1. Stephen Colbert will replace Dave Letterman as host of the Late Show.
Dave Letterman announced he would retire in 2015 and people barely got time to speculate about who would replace him. It was quickly announced that comedian Stephen Colbert, host of The Comedy Channel’s Colbert Report, would be the new host.
It was also announced the Colbert would NOT host the show in his Colbert Report persona. Which is understandable, but also kind of sad. Hopefully, the character he created will not disappear completely. It’s heartening to know that he is taking his entire Colbert Report writing staff with him to the Late Show.
2. Star Wars Episode VII began filming in Morocco.
We were also told that Chewbaca would be in the movie.
That’s great, but shouldn’t they announce casting for the rest of the major characters? There are claims that most of casting has been firmed up. My guess is they are waiting for May the Fourth for the press release. If they wait any longer than that, they may as well keep it a secret until the movie opens.
3. Disney Publishing announced four new Expanded Universe Star Wars books.
The books, published by Del Rey, will be:
A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller – a prequel for the Star Wars: Rebels cartoon.
Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne – from the cover, it’s obvious this is a Luke-centric book.
Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp – title seems self-explanatory.
Tarkin by James Luceno – obviously, will focus on the character of Wilhuff Tarkin.
Tarkin will be released in November 2014; the rest are scheduled for early 2015 releases.
The new films and books going forward will have nothing to do with the original EU books. But fear not, Jedis! Disney is ALSO repackaging the old EU books into new editions, called “Star Wars Legends.”
You didn’t think they wouldn’t find a way to make money off the chess pieces they knocked off the board, did you?
4. HBO made a deal with Amazon to stream much of their original content.
Not ALL of it. (Sorry, those waiting to see Game of Thrones–they make too much moolah from selling the DVDs. Other shows like Sex and the City and Entourage are not available because of deals with other outlets. But it is expected that eventually they will become available through Amazon.)
This is a big deal because up to now only subscribers to HBO could stream their original content through HBO GO.
There’s no free lunch, though. You will still have to be a member of Amazon Prime (which is going up to $99/year in September). But that’s less than an HBO subscription and comes with other benefits–free streaming of many movies and TV series, plus free shipping on many items sold on Amazon.
Yep, Netflix streaming is still cheaper, but you won’t get HBO content.
5. Game of Thrones has been renewed for Seasons 5 & 6.
But of course.
HBO would be crazy to kill their cash cow and not see it through to the end. (Even though we’re still waiting for the last two books from George R.R. Martin.) They learned their lesson after stupidly cancelling Deadwood and Rome before their time.
6. Broadway actor Ray Fisher has been cast as Cyborg in the Superman vs. Batman movie.
Fisher was one of the rumored contenders for a role in Star Wars Episode VII, but Warner Bros. nabbed him first.
It was also announced that Fisher and others cast in the movie will be appearing in future Justice League movies. We may get that Wonder Woman movie yet! Though now it seems as though Superman vs. Batman is shaping up to be the first Justice League movie and a Superman movie in name only.
7. Nobel Prize-winning Novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez passed away at the age of 87.
Born in Columbia, he was known as one of the great writers of magic realism. His best known books are One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera. He was also a journalist and screenwriter.
If you’ve never read any of his books I highly recommend One Hundred Years of Solitude. I read it at least twenty five years ago, but when someone posted a short excerpt from the book in the comments section of an article about Marquez it seemed as if I had just read it yesterday.
He also wrote a series of films for Columbian television. My favorite, called Miracle in Rome, is a bittersweet story about a man whose seven year old daughter dies and is believed to be a saint by the people who live in their village. It’s hard to find (I don’t believe it’s available on DVD) but Turner Classic Movies has shown it. Keep an eye out for it. It’s a simple, low budget drama but still way better than the Hollywood adaptation of Love in the Time of Cholera.
8. The premiere for Orphan Black broke DVR playback records.
I am mentioning this because, damn it, MORE PEOPLE NEED TO WATCH ORPHAN BLACK. It’s a great show and the premiere of Season 2 was awesome. Catch up on Season 1, you won’t be sorry.
9. Lupita Nyong’o is People Magazine’s Most Beautiful Person.
Now someone find an amazing starring role for her.
2 thoughts on “Pop Culture Roundup April 2014”
Lupita Nyong’o is stunning, I hope she gets offered great roles. I heard rumors she was in talks for Star Wars but then again there’s been a lot of names thrown around.
I caught up on Season 1 of Orphan Black the other month in time for season 2. Great show and fantastic lead actress, people need to catch up on this.
I’m hopeful about the Star Wars rumors, too, seems like it would be a great for her career. I’d love to see her do a mix of prestige and blockbuster roles.
Another Orphan Black fan! YAY! I have a feeling that it will eventually grab a much wider audience. With streaming and binge watching, the more buzz it gets, the more fans it should win. The first 2 eps of Season 2 were awesome!