Nerdy News: Last Jedi Trailer, Beyoncé Joins Lion King, Return to Oz Documentary & More

This is probably the last Star Wars: The Last Jedi promotional spot I’ll watch voluntarily. Do you have your tickets yet?

Announced last night on Disney’s Twitter account, we now have a full lineup for Jon Favreau’s “live-action” The Lion King. Beyoncé, long rumored, has officially joined the cast as Nala.

The cast includes:

  • Donald Glover as Simba
  • J.D. McCrary as young Simba
  • Shahadi Wright Joseph as young Nala
  • James Earl Jones as Mufasa
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar
  • Alfre Woodard as Sarabi
  • John Oliver as Zazu
  • John Kani as Rafiki
  • Seth Rogen as Pumbaa
  • Billy Eichner as Timon
  • Eric Andre as Azizi
  • Florence Kasumba as Shenzi
  • Keegan-Michael Key as Kamari

Marvel’s previously announced New Warriors show featuring Squirrel Girl will not be airing on Freeform (ABC Family) as it had been reported. The Hollywood Reporter says “Marvel will shop the live-action comedy to other outlets. Sources say there has been some talk that the 10-episode series from Kevin Biegel (Enlisted) could be taken to Disney’s forthcoming subscription streaming service, though insiders stress that’s a long shot.”

You might have recently heard Gal Gadot speaking about missteps regarding Wonder Woman’s characterization in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Now Henry Cavill, who has spoken quite well about Superman in the past, adds to her sentiments. Speaking to The Rake Cavill said:

Even if Marvel didn’t exist, we’d struggle. There was a style they were going for, an attempt to be different and look at things from a slightly different perspective, which hasn’t necessarily worked. Yes, it has made money but it has not been a critical success; it hasn’t given everyone that sensation which superheroes should give the viewer…I feel like now the right mistakes have been made and they haven’t been pandered [to], and we can start telling the stories in the way they need to be told. It is even better to come back from a mistake or stylistic error into the correct vein because it will make it seem that much stronger. Wonder Woman was the first step in the right direction.

A reminder that Ben Affleck also previously said the criticism that Batman v Superman was too dark was “fair.”

Still a bit annoyed by the unanswered questions of Showtime’s Twin Peaks: The Return? Well Mark Frost’s canonical book, [Editor’s Note: affiliate link] Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier, gives some actual, concrete answers. I don’t want to reveal anything here for those who haven’t watched yet or don’t want to know but Vulture reveals info about the incomparable Audrey Horne.

DreadCentral just informed me of some very exciting news. Family Film Productions is working on a documentary about one of my favorite films of all time – Return to Oz. It is titled Remembering Return to Oz and it will feature star Fairuza Balk and as DreadCentral reports: “include interviews with director Walter Murch, producers Gary Kurtz and Paul Manslansky, composer David Shire, and actors Emma Ridley (Ozma), Justin Case (Scarecrow), Deep Roy (The Tinwoodsman), Denise Bryer (voice of Billina), Sophie Ward (Mombi #2), Fiona Victory (Mombi #3), Pons Maar (Lead Wheeler), Lyle Conway and Brian Henson (son of Muppets creator Jim Henson), who were the puppeteers and voices for the Gump and Jack Pumpkinhead, respectively.” The official Facebook page will have updates if you want to know more.

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  • Howard_Bannister

    When I saw that Lion King casting I was sure it was a fan casting. It was way too obviously perfect. I nodded along all the way. “Sure, as long as we’re dreaming, why not Donald Glover and Beyonce? Oh, of course, bring James Earl Jones back, nobody else could ever be Mufasa.”

    When it sank in it was real it was a little jaw-dropping.

  • This came too late for the post but Mark Strong (Green Lantern’s Sinestro) is now in talks to play Doctor Sivana in Shazam. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/shazam-mark-strong-talks-villain-role-1054332

    And I totally forgot to include the news that put me to sleep last week that Zachary Levi is going to play Shazam. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/shazam-star-zachary-levi-as-dc-hero-1049616

    • Howard_Bannister

      Zachary Levi??? …well, he’s not the worst choice to play Billy Batson. I think he can convincingly play a 12-year-old.

      Oh, man, now I’m rapidly losing excitement for this movie. And it has the Rock! How is this possible?

      …on the other hand, Mark Strong always delivers, no matter how terrible the movie surrounding him is.

  • I’m excited for the Return to Oz doc. Netflix is also producing a documentary about Man on the Moon, with a bunch of footage that was always intended to be released but was apparently suppressed by the studio because Jim Carey is kind of a dick and it was a pretty volatile set. It’s a good doc news month!