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Brad Bird Said No To Directing Star Wars: Episode VII, Find Out Why

SoloIt’s no secret that J.J. Abrams is directing Star Wars: Episode VII. In reality, that’s one of the few things outside of the cast and that Disney and Lucasfilm are actually making another Star Wars movie that we know for sure. This is the most high profile job in a career full of fairly prominent gigs, but while he’s the one who wound up in the director’s chair, he wasn’t the only one who had a chance to land this assignment. We’ve heard that Gone Girl director David Fincher turned down the job (or at least withdrew from the running after meeting with folks from Lucasfilm). We can add Brad Bird to the list of people who could have directed this movie, and now we know why. (You can’t help but assume that, if Episode VII winds up being terrible, this list of could-have-beens is going to haunt Star Wars fans for years to come.)

Bird may be most known for his animation work, directing movies like The Iron Giant and The Incredibles, though he also helmed Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol. But as big a fan of Star Wars as he is—he’s a huge nerd—the decision to pass on Episode VII is very simple and came down to a couple of factors: Tomorrowland and scheduling.

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The Walking Dead: Find Out More About That Terrifying Tattooed Man

If the number are any indication, quite a few of you out there watched “No Sanctuary,” the season 5 premiere of AMC’s hit zombie drama The Walking Dead over the weekend. 17.3 million tuned in on Sunday night, shattering their previous high water mark of 16.1 million the season 4 debut earned last year. There was one mysterious character you may have been wondering about, and now we have an answer for you.

Be warned, we’re wandering into SPOILER country if you haven’t watched the episode, so proceed with caution.

The Walking Dead

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Watch Doctor Who Flatline In Trailer And Photos For Next Episode

Doctor Who season 8 is chugging along nicely, with Peter Capaldi bringing a level of grumpy old man to the venerable Time Lord that hasn’t been a part of the repertoire for quite some time. Next weekend sees the ninth episode of the new year, “Flatline,” and the BBC has released a trailer and a bunch of still photos from the next chapter.

In “Flatline,” Clara (Jenna Coleman) gets separated from the Doctor and encounters a harrowing new menace that originates in another dimension. From this footage it certainly looks like someone is pulling people through into other realms where the abductees are then being experimented on in some way. You can’t help but feel like they’re trying to understand us in order to better deal with us when they invade. If that’s the case, it feels a little bit like parts of Fringe. As the synopsis says, “how do you hide when even the walls are no protection? With people to save and the Doctor trapped, Clara comes up against an enemy that exists beyond human perception.”

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New York Comic Con 2014 Panel Vids For The Walking Dead, Firefly Online, And More

The annual New York Comic Con unfolded this past weekend a record-breaking 150,000 people in attendance, which made it officially bigger than San Diego Comic-Con. And having been to SDCC many times over the years, that fact is pretty mind-blowing. If you, like us, weren’t able to make it out, you can still experience some of the highlights thanks to the wonder that is the internet. We’ve gathered some of the most interesting panel videos for your hungry little eyeballs, and while they don’t include any of the exclusive footage that was screened at the Con, you do still get to see the people behind some of your favorite things talking about the making of some of your favorite things. We’ll kick things off with AMC’s massively popular zombie drama…

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Google’s Getting Into ‘Cinematic Reality’

magic-leapYou didn’t think Google was going to let Facebook have all the fun, did you? Facebook bought virtual reality darling Oculus Rift back in March for a cool $2 billion, pissing off a bunch of early Rift supporters and securing its own position in the burgeoning virtual reality market. It seems that Facebook and Google have been engaging in tit-for-tat acquisitions recently, and this time is no different. Google is reportedly poised to invest in a “cinematic reality” company called Magic Leap.

It isn’t 100% clear what exactly Magic Leap does. Its website, which is well worth a visit, says that the company “brings the magic back” and shows virtual images in real-world scenarios, such as an elephant in the palm of one’s hand, or an image of a ballerina twirling at the foot of a toddler’s bed. Magic Leap’s CEO says the company is developing “the most natural and human-friendly wearable computing interface in the world,” but the company has by and large remained under the radar. But with Google’s interest, it’s not going to stay that way.

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Young Charles Darwin Heads To Mystical Cities For This CW Project

charles darwinTaking a look around the pop culture landscape, I think it’s safe to say we are presently in the Age of the Progressive Genius Biopic. With films already out there dedicated to Steve Jobs, Alan Turing, and Stephen Hawking, it seems like the perfect time for a TV show about naturalist Charles Darwin facing weird creatures and doing other slightly heroic things. I mean, assuming there’s ever a perfect time for a show like this.

The CW, a network known for adding “young and attractive” to every concept that comes its way, has granted a script commitment for Unnatural Selection, a drama written by Adam Karp. He’s a relative newcomer, having only written the Parenthood/Friday Night Lights crossover webisode, as well as the 2011 TV movie Time Machine: Rise of the Morlocks. (No points against you if you don’t remember that one right offhand.)