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22 Jul 05:11

iZOMBIE at Comic-Con: The Cast & Producers Tease Season 4

by Clarissa
When we last saw the characters of iZOMBE, Discovery Day had come and gone and the existence of zombies had been revealed to the public. Major opted to become a zombie again and Fillmore Graves had told the rest of the United States that the zombies would continue to live in peace in Seattle if […]
21 Jul 13:26

Deception: "Pilot" Review

by Matt Fowler

The pilot for ABC's Deception aired at Comic-Con on Wednesday, July 19th and this is our non-spoilery review of the episode.

And yes, there was a different, recent TV series called Deception back in 2013 on NBC starring Meagan Good. As well as many movies with the same title. This one's about a crime-fighting magician though. Huzzah!

Mush up some MacGyver with a little Leverage and then throw in, well, just about every "Cocky Specialist teams with Perpetually Perturbed FBI Agent" series and you've got Deception - a breezy new case-of-the-weeker from Chuck writer/producer Chris Fedak featuring a famous young magician (the type with Vegas shows and TV specials) who volunteers to help the FBI solve the mysterious case of a seemingly dead Cartel member.

Continue reading…

21 Jul 13:21

Petcube's $249 treat cam goes on sale next week

by Mariella Moon
Petcube has released a new pet camera, and it can do so much more than its typical counterparts. You can use it not just to monitor your furry BFFs, but also to toss them treats, talk to them and share their shenanigans on Facebook Live. Petcube Bite...
21 Jul 13:20

Intel puts Movidius AI tech on a $79 USB stick

by Mallory Locklear
Last year, Movidius announced its Fathom Neural Compute Stick — a USB thumb drive that makes its image-based deep learning capabilities super accessible. But then in September of last year, Intel bought Movidius, delaying the expected winter ro...
21 Jul 08:07

Netflix drops the full trailer for David Ayer's 'Bright'

by Richard Lawler
Netflix has some 40 original movies due for release this year, but the highest profile release will likely be Bright. Directed by David Ayer (Suicide Squad, End of Watch), it stars Will Smith and Joel Edgerton as a pair of cops, but the twist is that...
20 Jul 10:32

Game of Thrones Producers Reveal Their Next HBO Series

by Alex Osborn

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the showrunners on HBO's hit fantasy drama Game of Thrones, will return to the network with a new original series called Confederate.

According to HBO's announcement, the series is set in an alternate timeline that tells of the events leading up to the Third American Civil War. After successfully seceding from the Union, the southern states create a nation where slavery is not only legal but has "evolved into a modern institution."

Confederate will feature a wide range of different characters from both sides of the fight, including abolitionists, journalists, slave hunters and politicians.

In addition to serving as showrunners, Benioff and Weiss are writing and creating Confederate, with Nichelle Tramble Spellman (The Good Wife, Justified) and Malcolm Spellman (Empire) partnering as writers and executive producers. Game of Thrones executive producers Carolyn Strauss and Bernadette Caulfield are on board to executive produce as well.

Continue reading…

20 Jul 10:21

'Doom' 6.66 unloads a host of hellish updates free of charge

by Rob LeFebvre
Hell is about to be unleashed for a very affordable price. Bethesda's "ultimate" edition of Doom rolls out to PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 with the new 6.66 update. How's that for a nice, round, hellish number? The update unlocks all the multiplay...
19 Jul 07:42

Flat microscope for the brain could help restore lost eyesight

by Jon Fingas
You'd probably prefer that doctors restore lost sight or hearing by directly repairing your eyes and ears, but Rice University is one step closer to the next best thing: transmitting info directly to your brain. It's developing a flat microscope (th...
19 Jul 07:40

DC security robot says everything is fine, throws itself into pool

by Mallory Locklear
Don't read too much into this, but a security robot face-planted into an indoor fountain inside of a Washington, DC office building today. It's a coincidence, we're sure, but maybe this robot just knows what everyone else in DC does. Robots tasked wi...
19 Jul 07:38

6 scariest things that happened while Adam Scott and Craig Robinson were filming Ghosted

by Dan Snierson

Two men have been tasked with helping to saving the planet, and they are… a mall security guard and a bookstore employee. Well, actually, they are a former LAPD detective (Craig Robinson) and a Stanford astrophysics professor (Adam Scott) who fell on hard times, but now the head of “the Bureau Underground” (Ally Walker) has recruited them to delve into the paranormal world after an agent is seemingly abducted by nonhuman forces. What follows is a buddy action-comedy that aims to terrify, too. “It mixes humor with that little bit of scare and also some heart,” says Robinson. Sums up Scott: “You’ll laugh, you’ll pee your pants, and you’ll laugh again, and then you’ll have to clean yourself up. And then wonder why as an adult would you let yourself pee your pants. And you won’t know if you peed your pants from laughing or from being frightened.”

So, what scared the stars the most while filming the Ghosted pilot? Surely, freaky stuff abounded. Let’s find out!

6. “Midway through shooting, we were standing around, and I felt something on my shoulder, and I just kind of froze,” says Scott. “And before I could react, I asked everyone else in the circle I was talking to if they felt something on their shoulder too, because it felt crazy — it felt like I was being touched by lightning or something, it was a feeling I’d never had before. And everyone else said, “No, we don’t feel anything,” so I knew that something was going on. And as it turned out, it was the second assistant director tapping me on the shoulder to tell me that it’s time to get back to work. Now, this was terrifying, but I feel like I’m one of the lucky ones because I made it through.”

5. “Don’t tell anybody this, but Adam’s hair talks to me,” says Robinson. “It’s always disparaging my acting. Adam’s hair. Not Adam; Adam’s very supportive. But his hair is like, ‘Dude, I’m the real star here, you know?'”

4. “We had a scene where we went to fix the copy machine, but we were really there to look for the guy who’s missing,” says Robinson. “I’m afraid of how I look in that outfit — short-sleeved tucked-in shirt — just for getting laid purposes. I’ve been working out, and I’m not there yet. And I certainly wasn’t there when we filmed, but I still had to tuck my shirt in. Any big guy lets you know, ‘Hey man, we don’t do the shirt tucked in, until it’s time.’ My legs are cool though.”

3. “At one point we were under the gun shooting a scene and I was a bit distracted, and I accidentally called him ‘Mr. Fantastic Looking’ by accident, and the whole place went quiet,” says Scott. “You could hear a pin drop while we all waited for Craig to react. It was terrifying. But luckily he took it in stride, made it clear that it was okay. He understood because it was a stressful day on the set, but it just can’t happen again, and I assured him it wouldn’t. So we got through that one, but it was pretty scary.”

2.  “One day we shot and we went to lunch an hour late,” says Robinson. “That was pretty scary. I was wondering if we were going to eat.”

1. “Using real aliens and UFOs was intimidating at first,” says Scott. “Turns out, they’re super down-to-earth! Solid hang.”

Ghosted premieres Oct. 1 on Fox.

 

 

 

 

19 Jul 07:36

David E. Kelley on bringing Stephen King's serial killer saga Mr. Mercedes to brutal life

by Anthony Breznican

To read more on this year’s Comic-Con, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands now, or buy it here. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

You’re never going to love the monster, but while you’re loving hating him, David E. Kelley hopes you have a little pity, too.

In his new series Mr. Mercedes, premiering on the AT&T Audience Network on Aug. 9, the producer of The Practice and Big Little Lies takes on a Stephen King novel about a retired, curmudgeonly Detective Bill Hodges (Brendan Gleeson) and the killer who got away. That madman is Brady Hartsfield (Penny Dreadful’s Harry Treadaway), who plowed a stolen Benz into a crowd of people years before and escaped without a trace.

Kelley says audiences should harbor a little anger toward the aging detective, who is wallowing in self-pity and wasting away in early retirement after botching the case. He fell short, and sometimes he keeps messing up. You root for him to do better – even as you yearn to slap him. Ultimately, Kelley says, it’s a comeback story – but a dark one. Hodges’ quest for vigilante justice will certainly end up costing more lives. It’s just a question of whether the people he saves will outweigh that price.

But Kelley also hopes viewers feel something besides hate for the killer. “You’re going to be afraid of him, and afraid for him in other moments,” he says. “I don’t think the contempt for him will ever be removed from the equation, and he also has some mean bones in him, and mean muscles he flexes. But he’s a bit of a victim of his circumstances.”

The forces that warped this young man into the monster who now taunts the old-timer who couldn’t catch him are disturbing in the extreme. But Mr. Mercedes focuses uncompromising scrutiny on its characters, good and bad. There’s no mystery, no whodunit. We know who the killer is, even if Hodges doesn’t. The why is the unknowable, perhaps unspeakable part.

Mr. Mercedes will showcase its first season at San Diego Comic-Con this week, with a panel on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in Room 8, but as a warm-up, here’s EW’s conversation with Kelley about bringing King’s story to the screen – and the challenge of keeping it going through two more books.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You do not soften the blow in the opening scene. I thought for sure you would dial back that initial crash from the novel, that mass-murder by car. But no…DAVID E. KELLEY: No, it’s pretty tough. It’s disturbing. You know, I’ve obviously seen it too many times now with various cuts and iterations, but I did see it recently in a screening with a bunch of real viewers and it hits you all over again when you’re looking at it through the eyes of others. It’s pretty disturbing and upsetting fare.

Mr. Mercedes is obviously part of a long tradition of cat-and-mouse stories. But what sets it apart from that template?Well, for me, I think when I went back to reading the book, which hooked me with the character of Hodges because there was just a nucleus of humanity within him. Covered by a bunch of scar tissue and years of doing a tough job. And then add to that the sudden bout of irrelevance that one feels when they’ve been kicked to the curb by your superiors.

It’s a comeback story, in addition to a hunt for a killer.Hodges had to sort of locate who he was at this juncture of his life, at the same time within this mission to catch the bad guy, I thought it lent itself for real fertile storytelling.

The killer is finding himself, too. He’s trying to make his mark on the world … only in a very sick way.They both have their mutual crusades and they’re both struggling to find relevance within their respective crusades. And it was a good character piece. The other thing about Brady was taking this villain who, as you say, is just beyond and beneath any redemption at the end of those five minutes, and yet finding avenues for the viewer to feel for him — and to not. I wouldn’t say we go so far as to relate to him, but we do empathize.

Sympathy for the devil is not an easy trick to pull off.That was a tribute to, you know, Jack Bender, the director . And also the actor, Harry Treadaway, who has been doing a fantastic job. And I guess the central tenets of the cat and mouse relationship that you allude to between this very bad guy and this ex-cop.

Why is it not enough to hate the villain? Why is it important to feel something for him, too?I think you’re going to feel all those things. I think you’re going to be afraid of him, and afraid for him on other moments. I don’t think that the contempt for him will ever be removed from the equation, just because of the nature of his act. He’s got some mean bones in him and mean muscles that he flexes as the series unfolds. It is a difficult trick to feel compassion for the one you are hating at the same time.

Is the reverse true with Hodges? Is it necessary to be disappointed and frustrated with him?Yes, very much so. Yeah. He’s very flawed. He’s irresponsible in the middle, which, without giving away plot points, might be criminal negligence. But at the same time, that humanity that he has is pretty much beyond reproach. He’s not a guy who asks to be liked, and yet we adore him. That is a quality that Brendan Gleeson is able to bring to the table. He was everybody’s first choice.

Making the viewer like someone who is pushing everyone away is also a hard trick.We all saw in Hodges this guy who was not overly nice to people. He didn’t care whether anybody liked him. And yet we’re hoping to cultivate an adoration within our viewers for him at the same time. And man, that’s a lot to ask for a character. Casting is crucial to it. Brendan just brings those qualities that allowed us to really reach the full measure of who Hodges is.

It’s a cat and mouse game, but the cat is worn out and the mouse is especially nasty.Yes. Although remember, I think that the role, there is a little role reversal of who’s cat and who’s mouse as we go along.

I know Stephen King was on the set, but did you two have much interaction during the development?None. I’ve not met him yet. We’ve exchanged emails. I’m looking forward to meeting him. I thought that it would have happened before now, but by virtue of the set being in South Carolina and me being on the West Coast and scripts being due and you’ve got to kind of stay close to the desk job. That said, there was certainly collaboration because he gave birth to this, these characters, and this world, and every time I picked up my pen, you know, I was working on his baby.

Was it the same way with Big Little Lies, and adapting Liane Moriarty’s novel?The adaptation thing is new to me. And I never interacted with that author either, other than to say at the beginning “I love the book” and at the end, you know, “I hope we honored your pages,” because I love that book and I loved Mr. Mercedes. So the architecture of both pieces were so strong, there was never a time I felt, “Oh man, I need to get in a room with Stephen King and say, ‘Well, why did he zig there instead of zag?’ and ‘What was his thinking?'”

He makes it pretty clear.Obviously, he’s Stephen King. He’s probably the most gifted and prolific writer of our generation, certainly on a short list. He knows what he’s doing and he knows this genre. So my role on this is like, I kind of felt like a world class architect had handed me the blueprints and I was the contractor and it was my job to construct something that lived up to that blueprint.

Mr. Mercedes debuts on the AT&T Audience Network on Aug. 9

19 Jul 07:35

Game of Thrones: Why The Hound's Vision Could Mean Disaster

by Brandin Tyrrel

Full spoilers for Game of Thrones' Season 7 premiere, "Dragonstone," continue below.

Game of Thrones' seventh season kicked off with a bang this week, setting viewership records in the process, but managed to lace in quite a few smaller albeit important hints and revelations for the future of the season and the show.

Of all those awesome little nods to the future of Westeros, one of the most memorable moments comes form an unlikely source, Sandor "The Hound" Clegane (who's quickly becoming one of the show's most likable characters) and a vision he receives while staring into the fire.

Continue reading…

18 Jul 15:31

Game of Thrones: Maisie Williams on that season premiere surprise

by James Hibberd

The following post contains spoilers about the Game of Thrones season 7 premiere, “Dragonstone.”

You could argue 2016 Emmy-nominee Maisie Williams actually had two surprise scenes in the Game of Thrones season 7 opener — Arya’s murderous slaughter of hundreds at House Frey and later stumbling upon pop singer Ed Sheeran in a cameo as a Lannister soldier.

Briefly regarding the latter: Showrunner David Benioff previously explained at the South by Southwest Festival: “We knew that Maisie was a big fan of Ed Sheeran and for years we’ve been trying to get him on the show so we can surprise Maisie. This year we finally did it.” (To which Sansa Stark actress Sophie Turner quipped: “I’m still waiting on Bieber.” GoT actually has a history of famous musicians making subtle cameos (such as Gary Lightbody of Snow Patrol, Will Champion from Coldplay, Sigur Rós, and Mastodon), but Sheeran’s spot as a soldier singing for his fellow troops at a campfire was arguably the most noticeable.

But the scene we really want to talk about was that opening sequence with Williams poisoning as many high-ranking Freys as she could round up. By putting the scene before the credits of the premiere, the sequence initially plays like it might be a flashback, with viewers gradually figuring out that Arya is secretly in disguise.

“When I heard first heard about the Faceless Men, I always thought it would be really cool if she switched faces with a leading character rather than an unknown person’s face,” Williams told EW. “I really hope don’t guess it’s her straight away.”

At the premiere screening in Los Angeles last week, the audience’s tittering reaction to the speech given by “Walder” suggested some were onto the ruse pretty quickly. The scene concludes with Arya striding out among all the men she’s poisoned, once again taking her murderousness to a whole new level.

“It’s so f—ed up!” Williams says. “Even Arya is surprised she has so much power. In that last moment she’s staring out at all those men dying, she’s turned into a bit more of a monster than she’s ever realized. I don’t think she’s sad about that but she’s got it on her mind.”

With Arya back in Westeros and able to impersonate anybody she kills, the actress also has a clever idea about how the series’ final moment could play out in season 8.

“I’ve always had this fantasy in the back of my head — I don’t think it’s a good ending and fans might not like it — but that somebody would sit on the Iron Throne at the end and then they whip their face off and it’s Arya instead,” she says. “I’ve always had that dream.”

More Game of Thrones season 7 premiere coverage: Check out our deep-dive recap, our chat with Pilou Asbæk (Euron Greyjoy) about the flirty return of his “douchebag” pirate, and come back soon for our Game of Thrones Weekly podcast (our “Dragonstone” episode is coming Monday morning).

18 Jul 15:08

Mr. Robot: Get your first look at Elliot in season 3

by Kevin P. Sullivan

A version of this story appears in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands now or available to buy here. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

The season 2 finale of Mr. Robot left Elliot (Rami Malek) in a precarious spot: Bleeding out from a gunshot, the hacker hero had been duped by his bespectacled worse half (Christian Slater) and E Corp exec Tyrell Wellick (Martin Wallström).

But creator and executive producer Sam Esmail doesn’t expect fans were holding their breath about Elliot’s fate. “I never intended to have the question of his condition be lingering between seasons 2 and 3,” Esmail said. “We respect the audience too much to leave that as a cliffhanger.”

In this season 3 first look, not only does Elliot have his life back, he seems to be living it to the fullest. In a room crowded with hackers and their weapons of choice, Elliot begins his next steps after learning about Mr. Robot’s phase 2.

“Season 3 is about Elliot trying to bounce back and fight against the people who have been using him,” said Esmail, who reveals that a central theme for the 10-episode run (which premieres in October) is disintegration. “Elliot isn’t going to take this lying down.” It’s a safe bet he’ll be sitting in front of a computer, though.

RELATED VIDEO: How ‘Mr. Robot’ Hacked Their EW Cover Shoot

The other big piece of the puzzle is Wellick, who was missing for most of season 2. Esmail confirmed that the former E Corp exec will be back in a big way this year, and we can expect some info on what he was up to during his time away from Elliot.

“With Tyrell, we really don’t know much about his whereabouts or what happened to him,” Esmail said. “There’s a lot of that circular storytelling that we really delve into with his character this season.”

18 Jul 15:05

Game of Thrones: Ed Sheeran deletes Twitter account after cameo mocked

by James Hibberd

Game of Thrones‘ latest apparent casualty: Ed Sheeran’s Twitter account.

The pop star has deleted his profile after Thrones fans sent their regards following his season premiere cameo.

While Sheeran hasn’t explained his decision — so nobody knows for sure what prompted him to quit — the move came less than 24 hours after his appearance on the hit show as a Lannister soldier, which drew fire from some of the HBO drama’s legions of fans.

Previously the singer said he wasn’t going to read anything on Twitter anymore — just use the social account to post updates — but perhaps he couldn’t resist looking at the reception to his performance. “I’ve actually come off Twitter completely,” he said a month ago. “I can’t read it. I go on it and there’s nothing but people saying mean things. One comment ruins your day. But that’s why I’ve come off it.” Sheeran also once took a social media break for a year, but according to the BBC this is the first time he’s deleted his account altogether.

In the scene on Sunday, Sheeran played a Lannister soldier singing at a campfire who draws the attention of fan favorite Arya Stark (Maisie Williams). Many GoT vets found the role distracting, but it also had some defenders as a playful moment in the darkly dramatic series. The episode broke HBO ratings records, delivering more than 16 million viewers.

RELATED: Dive Deep Into the Premiere Episode With EW’s Game of Thrones Weekly Podcast 

On Monday, EW announced Sheeran’s scripted TV appearances will continue — he’s got a gig on The Simpsons this fall, which the Internet had feelings about too.

Fans should perhaps be more careful what they say to the pop star. Because we all know a Lannister always pays his debts.

More Game of Thrones premiere coverage: Check out our deep-dive recap, as well as Maisie Williams discussing that cold open shock, our chat with Pilou Asbæk (Euron Greyjoy) about the flirty return of his ‘douchebag’ pirate, and myself and Darren Franich have our Game of ThronesWeekly podcast (with our “Dragonstone” episode now live, above). For ongoing Game of Thrones coverage, follow @jameshibberd for the latest; subscribe to our Thrones newsletter for breaking news alerts.

Game of Thrones airs Sundays on HBO.

18 Jul 10:57

George A. Romero, Originator of Modern Zombie Movie, Dies

by Jim Vejvoda

Filmmaker George A. Romero, father of the modern zombie film, died Sunday at the age of 77.

Variety reports that Romero passed away from lung cancer.

While not the inventor of zombies, the Bronx-born Romero originated the now-universal depiction of zombies as shambling, flesh-eating hordes of the undead in his groundbreaking films Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Dawn of the Dead (1978).

George A. Romero on the set of Land of the Dead. George A. Romero on the set of Land of the Dead.

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18 Jul 10:56

Game of Thrones: Why Walder Frey Was the Cold Open

by Terri Schwartz

Full spoilers for Game of Thrones' Season 7 premiere, "Dragonstone," continue below.

"The cold open wasn't initially the cold open," explained co-showrunner Dan Weiss. "We had organized the episode a bit differently. But when we saw David Bradley's performance, and seeing the subtle move that he made to not quite be Walder Frey but to start as Walder Frey and end as Arya Stark, that made us realize that this was the best way to open the episode of this season."

In the cold open, Arya disguises herself as Walder Frey, summons all the Freys to a new feast, and then proceeds to poison and kill them all, wiping out all of the Freys.

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18 Jul 10:56

Game of Thrones: Season 7 Premiere Review

by Matt Fowler

Warning: Full spoilers for the Game of Thrones: Season 7 premiere follow...

WINTER IS HERE!

Honestly, I probably tend to over-score Game of Thrones premiere episodes because of the "I'm So Glad You're Back" bump, and if you parse all of "Dragonstone" out you'll find that very little happens. But we don't really look to season openers for the truly big moments, right? They're meant to masterfully draw us back into the world of the show and set the stage for the upcoming season. We rejoin everyone's lives and see what direction they'll initially head in.

"Dragonstone," however, may be one of the most hotly-anticipated premieres of the series to date because of Daenerys' return home and her arrival at Dragonstone. Arguably, Dany reaching the shores of Westeros for the first time is the pinnacle moment the show's been building toward for seven years, and because of that I'm so happy they saved it for the final beats. In fact, I loved how the way "Dragonstone" both closed and (cold) opened. The choice to bring us back into the Twins for the mass execution of the remaining Freys was a vicious, crowd-pleasing way to cut the ribbon on Season 7. We may fear for Arya as she heads down to King's Landing to try and claim her final prize but the moment where she lured an entire hall's worth of soldiers to their doom helped provide a glimmer of hope. She goes big. Arya is not shrinking from this task.

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18 Jul 10:54

Atomic Blonde Review

by Alex Welch

In any other film, Atomic Blonde’s rock ‘n roll attitude and flippant disinterest in the actual facts surrounding its historical backdrop might have been seriously damaging. But Atomic Blonde has Charlize Theron as MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton, who kicks more ass than any other character this year, including even Keanu Reeves’ John Wick. That might be considered an overstatement if it weren’t for the fact that Atomic Blonde is directed by original John Wick co-director, David Leitch, who brings to life here the same keen visual eye for stylish, propulsive fight scenes and creating graphic novel-like visuals as he did in that 2014 film.

From its opening seconds, Atomic Blonde lets you know what kind of a movie it is. Set in East Berlin in 1989 with only a few more days to go until the Berlin Wall is torn down, the film opens with raw footage of President Ronald Reagan making his famous speech in front of the wall. But then the footage is cut short, with a couple lines of text explaining the historical significance of the time, before all of the words are quickly covered in neon-green spray paint, proclaiming, “This is not that story.”

Continue reading…

16 Jul 21:42

New ‘Frozen 2’ Details and an Early ‘Olaf’s Frozen Adventure’ Reaction [D23 Expo 2017]

by Jacob Hall

Frozen 2

Disney Animation’s D23 panel got started with a bang. Or maybe a blizzard. While we didn’t learn much about Frozen 2, a little bit of light was cast on the mysterious sequel to the beloved 2013 hit, with stars Kristen Bell and Josh Gad taking the stage to chat…and to sing.

After joking that it would be titled Frozen Toe in its native language and that it won’t be called Thawed, Bell noted that, for now, the sequel will just be titled Frozen 2. This could always change, of course.

Bell proceeded to talk about the film’s development and how the filmmakers were inspired by some of the most beautiful locations on the planet. They embarked on trips to Norway, Iceland, and Finland for inspiration and the D23 crowd was treated to a video shot by the filmmakers showcasing their many adventures. Beautiful panoramas, glaciers, and waterfalls were among the images shared.

Before Frozen 2 even hits theaters, you’ll be able to see more from the Frozen world. A new 21-minute short titled Olaf’s Frozen Adventure will arrive in theaters alongside Pixar’s Coco later this year. The film will feature four new songs from Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson and the entire original cast will return. The story follows Olaf as he attempts to bring some holiday cheer to Anna and Elsa after learning they don’t have any holiday traditions.

Our own Peter Sciretta saw a clip from Olaf’s Frozen Adventure at D23, where voice actor Josh Gad took the stage to perform live alongside footage from the film. The song finds Olaf going door-to-door, learning about (and making fun of) some fairly common Christmas traditions, like decorating trees and Santa Claus (“Hang up all your socks above an open fire…That sounds safe”). During the song, the animation changes style, transforming into a cross-stitch resembling a Christmas sweater. While Peter didn’t love the song as much as anything in the Frozen feature film, he did note that the crowd of Disney fanatics was really into it.

You don’t have to have kids or even be a fan of Disney’s animated output to be familiar with Frozen, which opened to critical acclaim and $1.2 billion at the box office back in 2013. A sequel was inevitable and Disney has not made it a secret that they intend to keep Anna, Elsa, and the rest of their family and friends in the spotlight for the foreseeable future. A theme park ride set in the world of the film has opened at the Epcot theme park in Florida. An entire theme park land based on Frozen is coming to Tokyo Disneyland. A short film sequel premiered in 2015 and another will arrive later this year. Yeah, when it comes to Frozen, Disney isn’t prepared to…let it go.

Plot details for Frozen 2 have been mostly kept under wraps, but Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee will return to direct alongside voice actors Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, and Josh Gad. Disney regular Alan Tudyk, who played a supporting role in the first Frozen, says he will also be return. The film is set to be released on November 27, 2019.

The post New ‘Frozen 2’ Details and an Early ‘Olaf’s Frozen Adventure’ Reaction [D23 Expo 2017] appeared first on /Film.

16 Jul 21:40

‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Footage Revealed at D23 Expo 2017; Read Our Recap and Reaction

by Jacob Hall

The Avengers Infinity War footage

As expected, the live-action films panel at the the 2017 D23 expo concluded with a first look at the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War. This grand culmination of the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far promises to be an epic experience, one that brings the many (many, many) heroes of these movies together for their biggest battle yet. Naturally, the first footage from the film screened and we have a rundown of what you need to know.

Avengers Assembled!

After brief introductions by Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige (and a joke about being “frenemies” with Sony, who distributed Spider-Man: Homecoming), the presentation got started with a little look back. Since 2018 marks the tenth anniversary of the MCU, a special anniversary logo was revealed, complete with some appropriately goofy choices (“STUD10S”) and a “The First 10 Years” subtitle. Feige even mentioned the new Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! attraction at Disneyland, calling it a dream come true.

However, 2018 isn’t just an anniversary – it’s also the release year for Avengers: Infinity War. And Feige promised that what we’ve all been hearing is true: almost every single Marvel hero will be in the film, gathered together to battle Thanos. Right on cue, Josh Brolin (who plays the purple Big Bad in the film) took the stage.

But soon enough, the villain was joined by a few heroes. Pom Klementieff (Mantis), Karen Gillan (Nebula) and Dave Bautista (Drax) all took the stage, representing the Guardians of the Galaxy. Brolin joked that “Drax ain’t shit,” noting that they will need more superheroes to take him down. So more superheroes took the stage: Don Cheadle (War Machine), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch), Paul Bettany (Vision), Sebastian Stan (The Winter Soldier), Anthony Mackie (Falcon), Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange), Tom Holland (Spider-Man), and Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther).

Faced with this new line-up, Brolin noted “I admit that’s impressive, but is that really all you have?” Well, the Avengers have a Hulk. So enter Mark Ruffalo. And then Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and, finally, Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man). Is that enough to take on Thanos? As the footage revealed…probably not.

Thanos in Guardians of the Galaxy 2

The Footage

With a large portion of the Avengers assembled, co-director Joe Russo joined the cast, noting that his fellow director (his brother, Anthony Russo) is hard at work on the film in Atlanta, Georgia. However, they had prepared a little look back for the D23 crowd, a video that recapped the previous 10 years of heroes, storylines, and yes, Infinity Stones.

But then this nostalgic look back jumped into something new: the first footage from Infinity War. Our own Peter Sciretta was in attendance and he fired off the following description:

The footage began with the Guardians of the Galaxy in their new ship, flying through space when someone lands right on their hood. It’s Thor, sporting the shorter haircut seen in the trailer for Thor: Ragnarok! He’s unconscious and they wake him up. “Who the hell are you guys?” the god of thunder asks. He then adds “Something’s very wrong.”

There are shots of dead people in the streets. Loki holding the cosmic cube from the first Avengers. Peter Parker on a school bus. Star-Lord. Gamora. Everyone has “we’re screwed” looks on their faces.

Then Thanos shows up. We see Spider-Man in a new suit, standing on a huge circular object. We see Captain America sporting a beard. Thanos clutching Thor’s head in his hand. Thanos punching Iron Man. And then…a shot of Thanos holding a gauntlet that will prove familiar to comic book fans. Cue the logo.

The trailer earned a standing ovation and Peter noted that the footage looked dramatic, intense, and darker than any Marvel film to date.

Specific Avengers: Infinity War plot details remain under lock and key, but we do know that the film will conclude “Phase 3” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and bring all of the storylines and threads that have been building since 2008 to a close. That means that Phase 4, which will be kicked off by the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming, could be a blank canvas. Intriguing, huh?

The sprawling cast of Infinity War, which will borrow characters from every corner of the Marvel Cinematic universe, will include Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland and Anthony Mackie. There has even been talk of a single fight scene including 30 characters! And of course, there will be plenty of other characters ready to pop up for a quick cameo or two. Corralling this ensemble are directors Joe Russo and Anthony Russo, who have already proven their Marvel chops with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War.

Avengers: Infinity War is set to open on May 4, 2018. The untitled fourth Avengers film is set to arrive on May 3, 2019.

The post ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Footage Revealed at D23 Expo 2017; Read Our Recap and Reaction appeared first on /Film.

16 Jul 07:22

Avengers 3: Meet The Children of Thanos

by Joshua Yehl

At D23 Fan Expo, Marvel Studios revealed five statues to give us our first look at the Black Order, Thanos’ group of super-powered cronies that will debut in Avengers: Infinity War.

The alien squad will be backing up their evil master as he quests to gather the Infinity Stones, so check out our photos of the statues by clicking through the slideshow gallery below and then read on for what we know about them from the comics.

The Black Order debuted in 2013’s New Avengers #8 as part of Marvel Comics’ Infinity event storyline and were created by Jonathan Hickman, Jerome Opeña, and Jim Cheung. Infinity told the dual-storyline of the Avengers fighting off an alien armada in space and stopping Thanos from collecting the Infinity Gems (or Infinity Stones, as they’re known in the movies) on Earth. The Black Order (sometimes referred to as the Cull Obsidian) were key players in Thanos’ multi-pronged attack on Earth’s defenses.

Continue reading…

15 Jul 21:44

How Did Audi Make the First Car with Level 3 Autonomy?

Audi has unveiled its 2017 A8 luxury sedan, and its claim to fame is obvious: the automaker insists that it is the first vehicle to allow for truly hands-off and eyes-off driving. Unlike others, where driver assistance systems such as Active Cruise Control and Lane Departure Warning work together to propel the car, the A8 "drives itself and monitors everything itself." This Level 3 autonomy appears to be possible in large part due to a laser scanner mounted in the lower grille that enhances the car's vision. The laser beams (yes, frickin' lasers, Austin Powers' fans) are reflected back from objects up ahead in less than a millisecond and processed, to provide a picture of the environment in front. The laser scanner is in addition to the essentials used by BMW, Volvo et al. – radar, camera and multiple sensors, to monitor the zone around the car and road markings. Audi also credits an enormous amount of computing power in the "zFAS" control board, which processes the data from all the autonomous systems and decides what the car should do. With all this kit to plumb in, it's no surprise Audi needed a new electronic architecture, so rivals won't be able to catch up overnight. Discussion
15 Jul 21:40

Viking Ships UHC-Silo SSDs: 25 - 50 TB Capacity, Custom eMLC, SAS, $0.4 per GB

by Anton Shilov

Viking Technology has started shipping their new lineup of ultra high capacity (UHC) SSDs designed to replace 3.5” HDDs in capacity-demanding applications that can take advantage of flash memory. The Viking UHC-Silo drives use planar eMLC NAND memory in custom packaging with raw NAND capacities of 25 TB and 50 TB, and consequently are currently the highest capacity SSDs available on the market.

An increasing number of datacenters these days use both SSDs and HDDs, balancing the high performance of SSDs with HDDs' ability to store huge amounts of data relatively cheaply. Meanwhile, there is an emerging category of all-flash or hybrid storage systems that either do not use hard drives at all, or use HDDs mostly for things like “cold” archives. Such systems are rather energy efficient and offer high performance thanks to the heavy use of solid state storage.

Nevertheless, when it comes to bulk storage, their requirements are similar to the requirements of datacenters using HDDs: maximum capacity per cubic meter, maximum capacity per watt, high availability, and predictable cost per GB. Viking’s UHC-Silo SSDs were designed for the aforementioned kinds of applications — in some cases, they are going to replace hard drives for huge databases or even “cold” storage, in other cases they are going to sit between “warm” and “cold” storage. Given that many applications may benefit from SSDs, demand for high-capacity flash storage devices is growing in general.

The Viking UHC-Silo SSDs come in a 3.5” form-factor (a rarity for any kind of SSD) and utilize a SAS 6 Gbps interface, two features that make the drives particularly well-suited for replacing high capacity HDDs. The drives are designed for mixed workloads that do not generate more than 1 DWPD and do not require very high performance. The UHC-Silo SSDs offer sustained sequential read/write speed of 500/350 MB/s as well as up to 60,000/15,000 random read/write IOPS, which is in line with other extreme capacity SATA SSDs and is a result of their internal architecture and limitations of contemporary controllers. In fact, given the UHC-Silo's performance limitations (350 MB/s sustained write speed), it's impossible to write more than 30 TB of data in a single day. So while the 25 TB version can physically support 1 DWPD over five years (this is what Viking guarantees), the 50 TB model cannot physically support more than 0.6 DWPD. The latter fact essentially means that, assuming Viking's sustained performance figures are reasonably accurate, the TBW rating of the 50 TB SKU (91.25 PB) cannot be physically exceeded during the warranty period.

Viking UHC-Silo Specifications
  25 TB 50 TB
Form Factor 3.5" SAS Drive
Interface SAS 6 Gbps
Controller Proprietary
NAND SK Hynix eMLC in proprietary packaging
Sequential Read 500 MB/s
Sequential Write 350 MB/s
Random Read (4 KB) IOPS 60,000
Random Write (4 KB) IOPS 10,000
Power Idle 10 W
Operating 16 W
ECC 55 bit/512 byte BCH
Endurance Up to 1 DWPD for over five years (limited by performance)
Uncorrectable Bit Error Rate <1 bit per 1017 bits read
End-to-End Data Protection Yes
Warranty Five years
Customization Options Yes, can add power failure protection, etc.
Additional Information Link

The UHC-Silo drives are based on a custom-built proprietary controller that's paired with eMLC NAND from SK Hynix, which is acquired in wafer form and then cut, tested and packaged in house. In fact, Viking’s proprietary packaging is what enables these drives of rather extreme capacities. SK Hynix officially sells 2048 Gb (256 GB) MLC packages containing 16 128 Gb NAND devices. If Viking used these off-the shelf packages, it would require 100 of them for the 25 TB drive and 200 of them for the 50 TB SSD. Since it is impossible to pack 100 or 200 chips into a 3.5” SSD, Viking uses proprietary NAND packages to build its UHC-Silo drives. The company does not disclose information about its custom NAND chips and does not freely show the internals of the drives because the packaging is one of its key trade secrets.

The proprietary controller that Viking uses supports BCH-based 55 bit/512 byte ECC with end-to-end CRC protection to enable a <1 in 1017 bits read bit error rate. The drives also support data recovery from sector, page and block failure, but for some reason the standard versions listed on the company’s web site do not have any power failure data protection. Meanwhile, since such drives are usually bought for a particular project and are built-to-order, clients may ask Viking to add this feature (and not only this) for an additional fee. Viking stresses that the controller supports NAND from different vendors and thus it can switch between suppliers if it needs to.

Viking says that its UHC-Silo SSDs are the highest-capacity SSDs available on the market today. From raw capacity standpoint, the UHC-Silo are exactly what Viking claims them to be: nobody else offers 25 and 50 TB SSDs in a 3.5” form-factor. Meanwhile, Viking had to make significant tradeoffs between performance, capacity, power and compatibility, which is why its drives are considerably slower than some of their direct rivals, such as NGD’s Catalina 24 TB SSD (up to 3.9 GB/s throughput) and Samsung’s PM1633a 15.36 TB drive (up to 1.9/0.9 GB/s read/write). Since there are loads of potential customers requiring massive SSDs for their existing 3.5” SAS backplanes, Viking had to use this interface and could design the drives' capabilities around its limitations.

But perhaps most surprisingly, despite the industry-leading capacity of their drives, Viking is keeping the overall prices of the drives relatively reasonable. The actual prices of the Viking UHC-Silo SSDs are not published (remember that they can be customized), but the manufacturer says that the two drives are priced at around $0.40 per GB. This would put the 25 TB drive at approximately $10,000, whereas the 50 TB version would run for $20,000. By contrast, the aforementioned Samsung PM1633a 15.36 TB SSD costs ~$11,300, or $0.73 per GB.

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15 Jul 21:35

Mr. Mercedes: First trailer for new Stephen King adaptation is here

by Chancellor Agard

Brendan Gleeson learns a hard lesson in the new trailer for Mr. Mercedes: You can never get out of the game.

Based on Stephen King’s book of the same name, AT&T Audience Network’s new thriller follows Bill Hodges (Gleeson), a retired police detective who gets drawn back into the field when demented murderer Brady Hartsfield (Harry Treadaway) starts taunting him with a series of emails. This sends Detective Hodges on an off-the-books — and at times illegal — quest to bring this criminal, who mowed down a group of people with a Mercedes, to justice.

“Every cop gets one they just can’t shake,” declares Hodges. “This is mine.”

Watch the intense trailer above.

Executive-produced by King, David E. Kelley, and Jack Bender, the series also stars Mary Louis-Parker (Weeds), Holland Taylor (The Truman Show), Kelly Lynch ( Magic City), Jharrel Jerome (Moonlight), Scott Lawrence (Avatar), Robert Stanton ( Mercury Rising), Breeda Wool (UnREAL), Justine Lupe ( Francis Ha), and Ann Cusack (Nightcrawler). The cast will be on hand at San Diego Comic-Con next week for a panel on Sunday, July 23 at 1:30 p.m. PT.

Mr. Mercedes premieres Aug. 9 at 8 p.m. ET.

15 Jul 21:32

The Handmaid's Tale boss celebrates 13 Emmy nods, teases season 2's connection to the book

by Sara Vilkomerson

The Handmaid’s Tale executive producer Bruce Miller was sitting with his wife and daughter Thursday morning as he watched and marveled as his series rack up 13 nominations.

“It’s awesome in the awestruck way,” he told EW. “It’s been amazing to see everyone get recognized, especially in the company of all these other amazing shows that I look up to and enjoy so much. People are doing such incredible work. It’s a really fun time to be in television.”

The Handmaid’s Tale‘s nods include Best Drama Series, Best Actress for Elisabeth Moss (who also is a producer), Best Supporting Actress for Ann Dowd (“It couldn’t happen to a nicer woman or a mean character,” said Miller), and Alexis Bledel for Best Guest Actress. It’s the most nominations Hulu has ever received.

RELATED: See the 2017 Emmy Nominees!

Miller said that he and Moss had been texting, but mostly just emojis. (When asked about a Handmaid emoji, Miller responded, “The only one I can do is the two hands and then a bee for Praise Be.”) He had yet to speak to acclaimed writer Margaret Atwood, from whose 1985 book the series is adapted. “All along the way Margaret has been so involved and so generous. She’s the inventor. She’s the creator of this world. We’re all living in Margaret’s vision. And Lizzy’s performance is a masterclass and amazing to watch. She and Margaret are the people who deserve a large share of the acclaim.”

In 2017, The Handmaid’s Tale has taken on a particularly large amount of resonance for many of its viewers. “I couldn’t have imagined it,” Miller said. “You hope it’s as resonant as the book. The book is such an ongoing inspiration to so many people.But I’m glad to be a part of anything that gets people more involved and talking about issues and how they feel they are treated. Those things are wonderful conversations to have.”

The show will go back into production in September. “While people are saying such wonderful things about season 1, I’m terrified about season 2. I’m feverishly working on it,” he said.

Miller couldn’t get into specifics about what we could look forward to but allowed: “We still have lots of Margaret’s world to explore and we’ve been very happy with so much stuff we’ve found digging around the book. It’s all still coming out of that world.”

Laughing, he added, “And, we read the newspaper.”

The 69th annual Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Stephen Colbert, will take place on Sunday, Sept. 17, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and will be broadcast live nationwide on CBS.

15 Jul 21:31

Evan Rachel Wood reacts to her Westworld nomination, teases 'even more ambitious' season 2

by Shirley Li

Evan Rachel Wood learned of her Outstanding Drama Actress Emmy nomination for Westworld the way Dolores would: in bed, and completely unaware of the narrative set in motion for her.

“What I try to do is forget when they’re gonna be announced so that it’s a nice surprise and so you’re not losing sleep with the anticipation killing you,” Wood tells EW. “So I kind of put it out of my mind and saw the phone ringing this morning and thought, ‘Ooookay, I bet I know what this is.'” She laughs. “It’s wonderful. I’ve been speaking to my cast-mates all morning and I’m so proud of them and the show, and everyone involved works so hard on it and loves it so much. It’s just a wonderful feeling when it’s a perfect storm like this.”

It’s a storm — a storm of 22 nominations, the most for a drama this year — they’ve been waiting for for a long time. Wood began working on the pilot for the HBO thriller in 2014, and stepping into Dolores’ boots for a second season feels just as fresh as the first time she headed West. “The amazing thing about this show is I don’t think it will ever be the same every season,” she says. “There’s always something more that we’re learning about the characters and that they’re learning about themselves and becoming more and more awake, at least in Dolores’ case. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to approach every season the same way… It’s rare to be on something where you get to keep reinventing your character.”

“Thank God we had Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan at the helm,” she adds of the showrunners. “I don’t know if I would have really trusted anybody else to give me just as much information as I needed to be informed enough but not all the way. It was the first time where I played a role where I didn’t know my arc, where the character was going to end up… Once I started reading where was going and I started putting things together and learned about the multiple timelines — which I learned about accidentally at the end of episode 3 — that’s when I threw everything out the window and went, ‘I don’t know anything anymore!’ I really just surrendered to the experience after that.”

But for fans who have to wait until 2018 to see season 2, Wood does have a small tease to offer. “Jonah and Lisa summed it up really well: The first season was defined by control, and the second season will be defined by chaos,” she explains. “From the little that I know, they are not kidding. It’s even more ambitious than the first season, so get ready.”

Wood, too, is getting prepared for the season to come. As she revealed on her Instagram, she’s begun her corset training, which involves wearing a corset and tightening it every day in a process she admits she avoided for season 1 and ended up wishing she hadn’t. “I hate it, I really do, but I gotta do it,” she says, laughing. “I didn’t do it before season 1 and I regretted it, so I’m just trying to get ready. I’m the jerk that insists on wearing it because it makes me stand differently and I want to carry myself correctly, so even when I’m horseback riding, they’re like, ‘Do you want to take the corset off?’ and I’m like, ‘No!'”

RELATED: See the 2017 Emmy Nominees!

Luckily, she won’t have to sit through corset training to prepare for the Emmys. Wood says she’s rooting for Big Little Lies (“I binge-watched it, and it was just one of the most moving, honest pieces I’ve seen in a while,” she gushes) on awards night, and of course, can’t wait to reunite with the currently scattered Westworld cast, whom she calls her “favorite people.”

Westworld returns in 2018. The 69th annual Primetime Emmy Awards, hosted by Stephen Colbert, will take place on Sunday, Sept. 17, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and will be broadcast live nationwide on CBS.

15 Jul 21:28

Killjoys' Aaron Ashmore reflects on past Smallville, Veronica Mars roles

by Nivea Serrao

As John Jaqobis on Syfy’s kick-butt summer series Killjoys, Aaron Ashmore gets to blast into outer space. Jaqobis, older brother D’avin (Luke Macfarlane), and fellow bounty hunter Dutch (Hannah John-Kamen) make a formidable trio, serving warrants for various individuals they’re tasked with recovering for the Reclamation Apprehension Coalition (RAC) — while also trying to navigate what could be an impending civil war.

Killjoys isn’t the first genre show Ashmore has been a part of. He also photographed Superman as Jimmy Olsen on The WB’s Smallville, betrayed Veronica Mars, and retrieved objects for Warehouse 13.

“I’ve always been a big fan of science fiction and fantasy,” says Ashmore, who was a big Chronicles of Narnia and Tolkien fan when he was younger. “I was a huge Star Trek fan. I watched Next Generation every day whenever it was on, and then I got into Deep Space Nine which I really, really liked. I also loved The X-Files, which was a huge show I didn’t miss. My parents, my brother, and I would watch it every week it was on.”

As as result, Ashmore says he “obviously responds” to similar material, but he also credits the direction of his career to the rising popularity of genre storytelling: “As an actor, you’re going out for a ton of different things, but if half of it is genre stuff, the likelihood that you’re going to get into some of that is pretty high.”

As season 3 of Killjoys ramps up, EW spoke to Ashmore about what fans can expect from Johnny — who’s gone through some recent changes — as well as what he loved about his previous parts.

‘Killjoys’

“There’s maybe a little bit of darkness that’s crept into John this season,” Ashmore says. And no wonder — last season, John’s girlfriend, Pawter Simms (Sarah Power) was killed, leading him to not only shoot her killer (Mayko Nguyen’s Delle Sayah Kendry) in revenge but also leave his partners (and their ship) and set off on his own.

“It doesn’t mean that he’s a completely different character,” says Ashmore, “but some of the things that have happened to him over the past two seasons are showing. It’s interesting because D’avin is playing some of the lighter stuff and keeps feeling like he’s joined this family, so he’s opening up, while John’s closing up a little bit.”

It’s these additional dimensions to his character that keep Ashmore so excited about playing John: “There’s obviously this real heart to him, but at the same time he also surprises me as an actor by shooting someone in the head, or blowing somebody away. Getting a chance to play a three-dimensional character has been pretty fun and exciting.”

SOUVENIR FROM THE SET: “When Killjoys ends, hopefully not for a couple more years, I would definitely take my jacket,” says Ashmore. “They custom make these jackets, and they have all this really cool armor and patches, and all that stuff on them. We also have these futuristic guns that look like regular guns, but they’ve been modified so they’re really cool, so I’d take that, and definitely a few little science-y things.”

‘Warehouse 13’

“That show had a really big fan base, but also the character I played was gay, and that really resonated with a lot of people,” says Ashmore about his role as Steve Jinks, a new warehouse agent introduced in the third season of the Syfy drama. Jinks was hired to replace Myka Bering (Joanne Kelly) before being partnered with Claudia Donovan (Stitchers’ Allison Scagliotti). It was revealed that not only was Jinks gay and a Buddhist, but that he also had the ability to tell when anyone is lying.

“I thought he was an interesting character because he wasn’t your stereotypically calm or centered Buddhist,” Ashmore recalls. “He could be a little uptight or negative at times. So it was funny that he was , because you wouldn’t assume that. It was just something he adopted to help center himself.”

The series also gave Ashmore a chance to play two different versions of the character when a magically imbued object in the mystical Warehouse split Jinks into two. “It was interesting to shoot because you’re literally playing one very stern grumpy version of the character, and the other half is this flamboyantly gay version of him,” remembers Ashmore. “The idea is if you mix them together you get who Steve is. But when they’re separated, they’re just polar opposites. Getting to play both of them and interact with myself through a green screen was really fun.”

SOUVENIR FROM THE SET: “There’s a metronome that saved my character’s life at one point, and I got to keep that, which was really, really cool.”

‘Lost Girl’

A regular human, Ashmore’s Nate was a struggling musician who was childhood best friends with Kenzi (Ksenia Solo), human best friend to Succubus Bo (Anna Silk). Nate’s return to Kenzi’s life sparked a romance, but to keep him safe from magical threats, she wound up breaking up with him a few episodes later. “I don’t think that he ever found out anything about all the magic and the dangerous things that were going on, and it was kind of sad because he was falling in love with her,” says Ashmore.

The role may have been in his sci-fi wheelhouse, but it did challenge him in another area: As Nate, Ashmore had to play guitar on camera. “It turned out fine, but it was a little nerve wracking pushing your boundaries around stuff like that, where you’re like, ‘There’s going to be a lot of people watching me sing, and I’m not a singer.’ But that’s a great thing about playing these roles. Sometimes you end up pushing yourself a little out of your comfort zone.”

‘Smallville’

“I couldn’t believe that I booked the part,” laughs Ashmore of his role as Jimmy Olsen, who worked alongside Clark Kent (Tom Wellington) and Lois Lane (Erica Durance) as a photojournalist at the Daily Planet, where he the first person to get a photo of ‘The Blur’ (Clark’s superhero moniker at the time). Jimy also married and divorced Clark’s best friend Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack). He would later die on the series, but not before learning Clark’s secret and telling his ex-wife he would always love her.

A few seasons before Aaron Ashmore picked up Jimmy’s iconic camera on The WB show, his twin brother Shawn had actually starred on the show as Eric Summers, a villainous metahuman student whom Clark went up against in two different episodes.

“Shawn’s character interacted with Clark so much,” Ashmore says. “I almost didn’t audition for it because I thought ‘There’s no way that they’re going to hire the twin brother of a guy who was heavily featured on the show.’” Luckily, he went to the audition.

“There was this huge aspect of personality that was very insecure and and constantly worried about Chloe loving Clark that felt a bit soap-ish in a way that I wasn’t crazy about,” Ashmore admits. “But I really liked the interactions with Clark and how interested Jimmy was in Superman and tracking him down. They definitely had a lot of great moments where he was putting the pieces together that Clark is Superman, which felt very iconic to me.”

Unfortunately, Jimmy’s time on the show ended when Doomsday killed his character in season 8. “I think it worked,” says the actor. “Of course I was bummed because I really liked playing that character, but the death was awesome. He got to be a hero at the end of the day, and he never really got to be a hero on the show, so saving Chloe from Doomsday was a good way to go out.”

SOUVENIR FROM THE SET: “Jimmy wore these bowling shirts. There was red one and a brown one, and I have those tucked away somewhere.”

‘Veronica Mars’

Ashmore originally auditioned for the role of Duncan Kane, Veronica’s ex-boyfriend, on Rob Thomas’ teen-noir drama. That role eventually went to Teddy Dunn, but Ashmore was called back in season 1 to play Troy Vandegraff, who briefly dated Veronica before it was revealed that he was just using her to help him smuggle steroids into the country from Mexico.

The actor didn’t know about his character’s true intentions until the got the script for that episode, which he says helped his performance. “I think it’s interesting because then you’re not playing into anything or foreshadowing that he’s going to be a bad guy,” says Ashmore. “You actually think that he’s going to be this really cool guy and that he and Veronica are going to get along very well.”

“ was so nice to Veronica and she’d had such a crappy time of things that people were like, ‘This guy’s great.’ It lulled them into a false sense of security, so when he turned out to be a jerk, people were so angry at him,” says Ashmore, who enjoyed playing Troy’s sense of humor and wit. “He could have been such a nice guy and great for Veronica, but like most people, he turned out to be an ass.”

As for Troy’s later return, Ashmore thinks it allowed Veronica to be the bigger person as she worked to prove that Troy was indeed innocent: “It was interesting to have her stand up for somebody who’d totally screwed her over.”

‘Are You Afraid of the Dark’

Ashmore starred in two different episodes of this horror anthology series: In 1993, he played Billy, a young boy who visits the 13th floor of his apartment building with his sister, and in 2000, Ashmore took on the role of Jake, a jock who had to team up with a popular girl to save the world from a threat against the planet.

“When I did the first one, I was definitely a fan of the show. I was the perfect age range for that,” Ashmore recalls. “By the time I did the second episode, I still watched it, but I was a little older, so I was into slightly older things. But most of my friends watched the show, too, so it was something that you did that all of your friends were going to watch, and you knew that so that was exciting.”

‘Animorphs’

Aaron’s twin brother Shawn played Jake, the leader of the Animorphs, on this short-lived Nickelodeon series about a group of kids who transform into animals to save the world from parasitic aliens that are possessing humans. “They were going to pull a green screen scenario,” Aaron says, “but it was going to end up being very expensive. But they knew Shawn had a twin.”

As for the popular book series itself, Ashmore says while he never read all of it because he and his brother were in their late teens when Shawn was starring on the show, he did pick up a few books when his brother got cast. “I thought they were really fun, and that it was a good little series… But we may have missed it. If we were five or six years younger, we probably would have been the perfect age range for them.”

Killjoys airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on Syfy.

13 Jul 15:11

The internet rallies around the fight for net neutrality

by Mallory Locklear
Today is the net neutrality Day of Action, and many thousands of organizations, companies and websites are standing up against the FCC's plan to gut net neutrality rules and let ISPs regulate themselves. The first deadline for comments on the FCC pro...
13 Jul 15:11

Verizon partner exposes 14 million customer records

by Jon Fingas
Roumen.ganeff

not nice :)

If you've had to call Verizon customer service recently, you might want to keep a close eye on your data. ZDNet has learned that an employee at a carrier partner, Nice Systems, exposed 14 million residential customer records from the past 6 months on...