This Month in Moves & TV
The Force Awakens Hits Theaters
It's been a long time in the making – well, two years to be exact – but the seventh installment in the classic sci-fi space opera series Star Wars is finally here. The Force Awakens was released on December 18 in North America, selling out at thousands of theaters. While financial details of its launch have yet to be disclosed, market experts predict Star Wars: The Force Awakens to surpass more than $1 billion. Given the fact that it was produced on a budget of just $200 million, that's a pretty decent profit margin to say the least. Of course, the projected $1 billion earnings for The Force Awakens doesn't take into account licensed merchandise, which ranges from Darth Vader toasters and Death Star waffle makers to R2D2 oil filters and more.
The Force Awakens goes back to the roots of Star Wars, introducing us to new characters while returning some of the classic favorites. We aren't going to talk about the plot (sorry!), but just know that it's awesome movie that's deserving of the Star Wars name.
The Force Awakens isn't the last film in the Star Wars franchise. Disney has already announced plans for two sequels, Episode VIII and Episode IX, are scheduled for 2017 and 2019 respectively.
Vin Diesel Rumored to Produce Riddick TV Show
Pitch Black was an indie film that many critics disregarded as being just another low-budget sci-fi film with no real sustenance. Given its now cult-like following that spawned several sequels along with numerous Riddick-titled video games, however, I think it's safe to say the critics were wrong. But if you thought Riddick (2013) was the last time you'd see Vin Diesel playing the night-vision-powered mercenary, you were wrong, because there's a new rumor indicating that Diesel may actual produce a new Riddick companion series for TV.
Diesel recently signed a deal with Universal Television for his One Race show, but this isn't the show he's pitching studio executives. As noted by Entertainment Weekly, the 48-year-old star who's best known for his role in the Fast and Furious franchise is also using this opportunity to pitch his idea for a Riddick TV show. Given the rich, depth universe of the Riddick franchise, we can only hope that Universal Television takes him up on the offer. If so, we could see a Riddick show within the next few years.
"In addition to being a huge star for our feature division, Vin is a true creative force as a producer. After sitting down with him and his team at One Race Television, it’s clear he will now also be an incredible asset to both the network and our television studio,” said Jennifer Salke, president of NBC Entertainment.
Record Number of TV Shows in 2015
Running out of TV shows to watch? Well, you're probably the only person who can't find a decent show to watch, because a recent report has found 2015 to contain more scripted TV shows than any other year. The report, published by the research department at FX Networks, identified a whopping 409 scripted TV shows on the air. To put that number into perspective, that's nearly twice as many scripted TV shows that aired in 2009 (about 211).
Julie Piepenkotter, executive VP of research and development at FX Networks, issued a statement, confirming that scripted TV series reached a new milestone in 2015, nearly doubling the number of shows in just the past six year. Some experts believe the TV show industry is in a bubble, with a burst soon to happen. But reports such as the one released by FX Networks suggests otherwise.
Do you think the TV show industry is in a bubble?
Marvel's Iron Fist Finds Showrunner
All 13 episodes of Marvel's Jessica Jones was released earlier this year, receiving widespread critical acclaim across the board. Jones is the second series of a three-part Marvel initiative that's expected to bring multiple superheroes together, including Daredevil, Jones, and Like Cage (Iron Fist). Daredevil and Jessica Jones have already been released, so no everyone has their attention on Iron Fist.
According to the folks at ComicBook.com, Marvel has recruited Scott Buck as the showrunner for Iron Fist. This, of course, is good news considering the fact that many people were skeptical of whether or not Iron Fist would even be produced. Rumors were circulating earlier this year that Marvel and Netflix were experiencing development problems. Assuming that Marvel has signed Scott Buck as the showrunner, however, it's almost certain that Iron Fist WILL be produced.
Additionally, Marvel released the synopsis for Iron Fist: "Returning to New York City after being missing for years, Daniel Rand fights against the criminal element corrupting New York City with his incredible kung-fu mastery and ability to summon the awesome power of the fiery Iron Fist."
Iron Fist is expected to air sometime in 2017 on Netflix.