October 02, 2017
The Gifted: Whos Who in Foxs New X-Men Series

Rounding up all of the mutants, new and old, introduced in the brand new superhero series.

"There's a war coming. Are you sure you're on the right side?"

Heed the wise words of Storm (Halle Berry), uttered in the very first X-Men movie directed by Bryan Singer almost two full decades ago. They still apply as we forge forward with a new Marvel mutant endeavor, Fox's The Gifted, even if Storm and Halle Berry are nowhere in sight — an idea that applies to the X-Men at large, really, even if Singer at least is involved in this series as an executive producer and the director of the opening episode.

In The Gifted, viewers are thrust into a parallel present world where mutants are a known quantity, and are persecuted as a result. The concept of the X-Men very much exists, too, even if it's an organization that has faded into the background under mysterious circumstances. Even without the Storms and Phoenixes of the world, The Gifted pushes forward with more than a few familiar mutant names in its roster, as well as some brand new characters with impressive abilities and emotionally fraught stories. Read on to learn more about the organizations and individuals most at the heart of The Gifted, premiering October 2.



The X-Men

You know the X-Men, but you won't see them in The Gifted. The legendary superhero team is MIA at the start of the series, the exact circumstances surrounding their absence still unknown, at least to the viewer. For now, all we know is this: the X-Men are "gone," and according to showrunner Matt Nix, we'll learn more about what happened to them: "This is definitely not a show about, 'Where did the X-Men go? We have to run around and save them!' It's not that at all. But we're not done with them. It's definitely an important mystery. It's something we're going to explore."

The Brotherhood

Like the X-Men, the Brotherhood of Mutants are missing in action when The Gifted begins. Like the X-Men, the circumstances surrounding their absence are unexplained. There's a massive connection between one of the most prominent members of the Brotherhood and one of the new show's series regulars, so it's safe to say these militant pro-mutants will have an important role to play in the future of the narrative. According to Nix: "The X-Men aren't the only ones who are gone. The Brotherhood are gone, too. That's another thing that will unfold over time. But we're not running around trying to find the characters from the movies."

The Sentinels

Unlike the X-Men and the Brotherhood, the Sentinels are still around, at least in some form: Sentinel Services, a deadly organization dedicated to tracking down mutants and imprisoning them, and worse. Through the pilot, Sentinel Services comes in the form of a mechanical spider-like weapon, as well as one consistent human face: Jace Turner (Coby Bell), razor-focused and dedicated in his work as a professional mutant hunter.

The Gifted: Whos Who in Foxs New X-Men Series

The Strucker Family

The family at the heart of the series, the Struckers, are forced on the run at the start of The Gifted, thanks to an unexpected mutant incident that brings patriarch Reed's (Stephen Moyer of True Blood fame) work as a mutant-prosecuting attorney home to roost. Reed's wife is Caitlin, who through the pilot is most noteworthy for being played by Amy Acker, an icon in the geek space for her work in the Whedonverse, the final season of Alias, Person of Interest and more. Their children are Andy (Percy Hynes White) and Lauren (Natalie Alyn Lind), whose relationship with mutantkind kickstarts the main action of the series, or at least the pilot.

Marco Diaz (Sean Teale)

Also known as Eclipse, Marco is a brand new character created specifically for The Gifted. With that said, there are aspects of Eclipse that feel like a hodgepodge of a few different figures from the X-Men mythos, including Sunspot, aka Bobby da Costa, with the ability to manipulate solar power. Eclipse's powers are similar, in that he emits bright white lights from his body, a gift he can use for both offensive and defensive maneuvers. In terms of personality, Eclipse is rougher around the edges, almost the Wolverine of the series in attitude alone, though his connection with another character in the series places him more on the Summers side of the line...

Lorna Dane (Emma Dumont)

Also known as Polaris, Lorna is very much from the comics, and excitingly so! Created by Arnold Drake and Jim Steranko and first appearing in X-Men #49 in 1968, Polaris is one of the original mutants in the Marvel Universe, if only in terms of publication. She's also one of the most fascinating characters on a familial level, as she's the daughter of a prominent mutant. Her own skills as a magnetically inclined mutant should give away the person who may or may not be her father — someone part of an aforementioned missing organization, in fact. Polaris is well known in the comics for her bright-green aesthetic, hair included, and her romantic affiliation with Alex Summers, aka Havok, brother of Cyclops. These aspects of the character have been altered for the series: subdued shades of green and a love interest outside of the Summers family tree.

John Proudstar (Blair Redford)

Also known as Thunderbird, John Proudstar is another classic mutant being brought to live action for the first time, with extraordinary senses that make him an expert tracker. The hero first appeared in 1975's Giant-Size X-Men #1, created by the late Let Wein and the late Dave Cockrum, as one of the new mutants brought in to shake up the X-Men lineup for the first time since their creation more than a decade earlier. He did not survive much further than that. Indeed, Thunderbird is most known for his death shortly after joining the X-Men, with his brother James — aka Warpath — becoming the more prominent hero of the Proudstar siblings. Will Thunderbird suffer a similar fate in The Gifted, or will the television take on the character make it further than his comic book counterpart?

Clarice Fong (Jamie Chung)

Also known as Blink, yet another popular mutant from Marvel Comics, and not the first time we've seen her in live action. Blink appeared as recently as X-Men: Days of Future Past, as part of the future group of X-Men battling it out with the Sentinels. The character in The Gifted will have much more to do than the version played by Fan Bingbing in the 2014 film, with Matt Nix telling THR: "In the comics, she's this very mouthy and interesting character with a huge personality. In Days of Future Past, she's a great character. She's super cool. But I think she says two words, right? To me, our Blink is more drawn from the comics." The Blink of the comics, by the way, hails from an alternate universe where Charles Xavier died before founding the X-Men, leading to the rise of supervillain supremacy in the Age of Apocalypse. If The Gifted veers off into AoA territory, the series has the potential to be one of the coolest live-action superhero projects in recent memory.

The 1992 X-Men

Okay, you don't have to know about the X-Men from Fox's classic animated series... but that said, if you are familiar with them? You're in for a treat.

The Gifted: Whos Who in Foxs New X-Men Series

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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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