This week!  Author Seth Grahame-Smith and
Cartoonist Rob Harrell


  Disney Eyeing Chris Pratt to Replace Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones!


(Courtesy of:



Although the outlet is sure to note that plans are in very early stages, Deadline is reporting that Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm are eyeing Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt to potentially replace Harrison Ford as the headlining star of the Indiana Jones franchise!

Although the most recent big screen adventure, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, was not entirely a hit with critics, the fourth film in the series managed to gross more than $786 million worldwide when it was released in 2008. Shortly thereafter, George Lucas hinted that plans were underway for a fifth cinematic adventure, but he admitted that he had yet to decide on a MacGuffin (A term popularized by Alfred Hitchcock, referring to a narrative element that drives the story forward, such as the Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost Ark). Following the sale of Lucasfilm to Walt Disney Pictures and Lucas’ own subsequent retirement, however, hints regarding plans for the future of the franchise have been few and far between. Ford, however, has suggested that he’s quite eager to reprise the role himself, despite turning 73 this year.


Pratt, who also starred last year in The LEGO Movie, is rapidly rising as a Hollywood star. He’ll appear this summer in director Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World and is set to star opposite Denzel Washington in Antoine Fuqua’s upcoming remake of The Magnificent Seven.









Fictional Frontiers with Sohaib is the nation's only weekly radio program dedicated to a serious discussion of and about popular culture. Broadcasting each Thursday from 6:00 to 6:30 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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January 28, 2015


Fantastic Four Teaser Trailer Generates Positive Buzz!


(Courtesy of:



At heart, the Fantastic Four is all about monsters, not superheroes.


There's something missing from the first teaser for Fox's reboot of Fantastic Four: anything that really makes it feel like a superhero movie. There are no costumes in the way we know them from Marvel Studios movies, and no tease of a climactic battle with some seemingly invincible bad guy — or, for that matter, scenes of the titular heroes in action at all. It's something that might seem unusual for a movie based on the comic that launched Marvel's superhero empire back in the 1960s — but also something that is entirely in keeping with the spirit of the earliest days of the classic comic book series.

When Jack Kirby and Stan Lee created the Fantastic Four in 1961, the characters were barely recognizable as superheroes. Their costumes didn't appear until the series' third issue, and although the characters had their familiar superhero code names from the very start — the cover of the first issue promises "The Thing! Mr. Fantastic! Human Torch! Invisible Girl! Together for the first time in one mighty magazine!" as if it wasn't the first appearance of each character — they were barely used in the stories themselves; the characters referred to each other by their real names, and the rest of the world didn't know what to make of them.


In fact, the way the Fantastic Four teaser treats its main characters — as something different, something unfamiliar and uncomfortable and not quite right — is entirely in line with the way the original comic books portrayed them. Coming from working on "monster comics" like Journey Into Mystery and Amazing Adult Fantasy, Lee and Kirby's first Fantastic Four stories are essentially monster stories in which the heroes were monsters themselves.


That's an idea that's barely subtext. The opening pages of the first issue feature regular people confused and horrified by the heroes: "Huh?!! Wait — who said that?? Wha—??" exclaims a cabbie when dealing with the Invisible Girl. "It's a walking nightmare!! Help!! Help!!" shouts a bystander when the Thing walks past ("It ain't human!" another man helpfully shouts, in the same panel). Later that same issue, the Human Torch has to avoid a nuclear missile attack from a terrified U.S. military; the following month, the team is hiding out "in an isolated hunting lodge," before being captured and imprisoned in "specially constructed private cell[s]" by the government. Just as the movie trailer refrains from portraying the Fantastic Four as traditional heroes, so do the original comics.


The tone of the original Fantastic Four books matches the narration from the teaser perfectly: "With every new discovery, there is risk. There is sacrifice. And there are consequences." Although later portrayals would suggest that the accident that gave the team their powers was, for all intents and purposes, a good thing — even the Thing would later come to accept it, and almost be glad about it — it was initially a terrifying event that ruined the characters' lives, a sacrifice that was, in fact, the consequence of the risk inherent in Reed Richards' ill-considered attempt to get into space first. (That's a theme that runs through the early comic stories; Doctor Doom's origin is similarly a science experiment gone wrong).


While the teaser is ultimately more stoically optimistic than the first comics — somehow, I find it difficult to imagine any major studio being OK with a trailer for a summer superhero movie that really went for "Body Horror Freaks Fighting Other Freaks, Can We Trust Them, I Don't Know" as the primary selling point — but its rejection of the familiar superhero tropes, and subsequent recasting of the property as science fiction (and arguably unsettling science fiction) is far more in keeping with the original intent of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby than anyone had any right to expect. Whether or not the movie follows through is, of course, another question, but for now, the trailer is a surprisingly strong step in the right direction for a, well, fantastically faithful adaptation of an often-problematic property.



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Show Schedule
29 January 2015 - 06:00


Seth Grahame-Smith, Author of The Last American Vampire, makes a first appearance on Fictional Frontiers.  A sequel to the smash hit novel, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Seth discusses his process of combining history with the staples of popular horror stories.


Rob Harrell, Author of Life of Zarf: The Trouble with Weasels, returns to Fictional Frontiers.  One of the nation's most loved comic illustrators, Rob goes behind the scenes of his first all-ages comedy/fantasy novel.






















Celebrating our 300th episode on November 6, 2014, Fictional Frontiers wants to thank our worldwide audience!