Report from Newsy McNewserson

I have a smattering of genre news bits for you that caught my attention over the past couple weeks or so. Let’s get right to ’em…

1) Some of you may remember when I wrote last year about the live-action adaptation being developed of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s “Y: The Last Man” comic series. While I liked the comic, I was very disappointed in the direction Vaughan and the showrunners, Michael Green and Aida Mashaka Croal, had decided to take the TV version. Well, Green and Croal recently tweeted that:

“FX has decided not to move forward with our series in its current form…. We hoped to reward their talent and their trust not just with success but with a show that had something to say, in a time when things must be said. As Y fans ourselves, we hope the future allows just that.”

That suits me just fine. However, given Vaughan’s earlier statements, I have no confidence that things will turn out much better. (For example, the fact that they changed the Yorick character from amateur magician/escape artist into a “brilliant young geneticist” is just wrong, imho.) And, yes, FX is still moving forward with the project, though we don’t know, yet, which if any of the impressive cast — who had been “scheduled to soon begin production for a 2020 debut” — are still attached.

2) Have you watched the season/series finale for “Gotham”, yet? (It airs the night after this gets posted.) Obviously, I haven’t, as of this writing. But, the trailer was rather titillating, with Penguin and Riddler getting more iconic looks, the disfigured inmate J(oker), and other characters, all of which happens after a 10-year jump forward.

One character that was not fully revealed in the trailer was Catwoman. However, it was announced that Camren Bicondova decided to opt out of trying to play a 10-years-older version of Selina Kyle, so she happily passed the baton (and her blessing) to Lili Simmons. Bicondova tweeted:

“It’s important to me that I’m the one to tell you this because it was a choice that I made…. I firmly believe that part of leaving a legacy and being part of a legacy means knowing when to pass the torch to someone else. I was blessed to be the vessel for Selina Kyle for her formative teen years, and it only felt right to give someone else the torch for her adult self….”

A mature decision and probably the right one. Now, if only they had replaced David Mazouz — a slender 5’9.5″ with still-boyish appearance– as Bruce Wayne / Batman. I am glad that they jumped the show/characters forward 10 years, with Bruce having been away all that time, presumably learning all kinds of skills and knowledge. But, it will be a stretch to accept him as a 27-year-old, let alone as the imposing, scary crimefighter known as the ‘Batman’. Let’s hope Mazouz at least had time to bulk up some before they shot the finale.

3) “The Gifted” is not being renewed for a 3rd season. Apparently, despite being rated consistently well at IMDB, the show’s actual rating in the key 18-49 demographic went from bad in Season 1 to worse in Season 2. “Black Lightning”, however, despite lower IMDB ratings, has been picked up for a 3rd season. I have mixed feelings about both. I (mostly) enjoy both shows, yet I don’t always look forward to watching them. They both have interesting elements, but neither has lived up to my hopes for them. For “The Gifted”, at least, it looks like I wasn’t the only one disappointed. [Note: I’m still working my way through both shows, so I’m hoping the current seasons end well.]

4) Another genre show that was renewed for a second season is Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy”, based on the comic series — really, three (so far) mini-series — by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá. I never read the comics, nor have I watched the Netflix series, yet. (Looking forward to it, though.) Obviously, then, I can’t comment on the adaptation or its faithfulness to the source material. From what I understand, though, both the comics and TV show are quite popular, so I’m sure the fans are rejoicing at this news. (Especially since the first season ended on a cliffhanger!)

5) The cast and crew of DC’s new “Swamp Thing” show got a bit of a shock the other day.

“The currently in-production project is being shut down earlier than expected as its producer, Warner Bros., evaluates the future of its DC Universe streaming service, on which the series was scheduled to premiere May 31, according to several sources within the local industry.”

The original 13-episode order is being cut to 10, with a bit of additional footage expected to shoot “to give the season a conclusion”.

6) The Season 2 trailer for “Krypton” dropped and… it looks good. Zod is now in control, Seg-El leads the rebellion, creepy Brainiac guy is still around (hangin’ out in a forest, apparently), the Doomsday creature is (or will be) loose, and everyone’s favorite Czarnian, Lobo, shows up. This does not bode well for Seg and his friends. As in the first season, the effects are pretty cool, and we may even get a spaceship or two. Doomsday looks a helluva lot better than the version from Man of Steel. Lobo, on the other hand, is just another alien with a British accent. What little can be seen and heard on the trailer, he sounds like John Constantine from “Legends of Tomorrow”, except with a beefier, Czarnian look. (The actor, Emmett J. Scanlan, appeared twice on the “Constantine” series.) Not enough fraggin’ muscles, though, and not enough attitude, if ya ask me. Still, I generally liked the series in Season 1, and I’m sure I’ll (eventually) watch Season 2.

7) Finally, a couple updates re the Picard-centered Star Trek series. First, four new castmembers have been added since I posted about the show: Australian newcomer Evan Evagora, Allison Pill (“The Newsroom”, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), Harry Treadaway (“Penny Dreadful”, “Mr. Mercedes”), and relative newcomer Isa Briones (“American Crime Story”). Assuming they have all been cast for the main characters described in my earlier post, my money is on Evagora as young Romulan “K’Bar” and Treadaway as either “Lawrence” or “Starton”. Pill is also 30-something, so she could play “Connie” (originally described as African-American) or, I suppose, “Lawrence” or “Starton” (originally described as male). Briones is most likely “Indira”, though if they re-wrote the “K’Bar” character as female, she could play that one.

Michael Chabon, one of the writers and executive producers, provided our second update. He announced the other day that the series had officially begun production in California. And, while Hanelle Culpepper is still directing the first two hours of the show, Jonathan Frakes will be helming the second two. Yaayyy!

Comms off for this week….

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