The various streaming services have been absolutely fucking crushing it this year with their original programming. With only a few exceptions, all of my favorite shows of the year have all come from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and even DC Universe. I’m talking about shows like; The Umbrella Academy, Good Omens, Young Justice, Stranger Things 3, The Boys, Titans, Jessica Jones, Doom Patrol. Each and every one of those shows are spectacular (with the possible exception of the flawed, but still great, Titans)! In my opinion, this is the year streaming’s content stepped things up big time and the year isn’t even over yet! We still have The Mandalorian to look forward to, as well as the subject of today’s article: Netflix’s The Witcher!
The Witcher, hitting Netflix on 12/20, is one of the most highly anticipated genre projects of the year. It took a while, but Netflix finally announced the 12/20 release date for The Witcher last week. A brand new trailer accompanying the release date announcement, which you can watch below. In my opinion, it looks spectacular. Though some people are fans of this story and these characters through The Witcher video game series, those games were based on a series of classic fantasy novels. It’s the fantasy novel that the series is adapting.
You can tell from the trailer how much care and attention went into creating this brand new fantasy world. If I didn’t know this was a streaming series, I’d probably think it was a movie. If The Witcher is a success, it will be yet another example of how some of the most exciting storytelling in genre entertainment is being done on TV, rather than in film.
Even though I’ve never read the books that the show is based on, I’ve been looking forward to this series pretty much since it was announced a few years ago. It has so much that is right up my alley. Whether it’s Abraham Van Helsing from Bram Stoker‘s classic novel Dracula or Sam and Dean Winchester in the TV series Supernatural, I love stories about people who hunt monsters. As much as I enjoy the monster hunters, I love a really cool monster/creature even more and it looks like this new series has that in spades! I’ve always been drawn to stories involving magic, monsters, and bad ass sword fighters. Despite the fact that some people have criticized his casting in this role, I love Henry Cavill and I think he looks fantastic as the show’s anti-hero Geralt of Rivia. If The Witcher is able to stick the landing and give us a truly great show, this will have been, without a doubt the best year so far for excellent content from streaming services. Something tells me The Witcher is really going to deliver. Please comment below and let me know what streaming services you’ve been really digging these days! Check out the trailer right here:
As this year’s San Diego Comic-Con continues, breaking news, trailers, announcements, and other cool reveals keep on blowing minds of fans everywhere! But it can be a pain in the ass trying to find all the SDCC news. So keep it HERE at World’s Best Media, where you can find all of the up to the minuet info, you want the most! We’ll be updating this page all weekend with the breaking news and content that can’t be missed from SDCC 2019!
WOW. We got some killer stuff today! At the Marvel Studios panel, Kevin Feige did not disappoint. He rolled out the next 2 years of Marvel’s PHASE 4 slate, which will consist of 10 projects. They include both theatrical releases and projects to be released on Disney +. Plus, Feige offers up some tantalizing hints on MCU projects coming after the slate of shows and films. It’s all pretty exciting, so I’m going to break it down for you right here…
MARVEL STUDIOS PHASE 4 (The Next 2 Years)
The Eternals – Release date 11/6/20
Dir. – Chloe Zhao
Staring – Angelina Jolie as Thena , Richard Madden as Ikaris. The cast also includes Selma Hayek.
The story of the film, broadly speaking, follows The Eternals, a race of aliens imbued with power and immortality by The Celestials (some of the most powerful beings in the existence of The Marvel Universe). The Eternals are charged with protecting Earth and humanity from The Deviants, an evil, monstrous mirror race of The Eternals. To use a poor analogy. Think of The Eternals and Angels and The Deviants as Demons.
The Flacon and The Winter Soldier Release Date – Fall 2020 on Disney +
Starring – Anthony Makie as The Falcon/Captain America, Sebastian Stan as The Winter Soldier, and Daniel Bruhl returning as Baron Helmut Zemo ( This time he WILL be getting the classic Baron Zemo mask!)
As expected, this series will see Anthony Mackie don his really cool Captain America uniform which is a combination of The Falcon in Captain America’s classic look. So it seems like this series will be about Sam Wilson adjusting to this great weight on his shoulders and Bucky Barnes being with him along the way, like he was with Steve Rogers. All the while having to deal with Baron Zemo not much more than that is known at this time. But I can’t wait for this one, I think it’s going to be really cool.
Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings – Release Date 2/12/2021
Dir. Denton Daniel Cretton
Starring – Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, Tony Leung as The REAL Mandarin
Not much is know about the story at this time. Shang-Chi is the greatest martial artist in the world. He’s a hero and adventurer. In the comics his father was the criminal mastermind Fu Manchu. I can see for racial reasons why Marvel wouldn’t want to use that character. So I strongly suspect that The Mandarin will be Shang-Chi’s father in this movie. A lot of the character drama from Shang-Chi’s story comes from the pain he feels being a hero who wants to do the right thing, when his father is one of the greatest villains in the world. Despite the fact that The Mandarin was smoke and mirrors in Iron Man 3, it’s been strongly suggested that a “real” Mandarin is out there. For several years, Marvel would release fun short films as an extra feature on the Blu-Rays for their movies. The last one Marvel produced was on the Blu-Ray for Thor: The Dark World and called “All Hail The King”. In that short film, it’s revealed that Aldrich Killian co-opted much of his bullshit Mandarin story from some real sources and it turns out that The Mandarin is a very real, very dangerous guy, who is very pissed that his name had been dragged through the mud in Iron Man 3. The film ends with one of The TRUE Mandarin’s disciples, breaking Trevor Slattery (played by Ben Kingsley) out of prison, the actor who played the fake Mandarin for Aldrich Killian, so he can face justice at the hands of the real Mandarin. So, we’ve known for a while that the real Mandarin was out there and it was only a matter of time before we see him somewhere in The MCU. This is the perfect project to use him in. It’s also worth pointing out that the terrorist group who originally kidnapped Tony Stark in the very first Iron Man movie was called The Ten Rings.
WandaVision – Release Date Spring 2021 on Disney +
Starring – Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff, Paul Bettany as The Vision, Teyonah Paris as adult Monica Rambeau (the daughter of Carol’s best friend in Captain Marvel)
For some reason people seem to be down on this project, but I think it has the potential to be something special. Kevin Feige he himself has said that this series is very strange. One of the more interesting things about Wanda maxim off is her exponentially growing power and her increased mental stability. Panel confirmed that this series takes place after endgame. Which makes me wonder, have a wonders abilities progressed to the point where she can resurrect vision, as she eventually has the power to do in the comics at great cost.
LOKI– Release Date Spring 2021 Disney +
Starring – Tom Hiddleston as Loki
As we saw in endgame, low-key managed to get away with the space stone. Apparently this show will be a trip through history and Loki is very long life. I’ve heard it described is almost something like quantum leap. It appears that it will involve low-key mixing it up at important historical events with famous historical figures. Which sounds like a whole Lotta fucking fun. I am in.
Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness – Release Date 5/7/2021
Dir. Scott Derrickson
Starring – Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange and Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff
OK, this is the movie I’ve been fucking waiting for. According to director Scott Derrickson, this will be Marvel’s first “scary movie“. Which is about as close as you can get to saying you’re going to do a horror movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If you don’t think that’s awesome, there’s something fucking wrong with you. Doctor Strange was a great origin movie and in Infinity War and Endgame, we got to see a lot of cool shit from Doctor Strange and what he’s capable of. I can’t wait to see how his powers have progressed. It’s important to note that this director knows how to do a really creepy, disquieting, fucked up movie. Hopefully Marvel will let him embrace that. It’s also really interesting to see Scarlet Witch in this movie, though not completely surprising, because in the comics it’s been suggested multiple times that her powers are magic-based. Maybe she will turn to Doctor Strange after something that happened in WandaVision? Who knows. But I can’t wait for this one! The more Doctor Strange the better!
Hawkeye– Release Date Fall 2021 on Disney +
Starring – Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye
This looks like it may be more of a limited series than some of the other shows on Disney +, but it will apparently focus on Clint Barton training a new protégé, a girl named Kate Bishop, making her first MCU appearance. In the comic books, after years of training with Clint Barton and other superheroes, Kate is viewed more as a hero in her own right, rather than simply being Clint’s sidekick. In fact, both Cling and Kate both go by. I know it can be confusing, but hey that’s those crazy comics for, ya! The series will also explore Clint’s time as Ronin in the wake of Thanos’ decimation. This show looks like it’s heavily borrowing from the fantastic Hawkeye comic book run by writer Matt Fraction and Artist David Aja.
Thor: Love and Thunder – Release Date 11/5/2021
Dir. Taika Waititi
Starrring – Chris Hemsworth as Thor/Odinson, Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster/Thor
So I love the direction they’re going in with this new movie. First of all, I was thrilled another Thor film was being made, and they were bringing back the same director: Taika Waititi, who gave us the fantastic Thor: Ragnarok. But it also seems like the story will be largely taking it’s cues from the recent and ongoing Thor comic book run by writer Jason Aaron. Which is a good thing, because it’s probably one of the best Thor stories that I’ve ever read.
In that story, due to a complicated series of events, Thor is no longer worthy of wielding his mighty hammer; Mijonir. Meanwhile, Jane Foster has been fighting her own battles, against the cancer that has ravaged her body. In this story, a Parliament of World’s is formed. Like a U.N. for The Ten Realms, set up to keep the peace throughout the realms and it’s people. Jane is the representative from Midgard, so even though she and Thor are no longer dating, she spends quite a bit of time in new Asgard and has made some wonderful new friends in the process. The Parliament meets on New Asgard (a shadow of Asgard’s glory days) which resides on Earth’s Moon. As a sidenote, at this point Asgard has taken up residence on an area near what they called the “Blue Area” of the moon. It’s the only place on the moon that perfectly simulates Earth’s pressure, gravity, temperature , and most importantly, you can breathe there.
So, while on a walk through the blue area of the moon, contemplating her depressing situation, Jane Foster comes across Mijonir and attempts to lift Thor’s legendary hammer (after Thor has spent months attempting to lift it unsuccessfully) and as the inscription says, “whosoever holds this hammer, should they be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor“ At which point Jane’s shocked to see herself turned into a beautiful, god-like, female version of Thor. She is unrecognizable as Jane Foster. Now I can already hear some of the assholes on the Internet complaining that a woman will be, in a way, playing Thor. First of all, in the comics, this is one of the best Thor stories they have done in years. A great story is simply a great story. Also, this isn’t just a story about Jane Foster. It’s also is a very profound story about Asgard and Thor himself.
So for you idiots thinking Thor is going to get kicked to the wayside because of some bullshit liberal agenda…relax. The movies going to be great. I am really thrilled to see Marvel is taking some interesting chances with their with their projects. I have a few guesses, but I can’t wait to see who the villain will be in this movie. Gorr The God Butcher, perhaps? We can only hope!
Black Widow – Release Date 5/1/2020
Dir. Cate Shortland
Starring – Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Rachel Weiss and David Harbour appearing in unknown rolls
This movie will be a prequel taking place before Captain America: Civil War. It will feature such classic Marvel bad guys as Taskmaster, who I’m very excited to see. Natasha also faces off against the “evil Black Widow”, Yelena, another product of The Red Room Program. This woman is Natasha if Hawkeye never showed her a better way to live and became here friend. Yelena is a vicious, manipulative killer, a mirror image of what Natasha could have become. This will be the next Marvel movie we have to look forward to. I think this is a long time coming. Black Widow is more than capable of carrying her own film. It will be really cool to see how they incorporate this into some other events in a MCU history.
Before things wrapped up, Kevin Feige had one more surprise for the crowd. After listing all of these projects, he brought out, the fantastic actor, Mahershala Ali, and announced Ali will be playing Blade in an upcoming movie, introduce The Day Walker to the MCU. No release date has been announced . That is pretty fucking cool nonetheless. Ali is a fantastic actor. He’s perfect for this role. There have been rumblings of Blade in the MCU for a few years now ( even some suggesting Wesley Snipes would return ) so it’s going to be really exciting to see what they do with the character.
Feige wrapped things up by explaining this is what they have in production that will be hitting theatres and screens over the next 2 years. Two years is a lot shorter than any of the previous phases of the MCU, which makes me think that this is just the first half of Phase 4 and more announcements will be made along the way. However, he closed things out by saying Guardians Vol.3, Black Panther 2, Captain Marvel 2, and (FUCK YES) The Fantastic Four!!! will be coming soon after these projects. He had to drive the crowd wild by mentioning one more thing coming soon, one word:“Mutants.” So that was the Marvel Studios presentation this year. It certainly did not disappoint.
New Trailers For Movies & TV Series
Arrow – The Final Season
Supergirl – Season 5
The Witcher (Netflix)
The Flash Season 6
Star Trek: Picard
Supernatural: The Final Season (Chevy Impala Tribute)
DC Universe announced that their series Young Justice will officially be back for a fourth season.
HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones has come to an end, love it or hate it. Watching the final season of the series and especially the final episode reminded me of another great genre show that captured the imagination of the cultural zeitgeist: LOST. They were both genre shows with large ensemble casts that reached audiences that normally don’t watch genre television. Both shows were pop culture phenomena. They both had people hung up on when and how the show would end and they both had divisive final seasons and series finales.
Much like how Game of Thrones viewing parties have become very common, I’d often go to LOST viewing parties back in the day. When LOST ended, I kept wondering what the next “LOST” would be. For a brief period, I thought The Walking Dead had taken up the mantle, but that definitely didn’t pan out. It turns out that next LOST, was Game of Thrones. So, now that Game of Thrones has ended if find myself asking: What will be the next Game of Thrones?
Time will tell what the next pop culture television juggernaut will be. HBO wisely wanted to remind us that, though we’re saying goodbye to Game of Thrones, they’re still in the business of putting out high profile television programming. Which is why in the minuets leading up to the series finale of GoT, HBO showed us trailers for three of their most interesting and high profile projects. This was a great advertising move on the part of HBO because the series finale for Game of Thrones was the most watched episode of a TV show in the history of the Network. They have to keep those big bucks rolling in after all. Below I get into the details of each series (as well of a few upcoming shows that aren’t on HBO), give you some insight into what the shows are about and what to expect, as well as why you should check these shows out in the first place.
First up, we have the trailer for the new series His Dark Materials starring James McAvoy, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ruth Wilson, and Daphne Keene (AKA X-23 AKA Laura from Logan). Watch the trailer here:
This series is based on the successful novels by Philip Pullman which involve metaphysics and alternate realities, among other strange and interesting concepts. His Dark Materials is actually a very good series of books that were adapted several years ago into the film, The Golden Compass, starring Nicole Kidman in a failed attempt to start a new fantasy franchise. This was around the time everyone was looking for the next Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings.
I really like what I see from this trailer. It appears that these fantastic books are finally getting the treatment they deserved. From what we saw in the trailer, the look of the series has a very lived in feel. Which is always important when building a whole new world, with its own rules from scratch. It certainly doesn’t hurt that they clearly have an excellent cast. The story exists in a fascinating universe, or multiverse for that matter, and I will definitely be tuning in.
Then we had Watchmen, the new series based on the classic graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons from Damon Lindelof, the man who brought us LOST and The Leftovers. This wasn’t a new trailer, it it debuted several weeks ago, but I’ve been been looking for an opportunity to talk about it. But first, take a look at the trailer and then we can dive in get into some details about the series:
I love what I’ve seen so far from this new take on Watchmen and I’m very excited about this project. Over the last several years DC Comics has been publishing interesting expansions of the Watchmen universe. Most notably in their quasi-sequel Doomsday Clock and their various prequel miniseries’ Before Watchmen, which fleshed out certain existing Watchmen characters. I’m sure there are Watchmen purists Who think the material shouldn’t be touched and any continuations of the universe is sacrilege. But after reading stories like Before Watchmen and Doomsday Clock, I know there are still excellent stories to tell from other creators, about this universe and these characters.
There’s still a great deal we don’t know about this series, like how it connects to the original graphic novel. From what I can see, much like Doomsday Clock, I think this Watchmen series is probably a sequel of sorts. We seem to be getting characters from the original comic books and some created just for the show. From the beginning showrunner Damon Lindelof has said this is not going to be a straight adaptation of the original graphic novel. However, It’s going to take place in the Watchmen universe. The trailer shows a gang that is clearly inspired by the original Rorschach (they kind of remind me of The Jokerz Gang in Batman Beyond).
We also see Jeremy Irons playing Ozymandias a.k.a. Adrian Veidt, the man who orchestrated the conspiracy that was at the heart of the original Watchmen story. One thing I really hope is present in this new series is Dr. Manhattan. He was always the only superhuman that ever existed in the Watchmen universe and I would love to see what could be done with this character in a sequel series, even if he isn’t used as a main character like in the original story. I just hope he is a part of the series in some way. I was disappointed to see that the show is premiering the fall, I was hoping we’d get the premiere this summer. Regardless, this is definitely one of my most anticipated projects of the year, TV or otherwise.
Finally, the most pleasant surprise of the evening was a trailer for a show seemingly starring Aaron Paul that was clearly taking place in a futuristic version of our world. The technology; robotics, transportation, and more… This is a very different world than the one we currently live in. It’s hard to say exactly how far in the future this is. The society and city we’re shown is much more advanced than our own, but not so advanced that it looks like a far distant future.
Some things look pretty similar to our world, but so much looks very, very different. Aaron Paul’s voiceover laments feeling lost in a world that he doesn’t recognize anymore. It almost seems as if he may even be involved in some shady enterprises. The whole thing has a very “Blade Runner” vibe.
As I was watching the trailer, I asked myself at one point “What is this?“. Surely a series like this would already be on my radar, if enough had been filmed to have a trailer ready. Then, BOOM! The twist hits. Aaron Paul approaches a woman staggering out of a dark alley. Believing she’s in need of help, he calls out to her to ask if she’s alright. The woman looks up and it is none other than Dolores from Westworld. We’d been watching a trailer for Westworld Season 3 all along. The show logo comes on as the trailer ends to reveal Season 3 will be premiering in 2020. Take a look for yourself:
What I loved about this trailer, was how different it seems from everything that’s come before on Westworld. Westworld definitely needed to make some bold moves after the end of Season 2 to keep things fresh. Changing things so much that, while watching the first trailer for the new season, the show was unrecognizable until the very end of the teaser, is definitely an exciting direction for the show to go in. I wasn’t a massive fan of Westworld Season 2, even though I loved the first season. This was a great way to get excitement and interest up in the show’s third season until it premieres next year.
One other HBO project I wanted to mention is the upcoming TV series based on the novel Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff. Lovecraft Country uses Jim Crow era America as it’s backdrop and revolves around an African-American family pulled into the world of Lovecraftian magic, monsters, and other dimensions. The narrative is broken into pieces, focusing on diffferent characters in the book that are compelling stories on their own, while still serving the larger narrative of the novel as the different stories eventually converge. Combining horror and a predominantly African-American cast of characters living in Jim Crow America, allows the story to talk about serious racial issues while also being creepy and disquieting. I wasn’t even aware this was in the works until very recently, but I was over the moon when I heard it was being adapted by HBO. Lovecraft Country is one of the best books I’ve read in the last few years. The combination of great characters, a unique setting, and Lovecraft horror makes for a fantastic read. To top it off, Jordan Peele and J.J Abrams are developing the show and executive producing. Two of the best genre filmmakers of this generation working on a project like Lovecraft Country is very exciting.
So there you have it, HBO has some very interesting new shows on the horizon. However, It’s important to remember that HBO isn’t the only network with high profile new television series in the works. Streaming services like the upcoming Disney + launching in November, Netflix, and Amazon Prime are all throwing their hat into the ring to create the next “must watch” series.
Disney + will be releasing film quality miniseries that take place in the MCU. So far, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, WandaVision (focusing on Scarlet Witch and The Vision, obviously), Hawkeye, and Loki have all been announced and are in varying stages of production.
Perhaps the most exciting and high profile new series to launch this year will be the new Star Wars live action TV series, The Mandalorian. Starring Game of Throne’s Pedro Pascal, the show will follow the titular Mandalorian, a lone gun slinger traveling the Outer Rim of the galaxy following the fall of The Empire.
The series takes place between Return of The Jedi and The Force Awakens, a period in Star Wars lore ripe for exploration. The show will apparently skew adult, targeting the audience that grew up with Star Wars, but may be looking for something edgier in adulthood than the largely “all ages” films. With Jon Favreau as showrunner and guys like Taika Watitti and Dave Filoni directing episodes, this looks to be an amazing series. The show premieres with the launch of Disney + on 11/12/19.
As for some of the established streaming services, like Amazon Prime and Netflix, both companies have been producing successful original programming for years now. Netflix has a few big genre hits like Stranger Things, with Season 3 of the fan favorite show premiering on July 4th.
Netflix also has the hotly anticipated adaptation of The Witcher, starring Henry Cavil. Based on the series of novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowsk. The books follow Geralt of Rivia (Cavil), a badass monster hunter with some supernatural juice inside him, which allows him to face all kinds of monsters that threaten humanity. The series exists in that vaguely “middle ages” type of fictional world that we see in so many fantasy stories from Lord Of The Rings to Game of Thrones. Though The Witcher was also adapted as a popular video game series, the TV show will be entirely based on the original novels. Expect The Witcher to hit Netflix in the second half of 2019. With Henry Cavil playing Geralt and the cool premise of the show, I think The Witcher along with The Mandalorian, are my picks to be the “next big thing”out of all the shows I’ve previewed here. I also think ther’s a pretty good chance that Watchmen could end up being something pretty special as well.
One thing is certain, we live in a golden age of television programming. A world where TV shows can match and even surpass, movies on the big screen in some cases. These are just a few of the major projects in development that could scratch that Game of Thrones itch. It’s doubtful that any of them will have the incredible mega-success that Game of Thrones has had. But then again, someone does have to be the next Game of Thrones, so who knows? The bottom line is that it looks like we’re in for some incredible television over the next 12 months.