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HomeIndustry SectorFilmHump Day News Update 8/18/21: Fast and Furious 10 a Go, Murder...

Hump Day News Update 8/18/21: Fast and Furious 10 a Go, Murder Mystery Sequel Being Developed, and More News


Michelle Rodriguez (L) and Vin Diesel in F9 (Universal)

Yesterday, Universal Pictures announced that the 10th Fast and Furious movie, which will be the second to last movie in the long-running franchise, will be released on April 7, 2023. Vin Diesel is expected to return, as well as Jordana BrewsterTyrese GibsonChris “Ludacris” BridgesMichelle Rodriguez, and possibly Jason Statham, who bowed out of this year’s F9: The Fast Saga, after starring in Hobbs and Shaw. At one point, it was thought that Director Justin Lin might make the last two movies in the series concurrently — and he still might — but right now, Universal is only committing to a tenth movie and needs to get the cast fully aboard.

Kristen Stewart
Kristen Stewart in Spencer (Searchlight)

Searchlight Pictures will be premiering Pablo Laraine‘s Spencer, starring Kristen Stewart as Princess Di, at a number of September festivals — Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals, specifically —  and the studio also announced that the biopic will hit theaters on November 5.

Unfortunately, it’s not looking likely that Sony Pictures Animation‘s Hotel Transylvania: Transformia, the fourth movie in the animated series that once featured Adam Sandler, who has since left the franchise, will make it to theaters. Sony is currently in negotiations with Amazon Prime Video for a reported $100 million plus to send the animated sequel to the streamer.

Speaking of Sandler, he and Jennifer Aniston are nearing a deal to make a sequel to their Netflix hit, Murder Mystery, with Jeremy Garelick (The Break-Up) already signed on to direct and polish an earlier script by James Vanderbilt

Following his recent appearance in the drama, Joe Bell, actor Mark Wahlberg looks to be returning to Netflix, according to Deadline, as he’s set to star in the comedy, Me Time, opposite Netflix regular, Kevin HartNight School writer John Hamburg will write and direct the pic as well as produce through his Particular Pictures, along with Hart and Bryan Smiley for HartBeat Productions. In the movie, Hart will play a stay-at-home father who is finally getting some “Me Time” when his wife and kids are away, so he uses that time to reconnect with a former best friend (Wahlberg) for what turns into a wild weekend. Lauren Hennessey exec. produces, along with Mark Moran and Patricia Braga of HartBeat,  and Joe Gatta also exec produces.

Morgan Freeman and Cole Hauser (Yellowstone) have been set to lead writer-director George Gallo‘s action-thriller, Muti, which will be filming in Mississippi and Italy. Hauser will play Detective Boyd, who unable to process the death of his daughter, goes on a hunt for the serial killer who murders using a brutal traibal ritual called “Muti.” Freeman plays Professor Mackles, an anthropologist with a secret who offers to help Boyd. The cast also includes Peter Stormare and former NFL tight end Vernon Davis, a Super Bowl winner and two-time Pro Bowler. Gallo is best known for writing Michael Bay‘s Badboys, but this time, he’s working from a screenplay by Bob Bowersox, Jennifer Lemmon, Francesco Cinquemani, Giorgia Iannone, Luca Giliberto, and Ferdinando Dell’Omo, based on a story by Joe Lemmon and Cinquemani. Lemmon is also producing through his Black Diamond Films, along with Andrea Iervolino, Monika Bacardi, and Danielle Maloni of Iervolino & Lady Bacardi Entertainment SPA, as well as Bret Saxon from Wonderfilm MediaThe Exchange is bringing the project to international buyers during TIFF.

Dennis Quaid has signed on to star in the family drama, The Hill, from Hoosiers and Rudy screenwriter Angelo Pizzo (RudyHoosiers) and the late Scott Marshall Smith (The Score), who passed away in December. Jeff Celentano (Breaking Point) is directing the film with plans for cameras to start rolling in Georgia in November. It tells the true story of Rickey Hill, a kid who overcome a physical disability to play professional baseball with Quaid playing Rickey’s overprotective father, Pastor Hill, who doesn’t want his son to be ridiculed for his disability. Quaid is also producing, along with Warren Ostergard, as well as Matthew Dwyer, Michael Hollingsworth, Michael Blubaugh, and Rickey Hill as the film’s exec. producers.

Minnie Driver
Minnie Driver (Photo: Josh Jensen)

Minnie Driver‘s agent seems to be working overtime, because less than a week after we heard that she’s joined Searchlight’s Chevalier movie, Driver has joined the 20th Century Studios‘ Romeo and Juliet reimagining, Rosaline, playing “The Nurse.”  Directed by Karen Maine with Shawn Levy and Dan Cohen producing for 21 Laps, the film stars Kaitlyn Dever in the title role as Juliet’s cousin, Kyle Allen as Romeo, Isabela Merced as Juliet, Sean Teale and Bradley Whitford.

Kaya Scodelario, who stars in the upcoming Resident Evil reboot, has joined the Amazon father-daughter adventure dramedy, Don’t Make Me Gowhich is currently in post. She joins John ChoMia Isaac, and Jade Harlow in the film directed by Hannah Marks and written by Vera Herbert. The film is about a single father who takes his teen daughter on a road trip to find her estranged mother, and it’s produced by De Line PicturesDonald De Line and Big Beach FilmsLeah Holzer and Peter Saraf.

Collider reports that Canadian actor Luke Macfarlane (Brothers and Sisters) has joined Billy Eichner‘s Universal comedy, Bros, the first gay romcom, playing Eichner’s love interest. Directed by Nick Stoller (Five Year Engagement) and produced by  Judd Apatow, it’s about two men with commitment issues who try to start a relationship together.

Paramount Players‘ Pet Sematary prequel for Paramount+ has added Samantha Mathis  and Henry Thomas

Subscribing to Below the Line‘s Production Listings is the best way to keep track of the movies and television shows in production, and you can now subscribe at a new low rate of $120 a year, and you can subscribe here.

Everything's Gonna Be Okay
Everything’s Gonna Be Okay (Freeform)

We kick off our TV news with the sad news that Freeform has cancelled Josh Thomas‘ comedy series, Everything’s Gonna Be Okay after two seasons. Thomas made the announcement via his Twitter account, putting any doubt about the show’s future to rest.

Bridgerton star Phoebe Dynevor may be switching streamers, as she is in talks to star in and exec. produce the series, Exciting Times, for Amazon Studios, which will explore contemporary romance…. with a twist. The project is based on Irish author Naoise Dolan’s debut novel, and it comes from U.S. financier-producer Black Bear Pictures, which optioned rights to the book ahead of its June 2020 U.S. release to turn it into a premium series. Cooper Raiff will co-write the TV adaptation with Dolan and is also slated to direct. Exciting Times centers on Ava, Dynevor’s planned role, an Irish transplant abroad teaching English grammar to wealthy children, who becomes entangled in a love triangle with banker Julian and lawyer Edith. Dynevor, Dolan and Raiff executive produce along with Black Bear’s Teddy Schwarzman, Ben Stillman, and Michael Heimler. Black Bear’s Clementine Quittner and Sleena Wilson are co-producers.

Filming is underway in the UK on Netflix’s prequel series, The Witcher: Blood Origin, and Deadline reports that Lenny HenryMirren MackNathaniel Curtis, and Dylan Moran have joined the six-part series that’s led by Laurence O’Fuarain, Sophia Brown, and Michelle Yeoh.

Jesse Tyler Ferguson from Modern Family, Jane Lynch from Glee, Sasha Pieterse (Pretty Little Liars), Nia VardalosGarfield Wilson, Jaycie Dotin, and Marci T. House have all joined the Netflix series, Ivy & Bean, an adaptation of Annie BarrowsNew York Times bestselling book. They join Keslee Blalock as Ivy, Madison Skye Validum as Bean, and Lidya Jewett as Nancy in the series of one-hour family movies from the streamer, directed by Elissa Down from screenplays written by Kathy Waugh and Jeff Stockwell. The series is produced by Anne Brogan and Melanie Stokes as well as Lionsgate TV‘s Kindle Entertainment.

Mayfair Witches
The Mayfair Witches Series (Ballantine Books)

AMC Studios has opened a writers’ room to adapt Anne Rice‘s Lives of the Mayfair Witches into a possible series for AMC and AMC+, the project being developed as part of its scripts-to-series model.  This is one of three writers rooms opened by AMC, the other two being for a potential hour-long Invitation to a Bonfire series, and a half-hour series called DamascusLives of the Mayfair Witches would be the second in AMC’s planned Anne Rice universe, following the recent greenlight of Interview with the Vampire, which is slated for a 2022 premiere. Esta Spalding and Michelle Ashford from Masters of Sex are set as writers and EPs for the Lives of the Mayfair series with Spalding serving as showrunner if it’s greenlit. The series focuses on an intuitive young neurosurgeon who discovers that she is the unlikely heir to a family of witches. As she grapples with her newfound powers, she must contend with a sinister presence that has haunted her family for generations. Last year, AMC Networks acquired the rights to Rice’s works, including 18 titles in the Vampire Chronicles and the Mayfair Witches series, along with producer Mark Johnson with plans to develop the full collection into a streaming and television universe.

Gamechanger Films is going to adapt Lea Lee‘s popular webcomic, Angry Little Girls, into a television series, as well as a number of holiday specials. Lee’s webcomic was previously adapted into a 12-episodes animated series, and Gamechanger’s scripted projects will “feature numerous characters from diverse backgrounds originally depicted in the comic strip,” and the company will also support the brand’s expansion into merchandise.

Star Wars Visions
Star Wars Visions (Lucasfilm/Disney)

Earlier this week, Lucasfilm and Disney+ released the first trailer for Star Wars Visions, its new animated anthology series with different Japanese Anime studios giving their takes on the classic characters from George Lucas‘ sci-fi franchise. As is the case with most Anime released in the States, Disney+ released two trailers, one a straight English dub (with some well-known names), as well as a version in Japanese with English subtitles. The series of nine short films will launch on September 22, and Lucasfilm released the list of anime studios involved and both English and Japanese voice casts for the series.

The Duel – Kamikaze Douga
Brian Tee (Ronin), Lucy Liu (Bandit Leader), Jaden Waldman (Village Chief)
Masaki Terasoma (Ronin), Akeno Watanabe (Bandit Leader), Yūko Sanpei (VillageChief)

Tatooine Rhapsody Studio Colorido (Twin Engine)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
(Jay), Bobby Moynihan (Geezer), Temuera Morrison (BobaFett), Shelby Young (K-344), Marc Thompson (Lan)
Hiroyuki Yoshino (Jay), Kōusuke Gotō (Geezer), Akio Kaneda (Boba Fett), Masayo Fujita (K-344), Anri Katsu (Lan)

The Twins – TRIGGER
Neil Patrick Harris (Karre), Alison Brie (Am), Jonathan Lipow (B-20N)
Junya Enoki (Karre), Ryoko Shiraishi (Am), Tokuyoshi Kawashima (B-20N)

The Village Bride – Kinema Citrus
Karen Fukuhara (F), Nichole Sakura (Haru), Christopher Sean (Asu), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Valco), Andrew Kishino (Izuma), Stephanie Sheh (Saku)
Asami Seto (F), Megumi Han (Haru), Yūma Uchida (Asu), Takaya Kamikawa (Vaan), Yoshimitsu Shimoyama (Izuma), Mariya Ise (Saku)

The Ninth Jedi  – Production I.G.
Kimiko Glenn (Kara), Andrew Kishino (Juro), Simu Liu (Zhima), Masi Oka (Ethan), Greg Chun (Roden), Neil Kaplan (Narrator), Michael Sinterniklaas (Hen Jin)
Chinatsu Akasaki (Kara), Tetsuo Kanao (Juro), Shin-ichiro Miki (Zhima), Hiromu Mineta (Ethan), Kazuya Nakai (Roden), Akio Ōtsuka (Narrator), Daisuke Hirakawa (Hen Jin)

T0-B1 –  Science Saru
Jaden Waldman (T0-B1), Kyle Chandler (Mitaka)
Masako Nozawa (T0-B1), Tsutomu Isobe (Mitaka)

The Elder – TRIGGER
David Harbour (Tajin), Jordan Fisher (Dan), James Hong (The Elder)
Takaya Hashi (Tajin), Kenichi Ogata (The Elder), Yuichi Nakamura (Dan)

Lop & Ocho – Geno Studio (Twin Engine)
Anna Cathcart (Lop), Hiromi Dames (Ocho), Paul Nakauchi (Yasaburo), Kyle McCarley (Imperial Officer)
Seiran Kobayashi (Lop), Risa Shimizu (Ocho), Tadahisa Fujimura (Yasaburo), Taisuke Nakano (Imperial Officer)

Akakiri – Science Saru
Henry Golding (Tsubaki), Jamie Chung (Misa), George Takei (Senshuu), Keone Young (Kamahachi), Lorraine Toussaint (Masago)
Yū Miyazaki (Tsubaki), Lynn (Misa), Chō (Senshuu), Wataru Takagi (Kamahachi),Yukari Nozawa (Masago)

That’s it for now. We’ll be back on Friday with the End of Week Production Notes with the last of the news for the week.

Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas has written about movies for print and the internet for over 20 years, specializing in box office analysis, reviews, and interviews. Currently, he writes features for Below the Line and Above the Line, acting as Associate Editor for the former and Interim Editor for the latter.
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