All the biggest bits of pop-culture news to prime you for the weekend. Yay!

Happy Friday, friends! The sun is shining (…for the moment) and the beers are chilling and Friday night is nearly upon us, so let’s all gather round and brush up on our pop-culture knowledge together, ready to impress everybody at the pub later. 

We begin this week, of course, with a couple of announcements from Disney about — you guessed it — the future of Star Wars. Both of them fall into the ‘huge if it happens but it’s really hard to get too excited about anything happening in 2019 or later when 2017 is still destroying everything we love with nary a second thought’ category, so get excited, but not too excited. 

First off, with the core trilogy of trilogies set to wrap up in 2019, this week we’ve got news that there’s a whole new trilogy in the works, under the guidance of The Last Jedi director, Rian Johnson. No word yet on who or what it’s going to focus on, or when we can expect it, but the announcement that Johnson is heading up the project does at least indicate that the powers that be are happy with his work on The Last Jedi, so that’s a good thing. 

Also, as well as Episode IX, 2019 now looks set to bring us a live-action Star Wars TV series, which will be exclusive to Disney’s just-announced streaming service. Oh, goody, another streaming service we’re all going to need to subscribe to. Can’t wait until someone finds a way to bundle these all together into some sort of a package. Like Foxtel. But less evil. Or something. 

All that said, if you need proof that you shouldn’t put too much faith in big, nebulous announcements made by movie studios, this week we’ve learned that the Dark Universe, Universal Studio’s shared monster universe announced earlier this year but in the works since back in 2014, is being shelved indefinitely after two of the big names attached abandoned the project. I guess that means that we’re not getting a new version of Creature from the Black Lagoon any time soon? Sigh. 

Which is not to say you’re square out of luck if you’re a fan of dark-fantasy-type-entertainment. Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water is shaping up to be perfectly creepy and weird and the best bit is you don’t have to wait until 2020 to see it, as it’ll be hitting cinemas this coming January. The final trailer, released this week, is kinda spoilery though, so proceed with caution. 

And now, onto this week’s great swathe of Marvel news — because there is always a great swathe of Marvel news at the moment. Kicking off with a couple of wrap-up bits on Thor: Ragnarok — which, if you haven’t seen it yet, is actually really great and not at all disappointing, even if your hopes were as astronomically high as mine were. But this piece asks whether it have been better if the trailers didn’t give so much away? (Look. Maybe. It surprised me how much of the pre-release footage was from the second half of the movie and while this is definitely not a case of ‘all the best jokes were in the trailer’ it did lessen the impact somewhat.) And while Thor 4 is just an apple in all our eyes at the moment, Taika Waititi has already mapped out its opening sequence and — unsurprisingly — it is good and they should let him just do it already. 

In news about Marvel things that haven’t been released yet, this week we got some very striking character posters for the upcoming Black Panther. Like Thor: Ragnarok, everything about Black Panther’s promotional campaign so far has been top-notch, which means that, again, the risk of disappointment is high. Let’s all cross our fingers that they go two for two on these ones. 

And speaking of movies that we’re really looking forward to but that could end up very disappointing: who even knows what’s going on with Deadpool 2 at the moment? The crass dude in the red and black suit has been pretty quiet of late, but this week Ryan Reynolds dropped a family-themed poster on Twitter, just to remind us he’s still around, and to whet our appetites for when the movie’s promotional campaign kicks off proper. 

Marvel’s Runways is the cinematic universe’s Next Great Big Hope when it comes to the small screen, where it’s been kind of… faltering recently (don’t mention Inhumans, don’t mention Inhumans, don’t mention… ooops). The teen-centric exclusive-to-Hulu superhero series is being made by the creative team behind The OC and Gossip Girl and so far the reviews have been pretty positive, with the show getting lots of praise for its diversity (rightfully). This week it got some new promo art, highlighting the main teams super-powers, and we get to check out the finished product in just a few short weeks. Hurrah! 


In non-Marvel TV news, The Russo Brothers SyFy adaptation of Deadly Class, a graphic novel of the same name about a group of teens recruited into a high school for assassions, now has a cast, and it looks like quite a good one, including folks from Doctor Strange, X-Men Apocalypse and The Family, and a guest role for the one and only Henry Rollins. Definitely one to keep an eye on. 

And finally this week, our first look at Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor Who in costume! Obviously mileage will vary, so don’t @ us, but I, for one, am on board with the yellow suspenders and teal pants, and I may just need to get myself a pair of brown lace-up boots. The rainbow details are great too. In short: I hope to see this look at many, many halloween parties come about this time next year. Don’t let me down, Whovians! 

And with that, you’re up to date — at least when it comes to pop-culture. Have a very excellent weekend and remember: If you haven’t yet, find time to Thor. It’s good. 

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