Last Week’s Episode: New Normal

Last Week’s Episode: New Normal

*taps mic* Is this thing on...? Hello, again, from the new normal of never going anywhere except to the grocery store. Those of us who are privileged enough to be able to stay and work at home have a lot of content coming our way, and things continue to change quickly as studios and creatives

*taps mic* Is this thing on…?

Hello, again, from the new normal of never going anywhere except to the grocery store. Those of us who are privileged enough to be able to stay and work at home have a lot of content coming our way, and things continue to change quickly as studios and creatives try to both ensure that business continues and promote projects that might distract from the constant stream of depressing news related to COVID-19. When scrolling through news updates gets a bit too unbearable, I’ve found it helpful to put away my phone and instead direct my energy toward something else—whether it’s a book (comic or otherwise!), a chill/relaxing video game (personally, I’ve been loving GRIS), a funny television show, or a mutual aid effort.

We’ll get to this week’s updates in a moment, but first I’d like take a moment to offer condolences to anyone who has had to deal with the death of a loved one during this time, or has otherwise been affected by the reverberating effects of the novel coronavirus’s impact on all of our lives. I hope you’re able to grieve for your loss in as best a way as you can. The world is difficult right now, and it’s important to be gentle with ourselves and the people around us.

The wait will be worth it.

Let’s start with the projects whose release dates were delayed due to the necessary physical distancing measures.

Universal’s Candyman reboot, directed by Nia DaCosta (Little Woods) and co-written/produced by Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us), will now drop on September 25 instead of June 12, due to the continued closure of most theaters. While the wait continues, check out these choice quotes from Peele, who revealed why DaCosta was the best choice to helm this movie. [Deadline]

Disney has also made some decisions to move projects back, notably its joint venture with Pixar, Soul, and Walt Disney Animation Studios’s Raya and the Last Dragon. The former has been pushed from a June 19 debut to November 20, while the latter’s November 25 date has been changed to March 12, 2021. [CNBC]

Coming soon!

On the bright side, we have the following to look forward to in the semi-near the future.

There’s been a lot of Netflix news this week, as its one of the many streaming sites still releasing content (filmed pre-shelter-in-place) on a regular schedule. First is the hotly-anticipated The Half of It, which will be available to stream on May 1. Leah Lewis stars as a Chinese American high-schooler who ends up writing love letters on behalf of another student for his crush, a classmate whom she then falls for instead. The film is only director Alice Wu’s (Saving Face) second feature—and her first in 16 years—but judging by the ecstatic reactions online, the iconic status of her first film in the LGBTQ community still looms large. [Entertainment Weekly]

Netflix has also finalized a deal for first-look rights to adapt graphic novels and comics from BOOM! Studios into possible series on its platform. Since the streaming service already has partnerships with notable BOOM! creators like Noelle Stevenson (She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Lumberjanes), more beloved adaptations are sure to come. [BOOM! Studios]

An adaptation of Jeff Lemiere’s comic Sweet Tooth, a long-time producing project for actor Robert Downey Jr., has been picked up by Netflix with co-showrunners Jim Mickle (Hap and Leonard ) and Beth Schwartz (Arrow) at the helm. [CBR]

The first trailer for Yeon Sang-Ho’s Peninsula, the sequel to his much-acclaimed Train to Busan (2016), has been released. The action-packed trailer shows the world four years after the events of the film’s predecessor, with a new cast that includes Kang Dong-Won and Lee Jung-Hyun. [alkpop]

It has been confirmed that Marvel’s Ant-Man 3 will be written by Jeff Loveness (Rick and Morty), and Sam Raimi (Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3) will direct Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. I guess that’s why “Spider-Man” was trending on Twitter the other day… [Hypable, The Direct]

Disney+ is developing a Doogie Howser, M.D. reboot that will re-imagine the young doctor as a mixed Asian American teenager living in Hawaii. The working title is Doogie Kealoha, M.D., and Kourtney Kang (How I Met Your Mother, Fresh Off the Boat) is attached to write and produce. [The Hollywood Reporter]

For your pandemic needs…

As we wait for projects in the works to complete, the selections below will help pass the time.

If you live in a country other than the U.S., Canada, or Japan, you should now have access to all 21 Studio Ghibli films on Netflix, since the remaining few—Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, The Wind Rises, When Marnie Was There, Pom Poko, From Up on Poppy Hill, and Whisper of the Heart—were released on April 1. [TechRadar]

On Netflix everywhere is Alan Yang’s (Master of None) debut film, Tigertail. Taiwanese representation in Western media has been few and far between, so it’s heartening that this dual-diaspora narrative is getting some buzz. [The Cut]

Still not sure what to do while quarantined? Let comics pro Chip Zdarsky help! His guide is the third installment of a new weekly special guest feature on [IGN].

Non-Release News

The impact of COVID-19 is being felt by workers in all industries, as businesses determine which adjustments to make in order to continue operations in a global market that has had to suddenly halt tolerance of consumers’ physical proximity. Disney has now notified staff from each of its subsidiary film properties—Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar, and Searchlight—along with various other parts of the conglomerate, that they will be experiencing furloughs due to loss of revenue from the closing of movie theaters and theme parks. Let’s hope things don’t get worse. [Variety]

Japanese filmmaker Nobuhiko Obayashi, who continued to make films while battling lung cancer, succumbed to the disease last Friday at the age of 82. He is known for shooting a series of films centered on adolescence in his native Onomichi, and was awarded the FIRESCI Prize at the 48th Berlin International Film Festival for his film Sada based on the true story of Sada Abe. His most recent work, Umibeno Eigakan Kinemano Tamatebako (“Labyrinth of Cinema”) is yet to be released. [Nikkei Asian Review]

Scott Vrooman’s (Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj) new Quibi show Memory Hole, hosted by Will Arnett (Arrested Development, Bojack Horseman), has come under fire for allegedly plagiarizing a 2014 YouTube channel with the same name, and similar logo and basic concept. The show’s platform itself is also facing some tough questions in the form of an injunction sought by digital video company Eko for patent infringement. [Insider]

Phew! That was a lot of updates. Hope you’re all doing okay; stay safe and hang in there!

Rebecca Y. Lee
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