TV Talk

Is HBO Building a Game of Thrones Franchise Like Disney+'s Massive Star Wars Lineup?

Author's Dunk and Egg novellas are being developed for an HBO Game of Thrones prequel. Plus, a Batman: The Animated Series sequel, Dungeons & Dragons live-action series, The Boys: Herogasm ahead, and more TV and streaming news.

by | January 22, 2021 | Comments

Looks like HBO has big plans for its Game of Thrones universe — no, it’s not a theme park (yet). Filmmaker Kevin Smith drops some Bat-gossip. John Wick creator and writer Derek Kolstad is serious about a Dungeons & Dragons live-action series. The Boys showrunner Erik Kripke just got visibly excited about his “Herogasm,” Critics Choice Awards TV nominations are out, and more of the week’s top TV and streaming news.


TOP STORY

Another Game of Thrones Spin-off, Tales of Dunk and Egg, Is in Development at HBO

George RR Martin and A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms book cover
(Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP via Getty Images; Random House )

Disney+ has 734 Star Wars projects in the works (OK, we exaggerate a little), and HBO appears to be following the same plan to establish a signature franchise by developing another Game of Thrones prequel series, Tales of Dunk and Egg. Another prequel, House of the Dragon, is already in the works.

The series, early in development and with no writers or cast yet attached, would be an hour-long drama based on a series of George R.R. Martin novellas that tell the adventures of Ser Duncan the Tall and Aegon V. Targaryen, 90 years before the time of the storyline in book series A Song of Ice and Fire, the source material for the Game of Thrones series.

The three stories — The Hedge Knight (1998), The Sworn Sword (2003), and The Mystery Knight (2010) — were collected into the 2015 book A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, which is the source for the series.

The Dunk and Egg series, a fan-favorite storyline, is a priority for HBO, but the series is not a lock for a spot in the cable network’s lineup, Variety reports. Another GoT prequel, starring Naomi Watts, went to the pilot stage before HBO passed on it in 2019.


Related: “Everything We Know About Game of Thrones Prequel Series House of the Dragon


Kevin Smith Says HBO Max Is Developing a Sequel to Batman: The Animated Series

BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES
(Photo by ©Warner Bros. / Courtesy: Everett Collection)

Many a fan of The Caped Crusader consider Batman: The Animated Series to be the finest on-screen portrayal of Batman ever. Which is why rumors of a potential sequel to the 1992-95 cartoon should make for some very happy Batfans.

Chatting on their Fatman Beyond podcast, filmmaker Kevin Smith and journalist/co-host Marc Bernardin said a follow-up to The Animated Series is rumored to be at an early stage of the development process at HBO Max. Bernardin brought up the topic, prompting Smith to add, “I’m not involved, but I too have heard this, and I’ve heard this from very reliable people … I think that’s real, I don’t think that’s a rumor.

“How f—ing amazing would that be, because you can just literally pick up and keep going. It’s not like, ‘Oh, we gotta explain why everyone’s older. It’s f—ing animation man, so you can go right back to those amazing f—ing stories,” Smith added.

Batman: The Animated Series featured Kevin Conroy as Batman and Mark Hamill as Joker, as well as voicework by Melissa Gilbert, Bob Hastings, Marilu Henner, William Sanderson, Adam West, Richard Moll, Paul Williams, Arleen Sorkin, John Glover, Ron Perlman, Ed Asner, Kate Mulgrew, Michael York, Treat Williams, Bruce Weitz, and Michael Gross.


Dungeons & Dragons Live-Action Series on the Way From John Wick Writer

Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit keyart
(Photo by Wizards of the Coast LLC)

Dungeons & Dragons, the movie? It’s currently being cast. But fans of the classic game may have even more to celebrate soon, with news that John Wick creator and writer Derek Kolstad is developing a pitch for a Dungeons & Dragons live-action TV series.

The role-playing game, which debuted in 1974, has seen a resurgence in popularity during the pandemic and love gameplay streams on Twitch and YouTube. Gameplay involves multi-sided dice, magical creatures like elves mixing with humans, and the oversight of a Dungeon Master. (THR)


The Boys: Eric Kripke Confirms Herogasm Storyline for Season 3

The Boys: Herogasm comic cover
(Photo by Dynamite)

Click image to see full cover in new tab.

Good thing The Boys unspools on a streaming service and not a network like The CW. A tamer venue might mean “Herogasm” — the exactly-what-it-sounds-like storyline about an island orgy for superheroes — would never be a part of the series. But The Boys showrunner Eric Kripke assures fans Herogasm absolutely will be a part of the show’s next season on Amazon.

The super-naughty story from the original comic book series found the superheroes initially believing they were heading off together into space to fight aliens, only to learn they were off to orgy island, where drugs, sex, sexual assault, and a romp between Soldier Boy and Homelander (Antony Starr) happens. Supernatural star Jensen Ackles joins the cast next season as Soldier Boy.

Kripke revealed on Twitter that the sixth episode of season 3, titled “Herogasm,” will feature the series’ writers’ twist on the tawdry tale.

“From day one, everyone dared me to make this episode. CHALLENGE MET MOTHERF—ERS,” Kripke tweeted.


Ozark and The Crown Lead Critics Choice Nominees With Six Nods Each

Laura Linney and Jason Bateman in Ozark SEASON 3 EPISODE 10 PHOTO CREDIT Steve Deitl/Netflix
(Photo by Steve Dietl/Netflix)

The TV industry has felt a bit less of the negative impact than the movie industry, and the plethora of great TV that continued to air throughout 2020 is reflected in this year nominees for the Critics Choice Awards.

Ozark and The Crown lead the pack with six nominations each, including a Best Drama nod for each of the Netflix series. Each series also boasts lead actor and actress nominees, including Jason Bateman and Laura Linney for Ozark, and Josh O’Connor, Olivia Colman, and Emma Corrin for The Crown. Ozark’s supporting cast nominees include Tom Pelphrey, Julia Garner, and Janet McTeer, while Tobias Menzies and Gillian Anderson received supporting actor and actress nominations for The Crown.

Winners will be announced during a ceremony on The CW on March, hosted by Taye Diggs. The complete list of nominees:

BEST DRAMA SERIES

  • Better Call Saul (AMC)
  • The Crown (Netflix)
  • The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
  • Lovecraft Country (HBO)
  • The Mandalorian (Disney+)
  • Ozark (Netflix)
  • Perry Mason (HBO)
  • This Is Us (NBC)

BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

  • Jason Bateman – Ozark (Netflix)
  • Sterling K. Brown – This Is Us (NBC)
  • Jonathan Majors – Lovecraft Country (HBO)
  • Josh O’Connor – The Crown (Netflix)
  • Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul (AMC)
  • Matthew Rhys – Perry Mason (HBO)

BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

  • Christine Baranski – The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
  • Olivia Colman – The Crown (Netflix)
  • Emma Corrin – The Crown (Netflix)
  • Claire Danes – Homeland (Showtime)
  • Laura Linney – Ozark (Netflix)
  • Jurnee Smollett – Lovecraft Country (HBO)

BEST COMEDY SERIES

  • Better Things (FX)
  • The Flight Attendant (HBO Max)
  • Mom (CBS)
  • PEN15 (Hulu)
  • Ramy (Hulu)
  • Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
  • Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
  • What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

  • Hank Azaria – Brockmire (IFC)
  • Matt Berry – What We Do in the Shadows (FX)
  • Nicholas Hoult – The Great (Hulu)
  • Eugene Levy – Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
  • Jason Sudeikis – Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
  • Ramy Youssef – Ramy (Hulu)

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

  • Pamela Adlon – Better Things (FX)
  • Christina Applegate – Dead to Me (Netflix)
  • Kaley Cuoco – The Flight Attendant (HBO Max)
  • Natasia Demetriou – What We Do in the Shadows (FX)
  • Catherine O’Hara – Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
  • Issa Rae – Insecure (HBO)

BEST LIMITED SERIES

  • I May Destroy You (HBO)
  • Mrs. America (FX)
  • Normal People (Hulu)
  • The Plot Against America (HBO)
  • The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)
  • Small Axe (Amazon Studios)
  • The Undoing (HBO)
  • Unorthodox (Netflix)

BEST ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

  • John Boyega – Small Axe (Amazon Studios)
  • Hugh Grant – The Undoing (HBO)
  • Paul Mescal – Normal People (Hulu)
  • Chris Rock – Fargo (FX)
  • Mark Ruffalo – I Know This Much is True (HBO)
  • Morgan Spector – The Plot Against America (HBO)

BEST ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

  • Cate Blanchett – Mrs. America (FX)
  • Michaela Coel – I May Destroy You (HBO)
  • Daisy Edgar-Jones – Normal People (Hulu)
  • Shira Haas – Unorthodox (Netflix)
  • Anya Taylor-Joy – The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)
  • Tessa Thompson – Sylvie’s Love (Amazon Studios)

See all of the nominees at CriticsChoice.com.


NEW TRAILERS: Queen Latifah Stars in The Equalizer Remake

Upcoming CBS series The Equalizer stars Queen Latifah as vigilante Robyn McCall, a mysterious woman and single mom who uses her impressive skills to help people who have nowhere else to turn for help. The series is a remake of the 1985-89 CBS series starring Edward Woodward and Billy Zabka and the recent Denzel Washington movies. Also stars Chris Noth, Lorraine Toussaint, and Adam Goldberg. Premieres Feb. 7, after the Super Bowl. (CBS)

More trailers and teasers released this week:

• Young Rock is the sitcom about the childhood and teen years of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, starring Johnson. Premieres Feb. 16 (NBC)
• Kenan stars Saturday Night Live funny man Kenan Thompson as a widowed father trying to juggle his job as a radio host with raising his daughters, leading him to accept the help of his father-in-law (Don Johnson). Also stars Chris Redd. Premieres Feb. 16 (NBC)
• Fate: The Winx Saga is YA drama inspired by the animated Nick series Winx Club, about teens at a magic boarding school. Premieres Jan. 22 (Netflix)
• The Euphoria special episode, part 2, focuses on Hunter Schafer as Rue’s friend Jules, and it doesn’t seem like her life has gotten any less drama filled. Premieres Jan. 22 on HBO Max and Jan. 24 on HBO
• We Are: The Brooklyn Saints is a docuseries about a youth football team from Brooklyn, and the close community of parents and coaches that keep it striving for excellence. Premieres Jan. 29 (Netflix)
• The Crew is a new comedy starring Kevin James as the head of NASCAR pit crew. Premieres Feb. 15 (Netflix)
• In For All Mankind, season 2, the action moves forward a decade, to the ‘80s, and imagines what would have happened if the global space race had never ended, Stars Joel Kinnaman, Michael Dorman, and Sonya Walger. Premieres Feb. 19 (Apple TV+)
• In Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready, season 2, Haddish present six of her favorite comedians, including Godfrey, Tony Woods, and Kimberly Clark. Premieres Feb. 2 (Netflix)

For all the latest TV and streaming trailers, subscribe to the Rotten Tomatoes TV YouTube channel.


CASTING: Michelle Pfeiffer To Play Betty Ford in The First Lady 

 

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Michelle Pfeiffer (French Exit) will star as Betty Ford and Susanne Bier (The Undoing) will direct and executive produce Showtime anthology series The First Lady (working title), starring and executive produced by Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), who will play former first lady Michelle Obama. The series is a “revelatory reframing of American leadership, told through the lens of the women at the heart of the White House.” Season 1 will also focus on Eleanor Roosevelt, a role that has not yet been cast.

Savannah Welch, who starred in History Channel’s military drama Six, will play Batgirl-turned-Gotham City Police Commissioner Barbara Gordon in the third season of HBO Max’s Titans. Gordon is in a wheelchair after being shot by the Joker, doesn’t get along with Bruce Wayne, and reunites with former boyfriend Dick Grayson. Welch, an amputee who lost one of her legs after being hit by a car in 2016, is also a member of the alt-country band The Trishas and is a spokesperson for the disability community in Hollywood. (Variety) 

The Kidding star Ginger Gonzaga will play the BFF of the titular heroine in Disney+’s She-Hulk. She’s the best friend of star Tatiana Maslany’s Jennifer Walters, a lawyer whose superpowers are similar to those of her cousin, Bruce Banner, a.k.a. The Incredible Hulk. As previously announced, Marvel movie Hulk Mark Ruffalo will reprise his role in the series, while Tim Roth will reprise his role as The Abomination. (Deadline)

The fourth season of CBS All Access’s No Activity will switch from live action to animated, with a lineup of new and returning guest stars that includes Louie Anderson, Kevin Bacon, D’Arcy Carden, Rob Delaney, Elle Fanning, Will Forte, Kimberly Hébert Gregory, Jason Mantzoukas, Lamorne Morris, Oscar Nuñez, Bob Odenkirk, Amy Sedaris, and June Squibb.

The Wire alum Tristan Wilds has joined the cast of Swagger, the Apple TV+ youth basketball drama from NBA star Kevin Durant. He’ll play an exec at a major athletic shoe company. (Deadline)

Scrubs alum Christa Miller will play Principal Maris in HBO Max’s reboot of the 1986-91 ABC comedy Head of the Class, from Miller’s husband, Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence. (Deadline)

The New Edition Story alum Luke James, who was recurring on season 3 of Showtime’s The Chi, has been upped to series regular for season 4. He plays Trig, the older brother of Michael V. Epps’ Jake. (Deadline)

Xander Berkeley (The Walking Dead) has joined The CW’s The Republic of Sarah, where he’ll recur as the absentee father of Sarah (Stella Baker), a high school history teacher who invokes a loophole to declare independence for her small town when a mining company threatens to destroy it. (Deadline)

Queer Eye host Karamo Brown will have a recurring role in the fourth and final season of Netflix’s Dear White People. Details on the role are hush hush. (Deadline)

Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire and The Path) will star in and produce Spy Princess: The Life of Noor Inayat Khan, about the first female wireless operator sent into France during WWII, an assignment which usually led to death within six weeks. The miniseries, which is not yet attached to a network or streaming service, is based on author Shrabani Basu’s book of the same name. 

Episodes star Kathleen Rose Perkins will play the mom of teen doc Lahela “Doogie” Kameāloha (Peyton Elizabeth Lee) in Doogie Kameāloha, M.D., Disney+’s remake of Doogie Howser. Perkins is Dr. Clara Hannon, the Chief of Staff – and therefore her daughter’s boss – at the hospital where 16-year-old Doogie works. (Deadline)

Law & Order: Criminal Intent and The Sopranos alum Annabella Sciorra will join Law & Order: SVU, reprising her Criminal Intent role. On CI, she played Det. Carolyn Barek, the partner of Chris Noth’s Mike Logan. On SVU, she’ll play Lt. Barek, now working in the Bronx SVU. (TVLine)


PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT: It’s Time to Play the Music, It’s Time to Light the Lights: The Muppet Show Will Stream on Disney+

Someone wake up Statler and Waldorf: Disney+ will begin streaming all five seasons of the 1976-81 The Muppet Show on Feb. 19. The classic series was known for, among other things, a stellar lineup of guest stars, including Elton John, Steve Martin, Rita Moreno, Diana Ross, Don Knotts, Vincent Price, Linda Ronstadt, Liza Minnelli, Carol Burnett, Brooke Shields, Debbie Harry, Paul Simon, Peter Sellers, Loretta Lynn, Alice Cooper, Johnny Cash, Lena Horne, John Cleese, Julie Andrews, and Milton Berle. 

ViacomCBS announced that its rebranding of CBS All Access to Paramount+ will launch on March 4.

Sera Gamble and Greg Berlanti’s Berlanti Productions, the team behind the Netflix series You, is adapting Caroline Kepnes’ book Providence for a Peacock series about a 12-year-old boy, Jon, who disappears along with five of his classmates, only to reappear a decade later with supernatural abilities and no idea what happened to himself and the other children. Kepnes’ book You is the basis for the Penn Badgley Netflix series. (Deadline)

Netflix and author Ibram X. Kendi will produce projects based on three of Kendi’s boos: Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in AmericaStamped: Racism, Antiracism and You; and Antiracist Baby. Kendi will executive produce all three, including the “hybrid documentary/scripted feature” that will be directed by Oscar winner Roger Ross Williams and based on Stamped from the Beginning; a companion doc, also directed by Williams, aimed at younger viewers and based on Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You; and a series of animated musical videos for preschoolers based on Antiracist Baby and produced by Doc McStuffins creator Chris Nee.

Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail has revealed that his upcoming Battlestar Galactica reboot for Peacock will include a mix of episode formats and release schedules, including potential 20-minute episodes and releasing three episodes at a time. He also said that he touched base with previous 2004-09 Sci-Fi Channel BSG reboot creator Ronald D. Moore, and that the Peacock reboot will not be a reboot of Moore’s reboot of the original 1978 ABC series created by Glen Larson. (Collider.com)

The Night Of and Star Wars alum Riz Ahmed, currently starring in the Amazon movie Sound of Metal, has signed a first-look deal to create series for Amazon Video. (THR)

McG, director of memorable pilots for series like Chuck and Lethal Weapon, will direct the pilot episode of Disney+’s Turner & Hooch, and serve as an executive producer on the series.

Music rights have held up or led to major changes for releases of many TV series, but fans of Freaks and Geeks will get to see – and hear – the series as it was originally broadcast as Hulu will stream the series with its original soundtrack, beginning Jan. 25. (The A.V. Club)

Former Law & Order: SVU co-stars Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay shared photos on Instagram of themselves together on the SVU set. The duo, playing former partners Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson, will reunite on SVU, before Meloni’s new spin-off, Law & Order: Organized Crime , is scheduled to premiere later this year, with Stabler now on the trail of MYC mobsters.

If you tuned in on inauguration eve looking for a new episode of This Is Us, no worries, it will return shortly. But series creator Dan Fogelman tweeted that the production will be delayed “a few weeks,” because of, what else, COVID-related issues. He also promised the next batch of eps are “big ones,” which we certainly would have expected after last week’s preview of Kevin’s car accident.


Netflix Passes 200M Subscribers, Adds New Functionality

Netflix product on Samsung smart TV
(Photo by Netflix)

Netflix passed 200 million subscribers globally in the fourth quarter of 2020 (even after raising its prices). The streaming service also announced it intends to launch a new feature that will give undecided viewers some suggestions. “Our members can basically indicate to us that they want to skip browsing entirely, click one button, and we’ll pick a title for them just to instantly play,” company COO and Chief Product Officer Greg Peters described the new product, which has not yet been named.


Jeopardy! Fans Support Alex Trebek Tribute

A Jeopardy! superfan has started a petition to have the Jeopardy! stage – Stage 10 at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City — renamed for and dedicated to late series host Alex Trebek. More than 19,000 people have signed already, well on the way to the goal of 25,000 signature. Sign it here.

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