Happy Disney+ day! I say with clenched fist and credit card in hand. To mark the occasion, the streamer made two major announcements about its Marvel shows this weekend, while HBO Max is trying to find a new Dune: The Sisterhood showrunner. In casting news, we’ll check out the star of the next Purge movie and Vincent D’Onofiro’s role in The Eyes of Tammy Faye. Then, we’ll wrap things up with a Westworld season 3 trailer and send you on your way to watch Pedro Pascal be a space man.
Before that, here are a few appetizers:
- In more Star Wars news, Bob Iger has confirmed that Disney+ will continue working on more in-universe shows for the streaming service. For the time being, there are at least three confirmed to be under development.
- On the other end of the streaming spectrum, Apple TV+ continues its volley of announcements with a new workplace/thriller series called Severance. Adam Scott (Parks and Rec) will star as an employee trying to pull his life together after facing trauma, while Ben Stiller (Big Little Lies) joins in an unnamed role. Produced by Endeavor Content, Severance also marks the first series Apple has ordered up.
- Saturday night, Twitter lit up with videos and images of a small bush fire just outside the Warner Bros. lot. The LAFD said that it wasn’t severe enough to cause a formal evacuation, although the lot did vacate the premises as a precaution around 5 that night.
- CJ Entertainment, the studio behind Snowpiercer and Parasite, announced that it’s planning to increase its English-language content. The move to a global market is a huge stepping stone for a company that got its start selling remake rights for its films; only really making a splash with Snowpiercer. CJ Entertainment told Variety that, moving forward, it plans to produce two or three movies annually with budgets between $5 and $50 million.
Two of Disney’s upcoming Marvel shows announce lead writers
Because the money printing nostalgia corp can’t stay out of headlines for more than two days, Disney took the time this weekend to announce lead writers for its She-Hulk and Moon Knight series. Previously announced at SDCC, these are the first formal developments on any of the Marvel shows.
For Jesssica Gao, taking the She-Hulk reigns won’t be the first time she’s written a green, genius scientist. Her most recent claim to fame comes from writing the Emmy winning “Pickle Rick” episode of Rick and Morty, along with a handful of Silicon Valley epsiodes. At first, it seems a bit odd – but the more this idea brines, the better it gets. She-Hulk, AKA Jennifer Walters, has had wide history, eventually moving from meta commentary in the ‘80s to a straight comedy book in the early 2000’s. What’s funnier than a powerful green woman defending you in court, after all? Of course, based on this hiring it’s safe to assume She-Hulk will be the more comedic of the Marvel shows.
Meanwhile, Netflix’s Umbrella Academy writer and developer Jeremy Slater will head up the Moon Knight show – unless Moon Knight gets to him first. The character is known for many things (including one classic meme of him yelling at Dracula), but is probably best recognized for his multiple personalities. And sometimes his connection to the Egyptian god Khonshu. Slater, aside from Umbrella Academy, also worked on 2015’s Fantastic Four, Netflix’s Death Note and TV’s The Exorcist.
Look for these Marvel shows to hit Disney+ checks notes at some point in the future, as both release dates are still TBA.
The next Purge creeps a little closer with its latest casting
Tenoch Huerta (Narcos: Mexico) is geared up to star in the next Purge movie, following a THR exclusive announcement. He’ll be opposite the previously revealed Ana de la Reguera, along with franchise originator and script writer James DeMonaco.
Although viewers in the States may not be familiar with him, Huerta is a proven talent, having been nominated for the Ariel Award five times by Mexico’s Academy of Film. He and Reguera will continue to portray the franchise’s class and race themes, with one key difference. Where previous installments take place in mostly urban settings, THR reports that we’ll be heading somewhere new.
The untitled Purge sequel is also set to be the series’ last. So, as you do every Purge year, star your preparations early. It all ends on July 10, 2020. The flick is produced by Jason Blum, Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form and is a collaboration between Universal, Blumhouse and Platinum Dunes.
Vincent D’Onofrio will give more angry monologues with his The Eyes of Tammy Faye role
Fox Searchlight’s The Eyes of Tammy Faye cast Vincent D’Onofrio as the American Southern Baptist pastor/televangelist Jerry Falwell. He was announced to join the production along with Gabriel Olds, who’s portraying televangelist Pat Robertson and Mark Wystrach, who’s playing country musician Gary Paxton.
Before it was a movie, The Eyes of Tammy Faye was a documentary about the titular evangelist who not only helped build televangelism and Christian theme park Heritage, USA, but also accepted the LGBTQ+ community in the midst of the AIDS epidemic. She and her husband fell into and out of scandal over their lives and, with this movie, tread back into the spotlight. As Falwell, D’Onofrio will prove to be a major contributor to that fall, throwing accusations and denouncements in their faces.
Jessica Chastain, who’s starring and producing, praises Faye, saying “she was truly a woman ahead of her time.” She’s working with Kelly Carmichael from their Freckle Films banner, along MWM Studios and original documentarians Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato.
Dune: The Sisterhood looks for a new showrunner as Jon Spaihts is relocated
Legendary Studios announced this weekend that Dune: The Sisterhood showrunner Jon Spaihts is heading out the door – also marking the first change of this nature for an HBO Max show.
THR reports that, after the June straight-to-series order, Spaihts handed over a draft and an outline. Neither of which were well received by Legendary, hence his ousting, but this doesn’t mark the end of his work on the IP. Legendary, like every other studio with adaptation rights, is planning a huge wave of Dune content including TV shows, video game, comics and two movies. Spaights will continue to work on the second of those films; the first of which is in post-production now and also features a Spaight’s co-writing credit.
It’s set to hit theatres December 18, 2020, with an out of this world cast including Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Dave Bautista, Stellan Skarsgard, Charlotte Rampling, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Zendaya and Oscar Isaac. For those not yet familiar with the franchise-to-be, Dune is a series of sci-fi novels written by Frank Herbert examining the political, religious, ecological and – just about anything else under the sun. The Sisterhood follows the Bene Gesserit, a mysterious group of women with loads of political clout. Beginning in the ‘60s, Dune is also cited as the progenitor for several universes including Star Wars.
Speaking of sci-fi , how about a Westworld trailer?
Okay, so this definitely isn’t the same type of sci-fi as Dune (there actually aren’t any robots in that series at all), but here we are! I haven’t watched Westworld since its first season, so I have to say I’m pretty thrown off by the lack of yeehaws in this trailer. Regardless! It looks like the show is heading more into the modern world as a Mark Zuckerberg type narrates how great your life will be if you give him all your data. There’s even a website you can go to and start off by forking over your email address.
This third season, titled The New World, will air eight episodes, beginning early next year. Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton will continue to star, along with newcomer Aaron Paul.
As Ed mentioned on Friday, I’ve got a Disney+ hole to regretfully crawl into. I don’t know about you, but with the Dawn of X in full swing, I’m very ready to be able to stream every X-Men animated series whenever I want. So, while we wait for those Marvel shows, it’s off to hibernation for me! Ed’s got you covered this Friday with more of the good stuff.