When Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them arrived in cinemas back in 2016, there was never really any doubt it would be a commercial success. As a continuation of the blockbuster Harry Potter film franchise, David Yates’ film was as close as it comes to a guaranteed box office hit – but the real question was whether it would actually be any good.
Fortunately, it was. Penned by JK Rowling – author of the original book series – Fantastic Beasts felt like an authentic extension of the existing universe, even as it introduced us to new characters and environments. Eddie Redmayne’s magizoologist Newt Scamander proved a suitably likeable replacement for everyone’s favourite boy wizard, and the 1920s setting provided a fresh new spin on a world at risk of becoming stale eight movies on.
Fast forward two years, and a sequel looms on the horizon. Due for release in November, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald seems poised to enchant audiences all over again. Here are five major things we learned from the recent trailer.
By now, we’ve all had time to digest the latest trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi (unless you’re one of the strong-willed souls who resisted the urge to watch it!). General consensus among fans and critics seems to be that – adorable porgs aside – Episode VIII of cinema’s greatest sci-fi/fantasy saga looks like a far darker outing than its predecessor, The Force Awakens.
After all, this most recent look at the film provided new glimpses of a grumpy, grizzled version of Luke Skywalker, good guys the Resistance on the run, and Jedi-in-training Rey being tortured by big bad Supreme Leader Snoke – at last taking a break from his giant hologram Wizard Of Oz-schtick. Heck, there’s even the suggestion that a bit of matricide might be on the cards, with tormented wannabe Darth Vader Kylo Ren seemingly poised to murder his mother, the former Princess Leia!
Ratcheting up the gloom factor has only served to further fuel comparisons between The Last Jedi and The Empire Strikes Back – the latter of which is widely considered not only the best Star Wars episode of all time, but a perfect example of the “darker sequel” done right. And whilst it’s hard not to see tonal similarities between these two sombre films – just as it was impossible not to draw parallels between The Force Awakens and series opener A New Hope – the trailer has left me feeling surprisingly upbeat.
That’s because – despite its surface-level imitation of The Empire Strikes Back – this tantalising peek at The Last Jedi seems to have rewarded the faith of fans like me who hoped that incoming director Rian Johnson would finally taking the franchise in a fresh new direction. “This is not going to go the way you think,” promises Luke at one point – and thank the Force for that!
Whilst we’re all excited to have Game of Thrones back on our screens again, this enthusiasm is tempered with sadness, as this means we are edging ever closer to the fantasy TV series’ 2018 end date.
Among its many achievements, the show can take credit for making converts out of fantasy non-believers. As such, when the last episode of Game of Thrones airs next year, it will leave massive void in the television landscape – where will we all get our fix of sword-and-sorcery-related drama?
If the prospect of a fantasy-free small screen slate leaves you feeling anxious, never fear – in this list, we’ll look at five fantasy TV shows that could (and should) happen soon!
With all the hoopla surrounding Blade Runner 2049, the upcoming sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 cult classic, it’s easy to overlook another Philip K. Dick adaptation celebrating its anniversary this month. That’s right: Minority Report recently clocked up 15 years since its theatrical release.
The first collaboration between Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise, Minority Report is as good as you’d expect from a pair of cinema legends. It offers up a smart, heartfelt and scarily prescient commentary on where humankind might be headed – all wrapped up in a gripping, visually stunning action-thriller detective story!
One of the things the really sets Minority Report apart from other sci-fi movies is just how plausible its fictional world feels. This is largely thanks to the think tank of actual futurists that Spielberg assembled to help him realise his vision of 2054.
It should come as no surprise, then, that so much of the futuristic hardware we see in the film is now very much a reality in our world. Whilst long-range personal jet packs unfortunately remain a mere pipedream (for now…), here are five Minority Report technologies that came true!
But, as I lack Jedi clairvoyance, I wasn’t able to foresee the arrival of the Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi teaser trailer earlier this week, and thus realise that my intended next post would soon be headed the way of the Death Star.
Still, what you lose in variety, we all gain in excitement – because The Last Jedi teaser is exciting. VERY exciting.
This first sneak peek at director Rian Johnson’s new adventure offers fleeting, tantalising glimpses of Leia, Finn, the Millennium Falcon and at least one breathtakingly epic space battle, all of which are enough to give fans genuine goosebumps of anticipation.
Even so, these brief moments – whilst undeniably cool – are virtually nothing compared to what else is on show, which is why I’ve pulled together this rundown of the biggest talking points across the galaxy (or at least, the internet) surrounding the teaser, and what they might mean when The Last Jedi hits cinemas this December!