In top TV and streaming news this week, a stunning development as The CW loses a superhero lead and excited speculation on Timothy Olyphant’s The Mandalorian season 2 role. Plus, Muppets, Adam Sandler, and the week’s top trailers.
The biggest twist for the first season of The CW’s Batwoman series came off-screen: titular star Ruby Rose announced on May 19, two days after the first season finale of the series aired, that she would not return for Batwoman’s sophomore installment.
“I have made the very difficult decision to not return to Batwoman next season,” Rose said in a statement. “This was not a decision I made lightly as I have the utmost respect for the cast, crew and everyone involved with the show in both Vancouver and in Los Angeles … Thank you to everyone who made season one a success — I am truly grateful.”
From a joint statement issued by The CW, Warner Bros. TV and producer Greg Berlanti’s Berlanti Productions: “[We] thank Ruby for her contributions to the success of our first season and wish her all the best. The studio and network are firmly committed to Batwoman’s second season and long-term future, and we — along with the show’s talented creative team — look forward to sharing its new direction, including the casting of a new lead actress and member of the LGBTQ community, in the coming months.”
Berlanti was committed from the project’s beginning to casting a member of the LGBTQ community for the role of Kate Kane, Bruce Wayne’s cousin and the person who would eventually become Batwoman.
Though statements from both Rose and the producers don’t give any reasons for the actress’ departure, TVLine reports the decision to recast the role was a mutual one. Rose was reportedly unhappy with the long hours required of a network series lead, which made her a less than an enthusiastic co-worker.
“It wasn’t 100-percent her decision,” a source close to the show told TVLine. “It was a breakup. She wasn’t happy working on the show, and did that make her fun to work with? No. So everyone decided it would be in the best interests of the show, and for all concerned, if they parted ways. It just wasn’t a good fit.”
The CW didn’t plan for Batwoman to return until 2021, giving the network plenty of time to find its new superheroine.
When news broke last week that Justified and Deadwood star Timothy Olyphant would be part of The Mandalorian’s second season cast, nothing was known about his specific role. But Slashfilm is reporting this week that Olyphant will be playing a character named Cobb Vanth, “the self-appointed sheriff of the Tatooine-based settlement Freetown,” who wears a set of armor that may have once belonged to bounty hunter Boba Fett (who, as was previously reported, will be played by Temuera Morrison).
Slashfilm cites the character profile of Vanth as revealed in author Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath series of books for what little is known about Vanth, including that he was once a slave who is now committed to keeping Tatooine free of criminals.
Sounds like Seth Bullock, and Raylan Givens, to us, and a clever bit of casting by The Mandalorian crew. Season 2 of the Disney+ series premieres in the fall.
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Adam Sandler will star in the Netflix movie Hustle, about a washed-up basketball scout who sees his redemption in a streetball whiz from another country. He talks the young hoops player into leaving his family behind and moving to Los Angeles to make himself a candidate for the NBA draft. The movie will be co-produced by Sandler’s Happy Madison productions and LeBron James’ SpringHill Entertainment.
Once Upon a Time and Big Love star Ginnifer Goodwin will co-star with Eliza Coupe (Scrubs) in the Fox pilot Pivoting, about a trio of friends who decide to make some changes in their lives when their childhood friend dies. Goodwin will play Jodie, a married mom of three who begins an affair with her trainer as part of her new life plan. (Deadline)
Disney+ announced a July 31 release date for Muppets Now, a live-action Muppets series. The six-episode meta comedy will find Scooter under pressure to deliver a new Muppets series for streaming, impeded, of course, by shenanigans from his fellow Muppets and a lineup of guest stars.
The Tom Hanks WWII drama (the latest Tom Hanks WWII drama) Greyhound, which was scheduled to be released in theaters on June 12, has been picked up by Apple TV+ and will debut on the streaming service later this year. Hanks stars in the film and wrote the screenplay, which is based on the 1955 novel The Good Shepherd by C.S. Forester.
David E. Kelley and Melissa James Gibson (House of Cards) will be co-showrunners, writers, and executive producers of the Netflix anthology series Anatomy of a Scandal. The six-episode series is based on the bestselling book of the same name by Sarah Vaughan, and will unfold the scandalous stories of privileged Brits and the women caught in the middle of them.
Baby Driver director Edgar Wright has teamed up with longtime collaborators Nira Park, Joe Cornish, and Rachael Prior on Complete Fiction, a production company that has already committed to three TV series for Netflix: Lockwood & Co., a supernatural detective story based on a series of novels by Jonathan Stroud; a historical fantasy epic, The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy), from author S.A. Chakraborty; and The Murders of Molly Southbourne, based on a sci-fi horror series from author Tade Thompson.
Steven Spielberg will produce a Broadway musical adaptation of the NBC drama Smash, which revolved around the making of a Broadway show. The 2012-13 cult fave featured original music by Tony-winning composers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, who will also provide music for the Broadway show. Spielberg’s co-lead producers are Robert Greenblatt and Neil Meron, while Tony winner Bob Martin (The Prom) and Rick Elice (Jersey Boys) will write the book. The musical-within-the-musical is called Bombshell, which is a biography of Marilyn Monroe.
Jamie Lee Curtis has signed a first-look deal with Blumhouse that will include the creation of TV and movie projects.