In 1980, Star Wars fans were wowed by many things about The Empire Strikes Back, but perhaps most of all by the introduction of YodaFrank Oz has rightly earned praise for his performance as the Jedi Master, but it was also a combination of puppetry and animatronic technology that contributed to making the iconic character feel alive. In a new video from Great Big Story, the spotlight falls on Dave Barclay, Oz’s assistant puppeteer on Empire, who went on to much bigger things in Return of the Jedi and beyond.

Via io9, Barclay shared the story of how he got his big break in the industry at 19 years old, when Oz was forced to leave the set of Empire early to move onto another project. Oz personally nominated Barclay to take over the role, and Lucasfilm was so impressed by the results that it led to Barclay getting an invitation to return for the sequel. In Return of the Jedi, Barclay was one of several puppeteers behind Jabba the Hutt, and provided Jabba’s onstage voice as well.

Although the industry has largely moved toward CGI, Barclay expressed gratitude for his chance to explore his craft onscreen in the decades that followed. “As a puppeteer, and a puppet maker, and someone who loves the movies,...

Warning: There are spoilers ahead for Deadpool 2!

Deadpool 2 is finally here, and there’s so many comic book references the Marvel Universe couldn’t hold them all. Even the DC Universe wasn’t safe from this film’s wicked sense of humor, especially in one of our favorite scenes. Regardless, there were still plenty of secrets that may have escaped your notice during the movie. That’s why today’s Nerdist News is all about the 13 best secrets and Easter eggs you might have missed in Deadpool 2.

Join host and the only other surviving member of X-Force, Jessica Chobot, as she lands safely away from any wood chippers and buses to share her Deadpool 2 intel. We really should have known the X-Force was doomed from the start. In the comics, Zeitgeist and his replacement X-Force team got themselves killed after only a single appearance. History repeated itself here.

We’ll miss you most of all, Shatterstar! At least his death was darkly comedic. Black Tom didn’t even stay around long enough to do anything cool. Given the high mortality rate in Deadpool 2, Mr. Sinister was probably lucky he didn’t appear. The longtime X-Men villain’s real name was referenced in the title of the orphanage: Essex. And as we recently guessed, Juggernaut was in the movie. Ryan Reynolds helped keep that a secret by playing...

When DC Comics first announced their mega-crossover event, Dark Nights: Metal, they did so with a single image drawn by the mighty Greg Capullo. It was of Batman, bathed in shadows, clearly injured, and wielding two battle-axes. That single image was all we needed to know we were sold on Dark Nights: Metal. Now, the fine folks at DC have unleashed a statue in their DC Designer Series that perfectly captures that glorious Capullo drawing… and we’re sold on that, too.

Designed by Greg Capullo and sculpted by Jonathan Matthews, the statue brings Batman out of the shadows and serves as a fantastic showcase for Capullo’s costume design. The square-jawed and bloody Dark Knight has a Frank Miller-esque feel to him, with his broad shoulders and sinister scowl. Still, Capullo’s design elements really shine through; from the yellow-outlined bat insignia to the bright purple cape lining, this statue is unmistakably born of the Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo era of Batman.

Standing nearly 12 inches tall, this axe-wielding Batman is a real beast. It’s solid and comes out of the box as one whole piece; you don’t have to attach any arms or legs, which is sometimes the case with massive statues. The DC Designer Series has really stood out from the crowd of collectibles by producing quality, detailed, unique statues for an affordable price. This Batman is no exception and it looks like it feels like it should carry a price tag much higher...

Jake Gyllenhaal could be joining the MCU in the Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel, so does that mean Ben Affleck will be staying on as the DCEU’s Batman? We discussed the latest superhero news on today’s Nerdist News Talks Back, along with a full (spoiler-filled!) breakdown of Deadpool 2, and new details for Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth‘s Men in Black revival.

Host Jessica Chobot was joined today by Nerdist News writers Joan Ford and Joey Clift, along with producer Derek Johnson, and they started with the weekend’s big movie release Deadpool 2. What did we think of it? What were our favorite parts? How effective was that big X-Force surprise?

Speaking of superheroes, a new report says Jake Gyllenhaal could join the next Spider-Man as the super villain Mysterio. What do we make of this potential casting? Would he make for a good Mysterio? And most importantly, is it possible this means Ben Affleck will continue to play Batman in the DCEU? Gyllenhaal was rumored to take over the cowl at one point, so maybe this means Affleck will stick around.

Finally, we’re getting new details about the upcoming Men in Black film with Thor: Ragnarok costars Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth, which will see them solving a global murder mystery. Are we...

In Solo: A Star Wars Story fans of the galaxy far, far away will get to see how our favorite scruffy nerf herder got his smuggling start, which will mean meeting two people who played a big part in setting him on his outlaw path, Woody Harrelson‘s Beckett and Thandie Newton‘s Val. But what were the two newcomers doing in the galaxy far, far away before they met Han? Where did they come from? How did they end up in a life of crime themselves? To find out we asked the two actors, and not only did we learn a whole lot about Beckett, Val, and what’s at the heart of the movie, we found out it’s best to respond to a question before Thandie Newton gives an answer so good she’s impossible to follow.

In this Nerdist Special Report our Dan Casey sat down with Harrelson and (huge Nerdist fan!) Newton to try and find out who they thought the team of Beckett and Val were before the events of the film. The answer we got from Newton might not be the one you’d expect for two rogues working around the rules of the Empire, but that’s what makes it so intriguing, not just for them but for what we can expect from Solo.

It’s only fitting that Newton’s answer about Solo being about “loss” left Woody Harrelson at a loss for words.

Note to any...

Avengers: Infinity War finally introduced Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, Groot, and Mantis to the rest of the MCU, and the Guardians of the Galaxy joined Marvel’s superhero soiree the only way they know how–jamming to some classic ’70s rock with the classic Spinners’ track “Rubberband Man.” That wasn’t the only song Guardians writer and director James Gunn offered as an option to the film’s directors the Russo Brothers though; he gave them other great choices to use for the Guardians’ big entrance. And while these tunes didn’t make the cut, they do make for a fantastic EP that Gunn has turned into Awesome Mix. Vol. 2.1.

Gunn had previously said he gave the Russo Brothers three song options to use for the Guardians first foray into the film, when they head to a distress signal that leads them to Thor. But after checking he realized he had actually given them four songs, with the other three being Aerosmith’s “Draw the Line,” The Clash’s “Train in Vain,” and Alice Cooper’s “Caught in a Dream.” And now he has put...

With news that actor Jake Gyllenhaal is probably joining the latest Spider-Man sequel as the classic Spidey villain Mysterio, casual fans might be wondering who the heck Mysterio is. Well, the answer to that is a bit complicated. In the pages of Marvel Comics, there have been several characters who have assumed the name and fish bowl helmet and bedeviled Spidey over the years. Although they have all worn the same costume, and employed the same smoke and mirrors style tricks to defeat Spider-Man, there were three distinct men behind the mask.

The original, and probably most well known Mysterio, was special effects genius and stuntman Quentin Beck. Created early in the history of Spider-Man by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, this version of Mysterio first appears in The Amazing Spider-Man #13, in June 1964. Beck wanted to become a leading actor and movie star, and saw his work behind the scenes in Hollywood as a dead end gig. Disillusioned with the Hollywood studios, he becomes a super-villain, using his deep knowledge of special effects trickery to become a formidable criminal. Nevertheless, a high school age Spider-Man arrests him, ruining any chances he had of a future career in the movies. This leads to a lifelong vendetta against the wall crawler.

Over the past fifty years of comics, Beck has gone toe-to-toe with Spider-Man dozens of times, using various tricks and special effects as smoke screens for his crimes. Beck is also well versed in hypnotism, is...

There might be no stronger partnership in the galaxy far, far away than that of Han and Chewie, and in Solo fans will get to see how the two first met and set out on a lifelong journey together. Bringing to life such a momentous occasion would be a tall task for any actors (literally for the one playing Chewbacca), so we wanted to know how Alden Ehrenreich and Joonas Suotamo helped establish such an iconic friendship between two beloved characters. Learning to speak the same language is a big help, but there’s a lot more to a Wookiee growl than you might think.

In this Nerdist Special Report, our own Dan Casey had a chance to sit down with Alden Ehrenreich and Joonas Suotamo to talk about Han and Chewie’s first meeting, as well as how each of the characters are different than the ones they become in A New Hope. It helps that Joonas has already played Chewbacca before, first as a double in The Force Awakens and then in the main role—having accepted the torch from the legendary Peter Mayhew—in The Last Jedi. This experience allowed him to share with Alden the nuances of learning how to speak proper Wookiee.

Even if we don’t end up learning in this movie exactly what is going on with Chewie’s family, we all know the more Wookiees the better...

John Wick: Chapter 3 is just a year away from hitting theaters, and according to Deadline, the film is including two formidable women to their cast of actors. Both Halle Berry and Anjelica Huston are joining the cast of Lionsgate’s latest (and possibly final?) installment of their hit contract killers franchise. Berry and Huston will be joining the returning Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Ian McShane and Lance Reddick, who are all returning for the Chad Stahelski-directed film.

So who are these actors going to be playing? So far, we only have their character names as clues. Halle Berry will be playing a character named “Sofia.” The details around Berry’s character are being kept under wraps, but it is being reported that she is not going to be a villain in the film. Halle Berry announced her involvement with John Wick: Chapter 3 with the following Instagram post:

It’s a date. 5.17.19

It was just over two years ago that Disney’s live-action/computer-animated remake of The Jungle Book hit theaters, and did quite a number on the domestic and international box offices. As such, we can’t help feel the shadow of director Jon Favreau’s success story looming over Andy Serkis‘ go at the material for Warner Bros., even as the new flick sets out to establish itself as a “darker” version of the tale via its first trailer:

Grimmer by a hair and light on the suggestion of musicality, Serkis’ Mowgli nevertheless hasn’t yet shown us what will really separate it from Favreau’s take. That said, one thing it does invariably have going for it is an all-star cast. In this first look, we meet Jungle Book favorites Akela the wolf (Peter Mullan), Bagheera the panther (Christian Bale), Kaa the snake (Cate Blanchett), Shere Khan the treacherous tiger (Benedict Cumberbatch), and, if only briefly, fan favorite Baloo the bear (Serkis himself.)

The lineup doesn’t cut out there, as we also have the performances of Naomie Harris and Eddie Marsan as a pair of wolves and Tom Hollander as Tabaqui the jackal. The trailer also brings us face to face with Mowgli himself, Rohan Chand, who, at 14, has already amounted some pretty big name pictures: the Adam Sandler movie Jack & Jill, the War in Afghanistan picture Lone Survivor, and the blockbuster Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.

Mowgli hits theaters October 19. Do you think it will bring something...

Naming a sequel is a true art form, which is why the savants responsible for naming The Fast and the Furious films have forever changed movie-naming game. It’s so hard creating the perfect follow-up moniker that even franchises you would expect greatness from can often times end up totally laming out on us. (Deadpool 2? Really? They couldn’t have tried a little harder?) But it’s not a trap The LEGO Movie will fall into, because the upcoming sequel to the 2014 smash hit just got an absolutely perfect name, one that any person who has ever sat down with a pile of little plastic bricks will understand–The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part.

Not only is the name an amazing play on words based on the very real experience of using actual LEGO bricks, when you suddenly realize that inexplicably one vital piece HAS DISAPPEARED EVEN THOUGH YOU WERE SUPER CAREFUL AND DIDN’T DROP ANY……sorry, sorry, just relived some bad building experiences there.

Anyway, not only is it a perfect joke based on using actual LEGO toys, it perfectly fits in with the meta-comedy of the first film, where it turned out the LEGO world was actually based on a very real LEGO set community in the basement of a family home. This title is very much...

Kids love to tell scary stories. Whether on dark nights during sleepovers or around dim low-burning campfires, the oral tradition of sharing terrifying tales is one that exists in pretty much every culture and community. Often intended to teach children simple moral and societal lessons, these stories adapt and change but often share similar threads, characters, or messages. In 1981, Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammell’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark was unleashed on the unsuspecting pre-teens of the world, and reintroduced these myths to a whole new generation.

Schwartz had written multiple other young readers books based on different forms of folklore before he penned his most well known and beloved work with Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. The book reimagines classic urban legends and folk stories that Schwartz studied at the Library of Congress. as well as texts that belonged to the president of the American Folklore Society. Tipping its hat to terrifying predecessors, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark takes stories from sources such as American Folk Tales and Songs and Sticks in the Knapsack and Other Ozark Tales.

In the foreword of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Schwartz states that, “Some of these tales are very old, and they are told around the world,” before continuing “and most have the same origins. They are based on things that people...

When we last left our friend Adrian Toomes—weapons collector, self-styled supervillain Vulture, and living epitome of modern American socioeconomic frustration—he had been apprehended and rescued by his arch nemesis/aspiring son-in-law Peter Parker, tossed in jail for his crimes against humanity (well, New Yorkers), and set upon what seemed a genuine path to redemption. But supervillainy is a hard habit to kick, and it looks like we’ll be seeing Toomes don the wings once more in Spider-Man: Homecoming‘s untitled sequel.

/film reports Michael Keaton will be back for a second Spider-Man picture. This follows The Hollywood Reporter‘s revelation early Monday morning that the studio may be likewise in talks to enlist one Jake Gyllenhaal to play yet another notorious baddie, Mysterio, in the film.

That said, we can’t be sure just yet which version of the character Gyllenhaal may end up playing; Marvel Comics has treated readers to a number of different villains to bear the Mysterio title—namely special effects expert Quentin Beck, stuntman Daniel Berkhart, teleporting mutant Francis Klum, and, most recently, the otherwise anonymous Mysterion—and any one could wind up finding footing in the universe of Tom Holland‘s Spidey.

On the one hand, Spider-Man pictures have made a tradition of treating Peter to more than one foe at a time; on the other, with a name...

This week on the show, how dare you! Load baring lines, complain laterally, and nachos are delicious.


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What happens when you spend $30,000 on a ridiculously powerful gaming rig that coddles its users in a luxury chair and bathes them in the glow of three massive high-def displays? Apparently Nolan Sorrento’s surreal gaming chair from Ready Player One is brought from the fictional world into reality, that’s what happens.

This glorious intermingling of La-Z-Boy comfort and Mass Effect-looking tech comes via Geekologie, and was assembled by Unboxing legend Lewis Hilsenteger of Unbox Therapy. It seems Hilsenteger was able to pull off the monstrously expensive setup by having most of the component part makers sponsor the video, which is pretty amazing in itself–imagine getting this kind of rig for free.

Speaking of component parts, this Hedonsim Bot is assembled from “a zero gravity reclining workstation game chair” made by Imperatorworks, a Xidax desktop gaming PC, a 43-inch UHD 4k monitor flanked by two side monitors, a fridge, a snack station (this might be the best part), and a PlayStation, because console gaming deserves to be paired with the ultimate gaming setup too.

If for some reason you can’t gather $30,000 to spend on a gaming rig–you haven’t found the Copper Key yet, we get it–then you may want to set your sights on something like

Rachel Morrison was already having an historic 2018 before she helped bring Wakanda to the screen as the cinematographer for the groundbreaking (and record-breaking) Black Panther. In January, she became the first woman to ever earn an Academy Award nomination for cinematography, earning such her work on Mudbound. But like all great artists, Morrison had to start somewhere, and long before she was shooting big Hollywood prestige movies she was working on reality shows.

“I’d say I worked on more documentaries,” Morrison pointed out when we spoke to her ahead of Black Panther‘s h0me release. Still, for someone who has achieved such massive critical and commercial success, it’s hard not to notice The Hills on her IMDb page. Her early work filming real subjects in real places helped make her the talented filmmaker she is today.

Reality TV and documentaries might seem worlds apart from MCU movies or historical dramas, but Morrison says the lessons they taught her still help her work today. “You learn how to film in natural light,” she said, “Even when you’re filming in a studio, you have an understanding of how to make things look authentic.” Of course, filming a movie like Mudbound, a moving period piece set in 1940s Mississippi, is itself about as far away from a special effects bonanza like Black Panther as you can get. “With a movie like Mudbound, you see...

When Lucasfilm was looking for the perfect person to play the young version of Han’s old friend—the future leader of Cloud City and the suavest guy in the galaxy far, far away—they knew they couldn’t just settle for one of the coolest actors around. Instead, they cast a multi-talented star who’s as adept in a recording studio as he is in front of the camera. Unfortunately, we doubt Solo will give Donald Glover a chance to show his musical skills. But that doesn’t mean we can’t, which is why we’re proud to bring you the Childish Gambino/Lando Calrissian mashup we all deserve.

Nerdist Presents “Lando Gambino – A Star Wars Parody,” a medley inspired by some of Childish Gambino’s best hits—including “Freaks and Geeks,” “3005,” and “RedboneMedley”—delivered by a smuggler who can drop bars with ease as he rakes in the biggest pots at the table. All while rocking a cape like no one else can. It should be said that the video intends no parody of “This Is America,” as this is meant to be a fun homage to some of Glover’s more lighthearted musical fare. Enjoy:

You can find the lyrics to “Lando Gambino” below, along with the entire cast and crew who worked on it.

What other Childish Gambino song would you love to hear Lando’s take on next? Tell us in the comments below.

Lando Gambino Medley Lyrics

“Freaks And Geeks”

They say that Lando...

This week the gang redoes it, talking about medical science(?) and the impending 200th episode!

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A skilled makeup artist is capable of amazing things, but sometimes they can seem downright magical. That’s certainly the case with one makeup artist who transforms himself into everything from Disney princesses to Westworld‘s Dolores.

A post shared by Richard Arthur (@theofficialariel) on May 8, 2018 at 11:59am PDT

This week, Richard Schaefer, who describes himself as a transformation makeup artist, demonstrated his magic by transforming into Ariel for Disney’s Designing Disney channel on Facebook, which celebrates particularly creative fans of the House of Mouse.

Schaefer has a longstanding love of Ariel and The Little Mermaid. In fact, it was the first movie he ever saw, and he used to watch it so many times he wore out the videocassette.

“Ariel is my favorite Disney character because she is strong and confident and she didn’t let anyone or...

Magnets can do some wild stuff, man. They can shrink a quarter down to half its size, make soda cans explode, and straight up demolish an apple. Yes, magnets have been made to do fun and “out there” things, but even in their purest form, when opposite forces are attracted to each other, magnets are still pretty darn neat. Case in point: This YouTube video from Magnetic Games shows magnets being pulled by each other and nothing more, and it’s still a bunch of fun to watch (via Boing Boing).

If you’ve for some reason been underestimating just how attracted magnets are to each other, look no further for proof. In the first clip, we see a ball rolling towards a cube (comprised of smaller cube magnets), and when the ball starts to get close enough, strings of magnet cubes wrap themselves around the sphere like a scared toddler on their mother. Seeing a bunch of red magnetic balls cling to every exposed surface of a magnetic block is entertaining, and as the video title itself points out, it’s kind of reminiscent of Iron Man suiting up with nanobots. Let this video be a lesson to you: Magnets are a resource that should not be taken for granted, whether they’re keeping wedding invitations up on your fridge...