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SDCC 2013: ‘The Legend of Korra’ panel!

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For bender fans the San Diego Comic Con Korra panel is one of the highlights of the convention. Last year team members of Lytherus (specifically me and Mike) waited in line for four hours for Korra and still didn’t get in. Refusing to let that happen again I hit the lines at 5 am for the 11:15 Korra panel, and my early hours paid off.

The panel featured creators Michael Dimartino and Bryan Konietzko and producer Joaquim Dos Santos, along with the main voice actors for Korra (Janet Varney), Mako (David Faustino), and Bolin (P.J. Byrne). The main focus of the whole panel was Book Two, titled ‘Spirits’, which is set to release this September. There was general discussion about the journey the creators needed to go on to take Korra into a battle in the spirit world. Then they surprised the audience by showing the entire first episode of season two!

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The first episode shows life in Republic City now that the Equalists have been qualled. Mako works for the police now, and Korra is hard at work mastering airbending. Poor Bolin is all alone from the original three of the Fire Ferrets, but in typical Bolin fashion he’s working hard not to let him down. Then Korra and her friends (and yes, Mako is still her boyfriend, though it’s a bit rocky) have the opportunity to head back to her home town for a festival. Not long after they arrive they are attacked by an unhappy, aggressive spirit. Everyone tries and fails to stop it, including Korra, her father, and Tenzin, but in the end it was Korra’s uncle who managed to save the day by doing something that looked eerily like spirit bending. Earlier in the episode he was trying to convince Korra to come and learn about the spirit world from him, but Tenzin and Korra’s father adamantly refused. But after the attack Korra’s stubborn streak emerged, and she cut her ties with Tenzin (wounding him deeply in the process) and proceeded to accept the guidance of a new teacher.

To have so much happen in one episode bodes well for the rest of the season. And after the lovely treat the creators gave the audience a hint at what is to come. Most exciting about this was the revelation of the Avatar origin story.Fans are going to get to see how the first Avatar came to be. This news was accompanied by images of his animal companion, a cat-deer, and a few other cool spirit creatures. The panel wrapped up by the creators asking the voice actors general questions about how they got into this line of work and their thoughts on their characters.

All in all it was a most excellent panel. Be sure to check out the attached photo gallery to see a more detailed list of the team working on Book Two, and some image examples of new characters. And FYI, disregard the seemingly odd colors in some of the images, the photos were shot off of a screen and it registered funny on the camera.

September can’t come fast enough!

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News, TV, TV News

First Teaser Trailer for GAME OF THRONES Season 2 Released

Fans of Game of Thrones by HBO are able to get their first sneak-peek at season two of this amazing show, based on the series by George R. R. Martin.

Lots happens in the quick snippets we see, including the old queen getting toted away, John Snow staring out into the wilds beyond the wall, Danerys having an intense moment about conquering her old home, and more.

Season two of Game of Thrones is set to premiere on HBO on April 1st.

News, TV, TV News

“Once Upon a Time” Full Pilot Episode on the Web!

Interested in ABC’s upcoming fantasy series Once Upon a Time? Well, the wait for the first episode is over! IMDb has the entire pilot episode on their site for your viewing pleasure. Click here to link to it.

Curious about the show? Here’s what IMDb has to say about it:

Once Upon a Time centers on a woman with a troubled past who is drawn into a small town in Maine where the magic and mystery of Fairy Tales just may be real.

The stellar cast includes Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, Lana Parrilla, and Josh Dallas.

Once Upon a Time is set to air on ABC this upcoming Sunday, October 23rd, at 8PM.

[via i09.com]

Book News, News, TV, TV News

Fox to Make TV Show Based on Lev Grossman’s “The Magicians” and Written By “X-Men: First Class” Writers!

The Magicians has been hailed as Harry Potter for grown-ups, and it definitely deserves the title, as it is fun, witty, and magical. Fox apparently feels the same way, as they have just bought the rights to turn the popular book into a television drama.

To be written by Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz, who haveThor and X-Men: First Class in their arsenals (among other awesome stuff), the pilot is all that is planned at the moment, so there’s always a chance it won’t come to fruition as a full-blown show, but here’s hoping!

Here’s more details from deadline.com:

Fox has preemptively bought Magicians, a drama series adaptation of Lev Grossman’s popular fantasy novel, with a script commitment plus penalty. It will be written by X-Men: First Class and Thorco-writers Ashley Miller & Zack Stentz and produced by Michael London (Milk), Shawn Levy and Michael Adelstein. Based on Grossman’s book, which is described as Harry Potter for grown-ups, the one-hour drama follows a group of 20-somethings in New York who study magic and have access to a magical world. London had optioned the novel, which was published in 2009, while 21 Laps/Adelstein had a deal with Miller and Stentz, who have extensive TV background having worked on such series as Fringe and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. All joined forces on the series project, which will be executive produced by Miller, Stentz, London, Levy, Adelstein and Becky Clements. Following the success of The Magicians, Grossman wrote a sequel, The Magician King, which was published in August.

We here at Lytherus are big fans of Grossman’s work, so expect a review of The Magician King soon. And there is an exclusive interview in the works, so stay tuned. I think some questions about this show are in order!

Book News, Books, News, TV, TV News

King and Spielberg Team Up to Create “Under The Dome” for Starz

Exciting news on the television front: Stephen King and Steven Spielberg are teaming up to create a television drama Under the Dome, based on King’s 2009 novel by the same name, and will be produced by DreamWorks Television.

When the book came out, Spielberg, who works for DreamWorks, quickly grabbed the rights to the television show. Currently they are working on finding a writer for the show (which I find amusing, funnily enough!), but King and DreamWorks TV’s Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey are set to be the producers.

What’s the premise of the story? Here’s what Amazon has to say about the book (which is important to read, as there is absolutely no description on the book – the hardback, anyway!) :

King’s return to supernatural horror is uncomfortably bulky, formidably complex and irresistibly compelling. When the smalltown of Chester’s Mill, Maine, is surrounded by an invisible force field, the people inside must exert themselves to survive. The situation deteriorates rapidly due to the dome’s ecological effects and the machinations of Big Jim Rennie, an obscenely sanctimonious local politician and drug lord who likes the idea of having an isolated populace to dominate. Opposing him are footloose Iraq veteran Dale “Barbie” Barbara, newspaper editor Julia Shumway, a gaggle of teen skateboarders and others who want to solve the riddle of the dome. King handles the huge cast of characters masterfully but ruthlessly, forcing them to live (or not) with the consequences of hasty decisions. Readers will recognize themes and images from King’s earlier fiction, and while this novel doesn’t have the moral weight of, say, The Stand, nevertheless, it’s a nonstop thrill ride as well as a disturbing, moving meditation on our capacity for good and evil.

We’ll keep you updated as news comes in!

[via deadline.com]

Books, Comics/Graphic Novels, Movies, TV

Author Insight – Guest Blog: Nick James Discusses Coming of Age in Science Fiction

This summer, I’ve been going around telling everyone who’ll listen how much I loved the movieSuper 8. Often during the discussion (or diatribe, as the case may be), I’ll say something like “this movie was made for me!” or “this was totally a Nick James movie!” (Yes, I will refer to myself in third person if I get particularly excited about something). And it’s true, it was a Nick James movie. It was the best movie in awhile that successfully merged my two favorite genres: science fiction and coming-of-age.

Science fiction is at its richest when it explores the lives of the people that it’s affecting. As a consumer of sci-fi, I’m not particularly interested in futuristic worlds, new technology or even aliens unless the human story is present. And as a young adult author, it’s the adolescent human story that always seems to fascinate me the most. When a person, especially someone in their formative years, is faced with the unknown (as often happens in sci-fi), it’s a tremendously provocative opportunity to explore basic human truths. And with teens and preteens, those truths are laid bare.

It’s this melding of sci-fi/adventure and coming-of-age that was my roadmap from the very start of my writing and continues to inspire me. With that being said, here are a few of my favorite examples of this awesome combination in a variety of media. It’s worth noting that compiling this list wasn’t particularly easy. Teen–I’m thinking from around age 13-17–sci-fi is hard to come by. I’d love to hear suggestions that aren’t on my list!

Books:

Feed (M.T. Anderson) – Sci-fi is definitely the backdrop for an intensely emotional (and often hilarious) coming-of-age story.

Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)  – Not necessarily the most relatable coming-of-age story, but this book, in a lot of ways, popularized the genre.

Film:

Super 8 – Like Feed, I would argue that this was actually more of a coming-of-age movie with a sci-fi backdrop. An excellent one, of course!

AI: Artificial Intelligence – A major theme in this genre is innocence lost, and although this featured a younger protagonist, I was blown away with the human element of this film.

Akira – A dark coming-of-age (coming-of-death?) undercurrent runs throughout this post-apocalyptic tale. Anime tends to really excell at this sort of thing.

TV:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Not straight up sci-fi, per se, but I can’t think of another series that used what could have been a fantasy cliché to explore so many rich facets of teenage life.

Misfits – Slightly older, but this excellent UK series mixes young adult angst with sci-fi elements perfectly.

Comics:

Runaways – I’m a huge Brian K. Vaughn fan, and his initial stint on this series totally reinvigorated my love for comics a few years back.

Generation X – Before Runaways, there was this X-Men spin-off (and it’s cheesier TV movie adaptation). It’s one of the first “teen comics” I remember as a kid.

****

Nick James is the author of Skyship Academy: The Pearl Wars. What’s it about? Check out the Lytherus review. Want more? Click here for Nick James’s exclusive Lytherus interview. You can follow him at www.nickjamesbooks.com

News, TV, TV News

American Gods Coming to HBO, Produced by Tom Hanks

In April we reported that Neil Gaiman’s American Gods was being pitched to HBO by Tom Hanks’ production company, Playtone Productions. Well, it has happened!

This news has me really excited. Today The Hollywood Reporter posted that Playtone is set to produce not one, but SIX seasons for HBO.

Here’s the official report, given to THR by Playtone partner Gary Goetzman:

The series-in-development, revolving around the question “are you a god if no one believes in you?” is executive produced by Goetzman and Hanks, with Bob Richardson, and Gaiman on board as executive producer and writer.

Each of the six seasons will be of 10-12, hour-long episodes with a budget of around $35-40 million per season, targeted to debut on the cable powerhouse in 2013 at the earliest.

Rich in religious folklore that spanned millennia and featuring deities from Greek and Nordic mythology, and even the Judeo-Christian monotheistic God making an appearance, in the contemporary U.S., American Gods will be effects-heavy to do justice to the awe-inspiring power of the divine beings. “There are some crazy things in there. We’ll probably be doing more effects in there than it’s been done on a television series,” said Goetzman.

More effects than have ever been done? That sort of boggles my mind, considering the amazing CGI things that are out right now. Granted, two years is a long time, in computer terms, so I can’t wait to see how things progress, and if they can live up to that claim.

The reason the show isn’t set to air until 2013 is that Hanks has to finish up another project for HBO, Major Matt Mason, based on the Mattel action-figure.

Having read American Gods not that long ago (you can see the Lytherus review here), the book is still fresh enough in my mind to be excited about this. I’m curious to see how they’ll make six seasons, whether they will try to milk the book, or if they will go off on new tangents and/or continue the story beyond where the book ends.

Either way, I’m happy for Neil Gaiman, especially since he’ll be a part of the project, which means we should get his approval on the scripts.

What do you think? Do you think HBO will do Gaiman’s book justice?

News, TV, TV News

Check Out the First Three Minutes Of True Blood Season 4!

Are you guys as excited as I am for this upcoming season of True Blood? Since this is where the books start getting really weird, I’m so curious as to how they are going to handle those plot things visually. We’ve got vampires, shapeshifters, werewolves, fairies, and now witches. Watch out Bon Temps!

Here are the first three minutes of season 4 episode 1. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but honestly, it wasn’t this! Nice to see Barry the Bellboy again, though!