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WIRE Buzz: Edgar Wright teaching a robot to love; Onward director exploring New Mushroomton; more

By James Comtois
Edgar Wright

First up in this evening edition of WIRE Buzz, Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and The World’s End director Edgar Wright has signed on to helm Set My Heart to Five, a feature film based on an upcoming novel of the same name about a robot learning to love through the power of awesome retro movies (yeah, this definitely sounds like it’s within his wheelhouse). 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Wright will direct a script written by the novel’s author, Simon Stephenson. The book is scheduled to be published later this year.

The story, set in 2054, follows Jared, an android dentist who, like Short Circuit’s Johnny 5, undergoes an emotional awakening after being struck by lightning introduced to films from the '80s and '90s (like Short Circuit). Jared then embarks on a quest across America’s West Coast to meet the programmer that created him, and convince humans that robots should be permitted to feel. And oh, yeah: Jared’s also working on a screenplay that he believes will change the world. 

Wright’s next film, the horror-thriller Last Night in Soho, stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Thomasin McKenzie, and Matt Smith, and is scheduled to hit theatres on Sept. 25.

Onward & The Invisible Man

Up next, we’ve got some good news for Onward fans, who can apparently expect further entries into the world in the not-too-distant future. Dan Scanlon, who helmed the Pixar film, told that more goodies set in New Mushroomton are being developed. 

First up, Scanlon co-wrote a prequel comic with Mariko Tamaki “that takes place 800 years before Onward,” and tells “the story of the Manticore during the days of old." The comic is scheduled to come out in May.

Also in development is a role-playing game — Quests of Yore — that Scanlon said will likewise “take place in the days of old.”

All of this came from Scanlon straight up falling in love with the world of the film and wanting to delve into it and explore new aspects from new angles. "Initially, the thing I cared most about was the story of the brothers, but I did fall in love with the world and I did start to fall in love with the potential of the world," said Scanlon. 

So, while fans wait for a possible Onward 2, they’ve not only got these items to look forward to in the meantime, but they can also enjoy the film itself, which is currently available to purchase on digital platforms like iTunes, Vudu, and Movies Anywhere. The film will debut on Disney+ on Friday, April 3.

And finally, the original artwork from the very first Flash Gordon comic strip was auctioned off for a record $430,000 today. The Jan. 7, 1934 debut of Alex Raymond’s iconic science fiction comic strip that served as an inspiration for George Lucas’ Star Wars (fun fact: did you know that Lucas wanted to remake Flash Gordon, but decided to make Star Wars instead when he couldn’t get the rights?) was auctioned off via Profiles in History.

Flash Gordon original art

Originated in late 1933 to compete against the popular Buck Rogers strip, Flash Gordon quickly developed an audience that eclipsed its competitionThe signed pencil and ink artwork was estimated to sell between $400,000 and $600,000.

Also sold at the same auction was the original artwork for the inaugural strip of Jungle Jim, a Tarzan-like comic by Raymond as well. The piece sold for $90,000.