Loki and Scarlet Witch shows headed to Disney's streaming service, while Netflix orders up a live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender series
Well, it might be hump-day, but there's certainly no mid-week blues for everyone's favourite streaming companies, with news that Disney and Netflix are adding some pretty big series to their upcoming slates. It appears Disney Streaming Services' as-yet-unnamed site is looking to bump up its already big schedule (think original Star Wars shows and Disney live-action films like Lady and the Tramp) with some Marvel-ous additions, by way of standalone Loki and Scarlet Witch limited series. While Netflix is keeping competition fierce by announcing that they are planning to take Nickelodeon's beloved animated franchise Avatar: The Last Airbender (2003) and make it into their own live-action show (here's hoping it's better than that god-awful 2010 movie from M. Night Shyamalan).
According to Variety, the Marvel shows will be top-notch productions, with plans to feature original actors Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen in the title roles. While few details have been made available at the moment, the studio is said to be looking at a six to eight episode run per series. And although there's no reports yet on how big the production budgets will be, one could assume that Marvel aren't the type to spare any expense when it comes to their cinematic universe - which these series expected to be an extension of. And of course, there's the fact that Kevin Feige himself is said to be taking a hands-on role in their development. Aside from that, we may have to wait until the service launches sometime late next year to find out more details.
As for Netflix's Avatar series, Collider are reporting that production is expected to start on the Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko produced show as soon as 2019. Similar to the original animation, it will follow young avatar Aang as he learns to harness the four elements - earth, fire, wind and air - and stop the deadly Fire Nation from taking over. In keeping with the story's origins, the showrunner's have already promised that it will be 'culturally appropriate' and have a 'non-whitewashed cast'. They also said they were ready to go 'even deeper into the characters, story, action and world-building'. And, just think, if it's successful, there always the chance its sequel The Legend of Korra (2012) may also find an live-action adaption on the small screen.
It’s the Circle of Life and it really does rule us all, especially big budget Hollywood studios like Disney. In the wake of a string of successful live-action adaptations like Cinderella (2015) and The Jungle Book (2016), the studio has set their sights on one of the biggest properties of the bunch. That’s right, brace yourselves nineties babies, because the beloved animation The Lion King (1994) is officially headed for a remake. Releasing a statement on the matter today, the House of Mouse said they will be turning, once again, to acclaimed director Jon Favreau to spearhead the project, labelling it a ‘re-imaging’ that will retain its musical elements and be fast tracked into production over the next few years.
Favreau also confirmed the news in a mysterious Twitter message shortly before the statement dropped, declaring he was ‘very excited for his next project’ alongside some rather appropriate Lion King emoji’s. The choice of Favreau is arguably a no-brainer for the studio, with his previous work netting them close to a billion dollars at the box office and a critically acclaimed general consensus from critics. The director managed to create incredibly photo-realistic animals as part of his last project too, which definitely would have added to the appeal.
However it is important to remember that this time round he won’t have a human character to lean on, so it could prove dangerous territory to try and adapt. Outside of the directing news very little has been revealed yet, with production in its early stages, so there’s no point jumping to conclusions just yet. Stay tuned for more details as they come to light.
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