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WIRE Buzz: Quibi sets end date; Netflix lines up more anime; and Joss Whedon's 'The Nevers' update
The $2 billion content streaming experiment that is Quibi will be coming to an end, and according to a post on the blog of the company's support site, users can expect all services to cease on Dec. 1.
"Quibi has made the difficult decision to wind down," begins the short post, before continuing, "We anticipate that the service will end streaming on or about December 1, 2020. We appreciate the support we have received from our customers and want to thank you for giving us an opportunity to entertain you."
It then goes on to note: "At this time we do not know if the Quibi content will be available anywhere after our last day of service. We recommend following #Quibi on Twitter for any news regarding content."
Quibi — an elision of "quick bites" — made a name for itself promoting a robust line-up of content, including an all-star remake of the cult classic The Princess Bride earlier this summer, and series from big-name creatives like directors Steven Spielberg (Animaniacs) and Sam Raimi (Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness), whose Quibi series 50 States of Fright debuted its second season just earlier this month.
You can watch it on Quibi until Dec. 1.
Netflix is doubling down on its anime programming via partnerships with four new studios: Anima & Company (owned by NAZ), Science SARU, MAPPA, and Studio Mir. The latter is based in Korea, a testament to Netflix's goal of probing "new stories and formats to entertain anime fans around the world," reads the official release.
"In 2020, we’re reimagining the way the world is perceived. Our lives have been transformed. Expectations and values of visual arts and entertainment are also changing," Yasuo Suda, CEO of ANIMA＆COMPANY Co., Ltd. said in a statement. "Visual arts is a culture that is a beacon of hope, transcending distance and space, and welcoming its viewers to multiple places all at the same time. At NAZ, we look forward to working closely with Netflix, a leader in this field, and ensuring that future generations see the 21st century as a time of noteworthy works in the history of visual arts. This is a wakeup call to a new era of storytelling."
"Our collaboration with Netflix regarding shows such as Devilman, Crybaby, and Japan Sinks: 2020 reflects our shared understanding of storytelling and the desire to take on fresh challenges. Together with Netflix, Science SARU aims to deliver highly relevant content to fans more directly, by staying true to the world changing around us, and listening closely to our fans," added Eunyoung Choi, CEO of Science SARU Inc.
"In celebration of Netflix Anime Festival 2020 (hosted on Oct. 27), we are thrilled to establish a solid partnership with Netflix. Through the production line deal, we look forward to showcasing the vibrant creativity of Korean animation to a worldwide audience," continued Jae Myung Yoo, CEO of Studio Mir Co., Ltd.
"This partnership enables us to deliver on our mission to bring best-in-class content at an accelerated pace to anime fans on Netflix. Together with Netflix, we look forward to discovering what excites animation fans — both in Japan and beyond — with the best experiences, and making every effort to produce great shows in response to that fandom," concluded Manabu Otsuka of CEO of MAPPA Co., Ltd.:
These fresh contracts build on a foundation that began in 2018 with Production I.G (Ghost in the Shell SAC_2045) and Bones (Super Crooks). A year later, Netflix also struck a deal with Sublimation (Dragon’s Dogma) and David Production (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure).
"In just four years, we’ve built a dedicated team based in Tokyo that serves to entertain the global anime community through new and aspirational storytelling. With these additional partnerships with industry trailblazers who do amazing work often marrying the latest technologies and traditional hand-drawn animation, we’re excited to bring fans a greater variety of even more amazing stories," Taiki Sakurai, Anime Chief Producer, Netflix, said in a statement.
Remember Joss Whedon's The Nevers? The show about a Victorian-era group of female superheroes?
Yeah, we didn't either until Nick Frost provided a recent update to Collider. According to the Truth Seekers co-creator/actor, production picked back up a month ago. Filming kicked off last fall, but was forced to shut down in the winter over (you guessed it) COVID-19 concerns. Nevertheless, the upcoming HBO series is back on track and "it looks f***ing crazy, it looks amazing," said Frost. "I think the script is fantastic. My character’s like a serial lunatic."
He added: "Joss is amazing — like as a person, not as a director. He’s really giving and generous of spirit and of time. But when he’s on set, he’s so driven and focused and mumbly. And a lot of the time it’s like, ‘Oh my god, I’m not sure what you want!’ Especially when you’ve got a face mask on as well. It’s a kind of amazing way to work. But I love it. I love the character, and I think people are just gonna f***ing love it. It’s complicated and it’s fresh."
Laura Donnelly, Olivia Williams, James Norton, Tom Riley, Ann Skelly, Ben Chaplin, Pip Torrens, Amy Manson, Eleanor Tomlinson, Denis O'Hare, and Zackary Momoh, Kiran Sonia Sawar, Elizabeth Berrington, Ella Smith, Viola Prettejohn, Anna Devlin, and Martyn Ford co-star.