Here are the highlights (and lowlights) from movies, television and video games over the past week.
Disney, who never met something they couldn’t milk every single dollar from, has surprisingly taken the high road in regards to Star Wars: Episode IX. There has been a lot of speculation as to how Carrie Fisher‘s passing will affect the final film, and would Disney be tacky and digitally add her character in. She had filmed nothing for the movie before her death, and supposedly her character will not appear in any form.
In more Disney news, they should probably be prepared for the ire of millions of Robin Williams fans. While it was announced a while back that they are making a live-action Aladdin movie, no casting has been announced. Now it’s come to light that they are pursuing none other than Will Smith for the role of the Genie. While the artist formerly known as The Fresh Prince is a great actor, this is an absolutely awful idea. Not because he is wrong for the role, but because I’m sure he’ll somehow make sure his kid Jaden gets the role of Aladdin.
After being announced for release in 2013, Avatar 2 was delayed until 2014. Then 2015. Then 2016, 2017 & 2018. With filming about to start, Avatar 2 now has a firm release date in 2020 (aka the first year without a scheduled Star Wars release), followed by parts 3,4 & 5 in the years following. Of course, this will be pointless when it inevitably gets delayed again. I love James Cameron – the guy is a genius – but I really wish he would create a new property instead of living in Pandora for the next decade.
It wasn’t a great week at the box office. The #1 movie, Fate of the Furious, fell over 60% and while its grosses will likely fall short of the sixth film. Five new releases opened this week, each in over 1000 theaters, and the only one to break $5 million was Born in China ($5.2 million). Unforgettable didn’t live up to it’s name, while Phoenix Forgotten did. The very expensive The Promise is going to wind up losing almost $80 million, and indie Free Fire was DOA.
Apparently the powers that be have decided that a King Kong TV series is a good idea. It will be called King Kong: Skull Island. It has nothing to do with the recent (and awesome) movie Kong: Skull Island, except that it will feature Kong and be set on Skull Island. Also, King Kong won’t be the main character of King Kong: Skull Island, it will be a female lead. Will she be a human character, or a female ape? If it’s the latter, wouldn’t she be Queen Kong and, if the character is in fact the lead, shouldn’t the show be called Queen Kong: Skull Island? My head hurts… (Mine too — ED)
After over a year, Fox has finally announced a new mini season of the X-Files will air sometime during the 2017-18 TV season. Since the revival last year was such a huge success, the fact that it took so long to happen is a bit of a surprise. Then again, the stars are incredibly busy so coordinating schedules can be a problem. In any case, we are getting 10 new episodes of Mulder and Scully seeking out the truth, and I’m content.
Now for some sad news. Erin Moran, who played Joanie in the beloved series Happy Days (and the much less loved Joanie Loves Chachi), passed away at the relatively young age of 56. No cause of death has been released as of yet, but she has had some known issues over the last several years. Condolences to her family.
The first episode of Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy game is released. By most accounts, the game perfectly captures the look of the comics and the humor of the movies. It isn’t directly connected to the films, but if the whole game winds up being like their Batman and Walking Dead games, we’re in for a treat.
Nostalgia is strong with the launch of the Disney Afternoon Collection on PS4 and Xbox One. Six classic NES games based on the 1980’s cartoons DuckTales, TaleSpin, Chip N’ Dale & Darkwing Duck are bundled together. They aren’t remastered or anything, they’re just pure nostalgic treats.