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SYFY WIRE Don Cheadle

WIRE Buzz: Space Jam 2 scores Don Cheadle; Sony nabs Malamander; more

By Christian Long
Don Cheadle Iron Man 2

Space Jam 2 has recruited the War Machine

Don Cheadle has joined the sequel to the 1996 Warner Bros. animated/live-action flick, per a report from Deadline. He'll join the previously announced Lebron James, though specifics on Cheadle's character are being kept under wraps. The original film starred Michael Jordan alongside the all-star roster of Looney Toons characters. The upcoming sequel will serve as a reboot of these animated icons. 

After taking over the role of Col. James Rhodes/War Machine from Terrence Howard in 2010's Iron Man 2, Cheadle has appeared in more than a half-dozen MCU films, including this year's mega-crossover Avengers: Endgame. He also provided the post-Barksian Modulator voice of Donald Duck in the Duck Tales series, and will star in the sci-fi drama Don't Look Deeper for the short-form streaming service Quibi.  

Next up, Deadline reports that Sony has emerged victorious in an eight-way bidding war for the rights to The Malamander

The YA novel comes from author Thomas Taylor, and follows Herbert Lemon,who returns lost things to their owners for the Grand Nautilus Hotel. His routine goes sideways after he's tasked with returning a lost little girl. 

Despite the fierce competition, Malamander isn't slated for a U.S. release until September 10, though it was released in the U.K. earlier this year. It's the first book in a planned series from the author, so it's possible Sony is eyeing another potential film franchise. 

Along with being an author, Taylor also illustrated the U.K. cover of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Finally, those record-breaking Stranger Things 3 viewership numbers have now been confirmed by Nielsen.

The longtime stalwart of viewership tallying, Nielsen started gathering streaming data from set-top boxes, smart TVs and other connected consoles back in 2017. According to Variety, the service tallied 26.4 million unique viewers in the U.S. over its first four days online — a 21% increase over the second season and the highest numbers since Nielsen started paying attention to them. 

Nielsen's metrics have limitations, since they don't count streaming on phones or tablets, or in any country outside the U.S. — but they do correspond with the numbers Netflix released earlier this week

The third season of the widely-loved '80s-set sci-fi series ended on a cliffhanger of sorts, and if the show ends up with a fourth season, creators Matt and Ross Duffer already know where it'll be going