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SYFY WIRE Sesame Street

WIRE Buzz: Chance the Rapper gets to Sesame Street; Onward heading upward; more

By Benjamin Bullard
Chance the Rapper

Help may soon be on the way for Big Bird and friends as they try to find their way back to Sesame Street. Musical mastermind and all-around entertainment do-it-all Chance the Rapper is reportedly in talks to join Warner Bros.’ live action movie adaptation of the long-running PBS show.

First reported by Collider and confirmed by Variety, the 26-year-old star would join Anne Hathaway in the upcoming movie musical, which is being directed by Portlandia co-creator Jonathan Krisel. Collider adds that Chance is eyeing a role as “the Mayor’s aide,” though there were no additional character details.

The human cast is expected to join Jim Henson-created puppet powerhouses like ElmoCookie Monster, Grover, Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Bert & Ernie, and more as they try to find their way back to the iconic urban lane that bears the show’s famous name. After being forced off Sesame Street, the gang must team up with history show host Sally Hawthorne (Hathaway) — who’s on a mission to prove Sesame Street’s a real place — to follow the clues through the New York City streets until they rediscover their home.

With music from Eighth Grade director Bo Burnham and co-production from Stranger Things EP Shawn Levy and Penny Dreadful EP Michael Aguilar, the oft-delayed Sesame Street movie is now counting down to a June 4, 2021 release.

Emily Hampshire

The series based on Stephen King's short story “Jerusalem’s Lot” reportedly now has a new name — and a new star. Via Deadline, Schitt’s Creek regular and former 12 Monkeys star Emily Hampshire has been cast to co-star alongside Adrien Brody in Chapelwaite, the upcoming drama set to land at Epix later this year.

The series, which previously had only been known by King’s story title, unfolds in the mid-1800s in a tiny Maine town known as Preacher’s Corners. Brody plays Captain Charles Boone, a widowed father of three children who relocates to his ancestral hometown hoping to find some solace. Of course, all those long-suppressed family skeletons soon begin to rattle anew, and it’s up to Boone to come to terms with his dark past.

Hampshire, who plays motel manager Stevie Budd on Schitt’s Creek, reportedly will play a newly-graduated college student named Rebecca Morgan; an “ambitious young woman” who comes back to Preacher’s Corners to write “the next great gothic novel.” Meeting Captain Boone lifts Rebecca’s writer’s block, and spurs her own set of confrontations with a dark family past in the halls of Chapelwaite manor.

There’s no firm release date yet for Chapelwaite, but expect the series to premiere on Epix sometime this fall.

Finally, growing concern over the spread of coronavirus may be affecting production timelines for movies like Mission: Impossible 7 — but it’s apparently not expected to make people miss Chris Pratt and Tom Holland in the much-hyped debut of Onward this weekend.

Deadline reports that the North American premiere of Disney-Pixar’s critically-adored new CGI fantasy is expected to open a three-day weekend this Thursday with a projected box office of more than $50 million, well ahead of previous estimates that pegged Onward, whose arrival comes in the middle of increasing global countermeasures against the coronavirus public health threat, for a lower $40 million launch.

Coupled with a projected global opening outside North America that ranges from $40 million to $55 million, Onward could surge all the way past the $100 million mark worldwide in its debut weekend. While that may not measure up to some of Pixar’s biggest summertime releases, it’s definitely a number that anticipates movie fans won’t be staying away from theaters in droves.

Following a pair of elven teen brothers on a journey to prove to themselves that magic really does lie hidden away out there in the wider world, the Dan Scanlon-directed movie opens Mar. 5.