In 2005, Star Trek’s first Sulu, George Takei, came out as gay and since then has been a tireless campaigner for LGBT rights. In Star Trek: Generations (1994) it was revealed the character had a daughter and in the forthcoming Star Trek Beyond, we have been told that this timeline’s Sulu is also a father. Now John Cho, who currently plays the USS Enterprise’s helmsman, has revealed that Sulu will now be the series first openly gay character, not that it’s going to bother anyone in the future. Said Cho:
“I liked the approach, which was not to make a big thing out of it, which is where I hope we are going as a species, to not politicise one’s personal orientations.”
It’s a lovely nod to Takei, to real life and to the forward-thinking, progressive approach Star Trek has always had. Bravo. Star Trek Beyond opens pretty much worldwide July 22.
George Takei has responded to this news, and it’s not what you’d expect:
“Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene (Roddenberry’s) creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate…. I told (Cho), ‘Be imaginative and create a character who has a history of being gay, rather than Sulu, who had been straight all this time, suddenly being revealed as being closeted. This movie is going to be coming out on the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, the 50th anniversary of paying tribute to Gene Roddenberry, the man whose vision it was carried us through half a century. Honor him and create a new character.’ I urged them. He left me feeling that that was going to happen“
Mmmnnn…Maybe he felt snubbed being left out of the loop? And you have to sort of respect Takei’s commitment to cannon – Sulu’s daughter has been revealed to be the result of a one-night stand with a gorgeous alien female in an official Star Trek novel – but we are very surprised at his view if we’re honest. As, we’re sure, many others will be as well. We’ll see how this all plays out over the coming week.
Were you aware a remake of couldn’t-be-more-90’s hit Flatliners is in the works? An effective tale of a bunch of med students who research what happens at the moment of death by, er, killing themselves and then coming back to life has already secured the likes of Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton (see below) and Kiersey Clemens. Now it’s reported that Kiefer Sutherland – who played Nelson Wright in the original – is close to signing up and that his role will be a “seasoned doctor”. The obvious thought is that he may be reprising the Wright character, which could be intriguing for that would make this a sequel of sorts and not a reboot/remake/reimagining. More news as and when we get it and, if you haven’t seen Flatliners, we think it’s well worth your time.
The handsome chap above is James Norton, the star of hit Brit tv shows War & Peace, Happy Valley and Grantchester. He’s also the new favourite to take on the mantle of James Bond. We reported a couple of weeks back that current Poldark Aiden Turner was the bookies favourite, but the world of 007 is a fickle and fast moving place. And Tom Hiddleston, once considered a shoe-in for the role? Would you want a man who wears a singlet stating “I ‘Heart’ Taylor Swift” for swimming and a fake bicep tattoo as the world’s premier secret agent? Nope, us neither.
We’re digressing here a little bit, but bear with. In news of the ‘You Couldn’t Make It Up’ variety, the recently published Chilcot Enquiry has included the revelation that MI6 was led to believe Saddam Hussein was continuing to produce weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by a false agent, who based his reports on a Hollywood action movie, namely The Rock (1996). Chemical weapon production was said to include the information that the delivery system was a series of “linked hollow glass spheres”. See the pic above. You couldn’t make it up. Or, if you did, it would probably be fact next week. What next? A 3500 wide spaceship is found parked behind the moon?
The sequel to the sequel to Alien (1979) will ignore the subsequent two sequels and will go ahead once the sequel to the prequel has finished shooting. Got that? You sure?! It’s complex in Alien-land, we’ll grant you. Neill Blomkamp is still very much planning on going ahead with his Alien film which will be a direct sequel to fan favourite and best film in the franchise so far (discuss) Aliens (1986). Sigourney Weaver, who says she is still coming back as Ellen Ripley, has been fielding questions as she takes part in the 30th anniversary celebrations of Aliens and came out straight with it:
“It’s just as if, you know, the path forks and one direction goes off to three and four and another direction goes off to Neill’s movie.”
So there you have it. Many will be pleased to hear this but there are rabid fans aplenty of Alien3 (1992) and Alien: Ressurection (1997) who won’t be happy this ‘timeline’, for want of a better word, is now going to be ignored. Still, might bigger things be afoot? We reported a couple of weeks ago that one of the stars of Alien: Covenant (the sequel to the prequel Prometheus), currently shooting under original Alien helmer Ridley Scott, is rumoured to be Ripley’s mother. Might these two films somehow link up? Watch this space.
It takes a certain size of movie to have news of its first trailer hitting the interwebs a full week before it airs, but such is the world of Star Wars. We’ve already had a teaser – which sent fans into a meltdown – and excitement levels are at fever pitch with expectation of what we may see in this first, full trailer. We’ve still got six months plus to wait until the film hits theaters but this is just the beginning of saturation coverage. So a bit like last year with The Force Awakens then. And a lot like next year with Episode VIII due December 2017. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is due December 14 this year.