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WIRE Buzz: Practical Magic prequel; Harley Quinn BTS look; new Suicide Squad recruit

By Josh Weiss
Practical Magic Sandra Bullock Nicole Kidman

The WIRE Buzz machine never sleeps, so long as there's news to round up and break! In this lovely afternoon edition, enjoy the latest on a witch-centric project at HBO Max, a behind-the-scenes look at an upcoming DC Universe show, and the latest addition to James Gunn's Suicide Squad movie.

Perhaps attempting to emulate the success of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Charmed, HBO Max just put in an order for an hourlong pilot based on The Rules of Magic, a book by Alice Hoffman, Variety confirms. The novel serves as a prequel to Hoffman's 1995 novel, Practical Magic, which follows two witch sisters and was adapted for the big screen the same year as its publication with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman in the lead roles.

Taking place in New York City (circa 1960), Rules of Magic centers on three siblings — Franny, Jet, and Vincent Owens —   who discover that their abnormalities stem from the fact that they are descended from witches. The two girls grow up to be the aunts in Practical Magic, while their brother leaves "an unexpected legacy" behind.

Jessica Jones's Melissa Rosenberg will serve as writer and executive producer on the project.

HBO Max has also ordered Red Bird Lane, a psychological horror show targeted toward young adults. The story involves eight strangers terrorized at an isolated house.

Thanks to IGN, we've got a great behind-the-scenes look at the animated Harley Quinn series coming to DC Universe this fall. With testimonials from the cast and crew (including series lead Kaley Cuoco), you'll get even more pumped for this thing than you already are. We got to catch the first episode at this year's SDCC, and it was incredibly funny, clever, and yes, bloody.

Created and executive-produced by Justin Halpern, the show finds Harley becoming fed up with the Joker's mistreatment of her. Breaking up with the Clown Prince of Crime (voiced by Alan Tudyk), Harley decides to make a name for herself in Gotham, striving to outshine her ex and gain membership in the famed Legion of Doom. 

Lake Bell (Poison Ivy), Diedrich Bader (Batman), Jim Rash (Riddler), Tony Hale (Doctor Psycho), Christopher Meloni (Commissioner Gordon), Wanda Sykes (Queen of Fables), and Ron Funches (King Shark) are just a few members of the incredible ensemble voice cast.

Harley Quinn premieres on the DC Universe streaming platform this October. No solid date has been confirmed yet.

Casting news for James Gunn's Suicide Squad movie is still coming in hot and heavy. Today Deadline reports that German comedian/actor/DJ Flula Borg has boarded the project in a role that has yet to be disclosed. All we know is that he'll be playing "a love interest to one of the characters." Borg is known for Pitch Perfect 2 and The Good Place. He'll also be voicing a character in Trolls World Tour.

Flula Borg

Borg joins an already fit-to-burst cast that includes Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Viola Davis (Amanda Waller), Jai Courtney (Captain Boomerang), Joel Kinnaman (Rick Flag), Idris Elba, Storm Reid (daughter to Elba's character), David Dastmalchian (Polka-Dot Man), and Daniela Melchior (Ratcatcher). The comic book film will not be a direct sequel to director David Ayer's 2016 cinematic depiction of the villain-led team, but rather a reset of sorts.

Also written by Gunn, The Suicide Squad bashes its way into theaters with Harley Quinn's baseball bat August 6, 2021.