Has the combination of time-travel and romance ever made things easier? It doesn’t seem like that’ll be the case in Needle in a Timestack, writer-director John Ridley’s adaptation of Robert Silverberg’s 1983 short story. Cynthia Erivo and Leslie Odom Jr. star as Janine and Nick, a happy couple whose marriage is threatened by Orlando Bloom, who—well, it’s complicated.
Is there a perfect time to read a given book? A moment not too early or too late, where you’re not too young or too grown—not to mention not too tired, worn out, beaten down by the world, or too excitable and distracted and enthused about other things? What about a perfect place?
The experience of reading a book at what feels like precisely the right time and in just the right place can probably be had deliberately, but as often as not is a matter of chance. I read Ursula K. Le Guin’s Lavinia on a train, on deadline for a review, before trains had wifi. In my memory it was a gloomy day, so there was nothing, not even scenery, to distract me. The rhythm of the train propelled my reading, but also connected with it, so that I always think of that book with movement and focus.
That was an unexpected blessing of place. But when I think of the ideal window of reading opportunity, I mostly think of time, which is another way of saying context: How much have you lived? What are you bringing to the book, and what is it bringing fresh to you? Where are you meeting each other, in the stages of your relative existence?
For some books and readers, this window never closes. But for others, it sure feels like it does.
Just when we thought they were done making intriguing casting announcements, Netflix’s Wednesday stepped it up a notch. The whole Addams fam is now cast—but more importantly, Game of Thrones‘ Brienne of Tarth (as she’s pictured above) has joined the show. Gwendoline Christie will play Larissa Weems, the principal of Nevermore Academy, Wednesday’s school—and apparently she “still has an axe to grind with her former classmate Morticia Addams.”
One would certainly like to hope that this show can do better than pitting women against women, but one is really not sure yet.
’Tis the season for awards and honors, and this one is incredibly well-deserved: TIME has named N.K. Jemisin one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2021. This comes on the heels of Jemisin being named a 2020 MacArthur Fellow; widespread acclaim for her novel The City We Became; and the news that adaptations of both her Inheritance Trilogy and Broken Earth trilogy are in the works—with Jemisin writing the screenplay for the latter.
This one comes straight out of left field: Netflix has given a series order to an adaptation of Matt Wagner’s Grendel, and it’s already got a whole cast and everything. Abubakr Ali will star as Hunter Rose, who is not just a fencer, not just a writer, and not just a fencer-writer but also an assassin—as his alter ego, Grendel.
Netflix’s Locke & Key was renewed for a second season in March of last year—and is finally almost here. The teaser features a lot of dialogue that could’ve come from just about any fantastic property, but presumably not everyone is out there forging demonic-looking keys that undoubtedly unlock something that should stay locked up.
Today in “unnecessary, but sure, okay,” Variety reports that Amazon is in “early development” on a live-action She-Ra series. It was only last year that the perfect animated Netflix series She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (pictured above) ended, so this seems fast as heck. Dreamworks Animation, who produced the animated series, will executive produce the Amazon series as well.
It’s been a while since Jessica Jones, but David Tennant’s performance as Kilgrave is still the stuff of nightmares. Now, he’s tackling another monster—sort of. The streaming platform Peacock has put into development a series starring both David Tennant and his wife, Georgia Tennant, and it’s a Jekyll and Hyde story of some sort. But also a conspiracy? It sounds like a lot.
If you could identify a book’s most perfect form, what would it be? What would it feel like?
By form, I don’t mean format—whether ebooks or audiobooks or print. I’m talking about the actual shape of a print book: the height and width, the way it fits in your hands. And beyond that, the way it feels in your hands. Does it have that divisive “soft touch” jacket, the kind that feels ever so slightly like human skin? Is it embossed or dotted with gold foil? Is it hardcover or paperback, large or small, short and thick or tall and narrow?
It wasn’t until I was in college that I encountered what I still think of as the epitome of book form: the Vintage trade paperback.
As promised, the first trailer for The Matrix Resurrections is here, and it looks very cool. Yes, there’s a lot of slow-motion action and a thematically relevant song (“White Rabbit,” of course), but there’s also a single shot of Keanu Reeves in a bathtub with a rubber ducky on his head, which is alone worth the price of admission.
Yeah, there’ve been oh-no-a-comet/asteroid-is-hitting-the-earth movies before, but those were full of dramatic heroics and hobbits running away from tidal waves. This one… is not. Don’t Look Up is the upcoming Netflix movie from Adam McKay, best known for Anchorman or The Big Short, depending on which kind of comedy is more to your taste. It stars essentially everyone (Ariana Grande and Meryl Streep in the same movie) and is about two unfamous astronomers tasked with explaining to the world that a comet is headed our way and it’s very bad, actually.
The trailer for The Matrix Resurrections is coming, and it’s bringing an old website back with it. Cleverly playing on our nostalgia for all things Matrix, Warner Bros. has a shiny new site at an old Matrix URL, WhatIsTheMatrix.com, that will let you choose your pill. Right now, the choice delivers a selection of clips and an actor’s voiceover, but on Thursday morning (6am PT / 9am ET) your choice will bring you to the trailer.
Or will it?
According to Variety, an all-star team of writers and producers have been tasked with creating a Dead Boy Detectives pilot for HBO Max. A pilot order doesn’t mean a series is definite, but it is a step up from the vagueness of “in development.”
No one has been cast in the pilot yet, but expert hands are working behind the scenes: Steve Yockey (co-showrunner of The Flight Attendant) is writing and executive producing; Jeremy Carver (creator of HBO Max’s Doom Patrol) is executive producing; and, of course, Greg Berlanti is executive producing, along with his Berlanti Productions colleagues Sarah Schechter and David Madden. Berlanti Productions produces both Flight Attendant and Doom Patrol, along with Berlanti’s many, many DC Comics series.
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