The industry’s trends show up in force this week, as streamers and adaptations steal the show. Of course, Sundance Film Festival is ongoing this week, too, so we’ve got a handful of announcements there as well. First, we’ll get the Marvel headlines out of the way with M.O.D.O.K. and Captain Marvel updates. Then, while we’re at it, we’ll begin the comic-related news in earnest with Fear Agent jumping over to Amazon and DMZ digging in at HBO Max. Then, we’ll hit a few more smaller pieces and send you on your way with three tantalizing trailers. Let’s get started!
Marvel announces M.O.D.O.K. casting and character descriptions
- Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. announced its full cast of voice actors this week, including Patton Oswalt (A.P. Bio) as the Mental Organism himself. The adult animated series also brings together Aimee Garcia (Lucifer), Ben Schwartz (Parks and Rec), Melissa Gumero (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs), Beck Bennet (Saturday Night Live), Jon Daly (The Kroll Show) and Sam Richardson (Veep). Taimur Dar has the full scoop here.
Captain Marvel 2 is officially in development, bringing a WandaVision writer along for the ride
- Marvel also confirmed this week that the sequel to Captain Marvel is happening (no real surprise there). Notably, though, is the announcement that WandaVision staff writer Megan McDonnell has been tapped to write the script. She’ll be filling part of the hole left by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, who co-wrote and directed Brie Larson’s first outing. No director is confirmed as of yet, though the brass is looking for a female director. Marvel hopes to launch Captain Marvel 2 in 2022.
The Fear Agent takes his next mission to Amazon
Fear Agents is heading to Amazon with the help of Seth Rogen, Matt Tolmach and David F. Sandberg. The original comic, published by both Image and Dark Horse, is a sci-fi/action story written by Rick Remender with artists Tony Moore and Jerome Opena alternating arcs.
The team behind the scenes is one already well seasoned in the comics-to-screen world. Rogen, who’s exec producing here, was also in on the ground floor for Preacher and The Boys, while Mattson Tomlin, fresh off of co-writing Matt Reeves’ The Batman, will be scripting the pilot and fellow DCU alum/Shazam! director Sandberg rights the ship as EP.
This occasion also marks a continued trend for Remender, as the writer also signed a three-year overall deal with Fear Agent producer Sony Pictures Television. Now on board for this show, as well as showrunning Syfy’s Deadly Class (another of his comic adaptations), he seems to be trying to cement himself in the industry. Given how many comic adaptations we’re seeing these days, that’s probably not a bad idea.
Pose creator to develop more projects for FX
- Following critical acclaim for Pose, co-creator Steven Canals has signed on for more of the Peabody-winning drama and inked an overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. According to 20th’s President of Creative Affairs Carolyn Cassidy, Canals’ voice is one the network “is always looking for.” With the pile of Emmys and Golden Globes his first show has accrued, it’s not hard to see why. Pose season 3 returns later this year.
Ava DuVernay brings the DMZ to HBO Max
In yet more comic book adaptation news, HBO Max announced that Ava DuVernay will be adapting the Vertigo comic DMZ with Rosario Dawson in the lead role and Robert Patino writing and showrunning. Brian Wood’s scripts and Richard Burchielli’s art brought DMZ to comics stands from 2005-2012.
DMZ takes place shortly after a second North American civil war, resulting in Manhattan becoming the eponymous location of the comic. Medic and mother Alma Ortego (Dawson) must ward off the city’s gangs, militias, demagogues and warlords as she tries to save her son – and anyone else she finds along the way.
For DuVernay and Dawson both, this production marks their continued work with Warner Bros.’ DC properties as DuVernay continues work on her New Gods movie and Dawson’s resume marks quite a few appearances as the voice of Wonder Woman.
HBO Max is not to be left behind in the animated push either
- In an extremely timely announcement, the U.K. royalty is being parodied as The Prince nabs a straight-to-series order from HBO Max. Billed as an animated satire, the show is based on Gary Janetti’s (Family Guy) Instagram account which (lazily) pokes fun at the royal couple from the perspective of their son, George. On the casting side, we’ve got Orlando Bloom (Prince Henry), Condola Rashad (Meghan Markle), Lucy Punch (Kate Middleton), Tom Hollander (Prince Philip/Prince Charles), Alan Cumming (George’s butler, Owen), Frances De La Tour (Queen Elizabeth) and Iwan Rheon (Prince William).
Kristen Stewart’s Happiest Season rounds out its cast
- Happiest Season, the Kristen Stewart-lead upcoming rom/com, adds five to its cast this week, including Mary Steenburgen, Victor Garber, Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza and Dan Levy. The script, co-written by Clea DuVall, puts Stewart in an awkward position. She’s at her girlfriend’s (Mackenzie Davis) family holiday party and has a proposal planned for the occasion – but she finds out that her potential in-laws have no idea their daughter is gay. See how Stewart handles the conservative couple when Happiest Season hits theaters November 20 from TriStar Pictures.
Speaking of Alison Brie, let’s see what else she’s up to
Sarah is your normal horse girl. She’s awkward, she loves supernatural crime dramas – and she has increasingly weird lucid dreams! Alison Brie stars in the Netflix original that looks at first fun and then – then actually just spooky. Brie helped write the script along with Jeff Baena (Life After Beth). Horse Girl premieres at Sundance on January 27 and has a quick streaming turnaround, hitting home audiences on February 7.
The week in movie trailers must have just been vibing for movies that appear to be nice, but are really thrillers in disguise. Vivarium hit Cannes Film Festival last year and follows a young couple (Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots) who are just going house hunting! That’s all! They find themselves visiting a development that’s not quite what they’re looking for; they go to leave and find out they’re trapped until they successfully raise a little boy. If you’re looking for themes of suburban entrapment, I think I found all of them. Vivarium is directed by Lorcan Finnegan and has no state-side release date as of yet.
And one more Netflix original; The Last Thing He Wanted, starring Anne Hathaway, Willem Dafoe and Ben Affleck. Dee Rees directs this novel adaptation, following a D.C. journalist (Hathaway) as her father (Dafoe) manipulates her into brokering the very arms deal she’s trying to report on. Whoops! Like Horse Girl, The Last Thing He Wanted hits Netflix soon; February 21.
That’s all we’ve got for you this week!