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Superheroes are the order of the day in this morning’s WIRE Buzz, with Marvel and DC well-represented in the development news, while an Oklahoman horror rounds things out.
First, a former supervillain is hopping over to the side of justice (and crossing the comic aisle) to join in on a new Stan Lee-created show. According to Variety, ex-Mr. Freeze Arnold Schwarzenegger will lead the animated series Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten.
Playing Arnold Armstrong/Captain Courage, Schwarzenegger will have his own origin story as an ordinary gym teacher who fought the sinister Dr. Superior — and is now retired, teaching kindergarten-aged superheroes. And he won’t just be running a glorified School for Gifted Youngsters. This will have plenty of kid-oriented lessons included, too.
“Not only does Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten feature comedy and action, Schwarzenegger said, per Variety, “but there are many valuable lessons to be learned along the way! Of particular pride to me is the fact that I am not only teaching kids to use their superpowers, but I am also imparting valuable lessons to kids worldwide about the importance of health, exercise, and nutrition.”
Written by Fabian Nicieza, the series is one of the few remaining projects that comic legend Lee created before his death. The show also promises “an animated cameo of Stan Lee appearing in each and every episode,” alluding to a bank of voice work that could preserve Lee in our memories even after his MCU cameo footage has run out. No word on when the show will debut.
Next, DC Universe’s stellar swamp show has already started adding characters — and its first episode hasn’t even launched yet. Deadline reports that Swamp Thing has cast Michael Beach as Nathan Ellery, another business-based baddie working alongside money-laden instigators Avery and Maria Sunderland, who may behind the first season’s murky weirdness.
Ellery is a CEO, a businessman, and almost certainly a criminal. He may present a “smooth corporate veneer,” but that “ruthless streak” promises more of the cutthroat behavior that turned Alec Holland into the monstrous and tragic Swamp Thing. Beach is fresh off another DC property, Aquaman, in which he played the elder Manta.
Swamp Thing’s first season hits DC Universe on May 31.
Finally, horror-Western The Pale Door is shooting in Oklahoma, bringing its southern scares courtesy of writer/director Aaron B. Koontz.
According to Deadline, Devin Druid is set to star in the supernatural ghost-town tale, among others. Koontz, Keith Lansdale, and Cameron Burns wrote the wolf-and-witch-heavy script about a group of cowboys stranded after a train robbery gone wrong. "It’s 3:10 To Yuma meets The Descent, but doused, and then set on fire with psychological horror," the director said. Sounds schlocky enough to work.
Production on The Pale Door is underway now.