PODCAST | How ’bout that Star Wars Episode IX Trailer? Did it get you HYPED? Is CP3-O a goner? Our predictions sure to go wrong!
PLUS: Who watches the Watchmen? Apparently a LOT of people. And they’ve all got opinions about it. Were you as skeptical as we were about a Watchmen TV sequel to the graphic novel? Us too. Are you skeptical anymore after that powerful debut episode? We debate!
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Segment 1: #Sire Bytes
►Joker approaches an R-rated record.
+Jared Leto fumed over Joker. Suicide Squad
The Warner Bros. pic, directed by Todd
Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix, is well on its way to becoming the top-
grossing R-rated film of all time at the global box office, not adjusted for
is the current record holder with $783 million in worldwide ticket
sales. Through Sunday,
s global total stands at $737.5 million after three
weekends in release. The film is expected to ultimately take in close to $900 million
globally; some even think it has a shot at approaching $1 billion.
Kim Masters reports that the actor, who played
The Joker in
, was furious after learning about the standalone film.
“[W]hen the Oscar-winning actor learned of the Phillips project, he not only
complained bitterly to his agents at CAA, who also represent Phillips, but asked his
music manager, Irving Azoff, to call the leader of Warners parent company (it’s
unclear whether it was Time Warner’s Jeff Bewkes or AT&T’s Randall Stephenson,
depending on the timing). The idea was to get Warners to kill the Phillips film.”
Segment 2: Who Watched The Watchmen?
HBO’s ‘Watchmen’ Premiere Sheds Light On Tulsa Race Massacre Of 1921
In 1921, a mob of White terrorists destroyed a section of Tulsa, known as Black Wall Street, leaving hundreds dead and injured.
If you tuned into the premiere of HBO’s Watchmen on Sunday, then you may have recognized an important moment in Black history.
Last night, the series opened with a flashback to the Black Wall Street Massacre, also known as the Tulsa Race Massacre. While Watchmen is set in an alternate reality, the events of the Tulsa Race Massacre are very real. The real event happened in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the series takes place, in the Greenwood neighborhood of the city.
The riot began Memorial Day after a 19-year-old Black shoeshiner named Dick Rowland was accused of assaulting Sarah Page, a 17- year-old White elevator operator. An angry mob of White people later gathered at the courthouse where they believed Rowland was being held, and soon violence erupted across the city as the angry mob grew and spread.
While the official death toll of the massacre has been reported as 36, historians believe that number to be way too low. It is likely that up to 300 people were murdered, while more than 8,000 people were left homeless.
Police later concluded that Rowland had likely stumbled into Page or stepped on her foot.
The last surviving witness of the massacre, Dr. Olivia Hooker, told NPR back in 2018 that Greenwood had been “a neighborhood where you could be treated with respect.”
“My father’s store was destroyed,” she said. “There was nothing left but one big safe. It was so big they couldn’t carry it away, so they had to leave it—in the middle of the rubble.”
Hooker also told Radio Diaries, “It was a horrifying thing for a little girl who’s only 6 years old trying to remember to keep quiet, so they wouldn’t know we were there.”
A report from The New York Times also recalled the horrifying scene.
“Fires had been started by the White invaders soon after 1 o’clock and other fires were set from time to time. By 8 o’clock, practically the entire 30 blocks of homes in the negro quarters were in flames and few buildings escaped destruction. Negroes caught in their burning homes were in many instances shot down as they attempted to escape.”
Hooker told NPR that she remains optimistic, adding, “Our parents tried to tell us, don’t spend your time agonizing over the past. They encouraged us to look forward and think about how we could make things better.”
Rorsach being used as the symbol for White Supremacy
‘Watchmen’ Premiere Draws 1.5 Million Viewers, Delivering Strongest Digital Debut For HBO Since ‘Westworld’
Who watches the Watchmen? Well, everybody apparently. Damon Lindelof’s highly-anticipated series based on the critically acclaimed and award-winning Alan Moore graphic novel debuted on Sunday night to strong numbers, delivering 1.5 million viewers across all HBO platforms.
The linear premiere telecast of the new drama starring Regina King was 21% above last week’s Succession season finale. It also marked the strongest debut performance for a series on HBO’s digital platforms since the premium cabler debuted Westworld in 2016, another series based on an existing sci-fi/fantasy property.
On top of all of that, the 9 PM telecast of the freshman series averaged 800,000 viewers making it premium cable’s most-watched new series debut this year.
The pilot of Watchmen was directed by Nicole Kassell from a script by Lindelof. The new series isn’t a straight adaptation of the graphic novel, but more of a sequel that finds an America ruled by long-serving President Robert Redford. Its an alternative 2019 America where the best intentions have seen technology curtailed, the police are now hidden by masks like the outlawed superheroes, and white supremacy has picked up the legacy of the infamous Rorschach.
King stars alongside Don Johnson, Jeremy Irons, Jean Smart, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Hong Chau, Andrew Howard, Tom Mison, Frances Fisher, Jacob Ming-Trent, Sara Vickers, Dylan Schombing and James Wolk
Segment 3: Spin The Racks
So Kevin Feige runs Marvel Comics now – what does that mean?
Welcome to the coldest take on this week’s biggest news: the somewhat inevitable news that the fifth most powerful person in entertainment, Kevin Feige, would be taking over Marvel publishing and television as part of his portfolio, with the added title of Chief Creative Officer.
It’s taken us a little while to put this together because we spent some time digging among our sources to see what the move really meant. In
the short term, surely it means few immediate changes for Marvel Publishing.
– and likewise, a ding to Marvel chairman Ike Perlmutter, who is disliked by both Feige and Disney head Bob
Indeed, remember this rumor from earlier in the year: Rumor: Marvel Comics is moving to the West Coast?
Although it was only a rumor – as I reported at the time – it was a surprisingly insistent and strong one and the pattern of chatter suggested that there was something that had set it off. I’m now hearing many renewed claims that
… but I’d still classify these as mere speculation at this point. But the option is
more on the table than it has been for a while. And who knows, with Marvel Entertainment in charge, maybe Marvel Comics would get more bathrooms.
When looking at this whole move there are a few key elements:
Feige now rules Marvel’s TV arm:
You would have had to be pretty oblivious not to see Marvel Studio’s gradual annexation of Marvel Television, culminating in the Hall H reveals of all the shows coming to Disney+ under Feige. Marvel TV’s output has been closing up shop, with the Netflix deal lying in the graveyard of TV shows, Agents of Shield ending this year and even an upcoming Ghost Rider show suddenly canceled. Gabriel Luna fans mourned that one, but the rest of Marvel TV’s output was not appointment TV:
Two things that became clear the more we talked to people: that this
move had been in the works for a while and that it was aimed more at
the TV side of things, with the comics/publishing side more of a
bonus prize for Feige
move to Burbank,
Marvel Publishing will definitely
at some point in the unspecified future
“Legion,” a collaboration with FX Productions and “Fargo” executive
producer Noah Hawley, also recently wrapped up on FX after three
seasons. Marvel TV had a very public misfire in ABC’s “Inhumans”
series, which was canceled after one poorly-reviewed season in
2017, while the Fox-Marvel series “The Gifted” was canceled after
two seasons earlier this year. A live-action “New Warriors” project
had been ordered straight to series at Freeform in 2017, but that
project was scrapped a year later. An animated “Deadpool” series
from Donald and Stephen Glover that had received a series order
from FXX also fell apart last year, with studio and network — as
with “Ghost Rider” — citing creative differences.
The result is a slate that has been winnowed down to just a handful
of projects. Marvel Television’s two current live-action shows are
“Runaways” at Hulu, which launches its third season in December,
and “Cloak & Dagger” at Freeform. The latter show ended its second
season in April with no word yet on whether it will receive a third.
Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb was, critically, not mentioned in any of
Disney’s released info on the Feige move and it has been confirmed
. Just where he’ll end up in this is a question mark, but multiple sources told me to keep an eye on the
very well-liked Stephen Wacker, currently VP, Creative and Content Development at Marvel Entertainment.
Anyway, with things like the Scarlet Witch/Vision retro-
com WandaVision forming the spine of the new Disney+ service, we won’t see any lessening of the MCU on streaming land. Feige has proven his ability to build comic book style continuity on a multi- million dollar budget platform, and he won’t stop now.
But where does that leave…
Disney’s Overall Publishing Plans and where Marvel Comics fits into it
Marvel Comics based material has become an arm of Disney’s overall publishing program via Marvel Press. There’s also Marvel’s own fairly vigorous licensing program which has seen some of their material for younger readers sent out to publishers like IDW (much as Dark Horse published comics material based on Disney and Pixar properties.)
But then Marvel was just hiring an editor to work on YA materials? I dunno!
that he now reports directly to Feige
This part of the business isn’t talked about as much as the comics or
TV arms, because it’s less interesting to the fanbase, but believe me,
Disney leaves no potential profit source unexploited. I recall how
early in the Marvel/Disney relationship there were some x-over
things like the Haunted Mansion graphic novel, part of the Disney
Kingdoms line at Marvel. But that kind of theme park-ish spinoff has,
rather sensibly, been moved to the licensed publishing program,
as Haunted Mansion is now at IDW.
Does Kevin Feige even like periodical comics?
So that brings us back to the main question – what practical effects will this have on Marvel’s comics publishing efforts? Will Feige be sitting in on every story summit henceforward and weighing the relative merits of which X-men should get their own books?
I’m told that Feige does seem to have a real reverence for the
legacy of the print origins of the MCU, and those who created it and
that, disputes with the Marvel Creative Committee aside, he has
strong working relationships with Marvel PresidentDan
Buckley and Joe Quesada who has the current title of exec VP,
creative director at Marvel Entertainment. Marvel publisher John
Nee as not mentioned in any of the intel, but I’m told he’s still in
place, reporting to Buckley as before, with Sana Amanat and CB
Cebulski also still in place.
Quesada may be a little busy though, as he’s hosting his own show on Disney+, an Anthony Bourdain-type exploration of the creative community called Storyboards.
The most likely scenario is that Marvel Comics will run much as before, with maybe a little more direct input as an R&D department for the MCU. That still leaves Perlmutter in charge of the purse strong, however, and while he can’t legally be entirely banished, he’s being painted into an increasingly smaller corner at Marvel.
But to summarize for now: no big changes in the near future on the publishing end and Marvel remains the most successful brand in
The big test, more than one person told me, will be when Feige or the
Marvel editorial team wants to hire someone pricey – something
currently not allowed. Marvel’s cheapskate ways have increasingly
applied to page rates of late, and that’s behind their continuing
reliance on a revolving door of creators. Disney has never been known
as a money spout, but there’s more to come on this front for sure.
existence right now. But nothing stays the same in the churning world of movies, TV and streaming of 2020 and beyond.
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NEXT WEEK: More Episode IX Rumors! Terminator Dark Fate Reviews Are In…