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WIRE Buzz: Michael Biehn's Terminator PSA; Quibi launch data; The Others remake
A time-traveling protector of humanity has returned to give genre fans a timely warning. Michael Biehn, star of James Cameron’s The Terminator alongside Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger, has faced big threats before — but his recent pivot to tackling real-world problems should be appreciated by anyone quarantined inside.
Biehn tweaked one of his more impactful Kyle Reese speeches from The Terminator (warning Sarah Connor about the unfeeling, unrelenting nature of her pursuer) to instead be about the coronavirus. No longer in a car, the actor donned a makeshift mask only removed for maximum emotional impact. Social distancing was the order of the day.
Take a look:
In the film, Sarah just doesn’t get it up until this point. Reese explains the danger, the technology, and the timeline — he and the machine are from the future, and only one of them feels pain. In the clip, Biehn bends the speech’s cadence toward those not taking the coronavirus pandemic seriously. “It absolutely will not stop until we stay at home,” Biehn yells, before signing off with, “Kyle Reese — I’m out!”
Biehn only appeared in one theatrical Terminator (he was in a deleted dream sequence in T2), but has stayed very busy in the years since. He can next be seen in the second season of The Mandalorian on Disney+.
Next, there’s nothing like a stay-at-home order to get claustrophobic horror on the mind. Genre fans will therefore be pleased to know that the 2001 Nicole Kidman-starring, Alejandro Amenábar-helmed hit The Others has a remake in the works.
Deadline reports that Sentient Entertainment snapped up the remake rights to the critical and box-office hit about a haunted house and the twisty paranormal happenings within. It’s never good when a family can’t leave a house and the spooky reasons behind that containment have infinite potential. Now Sentient’s Renee Tab and Christopher Tuffin are set to produce a modern remake of the 1945-set original, which has already begun to turn heads at the top of the industry.
“I am honored to be able to work on my favorite horror film of all time, The Others, and to bring this reimagining to the big screen for new audiences,” said Tab. “It is almost eerie and uncanny how timely the themes are today: self-isolation, paranoia and fear, and of course the intense desire to protect our children and ourselves from harm. We look forward to unraveling the layers behind lead character Grace, whose pain and demons draw viewers into a truly compassionate journey.”
Will The Others remake provide another leading lady with a chance to go genre in a big way? Will it reinvent itself as a pandemic tale? It’s still in the early stages at this point, but The Others turns 20 next year, so that could be a milestone this remake is aiming to capitalize on.
Finally, short-form mobile video streamer Quibi launched this week, at a time when everyone's stuck at home watching streaming TV anyway. So how did the newcomer fare with a captive audience?
Variety took a look at the numbers, finding that the would-be competitor to Netflix and YouTube had a relatively small launch, with minimal impact on social media. On its launch day of April 6, Quibi earned only around 300,000 downloads and appeared in 46,554 tweets.
That's still a big jump from the entire month prior, which saw only 91,725 tweets about the service in total, but a far cry from Disney+ (which just passed 50M global subscribers), or even Apple TV+. Apple got 8.6x more tweets when it launched its streamer; Disney got 23x. And that's just for people who knew about it. Quibi’s Wikipedia page attracted 48,600 page views from curious would-be consumers on April 6 ... while that of Disney+ got almost 3x as many when it launched on Nov. 12. Of course, Disney and Apple bring a bit more name recongnition into the battle, so that's not a huge shock from the jump.
In fact, the only genre launch titles on the service (Most Dangerous Game, Murder House Flip) were beaten out in the social media game by 50 States of Fright, the horror series that doesn't launch until April 13. That was the only genre series that made it into the top 10 trending Quibi projects, with the rest focused on its celeb-heavy lineup of non-scripted shows.
Quibi is out now — and here's everything genre coming to the service.