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.
Planning to see Top Gun: Maverick this year? Its not happening.
Tom Cruise movies delayed! Urkel gets an animated TV show! Dunder Mifflin comes alive! And so much more in today's newsletter.
Considering the limited box office takings at the cinema in recent months, Paramount who are deep in the Tom Cruise Event Picture Industrial Complex have retreated, pushing back Top Gun: Maverick and Mission: Impossible 7.
Top Gun will now debut on May 27 instead of Nov 19 this year, while Mission: Impossible 7 will debut on Sept 30 next year, four months later than the planned May 27 release. Also, less interestingly, Jackass Forever has also been pushed back from Oct 22 to Feb 4 next year.
With Top Gun moving, Sony has taken the opportunity to move Ghostbusters: Afterlife into the Nov 19 slot (getting it closer to that lucrative US Thanksgiving Day weekend). It pushes that film back one week.
Urkel gets animated
A new generation of kids will be asking "Did I do that?" as Steve Urkel makes the leap from almost 25 year-old re-runs to animation with a new Christmas special.
WarnerMedia Kids & Family announced on Wednesday that the character would return this holiday season in the new animated musical, Did I Do That to the Holidays? A Steve Urkel Story. The special, written by comedian Wyatt Cynac, is part of a broader slate of original programming that will include a Batman Christmas movie and a new Looney Tunes feature.
While it's surprising that there wasn't already an Urkel cartoon in the 90s, this won't be the first animated appearance for Urkel with the character appearing in a Scooby-Doo cartoon last year. This was seen as a controversial move for fans with Scrappy-Doo now no longer the worst thing to happen to Scooby-Doo in the history of the cartoon.
How many Saints of Newark are there? Many!
The hype train for The Sopranos film The Many Saints of Newark is leaving the station. The first stop is this feature story for Rolling Stone. Written by long-time Sopranos chronologist Alan Sepinwall (you should definitely check out the book he co-authored with Matt Zoller-Seitz, The Sopranos Sessions).
The article, like a lot of the advance publicity for the show, seems structured to really highlight the fact that the film is informed by stories and characters people are familiar with from the TV show, but it is very much its own thing. The film has a different look and feel about it.
The club is meant to be a Rat Pack-era counterpoint to the Bada-Bing, just as the gangsters’ attire is far classier than what Tony and his crew waddled around in. “Nary a tracksuit,” laughs costume designer Amy Westcott, who outfitted Nivola with 19 different custom-tailored suits to convey how meticulous and revered Dickie is meant to be. As a nod to where wiseguy fashion would be headed in later decades, she dressed Billy Magnussen’s young Paulie Walnuts in a mustard leisure suit in one sequence, asking, “What is the past version of a tracksuit? I was trying to push the envelope of fashion a little bit, because Paulie does that on the show.”
The film gets a cinema release in the US on Oct 1 with a same-day month-long release on HBO Max. For Aussie ABW readers, it is currently dated for release on Nov 4. Maybe by then we'll be out of lockdown to be able to see the film.
Experience Dunder Mifflin in all its banal glory
Have you been sitting at your Work From Home workstation dreaming of being able to sit in a cubicle again? Would you trade it all in to work for a sales job in a mid-level regional paper supply company?
Dream no longer. The Office Experience is an interactive, uh, experience taking place in Chicago this October. For US$37.50 plus taxes, you can explore set recreations of the Dunder Mifflin Scranton office and Schrute Farms. It will also have original show props on display and a gift store located in the recreation of the Dunder Mifflin warehouse. A missed opportunity is that you can't pop upstairs to see the titans of industry at work in the offices of The Michael Scott Paper Company.
Apollo 11: The Series takes off
All the drama of mankind's first moon landing will be captured in a limited series based on the Apollo 11 mission. The series, titled One Giant Leap, will be directed by Barry Levinson and counts Kevin Costner among its many producers.
If you think the idea of it sounds a little tired (how many times have we seen this already on screen), this blurb should put a little bit more pep into it:
It will look at one of the most historic events in U.S. history from a slightly different angle, stressing the personality conflicts within the flight team that almost doomed the mission before it left the launch pad – and how a NASA psychiatrist’s predictions of disaster for astronaut Buzz Aldrin were ignored by her superiors. The series will also look at the Soviet Union’s attempt to destroy Apollo 11 on its way to the moon, and the Cold War victory of America over its Russian enemy as well as celebrate the singular moment of accomplishment that drew together half a billion people around the world.
That actually sounds pretty engaging.
RIP General Lee
There's very few people who, when you pop over to their house and they show you that they own a General Lee replica from The Dukes of Hazard, that you don't just feel a bit sad for. But actor John Schneider is different. The guy was in the show. And his General Lee wasn't a replica - it was one of the actual cars used in the show.
The General Lee in 2021, emblazoned with the confederate flag, seems more than a bit questionable. It's hard to celebrate that car in the same way as one might the 1966 Batmobile. But, it was still sad to hear that Schneider's General Lee got battered by Hurricane Ida this past week.
Charlie Cox insists that he isn't reprising Daredevil from the Netflix TV series in the upcoming Spider-Man film. Those are not his arms seen in the trailer. Read: Uproxx
Disney expects Shang-Chi to make up to $60 million at the box office. That would be the lowest box office for a Marvel film to date. Unlike other Disney releases during the pandemic, it will not get a simultaneous release via Disney+. It'll serve as a good test case for the conversation around whether same day streaming releases are ruining potential profitability. Read: Variety
A Vacation Friends sequel has been greenlit following its global release on Hulu and Star over the weekend. Read: Variety
When in Italy...
A gorgeous new museum has opened on the Italian coast city Rimini dedicated to the works of legendary filmmaker Federico Fellini. It's built to be a multimedia, interactive spectacle.
The museum is at turns fantastic (pages from the so-called “Book of Dreams,” Fellini’s drawings and musings on his nighttime reveries, appear on a wall when visitors blow on a feather); lavish (it includes outlandish costumes from the liturgical fashion show in his 1972 film “Roma”); and bizarre (what to make of a gigantic plush sculpture of the actress Anita Ekberg, which visitors can recline on to watch scenes from “La Dolce Vita?”).