The Beat has been abuzz the last couple days with all things Comic-Con, and hopefully, you’ve been keeping up with all the great coverage so far.

You know who definitely won’t be at Comic-Con this weekend? Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. White, whose absence is leading to all sorts of conspiracy theories that they want to celebrate their Emmy nominations without angry fans pissing on said celebration. It’s not like they’re busy with the Game of Thrones prequel series either. Maybe it’s all about that Star Wars trilogy they’re developing, because those are going to be important moneymakers for the Mouse House over the next eight years.

Probably one of the biggest news stories not out of Comic-Con is the big crash of Netflix after it was announced that it hadn’t attained as many subscribers as expected. It probably shouldn’t be too surprising considering the announcement of so many new subscription services over the last few months with Disney+ and Apple TV+ launching in a couple months. Netflix is no longer the only game in town, and they really have to do better with the quality of their content, especially if it’s true that Friends and The Office are the most-watched shows on the service. I was actually surprised that Netflix didn’t have more of a presence at Comic-Con this year, just doing a panel for Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance but nothing else. Netflix has done so much in the sci-fi space between its original series to movies it has picked up for streaming, and Comic-Con seems to be the perfect place for Netflix to get the word out to those who aren’t already subscribing. Either way, the streaming wars is only beginning and Netflix has to be remembered as one of the pioneers even as other companies enter the realm.

In case you missed it…

Both  the Emmy Nominations and Saturn Awards Nominations were announced earlier in the week, and Game of Thrones received 32 Emmy nominations, the most ever for a drama despite the internet-ire (Ire-net?) thrown at the last season in particular. (I honestly don’t know what the big deal is, as I thought the last season was perfectly fine and had a number of killer episodes… even though it confirmed that dragons are a-holes.) It also turns out that a few of Game of Thrones’ nominated actors submitted themselves for Emmys… and got nominated! (If you knew what a rarity it is for self-submitted Emmy runs to be converted to nominations, you’d be shocked, too!)

Other than GoT, I was glad to see Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Amazon series Fleabag get some Emmy attention, and the biggest controversy seemed to be the Emmy nominations for Netflix’s Bodyguard series without nominating the show’s star Richard Madden.

Thanks to the wondrous and marvelous marketing power of Comic-Con, we got new trailers for Andy Muschietti’s It: Chapter Two and Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick, both which had a presence in Hall H, as did Terminator: Dark Fate. Kevin Smith also was teasing the F out of his Hall H panel at Comic-Con with posters, images and a trailer for Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.

Taiki Waititi will write and direct Thor 4

This news excites me, because like most, I really liked what the New Zealand filmmaker did with Thor: Ragnarok, and I’ve actually had the chance of interviewing Waiti going all the way back to his 2007 film Eagle vs. Shark with Jemaine Clement.

Harry Styles is in talks for The Little Mermaid’s Prince Eric

I know there are a lot of fans of Disney’s Little Mermaid out there, and probably a lot of crossover with One Direction fans, so people generally seem to  be happy with that casting.

Speaking of which…

Is Javier Bardem also joining The Little Mermaid?

Javier Bardem
(Photo credit: Georges Biard)

The Oscar-winning actor, best known for playing nasty villains, has been mentioned as being in talks to play King Triton in the Rob Marshall remake, first reported by Disney Insider, but then confirmed by Deadline.  This really is looking like a fantastic cast so far, and I’m willing to bet that will be a fun set to be on if it does have the entire cast wearing motion sensor suits and acting like fish. Honestly, I have no idea how the director of Chicago and Into the Woodsis going to create the visuals for the underwater musical compared to Jon Favreau’s The Lion King (out today!!), but Bardem gives the movie some real dramatic weight.

Previewing Michonne’s final season of The Walking Dead 

Walking Dead
AMC / EW.Com

If someone was to tell me that AMC’s The Walking Dead was returning for its 10th season, my response would be something like, “That show is still on? I thought they’d cancel it with the comic book.” Then again, I’ve read far more of the comic than I have seen the show, although I do check in a couple times every season to see what I’m missing. I’m LONG overdue for an entire series binge rewatch, as well. Regardless, EW.com released the first image of Danai Gurira’s Michonne earlier in the week, which you can see below. It will be Gurira’s last season, although Robert Kirkman seems keener to continue the show after ending the comic series. (I haven’t read the last 10 or 12 issues so I don’t really know how things end. I have no idea when I’ll get to it either.)

Girls Trip director Malcolm Lee takes over Space Jam 2

Warner Bros.

I’m surprised there isn’t more excitement for the sequel to the 1996 Looney Tunes movie starring Michael Jordan, but maybe that’s why the Lebron James sequel seems to be plagued with issues with production. They actually started filming some of the basketball parts of the movie in June, but then a few weeks later, director Terence Nance (Random Acts of Flyness) – who actually was part of this big Warner Bros. animation presentation reel at CinemaCon – stepped away, and he’s been replaced by Girls Tripdirector Malcolm Lee. Still, the movie isn’t expected for release until July 16, 2021, so Lee has plenty of time to get things right to release the sequel on the 25th anniversary of Space Jam. 

HBO Max has ordered a Gossip Girl update reboot

I was just talking about HBO Max earlier in the week, and we might be getting some idea what that new streaming service is going to be like with the announcement that WarnerMedia’s new service has ordered a reimagined and updated version of the popular series Gossip Girl. Original series writer and EP Joshua Safran will be reinventing the show, once again based on the book by Cecily von Ziegesar and with original creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage also involved.

The new series even has a tagline! “Eight years after the original website went dark, a new generation of New York private school teens are introduced to the social surveillance of Gossip Girl. The prestige series will address just how much social media — and the landscape of New York itself — has changed in the intervening years.” The original show helped make the careers of Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, Chace Crawford and Ed Westwick, but it’s hard not to be slightly dubious of a new show so soon after the previous one ended.  Having never seen the show, I have no idea if this is a good initial launch announcement for the service, but clearly, the show has its fans.

Trailer, Trailers, Trailers!

New Line/WB

Next up, we have a couple new trailers that make you think the respective studios suddenly realized they have new movies coming out on August 9 — just a few weeks away — and also realized there are a LOT of movies opening in August. With that in mind, New Line released a new trailer for Andrea Berloff’s The Kitchen, based on the lesser-known (?) Vertigo comic by Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle. It stars Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elizabeth Moss as three mob wives who decide to take over Hell’s Kitchen when their husbands are sent to jail. It’s a great trailer appropriately set to Fleetwood Mac’s “Never Break the Chain.” Wish I could say more, but I’m under embargo.

Paramount released a new trailer for Dora and the Lost City of Gold, which also comes out that same weekend…

I’m not nearly as interested in this movie since I was never young enough to enjoy Dora the Explorer, but I do like Isabella Moner (who was excellent in last year’s Instant Family) and Michael Peña (Ant-Man), so I hope this isn’t as childish a comedy-adventure as it looks. (Put it this way: if I can make a screening, I will see this, even if I don’t have to.)

Also, James Grey’s sci-fi film Ad Astra, starring Brad Pitt, got another trailer that certainly makes it look like it will be a real player during the Fall festival and awards season, as will Tom Hooper’s Cats, which is getting a plum holiday release and a new trailer that almost made me tear up.

While I generally get a kick out of Screen Junkies’ Honest Trailers, I especially liked the newest one for Shazam! which you can check out here. Maybe it’s just that I loved the movie and felt that it didn’t get the attention it deserved with all the Marvel movies surrounding it, but this one is very funny as well.

That’s all for this edition of Studio Coffee Run. Check back next week for another installment, and let us know in the comments what you’d like us to write more about when it comes to entertainment news.

In the meantime,  you can keep up with all of The Beat’s Comic-Con stuff right here.

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