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WIRE Buzz: 'Earwig and The Witch' drops Coraline-y trailer; Army of the Dead prequel wraps; and Pennyworth S2
Based on the children's book of the same name by Diana Wynne Jones, the movie (first announced over the summer) was directed by Hayao Miyazaki's son, Goro Miyazaki, and brings to mind Laika's 2009 adaptation of Coraline, but add in some jammin' '60s-era rock.
Taylor Paige Henderson lends her voice to the titular Earwig, a rambunctious orphan who finds herself adopted by an evil witch known as Bella Yaga (Vanessa Marshall). Dan Stevens and Richard E. Grant co-star as the Yaga's talking cat, Thomas, and housemate (her husband perhaps?), The Mandrake. Kacey Musgraves ("Earwig's Mother"), Pandora Colin ("Matron"), Alex Cartañá ("Assistant Matron"), JB Blanc ("Mr. Jerkins"), Logan Hannan ("Custard"), Summer Jenkins ("Phyllis"), Vivienne Rutherford ("Sally"), Tom Bromhead ("Cook"), and Eva Kaminsky ("Assistant Cook") round out the rest of the cast.
Watch the trailer below:
Earwig marks Ghibli's second Wynne Jones adaptation after Howl’s Moving Castle. Studio co-founder Toshio Suzuki produced the project, which had input from Hayao himself.
The film will premiere on NHK in Japan next Thursday (Dec. 30) before making its way to North America — by way of GKIDS — in early 2021.
Announced in early September, the prequel (currently without a title) was written by Shay Hatten, who co-wrote Army's screenplay with Snyder and Joby Harold. Its plot revolves around the character of Ludwig Dieter (played by Matthias Schweighöfer, who also serves as director).
The main film, which follows a group of thieves attempting to pull of a Las Vegas casino heist in the middle of a zombie outbreak, still doesn't have a firm premiere date, despite the fact that filming wrapped last October. However, it is expected to arrive sometime in 2021.
Netflix is also developing Army of the Dead: Lost Vegas, an anime series centered around Scott Ward (played by Dave Bautista), leader of a rescue team in Sin City during the zombie outbreak. Christian Slater (Mr. Robot) and Joe Manganiello (Archenemy) are among the confirmed voice cast, which also includes Harry Lennix (The Blacklist), Anya Chalotra (The Witcher), Ross Butler (13 Reasons Why), Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical), Jena Malone (Antebellum), Yetide Badaki (American Gods), Christina Wren (Man of Steel), Monica Barbaro (The Good Cop), and Nolan North (Star Trek: Lower Decks).
Neither the prequel film nor the anime spinoff have fixed premiere dates.
There's a lot of slapping going on in a new 30-second teaser for the Pennyworth Season 2 episodes slated to air in March 2021. The sophomore outing of the Batman prequel series is heading to America, which means Lucius Fox (played by His Dark Materials' Simon Manyonda) and Arkham Asylum are finally entering the show's growing mythos.
While Season 2 will eventually feature a pregnant Martha Wayne (Emma Paetz), the plot begins with Thomas (Ben Aldridge) engaged to another woman. Even when Martha (née Kane) does get a bun the oven, there's no telling if it will be Bruce. However, one thing is certain: Thomas's engagement to that other women doesn't last.
“It’s very clear to us and to Martha that in this area alone, Thomas Wayne is a bit of a lamb,” executive producer Bruno Heller explained at NYCC back in October. “He was pressured into doing the conventional thing, and to that degree what Martha offers him is a whole life of unconventional freedom and liberation from the constrictions of the Wayne legacy, and the fiancée back in Gotham is definitely part of that old world that he knows he has to escape from at some point.”
Only two episodes remain for 2020 and both will debut on Epix this coming Sunday, Dec. 27. Episode 4 hints at Lucius's involvement with the title of "The Hunted Fox."