Are the Russo brothers, directors of such Marvel movie hits as Avengers: Endgame and Captain America: Civil War, getting ready to fulfill the oft-repeated “six seasons and a movie” promise of the cult TV series “Community”? Now that their contract with Marvel Studios is up, the Russos are moving on, starting their own company called AGBO, which “happens to include an exciting array of new and old creative friends”—at least according to the description of their panel at the upcoming San Diego Comic Con. Joe and Anthony Russo started out in television and directed more than 20 episodes of Dan Harmon’s sitcom “Community.” The brothers have brought back a number of their old “Community” cohorts, slipping Danny Pudi, Jim Rash, Ken Jeong and Yvette Nicole Brown into amusing little Marvel movie cameos. So it’s clear they’ve retained a soft spot in their hearts for “Community” (which did manage to eke out six seasons). Last Friday the Russos tweeted out a message containing the time “11:00am” (the time of their Comic Con panel) and an audio clip of “Community” characters Abed (Danny Pudi) and Troy (Donald Glover) singing their Spanish language rap “La Biblioteca” (from Season 1, Episode 2). Could this be a not-so-subtle clue that the Russo brothers’ next feature film will, in fact, be Community? We’ll have to wait until this weekend to find out for sure. In the meantime, fans, feel free to keep your fingers crossed.
The Beast is Back
Between their old cable networks and new direct-to-consumer digital download services, assorted movie studios are furiously combing their libraries looking for movies that can be made into TV series. From A&E’s “Bates Motel” to FOX’s “The Exorcist” to FX’s “Fargo” to TNT’s “Animal Kingdom” to, well, just about everything on Dinsey’s upcoming Disney+ service, movie-to-TV adaptations are the future of binge watching. Take, for example, the recent announcement that Paramount Network (home to Kevin Costner’s neo-Western “Yellowstone”) has given the go-ahead to an adaptation of the 2000 British film Sexy Beast. The gritty crime flick starred the likes of Ray Winstone, Ian McShane and Ben Kingsley. Kingsley even nailed a Best Supporting Oscar nomination for his role as Don Logan, an unstable and aggressive crime lord who needles retired gangster Gal Dove (Winstone) into accepting a questionable heist job. The series will reportedly be a prequel (possibly set in the ’90s) recounting Dove’s origins in London’s criminal underworld. Michael Caleo, who worked on “Rescue Me” and “The Sopranos,” serves as scriptwriter and showrunner of the 10-episode first season. Karyn Kusama (Girlfight, Jennifer’s Body, The Invitation, Destroyer) directs. No word yet on when it might air.
Production is set to start this summer for AMC’s third “Walking Dead” series. The as-yet-untitled series follows “The Walking Dead” and “Fear the Walking Dead” and is inspired by the long-running comic book series created by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore (which recently came to an abrupt and surprising end). According to the network, the new series will “feature two young female protagonists and focus on the first generation to come-of-age in the apocalypse as we know it. Some will become heroes. Some will become villains.” The series will shoot in Virginia and will only have 10 episodes per season. (The other two have 16 per season.) Alexa Mansour (from “Madam Secretary” and “SEAL Team”) has been cast as one of the show’s two female protagonists. The series is expected to air some time in 2020.