Happy Friday and welcome back to another Studio Coffee Run; we’ve got news on a Tank Girl reboot, a Jurassic World short film and, because of course, some more Disney+ news. In case you haven’t noticed already, your favorite entertainment maestro Edward Douglas is AFK – but you’re in good hands – probably. Absence aside, this week was a busy one. While Apple hosted its eponymous event and detailed prices and release dates, the filmmakers behind Freaks cemented their next plans, Amma Asante was signed on to direct an FX series and the Discworld adaptation found its lead. And, of course, a handful of trailers to finish out on.
Before we dive in though, some small headlines with a big focus on casting.
- HBO and BBC have finally announced the release date for His Dark Materials. The show will adapt all three Philip Pullman books over two seasons with eight episodes each. It all begins on November 3 on the BBC and 4 on HBO, with subsequent episodes premiering weekly. The series stars Dafne Keen as Lyra.
- Stephen King announced several cast members for the CBS All Access adaptation of The Stand, including Jovan Adepo (The Leftovers) as Larry Underwood, Owen Teague (Bloodline) as Harold Lauder, Brad William Henke (Orange Is the New Black) as Tom Cullen, and Daniel Sunjata (Rescue Me) as Cobb and, most recently, Alexander Skarsgard (Big Little Lies) as Mr. Randall Flag, A.K.A. The Man in Black. King has also confirmed that the series’ finale will be written by him, accompanied by an all-new coda that was absent from the original book.
- More rumblings in the Umbrella Academy reveal three more cast members for the upcoming second season. Ritu Arya will play the chameleon-like Lila, Yusuf Gatewood joins up as the clever charmer, Raymond and Marin Ireland is cast as Sissy, who’s a tough-as-nails Texan mom.
- Orange is the New Black standout, Uzo Aduba will take a lead role in the upcoming season of FX’s Fargo. The two time Emmy Award winner’s latest casting is being kept tightly under wraps for the time being, though she is set to work with Chris Rock, Jack Huston, Jason Schwartzman, Ben Whishaw, Jessie Buckley, Salvatore Esposito, Andrew Bird, Jeremie Harris, Gaetano Bruon, Anji White, Francesco Acquaroli, Emyri Crutchfield, and Amber Midthunder.
- Mindy Kaling’s next comedy takes a few steps further in production following a title announcement and the addition of John McEnroe as a narrator. The Netflix exclusive, Never Have I Ever, follows Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as a first-generation Indian American named Devi.
Before we head into our main portion and this first headline; you may want to throw your credit in a lock box. Fair warning.
Disney+ is coming after your big nerdy nostalgia; includes all your favorite cape and cowl cartoons
If you have not yet already regretfully decided to shell out the $7 a month to Disney for its MCU content, we have bad news for your strong will. The streaming service will be holding captive Marvel’s classic cartoons as well, including X-Men ‘92, Spider-Man ‘94, Spider-Woman ‘79, Spider-Man ‘81, Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, Iron Man ‘94, Fantastic Four ‘94, Incredible Hulk, Silver Surfer, and Spider-Man Unlimited.
The news comes from the Disney+ Updates (@moredisneyplus) Twitter account, with help from another Twitter user, @gjkooijman. There is a chink in this near-irresistible armor, however. Both sources note that the available shows may vary from country to country and that, although the original X-Men cartoon is listed, X-Men Evolution is not.
Disney+ will have classic Marvel animated series like X-Men ‘92, Spider-Man ‘94, Spider-Woman ‘79, Spider-Man ‘81, Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, Iron Man ‘94, Fantastic Four ‘94, Incredible Hulk, Silver Surfer, and Spider-Man Unlimited. pic.twitter.com/Yzj3DiZtwg
— Disney+ Updates (@moredisneyplus) September 12, 2019
Margot Robbie is locked and loaded for a Tank Girl production
Margot Robbie is maintaining a full schedule as the announcement comes in that she’ll be rebooting and recreating a Tank Girl movie, per Collider. Robbie is planning to produce under her own LuckyChap Entertainment and will be working with Dreamland director Miles Joris-Peyrafitte.
Tank Girl was originally a comic published by Dark Horse in 1988 by writer Alan Martin and artist Jamie Hewlett. This isn’t the first jump to film for the comic. Notably, the 1995 movie adaptation is helmed by Rachel Talalay, a director who would lead the charge for women in the action genre.
Tank Girl follows one girl, her tank, and her adventures in a post-apocalyptic world with her boyfriend and their mutant kangaroo, because Australia. Our titular tank girl, Rebecca Buck, is a nomad who will likely be played by Robbie, pending her thoughts on the script. The news of Robbie’s acquisition first hit the internet with a tweet from Martin, who also notes that he hasn’t been directly contacted to consult.
Just heard that Margot Robbie's company have optioned rights from MGM to make a new Tank Girl movie – now several months into development. We haven't been contacted by any of the parties involved with the project, so not sure if there will be any input from the original creators. pic.twitter.com/7RxbV4qLFt
— Alan Martin (@AlienMartian23) September 9, 2019
The Freaks team lines up its next project with Universal
Adam B. Stein and Zach Lipovsky, the flimmakers who brought you Freaks, have their sights set on their next film; an adventure flick called Outside the Box. The film will bring families together with fantasy elements which fans of Spielberg’s Amblin banner may find familiar. Stein and Lipovsky are set to write and direct Outside the Box.
Universal acquired the movie in the aftermath of a bidding war earlier this week. For this creative duo, that’s becoming a bit of a trend as Freaks was just as hot a commodity at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, getting caught up itself in a back and forth between eager studios. Also like Outside the Box, the Emile Hirsch led Freaks garnered comparisons to Spielberg’s early work and went on to pick up a handful of awards. And! We also ran an interview with the cast, which you can check out here.
Colin Trevorrow filmed a Jurassic World short film beneath our noses
On Tuesday, the sneak devil of a director behind the Jurassic World films Colin Trevorrow teased followers with the Battle at Big Rock poster. The short film will be a spin-off of pop culture’s second favorite dino franchise (still holding a candle for The Land Before Time). The film will premiere on FX this Sunday, September 15, followed by an immediate online release.
Battle at Big Rock stars André Holland (Moonlight), Natalie Martinez (The Crossing), Melody Hurd (Trick), and Pierson Salvador (Gotham). To help write the short film, Trevorrow called in his Jurassic World 3 cohort, Emily Carmichael.
Though no one is sure quite yet where in the timeline Battle at Big Rock takes place – that’s probably for a reason. We can surmise from the poster, some in-world assumptions, and the presence of two child actors that the premiere will see a family camping trip spiced up with a few hungry velociraptors. For a refresher, FX will air Jurassic World at 7:30pm E.T., right before Battle.
“These creatures were here before us. And if we’re not careful, they’ll be here after.” pic.twitter.com/RYXDSbrOQ0
— Colin Trevorrow (@colintrevorrow) September 10, 2019
FX’s Mrs. America brings BAFTA-winning director Amma Asante on to handle two episodes
Amma Asante, the BAFTA-wining British director, has confirmed that she’ll be lending her talents to two episodes of FX’s upcoming series, Mrs. America. Asante is one of many big names on the production, as stars include Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth Banks, Uzo Aduba, Rose Byrne, Kayli Carter, Ari Graynor, Melanie Lynskey, James Marsden, Margo Martindale, Sarah Paulson, John Slattery, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Tracey Ullman.
Over nine episodes, the limited series will explore the ripples surrounding the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. The show acknowledges the fact that, although there were swathes of women who lead this movement like Schlafly and second-wave feminists Gloria Steinem (Byrne), Betty Friedan (Ullman), Shirley Chisholm (Aduba), Bella Abzug (Martindale) and Jill Ruckelshaus (Banks), there were also women who opposed it, namely conservative Phyllis Schlafly (Blanchett).
Asante is known for her work on A Way of Life, then with Belle, a film which turns a light onto discrimination in 18th century England and later with A United Kingdom, a true story of the secret romance between an African royal and a white British woman. She’s also set to direct the upcoming Cold War thriller The Billion Dollar Spy.
Richard Dormer is turning in his eyepatch for a badge for his Discworld role
Richard Dormer, who played Sir Eyepatch of the Fire Sword in Game of Thrones (love you Beric!) is set to star in the adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. The upcoming BBC America show will the titled The Watch, as it focuses on the novels’ “City Watch.”
Dormer plays the captain of said Watch, Sam Vimes. In his city, Ankh-Morpork, crime has been legalized – but he and others take it upon themselves to bring order back to the city. It’s up to Sam and his shambles of a department to clear corruption out and bring the peace back.
Dormer adds “I’m so thrilled to be part of this brilliant madness and mayhem. I was immediately drawn to the multitude of layers to Sam Vimes, and I find the dynamic between him and his band of disenfranchised comrades very compelling.”
Adam Hugill (1917), Jo Eaton-Kent, Marama Corlett (Blood Drive), Lara Rossi (Robin Hood) and Sam Adewunmi (The Missing) are also set to join the Thrones actor on the production, which begins filming later this month.
Meanwhile, in Trailer Town…
Jason Momoa showed off one of the new Apple TV+ shows; a sci-fi drama called See which appeared at this week’s Apple Event. Peaky Blinders alum Steven Knight creates and writes the series while Francis Lawrence (I am Legend, Hunger Games) directs. Apple CEO Tim Cook introducing the series, saying “See stars Jason Momoa and takes place hundreds of years into the future in a world without sight. We worked with blind and low-vision cast, crew, and consultants for authenticity.”
The Breaking Bad movie, El Camino got a follow up to its short teaser trailer as well. Although, happily in this one we finally get a look at our familiar protagonist, Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman. The film hits Netflix on October 11.
Scripted by Emmy-winner Lena Waithe (Master of None) and directed by Melina Matsoukas (Beyoncé’s Formation), Queen and Slim is a story tracking the fallout of a couple’s encounter with a police officer. Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, Black Panther) stars with Jodie Turner-Smith who makes her first theatrical debut here. Queen and Slim hits theaters in just a few months on November 27.
Sign me the heck up.
That’s all for this Friday’s Studio Coffee Run. You head out and enjoy the weekend! We’ll have all the entertainment headlines ready for you when you tune back into SCR on Tuesday.