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The Weekly Wrap-Up: Aliens, Nightcrawlers and Galactic Guardians

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Hello, everyone! One Of Us is proud to introduce its newest weekly article series, “The Weekly Wrap-Up.” Covering everything from film announcements to comic books, “The Weekly Wrap-Up” ensures that the biggest stories of the week are analyzed and discussed by our team of writers. This week, we’ve got news about acid spewing aliens, animated space scoundrels and aquatic superheroes. Oh, and there’s something about Johnny Depp in there too. Let us know what you think and be sure to get caught up on all of your entertainment news!

Neil Blomkamp’s Next Film Will Be His Alien Reinvention


After posting several pieces of concept art back in early January, director Neil Blomkamp (District 9Elysium) will finally have his vision of a new entry in the Alien franchise come to life.  Variety confirmed Blomkamp’s initial claim from Instagram and also revealed that the title won’t conflict with Prometheus 2, which is still set to be directed by Ridley Scott (who is also producing Blomkamp’s Alien film) following completion of his next effort The Martian. While the concept art clearly involved the characters of Ripley and Hicks, it is currently unknown if either Sigourney Weaver or Michael Biehn will be involved to reprise their respective roles.

The idea of a new Alien movie wasn’t something I was expecting. After Prometheus as well as two Alien vs. Predator films, another Ripley starring vehicle didn’t seem likely after the disappointments of Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection. It seemed like Sigourney Weaver has moved on and didn’t want to keep going. Yet, according to Blomkamp, he came up with idea while working with her on his upcoming effort Chappie. Still, even if Blomkamp received inspiration from the anti-Alien queen herself, what more is there to do with her character? Her journey was pretty wonky by the time we started seeing clones of her in Resurrection and based on the above concept art it doesn’t feel like much will change on that front. Still, the idea of reintroducing Hicks has potential and Blomkamp can have some pretty interesting and creative ideas as long as he’s reined in a bit more than he was on Elysium. Besides, how much worse could it be than Prometheus? … Please don’t make it as bad as Prometheus, Neill.

Charles Soule’s She-Hulk Closes Its Final Case


Like so many She-Hulk books before it, Charles Soule’s  She-Hulk ended long before it should have. Though critically loved, the book that featured the gamma irradiated heroine and lawyer Jennifer Walters was cancelled due to low sales. It’s sad, but the short-lived 12-issue series deserves to be recognized for its achievements and humorous storytelling.

The book follows Walters as she attempts to juggle her day job at her newly opened law firm while battling a series of colorful supervillains dumb enough to cross her. Though the series mostly focuses on comedy, She-Hulk eventually finds herself involved in a dark mystery that requires all of her skills as a lawyer and hero. Along the way, she goes toe-to-toe with Matt Murdock in court and even involves herself in the extradition of a notable megalomaniac’s son.

She-Hulk also features some fantastic guest appearances by obscure or long forgotten Marvel characters. Probably the stand-out among the D-List characters to appear is Herman Schultz, better known to Spider-Man readers as the Shocker. Schultz’s role in book is that of an exasperated semi-retired criminal. He speaks candidly about himself and the super hero community that surrounds him, and seems to enjoy having a quite conversation over Chinese food instead of fighting with a costumed vigilante. This is just one example of the impressive character interactions one can expect to find in the comic.

If anyone is looking for a fun read that is heavy on character building and humor, then She-Hulk is a must buy book.

New Guardians of the Galaxy Animated Series Finds Voice Cast


Following the mega success of last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy film, Marvel has decided to give Star Lord, Groot, Rocket Racoon, Drax the Destroyer & Gamora a chance to rule the small screen. The series’ cast as of yet includes Kevin Michael Richardson as Groot, Trevor Devall as Rocket, Vanessa Marshall as Gamora, David Sobolov as Drax and Will Friedle as Star Lord. The series will premiere later in 2015 on Disney XD.

Initially, I didn’t have had much interest in a Guardians animated series. Despite my love of the film, Marvel’s animation unit tends to disappoint far more than it’s Cinematic Universe older brother, with awful shows like Ultimate Spider-Man and Hulk Agents of SMASH under their belt. That being said, this line-up has some pretty appropriate hitters in there, with the real stand outs being Friedle and Richardson. Both have had very prolific voice acting careers, with Richardson playing pretty much any deep voiced character you’ve seen in any cartoon or video game since the 90s, such as the most recent incarnation of The Shredder in the 2012 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Batman‘s version of The Joker or Captain Drek in the Rachet & Clank games. Friedle (who many may recognize as Eric Matthews from the beloved Disney series Boy Meets World) has also been a workhorse in voice over, with roles such as Terry McGinnis in Batman Beyond, Ron Stoppable in Kim Possible and Blue Beetle in Batman: Brave And the Bold, amongst several others. Both have experience in superhero roles, with Richardson having already taken over the part of Groot on Ultimate Spider-Man after the previous voice actor Michael Clarke Duncan’s tragic passing and Friedle has stepped into a multiple roles, including… Deadpool on Ultimate Spider-Man?  Well, let’s hope the vocal talent is the only thing to transfer over from that series.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Starts Filming


After years of re-writes, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, the fifth film in the lucrative Disney franchise, has finally started production in Queensland, Australia. Directed by Espen Sandberg and Joachim Rønning (Marco Polo), and written by Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull), Dead Man Tell No Tales is looking to give audiences yet another adventure that features the mascara-wearing pirate, Captain Jack Sparrow.

The plot synopsis for the film is as follows:

Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar (Javier Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea…including him.  Captain Jack’s only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.

Much like every past Pirates film, Dead Men Tell No Tales’ brief synopsis seems to reveal that it will be doing nothing new in terms of plot or characters. Captain Sparrow is yet again pursuing some fabled artifact with mysterious powers while being tracked by a creepy pirate leader that is not at all fond of him or anyone else. While the last film, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, made over $1 billion in 2011 and stands as the 14th highest grossing film of all time worldwide, the film was savaged by critics and audiences alike for its incoherent plot and uninteresting supporting cast. Since On Stranger Tides’ debut, Depp’s stardom and box office appeal has nosedived with critical and commercial flops like Dark Shadows, The Lone Ranger, Transcendence and Mordecai. With many people long tired of his ridiculous overacting, a fifth Pirates movie might only further convince audiences and critics that the actor that once appeared in films like Donnie Brasco and Finding Neverland is long gone. At the end of the day though, that pirate will keep bringing in the coin.

 X-Men: Apocalypse Casts Its Nightcrawler


Confirmed via Bryan Singer’s Instagram, Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road, ParaNorman) has been cast to play Nightcrawler in the highly anticipated film, X-Men: Apocalypse. Previously, Alan Cumming portrayed the character in X2: X-Men United.

Born and subsequently abandoned by his mother, Mystique, Kurt Wagner was raised by the performers of a traveling Bavarian circus. Though he lived happily with his adopted family, Wagner was often ridiculed and mocked by audiences for his unusual appearance. Eventually being blamed and attacked for a murder he did not commit, Wagner was saved by Professor Charles Xavier who revealed he had been watching the young mutant for some time. Soon after, the teleporter moved to America and joined the X-Men. Taking the name Nightcrawler, Wagner would become one of the X-Men’s most loyal members, developing long-lasting friendships with Wolverine and Kitty Pride

There’s no denying that the 18-year-old Smit-McPhee certainly has the look to play the blue-skinned Nightcrawler. His unique appearance sets him apart from those who have already been confirmed for the X-Men sequel, and there’s no doubt make-up and prosthetics will only add to his take on the beloved X-Man. Smit-McPhee is joining an already substantial cast that includes many of X-Men: Days Future Past’s returning roster of actors, including series newcomers Sophie Turner, Tye Sheridan and Alexandra Shipp. X-Men: Apocalypse is set to hit theatres May 27, 2016.

First Look At Jason Momoa as Aquaman


Finally, in the most recent bit of news, Zack Snyder gave us our first sneak peak at the DC Cinematic Universe’s version of Aquaman, who will be played by Jason Momoa in Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Snyder posted the above image on his Twitter account with the message “There is only one true King. #unitetheseven.” Whether or not “The Seven” is referring to the seven seas Aquaman controls or the members of the Justice League in this universe, though the only ones that would fit that bill who have been cast are Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg & The Flash.

Hey, remember when DC Comics characters had actual color in their costumes? I seem to remember Aquaman having rather distinctive colors on his costume, not this grey dull monstrosity that seems dusted off from the wardrobe of Immortals. Obviously, I’m not a fan of this design. Yet, I do get why they went with it; for most of the public, the traditional orange and green attired Aquaman is seen as lame, reminding them of the rather limp interpretation of him from the old Superfriends cartoon that has been parodied endlessly. Still, that doesn’t mean you need to turn the King of Atlantis into essentially aquatic Khal Drogo. The costume itself isn’t that awful, but the color just makes things look so dull in a way that speaks to the “dark & gritty” overkill of this DC universe. Even with that, the Superman suit in Man of Steel at least had a solid amount of color in it, albeit muted. It still looked like a reasonable update of the suit, not a lifeless suit of armor. Guess we’ll have to wait & see Momoa in action until we can fully judge this incarnation of DC’s not-Namor. He’d better exclaim “Outrageous!” at some point.

Interested in picking up some of the titles mentioned in the article? Please use our Amazon links to do so!

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