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WIRE Buzz: Mark Hamill's Fright Night; Danny Elfman's 'Happy' new song; Suicide Squad spinoff
With Election Day just around the corner, Friday night will be transforming itself into Fright Night, as the cast of the 1985 horror-comedy — which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year — reunites for a virtual live script reading to raise money for the Michigan Democratic Party.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, they'll also be joined by some friends from a galaxy far, far away, Mark Hamill (The Rise of Skywalker) and Rosario Dawson (The Mandalorian), and one from Earth itself: self-proclaimed superfan Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville).
The trio will join Fright Night actors Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse, Stephen Geoffreys, Jonathan Stark, Dorothy Fielding, Art Evans and Chris Hendrie, who are all confirmed for the reading. The event will feature a post-show Q&A which be moderated by Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel.
Written and directed by Tom Holland (not of Marvel and Uncharted fame), Fright Night tells the story of a teen who discovers that his new neighbour is a vampire, prompting him to turn to a TV actor with experience with the undead in order to learn how to survive.This isn't the first cast reunion taking place to help raise funds for democratic parties in various swing states. The cast of The Princess Bride also did a virtual live reading a few weeks ago, while the stars of the iconic Halloween classic Hocus Pocus will be holding their own fundraiser to benefit the New York Restoration Project.
The Fright Night virtual live script reading will start at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, Oct. 30.
It may not be Halloween Day just yet, but composer and frequent Tim Burton collaborator Danny Elfman is already bringing the holiday spirit in his latest track.
Titled "Happy," the song is a solo pop number featuring Elfman himself on vocals. It marks the first piece of new music he's released since the breakup of his band, Oingo Boingo.
And of course, because it can't be a Halloween treat without any tricks (so to speak), Elfman's also released a creep-tastic accompanying music video (below) which features an animated image of his face that lives squarely in the uncanny valley as its features slowly begin to stretch and contort into strange and surreal imagery as the song continues.
"I originally wrote 'Happy' to perform at Coachella 2020," the musician said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly, discussing his planned set which was cancelled COVID-19's continued global presence. "It was written to be an absurd anti-pop song, designed to begin as a very simple pop tune that degrades into something more subversive. The cynical nature of the lyrics echo how I feel about living in a semi-dystopian world turned upside down."
Elfman has long been a figure associated with Halloween, a fact cemented by his work on the Halloween classic The Nightmare Before Christmas, for which he wrote the music and lyrics, as well as providing the singing voice of its spooky lead Jack Skellington himself.
"Halloween has always been my Big Night," Elfman continued in his statement. "As a child, there was no competition. Coincidently, in my earlier band Oingo Boingo, our Halloween shows became special events and our biggest shows of the year. And double coincidently The Nightmare Before Christmas also became a special live concert Halloween event, which became more successful than I'd ever dreamed possible. This really meant a lot to me as the character of Jack Skellington, who I related to quite closely, has for many years been a very special part of my life."
And finally, the small-screen arm of the DC Extended Universe continues to grow stronger as HBO Max's upcoming Peacemaker TV series is adding another name to its line up straight from the roster of The Suicide Squad itself.
Deadline is reporting that Steve Agee (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2), who will play John Economos in the James Gunn-directed film, will be reprising his role for the show which stars John Cena as the titular character, a hero who wants peace at all cost — no matter how many people he needs to kill to get it.
Fans will remember that Economos is not only the warden of Belle Reve Federal Penitentiary, which once housed several of the characters who make up the team before becoming their official headquarters, but he also serves as an aide to their government agent boss Director Amanda Waller (Viola Davis, returning to the role she also held in the 2016 film.)
With Gunn directing both Suicide Squad and episodes of Peacemaker — which he will also be writing all eight episodes of — there is a chance that other characters from the film's universe might make an appearance on the series; including Agee's other character in the movie, King Shark.
"And we can't wait to put John Economos on the small screen." Gunn tweeted in response to Agee's response of his character now joining the TV series. "So much more cool casting news to come! #Peacemaker"
Warning for NSFW language.
Created by Joe Gill and Pat Boyette, Peacemaker first appeared in the comic series Fightin' 5, which was originally owned by Charlton Comics before getting roped into DC's stable of characters. The first incarnation of the character was a pacifist diplomat named Christopher Smith, who also happened to be the son of a Nazi death camp commandant. He would go on to found the Pax Institute (Latin for "Peace"), which dedicates itself to fighting dictators and warlords. No news if this is who Cena will be playing yet.
The Suicide Squad is currently set to open in theatres on Aug. 6, 2021. Peacemaker is yet to receive a start date.