REEL NEWS: JULY 27TH-AUGUST 3RD
This week; Netflix got busy and announced a ton of new projects and confrimed a release date for one; the 2020 Emmy nominations were revealed; Golden Globe's and Emmy's ceremony formats have been changed; Marvel's Avengers beta details; and Pixar have teased details about their 2021 movie.
New Netflix The Witcher Series
Netflix have greenlit a prequel series to their fantasy series, The Witcher.
The Witcher: Blood Origin will be set 1,200 years before the events of the Henry Cavill show.
The series will not see the return of Geralt or Yennifer and instead explore the origins of the first Witcher, monster hunters/mercenaries in the land of The Continent.
The Witcher writer, Declan de Barra will be showrunner, and Witcher showrunner Laruen S. Hissrich will be executive producer on the show.
De Barra said in a statement, “[The series] will tell the tale of the Elven civilization before its fall…What was the Elven world really like before the cataclysmic arrival of the humans?”
With a second season of The Witcher in the works, and now this prequel, Netflix might be looking for a potential franchise from the book-turned-video-game series.
Tenet Unique Release Schedule
After pulling Tenet from the release calendar last week, Warner Bros. have announced the release plan for Europe, Asia-Pacific and the US.
Christopher Nolan’s Tenet will release in parts of Europe, Asia and Australia on August 26th.
The film will then be released in select US cities on September 3rd, in a staggered release pattern. That is if they can get the COVID-19 pandemic under control.
One market that was in dispute regarding Tenet’s release was China who reopened their theatres with the caveat that the films be under 2 hours in runtime, excluding Tenet’s 2 hours 30-minute runtime.
That has been contradicted with films like the Harry Potter series (which all run over 2 hours) being approved by the Chinese government.
Tenet was approved by the Chinese government to be shown in theatres that are capped at 30% capacity based on the government’s guidelines.
A staggered global release schedule, with the US being one of the last countries, is unheard of and could signal a permanent shift away from the classic release schedule.
2020 Emmy Nominations
The 2020 Emmy nominations have been announced with Netflix and HBO once again as top dogs.
HBO’s Watchmen series raked up 26 nominations, the most of any program in this year’s nominees.
Amazon’s The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel came in second with 20 nominations; Ozark and Succession tied with 18; and The Mandalorian, Schitt’s Creek and SNL all earned 15.
Netflix broke a record with a massive 160 accumulative nominations, thanks to programs like Ozark, Tiger King, The Last Dance and The Crown, beating the record held by HBO with 137 nominations, last year.
Along with the nominations, the Television Academy announced that the award’s ceremony will be held virtually, with Jimmy Kimmel hosting.
In a letter to the nominees obtained by Variety, the executive producers wrote, “This year, it’s still going to be TV industry’s biggest night out…but we’ll come to you!”
The Emmys, in whatever shape, will be held on September 20th.
Golden Globe Shake-Up
Continuing the shake-up of entertainment awards, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association have announced next year’s Golden Globe strategy.
The award’s ceremony will now be held on February 28th, with the nominee announcement on February 3rd.
Films submitted for consideration before November 30th and TV series nominated between December 30th and January 12th will be eligible.
Also films that were released on-demand or on streaming services, will be eligible, as with the Academy Awards rules.
Amy Poehler and Tina Fey will return to co-host the ceremony, marking the 4th time the comedy duo will host the ceremony.
The Globes are used to indicate the winners of the Academy Awards, but now with a 2-month gap between the ceremonies, the Globe winners might influence the results instead of predict.
Universal/AMC Theatres Home Release Deal
After Universal and AMC Theatres, clashed over Universal’s shift away from theatre releases, both companies have reached a new agreement.
Variety report that Universal and the US theatre chain have signed a multi-year deal that allows the studio’s films to be shown in AMC theatres before being available on-demand, 3 weeks later.
This deal may set a new standard for film releases, with studios trying to minimise the window of theatre distribution, and maximise profits shown with recent films like Trolls: World Tour and Scoob!.
The cinema landscape is undergoing a massive shift with new avenues being introduced to replace the multiplex release venue.
Numerous Netflix Projects Announced
If there’s one studio that’s making a killing out of this pandemic, it’s Netflix who have announced numerous projects over the last week.
Millie Bobby Brown, star of Netflix’s Stranger Things, is set to star in The Girls I’ve Been, based on novel of the same name by Tess Sharpe.
Brown will play Nora, a con artist who must use her persuasive skills to free herself, her girlfriend and her ex-boyfriend from a hostage situation.
Netflix are really keeping it in the family with Ozark star Jason Bateman producing the film, and making it Brown’s 3rd Netflix project after Stranger Things and the upcoming Enola Holmes.
The prequel to the award winning 1975, Jack Nicholson film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest has a release date.
Ratched stars Sarah Paulson as the abusive Nurse Ratched, and focuses on her early days at a psychiatric hospital where she witnesses the abuse by the doctors on the patients.
The series is produced by Ryan Murphy, who just created Netflix’s Hollywood series, with Evan Romansky as showrunner.
Ratched will debut September 18th.
Ubisoft are partnering with Netflix to create an anime adaptation of the Splinter Cell video game franchise.
John Wick writer Derek Kolstad will produce and write the series, which, Variety reports, has been ordered for 2 seasons, with 16 episodes in total.
Sam Fisher is the protagonist of the stealth game series, with his iconic night-vision goggles.
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell series started in 2002 with the most recent game, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist released in 2013.
Lastly, Netflix are developing another video game property with a video-game-film director attached.
Rob Letterman, the director of Detective Pikachu, will adapt another Ubisoft property, Beyond Good and Evil.
Beyond Good and Evil saw players play as Jade, an investigative reporter and martial artist (that obvious combination) in the year 2435, who works to reveal a conspiracy on an alien planet.
The game, released in 2003, has developed a cult following with fans clamouring for a sequel which never came, until a prequel was announced in 2017, Beyond Good And Evil 2.
Maybe now fans might get the conclusion they’ve waited for.
Marvel’s Avengers Beta Info
Square Enix have held another livestream for their upcoming Marvel’s Avengers game, where they revealed details on the game’s beta and DLC.
At the ‘War Table’, it was announced that PlayStation Pre-Order Beta would be available on August 7th; Xbox and PC Pre-Order Beta on August 14th and the full Open Beta on August 21st.
The beta will start with the A-Day San Francisco level, seen since the first E3 2019 presentation, allowing players to choose between Iron Man, Hulk, Black Widow and Thor at the Golden Gate Bridge.
After that, the beta opens up to 2 Story missions, and 20 Multiplayer levels divided into 3 categories.
The story ‘Hero Missions’ will give players control of Ms. Marvel and Hulk in a North American forest level and the Siberian wilderness level, with a boss battle with Hulk villain, Abomination.
For the Multiplayer levels, players can use either Iron Man, Hulk, Black Widow or Ms Marvel in either HARM Rooms, War Zones or Drop Zones.
HARM Rooms are Training levels to help players master each character’s techniques; War Zones are raid style levels with multiple objectives resulting in upgrades and rewards; and Drop Zones are smaller versions of War Zones.
Player’s character progression will carry over into the full game, and affect the companion AI if players choose to do Multiplayer levels solo with AI, allowing for more personalised playstyles.
The War Table ended with the announcement of the first of four characters available as a part of the Avengers Initiative (essentially a free Season Pass), with Hawkeye and Hawkeye missions accessible day one.
While not confirmed, the next potential Initiative character is Ant-Man/Hank Pym who was seen at the end of the game’s E3 2019 presentation.
Marvel’s Avengers will be fully released on September 4th.
Finally, Pixar have released a short synopsis and concept image for the next film coming in 2021.
Luca will be about a boy, Luca, and his unforgettable summer holiday along the Italian Riviera. Think Call Me By Your Name, but unfortunately without the central gay relationship.
The film will be directed by Enrico Casarosa who directed the Pixar short La Luna, which played before Brave, and worked on Ratatouille, Up, and Coco.
Based on the concept image that was released, hopefully the film is as bright and vibrant, with the classic Pixar heart that turns everyone into bawling messes (still not over that Toy Story 3 ending).