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‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ Movie Delayed to 2020 Due to Fan Backlash

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Well, this shouldn’t surprise anyone.

The Sonic the Hedgehog live-action movie has been pushed back to February 14, 2020. This is due to the studio deciding that the need to rework Sonic after fan backlash over the un-Sonic-like design of the character.

The movie’s director took to Twitter earlier today to make the announcement.

The hashtag seems to indicate that this is so the visual FX artists have ample time to rework Sonic, as there was a growing concern they’d be worked to the bone to make the initial release of November 2019.

Director Jeff Fowler also took to Twitter earlier in the month to announce that Sonic would be redesigned to be more in line with his classic video game counterpart.

This made Sonic’s co-creator Yuji Naka very happy.

Not everybody is happy about the decision to make Sonic fans happy.

Of course the internet is lit up with the usual articles attacking the “entitled” fans for wanting their favorite characters to look and act like their favorite characters.

In fact, according to ComicBook.com it’s dangerous to give fans what they want, even if it might hedge(hog?) your bets at the box office…

Arguably the most dangerous example of fans demanding a creator please them came with the Sonic teaser. (…)

While this was considered a “win” by one faction of fans, it doesn’t account for the fans who actually enjoyed this initial design. Additionally, Fowler didn’t note how the design would be changed, which opens up the notion that an upcoming design still won’t be embraced by fans. Now that there’s a precedent that, if you’re loud enough, you will get what you want, it means that anytime enough fans don’t enjoy a piece of art, they can band together to voice their complaints and point to, “Well, Sonic changed the design, so you can change this.”

And then there’s Twitter…

 

Now let’s just hope that the weird design choices for Sonic was the biggest hurdle, and that the movie doesn’t completely suck.

[Source: Variety]

 

Ewan McGregor Coming Back For Obi-Wan Kenobi TV Show and a Boba Fett Show

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So, if rumors are to be believed, the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ show is back on again.

This rumor has almost as much “on” and “off” as The Karate Kid.

If you’ve been following along it was previously rumored that there would be an Obi-Wan Kenobi series on the upcoming Disney streaming service. Then it was said that it was going to be scrapped and now, apparently, it’s back on.

According to We Got This Covered:

” An industry insider recently revealed to We Got This Covered that Disney is not only planning to bring Obi-Wan to their streaming service, in a brand new series, but it’ll also see the return of McGregor to the franchise. Details are scarce right now, but it seems the House of Mouse is planning to make an official announcement in the near future, so be sure to stay tuned.”

Personally, I’m hoping this is true. I would like to see a show with Ewan McGregor reprising his role as Obi-Wan. It sounds like he’s on board for it.

But that’s not all!

Sounds like we might be getting a Boba Fett show as well. Again, We Got This Covered did an article about this news, that I assume they got from the same “Industry insider” that indicated Obi-Wan was back on.

“Speaking exclusively to We Got This Covered, an industry insider revealed that Disney will be adapting Boba Fett for the small screen. Specifically, for their Disney Plus streaming service. No casting or plot details were disclosed, but with The Mandalorian reportedly costing the company $100 million to produce, we wouldn’t be surprised if the House of Mouse chose to spend an equal amount of money on Boba and co. to put together something on the same scale as Jon Favreau’s aforementioned show.”

I do wonder if they would do Boba Fett as a prequel to his time in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, or as a sequel with him escaping the Sarlacc pit?

Right now it seems it’s all based on this one person’s statements, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. We will just have to wait for Disney to make an announcement to confirm it. Till then it’s all just speculation.

What’s interesting to me is that both of these characters would be George Lucas Star Wars characters.

What do you think? Would you watch these? Comment and let us know!

Source: We Got This Covered, We Got This Covered

Image Source: Fantha Tracks, Starwars.com,

A Lightsaber in Disneyland’s ‘Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge’ Will Cost You $200

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Disney is hoping Guests will feel the Force when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens in Disneyland next week. Well, Guests certainly might feel as if their wallets are being Force choked.

The Orange County Register has listed the prices for some of the merch at Galaxy’s Edge and it’s steep.

How steep? How does a $200 build-your-own lightsaber sound? Or a $100 droid? Over $30 for a Porg mug?!

Yikes!

While there will certainly be items for sale at practically every price point you can imagine, these “premium experiences” are a key part of the marketing push for Disney’s new Star Wars land.

Here’s more from the OC Register

Better start saving now for that trip to Black Spire Outpost village on the Star Wars planet of Batuu, the setting for the new 14-acre themed lands coming to Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

A sampling of the out of this world prices for some of the biggest ticket merchandise available in Galaxy’s Edge:

  • $199.99 for the build-your-own lightsaber experience at the Savi’s Workshop — Handbuilt Lightsabers shop (comes with a carrying case)
  • $99.99 for the build-your-own droid experience at the Droid Depot shop (comes with a carrying box)
  • $149.99 for the DJ R-3X — the former Star Tours pilot Rex turned cantina DJ — remote-controlled toy that talks, rolls and wirelessly plays music from your smartphone at Droid Depot
  • $59.99 for the C-3PO toy that cries “What’s going on?” when you rip his head off at Droid Depot
  • $42 for an Endor collectible souvenir mug at Oga’s Cantina
  • $32 for a Porg collectible souvenir mug you can get with a Cliff Dweller cocktail at Oga’s Cantina

Some people have been inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and they wish it had more Original Trilogy.

Disney is already letting some select media outlets and “social media influencers” into Disneyland’s Galaxy’s Edge, and not everyone is terribly thrilled with it. One of the complaints seems to be the over-reliance on the Sequel Trilogy.

Now, keep in mind that Disney greenlit Galaxy’s Edge when everyone was excited about The Force Awakens. Had they waited until after The Last Jedi (and the subsequent fan backlash) they may have planned a little differently.

Regardless, it’s opening soon and — like so much of Disney Parks these days — it won’t be cheap.

[Source: OC Register]

‘Sandra on the Rocks’ Webcomic to Be Published by UDON Entertainment

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Being a fan of both webcomics and independent comics, it’s great to see more webcomics make it to print through an established publisher.

UDON Entertainment (perhaps best known for their video game art books and Street Fighter comics) is bringing us the manga inspired Sandra on the Rocks Vol. 1 this Fall.

Here’s the official press release…

UDON Entertainment is thrilled to announce the release of SANDRA ON THE ROCKS VOLUME 1, a spin-off of the beloved and award-winning webcomic, Ménage à 3! Freckle-faced Sandra is the girl next door striving to become the next top model, but so far her career has been more booth babe than runway walker. As this crazy Canadian tries to make it in France, Sandra has to deal with a sadistic supervisor, an icy ex-model, a seductive chauffeur, and beautiful people at every turn trying to date, develop, or destroy her!

A webcomic series that started in 2011, SANDRA ON THE ROCKS is helmed by the creative duo of writer David Lumsdon (Ménage à 3) and artist Saiful Remy “Eisu” Mokhtar (Carmen Chamelia, No Pink Ponies). The first of two volumes to be published by UDON Entertainment, SANDRA ON THE ROCKS VOLUME 1 collects over 250 installments of the popular webcomic series, including print-exclusive bonus stories! 

ABOUT UDON ENTERTAINMENT
UDON Entertainment is a publisher of original and translated art books, graphic novels, and manga. The publisher’s best-known projects are those based on popular video game franchises, including Street Fighter, Mega Man, Monster Hunter, Dark Souls, Persona, Bayonetta, Bloodborne, and many more. UDON also publishes books based on top anime properties including Neon Genesis Evangelion, Kill la Kill, FLCL, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Robotech.

“New Coke” Should Remind the Entertainment Industry Not to Mess with a Successful Formula.

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Thanks to Stranger Things, New Coke is returning to store shelves this week. Seriously, did anybody actually want this? I mean, really?

Here’s more from the New York Times

A limited supply of the vintage beverage will be available starting on Thursday as part of a robust promotional campaign related to the coming season of “Stranger Things,” the supernatural thriller set in the 1980s.

The revival of New Coke comes as part of a large-scale marketing effort of the kind usually associated with summertime blockbusters. Netflix said it had teamed up with about 75 companies, including Baskin-Robbins, Levi’s and H&M Group, to draw attention to “Stranger Things.”

So the return of New Coke is a marketing ploy?

That’s weird, because “New Coke” has become synonymous with tone deaf marketing.

I think the hard lesson Coca-Cola learned from its utter failure should be one the entertainment industry learns from.

For those of you who are too young to remember, Coke was getting its ass kicked by Pepsi in blind taste tests back in the day. Someone in marketing came up with the brilliant idea to just “reboot” Coke.

Never mind that there were other marketing factors at play.

Never mind that Coke had a solid fan base that revolted when the formula was suddenly changed.

Never mind that they could have introduced a new product alongside old Coke to keep the old fans happy while also courting new fans.

Nope. Like much of today’s entertainment industry, everything was suddenly changed to stay current year… to disastrous effect.

New Coke was such a debacle that Coke had to re-introduce the original Coca-Cola formula a few months later as “Coca-Cola Classic.” And now New Coke is but a memory. One that’s about to dusted off thanks to Netflix.

Pop Culture Reboots, Re-imaginings and New Coke.

I often joke that unwanted reboots or re-imaginings of tried and true pop culture institutions that face backlash from their respective fandoms are “New Coke.”

One of the best examples in recent memory is Ghostbusters 2016. Nobody wanted a Ghostbusters sequel without the original cast. Certainly, nobody wanted a complete reboot of Ghostbusters. And nobody wanted a completely gender-swapped Ghostbusters for no other reason than to be current year.

The movie bombed.

A key difference between New Coke and Ghostbusters 2016 was that the Coca-Cola Company didn’t attack Coke drinkers by calling them sexists.

But just like Coca-Cola, Sony Pictures knew it had to please to please the existing fan base and it backpeddled be announcing a Ghostbusters 3 that would be a direct sequel to the first two movies. Ghostbusters 2016 was seemingly swept under the rug.

Other examples of the “New Coking” of Pop Culture includes Marvel Comics and their tendency to replace original, beloved comic book characters with dollar store replacements. Often these characters don’t come into their own, books are cancelled and the original heroes return to try and salvage book sales a few months later.

A smarter move, of course, would’ve been to introduce these new heroes alongside the existing characters so they wouldn’t be seen by fans as just knock-offs.

(The Hollywood Reporter has documented Marvel’s disastrous attempts at replacing most of its core heroes, its endless reboots and its subsequent decision to return the original characters to their respective books. Marvel is still reeling from the damage.)

Fans are loyal, until they’re spurned.

New Coke should be a lesson in what not to do when you’ve got an existing audience. While it’s true that the status quo needs to be shaken up from time to time, alienating a fanbase completely is never a smart business move.

Coca-Cola President Donald Keough said of New Coke during a press conference…

“There is a twist to this story which will please every humanist and will probably keep Harvard professors puzzled for years. The simple fact is that all the time and money and skill poured into consumer research on the new Coca-Cola could not measure or reveal the deep and abiding emotional attachment to original Coca-Cola felt by so many people.”

I think it’s the same for Pop Culture. People do form an emotional attachment, and we;re learning that hell hath no fury like a fandom scorned.

[Source: NY Times]

New ‘Stranger Things 3’ Clip and Posters Hit the Interwebs

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Here’s to you, Mrs. Robinson. Er, make that Mrs. Wheeler.

It’s no secret that we’re huge fans of Stranger Things here, so we’ve been counting down the days until Stranger Things 3 drops on Netflix.

A new clip has dropped and it looks like a shirtless bad boy Billie (Dacre Montgomery) is making Mike’s and Nancy’s mom all hot and bothered. Eeew.

Nancy’s Mom has got it going on?

Anyway, Netflix has also released several new posters of the cast today.

They’re treating this almost like a movie premiere. And with good reason — Stranger Things has definitely become “event television.” Well, as much of an event as streaming television can offer.

It’s even got its own LEGO set coming soon.

If you missed the large, bold white letters on the posters, Stranger Things 3 drops on July 4, 2019.

[Source: Netflix]

New Photos from Netflix’s ‘Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance’

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We finally have some more photos of the upcoming Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance a prequel to the Dark Crystal from the 1980’s, that will air on Netflix.

There still is no release date for this yet, just sometime in 2019, but we do have a look at some images that were posted on Twitter by The Dark Crystal Podcast.

Personally, I love how they label these, it’s generic so it’s kind of funny. The costumes and characters seem just as detailed and elaborate as the original!

The Skeksis “Scientist”

The “Emperor”

The “Librarian”

Deet and Hup (They didn’t get a “name”)

There is a list of voice actors for this show, but I’m most excited that they are going to have Aughra (Donna Kimball) in it!

Some of the voice actors announced are: Helena Bonham-Carter, Toby Jones, Alicia Vikander, Simon Pegg, Andy Samberg, Caitriona Balfe, Harris Dickinson, Natalie Dormer, Eddie Izzard, Teo James, Shazad Latif, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mark Strong, Harvey Fierstein, Mark Hamill (yay,) Ralph Ineson, Jason Isaacs, Keegan-Michael Key, and Olafur Darri Olafsson.

It’s looking pretty good, but we don’t really have too much to go on yet. From what I’m seeing I’m hopefully optimistic that it will amazing and doesn’t go the way some redone 1980’s properties have been going.

I always loved The Dark Crystal, being a kid in the 1980’s was hard core, we had The Dark Crystal (still find the Emperor disintegrating creepy.)  My Little Ponies fought Tirak and he was pretty much a demon, oh and Care Bears had their own demon type character in Dark Heart and “The Spirit” character. How about The Last Unicorn? That one had a creepy skeleton who wanted to drink and the unicorns were all driven into the sea by a bull made of fire. Or the Great Owl in the Secret of Nimh? Went to the theater to see The Black Cauldron and that was a bit dark. Do we even want to talk about Artax in The Neverending Story? Kids from the 80’s have seen some stuff! I hope this new prequel delivers in the creepy cool 1980’s department, because it would be a refreshing change with the toned down “It’s for kids” reboot/sequel trend. (All the ones I mentioned were for kids too.)

I am going to stay optimistic as the new images look good and the sequel comic, The Power of the Dark Crystal, was done very well so I have high hopes.

What do you think? Comment and let us know!

 

 

 

‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Animated Characters Return for Live-Action Car Commercials!

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The cast of the 1980’s Dungeons & Dragons animated series return in live-action… for a series of Brazilian car commercials?!

No, I’m not making this up. The cast of Marvel Production’s classic animated DnD series is perfectly cast for a new series of car commercials for Renault. But there’s one catch — it’s only being aired in Brazil. Thankfully you can catch the preview trailer on YouTube below.

And before that, the teaser…

The casting is brilliant. These kids are dead ringers for their animated counterparts of Hank the Ranger, Eric the Cavalier, Diana the Acrobat, Presto the Magician, Shiela the Thief, and Bobby the Barbarian. Even Dungeon Master makes a cameo in the beginning!

For those of you who haven’t seen the 1980s Dungeons & Dragons animated series, check out the intro below. It’s a classic!

The original series aired for three seasons in the early to mid 1980s, and featured a group of teenagers who were transported from a carnival into the DnD world. The series was produced by Marvel Productions, who also oversaw Transformers, G.I. Joe, Jem, My Little Pony, Muppet Babies and a host of other beloved 1980s cartoons.

According to this article, there will be a series of commercials featuring the DnD characters, and accuracy was important to the crew behind it.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look (in Portugese)…

There have also been posters of each individual character released.

I’d be down with a live-action Dungeons & Dragons movie based on the animated series, provided they nailed the casting like they have here. Then again, current year Hollywood doesn’t seem to pay much attention to the source material these days.

Check out more of our thoughts in the video below!

[Hat tip: Hans]

 

When Pop Culture “Journalism” Became More About Agenda Than News

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Fairy tales used to start with phrases like “Once Upon a Time…” but anymore they begin with name calling and finger pointing. I’m not talking about the storybooks, I’m talking about the recent trend with Pop-Culture news sites.

Not long ago articles were focused more on fact than agenda. Of course that didn’t mean there wasn’t agenda, but the journalists would at least try to focus on facts first and opinion second.

Sadly, that type of journalism died out the same time people were allowed to have different opinions.

Lately, I see more “articles” from these journalists that focus on division, name calling, and blaming “fanboys.” Even going as far as beginning an article with an attack instead of information. Facts become secondary to the set narrative.

Today it seems that shaming people into agreeing is more important than focusing on actual facts. Most people are good people and they don’t want to be called “racists” or “misogynists” or “nazis” simply because they didn’t like a character in a movie or a story arc in a television show.

Star Wars Green Milk The Last Jedi
ABOVE: A depressed and unheroic Luke Skywalker chugs down some freshly squeezed green milk. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is one of the best examples of Hollywood and access media demonizing and disenfranchising a passionate fanbase. Star Wars fans who criticized the film for valid reasons were literally called “manbabies” by the film’s director Rian Johnson. Many pop culture media outlets swarmed the fandom as well, going so far to paint dissenters as “nazis” and “alt-right.” In a moment of peak WTF, a study that was conducted by a lone academic claimed that much of the hatred toward The Last Jedi was in fact caused by Russian bots. A few months later, Solo: A Star Wars Story bombed at the box office. No Russian bots were blamed. (Photo: Lucasfilm)

For a good majority of fans, these labels are unfair and a form of bullying and control.

Aside from the fact that most people aren’t the labels given to them, it’s a bad idea to attack fans. Yes, I’m saying fans because even if they don’t agree with your opinion they are still fans and not “fans.”

I think a lot of recent backlash over television shows and movies has been increased over the articles written by individuals who feel it’s more important to insult the original IP or fans than it is to try to do report on facts and aspects that could unite fandoms instead of fracture them further.  And then they try to justify their position by labeling the ones who don’t agree with the author the “vocal minority.”

Realistically, a “vocal minority” means a small group that make their presence known by loudly speaking out. The same term can be used for the extreme fans of any franchise, both for and against the IP.

ABOVE: Netflix and Dreamworks reboot of She-Ra. Oldschool fans who had issues with some of the choices made for the reboot — as well as the disrespect shown to the original show and voice actors — resulted in all dissenting voices being called things like “misogynists” and “perverts” by many media outlets. Things had gotten so out of hand that the voice actress of the original She-Ra, Melendy Britt, had to speak out against the dubious PR and marketing behind She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. (Photo: SyFy Wire)

However, a vocal minority can not tank a global box office. Either they are the “minority” or there are a lot more disenfranchised people than the studios and the media want to acknowledge.

The truth usually lies in the middle not in the extremes. General audiences decide what does well and what doesn’t. The largest percentage don’t even read pop-culture blogs and they will likely not read this article as well.

There is no way that they can all be “fanboys,” “man-babies” or “trolls.”

Somehow we’ve lost the normal fandom spectrum where it was okay to like something and okay not to. Where you didn’t have to love every aspect of a franchise or be told you aren’t a real “fan, or worse: a bad person.

Jodie Whittaker Doctor Who
ABOVE: For the first time in the show’s long history, Doctor Who has been portrayed by a woman (Jodie Whittaker.) While some fans of the series had issues with the Doctor now being gender swapped, much of the criticism of the most recent season focused on the poor storytelling, low rent special effects, and ham-fisted political messaging. Of course many media outlets rushed to call the fandom the usual assortment of names.

Does this mean that every journalist is doing this? No. I’ve seen several news sites stick to the facts and not make it a personal pedestal for attacking others that disagree. Those are the ones you should be supporting.

Fans are passionate about what they love. Passion is a good quality to have, but it can easily overtake reason.

Like Benjamin Franklin said “Passion governs, and she never governs wisely.”

Going forward we need more facts and less framing. Opinions are fine. You are allowed to like or not like things. Op-ed pieces and “news” aren’t the same thing and some people need to understand this.

 

 

‘Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers’ Movie Adaptation in the Works: They’re Going Full Alvin

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Move over Alvin, Simon and Theodore, there are new chipmunks in town!

According to The Hollywood Reporter there’s going to be a movie adaptation of Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers.

Chip ‘N Dale Rescue Rangers was a popular animated show about two chipmunks, Chip and Dale, who ran a detective agency with their friends.  The show started in 1989 and went on for three seasons and then ran for 10 years in syndication on the Disney Channel.

At first I was like “Okay! Yes! I would love to see Chip, Dale, Monterey Jack, Gadget and Zipper back in action!”  And then I read the rest of it:

Plot details for Rangers are being squirreled away, but it will not be an origin story nor detective agency story. Rather, the take is being described as being meta, something self-referential and cool. Dan Gregor and Doug Mand wrote the script.

So now I’m worried. Sounds like yet another parody for the director Akiva Schaffer. I’m really not sure I like the idea. There’s no Detective Agency either, so how is this Rescue Rangers again?

Oh AND it’s going to be a Live-Action/CG hybrid. Weren’t the four Alvin and the Chipmunks movies enough? Never go Live-Action Chipmunk!

I sincerely hope they prove my worries unfounded and it turns out to be amazing, but with what I’ve been seeing so far with these reboots, I’m going to have to wait to see more before I can get on board with it!  I think people were hoping for something along the lines of the new DuckTales. Updated, funny, embraces the source material and improves upon it, but this does NOT sound like that.

For those that don’t remember or would like to reminisce:

What do you think? Comment and let us know!

Sources: The Hollywood Reporter, YouTube

 

 

 

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