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SYFY WIRE Hilary Swank

WIRE Buzz: Hilary Swank's 'Away' teaser; Shudder's Zoom-based horror Host; Adult Swim Con

By Jacob Oller
Away Netflix

It’s been almost a year since fans have heard anything about the Hilary Swank Netflix series Away — which is still shy of how long it’d take for its heroes to get back from Mars. The show, from creator Andrew Hinderaker and showrunner Jessica Goldberg, dropped its first footage today, showing off how the Oscar-winner will cope with the hardships of interplanetary travel.

Swank plays American astronaut Emma Green, commander of an international mission to Mars which includes Russian Misha Popov (Mark Ivanir), British Kwesi Weisberg-Adebayo (Ato Essandoh), Indian Ram Arya (Ray Panthaki), and Chinese Lu Wang (Vivian Wu). They’ll be leaving their families behind for a three-year escapade into space — and the first trailer is all about that time and distance.

Take a look:

Swank’s character monologues about missing her husband (Josh Charles) and daughter (Talitha Bateman) as she careens through zero-gravity alongside her floating tear droplets. It’s brief and melancholy, but a solid indicator of the kind of tone fans should expect from this near-future sci-fi drama series.

Away hits Netflix on Sept. 4.

Next, the era of Zoom calls and working from home was created because of real-life horrors, but now enough time has passed that these social inconveniences have spawned horrors of their own. Spooky streamer Shudder will be host to its own video-call horror film, Host.

Directed by Rob Savage (Dawn of the Deaf) and written by Savage, Gemma Hurley, and Jed Shepherd, the film — which was filmed throughout quarantine without contact between filmmaker and cast — features, of course, an online seance over a Zoom call between half a dozen friends. Navigating a Zoom call with that many people is already a nightmare, even without ghosts.

Starring Haley Bishop, Radina Drandova, Edward Linard, Jemma Moore, Caroline Ward, and Emma Louise Webb — all of whom needed to act as their own camera operators and effects team — Host looks to go the Unfriended route by necessity, with a dash of the housebound short films being produced by filmmakers trapped in isolation.

“When lockdown began, I spent week’s bingeing everything on Shudder, so to find myself premiering a new film on the platform only a few months later is incredible,” Savage said of the three-month process from greenlight to final product. “Shudder understood the potential of this mad little film from day one and totally supported us making it in our own way.”

Host hits Shudder on July 30.

Finally, fans that have missed the rush and musk of comic conventions won’t have to leave their homes this summer for a bevy of opportunities to remedy — at least — the former. Not only is San Diego Comic-Con 2020 going to be exclusively virtual with Comic-Con@Home, but other highly-specific cons have hopped aboard the streaming ship as well — including Adult Swim Con.

Conventions are now becoming like streaming services: if you’ve got the content library, you get to have one. Warner Bros. already broke away from SDCC for its own con and now Adult Swim’s grown-up animation slate is following suit. According to a release, the free online con will run through the exact dates as Comic-Con@Home: Thursday, July 23 to Saturday, July 25. 

The proceedings will air from 4 PM –10 PM PST (fitting with the network's late-night feel), featuring panels/Q&As from fan-favorite shows like Rick and Morty and Robot Chicken, sneak previews of Blade Runner and Uzumaki, and new show announcements.

Fans can find a full schedule here.