Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
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Credit: CBS Films

The Week in Geek: Serkis for Venom, Conroy is Batman, and Scary Stories for you!

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Aug 9, 2019

It's the end of the first full week of August. It's hard to believe, but summer is almost over already. If you're feeling blue about the time of beaches and municipal pools coming to an end so quickly, why not slow things down by revisiting the week that was.

That's right. It's time for another round-up. Here they are, kids: The five biggest stories from... The Week in Geek!

SCARY STORIES GET TOLD IN THE DARK

The Guillermo del Toro-produced adaptation of the anthology children's book series Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is now in theaters. There are killer scarecrows, horrible spider bites, and, of course, delicious zombie toes involved. It's an interesting bookend to the other big teenaged film of the week, Dora and the Lost City of Gold.

This iteration of Scary Stories is set in 1968, with the backdrop of a Nixon election and the looming shadow of Vietnam. So, you know... really easy subjects! It's interesting to see these elements as an influence on the stories of Alvin Schwartz, himself a product of another tumultuous time in American history: the Great Depression. So while many of the stories within Scary Stories are reinventions of old folk tales, it makes sense that the movie would bake in social anxieties.

And, of course, it's interesting to see a new take on the visuals. Stephen Gammell's illustrations were so essential to Scary Stories that people revolted when they were temporarily removed. It'll be interesting to see how people react to this new interpretation.

batman animated

Credit: Warner Bros.

KEVIN CONROY IN THE FLESH

In the year of our lord 2019, it seems impossible for a piece of nerd news to drop with near-universal acclaim. Name a great thing people have waited decades for and we'll show you multiple YouTube videos with millions of views all about why that thing sucks even though it hasn't even been released yet.

But in the often harsh landscape of online fandom, you may still find an oasis or two.

The CW made some major announcements at TCA 2019 this week. One of them stood out in particular: In the upcoming crossover/adaptation "Crisis on Infinite Earths," there will be an appearance by none other than Bruce Wayne. This is a very big deal for The CW since, quite famously, it's never been able to use DC's most popular character before. And it's tried. Way back in the Smallville days (back when The CW was still The WB), there was even a broody billionaire character who was going to be Bruce Wayne, but then the powers that be said no. That's why the network has seen not one, but two different takes on Oliver Queen, aka the Green Arrow. Ollie was as close to Batman as anyone could get.

But with Batwoman making her way to The CW, it felt like there was a certain inevitability to a Bruce Wayne sighting. And not only are we getting one, but the part of this "old man" Bruce Wayne will be played by none other than Batman: The Animated Series legend Kevin Conroy.

Yes, the longest-serving Batman actor in history by far is finally, after decades of lending his voice to the role, playing Bruce Wayne in the live-action flesh. And if that doesn't fill your heart with joy, you are either Mr. Freeze or dead.

 

EVENT HORIZON HEADED TO AMAZON FOR A NEW SERIES

It's nice to be the de facto barometer for what counts as a "biggest story of the week" for a website because you can go with your gut. And Event Horizon, if nothing else, has a lot of guts. And viscera. Splattered. All over the floor. And the ceiling. And the walls. And your face.

Yes, the 1997 sci-fi horror film Event Horizon may have been forgotten by some, but news of its resurrection got shared around quite a bit more than you might think. And for good reason. It's got a good pedigree.

Event Horizon stars stone-cold legends like Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Jason Isaacs, and Sean Pertwee. It's got a fantastic premise: A spaceship with the ability to travel through a black hole disappears only to reappear as a ghost ship that's been to hell. The grizzly visuals are famous and the lost footage of the even more grizzly visuals is the stuff of legend. Over two decades later, many horror fans still hold out hope that the lost footage will somehow be recovered.

But, in the meantime, we're getting a new shot at the little ship that could (got to hell), and it's coming in the form of a streaming series through Amazon. That's a lengthier means to explore a haunted ship in space, to explore the haunted lives of the crew who investigate that ship, and to plumb the depths of our own worst fears. Sounds like fun!

 

ANDY SERKIS GIVES TWO TONGUES UP TO VENOM SEQUEL

Has there been a more surprise hit than the 2018 Spider-Man-less anti-hero movie Venom? After famously dropping its first trailer without so much as a glimpse of, you know, Venom, people were quick to write the Sony film off.

But then Venom was kind of great? Whether it was a stroke of genius or just dumb luck, the blending of superhero movie, buddy comedy and, uh... 50 Shades of Grey REALLY paid off! That might not sound great on paper, but, somehow, the end product is so original and so breathtakingly different from anything else out there that people really embraced Venom; to the box office tune of $856 million worldwide, even.

A sequel was a guarantee, but, with previous Venom director Ruben Fleischer working on the sequel to Zombieland, there was an empty director's chair looming. This week we found out who would be filling that seat: Andy Serkis.

That's right. The man behind Ceaser, Gollum, Ulysses Klaue, King Kong, Snoke, and just about every mocap character you can imagine will now be taking the reigns on Eddie Brock. Maybe he'll sneak into the Venom sequel as a mo-capped speck of dust in the wind or... something. Since production hasn't begun, we don't know.

What we do know however that Michelle Williams will reprise her role as Anne Weying. And, perhaps even more significantly, writer Kelly Marcel will be getting some help from Venom himself, Tom Hardy. Apparently Hardy has some very strong opinions on where Eddie's story should go next, especially since he's signed on for a three-picture deal.

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pbs.org

TONI MORRISON PASSES AWAY

We've been experiencing a lot of loss these past few weeks, but it's hard to even begin to put into words the seismic loss the world feels as we mourn the passing of novelist, essayist, Pulitzer Prize winner, teacher, and cultural icon Toni Morrison.

It seems almost unfathomable that the writer of The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, and, of course, Beloved is no longer here, but Morrison passed on August 5, 2019, after complications from pneumonia. She leaves behind a legacy unparalleled. She was and will remain one of the most important authors in human history long after we are all gone. I can't recommend enough this article by Stephanie Williams discussing Beloved and what it is to reread Morrison's most famous work not only after her death but while also being a black woman in America with a young child to care for.

And that's it. Your Week in Geek is over. Let us know your thoughts on these stories and tell us what the biggest stories were from your week.

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