Mike Julianelle or something you find in dirty diaper. We aren't sure.

Mike Julianelle

Mike lives in Brooklyn with his wife, two children, and increasing dependence on alcohol. Find him on dadandburied.com and its associated social channels (FB, IG, Twitter) and be ready for him to mock his kids, himself, and maybe even you.

Father Figures: Big Bad Dad

“I am the proud father of an 8-year-old daughter named Winnie.

For years, I was lost on a path toward self-destruction. I was involved in violence, drugs, and alcohol, and seemed destined to end up either dead or in jail.

I managed to forge a career and get married, but always had a monkey on my back. My behavior began to hurt everyone in my life as much as it was hurting me.

Then my daughter was born. The first day I held her, everything in my life changed.

For the first time, I had a direction. There was never an option to fail. My overwhelming love for her made me look myself in a mirror and resolve to become a better person for myself and for her. It took hard work, humility, and honesty for me to get to where I started to feel love for myself and face the demons that were in my closet.

Because of my daughter and the strength she gave me, I built an amazing life for us and have such an amazing relationship with her everyday. We even wrote and published a book together: Big Bad Dad.

These days, I am part of a nonprofit group dedicated to teaching men to show humility and emotion, and encouraging them to speak about their feelings and ask for help.

My daughter completely shifted the way I think about life and the way I live as a man and I am so grateful to her every single day.”

– Ryan Bourquin

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

Batman Universe Expands Again, With New HBO Max Gotham City Police Series

Gotham Police car
(Getty/ullstein bild)

Wonder Woman 1984 is on the way, and after Aquaman’s success, there will definitely be a sequel to that too. But based on last year’s Joker and now all the news coming around about the many different Batman projects – including both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck’s potential return as different versions of the Dark Knight, it seems almost like DC is pivoting away from any attempt to mimic Marvel’s extended cinematic universe and putting all their money on the caped crusader.

The latest project is no different.

Matt Reeves is currently helming the next Batman adventure to hit the big screen, titled The Batman and starring Robert Pattinson, but it was gonna be a while even before the pandemic delayed production. But HBO Max, fresh off announcing Zack Snyder’s Justice League, is staying in the Batman business with a new TV show from Reeves, and based in The Batman’s universe.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Reeves is developing a police drama centered around the Gotham City that will appear in The Batman. Terrence Winter, who wrote on The Sopranos and brought Steve Buscemi’s Boardwalk Empire to HBO, will write and produce the new series. So at the very least, the pedigree is strong, and it will be exciting to see superheroes get the prestige TV treatment, especially after the success of Damon Lindelof’s (decidedly different) Watchmen.

“This is an amazing opportunity, not only to expand the vision of the world I am creating in the film but to explore it in the kind of depth and detail that only a long-form format can afford,” said Reeves in a statement. “And getting to work with the incredibly talented Terence Winter, who has written so insightfully and powerfully about worlds of crime and corruption, is an absolute dream.”

The show will be “set in the world Reeves is creating for The Batman feature film and will build upon the motion picture’s examination of the anatomy of corruption in Gotham City, ultimately launching a new Batman universe across multiple platforms. The series provides an unprecedented opportunity to extend the world established in the movie and further explore the myriad of compelling and complex characters of Gotham.”

This has already been done, on Fox, but that was a standalone show centered around Commissioner Gordon’s early days policing the city, with some appearances from young Bruce Wayne and a variety of origin stories for some familiar villains. This new venture will be directly tied to the movie universe, much like Marvel’s forthcoming collection of shows for Disney+. No word yet on whether Pattinson, Reeves’ Batman, or Jeffrey Wright, who plays Gordon in the movie, will appear, but that may depend on the success of the project, which is yet to be seen.

But one thing’s for sure: people can’t get enough of Batman and his universe, so building content around the popular superhero and his associated lore isn’t a terrible idea.

The Sandlot Cast Is Reuniting for a Special, Plans Disney+ Series

Sandlot Reunion
(YouTube/You're Killing Me with Patrick Renna)

It turns out that Josh Gad doesn’t corner the market on reunions of cast members from beloved flicks, especially ones that came out in the 90s.

Gad’s YouTube series “Reunited Apart” has focused mostly on classic 80s movies (with the LOTR episode being the one exception so far), but there are plenty of 90s movies that deserve to be celebrated too. One of those is The Sandlot, which is about a group of young kids bonding over baseball, Babe Ruth, and a scary neighborhood dog.

Recently, one of the stars of The Sandlot, Patrick Renna, who played burly catcher Hamilton “Ham” Porter, gathered his co-stars for a YouTube reunion. He also discussed plans for a new series on Disney+, where they’ll play parents with kids of their own.

“We all met on it, and all the guys are interested in it. The concept is we’re grown up and we have our own kids. And so it’s, there’s some cool angles to it.” It would take place in the 80s, Stranger Things style. More updates to come as the production ramps up!

While he awaits the series, Renna has been sharing secrets from the filming of the movie on his new series, “You’re Killing Me with Patrick Renna,” and after reconnecting with the cast during the movie’s 25th reunion, he finally coerced them to join him to reminisce about the making of the 90s favorite.

“We’re such great friends again, all of us, and it reminds me of what it was like filming the movie,” told EW. “We were such fast friends and they worked so hard to create that atmosphere. One of the deciding factors on casting any of us was that they would bring us out to make sure that we got along with the other guys. And because we were all such good friends in real life it showed through on the screen, and it’s just funny even 25 years later, we fell right back into it.”

Unfortunately, Mike Vitar, who played Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez, once again bowed out. “Anytime we do something I’ll send him an email and ask him and he’s usually like, ‘No, I’m gonna step back on this one,’ but he’s always really cool about it,” Renna said, but the reunion will be fun for fans just the same.

The reunion lands on July 15th. Check out the trailer:

‘The Wonder Years’ Reboot to Center Around Black Family in Alabama

The Wonder Years
(Warner Bros)

When I was a kid, people used to tell me I looked like Kevin Arnold. Kevin Arnold, played by Fred Savage, was the main character on The Wonder Years, a popular sitcom about a kid growing up in the late 60s early 70s. The wrinkle was that the show was narrated by that kid’s adult self, aka Home Alone‘s Wet Bandit, Daniel Stern.

The show offered a nostalgic look back at one of the most tumultuous times in recent American history, following young Kevin as he navigated junior high and high school, pining after his eternal crush Winnie Cooper, all while America dealt with the Vietnam War, the Summer of Love, and the Nixon Administration between 1968 and 1973.

The Wonder Years ran for six seasons and won many awards, including a Peabody and four Emmys. It remains a favorite of many guys my age who didn’t grow up in the 60s and 70s but could certainly relate to the growing pains of a young kid grappling with homework, big brothers, and puberty.

Of course, Kevin’s experience wasn’t exactly universal. And now ABC is moving forward with a version of The Wonder Years that centers around a middle-class black family in Montgomery, Alabama during the same time period. Lee Daniels, perhaps most well-known for directing Precious (Based on the novel Push, by Sapphire!), is shepherding the project. Fred Savage, the original star of The Wonder Years, will executive produce the show and direct the pilot.

Obviously, the focus on a black family will greatly alter the perspective of the show as will the southern setting. The Arnolds’ location was never revealed, as their town was meant to be a stand-in for a typical American suburb, but it’s not easy to understand that it didn’t reflect every American family’s experience. This new version of the classic sitcom will surely have a lot of interesting ground to tread, and access to this new viewpoint seems like a good idea given the events of the past few months.

Now, who wants to guess which actor will play the narrator?

Father Figures: A Changed Man

“When we first met, we were both a mess, with little stability in either of our lives.

We have now been married for four years, and with two children. In that time, I have watched my husband blossom into the most beautiful person.

He went from the life of the party, short-tempered, with very little patience, to tea parties with our daughter. He gets up at 4:30 every morning to make it to work, then comes straight home and spends time with his family. He never asks for a boys’ night or time to himself because he gives whatever is left after the workweek to his wife and children.

He does the dishes, he folds the laundry, he writes sweet little love notes. He tucks our daughter in and dances EVERY single time she says, ‘Dance with me, Daddy!’ He hides his tired eyes and body from us and still offers to cook dinner when I’ve had a ‘rough day at home with the kids.’

He plays Barbies, sings Disney songs, rolls the ball and sits at the kid table while our children make pretend meals for him to gobble down. He gets up every Saturday and gets Mommy a coffee with our son, still a baby who wakes up at the crack of dawn, and he changes our son’s diaper late at night without waking the rest of us up.

He is the best dad and husband I could ever ask for. I see the weight he carries around, I notice the sacrifices and love he pours into our family each day. That is a love worth holding on to and showing appreciation for.”

– Allania Lathrop

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

Theater Student Wows Entertainment Industry With Incredible Visual Effects

Julian Bass Effects
(Twitter/thejulianbass)

One of the great benefits of social media and the rest of today’s easily accessible technology is the opportunities afforded to regular joes. Thanks to the internet and smartphones, we no longer need big bucks to create a dream project, and thanks to Twitter and Instagram and TikTok and the like, it’s easier than it’s ever been to get exposure for those projects.

Create something clever and blast it out online and people are going to see it, and if it’s good and someone enjoys it, they’re going to make sure other people see it, with nothing more than a click of a button. Suddenly you can go from making stuff in your bedroom for your friends to getting hired by Lucasfilm or Pixar or Marvel to make stuff for them, and for the world.

That may be exactly what’s about to happen to Julian Bass, a 20-year-old theater student in Atlanta who created a fun visual effects video displaying his skills and posted to Twitter in the hopes that someone – in his case, Disney – might notice it. Well, Disney noticed, and so did many, many other big wigs in the entertainment world. They’re impressed and for good reason.

In the video, which has over 20 million views, Bass stands in a room and suddenly, seamlessly, transforms himself into a Jedi, the animated character Ben 10, and finally, Spider-Man. It’s quick, creative, and you can’t see a single string.

Check this out:

The caption reads: “if y’all can retweet this enough times that Disney calls, that’d be greatly appreciated,” and while we don’t yet know if Disney has called him, they were among the people who noticed, via former CEO Robert Iger.

Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn and Scrubs star and Garden State director Zach Braff were impressed:

Sony noticed:

Bass spoke to NPR about who else he’s heard from, saying, “The first one for me was The Lonely Island. And then I started seeing Josh Gad, Matthew Cherry. I saw Mark Hamill liked it. I mean if Mark Hamill likes it, I’m a Jedi now.”

Based on the supersized reaction his talents have caused – he’s also heard from HBO Max and Marvel co-president Louis D’Esposito – he may soon be a real Jedi, at least behind the scenes.

“Yeah to be a fan of something and then to see people want you to be a part of it, that’s a chance that I will not ruin for myself whatsoever,” Bass said. “If they pass on it, look, that’s OK, there’s plenty more opportunities. But I feel like I’m ready to take my shot and that’s truly what it’s all about right now.”

Father Figures: So Precious

“My husband didn’t really have a dad. He only met him a handful of times growing up and the interactions were never great.

When he was still a baby, his mother had the courage to leave her abusive alcoholic husband for her son’s sake and my husband had a better life without his dad in it.

Because of his own absent father, he was determined to be a great dad, and he’s been nothing short of amazing with our now one year old daughter. He even hand-painted a mural on her nursery wall.

Before she was born, he nervously admitted to having no idea how to be a dad, without an example to follow, but he’s been a natural since day one. Evelyn adores her ‘dada’ and their bond is so precious. I already know my husband is going to spend his time teaching her all of his amazing skills and hobbies from playing music to painting and building.

Our daughter is one lucky little girl to have such an amazing dad.”

– Melissa Gaw (@saltygaw; husband Justin @thejustingaw)

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

Mahomes Signs 10-Yr, $400+ Million Extension, Keeping Him in KC Through 2031

Patrick Mahomes Signed
(Getty/Andy Lyons)

As the NBA’s imminent return grows a bit complicated with players opting out amid COVID concerns, and Major League Baseball experiencing similar issues as they prep to resume a shortened season, the NFL has yet to really weigh in. Thye’re probably waiting to see where we stand, as training camps don’t typically report until the end of July. Whether or not they’ll have a season this fall is yet to be seen.

That would be really disappointing for NFL fans everywhere, but at least one team has a silver lining: the Kansas City Chiefs will remain the champs until they are dethroned, and a delayed season would keep that Lombardi trophy in house even longer.

Of course, the primary reason they have that trophy is the play of their Super Bowl MVP – and former regular-season MVP – quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. And as of today, they’re going to have him in-house for another decade-plus.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported via Twitter than Mahomes has re-upped with the Chiefs, extending his contract another ten years for a contract worth over $400 million.

That makes Mahomes’s contract the biggest in the league, and in the history of the league, which makes sense, considering quarterbacks are the game’s most valuable player, the dude has skills few quarterbacks do, and after winning an MVP award and a Super Bowl in his first three years, he’s still only 24!

The Chiefs will have him behind center until 2031, which, fans hope, will secure them a bunch more rings. He certainly has the talent, and the weapons, to keep his team in contention, but the NFL is a tough league, and getting back to the Super Bowl is difficult, let alone winning one.

I remember when the Greatest Quarterback of All-Time, Dan Marino, set the league on fire when I was a kid, breaking every passing record and winning league MVP on the way to the first of many Super Bowl appearances, only to never make it back, thanks to the lack of a running game and far stricter passing rules that would give Patrick Mahomes, and Tom Brady, and every other dominant QB of the last 15 years a heart attack.

But hey, congrats to Mahomes and the Chiefs, and here’s hoping he gets to earn his paycheck and defend their title come September.

Father and Son Create Back to the Future Guitar for Michael J. Fox Charity

Back to the Future Bass Guitar
(Doner Designs)

There’s a reason people keep wondering if Back to the Future is ever going to be rebooted (it’s not): it’s a classic. People love it, and they’re scared Hollywood is going to mess with it. There are so many indelible parts of the movie, including catchphrases, outfits, props, and soundtrack.

Michael J. Fox, the one and only McFly, knows how important the movie’s legacy is, and he’s leveraging it for a good cause.

Doner Designs has created a bass guitar inspired by the Back to the Future DeLorean, and, built to look like the dashboard, complete with a flux capacitor, this thing is a sight for sore eyes.

 

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Here’s the official description of the guitar, which was auctioned off, with all proceeds going to the Michael J. Fox Foundation:

This one-of-a-kind custom creation results from a ~300-hour labor of love by Steve and Richard Doner …Direct reference to the Back to the Future movie series was avoided, out of respect for intellectual property, but the bass features a selectable destination year display, a device resembling a flux capacitor and other electronic gadgetry sure to please fans of the time travel entertainment genre, 80’s pop culture and musicians alike.

Look at the detail!

 

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That’s not all, the flux capacitor – baked right into the body of the guitar – actually lights up. You can see it in the video below. Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go back in time to be the one who buys this thing!

Batfleck Might Be Coming Back too, Giving DC a Batman Multiverse

Batfleck is Coming Back
(Warner Bros)

Hollywood may still be largely shut down as the pandemic continues to rage across the country, but that hasn’t stopped the superhero machine from chugging along. Black Widow’s release was delayed, so it will be a few months before we get the next phase of the MCU, and despite the fact that Wonder Woman 84 was pushed to fall and production on Matt Reeves’s The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson, has been delayed, DC has been making news behind the scenes.

First, HBO Max announced their plans to release the Snydercut next year, and then details emerged about the long-awaited Flash movie. The most interesting nugget? That Michael Keaton will be reprising his role as Batman in a co-starring part as a mentor to the speedy superhero. And now there are whispers that DC has plans to bring another former Batman back into the fold.

The rumors, which Cosmic Book News reports first appeared on 4chan but have since been supported by leaks in other places, like The Cultured Nerd, suggest that Ben Affleck has already signed a deal with HBO Max to re-appear as Bruce Wayne and his vigilante alter-ego in future films related to Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

“Ben has indeed signed a new contract and he is coming back,” claims Taylor Murphy of The Cultured Nerd. “The official announcement is expected to happen either at DC FanDome or during JusticeCon. One of the two, we’re going to get that announcement but it’s going to happen before September. We’re going to get the official announcement and we are going to get the Snyderverse Batman is going to be returning.”

Murphy suggests that Affleck is returning because he is fully on-board with Zack Snyder’s vision, and now that Snyder’s Batman is back, so is Ben. Apparently, DC doesn’t see a conflict between the three Batmans – Affleck’s, Keaton’s, and Pattinson’s – and that part of the idea is for multiple Batmans to exist within a broader DC multiverse.

“They are bringing everybody back,” says Murphy. “This is planned… This is a design because of Zack. This is a plan that they’re moving forward with. I mean, I keep saying it is a great time to be a DC fan.”

It’s certainly might be if any of this is true. It’s hard to know, and until – and unless – an official announcement is made, it’s probably best to take this all with a grain of salt. After all, Affleck has spoken about the difficult time he had portraying Batman in Justice League, and he may not have any interest in revisiting the role.

But with the Snydercut on the way, and Keaton and Pattinson already on-board, it’s not that difficult to imagine DC bringing in a third Batman, and differentiating themselves from the MCU with a Batman triple-play. Hopefully Hollywood gets back to business soon so we can find out.

At the very least, three Batmans would give fans a lot to argue about!

Father Figures: What I Remember Most

“My dad worked third-shift his whole life. He was exhausted most of the time and we didn’t have a lot of money, but he literally gave me everything I needed, and a lot of what I wanted.

In 2011, he passed away unexpectedly. When I reflect back, it’s not the material things he gave me that I remember most.

It’s wanting to hang out with him after his 12-hour night shifts. It’s him unselfishly taking me to the park after buying me a kite, even though he hadn’t slept in almost 24 hours. It’s the times he sacrificed sleep to watch my basketball games and support me during his small window of rest on Saturday mornings.

It’s the times his last dollar bought me back-to-school clothes and an old car that I could drive on my own to school. It’s his constant reassurances that he was fine, despite his health problems, just so I wouldn’t worry about him when I knew he was in pain.

It’s him preparing me for the day that he wouldn’t be here.

And it’s knowing he was there with me, long after he’d passed, as I nervously welcomed my son into the world in 2019. His presence reassured me that we would be okay.

He was the best dad, and the dad I someday hope to be.”

– Aaron Chandler

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email [email protected]

Check out the previous editions of Father Figures here.

Westworld Showrunners to Adapt ‘Fallout’ Games for TV

Fallout TV Amazon Prime
(Bethesda)

Westworld was a big deal.

When the HBO series about theme park robots who slowly realized they were theme park robots premiered, it was to huge fanfare. The show had a big budget, a big cast that included Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins, and a high concept that had it primed to take over from Game of Thrones as HBO’s flagship series.

Unfortunately, the story of the show never quite lived up to the initial premise. Despite HBO’s announcement of a fourth season, which may be even more sprawling and include a dragon-infested medieval setting, the show never caught on with the public the way they’d hoped.

Season 4 is rumored to be show’s last, and now the duo behind Westworld, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, have a new project in the works. And it’s just as promising as Westworld once was.

Screenrant, they’ll be tackling another adaptation of existing science-fiction material, the popular video game series Fallout, for Amazon Prime.

The Fallout series, which includes sequel and spinoffs that add up to more than 50 hours of gameplay, is set in the United States in the late 21st century after a nuclear war has changed everything.

Amazing describes the Fallout world as “one where the future envisioned by Americans in the late 1940s explodes upon itself through a nuclear war in 2077. The magic of the ‘Fallout’ world is the harshness of the wasteland set against the previous generation’s utopian idea of a better world through nuclear energy.”

The games each focus on a different region of the country and feature robots, radioactive monsters, and a sprawling cast of characters. There is a lot for Nola and Joy to work with, as they acknowledged, saying “each chapter of this insanely imaginative story has cost us countless hours we could have spent with family and friends.”

They refer to Fallout as one of the greatest games of all time, a sentiment no doubt shares but its many fans, who’ve been waiting a long time for it to be adapted. There have been some false starts, but it seems like it’s finally going to happen, and that it could be on the air for quite a while, thanks to the trove of material there is to work with.

Let’s hope Nolan and Joy have better luck with this futuristic world than they had with their last one!

The Office’s Stanley Wants You to Help Pay for “Uncle Stan” Spin-Off

Uncle Stan Spin-Off
(NBC)

The Office has been a cultural force for over a decade now, celebrated during its nine-year run and lingering long after thanks to reruns, streaming services, and LEGO creations. But only a few of the cast have been able to parlay their success on the NBC sitcom into something larger. Steve Carrel became a movie and TV star, John Krasinski became a successful director, and also Jack Ryan, Mindy Kaling got her own show, and… Phyllis voiced Sadness in Inside Out.

Other than that, Oscar has been in a few State Farm commercials and BJ Novak wrote a children’s book. No shade, but out of such a big, beloved cast, you might have expected more. You might have even expected a spin-off, and I don’t mean the sort-of-but-not-really spin-off of Parks and Rec, I mean a spin-off focusing on one of the main characters.

Well, you might finally get it. And somehow it isn’t Dwight!

According to his Instagram feed, Lesley David Baker might be reprising his role as Stanley in a show called Uncle Stan. That is if his Kickstarter works out.

Baker went on Instagram and posted a series of videos teasing the project.


“Yeah, I’m back. And I’m gonna need a cocktail if I’m staying,” he said, as Stanely, adding, “Yeah, it’s true, I’m back. Now go tell everybody,” in the caption, before promoting a Kickstarter page full of information on Uncle Stan, including this synopsis:

After enjoying his retirement in Florida, carving wood, enjoying the white sand beaches, and dancing to old disco, Uncle Stan (Leslie David Baker) gets a call from his nephew Lucky in Los Angeles asking for help with his two kids and running his motorcycle/flower shop. With his business failing, his kids growing up without enough attention, and on the brink of losing his patience with the cast of characters he has working in the shop, Lucky is going to need all the help he can get from no-nonsense Uncle Stan.

When Lucky picks up his uncle at LAX in a motorcycle with a sidecar laden with flowers and no room for his luggage, Uncle Stan knows that he will be in for quite the adventure and challenge. With his unique personality and business acumen that he has acquired over decades, Stan is sure to clash once or twice with the wild personalities that Lucky has working in the shop. With his lady friend and soon-to-be fiancé completely in the dark, Uncle Stan must take swift action to make sure that not only his nephew comes out on top, but that he is able to maintain some semblance of his previously comfortable lifestyle moving forward.

Hmmm.

It’s yet to be seen if this project will actually materialize, or if anyone really wants it to (the Kickstarter currently has nearly $40k of its $300,000 goal). Stanley was fun as part of a large ensemble but like much of the cast, it’s hard to imagine an entire series built around him.

I’d rather watch a show about Kevin, featuring his band trying out for weddings and eating his favorite chili.