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Lin-Manuel Miranda and Emily Blunt to star in Mary Poppins sequel, world rejoices

Associated Press

What could make Lin-Manuel Miranda and Emily Blunt more lovable? A photo shoot for charity in a swimming pool filled with kittens and miniature horses, maybe. Also, staring together in a sequel to Mary Poppins.

Broadway.com reports:

Hamilton’s creator and headliner Lin-Manuel Miranda will officially team up with Into the Woods star Emily Blunt for Mary Poppins Returns. The sequel to Disney’s 1964 classic Mary Poppins is scheduled for release on December 25, 2018.

The movie is set to be directed by Rob Marshall, who directed the film adaptation of Into the Woods, which happens to be my favorite musical of all time, but is quickly being encroached upon by Hamilton, so excuse me while I crumble into a useless mess over here and just hold myself while crying and singing scales.

Today, Miranda said on Twitter:

I was waiting until it was official. It's official! https://t.co/KN0ELldIQd

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Robert Kirkman's 'Outcast' gives us another monster to fear in new possession thriller

Helping free Joshua puts Kyle Barnes on a journey to reclaim his own life and free himself from the literal demons who’ve haunted him ever since he was a child.

CINEMAX

Helping free Joshua puts Kyle Barnes on a journey to reclaim his own life and free himself from the literal demons who’ve haunted him ever since he was a child.

If Robert Kirkman's intent was to give us more monsters to be scared of he did it with Outcast.

First he gave us the world of the apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead. Now he gives us the devilish world of Kyle Barnes. Based on Kirkman's other hit comic book series, Outcast follows Kyle (Patrick Fugit), the town misfit who's been plagued by demonic possession all his life. The demons don't touch him  at least not yet  but they inhabit those he loves the most.

Released two weeks early, Outcast's premiere episode "Darkness Surrounds Him" sets up the main characters and delivers one of the most unsettling opening scenes I've had the displeasure of watching.

Having the first thing we see in this show be a giant cockroach crawling down a wall while a ghostly little boy looks on really sets up the queasy feeling that pervades the show. Instead of leaving the bug alone (or burning down the entire house like I would) little Joshua smashes his forehead into the wall, leaving a bloody smear where the bug was.

I'm not one to close my eyes during horror movies, but I actually left the room when Joshua started munching on the bug and licking every last bit of blood and exoskeleton off the wall. …

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Aboriginal Australian folklore gets familiar sci-fi take in SundanceTV's ‘Cleverman'

Araluen (Tasma Walton) and Jyra (Val Weldon), daughter and mother, are captured trying to escape the "hairypeople" containment zone. "Cleverman" premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. on SundanceTV.

SundanceTV

Araluen (Tasma Walton) and Jyra (Val Weldon), daughter and mother, are captured trying to escape the "hairypeople" containment zone. "Cleverman" premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. on SundanceTV.

Another perk to having a growing number of channels and streaming services available: Awesome international shows. Thanks to SundanceTV, we can wander, or rather, click across oceans for something else to wet our palettes. They gave us France's captivating series Les Revenants (The Returned), and Germany's spy thriller Deutschland 83. And now they've added Australian sci-fi drama Cleverman to this summer season.

It's about time a solid show from Down Under came to the States. This gritty series gives us a glimpse into Australian folklore and a new kind of superhero. The six-episode series is set in the near future where creatures from ancient mythology resurface after 60,000 years. Afraid of their superhuman strength and strange appearance, humans force the "hairypeople" into an internment camp of sorts, called the Zone. The government and the media blame the indigenous people for a series of mysterious murders, and tensions rise as the city figures out how to treat the new inhabitants. …

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Marvel creator Stan Lee weighs in on Captain America controversy at MegaCon Orlando

Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 contains a shocking revelation about the first Avenger's history.

Marvel

Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 contains a shocking revelation about the first Avenger's history.

Maybe if Captain America had settled down with a wholesome boyfriend he wouldn't be in this mess.

The past couple of weeks saw the Sentinel of Liberty trending on the interwebs. One was a call from comic book readers to #GiveCaptainAmericaABoyfriend, similar to the trending #GiveElsaAGirlfriend hashtag. Both called on huge franchises Disney and Marvel to make iconic pop culture characters LGBTQ.

Another wasn't so good. #SayNoToHYDRACap surfaced after the newest Cap series, Captain America: Steve Rogers, revealed the first Avenger to be an agent of the Nazi terrorist group HYDRA.

Captain America, a long standing symbol of freedom and justice, has always been one of the good guys. Since his creation, Cap has fought against the bullies and injustices of HYDRA. The things the group did to Cap's best friend, Bucky Barnes, sparked a personal vendetta. HYDRA and Captain America are like Batman and the Joker, Superman and Lex Luthor, high-heeled shoes and soft grass. They're enemies. Always have been, and we hoped they always would be. …

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'Game of Thrones,' season 6 episode 6: The crown and the faith

Instead of letting his families reclaim authority in Kings Landing, King Tommen allies with the Faith Militant on Sunday's Game of Thrones.

HBO

Instead of letting his families reclaim authority in Kings Landing, King Tommen allies with the Faith Militant on Sunday's Game of Thrones.

There comes a point in every season of Game of Thrones where Daenerys Targaryen defeats her enemies, rides out in a blaze of glory and wrangles up another army to join her in the quest for the Iron Throne.

We all want her to get to Westeros so very badly, but at this point it's because we are so sick of seeing her have to prove her might, get captured and have to start over again.

This season, it meant escaping the Dosh Khaleen, burning to death the mansplaining Khals who meant to enslave her and rounding up the Dothraki armies left behind. She erases any doubt of her power by riding the magnificently terrifying Drogon over her new army.

They shout in agreement to her plans to obtain the Iron Throne and conquer the seven kingdoms.
Let's see how long this bit of the Khaleesi roller coaster lasts.

Still fresh from the stab wound that was Hodor's backstory, Thrones thought it would be helpful to remind us of his sacrifice to save Bran in the ‘previously on' bit.

It was bad enough Thrones fans were bombarded with heartbreaking memes and Hodor doorstoppers all week.

Too soon. 

TOO SOON. …

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Read it before you see it: 'X-Men: Apocalypse'

Rise of Apocalypse

Marvel

Rise of Apocalypse

The number of comic book-based movies and TV shows hitting screens in the past couple years is overwhelming. Just thinking about the dozens yet to come can make anyone's head spin. Fear not, fellow nerds, head geeks over at the Times have you covered. 

More than 20 movies based on comic book characters and storylines are planned to hit theaters between 2016 and 2020. Many of these characters have hundreds of different comics that explain their origins, their enemies and sometimes their downfalls.

It's not necessary to read the hundreds of Captain America comics before seeing Captain America: Civil War, or try to research the various origin stories for every villain in Suicide Squad.

We created guides to essential comics and graphic novels you should read before or after seeing the movies Marvel and DC will bless us with in the next four years.

Note: These lists are by no means comprehensive nor are they set in any particular order. They are simply staff favorites and recommendations from fellow comic book lovers.

 …

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'Outlander' season 2, episode 8: Welcome home, Claire and Jamie!

Jamie and Claire are back to scheming for a different future.

Starz

Jamie and Claire are back to scheming for a different future.

Well, fellow Outlander book fans. This episode was probably the hardest to swallow in rewrites and edits. This whole time I've held onto faith that the story would stay the course Diana Gabaldon set, but now too many chess pieces have been rearranged.

Hear me out, though. Television shows need satisfying intrigue to keep going. Viewers also need constant backstory to give context to lots of incoming and outgoing characters. And so far, Outlander has been successful in that. But the show has taken out many of the quiet moments that shape our beloved characters. However, I'm sure we'll get to the same ending. 

You have to admit, "The Fox's Lair" was a fine hour of television, though. So let's recap:

Jamie is pardoned and is sent back home to Scotland. Lallybroch welcomes the couple home; where life has been pretty much the same. Jamie's sister Jenny and her husband have welcomed a second child; and the potato crop that Claire suggested last season is successful. …

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Winner and loser of the week: Gucci Mane drops new music after prison release; Johnny Depp's divorce drama escalates

Amber Heard leave the court room after requesting a domestic violence restraining order against Johnny Depp. Heard says the bruise under her eye is from Depp throwing a cellphone at her.

AP

Amber Heard leave the court room after requesting a domestic violence restraining order against Johnny Depp. Heard says the bruise under her eye is from Depp throwing a cellphone at her.

Winner
Gucci Mane. What's the first thing you would do after being released from prison? See family? Catch up with friends? Binge Orange Is the New Black? Nope. Not if you're rapper Gucci Mane, who apparently went straight to the studio. The 36-year-old rapper is a free man - released a few months early from an Indiana prison where he was serving a federal firearms sentence, his lawyer said - and wasting absolutely no time. Less than 24 hours out of prison, Gucci Mane dropped the new single First Day Out Tha Feds. Mike WiLL Made-It produced the track, and a whole album is expected out soon. You go, Gucci. Be a productive member of society.
Loser
Johnny Depp. The 52-year-old Pirates of the Caribbean actor is not having the best week (or month, really). Days after losing his mother, Depp's wife of 15 months, actor Amber Heard, filed for divorce Monday. To make matters even worse, Heard filed for a domestic violence restraining order against Depp on Friday, submitting photos to the court of herself with various bruises. The judge granted a temporary restraining order, which requires Depp (who's off in Europe promoting his movie or performing with the Hollywood Vampires, depending on what source you trust) to stay 100 yards away. Heard walked in to court with a bruise under her eye, which she said is from Depp throwing a cellphone at her face on Saturday. The court granted her the right to remain in their home, but rejected Heard's request for spousal support, attorney's fees and possession of their Range Rover. With Heard claiming to have video proof of violence, this battle is only going to get messier.

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‘Orphan Black' season 4, episode 7: Finding each other in grief

Oh hey, Peaches!

BBC America

Oh hey, Peaches!

I don't know about you, but it's been a tough week of television for me, starting with last week's episode of Orphan Black. And then that brutal Outlander episode (another show yours truly is also recapping). And then an unsatisfying Nashville series finale (honestly, I wasn't expecting anything else). So much like #CloneClub, I'm trying to make sense of my life now.

Okay, I'm being a bit dramatic. I need to get a life. That's clear. Let's get on with it.

Tatiana Maslay's exquisite performances this week in "The Antisocialism of Sex" show each clone falling apart, suffering last week's loss in her own predictable way. And thankfully, they (and we) have Felix to get us back together. We didn't get any Rachel or Alison last week, so let's start with them.

Susan Duncan has moved The Family All Dressed In White to the Island of Dr. Moreau. She immediately tells Rachel that the original, along with the cure, are gone. To her, a life wasn't lost. The scene is juxtaposed with Siobhan dealing with the same loss. The loss of her mother. …

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Tampa resident Dr. A.K. Pillai wins Indian National Film Award

Tampa resident Dr. A.K. Pillai accepts his Indian National Film Award from Indian President Pranab Mukherjee.

Special to the Times

Tampa resident Dr. A.K. Pillai accepts his Indian National Film Award from Indian President Pranab Mukherjee.

Not playing at a theater near you: an award-winning film produced by Tampa resident Dr. A.K. Pillai.

Pillai recently won an Indian National Film Award for Valiya Chirakulla Pakshikal (Birds with large wings), in the "environment conservation/preservation" category. The documentary chronicles the lives of villagers in Kasargod, Kerala, suffering health issues resulting from the usage of endosulfan pesticide on cashew plantations for nearly three decades.

The award was presented by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee at a May 3 ceremony in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.

Valiya Chirakulla Pakshikal previously won a World Humanitarian Award in Jakarta and was screened at a United Nations program on environmental issues.

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12 period shows you should be watching, especially if you miss 'Downton Abbey'

The star- and class-crossed lovers Alicia and Julio of Gran Hotel.

Antena 3

The star- and class-crossed lovers Alicia and Julio of Gran Hotel.

On Friday, Amazon Prime dropped new show Doctor Thorne from Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey. And the Downton deprived world welcomed it with open arms. I wasn't all that impressed, maybe because I spend so much of my time burrowed down in period dramas anyway.

The appeal of the British drama that followed the noble Crawley family and their servants in their Yorkshire estate through changing times is undeniable. I, too, was once a rabid Downton fan, though I'll admit gave the show up seasons ago when Matthew died in the Christmas special (I WILL NEVER FORGIVE YOU, DAN STEVENS).

If you are feeling the Downton loss, fear not and look not to Doctor Thorne for healing. There are many, many other great period pieces out there to fill the void, whether newcomers or old faves. You may or may not have noticed that I tend to write about a lot of them right here on this blog.  …

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What's coming to and leaving Netflix in June?

The fourth season of Orange is the New Black comes to Netflix in June.

Netflix

The fourth season of Orange is the New Black comes to Netflix in June.

June is a big month for Netflix, with additions including the first three Jurassic Park films, Best Picture winner Spotlight and Sundance Film Festival acquisition The Fundamentals of Caring. And in addition to original series Orange is the New Black returning for another season, there will also be new seasons of shows such as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Scandal being added. But it's also a big month for departures, including beloved films like Groundhog Day and Who Framed Roger RabbitFor a full list, read below: …

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Don't count on Julian Fellowes' 'Doctor Thorne' to be the next 'Downton'

The newest offering from Julian Fellowes — perhaps best known as the creator of Downton Abbey — dropped on Amazon Prime on Friday amid some serious buzz. But the show already drew some cool reception across the pond, and after spending the weekend watching it, this period drama enthusiast can very much see why.

Doctor Thorne is certainly no Downton.

Lots of reviewers have cried that it's far closer to Jane Austen, which is true with its 1800s setting, numerous love-versus-money marriage plots and a strong dash of families-who-don't-agree. But even then, it lacks something of the depth one usually feels in an Austen adaptation, and every episode is rather maddeningly introduced and recapped by Fellowes himself, sitting in a red armchair by a crackling fire. (Yes, really.) …

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'Game of Thrones,' Season 6, Episode 5: Hold the door

Bran made the mistake of letting the Night King see and touch him on Sunday's Game of Thrones.

HBO

Bran made the mistake of letting the Night King see and touch him on Sunday's Game of Thrones.

Dang, Game of Thrones. Back at it again with a dragon glass-tipped spear right in the feels.

Last week was the satisfying and tearful reunion of Sansa and Jon after years apart. Not to mention the budding romance between Brienne and Tormund that's taking the Internet by storm.

We all want someone to look at us the way Tormund looks at Brienne while gnawing on a piece of bread.

This week was Sansa presenting Jon with a handmade coat reminiscent of their father's, Daenerys forgiving Jorah for his betrayal and refusal to leave her side and the truth about Hodor's past and its relation to Bran's future.

Don't be surprised when people burst into tears when they hear someone say "hold the door." They're just Thrones fans.

Bran has been relatively enjoying his stay with the Three-Eyed Raven and warging out into the past.

He saw his father, uncle and aunt as children. He learned a little more about the Tower of Joy and the fight his father had always bragged about. He even saw a young Hodor when he was Willis and was able to speak. …

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'Fear the Walking Dead,' season 2 episode 7: First sin

Nick found a new high and hit a new low on the mid-season finale of Fear the Walking Dead.

AMC

Nick found a new high and hit a new low on the mid-season finale of Fear the Walking Dead.

Nick has been brainwashed. Chris is broken beyond repair. Alicia is terrified of her own family. Daniel is seeing ghosts.

The mid-season finale of Fear the Walking Dead left the Clark-Manawa family broken, fearful and without a home yet again.

Reeling from the loss of her son and Strand's betrayal, Celia gives the group until sundown the next day to pack their bags. They're officially no longer welcome in the safehouse.

They inadvertently caused the deaths of Celia's two sons and have insulted her at every turn. She is crazy though.

Celia genuinely believes the walkers are just the next phase for humanity. She doesn't seem them as dead, but as the next phase of the human race.

She also has her claws firmly in Nick. She dug into him quickly, brainwashing him with her maternal charm and tasty pozole.

And she's not letting go.

Nick used to be the clear-headed one. He became the rock that held the family together and showed them they can survive this new world.

But he grew sick of the death and destruction.

He wanted peace, and Celia convinced him he could find peace through accepting the zombies are not monsters. …

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