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Two GameStop movies and a TV show
And Marvel's got a Wakanda show in the works
What to know
Because of course they are! MGM has secured the film rights to an unwritten book by Ben Mezrich (The Social Network) about last week’s stock market events, while Netflix has tapped Mark Boal (The Hurt Locker) to write and Noah Centineo to star in a different feature project. Whereas new TV studio Pinky Promise is also developing a series about the stonk market. Did it really happen if there isn’t a movie about it?
Speaking of which, people streamed The Big Short and Wolf of Wall Street in big numbers last week. This is like when people watched Contagion at the beginning of the pandemic, which to me, seemed like a horrifying thing to do.
Wakanda forever, indeed. Ryan Coogler just signed a big overall TV deal at Disney, which includes a Wakanda-set series for the Mouse House’s streaming platform. Marvel did not announce this new Wakanda series back in December! While one could only guess what the show will be about or when we’ll see it, it is exciting to see Disney and Marvel lean on Coogler to expand the Wakanda universe.
That might sound like a lot, but remember Apple has $193 billion on hand. I’m not sure how any other streamer competes with that. This knocks off previous Sundance record-breaker Palm Springs, which sold to Hulu for more than $22M last year. As for CODA, the coming-of-age story about a hearing girl born to a deaf family captivated virtual audiences and critics this week. Definitely keep an eye out for it on Apple TV+ (and maybe in theaters?), I’d guess later this year.
Spielberg has a stirring quote in the new Empire Magazine about the future of moviegoing. First he says, “I still have hope bordering on certainty that when it’s safe, audiences will go back to the movies.” He then goes on to beautifully explain how theatergoing creates community and that’s exactly what we need in divided times. Click through to read his full message, it’s quite nice and hopeful.
Dr. Fauci is getting his own documentary … honestly, he deserves it 👨🏻⚕️
Jeffrey Wright will play Batman for a new HBO Max comedy podcast … because when I think comedy, I think hilarious vigilante Batman 🦇
Whac-A-Mole is becoming a TV game show … apparently anything can be a game show if you want it bad enough 🔨
What to watch
Promising Young Woman is essential viewing. Now available on VOD, Emerald Fennell’s take down of rape culture, wrapped in neon blue and bubble gum pink, is unflinching and crucially subversive. While the story appears on the surface as a stylized revenge thriller, every carefully plotted, cross-genre twist pulls back another devastating layer of brutal honesty and realism. Even the movie’s trailer, which has been out for more than a year, did not accurately sell what Fennell is really trying to do here: expose the entire sexist system. Carey Mulligan is astonishing as the broken, revenge-seeking Cassie and supported by a carefully curated ensemble cast. The way Fennell casts “nice guy” actors (and a few actresses) to take down the very idea of “nice guys” is intentionally unsettling and one of the movie’s most effective tools. Adam Brody, Sam Richardson, Max Greenfield, Alison Brie, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Connie Britton, Chris Lowell, and Bo Burnham collectively hold up the insidious mirror of rape culture and misogyny. Burnham in particular nails the script’s harrowing turns and adds ‘great actor’ to his list of numerous hyphenates. Jennifer Coolidge also appears as Cassie’s mother, setting up a subtle, yet no less brilliant and thought-provoking reference to American Pie. Promising Young Woman will grip you and gut you, but most importantly it will stay with you long after the credits roll.
New notables this week:
Firefly Lane (Feb 3) — Netflix drama series starring Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke, based on Kristin Hannah book | RT
Malcolm & Marie (Feb 5) — Netflix movie with Zendaya and John David Washington, relationship drama shot in quarantine | RT 61%
Bliss (Feb 5) — Amazon movie with Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek, sci-fi romance | RT
The Super Bowl (Feb 7) — CBS sporting event with Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes, touchdowns, tackles, TV commercials | No RT
Before you go… Wayne’s World! Party time! Excellent! Mike Meyers and Dana Carvey are reviving their iconic characters for an Uber Eats Super Bowl ad this weekend.
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About the author: Alex Rabinowitz has led the way on social media and story packaging at media outlets big and small. With his acclaimed Tumblr site PopCultureBrain.com, Alex became a leading figure in emerging social networks and entertainment news. Sourced by many top destinations, including New York Magazine, BuzzFeed, and Videogum, Pop Culture Brain was featured by BuzzFeed and TIME as the best pop culture blog on Tumblr. Alex's writing has appeared on The Huffington Post, GQ.com, Mic, and Time Warner Cable.