In a lengthy video interview, Merlin actor Bradley James previews series 5 for American audiences, talks about the Arthurian legends too twisted for the show, and speculates about the possibility of a sixth series.

The interview, which was done with Fanhattan, begins with it a bit of banter about Bradley James’ countless marriage proposals (we added the “countless,” though it’s probably true, he does have a Twitter after all), and he is then asked about whether he’d ever do a Star Wars film. And while his initial response is, “Why not?” he does balk a bit at the prospect of a group of fans even more crazy than the Merlin bunch. But don’t worry, he’d be willing to put up with the crazies for a white lightsaber, so there’s that.

Staying on the topic of crazy fans, James recalls a few times he has been chased down the street, and there are even, “moments that I try to block from my memory, really.” We’d say that’s the cue to stop with the marriage proposals, boys and girls.

They go on to talk about Merlin, from the perspective of an American audience who has not yet watched series 5. James summarises the time jump by saying that Arthur has settled in to his role as king, “everything’s been happy and lovely and nice,” but now Morgana has turned up “all evil and stuff,” which obviously puts a bit of a damper on the joy.

He talks about the return of Mordred, and predicts that a lot of what we’ll see this series will be “unpredictable.” Speaking about Arthur and Gwen, he says that they’re in a good place this year (though James admits that he’d never personally have forgiven her for what she did with Lancelot), and that Arthur would do anything for Guinevere and vice versa.

On Arthur and Merlin, James says, “Strangely enough, I think that’s probably the one relationship which has held on to what it’s always been. It’s a big part of the show, I think a lot of people watch the show for that relationship.” After having been through so much together, “what has changed is the level of respect for each other,” James muses, “but what has remained the same is the banter-ish relationship they have. They entertain each other, effectively. And you know, they’re pretty much best friends.”

He can also confirm that series 5 of Merlin is indeed darker, which means that the show and the characters have grown up, and so has the audience. “And that has allowed the show to become more interesting,” he says, but does admit that, “we’re only going to be able to go so far with the show and the genre it is, in terms of how dark the actual legends go, because they’re twisted.”

Speaking about some of the more twisted Arthurian legends, James refers to some Arthur and Lancelot stories that he deems way too inappropriate for a Saturday night BBC series. But the story doesn’t need to go to those places, James argues, because Merlin works well the way it approaches the legends.

James also speaks about the fight training, and has only good things to say. “I’ve always enjoyed doing it,” he reflects, and explains how they use the fight scenes to tell the story.

Fans should also be excited by the small blooper reel preview James offers, although his comment that, “there’s stuff we saw in the wrap party which we won’t be able to use” because it’s more in “that twisted vein” should break some of your hearts, we’re sure.

When asked how the cast get on outside of filming, James talks about hanging out with the knights, while the “core four” tend to go off on their separate ways.

Going on to preview the guest stars, James previews the return of Lindsey Duncan as Queen Annis and Janet Montgomery as Princess Mithian, as well as Game of Thrones star Liam Cunningham (described as “a good laugh”).

“I will jump at the chance to do some theater,” James admits, although right now he’s really enjoying his break and the chance to sleep in. He also speaks about on-set pranks, although it’s not as fun to re-tell them as to do them at the time, as well as playing tennis in his downtime (and his general love of sports, football especially).

Towards the end of the interview, James also tells the story of the ring he wears on his thumb. “When I was 18, my group of friends put in money for each other’s birthdays,” he starts, and the ring was the present which his friends bought him.

And finally, James weighs in on whether or not he sees a sixth series for Merlin. If it happens, “I would like to see the passion that’s brought us to where we are now, the creativity, I think they’re crucial. The enthusiasm to do it needs to be there, and if the scripts are good, if what they wanna do with the show is good, then I think they’ll find a lot of people jumping on board to do it.” But all he can offer is, “we shall see,” even though series 5 is going well so far.

Merlin series 5 is already in full swing in the U.K., and will premiere on the SyFy channel in America on January 4, 2013.

Cassandra Clare keeps expanding the Shadowhunters’ universe, with the first adult books of the chronicles just announced!

Clare announced via press release this morning that she’ll publish a trilogy about Magnus Bane, the fan-favorite warlock who’s appeared in every single one of her books and already received a collection of eleven spin-off novellas all about him (The Bane Chronicles). There is no word yet on whether the new books will tie in with the stories told in The Bane Chronicles.

Interestingly, this trilogy will be Clare’s first foray into adult literature, after writing extensively in the YA realm. She always pushed the boundaries of YA, though, with the inclusion of “Dirty Sexy Balcony Scenes” and the like. The first Shadowhunter book, City of Bones, was published in 2007, and the teens who picked it up back then will feel right at home in the adult section of a bookstore today.

Also of note, the series will be co-written with Wesley Chu (author of The Lives of Tao). Clare seems to like having co-writers when dealing with Magnus Bane; The Bane Chronicles are the only other Shadowhunter books that have other authors attached.

The first Magnus Bane book is expected to be published in November 2017. This means that Cassandra Clare will have three Shadowhunters series being published concurrently… The Dark Artifices, The Last Hours, and this Magnus Bane series.

If various sources are to be believed, all three will have an installment published in 2017. The second Dark Artifices book, Lord of Shadows, is expected in April. The Magnus Bane book, as mentioned above, is due in November. And the official site of the Shadowhunter Chronicles still says that the first Last Hours book, Chain of Thorns, is expected in 2017. Clare has a sixth series planned after getting some of these finished, The Wicked Powers, so there’ll be more Shadowhunters coming to a bookstore near you at least through the early 2020s.

Perhaps the decision to publish the Magnus Bane trilogy was based on the character’s success on the Shadowhunters TV show, where the fan favorite is portrayed by Harry Shum Jr. Shadowhunters was renewed for a second season by ABC Family, and it looks like they may have many seasons ahead of them.

Clare said, “Over the years writing the Shadowhunter books, Magnus Bane has emerged as one of the most fun and fascinating characters for me to bring to life… There are so many things we don’t know about Magnus, from the story of his first love to the secrets of his parentage, to the beginning of his relationship with Alec. All those are things I was able to touch on in The Bane Chronicles, but I’m excited to dig in even more deeply in these three volumes devoted to Magnus, his past, his future, and his present.”

Are you excited for three books all about Magnus Bane, or is this Shadowhunter overkill?

The Boxcar Children are heading to the big screen for a new movie series.

Many of us grew up with the wonderful Boxcar Children book series when we were kids. The stories by Gertrude Chandler Warner follow Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny, who live in a train boxcar as they search for a home. As kids we all wanted to live in that boxcar (or at least I did — I thought it was so cool to live in a train car with friends!).

According to a press release from Shout! Factory Studios and Legacy Classics, work on a new Boxcar Children animated movie series is well underway, with the first movie aiming for a release in 2017 (which marks the 75th anniversary of Boxcar Children #1). Two more Boxcar Children stories are also in development.

If the animation quality is at the Sunday-morning-cartoon level I probably won’t be very excited about it, but if it’s a more mature animation style (like a Pixar or a Coraline) I can imagine myself loving it.

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The Boxcar Children movie series is poised to do well thanks to the overall success of the books they’re based on. The novels have collectively sold over 70 million copies worldwide, with over 160 books (?!) in its arsenal. The two most recent books are titled The Legend of the Irish Castle and The Celebrity Cat Caper, which were both published this year. Looking through the history of the series, roughly four Boxcar Children books have been published annually. The original author, Gertrude Chandler Warner, only wrote the first 19.

A low-budget animated Boxcar Children film debuted two years ago, but today’s announcement marks a reboot with a new studio at the helm.

Arrested Development‘s fourth season aired three years ago today. To celebrate its legacy (and to try to forget how much we’re missing it right now), let’s rank the best recurring Arrested Development jokes!

It’s really no secret that Arrested Development has some of the best recurring jokes and gags of all time. Even people who don’t watch the show are familiar with things like “There’s always money in the banana stand” and “I’ve made a huge mistake.” The jokes in this show are just so understated and catchy that it would’ve been crazy had they not have caught on. Thanks to Arrested Development‘s recurring jokes, pop culture has never been quite the same.

To celebrate our undying love for Arrested Development, we decided to forgo the banner (sorry, everyone) and instead put together a list of all of the gags and jokes that we think are the best ones the show’s ever done. Not only that, but we’re leaving it up to you to rank them!

How to play: Love a certain joke and think that it should be at the top of the list? Upvote it. Really hate another joke and don’t understand how it got on the list in the first place? Hit that little downward-facing arrow. Don’t care either way for some of these gags? Then you can just leave them untouched. It’s all good! We just want to know what YOU think! With everyone participating we’ll be able to build a definitive list of the best Arrested Development jokes!

So, grab your denim cut-offs and hot ham water, and maybe even do a little chicken dance to get yourself pumped up (but not with the hot ham water in your hand, please). If you’re an Arrested Development fan, you’re sure to love ranking these jokes.

(Just be careful about which arrow you hit. You don’t want to hit the wrong one and find yourself saying “I’ve made a huge mistake.”)

Are there any ‘Arrested Development’ jokes missing from the list? Add them below!

 
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