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13 Nov 06:56

The True Legacy of Stan Lee at Marvel Comics

by Jesse Schedeen

The pop culture world was dealt a huge blow today with the news that Stan Lee passed away at the age of 95. Lee is widely celebrated as one of the primary architects of the Marvel Universe. He co-created many of the company's most famous heroes and villains and managed to become the public face of Marvel for decades. But ultimately, Lee's true legacy at Marvel Comics isn't any one character or franchise, but the deep inspiration he provided for generations of creators that followed.

Lee's resume includes a laundry list of iconic superhero characters - Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, the Avengers and on and on. That said, Lee isn't singlehandedly responsible for creating any of the characters he's so closely associated with. Spider-Man was a joint creation with Steve Ditko. Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men were all developed alongside Jack Kirby. But that's the beauty of comics - it's generally a collaborative medium. If you didn't have Kirby's boundless imagination and superhuman work ethic paired with Lee's sense of humor, grandiose storytelling style and marketing skills, none of these characters would be what they are today. It's safe to say many of them might never have left the drawing board in the first place.

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13 Nov 06:43

Remembering Stan Lee: The origin story of the writer who gave humanity to superheroes

by Anthony Breznican

Farewell to the man who knew heartache makes a hero stronger.

As fans the world over mourn the passing of Stan Lee, who died Monday at age 95, I was reminded of meeting him for the first time many years ago and hearing the astounding true story of Marvel’s mightiest heroes from “Stan the Man” himself.

It was April 2002, and we were sitting in the Santa Monica offices of his new company POW! Entertainment — except Lee wasn’t really sitting. He was up and antic, slinging his hand out in the Spider-Man pose and telling war stories of a battle with Green Goblin. Even at age 79 he was practically crawling up the walls himself.

The first Tobey Maguire webslinger movie was set to debut in a few weeks, and hopes for its success were Empire-State-Building-high after 2000’s X-Men proved to studios that comic book movies were maybe, kinda something audiences were excited to see.

Remember, this was six years before Iron Man and the launch of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The films were not yet interconnected, not that there were many to string together. Stan Lee cameos were not yet a phenomenon. He had played a beachside hotdog vendor in the X-Men film. That was it. (“You missed me?” he teased. “I was like the lead of the movie!”)

A crowd scene in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man would be only his second “Stan Lee appearance,” but when I sat down to interview him for the Associated Press, he was a little worried because he’d seen a rough cut of the film already and his sequence had been significantly shortened.

“The idea was, I was selling sunglasses in Times Square and I was talking to this little girl, showing her a pair of glasses as Peter Parker walks by,” Lee recounted in his gruff, nasally voice. “So I reach out to Peter Parker and say, ‘Would you like a pair of these? They’re the kind of sunglasses they wore in X-Men!’”

He clapped his hands and rocked in his chair, a big grin spreading beneath his peppery mustache. “It would have gotten the biggest laugh! But they cut it out because the film ran a little long.”

He shrugged. He still made the final cut, and Raimi included one of the changes that Lee suggested. After creating so many heroes, Lee wanted to play one himself. “The Green Goblin drops a bomb and we all ran,” Lee said. “After he shot it, I said. ‘Sam, that isn’t right. I shouldn’t leave that poor little girl and go running for my life. I’m going to carry her with me.”

A HERO … STUMBLES

On the next take of the scene, Raimi gave him the go-ahead. But there was another problem: she may have only been a little kid, but he was a skinny old guy. “I tried to lift her and tried to lift her and I couldn’t!” Lee cackled. “She was only a little girl, but she must have weighed 500 pounds.”

He ended up grabbing her hand and leading her away instead. (In Spider-Man 2, he turned up to do a similar task as a man who pulls a woman away from a chunk of falling concrete.)

“Ang Lee is doing the Hulk,” he said. “There’s a scene for me, so I’ll go to San Francisco and make a fool of myself again. Another guy is doing a Daredevil movie.”

Lee sighed. He crossed his arms in his mustard-colored cardigan and shrugged. How long would this superhero movie thing last? He didn’t know. He was glad to be along for the ride. Happy to see the old characters he helped create being brought to life onscreen.

We began talking about the origin of Spider-Man, born in 1962 after a string of other successes had made Stan Lee a powerhouse scribe at Marvel Comics.

He had started working there when he was 17. Back then, Marvel Comics was known as Timely Comics, and he was known as Stanley Lieber, son of Jewish Romanian immigrants from the Bronx. His dream was to become a writer. A novelist, maybe.

But before any of that could happen, he earned cash by working a series of small jobs. As a theater usher, his first claim to fame was tripping and falling while showing Eleanor Roosevelt to her seat. (“Are you all right, young man?” she asked.) He also delivered sandwiches for a deli, and became an office assistant at, in his words, “the world’s second-largest trouser manufacturer.”

His writing career began with obituaries. Many of them were about famous people, and he was required to prepare them in advance so newspapers could rush them to print when the celebrity died. “I got depressed writing about living people in the past tense,” Lee told me.

He didn’t want to write about death. He wanted to write about things that were larger than life.

THE BIRTH OF SPIDEY

Lee’s big break came when his cousin-in-law, Martin Goodman, hired him to work at Timely, penning Westerns, love stories, and comedy cartoons.

“When I got into comics, nobody, nobody had any respect for them,” he told me. “Even most of the people in the field were embarrassed. It was no job for a grown man, doing these silly comics that other people looked down their noses at.”

That’s why he created a pen name by cutting his first name in half. Decades later, he described it as his biggest regret.

“My name was Stanley Martin Leiber,” he said, his outstretched hand marked the syllables in the air. “A real legitimate name — with a lilt! I used to write it out as a kid all the time and think how good that would look on the Declaration of Independence. I always thought I’d be a really good writer someday.”

Superheroes weren’t part of the funnybook zeitgeist at that point, although Batman and Superman at DC Comics changed that. Goodman came to “Stan Lee” and asked for ideas that Marvel could pursue.

Instead of the loner hero, Lee proposed a family of heroes — and the Fantastic 4 was born. Then he thought he would take a villainous character — a monster — and make that the hero. The Incredible Hulk smashed his way into pop culture history.

“When you try to create a new superhero, you have to keep creating a superpower that’s different,” he said. “With Hulk I had the strongest living human being. I thought, ‘What’s left?’ While I was thinking, I saw a fly crawling on the wall and I thought, ‘That would be cool! … The next thing I needed was a name. Crawl-Man? Nah, that didn’t have it. Insect-Man? I ran down the list. Mosquito-Man, Beetle-Man, Fly-Man. Then I hit on …. Spider-Man.”

With those words, Lee’s hands flashed in the air. His eyebrows shot up.

“It somehow had a dramatic feeling, a scary feeling,” he said. “I thought, ‘That’s it!’ And lo, a legend was born.”

CREDIT WHERE DUE

One of the controversies surrounding Lee was how much credit he actually deserved. Many of “his” characters were crafted in concert with artists like artist Jack Kirby, who would take Lee’s concept and run with it.

Whether Lee grabbed more credit than he deserved, or merely attracted the attention by way of his natural showmanship as an extrovert among a team of introverts, I never found him to be anything except generous with praise for his artists. When we spoke, Lee himself went out of his way to shout-out his chief Spider-Man collaborator, Steve Ditko, who died this past June at age 90.

“I try to share the responsibility,” Lee said. “Steve is the guy who designed Spider-Man and gave Spider-Man so much of that eerie spidery feeling. Later, he helped with the plots and did the plots.” Lee beamed his signature smile again: “If there are any repercussions for this, Steve has to share the blame as well as me.”

The key to Spider-Man, he revealed, was failure. Peter Parker was a weakling, a teenager, and he wasn’t on a mission of revenge — he was fueled by regret because he already had his power and failed to stop the crook who would go on to kill his beloved Uncle Ben.

“With great power comes great responsibility” was a lesson that haunted him because he learned it too late.

“The most important thing is to make the reader care and sympathize with a character,” Lee said. “The more problems a character has and the more unhappy and troubled he is, it makes that person seem human to ”

EVEN MORE FAILURE

Spider-Man is perhaps Lee’s most renowned creation … which is why it’s ironic that no one initially liked his idea about the kid who becomes a webslinger after being bitten by a radioactive spider.

“I was told in chapter and verse by the fellow who was then my publisher that it was the worst idea he’d ever heard,” Lee said. “’People hate spiders! You can’t call a hero Spider-Man!’ ‘Stan, don’t you understand that teenagers can only be sidekicks?’”

Lee had stumbled into the idea of representation — the young readers of comic books may like to see a hero who looks like themselves. It would be a lesson that led him later to co-create the first black superhero — the Wakandan warrior king Black Panther — as well as the first African-American hero, the high-flying New York protector Falcon.

After absorbing all the Spider-Man criticism, Lee delivered more bad news to Goodman.

“When I told him that I wanted Peter Parker to have a lot of problems and worries and be unsure of himself, he said, ‘Ugh! It’s obvious you have no conception of what a hero really is!’”

The thing that saved Spider-Man’s life was the death of one of the brands. “We were killing that magazine, much as I loved it,” Lee said. “We tried to do Amazing Adult Fantasy as The Twilight Zone.” But it hadn’t succeeded.

“When you’re doing the last issue of a magazine you’re about to kill, nobody really cares what you put in it. So I figured I’d get Spider-Man out of my system.” Lee and Ditko worked on the story together, and Kirby did the dramatic lead image of Spidey swinging through the streets of Manhattan holding a crook at his side.

“We put him on the cover and forgot about him,” Lee said. “Then a couple months later, when sales figures came in, the publisher came to me and said, ‘Stan, you remember that character that we both liked?’” The Stan Lee smile propped up that mustache again. “’That Spider-Man of yours…? Why don’t we make a series out of him?’”

Finding Humanity in Mutants

After about 100 issues of The Amazing Spider-Man, Lee said he turned over the writing to Roy Thomas. By that point, he had too many characters to juggle without a large team. “It was hard of course, but I was letting go of all the characters at the same time — there was the Hulk, Doctor Strange, The Avengers, Iron Man, Daredevil, the X-Men. After that I got kinda used to it,” Lee said.

One of his proudest collaborations was the X-Men, which resulted in part because Lee had exhausted seemingly every possible excuse for how a human being could develop superpowers.

Weary of radioactive insects, toxic spills, and gamma ray bursts, he came up with a shortcut: They were simply mutants, born that way.

It gave the X-Men a surprising power in the real world as a metaphor for civil rights of all kinds.

“To keep it realistic, I knew most people dislike and distrust those who are different from them,” Lee thought. “I thought maybe we could even get a little moral lesson in this thing. Here are people who are good, who are trying to help humanity, and the very humans they are trying to help are hunting them and hounding them and harassing them.” 

Lee’s own superpower was not just his imagination, but also his ability to create things that others could run with and make their own. His characters endure because, like Fantastic 4’s Reed Richards, they’re able to be stretched and changed to fit new storytellers and changing times.

Lee became the face of Marvel, the wisecracking “Stan the Man” who talked to kids in their own language (“’Nuff said”) without talking down to them. In his “Stan’s Soap Box” column, he often advocated for fairness and kindness to everyone — a grown-up message delivered via the funny papers.

Strangely enough, Lee said he would cast himself as the opposite of all that in his own imagination, drawing a comparison to the cynical, uncompromising newspaper editor J. Jonah Jameson. “I’m very frustrated that by the time they made the movie I was too old to play the role,” Lee said. “I modeled him after me. He was dumb and loudmouthed and opinionated. He was me!”

Of all the characters he helped create, Peter Parker remained his favorite.

A Favorite Son

“In a way Spider-Man is more special than the others,” he said. “People seem to identify me with Spider-Man, a little like Walt Disney makes people think of Mickey Mouse.”

What made him Lee’s favorite? “Nothing ever goes right for Peter. I think for most people in the world, nothing ever goes right. He has his share of mistakes and his share of problems as he goes through life.”

Peter Parker also never gives up, a trait he shares with his originator.

“People always ask me, ‘Why don’t you retire?’ When you retire what do you do? You say, ‘At last I can do all the things I’ve always wanted to do. But I’m already doing the things I always wanted to do!” Lee said.

He had a child who died in infancy and one grown daughter, an artist, with his wife, Joan, who died last year, also at age 95. Back in 2002, he said that she was his fun. “When I go home I love being with my wife. I love watching television. I love sitting at the computer and coming up with whatever I come up with. Hobby is my work.”

Even after leaving Marvel and pursuing assorted other ventures, Lee remained the public face of the comic book company — as iconic as any of their heroes — and his presence as a Marvel ambassador and cameo king was a reminder that larger-than-life heroes we love are simply a representation of the ideals of a puny human (or team of humans).

He relished his newfound fame as a star. “I’m one of the top cameo actors,” he said. “If you don’t blink, you’ll see me running fearfully for my life.”

Apart from changing his name so long ago, and never writing that Great American Novel, Lee had only one other regret:

“I wish there was a cameo category in the Academy Awards.”

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13 Nov 06:40

Heat-rejecting film could reduce air conditioning costs

by Steve Dent
Climate change can be a vicious cycle when folks crank up the air conditioning during heat waves and add even more CO2 to the atmosphere. Scientists from MIT and the University of Hong Kong have developed a new type of window coating that could curb...
13 Nov 06:38

Marvel legend Stan Lee dies at 95

by Jon Fingas
Pop culture is in a state of mourning today. Stan Lee, the famous Marvel publisher, editor and writer, has died at the age of 95 after a spate of illnesses over the past year. To say that he had a significant impact on the media world would be an und...
12 Nov 07:10

Cloudflare's privacy-focused 1.1.1.1 service is available on phones

by Jon Fingas
Cloudflare launched its 1.1.1.1 service in April as a bid to improve privacy and performance for desktop users, and now it's making that technology available to mobile users. The company has released 1.1.1.1 apps for Android and iOS that switch the...
11 Nov 16:31

Microsoft Studios buys 'Fallout: New Vegas' house Obsidian

by Jessica Conditt
With the next generation of gaming consoles on the horizon, Microsoft Studios has been gobbling up high-profile developers, and it's continuing that trend today with the acquisition of Fallout: New Vegas studio Obsidian Entertainment and Wasteland 2...
10 Nov 22:30

Marvel's Daredevil boss on season 3's epic one-take fight scene

by Chancellor Agard

Warning: This article contains spoilers from episodes 1-6 of Marvel’s Daredevil season 3. Read at your own risk! 

Marvel’s Daredevil has outdone itself with its latest hallway fight scene™.

In “Blindsided,” season 3’s fourth episode, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) visits a prison to meet with the Albanian gang because he wants to know why Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) sold them out. Unfortunately, he ends up getting more than he bargained for because Fisk, who suspects he’s Daredevil, becomes aware of his presence there and essentially turns the entire prison against Matt. Cue: An extended, 11-and-a-half-minute long fight sequence that was actually shot in one-take (there aren’t any hidden cuts) and follows Cox’s Matt — who’s still recovering from, you know, having a building collapse on him — as he punches his way out of the prison, confirming Fisk’s suspicions in the process. Basically, the impressive set pieces look at season 1’s original hallway brawl, says “hold my purse,” and proceeds to blow it out of the water, which was exactly the goal when it was pitched to showrunner Erik Oleson (ArrowMan in the High Castle).

“The director of the episode, Alex Garcia Lopez, the writer of the episode, Lewaa Nasserdeen, and the stunts team came to me with the crazy idea of doing it as a oner as an homage, and then one-upping of the hallway fight scene in season 1,” Oleson tells EW.

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Once Oleson signed off on it, he had the responsibility of then informing the studio that he was giving everyone a day to rehearse the entire sequence before shooting it the next day.

“That was something no one had ever done before at Marvel. It was somewhat agita inducing, but when the crew finally pulled it off, it was something spectacular that injected adrenaline into the crew for the remainder of the season,” he says. “It really was a team sport. There were dozens of stuntmen involved. There were places where the crew had to quickly hide around a corner while the camera was shooting in a certain direction. Any one person could have messed up this epic oner, so it required every single member of the crew to work in perfect sync. The fact that they pulled it off is just mind-blowing.”

They included some points in the sequence where they could hide a cut if they really had to, but thankfully they didn’t need to, and Oleson took steps to make that clear during the editing process. “What I ended up doing in post-production is actually the lighting in certain hallway shots so that the audience could see that we never cut the camera, we never actually cheated and did this as a series of cuts made to look like a oner. It is a true oner.”

For Oleson, the amazing stunt is more than just a cool scene; it’s actually an integral part of the story and emblematic of one of the rules he set for the show when he took over as showrunner.

“What I wanted to do with season 3 of Daredevil is to make the action sequences matter in ways that reflected on characters, or had real stakes,” he says. “There’s something to be said for the fun spectacle of action sequences, but in a lot of cases, it’s the fun of watching great stunt-work. For me, the best writing is one where the action sequences are an inherent part of the story and you cannot predict that the action is going to turn out a certain way. When an audience knows going in that the hero is going to be fine and they’re just going to watch a cool action sequence like a musical number, to me, it’s fun but it stops the story.”

In his mind, the episode 4 scene achieves that goal of reflecting character. “We saw Matt has to cast aside any hope of maintaining his secret identity. He didn’t have the luxury pulling on a cowl. Instead, he had to fight his way out of the prison to survive and knowing the whole time that Wilson Fisk was watching and that he was confirming to Fisk that he and Daredevil were the same person. That scene to me has real stakes just beyond the fight,” says Oleson, who also points to the newsroom brawl in episode 6 as another example of this goal because Matt actually loses. “There are real consequences to that action sequence. To me, those are the best kind of action sequences in movies and television.

The complete third season of Marvel’s Daredevil is available to stream on Netflix now.

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10 Nov 22:25

Chuck Lorre creates his 600th vanity card for The Big Bang Theory

by Lynette Rice

The Big Bang Theory had a very special ending tonight.

The sitcom’s co-creator and executive producer Chuck Lorre created his 600th vanity card for the end of the comedy. For those who aren’t familiar with his long-running tradition, Lorre has been sharing his hopes, dreams, and yuks after the final credits of his sitcoms for more than 20 years.

He has exactly one second of airtime per show to “express his deepest thoughts,” the studio explains. For those who lack the ability to freeze the frame of their TVs to read his irreverent prose, Lorre created a website to store all of his cards.

Here is his 600th card — which is actually just a candid photo of Kathy Bates and Jim Parsons — that aired tonight after TBBT. Lorre wrote a version he dubbed 600-B that was set to air after Young Sheldon and Mom.

Lorre has featured vanity cards on all six of his comedies over the years: TBBT, Two and a Half Men, Mom, Young Sheldon, Mike & Molly, and Dharma & Greg. He also compiled some of them for his 2012 book What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Bitter. Proceeds from the sale of the book benefited charities.

Lorre’s next comedy, The Kominsky Method starring Michael Douglas, will drop Nov. 16 on Netflix.

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10 Nov 22:23

Grown-ish season 2 gets January premiere date

by Samantha Highfill

The wait for Grown-ish‘s second season is almost over!

EW can exclusively announce that the black-ish spin-off — which follows Zoey Johnson (Yara Shahidi) as she embarks on her college journey — will return to Freeform with back-to-back episodes on Wednesday, Jan. 2.

After surviving freshman year, season 2 will follow Zoey and her friends as take on sophomore year at CalU with a renewed sense of confidence. In fact, they might be a bit too confident, thinking that they know exactly what to expect. Spoiler: They will quickly be proven wrong.

The show’s second season will feature the return of your favorite characters, with Shahidi returning as Zoey, Trevor Jackson as socially conscious Aaron Jackson, Francia Raisa as outspoken conservative Latina Ana Torres, Emily Arlook as openly and actively bisexual Nomi Segal, Jordan Buhat as troublemaker Vivek Shah, Chloe Bailey and Halle Bailey as twins and sporty-savants Jazz Forster and Sky Forster, Luka Sabbat as mellow and fashion-forward Luca Hall, and Deon Cole as eccentric and unpredictable “Professor Charles Telphy.”

Grown-ish returns Wednesday, January 2 at 8 p.m. ET on Freeform.

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10 Nov 22:04

Satanists are suing Netflix over ‘The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’

by Kris Holt
Netflix has found itself in the crosshairs of a Satanist group over one of its latest original series. The Satanic Temple (TST) is suing the streaming service and Warner Bros. for $150 million for alleged copyright infringement, trademark violation a...
08 Nov 06:53

Android will natively support foldable phones

by Jon Fingas
Samsung said it would unveil its foldable phone features at its developer conference, and Google is willing to help out. The company is introducing native foldable device support in Android to let apps and interfaces adapt to phones that can bend on...
07 Nov 16:32

Xiaomi AirDots are the latest Apple AirPods-a-like – and they’re so, so cheap

by Chris Smith
Xiaomi AirDots

Completely wireless earphones were a thing before Apple rocked up with AirPods, but smartphone manufacturers have really jumped on board with the craze since.

Xiaomi AirDots are the latest wireless earbuds to take inspiration from Apple’s name, design and form factor. However, while Apple’s AirPods will run you £159/$159, AirDots will only cost the equivalent of £22/$29.

While Xiaomi – who is bringing its smartphones to the UK this week – is known for its cheap handsets, it’s highly unlikely AirDots will offer a comparable audio experience to its more illustrious rival.

AirDots do have Bluetooth 5.0 and silicone tips which should lead to a more secure fit. They also have the charging case, which could be used to replenish the buds on the go. The buds themselves have more of an ear-hugging design, rather than the toothbrush-head style AirPods.

Related: AirPods 2

Whether Xiaomi will launch the AirDots in the UK remains to be seen. Given the inexpensiveness of this device, it begs the question whether smartphone makers will begin bundling in wireless earphones with smartphones, instead of the regular wired buds.

The launch of AirDots follows similar products like the Huawei FreeBuds and FreeBuds 2 Pro, which are a much closer to AirPods in terms of design and fit. Huawei subsidiary Honor also launched the FlyPods and FlyPods Pro buds which also ape the AirPods right down to the wireless charging case.

Xiaomi AirDots 2

Earlier this week, we learned Apple might be plotting advanced AirPods 2 buds with biometric capabilities. The company has reclassified its trademarks in order to identify the accessory as a wellness device. This means we might get a heart rate sensor, along with the rumoured ‘Hey Siri’ capabilities with AirPods 2.

Have you snapped up any of the AirPods clones? Have they impressed you with design or sound quality? Are you an AirPods loyalist? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

The post Xiaomi AirDots are the latest Apple AirPods-a-like – and they’re so, so cheap appeared first on Trusted Reviews.

07 Nov 07:17

Ryan Hansen joins Veronica Mars revival — and everything else we know

by Sarah Rodman

A long time ago, they used to be… well, not friends, exactly, but two of the sassiest archenemies on the CW.

Ryan Hansen confirmed on social media today that he will reprise his role as Dick Casablancas, the thorn in the side of Kristen Bell’s eponymous detective on Veronica Mars, for Hulu’s revival of the critically acclaimed series.

It will be the third time that Hansen, who currently stars in the YouTube Red series Ryan Hansen Solves Crime on Television, will be essaying the role of one of TV’s most oddly endearing douchebags. In addition to the Kickstarter-ed 2014 Veronica Mars feature film, Hansen had his own CW Seed spin-off, Play it Again, Dick, in which he played himself attempting to convince his Mars castmates to appear in a spin-off about his character. (Hansen has clearly never met a meta concept he could resist.)

With Hansen hopping aboard the revival train, here’s what else we know about the new Veronica Mars so far:

• The limited series will consist of eight hourlong episodes.

• It will air sometime in 2019.

• In addition to Hansen, the series has locked in many of the actors playing major characters, including, of course, Bell in the title role; Enrico Colantoni as her father, Keith; Percy Daggs as BFF Wallace; Francis Capra as (reformed?) biker gang member Weevil; and Jason Dohring as on/off boyfriend Logan Echolls.

• Bell recently told Jessica Shaw at EW Radio that the new season will be “a much darker world, it’s going to be a bigger world.”

• A description of the storyline certainly backs that up, as it details a season-long case concerning a spring break serial killer who is terrorizing sunny Neptune, California. Mars Investigations, run by Veronica and Keith, gets involved, and the fallout includes conflict between the affluent and working-class factions of the town.

• Fans and newbies will be able to catch up on the original series when Hulu begins streaming the first three seasons and the 2014 film in summer 2019.

• So you have plenty of time to wonder if Piz (Chris Lowell) — was he the right choice, after all? — will make a triumphant return.

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07 Nov 07:15

Jesse L. Martin is taking a medical leave of absence from The Flash

by Chancellor Agard

Jesse L. Martin is stepping away from The Flash for a bit.

EW has confirmed that the Broadway vet, who plays Detective Joe West, is taking a medical leave of absence from the Greg Berlanti-produced superhero drama. According to TVLine, which broke the news Wednesday morning, Martin suffered a back injury during the hiatus, which is why he has been seated in almost all of his scenes this season.

“Jesse Martin is taking a medical leave of absence from The Flash. We wish him a full and speedy recovery and look forward to his return as Detective Joe West,” said the studio in a statement provided to EW.

As of right now, it’s unclear how long Martin will be off-screen; however, sources told TVLine that Joe’s absence will eventually be addressed on the show.

So far this season, Joe has mostly been confined to the West home, where we usually find him seated on one of the living room’s many pieces of furniture. However, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t had anything to do this season, which began on the day Joe and Cecile (Danielle Nicolet) brought their daughter newborn daughter Jenna home from the hospital. He’s been there to comfort and help Cecile and Iris (Candice Patton) as they deal with the new struggles of motherhood, and in episode 3, he even had a frightening encounter with season 5 big bad Cicada, who took him hostage in order to lure out Vibe (Carlos Valdes).

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.

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07 Nov 07:12

Arrowverse 'Elseworlds' crossover to feature DC villain Psycho-Pirate

by Chancellor Agard

The Arrowverse crossover has added another crisis-level character to the mix!

EW has learned that “Elseworlds” will also feature the DC Comics character Roger Hayden, better known as the supervillain Psycho-Pirate. Played by guest-star Bob Frazer (The 100), the character will appear in the Arrow and Supergirl installments of the crossover as an inmate at Arkham Asylum, which just happens to be where Green Arrow (Stephen Amell), the Flash (Grant Gustin), and Supergirl (Mellisa Benoist) will cross paths with Jeremy Davies’ Dr. John Deegan.

For the uninitiated, Psycho-Pirate is a character with a confusing comic book history. All you really need to know about the character is that his gold Medusa Mask gives him the power to manipulate people’s emotions, and, more importantly, he always somehow manages to play an important role in DC’s biggest multiverse stories. In fact, he was one of the only characters to remember the multiverse after it was erased by the epic crossover Crisis on Infinite Earths (a.k.a. the story that The Flash has been hinting at with a future newspaper since its pilot).

This year’s three-night event is shaping up to be quite the spectacle. Here are the other DC Comics characters that will make their Arrowverse debuts in “Elseworlds”: Batwoman (Ruby Rose), Lois Lane (Elizabeth Tulloch)Nora Fries (Cassandra Jean Amell), and LaMonica Garrett as The Monitor. Tyler Hoechlin will also reprise the role of Superman, and John Wesley Shipp, the Flash of the ’90s, will also appear as a speedster.

Frazer’s other onscreen credits include The Man in the High CastleTravelers, and Project Blue Book.

“Elseworlds” begins Sunday, Dec. 9, with The Flash at 8 p.m.; continues Monday, Dec. 10, at 8 p.m. with Arrow; and concludes the following night at 8 p.m. with Supergirl.

Related content:

EW’s Fall TV comics reading guide for viewers interested in going beyond the screen Batwoman and Supergirl unite in new Elseworlds crossover set photo Stephen Amell and Grant Gustin flip roles in trippy Arrowverse crossover poster
07 Nov 07:06

Legends of Tomorrow cast rocks out in 'Should I Stay or Should I Go' music video

by Chancellor Agard

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow cast has dropped another music video!

To celebrate their trip to ’70s punk London in Monday’s episode, stars Caity Lotz, Tala Ashe, Matt Ryan, Dominic Purcell, and more embraced their inner rock stars and shot a fun music video for The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go” Lotz released the video on her Instagram Monday morning. Check it out below:

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New music video!!! 🕺🏻 A little tease to get you excited for tonight’s episode of #legendsoftomorrow ✨

A post shared by CAITY LOTZ (@caitylotz) on Nov 5, 2018 at 11:08am PST

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Lotz previously told EW how much she loved this time period when we spoke to her for our Fall TV Preview in August. “That time period was pretty crazy,” she said. “Those outfits were pretty great. Looking at everybody in those outfits, I was like, ‘Hmm, maybe we’re all supposed to dress like this all the time.’ That one was pretty fun.”

Here’s what else you can expect from tonight’s episode, you know, in addition to cool costumes and Maisie Richardson-Sellers’ new character: “I can say it has something to do with the Queen and a punk rock band called the Smell. And there may or may not be something about leprechauns,” said Lotz.

Of course, this isn’t the first time an episode’s setting has inspired the CW drama’s cast to embrace their musical sides. Earlier this year, they made videos for both the Bee Gee’s “Stayin’ Alive” (for season 3’s “Here We Go Again”) and Will Smith’s “Wild Wild West” (for the season 3 finale, which returned to the wild west). You can watch both of those videos below:

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When your feeling the disco vibes and decide to shoot a music video on set #Legendsoftomorrow

A post shared by CAITY LOTZ (@caitylotz) on Feb 14, 2018 at 7:48am PST

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Shot another little #musicvideo bringing it back @willsmith style #wildwildwest are you ready?! One week until the season 3 finale of ✨ @cw_legendsoftomorrow @maisiersellers @talaashe @keiynanlonsdale @jesmacallan @johnschaech

A post shared by CAITY LOTZ (@caitylotz) on Apr 3, 2018 at 6:47am PDT

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Legends of Tomorrow airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on The CW.

Related content: 

Legends of Tomorrow recap: Witch, please EW’s Fall TV comics reading guide for viewers interested in going beyond the screen Why you should be watching DC’s Legends of Tomorrow — according to EW and Beebo
06 Nov 22:27

Is Amazon's Homecoming the New Mr. Robot? They've Got One Big Similarity

by Laura Prudom

Amazon Prime Video's newest series, Homecoming, is a unique kind of thriller. Adapted from a cult podcast hit that already boasted a star-studded cast (including Oscar Isaac, Catherine Keener and David Schwimmer) - the show plays with the typical TV formula by keeping the majority of the twist-filled episodes to a lean half-hour run time, while still aiming for a cinematic feel thanks to elaborate one-shots and Hitchcockian framing.

Executive produced and directed by Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail, the show stars Julia Roberts in her first TV role, alongside Bobby Cannavale, Stephan James, Sissy Spacek and Shea Whigham. Roberts stars as Heidi Bergman, a caseworker at the Homecoming Transitional Support Center, a Geist Group facility helping soldiers transition back to civilian life. Walter Cruz (James) is one of these soldiers, eager to begin the next phase of his life. Overseeing Heidi and the facility is Colin Belfast (Cannavale), an ambitious company man whose manic demands point to questionable motives.

Continue reading…

28 Oct 21:17

IBM buys Linux giant Red Hat to thrive in the cloud

by Jon Fingas
IBM isn't a stranger to Linux by any stretch, but it might just become one of the platform's strongest supporters in the near future -- and shake up the cloud landscape, for that matter. IBM has announced a deal to buy Linux giant and open source en...
28 Oct 10:27

Maisie Williams has a Stark family reunion with two long-lost brothers

by James Hibberd

Maisie Williams had a Game of Thrones reunion Thursday night with two of her long-lost Stark family big brothers.

The Arya actress met up with Kit Harington and Richard Madden — photos below — after her new play, I and You, opened in London.

Here’s Williams with actors who played Jon Snow and the late, great Robb Stark:

Another angle:

Williams also posted a cuddly photo of herself and Madden:

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👯‍♀️

A post shared by Maisie Williams (@maisie_williams) on Oct 26, 2018 at 3:06am PDT

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Also on hand: John Bradley, who plays Jon’s loyal former Night’s Watch brother Samwell Tarly on the show. Granted, not a Stark (but perhaps he could be made an honorary Stark?).

Speaking of Madden, the actor is currently starring in the Netflix action thriller Bodyguard, which became Britain’s biggest hit drama since Downton Abbey during its run last month, and is definitely worth checking out.

Game of Thrones returns in the first half of 2019.

28 Oct 10:25

Fall TV cancellation odds: Which shows are safe, which are not

by James Hibberd

Hear that? It’s the eerie silence that descends when it’s a month into the fall season and not one new show has yet been canceled. But several titles have received orders for additional episodes, effectively making them safe (for now). Here’s a rundown of which new broadcast shows you can rest assured aren’t going anywhere, and which might be in danger. They’re roughly ranked from safest to the seemingly least safe:

Manifest (NBC), 12.3 million viewers and 2.7 rating. Boosted by its lead-in from The Voice, the mystery drama is the fall’s biggest new show. NBC has ordered a total of 16 episodes which will represent a full season.

New Amsterdam (NBC): 10 million viewers, 2.2 rating. Probably the most surprising success of the fall given the show’s relatively modest reviews. The aspirational medical drama sheds quite a bit of its This Is Us lead-in, but has received an order for additional episodes for a total of 22.

The Conners (ABC): 10.5 million viewers, 2.4 rating. The Roseanne spin-off has only aired a couple episodes so far so it’s tough to say where its numbers are going to settle, but it currently ranks as the second-biggest show on Tuesday nights and ABC ordered an additional episode of the comedy after the second episode aired.

FBI (CBS): 11.4 million viewers, 1.5 rating. Producer Dick Wolf’s latest isn’t the breakout procedural smash the network might have hoped, but isn’t shedding too much of its NCIS lead-in either and has been stable the last few weeks (and stability is a blissfully rare commodity in the fall). It also has a full-season order.

The Neighborhood (CBS): 7.6 million viewers, 1.4 rating. Cedric the Entertainer’s comedy has solidly performed the tough job of cold-starting a Monday lineup against tough competition.

God Friended Me (CBS): 9.8 million viewers, 1.3 rating. The spiritual dramedy is doing better-than-average numbers on Sunday nights and has a full-season order.

The Cool Kids (Fox): 6.3 million viewers, 1.4 rating. The retirement home comedy is drafting heavily off its Last Man Standing lead-in, but it’s also winning its Friday time slot and has a full season order. But it better put the brakes on — this comedy hasn’t stopped slipping since its big premiere.

Charmed (The CW): 1.4 million, 0.5 rating. CW’s entry into Sunday nights with this supernatural reboot is doing fine, and the network has bigger problems later in the week (why did they renew Dynasty again?).

Single Parents (ABC): 5.1 million viewers, 1.5 rating. The new Wednesday family comedy has seemingly stabilized into a passable number following Modern Family.

The Kids Are Alright (6.5 million viewers, 1.4 rating): The working class comedy is losing a lot of its Conners lead-in, yet is also ABC’s second highest-rated show on Tuesdays.

Magnum P.I. (CBS): 8.2 million viewers, 1.3 rating. The poster show for the supposed declining interest in reboots, the flashy Hawaiian drama is losing its time slot to strong rivals (yet also has a full season order).

A Million Little Things (5.9 million viewers, 1.4 rating): Dubbed, fairly or unfairly, a This Is Us clone, the Wednesday drama has apparently stabilized at a modest audience. On Oct. 26, ABC gave the series a full-season order.

Happy Together (CBS): 5.5 million viewers, 1.0 rating. The Damon Wayans Jr. comedy is part of CBS’ should-be-doing-better-than-it-is Monday block.

Dancing with the Stars Jr. (ABC): 5.4 million viewers, 1.2 rating: Only aired two episodes so far. Presumably cheap to make, plus it isn’t doing much worse than ABC’s other Sunday reality fare.

Murphy Brown (CBS): 8.7 million viewers, 1.3 rating: You might think this is ranked a bit low given the revival starring Candice Bergen averages nearly 9 million viewers, but performance is all about context and this is the lowest-rated entry in CBS’ Thursday comedy lineup (and not by a little).

The Rookie (ABC): 5.4 million viewers, 1.0 rating: Nathan Fillion returned to ABC with a crime drama that got decent reviews. Its weak performance is a head-scratcher. 

Rel (Fox): 2.8 million, 1.1 rating: History shows that you never want to be the live-action weak-link entry shoved into Fox’s popular Sunday animated lineup.

All American (The CW): 650,000 viewers, 0.2 rating. This CW football drama stepped outside the network’s genre comfort zone, got good reviews and showed some growth this week, but has fumbled in the Nielsens overall. 

I Feel Bad (3.7 million, 0.9 rating). The worst-titled show of the fall is really struggling on Thursdays where it’s NBC’s lowest-rated program and managing to get beat up by Murphy Brown.

The Alec Baldwin Show (2 million viewers, 0.3 rating): Far below the line for a major broadcast network across its first two episodes. If you picked this Sunday night talk show for your First Canceled Show office pool, you’re probably going to win.

28 Oct 10:22

Batwoman and Supergirl unite in new Elseworlds crossover set photo

by Nick Romano

Ruby Rose and Melissa Benoist formed their own dynamic duo for the upcoming Arrowverse crossover event.

The actors suited up in costume as Batwoman and Supergirl, respectively, in a new set photo from production of Elseworlds, which marks the debut of Rose as Kate Kane, the openly lesbian superhero from DC Comics.

“Indicative of my excitement that she’s here and kicking a—,” Benoist captioned the photo on Instagram.

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indicative of my excitement that she’s here and kicking ass @rubyrose 👯‍♀️

A post shared by Melissa Benoist (@melissabenoist) on Oct 26, 2018 at 4:24pm PDT

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Elseworlds, the three-night crossover between Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl, will seemingly feature some trips throughout the multiverse, given the fact that Grant Gustin (Barry Allen) is now wearing Stephen Amell’s Arrow-slinging suit and Amell is the scarlet speedster.

John Wesley Shipp (the original Flash actor from the ’90s show and Barry’s father on the CW series) will also appear in the crossover in a speedster uniform, Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman gets his black suitCassandra Jean Amell will appear as Mr. Freeze’s wife Nora Fries, LaMonica Garrett will portray The Monitor, and Elizabeth Tulloch will play Lois Lane.

Green Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl will gather in Gotham City for something involving Dr. John Deegan (Jeremy Davies), an insane doctor at Arkham Asylum. Marc Guggenheim, who’s heading Elseworlds, recently shared a set pic that teased the infamous Arkham prison for the criminally insane.

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Even with the growing cast, Elseworlds has more potential for Kate. If all goes well, Rose’s crime-fighting days could continue on with her own Batwoman series, which would become the first superhero show with an openly LGBTQ lead.

It all begins on Sunday, Dec. 9, with The Flash at 8 p.m. Elseworlds will continue with Arrow on Monday, Dec. 10, at 8 p.m., followed by the conclusion on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 8 p.m. with Supergirl.

28 Oct 10:22

black-ish cast suit up as Black Panther characters for Halloween episode

by Nick Romano

The Johnson family will sport their finest Wakandan garb on this year’s Halloween episode of black-ish.

ABC revealed photos and video from the set with the cast dressed up as different members of Marvel’s Black Panther. Tracee Ellis Ross channels Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia from the end of the film (when Wakanda’s War Dog must suit up in Dora Milaje armor to save her king and country), Anthony Anderson rocks the royal look of Chadwick Boseman’s King T’Challa, and Marcus Scribner serves Michael B. Jordan’s more sartorially hip outfit as Killmonger.

Anderson also posed next to the Johnson family’s newest addition, little Devante (played by Austin and Berlin Gross), wearing T’Challa’s signature catsuit.

“The Halloween episode of @blackishabc is gonna be ” Ross wrote.

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NAKIA & KILLMONGER ~ the halloween episode of @blackishabc is gonna be 🔥 this tuesday at 9|8c! #blackish 🙅🏾‍♀️🙅🏾‍♂️

A post shared by Tracee Ellis Ross (@traceeellisross) on Oct 26, 2018 at 5:28pm PDT

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The cutest Wakanda baby you've ever seen #blackish 🙅🏾‍♂️

A post shared by black-ish (@blackishabc) on Oct 27, 2018 at 8:01am PDT

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Miles Brown manned the camera as his castmates joked around the set, offering up Scribner as a future stunt double for Jordan.

“I’m only trying to aspire to be like her,” Ross exclaimed of her costume. “I love you, Lupita.”

They already have the blessing of the real Jordan, who gave them an “amazing” shoutout on Instagram.

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Which #BlackPanther character is your favorite? #blackish

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Titled “Scarred for Life,” the episode airing this Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC, will see the twins opting out of the family Halloween costume, fearing their social status will drop at middle school. Dre and Bow are setting up “the best haunted house” for the entire seventh grade class and Junior starts spending time with a girl from Ruby’s choir.

Related content:

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28 Oct 09:59

Google will require OEMs to provide regular security updates. or else

Android devices have had a problem facing the platform for its entire lifetime (and you've heard this word on more than one occasion): fragmentation. Google's now discontinued Nexus devices and Pixel hardware are all updated promptly and regularly by Google. Other manufacturers might take much longer to update phones. Google has put a few things into place to lessen the problem of fragmentation by doing things like releasing Project Treble (mandatory on all hardware released with Android 8.0 and above), and Google has already done a lot to get OEMs to provide more regular security...

25 Oct 06:15

NASA fixes Hubble gyroscope by turning it off and on again

by Mariella Moon
Hubble's designers prepared for gyroscope failure by equipping the observatory with a backup. Unfortunately, when one of Hubble's gyroscopes conked out in early October, the backup didn't work as expected -- it was rotating too fast and hence won't b...
25 Oct 06:14

Massive ad scam stole millions through Android apps

by Saqib Shah
Google is clamping down on a fraudulent advertising network of over 125 Android apps and websites that have stolen hundreds of millions in ad dollars. A BuzzFeed report laid bare the huge scale of the scheme, which saw scammers from "We Purchase Apps...
25 Oct 06:10

A cultured chicken nugget could hit the market by the end of the year

by Mallory Locklear
You may know Just (formerly Hampton Creek) for its vegan cookie dough and mayo, but the company has also been working on cultured meat -- real meat that's made from animal cells rather than taken from an animal itself. While it's not the only company...
24 Oct 06:12

Watch this once-lost 'Empire Strikes Back' doc-film from 1980

by Rusty Blazenhoff

The Making of "The Empire Strikes Back", the rare 1980 French TV movie documentary about the second film in the Star Wars trilogy, was considered lost until recently. Since clips surfaced a few years ago, it's been considered the "Holy Grail" for Star Wars fans. Directed by late director Michel Parbot, the hour-long film has now been found and posted on YouTube. Watch it while you can.

23 Oct 06:17

Fox's Gotham reveals the first official full look at Bane

by James Hibberd

Ready to see the official first look at Bane on Fox’s Gotham? This is much more evolved from the earlier leaked images you might have seen floating around online.

Bane is coming to the drama series in the show’s fifth and final season, and below is actor Shane West (Nikita, Salem) in costume admit some fiery destruction in an EW exclusive:

Bane will be introduced as Eduardo Dorrance, a former Army friend of Jim Gordon’s (Ben McKenzie), who is gradually transformed into the supervillain.

With the actor’s red-rimmed-eyes and semi-transparent mask and all those cyberpunk mechanics going on there in that breastplate, the look stands as a clear contrast from the best-known version of the character, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises take as played by Tom Hardy.

Still, you might say this guy still looks like he was born in darkness?

Gotham‘s Bane was described by showrunner John Stephens as “very, very strong, and very angry … we made him integral to the fact of coming in as a special ops government agent.” Season 5 will continue the “No Man’s Land” storyline from the comics, where Gotham City is isolated by the U.S. government from the rest of the country..

“We pick up at the top of season five, at the conclusion of No Man’s Land, Day 365,” Stephens said. “Then, we cycle backwards to day 87, three months into No Man’s Land where Jim has created his green zone and wants his reunification. We’re catching up, and for the first nine episodes, we’re always catching up to that first scene we see.”

The producers have also stated that “the fifth and final season will wrap up this unique origin story of the great DC Comics Super-villains and vigilantes, which revealed an entirely new chapter that has never been told.”

Gotham returns in midseason on Fox.

Related content:

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21 Oct 06:36

Watch the visual effects for 'Ant-Man and The Wasp' come to life

by Mariella Moon
One of the most entertaining aspects of Ant-Man and The Wasp was how the film played with the characters' shrinking and growing powers. Marvel obviously relied on CGI to turn that building into a roller suitcase and that Helly Kitty pez dispenser int...
20 Oct 21:40

Game of Thrones shot a reunion special bringing back former cast

by James Hibberd

Sean Bean hasn’t had to keep Game of Thrones secrets in a while, so it seems he’s out of practice. The Ned Stark actor let slip that HBO has secretly filmed a reunion special featuring past and present castmembers.

The one-off special was apparently shot in Belfast earlier this year while the cast was working on the final season and included Conan O’Brien as host.

“They decided to get all the characters together for a bit for this big show in Belfast and kind of hosted the evening,” Bean told THR. “Conan O’Brien did this thing, it was the last episode, so we all got together. It’s funny with work, you don’t really keep in touch. You do so many types of jobs in that part of the world. It’s just like whenever I see old friends or even old drama school friends, it’s just the same, we pick up where we left off last time …”

Bean, of course, was on GoT for its first season back in 2011. Notably, Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo) was also spotted in Belfast during the filming of the final season, which caused all sorts of speculation, and perhaps this explains it.

The special is not confirmed by HBO at this point. There’s no sense yet if or when the special might air (the special might be for home video instead). But the final six episodes of Thrones will air in the first half of 2019.