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.
In a bit of a surprise announcement, SpikeTV announced today that they will be taking on the second season of The Shannara Chronicles which will air this Fall.
The first season of the original scripted drama, based on the best-selling fantasy book series by Terry Brooks, debuted on MTV in 2016.
Filmed on location in New Zealand, the new season will consist of 10 one-hour episodes. Details of the premiere date and time for season two will be announced in the coming weeks.
Spike will introduce its viewers to the critically-acclaimed series this summer as it will encore season one beginning on Thursday, June 29 at 11:00pm ET/PT, directly following the Spike original series, The Mist.
The Shannara Chronicles stars Austin Butler (Wil), Ivana Baquero (Eretria), Manu Bennett (Allanon), Aaron Jakubenko (Ander) and Marcus Vanco (Bandon) along with new cast members Vanessa Morgan (Lyria), Malese Jow (Mareth), Gentry White (Garet), Caroline Chikezie (Queen Tamlin), and Desmond Chiam (General Riga).
Season two takes place one year after the events of last season. The Four Lands are in chaos. The re-emergence of magic has the populace terrified, and an organization called The Crimson is hunting down magic users, using fear and intimidation to sow discord among the races. Wil, scarred by the loss of Amberle and his separation from Eretria, has turned his back on his magical destiny to become a healer. But when a mysterious woman named Mareth saves Wil from a Crimson attack, he is forced to rejoin the fight.
The Shannara Chronicles is created by Al Gough and Miles Millar based on the Shannara series of books written by Terry Brooks. The series is executive produced by Gough & Millar, Brooks, Jon Favreau, Jonathan Liebesman, and Dan Farah. The series is produced and distributed worldwide by Sonar Entertainment in association with Millar/Gough Ink and Farah Films.
In less surprising news, Starz has renewed American Gods for a second season after just two episodes. The show, based on the novel of the same name by author Neil Gaiman, follows Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle, The 100) after he is released from prison and recruited by the mysterious Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) into what appears to be a supernatural war between the gods of the Old World, brought to America by the immigrants, and the “new” gods, led by Technical Boy (Bruce Langley, Deadly Waters) and Media (Gillian Anderson, The X-Files – who appears in the form of Lucille Ball/Lucy Ricardo). The show is produced by FremantleMedia North America, with Bryan Fuller and Michael Green serving as executive producers/showrunners and also writing for the show.
Australian actor Aaron Jakubenko (Neighbours, Spartacus: War of the Damned) will join the MTV straight-to-series fantasy series Shannara from Sonar Entertainment and Farah Films. Jakubenko will play Ander Elessedil, an Elven prince with the reputation for being the wild party boy who has yet to find his way in the world.
The fantasy drama is based on the popular Shannara series of novels by Terry Brooks. MTV has committed to 10 episodes.
At Syfy, another regular cast member for pilot The Magicians was announced, with Summer Bishil (Towelhead, The Last Airbender) playing Margo Hanson, a brilliant young student at the Brakebill’s Academy.
The Magicians is an adaptation of Lev Grossman’s best-selling fantasy book series from Universal Cable Productions, the pilot script was written by John McNamara (Prime Suspect) and Sera Gamble (Supernatural). The one-hour drama follows 20-somethings who, while studying magic in New York, discover that the magical fantasy world they read about as children is all too real and poses a grave danger to humanity.
The Shannara series, in development from Sonar Entertainment and Farah Films we reported on over a year ago, took another step closer to reality as MTV has given a script-to-series commitment as the network continues its move into scripted programming.
Jon Favreau (Iron Man) would direct the potential first episode at least, if MTV likes the script from Al Gough and Miles Millar. The pair worked previously with MTV president of programming Susanne Daniels to develop Smallville for the CW.
The fantasy drama is based on the popular Shannara series of novels by Terry Brooks. The first season is to be based on The Elfstones of Shannara, mimicking the novel-per-season format used by Game Of Thrones.
Check out the first 10 minutes of MTV’s Teen Wolf season two premiere below!
After an action-packed end to its premiere season, “Teen Wolf” jumps full force into season two with even more suspenseful drama. Scott McCall, an ordinary teenager with a wild secret, continues to find himself caught in a supernatural war between hunters and werewolves. While navigating the complicated roadways of high school, Scott must keep his forbidden romance with Allison a secret and protect himself from new Alpha wolf Derek. Scott will have to trust his instincts above all else if he hopes to end the war in Beacon Hills and keep his friends and family safe.
Teen Wolf premieres right after the MTV Movie Awards on June 3rd.