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News Shotgun 1/7/23

Here’s all the movie and TV news you need to know from the past week, it’s the News Shotgun

Lead cast in Gladiator 2: Over 20 years after the first movie, Ridley Scott is returning to ancient Rome for a sequel to Gladiator and he’s found his lead.  Paul Mescal, recently seen in Normal People and Aftersun, will star in the Gladiator sequel and play the grown version of Lucius, the son of Connie Nielsen’s Lucilla from the first movie.  Scott is producing the movie but it’s not sure if he will direct or have someone else direct and the general plot is also not currently known.

RIP Earl Boen: Prolific character actor Earl Boen passed away this past week at age 81.  Boen appeared in numerous films and TV shows over the years, most notably as Dr. Silberman in the Terminator franchise.  He also appeared in 9 to 5, Marked for Death, Alien Nation, Battle Beyond the Stars, and was a regular on Mama’s Family among many other credits.

Wednesday renewed for Season 2: Considering it’s one of the most-watched programs in Netflix history, it’s not shocking that Wednesday was renewed for a second season this week.  The Addams Family spin-off has had over 1 billion hours watched globally and generated tons of memes and social media reactions along with being well-received from critics, with most of the praise going to star Jenna Ortega.

Nicole Kidman joins Lioness on Paramount+:Taylor Sheridan’s domination of Paramount+ continues with the upcoming series Lioness.  Based on a real-life CIA project, Zoe Saldana and Laysla De Oliveira were previously cast to star and now Nicole Kidman has joined the cast.  The show follows De Oliveira as a Marine who gets recruited by the CIA as part of the Lioness project, headed up by Saldana, to infiltrate and take down a terrorist group from within.  Kidman will play a high-ranking CIA supervisor.  This will be the fifth Sheridan series on Paramount+ following Mayor of Kingstown, 1883, 1923, and Tulsa King.

Michael Giacchino directing a remake of Them!: After directing the fantastic Werewolf by Night for Marvel and Disney+, Composer Michael Giacchino is making his feature film debut with a remake of the 1950s sci-fi classic, Them!.  The original movie featured gigantic ants that were mutated by nuclear radiation and terrorized the New Mexico desert before making their way to Los Angeles for the climax.  Warner Bros Discovery is developing the movie and Giacchino will score the movie along with directing.

Stephen Amell returning to the Arrowverse for the final season of The Flash: For the upcoming final season of The Flash, which will also be essentially the final chapter of the Arrowverse in general on The CW, Stephen Amell will return as Oliver Queen.  It’s not clear what the context will be for Oliver’s return, as the last time he appeared he had turned into The Spectre and used all of his new power to rebuild the Arrowverse universe after it was destroyed by the Anti-Monitor, seemingly destroying himself in the process.  A flashback or time travel seems like the most likely option for Amell’s return.  Arrowverse regulars David Ramsey, Keiynan Lonsdale, and Sendhil Ramamurthy will appear in the final season of The Flash as well.

HBO Max removes seasons of Looney Tunes and The Flintstones: The purging of HBO Max content continued this week as multiple seasons of Looney Tunes and The Flintstones were removed from the streaming service.  Through the bizarreness of corporate mergers and structure, HBO Max essentially had to license Looney Tunes and Flintstones from Warner Bros, even though they are all under the same corporate umbrella.  The license for these particular seasons expired at the end of last year and it was not renewed.

1899 canceled at Netflix: Despite what seemed like strong viewership and critical reviews, Netflix canceled 1899 after 1 season.  The show was from the creators of previous Netflix hit Dark, and one of the creators, Baran bo Odar, reported the cancelation on his social media.  1899 was one of the most watched programs globally on Netflix following its release in November last year with 79,270,000 million hours watched in the week after its debut.  Netflix has not given any official explanation for the cancelation.

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