The Week in Geek: Justice League, Dr Strange, Rogue One, and More

By Tom Pritchard on at

Boy do we have a an awful lot of information to get through this week. After last week's E3 blowout, it seems as though the rest of the geek world has followed suit. This week we got a hell of a lot of information on both Justice League and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot.

There's plenty of other stuff to get through as well, so sit tight and prepare to absorb a lot of information.

There are some pretty big spoilers here. If you'd rather stay completely in the dark about Justice League and Rogue One, skip ahead until you see the Dr Strange Lego set.

Justice League

Having journalists visit film sets is nothing new, but Warner Bros have done something unprecedented by letting them reveal the things learnt on the set of Justice League. Batman v Superman isn't even out on Blu-ray/DVD yet, so its clear they're trying to show that they've listened to the criticisms from audiences and critics alike.

Newly christened executive producer Ben Affleck has also promised that the film will have more humour, something BvS notably lacked. IGN noted that quite a lot of the film's light-heartedness (that they saw at least) came from Ezra Miller's Flash.

As for the Batman that was more than happy to kill his foes, it was revealed that changes were coming to the character. Following Superman's sacrifice during the battle with Doomsday at the end of BvS, Batman has had his faith restored and he's trying to redeem himself. Founding and supporting the Justice League is part of how he's going to accomplish that, it seems.

Batman is also the one supplying the Justice League with the tech and vehicles they use in their heroics. So far we've only had confirmation that there will be a new Batmobile, a small tunnel-focused vehicle called 'the Crawler', and a troop transport called 'The Flying Fox' which can carry the whole League and a single vehicle at any given time.

On more minor character notes, it's been confirmed that Cyborg will be a motion-capture character, Willem Dafoe will play Atlantean politician Vulko, and Alfred will do a bit more than sit in the Batcave playing on a computer.

If you've been paying attention to rumours, you'll know exactly who the film's villain is. Warner Bros confirmed that the film's primary antagonist will be Steppenwolf, uncle of alien despot Darkseid, who has come to Earth in search of three Mother Boxes. The character briefly appeared in a deleted scene from BvS, communicating with Lex Luthor inside the downed Kryptonian ship.

Speaking of Mother Boxes, the artefact that helped create Cyborg in BvS, execs confirmed that there are three of them on Earth - with Amazonians, Atlanteans, and humans each in possession of one.

Steppenwolf will be leading an army of Parademons, flying creatures that were briefly glimpsed during BvS's 'Knightmare' sequence. Jesse Eisenberg is also in the film, reprising his role as the weirdest version of Lex Luthor anyone has ever seen.

Finally, Warner Bros has released the official synopsis for the film which gives us a couple of hints at what is going on:

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat. But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

The studio also confirmed that Justice League would no longer be a two part film, with the two planned Justice League films functioning as two stand-alone films. Oh, and there's a logo:

Upcoming Batman Solo Film

Ben Affleck confirmed what we all knew already, that he is directing and co-writing the solo Batman movie. Apparently he isn't quite happy with the script, which is being written in collaboration with DC's Geoff Johns. Still no word on when the film is likely to get released.

Rogue One

Lucasfilm really lifted the lid on Rogue One this week, which is surprising given the fact that this year's Star Wars Celebration is only three weeks away. Still we do love us some Star Wars here at Giz UK, so we're not complaining. Let's get down to business.

First up is official confirmation that Darth Vader will appear in the film, which pretty much everyone knew already. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy also confirmed that he will come with the mighty voice of James Earl Jones once more. Apparently Vader will have a looming presence in the film, but he will be used "sparingly" on screen.

Speaking of Vader, it looks like he'll have some competition in the form of Ben Mendelsohn's Director Orson Krennic. Krennic is head of the Empire's Elite Deathtroopers (the black stormtroopers seen in promo material), and apparently has some pretty high ambitions. Ambition that would see him usurp Vader as the Emperor's right hand. It seems that like the rest of the galaxy Krennic is unaware that Palpatine is a Sith Lord, which is obviously why he keeps Vader so close.

We also got confirmation of the identity of two of the film's characters, played by Mads Mikkelsen and Alan Tudyk. Turns out the rumours were right on both counts. Mikkelsen plays Galen Erso, father to Felicity Jones's Jyn Erso and a scientist with knowledge sought after by both the Empire and the Rebels. That's not confirmation that he's the mythical Death Star architect, but it certainly sounds about right in the context of the plot. Tudyk is playing K-2SO, an imperial security droid who defects to the rebellion for reasons that haven't been revealed.

Image: EW

Also, in a surprising reveal, it was announced that Forrest Whittaker is playing the character of Saw Gererra - a character that first appeared in the animated Clone Wars series. The second episode of the series' fifth season 'A War on Two Fronts' introduced Saw and his sister Steele, fighting against the separatists who had taken control of their home planet Onderon. Apparently he's the first person to use tactics that would later benefit the Rebel Alliance, and in Rogue One he's leader of a band of rebel extremists who operate on the fringe of the Alliance's control. So he's an ally fighting the Empire, but not actually a fully-fledged member of the Rebellion.

Also revealed were some details about the other characters in Rogue One's rag-tag team. Riz Ahmed is playing Bodhi Rook, the film's token hot-headed pilot. Diego Luna is Captain Cassian Andor, a rebel intelligence officer and the closest thing Jyn Erso has to a handler. Donnie Yen is Chirrut Imwe, a blind spiritual warrior-monk type that believes in the ways and philosophies of the Jedi - despite not being one himself. On the flipside of that is Jiang Wan's Blaze Malbus, an armoured soldier who relies on his blaster and has zero belief in the force. Those last two come as a pair, and Blaze apparently fiercely protects Chirrut's spirituality.

Finally, EW released some 16 photos from the film - including some shots at those fearsome Deathroopers.

Dr Strange

After much speculation, we finally appear to know the identity of Mads Mikkelsen's character in Marvel's upcoming Dr Strange (are you seeing a running theme with this guy?). Heroic Hollywood got a sneak peak at some of the toys set to be released alongside the film, and the description for some Marvel Minimates seem to reveal that Mikkelsen is playing Kaecilius.

Kaecilius is a fairly small character in the comics, usually found working for Baron Mordo (set to be played by Chiwetel Ejiofor). It's not clear whether they'll be affiliated in the film, since Mordo doesn't seem to be Strange's enemy. Not yet, anyway.

We also got our glimpse at the film's first Lego set - set in what looks like Stephen Strange's New York-based Sanctum Sanctorum. As you can see, it looks like some sort of otherworldly demon is trying to break into our reality. The set comes with minifigures for Dr Strange, Baron Mordo, and The Ancient One. I was very upset to find out that the third one wasn't Strange's assistant/protector Wong (played by Benedict Wong).

To top off all that, Marvel has released an official synopsis for the film:

Marvel’s Doctor Strange follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a tragic car accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilizing a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts to protect the Marvel cinematic universe.

The Walking Dead

You know how one of the key parts of Daryl's character is that he rides a motorbike? Apparently it wasn't always going to be that way. According to Norman Reedus, Daryl was originally supposed to ride a horse. That would've been something, right? Fortunately his own past issues working with the animals led him to convince the producers to let him ride a bike instead. It helped that Michael Rooker's Merle (Daryl's brother) was always supposed to ride a bike.

Archer

FX has confirmed that spy comedy series Archer has been renewed for another three seasons, taking it at least to the end of season 10. Unfortunately the new seasons will be shorter than usual, with eight episodes apiece.

Pokémon Sun & Moon

Nintendo has revealed that it'll be revealing more information about the game on Friday 1st July at 12pm BST.

The Flash

After the season 2 finale's shocker of a cliffhanger, Grant Gustin has revealed the title of the first episode of The Flash season 3 on Twitter.

Lego Dimensions Year 2

Following the announcement trailer, we've got word of how the second year of Lego Dimensions is going to go down. First of all you'll be happy to hear that you're not going to need to buy a new copy of the game or a new portal.

All you need to unlock the new content are the new figures and the new stuff will be downloaded onto your console. The game will also feature a four-player Battle Mode, that's being described as similar to Mario Kart's Battle Mode without being tied to a vehicle.

Year 2 kicks off on 27th September with the following packs:

A-Team Fun Pack: B.A. Baracus, B.A.'s Van.

Adventure Time Team Pack: Jake the Dog, Lumpy Space Princess, BMO, Lumpy Car

Harry Potter Team Pack: Harry Potter, Lord Voldemort, Enchanted Car, Hogwarts Express

Adventure Time Level Pack: Finn the Human, Jakemobile, Ancient War Elephant, Battle Evil in the Land of Ooo! Story Mission

Mission: Impossible Level Pack: Ethan Hunt, IMF Scrambler, IMF Sport Car, Your mission, should you choose to accept it... Story Mission

Ghostbusters Story PackAbby Yates, Ecto-1, Zhu's Chinese Restaurant, Six Ghostbusters levels containing the full story of the new film (note: while only Abby comes as a figure, all four main characters are playable in the story levels)

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Filming has begun on Sony and Marvel's new Spider-Man movie, and with it has come some more casting news. As ever we have no clue who any of these people are actually playing, so feel free to speculate all you want. Joining the film are comedian Hannibal Buress, Far Cry 3's Michael Mando, and Fargo Season 2's Bokeme Woodbine as yet another villain.

I count at least three villains so far. What's going on with this movie?

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Marvel has released a synopsis for the upcoming film, and it reveals very little we didn't already know:

Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.