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WIRE Buzz: Uncharted readies filming; Archie Comics launching new Stan Lee titles; New-Gen casting
After ditching half a dozen directors and weathering a pandemic on its long journey to production, the Tom Holland-starring film adaptation of Naughty Dog’s hit video game series Uncharted has actually begun on the road back towards filming.
The Spider-Man star broke the news by posting a picture of his set chair (emblazoned "Nate" for character Nathan Drake) on Instagram along with the caption “Day one.” Director Ruben Fleischer is still moving towards production on the treasure hunter’s origin story, but sources say that filming is not yet underway.
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This is actually the second “Day one” Uncharted has had, as the first time they tried to start filming in Berlin, they were shut down by the safety measures aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus. Now, four months later, they’re getting a second run at things.
The last time the film’s script saw a draft over its rocky production, it was courtesy of Iron Man’s Art Marcum and Matt Holloway — a pair that certainly have experience with origin stories. After those like Shawn Levy and Travis Knight left the project, Fleischer has stuck around to show how Nathan Drake (Holland) got his start alongside his mustachioed and cigar-chomping mentor Sully (Mark Wahlberg).
The film also stars Antonio Banderas, Tati Gabrielle, and Sophia Ali.
Uncharted is scheduled to hit theaters on July 16, 2021.
Next, Archie Comics is expanding its oeuvre into the post-Marvel world of Stan Lee.
According to a release, the comic company behind plenty of books about the goings-on of Riverdale’s residents, is going back to its superhero origins thanks to the work of one of comics’ most famous creators. Stan Lee, who died in November 2018, left behind an impressive legacy at his beloved Marvel Comics but also created plenty outside of the comic juggernaut.
That other work, under the umbrella of Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment, is what this new deal is all about: creating a comic superhero universe from Lee’s non-Marvel work, like Superhero Kindergarten — a property that is already getting its own Arnold Schwarzenegger-voiced animated show at Amazon.
“I had the great pleasure of knowing Stan Lee and understanding his genius. Getting the chance to partner with Andy and Genius Brands to introduce an entire universe of Stan Lee ideas to the comic book and graphic novel marketplace is an opportunity we can’t pass up," Archie Comics CEO and Publisher Jon Goldwater said in a statement.
Lee’s IP is also being put to use by Genius Brands, which is consulting Batman franchise producer Michael E. Uslan on how to turn the comic legend’s works into multimedia projects. The end goal? A Stan Lee Universe based on “more than 100 original” creations.
Archie Comics’ Superhero Kindergarten comic does not yet have a release date or creative team.
Finally, a trio of genre up-and-comers are voicing a new sci-fi animated series.
Variety reports that New-Gen, an animated series based on the 2008 Marvel Comics series of the same name by J.D. Matonti, Chris Matonti, and Julia Coppola, has cast Finn and Nick Wolfhard alongside Anya Chalotra as its leads.
Chalotra recently broke out from The Witcher while the Wolfhard brothers are also Netflix staples (Finn on Stranger Things and Nick on The Last Kids on Earth). The series — showrun by Brent Friedman and co-written by Eugene Son — tells the story of teen twin superheroes in the midst of a nanotech war threatening the utopia of New-Gen.
That heady sci-fi looks to extend past the screen, as New-Gen plans on having an AR app that allows viewers to fight baddies with the nanotech-enhanced abilities of the series’ leads. “We intend to take you to a visual place never seen before in the futuristic utopia of New-Gen,” said J.D. Matonti. “Nanotech governs this rich world and the superheroes who dwell in it.”
New-Gen does not yet have a distributor.