Each week, Lauren Gallaway brings you the best and most exciting pop culture news. Get ready for a fresh perspective on the week’s most buzzed-about stories in the business.
Netflix and The CW Team-up for Rapid Streaming Rights
When a television season wraps up for the year, it typically takes months for it to hit Netflix. In the case of most CW shows, Netflix doesn’t get the most recent season until the week before the new season premieres. This streaming model doesn’t lend well to summer binge-watching, especially for freshman shows. This week Netflix and The CW reached a historic agreement that would launch the most recent season of shows a mere week after the finale airs. That means new shows like Riverdale and Frequency, as well as the next seasons of Arrow, Supergirl, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow, will all be available on Netflix almost immediately at season’s end.
Game of Thrones Season 7 Faces Possible Delay
Game of Thrones has just wrapped its sixth season and its showrunners are already moving ahead on season seven. While fans are eager to see what’s next for their favorite characters in Westeros, they may have to wait a bit longer than expected. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss both weighed in on the production schedule for season seven this week by saying it could premiere later than usual. Apparently, the weather will be the cause of the season delay, as the showrunners want to be able to capture as much literal winter as possible. While this will add to the show’s authenticity, it may shift the season’s start date.
Season 7 is expected to debut in 2017.
Thor: Ragnarok Begins Production in Australia
Filming on the God of Thunder’s third film, Thor: Ragnarok, has officially begun Down Under! The Taika Waititi-directed film kicked off production on July 4 in Brisbane. The cast of Thor: Ragnarok is incredible, boasting not only returning cast members Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, and Anthony Hopkins, but also Mark Ruffalo, Jeff Goldblum, Cate Blanchett, Tessa Thompson, and Karl Urban. While the official plot has not yet been announced, it was revealed this week that Agent Carter’s Eric Pearson has written the final version of the script and Dan Hennah — the Academy Award winning designer from Lord of the Rings — has joined the film as production designer.
Thor: Ragnarok storms into theaters November 3, 2017.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan Upped as Walking Dead Series Regular
When Negan made his debut on The Walking Dead’s season six finale, fans were left in shock as he took the life of a beloved character off screen. His intense debut last season has left questions about his role in the show’s upcoming seventh season. News broke this week that Jeffrey Dean Morgan — who plays the formidable Negan — is not just a one-episode guest character, but has officially joined the cast a series regular. His role in season seven will be massive, and his intense brand of leadership will affect the direction of the show forever. Tom Payne (Jesus), Xander Berkeley (Gregory), and Austin Amelio (Dwight) have also been upped to series regulars. No word yet as to who perished in the finale.
Star Trek Boldly Celebrates 50th Anniversary at SDCC
As Star Trek celebrates 50 historic years, San Diego Comic-Con is celebrating in a big way. Not only will the pop culture convention host the premiere of Star Trek Beyond, but new Star Trek showrunner Bryan Fuller will be hosting a massive panel in Hall H on Saturday, July 23. William Shatner will headline the panel alongside Michael Dorn (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Brent Spiner (Star Trek: The Next Generation), Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager), and Scott Bakula (Star Trek: Enterprise). Each television franchise will be represented and Fuller will finally release details on his highly anticipated new Star Trek series, which debuts in 2017.
San Diego Comic-Con kicks off July 21.
Pacific Rim 2 Finally Lands a Release Date
The second installment of Pacific Rim has been in production limbo for years. Producer Guillermo Del Toro announced that he was working on the script last year, but then Legendary pulled the film from their production slate. The film finally started to move forward when Del Toro finished the script and Steven DeKnight was hired to direct the film. As soon as breakout Star Wars actor John Boyega signed on to co-produce and star in the film, it was official, and now the studio has announced a release date. Pacific Rim 2 will open in theaters February 23, 2018. The film does not have an official title yet, but it’s rumored to be called Pacific Rim: Maelstrom. Scott Eastwood is also rumored to be co-starring in the pic with Boyega.
Secret Life of Pets Review: ‘Cuddly but no Bite’
Now that Disney’s Finding Dory has swum into theaters for a few weeks, it’s time for another studio to take a dip into the box office. Illumination Entertainment’s The Secret Life of Pets opens in theaters tomorrow, and based on the trailer alone, it looks like a hilarious romp. The film boasts an all-star voice cast which includes Jenny Slate, Kevin Hart, Ellie Kemper, Eric Stonestreet, and Lake Bell. We reviewed the film, which you can read below:
Pets has many moments back to traditional cartoon Tom Foolery and wackiness. What Pets lacks in emotion, it makes up for with silliness — and there is a lot of it, in the form of a tattooed pig and an unaffected hound dog on a trolley voiced by Dana Carvey. Kids will enjoy the silliness while adults will just tolerate it. It is, after all, a kids movie. Ultimately, Pets is Toy Story with domesticated animals instead of toys, but it doesn’t make it a failure. There is more than enough room for different movies that cover the same ground. Unfortunately, this one was a little too on the nose to avoid comparisons.
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Entertainment journalist who’s passionate about science fiction, superheroes, and all things nerdy. Regular Comic-Con attendee, co-founder of The Marvel Report and co-host of The Flash Podcast and the Peggy Carter Podcast. Assistant editor at CBR and contributing writer to Moviefone and The Tracking Board. Obsessed with British accents, strong female characters, Sherlock, and Steve Rogers.
Follow her on Twitter @LaurenGallaway