How to live your best streaming life - and for less than $100 per month

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With so many streaming services currently competing for your dollar, how will you decide what to keep and what to cancel? I’ve been trying to decide for myself what to keep and what to sign up for that would all work within my budget.

I would call myself a streamer, not a cord cutter and yes, there is a difference. To me, if you are a true cord cutter, then you live life with just a internet connection or maybe the basic Netflix package. That’s it. Streamers don’t spend money on traditional cable packages, instead subscribing to many different platforms.

This is just a guide to explain what I would spend my money on. The goal is to get everything important to me while spending less than the average American spends each month on TV only. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the average American spends around $100 a month on just cable or their satellite bill. Crazy, I know.

So I will try to keep my budget somewhere between 70 and 90 dollars a month. The best part about all of these services is that none of the streaming services come with an annual contract. You can come and go as you please, only subscribing during the time of year that you want to.

Let’s start with the most essential subscriptions first, the ones that I will never consider canceling: Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. The trickiest one for me to put in some sort of category is Amazon Prime because it has so much value beyond just what you get with Prime Video.

What I decided to do is take the yearly cost of 120 dollars and divide that by 12 to get the grand total of 10 dollars a month. Sound good? That puts Netflix and Hulu as my super must-haves.

With Netflix, I have the premium plan for Netflix at $16.00 a month because I have a 4K tv and Netflix has a ton of 4K content. For most people, Hulu isn’t a must-have. But for me, I’ve really enjoyed how quickly it gets shows the day after they finish on broadcast and its original programs have gotten better. Now that Disney owns a huge chunk of Hulu, it will be interesting to see that service’s content over the year to come. That being said, I have the no-commercial plan of Hulu, which runs me 12 dollars a month. I

So for Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, I am paying just 38 dollars a month and you could arguably watch anything you really wanted to at that price.

If those services are my top three choices, the next has to be DC Universe. I couldn’t imagine life without it at this point. It provides so much content all the time that can’t possibly all be consumed.

Not only do you get classics like Batman the Animated Series, but also new original content like Titans and the upcoming Doom Patrol with much more to come. I signed up for the promotional rate of $75 dollars for 15 months, which was a crazy no-brainer. It comes out to a whopping five dollars a month. As I often explain on the podcast, I’m a new comic book fan which makes a subscription to DCU mean even more. I probably read about 30 dollars worth of comics a month. For me, that’s an amazing value.

That brings my monthly total up to 43 bucks a month with some services still remaining. With my top-tier services out of the way, there are still several more that can get my hard-earned money each month. To me, all of these services are easily interchangeable and I can come and go as I please.

HBO Now is in this category for me. It’s a crazy $15 a month and I wouldn’t usually pay for it consistently. I also have CBS All Access for six dollars a month. But you can pay $10 for no commercials and the ability to download shows. During the TV season, CBS All Access really shines because you can watch all of CBS’s programming right away. I was going to cancel it at the end of the current TV season, but I’m looking forward to The Twilight Zone so I’m keeping it around. Additionally, I subscribe to ESPN+ at five dollars a month for no real reason other than I enjoy all of the 30 for 30 films and they’re all available. Plus, you get access to a ton of sports.

Including those second-tier services, I am now up to 69 dollars. That gives me all the crazy content I could ever want for less than $75. I’ll add another $10 to my monthly total when the Disney+ service launches later this year. Disney has already announced several shows for the service and it will include all of the Marvel and Pixar movies as well. For someone with a three-year-old, that’s a no brainer and will save me from having to buy the movies.

All of this puts my grand total at $79 per month. Obviously, it could be cheaper for you depending what services you decide are most important. That’s the great thing about streaming — no contracts — and you can subscribe to various services at different points of the year. Hopefully, my example helps you decide how you can manage your subscription life.

The Trench creatures from Aquaman are getting their own movie

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If your favorite part of the Aquaman movie was the scene during which Arthur Curry and Mera navigate through a treacherous stretch of ocean populated by walking piranhas, this news is probably going to excite you.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Brothers is developing an Aquaman spinoff involving The Trench, a region just outside of Atlantis inhabited by creatures that were cut off from the mythical city when it sank underwater. Having to survive outside Atlantis forced them to evolve into monsters that terrorized any life that traveled into the Marianas Trench territory.

Don’t get too excited about this being another Aquaman movie, however. As THR reports, this is intended to be a horror movie with a far smaller budget that won’t involve anyone from the original film. So no Aquaman, no Mera, not even Ocean Master or Vulko. That might prevent the story from going deep undersea to the Trench kingdom, as seen in the comic books too.

But horror is right in the wheelhouse of Aquaman director James Wan, who will be one of the producers on this project.

The concept of The Trench was introduced in the first issue of 2011’s rebooted Aquaman comic book, part of DC Comics’ “New 52” initiative. The creatures attack a coastal town seeking food, pushing them into conflict with Aquaman. The Trench and its inhabitants were also part of the 2012 Justice League “Throne of Atlantis” storyline, which was adapted into a 2015 animated film.

Relatively new screenwriters Noah Gardner and Aidan Fitzgerald will write the script. Both previously worked for J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production company. The two collaborated on the screenplay for a submarine thriller titled The Volos.

This leads to the natural question of when an Aquaman sequel will be announced. Having grossed more than $1 billion worldwide, we’ll definitely be getting another movie with the new King of Atlantis. For now, however, it looks like Wan, Jason Momoa, Amber Heard and crew (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Patrick Wilson will almost certainly be back as the bad guys) are reveling in their success.

Marvel's mutants don't have a merry movie outlook in the near-future

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What started out as a promising twist on the superhero movie and a potentially clever mix of genres looks like it’s turning into a debacle that 20th Century might prefer to ignore and bury.

During the TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour this week, producer Lauren Shuler-Donner — a longtime producer and shepherd of the X-Men movie series — talked about the franchise moving over to Marvel Studios with the Disney-Fox corporate merger. In the process, she addressed where the merger left the remaining X-Men related projects that Fox is still releasing or was developing.

One of those films is The New Mutants, following a teenage group of mutants learning to develop their abilities. The movie, conceived as a mash-up of horror and superhero elements, was originally supposed to be released last April. (April 13, to be exact.) But concerns about the film’s story and tone resulted in reshoots and the release date being pushed back to Feb. 22, 2019. Continuing creative uncertainty, namely an effort to make the movie scarier, punted the project even further down the calendar to Aug. 2.

Famed New Mutants artist Bill Sienkiewicz confirmed the renewed delays in an interview, according to Bleeding Cool.

Among the changes rumored to be made in reshoots was the introduction of a villain in a post-credits scene. Reportedly, Jon Hamm had originally been cast to play famed X-Men villain Mr. Sinister, but the studio decided to use a different bad guy with Antonio Banderas in the role. There have also been rumblings that a new character, Warlock, had been added to the main story. As a techno-organic alien that can change shape, adding Warlock would surely require a heavy use of digital effects, depending on how he’s used in the script.

All of this has left the movie in a messy, uncertain state, though director Josh Boone is reportedly still working on post-production before he begins work on adapting Stephen King’s The Stand for a CBS All Access series, which he is co-writing, co-producing and directing.

But is The New Mutants such a mess that Fox might nix its theatrical release and try to salvage whatever it can by selling the movie to a streaming provider? Apparently, there have been rumors that Fox might be talking to Hulu about taking the film. Shuler-Donner addressed this while talking to the press at TCA.

“They worked hard on it,” said Shuler Donner about the film’s production team, “I want to see it released (theatrically), I’d hate to see it thrown at Hulu.”

That quote comes from Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva, who also reports that a decision like moving a theatrical release to streaming won’t be made until the Disney-Fox merger becomes official. If The New Mutants gets pushed to Hulu, the good news is that fans would get to see it. Of course, that also means the movie didn’t go to theaters and almost certainly wouldn’t get a sequel. What may have began as a bold attempt to stand out could turn out to be an ambitious failure.

Another X-movie that we might not see at all is Gambit, which Channing Tatum still wants to make and had hopes of co-directing with his creative partner Reid Carolin. But the Disney-Fox merger has put a hold on any development there. Several directors have been attached to the project over the years, including Rupert Wyatt, Doug Liman and Gore Verbinski, only to eventually drop out. According to The Playlist, Tatum and Carolin tried to get their Magic Mike and Logan Lucky director, Steven Soderbergh, on board, but he has no interest in doing a superhero movie. (That’s unfortunate; a Soderbergh take on superheroes would be a must-see.)

Addtionally, Shuler-Donner acknowledged the inevitability that Wolverine will eventually be recast if and when Marvel decides to its own X-Men movies. It could be quite some time before Marvel gets around to the X-Men. If Dark Phoenix and The New Mutants are disasters, the studio will likely want to give audiences time to forget and regain an appetite for those characters.

In the meantime, movie sites can generate content by guessing who could take over for Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. (I’d start a list with Tom Hardy and Taylor Kitsch, but maybe that’s something we can discuss on the podcast sometime soon.)

New Batman movie scheduled for June 2021, won't involve Ben Affleck

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There are plenty of compelling Batman storylines that can be found these days in DC Comics. But one of the greatest mysteries currently involving the Dark Knight concerns the next time we’ll see him on the big screen.

This week, however, some details were finally revealed regarding Matt Reeves’s new Batman film. Reeves, best known for directing two of the rebooted Planet of the Apes movies, has been working on a script for the project and filming reportedly wasn’t going to begin until he and Warner Brothers believed they had it right.

Apparently, it’s just about there. WB announced on Wednesday (Jan. 30) that The Batman, which was supposedly the working title when Ben Affleck was writing and directing the film, is set for a June 25, 2021 release. (The studio also announced an Aug. 6, 2021 date for a Suicide Squad sequel, and TheWrap is reporting that James Gunn is set to direct.)

But Affleck won’t be playing Batman in this movie. According to Deadline’s Anthony D’Alessandro, Reeves’s story involves a younger Bruce Wayne, which means the role will be recast. Other outlets, such as Entertainment Tonight, have confirmed that Affleck isn’t wearing the cowl in this one.

Affleck gave his thumbs-up to the project on Twitter, and essentially confirmed the report by not denying that he won’t be returning to the Batman role.

Rumors of recasting Batman have been prevalent for nearly two years, ever since Reeves took over the project. Initially, The Batman was envisioned as an all-Affleck endeavor. He was set to write (with DC’s Geoff Johns), direct and star in the film. While that excited many fans, eager to see the director of Best Picture winner Argo (2012) helm a Batman movie, taking all of those roles on was surely over-ambitious. No one has ever tried to write, direct and be the lead actor of a blockbuster superhero movie before.

Affleck insisted that he and Johns needed to get the script right before production began. But for a variety of personal and professional reasons, he eventually stepped aside as director. Once Reeves was tapped as a replacement, he took over the script as well and set to rewrite it. Soon thereafter, rumors persisted that Affleck was done playing Batman. Whether that was because of the critical beating Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice suffered, the financial failure of Justice League, a growing disinterest in being chained to a franchise superhero role, or all of the above, it seemed like a matter of time before WB announced that a change would be made.

Reeves told The Hollywood Reporter that he has a “noir” detective-style story in mind for his depiction of the Caped Crusader. He also said here will be a Rogues Gallery,” which will open up plenty of guessing as to how many villains Batman will face. (Previous rumors have said that The Penguin will be the main bad guy.)

Until we learn more, the speculation will immediately begin as to who will play Batman next. It’ll be one of the hottest rumors in Hollywood. Let the fun begin. And remember the reaction when Affleck was cast as Batman? The next choice better be ready.

Highlights from Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer - Hey Nick Fury, there's Mysterio, and how many villains are in this?

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According to rumors, we were supposed to get a trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home in the first week of December, during CCXP in Brazil and shortly after the Avengers: Endgame trailer debuted. That obviously didn’t happen, either because Marvel preferred not to flood the zone with two big trailers in one weekend or because Marvel and Sony didn’t want to draw attention away from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse by promoting their live-action friendly neighborhood wall-crawler.

But it’s been approximately six weeks now, which is a good distance from those other blockbusters. And Spider-Verse reminded us how special a character Spider-Man is (in several dimensions), presumably increasing anticipation for Tom Holland’s next swing as Peter Parker.

The wait is over! With no advance hype or tease the night before (tactics used for the Captain Marvel previews), Sony and Marvel sprung the first trailer for Far From Home online Tuesday morning.

Good timing, amidst a kind of slow period in comic book and comic book movie culture. The Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer gets the spotlight to itself and with little going on, we’ll all surely examine every second of this nearly three-minute preview.

As we like to do for big trailers (especially for superhero movies), here are some takeaways from this first look at the next Spider-Man big-screen adventure:

Aunt May is cool with Spider-Man

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Spider-Man: Homecoming ended with the surprising and hilarious moment of Peter Parker’s Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) discovering that her nephew was Spider-Man. May’s “What the f—-?” was quickly cut off by the credits, leaving us to wonder where this left the relationship between Peter and May and how this might affect future superheroing.

Based on the opening moments of this trailer, May is fine with Peter risking his life as a costumed superhero. Maybe that’s because she’s figured out how to use Spider-Man’s stardom to help the local community. He really is “Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.”

Also looking to be friendly is Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), who’s taken a liking to Peter’s extremely attractive aunt. (He’s also apparently very aware of her wardrobe choices.) Happy and Aunt May aren’t a thing in the comic books (he ends up with Pepper Potts), but this is a good example of how the movies can create a fresh take on familiar characters and storylines. Will we get a Happy-Aunt May date?

Peter wants a break from Spider-Man

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To me, one of the strengths of Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies was exploring the idea that Bruce Wayne eventually wanted to give up crime-fighting. Who would want to continue that sort of life forever? Obviously, Peter Parker’s situation is very different, but it’s not at all difficult to believe that a high school kid would want to get away from anything that feels like a burden.

So when Peter has an opportunity for a European vacation, albeit a school trip with his classmates and friends (more Ned, please!), he wants to leave Spider-Man behind. Make it a real vacation! Get to know Mary Jane better! He can’t be Spidey if the suit is back in Queens, right? Right?

Nick Fury is watching

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Silly Peter! Superheroes don’t get a vacation. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) hasn’t gotten to know this kid who was invited by Tony Stark to join the Avengers and gifted some high-tech Spidey gear. (Fury shadowing Peter also introduces a dynamic that was a key part of the Ultimate Spider-Man comics and animated series.)

If there’s a threat that Fury wants to take down in London, it’s curious as to why he didn’t utilize Captain America or Iron Man for the job. But this is probably a good time to mention that Far From Home takes place after Avengers: Endgame and we don’t know where that epic leaves those heroes.

For the purposes of this story, however, maybe Fury sees this as an opportunity to see what young Peter Parker is capable of while performing whatever task is needed. He’s the one who probably hooks Spidey up with his new suits (including the all-black stealth costume), as well.

Whoa, is that Sandman?

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Sandman is one of Spider-Man’s classic villains from the earliest Marvel Comics adventures. He did appear in Spider-Man 3 (played by Thomas Haden Church), but was pushed aside once Venom hijacked the story. It sure looks like Fury and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) are taking on a new version of Sandman in the trailer, but he’s almost certainly not a big part of the story.

However, it does appear that Sandman is one of three Spidey villains that show up in this film, along with Molten Man and the already rumored Hydro-Man. This is a clever way to work more of Spider-Man’s rogues gallery into these movies (unless you’re disappointed over Sandman not getting his own story), but the appearance of these characters leads to a question regarding the main villain of the piece.

Hello, Mysterio!

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We knew that Jake Gyllenhaal signed on as a villain in the next Spider-Man movie and set photos confirmed that he was playing Mysterio (cheekily referenced by the actor himself on Instagram), another of Spider-Man’s celebrated adversaries. But in arguably the best reveal of the Far From Home trailer, we get our first look at Gyllenhaal as the master illusionist.

With a costume that resembles a warrior from Asgard (and powers like Doctor Strange’s), Mysterio is presumably trying to portray himself as a hero to the masses. (And Peter’s classmates are intrigued, except for bully Flash Thompson.) What’s his motivation? Well, if the script follows comic book storylines, Mysterio (aka Quentin Beck) is a special effects master and stuntman who struck out in Hollywood.

Does he create illusions of Sandman, Molten Man and Hydro-Man to make it appear as if he’s a hero saving the day? It sure looks that way. But maybe it’s more than that, and Beck registered on Fury’s radar somehow with a bigger crime in mind.

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Overall, this is a fun trailer that rewards fans who have been waiting for months to see new Spider-Man action. It’s not a teaser that reveals very little, taking time to explain the story points. Yet it also doesn’t reveal too much, leaving enough questions that will intrigue the audience and invite speculation for months to come.

Where’s Tony Stark? Will there be any repercussions from what happens in Avengers: Endgame? (Obviously, Peter, Fury and Hill all survived — or were brought back from — the events of Infinity War.) What is Mysterio’s deal? Will Peter and Mary Jane start going out? Or Happy and Aunt May? What other new toys will Spidey get to play with?

UPDATE: An international version of the trailer was also released, which includes entirely different footage in the opening 30 seconds. Looks Like Peter didn’t leave the Spidey suit back in Queens, after all. (Hat tip, Slashfilm)

Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into theaters on July 5.

The rebooted Star Trek movie series might be done, folks

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If you’re a fan of the rebooted Star Trek movie franchise (called the “Kelvin” timeline by many Trekkers because of what happened in the 2009 Star Trek film), it appears increasingly likely that we’re not going to see that particular Enterprise crew on screen anymore.

As first reported by Deadline, director SJ Clarkson is going to direct the pilot episode for HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel. According to reporter Nellie Andreeva, Clarkson got the gig because “she recently became available” when the untitled Star Trek 4 was shelved. If there’s no film in development, she didn’t have a project to direct. Clarkson had been hired for the gig back in April, set to become the first female director for the Trek franchise.

But production on Star Trek 4 has been difficult, perhaps even impossible with both Chris Pine and Chris Hemsworth walking away when producers reportedly wanted to rework existing contracts. Paramount Pictures wanted to keep costs down after the previous Star Trek movie, Star Trek Beyond, grossed only $344 million ($160 million domestically) against a $185 million budget.

Though two of the three Star Trek films have been good (personally, I prefer the first of them) and the cast is stocked with popular stars like Pine, Zoe Saldana and Karl Urban, audiences have never really responded to them as Paramount hoped.

The 2009 Star Trek earned $385 million worldwide and was loved by critics. Star Trek Into Darkness was a bad misstep (and probably took too long to be made, four years later), but still earned $467 million and earned decent reviews. (J.J. Abrams irritated many fans by trying to deny that iconic Trek villain Khan was part of the story when he obviously was.) Star Trek Beyond drew strong reviews and many Trekkers thought it was the best of the three films because it was most like an episode of the original TV series. But it wasn’t the blockbuster hit that Paramount wanted.

Bringing in Hemsworth to reprise his role as James T. Kirk’s father in a time-travel adventure might have given Star Trek 4 a boost. He’s become a huge star since his brief appearance in the series’ first film, going on to play Thor for Marvel and headline several other movies, including the upcoming Men in Black International. Reportedly, he had a deal in place — one which producers tried to renegotiate.

Pine also had a deal in place and his increased profile from playing Captain Kirk has made him a reliable star, if not a marquee headliner. He’s been impressive with supporting turns in Wonder Woman and A Wrinkle in Time (and was a surprise part of the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse cast), and is the lead in the upcoming TNT miniseries I Am the Night.

Maybe negotiations would’ve eventually worked out, but beginning production on a Star Trek film without its Captain Kirks — James and George — presumably created a considerable obstacle. The cast also suffered a tragic blow with the 2016 death of Anton Yelchin, who played Officer Chekov. Perhaps a chunk of filming could have been done with the remaining players — including Zoe Saldana, John Cho and Simon Pegg, who are recognizable faces — but the studio apparently decided it was better to shelve Star Trek for now.

There’s also the possibility that the issues with Pine and Hemsworth made it easier for Paramount to spike Star Trek 4 and focus instead on Quentin Tarantino’s proposed Trek movie, if that project is ever actually being made. The current cast believes that Tarantino’s movie would be made with them (putting together a new cast would be quite an undertaking for what is probably a one-off venture). Perhaps it’s easier for the studio to wait until everyone’s schedule opens up some more and concentrate on a movie that is certain to draw more attention.

If this is it for the rebooted Star Trek series, that feels like a wasted opportunity. Abrams and crew put together an excellent young cast, and there were so many Trek stories — either adaptations or originals — that could’ve been told. But that cast, improved digital effects and more exciting action still couldn’t pull in audiences. Maybe Star Trek fans like their Starfleet adventures more on TV than the big screen.

Batman: The Long Halloween to reportedly be adapted into two-part animated movie

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One of the best Batman stories of the past 25 years is next on DC Entertainment’s animated film slate. As first reported by Revenge of the Fans, Batman: The Long Halloween is set to be adapted into a two-part movie. The original limited series written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Tim Sale ran for 13 issues between 1996 and 1997 and was a significant influence on Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, particularly The Dark Knight.

Though DC Entertainment has adapted many memorable comic book story arcs into animated movies, only a select handful have been given the two-part treatment. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns was the first of the studio’s two-part ventures, with each installment released four months apart between 2012 and 2013. Later this January, Reign of the Supermen will debut, following up six months after The Death of Superman was released.

The Long Halloween takes place early in Batman’s career, as the Gotham police and district attorney’s office try to end the mob war between the Falcone and Maroni families. Igniting the conflict is a mystery killer, who murders the youngest Falcone son and proceeds to murder someone each month, usually on holidays. Along the way, crime boss Carmine Falcone employs villains like the Riddler and Poison Ivy to gain an advantage, while the Joker attempts to take out the Holiday killer for moving on his territory.

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Above all, The Long Halloween is an origin story for Two-Face. Harvey Dent works with Batman against the two mob families, but becomes increasingly irrational in his ambition. Following attempts to kill him and his family, and the pivotal incident that scars half of his face, Dent loses his grip on reality and seeks revenge on Falcone.

What could be most intriguing about this adaptation is whether or not the animation style tries to follow the distinct style of Tim Sale’s dark, moody art. Sale’s Batman looks unlike many other interpretations, especially with the Dark Knight’s mask and cape. But his version is a bulkier hero, similar to Frank Miller’s Batman. Sale’s style is most distinct with the supporting characters in the story, notably each member of the Falcone and Maroni families. Nobody draws the Joker, Penguin or Poison Ivy like he does, depicting each as almost supernatural characters.

According to Mario-Francisco Robles’s report, this two-part Batman film will not be part of the DC animated universe that’s been established with films like The Death of Superman and the various Justice League movies. This will be a standalone Batman story like The Killing Joke, The Dark Knight Returns and the upcoming Hush.

There’s no word on when The Long Halloween is expected to debut, but the 2019 schedule for DC animated films — including Justice League vs. The Fatal Five and Wonder Woman: Bloodlines — so we probably won’t see Part 1 of this story until 2020 at the earliest.

Highlights from the new Captain Marvel trailer: Noble warrior heroes, blue blood and alien kitties

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Kicking off a big week for Marvel, the second trailer for Captain Marvel debuted during halftime of Monday Night Football. (The long-awaited first look at “Avengers” 4 is expected to debut Wednesday morning during Good Morning America.) ESPN was likely grateful for some corporate synergy to draw viewers to the broadcast who probably weren’t interested in watching the Eagles play the Redskins.

It’s often interesting to compare the first and second trailers for a blockbuster movie marketing campaign, and see what the intention is toward the audience. As we saw back in September, the first Captain Marvel trailer was more of an introduction to Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) and her abilities, emphasizing showy points like the story taking place in the 1990s and younger versions of characters like Nick Fury and Phil Coulson.

With the intro now out of the way, this latest trailer focuses more on the story. The Skrulls and Kree are alien races at war, and the conflict has made its way to Earth.

With rumors of trailers for Avengers 4 and Spider-Man: Far From Home (along with Shazam! or Godzilla vs. Kong from the non-Marvel realm), there’s the possibility that Captain Marvel’s new preview gets quickly overshadowed. But probably not, with the goodies that this trailer includes and the likelihood that it will be attached to some blockbusters during the holidays like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Mary Poppins Returns. (Probably Aquaman, too.)

For now, however, Captain Marvel has the spotlight to herself. Here are some takeaways from our latest look at Marvel’s newest star:

That’s why Captain Marvel hit that old lady

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For many viewers, one of the shocking moments from the first Captain Marvel trailer was seeing our hero belt a kindly old woman on a train. Who would punch an old woman? What kind of hero does that? But most Marvel Comics fans guessed that the civilian was a Skrull in disguise. And what better way to demonstrate their shape-shifting abilities than to take the form of a seemingly harmless elderly woman?

This time, we see the follow-up. That old lady isn’t harmless, providing the entertaining visual (with guttural growl) of her springing out of her seat to drop-kick Captain Marvel in the chest and cartwheel down the corridor. For the sake of public perception, let’s hope that the Skrull reverts to its true form after Danvers knocks her out. Otherwise, the Kree might have a public relations issue with the other passengers on that train. (Not that she’d care…)

Hey, it’s Annette Bening!

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One of the fun things about Marvel movies is to see actors not typically associated with blockbuster films (Glenn Close, Robert Redford, etc.) get to play a role. Annette Bening joins that group, though we don’t know exactly what part she’s playing in Captain Marvel.

While it might be fun to see her fulfill an older mentor type of role, like Liam Neeson did in Batman Begins and Star Wars: Episode I, the assumption is that Jude Law’s character will provide guidance for Carol Danvers. Based on what we hear from Bening in this trailer (“we made you one of us”), she has more to do with programming Danvers into a soldier for the Kree, changing her physiology (which includes blue blood), and so forth.

There’s a Skrull!

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We got a brief glimpse of Marvel’s legendary shape-shifting alien invaders in the first Captain Marvel trailer, but get a much closer look here. Additionally, we get some dialogue from Ben Mendelsohn’s Talos, who will hopefully be a villain on par with Orson Krennic from Rogue One. (Mendelsohn also played something of a bad guy for directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck in 2015’s Mississippi Grind.)

The Skrulls have been long overdue to appear in a Marvel movie. At one point, it was believed that the rights to the Skrulls belonged to Fox as part of the Fantastic Four’s package of characters and that’s why they didn’t appear in The Avengers. But the rights are obviously shared between studios, like Quicksilver was between the Avengers and X-Men films. (Such rights issues will be a moot point with the Disney-Fox merger.)

With their ability to take the form of any person, it’s expected that the Skrulls could become a major player in the studio’s next phase of films. Could some of our favorite heroes end up being an alien menace in disguise in future Marvel films? That could be fun and upsetting.

She has the power!

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Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has said that Captain Marvel is the most powerful hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Those familiar with the character from the comic books nod knowingly and approvingly. But that might be a tougher sell to fans who think Carol Danvers couldn’t possibly be more powerful than Iron Man or the Hulk. Or what about Thanos?

Obviously, we’ve yet to see on screen just how powerful Captain Marvel can be. This movie and Avengers 4 will surely take significant steps to establish how powerful she is. (Will she be the key to defeating Thanos, for instance?)

But the trailer provides a hint of that in its climactic moment with Danvers saying that she’s going to end the war between the Skrulls and Kree. We then see her surge with power, fly above the Earth and destroy spaceships with energy fired from her hands. (Oh, and she’s doing so wearing that cool battle helmet — designed by Jamie McKelvie for the comics — which forms her hair into a mohawk. We haven’t seen Thor or Iron Man do that. Stand back.

That’s no kitty, nick fury

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Based on this trailer, one of the highlights of the movie promises to be the banter between Carol Danvers and a younger, pre-eye patch Nick Fury. This is literally a side of Fury we haven’t seen before. He has both of his eyes, a full head of hair, and isn’t the sardonic badass we’ve come to know in the Marvel films.

Fury also apparently has a soft spot for cats. But the little kitty with which the future director of S.H.I.E.L.D. is so smitten — who also lurks in the shadows of the first Captain Marvel poster — isn’t a terrestrial feline. No, sir. That’s an alien lifeform.

The cat is a relatively recent addition to the Captain Marvel mythology, which has been built up over the past 10 to 15 years as her role has become more important in the Marvel Comics universe. Named Goose, surely as a nod to Danvers’ pilot days (the cat is called Chewie in the comics), the pet is actually a Flerkin. Flerkins resemble cats, much like Rocket Raccoon looks like a terrestrial raccoon.

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Rocket and Goose (Chewie) have actually butted heads in the comics, so maybe that gives us something to look forward to in Avengers 4. In the meantime, it’s probably a good idea for Fury to be sweet to that little beast. Otherwise, he might reveal those fanged tendrils that reside deep in his mouth.

There’s an air of mystery to Captain Marvel

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Fortunately, this second trailer doesn’t reveal everything. There’s even a hint at a mystery that Danvers (and Fury) are likely trying to solve throughout the story.

“Something in my past is the key to all of this,” Danvers says to Fury. What exactly brought Danvers back to Earth? Was it simply her role in the Kree-Skrull War? Or is there more to it? Why was Danvers taken by the Kree in the first place? Was she in the wrong place at the wrong time, becoming an unwitting participant in an intergalactic battle? Was there something different about her from the very beginning?

We’ll get to see Captain Marvel in theaters on March 8, 2019.

Daredevil is the Man Without Netflix, joining Iron Fist and Luke Cage in cancellation

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It’s fair to say that Netflix is getting out of the Marvel business. Sure, there will be a Season 3 of Jessica Jones and a second season for The Punisher. But the cancellation of Netflix’s flagship Marvel series, Daredevil, surely means the inevitable end of that partnership.

Multiple outlets reported the news Thursday evening. (If you keep track of such things, Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva and Dominic Patten were first on it by a nose.) Daredevil’s cancellation comes nearly two months after the streaming network announced that two of its other Marvel series, Iron Fist and Luke Cage, weren’t being renewed for additional seasons.

— Related: Iron Fist won't get a third season on Netflix, taking away Danny Rand's TV chi

[Editor’s Note: Naturally, this news comes after we already recorded Episode 15 of The Amusement Park Podcast. We will almost certainly talk about this next week!]

Season 3 of Daredevil just launched six weeks ago on Netflix. The future of the show seemed uncertain in light of the other Marvel cancellations, but strong reviews among media and fans presumably gave it a chance for renewal. Yet no announcement for a fourth season came from Netflix or Marvel, which made fans nervous. That led to a recent online campaign to #RenewDaredevil on social media.

In the past, these sorts of campaigns and petitions have had mixed success. But a few have paid off, which kept hope alive. Yet it’s also worth asking whether or not a campaign flooding social media or petition flooded with names would have even mattered.

Season 3 showrunner Erik Oleson even told fans on Twitter that he pitched Season 4 to Netflix. (Season 1 was run by Steven S. DeKnight, while Marco Ramirez and Doug Petrie oversaw Season 2.) Obviously, executives weren’t convinced. Or they had already made their decision.

Earlier this month, ScreenRant reported some surprising information that surely factored into Netflix’s decision-making process. According to data from analytics company Jumpshot, viewership for Daredevil’s third season had dropped 57 percent compared to the first weeks from Seasons 1 and 2. (Iron Fist dropped 64 percent, while Luke Cage suffered a 59 percent drop.) It’s the closest data to ratings available, since Netflix doesn’t release those numbers to the public.

The Luke Cage cancellation was the true indication that Netflix was no longer enamored with its Marvel shows. A Season 3 renewal seemed like a formality before producers clashed with executives over creative direction.

Related: Luke Cage joins Iron Fist in Netflix cancellation line, literally becoming TV Heroes For Hire

But Netflix doesn’t own the Marvel shows as it does with other series on the network like Stranger Things, Ozark, Bojack Horseman, The Crown, Master of None, GLOW, Narcos and so many, many others. Marvel licensed its shows to Netflix and produced them through ABC. So if the series were expensive and viewership was waning, Netflix obviously felt it was better off going with the properties from which full profit could be derived. And there is a lot more content now available on Netflix than there was when the deal with Marvel was signed in 2013.

(Netflix probably isn’t thrilled that Disney is launching a competing service either, one which will eventually take away many of the movies and TV shows which currently provide so much of its content.)

As has been the case for the past couple of months, the question now becomes whether these series can find new life elsewhere. Netflix’s official statement ended by saying “the Daredevil character will live on in future projects for Marvel.” The presumption is that the shows could jump over to Disney’s new streaming service. Disney+ is developing Marvel series featuring Loki, Scarlet Witch, and a Falcon-Winter Soldier team-up. Whether or not Disney+ is interested in carrying more adult content like Daredevil along with its family-friendly fare remains to be seen.

But the two Star Wars live-action series soon to launch on the service figure to appeal to older audiences. Maybe a Daredevil or Luke Cage wouldn’t be quite as dark. Or if Marvel would prefer to emphasize stronger violence, language and sex for its street-level heroes, the company also owns a stake in Hulu and might provide a better platform there. (Marvel already has a Hulu series with Runaways, which launches its second season on Dec. 21.)

If this is it for Daredevil on TV, Season 3 ended with what could be perceived as a series finale. (Though there was something of a cliffhanger that would’ve led into a Season 4.) No Marvel character has suffered more than Matt Murdock, which the Netflix series (along with The Defenders) certainly got right. Charlie Cox was an excellent Murdock (and Daredevil!) and no one will ever be a better Wilson Fisk than Vincent D’Onofrio. We’ll always have those long-take fight scenes in hallways, stairwells and prisons.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is getting a sequel and 'Spider-Women' spinoff

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Sony is opening the door to its Spider-Verse with the upcoming Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. If you saw Venom and stayed through the credits, you know that the studio is establishing that there’s a whole bunch of other Spider-Man universes besides the one we’re currently seeing with the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Tom Holland’s version of Peter Parker and our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

If Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is as good as the trailers make it look, audiences are going to have no trouble buying into the notion that multiple Spider-Men or spider-powered superheroes exist across multiple dimensions and timelines. People will want to see more Miles Morales. And Sony is banking that we’ll also want to see more Spider-Gwen (Gwen Stacy) and several other female Spider-heroes.

According to The Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit, Sony Pictures Animation is developing both a sequel to Spider-Verse and a female-centric spin-off. This news indicates that Sony is expecting big things from its animated Spider-Man film, which is still two weeks away from hitting theaters on Dec. 14.

The Spider-Verse sequel will continue the story of what figures to be an extremely popular character in the teenage, black and Latino Miles Morales. That project will be written by David Callaham (Wonder Woman 1984, Zombieland 2) and directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, whom many fans will know from his work on Justice League Unlimited (in addition to several DC animated shorts), The Legend of Korra and Voltron.

However, the “Spider-Women” film might be the far more interesting initiative. Spider-Gwen and Peni Parker — an anime-type version who wears a giant armored suit called SP//dr — will both be introduced in Spider-Verse, so it’s reasonable to assume both characters will be prominent parts of this spin-off. (Spider-Gwen has also been on the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series.)

But which other Spider-Women could join them in the story is the question that makes this movie most intriguing.

Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew, seems like a natural addition to the cast. Not only would Drew possibly attract some longtime comic book fans who remember her adventures from the late-1970s, her affiliation with the Brian Michael Bendis edition of the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. counterpart S.W.O.R.D., and a 2016 limited series in which she got a redesigned, modern costume.

Drew even had her own cartoon series in 1979:

There’s also another version of Spider-Woman, Julia Carpenter, who was introduced in the 1984 Secret Wars miniseries and was eventually a member of the Avengers. Somehow, she was part of the ensemble in the 1994 Iron Man animated series.

Other “Spider Women” who could appear in this movie include:

  • Silk, a Korean-American named Cindy Moon, a Korean-American woman who is bitten by the same radioactive spider that attacked Peter Parker. Earlier this year, news broke that Sony was developing a live-action movie for the character. Moon has been in both Spider-Man: Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War as Parker’s classmate, but it’s not known if actress Tiffany Espensen would be cast in the role.

  • Spider-Girl, the daughter of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson who was featured in several Marvel Comics titles during the early 2000s. Another character, Anya Corazon (first known as Araña), took the Spider-Girl name in 2010.

  • Madame Web, a clairvoyant who needs a mechanical web-like life support system to survive. (Julia Carpenter became a new version of Madame Web in the comic books.)

So there are plenty of paths this project could take. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse demonstrates that Sony is willing to take advantage of the rich, deep mythology created in decades of Marvel Comics. That includes live-action films featuring Spider-villains Morbius the Living Vampire (to be played by Jared Leto), along with Silver Sable and Black Cat (though that movie is currently stalled).

The “Spider-Women” film will be directed by Lauren Montgomery, who has plenty of animated superhero bonafides from helming Superman/Batman: Apocalypse and Batman: Year One. She’ll work from a script written by Bek Smith (Zoo).