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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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Exclusives

Exclusive : Paws for news on another Catwoman contender

Plus Vanessa Kirby also said to be in contention!

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Vanessa Kirby, the leggy, versatile Brit that’s helped fill out the credits blocks on such films as “Mission Impossible : Fallout” and “Hobbs & Shaw”, is in contention to play Gotham’s meowing marauder, Catwoman in “The Batman”.

The news hails from the reliable (they were the first on the scene with Robert Pattinson’s anointment as Batman – and I wish they’d gotten more credit where it was due for that one), amiable gang at Geeks Worldwide, just as we’re hearing another name-  Florence Pugh.

Like Kirby, another versatile Brit.

While the “Fighting with my Family” scene-stealer is high on WB’s wish list for Selina Kyle, her involvement in Marvel’s “Black Widow” – she plays the new lass being primed for the ‘Black Widow’ moniker, so it’s a big role and one that will likely require reprising in the years to come -could prove a problem. While it does happen, appearing in both a DC and Marvel franchise around the same time isn’t usually the norm… if only because the studio’s don’t care to mix commodities. Still, she remains an interest.

The Purgh tip is solid, and from a good tipster (last tip from this cat turned out to be 100% accurate), but with more and more actresses  said to be meeting with the studio about the part (Vanessa Hudgens is also said to be in contention), could that “Black Widow” commitment be hurting her chances to snag the feline tail?

Interestingly enough, Kirby is slightly older than the other actresses said to be in the mix – so it could be that casting has decided to go for a Catwoman of similar age to their Batman (Pattinson).

Vanessa Kirby

Kirby, 31, would be the first actress to play live-action Ms Kyle since Anne Hathaway’s take in “The Dark Knight Rises”. Director Matt Reeves has promised us a ‘rogue’s gallery’ of villains in the film – and he’s not fibbing, with The Riddler, The Penguin and Two-Face also reportedly in the flick.

The film, set for a June 2021 release, kicks off principal photography early in the New Year.

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Exclusive : Dwayne Johnson, Atlantean!?

Mike Lowery on a possible collaboration between ‘Hobbs’ and Feige

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While he does wear a VIP lanyard at DC now, due to his lengthy involvement with the “Shazam!” franchise (he’s set to play the villainous Black Adam in a future Shazam sequel and spin-off, too), Hawaiian hulkster Dwayne Johnson is also on Marvel’s wish list – and has been for a number of years. No big surprise, right?

You may have noticed, the “Hobbs & Shaw” star took to Instagram a couple of days back to congratulate Marvel on the success they’re having, commercially and critically, with “Avengers : Endgame” – showering much of the praise on bigwig Kevin Feige. It’s a gushing – and then some – post that suggests the artist formerly known as ‘The Rock’ is indeed in good, or hopes to be, with Marvel Studios.

Something is up, right?

It sure is!

With so many Marvel productions about to gear up – expect the next phase, or part thereof, to be announced at SDCC in July – there’s undoubtedly going to be a lot of spots to fill ahead, so Feige’s been meeting with a number of A listers (rumblings of Tom Cruise wanting to collaborate with Feige too, in the future) and one of those recent meets has been with Johnson.

They’ve been talking about a number of different possibilities – the actor has his pick of the board – all of which Johnson would produce and headline.

The one gig I know about, that’s been floated Johnson’s way, is Namor!

Namor as he appeared in an episode of the “Fantastic Four” animated series.

Yep, Bill Everett’s Sub-Mariner has been taking shape over at Manhattan Beach and Johnson’s been on that go-to list for it for a while now.A snug fit too, if I don’t say so myself.

While the “Jumanji” actor had previously said “Black Adam”, over at DC/Warner, would go into production next summer the studio have yet to make any moves on it, so don’t be surprised if one of the projects Marvel want Johnson for – like the ‘Sub Mariner’ movie – comes together first.

Marvel had been looking at doing a “Sub-Mariner” movie long before, even, “Iron Man”. Back in the late ’90s, they hired Philip Kaufman to direct, and Sam Hamm (“Batman Returns”) to write the piece. That went away, just as the Universal Pictures version- which went into development in 2001 – did too. Chris Columbus was attached to direct their take at one point, as was Jonathan Mostow. These were different times, comic book movies weren’t the sure-thing successes they would seem to be today. In 2014, Marvel Studios finally got the rights back to the character from Uni (well, most of the rights – Universal still get to distribute), and have been tinkering with the film proposition ever since.


Namor, the mutant son of a human sea captain and a princess of the mythical undersea kingdom of Atlantis, has remained a historically important and popular Marvel character that regularly gets about with the Avengers, Fantastic Four and X-Men. While it’s possible the character might be introduced in a future “Avengers” movie, it’s much more likely he’ll be treated to a solo jaunt first.

Hopefully more info on the “Sub-Mariner” film plans emerge in San Diego this summer.

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Exclusive : Baz’s Elvis project shooting January

Search now underway for a fresh-faced to play young Elvis

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News from a very reliable source down under, Baz Luhrmann’s reported Elvis biopic for Warner Bros is a go, with filming due to kick off in January 2020.

While the “Moulin Rouge” and “Great Gatsby” director recently set Tom Hanks to play Colonel Tom Parker, the producing committee –  Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, and Gail Berman – are now on the hunt for a fresh-faced Elvis Presely. Casting agents have been given the heads up that the film has a a vacancy for a 19-28 year old to play the king before his famed persona.

The untitled film, which will feature a record crate’s full of Presley hits, is being penned by Luhrmann and regular collaborator Craig Pearce.

Luhrmann has a few projects on his to-do list – including a feature film take on classic series “Kung-Fu” – but seems the Elvis pic, which will tell the tale of the Memphis megastar “in typically wonderfully wild Baz tradition”, will be his next picture.

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