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WIRE Buzz: NASA honors Hidden Figure; Cyberpunk: Edgerunners anime; and In Memoriam on HBO Max

By Josh Weiss
Mary Jackson NASA

Honoring the indelible contributions made to the United States space program by African American scientists, NASA has named its Washington, D.C. headquarters after Mary W. Jackson. Starting her career as a research mathematician (or "human computer"), Jackson worked in the segregated West Area Computing Unit at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

She eventually studied to become an engineer, receiving a special dispensation to take classes with white students at the then-segregated Hampton High School. Jackson finished her studies and became NASA's first black female engineer in 1958.

Check out the announcement below:

Jackson, who passed away in 2005, was played by Janelle Monáe in 2016's Hidden Figures.

The Oscar-nominated film chronicled the struggles faced by NASA's black female scientists and engineers in the early 1960s. Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer portrayed Katherine Johnson Dorothy Vaughan respectively. All three of the women featured in the movie have now sadly passed away; Johnson died earlier this year at the age of 101.

Netflix has teamed up with CD Projekt Red and Studio Trigger for Cyberpunk: Edgerunners. Expected to debut in 2022, the brand-new anime series will take place in the same universe as CD Projekt Red's upcoming open world video game, Cyberpunk 2077 (out this fall).

The show will tell "a standalone, 10-episode story about a street kid trying to survive in a technology and body modification-obsessed city of the future," says the release. "Having everything to lose, he chooses to stay alive by becoming an edgerunner—a mercenary outlaw also known as a cyberpunk."

The team at CD Projekt Red has been working on Edgerunners for the last two years. Its creative team is made up of vets from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and 2077.

Trigger is animating the series, with Hiroyuki Imaishi (Gurren Lagann, Kill la Kill, Promare) serving as director. The rest of the crew includes: assistant director Masahiko Otsuka (Gurren Lagann, Promare); creative director Hiromi Wakabayashi (Kill la Kill); character designer Yoh Yoshinari (Little Witch AcademiaBNA: Brand New Animal); and Yuto Kaneko (Little Witch Academia). 

Yoshiki Usa (SSSS.GRIDMAN, Promare) and Masahiko Otsuka (Gurren Lagann, Kill la Kill, Promare) adapted the screenplay. Akira Yamaoka (Silent Hill series) is scoring and composing the soundtrack.

Cyberpunk Edgerunners

"We are so excited to finally reveal that we are working on an anime in the Cyberpunk world," Adam Badowski, Cyberpunk 2077 Game Director and CD Projekt Red Head of Studio said in a statement. “We’ve devoured just about all the cyberpunk fiction there is to watch, read, and play; it’s a genre that leaves so much room for creativity, and has had such a strong influence on us. Cyberpunk: Edgerunners is our love letter to cyberpunk as a whole, and to stories told in animated form."

"We at Trigger are thrilled to work with CD Projekt Red to create a brand-new story set in the world of the highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077. It’s a huge challenge to adapt this universe into an anime, but we are eager to face it head-on,” added Masahiko Otsuka, CEO, Studio Trigger.

"I’ve always loved cyberpunk as a genre, but always found it difficult to create as an original work. This is why I’m very excited to be working with CD Projekt Red on this project," concluded Imaishi. "It won’t be easy to please both game and anime fans, but I love a challenge, and I’m looking forward to the production. We’ll do our best to meet and exceed expectations."

Set in a city obsessed with body modification, Cyberpunk 2077 goes on sale Thursday, Nov. 19 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It'll eventually become available on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X as well.

According to Deadline, HBO Max is developing a dystopian drama series, In Memoriam, from  playwright Charley Miles and Flatliners remake director Niels Arden Oplev. Buccaneer Media and Participant Media are both producing.

The show is said to take place in a future when humans have lost the ability to store long-term memories and must rely on government-issued memory chips. Things kick into high gear when a 17-year-old girl named Somalia finds her mother dead on the living room floor. Making an illegal decision, Somalia implants her mother's chip into her own brain and sets off down a path of self-discovery, one littered with "digital militants and authoritarian dispute." Somalia's journey leads to a vast conspiracy involving her mother's past and the dark origins of the memory chip's invention.

"In Memoriam explores what happens when something that is so essential to the human condition becomes commoditized," Miles said in a statement to Deadline. "It’s about power and politics, but we navigate this anarchic minefield with a 17-year-old girl as our beacon."

Anna Burns, Development Producer at Buccaneer Media, described the project as "explosive TV," while Participant CEO David Linde said, "it explores socially relevant issues in unexpected and exciting ways."