Oh, hey, there’s more stuff going on this week!
IN THIS WEEK’S “Bebop-a-live action!” story, If you’re like me and found the anime Cowboy Bebop weirdly fun, yet often nonsensical, you’ll be pleased to know that Netflix is going to make a live-action version!
Netflix has given a 10-episode series order to Cowboy Bebop, a live-action adaptation of the cult Japanese animated series. The Space western hails from Tomorrow Studios, Marty Adelstein’s joint venture with ITV Studios, which last year teamed on the project with Midnight Radio (Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Jeff Pinkner & Scott Rosenberg), writer Chris Yost (Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok) as well as Sunrise, the studio behind the original series.
Written/executive produced by Yost based on the worldwide phenomenon, Cowboy Bebop is the jazz-inspired, genre-bending story of Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Faye Valentine and Radical Ed: a rag-tag crew of bounty hunters on the run from their pasts as they hunt down the solar system’s most dangerous criminals. They’ll even save the world…for the right price.
Oh, so THAT’S what the show was about.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Timely subject matter” story, Greg Kinnear (Little Miss Sunshine), Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread), Keeley Hawes (Bodyguard), Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill) and Phyllis Logan (Downton Abbey) have joined the cast of Misbehaviour, alongside the previously announced Keira Knightley, Gugu Mbatha Raw and Jessie Buckley.
Principal photography on Misbehavior began Monday on the dramedy, based on the true story of the 1970 Miss World contest and its disruption by the newly founded Women’s Liberation Movement. The film, which will shoot in and around London over the next nine weeks, is directed by Philippa Lowthorpe (Three Girls) from an original script written by Rebecca Frayn (The Lady) with revisions by Gaby Chiappe (Their Finest).
The action takes place in 1970, as the Miss World competition takes place in London, hosted by Bob Hope, to be played by Kinnear. (Manville plays Dolores Hope.) At the time, Miss World was the most-watched TV show in the world, with more than 100 million viewers. “Claiming that beauty competitions demeaned women, the newly formed Women’s Liberation Movement achieved overnight fame by invading the stage and disrupting the live broadcast of the competition,” according to a statement.
When the show resumed, the eventual winner also came as a surprise to the global audience. It was not the favorite, Miss Sweden, but Miss Grenada – the first black woman to be crowned Miss World. “In a matter of hours, a global audience had witnessed the patriarchy driven from the stage and the Western ideal of beauty turned on its head,” the statement added.
IN THIS WEEK’S “More Boys” story, Earlier this month, Paramount Pictures CEO Jim Gianopulos announced that the studio had made a deal with Netflix to produce a slate of new movies directly for the streaming service, following the success of films like To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, a lovely and popular adaptation that Paramount had handed off to Netflix after acquiring the Awesomeness media company earlier in the year.
Unsurprising, then, that the first film to be officially pushed out into the sunlight by Paramount and Netflix this week under the new deal is a sequel to the successful rom-com.
Based on the first one (and a half) of Jenny Tan’s book series, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before charted a mortified high school student’s experience of connecting – and reconnecting – with her past crushes, as each of them received a cathartic letter declaring her affections for them, that she absolutely never intended to send.
Whether director Susan Johnson or rising stars Lana Condor and Noah Centineo will be back for the sequel isn’t yet official, but it’s a safe bet. A second movie is likely to center on the same characters, but the story could potentially move away from the books.
Whatever’s decided while the movie is in development, the earliest we’re likely to see it land on Netflix is in 2020.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Train stopping” story, Paul King, director of the Paddington movies, will write and direct fantasy film Time’s Fool.
According to Variety, King has signed with Fox Searchlight to co-write and direct the adaptation of the popular book Time’s Fool. The film, based on the novel by Glyn Maxwell, tells the story of a young man trapped for eternity on a train. The only reprieve the man gets from his mobile existence is once a year, when he is allowed a few hours to stay in his hometown. While there, he attempts to figure out the nature of his curse.
King said about the project, “I’ve always been attracted to films which use magical ideas to explore real human emotions. And so when, one rainy afternoon, [co-writer] Jon [Croker] poured me a cup of tea and told me the story of ‘Time’s Fool,’ I was immediately hooked. It’s a captivating tale of wonder and heartbreak which sets the pulse racing and the imagination on fire. David [Heyman, producer], Jon, and I will do our best not to mess it up.”
While not directing “Paddington 3,” the filmmaker is on board to help develop the film. He’s also attached to direct a Willy Wonka prequel film, as well as a live-action Pinocchio for Disney.
No release date yet for Time’s Fool.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Oh, it’s Famke” story, X-Men and Taken franchise star Famke Janssen has joined Scott Speer’s Endless starring Alexandra Shipp and Nicholas Hamilton.
Endless, based on a draft by Rohit Kumar, follows madly in love 19-year-olds Chris (Hamilton) and Riley (Shipp) who are separated when a fatal accident leaves Chris stranded in limbo between life and death. In agony, Chris watches Riley grieve until they find a way to connect and share exhilarating, deeply emotional moments that transcend life and death. A story of love and loss, both Chris and Riley must ultimately accept the hardest lesson of all – letting go.
Janssen will play Chris’ single working-class mother. Production is currently underway in British Columbia.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Toff casting” story, Colin Farrell and Michelle Dockery have joined Matthew McConaughey in the British crime drama Toff Guys, with Guy Ritchie directing.
Farrell’s deal is not yet closed. He would portray a trainer of MMA fighters. Dockery is replacing Kate Beckinsale as the wife of McConaughey’s character, who is attempting to cash out of his highly profitable drug empire.
Henry Golding will play a Vietnamese gangster and Hugh Grant is on board as a blackmailing photographer.
Ritchie is directing from a script that he co-wrote with Marn Davies and Ivan Atkinson. The film is described as being in the vein of the British gangster movies that Ritchie shot earlier in his career such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch.
Miramax paid $30 million to pick up worldwide rights to Toff Guys at the Cannes Film Festival. Production is already under way in England.
IN THIS WEEK’S “From Bodyguard to Bond?” story, After three seasons as Robb Stark on Game of Thrones, you might expect Richard Madden to aim for lighter fare. Instead, he’s the titular Bodyguard, the UK series that shattered ratings records during its initial run on BBC One, and has now found international success via (what else) Netflix.
Richard Madden is now a rumoured contender to be the next James Bond. However, Madden said he considers the iconic British spy to be of another world altogether from his role in Bodyguard.
“I think that they’re completely different characters,” he said. “It’s a totally different beast. They’re two different things.”
To his mind, one of the biggest separations is while Bond movies have moments of comedy, “Bodyguard” maintained a stiff upper lip. “There’s not a lot of laughs on set and it’s grueling, you know, it’s just grueling shooting,” Madden said. “Everything’s lined with anxiety and undercurrent of the PTSD of the character — you add them in, and it makes it quite a grueling day. But that’s what it needed to be to make this story happen.”
I can see how those things differ, however, he would probably make a good Bond, too.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Ok, sign me up” story, Adult Swim is going to make a Blade Runner animated series.
A new animated series based on Philip K. Dick‘s oft-adapted short story “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” is in the works, bound for Adult Swim and Crunchyroll. The news broke Thursday via press release. Blade Runner – Black Lotus, a joint production with Alcon Television Group, Adult Swim and Crunchyroll, will take inspiration from Blade Runner 2049 and tell its own unique story over 13 half-hour episodes. And although details on just what that story is remain under wraps, the report is that the story will take place in 2032 and feature familiar characters from the Blade Runner universe.
The animation studio in charge of Blade Runner – Black Lotus will be Sola Digital Arts, the same company behind the movie’s prequel series Blade Runner: Black Out 2022 and the upcoming Netflix series, Ultraman. Following Shinji Aramaki and Kenji Kamiyama‘s new Ghost in the Shell series, they will also direct all of the new Blade Runner – Black Lotus episodes in the premiere season. Creative producer Shinichio Watanabe, who previously wrote and directed the animated Blade Runner 2049 prequel, is also on board.
WarnerMedia’s pair of platforms will get the series out to millions of people around the world. Adult Swim has worldwide distribution rights to the English-dubbed version (excluding Asia) and will air those episodes on Toonami, while Crunchyroll will stream the series to worldwide its community of more than 45 million registered users and 2 million subscribers.
Ok, that’s all I need to know. I’ll watch it.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Meant to be” story, The Hunger Games director Gary Ross has closed a deal to rewrite the script for the Paramount Pictures and Gary Sanchez Productions dramedy Will with plans to direct the project once the script is done.
The previous draft was written by Demetri Martin with Adam McKay, Will Ferrell, and Kevin Messick producing for Gary Sanchez.
The film is a dramatic comedy that examines the tension between free will and destiny, and the occasional joy of being alive.
A production start date has not yet been set, as execs want Ross focused on the rewrite.
Ross is no stranger to the dramatic comedy genre, cutting his teeth in the ’80s and ’90s writing scripts to classic pics such as Dave and Big, both of which earned him Oscar nominations for best screenplay. Ross would eventually launch his directing career with the critically acclaimed Pleasantville and follow that up with the Oscar-nominated Seabiscuit.
I always forget he wrote those films.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Oh, Lars…” story, Lars von Trier has a way of stirring the pot.
In the latest twist, IFC Films is facing sanctions by the MPAA movie ratings board for screening an unrated director’s cut of his new film The House That Jack Built on Wednesday night without getting the appropriate waiver.
The unrated version is playing for one night only in select theaters in more than 100 cities across the country. On Dec. 14, an R-rated version of the movie — about a serial killer who mutilates his victims, including women and children — will debut day-and-date in a smattering of cinemas and on digital platforms.
“The MPAA has communicated to the distributor, IFC Films, that the screening of an unrated version of the film in such close proximity to the release of the rated version — without obtaining a waiver — is in violation of the rating system’s rules,” the Motion Picture Association of America said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “The effectiveness of the MPAA ratings depends on our ability to maintain the trust and confidence of American parents. That’s why the rules clearly outline the proper use of the ratings. Failure to comply with the rules can create confusion among parents and undermine the rating system — and may result in the imposition of sanctions against the film’s submitter.”
Sanctions will be determined after a hearing of the Classification and Ratings Administration, which administers the ratings on behalf of the MPAA and National Association of Theatre Owners.
Possible sanctions include revoking the official R rating, or worse, suspending the ratings process for any other IFC Films currently before CARA. IFC could also be suspended from participating in the ratings system entirely for no more than 90 days, according to CARA rules.
IFC Films acquired U.S. rights to The House That Jack Built out of the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, where a screening of the bloody movie, starring Matt Dillon, prompted walkouts and groans. Von Trier was allowed to return to the marquee fest this year after being banned for seven years because of jokes he made about Hitler.
“Ostensibly a probing portrait of a serial killer in the Pacific Northwest in the 1970s, the movie also is quite literally a descent into hell. But its true raison d’etre is as a masturbatory dialectic about art and creation in which visual nods to Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, Stalin and Idi Amin give way to images lifted from across the Danish director’s entire body of work,” THR’s David Rooney wrote in his review of the pic.
Yeah, I don’t know about this one. I’m pretty liberal about this kind of thing, but this could be pushing it. all the controversy, however, does make me curious to see it. Mission accomplished Industry Machine!
ADDENDUM: The main issue with how IFC Films is releasing The House That Jack Built is due to the MPAA’s rules about releasing two cuts of a film (with different ratings) around the same time. The MPAA believes that doing this would lead to confusion among potential viewers, which could mean that a customer could walk into the unrated director’s cut expecting the R-rated version. That audience member would aghast to see the full additional 80 seconds that IFC Films kept in the release. Or so thinks the MPAA.
IFC Films, on the other hand, said in a statement that the distributor “has not received any written notice from the MPAA regarding sanctions” regarding the ‘Jack’ screenings. Also, IFC Films says the priority of the distributor is to “maintain the artistic vision of our filmmakers,” and the company feels the one-night screenings didn’t violate any rules.
The MPAA said that there would potentially be sanctions, after a ruling was made. But we have yet to hear about any ruling or sanctions. So perhaps, much like everything to do with von Trier and his film work, the controversy is much ado about nothing.
The full statement says:
“IFC Films has not received any written notice from the MPAA regarding sanctions in connection with THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT. It has always been IFC Films’ priority to maintain the artistic vision of our filmmakers and we do not believe that the one-day screening of the Director’s Cut unrated version has violated the MPAA’s Classification and Rating Rules.”
IN THIS WEEK’S “Bana Boom!” story, Hot off the Bravo series Dirty John, Eric Bana will star in an adaptation of Jane Harper’s bestselling novel The Dry. Robert Connolly (Balibo) will direct the Australian production from a script he wrote with Harry Cripps (Paws). Made Up Stories has set up the picture, and Bruna Papandrea (Big Little Lies, Gone Girl), Jodi Matterson and Steve Hutensky are producing. Bana and Connolly will be exec producers with Ricci Swart and Andrew Myer.
Bana plays Aaron Falk, who returns to his hometown after 20 years to attend the funeral of his childhood friend. The friend allegedly killed his wife and child before taking his own life, victims of the madness that has ravaged this community after more than a decade of drought. After Aaron reluctantly agrees to investigate further, he suspects this crime might be connected to another. Struggling to prove not only Luke’s innocence but his own, Aaron finds himself pitted against the prejudice and pent-up rage of a terrified community.
The Dry shoots late February in Victoria, Australia, with production investment from Screen Australia in association with Film Victoria. The film will be distributed by Roadshow Films in Australia and New Zealand.
This actually sounds interesting.
IN THIS WEEK’S “Are they reaching now?” story, Warner Bros. has another new film to add to its incredibly long list of superhero projects currently in development. However, unlike films starring some of the biggest superheroes in history, such as Batman, Wonder Woman, or Superman, WB and DC are digging up a character that the general public probably has no idea about.
The Wrap is reporting that WB has hired Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer to write a new film titled Blue Beetle. For those not familiar with the titular character, well, this might be a little bit confusing. The Blue Beetle is the name of multiple characters in the DC comic book universe. The new film will focus on the third iteration of the Blue Beetle character, known as Jaime Reyes. This might anger some longtime fans of the comics who would have hoped for a Ted Kord (aka Blue Beetle 2) film, but Reyes seems to be the character the WB wants to push, as he has shown up in various mediums in recent years.
What separates Jaime Reyes from the other Blue Beetles is first, and foremost, his power set. Reyes uses the powerful scarab that grants the Blue Beetle his powers to create a powerful exoskeleton, a la Iron Man. Reyes is also a Latinx character, which will bring yet another diverse character to the ever-expanding DCEU.
Dunnet-Alcocer is an up-and-coming writer, who is probably best known for his upcoming film “Miss Bala, starring Gina Rodriguez. He’s also the man behind the upcoming remake of Scarface. That is, if that film ever gets made.
Much like the rest of the massive DCEU film slate, there’s no release date for Blue Beetle.
IN THIS WEEK’S “I’M not crying – YOU’RE crying!” story, Netflix cancels Marvel’s Daredevil series.
Daredevil has been canceled by Netflix after three season, as the streamer continues to cull its Marvel series offerings.
The first of Netflix’s live-action Marvel adaptations, “Daredevil first premiered in 2015 with Charlie Cox starring as Matt Murdock, the blind lawyer who moonlights as a crime-fighting vigilante. The show’s most-recent third season debuted on the platform last month to largely positive reviews.
Netflix’s move to cancel the series comes just over a month after Iron Fist and Luke Cage — two of the other series in the streamer’s Marvel’s Defenders franchise — were both axed from Netflix’s line-up.
As with the cancellations of Iron Fist and Luke Cage, Netflix hinted that the character of Daredevil could live on in some other capacity: “While the series on Netflix has ended, the three existing seasons will remain on the service for years to come, while the Daredevil character will live on in future projects for Marvel,” the statement continued.
The move to reduce the number of Marvel Television series on Netflix appears to signal the end of the studio’s relationship with the streaming giant at a time when Marvel’s parent company Disney is gearing up to launch a rival streaming service of its own.
Marvel Studios has already announced plans to create a number of projects for the upcoming Disney+, including at least one limited series spinoff of the Marvel Cinematic Universe film franchise.
The only Marvel series remaining on Netflix are The Punisher and Jessica Jones, which have already been renewed for their second and third seasons, respectively. No premiere dates for either show have been announced.
ADDENDUM: Despite this news, there is clearly more in store for the Man Without Fear, as Marvel confirmed today.
A statement this morning from the home of The Avengers and Spider-man used very similar language to what the streamer signed off with to indicate that Hell’s Kitchen’s blind protector isn’t done yet on the small or perhaps big screen. “We look forward to more adventures with the Man without Fear in the future,” said the Disney owned comic giant Friday.
The Charlie Cox portrayed character could show up on the upcoming second season of The Punisher on Netflix or maybe in the next season of Jessica Jones.
Here is Marvel’s full statement about the show:
“Marvel is extremely grateful to the huge audience that loved Marvel’s Daredevil. From the moment of young Matt’s first act of heroism to the birth of Page, Murdock, & Nelson, it has been a unbelievable journey. We are incredibly proud of the amazing showrunners and writers starting with Drew Goddard and Steven DeKnight, Marco Ramirez and Doug Petrie and Erik Oleson, Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Vincent D’Onofrio and our casts who brought our characters to life with such excellence, and every one of the fantastic crews in NYC. We look forward to more adventures with the Man without Fear in the future.”
They better bring this show back on the Disney/Marvel streaming service.
Thanks for tuning in this week! See ya next!