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WIRE Buzz: Bly Manor scares up Henry Thomas. Plus, new Primal trailer channels Samurai Jack

By Josh Weiss
Henry Thomas

Celebrate the close of Hump Day with another edition of WIRE Buzz!

We've got the latest bit of casting news for Bly Manor on Netflix. Or perhaps you're in the mood for a slice of cavemen taking down woolly mammoths with the help of a freakin' T. rex! No? Fine, how about LEGO's use of AI, braille, and audio instructions to help the visually impaired?

Learn all of this and more below ...

The second season of The Haunting of Hill House — titled The Haunting of Bly Manor — just nabbed another familiar face in the form of Henry Thomas, creator Mike Flanagan confirmed on Twitter.

"I'm beyond thrilled to announce that the inestimable, irreplaceable, invaluable Henry Thomas has joined the cast of THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR," wrote Flanagan, who also wrote and directed this fall's sequel to The Shining, Doctor Sleep. The writer/director/producer also promised that he'd be making even more Bly announcements over the next two days.

Thomas, perhaps best known for playing Elliott from Steven Spielberg's E.T., was a regular player in Season 1, taking up the post of Hugh Crain. In Season 2, however, he will portray a totally new character, though we know nothing yet about his fresh role. 

Since the Hill House approach is anthological, Bly Manor will be based not on a Shirley Jackson novel but on Henry James' The Turn of the Screw, a horror novella from 1898.

In addition to Thomas, Victoria Pedretti and Oliver Jackson-Cohen are also returning to the franchise, which looks to be shaping up as Netflix's answer to American Horror Story on FX.

The Haunting of Bly Manor is expected to premiere sometime in 2020.

In case you were feeling a little down, here's a brand-new trailer for Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal, which features a caveman stabbing a woolly mammoth in the eye as his pet T. rex chomps down on the Ice Age beast again and again. Feeling better yet?

While Tartakovsky has been known for directing all of the Hotel Transylvania films of late, the animator harkens back to his Samurai Jack roots with an Adult Swim series set during the dawn of time. Our main hero is a long-haired caveman who teams up with the aforementioned Terrible Lizard King (the last of its species) in order to survive a harsh, albeit majestic world.

Watch the new trailer:

Relying on breathtaking animation and atmosphere, Primal, it seems, will keep the dialogue (if there is any) to a minimum and let the beautiful imagery speak for itself much as Jack did.

Primal rises from the primordial ooze on Oct. 7, kicking off a special five-night premiere.

In an effort to make sure its products can be enjoyed by everyone no matter what, LEGO is using a combination of braille, audio instructions, and artificial intelligence to help visually impaired individuals use the company's famous building blocks.

"We believe children learn best about themselves, others and the world around them through play. A growing body of evidence supports that play is fundamental for children’s positive development and an essential way to develop the breadth of skills, such as critical thinking, creativity and collaboration, needed to thrive in today’s fast-paced world," reads LEGO's website, which states that the new technology was developed via a partnership of the LEGO Group, the LEGO Foundation, the Austrian Foundation for Artificial Intelligence, and members of the blind community. 

LEGO instructions for the blind

Inspired by the incredible efforts of blind LEGO fan Matthew Shifrin to make LEGOs available to those without sight, the totally free service utilizes special AI that, according to Gizmodo, can take a digital 3D model of a finished LEGO as well as its building instructions and make them accessible through a braille reader or voiced aloud on a smart device.

Right now, only four sets have companion instructions for the blind, but the ultimate goal is for all of LEGO sets to get them, too.