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WIRE Buzz: Aladdin spinoff crowns Prince Anders; Netflix unwraps Christmas Chronicles sequel; more

By Josh Weiss
billy magnussen

A live-action Aladdin spinoff is coming, but not for any character you might have expected.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney+ is developing a film starring Billy Magnussen, based around his character of Prince Anders. The goofy member of royalty from the fictional kingdom of Skanland was one of the suitors courting Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott) in the 2019 remake of the animated classic directed by Guy Ritchie.

billy magnussen

Jordan Dunn and Michael Kvamme have reportedly been tapped to write the project.

Aladdin 2019, which co-starred Mena Massoud as Aladdin and Will Smith as the Genie, grossed more than $1 billion at the global box office. Over the summer, we exclusively reported that a sequel was in the early stages of development. However, it is unclear whether the Anders-centric project is that sequel, or if Disney is also working on a direct follow-up following the main characters of the first film.

Since the original animated film spawned two sequels and an animated series, Disney has plenty of material to work with.

Ho! Ho! Ho! We have some holly jolly news for you, dear reader.

Netflix is working on a sequel to last year's The Christmas Chronicles. Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn (both actors are married in real life) will be returning to play Santa and Mrs. Claus respectively. Replacing Clay Kaytis as director is none other than Chris Columbus, director of Home Alone and the first two Harry Potter movies.

Darby Camp is returning to play Kate Pierce, who must help Santa save Christmas from the nefariously magical Belsnickel (Deadpool 2's Julian Dennison). Kate's brother, Teddy (Judah Lewis), and mother, Claire (Kimberly Williams Paisley), will be present as well. Jahzir Bruno (The Oath) has been cast as a character named Jack.

Get your first look below:

Goldie Hawn Kurt Russell Christmas Chronicles 2

Columbus, who is also producing, wrote the project with the last film's screenwriter, Matt Lieberman (co-scribe on Shawn Levy's Free Guy). Netflix is hoping to release the follow-up during the 2020 holiday season.

George Miller breathed new life into his Mad Max franchise with 2015's Fury Road, so where's the sequel? Speaking with Deadline, the Australian filmmaker discussed the future of the post-apocalyptic film series.

“I’m not done with the Mad Max story and I think you have to be a multitasker and there’s certainly another Mad Max coming down the pike after this,” he said. “We’re in preparation on that as well. It’s an interesting question, the idea of multi-tasking. I discuss this with other filmmakers and I think what happens to me is that when you’re working on one thing, and you get so distracted and focused on that one thing, it’s like a creative holiday to focus on the other one for a bit. It helps you achieve that objectivity, to look at the thing afresh each time and say, I thought I was doing this, but it doesn’t seem to be the case now."

Mad Max: Fury Road flaming guitar guy

Prior to stepping down as CEO of Warner Bros. earlier this year, Kevin Tsujihara revealed that the studio was definitely interested in more Mad Max and Matrix movies.

"Mad Max: Fury Road, that was the thing that satisfied me the most," Miller also said. "For a film like that, it could have been read just on the surface. It was very, very hard to get in a lot of subtext and exposition while you are on the run. That was the formal exercise of that film and I was really happy when people started to read a lot of stuff underneath that film. They saw the allegory. I think that’s why the film got traction to the extent it did. That’s my hope on this film even though you never know until it’s out there and people tell you what the film is."