We’re back with another LWE and this week we have a ton of casting and upcoming productions news, some questionable Hollywood practices, and interesting developments in the industry.
Fourteen South Park movies are going to premier on Paramount+ sometime in the next decade, as creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have signed a deal with MTV Entertainment Studios to release two of them each year, starting with this one. The deal is worth $900 million, because apparently we needed more of this 24-season show. [The Hollywood Reporter]
— #Venom: Let There Be Carnage (@VenomMovie) August 2, 2021
Rachel True (The Craft) has landed a starring role in The Last Call, a new supernatural thriller directed by Mike Sargent and written by Mike Kuciak. The film will be produced by Alt House Productions in partnership with PFG Films, and is about a documentary filmmaker (True) who investigates a mass suicide by a cult after being contacted by some survivors. Bruce Davison (X-Men, Longtime Companion) will play the cult leader and Keith David (The Thing, They Live) a former colleague of the founder. Really exciting to see True nab a lead role after the treatment she’s gotten in the past. [Variety]
Xolo Maridueña (Cobra Kai) is in talks to play Jaime Reyes in the highly-anticipated Blue Beetle film, DC’s first solo outing centered on a Latine superhero. The movie will be directed by Angel Manuel Soto (Charm City Kings), with the script by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer (Miss Bala, Scarface). [The Hollywood Reporter]
— David Opie (@DavidOpie) August 5, 2021
Disney+ has announced plans for The Bad Batch to return for Season 2 in 2022. [Star Wars]
A genderbent remake of 1988’s Cronenberg classic, Dead Ringers, is in development and has so far cast Rachel Weisz in the lead role as the twin doctors and actors Poppy Liu (Hacks) and Michael Chernus (Orange Is the New Black) as the doctors’ house manager and fellow scientist, respectively. The Amazon series is being produced in conjunction with Annapurna Television and Morgan Creek. [Variety]
Amazon has also released a a first-look image of the Lord of the Rings series, as well as announced a debut date of September 2, 2022. Not much is known about the show so far, but it’s set in the fantasy world’s “Second Age,” thousands of years before the events of both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy . [Variety]
— adult swim (@adultswim) August 4, 2021
Yayyy, Tuca and Bertie is coming back for a Season 3! Thank you, adult swim.
Following on Scarlett Johansson’s heels, Gerard Butler is the latest to sue a studio for alleged wage theft. [The Hollywood Reporter]
A24’s The Green Knight was finally released in theaters after several delays due to the pandemic, and those critics have given it rave reviews. Star Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire, Lion) has come a long way from his days as Anwar Kharral on E4’s Skins; Patel discussed the impact of brutal (and, frankly, racist) comments from fans of the show back then, as well as his reluctance to work with major studios again after the debacle of the A:tLA movie that shall not be named in this profile by the [NYT].
As part of its 35th anniversary celebration, 1986’s Transformers: The Movie will be returning to U.S. theaters in late September. The screenings are being organized by Fathom events in conjunction with Hasbro, and it sounds like a good time but who knows where we’ll be in terms of indoor events by then, with all the COVID variants floating around. Let’s hope at least some of those screenings are held outdoors, though I’m not holding my breath. [CB]
Broadway is back and has already opened some shows, but has announced tougher restrictions on cast, crew, and audience members. The Broadway League (the national trade association for the all NYC Broadway theatre owners) and the Actors’ Equity Association (the union of actors and stage managers) has agreed to mandate vaccines for all workers on Broadway, and theatre-goers will be required to show proof of full COVID vaccination (at least 14 days after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine, or at least 14 days after a single-dose vaccine) before being allowed to enter a show. This policy will be in place at least through to October 31, and will be reviewed for future dates in September. As long as stakeholders believe the show really must go on, this seems to be a good step toward mitigating risk. The fine print, however, is that children under 12 and “people with a medical condition or closely held religious belief that prevents vaccination” will be exceptions, required instead to provide proof of either a negative PCR test from within 72 hours of the performance start time or a negative antigen test from 6 hours before the start time. [Deadline]
Not So Great
io9 editor Jill Pantozzi wrote about how Hollywood’s rush to “go back to normal” by ending pandemic adaptations—like making digital screeners more available to critics—comes at the expense of the more diverse pool of film and entertainment journalists that can be expanded when the ability to attend theatrical screenings is no longer a barrier to pitching coverage. A very important discussion of accessibility to disabled critics and others with life circumstances that would be accommodated by the proliferation rather than restriction of digital screeners (and subtitles!). [Variety]
Speaking of inclusion and exclusion, [Ms. Magazine] has a write-up of the ways Hollywood’s representation of disabled people, including and especially autistic people, has failed those depicted more often than not, often trafficking in tired tropes and demonization, as well as casting non-disabled actors in those roles. It’s well worth a read to the end, where the impact of stereotypical representations is discussed, as well as what needs to change.
Mike Richards, who is a frontrunner to replace Alex Trebek as the new Jeopardy! host, has a long history of [TW] harassment and discrimination detailed by [The Daily Beast].
Marcia Nasatir, who became the first female vice president of production at a major Hollywood studio in 1974 and helped develop classics like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Carrie, Apocalypse Now, and Rocky. has died at 95. [Variety]