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WIRE Buzz: James Wan producing horror series at Netflix; Jim Gaffigan leads sci-fi comedy Linoleum; more

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Nov 17, 2020, 8:12 PM EST (Updated)

James Wan's production company, Atomic Monster, is behind a new Netflix horror series called Archive 81. According to Deadline, the series is based on a popular podcast of the same name, which launched in 2018 and describes itself as a "fiction podcast about horror, cities, and the subconscious." The podcast's co-creators, Marc Sollinger and Daniel Powell, will also be co-producers on the Netflix series.

The story follows an archivist named Dan Turner who takes a job reconstructing and restoring a collection of damaged videotapes from 1994. The tapes contain the work of a documentary filmmaker named Melody Pendras, who met a horrifying end while investigating a dangerous cult. The podcast has run for three years so far.

The series stars Mamoudie Athie (Underwater) as Dan and Dina Shihabi (Altered Carbon) as Melody, with the rest of the cast including Martin Donovan (Big Little Lies), Matt McGorry (How To Get Away With Murder), Julia Chan (Katy Keene), Evan Jonigkeit (The Empty Man), and Ariana Neal (Hidden Figures). Paul Harris Boardman (The Exorcism of Emily Rose) is serving as writer and executive producer, while Rebecca Thomas (Stranger Things) will direct half the series.

Wan and Atomic Monster are behind The Conjuring universe of movies, along with Wan's next directorial effort, Malignant, and a host of upcoming film and TV projects.


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Stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan is starring in Linoleum, an upcoming sci-fi comedy/drama written and directed by Colin West. According to Deadline, the film was recently completed in New York City while shooting under COVID-19 safety protocols.

Gaffigan plays two roles in the movie: a struggling amateur rocket builder named Cameron Edwin and his more successful yet mysterious neighbor, Kent Armstrong. In the story, Edwin is the host of a failing children's TV show about science who dreams of building a working spacecraft his garage. He soon begins to discover that not everything in his life is what it seems.

Gaffigan is joined in the movie by Rhea Seehorn (Better Call Saul) as his wife and former co-host, and Katelyn Nacon (The Walking Dead) as his teenage daughter. The latter becomes friends with Kent's son (Gabriel Rush of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark), which further complicates things.

West wrote and directed his first proper feature, Double Walker, in 2018, after directing a number of short films that made their way onto the festival circuit.


Warner Bros. Pictures

In case you need more of Zack Snyder's Justice League after today's slightly revamped trailer release and the director's own breakdown of that trailer, Snyder has also posted a new image (see above) of the retooled Steppenwolf on his Vero account.

Steppenwolf, a motion capture character voiced by Ciaran Hinds in the 2017 theatrical cut of the movie, was the primary villain in that version of Justice League, which was started by Snyder and finished by Joss Whedon. The character was largely panned at the time as a generic digital bad guy.

He'll be joined by Darkseid and others in Snyder's four-hour edition of the film, where he's been given a different look than in the 2017 version below:

Warner Bros. Pictures

Fans took to Twitter to voice their views on the new Steppenwolf (via Den of Geek) with one tweeting, "I like the design, but it also looks like they're not done with his cgi," while a more vehement detractor snapped, "Steppenwolf was too recognizable as a solid object, make him look more like a Magic Eye picture."

Zack Snyder's Justice League will premiere on HBO Max in Summer 2021.