A grab-bag of pop-culture news to send you into the weekend healthier, wealthier and wiser. (Health and wealth not guaranteed.)

Greetings, kids! Spring has definitely sprung – summer even too, depending on where you live – and that friday feeling is making us all a little mad, so let’s get this done so you can all get out there and weekend it up.

We’re starting on the big screen this week, with news that the Terminator franchise is back! Yes, that’s right, the franchise we all thought died with the box-office failure of Termiator: Genesys is getting a re-boot, and hopefully a return to form, with Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor and Arnold Schwarzenegger joining James Cameron in a direct sequel to 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day, and kick off a whole new trilogy. This is the kind of news that you really want to be great, but it’s really hard not to approach with caution. And really – when is James Cameron going to have the time, what with those four Avatar sequels that nobody wants in the works?

Anime classic Akira is another sacred property that might be getting a big-screen re-boot soon, if rumours are to be believed. It looks like Warner Bros might be paying attention to the amazing buzz that Taika Waititi is getting at the moment and are in talks with him to bring a live-action Akira to the screen. If anybody can do it, it’s probably the man who has, based on everything we’ve seen so far, finally made Thor the superhero we wanted all along, but anime adaptations are… well… tricky. To say the least.

Also tricky? Video game adaptations. This week we got the first trailer for Hollywood’s latest attempt at taking Tomb Raider to the big screen, and, well, it’s not looking too shabby at this point. That said, this side-by-side comparison of the trailer and game itself, show that the production team are borrowing very heavily from the game, for better or worse. Hopefully better. And if not, can we all agree that three strikes and you’re out and nobody is allowed to try to make a Lara Croft/Tomb Raider movie for at least twenty years? Please?

Tomb Raider aside, it’s been a quiet week for movie trailers, but I did like this first trailer for Wes Anderson’s upcoming stop-motion animation Isle of Dogs. It is very, very, very Wes Anderson, so if that’s not your thing, then you should probably move right along rather than watching it and letting all that twee infest your eyeballs and ruin your afternoon, but if you’re open to the quirky, this might be your jam. It’s a pupper-filled piece of wonder.

On the small-screen, we’re in the thick of the fall premiere season — which means the return of old friends and the arrival of hotly anticipated new hopefully-loves (is… is it the 25th yet?), but also, the annual death-race to see which Hot New Show is the first to get cancelled by trigger-happy network executives. And this year… well, things are not looking good for Marvel’s Inhumans. Look, okay, things have not been looking good for Marvel’s Inhumans for months now, but now they’re not looking good in a whole new way. Ah well. It was a nice thought.

Definitely not in line for cancellation — for the eighth year running — is The Walking Dead, which this week dropped a new trailer for its upcoming season of AMC’s gritty zombie drama. Mmmm… brains. Very serious, intense, un-funny neutral-coloured brains.

Netflix isn’t one to pay attention to the usual fall-spring-summer televisual timeline, but even they have their big fall releases. October is bringing us a second season of Stranger Things, which is – if you can believe it – leaning even more heavily into the eighties nostalgia in the promotion of its second season. In case you’re not a child of the eighties, here’s a handy guide to all the movie posters they’ve paid homage to so far – with, surely, more to come over the next month.

In other Netflix news, the streaming service this week announced that everybody’s favourite depressed horse is going to be back for a fifth season. It’s only a couple of weeks since Season Four of Bojack Horseman dropped, so this isn’t one to add to your fall schedule – unless you’re behind, in which case… catch up! – but it’s still a shiny happy piece of news in a pretty uneven week.

Marvel’s The Punisher is also a little way off, still with only a ‘late-2017’ release date, but this week Netflix dropped a pretty brutal first-person-shooter-style trailer for the next cab off the Marvel-Netflix rank. Now, nobody is expecting The Punisher to be a happy little stroll through the woods, but this feels like… a lot. Maybe too much. It’s going to be interesting to see how this one plays out. So far, it’s just thwomping violence and little else, which is, in my humble opinion, the least interesting way to handle characters like this.

And finally this week, it looks like HBO might finally have found the show that’s going to fill those big George RR Martin-shaped boots once Game of Thrones wraps up. This week they’ve greenlit a pilot for a new series adaptation of classic comic series Watchmen. The pilot, and presumably series, should it get picked up – and that seems likely – comes from The Leftovers’ Damon Lindelof, which is some nice credibility right there. Unsurprisingly, creator Alan Moore is not involved, but I don’t think anybody expected that he would be, did they?

And with that, I’m out of here to find somewhere cool to ride out this ridiculous September heatwave. Have an excellent weekend folks!  

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