Today's news: Gwendoline Christie, Penny Dreadful , Star Wars , Wil Wheaton, a sequel for The Goonies , The Big Bang Theory , Captain America and more
• Showtime has released a new featurette for Penny Dreadful , the show about classic monsters getting together in Victorian London. It will star Josh Hartnett, Timothy Dalton, Eva Green, Rory Kinnear and Billie Piper. Watch:
Penny Dreadful will broadcast on US TV on Sunday 11 May and there's more info at the official site .
• While we still don’t know who'll be taking all the roles in Star Wars Episode VII , set 35 years after Return Of The Jedi , they've gone ahead and started shooting . The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that the screenplay is complete and the JJ Abrams-helmed December 2015 movie is now in progress.
• As well as getting on with the next episode of the epic series, Lucasfilm has collaborated with massive geek sit-com The Big Bang Theory . The result is a special Star Wars episode of the show to be aired on Thursday 1 May, ahead of the annual May The Fourth day. It will involve recreating the planet Dagobah with a little help from ILM.
• 12 Monkeys , the 1995 Terry Gilliam film, is getting its own TV series . Syfy has commissioned 12 episodes based on the cult science fiction movie, to begin airing in January 2015.
• Gwendoline Christie, Brienne of Tarth in Game Of Thrones , is making the giant leap from epic fantasy TV to epic blockbuster cinema. The actress has been cast as Commander Lyme in the next instalment of the Hunger Games .
• Richard Donner casually dropped a bombshell in an interview for TMZ : there will be a Goonies sequel ... fingers crossed the original cast will be returning!
• Captain America: The Winter Soldier rakes in $37 million on its opening day , possibly an April record.
• Aspiring writers remember: Darren Shan is judging a zombie writing competition !
• Sci-fi fans love a good event, and here's something unusual. On Saturday 5 July The Cray Festival - a free community shindig - will feature amongst its activities a theatre production called "Dance Of The Time Machines", plus there'll be all manner of historical and futuristic things going on in different "zones": medieval, steampunk, even a cosplay zone. "We are making pretty much everything from scratch in our new workshop in Orpington," explains producer Jackie Kennedy. "Including three Tardises." Thirty local groups are taking part and "Dance Of The Time Machines" will be an exhibition showcasing amazing full size props and replicas from some of the most iconic stories and films. Find out more at the official site.
• And speaking of events, the first ever MCM Ireland Comic Con will land in Dublin's this coming weekend, 12-13 April, for all the usual geek goodness. Guests already confirmed include Warwick Davis, Colin Ferguson, Hannah Spearritt and stars from Red Dwarf . Other attractions at the inaugural MCM Ireland Comic Con include the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG National Championship and Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Dragon Duel Championship and a retro-gaming zone. More info at www.mcmcomiccon.com/ireland .
• In case you missed it over the weekend, Serenity villain Chiwetel Ejiofor could be in the running for the role of big bad in next year's new James Bond film, according to Variety .
• Wil Wheaton is getting his own show on Syfy .
• We know it's difficult to pick just ten, but here's your chance to shape the ultimate sci-fi and fantasy countdown ahead of SFX ‘s milestone issue 250. What are the greatest moments in sci-fi, fantasy and horror? Vote now .
• And remember you can download the latest - and biggest - issue of Comic Review now . It has Batman Eternal on the cover. Our chums on Comic Heroes mag also produce this weekly iPad/iPhone mag and it's just 99p (or free if you already get Comic Heroes via Apple Newsstand ).
Alice Pattillo and Dave Bradley