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WIRE Buzz: Disney & Lucasfilm tackling Children of Blood and Bone; Disney+ / Hulu bundling; more

By Benjamin Bullard
Children of Blood and Bone book cover

In what could be shaping up as an entirely new Lucasfilm project — one that doesn’t unfold in a galaxy far, far away — Disney has reportedly green-lighted Children of Blood and Bone, a movie based on a bestselling novel about magic, strange creatures, and vengeful spirits.

Deadline reports that Disney has set This Is Us writer Kay Oyegun to script the movie — which previously had been in development at Fox — and it could end up as a Lucasfilm production, with sources noting that president Kathleen Kennedy is interested in making Children of Blood and Bone the studio's next big project.

Based on the young adult novel by Nigerian-American author Tomi Adeyemi, Children of Blood and Bone is steeped in a lore-rich sandbox — a mystical west African-inspired world with unique locations, powers, and even creature hierarchies. The novel follows protagonist Zélie Adebola, a young and hot-headed girl who inherits a legacy of supernatural chaos after her mother is killed in a purge, and her native land of Orïsha robbed of its magic by a new “ruthless king.”

“[T]he greatest danger,” the report notes, “may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers — and her growing feelings for an enemy.” 

Set to be directed by Rick Famuyiwa (Talk to Me, The Flash), Children of Blood and Bone doesn’t yet have a release date targeted, so stay tuned. 

We’ve known since April that Disney’s upcoming streaming platform would arrive with a fancy-latte standalone price tag of $6.99 per month. Now Disney CEO Bob Iger reportedly has unveiled an expanded Disney+ bundle; one that packs in both ESPN+ and Hulu — and at a cost that sounds like it’s aimed directly at Netflix.

Via The Wrap, subscribing to all three Disney-owned streaming properties will cost viewers $12.99 per month. And while comparing streaming platform offerings is never a perfect apples-to-apples proposition (see what we did there?), it appears to be a competitive market move, one that puts the cost of three bundled Disney streaming services at (or beneath, depending on your subscription tier) the $9-$16 per-month price of entry into the world of Netflix.

The all-in-one bundle reportedly will be available right from the start, with Disney+ set to launch either solo or as part of the larger package beginning Nov. 12. It’s worth noting that the Hulu subscription offered in the bundled plan is the ad-based version, and not the premium-tier ad-free version. A standalone ad-supported Hulu subscription currently costs subscribers $5.99 per month. 

Fox may be smaller than it was a year ago, thanks to Disney’s massive buyout, but the company’s animation arm is seriously bulking up, thanks to a recent studio pickup that puts the makers of Bob’s Burgers, as well as Netflix’s Paradise PD and SYFY’s own Alien News Desk on a new, Fox-heavy diet.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox has bought up Bento Box Entertainment, the animation house that already produces Bob’s Burgers for Fox TV. Getting its hands on Bento Box isn’t simply about locking down more burger time, though: the report notes that two new animated series — The Great North and Duncanville — already are in the works for a later release on Fox TV. 

Duncanville reportedly will feature voice work from Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, and Wiz Khalifa; while The Great North will feature vocal talent from Will Forte, Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, and Jenny Slate. Both series are expected to debut sometime next year.

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