Will Titanfall Always Be an Xbox Exclusive?
Hindsight sometimes has a funny way of skewing the way we remember things. Though Microsoft’s E3 presser seems to be squashed in most people’s eyes after Sony’s megaton bomb of a conference, you really can’t deny — whether the Xbox One entices or repulses you — that the Big M at least brought some really bitchin’ games with them.
One such title became one of the more memorable original IP’s danced out onto stage: Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall. From the minds that both created and were fired from Call of Duty (which, frankly, sounded like a powerplay between artist and publisher), the mech-centric multiplayer shooter is finding its home on the PC, the Xbox 360, and the new Xbox One.
Respawn’s lead artist, Joel Emslie, cites a “fantastic relationship with Microsoft” as the reason why Titanfall’s console presence is exclusive to Xbox systems…but rumors strongly suggest that exclusivity only runs the duration of a year. Does that mean Titanfall might make it to other platforms, namely the Xbox One’s direct competitor, the PS4?
“We of course would want to go further in the future with stuff, but we’re just starting out,” says Emslie. “It’s pretty frustrating! We want to be everywhere. We want to put Titanfall everywhere, but that’s where we’re at. We’re starting there.”
When Eurogamer pressed the question harder, Emslie would only relent, “It’s definitely not out of the question,” adding that they’d love to follow their fans wherever they go, with whatever console they support. That leaves PlayStation fans without intense, robot firefights for now, but take solace in the fact that “exclusivity” just doesn’t hold the same water it used to (I’m flashing back to the days when “Only on Nintendo” was a solemn promise).
J.J. Abrams to Begin ‘Star Wars’ Production in 2014
News of the upcoming Star Wars sequels has been scant, at best. J. J. Abrams and Disney have been keeping quite a lid on the whole ordeal, but the flare-favoring director recently dropped a few hints for his hungry fans.
“Most likely we are going to be moving to London at the end of the year for the Star Wars movie,” said Abrams, explaining that shooting would begin sometime at the beginning of 2014, with a full-fledged release following in 2015.
When asked if the newest films would follow any of the previously established canon found in the wide variety of novels dedicated to the series, the Star Wars director remained tight-lipped, offering: “No comment.”
So, it seems that we know about as much as we did before, but now there’s a timetable. If anything, we have an idea about the script, which must nearly be complete at this point if they’re set to start rolling the cameras.
Personally, it seems almost silly to ignore the bevy of literature attached to the series, some of which would make captivating and wonderful films. On the other hand, it might be nice to see something a little different happen for the series. Abrams said, “I think that the thing is so big and so massive to so many people that the key to moving forward is honoring but not revering what went before”, which is probably an incredibly smart move on his part. The man does know a thing or two about making movies — maybe it’s time to simply wait patiently while the man works his magic.
The Eleventh Hour: Matt Smith Leaves Doctor Who
I’ll be glib with you, friends: Matt Smith is not my Doctor. His rollicking adventures through time and space, accompanied by an air-headed kiss-a-gram and her stalwart husband, left little more than a bad taste in my mouth. Half a season ago, you would’ve found me overjoyed at the news of him leaving the show. “Farewell, Mr. Smith,” I would have said. “Don’t let the TARDIS hit you on the way out.” With the latest addition of the lovely Clara, however, the episodes seem to have taken a dramatic step in the right direction, harkening me back to the same sense of tension and drama that I felt was so easily imbued up until season five. And while I am, by no means, his biggest fan, my recently acquired comfort with Matt Smith leaves me with a mixed reaction to the news of his departure.
Regardless of whether or not I enjoyed his portrayal, there can be no discounting the amount of hard work and dedication that Smith has put into the role over the past four years. Filling the shoes of ten Doctors before him is no small feat, and Smith has grown significantly as an actor over the course of his tenure.
This year’s Christmas Special will be our final voyage with Eleven. His regeneration will, presumably, be unveiled in that episode, which will air roughly a month after the 50th Anniversary, and there’s a good chance that we’ll be granted a better glimpse into the future of Doctor Who.
Fans are beside themselves with grief, of course, which is entirely understandable: put yourself in their shoes, and you’ll find yourself fraught with empathy in no time. But I think this show deserves something fresh after all this time, something more engaging than, say, River Song taking up the mantle, or some other easily digestible route. Personally, I think that a female Doctor would be a welcome addition to the show, but I would much rather see the role handed to a capable individual (*cough cough*) over one who would be placed in the spotlight merely for the sake of fanservice. On the other hand, many devote lovers of Doctor Who have vehemently stood by the fact that they would rather abandon their admiration than see a woman as the Doctor. From a report on last year’s Doctor Who convention:
There was a slightly jarring moment when a fan asked the panel if there would ever be a female Doctor, and Steven pointed out it would be entirely possible, but then asked for a show of hands who would like to see it happen. This got about 50% of the audience raising their hands, but he then asked how many people would switch off the show if there was a female doctor, and 20-30% of fans put a hand up, to a certain amount of gasping from everyone else.
There’s simply no way to tell where the show will go from here, of course. My only desire is to see it continue on its current path of forward momentum, regardless of who the Doctor regenerates into next. As we bid farewell to Matt Smith, I find myself hoping he goes out with a bang, and moves onward to bigger and better things. Someone should remind him to grab his stetson on the way out, though. Stetson’s aren’t cool.
Behind The Scenes with Pacific Rim
The latest issue of Empire Magazine has revealed a rather monstrous selection of images from the set of Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming film, Pacific Rim. I’m sure you’ve heard me wax poetic about this movie enough times to understand just how excited I am for it, and those of you that share my unending enthusiasm should take a gander at some of the stills and concept art that have me chomping at the bit to see this kaiju-laden spectacular.
The Return of the Doctors
BBC has just released an exclusive interview with Matt Smith and David Tennant on the set of Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary Special. The occasion? A reward for fans who received their Blu-Ray and DVD copies of the shows latest season before the final episode had a chance to air, and not spoiling the finale for the rest of us.
The shows official Twitter explained to fans that if they were able to keep details of the final episode under wraps, a “special video featuring Matt & David” would be unleashed. True to their word — gasp — the video was released to a sea of fainting Whovian’s, and while the actors reveal some incredibly scant details about the upcoming special, I think the clip’s true merit lies in watching Tennant don his signature pinstripe suit and tie once again, but hey, that might just be me.
Nebula Award Winners Announced
It’s time to get a jump start on your summer reading, folks. The most recent batch of Nebula winners was announced this weekend at the SFWA’s 48th Annual Nebula Awards in San Jose, CA., with titles such as 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson and Beasts of the Southern Wild coming out on top. You can head over here for a complete list of recipients, but you might as well open up your Amazon wishlist while you’re at it — you’re going to want to get your hands on these puppies.
Justice is Served: Detroit Sees Robocop Statue Come To Life
After years of crowd-funding and rallying support (from everyone but their own mayor), the city of Detroit is preparing to welcome it’s newest citizen: a bronzed statue of Paul Verhoeven’s version of the ever-impressive Robocop.
The statue, petitioned by some of Michigan’s nerdiest and most admirable citizens, was created as a labor of love after the idea of a permanent monument to the mechanized policeman was shot down by mayor Dave Bing. Given the state of Detroit’s reputation regarding violence and crime, many thought the statue to be in poor taste, and with their debt sinking deeper into the red as days go by, no one can be sure whether such an expensive and elaborate project will reflect well on the Motor City.
Though there’s no word yet on where in city the statue will reside, here’s to hoping that the glistening testament to justice will serve Detroit well, and also that a placard is erected below it which reads: “Excuse me, I have to go. Somewhere there is a crime happening.”
The First Trailer for Ender’s Game Has Landed
Look, I’m not going to lie to you folks — up until recently, I’ve been incredibly skeptical about this adaptation of Ender’s Game. Despite being written by one of the most bigoted science fiction authors in recent memory, it happens to be one of my favorite books and, incidentally, one of the greatest novels of all time. We’ve all been burned by Hollywood before, so I feel confident that my trepidation towards the film is not entirely unjust. But I have to tell you guys — I took one look at this trailer, and you know what? I’m actually excited.
The award-winning cast should have been enough for me. Of course Harrison Ford is going to ace his performance, and there’s no questioning the utter brilliance that is Ben Kingsley, but it’s really Asa Butterfield’s portrayal of the titular Ender Wiggin that piqued my curiosity. It’s hardly possible to cast a six-year-old in such a tense and demanding role, but I’m looking forward to seeing what the Hugo star is well and truly capable of.
As a director, Gavin Hood has a lot to prove. My initial reaction to his attachment to the film was lukewarm at best, and the thought of him turning one of my most beloved novels into an over-produced blockbuster is not an unfounded fear. However, seeing the Battle School in action and watching a fleet of formic baddies swarm over our heroes has genuinely impressed me — plus, it’s a little hard not to fall head over heels for the Bugger’s ship design. Hell, just look at that thing!
There isn’t much else I can say without spoiling it, so why not take a gander at the first trailer for Ender’s Game and judge it for yourself. The film is set to hit theaters sometime this November, and though the odds of a successful translation of the original text are looking up, always remember, friends: the enemies gate is down.
Bad News, Everyone: Futurama Gets Cancelled, Again
Forgive me if I’m a bit late to the news, but you can chalk it up to the fact that I’ve been in mourning since I learned that Futurama is getting canned for the second time. Matt Groening and David X. Cohen’s science fiction/comedy powerhouse has faced the slaughter before, of course — Fox gave them the boot back in 2003, and though Comedy Central was a faithful ally from 2009 until 2013, it’s still a shame to see the show blasted into orbit.
The show-runners hope to see Futurama picked up by a different network once the current season ends on September 4th, but I think it’s time for them to turn their attention towards, well, the future. Streaming entertainment has recently garnered a great deal of positive attention, and who can deny it? Subscriptions to Netflix and Hulu have shot through the roof in recent years, and, with the latest trend of stream-exclusive content ala House of Cards and the upcoming season of Arrested Development, it’s a wonder that Futurama isn’t looking for a more permanent home on the streaming circuit.
Only time will tell what happens to one of the most hysterically witty television shows of our generation. Until we learn more, I’ll just have to content myself with watching hours of reruns in my pajamas, crying over Jurassic Bark like a small, unattended child.
Ten and Eleven Photographed on Set, Plus: Nine Returns?
Can you feel that, folks? That stirring in the cosmos? That would be the earth-shattering awesome currently radiating from the set of the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special. This image of actors David Tennant, who recently celebrated his 42nd birthday, and Matt Smith getting cozy with the TARDIS hit the web this week, and I don’t think there’s been a greater cause for celebration amongst Whovians since the anniversary special was first announced. Though the photograph itself gives little information about the upcoming episode, we do get a glimpse at one of the potential villains, seen in the rightmost corner of the image. No news yet on what the Classic Who monster has in store for our hero(es?), but I’m sure it won’t be long before we find out more.
Now, some of you may have felt the same heartache I did upon learning that the Ninth Doctor, Christopher Eccleston, would not be returning to the cast for the anniversary event, but fear not, friends. Everyone’s favorite leather-clad Time Lord is making a return to the series during next week’s episode, entitled “Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS”. The cameo itself is little more than a voice over, much to my chagrin. Keep your ears tuned for this line from Nine’s first episode: “The assembled hordes of Genghis Khan couldn’t get through these doors, and believe me they’ve tried.”