Hello! Welcome back to Studio Coffee Run – I hope you weren’t expecting your good pal Edward Douglas because he’s busy preparing some even cooler pieces for all of you good folks. In the meantime, I’m here and we’ve got some entertainment news to talk about; it’s been a busy week with Disney Animation announcing four of its latest directors, Michael B. Jordan and Seth Rogen teaming up, Aaron Sorkin’s Trial of the Chicago 7 cast expanding, Pippi getting some new Longstockings and the internet is sweating after the Shadow and Bone cast reveal. Phew.
If that’s not enough, we’ve got a choice selection of trailers with a little something for everyone. But, before we get started with the meaty headlines, please enjoy this latest Birds of Prey promotional poster.
Disney Animation announces four directors for upcoming productions
If, somehow, you haven’t gotten enough Disney news over the past few months, this one’s for you. The animation studio announced a slate of four directors on Tuesday, each set to head up original content. Those folks are “Carlos Lopez Estrada (Blindspotting) and Suzi Yoonessi (Unlovable, Dear Lemon Lima), along with Disney veterans Josie Trinidad and Marc Smith,” per a Variety exclusive.
Most recently, Estrada directed Blindspotting, starring Daveed Diggs as well as “Chapter 21” of Noah Hawley’s Legion, along with several video shorts featuring talents like Father John Misty, Carly Rae Jepson and Billie Eilish.
Yoonessi’s resume, meanwhile includes Unlovable and the Scooby Doo origin story, Daphne and Velma. In 2004, she also headed up Vern, a documentary following the life and legacy of painter Vernon Koski. The film also has a permanent spot in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s collection.
Trinidad has a claim much closer to the Disney vault, having worked in the animation departments of both Wreck it Ralph movies, Tangled and The Princess and the Frog, then worked as a writer for Zootopia.
Smith stands as the senior Disney vet, having worked with the animation studio since 1993. He served as story director for the upcoming Frozen 2, and prior to that made his bones as an intern and eventually working his way up to team leader on films including Pocahontas, Tarzan, Hercules, Fantasia 2000, The Emperor’s New Groove, Chicken Little, Big Hero 6 and Zootopia. So you could say he’s qualified for the job.
Happily, this announcement accompanies Disney’s promise to diversity and inclusion. Disney and Walt Disney Animation’s chief operating officer Jennifer Lee adds in a statement “We are so thrilled to have these four talented artists join our 96-year-old studio as directors and help us build the stories of our future — adventures in completely original worlds, stories from around the globe, and the next generation of musicals.”
Michael B. Jordan, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg partner up with Amazon for a cop drama
Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther, Creed), Seth Rogen (Long Shot, Pineapple Express) and Evan Goldberg (This is the End, Superbad) are all teaming up with Amazon to executive produce a one-hour crime drama called Middle West, per a Variety exclusive.
In a story by executive producers and writers, Alexander Aciman and Julien Martin Hawthorne, two Chicago FBI agents are sent to Gary, Indiana. There, they begin investigating the murder and disappearance of two local police officers, who themselves were working a missing persons case. Steven Caple, Jr., who Jordan worked with on Creed II, is set to direct the drama.
Jordan’s Outlier Society production banner, in collaboration with Rogen, Goldberg and James Weaver and Josh Fagen will all executive produce for their Point Grey Pictures. Middle West is the result of a team up of Amazon Studios and Lisongate Television.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II signs on for Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II jumps from his Aquaman role to a more grounded one as he joins the cast of Aaron Sorkin’s Trial of the Chicago 7. Per a Variety exclusive, this news is welcome to eager audiences patiently waiting for updates of the film’s production after facing budget issues.
Abdul-Mateen, though, is only growing in popularity. Aside from appearance as Black Manta in the DCU, he’s also worked on several notable productions in recent years including The Greatest Showman, The Handmaid’s Tale, Us and Black Mirror. As for the future, the actor is also slated to star in Jordan Peele’s Candyman as well as HBO’s Watchmen.
For this most recently announced role, Abdul-Mateen will star as Black Panther Party co-founder Bobby Seale in a retelling of the Chicago 7’s true story. The group’s 1969 trial faced seven men with conspiracy and inciting to riot following protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago; at the time, its events stirred the entire nation.
Writer/director Sorkin hopes this film will reignite those conversations as he recruits Abdul-Mateen to join a cast including Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jeremy Strong, Frank Langella, Mark Rylance and Joseph Gordon-Levitt and producers Marc Platt, Stuart Besser, Tyler Thompson and Matt Jackson.
The people who brought you Paddington are back for your heartstrings with a Pippi Longstocking movie
StudioCanal and David Heyman’s Heyday Films team up to adapt Astrid Lindgren’s children’s series, Pippi Longstocking. The studios were tapped by the Astrid Lindgren Company following the successes of the beautiful bear movies, Paddington and Paddington 2.
If you’re not familiar with the series, Pippi Longstocking is a series of books originally appearing in 1945 from Swedish author Lindgren. As is evident from the books’ translation into 77 different languages, Pippi’s energy and charisma maintains her relevance today as a staple in children’s literature. Pippi and her iconic fiery pigtails have also already appeared in a handful of TV shows and movies, though this is the first in several years.
Today, Lindgren’s legacy is lived on by her company, which is headed up by granddaughter and CEO Nils Nyman, who’s confident in the studios’ ability to adapt this beloved character: “In David Heyman, with his impressive track record of bringing great literary works to the screen, together with StudioCanal we are confident that we have found a team that can understand and appreciate the full value of Pippi Longstocking and develop films that capture both the playfulness and the gravity in my grandmother’s works.”
Though if you’re in urgent need of a few endorphins courtesy of StudioCanal and Heyday Films, stay strong! The pair is wrapping up work on Secret Garden and has an animated Paddington series underway for Nickelodeon, due to premiere in 2020.
Netflix announces its Shadow and Bone cast and oh no Ben Barnes is the Darkling
Fans of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse fantasy novels were excited to see the casting for Netflix’s TV adaptation, Shadow and Bone – but never would they be prepared for what they’d find out. In a press release, the streamer announced that the series would star Jessie Mei Li (All About Eve) as the main character, Alina, Freddy Carter (Pennyworth) as Kaz Brekker, Archie Renaux (Voyagers) as Malyen Oretsev, Amita Suman (The Outpost) as Inej, Kit Young (Endeavour) as Jesper Fahey and certifiable snack Ben Barnes (Westworld) as General Kirigan, A.K.A., the Darkling, A.K.A., a very abusive character who holds power over Alina throughout Shadow and Bone.
That said, the Grishaverse fandom is having a Time with this Shadow and Bone news, so you’re sure to come across some top tier memes if you do some digging.
Back on the production side of things, Bardugo is working with producer Eric Heisserer (Bird Box, Arrival) and director Lee Toland Krieger to bring her world to small screens. The books which the TV series draws from, Shadow and Bond and Six of Crows, will be combined into one story for an eight episode season. For the time being, Shadow and Bone’s release date is unknown.
And now, all the trailers you could possibly want
The Gentleman trailer depicts what’s being called “a very British drug lord” and if that character doesn’t sell you on this movie, I don’t know what will. Oh, wait I do know what will and it is the cast of The Gentleman. It stars Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong, Colin Farrell, Henry Golding and Hugh Grant. The also very British Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes, Aladdin, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) writes and directs this 2020 flick.
The caption for this trailer on YouTube is “Ryan Reynolds, Michael Bay and a metric f💥ck-load of dynamite,” and I personally think that sums this trailer up fairly well. In 6 Underground, Reynolds is some sort of loose cannon, joined by five of his pals who all use the fact that they’ve been declared dead to stick it to the man. It hits Netflix on December 13.
Now for something on the total opposite side of the tonal spectrum. Also from Netflix, I Lost My Body is a trippy, poetic animated ride involving the reunification of a pizza guy, his hand and his lost love. As you can see in the trailer, this Jérémy Clapin directed flick swept up awards at Cannes and Annecy both. It’s also notable that Netflix is giving I Lost My Body a short run in theaters beginning on November 15 before stowing it away in streaming exclusivity on the 29th.
Our resident Flash expert, Joe Grunenwald says that although there isn’t too much new info in this trailer for the show’s upcoming sixth season, there is a quick look at Killer Frost’s new costume, which is definitely worth the watch. Flash returns to the CW on October 8.
I don’t know about you, but it’s high time that I started perusing all the latest New York Comic Con coverage – so that’s all I’ve got for you this week! As always, I’ll see you back here on Tuesday with the latest entertainment news from this beautifully nerdy weekend. And don’t forget to send good vibes to all the Shadow and Bone fans out there.