I've been way too busy to focus on the development of my new DARK•HERITAGE site (possibly exacerbated by the fact that it's not going to be terribly different from the old one, really, which means it's less exciting to work on.) I've also been too busy to give too much thought to my campaign noodling projects, such as AD ASTRA, SOLNOR, HYBRID DREAMLANDS, ODD D&D, or heck, I might as well throw REALMS TRAVELER and EBERRON REMIXED into that while I'm at it, right?
Frankly, I haven't had much time to even game, much less develop games. Work has swamped me, personal life has been very busy. I'm not even reading very fast anymore. This means that my normal suite of topics has been kinda dry for several months, and I've been struggling to think of meaningful things to post about. I did, however, make a trip report post on my hiking blog. Check it out, if you're at all interested in that kind of thing. I've got one more yet to do on that trip before I'm done; it was big enough that I split the trip report into three posts.
In keeping with the season, I've watched a few scary things here and there, but I'd like to do more. I got Mama and The Grudge for my daughter, who wanted to watch one of the two of them for a Halloween party with the rest of her teenager friends. I've seen the latter but not the former, and thought it was quite good. I've also been wanting to watch the remake of The Wolfman in October for quite some time now, but haven't done it in the last few years. Maybe this will be my year. I did, however, watch the second half of The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, specifically the part where Mr. Toad ends and Ichabod begins. The Disney Headless Horseman retelling has always been one of my absolute favorite Halloween stories and I've had a tradition for many years of watching it. It's short; can't be more than about half an hour, and it's fun. A true classic. Although the tone is mostly silly, the Headless Horseman itself is a reasonably frightening entity as portrayed here. Not bad, Disney. Plus, you can never go wrong with Bing Crosby.
However, what I think is the biggest and most interesting news is the announcement of a full slate of Phase III Marvel movies yesterday. Some of them were surprising, but many were not. In any case, there's a lot more news available than there had been for some time. Marvel is, of course, done for 2014, and we will have the final two Phase II films next summer; Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man, which surprisingly, has been under development for a long time, and which so excited Marvel's production company that they bent over backwards to accommodate it.
Phase III then kicks off with Captain America: Civil War in 2016 that will feature Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man (thus validating a number of rumors that he managed to insert himself into the Marvel management's consciousness as necessary to move forward.) This also gives us some hints as to how Avengers 2 may end. Dr. Strange is next, which isn't terribly surprising either, given that his character was notably mentioned in Captain America: Winter Soldier, fueling speculation that there was a strong desire to get him on the schedule. Although filming hasn't yet started, apparently Benedict Cumberbatch is strongly favored for the role and is in negotiations for it as we speak.
In 2017, we get three movies: Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (about which we know very little), Thor: Ragnarok (which hopefully doesn't have the stupid "Asgard in Oklahoma" finale that it did in the comic books--I'd be happier if it was more similar to how Thor #400 ended up as an expression of the Ragnarok myth. The third is Black Panther, who as a character will debut in Captain America 3 first, actually. The next year, he gets his solo film.
2018 also gives us three films: Avengers: Infinity War Part 1, in which the Thanos threat (presumably) makes its appearance, Captain Marvel (with Carol Danvers; it's rumored that Emily Blunt is favored for the part, but that's just a rumor) and.... Inhumans. Yeah, that's a weird one. Then again, that's what I thought about Guardians of the Galaxy too, and the Inhumans could work out interestingly. The second two movies also suggest that the Kree are somehow associated with the Infinity War in some way or another, and that Inhumans and Captain Marvel would be spin-offs of a sort from that.
The last Phase III film is slated for 2019 and is Avengers: Infinity War Part 2, which given the close release dates will probably share much of its principle photography with Part 1, a process pioneered with the Back to the Future series and cemented as viable with the Lord of the Rings films.
There are also persistent rumors of work being done on a Black Widow project, a Nick Fury project, and an Iron Fist project, although clearly none of them have made the release announcement yet.