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WIRE Buzz: John Boyega seals Netflix deal; No Time to Die villain details; Mario to LEGO

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Mar 10, 2020, 10:35 AM EDT

One of the breakouts from the latest Star Wars trilogy is looking to carry that clout beyond a galaxy far, far away. John Boyega is looking to expand his own galactic reach by partnering with Netflix to create international, non-English features for the streamer through his production company UpperRoom Productions.

The actor confirmed as much on his personal Twitter, announcing the upcoming slate as the company shifts its focus to Africa.

Take a look:

The Hollywood Reporter explains that the deal will focus on three films, two from Nigeria and one from Egypt. The focus on West and East Africa comes from Boyega’s Nigerian heritage and UpperRoom Vice President of Productions Yara Shaikh’s Sudanese background. Rather than solely focus on originals, these stories will reportedly work on adapting and developing IP from these regions of the continent, including books and short stories, mythology, and hits from the Nigerian film industry.

Boyega has a swath of post-Star Wars projects planned, including the next feature from Green Room's Jeremy Saulnier, Rebel Ridge.


Next, even with No Time to Die getting pushed back 007 months, new information is leaking out about the creation of Daniel Craig’s last ride as James Bond. The super-spy thriller’s bad guy has been the subject of much speculation — as Rami Malek’s villainous Safin is seen wearing a traditional Japanese Noh mask in the trailers...Dr. No, anyone? — and its costume designer had a little insight into the journey he’s taken behind the scenes.

Speaking to Total Film, Suttirat Anne Larlarb explained the history of the character’s look. “There’s a scene where we first introduce him. It had originally been written with him and a henchman, and they both had masks, and the original mask idea was something completely different [based on Siberian bear-hunting armor],” the designer, who recently worked on American Gods and Gemini Man, said.

In case fans were curious about what exactly Siberian bear-hunting armor looks like, check out the Hellraiser-looking image below:

Source: The Menil Collection

“We went through a whole process of custom-making that, but the thing that [director Cary Joji Fukunaga] pointed out about that very spiky mask, was the expression beneath the spikes, it had this creepy serenity to it,” she said. “An image of a Noh mask came to mind for the second mask, it’s got that same serenity; it’s almost expressionless and so pure in its execution, it’s really elemental, it doesn’t give anything away.” So not really at all like that crazy human pufferfish mask from earlier.

“It was a good foil to that other mask, but still felt in the same world. As we got closer to shooting it became clear the first mask was doing too much of the work at that point in the film, and maybe the aggression we were looking for needed to be not so literally in your face. In the end Cary cut the henchman out of that scene, and was like, ‘Could you try and make that other costume work?’”

So for Noh/No conspiracy theorists, there’s a bit of a wrench in the works: that mask becoming his visual calling card was a bit of a coincidence. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a happy accident that worked out thematically or narratively, but it does mean that there was something more serendipitous than secretive about it.

No Time to Die has been bumped to a Nov. 25 release.


Finally, Super Mario Maker may soon escape the confines of its video game consoles. That’s because the Nintendo building game’s star, Mario, looks to team up with the premium building toy of all time: LEGO.

This information comes from an official tweet from LEGO, which shows off a first look at a chunky Mario minifig and promises more to come from the collaboration.

Take a look:

He’s got the smile, the overalls, the mustache — that’s Mario right there. 

That combined with the “?” Block makes it seem like Mario could be headed towards a randomized bunch of boxes where fans buy a surprise part of the Mushroom Kingdom. Regardless of how they’re distributed, these parts look super fun and, especially after Super Mario Maker and its sequel jumpstarted the imaginations of gamers everywhere, a guaranteed 1-Up for enterprising bricklayers.

No word on when the collaboration will launch.

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