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The Week in Geek: Is Toy Story ending? Is Endgame ending? Is anything ending?
Congratulations! The week is over, but based on all the geeky happenings over the past couple days, it seems like some of our favorite pop-culture franchises won't be ending anytime soon.
We got another unexpected movie sequel vying for our attention. We heard about unexpected prequels that will eventually vie for our attention. There were cast reunions. It's the 30th anniversary of the first Tim Burton Batman movie. Lots of stuff is going on! But only some news can be considered the best of the best.
Here they are, the five biggest stories from... The Week in Geek!
TOY STORY 4 IS THE LAST TOY STORY MOVIE, QUESTION MARK?
In 2010, Toy Story 3 felt like the definitive culmination for Buzz, Woody, and the entire Toy Story family. It saw them say goodbye to Andy, the boy who "owned" them for so many years, and say hello to Bonnie, a new child they could bring joy. The circle ended where it began.
Except, here we are, almost a decade later and Buzz and Woody and everyone are back for Toy Story 4 (in theaters now) which tells another story about endings and new beginnings which still resonates with real, live, human adults. So while the proverbial story of toys could end here, it certainly doesn't have to. Tom Hanks has suggested it won't. And, truth be told, Toy Story was already supposed to end after the second movie way back in 1999. So who can say if, in another decade, we won't be back here again. Maybe Toy Story is the modern day incarnation of John Updike's Rabbit series, teaching us about life's challenges in the long term.
While you ruminate on that question, Tony Hale plays a spork who just wants to be trash, Keanu Reeves plays a self-doubting Canadian stunt man, and Jeff Garlin plays a toy who keeps trying to get an innocent man sent to jail in the weirdest threepeat joke in Toy Story history.
AVENGERS: ENDGAME IS ENDING ITS GAME... AGAIN?
Are you familiar with the phrase, "close but no cigar"? Disney sure is! After a decade of superhero filmmaking that culminated with arguably the biggest comic book blockbuster for all time, Avengers: Endgame has come up just short of the financial finish line.
Yes, despite their best efforts, the MCU's latest outing sits only at the number two spot on the highest grossing films worldwide. The 10-year-old James Cameron blue juggernaut, Avatar, is still ahead by about $40 million.
Is it Endgame over, man? Is Disney throwing in the towel? No! Of course not! You don't come that close to victory and then give up, especially not if you're a multi-billion dollar corporation bent on total industry and cultural domination.
Kevin Feige revealed this week that Avengers: Endgame is getting re-released in the coming weeks with additional footage at the end. That's right: the movie that was already three hours long is about to get longer. Break out the catheter/diaper combo, true believers!
Are there enough people out there who will pay for one last (very long) go on the superhero carousel and put Avengers: Endgame in the number one money spot? Yeah, probably. Capitalism. Woo.
SPIDER-MAN FINDS AN UNEXPECTED ALLY IN J.J. ABRAMS
This week, Marvel Comics started a mysterious countdown on Twitter beginning with the number "4" in a decidedly Spider-Man-esque web. And almost immediately, the speculation began. Is there going to be a Spider-Man and Fantastic Four comic or movie? Is there going to be a comic book version of the never-made fourth Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movie? Will Spider-Man eat four whole hamburgers in a single day? Alright, no one was guessing that third one, but the marketing heat was on.
Then, the next day, a webby "3" appeared online and everyone was very confused. It turns out the whole thing was a countdown, movie style, to an announcement from J.J. Abrams and his son, Henry Abrams. They are making a Spider-Man comic together.
"Nick [Lowe] had been pressing me to do a book with him. A year or so ago, I started talking about it with Henry and it sort of happened organically," Abrams said. "And that has been the joy of this. Even though I’ve been talking to Nick for a long time, weirdly, this feels like it just sort of evolved from the conversations of Henry and I, having ideas that got us excited and Nick being open to the collaboration."
The mini-series which will be titled, simply, Spider-Man, will be five issues long and feature a new villain called "Cadaverous." Obviously, the big story is that J.J. Abrams, one of the most successful genre filmmakers of the 21st century, is helping write a comic book. This is kind of like when Joss Whedon wrote Astonishing X-Men after being a hugely successful TV creator.
But, naturally, the other story is of Henry Abrams, who is only around 21 years old and being handed the reigns to one of the most famous comic book characters in history. Must be cool to have a famous dad!
Spider-Man will drop this coming September.
THE MCU WANTS SOME OF THAT SWEET, SWEET KEANU
Keanu Reeves is having a moment. John Wick. Toy Story. Just being breathtaking in general. People love the man. And one of the people you can add to that list is Marvel Studio president, Kevin Feige. Feige was asked this week if Marvel had ever considered having Keanu Reeves appear in one of their movies. And, the answer is that they have already tried. Repeatedly.
"We talk to him for almost every film we make," says Feige. "We talk to Keanu Reeves about ... I don’t know when, if, or ever he’ll join the MCU, but we very much want to figure out the right way to do it."
Will Keanu Reeves say yes to the MCU? Well, he's already part of the Disney family thanks to Toy Story 4, so, for all we know, there's a sneaky clause in the contract he signed for that movie which already requires him to be a superhero! Who can say? Last night I saw a movie and there were three completely separate Disney movie trailers that all feature Tom Holland. That's how Disney does it. You make one movie with them, you're making all the movies with them. So the "Keanu Reeves joins the MCU" announcement feels, at this point, inevitable.
THE HUNGER GAMES GETS A PREQUEL
"I Could Eat" is probably not a good name for a The Hunger Games prequel, but I'm putting it out in the universe anyway because, this week, it was announced that Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games novels, is returning to the world of Panem to tell the story that comes before Katniss and her Mockingjay rebellion.
"With this book, I wanted to explore the state of nature, who we are, and what we perceive is required for our survival," says Collins of the prequel story. "The reconstruction period 10 years after the war, commonly referred to as the Dark Days, as the country of Panem struggles back to its feet, provides fertile ground for characters to grapple with these questions and thereby define their views of humanity."
Man, oh, man. A story about what we perceive is required for our survival? A story about the death of a democratic civilization? Dark Days, you say, Suzanne Collins? Doesn't sound like anything remotely familiar to me!
Anyway, Lionsgate (and other studios) are already all vying to make a novel that has barely been written into a movie. Which is fair. The Hunger Games franchise did make almost $3 billion worldwide and kicked off the career of Jennifer Lawrence, one of the highest paid actresses working in Hollywood today. No big deal.
And that's it! Your week in geek is over. Go in peace. Let us know what stories made your week and what you thought about these stories. We'll see you right back here again next week.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's, and do not necessarily reflect those of SYFY WIRE, SYFY, or NBC Universal.