Last Week’s Episode: Bob’s Your CEO, Indiana Jones Director Shakeup

Last Week’s Episode: Bob’s Your CEO, Indiana Jones Director Shakeup

Apparently the Media sector didn't want their little brother Comics to get all of mom's attention, so there are quite a few industry shakeups to discuss. There is plenty of fan love and speculation to go around this week in nerd news! We don't play favorites here. (Well, only sometimes.) Movies Unsurprising in today's political

Apparently the Media sector didn’t want their little brother Comics to get all of mom’s attention, so there are quite a few industry shakeups to discuss. There is plenty of fan love and speculation to go around this week in nerd news! We don’t play favorites here. (Well, only sometimes.)

Movies

Unsurprising in today’s political climate, the 2003 miniseries Superman: Red Son by Mark Miller was resurrected as an animated film. Released Tuesday, February 25, the latest addition to DC animation continues the current trend for cold war film nostalgia. The plot is based on the simple question: What if Kal-El landed in the USSR instead of the US? Fans of the original comic seem torn on whether the film stays true to the political ambiguity of the original or falls into the same communist traps. Oops, I mean tropes. [Newsweek]

At least it gave us this.

Hulu is adapting the popular middle-grade novel The Mysterious Benedict Society into a new series with Veep alum Tony Hale in a major role. The book had two sequels and a prequel, so there is a lot of material for them to mine for the new adventure drama.  Darren Swimmer and Todd Slavkin will be back together again as showrunners. The pair previously worked together on Freeform’s Shadowhunters. [Deadline]

Film critic Robert Daniels puts together the pieces of the latest puzzle over film Twitter’s upset. Using the personal perspective of how he himself untangled the threads and walks the reader through how he decided to ask his pull-quote be removed from marketing for Guns Akimbo. The latest movie starring Daniel Radcliffe is at the center of a social media controversy not because of the Harry Potter alum but its director Jason Lei Howden. Daniels ends the article with a powerful call to action that people “should look at their timeline. How often do you share a Tweet from women of color? How often do you talk about films from people of color? How many people of color do you actually follow on Twitter? You might be disturbed by the numbers. Twitter’s an echo chamber, but it’s even more so if you curate your feed that way.” The Internet might be a kinder place if we all followed his final advice to not “pass up the chance to use your platform for good, for the people who most need it.” [Balder & Dash]

Now it’s time for a segment I’m calling Remake Row! Chris Evans may not be joining the Knives Out sequel but he is apparently in talks to reprise his role as a jerk we love to hate in a new Little Shop of Horrors movie. Alongside Billy Porter, confirmed to voice the plant Audrey II, Evans may be trading in his knitted sweater for the dentist’s coat. [THR]

[Editor’s note: I’m using my powers here to put in a bid for MJ Rodriguez as Audrey I, thanks y’all]

Benh Zeitlin returns to bayous of Louisana to direct a modern take on a children’s classic, this time from the perspective of titular character Wendy (out February 28). The screenplay is written by Zeitlin with Eliza Zeitlin, his sister who also designed the imaginative set pieces. This is the director’s first new work since the lauded Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012). Maybe this unique magical realism take can erase some of the many mistakes past Peter Pan inspired films have made with it’s shifted point of view. Wendy and Pan are played by newcomers Devin France and Yashua Mack. Mack’s take on the first Black Pan is receiving a lot of deserved attention. It had mixed but mostly favorable reviews after it’s Sundance debut including one from Indiewire that called the film a “meandering, soulful parable” that provides an “alternate approach to Disneyfied storytelling”. [IW]

There are two new additions to the growing slate of potential people attached to the Star Wars continuation. Indie film writer and director J.D. Dillard (Sleight), as well as Matt Owens (most recently a writer for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Luke Cage), are in talks to do… something. It’s unclear if the project will be a theatrical release or exclusive to Disney+ like The Mandalorian, or if Dillard will be writing or directing. But what we do know is the two are joining Oscar-winner Taika Waititi and Knives Out‘s Rian Johnson on the long list of people attached to an “Untitled Star Wars Project”. [THR]

In more Harrison Ford-related nostalgia news, Indiana Jones 5 finally has some updates. Steven Spielberg will be staying on as producer but giving up the helm to someone new. James Mangold (Logan, Ford vs. Ferrari) in talks to be the new director, which gives me high hopes they won’t screw this up too terribly. [Variety]

Saved you a click — Jurassic World 3 will be called Jurassic World: Dominion. Check out a photo from the first day of shooting by writer, producer, and director Colin Trevorrow below. [TheWrap]

Television

There’s a lot of buzz around Disney+ shows right now, and here’s what you need to know. The Lizzie McGuire revival has been put on a production pause to work out some “creative re-development” according to a Disney spokesperson. After filming two episodes, original series creator Terri Minsky was fired. The Love, Simon series has been moved to Hulu as it was deemed not “family-friendly” enough for the Mouse’s streaming platform. Now dubbed Love, Victor the series (based on the movie based on the popular queer YA novel) will explore the normal teenaged things like adjusting to a new school, go to parties, and fall in love. Lizzie McGuire’s Hillary Duff took to Instagram to comment that the decision on Love, Victor “sounds familiar”. Minksy isn’t sure what new direction the show will take, saying “I would love the show to exist, but ideally I would love it if it could be given that treatment of going to Hulu and doing the show that we were doing.” [Variety]

Octavia E. Butler’s 1987 novel Dawn is being adapted for a sci fi project on Amazon by Ava DuVernay and the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, Victoria Mahoney (the second unit director of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker). Dawn is the first in a trilogy of stories exploring gender, race, and sexuality. With such prestigious women in charge, we can only hope that this is the beginning of a bigger project. [Variety]

Man wearing a dark suit smiles with a pastel colored space scene behind him

Credit: BBC America

Actor Sacha Dhawan did a Twitter Q&A after the premiere of the first installment of this Doctor Who‘s two-part season finale. Topics ranged from his history with the show and excitement over the new top-secret role revealed on New Year’s Day, covered by WWAC’s Sasha Fraze. The fan response has been very positive and Dhawan talked about how special it was being “the first British Indian actor playing the role, and then seeing fanart that represents me and how I look, is amazing.” [i09]

Animation

Some exciting new anime shows have been announced and one potential animated series Dreamworks would be really dumb not to pick up.

Yes, that appears to be Noelle Stevenson, showrunner of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, pitching her original comic series Lumberjanes!!

Voice actor Hank Azaria explains in a New York Times interview why he will no longer voice Apu on The Simpsons, but not why it took him so long to listen to the many critics who have been explaining for decades that the character is a racist stereotype. Comedian Hari Kondabolu wrote and appeared in the 2017 documentary The Problem with Apu which explores how the character has influenced and become a symbol of the biases many Indian actors face, though Azaria declined to participate. [NYT]

Grab Bag

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein rape conviction on Monday (February 24), New York Times journalist Jodi Kantor examines the implications and where the #MeToo movement goes from here. This recent victory means “the figures driving #MeToo say they are feeling a surge in momentum, but are grappling with how they can move beyond individual allegations and toward a concrete set of policy and legal goals.” [NYT]

News from the Mouse House, Bob Iger is out and Bob Chapek is in. The next CEO of The Walt Disney Company will still be named Bob and hopefully continue the legacy left behind by Iger. His track record of previous decisions like creating the Vault program to revive iconic films and moving from DVD to Blu-ray format says he will. It looks like Chapek is an old hat at the Disney game of creating and then responding to consumer demand. [TheWrap]

Portrait of Cyma Zarghami. She has shoulder length brown hair, is smiling and wearing a black leather jacket.

Credit: Justin Stephens/Nickelodeon

Former president of Nickelodeon, Cyma Zarghami, has created a new company for kids media called MiMO Studio. Zarghami plans to produce short films aimed at kids 11 and younger. This could be an interesting new venture from someone with such well-known hits as Spongebob Square Pants and Paw Patrol. One hopes that maybe the new properties will depart from the token female character problem of those shows. [Variety]

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