This Week in Sci Fi TV: A Star Wars Live Action Series, A Lord of the Rings TV Series, and More

By | November 10, 2017

Weekly rundown of the latest sci fi and fantasy television news. See a list of prior week columns at this link.

The Upcoming Star Wars Live Action Series Will Run on Disney’s Streaming Service

Along with the blockbuster announcement that another trilogy of Star Wars movies is on the way, Disney has also announced that a live action television series is in the works. And the Mouse House is following the lead of CBS by using a major new franchise entry to flagship an upstart streaming service. That network did it with Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access and it has worked out well so far. Now Disney will target the long-awaited Star Wars live action series for an initial run on the streaming service it plans to get up and running in 2019. There are not many details about the series itself, but there have been talks of a live action entry since before George Lucas sold the franchise to Disney. Lucasfilm had previously been developing a series called Star Wars: Underworld that would have taken place between the events of Episode III and Episode IV, but nothing ever came of that (and while the animated series Star Wars: Rebels takes place during the same timeframe, it follows a different storyline). Whether Disney tries to revive Lucas’ previous plans remains to be seen and we still have quite a wait before the show starts streaming, but this week has definitely seen some big announcements for the Star Wars franchise.

Netflix and Marvel Could Be Heading for a Split

Yet more news from Disney comes with word that there will be no new Marvel shows developed for Netflix. Disney apparently wants to focus all of its premium content on its own streaming service (which Bob Iger claims will be “substantially below” Netflix), so any new television development based on Marvel characters will stay close to home. There is no word at this point on how this move would impact the existing Defenders shows currently on Netflix, but it may explain why we have yet to hear word on a second season for the team-up series. Among the solo entries, Daredevil has a third season in the works, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist are all headed to their second seasons, and The Punisher debuts next week. Disney may let each of those shows play out their current commitments at Netflix, then move them to the company’s own streaming service. But that is only an assumption at this point. There is also no word how this would affect the fate of Hulu’s upcoming Runaways and Freeform’s upcoming Cloak & Dagger. The New Warriors series is already searching for a new home and Disney may now decide to hang onto that one until its streaming service is up and running.

Amazon Wants One Ring to Rule Them All, Eyes a Lord of the Rings Series

Game of Thrones is wrapping up with its next season and there appears to be a scramble to get the next big fantasy series on television. Showtime is working on The Kingkiller Chronicles, a Dark Tower TV series is still possible, HBO has multiple GoT spin-offs in the works, and now Amazon may go for the the best known fantasy series of them all. The streaming service is in talks with Warner Bros. Television (the studio that holds the TV rights to the property) about bringing The Lord of the Rings to the small screen. There are no specifics on the series at this point or whether it would include The Hobbit as part of the tale, and word is that it would be very costly for just for Amazon to purchase the rights to the property. It sure seems like this would be not far enough removed from the LotR movie series that is considered a classic, but fans may hope that the TV version (if it happens) sticks closer to the books.  And maybe Tom Bombadil will finally make it to the screen!  This is a developing story, so stay tuned to This Week in Sci Fi TV for further updates.

Amazon Greenlights The Boys from Eric Kripke

In more development news from Amazon, that streaming service has given the greenlight to The Boys from Supernatural and Timeless creator Eric Kripke. It is based on the Wildstorm / Dynamite comic book series from Garth Ennis (Preacher) and Darick Robertson, and Deadline Hollywood gives the following description:

In a world where superheroes embrace the darker side of their massive celebrity and fame, The Boys revolves around a group of vigilantes known informally as “the boys,” who set out to take down corrupt superheroes with no more than blue-collar grit and a willingness to fight dirty.

The current plan is to start filming the series in 2018 with a 2019 release date.

Darkness Visible to be Adapted to Television

Yet more development news involving yet another comic book property, IDW Entertainment is working on bringing the supernatural alternate history comic book Darkness Visible to the small screen. Deadline Hollywood gives the following description of the property:

Darkness Visible takes place in a world in which demons helped the Allied powers win World War 2, and humanity has reluctantly agreed to share the world with another sentient race. Sixty years later, this uneasy co-existence has spawned an endless terrorist conflict. Detective Daniel Aston, charged with being the thin blue line between the two sides, is tested to the limit when a demon sets up house inside his soul. Darkness Visible is both a supernatural thriller and a meditation on race, immigration, terrorism and politics in a world radically different, but also scarily similar to our own.

The comic miniseries was created by Mike Carey and Arvind Ethan David and his proven to be a hit in printed form. No television network is attached at the moment, but this one should draw plenty of interest.

Synopsis for Arrow-verse Crisis on Earth X Crossover Event

A new synopsis has been released for the upcoming four-series crossover of The CW’s superhero shows to be title “Crisis on Earth X”.  Warning as it does contain spoilers:

THE EPIC FOUR-WAY CROSSOVER WITH “ARROW,” “SUPERGIRL,” “THE FLASH” AND “DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW” BEGINS — Barry (guest star Grant Gustin) and Iris’s (guest star Candice Patton) wedding brings the gang together, but things go awry when villains from Earth-X attack the ceremony. All of the superheroes band together with help from their super friends like Citizen Cold (guest star Wentworth Miller), The Ray (guest star Russell Tovey), Felicity Smoak (guest star Emily Bett Rickards), Iris West and Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh) to take on their most formidable villains yet. Earth’s mightiest heroes – Green Arrow (guest star Stephen Amell), Supergirl (Melissa Benoist), The Flash (guest star Grant Gustin) and White Canary (guest star Caity Lotz) – lead their teams into battle to save the world.

It will air across two nights with Arrow moving to the Monday 9 PM EST timeslot for the event and the other three shows airing during their regular hours.

Schedule: Future Man and The Punisher Debut Next Week

Two more late Fall premieres arrive next week, both on the streaming services. Hulu’s sci fi comedy Future Man debuts on Tuesday and all episodes of the first season should be available for streaming that day. Then on Friday, Netflix’s long-awaited The Punisher solo series drops its entire first season for steaming. Also, Orson Scott Card’s Extinct, which airs on BYU TV and is also available for streaming, has its two-hour season finale. The next week brings the premiere of Hulu’s Runaways, and there are still more premieres scheduled for December including ABC’s Agents of SHIELD Season 5, TNT’s The Librarians Season 4, Netflix’s Dark, and more.  You can see the full Fall schedule at this link and you can keep up with the weekly listings at this link.

News Bites: First Look at the 13th Doctor in costume, and More

The Doctor Who Twitter Site released the tweet above that gives us the first look at Jodie Whittaker in costume as the 13th Doctor. She will be taking over the role from Peter Capaldi when the show returns next year.

CBS has announced January 9th as the mid-season return date for Star Trek: Discovery when it will begin streaming the final six episodes of its first season.  Its Fall season finale is this Sunday.

Along with the new Star Wars series, Disney has announced plans for a Monsters Inc. show that will also run on their streaming service.

If the voice of Mallus sounded familiar to sci fi fans on this week’s episode of Legends of Tomorrow, it should have. Genre veteran John Noble (Fringe, Sleepy Hollow, The Lord of the Rings) is voicing the character that will emerge as the major villain this season.

Ellen Page (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Super) has been cast in the lead role of Vanya Hargreeves in Netflix’s upcoming adaption of The Umbrella Academy comic.

SPOILER ALERT: Wentworth Miller has announced that he is planning to hang up his freeze gun and leave The CW’s Arrow-verse shows. There is no word yet on when his departure will occur and if this means the demise of Captain Cold.

You can see the latest trailers for The Librarians, The Flash, The Inhumans, and More at this link

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