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News Shotgun 1/30

By Zach

  • Cloverfield 2 in development: There have been other entries in the Cloverfield franchise, like the great 10 Cloverfield Lane and the terrible The Cloverfield Paradox but the original movie is finally getting a direct sequel, although it will lose the found footage gimmick.  Bad Robot has hired screenwriter Joe Barton to write a script and JJ Abrams will executive produce.  Original director, Matt Reeves, will not be back to direct and he’s currently working on The Batman for WB.  Joe Barton was recently working on The Batman spin-off TV series which will be on HBO Max.
  • George Clooney starring as Buck Rogers in a new TV series: Buck Rogers is coming back as a TV show and George Clooney will star and produce this new reboot.  Comic legend Brian K. Vaughn wrote the script, which will still put Buck into the 25th century but other details are unknown.  Legendary’s TV arm is producing the show but it’s not clear where it will end up, whether on a traditional network or, more likely, on streaming like HBO Max or Netflix.
  • Zack Synder’s Justice League gets a release date: The date has been set for one of the most anticipated and sure to be hotly debated events of 2021, the release of the legendary “Snyder Cut” of WB’s Justice League movie.  The four epic will now debut on March 18th and, according to Snyder himself, it will be one 4 hour movie as opposed to 4 “episodes”, like how Netflix broke up The Hateful Eight.
  • Ethan Hawke starring in The Black Phone: Ethan Hawke is reteaming with his Sinister director Scott Derrickson for a new horror movie based on a Joe Hill story, The Black Phone.  The movie follows a boy who is kidnapped and thrown into a soundproof room with the decomposing bodies of previous victims.  There’s also an antique, disconnected phone in the room that mysteriously starts ringing and connects the boy to the voices of the dead.  Hawke will be the villainous kidnapper and Jeremy Davies, Mason Thames, and Madeleine McGraw were previously cast in the movie.
  • Lupin returns on Netflix this summer: Hailing from France, Lupin has been a critical and viewer favorite recently on Netflix and more of the heist show is coming this summer.  The next five episodes of the series will arrive sometime in the summer and continue the adventures of Omar Sy’s Lupin, who pulls heists to get revenge on the people that framed his father for a crime he didn’t commit that ultimately led to his death.
  • The Sandman cast announced for Netflix: Speaking of Netflix, they have found their cast for their upcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman.  Tom Sturridge will star as Dream, Gwendoline Christie will play Lucifer (who was played by Tom Ellis in the Lucifer TV series), Vivienne Acheampong will play Lucienne, Charles Dance will play Roderick Burgess, Sanjeev Baskar will play Cain, Asim Chaudhry will play Abel and Boyd Holbrook will play The Corinthian.  There’s no word yet on a release date on Netflix.
  • Netflix making Tomb Raider and Skull Island anime shows: Netflix is also adding more adult anime shows to their catalog following successes like Castlevania and Blood of Zeus with a new Tomb Raider series and a Skull Island series.  Tomb Raider will be set in the universe of the Square Enix trilogy and be set after Shadow of the Tomb Raider and continue Lara’s globe-trotting adventures and battle against Trinity.  Skull Island will be set in the Monsterverse of Legendary’s Godzilla/Kong franchise and be animated by Powerhouse Animation, the studio behind Castlevania and Blood of Zeus, and follows the survivors of a shipwreck as they wash ashore on Skull Island and have to survive the various monsters and Kong himself.
  • Animated Game of Thrones series coming to HBO Max: Another Game of Thrones spin-off is on the way with an animated series set sometime in the history of Westeros, although there are basically no details.  HBO had animated history lessons on each DVD/Blu-Ray release, so possibly this new show will have a similar style but it’s unknown.
  • RIP Cloris Leachman and Cicely Tyson: Legendary actresses Cloris Leachman and Cicely Tyson passed away this past week.  Leachman was 94 and Tyson was 96.  Leachman won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Last Picture Show and appeared in almost every possible TV show since the 80s you could name and was a prolific voice actress as well while Tyson was nominated for an Oscar for Sounder and received an honorary Oscar in 2019. She also appeared most recently on How to Get Away With Murder and Cherish the Day.
  • The Blacklist Renewed for Ninth Season: The Blacklist will be back for a ninth season, as NBC has renewed their long-running drama after, at the time of the renewal, only three episodes had aired for Season 8 (the fourth episode of Season 8 aired yesterday).  The show drew 7.5 million multiplatform viewers for its premiere last fall and averages a 1.2 in the 18-49 demographic for ratings.
  • Kevin Hart joins Borderlands movie: Kevin Hart is joining Cate Blanchett in the upcoming Borderlands movie.  Based on the video game franchise, the movie is being directed by Eli Roth and Hart will co-star as Roland, one of the four playable characters in the first Borderlands game who is a skilled soldier.  Blanchett is playing Lilith, who has powerful alien abilities as a Siren.  According to reports, this will be a more serious and less comedic role for Hart, who has made his name with his fast-talking wisecracks and over the top reactions in movies like Jumanji, Ride Along, and Central Intelligence.  The movie still needs to cast the Sharpshooter, Mordecai, and the Berserker, Brick.
  • Escape Room 2 moves to 2022: Escape Room 2 joins Morbius in abandoning 2021 and moving to 2022.  The sequel to the surprise hit Escape Room will now kick-off 2022 by releasing on January 7th, 2022.  Adam Robitel will be back to direct and Escape Room stars Taylor Russell and Logan Miller will return, joined by Isabelle Fuhrman, Indya Moore, Holland Roden, Thomas Cocquerel, and Carlito Olivero, and will dive more into the crazy twist revealed at the end of the first Escape Room of who is actually behind things.
  • Tomb Raider 2 gets a director: The upcoming sequel to Alicia Vikander’s first Tomb Raider movie has a director in Misha Green, creator of Lovecraft Country on HBO.  There are no plot details yet, and it’s unclear if it would be an adaptation of Rise of the Tomb Raider, as the first movie was inspired by the first game in Square Enix’s reboot trilogy and Rise was the second which sent Lara to Siberia to stop the evil organization Trinity from retrieving an artifact that could grant them immortality.
  • Jungle Cruise ride getting an update: Disney announced this week that they will be updating the iconic Jungle Cruise ride to remove some things that are now considered culturally insensitive and add new scenes.  The ride will still have a live “skipper” driving the boat but a new plotline where it seems like the boats may split in half and monkeys may invade one half and you’ll also find out what happened to two of the previous boats that are mentioned in the current iteration of the ride.  It’s not clear if anything from the upcoming Jungle Cruise movie will be incorporated but the decision to update now when that movie is hopefully coming out soon seems more than coincidental.
  • John Boyega and Robert DeNiro co-starring Netflix movie The Formula: John Boyega and Robert DeNiro are co-starring in the heist/crime thriller The Formula for Netflix.  Boyega will star as a Formula One racing prodigy who becomes a getaway driver and DeNiro will presumably be some sort of crime boss.  Gerard McMurray, who directed The First Purge, will write, produce and direct The Formula.
  • Harry Potter series in development at HBO Max: Apparently in extremely early development, HBO Max is looking to bring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter to their service as a TV series.  It’s not clear what era of Harry Potter the show would be set in, whether it’s before Fantastic Beasts or post-Deathly Hallows or somewhere in between.  The franchise is still enormously popular but has recently drawn controversy outside the books and movies as creator JK Rowling firmly sided herself as anti-trans and the Fantastic Beasts movies removed the equally controversial Johnny Depp from the upcoming third movie in the series and replaced him with Mads Mikkelsen.
  • WWE content will stream exclusively on Peacock starting in March: Peacock made a major move in the streaming wars by securing the exclusive rights to the WWE content that is currently on the standalone WWE Network.  Starting in March, WWE Network will be going away and you will need to subscribe to either of Peacock’s pay plans to get access to wrestling content (there is apparently a plan they will reveal in March regarding converting current WWE Network users to Peacock).  The pay-per-view matches will also be on Peacock, starting with WWE Fastlane and including this year’s Wrestlemania.  It’s not clear how the $4.99 tier of Peacock, which unlocks all the content but has ads, will work with WWE Network, which is currently $9.99 a month, equivalent to Peacock’s top, ad-free, tier.
  • Spy Kids reboot in development: Fresh off We Can Be Heroes, director Robert Rodriguez is going to reboot his original kids franchise, Spy Kids, for Skydance.  Rodriguez will write and direct the reboot, although details are unknown at this time.  Spy Kids 4 was actually already sort of a reboot as even though original Spy Kids Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara appeared, the movie followed new characters played by Jessica Alba, Joel Mchale, Rowan Blanchard, and Mason Cook.

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