Mark’s Weekly Recap

Hey Novastream readers! It’s been a minute since I put pen to pad about the movies and television that fill my soul and I am so excited to be back. In the meantime I’ve renovated half of my fixer-upper home, published my debut novel Dominic Anderson and the Tecbug Ten and watched a slew of epic films and television. 

Let’s look to the world and see what’s happened in the last seven days:

The Emmys did their thing. Squid Games lead Lee Jung-jae won Outstanding Drama Actor and Euphoria’s Zendaya collected Outstanding Drama Actress, while Ted Lasso’s Jason Sudekis and Hacks’ Jean Smart took the comedy prizes. 

Mega-ensembles Succession and The White Lotus nabbed Outstanding Drama and Outstanding Limited Series, while Ted Lasso confidently collected the Comedy trophy over healthy contenders Only Murders in the Building. Michael Keaton and Amanda Seyfriend collected gongs for their starring roles in Disney+ limited series Dopesick and The Dropout. 

And while it was fun and satisfying to watch Jennifer Coolidge collect Outstanding Supporting Actress for The White Lotus after a long and hilarious career, the biggest surprise was when Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrls took the singer to the halfway mark of an EGOT. 

If you were keeping count, Binge/HBO was the night’s winner with three series receiving awards, followed by the Keaton/Seyfried combo lifting Disney+, and one each for Netflix, Stan and AppleTV+. 

In California D23 announced a few of the Mouse House’s next moves, including Inside Out 2 and a live-action Lion King prequel from the director of Moonlight. While Jon Favreau’s live-action effort of The Lion King did join the billion-dollar hall of fame, it was often criticised for its strange effects and overall pointlessness. Can a prequel fix any of these issues? 

More excitingly, a fresh take on Peter Pan and Wendy is in the works with an emphasis “Wendy”, and an invigorated Jude Law as Captain Hook. Pixar previewed original and complex new projects while trailers for Disenchanted, Hocus Pocus 2 and the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid beefed up the family-friendly end of their content library. 

The usually stoic Harrison Ford became emotional when debuting footage for Indiana Jones 5, and crowds oohed and ahhed over footage of the long-gestating Avatar: Ways of Water.

The most ridiculously named show High School Musical: The Musical: The Series gets a fourth season but with a twist – confusingly, East High will be both the school Joshua Bassett’s character attends and the backdrop for a fictional High School Music 4 reunion movie. When you couple that information with social media posts from Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens and more at the location and it’s shaking up to be a Disney Channel Multiverse of Madness.
Speaking of, Marvel eked out a few more details of their own after a thunderous Comic-Con earlier in the year. Phase 5 closer The Thunderbolts will star Florence Pugh’s Black Widow and Sebastian Stan’s Winter Soldier but omit Tim Roth’s Abomination and Daniel Bruhl’s Zemo. While the first may be true many believe that one of the more successful villains in the franchise will end up being the antagonist to Julia Louis Dreyfuss’ Suicide Squad variant.  

A lot of content was previewed, and a few trailers dropped, including a very intriguing Secret Invasion and a strange Halloween special Werewolf by Night. Kingpin actor Vincent D’Onfrio confirmed appearances in Echo and Daredevil: Born Again. And while there was sadly no cast announced for Fantastic Four it was confirmed Wandavision and Game of Thrones director Matt Shakman would be taking the helm. 

Lastly, the fourth Captain America film continues to take shape with the addition of Tim Blake Nelson as the Leader. The actor was last seen in the MCU in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, but proved himself with an effective villainous arc during the seventh season of Arrow. He is joined by Carl Lumbly and Danny Ramiez, who reprise their roles Isaiah Bradley and Joaquin Torres from The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.  

Still no word about the X-Men or Deadpool despite Giancarlo Esposito from Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad saying he was frequently meeting with Marvel about the project. 

 Elsewhere in the world, Games of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings prequel The Rings of Power battle for viewers on Binge and Amazon Prime, The Crown has suspended production following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and new Rick and Morty episodes dropped on Netflix. 

And there is simply not enough words left in this column to scratch the surface of whatever on Earth is going on with Olivia Wilde, Harry Styles, Florence Pugh, Chris Pine and Shia LaBeof during the premiere and promotion of Don’t Worry Darling. It feels like an eternity has passed and #spitgate was less than a week ago.

That was a big info dump – what a big week to re-enter the Novastream group chat! When the news isn’t coming a million miles an hour from every direction, I plan to shine a spotlight on projects I adore and pieces of the zeitgeist that I think readers will truly enjoy. 

The zany Tim Curry comedy Clue, the new Jeremy Allen White drama The Bear and the mind-melding Christin Milotti mystery The Resort might be a good place to start. I’d love to talk about how Taylor Swift is petitioning for an Oscar for directing All Too Well with Sadie Sink and Dylan O’Brien, or how Jenna Ortega’s Midas touch has transferred from Jane the Virgin to Scream 5 to Tim Burton’s Wednesday series.

We will have much more time to discuss all these things and more. But since Hollywood starts and finishes with superhero flicks and awards shows, this does seem like a fitting way to come back into the fold. 

Mark Halyday has been writing movie and television reviews for over ten years. He’s loved them even longer than that. He fondly remembers his friend telling him about the secret scene after the credits of Iron Man and wondering whether or not it would be possible to crossover two characters like that. 

His debut novel “Dominic Anderson and the Tecbug Ten” is available here. 


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