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SYFY WIRE Pacific Rim

WIRE Buzz: Pyros ignites bidding war; Ne Zha becomes China's highest-grossing animated feature; more

By Christian Long
Ne Zha

The upcoming sci-fi flick Pyros has ignited something of a bidding war. 

The film will star A Wrinkle in Time's Reese Witherspoon, who will also produce alongside Dark Phoenix director Simon Kinberg, and is currently a sought-after property by several major studios, according to Deadline. Based on Thomas Pierce's short story Tardy Man, the film follows a group of augmented individuals who wear fire-resilient suits that are fused to their spines.

Their corporate-bankrolled purpose is to recover objects for wealthy people when their houses are burning. While they're forbidden from doing anything else, including saving people, one eventually decides to make an exception to this rule. It's a decision that has wide-spread repercussions. 

Pierce's Tardy Man was first published by The New Yorker last year and is the second short story of his to be optioned into a feature film. The other is Chairman Spaceman, which Kinberg also happens to be producing.

Next up, Ne Zha has overtaken Zootopia to become the highest-grossing animated film in China's history in only about a week's time.

The film opened last weekend in China, and since then it's taken in the equivalent to roughly $248 million, per Deadline. The online ticketing service Maoyan is reporting a 9.7 social score, even predicting that it could make more money at the Chinese box office than Avengers: Endgame did.

Written and directed by Yang Yuis, Ne Zha is China’s first 3D animated feature released in IMAX. The story is loosely based on an ancient myth about a deity's son who defies his fate and ends up becoming a defender of the innocent and all-around hero. So, a little bit like Nebula's arc in the MCU, albeit with less time travel.

Finally, an upcoming Pacific Rim ride will let guests feel what it's like in the driver's seat of a Jaeger.

Entertainment Weekly has reported that Legendary Pictures and Indonesia’s Trans Studio Cibubur theme park have teamed up to create Pacific Rim: Shatterdome Strike, an immersive, 20-minute amusement park ride based on Pacific Rim and its sequel, Pacific Rim: Uprising.

The ride itself takes place across four distinct sections during its runtime, putting the virtual Jaeger pilots face to face with three new Kaiju enemies. Attendees will take control of the skyscraper-sized weapon through a combination of 3D film sequences, practical effects, and an all-new ride vehicle.

Legacy Entertainment has been hired to design, produce, and direct portions of the ride, and is already promising it'll be an experience unlike any other.

"Trans Studio challenged us to create a dark ride experience unlike any other," said Eric Carnagey, an executive producer for the project at Legacy. "The result is one of the most unique theme park experiences in the industry today. No matter what park guests have seen before, they’ll be shocked by what we have in store for them at Pacific Rim: Shatterdome Strike."

Unfortunately, there's no opening date for Shatterdome Strike as of now, so you'll have to put off canceling the apocalypse (and your trip to Indonesia) for the time being.