This Week!  Film critic James Berardinelli!



  Robert Downey Jr. on Captain America 3: "It's Gonna Be Huge"!



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Most actors signing onto Marvel Studios with long-term deals can’t say much about what’s coming next for their characters or potential movies. Much of the time they don’t even know because of how guarded and secretive the studio is and how dynamic the script-writing process can be - even drastically altering scenes during production. Robert Downey Jr. however, is the exception.  He’s not only the highest paid actor in Hollywood and the poster boy for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he also has final say on any project he does for them. He’s a master at playing with the press, teasing fans and generating buzz, and he’s not afraid to let little things slip that perhaps Disney and Marvel don’t always want out there. After all, he’s the one who told everyone during The Avengers world premiere that the cast were getting back together that night to shoot one more special scene – the shawarma button scene that plays after the credits.

That’s also how a week ago we found out Robert Downey Jr. was in “negotiations” with Marvel Studios to extend his future as Tony Stark aka Iron Man. He jokingly teasing Iron Man 4 and what friends he’d like to work with on such a project, but he was serious about major plans in the works at Marvel and incoming announcements. We didn’t however, expect what came next. Robert Downey Jr. will not only be returning for The Avengers: Age of Ultron and The Avengers 3 (or some equally large event movie), but he is going to star alongside Chris Evans in Captain America 3 which hits theaters just a year after Age of Ultron.

What started out as a supporting role in the next project by directors Anthony and Joe Russo has increased in size and now RDJ is reportedly going to co-lead Captain America 3 in a story described as an adaptation (or the beginning of one) of Civil War – a momentous crossover event in Marvel Comics which pit Captain America against Iron Man and split the superhero community in two.  The Avengers 2 Ultron Captain America Iron Man Official Robert Downey Jr. on Captain America 3: Its Gonna Be Huge  That idea in and of itself – combined with reports of other Avengers joining the Captain America 3 cast and it practically being another Avengers movie – position the film as a major event for Marvel (one that will have big impact on MCU). And it arguably needs to be since it kicks off summer 2016 just a few short months after Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. So it’s no surprise to hear Robert Downey Jr. tease as much when chatting with Yahoo about his current project The Judge.

“It sounds very exciting,” he said smiling. Explaining that he can’t comment on it without “regret[ing] it,” the actor continued, “It’s gonna be huge. Whatever it is.”  After Age of Ultron potentially puts a lot of heroes in a lot of different places (and potentially, mindsets) next summer, fans will meet a new character in the Ant-Man origin movie that same summer. After that Captain America 3 seems to pick up the following year from the events of The Avengers sequel and changes the direction of the franchise. That could be why outside of Doctor Strange we still don’t know what Marvel has planned for their half-dozen other unannounced titles with release dates.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron releases in theaters on May 1, 2015, followed by Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, Captain America 3 on May 6 2016, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on July 28, 2017, and unannounced films for July 8 2016 and May 5 2017, November 3 2017, July 6 2018, November 2 2018 and May 3 2019.




























Fictional Frontiers with Sohaib is the nation's only weekly radio program dedicated to a serious discussion of and about popular culture. Broadcasting each Monday from 5:00 to 5:30 PM EST on WNJC-1360 AM Philadelphia (, Fictional Frontiers taps into its reservoir of experts, contributors, and insiders...bringing you the best from film, television, comic books, literature, and other entertainment mediums.


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October 22, 2014


Warner Bros. Plans Static Shock Series!


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As if Warner Bros.’ recent slew of big announcements – from officially debuting their plans for a shared DC Comics movie universe to their upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series and The LEGO Movie spinoff, LEGO Batman - weren’t enough, the company is now prepared to unveil its new digital division: Blue Ribbon Content.


Along with the reveal of a brand-spanking new digital production unit comes a stable of new projects in development, one of which we learned of roughly a month ago: Justice League: Gods and Monsters, a new shortform animated series and subsequent film from director Bruce Timm (who’s also working on a virtual reality project featuring Batman: The Animated Series, more on that below) and writer Alan Burnett. The three-part series will air on Machinima before the animated film’s release in 2015 and will feature darker versions of the superheroes we already know.


Today’s announcement includes two more shows which have also already been given series orders: an untitled Mortal Kombat series that will tie-in with the upcoming Mortal Kombat X video game, and a Veronica Mars spinoff, Play it Again, Dick for CW Seed.  Considering Veronica Mars’ recent resurgence, a spinoff series for a digital network is clearly a safe bet. And a Mortal Kombat series should also prove successful, especially when tied to a highly anticipated game release. That is, assuming it can live up to the caliber fans have already come to expect from previous series, Mortal Kombat Legacy.


Warner Bros. and Blue Ribbon Content have even more series in development, including a comedy from Sonali Pateli (A to Z), Ginger Snaps, which sheds a light on the “seedy underworld” of scout troops’ cookie sales, and a series from Akiva Goldman (Paranormal Activity), Ouroboros, that follows two police officers on an evening where they encounter mysterious happenings in remote Wisconsin.


Warner Bros Planning Live Action Static Shock Webseries WB Planning New Mortal Kombat & Live Action Static Shock Webseries  Most exciting, however, (for the comic book crowd at least) is the news that a Static Shock live-action series is also in development. This series will come from writer-producer-director Reginald Hudlin (Django Unchained) and will be based on the comic series Dwayne McDuffie, Robert L. Washington, and artist John Paul Leon created for DC Comics’ Milestone imprint in 1993.


Previously, Static – whose secret identity is that of young Virgil Hawkins, who after a strange event referred to as ‘the Big Bang’ was gifted electromagnetic powers – starred in his own animated television series which ran for four seasons from 2000 to 2004. This more modern version of the character was also a part of DC’s then animated universe and would at times crossover with the Justice League Unlimited animated series.


Static Shock also recently had his own comic book title at the beginning of DC Comics’ New 52, but the series was canceled after only eight issues. Still, the character remains popular, as evidenced by his inclusion in Warner Bros.’ new slate of digital programming. Plus, it can’t be ignored that a new Static Shock web series allows for yet another much-needed minority character in WB’s growing roster of movie, television, and now digital superheroes.



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Show Schedule
23 October 2014 - 06:00


James Berardinelli, Founder of ReelViews (, returns in his bi-monthly segment on Fictional Frontiers. The best online film critic in America looks at the best films in the early fall season.


















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