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BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH TO STAR AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCE NEW SHOWTIME LIMITED SERIES MELROSE

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Showtime Networks announced the pickup of the five-part limited series MELROSE, starring and executive produced by Oscar® nominee and Emmy® winner Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game, Sherlock). BAFTA Award nominee David Nicholls (Far From the Madding Crowd, One Day) is writing all five episodes of the television adaptation. Based on the acclaimed Patrick Melrose series of semi-autobiographical novels written by Edward St. Aubyn, MELROSE hilariously skewers the upper class as it tracks the protagonist’s harrowing odyssey from a deeply traumatic childhood through adult substance abuse and, ultimately, toward recovery. A co-production between SHOWTIME and Sky Atlantic, the limited series will begin shooting in New York, London and the South of France in August. The announcement was made today by David Nevins, President and CEO, Showtime Networks Inc.

In a tour de force role, Cumberbatch will play Melrose, an aristocratic and outrageously funny  playboy who struggles to overcome the damage inflicted by a horribly abusive father and the mother who tacitly condoned the behavior. Asked in 2013 if he could play any literary character ever, Cumberbatch shared in a Reddit Q&A that it would be Patrick Melrose. The limited series will be a true television saga, both gripping and humorous from Nicholls’ adaptation, with a dramatic sweep that encompasses the South of France in the 1960s, New York in the 1980s and Britain in the early 2000’s. MELROSE will devote one hour to each of the five novels, with each episode set over the course of a few intense days in the life of the protagonist.

“We are delighted to be part of this incredible series,” said Benedict Cumberbatch and Adam Ackland. “We have been huge fans of these books for many years and David Nicholls adaptations are extraordinary.”

Michael Jackson and Oscar nominee and Emmy and Golden Globe®-winning producer Rachael Horovitz (Moneyball, Grey Gardens) also serve as executive producers. Jackson, the former Channel Four and IAC executive, recently formed the drama banner Two Cities Television. Melrose will be the company’s first production. Along with Cumberbatch, Adam Ackland will executive produce for SunnyMarch.

“I’ve been a huge admirer of Edward St Aubyn’s novels for years, and can’t wait to bring these dark, witty, brilliant books to the screen,” said David Nicholls. “Benedict is the perfect Patrick Melrose.”

Said Horovitz and Jackson, “Edward St. Aubyn’s book series is one of the great works of fiction of the last thirty years. It’s a privilege to bring them to television with the person who was born to play this remarkable, compelling character.”

Cumberbatch has been nominated for four Primetime Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe for his role as “Sherlock Holmes” in Sherlock, winning the honor in 2014. He also received Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA, British Independent Film Award and Screen Actors Guild® Award nominations in 2015 for The Imitation Game. Cumberbatch’s other top roles include Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Star Trek Into Darkness, 12 Years a Slave, The Fifth Estate, August: Osage Countyand Doctor Strange. In 2015, he played the title role in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet at the Barbican Theatre.

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Caesar’s Reign Comes To The Big Screen With New Trailer For Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes

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Director Wes Ball breathes new life into the global, epic franchise set several generations in the future following Caesar’s reign, in which apes are the dominant species living harmoniously and humans have been reduced to living in the shadows. As a new tyrannical ape leader builds his empire, one young ape undertakes a harrowing journey that will cause him to question all that he has known about the past and to make choices that will define a future for apes and humans alike. “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” is directed by Wes Ball (the “Maze Runner” trilogy) and stars Owen Teague (“IT”), Freya Allan (“The Witcher”), Kevin Durand (“Locke & Key”), Peter Macon (“Shameless”), and William H. Macy (“Fargo”). The screenplay is by Josh Friedman (“War of the Worlds”) and Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver (“Avatar: The Way of Water”) and Patrick Aison (“Prey”), based on characters created by Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver, and the producers are Wes Ball, Joe Hartwick, Jr., p.g.a. (“The Maze Runner”), Rick Jaffa, p.g.a., Amanda Silver, p.g.a., Jason Reed, p.g.a. (“Mulan”), with Peter Chernin (the “Planet of the Apes” trilogy) and Jenno Topping (“Ford v. Ferrari”) serving as executive producers.

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Masterchef Is Back! For Halo Season 2

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A quick recap – Halo is set in a war-torn 26th century, where humanity led by the United Nations Space Command or UNSC and their supersoldiers known as Spartans, fights against the onslaught of the alien conglomerate known as the Covenant. The full dust-up of Halo Season 1, can be found here. Onward into the introduction of Halo Season 2!

It’s been six months since the forced separation of Spartan Masterchief John (Pablo Schreiber) and Cortana (Jen Taylor), and the Silver Team has been sent on a mission to evacuate residents of the planet Sanctuary before the Covenant glasses the whole thing. This comes with its own set of challenges, given the resistance of the planet’s inhabitants, and it doesn’t help that Masterchef starts seeing things right in the middle of trying to save some marines. Or is he? Those energy swords the squad of Elites were carrying looked worryingly real.

Back on Reach, the Silver Team is entirely dismayed to learn they have a brand new Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) representative come in as the new boss, to finally replace the traitorous Halsey, James Ackerson (Joseph Morgan). And of course, Ackerson manages to immediately get under Masterchief’s skin, by not only expressing far too much interest in John’s relationship with Cortana but also apparently disbelieving of John’s report of his encounters on Sanctuary. That just means Masterchief has to go around, if not entirely over, Ackerson’s head.

Elsewhere, Soren (Bokeem Woodbine) is trolling the slave markets in his boredom, only to stumble across a soon-to-be indentured servant who claims he knows the whereabouts of the UNSC’s most hunted human, Catherine Halsey (Natascha McElhone). That should bring a huge bounty, but really, Soren should’ve known better by now.

Halo Season 2 premieres Thursday, February 8th, 2024, and will continue to air every Thursday, only on Paramount+!

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Reborn as a Vending Machine I Now Wander the Dungeon’: I look forward to your next use!  

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If the title of this delightful little isekai anime entry didn’t give it all away, our nameless protagonist is a vending machine fanatic who, after being killed by a vending machine, gets reincarnated in another fantasy-style world as one! 

Japan has a tendency to give birth to all sorts of crazed fads that can last for decades, and no one does better when it comes to the vending machine industry, too. These days there are vending machines that will serve you sushi you can actually eat, hot pizza in the box, wagyu steaks, freshly popped popcorn, and a whole mind-boggling array of tasty treats, and other non-edible but still useful items! Umbrellas! Condoms! Oxygen masks, sterile bandages, shoes, and emergency clothing! Actually, far more things that we use on an everyday basis, could be considered as technically a vending machine, and the anime explores that beautifully. Into the world of vending machine fanaticism, we dive! 

So our poor protagonist never gave a name, and inevitably when he’s discovered by his first official friend the starving hunter Lammis, she dubs him “Boxxo”. Like many isekai that seem to take inspiration from video games and RPGs, Boxxo discovers he ways he can communicate, level up his existence, and even evince magic-like powers and attack and defend against monsters and enemies. Though in the beginning, and as an underlying theme throughout the show, Boxxo is primarily concerned with providing unique never-before-tasted-in-this-world food and drink to the amazed folk, human and otherwise. 

Boxxo’s prices are entirely reasonable and hey, he can even choose to give out his wares for free on occasion, so his popularity immediately skyrockets. Lammis with her awkward charm and prodigious strength blessing, introduces Boxxo to other friends of Clearflow Lake Village and associates along the way – Director Bear, an actual bear-monster who’s the head of the Hunters Association; Lammis’ friend Hulemy, the insane genius magic item engineer; the Bearcats Suco, Pell, Short and Mikenne, cheerful hunters with astronomic appetites; even suspicious Kerioyl, leader of the Menagerie of Fools party. 

The show approaches the practicality and versatility of the true vending machine with amusement, but also with the love true fans display for things they’re passionate about. Certainly, things like a brothel needing a condom vending machine exist in our world, but to toss them into a potentially more innocent other-world isekai is a welcome and often hilarious treat. The show celebrates the cheerful idiocy and devotion of the fans to their chosen fandom, in this case, yes vending machines, but also the spirit of the lonely otaku finally finding their Tribe! 

Pay your coins to watch ‘Reborn as a Vending Machine’ on Crunchyroll now! 

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