8
Nov
2013

Daredevil

On Thursday it was announced that four original Marvel series will be coming to Netflix in 2015, but one has to wonder how they will work into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Daredevil, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage will each be receiving 13-episode runs on Netflix and then will join up for a mini-series of The Defenders, a lesser-known superhero team in the Marvel Universe. The four of them make sense for this project as all of them operate out of the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City, so it isn’t a stretch at all for them to interact with one another.

While this news itself is exciting, I had a lot of thoughts since the announcement of how these series will work their way into the larger tapestry of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I have a couple ideas.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron

It’s hard to ignore the fact that these series all premiere in 2015, but no one said exactly when in 2015. Could they be arriving after May 1, 2015, the premiere of The Avengers: Age of Ultron? The reason this intrigues me is there could be either a cameo by the characters, or just an off handed comment about, “There are more heroes appearing every day, the world is becoming a crowded place.” There are a lot of ways this could play out that would allow Marvel to use what is sure to be a huge film to launch these series. It’s definitely a way to bring these characters to the attention of a lot of people.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

If Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is still on the air come 2015, it would be easy to have one episode where the agents investigate reports of vigilantes running rampant in Hell’s Kitchen. Normally this would be a taboo as they will be airing on different “networks,” but Netflix is not a network, and as Disney owns ABC and Marvel, it would only be helping itself to allow the reference to happen.

Phase 3

After The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be kicking off with Ant-Man. What comes after that in this phase has not been announced as of yet, but lets say one of these shows is a breakout hit, could one of them turn into a film? This, of all the theories, seems the most unlikely to me as Marvel has said they plan the films six years in advance, but what if they could show up as a supporting character? Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) has appeared in Iron Man 2, The Avengers and the upcoming Captain America: The Winter Soldier, could one of these characters move into that position, or possibly even a rotation of them? I don’t think that is the craziest of ideas.

Avengers 3

A lot of theories have been floating around that the third Avengers film will deal with the Infinity Gauntlet storyline. Should this come to be, to really communicate the gravity of the situation, Marvel is going to need a far larger roster of heroes to work with than it currently has. To me, this is the most logical location for The Defenders to show up. “We need more firepower!” “I know a few people we can call.” Done and dusted and these heroes come in and join the fight.

These are all just speculation at this point, but it feels like this whole scenario is a set up to a larger plan. Bringing in television versions of the characters will allow Marvel to build its overall Cinematic Universe that much faster. They have so far stuck to a plan of two films a year, but if they can get a few extra characters introduced each year via deals such as this, it will be a quick way to populate the world they live in. If I had any complaint about the first Avengers film was it felt like it happened in a vacuum. I know the larger Marvel Universe, and this just felt tiny to me as I know what lurks at the borders of these films.

So color me excited for this all to come together, and I can’t wait to see where this goes.

3
Feb
2013

Arrested Development season 4 photo

You have to realize you have a “problem” when a lone photo from the fourth season fo Arrested Development is enough to get you excited.

To date there have been some on-location images taken by press services, and the actors have tweeted a couple pictures here or there, but there has been no official images from the fourth season of Arrested Development that has been produced for Netflix. For now it appears the episodes will debut this May, but there has been no word on exactly how many episodes there will be yet as apparently series creator Mitch Hurtwitz ended up with more material than he anticipated.

What can we tell from this image? Who the heck knows. Apparently Tobias (David Cross) has injured himself somehow, while Gob (Will Arnett) and Lindsay (Portia de Rossi) don’t seem particularly interested… and that is the way things should be.

Yes, this one lone image tells me: A) Lucille’s (Jessica Walter) condo looks exactly as it did in the first three seasons, and B) the Bluths appear to have not become better people. Thank goodness.

If you still haven’t gotten on the Arrested Development train, now is the time to do so. At least you won’t have to suffer through the cancellation like the original fans did, nor wait years for new stories. How else will you ever know why I sometimes like to walk out of a room and yell, without warning, “Steve Holt!”

9
Aug
2012

Arrested Development day 1 filming - 1:Photo via PacificCoastNews.com

It has officially begun: Arrested Development has resumed filming.

As was reported the other day, filming on the new season of Arrested Development was set to begin this week, but it still seems surreal this is happening.  There is no word on the premise of what photographers captured being filmed beyond it was taking place at an airport and it appears that Tobias (David Cross) and Lindsay (Portia de Rossi) Fünke may be returning from a trip somewhere.  Jason Bateman was seen on set, but no images showed up of what he was doing in the scene.  (Although I get the sense the University of Phoenix shirt he is clearly wearing under his dress shirt has to play into a joke somehow.)

There has still been no confirmed premiere date for these episodes beyond sometime in 2013 on Netflix.  The day can’t come soon enough.

7
Aug
2012

Arrested Development - banner

The impossible is set to happen today as Arrested Development is going to begin filming ned episodes today for Netflix.

Cancelled in 2006 by Fox, fans have tried everything they can to get at least one more little taste of Arrested Development.  There has been talk time and time again of a movie, but nothing ever seemed to be actually taking shape.  Then late last year the truly shocking happened: Netflix said new Arrested Development episode would be released in 2013.

Netflix agreed to a 10 episode season which would allow the series to make a bridge to the eventual feature film.  While this was exciting, it still seemed like the impossible was happening and that things could go wrong at any moment.

Then we move forward a couple of weeks and find images of a script, and actual sets being built of location from the original series.  Things are just getting so real with the resurrection of this cult series that seems that it feels like a dream.

And, then we learn not everything is sealed.  Despite every cast member saying they were ready to come back, it seems that in this 11th hour that not all of the contracts are signed just yet.  Deadline is reporting that it is expected that all nine main cast members will be back, but I’ll believe it when I see it for sure.  Should they all come back, the line-up will be:

  • Jason Bateman as Michael Bluth
  • Portia de Rossi as Lindsay Bluth Fünke
  • Will Arnett as George ‘Gob’ Bluth II
  • Michael Cera as George-Michael Bluth
  • Alia Shawkat as Mae “Maeby” Fünke
  • Tony Hale as Byron “Buster” Bluth
  • David Cross as Tobias Fünke
  • Jeffrey Tambor as George Bluth Sr.
  • Jessica Walter as Lucille Bluth

As the cherry on top to all of this, apparently there is already talk of additional seasons on Netflix should this first one perform well.  Seeing the rabid nature of fans of this show, I’m pretty positive that the company shall see an upswing in subscriptions when it announces the release date for the  first new adventures of the Bluth family in seven years.

[via Deadline]

31
Jan
2012

arrested developmentIf everything goes according to the most recent plans, Arrested Development won’t feel like it’s missed a moment since its cancellation.

Series writer Dean Lorey took to his blog this weekend with some very welcome news about the return of Arrested Development:

We’re really doing this thing. Mitch Hurwitz, Jim Vallely and I are off writing the new season of ARRESTED to premiere on Netflix in 2013. The original cast is back. There are offices and parking spaces. We’re shooting this year. I wish I could give more specifics but, for the moment, even the schedule is being kept under wraps. But it’s happening and it’s great to be back with my pals from the show. More later as it becomes okay to release further details…

If this is true, and there’s no reason to think it isn’t, that means we can expect:

  • Jason Bateman as Michael Bluth
  • Portia de Rossi as Lindsay Bluth Fünke
  • Will Arnett as George ‘Gob’ Bluth II
  • Michael Cera as George-Michael Bluth
  • Alia Shawkat as Mae “Maeby” Fünke
  • Tony Hale as Byron “Buster” Bluth
  • David Cross as Tobias Fünke
  • Jeffrey Tambor as George Bluth Sr.
  • Jessica Walter as Lucille Bluth

As regular readers of this blog know, I can hardly wait for these new episodes and the follow-up movie. As a matter of fact, I can’t tell you how many people were firing variations of this link off to me through out the day on Monday. (Credit to Jon Rettinger for being the first) With each additional piece of information, it’s looking more and more like this is really happening, and that just continues to amaze me. We haven’t seen new episodes since 2006, and the idea that all of these people coming back together after this long is just a testament in my mind to how special this show was to everyone involved, and that should tell you part of what the fans see in it as well.

19
Nov
2011

arrested developmentApparently the rumors were true and Arrested Development really is coming back to TV … via Netflix.

Last month it was rumored that new Arrested Development episodes were coming, but after so many false starts on the movie, it was hard to put in faith in this report.  Luckily I was very, very wrong this time.

Netflix announced yesterday that it had struck a deal with Twentieth Century Fox and Imagine TV for new episodes of the cult series to air exclusively on its Watch Instantly service.  The new season is scheduled to air in early 2013, and while the movie wasn’t mentioned, this fits in with the previous rumor, so that too may still be on the table.

By the time this airs it will have been nearly seven years since the series was canceled, and anyone who remembers the show knows we were left with several cliffhangers.  As the two youngest actors have aged – Michael Cera as George Michael and Alia Shawkat as Maeby – one has to suspect they will have to say at least some time has passed, and they will probably just tell us the resolutions to those cliffhangers in flashbacks where they can avoid showing those two.

Of course, this is all assuming that the entire original cast returns, but that seems pretty likely as all of them, with the exception of Cera, have been saying for years they would come back at a moments notice.  (Cera has softened as of late, but that’s what happens when your movie career has become a bad joke.)

With such a long break in production it is natural to wonder if they will be able to capture the same magic they had for the three seasons they were on, but I’m fairly confident that they can.  Because, just like there was always money in the Banana Stand, there will also be a million jokes you can do about the Bluths.

2
Oct
2011

arrested developmentIt seems there is a chance that not only is an Arrested Development movie really happening, but there may also be a limited season of new episodes.

That girlish shriek you may have heard this evening was me …

Series creator Mitch Hurtwitz was speaking at The New Yorker Festival on a panel that reunited the entire main cast - Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Michael Cera, Tony Hale, Jeffrey Tambor, David Cross, Alia Shawkat and Jessica Walter – and said that there was a chance that the series may come back as a limited engagement series, and then finally follow that up with long-awaited movie.

According to Deadline, the plan is to do a 9 to 10 episode limited series with each episode focusing on a different member of the Bluth clan.  Once the new episodes would run their course, they would finally move on to the film (although I will believe all of this when it actually appears on a screen).  Apparently none of the plans involve airing the episodes on Fox, but instead have involved talks with Netflix which is looking for original content.  Premium cable channel Showtime has also apparently been looking into the concept, and that comes partially from the fact that the network’s new entertainment president is David Nevins who assisted in getting the series developed when he was at Imagine TV.

Following the surprise announcement, series star Jason Bateman confirmed the news on his Twitter account:

It’s true. We will do 10 episodes and the movie. Probably shoot them all together next summer for a release in early ’13. VERY excited!

The concept of an Arrested Development movie has been floating around since the series ended, and despite numerous promises, it has just never come to be.  It has felt like a cruel joke on fans of the series at times, but with actual entities such as Netflix and Showtime being named, it sounds like things may actually be coming together.

I am ready for some more Bluth family in my life, and I’ll take whatever I can get.

 

25
Apr
2011

AdamaBBC America has once again shown that it has obviously completely abandoned its original mission statement of bringing British television to American shores.

Just last month I wrote about how BBC America has forgotten its roots, enough so that I was even prompted to write to the network to express my dismay at its changing ways.  While I certainly didn’t expect to have them email back saying they had realized the error of their ways and they would change immediately, I did at least receive an acknowledgement.  They said it would be passed on to the proper department yada yada yada.

Apparently it didn’t get passed on or just no one cares.

As has been common knowledge for several days now, the rebooted Battlestar Galactica series will be joining the network’s Saturday night sci fi lineup this summer.  The British connection?  Jamie Bamber that played Lee “Apollo” Adama, is British.

Well, good to know it really only takes one British actor for a series to qualify for BBC America now.  I mean, why in the world would they want to broadcast any more quality programming from their home country when they can just show us endless repeats of Top Gear and sci fi shows that happen to star one British actor?

It’s sad that I am getting the majority of my British programming now from watching Netflix of Amazon Prime Videos.  And if things continue the way they have been with the channel, my gu tells me that won’t be changing any time soon.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Battlestar Galactica, but does it really belong on BBC America?  Nope.  Will the network listen?  Nope.  Will I continue to complain about this?  More than likely.

 

6
Mar
2011

green-band-trailerIn the modern age of streaming video, can we now please get rid of trailers on DVDs before the film so I don’t completely ditch the format?

While siting down to watch a DVD last night, I was rather annoyed by the concept of having to skip through some trailers.  While not anywhere close to being as annoying as the days of VHS, it’s still just a nuisance.

Studios are concerned about declining home video sales, but yet they continue to make watching discs an inconvenience.  When I pop in a disc, I’m forced to go through the trailers.  Not a horrible thing to once, but lets say you go back to watch the same disc a year or two down the road, are you going to care about seeing the same trailers again, or especially what amounts to advertisements for movies from a few years ago?  Short answer, no.

With the rise of digital downloads and streaming video, things that start instantly, why should I be force to even think about trailers any more?  Yes, I know it’s a minor thing, but considering I watch almost everything  via download or streaming now, so when I popped in that disc last night, the first in quite some time, I was just immediately struck by how antiquated this was.  If you insist on putting them on the disc, put them in the extra features or something, but when I start up a Blu-ray or DVD, I should be immediately launched into the menu and not have to fight my way to get there.

With that being said, I’ll go back to watching Netflix now, thanks.  If you want to dump the trailers, let me know.

1
Apr
2010

If you have not joined the world of Joss Whedon yet, and you have a Netflix account … rejoice!

Netflix today added what boils down to the entire Joss Whedon TV catalog to its Watch Instantly service.  This selection includes:

  • Buffy, the Vampire Slayer seasons 1 – 7
  • Angel seasons 1 – 5
  • Firefly season 1 (And the feature film sequel, Serenity)
  • Dollhouse season 1 (season 2 coming later)
  • Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog

As a huge fan of Joss Whedon … I already own all of this on DVD.  However, the idea that I can now pull any of it up on demand without even having to dig out a DVD set?  Heaven.  Buffy season 6 episode “Once More With Feeling” will be watched tonight … perhaps followed by season 4′s “Hush” … oh!  And then maybe “Something Blue”! And … okay, you get the picture.

The only thing I would warn you of is that shows come and go on Netflix Watch Instantly, so if you want to watch any of this, jump on it and get started.  And with the news today that Netflix is coming to the iPad, you could be watching this anywhere.  Got some time on lunch?  Watch an episode.  Knock yourself out.

Netflix Watch Instantly requires you have at least an $8.99 a month subscription with the company, but the value in these alone is worth it.

9
Jan
2010

Am I missing something in this Netflix deal with Warner Brothers, or am I the calm one for once?

Netflix has struck a deal with Warner Home Video to delay renting the studios latest releases for 28 days after initial release.  This is due to the fact that DVD sales fell 13% in 2008 while rental revenues increased thanks to companies like Redbox.  The deal includes the benefits for Netflix of purchasing copies of the films at a lower price so the company can stock newer films in greater depth, and Warners also agreed to allow more of its library to be streamed over the company’s Watch Instantly streaming movie service.

Netflix has made many comments over how it plans to focus more heavily on its streaming service as the company spends over $600 million a year in postage as opposed to a streaming film costing them only $.05 in bandwidth costs.  Netflix CEO Reid Hastings has also stated that new releases from all suppliers only account for 30% of the company’s mail-order rental volume at any given time.

Well, leave it to the Internet to get all up in arms over this deal. MG Siegler wrote a story over at TechCrunch entitled Netflix Stabs Us In The Heart So Hollywood Can Drink Our Blood which makes me wonder if he is a card carrying drama queen.  While Mr. Siegler is but one man, many people on blogs and Twitter have expressed their outrage over this deal, with many of them even claiming they would cancel their subscriptions with the company.

Okay, what is wrong with the world when I’m the one saying this is not a big deal?

I have been known to rant about the silliest of subjects, but I don’t get the uproar about this at all.  You aren’t going to be forced to go and buy these movies just because you can’t rent them the day they come out, you can just wait four weeks and rent them then.  If the movie was that important for you to see, why didn’t you see it in the theater?  How will waiting four more weeks to see a movie on DVD really impact your life in any meaningful way?  It won’t.  So you wait four weeks … big freakin’ whoop.

Instead of getting to rent a movie on Nov. 2nd, you rent it on Nov. 30th and you still don’t buy a copy.  Are you saying that you are that impatient to see a movie (that was already in theaters) that this four week rental delay will cause you to run out and buy a copy?  Are you dying?  Will you not be alive those 28 days later?  (well, yeah, okay, there was that horror movie 28 Days Later, but what are the odds of that happening?)

The only salient point Mr. Siegler makes in his 1400+ word opus on the matter (I put it into a word counter as I couldn’t believe the length) is that there may be an uptick in online piracy.  However, somehow I don’t see that many new people learning how to run a BitTorrent client just because the newest movie has been delayed again by a measly four weeks.  Do you realize how many people don’t even know, or care, what the release date of a DVD is?  The vast majority of people won’t even notice this, and if they see a movie on the sale rack at Best Buy, then try to add it to the Netflix queue, it will still be added, they just won’t get it right away and they still won’t notice the difference!

Mr. Siegler keeps saying how this is a bad deal for the Netflix customers.  How?  A company that he professes love for just cut its costs meaning it can have a healthier bottom line, you get more selection of films on its streaming service and they increase their copy depth when they do eventually get the movie meaning less chance of you having to wait in line.  Again, how is this a bad deal for the customer?

Oh yeah, you have to wait four weeks to see it.  Boo-freakin’-hoo.

Again, I fully admit that I have ranted about some pretty silly things in my life, but waiting four weeks to rent a DVD is so astronomically low on my priority list that it doesn’t even register.  And you could do something really crazy if you just have to see that movie right when it comes out … go to a local mom-&-pop video store (they still exist) and support them.  I know, there I go again talking crazy.

(not counting these words, this post was 758 words … I am almost 50% more sane than MG Siegler)

27
Feb
2009

Scattercast is 32 and wishing its feet didn’t hurt.

- Blisters suck.

- More thoughts on the whole Samuel L. Jackson thing.

- Michael Cera finally joins the Arrested Development movie… ingrate.

- Netflix may soon offer streaming-only subscriptions.

- Why aren’t there more movies like Slumdog Millionaire, and why is Hollywood remaking things like Total Recall and The Neverending Story?

Here’s

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for those who wish to download it, subscribe to Scattercast via iTunes.