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WIRE Buzz: Thrones prequel taps Miranda Richardson, Bird Box author sets new film adaptation

By Josh Weiss
Miranda Richardson

We know you've been craving another WIRE Buzz today, so we scrounged up some updates on HBO's mysterious Game of Thrones prequel, the next movie from the author of Bird Box, and Jordan Peele's Us.

While we don't know much about it right now, the currently untitled Game of Thrones prequel continues to build up its cast with heavy hitters.

Per Variety, the fantasy series has tapped Miranda Richardson for an undisclosed role.

A BAFTA and Golden Globe winner, Richardson is known for playing the dishonest Daily Prophet reporter Rita Skeeter in the live-action Harry Potter films. She's also appeared in Blackadder, Sleepy Hollow, Merlin, and Chicken Run.

Miranda Richardson

Rumored to be titled "The Long Night" the prequel series will begin shooting this summer with Naomi Watts (King Kong) in the lead role. Naomi Ackie (Lady Macbeth) and Denise Gough (voice of Yennefer in the Witcher video games) costar in the project, which was created by George R.R. Martin and Jane Goldman. Goldman is serving as showrunner while S.J. Clarkson (Jessica Jones) is all set to direct.

There's no specific premiere date for the prequel just yet, but the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones will begin airing on HBO on April 14.

After the massive success of Bird Box on Netflix, author Josh Malerman (who wrote the book upon which the movie was based) has become a hot commodity in Hollywood.

A film adaptation of his 2017 novel, Black Mad Wheel, is in the works from Atlas Industries, Spin a Black Yarn, and Ridley Scott's Scott Free Productions, Deadline reports. The Amazon description for the book describes it as a mixture of Lost and Heart of Darkness.

Black Mad Wheel front cover

The main story focuses on The Danes, a once-popular Detroit band looking for a comeback. Their lives are upended, however, when a representative from the U.S. military asks them to travel to Africa and track down the source of a strange and malicious sound.

Accepting the job, the musicians embark on a journey through the desert and find themselves at the center of a dark conspiracy. In a hospital in America's Midwest, the victim of a near-fatal accident begins to recover at an exponential rate. Somehow, this mysterious man is tied to The Danes' mission.

Inspiring plenty of viral memes and a dangerous real-world challenge, Bird Box reportedly brought in 45 million viewers in its first week, according to Netflix.

In a new featurette for Jordan Peele's Us, the principal cast of actors talk about what makes a Peele-directed horror movie different from all others in the genre.

Starring Black Panther's Lupita Nyong'o and Winston Duke as a husband-wife duo, Us is about a family being terrorized by a group of crazed doppelgängers. Elisabeth Moss, Anna Diop, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, and Tim Heidecker all costar.

Watch below:

Having screened for the first time at SXSW last week, the movie has already received rave reviews from critics and fans alike, with many touting it as a worthy follow-up to Peele's Oscar-winning debut feature, Get Out.

"I hope people talk about what this movie is in regards to horror movies, but I also hope people think about, on the societal level, how our fear of being the outsider causes us to overlook the fear of the real villain most of the time, which is us," Peele said at SXSW.

Also written by Peele, Us opens in theaters this Friday, March 22.

Showtime’s Halo series just added a second showrunner in the form of Steven Kane (The Last Ship), THR confirms.

Kyle Killen (Awake) was already attached as the initial showrunner, but reportedly wanted to bring someone else on in order to focus on writing and producing the show domestically. Kane will travel to Budapest to oversee the physical filming of the series.

News of Kane’s hiring comes on the heels of Otto Bathurst (Robin Hood) boarding the project as a director and executive producer.