Mar 2012 29

by A.J. Focht

A new Avengers trailer promoting the IMAX 3D showings is out. A batch of behind-the-scenes photos have been released as well. The Avengers is only about a month out, but we’ve got some reassurance the group’s adventures won’t end then. Black Widow has been confirmed for Iron Man 3, so we know there will still be cross overs amongst The Avengers team.

Despite the poor performance of The Green Lantern, Warner Bros. hasn’t given up on making a movie for The Flash. The company is finalizing their marketing strategy for the DC heroes, but Flash is apparently high on the list. There will likely be more information about upcoming DC hero films after the release of The Dark Knight Rises.

During the Empire Awards, Michael Fassbender (Magneto) and James McAvoy (Xavier) took a moment to discuss the upcoming sequel to X-Men: First Class. While McAvoy seems to be out of the loop, Fassbender expects the film to start shooting soon.

The superhero movies this summer will have their work cut out to compete in a market where The Hunger Games made box-office history with the third largest opening weekend, taking the spot from Spider-Man 3 and falling just short of The Dark Knight. Hunger Games opened at $155 million in the Spring season and is the first movie in a trilogy. Most movies that make that kind of money are usually sequels released during the summer, so it has set the bar extremely high for movies like The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, and Amazing Spider-Man.

The upcoming RoboCop remake will be less robot and more cop, well more human at least. Joel Kinnaman, who has been chosen to play RoboCop, suggests the costume will be little more than an exaggerated sci-fi cop costume. This goes along with some of the new ideas that director Jose Padhila has suggested that concern new breakthroughs in neuroscience.

While some try respect the history of the works they are remaking, others seem to go out of their way to upset the apple cart. After fan outrage at Michael Bay’s announcement that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would now be aliens, the director did some damage control suggesting that could mean as little as “the ooze was from space.” Now there is a fear that they won’t be teenager as the movie’s name has been changed to Ninja Turtles. This doesn’t mean they won’t be teenagers, but it has caused some concern.

Terra Nova’s last hope, Netflix, won’t be saving them after all. Talks concerning Netflix’s attempt to pick up the show for a second season have fallen through. Netflix is however still considering picking up The River for a second season. In future, you can expect to see online networks like Hulu and Netflix pick up an increasing number of popular cancelled shows as they work on building up their own programming schedule.

You can now follow along with the activities on the set of Ender’s Game at the project’s production blog. Only two entries have been posted so far, but one is of a utility deck panel from the ship set.

The first trailer for the new Doctor Who series was leaked after a convention in Wales. The pirated trailer hasn’t been taken down yet so watch it while you can. In related news, the Time Lord’s new assistant has also been unveiled. Former UK soap actress Jenna-Louise Coleman will play Matt Smith’s companion, though little else is known about her role.

As for another Doctor Who spinoff, Steven Moffat isn’t against it, but he doesn’t have the time to be the one making it. Moffat might not be opposed to a Doctor Who spinoff, but he has voiced his issues with the American version of the BBC’s Sherlock. He is upset that CBS is moving forward with Elementary even though they were denied rights by the BBC. Ultimately, he worries the CBS version will be bad and discredit the source show.

Mar 2012 28

by Damon Martin

“We humans can get eaten, we’re not the head of the food chain anymore.”
– Michael Rooker

Veteran actor Michael Rooker has starred in dozens of films including Tombstone and the cult hit Mallrats, as well as making several guest appearances on TV in shows like Chuck and Criminal Minds. What Rooker has been best known as lately is the redneck knife wielding and now armless badass Merle Dixon on The Walking Dead.

Rooker was a regular on Season 1 of the popular AMC series, and made a brief appearance in a dream sequence during Season 2, but with his character’s current whereabouts unknown, is there a Merle Dixon sighting coming in Season 3?

Check out our interview with Michael Rooker in wich he reveals if Merle Dixon will be back when The Walking Dead returns in October.

Damon Martin: First before we get to anything else, it’s the question that’s on everybody’s mind. Are we going to see Merle in season 3?

Michael Rooker: You going to see more Merle than maybe you ever wanted to see.

DM: During Season 2 you had a fantastic appearance alongside Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon). What was it like being back on the show and did you have fun going back for that dream sequence?

MR: I was totally stoked. As soon as I walked on set, everyone was like ‘Merle is back’. They’re big fans of Merle as well, so when we got a chance to do the scene – Norman and I are good friends – and really when you think about it out of the first season and the second season, that’s the only time we ever interacted on camera before, so it was awesome. I had a great time. It was tough love. It’s big brother motivating little brother, motivating him to save his own life and sometimes you’ve got to be tough with people like that.

DM: We’re all excited you’re coming back for Season 3, but one of the interactions I always wanted to see was between Shane and Merle, but now Shane’s gone.

MR: Isn’t that a bitch? I was hoping they’d save Shane for me, but it didn’t happen and that’s just the way it is. I’m letting people know I’m coming back, Robert Kirkman (executive producer/creator) says I’m coming back, as a matter of fact Norman Reedus has stated in several interviews that his big brother is coming back.

DM: I think everybody knew when The Walking Dead came out that it had a chance to be a huge show, but it really has become a cultural phenomenon.

MR: Dude, it’s killer and it’s so amazing and I’m pretty damn honored to be involved with a group of actors, directors and producers and all these guys. I’m having a great time. Even playing the cat-and-mouse thing over this past season in my interviews, I can’t really say anything, so I’ve gotten really good at talking for an hour without saying a damn word and giving anything away.

DM: I know you weren’t directly involved in all of Season 2, but I know you watch the show. What did you think of the movement of the storyline this year?

MR: I enjoyed it because I like the fact that we get to know these people, almost too well. We know them so well that it’s going to really hurt when even the ones that we don’t like that much get eaten, whatever. It happens, it’s a post apocalyptic zombie world, we humans can get eaten, we’re not the head of the food chain anymore.

DM: So this is kind of a two-part question. Online everyone was asking when is Merle going to come back? Is Merle the Governor, the character coming up in Season 3? And now we know that you are coming back, the speculation continues to run. What does that mean to you as an actor to see the fan outpouring for your return, and can you give us any spoilers about what Merle will be doing in Season 3?

MR: No spoilers coming from this mouth, but I’ve got to tell you, the fan base is phenomenal. Even from Season 1 when I first appeared, there were fans that jumped on the bandwagon for Michael Rooker and Merle Dixon, and the Dixon brothers overall. We have several online groups, the Dixon’s Vixens, the Rooker-holics, Rooker Nation, I mean you can get Rooker’d online now. It’s very cool and I really, truly appreciate it.

DM: Season 3 starts filming in May and I’ve got to ask how excited are you to be back as a regular cast member? I know that so many people that have left have said how hard it was because The Walking Dead cast and crew is like a family, but that’s a huge dynamic of this show – no one’s safe.

MR: It’s good that no one’s safe. I don’t want to be safe. I think not being safe makes you hungry and makes you fight more. I love everybody there. This is the first real show that I’ve been involved with. I did another one called Thief, we did six episodes, but I hardly ever worked with all the other actors. This time round we hang out, we live in a similar area so we go have coffee, and chill out and talk, so it is a good family atmosphere.

DM: Now that Season 2 is over we can all just get that much more excited for Season 3 of The Walking Dead when Merle walks back onto the canvas. I think everybody is super excited for what’s coming next.

MR: It’s gonna be awesome. Right on brother, we’re going to have a damn good time.

Related Posts:
The Walking Dead Season 2 Finale Recap: And Hell Followed Them

Mar 2012 23

by Alex Dueben

“I’ve been dying to get back to comics.” – Brian K. Vaughan

Brian K. Vaughan his made his name as one of the best comics writers of the twenty-first century. He created two long running series, the science fiction fable Y–The Last Man and the political superhero tale Ex Machina. Vaughan also created the series Runaways for Marvel and wrote the series’ best issues, wrote the graphic novel Pride of Baghdad based on the true story of lions who escaped from the Baghdad zoo. and wrote a story arc for the Season 9 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer for Dark Horse Comics and Joss Whedon that featured Faith.

Outside of comics, he’s been known for joining the writing staff of Lost during the third season. He worked on the show through the fifth season and is currently adapting Stephen King’s novel Under the Dome for Showtime.

His new project is Saga, an ongoing series coming out from Image Comics. Illustrated by Fiona Staples, the book is about a Romeo and Juliet-esque couple from opposite sides of an interstellar war. A blend of fantasy and science fiction elements, there are creatures with wings, horned aliens, ray guns and swords, spaceships and childbirth, bounty hunters, rocketship forests, cats that can tell if you’re lying, and a healthy dose of sex and violence. We reached Vaughan by e-mail.

Read our exclusive interview with Brian K. Vaughan on

Mar 2012 22

by A.J. Focht

Welcome to the first extra-long con edition of Ur W33K 1N G33K in 2012. Wonder Con kicked off this year’s convention season this past weekend in Anaheim. News from all corners of nerdom was announced at the event, or in press releases leading up to it. Major players from across the geek world showed off what they have in store. Several first previews of upcoming movies, shows, and comics were revealed, and the creators were very talkative during the panels. For anything not covered here, you can check out ComicBooked’s excellent Wonder Con 2012 wrap up.

The Amazing Spider-Man director Marc Webb talked about his choices for the upcoming Spider-Man movie at Wonder Con. During The Amazing Spider-Man panel, Emma Stone, who plays Peter Parker’s love interest Gwen Stacy, may have said a too much. Stone started into the tragic comic book death of Gwen Stacy. As the topic started to drift from Gwen’s story in the comic to the movie, Marc Webb interrupted and changed the topic. His abrupt interruption has given rebirth the rumor that Gwen Stacy will die in the film similar to how she died in the comics. Sony has also released a viral marketing video for The Amazing Spider-Man that includes Captain Stacy giving us the run down on what a dangerous menace the Spider-Man can be.

Speaking of superhero rumors, a controversial image has hit the web that claims to be the first poster for the upcoming Wolverine movie. The image’s origins are unconfirmed, but the original posting was taken down at the request of Twentieth Century Fox.

The first teaser image from Arrow, the upcoming Green Arrow show on the CW, has been released. Three time Oscar winning costume designer Colleen Atwood designed the Green Arrow’s suit. The pilot’s director, David Nutter, also talked about his goals in making Arrow darker and edgier than the Smallville pilot, which he also helmed.

Brian K. Vaughn’s new comic Saga premiered last week, and now his comic series Y: The Last Man, is making headway on becoming a movie. Matthew Federman and Stephen Scaia have been hired to write the new script. There has been talk of this series becoming a movie for a few years now so let’s hope that this script is good enough to stick.

Everybody’s favorite super villain is coming back for an encore. Despite Joss Whedon’s crazy schedule recently, he has announced plans to work on Dr. Horrible 2 this summer. No more is known about the project at this time.

The newest trailer for Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter premiered at Wonder Con. While promoting the undead slaying President, screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith talked about his work on the upcoming Beetlejuice 2 script. The good news is there will be none of this reboot nonsense. It will be a direct sequel with Michael Keaton reprising the title role.

“The thing that Tim and Michael and I all agree on, and is most important for me is, I don’t wanna be the guy that destroys the legacy and the memory of the first film; I would rather die. I would rather just not make it, I’d rather just throw the whole thing away than make something that pays no respect and doesn’t live up even close to the legacy of the first film,” said Grahame-Smith.

While Grahame-Smith is all about treating classic works with respect, the same can’t be said for everyone in Hollywood. Michael Bay has decided to lay his taint on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I don’t normally complain about Bay, unlike so many others. However, Bay has now decided to take it upon himself to change the history of the beloved human size reptiles. He’s dropping the mutant and making them aliens. No one knows what other changes he has in store. Not mutants? Not turtles? But we shouldn’t worry because he assures us that they will be ‘edgy, funny, and completely loveable.’

On a brighter note, the long awaited sequel to the Avatar: The Last Airbender series has received an air date, and it’s just around the corner. The Legend of Korra will start on Saturday April 14th at 11 AM on Nickelodeon.

The Legend of Korra wasn’t the only thing to get a solid release date last week. After a decade long wait, Diablo 3 will be released on May 15. While Diablo is the first in line, Blizzard also plans on launching expansions for the Starcraft and World of Warcraft series this year. They have also recently changed the WoW Scroll of Resurrection service to offer past players a free upgrade to the Cataclysm expansion, a free level 80 character, a free realm transfer, and other perks for coming back to the game.

Finally, female geek icon Felicia Day is set to guest star on an upcoming episode of Supernatural. Besides showing up on every geek show in the verse, Felicia Day has also launched a new YouTube channel with other nerd idols like Wil Wheaton called Geek and Sundry. The channel will feature nerd programming like: The Guild, Flog (Felicia Day’s video blog), Table Top (table top / board gaming with Wil Wheaton), Dark Horse Motion Comics, and so much more. Geek and Sundry launches April 2nd.

Mar 2012 21

by Daniel Robert Epstein

“If people don’’t want to let you do what you want to do, go make your own venue to do it.”
– Patton Oswalt

Patton Oswalt has expanded his world from comedian to writer to actor and now he’’s producing the movie, The Comedians of Comedy and the Comedy Central show of the same name. This new reality series follows four of the funniest comedians working today, Maria Bamford, Zach Galifianakis, Brian Posehn and Patton Oswalt, on their US tour. Director Michael Blieden has also taped them backstage and preparing before each show.

Read our exclusive interview with Patton Oswalt on

Mar 2012 20

by Damon Martin

When we last saw our beloved Walking Dead characters, Sherriff Rick Grimes was standing over the body of his best friend Shane who he stabbed, only to watch him turn into one of the undead, and then gets shot by the youngest member of the group, Carl. As Rick and Carl both try to react to the horrifying situation they’ve both just lived through, in the distance we see a hoard of walkers lumbering towards them in the distance. Thus begins the end of The Walking Dead Season 2.

While some may believe that the show focuses on the dead coming back to life and taking over the world, Robert Kirkman’s comic book-turned-television-show is really about the characters and their struggle with living and surviving in an insane world.

As left off at the end of the last episode, the mob of zombies heads towards the farm hell bent on finding some living flesh, and unfortunately for a couple of the members of Herschel’s tribe, they won’t make it to Season 3.

Beth tries to pull Patricia towards the car to make their escape just as a walker leaps out and latches onto her, ripping her apart. Beth can only watch in horror as she finally loses her grasp on Patricia, and runs away to try and save her own life.

Meanwhile, Jimmy rolls Dale’s RV towards the back of the barn where Rick and Carl have set a fire to try and distract the attacking zombies. They leap on top of the mobile home, jumping off the back end to safety. Unfortunately, Jimmy stayed in the RV and the walkers smelled dinner, and busted through the door to have themselves a snack.

Andrea is able to save Carol with some of her signature sharp shooting, but gets cut off from escape. Carol rides off into the sunset on Darryl’s motorcycle, and Andrea is left to fend for herself. Making a run for it in a caravan of two cars and a motorcycle, the group somehow reconvenes and that’s where Rick finally unleashes his bombshell.

At the end of Season 1, the crazy quack Dr. Jenner whispered something into Rick’s ear before they all bolted out, running for their lives. What he revealed was that everybody, all humans, had the infection that caused them to come back to life after death. So whether you die by zombie bites or just die of natural causes, you’re getting back up.

The group rails on Rick for not making this confession earlier, but knowing how insane Jenner seemed, he had no idea if it was the truth or just more crazy lies. It became fact however after he stabbed his best friend Shane, and moments later he was back up, looking to take a bite out of his former comrade.

While zombies simply coming back to life is nothing new when talking about undead mythology, The Walking Dead interjecting a little science with the revelation that everyone is infected was a nice touch. Although quite a few people saw this coming, it was a well timed reveal that confirmed just how hopeless this already hopeless world really was.

Back in the woods, Andrea is still alive but only barely as she continues to run through the woods, firing off rounds from her gun as the hoard of the undead keep close. Just when it looks like we’ve seen the last of Andrea, a sword comes swiping down from above, lopping the zombie’s head off.

Pan up, and you see a katana wielding badass with a hood up over their face, and a chain in hand attached to two zombies currently lacking any arms. As it was revealed later by Walking Dead creator, that is none other than comic book favorite character Michonne, who will be played in Season 3 by former HBO Treme cast member Danai Gurira.

After nearly running out of gas, the group decides to stop for the night and set up camp, but at one point Carol begins to question Rick’s leadership, and the former Sherriff doesn’t take kindly to her remarks. As he lashes out and tells the story of how he had to kill his best friend Shane because it was the only thing he could do, Rick invites anyone in the group to set out on their own and see just how long they survive. No one stands up and in an authoritarian voice, Rick tells the group that if they are staying they have to know one thing: “This isn’t a democracy anymore.”

Ever since his arrival, Rick has been looked at as the de facto leader, despite back biting from Shane and others who question his decision making. In the final episode of Season 2, he let everybody know that if they are going to look towards him as a leader, then he is going to lead and they need to follow. It was a brilliant way to show the humanity of survival with a glimmer of Rick ripping a bit at the seams after such a trying and tragic few hours, during which he lost his best friend, killed his worst enemy (it just so happened to be the same person), and saw more members of his extended family lost forever.

Rick turns to walk away and as the camera pans up, we see a prison off in the distance. Is this the safe salvation the group of weary wanderers has been looking for or just another painful reminder that this world isn’t safe no matter where you hide?

Tune into Season 3 of The Walking Dead to find out…

Mar 2012 15

by Fred Topel

“I’m a fan of cat butt-holes.”
– Stevie Ryan

I first heard of Stevie Ryan when VH1 presented her new show Stevie TV to the Television Critics Association in January. When they showed a clip real of Ryan in impeccable makeup as Kendra, the Kardashians, Lady Gaga and Mob Wives, her point of view cracked me up.

Stevie TV (pronounced like Stevie Tevie) premiered on Sunday, March 4 on VH1. Ryan’s first sketches had Kendra breaking into dance anytime anyone chanted “Go Kendra, Go Kendra” and Justin Bieber (also Ryan) running a Bang Bus. Wait until you see her as Lady Gaga forcing children to explore and reinvent gender definitions.

Ryan got her start making comedy videos on YouTube. If you check out her YouTube channel you can even see her doing a burlesque dance in a sepia tint. Rather than many comedians who have a knack for voices and do impressions, Ryan uses makeup and costume to portray a realistic version of her characters. Perhaps it almost feels like you’re watching the real Kim Kardashian knowing what a fool she acts like.

The week before Stevie TV premiered, I spoke with Ryan by phone. As I’d hoped our talk went off on tangents that expressed her comic voice, rather than the nuts and bolts of making a show. Stevie TV airs Sunday nights at 11 PM with repeats throughout the week on VH1.

Read our exclusive interview with Stevie Ryan on