Welcome Studio Coffee Folks! We made it through yet another Oscar’s weekend, with a pleasant Best Picture surprise. You can read all about that here, as Entertainment Editor Kyle Pinion walks us through the evening. Over here, though, we’ll talk about the weekend’s lesser known awards show, the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Then, more news from the Marvel-verse as Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness pulls in a new writer. Another comic book-related shakeup as Y: The Last Man loses its man main, along with a few other casting pieces, and finally, we’ll wrap with a pair of trailers.

Let’s get started!

The Spirit Awards continue to recognize diversity

spirit awards

The Film Independent Spirit Awards were also this weekend and they recognized a handful of folks in the independent film industry. Aubrey Plaza hosted this year and, in her opening monologue (/musical number?) she noted the event “actually honors female directors,” tossing shade at the Oscars, of course. It set a precedent for the rest of the night, resulting in a bit of a cathartic dunk-fest – but enough of that. Let’s see some winners.

  • Best Feature: The Farewell
  • Best First Feature: Booksmart
  • Best Director Benny Dafie and Josh Safdie for Uncute Gems
  • Best Female Lead: Renée Zellweger, Judy
  • Best Male Lead: Adam Sandler Uncut Gems
  • Best Supporting Female: Zhaso Shuzhen The Farewell
  • Best Supporting Male: Willem Dafoe The Lighthouse
  • Best Screenplay: Noah Baumbach Marriage Story
  • Best First Screenplay: Fredrica Bailey and Stefon Bristol, See You Yesterday
  • Best International Film: Parasite by directo Bong Joon Ho 

And, if you’re in the mood to watch some top tier speeches, the Spirit Awards have you covered. Accepting his award for best male lead, Sandler took a few jabs at Big Hollywood then, Wang took the stage to deliver her own speech, telling audiences women don’t need to be inspired to make films. People just need to give them the job.



Doctor Strange enters a new reality as Loki head writer steps in

doctor strange multiverse of madness

As Sam Raimi scooches over into the driver’s seat for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, writer Michael Waldron finds himself riding shotgun. The Loki lead is taking over in the absence of the film’s previous writer, Jade Bartlett, whose position was announced in October of 2019.

THR reports that Disney made no comment on either of these shakeups, so it’s unclear how far along the script is at this point. Waldron could be starting from the ground up, or just making some final adjustments where Bartlett left off. Based on previous director Scott Derickson’s public inconsistencies with Kevin Feige about whether Multiverse of Madness would lean into horror, though, this could point to some drastic internal changes.

As of writing, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is still aiming to begin filming in May, with a release date one year later on May 7, 2021. Elizabeth Olsen will appear as the Scarlet Witch, with Benedict Wong and Chiwetel Ejifor also reprising their roles as Wong and Karl Mordo.

Y: The Last Man is all out of men and other casting calls


Barry Keoghan
Photo by Foxy59/Wikimedia Commons

Barry Keoghan, Dunkirk breakout, is The Last Man no longer. The seemingly cursed comic book adaptation cast Keoghan back in July 2018 and now – also juggling a showrunner switch – the FX production is seeking out a new lead so that it can reshoot his scenes. Originally put into development back in 2015, Y: The Last Man was preparing to launch this year. The original comic is drawn by Pia Guerra with writing from Brian K. Vaughan.

The Thicket pulls three more into its cast

The Peter Dinklage-lead thriller, The Thicket, adds three to its cast this week: Sophia Lillis (It), Noomi Rapace (Prometheus) and Charlie Plummer (Looking for Alaska). Its based on the Joe R. Lansdale novel of the same name, scripted by Chris Kelly and directed by Elliott Lester (Nightingale). The story follows the an older brother and a seasoned bounty hunter on a rescue mission to save his sister from her kidnapper/serial killer/gang leader.

Daisy Jones and the Six counts on Sam Claflin to star

The upcoming musical drama finds its male lead in Sam Claflin (Peaky Blinders), who stars opposite Riley Keough (Mad Max: Fury Road). Daisy Jones and the Six is an Amazon production based on the novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid, which tells the story of two bandmates and songwriting partners. It’s one of several of the E-commerce company’s upcoming TV series including Lord of the Rings, Wheel of Time and Citadel.

Fish love makes its cinematic return? 

Undine arrives with the unprecedented Academy recognition of a foreign language film this weekend. The German film, set to make its world premiere at Berlin Film Fest, the Christian Petzold picture follows modern mythology. Undine, in a nutshell, is a tale of a water nymph falling in love with a man – he eventually betrays her, which leads the nymph to kill him, so she can go back home to the water. Interestingly, Petzold adds that Berlin, where the film takes place, never had its own myths. Instead, they were brought into the city by travelers and merchants. Apparently, this aspect will also play a role in Undine.

Cynthia Erivo (The Outsider) is Aretha Franklin in the upcoming third season of Nat Geo’s Genius. And wow does this trailer slap. It’s a quick 30 seconds, but it efficiently sums up what to expect from the anthology series’ next move. Beginning on Memorial Day, Genius: Aretha will air all four episodes on consecutive nights. In its previous two seasons, the series focused on both Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein.

That’s a wrap for this week! I’ve got to go figure out when I can go see Birds of Preybut I’ll catch you back here on Friday. See you then!


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