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WIRE Buzz: Critics Choice Super Awards; Mikkelsen responds to Grindelwald rumors; new Bond game

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Nov 19, 2020, 11:43 AM EST

A week after reports surfaced that he might be heading for the Wizarding World, Mads Mikkelsen says not so fast. Speaking to IGN to promote the upcoming release of Chaos Walking, the celebrated star of Hannibal and Doctor Strange said he's about as informed on the subject of his casting as Fantastic Beasts' dark wizard Grindelwald as anyone else is. 

"Oh, that is on the rumor basis as we speak," Mikkelsen said. "So I know as much as you do from the newspapers. So I'm waiting for that phone call."

Mikkelsen's name was floated in a report last week as the top choice to join the upcoming third film in the Fantastic Beasts series — which serves as a prequel to the Harry Potter story — after the previous actor in the Grindelwald role, Johnny Depp, announced he was departing the series at the behest of Warner Bros. Pictures amid domestic abuse allegations. The report immediately generated buzz, but at least according to the actor, the deal isn't closed. At least not yet.

The third Fantastic Beasts film, directed by David Yates from a screenplay by J.K. Rowling and Steve Kloves, entered production again earlier this fall after a COVID-19 shutdown, and is scheduled to hit theaters July 15, 2022.

Awards season is not going to look like it usually does as 2020 turns to 2021, but not just because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also have a new awards show to look forward to in the form of the inaugural Critics Choice Super Awards, the Critics Choice Association's new ceremony devoted to "the most popular, fan-obsessed" genre entertainment of the year. The ceremony arrives this January, and the nominees for the awards' launch were revealed by the Critics Choice Association Thursday. 

On the film side of the awards, Hulu's time-loop comedy Palm Springs leads the nominations with five, including Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Movie and acting nods for Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti, and J.K. Simmons. On the TV side, HBO's Lovecraft Country led nominations with six, including Best Horror Series and acting nods for stars Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett, Michael K. Williams, Wunmi Mosaku, and Abbey Lee. Smollett was also among several actors nominated on both the film and TV sides of the awards, also earning a nod for her work in Birds of Prey

Other major genre films to earn nods from the Super Awards include Da 5 BloodsThe HuntOnwardSoul, The Old GuardFreaky, The Invisible ManLove and MonstersPossessor, and The Vast of Night. You can check out the extensive full list of nominees at the Critics Choice Association website

The inaugural Critics Choice Super Awards will be present in a televised virtual ceremony, hosted by Kevin Smith and Dani Fernandez, Sunday, January 10 on The CW. In addition to the competitive awards, the ceremony will also honor the Star Trek franchise with its first "Legacy Award," celebrating the franchise's ongoing impact in the world of genre storytelling. The legendary Sir Patrick Stewart and Star Trek: Discovery star Sonequa Martin-Green will accept the award on the behalf of the franchise.

The next great James Bond game might be close at hand, and it's coming from a developer that knows a thing or two about slick, stealth-action games. IO Interactive, the studio behind the Hitman series of games, announced Thursday (via Variety) that its next major game project is titled Project 007, and will serve as an original story for 007 himself, James Bond. The project is a collaboration betweeen IO, Bond film studio MGM, Bond film production company EON, and game financier Delphi. 

“Creating an original Bond game is a monumental undertaking and I truly believe that IO Interactive, working closely with our creative partners at EON and MGM, can deliver something extremely special for our players and communities,” Hakan Abrak, CEO of IO Interactive, said.

IO Interactive also released a brief teaser for the project which plays with the iconic gun stylized gun barrel visuals of James Bond film openings. Check it out:

IO Interactive on YouTube

While it is by no means the first Bond game, Project 007 will mark a new frontier for James Bond origin stories, which have previously only been explored in various print forms, including a recent comic book series from Dynamite Entertainment. There's no word yet on exactly when the game will be released, but it'll be exciting to watch it take shape through future teasers. The larger James Bond franchise has, like many others, been forced to hit the pause button this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The 25th film in EON's long-running Bond series, No Time to Die, is now scheduled to hit theaters next April after a series of pandemic-related release date shuffles.