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.
The Millennium Falcon has a wart that looks like the Batmobile
Because it is the Batmobile. Star Wars Episode 7 director JJ Abrams and Batman v. Superman: Sunrise of Responsibility director Zack Snyder have been engaged in a photo war on Twitter, throwing the other person's franchise into the universe of his own in cute and/or compromising positions. And then Abrams filmed a gorgeous, quick video of the Millennium Falcon with the Batmobile as a tiny accessory on its belly, and we're hard-pressed to think of a way Snyder can rebut that one.
Supergirl lands on CBS
A TV series based on DC's Supergirl is heading to CBS with a series commitment, produced by Warner Bros. TV and Berlanti Productions. Studio founder Greg Berlanti is the producer behind CW's The Flash and Arrow shows, and The New Normal co-creator Ali Adler is tapped to write the script with Berlanti.
The Supergirl storyline will feature Kara Zor-El, Superman's cousin with similar powers and allergies (to Kryptonite, specifically). In the series, Kara, 24, already has powers and has kept them secret since landing on Earth years ago – but now she's ready to embrace them.
Previous rumors that the series might be called "Super" or "Girl" appear to be unfounded, as the series is referred to as Supergirl now that it's found a home. That was a close one.
Doctor Strange movie rumors
Marvel's Doctor Strange movie is scheduled to start shooting by May 2015 in the UK, with a release date of July 8, 2016, Screen Daily reports. The Exorcism of Emily Rose director Scott Derrickson is on board to direct it. Early reports say that the film isn't an origin story – Doctor Strange will already have his phenomenal cosmic powers.
It's also rumored that Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy and Jon Hamm are on Marvel's wishlist for the lead role. Drool.
Watch this guy drop his new iPhone
This guy was one of the first people in the world to buy an iPhone 6. The first thing he did with it will shock you (except not because we already said what happened in the title of this section)!
Zachary Quinto says no to a role on Heroes Reborn
First: Heroes Reborn is a 13-episode miniseries from Heroes creator Tim Kring that expands the show's storyline. Jack Coleman, who plays double (triple?) agent Noah Bennet in the original series, is coming back for Heroes Reborn, but so far he's the only confirmed returning cast member.
Zachary Quinto, who plays the villain Sylar in Heroes, will definitely, for sure not return for Reborn. "I'm not going to do it," he said in an AP interview. It doesn't get more concrete than that. Quinto's schedule was already packed and it seemed he wouldn't be on board, but now we know for sure. Damn it.
You can text Groot right now
He may not be the most stimulating conversationalist, but if you're feeling lonely, nerdy or confused about the chaotic, undefined nature of the universe, you can text Groot at 866-740-4531. He'll text you back. You probably already know what he'll say.
Groot has now sent 145,000 messages. In case you've been wondering :)- Ricky Robinett (@rickyrobinett) September 19, 2014
Attack on Titan prequel series trailer
Attack on Titan: No Regrets is a two-part prequel based on the same-name manga and focusing on the character Levi. Part one is due to premiere in Japan on December 9, and part two next year on April 15. The trailer is in Japanese, but Anime News Network provides a translation.
There's no official word on a stateside release just yet.
Downvoting leads to lower-quality posts, negative behavior, study finds
A Standford University study finds that authors who receive negative feedback in an online community are more likely to write lower-quality posts in the future, and they'll write more of them than their neutral- or favorably rated peers. The study, called "How Community Feedback Shapes User Behavior," offers the following abstract:
"By studying four large comment-based news communities, we find that negative feedback leads to significant behavioral changes that are detrimental to the community. Not only do authors of negatively evaluated content contribute more, but also their future posts are of lower quality, and are perceived by the community as such. Moreover, these authors are more likely to subsequently evaluate their fellow users negatively, percolating these effects through the community. In contrast, positive feedback does not carry similar effects, and neither encourages rewarded authors to write more, nor improves the quality of their posts."
We wish we could downvote this study. Not because it's a bad study, but because we'd like to see more research in these areas.
The full worldwide trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
A peek at coming episodes of SHIELD, Doctor Who
Look at Clara's suit. Did someone say BAMF?
[Images: Walt Disney Pictures, BBC]