Week-in-Review: Weekend Box Office, Stephen King’s The Stand and The Dark Crystal Prequel

    Toys Are Back in Town

    After several weeks of under-performing wannabe blockbusters, Toy Story 4 arrived with a bang. The third sequel in Pixar and Disney’s long-running series of CGI-animated movies about living toys earned $118 million in its opening weekend. Once again, Tim Allen, Tom Hanks and Annie Potts voice Woody, Buzz Lightyear and Bo Peep. They are joined by Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele of Key and Peele fame as well as by Christina Hendricks (TV series Good Girls) and Keanu Reeves (John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum).

    In second place of the weekend box office is another movie about a living toy, albeit a more vicious one. Child’s Play is a remake of a 1988 horror flick about a serial killer whose soul ends up in a child’s doll. Original Child’s Play was so popular it led to six increasingly humorous sequels. Child’s Play reboot earned a bit over $14 million in its first weekend in cinemas. It features Gabriel Bateman (Lights Out), Aubrey Plaza (TV series Legion) and Mark Hamill (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) as the voice of Chucky. Aladdin is once again in third place with $12,2 million. Men in Black International has dropped four places since its début, earning less than $11 million in its second weekend. Finally, in fifth place is The Secret Life of Pets 2 with $10,3 million. All of this data comes courtesy of the Box Office Mojo.

    CBS All Access Starts Casting for The Stand Miniseries

    Actor James Marsden (X-Men movies, TV series Westworld) is in talks with CBS All Access to appear in the upcoming adaptation of Stephen King’s best-selling post-apocalyptic novel The Stand. According to Collider, the network is also negotiating with Amber Heard (Aquaman), Whoopi Goldberg (The Color Purple), Greg Kinnear (As Good as It Gets), Odessa Young (Assassination Nation) and Henry Zaga (upcoming The New Mutants). It is as yet unknown who might play Randall Flagg, the novel’s chief villain. The project has been in development for some time now by writers Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) and Ben Cavell (TV series Justified). Initially planned as a movie, then a series of four movies, The Stand will be produced as a ten-part miniseries which might be the perfect format for King’s sprawling saga.

    First published in 1978, The Stand describes the end of the world resulting from an accidental release of a military-grade biological weapon. Called Captain Trips by the media, this disease wipes out 99% of humanity. Survivors begin gathering in two camps, one led by the benevolent Mother Abigail and the other by a menacing yet charismatic Randall Flagg. In 1994, ABC adapted The Stand into a miniseries featuring, among others, Matt Frewer (Max Headroom), Miguel Ferrer (Robocop), Gary Sinise (Forrest Gump), Rob Lowe (West Wing), Molly Ringwald (Sixteen Candles) and Ed Harris (The Rock).

    Even More Celebrities Join Netflix’s The Dark Crystal Series

    Last December, we first reported about Netflix’s upcoming series based on Jim Hanson’s 1982 fantasy film The Dark Crystal. Beside state of the art puppetry and special effects, this prequel series drew notice with an impressive list of stars lending their voices: from veterans like Mark Hamill (Star Wars) and Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes) to comedic actors like Keegan-Michael Key (Key and Peele), Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead) and Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine). Now, according to Deadline, Netflix just added even more celebrities to its cast of voice actors. Awkwafina (Ocean’s 8), Lena Headey (Game of Thrones), Hannah John-Kamen (Ant-Man and Wasp), Sigourney Weaver (Avatar) and Benedict Wong (Avengers: Endgame) will all provide voices for various recurring characters in the series.

    Titled The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance, the series takes place centuries before the events of the 1982 film. Its story follows Brea, Deet and Rian, a trio of noble Gelflings voiced by, respectively, Anya Taylor-Joy (Split), Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones) and Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service). These three will try mounting a rebellion against the vile, greedy Skeksis who rule over the world of Thra.

    The Dark Crystal: Age Of Resistance comes to Netflix on August 30, 2019.

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