October featured this year’s New York Comic Con, that East Coast haven for all things fantasy and sci-fi, so we’ll just go ahead and get that out of the way first in our latest pop culture roundup. As is always the case, trailers and sneak peeks were the order of the day with panels featuring glimpses of some upcoming adaptations worth keeping on your radar. NBC unveiled the first look at its upcoming supernatural/horror series “Midnight, Texas,” based on the bestselling trilogy from Charlaine Harris – the author behind “True Blood.” The trailer is delightfully creepy and it looks like NBC is going all-in for this one. Amazon was on hand to unveil the official trailer for the second season of its hit original series, “The Man in the High Castle.” Finally, Marvel gave fans the first extended look at its next Netflix collaboration, “Iron Fist.” Given the quality of Marvel’s previous Netflix series, we’ve got high hopes for “Iron Fist,” which is set to premiere on March 17.
Speaking of Marvel, earlier this month Disney released the first teaser trailer for “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2,” the sequel to the surprise summer hit of 2014. “Guardians of the Galaxy” pulled in $773 million at the global box office, which is a pretty impressive feat for a rag-tag group of cosmic vagabonds who lack the name recognition of Marvel’s previous cinematic heroes like Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America. On the heels of the “Guardians, Vol 2” teaser, Fox unveiled the first trailer for “Logan,” which will mark Hugh Jackman’s final outing as longtime fan favorite Wolverine. Dropping with an R-Rating – we’ll call this the “Deadpool” Effect – the trailer promises the type of visceral action Wolverine fans have been pining for. The film looks to be pulling inspiration from such disparate sources as “The Last of Us,” Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, and Mark Millar’s “Old Man Logan” story arc. The trailer is also scored to Johnny Cash’s rendition of “Hurt” – it really doesn’t get much better than that.
Paramount released the final trailer for its upcoming sci-fi thriller “Arrival,” based on the short story Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang, not far in advance of its premiere. The latest and final look upped the creep factor; this review of the film in its entirety should move this adaptation a bit further up your must-watch list. Following its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival back in September, it generated a fair amount of buzz – and it’s living up to that chatter. It’s due to arrive in theaters on November 11.
In a surprise announcement earlier this month, beloved author J.K. Rowling revealed that she has plotted out a total of five films for the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” franchise. Originally envisioned as a trilogy, this is sure to be welcome news from the scores of Harry Potter fans around the world. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” marks Rowling’s first foray into screenwriting and the film – due out on November 18 – is one of the most highly anticipated releases this fall. Perhaps more importantly, Rowling confirmed that she will be penning the scripts for all five films.
Finally, it looks like an adaptation of Philip Reeves’s Mortal Engine series will be making its way to the big screen with a welcome assist from Peter Jackson. MRC and Universal are co-funding the project with a view to developing it as a franchise. The film will mark the directorial debut of Christian Rivers – a visual effects specialist who worked with Jackson on a number of projects including “King Kong” and “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.” Mortal Engines centers on a post-apocalyptic, steam-punk world ravaged by war where cities literally move on giant wheels and engines overtaking smaller towns and processing all reusable materials to power the engines and continue the struggle for the planet’s dwindling resources. Peter Jackson had this to say: “Christian is one of my closest collaborators. The combination of emotion and jaw-dropping visuals in Mortal Engines makes this the perfect movie for his move into feature directing. What Christian intends to do with Philip Reeve’s terrific story is going to result in an original and spectacular movie. I wish I could see it tomorrow!”