The Week in Geek: Judge Dredd, Star Wars, Star Trek: Discovery, and More

By Tom Pritchard on at

In this week in geek we have concept art from Judge Dredd: Mega City One, lots of bits from both upcoming Star Wars films, news of Star Trek: Discovery's tie-in media, and more.
Judge Dredd: Mega City One

The Judge Dredd TV series is a long way off, but that hasn't stopped 2000AD from firing up the engines of the hype train. After news that Karl Urban is officially in talks to reprise his role as the long chin of the law, IGN was able to reveal some of the programme's concept art.

As you can see, that's a lot more faithful than the sprawling Mega City One we saw in the 2012 movie.

Star Wars

Looking forward to The Last Jedi? Well Rian Johnson and Mark Hamill have some advice for you in the coming months: avoid the marketing.

A lot of announcements will be coming between now and December, so if you're extra worried about spoilers you should set up your browser filters now.

Johnson is also fully aware that people have already started comparing the new film to Empire, telling Entertainment Weekly that the comparisons don't really matter.

I just tried to kind of ignore that aspect of it and have the story take the shape that it needed to. But look, Rey is off in a remote location with a Jedi master, and the Resistance is in a tough spot, and we’re intercutting those stories. By its very nature, there are some structural parallels. But these are new characters, they’re dealing with new things, and that ultimately is what defines the movie. So I think that’s going to be unique.

In other Star Wars news, incoming Lando Donald Glover has revealed the advice Billy Dee Williams offered him when Glover won the role. Telling The Hollywood Reporter:

"I was like, ‘I’ve always felt like this character could do this, and he represents this, and I kind of feel like he comes from here, and it’s very obvious he has a lot of taste, so maybe he grew up seeing that from afar? Because I’m like that. Maybe he saw it from other planets and was like, ‘I want to be that.

He just let me ramble on and on, and then finally I was like, ‘So, what do you think?’ And he goes, ‘Yeah, I don’t know about all that. Just be charming.'"

Director Ron Howard also posted some more behind-the-scenes footage of the still-somehow-officially-untitled Han Solo movie on Twitter:

Star Trek: Discovery

Expanded universe canon has been a big part of big science fiction franchises, including Star Trek - despite the fact that there was never any consistency or collaboration to ensure contradictions with other material. Not wanting to be too different, it's been revealed (via The Hollywood Reporter) that Discovery will be getting some EU work in the form of a tie-in prequel novel and a comic series from IDW.

The comic, which will be developed by writers Kirsten Beyer and Mike Johnson with art from Tony Shasteen, will go into the backstory of the Klingons featured in the TV series. The first issue will go on sale in October.

The tie-in novel, titled Desperate Hours will arrive on 26th September (a day after the series's international premiere on Netflix) from author David Mack. Here's a synopsis, and the cover:

"Aboard the Starship Shenzhou, Lieutenant Michael Burnham, a human woman raised and educated among Vulcans, is promoted to acting first officer. But if she wants to keep the job, she must prove to Captain Philippa Georgiou that she deserves to have it.

She gets her chance when the Shenzhou must protect a Federation colony that is under attack by an ancient alien vessel that has surfaced from the deepest fathoms of the planet’s dark, uncharted sea. As the menace from this mysterious vessel grows stronger, Starfleet declares the colony expendable in the name of halting the threat. To save thousands of innocent lives, Burnham must infiltrate the alien ship. But to do so she needs to face the truth of her troubled past, and seek the aid of a man she has tried to avoid her entire life — until now."

Wonder Woman

It's been revealed that one of Wonder Woman's criminally underused characters will be getting a bit of extra screen time when the film arrives on Blu-ray and DVD next month. Etta Candy (played by Lucy Davis) will star in an epilogue titled Etta's Mission with her "[getting] the boys back together for a secret mission that could impact humanity’s future."

It's not clear whether this is a deleted scene, or a new piece of footage ala the long-forgotten Marvel one-Shots, but whatever the reason it's nice to be able to see the films' characters get some extra screentime - since the whole timeline of the DCEU means they probably won't return in future.

Sony' Spider-verse

Some plot rumours have popped up regarding Sony's Silver & Black, the Spider-Man spin-off that isn't a spin-off, that very few people actually seem to care about.

According to The Hashtag Show Silver Sable is a bounty hunter working from the US government, who sets her eyes on burglar Black Cat (Felicia Hardy) - who had ended up stealing from the wrong people. But it's more than just business, because of Hardy's link to Mendel Stromm - a man who has experimented on Sable's Symkarian countrymen in the past. Hardy supposedly uses one of Stromm's enhancements in her robberies, and Sable believes that by catching her she'll be one step closer to a man who committed some horrific crimes in her home country.

The site also claims that Stromm is after hardy for financial reasons, recruiting Spider-Man rogues Socorpion and Tarantula to find her.

Gina Prince-Bythewood (who also directed the pilot episode of Marvel's Cloak and Dagger series) has signed on to direct the film, which is sue to begin filming this autumn. She says that she wants the film to be in the vein of the likes of Thelma and Louise and Midnight Run, telling Variety "I wanted to tell the story of two damaged women who are at war with each other but need each other to survive."

 

In other news Sony is reportedly eyeing Riz Ahmed (Rogue One, Four Lions, Nightcrawler) for the upcoming Venom movie. While rumours began to circulate that he'd be playing rumoured villain Carnage, this was shot down by Variety's Justin Kroll. It doesn't mean Carnage isn't in the film, though I'd love to see Ahmed take on the role. It'd be a huge deviation from the redneck Cletus Cassidy from the comics, but I bet it'd be fun to see what he brings to the character. It certainly wouldn't be a travesty of a casting like having Topher Grace in Spider-Man 3.

Aquaman

Filming underwater is hella hard, particularly when you're working with squishy human actors that need silly things like gaseous oxygen to survive. Speaking to The Hollywood ReporterAquaman director James Wann spoke of the technical difficulties of filming even the most basic scenes underwater - particulartly since he is trying to avoid doing the whole thing with CGI.

"It’s a very technically challenging shoot to be on. Working with water, and even the dry-for-wet sequences are very complex… Our equivalent of two people sitting around chatting in the underwater world is super complicated. You have to think about CG with the hair, and how their clothing moves, how are they floating, what kind of rig we put them on and all that stuff.

That just makes it very difficult and time-sucking and time-challenging to do all of this. So it’s not an easy shoot — but hopefully it will pay off in spades down the line."

He also spoke to The Wrap about how he hopes Jason Momoa will help erase some of the stigma the character has faced over the decades.

"Momoa is not a guy that you would go up to and make fun of. I really think you immediately remove any of the stigma of the character from the cartoons that we are familiar with.

Having said that, I’m not completely unaware of the stigma. If anything, I embrace it and being able to laugh at yourself and have fun at yourself is important, and that’s something I am aware of as I make Aquaman right now."

Aquaman was the butt of jokes for decades, and only really came into his own thanks to the work on DC's Geoff Johns in the '00s. The same Geoff Johns who is now co-chairman of DC's film division. But Wan has a point. You don't cast Khal Drogo as a character that's just going to be goofy comic relief.

Guardians of the Galaxy/Infinity War

So it sounds as though movie Groot doesn't really grow back as fast as comic Groot, who can die and return to full size relatively quickly. James Gunn has confirmed that the Guardians 2 post-credit scene featuring a moody teenage Groot is actually set around the same time as Avengers: Infinity War - a full four years after the event of the team's second on-screen adventure.

Gunn confirmed this during an interview with CinemaBlend, who noted the similarity between the Groot at the end of Guardians 2 and the one in the still-unreleased Infinity War footage. According to Gunn, The teenage Groot we see is exactly the same Groot that was designed for the third Avengers film.

Animated Deadpool

Deadpool is getting more than just a second film, he's getting an animated TV series from Donald Glover and his brother Stephen. While it's still a way off, FX head spoke about the series during the recent 2017 Television Critics Association press tour. As it turns out, the series will be distinctly different from the films:

Deadpool will be really different from the movies. It has a different tone and editorial voice. [We] wanted to make something distinctly different from the movies.”

Batman vs Two Face

Adam West's last piece of work before he died was another return to Batman's cowl, with an animated film titled Batman vs Two Face. It's unrelated to the unmade TV episode The Two-Way Crimes of Two Face (which was later released in comic form), and stars William Shatner as the villain. It'll be out on October 17th, and the first trailer has just been released:

Deadpool 2

One of the biggest bits of news about Deadpool 2 is that Josh Brolin will take on the role of Deadpool's long-time frenemy Cable - the time-travelling gun-toting psychic son of Cyclops and a clone of Jean Grey. According to director David Leitch (via CBR), the duo's relationship will closely mirror that found in the comics.

When you look at the Cable and Deadpool comic book series, you see how there is banter between them. Whether they are on opposite sides or not, they are definitely formidable to each other. One is frustrating to the other. The chemistry between Ryan Reynolds and Josh Brolin is amazing. It’s not unlike what you see in the Cable and Deadpool series.

Leitch also spoke about how a single film couldn't possibly cover Cable's complicated back-story, so the sequel is more focused on giving viewers an introduction to who the character is.