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WIRE Buzz: Disney+ canned Kevin Smith's Kingdom Keepers; Superman & Lois casts Lana Lang; more
Disney+ may have launched with a ton of content from the House of Mouse’s various vaults of intellectual property, but that means even more didn’t make the cut. One such series was one based on author Ridley Pearson’s The Kingdom Keepers series, which followed some teen Disney theme park hosts that fought off Disney villains (dubbed the Overtakers) at night. And best of all, the series was going to be written by renowned geek Kevin Smith. But things didn’t work out, as Smith recently himself explained.
Clarifying comments made on his Fat Man Beyond podcast, Smith tweeted out some details about the proposed Kingdom Keepers show:
“That was a blast to write 2 years ago. It was planned as one of the first shows to launch on what would become @disneyplus,” Smith wrote. “Then a new exec was put in charge of the app and he killed KK. Said we used too much @Disney IP in one project (every character in the park comes to life).”
With the amount of crossover needed for a true Kingdom Keepers series, it does sound like a bit of a logistical leap for Disney — especially if the company truly wants to meter out its characters in such a way that can maximize content. Disney+ launched back on November 12, 2019, so having writing finished two years ago truly would’ve made the project a potential launch project, which makes sense as Smith originally said he was working on it while The Mandalorian was gearing up...but some things just aren’t meant to be, even at Disney.
Smith, of course, bounced back and is currently showrunning the animated Masters of the Universe: Revelation show coming to Netflix.
Next, The CW’s upcoming Superman & Lois series is rounding out its supporting players. After announcing Dylan Walsh as General Lane (AKA Lois’ gruff dad), the show from from The Flash executive producer Todd Helbing has added another key player in the Superman-centric corner of the Arrowverse: Lana Lang.
Deadline reports that Emmanuelle Chriqui (The Knight Before Christmas, Thundercats) will join the cast as a series regular playing Lang — well, Lana Lang-Cushing in this iteration. She’ll assuredly have complex relationships with Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman and Elizabeth Tulloch’s Lois as a figure from Clark Kent’s past that stayed in Smallville.
Her character will rekindle her friendship with the man behind the superhero during “one of the most difficult periods in her life.” Usually played as one of Clark’s young romances and confidants, Lang has been played by Kristin Kreuk in Smallville and Annette O'Toole in Superman III.
No word on when Superman & Lois will begin production on its 13-episode first season, since its pilot production was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Finally, as many entertainment events either postpone to later dates or find online solutions to their planned extravaganzas (as SXSW has done with its Amazon deal), the insider world of video games is just taking the hit. The Electronic Entertainment Expo just won’t happen this year: E3 2020 is officially dead.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, this comes from a statement by the ESA, which confirmed that no online event would replace the canceled industry convention in June. E3 has been running yearly since 1995.
"Given the disruption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not be presenting an online E3 2020 event in June," the statement reads. "Instead, we will be working with exhibitors to promote and showcase individual company announcements, including on www.E3expo.com, in the coming months. We look forward to bringing our industry and community together in 2021 to present a reimagined E3 that will highlight new offerings and thrill our audiences."
In years past, E3 was an industry-only convention aimed at media and insiders, but in 2017 it opened up to the general public. Now, fans will have to wait until 2021 for a "reimagined" version while the gaming world looks for new ways to introduce its future.