A maskless Nicole Kidman is the new face of AMC Theatres in the US with a $25 million campaign to get people back to the cinema.

It is strange on a number of fronts - why is Nicole Kidman telling people to come back to the cinema when the place is empty and we are repeatedly being told that cinemas are great because of the communal experience? But maybe the bigger question is this: Nicole Kidman is the face of the cinema?

Nicole Kidman is a TV star now.

From 2020 onwards, her filmography has included:

  • 2020 The Undoing (HBO series)
  • 2020 The Prom (Netflix movie)
  • 2021 Nine Perfect Strangers (Amazon Prime Video series)
  • 2022 The Northman (a movie that will play in cinemas)
  • 2022 Being The Ricardos (Amazon Prime Video movie)
  • 2022 Roar (Apple TV+ anthology series)
  • 2022 Expats (Amazon Prime Video series)

HBO Max sets the date

US streamer HBO Max starts its European roll-out on Oct 26. On that date the service launches in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Spain, and Andorra. 14 more territories launch early next year: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

This is in addition to the existing service in the US and 39 territories in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Major markets in Europe like the U.K., Germany, Italy, and France will be waiting a while due to a pre-existing deal with Sky that is set to expire in 2025. Similarly in Australia HBO is tied up in a deal with Foxtel that has a few years left to run.

HBO Max to Begin European Launch in October
Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Spain and Andorra will be the first six European countries to get HBO Max on Oct. 26.

Batman podcast set to launch on HBO Max

A narrative audio series (AKA a storytelling podcast) will debut on HBO Max on Sept 18 - Batman: The Audio Adventures. The voice cast include Jeffrey Wright as the titular Bat guy, Rosario Dawson is Catwoman, and John Leguizamo is the Riddler.

Written by SNL's Dennis McNicholas, the show is a comedy and takes its comedic cues from the 1966 Adam West Batman series. The rest of the cast includes some very funny people including Chris Parnell, Melissa Villaseñor, Seth Meyers, Brent Spiner, Ike Barinholtz, Bobby Moynihan, Kenan Thompson, Jason Sudeikis, Alan Tudyk, Heidi Gardner, Brooke Shields, Paul Scheer, Tim Meadows, Fred Armisen, and Ray Wise.

What's especially interesting here is that the podcast won't be on a traditional audio platform - this is for HBO Max. When the platform was first announced, podcasts were listed as one of the features of HBO Max. So far there haven't been any podcasts on platform despite streaming for over a year. And it sounds like the experience here is just going to be a static image with the audio playing over the top. So, when they said that podcasts would be a function of HBO Max, know that was a lie and this is a workaround solution.

Comedic Batman Podcast Serial, Starring Jeffrey Wright in Title Role, Set to Premiere on HBO Max
Unclog your cowl ears, because Batman: The Audio Adventures is heading to HBO Max — and on Batman Day, of course.

New titles for The Late Show

Here's the new titles for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. And frankly, I feel they stink. The spirit of The Late Show since the early 90s is that it is a show coming out of New York ("the greatest city in the world" as per Alan Kalter) - so why is the city now stripped out of the titles? Also, why showcase band leader Jon Batiste behind the scenes dancing his way out to the stage when he's on stage performing the intro music already (plus visually, that's a mess with him wearing different clothing to the pre-recorded titles).

It's a mess.

TeeVee Snacks

  • Aussie actor Lucy Barrett (no relation) joins the cast of Charmed, joining 'the power of three' - whatever that means. Read: Variety
  • It has been three months, so there are again rumors of a 24 revival series. Read: Deadline
  • First Wives Club will be back for a third season. Also back will be Scott Rudin as a credited producer. Read: Deadline
  • Sperm donor reality show Labor of Love has been cancelled after just one season. Yeah, some cancellations really do feel like a gut punch... Read: The Wrap
  • Bob Odenkirk has returned to work on the final season of Better Call Saul following his recent heart attack. Read: LA Times
  • Disney+ launches in South Korea on Nov 12, while Japan will see the Disney+ launch of Star on Oct 27. Read: Variety

Trailer Park

The Many Saints of Newark debuts on HBO Max and in cinemas Oct 1.

The Matrix Resurrections debuts in cinemas and HBO Max on Dec 22.

Mike Flanagan’s new show Midnight Mass debuts on Netflix Sept 24.

Adam McKay's new film Don't Look Up stars a cast that includes: Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio, Timothée Chalamet, Jonah Hill, Chris Evans, Cate Blanchett, Ariana Grande, Scott Mescudi (Kid Cudi), and Tyler Perry. It debuts on Netflix Dec 24.

The Babysitters Club returns for season 2 on Netflix Oct 11.

Baking Impossible launches Oct 8 on Netflix.

Leverage: Redemption returns to IMDbTV Oct 8.

What's next? Tomorrow.