Amazon’s LORD OF THE RINGS Series Will Be Witten By STAR TREK 4 Writers

Amazon Studios has hired two writers to take on their new Lord of the Rings Series. According to Deadline, JD Payne and Patrick McKay will develop the latest adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic, which was previously brought to life on the big screen by Peter Jackson.

Payne and McKay are rising feature writers who recently worked on the script for Star Trek 4 for producer J.J. Abrams. I hear Abrams was one of a number of high-profile filmmakers and producers who recommended the duo for the LOTR job.

This ends a lot of speculation on who will be doing the job of bringing this story to the small screen. Unfortunately, there is no real information on what the series will be about. We do know that it will be set in Middle Earth and that it will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. This is what Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke had to say about the show:

"We are really excited to move right into the next phase of the development process, which is building the world.
"I think you can know that we’re not remaking the movies, but we’re also not starting from scratch. So, it’ll be characters you love."

Payne and McKay added:

"The rich world that J.R.R. Tolkien created is filled with majesty and heart, wisdom and complexity. We are absolutely thrilled to be partnering with Amazon to bring it to life anew. We feel like Frodo, setting out from the Shire, with a great responsibility in our care — it is the beginning of the adventure of a lifetime."

It was recently rumored that the series could focus on a young version of Aragorn, which would be incredible! I love that concept, and I hope that's the direction they take the series. 

The character is the last Chieftain of the Dúnedain and a direct descendant through many generations of Isildur, the last High King of both Arnor and Gondor. Aragorn would become the greatest man of his time, leading the Men of the West against Sauron's forces, helping to destroy the One Ring, and reuniting the Kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor.

The series is expected to premiere sometime in 2021. There are plans for five seasons and they will be made on a budget of over $1 billion.

I am excited that we will get more adventures in Middle Earth. I just hope it does well because I always have been and always will be a Tolkien fan. 

M. Night Shyamalan Discusses GLASS, The Philosophical Conflict at its Heart, and The Classic Film That Influenced it

Fans were floored by the trailer that was recently released for M. Night Shyamalan's Glass. A lot of people didn't expect the direction of the story they are taking this film, and that's what I love about Shyamalan in regards to this franchise; he likes to play with the unexpected. 

During an interview with io9, the filmmaker opened up a little bit about the film's story and explains that there's a philosophical conflict at the heart of the film that will set it apart from Unbreakable and Glass.

"I think there’s definitely a philosophical conflict at the center of the movie which is, you know, are they are they deluded to think these things? Or is that belief in oneself ultimately something that truly makes them something more?
"That kind of belief is a tenuous thing for people. Even if we can do extraordinary things, is it something that we’re interpreting when we do that or are some people really special or not? The movie’s really about doubt versus belief and so every scene has that weight to it and that struggle is there."

He goes on to say that the film is a character-driven story that was inspired by the classic film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

"It’s a contained, character-driven thriller that happens to be about this subject. There’s very little CGI and it’s not about the spectacle. It’s really about the characters. One of my favorite films is One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and there’s a lot of that in this in this movie."

It's easy to see the influence of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest in the trailer that was released and I love that this next chapter of the story is going to be heavily character driven. That's what I've loved about these films in the franchise in the first place. The big spectacle is the crazy CGI heavy visions, the spectacle is the journey of these incredibly fascinating characters. 

STRANGER THINGS Season 3 Will Be The Most Ambitious Chapter and John Carpenter Was an Inspiration

The third Season of Stranger Things can't get here soon enough! But, while we wait, we have a few new details to share with you that fans will be happy to hear. 

While talking to Bad TV, director and producer Shawn Levy says that Season 3 will be the "most ambitious" chapter of Stranger Things yet, and it will be influenced by one of the horror genre's greatest maestros... John Carpenter. Here's a rough translation of what Levy said:

"I can not go into the specific but as you saw the second season has become more cinematic, much more based on the characters than the first and this evolution will continue with the third. It will be the season with more action than all."

He went on to tease Carpenter's influence on the series, saying, "there will be very much the ghost of John Carpenter and other '80s horror directors." This is on top of the previously revealed inspiration of the 1985 Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg film Back to the Future.

It would be interesting to see if the terrifying "Mind-Flayer" creature, who was stopped from invading our world at the end of Season 2, ends up possessing one of the young characters and sets them on a journey of death and chaos which could echo the likes of Michael Meyers or The Thing.

I can't wait to see how the story continues to unfold in Season 3! 

We don't know much about the plot of Season 3, but Shawn Levy previously revealed that the third season would take place one year after the second season, so that would set it during the summer of 1985. He also teased the relationships of the teen characters. When the story picks up Eleven and Mike will be a couple, as will Lucas and Max. He also said that Steve Harrington will have a bigger role in the story this time around and that Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg's film Back to the Future will be a reference in the upcoming season.

Stranger Things Season 3 also stars Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven, Noah Schnapp as Will,Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers, David Harbour as Chief Jim Hopper, Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair, Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, Cara Buono as Karen Wheeler, Natalia Dyer as Nancy Wheeler, Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers, Joe Keery as Steve Harrington, Dacre Montgomery as Billy, and Sadie Sink as Max.

NO MAN’S SKY Is Climbing The Charts Two Years After Its Release

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It has been 22 months since No Man's Sky was released and had a disappointing launch as pre-release promises never lived up to the final product. However, in a promising turn of events, Hello Games released the latest update for the game called Next, and things are starting to look better for No Man's Sky. 

As of now, Steam's roster of the top 10 most-played titles now includes No Man's Sky and is currently beating mainstay games such as Team Fortress 2, Football Manager 2018 and ARK: Survival Evolved. After the release of Next, people started playing No Man's Sky again, which is impressive given its lousy reputation at launch. 

The launch of Next made No Man's Sky the game that players wanted it to be when it was released two years ago. As of this writing, the game was able to rake in 60,448 concurrent players on Steam, which is a massive improvement as the game previously struggled with 2,000 concurrent players per month prior to the release of Next. The game's creator, Sean Murray said that No Man's Sky is "one of the most-played games in the world this week." It is worth noting that current statistics still does not include PlayStation 4 and Xbox One statistics, but its performance on Steam is proof enough. 

What do you think of the latest update for No Man's Sky? Are you playing the game again? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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Max Landis May Be Quietly Developing a Remake of CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON

Screenwriter Max Landis (Chronicle, Victor Frankenstein, Bright) has been off the radar since accusations of sexual assault surfaced against him late last year. Before he dropped out of the spotlight, we know he was developing a remake of his dad's classic horror film American Werewolf in London, which no one except him has been excited about. 

Now he seems to have given an update on the projects he's working on on his Instagram page. These projects were pointed out on Reddit, and one of them hints that he may be developing a script for a Creature From The Black Lagoon remake.

When talking about these projects, the filmmaker resorted to abbreviating the titles, with one being shortened to "AWIL." This is for American Werewolf in London. He then used the abbreviation, "CFBL," which could very easily stand for Creature From the Black Lagoon.

The only issue with this is that after The Mummy bombed at the box office, Universal Pictures Dark Universe has seemed to be stalled. But maybe he's just writing something for a pitch for when the studio does figure out what they are doing with this franchise. 

If anyone does make a Creature From The Black Lagoon movie, my choice would be Guillermo del Toro. I'm just not sure that Landis has what it takes to actually make a great movie. Victor Frankenstein was a horrendous film. Hell, I'd be more interested in Rob Zombie's vision than Landis'!

What are your thoughts about Landis possibly working on a Creature From The Black Lagoon movie?

Disney is Developing a Live-Action African Princess Fairytale Movie Called SADE

Disney is developing a new live-action fairytale princess movie called Sade. The movie will center on an African princess and it's being produced by Rick Famuyiwa, who is best known for directing the film Dope.

The studio picked up the film from a pitch by Ola Shokunbi and Lindsey Reed Palmer, who will co-write the screenplay. The story centers around a young African girl named Sade "whose kingdom is threatened by a mysterious evil force and accepts her newly discovered magical powers to protect her people, with the help of the kingdom’s prince."

Yep, that as Disney and a Disney princess story can get. There's no director attached yet, but I'm sure that they'll find the right person to tackle the challenge of helming the movie.

I assume the success of Marvel's Black Panther helped pave the way for this movie to get made.

Source: Variety

Michael Langdon a.k.a. The Anti-Christ will Be Back in AMERICAN HORROR STORY: APOCALYPSE

Ryan Murphy recently confirmed that the character Michael Langdon will be back for American Horror Story: Apocalypse. Australian actor Cody Fern is playing the character, who is also known as the Ant-Christ. 

Langdon originally appeared in American Horror Story: Murder House. He's the biological grandson and the adopted son of Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange), and the birth child of Tate Langdon (Evan Peters) and Vivien Harmon (Connie Britton). 

Not much is known about the plot of Apocalypse but it's set in the not-too-distant future and creator Ryan Murphy previously revealed that it would be a crossover with Murder House (Season 1) and Coven (Season 3). He also said, "It’s a season unlike anything we’ve done because there’s a big hook to it. There’s a huge thing that happens in episode 5.”

The cast also includes Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Kathy Bates, Billie Lourd and Adina PorterJoan Collins has also been cast and will play the grandmother of Evan Peters’ character. Peters is said to play a "comedic hairdresser." UnReal star Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman and Kyle Allen of The Path have also joined the horror anthology as guest stars.

American Horror Story: Apocalypse will premiere on FX on September 12th.

The Director of SHAZAM! Reveals What Billy Baston is Looking For in The Story

Some new information has come to light regarding DC's Shazam! and the story that it will tell. These details go beyond what we learned from the synopsis that was released and what we saw in the trailer. This new info comes from director David F. Sandberg, and he reveals one of the quests that Billy Baston is embarking on. 

During an interview with CB, Sandberg explains that he is looking for his family. He's trying to find his mom who he thought was dead.

"He’s trying to find his family. His mom is still out there. But once he gets these powers, he’s just trying to figure out what to do with them and how it works. For that he needs his friend Freddie, who is like a superhero expert, who helps him to discover his powers and how to be a superhero." 

It makes complete sense that he would want to find his mom and his family. Having been given these extraordinary powers will definitely come in handy on his journey and make it a little easier. That whole element is sure to add some emotional depth to the film and the character. 

We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Asher Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Zachary Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong).

Shazam! also stars Grace Fulton (Annabelle: Creation); Darla, played by Faithe Herman (This is Us) as Mary; Eugene, played by Ian Chen (Fresh Off the Boat); and Pedro, played by Jovan Armand (TV’s Hawaii Five-O). Cooper Andrews of The Walking Dead and Marta Milans (Killer Women) play foster parents Victor and Rosa Vasquez. Then there's Djimon Hounsou who was cast in the role of the 3,000-year-old sorcerer who ends up giving young Billy Batson his powers.

Shazam! will be released on April 5, 2019.

Netflix is Planning on Developing a Film Based on Nike Founder Phil Knight

I don't know much about the origin of Nike or its founder Phil Knight, but Netflix has optioned the rights to Knight's bestselling memoir Shoe Dog, and they plan to make a movie based on his life.

Knight is set to produce the film alongside legendary producer Frank Marshall and they've hired Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (Ed Wood, American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson) to write the screenplay. 

Shoe Dog traces Nike’s evolution from intrepid startup to iconic global brand, and Knight’s entrepreneurial journey, as a business school graduate who borrowed $50 from his father to launch a company that would import low-cost shoes from Japan, which he sold from the trunk of his lime green Plymouth Valiant.

Sounds like it going to be an interesting story! When talking about the Knight's story, Marshall says:

"It’s an amazing tale about what the path to success really looks like, with its mistakes, struggles, sacrifice and even luck. It’s about how a company can grow with the right people, dedication, a belief in the power of sport and a shared mission to build a brand that would change everything.

In Shoe Dog, Knight tells his own story. He details the risks, the setbacks, the ruthless competition and the hostile encounters with bankers — as well as his many thrilling triumphs. Above all, he recalls the relationships that formed the heart and soul of Nike, with his former track coach, the irascible and charismatic Bill Bowerman, and with his first employees, a ragtag group of misfits and savants who quickly became a band of swoosh-crazed brothers.

Together, harnessing the power of a bold vision and a shared belief in the transformative power of sports, they created a brand—and a culture—that changed everything.

Marshall and Knight actually met back in the 80s during the production of Back To The Future Part II. This meet-up was in regards to the future self-lacing Nike Mag shoes. Knight went on to say:

"I look forward to working with my friend, the great Frank Marshall, in bringing my story and the story of Nike to the screen. I have been gratified by the reception my book has received and think that we can explain my journey and the story of Nike to an even larger audience in collaboration with Netflix."

Maybe I'll pick up a copy of Shoe Dog and read it before I see the movie. I love these kinds of stories. Nike was just never one that I thought of looking into before. I'm looking forward to seeing how this movie turns out!

Ewan McGregor Interview’s Winnie The Pooh and His Friends in Charming New CHRISTOPHER ROBIN Promo

Here's a wonderfully charming new promo video for Disney's upcoming film Christopher Robin and it features Ewan McGregor interviewing Winnie The Pooh and his other animal friends from Hundred Acre Wood. The video also includes some new footage from the film for fans to check out. 

In the heartwarming live action adventure Disney’s Christopher Robin, the young boy who shared countless adventures with his band of lovable stuffed animals in the Hundred Acre Wood is now grown up and living in London but he has lost his way. Now it is up to his childhood friends to venture into our world and help Christopher Robin rediscover the joys of family life, the value of friendship and to appreciate the simple pleasures in life once again.

The story is set in the year 1949, and Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) is "an efficiency manager at a luggage company, tasked with finding the resources to prevent many of his workers from being laid off. That will mean missing the vacation he has planned with his wife, Evelyn (Hayley Atwell), and young daughter, Madeline (Bronte Carmichael). They’re heading to the Hundred Acre Wood while he’s stuck in London with work, when he gets a visit from his old friend Pooh. But he’s not the same person Pooh remembers."

Christopher Robin was directed by Marc Forster (World War Z) and it also stars Hayley Atwell as Christopher's wife Evelyn; Bronte Carmichael as his daughter Madeline; Mark Gatiss as Keith Winslow, Robin’s boss. As far as the voices of the characters go, Jim Cummings plays Winnie the Pooh; Chris O’Dowd plays Tigger; Brad Garrett plays Eeyore; Toby Jones plays Owl; Nick Mohammed plays Piglet; Peter Capaldi plays Rabbit; and Sophie Okonedo plays Kanga.

The movie will be released in theaters on August 3rd.