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Why Nintendo killed the Zelda Netflix show
And the Wicked movie takes a step forward
What to know
Back in 2015, Nintendo had at least 2 TV projects in the works: A stop-motion Star Fox show and a live-action Legend of Zelda series at Netflix. But after news of the latter leaked to the press, Nintendo freaked out and canceled both projects. Imagine if Netflix had brought a Zelda series to air at the peak of Game of Thrones-mania. Seems like it would have been a surefire hit. I’m glad Nintendo is teaming with Illumination on a new, animated Mario Bros. movie — hopefully that will open the door back up to some of these other exciting projects.
Sometimes you complain about things and the movie gods listen. After directing the upcoming In The Heights movie, John M. Chu will bring his musical-helming talents to Oz. Universal first secured the film rights to Wicked six years ago, so having a director on board is a good first step to actually making the movie. It’s a shame Idina Menzel and Kristen Chenoweth have aged out of the lead roles already — but I’m sure who ever Chu casts as Glinda and Elphaba will be great.
Minari is already getting Oscar buzz, but us pleebs couldn’t watch it. Until now! A24 is launching “virtual screenings” of Minari on its own platform for $20 a pop. Tickets go on sale Feb 8 for screenings happening Feb 12 - 25. You have to pick your night and watch the movie between 7 PM and 11 PM. There’s a limited amount of tickets too, so get on it if you’re interested. In my opinion, this is a wild and kind of inaccessible way to get your movie out there, but at least they’re trying to innovate with screenings.
They’re getting the band back together — well, not “together” exactly. Fey and Poehler will return to host the Globes for the first time since 2015, but Fey will be in New York and Poehler will be in LA. Obviously, this is because of COVID-19 restrictions which are forcing the Globes to reformat. Will we miss Fey and Poehler’s in person chemistry? Yes. Will there be self-aware lag jokes? Yes. Will this pandemic every end? Who knows. The Globes nominees will be announced Wednesday morning.
Website provider Squarespace is celebrating side hustles with its new Dolly Parton Super Bowl ad “5 to 9.” But the spot, directed by Damien Chazelle, is already angering fans who are wisely pointing out that it’s antithetical to the song’s original meaning. “9 to 5” is an anthem for workers’ struggles, so yeah, to glorify side hustles certainly undercuts the point.
What do Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway, Helen Mirren, Uzo Aduba, Nicole Beharie, Anthony Mackie, Dan Stevens, and Constance Wu have in common? They’re all in Amazon’s Solos, an anthology series about the “deeper meaning of human connection, as explored through the lens of the individual.” Sam Taylor-Johnson and Zach Braff are among the directors on the project. It’s encouraging to see TV makers getting creative with the series format and what it can be, a la Steve McQueen’s Small Axe anthology. I imagine requiring actors for just one episode allowed Amazon to get the above talent.
Jeff Bezos is stepping down as Amazon CEO … if I had as much money as him, I probably wouldn’t work either 🤑
Planters will divert its Super Bowl ad spend to charity … good, keep the abomination that is Baby Nut away from me 🥜
The pandemic derailed progress for better working conditions in Hollywood … not great, Bob 🦠
AMC Theaters stock has fallen back down to Earth … who could have seen this coming 📉
Don’t expect too many movie trailers during the Super Bowl … you’d probably need movies for movie trailers, I guess 🏈
Anderson Cooper and Savannah Guthrie are your next Jeopardy! hosts … but will they be better than Aaron Rodgers? ✅
What to watch
Trailer: Moxie — Mar 3 (Netflix)
Directed by Amy Poehler, written by Tamara Chestna and Dylan Meyer, based on the book by Jennifer Mathieu. Starring Poehler, Hadley Robinson, Alycia Pascual-Peña, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Marcia Gay Harden, Ike Barinholtz, and Clark Gregg.
I’m not familiar with the book so when this trailer first started I thought, “really another high school drama from Netflix?” I was happy to see that this is not a typical high school drama, but instead a movie about young people fighting for social justice. This isn’t Promising Young Woman or anything, but Poehler does seem to be packaging the struggle for gender, racial, and LGBTQ+ equity in a way that will be enjoyable and digestible for teens or even younger kids. This will be Amy Poehler’s second directing effort after Wine Country (which I sadly never got around to).
New notables this week:
Firefly Lane (Feb 3) — Netflix drama series starring Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke, based on Kristin Hannah book | 43% RT
Malcolm & Marie (Feb 5) — Netflix movie with Zendaya and John David Washington, relationship drama shot in quarantine | 59% RT
Bliss (Feb 5) — Amazon movie with Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek, sci-fi romance | 40% RT
The Super Bowl (Feb 7) — CBS sporting event with Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes, touchdowns, tackles, TV commercials | No RT
Before you go… HBO asks what if super heroes but Victorian?
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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.