as the story goes, at 10:30 p.m. Tyson boarded a JetBlue flight headed to Florida when Melvin Townsend started chatting up the former heavy weight champion. Tyson had a brief conversation with townsend and everything seemed cool, until Tyson asked him to stop talking to him but according to reports Melvin Townsend III "was extremely intoxicated ... and wouldn't stop provoking Tyson." and allegedly threw a water bottle at him
But that's not all - Melvin reportedly has a lengthy criminal history and was listed as a "habitual felony offender" in 2019 after he received a 25-year sentence for grand theft. Townsend has also been convicted of identity fraud, trafficking in stolen property, use of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance without a prescription.
After punching the man several times in the face, witnesses claim Tyson then walked off the plane. Townsend got medical attention and went to the police regarding what happened. Tyson was in San Francisco on Wednesday to attend the city's 420 cannabis festival in Golden Gate Park and was supposed to speak at the event that day, but his speech was pushed back.
While San Francisco Police declined to immediately name the individuals involved in the incident, it said two subjects were apprehended at the airport and later released, per ESPN. One of those subjects received treatment for non-life threatening injuries at the scene but gave "minimal details" of what happened and "refused to cooperate further with the police investigation."
Retooled PlayStation Plus Sets Launch Dates
Friday, April 22nd 2022 1:42 pm
Sony has announced a release date schedule for its new three-tier PlayStation Plus subscription service.
The rollout will begin in Asian markets (excluding Japan) on May 23rd followed by a Japanese launch on June 1st. It will then hit the Americas on June 13th followed by a European launch on June 22nd. No word on Australia/New Zealand release dates yet.
Additionally, Sony will be expanding its cloud streaming access to multiple European countries including Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Republic of Cyprus, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
The new features will allow players to access modern titles through the subscription service, as well as catalogue titles from past PlayStation platforms depending upon which tier you’re after.
Sony will offer markets without cloud streaming availability a separate third tier at a lower price that does not include any cloud streaming options.
Also, Gematsu recently revealed that four “Syphon Filter” games have been rated for the PS4 & PS5 – suggesting these might be some of the titles of that ‘back catalogue’ on the premiere tier.
The news comes as it has also been revealed Sony will follow suit on Microsoft’s recently announced plans to incorporate in-game advertisements in free-to-play games. Sony is reportedly exploring the idea of adverts that would appear in-game worlds “like they’re part of the game” and, like with Xbox last week, comparing them to billboards in sports arenas. Both companies appear to have been working on the idea for over a year and it’s not clear who is further ahead in terms of implementation.
Schwarzenegger Spy Series Fills Out Its Cast
Friday, April 22nd 2022 1:30 pm
Netflix and Skydance Television have locked in the major cast for the upcoming Arnold Schwarzenegger-led spy adventure series which would mark the actor’s first TV series role.
Currently untitled, the series begins when Luke (Schwarzenegger) and his daughter Emma (Monica Barbaro) learn that they’ve each secretly been working as CIA Operatives for years. The pair soon realize their entire relationship has been a lie and they truly don’t know one another at all but are soon forced to team up as partners.
Nine names have been added as regulars with five more joining in a recurring capacity. Of the regulars, numerous roles are CIA officers including Travis Van Winkle as the wise-ass but sweet Aldon, Milan Carter as the desk-locked loveable man-child Barry, Fortune Feimster as Luke’s sarcastic protege Roo, and Barbara Eve Harris will play the tough regional director Dot.
Outside the agency, there’s Jay Baruchel as Emma’s sweet and unsuspecting kindergarten teacher boyfriend Carter, Gabriel Luna as charismatic arms trader Boro, Aparna Brielle as the slightly intimidated NSA analyst Tina on loan to the CIA, Fabiana Udenio as Luke’s ex-wife Tally and Andy Buckley as Tally’s thoughtful current boyfriend.
On the recurring front Devon Bostick will play Luke and Tally’s aspiring app developer adult son Oscar with Stephanie Sy as his supportive wife Sandy and Rachel Lynch as his 6yo daughter Romi, David Chinchilla will play Boro’s intimidating first lieutenant Cain Khan, and Scott Thompson as CIA psychologist and therapist Dr. Louis Pfeffer.
The series hails from creator, executive producer and showrunner Nick Santora (“Scorpion”) with Schwarzenegger, Adam Higgs, Scott Sullivan and Skydance’s David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Bill Bost also executive producing.
Kurtzman Talks “The Mummy” Reboot Failure
Friday, April 22nd 2022 12:41 pm
Five years on, the legacy of the Alex Kurtzman-directed 2017 reboot of “The Mummy” is one of failure.
The film was a flop with critics, audiences and at the box-office, in one move torpedoing Universal’s ambitious plans for its larger ‘Dark Universe’ initiative as audiences that Summer opted to stick with Patty Jenkins’ well-received “Wonder Woman”.
Over the years, reports have put the blame on the failure of “The Mummy” on both star/producer Tom Cruise who was involved in every aspect of the film’s production, to Kurtzman himself who hasn’t directed a film since.
On the just-released episode of the Bingeworthy podcast and whilst out promoting the new “The Man Who Fell To Earth” series launching on Showtime this weekend, Kurtzman spoke about his experience directing “The Mummy” and says its very public failure was a major lesson for him:
“I tend to subscribe to the point of view that you learn nothing from your successes, and you learn everything from your failures. And that was probably the biggest failure of my life, both personally and professionally.
There are about a million things I regret about it, but it also gave me so many gifts that are inexpressibly beautiful. I didn’t become a director until I made that movie, and it wasn’t because it was well directed – it was because it wasn’t.
And I would not have understood many of the things that I now understand about what it means to be a director had I not gone through that experience. And as brutal as it was, in many ways, and with as many cooks in the kitchen as there were, I am very grateful for the opportunity to make those mistakes because it rebuilt me into a tougher person, and it also rebuilt me into a clearer filmmaker.
Look, if you look at history and you look at people who’ve made amazing things, every single one of them will tell you the same story, which is that it came after a failure, so I look back on it now with gratitude. It took me a while to get there, but my life is better for it.”
In recent years Kurtzman has been sticking to where he’s been most successful, producing television. Prior to “The Mummy” his resume is impressive on that front with “Alias,” “Fringe,” “Sleepy Hollow,” “Scorpion,” “Limitless” and “Hawaii Five-0” under his belt.
He’s also the ‘godfather’ of modern “Star Trek,” co-writing/producing the Abrams films and is currently leading the teams behind the various Paramount+ series like “Discovery,” “Picard,” “Lower Decks” and the upcoming “Strange New Worlds”.
Universal itself has also abandoned its ‘Dark Universe’ strategy in favour of smaller standalone fare featuring its classic monsters – resulting in Leigh Whannell’s superb “The Invisible Man” update and Chris McKay’s recently finished “Renfield” production.
Loki Composer Set For Obi Wan Series
In the wake of her acclaimed work on the eccentric score for Marvel Studios’ “Loki” series, Natalie Holt has been hired to score the upcoming “Obi-Wan Kenobi” limited series for the Disney+ service.
This makes Holt the first woman to score a live-action “Star Wars” project. While Holt is the lead composer, she confirmed to Vanity Fair that the one and only John Williams will return to write a theme for the Obi-Wan character:
“Obi-Wan is a legacy character that John hadn’t written a theme for because he died quite early on in ‘A New Hope.’ It’s the only legacy character that he hadn’t done.
So he spoke to [Lucasfilm president] Kathleen Kennedy and said, ‘I just want to write [an Obi-Wan] theme.’ So who can deny him that? And he did, he wrote the Obi theme, and it just embodies the spirit of the show entirely.
Owbviously, I’m just thrilled to be mentioned in the same breath as John Williams. It’s been exciting and overwhelming at times, because I’m such a fan. I want to pay respect to the history of it, and do it justice as well.”
Holt, currently at work on HBO Max’s “Batgirl” film, is an avid “Star Wars” fan who first watched the original trilogy at age five. The results of her work will be seen when “Obi-Wan Kenobi” debuts on May 27th.
Strange Sequel Banned In Saudi Arabia
“Strange” Sequel Banned In Saudi Arabia
Marvel Studios’ “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” has been banned in Saudi Arabia and several other Arab countries due to the inclusion of a gay character.
The Sam Raimi-directed sequel, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular character, also features actress Xochitl Gomez as the new hero America Chavez who is reportedly gay in the film – which is how the character is portrayed in the comics.
As Disney did not approve changes requested by the distributor, a permit to release the film in the kingdom hasn’t been issued. Films in the region are routinely cut to comply with censorship rules over sex scenes, homosexuality and religious issues.
The region previously banned Marvel’s “Eternals” and Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” which both refused to make changes. The one area in the Middle East where the film will be released is the United Arab Emirates which has recently become less restrictive.
A new featurette for the film is also out showcasing new footage, check it out below:
Full Trailer Amazons Night Sky Series
Amazon Prime has released the trailer for “Night Sky,” another supernatural western hybrid drama it has coming hot on the heels of the launch of “Outer Range”.
Sissy Spacek and J.K. Simmons star as a couple who discovered a chamber in their backyard that goes to a distant planet. Their idyll and cosmic secret is disrupted by an enigmatic young male stranger. The chamber soon turns out to be much more than they could ever have imagined.
Chai Hansen, Adam Bartley, Julieta Zylberberg, Rocio Hernández, Kiah McKirnan, Beth Lacke, Stephen Louis Grush, and Cass Buggé co-star while David C. Connolly (“Into The Badlands”) serves as showrunner. Holden Miller writes the series and serves as co-executive producer.
“Night Sky” arrives on Amazon Prime on May 20th.
Bright 2 Cancelled Pole Series On Hold
In the wake of ‘the slap’ and his resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the repercussions for actor Will Smith due to the now-infamous Oscars incident continue.
Bloomberg reports that Netflix has cancelled the upcoming sequel to the sci-fi human-and-orc cop drama “Bright” which starred Smith and Joel Edgerton. Louis Leterrier was slated to direct the follow-up, taking over from David Ayer.
The critically panned first film was one of the streamer’s earliest original feature success stories and a sequel was ordered, but interest wasn’t high and it already had baggage in the form of the first film’s screenwriter Max Landis.
Meanwhile, Disney-owned National Geographic is delaying production on the nature series “Pole To Pole” which is to feature Smith visiting the North and South Poles. Production was set to begin in three weeks and has now been tentatively planned to begin in the Fall.
The fate of the action film “Fast and Loose” and crime biopic “The Council,” both of which are at Netflix and are to star Smith, are unclear at present.
Scorsese Sets Restored Film Screening Room
Martin Scorsese’s The Film Foundation has launched The Film Foundation Restoration Screening Room, a free virtual screening room that plans to host films restored with the help of the foundation for free.
Feature presentations will debut on the second Monday of each month with screenings starting at a set time and available for a 24-hour window.
The screening will feature introductions, interviews with conservationists, behind-the-scenes looks at the restoration process and appearances from A-list fans.
First in the series will be 1945 romance feature “I Know Where I’m Going!” and will be introduced by Scorsese and include interviews with fans of the film Thelma Schoonmaker Powell, Joanna Hogg, Tilda Swinton and Kevin Macdonald.
Other films on the list include Federico Fellini’s “La Strada,” G. Aravindan’s “Kummatty,” a film noir double feature of Edgar G. Ulmer’s “Detour” and Arthur D. Ripley’s “The Chase,” and John Huston’s “Moulin Rouge”.
Oracle and DelphiQuest on the platform that will host the screening room, which will be available online. Head over to the official site for more details.
Jeff Bridges Old Man Sets June Launch
FX has announced a June 16th premiere date for its Jeff Bridges-led new series “The Old Man” with the first two of its seven-episode run to launch on that date followed by weekly airings. Episodes will be available to stream on Hulu the next day along with the Star+ service internationally at a later date.
Based on the bestselling novel by Thomas Perry, Bridges plays ex-CIA operative Dan Chase who abandoned his job and has lived off the grid for decades.
He soon gets flushed out of hiding when an assassin tracks him down and tries to kill him, and soon more enemies follow including the FBI’s Assistant Director for Counterintelligence (John Lithgow), that man’s protege (Alia Shawkat), a special agent (E.J. Bonilla) who has a shared and complicated history with Chase, and a lethal contractor (Gbenga Akinnagbe).
Amy Brenneman, Bill Heck, Leem Lubany, and Pej Vahdat also star in the series adapted for television by Jonathan E. Steinberg and Robert Levine. Recent “Spider-Man” trilogy helmer Jon Watts directed the first two episodes.
Cnn Streaming Service Announced
Less than one month after it launched, streaming service CNN+ will wind down operations as Warner Bros. Discovery retools its streaming strategy.
Launched on March 29th, the service is set to shut down on April 30th and subscribers will receive prorated refunds for their fees. Employees were informed of the decision Thursday by incoming CNN CEO Chris Licht.
WarnerMedia reportedly spent some $300 million on the launch of the service which was heavily criticised for being too little, too late. Then of course came the newly formed Warner Bros. Discovery with mostly new executives in charge and everything is up for review. In a statement, Licht says:
“As we become Warner Bros. Discovery, CNN will be strongest as part of WBD’s streaming strategy which envisions news as an important part of a compelling broader offering along with sports, entertainment, and nonfiction content.
We have therefore made the decision to cease operations of CNN+ and focus our investment on CNN’s core news-gathering operations and in further building CNN Digital. This is not a decision about quality; we appreciate all of the work, ambition and creativity that went into building CNN+, an organization with terrific talent and compelling programming. But our customers and CNN will be best served with a simpler streaming choice.”
Despite the shutdown, it’s expected CNN programming will become an important piece of WB Discovery’s overall streaming lineup.
Some shows are expected to find their way to HBO Max which is becoming the centerpiece of the company’s streaming efforts for the near future – at least until a combined Warner Bros. Discovery service is launched.
Quick News Dungeons Strange Doula Persuasion
Dungeons & Dragons
The logo has been revealed for the upcoming “Dungeons & Dragons” live-action movie at Warner Bros. Pictures and confirms its new title of “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves”. The film is currently set to release on March 23rd next year.
This adaptation of the iconic tabletop RPG is directed by “Game Night” helmers Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley and stars Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Rege-Jean Page, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis, Chloe Coleman, Daisy Head, and Hugh Grant. [Source: Twitter]
Shout! Factory has announced it is bringing a newly restored HD restoration of the 1978 telemovie adaptation of Marvel Comics title “Doctor Strange” to Blu-Ray. Peter Hooten, Jessica Walter and Eddie Benton starred in the work which served as a pilot for a new “Doctor Strange” TV series which CBS didn’t pick up. The Blu-ray will be available on April 29th. [Source: ShoutFactory]
The Cheryl Nichols-directed and Chris Pine-produced modern pregnancy comedy “Doula” has set a June 20th release on digital and on-demand formats. Troian Bellisario and Arron Shiver play a couple on a whirlwind pregnancy journey who end up enlisting the help of their midwife’s son (Will Greenberg). [Source: Collider]
Netflix has announced a July 15th release date for their new adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Persuasion” starring Dakota Johnson, Cosmo Jarvis, Henry Golding, Nikki Amuka-Bird and Richard E. Grant. Claire Cracknell helms the film.
Living with her snobby family on the brink of bankruptcy, Anne Elliot is an aone she let get away – crashes back into her life, Anne must choose between putting the past behind her or listening to her heart when it comes to second chances.
Stranger Things S4 Cost 30m Per Ep
The fourth season of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” arrives soon and carries with it not only outsized expectations but an outsized budget as well.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the new run of the popular supernatural series boasts an extraordinary budget of $30 million per episode.
To give you a comparison, every episode of the final season of “Game of Thrones” clocked in at $15 million, the same with the first season of “The Mandalorian”.
The most expensive shows to date have been the Disney+ MCU series “WandaVision,” “Loki,” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” at around $25 million per episode.
The story goes into Netflix, recently hit by dropping subscription numbers, will likely seek more inexpensive hits such as “Squid Game” and “Virgin River” which have been major success stories for the streamer despite economic budgets of $3 million per episode.
Chris Hemsworth Led Spiderhead Sets Launch
Having been in the works for a while, Netflix has finally set a June 17th release date for the Chris Hemsworth-led sci-fi action vehicle “Spiderhead”.
Penned by “Life,” “6 Underground” and “Deadpool” scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and hailing from “Tron: Legacy” and “Top Gun: Maverick” director Joseph Kosinski, the film is based on a 2010 New Yorker short story by George Saunders.
Hemsworth plays a scientist who tests mood and behaviour-shifting drug experiments on inmates at a remote high-security penitentiary. Sometimes those experiments backfire and enhance the wrong emotions.
Miles Teller, Jurnee Smollett, BeBe Bettencourt, Tess Haubrich, Angie Milliken, Stephen Tongun, Mark Paguio, Sam Delich, and Joey Vierira also star.
Netflix Scraps The Bone Animated Series
A new report at The Wrap indicates that several of Netflix’s high-profile animated projects have been scrapped, including the highly anticipated series adaptation of Jeff Smith’s beloved comic series “Bone”.
The project was to hail from the streamer’s original animation department which is also reportedly retooling its adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “The Twits” from a series into a film.
The “Bone” fantasy comics followed three cousins from the Bone family who are small, white and bald humanlike creatures with big noses. The trio are run out of their hometown and finds themselves in a mysterious valley where they are separated and hunted by other creatures. The series ran from 1991-2004.
An adaptation of the property has been in the works at one place or another for well over a decade, but the project has never been able to get off the ground.
Elba Leads Plane Set Apple Series Hijack
Apple TV+ have announced “Hijack,” a new limited series thriller in the works that is set to star “Luther” and “The Wire” alum Idris Elba.
The seven-episode series unfolds in real-time and chronicles a long and tense hijacking of a seven-hour plane flight on its way to London.
Elba will play Sam Nelson, a negotiator who will need to step up in order to save the lives of all the passengers as the ground team scrambles to find out information on the hijackers.
“Lupin” creator and “Criminal: UK” writer George Kay penned the series that Jim Field Smith will direct. Both executive produce alongside Elba with this project marking the first project under Elba’s first-look deal with Apple.
Elba remains attached to star in the Knuckles spin-off series that originates from the “Sonic the Hedgehog” movies. He’s also reprising his Luther role for an upcoming film.
Netflix has premiered the full trailer for the limited series “Clark” starring Bill Skarsgard as Clark Olofsson, the man who inspired what is dubbed ‘Stockholm Syndrome’. Jonas Akerlund directs the Swedish-language drama series launching May 5th.
In 1973, Olofsson’s prison friend Janne Olsson robbed a bank and took four hostages, then demanded Olofsson be released to come and help him.
The police released Olofsson, who not only helped Olsson but began developing friendships with the hostages. Ultimately, the hostages ended up pleading for lighter sentencing for their captors.
Olofsson became a media darling and counter-culture figure who led a tumultuous but exciting life of crime before changing names and settling down in Belgium.
Next, HBO Max has released the official trailer for “The Staircase,” the narrative adaptation of the 2004 French docuseries of the same name which “The Devil All the Time” filmmaker Antonio Campos is spearheading.
Colin Firth stars as writer Michael Peterson, who was eventually convicted of murdering his wife Kathleen (Toni Collette). The series unfolds in three separate timelines – the days before her death, the days after, and the present after Michael’s released from prison.
Rosemarie DeWitt, Parker Posey, Sophie Turner and Juliette Binoche co-star with the first three episodes available from May 5th.
Then comes the trailer for Starz’s Tudor-era drama “Becoming Elizabeth” exploring the early life of England’s most iconic Queen – Elizabeth the First. The series premieres June 12th.
Alicia von Rittberg, Oliver Zetterström, Jessica Raine, Tom Cullen and Romola Garai lead the cast which begins at a time when young Elizabeth Tudor was an orphaned teenager who became embroiled in the political and sexual politics of the English court.
Night Sky Trailer
The Staircase Trailer
Dr Strange Behind The Scenes
Also today, HBO Max has premiered the official trailer for its series adaptation of Audrey Niffenegger’s 2003 novel “The Time Traveler’s Wife” premiering on May 15th.
Rose Leslie and Theo James star in the story of a man with an unfortunate disorder that causes him to hop between points in time – not being able to control where he goes or when, but something keeps drawing him back to one woman.
“Sherlock” and “Doctor Who” showrunner Steven Moffat is adapting the work.