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.
Stranger Things Season 3 Hit Big
Netflix juggernaut sci fi series Stranger Things debuted its third season on the Fourth of July with renewed vigour and enthusiasm from the fans:
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The show was such a smash when the first season broke that series producers changed the original intent of the show from being an anthology series to focus strictly on the Hawkins Gang. Season two was a marked sophomore slump for Stranger Things and it’s been really refreshing to see the Duffers and Netflix have been open to criticism and made smart adjustments to great success.
Public opinion exploded almost immediately, so if you haven’t seen or finished the third season of Stranger Things beware certain keywords of hashtags on Twitter for fear of being spoiled.
What is work noting in the macrocosm is whether or not the explosive success of the latest season will affect the future of the show and its development in the same way the first season did. There is a pervasive industry rumour that streaming giant Netflix isn’t interested in having any of their original properties last longer than three seasons. When tv shows are in active production the third season is traditionally when contracts are renegotiated and costs of talent markedly rises. Given that Stranger Things has created several stars it’s not a forgone concern on the studio’s behalf.
Which is all to say, while it’s cool to watch Stranger Things gets its feet back under itself, I’m left wondering if this was always crafted to be the final season of the show?
WB Snags Gremlins
Further on the 80s nostalgia train, Variety has confirmed that Gremlins is joining many of its period peers in making a comeback. Has the Key & Peele Gremlins sketch jumped to mind for anyone else? No? Just me? Oh, well!
The WarnerMedia streaming app, which many of us fear is poised to eat the DC Universe app has its claws in Gremlins and definitely fed Gizmo after midnight because the franchise is multiplying! Earlier this year Variety exclusively broke that a Gremlins streaming show was rocketing toward our homes:
… will be titled “Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai.” Set in 1920s Shanghai, the series will tell the story of how 10-year-old Sam Wing (future shop owner Mr. Wing in the 1984 movie) met the young Mogwai called Gizmo. Along with a teenage street thief named Elle, Sam and Gizmo take a perilous journey through the Chinese countryside, encountering, and sometimes battling, colorful monsters and spirits from Chinese folklore. On their quest to return Gizmo to his family and uncover a legendary treasure, they are pursued by a power-hungry industrialist and his growing army of evil Gremlins.
The animated prequel has a 10 episode order and will be overseen by Amblin and Sam Register (Young Justice), running half an hour each. No confirmation yet on whether or not Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai will fully embrace its original PG-13 audience or whether it is likely to skew a little younger or perhaps a little darker.
In a post Stranger Things world it would be my assumption that Gremlins will aim for the same demographic as the aforementioned Young Justice series … however the Spawn cartoon had great success working for a more mature crowd. The show certainly has the potential to expand the original mythology in the way subsequent sequels perhaps have not.
Sandman Movie Replaced with Sandman TV Show
Speaking of Netflix, in the wake of Amazon Prime’s successful execution of Good Omens, Netlix has snapped up Neil Gaiman to make a tv show just for them and this time it’s Sandman! Although the property was previously in development to be a movie starring Dark Knight Rises’ Joseph Gordon Levitt, no cast has yet been attached to the show.
However, joining Gaiman – who recently completed his first stint as showrunner on Good Omens – are Wonder Woman scribe Allan Heinberg and Dark Knight scribe David S. Goyer as co-writers and Executive Producers.
We’re thrilled to partner with the brilliant team that is Neil Gaiman, David S. Goyer and Allan Heinberg to finally bring Neil’s iconic comic book series, ‘The Sandman,’ to life onscreen. From its rich characters and storylines to its intricately built-out worlds, we’re excited to create an epic original series that dives deep into this multi-layered universe beloved by fans around the world.
said Channing Dungey, vice president of original series at Netflix.
Given the anthology nature of the original Sandman comic book series from Vertigo, it is my opinion that a television show is much more suited to adaptation than a single standalone movie.
So, Spoilerites, if you haven’t read Sandman yet, now is the time to get your hands on a copy and get to reading!
Dark Horse’s Coyote Lands at Paramount
In a press release from Dark Horse Comics it was announced that their original comic book series, Coyote, has been picked up by Paramount Network for a 10 episode first series. Game of Thrones producer – and Emmy winner – Michelle MacLaren will helm the project with American Gods’ David Graziano to serve as showrunner.
David Graziano, our whole creative team, and I are excited to make a show with Paramount Network and Sony that will dramatize a conversation between Mexico and America. I have wanted to work with Michael Chiklis for a long time and am thrilled he is playing such a complex character whose journey will expose multiple points of view on this relevant and complicated issue.
Said President of Development for Paramount Network/TV Land, Keith Cox:
We’re honored to work with Michelle MacLaren, Michael Chiklis, David Graziano and the rest of the gifted creative team on Coyote. The powerful, timely setting and complex characters are a perfect fit with the rest of our growing scripted slate. Coyote is befitting of the strong Paramount name.
Coyote will star The Shield front man Michael Ciklis as border patrol agent Ben Clemens forced to work with “the very people he spent his career trying to keep out of America” and learning the truth of what things are like on the other side of the border.
Coyote is the story of Ben Clemens (Chiklis), who after 32 years as a border patrol agent, is forced to work for the very people he spent his career trying to keep out of America. Now exposed to life on the other side of the wall, Ben will start to question his black and white views of the world, challenging his ideology and his loyalties.
Fun fact: Chiklis is famously a comic book fan and actively seeked out the role of Ben Grimm when he was a part of the Fantastic Four films being released at the time. This is not to say that all actors have to be active fans of the properties they are working on, but I do think it’s awesome!
Co-President of Sony Pictures Television, Jason Clodfelter, had this to say about Chiklis joining the show:
We are incredibly excited to be working with this creative powerhouse of a team and beyond thrilled to have Michael Chiklis back in our SONY family.
Added Dark Horse Entertainment President & Founder Mike Richardson:
While most of our shows and movies come from our own library, in Coyote, we found an original idea and character that were undeniable and attracted this incredible creative team. We are genuine fans of Michael Chiklis and Michelle MacLaren, and we couldn’t be more excited about this show.
Michael Chabon Named Picard Showrunner
Per Variety the upcoming Star Trek: The Next Generation sequel show, Picard, has officially announced its showrunner several weeks after the show has been in active production. Previously announced writer Michael Chabon is the person in charge!
Personally, I’m a huge fan of Chabon’s prose offerings, but he has a long and storied career in television including several contribution to Star Trek. He wrote one of the earlier released Short Trek short film series: Calypso – in my opinion, the best of the bunch.
The series stars Patrick Stewart reprising his iconic role as the second impactful Star Trek captain joined by: Alison Pill (Scott Pilgrim), Michelle Hurd (Ash vs Evil Dead), Evan Evagora (Secret City), Isa Briones (Takers), Santiago Cabrera (Big Little Lies), and Harry Treadaway (Penny Dreadful).
Chabon’s dedication to storytelling may well serve to embrace the intellectual trait Captain Picard is known and loved for. Considering how he made use of the Star Trek universe so uniquely in Calypso I, personally, am hoping for a lot of thoughtful, reflective moments in Picard that manage to be both quiet and narratively forward. The show is in a strange position of being both a sequel and a part of this new universe. It is going to take a very creative individual indeed to lay the groundwork for a successful execution.
Wynonna Earp Returns
IDW Entertainment very kindly sent us a press release about the continuation of their television show Wynonna Earp produced in conjunction with Space, SYFY, and SEVEN24
IDW Entertainment, SEVEN24 Films, Space and SYFY announced today that “Wynonna Earp,” the award-winning series based on the IDW comic created by Beau Smith, has been greenlit to start production for its fourth season. With production slated to begin later this year, Season 4 is expected to debut in Summer 2020 on SYFY in the US and Space in Canada. Additionally, IDW Entertainment announced that Cineflix Studios has come aboard to co-produce with Cineflix Rights handling international sales for all four seasons of the series.
“Winner of the 2018 People’s Choice Award for Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show, “Wynonna Earp” follows the life of the great, great granddaughter (Melanie Scrofano, “Bad Blood”) of famous lawman Wyatt Earp. The action-packed supernatural sci-fi series stars Scrofano, Tim Rozon (“Schitt’s Creek”), Dominique Provost-Chalkley (“Avengers: Age of Ultron”) and Katherine Barrell (“Working Moms”).
“We are absolutely thrilled that we get to make more ‘Wynonna Earp,’ and are grateful to our networks and partners for working hard to ensure we can. This is an enormous testament to our passionate and fierce fans, the Earpers, who remind us every day how to fight like hell for the things you love with wit, ferocity and kindness.
said Emily Andras, Showrunner and Executive Producer.
Wynonna Earp’s active social media following is credited with keeping the show on the air amidst an existence “on the bubble”.