new harry potter world ride

A new ride is coming to Hogwarts.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Hogsmeade at Universal Orlando will be introducing a new  “thrill ride” in 2019, replacing the Dragon Challenge. Details are vague on what the new ride will entail, but it’s exciting news for a theme park that has been rapidly expanding since it first opened, in which only a few motion-based rides were available. Now, the theme park world of Harry Potter is only getting richer and more magical.

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Game of Thrones Comic-Con Panel

Due to a shifted production schedule, this year’s Game of Thrones Comic-Con panel arrived at a very interesting time. Season 7 of HBO’s fantasy drama (arguably the most popular show in the world) was still airing as members of the series’ cast assembled at the front of Hall H to talk about all things Westeros, a first for the show.

And because there was nothing gigantic to reveal beyond a brisk look at the episodes ahead (teasing the return of a major character), the panel was just an extended riffing session, with the various actors cutting loose, goofing off, and spitballing about various aspects of the show.

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Bright Comic-Con Panel: Everything You Need to Know

Training Day meets Lord of the Rings is how Will Smith describes Bright, his next collaboration with director David Ayer. Ayer, who wrote Training Day, is making a movie that resembles his early work far more than his DCEU film, Suicide Squad. His new movie is a genre mash-up, a cop film featuring orcs, fairies, elves, and a powerful magic wand.

Below, check out our reaction to a clip from Bright, some quotes from Ayer about the film, and more.

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Director Nikolaj Arcel Explains the Dark Tower Runtime

There’s one thing you learn very quickly about The Dark Tower director Nikolaj Arcel — the man is a dedicated fan of Stephen King‘s epic fantasy/horror/science fiction series.

We spoke during the San Diego Comic-Con in a Gaslamp District bar remade for promotional purposes into the Dixie Pig, a restaurant from King’s novels (and the upcoming film adaptation) that caters to a not-quite-human clientele and serves as a gateway between worlds. And while the bulk of our conversation was dedicated to all things Dark Tower and how he tackled this long-gestating adaptation, I had to ask him the question of the moment. Why is The Dark Tower, an adaptation of a sprawling saga that spans seven thick novels, only 95 minutes long?

And Arcel had an answer.

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Bright trailer

David Ayer is no stranger to depicting cops on film. He’s made some good, gritty and dirty crime thrillers with End of Watch and Street Kings. Cops and Los Angeles fit comfortably in the filmmaker’s wheelhouse. It’s a world and genre he knows well. Ayer has now made another cop movie, Bright, which stars Will Smith and Joel Edgerton. They’re playing partners, but they’re a little different from the partners from Ayer’s previous movies: one of these is an orc. A hard-edged David Ayer movie with Will Smith, orcs, and fairies sounds like a blast, and it looks like one, too.

Below, watch the Bright trailer.

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Two New Harry Potter Books

“Words, in my humble opinion, are the most inexhaustible source of magic we have,” Albus Dumbledore advised Harry Potter in the last Deathly Hallows film.

And we’re about to get a little more of that special Harry Potter magic with a whopping two new books to be published by J.K. Rowling this fall. Yeah, go ahead — get excited, even if you were already feeling a bit dubious after Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Because no matter how much you grumble, Rowling is our king and we will eat up any and all new Harry Potter material.

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Winter is Here Exhibit

It may be warm and sunny in San Diego, California, but winter is here. Or at least, a Westeros winter is here, a season that promises to be long and deadly and dark (and full of terrors, both literal and metaphorical).

At least, that’s the angle of “Winter is Here,” a special Game of Thrones-themed “environment” that HBO has brought to Comic-Con 2017. Once you enter the ordinary looking building with some seasonally inappropriate frosted windows, you are transported to a world of dragons, thrones, and White Walkers. And maybe a very long wait. But hey, this is Comic-Con. That’s just part of the package.

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the dark tower creature

The Dark Tower opens in a little over two weeks and the lack of marketing and that 95-minute runtime rightfully have fans of Stephen King’s beloved horror/fantasy series concerned. After years of development, could this long-waited adaptation arrive with a whimper instead of a bang?

It’s a question worth asking (and worrying about). But for now, this new featurette practically doubles as a new trailer, offering all kinds of new footage while various talking heads discuss the finer points of King’s “magnum opus.”

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Preacher review Dallas

(Each week, we’re going to discussion Preacher’s season 2 by examining the differences between the original comics and AMC’s television adaptation.)

As we hoped, Preacher once again takes things on the road again, in a manner of speaking. The fifth episode takes us briefly out of New Orleans on a road trip of the mind as we ride a flashback to Jesse and Tulip’s relationship back in Dallas. Here we finally find out what happened after that fateful day when Carlos betrayed them, a moment that still haunts them even now when they have way bigger problems in their lives.

But viewers finally meet a version of Jesse comic readers know that we haven’t seen a lot on the show – the asshole psychopath. He’s so incensed at finding out that Tulip’s married to some low-rent mob boss that he’s going to torture him to death, and he even uses the Voice on Tulip to force her out of the room and away from whatever he’s going to do. Tulip is terrified of Jesse at this moment, and we can see that his anger is not just a little problem.

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game of thrones dragonstone review 7

(In our coverage of Game of Thrones season 7, we’ll be examining each episode with one simple question in mind – which character is winning the game of thrones this week?)

Game of Thrones season premieres are always about table setting. Where is everyone right now? What are they doing? Where are they going? What do they want? With a cast this large, it’s a necessary evil – the dominoes must be meticulously assembled before the first of them can be flicked, triggering an avalanche of war and betrayal and desperation and misery.

“Dragonstone” is no different, but there’s something different going on here this time around. With that deep bench of characters massively reduced following the violent events of last season’s finale, this is the rare premiere that managed to set every important table and touch on every character of consequence in a single hour. This may be a shorter season, running only seven episodes instead of the usual 10, but it’s already moving faster. The board is already set. The pieces are in place. When the credits roll, the engine of violence and conflict is ready to chug forward in record time.

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