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 eighth (new) season of Doctor Who, starring Peter Capaldi as the twelfth Doctor, hits the airwaves in August, BBC announced today. Along with the news comes a teaser trailer showing the silhouette of Capaldi's dashing trench coat in front of an exploding TARDIS. The new Doctor will have to redecorate, of course.
There's no word on if the US premiere will align with the UK date, as it did in season seven, but WE'RE HAVING TROUBLE CONTAINING OUR CAPS LOCK.
Edgar Wright, the director of Shaun of the Dead and other wonderful Simon Pegg-Nick Frost films, is no longer directing Marvel's Ant-Man. Wright has been tied to the film since 2006, and it's due out on November 6, 2015 – the director change won't impact the launch date, Marvel says.
Wright and Marvel are splitting "due to differences in their vision of the film," a statement reads. Marvel says it will announce a new director shortly, but we find it hard to believe that anyone could adequately replace Wright's wild, manic, witty style. We'll pour one out for Wright's Ant-Man tonight.
Zack Snyder's DC movie is officially called Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, offering a heavy-handed nod to the eventual Justice League film. Sunrise of Impartiality is the sequel to Man of Steel, starring Henry Cavill as Superman, Ben Affleck as Batman, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons as Alfred and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman (in that character's live-action movie debut). Daybreak of Righteousness is due out on May 6, 2016, and Snyder is slated to direct the Justice League movie when he's done with this one.
Speaking of equality – Dawn of Justice writer David Goyer (also co-writer of Call of Duty: Black Ops and Black Ops 2) made headlines this week for suggesting some questionable things about the DC and Marvel universes. On the Scriptnotes podcast, Goyer posited that She-Hulk was created as a sex toy for The Hulk; that anyone who knows who Martian Manhunter is must be a virgin; and that, in an alternate universe, Martian Manhunter gets "really angry and he fucks She-Hulk." Just because.
Stan Lee – the man who co-created She-Hulk as The Hulk's cousin with artist John Buscema in 1980 – weighed in on Goyer's comments: "I know I was looking for a new female superhero, and the idea of an intelligent Hulk-type grabbed me .... Never for an instant did I want her as a love interest for Hulk. Only a nut would even think of that."
Godzilla's debut weekend was the second-highest-grossing film of the year in the US, raking in $93.2 million. This falls behind Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($95 million), and out-ranks The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ($91.6 million). Internationally, Godzilla made $103 million, making it the biggest premiere worldwide this year.
Even before the weekend closed out, Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures confirmed a sequel. Since we've already seen the big baddie, maybe the next film can include more minutes of mega monster fighting, and fewer moments of some dude's worst week ever.
Fun fact: Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen, the actors who play husband and wife in Godzilla, are playing the twins Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in Avengers: Age of Ultron. We hope there wasn't much overlap in filming.
Former Deadline Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke tweeted that Alfonso Cuaron is "deep in talks" to direct the Harry Potter spinoff film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Cuaron directed Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and he recently took home a bunch of Oscars for Gravity. Cuaron's reps said they don't know anything about the rumor, but Finke has a solid history with these things.
Maybe that last bit is wishful thinking on our part, but man, that would be cool.
Yes, you. Star Wars: Episode 7 director JJ Abrams announced a donation program and contest that will send one winner and a friend to shoot a scene in Episode 7 and be Abrams' "VIP guest on set in London," complete with airfare and hotel for two.
You can enter by making a donation here. The cash benefits UNICEF Innovation Labs and Programs through the Star Wars Force for Change initiative. Even if you're not interested in being in Star Wars (you monster), check out that video of Abrams to see a cute, new, non-animated alien from Episode 7.
But wait – there's more Star Wars news! Lucasfilm and Disney have started developing multiple Star Wars films outside of the main saga. The first film is due out on December 16, 2016, directed by Godzilla and Monsters man Gareth Edwards, with screenplay by Gary Whitta, who's penned episodes of Telltale's The Walking Dead.
In 1958, JRR Tolkien attended a Hobbit Dinner held in his honor in Rotterdam, and there he gave a speech discussing the true meaning of The Lord of the Rings, and he read a poem in Elvish. This rare appearance was recorded and there's now a project to remaster the original reel-to-reel tape so that all of Middle-earth can finally listen to it. We guess Upper- and Lower-earth can have a listen, too.