Yep, Superman has two daddies: Kevin Costner's Jonathan Kent, of the planet Earth, and Russell Crowe's Jor-El, of the planet Krypton. It's the latter who gets the spotlight in a new TV spot for Man of Steel, Zack Snyder's Superman reboot out June 14. Superman seems to be having a long heart-to-heart with Jor-El in his Fortress of Solitude. The only thing is...it doesn't appear to be a hologram of his Kryptonian father, as Marlon Brando's Jor-El appeared to Christopher Reeve's Supes in the original films. It looks like he's really in the flesh, talking to his son in person. So is he alive? And, if so, how did he escape Krypton's destruction? Or is this just a really, really Hi-Def hologram that only makes it look like he's appearing in the flesh? Considering that General Zod seems to be the unquestioned ruler of Krypton in Man of Steel — hence why he refers to Superman as one of his "citizens" — and not an exile, it's possible Snyder is playing around with what we know of the comic books' mythology. See for yourself!
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt | Follow Hollywood.com on Twitter @Hollywood_com
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Acclaimed author Chinua Achebe was buried in his native Nigeria on Thursday (23May13) after his body was returned to Africa two months on from his death in America. The writer, often hailed as 'the father of African literature', died at a hospital in his adopted home of Boston, Massachusetts on 22 March (13) following a short illness.
His body was returned to Nigeria from the U.S. on Wednesday (22May13), and thousands of mourners turned out the following day (23May13) to pay tribute to the Things Fall Apart author, including Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.
Achebe had lived in America since 1990 and worked at the country's prestigious Brown University as professor of Africana studies until his death.
Star Wars actor Mark Hamill will be honoured with a special award in honour of his impressive Hollywood career. The star, best known for playing Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy of films, will be handed the Don LaFontaine Legacy Award at the PromaxBDA's 2013 conference in Los Angeles next month (Jun13).
The award is in honour of his acting, writing and producing career, as well as his voiceover work on projects such as the Batman cartoon.
Jonathan Block-Verk, president and CEO of PromaxBDA, says, "Mark Hamill is one of the most iconic names in Hollywood. Breaking on to the film scene as Luke Skywalker and going on to produce, direct and write, he has successfully established himself as one of the leading voice actors through numerous and memorable roles, most notably as the Joker in the many incarnations of the Batman franchise."
Star Trek Into Darkness is full of many mysteries: Are Tribbles contractually obligated to appear in all Star Trek movies from now on? Why does Carol Marcus have a British accent when she doesn't have one in The Wrath of Khan and when her father Adm. Marcus (Peter Weller) is obviously all-American? Are we supposed to be okay with the destruction of much of San Francisco just because Kirk got over his self-doubt and landed his five-year mission? Did J.J. Abrams actually think Benedict Cumberbatch, as great as he is, could erase people's memories of Ricardo Montalban? We can't answer any of those. But the following eight burning questions we definitely can. Well, more or less.
1. Is the Enterprise Really Designed for Atmospheric Flight, Let Alone Underwater Travel?
As far as atmospheric flight is concerned, most definitely. Constitution-class starships are enabled for travel in planetary atmospheres, and the Enterprise does so on many occasions throughout The Original Series. Later versions of the Enterprise, like the Galaxy-class Enterprise-D from The Next Generation, would definitely not be able to do that, however. That said, there has never been any precedent for the Enterprise venturing underwater. I guess this altered timeline has resulted in even more modifications to the ship than we realized!
2. Is William Shatner's Kirk Any More Responsible When It Comes to the Prime Directive?
Not really. Just check out the Original Series episode "The Apple," in which Kirk is incredibly insistent that a group of primitive tribesman live free of the influence of an omnipotent god/minigolf obstacle called Vaal. He basically imposes "freedom" upon them, even though they're not ready for it. And that's not even counting Shatner Kirk's 17 separate violations of the Temporal Prime Directive, according to Starfleet's Temporal Investigations department in the 24th century. Those violations meant Kirk actually changed the timeline — like, say, bringing humpback whales 300 years into the future from 20th century Earth. Interestingly, Shatner Kirk never lost his command over any of those incidents, unlike Pine Kirk.
3. What Did Khan Do To Be Exiled in Space and Frozen for 300 Years?
Khan Noonien Singh and his followers were genetically engineered throughout central and south Asia in the 20th century to have superior physical and intellectual prowess. The scientists who bred them hoped that they would ascend to leadership positions in their respective countries — nations that had histories of conflict and poverty — and bring order from chaos. Well, most of them did become leaders. About 40 countries throughout Asia and the Middle East were under their control in the 1990s. But eventually the Augments, as they became known, turned on each other inaugurating a terrible conflict that lasted between 1992 and 1996 called the Eugenics Wars. Khan was the most powerful leader among these squabbling Augments and a cunning warrior — though it should be noted that none of the massacres and extermination campaigns led by the other Augment rulers occurred under Khan's leadership. By 1996, all the Augment leaders had been defeated, and, facing certain death, Khan and 72 of his genetically-enhanced followers climbed aboard a spaceship he'd designed and christened the Botany Bay, after Australia's famous 18th/19th century penal colony. It was a ship without warp drive so he and his followers had to enter cryosleep hoping that someday somebody would awaken them. That person was Kirk on The Original Series, and Admiral Marcus in Into Darkness.
4. Why Is There Such Hostility Between the Klingons and the Federation?
Humanity made a terrible impression upon the Klingon Empire upon their very first meeting in 2151 and won’t really be able to recover until the very end of the 23rd century. First contact between Earth and Qo’noS (in the film it’s styled Kronos) occurred when a Klingon warrior crash-landed in a farmer’s field in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, as seen in the pilot episode of Star Trek: Enterprise. The farmer wondered who this hulking, barking warrior was, so he shot him in the chest. An interstellar incident ensued and Capt. Jonathan Archer was tasked to return the injured Klingon to Kronos onboard the newly christened Enterprise NX-01 to avoid war. He succeeded, but the Klingons looked upon humanity with suspicion ever since. And after Earth entered into an interstellar Federation with the Vulcans, Tellarites, and Andorians, the gagh really hit the fan as far as the Klingons were concerned.
War was just a misstep away for decades and in 2259, the year of Star Trek Into Darkness, the cold war between the Federation and Kronos was at its peak. In the original timeline it was only in 2293, the year Shatner’s Kirk helped the Federation sign the Khitomer Accords with the Klingons, that peace was actually achieved. Will that still happen in J.J. Abrams alternate timeline?
5. What's Up With That Shattered Moon Orbiting Kronos?
Presumably that’s the moon Praxis, where the Klingons conducted most of the geothermal energy harvesting to power their homeworld. In 2293 the moon blew apart due to overdrilling, an explosion that threatened even to render Kronos uninhabitable. That’s why the Klingons wanted to make peace with the Federation in the first place: they needed Starfleet’s help. Now, how come an event that didn’t occur until 2293 in the Prime Timeline appears to have already happened in 2259 in Abrams’ timeline? Well, because the Klingon Empire was greatly affected by Nero’s temporal incursion. In fact, years before he reassumed command of his vessel in order to hunt Spock and destroy Vulcan, Nero and his crew were captured by the Klingons. Then he escaped and obliterated a large Klingon fleet in the process. These events may have caused the already-warlike Klingons to become even more militaristic and mine Praxis that much more relentlessly for its precious energy. That could have caused it to blow up decades earlier than in the Prime Timeline.
6. Is the Destruction of San Francisco the Worst Tragedy to Befall Earth Since World War III?
Earth slowly but surely settled down following the conclusion of World War III in the mid-2050s. That conflict left 600 million dead, most of the world’s governments — and cities — destroyed and whole parts of the planet affected by nuclear winters for years. It was only with the adoption of the New United Nations in San Francisco that attempts to unify the planet into a United Earth government began in earnest, a process that was accelerated following first contact with Vulcan in 2063.
The next couple centuries are pretty quiet…with the exception of the Xindi Incident of 2153, as seen on Star Trek: Enterprise. Again, time travel was involved. The Xindi were a group of aliens who had been fed information from time travelers saying that humanity would one day hunt them to extinction. So the Xindi decided to strike against Earth first. They launched a probe to fire a particle weapon over what used to be the southern United States — obliterating much of Florida, in particular — and killed some 15 million people. That was more than a century before the events of Into Darkness, though, and few would probably be alive who’d have experienced it firsthand. Khan’s kamikaze piloting of the USS Vengeance into the heart of San Francisco probably didn’t kill as many people as the Xindi attack, but the psychological impact of such vast devastation in the Federation capital probably can’t be understated. J.J. Abrams & Co. wanted to incorporate an aspect of the War on Terror into their film, so they transformed Khan into a 9/11 hijacker with the USS Vengeance at his disposal instead of a 747.
7. How Can a Starfleet Admiral Be As Evil as Marcus?
With the exception of Admiral Pike (and, in the Prime Timeline, Admiral Kirk himself) Starfleet admirals are always evil! It’s an argument for absolute power corrupting absolutely because, because whether male or female, human or alien, they’re almost always trying to discredit our heroes, making power plays, or, like Admiral Marcus, trying to transform Starfleet into something more sinister.
8. Will the Federation Try to Manufacture Khan's Super Blood?
You’d think they would, right? I mean, why else would they place Khan in cryofreeze once again? And it doesn’t seem like they’re putting him back aboard the Botany Bay for another decades or centuries-long space cruise. He seems to be going into cold storage in a warehouse somewhere. If his blood can actually extend people’s lives and even bring the recently deceased back to life, then Star Trek: Insurrection shows us the Federation will exploit that resource all it can — meaning that Cumberbatch’s Khan will be kept alive until he wakes up to wreak havoc in another film down the road.
Bonus Question: Why Is a Man Named "Khan Noonien Singh" a Pasty Englishman?
I’ve thought long and hard about it. I’ve ranted in thousands of words about it. But there’s still no good reason for it. Let the Star Trek Into Whiteness jokes commence!
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt and follow Hollywood.com @Hollywood_com
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Star Trek Into Darkness is full of Easter Eggs and callbacks to the decades-worth of previous Star Trek lore fans of the franchise will appreciate — even if the movie as a whole made us mighty angry. (MAJOR SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT!) Some are obvious, like the presence of Alice Eve's Carol Marcus, Kirk dying just like Spock in The Wrath of Khan, or the revelation of Benedict Cumberbatch's John Harrison after months of J.J. Abrams and his team playing coy really being the legendary Khan Noonien Singh. Here are 10 others you might have missed. (Also, so you can brush up on your Trek arcana, we ranked all 79 episodes of The Original Series from worst to best.)
1. Section 31 — The secretive intelligence organization was written into the Federation charter at its founding in 2161 but operated off-the-grid ever since. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine showed us, though, that even if Starfleet was unaware of its activities, it ultimately supported Section 31's agenda to protect the Federation via cloak & dagger means that it could never officially sanction. Star Trek: Enterprise also showed Section 31 in its infancy. And now Star Trek Into Darkness presents Peter Weller's Admiral Marcus as the head of the secretive intel agency — that's how he got off-the-books funding to build the USS Vengeance. Also, on Deep Space Nine, Section 31's do-anything-to-win mentality meant they kept trying to recruit the genetically engineered Dr. Bashir (Alexander Siddig), just like they hired genetic superman Khan Noonien Singh in Into Darkness.
2. The Number 72 — That's the number of Khan's crew in Into Darkness, and the number of his people shoved into torpedoes. It's a detail writers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof obviously researched, because it's precisely the number of Khan's crewmembers on his ship the Botany Bay, as revealed in the Original Series episode "Space Seed."
3. Nurse Chapel — Carol Marcus tells Kirk of his reputation among Starfleet's female members and that she holds that against him. Especially because she's a friend of Christine Chapel. If you don't know who that is, she was the Enterprise's nurse on The Original Series, and was played by Majel Barrett, the future wife of Gene Roddenberry (and the voice of all the computers on every subsequent Star Trek show). To hear she had a romance with Kirk is a surprise, because in the episode "The Naked Time" it's revealed she actually has feelings for Spock.
4. The Uniforms — Admiral Marcus' uniform is exactly the same as the admiral's uniform Kirk wears (after getting his promotion) in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. In fact, Kirk's uniform in the Starfleet Command round-table conference scene in the movie is pretty similar too. To be a fan of The Motion Picture is to be a true Trekker, so it's a nice tip of the hat that those uniforms would pop up in Into Darkness. Check out Kirk's uniform in TMP here:
And check out Marcus's uniform in the conference room scene:
5. Scotty's Sabotage — When Scotty sabotages the USS Vengeance to prevent it from firing on and destroying the Enterprise, it recalls that great moment in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock when James Doohan's Scotty disables the Excelsior's transwarp drive so that it won't be able to pursue the Enterprise after Kirk & Co. steal it.
6. The Tribbles
Kirk was famously annoyed by the little furballs in "The Trouble With Tribbles." In Star Trek Into Darkness, though, a Tribble that had been injected with Khan's blood helps saves his life after he dies, Wrath of Khan-style, from radiation poisoning.
7. Harry Mudd — When preparing to lead the away team down to the Klingon homeworld of Qo'noS, Kirk mentions they captured a merchant freighter during the "Mudd Incident." Meaning that he and his crew have already encountered notorious 23rd century con man Harry Mudd, the only nemesis other than Khan to tangle with Kirk more than twice onscreen.
8. Trojan Horse Beaming — Spock gets the better of Khan in Into Darkness by doing a variant of Kirk's badass transporter tactic in The Search for Spock. In that movie, Kirk and his crew beamed onto the Genesis planet at the same moment they beamed over a Klingon bording party onto the Enterprise. The only thing the Klingons didn't know was that the Enterprise was counting down toward imminent self-destruct. It blew up...with all of them aboard. In Into Darkness, Spock does something similar. He agrees to beam over the 72 torpedoes containing Khan's crew to the USS Vengeance in exchange for Kirk, Scotty, and Carol Marcus. Spock does beam 72 torpedoes over...but they're armed weapons and aren't containing the Botany Bay crewmembers at all. When Khan reveals his true teachery, Spock orders them to detonate, disabling the Vengeance.
9. The Enterprise NX-01
Star Trek: Enterprise, the least-beloved of the Star Trek series is also, like it or not, the only one that remained unaffected by the altered timeline from J.J. Abrams' 2009 film. That's because it was a prequel show set a century before the events of the new movies. So at one point when Kirk is meeting with Admiral Pike at Starfleet Headquarters in San Francisco you actually see a little model of Capt. Jonathan Archer's command from the show, the Enterprise NX-01, Earth's first deep-space exploration vessel.
10. The Daystrom Institute — Kirk is summoned to San Francisco's Daystrom Institute after the attack in London to meet the other nearby Starfleet brass about how to coordinate their response. It's strange that they would choose to meet there, since the Daystrom Institute is a scientific think-tank devoted to research and responsible for many technological breakthroughs, not a military command center. Maybe Admirals Marcus and Pike thought it would be safer there than at Starfleet Command? Obviously, Khan was many steps ahead of them if that's what they were thinking. The Daystrom Institute pops up all throughout The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and even Voyager, and is named after Dr. Richard Daystrom, whose Nobel Prize-winning discovery of duotronic computer processing was one of the greatest technological breakthroughs of the 23rd century as revealed in the Original Series episode "The Ultimate Computer."
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt and follow Hollywood.com @Hollywood_com
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Oscar winner Mo'nique has undergone a fitness overhaul after realising she runs the risk of not living long enough to see her grandchildren. The Precious actress, who has three children and a stepson, has long sported a bigger figure, but recently decided to get fit and change her eating habits.
She has shed 80 pounds (36 kilograms) since starting her health kick, and admits the thought of not being around for her family in the future kickstarted her fitness campaign.
She tells radio station Hot 97 FM, "It made me say, 'OK sis, you got these babies. The twins (Jonathan and David) are seven, (stepson) Michael's nine, Shalon's 22.' And I want to meet their babies. So, I said, 'Let me stop being selfish, and eating everything.' And I ate everything... I was a food junkie.
"I am the best Mo'Nique I've ever been in my life right now. And I still have a ways to go. But I feel amazing."
John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono shocked U.K. chat show host Jonathan Ross by wrapping his upper body and head in bandages in a bid to make him feel "peaceful". The interview aired in Britain on Saturday night (11May13).
Action man Vin Diesel has opened up about his revival of legendary TV detective Kojak, insisting he has "huge shoes" to fill by taking over the role made famous by Telly Savalas. The late actor played the beloved New York cop on the hit 1970s series and in a number of subsequent TV movies, and The Fast and The Furious star is taking over the iconic role in a new film adaptation.
Diesel reveals the original show was filmed in his neighbourhood during his childhood, and he hopes to live up to Savalas' portrayal of the character.
Speaking on Britain's The Jonathan Ross Show on Saturday night (11May13), he says, "I am doing the role. (I have) huge shoes (to fill)... it was shot in my neighbourhood growing up, in the village, downtown New York so I would see Telly Savalas when I was a kid coming into my building and he had no idea that someday I would portray him, portray Kojak."
Diesel also revealed to Ross he would love to star in a musical, and he showed off his singing voice by performing a line from Guys and Dolls song I'll Know.
After five wildly underrated seasons on the air, the gritty cop drama Southland has been canceled by TNT.
The cable network released the news in a statement that read: "TNT has made the difficult decision not to renew Southland for another season. We are enormously proud of Southland, which stands as one of the best police dramas ever made. Executive producers John Wells, Chris Chulack and Jonathan Lisco, along with creator Ann Biderman and our partners at Warner Bros. Television, have given us five seasons of powerful, unforgettable storytelling, for which we are deeply grateful. We also want to thank the amazing cast for their impassioned, no-holds-barred performances, and the production team for their tenacity shooting on the streets of real-world Los Angeles. We wish everyone associated with Southland the very best."
The show — which started on NBC and moved to TNT — had a stellar cast which included Ben McKenzie, Regina King and Shawn Hatosy, all of whom have upcoming series pilots. The Season 5 finale, which turned out to be the series finale, averaged 1.8 million viewers when it aired in April.
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Chris Pine has applauded his Star Trek co-star Zachary Quinto for the way he announced he was gay in 2011, insisting he knew all about the actor's sexual preference when they started working together in the sci-fi franchise. Quinto 'came out' in an interview with New York magazine after being deeply affected by the suicide of bisexual teenager Jamey Rodemeyer, and told the publication that "living a gay life without publicly acknowledging it is simply not enough to make any significant contribution to the immense work that lies ahead on the road to complete equality".
And last year (Sep12), the actor confirmed reports he was dating Jonathan Groff.
Pine admits he has nothing but respect for his pal and the way he 'came out', telling Out magazine, "I thought it was rad. It was really, really cool. He did it on his own time, on his own schedule.
"It was just who Zach was and that's that. I'm sensitive, and I don't ever want to make anyone feel uncomfortable. Knowing that, for Zach, it was more about a career thing and that he was not comfortable at the time coming out - it was fine."
And Pine admits it was a relief for his Star Trek castmates - because none of them wanted to 'out' Quinto before he was ready.
The actor adds, "It was something that we kind of tiptoed around."