The Past Week: Jurassic World 2, Star Trek: Discovery
The past week has been very exciting for fans of science fiction. Whether you enjoy the high-octane thrills of Jurassic World or prefer the lore-rich and thought-provoking mythology of Star Trek, there was something for everyone to get giddy about. I would even go as far to say that this is further proof that we are in the middle of a golden age for nerds, with their most loved properties raised from the depths of nostalgic obscurity to the heights of popular acclaim. 2016 was a great year for nerds, and it looks like 2017 and the next few years will be as well.
James Cromwell Cast In Jurassic World 2
As I noted in my column last week, I did not care much for Jurassic World. That being said, I remain hopeful that the series’ producers will be able to learn from the narrative mistakes of that movie and get the franchise back on track in time for Jurassic World 2. One way that they can accomplish this is by considering one of the strengths of the last film: that is, the supporting performances (I mean, aside from Vincent d’Onofrio‘s).
The recent casting of Silence of the Lambs‘ Ted Levine in the sequel heartened me as it guaranteed that we would get at least one strong supporting performance, but this past week’s news, as reported by Superherohype, that James Cromwell will also appear has actually made me look forward to it. From portraying former president George H.W. Bush in W. to mad scientist Dr. Arden in American Horror Story: Asylum, Cromwell has a proven track record of delivering nuanced performances of nuanced characters. Sure, there’s a chance he might end up with a one-dimensional role like d’Onofrio did, but I prefer to be optimistic and think he will the kind of dignified character that he is so known for portraying.
B.D. Wong Joins The Cast of Jurassic World 2
Speaking of Jurassic World 2, another exciting casting announcement was made last week. I’m speaking, of course, about the news that B.D. Wong will reprise his role as Dr. Henry Wu from the original Jurassic Park for the next installment of the series. The actor broke the news, as CBR.com reports, in a most unorthodox but increasingly common way: on social media. Sharing a picture of himself with one of the franchise’s iconic raptors at Pinewood Studios, Wong simply captioned it “rawr” and allowed Instagram users to connect the dots themselves.
Those who watched the previous entry will know that he already returned to the role in that picture as well as the fact that the character we saw in that movie was very different from the one we saw some 20 years ago. Indeed, the earnest, young technician Wong once portrayed appears to have grown into a cool, clinical researcher, a dramatic personality change that is almost certainly the result of witnessing the traumatic events of the first film. If JA Bayona is smart, he will make sure to explore this aspect of Wu.
Maulik Pancholy And Others Sign On To Star Trek: Discovery
People who like their science fiction on the small screen were not left out of the excitement, however. In spite of several delays in production, many continue to look forward to CBS‘s long-awaited Star Trek revival, Star Trek: Discovery. Considering that the fans of the original series had to wait 10 years for a movie and another 10 years for a proper return to the small screen (that is, unless you count the 1970’s animated series), it’s safe to say that Trekkers don’t mind having to wait a couple months for the network to finish tweaking the final product before it airs.
Delaying the release date also gives CBS to find actors who are well-suited for the show, and the casting we have seen so far is nothing if not encouraging. Indeed, Superherohype recently reported that three cast members have been announced for the project, with one particular casting choice piquing my interest. Although you might remember him as Jonathan on 30 Rock, Maulik Pancholy is set to play the show’s chief medical officer, a bold decision that is keeping in line with the maverick casting practices of the franchise.