Showbiz news is rolling in strong as COVID-19 subsides again, and it's time for a round-up!
Variety. The price may reach as much as $2 billion, according to the report. Amazon is currently producing a TV series; those rights are not included in the sale. There’s been much litigation over the Tolkien rights in the past two decades, including a scuffle over the rights to produce video games and slot machines (see "$80 Million Lawsuit Over Tolkien Rights Settled"). Warner Bros. also retains some movie rights, and it would not be surprising to see litigation fire up again over this proposed sale.
Media Play News. The film took in only $12 million in its first weekend in U.S. theaters, much below expectations (see "Holiday Weekend Box Office"). The move to put the film on HBO Max at the same time as the theatrical release deprived Village Roadshow of profits from theatrical showings, the suit alleges.
The Hollywood Reporter. Stevenson, who is best known for his roles as Titus Pullo on HBO's Rome and playing Frank Castle in Punisher: War Zone, is rumored to play an Imperial Admiral, but not the lead villain, Grand Admiral Thrawn (see "'Star Wars: Heir to the Empire' #1"). He joins Rosario Dawson, who plays the title character, Hayden Christensen, who will reprise his role as Anakin Skywalker in the series (see "'Star Wars: Ahsoka' Casting"), and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who’s playing a character to be announced.
Variety. Original cast members Billy West, Katey Sagal, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, Lauren Tom, Phil LaMarr and David Herman will all return to voice characters in the series. However, one notable absence is John DiMaggio, the voice of the fan favorite robot character Bender. He has yet to attach himself to the series, and if he doesn't return, Bender will be recast. Currently, DiMaggio voices King Zog on the Netflix series Disenchantment (see "'Disenchantment' Trailer"), which just released its Season 4