TV Talk

Stranger Things 4 First Look: Hopper Confirmed Alive!

Netflix dropped a sweet Valentine’s Day treat for Stranger Things fans. And will Mark Ruffalo star in HBO’s Parasite TV series? Plus, Disney+ Loki casting, Power spin-offs revealed, over 20 new trailers, and more of the week's top news.

by | February 14, 2020 | Comments

Happy Valentine’s Day! Our gift to you is the top TV news of the past week, starting with speculation around Avengers’ Hulk, Mark Ruffalo, and HBO’s early-in-development series Parasite, based on the Oscar-sweeping film. Apparently, it’s also trailer season: Get hooked up with Genius: ArethaAltered Carbon, The Walking Dead’s mid-season teaser, Breeders with Martin Freeman, and over 15 more trailers below.


TOP STORY

Duffer Brothers and Netflix Release Stranger Things 4 Teaser

The final episode of Stranger Things 3 teased a burly American prisoner held by the Russians. Many speculated that it meant Jim Hopper (David Harbour) survived that explosion – and we now have proof that he did! Netflix dropped an early morning Valentine’s Day treat for fans: a first-look teaser at Stranger Things 4. Called “From Russia With Love…,” a zoom shot down train tracks slowly reveals the beloved Hawkins, Indiana, sheriff working on a Gulag-like chain gang.

“We’re excited to officially confirm that production on Stranger Things 4 is now underway – and even more excited to announce the return of Hopper! Although it’s not all good news for our ‘American,’” the Duffer Brothers said in a press release, “he is imprisoned far from home in the snowy wasteland of Kamchatka, where he will face dangers both human…and other. Meanwhile, back in the States, a new horror is beginning to surface, something long buried, something that connects everything…

“Season 4 is shaping up to be the biggest and most frightening season yet, and we cannot wait for everyone to see more. In the meantime — pray for the American,” the series creators teased.

Get hyped! No official word yet, but Stranger Things 4 is expected later this year.


Ruffalo Says He’d Love To Be a Part of the Adaptation of the Best Picture Oscar Winner

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 15: Mark Ruffalo of 'I Know This Much Is True' poses in the green room during the 2020 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on January 15, 2020 in Pasadena, California. 723750 (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for WarnerMedia)
(Photo by Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for WarnerMedia)

Parasite became the first-ever non-English language movie to win the Best Picture Oscar, and ticket sales for the movie have shot up 400 percent since. More good news in the world of (Best Director Oscar winner) Bong Joon-ho: Ruffalo is reportedly atop the wish list to play one of the leads in HBO’s upcoming series adaptation of the movie.

And Ruffalo himself confirms he’d be into it.

Oscar winner Adam McKay (The Big Short) is collaborating on the series, which is expected to be five or six episodes, and will be based on the movie’s Oscar-winning script, though the characters will not necessarily be the same ones featured in the movie, according to a report from Collider.com.

HBO would not confirm the potential casting, commenting in a statement, “The HBO limited series inspired by Parasite is in the early stages of development, and to speculate on any characters or casting is wildly premature.”

But Ruffalo, a three-time Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee, told TMZ he would love to work on the project.

“That would be amazing,” he told the gossip site when they caught him at LAX earlier this week. “It’s an amazing movie … I’d be honored to be able to play something in (the series).”

Ruffalo wouldn’t confirm any involvement with the series, telling the TMZ interviewer, “You know how it is … nothing’s done ’til it’s done, but maybe.”

We’ll keep watch for an official casting confirmation and report back.


New Trailers: Oscar Nominee Cynthia Erivo Makes Beautiful Music As Aretha Franklin in Genius: Aretha

More trailers:


Starz’ Power Series Will Get Four (!) Spin-Offs

Power ended its six-season run last week, but fans of the 50 Cent–produced Starz drama won’t have a chance to miss the action, as the cable network has plans for four Power spin-off dramas. The previously-announced Power Book II: Ghost will be followed by Power Book III: Raising Kanan, Power Book IV: Influence, and Power Book V: Force.

The Lionsgate-produced series will kick off with the sequel Ghost, which will pick up just days after the, ahem, killer action in the Power finale.

“The sequel then follows Tariq navigating his new life, in which his desire to shed his father’s legacy comes up against the mounting pressure to save his family,” according to Starz’ official description of Ghost. Oscar nominee Mary J. Blige and Method Man star, while Michael Rainey Jr., Shane Johnson, Naturi Naughton, Gianni Paolo, and Quincy Tyler Bernstine will return from the original series. The Bobby Brown Story breakout Woody McClain will also join the cast.

Raising Kanan will be a prequel that takes viewers back to the 1990s and the pivotal years of 50 Cent’s Kanan; the sequel Influence will follow Larenz Tate’s Rashad Tate in his relentless pursuit of political power; and Force will follow Ghost’s best friend Tommy Egan (Joseph Sikora) after he cuts ties with his New York friends and leaves the city behind.

Starz has yet to announce premiere dates for any of the Power follow-ups.


Casting News: Gugu Mbatha-Raw Will Be the Female Lead in Loki at Disney+

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 09: Gugu Mbatha-Raw attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images)
(Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images)

The Morning Show star Gugu Mbatha-Raw will join another streaming series, as she’s signed on to play the female lead in Disney+’s Loki series. Details on the role, which will put Mbatha-Raw in a cast with Tom Hiddleston, Owen Wilson, and Sophia Di Martino, are sparse, but the project brings the actress back into the Disney fold after her big-screen performances in A Wrinkle in Time and Beauty and the Beast. (Deadline)

Emily Blunt will return to television for the first time since her role in the 2005 ABC miniseries Empire, with The English, a Western for Amazon and BBC. Honorable Woman writer and director Hugo Blick is behind the multi-part series. (Variety)

Gilmore Girls alum Lauren Graham will star in and be a co-executive producer on Disney+’s The Mighty Ducks 10-episode series. Graham will play Alex, mom to 12-year-old Evan (Good Boys star Brady Noon). When Evan gets dumped from the Ducks hockey team, mom and son decide to start their own team, assembling a squad of lovable misfits who will challenge the uber-competitive Ducks. The series, set in Minnesota, begins production this month in Vancouver, for a late 2020 premiere. Meanwhile Emilio Estevez will also star in the series, returning to the franchise as Coach Gordan Bombay, and as an executive producer.

Game of Thrones star Nathalie Emmanuel has been cast in the Kevin Hart/John Travolta Quibi comedy action series Die Hart. She will play a rival student at the action-hero school the fictionalized version of Hart attends. (Deadline)

Scandal and Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce alum Paul Adelstein will play the POTUS’ chief of staff in Showtime’s pilot for The President Is Missing, an adaptation of the book of the same name by Bill Clinton and James Patterson. (Deadline)

Speechless and The Walking Dead alum Kyla Kennedy will play Ted Danson’s daughter in NBC’s upcoming Tina Fey–produced comedy about a wealthy businessman who becomes the mayor of Los Angeles. (The Wrap)

Eric Balfour (Six Feet Under) and Janet Varney (You’re the Worst) have joined the cast of Country Comfort, Netflix’s upcoming comedy in which American Idol alum Katharine McPhee plays a country singer who becomes the nanny for a cowboy played by Eddie Cibrian (CSI: Miami). Balfour and Barney play those characters’ boyfriend and girlfriend. (Deadline)


BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 09: Diane Kruger attends the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 09, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images); ROME, ITALY - JULY 04: Kiernan Shipka attends the Cocktail at Fendi Couture Fall Winter 2019/2020 on July 04, 2019 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Daniele Venturelli/Daniele Venturelli/ Getty Images for Fendi)
(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images; Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images for Fendi)

Diane Kruger and Kiernan Shipka will star in a Quibi series remake of the 1994 dark comedy movie Swimming with Sharks, taking over the roles played by Kevin Spacey (as the vile studio exec) and Frank Whaley (as the bullied assistant). (Deadline)

Will Arnett and comedian Gabriel Iglesias will appear as guest judges on the current season of The Masked Singer. (EW)

Drake & Josh star Josh Peck will star in the Disney+ series version of the Tom Hanks movie Turner & Hooch, the buddy comedy about a cop (now a U.S. marshal in the series), and the pooch, Hooch, he’s partnered with. The series, from Burn Notice creator Matt Nix, has a 12-episode order from the streaming service.

Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Big Bang Theory alum Wil Wheaton will host an esports competition series that will put 12 gamers in a house together and pit them against each other with a $100,000 grand prize for the last gamer gaming. The series will debut in the spring, on an as-yet-unspecified streaming service. (THR)

City on a Hill and Justified alum Jonathan Tucker will star in NBC’s drama pilot Debris, about two agents from different parts of the world who team up to investigate the crash of an alien spaceship and the impact its wreckage is having on Earth’s population.

The Walking Dead and American Horror Story alum John Carroll Lynch will star in ABC’s upcoming cop drama The Big Sky, playing a Montana state trooper involved in the central kidnapping investigation of the series. (THR)

Supergirl alums Odette Annable and Chris Wood have been cast as the daughter and son of Hope (Mel Harris) and Michael (Ken Olin) on ABC’s thirtysomething spin-off pilot, thirtysomething(else). (Deadline)

The Young and the Restless and Life in Pieces alum Hunter King will star in ABC’s comedy pilot Prospect, about a 19th century Boston woman who moves to a small prairie town to be a schoolteacher, only to arrive and learn that she’s teaching rowdy ranch workers, not kids. (Deadline)

Swoosie Kurtz will play the mother of Mayim Bialik’s character in the upcoming Fox comedy Call Me Kat.

Hobbit franchise star Martin Freeman and Girls alum Alex Karpovsky have joined the cast of the Peacock limited series Angelyne, about the titular queen of Los Angeles billboards. Freeman will play the owner of a printing company who worked with Angelyne (Emmy Rossum) on the billboards, while Karpovsky plays The Hollywood Reporter writer who scooped the story about Angelyne’s past. (THR)

Sex and the City alum John Corbett will play the husband of Katey Sagal’s Erin Brockovich–inspired character in ABC’s drama pilot Rebel. (Deadline)


Development News: Ray Donovan Revived?

Liev Schrieber as Ray Donovan in RAY DONOVAN, "A Good Man is Hard to Find". Photo Credit: Jeff Neumann/SHOWTIME.
(Photo by Jeff Neumann/SHOWTIME)

Showtime left viewers with a lot of unfinished business when it pulled the plug on Ray Donovan at the end of its recently-concluded seventh season, but series star Liev Schreiber’s Instagram post this week hints strongly that fans’ reaction to the cancellation and calls for the series to return elsewhere are going to lead to more Ray. “… it seems like your voices have been heard,” he wrote. “Too soon to say how or when, but with a little luck and your ongoing support, there will be more Ray Donovan. So to all the Donofans who got their bats out and beat the odds, thank you.”

Jessica Jones star Kristen Ritter is the star of a serial killer comedy that Deadline reports is the subject of a bidding war among Hulu, Netflix, FX, Amazon, and HBO Max. Based on the William Schlichter book SKA: Serial Killer Anonymous, the series revolves around a support group for serial killers (including Ritter’s character). The untitled pilot reunites the actress with Nahnatchka Khan, who created Ritter’s 2012 ABC comedy Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23. (Deadline)

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, which eventually spawned three spin-off series, will reportedly make a comeback via a limited edition series that will include series creator Anthony Zuiker and executive producer Jerry Bruckheimer, as well, possibly, as the original series cast. The Las Vegas–set drama, which will turn 20 in October, starred William Petersen, Marg Helgenberger, Ted Danson, and Laurence Fishburne at various points during its 15-season run. (THR)


The Goonies (Amblin Entertainment)
(Photo by Amblin Entertainment)

Fox is getting in The Goonies business, in a somewhat complicated way: the network has ordered an untitled drama pilot about a woman who returns to her economically depressed hometown after failing to make her dreams come true in New York. Upon her return, she agrees to help three film students make their shot-for-shot remake of The Goonies. The Bold Type creator Sarah Watson will write and executive produce the pilot, while The Goonies movie director and producer Richard Donner will also be an executive producer on the pilot. (Variety)

The Masked Singer is going on tour, with 45 stops starting in Detroit on May 28. Each performance will include the unmasking of a celebrity guest.

Netflix is producing a docuseries about Japanese tennis superstar Naomi Osaka, covering her recent streak of playing in every Grand Slam tournament and her preparation to compete in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in April, Discovery Channel will air the documentary The Story of Plastic, about the worldwide effects of plastic pollution on our planet and people. (Deadline)

In a tweet that seems to hint that a podcast is on its way, Scrubs star Zach Braff asked, “Should we do a Scrubs rewatch podcast?” The tweet was accompanied by a photo of Braff and co-star Donald Faison, who are among the cast who will gather for a Scrubs reunion at the ATX TV Festival in June.


Most Disturbing Rick and Morty Yet

What would Rick and Morty look like as real humans? Artist Miguel Vasquez, famous for his statue of a “real life” version of Homer Simpson, has given the same treatment to the Adult Swim characters, and it’s as cool, and creepy, as you’d imagine.

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