(1) MAYBE “COYOTE” ISN’T DEAD YET. “I’m feeling better!”Deadline reports “Coyote vs. Acme: Warner Bros Showing Pic to Amazon, Apple For Acquisition”.
Screenings are being set up this week for streamers Amazon Prime Video, Apple and Netflix to check out and potentially acquire Warner Bros‘ axed Looney Tunes movie Coyote vs. Acme after the studio’s phone ran off the hook the entire weekend from angry filmmakers and talent reps over their third feature film kill after Batgirl and Scoob Holiday Haunt!
The more egregious Hollywood sin with Coyote vs. Acme is that it’s a finished film was intended for a theatrical release, while the other two movies were still in the works.
Of those kicking the tires, even though no deals have been drafted, I hear Amazon is a leading contender given the fact that Courtenay Valenti, the Head of Film, Streaming and Theatrical for Amazon Studios and MGM, was a big champion and linchpin for the movie while she was President of Production and Development at Warner Bros. All of this boils down to Head of Amazon Studios Jen Salke’s signoff, I understand. During the pandemic, Prime Video acquired Sony’s family titles Hotel Transylvania 4 and Cinderella, among other movies. Amazon has been known to take finished films off the table for $100M and turn them into events for Prime Video….
(2) SFPA OFFICER ELECTION RESULTS. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association has tallied the votes and announced that starting January 1, 2024, John Philip Johnson will be SFPA Secretary and Jordan Hirsch will be SFPA Treasurer.
(3) ULTRAMAN ARRIVING IN 2024. “The First Ultraman: Rising Trailer Looks Incredible” says Yahoo!
Ultraman is one of Japan’s biggest superheroes – both figuratively and literally – but outside of Japan the hero’s popularity hasn’t quite hit fever pitch. Netflix’s newest film could change all that, if the first trailer for Ultraman: Rising is anything to go by, as it looks absolutely incredible.
Netflix released the first trailer for the CG animated film Ultraman: Rising last night, as part of its annual Geeked Week celebrations. The trailer shows off a rebooted Ultraman, a gigantic super-powered hero that’s the powered-up form of baseball superstar Ken Sato.
As the story goes, Ken comes back to Japan to take up his duties as the biggest superhero on the planet, promptly defeating a large, dragon-like kaiju. In the trailer, he retrieves a mysterious orb from the monster, only to discover it’s an egg — and it hatches into the child of his greatest foe…
(4) LEARNEDLEAGUE CALENDAR. [Item by David Goldfarb.] Here are LearnedLeague One-Day Special quizzes scheduled for 2024, that relate to SF and fantasy. Some are specifically SFF-related, some are genre-adjacent. I’ll list both.
- Spaceballs: The One-Day Special! Jan 9
- The Sandman Jan 10
- The X-Men May 8
- Folk Horror Films May 13
- Science Fiction Homeworlds Jul 20
- Mars in Popular Culture Jul 23
- Studio Ghibli Jul 23
- Faerie Tale Theatre Aug 6
- Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere Aug 7
- Murderbot for Everyone Aug 21
- Elemental Masters (probably? Mercedes Lackey has a series with that title, but it could be about something else with a similar name) Oct 7
- The Silmarillion Oct 10 (we’ve had 3 quizzes already about The Lord of the Rings, so now we move on to The Silmarillion)
- Godzilla Oct 14
- Just Audio Horror Pairings Oct 16
- Jurassic Park Oct 17
- Just Images Portals Oct 28
- Romance Novels 3: Super Friendly Monsters Oct 31
- Science of Science Fiction 2 Nov 4
- Star Trek: The Next Generation Nov 7
- Polyamory Jan 12
- Video Game Weaponry Jan 22
- Homestuck Feb 7
- Year of the Dragon (possibly? not 100% clear what this one is about) Feb 8
- Secret Identities Mar 25
- DuckTales Apr 9
- Nanotechnology Apr 10
- Chemicals I Won’t Work With Apr 13
- Asteroids Apr 15
- Horror Hosts Apr 15
- Fictional Religions May 15 (not clear how this will differ from Fictional Theology)
- Science Theater Jul 15
- Tintin Comics Jul 18
- Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall Trilogy Oct 10
- Mercury 7 Astronauts Nov 7
I’m particularly looking forward to Cosmere, Homeworlds, Murderbot, and Science of SF. (I was part of a 10-way tie for champion of the first “Science of Science Fiction” quiz.)
(5) WHO MAY GIVE YOUNG VIEWERS THE CREEPS? “Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies issues warning to parents ahead of anniversary specials” and The Independent boosts the signal.
… Of the three episodes, series opener The Star Beast, which airs on 25 November and centres on a furry creature called a Meep (voiced by Miriam Margolyes), is the most child-friendly, Davies explained.
“It is like a great big Pixar family film, like a bank holiday film – all the family watching, lots of laughs, a funny monster,” he said.
However, the following two episodes will not be appropriate for children, Davies warned. “The second one, Wild Blue Yonder, is darker. Not scary – it’s genuinely weird,” he said.
“We do very scary stuff. Some stuff is quite violent. It’s not for children, it’s about children.”…
(6) LOKI SEASON 2 BOX SCORE. Deadline has the viewership numbers: “’Loki’ Season 2 Finale Pulls In 11.2M Views, +3% From Opener”.
Marvel Studios’ season 2 finale of Loki went out with a blast attracting 11.2M global views over three-days, which is +3% from the season 2 first episode 3-day draw of 10.9M.
Loki‘s season 2 kickoff was the second most-watched season premiere this year on Disney+, behind March’s season 3 premiere of The Mandalorian.
The finale of the Marvel Studios series—which concluded last Thursday—was only behind the season three finale of The Mandalorian, which wrapped up its season in April….
(7) OUROBOROS Q&A. “Ke Huy Quan Discusses Loki Season 2 Finale & His Marvel Entry” at Deadline. Beware spoilers.
DEADLINE: It’s so great to get to talk with you about Loki. You haven’t really been able to talk about your role, due to the actors strike. What have you been waiting to say?
KE HUY QUAN: When I decided to become an actor again, [being part of the MCU] was at the top of my wishlist…They all welcomed me with wide open arms, and I was so happy. I was patiently waiting for the show to come out so we can go and celebrate it and tell the fans. Then, of course, the strike happened. I just want to tell everybody how proud of the show I am. How happy I am with it. And working with Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, the entire Loki family has just been incredible. We made this last year in London. I was there for four months, my wife and I were there. It was one of the best four months of my life. I’ve done a few shows before, and this was the first time where I didn’t want it to end. I was so happy. In fact, I’ll tell you this. We were scheduled for reshoots this February, and I was waiting. My wife and I were looking forward to spending more time in London and with our Loki family. And all of a sudden we were told, ‘Oh, we don’t need any reshoots. It’s all good.’ I was kind of disappointed. I was actually disappointed that we didn’t get to go back because of how much fun we had… So we made history. We make history two times. One is the first series of Marvel getting a second season and the second is the first time a Marvel show didn’t have any reshoots. I’m so proud of that….
(8) MICHAEL BISHOP (1945-2023). Beloved sff author Michael Bishop died November 13, the day following his 78th birthday, after a prolonged stay in hospice care. His daughter made the announcement on Facebook.
…It is with great sadness (and yet relief for my dad) that I post with the news that Daddy breathed his last breath early this morning with my mom by his side. He is at peace and free from pain AND we miss him terribly already….
He made such an immediate and strong impression on the field that he was presented DeepSouthCon’s Phoenix Award for lifetime achievement in 1977, less than a decade after his first work was published.
By the time his career was over, Bishop was a 17-time Nebula finalist, winning Best Novelette for “The Quickening” in 1982 and Best novel for No Enemy But Time in 1983. He was also a 9-time Hugo finalist, though never won.
His versatility was proven by the other awards he received. His short story “The Pile” won a 2009 Shirley Jackson Award. His novel Unicorn Mountain won the Mythopoeic Award for Best Fantasy in 1989. His poem “For the Lady of a Physicist” won a 1979 Rhysling Award. He was also a four-time Locus Award winner.
(9) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.
[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]
- Born November 13, 1850 — Robert Louis Stevenson. Author of Treasure Island, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and the New Arabian Nights collection of short stories. Internet Movie Database gives over three hundred productions that have been based off of his works. What are your favorite ones? And I’m not even going to get into the deeps of genre fiction based off just the Strange Case of Dr Jekyll as I know Theodora Goss was making use of that story in one of her series and Simon R. Green had Hydes in his Nightside series. Not to mention Bugs Bunny… (Died 1894.)
- Born November 13, 1887 — A. R. Tilburne. Pulp artist who by 1938 was selling cover illustrations to Short Stories and Weird Tales such as the November 1938 issue of the latter, and in the 1940s he also drew many interior story illustrations for Weird Tales. In 1947 he painted the cover for H. P. Lovecraft’s The Lurking Fear, published by Avon paperback books. (Died 1965.)
- Born November 13, 1888 — Philip Francis Nowlan. He’s best known as the creator of Buck Rogers. While working in Philadelphia, he created and wrote the Buck Rogers comic strip, illustrated by Dick Calkins. Philip Nowlan working for the syndicate John F. Dille Company, later known as the National Newspaper Service syndicate, was contracted to adapt the story into a comic strip. The Buck Rogers strip made its first newspaper appearance on January 7, 1929, but the first appearance of “Anthony Rogers” was actually in Amazing Stories in August of 1928 in the “Armageddon—2419 A. D.” Story there with cover illustration by Frank R. Paul. (Died 1940.)
- Born November 13, 1945 — Pierre Pelot, 78. A French writer who wrote fourteen science fiction novels and seven horror novels including space operas. Only But What If Butterflies Cheat? (its English translation title) is available in English so far. It’s part of the might exist The Child Who Walked on the Sky / But What If Butterflies Cheat? omnibus as I failed to find it anywhere including Amazon and any of the places that resell books online. He was nominated for a dozen Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire Awards winning two.
- Born November 13, 1955 — Brenda Clough, 68. She was nominated for a Hugo at ConJosé for her “May Be Some Time” novella. I’m very fond of her fantasy Averidan series. Though very much not genre, I recommend her A Most Dangerous Woman, a sequel to The Woman in White by Wilkie Collin. It’s a serial on Realm which you can find at the usual suspects.
- Born November 13, 1957 — Stephen Baxter, 66. Ok I’m going to confess that the only thing I’ve read that he’s written is the Long Earth series with Terry Pratchett. I’ve only read the first three but they are quite great SF! Ok I really, really need your help to figure out what else of his that I should consider reading. To say he’s been a prolific writer is somewhat of an understatement and he’s gotten a bonnie bunch of awards as well though no Hugos. It’s worth noting that Baxter’s story “Last Contact” was nominated for a Hugo for best short story at Denvention 3 as were The Time Ships as L.A. Con III, “Moon Six” novellette at BucConeer, “On the Orion Line” novellette and “The Gravity Mine” short story at the Millennium Philcon, and finally “The Ghost Pit” short story at ConJosé.
(10) COMICS SECTION.
- Speed Bump checks the shelves of an interesting library.
- Thatababy has a strange way of getting rid of autumn leaves.
- Wallace the Brave gives a teacher a novel excuse.
- Tom Gauld made a design with you in mind.
(11) HORRENDOUS PROBLEMS IN IRON FLAME PRINT BOOKS. Publishers Lunch learned that “Entangled Is Working On A Solution to ‘Iron Flame’ Misprints”.
Entangled Publishing said in a statement that it’s working to correct misprints in the new Rebecca Yarros novel Iron Flame that published on November 7. Entangled reportedly indicated the book sold more than half a million copies on its release day, and some of the copies had irregularities including damaged pages, missing pages, upside down pages, and more, which readers catalogued on TikTok.
In a statement to Variety, the company acknowledged that the misprints “have caused disappointment among those who eagerly awaited this release.” They write, “In keeping with our values of quality and responsibility, we are committed to making this right. We are actively working with our distribution partner to create a solution for those who wish to exchange their copy but are unable to do so at their original retailer. Our printing company is also working to produce the additional copies needed to facilitate this process. Entangled Publishing appreciates the patience and support of our readers as we work to swiftly resolve this issue. More details will be available on our social media platforms in the coming weeks.”
(12) AI COPYRIGHT LAWSUIT NEWS. Publishers Weekly reports“Judge Will Toss Part of Authors’ AI Copyright Lawsuit”.
At a hearing last week, a federal judge said that he will dismiss part of the lawsuit filed by a group of authors including comedian Sarah Silverman that claims Meta’s Llama AI application infringes their copyrights.
According to Reuters, judge Vince Chhabria said the authors’ allegations that text generated by Llama infringes their copyrights simply doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. “When I make a query of Llama, I’m not asking for a copy of Sarah Silverman’s book—I’m not even asking for an excerpt,” Chhabria observed, noting that, under the authors’ theory, a side-by-side comparison of text generated by the AI application and Silverman’s book would have to show they are similar.
However, the judge said he will not dismiss the case with prejudice, meaning the authors will be allowed to amend and refile their claims. Furthermore, a core claim of the suit—that Meta’s use of unauthorized copies to train its AI model is infringing—remains.
The judge’s decision was not unexpected. As PW reported in July, multiple lawyers said that the authors’ copyright claims face long odds in court.
The proposed class action suit before Chhabria was filed on July 7 by the Joseph Saveri Law Firm on behalf of authors Christopher Golden, Richard Kadrey, and comedian Sarah Silverman, just days after the Saveri firm filed a similar suit on behalf of authors against Open AI, with authors Paul Tremblay and Mona Awad as named plaintiffs (though Awad has since withdrawn). A third group of authors represented by another firm (with authors including Michael Chabon, David Henry Hwang, Matthew Klam, Rachel Louise Snyder, and Ayelet Waldman among others) filed a lawsuit in August….
(13) TOY-BASED MOVIE GETTING ANOTHER CHANCE. “‘Masters of the Universe’ Movie Eyes New Home at Amazon” reports Variety.
In “Masters of the Universe,” He-Man’s nemesis is the evil wizard Skeletor. In Hollywood, his greatest threat has been a list of studio partners that have sidelined him from the big screen for nearly two decades.
The blond barbarian, based on a popular set of Mattel toys, may finally win the day. Amazon MGM Studios is in serious talks to mount a live-action “Masters of the Universe” movie from Adam and Aaron Nee, the writing and directing team behind “The Lost City,” according to multiple insiders. Conversations are taking place with Amazon after Netflix dropped a planned version of the Nee brothers film in July….
(14) TERMINATOR BEGINS AGAIN. Yahoo! says“Terminator is back with a new anime series coming to Netflix”.
Netflix is giving the Terminator franchise the anime treatment in a new series that’s set to hit the streaming platform “soon.” The company dropped the first teaser for Terminator: The Anime Series this weekend during its Geeked Week event. Details so far are scant, but we do know it’ll be produced by Production IG, the Japanese animation studio behind the original Ghost in the Shell movie and spinoff TV series.
Terminator: The Anime Series will take us back to August 1997, when the Skynet AI becomes self-aware and turns against humans. While there is no information on the cast just yet, Variety reports the series will feature entirely new characters….
(15) THESE GHOSTS ARE ON THE CASE. Variety is there when “’Dead Boy Detectives’ Netflix Series Drops First Trailer”.
The show, based on characters created for DC by Neil Gaiman and Matt Wagner, was originally ordered to series at Max back in April 2022. However, it was reported earlier this year that it would be moving to Netflix due to the fact it did not fit the new direction for Max-DC content being spearheaded by James Gunn and Peter Safran.
The official description for the eight-episode series states, “Do you have a pesky ghost haunting you? Has a demon stolen your core memories? You may want to ring the Dead Boy Detectives. Meet Edwin Payne (George Rexstrew) and Charles Rowland (Jayden Revri), ‘the brains’ and ‘the brawn’ behind the Dead Boy Detectives agency. Teenagers born decades apart who find each other only in death, Edwin and Charles are best friends and ghosts… who solve mysteries….
(16) MOON UNIT. “Rebel Moon Trailer: Part One A Child of Fire Kicks Off Zack Snyder Epic” – Variety provides the introduction.
Netflix has debuted an explosive new trailer for Zack Snyder‘s “Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire,” set for a limited one-week theatrical release on Dec. 15 and a wide streaming release on Netflix on Dec. 22.
Snyder’s epic space adventure film stars Sofia Boutella, Ed Skrein, Cleopatra Coleman and Cary Elwes. The story centers on a young woman living on the outskirts of a galaxy who must find a group of warriors to save the galaxy from an invasion from a tyrant. Snyder revealed to Total Film that “Rebel Moon” takes place in the same universe as another Netflix film of his, “Army of the Dead,” though one is set in outer space and the other in apocalyptic Las Vegas….
[Thanks to SF Mike Kennedy, Andrew Porter, John King Tarpinian, David Goldfarb, Kathy Sullivan, Chris Barkley, Cat Eldridge, and Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Cat Eldridge.]