In January we will see the publishing of a 5 part short comic book series written by horror film legend George A Romero as he works with the Daredevil artist Alex Maleev on a series titled Empire of the Dead. He is bringing his regular creeping zombie hoards onto the comic book pages for the first time, and seems to be loving the idea. There are due to be some interesting surprises over the short run, but the zombie will of course not run through the streets. This is Romero remember.

So I now stop and think, hey if a classic genre legend like Mr Romero can happily adapt over to the comicbook medium, then would it be a really great thing to see a few other well respected directors jump into comicbooks for a short run? A couple have done so over the last couple of decades including Clive Barker-now back and writing new Hellraiser tales in that comic spin-off, and then Guillermo del Toro. This new short series is obviously inspired by the cross-over success of The Walking Dead, which began as a cult comic series a few years back now.

I might like to see such film directors as Dario Argento with his hallucinogenic dream horror, maybe Eli Roth and his grissly gore attacks, Cronenberg with his famous body horror, maybe Ti West with his nerve-tearing chills. Many can often view horror comics (and simply comic books) as immature and probably not capable of real scares, but as a different artform, comics are visual, and work in a similar way to some of these film directors, building suspense and terror, image by image. There really could be some seriously terrifying comicbook tales possible if this new Romero series proves a popular one in a few months from now.





This week we finally got to see a much more satisfying longer real trailer for THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN 2, even thought we still will have many months to wait. The hype and build up really begins now.

Having already been given a shorter teaser revealing the sinister Electro to us, this full proper trailer offers up many more dramatic images and scenes. Having seen the first Amazing Spiderman film at the cinema, thought not immediately on release, I had mixed thoughts on it. The film gave us a more sleek and stylized version of the Marvel Spidey world, but I was still as expected underwhelmed by the overall acting of the new lead and the direction was just not as snappy or frenetic as that of the mighty Sam Raimi.

The Raimi Spiderman trilogy ended abruptly, where it might have continued on. There were a number of villains and story arcs which were left unexplored and in this fresh version of the franchise, they may finally be opened up and splashed over the big screens.

With the first new Spiderman movie I was impressed with the souped up visuals, the effects and largely the direction and  use of the Lizard villain, even if he really was not as amazing as he should have easily been.

Now with this new trailer for the second film in the suggested series, there are a number of things which tease that we-and the many, many serious Spidey fans-might soon, in a film or two down the road, see the infamous Sinister Six. From the Spiderman comics, this includes most of his challenging and wild villians coming together against him.

After seeing what the Marvel film studios have done with The Avengers and then the confused steps of the various DC comics movies and X-Men series, so many characters squeezed into one single movie may work or could end up a total mess.

This current trend with dozens of superheros and villains packed into one lengthy movie came from the Batman franchise I think, but as film effects have advanced, and cinema audiences have been observed and marketed, we then had the X-MEN films and Blade series and more, each time another one or two characters added into a screenplay. Not always a really bad thing, but many still see Spiderman 3 as a disjointed mess and more recently there was IRON MAN 2 which fragmented up a film in order to set up the expected Avengers movie.

With all of that in mind then, if in a couple of years from now there will arrive a Spiderman movie with a huge gang of villains ready to knock him down, will that also just be unbearable to see? Or could it actually give us the reverse Avengers effect, with a dozen evil characters to watch and probably a couple of other heros up there with Spiderman to lend some help?

The film studio I expect would love to see some Avengers sized box-office, but time will tell. Nuff said…




Star Trek sequel gains new writers


spock-quintoIt looks as if it’s all change for the third of the rebooted Star Trek films, with the departure of J.J. Abrams from the director’s chair and now the announcement that Alex Kurtzman won’t be part of the script-writing team.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, who adapted Boilerplate for Abrams, will be working with Roberto Orci on the script for the movie. At present there’s no confirmed release date, although tying in with the franchise’s 50th birthday in 2016 would be a smart move. Attack the Block’s Joe Cornish has been suggested as director but as yet there has been no formal announcement.

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The Terminator will be back… on TV


TerminatorIt seems as if the reboot of the Terminator franchise isn’t just going to be taking place in cinemas, with the news that a fresh Terminator series will be heading to television, courtesy of Thor and X-Men: First Class’ Zack Stentz and Ashley Miller

According to reports, both the new film, out next year, and the TV series will be based on James Cameron’s original 1984 movie, rather than the entire franchise to date, charting an alternate course from a pivotal point within that film. The TV series will be executive produced by Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier, the writers of the new movie trilogy, and will tie in closely with the films, possibly in the same sort of way that Agents of SHIELD incorporated references to the recent Thor movie.

This isn’t the first TV version of Cameron’s creation, of course: Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles ran for two…

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This news concerning the much loved TERMINATOR franchise might be risky and controvertial to some people, Shortly after more definite news that there will very probably now be a new TERMINATOR film-and with Arnie, in some form-now it has been announced that this new film in the staggered series, with the peaks and flaws, will also be connected to a new television series. The actual big shock here, or tantalising revelation is that this new series, will rewrite the time structure of events in the series potentially.

This is of course fairly radical as it has been hinted that the hugely popular and massively successful TERMINATOR 2:JUDGEMENT DAY and the more recent television series Sarah Connor Chronicles may chronologically be irrelevant in the series time-line in one sense.

Now this twisting and rearranging of narrative and chronology in popular genre series is not at all new, but this is one very huge and popular series to mess around with in such a way.

I have seen this kind of chopping and cutting and re-ordering of events and plot in comicbook and graphic novels from over the last 20 to 30 years. For comicbook fans, this is just one simple narrative option, it happens also in much literary fiction over the last century also.

This is of course, is a huge popular Hollywood movie series which is much loved, and and like any new Terminator movie, could possibly make huge amounts of money. Over the last ten to fifteen years, we have seen a number of big Hollywood movie genre trilogies; and with Lucas and his StarWars series, some prequels and now soon to happen sequels.

And so look how many older adult fans reacted to the news of and then seeing the StarWars prequels? They did not basically change the series direction, but alter the larger mythology-should it have happened? We no longer ever only view or think of StarWars as a simple trilogy, it is a huge ever-growing franchise.

Some audiences welcome any and every new entry into a series or concept, and some of the much more recent film and tv series are likely to be influencing this Terminator reboot. Most recently the ongoing success of the Marvel superhero movies, which then linked into and set up the Avengers movie, and now the Agents of Shield tv series and now continue to flow with the next up and coming Marvel movies. The Spiderman series has been rebooted recently, a new sequel due in a few months, and it has refreshed and restarted the series, bringing back characters used only in the last couple of movies and altering the previously set up mythology of Spiderman on big screen in the last decade.

Now in the last couple of weeks a new trailer has been released for the next new X-MEN movie, and this like the most recent one, continues to go back to before the initial X-MEN trilogy and off-shoot films and build up back history and now also rewrite and interweave various times and alternate time-lines. This has been in the actual X-MEN comics for many years, but onscreen it is a first. X-MEN fans are most probably extremely super-eXcited about this.

But should the TERMINATOR series ignore and rewrite its own classic sci-fi myth? Why do it? For money or to actually be challenging and radical in narrative terms? But this series has some of the most known and loved characters.

Like the ALIENS franchise, with TERMINATOR, there have been spin-off novels, comic series and games and more, and specifically the recent tv series Sarah Connor Chronicles. The series was slow to gain respect and welcome, and arguable was cut off at a point when it really might have been begining to grow and progress well. Should that entire series simply be ignored so soon?

All of these issues are to be considered but whatever the outcome, the Terminators…will be back.


James E Parsons-New science fiction novel Orbital KIn, out now as paperback and ebook from Amazon, Waterstones, and others.