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WIRE Buzz: Hulu moves forward with animated shows while stalling on Castle Rock

By James Comtois
Solar Opposites

First up in this Hulu-heavy edition of SYFY’s WIRE Buzz, the streaming giant is adding a bunch of new animated shows to its roster this year, some for kids, one that’s not.

During the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour at The Langham Pasadena, Hulu’s senior vice president of originals Craig Erwich announced the premieres of three new animated series for children in 2020: Madagascar: A Little Wild, TrollsTopia, and The Mighty Ones. Erwich also unveiled the premiere date for Solar Opposites, the new animated series co-created by Justin Roiland (Rick and Morty) and Mike McMahan (Rick and Morty, Star Trek: Lower Decks) that promises "a lot of high-concept deaths" (see the video at the end).

Madagascar: A Little Wild chronicles the adventures of Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, and Gloria the Hippo, who reside in their rescue habitat at the Central Park Zoo. TrollsTopia, part of the Trolls franchise, follows Poppy and other characters from the upcoming film Trolls World Tour. Finally, The Mighty Ones shows the adventures of a twig, a pebble, a leaf, and a strawberry as they live in an unkempt backyard belonging to a trio of equally unkempt humans whom they mistake for gods.

These shows are part of Hulu’s multiyear streaming deal with DreamWorks Animation to bolster the streaming service’s programming for children and will all premiere this year.

Meanwhile, Solar Opposites, an animated series most definitely not for kids, centers around a family of aliens who take refuge in middle America. All eight episodes of the series will debut on Hulu on Friday, May 8. 

Up next, we’ve got some potentially disappointing news for Castle Rock fans. Erwich told Deadline at the TCA winter press tour that a third season is still up in the air, as Hulu hasn’t made a final decision on whether to move forward with the anthology series inspired by the work of Stephen King.

“We have not made any further decisions on Castle Rock, people are still continuing to discover it,” Erwich said. “I thought Lizzy Caplan was revelatory in her portrayal of Annie Wilkes, it was a whole new take on the character, and it was very brave of her given what Kathy Bates has done [in Misery].”

Season 2 of Castle Rock centered around a younger version of Annie Wilkes from King’s novel Misery who’s forced to lay low in the fictional Maine town and the Merrill family patriarch, Reginald “Pop” Merril, who’s battling late-stage cancer.

Well, if it means anything, the folks at Hulu are “continuing to talk” about its supernatural teen thriller, Light as a Feather, which recently aired its second season. So there's that. 

And finally, Arrival and Bird Box scribe Eric Heisserer will produce an English-language version of the hit supernatural thriller from Paraguay, Morgue. Deadline is reporting that Heisserer will produce the film through his Chronology production company, which just signed a first-look deal with Paramount Pictures.

Based partly on real-world events leading to paranormal reports, the original version of Morgue was written, produced, and directed by Hugo Cardozo. The film opened in August and was the #1 film in Paraguay for two weeks.

Morgue centers on a freelance security guard who, after hitting someone with his car and fleeing the scene, is assigned to cover a night shift at the hospital, where he discovers the body of his victim in the morgue. Over the course of his night on the job, he becomes increasingly tormented by his guilt … or perhaps something more sinister.

Cardozo will serve as executive producer for the English-language version along with his producing partner, Guido Rud.