Random Nerdery is a regular Opus feature covering the latest nerdiness from the worlds of film, TV, literature, comic books, video games, technology, web development, and more.
News is surfacing that Amazon is trying to renew The Expanse, arguably one of the best sci-fi series on TV right now. Originally produced by Syfy, The Expanse was cancelled while still in its third season. Critically acclaimed though not much of a ratings hit, The Expanse has developed a passionate fanbase who launched a campaign to save the series… and it looks like that may now just happen.
Based on the acclaimed series of novels by James S. A. Corey, The Expanse is set two hundred years in the future. Humanity has begun to spread out into the solar system and consists of three main factions: those who still live on Earth, Martian colonists, and the “belters” who eke out a hard life working on asteroids. Tensions are running high between all of the factions, with war brewing between Earth and Mars, until a conspiracy and a shocking discovery threatens to destroy everything.
The Expanse has everything you could want from a sci-fi series: impressive world-building, a realistic approach to life in space and its various hazards, complex characters, political suspense and intrigue, and technology that feels both fantastical and completely realistic (with little to no Star Trek-esque technobabble). In other words, if you liked Battlestar Galactica’s gritty aesthetic but didn’t care for its sloppy mythologizing, then The Expanse might be the series you’re looking for. I’m currently making my way through season two, and I’m thoroughly enjoying every bit of it.
And speaking of Amazon: Last year, they purchased the rights to produce a multi-season TV series based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings stories. Since then, it’s become readily apparent that this will be the most expensive TV series of all time, with total production costs expected to reach $1 billion. However, there’s been little info concerning what the series will actually be about… until now.
TheOneRing.net — arguably the best online source for all Tolkien-related news — recently announced that the focus of Amazon’s series will be on the young Aragorn, and they make a pretty convincing case for why this is a good idea.
For starters, Aragorn is an obvious hero, but despite being so well-known as one of the Fellowship, his backstory is barely explored. And yet it’s full of narrative possibilities, from his tragic childhood and adventures as one of the Rangers to his love affair with Arwen Undómiel and his friendship with Gandalf. In addition to a wealth of story material, this move would also allow Amazon’s series to chart its own course apart from Peter Jackson’s acclaimed film trilogy.
Amazon’s deal specifies that they have to begin production in two years, so I suspect we’ll be hearing some more official announcements concerning the series’ story and concept in the not-too-distant future.
2014’s Godzilla, directed by Gareth Edwards, was a decent enough Godzilla movie, and while it did evoke an interesting sense of dread and atmosphere, it was also curiously lacking in the one thing that you primarily watch a Godzilla movie for: monster-on-monster battle royales.
Thankfully, the upcoming sequel — currently titled Godzilla: King of the Monsters — looks to address that issue. According to O’Shea Jackson Jr., who stars in the movie, a number of classic Godzilla foes will make appearances, including Rodan, Mothra, and best of all, the mighty King Ghidorah, a three-headed dragon who is considered the Big G’s arch-nemesis.
Jackson has promised that Godzilla fans’ minds are going to be blown by the Godzilla/Ghidorah battle. But we’ll have to wait until the movie arrives in theatres on May 31, 2019 to see for ourselves. Godzilla: King of the Monsters is directed by Michael Dougherty, and stars Jackson, Kyle Chandler, Vera Farmiga, Millie Bobby Brown, Zhang Ziyi, and Ken Watanabe.
I’ve previously written about my appreciation for the animated DC series Young Justice, which depicted various sidekick and minor characters trying to make a name for themselves against DC’s more popular and established heroes. The new season, which will begin streaming on the DC Universe streaming service, will apparently focus on superhero trafficking and will feature a new set of young heroes, including Katana and Metamorpho, that will be led by Nightwing.
One of the things that I liked best about Young Justice was that it existed outside DC comics canon, which allowed it to offer some fresh takes on existing and well-known characters. I expect Young Justice: Outsiders to do more of the same when it begins streaming later this year.