Monthly Archives: May 2017

X-MEN REBOOT: THE NEW MUTANTS

X-Cast – Bishop & Colossus (Teachers), Negasonic Teenage Warhead (from Deadpool), Cannonball, Wolfsbane, Magik, Sunspot, Mirage, Warlock, Quentin Quire, and Northstar.

If you haven’t read the intro to my reboot plan, check that out HERE.

As of now, the cast looks to be Magik, Wolfsbane, Mirage, Cannonball, Sunspot, and Warlock. Magic and Wolfsbane have already been cast and I think Maisie Williams will be an excellent Wolfsbane! I would love to add three more to the team: Negasonic Teenage Warhead (for the Deadpool Tie-In), Quentin Quire (he will be important in the larger X-Story throughout the years, and this is the perfect place to introduce him), and Northstar (de-aged as a teen here, and him being the first openly gay character in Marvel comics is important).

At some point there has to be a cameo with Deadpool in a scene with Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Any other cameo would be nice too (maybe even a scene with Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner).

I understand that some of these characters were not actually New Mutants in the comics, but I’m okay with that. Northstar brings important diversity to the X-Cast, and would be the first openly gay hero in Marvel cinematic history. This is the perfect movie for that to happen in, and he’s the perfect character to fulfill this roll.

It’s a large cast, I know. But I really want to use this movie to draw in a whole new, younger audience. I wanted Boomer to be here too, so I did make cuts! This cast of teens will be in school, learning their powers and limits, but still have the typical teen angst. There needs to be a larger cast to accommodate the teachers and make it feel full enough to feel like an actual classroom. But in the grand scheme of things, most of these movies will have a large cast. This has to be worked out in the right way. Ocean’s Eleven had a large cast and it was done right, so it can be done.

Colossus from Deadpool will be brought in as a teacher/mentor along with Bishop. The common theme of the teachers is their constant stressing of the importance in proper training of their powers and learning teamwork. Colossus will be stern and firm, very serious. The students will constantly be trying to get him to laugh, but always fail. Bishop will be more soft and caring. He takes a close one-on-one interest in the kids, learning about them and guiding them. This will play a larger role in the movie plan later down the line. 

While the teachers play a role, this film is really about the kids. It’s all from their perspective. The main X-Men team exists, we know they’re out there battling, but we’re watching it through the New Mutant’s eyes. Outside of the teachers, the main X-Cast only shows up in limited, brief cameos. I’d would like to see a scene of them watching the blackbird through the window, off to a mission, with awe in their faces.  

As this team of young heroes are learning their powers and how to work together as a team, they will be growing up and working on all sorts of issues. Cannonball struggling with his capabilities to lead the team and the burdens that come with it. Northstar struggling with being both a mutant and gay. Magik struggling to connect and fit in with her peers. Quentin Quire struggling with anger issues. 

The team eventually begins to drift into two camps. Quentin, Northstar, Wolfbane, and Warlock are careless, but feel they are ready to be out there. Cannonball preaches that they should be focusing on their training, and the others fall behind him. This leads to a bitter divide and when the big bad is introduced to the plot, Quentin Quire leads his side to strike out on their own. 

Quentin’s team quickly find themselves in a battle that’s way beyond their current capabilities. They are defeated in a brutal, one-sided battle. In the end of this battle, Warlock lays dead on the ground. 

Quentin abandons the team after this, blaming everyone but himself. Rather than having learned an important lesson, he just becomes more angry. The rest rejoin the New Mutants and work even harder to learn so they can avenge Warlock’s death. They all train really hard, and go back into battle, finally defeating the antagonist.

In the end this large team of 8 will become a more streamlined team of 6. Being the next X-Film to come out, this will jump-start the future of X. Bishop is established in this film, and he plays a vital role in the overall story these movies lead to. Bishop, Northstar, Sunspot, and Dani Moonstar (Mirage) establish a great diverse cast, which is so important.

Next up will be X-Men Reboot: Dark Phoenix

 

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5 WAYS TO IMPROVE NETWORK TELEVISION

It seems that most of the big water cooler television shows are taking place on cable channels these days and it’s becoming harder for shows to survive on network television. I would like to take a network and rebuild in a baseball rebuilding way. This makes no sense right now, but it will, I promise.

Rebuilding can take a couple of years, but the payoff will be a perennial contender (for the playoffs) for the highest ratings. If I were in charge…

1. The first thing I would tackle is to rebuild the trust of the audience. Much of this idea is taken form an earlier post of mine, https://thehollywoodrant.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/tv-shows-trust/

Investing time in a show, especially a serialized show, that gets cancelled at some point during or after the season, leaves all the viewers with an unresolved cliffhanger. Repeated infractions like this has destroyed my trust. I’m to the point that I won’t even watch a new show until I know it’s successful and will return for a second season. To rebuild the trust, I will promise the audience a 1 or 2 hour movie to wrap up the hanging plot threads of all cancelled shows.

2. Many AMC, cable-type shows divide their seasons in half. While this does give us a long break in the middle that we might not want, it gives us fewer reruns. Some shows even go straight through the half season with no reruns. This is great for me because reruns ruin the momentum of a show. Having a mid-season finale and a mid-season premier gives the viewer more “holy shit” episodes per season. So here I would put all shows on this format and have no in-season reruns.

3. Instead of in-season reruns, I would build in four live episodes. These would be placed one week before the season premier, mid-season premier, and 1 to 3 episodes before the season and mid-season finale. These episodes will be like the Talking Dead. Almost a complete ripoff. There will be a live audience and a panel of actors from the show, as well as a host. They will recap what has happened so far, answer questions from callers and the audience as well as tease what is to come. There will be behind-the-scenes information, stories, and clips. This will give current viewers something more exciting than a rerun as well as bring newer viewers up to speed.

4. Fear the Walking Dead bridges the gap between seasons of Walking Dead. More of this! Obviously this can’t be done for every show, or even a few of them, but doing it for the network’s biggest shows (1 or 2 max) is a good idea.

5. Finally, the reason this should compare with a baseball team’s rebuild: patience. Give a few years to slowly build back that audience. Look at the Chicago Cubs, whose rebuild began four years before their Wold Series Championship. You have to allow time for the audience’s trust to grow. Allow the good ideas to build an audience, and give them more seasons.Don’t be so quick to cancel a show that shows promise. Give shows like this a bit more time to grow. Even Seinfeld wasn’t a big hit in its first season. The Grinder was a good idea, and a funny, unique sitcom. There was a cult audience out there that loved this show. It was not the next Seinfeld, but it could’ve definitely grown bigger.

5 WAYS VERIZON CAN IMPROVE YAHOO!

I get a lot of entertainment surfing the web, so by that, I will fit “5 Ways Verizon Can Improve Yahoo!” into this entertainment blog. So here we go:

  1. I understand the need to monetize, but looking at the Google news feed, you will see little to no advertising. Now, switch over to the Yahoo news feed, and you will see more advertising than news. As if the giant banner ad, the entire right hand side column, and the occasional automatically playing video I never asked for weren’t enough, they also squeeze in clickbait, or “sponsored” news into the feed. It’s absolutely ridiculous! Anyone that compares the two will quickly turn their back on Yahoo. It’s no wonder no one cares about them anymore.
  2. The article overlay. Click on an article and a pop-up of the article will appear. This was an awesome concept, but the whole article needs to be there for this concept to work. I don’t want to read part of the article (sometimes it’s just a sentence…the same sentence I read in the article caption), then have to click “read more” to load up another page to read what I clicked for in the first place. Either do this right or don’t do it at all.
  3. Stop tying in news feed articles you think I want to read, with what I search for in the Yahoo search bar. I don’t want to see a bunch of articles about Kristin Stewart because I searched for “Kristin Stewart’s nude scene” that one time. This makes me scared to search for anything on Yahoo as I think to myself “am I really so committed to this search that I want to see a hundred articles about it over the next two years on my news feed?”
  4. The left hand side column to shortcuts (finance, style, sports, etc.). I don’t want this. It adds unnecessary clutter. It’s also permanently there, no matter how far I scroll, and I can’t customize it. I will never click on the “style” shortcut, so why can’t I take that option off?
  5. There used to be a feature where you can click on a little button on the article in the news feed and opt to never see articles like that again. Bring that back. When this was available, I clicked to never see any Kardashian articles in my news feed, and it worked like a charm. What an awesome feature!

I’ve always been a fan of Yahoo! but like many people, I’ve turned my back on them. I check my Google News feed daily, but Yahoo has become a rarity. It can be fixed, but at this point, it will never be as successful as Google. Why not try something different and unique? Either way, stop making it annoying and a burden to use your site. Changing the 5 things above would be a good start.

X-MEN REBOOT

I grew up an X-Men fan. They were the only comic book I liked, & I read anything mutant. The first couple X-Men films were very exciting, but I was on some level, disappointed in all the solo Wolverine movies (except for the most recent one), and all the X-Team movies since then. Also, I’m obviously not alone when I say the Fantastic Four movies have left a lot to be desired. I argue about this stuff to anyone who’ll listen, and they always ask, “what would you do to fix it?”

Over the next few posts, I’ll be outlining my plan to fix the X-Men Cinematic Universe, which will include the Fantastic Four. This will be a complete reboot, with the exception of Deadpool. This plan will cover thirteen films and take the X-Men all the way to the mid-2020’s. 

In comparison to a lot of other super heroes, the Fantastic Four are not the most exciting. They are, however, integral in the Marvel Universe in so many ways. The most boring part about them is their origin and earth-bound stories. This is why their movies have failed. I will be placing them where they are most fun: in space, in other dimensions, or playing vital roles in bigger story-lines. 

Franklin Richards, the son of Sue & Reed Richards is a mutant, and a great tie-in with the X-Men. He also plays a vital role in the bigger story of Onslaught, who will be the big bad all of these movies are leading up to.

While I’ve never been a fan of rebooting movies, it has become obvious the X-Men are in a dire need of this. The timelines they’ve played with have made everything ridiculous. Also, a lot of their famous cast are now done.

While Fox has not been very good at making superhero movies, they have been great at casting. That’s probably the reason they held off on a reboot thus far, and is why they have multiple great Professor X’s and Magneto’s right now. I can’t keep all or most of the current cast in a reboot, but I feel like I can keep a few. Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey, Evan Peters’ Quicksilver, and Olivia Munn’s Psylocke are three I’d absolutely love to keep. Three would be tough, and as good as Quicksilver has been, he’s just not necessary to the plan. Northstar (who basically has the same powers as Quicksilver) is a big part of this, meaning Evan Peters can be cut. Olivia Munn wasn’t a major character in Apocalypse, almost like Deadpool was in Wolverine, so she’s definitely doable. Sophie Turner is a bit tougher. I’d love to keep her, but if it can’t be well done, then recast her.

The one thing that’s great about the current X-Universe (other than Fox’s casting) is Deadpool. This is why I want to reboot everything into the Deadpool Universe/timeline. I would utilize Deadpool like how Marvel utilized Iron Man by making him the center of the universe at first.

A lot of people may be screaming right now to just give it all back to Marvel. First of all, that won’t happen, but more importantly, you don’t really want that. Marvel simply can’t and won’t put out that many movies in one year. To truly do the X-Men and Fantastic Four justice, Marvel would need to double the number of movies it releases each year. Does this sound realistic? No.

Freddy Krueger, Darth Vader, and Magneto: My 3 favorite villains of all time, in no particular order. But it’s well known that Magneto has been done to death in the movies. So I’ll be giving him a little break for a while, but he will be an impactful part of the larger story-line.

These movies will press boundaries, and even have a different feel from one another while still tie together. Deadpool & X-Force will headline the R-Rated angle, while New Mutants will have a “teen” feel, taking place in the Xavier School. Fantastic Four will be otherworldly, taking place in space and other dimensions. And the X-Men films will be grand in scope, and epic in outcomes.

One more thing before I get into the actual movie slate. The X-Universe has only one top-tier black character: Storm. Beyond that, Bishop is the only other really cool black character. Bishop will play a major role in my plan, but there’s unfortunately no room for Storm until later. With the exception of the few actual casting suggestions I make, I’m going to stay away from race with the knowledge that they should be casting black, Asian, Latino, and gay characters. Change anyone, it ultimately doesn’t matter to the story, but they need to have a diverse cast. I’m sure there will be some uprising online if they cast a black actor to play Cyclops, but screw those people, it has to be done.  

So all that being said, come back to read the plan as it unfolds. My upcoming posts will outline the movie release slate and the important plot points that will happen in them. I do this fully aware that there are X-Movies already in the works, and this plan can be easily amended to accommodate that. For example, has the Gambit movie been shelved? If so, I’ll find another way to reintroduce Psylocke. Is the next X-Film doing the Dark Phoenix story? Fine; because there’s a hundred other great stories to choose from to replace it.

This is part 1 of a 13 part series about this reboot. Below is the slate I’ll be working with. As they are posted, I’ll turn this list into links.

New Mutants

Deadpool 2

X-Men: Dark Phoenix/Shi’ar

Gambit

Fantastic 4 

X-Force 

X-Men: Shadow King 

Exiles 

X-Factor 

Cable/Deadpool 

X-Men: Onslaught Part 1 

Fantastic 4: Part 2 

X-Men: Onslaught Part 2