A daily newsletter guide to what is happening on your screens - TV, streaming, movies, games, VR, AR
Dan Barrett is an industry commentator & TV critic. He does radio - 4BC & ABC GC and co-hosts the Screen Watching podcast. He's a former Mediaweek deputy editor and content creator for SBS.
Dune delayed. The Batman next?
ALSO: The West Wing casts a new Leo. AND: Trailers!
Another high profile movie delay today. The mega budget Dune is, to no huge surprise, being moved from its December 2020 release to Oct 2021.
Warner Bros had The Batman scheduled for that month, so expect to see the date for that film move too. I do wonder if Warner Bros may gamble on some expected normalcy by mid 2021 and possibly move the bat guy forward a few months as a June release to inject some serious energy into the box office in the way Tenet had planned.
Cineworld Group have confirmed they will temporarily shut down all of its cinemas across the US and UK from Thursday - 536 Regal theatres in the US and 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse theaters in the UK.
The group attributed the closure to the pipeline of studio films drying up, as major U.S. markets, especially New York, remain closed. “Without these new releases, Cineworld cannot provide customers in both the U.S. and the U.K. — the company’s primary markets — with the breadth of strong commercial films necessary for them to consider coming back to theaters against the backdrop of COVID-19.”
I’ve mentioned in the newsletter before that I have gone to the movies pretty much every weekend since they have opened, enjoying a number of the retro titles being screened along with some new releases. This morning I looked at the upcoming movie release schedule and there’s quite literally nothing I’m interested in seeing for the next two months. Decent titles have dried up.
If cinemas want to keep operating, distributors are really going to need to work with cinemas to offer some interesting library titles and make events out of it, or expect to see chains globally shut down out of pure lack of attendance.
Meanwhile cinema chains, if they want to stay open, need to start getting creative about what sort of content they want to debut in theatre.
Quietly, if I’m the marketing department of a TV network, I’d be looking to create some buzz for titles with promotional cinema screenings and take advantage of this dry spell.
The difficulty with filming a West Wing reunion bringing back all of your favourite characters is that fan favourite John Spencer, who played White House chief of staff Leo McGarry, died just as the series finished shooting its final episodes.
For the reunion special, which debuts Oct 15 on HBO Max (and no, there’s no Australian release date announced), the fantastic Sterling K. Brown will fill the role of Leo McGarry. I’m so enthused by this that I’ll happily overlook that McGarry was a war vet wounded in the Vietnam War, which finished a year before Brown was born. It’s theatre, y’know…
[FYI, Check out the link at People for a whole bunch of photos from the filming of the special.]
When The Morning Show returns, Steve Carrel will be a regular character. The show resumes filming Oct 19. Source: TV Line
This is a cool idea. An upcoming Netflix adaptation of Alice in Wonderland will take place at a music festival. Will it be more or less drug addled than the Disney animated feature? Source: THR
Susan Rovner has been appointed head of TV & Streaming at NBCUniversal. Source: NYT
The third Sherlock Holmes movie to star Robert Downey Jr and directed by TV’s ‘Spike Thompson’ Dexter Fletcher will be used to kick off a Sherlock Holmes cinematic universe. Will there be room in it for Enola? Source: Indiewire
Gilmore Girls: A Year in The Life will debut on broadcast TV with The CW screening it as a four-night event. Source: TV Guide #TeamLogan
Game of Thrones fans might want to check out the upcoming oral history of the show from entertainment journo James Hibberd - Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon. Source: The AV Club
Netflix titles “Worth the Wait”
Sure, Netflix is hiking its prices, but wait… wait… don’t cancel. There’s plenty of exciting Netflix titles on the horizon. That’s the message coming from Netflix as it rolls out a new tab on screen called “Worth the Wait”. It will show you upcoming titles that will be on platform in the next 15 to 365 days.
In a brewing war between the gods of Olympus and the titans, Heron, a commoner living on the outskirts of ancient Greece, becomes mankind's best hope of surviving an evil demon army, when he discovers the secrets of his past.
Paranormal is coming toon to Netflix.
Refaat Ismail, a cynical hematology professor with a dark sense of humor, has his world turned upside down and his lifelong scientific convictions questioned after he begins to experience paranormal activities.
The Expecting is an upcoming Quibi show starring AnnaSophia Robb, Rory Culkin, and Mira Sorvino - an edge-of-your-seat sci-fi thriller about a mysterious pregnancy and the potential dark secrets surrounding it.
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.