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News Shotgun 9/14

  • MoviePass officially dead: As of right now, the disaster of MoviePass has finally come to a merciful end, as the service is officially shut down.  The service was still operational through this past summer, although it went down in July for maintenance and improvements and they had tried a number of different restrictions and plans to try and wring a profit out of the service.  Theaters like AMC and Alamo Drafthouse have launched their own subscription services in the wake of MoviePass and had much more sensible pricing and availability than MoviePass’ crazy original plan of unlimited movies for $9.95 a month.
  • New Game of Thrones prequel series in the works: A Game of Thrones prequel is coming soon from HBO, starring Naomi Watts, and George RR Martin says there are two other shows in development, one of which announced this week is a possible prequel focusing on the history of House Targaryen.  Martin wrote a side book called Fire & Ice that focused on Daenerys’ family history and that may be the inspiration for this new show.  The Naomi Watts starring show has shot a pilot and is waiting for a pickup from HBO.
  • Paul Feig directing monster movie Dark Army: Spy and Ghostbusters director Paul Feig has signed on to direct a movie for Universal called Dark Army that will feature Universal’s classic monsters in some capacity.  There are no plot details except the Universal Monsters will be featured along with original creations from Feig.  It’s also not clear if this is some attempt to resurrect the Dark Universe, which crashed and burned with Tom Cruise’s The Mummy.  Leigh Whannell is directing an Invisible Man movie for Blumhouse/Universal and it seemed like the plan was to let Blumhouse make new, stand-alone takes on the Monsters.
  • South Park renewed through Season 26: South Park isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, as Comedy Central has renewed the show through its 26th season.  Season 24 is set to premiere on September 25th.
  • 90s X-Men and Spider-Man seem to be Diseny+ launch titles: There is currently a test program going on in the Netherlands where Disney+ is live and users on the full app have dug in and discovered that the streaming service as the 90s Spider-Man and X-Men cartoons included along with a slew of other animated series like the 90s versions of Iron Man, Incredible Hulk and Fantastic Four along with 80s shows like Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.  Hopefully, these series will be in the US debut when it launches in November and would be another major factor in Disney+’s inevitable takeover of the universe.
  • Harbinger movie coming from Paramount: Paramount has picked up the rights to Valiant Comics’ Harbinger from Sony, which is currently working on a Bloodshot movie starring Vin Diesel.  When Sony bought the rights to the Valiant universe, it seemed like they were going to attempt an MCU style shared universe but this sale seems to throw that plan out the window.  Harbinger follows a group of superpowered teens who call themselves Harbingers to take on the evil supervillain Toyo Harada, the first Harbinger to develop superpowers and now operates an organization that hunts down anyone else with powers.
  • New Resident Evil game announced: Following up the incredible Resident Evil 2 remake, Capcom has announced a new multiplayer Resident Evil game called Project Resistance.  Seemingly taking inspiration from games like Dead by Daylight and Friday the 13th, Project Resistance will have four players playing as survivors trapped in a mysterious facility being run by the 5th player, who is “the mastermind” and can unleash traps and monsters against the others and take direct control of zombies and even the terrifying Tyrant/Mr. X.  There will be a beta soon in Japan and the game will be released on PS4, Xbox One, and Steam.
  • The Stand reboot casts Randall Flagg and more: CBS All Access’ reboot of Stephen King’s epic The Stand has cast more members of its post-apocalyptic roster, including Alexander Skarsgard as the villainous Randall Flagg.  Also announced this week is that Flagg’s good counterpart, Mother Abigail, will be played by Whoopi Goldberg.  James Marsden, Amber Heard, Jovan Adepo, Odessa Young, and Henry Zaga were cast previously and Josh Boone is directing the series, which should debut sometime in 2020.
  • Apple TV+ getting a Ghostwriter reboot: At their big event this week Apple, along with announcing a new iPhone, dropped details off it’s streaming wars competitor, Apple TV+.  The service will launch on November 1st on Apple devices, desktop browsers and Samsung TVs for $4.99 and feature shows like the sci-fi series See with Jason Momoa and The Morning Show with Jennifer Anniston, Steve Carrell, and Reese Witherspoon.  One of the surprising shows listed among the offerings was a reboot of the 90s PBS show Ghostwriter.  The 90s show featured a group of kids in NYC who met and befriended a spirit they called Ghostwriter, who would appear only to them and could communicate by repeating any written text, which the group would use to solve mysteries.  The new show will seemingly still feature the written messages aspect but now will be set in a haunted bookstore, where Ghostwriter causes characters from the books to come to life.
  • CW orders a Dark Shadows sequel series: The CW is going way back in time for their latest offering, a sequel to the late ’60s/early ’70s supernatural soap opera Dark Shadows.  The new show is set in the modern-day and is called Dark Shadows: Reincarnation.  It will follow a new generation of the Collins family, who live under a curse that forces them to deal with all manner of supernatural creatures.  There’s no word if there will be an appearance from Barnabas Collins, the show’s iconic vampire character who was played by Johnny Depp in Tim Burton’s spin on the show from 2012.
  • Paramount is remaking Face/Off: In a terribly misguided move, Paramount is going to attempt to remake one of the greatest action movies of all time, John Woo’s epic Face/Off.  There are very little details but they have hired one of the writers of the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog movie to pen a script.  The original Face/Off is a crazed masterpiece that combines Woo’s operatic action with John Travolta and Nicolas Cage devouring scenery like sharks who have to keep moving or they will die and there’s basically 0% chance that anyone can possibly reach even a fraction of that energy.
  • Hawkeye Disney+ show casts Hailee Steinfeld: Hailee Steinfeld is joining the MCU as Kate Bishop, the young woman that becomes Hawkeye’s protege in the critically acclaimed run of the Hawkeye comic by Matt Fraction.  Jeremy Renner is set to return as Clint Barton and the show will arrive on the Disney streaming service sometime in the fall of 2021.
  • The Righteous Gemstones renewed for Season 2: Jody Hill and Danny McBride’s latest HBO comedy series will be back for another season as HBO renewed The Righteous Gemstones for season 2.  The show stars McBride, Adam Devine, John Goodman, and Edi Patterson as the Gemstone clan, who run a massively lucrative televangelist empire.  It’s not clear if, like their previous series Vice Principals, that there is a set plan for a number of seasons.  Hill and McBride planned from the start for Vice Principals to only be 2 seasons.
  • Tom Hanks starring in Major Matt Mason movie: Tom Hanks is heading back to space for a movie based on the 60s Mattel action figure line Major Matt Mason for Paramount.  Major Matt Mason was a heroic astronaut who lives and works on the moon.  There are a number of friendly aliens that Major Matt interacts with both also villainous ones who want to destroy and conquer.  The toys were made with a rubber-like material called “Plastizol” that was put over a wire armature, along for some articulation but the wire armature was fairly fragile and was prone to breaking, rendering the limb unposable.
  • Hayley Atwell joining the Mission: Impossible franchise: Agent Carter is coming to the Mission: Impossible universe as Hayley Atwell has been cast in the next two movies, which will be the seventh and eighth entries in the franchise.  Christopher McQuarrie, who has been helming the franchise since Rogue Nation, will return to write and direct both of the new sequels, the first of which will arrive on July 23rd, 2021.
  • RIP Robert Axelrod: Power Rangers actor Robert Axelrod passed away this week at age 70.  Axelrod was most famous for voicing Lord Zedd for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and also appeared in live-action on shows like Amazing Stories and movies like the 80s remake of The Blob.
  • The Muppets Disney+ series is canceled before launch: Muppets fans were dealt some disappointment this week as the planned short-form new Muppets show for Disney+ has been canceled before the service launches.  The show was being developed by Adam Horowitz, Josh Gad, and Eddy Kitsis but they left the project, called Muppets Live Another Day, over creative differences and Disney chose to not go forward with the show without its creators.

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