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Cosmos Wrangles Up The Biggest Global Audience In National Geographic History

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CosmosIf you spend much time perusing the wares here at GFR, you probably already know, or at least guessed, that we were pretty big fans of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Seth McFarlane’s (yes, that Seth McFarlane) updated version of Carl Sagan’s classic science show Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Surprising that we might be way into a program like this that explores the bigger questions of science and the universe, isn’t it? We also suspect that many of you out there in Internet land enjoyed Cosmos as well, but we aren’t the only ones, as the series drew the biggest worldwide audience the National Geographic Channel has ever wrangled.

Last spring, Fox debuted the revamped series in over 180 countries. In an unusual cross-platform release, Cosmos aired on 90 National Geographic channels, as well as more than 120-Fox-branded stations across the world. If that sounds like a lot, it is. We’re talking about the largest single global TV launch in history. Just in the U.S., on ten outlets, including Fox, National Geographic, FX, FXX, FXM, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Mundo, and Fox Life.

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Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary Trailer Delivers An Event Of Biblical Proportions

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These days studios are way too liberal when throwing around anniversaries for their various films. Seriously, I have a 27th anniversary DVD in my collection. Still, there are a few we can get behind. So far celebrating the 35-year mark for Ridley Scott’s Alien has provided some fun. And another that we’re totally on board with is the 30th anniversary of Ivan Reitman’s beloved Ghostbusters. There are all kinds of festivities planned for later this year, and Sony Pictures Entertainment has released a new trailer to mark the occasion.

Seeing Ghostbusters in the theater at seven years old was a formative experience in my young life. Not only did it totally cement my sense of humor, but it colored everything that would come after. This is some of the funniest men ever to live working at the height of their considerable powers, and no matter what any of them might have done after this (Dan Aykroyd in Crossroads), their legacy was totally secure.

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Thomas Jane Signs On For Syfy’s The Expanse

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JaneIf Syfy keeps making good decisions like this, I might have to stop making fun of their name, and man, is that gonna sting. First they had to go and start greenlighting all sorts of genuinely exciting stuff, such as Ascension and DMZ and Letter 44. Then they had to go and announce a series adaptation of James S.A. Corey’s The Expanse, easily my favorite new science fiction series in decades. The thought of it done well is hugely exciting…but what if they screw it up? Today, at least, I’m leaning toward optimism, because they’ve just added actor Thomas Jane to the cast, in a role he should be damn near perfect for.

The Hollywood Reporter today broke the news that Jane has landed the role of Detective Miller in The Expanse. If you’re not familiar with the books, Miller was one of the two primary protagonists in 2011’s Leviathan Wakes, the first of Corey’s Expanse novels (“James S.A. Corey” is actually a pen name for two writers, Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.) Miller is a gruff, blue-collar cop working the beat for a corporate security force that controls much of the belt. What seems to be a simple case of a missing heiress soon leads Miller into a web of dead bodies, cover-ups, and a secret that could determine the future of mankind.

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Oliver Stone And Arnold Schwarzenegger Almost Rebooted Planet Of The Apes

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Planet of the ApesDawn of the Planet of the Apes opens this weekend and is easily one of my favorite movies of the summer. I could go on and on about it forever, but that’s off topic, and if you’re interested in my thoughts on the matter, you can read my review. In 2011, Rise of the Planet of the Apes rebooted the franchise and was better than most of us expected, but that wasn’t the first attempt to revisit the ape-dominated Earth. Most of you remember what happened when Tim Burton and Mark Wahlberg tried in 2001, leaving a foul taste in our mouth that still lingers (Dawn should go a long way towards healing those old wounds), but there was one other attempt that most people don’t know about. In the 1990s Oliver Stone and Arnold Schwarzenegger tried to get a reboot off the ground. It didn’t go anywhere, but it would have been completely insane.

After Natural Born Killers dropped in 1994, producers Don Murphy and Jane Hamsher needed something new to work on, and attempted to enlist Stone in a Planet of the Apes reboot called Return of the Apes. Stone wasn’t particularly interested, and a meeting with studio execs wasn’t going well. That is, until Stone threw out this pitch: “What if time were not linear, but circular, and there was no difference between the past and the future?…And what if there were discovered cryogenically frozen Vedic Apes who held the secret numeric codes to the Bible that foretold the end of civilization?”

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Star Wars Unveils Its Plans For Comic-Con, For Better Or Worse

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star-wars-rebels-trailerSan Diego Comic-Con 2014 is arguably the year’s most geektastic event, and J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII is arguably the most geektastic movie currently in production. (Sorry, Batman v. Superman: Justice is Dawning, or whatever, you know it’s true.) But in the same way that like poles of a magnet push each other away, Comic-Con and Episode VII will sadly be completely exclusive sectors of the entertainment realm, as Disney is keeping their future blockbuster out of San Diego entirely, disappointing many thousands of hopeful fans in the process. They will, however, be Force-choking their way into the Disney XD panel with the highly anticipated animated series Star Wars Rebels. Silver lining or olive branch?

Currently in production in London’s Pinewood Studios, and a year-and-a-half away from theaters, Episode VII likely wouldn’t have all that much to debut at Comic-Con anyway, beyond a simple teaser that probably isn’t worth making a big fuss over. And are we really all that surprised anyway? Abrams is not one to debut pre-release “footage” so much as cryptic hints and random behind-the-scenes images. So we move on from CGI-filled live-action to CGI-filled animation.

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Marty McFly’s Hoverboard Will Be Up For Auction If You Have An Extra $15,000

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hover boardMany people often lament the fact that it is almost 2015, the year that Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) visits in 1989’s classic Back to the Future Part II, and we’re still no closer to getting our very own hoverboards. There was that one time when the Internet exploded all over the place thinking they were on the way, but as you’ll remember that turned out to be a hoax, of course. And while we’re not going to be able to step on a real Mattel brand hover board anytime soon, you can get pretty close, assuming you have a spare 15-grand.

Marty’s actual hoverboard from Back to the Future 2 will be up for auction. Yes, the actual prop from the film will be available for you to drop all of your hard-earned dollars on this October from Propstore, and the estimated asking price is 15,000 pounds. That may sound like a lot of money, and it certainly is for most of us, but you have to remember that this is the board that Marty swipes from that kid to outrun Griff Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson), the future son of familiar jackass Biff Tannen—all fathers and sons should have rhyming names. Just remember, don’t ride it over water, it doesn’t work very well when you do that.