Thursday 29 June 2023
Saturday 17 June 2023
Netflix have offered the first look at its upcoming live-action take on the classic Nickelodeon animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Dallas Liu plays Prince Zuko, the young son of the Fire Lord. His father was unimpressed with his timidity as a youth and has sent him out into the world to learn military skills and discipline. Zuko realises that capturing the Avatar and bringing him to his father would allow him to regain his honour, and sets about that task with zeal. Zuko is given guidance and advice by his tea-loving uncle, Iroh (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee).
The show also stars Ken Leung as Commander Zhao, Maria Zhang as Suki, Elizabeth Yu as Princess Azula, Lim Kay Siu as Gyatso, Amber Midthunder as Princess Yue, Yvonne Chapman as Avatar Kyoshi, C.S. Lee as Avatar Roku, Danny Pudi as The Mechanist, Utkarsh Ambudkar as King Bumi, James Sie as the Cabbage Merchant, Momona Tamada as Ty Lee, Thalia Tran as Mai, Meegwun Fairbrother as Avatar Kuruk, Sebastian Amoruso as Jet, Hiro Kanagawa as Fire Lord Sozin and George Takei as Koh the Face Stealer.
Netflix also released a short clip, although it wasn't very informative:
The show filmed from November 2021 to June 2022. Netflix has indicated that the show will not air until early 2024, a significant delay that raises questions about how long it will take to air further seasons, given the young ages of the primary castmembers.
Meanwhile, the original creators are working with Nickelodeon on new Avatar: The Last Airbender material, with an animated sequel movie to the original TV series due for release in 2025 and several additional projects in development.
Thursday 15 June 2023
The Babylon 5 animated movie, The Road Home, now has a trailer and release date.
The film will be released on DVD, Blu-Ray, 4K and on-demand streaming on 15 August this year.
Set more than a year after the end of the original Babylon 5 TV series, the movie sees John Sheridan, former commander of Babylon 5 and the newly-inaugurated President of the Interstellar Alliance, arrive on Minbar to take up his new role. However, an exposure to tachyon energy results in him moving uncontrollably through time and even across different timelines (fans with long memories will remember Sheridan was previously exposed to such energies in the two-part episode War Without End). Visiting timelines where some of his friends are dead, or they lost the Shadow War, Sheridan has to make his way back to his own timeline, with the help of some old friends.
The animated movie sees Bruce Boxleitner, Peter Jurasik, Claudia Christian, Bill Mumy and Tracy Scoggins reprise their original series roles as President Sheridan, Emperor Londo Mollari, Captain Susan Ivanova, Lennier and Captain Elizabeth Lochley respectively. Due to the sad attrition of the original cast in the years since it ended, other roles from the show will be played by new voice actors: Paul Guyet as Zathras and Jeffrey Sinclair, Anthony Hansen as Michael Garibaldi, Phil LaMarr as Dr. Stephen Franklin, Andrew Morgado as G'Kar and Rebecca Riedy as Delenn. Mara Junot plays a Reporter and a computer voice, whilst Piotr Michael plays David Sheridan.
J. Michael Straczynski wrote the script, with Matt Peters directing and Warner Brothers Animation handling the artwork.
Straczynski and Warner Brothers have also been developing a live-action reboot of the show. This project was previously in development at the CW, although it seemed unlikely to proceed further there. Work on the project is currently on hold as a result of the currently ongoing Writers' Guild of America strike.
Wednesday 14 June 2023
Sunday 11 June 2023
Bethesda Game Studios have hosted a deep dive into their latest open-world RPG, Starfield.
Set in 2330, Starfield depicts a galaxy where humanity has settled dozens of worlds and established several interstellar alliances and governments (Earth's fate is somewhat nebulous, but appears to have been rendered inaccessible or uninhabitable, although you can visit Io, Mars and the Moon). However, the cost of further expansion is ruinous and most exploration programmes have been curtailed. Constellation is the last organisation trying to keep deep space exploration going. Their efforts appeared for naught until they discovered tantalising evidence of intelligent life elsewhere in the galaxy, which is where their latest recruit (i.e. you) comes in. As a new recruit, it's up to you to investigate this mystery or leave that to others whilst you undertake side-missions and additional jobs for other factions, which you can even join.
The game's setting is around 1,000 planets, moons and asteroids scattered over 100 star systems within a relatively short distance from Sol. A gravity drive allows for FTL travel between these worlds. The game allows you to land on and explore any of these worlds, either at pre-existing towns or colonies or wilderness areas where you can set up your own bases. You can also design, adjust and customise your own spacecraft, and even steal new spacecraft by boarding them in combat. Flying between planets allows you to engage in combat, trade with other vessels and undertake piracy. Planets will also have variable gravity, allowing you to jump further, or unbreathable atmospheres, requiring you to use breathing apparatus.
You will have a lot more company than is normal in a Bethesda game, being able to recruit crewmembers for your ship and staffmembers for your colonies. However, you will have more traditional, high-profile companions who accompany you on your quests, such as the robot Vasco (who, like Cosworth in Fallout 4, can address you by your actual name, if it's one of the thousands of names programmed into the game).
The game has a very robust character creation system and a massive skill tree. In fact, the RPG elements seem much stronger in this than in Fallout 4, which was criticised for streamlining the RPG mechanics compared to earlier Bethesda games.
Starfield will be released on 6 September this year on PC, Game Pass and Xbox Series X/S.
Ubisoft has formally announced a new Star Wars video game. Star Wars: Outlaws is the franchise's first open-world action game. It is set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and a cinematic shows Han Solo, frozen in carbonite, being delivered to Jabba the Hutt.
In the game, the player takes on the role of scoundrel and pirate Kay Vess. Vess gets in over her head with several crime syndicates - including possibly Jabba's - and has to live on the edge to regain her freedom.
Developed by Massive Entertainment for Ubisoft and Lucasfilm Games, the game is scheduled for release in 2024.
Obsidian Entertainment have revealed more about their new fantasy RPG, Avowed.
Set in the same world as Pillars of Eternity (2015) and Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire (2018), Avowed is a first-person game set in the Living Lands, an island located far to the north of the Eastern Reach and Deadfire Archipelago. The game will allow players to tailor their protagonist's specialisation, with them able to use swords, pistols, magic or some combinationthereof. The game will also have companion characters, and the game's first trailer introduces one of them, Kai, a Coastal Aumaua and former soldier turned adventurer.
The game will see the player tackling underground dungeons, exploring bustling port towns and fighting undead.
Avowed is currently scheduled for release in 2024 on PC and Xbox, and via the Game Pass service.