Tag Archives: dc

In a Neat Video, Shazam’s Director Talks the Art of Problem Solving in Film

Zachary Levi, some extras, and some production staff, in Shazam. Did you see ‘em?
Image: Warner Bros.

Film is all about compromise: taking a massive amount of people, resources, and time, and making it all harmonize into a single cohesive artistic product. Even if the way you got there was driven as much by circumstance as vision.

In a delightful video published by Shazam director David Sandberg on his YouTube channel, he expounds on the involved problem-solving logic that goes into making a feature film. Using a simple, not very notable scene in Shazam, he goes through the compromises and adaptations that led from the version of the scene as it appears in the script to what made it on film. Guest starring: a doing-its-best costume department, complicated velcro shoes, and Sandberg’s charming wit.

It’s a fantastic showcase of the way movies, well, don’t happen easily, and without care can become absolutely messy with inconsistencies. And Sandberg is an excellent guide into this complex world. Check it out above.


For more, make sure you’re following us on our new Instagram @io9dotcom.

Source: Kotaku.com

In a Neat Video, Shazam’s Director Talks the Art of Problem Solving in Film

Zachary Levi, some extras, and some production staff, in Shazam. Did you see ‘em?
Image: Warner Bros.

Film is all about compromise: taking a massive amount of people, resources, and time, and making it all harmonize into a single cohesive artistic product. Even if the way you got there was driven as much by circumstance as vision.

In a delightful video published by Shazam director David Sandberg on his YouTube channel, he expounds on the involved problem-solving logic that goes into making a feature film. Using a simple, not very notable scene in Shazam, he goes through the compromises and adaptations that led from the version of the scene as it appears in the script to what made it on film. Guest starring: a doing-its-best costume department, complicated velcro shoes, and Sandberg’s charming wit.

It’s a fantastic showcase of the way movies, well, don’t happen easily, and without care can become absolutely messy with inconsistencies. And Sandberg is an excellent guide into this complex world. Check it out above.


For more, make sure you’re following us on our new Instagram @io9dotcom.

Source: Kotaku.com

Catwoman Will Be Played By a Different Actress in the Gotham Season Finale

Camren Bicondova as Catwoman.
Image: Fox

For the past five bonkers seasons, Camren Bicondova and her incredible hair have played Selina Kyle on Gotham. But for the last episode, airing next week, she’s being replaced.

The decision, apparently, was made by Bicondova herself, as she explained on social media in a letter meant both as an announcement and a farewell to fans of the Batman-adjacent series.

Apparently, the episode features a ten-year time skip, and Bicondova didn’t feel it was appropriate for her to play a decade-older version of the iconic cat burglar. Thus, the decision was made to recast Catwoman as Lili Simmons (Westworld, The Purge).

Bicondova emphasizes in the letter that this was her decision, and that she’s very excited to see Simmons take up the reins of an older Kyle.

The final episode of Gotham airs this Thursday, April 25th, on Fox.


For more, make sure you’re following us on our new Instagram @io9dotcom.

Source: Kotaku.com

My Journey To Photograph All The Wildlife In The Division 2

I remember the first time I saw a deer run past me in The Division 2. It immediately made the game feel different than the previous The Division. Sure, that game had some dogs in it. But now I could encounter deer. I wondered what else was roaming the streets of D.C.? To find out, I began my journey to photograph every animal in The Division 2. It was harder than I expected.

Deer

I can’t tell you what kind of deer this is specifically, but it is certainly a deer. These were relatively easy to photograph. They regularly run around the world, occasionally even running into buildings even.

That image of a deer at the top of this post came from a random encounter. I found a deer stuck on some geometry, at night, next to a spotlight on the ground. It was perfect timing. I snapped a picture and then the deer kept staring at me. It didn’t move or leave. It just stared. I left the area but I don’t know if that deer ever escaped their fate. Maybe I should have shot it?

Dogs

Everyone loves some good pups. Sadly, it is true that you can’t pet these lovable hounds, but even if you could I don’t know if it would be possible. These dogs are super jumpy. Which is fair. They live in a world where every day hundreds of people shoot guns all the time. I would be jumpy too.

This habit of quickly running away made the process of getting a good picture of a puppy trickier than I expected. I would see them all the time, but they would run the moment I loaded up the photo mode. Sometimes they would run the moment I got them in focus like they knew what I was doing.

Raccoons

Trash pandas, as the internet loves to call them, aren’t nearly as numerous as dogs or deer. These critters are a bit more sneaky. I did notice more of them at night, but that might just be a coincidence. Trying to grab a nice photo of them was difficult because, like dogs, they are very jumpy. But they are also smaller and harder to spot, which makes getting a good photo of them hard.

This is because the photo mode in The Division 2 takes a few too many seconds to open up and the camera is limited how far it can move around the area. So to get this photo, I had to creep up, open photo mode, move the camera as close as it would let me and zoom in. If I wasn’t close enough I had to creep up closer and repeat the process. Eventually, I got a nice photo of a raccoon finding some lunch on top of a trash bin.

Foxes

Even quicker and jumpier than dogs, these little wild and red pups were hard to spot as I was running around. When I did spot them, I would sometimes spook them just by walking closer to them.

Though I also had to deal with something most wildlife photogs don’t have to deal with: Numerous armed enemies roaming around, shooting the moment they saw me. There were a couple of times where I spotted a fox, walked closer and got my camera ready when suddenly gunfire would start peppering my location. The fox was gone and I had to duck behind cover and kill a dozen armed thugs before I could continue my safari. But after a few frustrating encounters, I took a nice photo of a lovely little fox.

Bald Eagles

Of course, you can find these patriotic birds in The Division 2. They seem to be somewhat rare or at least in my time with the game they don’t pop up often. So it took me some time to finally snap a photo of one of these majestic birds. I hope that as humanity dwindles and kills itself in this wasteland, the eagles and other animals prosper. Take the world back, eagles. It’s your turn after we screwed everything up. Sorry.

Vultures

I spotted many of these in Dark Zones, which make sense. These zones are filled with lots of dead bodies and decomposing corpses. It must be a wonderful smorgasbord for these ugly birds. But in the Dark Zone it can be difficult to get a good photo, considering all the other players running around and shooting people.

At one point I found a vulture, moved closer to capture a photo of it and then a random player jumped out from behind a building and shot me in the face two-hundred times with an SMG. The vulture flew away and I bled out in the streets as a jerk took all my loot. Later on, I was able to find a vulture in a more quiet area and got a nice picture.

Frogs

On the one hand, frogs in The Division 2 are fairly easy to find. Most ponds and small bodies of water in the game will have some frogs hanging out in them. The trick is getting a good photo of a frog. You see, in The Division 2 frogs are apparently able to teleport through space and time. This made it hard to snap a good picture of these little amphibians.

I also found frogs sometimes hopping through the ground or nearby logs. I ended up spamming a bunch of captures and found one worth sharing.

Fish

I was searching for another animal, who I’ll talk about later, and was having no luck. So frustrated and needing a break, I left my character standing in some water and grabbed a drink. When I returned and sat down, I sipped my lovely cup of tea and noticed something in the water. Or actually, multiple somethings.

There, beneath the surface, were fishes. They look like perch to me, but I’m probably wrong. Like the frogs, these fish have the ability to teleport, but unlike the frogs, they move faster. A lot faster.

Goats

I almost missed the goats in The Division 2. They only appear after upgrading The Campus settlement. They can be found in the back corner of the area, near the main entrance. I only found them because I was walking around the camp, looking for something else.

Suddenly, I found a few goats just chilling in a small pen. After snapping a quick photo, I left and re-visited other areas of the map and looked closer. I didn’t want to miss any other animals who might have been overlooked.

Chickens

Near the goats, I also found a metal pen containing some chickens. Like the goats, I was shocked that I had missed these creatures and almost didn’t include them. Getting a good photo of these little flightless birds was hard. The fence they are surrounded by makes it difficult to get a good and clean photo of them. So, excuse the wire fencing in the image. I did my best.

Rats

Look, I know rats aren’t the most exciting or cutest critters in the world but they are still animals and I wanted to capture every animal.

As far as rats in games go, these rats look pretty good. In fact, most of the animals in this game look impressively detailed, considering you rarely get a close look at them.

Bees

There are bees in the game. I don’t know what else to tell you about them. I guess I could make a Bee Movie joke. I won’t. But I could have.

Dragonflies

Yup, these are flying around the world too. Like frogs and fish, they seem to teleport and disappear randomly. Luckily, nobody cares because they’re just dragonflies.

Cats

Go to hell, cats. I don’t understand why cats hate me in The Division 2, but they do. I spent hours looking for cats. Sometimes I would see one, get close, ready my camera and discover it was actually a fox. They are similar sizes in this game and even have similar animations. Eventually, I gave up looking for cats. I figured I would photograph everything else and maybe come back to them.

Then, randomly, while in the middle of a mission and not even looking for any animals, I spotted a small animal near me. I stopped dead in my tracks. I crept up, slowly. I stopped. My heart was racing. I got my camera out and snapped like 20 pictures. I finally had captured the elusive cat. In retrospect, it makes sense that cats would only show up when they wanted to. I’ve owned many cats and this is common cat behavior.

Pigeons/Ducks

I saw pigeons, but could never get my camera out fast enough to snap a pic. They are so small that I was never able to pick them out from afar. I gave up on pigeons. They look like pigeons.

Ducks might exist in the game. I hear them, I think. I don’t know. Ducks are turning me into a maniac. I spent too much time wading through ponds and pools, looking for ducks and came back with nothing. I never even spotted one. Maybe they don’t exist? I don’t know. I’m moving on with my life.


I was surprised by how many different types of animals I found while exploring The Division 2 and who knows, there might be a few I missed. It wouldn’t surprise me. As I learned with the goats and fish, it can be very easy to overlook or never see animals that are right there, waiting to be photographed.

Source: Kotaku.com

The New Shazam Movie Has Some Odd Video Game References

This weekend the newest DC superhero film, Shazam, was released. Critics enjoyed it. I liked it a lot too. Though while the action and jokes are strong in Shazam, there are some weird video game references that caught me off guard.

To be very clear, I don’t have screenshots of most this stuff because of the fact that movie just came out. But take my word for it! You can find these video game related things in Shazam!

No specific spoilers below, but if you want to be surprised by what games are mentioned, stop now.

  • A kid using a PS3 Sharpshooter and PS3 Move Controller as a weapon.
  • Someone shooting lighting out of their hands and yelling “Hadouken!!”
  • A scene where Shazam and his friend play Mortal Kombat X.
  • Some hacker referencing all the hours of Watch Dogs they’ve played.
  • After a finisher, a character yells out “Fatality!” like the announcer from Mortal Kombat.
  • A reference to early 2000’s PC game Uplink, from the same hacker who loves Watch Dogs.

Some of these are obvious and most folks will get them right away. The Mortal Kombat ones, in particular, had my theater laughing loudly. Though I have to wonder how many folks got the Watch Dogs reference. Or the Uplink name drop.

Also, there was one dude in my showing of Shazam who YELLED very loudly when the Haudoken scene happened. Like REALLY loudly. I even looked back to see if I could spot the dude, I assumed he was standing honestly.

I can’t help but overthink the Mortal Kombat X scene. Does that mean Injustice 2 exists in that universe and was the predecessor to that MKX? Is Shazam in that Injustice 2?

I’m not going to think about this anymore.

Source: Kotaku.com

Real Life Museums Make Great Levels in The Division 2

The Division 2 is set in Washington, D.C. and that city is famous for all of its wonderful museums. Because Ubisoft is focused on making their game worlds feel real The Division 2 is also filled with many of these museums. These places make up some of the best levels found in the game and they are impressively authentic to the real locations they are inspired by.

In The Division 2, there are a handful of missions that lead players into some of the various museums dotted around D.C. Usually, these museums are overrun with deadly enemies, which does make it hard to explore them. But after all the bad folks were killed, I was able to snap some photos of these incredibly detailed museums.

One of my favorite museums is The American History Museum. This location is based on the National Museum of American History, located in D.C. You can find different elements of the real world location recreated in the virtual version of the museum. Like this cool looking train!

When you first arrive at this place it isn’t exactly tourist friendly. The militaristic True Sons have taken over the site and are using it as a prison for their enemies. Your objective is to get in, kill them and get some intel.

Exploring The American History Museum, I loved how varied the environments were. As I moved through the building I encountered old statues, exhibits about the Thirteen Colonies, the Western Expansion and eventually I reached a large jungle-filled-section of the museum all about Vietnam.

This area really surprised me. Suddenly I was no longer in the urban streets of D.C. but instead, I was creeping around the jungles of Vietnam. Of course, if I focused on the walls or other details I could tell I wasn’t actually in the jungle, but the change of scenery was still a great way to transform the entire feel of the mission.

The Vietnam section of the museum is based on a similar area in the real world counterpart of The American History Museum. Ubisoft even included the helicopter that is found in that exhibit.

The jungle section of the mission culminates in a battle using a giant turret against waves of True Son soldiers. It almost feels like an entirely different game during this climactic fight.

This is the brilliance of these museum levels. They change up the look and feel of the game. I also love how these museums feel like real places, largely because of Ubisoft’s attention to detail.

Another favorite museum level of mine found in The Division 2 is the Air & Space Museum. Here, you can find old planes and drones…

…but keep exploring this museum and you will also find space capsules, a shuttle that has seen better days and rockets.

Easily my favorite section of the museum is when I rounded a corner and abruptly I found myself on Mars. I wasn’t expecting this at all and it caught me totally off guard. I ended up dying in this area the first time I entered because I forgot that I was in the middle of a deadly combat mission involving heavily armed soldiers. Whoops!

The Mars section of the museum, similar to the Vietnam area in the other museum, almost looks like a different game. At least briefly. Then a bunch of shotgun-wielding soldiers rushed me. I don’t think shotguns are on Mars. At least not yet.

Another great moment in the Air & Space Museum is when players enter a large planetarium. This section, like most of the areas in the museums, is actually based on the real-life planetarium found at the actual National Air & Space Museum in D.C.

This area is almost overwhelming to fight in as planets and stars whiz by, as well as bullets. Getting to fight in a giant planetarium is another reason I love the museums in The Division 2. It helps make these missions more memorable and interesting.

These aren’t the only museums in the game. In my time with The Division 2, I’ve encountered others including a museum focused on indigenous peoples and another location focused on media and news history, based on the real world Newseum. All of these museums are filled with an incredible amount of detail and care. They make the world of The Division 2 feel more believable and immersive.

An example of how much detail Ubisoft put into these museums is how many of the exhibits actually have placards with writing about the various topics. So while you play The Division 2 you can learn a few things too!

Some may think The Division 2 is just a boring military shooter, but the museums are a great example of how colorful and fun the game can get. Maybe some of the themes and story elements are heavy-handed and gross, but this is also game where I got to explore museums and fight bad guys in planetariums.

These moments show how the game isn’t always grim and really help make these missions stand out from the others.

Source: Kotaku.com