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Texts emerge in Jonathan Majors case
And why does Marvel keep hiring TV writers?
What to know
Jonathan Majors’ lawyer provides text messages claiming to exonerate him… The actor’s representatives say “text messages to Mr. Majors [admit] that [the woman involved] was the one who used physical force against him,” and that she “disavowed any allegations” of wrongdoing on his part. You can see the screenshot of the alleged text through that link. This does not mean Majors is out of the woods or cleared by any means, the investigation into the incident is on going and Majors was charged with assault. The charges have not been dropped at the time of this report, so let’s keep monitoring the story. 🤔
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Beef creator Lee Sung Jin to rewrite Marvel’s Thunderbolts… Marvel’s insistence on using TV writers to pen their movies is an interesting trend. On the one hand, as Marvel movies are essentially episodes of a greater story, it makes sense to hire TV writers. It’s probably also cheaper for the studio. On the other hand, feature writing is its own art form and you want every movie to feel whole and complete. This dovetails with recent reports about Marvel Lee Sung Jin has written for Tuca & Bertie, Dave, and Silicon Valley, all fine shows — but I’m going to wait to pass judgment until seeing an original creation of his like Beef. 💥
Scott Pilgrim original cast returning to voice characters in Netflix anime series… That’s pretty impressive considering the original cast includes major stars like Brie Larson, Chris Evans, Anna Kendrick, and Aubrey Plaza. Edgar Wright is executive producing, while original comic book creator Bryan Lee O’Malley is co-writing and EP-ing the series. I’m interested to see what further adventures this crew might have. 🇨🇦
Knock at the Cabin, John Wick movies give Peacock some streaming movie wins… It seems audiences will find the content they really want, despite the size of the streamer. Peacock isn’t a major player by any stretch, but this past weekend it had 6 of the top 10 streamed movies in the U.S., according to Whip Media. The Comcast platform continues to be the little streaming bird that could. 🦚
Peacock and DuoLingo team for fake April Fool’s reality show Love Language… Can these singles fall in love despite not speaking the same language? No, because this show is fake. 💔
eBay users attempts to sell Robert Downey Jr.’s chewed gum for $40,000… For $40,000, I’d want an actual Iron Man suit. 🍬
Megan Thee Stallion circling Safdie brothers’ next movie… She’ll star alongside Adam Thee Sandler. 🎬
The Big Door Prize — Mar 29 | Apple comedy series | 🍅 91%
Murder Mystery 2 — Mar 31 | Netflix comedy film | 🍅
Tetris — Mar 31 | Apple drama film | 🍅 79%
Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves — Mar 31 | Fantasy comedy film in theaters | 🍅 89%
What to watch
Dominique Fishback is a tour de force in Janine Nabers and Donald Glover’s psychological thriller dark comedy series Swarm, now available in full on Amazon. Nabers and Glover set out to give Fishback a role practically no Black woman has ever played on TV before—a damaged, delusional serial killer—and Fishback more than rises to the occasion. Fishback has flashed brilliance with minor roles in The Deuce, Show Me a Hero, and Judas and the Black Messiah, but Swarm is a formal declaration of presence and ability from the 32-year-old actor. A direct comp for her character Dre would be Christian Bale’s Patrick Bateman, but the expanded format of a miniseries allows Nabers, Glover, and Fishback to go deeper into her damaged psyche. Together they shade how a person’s mind can break via nature and nurture. They’re thorough about where the violence comes from and Fishback displays a disturbing, stark, searing, and raw vulnerability throughout. It’s a performance you won’t soon forget — and hopefully Emmy voters won’t either. (Likewise, Billie Eilish, in her acting debut, pulls off an impressive guest appearance in episode 4. Should she pursue it, her film and TV career will be bright.)
The show Nabers and Glover built around Fishback’s performance is equally gripping and provocative. Like Glover’s flagship series Atlanta, Swarm has more on its mind in each individual minute than most shows provide in entire seasons. Its primary pursuit is the skewering of obsessive fan culture and how the internet clouds reality. In a clever bit of framing, we learn Swarm is actually a made-up “true crime” drama based on real or rumored events from the world of music fandom. (It shares some DNA with Hulu’s The Patient, which also uses the true crime genre to subvert audience expectations.) Nabers, who served as showrunner, demonstrates via Dre’s surreal journey how we can become dettached from reality when we worship pop idols and bury our heads too deep in our phones. And yet the show is grounded in human relationships and the Black experience, Nabers and Glover make sure their series isn’t just about an obsessive fan killing people, but instead explore how classism, systemic racism, and a broken system can actually hurt individuals — real people. This show is an achievement of style, performance, and intention. Across TV right now, Swarm stands alone.