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WIRE Buzz: Resident Evil series stalks to Netflix; Avatar 2 wraps production; South Park packs a stadium
Netflix has announced its next video game crossover, and it’s a creeper. The streaming giant is partnering with game maker Capcom to bring the vaunted Resident Evil survival horror series over to the small screen in an upcoming CGI-based anime series.
Diving deep into RE lore in a show that’ll put Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield in the TV spotlight, Netflix announced on Sunday that the series, titled Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness, will hit the platform next year — just in time to mark the game franchise’s 25th anniversary. Both Leon and Claire made their RE debut in 1998’s Resident Evil 2 for the original PlayStation console.
Netflix teased the new series with a moody teaser trailer and a cool piece of art, with each taking a close-up look at our corridor-stalking heroes as they’ll appear in Infinite Darkness. Check it out:
The series will be steered by a creative team that keeps the Capcom gaming DNA close at hand. Longtime Capcom producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi, who served as executive producer on 2012’s Resident Evil 6, will be producing and supervising Infinite Darkness, with studio production from TMS Entertainment and CGI animation production from Quebico, the Japan-based studio founded in 2017 by Resident Evil: Vendetta co-producer Kei Miyamoto.
Netflix describes Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness as ”a horror-action series” that revolves around the two heroes, pledging that, “[b]y adding suspense into dynamic action scenes, this series will reveal a Resident Evil world unlike anything seen before.” With Infinite Darkness, Netflix has now tapped the RE franchise for two separate projects — the other being an eponymous live-action series from Supernatural producer Andrew Dabb, a self-professed huge fan of the video games. In addition to breakout hit The Witcher, Netflix also has a number of other games-inspired projects in the works, including a Splinter Cell-derived series, a feature film based on Ubisoft’s Beyond Good Evil, and Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, an anime series inspired by the soon-to-release Cyberpunk 2077 game from CD Projekt (who also publishes The Witcher game franchise).
There’s no word on plot or episode length, though Netflix teases in its press release that it’ll reveal information about the show’s antagonist — as well as unravel the mystery behind the Infinite Darkness title — in the days ahead. There’s also no firm release date, so keep a flashlight at the ready for Leon and Claire to team up once again, when Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness arrives sometime in 2021.
The long-awaited Avatar sequel has emerged from the realm of Unobtainium and into the home production stretch. Via The Independent, director and creative mastermind James Cameron has revealed that filming on Avatar 2 is “100 percent complete” during a recent chat with Arnold Schwarzenegger (a Cameron collaborator in the Terminator franchise, as well as 1994’s True Lies).
Speaking with Schwarzenegger on a reported video chat ahead of the Austrian World Summit environmental conference, Cameron told Schwarzenegger that the coronavirus pandemic had affected the back-to-back filming schedule for not only Avatar 2, but the pair of planned sequels to follow — but that the creative team had found a way to roll with the punches.
“Covid hit us like it hit everybody...We lost about four and a half months of production,” said Cameron, via the report. “As a result of that, we've rolled around one more full year for a release in December of 2022…Now that doesn't mean I have an extra year to finish the film, because the day we deliver Avatar 2 we'll just start working on finishing Avatar 3.”
It sounds as if the finish line on the third Avatar movie is well within sight as well. Cameron, who said he was in New Zealand shooting the remainder of live-action shots on the third movie this week, estimated there’s only a small amount of filming left to be done. “We're 100 percent complete on Avatar 2, and we're sort of 95 percent complete on Avatar 3,” he reportedly teased.
Returning Zoe Saldana and Sam Worthington in their original roles, Avatar 2 will also star Kate Winslet, Giovanni Ribisi, Michelle Yeoh, Edie Falco, Stephen Lang, Sigourney Weaver, and Jemaine Clement. Set a date to return to Pandora when Avatar 2 arrives in theaters on Dec. 16, 2022.
A lot of fans have come on down to South Park over the course of its epic 23-year run, but in the age of COVID-19, the iconic comedy series is switching things up by turning characters like Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman into fans themselves — the kind who “Stan” — literally — for the Denver Broncos.
With NFL games being played before largely empty stadiums as a public health precaution, the Broncos teamed with South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone to fill the seats at Mile High Stadium, placing roughly human-sized cutouts of the series’ eternal 10 year-olds in seats throughout the venue. And really — no matter what the final score is, how can you lose when you’ve got a crowd like this cheering you on?
As you can tell from the photos, it wasn’t just the four kids who turned out for the game: The entire town of South Park showed up to watch the Broncos take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home (though they couldn’t get take their seats without promising to wear face masks — even as animated cutouts.) Long known as die-hard Broncos fans on the show, South Park’s characters are just reflecting the fan loyalties of Parker and Stone — former University of Colorado students who’ve made no secret of their affection for the pro home team.
Regardless of the Broncos’ win-loss record, South Park will return to Comedy Central this Wednesday when the hour-long “Pandemic Special” debuts Sept. 30 ahead of the show’s 24th season.