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WIRE Buzz: Priyanka Chopra boards super Netflix film, Marvel drops deets on new team

By Josh Weiss
Priyanka Chopra

Feeling a little sluggish on this glorious Hump Day? Try to ease your lassitude with another edition of WIRE Buzz!

In this roundup of genre news, you can learn about Robert Rodriguez's superhero project at Netflix, Marvel Comics' fresh new team, and how many actors from Avengers: Endgame topped the list of the world's highest-paid actors.

Priyanka Chopra (Quantico), Christian Slater (Mr. Robot), Pedro Pascal (Wonder Woman 1984), and Boyd Holbrook (The Predator) are teaming up with Alita: Battle Angel director Robert Rodriguez for a Netflix film about superheroes, the streaming company announced this week. Titled We Can Be Heroes, the movie (which is already in production in Texas) is being written, directed, and produced by the always-prolific Rodriguez.

YaYa Gosselin (The Purge) and Akira Akbar (Captain Marvel) Andrew Diaz, Andy Walken (The Kids are Alright), Hala Finley (Man with a Plan) Isaiah Russell-Bailey (SWAT), Lotus Blossom (Magic Max), Lyon Daniels (Patriot), Nathan Blair (Best. Worst. Weekend. Ever.), Sung Kang (Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift,Better Luck Tomorrow),Vivien Lyra Blair (Bird Box), Adriana Barraza (Dora and the Lost City of Gold) and Christopher McDonald (Wetlands) are also a part of the cast.

In terms of story, the plot will revolve around a group of aliens who kidnap the world's most powerful superheroes. With their parents gone, the heroes' kids must band together in order to save the planet. As the report astutely points out, the filmmaker is harkening back to his Spy Kids/Sharkboy and Lavagirl days for this feature, which is expected to be much more family-friendly than Sin City or Machete.

Not much else is known about We Can Be Heroes — the title most likely a reference to David Bowie's 1977 song "Heroes" — at this time.

A few days back, we reported on how Marvel was teasing a brand-new team, Doc Justice and the J-Team, that would follow in the footsteps of famous groups like the Avengers and Defenders. Well, we finally have more details on the team, and it turns out that the group is actually the Runaways under a shiny new wrapper.

Writer Rainbow Rowell conceived of Doc Justice and the J-Team, who are being brought to life via the artwork of Andrés Genolet.

"We started mapping out the latest arc of Runaways, issues #25-30, and we thought about one of the things that this series does best is take a classic superhero comic idea and subvert it, do a Runaways spin on it," said editor Nick Lowe in a statement on the Marvel website. "From classic moments in the original Brian K. Vaughan-Adrian Alphona run to stuff in the more recent issues, so much of this series is about subverting those superhero expectations and ideas. And something that superhero comics do is a big costume change or a name change, and Rainbow had the idea for Doc Justice and the J-Team — this venerable Los Angeles hero who's without his support team. And maybe the Runaways become that! So what we've got coming up is Doc Justice recruiting the Runaways, and they've never done anything like this before."

Doc Justice and the J-Team Runaways Marvel

"This arc is gonna go places you will not expect it to go," added Lowe. "If there's one thing you know about Runaways, it's that it will surprise you at every turn."

The fun begins Sept. 25 in Runaways #25.

Today, Forbes published its ranking of the highest-paid actors in the world (between 2018 and 2019), and it's not surprising to see that a good chunk of the Avengers: Endgame cast topped the list. Can you guess who they are? We'll give you a 5-second head start. 5 ... 4 ... 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

Chris Hemsworth ($76.4 million), Robert Downey Jr. ($66 million), Bradley Cooper ($57 million), Chris Evans ($43.5 million), and Paul Rudd ($41 million). How crazy is that? MCU actors took up half of the entire list, another sign of just how well the Marvel Studios formula works. While Evans and Downey are retired from the franchise, the rest of the Marvel actors can still return in Phase 4, primed to make a lot more moolah.

Avengers: Endgame group shot

The report also counted Will Smith ($35 million), Jackie Chan ($58 million), Adam Sandler ($57 million), and, of course, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson ($89.4 million), who topped the list.

Johnson continues to kill the game with hit after hit, the most recent one being the first Fast & Furious spinoff, Hobbs & Shaw. He'll return to play Dr. Smolder Bravestone this December in Jumanji: The Next Level. He's also working on his superhero debut in a Black Adam solo film.