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Upcoming One Chicago Franchise Crossover Will Be Epic

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On October 7, 2019, NBC hosted a fun and interactive press day for the One Chicago franchise. The Wolf Entertainment franchise, started by television legend Dick Wolf, includes Emmy-award winning TV shows Chicago PD, Chicago Med, and Chicago Fire. With over 389 episodes aired as of October 2, 2019, the One Chicago franchise has clearly gained quite a loyal following.

Questions for the talent and producers present at the roundtable discussions revolved around a hot topic: the looming premiere of the 3-hour Chicago Crossover Event. We had the chance to sit down with Chicago Fire showrunner, Derek Haas, to get the inside scoop on the process and inspiration for the epic event.*

.Journalist: So let’s start by talking about the crossover.. I watched the trailer. It looks incredible. What’s the inspiration for it?

Derek: We’re always trying to do something different than we’ve done before. This year we thought “why don’t we get all three shows active in the first hour, so it’s really more like a decide-an-adventure, where it’s this story, this story, this story, and it’s all intersecting and weaving. It was Dick’s idea. He was like “let’s do some weaponized biological agent”. I was like “hm.. let’s run with that!”

So then Dick and I conceived the story over the 3 hours. I was going to write all three but then that became.. unfeasible. So I wrote the first one and then Med and PD took over after. We’re still shooting it, it’s not done yet! We keep realizing “oh, we gotta get more over here..” It airs in a week and a half so we’re cutting it a bit close to the edge.

Journalist: Is it because of what’s happening in the crossover that made scheduling it so hard?

Derek: So what happened is we scheduled it over 3 production weeks. Fire is on episode 5, Med is on episode 6, and PD is on episode 7. And that’s because we have the cast all having to go to the other shows. And then when you cut together action sequences, a lot of the time they’re shorter [in run time] versus page-wise. So if you wrote a 50 page script, typically speaking you would have 46 minutes in an episode and you cut it down to 41. Well, this one had so much action in it that you did a 50 page script and you only have 38 minutes and you’re like “oh man we’ve got to put 3 minutes in”. But what it allows you to do is you find holes in what you were missing. There’s times where we’ll be like “oh wouldn’t it be great if Casey looked over to the right for a second?”

Journalist: Biological terrorism is such an intense thing. Will it have any lingering effects into the rest of the shows individually?

Derek: I wanted to leave it open to Med and PD to do what they wanted to do. There’s a storyline going in the first hour that continues on into the series. We’re not going to make it apocalyptic event that carries over into the rest of the show.

Journalist: How has that process been collaborating with so many different people and different talents and different wants?

Derek: It’s always fun. I have a blast whenever we get the characters from the other shows on Chicago Fire. The very first thing that Dick asked when he was pitching this idea was “what if the first time we see evidence of this biological weapon is at a Chicago Bears game?” I said I went to a tailgate last year and it’s really one of the best tailgates in the country. What if characters from all three shows are tailgating together when this happens? And that was such a fun day to shoot. We were all at Soldier Field, there were 500 extras, with the cast from all three shows.. It was just so fun! They don’t usually get to work in that kind of situation together.

Journalist: Is there a character you’re especially excited to write for this season?

Derek: I really like writing all of them.. The Otis story still affects people. Even when you think oh, they’ve already moved on, you’re going to find that people catch a moment and it stays. That’s been fun to write. I like writing the funny stuff too. I told Dick at the beginning of the year, I was asked by a reporter over the summer, “what’s it like writing chicago fire after 8 seasons? Does it get formulaic?” And I said oh no no, it’s easy. You’ve just got to write action, suspense, romance, comedy, drama, thriller.. all in one hour and make people care! That’s the formula.

Watch the epic, three-hour Chicago crossover event, Wednesday, October 16, starting with Chicago Fire at 8/7c on NBC.

*The following is an edited transcript of the conversation.

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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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