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  • Andrew Lynch


The Mandalorian Season 2 Photos

Marketing for Season 2 of Disney+’s The Mandalorian is underway, with first look photos, courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.

A release date for the new season of the Star Wars-based TV series was announced last week.

The images give no big details away regarding plot, but promises a return to the familiar Western trappings of the 1st season.

The Mando (Pedro Pascal), or Din Djarin, still has the lone gunslinger swagger, as he casually leans in the street with his beloved-sidekick, The Child.

In the photos, there is the confirmation of a return to Tatooine with a Tusken Raider atop a Bantha, both native to the iconic desert planet.

Characters like Cara Dune (Gina Carano), Greef Karga (Carl Weathers), and Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito) will return as The Mando continues his journey to find The Child’s home.

Giancarlo Esposito revealed that there will be a fight between him and the Mando, which he described as “an iconic battle [where] I want to disarm him mentally as well” and some one-on-one time with The Child.

Series creators, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, both promised “The new season is about introducing a larger story in the world”, with more connected episodes than the weekly adventures of Season 1.

The pair also confirmed some of the all-star line-up of directors with Rick Famuyiwa, Carl Weathers, Robert Rodriguez and Jon Favreau just some of the names.

The big guest arrival on set was The Creator himself, George Lucas, who visited the set and meet The Child while watching his protegee, Dave Filoni, directing.

In regards to the rumoured casting of actors including Rosario Dawson, Temuera Morrison and Timothy Olyphant, the only thing Gina Carano said was “Some of them are true, some are not true”.

Just as with Baby Yoda in Season 1, Favreau and Filoni are keeping their big secrets close to the chest.

The Mandalorian returns October 30th on Disney+.

Xbox Series S and X Prices

Sony and Microsoft’s game of chicken has ended with Microsoft bailing first and revealing the price and release date of their next-gen console. Well, consoles.

Microsoft have confirmed the existence of the rumoured Xbox Series S, a smaller and less powerful version of the Xbox Series X.

The Series S and X will both be released November 10th, with the Series S costing $299 USD and the X $499 USD.

Customers can either pay for each console upfront, or pay for the Xbox All Access plan for $25-$35 USD a month, depending on the console.

With Xbox All Access, customers get a next-gen console of choice and 24-month access to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (think Netflix for games).

Microsoft are looking at the future of gaming with the Netflix-like Game Pass and now this phone plan for consoles structure, they offer the cheapest options for gamers to access 100s of games on the most powerful console.

Pre-Order for both consoles begins September 22nd.

Academy Awards' New Diversity Requirments for Best Picture

In a continued effort to increase diverse recognition in the film industry, the Academy for Motion Pictures Science and Art have announced their new standards for Best Picture eligibility, with a focus on representation.

As a part of their Academy Aperture 2025 initiative, the Academy have introduced 4 new Standards, with films eligible for Best Picture nomination needing to meet just 2.

Standard A, On-Screen Representation, Themes and Narratives:

  • A lead or significant actor who is a Person of Colour

  • An ensemble where at least 30% are made of two groups: Women, POC, LGBT+, or physical and/or cognitive disabilities.

  • The main storyline/subject matter is centred on either Women, POC, LGBTQI+ or people with cognitive and/or physical disabilities.

Standard B, Creative Leadership and Project Team:

  • At least 2 creative leadership or department heads are from an under-represented group (Women, POC, LGBT+ etc.) and at least 1 must be a POC

  • At least 6 other crew members/positions (First Assistant Director, Script Supervisor, etc.) are from a disadvantaged group

  • 30% of the overall crew is made up of these groups

Standard C, Industry Access and Opportunities (BOTH must be meet):

  • Paid interns or apprenticeships are from the underrepresented groups with different quotas for major studios and indie studios

  • Training and work opportunities are offered as well

Standard D, Audience Development:

  • Executives in a studio’s marketing, publicity and/or distribution teams are from the outlined groups

For the 2022 and 2023 Oscars, confidential Academy Inclusion Standards form will need to be submitted but not meet.

It isn’t until 2024 that these Inclusion Standards will need to be meet for a Best Picture nomination.

All of this has been the Academy’s continuous response to the #OscarsSoWhite campaign that started in 2015 when only 2 people of colour were nominated across all major categories (Director, Supporting/Actor and Actress).

While a step in the right direction, there is still potential for lack of diversity in other major categories.

Best Picture category allows for maximum of 10 nominations, where Director and Acting categories allow for only 5.

So there is potential for 5 diverse films to be nominated for Best Picture but neither director or actors in those ‘diverse’ films to be nominated for their respective categories (Black Panther is a current example of this).

With increased diverse membership following the Academy 2020 Aperture, hopefully this outcome doesn’t occur.

Rebecca Trailer

Ben Wheatley’s latest adaptation of Rebecca for Netflix has released its first trailer which shows the films contrasting tones and period setting.

Rebecca, based on the 1930s novel of the same name by Daphne du Maurier, is of a woman who marries a wealthy widower only to find him haunted by the death of his wife.

The trailer establishes itself as romantic period piece before devolving into the worst kind of honeymoon period.

Rebecca was previously adapted by Alfred ‘Master of Suspense’ Hitchcock (actually middle name) to Best Picture winning acclaim in 1940.

Rebecca stars Lily James, Kristin Scott Thomas and Armie Hammer and will released in certain theatres as well as Netflix, October 21st.

The Walking Dead TV Series Ending

After 12 years, AMC’s adaptation of The Walking Dead comic book is coming to an end.

The series will end with an extended, 11th season set to debut in 2022 with 24 episodes.

The second-half of Season 10 will begin in October after the series stopped in April.

This will not be the end of the zombie-apocalypse with AMC’s CCO, Scott Gimple, saying “This will be a grand finale that will lead to new premieres”.

Starting 2023, TWD showrunner Angela Kang and Gimple will create a spin-off series focused on Daryl Dixon and Carol Peletier, the show’s longest surviving characters.

Gimple is also working on a ‘Tales of the Walking Dead’, episodic anthology series which will explore stories of new and existing characters.

Robert Kirkman’s stellar comic book series wrapped up its 16-year run in 2019, which hasn’t stopped AMC from cashing in on their biggest series.

There is still the 6th Season of Fear the Walking Dead, three Rick Grimes movies and the female-focused Walking Dead: World Beyond series if you (somehow) still have a craving for taste of zombies.

Dune Trailer

One of the biggest cast, with one of the best directors around, based on one of the most influential sci-fi novels? Give it to me now!

The first trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Dune has been released, showing off the insane cast, gorgeous visuals and the epic story.

Dune, based on the novel by Frank Herbert, follows Paul Atreides whose family controls the planet of Arrakis, which is the only source of a life and mentally enhancing drug, known as ‘Spice’.

The novel explores themes related to politics, ecology, technology, religion, colonialism and religion as the invading Atreides family clash with the natives, with Paul caught in the middle.

The novel is also credited with influencing sci-fi media like Star Wars with the ‘spice’ drug and sand planet.

Dune was last given the cinematic treatment in the 80s with David Lynch’s massive misfire that starred Kyle MacLachlan, Sting, Max Von Sydow and Patrick Stewart among others with a soundtrack by Toto.

It’s not exactly a classic movie, with all involved disliking the film and the experience making it.

This version stars Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin and Oscar Isaac...among others.

With Denis Villeneuve, who has delivered modern masterpieces like Sicario, Prisoners, Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, this is hopefully another homerun for Villeneuve and one of the most anticipated films of 2020 (or 2021 if it doesn't come out which is still likely).

Dune is out December 18th, 2020.

COD: Cold War Multiplayer

Activision have revealed details and a trailer for the multiplayer aspect of their annual Call of Duty game, Black Ops Cold War.

Early Access Beta for the PS4 will begin October 8th-12th and then Crossplay Beta opens October 15th-19th.

The game’s multiplayer is the basic COD layout; global-settings in war torn locales with generic sounding names.

Map locations include Angolan desert, Uzbekistan, Miami, North Atlantic Ocean and Moscow with map names like ‘Satellite’ and ‘Armada’.

Returning game modes such as Team Deathmatch and Search & Destroy will be included along with new modes:

  • VIP Escort: 6 v 6 mode where teams protect or hunt a selected player to a point on the map

  • Combined Arms: 12 v 12 mode which combines ground and vehicular assault with vehicles options based on the map

  • Fireteam: 40 player mode with 10 teams of 4 in different game types with the first one announced being ‘Dirty Bomb’

There also the standard weapon and loadout customisation options and Scorestreak tools as well as improved movement options including sliding, jumping and sprinting.

There will also be new content added to the Battle Royale mode, Warzone that ties in with Cold War such as the Woods Operator and Weapon Blueprint.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is out November 2020, based on previous releases.

Kate Winslet Realises How Awful Roman Polanski and Woody Allen Are, Decades After Rest of The World

Kate Winslet has admitted her regrets with working with child sexual predators Woody Allen and Roman Polanski, on multiple occasions.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Winslet opened up about how she feels looking back on working with the two directors who were known to be accused of committing paedophilic acts.

Winslet said “What the fuck was I doing working with Woody Allen and Roman Polanski? It’s fucking disgraceful”.

In the interview, Winslet discussed her reflection of previous roles and how “I was complacent and just rolled with tradition in that sort of automatic way that we all sometimes do

Winslet also called out the excess of money spent on press junkets and red carpets and the dresses that only get worn once, when that amount of money can be spent on either independent films or more philanthropic ventures like building schools.

Both Woody Allen and Roman Polanski, are “held in such high regard, so widely in the film industry”, according to Winslet.

Winslet worked with Woody Allen on Wonder Wheel in 2017 and Polanski on Carnage in 2011.

Polanski was accused of drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl in 1977 and fleeing the US a week before his trail to seek asylum in Europe.

He now lives in European countries that will not extradite him to the US and continues to make films, with his recent film premiering at the Venice Film Festival and winning the festival’s grand jury prize.

Woody Allen is equally as fucked as a human being.

Allen adopted Soon-Yi Previn with his first wife Mia Farrow in 1977, before in 1992 Farrow found nude photos of Previn in Allen’s possession, which he admits he took before having sex with Previn, for the first time he adds.

Obviously, Farrow and Allen then divorced.

Allen and Previn then married in 1997, Allen aged 62 and Previn aged 22, who Allen said never treated him like a father or step-father, which makes it a-okay I guess.

On top of that, Allen is also accused of having sex with his other adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, at the age of 7, on multiple occassions.

No physical evidence could be found to prove the claims but Justice Elliott Wilk found Allen’s relation with Dylan to be inappropriate (no shit).

Allen has also continued to work in Hollywood with his latest film, A Rainy Day in New York in 2019.

But hey, we got Harvey Weinstein so justice has been served and all is right with the world.

While Winslet’s belated admission of shame over working with the ‘alleged’ monsters is a sign of why they continue to work, hopefully it is the beginning of another push to reject holding terrible people in high regard just because they make good art.

Netflix's The Harder They Fall Sounds Amazing

Okay, now onto something more positive and one of the coolest sounding original films in a while.

Netflix are developing a Western film, The Harder They Fall which has an absolutely stacked cast.

The film is a revenge Western of an outlaw, Nat Love, who learns that Rufus Buck, who murdered Love’s parents, is being released from prison after 20 years and reunites his gang to hunt him down.

Nat Love will be played by Johnathan Majors (Da 5 Bloods, Lovecraft Country) with Idris Elba (Luther, Hobbs & Shaw) playing the man he is pursuing.

The newest additions to the cast including: Regina King (Watchmen), Zazie Beetz (Atlanta, Joker), Lakeith Stanfield (Sorry To Bother You, Knives Out), Delroy Lindo (Da 5 Bloods), Edi Gathegi (X-Men: First Class), Laz Alonso (The Boys) and RJ Cyler (Power Rangers).

The film is directed by Jeymes Samuel, who goes by the stage name Bullitts, with this marking his first feature directorial debut.

The film is also produced by Jay-Z, who Samuel’s worked with on the soundtrack of The Great Gatsby and directed Jay-Z: Legacy.

An all-black cast Western that feels like The Magnificent Seven? Fuck yes give it to me now.

The Harder They Fall will be on Netflix in 2021.

Wonder Woman Delayed Again

For the sixth time, Wonder Woman 1984’s release date has been delayed.

The upcoming DC/Warner Bros. film has been delayed from October 2nd till December 25th, 2020.

Film’s director Patty Jenkins said in a statement, “I know how important it is to bring this movie to you on a big screen when all of us can share the experience together”.

The anticipated-sequel was first scheduled for a release December 13th, 2019 before moving to November 1st, 2019; then June 5th 2020; then August 14th 2020, then October 2nd 2020 and now Christmas Day.

This delayed was heavily rumoured recently following the release of Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, another Warner Bros. film.

Tenet has earned $153 million worldwide, which is decent considering the circumstance, but not a comfortable footing for WB to release a superhero film in.

For WB to get the most bang for their buck with WW’84, it makes sense to delay the film till the Holiday period when things have eased. I mean not in America cause those guys are fucked, but internationally, other countries that are more open by the Holidays.

Along with WW’84, Universal have delayed their horror-reboot, Candyman till 2021 from its original October 16th date.

Director Nia DaCosta, expressed on Twitter the importance for the film to be seen by a crowd not being financial motivated but for the film’s message about community and stories.

Candyman is produced by Jordan Peele and is a modern reboot of the 90s horror film of the same name.

Nia DaCosta recently was attached to direct Captain Marvel 2 for Marvel.

Fast & Furious…IN SPACE!

Is it jumping the shark when you’ve already done a doughie on the shark?

The Fast & Furious franchise is looking to go where every franchise goes to die.

Michelle Rodriguez, one of the original stars of the franchise, confirmed that the upcoming Fast 9 will be headed for the final frontier.

On The Jess Cagle Show, Rodriguez said, “Nobody was supposed to know that…Oh, well no, I’m not lucky enough to hit space”.

So expect a cameo from Elon Musk who gives Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto a Tesla strapped to a rocket that he’ll need to drive to take out a satellite or space station or whatever these movies are up to.

Rodriguez also announced in the interview that she successfully negotiated for a female writer on the film.

We were able to find a little bit more attention and for the girls in the movie

Franchises uncharacteristically heading to space is never a good sign with most space entries in franchises considered the worst ones (see, Moonraker for James Bond, Jason X in the Friday the 13th series, Leprechaun 4: In Space, and Ice Age: Collison Course).

Harry Styles in Olivia Wilde’s Next Film

Finally, Harry Styles is again pursuing a career in acting, having been signed on to star in Olivia Wilde’s next film Don’t Worry, Darling.

Styles replaces Shia LaBouef in the film, which is described as a 1950s set psychological thriller of a housewife who lives in the Californian desert.

LaBouef left the film reportedly due to scheduling conflicts.

Olivia Wilde is directing and starring in the film, alongside Styles and Florence Pugh, Dakota Johnson and Chris Pine with Pugh playing the lead role.

Styles last on-screen performance was as a soldier in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk and is a pretty successful musician in his spare time.

The film is written by Katie Silberman, who also wrote on Wilde’s first directed film Booksmart, and Carey and Shane Van Dyke.

Olivia Wilde was recently announced to be working on Sony/Marvel film, presumably a Spider-Woman film.

Don’t Worry, Darling is currently in pre-production with no confirmed release window.

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