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WIRE Buzz: Matt Damon back for Thor 4; Muppet Show coming to Disney+; Netflix passes 200M subscribers

By Josh Weiss
Matt Damon Thor Ragnarok

Thor: Love and Thunder has made a rather unexpected addition to its cast. Per Deadline, Matt Damon (yes, that Matt Damon) will appear in the film, which will mark the actor's second MCU appearance after he played a dramatized version of Loki in 2017's Thor: Ragnarok. Right now, it's unclear if he will reprise that cameo role or an entirely different character. Maybe we'll learn more about the hammy Asgardian thespian who was portratying the Norse God of Mischief for the real Loki's amusement, or perhaps director/co-writer Taika Waititi sees Damon as his lucky charm. Your guess is as good as ours.

The casting was reportedly confirmed to Deadline by none other than the Australian prime minister himself, Scott Morrison. “Hollywood superstar Matt Damon joining our homegrown talent to film such a major movie in [New South Wales] is a big win creating thousands of jobs for locals,” he told the outlet.

Damon and his family must undergo a two-week quarantine period before they can move freely about the country. Speaking with local media, the actor's immigration lawyer allegedly said: "Every aspect of the Damon family’s relocation and quarantine has been privately arranged and funded…their entry will in no way impact or reduce the number of spaces for Australians overseas waiting to return home nor create any burden to the Australian taxpayer whatsoever."

The actor, who plans to be in Australia for several months, added: “Australian film crews are world renowned for their professionalism and are a joy to work with so the 14 days of quarantine will be well worth it."

Inspired by The Mighty Thor comics by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman, Love and Thunder also stars Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Chris Pratt, Jaimie Alexander, and Christian Bale. Disney plans to release the movie into theaters on May 6, 2022. Waititi penned the screenplay with Jennifer Kaytin Robinson.

Waka! Waka! The Muppet Show is officially coming to Disney+ on Feb. 19, the streaming platform announced Tuesday morning. Created by the late Jim Henson, the family-friendly TV program ran on CBS for five seasons between 1976 and 1981. Until now, Seasons 4 and 5 have never been released on home entertainment.

"It's going to be great to welcome back longtime fans, and to give a new generation of fans a chance to see how we got our start, how Miss Piggy became a star and so much more,” Kermit the Frog said in a statement (he declined to comment on whether it's gotten any easier being green). “Today, I’m proud to say: ‘It’s time to play the music, light the lights and meet the Muppets on Disney+ tonight!’ And as for Statler and Waldorf, the two old guys in the balcony,  I can only add: ‘Sorry, guys, but….here we go again.”

The show's addition to Disney+ is the pièce de résistance for the library of Muppets content already available on the service, including films, shorts, and shows (like Muppets Now).

With the COVID-19 pandemic driving everyone indoors for the last ten-and-a-half months, Netflix was able to cross 200 million subscribers worldwide, effectively shattering fourth quarter expectations, according to a new report from Variety. The company is said to have added 8.5 million additional accounts in Q4; the total number of global subscribers now stands at a whopping 203.7 million. Even the revenue of $6.4 billion was slightly higher than Wall Street estimates of $6.3 billion.

Even the streamer beat out its own projections, as it expected to net "6 million global paid net adds for Q4 (down from 8.8 million in the year-prior quarter), after the streamer saw a pandemic-driven boom in the first half of 2020," adds Variety. "For the full year, Netflix gained 36.6 million streaming customers — its highest annual gain, beating its previous record of 28.6 million in 2018."

Things should continue to improve for Netflix, which, just last week, announced that it would be releasing a new movie every week for the remainder of the year.


It's comes as no shock that streaming is a very popular way to consume media right now. With so many theaters closed down or operating at limited capacity, audience members are looking for fresh content, whether it be television shows or movies. Warner Bros. saw the potential of the digital world in the age of coronavirus and made the unprecedented — and somewhat controversial — decision to give all of its 2021 films (nearly 20 new releases) a dual rollout in theaters and on HBO Max.