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    The hit zombie title '68 is set to launch a new miniseries from writer Mark Kidwell, artist Jeff Zornow and colourist Jay Fotos next week with the arrival of '68: Rule of War, and we've got a preview for you right here....

    In a doom-shadowed Cambodia infested with the living dead, CIA Special Agent Declan Rule and his canine companion Nero stalk a human monster, a neurosurgeon bent on carrying out grisly experiments that turn P.O.W.s into vicious instruments of war. In Vietnam, Private Kuen Yam and his ragtag band of survivors battle their way across a murderous no-man’s-land in a desperate search for a ticket to the skies. The war is over, but the battle for humanity’s survival has just begun. Courage will be tested, sanity will be pushed to the breaking point and the rules of war...will be broken. 

    '68: Rule of War #1 is out on Wednesday, priced $3.99.

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    Our weekly round up of the latest stories from the world of screen superheroes, including Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Big Hero 6, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Force, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Batman vs. Superman, Catwoman, Gotham, Son of Batman, Arrow, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and more...

    Marvel Studios may have started rolling out its latest Phase Two offering in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but it was Avengers: Age of Ultron that grabbed most of the Cinematic Universe headlines this week as principal photography on Joss Whedon's hotly-anticipated sequel got underway in Italy (doubling for Serbia). The shoot revolved around a big action sequence, with Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) battling a load of guys in mocap suits, as well as a stand in for James Spader's Ultron. Be sure to check out the set photos and video (including a good look at Hawkeye's new costume), which we've got for you here, here, here, here and here...

    ...While Hawkeye and the Maximoff twins battled the maniacal A.I., a couple of other cast members took a moment to speak briefly about the sequel, with Samuel L.Jackson suggesting that we'll be seeing little more than a glorified cameo from Nick Fury, and Robert Downey Jr. sharing some of his enthusiasm for suiting up once again in the follow-up to 2012's mega-blockbuster The Avengers: "This one is a very ambitious sequel. If you read it, it’s dense, it’s smart. Joss Whedon is a really smart guy. My 2-year-old is crazy about Hawkeye, and I think Jeremy Renner has a lot to do with the plot. There’s always so many plates to spin to get these things half-right, and I’m really excited about this one..."

    ...And so we come to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which is set to hit North American theaters on Friday after opening here in the UK this past Wednesday. For those yet to see the film, Marvel has released plenty of new promotional material, including a featurette and a couple of TV spots [see here and here], an Agent 13 (Emily VanCamp) character poster [see here], a rather splendid 70s-styled cast and crew poster from artist Paulo Rivera [see here], and a batch of new images featuring Cap (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo) [see here]. Meanwhile, we've also got a couple of ★★★★ reviews that you can read here and here, as well as a competition with three merchandise packs up for grabs, each consisting of T-shirt, baseball cap, stickers and coasters. It's open to U.K. residents only I'm afraid, but if that's you, then you can enter here...

    ...It would seem that Chris Evans' Captain America is living on borrowed time, with Evans revealing this week that he plans to retire from acting after his Marvel contract runs out with The Avengers 3: "I’ve known for a while I wanted to direct. But (time) never really opens up. There’s another movie to do, there’s another acting job. It just got to a point where I was like, you know what — I have to do this. If I’m acting at all, it’s going to be under Marvel contract, or I’m going to be directing. I can’t see myself pursuing acting strictly outside of what I’m contractually obligated to do... We can do this out loud. [Avengers: Age of Ultron] will shoot till August. I wouldn’t be surprised if for all of 2015, we didn’t do a movie. I bet by 2017, I’ll be done..."

    ...Elsewhere in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn released a new image of former Doctor Who star Karen Gillan as the villainous Nebula in the upcoming cosmic ensemble, while Evangeline Lilly (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) was confirmed as joining Paul Rudd (Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues), Michael Douglas (Behind the Candelabra) and Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring) in the cast of Edgar Wright's Ant-Man, with Corey Stoll (House of Cards) also said to be up for an as-yet-unrevealed role...

    ...Shifting to the small screen and it's been announced that Joss Whedon regular Amy Acker (Angel, Dollhouse, Much Ado About Nothing) is set to appear in "at least one episode" of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the role of Audrey, the cellist love of Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), in a storyline that will also include Marcus Daniels, a.k.a. Blackout, who's set to be played by Patrick Brennan (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2) .But before then, the Agents are set to go up against J. August Richards' Deathlok in Tuesday's episode 'End of the Beginning', and we've got a poster featuring the cyborg here, as well as two clips here and here...

    ...In other Marvel TV news, the studio's Head of Television Jeph Loeb has given us some indication as to the timescale for the upcoming Netflix miniseries, with Loeb stating that production on Drew Goddard's (The Cabin in the Woods) Daredevil is set to get underway in New York City in July, and that "Jessica Jones comes after that, and then after that, Iron Fist and then after that Luke Cage, and then that'll culminate in The Defenders." So, we should probably expect to hear who'll succeed Ben Affleck as the Man Without Fear before too long...

    ...Before we finish up with Disney's various Marvel projects, the Mouse House's upcoming animated movie Big Hero 6 has secured its first cast member, with T.J. Miller (How to Train Your Dragon, Transformers: Age of Extinction) set to lend his voice to Fred, "an aspiring low-budget filmmaker [who] originally volunteered to be a test subject for the the robot experiments by Tadashi, but then stuck around to help the Tech Lab research team with their projects."Big Hero 6 is being directed by Don Hall (Winnie the Pooh) and Chris Williams (Bolt) and is based upon the Marvel comic book series of the same name from Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Rouleau and is scheduled to hit cinemas on November 7th...

    ...Almost five months after the arrival of the first teaser, 20th Century Fox finally followed up with an action-packed second trailer for Bryan Singer's mutant sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past, which was accompanied by a new Photoshop-heavy poster and a 'Roll Call' TV spot that shows off the impressive roster of characters including Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Storm (Halle Berry), Quicksilver (Evan Peters), Magneto (Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender), Professor X (Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Sunspot (Adan Canto), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), Colossus (Daniel Cudmore) and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence)...

    ...A couple of weeks ago Fox announced that X-Men: Days of Future Past, 2015's The Fantastic Four and 2016's X-Men: Apocalypse would be joined by The Wolverine sequel and The Fantastic Four 2 in 2017 and a mystery Marvel movie in 2018, and if (with the emphasis on "if") Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld is to be believed, said mystery movie will see the Merc with the Mouth returning to the screen for the Jeff Wadlow-scripted spin-off X-Force. We should probably await official confirmation before it's taken as a given, but unless the studio is keen to push through with the rumoured X-Men vs. Fantastic Four, then X-Force would appear to be the best bet for the slot...

    ...Sony may have delivered the final trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 a couple of weeks back, but the studio's marketing department hasn't slowed down the promotional blitz for the superhero sequel ahead of its release in just a few short months. As well as a promo image of Andrew Garfield's wall-crawler [see here], we've seen a trio of new TV spots [see here], a new Daily Bugle viral article from J. Jonah Jameson [see here], and a couple of batches of new stills, giving us our best look yet at Dane DeHaan's Green Goblin and Paul Giamatti's Rhino [see here and here]. Meanwhile, Felicity Jones' mystery character has now been confirmed [see here, if you want to be spoiled... although it's not really much of a surprise if you've been keeping track of the rumours surrounding the sequel], and Flickering Myth's Thomas Harris was lucky enough to be invited to a special 30-minute preview of footage from the film; you can read his spoiler free thoughts here. And, if you fancy becoming Spidey for the day, we've linked up with Morphsuits to offer five readers the chance to do just that (well, kind of) in out ultimate Spider-Man Experience giveaway, which you can enter here...

    ...Moving on to Warner Bros. and its DC projects and while Jesse Eisenberg has refused to give anything away about his role as Lex Luthor in Batman vs. Superman - jokingly telling MTV that he's not allowed to say anything about the film for the next six years - screenwriter David S. Goyer has offered up a few words about the Man of Steel sequel, specifically how he looked to balance the characters of Superman (Henry Cavill), Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) within the script: "I always try my best to honor every character. When you’re dealing with big iconic characters, there’s a lot of fan pressure to get it right, and I respect that and admire that passion enormously. At the same time, you can’t let your creative process be too crowded by that or distracted by it. It’s not always one uniform opinion of how you should portray this character or that character. I think I’ve done a pretty good job of walking that razor’s edge. You just have to do your best and know what’s out there, but at the same time, follow your own muse." Meanwhile, an image has surfaced online which reportedly shows Henry Cavill dressed in Christopher Reeve's iconic Superman suit during his Man of Steel audition - take a look here...

    ...Dwayne Johnson has been teasing an upcoming DC role for months now, and The Rock was at it again this week, stating at CinemaCon that he's reached an agreement with Warner Bros. to play "an extremely complex, well known (but never played) bad ass MF" who isn't the John Stewart incarnation of Green Lantern: "So, you know, there’s been mutual interest with myself and DC for many years to find the right character. I, like everyone here in the room, love superheroes. So there’s been mutual interest with us for years, and we’ve been having ongoing discussions, myself and DC, for years about the right character, what the right character would be. That’s another thing, too: It had to be right. The first quality we were looking for was that he had to be extremely complex and have a lot going on. What that does for me as an actor and the studio is it gives us space that we can explore; his complexities. The other quality was that he had to – the character we were looking for had to be well-known but never brought to life. Then what that does again as an actor, it gives me a little bit of space, and we talked about personality. It just gives me a chance to put an imprint into his personality, with the set of tools that I could bring to the table and put a very unique twist on his personality, but still pay homage to who he is. The third thing – and most important – is he had to be a badass motherfucker, OK, and on a Superman level of power, where [he] could throw down. In those three qualities, I’m happy we’ve found that character." So, who could this character be? Lobo? Black Adam? Cyborg? Martian Manhunter? Let us know your thoughts...

    ...While it would seem that there's absolutely no chance of this ever happening, The Dark Knight Rises star Anne Hathaway has admitted that she'd be open to reprising the role of Catwoman, either as part of DC's Cinematic Universe or a standalone movie based around the feline femme fatale, stating that: "I would love it if that happened, no one's talked to me about it and I think that its probably not going to happen, but that would be pretty cool..."

    ...On the small screen, Fox has continued to unveil the cast of its upcoming Batman prequel series Gotham, giving us official character shots for Ben McKenzie (The O.C.) as Detective Jim Gordon, Sean Pertwee (Dog Soldiers) as Alfred Pennyworth and Robin Lord Taylor (Another Earth) as Oswald Cobblepot. The pilot for Gotham is currently shooting under director Danny Cannon (Judge Dredd), with a cast that also includes for Donal Logue (Sons of Anarchy) as Detective Harvey Bullock, newcomer Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle, David Mazouz (Touch) as Bruce Wayne, Jada Pinkett Smith (The Matrix) as Fish Mooney, Zabryna Guevara (The Guilt Trip) as Detective Essen, Erin Richards (Being Human) as Barbara Kean and Drew Powell (Malcolm in the Middle) as Butch Gilzean...

    ...In other Dark Knight-related news, Warner Bros. has released a new still of Killer Croc from the upcoming animated movie Son of Batman, while Batman voice actor Jason O'Mara (Justice League: War) was a guest on the latest instalment of DC All Access, during which he discussed his work on the upcoming DC Universe Animated Original Movie, as well as introducing a new clip [see here]. Son of Batman is set for release on May 6th, with a voice cast that also includes Stuart Allan (Rise of the Guardians) as Damian Wayne / Robin, Morena Baccarin (Homeland) as Talia, Giancarlo Esposito (Once Upon a Time) as Ra's Al Ghul, David McCallum (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) as Alfred Pennyworth, Xander Berkeley (24) as Kirk Langstrom / Man-Bat, Fred Tatasciore (Avengers Assemble) as Killer Croc and Thomas Gibson (Criminal Minds) as Deathstroke / Slade Wilson...

    ...And speaking of Slade Wilson, Deathstroke is set to put his plan for revenge against Oliver Queen into action in this week's Arrow; check out two promos for the 'Deathstroke' episode here, which is described as follows: "OLIVER’S WORLD STARTS TO CRUMBLE — Slade (Manu Bennett) makes his move against Oliver (Stephen Amell) and the repercussions are enormous. While Oliver scrambles to protect his family, a key player in his team starts to question Oliver’s decisions. Meanwhile, Isabel (guest star Summer Glau) makes her move to take Queen Consolidated away from Oliver..."

    ...And finally, this week has given us our first look at director Jonathan Leibesman (Wrath of the Titans) and producer Michael Bay's (Transformers: Age of Extinction) upcoming live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, with the first trailer for the film arriving online, as well as some new promo artwork featuring the Heroes in a Half-Shell. Did it do much to quell the controversy? Well, our writing team wasn't overly impressed, to say the least. Check out our thoughts in the latest Flickering Myth Reaction

    Holy Franchise, Batman! Bringing the Caped Crusader to the Screen - Available now via and

    Gary Collinson

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    American screenwriter Lorenzo Semple, Jr. - best known for his work as co-creator of the classic 1960s Batman television series - has passed away from natural causes at his home in Los Angeles, California, aged 91. Born in New York City in 1923, Semple began his career in the 1950s, writing short stories and stage plays, including the comedy The Golden Fleecing which was produced for the screen by MGM as 1961's The Honeymoon Machine, starring Steve McQueen.

    After moving to Hollywood, Semple collaborated with William Dozier on a pilot entitled Number One Son, which was ultimately shelved due to concerns about having an ethnic lead. However, he would reunite with Dozier in 1965 after being approached to write the pilot episode for a Batman TV series, and subsequently served as story editor on the resulting first season of the series, which proved to be a huge success, as well as the 1966 feature film Batman: The Movie and the television spin-off The Green Hornet.

    Following his work on Batman, Semple went on to pen a number of feature films, including Pretty Poison (1968), Papillon (1973), The Parallax View (1974), The Drowning Pool (1975), Three Days of the Condor (1975), King Kong (1976), Flash Gordon (1980) and Never Say Never Again (1983).

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    From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series renewed for second seasonRobert Rodriguez's El Rey Network has announced that the small screen adaptation of From Dusk Till Dawn is to return for a second season of thirteen episodes, which will air next year. "This is a truly unique property and one that has really resonated for viewers," states Rodriguez. "It has been a joy to bring these characters back to life and have the opportunity to take our storytelling to a whole new place. We look forward to going back into production later this year and are excited about raising the bar even higher in season two."

    Based upon Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino's cult 1996 movie, From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series stars D.J. Cotrona (Dear John, G.I. Joe: Retaliation) and Zane Holtz (Holes, The Perks of Being a Wallflower) taking over from George Clooney and Tarantino as the Gecko brothers, while the rest of the cast includes Robert Patrick (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, The X-Files) as Jacob Fuller, Madison Davenport (Save Me, Shameless) as Kate Fuller, Brandon Soo Hoo (Tropic Thunder, Ender’s Game) as Scott Fuller, Don Johnson (Django Unchained, Nash Bridges) as Sheriff Earl McGraw, Adrianne Palicki (Friday Night Lights, G.I. Joe: Retaliation) as Vanessa Styles, Jake Busey (Starship Troopers, Enemy of the State) as Professor Aiden Tanner, Lane Garrison (Bonnie & Clyde, Prison Break) as Pete and Eiza González(Lola: Érase Una Vez) as Santánico Pandemonium.

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    After his last two shows didn't fare so well, Michael Chiklis is looking for a new star and it has been reported that The Shield and Fantastic Four star is set to join the fourth season of the FX series American Horror Story.

    The fourth season will be titled Freak Show and is set to take place in Jupiter, Florida in 1950, with Jessica Lange as a German ex-pat who manages one of the last freak.shows in the U.S. Chiklis is set to play the father of Evan Peters' character and the ex-husband of Kathy Bates' character.

    This news of Chiklis' casting was announced at the American Horror Story: Coven panel at PaleyFest. Along with Lange, Bates and Peters, cast members from previous seasons including Angela Basset, Sarah Paulson and Frances Conroy will be returning for the fourth season, which will premiere in October.

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    Captain America: The Winter Soldier
    For our friends across the Pond still waiting for the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Marvel Studios has debuted a new TV spot featuring some previously unseen footage from the Phase Two blockbuster, which you can watch right here after the official synopsis....

    "After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy — the Winter Soldier."

    Captain America: The Winter Soldier is out now in the UK and opens on April 4th in North America, with Chris Evans (Captain America), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Sebastian Stan (Winter Soldier), Cobie Smulders (Agent Maria Hill), Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter), Toby Jones (Arnim Zola) and Maximiliano Hernandez (Agent Jasper Sitwell) joined in the cast by MCU newcomers Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker) as Sam Wilson / Falcon, Emily VanCamp (Revenge) as Sharon Carter / Agent 13, Frank Grillo (Zero Dark Thirty) as Brock Rumlow / Crossbones, George St-Pierre (Death Warrior) as Georges Batroc / Batroc the Leaper and Robert Redford (All Is Lost) as Alexander Pierce. Read our reviews here and here.

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  • 03/30/14--02:18: Preview of The Field #1
  • Image Comics is set to bring Christian Rock, dirty sex, meth and murder this coming week with the arrival of the first part of the four-issue miniseries The Field from Ed Brisson (Secret Avengers) and Simon Roy (Prophet); check out a preview of The Field #1 here...

    A man wakes in a field wearing nothing but his underwear. He's got no idea who he is or how he got there. His only connection to the outside world a cell phone on which he receives mysterious texts warning him of impending danger. Danger like Christian, an ex-bible sales-man in the middle of crime spree fueled by Christian Rock, dirty sex, meth, murder and keeping this underwear clad, nameless and pastless man close by his side. 

    The Field is out on Wednesday, priced $3.50.

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    Now that the 2014 superhero season is underway, we're counting down the days until the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Sony Pictures has debuted a new clip from the film which sees Spidey swinging his way around the streets of NYC...

    We’ve always known that Spider-Man’s most important battle has been within himself: the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man. But in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker finds that a greater conflict lies ahead.

    It’s great to be Spider-Man. For Peter Parker, there’s no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen. But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro, Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn, returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: OsCorp.

    The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is set for release on April 18th in the UK and on May 1st in North America, with returning stars Andrew Garfield (Spider-Man), Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy), Sally Field (Aunt May), Chris Zylka (Flash Thompson), Campbell Scott (Richard Parker), Embeth Davidtz (Mary Parker), Martin Sheen (Ben Parker) and Denis Leary (George Stacy) joined by new additions Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained) as Electro, Dane DeHaan (Chronicle) as Harry Osborn, Paul Giamatti (12 Years a Slave) as The Rhino, Chris Cooper (American Beauty) as Norman Osborn, Colm Feore (Thor) as Donald Menken, Felicity Jones (Like Crazy) as Felicia Hardy, Marton Csokas (The Lord of the Rings) as Dr. Kafka, B.J. Novak (The Office) as Alistair Smythe.

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    Following on from last week's teaser trailer [which you can watch here], Paramount Pictures has released an extended TV spot for the live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, which we've got for you right here....

    "The city needs heroes. Darkness has settled over New York City as Shredder and his evil Foot Clan have an iron grip on everything from the police to the politicians. The future is grim until four unlikely outcast brothers rise from the sewers and discover their destiny as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Turtles must work with fearless reporter April and her wise-cracking cameraman Vern Fenwick to save the city and unravel Shredder’s diabolical plan."

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is directed by Jonathan Leibesman (Wrath of the Titans) and produced by Michael Bay (Transformers: Age of Extinction), with a cast that includes Megan Fox (Transformers) as April O'Neil, Alan Ritchson (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) as Raphael, Pete Ploszek (Parks and Recreation) as Leonardo, Jeremy Howard (How the Grinch Stole Christmas) as Donatello, Noel Fisher (Battle Los Angeles) as Michaelangelo, Danny Woodburn (Seinfeld) as Splinter, William Fichtner (The Dark Knight) as The Shredder, Will Arnett (The LEGO Movie) as Vernon Fenwick, Whoopi Goldberg (Ghost) as Bernadette Thompson, and K. Todd Freeman (The Dark Knight) as Baxter Stockman.

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    A couple of weeks ago the fan favourite Batman villain Harley Quinn made her live-action debut with a brief cameo appearance in the 'Suicide Squad' episode of Arrow, where she was voiced by Batman: Arkham City's Tara Strong (watch the scene here), and now thanks to actor Michael Rowe (Deadshot) we've got our first look at up-and-coming actress Cassidy Alexa as Harley alongside Deadshot and Bronze Tiger (Michael Jai White), Shrapnel (Sean Maher), Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), and John Diggle (David Ramsey)...

    Cassidy Alexa as Harley Quinn in Arrow

    What do you make of Harley's look, and would you like to see more of the character on Arrow? Let us know your thoughts....

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    Back in September it was revealed that J.K. Rowling will script a spin-off from the blockbuster Harry Potter movie franchise, based upon her 2001 book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and now it's been revealed via The New York Times that Warner Bros. is actually planning to produce a trilogy of movies.

    "When I say [Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara] made Fantastic Beasts happen, it isn’t P.R.-speak but the literal truth," Rowling tells the newspaper. "We had one dinner, a follow-up telephone call, and then I got out the rough draft that I’d thought was going to be an interesting bit of memorabilia for my kids and started rewriting!"

    According to the report, the Fantastic Beasts trilogy will revolve around "magizoologist" Newt Scamander and will take place in New York around 70 years before the Harry Potter films, although they will not be considered as prequels to the adventures of the Boy Wizard.

    Are you looking forward to Rowling's Fantastic Beasts trilogy? Let us know your thoughts...

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    With fans of The Walking Dead gearing up for the show's hotly-anticipated fourth season finale tonight, AMC has revealed that the recently announced spin-off series has officially been given the green light, with writer-producer Dave Erickson (Sons of Anarchy) set to serve as showrunner, executive producer and co-writer alongside TWD creator Robert Kirkman and producer Gale Anne Hurd.

    The "companion show" to the hit zombie series was first announced back in September, and so far virtually nothing is known about the plans for the spin-off, save for the fact that it will revolve around a new group of characters in a different location. The original plan was to air the series in 2015 which means it will presumably join the network alongside the sixth season of The Walking Dead.

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    If you're a fan of Marvel movies, then you've certainly got plenty to look forward to between now and 2018. Marvel Studios has Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Captain America 3 and two other Phase Three movies (presumably Thor 3 and Doctor Strange) before culminating with The Avengers 3; Sony has The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Amazing Spider-Man 3, The Amazing Spider-Man 4 and spin-offs for Venom and The Sinister Six; and Fox has X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Fantastic Four, X-Men: Apocalypse, a sequel to The Wolverine, The Fantastic Four 2 and an as-yet-unconfirmed title.

    And if you're a fan of DC movies, you've got Batman vs. Superman...

    Yes, while Warner Bros. seems to have little trouble getting its small screen superhero offerings up and running - with the likes of The Flash, Gotham, Constantine and Hourman all in the works alongside The CW's hit show Arrow - the studio appears reluctant to pull the trigger on its post-Man of Steel"cinematic universe." However, according to a report over at The New York Times, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara has revealed that a DC film series "will be announced in the near future", which is expected to include the long-rumoured Justice League movie.

    It's been speculated that Warner Bros. would jump straight into a Justice League movie rather than building towards it with solo movies for its main superheroes, and it's certainly possible that the studio could use Batman vs. Superman as a lead-in to the team-up, with Ben Affleck's Batman and Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman set to be introduced alongside Henry Cavill's Superman and several other JL'ers rumoured for cameo appearances. However, by the same token, there's also the opportunity to use the Man of Steel sequel launch solo series for The Dark Knight and the Amazon Princess, while the studio has long held ambitions of bringing The Flash to the big screen. What movies would you like to see as part of Warner's DC film series? Let us know your thoughts....

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    Last week we got our first look at Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) on the Italy set of Avengers: Age of Ultron, as well as a glimpse at Hawkeye's (Jeremy Renner) new costume [see here]. Well, with production now shifting to South Korea, it's been revealed that Hawkeye won't be the only Avenger with new attire when Earth's Mightiest Heroes reassemble, with a new set video showing a stand-in for Chris Evans dressed in Captain America's latest suit. Check it out via Marvel Cinematic Universe....

    Captain America's Age of Ultron costume

    The Avengers: Age of Ultron is set for release on May 1st 2015, with Joss Whedon directing a cast that also includes returning MCU stars Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (The Incredible Hulk), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Don Cheadle (War Machine), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) and Paul Bettany (JARVIS / The Vision) alongside new additions Thomas Kretschmann (Dracula) as Baron Strucker and James Spader (The Blacklist) as Ultron.

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    Having opened in Japan this weekend, Disney Animation Studios' smash hit Frozen has become the highest-grossing animated movie of all-time, surpassing the $1.063 of Disney-Pixar's Toy Story 3 to take the crown with an astonishing $1.072 billion.

    In reaching that figure, Frozen has also climbed to tenth in the list of the all-time highest-grossing films, knocking another Disney offering, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest down into 11th.

    Based upon Hans Christian Anderson's The Snow Queen, Frozen is directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, and features a voice cast that includes Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Ciaran Hinds, Alan Tudyk, Chris Williams, and Jack Whitehall.

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    Last week we got a new trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past, and now thanks to CBM we've got a promotional image showcasing four (or should that be three?) of the mutants set to feature in Bryan Singer's upcoming superhero sequel in Rogue (Anna Paquin), Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), and Bishop (Omar Sy)...

    X-Men: Days of Future Past is set for release on May 23rd with a cast that also includes X-veterans Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), James McAvoy (Professor X), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Patrick Stewart (Professor X), Ian McKellen (Magneto), Lucas Till (Havok), Halle Berry (Storm), Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde), Shawn Ashmore (Iceman) and Daniel Cudmore (Colossus) alongside franchise newcomers Evan Peters (American Horror Story) as Quicksilver, Booboo Stewart (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) as Warpath, Fan Binbing (Iron Man 3) as Blink, Adan Canto (The Following) as Sunspot, Evan Jonigkeit (The Following) as Toad, Josh Helman (Mad Max: Fury Road) as William Stryker, and Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) as Bolivar Trask.

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    Commenting on the Critics with Simon Columb...

    Today, BBC relayed news of the upcoming Harry Potter spin-off, currently titled Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them:

    "Warner Bros chief Kevin Tsujihara persuaded author Rowling to adapt the book for the big screen. Last week, he told the New York Times there would be a trilogy of films based on the book, which follows a "magizoologist" named Newt Scamander. Scamander is the author of a guide to magical creatures. Set in New York, the book is neither a sequel nor a prequel, but an "extension" of Harry Potter's "wizarding world", Rowling said."

    Read the full article here and our report here.

    After viewing footage from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 on Monday, the scale of these cinematic universes has dominated my mind. The four comic-book worlds between the X-Men, The Avengers, Justice League and Spider-Man is simply mind-boggling. In a few years, these series will release a new episode every couple of months. Add to that the plans for Star Wars and, briefly, Harry Potter with this three-film deal, and blockbuster cinema will be dominated by a small handful of franchises over the next decade.

    Hollywood is not keen to take risks. These films are guaranteed successes and their continued success will determine the continuation of franchises in the future. Watching a film series from the nineties is now such a strange experience. A clear lack of natural progression – repeated stories and arcs with new characters felt stale and dull. Watch Home Alone and Home Alone 2. Or even Jurassic Park and The Lost World. Producers assumed audiences simply wanted the same again and tried to force a vaguely different story into the same mould. Funnily enough, Die Hard with a Vengeance was in the first instance an original story titled ‘Simon Says’ – but they squeezed in John McClane (and a strange ‘twist’ ending) and turned it into a sequel.

    The expansion of ‘universes’ meant cast members only need to make a cameo to legitimise the world created. Indeed, if a set is recreated or a story is “ret-conned” (retroactive-continuation) then audiences see the film as an extension of the original story rather than a revisit or repeat of the original.

    Studios have figured out what we want in a sequel and it will be dependent on our own championing of original material that will change cinema. Otherwise, every blockbuster will be part of a ‘world’ and the creative minds that could write of a new hero, or a new alien world, will never see the lights of Hollywood at all.

    Simon Columb

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    Seeing as Sony hasn't quite managed to give everything away about The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with its flood of trailers, clips, TV spots, featurettes and stills, a new image has now been released giving us our first look at B.J. Novak's (The Office) Alistair Smythe (a.k.a. The Spider-Slayer) alongside a pre-Electro Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx)...

    B.J. Novak as Alistair Smythe in The Amazing Spider-Man 2

    We’ve always known that Spider-Man’s most important battle has been within himself: the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man. But in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker finds that a greater conflict lies ahead.

    It’s great to be Spider-Man. For Peter Parker, there’s no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen. But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro, Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn, returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: OsCorp.

    The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is set for release on April 18th in the UK and on May 1st in North America, with a cast that also inlcudes returning stars Andrew Garfield (Spider-Man), Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy), Sally Field (Aunt May), Chris Zylka (Flash Thompson), Campbell Scott (Richard Parker), Embeth Davidtz (Mary Parker), Martin Sheen (Ben Parker) and Denis Leary (George Stacy) and new additions Dane DeHaan (Chronicle) as Harry Osborn, Paul Giamatti (12 Years a Slave) as The Rhino, Chris Cooper (American Beauty) as Norman Osborn, Colm Feore (Thor) as Donald Menken, Felicity Jones (Like Crazy) as Felicia Hardy and Marton Csokas (The Lord of the Rings) as Dr. Kafka.

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    Each Wednesday in April, Image Comics will be releasing a chapter of William Harms (Impaler) and Edward Pun's (Ninja High School) new miniseries, the vengeful wedding thriller Shotgun Wedding, with all four covers connecting to form one larger image. Check out a preview of the first issue here...

    Mike Stone wants nothing more than to marry the woman of his dreams. Denise is smart, sexy, teaches the second grade, and loves Mike more than anything in the world. What she doesn’t know is that Mike is one of the world’s top assassins and was once engaged to a fellow assassin named Chloe. And when Mike abandoned Chloe on their wedding day, she vowed revenge...

    Shotgun Wedding #1 is out on Wednesday, priced $3.99

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    Villordsutch reviews Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie...

    Ancillary Justice has been shortlisted as a possible winner of the 2014 Clarke Award.  This Ann Leckie debut novel has already secured a shortlisting for every science fiction award, including the Kitschies (where it won the Golden Tentacle), the Philip K. Dick Awards, the BSFA Awards, the Tiptree and the Nebula Awards.  So as you can see this book has certainly impressed a few people since its release with Orbit back in October 2013, and with the Clarke Awards coming up, here's our review...

    As regular readers will be aware that I’m rather a large science fiction fan and the prospect of getting my teeth into something which is making critics and award givers stand up and listen is rather exciting. When I received the book I took note of its small size (less than 400 pages)and I’d expected to devour it in a matter of days; clearly my over-confidence was my downfall here.  I didn’t so much as struggle with the book, but felt more that I had to leave it at after finishing each chapter due to the work I had to put into some of them; on more than one occasion I went back a few paragraphs to re-read the story and I felt that what was revealed hadn’t been given to me in a clear way.  I consider myself well versed in a wide spectrum of sci-fi literature from the easily accessible to mind twisting and yet I felt unfairly distracted, at certain points, from the tale being told.

    The book is told from the point of view from the remaining piece of AI, who due to the assassination of itself in the form of the ship (that it was), places itself in the body of an Ancillary (Breq) and is now seeking to kill the leader of the of the known higher cast of humans (and her most venerable leader). Along the way of this twenty year vendetta she finds the Captain of another ship (that was destroyed by a weapon that shouldn’t have existed) from a 1000 years ago dying in the snow.  Breq takes pity on this Captain, unsure as to why as she didn’t like her very much a thousand years back, and helps her back to health and status.

    The book moves between a number of different stories and for the initial opening, about sixty pages or so, I was convinced that I was reading book two of an Ancillary Saga.  I even took to Wikipedia to check and then to Orbit’s own website as I believed Wikipedia to be wrong.  What felt like it could have been a main story eventually becomes a backstory and then two-thirds in our book follows a more linear method, but still manages to keep these moments of confusing the reader.

    I know I’ve been negative of Ancillary Justice so far, and to come to the defense of the book I do have to say when it finds its rhythm it’s fantastic; it holds you and you’re dropping the F Bombs along with the book as moments unfold that you really can’t see happening nor want to as they do.  As a parent I found the book sad, and I’m unsure why - perhaps it was the favourite talk the ships had about people on board, or the willingness to for Breq to help a fallen Captain, but as Breq and the Captain begin to grow and trust each other, so does your like for the characters and your want for these two people to succeed. 

    If you can push against the tide that the book occasionally turns towards you, you’ll find a rather good first sci-fi novel here.  It's ideas are very lofty and I don’t think in book one that Ann Leckie has managed to achieve everything she may have wanted to, but she has certainly shown everyone what she will be capable of in book two.

    Villordsutch likes his sci-fi and looks like a tubby Viking according to his children. Visit his website and follow him on Twitter.

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