After multiple delays, Star Trek: Discovery finally got a release date this week. The new show, which marks the franchise’s return to TV after 12 years, will air September 24 in the US on CBS. Netflix has a deal for the rest of the world, so it’ll be available in India on September 25. The show’s first season will air in two parts: the first 8 episodes until November 5, and the other 7 episodes starting in January 2018.
Though Warner Bros has yet to sign up Gal Gadot for a Wonder Woman sequel, director Patty Jenkins is already working on a treatment for the follow-up with WB president Toby Emmerich, according to Variety. It has no release date obviously, but you can catch Gadot in Justice League on November 17.
On Tuesday, word came out that Damon Lindelof – co-creator and showrunner on Lost – is in talks with HBO to develop DC Comics’ iconic Watchmen. It’s not the first time HBO has attempted a TV series around the comic book, as Zack Snyder was previously attached with the project.
Meanwhile, Disney announced that the directors of the Han Solo spin-off film – Phil Lord and Christopher Miller – had parted ways due to “creative differences”. According to an anonymous source who spoke with Variety, the directing duo frequently clashed with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, and had to be fired.
And on Thursday, a replacement director was announced in Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13). The film has three weeks of filming left, and five weeks of reshoots. Production will resume on July 10 after Howard has met with the cast and seen a rough cut to figure out what’s needed. The untitled Han Solo film is scheduled for May 25, 2018.
In between the Star Wars shake-up, HBO released a new trailer for Game of Thrones season 7, which included a lot of clues for what to expect. It’s going to the first season with a shortened run of seven episodes, and will premiere July 16 on HBO in the US, and July 17 on Hotstar in India.
Lastly, Universal unveiled the title for the sequel to Jurassic World on Thursday. It’s called Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and comes with a tagline: “Life finds a way.” The line is a reference to Jeff Goldblum’s dialogue from the first Jurassic Park film, and he will be part of the sequel. Directed by A Monster Calls’ JA Bayona, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom will release June 22, 2018.
That’s all the entertainment news for this week. Welcome back to The Weekend Chill, your one-stop destination for what to watch, play, or listen to this weekend. Here are the best picks:
The newest Netflix original is set in the glitzy 80s Los Angeles, and it focuses on the women’s professional wrestling circuit called the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW). Starring Community’s Alison Brie as an out-of-work actress who gets an invite to shoot a weekly promotion series about female wrestlers, GLOW is both funny and emotional.
Brie – known for playing “cute” characters – shines in a role that requires a stronger performance, critics are saying. The show takes its time to explain its world to the audience, but it improves over its 10-episode run, and delivers female empowerment through power slams.
Orange is the New Black’s Jenji Kohan, Tara Herrmann, and Carly Mensch are all attached with GLOW: the first two as executive producers, and the latter a co-creator, along with Homeland’s Liz Flahive. The entire first season is available on Netflix globally Friday.
How to access: Netflix
Time commitment: 10 hours
Better Call Saul
With this Breaking Bad spin-off, co-creators Vince Gillian and Peter Gould picked up the critical acclaim where they left off with the parent’s final season. Since then, the quality of writing has only gone up, though viewership has slowly gone down the other hill. So much so that Better Call Saul has yet to be renewed for a fourth season.
The third season – which ended earlier this week – charted the misfortunes of Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) as his brother Chuck pushed to drive him out of business one way or another. Jimmy’s attempts at survival sent their relationship to a new low, with the season ending in a heart-breaking fashion. His law practice with Kim, meanwhile, went through some major tumbles.
Mike’s (Jonathan Banks) story progressed much slowly this season, even as fan favourite Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) joined the cast. Nacho’s (Michael Mando) and his beef with Hector (Mark Margolis) further pushed things toward the Breaking Bad status quo.
Directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the true story of the Black September aftermath, Munich is the story of the secret Israeli squad that was hand-picked to track down and assassinate 11 members of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation who were believed to have planned the Munich massacre at the 1972 Summer Olympics. The film is now available on Netflix.
Apart from looking at their mission – officially known as Operation Wrath of God – the film also looks at the toll the revenge mission took on the team, and the man-in-charge. The film is one of Spielberg’s lowest-grossers, but it’s been praised a politically even-handed thriller that’s provocative and exceptionally made, thanks to Janusz Kaminski’s camera work.
Written by Tony Kushner and Eric Roth, Munich was based on George Jonas’ book Vengeance about Yuval Aviv, who stated he was a Mossad agent part of the group. The film was nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.
How to access: Netflix
Time commitment: 2 hours and 43 minutes
Set in a fictionalised northwest Indian village, Parched follows a trio of women: Rani (Tannishtha Chatterjee), who’s been a widow for half her life, Lajjo (Radhika Apte), who is unable to get pregnant and faces daily domestic violence from her husband, and Bijli (Surveen Chawla), a dancer who performs for men at night.
The women live in a world that’s hemmed in by tradition, and face institutionalised problems from forced child marriages, familial rape, abusive husbands, and financial difficulties. But in their private spaces, they talk about love, sex, freedom, and dream of a better future. Thanks to director Leena Yadav’s nuanced touch, the characters aren’t simply shown as victims, but brought out as articulate and with dignity.
Parched premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, and was well-received by most critics during its festival-circuit run. After a short theatrical run last year, it’s now available on Amazon Prime Video.
How to access: Amazon Prime Video
Time commitment: 1 hour and 56 minutes
One of the most well-known Indian films of all time, Mughal-e-Azam was a landmark production in the 50s for all the wrong reasons. It was in development before Independence, but filming began only a decade later. Plus, a single song cost more to make than most films, and director K Asif pushed to switch to Technicolor when it arrived in India.
The producers said no, so Asif settled on adding a few scenes in colour, most notably the replica of Lahore Fort’s Sheesh Mahal, which took two years to build, at a cost of Rs. 1.5 million ($314,000 in 1960), and needed 500 trucks to light it up due to its sheer size. The efforts paid off in the end, as Mughal-e-Azam became the highest-grossing Bollywood film upon release in 1960.
The film’s story has little historical basis, but it charts the love affair between the then-Prince Salim (future Emperor Jahangir) and Anarkali, a court dancer. Since his father, Akbar, disapproves of their relationship, a feud opens between the two.
How to access: Netflix
Time commitment: 3 hours and 17 minutes
Melodrama by Lorde
Four years after becoming an international phenomenon with her debut album Pure Heroine at age 16, Lorde is back with a second full-length release in Melodrama, produced with the help of Jack Antonoff. On it, she explores her first year of adulthood, covering themes from loneliness and caring, falling in love and heartbreak, and of course, coming of age.
The 11-track album – running for 40 minutes – is extremely well-written and produced from start to finish. Though Lorde wanted it to feel like a house party record, there are elements that are introspective, honest, and quiet at the same time: from the catchiness of Homemade Dynamite to the vocal-heavy Writer in the Dark.
Critics have lavished praise on the new album, putting it among the best of 2017 lot. NME called it “full of brilliant songs with lyrics to chew over for months”, while Pitchfork noted that “Lorde captures emotions like none other” and called the album “a masterful study of being a young woman, a sleek and humid pop record full of grief and hedonism”.