What’s going on in the TV world?

The wait for the second season of Atlanta has been interminable. Last week, we had a release date and this week we have a teaser trailer. The second season will be entitled Robbin’ Season which reflects a time period set around in the holidays in which crime, specifically robberies in this case, is particularly high in Atlanta. Check it out above. The second trailer the released is just as mysterious as the first.

TNT has ordered the futuristic thriller Snowpiercer to series. The show will be based on the 2013 Bong Joon Ho film that starred Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton and Octavia Spencer. The TV series will star Hamilton‘s Daveed Diggs and Jennifer Connelly. Set seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland, the remnants of humanity live on a long, perpetually-moving train that circles the Earth. The series will focus on class warfare, social injustice, and the politics of survival. Diggs will play a character called Layton Well, “a prisoner barely surviving the harsh conditions in the tail end of the train. A quiet thinker who spends his days sniffing the industrial-waste-turned-drug Chronole and tending to his cage full of rats, Layton becomes a reluctant participant in a struggle that could upend life on the train.” I look forward to seeing how this show progresses.

Season 5 of Luther has finally started filming. It’s been three years since we’ve seen new Luther. Joining Idris Elba — who plays the titular character — this season is BAFTA winner and star of The End of the F***ing World Wunmi Mosaku. She plays new recruit Detective Sgt. Catherine Halliday. The description of the new season is: as a series of monstrous killings becomes ever more audacious, Luther and new recruit D.S. Catherine Halliday are confounded by a tangle of leads and misdirection that seems designed to protect an unspeakable horror. But even as the case brings him closer than ever to the nature of true evil, a reluctant Luther must also face the ghosts of his own past. Striding back into the line of fire, he must choose who to protect…and who to sacrifice. Whatever his next move, it will have devastating consequences for those around him — and change John Luther forever.” A premiere date hasn’t been announced yet.

BBC’s adaptation of Les Misérables has found its cast. Dominic West will play the reformed thief Jean Valjean, David Oyelowo will play Inspector Javert who is determined to catch him and Lily Collins will play Fantine. Also part of the cast are Ellie Bamber as Cosette, Erin Kellyman as Éponine, Josh O’Connor as Marius, and Adeel Akhtar and Olivia Colman as Monsieur and Madame Thénardier. The series will consist of six, one-hour episodes directed by Andrew Davies (BBC’s War & Peace). Oyelowo and West are also serving as executive producers. The adaptation is based more on the book and not the famous musical.

A few new shows finally have start dates. The still untitled Grey’s Anatomy spinoff centering firefighters will premiere on March 22 with a two-hour episode. It will take the place of How to Get Away with Murder after it wraps the season. The series stars Jaina Lee Ortiz, Jason George, Grey Damon, Barrett Doss, Alberto Frezza, Jay Hayden as Travis Montgomery, Okieriete Onaodowan, Danielle Savre and Miguel Sandoval. The legal drama For The People, another Shondaland show, will premiere on March 13. For the People is set in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. It stars Jasmin Savoy Brown, Britt Robertson, Wesam Keesh, Hope Davis, Ben Rappaport, Regé-Jean Page, Susannah Flood and Ben Shenkman. Over at TBS, The Last O.G. is set to premiere April 3 at 10:30. Tracy Morgan stars as an ex-con named Tray who is released into a world he doesn’t recognize. Tiffany Haddish will play his former girlfriend and the mother of his children. Joining Morgan and Haddish are Cedric the Entertainer as the head of the halfway Tray stays at and Allen Maldonado as Tray’s cousin Bobby. Morgan and Jordan Peele serve as executive producers.

Hulu did well last weekend at the Golden Globes winning Best TV series — Drama for The Handmaid’s Tale as well as Best Performance by Actress in a TV series — Drama for Elisabeth Moss in The Handmaid’s Tale. Now they’ve renewed two of their popular freshmen shows — Runaways and Future Man. Runaways follows a diverse group of teenagers rediscovering their friendship as banding together to take down their evil parents. The finale dropped on Hulu last Tuesday.

 

Speaking of Hulu and The Handmaid’s Tale, the first trailer for season 2 is out. The series which is based on the book of the same title by Margaret Atwood is set to come back on on April 25 for a 13 episode season. According to Variety the second season will “follow Offred’s pregnancy and her ongoing fight to free her coming child from the dystopian horrors of Gilead.”

Back in November, Bryan Fuller quit as showrunner for Starz’s American Gods. Before that he was the showrunner for Star Trek: Discovery before stepping away to focus on American Gods. Now Fuller has a new project. Author Anne Rice and her son Christopher Rice are producing a series based on her Vampire Chronicles series of books. Interview With The Vampire, which was adapted into a film starring Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, is part of this series. Fuller is helping them bring that series to life starting with the pilot. “Bryan Fuller is working with Anne Rice and Chris, who are writing the pilot. We are hoping he chooses to stay on and potentially showrun,” said Paramount TV president Amy Powell. As for American Gods, there is still swirling speculation over who will take over that show.

Speaking of Starz, they’re teaming up with Lionsgate to develop a series based on the John Wick franchise. The series is currently entitled The Continental and will focus on the inner workings of the Continental Hotel which serves as a safe zone and refuge for assassins in the movies. The show “promises to include the thunderous fight sequences and intensely staged shootouts between professional assassins and their targets that fans have come to expect in the John Wick movie franchise as well as introducing some new, darkly compelling characters who inhabit this underground world.” Keanu Reeves, who stars as the titular character in the films, will serve as an executive producer. John Wick won’t be the star of this series but he may make an appearance.

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The Walking Dead has been renewed for a ninth season. You can take that as good news if you’re still watching and I don’t care news if you quit last season. Angela Kang, who previously served as co-executive producer on the show, has been promoted to showrunner. She becomes the fourth showrunner of the show following Frank Darabont, Glen Mazzara, and Scott M. Gimple. She has been a writer on the series since 2011. Gimple has received his own promotion. He will now be the Chief Content Officer of The Walking Dead franchise which includes Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead.

 

The trailer for the SYFY series, Krypton is here. The series is set 200 years before the planet explodes which forced Kal-El aka Clark Kent aka Superman to Earth. Cameron Cuffe’s Seg-El is the main character and Kal-El’s grandfather. Blake Ritson’s Braniac will be the villain of the first season. “Touch wood, I think you’ll see Doomsday in season 1,” said David S. Goyer, who is the show creator and director of Man of Steel. “I’m certainly pushing for that character to be motion capture [so that an actor can] embody him, but traditionally Doomsday is a lot bigger than a normal human being.”  Cameron Welsh will serve as showrunner.

In case you were worried about how the premiere of Grown-ish would fare, you can now put those worries to rest. The premiere drew 1.56M total viewers and 4.5M viewers in the first three days of digital viewings. It was the top cable scripted series for women 18-49. It received the largest number of viewers of a Freeform show in five years topping the previous record of Shadowhunters from two years ago. Grown-ish is a spinoff of ABC’s Black-ish. It stars Yara Shahidi as Zoey, the eldest child of the Johnson family, finding her way in as a freshman in college.

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson sat down with reporters at the Television Critics Association winter press tour to talk about their HBO series of special, 2 Dope Queens. They talked about how elevating the voices of women, people of color, and queer writers and comedians is important to them. “There’s more room to hear from women of color and queer people and I think people are [more] open to that, which means specials like this get to get made,” Williams told reporters. Robinson added “We talk about dating; we talk about living in New York; we talk about racism; we talk about these universal topics from our specific points of view…Most content that’s created by non-straight white men is enjoyed by everybody, and I don’t think that’s recognized enough.” Williams added: “I think the truth resonates. Truth in comedy is important, and the truth is universal. …People really respond to [the truth], so we always try to present this unfiltered authenticity on stage and I think we captured that really well in these four specials.” 2 Dope Queens debuts Friday, Feb. 2 at 11:30 p.m. on HBO.

Finally, Gillian Anderson is definitely done with The X-Files. She confirmed the rumors during Television Critics Association’s winter press tour. “It’s time for me to hang up Scully’s hat. It just is,” she said during her panel. “I’m finished and that’s the end of that. I arrived at the decision before we did the previous six, but I was really curious.” She then added, “I wouldn’t necessarily have been happy if those six were how we said goodbye. There’s lots of things that I want to do in my life and in my career and it’s been an extraordinary opportunity and extraordinary character and I am hugely grateful.” She also won’t be returning to Starz’s American Gods where she played the new god Media.

This has been a big week for Black Panther. Tickets went on sale Monday. By Wednesday the ticket selling platform, Fandango, announced that Black Panther had set a new record, passing Captain America: Civil War for the best first-day advance sales for an MCU film. They also released two featurettes this week. One on T’Challa as the king. The second is one we’ve all been waiting for — a closer look at the Dora Milaje.

 

Continuing on the MCU train, Black Widow may be finally getting her own solo film. Fans have been clamoring for one for years but Marvel has so far been deaf to them. Maybe the success of Wonder Woman has finally convinced them that female-led superhero movies can sell. Jac Schaeffer has been hired to write the Black Widow movie. Don’t get excited just yet though. According to Tracking Board, the project “is merely in long-lead development and has not been greenlit yet.” Scarlett Johansson, who plays the character, met with Marvel executives, including Kevin Feige, to talk about what she wants to see in the film. We’ll see if this project ever gets off the ground.

The Gambit film is cursed. Let’s all admit it and move on, hopefully far away from this disaster. Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski is the latest in a string of directors to leave the project. He follows Doug Liman who left the project in August of 2016 and Rupert Wyatt in October of 2015. This is pretty late in the game to leave production. Gambit was set to start filming in March and is in full casting mode. This departure has led to reshuffling of films over at Fox. The release date for Gambit been moved from February 14, 2019, to June 7, 2019. It’s original February 14 date will now see the release of New Mutants which was originally slated to be released in April of this year. That’s a 10-month delay. Hopefully, that isn’t a reflection on the film itself. Deadpool 2, on the other hand, has been pushed up to May 18th.

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IGN released the first photo of Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock in Sony’s upcoming Venom. Up until now, little has been known about the film. At Brazil Comic-Con, director Ruben Fleischer gave a few new details. Most notably that the film is drawing from the Planet of the Symbiotes and Venom: Lethal Protector comics. Eddie Brock is working as a reporter in San Francisco investigating the Life Foundation, which in the comics is an organization which created bunkers for wealthy clients to ride out the Cold War-driven nuclear war. “I can promise you badass action, Venom’s dark humor, and I can also promise you an absolutely stunning performance by Tom Hardy,” Fleischer told the crowd in Brazil. Venom also stars Riz Ahmed and Michelle Williams. Based on the cast and these short snippets, this sounds like it’s going to be a different kind of superhero movie.

Barry Jenkins has been busy after directing the award-winning coming of age drama, Moonlight. He’s currently working on an adaptation of James Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk. A series based on The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead might be in the works for Amazon in the future. Now we have an idea of his next film project. According to Deadline, he’s just signed on to direct Expatriate, a 1970s international thriller centered around a plane hijacking. The film will star Black Panther‘s Chadwick Boseman who wrote the script along with his writing partner Logan Coles.

There is a new trailer for Breaking In. Directed by V for Vendetta‘s James McTeigue, Breaking In stars Gabrielle Union as a mother who has to save her children from being held hostage in a house that’s a security fortress. Produced by Girls Trip‘s Will Packer and Union and written by Ryan Engle, the film also stars Billy Burke, Richard Cabral, and Seth Carr and Aijona Alexus. It’s set to be released on May 11, 2018. This is another in a string of movies made by Packer and Universal Studios. This list includes hit comedies Ride Along, The Best Man Holiday and last year’s Girl’s Trip.

While on her press tour for Proud MaryTaraji P. Henson revealed her next project during an interview with Global Grind. Her company, TPH Productions, will produce an Emmett Till biopic. Henson will also play Emmett’s mother Mamie Till Bradley. “We don’t have a start date yet, but the deal has been done,” Henson said, adding that this is a passion project for her. In 1955, 14-year-old Emmett was beaten and lynched after he was accused of whistling to a white woman. The incident and his mother’s insistence that the photos of his disfigured body be published served as a precursor of the Civil Rights movement. Boyz N the Hood’s John Singleton is also attached to the project.

 

Check out the trailer for Bilal: A New Breed of Hero. Set to be released at the beginning of next month, the titular character is voiced by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje who partnered with Dubai based Barajoun Entertainment to produce the movie. The film is based on the true story of Bilal Ibn Rabah, an Ethiopian man who fought his way to freedom, converted to Islam, became the first muezzin and a close adviser to the Prophet Muhammad. Ayman Jamal, the screenwriter, founder and managing partner of Barajoun Entertainment said of the project: “My inspiration was my kid, and myself. When I watched movies like Braveheart or Malcolm X when I was in my late 20s and early 30s, I was inspired. Why wasn’t I inspired when I was 10, I asked myself? I asked my 5-year-old son what he wanted to be when he grew up. He said: Superman. I love Superman, but I wish he’d said something possible, and I wanted to create this. To inspire kids with a real human superhero that they can aspire to.” Jacob Latimore, Ian McShane and China Anne McClain also voice characters.

We’re deep into awards season. Jordan Peele received two nominations from the Directors Guild of America for Top Feature and First-Time Feature Film for Get Out. Rachel Morrison, the cinematographer for Dee Rees’ Mudbound received a nomination for an Outstanding Achievement award from the American Society of Cinematographers. She becomes the first woman to be nominated by the guild in their theatrical category.

A version of Valkyrie from in Thor: Ragnarok is coming to Marvel comics. The character, played by Tessa Thompson, made a big impact inspiring artists all over social media to post their renderings of her. This version of Valkyrie will be in the new comic Exiles. Written by Saladin Ahmed with art by Javier Rodriguez, Exiles follows a cross-dimensional team of superheroes facing threats to the multiverse. The team also includes Blink, who you may know from Fox’s The Gifted; Khan, an alternate version of Kamala Khan’s Ms. Marvel; Iron Lad, a younger version of Kang the Conqueror introduced in Young Avengers; and an alternate version of Wolverine from X-Babies. “The Exiles version of Valkyrie is a bit different from what we’ve seen in comics thus far. Our Valkyrie is known as the Lone Defender of Asgard, and she’s a tankard-draining, maiden-wooing, giant-slaying thunderbolt of a woman,” Ahmed said about the character. “Though she’s not technically from the Marvel Cinematic Universe reality, she’s basically the literalization of the larger-than-her-physical-frame swagger that Tessa Thompson displayed in Thor: Ragnarok, turned up to 11.”

If you have anything I missed, email me at mel@blackgirlnerds.com or tweet me at @jane_anon. Check back in next Monday for all the exciting news happening next week.