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News Shotgun 4/10/21

  • Benedict Cumberbatch starring in The 39 Steps for Netflix: Benedict Cumberbatch will star in Netflix’s new limited series adaptation of The 39 Steps.  Originally a novel by John Buchan, the story was most famously turned into a film in 1935 by the master Alfred Hitchcock.  The story will be updated to the modern-day and Cumberbatch will play a character who gets caught up in the titular “39 Steps”, a vast global conspiracy that wants to reset the world order through 39 specific actions.
  • Paramount shifts a number of release dates: Paramount shifted 10 films’ release dates until later this year or into next year, the most significant being Top Gun: Maverick going to November 19th and Mission: Impossible 7 going to May 27th, 2022.  Snake Eyes is also moved up to July 23rd.
  • RIP DMX: Following an alleged drug overdose last Friday, rapper DMX was in a coma for a week on life support but died late this week at age 50.  DMX was one of the biggest rappers of the 90s, with his debut album hitting #1 on the Billboard charts and multiple hits like “Ruff Ryders Anthem” “X Gon Give it To Ya” and “Party Up (Up in Here)”.  DMX also appeared in a number of movies including Belly, Romeo Must Die, Cradle to the Grave, and Exit Wounds.
  • $700 Optimus Prime Toy Revealed: Hasbro revealed one of the most elaborate and expensive toys ever this past week with a $700 Optimus Prime that transforms by itself along with being able to walk and drive by itself.  The toy has over 5000 components and 60 microchips and is programmable via voice command or through a companion app.  The toy also features over 80 sound effects, including the classic Transformer sound and voice clips from Peter Cullen.
  • Sony signs a massive deal with Netflix: Sony and Netflix have signed a massive 5-year deal for Netflix to be the exclusive home for Sony films starting in 2022.  Sony currently has a deal with Starz but that will end at the end of this year.  Sony’s back catalog films plus future releases like Uncharted, Spider-Man, Morbius, Venom 2, and more will debut exclusively on Netflix after their theatrical runs.  Netflix will pay Sony around $1 billion over the 5 years of the deal.
  • Opening date of the Velocicoaster Announced: Universal Studios Orlando announced the opening date for one of the most anticipated coasters in recent memory, the Velocicoaster.  Located in Islands of Adventure, the coaster was built by Intamin, makers of world-famous coasters like Millenium Force, and will include a 155 ft drop and reach a speed of 70 mph.  It is also heavily themed to Jurassic World and there are animatronic velociraptors and other dinosaurs that guests will encounter throughout the ride.  The ride will open on June 10th this year.
  • MacGyver canceled at CBS: The reboot of MacGyver at CBS starring Lucas Till will end at the end of this month, with the April 30th episode serving as the series finale. There was a bit of turmoil behind the scenes in July last year when the previous showrunner Peter Lenkov was fired for promoting a toxic work environment and a new showrunner, Monica Macer, was brought on.  Tristin Mays, Justin Hires, Meredith Eaton, Levy Tran, and Henry Ian Cusick co-starred and this final season is the show’s fifth.
  • Ancient Aliens getting a movie: The ridiculous world of History Channel’s Ancient Aliens is getting a movie with Cobra Kai co-creator Josh Heald directing.  The movie is being described as a global action-adventure where the characters will explore ancient sites and collect ancient artifacts related to the theory that extraterrestrial life visited Earth hundreds and thousands of years ago and may have helped contribute to humanity’s evolution and growth.
  • Amazon sets release date for The Tomorrow War: Amazon won the bidding war for the rights to the upcoming Chris Pratt action movie The Tomorrow War and they announced the movie will debut on Prime Video on July 2nd this summer.  The movie stars Pratt alongside Yvonne Strahovski and JK Simmons and the plot follows a group of time travelers who arrive from 2051 to the present day and reveal humanity is dealing with a hostile alien invasion.  The only hope is for a select group of soldiers and civilians from the present to be sent to the future to battle the threat.  The movie was directed by Chris McKay, who previously brought us The Lego Batman Movie.
  • Peeps getting an animated movie: The extremely divisive marshmallow candy Peeps is getting an animated film from production company Wonder Street.  The movie is being pitched as similar in tone to the recent Trolls films and will follow a group of Peeps who are trying to travel across the country to reach the annual Peepfest convention.
  • Edgar Ramirez joins Borderlands: Edgar Ramirez has joined the Borderlands movie as the villain Atlas, who runs a massive weapons corporation.  The plot of the game finds Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart, Ariana Greenblatt, Florian Munteanu, Jack Black, and Jamie Lee Curtis trying to find Atlas’ missing daughter on the deadly world of Pandora who may hold the key to a massive source of power.

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