While Amazon Considers Buying AMC, Alamo Launches Its VOD Platform

Ever since the coronavirus lockdown began two months ago, cinema chains all over the US found themselves in financial dire straits. As movie theatres petitioned for federal assistance, major studios started releasing new titles online, causing furor among cinema owners. Now, two months into a nation-wide shutdown, there are hints that two major distribution channels — cinemas and streaming — might merge.

This week, GeekTyrant reported that Amazon is allegedly looking into buying AMC Theatres – world’s largest movie theatre chain with over 10,000 screens in over 1000 cinemas. While it still isn’t clear this deal will even go through, the mere news of it caused AMC shares to soar – no small feat for a company that’s been unable to operate for over a month. On the other hand, an acquisition by the streaming giant could also doom movie theatres in a way Amazon’s book-selling undercut brick-and-mortar bookshops.

On the other hand, Alamo Drafthouse is embracing the change by experimenting with a VOD platform. In early April, we wrote about ScreenPlus – a company offering cinema owners a customized pirate-proof digital distribution system. A month later, Alamo Drafthouse is rolling out its VOD platform in association with ScreenPlus. Alamo on Demand will offer a selection of films curated by the cinema’s programming team. According to an article by Birth.Movies.Death., the platform will feature indie titles, genre classics and cult oddities alike.

Katee Sackhoff Cast in The Mandalorian; Show’s Production Still on Schedule

Here’s more good news from a galaxy far, far away, also known as The Mandalorian. GeekTyrant reports Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica, Riddick) will appear in the show’s second season as Bo-Katan Kryze – a character she previously voiced in the animated TV shows Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels. First appearing in season 4 of The Clone Wars, Bo-Katan is a former terrorist, rebel, and Mandalorian leader. The news of Sackhoff’s casting comes only days after we learned about Temuera Morrison reprising his performance as Jango Fett/Boba Fett/Clone Trooper. Additionally, several weeks ago we reported Rosario Dawson and Michael Biehn were also hired for the show’s second season.

And while casting news like this is certainly interesting, even better news is that the production of The Mandalorian remains on schedule despite the coronavirus pandemic and global shutdowns. According to SlashFilm, Disney’s new CEO Bob Chapek confirmed in a recent interview that the principal shooting for the show’s second season was already completed by February. Now, even with a lockdown in place, post-production can continue with people working remotely.

The second season of The Mandalorian is set to premiere on Disney+ in October 2020.

HBO Max Developing a Feature Film On Stephen King and Joe Hill’s Novella

HBO Max is developing a feature film adaptation of a horror novella Throttle by Stephen King and his son Joe Hill, says Deadline. According to the article, Leigh Dana Jackson (producer of TV shows like Raising Dion, Scream, and Sleepy Hollow) will write the script, while David S. Goyer and Keith Levine will help produce the feature through their company Phantom Four.

Throttle follows a biker gang led by a father and son as they’re menaced by a big rig truck in the middle of the desert. First published in 2009, Throttle is inspired by another story – Duel by horror legend Richard Matheson. That story, in turn, was successfully adapted into a TV movie in 1971 by then-unknown Steven Spielberg. Throttle was published as an audiobook as well as a comic book adaptation by IDW Publishing in 2012.

Phantom Four produced horror movies like Antlers, The Night House, and The Unborn. It is currently working on a Hellraiser reboot and producing the sci-fi film The Tomorrow War starring Chris Pratt. Stephen King requires no introduction. This bestselling horror writer of over 50 books has been undergoing a Hollywood renaissance lately, with his stories and novels adapted into films and TV shows. As for Joe Hill, he successfully carved his niche in the horror genre with novels like NOS4A2 and the comic book series Locke & Key – both of which were adapted into TV shows.