TIME Television

Everything You Need to Know About the Third Season of Arrow

The trailer reveals that Oliver's next nemesis will be a familiar one to those who know their way around the DC Comics universe

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Though there will be contenders this fall both new (Gotham, The Flash) and old (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), CW’s Arrow currently holds the crown for television’s best superhero series. The show’s Comic-Con panel over the weekend did little to diminish the belief that it’s a title that showrunners Marc Guggenheim, Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg are keen to hold on to through next year and beyond (though the latter two will also be helming The Flash).

The first step in that direction was to introduce a villain worthy of the legacy that Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) and Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett) had established in Arrow’s first two seasons. Guggenheim, Berlanti and Kreisberg certainly did that, teasing Ra’s al Ghul — name-checked frequently in Season 2 and perhaps best known to audiences as Liam Neeson’s villainous character in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins — at the conclusion of the Season 3 trailer. Whether Ra’s will immediately establish himself as the season’s big bad villain is unclear. Mention has been made of his bad blood with Oliver Queen’s nemesis Malcolm Merlyn, but it remains to be seen which of the two villains is a greater threat to Starling City. (Ra’s introduction also makes it likely we’ll see more of his daughter, Nyssa, as well as the recently departed Sara Lance.)

A little closer to home, Stephen Amell, who plays Oliver, says much of his focus for this season will be figuring out whether Oliver is able to balance his job as The Arrow with his life as Oliver. That’s been a struggle since the show’s first episode, but Oliver has yet to be put in a position where he really must choose between the two. Even if that moment doesn’t arrive in Season 3, it’s clear that the producers intend it to be a constant struggle at the forefront of the audience’s minds.

Oliver’s sister, Thea (Willa Holland), will also face some hurdles of her own. When we last saw her, she was riding off in a limo with Malcolm, her biological father, and appeared none too eager to return to Starling City in the immediate future. Of course she’ll have to come back eventually, because that’s how things work, but Holland indicated there would be some changes apparent in the youngest Queen upon her return: “The Thea that you guys saw in Season 1 and Season 2 is not the girl coming back in Season 3.”

Also arriving in Starling City this season is The Atom, played by Brandon Routh, who many will recognize as Superman from Bryan Singer’s 2006 version. Though his alter ego, Ray Palmer, will be a bidder for Queen Consolidated, it’s not yet apparent how The Atom will factor into the season’s developments.

A few other moments of note from the trailer: Roy (Colton Haynes) has a cool new outfit and seems to be doing just fine without the mirakuru; Oliver doesn’t seem to want Diggle (David Ramsey) in the field anymore for some as-yet-revealed reason; and Oliver will be taking Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) on a date (spoiler alert from Amell: it goes “horribly.”)

Perhaps most intriguingly, producers also revealed that this season will feature a double-crossover episode between Arrow and The Flash (the former airs Wednesdays, the latter Tuesdays), and that Oliver will appear in The Flash pilot.

Arrow returns on Oct. 8 on the CW.

TIME movies

An Open Letter to John Cusack About the Hot Tub Time Machine Sequel

Where have you gone, John? Or should I ask, when have you gone?

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Dear John,

Can I call you John? You seem like the sort of fellow who wouldn’t mind taking things casually right from the get-go. I’ll bet you even ask assistants and bellhops who call you “Mr. Cusack” to call you “John” instead. Make ‘em feel real comfortable, like you’re a swell guy who they could grab a beer with if you both had the time. Anyhow, that’s not why I’m writing this letter. I’m writing this letter because I just saw the trailer for Hot Tub Time Machine 2, and I’d be lying if I said I weren’t insanely, unnecessarily excited. Four years of waiting, finally almost over.

But you know what I didn’t see in that trailer? You, John. I didn’t see you.

In case it’s not already apparent from the fact that I’m writing you this letter, I’m something of a fan of yours. Loved High Fidelity. Ditto Grosse Pointe Blank. And you know what else I’m not ashamed to admit? Enjoyed Serendipity far more than I probably had any right to, but I’m not making any apologies. If I’m being honest though, my favorite John Cusack film is probably Hot Tub Time Machine. Is it technically “the best” of your films? Maybe not, but it’s one of those movies that I can’t help but start watching if I catch even a glimpse of it on cable.

A couple years ago, I was in Iceland with friends and we’d stopped in at a pizza shop after a full day on the road. We were going to grab a quick slice and then check in at our inn so we could get some sleepy before another busy day. Then we noticed Hot Tub Time Machine was on the TV in the pizza joint, already about 20 minutes in. We stayed for the entire movie. All of us had seen it before.

The trailer for the sequel looks similarly appealing. Craig Robinson remains awesome. Rob Corddry presumably hasn’t stopped being hilarious. Clark Duke seems mostly the same, which isn’t a bad thing at all. Hell, even Chevy Chase came back for a second ride. Chevy Chase. Sticking. Around. Think about that for a second.

Anyway, as much as I enjoyed the trailer, the fact that you weren’t in it never stopped being at the front of my mind. It’s not that your character was one of the great all-time film characters, but he was the glue of that group — a very enjoyable group, but one that could veer towards excessively zany without a grounding force (that’s you!) to keep them centered. And yes, I do appreciate the irony of worrying about people being too bizarre in a movie about a time-traveling hot tub.

That’s the thing about the first movie though: the premise was so absurd that the movie itself didn’t have to try all that hard to be outrageous (and being set in the 80s didn’t hurt in upping the comedy quotient either). Without you around, the first film’s ideal balance can’t be replicated in the sequel. Perhaps it’ll end up being for the better, but it’s always risky messing with success.

I’m sure you’re busy (especially judging by your IMDb page), and I’m sure there were other factors as well, but if there’s any chance this letter finds you in a generous mood, feel free to fire up that old hot tub time machine, head back a couple years and put yourself in the sequel. I won’t tell anyone we had this chat (butterfly effect, apocalypse, incurring Adam Scott’s wrath, etc.).

Your friend,

Eric

TIME Music

One Kid Snuck Into 50 Music Festivals and Filmed the Whole Thing

It's not illegal if you get an awesome movie out of it, right?

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Know how when you were a kid, you could never get into all the really cool, awesome concerts that you wanted to go to because you were too young or they were too expensive or God, Mom and Dad, you’re the worst? Marcus Haney decided he wasn’t going to worry about any of that and just go to the concerts anyway, doing whatever he could to get inside.

Sometimes that meant hopping fences, other times it meant forging wrist bands and once in a while it meant posing as a photographer. Haney’s main piece of advice for pulling all this off? “Walk with confidence.”

Not only did he end up going to all these fantastic shows — Coachella, Bonnaroo, etc. — but he even cut together all the footage from his various missions and made himself a film out of it, No Cameras Allowed. Not a bad gig, if you can get it.

[via Sploid]

TIME movies

Examining the Evolution of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

In honor of the release of Hercules, we chart the growth of Hollywood's greatest wrestler-turned-actor

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has had an extraordinary career: from wrestling champ to A-list movie star.

In this graphic, take a geological journey to find his origins story.

The Rock
Photos: Paramount Pictures; Getty Images (3); 20th Century Fox Graphic by Heather Jones for TIME
TIME Television

This Doesn’t Look Like a Billboard for Better Call Saul! But It Is

Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman, Michael McKean as Chuck - Better Call Saul _ Season 1, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC
Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman, Michael McKean as Chuck. Ursula Coyote—AMC

Take a closer look

The billboard pictured below is a real billboard that an Instagram user saw on I-25 in Albuquerque, N.M., and at first glance, it doesn’t look like it has a whole lot to do with Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul! But once you remember what we’ve learned about the upcoming series, expected to premiere in 2015, however, the connection is clear. The show will be set in 2002, while Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) was still known as Jimmy McGill.

The phone number listed on the billboard also works, so feel free to give it a ring if you’re craving a message from Saul Goodman Jimmy McGill.

[via Vulture]

 

TIME Television

Can Gotham Pull Off a Superhero Show Without Any Superheroes?

Detective Jim Gordon (Ben Mackenzie) and Detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) in "Gotham."
Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) and Detective Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue) in "Gotham." Jessica Miglio—FOX

The series' creator confirms that Batman wouldn't appear on a show that doesn't really need him anyway

At the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour on Sunday, Gotham showrunner Bruno Heller confirmed what many had already suspected: the titular city’s most famous resident, Batman, will never appear on the show. The announcement didn’t come as a surprise: Gotham is the origin story of Detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie), meaning that the series’ events take place years — decades, even — before the Caped Crusader’s arrival (though a young Bruce Wayne will appear).

But the choice is also a bold one. Fox has a lot riding on Gotham, the network’s first foray into the superhero genre — a genre poised to begin making an impact in television as explosive as the one it’s already made in film. The natural inclination would be to pull out all the stops, to leave all avenues and possibilities open. Instead, Heller has closed the one door that would appeal more to mainstream audiences than any other.

It’s also probably the right decision. CW’s Arrow has earned a devoted following and a measure of critical acclaim by telling the origin story of its eponymous superhero (so much so that the network is attempting to replicate the formula with The Flash, which debuts this fall as well). But Green Arrow isn’t Batman. We could spend all day debating the merits and abilities of the two superheroes — both of whom belong to the DC Comics universe — but there’s no question who’s the bigger star. Arrow works as an origin story largely because he’s not one of that universe’s most prominent superheroes, and his story has mostly been told in print, rather than on a screen.

Batman, on the other hand, is a character with whom audiences have grown intimately familiar over the last two decades, most recently thanks to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. Batman is no longer a mystery (and will become even less of one with Ben Affleck set to don the black suit for 2016’s Batman vs. Superman). In many ways, the city of Gotham still is.

A common refrain on Arrow is that Oliver Queen returned after a five-year shipwreck to “save” his hometown of Starling City. It’s hard to argue that Nolan’s Batman wasn’t endeavoring to do the same with Gotham City. But if we know how Batman ultimately saved Gotham, what remains is answering the question of why it needed saving in the first place.

Even more so than Starling City, Gotham City is a metropolis filled with colorful characters — many of them iconically unsavory ones. Just because Batman won’t be showing up in Gotham doesn’t mean many of his future adversaries won’t be around to serve as an unyielding stream of nemeses for Detective Gordon and his partner Harvey Bullock (Donal Logue). Just as crucially, producers won’t have to worry about audiences believing that everything prior to Batman’s arrival was simply a prelude. And frankly, villains were always the more compelling characters in the Batman universe. Bruce Wayne isn’t without his fans, but even Nolan’s Batman films were at their best when someone other than the Dark Knight — most notably Heath Ledger’s Joker — was stealing the show.

That’s not necessarily the case in the Marvel universe, where ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been attempting to pull off a similar trick. Though the show managed to score a second season, critical and commercial response was middling. Part of the series’ shortcomings was due to the fact that the Avengers themselves weren’t involved — not to mention a lack of any particularly memorable villains. More significantly, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. didn’t have a setting like Gotham — arguably the most developed and best-known in all of superherodom (which is not a real word but should be).

It’s telling that the show isn’t named Gordon. Gotham City itself will be as much the focus of the series as any of the characters inside it. What exactly that means, we won’t know until September. But if the city was vital enough for Batman to save it over and again, maybe it’ll be worth it for Gotham viewers to immerse themselves in the lore of Batman’s hometown — even if he never shows up at all.

TIME Television

The Second Season of FX’s Fargo Will Travel Back in Time

Keith Carradine as Lou Solverson in Season 1 of "Fargo."
Keith Carradine as Lou Solverson in Season 1 of "Fargo." Chris Large—Chris Large

The upcoming campaign, set in 1979, will feature at least one familiar face — well, sort of

Yesterday we learned that not only would Fargo be returning for a second season on FX, but also that no members of the Season 1 cast (even those lucky few who survived the 10-episode bloodbath) would be returning for Season 2. If it’s any consolation to fans of the excellent first season, however, at least one character in the upcoming season — which may not air until the fall of 2015 — will be somewhat familiar.

Season 2 of Fargo will take place in 1979, predominantly in Sioux Falls, Luvurne and Fargo, and focus on a young Lou Solverson (Molly’s dad), who was a retired state police officer played by Keith Carradine in Season 1. Seeing as Solverson will be only 33 during the events of Season 2, Carradine won’t be back to reprise the role (and neither will Allison Tolman as his daughter). No announcement has been made as to who might take that lead role, though it hasn’t stopped some from throwing out one name as a possibility.

Despite the all-new setting and cast for Season 2, Fargo‘s new story shouldn’t be entirely unfamiliar for viewers of Season 1. Carradine’s character made reference to one of his most harrowing cases taking place in Sioux Falls, so it’s a good bet what went down with all those bodies “stacked so high, you could’ve climbed to the second floor.”

Showrunner Noah Hawley says that the show will continue to draw inspiration from Coen Brothers films, with the upcoming season taking cues from Fargo, Miller’s Crossing and The Man Who Wasn’t There.

Though a complete overhaul of cast, setting and time period might seem a bold approach for a show with just 10 episodes under its belt, there’s little reason to believe that Hawley won’t be able to pull it off. Fargo was arguably the best new show of 2014, and as long as Hawley remains at the helm, its future appears bright.

TIME Television

Good News for Fans of Good TV: FX Picks Up New Seasons of Louie and Fargo

LOUIE: Episode 14: "Pamela Part 3" (Airs Monday, June 16, 10:30 pm e/p). Pictured: Louis C.K. as Louie. CR: KC Bailey/FX
Louis C.K. as Louie. FX Networks.

2015 will bring the fifth and second seasons, respectively, of the two acclaimed shows

It’s not a huge surprise, but FX announced today that Louie and Fargo will both be returning to your televisions sometime in 2015. Louie, which wrapped its fourth season in mid-June, will have just seven episodes (down from 13 or 14 in each of the first four seasons), but any Louie is better than no Louie at all.

Initially, Fargo was intended to simply be a one-off, but the critical acclaim garnered by the show’s initial ten-episode run likely inspired FX to change that plan. The new season will feature a new story, a new setting and all new actors — most crucially, however, showrunner Noah Hawley will return to steer the ship. It’s a little sad imagining a Fargo without Molly Solverson (Allison Tolman) or Gus Grimly (Colin Hanks), but there’s no reason to believe that Hawley won’t have as much success crafting Fargo‘s second season as he did its first.

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TIME Television

Troubling Times for Chalky White in the New Boardwalk Empire Teaser

Things seem to have gone from bad to worse for the once-powerful leader of Atlantic City's north side

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When Michael K. Williams revealed that Boardwalk Empire would jump forward to 1931 for the HBO drama’s final season, the time-jump brought with it the possibility that Williams’ Chalky White may have improved upon his diminished circumstances from Season 4’s finale. If the new “St. James” teaser that HBO released last night is any indication, however, Mr. White seems to be in even worse conditions than when we last saw him.

Though the teaser isn’t totally explicit, it seems Mr. White has spent — or is currently spending — some time in prison. Also in a bad way is Gillian Darmody (Gretchen Mol), who appears trapped in some sort of straightjacket/bathtub contraption. We also get quick glimpses of Nucky (Steve Buscemi), Margaret (Kelly MacDonald), Nelson Van Alden (Michael Shannon), Dr. Narcisse (Jeffrey Wright), Al Capone (Stephen Graham) and Charlie Luciano (Vincent Piazza), but the brief 53-second clip doesn’t hint much about what they’ll be up to in Season 5.

Boardwalk Empire returns on HBO on Sunday, Sept. 7.

TIME Television

This Concept For a Breaking Bad Sequel Is Spectacularly, Gloriously Insane

Val Kilmer cutting off own hair.
Actor Val Kilmer cuts his hair off on stage while filming the new Terrence Malick movie during day one of Fun Fun Fun Fest at Auditorium Shores on November 2, 2012 in Austin, Texas. Rick Kern—WireImage

Naturally, it's a half-million dollar Kickstarter, and would star Val Kilmer and Slash. Shut up and take my money

Maybe you really, really miss Breaking Bad. Maybe you can’t wait for Better Call Saul. Maybe you’re an avid follower of Val Kilmer’s Twitter feed. Or maybe you just spend your days swimming around a pool filled with money like Scrooge McDuck. Whatever your reason, you could hardly be blamed for donating a few dollars to this Kickstarter that is requesting $500,000 to make a “sequel” to Breaking Bad called Anastasia.

Leaving aside the fact that TV series don’t have “sequels,” per se (usually you’d call it a spinoff or, you know, just keep making the show itself), it sounds pretty fantastic. Val Kilmer (because of course) and Slash (ditto) would play U.S. Marshalls sent in to track down whoever stole Walter White’s body in the opening scene of Anastasia‘s pilot (oh yeah, that happens). From there, it’s really anyone’s guess, but creator Lawrence Shepherd says that he’s already finished scripts for all ten episodes of the first season.

Some of you might be saying to yourselves, “This sounds mighty far-fetched to me.” Fair, but then again, so was a high school chemistry teacher becoming the biggest drug kingpin in the Southwest. Kilmer hasn’t signed on yet, but the man does love himself a good desert and in an interview with VICE, Shepherd seemed confident about his chances of landing the Top Gun star: “From what people tell me about Val Kilmer, you don’t have to pay him a million dollars. If there’s some money there, he’ll typically do it.”

Shepherd is a little more concerned about getting Slash — who would “stay in the ‘Slash’ character” and “will always be undercover” — due to the musician’s other obligations, but he’s sweetening the pot by naming Slash the show’s musical director. Other big names who will be invited to appear in Anastasia (as recovering addicts) will include Russell Brand, Jamie Lee Curtis, Steven Tyler, Dick Van Dyke, Drew Barrymore, Robert Downey Jr., Robin Williams, Neil Young and Eminem — all of whom would be permitted to improvise their own dialogue, which would “elevate Anastasia to an even higher level of quality and randomness.”

It’s also not entirely clear what the origins of the series’ title (Anastasia) is, but Shepherd has set his sights on at least one female co-star for Kilmer and Slash: Jana Mashonee, who would play Slash’s girlfriend.

Though production has yet to begin, Shepherd has already been compelled to change a few of his casting choices. He told VICE he was turned down by Laura San Giacomo (Just Shoot Me), and abandoned his first choice for Kilmer’s role — Nathan Lane — because of prospective travel expenses. These hiccups could explain why Anastasia has received just $440 of its half-million dollar funding goal. The project’s August 1 deadline is rapidly approaching, but Shepherd says he plans to re-start it if the series is not funded on the first go-round.

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