For this week’s installment of Last Week’s Episode, we’ll start with some industry news that will affect workers in real life, go through studio announcements and upcoming series, and end on some specials you can enjoy while sheltering in place.
As different countries, states, provinces, etc. consider varying versions of reopening, British Columbia has announced a plan that could mean Vancouver-based productions will begin filming very soon. Though most responsible governments are at least planning slow and gradual returns, we still don’t really have details for if, when, and how U.S. series filmed in Canada, like many of The CW’s shows, can continue in person. [Comicbook.com]
Meanwhile, a report by the Think Tank for Inclusion and Equity (TTIE) detailing the “State of Inclusion and Equity in TV Writing” was released this week. The study found that while the industry has tried to increase diversity in writers’ rooms, creatives from minoritized and underrepresented groups continue to face discrimination and bias. [Deadline]
Former Netflix executive Sarah Bremner has been brought on as the President of ARRAY Filmworks, Ava DuVernay’s arts and advocacy collective. Having ushered in films such as Bright and Death Note for Netflix, as well as the critically acclaimed The Two Popes, Bremner seems well-poised to lead ARRAY, cited by DuVernay as “a leader with exceptional ability who is deeply committed to [ARRAY’s] inclusive storytelling mission” with “a strong command of the substance of [the] work, and a style that focuses on collaboration.” [Deadline]
"Popeye" CG animated movie project by Genndy Tartakovsky (Samurai Jack, Primal) is back with King Features.
Animation test was made in 2014 for Sony Pictures Animation.https://t.co/ryJNbi8962 pic.twitter.com/ezOs5C5qja
— Catsuka (@catsuka) May 11, 2020
Last month, Lola Watson covered an apparent spat between NBCUniversal and AMC Theatres regarding moving films straight to on-demand streaming as movie theaters remain closed in order to meet physical distancing guidelines. This week brought some more potential shifts in the industry, as the UK’s Daily Mail reported that Amazon has been in talks with AMC Entertainment about a potential takeover of the business. While this is still only a rumor, shares in both AMC Entertainment and AMC Networks stocks have risen in light of the reporting, though it is still unclear which company, if true, is under discussion. [Deadline]
Marvel’s forever-delayed New Mutants has a new release date of August 28. At this point, those of us at WWAC will believe it when we see it—actually in theaters or VOD. [Twitter]
After two films released by 20th Century Fox in the early 2010s, widely panned by critics and fans alike, the beloved book series Percy Jackson & the Olympians is finally getting a second chance at Disney+ as a live-action television series. Author Rick Riordan assured fans that he, along with his wife Becky, will be intimately involved with development of the project through production, revealing on Twitter that the first season would cover the extent of the first book, The Lightning Thief, and continue from there.
Star Wars prequel alum Temuera Morrison is set to appear in the second season of Disney+’s The Mandalorian as Boba Fett. Morrison previously played Jango Fett, Boba’s father and origin of the Jedi Order’s clone army, in Star Wars: Episode II—Attack of the Clones, and has reprised both roles in various Star Wars video games. Bo-Katan Kryze from Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels will also make an appearance in Season 2, played by Katee Sackhoff reprising her previously voice-only role. [The Hollywood Reporter, SlashFilm]
Also in development at Disney+ is a National Treasure series featuring a new, younger cast to complement the National Treasure 3 movie featuring the original cast that’s still in the works. [Nerdist]
— Netflix Family (@netflixfamily) May 8, 2020
Netflix has released a new trailer for its adaptation of Ann M. Martin’s The Baby-Sitters Club, which will be available to stream this summer on July 3. Former readers of the middle-grade novels (and newer readers of the comic book adaptations) eagerly await the series, which is likely to fill a need for fluffy escapism with a some modernized nostalgia and a diverse cast.
Fans of Inuyasha, the popular anime about a 16-year-old time-traveling schoolgirl and a half dog-demon from feudal Japan, received a shock this week as a sequel was announced starring the titular character’s half-demon nieces and daughter. The new series will be called Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon and will be directed by Teruo Sato, with Rumiko Takahashi, creator of the original manga and anime, returning as designer for the main characters. The big question on everyone’s minds? If the main characters are half-demons, which human did Sesshomaru father them with? [Newsweek]
The CW has announced two more straight-to-series orders, with dramas Kung Fu and The Republic of Sarah joining Superman & Lois and Walker. Two other pilots, The Lost Boys and Maverick, were not picked up, and it is still to be determined if the Arrow spinoff and The 100 prequel will continue as planned series. [Deadline]
The iconic works of Anne Rice come to AMC Studios with The Vampire Chronicles and The Mayfair Witches, introducing these epic and vast worlds to a new generation of fans. https://t.co/6f0pZ2LB8Q pic.twitter.com/cb2kW2s5CY
— AMC Networks (@AMC_TV) May 13, 2020
While those of us who aren’t essential workers are staying home, there have been a good number of cast reunions posted online to enjoy, whether for charity or for fun. The Lizzie McGuire cast (including Lalaine!) did one such table read of the iconic Season 1 episode “Between a Rock and a Bra Place” on IGTV, which you can watch at [PopSugar]. The following are other specials whose availability was prompted by these strange times.
May 14, 8:00pm ET (YouTube)—The 1985 Prince and the Revolution Live concert will be streamed by the Prince estate on YouTube for three days starting tonight. This is your chance to see the iconic performance if you weren’t able to be there at the time, or would just like to relive it. [The Root]
May 15, 2:00pm ET (YouTube)—If you missed last month’s showing of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera or its sequel, Love Never Dies, you won’t have to wait for long to see another of his classics, Cats. The YouTube channel The Shows Must Go On is continuing its weekly free stream of Lloyd Webber’s filmed West End productions, and this will be no different; you will have 48 hours to experience the answer to the question, “What is a Jellicle Cat?” [Playbill]
May 17, 3:00pm ET (Facebook Live)—Orphan Black is back for a table read this Sunday on Facebook Live, where the original cast will be reading Episodes 6 and 7 from the show’s first season. The event will coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia as well as Mental Health Awareness month, and is designed to encourage fans to donate to CenterLink, a member-based coalition supporting LGBTQ community centers across the United States and Puerto Rico—and in Canada, China, and Australia—and Sistering, a Toronto-based organization serving marginalized and vulnerable women. [Deadline]
May 18, 2:00pm PT (YouTube)—The cast and creator of Community will also be reuniting for a virtual table read on Sony Pictures TV’s dedicated YouTube channel, where they will be performing “Cooperative Polygraphy” (Season 5, Episode 4) as a benefit for two charities: José Andrés’s World Central Kitchen and Frontline Foods. Almost the entire original cast will be present for the table read with the addition of Pedro Pascal, who will replace Walton Goggins as Mr. Stone due to scheduling conflicts. [Variety]
Surprise! The original Broadway production of Hamilton, filmed LIVE onstage at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, is now coming exclusively to @DisneyPlus this July 3rd. Shout it to the rooftops! #Hamilfilm pic.twitter.com/Uha1RBo6NB
— Disney (@Disney) May 12, 2020
As filmed theatre becomes a staple of these isolated times, Disney+ has aligned with the demand and moved up the release date of the filmed original stage production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton to July 3, because if we’re all stuck at home they might as well give us the content we crave.
Former Twilight heartthrob and the internet’s favorite weirdo celebrity Robert Pattinson gave a truly bonkers interview to GQ, where he expounded on a strange sugar-cheese-pasta dish that exploded his microwave while he was demonstrating the recipe for the interviewer. It’s sparked a series of pieces by other writers describing their experiences trying to recreate the “little pillow.” If nothing else, at least we can marvel at this. [GQ]