The Weekly Geek: “Gravity,” “The Avengers” and a sci-fi treatise on gay marriage

Readers, I have a very difficult and serious question to ask you. Please consider it for a good long while before you answer. Ready? OK. Let me frame it exactly as this Io9 post does:

“Who would you rather be stuck on a space station with: Scarlett Johansson or Blake Lively?"

I know, I know, it’s hard. And that’s exactly what director Alfonso Cuaron is facing with his final casting decision for the upcoming film Gravity, which will co-star Mr. Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr.

From the post:

The movie’s plot revolves around astronauts repairing the Hubble telescope who are hit with an avalanche of satellite junk. In a plot akin to Cast Away, the surviving astronaut must fight her way back to Earth, where she hopes to reunite with her daughter.

While we’re not sure either of these girls come across as "motherly," we’re still into seeing either of them kick some element ass while in a space suit. Who would you pick?”

If Johansson is chosen, it’ll mark the third time she and Downey Jr. will share screen time in a genre film, since the Iron Man 2 cast mates will also appear together in the hotly anticipated The Avengers, which will begin filming next February.

The Geek Files has the scoop on the massive 3D project, which will be directed by real-life superhero Joss Whedon:

The Avengers is set for release on May 4, 2012, and will star Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Chris Evans as Captain America, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk alter-ego Bruce Banner, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye and Tom Hiddleston as Loki.


Finally, on a slightly more serious (but certainly no less geeky) note, Io9 recently published a fantastic, fascinating article detailing the science fiction explanation of why gay people must be allowed to marry. Written in honor of the fantastic news about Prop 8, it meanders through the progressive sci-fi landscape, counting the pure logical — and the wonderfully inspirational — reasons that we, the (queer) people, should have the same rights as everyone else.

Caprica/BSG, Star Trek, Torchwood, "Mass Effect," even less thoughtful fare like Starship Troopers, depict residents of the future who are less interested in the permutations of human identity and more interested in the qualities of a person’s mind and spirit. Even Futurama‘s "Proposition Infinity," concerning the fake-contentious "robosexual marriage" controversy, spoofs this tendency.

It all goes to show that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s most beautiful quote: “The arc of history is long, but it tends towards justice” is true. Here’s to a just, equal future — preferably one with hot cyborg ladies and jetpacks.