Welcome to Barely Related, a conversational Friday column that presents the non-gaming news stories that we, the Joystiq staff, have been talking about over the past week. And no, we're not stopping our focus on industry and gaming news. Think of this as your casual weekly recap of interesting (and mostly geeky) news, presented just in time to fill your brain with things to discuss at all of those weekend shindigs.
Grab a fresh drink, lean back in your armchair, and get ready to talk nerdy with us.
Reading Rainbow has new friends to know, ways to grow
And now that song is stuck in our heads. Reading Rainbow has raised more than $2 million in a Kickstarter campaign started this week, shattering its $1 million goal within 11 hours. Reading Rainbow host and producer LeVar Burton is running the campaign, which aims to put the Reading Rainbow library on the web, and to provide underprivileged schools with free, digital versions of Reading Rainbow, plus teacher guides, leveling and dashboards.
Burton's sincerity and passion for the project is clear (and effin' adorable) in this video taken right as the project crossed the $1 million mark:
The Jurassic World leaks are real
Jurassic World is due to hit theaters on June 12, 2015, but already last week plot details hit the net. Director Colin Trevorrow could have ignored the rumors or denied everything, but instead, when /Film asked if they were true, he said, "Yes." And then he said a lot more.
"Last week was discouraging for everyone on our crew–not because we want to hide things from the fans, but because we're working so hard to create something full of surprises," Trevorrow said. "When I was a kid, you got to discover everything at once, it washed over you and blew your mind. Now it only takes one person to spoil it for everyone else. I hope whoever leaked it is actively trying to undermine what we're doing. Because if they're trying to help, they're doing it wrong."
We don't want to spoil anything here, so click the link if you're into that thing – but Trevorrow goes pretty deep into the surprises he was hoping to save for the theaters. Maybe he's just hiding an even bigger, juicier
First images from the new Terminator movie
Terminator: Genesis involves blue scrubs, a khaki jacket and at least two guns, according to the first round of pictures from the movie's set. The images show Arnold Schwarzenegger in the jacket, and Game of Thrones' Khaleesi, Emilia Clarke, in scrubs alongside actor Jason Clarke. Emilia plays Sarah Connor, while Jason plays her son, John Connor – even though Emilia is 27 and Jason is 44. Hollywood makeup magic is good, but we're not sure it's that good. Time travel, however, is great.
Community may get un-canceled again
No, really this time. Deadline reports that Sony Pictures TV is talking with Hulu to bring new, original episodes of Community to its streaming service – the talks are preliminary, but they are talks. Community was canceled earlier in May to the dismay of human beings everywhere. Hulu owns the digital distribution rights to existing episodes of Community.
When news of the cancelation spread, Entertainment Weekly noted that Sony Pictures would try to find a new home for the show "on cable or a streaming service."
Alfonso Cuaron isn't directing the new Harry Potter movie
Yes, we're pouting. Last week, we noted a rumor that Alfonso Cuaron, director of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Gravity, would helm the new Harry Potter spin-off flick, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. And we were really happy about that possibility.
Cuaron told Spanish news outlet EFE that it just isn't so: "It was a very beautiful experience for me. I have a lot of love for that universe and I tremendously admire JK Rowling, but today, for the present, projects based around lots of visual effects don't attract me. I'm coming out of a five-year process of doing visual effects and now I sort of want to clean my palate of that a little bit."
Our palates will continue pouting for a little bit.
Google's diversity breakdown is pretty good ... for Silicon Valley
Google released its diversity data this week, and the numbers show the company is mostly white and male. We could have told you that. To break it down, 70 percent of Google's workforce is male, and women hold just 17 percent of the company's tech jobs and 21 percent of its leadership roles. Sixty one percent of the workforce is white, and 72 percent of the leadership jobs are held by white employees.
PBS Newshour estimates most tech companies have female employee percentages in the teens.
X-Men takes down Godzilla at the box office
X-Men: Days of Future Past grossed $111 million over Memorial Day weekend, its first weekend in the wild, handily unseating last week's No. 1, Godzilla. This is the biggest opening weekend for an X-Men movie since X-Men: The Last Stand in 2006, which brought in $123 million over its opening Memorial Day weekend.
Don't click this if you don't want spoilers, but for those curious about that post-credits scene, it's a nice breakdown (plus some crazy movie timeline discussion).
Ghost in the Shell recreated in live-action still life
Project 2501 is an homage to the Ghost in the Shell title sequence, and it took more than 30 artists from around the world to complete. The images are spectacular. See the making-of video below. (Be ware of tasteful nudity.)
[Images: LeVar Burton, AKM-GSI, PBS Newshour]