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Development Roundup: Shazam! wraps, Netflix adds more anime, Machinima adapting F.E.A.R.

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May 14, 2018

The DCEU has wrapped another film on its slate, Netflix has added to its roster of anime content, and Machinima has tapped the writer behind the live action Mortal Kombat to adapt F.E.A.R. It’s time for some development news. 

First up, David F, Sandberg, the director of the DCEU live-action Shazam! film, has announced that production on the film has wrapped. He released the news on instagram, along with a little drawing that is partially censored. 

As he says, "That’s a wrap on Shazam! Here’s a little drawing I did for my thank you note to the awesome crew. What is that censored thing under my arm? Only 11 months until you get to find out!"

Shazam! will tell the story of young Billy Batson, who gains the ability to transform into an adult superhero by uttering a magic word. That magic word also happens to be the film’s title. The film will star Asher Angel as Billy Batson, Zachary Levi (Thor: The Dark World, Chuck) as the super-powered Shazam, Mark Strong (Kingsman, Sherlock Holmes, Kick-Ass, Stardust), and Ron Cephas Jones (This is Us). It is expected to hit theaters on April 4, 2019. Good luck, Mr. Batson. 

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More anime is coming to Netflix, and the producers of Castlevania are involved. According to Deadline, Netflix has ordered its first original anime series set in Mexico, which is called Seis Manos. The new series will come from Powerhouse Animation (producers on the Netflix-based animated Castlevania) and Via Media LLC. 

The series will take place in 1970’s Mexico, and will center on three orphans who are also martial arts warriors. The series will see them teaming with a DEA agent and a Mexican Federale to find justice after the death of their mentor. Deadline reports Powerhouse CEO Brad Graeber and writer Alvaro Rodriguez (Machete) co-created the series. It will be directed by Willis Bulliner, who worked on storyboards for the excellent Castlevania series. 

John Derderian, directer of Japan and Anime for Netflix, said that  “Our Mexican subscribers, and viewers in Latin America more broadly, have a tremendous passion for anime. We look forward to sharing this completely unique series with them, and with the growing community of anime fans around the world.” 

(Via: Deadline)

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Finally today, the gaming company Machinima has struck a deal with Mortal Kombat screenwriter Greg Russo. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Russo will work with the company “to create and develop original programming for online distributors.” 

The first project that he will oversee will be a live-action adaptation of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s horror franchise F.E.A.R. The first game in this series launched in 2005, and put the player into the shoes of an agent of the “First Encounter Assault Recon.” The first person shooter was popular enough that two sequels were made. 

Machinma general manager Russell Arons said, "Greg is an inspired screenwriter who clearly loves gaming. To be able to bring his talents to Machinima Studios provides us an amazing opportunity to tackle action-packed series that are certain to appeal to our legions of millennial gamers and fans around the world.”

Russo himself had nothing but positivity to add, saying, "As a lifelong gamer, it's an absolute honor to partner with Machinima, the preeminent provider of digital content to gamers worldwide. F.E.A.R. holds a special place in my heart. I'm excited to bring my personal passion to this and future projects and can't wait to see where our partnership goes from here.”

Machinima is owned by Warner Bros. Digital Studios. 

(Via: The Hollywood Reporter)