Nov. 8, 2022

DC's New Wonder Men

DC's New Wonder Men

Tonight! DC Movies have new chiefs, Marvel has a new spinoff, Star Trek has a new channel and we remember Jules Bass and Leslie Jordan, all that, and more on this edition of Multiverse Tonight!

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 Multiverse Tonight is a production of Half-Baked Genre Productions. Copyright 2022  All Rights Reserved


Tonight! DC Movies have new chiefs, Marvel has a new spinoff, Star Trek has a new channel and we remember Jules Bass and Leslie Jordan, all that, and more on this edition of Multiverse Tonight!

Before I start today’s show, I’d like to take a moment to send my condolences to Joey Mills and the Pop Goes The Culture crew. This past week they lost a member of their crew Kenny Wright. I’ve met Kenny a few times at Planet Comicon, he was always a good guy and it was a pleasure knowing him. My wife and I send our deepest sympathies to Kenny’s friends and family. I’ll include a link to their most recent episode of Pop Goes the Culture where they memorialize Kenny in the show notes.


James Gunn and Peter Safran have been tapped as co-chairmen and co-CEOs of DC Studios, a newly created production entity overseeing DC properties for Warner Bros. Discovery.

The two released a statement saying quote “We’re honored to be the stewards of these DC characters we’ve loved since we were children,” said Gunn and Safran. “We look forward to collaborating with the most talented writers, directors, and actors in the world to create an integrated, multilayered universe that still allows for the individual expression of the artists involved. Our commitment to Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Harley Quinn, and the rest of the DC stable of characters is only equaled by our commitment to the wonder of human possibility these characters represent. We’re excited to invigorate the theatrical experience around the world as we tell some of the biggest, most beautiful, and grandest stories ever told. We’re especially enthusiastic about doing all of this with Mike, Pam, Casey, Channing, and the whole Warner Bros. Discovery team, and are grateful to David Zaslav, whose bold vision for the future of the franchise we share and allows for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Most of all, we can’t wait to bring you all into the story of the DCU.”

Gunn and Safran will now oversee film, TV, and animation at DC Studios. They will assume their new roles on Nov. 1. They will report to Warner Bros. Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav and will work closely with Mike De Luca and Pam Abdy, co-chairpersons and CEOs of Warner Bros. Film Group. Both are also expected to continue to work on other projects outside of DC.

Cristin Milioti is joining Colin Farrell in “The Batman” spinoff series centered on The Penguin at HBO Max, Variety has learned.

Exact plot details for the series, which is currently titled “The Penguin,” are under wraps. It is believed to take place in the immediate aftermath of the events of “The Batman.” Farrell will reprise the role of the infamous Batman villain, whom he played in the film.

Milioti will star as Sofia Falcone, the daughter of Gotham mob boss Carmine Falcone. John Turturro played Carmine in “The Batman,” with The Penguin serving as his right-hand man.

DC’s Stargirl is coming to an end. The series will conclude with its third season, which is currently airing on The CW.

New episodes will continue to air on Wednesdays through December 7.

The series, created by Geoff Johns, stars Brec Bassinger as high school student Courtney Whitmore, the character that started Johns’ career as a comic book writer when he created her in 1999, inspired by his sister who was killed in a 1996 plane crash.

Dead Boy Detectives, the HBO MAx adaptation of the Vertigo comic of the same name, has added two new cast members. According to Variety, Caitlin Reilly (Hacks, Loot) and Max Jenkins (Dead to Me, The Mysteries of Laura) have been cast in the recurring roles of Litty and Kingham respectively. The characters are described as two tiny foul-mouthed dandelion sprites who are an annoyance to the Dead Boys.


Marvel Studios has its Wonder Man.

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is set to join the Disney+ series “Wonder Man” as Simon Williams, who transforms into the titular superhero. It will be Abdul-Mateen’s third major comic book character, after playing the villain Black Manta in 2018’s “Aquaman” and Dr. Manhattan in HBO’s 2019 series “Watchmen,” for which he won an Emmy. He’s already set to reprise Black Manta in “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” currently scheduled for Christmas 2023.

Filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton, who directed Marvel’s 2021 feature “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” is developing “Wonder Man” with head writer Andrew Guest (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Community”), as part of Cretton’s overall deal with Marvel Studios and Onyx Collective. Cretton may direct as well, though he’s got a crowded plate: He’s already set to direct 2025’s “Avengers: The Kang Dynasty” and he’s expected to helm the expected (though unannounced) “Shang-Chi” sequel.

A new WandaVison spinoff is in the works, this time following Vision. Titled “Vision Quest”, not much is known about the series. It will most likely follow Vision trying to regain his pre-death memories. Paul Bettany is returning in the role of Vision, with “WandaVision” head writer and executive producer Jac Schaefer overseeing the writers’ room.

Speaking of WandaVision spinoffs, Agatha: Coven of Chaos has cast Heartstopper’s Joe Locke in an unknown role. Locke joins Kathryn Hahn in the Marvel Studios series, in which Hahn will reprise the role of Agatha Harkness, whom she played in “WandaVision.” Emma Caulfield Ford is also set to reprise the role of Dottie from “WandaVision” in the new series.

The “WandaVision” spinoff “Agatha: Coven of Chaos” is continuing to build out its cast with the addition of both Ali Ahn and Maria Dizzia, Variety has confirmed with sources.

Star Trek

Pluto TV is expanding its Star Trek offerings with the More Star Trek channel which will feature The original series and Deep Space Nine. The new CBS content will be rolling onto the streaming service over November and December. It is not known if or when Pluto TV will expand to offer Star Trek: Voyager or Star Trek: Enterprise. Currently, all of the Star Trek content on Pluto is available live and not part of their more limited on-demand offerings.

Star Trek: Prodigy has been honored with a major nomination by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Prodigy has been nominated for Outstanding Animated Series for the first ever Children’s & Family Emmy Awards. The Trek series aimed at younger audiences is going up against City of Ghosts, The Cuphead Show!, The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder, and A Tale Dark & Grimm. The inaugural Children’s & Family Emmy Awards will be presented on Saturday, December 10 (Creative Arts), and Sunday, December 11 at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles.

This week the Texas-headquartered space burial company Celestis announced that their upcoming Enterprise Flight would be adding more esteemed "Star Trek" franchise names to their memorial rocket mission.

Representing a pair of respected behind-the-scenes luminaries, the flight now includes Greg Jein, a veteran model maker and VFX guru who created many models seen in the "Star Trek" series, and "Star Trek" pioneer and associated producer/director Robert H. Justman, the person recognized as Gene Rodenberry's "right-hand man" who helped land Sir Patrick Stewart as Jean Luc Picard for "Star Trek: The Next Generation." Back in August, they announced that the cremated remains of the late Nichelle Nichols, known for her portrayal of "Star Trek's" Lieutenant Nyota Uhura, would be aboard Celestis' first-ever deep space voyage. Then in September, Celestis added another notable Enterprise crewman to the epic journey with the inclusion of DNA samples for DeForest Kelly, the man who so perfectly played Dr. Bones' McCoy for three decades on TV and on the big screen.

Star Wars

Not much in Star Wars news this time, but the Star Wars Instagram did post a fun fact. Quote "The Jawaese language uses scent as well as spoken words,"  "The Jawas' stench helps them understand one another but also makes Jawaese impossible for others to learn."

It has also been revealed that Andor has started filming its second season. According to Collider, Andor will begin filming its next batch of episodes the Monday before Thanksgiving, which is November 21st. They also revealed that season two will visit Yavin, if you remember the original Star Wars, Yavin 4 was the moon home of the Rebel Alliances base.


Doctor Who will stream exclusively on Disney Plus outside of the UK and Ireland. This new arrangement will start in late 2023 with the specials featuring the now Fourteenth Doctor David Tennant before the next series starts with the fifteenth Doctor played by Ncuti Gatwa. The partnership will officially start when the show returns next year. New episodes will drop on Disney Plus when they premiere on BBC. For anyone wishing to catch up with the show, though, it appears that for now, the old episodes will continue to stream on HBO Max,

Amazon has ordered a series based on the 2016 Seth Rogan movie Sausage Party. The animated show is titled “Sausage Party: Foodtopia.” Plot details are being kept under wraps, so it is unknown if it will be a prequel or sequel to the 2016 film. Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Michael Cera, David Krumholtz, and Edward Norton — all of whom lent their voices to the film — will return for the series. Additionally, Will Forte, Sam Richardson, Natasha Rothwell, and Yassir Lester will also star in the series. It is currently in production.

Henry Cavill is leaving The Witcher, which has been renewed for a fourth season at Netflix. But one handsome face has been exchanged for another Liam Hemsworth will be taking over the lead role of Geralt of Rivia. Cavill in a statement said quote “My journey as Geralt of Rivia has been filled with both monsters and adventures, and alas, I will be laying down my medallion and my swords for Season 4,” “In my stead, the fantastic Mr. Liam Hemsworth will be taking up the mantle of the White Wolf. As with the greatest of literary characters, I pass the torch with reverence for the time spent embodying Geralt and enthusiasm to see Liam’s take on this most fascinating and nuanced of men. Liam, good sir, this character has such a wonderful depth to him, enjoy diving in and seeing what you can find.”

Hemsworth is best known for his role as Gale Hawthorne in “The Hunger Games” series, starring opposite Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson. More recently, he has starred with Christoph Waltz in the Roku Channel’s “Most Dangerous Game” series, which was renewed for a second season in August 2021.

Peacock has given a straight-to-series order to a “Friday the 13th” prequel currently titled “Crystal Lake,” 

Exact plot details are being kept under wraps, although it is described as an “expanded prequel.” The show will be written by Bryan Fuller, who is also the showrunner and an executive producer. Victor Miller, who penned the original film in the franchise, will also executive produce along with Marc Toberoff, Rob Barsamian, and A24. A24 will also serve as the studio behind the series.

Black Panthers Winston Duke will be joining Ryan Gosling on Universal's big screen version of the 80’s tv show The Fall Guy. Bullet Train director David Leitch is helming the action extravaganza, which already has Emily Blunt, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Stephanie Hsu rolling in the passenger seat. Duke will play the best friend of the stuntman. Taylor-Johnson is playing the movie star while Hsu is his assistant. Blunt is cast as a prosthetic makeup artist that has a romantic past with the stuntman.

In a switch from the original 1980s show that starred Lee Majors, the story doesn’t focus on a stuntman with a side hustle as a bounty hunter. Instead, the script by Drew Pearce focuses on a battered and past-his-prime stuntman (Gosling) who finds himself  working back in a movie with the star for whom he doubled long ago and who replaced him. The wrinkle, however, is that the star has gone missing. Production began this week in Australia.

HBO has unexpectedly canceled Westworld after its recent fourth season. The series was acclaimed and racked up 54 Emmy nominations including a supporting actress win for Thandiwe Newton.

In other Warner Bros Discovery news, CEO David Zaslav, during the quarterly earnings call called out plans for adaptations of DC Comics characters (spotlighting the newly formed DC Studios with James Gunn and Peter Safran) while also teasing that they'd like to get a new Harry Potter movie going by working with author JK Rowling. Another franchise that Zaslav called out however is The Lord of the Rings, back in the public eye in a big way thanks to Amazon Prime Video's new series. According to Zaslav, WBD still has film rights to the Tolkien stories. He said quote "We're going to have a real focus on franchises," the CEO said. "We haven't had a Superman movie in 13 years. We haven't done a Harry Potter movie in 15 years. The DC movies and Harry Potter movies provided a lot of the profits of Warner Brothers Motion Pictures over the last 25 years. So focus on the franchise. One of the big advantages that we have, House of the Dragon is an example of that. Game of Thrones, taking advantage of Sex in the City, Lord of the Rings, we still have the right to do Lord of the Rings movies. What are the movies that have brands that are understood and loved everywhere in the world." "We have a lot of (franchises people leave the house for) Batman, Superman, Aquaman. If we can do something with JK on Harry Potter going forward, Lord of the Rings, what are we doing with Game of Thrones? What are we doing with a lot of the big franchises that we have? We're focused on franchises." unquote IN other words, it sounds like he wants to milk the IP they already have rather than invest in new things. 

Jules Bass, half of the team of Rankin Bass has passed away. Jules, the animator, producer, director, and composer whose work included stop-motion holiday television specials like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty the Snowman” and “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town,” died on October 25th at an assisted living facility in Rye, New York, publicist Jennifer Fisherman-Ruff confirmed to Variety. Bass was known for his longstanding creative partnership with director Arthur Rankin Jr., who died in 2014 at 89. The two pushed many productions through their banner Rankin/Bass Productions, which was known for its laborious cel-animated, stop-motion films that took long periods of time to turn into full-length features. Bass and Rankin’s first production was a syndicated television series titled “The New Adventures of Pinocchio,” which premiered in 1960. They notched an Emmy nomination for outstanding children’s special for their work on “The Little Drummer Boy Book II” in 1977 and one year later received a Peabody for their animated version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit.” In 1980, they took on another Tolkien adaptation with “The Return of the King.”

The pair co-directed a film in 1982 titled “The Last Unicorn,” which featured voice roles from talent including Jeff Bridges, Mia Farrow, Angela Lansbury, Alan Arkin, and Robert Klein.

In addition to numerous holiday specials, they served as producers of series including “Thundercats” and “The Jackson 5ive” animated series. Bass also produced and directed the 1967cult favorite “Mad Monster Party?” starring Boris Karloff. Jules Bass was 87.

Actor Michael Kopa, who appeared in shows like The X Files, Highlander, Smallville and movies like Fantastic Four and Rise of the Planet of The Apes (2011) has died from complications from a brain tumor on October 23rd., Kopsa was a staple of genre TV series shot in Vancouver or Toronto, including Fringe, The Net, Dead Zone, and The Sentinel. He also played General Kerrigan on Stargate SG-1 after moving to Vancouver in 1994. He also had a thriving career as a voiceover artist, playing Char Aznable in the English dubbing of Mobile Suit Gundam and Col. Volcott O. Huey in the Galaxy Angel anime series.

He also did English-language voice dubbing or voiceovers for Ninjago, Alien Racers, and Princess Castle and for a host of video games. Michael Kopsa was 66 years old.

Leslie Jordan passed away. Jordan was driving in Hollywood Monday morning and crashed into the side of a building at Cahuenga Blvd. and Romaine St. It was suspected he suffered some sort of medical emergency. Jordan was a veteran actor whose credits also included “The Help,” “The Cool Kids” and “Call Me Kat,” which is currently airing its third season on Fox. In 2006, he won the Emmy Award for guest actor in a comedy series for his work on “Will & Grace,” on which he played Karen’s sexually ambiguous, socialite frenemy Beverly Leslie.

Born and raised in Tennessee, Jordan grew up Southern Baptist. He moved to Los Angeles in 1982 and began racking up credits just a few years later.  Starting in his 20s, he struggled with drug and alcohol abuse. In 2010, Jordan announced he had been sober for 13 years. Jordan began his career in 1986, appearing as Malone in the adventure series The Fall Guy. He quickly became recognizable in the industry for his diminutive size and Southern drawl

He appeared on television shows including “Ally McBeal,” “Ugly Betty,” “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman,” “Hidden Palms,” “Star Trek: Voyager,” “Caroline in the City,” “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse,” “Reba,” “Boston Public,” “Nash Bridges” and “Boston Legal,” as well as films like “Ski Patrol,” “Roadside Rodeo,” “Love Ranch,” “Southern Baptist Sissies” and “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.”

Jordan played three different characters on three different seasons of Ryan Murphy’s “American Horror Story,” recurring in the “Coven,” “Roanoke” and “1984” installments. Jordan released a gospel music album titled “Company’s Comin'” in 2021 and, later that year, appeared as a guest panelist on “The Masked Singer,” where he performed the gospel standard “This Little Light of Mine.”

Leslie Jordan was 67 years old.

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Thanks for watching this edition of Multiverse Tonight. We will be back in two weeks with more sci-fi and comic book news. Now please exit the universe in an orderly fashion. Good Night!  


Multiverse Tonight is a production of Half-Baked Genre Productions. Copyright 2022. All Rights Reserved.

This podcast is part of the Pop Goes The Culture podcast network. Find out about our other podcasts at Pop Goes The Culture dot com.