From film to TV, gaming to comics and everything in between, here’s what you might have missed in pop culture news this week.
Star Wars fans nearly went into meltdown when news hit that the Obi-Wan Kenobi TV series was being delayed due to the departure of screenwriter Hossein Amini from the project. Ewan McGregor, however, was quick to downplay fears and suggested that ‘instead of shooting this August, they just want to start shooting in January, that’s all. Nothing more dramatic than that’. New reports have Lucasfilm currently eyeing both Dave Filoni and Christopher Yost who, aside from their work in the animated Star Wars shows, also both recently wrote episodes for The Mandalorian.
When Adam Driver first took on the role of Kylo Ren for The Force Awakens, he was quick to parody it in an infamous Undercover Boss skit for Saturday Night Live where he played “Matt” the First Order radar technician. Now he has returned to the role once more in a hilarious new follow up skit, now going undercover as “Randy” the intern.
Undercover Boss checks in with one of its more notorious bosses, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), to see if he kept his promise to change his company.
Posted by Saturday Night Live on Saturday, January 25, 2020
The upcoming reboot of ‘90s teen sitcom Saved By the Bell has revealed the new cast coming to Bayside High. Glee’s Josie Totah will be joined by The Maze Runner’s Dexter Darden, along with relative newcomers Mitchell Hoog, Belmont Cameli, Haskiri Velazquez and Alycia Pascual-Peña. Original cast members Mario Lopez, Elizabeth Berkley and Mark-Paul Goselaar are also returning in some capacity.
Supanova Alumnus, The Hobbit and Outlander’s Graham McTavish, may be joining the cast of The Witcher season 2 in the role of the spymaster Sigismund Dijkstra. Recently an audition tape of McTavish reading for the role leaked online before being swiftly taken down at the behest of Netflix. Season 2 of The Witcher is planned for a 2021 release.
In other Netflix news, Cartlon Cuse, executive producer on their upcoming comic book adaptation Locke & Key, has revealed that the show’s creative team is already hard at work on the show’s second season despite not having been officially greenlit. Season 1 of Locke & Key is scheduled to drop next week on February 7.
Amazon is reportedly looking at bringing James Patterson’s forensic psychologist Alex Cross to their streaming platform in a new original series. Previously portrayed on the big screen by Morgan Freeman and Tyler Perry, there is currently no word on who will be playing Cross in the new show or which of Patterson’s books might form the basis for the story.
Last week we got a glimpse of Loki’s staff getting ready for filming in the Loki Disney+ series, now the God of Mischief, Tom Hiddleston himself, has given us a behind-the-scenes glimpse of him preparing for a stunt for the upcoming show.
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Recently we also learned that the WandaVision series release date was being moved up from 2021 to later this year, now it appears that the flow-on effect will also result in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier getting an earlier release. New reports have the folks at Disney+ pencilling in an August release for the first of the new MCU connected series.
HBO stunned everyone at the end of last year when they scrapped plans to continue with their untitled Game of Thrones prequel, which had already shot their pilot episode and was set 3,000 years prior to the events of GoT, and decided instead to channel their resources into another prequel series House of the Dragon based on the companion book Fire & Blood. Set 300 years before GoT, the new series will follow the rise of House Targaryen, and now it looks as though they are ready to begin casting key roles. New reports are that HBO are currently looking to cast Aegon, Vinsenya and Rhaenys Targaryen as the series’ 3 principal leads.
Whovians were given a big case of the Wibbly Wobblies this week when fan-favourite and Supanova alumnus John Barrowman returned in the latest episode of Doctor Who as Captain Jack Harkness after a 10-year absence from the franchise.
Trekkies also had a good week, with the long-anticipated return of Patrick Stewart in Star Trek: Picard. Whilst the first season has only just started this last weekend, work on season 2 is already well underway and Stewart, who recently appeared on US talk show The View, also made the formal offer to the show’s co-host Whoopi Goldberg to reprise her own role as The Next Generation’s Guinan in the show’s upcoming second season.
.@SirPatStew officially invites @WhoopiGoldberg to join season two of #StarTrekPicard: “It was wonderful having you, and we cannot wait to have you with us again one more time.” https://t.co/f8u2wbJuik #StarTrek pic.twitter.com/mxOtyJxF63
— The View (@TheView) January 22, 2020
Speaking of another Supanova alum, in some bittersweet news Arrow’s Stephen Amell has suited up as Oliver Queen for the last time this week as shooting on the final season wrapped up.
Today’s bittersweet. Arrow meant so much to me for so many years. It was a transformative journey… but it was time to let it go. I lace my boots and don the hood one last time tonight. I’ll forever cherish being an ambassador for Oliver Queen. Thank you for the honor. pic.twitter.com/pTxgtCWyqu
— Stephen Amell (@StephenAmell) January 28, 2020
Autobots, roll out! Paramount is reportedly working on two simultaneous Transformers movies, with one believed to be linked with the most recent Bumblebee film and the other representing a full reboot of the franchise. Screenwriters James Vanderbilt and Joby Harold have each been attached to the two separate projects.
Another film set to get the reboot treatment is John Carpenter’s ‘80s horror classic The Thing. New reports are that rising horror production house Blumhouse Studios are currently working on making a new adaptation of the 1938 novel Who Goes There?, which served as the basis for Carpenter’s own film.
One movie reboot to suffer from the eternal shuffle of release dates is the Masters of the Universe remake that was originally slated for release in March 2021. Taking its release slot is Sony’s film adaptation of the Uncharted video game series starring Spider-Man Homecoming’s Tom Holland, which was originally scheduled for December 2020. No word exists yet on when Masters of the Universe will now be released.
Second unit production on The Batman has already been underway for weeks now, with candid shots of various on-location shoots happening across London already flooding the internet, but now we also have official confirmation that principal photography with the main cast has also commenced. Director Matt Reeves shared the below Tweet celebrating their first day on the main shoot.
Disney have confirmed their next live-action film adaptation to be produced will be a reworking of Pinocchio to be written and directed by Back to the Future’s Robert Zemeckis. No details exist yet regarding potential cast or the projected release date for the new film. In the meantime, Disney’s live action Mulan is set for a March 25 release.
Former Bollywood actress and star of US drama Quantico, Prinyanka Chopra is reportedly in final talks to join the cast of the upcoming fourth Matrix film which is set to begin filming in the very near future and is set for a May 2021 release.
Techland has announced Dying Light’s battle royale game mode, Bad Blood, is now free to play across all platforms. The announcement comes as a thank you to their community for their continued support, after they announced last week that Dying Light 2 will be delayed indefinitely. Bad Blood is a bit smaller compared to other BR’s with only 12 players per match and blending PvP with zombie-slaying PvE elements – making the allure of teaming up and the inevitable betrayal all too tempting. You can currently claim your free copy of Bad Blood through the Dying Light website.
Following the untimely passing of NBA great Kobe Bryant earlier this week, NBA 2K20 has been flooded with tributes for the Las Angeles Lakers shooting guard. The game now opens with a new splash screen that commemorates the life of Bryant and the official NBA 2K20 Twitter account acknowledging his ‘many contributions on and off the court’. Bryant has appeared in every 2K game and was featured on the front of NBA 2K17’s special editions.
RIP to a Legend. Thank you for your many contributions on and off the court. You are greatly missed pic.twitter.com/XesYS63Uhp
— NBA 2K20 (@NBA2K) January 26, 2020
Bungie had to temporarily shut down Destiny 2 servers for emergency maintenance this week, after a bug was discovered to be affecting player’s currency and materials. Players came back from server maintenance for patch 2.7.1 when many noticed their Glimmer and other materials to be missing. The public outcry caused Bungie to immediately pull their servers while they patched the game up and rolled out the amended update almost 12 hours later – restoring players hard earned Glimmer.
More details on the Pokémon cloud service app Pokémon Home have been announced this week. The app will function off of Apple and Android Devices and will allow players to move Pokémon from their Pokémon Bank, Pokémon Go accounts and Lets Go games to Pokémon Sword and Shield. The app will be available for a free 1 month trial upon its release when it launches this February and will then revert to a basic account. The premium account is expected to cost $16/year and will allow players to deposit up to 6000 Pokemon and move their Pokemon from the cloud service to Sword and Shield.
🏠 A Home for Your Pokémon 🏠
Move Pokémon between compatible games, trade Pokémon on the go, and more with #PokemonHOME!
— Pokémon (@Pokemon) January 28, 2020