Weekly Nerd News: January 7


By Haylee Fisher (@haylee_fisher)

Did you fall behind of your nerd news over the holidays? Don’t worry; we’re here to help! Here are a few stories to catch you up on what happened during the past few weeks. So get comfortable because this edition is a doozy!

J.K. Rowling is working on a play that will explore Harry Potter’s life before he went to Hogwarts. According to her recently released statement regarding the project, it will delve into “the previously untold story of Harry’s early years as an orphan and outcast.” She will co-produce the show and collaborate on the script with other writers. No word yet on when to expect the play to hit the stage. (http://popwatch.ew.com/2013/12/20/harry-potter-jk-rowling-prequel-play/)

It’s official: Paul Rudd has been cast as the lead in Ant-Man. Edgar Wright will direct the film, which is said to be more comedic in tone, similar to Iron Man. The movie is set to come out July 31, 2015. (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/paul-rudd-is-ant-man-667111)

In other casting news, Vin Diesel has joined Guardians of the Galaxy as the voice of Groot. He was previously rumored to be playing the character and confirmed the news on Facebook. Guardians is directed by James Gunn and will be released August 1, 2014. The film also stars Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer, and Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket Raccoon. (http://variety.com/2013/film/news/vin-diesel-joins-guardians-of-the-galaxy-as-groot-1200986281/)

Scientists in China have recently engineered pigs that glow green in the dark. The process involves injecting fluorescent DNA from jellyfish into pig embryos; the same technique was previously used successfully on rabbits in Turkey. The goal in this experiment is to find a cheap and efficient way to treat inherited diseases in the human body, such as hemophilia, which prevents blood clotting. And don’t worry about the pigs – they are expected to have the same life span as their uninjected counterparts. The green is just a marker to show everything is working. (http://aviationrecord.com/science-27/chinese-scientists-create-pigs-that-glow-green-in-the-dark-1602.html)

Under its Dark Horse Comics banner, Marvel will begin publishing new Star Wars titles in 2015. Previously, Marvel published Star Wars comics for nine years before Dark Horse took over the license in 1991. The move may not come as a surprise to comics insiders, though, as it has been rumored since Disney’s 2012 acquisition of Lucasfilm. They previously bought Marvel in 2009. The comic’s release year coincides with JJ Abrams’ reboot/sequel, Star Wars: Episode VII. (http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2014/01/03/marvel-comics-star-wars/4305811/)

Black Widow will soon be getting her own brand new comic series. Appropriately titled Black Widow, the series will chronicle her quest for atonement from her past sins and take her on a path the Avengers and SHIELD might not approve of. The comic will be written by Nathan Edmonson with art by Phil Noto and comes out January 8.(http://theflickcast.com/2013/12/09/get-first-look-marvels-black-widow-1/)

Warner Bros. recently updated the Batman Arkham Facebook page to reflect a new DLC coming to Origins. An image shows an award for the “Wayne Foundation Humanitarian of the Year” but the background appears to be covered in ice. Because of this, it is safe to assume the new DLC will be longtime Batman villain Mr. Freeze. No word on when the DLC will be available, other than it will definitely be some time this year. (http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/01/01/batman-arkham-announcement-coming-new-years-eve)

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