The Week in Geek: Is the new 'Popular' Oscar good for genre? Also: Picard is back!

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Aug 10, 2018, 5:30 PM EDT

There's a massive heat wave boiling New York City. And, likewise, the heat got turned up in the world of science fiction and fantasy, too. Just when you thought things were getting quiet, everything seems to have exploded.

We've got surprise returns, questionable exits, complicated castings and more. Here they are — the five biggest stories from... The Week in Geek!


Las Vegas played host to one of the biggest Star Trek conventions over the weekend. Sir Patrick Stewart was in attendance, but his name had not appeared in any of the con's promotion.

Why the secrecy? Well, you may have heard the rumors that CBS was in talks to create more Star Trek shows, including one focused on Stewart's iconic The Next Generation character, Captain Jean-Luc Picard.

Stewart addressed the rumors saying he had reservations about the idea and had planned to say no. But, lo and behold, Stewart's mind was changed and so, yes, Virginia, there really is a Picard TV series coming.

There are no scripts for the as-yet-untitled series, and we have no idea if any other cast members will return, but Stewart said it would take place about 20 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis and that Picard might be very different from the man we fans remember.

The other big news is that Kirsten Beyer, a writer for Star Trek: Discovery, will be involved in this Picard-focused series. As has been pointed out, Beyer, in addition to her recent work, is also the writer of 10 Star Trek: Voyager novels. Her involvement on this latest project is not unlike the involvement of Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, and all the other huge Doctor Who fans when that classic BBC series returned to television in 2005.

In other words: Jean-Luc is in good hands.



It's hard to believe, but it's still only been a few weeks since Disney fired James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. And a big part of why time feels so weird is that those weeks have been filled with fan petitions, joint-signed statements from the cast, and no end of arguing on social media.

This week, though, Dave Bautista insinuated that, if Gunn's script was not used, he might risk walking away from the project despite his contractual obligations. And, interestingly, as of now there are rumors that, despite Gunn's dismissal, his script may remain in his absence. There's even talk that Marvel execs are trying to convince Disney to take Gunn back.

Will that be enough to calm people's frustrations? Will the cast stick around? Who knows! But this story is not going away anytime soon.

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Warner Bros. and DC are continuing to try to figure out what exactly it is they're doing with their film franchises. With Justice League underperforming and Zack Snyder basically out of the picture, the only official, bonafide hit the DCEU has is Wonder Woman.

And with Birds of Prey being discussed and a Batgirl film in the works, it's beginning to look like, presidential politics aside, the future really is female.

This week it was announced that Supergirl will also be getting her own DCEU movie. There are no producers, there are no stars. But it's been over three decades since the last time there was a Supergirl movie, so this is big news. And, yes, the news is bigger still since we now have multiple women-led projects from DC on the horizon.


We had heard that the next CW crossover event would involve the appearence of Kate Kane, aka Batwoman. The CW (and its predecessors, The WB and UPN) have never been able to portray Batman or Bruce Wayne in a live-action setting. Arguably, that's the reason we have an Arrowverse in the first place.

But the news isn't about Batwoman existing — the news is she has been cast. Yes, former cast member of Orange Is the New Black and current star of The Meg Ruby Rose is set to play Batwoman. She, as a person, has been pretty open about her own gender fluidity and says that playing Kate Kane means she will get to "be the person that [she] needed when [she was] younger."

There has been some talk over who else auditioned for the role and whether Rose has the chops to take on Batwoman, but, regardless, this is further confirmation that The CW is committed to bringing one of DC's most important queer characters to the small screen.


It's been just shy of a decade since The Academy Awards allowed up to 10 nominees in the Best Picture category. That was the last major change to the award ceremony.

But beginning in 2020, not only will the awards be starting earlier, with a three-hour running time, there's also a brand-new award: Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film.

Now, what does that mean? We don't know. But what it probably means is that the Academy has finally realized that there are a lot of films, frequently science fiction and fantasy ones, that get snubbed by the Oscars. These are films that do amazingly well with the audience but don't necessarily get respect among the Academy.

So if you thought Black Panther deserved something akin to a Best Picture award, this is probably the closest you're going to get. Is that sufficient? Is that fair? Will it really make much of a difference to people who make and watch movies? Who knows! It won't happen until 2020. We don't even know what Marvel movies are coming out in 2020! For now some people like the idea, some people hate it, but everyone's talking about it.

And that's it. Your Week in Geek is over, your Weekend in Geek may begin. Please celebrate your geekiness responsibly.