Seems like everyone is on edge this week, whether it’s COVID-19 panic or political upset. These are important concerns, and I hope we’re all taking the necessary precautions to keep our communities safe. In the meantime, there are a some new developments in the entertainment world worth paying attention to.
Amid school closures and rising concerns about coronavirus transmission, a slew of conferences, festivals, and other events larger than 10 people have been canceled or postponed. Even the gatherings that have not been moved have been impacted by voluntary dropouts due to travel apprehensions, as Austin’s SXSW was before its cancellation. This has resulted in unexpected layoffs, as well as a reluctance to refund ticket holders.
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) March 10, 2020
This deal with Netflix covers new original content along with remastering Nollywood classics.
Tessa Thompson, who will be returning as Valkyrie in 2021’s hotly anticipated Thor: Love and Thunder, has confirmed that Christian Bale will play the villain opposite herself, Natalie Portman, and Chris Hemsworth. [Entertainment Tonight]
In other MCU news, Winston Duke has expressed a desire to play his so-far heroic Black Panther character, M’Baku, as the villain for the second installment. The film’s release is still years away and it’s only in the early outline stages, so who knows? Perhaps the character’s comic book incarnation will be incorporated into the script. [Screenrant]
Bad Robot has picked up the spec script for The Pinkerton—written by Daniel Casey and described as a supernatural revenge thriller in a Western setting—via Warner Bros. making it the first original film by the new partnership between the two companies. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Disney’s Mulan has seemingly not escaped controversy even as it nears opening weekend. After comments from director Niki Caro on why the Chinese story needed someone who could also handle “the culture of Disney,” its premier this week has sparked more critique about a lack of cultural competency in the film’s hires.
• A white director
• A white costume designer
• Four white screenwriters
• A white composer
• A white cinematographer
• A white film editor
• A white casting director
All to “authentically” tell the story of legendary Chinese warrior Hua Mulan. https://t.co/mRo1lsBJkF
— Off Colour (@OffColourInc) March 10, 2020
Speaking of Asian directors, Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body, The Invitation) is set to direct a new Dracula film for Blumhouse Productions, and likely Universal. Looks like we’ll have some classic monster movies to look forward to as the studio pivots to handing its scary cast of characters off to those with what it deems are good individual story ideas, rather than trying to create an interconnected universe à la the MCU. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Also, Vin Diesel has a new movie out this week, adding Bloodshot to his repertoire of characters from geek properties. Based on a bestselling comic from Valiant Comics, the film focuses on the titular superhero as he tries to sort out fact from fiction while under the control of the corporation that brought him back to life and inserted healing nanotechnology into his body. [Female Magazine]
Unfortunately, the Vin Diesel movie everyone has actually been anticipating, F&F9, has been postponed til…April 2021. [Variety]
— John Krasinski (@johnkrasinski) March 12, 2020
The classic Satoshi Kon film Tokyo Godfathers has been spiffed up with a new English dub for its theatrical re-release this month. One of the three beleaguered leads of this Christmas tale is Hana, a trans woman, who will be voiced by trans actress Shakina Nayfak (Transparent: The Musical, Difficult People). Peep an interview with her on [LA Times]
While those attached to the HBO spinoff of Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite have yet to receive a script, Mark Ruffalo has confirmed his role as “the father,” though the jury’s still out on which of the two fathers he’ll be playing. [ComicBook.com]
Dreamboat Goran Višnjić (ER, Timeless) has been cast as Dracula in the announced Brides, Gina Torres’ sexy vampire show on ABC under showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Riverdale, Sabrina, Afterlife with Archie). I love Dr. Kovac and I will almost assuredly love this. [TVLine]
After 10 seasons over as many years, Hawaii Five-0 is set to end with a two-part finale on April 3. [Deadline]
Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker) is staying in the Disney stable and has joined the cast of Loki in an unknown role. [io9]
It has also been reported that actors James Lipton and Max von Sydow have passed away. Lipton was the creator of Inside the Actors Studio, a series he hosted for 22 seasons that has been a source of knowledge and craft for up-and-coming actors since its conception in 1994. He also appeared on radio, Broadway, and television as various characters, and penned lyrics and scripts for the latter two. Von Sydow was known for his iconic role playing chess with Death in Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal, as well as for starring in The Exorcist as one of the priests and The Greatest Story Ever Told as Jesus Christ.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 11, 2020