content by

Molly Templeton

Hunger Games Prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Rounds Out Its Ensemble Cast

When the Games need tributes, they find them fast. Just last month, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes found its young Coriolanus Snow—the man who will grow up to be Panem’s nasty president—in actor Tom Blyth. And since then, the Hunger Games prequel has added more than a dozen actors to its lineup of tributes and mentors, including Euphoria‘s Hunter Schafer and West Side Story‘s Rachel Zegler (pictured above).

Who will enter the arena? Let’s see.

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Summer Reading Assignments for Grown-Ups

It is finally summer on both technicality and weather report. The solstice, with its long dreamy evening, has come and gone, and the rain has gone, too, from my northwestern neck of the woods. Sunlight sticks around so late in the day that every night I marvel at the still-blue sky after 9 pm.

It’s time to read outdoors without cold fingers, to shed coats and cardigans while reading on the bar patio, and to turn my mind to a long-beloved topic: summer reading.

This is a concept we will have to define in order to talk about.

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Eat the Rich With the Vampires of What We Do in the Shadows

“What hath the dark lord wrought?” Well, maybe some trouble in the form of a musical-theater loving child, but surely it’s nothing these vampires can’t handle. The trailer for season four of What We Do in the Shadows continues the dance-club theme of the first teaser, but adds in a few more details about what the vampires are up to this season—and a memorable description of what rich humans taste like.

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A New Tolkien Collection Will Answer All Your Second Age Questions

Amazon’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power takes place during the Second Age of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth—which is not necessarily a time every Tolkien reader knows about, even if you were the kind of kid that read the Lord of the Rings trilogy every year. (Yes, I mean me, I did that.) You would have had to dig deeper, into The Silmarillion and assorted other posthumous volumes.

HarperCollins is making it easier to answer your Second Age questions with a new collection of Tolkien’s writings. The Fall of Numenor and Other Tales from the Second Age of Middle-earth collects stories from this fictional era, edited by Brian Sibley and with new art by Alan Lee

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Bask in the Absurdity of LEGO Star Wars Summer Vacation

Everyone needs a break sometimes, and that includes every Star Wars character—or at least the LEGO versions of every Star Wars character. The latest LEGO Star Wars special is set after The Rise of Skywalker, but I’m not sure you want to pay too much attention to where it fits in the greater galactic timeline, or you’ll have a lot of questions about how all these folks are possibly alive at the same time.

But it’s LEGOs! Don’t ask questions. BEACH PARTY WITH WEIRD AL, EVERYBODY.

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“Hawkins Will Fall” in the Trailer for Stranger Things 4, Volume 2

The two episodes that make up Volume 2 of Stranger Things‘ fourth season clock in at almost four hours—which is basically two movies’ worth of screaming, monsters, and maybe more meaningful uses of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill,” which gives this trailer a lot of its emotional heft.

The rest comes from a series of threats and fears: Hawkins will fall. Maybe things won’t work out for them this time. Eleven isn’t ready. But who is, when things from the Upside Down come calling?

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Jon Snow May Live Again in Another Game of Thrones Spinoff

When Kit Harington’s Jon Snow rode off into the north at the end of Game of Thrones, it was one of the minor enjoyable points in a generally infuriating series finale: At least he wasn’t on the throne. (Not that the Stark on the throne was much more interesting.) But we probably should have guessed that wasn’t the last we’d see of him. There are so many adventures to be had in exile. So many, in fact, that HBO has a Jon Snow Game of Thrones spinoff in early development, with Harington attached to star.

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Three Avatar: The Last Airbender Movies Are In Development

Netflix’s live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender series isn’t the only Avatar story en route to screens. Paramount and Nickleodeon just announced that not just one but three new animated Avatar films are in development, with the first to be directed by Lauren Montgomery (a storyboard artist on ATLA and supervising producer on The Legend of Korra).

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Emma Thompson Is a Terrifying Miss Trunchbull In the Trailer for Nextflix’s Matilda the Musical

Last year, Netflix bought the Roald Dahl Story Company. Three years before that, the streaming platform acquired the rights to turn a huge list of Dahl’s beloved and classic stories into animated series—including two Taika Waititi-created Charlie and the Chocolate Factory series.

But first: Matilda. Or, to be precise, Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical, a film based on the stage musical based on the Dahl book. Matthew Warchus, who directed the musical in London and New York, directs the film, which has music and lyrics by Tim Minchin. Newcomer Alisha Weir stars as plucky Matilda, who faces off with the terrifying Miss Trunchbull (Emma Thompson).

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The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim Brings Miranda Otto’s Éowyn Back to Middle-earth

It’s been twenty years since Miranda Otto swept onto movie screens as a totally perfect Éowyn in The Two Towers—and she hasn’t left that role entirely behind. Deadline reports that in the upcoming anime film The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim, Otto will return as the beloved character, who is the movie’s narrator.

The War of the Rohirrim has also found its Helm Hammerhand in none other than Brian Cox (Succession, X2Good Omens).

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Justin Lin Moves From Fast Cars to Flying Fists With One Punch Man

In April, director Justin Lin abruptly walked away from the franchise he brought back to life, quitting Fast X after it had begun production. Lin revitalized the Fast and Furious films with Fast Five, and was key to the series’ massive success (though he did not, sadly, have the same effect on the Trek film franchise with Star Trek Beyond).

So what’s next? Something a little different. Deadline reports that Sony has hired Lin to direct a new adaptation of One Punch Man, the story of a hero who can defeat any opponent with a single punch.

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Lady Gaga As Harley Quinn? It Might Happen in Todd Phillips’ Joker Sequel

We’ve had less than a week to adjust to the reality of a sequel to Joker, Todd Phillips’ gritty, Joaquin-Phoenix-starring, alternate-universe take on the Batman villain—and now there’s more. And it’s a big, dramatic kind of more: The Hollywood Reporter brings word that Lady Gaga is in talks to join the movie as Harley Quinn.

Also, it’s a musical.

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Paddington 3 Finally Has a Title—And a Director

Though Paddington 2 came out five long years ago, the little marmalade-loving bear has been quite busy recently, what with his appearance in Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee and all. What he hasn’t been busy with is a sequel. For incomprehensible reasons, director Paul King opted to go make Wonka, leaving his beloved bear in the lurch.

But finally—finally!—there’s news about Paddington 3. The Hollywood Reporter brings word that commercial director Dougal Wilson will take the reins for the third installment of Paddington’s adventures, which has a somewhat worrying title: Paddington in Peru.

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The Headless Horseman Will Ride Yet Again in a New Sleepy Hollow

Somehow, it has been twenty-three years since Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow (above) gave me nightmares about iron maidens. Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” had been adapted many times before that, and has been adapted more times since (most notably in a TV show that did its ostensible lead very dirty). Now, Paramount thinks we’re about due for the next one. Deadline reports that Lindsay Beer, who makes her directorial debut with the upcoming Pet Sematery prequel, will write and direct a new Sleepy Hollow film for the studio.

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AMC+’s Moonhaven Wants to Solve the Problem of People

Utopias are rarely for everyone, and that certainly seems to be the case in Moonhaven, a new AMC+ show set in a tiny moon colony 100 years in the future. There’s murder! There’s strife! There’s Joe Manganiello (True Blood) and Dominic Monaghan (beloved hobbit bro)! And there are, of course, the monochromatic robes that are de rigueur in so many u- and dystopias. How would we know to distrust the system if people were wearing more than one color at a time?

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