Barely Related: Affleck's tiny Batman ears, tons of TV

Some weeks are more hectic than others for no apparent reason – and that just makes the weekend so much sweeter.

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.

Ben Affleck's teeny tiny Batman ears are adorable

We'd tell Batman to cheer up, but he probably wouldn't hear us. Because his ears are small. OK, moving on.

Zack Snyder is directing the new Batman movie starring Ben Affleck, and this week he tweeted the first peek at The Bat's new look (and his new ride). Snyder seems to take inspiration from Frank Miller's 1986 miniseries, The Dark Knight Returns. If you think that sounds familiar, it's because it is – many previous Batman films have nodded to Miller's work, if they didn't draw directly from it.

TV news explosion: Penny Dreadful, Rosemary's Baby, Hannibal, Constantine, The Flash

And now for some rapid-fire TV news: The premiere episode of Penny Dreadful, the Showtime series starring monstrous characters from classic literature and lore, is free to watch on YouTube or on the Showtime website. For what it's worth, we think it's not dreadful at all.

The same can't be said for the premiere of NBC miniseries Rosemary's Baby. That's also available to watch online.

Speaking of masochists – NBC is on a roll with Hannibal, the serial killer drama airing on Fridays. It's been renewed for a third season, though the fresh round of buzz for this show would suggest it just got off the ground. We have Amazon Prime to thank for that one. Watch some episodes here.

Constantine looks great. That's also on NBC (geez, guys – slow down), set to air Fridays this fall.

The Flash, scheduled to air on Tuesdays this fall on The CW, also looks pretty OK in a new-wave Andrew Garfield kind of way. Nothing wrong with that. The Flash follows CSI detective Barry Allen's transformation into a superhero, and it's tied to The CW's show Arrow, which follows the antics of Green Arrow (but not "Green Arrow") as he fights crime in Starling City.

Now back to your regularly scheduled Barely Related.

Channing Tatum is Gambit

And we're drooling. And we're drooling. And we're done.

Channing Tatum has been cast as the kinetic-energy-powered mutant Gambit in the X-Men: Apocalypse film due to launch in 2016, and in his own spin-off movie after that. It's about time Mr. Lebeau got his dues as a powerful, clever, strong, intelligent, funny, sexy, mmm ... sorry, where were we going with that one?

More Harry Potter movies!

The first installment of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, JK Rowling's spin-off film trilogy set in the Harry Potter universe, has a US theatrical release date of November 18, 2016. The movies will follow Newt Scamander, the magizoologist and fictional author of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Scamander is a Hufflepuff, but hey – we can't all be perfect.

All three films are written by Rowling herself.

You can ignore people on Twitter politely now

Twitter has rolled out a Mute option, allowing users to block tweeters from their feeds without letting the offending person know. This can save frustration in dealing with peeved-off blocked people, and maybe it'll even save the world. Maybe.

The Onion takes on Wolfenstein

Yes, it's a sponsored post on The Onion, but it's a pretty damn funny sponsored post. In The Onion's Wolfenstein, players choose which country won World War II – imagine the brutal rule of Canada, for example.

Classic cartoon characters drawn as grotesque killers

You didn't need those childhood memories anyway.