Bits and Pieces in Pop Culture News

Time to play catch up on some of the pop culture entertainment news of the last few days.

1. Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling announced that they will make a movie version of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which is based on the Harry Potter universe. Set seventy years before Harry, Ron, and Hermione entered the hallowed halls of Hogwarths, the new film will be about Newt Scamander and obviously feature some of the dozens of magical creatures highlighted in the book. Will the studio and the author ever decide to reboot or continue the actual Potter franchise with new or reimagined adventures?

2.  The art world was abuzz when an unknown painting by Vincent Van Gogh was discovered, but the Internet burst into geeky conversation when it seemed as if the landscape rendering featured the time-traveling Tardis from Doctor Who in the background. You can't make this stuff up.  An examination of the painting makes it clear that the blue structure is just a building, but the wacky conspiracy theories were fun to peruse (everything from arguments that the painting was a modern day hoax to farfetched nutty speculations about the space-time continuum).

3.  Roland Emmerich, who is busily preparing the long-in-development Independence Day 2, announced that he's also planning a rebooted trilogy of Stargate.  I'm hoping it will be a total reimagining, not just a continuation of the long-running television series, which recast and expanded upon the original motion picture.  The premise has a lot of potential.  Let's see where they go with it.

4. In addition to a TV sequel, the makers of the hit miniseries The Bible are planning to re-edit the last few episodes that featured the story of Jesus and release it as a major motion picture titled Son of God.  Those final episodes were the best part of the show, but, honestly, I'm still waiting for a filmmaker to shoot the definitive film that can top Franco Zeffirelli's Jesus of Nazareth, which stands the test of time as the best of the best.

5. I was glad to hear the news that the television network G4 will survive after all.  There was talk that it would be rebranded as the Esquire Network, but now the word is that Style Channel will be switched over instead. The bad news is that parent company NBC Universal (known for its many recent stupid decisions) apparently won't be investing any money into G4, won't be resurrecting any of the cancelled fan-favorite programs, such as Attack of the Show, and won't be developing any new content for it anytime soon.  As we ask, "What's the point?" at least we can rest assured that it won't be completely gone for good -- at least not yet.

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