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Luke Skywalker’s Mandalorian Cameo Guided by Star Wars Memories

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Mark Hamill dressed all in black as Luke Skywalker, pre-VFX, while shooting The Mandalorian season two finale.

You’ve probably watched Disney Gallery: Star Wars: The Mandalorian by now (or read our post about the coolest things we learned from it), but there’s always more story to tell. Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker cameo in the finale of The Mandalorian season two wasn’t just a surprise, it was a triumph after a whole lot of work.

The latest Disney+ behind-the-scenes episode explained a lot but Industrial Light & Magic VFX supervisor, Richard Bluff, spoke to IndieWire about a few more details that went into the process. Though the team was aiming for Luke to look like he did around the time of the third Star Wars film, Return of the Jedi, Bluff said showrunner Jon Favreau and executive producer Dave Filoni wanted Hamill there to use him in every way possible — not only to help advise on the performance, but also to use his physicality and his actual face whenever possible.”

But because Hamill is older now, they also used Max Lloyd-Jones as a body double, and to make both performances come to life as one, they hired Lola Visual Effects (already in use by Marvel Studios). While the company used deepfake technology, Bluff said they didn’t rely too heavily on it because the resolution wasn’t high enough. (You may recall Lucasfilm recently hired a deepfake creator to work for Industrial Light and Magic after he “improved” the Luke scene they’d worked so hard on.)

Speaking of resolution: “People’s memory of Luke Skywalker isn’t in 4K sharp resolution,” Bluff said. “[The softness] was a choice to match some of the imagery that we’ve seen in the past.” He added, “It was all based upon steering the audience toward an image they remember seeing rather than putting the character in a completely new situation.”

The Disney Gallery episode is currently streaming on Disney+ and we’re waiting to hear exactly when The Mandalorian season three will grace us with its presence. In the meantime, we’ve got The Book of Boba Fett to look forward to and, I suppose, Disney Gallery: Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett.


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Superman Almost Appeared in The Suicide Squad Movie

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The Suicide Squad crew

The Suicide Squad crew
Image: Warners Bros.

Who would have thought that Kal-El might have appeared in The Suicide Squad? Well, James Gunn wanted to make this a reality. Gunn reveals Superman was the initial big bad for the film instead of Starro the Conqueror in a new interview.

On the latest episode of the Script Apart, a podcast that talks to writers about the evolution of their scripts, The Suicide Squad director James Gunn mentions, “There was a time when I thought The Suicide Squad should fight Superman,” he says. He continues explaining why Starro was a much better choice.

“I thought that was a very interesting story. Then I came up with Starro. He’s a character I love from the comics. I think he’s a perfect comic book character because he’s absolutely ludicrous but also very scary in his own way. What he does is scary. He used to scare the crap out of me when I was a child, putting those facehuggers on Superman and Batman. So I thought he was one of the major, major DC villains that was probably never going to be put into another movie. And if they did, it’d have been a ‘black cloud’ version of Starro. Not a giant walking starfish, a kaiju that’s bright pink and cerulean blue, this ridiculously big, bright bad guy.”

Not only did Gunn think Starro was a better fit, but he talks about how the character of Superman is still feeling its way around the DCEU. “At the time, there were a lot of questions like, ‘Who is Superman in the DCEU? Is this movie outside the DCEU?’, and I just didn’t want to deal with it all that much,” Gunn said. “I just wanted to tell a good story.”

What kind of movie would The Suicide Squad have been with Superman as an antagonist? Let us know in the comments!


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The Many Origins of Jessica Drew, Marvel’s Spider-Woman

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Illustration for article titled The Many Lives of Spider-Woman

Image: Jim Cheung, John Dell, Justin Ponsor, Richard Starkings, and Albert Deschesne/Marvel Comics

Okay, not really a new origin, but Jessica actually played a small but major role in heralding the arrival of Marvel’s Secret Invasion event in the comics, which is being turned into a Samuel L. Jackson vehicle in the MCU for Disney+. One of the first Marvel heroes replaced by the shapeshifting alien Skrulls, Jessica is purportedly hit up by Hydra with an offer to act as a double agent… an offer she relays to Nick Fury, because she’s not an idiot, who tells her to take it so he can offer her limited SHIELD info to leak to Hydra while SHIELD works to uncover the cell.

Alas, it’s not really Hydra at all, but a Skrull vanguard masquerading as Hydra. Jessica is captured and replaced by Skrull Queen Veranke, who at this point is now like, a quadruple agent, and masquerades as Jessica—a Hydra Double Agent, a SHIELD double agent, and a New Avenger—throughout the events of House of M *and* Civil War before exposed in the events of Secret Invasion.


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The Suicide Squad Teases Corto Maltese Comics Reference

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The Squad’s going on one hell of a trip in their new movie.

The Squad’s going on one hell of a trip in their new movie.
Screenshot: Warner Bros.

Martin Freeman’s getting ready for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Production begins on Shazam: Fury of the Gods. The Rock teases Jungle Cruise. Plus, what’s to come on all the DC/CW shows, and a new look at the Fantasy Island reboot. Spoilers, assemble!

Illustration for article titled The Suicide Squad Teases An Appearance From a Surprise DC Comics Location

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Martin Freeman described the Wakanda Forever script as “very good” in a recent interview with Metro.

I’ve read the script. It’s very good and we will be doing it at some point I guess in the next several months. I’ll be going to the States and doing that. But I’m very excited about it, yeah.


Shazam: Fury of the Gods

Zachary Levi confirmed production has officially begun on the Shazam! sequel in Atlanta, Georgia.

Shazam: Fury of the Gods is officially underway! So grateful to @wbpictures @newlinecinema @dccomics et al for seeing the 16 year old inside me and believing he could be their Big Red Cheese. Actual 16 year old me would be shitting himself if he knew what his future was gonna hold. I legit sit around and just feel overcome with gratitude when I allow myself to look back thru my life and see all the countless blessings. The unearthly and immense amount of protection, provision, and providence God has orchestrated in my life. All of you, my friends and family who have lifted me up and supported me since I was doing school and community theater. You’ve known me since I was 16. We did it y’all. We’re doing it. And honestly, wouldn’t I just shit myself?? 🙃 Well, I know one thing for sure. 16 year old me would be straight up rockin these kicks. Ain’t no doubt. They’d be right next to my @airwalk ‘s made out of Tennis ball material. If you know, you know. 🤘😎🤘 @shazammovie (Sneaks by @geekyblinders 👟) #lightningwithmyhands #cannedheatinmyheels


The Suicide Squad

A new photo from James Gunn sees Bloodsport, Ratcatcher 2 and Polka Dot Man escort the Thinker while undercover in Corto Maltese—a politically tumultuous island first referenced in The Dark Knight Returns and has since been an easter egg in multiple DC adaptations, from Batman to Arrow.


Jungle Cruise

Dwayne Johnson also shared a new Jungle Cruise poster on Instagram.

So damn cool to see you all this HYPED for our epic JUNGLE CRUISE 🚢 🗺🌍

Reactions to our new trailer have been 🔥🔥🔥🙏🏾!! Emily and I can’t wait to lead our global campaign and have you join us for the most FUN ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME!!!

Hype is real.

Anticipation is building!

ALL ABOARD… but BEWARE ☠️☠️😈

#Disney

#JUNGLECRUISE

IN THEATERS JULY 30TH

WORLDWIDE and Premier Access on Disney+ 🌍


Superdeep

A research team exploring the Kola Superdeep borehole awaken the ultimate evil in the trailer for Superdeep, coming to Shudder June 17.


Legends of Tomorrow

Legends of Tomorrow does Enemy Mine in the synopsis for “Bishop’s Gambit” airing June 13.

SECRETS – Mick (Dominc Purcell) takes the Waverider and Kayla (guest star Aliyah O’Brien) to try and find Sara (Caity Lotz), but these enemies find themselves needing each other to survive after landing on the possible planet Sara is being held captive. After a report of an Alien attack, the Legends return to their new headquarters, Constantine’s (Matt Ryan) manor, where both Spooner (Lisseth Cahvez) and Astra (Olivia Swann) try to connect to the Alien. Zari is (Tala Ashe) suspicious of Constantine’s behavior, but isn’t surprised when she learns the truth. Meanwhile, Sara devises a plan to escape by using her charm to win over Bishop (guest star Raffi Barsoumian), but she learns something more disturbing. Dominic Purcell, Nick Zano, Tala Ashe, Jes Macallan, Adam Tsekham, Matt Ryan and Shayan Sobhian also star. Kevin Mock directed the episode written by James Eagan & Emily Cheever (606). Original airdate 6/13/2021.

[Spoiler TV]


Batwoman

A “familiar foe” comes to Gotham in the synopsis for “Rebirth” — the June 13 episode of Batwoman.

CAN’T LET IT GO – When a familiar foe descends upon Gotham, Batwoman (Javicia Leslie) and Mary (Nicole Kang) find they must rely on each other more than ever. Alice (Rachel Skarsten) has a has a new mission – and gets an unexpected ally to join her. Also starring Dougray Scott, Meagan Tandy and Camrus Johnson. Michael Allowitz directed the episode written by Daniel Thomsen (#216). Original airdate 6/13/2021.

[Spoiler TV]


The Flash

Cecile becomes trapped in a “psychic prison” in the synopsis for “Masquerade” airing June 15.

CECILE IS TRAPPED – Cecile (Danielle Nicolet) is forced to confront her past in order to break free from a psychic prison. Meanwhile, Chester (Brandon McKnight) takes over for Cisco but makes a mistake that puts Barry (Grant Gustin) in serious danger. Joe (Jesse L. Martin) investigates Kristen Kramer’s old military ties and discovers an unsettling truth. Rachel Talalay directed the episode written by Sam Chalsen & Christina M. Walker (#713). Original airdate 6/15/2021.

[Spoiler TV]


Superman & Lois

Lana seeks help from Lois and Clark in the synopsis for “O Mother, Where Art Thou?” also airing June 15.

FAMILY – Lana (Emmanuelle Chriqui) reaches out to Lois (Elizabeth Tulloch) and Clark (Tyler Hoechlin) when Kyle (Erik Valdez) starts behaving strangely. Meanwhile, Jonathan (Jordan Elsass) opens up to Jordan (Alex Garfin). Lastly, Sarah (Inde Navarette) storms out after accusing her mom of always covering for her dad. Dylan Walsh and Wole Parks also star. (#110). The episode was directed by Harry Jierjian and written by Adam Mallinger. Original airdate 6/15/2021.

[Spoiler TV]


Charmed

Maggie and Macy travel forward in time in the synopsis for “Schrodinger’s Future” airing June 18.

WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS – Maggie (Sarah Jeffery) has a disturbing vision, forcing her and Macy (Madeleine Mantock) to pay a visit to the future. Mel (Melonie Diaz) and Harry (Rupert Evans) struggle with challenging new circumstances. Also starring Poppy Drayton. Stuart Gilliard directed the episode written by Bianca Sams and Blake Taylor (#315). Original airdate 6/18/2021.

[Spoiler TV]


Legacies

Hope, Josie and Lizzie are trapped in a “sci-fi nightmare” in the synopsis for “A New Hope” airing June 17.

HALLUCINATIONS – Stuck in a hallucination, Hope (Danielle Rose Russell), Josie (Kaylee Bryant) and Lizzie (Jenny Boyd) are forced to find their way out of a sci-fi nightmare. Elsewhere, Alaric (Matthew Davis) sends MG (Quincy Fouse), Kaleb (Chris Lee) and Jed (Ben Levin) on a team building mission. Leo Howard also stars. Brett Matthews directed the episode written by Brett Matthews & Thomas Brandon (#315). Original airdate 6/17/2021.

[Spoiler TV]


Van Helsing

An abandoned mine caves-in on our heroes in the trailer for “Deep Trouble” — next week’s episode of Van Helsing.


Fantasy Island

Finally, Fox has released a teaser trailer for this summer’s Fantasy Island reboot starring Roselyn Sanchez as Mr. Roarke’s granddaughter.


Banner art by Jim Cook



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Bridgerton’s Freddie Stroma Stars in James Gunn’s Peacemaker

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Freddie Stroma in Bridgerton

Freddie Stroma in Bridgerton
Screenshot: Netflix

Freddie Stroma (Bridgerton) is cast in a recurring role as Adrian Chase, aka Vigilante, in James Gunn’s HBO Max series Peacemaker.

According to Deadline, Stroma is replacing Chris Conrad, who originally played the role but left the show due to creative differences.

Peacemaker went straight-to-series order with eight episodes. James Gunn will write and direct and act as executive producer along with Peter Safran, Matt Miller. Star John Cena will act as Co-executive producer.

The show is an action-comedy that explores the origins of John Cena’s character in The Suicide Squad. Based on the DC Comics character, the series follows a man who believes in total peace at any cost. Vigilante is a former New York City district attorney who adopts the alter ego when mobsters killed his wife and child. He was a skilled marksman, a hand-to-hand combat fighter, and has healing powers.

Stroma rounds out a stellar cast, including Danielle Brooks (Orange Is the New Black), Robert Patrick (Terminator 2), Nhut Le (Kroll Show), with Suicide Squad, film characters Steve Agee and Jennifer Holland returning for the series.

Peacemaker is projected to debut in spring 2022, while James Gunn’s Suicide Squad is scheduled for theatrical release on August 6, 2021.


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Lego Marvel Infinity Gauntlet and More Best Toys of the Week

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Illustration for article titled Oh, Snap! It's the Best Toys of the Week

Image: Hasbro, Lego

Toys and CollectiblesAction figures, statues, exclusives, and other merchandise. Beware: if you look here, you’re probably going to spend some money afterwards.

Welcome back to Toy Aisle, io9’s regular round up of the latest and greatest toys and collectibles that make it difficult to remain a fiscally responsible adult. This week brings gauntlets galore, a memorable Thor foe, a prime example of Prime, a Lego symbol of acceptance and inclusivity, and enough foam to throw a rave. Check it out!


Illustration for article titled Oh, Snap! It's the Best Toys of the Week

Image: Takara Tomy

Takara Tomy MPM-12 Transformers Masterpiece Optimus Prime

As enjoyable as the Bumblebee movie was, it was also a painful reminder of the crimes Michael Bay committed when creating his live-action Transformers films, particularly with all the much-too-short scenes featuring a CG Optimus Prime inspired by the character’s original ‘80s toy. It’s hard to say when we’ll see another Transformers film, but you can tide yourself over with Takara Tomy’s new MPM-12 Masterpiece Optimus Prime figure based on the bot’s appearance in Bumblebee. It includes lots of intricate detailing, right down to the rivets on the truck’s body panels, as well as the Matrix of Leadership, but is also fully transformable. It’s available for pre-order now from Hobby Link Japan for $150, but shipping isn’t expected until October.


Illustration for article titled Oh, Snap! It's the Best Toys of the Week

Image: Lego

Lego Marvel Infinity Gauntlet

The most coveted plot device in motion picture and comic book history has finally gotten the Lego treatment, but while you can’t actually wear this brick-built replica of the Infinity Gauntlet, the 590-piece replica sets a new record with 153 drum-lacquered gold pieces—the most bling to ever be included in a single set. The set trades a scale that would allow the gauntlet to be used as a cosplay replica for affordability—it’s available for pre-order now for $70, and starts shipping on August 1—but the individual finger elements are all posable, which means that while on its included display stand you can recreate the infamous snap, or other hand gestures the seven-year-old version of you would find hilarious.


Illustration for article titled Oh, Snap! It's the Best Toys of the Week

Image: Hasbro

Hasbro Marvel Legends Infinity Saga Thor Ragnarok Surtur

It’s a credit to both Chris Hemsworth and Taika Waititi that Thor: Ragnarok’s interaction between Thor and Surtur, a towering demon bent on destroying Asgard, ended up being one of the funniest scenes in the entire MCU. Spoiler alert: Surtur and Thor didn’t exactly depart on friendly terms, but with your imagination and this 13-inch articulated figure from Hasbro, they can be the best of friends. The only catch? The $53 figure, which doesn’t ship until September at the earliest, appears to already be sold out on Hasbro Pulse.


Illustration for article titled Oh, Snap! It's the Best Toys of the Week

Image: Hasbro

Hasbro Marvel Legends Series Iron Man Nano Gauntlet

If you’re bummed you can’t wear Lego’s version of the Infinity Gauntlet, Hasbro’s got your back with a consolation prize: an 18-inch long wearable replica of Iron Man’s Nano Gauntlet that includes sound effects and six removable Infinity Stones that light up when attached to the gauntlet. All of the fingers are articulated, too, so you can recreate Tony Stark’s heroic sacrifice without, you know, actually having to leave a very successful and profitable film franchise. The Iron Man Nano Gauntlet is available for pre-order on Hasbro Pulse for $125, but isn’t expected to ship until early November.


Illustration for article titled Oh, Snap! It's the Best Toys of the Week

Image: Little Tikes

Little Tikes FOAMO Foam Machine

After a year spent exhausting every imaginable activity at home, we probably all feel like we need something different to do in 2021. The answer to that is obviously filling every square inch of livable space we have with mountains and mountains of foam. Most of Little Tikes’ toys are designed primarily for the younger set, but the $190 FOAMO machine is perfect for anyone wanting to bring the rave experience home. Everything you need comes in a packable storage container that can also be used to create the five-to-one water to soap ratio that’s fed into a giant blower to churn out bubbles by the millions. The included tub of bubble solution is also non-toxic, hypoallergenic, biodegradable, and easily wipes off surfaces with a damp cloth, so when the party is over, you’re not left with hours of cleanup.


Illustration for article titled Oh, Snap! It's the Best Toys of the Week

Image: Lego

Lego Everyone Is Awesome

One of the many benefits of Lego is that, for the most part, it’s a gender-neutral toy, which is now officially celebrated with a new 346-piece Everyone is Awesome set featuring 11 monochromatic but brightly colored minifigures perched atop a color-coordinated display stand. According to Lego design VP Matthew Ashton, who originally designed the set to sit on their desk, the company has “…made sure to include black and brown colors to represent the broad diversity of everyone within the LGBTQIA+ community. We’ve also added in the pale blue, white, and pink to support and embrace the trans community as well. I purposely put the purple drag queen in as a clear nod to the fabulous side of the LGBTQIA+ community.” The set will be officially available starting on June 1 for $35, and in addition to helping promote acceptance and inclusivity, it also comes with an excellent variety of minifigure hair pieces.


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Ahmed Best Won’t Be Jar Jar on Disney+

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Wherefore art thou, Representative Binks?

Wherefore art thou, Representative Binks?
Screenshot: Lucasfilm

Morning SpoilersIf there’s news about upcoming movies and television you’re not supposed to know, you’ll find it in here.

Kyle MacLachlan teases his connection to David Lynch’s next TV project. Charmed finds a new recurring character. Plus, what’s to come when Riverdale returns, and Alan Tudyk teases the second season of Resident Alien. Spoilers, away!

Illustration for article titled Updates From Obi-Wan Kenobi, Naomi, and More

Every House Is Haunted

Deadline reports Corin Hardy is attached to direct Every House is Haunted, a horror film based on a script by Jason Pagan and Andrew Deutschman for Netflix. The story follows an insurance investigator who “tries to debunk claims that a couple’s death was caused by a haunted house, but his doubts are challenged by a psychic and the mysterious occurrences he witnesses with his own eyes.” Sam Raimi’s Raimi Productions is attached to produce the project alongside Zainab Azizi.


Wisteria

Kyle MacLachlan may have teased his involvement in David Lynch’s mysterious new television series, Wisteria, in a recent Instagram post.


Obi-Wan Kenobi

Ahmed Best confirmed on Twitter that, alas, he will not reprise his role as Jar Jar Binks in the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series at Disney+.


Charmed

Deadline has word Mareya Salazar will recur on the fourth season of Charmed as Joséfina, the Charmed Ones’ second cousin described as “a strong, opinionated young woman who shows up on their doorstep with surprises and secrets. She also has a mission of her own.”


Naomi

KSiteTV reports Barry Watson, Mouzam Makker, Marcy-Charles Jones, Aidan Gemme, and Aidan Puig have joined the cast of the CW’s Naomi. Watson will play Greg McDuffie, Naomi’s adoptive father, opposite Makkar as Naomi’s mother, Jennifer. Jones will play Annabelle, “Naomi’s fiercely loyal classmate and best friend who is unafraid of telling Naomi hard truths” alongside Gemme as the “sweet, shy and nerdy” Jacob. Puig rounds out the cast as Nathan “a high school jock who briefly dated Naomi before she ended the relationship. Though the two remain friends, they still share an undeniable chemistry, and Naomi’s interest in another teen sparks Nathan’s jealousy.”


Ghosts

CBS has officially ordered the U.S. remake of Ghosts—starring iZombie’s Rose McIver—to series. [TV Line]


Wrecked

According to Variety, BBC Three has ordered Wrecked, a new six-part horror-comedy series set aboard a mega cruise ship. The series will follow “19-year-old new recruit Jamie as he joins the crew in search of his missing sister” last seen “working aboard the same vessel on a previous tour and never made it home. Jamie is initiated into cruise life and gets a crash course on the teen tribes within the staff who party hard and remain oblivious to the bloodthirsty murders taking place on board. Jamie is forced to turn detective and uncover the sinister truth.” In a statement, series writer Ryan J. Brown promised the show’s “kills are brutal, the laughs are loud, and the heartfelt moments land with real candor.”


Pacific Rim: The Black

Bloody-Disgusting reports Netflix has renewed Pacific Rim: The Black for a second season.

Illustration for article titled Updates From Obi-Wan Kenobi, Naomi, and More

Photo: Netflix


Riverdale

A new trailer showcases the Archie Comics craziness you can expect when Riverdale returns with new episodes later this year.


Nancy Drew

Meanwhile, Nancy Drew gets caught in her own amnesiac-time loop-tabula rasa situation in the trailer for next week’s episode, “The Scourge of the Forgotten Rune.


Resident Alien

Finally, Syfy has released a teaser for the second season of Resident Alien promised to be “invading your screens again, soon.”


Banner art by Jim Cook

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