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On a day rife with fake announcements and Photoshoppery, this April Fool’s Day prank is real (or, rather, “real”): Wolverhampton Station, in England’s West Midlands, has been renamed Wolverine Station, if only for today. It’s a stunt orchestrated by Virgin Trains and Fox to promote X-Men: Days of Future Past.
London24 explains that the station’s 65 signs underwent the change, which was even reflected in the departure board at London’s Euston Station. Other signs (below) warned travelers about the potential threat posed by mutants. (Local radio station BBC WM even got in on the action, tweeting its opposition with a poster that reads “Mutant And Proud.”)
Sunday’s episode of The Simpsons, “Married to the Blob,” not only spotlights a blossoming relationship between Comic Book Guy and a manga creator (which naturally threatens to be ruined by Homer), but also features guest appearances by Stan Lee and Harlan Ellison.
The Hollywood Reporter has debuted a featurette that goes behind the scenes with the two legends; it’s Lee’s second visit to Springfield, but for Ellison, it’s a new experience.
“I was here 12 years ago,” explains Lee, who plays himself as a Watcher-type character, “and I think I impressed them so that after 12 years they figured they had to have me back.”
Lee previously appeared in the 13th-season episode “I Am Furious (Yellow).” The Simpsons airs Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.
Although the tribute didn’t go exactly as planned, The Simpsons last night bid a touchingly appropriate farewell to actress Marcia Wallace, and her character Edna Krabappel, with a somber chalkboard gag in which a sad-eyed Bart writes “We’ll really miss you Mrs. K.”
Fox originally announced it would send off Wallace, who passed away Oct. 25 at age 70, with a 7:30 showing of “Bart the Lover,” the 1992 episode for which the actress received an Emmy Award. However, “technical issues” led to its last-minute replacement by “The Ned-Liest Catch,” the Season 22 finale in which Edna begins dating Ned Flanders.
The chalkboard bit was added to the opening of the new episode that followed, “4 Regrettings and a Funeral. Showrunner Al Jean announced the day after Wallace’s death that The Simpsons will “retire” Edna Krabappel.
The Simpsons will pay tribute Sunday to Marcia Wallace, who for the past 23 years was the voice of Bart’s teacher Edna Krabappel. The actress passed away Oct. 25 at age 70.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Fox will first replace a repeat of American Dad at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT with the 1992 Simpsons episode “Bart the Lover,” for which Wallace received an Emmy Award.
Fox has debuted Guillermo del Toro’s epic couch gag for The Simpsons‘ “Treehouse of Horror XXIV,” which features homages to some of the filmmaker’s own works – Hellboy, Blade and Pan’s Labyrinth among them — and horror classics ranging from The Birds and The Shining to The Phantom of the Opera and The Car. There are nods to such influential figures as H.P. Lovecraft, Ray Harryhausen, Edgar Allan Poe and Ray Bradbury, too. Heck, Hypnotoad from Futurama even gets a cameo.
Del Toro said in paying tribute to The Simpsons and his inspirations, he drew upon the MAD Magazine work of Mort Drucker, Will Elder and Harvey Kurtzman.
“They would try to cram so many references in,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “You as a kid could spend an afternoon on your bed with your magnifying glass going through a frame of Mad magazine and finding all these references to this and that.”
“Treehouse of Horror XXIV” airs Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.
Given the project’s title, it’s certainly understandable that fans might draw a connection between the newly announced Fox drama Gotham and the former DC Comics police procedural Gotham Central. However, as far as Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka know, one has nothing to do with the other.
I don’t know anything about that Gotham show, and I have no idea if it’s anything to do with Gotham Central in any way. I’m guessing not,” Brubaker, who co-wrote the comic with Rucka, said on Twitter shortly after the announcement. “[...] I only point this out because people keep congratulating me and as far as I can tell, this show has nothing to do with Gotham Central. And it’s weird to be congratulated mistakenly.”
But even if the show did have a connection to Gotham Central, Rucka wrote on his blog, “that wouldn’t matter, because DC owns the rights and the characters, as they should. This was work-for-hire, something all of us knew at the start.”
Gotham, which has been given a series commitment by Fox, is said to explore the origins of Jim Gordon and some of the city’s villains. Developed by Bruno Heller (Rome, The Mentalist), it centers on Gordon as a detective with the Gotham City Police Department, before he ever met Batman.
“Even when I was writing the best version [of the movie] I could with more of the darkness and nuance and the feel of Alan Moore’s comic, I remember saying a summer movie is not — I wanted to write that film because it was an opportunity for me, but this is not the way these characters should be portrayed. The perfect version of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen would have been a British BBC series with great character actors, where it doesn’t rely on them being handsome or a box office draw and special effects, along the lines of Torchwood and Doctor Who. With League, it isn’t so much the epic effects, it’s the characters. The idea that they’ve come around and are trying to do a TV show doesn’t surprise me. I think it’s a smart move. We’ll see how good it is.”
Continuing its avalanche of pre-convention announcements, Dynamite Entertainment this morning revealed it has partnered with 20th Century Fox Consumer Products to develop a comic based on the animated comedy Bob’s Burgers.
Debuting in January 2011 as part of Fox’s Sunday night animation block, Bob’s Burgers centers on the Belcher family — Bob, his wife Linda and their children Tina, Gene and Louise — who run a hamburger restaurant. Although overshadowed on the schedule by The Simpsons and Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers may be one of the most consistently funny, and quirky, shows on television (animated or otherwise). The fourth season premieres in September.
Although Red Robin’s television spots for its Wolverine-themed burgers have been getting a lot of play, the winner of the award for best tie-in has to go to the ESPYs and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.
In the commercial for ESPN’s Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award, the enthusiastic nominee reads a copy of Chris Claremont and Frank Miller’s Wolverine #1 as his teammate Matt Kalil explains, “You can shoot him, stab him, set him on fire — Wolverine takes a beating and keeps coming back.” Naturally, that leaves an opening for Peterson to bring up his nomination for best comeback … and to don a football helmet, festooned with the mutant’s trademark hair and sideburns. There’s also a funny cameo by The Wolverine star Hugh Jackman.
The ESPYs ceremony airs Thursday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ESPN. The Wolverine premieres July 26.
“When [DC Comics] did the recent Watchmen prequel comics I said all of sorts of deeply offensive things about the modern entertainment industry clearly having no ideas of its own and having to go through dust bins and spittoons in the dead of night to recycle things. … The announcement that there is a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen television series hasn’t caused me to drastically alter my opinions. Now it seems they are recycling things that have already proven not to work.”
– Alan Moore, talking with Entertainment Weekly about last week’s announced that Fox has ordered a television pilot based on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
“We’re brewing something up that I think the fans of Ridley Scott’s amazing film will really like,” Dark Horse President Mike Richardson told The Hollywood Reporter. An official announcement is promised soon, presumably at Comic-Con International in San Diego.
Bleeding Cool reported earlier this week that the publisher would be introducing characters and concepts from Prometheus into its licensed Aliens comics.
Written by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof, the Fox film centers on the crew of a spaceship that follows a star map discovered among the artifacts of several ancient civilizations on Earth. Seeking the origins of humanity on a distant planet, they instead uncover a threat that could bring about the extinction of the entire race. Fox confirmed in August that a sequel to Prometheus is in development.
Dark Horse began publishing Aliens comics in 1988, two years after the release of James Cameron’s film of the same name. While some series have direct ties to the big-screen franchise, using the same characters and building upon the storylines, others are merely set within the same universe. Over the years, the comics have crossed over with other characters, most notably Predator, The Terminator, Batman, Superman, Judge Dredd and WildC.A.T.s.
As we’re on an unintentional licensing and merchandising spree, it seems only fitting to cap off the day with perhaps one of the stranger, but certainly most delicious, tie-ins: Red Robin’s Wolverine-themed hamburgers.
Not that Red Robin, although that would be wonderfully bizarre. No, this is the Colorado-based restaurant chain whose name is usually followed by “Yummmmm!“ (seriously, you can’t think “Red Robin” without hearing that in your head). The company has partnered with 20th Century Fox’s The Wolverine to create two gourmet burgers inspired by the film.
As part of its upfront presentations Monday in New York City, Fox screened a new trailer for Axe Cop, an adaptation of the hit webcomic by brothers Malachai Nicolle and Ethan Nicolle premiering July 27 as part of the network’s new late-night animated programming block.
If you’ve read the source material, or watched any of the previous teasers, you pretty much know what you’re in for with Axe Cop, although this trailer features Parks and Recreation‘s Nick Offerman offering some wisdom for the ages: “I want you to listen very carefully: There is something even better than friends — killing the guy who killed your friends.”
Part of Animation Domination High-Def, Axe Cop also features the voice talents of Megan Mullally, Patton Oswalt, Ken Marino and Peter Serafinowicz. ADHD premieres Saturday, July 27 at 11 p.m. ET/PT.
A few months ago, the folks behind ADHD, Fox’s upcoming late-night animation block, haunted our dreams with “Scientifically Accurate Spider-Man” — “Lanky arms and little mask, his web erupts from out his ass” — and now they’re back to turn on you off Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles faster than you can say “Michael Bay.”
If you’re of delicate constitution or work in a place where cartoon images of reptile genitalia are frowned upon, you may want to skip this one. However, if you have the intestinal fortitude, and an understanding boss, then by all means, watch the video below for the horror that is the well-endowed, deaf, hissing, salmonella-transmitting Heroes in a Half Shell.
Comics legend Stan Lee will pay another visit to Springfield next season, playing himself in an episode of Fox’s The Simpsons.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the 90-year-old Lee will pop by The Android’s Dungeon & Baseball Card Shop to offer advice about comics and romance to Comic Book Guy, whose budding relationship with a young Japanese woman/manga fan stands to be ruined by Homer.
Hopefully this time Lee annoys Comic Book Guy a little less than he did in his first appearance on The Simpsons, in the 13th-season episode “I Am Furious (Yellow).” Next season will be the show’s 25th.