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News Shotgun 4/8

  • The Fifth Element returning to theaters: Luc Besson’s sci-fi action classic will return to theaters as a special Fathom Event with an exclusive preview of Valerian attached.  The movie will screen on May 14th and 15th in 400 theaters across the country.
  • New Star Wars anthology book on the way: One of the best things in the old Star Wars EU was the “Tales from…” series that followed background characters from Jabba’s Palace or the Cantina and the spiritual successor is arriving with a new anthology called Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View that will feature 40 different stories about various characters in the Star Wars universe and it’s coming in October.
  • Dwayne Johnson and Disney confirm Jungle Cruise: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will somehow find time in the spring of next year to film Jungle Cruise for Disney, an action/adventure based on the classic ride at Disneyland and Disney World.  The movie will most likely be a summer 2019 blockbuster.
  • Michael Crichton’s “Micro” getting a movie: Published after his death and completed by author Richard Preston worked off a nearly complete manuscript, Michael Crichton’s Micro will be coming to theaters with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales director Joachim Ronning at the helm.  Micro follows a group of graduate students who are invited to Hawaii to work for tech firm developing highly advanced shrinking technology but the group is shrunk and has to survive the natural dangers of the Hawaiian rain forest, so basically adult Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
  • Universal pased on making Legend of Conan: Producer Chris Morgan revealed this week that Universal passed on making a new Conan movie with Arnold.  Legend of Conan was supposed to follow an older King Conan on one final adventure.  It may still get picked up by another studio, as Arnold is still working on getting it made.
  • Arnold won’t be in The Predator: Anybody hoping for a Dutch cameo will be disappointed as Arnold confirmed this week that he read the script for Shane Black’s sequel and didn’t like what they were doing, so he passed on returning to the franchise.
  • Call of Duty cinematic universe in the works: Activision created it’s own production studio in the last few years and now this week they revealed an incredibly ambitious plan for a Call of Duty cinematic universe that would span movies and TV shows.  The early ideas thrown out is that, “There’ll be a film that feels more like Black Ops, the story behind the story. The Modern Warfare series looks at what it’s like to fight a war with the eyes of the world on you. And then maybe something that is more of a hybrid, where you are looking at private, covert operations, while a public operation is going on.”  Nick Van Dyk, who worked at Disney, and Stacey Sher, a producer for Quentin Tarantino, are the heads of Activision Blizzard Studios.
  • RIP Don Rickles: Legendary comic Don Rickles passed away this past week at age 90.  A regular on Dean Martin roasts, he was famous for his hilarious roasting and insulting of his famous friends and audience members and, in recent years, was the voice of Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story series.
  • MGM buys EPIX: MGM has bought premium cable movie network EPIX for $1 billion.  MGM previously had a share of the 4 EPIX channels along with Lionsgate and Paramount but they now will have sole control.
  • Jeffrey Dean Morgan joins Rampage: Walking Dead big bad Jeffery Dean Morgan will join The Rock in the upcoming adaptation of arcade classic Rampage, playing Agent Russell, who works for the secret government agency OGA.
  • New Warriors coming to TV: Freeform is getting another Marvel show to go along with the upcoming Cloak & Dagger, as the New Warriors will come to the network in Marvel TV’s first comedy show.  The team will be led by Squirrel Girl but there wasn’t any mention of what other members of the team will be showing up, like Speedball, Justice, Scarlet Spider, Hummingbird or Kid Nova, among many other former and current team members.
  • Marvel Heroes Omega coming to PS4: Marvel Heroes has been teaming up Marvel fans in a free to play MMO for years but now Marvel Heroes Omega will be coming to PS4 this spring.  It seems like it may be slightly more single-player focused with a nine chapter story campaign but still will have tons of multiplayer co-op opportunities.
  • USA renews Colony: USA has renewed their alien occupation thriller Colony for another season next year.  Season 2 just had it’s season finale this past Thursday.
  • Amazon gets streaming rights to NFL games: In a huge move in the streaming wars, Amazon has gotten the rights to stream 10 Thursday Night Football games for the upcoming NFL season.  The games will be available for Prime members and will feature ads during the games.  Amazon spent $50 million to acquire the streaming rights.
  • Voice cast for Batman & Harley Quinn announced: One of the upcoming DC animated movies, Batman & Harley Quinn will feature Kevin Conroy back as Batman and Melissa Rauch from The Big Bang Theory as Harley.  Bruce Timm is writing the movie and it appears like it might be a throwback to Batman: The Animated Series, at least as far as the look goes.  It will be out sometime later this year after Teen Titans: The Judas Contract.
  • Invader Zim is back: Another cult Nick cartoon is coming back with Invader Zim getting a TV movie on the network sometime next year.  Original creator Jhonen Vasquez is back to helm the movie and all the original voice cast is back as well.
  • Avatar 2 might finally start shooting this fall: According to Sigourney Weaver, Avatar 2 might finally start shooting this fall, as she said the cast has started training for the various action sequences and then will start shooting later this year.  The movie has been delayed numerous times and was supposed to be out in December of next year but now the release date is unknown.
  • Cartoon Network picks up new Mega Man cartoon: Mega Man will hit the small screen soon thanks to Cartoon Network, who picked up the new show.  Old school fans will probably be disappointed that in this new series, Mega Man is named Aki Light and spends half his time trying to be normal robot boy and the other half fighting evil robots.  The art style is also much different than prior iterations of the blue bomber.
  • The Defenders gets a release date: In the first teaser video released, Netflix seems to have confirmed that August 18th is when The Defenders will finally team up to take on the Hand and a mysterious new villain played by Sigourney Weaver.
  • Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg writing/directing an Invincible movie: The team behind Preacher are tackling another comic series with Robert Kirkman’s Invincible, which follows a teenager who learns his father is the superhero Omni-Man and that he’ll develop powers as well, which he does at age 17 and vows to help protect the Earth from various threats.  The comic series is currently on issue #134.

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