Thursday, November 3, 2016

The November 2016 Follow-Up Post

For the uninitiated, my "follow-up" posts are semi-regular installments where I write about recent developments related to topics I've blogged about in the past, but which I didn't think needed a whole new write-up to themselves. The original posts are linked below for your convenience.

How's the Television Meltdown Coming?

The networks are continuing their migration of content to online services, but increasingly trying to build up their own individual streaming and VOD platforms at the expense of other options. The biggest recent announcement is that Hulu will be getting rid of their free streaming content. It will still be available, but on the Yahoo View service, with longer delays between when a show airs and when it will be available to view online. This will be Yahoo's second attempt at entering the streaming video market after their Screen service went bust in January. Hulu's pay services will remain, but keep in mind that recent deals mean they're losing CW shows to Netflix and Criterion films to Filmstruck.

Colbert Rising

I've talked before about Trevor Noah's continued growing pains at "The Daily Show," but Stephen Colbert has also had a challenging year in late night. His ratings dipped so precipitously a few months ago, that there were rumors he'd have to swap timeslots with James Corden, and CBS "rebooted" his show with a new producer. Colbert's live coverage of the Republican and Democratic national conventions gave him a much-needed boost in July, but hisratings have continued to be unspectacular next to Jimmy Fallon's. I'm still rooting for his success, but I'm worried how he's going to fare after the presidential election, especially if Donald Trump exits the spotlight entirely.

Dubious Days for DreamWorks

I hope the recent acquisition of the studio by Comcast eases some of the studio's financial woes moving forward, but their upcoming film slate isn't very inspiring. As predicted, DreamWorks decided to bring back "Shrek" for another sequel in 2019. "BOO: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations" and "Mumbai Musical" have been sent back to development. The "Croods" sequel has also been delayed to January of 2018, which probably means that the Australian-themed "Larrikins" or "How to Train Your Dragon 3" will be bumped back. But in a more promising move, the Edgar Wright movie formerly known as "Me and My Shadow" is back on the schedule after being nearly cancelled in 2013.

What to Do About Wonder Woman?

I never thought that we'd be in this position three years ago. I'm writing up a summary of the year in superhero movies in a separate post, but I wanted to remark on the fact that "Wonder Woman" has now emerged as a major potential lynchpin in the DC film franchise. After the character's introduction was one of the only things that people liked about "Dawn of Justice," and the previews at Comic-Con stirred up some hype, it looks like her solo film next summer has good shot at being a blockbuster. Kudos to Zack Snyder for doing something right. However, it's still going to be an uphill battle for "Wonder Woman," with a release date sandwiched right between heavy hitters "Guardians of the Galaxy 2" and "Spider-man: Homecoming."

A Superhero Turf War

Some spoilers here for the "Avengers" movies. While we're on the subject of superheroes, it looks like Marvel and FOX have sorted out the issue with the two Avengers/X-men crossover characters themselves. The Marvel Quicksilver, who was only referred to as Pietro onscreen, was killed off in "Avengers: Age of Ultron." Meanwhile, FOX has avoided using Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch in the latest "X-men" movies, and it's not even clear if she exists in their universe (Peter's briefly glimpsed younger sister could easily be Lorna Dane/Polaris). Everyone seems happy with Scarlet Witch being an Avenger and Quicksilver being an ally of the X-men, and that's that.

Here Come the Koreans

Alas, none of the Korean directors really broke through. Kim Jee-Woon's "The Last Stand" with Arnold Schwarzenegger did decently well, but Kim's follow up film is the Korean "Age of Shadows." Park Chan-wook's "Stoker" was very well received by certain critics, but his next film is the Korean "The Handmaiden." However, he is taking another shot at international audiences after that, with the English-language body-swap film, "Second Born." Finally there's Bong Joon-ho, who came the closest to success with "Snowpiercer," and will be making the multi-language adventure movie "Okja" next for Netflix.


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