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News Shotgun 5/16

  • The Mandalorian cast expands: The Mandalorian keeps getting more awesome guest stars and this week they added Katee Sackhoff to play her Rebels/Clone Wars character Bo-Katan in live-action.  On Star Wars Rebels, Bo-Katan was a Mandalorian warrior who was looking to unit the warring clans and the last person we saw wielding the Darksaber, which Moff Gideon has at the end of Mandalorian Season 1.  Timothy Olyphant has also been cast in a mysterious role.
  • The Forever Purge removed from schedule: Because of the uncertainty of when movie theaters will reopen, Universal has pulled The Forever Purge from their upcoming release schedule.  The fifth (and potentially final) Purge movie was going to come out on July 10th but now has no release date and Universal also hasn’t said if they are planning a VOD release like Trolls World Tour, which resulted in a feud between the studio and movie theaters like AMC.
  • The Purge and Treadstone canceled at USA: Speaking of bad news for The Purge, USA has canceled the TV series set in The Purge universe along with their Bourne series Treadstone.  The Purge completed its second season earlier this year while Treadstone premiered this year.  Both shows were apparently extremely expensive and didn’t have the rating numbers to justify the cost.
  • New Star Trek show coming to CBS All Access: CBS All Access is becoming the Star Trek streaming service and another show in that universe is coming to the platform.  A spin-off from Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will follow the crew of the Enterprise before Kirk took command with Anson Mount starring as Captain Pike alongside Ethan Peck as Spock and Rebecca Romijn as Number One, all of whom were featured in the second season of Discovery.
  • Mark Wahlberg heading back to Netflix for a new action movie: Mark Wahlberg is heading back to Netflix following Spencer Confidential with Our Man from Jersey, which is being described as a “blue-collar 007”.  David Guggenheim, who wrote Safe House, The Christmas Chronicles, and helped create Designated Survivor, will write the script.
  • Arrowverse delayed until 2021: The Arrowverse is on hold until January 2021 and no new episodes of any of the shows will debut in the fall.  Legends of Tomorrow and Black Lightning finished shooting all of their episodes before the pandemic but The Flash, Batwoman, and Supergirl were all unable to finish their last few episodes, cutting their seasons short by around 3 or so episodes each.  Arrow finished before everything shut down.  Superman & Lois is premiering in 2021 alongside the veterans and the Green Arrow spin-off is apparently still in development as well.
  • The CW acquires rights to outside shows: Speaking of The CW, due to the holes in their schedule for the fall, the network acquired the rights to air two already filmed series.  They will be the network television premiere for DC Universe’s Swamp Thing, which was infamously canceled after 1 episode aired but ran out the rest of its episodes, and Tell Me a Story, a CBS All Access series that put modern, soapy spins fairy tales like Cinderella, Beauty & The Beast and Sleeping Beauty.
  • Percy Jackson series coming to Disney+: Percy Jackson is getting a second shot at live-action as Disney has acquired the rights to the book series and is developing a Disney+ series.  Created by Rick Riordan, the series follows Percy Jackson, a teenager who discovers that he’s actually a demigod and the son of Poseidon and gets involved in various Greek mythology-based adventures.  The series got two prior movie adaptations, The Lightning Thief and Sea of Monsters, which were decent hits but got extremely mixed reception and the series fizzled out along with most of the other YA adaptations that were part of the Harry Potter/Hunger Games crazes.
  • Scarface reboot in the works: The Scarface story is getting a new modern reboot with Call Me By Your Name/Suspiria director Luca Guadagnino at the helm and a script written by none other than The Coen Brothers.  The new Scarface will be set in Los Angeles and will seemingly follow a new character with a similar story as Tony Montana or Tony Camonte but not be a direct remake of either previous version.
  • Throttle adaptation coming to HBO Max: We are a few weeks from HBO Max launching but the new service continues to add original content, including a Stephen King/Joe Hill adaptation, Throttle.  Based on a short story by the father/son team, Throttle is essentially the movie Duel, except with a gang of bikers being chased by a big rig as opposed to one man in a car.  The story is being adapted into a movie that will be an HBO Max exclusive.
  • JCVD starring in new serial killer thriller: Jean Claude Van Damme has a new project in the works, a serial killer thriller called The Legend of Johnny Jones.  The movie follows a killer who snaps in a New Jersey housing project and starts going on a bloody rampage.  JCVD is the detective called in to stop him and Kevin Sorbo, Tom Arnold, Michael Pare, Danny Trejo, and Costas Mandylor will co-star.
  • Sandman getting all-star audiobook: Neil Gaiman’s Sandman is getting an audiobook version that is jam-packed with talent.  Gaiman himself will read the narration but James McAvoy will play Dream, Kat Dennings will play Death and Michael Sheen will play Lucifer.  Riz Ahmed, Justin Vivian Bond, Arthur Darvill, Taron Egerton, William Hope, Josie Lawrence, Miriam Margolyes, Samantha Morton, Bebe Neuwirth, and Andy Serkis will co-star.  The adaption will be released in installments starting on July 15th on Audible.
  • New Mutants gets a new release date: The Duke Nukem Forever of the movie world, The New Mutants has gotten yet another new release date after it was delayed for the umpteenth time following the beginning of the pandemic.  Disney has given the movie a theatrical release date of August 28th.  There has been lots of speculation about whether Disney would just give up and dump the movie on streaming but they are apparently still committed to a big-screen release.  The movie was filmed in 2017 and was originally supposed to come out in April 2018.
  • Mafia games getting a re-release: The excellent Mafia series of open-world crime games are getting re-released as Mafia Trilogy.  Each of the three games is getting a Definitive Edition, with Mafia and Mafia II getting some significant graphical enhancements (Mafia III was a current-gen game).  2K is going to reveal more on May 19th.
  • Sweet Tooth getting a Netflix series: The DC/Vertigo comic series Sweet Tooth is coming to Netflix as a new original series.  Robert Downey Jr’s Team Downey is producing the series, which has gotten an 8 episode first season order.  Will Forte, Christian Convery, Nonso Anozie, and Adeel Akhtar will co-star on the series with James Brolin providing narration.  The series follows Gus, who is a part human/part deer hybrid living in a world ravaged by a cataclysmic event.  He finds other hybrids like him along with a human family and he tries to figure out how the hybrids were created and what happened to the world.
  • Arnold joins Predator: Hunting Grounds: The asymmetric multiplayer game Predator: Hunting Grounds is out now on PS4 and it was announced this week that the OG Predator fighter, Dutch, will be available in an upcoming DLC.  Arnold will return to provide his likeness and voices a series of audio tapes you can unlock as you level up that provides the backstory of what the character has been up to since the original Predator film.  The Dutch character requires you to pay for the DLC but the audiotapes will be free for all players and they’ll both be available on May 26th.
  • Popeye movie back in development: A new animated take on Popeye has been in development for at least a decade, starting at Sony Animation and being led by the amazing Genndy Tartakovsky.  Tartakovsky left the project in 2015 and the movie has been in development hell ever since.  The project has apparently left Sony Animation and it seems like King Features, who own Popeye, may be looking to start from scratch with a new animation studio.
  • Hamilton coming to Disney+ in July: A while back, there was news that Disney had won a massive bidding war for the rights to distribute a filmed version of the Broadway sensation Hamilton and was planning on a 2021 big-screen release.  Most likely due to the pandemic, that plan has been drastically changed and accelerated and this filmed version of Hamilton will arrive on Disney+ in July this year, specifically July 3rd.  This filmed version features the original cast, including Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton and Leslie Odom Jr as Aaron Burr.
  • Dave renewed for Season 2 on FX: Lil Dicky’s comedy series Dave has been renewed for Season 2 on FX and it was also revealed that the show is the highest-rated FX comedy series of all time, passing the previous combined VOD, linear and streaming record set by Atlanta.  The main reason is most likely the launch of FX on Hulu, giving the millions of Hulu users access to FX shows the day after they air live.
  • Fox sets fall TV schedule: Similar to the strategy mentioned earlier by The CW, Fox is developing a fall TV strategy to try and counteract the pandemic.  They’ve gotten the network television rights to LA’s Finest, which was exclusively available to Spectrum cable users and is the Bad Boys spin-off series starring Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba.  The network will also air Cosmos: Possible Worlds, which aired earlier this year on National Geographic channel and will focus more on sports and reality TV.  Their animated shows are all expected to be produced normally and will air on their normal Sunday night times.  They’ve also pushed their sci-fi mid-season series NeXt to the fall.
  • RIP Jerry Stiller: The legendary Jerry Stiller passed away at age 92 this past week.  Stiller was appearing in movies and TV since the late 50s but is probably best known as Frank Costanza on Seinfeld and Arthur Spooner on King of Queens.  He also appeared in movies like Zoolander and Hairspray.

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