All posts by Joey Pedras

Writer, musician, and filmmaker. Inspired by creative, driven people. I've come to (mostly) share my own original works of fiction with the world.

Han Solo Spinoff Directors Quit Over “Creative Differences”

Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has announced that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have officially left the Han Solo spinoff. Kennedy says the grounds for the departure were over “creative differences”.

Here’s what she said in a statement:

“Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are talented filmmakers who have assembled an incredible cast and crew, but it’s become clear that we had different creative visions on this film, and we’ve decided to part ways. A new director will be announced soon.”

This is troubling news for the film which began filming in January of 2017. What sort of “creative differences” could cause the duo of directors known for writing The Lego Movie, and 21 Jump Street?

Here’s what Lord and Miller said in a statement:

“Unfortunately, our vision and process weren’t aligned with our partners on this project. We normally aren’t fans of the phrase ‘creative differences’ but for once this cliché is true. We are really proud of the amazing and world-class work of our cast and crew.”

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This is a very troubling development. Changing directors after a huge block of the movie has already been filmed can result in some very damaging shifts in tone, and well, direction. How substantial are the differences that would cause two very well respected directors to opt-out of filming what is set to be a huge step for the Star Wars franchise?

It’s possible that we will never know what the Lord-Miller film will have gone. So let’s hope Disney and Lucasfilm find a director that aligns with their vision while also being conducive to the creative mind, and vision of whichever director they decide to bring on.

New Twin Peaks Funko Two-Pack Debuting At San Diego Comic-Con 2017

Coming to San Diego Comic-Con in 2017, Black Lodge Dale Cooper and Laura Palmer! This box set will go on sale at at Funko’s SDCC booth this year, but according to WelcomeToTwinPeaks.com, it’s likely the box set will be sold in stores as well after comic con. Hot Topic is an official retailer of Twin Peaks merchandise so it’s likely you’ll be able to find them there first.

Meanwhile…

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Rumor: Pokemon GO – What’s Coming Next?

Do you remember Pokemon GO? The smash hit for mobile gaming that echoed around the world? Chances are, you probably pop open the app when you’re walking to a friends house or if you’re bored during a commute. Believe it or not, Pokemon GO is still being played by millions daily. According to IGN, Pokemon GO still has about 65 million daily active users trotting around the globe trying to catch them all. So don’t count the game out just yet, there are updates coming soon that are going to drastically change the game. The Pokemon GO we’ve all been waiting for isn’t behind us, it’s ahead. That’s if the developers keep their word, and rollout updates to make the game truly immersive and competitive once again.

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We’re going through a list of upcoming update rumors that definitely have us excited to venture into the great outdoors again. Let’s just hope these see the light of day…

TRADING

Seems like an obvious addition, I know. Trading has been a staple in Pokemon since the beginning. Trading in Pokemon GO has been eluded to since the first trailer, but there hasn’t been a single inkling of it coming as an actual usable mechanic in the game (besides in the initial beta.) That might be changing in the next big update. Of course this is just a rumor, but according to senior product manager of Niantic, Tatso Namura, “it won’t be through the internet,” when it’s released.

Now some people feel that this defeats the purpose of the game, but think about it, if there are added mechanics to the game, the actual purpose of the gameplay changes. There will be more challenges besides catching Pokemon, picking up Pokestops and fighting over gyms. Trading makes absolute sense, it’s time.

PVP (Player VS Player)

Again, another staple of Pokemon games since the beginning. It seems odd that they’re making these two decade old mechanics seem like an exciting new prospect. Trading and battling should have been something included on day one. Most of us remember that time thought; failing servers, crashing apps, and for a lot of us, insanely hot summer days to contend with. The time for PVP was in 2016, but I myself am excited to see how the developers are going to integrate it. What will the reward system look like if there is one? How will battle be initiated? Not holding my breath just yet, but I think Niantic is finally getting the ball rolling with this game. They have my faith for now.

Legendaries

We’ve had implications of legendary events since the first trailer with the elusive Mewtwo in Times Square. We’ve also had hacking issues involving the three original legendary birds which led to accounts being apparently banned. Now we’re seeing hints at upcoming legendary events in the upcoming months. An actual schedule and official announcements are yet to be see, but Niantic really has to do something to entice users to return.

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Events

So, it seems like Niantic is really committing to their first even July 22nd, 2017 in Chicago’s Grant Park. At the time of writing this it’s uncertain what the event actually entails, but we’ll find out soon enough. Right now it seems just like a large networking even for Pokemon lovers throughout the city, and tourists driving, training or flying in. This sets a pretty cool precedent for Pokemon related events, something I haven’t really attended for almost 20 years. These events might be reminiscent of all the meet-ups that took place during the summer of 2016. Now that the user-base has shrunken it might take actual, official events to get people to congregate the way they did at its peak.

(Tickets go on sale for this event tomorrow, June 19th (by the way.)

It seems there isn’t too groundbreaking going on in the Pokemon GO universe right now. It would be fantastic to see unexpected updates and additions included in the next version. Pokemon GO at its core is a truly fun game that brought people together, and I’m not quite sure lightning will strike twice in this case. It will forever go down in pop culture history as making the summer of 2016 one of the best summers of an angsty millennial’s adult life. I’m all for the phenomenon to pickup again, but like I said before, I’m not holding my breath.

What do you think of the update rumors coming to Pokemon GO? Is it enough to get you playing again or have you been playing every day since release?

E3 2017: Middle-Earth: Shadow of War Details

8:30 PM EST – E3 is in full swing, currently WB Games is streaming new gameplay from the highly anticipated Middle-Earth: Shadow of War. The sequel to the 2014 games takes place in between The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring (for context.) The game reintroduces mechanics very similar to Shadow of Mordor, and improves on them. Not only this, but their hierarchy system has received a huge upgrade, and may be the best new feature of the game completely.

The new mechanic allows orc commanders to expand, and strengthen their army with every victory called “The Nemesis System”. Not only that, but each orc commander will be able to team up with other orc commanders making their army stronger, and much more difficult to defeat. Additionally, these orc commanders will bring special traits to their armies. These Legendary orc commanders will inhabit their own unique lairs which will come with their own set of challenges.

Shadow of Mordor seems to bring the compelling, addictive gameplay from Shadow of War and amplifies it. The battles are bigger, the enemies more grotesque, and the stakes that much higher. Sauron’s army seems like it has gained greater hold of the land, and those of us familiar will the books and films know how it all plays out. Nonetheless, Talion’s story is one that’s as compelling and as immersive as the films and books themselves.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is set to be released October 10th, 2017

Cosplay Saturday: Meagan Marie

So here at Nerd Hall, we’re all about supporting all aspects of nerd culture. We feel it’s as good a time as ever to celebrate one of the greatest parts of nerd culture in 2017: cosplayers. Every other Saturday will be dedicated to celebrating some of our favorite cosplayers throughout the world.

Today we’re starting with cosplay phenom, Meagan Marie. The first time I discovered Meagan was through my obsession with the Portal series. This was a couple of years ago, and I’m sure I was searching the internet for anything and everything Portal and happened upon this image of Meagan which I thought was absolutely fantastic:

Meagan has a seemingly endless gallery of fantastic cosplays from Amy Pond (Doctor Who) to Laura Croft (Tomb Raider) to Black Canary (Green Arrow) and so, so many others. Meagan, while also being an outstanding cosplayer, is also a writer and the senior community manager at Crystal Dynamics (developer of Tomb Raider.)

Another #LaraCroft shot from #Faiyum in #Egypt! Thank you @arian_shiri_arts! ❤

A post shared by Meagan Marie (@_meaganmarie_) on

To see more of Meagan Marie’s cosplay follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

Live-Action TEEN TITANS Coming In 2018

We finally got confirmation that a live-action Teen Titans show will be coming to us in 2018. The show will be called Titans, and follow a young Dick Grayson as well as many other Titans. It’s not clear which other Titans from the animated series will be featured on the show, but Chief Creative Officer of D.C. Geoff Johns tweeted this,

So it seems Johns will be working on the series along with many other writers who have worked on CW’s The Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl. Though unlike its CW counterparts, Titans will not premiere on television. TV Insider reports the show will stream on a DC direct-to-consumer branded digital service. It’s still unclear how much Titans will have to do with the Supergirl/Flash/Arrow universe, but it may be safe to say we’ll see some characters we’ve already come to know and love move over to the new show. A popular choice among fans is The Flash‘s Kid Flash/Wally West played by Keiynan Lonsdale.

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There isn’t much word on what DC’s new streaming service will include or cost, but it seems like new and original content is already in the works. Another fan favorite series will also premiere its third season there, Young Justice. The outcry of fans has been heard, and now DC will be directly offering a new third season of Young Justice via its new streaming service.

Not sure when mention of Titans will begin to hit the CW DC-verse, but it might be a good time to keep your eyes open for clues on upcoming Titans characters. Something tells us a certain green shapeshifter may be eluded to at some point.