Happy Friday Studio Coffee Fans! This last week was a dense one, which means we’ve got a lot of ground to cover. We’ll start off light with the latest teases for Fast 9 and the return of The Walking Dead, then we’ll dive into the Berlin Film Festival’s upcoming slate. Most popular among them (and potentially in the most trouble) is Disney, Pixar’s Onward. Then, a quick round of headlines featuring more Seth Rogen, a new perk for DC Universe subscribers and casting news for the fourth Matrix movie. Finally, we’ve got four trailers to get you excited for all your weekend watching.
Let’s get started!
F9 is fast approaching
— #FastFamily (@FastFamily) January 28, 2020
The Fast Saga reignited the internet this week with a teaser, followed by the announcement that a full trailer would drop today. You can check out Vin Diesel living the dad life with Michelle Rodriguez above – or, if it already dropped, you can scour the internet for the full Fast 9 trailer now.
The Walking Dead drops key art ahead of mid-season premier
Season 10 of The Walking Dead is back on February 23; so, in the meantime, AMC has dropped four pieces of official key art, featuring Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, Danai Gurira as Michonne and Samantha Morton as Alpha.
Berlin Film Festival announces 2020 competition lineup
The 70th annual Berlinale revealed its 2020 slate of films on Wednesday, including the world premiere of Disney Pixar’s Onward (we’ll come back to this one) as well as:
- Alexanderplatz, an adaptation of Alfred Döblin’s 1929 novel, Berlin, Alexanderplatz starring Welket Bungué and Jella Hasse and directed by Burhan Qurbani; The Road Not Taken, from Sally Potter and starring Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning and Salma Hayek.
- Also notably, First Cow, a Kelly Reichardt film, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Eliza Hittman’s abortion drama, Siberia, a Willem Dafoe lead drama from Abel Ferrara, The Woman Who Ran, from Hong Sangsoo and Undine from Christian Petzold.
Jeremy Irons leads the international competition jury this year, which begins on February 20 with My Salinger Year.
Disney, Pixar’s Onward faces legal trouble; producer admits dishonesty
The mouse has a history of escaping legal trouble – but this time may be different. Artist Sweet Cecily Daniher is suing Disney for using one of her design’s in a feature film without her knowledge.
Specifically, Daniher’s piece, called the “Vanicorn,” was recreated in Disney Pixar’s Onward without her knowledge. Daniher, who’s made unicorns a lifelong subject of her art, painted a design featuring one of the mythic creatures on the side of her van (you’ve probably seen it before), complete with “red shag carpeting, red velour walls/seating and a white shag carpet roof.” In the San Fran area where she’s from, the van has become an icon.
That’s likely where Pixar studios heard about it. In 2018, the company requested to feature the “Vanicorn” at a music festival/activity day for employees and their families, specifically noting it “would just be a show piece and not used in any way other than a visual prop.”
Daniher posted the following in May of 2019, realizing that Pixar had been dishonest about its intent for the “Vanicorn.” It was around that time that Onward producer Kori Rae got in touch with Daniher, admitting that Pixar intentionally left out the fact that her design was the basis for what will surely be a hugely successful feature film. Rae told her that when Pixar initially reached out, the film was untitled. With no title, there was no way for the company to draw up an official non-disclosure agreement.
I’m certainly no lawyer – but time will tell if that Onward argument holds up in court, given that Daniher’s legal team points out the van rental contract prohibits photos, video or visual representation for purposes other than the event in question.
Stan Lee’s daughter told her lawsuit is “grossly selfish”
POW! Entertainment is being sued by its co-founder’s daughter, J.C. Lee and its legal team is getting fed up. Lee began the litigation in September, hoping to retain the rights to her father’s I.P. and likeness rights; before he died, Stan Lee attempted the same, claiming the company was attempting to steal his identity following its acquisition by a Hong-Kong based company. He did eventually drop the suit – but J.C. Lee seems to maintain her suspicions. The POW! Entertainment team most recently pointed out that Lee agreed to hand over name and likeness rights six times, making the continued litigation “a gross waste of judicial time and resources.”
DC Universe subscribers grab an unprecedented Birds of Prey perk
DC Universe subscribers will be invited to early screenings of the upcoming Birds of Prey (and the Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). Anyone who’s signed up for the service before today (sorry) and living in the U.S. will be receiving an invite to one of 30 locations on February 4 and 5. It’s only a few days before the film’s February 7 debut, but it’s a unique incentive for a streaming service that’s had a bit of a lukewarm start.
Seth Rogen must be reading a lot of comics
The Preacher producer adds another comic adaptation to his ever-growing list this week with Memetic. Over three issues, the Boom! comic from writer James Tynion IV, artist Erik Donovan, and colorist Adam Guzowski tells the horrifying story of… a meme. Rogen is turning the run into a feature film, with Lionsgate in the final stages to join and The Batman script co-writer Mattson Tomlin along to pen the adaptation.
The Matrix 4 cast adds Priyanka Chopra Jonas
Variety reports that Priyanka Chopra Jonas is heading into final talks for Matrix 4. She tags along with the already announced Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Neil Patrick Harris. The sequel (still technically untitled) is directed by co-creator Lana Wachowski with Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow film.
The Good Place creator is moving on to HBO Max
Mike Schur, creator of The Good Place, is teaming up with Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs and Jen Statsky Broad City for an all new dark comedy for HBO Max. The project follows two women; one a Las Vegas diva and the other, an entitled 25 year-old. Schur and Statsky, who are familiar from their colabs on The Good Place and Parks and Rec, reunite under Universal Television for the untitled series.
Now, a ride on the Pale Horse into trailer land
Amazon is adapting the Agatha Christie novel, The Pale Horse. The story kicks off as Mark Easterbrook (Rufus Sewell) discovers that his name appears in a list, among others, found in the shoe of a dead woman. Weird! Naturally, he begins trying to figure out why, leading him to the show’s title home, rumored to be inhabited by three witches. It’s a certainly spooky time headed to Amazon beginning on March 13.
Blumhouse has the real deal in its Fantasy Island trailer. Based on Gene Levitt’s TV series, the movie features an island getaway where guests’ secret dreams come true and absolutely nothing can go wrong! Maggie Q and Lucy Hale star with Jeff Wadlow directing. Fantasy Island hits theaters this Valentine’s Day.
Netflix dropped the season 2 trailer for Narcos: Mexico; its cartel drama starring Diego Luna as he tries to keep the seams from ripping out of his divided drug empire. He’ll be pitted against Scott McNairy as the DEA agent with … controversial methods. Check it out when Narcos: Mexico hits the ‘Flix on February 13.
Lastly, DreamWorks has a pleasant trailer in the form of The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants special, “Epic Choice O Rama. Following in the legacy of Black Mirror’s “Bandersnatch” episode, this Netflix project gives viewers the unique experience of choosing where the plot goes at various points. That’s available to stream beginning on February 11.
That’s a wrap for this week! I’m out next Tuesday, but you’ll be in good hands with Samantha Puc in the entertainment chair.