In TV and streaming’s biggest news this week, Sony announced series adaptations of popular video games Horizon Zero Dawn, God of War, and Gran Turismo. J.J. Abrams is developing a live-action Speed Racer series for Apple TV+, while his sci-fi series Demimonde is in jeopardy at HBO. Disney+ dropped a new Ms. Marvel trailer that gives a closer look at Kamala Khan’s superpowers. Plus, Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, and Kyle Mooney have exited Saturday Night Live; trailers for Supernatural prequel series The Winchesters, season 2 of Apple TV+’s Physical; and more.
In Thursday’s investor briefing call, Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Tony Vinciquerra announced the plans to adapt PlayStation titles Horizon Zero Dawn and Gran Turismo to television.
Horizon Zero Dawn, which is in early development at Netflix, is based on the popular action role-playing game that follows a young huntress named Aloy who braves a post-apocalyptic wilderness overrun by giant robot dinosaurs as she searches for answers about her past. Gran Turismo, based on Sony’s successful racing video game franchise, is in early development but has yet to find a distributor.
In addition, Sony confirmed that its God of War series, which was first announced back in March, has been acquired by Amazon’s Prime Video streaming platform.
Considering the recent trend of video game adaptations hitting the small screen, with Starz’s Halo series being the most recent of these types of projects to air, it’s looking like video games are finally hitting their stride on TV. And the aforementioned titles are just the latest that Sony and Playstation Productions are adapting. Their post-apocalyptic zombie thriller Last Of Us, starring Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, is in the works at HBO; Twisted Metal, based on the car combat video games and starring Anthony Mackie, Stephanie Beatriz, Neve Campbell, and Thomas Haden Church, is heading to Peacock; and the immersive samurai tale Ghost of Tsushima is getting the feature film treatment from John Wick director Chad Stahelski.
(Photo by Funimation)
Speed Racer is getting another live-action adaptation, this time as a TV series at Apple TV+ and J.J. Abrams is on board as executive producer under his Bad Robot banner. The streamer has given the long-gestating project a series order with Ron Fitzgerald and Hiram Martinez attached to write, executive producer, and serve as co-showrunners.
Speed Racer follows the revved-up adventures of a race car driver named Speed Racer and his souped-up car, the Mach 5. His team features Pops Racer, his father and car builder, his little brother Spritle, his girlfriend Trixie, and pet chimpanzee Chim-Chim. Also featured regularly throughout the series is the mysterious Racer X, who, it’s eventually revealed, is Speed’s older brother Rex Racer.
The first live-action rendition of the popular Japanese character came in 2008 in the film written and directed by The Wachowskis. Emile Hirsch starred as Speed Racer.
Speed Racer began as a manga series in the 1960s, created by Tatsuo Yoshida under the title “Mach GoGoGo.” It was adapted as an anime series and debuted in America in 1967 as Speed Racer. The show grew in popularity and is acknowledged for popularizing anime in the United States. The original series featured over 50 episodes, with an English-language version of a Japanese remake of the show airing on Nickelodeon beginning in 2002. (Variety)
In the latest trailer for Disney+’s Ms. Marvel series, Kamala Khan’s (Iman Vellani) origin story gets a wildly fun, vibrant tease. Like Spider-Man before her, Marvel’s first Muslim superhero has a catchphrase that’s easy to remember and leaves a huge impact: “Good is not a thing you are, Kamala,” her Sheikh tells her. “It is a thing you do.”
The highly-anticipated series tells the story of Khan, an average Muslim high school student from Jersey City who is a huge fan of the Avengers, especially Captain Marvel; in fact, she loves her so much, Khan dresses up in her own version of Captain Marvel’s super-suit. But then she gains superpowers of her own. From being a regular teenager to gaining the ability to manipulate cosmic energy, Khan’s life is about to get quite adventurous. Ms. Marvel premieres on June 8 to Disney+.
Read More: Everything We Know About Ms. Marvel
More trailers and teasers released this week:
• True Lies is the latest blockbuster movie to get the TV series makeover. Like the film, the new adaptation follows an unfulfilled suburban housewife as she learns her humdrum computer consultant husband is actually an international spy. She’s soon recruited to work alongside him to save the world, and possibly revitalize their passionless marriage along the way. Ginger Gonzaga, Steve Howey, Omar Benson Miller, and Mike O’Gorman star. Premieres 2023. (CBS)
• In this Physical season 2 featurette, audiences are given a quick recap of where things left off in the ’80s dramedy. The series, which stars Rose Byrne, Rory Scovel, Dierdre Friel, Paul Sparks, Murray Bartlett, Della Saba, and Lou Taylor Pucci, follows a housewife’s journey from humdrum obscurity to aerobics superstardom. Premieres Friday, June 3. (Apple TV+)
• Chloe is a six-episode thriller following a woman named Becky and her unhealthy obsession with stalking her childhood friend Chloe (Poppy Gilbert) online. Once Chloe dies, Becky recreates her identity and infiltrates Chloe’s social life. But things get complicated when she discovers Chloe’s real life was not reflected accurately on social media. Premieres June 24. (Prime Video)
• Evil season 3 continues the investigations into supernatural phenomena while deepening the drama. Spoiler: Season 2 ended with David (Mike Colter) and Kristen (Katja Herbers) kissing which will surely complicate things. The new episodes will continue the espionage storyline in the Catholic church while the unsolved nature of their cases takes its toll on Ben’s (Aasif Mandvi) mental health. Premieres June 12. (CBS)
• Walker Independence is a prequel to the Jared Padalecki-starring Walker series which takes viewers back to the 1800s to see where things all began. The series follows Abby Walker’s search for a new life in Independence, Texas, after her husband is murdered. When she discovers the new sheriff is his killer, vengeance becomes her mission. Katherine McNamara, Matt Barr, Mark Sheppard, and Lawrence Kao star. Premieres 2022. (The CW)
• The Winchesters continues the Supernatural story. After 15 seasons, the original series – which starred Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki as monster hunter brothers Dean and Sam Winchester – came to an end. The Winchesters shifts focus to the past and shows how their hunter parents Mary and John first met, thus kicking off the “family business.” Meg Donnelly, Drake Rodger, and Jojo Fleites star. Ackles returns as narrator. Premieres 2022. (The CW)
• This Is Going to Hurt is based on Adam Kay’s bestselling book of the same name. Kay, a former doctor, details his life as a medical professional and the triumphs and tragedies that come with the work. Ben Whishaw plays Adam Kay in the series, which is a deeply honest and emotional portrayal of life in a hospital ward. Ambika Mod, Michele Austin, Alex Jennings, and Kadiff Kirwan also star. Premieres June 2. (AMC+ and Sundance Now)
• In My Dead Dad, a slacker named Lucas attempts to take over his recently deceased father’s apartment management business, while doing his best to find direction in his life and reconcile the loss of the dad he never really knew. Pedro Correa stars as Lucas and co-wrote the movie alongside first-time feature director Fabio Frey. Simon Rex, Chris Pontius, Booboo Stewart, Courtney Dietz, Raymond Cruz, and Steven Bauer also star. Premieres June 1. (HBO Max)
• The new trailer for Love, Victor season 3 teases the final eight episodes of the spinoff to Love, Simon – the movie adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s book Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda. Michael Cimino, Rachel Hilson, Anthony Turpel, Bebe Wood, Mason Gooding, George Sear, Isabella Ferreira, Mateo Fernandez, James Martinex, Ana Ortiz, Anthony Keyvan, and Ava Capri star. Premieres June 15. (Hulu and Disney+)
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NBC’s long-running sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live has undergone a major cast shakeup as stars Pete Davidson, Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, and Kyle Mooney have left the show. Season 47 has featured the largest cast the program has ever had with 21 stars in total. Last year, Beck Bennett and Lauren Holt were the only names to say goodbye to the Lorne Michaels–run production.
Davidson, who regularly makes celebrity news headlines, most recently due to his high-profile relationship with Kim Kardashian, began his run on SNL in 2014, and his acting career has gained traction in recent years. He co-wrote and starred in The King of Staten Island and is co-creating and starring opposite Edie Falco in the Peacock series Bupkis, which was just ordered straight-to-series by the streamer.
McKinnon joined the program in 2012 and quickly rose the ranks as one of the show’s standout players, winning two Emmys for her comedy work during her decade-long run on the series. McKinnon starred alongside SNL alumni Kristen Wiig and Leslie Jones in Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters movie and has recently been seen in Peacock’s Tiger King scripted series, Joe vs. Carole, in which she played Carole Baskin.
Bryant also joined the show in 2012 and became a fan favorite, performing hilarious impersonations of political figures like Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Ted Cruz. And like McKinnon and Davidson, Bryant has focused on other projects aside from SNL over the past few years, including her starring role in Hulu’s comedy series Shrill.
Last but not least is Kyle Mooney who has been with the show since 2013. In December, Mooney’s adult animation series Saturday Morning All-Star Hits! premiered on Netflix, showcasing the SNL performer’s signature humor. (Hollywood Reporter)
(Photo by Karwai Tang/Getty Images)
Lupita Nyong’o has exited Apple’s Lady in the Lake series at Apple. The show, which is currently in production, is looking to recast the role. Natalie Portman remains on board as the program’s co-lead and executive producer. Lady in the Lake is an adaptation of Laura Lippman’s book and takes place in 1960s Baltimore where an unsolved murder prompts housewife and mother Maddie Schwartz (Portman) to reinvent her life as an investigative journalist. She meets Cleo Sherwood, a hard-working woman juggling her role as a mother, the many jobs she works to put food on the table, and her passionate commitment to advancing Baltimore’s Black progressive agenda. (Variety)
Susan Sarandon and Fat Joe will star in the voice cast of The Movers, an animated comedy series in development at Fox. The show is based on an original idea by Sarandon, her son Jack Henry Robbins, and Danielle Uhlarik, and all three are credited as co-creators and executive producers on the project. Robbins and Uhlarik are writing the script. The series is described as a half-hour workplace comedy that explores New York City through the dysfunctional employees of the 78th ranked moving company in Manhattan. (Variety)
Tim Roth is replacing Ian McShane in Paramount+’s Australian drama series Last King of the Cross. Roth takes on the role of Ezra Shipman, the antagonist in the serialized crime drama after McShane exited the program due to health concerns. The 10-episode series is inspired by John Ibrahim’s best-selling autobiography and is described as “an operatic story of two brothers,” following Ibrahim and his brother Sam “who organize the street but lose each other in their ascent to power.” The drama tracks “John Ibrahim’s rise from his early days as a poverty-stricken immigrant with no education, no money, and no prospects, to Australia’s most notorious nightclub mogul in Sydney’s Kings Cross — a mini-Atlantic City, barely half a mile long with every form of criminality on offer.” (Deadline)
ABC has tapped Sarah Wayne Callies, James Saito, Tim Chiou, Freda Foh Shen, and Felisha Terrell for the drama pilot The Company You Keep. The series, based on the Korean program My Fellow Citizens, will follow a con-man named Charlie (Milo Ventimiglia) after a night of passion between him and an undercover CIA officer Emma (Catherine Haena Kim), who are unknowingly on a collision course professionally. Callies plays Birdie, Charlie’s bossy big-sister and co-owner of the bar they run together, which also serves as a front to their illegitimate family business; Saito plays Joseph (aka Joe), a former governor and the patriarch of a political dynasty considered to be the Asian American Kennedys; Chiou plays David, Joseph’s son; Shen plays Grace, Joseph’s wife and Emma and David’s mother; and Terrell plays Daphne, who is worldly, ambitious and, when pushed, ruthless. (Variety)
Netflix’s That ’70s Show spinoff, That ’90s Show, is bringing Tommy Chong back to play Leo. Chong played Leo, a hippy stoner who ran the Foto Hut where Hyde worked, in 65 episodes of That ’70s Show. Chong is the latest original series cast member to return for the sequel series. It was previously announced that Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp will return as Red and Kitty Forman. Topher Grace, Laura Prepon, Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and Wilmer Valderrama are all set to make guest appearances. Ashley Aufderheide, Callie Haverda, Mace Coronel, Maxwell Acee Donovan, Reyn Doi, and Sam Morelos are the new cast. (Variety)
Josh Lucas has joined Apple TV+’s Mrs. American Pie and will play Douglas, the husband of Kristen Wiig’s Maxine Simmons. The comedy series, which is executive produced by Laura Dern, is based on Juliet McDaniel’s book of the same name. (Deadline)
Vanessa Hudgens is set to host the 2022 MTV Movie & TV Awards which will be broadcast live on June 5 at 8 p.m. ET/PT from the Barker Hangar in Los Angeles. This year, both the MTV Movie & TV Awards and Movie & TV Awards: Unscripted (which will be hosted by Tayshia Adams) will air as a one-night event and be simulcast across BET, BET Her, CMT, Comedy Central, Logo, MTV2, Nick at Nite, Paramount Network, Pop, TV Land and VH1 in addition to airing internationally on MTV in over 170 countries.
(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Sci-fi epic Demimonde, the first series that J.J. Abrams has written since Fringe hit Fox in 2008, is in jeopardy at HBO. The program is a part of Bad Robot’s $250 million overall deal with Warner Bros. Discovery. New Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav is frustrated with the lack of output on the project, sources close to the project told The Hollywood Reporter.
Another issue with the series is reportedly the program’s projected budget, which is set to be more than $200 million, higher than that for HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel series House of the Dragon.
Warner Bros. Discovery will make a decision soon regarding the future of the sci-fi drama, which cast Danielle Deadwyler (Station Eleven, Watchmen) in April, THR reported. While the buzzy series is in jeopardy at the network, Bad Robot’s overall deal with Warner Bros. Discovery remains intact. Aside from Demimonde, Abrams is developing an adult animated Batman series with Felicity collaborator Matt Reeves (director of The Batman), and he’s got multiple scripted projects based on his own original ideas in the works, including HBO Max’s mind-bending thriller Subject to Change.
A U2 scripted series the studio is producing for Netflix, Apple’s Presumed Innocent, HBO Max’s crime drama Duster, and HBO Max’s DC Comics–based Justice League Dark franchise are also on Bad Robots’ development slate.
(Photo by Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)
Monsieur Spade will find Clive Owen taking on the role of The Maltese Falcon’s iconic detective Sam Spade. Acquired by AMC Networks, the one-hour drama takes place in the South of France in 1963 and finds Spade living out his golden years until his tranquility is interrupted. Scott Frank (co-create of The Queens Gambit) and City On a Hill showrunner Tom Fontana are co-writers on the project with Frank directing. The series is scheduled to begin production in France this summer. (Deadline)
Set in Mexico in 1970, Las Azules is a 10-episode Spanish-language crime drama created by Fernando Rovzar and Pablo Aramendi and stars Bárbara Mori. Inspired by true events, the program tells the tale of four women who join Mexico’s first female police force only to learn it’s all a publicity stunt to distract the media from a brutal serial killer. The Apple TV+ series will reportedly feature an entirely Hispanic cast and crew. (Variety)
Jussie Smollett’s directorial debut B-Boy Blues has been picked up by BET+, which will premiere the film on June 9 in time for Pride Month. This is the first project for Smollett since he was found guilty of making false reports about being the victim of a hate crime in January 2019. B-Boy Blues is the film adaptation of James Earl Hardy’s book series and stars Timothy Richardson, Ledisi, Brandee Evans, Heather B, Marquise Vilson, Jabari Redd, Broderick Hunter and Thomas Mackie. (Variety)
Martin Lawrence is returning to the 1990s sitcom that made him a household name, sort of. Martin: The Reunion is coming to BET+ and will reunite Lawrence with cast members Tisha Campbell, Tichina Arnold, and Carl Anthony Payne II to reminisce about the show’s five-season run. Martin ran from 1992 to 1997 and starred Lawrence as Martin Payne, a DJ for Detroit’s WZUP radio (who later became a TV host), along with Campbell as his girlfriend Gina. The special will premiere on June 16th on the streamer. (Variety)
Kevin Hart has orchestrated a two-part documentary event called Right to Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution, exploring the progression of Black comedy throughout history, focusing on how comedians have used humor to reconcile the Black experience in America. The four-hour documentary will feature interviews with Hart, Tiffany Haddish, W. Kamau Bell, Michael Che, Steve Harvey, Sherri Shepherd, Wayne Brady, Aisha Tyler, Amber Ruffin, and Katt Williams, and will premiere on A&E Network on June 29 at 9 p.m.
Amazon has officially ordered sci-fi animated comedy The Hospital for two seasons. Maya Rudolph and Natasha Lyonne will lead the voice cast, and executive produce the series under their Animal Pictures banner. The Hospital “follows Sleech and Klak — aliens, best friends, and intergalactically renowned surgeons — as they tackle anxiety-eating parasites, illegal time loops, and deep-space STIs. Risking their careers to take on a remarkable case, they put existence itself in jeopardy.” Keke Palmer, Greta Lee, Kieran Culkin, and Sam Smith also star.
Ryan Murphy’s musical dramedy Glee has been missing from streaming since last November when it left Netflix. The series, which follows a ragtag school of high school misfits who overcome many obstacles (and cantankerous coach Sue Sylvester) to form a glee club, was acquired by Disney in the 2019 Fox deal and will hit Disney+ and Hulu on June 1, just in time for Pride Month. The program starred Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Chris Colfer, and Naya Rivera, along with many others, and ran for six seasons, won multiple GLAAD Media Awards, and four Emmys.
Leslie Jones and Warner Bros. Animation are partnering on a new adult animated comedy series. The project, which has yet to receive a title, will find Jones executive producing and voicing the lead character Plastic. According to a source close to the program, the show is not connected to the female-led take on the DC character Plastic Man, which was reportedly in development as a feature in 2020. (Variety)
MSNBC has tapped former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki to be the host of a new streaming program expected to launch in the first quarter of 2023. Psaki served 16 months with the Biden administration and, aside from her new program, she will also appear on NBC and during MSNBC’s special programming related to the 2022 midterm elections and the 2024 presidential election. (Variety)