Today in the Rundown, we have the first look at the Nintendo world coming to Universal Studios theme parks, get lit with the new Fast and Furious movie, catch the latest on the new Spider-Man movies, find out how Sony might be gaming their new movies, bleed the latest on the DC movie universe, get infected with The Walking Dead, and finally, hack into some disappointing news about Watch Dogs 2.
Here’s something that’s going to make you want to visit Japan in a few years. Nintendo and Universal Studios have revealed new details about the Nintendo-themed worlds that are coming to Universal’s theme parks. The first one will be called Super Nintendo World, and is coming to the Universal park in Nintendo’s home country of Japan. They’ve released the first concept art, showing that, as previously reported, the attractions will be entire worlds, with their own rides, shops, restaurants, and interactive areas based around Mario and other Nintendo franchises. The Super Nintendo World is scheduled to open in time for the 2020 Olympics in Japan. The Nintendo worlds that are coming to Universal’s two American theme parks haven’t been unveiled yet, although we do know that they’ll be similar. Expect them to open around the same time.
All of this comes as Nintendo is on the verge of two big changes. The first is that they’re about to release their big mobile game, Super Mario Run, which hits iOS devices on Thursday. Nintendo is expecting to make a fortune, and some analysts are even predicting that the game will be more lucrative than their consoles, which could change the direction of the company going forward. The next big change is their new system, the console/handheld hybrid the Switch. That will be hitting stores in March, and will hopefully be successful enough to make Nintendo want to stay in the console game.
It’s time to get lit and tempt fate. Over the weekend, Universal Pictures announced the title and released an extended first trailer for the eighth film in their Fast and the Furious franchise. It’s called Fate of the Furious, which is a deliberately gloomy and foreboding title given the subject matter. It appears that, this time around, Vin Diesel’s character Dominic Toretto will turn on his tight-knit group of high-speed outlaws, forcing them to track him down with the help of the villain from the last film, Jason Statham. In keeping with the idea that sequels have to constantly get bigger and bigger, Fate of the Furious looks like it will be even more over the top than the previous films, featuring more outlandish vehicular mayhem than before. It will race into fine cinemas everywhere in April.
You won’t have to wait much longer to see more of the new Spider-Man. Following the debut of the first footage from the web-slinger’s new solo film Spider-Man: Homecoming, Sony Pictures has revealed that the second solo film focusing on the new version of the character will swing into cinemas on July 5, 2019. As before, Sony will be producing the sequel alongside Marvel and Disney, thanks to a new deal between the studios that allows Spider-Man to finally be part of the shared Marvel Cinematic Universe. Before you start worrying about a sequel, the first film will arrive in July 2017. The new Spider-Man will also appear in the Avengers: Infinity War in 2018.
Things might be shaking up behind the scenes at Sony. The New York Post reports that Sony is considering merging their film and game divisions, with the plan to hand off control of the films to the same group of people who’ve been overseeing the games. This isn’t that far fetched given that Sony’s games have been a lot more successful than their recent films. They’ve had two high profile box office blunders in recent years: the new Ghostbusters movie, and before that, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which prompted them to hit the reboot button and start fresh with the new Spider-Man. If Sony does merge their film and game divisions, it seems likely that it would expedite the big screen adaptations of popular Sony games like Uncharted and The Last of Us, which have been in development for years. We’ll let you know if official announcements are made.
Over in the DC universe, Warner Bros is shuffling around their upcoming slate of superhero films. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the second Justice League movie, which was slated to arrive in 2019, has been pushed back, likely to 2020. The studio will instead release Ben Affleck’s solo Batman movie, simply titled The Batman, in 2019. Although we were disappointed by Batman v Superman, Affleck’s portrayal of the character was good enough to make us excited to see what he can do in a solo film. Here’s something that might be a little more nerve-wracking. The Hollywood Reporter also claims that Batman v Superman director Zack Snyder, who’s currently working on the first Justice League film, will be back to helm the second one despite the delay. There had been rumours that he might drop out after the disastrous reception of BvS, especially given that most of the producing team has already been swapped out. Hopefully Snyder will deliver with the first Justice League movie when it hit theatres just under a year from now.
Mark your calendars for more depressing entertainment in the zombie apocalypse. AMC has revealed that the current seventh season of The Walking Dead will return on February 12, 2017, following the mid-season finale that aired last night. The second half will consist of eight new episodes, which will see Rick Grimes and his band of survivors rise up against their new foes. Hopefully the second half of the season won’t be quite as bleak as the first half. The Walking Dead has already been renewed for Season Eight, which will infect the airwaves next October.
If you need your fill of The Walking Dead while you’re waiting for new episodes, Telltale Games is about to release the first chapter in their latest Walking Dead video game, The Walking Dead: Season Three. Yes, calling the games ‘seasons’ gets a little confusing given that they’re based on a TV show that already had a third season four years ago, but just go with it. The new game will see Clementine and other characters continue their fight for survival, and like the show, pockets of civilization are starting to emerge from the chaos. We’ll have to wait and see just how civilized they really are. The first two chapters will be available simultaneously on December 20.
It looks like the hackers of Watch Dogs 2 are having some computer problems of their own. Ubisoft has delayed the first batch of multiplayer DLC for the new game. Known as the T-Bone Content Bundle, the pack was slated to arrive tomorrow, but Ubisoft has instead pushed it back to December 22 in order to give the development team more time to focus on fixing the multiplayer mode for the main game, which has been plagued by bugs and glitches since it launched last month. I guess it makes sense that they would want to fix the problems with the multiplayer before introducing more content, but it’s too bad that these problems weren’t addressed before the game was released in the first place.