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The 10 Most Exciting Announcements from D23 and San Diego Comic-Con 2017

Well, it’s been a pretty big couple of weeks for film fans, with Disney’s D23 Expo and the San Diego Comic-Con showing us what we can expect from our favourite franchises over the next few years.

And, as expected, Disney, LucasFilm, Marvel and Pixar made a lot of big announcements, from new film projects and casting reveals to teaser trailers and theme park plans.

Here’s a round-up of the 10 most exciting things we saw from this year’s D23 Expo and ComicCon.

 

Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers Infinity War logoOf all the things we saw from D23 and ComicCon, this could be the one we’re most excited about.

Marvel fans were treated to a 4-minute teaser from the much-anticipated Avengers: Infinity War at the end of the D23 Expo.

The clip began with the Guardians of the Galaxy running into Thor against a backdrop of cosmic carnage. This was followed by snippets of what appeared to be an epic battle between the Avengers and Thanos.

Other important details to note? It looks like Captain America now has a beard and Black Widow has gone blonde.

Can’t wait for Avengers: Infinity War? Show your support for the team by checking out our Avengers merchandise as well as the individual ranges for Captain America, Iron Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, Hulk, Thor, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange and Ant-Man. Did we forget anybody?

 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

 

A Porg. ©Disney

Director Rian Johnson took the stage at D23 along with Star Wars cast members Daisy Ridley, Benicio Del Toro, Gwendoline Christie and Laura Dern to talk about the next instalment in the saga.

And although we didn’t get any new plot details, they did show a behind-the-scenes featurette that hinted at what may be in store, including a terrifying wolf-like creature and an adorable critter apparently known as a Porg. N’aww!

The footage ended with a clip of the late Carrie Fisher, who spoke movingly about what it meant to her to work on The Last Jedi. “(This film) is about family,” she said. “That’s what so powerful about it.”

 

 

Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2

 

The full gamut of Disney princesses will be characters in the second Wreck-It Ralph. © Disney

We also got loads more details about the upcoming sequel to Wreck-It Ralph. In Ralph Breaks the Internet, the title character and his best friend, Vanellope, escape the arcade and enter the Internet to find a fix for the Sugar Rush game.

During their quest, they meet a few new characters, as well as familiar faces from LucasFilm and Marvel along with all of the Disney princesses. Yup, that’s right. All of them. And with many of the original actresses reprising their roles, we really can’t wait to see it.

Want to dress like a Disney princess? Then check out our full range of Disney merchandise, including stunning replica dresses from Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan and more!

 

Live-action Aladdin

These guys will soon be getting a live-action makeover. © Disney

Following the success of Beauty and the Beast, Disney are following up with a live-action, Guy Ritchie-directed Aladdin remake. And at D23, it was announced that Mena Massoud has been cast as the title role, while Naomi Scott has been chosen to play Jasmine.

Will Smith has been chosen to take on the iconic role of the Genie, which was of course played by the late Robin Williams in the original animated movie.

What would you ask the Genie for? How about an Aladdin’s Cave of Aladdin merchandise?

 

Kingdom Hearts 3

The Toy Story gang make their “Kingdom Hearts” debut in the franchise’s third instalment. © Disney

D23 also gave us a sneak peek at the long-awaited Kingdom Hearts 3. And from what we could tell, it will definitely be worth the wait.

Set for release sometime in 2018, the third major instalment in the Final Fantasy/Disney crossover will see Sora and pals Donald and Goofy team up with Toy Story favourites Buzz Lightyear and Woody.

With the long-awaited third instalment just around the corner, now’s the perfect time to grab some Kingdom Hearts merchandise!

 

Stranger Things Season 2

There’s something strange in the neighbourhood AGAIN in “Stranger Things” S2…© Netflix

The first series of Stranger Things was a smash, so expectations for the second are huge. Fortunately, the trailer dropped by Netflix during SDCC hit the spot and hinted at a host of new twists and turns.

Enter the Upside Down world of our Stranger Things merchandise, featuring Funko Pop! figures of all of your favourite characters!

 

Mary Poppins Returns


We literally could not be more excited about next year’s sequel to the 1964 classic. And judging by the exclusive clip shown at D23, it promises to be all we’ve hoped for and more.

The teaser showed Emily Blunt as the title character flying in with her umbrella. We also saw kite-flying, character shots and Dick Van Dyke dancing on a table. It really does look practically perfect in the most delightful way.

 

Star Wars Land – coming to Walt Disney World

Concept art for the “Galaxy’s Edge” theme park. © Disney

It’s no secret that a new Star Wars-themed land is coming to Disneyland and Walt Disney World in 2019. But, we found out much more about it at D23.

The new area is going to be called Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and will be set on a remote planet during the war between the First Order and the Resistance. Attractions will include a trip in the Millennium Falcon and a ride that will put you right at the centre of a huge battle between the two sides.

Galaxy’s Edge is said to be a “fully immersive” experience, and apparently, the decisions you make there will affect you elsewhere in the park.

And as if this wasn’t cool enough, Disney also announced plans for a Star Wars hotel, where each guest will apparently experience a completely unique story during their stay. You’ll get to dress up in Star Wars clothing and explore the alien-filled hotel, which will look like a starship. And when you look out the window? Instead of seeing Florida sunshine, you’ll see outer-space.

Planning a visit to Galaxy’s Edge? You’ll need to stock up on Star Wars merchandise!

 

<h2Captain Marvel

Guys, it’s happening!!!! #captainmarvel #sdcc2017

A post shared by Brie (@brielarson) on

Although Captain Marvel hasn’t even begun filming yet, we did manage to get a couple of very important details from SDCC – including our first look at Brie Larson as the titular Captain in costume (above).

Director Kevin Feige confirmed that the film will be set in the 1990s. Samuel L Jackson will be returning as Nick Fury, although the film is set before he lost his eye – so we’ll get to see Fury sans eyepatch.

 

Doctor Who Christmas Special

First and Twelfth Doctors

Twelve meets One before becoming Thirteen in the “Doctor Who” Christmas special, which we now know is titled “Twice Upon A Time”. © BBC

Emotions were high as Peter Capaldi, Steven Moffat, Michelle Gomez and Pearl Mackie manned the stage for their final SDCC panel as the current torch-bearers for Doctor Who.

They treated us to our first trailer for the upcoming Christmas special, Twice Upon A Time, which will see David Bradley play the original Doctor in place of the late William Hartnell – and the physical and vocal resemblance is uncanny.

Say goodbye to Doctor Twelve with something from our range of Doctor Who merchandise!

 

It’s been a hectic couple of weeks for big announcements and entertainment expos. The next to come up is London Film & Comic Con, where you can meet the EMP crew! Come check out the EMP stall where we’ll be selling merch and giving away awesome prizes and freebies!

 

Written by Catherine Hiley.

TV

“Doctor Who”: Jodie Whittaker is the Thirteenth Doctor!

Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor

TV history was made last night as Jodie Whittaker was announced as Doctor Who’s Thirteenth Doctor, the first woman to take on the titular role in the show’s nearly fifty-four-year history.

The former Broadchurch star said of being awarded the role:

“…this is why I wanted to be an actor in the first place. To be able to play someone who is literally reinvented on screen, with all the freedoms that brings – what an unbelievable opportunity. And added to that, to be the first woman in that role.”

The Thirteenth Doctor will most likely first appear at the climax of “Twice Upon A Time”, the upcoming Christmas special, which will see the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) come face-to-face with his first incarnation (David Bradley, taking over from the late William Hartnell) as he tries to fend off his latest regeneration.

Series Eleven of the revived Doctor Who – the first for new executive producer Chris Chibnall and new Doctor Whittaker – is scheduled to begin next Spring. In the meantime, check out our Doctor Who merchandise section for a range of galactic goodies from the first twelve Doctors. You never know when the Thirteenth will materialise in the shop, so stay tuned!

TV

What Did We Learn From the New “Doctor Who” Trailer?

Let’s break down the latest trailer for Peter Capaldi’s final series as the clock strikes twelve for, um, Twelve…

If you’ve been gawping at Doctor Who trailers for over a decade, as I have, you’ll know that because of the show’s flexible format, all a trailer needs to do to generate a buzz is hammer viewers with dozens of cool visuals, like in this promo image – I bet you if that precise scene occurs in the show, it’ll be a gag and over in a second, but that doesn’t matter:

© BBC

© BBC

Whereas a trailer for a show or movie based around one locale, storyline or set of characters will require a genuine hint at what’s to come plot-wise, the vast sandbox and infinite possibilities for the Whoniverse allows their trailers to poke the gurgling, cooing part of a Doctor Who fan’s brain that says “World War II spitfires flying through space? Cool!” or “a steam train driving into a tunnel built into an Egyptian pyramid labelled ‘AREA 52’? Awesome!” – so trying to draw conclusions about what’s ahead based on a Doctor Who trailer is largely a futile exercise.

Right. Let’s get on with this futile exercise, shall we?

© BBC

© BBC

We kick off in typically understated fashion, peeking out from within a bag as Nardole (Matt Lucas) peeks in. What’s in here? It can’t be what Nardole expects – his initial expression is his usual slightly vacant, unfocused gaze, before he catches sight of what’s inside and changes to the look of confusion and concern you see above…

© BBC

© BBC

And what do you know? A mere eighty words after cracking a gag about pyramids in Doctor Who trailers, here’s a pyramid in a Doctor Who trailer. But where is this one? Surely not Egypt; there aren’t any grassy bits around there, are there?

© BBC

© BBC

Two lads in spacesuits doing their daily rounds in the cornfield, or something more sinister? I don’t like the look of that black cloud…

© BBC

© BBC

Once new companion Bill (Pearl Mackie) has pricked the pomposity of the Doctor’s claim that the TARDIS is “the gateway to everything that was or ever can be” by comparing it to a kitchen, we find ourselves here. But where’s here? It’s a reasonable shout that this is her first trip in the TARDIS; she seems to be wearing the same clothing she was wearing a few shots prior where it looked like she was at the university – has the Doctor tried to impress her by taking her to some futuristic wellness spa? And look above – there’s that swarmy-cloudy-looking thing that we also saw in the cornfield. Am I onto something here?

© BBC

© BBC

I am? Great, thanks. There’s no sign of this robot that “speaks emoji” in the previous still, but here it is. It looks like we’ve identified our friends from the cornfield – could that black swarm be how they travel; disintegrating into a black cloud before being reconstituted at their destination? They already speak emoji; maybe they get from A to B by being ‘uploaded to the cloud’?

© BBC

© BBC

Moving on – a spacesuited Bill exclaims is surprised to find herself on “Mars?!?” here. Now, who do we know from Mars? Hmmm…

© BBC

© BBC

Hold that thought – we’re now in 1814, according to the Doctor. Bill cries “get in!” at the prospect in the following shot, giving us all flashbacks of the “down with the kids” dialect of 1980s companion Ace. We know when we are here, but where are we? 19th century London perhaps…can you recall Doctor Who ever visiting that period?

© BBC

© BBC

And just when are we here? Nardole’s cute bobble hat and dressing gown combo initially made me think we were still in snowy 1814, but the primitive clothing and weaponry in this still suggests otherwise. Vikings? Is the Doctor going back to visit Ashildir’s clan from “The Girl Who Died”? Where and whenever they are, it’s not going well. And what’s that on their faces? Surely they can’t all have fallen asleep at a party and been attacked with a Sharpie?

© BBC

© BBC

The clan haven’t taken kindly to the Doctor and Nardole but it looks like Bill’s in their good books. She’s not being threatened in the previous still and it looks like she’s looking on in horror at what’s about to happen. Although, look at her left shoulder – perhaps there’s a lot of seagulls in the area and that look of horror is for another reason…

© BBC

© BBC

“So how do we stay out of trouble?” Bill asks in the next shot. Doesn’t she know what show she’s in?

© BBC

© BBC

I’m going to go out on a limb with this still and guess that at some point, we go under the sea and encounter a very large sea creature.

© BBC

© BBC

Yep.

© BBC

© BBC

The Daleks are back! This scene looks to be taken straight from “Friend from the Future”, the fun little scene which was shown around a year ago to introduce us to the new companion. I assumed that had been specially shot, but no, it looks like it’s found its way into the new series. The last we saw of the Daleks, they were back on their home planet of Skaro, being attacked by their own sewers (sounds mad, but it made perfect sense in the context of the episode, honest). Did they find a way to overcome that, or are we encountering a different squadron to the team that were stationed at home, looking after Davros?

© BBC

© BBC

Whatever their plans are, it involves humans forming from some kind of goo and copying their catchphrase. We’ve seen human Dalek agents in the past, but they had eyestalks protruding from their heads rather than this curious ability (and let’s not get started on the pig slaves) – so are these a different species entirely, taking on human form?

© BBC

© BBC

“Something’s coming, Bill…” says the Doctor over a shot of him confronted with this ominous-looking door. My initial instinct was that this shot was from the same episode which saw the Doctor and Nardole threatened with spears, but take a closer look and you’ll see that the Doctor’s in different clothing, and there are tiny red LED lights on that door…

© BBC

© BBC

…oh yeah, and spikes. Take a closer look at those circles – that looks like Time Lord text to me; is this the entrance to, or exit from, a TARDIS? Or – remember the last time we were in a castle that turned out to have something to do with the Time Lords? Are we back in the Doctor’s Confession Dial from “Heaven Sent”?

© BBC

© BBC

Who are these handsome fellows? They’ve got shades of Sycorax, Sybilline Sisterhood and, if you want to get really niche, the Ambassadors from the City State of Binding Light from way back in 2005’s “The End of the World”…

© BBC

© BBC

Remember them? No? Just me? Fair enough – something tells me these boys are a new proposition entirely. Although, having been reminded of the Ambassadors from the City State of Binding Light for the first time in about ten years, if the production team want to bring them back, I won’t stand in their way…

© BBC

© BBC

“It’s time…” says a character who we’ve been officially told is called ‘the Landlord’, played by David Suchet. Respected British star of stage and screen, playing a character with a ‘the’ prefix in his name, talking about time…I’ll eat my hat if he’s not a Time Lord. But which one? The fact that he’s been called ‘the Landlord’ rather than anything more ominous in press releases suggests to me that he’s not going to bring about the end of the universe, but is involved in some more light-hearted japes…could the Meddling Monk, another rogue Time Lord who appeared opposite William Hartnell’s Doctor in the ‘60s be in for a return?

© BBC

© BBC

Of course, no episode featuring emoji robots would be complete without the scarier emojis getting in on the action. I wonder if ‘smiling poo’ or ‘monkey covering its eyes’ will make an appearance?

© BBC

© BBC

The bitch is back! Missy, aka the Master is back to wreak havoc once more. Last time we saw her, she was trying to strike a deal with the Daleks as she too got caught up in the sewer uprising, but this doesn’t look like the Dalek episode…could she be shacked up with ‘the Landlord?’

© BBC

© BBC

And does she later get turned to wood? Certainly, this still appears from the same episode that Missy appears in…the hair’s different, but being turned into wood will do that to anyone.

© BBC

© BBC

UNIT?!?! No – these aren’t the outfits we’ve become accustomed to seeing our favourite paramilitary organisation wearing, and, though it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that the rest of the soldier on the left’s helmet reads ‘IT’, looking at the two soldiers on the right it looks like they’re just plain old UN soldiers. Zzzz.

© BBC

© BBC

“Bring it”, the Doctor says, seemingly channelling The Rock, before we see the Amba- sorry, this new species closing in on us with some seriously creepy-looking hands.

© BBC

© BBC

Fun fact: the extra at the front here dressed in what looks like a beefed-up X-Wing pilot’s outfit gets disintegrated onboard the Dalek Crucible in 2008’s “Journey’s End”, is among the Futurekind in 2007’s “Utopia” and appears as a wedding guest, an undercover police officer and a nurse at a secret care facility in three separate episodes of Torchwood – and those are just the examples I can remember off the top of my head. Coincidence? Maybe. Limited number of supporting artists available in North Wales? Possibly. Epic story arc spanning almost a decade which nobody picked up on? Fingers crossed.

© BBC

© BBC

This freaky-looking cloth-faced chap is one of the original breed of Cybermen, who last appeared in 1966’s The Tenth Planet, were responsible for the show’s first regeneration as William Hartnell became Patrick Troughton, and are still arguably the best execution of the species’ chilling concept to date. We know that these guys appear in the season finale – does their appearance lead to the demise of the twelfth Doctor as it did with the first?

© BBC

© BBC

At this point, things start to get really exciting. Just after we’re given an old-school Cyberman, we’re treated to a glimpse of a never-before-seen Ice Warrior. We’ve never met the female of the species before – are they more deadly than the male?

© BBC

© BBC

We briefly see Nardole trying to escape an explosion in what looks like it may be the TARDIS (check out the pillars behind him) – but what’s that in his hand? Why, it’s a sonic screwdriver. But not just any sonic screwdriver…

© BBC

© BBC

It’s only blummin’ Tom Baker’s sonic screwdriver. Has the Doctor given Nardole a hand-me-down?

© BBC

© BBC

Seconds later, we see Nardole catching it as it’s thrown to him, so it looks likely. Is he a mini wee Doctor in training? We’re yet to learn why the Doctor retrieved him from King Hydroflax’s body in “The Wedding of River Song” (again, sounds daft, makes perfect sense in the episode) – perhaps he saw something in him?

© BBC

© BBC

“Nardole! Bill! With me! To the TARDIS!” Classic Who trailer line.

© BBC

© BBC

I’ve got chills. Has it really only been a year and a bit since the last series? Feels like forever…

Doctor Who returns for Series Ten on April 15 – meaning you’ve got plenty of time to check out EMP’s out-of-this-world range of Doctor Who merchandise. From Funko Pop! figures of all your favourite characters to exclusive Doctor Who clothing unavailable anywhere else in the univ- okay, Europe, there’s something for everyone, whether old fan or new, human or Time Lord…

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TV

Peter Capaldi Leaving “Doctor Who” – Who Will Be the Next Doctor?

It’s the end, but the moment has been prepared for…twelve is set to become thirteen, with a regeneration set for Xmas 2017.

Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. ©BBC

Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. ©BBC

After three series of galactic gallivanting, Peter Capaldi yesterday announced that the tenth series of the revived Doctor Who, scheduled to air this spring, will be his last. His final episode will be the 2017 Christmas special, leaving incoming executive producer Chris Chibnall with an almost entirely blank slate to kick off his vision of the show.

I for one will miss Capaldi’s fiery, acerbic Doctor, who literally exploded onto the screen at the climax of 2013’s “The Time of the Doctor”. He replaced Matt Smith’s altogether cuddlier incarnation, and immediately set about transforming the show, jerking viewers out of the safe zone they’d been in with friendly, take-home-to-your-mum Doctors Smith and his predecessor David Tennant. Suddenly, here was a Doctor who didn’t want to be your mate, who was largely unsentimental and, a lot of the time, seemed to believe that the ends justified the means. Though he softened somewhat in his second series, his lined face, sharp, Scottish delivery and I’m-going-to-bite-your-nose-off-if-you-get-on-the-wrong-side-of-me eyebrows gave the Twelfth Doctor a distance and a gravitas that only Capaldi could have pulled off.

Whoever the next Doctor is, one of the first things they'll have to nail is the customary weird alien hand pose. ©BBC

Whoever the next Doctor is, one of the first things they’ll have to nail is the customary weird alien hand pose. ©BBC

And that’s what’s unique about the role of the Doctor. Actors can approach the role like a blank canvas, adding aspects of their own character to create a totally new version of the character. Casting directors can cast a Doctor as a response to the previous one, giving the show an almost entirely new leading character and thus keeping it fresh for audiences. That’s what kept Doctor Who alive after William Hartnell’s departure in 1966 – moving from Hartnell’s stern grandfather to Patrick Troughton’s wacky uncle – and that’s what will continue to renew the series.

So, who could be the Thirteenth Doctor (fourteenth if you count the late John Hurt’s War Doctor), and what might they bring to the role? Let’s take a look at some of the frontrunners…

BEN WHISHAW – better known as techie Q in the Bond films, Whishaw certainly has the right look – almost too much so; anybody else think he looks like the love child of Tennant and Smith?

RICHARD AYOADE – has just taken on the position of another face-changing TV eccentric, taking over hosting duties on The Crystal Maze. He’ll have long finished that by the time he’d be starting on Who, but, like Whishaw, he has echoes of lovably-nerdy Tennant and Smith about him. Do we not want something brand new at this point?

RORY KINNEAR – aka Tanner in the Bond films, aka the guy who has been among the bookies’ favourites for the last three or four Doctor departures. Claims to have never seen Doctor Who in his life, and has no idea what it’s all about, but that’s no bad thing – perhaps this lack of knowledge and reverence for what has come before could lead to an entirely new take on the Doctor?

JASON FLEMYNG – A great shout, IMO – let’s have Flemyng playing a dishevelled, disorganised, unkempt Doctor. Tom Baker’s ensemble was a bit all over the place, granted, but we’ve never had a real scruff as the Doctor before – and in today’s world of slicked-back, perma-tanned, buttoned-up, gym-worshipping young men, what better example to set to the kids that it’s what’s on the inside that counts than the almighty Doctor walking into a room looking like he’s had a night on the rum and cokes?

MIRANDA HART – Is it time for the Doctor to regenerate into a female form? Such a thought isn’t the tabloid bait it used to be; Michelle Gomez’ take on the Master has been so universally well-received that gender no longer comes into the discussion, and we even saw a gruff, male Time Lord General regenerate into a female body during 2014’s “Hell Bent”. Hart’s unique look and penchant for physical comedy would certainly make her a good fit.

Though I’m gutted to be losing Capaldi, who ranks as my favourite of the twenty-first century Doctors (since you asked: Patrick Troughton), new-Doctor-speculation-season is always a fun time, especially when this new Doctor’s arrival will coincide with the makeover Chibnall will inevitably give the show when he takes over from Steven Moffat. And we’ve still got a full season and Christmas episode of Doctor number twelve left – but that sure is gonna be one sad, sad Christmas special…

The new series of Doctor Who is scheduled to start this spring. Get ready for the new series and the Twelfth Doctor’s demise with our range of Doctor Who merchandise, including tons of EMP-exclusive items that you won’t find anywhere else in the universe!

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