BGN News Beat

What’s going on in the TV world?

The premiere for Hulu’s Runaways is just around the corner. To celebrate Marvel released a new poster this week.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy was a perfect combination of casting, direction, timing and probably a little bit of magic that all led to a massively successful franchise. Now Amazon is hoping that lightning will strike twice. They’re producing their own Lord of the Rings multi-season tv series. Rather than being an adaptation of the trilogy of books, this series will function more as a prequel, telling new stories before the events of The Fellowship of the Ring. There is also the potential for a spin-off. “We are delighted that Amazon, with its longstanding commitment to literature, is the home of the first-ever multi-season television series for ‘The Lord of the Rings,’” said a spokesman for the Tolkien Estate and Trust and HarperCollins. “Sharon [Tal Yguado] and the team at Amazon Studios have exceptional ideas to bring to the screen previously unexplored stories based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s original writings.”

Revivals are en vogue now. X-Files and Gilmore Girls both came back successfully. Now Deadwood might be added to that list. HBO is discussing bringing the show back in Fall 2018. While the project hasn’t been greenlit yet, there is enough speculation to get blogs talking. According to Deadline, earlier this year show creator David Milch gave a finished script to HBO. The script was called ‘terrific’ by programming boss Casey Bloys. He is currently in talks with directors. We’ll see if those talks lead to a new season.

The full trailer is out for The Chi. The Showtime drama was created by Emmy award winning writer Lena Waithe. She along with Common and Elwood Reid will serve as executive producers. Reid is also the showrunner. The cast includes several familiar names: Common, Moonlight‘s Alex Hibbert, The Get Down‘s Yolanda Ross, Queen of Katwe‘s Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Straight Outta Compton‘s Jason Mitchell, Sleight‘s Jacob Latimore, The Following‘s Tiffany Boone and Bull‘s Armando Riesco. The series is a coming-of-age story staring a group of Chicago residents. It premieres on Jan. 7 at 10 p.m.

One Day She’ll Darken recently added Shoniqua Shondai to the cast in a recurring role. Shondai’s last major role was in Joseph Kahn’s Bodied. One Day She’ll Darken is a TNT mini-series about “Fauna Hodel (India Eisley), who was given away at birth. As Fauna begins to investigate the secrets to her past, she follows a sinister trail that swirls ever closer to Dr. George Hodel, an infamous Hollywood gynecologist who is involved in the town’s darkest debauchery.” Shondai will play Fauna’s cousin. The first two episodes will be directed by Wonder Woman’s Patty Jenkins.

Shoniqua Shandai Photo by Fiorella Occhipinti

We’re a little over a month away from the Doctor Who Christmas special. In honor of the Children in Need charity, they released a special sneak peak into the episode. In it we get to see the first and the twelfth doctor interact. It must be strange to meet your future self. Thankfully the Doctor has plenty experience with that.

Sleepy Hollow executive producer and co-showrunner, Albert Kim, is currently working with NBC on a drama about a family-owned Korean electronics corporation. The company is set to move into the American market but the CEO dies before the launch of the new satellite. His will names an unknown heir, of course causing drama. If the show is ordered to series, it will be the first show heavily featuring andAsian cast on NBC. Kim also worked on Leverage and Nikita.

Speaking of new deals, Netflix signed a multi-year one with Jenji Kohan, the creator of some of its more popular shows, Orange is the New Black and Glow. “Bold, outspoken and totally fearless, Jenji has constantly raised the bar for storytelling at Netflix. She possesses a rare and special talent to say what’s unspoken, choose the unexpected over the safe and drive the cultural conversation – and audiences love her for it. She has been with us from the beginning and we could not be more thrilled to continue working together over the coming years,” said Cindy Holland, VP Original Content at Netflix.

Last week I wrote about Netflix’s plan to remove Kevin Spacey from House of Cards after a string of sexual misconduct allegations. That process isn’t looking as easy as it originally seemed. It’s being reported that his contract lacks a morality clause. Allegedly he can only be fired if he’s unavailable or incapacitated which may make it hard and expensive for Netflix to drop him. Things aren’t going so well for Amazon’s streaming service either.  Jeffrey Tambor, star of their hit dramedy series Transparent, has also been the recipient of sexual misconduct allegations.  On Sunday, it was reported that Jeffrey Tambor will be leaving Transparent. “I’ve already made clear my deep regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being aggressive, but the idea that I would deliberately harass anyone is simply and utterly untrue,” Tambor told Deadline. “Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don’t see how I can return to Transparent.” No word as of yet on how this will affect the next season.

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In Movie News…

This week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly will have 4 covers celebrating Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Check out my write up on the feature story here.

Just in time for the holidays, we have the hilarious first teaser trailer for Deadpool 2. In typical Deadpool fashion, it is not a straight forward trailer. Instead it starts with a spoof of the titular character as Bob Ross before launching into the all too brief series of scenes from the film. If this small peak is any indication of how the movie will fare, the sequel may end up being better than the first one. You can read our article on it here.

 

When you’re starving, anything can look like a meal. With the movie still months away, we’re starving for Black Panther content. The International trailer dropped this week. While there are many scenes that we have seen before in previous trailers, there are still a few new nuggets. Shuri speaks, telling T’Challa the alterations she made to the suit. We get to see more fighting and more Killmonger which I know is important to the BGN fanbase.

 

Disney has started to release trailers for their trailers. As if we weren’t already brimming with anticipation, on Friday Disney tweeted out teasers for the full length trailers of Pixar’s The Incredibles 2 and A Wrinkle in Time. The trailer for Incredibles 2 was released on Saturday. From the small scene they gave us, it looks like little Jack-Jack is not lacking in the powers department. Even with their own superpowers, Jack-Jack is going to be a handful for his family. It was also announced that Bob Odenkirk and Get Out’s Catherine Keener have joined the cast in the sequel.

A new poster for A Wrinkle in Time was also released a few days before the trailer. The second trailer dropped Sunday night during the American Music Awards. We can expect the movie out on March 9, 2018. You can read our article on the trailer here.

Disney

A film adaptation of Karin Tanabe’s The Guilded Years is currently in the works. The film, entitled A White Lie, stars Spider-man: Homecoming‘s Zendaya as Anita Hemmings, a light-skinned black woman who passed as white to attend Vasser in the the late 1890s.  The script is being written by Monica Beletsky, who has written most recently for FX’s Fargo. Zendaya is producing the movie along with Hello Sunshine’s Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter.

Zendaya is also featured in the latest trailer for The Greatest Showman. The film stars Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum as he endeavors to found Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. The film also stars Michelle Williams, Zac Efron and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II who was in The Get Down and will be in Aquaman. Diahann Carroll is rumored to be in the film. The Greatest Showman will feature songs from Broadway songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paulwill. It will be released on December 20.

The popularity of Spider-man: Homecoming has opened up a whole new world for Spider-man related movies for Sony. So far a Venom movie starring Tom Hardy is in the works along with a Silver Sable and the Black Cat movie. Now Morbius the Living Vampire is getting the film treatment. The character was created by Roy Thomas and artist Gil Kane. He is a scientist that accidentally inflicted himself with a form of vampirism. The writers of the Power Rangers movie, Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama, will be writing the script for this.

Tiffany Haddish has definitely been the breakout star from Girls Trip. She has roles in Kevin Hart’s Night School and TBS’ The Last O.G and also recently hosted Saturday Night Live. Now she has two new projects lined up. The first is The Kitchen, which is based on a Vertigo comic book about a group of Irish mobsters wives in 1970s Hell’s Kitchen who take over their husband’s businesses after they are arrested. The film is being put out by New Line with a script by Straight Outta Compton‘s Andrea Berloff. The second project is The Temp, a female-driven comedy that reunites Haddish with Girls Trip producer Will Packer.

It’s increasingly looking like The Crow Reborn is crawling its way out of development hell where it should have stayed. It will now be a Sony project with Colin Hardy directing and Jason Momoa staring. Momoa posted about it on his Instagram earlier this week. The Crow Reborn will be based on the 1989 comic, The Crow by James O’Barr about a man who is brought back from death be a crow to avenge the murder of him and his girlfriend. The comic was already adapted into a film in 1994 staring Brandon Lee.

I’ve been waiting for sooooo long. @corinhardy let’s do this brother aloha j

A post shared by Jason Momoa (@prideofgypsies) on

Another remake is in production. A film adaptation of the Nickelodeon show Are You Afraid of the Dark? is being made. The film is being brought to us by Paramount Players,  a division of Paramount that works on film adaptations of their intellectual properties. Gary Dauberman, the screenwriter for IT is set to write the script. Are You Afraid of the Dark? was an anthology series that ran from 1992-1996 about a group of kids who would tell each other scary stories.

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Award season is upon us. Competition is usually stiff which could lead to some odd decisions. For instance, Blumhouse, the production company behind Get Out, choosing to submit it in the Comedy/Musical category at the 2018 Golden Globes. While there were laughs in Get Out, a comedy it is not. With powerhouses Dunkirk and Darkest Hour in the Drama category, I can see why Blumhouse might want to avoid it. The Comedy/Musical category doesn’t look any easier though. The Big Sick and I, Tonya have both received rave reviews and are likely to be submitted for contention. More importantly, both fit in the comedy category more than Get Out does. We’ll see how this move plays out.

Taraji P. Henson has a new project on the horizon. She’s going to be starring in Paramount’s What Men Want. If it sounds familiar, it’s a remake of the 2000 romantic comedy What Women Want. The original stared Mel Gibson as a sexist advertising executive who gains the ability to read women’s thoughts. At first, he uses it to his advantage but eventually it turns him into a more likable person. In the remake, Henson stars as a sports agent outshined by her male colleagues. After gaining the ability to hear men’s thoughts, she’s able to better her position. The movie will be produced by Will Packer and James Lopez with Henson serving as an executive producer. It’s set to be released January 11, 2019.

The first cast photo and full title of the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them have been released. The sequel will be called Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. The Fantastic Beasts twitter account gifted us with a moving image. We can see Jude Law as a young Albus Dumbledore. Ezra Miller returns as Credence Barebone who apparently didn’t die in the last movie. Next to him is Claudia Kim as Maledictus, a character who carries a deadly curse. Next up is Zoë Kravitz as Leta Lestrange, someone we only glimpsed through a photograph in the first film. She is sitting beside Theseus Scamander. Yes, Newt’s brother who is played by Callum Turner and is also betrothed to Leta. Oh, the drama. Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol and Dan Fogler are all returning as Newt Scamander, Tina Goldstein, Queenie Goldstein and Jacob Kowalski. Though there is a current fan petition to have him removed from the movie, Johnny Depp will return as Gellert Grindelwald.

Finally, two pieces of comic book movie news. Fox is developing a film based on Jamie Madrox, a mutant known as Multiple Man. The character was played by Eric Dane in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand. The script will be written by Allan Heinberg who wrote the script for Wonder Woman. James Franco will star as Jamie Madrox and produce the film through his production company Ramona Films along with Simon Kinberg’s Genre Films company. In other Wonder Woman news, the release date for the sequel has been moved up. It was originally slated for Dec. 13, 2019, a mere 7 days before the release of Star Wars: Episode IX. The new release date will be Nov. 1, 2019.

In other news

Last week, I reported that following allegations of sexual harassment, longtime DC Comics editor Eddie Berganza was suspended. On Monday it was confirmed that he was fired. Some of the titles he oversaw included Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Superman and the recent Dark Knights: Metal. No word as of yet who will be replacing him.

The leadership of Marvel Comics is still in flux. Last week longtime writer Brian Michael Bendis left Marvel for DC. This week, Axel Alonso who has served as Marvel’s editor in chief since 2011, also left the company. Friday it was announced that C. B. Cebulski would be his replacement. Previously Cebulski served as vice president of international brand management for Marvel. He was also responsible for publishing Brian K. Vaughan’s Runaways. “It’s crazy. It’s an honor. I’m blown away by the opportunity,”  Cebulski said about the move.

Finally, someone made an interesting new and most importantly free game. Titled: Hair Nah, it’s a travel game for women who are tired of people touching their hair. You get to pick an avatar and then spend the rest of the time swatting away hands from her hair. As someone with colorful puffy hair that tends to attract all kinds of wondering fingers, I feel this on a deep level.

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.