Stranger Things third season is officially delayed until Summer 2019, according to Cindy Holland, Vice President of original content at Netflix. But it is for good reasons.
“It’s a handcrafted show,” she said. “The Duffer brothers and Shawn Levy have worked really hard, and they understand the stakes are high. They want to deliver something bigger and better than what they did last year. And so they really want to take the time to get it right.”
In the meantime over at Amazon Studios, writers JD Payne and Patrick McKay have been tapped to develop and write Amazon’s ambitious The Lord Of The Rings series. The series is set prior to the events of The Fellowship of the Rings, but according to them, will feature familiar characters.
Payne and McKay most recently worked together on the Star Trek 4 script.
I am so sorry for the lack of updates lately. The last few weeks has been CRAZY. My oldest daughter graduated high school, and my youngest had her middle school play – we are heavily involved in the drama programs with both kids, and I emcee the annual high school drama banquet, which was a few weeks ago as well. And that’s on top of “normal life” – so it’s been tough trying to follow all the news – we’re very behind in all our RV shows as well, and I owe a friend a book review as well…but anyways, here is a rapid recap of the last week or so…
HBO has given a pilot order for one of five the potential Game Of Thrones spinoffs, this one for a prequel series set in the “golden age of Heroes”, which “descends into its darkest hour”, where we will learn about the white walkers, the Starks of legend, and more. Given it was just announced, there is no director, cast, etc. yet but it comes from Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass, Kingsman) and George R.R. Martin, with Goldman acting as showrunner. Martin said on his blog he currently prefers the title “The Long Night”, but that isn’t definite yet. Martin also said that one of the other four ideas for spinoffs has been shelved, but the other three are still possible.
As for that other fantasy mega-franchise, Amazon appears to be banking on its deal for the Lord of the Rings franchise, having cleared a lots of its shows off the slate. The head of Amazon Studios Jennifer Salke said in a Deadline interview that they aren’t going to try and compete at the volume level with Netflix, adding, “You can’t go big and go irrelevant.” While there is little to go on, they are currently only working on one series – “one big series,” and that while it isn’t remaking the movies, it will involve “it’ll be characters you love.”
Speaking of Salke and Amazon, she also addressed the idea of Amazon Studios picking up the canceled Lucifer. “I know that international, especially the UK group, was really bullish on that show, I haven’t checked in on that today (Thursday), but I heard conversations were ongoing on that yesterday.” So, keep heart, fans. Amazon recently rescued The Expanse after Syfy canceled the show, just as it was heading into the next phase of the story.
As for Amazon’s cross-net rivals, Netflix has given a 10-episode order for Away, about an international crew on a treacherous year-long mission to Mars, from Andrew Hinderaker (Penny Dreadful), Jason Katims (Parenthood) and Matt Reeves (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes). It centers on an American astronaut who leaves behind a husband and daughter to lead the crew in a story of hope and humanity.
The upcoming BBC series His Dark Materials based on the novels of Philip Pullman has some cast…James McAvoy (the X-Men franchise) will play Lord Asriel, the father of the primary character Lyra (Dafne Keen, Logan), who discovers a way to parallel worlds. Clarke Peters (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) plays the master who raises Lyra. Ruth Wilson (The Affair) will play Marisa Coulter, Asrael’s former lover and appears to want Lyra for a mysterious purpose. Earlier this year, Lin-Manuel Miranda (Mary Poppins Returns) was announced to play Lee Scoresby, an “aeronaut” who helps Lyra. Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) will direct.
I haven’t mentioned Marvel at all yet, have I? Well, Avengers: Infinity War became just the fourth movie to cross the $2 billion international box office mark, after Avatar, Titanic and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And it is still holding strong at the box office. On Marvel’s small screen, Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger became Freeform’s biggest new series in two years, with an L+3 of 1.64 million, which also put it as the most watched telecast on the network in nearly a year.
And finally, we don’t talk much about MTV, but while the network might not be returning to its real roots in music, it may return to its past – a live action version of Aeon Flux, the sci-fi series that started as a series of shorts on the network’s Liquid Television block of trippy animated series. THe show was previously turned into a live action feature starring Charlize Theron as the tightly-clad assassin n 2005, but the movie flopped. Jeff Davis (Teen Wolf) and Gale Anne Hurd (The Walking Dead) are set to produce, with Davis writing.
Hooray! Amazon boss Jeff Bezos announced last night at the International Space Development Conference in Los Angeles that Amazon would pick up The Expanse after the show ends its current third season on SYFY, after that network announced it would not pick it up again earlier this month.
The Expanse team was on hand, and Cas Anvar even recorded it…
— Cas Anvar (@Casanvar) May 26, 2018
As we reported last week, Amazon was on the hunt for a mega-franchise, and it appears they’ve got one – and paid a handsome price for it.
Reports are in that Amazon has purchased the TV rights to The Lord Of The Rings – or at least some portion of stories from Middle-earth – for what may be close to $250 million just for the rights, and they’ve made a multi-season commitment already. It is expected a worth production could cost $100-150 million per season. The deal also includes a potential spin-off series.
The twist to the story is that it will not simply be a remake of the movies, but instead cover some period before the time of The Lord Of The Rings. It is not certain if this means it will be set in the time between The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings, or delve further back into the expansive mythology laid out by J.R.R. Tolkien.
Never give up, never surrender!
The Galaxy Quest series based on the 1999 movie has been in development for a while at Paramount, with Amazon signing on for distribution, but plans took a hit when Alan Rickman, who played Alexander Dane/Dr. Lazarus in the movie, passed away in January of 2016.
Now it seems things are picking up again, with the series still set for Amazon, with The League star and occasional writer Paul Scheer working on a script based on a new take for the series. No word on whether this version will feature any of the original cast. Mark Johnson is still attached as a producer.
Amazon struck a deal with CBS to allow online streaming of the upcoming summer series Under The Dome, from Steven Spielberg and Stephen King, just 4 days after the initial airing on CBS. Amazon Prime members exclusively will be able to stream the show an unlimited number of times.
Why four days? Because currently networks sell commercial slots to advertisers based on the “C3” rating – which counts the number of viewers who watch the commercials played during the broadcast, both live and time-shifted up to three days. After the third day it doesn’t matter much to the network, so this is likely the soonest you’ll see digital distribution done by anyone other than the broadcast network for a show.