universal

wheel of time

When I first spotted this story, I was confused. Did FXX air a pilot for Robert Jordan’s Wheel Of Time but not tell anyone about it?

Well..all signs are pointing to yes and, considering just how upset Jordan’s wife is, I have no idea how long any of the things I was able to find will stay up. That said, here’s what I was able to find out:

A show by the name of “Winter Dragon” aired on FXX February 9th at 1:30am. There’s no doubt that it’s based on WoT, but the official reaction from Robert Jordan’s widow makes it clear that she never gave anyone the right to make it.

Actor Max Ryan, who was in the show as Lews Therin, shared behind the scenes photos on Instagram. There are BTS photos up on Tumblr with a link to the director (who’s been talking about it on Twitter).

Equally crazy, Billy Zane is in it. It also looks like this had an insanely short production schedule and it almost comes off like some short film project that got shown on TV.

I was also able to find it on You Tube. I have no idea how long the link will last, but you can watch it after the break if you’re so inclined.

[click to continue…]

attack on titan real ad

If you’re a fan of Attack on Titan, you’re probably feeling pretty excited about the themed attraction called “Attack on Titan The Real” that’s heading to Universal Studios Japan. The experience is part of the Universal Cool Japan event that’s running from January 23rd to May 10th and will be featured alongside franchises Resident Evil, Evangelion, and Monster Hunter.

Getting back to the Attack on Titan attraction, Universal Japan shared a new teaser  a few days ago and it looks creepy. It will be a re-creation of Hajime Isayama’s world and will have a 49 foot Eren Titan and a 46 foot female Titan. Visitors will watch them fight as if they are Survey Corps Members. Anime News Network reports:

The attraction will also let you experience the traumatic scene with Eren’s mother in the first episode. For its reenactment of the operation to capture the female Titan, the attraction uses Clone-oid, “the world’s most advanced technique to recreate humans.”

And because a theme park experience wouldn’t be complete without food, you’ll be able to to order Survey Corps’ expedition rations. You can even get Titan mousse that comes with a blade. Because of course.

Watch the scary teaser and see some of the Attack on Titan themed snacks after the break.

[click to continue…]

jurassic world trailer

While the full trailer for Jurassic World will debut during Thanksgiving football on Thursday November 24th, Universal decided to drop a teaser trailer for the trailer.

It’s not much, but we do get some free range dino action and new vehicles, plus glimpses at Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt.

It definitely feels like the spirit (or DNA if you will…ahem) of the first Jurassic Park movie is going to be there.

You can watch it after the break.

[click to continue…]

Diagon Alley Nerd Approved 1

The streets of Universal Orlando seemed empty. It was a Thursday morning and the park had only been open for half an hour. I could take photos with no other people in them. A cheerful Despicable Me parade rolled by and only a few spectators gathered to see the adorable Minions. As I walked past Springfield from The Simpsons I realized why the park’s attendees seemed few and far between: we were all headed straight for Diagon Alley.

Universal Orlando recently expanded the popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter to include the colorful and rich Diagon Alley. The area opened in July and includes a plethora of shops and dining options as well as two new attractions: Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts and the Hogwarts Express. The latter takes you between Universal Orlando and Universal Islands of Adventure (a two park ticket is required) and dumps you right into the heart of Hogsmeade near the Hogwarts Castle. Magical? Yes. Worth the trip? Absolutely.

If you’ve visited the Hogsmeade portion of Wizarding World, you know what kind of detailed theming Universal is capable of providing. I’m pleased to say they went above and beyond to make Diagon Alley even better and more immersive.

Read all about my experience, the food (butterbeer ice cream!), and the new rides after the break. And yes, I’ve got plenty of photos for you to enjoy.

[click to continue…]

interactive wands

The Diagon Alley expansion of Universal Orlandos’ Wizarding World is getting closer and closer to opening. Besides the new shops, food, and attractions, Universal is also introducing a fun feature for both Diagon Alley and the existing Hogsmeade area: interactive wands.

You’ll be able to buy them in both locations, and then you take the wands to various shop windows with bronze medallions in front of them and cast spells. A map will guide you to the medallions and tell you the correct spells. Once you say the incantation and swish and flick, interesting things will happen in the shop window in front of you.

Watch the Weasley siblings from Harry Potter demonstrate how the wands work in the video after the break.

[click to continue…]

03_Diagon-Alley

Universal Orlando is in the middle of a big expansion to the popular Wizarding World. Though we’ve known the basics for a while, they recently revealed new details, concept art, and the name of the ride that takes place in Gringotts Bank – Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts. Though Universal isn’t ready to say much beyond the name for the ride, they provided plenty of other information to make wizards, witches, and muggles excited.

Besides Diagon Alley and Hogwarts Express, the expansion will include a London waterfront with facades for places from the books such as Grimmauld Place. The giant Knight’s Bus will be parked there and the interior will contain an interactive exhibit. King’s Cross Station will be almost an exact replica of the actual station, and Diagon Alley will be populated with stores like Weasley’s Wizard Wheases and Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour.

No opening date just yet, but I’m counting down the minutes!

See more concept art and a video after the break.

[click to continue…]

walking dead haunted house

Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights begin next week and, as usual, they’ve gone all out in their effort to make the public pee their pants with fear. One facet of the horror is a a maze featuring characters and scenes from The Walking Dead. That’s right, it was so popular last year that Universal has brought the franchise back. Zombies are sort of perfect for Halloween frights.

The maze is called “The Walking Dead: No Safe Haven,” and it takes visitors through creepy grounds held by Rick and the Governor. It goes from Woodbury into the prison, and it’s close quarters with zombies the whole way. It’s not my cup of tea at all, but plenty of people love being up close and personal with the fake undead. And the maze isn’t all! You can also explore more areas from the series. From Ricky of Inside the Magic:

Universal higher-ups decided to expand its presence across the park, taking over the entire street program packed with five big-budget scare zones taking guests to Atlanta, Hershel’s farm, Dale’s RV, and even into memorable episodes like “Clear.” Spanning all three seasons, fans of the show will come face-to-face with recognizable “hero” walkers throughout the streets in various stages of decay, accompanied by the pungent smell of rotting corpses.

That sounds… delightful. You can check out videos featuring the maze and behind the scenes details after the break.

[click to continue…]

It’s approaching October, and that means it’s time to think about Halloween. Many theme parks roll out plans for the holiday, and Universal Studios Hollywood is including the popular Walking Dead franchise in their Halloween Horror Nights. The event runs from September 21 – October 31, and zombies will be there in spades. Hordes. Whatever. There will be plenty of undead.

If you love zombies, it sounds like it will be an event to remember. The back lot at Universal will be transformed into a rural town that’s been torn apart by a plane crash. An attraction called “Terror Tram” will take you to the heart of the event and make you face the Walkers. Bejeezus, just typing that makes me feel a little queasy (I’m a wimp). If that’s not enough for you, you can also go through a couple of mazes. One is called “The Walking Dead: Dead Inside,” and as you try to find your way out, you’ll be forced to encounter more zombies. If your heart hasn’t given out, you can check out the maze inspired by the video game franchise Silent Hill.

As for me, well, I went to a haunted house/trail thing once and spent the entirety of it with my face buried into a friend’s coat. As much as I like zombies, I’ll be sitting this one out.

(via Technabob)

Click To Enlarge

Anyone with a gut knows that the remote control is the gatekeeper to weight gain and mindless entertainment. But there was one important factor that, until now, was left out of the lazy equation… a built in bottle opener. That’s where this “Clicker” universal remote comes in. In addition to the bottle opener, it will also control up to 9 components, including TV, Cable, VCR, Satellite, as well as DVD and CD players. Now the only looming threat of exercise will be if the clicker goes missing… God forbid.

Product Page: ($25 via Crunch Gear)