News Shotgun 4/30

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  • John Krasinski is the new Jack Ryan: For Amazon’s upcoming Jack Ryan series, The Office and 13 Hours actor John Krasinski will be the lead.  Lost’s Carlton Cuse is producing the show along with Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes and it will most likely skip the usual Amazon pilot process and go straight to series on Amazon Instant Video.
  • Monsterpocalypse movie coming from Fede Alvarez: Based on a board game, the Evil Dead remake director Fede Alvarez will be directing Monsterpocalypse, which is very Pacific Rim in that it features giant robots taking on giant monsters.  A bidding war has broken out over the movie between Sony, Dreamworks and WB to acquire the film.
  • Dan Trachtenberg directing a Black Mirror episode: The 10 Cloverfield Lane director will direct an episode of the upcoming new season of Black Mirror that is coming to Netflix.  Hanna director Joe Wright and House of Cards director Jakob Verbruggen are also directing episodes and they could arrive next year.
  • Punisher spin-off confirmed: Jon Bernthal will reprise his role as Frank Castle in a Punisher series coming to Netflix.  Steve Lightfoot, from Hannibal, will showrun the new series.
  • NBCUniversal buys Dreamworks Animation for $3 billion: The house that Shrek and Kung Fu Panda built has been acquired by NBCUniversal for $3.8 billion.  CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg will stay on as chairman of Dreamworks Animation New Media and Chris Meledandri, who runs Illumination Entertainment (home of the Minions) will oversee the merged studios.
  • Alicia Vikander is the new Lara Croft: The Oscar winning star of The Danish Girl and Ex Machina will be the new Lara Croft for the upcoming reboot film based on the new games from Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix.
  • Stallone starring in mob series Omerta: Stallone will star as Raymonde Aprile, the “last great American don” in a TV series based on the last novel by Mario Puzo, the author of the Godfather trilogy.  There’s no network or showrunner attached yet.
  • Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later series coming to Netflix: Netflix is heading back to Camp Firewood for a sequel series to Wet Hot American Summer to follow up their prequel, First Day of Camp.  The new series is essentially based on a joke from the original film where the characters decide to meet back at the camp in 10 years and see what they’ve become and then get bogged down in the minutae of what time they should arrive. It wasn’t announced who of the cast will return but David Wain and Michael Showalter are writing.
  • The Exorcist maze coming to Hollywood Horror Nights: Both Universal parks will get a maze based on the original Exorcist film, with iconic scenes from the film recreated.
  • Ecto Cooler is officially returning in May: The iconic drink of 80’s and 90’s kids will return just in time for the new Ghostbusters film on May 30th in 10 packs of juice boxes and 6 and 12 packs of cans.  Thermal ink on the labels of both the boxes and cans turns slime green when the drink is cold.
  • TCM/Criterion creating a streaming serviceTCM and Criterion are teaming up for FilmStruck, a new paid subscription service that will feature over 1,000 films, including a channel dedicated to the Criterion Collection.  You can currently get access to Criterion films on Hulu Plus, it’s not clear if that will go away if and when this new site launches.
  • Goosebumps sequel announced: Sony is following up last fall’s Goosebumps film with a sequel with director Rob Letterman back to direct and Jack Black in talks to return as RL Stine.  The movie made $156 million worldwide during it’s run at the box office and has been doing solid business on DVD/VOD as well.
  • Nathan Fillion playing Simon Williams in Guardians of the Galaxy 2: Pictures from the set seem to reveal that a scene in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 will take place at a “Simon Williams Film Fest” with Fillion playing actor Simon Williams, who stars in movies in the MCU like a biopic of Tony Stark in the vein of Steve Jobs.  In the comics, Simon Williams is the ionic powered Wonder Man and it’s not clear if he will get powers in the movie or if this will just be a one scene joke/cameo.
  • Watership Down miniseries coming to Netflix/BBC: The BBC and Netflix are teaming up for a new take on Richard Adams’ novel about a colony of rabbits trying to survive after being forced to flee their home due to man.  John Boyega, James McAvoy and Nicholas Hoult will be some of the voice actors in the new CG animated series, which will air on the BBC in the UK and everyone else will stream on Netflix.
  • Tom Savini joins From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series: The special effects master, and original Sex Machine from From Dusk Till Dawn, will join the cast of the TV adaptation as pot smoking demon hunter Burt.

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