Science-Fiction Weekly – Ghost In The Shell, Star Trek, Secret Empire, The Last Jedi
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 scored a perfect 100 in its first test screening – the highest of any Marvel movie to date. Both The Avengers and Iron Man 3 scored in the high 90s. Deadpool also pulled in a 96 for Fox. As the Hollywood Reporter notes, test screenings don't always lineup with theatergoers' interests, and Marvel is more selective in participants than other studios, leaning more on friends and family than random people who may leak spoilers.
Director James Gunn joked about the score on Twitter. "For the record, the 2nd highest scoring film I’ve worked on is Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed – so I take these things with a grain of salt," he said. The first Guardians of the Galaxy film was fantastic – one of Marvel's best – and latest TV spot (below) makes the gang's return look like an absolute riot. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 opens in theaters on May 5.
If you are concerned about Ghost in the Shell's trailers delivering more style than substance, you may like what you see from the latest teaser, which focuses intently on setting up the story. This trailer is long, and it is loaded with plot points and a surprising amount of spoilers. Watch at your own risk. We only have a couple of months to wait until Ghost in the Shell graces the silver screen on March 31, so don't spoil it now if you want to go in somewhat blind.
Adam Nimoy, the son of the late Leonard Nimoy, is returning to the Star Trek universe to film another documentary. His first doc, For the Love of Spock, was obviously about his father. His next foray focuses on Deep Space Nine, the third Star Trek television series that had a successful seven-season run from 1993-1999. The film is currently seeking funding via Indiegogo, but has already reached its goal, pulling in over $245,000 in just a few short days. Most of the actors and creatives are attached to the project, but Avery Brooks (Captain Benjamin Sisko) is noticeably absent from the list, but is prominently featured in the trailer (via con and show footage).
Marvel's next big comic book event hits in April, and appears to pit Captain America against the entire Marvel universe. This war unfolds in a standalone series called Secret Empire. Marvel's senior vice president Tom Brevoort compares this story to a "Michael Bay blockbuster" filled with "colossal struggles and battles." All we know for certain is Captain America is an agent of Hydra, and we're about to see his end game unfold. The cover art teases a heavy cosmic angle, which is surprising given the origin of the threat. Issue zero of Secret Empire hits in April, and the series begins its monthly run in May.
Over in the galaxy far, far away, the latest fan speculation over Rey's parents is a bit wild, but Reddit user Darth Hodor provides plenty of ammo to back it up. We've heard speculation that she may be Luke's daughter, or a Kenobi or Palpatine, but what if her roots link to the Rebels TV show instead? What if her father is Ezra Bridger, the young Jedi in training featured in Rebels? Hodor believes Benicio Del Toro is playing Bridger in The Last Jedi. "He'd be about the right age, and there have been theories that Rebels will end with Ezra joining Luke's new Jedi Academy," Hodor said in a post. "But then why was she left on Jakku? The theory I've come up with is that Ezra fall to the dark side. He joins forces with Snoke and together they start manipulating the Jedi starting with Ben Solo. Foreseeing this, Luke hides Rey from her father, and in retaliation Ezra, through or with Kylo Ren, destroy the Jedi Academy. Luke flees and Del Toro is left without knowing where his daughter is hidden."
As much as I would love to see Ezra featured on the big screen in a meaningful way, I doubt Lucasfilm would transform him into a villain. Take a chance like this would surprise a lot of people, but I doubt that happens with a show designed for kids. Speculate away, people. The more theories we see leading into the film's launch in December, the better. My money is still on the easy route of her being a Skywalker. Yes, that's a letdown, but who is mom? That question is just as huge, even if Luke is dear ol' dad.
Concern over Pacific Rim: Uprising bringing back the same model of the Gypsy Danger Jaeger can be put on hold. Leaked marketing materials for the film show a redesigned version of the Gypsy, along with apparent redesigns for Jaegers Cherno Alpha and Crimson Typhoon. You can see the new models below. I like how sleek they look. Yes, they are starting to look more and more like Transformers, but hey, that's okay. Thanks go out to Science-Fiction Weekly reader Sven for sending over the image.
I'm leaving you this week with a new look at Kong: Skull Island. I wish we had some games to talk about (Horizon: Zero Dawn is just two weeks away), but watching Kong battle dinosaurs is just as good. Enjoy the clip, and I'll see you back here again for another Science-Fiction Weekly in seven short days.