Fan’s of Deborah Harkness’ “All Souls” Trilogy may get the chance to see their favourite characters bought to life on the small screen soon, as Jane Tranter & Julie Gardner’s Bad Wolf production company are looking to bring A Discovery Of Witches to a tv set near you. This is the 2nd big pick up from the ex-Doctor Who people, who are also producing an adaptation of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials with BBC and New Line.
A Discovery Of Witches is a New York Times best selling novel in which young, Oxford historian, Diana Bishop, unwittingly exposes herself to a magic manuscript, dragging her into a world of daemons, werewolves, vampires, and of course, witches.
A version of the project had been in development for a number of years at the BBC, but the TV rights have now moved to Bad Wolf. There are also some film rights floating around which landed at Warner Bros, but the film company doesn’t appear to be in a rush to do anything with them…
Main writing duties have landed on the desk of Life on Mars/Ashes to Ashes scribe Ashley Pharoah, although Harkness herself is said to be penning a few episodes. If all goes well with ‘A Discovery of Witches’, Bad Wolf are keen to develop the rest of the trilogy.
The year of 2015 was a good one for cinema fans, with the rejuvenation of a classic franchise among its highlights, and several billion dollar movies which broke numerous record, as described in this IG analysis of share prices. Here are the five top-grossing movies of the year – and what may happen next.
1. Star Wars Ep VII: The Force Awakens ($2bn… so far)
For once, a big blockbuster lived up to the hype. A decade long gap from Revenge of the Sith meant that Star Wars fans had spent ten years salivating over the return of the franchise, this time with added Skywalker and Solo, and the critics loved it. For example, Robbie Collin in the Telegraph said that JJ Abrams had made “the sequel of your dreams”.
The main ‘Episode’ stories continue with Episode VIII arriving in 2017 and Episode IX in 2019. After that, who knows, but it wouldn’t surprise us if the story just keeps going!
Before that there’s the ‘Star Wars Stories’ movies, starting with Rogue One in Dec 2016, and then two more following in 2018 and 2020. You can also expect video games and many many more merchandise tie-ins to keep the momentum rolling.
2. Jurassic World ($1.6bn)
Kids love dinosaurs, and yet another iteration of the series in Isla Nubar proves that seeing them on the big screen is an unmatched experience. This time, however, the genetic malpractice has created a new hybrid dinosaur named Indominus Rex, capable of camouflage and of course mass murder. One would have thought the island should be left alone now, but fans of spectacular CGI and terrifying lizards are pleased it didn’t happen.
Jurassic World 2, in June 2018. According to an interview with the Guardian, series writer Colin Trevorrow says the technology behind the beasts will be open-source – meaning anyone, anywhere can breed them. Oh yes… I’m sure nothing can go wrong with that idea!
3. Furious 7 ($1.5bn)
A film tinged with tragedy, completed amidst the death of one of its main stars Paul Walker. Still, the speed scenes in sports car, drone, helicopter and other vehicles at the hands of vin Diesel et al was well-received by petrolheads.
Furious 8 in 2017. What else?
4. The Avengers: Age of Ultron ($1.4bn)
The outstanding cast including Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and Samuel L Jackson returned for another battle against the forces of evil – in this case an artificial intelligence determined to destroy mankind: Ultron, voiced by James Spader of blacklist fame. Finishing with more total destruction and countless deaths of unimportant civilians, the film didn’t quite live up to the earlier efforts but was still well-received.
At least two more full Avengers movies: Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 and Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2, due to be released in 2018 and 2019. A clue to one of the protagonists appears at the conclusion of Age of Ultron in the form of the Mad Titan Thanos (Josh Brolin). There is also Captain America: Civil War coming on 29th April 2016 which will feature many of the Avengers, thought not all of them may make it out of there alive… Followed by Doctor Strange in Oct 2016, then Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-man, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther… You won’t be short on Marvelly goodness!
5. Minions ($1.1bn)
More CGI, but a lot cuter this time. Who knew that servitude would be such fun, and laced with humour? Well, the youngsters who enjoyed this spin-off from the Despicable Me series starring Sandra Bullock, Michael Keaton and Steve Coogan among others. The film received mixed reviews from critics, but it still became the 11th highest grossing film of all time.
There’s speculation the the hero from Jurassic World Chris Pratt could play the villain in Minions 2 – we’ll have to wait and see.
Netflix announced today that they are renewing Orange Is The New Black, for not 1, not 2, but 3 additional seasons. Season 4 will launch worldwide on the 17th June, with 3 more seasons following over subsequent years, meaning we’ll be with the ladies of Litchfield Penitentiary up until at least 2019.
“Jenji and her team have produced a phenomenal and impactful series that is both funny and dramatic, outrageous and heartfelt. Audiences around the world have come to love the ladies and men of Orange is the New Black, and we are eager to see where three more seasons will take them,” said Cindy Holland, Vice President of Original Content at Netflix.
“Three more years! Not quite a political term, but still plenty of time to do some interesting things. In some cultures, ‘May you lead an interesting life,’ is a curse, but I don’t live in those cultures,” said series creator and executive producer Jenji Kohan. “Here’s to keeping it interesting. Thanks Netflix! Both thanks and you’re welcome Lionsgate! And kudos and gratitude to the stellar cast and crew and writers and producers and editors and musicians and mixers and shleppers… with whom I have the pride and honor of crafting this show. Three more years! Three more years!”
The acclaimed hour-long series stars a diverse and award-winning ensemble of women including Taylor Schilling, Uzo Aduba, Kate Mulgrew, Laura Prepon, Laverne Cox, Dascha Polanco, Danielle Brooks, Selenis Leyva, Samira Wiley, Taryn Manning, Yael Stone, Jackie Cruz, Lea DeLaria, Adrienne C. Moore and Elizabeth Rodriguez, along with Michael Harney and Nick Sandow. The series is based on the best-selling memoir of the same name by Piper Kerman.
Never let it be said that Chris Evans doesn’t think outside the box! The BBC today announced the first person to be joining the Radio 2 DJ as co-host of Top Gear is Matt LeBlanc. Yes, the one from Friends, and the excellent Episodes.
This isn’t the first time Matt has appeared on Top Gear, having taken the ‘Star In A Reasonably Priced Car’ challenge twice on the show already, setting a still unbeaten 1m42.1sec in the Kia C’eed. He said of the appointment “As a car nut and a massive fan of Top Gear, I’m honoured and excited to be a part of this iconic show’s new chapter. What a thrill!” He also presented the recent standalone spin-off Top Gear: The Races for the BBC Store.
Chris remarked “Matt’s a lifelong fellow petrolhead and I’m thrilled he’s joining Top Gear. Acting out our craziest car notions on screen is a dream job and I know we’ll both be debating some epic road trip ideas. We can’t wait to share what we’ve been up to on screen later this year.”
Adding an well know, and liked American to the show makes sense, as Chris has expressed a wish to expand Top Gear’s US audience, although the appointment of actor rather than a motoring journalist to the line up has raised a few eyebrows in motoring circles.
Have to say i’m somewhat surprised this is happening so soon, but CBS has just announced that The Flash will be paying a visit to National City to meet Supergirl in March this year! What made this a rather more unlikely prospect than the Flash/Arrow crossovers we’ve seen is that, unlike in the UK where all the shows are on Sky 1, in the US, The Flash airs on The CW, and Supergirl is on CBS. Although they are 2 separate networks, they do have the same parent company, and both shows are made by Berlanti Productions. However, the bosses at CBS had initially ruled out any sort of crossover, as they wanted Supergirl to stand as a separate entity.
Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg said “We are so incredibly excited to announce something that we have dreamed of happening since we starting making Supergirl —The Flash and Supergirl are teaming up! We want to thank Grant Gustin for making the time to come visit (on top of his already immense workload) and all of the folks at CBS, The CW, Warner Bros., and DC for working this out. And finally thanks to the fans and journalists who have kept asking for this to happen. It is our pleasure and hope to create an episode worthy of everyone’s enthusiasm and support.”
Whilst Arrow isn’t joining Barry and Kara in this one, the important thing is it establishes that they do all share the same universe. This not only means there’s potential for Green Arrow to pop up in the future, it would also mean more characters could be passed back and forth. That would mean a certain green skinned Martian could pop up on Flash or Arrow, or even Supergirl herself. It also establishes that Superman exists in the Flash/Arrow universe, which is something that’s not been totally clear up until now. Still no word on Batman or any of the extended Bat-family, but I have my fingers crossed!
The Supergirl crossover episode airs in the US on the 28th March on CBS, but it’s hard to say exactly when that means it’ll air over here. Sky had got Supergirl returning 1st April, one month after Flash/Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow which air on the 1st, 2nd & 3rd of March, but at the moment we don’t know if that’s due to CBS having more gaps in their schedule than The CW, or if they were just planning on running it later as their wasn’t any crossover. We’ve asked Sky for comment, so we’ll let you know what they say.
Seriously Dara, what the heck have you got on the BBC execs? I mean, I like you. You’re a funny guy, and your stand up is hilarious. But EVERY show that needs a male host? Really? Think of your fellow presenters. If you ever decide to start cross dressing, Sue Perkins is toast! 😉
Okay I know it’s an exaggeration, and Dara doesn’t host everything (it just feels like it) but today it was announced that he would be the presenter of the newly rebooted Robot Wars, along with Irish TV Presenter Angela Scanlon, when it returns to BBC2. I suspect there will be a number of people upset that Craig Charles won’t be returning (including Charles himself), however the Beeb did say they wanted to highlight the science more with this revamp, so Dara is probably the most obvious pick.
Dara said of the appointment: “I am thrilled to be presenting Robot Wars. For too long, the schedules have cried out for a show in which dedicated amateurs, toiling day and night, handcraft sophisticated automatons built on the delicate interplay of hand-wired servo motors with custom-built circuit boards and fingertip motion control, just to see them get smashed to pieces by a dustbin carrying a massive hammer. It’s war, and how I love it so.”
The new Robot Wars show will be broadcast from the new purpose-built fighting arena in Glasgow (…insert own joke here, i’m saying nothin’), which will allow viewers to get even closer to the action.
It’s also been announced that Jonathan Pearce will return as commentator on the fights.
If you want to get involved in the new six-part series of Robot Wars, you can apply to see the battles first hand in the studio audience by contacting lostintv.com; by emailing [email protected] or by calling 0208 5308 100.