Prime Video to Bow New Amazon Original Series ‘Night Sky’ on May 20

Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service on March 17 announced that the Amazon Original series “Night Sky” (formerly titled “Lightyears”) will premiere all eight episodes exclusively on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide on Friday, May 20. 

The series stars Academy Award winners Sissy Spacek and J.K. Simmons.

“Night Sky” follows Irene (Spacek) and Franklin York (Simmons), a couple who, years ago, discovered a chamber buried in their backyard that inexplicably leads to a strange, deserted planet. They’ve carefully guarded their secret ever since, but when an enigmatic young man (Chai Hansen) enters their lives, the Yorks’ quiet existence is quickly upended — and the mystifying chamber they thought they knew so well turns out to be much more than they could ever have imagined.

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“Night Sky” is a co-production of Amazon Studios and Legendary Television and is written and co-executive produced by Holden Miller, with Daniel C. Connolly serving as showrunner and executive producer. Mosaic’s Jimmy Miller and Sam Hansen serve as executive producers, along with Emmy and BAFTA Award-winner Philip Martin.

Robert Redford Comedy ‘The Old Man & the Gun’ Due on Digital Jan. 1, Disc Jan. 15

Robert Redford and Sissy Spacek star in the comedy The Old Man & the Gun, coming to digital (including Movies Anywhere) Jan. 1 and Blu-ray and DVD Jan. 15 from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

The film follows the mostly true story of Forrest Tucker (Redford) — from his daring prison escape at age 70 to an unprecedented string of bank heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public. Wrapped up in the pursuit are detective John Hunt (Casey Affleck) and Jewel (Spacek), the woman loves him despite his criminal ways.

Special features on disc include:

  • “Everything Else We Shot”;
  • “Prison Cats”;
  • “On Filmmaking”;
  • “31 Wake-Ups”;
  • “Joining the Hunt”;
  • audio commentary by writer/director David Lowery; and
  • a photo gallery.

Hulu Boosts Comic-Con Presence with ‘Castle Rock’ Installation

Hulu, the No. 3 subscription streaming service, had an increased presence at San Diego Comic-Con this year, taking over city parkland across the street from the Convention Center to promote “Castle Rock,” a new digital original series based on the horror stories of Stephen King.

Castle Rock, of course, is the fictional town in Maine where some of King’s most notorious stories were set, including Cujo, Needful Things, The Dead Zone and The Dark Half.

And to promote the new J.J. Abrams-produced series, which will debut on July 25, Hulu set up an installation on city parkland across Harbor Drive from the San Diego Convention Center.

There was a car nose-first in a lake on the southwest corner of Children’s Park.

A short distance away, at the corner of Front Street and Island Avenue, was a Victorian building with a sign out front that identified it as the “Castle Rock Historic Bed and Breakfast.”

Milling about the front yard were a creepy couple, identically dressed, the woman sweeping a broom and the man greeting guests (convention attendees who waited in a long line to get in).

Walking through the building was like visiting an elaborate haunted house attraction for Halloween. The tour began as guests were ushered into the lobby, with a somber-looking desk clerk and an old manual typewriter with a single sheet of paper loaded into it, with the sentence “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” written repeatedly (straight out of the King classic The Shining).

The tour then turned into a mash-up of horror scenes: a bathtub filled with body parts, a prison death chamber, a room filled with bald, nude mannequins; another room in which guests felt as though they were underwater, looking up at a sunken car.

And throughout the tour, actors kept jumping out of the dark, yelling things like “Get out, now!” and “Help me.”

The disparate scenes are supposed to make sense once viewers watch the show.

Hulu also screened the first episode of the show just before a panel featuring the cast, which includes Sissy Spacek, the star of one of the most celebrated Stephen King movies, 1976’s Carrie, and Bill Skarsgard, who played Pennywise the clown in the theatrical It.

The episode finds Henry Deaver (Andre Holland), a death row attorney with a twisted history in Castle Rock, returning to his home town.  The impetus for his return: a stranger (Skarsgard) is found in a cage beneath Shawshank prison, and all he will say to corrections officers is Deaver’s name.

Spacek said she likes King because “he combines horror with humor.”

Co-creator Sam Shaw noted series producer J.J. Abrams, “our overlord,” is known for his “mystery box” approach to storytelling, while “Stephen King doesn’t write mystery box novels.”

“So that was an interesting challenge, figuring out how to balance the demands of two different types of stories. So we tried to chart a course that in some ways is driven by mysteries … and then also to answer some questions perhaps earlier than the audience expects.”

Hulu recreated the fictional town of Castle Rock for its new series, based on Stephen King stories.