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WIRE Buzz: Quibi is dead; Clive Barker wins back Hellraiser rights; and Mission: Impossible 7 pics
It's time to pour one out for Quibi, folks. According to Variety, the short-form streaming service created by Jeffrey Katzenberg is now officially deceased. As of today (Dec. 1), subscribers will no longer be able to access the platform, which rolled through $1 billion in financing. Users will find that the app remains on their devices until they delete it, but an error message pops up if they try to sign in or access any content.
"I think he will go off the grid for a while to lick his wounds," an anonymous media executive told Variety, referring to Katzenberg (former Chairman of Walt Disney Studios and a co-founder of DreamWorks SKG). “This one must be very painful for him, because it was so high profile — and it failed so fast."
Quibi announced its plans to shut down in late October, just six months after it launched. The service couldn't have chosen a worse debut window (early April 2020), which coincided with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. For months, Katzenberg and Whitman insisted that Quibi's poor performance was a direct result of the global health crisis.
"We continue to believe that there is an attractive market for premium, short-form content,” Whitman said in October. “Over the coming months, we will be working hard to find buyers for these valuable assets who can leverage them to their full potential.”
Certain Quibi shows — such as Liam Hemsworth's Most Dangerous Game — are currently looking for new homes.
Pinhead and the Cenobites are now back in the possession of Clive Barker. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the famed horror writer/director has legally won back the rights to the iconic Hellraiser franchise, which he kicked off in 1987. "On Monday, his attorney filed papers in California federal court confirming a settlement with Park Avenue Entertainment, the production company that's currently enjoying rights to a film about a woman under the sway of a resurrected former lover," writes THR.
Barker will officially re-own Hellraiser on Dec. 19, 2021, while the foreign rights remain up in the air.
Barker wrote and directed the first movie, which was based on his 1986 novella, "The Hellbound Heart." The '87 film spawned nine sequels. A big screen reboot is currently in the works at Spyglass Media, with David Bruckner (V/H/S) attacked to direct. Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski penned the script, based on a story by David S. Goyer.
With Barker winning back the screen rights, it's unclear whether the reboot will move forward. That said, the writer is executive producing a Hellraiser TV series at HBO, which as David Gordon Green (Halloween Kills) on board as director. Mark Verheiden (Battlestar Gallactica) and Michael Dougherty (Godzilla: King of the Monsters) are writing and and executive producing the project.
"The idea is to create an elevated continuation and expansion of the well-established Hellraiser mythology. It is by no means a remake, but rather assumes the past mythology to be a given," Deadline reported at the time.
Production on Mission: Impossible 7 kicked off in early September after months of COVID-related shutdown and besides a controversial report about the project blowing up a 111-year-old bridge, there haven't been many updates from the European shoot. Thanks to franchise newcomer Hayley Atwell, we now have a new image from the set, which shows the actress cheesing for the camera with longtime M:I star Tom Cruise, who plays the wily IMF agent Ethan Hunt.
"My new driving instructor. Hope I don’t crash into anything..." reads the cheeky headline. The photo was taken by writer-director Christopher McQuarrie, who will also write and helm the eighth installment. He's the only director in the history of the cinematic series to return for more than one Mission: Impossible film.
Take a look:
“There’s ambiguity…the interesting thing we’re exploring is her resistance to a situation she finds herself in. How she starts off, where she becomes. The journey of what she comes into and what is asked of her and potentially where she ends up," Atwell said of her mystery character during an interview with Collider earlier this year.
"We don’t want Hayley to be a repeat of any character that’s come before," added McQuarrie. "What’s left? What’s unique and what’s new? We wrote a scene about what we imagined the spark of that character to be, and that’s what Hayley came in and read. What we discovered there is this energy that Hayley had, specifically an energy with Tom. It’s not a vibe, it’s literally a vibration. You felt it and you were like, ‘I don’t know what to make of this person.’"
Mission: Impossible 7 is scheduled to hit theaters on Nov. 19, 2021. Simon, Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Vanessa Kirby, Ving Rhames, and Henry Czerny, Pom Klementieff, Shea Whigham (Joker), and Esai Morales are all set to star.