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New trailer for Disney’s live-action Dumbo captures magic of original

Director Tim Burton brings his signature style to a classic animated tale.

Hulu will develop two shows based on George R.R. Martin’s ‘Wild Cards’ books

The George R.R. Martin multiverse continues to expand, as Variety reports this week that Hulu is developing multiple shows based on Wild Cards: A book series edited by the Game of Thrones creator. According to sources, Hulu plans to open writers room for two shows set in the Wild Cards universe. Andrew Miller (The Secret Circle, Tremors) is set to write and executive produce both shows for Hulu and Universal Cable Productions.

Wild Cards started as long campaign for a superhero-themed tabletop role-playing game called Superworld, but then evolved into series of contemporary novels and short stories written by a variety of science-fiction authors. Martin and Melinda M. Snodgrass edited the books, and Snodgrass will join Miller in executive producing the show.

“In 1946, an alien virus that rewrites human DNA was accidentally unleashed in the skies over New York City,” reads the synopsis of the series on Amazon. “It killed ninety percent of those it infected. Nine percent of those who survived mutated into tragically deformed creatures. And one percent gained superpowers.”

As Variety notes, dozen of books and forty-plus author comprise the anthology series, which first hit the scene in the 1980s. The latest books, Low Chicago and Texas Hold ‘Em, both came out this year.

This will be the third of George R.R. Martin’s projects to make its way from the page to the screen. Game of Thrones debuted in 2011 (with the final season set to premiere in April 2019), Syfy already kicked off development on a show called Nightflyers, based on one of his novellas, and now two Wild Cards shows are on the way as well.

Every episode of ‘Game of Thrones’ season 8 will be the length of a mini-movie

In the space of just a few days, we’ve learned loads of new details about the final season of Game of Thrones in advance of its premiere next year. For one thing, HBO has officially revealed that it will air in April (which, cough, we told you was the likely premiere month in an earlier post here). HBO also gave us a teaser trailer.

And now, in a Reddit AMA session, the director of 50 percent of season 8 — three of its six episodes — has revealed a few other details, such as the fact that every episode, at more than 60 minutes long, is going to feel like a small movie.

If you’re caught up with Game of Thrones, then you’re already familiar with David Nutter’s directorial work on the show. He’s helmed episodes that contained seminal moments like the Red Wedding and Cersei’s “walk of atonement.” Here are a few highlights relative to season 8 from his AMA:

“Season 8 episodes will all I think be longer than 60 minutes. They’ll be dancing around the bigger numbers, I know that for sure.”

Also, about how it all comes together by way of wrapping up: “I’m completely satisfied with how season 8 ends. I think that [showrunners] David and Dan did a tremendous job, and they took into consideration what the fans want, as well as what is right as far as storytelling is concerned. I guarantee there’s going to be lots of surprises and shocking moments, but it’s really very compelling stuff.”

David goes on to explain that he actually hadn’t read the books before directing the episodes he’s been involved with so far. He wanted to, as he puts it, let the scripts guide where things went. Also particularly interesting was how GoT showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss took him to a restaurant in Reykjavik to convince him to direct the infamous “Red Wedding” episode. They had a multi-course, multi-wine dinner, as both men convinced him to do it.

“I had no idea the pressure I was under except the pressure I always put myself under in order to make it great,” Nutter says during the AMA. “The more I get into the project of course the more pressure I realize there really was. That was one of the ultimate moments of the series as far as some major characters are concerned and I just wanted to make it good and live up to the books.

“One of the most interesting things to me that surprised me the most was the responses of the audience — the YouTube videos showing people reacting to what they were watching I felt great about cause I felt like I had succeeded in doing so. As far as season 8 compared to the Red Wedding I just have to tell you — hang onto your seat cause it’s going to be special.”

(Gulp!)

‘Captain Marvel’ and ‘Avengers 4’ will probably get the last Stan Lee cameos ever

Fans were shocked and saddened to hear that Marvel’s iconic Stan Lee passed away earlier this week at the age of 95. The driving force behind many of the most beloved superheroes from the Marvel universe and one of the reasons we can’t wait to see the next Marvel flick, Lee will also be forever remembered for his many cameos in various Marvel films and TV series. Thankfully for fans used to looking everywhere for Lee’s appearances in each of the MCU movies, it looks like he has already shot his scenes in time for Avengers 4, which premieres in early May.

Lee may not see what will probably go down as the highest-grossing superhero movie ever, but Avengers 4 will contain a Lee cameo. And considering that Captain Marvel finished shooting long ago ahead of its debut in early March, it’s very likely Lee will make an appearance in that film as well.

Lee isn’t credited for either title on IMDB as of this writing, but Marvel co-director Joe Russo hinted in an interview with BBC back in April (via The Huffington Post) that Lee would have a cameo in Marvel’s new films.

“Typically we try to get him out — he doesn’t love to fly — so we try to get him out for his cameos around the same time,” Russo revealed. “So if we have other movies shooting on the same lot that we’re on, for instance, Ant-Man 2 or Avengers 4, we group his cameos together and then move him from one set to the next and kind of get him through his cameos in one day.”

Lee doesn’t have a recurring role in the MCU universe. He has played various unimportant characters over the years, and none of them of any significance to the storyline of each film, aside from some quick comic relief. And come to think of it, many of Lee’s characters must have been snapped to ashes at the end of Infinity War.

Even though Lee may indeed delight us with a couple of cameos next year, the sad fact remains that he’ll never get to see the culmination of 10 years of Marvel stories arrive in theaters. That would of course be Avengers 4, which is set to premiere in less than six months and mark the end of this chapter of the MCU.

With that in mind, here are all the Stan Lee cameos to date, and I’m sure you’ll recognize many of them:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0faB-K3W3ZQ

This casting news just got us a lot more excited about ‘The Mandalorian’ Star Wars spinoff

Even with what little we knew already about The Mandalorian, a live-action Star Wars spinoff series coming to the Disney+ streaming video service that’s launching next year, it definitely sounds like the kind of thing fans of a certain galaxy far, far away will want to check out as soon as it arrives.

The story of an outlaw gunslinger from the planet Mandalore who doesn’t follow the beat of the Republic’s drum? Yes, please. And now we have a good idea who’s lined up to play the title character — our sister publication Variety reports that Game of Thrones and Narcos veteran Pedro Pascal is in talks for the starring role.

Says Variety: “Pascal’s name had previously been rumored for the role, but sources say he was one of many actors being considered. Now, insiders tell Variety that he has been offered the role and negotiations are underway. Jon Favreau penned the series, which is set after the fall of the Empire and before the emergence of the First Order. It follows the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy far from the authority of the New Republic.”

That piece goes on to note that Disney recently announced Dave Filoni, who’s worked on Star Wars: The Clone Wars as well as Star Wars Rebels, will direct the first episode of the series. Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi, Bryce Dallas Howard, Dope’s Rick Famuyiwa, and Deborah Chow (Jessica Jones) will also direct episodes.

Meanwhile, production is already under way on the series. And in other Mandalorian casting news, Carl Weathers of Rocky fame has been rumored to also be possibly coming to the series. That bit of gossip comes via a recent episode of the Making Star Wars podcast which, even though this is a rumor, has been a reliable source of such information in the past.

The series is one of several already unveiled original shows set to debut on Disney’s Netflix rival next year, which will make the service worth a try. As far as some of the others, Disney also announced in recent days that it will produce yet another Star Wars spinoff that serves as a prequel for the character Cassian Andor, played by Diego Luna. We last saw that character in the movie Rogue One, the explosive ending of which should explain why there’s nothing left to tell in that character’s future.

Disney’s streaming service doesn’t have an exact timetable, but look for it sometime late next year.