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The Week in Geek: Paul Rudd joins the Ghostbusters and Neon Genesis Evangelion has some new problems
Congratulations, you have endured another week. It's 90 degrees here in New York City, and so most of us dorks are chilling in the darkest spot of our apartments, in the room with the air conditioner that works.
So what might you have missed whilst hidden from the searing day ball? Glad you asked! Here they are: The five biggest stories from... The Week in Geek!
WHO YOU GONNA CALL? PAUL RUDD, APPARENTLY!
Ghostbusters is one of the most fraught franchises in recent history. After two movies and two cartoons, people waited decades for more. What they got was Paul Feig's all-woman reboot that sparked one of the most infamous backlashes in cinematic history. And while original Ghostbusters Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, and Ernie Hudson all appeared (with a post-credits sequence featuring Sigourney Weaver), it wasn't enough to keep the reboot from being abandoned.
And that abandonment started a controversy all its own when Jason Reitman, son of original Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman, revealed he was helming a new movie that would connect with the original two films and ignore the reboot. People, including actor Leslie Jones (who starred in Feig's Ghostbusters), felt this new movie was a slap in the face.
What might get people behind this new movie? What calming force could make it all better? The casting team is banking on that person being none other than Paul Rudd. This week, Rudd posted a video to the Ghostbusters Twitter feed announcing his involvement saying he just, "slimed himself."
"I've been wanting to work with Paul Rudd since my short film opened for Wet Hot American Summer at Sundance," Reitman said. "I’m thrilled he’ll be joining this new chapter in the original Ghostbusters universe."
Rudd comes about as close to universally beloved as anyone not named Tom Hanks ever has. Maybe he'll help erase some of the controversies? Only time will tell.
ANN SARNOFF IS THE NEW CEO OF WARNER BROS.
Ann Sarnoff will be Warner Bros.' next CEO after Kevin Tsujihara's exit amid accusations of sexual misconduct.
You might think this story is about how Sarnoff, now-former President of BBC Studios America, was not in anyone's proverbial CEO betting pool. You might think this story is about Sarnoff's role in Britbox and her overall strong success in digital platforms. You might even think this story is about Sarnoff being the first woman to be CEO of Warner Bros.
No, this story is about the Snyder Cut. Yes, the Justice League cut that Zack Snyder fans have been obsessed with since late 2017, the one that almost certainly does not really exist — but that doesn't stop people from dedicating entire websites to the conspiracy theory that it does. That is what Sarnoff's new job is mostly about, according to the internet.
This entire week, people have taken to Twitter to congratulate Sarnoff on her new role, but, mostly, to ask her to #ReleaseTheSnyderCut. Yes, people hope she'll "uphold artistic integrity" by releasing an incomplete version of a movie that was infamously taken over by Joss Whedon midstream. Yes, people hope she'll "right the ship" even though the DCEU has been doing pretty well lately with Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Shazam! all finding popularity in the past three years and with positive buzz around the upcoming Birds of Prey and Wonder Woman 1984, both due out next year.
Anyway, congratulations, Ann Sarnoff, on the new job. Don't look at Twitter.
NEON GENESIS EVANGELION IS STREAMING ON NETFLIX. YAY?
Arguably one of the most famous anime ever made and certainly one of the most popular deconstructions of genre, Neon Genesis Evangelion has been out of print since ADV Films went out of business in the late 2000s. That doesn't mean people couldn't find the show; it just meant they had to go to some shady (potentially illegal) lengths to do it.
The good news is that the show in its (kind of) entirety is now available on Netflix. But that doesn't mean people are happy. On the contrary, longtime fans of the series are vocally frustrated with the changes made to the series now that Evangelion is streaming.
The changes to Evangelion are myriad. There's a new English dub. The karaoke-style covers of "Fly Me to the Moon" have been cut off the ending of the episodes. And, as happens when there are new subtitles and dubs, language has been changed. In this case, that language change has removed some of the queer language, most notably the scene in which Kaworu Nagisa tells the show's protagonist, Shinji, that he loves him.
It's a pretty important scene that comes at a point in the show where Shinji feels unloved and unlovable. That Shinji does find love from another man felt pretty progressive at the time and was very welcomed by LGBTQ anime fans. So changing "I love you" to "I like you" kinda feels like a slap to the face.
There's some debate as to which translation is closer to the original intention, but, suffice to say, fans are asking Netflix to change the show back (or at least make the original subs and dubs available).
ANNABELLE COMES HOME AND BY THAT I MEAN SHE IS IN THEATERS
The first Annabelle movie was largely maligned. Jokes about the plot, especially the death of Alfre Woodard at the beginning, have run rampant since the film's release five years ago in 2014. But then, two years ago, Annabelle: Creation came out and surprised the hell out of everyone by being largely well-liked. Much like the Ouija franchise, Annabelle seemed like she was digging her way out of a horror hole.
With a 67 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, it seems like Annabelle Comes Home will continue that upswing. The film is, effectively, a story in which the elder Warrens, Ed and Lorraine, pass the Annabelle franchise off to their daughter, Judy, and her babysitters, Mary and Daniela. Along with Mary's maybe-boyfriend, Bob, the team does battle against not only Annabelle but a host of other possessed items in the Warren archive. It's kind of like Night at the Museum if that franchise were horror instead of goofy comedy.
Annabelle Comes Home works exactly as well as it needs to and the trio of actresses — McKenna Grace, Madison Iseman, and Katie Sarife — turn in a shared performance so strong they could very easily use the film as a platform to begin a horror franchise all their own.
SUMMER GDQ RAISES OVER $1 MILLION FOR DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS
Since January 2010, the bi-annual speedrun charity Games Done Quick has been raising huge funds for important charities like the Prevent Cancer Foundation and Doctors Without Borders. 2019 has been no different, and the summer incarnation of this year's GDQ is no different.
As of this writing, the event has already broken $1 million in donations with two days still to go. And, in addition to the money raised, there have also been some pretty incredible runs. If you've never seen a speedrun before, it's basically like watching your friend play a game but really fast and really, really well. Add to that the occasions wherein multiple players race to complete a game and it genuinely gets very exciting.
Some of this summer's best runs include coolkid's incredible run through Super Mario Bros. 2, an extremely entertaining run of the original Streets of Rage by cestpatou, and current speedrun record holder metroidmcfly's latest run of that classic NES game Solomon's Key.
But probably the best thing anyone will ever see is zallard1's run of Wii Punch-Out!!, which he completed, soup to nuts, in 1:10:21 BLINDFOLDED. I'm not sure you understand: The man beat the entire game without the use of his eyes. It was incredible and continues the ongoing trend of gamers defeating the Punch-Out!! franchise without the use of their primary sense. Anytime you think the gaming community is kind of a weird and mean place, remember runs like this where everyone gets to celebrate great gaming all while raising money for important charities.
And that's it. Your Week in Geek is over. Go in peace. Let us know what stories won your week and what you thought of these stories and 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.