Last Week’s Episode: Happy Pandemiversary Week With Action-Packed Animation News

Last Week's Episode

Right now everyone is swapping stories about where they were this time last year. Saying goodbye to coworkers and students for the last time in person. The early days now seem almost celebratory. People waving to each other from their windows, posting silly videos of animals, celebrities singing to us from the screens that are now our constant companions. Little did we know what other darkness would await us. 2021 hasn’t been much better so far. We’re all fatigued, but there’s hope for the future. Vaccine distribution hasn’t been perfect but is ramping up and hopefully by this summer will be widely available. It will be interesting to see how the major changes from working from home for a year will affect various industries especially those related to entertainment. Ok! Enough reflecting and more news about what we have to look forward to with our favorite shows and films.

Movies

We’ve gotten some first looks (or lewks) at the set and actors of Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci. To sum it up, it looks pretty and is being played by pretty people. In one pic Adam Driver looks like he borrowed Chris Evans’ yummy cable knit sweater from Knives Out and another shows Gaga in a gorgeous plaid coat. Today they continue filming in Milan and I’m seriously coveting that caramel polka dot dress. (This week’s slew of photos have already resulted in some great fan art if you cruise the #HouseofGucci hashtag on Twitter.) Apparently Patrizia Reggiani, the Italian heiress and subject of the film who ordered the murder of her husband, has expressed her annoyance that Gaga didn’t reach out to her about the role. [Independent]

James Gunn clears up rumors about Guardians #3 casting. Which is basically that there has been no casting and that maybe they’ll entertain a PoC as the golden-skinned character. I’ll believe the last bit when I see it, but it was nice to see a director slap down speculative reporting.

Proving the accuracy of this tweet about how companies show they’re “committed to diversity” in a pyramid that’s mostly white and male at the top, Disney’s 2021 shareholder meeting announced two new diversity and inclusion initiatives headed by none other than the Bobs. Last year we reported that Bob Iger would replace Bob Chapek as CEO of The Walt Disney Company and now it looks like their brilliant idea for 2021 is to put themselves in charge of…. diversity? 🤔 [Walt Disney]

Probably more likely to lead to actual industry changes, Lilly Wachowski announced a partnership with OTV Studio to support the work of intersectional artists in the film and television industries. All creatives under the OTV Studio banner are intersectional, meaning they have more than one historically marginalized identity. Wachowski, most known for The Matrix franchise and Sense8, will serve as a creative advisor and strategic partner mentoring new talent and helping create new career paths to “uplift LGBTQ+ and BIPOC creators,” in the words of CEO Stephanie Jeter. [Deadline]

In news that shouldn’t be much of a surprise, Katie Leung, the actor who portrayed Cho Chang in the Harry Potter franchise, was told by a publicist to pretend the racist online hate against her did not exist. She spoke up about her experiences on a recent podcast called “Chinese Chippy Girl.” Again, to no surprise, Warner Bros did not comment on the story. [NBC News]

Indiefilm Nomadland dominates the 2021 Critics Choice awards continuing its award season hot streak. The drama starring Frances McDormand won Best Picture, Best Cinematography, and Chloé Zhao took home awards for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. [Variety]

Television

Imani Lewis (The Forty-Year Old Version) will be starring in the new Netflix YA vampire show, First Kill, based on a V.E. Schwab short story. Schwab is adapting the work along with showrunner Felicia D. Henderson (The Punisher, Empire), with Emma Roberts producing. [Shadow and Act]

Felicia D. Henderson (Photo by Matthew Jordan Smith)

And speaking of Felicia D. Henderson, she checked in with WWAC’s own Wendy Browne recently. After spending some time writing stories for such iconic DC Comics series as Teen Titans and Static Shock, Henderson returned to television. In 2018 she signed a multi-year deal with 20th Century Fox but has stayed true to her love of comics like in her work as the co-executive producer on Netflix’s The Punisher. Read the all the details on what comics she has her eye on to adapt next in our interview! [WWAC]

Casting round up: Michelle Gomez (Missy in Doctor Who) will join the cast of Doom Patrol Season 3 as Madame Rouge. [Variety] Lupita Nyong’o and Natalie Portman will lead the cast of an Apple series adapted from Laura Lipman’s novel Lady in the Lake. [Variety] After wrapping up her work on Schitt’s Creek, Annie Murphy will join season 2 of Netflix’s Russian Doll. [TV Line]

If you’ve been following the news at all this week you probably heard about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah. In anticipation of the interview, former Suits co-star Patrick J. Adams penned a passionate Twitter defense of the actor and humanitarian. [Twitter]

This week Kim’s Convenience announced the sad news that the sitcom will end with Season 5. Fans agree its a bummer, but respect that they ended on a high note and don’t want to compromise the quality after the two co-creators are moving on to other projects. We wish them all the best and can’t wait to see what they create next! [Twitter]

Animation

This week there’s a lot of great news in the animation arena, so I gave it its own section!

Starting us off is the big news that the manga Hellsing will be getting a live-action adaptation backed by Amazon Studios. This popular action-horror series puts a unique spin on the Dracula universe and was both a manga and anime. The script will be written by Derek Kolstad, who says he’s been a big fan of the franchise since his brother first introduced him to the work. Kolstad’s writing on the John Wick films as well as the upcoming Marvel Studios’ The Falcon and the Winter Soldier could give fans hope for a quality action-packed adapation. [Deadline]

The graphic novel Slam! co-created by Pamela Ribon and Veronica Fish, is headed to HBO Max as an animated series. Ribon, a screenwriter and story writer behind such hits as Moana and Ralph Breaks the Internet is at the helm of this exciting adaptation about the fast-paced and all-femme world of banked track roller derby. [Deadline]

I don’t know why with K-Pop’s growing global popularity this idea took so long to come to fruition, but finally someone is creating an animated film about a girl K-Pop group who perfectly balance choreography on the stage with killing demons behind the scenes. This sneak peek from Sony Animation makes it look worth the wait.

This announcement seems to have run under the radar a bit, but Wow! Unlimited Media and Frederator Studios have optioned Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series. Frederator is responsible for such big name shows as Adventure Time and small but mighty ones like Bee and PuppyCat. If you haven’t already, you should check out these novels that are a fun mashup of literary genres like the Regency novel of manners with more modern genres including steampunk and paranormal romance. The possibilities for fun, fashion, and food-related national incidents are endless! [Wow Media]

The CW has finally announced its cast for their live action adaptation of The Powerpuff Girls! Chloe Bennet has played a superhero before as Daisy Johnson on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. which hopefully prepared her for her new role as the team leader Blossom. Bubbles will be played by Dove Cameron. Cameron should find it easy to call on her past as a child star at the Disney Channel (Liv and Maddie and Descendants) to inform this remake that sets the Utonium sisters in the future as jaded former child superheroes. Rounding out the cast is Yana Perrault as Buttercup, and her work in Broadway’s Jagged Little Pill should fit perfectly with Buttercup’s punk rock rebelious personality. Perrault and Cameron’s past work singing on stage or screen give me hope there might be a musical element to at least an episode or two! [Deadline]

Lola Watson

Lola Watson

I'm a community college professor, nerd, and mom who collects comics, knits, and procrastinates a whole host of other hobbies in my lack of spare time. My research focuses on using technology in the classroom, pop culture, children's literature, and comics.

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