Did You Hear? is a weekly examination of headlines in the entertainment industry and a take on what they could mean for the future of the industry and (often), the little geeky bubble that we occupy.

Breaking News: 

TrekCore is reporting from Star Trek: Las Vegas that Star Trek: Discovery executive producer Alex Kurtzman brought Sir Patrick Stewart out on stage and Stewart gave speech confirming that he would be returning to the Star Trek franchise in a Captain Picard-centric series.

This rumor has been swirling around the Trek franchise for months now and, despite the fact that there are no scripts and no one else has been cast, the project will be headed to CBS All-Access.

Patrick Stewart made the following statement on his public Instagram:

I will always be very proud to have been a part of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but when we wrapped that final movie in the spring of 2002, I truly felt my time with Star Trek had run its natural course. It is, therefore, an unexpected but delightful surprise to find myself excited and invigorated to be returning to Jean-Luc Picard and to explore new dimensions within him. Seeking out new life for him, when I thought that life was over. During these past years, it has been humbling to hear stories about how The Next Generation brought people comfort, saw them through difficult periods in their lives or how the example of Jean-Luc inspired so many to follow in his footsteps, pursuing science, exploration and leadership. I feel I’m ready to return to him for the same reason – to research and experience what comforting and reforming light he might shine on these often very dark times. I look forward to working with our brilliant creative team as we endeavor to bring a fresh, unexpected and pertinent story to life once more. #StarTrek @cbsallaccess Photo: @shervinfoto

97.2k Likes, 5,026 Comments – Patrick Stewart (@sirpatstew) on Instagram: “I will always be very proud to have been a part of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but when we…”

The significance? Patrick Stewart is the first actor from a Trek franchise (besides members of Star Trek: The Original Series), to join a modern Star Trek project. We’ll have more on this story as it breaks.

Happy Birthday, Harry!

July 31st was the birthday of both legendary storytelling J.K. Rowling and her most beloved creation, the Boy Who Lived, himself, Harry Potter! Fans the world over celebrated, arguably, the most famous wizard of the modern age with tributes of fan art, trips to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and movie marathons in eight installments.

Despite the fact that we haven’t had a new installment to the main Harry Potter book franchise since 2007 – and to the main film franchise since 2011 – the legacy of the character has been cemented across social media. This weekend is also Leaky Con (a Harry Potter-centric convention located in Dallas, Texas). Could this herald an STLV-level growth of the convention in the coming years? This Gryffindor is definitely hoping so!

2018 marks Harry Potter’s 38th birthday and heralds a second addition to the Harry Potter spin-off film franchise Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The Crimes of Grindelwald will hit theatres November 16, 2018.

FANTASTIC BEASTS 2 Trailer 2 (2018)

Trailer 2 for FANTASTIC BEASTS 2 The Crimes of Grindelwald

 

The Maron Joke?

Variety broke the story of podcast host extraordinaire Marc Maron joining the cast of the upcoming Joker solo movie starring Joaquim Phoenix. In his WTF? with Marc Maron episode that dropped immediately after the announcement Maron, himself, addressed his relationship with comic books and how he made the leap from Glow to The Joker – especially in the face of some recent criticism:

… I have been added to the cast of the new Joker movie being directed by Todd Phillips, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Rober De Niro. Two of the greatest actors that have ever graced the screen. And I know some of you given my recent discussions about the slow corruption of our culture and arts by the consolidation of desire around the limited options of big budget blockbuster movies in the form of superhero movies are probably kind of thinking ‘well look at this. Big talker! Look at this guy! He’s a hypocrite, he’s a this or that.

I’ll be honest with ya, my agents trying to get me an audition for this film proceeded my rants. I do not think that my opinions have changed at all. I have in my life as I’ve mentioned before read plenty of comic books, but the bottom line is this. I never thought that my life would take me to where I am now. I didn’t assume anything when I started this podcast other than I hope I can stay alive. I don’t know if I can make a living. I don’t know what you do with these podcasts but I gotta stay engaged, stay busy and try to, you know. remain on the right side of the grass.

While Maron’s role is being kept close to the WB vest, Variety reported that he would be playing “… an agent on Robert De Niro’s talk show …”. Comic book fans will find this interesting is they recall The Joker’s most iconic talk show appearance during Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns series. In my opinion, one of the scariest versions of the Joke to ever grace the page, and one actually make me interested in seeing what this movie might turn out to be.

It’s also fascinating to consider the geek cache that Marc Maron brings to The Joker movie. If studio executives and casting agents are considering the impact of new media projects and social media following then the casting frontier may have shifted even further than we initially thought.

Lakeith Stanfield’s Rising Star

Comic superstar Ronald Wimberly (Black History in Its Own Words, Swamp Thing)’s 1980s retelling of Romeo and Juliet against the backdrop of the burgeoning New York hip-hop scene has cast it’s Tybalt. Lakeith Stanfield (Get Out, Sorry to Bother You), will be starring in Prince of Cats to be made by Legendary, according to an exclusive from Deadline.

Given the success of the two projects he is most known for (I’ll allow for his work on Atlanta to enter the argument), Stanfield is a powerful statement about what kind of movie Prince of Cats is going to be. He’s proved that he can handle genre-specific tropes (shout out to the twist ending of Sorry to Bother You!), and the complex commentary of Get Out making him a stand out performer in recent years.

Having Stanfield not only experience critical success, but to continue booking lead roles like this speaks to the much-promised shifting tides of diverse storytelling that Hollywood has trumpeted in recent years. With a story penned by Ronald Wimberly, it looks like Prince of Cats is in a good place.

Constance Wu on CRA

Crazy Rich Asians opens in the United States on August 15th, from Warner Bros. It stars leading lady Constance Wu of Fresh Off the Boat fame. This week Wu took to Twitter to express how much important this movie is in her estimation:

Constance Wu on Twitter

CrazyRichAsians opens August 15th. Read below to understand why it means so much to so many people. All love. @CrazyRichMovie @FreshOffABC @WarnerBrosEnt

She points out that Crazy Rich Asians is the first Asian-American led movie in 25 years – since The Joy Luck Club and draws parallels between her own experience struggling to make it as a professional actor. A lack of representation and representative roles is a long-standing issue. Having writers, directors, and executives taking steps to ensure that a more diverse collection of stories are told.

What are your takes on any of these stories? Is there anything you want us to look at next week? Let us know down in the comments!


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1 Comment

  1. Rob
    August 5, 2018 at 8:23 am — Reply

    How I feel about Captain Picard returning depends on how they use him. Some form of continuation of the Next Generation continuity I’d be on board for it. A Young Jean-Luc Adventures style flashback story, I’ll most likely pass.

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The Author

Ashley Victoria Robinson

Ashley Victoria Robinson

Ashley Victoria Robinson is a Canadian girl by day and Robin by night. She lives in Los Angeles now and stars as Ensign Williams in THE RED SHIRT DIARIES, co-hosts the GEEK HISTORY LESSON podcast and writes for Top Cow.