Frodo, the savior of Middle Earth, was almost entirely disregarded by the locals)… but I can’t forgive Faramir trying to bring the Ring back to Gondor.

  43. Thing Jackson did that I hate:

    The spider-goblins of Moria. What the hell were they doing climbing around the walls and pillars?

  44. I hated the scene where Frodo sent Sam away, and the failure of Faramir. Distorting personalities was the worst offense to me. Otherwise, all of the above, plus bringing the Dead to the Pelennor Fields, having a battle with wargs in Rohan, and Aragon falling off the cliff.

    The first movie was pretty good, though.

    I have not watched any but the first Hobbit movie. 3 movies out of one little book? I knew they would be puffed up, and they were. I kept saying to myself (or possibly out loud), “This didn’t really happen. This didn’t really happen!”

  45. nickpheas on February 16, 2016 at 11:38 pm said: “Making Sue adopted (not seen the film yet, DVD has a price drop still to come) but I think She is the adopted one, does change things. Does it change them for the worse? Not qualified to say. But it is a change to a central relationship, and a fairly arbitrary one at that.
    A black Reed Richards would not have changed anything.”

    That is a very good point.

    However, would that change improve the movie? Doubtful, because why -that- change? If it was done because they had a truly fabulous actor for the part, then it would improve the movie. Samuel L. Jackson is an excellent Nick Fury.

    If they changed it because they needed a black dude on the cast because politics, which is what we’re really all dancing around here, then no. It would not improve the movie.

    Is Brit actor Benedict Cumberbach true-to-type for Doctor Strange? No, he’s totally not. Was he right for being picked as Kahn in Star Trek? No, he wasn’t, because Ricardo Mantalban. Did he make it work anyway by being an excellent actor? I think so. Will he make Doctor Strange work? Probably.

    What could scuttle him in Doctor Strange? Making magic into technology would do it. Trying too hard to stuff that story into “Reality TM” as they did in Thor would be crap. Thor survived, because powerful alien is an easier sell than Actual Norse God in the same movie as Iron Man.

    Could Dr. Strange be a black guy? Sure. If they got the right actor, and didn’t make the change because of PC politics. Dr. Strange is a lesser known figure in comics, only nerds know about him. Nobody cares about nerds, evidently.

    Could Stephen Strange be Stephanie Strange, played by Meghan Fox? That could happen in Hollywood. It would suck of course, but it would be exactly like the FF movie in that regard. Changing stuff that shouldn’t be changed, and doing it for stupid reasons, will fail.

    Can Meghan Fox play a grown-up Hermione Granger, somebody mentioned above. Can Idriss Elba play Hermione Granger? Can Beyonce play her? No, no and no. Some things are just guaranteed fail, I’m afraid.

    Ms. Marvel the graphic novel, nominated for the Hugo in 2015: can you take out the Muslim girl and substitute generic eye-candy Hollywood blonde? What if there’s a constituency for that change? Will it work, or will it be bullshit?

    See how when the shoe goes on the other foot it looks all heinous?

    Bottom line: when you take already successful franchises with very long pedigrees, and you then change basic things about them for reasons that have nothing to do with the story, the result will not work well and the movie version of the popular franchise will suck. Two words, Green Lantern. Respect the lore or watch your hundred million bucks go up in smoke.

    Also, look for a bunch of Deadpool knockoffs in 18 months that are horrifying, nightmarish crap. Nobody in Hollywood is going to get that thing right. No way.

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