March 20, 2019 | Story | No Comments
Trailers. Casting announcements. Development snarls. Box-office battles. Now that the entertainment world has a news churn to rival cable news, it's impossible to keep tabs on everything. May we introduce, then, The Monitor, Wired’s new twice-weekly round-up of what you might have missed in the hyper-drive-fast world of popular culture. (Yes, we've used the name before—for both a video series and a podcast—but we just can't stay away. It works on two levels!) In today’s inaugural edition: The Walking Dead says goodbye to Rick (sort of), the Merc tames his Mouth for a holiday cash grab, Bohemian Rhapsody is the savior of the box-office universe, and AMC’s anti-MoviePass plan expands–but at a cost. Come for the terrible puns, stay for the stuff that makes you a more informed fan. Or vice versa.
Grimes is Going Out With Elan
The Walking Dead star Andrew Lincoln may have made his exit from the long-running (and recently ratings-challenged zombie series on Sunday night, but he’ll soon be back: AMC has announced a trio of spin-off films featuring Lincoln’s character, the beleaguered dead-hunter Rick Grimes. The network hasn’t landed on a premiere date for the films, the first of which will reportedly begin production next year, though AMC’s Scott M. Gimple told The Hollywood Reporter they’re part of an effort to keep Dead alive for years to come: “We're going to be doing specials, [and] new series are quite a possibility…we're going to introduce new characters and new situations” (as for more specific plans, right now, we’re all on a Negan-know basis). Meanwhile, in an interview with The New York Times, Lincoln addressed the death of Glenn, the departure of original showrunner Frank Darabont, and the extreme measures he takes on-set before filming begins: “I don’t care what it takes to get to a place. If I’ve got snot coming out of my mouth, that’s the way it’s gonna be.”
Deadpool Cleans Up His Act
Deadpool 2 will return to theaters next month–albeit with a bit less shooting and swearing. A newly edited PG-13 edition of the movie, titled Once Upon a Deadpool, features several new sequences–all reportedly filmed in one day–featuring star Ryan Reynolds alongside special guest Fred Savage, who will spoof his turn in the 1987 hit The Princess Bride. The revamped film's theatrical release will benefit the charity Fuck Cancer, but it will also give Disney–which picked up the Deadpool franchise in its recent acquisition of 20th Century Fox–access to a family-friendly version of Reynolds' hit, one that could potentially play in China, and perhaps be added to Disney's forthcoming streaming service. It's a smart plan, as long as no one Fox it up.
Fat-Bottom-Lined Box Office
The Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, starring Rami Malek as toothsome frontman Freddie Mercury, earned $50 million in the U.S. in its opening weekend, overcoming some very, very frightening reviews, not to mention a messy production. Disney’s equally hard-to-make The Nutcracker and the Four Realms–which cycled through a pair of directors, or roughly two per realm–opened behind Rhapsody with a disappointing $20 million, and ending any franchise hopes for the studio. And Tiffany Haddish’s fourth(!) movie of 2018, the Tyler Perry-directed romantic comedy Nobody’s Fool, made $14 million, proving yet again her draw as a big-screen comedy star–a Hollywood rarity these days, and one that puts her in a realm of her own.
AMC What They Did There?
The theater chain announced that its monthly Stubs A-List plan–think of it like MoviePass, except without all of the dubious financing or wiggy availability–will soon have more than half a million subscribers. But the company also noted that the service’s price will increase to as much as $23.95 a month in some states. That’s far higher than MoviePass, which at one point was less than seven bucks a month. But it’s a small price to pay for the opportunity to watch a Gerard Butler submarine movie up to twelve times in a row!CULTURE