Most of the recent attention focused on Star Wars centers on The Force Awakens. That makes sense, as it’s the first new film addition to the franchise since Revenge of the Sith in 2005, and it drops in less than ten months. Still, in addition to the Episode films, we also have a variety of standalone projects in the works, and one of them may have just found their lead.
Be warned, there are potential spoilers for the standalone Star Wars films beyond this point.
Around these parts, we’re pretty stoked for Neill Blomkamp’s upcoming robot saga Chappie. Even if we didn’t love his last picture, Elysium, he has a fantastic visual sense, and his debut, District 9, ranks up there among our favorite recent sci-fi pictures. And it’s about robots, which you probably noticed, we’re quite fond of. The film features a strong cast, including Dev Patel, Hugh Jackman, and Sigourney Weaver, but in an unusual bit of casting, it also stars Yolandi Vi$$er and Ninja, better known as South African rap-rave duo Die Antwoord. It’s a move that has raised some eyebrows, but this new featurette digs into the choice and the influence of the two musicians.
In this behind-the-scenes look, they talk about their style, known as Zef, which involves a lot of street swagger and an I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude. It’s easy to see why Blomkamp, also a South African, would choose them to lend an air of authenticity and organic credibility to his latest endeavor.
If you’ve never given much thought to whether or not you wanted to watch a surreal, post-apocalyptic Ethiopian love story, you should, because you’re definitely going to want to check out Crumbs. The film, which fits all of these criteria, recently premiered, and if this trailer is any indication, this is going to one hell of a ride.
You can’t help but get an Alejandro Jodorowsky vibe from this short look at Crumbs. There’s a definite kinship with films like El Topo and The Holy Mountain. There is all kinds of craziness going on here, and the entire trailer is full-to-bursting with stark, unsettling imagery. There’s what appears to be an evil Santa Claus, a Nazi with what looks like Mickey Mouse ears, decrepit carnival rides, lions, and much more. And that’s not even counting all the strange things tumbling through space, like knick-knacks, a Michael Jackson album, and a toy sword (when we hear about the first scene in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, where a lightsaber reportedly falls to the surface of a planet, this is how I picture it looking).
ITV and Pukeko Pictures are remaking Gerry and Sylvia Anderson’s classic sci-fi adventure Thunderbirds, replacing the marionettes with a mixture of practical and digital special effects. Now they’ve released a series of videos introducing the heroes, including the five Tracy brothers and their new pal Kayo.
Wherever disaster strikes, and no one else can help, the team from International Rescue will be there. Departing from their secret base on Tracy Island, the highly trained squad covers the whole world, and beyond. Each one of these videos is a kind of calling card for the core members of the crew, like this first one for Scott Tracy. The clips also give a brief nugget of information about each character, and introduce the various ships that they pilot into action.
BBC America’s clone drama Orphan Black is one of the most compelling shows on television. The first two seasons garnered widespread acclaim from critics and sci-fi fans, but as happens all to often with genre shows, the ratings haven’t been stellar. Granted, they haven’t been awful, and it has very good numbers on DVRs, streaming, and on demand, but they’re not the best. And in order to hopefully take a step up, the fast approaching season 3 is getting a boost as AMC Networks plans to air the series across all of its outlets.
When the new episodes premiere on April 18, they will air on BBC America and AMC’s flagship station (AMC runs BBC America with BBC Worldwide), of course, but also IFC, WE TV, and Sundance TV. Outside of big political speeches and various MTV awards shows, this kind of cross platform promotion doesn’t happen all that often, and it’s especially cool for a sci-fi show to get this kind of backing.
Ash Vs. Evil Dead may not be straight up sci-fi, but it’s still one of our most anticipated upcoming shows. Most of what we know at this point is that it stars Bruce Campbell, reunites him with Sam Raimi, and there will be ten 30-minute episodes on Starz sometime later this year. That’s enough to catch our attention, but now plot details are starting to come out and the non-Campbell cast is coming together, adding another key piece.
Campbell stopped by to talk to Dread Central and shared some details about the impending series, which is set to begin filming in New Zealand before too awful long—production is slated to begin in April. He describes his approach to his character, an older version of his wise cracking braggart Ash, saying, “I’m bringing everything to the table. It’s a feisty version of Ash, who’s grizzled and just wants to be left alone.”