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WIRE Buzz: John Wick director to punch up fight scenes for Birds of Prey; Doom: Annihilation teases fresh hell; more

By Benjamin Bullard
Margot Robbie Harley Quinn Birds of Prey

Punching up Birds of Prey and teasing out Doom: Annihilation are just a couple of things on tap in this edition of WIRE Buzz.

First up, John Wick director Chad Stahelski is looking to punch up the upcoming Birds of Prey film—particularly its fight sequences. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the former stuntman turned filmmaker has been asked to oversee second-unit photography for Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) for Warner Bros. Stahelski will design new action scenes for the movie during reshoots. Director Cathy Yan will work with Stahelski on the new action shoots. 

Margot Robbie Prey reprises her role of Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad. Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Ewan McGregor also star.

Birds of Prey is eyeing a February 2020 release.

The countdown to Doom: Annihilation is ticking toward the straight-to-video film’s arrival at the gates of Hell this fall, and Universal Pictures has just shared a brief but frenzied teaser of what the next live-action movie to riff on one of gaming’s most iconic shooters will look like. 

Billed as an all-new story and not a direct sequel to 2005’s Doom, Annihilation will follow a team of space marines who’ve been dispatched to a Martian moon to defeat a menacing eruption of demons from a newly discovered portal — before the unholy infestation gets a chance to spread to Earth.

Based on the classic video game franchise, Doom: Annihilation introduces Lt. Joan Dark (played by Once Upon a Time and Atlantis actor Amy Manson), who must lead an elite squad of Marines in a battle against “an ever-growing horde of bloodsucking and soul-stealing beasts,” according to the studio. 

There’s definitely serendipity in the timing of the movie’s release. Directed by Tony Giglio (Timber Falls), Doom: Annihilation will arrive on Blu-ray and on-demand platforms on Oct.1 — just in time to whet our demonic appetites for Bethesda’s Nov. 22 launch of Doom Eternal, the gaming follow-up to 2016’s critically adored Doom.

Finally, Borderlands drives us crazy with them big ol’ ‘bots, so … let’s get ready to welcome Ice-T, for the first time, to the world of Pandora!

According to US Gamer, the erstwhile rapper and Law & Order: SVU star has signed on for a voice role in Borderlands 3, and we can’t think of anyone more suited to take on the game franchise’s gonzo swirl of post-apocalyptic, alien sci-fi and inspired lowbrow humor. According to the report, ’T will lend his signature pipes to bring life to a pissed-off teddy bear named Balex.

Why is Balex so upset? Well, he used to be a guy ... a guy with an important job as a ship’s navigator. But, because this is Borderlands, something happened involving computers, digi-structing, and AI ‘bots — and now his downloaded consciousness is trapped inside this scraggly, tattered plush toy. Balex reportedly has to be rescued by you, the player, after a T-rex swallows him whole, and from that point on, you’ve got Ice-T serving up a running commentary straight from the bear’s mouth for the duration of the mission.

It’s not as if we needed more reasons to be first in line to hop the next spaceship to Pandora, but props to Gearbox for giving us a new one anyway. Now we’re beyond ready to dive back into the Eridium-chasing vault hunt when Borderlands 3 arrives for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC (and, eventually, Google Stadia) beginning this Sept. 13.

Additional reporting by James Comtois.