Geek News

Geek News on the Radio for October 31st, 2019

The Mandalorian Trailer

Star Wars Set Backs

Game of Thrones creators fire their managers

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the duo who in 2011 launched the singular screen sensation known as Game of Thrones, have walked away from their much-publicized deal with Disney’s Lucasfilm to launch a feature film trilogy in 2022. Benioff and Weiss were supposed to usher in the post-Skywalker era of the Star Wars brand with a 2022 new-start story that would stake out a new frontier for the era-defining cinema brand created by George Lucas. The Emmy-winning pair cited their historic deal with Netflix. They said their enthusiasm for Star Wars remains boundless but, regrettably, their schedule is full. “We love Star Wars,” the pair said in a statement to Deadline. “When George Lucas built it, he built us too. Getting to talk about Star Wars with him and the current Star Wars team was the thrill of a lifetime, and we will always be indebted to the saga that changed everything.”     Read More 

House of Dragon

Handout: Game of Thrones Daenerys

HBO has confirmed details of a new “Game of Thrones” prequel called “House of the Dragon.” The cable network announced Tuesday that it has ordered 10 episodes of the spinoff series based on George R. R. Martin’s companion book “Fire & Blood.” Taking place 300 years before the events of “Game of Thrones,” the series will depict the stories of the Targaryen kings who had long ruled Westeros. Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan Condal will partner as showrunners, according to the premium cable channel, with both also poised to work as executive producers alongside Martin and Vince Gerardis. “The ‘Game of Thrones’ universe is so rich with stories,” Casey Bloys, president of HBO programming, said in a statement. “We look forward to exploring the origins of House Targaryen and the earlier days of Westeros along with Miguel, Ryan and George.” Sapochnik, who directed six episodes of the flagship show — including “Battle of the Bastards,” which is IMDB’s highest-rated episode — will direct the “House of the Dragon” pilot. The announcement comes shortly after reports emerged on Tuesday that the cable network had scrapped another spinoff series of “Game of Thrones.” A much-anticipated prequel starring Naomi Watts was reportedly axed after HBO opted not to commission a full series. HBO has always been known for its heavily curated content. Shows like “Vinyl” and “Hung” were canceled because they were not as strongly received by viewers as other shows, despite millions of dollars’ worth of investment and critical acclaim.

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It’s not TV, it’s… well, it’s a bit confusing. WarnerMedia has finally unveiled details behind HBO Max, the company’s long-awaited direct-to-consumer offering that will compete in an increasingly crowded field starting next May. But for existing HBO subscribers, it’s still not quite clear what they’ll be getting — or when they’ll be getting it. That’s because HBO users are already spread out among a wide variety of interfaces, including the linear HBO channel, the digital on-demand HBO Go service for authenticated cable subscribers, and the standalone HBO Now streamer. HBO linear, HBO Go and HBO Now aren’t going anywhere, and now HBO Max will add another option — perhaps leading to brand confusion in the short run. For potential new subscribers, Tuesday’s announcement was simple: HBO Max will cost $14.99 per month — the same price as the current HBO Now, but with a much bigger basket of content that includes HBO originals plus full seasons of “South Park,” “Friends,” “The Big Bang Theory,” the entire Studio Ghibli library, and a slew of new originals. And when WarnerMedia unlocks the doors to HBO Max in May 2020, direct-billed subscribers of HBO Now will get access to HBO Max for no extra charge. Same goes for the roughly 10 million HBO subs who have one of AT&T’s TV services.

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Pennyworth Season 2

The drama about the early days of Batman's butler is one of many DC Comics series on TV.

The drama about the early days of Batman’s butler is one of many DC Comics series on TV. Alfred, fetch us a second season of Pennyworth. Premium cable network Epix has renewed its drama about the early days of Batman’s butler for a second season. The series, from Warner Bros. TV and DC Entertainment, will return for a second round of 10 episodes in 2020. Production on season two will begin in January at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden in the U.K. “Pennyworth has been a big hit for us, embraced by critics and fans alike,” said Epix president Michael Wright. “It was the highest-performing original series ever to premiere on Epix, more than doubling the viewership of the shows that came before it. Bruno Heller, Danny Cannon and WBTV have delivered a brilliant, must watch series. We can’t wait to work with this phenomenal cast and creative team on another exciting season.” The series, based on DC characters created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, hails from former Gotham showrunner Bruno Heller and exec producer-director Danny Cannon and Warner Horizon Scripted Television. The series stars Jack Bannon as the young Alfred, who, in Pennyworth, is a former British SAS soldier who goes to work for a young billionaire named Thomas Wayne (played by Ben Aldridge), who has not yet become Bruce Wayne’s father, in 1960s London. The renewal arrives a month after Pennyworth — which originally was picked up straight to series — wrapped its first season on Epix.     Read More

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