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SYFY WIRE Westworld

WIRE Buzz: The Eternals eye Kumail Nanjiani, Amazon signs Westworld creators, more

By Jacob Oller
Kumail Nanjiani

This WIRE Buzz tackles some of the biggest names in genre entertainment with a few dalliances into the underground — and what're superheroes and robots without a few unexpected surprises along the way?

First, news from the MCU. According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Eternals — the increasingly star-studded Marvel film helmed by Chloe Zhao — might have found its latest addition from a comedian who's not afraid to delve into other dimensions. Fresh off The Twilight Zone, Kumail Nanjiani is in negotiations to join the upcoming film — with his co-star in this Jack Kirby weirdness being Angelina Jolie, no less.

While the cosmic oddities and near-gods all have complexities dense even by comic book standards, a little comedy isn't out of place. Jolie's character has already been described as outgoing and comfortable among humans. Maybe it'll be somewhere between Men in Black and Mystery Men.

No news on Nanjiani's character or the film's production schedule, though it's expected to begin filming later this year.

Next, the creators behind one of the biggest names in prestige TV have switched allegiances. According to The Hollywood ReporterWestworld's Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan are ditching their robo-cowboy home of HBO and heading to Amazon after signing a nine-figure, four-year overall deal. That's a lot of cash.

But that doesn't mean the death of the The pair will remain as writers and EPs on the program "for the life of the show," according to sources. That means if Westworld is renewed beyond the upcoming Season 3 (which is currently in production), they'd stick around instead of leaving like a few other showrunners have in the past after swapping their overall deals.

The pair's next project, at least for Amazon, looks to be an adaptation of William Gibson's The Peripheral, which they've been developing with a script-to-series commitment.

Westworld's third season will likely air in 2020.

Finally, not everything can be a big name. Those big names have to come from somewhere, and TriStar is hoping they've found the place. The studio has bought a sci-fi pitch from Daniel Kunka, according to Deadline, that would adapt Christian Cantrell's short story Anansi Island. This female-fronted flick would be a thrillery island drama where a government project has gone horribly wrong. Or horribly right, which would be even worse.

The story is an ensemble plot that sees an entomologist protagonist and some soldiers (not quite Annihilation, but close) venture to the island and attempt to solve its mysteries — if they survive, of course. No word on when a director will become attached.