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WIRE Buzz: 'Clifford The Big Red Dog' barks at first teaser; Night Gallery auction; & Monster Hunter

By Josh Weiss
Clifford The Big Red Dog

Pop culture's biggest canine has arrived in the first teaser trailer for Paramount's Clifford The Big Red Dog movie.

It doesn't provide much in the way of plot; rather, it leans heavily into this week's Thanksgiving mindset by giving thanks for "the pets whose love got us through the year." We're treated to a selection of different dogs, which serves as a sense of scale for the big kahuna himself, Clifford, who is basically just a golden retriever puppy that's been tinted red. "Next year, get ready to love even bigger," says the narrator.

Check it out below:

Based on Norman Bridwell's kids' books of the same name, Clifford the Big Red Dog was helmed by Wild Hogs director Walt Becker. Darby Camp stars as Emily Elizabeth, a young girl who is given a red puppy by a magical animal rescuer (John Cleese). When she wakes up the next morning, Emily finds that her adorably crimson puppy is now 10-feet-tall (not exactly the best size for a small New York City apartment). This miraculous growth spurt kicks off a Big Apple adventure that Emily shares with her fun, yet impulsive, uncle Casey (Jack Whitehall). Will they be able to contain the massive hound before Emily's singer mother (Sienna Guillory) gets back from her business trip?

Brian Oliver, Bradley J. Fischer, Valerii An, Brian Bell, Caitlin Friedman, Deborah Forte, Lisa Crnic, Jordan Kerner, and Iole Lucchese  serve as producers. Written by Jay Scherick & David Ronn and Blaise Hemingway, the film bounds into theaters sometime next year.

A painting of Joan Crawford commissioned for the pilot episode of Rod Serling's Night Gallery recently sold at auction for an impressive $118,750 — the most money ever paid for a piece of artwork from the short-lived anthology series.

The painting, done up by Universal staff artist Jeroslav Gebr, was used for the very second segment the show ever aired: "Eyes." Helmed by a young and pre-Jaws Steven Spielberg, the tale starred Crawford as a rich and callous Manhattanite, who pays for an experimental surgery to restore her sight for a limited period of time. She gets her wish, only for a massive blackout to ironically hit New York City at the same time.

The Crawford portrait was lost for several decades before it was found in an Oregon storage unit belonging to a family, whose father was a TV executive in the 1960s and '70s. The original piece is included in the upcoming Art of Darkness book about the pieces that opened Night Gallery's different segments.

Felicitations to our fellow Art Lovers. As you may have heard, the original NIGHT GALLERY painting "Eyes" was offered...

Posted by Rod Serling's Night Gallery - The Art of Darkness on Wednesday, November 25, 2020

"I vividly remember my dad launching the Night Gallery and Joan Crawford would call him frequently, apparently a perfectionist and as we now know, a great deal more," Anne Serling, Rod Serling's daughter, recently told SYFY WIRE. "It was very clear because my dad’s office was in the backyard, but his office phone would also ring in the house and he’d roll his eyes when she would call again, but she really, I guess, wanted to get her performance right spot-on and I guess she did. He’d become very frustrated with [Joan] and it’s interesting to me now, knowing what I know about Joan Crawford, but that’s neither here nor there."

"She gave Steven a lot of trouble to get there, but I rank it among her best performances … she was given a rich character to play and she gave it shadings and shadows that even Rod might not have seen, so it’s quite good," added Art of Darkness co-author Scott Skelton.

"That pilot is really the gold standard of the overall Night Gallery experience. So much talent socked in there. But if you read all the books and all that, I think [Joan] definitely gave one of the best performances of her later career by far," said Taylor White, publisher of the book.

Rod Serling Night Gallery

White added that they did reach out to Spielberg, who got his start in "the biz" by directing episodes of Night Gallery and Columbo.

"When we were in full production, he was in full production on the West Side Story remake. We feel like we got his blessing, but he’s a really hard guy to pin down on something like this," White added. "There are some great YouTube interviews with him online where he talks about his experience on the show, but it was a white knuckle ride for him. I can’t imagine he looks back on it as this golden experience. He was 20-something years old, and he’s got all these hardcore Hollywood guys who’d been in the business for decades breathing down his neck. You can’t even imagine the pressure he was probably under. And throw in Joan Crawford, that's like a human tornado. So who knows? I think he talks about it with fondness, but not as if it was the good ol' days. Put it that way."

To celebrate the upcoming theatrical release of Sony's Monster Hunter film adaptation, Capcom will be incorporating some big screen elements into the video game upon which the feature is based. Starting Friday, Dec. 4 players of Monster Hunter World: Iceborne will be able to embark on new quests inspired by the — ahem — monster-sized Hollywood production.

"In the special two-part Event Quest, hunters can go head-to-head with the fearsome Black Diablos depicted in the film during the initial solo quest, before attempting to overcome the massive Greater Rathalos in the second portion," teases the official press release. "Hunters must prepare to fight tooth and claw, as these quests will only be available for players who have achieved Master Rank. For those valiant enough to succeed, items like special gear, layered armor, new titles, a new background and Guild Card poses will become available."

Right now, users can access a pair of new trailers that offer up "a behind-the-scenes look at Milla Jovovich bringing her Monster Hunter character Artemis into Monster Hunter World: Iceborne, and a sneak peek at the upcoming collaboration content," adds the release. This coming Friday (Nov. 27), Iceborne players will be able "to claim one limited time item pack filled with useful items as a log-in bonus to celebrate the upcoming film."

You can get more info on the expansion here.

Written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, the movie co-stars Milla Jovovich, Tony Jaa, Tip "T. I." Harris, Meagan Good, Diego Boneta, Josh Helman, Jin Au-Yeung, and Ron Perlman. Monster Hunter arrives in theaters Christmas Day (Friday, Dec. 25). It's one of the few big releases to open in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out the trailer right here and then head to the gallery below for a first look at the movie-game crossover.