“Wonder Woman and the Importance of the Female Hero Moment”

WHEN J.J. ABRAMS was wrapping up Star Wars: The Force Awakens, he showed a rough cut to Ava DuVernay, the Selma director he’d recently befriended. It needed something, she told him. Daisy Ridley’s Rey needed to have one more powerful moment, one more show of strength in her final battle with Kylo Ren. Abrams took her advice, shot some new footage, and added a close-up of Rey’s face as she strikes a massive lightsaber blow. If you watch it now, it’s very clear which one it is. Just ask any 15-year-old female Star Wars fan—even now, she can probably recall it from memory. When you don’t expect to see yourself as the hero, you don’t easily forget what it looks like.

Wonder Woman has more than 20 hero moments like this. It even ends on one. They’re not all close-ups like the one Abrams added to Force Awakens, but they do show a hero in action. Filmed in slow motion, almost always in battle, they feature Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), as well as other women. It’s trite to say, but I’ll say it anyway: This is revolutionary.

The hero shot is a staple of superhero movies, and action movies in general. If you had to think of one right now, though, your mind would probably light on Thor hoisting a hammer or Superman floating above Metropolis with his cape billowing in the wind, not of a woman saving the world. Katniss Everdeen got some of them in theHunger Games films, the female mutants have had their share in the X-Men movies, Joss Whedon gave a couple to Black Widow and Scarlet Witch in the Avengers flicks – but rarely, if ever, has one film been dedicated to them in the way Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman is…”

https://www.wired.com/2017/06/wonder-woman-hero-moment/

“Black Panther’s First Teaser Trailer Brings the Fight to Wakanda”

 

“Like Spider-Man, Black Panther made his Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Captain America: Civil War. It was in Civil War that Marvel introduced the world of Wakanda — and its leader, King T’Chaka. T’Chaka was the father of T’Challa, and it was his death — at the hands of the Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes — that led to T’Challa donning the Black Panther suit in Civil War. By the end of the film, however, he was providing a safe hiding spot for a couple of heroes, including Captain America and Barnes.

Marvel hasn’t released a synopsis of the movie, but during San Diego Comic-Con last year, cast member Lupita Nyong’o gave a brief, but detailed description, of what the movie will focus on.

“Black Panther’s leadership [of Wakanda] is being threatened by two foes that come together, and so Black Panther gets the help of the CIA and the Dora Milaje to try to defeat the enemy,” Nyong’o said, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

Black Panther will also have strong ties to the next Avengers movie, Avengers: Infinity War,according to Kevin Feige, head of Marvel Studios. Black Panther is the last movie to come out before Avengers: Infinity War, giving it the important duty of setting up the events of that film.

Black Panther will be released on Feb. 16, 2018.

http://www.essence.com/entertainment/black-panther-movie-things-know-marvel

“Nintendo Says Diversity was ‘Extremely Important’ for New Switch Fighter Arms”

“Later this month, Nintendo will launch Arms on Switch, a fighting game with an eclectic cast of characters reminiscent of Blizzard’s megahit shooter Overwatch. While the games are built on different genres, one key similarity between the two is the variety of their rosters. That was by design.

“As this is a game where characters fight each other, we thought that it was extremely important to have this kind of diversity for the players,” explains art director Masaaki Ishikawa, “so that they had something to latch on to.”

The cast of Arms is fairly small by fighting game standards. There are 10 fighters in all, including several who aren’t human. But while the developer says it treated diversity as an important aspect of the character design process, Ishikawa believes Nintendo can do even better in the future.

“Our keywords in developing these characters were the fact that they have stretchy arms, but also their own unique personality,” he says. “So we’re not sure if we reached the level of diversity that we could have, but moving forward that’s going to be something that we take into account with our character design.”

Arms launches on Nintendo Switch on June 16th.

https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/6/15746004/nintendo-switch-arms-character-diversity

“Bruce Lee-Inspired Tong Wars Drama ‘Warrior’ From Justin Lin & ‘Banshee’ Co-Creator Gets Cinemax Series Order”

Cinemax has given a 10-episode straight-to-series order to 19th century crime drama Warrior, inspired by an idea from Bruce Lee, created and executive produced by Banshee co-creator Jonathan Tropper and executive producer by Justin Lin and Danielle Woodrow via Perfect Storm Entertainment, and Shannon Lee for Bruce Lee Entertainment.

Warrior, which had been a passion project for both late martial arts icon Bruce Lee and Fast & Furious helmer Justin Lin, was originally set up at Cinemax for development in 2015 and was ordered to pilot last summer.

Last December, Deadline unveiled Cinemax’s programming strategy shift toward the type of fare that launched the network’s push into original primetime series: fun, high-octane, action, pulpy, straight-to-series dramas done in a cost-effective way primarily as international co-productions.

At the time, Kary Antholis, president, HBO Miniseries and Cinemax Programming, revealed that the idea was to do as many as four shows a year initially, three of them co-productions or very cost-effective and the fourth a marquee, homegrown show with a Banshee-level of budget. Back then, Warrior was already being eyed for a potential straight-to-series order to fill that marquee spot in the inaugural slate of the revamped Cinemax. Straight-to-series co-productions green-lighted under the model include a Strike Back reboot and Rellik.

Warrior follows in the spirit of the tradition of adrenalized Cinemax dramas that we established with Strike Back and Banshee,” said Antholis, listing the network’s two most successful original series to date. “We are brimming with excitement for this unique martial arts series combining Bruce Lee’s inspired conception with the immense storytelling talents of Jonathan Tropper and Justin Lin…”

http://deadline.com/2017/06/bruce-lee-warrior-tong-wars-drama-series-cinemax-justin-lin-jonathan-tropper-1202108759/

 

“New Netflix Schedule Dates Daredevil, Jessica Jones, And Luke Cage Comebacks”

“Netflix has plenty of original series to juggle these days, but the site never drifts far from Marvel. With shows like The Defenders and The Punisher dropped this year, Netflix has plenty of comic book content to drop in 2017. And, if a new report is to be believed, then fans can expect the site to dish out three more series next year.

Recently, Entertainment Weekly compiled Marvel’s upcoming schedule of TV releases. The sizzle reel nodded to shows like Marvel’s Inhumans as well as Cloak & Dagger. However, it was the site’s take on three developing Netflix series which had fans talking. Entertainment Weekly’s reel said that Daredevil’s third season would debut in 2018 alongside the second seasons of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones.

So far, neither Marvel nor Netflix have confirmed the site’s dating. Fans do seem keen on siding with the reel’s reported premieres. Many had already anticipatedJessica Jones and Luke Cage to get their new seasons next year. The latter show is already filming for season two, and Luke Cage is expected to go into production later this year.

When it comes down to it, fans were most surprised to hear about Daredevil. The series had its third season order awhile back, but little progress has been made on it thanks to The Defenders. The miniseries will premiere this August, leaving Charlie Cox free to reprise his devilish role in the hero’s standalone series afterwards…”

http://comicbook.com/marvel/2017/06/05/netflix-daredevil-luke-cage-jessica-jones-return/

“Overwatch’s Search for Diversity”

“Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan recently gave a speech at DICE on the importance of creating games that are inclusive. Following his speech, I sat down with him to talk some more about this subject. I wanted to hear about the process and the challenges of creating games that step outside video gaming’s character confines of overwhelmingly white, straight, male heroes.

Game making is a creative process, an amalgamation of individual ideas and biases into a collective consensus. Games are consumed by people with their own passions, frustrations and desires. These games are also subject to international censorship laws and the conservative media’s outrage machine.

We’re told that it’s impossible to please all the people all the time, but this has turned out to be a thin excuse for gaming’s lack of diversity. For a long time, developers and publishers have satisfied themselves with pleasing the small slice of humanity they feel comfortable portraying. Not coincidentally, this male, white and East Asian demographic is also dominant in development, retail, publishing and, yes, journalism.

“There’s always going to be someone upset with things that we do,” Kaplan says. “We know we’re not always going to get it right. But it’s about trying to be welcoming to a lot of people and thinking about others…”

https://www.polygon.com/features/2017/3/20/14960924/overwatch-diversity-jeff-kaplan-interview-blizzard

“The Dark Tower: What You Need To Know”

“It would be tempting to say Hollywood is once again in the Stephen King business but for the fact that it has never left it. In the four decades since the release of “Carrie,” there have been dozens of movie and television adaptations of his novels and short stories. This year alone, we will see the evil clown-centric movie “It,” the bondage-gone-wrong Netflix film “Gerald’s Game,” a Spike TV series based on the monster-insect novella “The Mist” and “The Dark Tower.”

Oh, “The Dark Tower.” What many loyal readers of Mr. King see as the magnum opus of his career has had a tortuous road to the big screen. The film, due Aug. 4 after several delays, stars Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey and is directed by Nikolaj Arcel, whose last film was the 18th-century Danish drama “A Royal Affair.”

Sony Pictures hopes that this is but the first entry in a franchise that can span both movies and television. The story of how “The Dark Tower” was made covers many years. The story of “The Dark Tower” is even more complex. Here are the basics:

What is ‘The Dark Tower’?

It’s a sprawling series of seven novels written between 1982 and 2004. (An eighth interstitial novel was released in 2012.) The first four books were published every four to six years. But after Mr. King was hit by a minivan in 1999 and almost died, he decided to finish the saga lest another accident finish the job. The final three books were published in 2003 and 2004.

Characters from the “Dark Tower” books have frequently appeared in other stories by Mr. King (one of the series villains is also the main antagonist of “The Stand”), and vice versa, effectively making the series the backbone of the author’s oeuvre. Mr. King himself also makes an appearance in the novels, which still comes as a surprise even if you know about it beforehand…”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/03/movies/what-you-need-to-know-dark-tower-series-stephen-king.html