Last Week(s) in Hollywood: ‘Willow’, ‘Power Rangers’, ‘The Meg 2’, ‘Hellraiser’ & More

There’s a lot of breaking news in Hollywood happening every minute. In the age of the blockbuster, it’s easy for some smaller movie and television news to slip through the crack. Last Week in Hollywood is our new weekly series highlighting all the interesting news from the last week that we thought didn’t warrant its own post, but was still worth mentioning. It’s less personal opinions and more a hearty roundup of what you might have missed.

Willow Sequel Series is Officially Happening

Disney+ has officially greenlight a Willow sequel series that will take place years after the original 1980s film. Original director Ron Howard will return as an executive producer. Jon M. Chu will direct the pilot and executive produce. Jonathan Kasdan and Wendy Mericle will serve as showrunners.

Warwick Davis will return to play the titular hero Willow Ufgood. The show will also introduce all-new characters to the magical realm of fairy queens and two-headed Eborsisk monsters. According to the Illuminerdi, the hope is that Willow could last multiple seasons. Here are some casting descriptions for upcoming roles:

  • Girl 1 – Series Regular Female (18-24) Caucasian – Daughter of two characters from the first film
  • Girl 2 – Series Regular Female (18-24) Mixed – Young returning character from the film.
  • Male Love Interest – Series Regular (30-35) – Love interest to “Girl 2”
  • Girl 3 – Series Regular Female (18-24) Hispanic – The villain of the piece

The Illuminerdi guesses Girl 1 could be the daughter of Madmartigan and Sorsha. They also believe Girl 2 will be Elora Danan grown up. They also theorize that the daughter of Madmartigan and Sorsha will be a major character in the show.

Lucasfilm is hoping to start production on the series in Wales in April 2021. Eight episodes will comprise the first season.

eOne Rebooting Power Rangers for the Big Screen

eOne and Hasbro are teaming up to reboot the Power Rangers. They have tapped Jonathan Entwistle to develop both a new film series and a TV series featuring the popular characters. Entwistle is set to direct both the upcoming film and the TV series. They have also hired Bryan Edward Hill to write the feature film adaptation. No word yet on if this will connect to the long running Power Rangers franchise still airing on TV today or if it will be set in a new continuity.

Scott Derrickson to Direct The Black Phone

Scott Derrickson is set to direct The Black Phone, an adaptation of the Joe Hill short story of the same name, for Blumhouse. C. Robert Cargill, who frequently collaborates with Derrickson, will write the screenplay. It is expected that the film will follow the same plot as the short story.

Smokey and the Bandit TV Series in the Works

THR has news that David Gordon Green is co-writing and executive producing a Smokey and the Bandit TV series. Danny McBride, Jody Hill, Seth MacFarlane, and Erica Huggins will also executive produce the project which hails from Universal Content Productions.

The series is said to be inspired by the overall genre of 1970s and 1980s drive-in double features and explore “the crossroads where humble realities meet those larger-than-life, all in a blast of tailpipe exhaust.”

Insidious 5 in Development

Blumhouse announced at its first inaugural BlumFest that a fifth installment in their Insidious franchise is in the works. Patrick Wilson and Ty Simpkins will be returning to star with Wilson also making his feature directorial debut in the film. Sony Pictures will distrubute the fifthquel.

Scott Teems wrote the script based on a story by franchise co-creator Leigh Whannell. The film will “pick up with the Lamberts 10 years after the last installment, as Dalton (Simpkins) begins college.”

Ted Lasso Renewed for Season 3

Apple has renewed its hit comedy Ted Lasso for a third season. Ted Lasso has been Apple’s No. 1 comedy across all top 50 countries. It has grown its viewership more than 600%, fueled by binge watchers, setting new records for completion and engagement worldwide. The early season 2 and 3 renewals are a good sign that Ted Lasso will be around for a long time. Jason Sudeikis is great in the titular role, and the series feels like the sort of comedy networks don’t make anymore.

Production on Season 2 is stated to start in London in January 2021.

Flashdance Reboot in the Works at Paramount+

Flashdance reboot is in development at CBS All Access as a TV series. Tracy McMillan (Amazon’s Good Girls Revolt) will pen the script for the drama, which is slated to air on the streaming service after it rebrands as Paramount+. Angela Robinson (Professor Marston and the Wonder Women) will direct the pilot.

The TV series will “revolve around a young Black woman with ballet dreams and a strip club reality who struggles to find her place in the world while navigating romance, money, art, friendship and how to love herself.”

Netflix Developing Assassin’s Creed Series

Netflix has struck a deal with Ubisoft to develop multiple television series based on the Assassin’s Creed video game franchise. The first project in development will be a live-action series described as “epic and genre-bending”. Animated and anime series are in early stages of development.

Assassin’s Creed has been one of Ubisoft’s bigest franchises since it was first released in 2007. Hollywood has tried to adapt the series before which resulted in the 2016 box office flop starring Michael Fassbender. This partnership between Netflix and Ubisoft could be the beginning of beautiful things.

Ben Wheatley to Direct The Meg 2

Ben Wheatley, the acclaimed director behind High-Rise and Rebecca, has signed on to direct The Meg 2. Jason Statham is expected to return for the sequel which Warner Bros. has had in development since the first film was a major box office success in 2018.

Wheatley was also hired to direct Tomb Raider 2, but that film was recently removed from the release calendar, so we don’t know if he’s still attached to the project. It is unknown if the sequel will be based on the The Trench, the second novel in The Meg series from which the movies are adapted from. Dean Georgaris and Jon & Erich Hoeber have all taken a stab at writing the screenplay for the second film. They all have writing credits on the first film.

Hellraiser TV Series in the Works

Clive Barker, creator of the Hellraiser, has begun work on a TV series featuring Pinhead. He has boarded the project as an executive producer. The project is set up at HBO and has David Gordon Green (Halloween) signed on to direct the first few episodes. Mark Verheiden (Battlestar Galactica) and Michael Dougherty (Trick r’ Treat) will serve as writers on the series.

Deadline states that Barker will actually have a creative hand in the development of the series. Barker is “eager to bring to a new audience the most powerful and ancient elements of horror: the darkest evil invading our human lives and how we must find in ourselves the power to resist it.”

Hasbro Developing Dungeons & Dragons Series

In an earnings call, Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner revealed that a live-action Dungeons & Dragons television series is in the earliest stages of development. Hasbro also has a live-action Dungeons & Dragons film in the works with Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley set to direct.

Goldner states that they are “working on a couple of different approaches, because there is so much mythology in canon to [adapt] Dungeons & Dragons for live-action television. And there’s been very strong interest. We’ve talked about how many global streamers and terrestrial broadcasters have been very interested in Dungeons & Dragons.”

Tiny Toons Looniversity Ordered to Series

HBO Max and Cartoon Network have ordered Tiny Tooms Looniversity straight-to-series. The project comes from Amblin Television and Warner Bros. Animation and will be a new half hour animated comedy series featuring characters from Tiny Toon Adventures.

Steven Spielberg will return as executive producer on the series, which has been given a two-season order. The comedy will follow “Babs, Buster Bunny and the rest of the gang follow their comedic ambitions all the way to Acme Looniversity, the esteemed institution of higher hijinx learning, where young dreamers become professional toons. Here they form long-lasting friendships with one another and perfect their cartoony craft while studying under the greatest cartoon characters in history, the Looney Tunes.”

Tim Burton Developing The Addams Family Series

Tim Burton is currently in negotiations to executive produce and possibly direct a new The Addams Family series. Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (Smallville) will serve as head writers, showrunners, and executive producers. MGM TV financed the development of the series. The project has multiple biders vying for airing rights, including Netflix. The new live-action series would be set in the present and from the persepctive of Wednesday Addams.

Hägar the Horrible Series in Development

King Features and The Jim Henson Company have teamed up to develop an animated series based on Hägar the Horrible. The project is being written by Eric Ziobrowski. Hägar the Horrible was created by Dik Brown and debuted as a comic strip in 1973. It follows “the hardworking Viking family led by a larger than life hero, Hägar, who can’t quite understand how the society he once understood is changing around him.” The strip was previously adapted in 1989 as a TV special, and a live-action film was planned in the early 2010s.

Wedding Crashers 2 Talks Are Happening

Vince Vaughn recently confirmed that talks for Wedding Crashers 2 are in the early stages. The actor also stated co-star Owen Wilson and director David Dobkin are set to return. Here’s what Vaughn said:

“Owen and I and the director of Crashers have been talking for the first time seriously [about] a sequel to that movie, so there has been an idea that is pretty good. So we are talking about that in the early stages… They were fun movies to make. It’s always fun to make people laugh and go to work with people that are funny.”

“David Dobkin had a really good idea that’s contemporary. I never went and made a sequel to a lot of these films at the time because it felt like we were just chasing a success. But what I like about where Crashers could potentially be at is there’s something that is of this moment that feels really good…a lot of these comedies, even something like Wedding Crashers, you’re sort of investigating things that I think are real in our lives, but the comedy is an overcommitment to the absurd.”

We’ll have to wait and see if Wedding Crashers 2 actually ends up happening.

Bloodshot 2 Officially in the Works

Somehow the Vin Diesel action film Bloodshot is getting a sequel. DMG Entertainment founder and CEO Dan Mintz told ComicBookResources that Bloodshot 2 is still in the cards, despite the first film’s unfortunate timing at the box office: “I think [Bloodshot] was very successful in that respect, a lot of people saw it and it did very well in the post-release rollout but you can’t use the same evaluation process, pre-COVID, to this.”

The first film had a budget of $45 million, but only earned $37 million globally. However, it seems to have been a successful performer on VOD and digital. I don’t know if the sequel will ever actually get made, but it looks like they’re going to try.

Fourth Has Fallen Film in Development

Gerard Butler has signed on to reprise his role of Mike Banning in Night Has Fallen, the upcoming fourth entry in the Has Fallen  franchise. Ric Roman Waugh, who directed the third entry Angel Has Fallen, will return to direct Night Has Fallen. No plot details have been released. We also don’t know who might be back for the sequel, but there’s a good chance Morgan Freeman will return.

Screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen, who worked on Angel Has Fallen, will write the screenplay. Additionally, a fifth and sixth entry in the popular action series has been discussed, as well as local-language TV spin-offs that would turn the series into a global franchise.

That’s it for last month. What projects mentioned are you interested in seeing once completed? Tell us down in the comments!

Author: Marmaduke Karlston

"Wait a minute. Wait a minute Doc, uh, are you telling me you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?"