Netflix Teams With Aardman for New ‘Wallace & Gromit’ Movie, ‘Chicken Run’ Sequel

Netflix will release a new “Wallace & Gromit” film and the sequel Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget through its collaboration with stop-motion animation company Aardman Animations.

The sequel to Chicken Run, the highest-grossing stop-motion animated film of all time, will be coming exclusively to Netflix in 2023, according to the service. In Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, having pulled off a death-defying escape from Tweedy’s farm, Ginger has finally found her dream — a peaceful island sanctuary for the whole flock, far from the dangers of the human world. When she and Rocky hatch a little girl called Molly, Ginger’s happy ending seems complete. But back on the mainland the whole of chicken-kind faces a new and terrible threat. For Ginger and her team, even if it means putting their own hard-won freedom at risk —  they’re breaking in. The voice cast includes Thandie Newton (Ginger), Zachary Levi (Rocky), Bella Ramsey (Molly), Jane Horrocks (Babs), Imelda Staunton (Bunty), Lynn Ferguson (Mac), Josie Sedgwick-Davies (Frizzle), David Bradley (Fowler), Romesh Ranganathan (Nick), Daniel Mays (Fetcher) and Nick Mohammed (Dr Fry) .

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Also, Nick Park is returning to his roots with a new film starring his Oscar-winning characters “Wallace & Gromit.” The film will premiere exclusively on Netflix around the world except in the United Kingdom, where it will debut first on the BBC before also coming to Netflix. Park will direct alongside Aardman’s creative director of “Wallace & Gromit” Merlin Crossingham, with Mark Burton onboard to write. In the as-yet-untitled film, set for a 2024 release, Gromit’s concern that Wallace has become overdependent on his inventions proves justified when Wallace invents a “smart gnome” that seems to develop a mind of its own. As events spiral out of control, it falls to Gromit to put aside his qualms and battle sinister forces.

Last year, Aardman and Netflix released the companies’ first project collaboration, the animated musical Robin Robin, which recently made the Oscars shortlist and BAFTA longlist for animated short films.

Netflix to Bow More Than 25 New Korean Shows and Movies in 2022

On the heels of the Korean hit “Squid Game,” Netflix has announced more than 25 upcoming Korean shows and movies for 2022. 

Global viewing hours of Netflix Korean shows grew six-fold last year, compared to 2019, according to Netflix. To date, “Squid Game” is the biggest show the service have ever launched, reigning as the most viewed Netflix show in 94 countries at its peak. In fact, 95% of Squid Game’s viewership came from outside Korea.

Two months after “Squid Game,” Netflix launched “Hellbound,” which had a premiere that clocked 43.48 million viewing hours. “Hellbound” was among the Top 10 Netflix shows in 93 countries, and ranked No. 1 in 34 countries, according to the service. Sci-fi mystery “The Silent Sea” also made it to the No. 1 spot on the weekly non-English Top 10 lists for its premiere.

From 2016 to 2021, Netflix launched more than 130 Korean titles.

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Shows for 2022 include:

  • “All of Us Are Dead,” a series in which zombies invade a high school;
  • “Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area,” an adaptation of the popular Spanish series;
  • Seoul Vibe, an action film where the adventures of a special-ops team take place against the backdrop of the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games;
  • Juvenile Justice, which follows a judge who dislikes juvenile delinquents, later realizing the troubles children face in society;
  • “Twenty Five, Twenty One,” a drama series about youths who lost their dream to the zeitgeist of 1998;
  • “Forecasting Love and Weather,” a romance drama series about people at the Korea Meteorological Administration;
  • “Thirty Nine,” a romance drama series that follows the friendship, love and life of three friends who are about to turn forty;
  • “Tomorrow,” a series about how a long-time unemployed man accidentally bumps into grim reapers on a special mission and becomes a contract worker at their Crisis Management Team;
  • “Business Proposal,” an office romance drama series based on the globally famous web novel and webtoon;
  • The Sound of Magic, based on the popular webtoon “Annarasumanara,” about a girl and a mysterious magician;
  • Remarriage and Desires, a satire of Korean society;
  • The Accidental Narco (working title), based on real-life events about an ordinary entrepreneur who has no choice but to risk his life in joining the secret mission of government agents to capture a Korean drug lord;
  • The Fabulous, a romance that explores the dreams, love and friendship
    of young people who devote their lives to working in the fashion industry;
  • Love to Hate You, about the war-like relationship between a woman who hates losing to men and a man suspicious of women;
  • Somebody, about a murder case revolving around a social dating app;
  • Black Knight, about an air polluted world in 2071, where people depend on respirator masks to breathe;
  • Love and Leashes, about a different kind of romance between a man with a
    unique taste and a woman who stumbles upon his secret;
  • Yaksha: Ruthless Operations, a spy action film about a merciless man
    known as “Yaksha” who crosses paths with a prosecutor on a special inspection mission in Shenyang, a city in China notorious for espionage;
  • Carter, about an agent suffering from memory loss who is thrown
    into the middle of a mysterious mission;
  • 20th Century Girl, about a women who rekindles a teenage romance;
  • JUNG_E, which portrays a desolated Earth in the 22nd century that is no longer inhabitable due to climate change;
  • “Celeb Five: Behind the Curtain,” an unscripted series;
  • A Model Family, about a man on the brink of bankruptcy and divorce stumbling upon a car loaded with cash; and
  • Glitch, about a girl who attempts to track down her missing boyfriend
    with the help of members of a UFO club.

Spanish-Language Series ‘The Envoys’ to Premiere on Paramount+ Jan. 20

Paramount+ will premiere the Spanish-language series “The Envoys” (“Los Enviados”) in the United States Jan. 20.

All eight episodes will be available to binge exclusively on Paramount+.

The original series stars Luis Gerardo Méndez (“Narcos: Mexico,” Charlie’s Angels), Miguel Ángel Silvestre (“Narcos,” “Sense8”), Irene Azuela (“Sense8”), and Miguel Rodarte (“Narcos: Mexico”). Oscar winner Juan José Campanella (The Secret in Their Eyes) serves as showrunner, producer and director. 

“The Envoys” follows two priests from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Vatican team in charge of verifying and studying miracles of potential saints, who are sent to Mexico to verify alleged miraculous healings of another clergyman known for performing them in a mental institution. As soon as they arrive in Mexico City, they receive the news that the priest they are looking for has disappeared without a trace. Their lives and their faith are taken to the limit when they discover a psychiatric colony, located on the suburbs of the town, that seems to hide more than one secret: a mystery buried for decades that underlies each inhabitant of the town. Méndez stars as Pedro Salinas, a methodical priest who never breaks the rules and believes in routine, whose greatest desire is to be able to prove his own miracle. Silvestre plays Salinas’s companion and fellow priest Simón Antequera, who has great ambitions within the church and, unlike Salinas, is intuitive and always offers a different point of view. Cortés, played by Irene Azuela, will be a key piece in the search for the truth as she witnessed the first two miracles attributed to the clergyman. Cortés takes an active role in finding the location of the man the priests are looking for, whom she considers a brother.

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“It’s a dream come true for ‘Los Enviados’ to premiere outside of Spanish-speaking countries for global audiences on Paramount+,” said Campanella in a statement. “It’s the perfect place to showcase the series and the effort of everyone involved in this project, just as it deserves.”

“I feel honored to carry out this project under the gaze of a director like Campanella and with colleagues like Miguel Ángel Silvestre and Irene Azuela,” Méndez said in a statement.

“I’m very proud of working for VIS in a production of such dimensions. I’m very happy to belong to this project and that this content is part of Paramount+,” said Silvestre in a statement.

“Working with Juan José Campanella was a delight. His knowledge is tremendous, and I’m sure the audience will want to see the story from beginning to end,” Azuela said in a statement.

The series will also be available on Paramount+ in Australia, Canada and the Nordics on Jan. 20.

Netflix to Stream Behind-the-Scenes Series on Professional Tennis

A new Netflix series will offer a look at life inside the competitive sport of professional tennis through the perspective of the players and their teams.

The SVOD service has teamed up with the four Grand Slam tournaments, the ATP Tour, WTA Tour and ATP Media, and will take cameras behind the scenes of the two tours, the Australian Open, Roland-Garros, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

“We are excited to continue bolstering our lineup of sports programming with this behind-the-scenes documentary series,” Brandon Riegg, Netflix VP of unscripted and documentary series, said in a statement. “Tennis is beloved all over the world, with high-stakes tournaments hopping across continents and athletes hailing from countless countries. Through this historic partnership with the four Grand Slam tournaments, the ATP Tour, WTA Tour, and ATP Media, the series will be packed with rare access and rich personal stories that are sure to draw in longtime fans and new audiences alike.” 

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The series is produced by Box to Box Films (“Formula 1: Drive to Survive”) with James Gay Rees and Paul Martin as serving as executive producers. Filming is underway now at the Australian Open. 

Tim Allen to Reprise His Role in ‘The Santa Clause’ for Disney+ Limited Series

Tim Allen will executive-produce “The Santa Clause” (working title), a Disney+ original limited series in which he reprises the role of Scott Calvin from Walt Disney Pictures’ feature franchise.

Allen won a People’s Choice Award for his portrayal of Santa Claus’s proxy, complete with expanding waistline, rosy cheeks and snow-white whiskers in the 1994 film The Santa Clause. He went on to play the role in two sequels, 2002’s “The Santa Clause 2” and 2006’s “The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause.”

In the Disney+ series, Calvin is on the brink of his 65th birthday and realizing that he can’t be Santa forever. He’s starting to lose a step in his Santa duties, and more importantly, he’s got a family who could benefit from a life in the normal world, especially his two kids who have grown up at the Pole. With a lot of elves, children and family to please, Calvin sets out to find a suitable replacement Santa while preparing his family for a new adventure in a life south of the pole.

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Production is set to begin in Los Angeles in March. Jack Burditt (“30 Rock,” “Modern Family,” “Frasier,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) is the executive producer and showrunner and Kevin Hench (“Last Man Standing”), Richard Baker and Rick Messina will also serve as executive producers.  

The Disney Branded Television series is a production of 20th Television.

‘The Offer’ to Premiere to U.S. Paramount+ Subs April 28

Paramount+ will premiere the original limited series “The Offer” April 28, exclusively for U.S. subscribers.

From Paramount Television Studios, the series is based on Oscar-winning producer Albert S. Ruddy’s experiences of making The Godfather. The series stars Miles Teller as Albert S. Ruddy, Matthew Goode as Robert Evans, Juno Temple as Bettye McCartt, Giovanni Ribisi as Joe Colombo, Dan Fogler as Francis Ford Coppola, Burn Gorman as Charles Bluhdorn, Colin Hanks as Barry Lapidus and Patrick Gallo as Mario Puzo.

The first three episodes of the 10-episode series will be available to stream at launch. Following the premiere, the remaining seven episodes will be available to stream weekly on Thursdays.

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The 10-episode event series is created and written by Oscar- and Emmy-nominated writer Michael Tolkin (Escape at Dannemora, The Player) and also written and executive produced by Nikki Toscano (“Hunters”), who also serves as showrunner. In addition to Tolkin and Toscano, two-time Oscar-winner Albert S. Ruddy (Million Dollar Baby, The Longest Yard), Miles Teller, Russell Rothberg and Leslie Greif serve as executive producers on the series alongside Dexter Fletcher (Rocketman), who also directed the first block of the series.

HBO Max to Stream ‘Degrassi’ Reboot

HBO Max and WarnerMedia Kids & Family have greenlit “Degrassi,” a new version of WildBrain’s  youth franchise of the same name, expected to launch in the United States exclusively on HBO Max in 2023.

The new teen and family series will include 10 hour-long episodes.

Additionally, HBO Max has picked up the U.S. rights for the entire 14-season library of “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” which will become available on the platform this spring. It will also become available at a later date on Cartoon Network.
 
A reprise of the original teen drama, “Degrassi” is a character-driven series about the high school experience and the thrilling, often painful journey of self-discovery. Set in Toronto, the new series explores a group of teenagers and school faculty living in the shadow of events that both bind them together and tear them apart.

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“Series after series, the ‘Degrassi’ franchise continues to make an indelible impact on young viewers looking for trustworthy and authentic storytelling,” Amy Friedman, head of kids and family programming, Warner Bros., said in a statement. “WildBrain continues to artfully capture high school life in a compelling format that can be experienced seamlessly on HBO Max.”
 
“I’m delighted that our first-ever commission from HBO Max is for ‘Degrassi,’ a truly venerable franchise with a highly devoted and passionate audience,” Eric Ellenbogen, CEO of WildBrain, said in a statement. “This is yet another evergreen property from our vast IP library that we are reviving with a fresh vision and creative-first approach.”
 
“Now in its fourth decade, ‘Degrassi’ is one of those beloved evergreen properties that demands to be refreshed for each new generation,” Josh Scherba, president of WildBrain, said in a statement. “Stephanie Betts, our chief content officer, along with showrunners Lara Azzopardi and Julia Cohen, have envisioned an evolution for ‘Degrassi’ that, while staying true to the fundamental honesty, humanity and integrity of the brand, promises fans a journey into exciting new territory, both creatively and dramatically. We’re delighted to be partnering with HBO Max to deliver this new vision to fans and extend ‘Degrassi’s’ legacy.”
 
“What excites us maybe the most about reviving this beloved franchise is turning it into a truly serialized one-hour drama,” Azzopardi and Cohen said in a statement. “We’re honored to be given the opportunity to lead this evolution and bring this iconic series back into people’s homes.”
 
Degrassi will be produced by WildBrain Studios and developed by Azzopardi and Cohen, who also serve as executive producers.
 
Owned by WildBrain, “Degrassi” was originally created by Linda Schuyler and Kit Hood in 1979 and has become a Canadian institution celebrated worldwide and recognized with dozens of awards across its six series, over 500 episodes and four TV movies, including two International Emmy Awards, two Teen Choice Awards and a Peabody. WildBrain’s newest series for the brand, titled Degrassi, is set to launch in the U.S. with 10 one-hour episodes on HBO Max in 2023. 

Feature ‘The In Between’ to Debut to U.S. Paramount+ Subs Feb. 11

The feature film The In Between, from Paramount Players, will premiere exclusively for Paramount+ subscribers in the United States Feb. 11.

The film is coming soon to Netflix internationally.

The supernatural love story that centers on a teenage girl, Tessa (Joey King), who after bouncing around in foster homes for most of her childhood, doesn’t believe she deserves her own love story. Everything changes after she has a chance encounter with Skylar (Kyle Allen), a senior from a neighboring town who’s a true romantic. As her heart begins to open, tragedy strikes when a car accident takes Skylar’s life, while Tessa survives. As Tessa searches for answers in the aftermath of the accident, she soon believes Skylar is attempting to reconnect with her from the afterworld. With the help of her best friend and a newfound belief that love never dies, Tessa attempts to contact Skylar one last time, in order to give their love story the epic ending it deserves.

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The film also stars Kyle Allen (West Side Story), Kim Dickens (Gone Girl), John Ortiz (Silver Linings Playbook) and Celeste O’Connor (Ghostbusters: Afterlife).

 

Apple TV+ Lands Feature ‘The Beanie Bubble’

Apple Original Films has picked up The Beanie Bubble, a film from Imagine Entertainment, for Apple TV+.

Inspired by the story behind one of the biggest speculative crazes in American culture in the 1990s, the film pulls back the curtain on the absurdities and injustices of the American Dream — particularly the female relationship to it. It’s a celebration of the women who helped power Ty Warner’s success, whose strengths and good instincts shaped and amplified the phenomenon.

The film stars Emmy Award winner Zach Galifianakis (“Between Two Ferns,” “Baskets”), Emmy Award nominee Elizabeth Banks (“The Hunger Games,” Love and Mercy), Emmy and Critics Choice Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Sarah Snook (“Succession,” “Predestination”), and Geraldine Viswanathan (“Broken Hearts Gallery,” “Hala”).

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Produced by Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Karen Lunder, president of Imagine Features, The Beanie Bubble marks the first film order from an exclusive first-look deal between Apple and Imagine Entertainment for scripted films.

Apple is also partnered with Imagine Documentaries on a first-look deal for unscripted projects, including the previously announced Black & Blues: The Colorful Ballad of Louis Armstrong, as well as upcoming docuseries “The Supermodels.”

‘Encanto,’ ‘Cobra Kai’ Top Weekly Whip Media Streaming Charts

Disney+’s Encanto led the Whip Media chart of top streaming movies, while the Netflix series “Cobra Kai” again led the chart of top streaming originals among U.S. consumers the week ended Jan. 9.

The animated Encanto, available simultaneously in theaters, follows an extraordinary and magical family who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia. It started streaming on Christmas Eve.

“Cobra Kai,” season four of which premiered New Year’s Eve, is the continuing story of the conflict between Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) decades after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament.

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TV Time, a Whip Media company, is a free TV and movie viewership tracking app with more than 19 million global users. The streaming originals chart rankings are determined by streaming original TV series with the greatest share of views in the given week, among a balanced panel of U.S. users of the TV Time app. The movie rankings are determined by theatrical or streaming movies with the greatest share of views in the given week, among a balanced panel of U.S. users of the TV Time app.

Dropping to No. 2 from the top spot on the streaming movies chart was Netflix’s Don’t Look Up, which began streaming Dec. 24. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence and Meryl Streep and follows astronomers on a media tour to warn the planet about an approaching comet.

Slipping from No. 2 to No. 3 on the streaming movies chart was the HBO Max retrospective Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, which started streaming Jan. 1.

Remaining at No. 2 on the streaming originals chart was the fantasy drama “The Witcher,” season two of which debuted on Netflix Dec. 17. Based on the book series, it stars Henry Cavill as the witcher Geralt, a mutated monster hunter.

Landing at No. 3 on the streaming originals chart was Disney+’s “The Book of Boba Fett,” the latest series in the “Star Wars” universe. It started streaming Dec. 29 in weekly episodes.

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Top Streaming Originals Among U.S. Consumers for the Week Ended Jan. 9:

  1. “Cobra Kai” — Netflix
  2. “The Witcher” — Netflix
  3. “The Book of Boba Fett” — Disney+
  4. “Queer Eye” — Netflix
  5. “Emily in Paris” — Netflix
  6. “The Expanse” — Amazon Prime Video
  7. “And Just Like That …” — HBO Max
  8. “Station Eleven” — HBO Max
  9. “Hawkeye” — Disney+
  10. “Mayor of Kingstown” — Paramount+

 

Top Streaming Movies Among U.S. Consumers Jan. 7-9:

  1. Encanto — Disney+
  2. Don’t Look Up — Netflix
  3. Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts — HBO Max
  4. The Matrix Resurrections — HBO Max
  5. Red Notice — Netflix
  6. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings — Disney+
  7. The Tender Bar — Amazon Prime Video
  8. The Unforgivable — Netflix
  9. Ron’s Gone Wrong — Disney+
  10. Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard — HBO Max