Last Friday, Steven Spielberg revealed in an interview that Colin Trevorrow would return as writer and director for Jurassic World 3. Emily Carmichael had already been announced as his co-writer, with the film’s release slated for June 2021. The next chapter in the trilogy, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – from director J.A. Bayona, not Trevorrow – is out June 22.
On Monday, The Hollywood Reporter said that Amazon had picked up a TV series adaptation of the 1992 Tom Hanks-starrer A League of Their Own. Broad City co-creator Abbi Jacobson and Mozart in the Jungle EP Will Graham are behind the show, which will be a half-hour comedy following a women’s professional baseball league during the 1940s. It’s more of a reimagining than a reboot honestly.
On Tuesday, Star Trek actor Zachary Quinto said that there are three different scripts currently being written for the next Trek movie. There’s the one that revolves around Quentin Tarantino’s idea, one from Star Trek Beyond writers Simon Pegg and Doug Jung, and a third from writers he didn’t name. Later in the week, Pegg expressed some doubt that Tarantino would direct one, or that it’ll be R-rated.
Hulu’s Catch-22 continues to take shape since its announcement in January. Hugh Laurie has joined the cast as Major de Coverley. The cast already includes George Clooney and Christopher Abbott, the former of whom also serves as executive producer and co-director. In an interview published on Wednesday, Dwayne Johnson said he’s unsure if he’ll return for Fast and Furious 9 (April 2020), which is likely down to his fallout with Vin Diesel. Instead, he’s focused on the spin-off with Jason Statham, which is slated for July 2019.
Later that day, a new report claimed that American Gods is recasting the role of Media, which was played by Gillian Anderson in the first season. The show has been in trouble since its original showrunners, Bryan Fuller and Michael Green, left in January, and Anderson had said then she wouldn’t be reprising the role, so this is more or less an official confirmation.
On Thursday, a report from THR claimed that Amazon would spend over $1 billion (about Rs. 6,494 crores) across five seasons of its Lord of the Rings prequel series, and may also include footage from the acclaimed film trilogy by Peter Jackson. Later that day, Variety said that FX had ordered a pilot based on the comic-book series Y: The Last Man, with Michael Green and Aida Mashaka Croal as showrunners. Lastly, Deadline brought word that Solo: A Star Wars Story would premiere at Cannes Film Festival in May, before its release later that month.
That’s all the entertainment news for this week. Welcome back to The Weekend Chill, your one-stop destination for what to watch, play, or listen to this weekend. Here are the best picks:
A year has passed since we saw David Haller (Dan Stevens) be zapped into a floating orb, a season-ending cliff-hanger that was as puzzling as it was weird. And at the start of the new season, he’s back without much of an explanation. David thinks it was only yesterday he was “captured”, and has no memories of the time in between. Naturally, this doesn’t sit well with his Summerland allies, who have joined Division III to help stop the Shadow King.
Navid Negabhan (Homeland) joins the cast in season two of Noah Hawley’s show, portraying the Shadow King, who will also appear as Oliver Bird (Jemaine Clement), the body he attached to after leaving David towards the end of season one, and Aubrey Plaza, whose character has been dead since the first episode but appears as one manifestation of the villain in David’s mind. Rachel Keller, Bill Irwin, Jeremie Harris, Jean Smart, and Hamish Linklater all return.
We felt Legion’s season two premiere was as eccentric and bizarre as always, and critics who’ve seen more have a similar opinion. Uproxx’s Alan Sepinwall called it “weirder and more vivid than before. The new season is at once more opaque and more direct than the first one.” New York Times’ Mike Hale thinks the visual inventiveness used by Hawley and his team is “consistently impressive, [and] consistently outstrips the storytelling”.
How to access: FX, Amazon Video US, Google Play US, iTunes US, or Microsoft Store US
Time commitment: 1 hour, weekly
Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge – who’s also voicing a droid in Solo: A Star Wars Story – jumps from comedy to action-thriller with her new eight-episode series, starting Sunday, based on the Villanelle novels by British author Luke Jennings. It follows a desk-bound MI5 agent named Eve (Sandra Oh) who is bored with her job, and is pitted against a female assassin with the codename Villanelle (Jodie Comer).
“She’s not trained to within an inch of her life — she can’t do a backflip, pull out a gun and shoot three people with one bullet,” Waller-Bridge said in a Variety interview of the protagonist Eve. With Killing Eve, she wants to upend the spy genre, and hence has written in “dark humour, absurdity and even slapstick” into the high-stakes drama.
Critics who’ve seen early episodes agree, and think it’s worth your time. Slant’s Julia Selinger said it “combines a dry comedy’s affection for the mundane with the slick look and tone of a psychosexual thriller, while Boston Herald’s Mark A. Perigard called the script “deliciously witty, but it never lets you forget some nice people are coming to perfectly horrible ends”.
How to access: BBC America or iTunes US
Time commitment: 1 hour, weekly
E.M. Forster’s Edwardian-era novel gets a four-part adaptation from Manchester by the Sea director Kenneth Lonergan, starring Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter), Philippa Coulthard, Alex Lawther, Tracey Ullman, Matthew Macfadyen, Julia Ormond, and Joseph Quinn. The show follows Margaret Schlegel (Atwell) and her younger sister Helen (Coulthard) as they search for love and purpose in a changing England.
Howards End was previously a critically-acclaimed 1992 film from Merchant-Ivory team – Ivory being the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Call Me by Your Name – starring Emma Thompson, Helena Bonham Carter, and Anthony Hopkins. The new mini-series, a co-production between BBC One and Starz, has already aired in the UK to much praise for its contemporary relevance.
Critics in the US have received it similarly. Collider’s Allison Keene termed Lonergan’s script delightful, adding: “The words are crisp, clever, and even the chatter reveals important character traits and dynamics. Nothing is wasted in this series, which is gorgeously directed in full by Hettie MacDonald. Her camera is never static, which reflects the energy of its cast.”
How to access: Starz, Google Play UK, iTunes UK, or Microsoft Store UK
Time commitment: 1 hour, weekly
A Quiet Place
The Office’s John Krasinski turns director with this horror film, starring him and his real-life wife Emily Blunt (Edge of Tomorrow, The Devil Wears Prada) as the parents in a family of four, who are some of the few survivors of blind monsters who hunt for victims by sound. Hence, they must life a live of silence out in the woods if they wish to survive.
Krasinski co-wrote the screenplay with filmmaking partners Bryan Woods and Scott Beck, counts Michael Bay (Transformers) as a producer, and has been shot by Charlotte Bruus Christensen (The Girl on the Train, Molly’s Game). A Quiet Place also stars Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe as the two children in the family, one deaf and the other hearing. Simmonds is deaf herself, and helped the director on set, in addition to teaching ASL to her co-stars.
The film has received terrific praise, currently holding a 99 percent fresh rating on reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Writing for The A.V. Club, A.A. Dowd said: “A Quiet Place takes [the contrast between deathly silence and deafening cacophony] to a new extreme, engulfing characters and viewers alike in an eerie sustained hush, and then generating anxiety about how and when it will suddenly be shattered. It turns sound itself, cinema’s first invader, into a threat.”
How to access: Out in cinema halls
Time commitment: 1 hour and 30 minutes
In an unexpected move, the AMC horror-drama The Terror – part of our last week’s recommendations – is now further along in India than on TV in the US, thanks to AMC’s binge-view release strategy for its streaming service AMC Premiere. A total of five episodes are already available on Amazon Prime Video, while the third episode aired earlier this week. The only other noteworthy addition on Amazon is Golden Globe-nominated 20th Century Women, starring Greta Gerwig, Annette Bening, and Elle Fanning.
Over on Netflix, the big additions this week include The Bourne trilogy, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Disney’s Tangled, Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Swades, Ron Howard-directed Apollo 13, the adult stop-motion animated Anomalisa from Charlie Kaufman, and Julianne Moore-starrer Still Alice. Check our April Netflix guide for more options.
Hooq may not have the content chest to rival the big three, but it added the critically-acclaimed six-part miniseries, Wolf Hall, this week. It charts the rise of Thomas Cromwell in the court of Henry VIII through to the death of Sir Thomas More, followed by Cromwell’s success in freeing the king of his marriage to Anne Boleyn. Mark Rylance plays Cromwell, Damian Lewis is Henry VIII, and the cast also boasts of Claire Foy, Mark Gatiss, Jonathan Pryce, and Tom Holland among others.
Developed by a motley crew assembled from various developers, Minit is a top-down monochromatic adventure game that’s played sixty seconds at a time. You play as a little bird-like character who gets limited to living for a minute upon picking up a cursed sword. Every time you venture out of your home, you’ve to figure out how to progress – you guessed it – in sixty seconds.
Essentially, Minit turns into a puzzle game, where you’ve to not just figure out the way forward, but then execute it to perfection to unlock what lies ahead. Along your journey, you’ll be able to unlock new homes down the line, which lets you progress geographically. The controls are simple: you’ve got direction keys, an item-use button, and a button for dying (early).
Critics are loving Minit. In his review for Destructoid, Brett Makedonski said: “Everything about Minit should feel overwhelming. It doesn’t. Instead, everything feels attainable in due time. There’s this weird and perfect harmony about knowing you’re rushed and also not caring.” Engadget’s Nick Summers, who’s not a fan of rushing through games, loved it as well, saying it made him “feel like an expert speedrunner”.
How to access: PlayStation 4, Steam for PC, or Xbox One
Time commitment: 2-3 hours
Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves
The 29-year-old country singer-songwriter has co-written all 13 tracks of her latest and seventh album, which blends her traditional genre – country – with pop and elements of psychedelic folk, producing something that has more life than her previous work. Talking about the name of the album, Musgraves said: “I’ve never been one to write a love song and really feel it. That probably sounds like the most depressing thing ever. [But] I’m coming off getting married and being in this golden hour of my personal life, where all these things are finally coming to fruition.”
And the results have won over critics. Pitchfork’s Sam Sodomsky said it’s “her most ambitious, a magnetic, comfortable culmination of her pop and country instincts”, while AllMusic’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine called it “warm and enveloping, pitched halfway between heartbreak and healing, but (it) lingers in the mind because the songs are so sharp, buttressed by long, loping melodies and Musgraves’ affectless soul baring”.
How to access: Amazon Music, Apple Music, Google Play Music, or Spotify
Time commitment: 45 minutes