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.
Star Wars & Avatar delayed. Hold off the apocalypse, please.
ALSO: Elisabeth Moss has a new non-Handmaid's Tale show. AND: New trailers galore!
The current end of times brought about by COVID-19 seemed like a bit of a lark previously, but now its effects can actually be described as devastating. The release of the Avatar movies have been pushed back a year. This is a blow for both commerce and art.
This also impacts on the new Star Wars movies, with Disney planning on releasing them in alternating years between 2022 and 2028.
Cinema begins officially on Dec. 16, 2022 with the release of Avatar 2.
Elisabeth Moss will star in the upcoming Apple TV+ show Shining Girls. Based on the novel of the same name:
The drama follows Moss’s character as a Chicago reporter, who was badly assaulted in the past. She tries to trace down her attacker.
I’m interested that Moss has signed up for this and another limited series earlier this month, Candy. With Moss signing up for so many projects, it makes one curious just how much longer The Handmaid’s Tale will run.
HBO Max has 4 million active subscribers since launching in May. It looks like they have some educating of the market to do as the majority of eligible HBO Max subscribers (ie those who already have an HBO subscription through cable or streaming) still haven’t activated their account. And we’re not just talking about a few subscribers - this is 22.4 million of them.
Part of the issue is that HBO Max is yet to strike deals with a number of cable companies to raise awareness and convert these subs. Also, HBO Max still isn’t yet available on the biggest streaming platforms in the US - Roku and Amazon Fire TV. If potential subscribers can’t watch the shows on existing hardware, they’re unlikely to activate an account.
I’ve long said that I will believe that a Bill & Ted movie sequel exists when I am sitting in a movie theatre and see the opening titles. Until then, it seems unlikely such a thing could ever exist.
In the US, Bill & Ted Face The Music will be released to Premium VOD (ie you’ll have to pay twenty bucks to see it streaming at home) and released into ‘select cinemas’. Basically, movie releases are in complete flux right now - they don’t even know if cinemas will be open by Sept 1 when this film will be released (should it really be a movie that actually exists).
It seems almost certain international cinemas will see it in early September. Excellent!
New reality show SAS Australia is set to resume production. Source: TV Tonight
At least General Hospital is back in production with original episodes airing next month. Source: Deadline
Paper Girls will be adapted as an animated series for Amazon Prime Video. Source: Variety
Fox will add virtual fans to the stands during Baseball broadcasts starting this week. Source: AP
Disney’s live action Mulan and Wes Anderson’sThe French Dispatch have both been removed from theatrical release in the US. As with all US cinema release news nowadays, this means nothing in regards to international releases. Source: Collider
The three men considered Jeopardy’s Greatest of All-Time (Ken Jennings, James Holzhauer, and Brad Rutter) are set to become the Chasers in a US adaptation of UK game show The Chase.
In addition to the new animated comedy show Lower Decks, Star Trek is getting another cartoon spin-off. This one is made for kids channel Nickelodeon. We knew about this already, but now it has a name: Prodigy. Source: TVLine
Truth Seekers is a new Amazon Prime Video series from Nick Frost and Simon Pegg.
Utopia is a remake of the UK cult drama from a few years back. This is being written and showrun by Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn. It stars John Cusack, Dan Byrd, Ashleigh LaThrop, Jessica Rothe, Desmin Borges, and Rainn Wilson. The show will debut on Amazon Prime Video later this year.
And quietly, I think this looks great.
His Dark Materials returns for season 2 later this year.
Aussie drama Five Bedrooms has already aired in Australia and the UK, but it debuts on Peacock on August 13 and it now has a trailer:
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