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News Shotgun 11/17

  • RIP Stan Lee: The entire pop culture world was in mourning this week as the legendary Stan Lee passed away at age 95.  Lee’s contributions to comics and other media are massive, creating or co-creating Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Daredevil, and Ant-Man as well as creating a more relatable and naturalistic approach to comic storytelling and helped to lift the restrictive limitations by taking on the Comics Code Authority.  He’s become a staple of the MCU and other Marvel movies with his cameos and lent his name to other projects outside of Marvel, with some mixed results, but mostly he was the spiritual figurehead of Marvel to the fans, the Generalissimo.
  • Chris Pratt in talks to star in The Saint remake: Chris Pratt is in talks to star as the new Simon Templar in a new version of The Saint.  The Saint goes all the way back to the 1920’s in a series of books and then was turned into a TV series starring Roger Moore and a 1997 movie starring Val Kilmer.  Templar’s signature is adopting multiple personas as he pulls off heists, usually against corrupt, rich individuals.  Paramount is hoping this could be a new franchise.
  • Lex Luthor cast for Supergirl: After four years of teases, Lex Luthor will appear in the flesh and Jon Cryer has been cast in the role. Cryer was, obviously, most recently the co-star of Two and a Half Men and actually does have ties to the Superman world, playing Lenny Luthor, the nephew of Gene Hackman’s Lex in Superman IV.  Cryer will debut in the 15th episode of this current season, which will be sometime in early 2019.
  • Agents of SHIELD renewed early for seventh season: The last couple seasons, Agents of SHIELD has been on the bubble about whether it would get renewed or not but ABC has decided early to give them another season.  The sixth season won’t debut until next summer after Avengers 4, most likely allowing them to avoid any prolonged “who got snapped” issues, and a seventh season will debut probably in 2020.
  • Devil May Cry series coming: Adi Shankar is adding another beloved video game series to his Bootleg Universe as he’s developing a Devil May Cry series that will share a similar style and tone to the excellent Castlevania series currently streaming on Netflix.  There is no word on if DMC will be on Netflix as well but you would think they would be all over it considering the love for Castlevania.
  • The Criterion Channel coming soon to streaming: The cinephile world has been up in arms over the last week or so over the decision by WarnerMedia to kill FilmStruck, a boutique streaming site that offered up many classic films that were not available anywhere else.  A possible service to fill the gap may be on the way with Criterion announcing they will be launching The Criterion Channel with WarnerMedia.  The service will launch next year for $10.99 a month with the Criterion Collection films available and offering different actor and director spotlights and specially curated selections.
  • Young Justice Season 3 release date: One of the most anticipated exclusives coming to DC Universe is the third season of cult animated series Young Justice and now there’s a release date.  Young Justice: Outsiders will debut on January 4, 2019, to kick off the new year.
  • Monster Cereal movies may be on the way: General Mills has launched a new initiative called “Work with the Monsters” and are putting a call out to filmmakers, writers, actors, producers, etc to bring their Monster Cereal characters (Count Chocula, Frankenberry, Boo Berry, Yummy Mummy, and Fruit Brute) to new media like movies and TV.  There’s a website where you can provide your credentials and offer up your ideas.
  • Netflix picks up innovative animation hybrid The Liberator: Netflix has picked up a unique animation/live-action hybrid World War II series called The Liberator.  The show will use Trioscope Enhanced Hybrid Animation, which combines live action and CG animation in a way that’s never been seen before.  The series will be four episodes following the true story of US Army officer Felix Sparks, who led the 157th Infantry Regiment from Italy to the concentration camp at Dachau in 500 of the most brutal and bloody days of combat in the entire war.
  • OG Command and Conquer games getting remastered: The developers behind the original Command and Conquer games on PC are coming back to create a remaster of both the original game and it’s sequel, Red Alert.  Petroglyph Games, which was founded when original C&C developer Westwood closed, is behind the remaster but there’s no release date or console info yet.
  • Pee Wee’s Playhouse coming back to TV: IFC has picked up the rights to the cult classic Pee Wee’s Big Adventure and will begin airing it this coming week for Thanksgiving.  There will be a 24-hour marathon on Thanksgiving day starting at 6 AM on IFC and then the series will air every Saturday morning starting on the 24th.
  • JK Simmons has joined the Veronica Mars reboot: The Veronica Mars reboot has gotten a huge new addition with Oscar winner JK Simmons joining the cast as Clyde Pickett, “an ex-con who served 10 years for racketeering, and was smart enough to be the first guy in Chino to offer protection to Neptune’s richest real estate developer, Big Dick Casablancas, on Big Dick’s first day in prison. Now a free man, Clyde works as Big Dick’s fixer. He’s the smarter and more dangerous of the pair, and he has a network of fellow ex-cons he can count on to keep his own hands clean”.  Kristen Bell, Enrico Colantoni and Jason Dohring are returning to star and show creator Rob Thomas is back as well.  The new 8 episode season will premiere next year on Hulu and Hulu is also getting all the previous season plus the Kickstarted movie.
  • Black Mirror board game available: There’s a new board game based on Black Mirror, specifically it’s “Nosedive” episode that starred Bryce Dallas Howard.  Much like the episode, the main goal is to gain the most social media points and there is a companion app for the game that will give you over 1,000 different scenarios and your choice will effect if you gain or lose points.  The game is $19.99 and is out now at retailers like Target.
  • Amazon Prime members can see Aquaman early: Much like Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle last year, Amazon Prime members can see Aquaman early in an exclusive screening just for them.  Regal Cinemas, ArcLight, Cinepolis, Bow Tie Cinemas, Showcase Cinemas, and Studio Movie Grill (and possibly others) are offering the early screening, which will be December 15th and is five days before the full debut of the film on December 20th.  Tickets are not available yet to purchase but will probably be up on Amazon soon.
  • High Noon may be getting a remake: The classic western High Noon may be getting remade as Karen Kramer, the widow of original High Noon producer Stanley Kramer, has made a deal with relatively unknown writer/director David L. Hunt and producer Thomas Olaimey to bring a new version of the story to the big screen.  The original starred Gary Cooper as Sheriff Will Kane, who was unable to find any help from the townspeople he protected when a vicious criminal was set to arrive on the noon train with an eye to killing Kane in revenge.  2000 saw a forgotten remake with Tom Skerritt and there was also a sequel made to the original film which didn’t star Cooper.  The original movie is currently 27 on the AFI Top 100 Films of All Time and is also preserved in the Library of Congress.
  • Rebecca remake coming to Netflix: Speaking of remakes of classic cinema, Rebecca is getting remade for Netflix.  A classic Gothic horror novel that was turned into a classic film by Alfred Hitchcock that won Best Picture in 1940, Rebecca follows a young wife who moves into her husband’s old English manor and finds the ghost of his first wife still haunting the grounds.  Ben Wheatley, who most recently directed Free Fire, is directing the remake, which will star Lily James and Armie Hammer.
  • Cassandra Cain cast for Birds of Prey: The last main role for the upcoming Birds of Prey movie has been filled by Ella Jay Basco, who has appeared on shows like Veep and Grey’s Anatomy.  Basco will play a much younger Cassandra than in the comics and joins Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez and Ewan McGregor.  The movie is shooting for an R rating and has a release date of February 7, 2020.
  • Uncut version of The Mangler found: An unrated version of Tobe Hooper’s take on the Stephen King story The Mangler was found by Scream Factory and will be released on a new Blu-Ray/4K release of the film hitting December 11th.  The film starred Ted Levine as a sheriff who investigates a series of grisly accidents at an industrial laundry facility which turns out to be the work of a demonic laundry machine.  Robert Englund co-starred.
  • Amazon/Blumhouse sign an exclusive deal for new films: Blumhouse continues their world domination, signing a deal with Amazon for eight exclusive films for their streaming service.  Blumhouse already has exclusives on Netflix (like Ghoul and the just-released Cam) and Hulu (the year-long Into the Dark anthology series of films) and this new deal will feature “thematically-connected” films and they will be the first exclusive films that come only to Amazon Prime (Previous Amazon movies hit theaters first before coming to streaming).  Blumhouse also has The Purge series on USA as another extension of their brand.
  • Lance Reddick joins Godzilla vs Kong: The Fringe and Wire co-star Lance Reddick has joined the cast of the upcoming Godzilla vs Kong, directed by Adam Wingard.  Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Jessica Henwick, Julian Dennison, Kyle Chandler, and Demián Bichir have been previously cast and the battle royale is hitting on May 22nd, 2020.
  • The Mandalorian casts lead: Game of Thrones/Narcos actor Pedro Pascal has been cast as the lead character in the upcoming Star Wars TV series, The Mandalorian, which is being overseen by Jon Favreau and will debut next year with the Disney+ streaming service. Gina Carrano has also been cast in the series and Carl Weathers and Werner Herzog are also rumored to be in talks as well.  The show follows Pascal’s Mandalorian gunslinger in the Outer Rim underworld in the time period between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.
  • Wild Cards series coming to Hulu: Hulu is making a bid for the post Game of Thrones power vacuum by picking up two series set in George RR Martin’s Wild Cards universe.  The Wild Cards universe spans 27 anthology collections and is set in a universe where an alien virus infected Earth in 1946.  90% of people exposed to the virus die instantly, 9% are transformed into dangerous mutants called Jokers and 1% stay human but get extraordinary powers and are called Aces.  The virus manifests later in life, so people are constantly in danger of dying or becoming Jokers at some point.
  • CBS All Access getting a “Choose Your Own Adventure” style drama series: CBS All Access is getting Interrogation, a new crime drama that is based on a true-life case.  The first nine episodes of the series will debut all at once and will allow viewers to follow whatever thread of the plot they want, in whatever order they want, similar to the HBO experiment Mosiac that was released earlier this year from Steven Soderbergh.  Netflix is also getting into the interactive game, with an upcoming episode of Black Mirror allowing viewers to pick their path.
  • Dark Horse series Black Hammer coming to TV: An adaptation of Dark Horse’s excellent superhero comic Black Hammer is getting a TV series and possibly film adaptations.  Created by Jeff Lemire, Black Hammer follows a group of superheroes who have stuck in a sort of Twilight Zoneesque rural limbo called Rockwood after they defeated an extremely powerful villain called the Anti-God.  Black Hammer was the leader of the team but died shortly after the battle and the rest of the group has been stuck on a farm for a decade with no hope of returning to their home of Spiral City.
  • Game of Thrones final season gets a premiere date: The final season of Game of Thrones finally has a premiere date, hitting sometime in April of next year.  The first few hints of what to expect hit recently with an Entertainment Weekly cover story and some teasers from HBO.
  • Unreleased George Romero movie may be released: Hidden treasures continue to be unearthed from the late George Romero, one of which is The Amusement Park, which Romero shot between Season of the Witch and The Crazies.  Writer Daniel Kraus, who wrote the Trollhunter novels that Guillermo Del Toro’s Netflix animated series are based on, was recently given a private screening and reported on Twitter that it’s a horror masterpiece.  He’s currently working on figuring out the rights and how the public can see it and the George Romero Foundation is working on getting funds for a full restoration.
  • Kevin Durand joins Swamp Thing: Swamp Thing has gone into production and they’ve added The Strain and Lost co-star Kevin Durand as Jason Woodrue aka The Floronic Man, essentially an evil version of Swamp Thing who also shares some of Poison Ivy’s philosophy of destroying humanity to preserve plant life. Swamp Thing will be out sometime next year on DC Universe.
  • ALF reboot dead: Unfortunately, the much anticipated ALF reboot is no longer happening.  A reboot of the 80’s classic starring Gordon Shumway aka ALF was in development but the project is apparently dead according to TV Line.
  • Michelle Yeoh may star in Star Trek spin-off series: CBS All Access is drastically expanding their Star Trek offerings, with a Picard show and a comedic series and now Michelle Yeoh may star in a Star Trek: Discovery spin-off that will follow Yeoh’s Captain Georgiou, who is a part of the Federation’s black ops Section 31.  Section 31 was introduced in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and was a major part of Star Trek Into Darkness, headed up by Robocop himself, Peter Weller.

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