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WIRE BUZZ: Wheel of Time casts Outlander alum; Unfamiliar trailer; viral VFX TikTok star

By Nivea Serrao
Maria Doyle Kennedy at Outlander STARZ Premiere

The Wheel of Time continues to turn, with the Amazon TV adaptation of Robert Jordan’s best-selling fantasy series announcing it’s three newest cast members. 

As announced on Twitter, Maria Doyle Kennedy (Outlander) will be playing Illa, a member of the Tuatha’an, a nomadic people who live by a pacifist philosophy known as the Way of the Leaf, with Narinder Samra (Homeland) playing Raen and Daryl McCormack (Peaky Blinders) playing Aram. (In the novels, Illa and Raen are married and Aram is their grandson.) 

The upcoming show — which began production earlier this year — has steadily been revealing the latest additions to its cast, starting with the announcement that Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) will be playing Moiraine Damodred, a member of the Aes Sedai (a powerful all-female organisation) who arrives in the town of Two Rivers in search of the latest reincarnation of the Dragon, a champion of the Light against the Dark One. When she can’t surmise which of three youths it is, she leads them as well as a few other people who join their party, in a journey to the city of Tar Valon. 

First published in 1990, The Wheel of Time series is made up of 14 books, with the final three (The Gathering StormTowers of Midnight, and A Memory of Light) having been completed by fellow fantasy author Brandon Sanderson based on Jordan's notes, following the author's passing in 2007.  

The Amazon TV series has yet to receive a premiere date, but production remains underway.  

A viral TikTok star is scoring some A-list attention.

Deadline reports talent agency ICM Partners has signed Julian Bass, the star of a TikTok video that went viral earlier this month, with the Georgia State theatre student showcasing an impressive range of VFX skills as he transforms himself into some of his “favourite characters” — including Spider-Man, a light sabre-wielding Jedi knight, and Diamondhead from Ben 10

The video, which has since gained 23.6 million views since Bass tweeted it earlier this month, not only caught the attention of Disney Chairman Bob Iger, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3 director James Gunn, and Sony itself among others, but has also led to him appearing on Good Morning America

It’s the next step in what appears to be a promising career, with the 20-year-old already having built up a following on TikTok, Twitter, and Snapchat, thanks to his special effects videos and editing tutorials. 

You can watch the video below.

Step into The Unfamiliar, thanks to a new trailer. 

The British indie horror flick follows the story of Elizabeth “Izzy” Cormack (The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones), a British Army Doctor who’s returned from the war and is attempting to reconnect with her husband (Vikings’ Christopher Dane) and kids. 

Unfortunately for her (and her family), Izzy is dealing with more than just standard-issue PTSD, as her house may be infested with an evil spirit, if any of Izzy’s paranormal encounters — and the trailer below — are anything to go by. 

Directed by South African director Henk Pretorius, The Unfamiliar will be released in North America on Aug. 21.