Hello, and welcome to another edition of The Monitor, WIRED’s entertainment news roundup. This time around there's a lot of news coming out of HBO. Also, there's a new Star Wars series coming to Disney+. Catch up on everything here.
Russian Doll's Cocreator Is Working on a Star Wars Series for Disney+
Just when you thought there wasn't going to be a whole lot of Star Wars updates for a while, here comes Variety with some very welcome news. According to the trade, Russian Doll cocreator Leslye Headland is working on a new, female-focused Star Wars series for Disney+. She will write and serve as showrunner, Variety reports, adding that while the plot of the show is being kept quiet, it will take place in a previously unexplored part of the Star Wars timeline.
HBO Max Is Launching Next Month
Another day, another streaming service launch. This week, that honor goes to HBO Max, which announced on Tuesday that the WarnerMedia streaming platform will launch on May 27. At launch, it will have a slate of original programming available, including The Not Too Late Show With Elmo, Craftopia (hosted by YouTuber LaurDIY), and the Anna Kendrick comedy Love Life.
With theaters largely closed due to Covid-19, streaming services have become lifelines for people abiding by stay-at-home orders and looking for things to watch. Netflix, for example, just announced it added more than 15 million subscribers in the first quarter. Assuming many folks will still be working from home at the end of next month, it might be as good a time as any for HBO Max’s launch.
Speaking of HBO, It Renewed Westworld for a Fourth Season
No matter what happens when Westworld wraps up its third season on May 3, rest assured it won’t be the end. Yesterday, HBO announced that the series will add another season, ensuring that there’s plenty more AI robot drama coming your way. The premium cable network didn’t say when the new season would begin, but according to Casey Bloys, president of programming, HBO is excited for it nonetheless. "From the Western theme park to the technocratic metropolis of the near future, we've thoroughly enjoyed every twist and turn from the minds of master storytellers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy," Bloys said in a statement. "We can't wait to see where their inspired vision takes us next.”
The Hunger Games Director Is Making a Hunger Games Prequel
ICYMI, author Suzanne Collins will soon release a prequel to her Hunger Games trilogy of books. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes will publish in the US on May 19. Now, Lionsgate, the studio behind the box-office-busting series of films based on those novels, is planning an adaptation of Collins’ new prequel. Francis Lawrence, who directed the last three Hunger Games movies—Catching Fire and the two Mockingjay films—will direct. Collins is on the hook to write a treatment for the film, and Michael Arndt, who worked on Catching Fire, will write the screenplay.
The Venom Sequel Is Being Delayed Until 2021
Bad news, Venom fans: The movie’s sequel—now officially titled Venom: Let There Be Carnage—is being delayed. Originally slated for October 2, 2020, it will launch on June 25, 2021. The movie’s studio, Sony, has postponed nearly all of its major 2020 movies, including Ghostbusters: Afterlife, due in large part to the coronavirus pandemic.
A24 Auctions Props to Benefit Covid-19 Relief
Hey, have you ever wanted that crazy flower dress Florence Pugh wore in Midsommar? Well, there’s a chance it could be yours! A24, the studio behind the film, is holding an auction of props, wardrobe items, and set pieces from some of its biggest films to benefit Covid-19 relief efforts. In addition to items from Midsommar, the auction includes the light from The Lighthouse, the Furby chain from Uncut Gems, and the time capsule from Eighth Grade. “As a company founded and based in New York City, A24 wants to give back to the city as it weathers this crisis and begins to rebuild,” the studio said in a statement. “One hundred percent of each auction's proceeds will be donated to one of four charities helping New York City's hardest-hit communities and front-line workers: FDNY Foundation; Food Bank for NYC; NYC Health + Hospitals; and Queens Community House.” The auctions began yesterday and continue through May 27.