Feb. 28, 2022

Holding Tight To Those Lord Of The Rings Rights

Holding Tight To Those Lord Of The Rings Rights
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Tonight! A new Star Trek movie, John Williams returns to Star Wars, 50 Cent goes DC, Marvel makes The Mandalorian, and we remember Sally Kellerman. All that and more on this edition of Multiverse Tonight!

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 Multiverse Tonight is a production of Half-Baked Genre Productions. Copyright 2022  All Rights Reserved


Tonight! A new Star Trek movie, John Williams returns to Star Wars, 50 Cent goes DC, Marvel makes The Mandalorian, and we remember Sally Kellerman. All that and more on this edition of Multiverse Tonight!

Welcome to episode 158….


Star Trek

Well, the good news is we’re getting a new Star Trek movie. The possible bad news? It’s gonna be JJ Verse 4. At the Paramount investor event, Paramount exec and JJ Abrahms revealed that the movie was in the pipeline, although what the movie will be about or if Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldaña, and John Cho will be returning. The last movie Star Trek Beyond came out in 2016. The next Trek film is due in theaters on Dec. 22, 2023.

Speaking of that investor event, you’ll notice I called it a Paramount investor event instead of the ViacomCBS event. That’s because the conglomerate changed its name. Because the Paramount name is an iconic global name. ViacomCBS chair Shari Redstone and president-CEO Bob Bakish in a statement said in a statement quote “As Paramount, our name will reflect who we are, what we aspire to be, and all that we stand for. It will help advance our strategy of harnessing all our strength and breadth in building the businesses of tomorrow. And it will capture the collective power of our global assets, from our amazing brands—CBS, Showtime, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, Nickelodeon, Smithsonian, Paramount Pictures, Paramount+, Pluto TV, and more— to our global reach and our diverse audiences. All of which adds up to Paramount being the pre-eminent home to, and producers of, the world’s greatest content,” unquote 

The Star Trek Prodigy toy line has been revealed. Playmates revealed a first look at the set featuring Dal R'El figure with Murf


Jankom Pog 

Hologram Janeway 


Rok-Tahk (coming early 2023)

The figures are five inches tall. They're created at a 1:14 scale and each features 14 points of articulation. They come in a new blister pack packaging styled exclusively for Star Trek: Prodigy.

The Star Trek: Prodigy action figures will be available at online retailers beginning in October 2022. The toys will arrive in stores in spring 2023. New Star Trek: Prodigy ships, vehicles, and role-play toys are also being developed for release later in 2023. Star Trek: Prodigy is currently on hiatus after its first 10 episodes, with 10 more episodes ready to debut later this year.

A free-to-play mobile game tied to Star Trek: Lower Decks is currently being developed for a worldwide launch later in 2022 on iOS and Android. Titled Star Trek: Lower Decks TBD (or Star Trek: Lower Decks The Badgey Directive), the game promises to feature the humor and style of Lower Decks. In addition to the storylines and characters from Star Trek: Lower Decks, the mobile game will include characters and stories from across the franchise, “reimagining them for fans through the lens of Star Trek: Lower Decks.” Players will “join Mariner, Boimler, and the USS Cerritos crew as they take on a rogue A I Badgey in their attempt to return to the real world!”The new Lower Decks game is being developed by East Side Games, Canada’s leading free-to-play mobile game group. Australian-based video game company Mighty Kingdom Limited will be co-developing the game.

“The Star Trek franchise has had an unmistakable influence on adults and children alike for over 50 years. Being able to bring such a storied franchise to mobile in our trademark idle-game style is an honor for us here at ESGG,” said Darcy Taylor, Chief Executive Officer of ESGG. “We’re looking forward to sharing this new experience in the Star Trek franchise with everyone from new audiences to Star Trek super fans. This new mobile game is another top-tier IP franchise that will only add to an already exciting launch slate in 2022.”

ESG has developed many licensed mobile games, including Archer: Danger Phone, The Goldbergs: Back to the 80s, It’s Always Sunny: The Gang Goes Mobile, and The Office: Somehow We Manage.

Star Wars

John Williams, who scored all the Star Wars movies 1 thru 9. Is back, this time writing the score for the Star Wars Obi-Wan Kenobi series. The music is being recorded with an orchestra under tight security in LA. Mr. Williams will be turning 90 this month. Star Wars Obi-wan Kenobi will premiere on Disney Plus on May 25.

And speaking of musical scores. Nicholas Britell, who worked on Cruella and Moonlight has been tapped to score the Diego Luna starring Star Wars Andor series. The series will of course be a prequel to Rogue One A Star Wars story since there is no more on Andor after that…remember.

Star Wars dot com revealed on Valentine's Day a new Star Wars novel from Beth Revis called Star Wars The Princess and the Scoundrel. The novel begins on the forest moon of Endor, where Han proposes in the elation of the rebel victory against the Empire. After a ceremony at the site of the victory celebration at the end of the film, the newlyweds depart for a honeymoon aboard the Halcyon starcruiser, the luxury vessel at the heart of the new Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser experience at Disney World Resort. In their most desperate hour, with the war still raging but the Empire nearing its last gasp, the couple must outwit the Imperial remnants clinging to power. Yep, that’s right it’s the wedding of the Galaxy…far, far away. The book will be out on August sixteenth, 2022.

Writer Tom Veitch has died at the age of 80 due to complications from COVID-19, according to a public Facebook post from his brother, artist/writer/publisher Rick Veitch. 

In the world of comic books, Veitch is best known for writing a trilogy of Star Wars comic stories published by Dark Horse Comics throughout the early '90s: Dark Empire, Dark Empire II, and Empire's End.

Before his Star Wars work, Veitch got his start as a writer by publishing his poetry, before eventually moving into the world of 'underground comix' alongside artist Greg Irons, creating works including The Legions Of Charlies, Deviant Slice, Slow Death, and Skull Comix.

Throughout the '70s, Veitch also continued publishing poetry as well as prose novels, before joining up with artist Cam Kennedy for a Marvel/Epic Comics story sci-fi title The Light and Darkness War, which led to Veitch and Kennedy's work on Star Wars: Dark Empire.

Following the success of 'Dark Empire,' Veitch continued his work in comics, publishing a series of stories at DC including The Nazz alongside artist Bryan Talbot, Clash with artist Adam Kubert, My Name is Chaos alongside artist John Ridgway, and a run on DC's Animal Man superhero title.

In his later years, Veitch ran a bookstore called Old Bennington Books in his hometown of Bennington, Vermont while continuing to publish his memoirs.

Veitch is survived by his wife Martha, daughter Angelica Veitch Stasolla, grandsons Tommy Walls and Jacob Walls, sister Wendy Lillie, and brothers Robert, Rick, Michael, and Peter.


Paul Dano, the actor playing the Riddler in the upcoming The Batman says that playing this version of the Riddler was so intense it kept him awake at night. Dano told Entertainment Weekly quote "There's a sequence with Peter Sarsgaard's character [Gil Colson]. That was intense," "There were some nights around that I probably didn't sleep as well as I would've wanted to just because it was a little hard to come down from this character. It takes a lot of energy to get there. And so you almost have to sustain it once you're there because going up and down is kind of hard." Director Matt Reeves added about Dano quote He is "really a chameleon," "He's brilliant in so much. But I think you see him going through a very internal tortured experience in his characters. You can see him really in an active way, having this kind of psychological turmoil that I find is really compelling."

Speaking of The Batman, if you search on Google Batman-related keywords like "Bruce Wayne," "Gotham City," or "Bat-Signal". you will get a fun little interactive surprise when the actual Bat-Signal shows up as a .gif on your results. Clicking on that Bat-Signal .gif will give your screen a dark noir makeover courtesy of The Batman. If that's not enough, Batman comes swinging across your screen, courtesy of his signature grappling hook. 

According to Google, this "Easter egg" interactive surprise was not sponsored by Warner Bros. and will remain active for the next year.

Curtis Jackson aka 50 Cent‘s G-Unit is developing a live-action film based on the original  DC comic book series Xero by Christopher Priest. The movie will follow a Black government assassin who weaponizes invisibility by disguising himself as a white man to blend anonymously into the exotic Casino Royale haunts of the international elite. Spanning the gulf between that and the disenfranchised city streets of East St. Louis, Illinois, Trane Walker is a man living in two worlds but taking ownership of neither. Xerø tells the story of his moral awakening and the life-and-death perils it presents. G-Unit Film & Television will produce the upcoming adaptation alongside Erika Alexander and Ben Arnon for Color Farm, and Joseph Illidge, who serves as CEO of the newly-launched production and publishing company, Illuminous. While Xerø originated as a DC Comics property, rights to the series reverted to Priest in 2008, meaning that the Warner Bros. subsidiary will not be involved with the project. Priest said about the deal quote “Xerø depicts a slow-moving car wreck at the intersection of race and class. The commonality of struggle represented by the life experiences of Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson, G-Unit Film & Television, and Color Farm assure a broad depth of first-hand appreciation for that delicate balance. It’s exciting to be working together to create this new world.” unquote and Mr. Jackson said quote “There’s no one better than Christopher Priest to bring G-Unit Film & Television into the world of comic book superheroes,” said Jackson. “Watch as we build Xerø into a franchise alongside Christopher and Color Farm Media. I can’t wait for the world to meet Trane Walker in an all-new way.”

Among the many Warner Bros.-licensed products that are rolling out in tandem with the release of the highly anticipated The Batman movie — ranging from Lanvin and EleVen by Venus Williams apparel to Carhartt hoodies, Puma sneakers, Funko Pop! figures, and Emilie Heathe nail polish — likely the most expensive item in the mix is a luxury timepiece.

Revealed Tuesday, The Batman Tourbillon Watch — an official license with Swiss design studio and manufacturer Kross Studio — retails at a price fit for Bruce Wayne: $100,000.

It features a design inspired by the reimagined Bat-Signal seen in the new Robert Pattinson-starring film, due out March 4. And the purchaser gets not just the black-and-red timepiece, but also a functional, light-up aluminum sculpture of the Bat-Signal. Together, the two pieces make up the limited-edition Batman Collector Set, of which only 10 are being produced and which will arrive in a specially made wooden box.

Marco Tedeschi, founder and creative director of Kross Studio, tells The Hollywood Reporter that two out of 10 of the collector’s sets have already been presold.

As for the watch’s specs, it’s a 45mm hand-wound timepiece with a five-day power reserve and is water-resistant to 30 meters. It’s made of grade 5 titanium with black DLC coating and features a one-revolution-per-minute tourbillon in the center — “which is not something very common in tourbillon watches,” says Tedeschi — with a bat emblem on the louvered tourbillon cage. (A tourbillon is a rotating, caged mechanism engineered to combat the effects of gravity on a watch’s accuracy.) Powering the watch is Kross Studio’s in-house developed and produced caliber KS 7’000. In all, there are 283 parts in the watch, each handmade and assembled in Switzerland.


Variety has confirmed with sources that This Is Us’ Lyric Ross has joined the cast of Marvel’s Ironheart. Ross joins previously announced cast members, Dominique Thorne and Anthony Ramos. As previously reported, The show follows Marvel character Riri Williams (Thorne), a genius inventor and the creator of the most advanced suit of armor since Iron Man. Ross is believed to be playing Williams’ best friend. Details on the character Ramos is playing are being kept under wraps.

Game of Thrones George RR Martin, who can’t be bothered to finish the last Game of Thrones book is launching a Marvel Comic book series, fortunately, it’s adapted from something he’s already written. Marvel is adapting Martin’s first Wild Cards book, which kicked off a long-running anthology series in 1987 with stories by Martin, Howard Waldrop, and Roger Zelazny.

Mr. Martin said quote “As my fans may already know, the Wild Cards World holds a special place in my heart,”. “So to have the privilege of announcing that an industry titan like Marvel is going to produce the narrative from the beginning as a comic book brings me no end of joy.” Writer Paul Cornell and artist Mike Hawthorne have signed on to create the comics for Marvel.

A Wild Cards TV series has also been in development, most recently at Peacock.

Marvel’s Wild Cards: The Drawing of the Cards #1 hits stands June 1.

The new Blade movie starring Mahershala Ali as the DayWalker and Vampire Hunter has added Aaron Pierre, who recently starred in M. Night Shymalan’s Old. Details of what character he will be playing are still under wraps. 

Marvel will be adapting the first season of The Mandalorian into a comic book series. Marvel’s The Mandalorian will come from writer Rodney Barnes and artist Georges Jeanty and will adapt episodes one to eight into the first eight issues of the comic. Barnes told starwars.com quote "The story of the Mandalorian checks so many boxes of the stuff I'm passionate about," Barnes told StarWars.com. "I love Westerns, fantasy, science fiction, comedy, drama…it's a dream gig for any writer. I'm just glad I was chosen for this assignment!" unquote and Jeanty added quote "I've always thought an artist's style is a lot like writing in shorthand. It's very subjective. What I bring to Star Wars is my detail and love for a galaxy far, far away," added Jeanty. "Star Wars, especially where bounty hunters are concerned, is a messy landscape. I love drawing all the little details. My look has always been detail oriented, and with The Mandalorian, there is so much going on with the character and  in the background, and I look forward to adding visually to the already rich tapestry that makes up this universe!"

Marvel's The Mandalorian adaptation launches with its first issue in June. The Mandalorian is expected to return to Disney+ with new episodes in late 2022.


Paramount has gone ahead with a third Sonic the Hedgehog movie. Sonic 2 will be out on April eighth and will introduce Idris Elba as Knuckles, who will then get a live-action series on Paramount Plus. Also coming back for SOnic 2 is Ben Schwartz returns as the voice of the iconic Sega video game character, along with a supporting cast that includes Jim Carrey and James Marsden. Director Jeff Fowler also returns for the follow-up, along with writers Pat Casey and Josh Miller. It is currently unclear if the filmmaking team will return for the third film, which is still in early development.

South Park will have a new address for you to go down to as the 25-year-old show will now move to Paramount Plus after its deal with HBO Max expires. However, that will be a ways off as the current 500 million dollar deal won’t end until 2025. However, in markets outside of the US, the South Park catalog will launch on Paramount Plus later this year. In addition, all-new episodes of the series will go to Paramount Plus, starting with Season 27 in 2024, both in the U.S. and globally. As part of MTV Entertainment Studios’ new deal with co-creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, “South Park” will extend through its 30th season along with 14 specials on Paramount Plus, building on “South Park: Post COVID” and “South Park: Post COVID: The Return of COVID,” which debuted in 2021.

Also announced at the latest Investors Event was a new new “Beavis and Butt-Head” film titled “Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe” which will premiere on Paramount Plus. Described as “perhaps the dumbest space movie ever made,” the film follows Beavis and Butt-Head as they’re sentenced to Space Camp by a “creative” judge in 1998. Their obsession with a docking simulator leads to a trip on the Space Shuttle, with disastrous results. After going through a black hole, they reemerge in our time, where they look for love, misuse iPhones, and are hunted by the Deep State. Additionally, a new season of “Beavis and Butt-Head” and all previous episodes will stream exclusively on Paramount Plus.

Also at Paramount Plus will be a revival movie of MTV’s Teen Wolf series. In the film, a terrifying evil emerges in Beacon Hills. The wolves are howling once again, calling for the return of banshees, were coyotes, hellhounds, kitsunes, and every other shapeshifter in the night. But only a werewolf-like Scott McCall (Posey), no longer a teenager yet still an alpha, can gather both new allies and reunite trusted friends to fight back against what could be the most powerful and deadliest enemy they’ve ever faced. The film is produced by MTV Entertainment Studios and MGM’s Orion Television.

Also announced was a new Transformers animated series and an animated movie. Paramount Plus tweeted the announcement saying quote Transformers: Rise of the Beasts will be released theatrically in 2023 and is the first of three new installments. A new animated series from 


 arrives this fall. And in 2024, the franchise expands further with a CG animated Transformers theatrical film.

The new sequel to A Christmas Story has added more original cast members joining Peter Billingsly will be Ian Petrella, who plays Ralphie's little brother Randy, Zack Ward (Scut Farkus), Scott Schwartz (Flick), and RD Robb (Schwartz). A working synopsis provided by Deadline says "Ralphie reconnects with childhood friends, reconciles the passing of his Old Man, and sows the seeds for the origins of the beloved holiday classic."Billingsley is producing the project with his filmmaker partner Vince Vaughn through their Wild West picture Show banner. Nick Schenk wrote the script from which Clay Kaytis will direct. Cale Boyter and Jay Ashenfelter are moving the project along at Legendary. While most of the actors have moved along with other roles throughout the years, this will mark Petrella's first return since his previous A Christmas Story role.

In the Movies, Nobody asked for the department. Universal announced that Despicable Me 4 will be coming out in 2024, probably July 4th weekend. Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Miranda Cosgrove, Steve Coogan, and Pierre Coffin will all be back for the sequel. The latest movie in the Despicable Me/ Minions universe Minions The Rise of Gru, which was originally supposed to come out ON July 3rd two years ago will come out this July first. 

And of course, we can’t let the Walking Dead die. The upcoming AMC anthology, Tales of the Walking Dead has added Olivia Munn (“The Newsroom,” “X-Men: Apocalypse”), Danny Ramirez (“The Falcon & The Winter Soldier”), Loan Chabanol (“Fading Gigolo”), Embeth Davidtz (“Old,” “Ray Donovan”) and Jessie T. Usher (“Shaft,” “The Boys”) have all joined the series set in the “Walking Dead” universe. Previously announced cast members include Daniella Pineda, Terry Crews, Parker Posey, Poppy Liu, Anthony Edwards, and Jillian Bell.“Tales of the Walking Dead” is an episodic anthology that will consist of six episodes. It is expected to debut on AMC and AMC Plus this summer.

Warner Bros is saying hands-off on the film rights to The Lord of the Rings. The studio has publicly stated its control over film adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic fantasy trilogy amid rumblings in the industry that a clutch of “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” rights are being shopped by longtime owner, the Saul Zaentz Co.

The Zaentz Co. and Warner Bros. are in the middle of a private mediation process to help settle their differences about whether the studio has met its obligations to hold on to the license, according to multiple sources close to the situation. A Warner Bros spokeswoman told Variety quote  “New Line Cinema has maintained the theatrical film rights, both live-action and animated, for over two decades now,”  “We are currently in production on our anime film ‘The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim’ and look forward to bringing audiences back to Middle-earth.”

Sally Kellerman who starred as Hot Lips Houlihan in the movie version of M*A*S*H* has passed away. Sally was a California native, born on June second, 1937. By the end of the 1950’s she joined the newly opened Actors Studio West and had her first film role in 1957’s Reform School Girl. She had several roles including an episode of The Outer Limits with Martin Landau and THe Alfred Hitchcock Hour. IN 1966, she was a guest star on the second pilot for Star Trek. She played psychiatrist Elizabeth Dehner, getting god-like powers after crossing the great barrier at the edge of the galaxy in Where No Man Has Gone Before. After that, he guest-starred in the Invaders and Hawaii Five-O before getting her next big role as Major Margaret Hot Lips Houlihan in Robert Altman’s movie production of M*A*S*H*. Her performance received Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations, winning the Kansas City Film Critics Circle (KCFCC) Award for Best Supporting Actress, the Golden Laurel for Best Comedy Performance (Female), and a second-place National Society of Film Critics (NSFC) Award for Best Supporting Actress. After that, she starred in movies like  Last of the Red Hot Lovers, Slither, Moving Violations, Back to School opposite Rodney Dangerfield, Meatballs III, and more her last movie roles were in 2016 in His Neighbor Phil, The Remake, and Flycatcher. She had TV roles in The Twilight Zone, My Three Sons, Bonanza, Mannix, hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live, Hotel, The Ray Bradbury Theater, Evening Shade, Diagnosis Murder, Columbo, High School USA, 10 episodes of the Young & THe Restless for which she received an Emmy Nomination for Best Actress, seven episodes of Decker and her final tv role was in an episode of Difficult People in 2017. Kellerman also did some singing in 1972 and released her first album, Roll With the Feelin’. Around that time, Kellerman dated Grand Funk Railroad singer-guitarist Mark Farner, who wrote the 1976 pop song “Sally” about her. Her second album, Sally, was released in 2009. Kellerman wed writer-director Rick Edelstein (Starsky & Hutch) in December 1970, but the marriage was troubled from the start. They divorced in 1972. She remarried in 1980 to producer Jonathan D. Krane (Look Who’s Talking, Face/Off). They adopted twins Hannah, who died in 2016, and Jack. Sally Kellerman died on February 24th at an assisted care facility in Woodland Hills after a battle with dementia. She was 84 years old.

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Multiverse Tonight is a production of Half-Baked Genre Productions. Copyright 2022. All Rights Reserved.