Marvel is rebooting Blade, with Mahershala Ali set to star


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Image: Marvel

One of the bombshell announcements during Marvel’s Hall H presentation at San Diego Comic-Con tonight was that the studio would be rebooting Blade, with True Detective and Luke Cage actor Mahershala Ali set to star.

The character was one of the first of Marvel’s superheroes to become a notable hit as a film: Blade was released in 1998, starring Wesley Snipes as the titular vampire hunter, a role he’d go on to reprise in 2002 for Blade II, and in 2004 for Blade: Trinity. Marvel reacquired the rights to the character, as well as Ghost Rider and the Punisher back in 2013. Marvel brought in Ghost Rider (which had been a pair of films starring Nicholas Cage), and the Punisher (another two films), for Agents of SHIELD, and its Netflix…

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Natalie Portman will take up Thor’s hammer in Thor: Love and Thunder


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The fourth Thor movie — now revealed to be called Thor: Love and Thunder — is on its way, and it’s bringing a surprising cast member: Natalie Portman, reprising her role as Jane Foster, who’ll be following in her comic counterpart’s footsteps to take on the role of Thor in the film, announced as part of Marvel’s massive San Diego Comic-Con panel.

The news come after an early announcement ahead of SDCC that revealed that Thor: Ragnarok director Taiki Waititi would be returning to direct the fourth installment of the superhero franchise. Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson will also return for Thor: Love and Thunder, reprising their roles as Thor and Valkyrie, respectively. Hemsworth and Portman are also confirmed to be part of Marvel’s…

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Future Marvel projects will include the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Captain Marvel 2


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Image: Marvel Studios

Marvel President Kevin Feige just unveiled a packed slate of projects that represent the next phase of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, including sequels, original projects, and television shows, but he also announced that they’ve got plenty more to come beyond 2021, including sequels to Black Panther and Captain Marvel, as well as with other properties, like the X-Men and Fantastic Four.

At the end of Marvel’s Hall H presentation at San Diego Comic-Con, Feige announced that Black Panther 2, Blade, Captain Marvel 2, Guardians of the Galaxy 3, Fantastic Four, and Mutants are all happening — they just don’t have dates confirmed yet.

It’s not a huge surprise that Disney has long-term plans for the Marvel franchise — in May, it announced slots…

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Marvel reveals massive Phase Four film and television slate


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Image: Peter Sciretta

Marvel Studios’ Phase Four of its Marvel Cinematic Universe will include 10 movies and Disney + series when it launches next year, with 2021 looking especially crowded. President Kevin Feige appeared at San Diego Comic-Con for Marvel’s 90-minute appearance in Hall H, where he gave a pretty lengthy update on Phase 4.

The Phase Four slate that Marvel unveiled includes the following: Black Widow (May 1st, 2020), Falcon and the Winter Soldier (Fall 2020), The Eternals (November 6th, 2020), Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (February 12, 2021), WandaVision (Spring 2021), Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness (May 7th, 2021), Loki (Spring 2021), What If (Summer 2021), Hawkeye (Fall 2021), and Thor: Love and Thunder (November…

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How to Get an Airline to Match Your Elite Status From Another


This post is by Emily Price from Lifehacker


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I flew 7,000 miles on Alaska Airlines last year, but I currently hold the airlines top-tier of status “Gold 75k” an accolade reserved for passengers that have flown 75,000 miles or more on the airline over the course of the previous year. It’s a designation that’s scored me First Class upgrades on at least a half…

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Watch Patrick Stewart grow bored of his winery in first ‘Star Trek: Picard’ trailer


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Yes, Captain Jean-Luc Picard is indeed coming back. We knew this from previous announcements, but CBS All Access turned heads at this year’s San Diego Comic Con with an actual trailer of Sir Patrick Stewart Picarding his heart out. He says “engage!” for god’s sake.

From what I can grasp from this trailer, the plot of this Picard-centric follow-up to Star Trek: The Next Generation is that Jean-Luc has retired to a quiet life running a winery but quickly realizes that he’s not through adventuring. For some reason, he has Data stored in pieces in a drawer. He’s convinced to come out of retirement with what looks like a fairly rag-tag crew. Then Data is back somehow.

All of which is to say that this looks awesome and I wish it was here now instead of its “early 2020” release date on the CBS streaming service.

NASA’s Orion crew capsule is officially complete and ready to prep for its first Moon mission


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NASA’s 50th anniversary celebrations weren’t limited to just remembrances of past achievements – the space agency also marked the day by confirming that the Orion crew capsule that will bring astronauts back to the Moon for the first time since the end of the Apollo program is ready for its first trip to lunar orbit, currently set for sometime after June 2020.

Orion won’t be carrying anyone for its first Moon mission – instead, as part of Artemis 1, it’ll fly uncrewed propelled by the new Space Launch System, spend a total of three weeks in space including six days orbiting the Moon, and then return back to Earth. Once back, it’ll perform a crucial test of high speed re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere, to demonstrate the efficacy of the Orion capsule’s thermal shielding prior to carrying actual crew for Artemis 2 in 2022, and ultimately delivering astronauts back to the

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US national security, climate change, startup HR, and launching in the Midwest


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Reminder: Extra Crunch Event Discounts for Summer Party

TechCrunch’s annual Summer Party is just around the corner next week — come meet all the staff at the Park Chalet beer garden on the Pacific Coast in San Francisco this Thursday evening. We handed out 50 free tickets to EC subscribers this past week by email, but if you weren’t able to snag one, be sure to use your event discount (part of the annual EC subscription offering) by emailing your member customer service representative at extracrunch@techcrunch.com.

How US national security is holding the internet hostage

I have written quite a bit about CFIUS, the inter-agency process for reviewing venture capital investments and company acquisitions made by foreigners. Now, our special correspondent Mark Harris explores a much less well-known group known as Team Telecom who has been actively reviewing — and denying — additional fiber bandwidth beneath the Pacific

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Elon Musk says Starship prototypes will have first test flights in ‘2 to 3 months’


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SpaceX CEO Elon Musk believes that both the Texas and Florida Starship prototype rockets being developed by the private space company will fly “in 2 to three months,” which is an aggressive timeline considering the planned untethered flight of its Starhopper demonstration prototype missed its target of running this past week.

SpaceX is developing two Starship prototypes in parallel, at both its Texas and Florida facilities, in what is sometime referred to in the technology industry as a ‘bake-off.’ Both teams develop their own rockets independently, in an attempt to spur a sense of internal competition and potentially arrive at combined progress that wouldn’t be possible with just a single team working together on the task.

Earlier this month, Musk stated that the inaugural untethered test of its Starhopper (Hopper for short) Starship tech demo prototype would happen this past Tuesday, July 16. Those plans were derailed when a

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Watch the first intense trailer for the next season of The Expanse


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Promotional images for The Expanse, featuring Drummer, Amos, Holden, Naomi, and Alex.

Image: Amazon Studios

Amazon has finally revealed when the next season of The Expanse will begin streaming: December 13th, 2019. The company made the announcement today at San Diego Comic-Con, releasing a trailer and a longer clip of the upcoming fourth season.

Based on the science fiction book series by James S.A. Corey, The Expanse is set several centuries in the future, where humanity has colonized the solar system and broken into three major factions: Earth, Mars, and the Belters, an alliance of settlements in the asteroid belt and outer planets. The bulk of the series follows the crew of a spaceship called the Rocinante as they find themselves in the midst of an interplanetary war, and have to contend with the discovery of an alien substance called the…

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Pixel 4 screen leak show off large forehead bezel


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Image: Ice Universe

A new set of leaked images of Google’s forthcoming Pixel 4 smartphone have surfaced on the web, showing off something that we’ve been expecting: it’ll have a large bezel on the top of the phone.

The leaked images comes from Ice universe (via 9to5Google) on Twitter, and show off the phone’s front panel. The images seem to confirm what we’ve suspected thus far, based on renders and dimensions of the phones: it’ll have some larger forehead and chin bezels that are bigger than competing phones like the S10 Plus or the OnePlus 7 Pro. Those bezels will cover up the variety of sensors and front-facing cameras that might otherwise have been hidden with a notch or popup camera.

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Westworld’s season 3 trailer questions the relationships between hosts and humans


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Part of Westworld’s charm has always been trying to solve the puzzle before it’s spelled out, but the third season is experiencing a shift in direction. A new trailer for the third season introduces a different futuristic world, set in neo-Los Angeles, with a story that focuses more on the lives of robots and humans, rather than an overarching riddle.

The third season picks up right where the second ended, after the massacre in Westworld and Dolores finally free. It’s in the real world that she meets a construction worker named Caleb (played by Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul), and the pair develop an interesting relationship.

Dolores, who is out enjoying her newfound freedom, is at the heart of this story, but not all hosts are enjoying the…

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Watch the first trailer for Star Trek: Picard


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Image: CBS

At San Diego Comic-Con today, CBS showed off a full trailer for its upcoming series, Star Trek: Picard, featuring Patrick Stewart’s older version of the character as he’s drawn out of retirement. The series will debut in early 2020 on CBS All Access.

The show will take place more than 20 years after the events of Star Trek: The Next Generation which aired between 1987 and 1994, and its film sequels, Generations (1994), First Contact (1996), Insurrection (1998), and Nemesis (2002).

The trailer comes after CBS released a vague teaser featuring Picard enjoying his retirement from Star Fleet in his vineyard back in May. The trailer shows off an older Picard who has tried to put his past behind him, but he’s approached by a young woman in…

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Star Trek: Short Treks are returning to CBS All Access this fall


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Image: CBS

During its big Hall H panel, CBS announced that it was bringing back its series of standalone mini Star Trek episodes, Short Treks, to CBS All Access this fall.

CBS introduced the series last year alongside Star Trek: Discovery, and used them to delve a bit further into the show’s various characters. Three of season’s episodes will be set on the USS Enterprise, and will bring back Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount), Ethan Peck (Spock), and Rebecca Romijn (Number One) from Star Trek: Discovery. The trailer shows off what looks like Spock’s first days aboard the Enterprise and some troubles with some tribbles.

The episodes will also go beyond the characters from Star Trek: Discovery: two will be animated (potentially tying in with…

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Hold the first Moon rock ever collected with your smartphone


This post is by Darrell Etherington from TechCrunch


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NASA is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing in a variety of ways today, but here’s one you can experience no matter where you are, provided you have a modern smartphone. NASA’s Astromaterials Research & Exploration Science (ARES) department has released a fully detailed model of the first ever sample of lunar soil and rock, bagged by Astronaut Neil Armstrong during humanity’s first-ever trip to the Moon’s surface.

The rock is fully manipulable provided you visit this link on a smartphone with the capability to display interactive 3D field on the web, so you can twist and turn it using touch to get a better look. It has an incredible level of detail, (“research-grade,” in fact, according to ARES, and is part of a larger effort to make more of the organization’s larger library of lunar and antarctic meteroite samples available to more people, both for

3d models vertical

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Fortnite’s mecha-monster battle was its most impressive and cinematic live event yet


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Screenshot by Nick Statt / The Verge

Fortnite players who happened to boot up the game this afternoon were treated to a cataclysmic showdown between a giant robot and a terrifyingly large monster. The result was a kaiju-inspired battle reminiscent of Pacific Rim and with clear nods to Voltron and other mecha cartoons and anime. It was exhilarating to watch live, even though I watched it on my iPhone screen, rather than the PlayStation 4 I typically play on.

The event has been weeks in the making, with developer Epic Games performing its now-standard trickle of hints and subtle reveals that helped curious players piece together the puzzle. There was the monster eye hidden in the frozen ice of the game’s Polar Peak location, the owner of which broke free and began swimming…

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New trailer for HBO’s Watchmen includes a nod to Rorschach’s most famous line


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HBO

HBO is looking for its next big series as it bids farewell to Game of Thrones and Big Little Lies, and Damon Lindelof’s Watchmen is shaping up to be that series.

A new trailer for Watchmen from San Diego Comic-Con has premiered, building on moments from the first trailer. Some of Watchmen’s most beloved vigilante heroes, like Rorschach, appear alongside a number of new costumed heroes going about their day. There are references to Dr. Manhattan, and a previous class of vigilante fighters that longtime Watchmen fans will recognize. We even get a glimpse of Rorschach saying his famous, “all the whores and politicians will look up and shout ‘Save us,’ and I’ll look down and whisper ‘No,’” line. Or at least a nod to it.

The trailer is also…

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Amazon introduces Carnival Row’s world and characters in two new trailers


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Image: Amazon Prime Video

At San Diego Comic-Con yesterday, Amazon Studios released a pair of trailers for its upcoming fantasy series, Carnival Row. The two videos introduces the show’s two main characters, Vignette and Philo, as well as the fantastical alternate Victorian world that they inhabit.

Amazon ordered the series back in 2017, describing it as a “Neo-Victorian fantasy” in which a number of mythical creatures have fled their homeland and tried to integrate into our world. In the trailers, we meet Vignette Stonemoss (played by Cara Delvigne) and Rycroft “Philo” Philostrate (played by Orlando Bloom), and learn that the Vignette’s fantastical homeworld was peaceful until humanity arrived and brought war and violence with them. She and Philo met and fell…

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This neat stand turns your Apple Watch into a classic Apple iPod


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Image: Elago

Accessories company Elago recently its latest product, a neat stand that makes your Apple Watch look like a classic iPod (via 9to5Mac).

The W6 stand works with all of Apple’s Watches (Series 1-4), and works with the device’s Nightstand mode. The stand will charge the watch, and can act as a neat, retro alarm clock. You can pick one up in the classic white with gray touch-wheel, or in black with a red one. It also won’t break the bank: it runs for $15 from the company.

Elago has done this sort of thing before: it’s the company that created a Watch stand that looked like a miniature Macintosh computer, as well as a kind of pointless iPhone stand. The company’s also makes stands shaped like an original Nintendo Game Boy and the classic i…

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