So much has been happening in film this week. HBO takes down a long-running sci-fi show while Disney revives a huge blockbuster. Warner Bros is handing over DC Comics projects to an accomplished director and Peacock is soon to stream a revival of a horror classic.
HBO Cancels Westworld
Since the merger between Discovery and Warner Bros, a number of projects for the studio has been canceled. Movies like “Batgirl” and “Scoob 2” have been shelved despite both being completed films that have made it all the way through production. Various TV shows through Adult Swim and HBO Max will not be returning for a new season, including Tuca & Bertie and Joe Pera Talks To You. But one of the most surprising cancelations has been HBO’s Westworld.
The pique-TV series was based on the film by Michael Crichton which depicted a dystopian future of sentient androids being used for theme parks. The series was notable for its special effects, dark storytelling, and an all-star cast that included Evan Rachel Wood, Thandiwe Newton, Jeffrey Wright, James Marsden, Luke Hemsworth, Ed Harris, and Anthony Hopkins, just to name a few. The show had four seasons and won various awards. It was looking as though a fifth and final season was going to be produced. Sadly, those plans have changed, as HBO announced the show’s cancelation.
This is a major blow for HBO as the program was one of the highest-rated shows on the network. The first season, in particular, became HBO’s most-watched TV series, making the hefty price tag well worth it. But it seems that Westworld will not be playing a part in the future of HBO’s lineup.
The series creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy are currently busy on other projects including a crime series, The Son, and a dystopian series based on the popular video game, Fallout.
New Avatar: The Way of the Water Trailer
James Cameron’s grand return to the alien world of Pandora will be gracing theaters worldwide in December. Despite the first “Avatar” movie being released over a decade ago in 2009, Disney is doing their best to hype up audiences for going back to the theater for this long-awaited sequel. The hype started with a taste of the film’s dazzling visuals in a teaser trailer released in the summer. Then Disney rereleased the first film into theaters in September to get audiences acquainted with the original, as well as show off the new 4K transfer. Now we’ve finally gotten our first full trailer for the film.
It might seem like Disney and Cameron are cutting things a bit close with the newest trailer, but the absence has only built up the excitement further. The official trailer reveals that the film will have much more of the alien creatures known as the Na’vi with few traces of humans. Though it seems the humans might be returning with more mecha action present in the trailer. There are also some eye-popping moments of the underwater sequences as well, where the Na’vi will be interacting with all manner of sea-bound creatures. The central romantic couple of Jake Sully and Ney’tiri will return for this film.
“Avatar: The Way of the Water” will be released in theaters on 16 December, 2022. The sequel is being written by James Cameron, Rick Jaffa, and Amanda Silver, with a cast that includes Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, and Kate Winslet. Way of the Water will mark the first of four planned sequels with the following films set to be released in 2024, 2026, and 2028.
James Gunn’s Plans For DC Comics Media
Warner Bros. made the announcement that James Gunn and Peter Safran are going to be in charge of DC Comics productions. This came after the critical success Gunn brought to DC Comics media with 2021’s “The Suicide Squad” movie and 2022’s Peacemaker series. The success of both projects has led to Warner Bros. greenlighting a new season of Peacemaker as well as a new yet-to-be-announced DC Comics movie. So it makes sense to keep Gunn at the helm, especially since he’s not afraid to play with the DCEU elements of previous films.
Gunn outlined over Twitter his plans as the new co-head of DC Comics projects:
“As the new (& first ever) CEOs of DC Studios, Peter & I think it’s important we acknowledge you, the fans, & let you know we hear your different desires for the pathways forward for DC. Although our ability to interact on Twitter has been lessened due to the workload of our new positions, we are listening & open to everything as we embark on this journey, & will continue to do so for the next few years. But all our initial focus is on the story going forward, hammering out the new DCU, & telling the Biggest Story Ever Told across multiple films, television shows, & animated projects.”
He also brought up how he has heard the many demands that the fans have been sending him and Warner Bros. This includes anger over the cancelation of Legends of Tomorrow, the hiatus of Young Justice, the shelving of Batgirl, and the refusal by WB to release a director’s cut of 2016’s “Suicide Squad”.
Gunn closed out his Twitter thread by bringing up how he’s listening to the social media chatter:
“We invite all of the DC fandoms from across the multiverse — and everyone else as well — into this new universe. We can’t wait to reveal more.”
What’s rather remarkable is that Gunn is assuming this role after also directing two projects for Marvel Studios. This includes Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, debuting on Disney+ this Thanksgiving, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, currently set to debut theatrically on May 5th, 2023.
Friday the 13th Prequel Series
Many horror franchises are getting new iterations and spirited revivals. This includes a legacy-style sequel to Scream, a continuing TV series for Chucky, and even a fresh take on Hellraiser. Yet Friday the 13th, arguably the longest-running slasher saga with over ten entries, hasn’t had much traction since 2009’s remake. Thankfully, there’s been some movement over on the streaming platform Peacock.
The Universal streaming platform Peacock will exclusively stream a Friday the 13th prequel TV series from Hannibal creator Bryan Fuller and production studio A24. The show will be titled Crystal Lake and presumably precede the events of the first Friday the 13th movie. So it’s likely the series could showcase the origins of Jason Vorhees and his mother who would go on a killing spree of camp counselors neglecting counselors.
But will Jason even appear in the show? Well, there’s a bit of a legal dispute over the rights to the character where it’s likely we may not see him. We’ll just have to wait and see as Crystal Lake has yet to go into production and has only recently finalized the order for the show.
Abstract: HBO takes down a long-running sci-fi show while Disney revives a blockbuster. Warner Bros is handing over DC Comics projects to an accomplished director and Peacock is soon to stream a revival of a horror classic.