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SYFY WIRE Doug Liman

WIRE Buzz: New superhero series from Doug Liman; The Shining’s creepy Jim Carrey deepfake; more

By Benjamin Bullard
Film director and producer Doug Liman

Digital short-form streaming platform Quibi has just nabbed yet another big-name director for its Lighthouse lineup of original movies and shows, landing Jumper and Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman to helm a new superhero series titled Crazy Talented.

Via The Hollywood Reporter, Liman has signed on to direct the new show, which will be based on a short story by Steven Gould — the same author whose Jumper Liman adapted into the 2008 sci-fi movie of the same name. 

Crazy Talented will reportedly follow the world-protecting exploits of a cast of psychiatric patients “convinced by a charismatic leader that their defects are actually extraordinary ‘talents.’” Whether they’re right or wrong about their special gifts, they’ll be tasked with defending Earth from “the world's most devastating threat — alien weapons falling into the wrong hands and obliterating life as we know it.”

Liman joins a growing list of A-list creators who’ve hopped on board the Quibi (short for “quick bites”) bandwagon. Founded by former Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, the platform already has inked Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro, Catherine Hardwicke, Sam Raimi, Jason Blum, and more to helm separate short-form projects — many of them firmly rooted in science fiction and horror. 

There’s no casting or release date information for Crazy Talented, but it likely won’t debut before April of 2020. That’s when Quibi is expected to go live, with a base subscription cost of $4.99 per month.

Heeere’s Johnny! …But not like you remember. You’ve got to see the deepfake clip below to fully appreciate just how jarring it is to expect The Shining's Jack Nicholson and get…Jim Carrey. Be warned, though: Once you’ve seen Nicholson’s voice paired with Carrey’s face peeping through the Overlook Hotel’s axe-shattered door, you’ll definitely have a hard time unseeing it.

If your first reaction was laughter, only to be immediately replaced by a sense of horror almost worthy of the Stanley Kubrick classic itself, you’re not alone. The ripple effects of deepfakes, which can digitally transform anyone’s likeness into pretty much anyone else’s, are getting increasing scrutiny of both the silly and the serious sort, as the trend targets every corner of the internet from politics to porn.

Created by a tech-savvy fan who posts at the Ctrl Shift Face YouTube channel, the Shining clip is just one of several similar movie fake-outs, including a character swap that puts Sylvester Stallone into Ah-nold’s iconic Terminator role.

The more we keep hearing about the upcoming James Wan-produced Mortal Kombat movie, the more we warm to the idea that maybe there’s hope yet for films based on video games — especially when they come with a full complement of killer moves. 

Few Mortal Kombat fans will be anything but stoked by the newest update to the Simon McQuaid-directed film, which screenwriter Greg Russo revealed via Twitter not only will be R-rated, but will include more or less the same style of epic on-screen fatalities that video gamers have long taken for granted. 

That’s a definite shift from the two previous PG-13 movies in the Mortal Kombat film-verse, 1995's Mortal Kombat and 1997's Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. It’s also enough to tide us over as we await more casting news (though we already know that The Raid’s Joe Taslim will play Sub-Zero) ahead of the movie’s March 5, 2021 release.

Finally, Konami has unveiled not only a release date, but the full lineup of retro game titles that’ll come bundled with its much-buzzed revival of the throwback Turbografx video game console. 

The company revealed on its website, as well as via the YouTube clip below, that the post-millennial version of the classic TurboGrafx machine will hit U.S. shores with nearly 50 games. A handful were announced along with the new TurboGrafx-16 mini’s first reveal last month, but the complete lineup is a hit parade of 16-bit titles featuring Gradius, Bonk’s Revenge, Alien Crush, Dungeon Explorer, Neutopia, and, yes, R-Type

Buying the mini will mean heading over to Amazon, because Konami also revealed the console will be exclusively available via the web retail giant. Pricing for U.S. models hasn’t yet been revealed (the Japanese version will cost around $100), but at least we know when to mark our calendars: The TurboGrafx-16 mini blips onto Amazon beginning March 20 of next year.