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News Shotgun 3/13/21

  • Avatar reclaims the top spot at the global box office: Thanks to a re-release in China, James Cameron’s Avatar has reclaimed the top spot at the global box office with $2,798,579,794, surpassing Avengers: Endgame, which made $2,797,501,328 globally.  Avatar could increase its newly reclaimed lead as the movie continues to play in China through this weekend.  Avatar originally made over $203 million in China alone in its original release.
  • Hasbro re-releasing more Real Ghostbusters toys: Hasbro re-released the original Kenner Real Ghostbusters of Peter, Ray, Egon, and Winston along with Slimer and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man last year and now this coming April, they are bringing back more classic toys exclusively to Walmart.  The Ecto-1, Fearsome Flush, and Bug-Eye will all return in their original forms, with the Ecto-1 going for $50 and the monsters going for $15 each.
  • Bird Box getting a Spanish spin-off: Although it seems like forever ago, Bird Box is only three years old and, along with the previously announced and in-development sequel, Netflix has commissioned a Spanish language spin-off.  The new movie in the Bird Boxverse will be directed by Alex and David Pastor, the duo behind the horror movie Carriers.  It’s not clear what the plot of this new movie will be or who will star.
  • HBO Max debuting a cheaper version in the summer: HBO Max will be releasing an ad-supported, cheaper version of their service in June this year.  This new tier doesn’t have an exact price yet but will feature periodic ads in most of the content on the service, except for HBO originals.  This cheaper tier will also not have access to the day/date WB theatrical releases that will continue for at least the rest of this year, and possibly beyond.
  • Michael B Jordan directing Creed III: Along with starring as Adonis Creed, Michael B Jordan will be making his directorial debut with the upcoming sequel.  It’s not clear what the plot of this third entry in the Creed sub-series will be but Tessa Thompson and Phylicia Rashad are expected to return, although it’s not clear if Stallone will be back.  The movie has a November 23rd, 2022 release date.
  • Peacock getting two new original series: Peacock is expanding their original content by picking up Wild Cards, the series based on the anthology superhero universe co-created by George RR Martin, and Langdon, based on Dan Brown’s symbologist Robert Langdon.  Wild Cards was originally going to be a Hulu series but was dropped in 2018 after restructuring occurred at Hulu.  The show is set in a world where an alien virus was unleashed on the Earth in 1946 and caused anyone infected by it to either die immediately, gain incredible superpowers and become an “Ace” or be horribly mutated/driven insane and become a “Joker”.  Langdon will be an adaptation of Dan Brown’s novel The Lost Symbol as Robert Langdon must unravel clues to find a kidnapped mentor.
  • HBO Max getting JJ Abrams series Duster: HBO Max is getting an original series from JJ Abrams that will reunite the Lost co-creator with one of his former stars, Josh Holloway.  Holloway will play a getaway driver in the 1970s who works for a growing crime syndicate in the southwest.
  • New TMNT beat-em-up game announced: Fans of Turtles in Time and the classic TMNT arcade game are finally getting what looks like a spiritual successor to those classics with the recently announced TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge.  The game will be an old-school beat-em-up with up to four-player co-op and pit the Turtles against foes like Shredder, Krang, Bebop, Rocksteady, Chrome Dome, the Triceratons, and Baxter Stockman.  The game is being published by Dotemu and developed by Tribute Games.  Dotemu recently published Streets of Rage 4 and Tribute has worked on games like Panzer Paladin, Flinthook, and Mercenary Kings.
  • Live-action Powerpuff Girls cast: The cast for the pilot of the Powerpuff Girls reboot at The CW has been set.  Agents of SHIELD’s Chloe Bennet will play Blossom, the Descendant’s Dove Cameron will play Bubbles and Broadway’s Yana Perrault will play Buttercup.  The show finds the Girls as disillusioned twentysomethings who are bitter that they wasted their entire childhood fighting crime but have to reunite when a new threat arises.  Diablo Cody co-wrote the pilot episode.  If The CW likes what they see, the show will most likely be picked up for a full series.
  • Kurt Sutter making his film directing debut with This Beast: Sons of Anarchy/Mayans MC creator Kurt Sutter will be making his feature film directing debut with This Beast for Blumhouse and Netflix.  The movie is inspired by the true story of The Beast of Gevaudan, a mysterious creature that terrorized a village in France in the 18th century.  Dozens of people were killed and hunters from all over tried to find and kill the beast, which was described as a massively large wolf-like creature.

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