5 Pop Culture Questions On Our Mind

Season 3 - New Cast Members

What would be the one thing the James Bond franchise could do that would be even cooler than Adele singing the theme song?

No brainer. Getting Idris Elba, of “The Wire” and “Luther,” to play 007 and become the first black Bond. And it might happen. A recent report said Elba had met with Bond producer Barbara Broccoli and that there was genuine interest on both sides.

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The fact that Bond hasn’t aged a day since Dr. No came out starring Sean Connery in 1962, and, if anything, has gotten younger, tells you all you need to know about the character. Bond isn’t a man. Bond is a job, and that job has been filled with the good (Connery), the bad (Pierce Brosnan) and the downright ugly (Timothy Dalton), with a lot of mediocrity in the middle (Roger Moore). No question that Daniel Craig helped restore the franchise to legitimacy, but Elba possesses all the right bad-ass qualities with just the right amount of suave sex appeal.

Here is a good take on the subject from Hollywood, and here is Elba at his Luther best.

Will Taylor Swift ever stop acting shocked at her success?

Because she should. That look she flashed at the end of her Grammy performance of “Mean” was like, Really, you liked us? It’s time she found a new attitude, because it’s starting to wear thin.

Her new album “Red” (see James Reed’s terrific review here) sold 1.2 million copies in its first week, according to Billboard. That’s a lot. That’s almost as much as Eminem’s debut album in 2002, and it’s double the second album Mumford & Sons put out and it’s quadruple Justin Bieber’s 2012 smash Believe.

So Swift’s reaction on Twitter? They just told me Red sold 1.2 million albums first week. How is this real life?! You are UNREAL. I love you so much. Thanks a million ;)

This is real life, honey, because a lot of people like you and your music. It’s okay to believe it and stop acting surprised. Really. Just say thanks and go count your money.

What would have happened if Ben Affleck had accepted a chance to direct the pilot episode of “Homeland”?

It almost happened. Affleck told an audience this week that he was supposed to direct the “Homeland” pilot, but a personal issue got in the way. “I was sure nothing would happen with the show,” he joked. “Now I hate the [expletive] show. I’m going to attach myself to 14 pilots this year.”

At least he can laugh about it, but that’s probably because instead of doing Homeland he finished Argo, which topped the box office last weekend and has Oscar-buzz written all over it.

Did George Lucas just steal $4 billion from Disney for the Star Wars franchise, or did Disney get the steal of the century?

This might be a win-win. Lucas, in a YouTube video, talks about why he sold LucasFilm for $4.05 billion in stock and cash to the Walt Disney Company and it sounds reasonable. He wants to experiment with other things in film and he’s earned that right at the age of 68. And rather than let Star Wars die, he handpicks the person who will take it over and see if they can inject some fresh blood and storylines. “I always said I wasn’t going to do any more, and that’s true,” Lucas said. “I’m not going to do any more. But that doesn’t mean I’m unwilling to turn it over to Kathy to do more. I have story treatments of 7, 8, and 9, and a bunch of other movies.”

So Disney will let new LucasFilm president Kathleen Kennedy give it her best shot and if this turns out anywhere close to what Pixar did for Disney, well, that should be a nice return on its investment. So look for a seventh Star Wars movie in a few years, and maybe an entire new trilogy.

Kennedy has either produced or executive produced more than films, including some of the biggest grossing movies ever, so Lucas is handing over his baby to someone who should know what to do with it. Kennedy was on board for E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, and The Sixth Sense, as well as the Indiana Jones trilogy, the Back to the Future trilogy, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Gremlins, The Goonies, Poltergeist, War of the Worlds, Twister, and A.I. Artificial Intelligence. She has produced films for Steven Spielberg, David Fincher, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, Robert Zemeckis, M. Night Shyamalan, Frank Oz, Peter Bogdanovich, and Richard Donner. And she’s already thinking about Star Wars VII.

“We’re in the midst of the really fun part of the process,” she says. “We’re sitting down with a couple of writers and starting to discuss ideas and starting to talk about what those stories might be.”

Which show’s return is being more eagerly anticipated, Mad Men or Game of Thrones?

Well, “Game of Thrones” isn’t back till March of 2013, which is expected to be a few months behind “Mad Men.”

But Thrones has some new characters that could be downright awesome, including several who are quite young, which can only add to the drama. Just listening to theme song makes our spine tingle. HBO has put out some information about the new season, including:

Diana Rigg (Emma Peel in The Avengers) will play Olenna Redwyne Tyrell A.K.A the “Queen of Thorns,” Margaery and Loras Tyrell’s sharp-witted grandmother. Rigg will also appear in the upcoming seventh season of Doctor Who with her daughter Rachael Stirling.

Clive Russell (Sherlock Holmes) has been cast as Ser Brynden “The Blackfish” Tully – the beloved uncle of Catelyn Stark.

Tobias Menzies (Rome) as Edmure Tully, Catelyn Stark’s brother.

Richard Dormer (Casualty) as Beric Dondarrion, the leader of the “Brotherhood Without Banners.”

Thomas Sangster (Phineas and Ferb) and Ellie Kendrick (Being Human UK) will play Jojen Reed and Meera Reed, two young Crannogman siblings and children of Howland Reed, a Stark bannerman.

As for “Mad Men” we’re expecting a whole lot of Don and Megan. In case you forgot, it looked like they were all but kaput in Season 5 (remember this scene) but photos leaked from the new season premiere show the couple happy in Hawaii. Which can only mean they have kissed and made up. At least until Don’s next blow-up.

Which show are you more excited about?