Geek News February 8, 2024: Idris Elba Reprises ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ Voice Role on ‘Knuckles’ TV Spin-off, Taylor Swift Sends Cease-and-Desist Letter to College Student Tracking Her Private Jet

Idris Elba voices Knuckles

Idris Elba reprises his voice role on Knuckles, the Paramount+ Sonic the Hedgehog spin-off series. The live-action series also features Adam Pally reprising his role as Wade Whipple.

According to an official Paramount+ press release, “The new live-action event series follows Knuckles (Idris Elba) on a hilarious and action-packed journey of self-discovery as he agrees to train Wade (Adam Pally) as his protégé and teach him the ways of the Echidna warrior. The series takes place between the films Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic the Hedgehog 3.” The release continues, “Special guest star Ben Schwartz will reprise his role as Sonic, as well as special guest star Tika Sumpter, reprising her role as Maddie. Colleen O’Shaughnessey will also return as a special guest star in her role as Tails.”

All six episodes of Knuckles starring Idris Elba will stream April 26 on Paramount+. Click here to watch the official trailer.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson Reunites With Director David Mackenzie for Heist Thriller ‘Fuze’

Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0; By Thierry Sollerot from Vernon (Eure, Hte Normandie), FRANCE – 04-09-2016-6 David McKenzie, CC0.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson will reunite with his Outlaw King director, David Mackenzie, for the heist thriller Fuze

According to Deadline, “Written by Ben Hopkins, Fuze opens on the discovery of an unexploded World War II bomb in a London construction site, sparking a mass evacuation, which the serves as perfect cover for a heist.”

“I had the idea of combining all the high stakes of an unexploded bomb with that of a bank robbery – clashing these two genres to create as much pressure as possible in a context that feels as real as possible,” said Mackenzie. “Ben Hopkins took those ingredients and cooked up the compelling script that we are now taking into production.”

Bullet Train actor Taylor-Johnson has several movie on deck in 2024, including The Fall Guy, Kraven the Hunter, and Nosferatu.

Taylor Swift Sends Cease-and-Desist Letter to College Student Tracking Her Private Jet

Taylor Swift concert
Image Credit: Shutterstock/A.PAES.

Taylor Swift is not amused by Florida college student Jack Sweeney's Instagram profile @taylorswiftjets tallying her carbon footprint by tracking her private jet as it crisscrosses the globe. The singer's legal team sent a cease-and-desist letter to Sweeney, accusing him of stalking and harassing her.

A letter from Washington-based law firm Venable sent to Sweeney and obtained by The Hollywood Reporter reads: “This conduct poses an imminent threat to the safety and well-being of our client and must stop.” The legal team posits that posting live updates about the location of Swift's jet puts the star — who has dealt with stalkers in the past — in danger. The letter continues, “This reality has forced our client to live her life in a constant state of fear for her personal safety. That fear is and has been significantly heightened due to your reckless actions.”

Sweeney's Instagram posts call out the carbon footprints of celebrities. Sweeney gets his data directly from the FAA — information which is open and available to anyone who knows where to look.

Iconic Spanish Singer Julio Iglesias Working With Netflix on Series About His Life

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Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By Alejandro Vilar – Julio Iglesia's office, CC0.

Spanish singer Julio Iglesias has teamed up with Netflix to develop a series about his life. The 80-year-old singer has sold more than 150 million records worldwide, making him the best-selling male Latin artist in history.

According to a press release published in part by Variety, the in-development series about Iglesias promises to “share everything about his life and incredible musical trajectory.” The release continues, “[The series will] tell the story of how Julio Iglesias became the first non-English artist to enter the American and Asian markets and turned into a universal star who is among the five biggest record sellers in history. Throughout his more than 55 years of artistic career, Julio Iglesias has recorded and sung in 12 languages and has connected fans from all over the world, becoming the first Spanish artist with universal reach to have his songs sung all over the planet.”

“After the many speculations, books and documentaries in which I have not been involved, for the first time I have decided to tell the truth about my life to a universal company like Netflix,” said Iglesias. “After much deliberation, finally, a very touching letter sent to me by Bela Bajaria [chief content officer at Netflix] was enough to convince me that Netflix was the ideal company to develop this project. I feel grateful to a lot of people from many countries who have supported me and have boosted my life.”

Diego Ávalos, vice president of content at Netflix, added, “Julio Iglesias has trusted us to tell his story. We are very grateful for his generosity. We all know that his talent and tenacity are unique in the world. Now, we will have the opportunity to see beyond the lights, the pictures in the magazines, the gold records and to really get to know in depth an exceptional person who has accompanied and will accompany many generations in every corner of the planet.”

‘The Regime' Trailer: Kate Winslet Plays a Power-Crazed Political Leader on HBO Series

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Image Credit: HBO.

Oscar winner Kate Winslet plays a power-craving European political figure on HBO's The Regime. Stephen Frears and Jessica Hobbs direct the limited series also starring Matthias Schoenaerts, Guillaume Gallienne, Andrea Riseborough, Martha Plimpton, and Hugh Grant.

The official synopsis reads: “The darkly comedic six-episode series tells the story of life within the walls of a modern authoritarian regime as it begins to unravel. After not leaving the palace for quite some time, Chancellor Elena Vernham (Kate Winslet) has grown increasingly paranoid and unstable when she turns to a volatile soldier, Herbert Zubak (Matthias Schoenaerts), as an unlikely confidant. As Zubak’s influence over the chancellor continues to grow, Elena’s attempts to expand her power eventually result in both the palace and the country fracturing around her.”

The Regime premieres on HBO and Max on March 3. Click here to watch the new trailer.

Pamela Anderson Will Play an Aging Las Vegas Showgirl Seeking Redemption in ‘The Last Showgirl'

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Pamela Anderson takes the lead of Gia Coppola's third feature film, The Last Showgirl, about an aging Las Vegas showgirl seeking redemption. Also starring in The Last Showgirl are Jamie Lee Curtis, Dave Bautista, Brenda Song, Kiernan Shipka, and Billie Lourd.

The official description of The Last Showgirl reads: “A seasoned showgirl (Anderson) must plan for her future when her show abruptly closes after a 30-year run. As a dancer in her 50s, she struggles with what to do next. As a mother, she strives to repair a strained relationship with her daughter, who often took a backseat to her showgirl family.” The Last Showgirl represents Anderson's first lead role in years and her most recent film appearance since 2022's Alone at Night.

Pamela Anderson told Variety earlier this month, “I’ve had some incredible opportunities come our way. But again, we like to do things in our own unique way. There’s no formula that we’re following. We’re really going on gut instinct and keeping it like it always has been, just authentic and doing our best. There’s a lot of things in the works that I’m really excited about. I finally feel like I’m able to show a little bit of what I’m made of and not settling for ‘that’s all there is.’ So this is the time to really embrace who I am. Myself. I think you can kind of live in a character, and you start believing what other people say about you. I’ve finally been able to strip all that away and feel really free. So this has been an incredible time for me and I’m happy with where things are. It’s a just an empowering time. I feel like we’re just stepping into all the things that were meant to be and all of that was for a reason. And here we are.”

The Last Showgirl, which recently wrapped production in Las Vegas, does not yet have a release date.

‘Euphoria' Actress Hunter Schafer Takes the Lead in Horror Movie ‘Cuckoo'

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Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By Bax – Vimeo: Shiseido – Suru Suru (view archived source), CC BY-SA 3.0.

Euphoria actress Hunter Schafer takes the lead in her first horror film with Neon's Cuckoo. Also starring in the Tilman Singer-directed movie are Dan Stevens, Jessica Henwick, Marton Csókás, and Jan Bluthardt.

The official Cuckoo synopsis reads: “Reluctantly, 17-year-old Gretchen (Schafer) leaves her American home to live with her father, who has just moved into a resort in the German Alps with his new family. Arriving at their future residence, they are greeted by Mr. König, her father’s boss, who takes an inexplicable interest in Gretchen’s mute half-sister Alma. Something doesn’t seem right in this tranquil vacation paradise. Gretchen is plagued by strange noises and [terrifying] visions until she discovers a shocking secret that also concerns her own family.”

Cuckoo starring Hunter Schafer premieres May 3 in theaters. Click here to watch the first teaser trailer.

‘Limitless With Chris Hemsworth' Renewed for Second Season on Disney+

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Image Credit: National Geographic/Disney+.

National Geographic has renewed the original series Limitless With Chris Hemsworth for a second season on Disney+. The Thor star explored the secrets of improving our lives on the first season.

According to Deadline, the second season of Limitless With Chris Hemsworth takes the star to Nepal, Italy, United Kingdom, and his native Australia.

“Working on Limitless was an eye-opening experience that allowed me to reflect on my strengths, vulnerabilities, and all the ways in which we as humans can plan toward longevity,” said Hemsworth. “For this next season, we are attempting to raise the bar and go even deeper in this exploration alongside health and wellness experts from around the globe.”

The six-part season one of Limitless With Chris Hemsworth is available for streaming on Disney+.

Oscars Add Best Casting Category To Debut at 2026 Academy Awards

Academy Awards, Oscars, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 2024 oscar nominations
Image Credit: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences just added a new category for your Oscar consideration: Best Achievement in Casting. The new category will debut at 98th Academy Awards in 2026 for films released in 2025.

According to Variety, “This is the first new category created by the Academy since 2001 for Best Animated Feature Film. The Casting Directors Branch was formed in July 2013 and has nearly 160 members.”

“Casting directors play an essential role in filmmaking, and as the Academy evolves, we are proud to add casting to the disciplines that we recognize and celebrate,” said Academy CEO Bill Kramer and Academy President Janet Yang. “We congratulate our Casting Directors Branch members on this exciting milestone and their commitment and diligence throughout this process.”

The 96th Academy Awards ceremony — which will not yet feature the casting category — takes place on March 10.

‘Dune: Part Two' Looking at an Opening North of $65 Million

Timothee Chalamet in Dune: Part Two
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

The spice must flow… and box office dollars should follow. Denis Villeneuve's Dune: Part Two starring Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Dave Bautista, and Christopher Walken is tracking to have a sandworm-sized opening after several sluggish weeks at the box office.

According to Deadline, the most conservative estimates show Dune: Part Two opening north of $65 million, which is notably higher than Dune: Part One‘s $41 million opening in 2021 when it simultaneously premiered in theaters and on HBO Max. 

The official description reads: “Dune: Part Two will explore the mythic journey of Paul Atreides as he unites with Chani and the Fremen while on a path of revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family. Facing a choice between the love of his life and the fate of the known universe, he endeavors to prevent a terrible future only he can foresee.”

Warner Bros. will release Dune: Part Two in the United States on March 1. Click here to watch an extended sneak preview of the new sci-fi epic.

Channing Tatum To Star in Director Derek Cianfrance's ‘Roofman' True-Crime Movie

Channing Tatum and Derek Cianfrance
Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By Eva Rinaldi – Channing Tatum, CC BY-SA 2.0; By Nick Step – flickr, CC BY 2.0.

Channing Tatum will star in the true-crime story Roofman directed by Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance.

According to Deadline: “[Roofman] is based on the remarkable story of Jeffrey Manchester, an eccentric and charming serial robber who broke into more than 60 McDonald’s overnight via their roofs, then emptied the cash register in the morning after herding staff into freezers. The former U.S. Army Reserve officer became known as the ‘Rooftop Robber’ or ‘Roofman’ and was known for his gentle demeanor and for rarely resorting to violence.”

The Deadline description continues: “Convicted and imprisoned in 2000, the plucky criminal escaped jail and then evaded capture by holing up for months in a Toys ‘R' Us and Circuit City store in North Carolina. He lived off baby food and would ride bicycles for exercise in the toy store. After reportedly leaving his fingerprints on a Catch Me If You Can DVD in the electronics store, he was recaptured and sent back to jail. The movie will focus on Manchester’s months-long odyssey on the lam.”

Cianfrance got nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for writing Sound of Metal. Tatum next appears in Apple's Project Artemis and Amazon MGM's Blink Twice.

Spike Lee and Denzel Washington Will Reunite To Remake Akira Kurosawa‘s ‘High and Low'

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Spike Lee and Denzel Washington are reuniting to remake Akira Kurosawa's 1963 crime thriller High and Low. The project represents Lee and Washington's fifth film together and their first since 2006's Inside Man.

According to Variety, the English-language remake of the 1963 movie starring Toshiro Mifune “was based on the Ed McBain novel King’s Ransom, which chronicles the ruin of a businessman following a ransom payment to kidnappers.” A24, Escape Artists, and Mandalay Pictures will develop the remake with a script written by Alan Fox and Spike Lee. High and Low will start production in March.

Lee and Washington previously collaborated together on Mo' Better Blues, Malcolm X, He Got Game, and Inside Man. High and Low will premiere in theaters before launching globally on Apple TV+.

‘Scream' Scribe Kevin Williamson Developing Adaptations of ‘Rear Window,' ‘The Game,' and ‘The It Girl' for Universal Television

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Scream screenwriter Kevin Williamson has set up shop at Universal Television to develop several projects under his production banner Outerbanks Entertainment. The deal was finalized in December.

According to Deadline, Williamson already has four high-profile projects lined up: a series reimaging of Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window, an adaptation of Ruth Ware's The It Girl, an adaptation of the David Fincher movie The Game, and an original concept titled The Waterfront.

“Kevin is a prolific and brilliant creator with a proven track record of producing iconic hits for both the big and small screen,” said Erin Underhill, president, Universal Television. “He’s a trusted collaborator whose imagination is boundless and inspiring. We love our creative partnership with Kevin and his terrific team at Outerbanks. We think fans will love everything they are cooking up.”

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of the Universal Television family,” said Williamson. “When making television, it’s so important to have partners who believe, support and inspire you. In Universal Television I have found exactly that. I’m excited to be working with such an amazing team doing what I love to do.”

Williamson created or cocreated TV series such as Dawson's Creek, The Following, The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and Legacies. In addition to writing Scream for the big screen, Williamson wrote I Know What You Did Last Summer, Scream 2, Cursed, Scream 4, and Teaching Mrs. Tingle, the latter of which he also directed.

Author: Robert DeSalvo

Title: Entertainment News Writer


Robert DeSalvo is a professional writer and editor with over 25 years of experience at print and online publications such as Movieline, Playboy, PCH, Fandango, and The A.V. Club. He currently lives in Los Angeles, the setting of his favorite movie, Blade Runner. Robert has interviewed dozens of actors, directors, authors, musicians, and other celebrities during his journalism career, including Brian De Palma, Nicolas Cage, Dustin Hoffman, John Waters, Sigourney Weaver, Julianne Moore, Bryan Cranston, Anne Rice, and many more. Horror movies, sci-fi, cult films as well as gothic, postpunk, and synthwave music are what Robert geeks over.