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Today’s WIRE Buzz features tons of adaptations, recreations, and reimaginings for the screen. Everyone from Jordan Peele to Alice (from Wonderland) to Idris Elba is involved, though their projects range from the just-off spookiness of an anthology series to the big-screen adaptation of a comic featuring extremely cute rodent combatants.
First off, however, let’s talk Twilight Zone. According to Variety, the CBS All Access reboot from the hottest name in genre (Peele) was a big hit for the streaming service — even bigger than its former primary draw, which was Star Trek: Discovery.
“The one thing I can say is it was slightly bigger than both Star Trek: Discovery’s first day for Season 1 and Season 2,” said Marc DeBevoise, president and COO of CBS Interactive. “Both of those were big and this was slightly bigger from a viewers perspective. The great thing is we have the most subscribers we’ve ever had for the service, so that does aid in driving viewership because we keep growing.”
We may not know the numbers — like with Netflix, no streamer is excited to show off specifics only for its competitors to beat it — but the fact that the service is willing to place the show above its former golden pony says a lot about the confidence it has in The Twilight Zone. So even though “Discovery has been the number one show every month it has premiered an episode, and actually has been the No. 1 show in many other months when it hasn’t been new throughout last year,” according to DeBevoise, there’s a new reason to come watch and subscribe — and CBS All Access isn’t going to be shy in putting it on a pedestal.
Fans can watch new episodes of the anthology every Thursday.
Next, news from the world of comic adaptations. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the cast for Mouse Guard (an adaptation of David Petersen’s medieval mice drama) has found itself another furry friend.
Jack Whitehall is joining the cast as Kenzie, a staff-wielding comic relief character who — with Samson Kayo’s Saxson — will be a scruffy duo a la “Han Solo and Chewbacca.” These two will appear alongside British heavy-hitters like Idris Elba, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, and Andy Serkis in the mo-capped movie from Maze Runner director Wes Ball.
These esteemed actors play various mice, foxes, and other woodland creatures embroiled in conflict and politics far more complex and serious than one may usually attribute to fluffy animals. However, when shooting starts in May, the Mouse Guard will be ready for intense battles — no matter how sweet its characters look.
Finally, Netflix is still moving forward with its Wizard of Oz/Alice in Wonderland crossover, Dorothy & Alice. Now, however, they’ve gotten a new screenwriter to marry these two properties in a way that won’t validate the negative connotations already associated with the phrase “Netflix adaptation.”
The film, which was originally written by Justin Merz, was planned to be a part of a franchise where Oz’s Dorothy is sent to a special home for girls having scary dreams, which is where she meets Alice. There’s been a long tradition of reimaging Alice as a patient in a mental facility, but now that Anna Klassen on board to rethink it, the film may be headed in a different direction — though one still drenched in fantastical adventure.
She confirmed as much herself on Twitter:
“The Cheshire Cat is out of the bag,” Klassen wrote. “I’m writing DOROTHY & ALICE for @Netflix, a fantasy adventure epic. I grew up reading these books & this project has been endlessly fun to craft – to reinvent treasured characters and explore the worlds I wanted to inhabit as a kid.”
According to Collider, this writer change also indicates a plot shuffle, with a new tack taken by Klassen. What that means for the future of these beloved childhood characters will become clearer as the project moves forward.