This week in TV news brings you behind-the-scenes drama on one of DC Universe’s biggest 2019 launches, major video game adaptation casting news, and much more in the world of TV.
News broke earlier this week that production on DC Universe’s upcoming series Swamp Thing had been halted after five months of shooting. Some reports — including the initial story from one of the local news outlets, the Wilmington Star-News, that brought the story from the Wilmington, North Carolina set to national attention — noted that the shut-down was actually a pause so creators could “rewrite an ending” that would shave the series’ initial episode order from 13 down to 10. But others included the seemingly unfounded speculation that the move marked not just a creative shift for the series, but certain doom for the streaming service altogether.
DC Universe’s response to that? Nah. The company’s metaphorical mic drop of a response involved releasing the very first teaser for the series, which noted that it would arrive on its original, already-announced release date: May 31. Watch it above.
(Photo by Elizabeth Goodenough/Everett Collection)
American Gods star Pablo Schreiber has landed the coveted lead role in Showtime’s upcoming adaptation of Halo, based on the popular Xbox game. He’ll play Master Chief, Earth’s most advanced warrior in the 26th century and the only hope of salvation for a civilization pushed to the brink of destruction by the Covenant, an unstoppable alliance of alien worlds committed to the destruction of humanity. The series will introduce a new character to the Halo universe, too: newcomer Yerin Ha will play Quan Ah, a shrewd, audacious 16-year-old from the Outer Colonies who meets Master Chief at a fateful time for them both. Production begins in Budapest, Hungary, this fall.
(Photo by Netflix)
A lawsuit against Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer alleging that the filmmaker brothers stole the idea for their hit series is headed to trial next month. A Los Angeles judge ruled against a petition for summary judgment that the Duffers and Netflix had submitted, ensuring the matter would proceed to trial. (A summary judgment means the judge would rule on the matter without a full trial.) Plaintiff Charlie Kessler alleges in his lawsuit that he pitched the Duffers a project at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival based on “various urban legends, and paranormal and conspiracy theories,” and that he’s owed a third of the show’s profits. The Duffers allege that the casual, 10- to 15-minute chat “is the sole bases for the alleged implied contract at issue in this lawsuit and for Kessler’s meritless theory that the Duffers used his ideas to create Stranger Things.” Check out more on the suit at The Hollywood Reporter.
(Photo by Dee Cercone/Everett Collection)
Comedian Mike Myers will executive produce and star in a new comedy series for Netflix. The half-hour limited series will see the Austin Powers star play multiple characters over six episodes.
Joel Edgerton will play a slave-catcher named Ridgeway in Amazon’s upcoming series from Barry Jenkins, The Underground Railroad, Variety reports. The series is based on Colson Whitehead’s book of the same name, which follows a young slave escaping her Georgia plantation only to find a literal underground railroad system, and will consist of 11 episodes (all directed by Jenkins).
And finally, three new actors have joined CBS All Access’ upcoming Picard-focused Star Trek series: Alison Pill, Harry Treadway, and Isa Briones. The three will all be series regulars alongside Sir Patrick Stewart in the upcoming untitled series that will explore the next chapter of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Jean-Luc Picard.
(Photo by Universal Pictures)
NBC announced that Adam Sandler, Emma Thompson, and Paul Rudd are the final three Saturday Night Live hosts for the sketch comedy series’ current 44th season. Former cast member Sandler will return to the show to host for the very first time on May 4, with musical guest Shawn Mendes; Thompson will make her debut on May 11, with musical guests the Jonas Brothers; and Rudd will close out the season on May 17 with musical guest DJ Khaled.
(Photo by BBC America)
The winners of the 78th annual Peabody Awards, which honor excellence in broadcasting and electronic media, were announced this week. TV recipients include Barry, Pose, The Good Place, Killing Eve, The Americans, The End of the F—ing World, Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette, Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj, Random Acts of Flyness, and Steven Universe.
On the documentary side, PBS cleaned up with six out of the eight programs honored. They include HBO’s A Dangerous Son, a view into the myriad challenges parents face when raising children with mental health issues; Hulu’s Minding the Gap, the Oscar-nominated film about generational abuse and growing up as told through the eyes of a group of midwestern skateboarders; and PBS’ entries: Independent Lens: Dolores, an exhilarating portrait of activist and community organizer Dolores Huerta; Independent Lens: The Judge, a profile the Middle East’s first female Sharia law judge, Kholoud Faqih; Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart, a tribute to the essayist, journalist, playwright, and fearless advocate for social justice; POV: The Apology, a portrait of the personal journeys of three “comfort women” forced into institutionalized sexual slavery during World War II; Frontline: The Facebook Dilemma, an in-depth investigation into the Silicon Valley giant; and The Jazz Ambassadors, look at the important contribution of jazz music and musicians to Cold War diplomacy, American race relations, emerging black identities, and newly independent developing nations around the world.
Ryan Murphy is bringing another recent Broadway hit to Netflix: The Boys in the Band. The mega-producer announced last week that he’s bringing current show The Prom to the streaming service for a “movie event,” and this week he revealed that he’s also reuniting the cast of 2018’s The Boys in the Band over the summer for a film.
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Last summer, THE BOYS IN THE BAND were on Broadway, breaking house records at The Booth. THIS summer, The Boys In the Band will be filming a Netflix movie event. The incomparable Joe Mantello, who directed the Broadway revival, will direct the film adaptation. The Broadway cast of BOYS was so important to me, and as equally groundbreaking as Mart Crowley's seminal work. Everyone in the cast was out and proud…and feeling so blessed to mark the 50th anniversary of Mart's landmark play. The entire Broadway cast will reprise their roles in the film. I can't wait to be on set with Joe and Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, Matt Bomer, Charlie Carver, Robin de Jesus, Tuc Watkins, Michael Benjamin Washington and Brian Hutchison. I will be producing the film with David Stone and Ned Martel. Look for THE BOYS on Netflix in 2020.