We round up geek showbiz news of the week.

Photo by Ollie Upton / HBO
Covid is rearing its ugly head in showbiz again, with production on three TV series suspended and a movie release delayed in the UK.  The TV series on which production was suspended due to positive Covid tests include Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon, which suspended shooting in the UK, per The Hollywood Reporter; American Horror Story season 10, per Variety; and the second season of Woke, twice in the last week, also via Variety.  In another Covid-related development, distributors have pulled fantasy epic The Green Knight from its planned release date in the UK in two weeks due to the Covid situation there, according to Deadline.  The production suspensions are expected to be brief, but these new developments show that the impact of the pandemic on geek showbiz is far from over.

Leslie Grace, the breakout star of In the Heights, will star in the Batgirl feature planned for HBO Max, according to Deadline.  The feature was originally slated for a theatrical release.  It just picked up directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah (see "’Batgirl’ Gets Directors").

Kevin Smith’s Clerks III will begin shooting on August 2, the director said in a post on Facebook.  All of the key leads, including Smith, Jeff Anderson, Brian O’Halloran, Jay Mewes, and Rosario Dawson, are returning.  As was the case for the first two films in the franchise, Smith will write and direct.  Clerks II went into production 17 years ago (see "Kevin Smith Returns to ‘Clerks’").

The movie adaptation of AfterShock Comics' The Kaiju Score, by James Patrick and Rem Broo, has writers, cousins Brian and Mark Gunn (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island), according to Deadline.  Rights to the film were acquired by Sony (see "’Kaiju Score’ Acquired").  Patrick calls the comic "a Quentin Tarantino film taking place in some corner of a Godzilla movie."

After Black Widow suffered a surprisingly large second week drop in box office receipts, the national Association of Theater Owners released a statement arguing that the reason for the drop-off was that the film had also been offered on Disney+ for an additional charge.  "Despite assertions that this pandemic-era improvised release strategy was a success for Disney and the simultaneous release model, it demonstrates that an exclusive theatrical release means more revenue for all stakeholders in every cycle of the movie’s life," the theater owners said.

The film-makers have released a trailer for Paris, 13th District (below), in conjunction with its premiere at Cannes (see "Tomine’s ‘Killing and Dying’ Adapted").  It’s based on stories from Adrian Tomine’s Killing & Dying and Summer Blonde, published by Drawn & Quarterly. IFC Films has U.S. distribution rights.