Did You Hear? is a weekly examination of headlines in the entertainment industry and a take on what they could mean for the future of the industry and (often), the little geeky bubble that we occupy.
Disney+ is Not Quite Here Yet
Disney took to the internet late yesterday to announce the name of the long awaited streaming service and it’s going to be: Disney+.
There is also a placeholder website set up to collect information from future subscribers in much the same move that we’ve seen from other network-driven streaming services like CBS All-Access and DC Universe.
“Disney+ will focus on on content rooted in the company’s most formidable brands: Disney, Pixar, Marvel, “Star Wars”, and National Geographic, the latter of which will join the Disney fold through its pending acquisition of 21st Century Fox. The service will offer subscribers “unprecedented access” to Disney’s library of film and TV fare.” said CEO Bob Iger.
It should be noted that Disney owns a controlling 60% in the Hulu streaming service (currently home to Marvel’s Runaways), and Iger stated that they would be looking into purchasing the remaining 40%. The word Monopoly has been thrown around when it comes to recent Disney acquisitions and I think it’s only fair to bring it up again if they are positioning themselves to own two different streaming services.
… But They’ve Announced a Star Wars Show
Despite the fact that Disney+ is not here and we have no clear idea when it is getting here the first show has been announced and it’s a Star Wars prequel show that will star Diego Luna reprising the role of his Rogue One character Cassian Andor. The show will take place before the events of Rogue One …
… because we know what happens to Cassian at the end of Rogue One.
A prequel to a prequel doesn’t exactly feel like an exciting move for this newly announced streaming service. It does, however, feel like a move we are very familiar with from the Star Wars camp. Prequels have become the bread and butter of the franchise between the recent groundswell of move and television offerings post-Disney acquisition to varying degrees of success. In fact, one of the staunchest criticism of, arguably, the most beloved genre franchise of all time is its lack of imagination when it comes to exploring new aspects of the mythology.
Here we have it again. At least it’s not about a Skywalker or potentially secret-Skywalker child.
7 New Aquaman Posters
Warner Bros. dropped seven new posters for the upcoming Aquaman movie from their official Twitter account:
Aquaman Movie on Twitter: “Check out the new #Aquaman character posters now – in theaters December 21. pic.twitter.com/wVeSRDEkys / Twitter”
Check out the new #Aquaman character posters now – in theaters December 21. pic.twitter.com/wVeSRDEkys
Below are each of the posters individually for you to get a closer look at the truly alien underwater world we are in store for:
Birds of Prey Casts Ewan McGregor as Black Mask
Late last week Birds of Prey swooped in with the announcement that Ewan McGregor – the man everyone
wants to get a solo Star Wars movie, but seems incapable of landing one – will be playing the movie’s villain: Black Mask.
Black Mask is a fascinating choice because he is not, classically, a Birds of Prey or Gotham City Sirens villain. He’s a street level Batman villain, probably most famous for his appearance in the Under the Red Hood animated movie. The power of Batman is real and likely influenced his inclusion. The fact that Black Mask is a straight up crime boss that operates on the street level speaks to the more grounded nature that Birds of Prey will have.
Satan is (Still) Suing Sabrina
You might remember from last week’s Did You Hear? that the Satanic Temple was planning to lob a lawsuit at the Netflix/Archie Comics television adaptation of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina over the image of Baphomet. The Temple claimed that the statue, featured quite prominently in the show, was lifted directly from their original design and its prominence in the show could insight a new age of “Satanic Panic”.
Variety has followed up on this story to confirm the Satanic Temple has gone through with a lawsuit against Netflix and Warner Bros. for $50 million citing copyright infringement.
According to the suit, the temple created its statue in 2013 and 2014, basing it on iconography dating to the 19th century. The suit alleges that the statue contains several elements that make it an “original expression,” and subject to copyright. The statue features two children looking up in awe at a goat-headed man-beast. The temple says the statue cost about $100,000 to design and build.
The issue is still a long way from going to any courtroom, but I think there were many people, like myself, who didn’t believe it would ever get this far. If it does move ahead we may be left wondering if the Catholic Church will be the next to sidle up the plate and swing a lawsuit at Netflix/Marvel’s Daredevil series that just wrapped up a spectacular third season?
The Bright Side for Netflix is the Pacific!
Netflix has announced five original anime shows in the wake of their offerings like: Little Witch Academia and Castlevania and in amongst the roster is a new Pacific Rim anime series according to Variety. A Pacific Rim animated series has long been rumoured following the success of the original movie. For this to be announced in the wake of Pacific Rim: Uprising flopping so spectacularly speaks to the power and respect Netflix must have for the brand.
Titles joining Pacific Rim include: Altered Carbon (which enjoyed a live action adaptation at the streaming network earlier this year), Cagaster of an Insect Cage, Yasuke, and Trese.
Netflix chief Reed Hastings had this to say about the new slate of shows:
“The beauty of Netflix is that we can take never-seen-before stories from South Korea, Thailand, Japan, India, Taiwan or elsewhere, and easily connect them to people all over Asia and the world. More than half of Asian content hours viewed on Netflix this year are viewed outside the region, so we have confidence that our upcoming slate of Asian productions will find fans in their home countries and abroad.”
The Pacific Rim will expand upon the mythology established in the first two live-action films. It will focus on the bond between a pair of siblings (older brother, younger sister), who drift together after they are forced to pilot an abandoned Jaeger. Greg Johnson (X-Men: Evolution), and Craig Kyle (Thor: Ragnarok), have been tapped to serve as co-showrunners.
As a long-time X-Men: Evolution stan and someone who loved the first Pacific Rim movie I think this could shape up to be something very exciting. If it could strike the same audience as Gundam Wing maybe we’ll get another movie from the franchise in the long run. This could potentially shape up into a big get for Netflix.
Wolverine: The Long Night Renewed for Season 2
Marvel and Stitcher teamed up to produce the first ever comic book-podcast adaptation, Wolverine: the Long Night, starring The Hobbit actor Richard Armitage as Logan. Like the first season, the second season (now titled Wolverine: the Lost Trial), will debut in late 2019 exclusively on Stitcher Premium and then enjoy wider release at a later, unannounced date.
Given that the groundswell of listens came in after the episodes were made public it is surprising to me that the second season would be trapped behind a paywall again, but perhaps given the eventual popularity of The Long Night the numbers will shake out better this time around.
“After seeing the overwhelming support for Marvel’s ‘Wolverine: The Long Night,’ we are excited to introduce listeners to another unique audio storytelling experience. Marvel’s ‘Wolverine: The Lost Trail’ will continue expanding Logan’s story and introduce more elements of the Marvel Universe. We look forward to expanding our content for Marvel fans and the scripted podcast community.” said Dan Buckley, President of Marvel.
“Fans reacted so powerfully and positively to season one that we really had no choice–we had to keep the story and the characters alive (well, most of them) for another season. Fortunately, the outstanding creative team that made season one so memorable signed on right away! And I couldn’t hope for a better cast of great voices, including Richard Armitage as Logan. Together, they’re making a story Marvel fans will listen to over and over, I know.” said Chris Bannon, Chief Content Officer of Stitcher.
Benjamin Percy (Green Arrow, The Dark Net), will return to pen the new season. Of all the returning talent to the Wolverine podcast, this is the one I find most exciting. Coming off his brief tenure on Nightwing I’m looking forward to seeing how he expands upon the Wolverine mythology.