It’s the last Studio Coffee Run, Friday Edition, of 2019, and the last before the Christmas holidays! I’m guessing most people are either watching Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (that’s what I’m doing) or Cats (shudder),

I wish there were more exciting things to report but most of Hollywood has already shut down for the holidays at this point, and there aren’t a ton of things going on … well, except for “Impeachment” stuff and of course, the return of Paramount and Johnny Knoxville’s “Jackass” franchise with a fourth movie on March 5, 2021. I guess that’s the studio’s old standby when Quentin Tarantino decides he might not want to make a “Star Trek” movie after all. 

The Stephen King renaissance continues…

FirestarterAlthough the two-part It remake was pretty successful, other attempts to bring Stephen King’s work to the screen, such as the recent Doctor Sleep, haven’t fared nearly as well. Earlier in the year, there was a remake of Pet Sematary– one of my favorite previous King adaptations other than The Shining – and that’s pretty much been forgotten.

Unheeded by that and the bombing of Black Christmas this past weekend, Blumhouse and Universal are teaming up to adapt King’s 1980 novel Firestarter into a movie, and they’ve found a director. Keith Thomas’ movie The Vigil, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September, might not have been seen by many people yet, but it was seen by the RIGHT people i.e. the people at Blumhouse who came on board on the basis of that film. It’s being written by Scott Teems, who wrote next year’s Halloween sequel.  

The original movie adaptation of Firestarter came out in 1984, and it wasn’t great, but it did star nine-year-old Drew Barrymore shortly after her debut in Steven Spielberg’s E.T. the Extraterrestrial. Could this new movie discover some new, young talent for its lead role? 13-year-old McKenna Grace, who starred in this year’s Annabelle Comes Home and next year’s Ghostbusters might be a good choice if they don’t wait too long on it?

Natalie Dormer looks fierce in PENNY DREADFUL spin-off

Penny Dreadful is one of the many series I’ve never got around to watching, but apparently, creator John Logan had more stories to tell after the gothic horror series’ three seasons on Showtime to come up with Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, which will take place in 1938 Los Angeles. More importantly, it will star Natalie Dormer, best known as Margaery Tyrell on Game of Thronesand from her earlier role as Anne Boleyn on The Tudors, also on Showtime. Clearly, the actor hasn’t taken too long to bounce back from GoT, but she’s always been a fairly busy actor. Oh, and has the first picture of Dormer from the series…

Penny Dreadful

Yorgos Lanthimos may have his next gig…

Hawkline MonsterGreek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos has been amassing quite a strong fanbase over the course of his relatively short career, particularly with his Oscar-nominated movies, The Lobsterand The Favourite last year. People have been waiting patiently to see what he might do next, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, he might try to adapt something that both Hal Ashby and Tim Burton tried but failed to get going. She’s in talks to direct an adaptation of Richard Brautigan’s The Hawkline Monster, as “Gothic Western” published in 1974 and involving gunmen, brothels and other such stuff. Oddly, it’s being produced by Roy Lee of It and Steven Schneider, who produced that Pet’s Sematary remake, so Stephen King’s presence remains alive and well even in news bits not directly about him.

Casting tidbits…

Morfydd Clark
  • Actor Morfydd Clark from HBO’s His Dark Materials (and from one of the new trailers later in this column) has been cast as the “Young Galadriel” in Amazon’s planned Lord of the Rings series, which will apparently be a prequel since the Galadriel in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of Tolkien’s masterwork was played by Cate Blanchett.  The cast currently includes Markella Kavenagh, Joseph Mawle and Maxim Baldry, though none of them are playing characters that have appeared either in the books or the film adaptations. Apparently, Will Poulter has exited the series.
  • Speaking of Stephen King, as I was above (twice!), EPIX is also getting on the King bandwagon by ordering a 10-episode series based on his short story Jerusalem’s Lot, from writers Peter and Jason Vilardi, the former who wrote a two-part Salem’s Lot mini-series for TNT. The casting part of this new bit is that Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody has been cast in the lead role with plans to start filming in May for a fall 2020 premiere. King’s short story first appeared in the 1978 collection, Night Shift, which in itself was published a few years after Salem’s Lot. Oddly, that movie is also being adapted for the screen by It writer Gary Dauberman with James Wan producing.

Trailers! Trailers! Trailers!

  • Over the past few years, A24 has created a pretty solid brand for themselves, partially from their edgy horror films like Robert EggersThe VVitch and Ari Aster’s Hereditary, and this year’s The Lighthouse and Midsommar, from those same two directors. It looks like A24 is trying to breed some new horror talent in writer-director Rose Glass, whose new movie Saint Maud will be released by the studio next Spring. It seems to be a religious horror film with newcomver Morfydd Clark (His Dark Materials) in the title role, as well as Jennifer Ehle. Well, just watch the trailer and see what you think…

  • One crazy horror movie I’ve already seen, back in April at the Tribeca Film Festival, is the directorial debut of Ant Timpson, a mainstay in the horror world best known for producing movies like The ABCS of Deathanthologies, Turbo Kid, The Greasly Stranglerand other such indie weirdness. His film Come to Daddy stars Elijah Wood, as a young man who goes to meet his father who he hasn’t seen since he was a kid after getting a letter, and let’s just say that craziness ensues.


  • One movie I was looking forward to this year before it got delayed to next year is Joe Wright’s suspense thriller adaptation of the novel The Woman in the Window, starring Amy Addams, Gary Oldman,  Anthony Mackie, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Julianne Moore and more. Sadly, it was delayed until next summer, May 15 to be exact, but Fox still has released an early trailer, maybe to get in front of some of the holiday fare.

  • I’ve also been looking forward to Guy Ritchie’s upcoming movie The Gentlemen, which comes out on January 31. I actually really dug his foray into Disney movies with this year’s Aladdin, but The Gentlemen brings the director back to the British ensemble crime-comedies for which he got his name, great movies like Lock, Stock and Two Smokin’ Barrels, Snatch, and even RockNRola. STXfilms released a series of clips introducing some of the characters in the movie, played by the likes of Matthew McConaughey, Hugh Grant, Henry Golding, Michelle Dockery from Downton Abbey, and Charlie Hunnam, which you can check out below.


(There’s a couple more of these but the above is a good taster.)

I never got around to watching the Netflix rom-com hit To all the Boys I Loved Before, because, guess what? I’m not a teenage girl!! Even so, lots of teenage girls (and maybe some creepy older men) watched the movie, which prompted Netflix to make a sequel, calling it To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, and I won’t even watch the trailer, but you can, if you so choose…

  •  Honestly, the trailer for the Focus Features movie Never Rarely Sometimes Always is way more my speed. It’s the new movie from Beach Ratsdirector Elyza Hittman, starring a couple lesser-known actors in Sidney Flanigan and Talia Ryder, and it’s more of a drama about a friendship created between a pregnant teen and her cousin.  It will also premiere at Sundance next month, so we’ll be able to get an early word on how emotional the film gets before it hits theaters on March 13.


I have to admit being a little surprised that Netflix was making a “Fast and Furious” animated series called Fast and Furious: Spy Racers, but I was even more surprised to learn that it was premiering on the streaming service on Dec. 26… next week! To get everyone up to speed, IO9 offered the very first clip from the series, which you can watch here. Obviously, this is something meant for kids and we probably won’t be seeing Vin Diesel or any scantily-clad street racer babes on this show.

That’s it for this week and this year, but hopefully, I’ll be back on January 3 to resume your Friday Edition of Studio Coffee Run!


  1. It’s been known for months now (since March?) that Amazon Prime’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ would be set in the Second Age. They are calling Morfyyd Clark’s character ‘Young Galadriel’, but that’s only relative. She was possibly still over 1000 years old by the time of the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age (though that’s hard to say since this was before the Years of the Sun).

    I’m still thinking that at least some of the roles we’ve learned about are still placeholder names for characters that already exist in Tolkien’s legandarium.

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