*taps mic* Is this thing still on? Is anybody still at their desks or have you all gone for the weekend? Are you all caught up on your pop-culture news for the week or do you need a refresher so you seem with-it at the pub later? If you answered yes (or no, I’m not sure) to any of the above questions, read on. Friday Linky Links is here to bring you all of the week’s big film, tv, book and science news in one easy-to-digest… digest. 

Any pop-culture nerdery round up is pretty much contractually obliged to start with — what else? — Star Wars. And luckily for everyone, on Wednesday Disney released the first cast photo of the Star Wars Hans Solo spin-off we’re getting next year. And they’re in the Millennium Falcon, no less! We love Chewy gazing at his new family with such adoration, Woody Harrelson’s unbridled excitement at the prospect of a career resurrection and – Donald Glover… who maybe didn’t get the ‘this is awesome, folks!’ memo.

Maybe he needs some cuteness to cheer him up, like Baby Groot, who showed up online this week? Or some internet silliness, like (NSFW, obviously) this video essay of every literary reference ever made in Archer?

Speaking of literary things, the shortlist for the 2016 Aurealis Awards</a> was released this week. The awards, organised by the Western Australian Science Fiction Foundation, cover everything from childrens and YA books to graphic novels and horror, fantasy and sci-fi fiction. If you like your booky-wooks (or, if your attention span is anything like mine, short stories) and are looking for something new to read, check out the full list for some inspiration. Not enough? Nominees for the 2016 Nebula Awards were also announced on Wednesday — you can find links to some of the nominated shorts and novelettes to read online here</a>. Booky-wooks for everyone!

Back to screen news, and filed under ‘rumours that Twitter has jumped on’: this week has seen a whole lot of speculation that Mel Gibson has been asked to direct Suicide Squad 2. This read from Filmink spells out a whole lot of reasons why this is weird, because… it is kind of weird. Gibson’s not really a comic-book guy and, even by comic book standards, Suicide Squad isn’t exactly high-brow. On the other hand, it’s not like Gibson would be the first heavyweight oscar-nominated director to take on the genre — we’ve had Ang Lee’s Hulk and Kenneth Branagh’s Thor, both of which had much better reviews and much smaller box-office takings than the first Suicide Squad movie, for what it’s worth.

Under ‘rumours that are barely rumours but let’s face it everyone has an opinion’: speculation as to the identity of the Thirteenth Doctor has been raging since Peter Capaldi announced his exit last month. Chris Chibnall, who’s taking over from Steven Moffatt as showrunner, has discussed his thoughts in a recent interview with the UK Telegraph. It’s behind a paywall, but you can read the good bits here — I’m not sure what this means for Tilda Swinton, the current frontrunner, but watch this space.

Under ‘things that seem pretty much true’, it looks like Drew Goddard, creator and writer of Netflix’s Daredevil, has replaced — to some extent, at least — the writers of Deadpool for the upcoming (at some point) Deadpool 2. Which means the sequel now has a new director, a new composer and now a new writer. But it’s fine. I’m sure it’s fine. It’s fine, right?

And, filed under ‘things that are almost definitely fine and true’, it looks like Bryan Fuller’s television adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods has gone and got itself a premiere date, along with some pretty new key artwork. If the project’s pedigree doesn’t have you excited enough to mark April 30th on your calendar (and honestly, how could it not?) perhaps a re-watch of the trailer will do it.

As usual, no Australian release info has been announced, but we’re crossing our (very law-abiding) fingers it will be soon.

 

Finally, the biggest (literally) science news of the week is NASA’s discovery of seven new planets with earth-like characteristics and the potential for water on the surface. They may be 40 light years away and only three are in what usually be called the ‘habitable zone’ of their solar system, which orbits a cool little star (also literally, as far as stars go) called Trappist-1, but that hasn’t stopped NASA designing a <a href=”https://www.inverse.com/article/28193-nasa-trappist1e-tourist-poster” target=”_blank”>tourism poster</a>. It’s out of this world. Sorry.

 

And with that, it’s the weekend. Have a good one folks! 



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