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Exclusive : Live-action Daphne & Velma origins pic in the works!

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Hope y’all had a terrific weekend. Hopefully more of you caught “Blade Runner 2049” than those early weekend totals suggest? Remember : every time a unique, ambitious and special picture like “Blade Runner 2049” sinks, a “Transformers” sequel rises in its place.  You know exactly what I’m saying..

Because of our commitments to NYCC, as well as the plethora of trailers that hit on Sunday, it’s been a busy weekend around these creaky editing rooms of Moviehole. Busy is good though!

Just as visits are. Our traffic has been jumping into the 7 numerals range this weekend  because of the Morgan Freeman/Brian Banks exclusive, but unlike the early days of 1999 and 2000 when we’d get a massive influx of traffic from an exclusive break, the hosting mechanics that keep the machine running can handle it  – so visit and visit often (and don’t forget to bookmark and us as an i-bookmark). Appreciate it!

While we prep all our NYCC coverage from over the weekend, here’s a new nugget from the water tower in Burbank.

New live-action “Scooby Doo” film about to be announced, folks. Ashley Tisdale, of “High School Musical” game, is executive producing and overseeing it – suggesting this one will be aimed squarely at teenage girls. Still, sounds fun… and Tisdale seems to have her finger on the pulse when it comes to the young generation.

Likely inspired by the success of “Riverdale”, which took the original and recorded a very new-age cover, they’re doing something very different here – an origin story fixing on only two of the Mystery Inc crew, Daphne and Velma. Film will focus on the new friendship – it’s this mystery that brings them together – and how they use their dissimilar skills and disparate personalities to uncover the monster of the movie.

The two “Ridge Valley High” students get in over their heads when they start to suspect something funky is up with some fellow students – well, it’s Velma that lures Daphne away from her gang of cool friends to join her on the mission – they all seem to be turning into drones or zombies of some sort (think “Disturbing Behaviour”).


While it will only be Velma and Daphne of the “Mystery Inc” crew caught up in the adventure, their respective parents, the school principal, and fellow students (being a prequel, we won’t know these kids) will play a part in the Mystery.
The story itself isn’t unlike a typical “Scooby Doo” episode (which is, after all, what fans will likely expect and want to see), with its host of intentionally amusing scared and a “big reveal” twist ending, but the chatter and characters within it will be hip to what’s “in” at the moment – particularly with teen females, so your sis, my cousin and that girl who serves the buttery stuff at the theater concession stand is likely going to dig it!

No idea if Tisdale herself will have an on-camera role but there’s a couple of big supporting roles (popular girl ‘Carol’ maybe?) one could imagine her playing.

Now I’m not quite sure why the untitled Velma & Daphne movie has opted to leave Scooby and gang out of proceedings, but it could have something to do with rights (I know Warner is developing a new big-budget “Scooby” movie too, so it could be something to do with that) or it might merely be the producing troupe’s idea to do something we haven’t seen before. Either way, I’m sure that’ll be revealed when WB officially announce the project

Sarah Michelle Gellar and Linda Cardellini played Daphne and Velma, respectively, in the two bigscreen “Scooby Doo” movies, while Kate Melton and Hayley Kiyoki played the roles, respectively, in several direct to DVD movies, including 2009’s “Scooby Doo : The Mystery Begins”.

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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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