Joby Harold, whose writing credits include Awake, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, and Zack Snyder’s upcoming Army of the Dead, has been hired as the new writer of the untitled Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+. Get the details below.
Variety has the news, reporting that Harold is taking over as the show’s writer after the show was shut down earlier this year. Drive screenwriter Hossein Amini turned in scripts, sets were built, staff were hired, and star Ewan McGregor was back on board…but Lucasfilm decided to pull the plug and start from scratch, throwing out Amini’s scripts and beginning the search for a new writer to come in and take over. That search, which at one time reportedly included The Mandalorian veterans Dave Filoni and Christopher Yost as options, is now over, as the studio has hired Joby Harold to get things back on track.
Harold is an unexpected choice for this job, since he’s arguably better known as a producer than a writer at this point. He’s produced or executive produced Edge of Tomorrow, Robin Hood, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, and the WGN America series Underground. On the writing side, he wrote and directed his first feature film, Awake, back in 2007, and a decade passed before his script for King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword was eventually produced. That film was supposed to launch a six-movie franchise, but didn’t perform well enough to even get a single sequel, let alone five. Army of the Dead is in post-production and he’s on board to write another Transformers project, but those are the only four writing credits listed.
More to come…
Disney+ may benefit from further delays with the studio's theatrical releases as more movies may be going directly to the streaming service in the future. This, according to former Disney CEO and current Executive Chairman Bob Iger. It was recently revealed that Artemis Fowl will debut on Disney+ sometime this year, skipping a theatrical release. As Iger explains, that may not be the only title to make the move from theatrical to streaming, but don't expect to see it happen with the studio's upcoming tentpole releases.
Given what's going on in the world right now, most movie theaters are shut down entirely and virtually all major releases through June have been delayed. Some have wondered if Disney might put movies like Black Widow or Mulan on Disney+ instead. While that won't be happening, Bob Iger isn't ruling out other movies making the shift. Here's what Iger had to say about it in a recent interview.'There are some we've decided to put on Disney+. We already announced one, Artemis Fowl, that would have been released in theaters. Others we've simply delayed. In some cases we've moved things onto Disney+ faster than we would have. Frozen 2 was one of them, but Onward would be the biggest example. It was in theaters when this happened.' 'We moved to a pay-per-view period for a couple of weeks where people could buy it and own it. And then we ended up putting it on Disney+. In terms of movies going ahead after Artemis, there may be a few more that we end up putting directly onto Disney+, but for the most part a lot of the big tentpole Disney films, we'll simply wait for slots. In some cases we've announced new ones already, but later on in the calendar.'
There is a lot to unpack here. Black Widow and several other delayed movies were recently given new release dates as Disney reshuffled its 2020/2021 calendar. Black Widow and other big-budget tentpoles stand to make far more money in theaters, even with a relatively uncertain future ahead, than they could possibly generate via streaming. So putting movies like them directly on Disney+ doesn't make that much business sense.
In the meantime, taking riskier projects such as Artemis Fowl and giving Disney+ subscribers something flashy and exclusive is helpful. But what other movies might fit the bill for streaming debuts? The New Mutants perhaps? Whatever the case, as Bob Iger points out, the studio is content to wait until things return to normal. Disney, more than any other studio in Hollywood, is capable of raking in big dollars at the box office. So this truly isn't that surprising.
Other studios, on the other hand, may see value in doing a VOD/Digital release. Universal kicked that door wide open a couple of weeks back by putting recent releases such as The Invisible Man and The Hunt online. Trolls: World Tour, which was destined for theaters, will arrive digitally this month. Disney has not yet set a premiere date for Artemis Fowl, but it's...
We still have a while to wait before the Loki Disney+ series arrives, and perhaps longer than expected depending on how long the current wave of production shutdowns throughout the business continues. But while we wait, we have some new details on the Marvel project from series creator and writer Michael Waldron. While the finer points of the story are being kept under wraps, Waldron has revealed what the show, in vague terms, will be about.
Michael Waldron was brought aboard the series last year. Loki will see Tom Hiddleston return as the trickster god, but what, precisely, we're going to see remains pretty mysterious. During a recent podcast appearance, Waldron explained that we'll see Thor's ne'er-do-well adopted brother going through something of an identity struggle. Here's what Waldron had to say about it.'I think it's the struggle with identity, who you are, who you want to be. I'm really drawn to characters who are fighting for control. Certainly you see that with Loki over the first 10 years of movies, he's out of control at pivotal parts of his life, he was adopted and everything and that manifests itself through anger and spite towards his family.'
Indeed, Loki, ever since we were first introduced to him in Thor, has had something of a chip on his shoulder that has guided much of his wrongdoing. He tried to conquer Earth in The Avengers because he craved power that he could never have as Thor's brother, for example. Yet, we've seen him, for brief moments, flirt with doing the right thing. It seems we'll see the beloved villain sort through some of this complex emotion in the show.
Joining Tom Hiddleston in the cast will be Richard E. Grant Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Owen Wilson Wedding Crashers, Gugu Mbatha-Raw Motherless Brooklyn and Sophia Di Martino Yesterday. What we know for sure is that Loki met his ultimate fate at the beginning of Infinity War at the hands of Thanos. Yet, he escaped with the Tesseract during the so-called time heist in Avengers: Endgame. So we're likely going to see him hopping around time and space. However, his fate is already sealed. There is a predetermined endpoint to his journey, which could make things interesting.
Some brief footage from the show was featured in a Disney+ teaser that showcased the upcoming Marvel shows that also included WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. We saw Loki locked up in an off-world prison threatening to burn the place to the ground. Other live-action shows in the works for the streaming service that will tie in heavily to the wider MCU include She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight and Hawkeye. As it stands, Loki is expected to debut in early 2021. We'll be sure to keep you posted as further details are made available. For more with Michael Waldron, check out his episode of The Writer's Panel podcast.
Marvel Studios has announced the new Black Widow release date. The highly anticipated Natasha Romanoff standalone movie will be released on November 6th. This was the release date for the Eternals movie, which has now been pushed back, along with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4 projects. There was speculation that Disney and Marvel Studios were toying with the idea of releasing Black Widow and Mulan digitally, in an effort to skip theaters, but that is obviously not going to happen at this point in time.
The Eternals movie has been pushed to February 12th, 2021, while Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will now open May 7th, 2021. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which was probably going to get pushed back anyway, will now open on November 5th, 2021 and Thor: Love and Thunder has moved to February 18th, 2022. Looking ahead to the MCU's Phase 5, Black Panther 2 will still debut May 6th, 2022, while Captain Marvel 2, which previously did not have a firm release date, has been set for July 8th, 2022.
At this time, it is unclear when movie theaters are going to be able to open their doors again. Some have predicted that sometime in June is likely, though it is not guaranteed. AMC might not even open their doors again after their latest credit rating was revealed. With that being said, Marvel Studios made a wise decision in pushing everything back on their calendar. Black Widow could have come out in the late summer or early fall, but there's really no predicting what the entertainment business will look like at that time. Pushing things further may bum out fans, but there was really no avoiding this situation.
Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige announced the MCU Phase 4 titles at last year's San Diego Comic-Con and received an enthusiastic response from the world. In addition to the big screen titles, Feige also spoke about all of the Disney+ TV shows that are on the way too. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision were the first to go into production, but it's unclear if they will meet their release dates now that production has been halted. It is believed that they were mostly complete, but there has not been an official announcement as of this writing.
MCU fans are going to have to wait a bit longer to see some of their favorite superheroes on the big screen. This could end up being excellent news for last-minute story revisions and other things that may need to get changed, meaning we'll get a better movie when the dust settles. Hopefully the world's current situation will pass in the near future so that people can get back to some kind of normalcy. Variety was the first to announce the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 4 news.