Year In ReviewYear In ReviewWe look back at the best, worst, and most significant moments of the year, and look forward to next year.Another year has come and gone and with it so, so, so many nerd blogs. Here are the ones you, dear io9 readers, clicked on the most. A big thank you and…
Who could have guessed the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, and Game of Thrones would dominate? Just about everyone, I’d wager. But don’t worry, there are a few surprises along the way, including a retro-io9 blog…
It’s taken nearly two years, but the game is finally entering its final round. Last night’s long-awaited eighth season premiere was full of moments fans have been dying to see since the series began, and it advanced the story with ruthless efficiency towards its epic conclusion, too. So why did it feel so underwhelming?
Because Todd Phillips’ Joker tells the relatively grounded story of a disaffected white man who goes on a terroristic rampage because he feels as if he’s been dealt a bad hand in life, there’s been an ongoing discussion about whether the movie has the potential to inspire certain viewers to model themselves (idealistically) after the titular villain.
It’s off to Europe and a date with Mysterio in the first trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home, which has arrived at last!
The first trailer for Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan is here, and it’s gorgeous.
As we patiently refresh every single website in the world waiting for that sweet Baby Yoda merch from The Mandalorian, we’re excited to exclusively reveal another toy based on a new character introduced in the series: the Heavy Infantry Mandalorian, as part of Hasbro’s popular Black Series line.
Doing so might have spoiled one of the plot’s big reveals.
Where Darth Vader: Dark Visions has gone, controversy has followed—mainly thanks to its origins as a replacement for another Star Wars comic project scrapped almost immediately after its announcement. But this week, it found itself enmeshed in an altogether different controversy.
It’s the beginning of the end for Game of Thrones. And if our heroes fail, it might be the beginning of the end for Westeros full stop.
Superman returns! Again. Twice over, actually.
Ah, promotional Twitters, a regular source of both great joy and great consternation to fandom everywhere. Sometimes they bring trailers, exclusive clips, interviews, all the joys the excited fan demands. Sometimes, they bring a bounty like today’s: tweets that don’t make any sense.
About 20 minutes into my screening of Avengers: Endgame, I started losing my mind. It was a befuddlement not necessarily caused by what was happening on screen and what it meant for the plot of the film, but because what I was seeing unfold felt like it shouldn’t exist. Or that it arguably can ever exist in another form, ever again.
The first trailer for the third attempt at rebooting the Terminator franchise is here and, appropriately enough, the new Terminator power is in line with that.
Avengers: Endgame is the culmination of a 22 film story that began back in 2008—so, obviously, it provides a lot of answers. And yet, much of it left us still scratching our heads in ways both good and bad. Yes, dear readers, we still have questions and, below, we’ll try to figure out the answers.
87) The Final Writing Credits for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Include a Couple Interesting Names
The Writer’s Guild of America has settled on exactly who will be getting credit for writing in the upcoming last film of the Skywalker saga, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. And the credits include a couple names you might not have expected to see.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is here, which means it’s over.
You’re a Vermont book publisher who owns the rights to a well-known series of books. A new movie on Netflix uses the general concept for the books. Do you wish to sue them?
Game of Thrones has ended, and the results were mixed. The series did wrap up some of its biggest storylines—some a bit more confusingly than others—but a few were also abandoned early. Here’s a list of some of the mysteries we’ll never see solved…unless the showrunners pull a Russo Brothers and start over-explaining everything after the fact.
There’s a reason Tom Holland wasn’t at the Avengers: Endgame premiere in Los Angeles this week. He’s currently in the middle of expensive reshoots for Doug Liman’s dystopian thriller Chaos Walking—a movie that’s in such rough shape, it’s reportedly “unreleasable.”
After all these years, the White Walkers and their army arrived at Winterfell, where the amassed armies of the North and Daenerys’ troops have joined forces to fight for not just their survival, but for the survival of humanity as a whole. This battle has been teased since the show began in 2011, so it needed to be unbelievably epic—more epic than all the other epic battles the series has given us. This was a daunting task, and Game of Thrones succeeded—but somehow, this incredibly major episode doesn’t feel quite as satisfying as it should.
No matter how, when or where we find out the title for Star Wars Episode IX, there’s little doubt it can touch what Lucasfilm did for Revenge of the Sith. And that includes Ewan’s red carpet realization.
Everywhere you look in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, there’s something to see, something to explore, or something to do. Even though it’s not 100 percent complete, the land itself is a star. You walk in, and you instantly feel like you’ve left Disneyland in Anaheim, California and become immersed in the Star Wars universe.
After the shocking news that Marvel and Sony’s backroom deal to share the rights to one of the most popular superheroes in the world broke up last month, it seems the tumultuous saga is already over: the two studios have announced a new deal to co-produce a third entry in the Spider-Man: Homecoming series.
After the trailer for the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, it was like a million voices cried out in laughter, then were suddenly placated. The negative response to Sonic’s look prompted director Jeff Fowler to announce that the filmmakers were going back to the drawing board. But what does that mean, how long will it take, and is this all a marketing scam? We asked a couple of actual VFX artists to fill us in.
The final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is still a few hours away but one of its first secrets has already been revealed. A new clip teasing the trailer’s debut has leaked online and it includes an epic shot of spaceships unlike one we’ve ever seen in Star Wars. Among those beautiful spaceships? What we think is the Ghost.
Frankly, I think we should let her.
The final battle between Daenerys and Cersei. Other long-awaited confrontations. Major character deaths. Justice. Heartbreak. Much more than the fight against the White Walkers, this penultimate episode of Game of Thrones had everything it needed to have. And while it wasn’t perfect, it was still perfect for Game of Thrones.
Frank Castle might still be stuck in the war zone of his mind, but Netflix’s The Punisher has come to an end after two seasons. His Marvel compatriot, Jessica Jones, will also see her story end—but it’ll be after the third season of Jessica Jones airs.
73) Game of Thrones’ Jon Snow Reveal Won’t Just Be Awkward, It Could Destroy His Relationship With Dany
Many Game of Thrones fans are anxiously awaiting that super-awkward moment in season eight when Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen realize that they’ve boned a close relative. But according to one of the showrunners, as well as the actors themselves, the reveal could also tear them apart—because Dany might not let anyone block her path to the Iron Throne.
Even though Netflix has cancelled all of its Marvel shows over the past few months, fans may still be holding onto the hope they could return. And while that’s nice in theory, the fact Marvel is about to literally sell pieces of the shows back to fans probably isn’t a good sign.
Avengers: Endgame, the highly anticipated finale to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as it stands so far, premiered tonight in Los Angeles. There, thousands of people were among the first in the world to see the film ahead of press screenings Tuesday and public screenings Thursday night.
70) Netflix Stealth Dropped Chinese Sci-Fi Blockbuster The Wandering Earth This Weekend, and No One Noticed
The Wandering Earth became one of the biggest hits in Chinese cinema history earlier this year, propelling itself to become the second highest-grossing film of all time in the country and racking up one of the biggest international grosses on the planet for 2019 so far (it’s still third, even with Endgame). And now, outta nowhere, it’s on Netflix.
The Star Wars saga returns in 2022, and it’s sharing some time with Pandora.
In Avengers: Endgame, Steve Rogers reminds us there’s nothing he wouldn’t do to protect the people he loves, no matter the cost. But the way things play out for Steve in the movie leave open a number of significant questions about the choices he makes and how they might affect the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Orlando Jones gave one of the breakout performances in American Gods as Mr. Nancy, an African trickster god who sharply reflected and reacted to America’s history of slavery and racism. In the second season, his role on the show increased, as Jones took on production and writing tasks alongside his stunning performance. But now, according to Jones himself, he’s been fired from the show ahead of its third season.
Cats, Tom Hooper’s memetic hazard of a musical, is receiving unprecedented treatment from its distributors at Universal. As shared by the Hollywood Reporter, the company is sending theaters an updated version of the Ozymandias-like monument to hubris and toxoplasmosis. This new version of the film, according to a memo sent to thousands of theaters on Friday—the film’s release day—will include “some improved visual effects.”
The third season of Stranger Things is here and, if you’re like us, you spent most of July 4th weekend glued to your TV, desperate to know what’s next for Eleven and the crew from Hawkins, Indiana, circa 1985.
[Editor’s Note: This post was from 2013!] Have you dreamed about this man comforting or befriending you over the past five years? Then you are one of thousands across the world who have dreamed “this man.” And they have a website to describe their experiences.
You’ve all been chomping at the bit so here it is. You no longer have to keep all those thoughts and feelings inside—welcome to the spoiler zone.
Sonic has gotta go fast, but did the decision to redesign the hedgehog maybe happen too fast? Jim Carrey, who plays the evil Dr. Robotnik in the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog movie, said the fandom response that resulted in director Jeff Fowler delaying the release to rework the character is the sort of thing that risks turning creative ownership into “Frankenstein’s monster.”
61) It’s Official: The First Star Wars Film After Rise of Skywalker Will Be From Game of Thrones’ Showrunners
We’re going from Westeros to a galaxy far, far away. While speaking at the MoffetNathanson Media & Communications summit today, Walt Disney Company chairman Bob Iger confirmed that the next Star Wars film following The Rise of Skywalker will be from Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, coming in 2022.
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is a 90-minute interactive film that boasts many twists, alternate endings, and reinterpreted versions of already-viewed scenes. And it turns out, there are even pieces we may never get to see.
Last summer, voice actor Vic Mignogna went into a booth with a few others to record audio for a video game. At one point, Mignogna asked the client, who was overseeing the session, if she was okay with his performance. When she didn’t answer right away, he followed up with: “You know the old Latin—or is it Greek? There’s an axiom that says: Silence gives consent.”
A movie as bold and intriguing as scope as Avengers: Endgame—the culmination of plot threads, character arcs, relentless post-credit teases, and actor contracts across over a decade of blockbuster film making—naturally invites with it the hushed procedure of secrecy. But that doesn’t just apply to avoiding leaks: it applies to its stars.
As impressive as the magnitude and more spectacular elements of Avengers: Endgame are, what really makes the movie shine are those moments when you get to see the Avengers interacting with one another in their downtime as people living in the larger world. Take, for instance, the all-new, all-verbal Hulk, who’s become something of a celebrity after finding peace and balance between his Bruce Banner and Hulk selves.
Regardless of how you feel about how the climax of Game of Thrones ultimately came together, it’d be foolish to not at least acknowledge that there are reasons the HBO show became one of the biggest televisual events of the last decade. At a recent talk for the Austin Film Festival, however, it seems that D.B. Weiss and David Benioff admitted that they were not among them.
Avengers: Endgame is everything you’ve ever dreamed a Marvel movie could be. It’s a three-hour adrenaline shot to the heart featuring mysteries solved, consequences suffered, shock, awe, and delight. Some scenes have a scope so huge, the mind reels to comprehend what you’re watching. Others are so poignant and small, you’ll hear the sniffles echoing in the theater. The film’s unrelenting bombardment of story and visual effects are sometimes so dense they edge toward baffling, but they also help gloss over a smattering of problems, which were inevitable with such grandiose goals. Endgame was never going to be perfect. But it comes damn close and, at times, rises to a state of near transcendence.
How do we put this delicately? Some of the decisions Rian Johnson made in Star Wars: The Last Jedi…rubbed people the wrong way. The handling of Luke Skywalker, Rey’s lineage, the fate of Snoke, all of these things instantly became lightning rods of debate and continue to be just that. Some fans even hope the sequel changes those things. And if they do, Johnson is OK with it.
Fans who watched The Mandalorian panel online during Star Wars Celebration Sunday missed one key thing: never-before-seen footage for the first ever live-action Star Wars TV series. In the room, executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni showed a behind the scenes featurette as well as full scene and trailer. We’ll start with the trailer.
Okay, so we can acknowledge that plot holes aren’t the end-all be-all of film criticism, but that doesn’t mean they don’t, occasionally, bother us. And here’s one that’s undoubtedly sticking in fan’s craws: Okay, so if Nick Fury had this super powerful friend that he could page when there was danger, why didn’t he do so, y’know, during the Battle for Manhattan? Or during the whole Ultron thing?
When you woke up this morning, we bet you didn’t expect to see an official E.T. sequel—but that’s kind of what’s happened, just in a slightly unconventional, very commercial way.
Hulk smash. The Hulk has always smashed; it’s his thing and he’s incredibly good at it. But in Avengers: Endgame, the Hulk is given a new emotional depth that allows him to do more than express rage with his irradiated fists.
Recently, Cameron Boyce, a young actor known for his role in Disney Channel work like the series Jessie and the Descendants movies, passed away due to complications from epilepsy.
Spooky times are back, and you know what that means: ‘Tis the season for bad Halloween costumes! Cosplay and nerd culture have become more mainstream and while that means some awesome costumes, so too do we see an increase in badly made knockoffs. Some of them are supposed to be “sexy,” others funny, but they usually end up just being plain bad. We’re looking at the worst of the worst of 2019.
47) New Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Footage Featured Rey in a Black Hood With a Dual Red Lightsaber
Fans have been clamoring for a new glimpse at Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ever since the first trailer debuted in April. And, at this year’s D23 Expo, director J.J. Abrams didn’t disappoint.
With Dumbo, Aladdin, and The Lion King all being released this year, you might think Disney would slow down with its modern remakes of classic animated films. You’d be wrong. The Little Mermaid, which has long been rumored, is reportedly started to speed up—and none other than Melissa McCarthy may be playing Ursula.
This is the moment. After episode two of The Mandalorian slowed down the time bomb that was the identity of his bounty, episode three finally brought that bounty face to face with the person who paid to get it. It is a moment of truth for the character and a moment of truth for the show.
Now that Game of Thrones’ series finale has come and gone, even more attention is being paid to author George R.R. Martin. He’s mostly been minding his own business and living his life while the rest of the world harangues him about the final two entries in the series of novels that started it all.
Guys, I haven’t been this stunned by an episode of The Walking Dead in so long. I mean, I was pleasantly surprised when a zombie knifed Jesus, I’ve enjoyed the wackiness of the Whisperers and the Highwaymen, and I’ve loved the bizarre way Rick was taken off the show. But last night’s episode was just fantastic—and it had an ending so shocking my jaw literally dropped.
41) Kevin Feige Considers Spider-Man: Far From Home, Not Avengers: Endgame, as the End of the MCU’s Third Phase
Here’s an intriguing tidbit: according to Kevin Feige, Avengers: Endgame isn’t actually the end of the third phase of Marvel movies, even though, y’know, it’s in the name and everything.
The first teaser is here for CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Picard, which brings the incredible Patrick Stewart back as the even more incredible Jean-Luc Picard. But the admiral, who’s been spending a lot of time with his grapes, is no longer a part of Starfleet. The mystery, of course, is finding out why.
Spider-Man: Far From Home opens July 2, but press screenings have started—and, can you believe it? The early word is very positive. We joke because the early word on these movies is almost always very, very positive.
Avengers: Endgame was a riot of flashy fights and fan service, with enough humor thrown in to sometimes feel like a great comedy. It was silly and nonsensical, but above all it was entertaining, and when it needed to hit the emotional, dramatic beats it usually nailed them. Yet there was a point in the film where I found myself distracted from the sheer inundation of fun—when it became clear that the many, many powerful heroines of the piece weren’t quite on par with the heroes. They were props, there to support the stories of the guys. Endgame did its women no favors and it’s time we talked about it.
Up close, with some nice lighting? The CW’s take on Godspeed doesn’t look all that bad. But when you see it in full, you can’t unsee the speedster’s bulge as anything but a case for maybe strictly adhering to the source material not always being the best idea.
Seriously. If you have not seen Avengers: Endgame yet, you’re not going to want to watch this new trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home. But if you have? You’re in for a treat.
The latest episode of Game of Thrones bought the war to end all wars crashing down on Winterfell, with a surprisingly dramatic conclusion to one of the show’s biggest threats. It’d be exciting, if only had it not brought with it a tide of completely ridiculous fandom nonsense.
34) In the First Avengers: Endgame Clip, Captain Marvel Offers a Polite Reason for Not Showing Up Sooner
Even after Thanos snapped away half of all life on Earth, some of its mightiest heroes are asking the same questions we are: why didn’t Carol Danvers show up sooner? Well, allow Captain Danvers to give you the answer.
Avengers: Endgame might be Tony Stark’s story but it is, for better or worse at times, in many ways equally a love letter to Chris Evans’ journey as Captain America. So maybe it’s not surprising that one of the film’s most devilishly-difficult-to-spot Easter eggs in a cheeky callback to one of Cap’s cinematic foes.
It’s time for the real heroes to show up.
Black Panther’s Erik Killmonger is one of the MCU’s most complex villains. His heartbreaking dialogue toward the end of the film is one of his most powerful moments and perhaps something you wouldn’t normally expect to hear in a superhero film. Black Panther co-writers Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole put it in there assuming Marvel executives would cut it. However, they did the opposite.
Earth’s mightiest heroes—what’s left of them, at least—stand united, for one last fight.
Gravity Falls was a series that thrived on mystery. Not just for the characters, but also for the audience, who spent the show’s two seasons deciphering codes, reading hints, and solving puzzles lovingly cultivated by creator Alex Hirsch. Now the animated series is on Disney+ and there’s a new mystery afoot—one that Hirsch says he had no part in and has no idea why it’s happening.
After making 22 movies that tell one cohesive story, while grossing almost $20 billion worldwide along the way, what’s Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige doing next? The same thing all over again—with a whole new set of toys.
This is why we can’t have nice things.
The game is over. The epic saga of Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister, and whoever managed to survive through eight seasons of murder and mayhem ended last night in a finale that was often too obvious and probably too happy, but still got more right than it got wrong. More importantly, it was the ending the show needed—and deserved.
Avengers: Endgame takes Thor to an emotional low point so dark that he sinks into an existential, alcohol-fueled depression. It causes the thunder god to go through a drastic physical transformation we don’t see until halfway through the film. When we first see Thor’s new form, it’s initially played for laughs, but as Endgame unfolds, it’s shown to be a reflection of where the character’s at emotionally.
What’s up with the make-up? That’s what fans wanted to know after the second trailer for Avengers: Endgame, which finally added Captain Marvel into the manic mix of superheroes. Many noticed that in her solo outing, which was directed by a man and a woman, Carol Danvers didn’t wear much make-up, but in Endgame, which is directed by two men, she was glammed up. Questions arose regarding the perspectives of the different directors.
Shockwaves rippled through the online fan community Monday as the directors of Avengers: Endgame revealed possibly the film’s biggest secret yet. Look closely and you may see for yourself.
Oh, what’s that? You wanted more Baby Yoda? The Mandalorian provides.
I’m sitting here on my couch having just watched a live-action Star Wars TV series and I still can’t believe it.
While Avengers: Endgame is very good at drawing you into the sheer spectacle of itself as you’re watching, when you give it some distance, the movie’s narrative weaknesses become readily apparent. And that’s before the Russo Brothers started to further complicate things with their post-hoc musings. Apparently, though, the filmmakers have even more to say.
We’ve been through eight seasons, countless battles, a war that lasted lifetimes. Kings and queens have risen, and they have fallen. All leading us right here, to the bitter end. HBO’s Game of Thrones is over, the people of Westeros have spoken, and here’s who ended up on the throne.
Kevin Feige really wants that Avatar record.
For Star Wars fans, two things have always been true. It’s a world we all dream of visiting but will never actually be able to. Star Wars is a movie, of course. Fiction. The sets and places only exist in far off studios for a few months at a time, or as ones and zeroes on the servers of visual effects companies. None of it exists. It isn’t real. That is, until now.
It’s not much, but it’s probably going to be more than enough for Marvel Studios to swipe Avatar’s box office record.
14) One of the Actors on Avengers: Endgame Got In Trouble With Security for Posting a Picture of a Sunset
Being in a Marvel movie is, according to Disney, serious, serious business.
You thought those 32 individual posters for Avengers: Endgame were something? Well, check this out.
11) Watching Gwyneth Paltrow Realize in Real Time She Was in Spider-Man: Homecoming Is the Delight You Need This Friday
You know how it is, in between days of shilling scientifically dubious lifestyle methods to women and filming cameos for Marvel movie after Marvel movie. They all blur together to the point that you just don’t have a clue where you’ll eventually show up.
Game of Thrones enraged the world when it had the audacity to forget a coffee cup was in one of the shots—so much so, it’s already been digitally removed. But this isn’t the first time that a mistake like this has happened.
Look out, Mad Titan. The cavalry is here.
The first episode of The Mandalorian was excellent. But it was also about what we were all expecting: a sci-fi western focusing on a lone gunslinger hunting down and capturing wanted criminals. That all changed in the episode’s closing moment, though. And now with the second episode, we have an idea of what The Mandalorian is actually going to be.
Sony has released an official response to the recently reported news that Disney and Sony reached an impasse on its Spider-Man partnership, calling many of the stories “mischaracterized” and squaring much of the blame on Marvel Studio president Kevin Feige’s workload.
Huge news in the world of superheroes. Deadline reports that Disney and Sony have come to a stalemate in regards to Spider-Man and that Marvel Studios, along with its president Kevin Feige, will no longer be producing Spider-Man films.
There’s nothing fans love more than a good climactic rematch. But some fights just aren’t meant to happen.
The Force has awoken. The last of the Jedi has relit the spark for a new generation beyond him. And now it’s time for the Skywalker Saga to come to a close with The Rise of Skywalker, 42 years after we first stepped into the galaxy far far away—and we finally have our first look at the film.
The U.S. military has warned service members about the potential for a mass shooter at screenings of the Warner Bros. film Joker, which has sparked wide concerns from, among others, the families of those killed during the 2012 mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado.
Captain Marvel’s ensemble has seen some, let’s just say, changes over the past several years. One of Carol Danvers’ most-recent comics costumes, designed by Jamie McKelvie for Kelly Sue DeConnick’s 2012 series, inspired Brie Larson’s movie ensemble. But according to a recent interview, Larson didn’t want the more skimpy predecessors going anywhere near her.
After 11 years and almost two dozen movies, it was a bit of a shock: a character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was openly gay. How it was handled, however, was arguably more shocking.
So that’s it, the ones you clicked on the most. But let us know what else you enjoyed reading from us this year in the comments!
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