tmp_daredevil_born_again_splash-1167887761It has been really easy to crap on Marvel Studios recently for their botched handling of Ant-Man in the aftermath of original director Edgar Wright leaving that project a couple of weeks ago. In fact, it’s been so easy that it can be easy to forget that the way Marvel Studios got themselves into a position where they have a multi-billion dollar intellectual property empire to defend: by poring over the remains of Jack Kirby’s life’s work without having to pay his estate a plugged nickel!

Whoops! I meant that Marvel Studios originally got to where they are by generally hiring top shelf, yet often unexpected, talent to work on their projects. For example, it’s easy to forget in 2014 that, back in 2007, Robert Downey Jr. was best remembered by the general public as being a drugsucking multiple felon whose most recent on-screen triumph was a comeback on Ally McBeal, from which he had been fired for getting arrested for the fourth time. However, somebody at Marvel Studios remembered that the guy also had been nominated for Academy Awards and Golden Globes, so we all wound up with a compelling dude to play Iron Man.

Well, Marvel Studios is still working that way, at least when it comes to the talent they put in front of the camera. In addition to their slate of movies, they are working on a few TV series that are scheduled to premiere on Netflix in 2015, including Daredevil. Now a couple of weeks ago, they announced that they’d cast Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock (to which we responded by exclaiming a resounding, “who?”), but today they made another announcement. They’ve cast their Wilson Fisk. And it’s a choice that made me a little more excited for this show.

constantine_matt_ryanWith all the weird publicity surrounding Marvel Studios’ Ant-Man (including the recent comment by Michael Douglas, who’s playing Hank Pym, that he is “very disappointed” that Edgar Wright left the project), it’s easy to forget that there are other filmed adaptations that aren’t quite as… embattled? Struggling? Fucked?

Case in point: DC / Vertigo’s Constantine is still scheduled to start on October 24th on NBC, and a new trailer for the show has been released. It doesn’t show a ton of new stuff, but it features a couple of new visuals that DC and John Constantine fans are likely to enjoy, including John drinking beer (twice!), and the helmet of a certain doctor that might indicate the show’s relationship with the greater DC Universe… although since the show will be on NBC while Arrow and The Flash are on The WB and Gotham is on Fox, the chances of any kind of crossover seems minimal. With that said: Law And Order: Special Victims Unit is still on NBC, which means that John Constantine could, theoretically, meet John Munch, which would place Constantine in the same universe as Fox Mulder, thus causing the universe to explode.

But one thing missing from this trailer, same as all the other trailers? A fucking cigarette. The character caused a child’s soul to be ripped into hell, but the problem is that he likes cigarettes? Let the evil prick have a Silk Cut, for God’s sake! Because it’s all fun and games until some kid with pristine, pink lungs gets picked up for sacrificing some orphan to Ba’al.

Ah, well. You can check the newest trailer out after the jump.

So last night, during the Arrow season finale, they showed the first teaser trailer for The Flash, which will be starring this season’s Arrow guest star Grant Gustin reprising his role as Barry Allen, only with a much larger paycheck and a spiffy new red body condom.

What’s that? You were busy watching the Boston Bruins get knocked out of the NHL playoff last night, and therefore you were too busy crying to catch the Arrow finale? Well, here you go.

Not a bad job, as teasers go: it focuses on the character whose show you’re currently watching, it ties the two characters together into a shared universe, and it gives Flash a sense of fun that was missing from the pulpy, hard-boiled first season of Arrow.

But still, it doesn’t exactly do much besides show off the costume and give an idea of what Flash’s power effects might look like in action. It certainly doesn’t tell you anything about the show itself, beyond the fact that the lead guy seems to be having a blast with his superpowers. And that he has a taste in red leather that would make him very, very popular in certain niche adult Web communities.

Well, the good news is that The CW has released an extended trailer for the show… and there is a lot to be excited about. Particularly if you are a fan of old school, just post-Crisis, Mike Baron Flash.

constantine_matt_ryanWe talked a bunch about the upcoming Constantine TV show during this week’s podcast, but at the time we didn’t have a lot of information about the show, like what day it would be on and when it might debut.

Well, since we taped the show, site contributor Trebuchet brought to our attention that NBC has released a trailer for the show that answers a couple of questions about the show. Such as the fact that it looks like it will be debuting in the fall, and it will be airing on Fridays with Grimm (probably taking the place of Dracula).

Further, it seems that John’s first botched misadventure in Newcastle where he damned Astra’s soul to hell and got himself committed to Ravenscar will be part of continuity. However, it also seems that a big chunk of the show will be spent dealing with Americans, which were always the weakest issues of the comic book.

I have one or two other observations, but I’ll reserve them until you watch the trailer, which you can find right after the jump.

star_wars_logoSo it is Star Wars Day because of a vagary of pronunciation (if Ben Kenobi had talked about the august of heaven, we’d be doing parking lot lightsaber duels in much more humid temperatures), which is something that would generally mean less than nothing beyond an excuse to fire up the Blu-Rays of the original trilogy while drinking White Russians with blue food coloring dripped into them.

But this is the first Star Wars Day in a decade where there’s a Star Wars movie actually in production, which means that today of all days, there is an expectation that we will hear something from the people producing that movie about the movie in question. And, true to expectations, a video was posted to YouTube by Star Wars: Episode VII director J. J. Abrams and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan. And thanks to that video, we have learned something important!

That thing being that Abrams and Kasdan are aware of Star Wars Day, and that they understand that they should acknowledge it to the fans, left they face shock and damage!

PowersHere at Crisis On Infinite Midlives, we are on the fence as to what next gen gaming console we will eventually and inevitably purchase. We have been XBox people since the first generation of that console – a first-gen XBox is still jacked into the big TV tube upstairs, just in case I get the urge to widen my point of view on the undead apocalypse by playing Stubbs The Zombie (although given a couple of the prices for that game I’ve seen on eBay, I can be persuaded to abandon my philosophical pursuits) – so we are leaning toward picking up an XBox One. Especially considering that I’ve got me a hankering for some Titanfall.

With that said, I have certain reservations about purchasing a console that, by all initial reports, has a camera with which to watch me and a microphone with which to listen to me, no matter what I’m doing on my living room couch. I’m the kinda guy who sticks a piece of electrical tape over his Webcam when he’s not using it, and if a grown taxpaying man gets the occasional urge to watch childrens’ cartoons while in a state of undress outside of societal norms while scratching himself like an ape in a cage, it ain’t nobody’s business, and it certainly isn’t Bill Gates’s business.

So I have been toying with unilaterally buying a Playstation 4, because not only have I long wanted to play some Nathan Drake Uncharted games, but it seems less likely to take photos of me that will be laughed at in Sony’s customer service department. And there is now another possible reason to lean toward the Sony side: the television adaptation of Brian Michael Bendis’s and Michael Avon Oeming’s Powers has been picked up for broadcast on the Playstation Network.

gotham-show_logoI’m not gonna lie to you: I am a flat-out Donal Logue fan. From The Tao of Steve (which namechecks Steve Austin, which is always a way to make me sit up and pay attention) to Grounded For Life to Knights of Prosperity (which, if you’ve never seen it, you should really make an effort. The damn show was originally named Let’s Rob Mick Jagger, for Christ’s sake; how could you not give that a day in court?) to the much lamented Terriers, the guy is just someone I like watching on TV.

He’s just seems like a dude, you know? A regular guy who you could have a beer or ten with, shoot the shit about the Red Sox (sure, he actually seems to like soccer, but he’s Canadian, which means he’s probably polite and will try to talk baseball with you), and have a few laughs with. Because the guy is funny, in that kind of ironic, Generation X way that speaks to a generation who learned what was funny from Bill Murray and David Letterman.

But to be fair: the man is also concentrated death when it comes to television shows. Knight of Prosperity and Terriers each lasted only a season. He was on Life, which was also excellent, but that only lasted two seasons. Hell, even his “hit”, Grounded For Life, lasted five seasons… but it was cancelled by Fox  – Fox! – after two and a half seasons, and only survived another two and a half by being picked up by WB, who, in the parlance of Chris Rock, needed a hit like a crackhead needed a hit.

It’s a real conundrum: I’ve learned that when Donal Logue is cast in a show, it is likely to be good, and yet go away soon, like a common nitrous oxide high. So when I heard that he was cast as Detective Harvey Bullock on the upcoming pilot for Gotham, a series about life in Gotham City back when Bruce Wayne was training to be a detective using Blue’s Clues, I had mixed feelings. Because Logue’s involvement was anecdotal evidence that the show would probably be good… but it was also anecdotal evidence that it might not get past the pilot phase.

Which would be a shame, because the Warner Bros. has released the first promotional photo of Logue as Bullock, and I gotta tell you: the guy looks right. And you can see what I mean after the jump.

hellblazer_up_yoursSo back when the TV pilot for a possible Constantine NBC series was announced, we kinda ignored it because it was impossible to tell, at the time, whether DC and Warner Bros. planned to do a real Hellblazer-ish show, or, based on John Constantine co-creator Steve Bissette’s assertion that he wasn’t getting paid because the show was spun out of the original Constantine movie deal, if we were getting a warmed-over TV version of the Keanu Reeves movie bomb.

Let me start by making a correction: at the time Bissette made his assertion, we stated that Reeves’s movie “sucked out loud.” We have since rewatched that movie, thanks to TiVo’s automatically recorded “suggestions,” and I feel safe in saying that, despite my memories of 2005, the movie does not suck out loud. It merely sucks. But it still doesn’t put forth a character that I want to see on a weekly basis.

We were somewhat comforted by the recent announcement that Matt Ryan, a Welshman (which is close to London, right?), was cast as John Constantine… but only a bit. Because we checked out Ryan’s IMDB profile, and found that his highest profile gigs before this were in Matthew Vaughn’s Layer Cake… where Ryan played the pivotal role of “Junkie #2,” and in American TV drama Criminal Minds, where he played the high profile role of, “Someone my parents have seen in Criminal Minds, since no one younger than 50 watches that show. Seriously, it’s the J.A.G. of serial killer shows.”

Look: we John Constantine fans don’t ask for much. When it comes to Constantine, we want four things:

  1. An English accent
  2. Blonde hair
  3. A tan trenchcoat, and:
  4. A cigarette.

Somehow, the Constantine movie fucked 3/4ths of these simple elements. However, Geoff Johns Tweeted the first official photo of Ryan as Constantine and… Goddamn.

This photo has 3/4ths of what we want right… the exact opposite 3/4ths of Reeves’s version. And you can check it out after the jump.

…a look at the new Flash costume!

— Geoff Johns (@geoffjohns) February 28, 2014

That’s Grant Gustin in costume as The Flash. The actor has already debuted on CW’s Arrow this season as Barry Allen, but here he is in underwear pervert mode.

Time to save the world, Barry! Hope that fabric is breathable.

Some other thoughts after the jump.