The Dark Tower lands a fan favorite, a first image from Loki emerges, and Candyman puts its hooks into toxic fandom, all in the latest WIRE Buzz!
First, the great news: Michael Rooker of Guardians of the Galaxy and The Walking Dead fame (but not a member of The Suicide Squad) has joined Amazon's adaptation of Stephen King's The Dark Tower, according to the actor's official website.
There's no word on what his role is, but he's either on his way to Croatia or there now, as filming just commenced this week. (Our bet is that he's playing Eldred Jonas, a former gunslinger and head of a gang of villains known as the Big Coffin Hunters.) Rooker's previous King-related work was as Sheriff Alan Pangborn in the late George A. Romero's 1993 film of King's novel The Dark Half.
Rooker joins Sam Strike as Roland Deschain, the last gunslinger in Mid-World, and Jasper Pääkkönen as Roland's nemesis, the Man in Black, also known as Randall Flagg in the larger King universe for which The Dark Tower books serve as a sort of nexus.
The 13-episode series won't be connected to the 2017 movie starring Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, and is said to be based primarily on the fourth volume in the series, Wizard and Glass, which focused on Roland's early years — how he became a gunslinger, met the love of his life, and first encountered the Man in Black.
That shot was taken at a Disney investors' conference back in April, but it has not surfaced until now, and it's the first glimpse we're getting of one of the new shows that Marvel is rolling out for the highly anticipated Disney streaming service, which will also include WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier and possibly a series based around Hawkeye.
Aside from showing off the title logo, what does this image tell us about Loki? Admittedly the picture is a little out of focus, but judging from the theater marquee advertising Jaws and the fashions on display, it suggests that the series will feature Loki jumping through different time periods. In this case it looks like New York City circa 1975, but we doubt he'll spend the entire length of the show there (hopefully he did catch a screening of Steven Spielberg's horror classic while he was there, though).
Again, the photo doesn't reveal a whole lot of official information, but just to see the logo and production art reinforces the reality that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is expanding to the streaming space in a way that's much more direct than the now-canceled Netflix/Marvel programs.
Loki is said to follow the God of Mischief (Tom Hiddleston) as he skips across history and influences events on Earth and perhaps elsewhere. Of course, knowing Marvel, there's probably a lot more to that pitch than we're being told. So savor that pic above, because we've got until November before Disney+ rolls out.
With Get Out and Us, Jordan Peele has made a name for himself as the horror filmmaker who tackles social issues head-on. So it's no surprise that his upcoming reboot of Candyman will be cut from the same cloth — but what is perhaps startling is that the film will take on the issue of toxic fandom.
That's the word from Ian Cooper, creative director of Peele's Monkeypaw production company. Speaking with Deadline, Cooper said that the increasingly hostile environment created by so-called fans — whether abusing and threatening Star Wars cast members or demanding that HBO remake the entire final season of Game of Thrones — has been on his and Peele's minds.
“We talk a lot about fans and the idea of appeasing fans and when you do that and how do you do that and when do you not do that,” Cooper said. “I think my issue with fandom is that it’s really problematic. It’s probably the most problematic thing facing the genre.”
Cooper continued, "It typically comes with a dogma that is abrasive and that is more resistant to change and permutation than you would think. I think what we’re trying to do with Candyman is both be mischievous in how we address the relationship to the first film but also be very satisfying."
Now, before anyone starts grumbling that they don't want any sort of meaningful themes attached to their Candyman movie, keep in mind that the original 1992 film addressed racism, slavery, and modern urban blight — all within the frightening story of a vengeful ghost with hooks for hands haunting an apartment project.
Candyman is set for a June 12, 2020, release, with Peele producing, Nia DaCosta directing, Aquaman's Yahya Abdul-Mateen II starring in the title role, and original Candyman Tony Todd showing up as well.