May 8, 2023

Summer Strikes!

Summer Strikes!
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Tonight! Writers go on strike, what will this mean for your favorite content? Plus, Jim Lee gets another job title, Carrie Fisher gets a Star on the Walk of Fame, Star Trek hears it's fans, and much 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! Hollywood grinds to a halt as the writers strike, Jim Lee adds a new job title at DC, Carrie Fisher gets honored on the Walk of Fame, plus much more on this edition of Multiverse Tonight!


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 will be Zoe Saldana’s last with the MCU, the actress confirmed with the Hollywood Reporter that she’s done. Saying "I don't think this is the end for the Guardians. It is the end for me, for Gamora," In the same piece, Pom Klementieff said she doesn't see "imagine" herself playing Mantis in a film not directed by James Gunn. Dave Bautista has also been candid about his desire to depart the role of Drax, previously saying Vol. 3 would be his last time in the role. Bautista told GQ earlier this year. "I'm so grateful for Drax. I love him," Bautista told GQ earlier this year. "But there's a relief [that it's over]. It wasn't all pleasant. It was hard playing that role. The makeup process was beating me down. And I just don't know if I want Drax to be my legacy—it's a silly performance, and I want to do more dramatic stuff."

Marvel Comics What If…? Series will be going dark with What If…? Dark. a new line of one-shots featuring Spider-Man, Spider-Gwen, Venom, Loki, and the Thing of the Fantastic Four. With a lineup of rising stars and legendary creators, including Walter Simonson (Thor) and Gerry Conway (The Amazing Spider-Man), the all-seeing Uatu the Watcher will peer into the dark side of the multiverse as What If...? Dark revisits iconic Marvel stories to ask the question: What if the events took a darker turn?

According to a press release, the new line of What If...? comics will "explore alternate possibilities in unexpected ways" with "uncanny variants" of Marvel's most iconic heroes and villains. Dark will ask the questions: What if Asgard's God of Mischief was worthy of wielding the mighty Mjolnir? What if the night Gwen Stacy died was the night Gwen lived — and Spider-Man died? What if a symbiote bonded with Ben Grimm instead of Peter Parker? What if Marc Spector did not live to become the avatar of Khonshu?

What If...? Dark begins July 5th, with the first wave of new one-shots rolling out bi-weekly. See the official solicits below. 

Writer Nic Pizzolatto has joined Marvel Studios.

The creator of the acclaimed crime anthology,True Detective, is working onBlade, Marvel Studios’ vampire thrillerstarring Mahershala Ali.

The development marks aTrue Detectivereunion as Ali starred in season three of Pizzolatto’s HBO show.

Bladeis batting its wings towards a late May start of production in Atlanta with Yann Demange, who helmed the pilot of HBO’s boundary-pushing horror seriesLovecraft Country, in the director’s chair.

However, According to The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel has had to press pause on the Blade movie for the moment while the writers strike continues.  (more about that in a little bit), However they apparently intend to go full steam ahead on Deadpool 3 and Thunderbolts.

The Reporter reports that despite projects that are currently filming doing so on shaky ground, "Deadpool 3 is expected to go in front of cameras later this month" with Thunderbolts gearing up to shoot this June. Having shot the previous movies in Vancouver, Deadpool 3 will set up in London while Marvel's Thunderbolts will film in Atlanta, Georgia. THR goes on to say that "Thunderbolts is still on track," standing in contrast to the Blade movie which was paused entirely.


DC’s Publisher and Chief Creative Officer, Jim Lee, has been promoted to President of the comic book brand.

The famed artist, writer, and editor, will continue his primary duties as Publisher at DC Comics, heading all the creative teams, and he’ll also lead creative efforts to integrate DC’s publishing portfolio of characters and stories across all media in the Warner Bros. Discovery umbrella.

Lee will continue to report to Pam Lifford, President of Global Brands, Franchises, and

Experiences at Warner Bros. Discovery.

Lee joined DC in 1998 and has overseen many of the company’s highly successful publishing programs, including the recent record-breaking Rebirth line of comics and The New 52 initiative that relaunched the entire line of monthly superhero comic books. As part of the revamp, Lee designed and reimagined the new, more contemporary costumes for some of the DC universe’s most iconic characters, including Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.

Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea but moved with his family to St. Louis, Missouri when he was young. He holds a BA in Psychology from Princeton University and started his professional career at Marvel Comics, where his work on the X-Men continues to hold the all-time sales record for single-issue sales.

Amazon is going all-in on even more Batman animated content with a two-season order of Batman: Caped Crusader and more. After Warner Bros. Discovery made the decision to license out a ton of its original content, Batman: Caped Crusader moved from HBO Max to Prime Video. A March report claimed the move also brought a two-season order with it, but today, Prime Video has confirmed Batman: Caped Crusader is getting two seasons, as well as announcing the acquisition of the animated holiday film Merry Little Batman and its spinoff series, Bat-Family.

  Vernon Sanders, head of television, Amazon, and MGM Studios said."Batman: The Animated Series helped pioneer in the evolution of superhero storytelling and defined the Dark Knight for a generation," "Batman: Caped Crusader will no doubt continue that tradition, and, alongside Merry Little Batman and Bat-Family, we're thrilled to collaborate with Warner Bros. Animation to offer a variety of takes of the Batman mythos to our global Prime Video customers."

Sam Register, president, of Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network Studios.said "We are excited to partner with Amazon to begin an all-new animated chapter of Batman. From the cinematic noir storytelling of Batman: Caped Crusader to the comedic adventures of Merry Little Batman and Bat-Family, these new projects ensure that there will be an animated Batman story ready to excite fans of all ages," 

Merry Little Batman is a lighter take on The Dark Knight. It follows a younger version of Damian Wayne who has adventures alone in Wayne Manor on Christmas Eve. Naturally, he dubs himself Little Batman to protect his home of Gotham from various supervillains trying to ruin the holidays.

In Bat Family, the adventures of the young hero continue with his entire ensemble along for the ride. Animation handles both series and it's based on DC, Merry Little Batman. Regular Show's Mike Roth handles direction on a screenplay by Morgan Evans of Teen Titans Go! fame.

DC announced that next month's Power Girl Special #1 will snowball into two new standalone titles this September — a Power Girl series, and Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville. The already-announced Power Girl Special #1 will feature a main story from Leah Williams (X-Terminators, X-Factor) and artist Marguerite Sauvage (Action Comics), in which, which new powers and a new mission, Power Girl faces a challenge unlike any she's experienced before in this shocking one-shot rising from the events of Lazarus Planet and Action Comics! Additionally, it will feature a ten-page backup story for Fire & Ice, written by Joanne Starer (The Gimmick, Sirens of the City), and illustrated by artist Natacha Bustos (Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur, Miles Morales: Spider-Man) and colorist Tamra Bonvillain (Wonder Woman, Batman/Superman: World's Finest).

In the Power Girl Special backup story, Fire and Ice respond to a natural disaster in Baltimore, debating whether to involve Ice's old flame Guy Gardner. When Guy causes some major drama at the scene, Superman gets involved to stop the fight.

Power Girl's story will continue in her standalone series Power Girl, which launches on September 5th and is written by Williams and artist Eduardo Pansica (Suicide Squad, Supergirl). After the events of "Knight Terrors," a long-dormant Kryptonian threat has returned to take down Superman and his family. Who could possibly stop it? Well, according to Superman, it's Power Girl. You won't want to miss this road trip race against time as Paige reconnects with her roots and strives to save her newfound family.

Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville #1, will also be released on September 5th. In the story, Superman sent the former Justice Leaguers packing for Smallville to lie low following their extremely public and utterly disastrous mission in Baltimore, and in doing so doomed them to a fate worse than death: irrelevance. Ice finds herself drawn to the quiet life and dreams of planting roots. But Fire…well, Fire will do just about anything to get the hell outta dodge and back on the Super Hero circuit—including challenging the DC Universe's biggest villains to a knock-down, drag-out, live-streamed brawl in the streets of Smallville! The series is crafted by writer Starer, artist Bustos, colorist Bonvillain, and letterer Maher. Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville #1 hits shelves on September 5.

Star Wars

Carrie Fisher got her star on the Hollywood Hall of Fame on Star Wars Day May 4th. 

 Ana Martinez, Producer of the Hollywood Walk of Fame,said "Fans will be over the moon to know that their favorite movie princess, Carrie Fisher will be honored with her star on the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame! Carrie will join her 'Star Wars' co-stars and fellow Walk of Famers Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford on this historic sidewalk," adding: "I am happy to add, that her star is just a few feet away from the star of Mark Hamill and across the street from the star of her legendary mother Debbie Reynolds!"

Carrie Fisher died in the final days of 2016, days after she suffered a massive heart attack while on a flight from London to Los Angeles. Fans have never stopped celebrating her legacy as an entertainer, writer, activist, and artist – and this star will give them a prime location to do so in.

Carrie Fisher, the iconic actress and writer who starred as Princess Leia in the Star Wars films, received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday. The ceremony was attended by Fisher's family and friends, as well as fans from all over the world.

Fisher's daughter, Billie Lourd, gave a heartfelt speech in honor of her mother. "She was my best friend, my confidante, and my hero," Lourd said. "She was the most amazing woman I've ever known, and I'm so grateful that I got to share her with the world."

Fisher's co-stars from the Star Wars films, Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford, were also in attendance. Hamill said that Fisher was "the most talented person I've ever worked with." Ford said that Fisher was "a force of nature" and "a true original."

The ceremony was a fitting tribute to a beloved actress and writer who will be missed by all who knew her.

Star Wars: The Mandalorian star Paul Sun-Hyung Lee wants to hop the fence and join the Star Trek Universe! Lee made his declaration of intent on social media today, with a photo of himself dressed up in a Starfleet uniform and giving the Vulcan salute, while seemingly on set (or the edit bay) of The Mandalorian. The caption on the photo conveyed a short but pointed message: "Anything #Starfleet."

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee plays Carson Teva in the Star Wars Universe – a pilot from the Rebel Alliance who remained active after the Empire's fall, serving as a Ranger of the New Republic. Carson Teva often patrolled the Outer Rim territories, which is where he ran into Din Djarin (Mando), who was doing less-than-noble jobs at the time.

Star Trek

Star Trek’s parent company Paramount has heard the swells of support for a Star Trek Legacy series loud and clear according to Alex Kurtzman, who told Fox La quote Anything is possible," Kurtzman said to Fox LA. "We've heard the fans loud and clear. There's obviously more story to tell. So, we'll see."

A new multiverse-spanning Star Trek story is coming to Star Trek Online. Gearbox Publishing and Cryptic Studios on Tuesday announced that Star Trek Online: Unraveled, Star Trek: Online's next season, launches on May 9th for PC. The Star Trek Online update's new story content picks up after the conclusion of the Mirror Universe story arc, "Terran Gambit." Players' captains will begin a humanitarian scientific mission in conjunction with Captain Kuumaarke to stabilize the Na'kuhl sun. However, the mission is interrupted by the discovery of a transdimensional Reality Vortex that is disrupting space-time throughout the Multiverse. The discovery leads to conflict with the Tholians, who claim that constant use of time and dimensional travel has caused these vortices, with blame placed partly on the player captain.

Star Trek Online: Unraveled begins a new story arc that brings Kipleigh Brown back to Star Trek Online to voice Captain Kuumaarke. Through the story, players will uncover the mysteries behind the Reality Vortices and help to save the Multiverse.

New Episode – Wish Upon a Star: While on a scientific humanitarian mission with Captain Kuumaarke, your Captain will discover a group of Tholians interacting with a Reality Vortex. Their intentions and goals are unknown.

New Task Force Operation – Leviathan: A five-player space Task Force Operation simulating a Trench Run exercise across "The Other" in a "What if?" scenario if the "Terran Gambit" arc had ended differently. 

New Patrols: Two new Patrols: Jupiter Gauntlet and Bringers of War, based off of the "Terran Gambit" story arc. New Hard Mode is included as well for an extra challenge.

New Lockbox: Strange New World Infinity Lock Box with T6 Gorn Hunter Pilot Raider and Starfleet and Majalan items from Season 1 of Strange New World.

Star Trek fans will finally be able to stream Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 1's soundtrack. Lakeshore Records announced that the album collecting Jeff Russo's opening and closing themes and Nami Melumad's score for the series will release on Friday, April 28th. It's been an unusually long wait for Star Trek fans to get the first Star Trek: Strange New Worlds soundtrack as Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Season 1 wrapped last July. By comparison, Star Trek: Picard Season 3's soundtrack was released the day after its finale, and the soundtrack for Star Trek: Prodigy (also by Melumad) was released in parts as the season aired.


Doctor Who has added Jonathan Groff to its growing cast list.

The Frozen and Glee actor will join BBC and Disney+’s iconic sci-fi drama in a “mysterious guest” as filming continues in Wales.

The BBC declined to offer further detail but did say that Groff would “jump aboard the TARDIS,” suggesting his character could become an ally of the Doctor.

Composer Danny Elfman has expressed his excitement about returning to the world of Beetlejuice, the iconic 1988 film on which he partnered with longtime filmmaking collaborator Tim Burton.

“I love being a fly on the wall when he’s shooting. I’ll be doing that in a couple of months, as you may know, on another Tim Burton project,” said Elfman during the taping for an upcoming episode of Deadline’s The Process, alluding to the sequel. “That is very exciting, to return to that world.”

Details as to the sequel’s plot are under wraps, though it’s understood that Burton will return to direct from a script by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, the co-creators and co-showrunners of the smash hit Netflix series Wednesday, on which he is a director and EP, and for which Elfman has composed the score. Keaton and Ryder are expected to reprise their roles, with Jenna Ortega joining the cast as the daughter of Ryder’s Lydia. Brad Pitt’s Plan B is also aboard the project, which will shoot this summer in London.

Hollywood writers have closed their laptops and headed to the picket line.

Thousands of unionized scribes who say they are not paid fairly in the streaming era went on strike early Tuesday, bringing television production to a halt. It comes after high-stakes negotiations between a top guild and a trade association representing Hollywood’s marquee studios failed to avert the first walkout in more than 15 years.

The board of directors for the Writers Guild of America, which includes West Coast and East Coast branches, voted unanimously to call for a walkout and said writers face an “existential crisis.”

“The companies’ behavior has created a gig economy inside a union workforce, and their immovable stance in this negotiation has betrayed a commitment to further devaluing the profession of writing,” the union said in a statement.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers — a trade association that bargains on behalf of studios, television networks, and streaming platforms — said in a statement that its offer included “generous increases in compensation for writers.”

The main “sticking points,” according to the entertainment giants, include union proposals that would require companies to staff television shows with a certain number of writers for a specific period of time, “whether needed or not.”

The strike brings production on broadcast programs, streaming shows, and potentially some films to a virtual standstill, upending the entertainment industry. (Comcast, the corporation that owns NBCUniversal, is one of the entertainment companies represented by the trade group. Some editorial employees of NBCUniversal's news division are represented by the Writers Guild of America.)

In some cases, the impact will be clear immediately. Late-night talk shows are going dark this week, for example. In other cases, the producers of scripted drama and comedy series may be forced to cut their seasons short or delay filming altogether.

This weekend's new episode of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” which Pete Davidson was to host with Lil Uzi Vert as the musical guest, was canceled because of the strike, according to a news release. "SNL" will air a repeat Saturday and until further notice, it said.

Production on The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power season 2 won't stop because of the Writer's Guild of America Strike. A new report from Variety reveals that the Prime Video series will power through the final days of filming on the new episodes, and will do so without series showrunners J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, who are part of the guild. There are 19 days left on the schedule for the series, with the show's non-writing EPs and directors overseeing the remainder of the shoot.

A Babylon 5 animated movie is on the way. The news comes straight from Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski, who not only confirmed the movie's existence but that it is already complete. Further details will come next week from Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (with the latter's involvement suggesting the Babylon 5 movie will see a direct-to-home-media release rather than a theatrical one). This news, teased by Straczynski last week, is likely to buoy the spirits of the Babylon 5 faithful as development on the proposed Babylon 5 revival at The CW has been halted due to the WGA writers' strike.

"BABYLON 5 ANIMATED MOVIE coming from Warner Bros. Animation & WB Home Entertainment!," Straczynski tweeted, along with a photo of the movie's script, which he wrote. "Classic B5: raucous, heartfelt, nonstop, a ton of fun through time and space & a love letter to the fans. Movie title, release date and other details coming one week from today. And just to be clear, this brand new original animated movie is already finished and in the can. So it's 100% real, happening, and coming out very soon."

Pedro Pascal’s busy year just got busier.

The in-demand actor, who has been doing the press rounds for the newest season of The Mandalorian and HBO series The Last of Us, is now in talks to join Paramount’s Gladiator sequel.

The Paramount project is a follow-up to the 2001 best picture Oscar winner that followed Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe), a former general who is sold into slavery and forced to fight as a gladiator under the rule of Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), a patricidal self-appointed emperor of Rome.

THe MTV movie and tv awards were held this past Sunday, it was a much pared-down,  event as the writer's strike forced to do it differently Host Drew Barrymore bowed out to support the strike and the glitz and glamour wa cut do to a threat of a writers picket line.


Scream VI -- **WINNER!



The Last of Us -- **WINNER!



Tom Cruise — Top Gun: Maverick -- **WINNER!



Jenna Ortega — Wednesday -- **WINNER!



Pedro Pascal — The Last Of Us -- **WINNER!



Elizabeth Olsen — Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness -- **WINNER!


BEST KISS (presented by Cheetos®)  

Madison Bailey + Rudy Pankow – Outer Banks -- **WINNER!



Adam Sandler – Murder Mystery 2 -- **WINNER!



Joseph Quinn – Stranger Things -- **WINNER!



Courteney Cox (Gale Weathers) vs. Ghostface – Scream VI -- **WINNER!



Jennifer Coolidge – The White Lotus -- **WINNER!



Pedro Pascal + Bella Ramsey – The Last Of Us -- **WINNER!


Stranger Things -- **WINNER!



Taylor Swift – "Carolina" (Where The Crawdads Sing) -- **WINNER!



The Kardashians -- **WINNER!!



RuPaul’s Drag Race: All-Stars -- **WINNER!



Drew Barrymore – The Drew Barrymore Show -- **WINNER!



Ariana Madix, Katie Maloney, Scheana Shay, LaLa Kent – Vanderpump Rules -- **WINNER!



Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me -- **WINNER!

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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 2023. 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.