This week Mr Robot aired an episode that had just two lines of dialogue. It joins a very small number of TV shows that have boldly gone dialogue free - The X-Files, Buffy, and Bojack Horseman have each given it a go.
Jon Spaihts co-wrote the Dune remake coming out in 2020 with director Denis Villeneuve. He was also the showrunner of spin-off series coming to HBO Max Dune: the Sisterhood. Villeneuve was to direct the pilot of that, keeping the synergy tight with the film. But apparently execs didn’t like Spaihts work on the series, so he has been bounced off the project. His next project: working on the sequel to the Dune remake.
This raises obvious questions about the TV series - surely its value proposition for the audience was that it was closely aligned with the creative vision of the movie…
Read: Dark Horizons
Heartstrings is a new anthology series based on the songs and writing of Dolly Parton. It debuts Nov 22.
I’m convinced that Juliana Margulies is one of the very rare TV superstars. There aren’t that many actors who have not only starred in two TV shows considered among the best the medium has produced (ER and The Good Wife), while also monster successes. I can’t help but feel she has at least one more in her.
In the meantime, she’s bouncing from short-run mini-series to short-run roles. Now she’s doing a stint on Billions along with Corey Stoll.
James Andrew Miller, the journo who wrote oral history books about Saturday Night Live and ESPN is now working on an oral history of HBO.
Read more: Recode
One of the big movie releases on Netflix over the next two months is The Two Popes.
From Fernando Meirelles, the Academy Award-nominated director of “City of God,” and three-time Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Anthony McCarten, comes an intimate story of one of the most dramatic transitions of power in the last 2,000 years. Frustrated with the direction of the church, Cardinal Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce) requests permission to retire in 2012 from Pope Benedict (Anthony Hopkins). Instead, facing scandal and self-doubt, the introspective Pope Benedict summons his harshest critic and future successor to Rome to reveal a secret that would shake the foundations of the Catholic Church. Behind Vatican walls, a struggle commences between both tradition and progress, guilt and forgiveness, as these two very different men confront elements from their pasts in order to find common ground and forge a future for a billion followers around the world.
A week from today Disney+ will be launching in the US. I’m (obviously) going to try and get access to it so I can offer a review of the platform on Always Be Watching. It will also mean I’m getting close to announcing a new podcast project I have been working on (there’s actually another two in early stages of prep). Anyway… more on that next week…