In today’s SCR, we’ve got TV news aplenty, including updates on the upcoming seasons of both This is Us and Arrow, along with ACE’s expansion into television. On the films side of things, it’s been announced that Angry Birds 2 will be preceded by a touching short from an indie studio about a father and daughter. We’ve also got news on the latest film production of G.I. Joe — and a glimpse at what the film franchise’s future may look like.

But first, a few smaller headlines you might have missed over the weekend. More Arrowverse news reveals that Colton Haynes, who plays Roy Harper and Emily Bett Rickards who plays Felicity Smoak on Arrow, were both asked not to return for season 8. It’s an odd situation as Haynes has kinda sorta teased he’ll be back and, though both were explicitly not brought back on board, series EP Beth Schwartz has said “We hope to have him back.”

In an update to Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV show, we’ve learned that its first season will be packed with 20 episodes. We’ve still got quite a bit of time before we see a finished product — though we do know that Game of Thrones lore master Bryan Cogman is working as a consultant with writers JD Payne and Patrick McKay alongside director Juan A. Bayona. 

Rumblings on the production of A Quiet Place Part II; Atlanta star Brayn Tryee Henry, who was slated to have a major role in the sequel, is being replaced by Djimon Hansou, reportedly due to scheduling issues. MCU stans will recall Hansou recently portrayed Korath in Captain Marvel. As he steps onto set of A Quiet Place Part II, he’ll be joined by star Emily Blunt, writer/director Jim Halp- I mean John Krasinski and  film’s antithesis to quiet, producer Michael Bay.

In case you haven’t seen this one, The Hunt’s release has been pushed back to an as of yet undetermined date. Originally slated for a September 27 premiere, execs at Universal and filmmakers have decided “that now is not the right time to release this film.” In their eyes, the film’s heavy use of gun violence would not be appropriate given recent mass shootings — and lawmakers’ refusal to do anything about the epidemic. For myriad reasons, it’s an exasperating, upsetting situation.

With those headlines out of the way, let’s dive into some of the weekend’s bigger highlights.

The cast and crew of This Is Us answer fan questions at a brunch event celebrating the show’s Emmy success

this is us

Fans of NBC’s This Is Us, which is constantly as tear-jerking as it is heart-warming, can check out a buffet of new tidbits on the upcoming season, thanks to a recent Q&A with the cast and series creator Dan Fogelman.The event, dubbed “Pancakes with the Pearsons,” was enlightening especially for Susan Kelechi Watson‘s character, Beth and Justin Hartley‘s character, Kevin.

Watson told attendees that Beth’s recent focus on dancing will be explored even more heavily as time goes on, saying “I’m so grateful for that [Beth’s dancing career] because I just find it so fun. I think it’s the best form of expression without talking. I like to talk, but I’m a big fan of communicating without speech, and so much of the soul can go into that. Things that you don’t have words for, you can say with your body.”

Meanwhile, Kevin’s relationship troubles continue as we head into season 4 of This Is Us. Hartley laments that his character will begin to explore his passion for fatherhood. It’s a character trait that meant trouble for Kevin in his last relationship, but was teased in one of the show’s new favorite techniques, the flash forward. Asked if he’s totally in the know about his character’s arc in future seasons, Hartley said this: “I don’t know all of the surrounding details, but maybe if I’m not an expert on that topic, I would be like expert-adjacent, pretty close. I think things sometimes on our show are in flux, and some things develop that weren’t there before. But I think this is something, from what I’ve heard, that’s pretty set.”

The stars of This Is Us went on to answer questions about the show’s fall premiere for 90 minutes. The show’s composer, Siddhartha Khosla, also spoke on his influences as a first-generation Indian American and even performed for the audience twice. If you need a reason to sob tears of happiness once a week (or even if you don’t!) season 4 airs on September 24 on NBC.

Arrow star Stephen Amell confirms the return of an old pal for the show’s final season

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In yet more and potentially spoiler-y Arrowverse news (you’ve been warned!), EW has confirmed that Katana will be making a return appearance in the final season of Arrow. Her return was confirmed by GreenArrowTV.com in a recent interview with the star himself, Stephen Amell.

The Sword wielding warrior woman, played by Rila Fukushima, made her debut on the show in seasons three during a flashback arc, then appeared again in season four during the “Unchained” arc. Her next, and presumably final Arrow episode is titled “Welcome to Hong Kong” and will air on October 22, 2019. When it airs, make sure you’re tuned to The Beat for recaps on Fukushima’s sure-to-be-sharp performance.

ACE Entertainment is trying to steal your heart with a new TV division

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ACE Entertainment, the production company that gave us last year’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, is expanding into television with a brand new division. Founder Matt Kaplan is set to work with newcomer and company’s Head of Television Spencer Burman, manager of development Paul Kim and coordinator Kaelyn Moore. Much like its hit romance/comedy, ACE has said it’s planning to create YA focused, character/relationship driven live-action content — and is also seeing how things click with animation.

ACE is already getting started on TV production with its upcoming Nickelodeon series, Are You Afraid of the Dark TV and AMC’s drama series Fugee High, along with a handful of other projects at Comedy Central and Quibi. It’s also continuing to develop the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before sequels; the first of which wrapped filming on May 8, while the second began about a month ago on July 15. With those two movies upcoming, and much more in the works, that’s a lot of ACE to love.

Sony Pictures Animation and Lion Forge Animation have teamed up for Hair Love

hair love

Ahead of Angry Birds 2, Lion Forge Animation will air Hair Love, its first animated shortThe indie studio, it should be noted, is owned by Polarity — a parent company that also owns this very site which your eyeballs are glued to right now.

Lion Forge Animation, which launched earlier this year, was founded to give diverse voices a platform in the medium — and it’s upcoming production does exactly that. Originally a Kickstarter, Hair Love’s premise is simple; the story follows an African American dad trying to figure out how to do his daughter’s hair. But, indicative by the fact that it went viral and quadrupled its Kickstarter goal, it’s a story that lands with a lot of people.

Hair Love is directed by Matthew A. Cherry, who also wrote the eponymous book which the short adapts. Insecure creator Issa Rae has been confirmed for the cast while eye-widening list of executive producers includes Peter Ramsey (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), Frank Abney (animator, Toy Story 4), Harrison Barnes, Andrew Hawkins, Yara and Keri Shahidi and Jordan Peele.

Lion Forge Animation’s first animated short, Hair Love, begins making its theatrical rounds on August 14 ahead of Angry Birds 2.

Paramount’s G.I. Joe movies like the sound of that Marvel money

g.i. joe chuckles

Finally, prepare to strap on your boots. Paramount and Hasbro are teaming up for a G.I. Joe movie, per a Hollywood Reporter exclusiveTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol writers Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec are teaming up for scripting the film, which is said to be an ensemble production.

Paramount is keeping details tight to its chest, but one character has been confirmed to appear — though not necessarily star. Namely, Chuckles, the G.I. Joe team’s Hawaiian t-shirt loving undercover specialist, who first appeared back in 1987.

Along with the upcoming G.I. Joe Snake Eyes., which is set to hit theaters in October 2020, this untitled film is continuing the toy-line’s film franchise. Together, these films are supposedly the beginning of — and I cannot believe I am about to say this — the G.I. Joe cinematic universe.

How’s that for a note to end on? In twenty years could we all be piling into theaters to see the phase one finale of G.I. Joe? Will Cobra memes replace the Thanos memes? There’s only one man who can answer those questions. Stay tuned to Studio Coffee Run when Edward Douglas returns on Friday. Although he’ll more than likely have no answers to the ridiculous questions above, he’s sure to have all your vital entertainment news for the week.

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