A Wrinkle in Time Storm Reid

The Week in Geek: Favreau's Star Wars! Duvernay's Wrinkle in Time! DC's Black Label!

Contributed by
Mar 10, 2018

Pat yourselves on the back -- you made it to the end of another week. And now that the cold is starting to leave the air, TV shows are returning from hibernation, and the theaters are filling back up with big-budget movies, there's more and more big stories to keep up on.

Here are the five biggest stories from... The Week in Geek!

NEW STAR WARS SERIES: JON FAVREAU OR JON FAV-NO

While Star Wars Rebels may be over, there's no end to the expansion of the Star Wars universe. Following news of Rian Johnson and the producers of Game of Thrones getting their crack at Star Wars, it's now the director of Iron Man and The Jungle Book, Jon Favreau, who will take on the galaxy far, far away.

Favreau will be executive-producing and writing a live-action Star Wars TV series that will debut on a new Disney-specific streaming service. The series is tentatively scheduled to come out sometime in 2020.

Kathleen Kennedy is very excited about this. Jon Favreau is very excited about this. The Star Wars fandom...

... a little less excited, I would say.

It's no secret that Star Wars, no matter how diverse on screen, still strafes very white and very male behind the camera. It's a complaint we've heard for each new Star Wars announcement; it's a complaint heard even louder this time.

Why? Perhaps it is because, at the same time that Favreau delightedly accepted the new gig, director Ava DuVernay, who many fans and pros (including J.J. Abrams) insisted should involved with Star Wars, insisted that Star Wars was not for her.

Star Wars fans are talking about why someone like Favreau feels welcome whereas DuVernay does not. As demand for things like "inclusion riders" rises, the question as to how welcoming the Star Wars universe is to people of color and queer folks increases exponentially.

Star Wars may be big money now, but it won't stay that way unless answers to these big questions find satisfactory answers.

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A WRINKLE IN TIME STRUGGLES WITH (SPECIFIC) CRITICS

Speaking of DuVernay, there's been a lot of talk about her latest film, an adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. And there's nothing simple about the 42% rating the movie currently has on Rotten Tomatoes.

From the moment the film began being screened, A Wrinkle in Time has been criticized not just for the same things, but frequently by the same people. White men tend to be more critical of it, while people (and especially women) of color are more likely to defend it.

Having seen the movie, it is clear to me that, while anyone who feels like an outsider could connect with Meg Murry, DuVernay was especially successful in her endeavor to write a story for young black women and the struggles they are more likely to face.

People say A Wrinkle in Time is unadaptable. Many people feel this adaptation struggles in a number of ways. And to watch it, I think, is to acknowledge its flaws. But the film itself is about embracing flaws, and the ultimate line on whether you will love A Wrinkle in Time boils down your ability to accept its flaws.

People are already talking about A Wrinkle in Time's underperformance at the box office, but it will be interesting to see its long-term impact on both DuVernay's directing career and the conversation of inclusivity and representation in film.

DONALD TRUMP SAYS GRR! VIDEO GAMES BAD!

President of the United States of America and former steak salesman Donald Trump hosted a summit this week to discuss where video game violence fits into the ongoing actual gun violence in America.

With a host of game critics and game producers at the meeting, Trump allegedly showed a sizzle reel of violence in games, saying, "This is violent, isn't it?"

Countless reptuable studies have been done that prove again and again that there is no direct correlation between violence in video games and gun violence. About the closest you'll get is an increase in competitiveness right after playing games.

The gaming industry is, quite rightly, pointing out the obvious obfuscation here: Blame a tried and true conservative bogeyman in order to distract people from acknowledging that something substantive needs to be done about the ease with which guns may be accessed in the United States of America. Same as it ever was.

DC COMICS GOES BLACK LABEL

File this under "news that will pay dividends down the line." DC Comics has announced that, in lieu of the sometimes nebulous-feeling Elseworlds stories, there will now be an official new DC imprint called "DC Black Label."

With the intention to explore less canonical (and, thereby more unique) stories featuring DC's stable of well-known characters, Black Label is looking to do what stories like The Killing Joke and Watchmen did for DC in years past.

And while I'm not sure a Frank Miller Superman origin is the way to go (nothing quite says the opposite of new like Frank Miller), the idea of new Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman stories is intriguing. And just because Frank Miller, Greg Rucka, and Brian Azzarello are the first names out of the gate doesn't mean we won't get newer voices in the books to come.

In fact, we wouldn't be at all surprised if this Black Label initiative doesn't worm its way toward the DCEU movies if the latest crop of films flounder like all the rest. After all, didn't we just hear more news about that oddball Joker movie that exists entirely separate from the rest of the DCEU?

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READY PLAYER ONE IS READY TO KILL '80S NOSTALGIA FOREVER

And now for the most tepid take in the history of news round-ups: Ready Player One is not doing a great job of ingratiating itself to fans, be they old folks who are nostalgic for '80s yesteryear (hey, that's me!) or they be young Gen Z kids who are a little too busy trying not to get shot at school to be thinking about Mega Man or whatever.

This week, the marketing team for Ready Player One made a series of edited posters based on popular films from days gone by.

And while this is not the first subpar effort from the marketing team of Ready Player One when it comes to posters, it's safe to say that people disliked this offering even more. In fact, I am not sure I have ever seen such an intense backlash to a raw nostalgiafest like Ready Player One ever before. Kind of makes you wonder if maybe it's time to stop going back to that particular well so often.

Just kidding! There are neither Capcom nor SNK shared universe film franchises yet, let alone the movies that would bring both franchises together for a battle royale. So there's always room for more '80s nostalgia.

People just really like making fun of Ready Player One's posters. A lot. The end.

And that's your week in geek. There were a lot of other stories out there, though. Which ones occupied your brain meats? Have an opinion. Maybe even share it! What ill has ever come from sharing an opinion on the internet (don't answer that)?

Have a great weekend, everybody!