The Justice League Snyder Cut is real, and it's coming to HBO Max in 2021. The film is a new version of 2017's pretty bad Justice League movie, finished by its original director Zack Snyder, who left the project during production at the time for personal reasons. Expect a vastly different and far longer film this time, possibly split into episodes.
Originally intended as the DC Comics equivalent to Marvel's enormously successful Avengers films, Justice League was a follow-up to Man of Steel and Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice that didn't feel like it was part of the same series of films. The Snyder Cut should correct this, but whether it'll be a great film or not is yet to be seen. Expect a fascinating finished result, though.
Here's what we know about the Justice League Snyder Cut so far, including its release date, budget, trailer and Darkseid's appearance in the movie.
What is the the Snyder Cut of Justice League?
The Snyder Cut is a new version of 2017's Justice League movie, which is coming to the new streaming service HBO Max in 2021. It's the movie as envisioned by original director Zack Snyder, who left production halfway through to deal with a personal tragedy along with his wife and producing partner, Deborah Snyder.
Avengers director Joss Whedon stepped in to help finish the film, which was ultimately a critical and commercial flop. Justice League was mocked extensively for its reshot scenes featuring Henry Cavill's CG'd upper lip, the result of him being forced to retain a mustache during reshoots to finish filming Mission Impossible: Fallout.
Following Justice League's release, fans started petitioning to release the Snyder cut of the film, with actors Gal Gadot and Ben Affleck joining in on an extensive hashtag campaign. In December 2019, Snyder confirmed the cut was real in a post on social media network Vero.
In early February 2020, a group of Warner executives went to Snyder's house to watch a cut of the movie, and to figure how much finishing it will cost, according to a THR interview with the director. Warner greenlit the project and announced it for HBO Max in May 2020, and the Snyders have begun the process of finishing the movie, which involves rehiring their original post-production crew. As well as being edited and scored differently, it's possible actors will return to record more dialogue. Extensive effects work will be required to finish the Snyder Cut, too.
The Justice League Snyder Cut could be released on HBO Max as a nearly four hour-long movie, or as a series of episodes, based on that same report. Snyder believes that maybe a quarter of his work ended up in the final cut. Expect an entirely new movie at the end of it.
The finished film should feel like a more suitable follow-up to Man of Steel and Batman Vs Superman. "This movie was the culmination of a hero’s journey that all these characters went on," producer Deborah Snyder told THR. "And the idea was always to build them up to be the heroes people expected them to be." Hopefully, it'll make for a more satisfying viewing experience generally.
The finished result of 2017's Justice League is likely a more complicated matter than being a single person's fault, though. In this interview with Holt McCallany, who briefly appears in Justice League as a criminal chased by Batman across Gotham's rooftops, he mentions his scene was re-edited at the behest of the studio and not director Joss Whedon.
Justice League Snyder Cut release date: 2021 on HBO Max
The Justice League Snyder Cut release date is set for 2021 on HBO Max. There are no more specifics right now on that front.
Justice League Snyder Cut: Darkseid first look revealed by Zack Snyder
The DC Comics villain Darkseid has been confirmed for the Snyder Cut of the film. Zack Snyder tweeted out a slightly blurry first look at the character above.
Justice League Snyder Cut trailer: does one exist?
Not for this particular cut, no. The above trailer, though, which was released at San Diego Comic Con 2016 while Snyder was still filming Justice League, probably gives the best look at what the director and producing partner Deborah Snyder had in mind before they left the project.
It's not as tonally wonky as the finished product, but it's still a lot lighter than Batman vs Superman was. The Barry Allen introduction scene above is one of the best parts of the original film.
What is the Justice League Snyder Cut budget?
The Snyder Cut budget hasn't been confirmed, but it's upwards of $30 million. WarnerMedia's chairman Bob Greenblatt spoke to Vox's Recode Media podcast on the matter. "I'll just say I wish it was just $30 million, and stop there!"
Will the Justice League Snyder Cut be any good, though?
Zack Snyder's DC Comics movies have proved enormously divisive, but they're singular creations that stand apart from the Marvel movies. We're not convinced an amazing movie is waiting for us, here, but it can't be worse than the version of Justice League we have now. Besides, Snyder deserves his shot at finishing this film, given the circumstances that led to his original exit.
After The Good Place, it feels like we've seen a spike of 'big idea' comedies that look a lot more expensive than traditional sitcoms. In 2020 we've had HBO's space station-based Avenue 5, which kicked off with such a disappointing opening episode that I didn't continue with it, and Amazon Prime's Upload, set in a digital afterlife where niceties are bought with microtransactions.
In Netflix's Space Force, which shares Upload's creator, Greg Daniels, General Mark Naird (Steve Carell) is put in charge of the titular new armed forces branch. Can America successfully conquer the stars?
Things aren't as straightforward at Space Force as Naird hoped. A science versus military tension exists at the heart of this branch, with Dr Adrian Mallory (John Malkovich) pushing back on the branch's more aggressive ambitions. The existence of Space Force itself and how much it costs is under scrutiny. And Naird himself is forced to move his family across the country for his new job, which creates tension with his daughter Erin (Diana Silvers).
The Space Force concept is so big that it sometimes feels like it gets in the way of the show being what it really is: a workplace sitcom. A few of the episode plots feel like they could be from earlier seasons of The Office, if you remove the space context. Take the fifth episode, which is themed around war games, with Space Force competing against the air force in a series of team-building exercises for bragging rights. This plot is in most '90s sitcoms in some form, except here the budget is a lot higher and you've got John Malkovich in the cast.
As a parody of the American military, Space Force isn't as rich for jokes or satire as I hoped, probably because its real life counterpart seems just as outlandish. Even when the main Space Force idea drives the story, like in episode two where Naird and his team of scientists try to instruct a chimpanzee to repair a satellite, it's just hard work to watch. Jokes about space chimps just seem very out-of-date, even with Space Force's expensive-looking CG simian.
It just doesn't find enough to do with its main idea, and laughs are fairly thin on the ground.
That said, Space Force is breezy enough viewing, and my investment in the characters slowly increased over the course of the episodes. It's just not as funny as I hoped it would be given the caliber of the show's talent. And maybe after a couple of months in lockdown where streaming is one of a limited selection of hobbies, my expectations might've been slightly too high.
Maybe I'm just being grumpy, but the reason Daniels' past creations (Parks and Rec, The Office, King of the Hill) resonated is that they brought humor out of the mundane. Maybe Space Force can be a good vehicle for jokes, but here there just aren't enough good ones. The episode length, which frequently exceeds 30 minutes, makes the show feel languid, too. I wonder if the same episodes forced into a traditional 20 minutes might improve the pace of the show, and result in a higher rate of jokes per minute.
Space Force's ensemble is the best thing about it. Carell, also a co-creator, is a major get for Netflix, and alongside him and Malkovich you have Friends' Lisa Kudrow and Parks and Rec's Ben Schwartz. You'll see many more familiar US sitcom regulars, too. The series also features the final TV performance by actor Fred Willard, and he is a treat to watch here.
Netflix US will lose The Office at the end of 2020 and gain Seinfeld in 2021. Old comedy is still important to the world's most popular streaming service, and Space Force is a valiant attempt to give subscribers a newer offering to get excited about. It's just not as funny as it should be.
Like The Office, maybe Space Force will take a second season to really hit its stride.
If you've tried to use the YouTube app on PS4 recently, you've probably noticed that you're being signed out, and that signing in again prompts an error code: NP-37602-8. Searching PlayStation Support when you get the error prompt yields no results, which is annoying, but now the issue is known to Sony and YouTube and they're looking into fixing it.
YouTube tweeted out the following, which was retweeted by the Ask PlayStation help account. This hopefully means it'll be fixed in the near-future – keep an eye on the account for more updates.
Can you fix the error code NP-37602-8?
As noted by our friends at GamesRadar, there is no fix for this specific issue at present, but there is still a way you can watch YouTube on your PS4. You can simply cast YouTube to your PS4 from a linked device on the same Wi-Fi network, like a phone or tablet. All you have to do is open the YouTube app, click the cast icon then select your PS4.
We've tested this solution and it indeed works as a temporary fix to the NP-37602-8 error code. Until a proper fix comes, that gives you the ability to watch YouTube on your TV through your account.
Which YouTube video did we watch to test this fix out, you ask? Well, it was this funky remix of Le Cassette's Radio, because we never truly got over the synthwave movement.
Netflix has debuted one of its biggest new shows of the year in Space Force, an armed forces-based sitcom starring Steve Carell that features an array of supporting comedic talent. Our verdict? Well, it isn't that good, sadly, but it's breezy weekend viewing that still offers a few laughs.
That's not all that's streaming this weekend. Below, we've captured highlights available on Hulu, Apple TV Plus and other streaming services over the next few days, including the return of a cult favorite Marvel TV show, a compelling dramatization of a quiz show scandal, and the latest Apple TV Plus original series. We'll explain how to watch each show in the US and UK, too.
At the time of writing, we've seen seven episodes of Netflix's Space Force and honestly found the series came in below our expectations. The show is disappointingly light on laughs despite having an amazing comedy cast (Steve Carell, Lisa Kudrow, Ben Schwartz, John Malkovich), and it feels like the big concept of the show – that it's about the president's 'Space Force' initiative – gets in the way of it being an effective workplace comedy. Still, it's well worth checking out yourself, since it's very easy to watch and Carell is always entertaining. We just get the sense it could've been much funnier.
Apple TV Plus debuts its latest big original: an animated musical comedy series from the creator of Bob's Burgers, Loren Bouchard, along with Josh Gad and Nora Smith (also of Bob's Burgers). Central Park is about the Tillermans, who live in and look after the titular New York location, and have to fend off a wealthy heiress who wants to turn the verdant public space into housing.
You'll absolutely recognize Bob's Burgers' animated style in what you see above, which fans will no doubt enjoy. The voice cast includes Kristen Bell and Tituss Burgess, ensuring there's some serious star power behind Apple's first animated adult comedy. New episodes of Central Park will be released every Friday, but you've got two you can stream now.
Now streaming on Apple TV Plus
Agents of SHIELD season 7 (Hulu)
If you're done marathoning the Marvel movies, Agents of Shield is the new only live-action Marvel content you can have right now, after the MCU went on hold over the current global pandemic. In the seventh and final season of the show, which features an ensemble cast led by The Avengers' Clark Gregg, the team goes back to the '30s to trace the earliest days of Shield and its relationship with Hydra.
Episode one of the final season is now streaming, and new episodes will be available every Thursday after they air on ABC. Luckily, unlike a lot of shows right now, Agents of Shield finished production all the way back in July 2019, so you won't have to wait for a proper conclusion. In the UK, E4 is supposed to air Agents of Shield season 7, but no date has been set for it yet.
This three-part drama about 2001 UK Who Wants to be a Millionaire? winner Charles Ingram and his wife Diana starts on AMC this weekend, having aired to record ratings in Britain back in April. Ingram was ultimately convicted of cheating, and lost out on the prize money. This dramatization is well worth checking out, especially with Michael Sheen playing quiz host Chris Tarrant and Succession's Matthew Macfadyen playing Ingram himself. Even if you lack the context for the UK version of the show, it's entertaining.
The whole affair was a fascinating scandal that seemed really important at the time, but in retrospect the whole thing was simply tabloid fodder about a quiz show that more than outstayed its welcome on British TV. All three episodes will be available to binge watch starting on 31 May.
Available to stream on AMC Premiere from 31 May
Somebody Feed Phil season 3 (Netflix)
Let comedy writer and host Phil Rosenthal remind you of a time when you could eat food outside of your home in the latest season of his Netflix food series. In this new season, comprised of five episodes, Rosenthal embarks on culinary-related adventures to Marrakesh and London, among other places. Easy viewing if you love Netflix food shows.
Now streaming on Netflix
Ramy season 2 (Hulu)
Acclaimed Hulu original Ramy returns for a second season. Comedian Ramy Youssef won the Golden Globe for best comedy actor this year, so if you haven't checked out his self-titled show, now might be a good time.
In Ramy, Egyptian-American Muslim Ramy Hassan (Youssef) lives in New Jersey, living between his religious and Millennial communities and their contrasting beliefs. In this second season, Ramy dives deeper into his faith, and Oscar winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) makes a guest appearance, which is a heck of a get. All episodes of season 2 are streaming now. Watch it with a free 7-Day Hulu trial.
In the UK, Starz has the rights to Ramy, and you can stream season 1 via the Starz channel right now. No word on season 2 yet, though.
If you've check out our guide to watching the Marvel movies in order, you'll know there are two main ways to enjoy the 23 films: following the timeline of events as they occurred, or just watching the films as they released.
Now, though, a Marvel fan has gone one step further, constructing a viewing order that breaks the entire MCU enterprise down chronologically, scene-by-scene, into 118 different steps – with timestamps.
It begins with the prologue of Thor: The Dark World, before jumping to the flashback sequence in Thor: Ragnarok for 41 seconds. Then you need to put the original Thor on for just over four minutes for another flashback scene. And it keeps escalating from there, really. Most people wouldn't watch the movies this way, but the undertaking is fascinating. And maybe someone will be tempted to turn it into a bootleg edit down the line for people who are really pedantic about continuity.
Here's the thread, which explains the whole thing. Warning: it may make you tired to read it.
Luckily, once you reach the latest film, Spider-Man: Far From Home, you can pretty much watch that without any issues.
"Admittedly a LOT of this is just my own personal headcanon conjecture, but I've double- and triple-checked my work here and to my knowledge, none of this is contradictory," says creator Tony Goldmark, who hosts the podcast Escape From Vault Disney. He cautions this is for superfans only, and there are some complicated rules for how the Avengers: Endgame time travel sequences play out.
If you fancy doing this, Disney Plus is your friend, since it has most of the Marvel movies available to stream (though not the Spider-Man films or The Incredible Hulk), and you'll be able to reach the timestamps with less fuss than you would by watching the movies on DVD.
Assuming that the upcoming Black Widow occurs after Captain America: Civil War but will likely feature flashbacks to Natasha's origins in the Red Room (seen in Age of Ultron), this list will have to change again. Still, since that movie's release date got bumped back to November, it's pretty set for the time being.
Apple is making another big move into entertainment, this time producing a $150 million+ movie directed by Martin Scorsese that stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. Apple will take on the cost of the upcoming Killers of the Flower Moon, while Paramount will distribute it in theaters around the world.
The upside for Apple? It will bring the movie to its Apple TV Plus streaming service, according to a report by Deadline, marking its biggest film project yet by far. Apple apparently outbid other suitors like Netflix to get the movie. The report says the budget for the project could be $180-200 million.
This represents Apple's second big swing in a week for a major motion picture on its streaming service. Just last week it secured the rights to Greyhound, a Tom Hanks WWII movie originally destined for a theatrical release. That apparently cost $70 million.
This film is based on the 2017 non-fiction book Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, about the 1920s murders of wealthy members of the Osage Nation of people in Oklahoma over oil reserves. DiCaprio and De Niro play the leads. It's described as a 'large-scale western'.
Apple is about to shake the streaming wars up again
While Apple TV Plus launched in November 2019 and has released a steady clip of new projects, this is the sort of big splash that'll help the electronics giant secure attention for its streaming service down the line. It comes at a hefty price tag, evidently, but Apple theoretically has all the money in the world to make its streaming service a big success.
The Irishman, even though it didn't win any Oscars, did secure 10 nominations and a lot of attention for Netflix. Maybe that's the sort of credibility Apple is looking for, here.
HBO Max just became the latest streaming service to enter a very busy landscape, and its ambitions clearly go beyond just bringing HBO's high-end cable remit to a wider audience. Netflix is the competitor that HBO Max really has in its sights, and that's why it's making such a mass market play with this new streamer.
Netflix has spent the last few years rolling out content that appeals to every demographic you can think of, while HBO's dramas, comedies and documentaries are firmly targeted at prestige TV-watching adults.
Now, HBO Max is closing the gap with more shows targeted at family audiences. The last-second addition of the entire Harry Potter series to the service likely comes from that mindset. Like Netflix, HBO Max wants to be a streaming service with content for everyone.
So, how do the two compare on first glance? Below, we made a quick comparison between HBO Max and Netflix in the US based on our initial experience with the newer service. We'll have a full HBO Max review coming on Friday with more in-depth thoughts on the subjects below.
Netflix has three price tiers: Basic ($8.99 per month), Standard ($12.99 per month) and Premium ($15.99 per month). Standard gets you full HD streams, Premium gets you 4K.
HBO Max has one flat price for all of it, $14.99. That's on the high side, but it's exactly what people already pay for HBO Now, and you get a bunch more content for the money. That said, to people who don't already have HBO, a service that costs more than the standard tier of Netflix may be a harder pill to swallow. You don't get 4K streaming right now, either. More on that below.
Still, if the price is a little high, an ad-supported version of HBO Max is apparently in the works for 2021, which should take the price down a little.
The winner? Netflix
Netflix vs HBO Max: 4K and HDR
Netflix offers many high-profile originals in 4K, if you're prepared to pay for it as part of the $15.99 Netflix Premium Plan. HBO Max launched without 4K streams or HDR, which will be a point of contention for some given the high price. In future, though, this will be added to the service, a spokesperson has confirmed.
"4K HDR will not be available on HBO Max at launch but we look forward to delivering this in the future," we've been told.
Since Disney Plus managed to include 4K and HDR in one $6.99 price tier at release, it's a little disappointing HBO Max doesn't support either yet. But that will change eventually.
The winner? Netflix
Netflix vs HBO Max: TV shows
In terms of original shows, HBO Max doesn't have anything to get really excited about yet, with a new series of Looney Tunes cartoons and Paul Feig/Anna Kendrick anthology show Love Life among the highlights. The appeal instead lies in its HBO archive, with everything from Succession to The Sopranos and The Larry Sanders Show ready to watch. HBO is responsible for many of the greatest TV shows ever made, which continues to be the case today.
Additionally, numerous older shows are available here from outside of HBO, like The Big Bang Theory and Friends, as well as a healthy portion of British shows like Luther and Doctor Who.
Netflix, meanwhile, now has an enviable suite of original shows to enjoy, and that catalogue has been built up over many years now. HBO Max will take a while to catch up, but it's absolutely no slouch in its present form.
You could call this an argument of quantity vs quality. As a premium cable channel, HBO makes far fewer shows than Netflix, but with an incredibly high hit rate. Netflix has plenty of new shows every single week, but many series you'll probably never watch. Still, for breadth and regularity of content, Netflix is still the king for TV. We look forward to seeing HBO Max challenge that, though.
The winner? Netflix
Netflix vs HBO Max: movies
This is too tough to call, but if you appreciate old cinema, HBO Max's curated TCM archive is perhaps the best thing about it. You've got a mix of international cinema in there, and all-time classics like Casablanca, Ben-Hur, Gone With the Wind and Eraserhead.
Most of the Warner blockbuster franchises are out in full force, and the service even has all eight Harry Potter movies at launch, which is a welcome surprise. You can stream Joaquin Phoenix's Oscar-winning Joker right now, as well. HBO Max has also splashed out for the complete Studio Ghibli archive of anime movies (minus Grave of the Fireflies, which is over on Hulu), all available for launch. You can also watch The Lord of the Rings trilogy from day one.
Netflix has plenty of great licensed movies, too, and an absolute ton of originals, but right now the breadth of the HBO Max library makes an immediately exciting first impression. This feels like a real cinema lover's offering, which you'd expect from a movie studio that's been around as long as Warner Bros. That could easily change over time, though, as Netflix makes more awards contenders like Marriage Story and The Irishman and continues to secure great older movies to stream.
The winner? It's a tie
Netflix vs HBO Max: user experience
Given that we've spent years with Netflix and only a few hours with HBO Max, we're not prepared to declare a winner on this yet. Netflix's algorithmic recommendations and homepage layout still make for a world-class user experience, as do the easy-to-manage watch lists and profiles.
HBO Max has plenty of great features at launch. Profiles and watch lists are here from the start, and the way content verticals function as channels works nicely. HBO, Crunchyroll, Cartoon Network, TCM, DC Comics, Adult Swim, Studio Ghibli and Looney Tunes are the channels you can explore right now, and the amount of content for each varies. You can create kids' profiles, too, and it's easy to search the library for the thing you want.
The homepage is curated, with an 'Editor's Picks' selection of HBO shows, as well as Featured Series and Featured Movies. We've only spent time with HBO Max in-browser so far, though, so we'll wait until our HBO Max review before making a call on the app experience and UI after extensive use.
The winner? TBD
In conclusion: there is a place for both, if you can afford it
No one expects a new streaming service to unseat an existing champion, but HBO Max makes a good first impression. The core of HBO's library means you're automatically starting with many of the best TV shows around on Max, and Warner Bros is swinging hard for Netflix by making the most of its decades-old properties.
Loads more is coming to HBO Max in June, too, with the release of the complete South Park series and many more movies. Warner has a big archive to unravel, here, and we hope to see each of its channels grow over time.
Netflix, meanwhile, continues to shotgun out new series and movies every single week. It's hard to see ourselves ever having the urge to unsubscribe from Netflix in the near-future, but HBO Max's programming range is so different that we can see how both have a place.
That is, if you don't mind spending over $30 a month on streaming services.
The Star Wars: The High Republic line of books and comics has been pushed back to 2021, it's been revealed. Originally intended for release in August 2020, the books were all set in an unexplored part of Star Wars lore – 200 years before the movies began, when the Jedi were experiencing better days.
While it was announced strictly as a publishing initiative that included comics from Marvel, it's not impossible that the setting could appear in a movie or TV show down the line.
"Given these unprecedented times, we have made the decision to move the launch of Star Wars: The High Republic to 2021 to ensure that the launch is as grand and epic as it deserves to be," said Lucasfilm Books' Creative Director Michael Siglain.
The delays mean the Charles Soule book Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi, and Star Wars: The High Republic: A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland, move back to January 5, 2021. Finally, Claudia Gray’s Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark has a release date of February 2, 2021.
Why Star Wars books might actually matter more now
The Star Wars books have traditionally lived separately from the movies, and that's unlikely to change that much in the near future. That said, a recent Slashfilm story suggested that actor Timothy Olyphant will turn up in The Mandalorian season 2 as Cobb Vanth, a character specifically from a book.
Assuming that's true, that perhaps speaks to the sensibilities of executive producer Dave Filoni, who knows and appreciates Star Wars lore on a level that's likely above the filmmakers who come to the series. That's because George Lucas was Filoni's mentor, and between his animated series The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels, he's spent years immersed in Star Wars' mythology.
If you're looking for new shows to stream this week, it's going to be a strong few days, especially on Netflix. A major Netflix original, Space Force, debuts this Friday on the streaming service, and it's probably the biggest comedy of the year in terms of sheer name recognition. Steve Carell leads the cast and it's written by the creator of The Office, but will it be worth watching? We'll find out very soon.
Alongside Space Force, the newest horse in the streaming wars race debuts this week. HBO Max is available from May 27 in the US. Below, we've picked out one show from the line-up that's worth taking a look at if you're thinking about subscribing, although the real reason to get that service right now is its rich archive of classic HBO shows.
If there's one new show to watch this week, it's surely this new Netflix sitcom from Greg Daniels, executive producer of The Office, starring Steve Carell. Space Force is about the new, POTUS-conceived and ludicrous-sounding branch of the armed forces, the creation of which is overseen by Carell's four-star General Mark Naird.
Space Force's mission to militarize the stars looks like it'll be an entertaining disaster. The ensemble cast is full of faces you'll recognize: Lisa Kudrow, John Malkovich and Ben Schwartz (AKA Jean-Ralphio Saperstein from Parks and Rec) as Space Force's social media co-ordinator. This could be a treat.
Streaming on Netflix from May 29
Love Life (HBO Max)
HBO Max is launching this week without anything resembling a Mandalorian-sized heavy hitter original. That is, unless you count the entire HBO back catalogue past and present, all of which forms the foundation of this new service. Love Life, though, despite some mixed reviews so far, is probably its biggest original. It's a themed anthology series that takes one person from their first ever love to their last, and this first season stars the charming Anna Kendrick.
Streaming on HBO Max from May 27
Ramy season 2 (Hulu)
Acclaimed Hulu original Ramy returns for a second season. Comedian Ramy Youssef won the Golden Globe for best comedy actor this year, so if you haven't checked out his self-titled show, now might be a good time. In the series, Egyptian-American Muslim Ramy Hassan (Youssef) lives in New Jersey, existing between his religious and Millennial communities and their contrasting ways of living. In this second season, Ramy dives deeper into his faith, and Oscar winner Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) makes a guest appearance. All episodes are available to stream this week. Watch it with a free 7-Day Hulu trial.
In the UK, Starz has the rights to Ramy, and you can stream season 1 via the Starz channel right now. No word on season 2 yet, though.
Streaming on Hulu from May 29
Hannah Gadsby: Douglas (Netflix)
Following the enormous success of Gadby's previous Netflix special Nanette, the comedian returns for a brand new stand-up show this week on the streaming service, which was filmed in LA. Why is it called Douglas? It's partly named after one of her dogs, but apparently this special reveals there's more to it than that. Check out our list of best Netflix comedy specials if you want more laughs.
Streaming on Netflix from May 26
Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich (Netflix)
Having avoided facing justice for his actions, the story of convicted billionaire Jeffrey Epstein remains an awful, frustrating example of how the wealthy don't face the same consequences as everyone else. In this four-part documentary miniseries, Epstein's victims give firsthand accounts of their experiences, in the hope that future generations get the justice that they didn't.
Streaming on Netflix from May 27
Somebody Feed Phil season 3 (Netflix)
Let Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal (that's right, TV writers have food shows now) remind you of a time when you could eat food outside of your home in the latest season of his Netflix food series. In this new season, comprised of five episodes, Rosenthal embarks on culinary-related adventures to Marrakesh and London, among other places. Breezy viewing if you love Netflix food shows.
Streaming on Netflix from May 29
This hot new anime horror series debuted earlier this year in Japan, and Netflix has snagged the rights to stream it elsewhere. A man is taken off the streets of a grim city called 'The Hole' by sorcerers. After they perform awful experiments on him, he sadly wakes up with a lizard's head and a whole lot of amnesia. He teams up with his pal Nikaido to get revenge on the sorcerer who left him with that lizard's head to begin with.
What's your guiltiest secret pleasure? For me, it's that I enjoy 2016's Batman Vs Superman. Just to be clear, I don't think it's a good movie. But it was the quintessential 2016 superhero film, to me: a furious, bloated, violent mess that somehow mirrored my overall sentiments about a politically turbulent year.
Captain America: Civil War, released at a similar time and exploring a similar theme of superheroes and collateral damage, was far better. But director Zack Snyder made the sort of film you'd never see in the MCU: a self-indulgent, far-too-long and tonally wonky picture that doesn't have any of the fun bits you should probably put in a superhero movie.
It's such an angry film: people are angry at Superman for the destruction of Metropolis. Superman is angry at Batman for violently attacking criminals. Batman is angry at Superman because he blames him for the death of his employees. Lex Luthor is angry at Superman because he's a jealous billionaire with nothing better to do. Batman Vs Superman has this intensifying rage over its first two acts, before the movie takes a total left-turn and becomes a big monster fight at the end.
Like I say, I don't think it's very good. But there is something compelling about it, and it's a film I love discussing and dissecting with people. There wasn't really anything worth remembering in 2017's follow-up Justice League, which despite extensive efforts to recut the film behind the scenes, felt like a cynical attempt to retrofit another movie into a bland rip-off of a cheery MCU film.
It was a total waste of time, and given that the mangled end result flopped at the box office anyway, Warner Bros might as well have released Snyder's director's cut and saved themselves a reported $20 million, not to mention sparing us three years' worth of hashtags.
Now, Snyder will get his shot at presenting his cut of the movie in 2021 for new streaming service HBO Max. Good for him. Snyder had to drop out of the original Justice League production due to the tragic death of his daughter. Considering the circumstances, he deserves his movie.
HBO Max, meanwhile, got the biggest possible marketing beat it could ask for, just before the streaming service's May 27 launch. The recut film could be almost four hours long (and divided into six TV-style episodes, according to a THR report), and gives them a major exclusive to look forward to in 2021.
The response to the Snyder Cut news was divided: campaigners (if that's what you call sitting in your house and tweeting these days) were delighted, while others groaned that the resulting movie probably wouldn't be much better than the original, and that it's another example of a big company caving in to angry internet boys.
There is at least some element of that to the 'Release the Snyder Cut' campaign, even though I'm sure many fans just have good intentions. Just check out the shitty responses to replacement director Joss Whedon's tweet here, and it's clear there's a nasty undercurrent to parts of the 'movement' that makes it hard to see the news as a universally positive thing (Side note: imagine having real principles that weren't about a bad movie featuring Batman and Superman).
Still, that aside, no matter what you think of the news, it's a fascinating turn of events. This actually isn't the first time something like this has happened with a DC movie – the Richard Donner cut of 1980's Superman 2 saw the director doing something similar, albeit much later and on a smaller scale. THR's sources say this project could cost between $20-30 million in post-production costs.
Here's the thing: I do think Snyder will release a film that's more interesting than Justice League. I'm sure I'll ultimately find his Justice League film memorable, strangely engaging and worth talking about years later, which is how I feel about both Man of Steel and Batman Vs Superman. I'm not convinced, though, that the finished result will be good, even if I'm encouraged by the endorsement of Watchmen's Damon Lindelof.
And in some ways, I guess I don't know what the point of the Snyder Cut is on a cultural level. Is this rewriting history? Is this Warner admitting the original film was bad? Is this going to lead to a proper Justice League sequel, at an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars? It's none of those, most likely. The Snyder Cut is just a thing that is happening. But I'm certain people will watch it, even if they don't like the idea of it.
How can you look away from a movie with such a strange journey?
To be fair to Snyder, Justice League did look like it was going to be more fun than Batman Vs Superman when he was still directing it. This 2016 trailer was shown at San Diego Comic Con, and while the music is overdoing it, some of the moments in this trailer (Barry Allen meeting Bruce Wayne) ended up being highlights of the finished film.
The point for those campaigning for the recut movie's release is that it will allow Snyder to complete his three-movie arc as he saw it. "This movie was the culmination of a hero's journey that all these characters went on," producer Deborah Snyder said to THR. "And the idea was always to build them up to be the heroes people expected them to be."
Snyder and screenwriter Chris Terrio's vision of Batman was an alcoholic who mercilessly gunned down criminals in his car. I don't think his interpretation of DC's superheroes will ever be to everyone's tastes. But I do know that whatever version of Justice League he comes out with, I'll be thinking about it for years afterwards – for better or worse.
Disney Plus (or Disney+) is the streaming service that's currently battling Netflix and Amazon Prime for subscription money. Disney Plus collects movies and TV shows from Disney animation, Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar and National Geographic into one handy service, as well as key content from 20th Century Fox like The Simpsons (which just had its aspect ratio fixed on Disney Plus after a long wait).
Disney Plus is out now in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, and other European countries. A Japanese launch is coming on June 11, and Latin American countries will get Disney Plus later in 2020. The Disney Plus rollout will take up to two years to complete after its initial November 2019 release date, and eventually it'll be available everywhere.
Why is Disney Plus worth subscribing to? The big appeal here is its vast archive of movies from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars, which encompasses many of the most popular movies ever made. They're all presented in 4K HDR for no extra cost, too. You pick a monthly or yearly subscription tier and that's it: you're ready to watch on the device of your choice.
The other reason you'll want the Disney Plus streaming service is Disney Plus Originals. Starting with Star Wars TV show The Mandalorian, Disney has made a big commitment to creative TV series based on its most popular film franchises. That means that you'll soon see TV shows set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision, as well as more Star Wars series, including The Mandalorian season 2.
In 2020, Disney has released movies on the service faster than expected to respond to the changes in our viewing habits, with Frozen 2 and Onward arriving early in the US. On July 3, the musical Hamilton will release on Disney Plus, brought forward from a 2021 theatrical release and available to stream at home, which is a major incentive to subscribe.
Here's our comprehensive Disney Plus guide, including details on its free trial, price, movies, shows, bundles and the Verizon deal that gets you a year of Disney Plus for free.
What is Disney Plus? Like Netflix, this is a streaming service, but it's exclusively packed with Disney content, including movies and shows from companies it owns.
When did Disney Plus launch? Disney Plus has already launched in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and most of Europe. It'll launch in Japan in June 2020, more of Europe in September 2020 and Latin America starting in late 2020.
What does Disney Plus cost? $6.99/month in the US (or $69.99 per year), $8.99 in Australia and Canada ($89.99 per year) and £5.99 per month in the UK (£59.99 per year).
Does Disney Plus have 4K streams? Yes. Disney Plus supports 4K resolution, HDR, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. You'll see whether movies on Disney Plus support it under the 'details' tab on the listing pages in the app.
Where can I find it? Disney Plus is available on iOS, Android, Apple TV, PS4, Xbox One, Amazon's devices, Roku devices, browsers, Android TV and the UK's Sky Q and Now TV.
Which Disney Plus channels are there? There are no channels, as such, but there are five separate content hubs for Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, and National Geographic. It also features content from Fox, like The Simpsons.
Disney Plus free trial: how to get one
A Disney Plus 7-day free trial is a good way to check out the entire offering of the service. Hey, you could watch every single episode of The Mandalorian in that time and marathon the Marvel movies before quitting, if you really wanted to. You'll need to enter your billing details to get a free Disney Plus trial, but it's easy to cancel before you're charged. You only get one free trial, so make it count.
The Disney Plus price structure is mostly the same wherever you are, with monthly and yearly subscription tiers. Disney Plus costs $6.99 per month in the US, or $69.99 for a year's subscription. In the US, there's a $12.99 per month Disney Plus bundle with Hulu and ESPN+, which we'll explain below.
In the UK, Disney Plus is £5.99 per month, or £59.99 per year. In Australia, Disney Plus is AU$8.99 per month or $89.99 per year.
In Canada, it's $8.99 a month and $89.99 for a year. In New Zealand, it's NZ$100 per year or NZ$10 a month. For Disney Plus in India, for new users the Disney+ Hotstar VIP plan is Rs 399 per year and Disney+ Hotstar Premium at Rs 1,499 per year.
Disney Plus, notably, is cheaper than Netflix, which is $10.99 per month for its Standard Plan, and $14.99 for its 4K-equipped Premium tier. With Disney Plus, the flat fee gets you 4K HDR streams, .
So, about that Disney Plus bundle. It includes Disney Plus itself, Hulu (with ads) and ESPN+ for just $12.99 a month. That's a great deal, with Hulu offering a wide range of adult-friendly shows and movies, while ESPN+ includes tons of sports content. This saves you around $5 per month, since Disney Plus costs $6.99 per month, Hulu costs $5.99 while ESPN+ is $4.99.
Disney Plus app and devices
These are the devices that are compatible with the Disney Plus app:
The Disney Plus app can be downloaded on almost any device, then, and you can watch it in web browsers on desktop, too. The Disney Plus app supports up to four simultaneous streams, ten registered devices and you can create seven profiles. Each profile can create its own Watch List. You can download as much Disney Plus content as you want to watch offline, as long as you sign in to the app online every 30 days.
The app has different age ratings for content, and you can choose to create a Kids Profile to remove the more adult-friendly content on there (The Simpsons, for example).
As well as having different content hubs for Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel and National Geographic, the Disney Plus app has curated content lists themed around different subjects. These hubs include the major franchises we just mentioned, but also themed sets of Simpsons episodes, or Disney divided into decades. It's a nice way to find something to watch that's not just driven by Netflix-style algorithms.
Disney Plus movies: what's new in 2020 and 2021
Disney Plus has had a big 2020 so far, releasing movies like Frozen 2, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Pixar's Onward and Maleficent: Mistress of Evil on the service in the US. Its next big original is June 12's Artemis Fowl, an adaptation of Eoin Colfer's book originally destined for cinemas. Not that you can really call it a movie, but the musical Hamilton arrives shortly after on July 3, and that'll be a huge deal.
These are the major movies coming to Disney Plus in the US throughout 2020 and 2021 that we know about right now:
Artemis Fowl (original): June 12
Hamilton (original): July 3
Solo: A Star Wars Story: July 10
Tarzan: June 23
Avengers: Infinity War: June 26
Race to Witch Mountain: July 1
Secret Society of Second-Born Royals: July 17
The Incredibles 2: July 30
Ant-Man and the Wasp: August 14
Cinderella: September 1
Christopher Robin: September 25
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: August 2020
Beauty and the Beast (2017): October 1
Maleficent: October 1
Ralph Breaks the Internet: December 11
The Jungle Book (2016): May 30, 2021
The Lone Ranger: April 30, 2021
Tomorrowland: September 1, 2021
Older Disney Plus movies are the lifeblood of the service. You'll see many of them in our list of the best Disney Plus movies. You won't find adult movies on this streaming service, though, as all of the content on Disney Plus is family-friendly.
Disney Plus includes pretty much every Disney animated movie you can remember from across the decades: Snow White, 101 Dalmations, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid. There's more or less parity in the library across different countries, though depending on where you are, some movies may be tied up in deals with other services and will arrive on Disney Plus later. We've listed the main examples of this above.
Disney Plus also has an almost-complete archive of Pixar movies to watch, as well as every Star Wars movie (minus Solo in the US, for the time being), and that now includes 2019's The Rise of Skywalker.
Every single Marvel Cinematic Universe movie is on Disney Plus, except those that are owned by other studios (the two Tom Holland Spider-Man movies and The Incredible Hulk). In addition, Disney Plus US is missing two Marvel movies: Ant-Man and the Wasp and Avengers: Infinity War, but that will soon be rectified.
Existing original movies on Disney Plus include The Lady and the Tramp, Noelle and Timmy Failure. You can watch those now.
You'll also find a number of movies from 20th Century Fox available to stream on Disney Plus, including James Cameron's Avatar, The Simpsons Movie, the Home Alone series and Cheaper by the Dozen.
Disney Plus shows: original series and classic shows
Current Disney Plus originals include Star Wars TV series The Mandalorian and The Clone Wars, which are by far the best reasons to subscribe. A recent series called Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian explores the making of the Baby Yoda-starring show.
Other originals include the excellent documentary series The Imagineering Story, and kid-friendly shows like Diary of a Future President, Zenimation, High School Musical: The Series and the Pixar shorts series Forky Asks A Question.
Disney Plus has a lot of non-fiction shows available to watch, like Shop Class, Marvel's Hero Project, The Big Fib, Disney Family Sundays and Disney Fairy Tale Weddings. As you might expect, a lot of its programming is targeted at families.
In terms of classic shows, Disney Plus offers a lesser array of older series compared to its movie collection. What's here is mostly animated, like DuckTales, Recess, Gargoyles, Gummi Bears, Goof Troop, TaleSpin and several Marvel series, including the '90s X-Men and Spider-Man animated series. The big hitter, of course, is The Simpsons. There are 30 seasons to stream now, as well as The Simpsons Movie. You'll find some other live-action shows to enjoy, too, like Marvel's Runaways and Boy Meets World.
But what about the future?
The reason to be excited about the future of Disney Plus is its upcoming originals, a big-budget array of new Disney Plus shows that put the characters of Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars to work. The highlights for most adult viewers will be the upcoming canonical Marvel Cinematic Universe shows featuring characters from the movies, as well as new live-action Star Wars shows focused on popular heroes like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Cassian Andor.
Below is a selection of the best upcoming shows on Disney Plus. We've excluded most non-fiction shows or game shows from the list, because there are so many in the works, and what's below is the stuff you'll actually be interested in. Note that some of these dates may be affected by the current global pandemic, but it's accurate at the time of publication:
The Mandalorian season 2:–October 2020
Muppets Now – July 31 2020
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – August 2020 (target)
WandaVision – November 2020 (target)
Loki – TBC 2021
What If...? – TBC 2021
Hawkeye – TBC 2021
Moon Knight – TBC 2021
Ms. Marvel – TBC 2021
Monsters at Work – Spring 2021
Turner and Hooch series – TBC
Beauty and the Beast Gaston and LeFou spin-off – TBC
Mighty Ducks series– TBC
Obi-Wan Kenobi series – TBC
Star Wars TV series created by Leslye Headland – TBC
Cassian Andor series – TBC
Lizzie McGuire sequel series – TBC
Willow TV series – TBC
Percy Jackson TV series – TBC
National Treasure TV series – TBC
Disney Plus error codes: what the numbers mean
Check out our list of Disney Plus error codes for more on what the different numbers mean. If you're having issues with Disney Plus you can't seem to solve, try the Disney Plus help center for more.
This is how you contact Disney Plus customer service, too, if you can't resolve an issue. You can call 888-905-7888 if you're based in the US. You can also tweet the Disney Plus help account. This email should help, as well: DisneyPlusHelp@Disney.com.
Disney Plus Verizon deal: how you can get a year of Disney Plus for free
Disney Plus and Verizon are still offering a year of Disney Plus for new Fios and 5G Home customers (click here to see the deal). You can still take advantage of the offer even if you're subscribed to Disney Plus already, according to Verizon's FAQs.
The Disney+ on us offer is only for new Fios and 5G Home customers. Business accounts are not eligible.
Disney Plus gift subscriptions: get a year of Disney Plus for a friend or family member
Disney Plus Gift Subscriptions are available at the yearly $69.99 tier, and make an ideal last-minute gift. You can buy Disney+ Gift Subscriptions here. Right now, though, you can only get them in the US.
Our verdict? Disney Plus is worth it, but mostly if you have kids
Disney Plus is slightly a more specialist offering than Netflix, aimed at fans of Disney, Marvel and Star Wars. It doesn't have the adult content or variety you'll find on other streaming services, but that's okay, because inevitably you'll find something you want to watch on here.
The archive of Disney Plus content is amazing, and for Disney fans, that's reason enough to subscribe. If you've got children, too, the service is more of a no-brainer.
The next year will be crucial for Disney Plus. Its initial offering of original shows has been solid, but slow, with many of its best series coming long after launch. In a few years, though, with a regular rotation of Star Wars and Marvel shows to enjoy every few months, subscribing is going to be essential.
The movie streaming service Mubi just seriously stepped up its game by offering a new library of films to subscribers. While the service's long-standing offering was to give its users one movie every day, then after 30 days, cycle out each film, this gives film lovers a chance to catch the movies they've missed.
Even though Mubi carries a lot of independent and international cinema, you'll see movies available to stream now that you probably do recognize, like Hoop Dreams if you're in the US, or Bong Joon-ho's The Host if you're in the UK. Some movies are in both territories, too, like Southland Tales from Donnie Darko director Richard Kelly, which was released under its 'Perfect Failures' label.
This library fundamentally makes Mubi a more attractive streaming service, though like on Amazon Prime, some of the films listed are paid rentals. The library is available now to watch on its website, but an update to the app will add the library feature eventually, too.
Every movie in there is picked by Mubi's curators, and you don't have to be a member to browse what they have on offer. Just go here and take a look.
Mubi costs $10.99 per month, or £9.99 per month, but there is a week's free trial if you want to give it a look first.
Depending on where you are, there are plenty of Netflix alternatives to check out if you have more specialist interests in cinema. If you're in the US, our list of the best Amazon Prime Video channels gives you loads of optional add-ons to access more movies. You might also want to check out The Criterion Channel if you're based in the US.
In the UK, Mubi is a great choice, but so is BFI Player. Combining subscriptions to both, you'll unlock a lot more of the kinds of movies you wouldn't see as often on other streaming services.
2K has officially revealed the Mafia Trilogy, a new collection of the three crime-flavored open world (well, kind of) games, coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC. They include a full remake of the original Mafia: City of Lost Heaven called Mafia: Definitive Edition, a HD remaster of 2010's Mafia 2 and a 'reintroduction' of 2016's Mafia 3 that gives the game's DLC to existing owners for free.
What's more, Mafia 2 is released today on PS4, Xbox One and PC. If you already own Mafia 2 on Steam, you get it for free. The Mafia Trilogy is eventually coming to the Epic Games Store for PC and Google Stadia, too. The free Definitive Edition upgrade for Mafia 3 is released today on all formats, too.
You can buy all three games together, or separately, and pre-ordering the trilogy unlocks the other two straight away. Mafia: Definitive Edition, though, won't be available until August 28.
This remake of the first game is the main part of the package. The game has been totally rebuilt with an updated script, more cutscenes and new gameplay features. While Mafia was undoubtedly a classic of its era, it comes from a pre-Gears of War world where third-person shooters didn't have cover systems, so it's due a refresh. Mafia 3 developer Hangar 13 is behind the remake.
While this news is cool, it was blown prematurely by a Microsoft Store listing snafu last week, which dumped screenshots and details of the remake onto the internet ahead of its reveal.
Fingers crossed the developers use Mafia: Trilogy as an excuse to improve the PC performance of Mafia 3, which was pretty demanding upon its launch in 2016.
The Mafia games are based in open worlds, but they're not really like GTA, even though you can steal cars if you want to. Instead, the law enforcement in the game will chase you just for breaking the speed limit, and the cars are more realistic to handle. Since each game in the series is set in the past, too, with the original Mafia being set in the 1930s, the cars are designed to feel as fast as they did at the time.
Still, the open worlds are special in their own way. Much like the setting in Rockstar's LA Noire, each environment in the Mafia series feels like an extremely elaborate movie set, and a lot of detail is paid to the atmosphere of each location. While you can explore, they're not sandbox games in the way the GTA series is.
Mafia 3 was a flawed, flabby game with a beautiful New Orleans-esque setting, and Mafia 2 was a great thriller about two friends who are pulled into a life of organized crime. The original Mafia could end up being the highlight of the three after this remake, though, since it always felt like the most complete game of the trilogy.
The Umbrella Academy season 2 finally has a release date: July 31, 2020. Netflix announced the news with an unusual trailer featuring the show's cast dancing at home to 'I Think We're Alone Now' by Tiffany. Check it out below:
The superhero drama finished filming in late 2019, but naturally, since it's an effects-heavy show, post-production takes a bit more time. Work on the show has been completed remotely during lockdown.
The series is based on The Umbrella Academy comics, published by Dark Horse Comics and created by writer Gerard Way and artist Gabriel Bá. We called The Umbrella Academy one of the best Netflix shows, and it was among the top ten most-streamed original series on the service in 2019.
The Umbrella Academy is about a group of adopted superpowered siblings called the Hargreeves, who reunite after their father's death years later. In the first season, they're tasked with preventing an incoming end-of-the-world event.
The second season ended on something of a cliffhanger, with the audience left unsure where (or when) the characters would end up at the start of season 2. The cast features Ellen Page and Robert Sheehan, among many others.
Season 1 released in early 2019, so now's not a bad time to catch up if it sounds like your sort of thing.
Sony sounds pretty confident about sales of the PS5, based on a recent investor call. Sony CFO Hiroki Totoki was asked directly about the PS5 marketing strategy, and whether it's falling behind Xbox. He was specifically asked if he'd give a passing grade to what PlayStation had done. The answer was pretty clear: the sales will ultimately decide.
That's according to a tweet from Bloomberg's Takashi Mochizuki. "We consider things strategically but doing our best," Totoki says. "As for pass or fail, I would wait for PS5 sales to make that judgement."
Maybe it's just the way it's written down, but in response to a question specifically about Xbox it reads as pretty spicy.
Sony's rollout of PS5 info has been pretty gradual, it's true. Microsoft has revealed what its console looks like as well as its specs, and it's committed to a major launch exclusive in Halo Infinite. Sony has discussed specs and revealed what the DualSense controller looks like, but we don't know what games it has planned for day one yet, nor have we seen the console itself.
It's fair to say Sony's approach to marketing the PS5 has been slower than it was with the PS4, which was revealed in February 2013 then released in November 2013.
Still, Sony is in a very different position now than it was back in 2013, when it was coming off the back of its least successful home console, the PS3. Now, Sony are undoubtedly on top of the industry again sales-wise, and can afford to make decisions on its own time.
Ultimately, whenever Sony is ready to talk about the PS5, everyone will be watching. This really isn't a case of whoever goes first wins. In fact, the longer it leaves Microsoft to reveal its strategy for marketing the Xbox Series X, the better equipped it is to make decisions based on the player response.