This is your first look at the first Jeep EV

by Virginia Campbell

A new EV from Jeep has been teased during a recent earnings call by parent company Stellantis. The brand's trail-rated SUVs are used in some of the world's toughest conditions, and now they're going fully electric.

Stellantis wasn't first out of the gate with its announcement to go all-electric, but the auto giant has made a commitment to become carbon neutral by 2038.

Along the way, the company's many brands, including Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep and Alfa Romeo, will have to make the shift.

The design of Jeep's first EV is no secret, as the automaker shared clear images during the presentation. Looking at the shape and defining details, it's easy to see Jeep DNA and common design elements the EV render shares with other vehicles in the automaker's catalog.

The traditional Jeep grille is here, along with muscular wheel arches and a two-tone paint job. Around back, the SUV sports familiar looking taillights and a sporty look overall.

This EV may be the first for the Jeep brand, but parent company Stellantis is hard at work on several new battery-powered vehicles.

The Alfa Romeo Tonale will be available with a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain, and we know at least a couple of electric cars are coming from the Italian automaker over the next few years.

Dodge, best known for building 700-plus-horsepower muscle cars, will release electric models as well, including a teased all-electric successor to the Hellcat cars.

Jeep's EV jump makes sense

It makes sense that Jeep is building an EV, and the fact that it will be a small, urban crossover makes even more sense.

The brand's 4xe PHEV vehicles offer a taste of electrification and provide great low-end torque for off-roading, so the move to a full EV isn't a stretch.

Electric motors may even make the small crossover viable to use off-road, but charging while off the beaten path remains a problem.

When legacy brands like Jeep start the shift to EVs, it's a good indicator that the tide is turning. Burly off-roaders are the last vehicles that anyone expects to be viable candidates for electrification, but with the 4xe models, Jeep already proved it's a possible and compelling option.

Via AutoExpress

The Batman pulled from Russia as Hollywood studios axe theater releases

Hollywood's biggest players have begun to pull their new movies from Russian theaters following the country's invasion of Ukraine.

Disney, Paramount and Warner Bros. have acted to cancel plans for their new movies to be released in Russia, reports the Washington Post.

Warner Bros. was due to release The Batman into theaters in Russia from Friday (March 4), in line with the movie's roll-out across the rest of the world; however, that will now not happen.

What has Warner Bros. said?

Explaining its decision, the company said in a statement: "In light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, WarnerMedia is pausing the release of its feature film ‘The Batman’ in Russia. We will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves. We hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to this tragedy.”

The use of the word "pausing" suggests that the company hopes the film will hit Russian theaters at some point, but not any time soon.

Disney has also axed the release of the Pixar film Turning Red from Russia. That film, which is going to the Disney Plus streaming platform in most territories, had been planned to hit theaters in Russia.

Explaining the decision, a Disney spokesperson said: "Given the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the tragic humanitarian crisis, we are pausing the release of theatrical films in Russia, including the upcoming ‘Turning Red’ from Pixar. "We will make future business decisions based on the evolving situation. In the meantime, given the scale of the emerging refugee crisis, we are working with our NGO partners to provide urgent aid and other humanitarian assistance to refugees.”

Paramount have also confirmed that its new comedy adventure The Lost City and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 will not be getting Russian releases.

The studio issued a statement, which reads as follows: “As we witness the ongoing tragedy in Ukraine, we have decided to pause the theatrical release of our upcoming films in Russia, including The Lost City , and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 .  We stand by all those impacted by the humanitarian crisis across Ukraine, Russia, and our international markets and will continue to monitor the situation as it unfolds."

Sony has also confirmed that it will not be releasing any new movies in Russia at the present time.

Is Russia a big market for Hollywood?

Russia isn't a huge market for Hollywood movies, but it's still a significant source of revenue.

Of the worldwide gross for Spider-Man: No Way Home , for example, which is now at almost $1.9 billion, the film has grossed $46.7 million in Russia.

In 2021, the market in Russia was worth around $445 million, with Venom: Let There Be Carnage the best-performing movie with a Russian gross of $32.4 million.

Dune , No Time To Die and Fast 9 also returned grosses of over $10 million from the country.

There isn't a real downside to these decisions for the studios, and while the cancellation of a few movies is unlikely to influence the Russian government, it adds to the increasing economic and cultural isolation of the country.

George R. R. Martin reacts to Elden Ring reviews

Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin has described Elden Ring as a “landmark megahit” following the game’s release and said he feels “honored” to have contributed to the game's backstory and world-building.

Writing on his personal blog , Martin praised developer FromSoftware and director Hidetaka Miyazaki for their work on the game, and hailed their efforts to create the best videogame ever.

“Of course, almost all the credit should go to Hidetaka Miyazaki and his astonishing team of games designers who have been laboring on this game for half a decade or more, determined to create the best videogame ever,” Martin said.

“I am honored to have met them and worked with them, and to have played a part, however small, in creating this fantastic world and making Elden Ring the landmark megahit that it is,” he continued.

Martin also commented on the brilliant reception the game has received, highlighting several of the glowing reviews that have been published. He picked out a handful of enthusiastic descriptions of the game, including those that described it as a "masterpiece", “once in a generation”, and “a sumptuous open world”.

“Music to the ears,” Martin summarised, after praising Elden Ring for “taking the gaming world by storm”.

Analysis: a rightfully happy man

Martin is right to feel proud of Elden Ring. The game currently sits at an enviable 95% Metacritic score ( 97% on PS5 ), and while Martin contributed to the game’s background world-building rather than its immediate player-facing features, players have certainly found the game’s twisted fantasy world to be one of its many charms.

Elden Ring’s critical and commercial success has made Martin a very happy man, but we’re wondering what Brandon Sanderson thinks of it. The Wheel of Time and Mistborn author previously said he wished FromSoftware had asked him to contribute to the game, joking that he was in a better place to work on the title than Martin because he was already a fan of FromSoftware’s past work.

Despite Martin’s praise for Elden Ring, the game is unlikely to mark a future career for the author in video games. Martin has previously revealed his limited knowledge of contemporary gaming, suggesting his favorite games are Railroad Tycoon, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, and Master of Orion, all of which released before the turn of the millennium.

Martin’s involvement with Elden Ring largely came about through Miyazaki, who is a huge fan of the author’s fantasy and science fiction material.

If you want to give Elden Ring a try for yourself you can find a selection of the best deals in your region below.

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