Welcome back to the Friday Edition of Studio Coffee Run!

Switching places with Josh Hilgenberg has left me with all sorts of feels, but now that I’m back on my regular day of the week, and I’m feeling so much better.

Before we get to the regular slew of news, I’ll actually be surprised if anyone is reading this, because earlier in the week, the BBC released 16,000 sound FX from its absolutely massive sound FX library to download for free non-commercial use. If you ever wanted to deep-dive into some terrific sound FX recorded on location by the BBC’s master engineers over the decades … well, let me just warn you right now that you might want to read the rest of today’s Studio Coffee Run first, because you won’t be able to escape once you click ON THIS LINK.

In case you missed it…

Oh, back from exploring the BBC sound FX library already? Welcome back!

It’s been a busy news week as agencies and studios try to get deals closed and contracts signed before the holiday break. The news I’m most excited to hear that Michael Chabon’s  novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Claymight finally make its way to the screen, courtesy of Showtime, after Chabon and his wife and fellow author, Ayelet Waldman, signed a deal with CBS Studios. This is such an exceptional book set in the early comic book industry that Chabon has been trying to get made into something for decades, and we might see this series next year!

Less of a surprise this week was that Marvel Television was closing down shop as Marvel Studios takes over the television production division of the company. After all, Jeph Loeb stepped down a few weeks back, with Kevin Feige being given more overall power as the company’s new Chief Creative Officer.

But will it be called “Home Aloner”?

Home Alone
Netflix / Fox Searchlight / Channel 4

You might have already heard that Disney+ has been plotting a remake of the 1990 holiday classic Home Alone, which may explain why the original movie and its sequel are some of the few non-“Star Wars” movies from 20th Century Fox that can be watched on the streaming service. Looks like this is moving forward with some casting announced this week. The movie will be directed by Dan Mazer (Dirty Grandpa) with a script by Mikey Day and Streeter Seidell, both from Saturday Night Live. Archie Yates, one of the young breakout stars of Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit (just to keep the “Taika-nator” in the SCR mix), is joining the cast in the supporting role aka not the one previously played by Macauley Culkin. Also joining the cast are comedian Rob Delaney (Catastrophe) and Ellie Kemper from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and The Office.

Honestly, I haven’t watched enough of Disney+’s original movies to start analyzing their quality just yet, but the streaming division has only been around for a month now, and it seems to be offering enough new and old content that maybe a Home Aloneremake will be given a chance.  (At least it won’t have to worry about suffering the same box office fate as other attempted remakes.)

Sir Paul still has the gift… to make $$$!

High in the Clouds
Dutton Juvenile

No, you will never find me being the one to discount the incredible musical talent of Sir Paul McCartney, but you gotta be a little amused by how lucky the guy is whenever he ventures into new territory. Take for instance his 2005 illustrated children’s book High in the Clouds, which got a lot more attention than most children’s books – there are a LOT published every year – due to his celebrity. (Honesty in reporting: I haven’t read it.) This past week, it was announced that no-less than Netflix has picked up the rights to turn Sir Paul’s book into an animated feature along with Gaumont, the production company behind last year’s The Star. The movie will be helmed by The Star’s Timothy Reckart and adapted by Paddington writer Jon Croker with McCartney on board as producer AND providing original songs and music.

The book and movie is about “An imaginative teenage squirrel named Wirral finds himself pulled into a ramshackle gang of teenage rebels who live high in the clouds after he accidentally antagonizes Gretsch the owl, the tyrannical leader (and fabulous singer!), who steals the voice of anyone who upstages her.”

Now imagine that accompanied by McCartney-esque ditties…

Maybe Ethan Hawke hasn’t purged as much as we thought…

The Purge

On Tuesday, USA will air the season finale of the second season of The Purge, and surprise, surprise, actor Ethan Hawke, who starred in the very first The Purgemovie in 2013 will be returning for an appearance. He will indeed be reprising his role as security system salesman James Sandin in a flashback that takes place before the first national Purge Night, in which (ironically) his character was killed in that first movie. I’m probably a bigger fan of Hawke than I am of The Purgeseries – it’s had its ups and downs – but it’s interesting that they found a way to bring him back, and he was willing to do so.

Casting tidbits…

  • Jonathan Groff
    Toby Onmuwere

    A few days ago, Warner Bros. announced a release date for Lana Wachowski’s “Untitled Matrix Sequel,” coming out on May 21, 2021 – the former date previously set for Taika Waiti’s Akira  just to keep the director in the SCR mix. Wachowski continues to cast the film with Jonathan Gruff from Mindhunter joining the movie, according to my old boss Jeff Sneider at Collider.  (Going by that picture at left, he does look a lot like an Agent, huh?) The movie is also being joined by Toby Onwumere, who starred in Wachowski’s Netflix series Sense8, as well as the Fox series Empire. Since the movie is surrounded pretty heavily in secrecy (for rightful reasons), we’ll have to wait and see who the two actors play.

  • Pierce Brosnan
    Universal Pictures

    Anyone who has been wondering what Daniel Craig might do once he’s done playing James Bond next year can readily look at the post-Bond career of Pierce Brosnan, the previous 007, as he’s navigated his career in a variety of big and small films.  Brosnan is now joining the cast of Pitch Perfect writer Kay Cannon’s musical Cinderella movie for Sony Pictures (not for Disney, oddly) as the King. Pose star Billy Porter and Idina Menzel from Disney’s “Frozen” movies are already part of the cast. Now, I love Brosnan as much as any Bond fan would, but I saw the musical movie Mamma Mia!, and I remember the reaction in the audience when Brosnan opened his mouth to sing, and let me just say that “pitch perfect” is NOT how I would describe his singing voice.

Trailers! Trailers! Trailers!

  • Maybe it’s a little ironic that in the same week we get massive sound FX library, we also get a Red Band trailer for Sony Pictures’ seriously R-rated The Grudge movie, which will be hitting theaters in just three short weeks. I’m pretty psyched for this iteration of the Japanese horror series, since I loved the premise from the 2002 original more than I loved the Americanized 2004 version or its sequels. The new one is directed by Nicolas Pesce, whose movies Eyes of My Motherand Piercingare both pretty horrifying. This new “trailer” actually takes a similar approach as New Line did with It: Chapter Twoby showing a fairly lengthy scene featuring the amazing Lin Shaye (Insidious) plus we also see Jon Cho (Searching) recreate the famous “hand in the shower” scene. Advance Warning: This trailer might give you nightmares.

  • Another 2020 horror movie I’m looking forward to is Fox Searchlight’s Antlers, directed by Scott Cooper (Black Mass) and produced by Guillermo del Toro, based on Nick Antosca’s short story “The Quiet Boy.” The final trailer was released this past week, and it looks like del Toro will continue his fantastic track record for horror with this one’s Native American mythological back story. Hopefully, these two movies are a sign that we’ll get better horror in 2020.

  • Focus Features is also back in the thriller game with its first trailer for Promising Young Woman. I’m going to hazard a guess that this trailer will definitely be in front of Black Christmas this weekend, since it’s a #MeToo revenge thriller starring Carey Mulligan as a woman who pretends to be sloshed to get men to try and take advantage of her. It’s directed by Emerald Fennell, producer of BBC’s excellent Killing Eve series, and it’ll hit theaters on April 17.

  • We’re just a week away from the launch of Netflix’s new The Witcher series, starring Henry Cavill. I haven’t played the games or read any of the comics, but the series has a pretty big epic fantasy feel like the Tolkien and C.S. Lewis books/movies that I love, so I’ll definitely be giving it a look. Netflix released the final trailer and a few featurettes this past week:

  • Not sold on The Witcher yet? Okay, then, how about three featurettes introducing three of the series’ new characters?

  • I love a good British crime-thriller, and while Ron Scalpello’s The Corrupted, starring Timothy Spall and Sam Claflin, was released in the UK earlier in the year, it’s finally hitting U.S. theaters on January 10, 2020 thanks to Saban Films, and it looks pretty cool.

  • Also, despite me being a life-long New Yorker, I love on the Lower East Side, which is about as far away from Washington Heights as you can get on the island of Manhattan. Even so, I’m pretty thrilled by the first trailer for Jon Chu’s In the Heights movie, based on Lin Manuel Miranda’s pre-Hamilton musical. You can watch that trailer and read more about the movie from a launch event RIGHT HERE.
  • Oh, and remember last year when the internet was pressuring the band Weezer to cover the lame ‘80s song “Africa” by Toto, and they did it, and it then became one of the band’s biggest hit in decades? It looks like that song will not go away anytime soon, as someone with too much time on their hands, decided to add it to a Baby Yoda scene from The Mandalorian. WHY!?!?

That’s it for this week, but I’ll be back next Friday for one last Studio Coffee Run for 2019, and then a much-needed hibernation until 2020, but don’t worry, I’ll be writing lots of other stuff in the meantime, and Josh will be back on Tuesday, per usual.