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Disney drops Fox name, rebrands as 20th Century Studios

Disney has made the decision to drop the Fox name and rebrand the 21st Century Fox assets it acquired last year.

After months of speculation, the House of Mouse confirmed on March 12, 2019 the $71.3 billion acquisition of large chunks of 21st Century Fox, including its film and TV studio.

Now, it has been revealed that Disney have dropped the ‘Fox’ name. 20th Century Fox film studio will become 20th Century Studios, and Fox Searchlight Pictures will become simply Searchlight Pictures, according to Variety.

In the same report, it said that no final decisions have been made on the TV side of things, meaning there were no plans to change the monikers of production units 20th Century Fox Television and Fox 21 Television Studios, but there are discussion taking place about a possible name change.

On the poster for Searchlight’s next movie Downhill, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell, the credits begin with “Searchlight Pictures Presents.” The movie will be the first Searchlight release to debut with the new logo. Call of the Wild, an upcoming family movie, will also be released under the 20th Century banner, without Fox.

The Fox logos will be updated to reflect the change with the most notable change being that the word ‘Fox’ has been removed from the logo marks. The signature elements – swirling klieg lights, monolith, triumphal fanfare – will remain the same.

The original 20th Century Fox was formed in a merger in 1935 between Twentieth Century Pictures and Fox Film Corporation. The studio released some of the most successful movies of all-time, including Avatar, Titanic, Home Alone, Die Hard, Alien, Star Wars: A New Hope, and Planet of the Apes.

Last week, it was revealed that the short-lived, cult sci-fi series Firefly is still in the mind of producers and writers at Fox, who aren’t ruling out a revival.

Since the show’s cancellation, 11 episodes into the first and only 14-episode season between 2002 and 2003, fans have been clamouring for more.

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James Bond 25 Soundtrack Unites Smiths Guitarist Johnny Marr with Hans Zimmer

The soundtrack for No Time to Die has become increasingly interesting as it’s been revealed that Johnny Marr, best known as the guitarist for The Smiths, is set to compose new music for the movie. It was recently confirmed that James Bond 25 recruited Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer to handle the score for Daniel Craig’s final outing as the iconic MI6 agent. Marr will be teaming up with Zimmer to help bring the music to life.

It’s not quite clear at this time how significant Johnny Marr’s role will be in the process. Marr has teamed with Hans Zimmer previously in the past, contributing guitar to the Inception score, as well as working alongside him on The Amazing Spider-Man 2. The 56-year-old musician also worked on the arrangement for Godzilla: King of the Monsters. Marr had this to say about it in a statement.

“Part of the legacy of the Bond films is iconic music, so I’m very happy to be bringing my guitar to No Time To Die.”

When news of Hans Zimmer’s involvement first broke, it was said he would likely be recruiting some help. Zimmer also has Wonder Woman 1984 and Top Gun: Maverick on deck this year, which makes him a busy man. Dan Romer (Beasts of No Nation) had originally been scheduled to compose the score for No Time to Die but he parted ways with the production for reasons that weren’t made clear. Aside from Johnny Marr, it’s expected that Zimmer will enlist the help of another composer to get the soundtrack completed in time. Also on the music front, it was confirmed recently that Billie Eilish will sing the new James Bond theme song.

Bond 25 is being directed by Cary Fukunaga. The movie sees Bond living the semi-retired life, until his old CIA pal Felix Leiter comes knocking, who needs his help with a new mission. This leads them on the trail of a new villain, played by Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), who is armed with a dangerous new technology. The screenplay was something of a group effort, as it’s credited to franchise regulars Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, as well as known script doctor Scott Z. Burns and Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Returning cast members include Ralph Fiennes (M), Ben Whishaw (Q), Jeffrey Wright (Felix) and Naomie Harris (Moneypenny). Lea Seydoux, Ana de Armas, Lashana Lynch, Billy Magnussen, David Dencik and Dali Benssalah round out the new ensemble.

RELATED: Beyonce Photo Convinces Fans That She’s Singing the James Bond 25 Theme Song

Johnny Marr rose to fame as a member of The Smiths. The band broke up in 1987. Marr has continued to release music as a solo artist, as well as playing with other bands such as The Pretenders and Modest Mouse. Marr has been working more on movie and TV projects in recent years. Some of his other credits include Freeheld and The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret. No Time to Die is set to hit theaters on April 10. This news comes to us via NME.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb

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Ex Machina Comic Adaptation The Great Machine Gets Oscar Isaac in the Lead

Oscar Isaac has signed on to play a superhero, but not in the way one might expect. Isaac is set to star in The Great Machine. The project is set up at Legendary Pictures and serves as an adaptation of Brian K. Vaughn’s award-winning comic book series Ex Machina. Isaac, in addition to starring in the lead role, is set to produce the movie alongside his manager and producing partner Jason Spire.

According to a new report, Oscar Isaac has closed a deal to star in The Great Machine. Isaac previously starred in the Oscar-winning sci-fi movie Ex Machina, which was directed by Alex Garland and released in 2015. With that being the case, Legendary Pictures decided to change the title to The Great Machine, which is the name of the superhero Isaac’s character was known as in the comics. Anna Waterhouse and Joe Shrapnel (Seberg) are set to pen the screenplay. Brian K. Vaughn, whose other credits include Y: The Last Man and Saga, is also on board to produce.

There is no word currently on who may be eyed to direct. Though, it sounds like the project is in the relatively early stages. Ex Machina tells the story of a civil engineer named Mitchell Hundred, who becomes America’s first superhero after a strange accident gives him the power to communicate with machines. In the aftermath of 9/11, Mitchell retires from crime fighting and becomes the mayor of New York City. The comics focus much more on politics than it does superhero antics. With that, we shouldn’t expect the typical superhero fare, as this will probably be a different take on the genre.

Ex Machina was published by the DC Comics imprint Wildstorm starting in 2004. The series ran for 50 issues and was met with a great deal of praise during its run. It went on to win an Eisner Award. This won’t be Oscar Isaac’s first foray into the comic book movie world. The 40-year-old actor also starred as the main villain in X-Men: Apocalypse. Over the last decade or so, Isaac has become one of the most in-demand stars in Hollywood. Some of his other credits include Inside Llewyn Davis, Annihilation, A Most Violent Year and as Poe Dameron Disney’s recent Star Wars trilogy.

Oscar Isaac was most recently seen reprising his role as Poe once more in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. He also voiced Gomez in The Addams Family. This year he is also set to star in Denis Villeneuve’s high-profile adaptation of Dune, which hits theaters in December. Next up for Isaac will be The Card Counter, which comes from First Reformed director Paul Schrader. The Great Machine does not yet have a release date set. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as further details on the project are made available. This news comes to us via The Hollywood Reporter.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb

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The Mandalorian Actor Hints at Why Baby Yoda Is So Important to Moff Gideon

Why does Moff Gideon want Baby Yoda so bad? Giancarlo Esposito gives Star Wars fans a few clues in a new interview. The Mandalorian has introduced the world to a new corner of the Star Wars galaxy with a lot of familiarity, along with some new intriguing characters. Baby Yoda, aka the Child, is the biggest character and the biggest mystery at the same time. Arguably, the same can be said for Esposito’s Gideon character who really wants to get his hands on the little green dude.

We last saw Moff Gideon as he wielded the Darksaber at the end of The Mandalorian season 1. He pulled out the mysterious weapon to climb out of the TIE Fighter wreckage after many assumed he was dead. He’s far from dead, and as Giancarlo Esposito says, the character will have an expanded role in season 2. But what does he want with Baby Yoda. Esposito explains.

“I know… Like any great leader or scientist — clue, clue, clue — with someone who is advanced in a certain way, yeah, you could want to be their best friend, or you could want to co-opt what is inside them to figure out how to make all of us a little better at humanity. So it’s that power and control of a Moff leader who is trying to put the universe back together. But, how does he know everything? How does he know everything that’s going on? He’s a very interesting character and I’m so honored to be a part of this production.”

While Giancarlo Esposito can’t really give anything away, he does give fans something to speculate about while the wait for The Mandalorian season 2 continues. His answer is also very straight forward without divulging too much. With an expanded role in season 2, we’re going to learn a lot more about Moff Gideon and his intentions, which will more than likely shed some light on Baby Yoda’s origins.

In a separate interview, Giancarlo Esposito revealed how much he loves the Star Wars franchise, especially the original trilogy. Part of the reason he was attracted to The Mandalorian is because it has a similar vibe to what George Lucas sought to do. Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni studied the things that Lucas did in an effort to get close to the franchise’s start. Thankfully, they have done a great job in doing so.

RELATED: Baby Yoda’s Head on Hulk’s Body Is Incredibly Swole and Disturbing

The Mandalorian season 2 will hit Disney+ this fall, which will be here before we know it. With that being said, there’s still plenty of things to look forward to, including the Baby Yoda merchandise, which drops in May. From there, we will probably get some season two teases and at least a trailer by late summer. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see. The interview with Giancarlo Esposito was originally conducted by IGN.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb

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Godzilla Vs. Kong Is in the Home Stretch, Director Calls It the Thrill of a Lifetime

Director Adam Wingard has provided a little update on the status of Godzilla Vs Kong. The gigantic monster flick was recently delayed by Warner Bros. by a full eight months. The movie was originally supposed to hit theaters in March and the delay, to some, could be taken as a signal that there is trouble in paradise. However, Wingard’s new comments suggest that everything is going well and that the kaiju clash is nearing the finish line in the editing room.

Adam Wingard, who previously directed movies like You’re Next and Blair Witch, isn’t what one might call an overly active social media user. But Wingard recently took to Instagram and shared a picture of King Kong from days past. In his caption, Wingard had nothing but positive things to say about the process and revealed that the movie is nearly complete. Here’s what he had to say about it.

“Working on GvK has been the thrill of a lifetime. We’re on the home stretch of editorial, just a few more months to go! I tend to stay quiet about my projects as I work on them, but I just gotta say I’m so damned excited about this crazy movie!”

Few specific plot details have been revealed about Godzilla vs Kong thus far. The upcoming entry in the MonsterVerse will, as the title implies, see Godzilla and King Kong duking it out. We haven’t seen King Kong since Kong: Skull Island and, in that movie, he was quite a bit smaller than the new Godzilla, who we first met in 2014. But in some footage that was shown to audiences at CCXP in Brazil last year, it was revealed that Kong has grown quite a bit over the years, making him a much better match for the current King of the Monsters.

Recently, some toys that made their way online all but confirmed that another character from the Godzilla franchise will be making its way to the big screen for modern audiences. Last year’s Godzilla: King of the Monsters brought classic Toho beasts such as Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah into the fold. The human cast for Godzilla vs Kong includes s Millie Bobby Brown, Julian Dennison, Brian Tyree Henry, Demian Bichir, Alexander Skarsgard, Eisa Gonzalez, Kyle Chandler, Jessica Henwick, Rebecca Hall and Lance Reddick.

RELATED: King of the Monsters Easter Egg Teases Mechagodzilla in Godzilla Vs. Kong

Godzilla: King of the Monsters debuted to mixed critical reviews and underperformed at the box office, bringing in just $385 million at the box office, which was not what Warner Bros. and Legendary were hoping for. It’s possible the delayed release date could be giving Adam Wingard more time to get things just right. With any luck, this epic brawl won’t repeat the same mistakes as its predecessor. Godzilla vs Kong is set to hit theaters on November 20. Be sure to check out the post from Adam Wingard’s Instagram for yourself.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb

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John Wick prequel series ‘The Continental’ is still happening

The much-teased John Wick spin-off series The Continental is still in the works, according to STARZ boss Jeffrey Hirsch.

The series was first teased in 2017, and last year was confirmed to be a prequel to the Keanu Reeves-starring movie series, with Hirsch revealing that the series will be set “way back in terms of timing of the movies.”

Giving a further update on the progress on the show at the Television Critics Association winter press event (via Bleeding Cool), Hirsch said: “I had a meeting on a season pitch for this yesterday. We like the group of writers, and we’re trying to get it in the right place so it doesn’t interfere with the motion picture. It will air sometime after the fourth movie.”

John Wick 4 airs on May 21, 2021, the same day that Reeves returns in The Matrix 4. Hirsch went on to discuss the speculation that Reeves could make an appearance in The Continental, saying: “That’s a really good question that I’m not going to answer. No answer is as good a tease you’re going to get. It’s a great franchise, we’re exciting about bringing that show to the network.”

John Wick 3 review
John Wick calls upon the help of an old adversary (Halle Berry) to topple The High Table in John Wick 3

The series will be directed by Chad Stahelski, and upon its original announcement, he spoke about the direction they want to take The Continental.

“They’ve got a really good structure. It’s very tied to the film [in that] it’s about the Continentals all over the world, how certain people come into that world, and what happens in relation to those people, which is cool.

“I think the world is very vast, and everything I’ve heard from it is very positive. It’s something that studio seems very, very intent on [making] and very, very behind.”

NME‘s review of John Wick 3, which came out in 2019, called it “a brutal, blood-soaked sequel,” with Alex Flood adding: “Exhilarating and exhausting in equal measure, the third chapter in this bonkers franchise is undoubtedly its best.”

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Colin Trevorrow’s Star Wars 9 Script Gave Luke Skywalker a Way Bigger Role

One of the biggest things to arrive online this week was Colin Trevorrow’s leaked Star Was 9 script, long before it became The Rise of Skywalker. In the final version of the movie, co-written and directed by J.J. Abrams, Mark Hamill only returns as Luke Skywalker in one scene, albeit a pivotal one. However, as we learned from the script leak, Luke would have had a much bigger role, had Trevorrow’s version of the movie moved forward.

In The Rise of Skywalker, Luke appears near the third act of the movie when Rey goes to Ahch-To, intending to isolate herself from the Force. Just as she’s about to cast her lightsaber into the burning wreckage of Kylo Ren’s Tie Fighter, Luke appears to grab it and says that a Jedi’s weapon deserves better. Luke then reveals to Rey that he was wrong and gifts her Leia’s lightsaber as well. Their exchange puts her on a path to confront Palpatine and, ultimately, has a large role to play in balancing the Force.

Things would have played out quite differently in the Episode IX script written by Colin Trevorrow and Derek Connolly, the duo behind Jurassic World. Their version would have been subtitled Duel of the Fates. As we learned in the leak, Luke would have actually been training Rey as a Force ghost. Rey would have been considering abandoning her training and Luke would have had to convince her otherwise. They had several scenes together. But the biggest change is that Luke would have also been interacting with his nephew Kylo Ren. Luke would have essentially been haunting the man formerly known as Ben Solo and attempting to get him to reunite with Leia. This is in fact prophesied by Luke Skywalker when he warns Kylo about striking him down in The Last Jedi.

RELATED: Star Wars 9 Composer John Williams Breaks Own Oscars Record as Most Nominated Person Alive

Toward the end of Trevorrow’s Episode IX script, Luke, Obi-Wan and Yoda’s Force ghosts appear to try and save Ben Solo, but their attempts are futile. That leads to one of the other big changes, which is that Kylo Ren’s redemption arc didn’t pan out in this version. On the surface, Luke would have had a lot more screen time. Digging below that surface, what would have been accomplished with that screen time reveals just how different these movies were.

Colin Trevorrow was originally hired to helm Episode IX, in part thanks to the success of Jurassic World. As the process rolled on, there were clashes behind the scenes in terms of creative direction. Ultimately, Lucasfilm and Trevorrow parted ways over vague creative differences that we didn’t truly understand the full scope of. We still don’t, but the script leak does give us a window into what Colin Trevorrow wanted to do, and what Lucasfilm didn’t agree with. Who knows? Maybe years down the line, when the dust settles, we’ll get some sort of graphic novel that brings this version of the movie to life. But probably not. You can check out a summary of the differences from the script from the Fandom Twitter account below.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb

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Nine Lives of Ozzy’ docu trailer released

The first trailer for upcoming Ozzy Osbourne biopic Biography: The Nine Lives of Ozzy has landed.

In the clip Ozzy is seen watching a video of his younger self sporting a buzz cut. “The reason why I do what I do is because it’s what everybody wants to do, but they ain’t got the guts to,” the singer says in an interview from the ’80s. Elsewhere, a 70-something Ozzy visits his hometown of Birmingham and talks about having a “split personality”, adding: “there’s a wild man in everybody.”

The trailer invites his contemporaries and family members to discuss the charismatic rock star. “Ozzy changed everything,” says Rick Rubin, while Marilyn Manson, Post Malone, Rob Zombie and Jack Osbourne all talk separately about the timeless nature of his music and how vital the his working-class roots have been.

There is currently no release date for the documentary although it will premiere at SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas this spring (via Rolling Stone).

In other news, Sharon Osbourne has revealed that one of her main goals for 2020 is to produce a biopic about her life in the lead up to and subsequent marriage of her rockstar husband.

Ozzy Osbourne unveils 'Under The Graveyard' from new album 'Ordinary Man'
Ozzy Osbourne unveils ‘Under The Graveyard’ from new album ‘Ordinary Man’. Credit: Press

Earlier this week the TV personality, author and manager of the ex-Black Sabbath frontman pointed to a picture of her husband while speaking on her daytime CBS chat show The Talk. “I want to produce a movie on my husband,” she said.

“I don’t want to do another rock and roll, sex, drugs and money movie about a musician,” Sharon told Variety previously. “That’s not what I’m doing. There hasn’t been a movie about a woman that actually works on the management side — that’s a true story — and somebody that succeeds through the struggle and you come out the other side.”

Ozzy’s new album ‘Ordinary Man’ is released on February 21.

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Netflix Expected to Spend Over $17 Billion on New Movies and TV Shows in 2020

Not to be outdone by the competition, Netflix is spending a mind-melting amount of money on content this year. For several years now, Netflix has been the unquestioned king of the streaming game. Much of that has to do with the fact that they have curated a massive library of highly desirable original content. But that content doesn’t come cheap, as is evidenced by a new forecast of the company’s 2020 financials.

As per Wall Street firm BMO Capital Markets, Netflix is expected to spend $17.3 billion on content in 2020. B, with a big old B. That is up from $15.3 billion in 2019. What’s more, BMO doesn’t expect this trend to taper off anytime soon. Their recent forecast suggests the streaming giant will be spending $26 billion by 2028. In recent years, the company has been outspending every other studio in Hollywood. Disney may be the king of the box office, but they invest more strategically in movie and TV projects. With Netflix, it’s a different story, and a story that has a changing narrative as we head into a new decade.

Disney+ launched late last year and, what’s more, Disney also assumed full control of Hulu, in addition to owning ESPN+. That represented a seismic shift in the streaming landscape. Thanks to the example Netflix laid out, as they have amassed more than 150 million subscribers worldwide. Now, everyone in Hollywood is looking to get in on the action. HBO Max, NBC’s Peacock and Quibi are launching this year, not to mention smaller services like CBS All Access and Shudder. Consumers are going to have choices to make when it comes to how they want to spend their money in this particular area of entertainment.

RELATED: The Irishman De-Aging Gets Fixed by DeepFake User and It Looks a Lot Better

Netflix, because of the competition going into business for themselves, will be losing quite a bit of licensed content, such as all Disney content, including Star Wars and Marvel titles. Plus, The Office is heading to Peacock and Friends is moving to HBO Max. That might explain the need to ramp up spending in 2020. The $17.3 billion figure accounts for all content spending, which includes what they’ll spend on licensing deals. But the report notes that the lion’s share of that money will go toward funding original content.

2019 saw the streaming service release a number of splashy movies and TV shows, including The Irishman, Triple Frontier, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, new seasons of Stranger Things, Orange Is the New Black and Mindhunter, amongst many others. Some of those worked out better than others. The Irishman, The Two Popes and Marriage Story have been big favorites this awards season, with all three titles scoring several Oscar nominations. Since Netflix rarely releases ratings information, it’s hard to know what qualifies as money well spent. The big question is, at what point will this spending result in another price increase? This news comes to us via Variety.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb

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Tarantino to bring fictional ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’ show to life

Quentin Tarantino has revealed that he’s set to direct a Once Upon A Time In Hollywood spin-off, set around the film’s fictitious TV show Bounty Law.

The show was led by Leonardo DiCaprio’s OUATIH character Rick Dalton, who played gunslinger Jake Cahill.

You never saw a full episode of Bounty Law in the film, but Tarantino actually wrote scripts for five 35-minute episodes of the show – and now intends to bring them to life.

“As far as the Bounty Law shows, I want to do that, but it will take me a year and a half,” he told Deadline.

“It got an introduction from Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but I don’t really consider it part of that movie even though it is. This is not about Rick Dalton playing Jake Cahill. It’s about Jake Cahill.”

Tarantino continued: “Where all this came from was, I ended up watching a bunch of Wanted, Dead or Alive, and The Rifleman, and Tales of Wells Fargo, these half-hour shows to get in the mindset of Bounty Law, the kind of show Rick was on. I’d liked them before, but I got really into them. The concept of telling a dramatic story in half an hour.

“You watch and think, wow, there’s a helluva lot of storytelling going on in 22 minutes. I thought, I wonder if I can do that? I ended up writing five half-hour episodes. So I’ll do them, and I will direct all of them.”

Tarantino recently confirmed that he will indeed be making another film despite previously saying that Once Upon A Time In Hollywood would be his last.

It also looks like we might get more footage from that film, too – it could be set for an extended four-hour edition on Netflix.

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