Close The X-Files

Everything that lives, eventually dies.

And that’s okay because it’s the fear of death, of Thanatos, that drives all animals, of which we are, to procreate (so that our genes–and what are we if not the genetic material that literally makes us up–live on in our children).

Immortality of a sort.

What does the above idea have to do with The X-Files, a series that aired from 1993 to 2002 on Fox, and spawned two movies, The X-Files: Fight the Future in 1998 and The X-Files: I Want to Believe in 2008?

Well, there’s talk of another ‘event series’ of The X-Files, following the last six-episode series that aired in 2016.

And I wish they’d just stop.  The original series started promisingly, with two FBI agents working to uncover secrets that our government denied ever existed, with an emphasis on UFO mythology, combined with stand-alone stories that existed outside the aforementioned overarching mythos.

And that was good, till it became so entangled in that ungainly mythology that it literally collapsed under it (and I’m not being hyperbolic.  The series literally became incomprehensible and nonsensical, sometime with job a single episode).

If it had just gone away longer it would acted as a breather, a palate cleanser, to remove the bitter, ash-like taste of a show that just.  Refuses.  To.  Die.

And maybe David Ducovny and Jillian Anderson would be unable (or unwilling) to return.

If so then just recast, creating a world that would be both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time to those who remembered the original series with fondness.

As it stands, these X-Files event series remind me less of the original show than The Walkind Dead, which is the true face of immortality.

Gunn’s World

It’s James Gunn’s world, we just happen to live in it.

Reason being, reviews of Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2 have begun to filter in, and they’re pretty good.

Though what’s interesting is that they’re not ALL that way, yet there’s not been a peep from either Marvel or Disney as a result.

This to me says that they have faith in the movie, which bodes well.

Another fortuitous sign is that James Gunn is returning to write and direct Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 3 which is sign that not only does Marvel Studios want him to return, but perhaps more importantly HE wants to return.

Kevin Feige also mentioned in a interview that Gunn could perhaps play a greater role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, shepherding the ‘Cosmic’ side of things.

So, apparently it’s not only Gunn’s world, it’s Gunn’s universe as well!

Will Kraven the Hunter Appear in the Spider-Man: Homecoming Sequel?

Ben Affleck originally planned to star, write (with Geoff Johns) and direct a solo Batman movie for Warner Bros and DC Entertainment though he eventually decided to step down from the latter (it’s believed that he did so because Warner Bros was insistent that he make a 2018 release date, which he felt he could not do if he were to maintain the quality fans of the franchise had come to expect) and was replaced by Matt Reeves.

And when a new director comes onto a project–especially one in as strong a bargaining position as Reeves–they tend to rewrite a project, as opposed to going with the script that was already in place.

This means that much of what had been in Affleck and John’s screenplay will more than likely be discarded (though whomever does a rewrite could use the Affleck and Johns screenplay as a starting point).

Supposedly, the villain in the original screenplay was  Deathstroke, who was going to be played by Joe Manganiello.

Now let’s for a moment look at another franchise, namely Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming.  

The third iteration of Marvel Comics venerable wall crawler will premier in theaters in 2018 though producers have said that they’re avoiding using villains from he earlier movies–which despite their iconic status makes a lot of sense–which means that it’s unlikely we’ll see the Green Goblin, the Lizard, Dr. Octopus, Sandman, Venom (and speaking of Venom, that’s a special case that I cover on my Screenphiles YouTube channel) or Electro.

Which means that villains that we have had yet to see will be appearing in Spider-Man: Homecoming–such as the Vulture, Tinkerer and Shocker–and its sequels.

Such as Kraven the Hunter

One of Spider-Man’s deadliest foes–created by Stan Lee and Stece Ditko and who first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #15–Kraven sought to defeat Spidey because he believed himself to be the world’s greatest hunter, though that’s not the only reason Kraven comes to mind as the next villain to menace Tom Holland’s Spider-Man because if you recall I mentioned Joe Manganiello a few paragraphs ago?  Well, here’s where things get interesting.

Here’s a picture of Manganiello.

And while I have no idea if there’s room in his schedule to play Kraven–nor that the villain is even being considered–there are few roles that an actor is so perfectly suited to play.

Iron Fist Revealed!

I understand that Marvel Television in its ‘street-level’ heroes tends to seek a more grounded, realistic esthetic than those typically employed by Marvel Studios.

That probably has a lot to do with why of all the Defenders only one, Daredevil, has a costume (which is more in the vein of tactical armor than a costume, per se).

Jessica Jones and Luke Cage wear civilian clothes, as does Iron Fist (at least in the first season of his series).

And for awhile I thought that the latter in his civvies that might be a good decision, till I saw this image from the series.

 That’s Johnny Yang as an ‘Iron Fist’–which is less an individual than an honorific, though only one seems to exist in any given period of time–and he looks pretty awesome.

The way they muted the colors and gave the costume a very real-world feel works really well, and I would have been glad to see it in more detail.  It was technically in the series, though the footage of it was so (deliberately) blurry you couldn’t make heads or tails of it.

Maybe they kept it under wraps because Danny Rand (Finn Jones) in–hopefully The Defenders–tries to capture some of his lost history, and dons the costume as a result.

 

Fists of Mud

I have to admit, I’m a bit concerned.

None of the three series Marvel has produced for Netflix thus far (two seasons of Daredevil, one of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage) have been without criticism, but typically it’s muted by the heaps of praise they receive.

Regrettably that had not been the case with Marvel’s Iron Fist, which out of the box is getting some scathingly negative reviews, something that the prior three series didn’t have to deal with.

The Hollywood Reporter says: ‘the partnership between Marvel and Netflix was due a dud.’

Variety claims that ‘Not one element of this plodding piece works.  The action scenes lack spark, snap, and originality.’

Now keep in mind that’s just two reviews–there’s a thrid, but Twitter keeps crashing on me when I’m linking to it–but while I am sure that there will be many more positive reviews, it’s the tone of the negative ones that rankle.

Ridley Scott Discovers Fountain of Youth is Made of People

While that title is a bit of hyperbole on my part it does capture Ridley Scott’s feeling about the Alien franchise pretty accurately because in 2014 he said that he was done with the Alien.

After all, Prometheus as originally written by Jon Spaiths was chock full of Alien goodness, though rewrites took care of those pesky xenomorphs (unless you count the proto-Alien, known as the Deacon, that appears at the end of the movie).

Flash-forward to early 2017, and Scott’s not only talking about Alien: Covenant, the sequel to Prometheus but that he’s so keen on the creature he was finished with just over two years prior that he’s willing to crank out sequels as long as people are willing to pay to see them.

And that’s an awesome thing because no one has a visual esthetic as keen as as Ridley Scott, though I am curious as to what changed his mind.

Part of me thugs that 20th Century Fox just pulled up with a massive truckload of money and dumped it at his door, but who knows.

Clothes Make The Inhu(Man)

Over the weekend Comicbook.com posted some images from Marvel Television’s upcoming The Inhumans and while I’m glad that their teleporting dog Lockjaw will be making an appearance the costumes might be just a little bit subdued.

By which I mean, here’s a picture of Black Bolt, the head of the Inhuman Royal Family.

He’s a pretty distinctive-looking character, to be sure.  And I get that Marvel Television might not want to go with something so ‘cartoony,’ especially considering this is likely their highest profile production thus far.

But could they be going too conservative? Below is actor Anson Mount  (who’s playing Black Bolt) and while there’s no way of knowing based upon one picture if this is his final costume, if it is it harkens back to the what the X-Men wore fourteen years ago.

Which is frankly, a little bit odd and potentially presents a problem because the acceptance of the Marvel Cinematic Universe among the general public has show us that as long as you treat these characters faithfully (also shown by the reception of movies like Man Of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, though in not a good way) people will pay to see them.
Which is important when you take into account that the first two episodes will appear in theaters, which is intended as a hook to draw  viewers into watching the television series.

Though as I mentioned earlier, at least apparently they’re not skimping on the awesomeness that is Lockjaw, which gives me hope that perhaps this is not Black Bolt’s final costume.