Welcome to Nerd Alert!, your weekly round-up of news from the world of science fiction, fantasy, comic books, animation, and all things nerdy.
LAST WEEK I TOLD you about Cloudscape Comics' Comics in Transit project, which sees one-page comics by various creators (like Steve Rolston's "Copenhagen", shown above) displayed in bus shelters around Vancouver. This week, I happily point you in the direction of the Cloudscape blog, which has posted the dates and locations for the works on display.
The local collective is also running a contest related to its public-art initiative. Tweet a photo of yourself in front of one the comic pages and include #comicsintransit in your tweet, and you'll be entered in a draw to win the full Cloudscape comics library.
IF YOU THOUGHT The Lego Movie was just about the most giddily delirious pop-culture mashup imaginable, prepare to have your head blown clean off by this ad for the new Lego Dimensions game. It's a toys-to-life game, and while I am obviously too old and out-of-touch to have any idea what that means, I can tell you that it's due out September 27 for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and Wii U.
Lego Dimensions features characters from all across the spectrum of Lego's licensed properties, including Lord of the Rings, DC Super Heroes, Back to the Future, The Simpsons, Doctor Who, Ghostbusters, and Jurassic World (Star Wars is conspicuous in its absence), as well as Lego's own Ninjago and Legends of Chima. The plot? Oh, you know, the usual: villain makes plans for world domination, heroes must band together to stop him. Plus the startling revelation that the Batman from The Lego Movie and the Batman from previous Lego video games are actually two different characters. There can be only one! Or maybe there can be two, I dunno.
You'll hear some familiar voices. No, Will Arnett does not reprise his role as Batman/Bruce Wayne (although he will do so in The Lego Batman Movie, currently in pre-production by Animal Logic, whose Vancouver office should be opening any day now). But, suggesting that this is no low-budget production, you will hear Dan Aykroyd as his Ghostbusters character, Dr. Raymond Stantz; The Simpsons' Hank Azaria (Chief Wiggum), Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson and Krusty the Clown), and Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson); Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly (Back to the Future); and Elizabeth Banks as Wyldstyle (The Lego Movie).
For more videos, visit the Lego Dimensions homepage.
AND WHILE YOU'RE WATCHING trailers for things, check out these two promoting some upcoming titles from Titan Comics. Garth Ennis's WWII-set Johnny Red (with art by Keith Burns) and Alejandro Jodorowsky's sci-fi epic Showman Killer (with art by Nicolas Fructus) are both slated for November release. Speaking of sci-fi epics, if you haven't seen Jodorowsky's Dune yet, for the love of God, go watch it on Netflix right now. I'm serious. Go watch it now, and then come back and read the rest of this column.
CASTING NEWS AND RUMOURS
- Benicio Del Toro has confirmed that he will indeed be in Star Wars Episode VIII, and that his character is a villain.
- Rumour has it Danika Yarosh (Heroes Reborn) has signed on for Jack Reacher 2, in which she'll play the daughter of Tom Cruise's character.
- Olivia Cooke (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) has been confirmed for the lead role in Steven Spielberg's adaptatation of Ernest Cline's sci-fi adventure novel Ready Player One.
- Ato Essandoh (Django Unchained) joins the cast of Paul Greengrass's upcoming fifth entry in the Bourne film franchise. The film will also feature Alicia Vikander, Vincent Cassel, and Tommy Lee Jones. Matt Damon and Julia Stiles will reprise their roles from the previous Bourne movies.
- Woody Harrelson will play a villain called the Colonel in the next Planet of the Apes film, to be directed by Matt Reeves.
- Justin Timberlake will voice the lead character, Branch, in DreamWorks Animation's Trolls. The musical comedy, which also stars Anna Kendrick, is slated for a November 2016 release.