Geekscape podcasts, news, features Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:30:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 podcasts, news, features Geekscape no podcasts, news, features Geekscape TV-G NYCC 2014: Interview with “Sleepy Hollow” star Sakina Jaffrey and executive producer Mark Goffman! Sun, 19 Oct 2014 20:51:12 +0000 My adventure at the Sleepy Hollow press room continues! At the monstrous 2014 New York Comic-Con, I was joined by actress Sakina Jaffrey and producer Mark Goffman about what’s to come this season on FOX’s smash hit, Sleepy Hollow.

Sakina Jaffrey, who plays newcomer Leena Reyes, the replacement of disgraced Irving at the Sleepy Hollow Police Department, is utterly cheerly and bright, a contrast to her no-nonsense demeanor on the series. She notes that the press round tables are like speed dating.

“Okay, so who are we going to date?” she asks, to the delight of the press table.

Joining her immediately after is showrunner Mark Goffman, one of the show’s executive producers.

Note: The following interview was conducted on a press room round table. Not all questions were mine, but all questions have been slightly paraphrased and edited to fit an easy-to-read Q&A format, as much of the round table happened conversationally. No drastic changes were made in the questions and the meaning and integrity of each question has been retained.

For Mark, going into season two, what were some of the things from season one that you wanted to build upon?

Mark: Once we introduced John Noble’s character, Henry as this mastermind, was really fun and we wanted to do more with that. So in season two, he’s in every one of the first eleven episode episdoes and just so much fun and really getting to have a character who thinks so far ahead and is so brilliant is a lot fun to kind of craft and weave into our story. For Crane and Abbie, I wanted them to get a little bit more ahead of the game. I feel that season one was so much more about just catching up to this incredibly crazy world they find themselves in that for them to get a handle on it and embrace it, I think is a lot of fun for sesaon two. So as crazy as it is or it became in season one, it gets crazier and they try to get a jump on that.

For Sakina, what is it going to take for your character to believe?

Sakina: I think the only point of vulnerability that you see with Sheriff Reyes is the fact that she has a connection to the [main characters as] children, to the kids. And it’s something that only happens when you encounter vulnerable children. And they stay with you. And I feel that all these characters — the questions of who the parents are, who’s the mother? Who’s the father? Who’s the guardian? — I think Leena thinks she’s taking care of this community. And she takes care of the girls. I imagine if there’s a point of entry it would be with Abbie, but I have strong feelings of wanting to care for both the girls for sure. And on that John Noble thing, having done scenes with Kevin Spacey, I thought, “Oh, I’ll never get this again.” And then I’m in a scene with John Noble and that sort of, not Machiavellian thought and so smart, and the way he handles language. I thought, “Oh, I have to be on this show. It’s too much.”

What was it like coming in as a fresh face onto such an established series?

Sakina: As I said, I was surprised to be the resident evil. I didn’t expect I was going to be this huge party pooper. But, that was a little bit of a shock! Because I read it and I thought, “Oh my God. Yeah!” [laughs] I was so excited to be here! They gotta respect me and it’s like, oh no, not really. I like playing these very ballsy women who have the courage of their own conviction who believe they are doing the right thing. And if you look at a situation where you got this girl with a gun and this guy with the uniform, and it’s all chaos. And I need to put an end to that. But on a personal note, people were really sweet. It’s a really loving set. The cast and crew work so hard. I look at Nikki and Tom, and the weight they’re carrying, I mean you guys get to see all the fun, but they’re working their tails off. And I have such respect for their acting, but also that they’re carrying such a tremendous load. And I love the writers. I didn’t think that I would find a show where it’s so smart. And I think we all want really smart material. So have the humor and the horror, but also it’s so psychologically grounded. So you’re not in Neverland, you’re actually completely grounded and these characters as manifestations of a psychological moment in the lives of these characters really come to life.

Fans’ response to Reyes as been mixed, to say the least. How do you feel about playing such a divisive character? 

Sakina: As I think was intended! Yeah. Ask him. [points to Mark] I want to know! I just want them to believe she has as much, not reason for being, but I think she thinks she’s doing the right thing. And when you see her come up against these characters, of course you’re going to feel for your beloved characters, your hero. But I think everyone is on a mission. And she’s on a mission that has merit. Let’s just say that. What do you think? Tell me, Mark.

Mark: Save for the demons, she’s absolutely right. About everything. If it weren’t for the apocalypse. But I believe that and introducing her as somebody who is not in that world, also gives us an access for the audiences who — you know, she’s someone who can come into this show and say, “This world is insane.” And I believe that, and everything I’m seeing [from her] there’s a justification for. Her interaction, the fact that she knew Abbie and Jenny’s mother, is going to factor in to the rest of the season. I think it will make an interesting bond there. Even if it cuts against her grain as a soldier, a warrior, in this war against evil. I think there’s a really fun arc she’s going to go through this season. I’m excited to let you see that!

Sakina: Yeah, all of them are great characters and you have no idea [each] week from the next which character is going to be doing.

What is it like being one of the leads of a show that has such a powerful female presence?

Sakina: It was nice actually, for me, to come in immediately at a point of authority rather than have to win it over or to prove myself. In fact everybody has to prove it to me, what their worth is. And that’s pretty much a luxury. I mean, I walk around with a stick up my ass [laughs] but I don’t mind! I don’t mind. What I love, with Nikki and I combined, we’re probably not much more than ten feet. We’re tiny, but don’t trifle with us. Thank you Mark for making short women powerful.

Mark: I believe it. She comes in and, you as an actor, you have such authority that it’s really, I think, exciting. It’s really organic to the world of the show. We weren’t trying to make a point, like “Look, another powerful woman.”It’s, here’s another person, a character, who’s very powerful and authoritative, and happens to be a woman.

Sakina: And is on a mission! Like every single character on this show. And like I keep talking about and find so interesting, is the idea that every character has suffered loss. And how they carry that burden. And, in the history I was given of Leena Reyes, there’s some loss in her life too. We all carry it differently and it’s sort of a reflection of a lot of interesting things that are played out in season two.

Mark: We’re going to get to know more about that this season as it plays out.

Sleepy Hollow has gained a reputation for having one of the most racially diverse casts in network television. Did you expect to have that reputation? How do you feel about having that responsibility, and did you ever intend to?

Mark: We never set out to like, part of the mission is to create a diverse cast. Let’s cast the most interesting characters, let’s cast the most interesting actors that we can find.

Sakina: I was so hoping he was going to say that.

Mark: But it’s true! I was lucky when I saw House of Cards. That’s when it really became, you know, recently familiar with your work. I said, “That’s who we want for this role.” And we went after her. And we’ve done that with Orlando, Lyndie, they’re just phenomenal actors and talents. That’s waht we looked for in casting the show. But we did want it to look like America. Part of the fun of this show is the character Ichabod Crane, who’s from 1776 from the Revolutionary War, is showing him what America looks like today.

Sakina: Look around the table. Sorry. This is it. Hello! This is Sleepy Hollow!

Will we be seeing any more Horsemen?

Mark: Good question. Well, two is a lot. So I feel that [we will] explore them for awhile. We are ramping towards an apocalypse. The Bible says there’s going to be at least four. I hope that if the show does one thing, it surprises, so I wouldn’t have any expectations. Just let it come. But, yeah, I hope we’ll surprise you with the way the whole apocalypse plays out.

One of my fellow press writers tells the table they did not expect to see Henry be the Horseman of War.

Sakina: That was the most ingenious thing ever.

Mark: We came up with that fairly early. And like for this season, we know how it’s going to end, and we knew before we started the series. So getting to plan that really helped us in laying these Easter eggs throughout the season. And it was hidden well, in the fact that Henry is so much older and, you know, we worked hard to hide the fact that he was his son.

Sakina: Did you tell the actors? John knew.

Mark: Oh yeah. John knew.

Sakina: Did the others?

Mark: Yeah we told them halfway through. This season we have another surprise coming in our midseason finale in December. Which I hope will be as suspenseful and as interesting as we have before.

Sakina: What’s interesting is that when you look back, you’re like, “Oh right, that, that, that, and that.”

As the session comes to a close, Sakina has a bright idea. She asks again. “Okay, so who are we going to date?”

Sleepy Hollow airs Mondays at 8 PM EST on FOX.

Check out our interview with “Sleepy Hollow” stars Orlando Jones, Lyndie Greenwood, writer Raven Mentz, and executive producer Len Wiseman from New York Comic-Con 2014!

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NYCC 2014: “Sleepy Hollow” stars Lyndie Greenwood, Orlando Jones, writer Raven Metzner, and executive producer Len Wiseman! Sun, 19 Oct 2014 20:49:17 +0000 When I think of the great genre television shows that garner beloved fandoms, I think of one thing: The worlds they build. Whether it’s the Babylon space station, Westeros, or even just Sunnydale High School, fantasy is an escape and to build a world that feels real enough to make you want to journey through it is a magical thing. While the real city is a lot smaller and not populated by demons, the titular town of FOX’s Sleepy Hollow is a quaint little New York mountain town that has become ground zero for the Biblical apocalypse. I’ve been anxious to get to talk to the awesome, wild people who inhabit it and the creative geniuses who built it. At the 2014 New York Comic-Con, I did just that.

FOX’s Sleepy Hollow has been a major success and with only one complete season out there, it is bound to go down as a classic should the creative forces keep the momentum going. At the New York Comic-Con press room, a secluded area away from the chaos of the convention, I sat down on a roundtable with actors Lyndie Greenwood (Jenny) and Orlando Jones (Capt. Frank Irving), writer Raven Metzner, and executive producer Len Wiseman.

Note: The following interview was conducted on a press room round table. Not all questions were mine, but all questions have been slightly paraphrased and edited to fit an easy-to-read Q&A format, as much of the round table happened conversationally. No drastic changes were made in the questions and the meaning and integrity of each question has been retained.

The first to join us at the table was actress Lyndie Greenwood, who plays the tough-as-nails sister of Abbie, Jenny, and series writer Raven Metzner.

Sleepy Hollow has been a runaway success. With you guys personally, what is going on internally as the show ramps up for season two?

Raven: I wasn’t on the first season, but I was a giant fan of the show. So it’s extremely exciting to not only write and create on the show, but as a fan just watch it.

Lyndie: Excited and nervous. All of those things.

What’s it like joining a show that was full steam ahead already? Was it intimidating?

Raven: The first season was such a high bar all the way across. The great relationships, the amazing monsters, the great twists, the challenges and the bar of just trying to get above it.

For Lyndie, what’s it like for Jenny to finally start kicking some ass?

Lyndie: I feel like Jenny, the first scene you see her in season one, she’s doing chin-ups and push-ups, and is kicking ass from the beginning. It’s nice to have a team, to be a part of a team, and to be working towards the same goal, and to finally have people believe Jenny, which she’s been saying all these years. So, it’s gratifying to see her go through that.

So, Abbie and Jenny have had some tiffs. They’ve gotten over some of them, but they’ve been introduced to a new one: Reyes, and their mother. Can you tell us about how Jenny and Abbie will face those challenges?

Lyndie: We’re definitely going to learn more about the mother. And that is just an insane story. I think people will enjoy it, it was very fun to shoot too. And yeah, the sisters, they have tried so hard and they’ve worked so hard to be back in each other’s lives, you know Jenny has all these trust issues and she’s trying to work through them. But then they’re constantly hit with challenges of the apocalypse. [laughs] So it’s really cool to see them try to work this relationship out in this setting.

Do you think there’s something else? Once they do work through Reyes or even the apocalypse, that will eventually get in the way? Or is this the biggest hurdle they have to go through?

Lyndie: I just think life will throw things your way. Just by the nature of relationships you have to constantly work at them. So I think the sisters will have many, many challenges.

Raven: Also, the stakes are so high. I mean, its the apocalypse. The challenges they face are so monstrous, it puts all these characters into situations they never thought they’d be in before, and it makes them pushed up against choices they never thought they’d have to make and I think that you’ll see that coming up a lot this season.

How do you think Jenny feels about being out in the world when the demons that threw her in confinement are still out there? What’s her headspace like?

Lyndie: In a sense, she probably doubted herself at times. But now, she has other people backing her. She has that confidence within herself and is backed by people she’s starting to trust. So in a weird way, it’s probably satisfying. It’s kind of like, I told you so! In the worst way.

Filmmaker, producer, and screenwriter Len Wiseman swaggers over to our table and pops a seat next to Raven. Wiseman, mastermind behind the Underworld series, is among the helmers of Sleepy Hollow here at the New York Comic-Con.

You guys have crafted one of the most unique corners in genre horror. What exactly was the inspiration to mash up colonial America, modern America, and the Biblical end of days?

Len: You know, actually, here’s where it came from. When we did the research on the Washington Irving story, the original story of the Headless Horseman, [it] was created on the battlefield of the Revolutionary War. So, that had never been portrayed before. So that’s where the Revolution aspect came from. So it started there. And placing Crane there, being the one that was actually responsible for cutting off the head, creating the Headless Horseman, it then took us down the path of American history. With that character. And blending that with the Headless Horseman who happened to be one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, which was so fun to pitch because when you pitch “the Headless Horseman is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” it just sounds correct! When we were pitching it to the studios, people were like, “I didn’t realize that.” You know? No, it’s not real, but it sounds so good.

What monsters have you guys enjoyed fighting the most, out of what we’ve seen so far?

Raven: I can say that my favorite monster is coming up in two weeks. Her name is the Weeping Lady, and she’s my favorite monster, because I made her! With the help of Len Wiseman and of course the rest of the writing crew.

Len: She’s a really cool monster.

Raven: I’m really, really excited about her.

Lyndie: One of my favorites is coming up too but I guess I’m not allowed to say. It’s the one after yours. And I’m not allowed to say! [laughs]

Raven: Nope! Nope!

Orlando Jones, who plays the hard-boiled cop turned institution patient Frank Irving, joins our side at the press table. We all have our iPhones, sound recorder, DSLRs, laptops, and camcorders scattered around the table. Jones, dressed like he just finished a GQ photoshoot, whips out his phone and becomes one of us. He could have had a fedora with a note that says “PRESS” and it would have been damn-near perfect.

Orlando Jones: What’s coming up midseason that you can reveal to us?

Lyndie: I told you to get out of here. I’m not answering your questions. Can somebody remove this man?

Raven [to Jones' camera]: Irving gets naked!

Orlando Jones: Does Irving ever get naked with Benjamin Franklin?

The table laughs. I was told the Sleepy Hollow cast and crew have a warm work environment and that everybody there has a good time. Being up close in person to just a few of the actors and creatives, I wish I could be a fly on the wall on set.

Lyndie: You know what one of my favorite monsters was? Demon Jenny.

Len: Demon Jenny was awesome! When the dailies of that came in of that, you were so awesome in that. That was really creepy. And the final product of that, you with the eyes, with the voice, with everything, that was always for a director or producer, those elements are potentially very cheesy. Somebody gets possessed, and they do the demon voice, there’s always a high potential of failure for that there. And Lyndie pulled it off amazing. That was one of our creepiest moments.

One of the other reporters tells the table that she couldn’t sleep after Demon Jenny.

Lyndie: [laughs] Thank you so much! My friends and I when we were growing up, we used to find out who would do the most Satanic smile. Let me try.

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We all freak out.

Len: I think the best demons we’ve had have been Jenny and Brooks, John Cho. That was amazing too. Those two moments I think were — creatures aside — were I think some of my favorite.

When is Irving going to break out?

Lyndie: Yeah, when are you getting out?

Orlando: [to Lyndie] Listen, I don’t like your tone of voice. [laughs] You know, it’s gonna be a slow burn. And rightfully so. Right now he’s facing a different set of circumstances. Right now he’s estranged from his family, he just sold his soul to the devil, [he's gotten] people killed … his family, [his] daughter in particular, thinks her father is a murderer. So, he’s in a bad way. Abbie, fortunately, gave me the advice to move to the psychiatric ward and get out of the prison to get greater access which makes sense given Jenny was able to do so much while she was there. So, it’s gonna be an interesting season. There are a lot of eyes on him. He’s in a very difficult post. He’s in harm’s way.

How do you think Irving feels about being banned from Crane and Abbie?

Orlando: He’s not aware of that. He didn’t know he was signing a contract with the second horseman, so he has no clue that visitation is being controlled by his lawyer At present he thinks that this is who his wife thinks should be his attorney, and that his wife has faith — his wife is an attorney — so he has no reason not to accept her her expertise. So, it’ll be an interesting Monday, I’ll promise you that. [laughs]

Irving sort of mirrors Ichabod, in the sense that he has both ties to his family and his higher duties. But Frank we saw in the finale do a really noble thing. And now he’s in a place where has to choose between his family, his protection, and doing his job. What is that struggle going to look like in further episodes?

Orlando: It’s interesting you say that. Tom and I were literally just talking about that two nights ago. In season one, we realized that we were captain to captain and having a conversation. [We were] two people who had been in military ranks as it were, and had committed to a structured environment, and now we’re fish out of water. Him being here and me understanding what he’s brought to this world with the war raging. It’s gonna be, I think, topsy turvy for him, because I don’t think he has his sea legs yet. He doesn’t know yet a lot of things that are still happening. But I think that his journey is still very clear to him. It’s to protect his family and do what he can as a disciple in this war. I see him very much as a disciple. He’s a man of faith, he’s a man who believes, and I think he’s a man who wants to try and leave the world a better place and whatever he has to do to do that, he’s willing to do.

Sleepy Hollow has garnered a lot of praise for being one of the most racially diverse cast on television today. People are now eyeing Sleepy Hollow as one of the most progressive shows out there. How do you feel about developing that reputation? Was that at all intended from the beginning?

Len: Not by design. It was not something that was in our plan whatsoever. Our script changed quite drastically throughout the process when we were writing. Abbie was, for instance, not written as African-American. And Ichabod wasn’t written [for] a British actor. So everything just came organically from what was fitting through casting. And, so, it wasn’t anything by design. John Cho was a favor. When the show was [when] no one knows what it’s going to be, when we were putting the pilot together, I called John because I worked with him before, I thought it would be great to have — you know, nothing to do with his ethnicity — it had to do with the fact that I wanted somebody people would freak out if he died in the end.

Good choice!

The table laughs. This isn’t Sunday at Comic-Con. This is a Sunday barbecue.

Len: I called him up and I said I want people to, at the end, [make them] say, “Did they kill John Cho?” And we can say, “Yes we did. We killed John Cho.” So that was it.

I don’t know what’s worse: The betrayal or the killing of Cho. I think it was the betrayal. It was, “No John Cho, no!”

Len: The head on the back wasn’t pretty either.

Orlando: But what’s really cool about the show, as Len said, was that wasn’t an agenda. And that the show became multi-cultural based on absolutely no choices about that. Just, who’s who we’re casting, who feels right for who, so it’s always interesting to read people on the internet go, “Oh, these people are so racist.” I’m like, you got it totally wrong! These are the last racist people ever. Because they didn’t cast it based on a grid. It was cast based on who was right for the role. And there is nothing truly better than that. To look at Hollywood today, and to have that happen in Hollywood today, given what Hollywood was just not a very long time ago, is a major step and kudos to our creative crew.

Sleepy Hollow airs Mondays at 8 PM EST on FOX.

Check out our interview with Sakina Jaffrey and executive producer Mark Goffman from New York Comic-Con 2014!

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Geekscape Movie Reviews: Birdman Fri, 17 Oct 2014 16:11:02 +0000 The 23rd annual Philadelphia Film Festival kicked off last night in a less than grand fashion. After an unexpected last-minute issue with the projector, a venue change was quickly arranged and delayed the evening by nearly an hour and a half. Set to jump-start the festival was Alejandro G. Inarritu’s latest cinematic achievement, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). Inarritu has taken the industry by storm with prior successes such as 21 GramsBabel and the foreign hit Biutiful, so needless to say the buzz was swirling for his upcoming release. Unfortunately, for me, the expectations soared high above the finished product.

Michael Keaton stars as Riggan Thomson, a has-been actor who once ruled the entertainment world as the lead man behind the iconic superhero franchise, Birdman. Since his time atop the proverbial mountain, Riggan has faded from the limelight but is making one final attempt to reclaim past glory with the premier of his Broadway play. However, Riggan struggles to balance his overwhelming ego with a volatile new castmate (played by Edward Norton) and a crumbling family life.

birdman 1

Films like Birdman make for easy critiques. Guaranteed to be a polarizing watch, one that my gut believes the general public will find disappointing on many levels, Alejandro G. Inarritu’s new title leaves the door open for massive amounts of discussion. On one hand, the technical accomplishments surrounding Birdman are nothing short of immaculate. Intended to feel like an uncut and unedited film, which is by no means an easy task, Inarritu’s effort requires fully committed performances from all of its actors. And believe me, there is no shortage of brilliant tour de force performances here. It all begins with the feature’s leading star, Michael Keaton, who shines brightest. Keaton feels like an all-around perfect fit for the role, only to be complemented by other towering performances from co-stars Edward Norton, Emma Stone and Zach Galifianakis. Thankfully, each and every character is delivered with a soulful turn that ultimately keeps an otherwise damaged film afloat.

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For all of Birdman‘s technical conquests and wonderfully acted efforts, Inarritu’s film is a falsely advertised and tiresome tale. Being pitched as a dark comedy, the laughs are far too sparse to justify such a label. And for anyone expecting an action-fueled superhero-eque type of movie, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead, Birdman straddles the line of surrealism in order to tell the unoriginal story of a man’s obsession with reclaiming the spotlight and, more importantly, leaving behind a legacy. After nearly two hours of the same old song and dance, the film blows past a golden opportunity to gift wrap its message and regrettably overextends its finale in an irritating fashion.

Birdman is well deserving of its praises as a spectacular piece of filmmaking, further elevated by grand performances from a long list of gifted actors. However, Inarritu’s common history of poor pacing and prolonged endings leaves a bitter mark on the film. While I entered the Philadelphia Film Festival with the belief that Birdman was a viable contender for Best Picture, I certainly have my doubts now.

GRADE: 3/5

Check out more info on MCDAVE’s Philadelphia Film Festival Preview

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Geekscape Interviews: “See No Evil 2″ directors Jen & Sylvia Soska, the Soska Twins! Fri, 17 Oct 2014 15:30:47 +0000 Hailing from North Vancouver, twin sisters Sylvia Soska and Jen Soska are carving out their names as rule-breakers in the horror movie genre. Raised by 80s slashers, X-Men comic books, and pro wrestling, the Soskas are among the few to represent the next generation of scary movie storytellers. Their first feature, the hilariously-titled Dead Hooker in a Trunk, was a super indie grindhouse film that got them the props of horror masters like Eli Roth. The Twisted Twins, as they call themselves, are now challenging for the belt as they prepare to unleash their first studio film, See No Evil 2, from WWE Studios and Lionsgate.

In the overwhelmingly male-dominated movie industry, it’s always exhilarating to see cool, badass women take charge to create movies and art we all can enjoy. And that’s just who the Soskas are: cool, badass women.

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You two are some of the more prominent names in genre horror, especially given that you are women in an (unfortunately) male-dominated field. Have there been any obstacles you’ve faced that maybe your peers haven’t had to?

Sylvia: There is constantly, every day, from when I very first started to now, and I think it’s a lack of education about women’s roles within film. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Alice Guy-Blaché but she was the very first director of fiction cinema. But because it’s just such a male-dominated industry, a lot of her work was connoted with her male partners. Because they were all, oh, a women couldn’t possibly do this, but she was actually the one who opened the Solax company on the east coast, the only company to rival Hollywood and she did over seven hundred films.


Sylvia: She was kind of a role model for me. Like, if she could do it, I could do it.

Jen: Absolutely people look at our work differently. We’re four feature films in and dozens of shorts and people are still thinking, “Oh, do you think the Soskas going to be directors?” By that definition we are working directors. Although when somebody doesn’t like our films, the review slams us and not slamming the film. They’ll go into very personal details just attacking us. It’s like being in high school.

Sylvia: But it’s nice to stir up that kind of passion in people. I read a review yesterday that said we were disgusting and that we were ruining horror. I didn’t know I had so much power. Fuck yeah!

You made a name for yourselves for making Dead Hooker in a Truck for less than three grand, and you’re frequently cited in DIY filmmaking discussions. How do you feel about being examples for aspiring film students wanting to make their art?

Jen: It’s absolutely an honor, and if it wasn’t for directors like Robert Rodriguez we weren’t be where we are today. I owe huge amounts to Jason Eisner and his Hobo With a ShotgunWe dropped out of film school and we were going to see Grindhouse over and over again, because seeing the film that you love is really the best education. And we walked out one day and I said, “So, Dead Hooker in a Trunk?” And [Syl's] like, “Dude, what the hell is that?” I said, “That’s our movie. We’re gonna make a movie called Dead Hooker in a Trunk.” And we didn’t have any movie up until then. Actually, Syl and I are super active. If a student approaches us — and they [usually] write, “I know you’re too busy, I’m never going to hear back from you” — we always respond to those emails because you need to take a chance. In this industry, either you sit there and wait for it to happen for you, and it may or it may not and it likely won’t, or you can take the initiative. And you need that independent fighting filmmaking spirit, even when you go up into the studio system.

Sylvia: And it’s so important to pay it forward. The reason Jen and I were able to move this forward as we did is because other people supported us. When Dead Hooker in a Trunk came out, we would send it to festivals and they would reject it on title alone. And because it was so inspired by the multi-collaborative Grindhouse, we sent the trailer to every single director involved with that. Two days later Eli Roth got back to us and he said, “This is amazing, send me the movie.” After that, he started mentioning us in interviews. All of a sudden, festivals were like, “Oh, what’s that movie you sent to us? We were really excited about playing it!” That’s why we always seek out independent films before they’re released, and if they’re good we try to help set them up with distribution. If they’re open to it, we’ll give them notes and advice on where we find there’s some challenges where the film can be improved in ways that don’t cost money or reshoots. And we tell people about it! Because it’s the very least that we can do.

Jen: But it’s not because we’re nice people. Selfishly, we just want to see really cool movies being made.


Photo: Twisted Twins Productions on Facebook

How different was making See No Evil 2, a studio film, as opposed to your previous independent works? Did you have more freedom or more red tape?

Sylvia: It’s so funny, there is so, so much more freedom. Dead Hooker in a Trunk was INDIE, guerilla, we-should-have-been-arrested-a-hundred-times, we-were-running-from-the-cops filmmaking. American Mary was more intermediate, but it wasn’t [with] people that usually make films like that, so there was a lot of fighting and Jen and I struggled so much to get that movie made. The only reason it did was because our parents mortgaged their house. So we have them as investors.


I know! Thank God mom and dad didn’t lose the house! Thank God people liked the movie! [laughs] And then everybody warned us [about the studio]. The studio is going to do this and this. I have never been more supported in our bat-shit crazy ideas. It was like, all of a sudden, I have an army behind me, and not only do they want us to do a great job, they pushed us more out of our comfort zone to do stuff we haven’t done before.

Jen: And they have the creative and financial support. Independent filmmaking is always going to be in our blood. We’ll do a couple studio movies, and then we’ll do a little guerilla-style movie that’s just with our friends dicking around. But there are some things you need money to be able to accomplish. On See No Evil 2 we got to shoot the Phantom camera, and Syl being the biggest Lars von Trier fan in the world…

Sylvia: Yup!

Jen: It’s been a huge aspiration of hers to be able to shoot with the camera. And she thought that it was going to be a big battle to get the camera because it’s about ten grand a day. And the studio? [They said] “No problem. You need this camera? We’ll take care of it. It’s yours. You’ll get it in one day? Do you just need it for one day?” It was amazing.

Photo: Twisted Twins Productions on Facebook

Photo: Twisted Twins Productions on Facebook

The first See No Evil was a surprise success, and I was personally excited to see a sequel announced. What’s different the second time around? What can we expect to see? How has the film evolved?

Sylvia: Well, it almost, to me, feels that now See No Evil is almost like a prequel of the character, Jacob Goodnight. Because the killer was really his mom, and at the end of the film he kills her. And it’s very B-horror schlock. Jennifer and I are so inspired by European cinema, and we’re very arthouse. So it’s a lot of homages to the 80’s slasher films, the movies we grew up on. And we take a lot of stereotypes and turn them on their heads. But at the same time it’s a love letter. It’s so different. It’s a great jumping off point. There are so many things we did just to define him. Before he was wearing slacks and a t-shirt. You can’t cosplay that! We need to make this guy something scary, like if I woke up in the middle of the night and saw this guy standing at the foot of my bed, I would shit myself.

Jen: It was very important to reintroduce him to not only the people that already knew and were familiar with and love Jacob Goodnight, but to a whole new array of audience. That is very much why we decided to make it like a 1980’s slasher. He has his own theme music now, he has an array of weapons, and not only does he have his own [musical onomatopoeia], he’s got a full orchestra! Different pieces of his music show up when Jacob shows up, which is just so cool.

Sylvia: And a big shout-out to the Newton Brothers that composed the hell out of this movie. They’re just absolutely fantastic.

Jen: Also, you are going to love every character in the film. I hate going into a movie and being like, “Well I never caught his name, so he’s going to die,” or “Well, he’s the black guy, so he’s done,” or “That person is definitely done.” You’re going to love the characters and if any of them survive or any of them die, it’s not going to be a very obvious set-up.

Sylvia: The first fifteen minutes are a John Hughes movie, and by the time you have feelings it turns into a hardcore horror slasher.

I am far more excited for this movie now than I was just ten minutes ago.


Jen: Everyone loves John Hughes and slashers.


Photo: Twisted Twins Productions on Facebook

I understand you grew up as hardcore pro wrestling fans. What was it like getting to direct the Big Red Monster himself, Kane? Please tell me he’s going to chokeslam somebody.

Sylvia: Oh my God! Okay. There is definitely a chokeslam in there, and it’s amazing because a lot of the cast are huge wrestling fans, and if they weren’t they have all started watching. Glenn is absolutely phenomenal. Jen has this great saying that we went in as Kane fans and we came out as Glenn Jacobs fans. He is such a fantastic gentleman. He is so, so cool to work with. Like, we started watching wrestling when the Kane storyline was introduced, so the fact that we got to work with him, it was ridiculous! We used to be 14-year-old girls sitting on the floor when they had the house shows coming through Vancouver and I would be screaming, “Oh my God! It’s Kane! It’s Kane!” And now if I want to talk to Kane, I just text him. And he’s just like, “Hey, what’s up Sylvia?”

Jen: It was incredible. Karma, instantly, for the two girls who were bullied and beaten up in high school, now all our friends are professional wrestlers. It’s incredible.

Photo: Twisted Twins Productions on Facebook

Photo: Twisted Twins Productions on Facebook

As die-hard horror fans, what is it about the genre that allows your imaginations to run wild that other genres do not?

Jen: I really attribute it to my parents who never discouraged me from the things that I loved. I didn’t think it was weird to like horror. I guess we all grew up like Addams children, playing with spiders and not like little tiny ones, but tarantulas. We just absolutely love it. There’s so much fun in horror, and you really see that when you go to the conventions and festivals, because there aren’t any romantic comedy conventions. There aren’t even any Oscar film conventions. People who love horror just wear it on their sleeve, and they’re so passionate and so nice. And it’s a cheap thrill! And psychologically, you come as close to dying and face your fears in a safe environment and come out laughing on the other side.

Sylvia: And it’s such a fun way to tell a story. You can have such highly political messages, you can make commentaries on everything. You have one foot in reality, one foot in the fantastical, and you can tackle almost anything. And you could do so much more with it because you’re not being preached at. You’re watching people being fucking murdered! It’s a thrill.

See No Evil 2 is available now on Digital HD and VOD and on Blu-ray October 21!

You can keep up with the Soskas through their official website, Twisted Twins.

Check out my interview with the star of See No Evil 2, WWE superstar Kane!

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Geekscape Interviews: WWE Superstar and “See No Evil 2″ star Kane! Fri, 17 Oct 2014 15:30:23 +0000 He is the Big Red Monster. He is the Devil’s Favorite Demon. He is also really cool. He is Kane, former WWE Champion, World Heavyweight Champion, ECW Champion, and the star of the new horror movie from WWE Studios and Lionsgate, See No Evil 2.

On a lazy July night in 2003, I sat down on my living room couch in a state of total boredom. I was 11-years-old and even though Netflix was a thing, it was a DVD-by-mail thing and I wanted entertainment now. (Or, then.) I channel surfed until I got to the start of a live WWE Monday Night RAW broadcast. I used to belittle pro wrestling and thought lesser of my classmates who did, but I was so bored I thought, what the hell? Why not.

What the hell indeed. That night, I saw the monstrous Kane set fire to announcer Jim Ross. I was hooked.

Arson, sadism, and the belittlement of human life wasn’t what got me into pro wrestling, but it was the spectacle, the pageantry, and the utter absurdity. I’ve been a dedicated pro wrestling fan since that day, and so it was a personal achievement that I had the opportunity to interview Glenn Jacobs, better known to WWE fans as Kane. A veteran of the industry, Kane has been dominating the WWE ring for almost two decades, chokeslamming and piledriving poor sons of bitches straight to hell. The summer I started watching pro wrestling, Kane removed his intimidating red and black mask — a signature of his for years at that point — and unveiled an even more hideous, scarred visage underneath. It was the biggest storyline of that summer.

In 2005, Kane transferred his Monday night terror onto the big screen when he became Jacob Goodnight, the big bad of WWE Films’ first horror movie, See No EvilNow, Kane has stepped back into the shoes of Jacob Goodnight and is ready to bring the pain once again.

SNE2_BD_ (1)

You have portrayed Kane for well over a decade and you have built a career igniting fear to audiences worldwide. Including me! I was terrified of you as a kid. With your role of Jacob Goodnight added to your list of personas, what has been the most fun aspect about playing monsters?

Kane: The thing about playing monsters is you basically get to do things you can’t in real life. That’s what’s the most fun. People ask me, in wrestling, would you rather be the good guy or the bad guy? Well, I always wanna be the bad guy! There really are no rules as to what the bad guy can do. Good guys have a certain moral code they have to stand by, deep down. Even if it’s a guy like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, who is not necessarily who you’d think as the conventional good guy, he’s still has certain things he can do and certain things he can’t do. When you’re a bad guy, you can do anything. And that’s what’s really fun.

See No Evil was an early success for WWE Studios. What’s it like to return to the Jacob Goodnight role?

Kane: It was a lot of fun, basically because I worked with such great people. I worked with the Soska twins, the rest of the cast was great, and the rest of the crew were very experienced. We shot it in Vancouver, where there’s so much going on. So, I really had a good time because of the people I was surrounded with.

The Soska twins raved about you when I spoke to them. 

Kane: They’re great, they’re awesome. I’m gonna rave about them too! [laughs]

As an actor, how different is playing Kane from Jacob Goodnight? On the surface they’re similar, but how are they different psychologically?

Kane: Kane is actually much more evil than Jacob. Because [with] Jacob, his mother controls him. Jacob is almost like an inanimate object. He’s an instrument of her. He’s her weapon. Kane is his own weapon. He loves being evil. He’s fully cognizant of what he’s doing and he glorifies it. Despite the fact that he doesn’t do as nasty things as Jacob does, that’s what makes Kane much worse. Kane is like the sort of Hannibal Lecter-ish character who is really aware of what he’s doing and is intelligent, and cognizant, and self-aware of his evil and basks in it. Whereas Jacob, really doesn’t have that much choice in what he’s doing. He’s a victim of his own circumstances.

How difficult is it for you to constantly be in the headspace of sadistic monsters? Do you do anything to relax that separates you from Kane or Jacob Goodnight?

Kane: It really isn’t that difficult, you know, for me. Because I don’t get self-absorbed into the characters at all.

Oh, wow.

Kane: Yeah, no. It’s not like, I become the character. It’s definitely a difference for me.

That’s fascinating to hear, I always hear about actors who “become their character.”

Kane: Now, granted, some of the things you do in particular, [like what I've done] as Kane, that stays with you for a little while. But then I think just to get my mind off of it. Just think about something else.

Photo: Twisted Twins Productions on Facebook

Photo: Twisted Twins Productions on Facebook

What influenced the look and aesthetic of Jacob Goodnight? What dictated your portrayal of him? Did you see something in a movie or in your life that you poured into Jacob?

Kane: Not really. First of all, Jacob — I think — is unique among the movie monsters. Because, yes, he’s like Jason Voorhees, yes he’s like Michael Meyers, but he’s also very different, in that those guys are forces of nature. They’re instinctual. Jacob is very emotional. Which I think comes out a lot more in See No Evil 2By the end of See No Evil, because he’s had it really rough, he’s had this terrible mother, as bad of a childhood as you could possible imagine. So by the end of See No Evil you’re like, “Aww man, I feel really bad for him.” Because it’s not his fault. But by See No Evil 2 his mother is gone, the biggest influence of his life, so now you have a psychopath going through a psychotic breakdown on top of it, if that’s even possible. So he’s just different, and for that reason, I don’t think there’s anything I could look at. Yeah, certainly you do with Michael Meyers and Jason Voorhees, the classic slasher monsters, you certainly have that influence. Jacob never runs. Always walks. [laughs] That sort of stuff. But some of the other things, I just don’t think there’s a template for him.

Aside from being evil, you’ve also done incredibly well with comedy. During your tag team runs with the Big Show and Daniel Bryan, you showed the world that you have a funny bone. After See No Evil 2, would you like to pursue other genres? Would you ever do a comedy?

Kane: Yeah! I attribute a lot of my longevity in the WWE to the fact that I can reinvent myself. And when you look at WWE, at the guys who have been around for a long time, that’s the way it is. Even though The Undertaker has always been The Undertaker, he’s been different incarnations. He’s been different. Same with Shawn Michaels. Shawn Michaels changed over the years. That’s the same with me. And also the fact, of course, I’ve been surrounded by great people the whole time. But when you actually look at whatever characteristic that we share in common, it’s that versatility, that ability to reinvent ourselves. And I think, as an actor too, you do get stale when you play the same character for a long time. Because then you’re not acting anymore. Then it becomes doing something by rote. You’re not challenged intellectually. So yeah, I would definitely love to do some other things. The horror genre is my favorite genre, because just the fact that it’s escapism, it’s fantasy. For the stuff that I’ve done anyway. But I would love to do some other things as well. Because I look forward to that challenge.


Photo: Twisted Twins Productions on Facebook

In the pantheon of horror, from Jekyll & Hyde to Freddy Krueger, you’ve become an icon amongst pro wrestling and horror fans. How do you feel about leaving your mark on pop culture? What has been the most rewarding thing about your career in spreading fear?

Kane: [laughs] We had the premiere of See No Evil 2 out in L.A. And, as an entertainer, seriously the most rewarding thing is just when you get to see people enjoying the product. No matter what it may be. That’s why you do what you do. To bring people pleasure and to bring people enjoyment. And not just by scaring the hell out of them! [laughs] Other times it’s making them laugh. But that’s the most rewarding thing. The fact that in some way you’ve impacted people’s lives for the better. Whatever platform or venue it is, that’s why we do what we do.

See No Evil 2 is available now on VOD and Digital HD, and on Blu-ray October 21th!

Check out my interview with the directors of See No Evil 2, the “Twisted Twins” Jen and Sylvia Soska!

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The Saint Mort Show Episode 102: Chilling Tales for Dark Nights Fri, 17 Oct 2014 05:05:21 +0000 Continuing the trend of October Horror Guests this week I’m joined by Chris and Jeff of Chilling Tales for Dark Nights. They’re just two of the many people that help make this popular YouTube channel keep running.

The song playing during the intro is True Romance by Punchy’s Pilots.

Follow Saint Mort on Facebook and Twitter

If you really like the show get Matt something nice off his AmazonWishList

Subscribe to Us on iTunes



]]> 0 Audiobook,Chilling Tales For Dark Nights,horror,podcast,Radio,Saint Mort,saint-mort-show,Stories This week Mort is joined by Chris and Jeff of Chilling Tales for Dark Nights. This week Mort is joined by Chris and Jeff of Chilling Tales for Dark Nights. Geekscape no
Katniss Returns To District 12 In New ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part I’ Teaser! Thu, 16 Oct 2014 23:25:38 +0000 Briefly: We’re barely a month away from seeing the first half of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, and Lionsgate has just debuted a new teaser for the film that takes us back to District 12.

The video shows an absolutely devastated District, and the vocal backings by Lorde make for a pretty emotional moment.

I don’t want to give away too much, but you can take a look at the video below, and let us know if you’re excited! The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 hits theatres on November 21st! As disappointed as I was in the first film in the series, I loved every second of last year’s Catching Fire. As such, I can’t wait to see where this story goes., as I haven’t read a single word of the series. I’ve heard mixed feelings of excitement and resentment from fans of the novels, but it’d be hard to deny how cool this trailer is.

The worldwide phenomenon of The Hunger Games continues to set the world on fire with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, which finds Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in District 13 after she literally shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin (Julianne Moore) and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and a nation moved by her courage. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is directed by Francis Lawrence from a screenplay by Danny Strong and Peter Craig and produced by Nina Jacobson’s Color Force in tandem with producer Jon Kilik. The novel on which the film is based is the third in a trilogy written by Suzanne  Collins that has over 65 million copies in print in the U.S. alone.

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Geekscape Giveaway: Win One Of Five Copies Of ‘Star Wars Rebels: Spark Of Rebellion’ Thu, 16 Oct 2014 18:43:01 +0000 Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion offered a great start to what looks to be a stellar new chapter in the Star Wars story. Maybe you’d like to relive the magic again and again, or maybe you missed it on Disney XD the first time around.

In any case, we’re giving you a chance to get your hands on your very own copy of the Star Wars: Spark of Rebellion DVD! We’ve got five copies up for grabs in total, so get started by rewatching the movie’s trailer below, and keep on reading to learn how you can win one yourself!

Starring a small band of heroes — Sabine, Kanan, Hera, Ezra, Zeb, and Chopper — Star Wars Rebels is set in a time where the Empire rules through fear and shrouds the galaxy in darkness. This trailer offers many new glimpses at sequences from the show, including the starship Ghost chased by TIE Fighters; young Ezra watching as a Star Destroyer looms overhead; Stormtroopers marching; a zero-g fight between our heroes and Imperials; and Kanan, a secret Jedi, assembling his lightsaber and preparing for battle. It ends, however, with an Imperial officer reporting to the Inquisitor — the Empire’s Jedi hunter, seen and heard here for the first time. Star Wars Rebels takes place between Star Wars: Episode III and IV as the Empire tightens its grip on the galaxy and a rebellion begins to form.

This giveaway is open to all US and Canadian residents, and entry is pretty simple. Here’s what you need to do:

– Like Geekscape on Facebook
– Share this photo on your Facebook wall, and be sure to comment, letting us know your favourite Star Wars moment and why (don’t forget the why)
– Email a screencap of the share, PLUS your mailing address to
– Reside in the United States OR Canada (hell yeah!)

That’s it! We’ll pick five winners next Thursday, and be in touch! Get sharing!

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Geekscape Games Podcast: Level 2 – The Vanishing Of DriveClub: Isolation Thu, 16 Oct 2014 09:54:53 +0000 Guess who’s back? Back again? ITS THE GEEKSCAPE GAMES PODCAST!

Join Derek, Josh, Juan and Shane as they discuss the last week in video games!

This week

Monster Hunter 4 Megaman Costumes.

DragonAge: Inquisition VS. Assassins Creed: Unity resolution and FPS.

Shadow of Mordor PC Specs

Playstation TV

Telltale’s Walking Dead Clementine figure.

WWE 2K15.

NBA 2K15 Face Scanning.

Masahiro Sakurai response to Smash Bros. Character “Clone” Critiques.

EA Access adding PvZ Garden Warfare

Playstation NOW.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter

Alien: Isolation

Bayonetta 2

Skylanders Swap Force vs Disney Infinity 2.0

This Week’s Listener Mission Objective

If you contracted Ebola, what would you last game played be?

Leave a comment below, tweet us OR email us: shane (at) geekscape (dot) net

Please subscribe to our various feeds!

Subscribe in iTunes! 

]]> 0 Alien: Isolation,Assassin's Creed: Unity,Bayonetta 2,Capcom,Disney Infinity,dragon age,Dragon Age III: Inquisition,EA Access,Gaming,Geekscape Games,Masahiro Sakurai,Megaman Geekscape Games is a podcast devoted entirely to all things gaming! Geekscape Games is a podcast devoted entirely to all things gaming! Geekscape no 1:14:51
‘Comic Book Artists: Next Generation’ Is A Documentary Worthy Of Your Time, Watch It Now! Thu, 16 Oct 2014 02:44:23 +0000 Briefly: We’re still recovering from a totally incredible New York Comic-Con (have you seen our Constantine interview?), and were  just fleshing out our plans for Comikaze in a couple of weeks (dat guest list) when we had to take a break to check out this fantastic new Comic Book documentary.

It’s called ‘Comic Book Artists: Next Generation’, and the AT&T U-Verse documentary just premiered earlier today. If you’re an AT&T subscriber, you can check it out on channels 300 & 1300HD, but if not (or you don’t want to watch it at a scheduled time) you can watch the doc in its entirety at this link.

In a small loft in Toronto, a group of 10 gifted comic book artists are crafting the next generation of superhero tales featuring Spider-Man, New Warriors, The Flash, Batman, and other classic characters. In this AT&T U-verse Buzz documentary, we get a behind-the-scenes peek at the life of modern-day comic book artists, featuring award-winning creators Ramon K. Perez (The Amazing Spider-Man, Wolverine and the X-Men), Marcus To (New Warriors, Cyborg 009) and Francis Manapul (Detective Comics, The Flash). As each of these artists build their careers and juggle their personal life with an all-consuming artistic life, industry legends Stan Lee and Jim Lee share their advice and perspective on their own successes.

The documentary holds some fantastic clips from Stan Lee, Jim Lee, and everyone else involved, and it gives some absolutely incredible insight to the life of these amazing artists. Definitely, definitely, definitely give the doc a watch, and be sure to let us know what you think!


PIC_8 2

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‘American Horror Story’s Alexandra Breckenridge Joins ‘The Walking Dead’ Wed, 15 Oct 2014 22:57:36 +0000 Briefly: The Walking Dead is finally back, surprising us all with a brutal and extremely memorable premiere this past Sunday.

While we’re twiddling our thumbs patiently (impatiently) waiting for the next episode to air, Gimple and co. are busy adding to the show’s already expansive cast. The newest addition is American Horror Story‘s Alexandra Breckenridge, who played the young maid Moira in the first season of the FX hit.

She’ll join The Walking Dead as Samantha, an “attractive, strong, smart, charming and articulate woman who also has a vulnerable side. She’s a mother with a bohemian spirit, and a talented artist.” She won’t necessarily be named this on the show, and could even be based on one of the comic’s characters, but we won’t know that until later this year!

We’ll be sure to keep you up to date on The Walking Dead news, but for now be sure to let us know what you think of the announcement!

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: Alexandra Breckenridge

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Warner Bros. Announces HUGE Slate Of DC Films, Including ‘Wonder Woman’ Standalone Wed, 15 Oct 2014 22:25:42 +0000 Briefly: Well we certainly weren’t expecting all of this today. During an investor’s meeting early this morning, Warner Bros. revealed some major plans for the coming years… including details on its entire slate of DC films.

We all knew that there were a ton of DC films in the works, but WB had shied away from revealing just what and who these features would be based on, until now of course.

Warner Bros. noted that the announcements do not include stand-alone Batman and Superman films that are also in the works, but here’s what’s in store so far:

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, directed by Zack Snyder (2016)
Suicide Squad, directed by David Ayer (2016)
Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot (2017)
Justice League Part One, directed by Zack Snyder, with Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Amy Adams reprising their roles (2017)
The Flash, starring Ezra Miller (2018)
Aquaman, starring Jason Momoa (2018)
Shazam (2019)
Justice League Part Two, directed by Zack Snyder (2019)
Cyborg, starring Ray Fisher (2020)
Green Lantern (2020)

It’s interesting that Warner chose to reveal some casting news along with the titles of the films. We knew that we’d see Ray Fisher as Cyborg, and Jason Momoa’s role as Aquaman had been unofficially officially confirmed about a thousand times, but Ezra Miller as The Flash is definitely news.


Also, we’re getting a new Green Lantern, and there’s no way it could be as bad as the last one. You can also see that Zack Snyder has been tapped to direct both Justice League films, so it’ll be interesting to see who ends up in the director’s chair for the remainder of the standalone pictures.

So, which fims are you most excited for? Which DC heroes didn’t get a film that you’d like to see in one? Are you happy with all of the new casting? Sound out below!

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NYCC 2014: We Interview “Constantine” stars Matt Ryan, Angélica Celaya, and executive producer David S. Goyer! Wed, 15 Oct 2014 16:24:22 +0000 The 2014 New York Comic-Con had attendance that far surpassed that of San Diego (according to NYCC, but we’re still skeptical). While the multi-billion dollar movie industry still dominates San Diego, this makes New York Comic-Con the largest pop culture event in the United States in cold numbers. And inside this leviathan of an event housed in one of the busiest cities in the entire world, I managed to have a relaxing little chat.

Constantine, the newest DC/Vertigo show, will soon hit broadcast airwaves in a little under ten days. Show stars Matt Ryan, Angélica Celaya, and executive producer David S. Goyer sat down with me for a few minutes and answered questions after I asked them, because that’s how these things work, you see.

The show is housed on a kind of left-field network: NBC. While the channel has had varying degrees of success with genre shows — from Heroes to Hannibal — it’s still hard to imagine Constantine being in the house that Johnny Carson built. Constantine seems destined to be the next hot item, but what’s standing in its way?

“I mean obviously there are some constraints you have to deal with on network that you don’t have to deal with on pay cable,” says executive producer David S. Goyer. “But having said that, we’re on on the same network on the same time slot that Hannibal also inhabits and … I’m shocked by some of the things they do on Hannibal. So, I don’t think we’ve toned it down that much actually.”

How did NBC become the choice for Constantine anyway?

“We have an executive at NBC, Perlina, whose been a fan of the character even when she used to work at Showtime with Bob Greenblatt, so she’s been wanting to do a Constantine show ever since then. And Bob Greenblatt came over from Showtime and they came from pay cable sensibility, and watching what’s been happening with cable versus network and clearly network has had to change so I think it’s a comfortable fit. Of all the networks, it’s hard to imagine Constantine working on any of the other networks.”

In the last few years pay cable has certainly raised the bar for what audiences perceive television storytelling to be. But what of that story? What are we going to get with Constantine? Constantine isn’t Batman, but he still has a passionate fanbase that knows his stories well. “Any adaptation of something in a different is going to change a little bit but it stays very closely,” says Goyer. “I think by the time people watch the first twelve or thirteen episodes, they will be shocked at how much of that original Hellblazer milieu is embodied in the show … We’ve already adapted some specific issues within the first season.”

Constantine himself has got a ton of signatures: The trench coat. The smoking. The tie. The punk rock music? “We do kind of have a punk soundtrack. We have Buzzcocks on the show, Ramones, and I’m incredibly proud to say, in episode 3 — this may be the first time it’s happened in network television, I could be wrong — I got them to license a Sex Pistols song. So John is listening to the Sex Pistols in that episode, in a scene in which Papa Midnite shows up.”

Judging only by the trailers, it appears Constantine is kind of stuck in a few certain locales. According to Goyer, Constantine will be up and about a lot more than one might think. “The show will ultimately take place all over the world. Even in the first season we’re out of America for some of the show. We’re not in London yet, but … if you think about [it], when John was first introduced, it was in America. “American Gothic” took place in America. But we’ll go back to London at some point. And we’ll be dipping back into what happened in New Castle.”

In 2005 a big-budget film starring Keanu Reeves was released to a lukewarm reception. Personally, I enjoyed it, but it’s hard to deny the somewhat lethargic effect it had on mainstream audiences. How much of the movie influenced the decision to produce the show? Were they worried at all about the less-than-stellar first impression the movie made? “Not at all,” says Goyer. “I think to a certain extent people are used to there being different iterations of things. Lord knows there have been multiple iterations of Batman and Superman and whatnot. The movie was polarizing, I enjoyed it for what it was, but first and foremost we cast a British actor to play a British character.”

Matt Ryan is certainly one of the more exciting factors for Constantine. “And I know people that have seen the show, almost to a man or woman, feel that Matt has completely embodied John Constantine,” says Goyer. And he’s right. Matt Ryan, dressed in all black with a leather jacket and unbuttoned boots, swaggers to my table like he actually just finished fighting off a demon and had a smoke outside the Javits Center like it was no big. The first question someone asked: Did you ever do the Mumbles Mile? “I’m from Swansea. I can’t remember doing the Mumbles Mile, but that’s the whole point. We used to do a beer and a shot in every pub.”

Everyone in the press room had been working (which involves lots of waiting, and waiting) throughout the convention, but Ryan’s presence put everyone at ease. And he’s the one playing demon hunter. But what is it like being Constantine? What dictated his decisions as an actor who John Constantine was? “It’s interesting because there are so many different writers that write him and artists that draw him, but what’s great is that there are so many things you can pick out for different episodes and different storylines,” says Ryan. “It’s like this canvas of stuff,” he motions with his hands, circling them around. “You’re never lost for ideas. You can just dip in and go, ‘Oh, I can use that.’ [But we're] keeping the core DNA of the character there consistently, and then using the rest of it then as you see fit.”

Matt Ryan says the most fun he has playing Constantine is “when he’s just a real bugger … And he does it with a smile. It’s so much fun.” And why? “You don’t get to do that in real life. You get slapped and knocked out.”

No matter your thoughts on previous portrayals, for many it was great to finally hear Constantine speak in a British accent. But there was more to it than just that. “What was important to me was kind of trying to get the essence of the character, rather than just playing a Scouse accent and going ‘Okay, this is my John Constantine and he’s a Scouse.’ I was just trying to get the the DNA of him and be true to him. And I also wanted to do something accessible to a broad audience. He’s kind of like a northern, you know he’s from the north, but I’m not going too Scouse with it. I kind of just concentrated on really getting under his skin and getting the essence of it.”

The heaviness of Constantine is taxing for any one man to play. It’s not uncommon to hear about roles leaving their mark on the actors who portray them, so how does Ryan deal with it? “It’s weird, because I don’t know … I just play him. I try to dip into a comic before going to bed, but some days you work fifteen hours a day, and then you decide to read a comic and you just give yourself nightmares. So some nights I listen to nursery music.” The whole table erupts in laughter. “It’s quite taxing, but it’s fun and great.”

“God is he funny,” Goyer says about star Matt Ryan. “I’m excited for you guys to see subsequent episodes because what you hope for a show is they get better and better with each subsequent episode, and episodes three, and four, and five, six, seven, it just ramps up and ramps up. And he is just mainlining John Constantine. We saw over 500 people and it’s really hard because we had this sort of impression in our minds who John should be. Matt did a self-tape, he was on stage in London with a giant beard. He looked like Sasquatch. And I said, That’s the guy.’ Showed it to the studio and they said that’s not the guy. I said, ‘That’s the guy!’ I said to our casting lady, don’t let him out of his option. We kept on seeing people and I did my best to sabotage all those auditions. Eventually, Matt finished his run, shaved the beard, and I said, that’s the guy. And eventually we cast him.”

Did Matt Ryan live up to the original vision of what Constantine was? “I wanted someone to look like he leapt off the page, from the Delano comic books. Or Tim Bradstreet covers. And Matt looks like John Constantine! And acts like John Constantine! And so for all these years, decades, I’ve had this kind of idea in my head, and to actually cast someone who brings that to life is amazing.”

Constantine isn’t the kind of character you’d expect to headline a network show. He’s compelling, sure, but there was a reason why he was created in late-80’s comic books and not immediately for mainstream television. Goyer and his team knew that. “He had to be a bastard,” he says. “Sometimes a real asshole. That’s just who he is. Snarky and he lies. He’s terrible to the men and women he sleeps with. He’s not your first choice when you think of somebody to save the world, unfortunately he’s the guy we’ve got. And that’s what makes him so fun. And we said those things to NBC. We said in the beginning, if you can get behind this guy — he’s not a shiny, matinee idol guy — then we’re good. And they’ve embraced that.” There was something akin to a grocery list of who Constantine had to be. “He had to be British. He had to have the trenchcoat, skinny tie, and even though he’s on network he had to be a smoker. There was some negotiations to that, because that’s just part and parcel to his character. We all know he gets cancer later on and that’s something we wanted to give a nod to.”

The show is called Constantine but he’s not the only one playing in this weird-ass universe. Enter Zed, portrayed by the excellent Angelica Celaya. “She comes from the Hellblazer world,” says Celaya. “She’s sensitive, she gets visions, she’s always within the arts. She’s spray painting or drawing, and that’s how she translates her visions. And she’s running away from situations in her life. And within the show we see her running with walls, not really trusting, scared, but through being scared she becomes tough. That’s what Zed is. It is based on Zed from Hellblazer. It is 100%. And we’re not shying away from her at all.”

Zed’s presence has come as a surprise. The pilot introduced us to Liv Aberdine, who was portrayed by actress Lucy Griffiths. After the pilot, the producers sought a different direction and took another character from the Hellblazer universe, Zed. How did she prepare on such short notice? “They gave me a stack of books, and they were like, here you go. And that’s where I got she was extremely sarcastic, so funny, refreshingly sarcastic. And then I realized, I get to be her!”

But who is Zed? What is she in this universe for? “She really really wishes that her family could be a real family,” muses Celaya. “She really wishes love was love, and protection was protection. That’s why she runs to Constantine in this badass world, because in a way that’s protection.”

So if Constantine is protection, is Zed a damsel in distress? HELL NO. “Oh my God! I am blessed!” screams Celaya from excitement. “I don’t know how to play the damsel in distress! I’m a big Mexican! My mother taught me, if there’s trouble fix it. You cry? No honey. You dry you tears and you fix the problem. There’s no crying in baseball.” 

YES. I was thrilled to learn that Zed wouldn’t be a damsel in the show adaptation. But how will she still measure against the Constant One? “She can be physical, but toe-to-toe with Constantine? You know besides a master of the dark arts, he’s also the master of saying all this stuff and manipulation, and running around ten times without you even noticing. That’s what he does. And Zed is like, no. Cut it down. Okay, you said all that? You mean this. So that’s going toe-to-toe, and Constantine trying to push Zed away, and Zed is going, ‘What? Excuse me? No.'”

Diversity in genre media has been a hot button topic in the last several years. Sleepy Hollow, among other shows, have gained a solid reputation for proving (gasp!) diversity and compelling characters mix well. Super well. Marvel, meanwhile, has been celebrated for introducing superheroes of color and bending genders in their comic books. But while the mediums at large still remain largely colorless, Constantine is amongst the few genre programs leading the way. “They casted it so that she happens to be Latina … and I give John Constantine a little run for his money when I talk Spanish,” says Celaya. “You know, give it a little sass there.” She snaps her fingers. “[And] I love it. I love the fact that she’s Latina, and that she happens to be Latina! Not that she’s, you know, showing her butt or her breast. It’s like, no, no stereotypes here. She just so happens to be Latina as all Latinas are. They didn’t choose to be! And it’s a big step forward. I’m so blessed and honored to be given that. I couldn’t ask for more.”

Her influence in portraying Zed is equally exciting and intriguing. “I based her and what I did with girls I grew up around seeing who were running away from family and who were running away from home and who wished they had a solid ground to be embraced, and the consequence of that is they become a little rough, they become a little protective.”

The DC Universe may not have the cinematic presence that its competitors do, but it has surely taken over television in a big way. Does Constantine fit into the larger DC television multiverse? Yes, and no. “We’re safe in the occult corner of the DC Universe,” says Goyer. “We have access to those characters, those characters are kind of reserved for us. The longer we’re on, the more we’ll be introducing.”

Constantine premieres October 24, 2014 on NBC.

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Fox’s ‘Gotham’ Gets An Extended Full Season Order Wed, 15 Oct 2014 16:16:07 +0000 Briefly: Gotham reception thus far has been extremely mixed (especially from bat-fans), but one thing is now for certain: love it or hate it, it’s not going anywhere.

Fox has just picked up the series for an extended full season run. That’s not 16, but 22 episodes! Are those tears of joy or sadness on your face right now?

It’s no surprise, as Gotham was the network’s highest rated Fall drama debut in over 14 years.

While I’ve found plenty to both like and dislike in the few episodes we’ve seen so far, I’m enjoying Gotham far more than I did Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. when it began, and we all know how awesome that show came to be. Be sure to let us know what you think of the show in the comments below.

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Here’s The First Teaser Poster For ‘Jurassic World’! Wed, 15 Oct 2014 02:34:23 +0000 Briefly: Following that awesome teaser photo from just a few weeks backJurassic World director Colin Trevorrow has taken to twitter to debut the first teaser poster for the film.

The image is classically similar to the teaser one-sheet for each and every Jurassic film thus far, but the logo is taken to depths that we haven’t seen before. We also get a new (and exciting) tagline: the park is open.

Jurassic World really sounds like it could breathe some much needed life into the once great franchise, and I really, really can’t wait to see some footage. For now, take a look at the teaser image below, and be sure to let us know if you’re excited! Jurassic World hits theatres on July 12th, 2015!

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Geekscape 336: Post-NYCC And The Greatest Retro Console Games! Wed, 15 Oct 2014 00:54:58 +0000 NYCC is behind us and it’s time to tally up the damage! Marvel hit hard with the return of Civil War, the first look at Netflix’s ‘Daredevil’ series and Robert Downey Jr. joining Captain America 3! It looks like Lego Batman is getting his own movie and the season 5 premiere of The Walking Dead was great! Brett Weiss, the author of ‘The 100 Greatest Console Games 1977-1987′ calls in to talk retro gaming! And which X-Men character would be the biggest drug addict?

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‘The Evil Within’ Is Now Available, Watch The Launch Trailer! Wed, 15 Oct 2014 00:12:45 +0000 Briefly: Shinja Mikami’s long-awaited return to survival horror is here! The game has been garnering (mostly) positive thoughts from reviewers around the world, and as a huge survival horror fan, I really can’t wait to get my hands on it (after I finish Alien: Isolation of course).

The game releases today on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One, and Bethesda has just debuted the launch trailer for the title/

Here’s what SJ thought when she played the game back at E3:

And it is scary. We screamed a little bit during our play through. And at one point, as we were sloshing waist deep through thick, congealing blood attempting to solve a puzzle to get to the next room, we were certainly viscerally affected by the well-realized world. Stealth and sneak attacks are preferred; noise and light draw unwanted attention. And the zombie/monster/box-man creatures? Only stay dead after you burn them. And matches are in short supply.

Between The Evil Within and Hideo Kojima/Guillermo Del Toro’s Silent Hills, survival horror seems to be back on AAA developer’s minds. Take a look at the trailer below, and let us know what you think! If you’re a PS4 owner and you haven’t checked out P.T., you’re definitely missing out!

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Mega64 Announces New Blu-Ray Collection! ‘Time Is Running Out’ Looks Awesome! Tue, 14 Oct 2014 10:12:49 +0000 Oh boy! Last Sunday night on their livestream, Mega64 announced their newest Blu-Ray release! Check out the trailer for “Time is Running Out”

If you’re not familiar with the “Time” series of releases, then let me bring you up to speed. Every so often Mega64 collects the previous few years of their work in a nice handy dandy package. “Time is Running Out” is the fourth in the series, and the first one to be released on Blu-Ray!

This collection contains all their skits and commercials, unaired or rejected works, and a few new surprises. Each video will have its own commentary, which is worth the price of Blu-Ray alone! Hearing about the various trials and tribulations that went into each video is one of the most entertaining parts.

“Time is Running Out” also features a new story line running throughout, which if it is anything like their previous one on the “Time Travelers” collection then we’re all in for a treat.

The Blu-Ray will go on sale on Black Friday during Mega64’s yearly livestream, BUT you can preorder it now!

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to Mega64’s blog post for more detailed information and to secure your own copy of “Time is Running Out” now!

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Stan Lee’s Comikaze Approaches, And The Comic Book Guests Are Unreal! Tue, 14 Oct 2014 01:53:36 +0000 Of all the cool things that I was able to do last year, going to Stan Lee’s Comikaze was definitely one of the highlights. Yep, San Diego Comic-Con was incredible, but due to its sheer size and massive attendance, it becomes nothing but a line convention at times, and beyond stressful at others.

Comikaze, on the other hand, is nothing but fun. It’s huge, but not unbearably so. Tons (and) tons of people go, but you still have the freedom to move around the well-spaced show floor and not feel like you’re in a tin of sardines. Panels (even popular ones) are actually attendable without waiting in line for 24 hours, and just like SDCC, the guests are stellar (oh, and don’t even get my started on the nearby Lawry’s Carvery).

I’m a comic book guy, so the guest list that I’m always the most excited about is definitely the comic book pros. This year’s comic book guest list is stacking up to be nothing less than stellar. Some of the highlights include:

Brian Michael Bendis
Rob Liefeld
John Romita Jr.
Joe Jusko
Len Wein
Jim Lee
Peter David
Kevin Smith
J. Scott Campbell
Greg Horn
Whilce Portacio

But that’s just a fraction of who’s attending, and again, that’s just comic book guests. Here’s the full list. Tickets for Comikaze are available now, but special VIP options are going fast!

We’ll be sharing our Comikaze plans soon, but for now, be sure to let us know who you’re excited to see!


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Watch The Totally Awesome Launch Trailer For ‘Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel’ Tue, 14 Oct 2014 01:22:38 +0000 Briefly: I got into the Borderlands craze way (way) late, and am just working my way through Borderlands 2 with some friends now. That being said, I can’t wait to get my hands on The Pre-Sequel… especially not after seeing this freaking rad launch trailer.

Full of Handsome Jack, everyone’s favourite (now playable) robot, and brief introductions to all of our new characters, the trailer shows off a fantastic assortment of loot and co-op action. And one moon wizard. I still can’t believe they took that line out of Destiny.

Take a look at the game’s launch trailer below, and let us know if you’re excited to play! Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel hits Windows, OS X, Linux, PS3, and Xbox 360 tomorrow!

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