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Exclusive : 10 Exclusive bits about the Cobra Kai series!

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A few weeks back it was announced – much to the excitement of some ’80s tragics, this dude included – that YouTube Red had commissioned a new TV series based on John G.Avildsen’s classic series of “Karate Kid” films. Being that he still looks 21, Ralph Macchio was as confident as a hooker at a spinster’s ball to reprise his role as Daniel Larusso with ‘pop culture icon’ William Zabka (who has since spoofed his part in the 1984 film in numerous vehicles – like “Hot Tub Time Machine”) also jazzed to be back as cruel-kicking Johnny. Nice creative team behind the project too. But needless to say, the most beloved member of the “Karate Kid” family, the one we immediately think of when we hear that title, won’t be back for the series….

Broken Bonsai (1989-1990)

There’s been little to no information out there on the series, currently called “Cobra Kai”, other than the customary “We’re just so happy to be here, drinking tall fizzy drinks at the expense of YouTube…” and “with the vision of my accountant and the audio of Banamarama, we feel we can undo the injustices of the Hilary Swank one..” — well, until now.

I’ve been lucky enough to get the 411 on a couple of the first episodes of the new series – which, your Granny will be disappointed to hear, will only be accessible through “that Internet thing with the half-nekked Carsmashian girls” – and I tell you, it’s shaping up to be a blast. What sounded from the outset like a comedy is more a mix of genres – belly laughs, biffo, beauty.. and the return of some welcome fist-clenching one-on-one between the legendary adversaries of the Pepsi Generation, LaRusso and Johnny…. whatchama… him.

Spoiler Alert.

Here’s 10 things we know about the new “Cobra Kai” series :

1. Life has turned out peachy keen for Daniel (Macchio). He has a big time office job, top home, perfect family.

2. Like any good half-hour series, most of Dad’s dilemmas revolve around his kids. In this case, it’s eldest girl Samantha – who has started to date – that’s causing Daniel to sweat the most.

3. My Myiagi? Mentioned from time to time. Daniel uses his stories to spur dinner-table conversation and show off those skills he learnt back in Peter Cetera’s heyday.

4.Daniel’s friends (and, from what I can gather, ’employees’) at work, Anoush and Vic, seem to think they’re the voice of reason – particularly when it comes to parenting.

5. Johnny Lawrence, Daniel’s old foe, is down on his luck. Cleans septic tanks. Mistaken for a homeless man at one point he’s that desolate. Look at what you did Kreese!

6. Johnny’s not as out-and-out ‘mean’ now. He’s more ‘just leave me the f*ck alone” than ‘i’m going to beat up whoever is under that shower curtain’ these days. Suggesting he does have a heart under that belt, we’ll see that he does help those in need when they need a helping… kick.

7. The Valley has a new ring of bullies, notably ‘wrestler’ Kyler and his thug brothers. Naturally Johnny and his old Cobra Kai pals are ‘jokes’ to these young punks.

8. Kyler’s dating, of course, Samantha Larusso.

9. Johnny teaches local bullied convenience store clerk Miguel self defense at the newly recommissioned Cobra Kai. Over the course of the episodes, one expects it to expand in clientele and start to resemble the institution of it’s glory days.

10. Karate hasn’t got the best name in ‘the valley’ these days. Johnny in particular thinks it’s become somewhat of a joke – and become more about showponies and media personalities flexing their bits and bobs on TV – than a legitimately cool way to impress Elisabeth Shue. Part of the reason he wants to resurrect Cobra Kai, obviously

And that, I’m guessing, is only the tip of the iceberg – – something is going to give that will ultimately pit Daniel against Larusso again. And get us all listening to Cruel Summer again.

Look for “Cobra Kai” on YouTube Red in 2018.

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Exclusive : The Ewoks will return!

A small-screen series featuring the Empire-hating creatures could be on the way

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Is it the Endor or just the beginning?

Unless the wi-fi has been playing up in the Cantina, you’ll be aware that Disney’s streaming channel Disney + are about to ‘force’ a couple of new “Star Wars” related series on us – most notably, the recently wrapped “The Mandalorian” (which is apparently terrific), from EP Jon Favreau.

And it won’t end there, with the house of mouse and the house of Kennedy already secretly working on other “Star Wars” projects that’ll premiere on the small screen.
One of those upcoming may feature the return of the Ewoks.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the pint-sized moon creatures are one of the most recognizable species in the “Star Wars” universe. And with Disney+ not just in the business of making shows for us, older “Star Wars” fans, but also the excitable younglings, it should be no surprise to hear that a new Ewoks series is being discussed.

The news of the Empire-hating Ewoks’ return to the screen – which comes courtesy a reputable insider, someone who has also provided us with extra info on a scoop we ran last week on “The Quarry” to star Michael Shannon and Shea Whigham, which we’ll run soon – will no doubt be music to the ears of toy retailers, who’ll likely sell furballs in the millions once the show hits. It’s unlikely to be part of the first phase of “Star Wars” shows, which are rumored to kick off around Halloween, but could be part of the second run, rumored to launch in the next 12-18 months.

The Ewoks made their debut in “Return of the Jedi” on the bigscreen before getting their own solo outing in 1984 telemovie “The Ewok Adventure” (aka “Caravan of Courage”). A second telemovie “Battle for Endor” aired in 1985. That same year ABC premiered the popular animated series “Ewoks”, which ran for two seasons.

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Exclusive : Whigham, Shannon reunite for The Quarry

Duo previously co-starred in Paramount mini-series “Waco”

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Confirmation today on a solid-sounding project, headlined by two fantastic actors, I was tipped off to a few days back.

“Waco” and “Boardwalk Empire” co-stars Shea Whigham and Michael Shannon will reunite for “The Quarry”, scripted and directed by Scott Teems. This one is shooting later this month in New Orleans with the “To the Stars” team of Laura D. Smith and Kristin Mann producing.

Teems is one to watch out for. His work on “Rectify”, of which he’s written many episodes and directed a couple, are some of the best of the SundanceTV drama.

Film tells the ‘Banshee’-like account of a man, on the run from his own sins, who finds himself in a small border town in Texas, impersonating a reverend. The town are quickly drawn to the man’s unorthodox sermons – but so is the police chief (Shannon), who find’s the reverend’s presence interesting for a different reason.

Michael Shannon and Shea Whigham in “Waco” (2018)

Academy Award Nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno (“Maria Full of Grace”) and Bobby Soto (“Besties”) also star.

Floridian Whigham, who is currently filming limited series “Modern Love” for Amazon Studios, recently wrapped “Joker” for director Todd Phillips and Warner Bros. his upcoming credits include John Pollono’s “Small Engine Repair”, the comedy “Vampires Vs. The Bronx” and “Low Tide” for writer-director Kevin McMullin.

Shannon recently wrapped Rian Johnson’s “Knive’s Out”, and will next appear in Seth Savoy’s action-crime drama “Echo Boomers”.

These two were absolutely magic on screen together in Paramount’s “Waco” mini-series as Mitch Decker and Gary Noesner, respectively, so expect more fireworks here.

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Exclusive : Blood Moon set for May start ; casting update

A girl with unusual powers escapes from a mental asylum

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Ana Lily Amirpour fantasy “Blood Moon” is inching forward, with a mid-May shoot now locked in, Moviehole can confirm.

As reported during AFM in October, Kate Hudson, Zac Efron and Craig Robinson have signed the film, which tells of a girl with “unusual powers” who escapes from a mental asylum in New Orleans.

The film, produced by John Lesher (“Birdman”, “Fury”), begins its shoot in New Orleans on May 18.

The search is on for a fourth key player, a young actor to play the role of Hudson’s 10-year-old son. Described as a “cool rad weirdo hero. He’s grown up with a single mom, who’s gone a lot so he’s pretty self sufficient. He’s a creative kid with street smarts. Like his mom, he’s a survivor.”

One of the best new filmmakers on the circuit, Amirpour directed the ‘past perfect’ episode on the first season of “Castle Rock” last year.  Though I haven’t read it myself, the script for “Blood Moon” is apparently a “winner”.

No word on a release date.

 

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