Category Archives: Magazine

Entertainment Weekly Story: The Mandalorian Unmasked

The Mandalorian stealthily enters the safe house. Two stormtroopers stand guard. The soldiers have become freelance mercenaries since the Empire has collapsed, their once-pristine armor now grimy with dirt. The bounty hunter creeps up behind them and fires his blaster, gunning them down.

So, yes: The Mandalorian shoots first — and shoots his enemies in the back.

This is the brutal, lawless world of this new Disney+ Star Wars series — which brings a galaxy far, far away to the small screen as a live-action series for the first time. The show is set after the downfall of the Galactic Empire in Return of the Jedi but before the events of The Force Awakens. For now, chaos reigns across the universe, especially in the outer reaches of the galaxy where a Mandalorian bounty hunter stalks his prey for diminishing returns.

“It’s like after the Roman Empire falls, or when you don’t have a centralized shogun in Japan­ — and, of course, the Old West, when there wasn’t any government in the areas that had not yet been settled,” says showrunner Jon Favreau (The Lion King), who spearheads the series along with longtime Star Wars animated-series producer Dave Filoni. “Those are also cinematic tropes in films that originally inspired George Lucas to make Star Wars.”

Indeed, The Mandalorian’s clearest inspiration is the first act of A New Hope, which played like a Western set in space: exotic creatures, smugglers, soldiers, and bounty hunters leading rough lives in an overlooked outlaw territory. (Conversely, the show is perhaps the furthest from the Star Wars prequels and the aristocratic poshness of their Jedi council meetings on Coruscant.) Expect The Mandalorian to travel from system to system in a very “boots on the ground” tale without any major legacy characters… at least, not in the first season.

Read more HERE.

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Stephen King On His New Horror Novel, The ‘Nightmare’ of Trump, And Stranger Things

Donald Trump was still months away from being elected president when Stephen King began writing his new novel. But The Institute — out September 10th and centered on a 12-year-old boy stolen from his parents in the night and locked up in a mysterious facility — is likely to remind readers of certain immigration policies. “I can’t help but see similarity between what’s going on in The Institute and those pictures of kids in cages,” says King. “Sometimes fiction outpaces fact.”

This isn’t the first time a King book predicted the political future: His 1979 book The Dead Zone was about a Trump-like aspiring president threatening global apocalypse if he took office. “Fiction has foreseen Trump before,” says King, “always as a nightmare. Now, the nightmare is here. But I don’t want to force my worldview on people. I’m not George Orwell, and this book isn’t 1984. It wasn’t meant to be an allegory.”

King is calling in from his house in Maine, just a couple of weeks after traveling to Foxborough, Massachusetts, to see his first-ever Rolling Stones concert. (“Keith looked a little tentative and just putting in the time at first, but then he caught fire.”) He’s still reveling in the surge of interest in his work that followed 2017’s It, now the highest-grossing horror movie ever. “I think a lot of kids watched the [1990] It miniseries with Tim Curry, and it scared the living shit right out of them,” King says. “They couldn’t wait to go back and see it again.”

Like IT, The Institute is about a group of children who band together to battle an unspeakably evil force. The twist this time is that they all have telekinetic or psychic powers and the adults who run the facility force them to undergo medical experiments. “I wanted to write a book like Tom Brown’s School Days,” King says, referencing the 1857 Thomas Hughes children’s classic about a British boarding school. “But in hell.”

A book about ­clairvoyant kids battling a shadow organization will surely draw comparisons to Stranger Things. Which was, of course, heavily inspired by Stephen King books. “I like [Stranger Things] a lot, but it does owe something to It,” the ­author says. “That’s another book about kids who are weak and helpless by themselves — but together can make something that is very strong.” 

Long before Stranger Things and even It, children with supernatural powers were at the center of King books like Carrie, The Shining, and Firestarter. “Like a pitcher that has a great fastball or slider, you go back to what worked for you before,” says King. “I do think that kids are sort of magic. When I was a young man, I could draw [inspiration] from my own kids. Now that I’m so much older, I am drawing from my grandchildren and what I see them doing and how I see them interacting.”

The Institute could be the next King project to be ­adapted by Hollywood, joining The Stand (CBS All Access), The Outsider (HBO), and Lisey’s Story (Apple TV+) — plus the seven movies he has in development. King has script ­approval on all of them. “The scripts have to work,” he says. “They can’t have 19 pages of flashbacks to when the characters were kids. I want the pedal to the metal as much of the time as possible.”

The film adaptation of King’s 2013 The Shining sequel, Dr. Sleep, comes out November 8th and features Ewan McGregor playing an adult Danny Torrance. Though King has always hated Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 adaptation of his book for changing so much of the story, he allowed the Dr. Sleep filmmakers to use elements of Kubrick’s version. “My problem with Kubrick’s film was that it’s so cold,” King says. “The reason I didn’t have any problem with this script is they took some of Kubrick’s material and warmed it up.”

King’s next book, If It Bleeds, is due out sometime in 2020. It’s a continuation of his ongoing Holly Gibney detective series. “I have to do a polish on that,” he says. “But it’s basically done.” He’s already jamming away on the one after that (though he’s not ready to divulge any details) and the sudden surge of interest in his work has been a great motivator to keep going. “I’m 71 years old,” he says, “and a lot of people my age are forgotten and I’ve had this late season burst of success. It’s very gratifying.”

Naturally, retirement remains the last thing on his mind. “That’s God’s decision, not mine,” he says. But I’ll know when it’s time. I’ll either collapse at my desk or the ideas will run out — the thing you don’t want to do is embarrass yourself. As long as I feel like I’m still doing good work, I can’t see myself stopping.”

Reprinted from Rolling Stone

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Dive Into The World of Stephen King With Entertainment Weekly’s Collector’s Edition

There are many reasons why Stephen King has been dubbed the “Master of Horror,” and fans of the highly lauded author can find a multitude of great examples in Entertainment Weekly’s Ultimate Guide to Stephen King.

With his spookiest and most iconic creation to date displayed on the cover, Pennywise (portrayed by Bill Skarsgard in 2017’s It) shares an evil look with all those who will purchase the collector’s edition when it hits newsstands today. The scary clown is promoting his return to the big screen in It Chapter Two (in theaters September 6) with several stories — including an interview with the film’s stars — that take a closer look at the latest expansion of King’s horror empire.

Other can’t-miss features include a definitive list of King’s scariest hits, 25 of the scariest moments from his films, and a look at some of his most legendary big screen adaptations.

If you’re a fan of the horror writer from Maine, you’ll want to pick up Entertainment Weekly’s Ultimate Guide to Stephen King, available on newsstands now.

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TIME’s 2019 World’s Greatest Places

How does one measure the greatness of a place—in miles covered, dollars spent, or visitors captivated? Such metrics can play a part, but also important is something that many travelers aspire to experience: the sense that one has stumbled upon the extraordinary.

To compile TIME’s second annual list of the World’s Greatest Places, the magazine solicited nominations across a variety of categories—including museums, parks, restaurants, and hotels—from our editors and correspondents around the world as well as industry experts. Then they evaluated each one based on key factors, including quality, originality, sustainability, innovation and influence.

The result: 100 new and newly noteworthy destinations to experience right now, from America’s hottest hometown pizzeria to a Tokyo museum bringing digital art to life.

California made the list with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland, Hearst Castle in San Simeon, AutoCamp in Yosemite, Arts District Firehouse Hotel in Los Angeles, and Nyum Bai restaurant in Oakland.

To see the full list, click HERE.

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Comic-Con At 50 Looks Back To Its Roots And Ahead To Its Future

On March 21, 1970, a group of teenage comic and movie enthusiasts under the nominal adult supervision of a superfan named Shel Dorf mounted a one-day comic “minicon” at the US Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego, similar to a convention that Dorf had staged in Detroit. The event was successful enough that they decided to do a bigger version over the summer. Over 300 fans turned up to buy, sell, talk, live and breathe all things comics, sci-fi and fantasy with special guests Ray Bradbury, Jack Kirby and A.E. Van Vogt. They called it the San Diego Golden State Comic-Con, eventually settling on the pithier moniker “San Diego Comic-Con” by 1973.

As you may have heard, San Diego Comic-Con is still around. The 50th edition of the show kicks off this week, bringing hundreds of thousands of fans to San Diego for an annual festival that has become a centerpiece of the 21st century media/entertainment industry and global popular culture.

Comic-Con has always been a big deal for the comics and publishing industry, but it really rose to global prominence in the early 2000s, coinciding with the first wave of big superhero-driven blockbusters and the expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, which enabled the show’s attendance to balloon from 45,000 in the late 90s to well over 135,000 unique attendees that it draws today. The success of SDCC paved the way for other huge fan events around the world, creating an industry that now contributes billions of dollars in economic impact to host cities.

Through it all, San Diego Comic-Con has persevered, pursuing its mission to promote comics and the popular arts despite the thick fog of entertainment industry marketing hype that now blankets downtown San Diego for the week. Though the days of exponential growth are behind it, at least until San Diego decides to expand its facility further, SDCC remains a magnet for media attention, marketing dollars, exclusive merchandise, and fan frenzy. It’s also put long-simmering speculation of an imminent  move to another locale on hold with the announcement of a new deal to stay in San Diego through 2024.

Read more of the Forbes article HERE.

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Entertainment Weekly Comic-Con Bonus Issue Cover Story Features IT Chapter Two

Get an exclusive look at IT: Chapter Two in Entertainment Weekly’s special Comic-Con International bonus issue, distributed throughout the weekend in San Diego.

IT: Chapter Two (out September 6), the sequel to Andy Muschietti’s 2017 film IT was adapted from Stephen King’s classic novel. The movie starred a group of misfit kids — who dubbed themselves the Losers’ Club — battling a child-slaying supernatural entity who reveals himself to his prey as a clown called Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård). Despite initial doubts from horror fans that Skarsgård could match Tim Curry’s iconic performance as the fanged entertainer in the much-loved 1990 It miniseries, the Swedish actor and the Losers’ Club turned out to be winners, with the $35 million-budget film praised by critics and going on to gross $700 million at the global box office.

It: Chapter Two is set 27 years after the events of its predecessor, as Pennywise returns to the streets — and sewer drains — of the fictional New England town of Derry to slay more children…unless the Losers’ Club can stop him. The young cast of the first IT was, unsurprisingly, in large part made up of unknowns, with Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard, who played the wiseacre Richie, the best known of the bunch. Chapter Two, in contrast, boasts several high-profile actors, including Jessica Chastain, who plays Beverly, the lone woman in the Losers’ Club; Bill Hader as Richie; Sinister franchise actor James Ransone as the grown-up version of the supposedly sickly Eddie; and James Mc­Avoy as Bill, who lost his younger brother, Georgie, to Pennywise in the first film.

The Muschiettis cast Jay Ryan (Top of the Lake) as Ben, Andy Bean (Swamp Thing) as Stanley, and Isaiah Mustafa (Shadowhunters, the Old Spice commercials) as Mike, the one member of the Losers’ Club to remain in Derry, who now works as a librarian. 

Read more HERE.

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Vanity Fair Photos Revealed

As is tradition, the first look photos for the new Star Wars movie, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, have arrived online courtesy of Vanity Fair!

Confirmed in the new photos are the reveals of brand new characters and planets for the series including:

Pasaana, the desert planet glimpsed in the first trailer for the film, whose natives are called Aki-Aki.

Keri Russell will play the masked scoundrel Zorri Bliss, pictured in the Thieves’ Quarter of the “snow-dusted Kijimi.”

Finn and his new ally Jannah ride new creatures, Orbaks, into battle against the First Order

And also, The Knights of Ren will return!

Returning cast members for Rise of Skywalker include Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo and Billie Lourd. Joining the cast are Naomi Ackie (Doctor Who), Richard E. Grant (Logan), Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings), and Keri Russell (The Americans), who will also be joined by veteran Star Wars actors Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels and Billy Dee Williams, who will reprise his role as Lando Calrissian.

      

The role of Leia Organa will once again be played by Carrie Fisher, using previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Trek) returning to direct the ninth and final installment of the Skywalker saga. Abrams co-wrote the screenplay with Chris Terrio (Argo, Justice League). Composer John Williams, who has scored every chapter in the Star Wars saga since 1977’s A New Hope, will return to a galaxy far, far away with Rise of Skywalker.

The film is produced by Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Michelle Rejwan, and executive produced by Callum Greene and Jason McGatlin.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is scheduled for release on December 20.

Rolling Stone Cover Story: The Softer Side of Howard Stern

After years of psy­cho­therapy, the King of All Media looks back, repents, and rescues a few kittens…

Howard stern hasn’t released a book in 24 years. Back in those days, he was a guy who didn’t think twice about calling Rosie O’Donnell a “fat pig”; using a giant, rotting fish as a mallet to spank a naked woman on the air; or viciously mocking a member of his “Wack Pack” with Down syndrome he’d dubbed “Gary the Retard.” On the cover of the book Miss America, he dressed as a drag queen, and inside he offered detailed accounts of his private cybersex sessions with fans.

The Howard Stern of 2019 — who spends his free time fostering rescue cats or painting watercolors — can only shudder when that book and its 1993 predecessor, Private Parts, comes up. “If I read them, I’d want to jump out a window,” he says. “I haven’t picked them up in years. They are snapshots of who I was back then, and I want to take that guy and shake him. I was a selfish prick. I can just see that quote in Rolling Stone, ‘I was a selfish prick.’ But it’s true.”

It’s before 8 a.m. on a Thursday in mid-April, and Stern is usually at his Hamptons home or Palm Beach estate by now, since he broadcasts Mondays through Wednesdays only. But he’s come into his SiriusXM studio in New York for a rare extended interview timed to the release of his new book, Howard Stern Comes Again, a compendium of his best interviews with the likes of Lady Gaga, Stephen Colbert, Gwyneth Paltrow and other A-listers.

Stern is now friends with ex-antagonists like O’Donnell. Gary is almost never seen; when he is, Stern lovingly calls him “Gary the Conquerer.” “Retard” has vanished from Stern’s vocabulary, along with bits that demean women or minorities. He vacations with friends like Jimmy Kimmel and Jennifer Aniston, and goes to parties with Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Martin and others he used to torment.

To Stern die-hards, this is blasphemy — the equivalent of Johnny Rotten singing Pat Boone songs. Superfans gather each day on the Howard Stern subreddit to blast their former hero, calling him “Hollywood Howie” or “PC Howie” and arguing over when they stopped listening. (Oddly enough, they all seem tuned in to current show developments.) But as Stern settles onto the studio couch usually reserved for show guests, he says he doesn’t care about the Reddit crew. As he reveals in his new book, he recently had two cancer scares. First, he almost underwent chemotherapy when his white-blood-cell count was off the charts, but discovered at the last moment that he was suffering from mercury poisoning from eating too much fish. Then, in a hypochondriac’s nightmare scenario, he got a full-body scan and doctors saw a spot on his kidney. They said there was a 95 percent chance it was cancer, and he had major surgery, only to wake up and learn it was a cyst that had burst.

In the book, he also says that after many years of psychotherapy he has come to terms with his narcissism. He says he no longer has any desire to humiliate or insult guests to score ratings. In an era when former heavyweights like Charlie Rose and Matt Lauer have been pushed out of the industry due to their treatment of women, it’s no small irony that Stern’s couch is now where some of the biggest names in the industry go for in-depth interviews. It’s the sort of third-act surprise that few people would have ever predicted for the guy formerly known as Fartman.

Read the full Rolling Stone interview HERE.

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Journey To Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge In The New Issue of Disney Twenty-Three

In just a few weeks, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open to guests at Disneyland Resort, and Disney twenty-three had the chance to go behind the scenes to provide fans with a look at the spectacular 14-acre land. The exclusive photos were so breathtaking that D23 expanded this issue to showcase even more of the Black Spire Outpost, with three rich stories that feature exclusive interviews with the Imagineers behind the epic project. Readers will get the lay of the land in the story “A Galaxy Not So Far Away,” explore the two groundbreaking attractions in “Shift Your Setting to Thrill!,” and get swept up in the immersive environments and new technologies in “Living on the Edge.” 

Disney twenty-three, which is delivered directly to fans’ doorsteps, is offered exclusively to D23 Gold and Gold Family Members as a benefit of their membership. The latest issue will begin arriving in mid-May.

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Heavy Metal Magazine Issue #293 Includes Stephen King Short Story, Little Green God of Agony

The most recent issue of Heavy Metal Magazine (#293) includes a Stephen King-penned short story called Little Green God of Agony that appeared as a web comic in 2012.

The synopsis of Little Green God of Agony is as follows:

Katherine “Kat” MacDonald is an RN hired to care for wealthy client, Andrew Newsome, who has gone from doctor to doctor trying to find a quick cure for his lingering pain to no avail. She is convinced that he would overcome the injuries he sustained in an airplane crash but he is unwilling to endure the pain of physical therapy. In desperation, Newsome has hired a healer, Reverend Rideout, who promises to “expel” his pain.

Here’s a full summary of what’s included in the issue:

Heavy Metal Magazine brings you tales of horror From Beyond The Darkness in issue #293.  Horror master, Stephen King, and artist Dennis Calero introduce you to the Little Green God of Agony –  Aliens searching for the afterlife, unfortunately, find what they’re looking in S.O.L.U.S. – Pahek delivers a story of space exploration gone wrong in Green Grower – Aliens from alternate dimensions find more than what they bargain for in Doppeldamons  – A revolutionary war battle takes a dark turn in White Death by Diego Agrimbau and Eduardo Risso – finally Heavy Metal’s new Managing Editor, Time Seeley, delivers a futuristic punch with a Megadeth’s Holy Wars: Punishment Due.  Continuing in this issue is Murky World by Richard Corben chapters 6 & 7.   Finishing in this issue is The Door by Michael Moreci & Esau Escorza.  Galleries by Flavio Greco Paglia, Denis Zhbankov and John Kenn Mortensen.

Order your copy HERE.

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