Welcome back to the Studio Coffee Run… and welcome to August!

Apologies if I’ve spent a lot of these introductions talking about streaming services the last couple weeks. It’s hard to believe we’re just three short months away from the launch of Disney+, a streaming service that could seriously disrupt the entertainment landscape. We have a lot of information about the service and what we might see at launch

But what about that Apple TV Plus streaming service that got such a big bells and whistles presentation back in March?

We know that Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell have a new comedy series called The Morning Show, and we’ve seen some footage from it, but that’s not the case with Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories, which Edward Burns is involved with  and was shooting in Atlanta for months with nary a detail beyond that. Steven Knightand Francis Lawrence have a new post-apocalyptic series called See, starring Jason Momoa fresh off the hit Aquaman. The Big Sick creators, Kumail Nanjiani and wife Emily Gordon,have a new series called Little America with Master of Noneco-creator Alan Yang as executive producer. There’s new show from the creators of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, another one from M. Night Shyamalan, and there’s a LOT more names that have been bandied about.

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In other words, lots of titles and series orders but very little in terms of progress reports.

As far as the movie side of things, Apple also bought Jada Pinkett-Smith’s coming-of-age drama Hala out of Sundance, but that’s compared to the many more films that Amazon regularly buys out of festivals for theatrical distribution – The Big Sick was one of those, as was this year’sLate Night.

Apple still hasn’t set an actual date beyond “Fall 2019,” and we have no idea what else this service is going to offer.

The difference between Apple and Disney+ and the upcoming HBO Max is that Apple doesn’t have a preexisting library to draw from, so it might not be as robust when it launches.  Netflix, Amazon and Hulu took a number of years to get going with their original content, but all three services have it down to a science where they’re offering new original content on a monthly or even weekly basis. They had licenses with other studios for movies and series to offer in the meantime.

There’s also been some promise that Apple+ will involve some bundling packages with other services, so will Hulu or Disney+  be part of that or would that be a conflict of interest for what Disney has planned? These are all good questions – why, thank you, Ed! – and hopefully, some of them will get answered soon.

In case you missed it….

DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS Directors…

I’m not sure that making another movie based on the popular role-playing game is a great idea, especially after the 2002 Courtney Solomon movie starring (among others) Marlon Wayans, but Paramount has lined-up Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, co-writers of Spider-Man: Homecoming and directors of the Vacation remake and the underrated comedy Tag last year, to helm it.

Julia Hart’s FAST COLOR is getting a second life…

It’s true. The tiny indie super powers movie that no one saw back in April is being developed as an Amazon Studios series by none other than Viola Davis from Suicide Squad.

The big movie of the week is Universal’s Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw, and that’s likely to be the last big movie of the summer, and I’ve reviewed, interviewed the writer/producer and wrote my usual Box Office Preview about it.

JURASSIC WORLD 3 might not end a trilogy after all…

Jurassic World
Universal Pictures

It’s hard to think that Universal won’t want to continue the “Jurassic Park/World” franchise if Colin Trevorrow’s upcoming Jurassic World 3, set to begin filming next spring for its 2021 summer release, and while talking to Variety (thanks to Jurassic Post), filmmaker Colin Trevorrow would not confirm that what is meant as the third part of a trilogy will be the actual end of the franchise:

“I’m kind of a one movie at a time kind of guy, so my eyes are on this one,” Trevorrow told them at the opening of the Jurasssic World ride. “And it’s a celebration of everything that has existed in the franchise up until now.”

Are you ready for nearly three hours of IT: CHAPTER TWO?

It Chapter two
Warner Bros.

Normally, I wouldn’t put too much newsworthy weight behind the run time for a movie, because let’s face it, all movies are either going to be too long or too short. What’s surprising is that director Andy Muschietti, who had the benefit of telling Stephen King’s novel It across two movies still needs nearly 3 hours – 2 hours and 45 minutes to be somewhat exact – to end the story begun in 2017’s blockbuster horror hit.  Not that it will scare fans away – ha, ha – because as we saw with the three-hours-plus Avengers: Endgame, having a great immersive experience in the theater tends to be worth the high cost of movie tickets…  as long as you remember to go to the bathroom beforehand or know of a good spot for a potty break.

Scripting updates…

Two actors spoke on the progress of sequels they’re involved with, one that will be of more interest than others. Speaking with MTV News,Ansel Elgort told them that he has seen a script for the sequel to Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver and that it has a different title, but he does think it’s going to happen. For those who loved Wright’s 2017 action-comedy, this is a great news, also because it’s the British filmmaker’s most successful film Stateside. Right now, Wright is finishing up Last Night in Soho with Mat Smith, Anya Taylor-Joy, Diana Rigg and Terrence Stamp, which will presumably be released by Focus Features sometime next year.

Then, on his own Instagram channel, actor Vin Diesel showed the title page for the screenplay for Riddick 4: Furya, his fourth teaming with director David Twohy, who first gave Diesel his big break by casting him in 2000’s Pitch Black. There have been two movies since then focused more on his character Riddick, but they’ve generally had diminishing returns with worse reviews, so we’ll have to see if fourth time is the charm to deliver a sci-fi thriller on the par of Pitch Black.

California tax credits announced for SHERLOCK HOLMES 3, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, LAST PURGE and a new James Wan horror movie?

Sherlock Holmes
Warner Bros.

A little insidery, but the tax credits that were approved by the California Tax Commission a couple years ago has meant more movies can actually shoot in Hollywood – you might be surprised how few movies were filming there in the years before this was passed.

Earlier in the week the tax commission announced the movies that would be getting a tax credit and therefore, filming in California soon, some are more surprising than others.

While we knew that Sherlock Holmes 3, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law,would be filming soon with Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher, it’s also receiving a sumly $20.8 million redit to film in California.. so maybe Holmes and Watson are coming to America?

Not as much is known about Warner Bros’ plan to remake the popular ‘50s-horror-movie-inspired musical Little Shop of Horrors with CW’s “Arrowverse” mastermind Greg Berlanti the last director attached to direct it (but that was three years ago!), and Josh Gad was once thought to star… but that was also a long time ago. Warners is getting a $9.6 million credit to shoot that in California, so expect news on that soon.

James Wan
Warner Bros.

Oh, and speaking of filming in California, Aquaman director James Wan looks to knock out an original horror movie before returning to the Atlantean superhero with an “Untitled Atomic Monster Film” among the movies getting a tax credit.

Other movies on the list include the  Russo Brothers’ Cherry, starring Tom Holland; Universal’s The Last Purge, which is getting a $6.4 million credit, which is about half the budget of 2018’s The First Purge; and even another installment of Universal’s American Pie Presents raunchy comedies, this one subtitled, “Girls Rule.”

Did you know there’s a new TOM AND JERRY movie in the works?

Tom and Jerry
Hanna Barbera

It’s true.  Director Tim Story  (Fantastic Four) is directing the live-action-CG hybrid movie for Warner Bros. Animation, and more of the human cast has been announced, although there hasn’t been too much info about who everyone might play or even voice. Previously, it was just Colin Jost from “SNL,” Chloe Moretz and Michael Peña, but they’re now joined by Ken Jeong from the “Hangover” and “Transformers” as “Jackie,” and Rob Delaney(who appears in this week’s Hobbs and Shaw) as “Dubrow.” Also joining the cast are Jordan Bolger and Pallavi Sharda.

As someone who enjoyed the original cartoons, I’m not sure what to think of the plot that’s been released, also via THR: “The new film sees Tom the cat and Jerry Mouse getting kicked out of their home and relocating to a fancy New York hotel. A scrappy hustler named Kayla has taken a job there, but she will lose her employment if she can’t evict Jerry before a high-class wedding at the hotel. Her solution? Hiring piano-playing Tom to get rid of the pesky mouse.”

Wow.

Martin Scorsese’s THE IRISHMAN finally finds its festival home…

Irishman
Netflix

Although Martin Scorsese has made forays into other genres with thrillers like Cape Fearor Shutter Island, he’ll always be best known for his crime films like 1990’s Goodfellas(celebrating it’s 30th anniversary next year, for those who want to feel old!). His new movie The Irishman brings him back into that genre

It’s an even bigger deal because it’s Scorsese’s first movie with Robert De Niro in almost 25 years, as well as his first with Joe Pesci in the same amount of time. It’s also the director’s first movie with Harvey Keitel since 1988’s Last Temptation of Christ . Based on Charles Brandt’s nonfiction book I Heard You Paint Houses, the movie also features Al Pacino and Netflix has been coy about the movie’s content, “The Irishman” was the nickname for mob hitman Frank Sheeran, who was responsible for the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa (played by Pacino), plus it’s based on a book about Sheeran, oh, yeah and the trailer for The Irishman  was just released yesterday, too…

 So yeah, Scorsese is fully back in Goodfellas/Departed/Casino mode with this one, and while the movie is going to eventually stream on Netflix, the streaming giant is also trying to give it more of a awards-friendly theatrical push ala last year’s Roma by two-time Oscar winner Alfonso Cuaron. It’s going to kick off that plan by being the Opening Night Gala Premiere for this year’s New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center.

What’s interesting is that it seems like De Niro is also looking to reteam with Scorsese for his next movie Killers of the Flower Moon, also adapted from a book and based on a true story, but what makes that one even more interesting is that it’s also slated to star Leonardo DiCaprio, who has been Scorsese’s main man since 2002’s Gangs of New YorkAND Leo previously starred in A Boy’s Lifewith Robert De Niro, so it’s gonna be another big reunion for all three. Scorsese was in Tulsa, Oklahoma recently scouting for the movie which would take place there.

Trailers! Trailers! Trailers!

A bunch of trailers came out in the last week, including quite a few horror and genre ones.  One of the shows that I’ve gotten excited about after seeing its Comic-Con coverage is the Amazon Prime series Carnival Row, a Gothic period thriller involving fairies, and Amazon released a second teaser trailer this past week…

Looks like Universal and Blumhouse finally released that trailer for The Hunt I mentioned a few weeks back, too:

Earlier this week, the first trailer for Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse was released, and it looks very different from The VVitch, but equally arty, and you can kind of tell why people were raving about the performances by Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson out of Cannes. Sadly, we’ll have to wait two more months to see it as it’s scheduled for release by A24 on Oct. 18, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it pop up at TIFF or Fantastic Fest.

Another highly-regarded genre film, Lupita Nyong’o’s Little Monsters also got its first Red band trailer, a zombie horror-comedy from Abe Forsythe (Ned) in which the Oscar-winning actress plays a teacher trying to protect a group of children from zombies. It also stars Josh Gad fromFrozenand Alexander England, and it looks like it can be a lot of fun despite coming out on November 15, just one month afterZombieland 2:Double Tap, but just in the UK. Americans may have to wait even longer.

That’s about it for this installment of Studio Coffee Run. I’ll be back next week on Friday morning with more entertainment news but check back on Tuesday for Josh Hilgenberger’s Weekend Wrap-Up.

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