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WIRE Buzz: RoboCop series in development; Frozen short on Olaf's origins; Tenet crosses $150M

By Josh Weiss
Ronny Cox RoboCop

RoboCop Returns may not be our only way to return to Paul Verhoeven's dystopian Detroit. In a recent chat with Moviehole, original RoboCop screenwriter Ed Neumeier let slip that he's working on a spinoff TV show centered arround a young Dick Jones, the greedy president of Omni Consumer Products, who champions the ED-209 law enforcement robot.

"I’m working at MGM on it. It has all the cool stuff about RoboCop except no RoboCop," Neumeier said of the project. "I’m working with these two writers, Dave Parkin and Rob Gibbs, who bought this idea to a TV producer friend of mine, who then brought it to me. The first time I heard it I knew it was a cool idea because I could see a lot of things you could do with it. It’s such an interesting character."

Like RoboCop, the show is going to be used as a vehicle to satirize modern society by telling "stories about business and tech, Silicon Valley, corporations, snakes in suits, cops, all that. It’s a wonderful rich tapestry," Neumeier added, later hinting that Jones doesn't start out as a corrupt villain. "It’s going to be about the evolution of Richard Jones to Dick Jones, the story of OCP and how the world moves into the future, how the corporate world behaves."

Jones, who was initially played by Ronny Cox, gets killed by the titular android police officer at the end of the first movie. "He’s great," Neumeier said of Cox, "and to actually know where you’re going with this, to know that’s who he becomes is fun for the writers to work with. They’ve come up with a whole back story I never did."

Do you want to build a snowman? Your answer is irrelevant because the Mouse House is going to explain the origin of Frozen's Olaf (voiced by Josh Gad) in a new short coming to Disney+ next month.

Hitting the streaming service Friday, Oct. 23, "Once Upon a Snowman" is said to fill in the character's backstory, which occurs just moments after he was magically created by Elsa (Idina Menzel) during her big "Let it Go" moment in the first film. "The [short] follows Olaf’s first steps as he comes to life and searches for his identity in the snowy mountains outside Arendelle," reads the release, which also promises that we'll get an explanation for how he came to love summer.

The short was directed by Trent Correy (animation supervisor of Olaf in Frozen 2) and Dan Abraham (the story artist who boarded Olaf’s "When I Am Older" musical sequence in Frozen 2). It was produced by Nicole Hearon (Frozen 2Moana) and Peter Del Vecho (Frozen, Frozen 2Raya and the Last Dragon). Gad returns to voice the plucky (and frosty) character.

Frozen Once Upon a Snowman key art

"This is an idea that started to form when I was an animator on the first Frozen,” Correy said in a statement.  "Dan Abraham and I are so grateful and excited to have had the opportunity to direct this short, working with our incredible colleagues at Walt Disney Animation Studios."

"Josh Gad gives one of the great animated voice performances as Olaf through the ‘Frozen’ films,” added Abraham. “To have the opportunity to work with him in the recording booth was such a privilege and career highlight."

Despite its many delays, Tenet is having no trouble raking in a stockpile of inverted cash at the box office. According to Deadline, Chris Nolan's latest blockbuster has already crossed $150 million worldwide. Nevertheless, Warner Bros. still has more financial ground to cover if it hopes to make a profit on its $200 million+ investment in the time-turning feature.


Elsewhere, Disney's The New Mutants has brought in more than $20 million worldwide, with more than half of that figure coming from domestic ticket sales. In addition, the company's live-action Mulan remake opened in countries where Disney+ is not widely available. Director Niki Caro's risky reimagining (after all, it does away with Mushu and the singing) made $5.9 million abroad, becoming the No. 1 movie in the UAE, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.

Bill & Ted Face the Music is rocking on to the tune of $2.5 million, a box office total that is understandably low due to the fact that the film is also available on VOD. In the era of COVID-19, many audience members are foregoing the theatrical experience, preferring to enjoy films and shows from the comfort of their own homes.