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WIRE Buzz: Nickelodeon teams with Netflix; James Dean revivalists plan more CGI actors

By Josh Weiss
Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus

Following the positive reception to Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling and Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus, Nickelodeon has signed a multi-year deal with Netflix to produce family-friendly shows and films, the streaming giant announced today.

"Nickelodeon has generated scores of characters that kids love, and we look forward to telling wholly original stories that re-imagine and expand on the worlds they inhabit,” said Netflix vice president of original animation, Melissa Cobb, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to continue collaborating with Brian Robbins, Ramsey Naito, and the creative team at Nickelodeon in new ways as we look to find fresh voices and bring bold stories to our global audience on Netflix.”

At this time, Netflix already plans to release specials based on Nick properties like The Loud House and Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Loud House Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

“Nickelodeon’s next step forward is to keep expanding beyond linear platforms, and our broader content partnership with Netflix is a key path toward that goal,” added Brian Robbins, President of Nickelodeon. "The Nickelodeon Animation Studio is home to the world-class artists and storytellers behind some of the most iconic characters and shows ever made, and our head of Animation, Ramsey Naito, has been building on that legacy over the past year by ramping up development and production exponentially.  The ideas and work at our Studio are flowing, and we can’t wait to work with Melissa and the Netflix team on a premium slate of original animated content for kids and families around the world."

The whole James Dean controversy from last week will not stop the flow of dead actors rising from the grave and into the virtual space.

Today, Variety reports that CMG Worldwide, the company behind Dean's revival in Finding Jack, has teamed up with Observe Media to form Worldwide XR, a brand-new company that plans to ressurect even more deceased individuals for the purpose of movies, virtual reality, and augmented reality. 

"Influencers will come and go, but legends will never die,” Worldwide XR CEO Travis Cloyd told Variety in a statement, also hinting at more uses for Mr. James Dean down the road. “It’s disruptive. Some people dislike it. We will do our due diligence ... There is a lot more to come for James Dean. Think of it as James Dean 2.0."

James Dean

Worldwide XR holds the rights to the likenesses of more than 400 actors and athletes such as Bettie Page, Burt Reynolds, Andre The Giant, Lou Gehrig, and Maya Angelou.

When news broke of Dean's "involvement" in Finding Jack, there was widespread backlash in Hollywood from the likes of Chris Evans, Elijah Wood, and more. The project's director, as well as Dean's family, ending up responding to the uproar.

The Dawn, a paranormal horror film starring Stacey Dash (Sharknado: The 4th Awakens), has landed a distribution deal in the U.S. courtesy of Vertical Entertainment, Deadline has confirmed.

Set in the United States directly after WWI, The Dawn follows a young woman sent to live in a convent after her father murders the rest of her family. "As she matures, she comes to realize the same demons that plagued her father have followed her into the convent," reads Deadline's synopsis of the movie.

The Dawn Trailer #1 (2019) Jonathan Bennett, Stacey Dash Horror Movie HD

Brandon Slage (House of MansonCrossbreed) directed the feature.

The film, which co-stars Jonathan Bennett (Cake Wars), Devanny Pinn (Crossbreed) and Teilor Grubbs (Hawaii Five-0), will make its debut in America early next year.