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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.
Taika Waititi is making Netflix's Charlie & The Chocolate Factory
ALSO: The Last of Us HBO show announced
What’s better than Taika Waititi making an animated series for Netflix based on Charlie & The Chocolate Factory? The answer: Taika Waititi making TWO animated series for Netflix based on Charlie & The Chocolate Factory. One show will be based on the story we know, while the other will focus on the Oompa-Loompas.
This is the first production to come out of Netflix’s deal with The Roald Dahl Story Company.
Britbox, the BBC/ITV co-venture streaming service currently running in the US (and the UK and Canada), is set to launch in Australia. In what seems like the international BBC iPlayer by another name:
Fiona Lang, General Manager for BBC Studios ANZ, said, “There‘s a real opportunity to build on the momentum and brand that has been established in North America and to make BritBox part of BBC Studios’ future strategy in Australia. Complementing our existing partnerships in the region, BritBox will draw on our vast combined catalogue of acclaimed British content and will deliver it directly to Australian audiences via a proven and seamless streaming service.”
There’s a new oral history book about The Office coming out soon. One of the tensions in the show was who would replace Michael Scott when Steve Carrell left the show.
Amelie Gillette: I wanted to be Team Dwight because I always liked Dwight a lot and the pinnacle of what he wanted was to become the boss and it would be interesting to give him that comedically and to see where he would go from there. Also, Rainn was just so good. I do think that Andy was an interesting choice too, and believe me, I switched camps a lot. I think a lot of us did because you don’t really know until you do it. But we felt like we could still get some juice out of Dwight not being number one, but being a foiled number one. We thought that might be a good comedic engine. I think that’s ultimately why Andy won out.
Halsted Sullivan: Dwight was probably the expected choice and Dwight would have been an excellent manager. Andy was more the unexpected choice. I feel like I was on both sides of the debate because there were strong arguments for both. It was not a black-and-white thing. We tried out Dwight in that role and in the end, we went with Andy. It was a photo finish. I think everyone would have been happy with either person in that role.
Brent Forrester (Writer, Seasons 3-9): The writers and the cast, generally speaking, were really excited about Dwight becoming the boss. It just felt correct, and that was our creative thrust. Mostly it was pushback from the network saying, “Well. Is there someone more famous that we can put in here?” Of course, the creators always bristle at that and just want to do the right thing creatively. That was a big thing. But Ed Helms had this giant advantage because of course he was in The Hangover. Not to completely read the minds of the network, but that was my understanding of how that decision got made.
John Landgraff, the head honcho of FX/FX on Hulu, spoke with Joe Adalian at Vulture about the new FX on Hulu service.
Landgraff: FX is not meant to compete with Amazon or Netflix. Those are the kind of utility brands like Costco or Walmart or Target or Macy’s that are meant to be everywhere in the United States or everywhere in the world and provide everything anyone could want. That’s not FX’s job. You need a very, very big entity to do that. But Walt Disney Company, as it’s been currently constructed, is absolutely a big enough entity. It’s conditioned to do it better than any other entity on earth. And then FX can focus on what it specializes in. It doesn’t have to worry about the larger problem. That’s no longer our problem. Our problem is to make fantastic shows, continue to make the brand better, and put that brand to use not only on behalf of our continued [cable] customers, but now on behalf of Hulu.
One of the best video games I’ve played in recent years was The Last of Us. The plot, a zombie road trip about a man tasked with getting a girl to scientists who believe she is the key to stopping the undead, isn’t anything special. But the execution of it was incredible with the game making smart narrative choices along the way. It’s a fantastic game - but could it be as special as a movie or TV show?
We’re about to find out.
Craig Mazin (Chernobyl, The Hangover) is partnering with the games writer/co-director Neil Druckmann to produce a Last of Us series for HBO.
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