Although he’s moved into elite company among big-budget directors, Aquaman’s James Wan can’t be accused of straying too far from his small-budget horror roots. Wan’s reportedly teaming up with fellow horror pal Jason Blum to produce M3GAN, a new techno-horror thriller that looks at first glance like an interesting, killer-doll mash-up of Chucky and Black Mirror.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, M3GAN is the story of “a brilliant toy company roboticist who uses artificial intelligence to develop M3GAN, a life-like doll programmed to emotionally bond with her newly orphaned niece. But when the doll’s programming works too well, she becomes overprotective of her new friend…with terrifying results.”
Wan and Blum have a friendship that goes back to their collaboration on 2010’s Insidious, which Wan directed and Blum produced. “I had such a great time working together with Jason on Insidious, a film that did a lot of good for both of us,” Wan told THR. “I don’t forget where I started from and I’m grateful and appreciative of Jason. We’ve been looking for something to collaborate on again since.”
Wan also said M3GAN is meant to be a darkly comedic piece of commentary on our technologically lopped-in times, cautioning against over-reliance on data, networks, and the gadgets that link them all. Luke Cage writer Akela Cooper (who's also showrunning the upcoming Netflix horror series Chambers) is writing the script for M3GAN, and shooting reportedly will begin this fall.
Over on the small screen, Amazon has picked up Nathaniel Halpern’s new Tales From the Loop for a digital series order, reports Variety. Halpern will reportedly serve as showrunner as well as a co-executive producer. Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo, Never Let Me Go) is lined up to direct the pilot episode.
Based on the paintings of Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag, which blend traditional rural landscapes with science fiction elements picked up in Stålenhag’s childhood, the new series will merge the austere, futuristic aesthetic of his paintings with Halpern’s gift for telling humanistic stories inside slow-burning narrative arcs like FX’s Legion and Netflix’s The Killing.
Fox 21 Television Studios is partnering with Amazon to develop Tales From the Loop. There’s no early word on a development timeline or release date.
Finally, Cartoon Network is getting set to revive a piece of video gaming nostalgia with the upcoming debut of Mega Man: Fully Charged. The animated series will follow the beloved blue Nintendo icon through a new storyline that introduces Aki Light, his alter-ego, as well as an ensemble of both familiar and new-to-the-franchise characters.
Mega Man: Fully Charged is loaded and ready to go, with the first episode set to land Aug. 5 on Cartoon Network. Ten episodes also will be ready to watch beginning Aug. 3 via a host of video on demand services, as well as the Cartoon Network app, according to Collider.