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WIRE Buzz: Shang-Chi eyes production restart; Jason Momoa playing Frosty the Snowman; more
Per Deadline, Marvel is taking "careful steps" in the hopes of returning to Australia and getting the cameras rolling in Sydney by the end of July. All incoming crewmembers will be required to enter quarantine for a period of two weeks in accordance with government and film commission health protocols. If Shang-Chi can resume its shoot, it'll be the second Disney-owned project to get back to work after the Avatar sequels returned to New Zealand last month.
Production on The Legend of the Ten Rings kicked off in February of this year, but shut down in March when director Destin Daniel Cretton decided to place himself in isolation. He ended up testing negative for the virus, but by that time, all live-action sets had been placed on indefinite hold.
In early May, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said that there were "no projections" for when Marvel movies could start filming again. With theaters no longer open, Black Widow was forced to delay its opening (originally set for May 5) to early November, leading to an entire reshuffling of the Phase 4 schedule.
Written by Dave Callaham (Wonder Woman 1984), Shang-Chi co-stars Simu Lu, Awkwafina, and Tony Leung. The film is still scheduled to open in theaters May 7, 2021.
Deadline has confirmed that the DC star will voice holiday character Frosty the Snowman in a live-action/CGI hybrid project from Warner Bros. and Stampede Ventures. Jon Berg, Greg Silverman, and Geoff Johns are all producing, with Elf scribe David Berenbaum penning the script.
"From his role as a fearsome count in a land of ice and fire to the oceanic success we all had with Aquaman, it felt only right to realize Jason this time out of snow,” Berg said in a statement to Deadline.
"We know Jason’s [sic] as a true human being filled with love, compassion and a deep connection to ohana — all of which is the living spirit of X-mas and Frosty," added Silverman.
With his famous top hat, corn cob pipe, and broom, Frosty began as the subject of a classic Christmas song before making the jump to other forms of media, like a Rankin/Bass film in 1969.
As if the visuals in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse didn’t blow fans (and critics) away for Miles Morales’ first outing in Sony’s budding animated franchise, the upcoming sequel apparently will take the first film’s award-winning graphical innovations to a whole new level.
That’s the effusive view of co-producer Chris Miller, who’s taking to Twitter today to share some early hype for how the next installment already is evolving the first film’s groundbreaking, hand-crafted animation style. Whatever Sony’s cooking up, Miller says the animation technique for the next Spider-Verse is “going to make the first movie look quaint.”
That’s a huge vote of confidence from Miller, who along with Phil Lord and Amy Pascal is producing the Joaquim Dos Santos-directed next Spider-Verse entry. Into the Spider-Verse’s innovative visuals made waves when the first film released in 2018, earning the first movie and its production team a slew of awards, including the Oscar for Best Animated Feature.
With the Spider-Verse sequel delayed an extra six months by the coronavirus pandemic, who knows what the next film’s animators and CG artists may sling up with all that added time? The untitled followup to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse spins into theaters Oct. 7, 2022, as fans await fresh details on a separate live-action spinoff series.