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MCU Secret Invasion Series Adds Emilia Clarke and Olivia Colman and More TV News

Plus, PEN15 star Maya Erskine joins Obi-Wan Kenobi series, Disney reaches licensing deal for Sony library, Hilary Duff to lead How I Met Your Father, and more of the week's top TV news.

by | April 22, 2021 | Comments

The Crown’s Queen Elizabeth and Game of Thrones’ Dragon Queen will join the MCU, Disney will soon include Sony’s Spider-Man films on its streaming platforms, Apple TV+ drops a Ted Lasso season 2 trailer, and other big news in TV and streaming from the past week.


Secret Invasion Casting: Emilia Clarke and Olivia Colman Will Join an All-Star Cast That Includes Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Mendelsohn

Emilia Clarke and Olivia Colman

(Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage; Vera Anderson/WireImage)

Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Ben Mendelsohn (Captain Marvel) as Skrull Talos, Kingsley Ben-Adir as a still-unnamed villain … and now The Crown star Olivia Colman and Game of Thrones alum Emilia Clarke. That’s the line-up for Secret Invasion, the MCU original series for Disney+ that will revolve around shape-shifting aliens (the Skrulls) who’ve been populating Earth for years. (Variety)

Oscar winner Colman and Emmy nominee Clarke will be making their Marvel Universe debuts. 

No details are yet available about Colman and Clarke’s characters, but Kyle Bradstreet (Mr. Robot) will be an executive producer and is attached to write Secret Invasion. reports the series is scheduled to begin production in the U.K. and Europe in the fall.

And in other comic book news for Clarke, she wrote one. M.O.M.: Mother of Madness began as a joke with her friends, and is now a three-issue Image Comics series Clarke wrote with Marguerite Bennett. The comic is the story of Maya, a single mom with superpowers who takes on human traffickers. Clarke tells the book’s vibe is Deadpool-style humor with feminist sensibilities “explored in an extreme genre-bending atmosphere.”

Pen15 Star Maya Erskine Joins Obi-Wan Kenobi Series Cast


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Read Also: Everything We Know About Obi-Wan Kenobi, Disney+’s Upcoming Series

Sony Reaches Licensing Agreement with Disney

Sony Pictures

(Photo by Sony Pictures)

The Walt Disney Company and Sony Pictures Entertainment this week announced a multi-year licensing agreement for U.S. streaming and TV rights to Sony Pictures’ new theatrical releases across Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution’s portfolio of platforms, including streaming services Disney+ and Hulu, as well as networks ABC, Disney Channels, Freeform, FX, and National Geographic. The deal covers theatrical releases from 2022-2026 and begins for each film following its Pay 1 TV window — that is, after the films first appear on Netflix, which usually gets titles around 18 months after their theatrical releases.

The deal also grants Disney rights to a significant number of SPE’s iconic library titles, ranging from the Jumanji and Hotel Transylvania franchises to Sony Pictures’ Universe of Marvel characters films, including Spider-Man. Hulu will receive access to a significant number of library titles beginning as early as this June.

Hilary Duff Is Ready to Explain How I Met Your Father for a Hulu Comedy

Hilary Duff

(Photo by Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

Younger star Hilary Duff has signed on to star in How I Met Your Father, a 10-episode Hulu series that’s a spin-off to the long-running 2005-14 CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother.

Just like its predecessor, HIMYF will use a multi- and single-camera approach to tell the story of, in the near future, Sophie (Duff), who is telling her son how she met his father. It’s a story that flashes back to the year 2021, where Sophie and her close-knit group of friends are in the midst of figuring out who they are, what they want out of life, and how to fall in love in an age of dating apps and limitless options.

No other cast members have been announced so far, but Duff will also be a producer on the series, while HIMYM creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas will serve as executive producers on HIMYF, which was created by This Is Us executive producers Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger.

LeVar Burton Gets One Step Closer to Becoming the Jeopardy! Host

 Lavar Burton

(Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for the Audio Publisher Association)

Jeopardy! producers have announced the final lineup of guest hosts to close out season 37, and, at last, the fan favorite to get the job as permanent host to succeed the late Alex Trebek – Star Trek: The Next Generation, Roots, and Reading Rainbow star LeVar Burton – is on the list. Good Morning America hosts Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos and sportscaster Joe Buck are among the others in the final batch of guest hosts, but Burton has been the viewers’ favorite, sparking a petition signed by nearly 250,000 of them calling for him to get the job.

NEW TRAILERS: Ted Lasso Returns for Season 2, Looking to Win Some Games, But Finding His Team on a Tie Streak Instead

Ted Lasso season 2 sees the return of the award-winning comedy – one of the best shows of 2020 – starring Jason Sudeikis as the titular football and soccer coach. Ted’s more comfortable as a newbie British resident and ready to head a winning outfit, even though the team has managed to end the last eight games in ties. The series also stars Brett Goldstein, Hannah Waddingham, Brendan Hunt, Juno Temple, and Phil Dunster. Premieres July 23 on Apple TV+.

More trailers and teasers released this week:
That Damn Michael Che is a comedy series starring Che and fellow Saturday Night Live stars like Cecily Strong, Colin Jost, and Heidi Gardner, with each episode revolving around the experience of everyday situations like falling in love, unemployment, and racial profiling. Premieres May 6. (HBO Max)
• Whitstable Pearl is a new six-part British detective series about local restaurateur and detective agency owner Pearl Nolan (Kerry Godliman, After Life) whose picturesque seaside town sure seems to have a lot of murders. Based on the novels The Whitstable Pearl Mystery and Disappearance at Oare by Julie Wassmer. Premieres May 24. (Acorn TV)


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• Death and Nightingales is a limited series about a young woman (Ann Skelly) in 1880s Ireland who considers whether to leave her life with her difficult stepfather (Matthew Rhys) to start a new one with her boyfriend (Jamie Dornan). Premieres May 16. (Starz)
Shrill’s third and final season premieres May 7. The comedy stars Saturday Night Live star Aidy Bryant. (Hulu)
• The Crime of the Century is Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney’s two-part documentary about Purdue Pharmaceuticals and the company’s shocking culpability, along with the FDA and doctors, in the devastating opioid crisis. Premieres May 10. (HBO)
• The Upshaws is a new comedy about mechanic Bennie (Mike Epps) and his wife Regina (Kim Fields), who are trying to raise their family in Indianapolis with some added “help” from Bennie’s sarcastic sister-in-law (Wanda Sykes). Premieres May 12. (Netflix)
• The Big Shot with Bethenny is a reality competition series in which aspiring moguls will try to win a position on the executive team of Real Housewives of New York City star and Skinnygirl founder Bethenny Frankel. Premieres April 29. (HBO Max)
• Pride is a six-part series that unfolds the history of the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement, from the 1950s through the present, covering Joseph McCarthy’s government-sanctioned persecution of gay people, Stonewall, the devastating impact of AIDS, and the fight for marriage equality. Premieres May 14. (FX)
• Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. follows supervillain M.O.D.O.K. (Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing), played by Patton Oswalt), who has long pursued his dream of conquering the world, but has run his evil organization into the ground. Premieres May 21. (Hulu)
• Love, Death + Robots Volume II sees the return of the animated anthology, this time with episodes directed by Tim Miller and Robert Valley, with stories written by Joe Lansdale and Neal Asher. Miller and David Fincher are producers. Premieres May 12. (Netflix)

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CASTING: Persuasion: Dakota Johnson Starring in a Modern Adaptation of Jane Austen’s Classic

Dakota Johnson

(Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Dakota Johnson will star in the Netflix adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Described as a modern take on the classic novel, the movie will revolve around Anne Elliot, whose former love returns to her life just as her wealthy family finds itself on the verge of bankruptcy. Rain Man and My Best Friend’s Wedding writer Ron Bass wrote the script with Alice Victoria Winslow.

Edgar Ramirez is starring in the Netflix drama Florida Man, which Variety describes as being like Elmore Leonard’s Out of Sight. Ramirez will play a former cop who’s forced to make a trip to Florida, his homestate, to locate a mobster’s MIA girlfriend. Trouble ensues in the eight-episode series, which was created by Emmy-nominated This Is Us writer Donald Todd, who will serve as executive producer and showrunner.

Hemsworth brother and Westworld star Luke will guest star on NBC’s Young Rock, playing The Rock’s coach, Dennis Erickson, when he played football at the University of Miami. (EW)

Janeane Garofalo will play Cass DeKennessy, a university dean who offers Maggie (Debi Mazar) a teaching position in multiple episodes of the final season of Younger.

Gabriel Luna

HBO’s The Last of Us has added Gabriel Luna to the series, where he’ll join Game of Thrones stars Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal in the series based on the video game.

Read Also: Everything We Know About The Last of Us HBO Series

Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson will play Joey Ramone in the Netflix biopic movie I Slept with Joey Ramone, based on the book of the same name by Mickey Leigh. Davidson also wrote the script for the movie with Jason Orley, who will also direct the film, after also directing Davidson’s movie Big Time Adolescence and his stand up special Alive from New York.

Andrew Rannells has joined Girls5Eva in the recurring role of Kev, a former member of the boy band Boyz Next Door who is now the husband of Girls5Eva member Summer (Busy Philipps). (THR)

Jack Quaid (The Boys) will voice a character in the upcoming Amazon anthology series Solos, though details of his role – and the show itself – are being kept a mystery. Other cast for the seven-episode series include Morgan Freeman, Uzo Aduba, Anne Hathaway, Helen Mirren, Dan Stevens, Constance Wu, and Anthony Mackie.  (The Wrap)

Another mystery role: Frances Fisher has joined the cast of USA’s fourth season of The Sinner, though who she is playing is unknown. Bill Pullman returns as the series lead. (Variety)

John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) will play Joe Exotic in NBC’s limited series about the former zoo owner made infamous in the Netflix documentary series Tiger King. Mitchell, who also stars in Shrill, will be joined by SNL’s Kate McKinnon as Joe’s foe Carole Baskin in the series, which will air on NBC, USA, and Peacock. (EW)

Atypical star Michael Rapaport will play the dad of the teenage version of Amy Shumer’s character in the upcoming Hulu comedy Life & Beth. (Deadline) 

The Crown’s Erin Doherty will star in the social media-themed Amazon/BBC psychological thriller Chloe, playing Becky, who, obsessed with the seemingly perfect life of a woman named Chloe on Instagram, assumes a new identity to make friends with Chloe’s friends after Chloe suddenly dies.

PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT: Netflix Nearing Deal to Produce Bohemian Rhapsody–ish Biopic About KISS

Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and Tommy Thayer of Kiss

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ABA)

Netflix is near a deal to produce Shout It Out Loud, a KISS biopic that Deadline reports aspires to “do for … KISS what Bohemian Rhapsody did for Queen.” KISS leaders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley will be cooperating with the movie, which will be directed by Joachim Rønning (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales).

TV land has its first NFT: Aku, the non-fungible token Black astronaut character created by artist and former Major League Baseball player Micah Johnson. Aku, which sold more than $2 million worth of NFTs when it was released in February, has been optioned for TV and film projects by Anonymous Content and Permanent Content.

The Courteney Cox horror comedy Shining Vale has been given a series order at Starz. The series follows Pat (Cox), a woman who is trying to save her marriage, and moves her family from city life to an old house in the ‘burbs that may or may not be haunted, while author Pat may or may not have a split personality. The series also stars Greg Kinnear as Pat’s husband, Mira Sorvino as her alter ego (or a demon), and Merrin Dungey as Pat’s best friend. Shining Vale was created by Jeff Astrof (Trial & Error) and Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe).

Euphoria showrunner Sam Levinson will adapt author Stephen Markley’s debut novel Ohio as a series for HBO. Ohio native and Iowa Writers Workshop alum Markley will write the series, which revolves around a 2013 small-town high school reunion of four friends, and includes a murder mystery and an examination of the devastating effects on a generation raised with multiple wars, a recession, and the opioid crisis. (THR)

Downton Abbey 2 is officially in production, with the sequel to the movie based on the beloved TV series scheduled to hit theaters December 22. Creator Julian Fellowes and cast members Hugh Bonneville, Jim Carter, Maggie Smith, Laura Carmichael and Michelle Dockery are returning, while Dominic West (The Wire and The Affair), Hugh Dancy (Black Hawk Down), Laura Haddock (Guardians of the Galaxy), and Nathalie Baye (Catch Me If You Can) are joining the sequel’s cast.

Apple TV+ has ordered the bilingual thriller Now and Then, about a group of college friends and their celebration weekend that ends in the death of one. Twenty years later, the surviving five reunite, reluctantly, when the past comes back to threaten their presents. The show will be filmed in Miami in both English and Spanish and feature an all-Hispanic cast.

Amazon Studios has ordered a young adult pilot based on Harlan Coben’s novel Shelter, the first of his Mickey Bolitar series, about teen Mickey, who is present for his father’s death, has to send his mother to rehab, has to go to a new school when he moves in with his aunt, and sees his hopeful reboot crash when his girlfriend disappears, and he finds out she was not who she presented herself to be, nor was his father. It leads to the revelation of a shocking conspiracy. (Variety)

Ava DuVernay will produce a Netflix animated family event series adaptation of the New York Times bestselling Scholastic fantasy book series Wings of Fire. Ten 40-minute episodes will unfold author Tui Sutherland’s story of a bitter war that has raged for generations between the dragon tribes who inhabit the epic world of Pyrrhia. According to prophecy, five young dragons will rise to end the bloodshed and bring peace back to the land. Raised and trained in secret from the time they were hatched, the Dragonets of destiny – Clay, Tsunami, Glory, Starflight, and Sunny – embark on an evolving quest that will bring them to the overwhelming scope of the savage war they’re destined to end.

After a four-year hiatus that followed star Aziz Ansari being accused of a nonconsensual sexual encounter, Master of None will return for its third season on Netflix in May. Variety reports the new season, filmed in London, will focus on Lena Waithe’s Denise instead of Ansari’s Dev.

Viola Davis and her producing partner/husband Julius Tennon are teaming with former Jimmy Kimmel Live! writer Jeremy Hsu for a potential Hulu comedy called Unf$?%ables, about two BFFs – an Asian American male and an African American female – who live together and pledge to no longer be considered unf**kable. The series is based on Hsu’s dating experiences. (Deadline)

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