The recent resurgence of the Delta strain of COVID-19 is proof that some people needed a reminder that the world can’t just return back to the way things were done before. Tinseltown hasn’t been immune from the latest pandemic development and some productions that thought they could start up again have been delayed yet again.
friday / saturday pic.twitter.com/KYMDvmwzol
— Kathryn VanArendonk (@kvanaren) July 17, 2021
The summer is winding down but we still have some premieres to look forward to like The Green Knight and The Suicide Squad. Hopefully Hollywood will get their COVID protocols back in place and production on new seasons of our favorite shows will start again. Meanwhile, has anyone checked on the cast of Wheel of Time? They started filming Season 2 but we still haven’t seen Season 1 last I checked. Right? Right.
See you in November, Dragonsworn. pic.twitter.com/kYJKpO2SGD
— The Wheel Of Time (@TheWheelOfTime) July 23, 2021
In any case, here’s the entertainment news from this week:
Apparently, there could be a second Tomb Raider. The script isn’t greenlit yet, but let’s be honest it probably will be. Guess I should go watch the first one. (Should I dear readers? Is it worth it?) [Collider]
The latest update on the new Blade is Helmer Bassam Tariq (Mogul Mowgli) being tapped to direct Mahershala Ali as the iconic vampire hunter. Now that the MCU multiverse has been introduced, will we see a Blade crossover eventually? Might be hard to explain vampires to Thor though… [Deadline]
This Palestinian cast is skipping the #CannesFilmFestival after it categorized their film as "Israeli."
In an open letter to Cannes, they said that the film's label as "Israeli" perpetuates the erasure of Palestinian culture and identity. pic.twitter.com/dageR5J85T
— AJ+ (@ajplus) July 18, 2021
Palestinian film Let There Be Morning boycotted the Cannes Film Festival. Their film, based on the work of Palestinian novelist Sayed Kashua, has a majority Palestinian cast yet was labeled as Israeli. The cast wrote an open letter explaining their decision and how this miscategorization contributes to the ongoing erasure of Palestinian culture. [MeMo]
Earlier this week it was announced that rapper Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) would play the jazz legend Thelonious Monk in a new biopic. [Rolling Stone] However by the end of the week, it was revealed that the Monk family did not approve of the film and Bey said he won’t be involved unless they approve. Monk’s son, who controls the estate, has stated, “There is no involvement by anyone in the Monk family with this project, and we actually condemn the effort.” [NME]
Next month the much-anticipated Candyman, directed by Nia DaCosta (and co-written and produced by Jordan Peele) finally premieres. Peele has also just announced his next project will be titled Nope, and will star Get Out‘s Daniel Kaluuya as well as Keke Palmer and Steven Yeun. This will be his third horror feature since Us. [Yahoo]
Dune has a new trailer, heavily featuring Zendaya. It will finally premiere October 22. (Supposedly…)
— DUNE (@dunemovie) July 22, 2021
Production began on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever last month at Ryan Coogler’s Atlanta studio. Michaela Coel has reportedly joined the cast. But as who? No clue. Details are being kept under wraps and Marvel declined to comment. [Variety]
HBO Max is making a Batgirl movie and has cast In the Heights star Leslie Grace as the title character. This makes the third Latina cast in a DC franchise project. [TheWrap]
Big comic creators like Ta-Nehisi Coates are backing up the long lamented story about the lack of recognition or payment for their intellectual property in big productions. Coates said in a Polygon interview that he’s lucky to not depend on comics for a living. His comic peers like Ed Brubaker have long been vocal about the lack of compensation when studios make big bucks off their characters. This article from The Hollywood Reporter brings together these threads and paints a sad picture of how little appreciation comic creators receive while the big studios make money off their ideas. [THR]
Janicza Bravo (Zola, Them, Atlanta) will direct the FX pilot of Kindred, based on Octavia E. Butler’s highly influential novel. Production is set to start in September. [Deadline]
— Reservation Dogs (@RezDogsFXonHulu) July 22, 2021
Reservation Dogs will premiere next month and in advance of its release, there are some great interviews coming out. This article at the High Country News features showrunner Sterlin Harjo and poses the Indigenous TV show as the latest in a new trend of Native self-representation. [HCN]
The Daytime Emmy Award winners were announced. Zac Efron apparently won an award for his super privileged docuseries unironically named Down to Earth… In better news, the Netflix adaptation of Luke Pearson’s Hilda comics won some much-deserved awards! Fingers crossed that means they’ll keep making new seasons instead of canceling after only 3-4 seasons as seems to be the streaming giant’s tendency. [CNN]
Hilda won Daytime Emmy awards in the categories for Outstanding Children’s Animated Series and Outstanding Editing in a Daytime Animated Series! 🏆 Thank you all for your continuous support! 💙#DaytimeEmmys #Emmys #EmmyAwards #Hilda #NetflixFamily @netflixfamily pic.twitter.com/hfV1X2paDA
— Hilda (@hildatheseries) July 19, 2021
Dr. Ian Smith, the former host of The Doctors, has filed an unlawful discrimination complaint against ViacomCBS. After speaking up about issues on the show, including the fact that of the 24 producers only 1 was Black, Smith was fired and replaced. This is the latest in similar suits against TV networks like last year’s Gabrielle Union complaint against her treatment on America’s Got Talent and The Talk‘s Sharon Osbourne being called out for race discrimination. Smith had also reported sexual harassment on the set that was never investigated. Do better Hollywood! His lawyer said they are confident the case will prevail at trial. [The Root]
Archer is still on? Seems so since the new season comes out next month.
— Archer (@archerfxx) July 19, 2021
The latest news about Percy Jackson and the Olympians is promising. They’ve signed on Jon Steinberg and Dan Shotz (Black Sails and Jericho) as showrunners, which bodes well for a high action/adventure take on the series. Both of them apparently have kids who are fans and Riordian reports they’re even more serious than he is about staying true to the books. I was particularly heartened to read that 2 of the 3 writers are women. Read the full update on the author’s website. [RickRiordan.com]
Victoria Alonso, executive VP of film production at Marvel Studios, spilled the beans at the recent NALIP Media Summit. What If? will apparently kick off a Marvel mini studio and branch focusing on animation projects. Alonso calls animation her first love, which bodes well! She was instrumental in gaining Marvel Studios a historic 28 Emmy nominations. Fingers crossed some of the awesome YA comics like The Unstoppable Wasp will be adapted. [Variety]
Unlike some of his costars, Carey Means (voice of Frylock on Aqua Teen Hunger Force) isn't a member of the SGA and can't collect royalties for his roles. He & his wife are struggling to get by and they set up a donation page to afford his SGA application.https://t.co/BYWjZCiy2P
— Jim Whaley (@CatomixComics) July 21, 2021
There is a Go Fund Me campaign for Aqua Teen Hunger Force star Carey Means to afford the application fee to SAG. It’s not news that Means does not get royalties or any residuals from the show. Hopefully joining SAG will help correct this egregious disparity in cast pay. [For background: Forbes]
After the success of Good Omens, another Neil Gaiman creative property has been picked up by Amazon Studios. Anasi Boys will be the next of his books adapted. However, Orlando Jones will not reprise his controversially short-lived role of Anasi from the Starz American Gods. Presumably this change is because the shows are on different networks, but we’re still bummed about it. [io9]
— E. Alex Jung (@e_alexjung) July 21, 2021
Lastly, there’s some awesome news about the latest Lana Condor project. The darling star of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before will star in Take Out. A series by Randall Park about a New York City restaurant worker who secretly fights crime at night. We’re definitely here for this! [THR]
What I’m Watching
Jean Smart was delightful in Hacks on HBOMax and I thoroughly enjoyed the much anticipated Black Widow. After waiting so long I didn’t have high hopes, but it seriously delivered for me. You can read more of my thoughts in the upcoming WWAC roundtable. Up next in my To Watch queue is to finally watch Gunpowder Milkshake while my kids are with their grandparents this week. Fingers crossed its at least as good as Black Widow was! What are you into this summer? What should we watch next?