Welcome back, Studio Coffee Folks! As I’m sure you could tell this week in entertainment is facing coronavirus trouble. What that means here, is we’ll chat about how SXSW, Cannes and CAA are handling the outbreak towards the meat of this week’s column. But, before we get serious, we’ll talk about Taika Waititi taking on Willy Wonka and Scott Derickson‘s post-Doctor Strange plans. Then, we’ll chat corona and move from there onto The Magicians’ series finale, a Stargirl premiere date and some CW casting. We’ll wrap with a small, but exciting tidbit on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2, then see what that team is up to in the meantime.
Let’s get started!
Movie machine Taika Waititi to manufacture Charlie and the Chocolate Factory reimagining
Netflix is taking the next turn with Jojo Rabbit writer/director/actor Taika Waititi. The streamer has him working on two animated event series based on Roald Dahl’s book – both of which, he’s writing, directing and executive producing. THR reports that the first installment will be the standard, focusing in on the world and characters, while the second takes a more specific approach, honing in on the Oompa-Loompas themselves. Details are sparse, but it’s hard not to be curious about the latter of these especially.
This Waititi deal is the first Netflix has made following its 2018 arrangement with the Dahl Estate. It’s also on the hunt for leads on Matilda, The BFG and The Twits. Ideally, one as fitting as Taika, who executives describe as “undeniably Wonka-esque” and “If Dahl had created a character of a filmmaker to adapt his work, I’m pretty sure he would have created Taika.” I can’t say I disagree.
Doctor Strange team plays musical chairs with Sam Raimi on Bermuda
Remember a few weeks back when Sam Raimi was announced to take over for the Doctor Strange sequel? And Scott Derickson announced his departure? Well now it’s clear why, as Derickson teams up with Skydance on Bermuda with Chris Evans to star.
Raimi was originally directing Bermuda with Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers scripting. But, as Derrickson takes over, he and fellow Strange scripter C. Robert Cargill will rewrite the movie that’s been in development since 2013. Notably, no studio is attached yet.
A glance at all the coronavirus news this week
South by Southwest is getting slimmer by the day thanks to coronavirus concerns. Netflix, Amazon and Apple have all announced they’ll be absent from this year’s event, along with Facebook and Twitter. The Austin, Texas event is still set to carry on as scheduled, from March 13-22. That means folks will still be able to check out Rules for Werewolves and The Green Knight as planned.
Netflix was set to show five movies: A Secret Love, L.A. Originals, Mucho Mucho Amor and Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Pyschedlics as well as a #BlackExcellence panel featuring Kenya Barris and Rashida Jones.
Apple, meanwhile misses out on showing its Spike Jones documentary Beastie Boys Story; Central Park, Loren Bouchard’s (Bob’s Burger’s) new animated series, Home and Boys State along with a panel featuring Little America Eps Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon and Joshua Bearman.
Amazon was premiering two shows: Upload, Greg Daniels’ sci-fi show and Tales from the Loop, from Matt Reeves and Nathaniel Halpern.
Like SXSW, Cannes goes on in spite of coronavirus fears. The hosting French government, which temporarily banned a handful of gatherings of 5,000+ attendees, is reportedly in regular contact with the festival organizers. Cannes Film Festival presses forward from May 12-May 23.
CAA is taking its own preventative action, asking agents to hold virtual meetings for the next two weeks at least. Given the recent spike in cases, the agency hopes this policy will help to curb the spread of the aggressive coronavirus. Only travel that’s absolutely essential will meet approval from higher-ups.
The Magicians makes its final bow at SyFy
SyFy’s The Magicians is ending with its current season. I.E., the anticipated April 1 season finale is now doubling as a series finale. TV Insider confirmed the news earlier this week in a statement from EP Sera Gamble, who said that the network was seeming to reach its fill of the show. For that reason, the finale was made from the beginning to act as a terminus. Fellow EP John McNamara adds that, although attempts were made to find a new home, “None of them seemed in the end like a perfect financial or creative fit.”
The Magicians first aired in December of 2015 and is based on the novel by Lev Grossman. It found life on Netflix for the binge-loving crowd and even spawned a handful of comics and graphic novels from BOOM! New episodes of the show’s final season air on Wednesday nights on SyFy.
Stargirl is ready for launch with CW and DC Universe premiere dates
Stargirl is officially set to premiere on May 12. The cable crowd gets it on Tuesdays at 9pm, right after The Flash and, just as the rest of CW’s slate, Stargirl will also be available to stream for free online the morning after episodes debut. So, after the season finale, anyone will be able to binge the whole first season. Meanwhile, if you’re a DCU subscriber, you can watch a day ahead of everyone else. It premieres there on May 11, with new episodes each Monday. There’s also the added bonus there of downloadable 4K Ultra HD goodness, as well as behind-the-scenes footage.
Brec Bassinger stars as Courtney Moore, along with Luke Wilson as Pat Dugan, Anjelika Washington as Doctor Mid-Nite, Yvette Monreal as Wildcat, Cameron Gellman as Hourman and Joel McHale as Starman. Stargirl is showrun by Geoff Johns and Melissa Carter.
CW casting news reveals series regulars on Flash and Walker, Texas Ranger
Brandon KcKnight moves up from Flash guest star to series regular, following three credits on the current season as former scientist turned streamer turned accidental black hole progenitor, Chester P. Runk. Resident Flash-expert Joe Grunenwald (check out his recaps here!) anticipates this is in reaction to a likely departure from Carlos Valdes (Cisco) or Danielle Panabaker (Killer Frost), given her recent pregnancy. Either way, look for more McKnight and Chunk in season seven of The Flash.
In the less cape and cowly end of the CW, casting reveals that Jeff Pierre (Once Upon a Time) will be a series regular on the Walker, Texas Ranger reboot. He joins star Jared Padalecki as Walker, along with Lindsey Morgan as his new partner and one of the first women in Rangers’ history, Micki. Deadline reports that Pierre is taking on the role of Micki’s Army medic boyfriend, Troy Bennett. He’s a good dude, struggling with the transition from deployment back to civilian life.
Runaways artist Kris Anka is working on the next Spider-Verse movie
I can finally talk about what I’m working on next pic.twitter.com/rinsHfrzFG
— kris (@kristaferanka) March 4, 2020
Kris Anka, beloved artist of Runaways and now Black Cat, is moving to the big screen with Spider-ManL Into the Spider-Verse 2, as hinted at in the above tweet. Not much is known about the follow up at this point, although we sure can guess based on Anka’s resume! He’s renowned for his 2014 Spider-Woman design, which appeared in Spider-Verse #2. It’s no secret that the film adaptation doesn’t base much of its plot on any comics aside from a general premise, but if Jessica Drew is going to make her silver screen debut, it only makes sense that she look good doing it. So, rumors suggest he’ll be contributing in the character design department. Unfortunately, we’ve got awhile to wait, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2 doesn’t hit theaters until April of 2022.
What’s the Spider-Verse crew up to in the meantime?
From the makers of Into the Spider-Verse, Sony Pictures Entertainment, comes the tech-wary family flick, Connected. In the modern era of technology, one dad struggles to relate to his cell phone and screen obsessed loved ones. So, as is dad tradition, he mandates a road trip! Though, it’s quickly interrupted by the AI apocalypse that only the notoriously weird Mitchell family can put a stop to. Olivia Colman, Maya Rudolph, Abbi Jackson, Danny McBride and Eric André star in Connected, which hits theaters on September 18.
That’s a wrap for this week! I’ve gotta go check out season 3 of Castlevania (and try not to get coronavirus), but we’ll catch you back here next time!