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SYFY WIRE The Old Guard

WIRE Buzz: Old Guard, Cobra Kai dominate Netflix; Snow White retelling 'Poisoned' heading to big screen; more

By James Comtois
The Old Guard

First up in this evening edition of WIRE Buzz, Netflix has revealed that its subscribers want genre films and television more than anything else the streamer has to offer, or at least they did last quarter. In its recently released earnings report, the streaming giant revealed that its most watched film was the Charlize Theron-led sci-fi actioner The Old Guard, garnering 78 million views in its first four weeks. 

Other original genre films have drawn in similar numbers. The company revealed that Project Power, starring Jamie Foxx, clocked 75 million views in the same timeframe. And the higher-ups at Netflix are expecting Enola Holmes, starring Millie Bobby Brown and Henry Cavill, to get 76 million households to watch within its first four weeks of being on the streaming service. 

Meanwhile, Cobra Kai continues to sweep the leg of other shows, being the streamer’s most popular series (hey, people loved it when it was originally on YouTube) with 50 million accounts tuning in to see the further adventures of middle-aged Danny and Johnny. The Karate Kid sequel series beat out Ratched (48 million views), The Umbrella Academy (43 million), and Lucifer (38 million).

And clearly Netflix plans to keep the party going, as it assured shareholders in a letter that production on future seasons of Stranger Things, The Witcher, and Cobra Kai are all underway. Clearly the company knows that genre fare is what’s keeping the lights on.

Speaking of genre fare, Endeavor Content has acquired the film rights of another YA novel by Jennifer Donnelly that revamps a classic fairy tale. This time, it's Poisoned, Donnelly’s feminist take on the tale of Snow WhiteDeadline is reporting that Lynette Howell Taylor’s 51 Entertainment and Bruna Papandrea’s Made Up Stories will produce.

Described as “an empowering re-imagining” of the classic story, the Scholastic novel follows a girl named Sophie after she’s sent off into the forest with the queen’s huntsman. Upon surviving an attempt on her life with the help of seven strangers, Sophie realizes that the jealous queen may not be to blame, and she may be facing a far greater foe.

Disney Snow White

Poisoned marks the second novel by Donnelly that’s been optioned for adaptation by Endeavor and the producers; the first being her 2019 novel Stepsister, a feminist take on Cinderella. Emma Frost has finished a script for that film, and the producers are in discussions with possible directors. This is all part of a plan to create a universe of films and TV shows based on Donnelly’s feminist retellings of venerable fairy tales, where the main characters are badass heroines rather than weak victims awaiting rescue from handsome princes.

Deadline has quoted Donnelly as describing Howell Taylor and Papandrea as “two extraordinary women with an immense passion for telling stories that challenge us, inspire us, and forever change us,” before adding: “Poisoned’s fierce, formidable, feminist characters are in incredibly talented hands, and I’m so excited to follow them on their journey from the page to the screen.”

Finally, Amazon Studios has picked up a sci-fi anthology series from the creator of the streaming giant’s hit series Hunters, Deadline is reporting.

The as-yet untitled series from writer David Weil will tell seven standalone character-driven stories in which each character will embark upon a journey “in an uncertain future.” And although each episode will tell separate stories, they’ll all follow the theme of showing how our humanity connects us all even when we feel most alone. 

The series, which is part of an overall deal that Weill signed with Amazon Studios in November, is scheduled to premiere on Prime Video sometime in 2021.