It's pretty amazing that after 89 years, Popeye is still a franchise that people love. Well, the spinach-fueled sea mariner is about to make a comeback! The digital kid's network and studio, Wildbrain, is teaming up with Hearst’s King Features Syndicate, to create new animated content for the brand's YouTube channel.
WildBrain will take over management of the "Popeye and Friends Official" channel on YouTube. They plan on boosting its audience by producing new compilations of Popeye classic cartoons, drawing from shows including Popeye, Popeye and Son, and The Continuing Adventures of Popeye. The style of animation is said to consist of the classic "squash-and-stretch" style of Popeye.
King Features president C.J. Kettler had this to say in a statement:
"WildBrain has the secret sauce that will help Popeye connect with his audience of millions around the world while growing his fan base exponentially through fresh new animation as we head into his [90th] anniversary year."
Popeye the Sailor was created by cartoonist E.C. Segar as a character in King Features’ “Thimble Theatre” comic strip in 1929. He's become an iconic character and it will be fun to see how this new animated Popeye content turns out. Do you think the popularity of Popeye will rise because of this?
Warner Bros. Animation is teaming up with Cartoon Network to build on their already successful Super Hero Girls DC animated series. The announcement comes along with the first look at their fresh new character designs from producer Lauren Faust, who previously worked on shows like My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic and Super Best Friends Forever.
This whole franchise has been built to build confidence and empower young girls to discover their potential. As a father of three girls, that's why I support this series. It takes the teenage versions of some of DC's best and diverse female characters and shows them navigate the unique struggles of everyday life while simultaneously fighting to save the world.
The whole thing started with a franchise of direct-to-video movies and webisodes. Now that they are teaming up with Cartoon Network, we'll be seeing a lot more of the series. Here's the synopsis:
The world may know them as Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Batgirl, but not-so-typical teenagers Diana, Kara and Barbara, alongside their Super Hero friends have much more to deal with than just protecting the citizens of Metropolis from some of the most sinister school-aged Super-Villains of the DC Universe. After all, being teens is tough enough, what with school, friends, family and the chaos that comes with managing a social life. But add super powers and a secret identity to the mix, and things can get a lot more complicated.
Sure, gal pals Bumblebee, Zatanna and Green Lantern Jessica Cruz are always there to lend an ear, a shoulder to cry on, and a fist to punch with, but what happens when Diana and her favorite study buddy and fencing partner, Tatsu, can’t agree on how to dole out justice as Wonder Woman and Katana? Or when Barbara finds out her Gotham-Con bestie is teen-fiend Harley Quinn? Along with all their friends, foes and frenemies, this squad of super teens navigates the unique growing pains that come when you’re a teenager trying to fight the battles of the world and the battles of growing up at the same time.
"You have no idea how hard he hit American culture."
Oscilloscope Labs has released a trailer for their upcoming documentary film The King, which was previously known as Promised Land. This is an interesting doc as it centers on Elvis Presley and the impact he had on America. At the same time, the doc traces the rise and fall of Elvis as a metaphor for the America he left behind.
The King was directed by Eugene Jarecki (The Trials of Henry Kissinger, Why We Fight, Reagan, The House I Live In) and it looks like he made an intriguing doc that some of you might want to check out. Here's the synopsis:
Forty years after the death of Elvis Presley, two-time Sundance Grand Jury winner Eugene Jarecki’s new film takes the King’s 1963 Rolls-Royce on a musical road trip across America. From Memphis to New York, Las Vegas, and beyond, the journey traces the rise and fall of Elvis as a metaphor for the country he left behind. In this groundbreaking film, Jarecki paints a visionary portrait of the state of the American Dream and a penetrating look at how the hell we got here. A diverse cast of Americans, both famous and non, join the journey.
The King was executive produced by Steven Soderbergh and will be released on June 22nd.
Disney Parks has released a cool little promo teaser for Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and it features a digital rendering of what the highly anticipated Disneyland and Disney World Star Wars attraction will look like. It's like seeing the concept art and models we've seen brought to life.
The promo also reveals that that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open in summer 2019 at Disneyland Resort and in late fall 2019 at Walt Disney World Resort. Here are the previously released details on the awesome experiences that fans will be able to have!
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will allow guests to visit a remote trading port on the edge of wild space, where Star Wars characters and their stories come to life – and where guests will find themselves in the middle of the action. The lands will feature two major attractions that put guests in the middle of a battle between the First Order and the Resistance. Each attraction – and even the land itself – will offer guests the chance to immerse themselves in the Star Wars universe like never before.
One attraction will make you feel like you’re on a Star Destroyer inside a hangar bay. The second attraction will give guests the opportunity to fly the Millennium Falcon, piloting the ship, shooting blasters or preparing for hyperspace – all while completing a critical mission. But how you perform on the mission holds even bigger stakes: perform with skill and you may earn extra galactic credits, while bringing the ship back banged up could put you on the list of a bounty hunter. End up on Harkos’s list and you may face a problem if you show up at the local cantina!
Guests will also encounter many familiar faces inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, including BB-8, Chewbacca, members of the First Order and – among many others – Rex, the troublesome pilot you may remember from Star Tours, who takes on a new role in this land as the DJ at the cantina. At the cantina guests will be able to try unique concoctions like blue milk. Nearby, they’ll also be able to acquire trinkets and treasures from across the galaxy. You won’t be buying ordinary Star Wars merchandise or T-shirts at the gift shops, but rather special figures and vehicles (like an AT-AT) built by Batuu’s female Toydarians. The toys are inspired by designs from films like The Force Awakens, Rogue One and The Last Jedi.
There will also be Star Wars-inspired resort that will a part of the experience. This new resort will be a living adventure that allows guests to immerse themselves in an entirely new form of Disney storytelling.
I can't wait for the day where I will be able to experience this Star Wars attraction for myself!
Director F. Gary Gray (The Fate of the Furious) is really ramping up an awesome cast for Sony Picture's new Men in Blackfilm! We previously learned that Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson were teaming back up for the film and now, according to Variety, Liam Neeson is in talks to join them!
According to the report, Neeson will play the head of the U.K. branch of the agency, who was originally played by Rip Torn in the original films. This would be a fun role for Neeson to take on and there's no doubt that he'll be great in the film.
We still don't know much about the plot of the film, but we do know that it will not be a reboot. This will be set in the same universe as the original films. There's also a teaser poster for the film that we shared yesterday that you can see here.
Matt Holloway and Art Marcum are writing the script and the movie will be released on May 17, 2019. Are you excited to hear that Liam Neeson is joining the film?
A lot of fans have been wondering what exactly Damon Lindelof has planned for his HBO Watchmen series, especially after some character descriptions surfaced. Those descriptions have nothing to do with anything from Alan Moore's graphic novel, which seemed to worry fans a bit.
Well, Lindelof recently shared a heartfelt letter on social media sharing his honest thoughts regarding Watchmen, his history with it, and what he plans on doing with the series. It's in this lengthy letter that he reveals the series will not be an adaptation of Alan Moore's work. It also won't be a sequel. But, it will be set in the same universe. He explains:
"We have no desire to ‘adapt’ the twelve issues Mr. Moore and Mr. Gibbons created thirty years ago. Those issues are sacred ground and will not be retread nor recreated nor reproduced nor rebooted. They will however be remixed. Because the bass lines in those familiar tracks are just too good and we’d be fools not to sample them. Those original twelve issues are our Old Testament. When the New Testament came along it did not erase what came before it. Creation. The Garden of Eden. Abraham and Isaac. The Flood. It all happened. And so it will be with Watchmen. The Comedian died. Dan and Laurie fell in love. Ozymandias saved the world and Dr. Manhattan left it just after blowing Rorschach to pieces in the bitter cold of Antarctica."
I know that sounds like the series could be a sequel, but it's not. Lindelof goes on to offer the following information regarding the setting and tone:
"This story will be set in the world its creators painstakingly built…but in the tradition of the work that inspired it, this new story must be original. It has to vibrate with the seismic unpredictability of its own tectonic plates. It must ask new questions and explore the world through a fresh lens. Most importantly, it must be contemporary. The Old Testament was specific to the Eighties of Reagan and Thatcher and Gorbachev. Ours needs to resonate with the frequency of Trump and May and Putin and the horse that he rides around on, shirtless. And speaking of Horsemen, The End of the World is off the table…which means the heroes and villains–as if the two are distinguishable–are playing for different stakes entirely."
I'm actually ok with this. I'm fine with the fact that they aren't going to try to adapt the graphic novel again! If they want to do develop a series set in the same universe that tells an original story with original characters, that's great! It'll certainly make things more interesting! I think this is the right direction for the series to go.
You can read the full letter from Lindelof below. It's a really interesting read as it's so many different things. He is definitely defending his Watchman series, though. The guy has had an interesting history with studios wanting him to work on Watchmen. The guy is a true fan of the source material, which is why he doesn't want to touch it. He realizes it's sacred, but now, with this series, he's just hoping to add something new to the world that Moore and Dave Gibbons created. As a fan of Lindelof, I can't wait to see what he delivers!
What do you all think of his plans for this Watchmen series? Here's the full letter:
Dear Fans of Watchmen,
Hello there. My name is Damon Lindelof and I am a writer. I am also the unscrupulous bastard currently defiling something that you love.
But that’s not all that I am.
I am a twelve-year old boy being handed the first two issues by my father. “You’re not ready for this,” he growls with a glint of mischief in his eye. My parents have recently divorced and he has gone rogue, so there I am in my bed, flashlight beam illuminating pages, watching the Comedian fall again and again and again. The old man was wrong. I am ready for this. Because this was written just for me. I am thirty-eight. A man offers me the opportunity to adapt Watchmen for television. The filmed adaptation came out less than a year ago, but that doesn’t matter. I tell him I am not interested and that perhaps he should let sleeping dogs lie with hopes they will eventually be run over by a car tire, bursting their stomachs. He does not get the reference.
I am watching my father haggle with a man in a wheelchair. I am fifteen years old and we are at a comic book convention in New York City, long before attending a comic book convention was something anyone wanting to ever have sex with another person would admit to. I definitely want to have sex with another person. My father finally harangues the merchant down to thirty dollars for a guaranteed authentic screenplay of Watchmen, soon to be a major motion picture! Now, he reads aloud from the script as “The Watchmen” battle terrorists at The Statue of Liberty. Something is wrong. The old man’s brow furrows, scanning the text in a mixture of disappointment and rage, a child who has just been told that Santa didn’t bring him presents this year, then robbed the house and beat up his parents. “What the fuck is this?” my father mutters. It is the first time he swears in front of me.
Another man offers me the opportunity to adapt Watchmen for television. I am forty now. I tell him someone else asked me to do this a year ago and I declined. He inquires as to why I said no. I tell him that Alan Moore has been consistently explicit in stating that Watchmen was written for a very specific medium and that medium is comics, comics that would be ruined should they be translated into moving images. The Another Man pauses for a moment, then responds – “Who’s Alan Moore?”
I am twenty-three and living in Los Angeles. My father flies out from New Jersey for my birthday and gives me a present, a new edition of the “graphic novel” that is Watchmen. He explains to me that this is the publisher’s way of retaining the rights to the characters. He tells me that Dan and Adrian and Jon and Walter and Laurie are all serfs, working the land for a Feudal Lord that will never grant them freedom. My father is more than a little drunk.. More so, he is a hypocrite for buying me the new edition. “I know, I know…” he says, that same mischievous glint from years ago obscured by now thicker lenses, “But it’s so goddamned good.”
Yet Another Man offers me the opportunity to adapt Watchmen for television. “Just a pilot,” he says, “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.” I am forty-three now and I am thinking about something I read about Orthodox Judaism. While most religions are cultivated by evangelizing and conversion, Orthodox Judaism doesn’t solicit. If someone from another faith wishes to become an Orthodox Jew, they are rejected. If they are stubborn enough to ask again, they are denied even more harshly. But should they have the audacity to ask a third time? The door cracks open. And if they’re willing to invest an immense amount of time and effort and sacrifice and faith, they are embraced into the fold. Why am I thinking about this? I have said no to Watchmen twice now. This makes me Orthodox Judaism. I crack the door. And now I’m a hypocrite too.
I am standing over my father’s hospital bed. I am twenty-nine, the last age at which I will consider myself “young.” The breathing tube was removed two hours ago and they said he wouldn’t last longer than fifteen minutes. It’s a cliché. I’m living a trope. He is unconscious and unable to impart final wisdom nor tell me he was proud all along, even though he never said it out loud. There is no beeping machine showing his weakening heartrate. My father is beyond machines. I hold his cool hand and try not to pray to God because he detested the very idea of God so instead I pray to his gods. I pray to Cthulhu. I pray to 42, the Eternal Cosmic Number. I pray to Dr. Manhattan, far away in a galaxy less complicated than this one. The television is on and the Lakers win the championship. My father never cared about basketball. He didn’t even know the rules. When he dies, I finally understand that I don’t know the rules either. No one does.
I am forty-five and I am writing a letter to the fans. The fans of Watchmen. It’s unnecessarily wordy and an exercise in oversharing, but nothing gets people on your side more than telling them about the moment your father died. Sharing such intimate details with strangers feels needy and pathetic and exploitative and yucky and necessary and freeing. I am also looking for an elegant way to escape from this device of quantum observance, a device appropriated from Mr. Moore so that I can speak to those fans from the bottom of my cold, thieving heart. Perhaps I could switch from referring to them in the third person and shift into the second, thus bringing them closer to the first?
Would that be amenable to you?
First and foremost, if you are angry that I’m working on Watchmen, I am sorry. You may be thinking I can’t be that sorry or I wouldn’t be doing it. I concede the point, but I hope it doesn’t invalidate the apology, which I offer with sincerity and respect.
Respect. That’s second and twicemost. I have an immense amount of respect for Alan Moore. He is an extraordinary talent of mythic proportion. I wrote him a letter, parts of which are not dissimilar to this one, because I owed him an explanation as to why I’m defying his wishes and to humbly ask him not to place a curse on me because he knows magic and apparently, he can do that. His response, or whether he responded at all, is between he and I. Suffice to say, even before I sent it, Mr. Moore had made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t want anyone to “adapt” his work. To do so is hubris. Worse yet, it’s unethical.
There are a million ways to rationalize unethical behavior – I could argue that Mr. Moore’s partner, the brilliant artist, Dave Gibbons, is equally entitled to authorize access to his masterwork and that he has been kind enough to offer us his blessing to do so. Or I could offer that Mr. Moore cut his veined teeth on the creations of others; Batman, Superman, Captain Britain, Marvelman (he’ll never be “Miracleman” to me), Swamp Thing and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, not to mention The Charlton characters upon whom his Watchmen characters are based… So am I not allowed to do the same?
No. I am not. I am not allowed. And yet…
I am compelled.
I am compelled despite the inevitable pushback and hatred I will understandably receive for taking on this particular project. This ire will be maximally painful because of its source. That source being you.
The true fans.
I once said that if one were a true fan of something, they weren’t allowed to hate it. A prominent writer took me to task for such heresy, arguing that just because one was the creator of a show, this did not permit them to pick and choose who was and wasn’t a fan of it.
The writer went on to win a Pulitzer for television criticism. I went on to get snubbed by the Razzies for Prometheus.
As such, I concede this point, too. After all, even the most fervent lifelong fan of, oh, let’s say the New York Jets, is allowed to shout at the top of his lungs, “YOU SUCK OH MY GOD YOU SUUUUUUUUUCKIII II” and do so while wearing a replica Namath Jersey he purchased for an ungodly sum of money that may or may not have constituted his entire first paycheck on Nash Bridges. But the point.
The point is, you love Watchmen. That gives you the right to hate it, too. Because no matter what… You’re still true fans. But to quote the immortal P.W. Herman…
“I know you are… But what am IT’ What am I? I’m a true fan, too. And I’m not the only one.
What I love most about television is that the finished product is a result not of singular vision, but the collective experience of many brilliant minds. I have the pleasure of sitting in a Writers Room each and every day that is as diverse and combative as any I’ve ever been a part of. In that room, Hetero White Men like myself are in the minority and as Watchmen is (incorrectly) assumed to be solely our domain, understanding its potential through the perspectives of women, people of color and the LGBTQ community has been as eye-opening as it has been exhilarating. We’ve committed to doing the same in front of and behind the camera. And every single person involved with this show absolutely adores Watchmen. But in the spirit of complete honesty, we also sorta want to… uh…
Except I hate that word because now it’s not disruptive anymore. And how can I present as punk rock when I’m now cozy in bed, spooning with Warner Brothers, HBO and DC? Truth be told, everyone there, particularly Geoff Johns (who is as true fan as it gets) has been extraordinarily supportive. Sure, it’s fun to kick around the comic corporate overlords for exploiting writers and artists, but we all know what happened to Jack Kirby and we’re still first in line for every Marvel film. So… how do we answer the challenge of when it is appropriate to appropriate?
Which brings us to the most important part. Maybe the only part that really matters. Our creative intentions.
We have no desire to “adapt” the twelve issues Mr. Moore and Mr. Gibbons created thirty years ago. Those issues are sacred ground and they will not be retread nor recreated nor reproduced nor rebooted.
They will, however be remixed. Because the bass lines in those familiar tracks are just too good and we’d be fools not to sample them. Those original twelve issues are our Old Testament. When the New Testament came along, it did not erase what came before it. Creation. The Garden of Eden. Abraham and Isaac. The Flood. It all happened. And so it will be with Watchmen. The Comedian died. Dan and Laurie fell in love. Ozymandias saved the world and Dr. Manhattan left it just after blowing Rorschach to pieces in the bitter cold of Antarctica.
To be clear. Watchmen is canon.
Just the way Mr. Moore wrote it, the way Mr. Gibbons drew it and the way the brilliant John Higgins colored it.
But we are not making a “sequel” either. This story will be set in the world its creators painstakingly built… but in the tradition of the work that inspired it, this new story must be original. It has to vibrate with the seismic unpredictability of its own tectonic plates. It must ask new questions and explore the world through a fresh lens. Most importantly, it must be contemporary.
The Old Testament was specific to the Eighties of Reagan and Thatcher and Gorbachev… ours needs to resonate with the frequency of Trump and May and Putin and the horse that he rides around on, shirtless. And speaking of Horsemen, The End of The World is off the table (THE LEFTOVERS! NOW STREAMING ON HBO GO!) which means the heroes and villains — as if the two are distinguishable — are playing for different stakes entirely. The tone will be fresh and nasty and electric and absurd. Many describe Watchmen as “dark,” but I’ve always loved its humor -worshipping at the altar of the genre whilst simultaneously trolling it. As such…
Some of the characters will be unknown. New faces. New masks to cover them. We also intend to revisit the past century of Costumed Adventuring through a surprising, yet familiar set of eyes… and it is here where we’ll be taking our greatest risks. Risk is imperative. I need the feeling in my stomach before I leap from a great height without knowing the depth of the water below. If my body should shatter upon impact, at least it was in pursuit of glory. And let’s be honest… Isn’t there a small part of you that wants to see me explode like a fleshy watermelon?
But hopefully, there’s also a part that wants to experience something sort of amazing. As for what I want? I want your validation. I also want not to want it. I’ve given up the opioid highs of Twitter, but continue to score my methadone in the threads of Reddit and the hot takes of morning-after recappers. I’ll be reading and watching and listening to what you have to say because even though I wish I didn’t…
I deeply care about what you think. Which brings us, Thank God, to the end of the missive. Endings. I’m GREAT at them. A wise, blue man once said that nothing ever ends.
But maybe he wasn’t wise. Maybe he was just scared and alone and sad that he would outlive everything and everyone he ever loved. So I hope this isn’t the last time we correspond, fellow fans… after all, it’s just a pilot and we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. But maybe… if everything works out the way I hope it does… and if you’re willing to give me a chance, it’s not the end at all…
I'm sure you're all familiar with that lovely sweet musky smell of Play-Doh. Well, Hasbro has successfully trademarked the scent! When it comes to trademarked scents, they must be proven to "serve no important practical function other than to help identify and distinguish a brand. The smell of an air freshener or a women's perfume wouldn't count, for example."
That's interesting. I didn't even realize you could trademark a smell, but Hasbro did it with Play-Doh! Hasbro had this to say in their announcement:
The trademarked scent, which Hasbro formally describes as a unique scent formed through the combination of a sweet, slightly musky, vanilla-like fragrance, with slight overtones of cherry, and the natural smell of a salted, wheat-based dough, makes the PLAY-DOH brand one of the few active and certainly most famous scent trademarks in the country...
"The scent of PLAY-DOH compound has always been synonymous with childhood and fun," said Jonathan Berkowitz, senior vice president of Global Marketing for the PLAY-DOH brand. "By officially trademarking the iconic scent, we are able to protect an invaluable point of connection between the brand and fans for years to come."
I don't blame them for wanting to Trademark the scent. It is pretty iconic. It's been years since I've played with Play-Doh, but I used to play with it all the time and it's not hard to remember the smell that it had. Now I need to go buy some Play-Doh just to smell it again!
The next step is to trademark the taste! Ya gotta love the taste of Play-Doh!
Sony recently released the first promo poster for the new Men in Black movie that appears to be a spin-off. As you can tell, not much is shown outside of the return of sunglasses and what appears to be a room of some kind reflecting in them. The poster also confirms a release in Summer 2019.
I loved Men in Black when it first came out. I was just a kid, but it was a really fun movie. I don’t remember really caring for the second one, and I never did see the third. I’m torn on how I feel about the spin-off film that Sony is planning on doing with Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson. On the one hand, I’m sick of all these reboots, revivals, sequels, and spin-offs, but on the other hand, it was a fun premise and these are two great actors.
According to CB, the film takes place in the same universe and will not be a reboot. Thompson and Hemsworth are said to be new characters, but Agent J and Agent K will have existed and will be considered canon.
Men in Black will be directed by F. Gary Gray from Fate of the Furious and the script was penned by Iron Man writers Matt Holloway and Art Marcum. The film is currently expected to be released on June 14, 2019.
If you’re a fan of Studio Ghibli, and want their films on Blu-ray, run over to Amazon right now! Many of the studio’s titles are on sale for less than $20 with many being about $13. Here’s a small list of the $13 titles, but you can find all titles here.
Spirited Away Kiki’s Delivery Service My Neighbor Totoro Castle in the Sky From Up on Poppy Hill Princess Mononoke Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
In addition to these great titles, if you’re a fan of Avatar The Last Airbender (whether you consider it anime or not), you’ll want to grab the Blu-ray box set that is currently 33% off for a total of $29.99 right now. I have no idea when or if any of these deals will end, so you’ll want to snatch them up ASAP.
I was first introduced to How It Should Have Ended years ago when they only had a handful of videos. My favorites to this day are the ones for Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. However, they just released a video for Black Panther and it addresses one of my problems with the film, why didn’t T’Chaka take Killmonger back to Wakanda after murdering N’Jobu. Overall this video is just for fun, but it does raise some questions.