Keep Watching the Screens

By Carl Slaughter: More news from the worlds of entertainment.

(1) Women MCU Writers. Here are 10 of “The women you didn’t know were behind the MCU”.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a game-changer in a number of ways. It helped to redefine comics-based films, creating the model of a shared universe.”…

Kelly Sue DeConnick

While everyone’s excited to see the Avengers and Thanos slugging it out in Infinity War, Marvel is already preparing for its next wave of hit movies—movies like Captain Marvel, currently slated to premiere on March 8, 2019. Featuring Oscar winner Brie Larson as the title character, it’ll likely follow her adventures in space, as the character’s more recent comics exploits have found her exploring the universe alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy and other colorful characters. Interestingly, the character of Captain Marvel, formerly Ms. Marvel, has been around for decades, but the demand for a Captain Marvel movie is relatively recent…and it’s all thanks to Kelly Sue DeConnick.

DeConnick was serving as a freelance writer for Marvel when she started writing Captain Marvel’s adventures in 2012. During her three-year run on the comic, the character’s popularity exploded with new readers all over the world, many of them members of the ever-growing “Carol Corps” of superfans. DeConnick specialized in presenting a complex Captain Marvel who was headstrong, bighearted, and a bit goofy at times, all traits that helped make her outer space adventures highly memorable. While DeConnick has gone on to write other successful books such as Bitch Planet, the legacy of her Captain Marvel issues will almost certainly inform the onscreen adventures of the MCU’s first female solo movie, and she’s thrown her support behind Larson’s casting.

(2) Star Wars Anthology. A 40th anniversary special — “Star Wars anthology will tell the stories of unsung characters”.

Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View will feature 40 stories by 40 authors based on lesser-known characters from the first movie….

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the franchise, the official Star Wars website announced Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View, a unique anthology novel that will bring together 40 authors with 40 stories told from the point of view of lesser-known characters from the first movie, A New Hope.

While we don’t know all of the characters who will be featured, the synopsis mentions “X-wing pilots who helped Luke destroy the Death Star” and “the stormtroopers who never quite could find the droids they were looking for.” If you ask us, this sounds like a brilliant idea. And who knows? Maybe one of the stories will eventually be expanded into a full anthology flick in the future. Lucasfilm does love those.

(3) No Lovecraft Movie. Would it help if somebody gave him a bag of Lovecraft lapel pins? “Guillermo Del Toro Still Thwarted in Quest to Film H.P. Lovecraft’s ‘Mountains of Madness’”.

A lot of the confusion surrounding the difficulties in getting At the Mountains of Madness made is that fans seem to think del Toro, and directors like him, have more decision-making power than they actually do:

(4) Carl Sagan versus Star Wars. “Carl Sagan Critiqued ‘Star Wars’ in 1978,and His Complaints Will Sound Familiar”.

Revisit the astrophysicist on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and his lament the movie didn’t take greater care with science in its science fiction


(5) What, Me Wookiee? Mad Magazine Versus Star Wars – the Never Ending Roast”.

In typical Mad fashion, the film has been rechristened Rough One: A Star Bores Snorer, and is chock full of sight gags (AT-ACTs with dog collars and wagging tongues, Sebastian the crab from Little Mermaid on the Scarif beach, Ewok headphones on one of the Rebels) along with the requisite jokes on the film’s storyline (“if we don’t beam up those plans, we’ll never fill the 40-year-old plot hole about how the most powerful weapon in galactic history had such a ridiculous design flaw”). Snoopy and George Lucas even make cameos. Take a look at our high-res version and see what else you can find.

(6) Fame and Misfortune. Looper thinks there were 11 “Acting Careers Ruined by Star Trek Roles”.

Avery Brooks

As the Commander (and later Captain) of Deep Space Nine, Avery Brooks was a force to be reckoned with. He had the unenviable task of helming both a role (Benjamin Sisko) and a show (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) that debuted in the shadow of the critically and commercially successful Star Trek: The Next Generation. Despite that difficulty, he took his role into bold directions, navigating issues of race, religion, and family in a way that Trek hadn’t before—and hasn’t since. When Deep Space Nine ended, his character had been saved from certain death by the Prophets, where he’d live outside of linear time for the foreseeable future. For the fans, it seems like the same thing happened to Brooks, as he’s largely disappeared from acting since the show ended in 1999.

What happened? In many ways, Brooks returned to his “day job.” He has the amazing distinction of being the first African-American to get an MFA in acting and directing from Rutgers University, and he became a professor at Rutgers in 1976. He gained tenure and was promoted to full-time Professor over the years, and though Deep Space Nine disrupted his academic career, he’s returned to teaching since, while continuing to pursue parts in theatrical productions. His commanding voice has also been behind the camera as narrator on several documentaries. Perhaps most entertainingly for Star Trek fans, the musical Benjamin Sisko ended up being musically gifted in real life: Avery Brooks has performed at music festivals, and released an album in 2009.

(7) Wha’ happened? Some would call these spoilers – beware — “Confusing sci fi moving endings explained”

“Sci-fi movies can have really confusing endings if you don’t pay close attention. These are confusing even when you do!”

(8) No bat poop on Alfred permitted.  Batman: Animated Series Trivia”.

The story behind the scenes is arguably just as entertaining as the episodes that eventually made it to the screen….

Launched in 1992, Batman: The Animated Series is still revered as one of the greatest cartoons ever conceived. It pushed the boundaries of what you could do with the animated medium, and its timeless design holds up as well today as it did 25 years ago.

But this beloved version of the Dark Knight didn’t come about easily—and the story behind the scenes is arguably just as entertaining as the episodes that eventually made it to the screen. Here’s everything you might not know about a show you almost certainly still love.

12 thoughts on “Keep Watching the Screens

  1. 2) I wonder how the stories in Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View will compare to the stories that were published in Star Wars: Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina, Star Wars: Tales of the Bounty Hunters, and Star Wars: Tales from Jabba’s Palace that were published in 1995 and 1996. I expect at least some of the characters covered in those books will find themselves covered in the new books.

  2. Knocking STAR WARS is a good thing. After THE PHANTOM MENACE I felt it had used up all of its goodwill and was tinkered with in plotlines and characters to sell toys and video games. That long long race with Anakin serves no real purpose except to market a game.

  3. @Robert L. Rede

    I wonder how the stories in Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View will compare to the stories that were published in Star Wars: Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina, Star Wars: Tales of the Bounty Hunters, and Star Wars: Tales from Jabba’s Palace that were published in 1995 and 1996.

    I think the focus will make it quite different. A lot of the short stories were about expanding the Expanded Universe and virtually all of the characters used had a previously roughed out name and concept. This one seems to be more about the tangential and faceless people either barely seen or referred to as witnesses of different events from an uncommon perspective. Could be wrong, but the way they’ve been previewing it seems to fit that concept.

  4. @6 doesn’t live up to its title; it’s not clear how many of these people had major (rather than routine) careers before their ST roles, and a number of them are still acting. A steady job for years might be the highpoint or the most stable part of their careers (except for Brooks with his tenure) but ST didn’t “ruin” them.

  5. From some people I know who have been actors, one of the hard part is visibility. The other is steady work. There are many actors who have one big role in their lives and nothing else that follows. The article sounds like a lame click bait slideshow in the realm of those other informative gems about “how they look after they’ve gotten old” Just be happy Avery Brooks’ hasn’t made headlines for showing up in tabloid work by being drunk and disorderly.

  6. (6) Whenever I read a Spenser detective novel, I am always going to picture Avery Brooks as Hawk, the character he played in the short-lived TV series Spenser for Hire.

  7. Hawk, the character he played in the short-lived TV series Spenser for Hire.

    It wasn’t a seven-seasons-and-a-movie series, but it did last three seasons and four TV movies.

    And it even spun off a single-season solo series for Hawk, A MAN CALLED HAWK.

  8. I remember seeing Carl Sagan on the Johnny Carson Show and how disappointed I was that he was criticizing my favorite movie. Also, child me hadn’t noticed that it only had white people in it until Carl said so. White privilege.

  9. Surely I’m not the only one who hoped for a Robert Urich appearance on DS9, preferably with a character name ending in “ser”.

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