Game of Thrones gets animated

Lesley Goldberg at The Hollywood Reporter has reported that one of the multiple Game of Thrones series in development for HBO Max is an animated series aimed at adult viewers.

Meetings with writers for the adult-leaning project, which would be similar in tone to HBO's Emmy-winning flagship, are already under way. No deals have been made and there's still a possibility that the animated series never comes to fruition.

With viewership for anime growing and a broader audience accepting dramatic animated series with an adult viewership in mind, I’m wondering if a project like this might push such viewership further into the mainstream.

Read: THR

'Game of Thrones' S8E4 dragon attack - Publicity - H 2019

Uh, a second Zorro?

Just before Christmas there was news that Robert Rodriguez and his sister Rebecca are producing a new series based on Zorro that would gender-swap the character and recontextualise Zorro in a modern urban setting.

If ZINO isn’t your thing, maybe you’re going to be interested in the announcement of a second Zorro series. This is from John Gertz –  founder of Zorro Productions and a producer on The Mask of Zorro and The Legend of Zorro movies.

Are viewers ready for this much Zorro in their lives? Brace yourselves.

Read: Variety


Goodbye: The Always Be Watching podcast. Hello: Screen Watching

The Always Be Watching podcast is dead. I’ll have a final (very short) podcast drop on that feed later today explaining why it has come to an end.

But… in it’s place is a very cool new project that I’ve been working on. It’s called Screen Watching. I’m joined by Sydney film critic Simon Foster each week as we explore film and TV. Expect to hear discussions about the big news stories of the week, reviews of new shows and movies, and the occasional interview. We’re also planning to get some of our fellow critics and local industry voices to stop by for a chat.

The first episode of Screen Watching will debut later today.

On the first episode of the podcast launching Jan 29, Simon and Dan chat with the director of the new Aussie sci-fi/action filmOccupation: RainfallLuke Sparke.

They also explore the impact of COVID-19 on cinema releases, and delve into what titles will be available on the new Disney streaming service Star.

And there's reviews of the new Netflix filmMalcolm & Marie and Amazon Prime Video's new Stephen King series The Stand.

Screen Watching is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and a wide number of other podcast players.

TeeVee Snacks

  • Shrill will end with its third and final season. Read: THR
  • Sorry guys, 53 year-old Pamela Anderson is off the market. She has married her bodyguard. Read: CNN
  • Jason Scott Lee will play the father in Doogie Kameāloha, M.D - a remake of Doogie Howser, M.D. Read: Deadline
  • Philippa Goslett will replace Joss Whedon as showrunner on HBO’s The Nevers. Read: Deadline
  • Noah Baumbach has signed an exclusive deal with Netflix. Read: Deadline
  • Perth actress Charmaine Bingwa has joined the cast of The Good Fight. Her character will replace the departing Luca Quinn (Cush Jumbo). I’m expecting to hear a much bigger name to replace the outgoing Delroy Lindo (if that is still happening). Read: Deadline

Box Office declines in 2020

It’s of no surprise that box office was down in 2020. After all, cinemas weren’t open for long and the Sonic The Hedgehog takings only stretch so far.

  • The box office take in Australia dropped 69%. Read: Variety
  • Japan’s box office fell by only 45%. Read: Variety
  • The Sundance film festival went ahead in 2020, but many of the films that debuted there were released during the pandemic. An interesting point of comparison: All Sundance 2019 films that received a theatrical release totaled $125 million in domestic gross. The total box office for Sundance 2020 films (note: not all have been released yet) is a little over $18 million.  Read: Indiewire

WandaVision: Filmed in front of a live audience

A few things about WandaVision, which continues to fascinate me (both with what’s on screen as well as the mechanics of the making of the show):

  • There’s an interesting chat with showrunner Jac Schaeffer on last week’s TV’s Top 5 podcast. In it she talks about filming the first episode of WandaVision in front of a live studio audience. The following episodes are all canned laughter. Source: THR
  • I’m wondering if Marvel/Disney has made a mistake by not releasing episodes 3+4 back-to-back as they did with the first two eps. I’ve heard a lot of grumbling from people tired with the sitcom format (which is slowly giving way to a more traditional-feeling Marvel show).

    Where comic book readers are very keen to read books that deconstruct the form of comic books (re: Watchmen, Animal Man, etc), I’m not sure that TV viewers are as ready to watch a TV show that deconstructs its own form in a similar way.
  • This week’s episode (it’s fourth, of nine) is the one that introduces Randall Park and Kat Dennings into the series, reprising their former MCU roles (from Ant Man & The Wasp and Thor, respectively). A promo for it:

Trailer Park

The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers debuts on March 26 on Disney+

Sponge on The Run will debut on AppleTV, Prime Video, Vudu and other digital stores. It’ll also stream on Paramount+.

What’s next? Tomorrow. (But also a new podcast and a second newsletter today).