Some days, there are bits and bobs of news that don’t have quite enough meat on the bone for a full article. Still, they’re cool tidbits worth getting some love. We round them up for you in our Quick Hits column.
Freddy Krueger Is Getting His Own Coffee Roast
There are few actors who have meant as much to a genre as actor Robert Englund has meant to the horror genre as the original Freddy Krueger in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. And he’s being honored in a really cool and unexpected way: getting his own coffee roast. Dead Sled Coffee, a specialty coffee roaster whose theme is built around a dark sense of humor, with various roasts being named for horror icons, announced they’re creating a special blend to honor the horror movie legend, which is honestly very cool. Englund himself took to Twitter to share the news, making a cheeky reference to his movies:
If only Freddy Krueger’s victims had had such a caffeine jolt to keep them from dreaming.
New ‘Avatar 2’ Behind The Scenes Photos Show Off A Massive Set
Despite all the jokes the internet likes to make about how we’re never getting an Avatar sequel, production on Avatar 2 is back in full swing after the pandemic pause. It’s so far, so good for the production, with director James Cameron remarking last month that he’s blown away by the footage he’s seen so far. It appears to be with good reason, too. Producer Jon Landau shared two behind-the-scenes set pics of the production design and it shows off a massive New Zealand set for the High Camp Bio Lab. Check ’em out:
You have to hand it to Cameron. He’s never afraid to go big and ambitious.
A ’47 Ronin’ Sequel Is In The Works At Netflix
Seven years ago, Keanu Reeves-led 47 Ronin was released and it, well, bombed. The Carl Rinsch-directed movie blending fantasy and samurai didn’t come together as one might have hoped. But a 47 Ronin sequel has surprisingly found life, with Deadline reporting that Netflix has given the project a green light. This time, the sequel has a more fitting director: Mulan star Ron Yuan will be in the director’s seat for the film, which is jumping 300 years into the future and will be even more of a genre-mash, blending martial arts, action, horror elements and cyberpunk. It sounds nuts, but Yuan is an excellent and intriguing pick for this being something of a Swiss army knife in Hollywood himself: He’s been a director, actor, fight and dance coordinator, producer and writer. If there’s anyone who can make a 47 Ronin sequel a success for Netflix, which has been ramping up its action genre offerings, it’s Yuan.
New ‘Jurassic World: Dominion’ Behind The Scenes Photos Reveal The New Normal For Productions
Universal’s Jurassic World: Dominion was one of the first major productions to get back to filming after the quarantine shutdown. Obviously, that requires a number of new health and safety measures put in place and a new list of precautions the production must take to keep the cast and crew as safe as possible from contracting COVID-19. The New York Times reported that the production has a 107-page safety manual listing those precautions, and that, among other things, the cast and crew were all sequestered at the same hotel to undergo quarantine together. A few behind the scenes pictures were also shared, and one in particular really underscores our new normal, showing a masked-up crew member working with some animatronic dino puppets.
Honestly, the fact it took me a minute to even recognize she was wearing a mask really drives home how different things are now than they were six months ago. 2020, weirdest. year. ever.
‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ Being Rebooted As A Drama Series
It’s not about movies and it’s not about theaters, but this is too interesting a bit of news to pass up: Classic ’90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is getting a reboot, this time as an hour-long drama. If that seems strange to you, the story behind it is a fascinating one. Last year, in March, Morgan Cooper, an aspiring filmmaker and self-described Fresh Prince superfan, created and directed a fan trailer that reimagined the ’90s show as a modern, realistic family drama. The video went viral and caught OG Fresh Prince Will Smith’s attention and the rest, as they say, was history. Smith and Cooper teamed up to make it happen for real, with Cooper serving as writer, director, and co-EP on the series, which is currently being shopped around to streaming platforms in one of the hottest bidding wars in recent memory. Judging from how intriguing Cooper’s original viral trailer was, it’s worth it:
I didn’t think I could ever imagine The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as a gritty drama, but after that? I’m into it.
New York Comic Con Is Going Virtual This Year (Like Everything Else)
Though waiting until quite late in the game to officially pull the plug on a live event, ReedPop announced today that New York Comic Con would be a virtual event this year from October 8-11. While unsurprising, the news is a reminder that this is the weirdest year ever. However, it will be a bit different than the format used by San Diego Comic-Con in July, in which panels were prerecorded and then made viewable on YouTube at specific dates and times. Instead, NYCC will be far more interactive by utilizing YouTube’s community and live chat features, as well as ReedPop’s Discord channel, with Q&As with talent being planned. ReedPop is also creating a virtual marketplace for those who are missing out on Artists Alley and getting merch from the show floor, with personalized autographs, videos, and workshops being offered through October. Star Trek, American Gods, and a Hulu/FX panel were the first three panels to be announced with more to come.
Daniel Dae Kim Raising Money To Get Legendary Character Actor James Hong A Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame
Character actor James Hong might just be the face you’ve seen most that you know least. The veteran actor, who has been in the game for almost 70 years, has over 430 acting credits listed on his IMDb and was one of the founders of Asian-American theater the East-West Players in 1965. To honor his accomplishments in and contributions to movies, actor Daniel Dae Kim launched a GoFundMe to raise the money to apply for a star for Hong on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next year. The beautiful news is that in just three days, the campaign raised more than the $50,000 sponsorship fee needed, which Kim said would go into a fund until the application window opens next spring.
‘Mulan’ Is Getting A Theatrical Release In China
Last week’s announcement that Mulan is moving to Disney+ and not getting a theatrical release at all in the U.S. and other countries where Disney+ is available came as a shock to some, a totally expected move from others. The $29.99 price point is a topic of debate; whether or not fans go for it will set the precedent for streaming vs. theatrical moving forward. But Mulan is still releasing theatrically in countries that don’t have Disney+, and on Tuesday, Disney confirmed China, the biggest foreign market of all is indeed getting Mulan in theaters. No release date is yet set, however. The U.S. release of Mulan will happen on Disney+ on Labor Day weekend, but with Chinese theaters having a backlog of movies to get through after being shut down for over half a year, it’s unclear when foreign audiences can expect to see Mulan in theaters.
Kristen Wiig Wasn’t Allowed To Take Pics In Her Cheetah Costume On The ‘WW84’ Set
Thus far, we’ve seen a few teases in the Wonder Woman 1984 promo material of Kristen Wiig’s eventual transformation from Barbara Minerva into Cheetah. But we have yet to see her full look as Cheetah and, as it turns out, that’s on purpose. The WW84 production is being very careful to keep her look under wraps – so much so that Wiig wasn’t even allowed to take pictures of herself wearing the Cheetah costume, she said. Speaking to InStyle, she explained there are “different evolutions” of the character, but we likely won’t see any of them before the movie’s release. “[W]e weren’t allowed to take any pictures,” Wiig explained. “This was lockdown. They have it somewhere, and you will see it. But there are different evolutions to my character. I will leave you with that.” Looks like we’ll have to wait until October 2nd to find out.
Disney+’s ‘Rogue One’ Prequel Casts Adria Arjona
Disney clearly intends for its Disney+ platform to serve as an an extension of the movie universes it’s built with various franchise IPs, with series spinning off movies. The most recent of those series to get an update is the Rogue One prequel spinoff starring Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk in their previous roles. THR is reporting that Adria Arjona will be joining the cast. The role of the Emerald City and Pacific Rim: Uprising star is not yet specified, but Arjona’s star has quietly been on the rise in the last few years. She was most recently seen in 6 Underground and will next be seen playing Martine Bancroft in Sony’s upcoming Spider-verse movie, Morbius, starring Jared Leto as the titular Spider-Man baddie.
Noah Centineo Is Already Ripped To Play Atom Smasher In ‘Black Adam’
Noah Centineo has his gym work cut out for him in the next few years. First, he signed on to play Adam/He-Man in the Masters of the Universe reboot, and more recently, he joined the cast of Black Adam in the role of Atom Smasher. Both of those superhuman roles require him to get the physique to match, and it appears he’s already well on his way to being ripped. Centineo shared a look at his work-in-progress body as he preps for Black Adam, which is set to start shooting early next year.
Not bad, kid. Not bad at all.
Kenneth Branagh Describes His ‘Tenet’ Character As ‘Terrifying’
We know, well…pretty much nothing about Tenet less than a month before its release, which tracks for a Christopher Nolan movie. All we know is who’s starring in it and that it involves some sort of time shenanigans called “inversion” which is not the same as time travel. In theory. But now we know one more thing: Kenneth Branagh, who is playing the villain, says his character will be terrifying. Speaking to The Irish Times, he admitted the script often left him wondering what the hell was going on and that his character is darker than anything he’s played in his long career: “It was darker than anything I’ve ever played,” Branagh said. “Chris does his homework so he knew what I had done before and what he didn’t want from me. He kept saying: ‘You know this character has to be unremittingly evil?’ Until finally, on the last day he said, regarding your character and the darkness? You really understood the memo.”
Okay. Consider us even more intrigued.
Zac Efron Is Starring In A ‘Three Men And A Baby’ Remake For Disney+
Three Men and a Baby might not have been one of the top-tier classic ’80s movies, but it’s at least mid-tier and holds a fond spot in the memories of many. Now, courtesy of Disney+, it’s getting a remake starring Zac Efron, says THR. Gordon Gray, who has produced feel-good sports movies like The Rookie and The Way Back, is producing, and Will Reichel wrote the script. A search for a director is underway. The 1987 original, which was a remake of a French movie, was directed by Leonard Nimoy – yes, that Leonard Nimoy – and starred Steve Guttenberg, Ted Danson and Tom Selleck as three bachelor friends who find themselves in over their heads when they have to care for an infant girl. It was a hit and spawned the sequel Three Men and a Little Lady three years later. It’s unclear how this new remake will update the material, but the addition of Efron is a great sign. He’s a solid comedic actor whose acting chops after often underrated. It will be interesting to see who Disney casts opposite him.