Geekwatch: Walking Dead, Arrow, Man of Steel and more
Welcome to Geekwatch, your guide to the week in geek on both the small and silver screen. From sci-fi to spandex-clad superheroes, this blog will boldly go where no other blog has ever gone before to bring you the latest news, views and nerdvana from the last seven days.
This week we take a look ahead to the season premiere of The Walking Dead, chat about The CW’s Green Arrow adaptation and discuss the upcoming Superman reboot.
It’s a big week for fans of the funny pages with two comic book inspired series making their mark on the schedules over the next seven days. We’ll come to Arrow later but first to the season 3 premiere of The Walking Dead for which we have a new trailer.
Despite its killer premise, reaction to AMC’s
adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s comic books has been decidedly mixed over the
past two series. The problem is that it’s been infuriatingly uneven and for
every standout moment there is a zombie-like horde of forgettable episodes. The
second season was a case in point. Hampered by budget constraints and personnel
changes, the series spent most of its run shacked up on Hershel’s farm and
whilst there was plenty of human drama to be enjoyed, the action only really
came to life in the stunning series finale.
Fortunately judging by the latest trailer it looks like the show runners have learned their lesson. Best of all they also seem to have finally realised that there’s eight years worth of amazing comic books that they can copy. As a result I can’t have been the only one to let out an excitable squeal at the site of a prison quickly followed by a sword wielding Michonne.
In the latest trailer, we also get our first glimpse of David Morrissey’s Governor. For most comic fans the Governor will need no introduction. But for those of you aren’t up to date with their reading lists then you can look forward to a power hungry madman who’ll go toe-to-toe with Rick. As a result it’s somewhat apt that fellow Brit David Morrissey has been cast in the role, I’m a big fan of his work and viewers can rest assured that he has the acting chops (and then some) to bring the character to life over the coming weeks.
We also see the Governor tell Andrea that "We're going out there and we're taking back what's ours" a statement that teases the kind of bloodbath the show’s fans have been baying for. It also promises the kind of human conflict that was severely lacking for much of the second season.
Of course it’s just a small slice of a 16 episode series, but in 60 short seconds we’ve already seen more guns, new characters, walkers and sword slashing bad-assery than we’ve seen in the previous two seasons put together, which can only be a good thing.
At the other end of the comic book spectrum
this week is the curtain raiser for The CW’s Arrow, (Wednesday night). After
the success of Smallville it’s no surprise to see the channel continue to
plunder Warner Bros./DC’s roster for programme ideas. But it was a surprise to see Oliver
Queen spring up in the fall listings especially as, despite a loyal fan
following, the billionaire playboy turned bow wielding crime fighter has never
been one of the publisher’s A-listers.
Nevertheless the early buzz about the series has been promising, with critics getting all a quiver for a show that promises to be much darker in tone than the channel’s typical output. In that regard it looks like the show’s stepping into some of the grittier chapters of the character’s recent history, which should be music to the ears of comic book fans, even if the recent images of Deadshot that have been leaked online may give cause for concern.
To the multiplex now where David S. Goyer
has been talking about next summer’s Man of Steel. We got our first glimpse of
Zach Snyder’s grittier iteration of Superman in a duo of teaser trailers this
summer, sneak peaks that clearly showed the influence of the project’s creative
godfather Christopher Nolan.
Speaking at the Rome Fiction Festival earlier this week, where he’s promoting his new TV show Da Vinci’s Demons, Goyer confirmed that the upcoming reboot would toe a similar path to the duo’s hugely successful Batman trilogy. He said:
“What Christopher Nolan and I have done with Superman is try to bring the same naturalistic approach that we adopted for the Batman trilogy. We always had a naturalistic approach, we want our stories to be rooted in reality, like they could happen in the same world we live in…working on this reboot we are thinking about what would happen if a story like this one actually happened. How would people react to this? What impact would the presence of Superman in the real world have?”
Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight changed the face of comic book movies with its gritty tone and made a truckload of cash along the way, so it’s perhaps no surprise to see Warner Bros. attempt to recreate the formula with another of DC’s big hitters.
The question is: does anyone really want to see a gritty realistic Superman movie? After all, the primary coloured protagonist has always been the antithesis of the caped crusader, a brightly coloured beacon of hope who embodies the human spirit even if he is an alien who can leap tall buildings in a single bound. But the difficulty directors have always faced bringing Superman to the silver screen is how to make the character relevant. It’s hard to emotionally invest in a near invulnerable do-gooding boy scout – just ask Brandon Routh – so perhaps the realistic approach that Goyer and Nolan are touting is exactly what the character needs. After all it’s easy to forget that Superman was born out of the Great Depression, a time of hardship and instability that’s growing increasingly familiar for modern day moviegoers.
X-Files creator Chris Carter is working on a new sci-fi series called The After, a thriller that takes place in the aftermath of a mysterious and unexplained happening that in no way sounds anything like the 4400, FlashForward or Revolution.
So that’s it from us, but what do you think? Are you excited about Arrow? What about The Walking Dead? And are you on board for a grittier Superman? Let us know in the comments section below. Geeks Assemble!