It’s 2020. It’s July and there is still a global pandemic. Not that Hollywood that bothered anymore. After a couple of months of COVID-impacted news we’re back to a lot of renewals, announcements, and plenty of things to be both overjoyed and annoyed about. So without further ado please get comfortable and enjoy this entry of Last Week’s Episode.
Let’s Go to the Movies (Not literally)
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) July 14, 2020
Guess we know why Warner Bros. and everyone’s favorite cinematic wife serial killer Christopher Nolan have been pushing so hard for Tenet to be released at the movie theater. According to reports the sci-fi movie starring John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, and Elizabeth Debicki–be still my bisexual heart–will need to make nearly a billion dollars to break even. That sounds like bad math to us, especially as until a few years ago cracking a billion was seen as the biggest achievement a movie could have. Looks like Tenet and WB. had some tricks up their sleeve to potentially make this the world’s first three billion dollar movie or something cuz otherwise that price-tag is as unthinkable as Debicki surviving the whole movie. Countdown to Tenet now being released exclusively via $200 Fortnite screenings begins in 5… 4… 3…
After the rip-roaring critical response to her Netflix superhero flick The Old Guard, Gina Prince-Bythewood, one of Hollywood’s most underrated directors has been announced on an exhilarating new project. According to Variety, The Woman King will star Viola Davis as a real life “general of the all-female military unit, and her daughter Nawi, who together fought the French and neighboring tribes who violated their honor, enslaved their people and threatened to destroy everything they’ve lived for.” [Variety]
Davis also spoke to Vanity Fair about one of her most controversial roles, in the recently back in conversation white savior movie The Help. “Not a lot of narratives are also invested in our humanity,” Davies explained. “They’re invested in the idea of what it means to be Black, but…it’s catering to the white audience.” [Vanity Fair]
What would you risk for 5 minutes of superpowers?
💊 PROJECT POWER 💊 from directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman and starring Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Dominique Fishback, is headed 14 August on Netflix. pic.twitter.com/2MoQtQnql2
— NetflixFilm (@NetflixFilm) July 15, 2020
“What would you risk for 5 minutes of superpowers?” asks the new Netflix film Project Power. The answer from me is categorically, NOTHING! Like what on Earth is the point? Wouldn’t have time to really do anything, let alone get the hang of whatever generic power that you manage to gain for the tiny time period. Whilst this does not seem like a solid set up for a sci-fi film or even just a philosophy 101 question to this writer, the project has garnered some big names like Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. You can check out the trailer in the tweet above and decide for yourself.
Something that I would risk it all for is the news that the English Lupin III voice cast will be returning for that sexy new CG movie we’ve all been slobbering over. Yep, Tony Oliver, Doug Erholtz, Michelle Ruff, Richard Epcar, and Lex Lang will be reprising their roles in that beautiful looking film. There’s some newcomers to with Laurie C. Hymes, J. David Brimmer, and Paul Guyet coming along for a ride in the little yellow car. [TMS Anime]
Hey fans of movies that are never going to come out… like me, got some exciting news about one of Hollywood’s least coming-out movies, the eternally in production hell Nathan Drake movie Uncharted. According to Tom Holland, the actor is on the set of the movie as we speak and it might even start shooting soon. People critiqued the casting originally thinking Holland was too young, but by the time this movie shoots he might be the right age for the rugged adventurer… even still don’t hold your breath, this is on the New Mutants train to absolutely nowhere. P.S. Justice for Ki Hong Lee, the Nathan Drake of our hearts. [Polygon]
Get ready to feel sad with Feels Good Man. This new documentary focuses on Matt Furie as he attempts to reclaim his chill frog character Pepe from the grips of the burgeoning Alt-Right movement. Tragic and hopeful in equal turns this looks like a vital watch for anyone interested in battling the ever growing wave of fascism in the US, as well as stories about cartooning, making art, and striving to fight for your creations.
Alexandre Aja fans rejoice! Kind of… the master of the manic remake is here to bless Quibi–remember that lol–with a new take on Junji Ito’s terrifying Tomie. The beautiful woman who drives men to their bloody dooms is an iconic feminist icon for the ages but Aja seems like a weird choice, plus it’s pretty hard to translate Ito’s creepy style to the screen. Also… Quibi, but hey at least the director will have around $100,000 a minute to play with so maybe something cool will come out of it. [Bloody Disgusting]
You know what the world needs now: more cop shows… please say sike. Well, we’re all wishing HBO Max would say sike after they announced a The Batman spin-off set in the world of the GCPD. Unless Batman is saying Abolish the Cops we’re not interested. Smart bets are on this being some kind of noiry drama like the lauded Gotham Central series, but honestly that was basically done already with Gotham so fingers crossed Reeves is feeling like causing some chaos with this pick up. [THR]
— Jezebel (@Jezebel) July 10, 2020
This is just a seriously depressing and fucked up bit of news to add to the hell of 2020 as Jezebel is reporting that are zero Latinx shows left on network TV. “In June, ABC announced they wouldn’t be renewing The Baker and The Beauty, a Latinx romantic comedy series centered around the love story of a man working for his family’s Cuban bakery and a wealthy celebrity. The show only aired for one season and was canceled due to low ratings—which likely weren’t helped by its midseason premiere and less than ideal time slot (Mondays at 10 PM). Not only is The Baker and The Beauty the second Latinx show that ABC decided not to renew after only one season, but it was actually the last show with an all-Latinx cast on network television. And not only did The Baker and The Beauty have an all-Latinx cast, but the crew was also primarily Latinx, and the show itself was shot in Puerto Rico.” On a selfish level I also really liked The Baker and the Beauty, it was like a Latinx Hallmark movie series in the best way.
In a cool bit of reporting around hit Hulu movie Palm Springs, Indiewire chatted to British theoretical physicist and USC professor, Cliff V. Johnson, “whose input has helped everything from Avengers: Endgame to Star Trek: Discovery find a measure of scientific foundation. Over the last 15 years, Johnson has found a unique foothold in the industry. Listen closely to the physics chatter in the last big Marvel tentpole and you might hear a glimmer of his voice peeking in.” [Indiewire]
Netflix is delighting sexy demon fans once again with the return of Lucifer. This spoiler-heavy trailer for season five was teased by the streamer thus, “In the stunning fifth season, the stakes are higher than ever, secrets will be revealed, beloved characters will die, and we’ll finally get an answer to the question, ‘Will they or won’t they?'” There’s also a very Days of Our Lives twist here that should make fans of the soapy supernatural show happy.
Star of The Bold Type Aisha Dee spoke out about the show’s failure to have BIPOC behind the scenes. This is a depressingly familiar story and Dee goes into a lot of detail in calling the series creators out for their failings. One of the worst statistics is the reveal that the series has had only one Black woman direct an episode of the show’s 4 season run.
Aisha Dee (Kat Edison on The Bold Type) just spoke against the show’s complete lack of diversity behind the scenes. She says that it took two seasons to get a BIPOC writer on the show, and three seasons to get a hairstylist who knows textured hair: https://t.co/01hChPxx7N pic.twitter.com/fCKUkgUEWR
— Gianluca Russo (@G_Russo1) July 16, 2020
After the success of their Clone Wars continuation Disney and Dave Filoni have announced a new Star Wars animated series based on one of the concepts introduced in the critically acclaimed final season. The Bad Batch will center on the series “the elite and experimental clones of the Bad Batch— a unique squad of clones who vary genetically from their brothers in the Clone Army. Each member the Bad Batch possess a singular exceptional skill which makes them extraordinarily effective soldiers and a formidable crew. The series will, in turn, follow along as they attempt to find their way in a rapidly changing galaxy in the immediate aftermath of the Clone War. Along the way, they’ll take on daring mercenary missions as they struggle to stay afloat and find new purpose.” [Hypeable]
#StarWars actress Kelly Marie Tran will be moving from a galaxy far, far away to a land of mermaids, fallen angels and other strange beasts in Hulu's anthology drama series 'Monsterland' https://t.co/2iyKXKXFSx
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) July 14, 2020
Speaking of Star Wars, we’re happy to see our queen Kelly Marie Tran taking an intriguing role in the upcoming Hulu series Monsterland. “The series, produced by Annapurna Television, is set in a world that involves encounters with fantasy creatures like mermaids and fallen angels, and follows broken people driven to desperate acts in an attempt to repair their lives. Kaitlyn Dever, Taylor Schilling and Mike Colter are also starring in the series. Tran will star in an episode titled “Iron River, MI” in which she’ll play Lauren, who returns to her small Michigan hometown to be married. She had managed to build a new life for herself after her best friend, Elena, went missing when they were 16.” [THR]
Several people have made me aware of my SAVAGE DRAGON cartoon being on @peacockTV on Twitter and on Facebook.
I was neither informed by @peacockTV or paid.
So, that's fun.
— Erik Larsen (@ErikJLarsen) July 15, 2020
Erik Larsen was apparently surprised when the short lived Savage Dragon kids cartoon popped up on the new NBC streaming service Peacock. He would probably be less than happy to know the episodes are also regularly repeated on my favorite Ad-Supported Video On Demand service; Pluto TV too. Sad to report there are no dragon orgies or vaginas that shoot webs though.
I’m a Creep, I’m a Loser
Seeing as so many abusers have been outed during this tempestuous time, I’m keeping this space open for whatever pops up and surprising no one it’s the writer of classic teen girl lines like “I love the feeling of wood in my hand” — Joss Whedon. In a damning interview with a pair of stunt people–one of whom doubled for Buffy herself–the director is accused of demanding that Buffy’s double break up with her future husband if she wanted to stay working on the popular show. Grim grim grim. [Metro UK]
In some disappointing yet–I suppose–hopeful news CBS has committed 25% of their budget to BIPOC creators. Doesn’t seem like nearly enough to me but what do I know? Also it is a rare concrete commitment at least. “In addition, the network is also setting a target to have a minimum of 40% BIPOC representation in their writers’ rooms also beginning in 2021-2022. The goal is to increase that number to 50% the following season. The network has also committed to hiring additional BIPOC writers on some of their series for the upcoming 2020-2021 season.” [Variety]
Boom! Comics seems to be committed to becoming the company with the most IP-thirsty attitude as after agreeing to give Netflix a first look deal–without talking to creators who have partial ownership–the company will now apparently be printing and distributing new titles for Universal NBC’s new comic company. The first title will come from Grant Morrison and in the worst possible announcement fashion an artist that has yet to be selected. Who knows, maybe this particular company will pay you millions for your IP? Maybe it’s a good deal… maybe. You can read more about this cornball news here. [Gamesradar]
Some Medium Rare Good News
Not that any of us queer folk needed confirmation but… Velma Dinkley is officially canonically gay as shit! Or at least she was supposed to be in James Gunn’s original script for the 2002 live-action Scooby Doo movie. Shocking absolutely no one due to studio interference it was cut out. Luckily there’s plenty of hella gay shit between Daphne and Velma in the Scooby cartoons and even some light flirtation in the very underrated live-action sci-fi YA flick perfectly titled, Daphne and Velma. [Bustle]
In an incredibly intimate and thoughtful interview Psych star James Rodriguez nee Roday, opened up about changing his name due to racism in Hollywood and his struggles with identity in the industry. “They said, ‘You might want to give some real consideration to changing your name,'” he says. And with that, James Rodriguez morphed into James Roday. Two decades later, he’s morphing back: Wednesday’s anticipated premiere of Psych 2: Lassie Come Home (on NBCU’s new streaming platform Peacock) will usher in the arrival of James Roday Rodriguez.” [TV Line]
The world of comics was a little happier today as everyone’s favorite comic book grandpa named Stan… no not that one… Stan SAKAI finally secured the proverbial optioning bag for his beloved indie comic Usagi Yojimbo. James Wan–a man of pure taste–will be producing through his Atomic Monster banner and it’ll be heading Netflix. Plus it’s going to be an exciting twist on the sweet samurai tale. “Rather than centering around the comic books’ protagonist Miyamoto Usagi, the series will take place in the far future and follow the teenage Rabbit Samurai Yuichi, descendent of the aforementioned great warrior, on his epic quest to become a true samurai. Yuichi will lead a ragtag team of misfit heroes – including a roguish bounty hunter, a cunning ninja, an acrobatic pickpocket and a faithful pet lizard – as he battles depth-charging moles, metal-tipped winged bats, and monsters from another dimension, all in the pursuit to become the best samurai Usagi.” [Variety]
We’re having to write these words far more often of late and this week we’re saying goodbye to the radical Afro-Latinx actress Naya Rivera, best known for her role as Santana in Glee. The actress died in a swimming accident. [NPR]