This week's edition of Hottest Stories and Best Comments includes Star Wars news (recasting and spinoffs), watercolor Firefly cast pics for charity, a public Shatner slam, new toys, Marvel memos ... and the Dicking (Phillip K.) of America. Check it out!
Our story: Which actors we'd cast in A New Hope if it was being remade today
Your comment: Absolutely brilliant casting for the main players. Though I have to think that it would be a terrific waste not to be able to see John Noble's expressive face. Perhaps cast him as The Emperor instead? Noble is the only actor I can think of that could re-envision Ian McDiarmid's terrific performances as Palpatine/Emperor without having to try to duplicate them. --Ira Nathenson
Your comment: At one time I would have been happy about this. But now I'm thinking they'd do better to revive one of the recently and undeservedly deceased, Fringe. The Science Channel has started showing the series from the beginning, and not only are people watching, but people are checking in to the GetGlue app to talk about different episodes they're watching on their own. Since it's still new, there might be a better shot at getting the cast together. How about it Netflix? --Heathen Samm
Your comment: Goram shiney if you ask me. --TrollStomper01
Your comment: Marketing fail to the extreme, indeed. Just streamed it off of the NBC site. Not bad; I've seen FAR worse premieres. It's interesting that this is the latest show to hang some odd twist on a medical procedural. Previously there's been "A Gifted Man" and "The Mob Doctor," both of which didn't last a season. All three of these shows put a large amount of screen time on tackling some heavy-weight medical problem, and then they tart it up with seeing a dead woman, or working for the mob, or now having a second personality. To some extent, NBC is saving themselves a good bit of pain, as you know the oversensitive in the mental health profession would start hopping up and down on the network about their horrible portrayal of mental illness.
The better version of this was "My Own Worst Enemy," an NBC show of nearly five years ago that starred Christian Slater as a ruthless secret agent who's deep-cover was an entirely separate personality, where he was a family man with a wife and kids (including a pre-Twilight Taylor Lautner as one of his sons). The further twist was that the mechanism that shifted his personality went on the fritz, so sometimes the agent would come out with his family and sometimes the guileless family man would pop up in the midst of a mission! Pretty well handled, but it didn't get past 13 weeks. --DarkHawke
Your comment: There is a line in Episode 4 A New Hope, that hinted at something mysterious. Darth Vader says, "There'll be no one to stop us this time." This implies that someone stopped them before. Who stopped them? Does Darth Vader know who it was that stopped them before? Sounds like a whole movie could be written based on this line. I would venture that this story could very easily feature Obi Wan orchestrating some covert mission to confound the builders of the Death Star. His familiarity with the patrons of the cantina may hint that he has hired some of them to assist in the aforementioned mission. I think that an Obi Wan feature film is almost necessary. Darth Vader said so. --John Cook
Your comment: I love that one of the "related stories" is "Suspected asteroid didn't cause the dinosaur extinction after all"... --Feyd Darkholme
Your comment: I think three things hurt the Marvel-verse version of Dracula.
1. In the early 80s Vampires were falling out of fashion. Vampires go in and out of cycles. By the time 1985's Fright Night came out it was a parody of Dracula films of yester-year and also helped rekindle interest in the genre, leading into the likes of Lost Boys. It was also the year of Anne Rice's The Vampire Lestat, which had more of a cultural impact than her first novel, Interview with the vampire. But around 1981 until 1984 vampires were considered antiquated. And that's when Marvel's Dracula bowed out and sadly did not make a come back when vampires became trendy again later in the decade, and then again in the early to mid-90s and then again in 2006... If you ask me we could use a good new version of Dracula, an intelligent and cunning vampire that can be charming, sometimes sympathetic but also vicious and unafraid to kill.
2. In 1981 Japan made a rather horrible movie based on Marvel's Tomb of Dracula. They called it Dracula: Sovereign of the damned when it was released to English. You can find the whole thing on Youtube. It's pretty strange and terrible and it leaves out Blade all together. This could have been a stake in the heart of ol Drac's reputation.
3. And finally (This one is just my opinion) Marvel's Dracula was always a little flat, a little two dimensional and intellectually limited to cliche villainry or when they tried to make him sympathetic he would catch bouts of "The dumb." (Michael Morbius fell into this rut a few years ago). They need to re-invent him much the way Tom Hiddleston re-invented Loki. There is potential there for a great character but he needs to be handled with care. --Amanda Pike
Your comment: At an enormous 3 feet tall, you would think that Superman figure could do better than a lousy 7 points of articulation. --Steve Erhardt
Your comment: Oh yes, I love alternative history, it is one of my favorite Sci-Fi sub-genres, after Time Travel. If this is a success maybe they will tackle Turtledove. --Max Blaska
Your comment: Wedge and rogue squadron are my favorite parts of Star Wars. Wedge's periodic appearance throughout the star wars films, especially as he gets older in each one, is a reminder that as the galactic heroes we know and love move about the galaxy doing their thing, there is still a galactic civil war going on, being fought at the individual level by soldiers, fighter pilots and fleet captains who live, die, celebrate, grieve, success, fail, grow, lose and overcome. Operationally, there is more going on in that war than most people care to learn about, and i for one am more interested in that than the main characters. --Evan Lerman
Your comment: Casting Shatner in Star Wars would be a coup. --Anecdatum