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.
Nick Fury Set To Be Main Character In New Series From Marvel
With work on many of the movies at a stop or slowed, down, the TV end of the Marvel universe is cranking ahead at full speed, with multiple news items dropping in recent weeks. Now comes news from Variety that Samuel L. Jackson is set to reprise his role of Nick Fury in a new series being developed by Marvel. Kyle Bradstreet (Mr. Robot) is set to write and executive produce. Plot details are being kept under wraps for now, so it’s not yet known if Nick Fury will be the main character or in more of a support role, but considering Bradstreet’s wheelhouse is action-thrillers, we can hazard a guess this might be a spy series. With Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. having ended this year and S.H.I.E.L.D. as we know it over in the MCU, could the series revolve around Fury’s attempts to build S.W.O.R.D. (Sentient World Observation and Response Department), the space-based counterpart to S.H.I.E.L.D.? Considering Fury’s increasing involvement with Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel and the Kree in the movies, it’s entirely likely.
‘The Boys’ Getting A College-Set Spinoff Series
So much spinoff news this week and I’m not mad about it. This news isn’t about Marvel or DC but about Amazon’s The Boys. In light of the wildly successful show (the premiere of Season 2 was the most-watched launch of an Amazon Original ever), a spinoff series set in the same universe is being fast-tracked. Set in America’s only exclusive college for superpowered young people (run by Vought International), the spinoff series is being described as part-college drama, part-Hunger Games, with supe college students competing for the best contracts in the best cities upon graduation while simultaneously navigating college life. Just like The Boys, the tone will be irreverent and R-rated. The project, which was written by The Boys EP Craig Rosenberg, has been in development for a while but the success of Season 2 has prompted Amazon to fast-track it.
New ‘Avatar 2’ Set Photos Show Off A Scene Of Humans At War
The long-stalled Avatar 2 was one of the first major Hollywood productions to start back up in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, with filming resuming in May thanks to the production shooting in New Zealand, one of the countries that moved most aggressively to curb the spread of the coronavirus. James Cameron has said the footage he’s seen so far has been incredible, even screening some for the cast and crew. Filming continues on the sequel and Avatar 3, and producer Jon Landau shared a few new behind-the-scenes images from filming. The sequence he shared appears to be an action-heavy one with human soldiers in the middle of a firefight, with Landau writing in his caption, “Garrett Warren, 2nd Unit Director, gives stuntman Steve Brown some notes before a take. Garrett, Richard Bluck (2nd Unit DP) and the Kiwi team have been getting some great shots. Keep it up.”
And now we have to wonder, are they fighting the Na’vi or are they fighting alongside them?
Ryan Reynolds And Hugh Jackman Continue To Troll The Hell Out Of Each Other
The Hollywood bromance that keeps on giving, Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman are never not up for trolling each other on social media. The most recent amusing exchange happened on Instagram, when Jackman posted a picture of himself in New York City and Reynolds felt obliged to Photoshop himself into the picture. It started when Jackman posted this picture:
Prompting Reynolds to post this doctored photo:
Prompting Jackman to then return the serve:
I almost hope they keep this going until the original picture is unrecognizable.
John Cena’s Peacemaker From ‘The Suicide Squad’ Getting His Own Spinoff Series
Even before the film hits theaters, Peacemaker, John Cena’s character from James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad has his own spinoff series in development for HBO Max. The eight-episode series will be written by Gunn, who will also direct a few episodes as well as serving as producer alongside The Suicide Squad producer Peter Safran. Cena will serve as executive producer. The comedic action-adventure is right in Gunn’s wheelhouse, as well as that of Cena, who has shown himself to have tremendous comedic timing. Peacemaker is an utterly ridiculous character, one who believes in peace at all costs, no matter how many people he has to kill to achieve it – you get the picture. The news of the spinoff series is similar to that of The Batman getting a Gotham City PD spinoff for HBO Max. It would appear that Warner Bros. is following in Disney’s footsteps and eager to create a universe that spans both movies and streaming.
Is this the series that gets us to shell out for another streaming service? It just might be.
‘National Treasure’ Producer Explains Why A Third Movie Hasn’t Happened Yet
Oh, National Treasure 3. The mythical threequel fans have been hoping for for years. The last major news we got on the potential third installment was back in January, when it was reported that Disney had hired writer Chris Bremner to pen a new draft of the script and longtime producer Jerry Bruckheimer was back on board. Collider recently chatted with Mulan producer and National Treasure production exec Jason Reed, who said he’d “tried [his] damnedest” to get a third movie made but said the difficulty in making it a viable multimedia franchise was the problem, explaining “the company was never able to capitalize on it as a franchise. It was more of a movie with a sequel and National Treasure 3 would have been another sequel” and that one of the big issues was that they couldn’t figure out a way to integrate it into the Disney parks. “It never caught on, even though there were a lot of consumer products, it never caught on as an independent franchise,” Reed continued. “That makes the numbers look different. It makes it harder to make a company like Disney focus resources on something when they can go make Toy Story or buy a cruise ship. And if the company itself had been really excited about moving forward with it and thought they could blow it out, we would have found a way to make the deal.” Does the potential of putting it on Disney+ now change things? It’s entirely possible.
Original ‘Halloween’ And Sequels Will Be Hitting Theaters & Drive-Ins In October
The spooky season is almost upon us, and though everything feels extremely weird and upended this year, one thing will help bring a sense of normalcy to Halloween season. Courtesy of a partnership between CineLife Entertainment, Trancas International Films and Compass International Pictures, a restored and remastered version of the original 1978 Halloween will be in theaters and drive-ins throughout October. In certain theaters, it will be shown as a triple feature with Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers. “We are so excited to be bringing these films back, especially to drive-ins across the country where this iconic franchise launched,” said Ryan Freimann, senior vice president of Trancas and Compass, “Now, with the fall season growing closer, the drive-in format is helping keep both Halloween spirit and the cinema experience alive in these unprecedented times.” Time to get your scare on!
Jai Courtney Says Captain Boomerang Is Still A ‘Sh*tbag Liability’ In ‘The Suicide Squad’
Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang was one of the best parts of David Ayer’s Suicide Squad. Hilarious, crass, and completely unpredictable, he livened up every scene he was in…though, that did make him a somewhat unreliable teammate. According to Courtney in a new interview with Collider, Boomerang will be even more Boomerang in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. Explaining that co-star Joel Kinnaman got to have a bit more fun this time around playing straight man Rick Flagg as Flagg’s character has changed a bit, Courtney said there were no changes with his own character of Boomerang and with good reason. “I think it would’ve been a shame to run away from that side of Boomerang… Boomerang’s the same sh*tbag liability we came to learn about in the first one. He’s out there causing trouble as you would expect,” Courtney laughed.
BTS Is Getting An Entire Week Of Appearances On ‘The Tonight Show’
BTS is everywhere. Even if you’re not a fan, you’ve likely heard of the K-pop group if you’ve spent more than five minutes on the internet. And now, the world’s biggest band is getting a significant showcase in the U.S. Starting Monday, September 28, BTS is getting a weeklong series on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon with appearances every night of the week. “BTS Week” will find the supergroup performing new songs every single night of the week, including their new hit single, “Dynamite,” the first song by a Korean group to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart two weeks in a row. The week will also feature comedy bits, a virtual interview, and on Wednesday, September 30, the group will serve as lead guest for the night. This isn’t the first time BTS has appeared on Fallon’s show, but it’s certainly the biggest thing they’ve ever done. “We love having BTS on the show,” Fallon said in a statement. “Last time we had them on we took over Grand Central Terminal, so we had our work cut out for us to top that.” Get ready, BTS fans.
Ron Howard Directing Renowned Pianist Lang Lang’s Biopic
Acclaimed director Ron Howard has found his next directing project and it’s the biopic of world-renowned concert pianist Lang Lang. Based on Lang’s memoir Journey of a Thousand Miles co-written by David Ritz, the currently untitled biopic traces Lang’s extraordinary life story. He started out in the small, rural Northern China town of Shenyang and his family sacrificed everything to help their musical prodigy son succeed. It paid off, and Lang became one of the most revered classical pianists around the world. The script will be adapted by Michelle and Kieran Mulroney, with longtime Howard collaborator Brian Grazer serving as producer. The biopic, which Howard plans to begin after wrapping upcoming Thai cave rescue drama Thirteen Lives, will be shot in both the U.S. and China in both Mandarin and English.
Disney+ Sets Cast For ‘Turner And Hooch’ Remake
Disney is rebooting the classic 80s buddy-cop – or rather, buddy-man-and-dog – comedy Turner & Hooch for Disney+ and it’s rounded out its cast. Deadline reports that Anthony Ruivivar (The Haunting of Hill House), Brandon Jay McLaren (The Twilight Zone), and Jeremy Maguire (Modern Family) have been added to the main cast with Glee‘s Becca Tobin set as a recurring character. They join previously cast stars Josh Peck, Lyndsy Fonseca, Carra Patterson and Vanessa Lengies. Peck takes the role held by Tom Hanks in the 1989 movie with Peck’s Scott Turner being a U.S. Marshal in the Disney remake (rather than a police detective). The stiff, buttoned-up lawman’s life is upended when he inherits a huge, rambunctious dog but he soon realizes it might be exactly what he needs. Rather than being a movie, the Disney+ remake will be a series, which got a 12-episode order.
Disney+ Releases First Trailer For Marvel’s ‘WandaVision’ Series
When Marvel’s WandaVision series was first announced, fans didn’t quite know what to make of it. But as more information has come out about the quirky, what looks to be their pared-down take on the “House of M” storyline from the comics, the buzz around it has grown. With The Falcon and the Winter Soldier filming shut down due to the pandemic, it and WandaVision have flip-flopped releases, with WandaVision now being released this year. During last night’s Emmys show, the first trailer for the Marvel series dropped and…we’re in. We’re all the way in. This looks great:
Let’s get weird already, Marvel.
Chinese Epic ‘The Eight Hundred’ Becomes The Biggest 2020 Movie In The World
For eight months, thanks to the coronavirus shutting down theaters all over, Bad Boys for Life was the highest-grossing movie of 2020 in the world, generating $424.6 million at the worldwide box office during its run. But Chinese war epic The Eight Hundred just broke that total to become the biggest movie of 2020 so far, crossing the $426.5 million mark as of 5 p.m. Beijing time on Monday. Chinese box office analysts project it to round out its Chinese theatrical run at around $445 million. It’s a sigh of relief for studio Huayi Brothers Media and director Guan Hu, essentially the Chinese equivalents of Warner Bros. and Christopher Nolan, taking the risk of The Eight Hundred being the first tentpole to hit theaters after reopening. It’s now being hailed as kickstarting the return of the world’s second-largest box office in the world, with most Chinese theaters now operating at 75% capacity. It’s more good news for the Asian market overall, which is starting to strongly rebound from the coronavirus shutdown thanks to swift and organized public health measures. The success of The Eight Hundred comes just a few months after Train to Busan sequel Peninsula crushed the international box office its opening weekend and reinvigorated the Korean box office.
Tiffany Haddish Joins Nic Cage’s ‘The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent’
Some casting news for Lionsgate’s The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, which is shaping up to be perhaps the most Nicolas Cage of all Nicolas Cage movies. According to Deadline, comedian and actress Tiffany Haddish has signed on to co-star opposite cage. She joins a cast that also includes Pedro Pascal and Sharon Horgan. Reportedly, Cage hand-picked Haddish for the role after a recommendation from his friend, the writer and director Paul Schrader. The meta action-comedy finds Cage playing a cash-strapped version of himself who agrees to make a paid appearance at a billionaire superfan’s birthday party where he’s meant to recreate his most famous scenes. However, the rich fan is actually a drug cartel kingpin and the paid appearance is a cover as Cage is working as an undercover informant for the CIA. Things escalate and Cage soon finds himself writing a script with the cartel leader, with scenes that reflect actual moments in Cage’s life and scenes from his career. Incredibly meta and incredibly weird. What’s not to love?
The Emmys Had A Mini ‘Friends’ Half-Reunion
Last night’s Emmys were an interesting thing to watch in the time of COVID-19. But among some surprise wins and heartfelt speeches, we got a brief glimpse of the Friends reunion that was set to happen back in May but is now on hold. Aniston showed up to do a bit with host Jimmy Kimmel and present the first award. But Kimmel warned her she had to hustle home in order to get back in time for her own nomination category (Aniston was nominated for Best Actress in a Drama for The Morning Show). Kimmel checked in with Aniston via Zoom to make sure she’d made it home and surprise, surprise, her Emmy watch party buddies were none other than Lisa Kudrow and Courtney Cox, with them all joking that Kimmel’s surprise was strange as they all live together. Quipped Aniston, “We’ve been roommates since 1994, Jimmy.” Check out the delightful half-reunion below with a surprise appearance by another non-Friends actor: