Today in the Rundown, we have the latest on how Warner Bros plans to fix their new DC cinematic universe, get some important news for fans of Blizzard games like Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm, find out what Moon director Duncan Jones is working on next, have an early look at the live-action Ghost in the Shell movie with Scarlett Johansson, dive into new DLC for Rocket League, get the latest on the Star Wars spin-off movie Rogue One, and finally, have some good news about from our old pal Geoff Keighley!
I’m not the only one who has a problem with the new DC movies. With the two recent films Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad being panned by critics and audiences, many DC fans, including yours truly, are worried about the direction of the new shared cinematic universe. The higher-ups at Warner Bros and DC seem to agree. Speaking with investors, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes admits that there’s “room for improvement” in the DC movie universe. No kidding. He adds that, in the comics, the characters have a little more lightness in them than what we saw in the recent movies, so they’re thinking about that as they develop future films. Despite his minor criticism, Bewkes is still standing by Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, pointing out that they were both financially successful. Still, this is just the latest indication that the higher-ups at Warner Bros recognize that they have problems they need to fix with the DC movie universe. After Batman v Superman came out, there were reports of a big reshuffling of the creative team at the studio, and the first trailers for Wonder Woman and Justice League indicate that they’re already going for a lighter tone with the story and characters. Both of those hit theatres next year, and we hope they’re good.
One of the biggest online gaming services in the world is changing its appearance. Blizzard Entertainment is changing the name of Battle.net, the collection of online services that help run their games like World of Warcraft, StarCraft, and Heroes of the Storm. From now on, Battle.net won’t really have a name, instead, all of its services will simply use the Blizzard name, and be called things like Blizzard Streaming and Blizzard Voice. So why are they doing this? Blizzard says they’re getting rid of the Battle.net name because it’s outdated. When it first launched back in 1996, online services were a novelty, but now, it’s assumed that pretty much every game will have them built-in, so there’s no need to distinguish them with a special name. The underlying technology that powers Battle.net will stay exactly the same, so there shouldn’t be any difference in how you access and play the games.
The director of the big screen Warcraft movie has something that might put audiences over the moon. Warcraft director Duncan Jones, who also helmed the smaller sci-fi films Moon and Source Code, has revealed that his next project will begin filming next week. It’s a futuristic science fiction movie titled Mute, and Jones has been developing it for more than a decade. The story is set on Earth forty years in the future, and here’s the best part: Jones says that the story will be related to his first, and arguably best movie, Moon. It’s unclear if this means it will be a direct sequel to Moon or just take place in the same universe, or just have similar thematic tones, but either way, this is something that any sci-fi fan can get excited about. The Warcraft movie didn’t do nearly as well as expected, so it makes sense that Duncan Jones would want to return to his roots and make a smaller, more Moon-like film. There’s no release date yet for Mute, but we’ll keep you up to date on the latest details.
And speaking of moody science fiction movies, take a look at the new Ghost in the Shell. Several short teaser trailers have landed, giving audiences their first look at Hollywood’s live-action adaptation of the iconic Japanese manga. The new film stars Scarlett Johansson as the cybernetic policewoman The Major, who battles cyber criminals and hackers in a dark and futuristic version of Japan. They haven’t totally white washed the cast; the film will also star several big Asian actors, including Takeshi Kitano, who’s big in Japan. Ghost in the Shell will land in theatres on March 31, 2017.
Rocket League is about to take a deep dive into the sea… the D-L-Sea. Developer Psyonix has announced a watery new batch of DLC for the car/soccer game. It’s called AquaDome, and will give players a new arena located in a dome at the bottom of the ocean. The art style looks suspiciously similar to BioShock, and despite the watery elements around the dome, it doesn’t look like you’ll be able to play with water inside the arena itself. There’s also two new aquatic-themed cars: the sleek and fast Triton, and the heavier, more submarine-like Proteus. Both cars will cost a some money, but the arena will be free for anyone who already owns the game. Rocket League: AquaDome will bubble to the surface in October.
Size matters not, and not every movie can be as big as The Force Awakens. Disney doesn’t expect to make as much money on the new Star Wars spin-off movie Rogue One as they did on last year’s The Force Awakens. That’s according to Disney CEO Bob Iger, who tells Variety that they never expected the spin-off to be as successful, but they’re still anticipating that it will make a lot of money. This is a no brainer. Rogue One isn’t part of the main Star Wars series, and it also doesn’t have the decades of anticipation that The Force Awakens had going for it. This is also normal in big film franchises; no one expects a stand-alone Thor movie to make as much money as a full-fledged Avengers film. The Force Awakens earned just over $2 billion worldwide, so if Rogue One makes a little less than that, it’s nothing to sneeze at. Bob Iger adds that he’s already seen an early cut of the new film, and he thinks that separating it from the main saga makes for some interesting storytelling. Obviously he’s going to say it’s good, so audiences will be able to make up their own minds about Rogue One when it lands in theatres this December.
And before we go, we’d like to congratulate EP’s friend and former co-host Geoff Keighley. He’s launching a weekly live show with YouTube Gaming where he’ll interview game developers, preview upcoming games, and celebrate the industry, kind of like a weekly version of his E3 shows. We can’t wait to check it out.