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    A time-slipping Loki struggles to fix the timeline(s) in new Loki S2 teaser / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 5 September - 17:38

New teaser for Loki S2 provides new footage ahead of the season's October premiere.

Anticipation is mounting among Marvel fans for the October debut of the second season of Loki , starring Tom Hiddleston as everyone's favorite Norse god of mischief. We now have a new teaser showcasing a time-slipping Loki seemingly caught in an endless cycle of shuttling between the past, present, and future as he tries to restore order to the multiverse.

(Spoilers for S1 below.)

As I wrote in my review , the first season of Loki was "an excellent mix of action, surprising twists, canny exposition, and intimate character moments, all leading up to the final reveal: what is the TVA's true nature and purpose, and is there someone (or something) else behind the scenes pulling the strings of the sacred trio of Time Keepers?" The puppet master turned out to be none other than Kang the Conqueror (Jonathan Majors, who reprised the role for this year's Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania ) —or rather, a Kang Variant known as He Who Remains.

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    Zack Snyder unveils extended teaser for his Netflix sci-fi saga Rebel Moon / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 22 August - 22:06 · 2 minutes

The first part of director Zack Snyder's epic space opera Rebel Moon is coming to Netflix in December.

Years ago, director Zack Snyder had an idea for an epic Star Wars movie that he pitched to Lucasfilm. That project never panned out for a variety of reasons. But the idea continued to germinate until it became Rebel Moo n , a two-part film for Netflix that Snyder and the streaming giant hope will launch a new franchise. Snyder unveiled the first extended teaser at Gamescom in Germany.

Apart from Star Wars, Snyder has said that his influences include the films of Akira Kurosawa, especially The Seven Samurai and The Dirty Dozen . He has set his epic saga in a universe controlled by a ruthless and corrupt government of the Mother World (the Imperium) with an army led by one Regent Balisarius (Fra Fee), and the rebel moon of the title is called Veldt. Per the official premise:

When a peaceful colony on the edge of a galaxy finds itself threatened by the armies of a tyrannical ruling force, Kora (Sofia Boutella), a mysterious stranger living among the villagers, becomes their best hope for survival. Tasked with finding trained fighters who will unite with her in making an impossible stand against the Mother World, Kora assembles a small band of warriors—outsiders, insurgents, peasants and orphans of war from different worlds who share a common need for redemption and revenge. As the shadow of an entire Realm bears down on the unlikeliest of moons, a battle over the fate of a galaxy is waged, and in the process, a new army of heroes is formed.

Kora knows something about the oppressive nature of the Imperium, since she used to be an Imperium leader, and now seeks redemption from her past. The band of allies that Kora assembles includes a former Imperium general named Titus (Djimon Hounsou); her farmer friend Gunnar (Michiel Huisman); Tarak (Staz Nair), a blacksmith who can bond with animals to rally them to a fight; a cyborg sword master named Nemesis (Doona Bae); a warrior named Darrian Bloodaxe (Ray Fisher) and his sister Devra (Cleopatra Coleman); a spider warrior named Harmada (Jena Malone); and Jimmy, the last of a race of mechanical knights from a fallen kingdom, voiced by Anthony Hopkins. Ed Skrein plays Admiral Atticus Noble, right hand to the tyrannical Regent, and Cary Elwes has also been cast in an as-yet-unnamed role.

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    Catching up with Foundation S2 as the Second Crisis unfolds / ArsTechnica · Tuesday, 25 July - 12:52 · 1 minute

Lee Pace in long blue rob wth plunging vee neck

Enlarge / Lee Pace as the latest incarnation of Brother Day, one of a trio of ruling Cleons in Apple TV's Foundation . (credit: Apple TV+)

We're now two episodes into the second season of Foundation , Apple TV's epic sci-fi series adapted— or remixed , per showrunner David Goyer—from the seminal series of stories by Isaac Asimov, and it's shaping up to be even better than its first. Goyer took great pains in S1 to carefully set up his expansive fictional world, and the scope has only broadened in the second season.

Goyer describes the new season as more emotional and romantic, with a bit more humor—or at least moments of levity—and faster paced now that the main characters and their key relationships have been well established. "Now it's a bit like jazz," he said. "We can riff on our creation and start to move the chess pieces around and create alliances or unusual pairings that didn't exist last season. Audiences have a certain expectation of how things are going to unfold, and part of the fun is subverting those expectations." The narrative is also more linear, with fewer time jumps forward and back—just the occasional traditional flashback.

(Major spoilers for S1 below. Some minor spoilers for S2 but no major reveals.)

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    Review: Exquisite Drops of God brings the world of elite wine down to earth / ArsTechnica · Monday, 10 July - 16:12 · 1 minute

Asian man, red-haired woman in ties facing each other

Enlarge / Issei Tomine (Tomohisa Yamashita) and Camille Leger (Fleur Geffrier) must compete to be the sole heir of a globally renowned wine critic in the limited series Drops of God on Apple TV+. It's based on the hugely popular manga series of the same name.

The heady world of fine wine is often justly skewered as being hopelessly elitist and pretentious, where rare bottles sell for tens of thousands of dollars, their flavors and aromas described in florid, over-the-top language that readily lends itself to satire. (The sommelier in last year's delightful The Menu described a pinot noir as having "notes of longing and regret.")

That's the pop culture caricature, at least. If you yearn for something that brings this rarefied world firmly down to earth and celebrates wine's role in forging human bonds and shaping culture at large, I highly recommend Drops of God , a limited miniseries that debuted on Apple TV+ in April. It is based on the popular and influential manga of the same name . This is a series that sticks with you, its most memorable moments lingering in one's mind the way a good wine lingers on the palate.

(Some spoilers below but no major reveals.)

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    Check out live-action Boimler and Mariner in Strange New Worlds S2 trailer / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 24 May - 17:55

The second season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will feature a crossover episode with Star Trek: Lower Decks .

We already knew that the second season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds would feature a crossover episode with Star Trek: Lower Decks . Paramount just dropped the full trailer for S2, giving us our first glimpse of Tawny Newsome and Jack Quaid playing the live-action counterparts to their animated Lower Decks characters Beckett Mariner and Brad Boimler. They definitely nailed their respective looks. And yes, part of the crossover episode will be animated in a similar style just to keep things fun.

(Some spoilers below, notably for S1.)

As reported previously , the series features classic The Original Series characters Capt. Christopher Pike (Anson Mount), Number One (Rebecca Romijn), and Spock (Ethan Peck). Babs Olusanmokun plays Dr. M'Benga; Celia Rose Gooding plays Cadet Nyota Uhura; Jess Bush plays Nurse Christine Chapel; Melissa Navia plays Lt. Erica Ortegas; and Christina Chong plays La'An Noonien-Singh (a relation of the classic revenge-obsessed Star Trek villain Khan).

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    Lee Pace’s Brother Day is front and center in first teaser for Foundation S2 / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 11 May - 17:43

Apple TV+ has dropped a teaser for the second season of its epic sci-fi series, Foundation .

It has been too long since we binged all 10 episodes of Apple TV's 2021 epic sci-fi series Foundation , loosely adapted from Isaac Asimov's hugely influential Foundation series of novels. We're finally getting a second season this summer, announced with the release of the first teaser.

(Some spoilers for S1 below.)

As I wrote in my review , Asimov's Foundation series is notoriously difficult to adapt to the screen. The author admitted that he wrote strictly for the printed page, and he always refused invitations to adapt his work for film or TV. But Asimov was more than happy to let others adapt his work to a new medium, and he was wise enough to expect that there would—and should—be significant departures from the print version. That's just what showrunner David S. Goyer ( Dark Knight trilogy, Da Vinci's Demons) set out to do with Foundation , describing it as more of a remix than a direct adaptation. Reviews of S1 were mixed, but I personally found the first season to be:

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    Trinity Test is front and center in trailer for Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer / ArsTechnica · Monday, 8 May - 16:02 · 1 minute

Cillian Murphy plays the "father of the atomic bomb" in Christopher Nolan's new film Oppenheimer .

Universal Studios has released another trailer for Christopher Nolan 's forthcoming film Oppenheimer , which is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning 2005 biography American Prometheus by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin. Cillian Murphy stars as physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, marking the sixth time Murphy has worked with Nolan. Universal Pictures describes the film as "an epic thriller that thrusts audiences into the pulse-pounding paradox of the enigmatic man who must risk destroying the world in order to save it."

Industry watchers will note that this is the first film Nolan has made without partnering with Warner Bros. since 2002's Insomnia . Chalk the falling out to the impact of the COViD-19 pandemic on Hollywood, notably Warner Bros.'s controversial decision to release all its 2021 films simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max. The studio followed this strategy for Nolan's 2020 sci-fi thriller Tenet , which grossed just $365 million worldwide against its $200 million budget. While this technically made Tenet the fifth biggest film of 2020, by industry standards, it was a box office failure.

Nolan was deeply unhappy with this arrangement, particularly since the studio hadn't conferred with him prior to making the decision about Tenet . So when he decided to write and direct Oppenheimer , the director approached several other studios about partnering with him on the project, eventually signing on with Universal.

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    Review: Netflix’s exquisite The Sandman is the stuff dreams are made of / ArsTechnica · Monday, 29 August, 2022 - 15:35 · 1 minute

Neil Gaiman's classic "unfilmable" graphic novel series gets the adaptation he always wanted.

Enlarge / Neil Gaiman's classic "unfilmable" graphic novel series gets the adaptation he always wanted. (credit: Netflix)

Like many nerds of a certain age, I have long adored Neil Gaiman's Sandman graphic novel series; it was an enormous influence on my younger self. So I was thrilled to hear of Netflix's planned adaptation when it was announced in 2019 —but I also experienced some trepidation given the past misguided efforts to bring the story to the screen. That trepidation was unwarranted because The Sandman is a triumph. It's everything I had hoped to see in an adaption, and it has been well worth the wait.

(Warning: Some spoilers for the original graphic novels and the Netflix series below.)

The titular "sandman" is Dream , but he is also called Morpheus, among other names. He is one of seven entities known as the Endless. (The other Endless are Destiny, Destruction, Despair, Desire, Delirium, and Death.) Gaiman's 75-issue revival of the DC character is an odd mix of mythology, fantasy, horror, and history, rife with literary references and a fair bit of dark humor. There really is nothing quite like it, and the series proved to be hugely popular and enduring. One standalone story , "A Midsummer Night's Dream" ( The Sandman No. 19) even won the 1991 World Fantasy Award for Best Short Fiction, the only time a comic has been so honored.

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