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WIRE Buzz: Jeph Loeb to exit Marvel TV; James Wan's Malignant scares up release date; more

By Josh Weiss
Jeph Loeb

After nine years as Executive Vice President of Marvel Television, Jeph Loeb is expected to abdicate his role in the wake of Kevin Feige's promotion to the company's Chief Creative Officer.

Per The Hollywood Reporter, Loeb (who is working on a "transition plan") will announce his departure around Thanksgiving time late next month. In addition, the outlet purports that his decision to part ways with Marvel has nothing to do with Feige.

As head of Marvel TV, Loeb guided all of the Marvel Netflix series (Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, PunisherIron Fist, and The Defenders) to fruition. At other networks and streaming companies, he shepherded along shows like Runaways (Hulu), Legion (FX), Cloak & Dagger (Freeform), The Gifted (Fox), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC), and even the ill-fated Inhumans (ABC).

Jeph Loeb

Prior to his big role on the small screen, Loeb was already known for his well-crafted comic book writing at both Marvel and DC. For example, he wrote Batman: The Long Halloween in the 1990s with artist Tim Sale.

In his new role as COO, Feige will have a say in all of Marvel's various mediums: film, television, animation, and publishing. As a result, Marvel Television and Marvel Studios will no longer be separately-managed entities. More importantly, they can begin to overlap with one another, something that's about to happen via the projects in development for Disney+.

Over at Warner Bros., James Wan's secret horror project, titled Malignant, has landed a release date of August 14, 2020, writes Deadline.

Currently shooting in Los Angeles, the movie is Wan's buffer between Aquaman and production on Aquaman 2, which is expected to kick off in early 2020.

While we know next to nothing about Malignant's plot, we do know that it stars Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, George Young, Michole Briana White, Jake Abel, Jacqueline McKenzie and Ingrid Bisu. Bisu also co-wrote the script with Wan, who is a battle-worn veteran of the horror genre, having launched major franchises like Saw and Insidious.

James Wan Annabelle Comes Home premiere

Ever the busy bee, Wan is attached as executive producer on a number of genre projects, including television adaptations of the comic books known as Gideon Falls and Dylan Dog.

Based on Deadline's report, August 14, 2020 is the release date for three other big films: Sony’s Escape Room 2, Universal Bob Oedekirk-starring thriller Nobody, and Disney’s The One and Only Ivan.

And while we're on the topic of busy bee directors in Hollywood, THR brings news that Taika Waititi will executive produce the sci-fi thriller, Night Raiders. Now filming in Toronto, the project is directed by Danis Goulet and described as a "female-driven dystopian drama."

The official synopsis for Night Raiders (Goulet's feature-length directorial debut) is as follows:

"The indigenous sci-fi thriller portrays a military occupation that controls disenfranchised cities in post-war North America. In the film, children are property of the state and a desperate Cree woman joins an underground band of vigilantes to infiltrate a state children’s academy to get her daughter back."

Taika Waititi

Amanda Plummer, Elle-Maija Tailfeathers, Alex Tarrant, Brooklyn Letexier-Hart and Shaun Sipos co-star in the picture.

Currently basking in the release glow of Jojo Rabbit, Waititi has a jam-packed schedule ahead of him. The most prominent of his upcoming projects is Thor: Love and Thunder, which will see Natalie Portman's Jane Foster become Thor. Aside from that, he's also got Akira, Time Bandits, and Flash Gordon.