Geek News February 9, 2024: ‘Game of Thrones’ Spin-off Based on ‘Aegon’s Conquest’ in Development at HBO, Serves as ‘House of the Dragon’ Prequel

House of the Dragon, Game of Thrones

A new Game of Thrones spin-off is coming to HBO in the form of a prequel series to House of the Dragon. The Batman Part II cowriter Mattson Tomlin is developing a treatment based on Aegon Targaryen's conquest of Westeros.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Aegon’s Conquest is basically a direct prequel to the hit House of the Dragon, telling the story of the Targaryen’s brutal conquest of Westeros. The story follows the invader Aegon Targaryen, who conquered the continent of Westeros with his sister wives, Rhaenys and Visenya, and their dragons. Aegon successfully unified six of the Seven Kingdoms in just two years, with only Dorne able to successfully resist.”

The lore of Aegon's Conquest is mentioned in the first season of the Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon. Entertainment Weekly reports, “According to King Viserys Targaryen (Paddy Considine) in season one, the real reason Aegon flew over to conquer Westeros is because he had a vision (a ‘dragon dream,' if you will) that a devastating winter would sweep over the land from the North, bringing with it endless darkness. Aegon supposedly called this vision — an obvious premonition of the Night King and his White Walkers — ‘A Song of Ice and Fire,' which is the name of author George R.R. Martin's original Game of Thrones book series.”

Season two of the Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon premieres on HBO this summer. HBO has also green-lit A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight, which follows Ser Duncan the Tall and his squire, Egg, 100 years before Game of Thrones. In addition, HBO has three animated Game of Thrones spin-offs and a Jon Snow-based series that takes place after Game of Thrones on the table.

Zac Efron To Play Dual Roles of Fan and Superstar in Thriller ‘Famous’

Zac Efron At Any Price
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Classics.

Zac Efron will play dual roles — superstar and look-alike fan — in the celebrity thriller Famous directed by Jody Hill and produced by Sam Esmail.

According to Deadline, “Efron will star in dual roles, playing both overzealous fan Lance Dunkquist and Hollywood heartthrob James Jansen. The film is based on the acclaimed novel by New York Times best-selling author Blake Crouch and is adapted for the screen by Chad Hodge, who also adapted Crouch’s Wayward Pines trilogy into a series.”

In Famous, Dunkquist has one thing going for him: he looks like Hollywood superstar James Jansen. Genetically blessed yet with no better options, Dunkquist heads to Los Angeles to become famous at any cost.

Although Efron got snubbed for a Best Actor Oscar nomination, the actor is riding high on some of the best reviews of his career for the movie The Iron Claw in which he plays wrestler Kevin Von Erich.

Disney+ Buys ‘Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour’ Streaming Rights for More Than $75 Million

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour movie
Image Credit: Taylor Swift Productions.

The only way Taylor Swift's year could get any better is if her beau, Travis Kelce, and the Kansas City Chiefs win the Super Bowl on Sunday. Swift reportedly sold the streaming rights of Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour concert movie to Disney+ for big bucks.

According to Variety, Disney has shoved more than $75 million across the table to the billionaire pop star for exclusive streaming rights of The Eras Tour concert movie, which has made more than $260 million worldwide. Disney reportedly outbid Netflix and Universal Pictures for the streaming rights to The Eras Tour, which will stream on Disney+ with five bonus songs not included in the theatrical or VOD releases.

“We know audiences are going to absolutely love the chance to relive the electrifying Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour (Taylor’s Version) whenever they want on Disney+,” said Disney CEO Bob Iger on the company's earning call on Wednesday.

‘SNL’ ‘Weekend Update’ Cohost Colin Jost To Serve as Featured Entertainer at White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner

Scarlett Johansson Colin Jost Cannes 2023 e1707497039574
Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By Canal22 – Festival de Cine de Cannes 2023 con Jean-Christophe Berjon | Capítulo 8, CC BY 3.0.

Saturday Night Live “Weekend Update” cohost Colin Jost will serve as the featured entertainer at this year's White House Correspondents' Association Dinner. Jost married and has a son with actress Scarlett Johansson (pictured).

Kelly O’Donnell, president of the WHCA, said in a statement, “Colin Jost knows how to make Saturday nights funny, and I am thrilled Colin will be live from the nation’s capital as the headline entertainer for this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner.”

According to Deadline, “The gig, in a room full of journalists, political insiders, and typically the president of the United States, is high profile but also endlessly scrutinized. By tradition, the entertainer also follows POTUS on the programming lineup, something that typically places extra pressure to use fresh material.” Here's to hoping President Biden can laugh at himself and the numerous age-related jokes Jost has made on “Weekend Update” at the commander in chief's expense.

The White House Correspondents' Association Dinner takes place on April 27.

‘American Horror Story: Delicate’ Part Two Premieres in April

American Horror Story: Delicate
Image Credit: FX.

Part two of American Horror Story: Delicate will premiere April 3 on FX. The first five episodes aired last year but filming of the remaining four episodes got delayed due to the Hollywood strikes.

AHS: Delicate — the 12th season of the anthology horror series created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk — is based on Danielle Valentine's novel Delicate Condition and stars Emma Roberts, Denis O'Hare, Dominic Burgess, Billie Lourd, Leslie Grossman, Matt Czuchry, and Kim Kardashian. The official description reads: “In American Horror Story: Delicate, after multiple failed attempts of IVF, actress Anna Victoria Alcott wants nothing more than to start a family. As the buzz around her recent film grows, she fears that something may be targeting her — and her pursuit of motherhood.”

Kardashian has earned critical praise for her performance on AHS: Delicate as cutthroat celebrity publicist Siobhan Corbyn — a role in which Kardashian seems to draw inspiration from her mother, Kris Jenner.

Cringe Alert: Jonathan Majors Accused of Abuse by Two More Women

Jonathan Majors in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)
Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Two more women have come forward and accused disgraced former MCU actor Jonathan Majors of physical and emotional abuse. A jury recently found Majors guilty of reckless assault in the third degree and harassment in the second degree due to an incident with ex-girlfriend Grace Jabbari that took place in March 2023.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “The Times report references accounts from Emma Duncan and Maura Hooper, who say they dated Majors between 2013 and 2019. Duncan told the Times that Majors physically and emotionally abused her, and Hooper alleged emotional abuse.” In the report, both women described Majors as “a controlling, threatening figure who isolated them from friends and career pursuits.”

Priya Chaudhry, a lawyer for Majors, told The Hollywood Reporter that although Majors admits that the relationships with the two women were “toxic” and he “did say hurtful things,” he denied claims of physical abuse.

The New York Times report detailing the two women's accounts of abuse also includes interviews with 20 other people who say Jonathan Majors repeatedly confronted female coworkers on the set of HBO's Lovecraft Country, creating a hostile work environment.

David Leitch No Longer Directing ‘Jurassic World' Reboot

David Leitch Jurassic World
Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0; Universal Pictures.

Well, that was brief. Less than a week after reports surfaced that David Leitch would direct the upcoming Jurassic World reboot comes news that Leitch and Universal have parted ways. The untitled film already has a scheduled release date of July 2, 2025.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “The parting of ways is said to be due to a difference in vision and to be amicable.” Perhaps the director of Atomic Blonde, Deadpool 2, Hobbs & Shaw, and Bullet Train got bummed when he learned that the reboot represents a fresh take on the series, with neither Jurassic World stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard nor Jurassic Park stars Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, and Laura Dern expected to return.

David Koepp, who wrote the first two Jurassic Park movies, will write the script for the reboot. Universal needs to soon find a new director to replace Leitch if it wants to keep the planned July 2, 2025 release date.

‘Prey' Director Dan Trachtenberg Will Return To Direct New ‘Predator' Sequel

Dane DiLiegro and Dan Trachtenberg shooting Prey 2022 e1707502871327
Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By Dadilmotos – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Prey director Dan Trachtenberg isn't done with the Predator universe. The man credited with injecting new life into the aging franchise will direct a new Predator sequel from 20th Century Studios.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the new stand-alone sequel, titled Badlands, is not a sequel to Prey, which was set in 1719 and focused on a young Comanche woman battling hostile aliens on the Great Plains. Although Badlands will also feature a female lead, it is reportedly set in the future.

The Hollywood Reporter added, “As with Prey, Trachtenberg wrote the story with Patrick Aison, with the latter penning the screenplay. The project has been working under invisibility for some time and is far enough along that a July start of production is being planned.” The trade publication hints that more Predator projects — including a direct sequel to Prey — involving Dan Trachtenberg are in the works at 20th Century Studios after the success of Prey, streaming now on Hulu.

‘Pretty in Pink' Costars Andrew McCarthy and Jon Cryer Buried the Hatchet Thanks to ‘The View'

Pretty in Pink Andrew McCarthy and Jon Cryer
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Pretty in Pink costars Andrew McCarthy and Jon Cryer finally buried the hatchet after bumping into each other backstage on The View in 2012 according to Cryer. The two played high school rivals vying for the attention of Molly Ringwald's character in the 1986 coming-of-age movie written by John Hughes.

“He and I famously did not get along when we were shooting Pretty in Pink,” said Cryer to The View ladies on Friday. “It was because there was tension. Interestingly, I saw him backstage [in 2012] and we had a lovely time, we had a great talk. Thank you!”

Cryer continued, “At any rate, what I realize now, [McCarthy] wrote a terrific memoir called Brat, he was already struggling with alcoholism back when we were shooting that movie. I'd projected all this stuff on him at the time, I thought he's this sullen guy that doesn't want to talk to me. We're enemies [as characters] on the movie, but that doesn't mean we can't be friends. But we just had no rapport whatsoever at the time. I found out later he was going through some tough stuff. That was such a lesson for me, it's all about projection. You never know.”

According to Entertainment Weekly, “Cryer went on to praise McCarthy for maintaining a healthy head of hair since they shot the 1986 comedy classic, which became one of the most popular teen films of the '80s.”

‘Game of Thrones' Costars Sophie Turner and Kit Harington To Reunite for Gothic Horror Movie ‘The Dreadful'

Game of Thrones
Image Credit: HBO.

Game of Thrones costars and on-screen half siblings Sophie Turner and Kit Harington will reunite for the gothic horror movie The Dreadful. On Game of Thrones, Turner played Sansa Stark and Harington played her half brother, Jon Snow.

According to Deadline, “Written and to be directed by Natasha Kermani (Lucky, V/H/S/85), the film set against the backdrop of the War of the Roses follows Anne (Turner) and her mother-in-law Morwen, who live a solitary, harsh life on the outskirts of society. But when a man (Harington) from their past returns, he will set off a sequence of events that become a turning point for Anne.”

Back in a 2019 Metro article, Turner teased Harington about the time spent perfecting his curls on Game of Thrones. “Sophie Turner needs to just shush every now and then,” joked Harington about his close friend. “I love that girl to my very bones.” Harington married another Game of Thrones costar, Leslie Rose, in 2018. They have two children together.

Ozzy Osbourne Calls Out ‘Anti-Semite' Kanye West for Sampling ‘War Pigs' Without Permission

Ozzy Osbourne and Kanye West
Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By F darkbladeus – Own work An I Am Ozzy book signing fan photograph Changing Hands, Tempe, Public Domain; By David Shankbone – Own work, Public Domain.

Ozzy Osbourne may have embraced the nickname Prince of Darkness, but he wants nothing to do with “anti-Semite” Kanye West. The controversial rapper sampled a live version of the Black Sabbath song “War Pigs” on his new album without Osbourne's permission.

Osbourne posted on X that West is “an anti-Semite [who] has caused untold heartache to many.” He added, “I want no association with this man!”

According to Variety, Osbourne denied West's request to sample “War Pigs” on West's new album, but West “went ahead and used the sample anyway at his album listening party last night.” The album was supposed to drop on February 9 but remains unreleased. Ye might want to reconsider using that sample on the final version now that Osbourne has voiced his disapproval.

On an unreleased song performed at the same Chicago party that featured the “War Pigs” sample, Ye rapped, “And I’m still crazy, bipolar, anti-Semite/And I’m still the king.” The self-professed king (pariah?) got dropped by his agency and lost fashion sponsorships with Adidas, Balenciaga and Gap after his string of anti-Semitic rants on social media. In addition, Foot Locker and TJ Maxx stopped selling West's Yeezy merchandise. Now he's drawn the ire of the Prince of Darkness. Time to work on a new apology.

Christian Bale To Play the Frankenstein Monster in Upcoming Maggie Gyllenhaal Film for Warner Bros.

Christian Bale and Frankenstein
Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By Harald Krichel – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0; By Universal Studios, NBCUniversal – Dr. Macro, Public Domain.

Christian Bale will play the Frankenstein monster in Maggie Gyllenhaal's upcoming untitled Warner Bros. film, which also stars Jessie Buckley, Annette Bening, Penélope Cruz, and Peter Sarsgaard.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gyllenhaal's Frankenstein flick will begin shooting in the next few weeks. “I’ve got to shave my head next week [for a movie],” said Bale. “I asked them to please let me hold off on doing that but everyone was going, ‘What’s wrong with Bale? What’s up with him?’ I said, ‘Just let me get through the groundbreaking and then I’ll be off to join you.'” He added, “I’ll be working with the wonderful Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jessie Buckley, and so many talented actors in the cast. I’ve got to get busy getting on the rack, breaking my bones and eating lots of fertilizer or something to try and grow.”

The movie is said to focus on Frankenstein's pursuit of love. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “The logline follows a lonely Frankenstein who travels to 1930s Chicago to seek the aide of a Dr. Euphronius in creating a companion for himself. The two reinvigorate a murdered young woman and the Bride is born.”

Bale isn't the only actor gearing up to play the classic monster from Mary Shelley's 1818 novel, however. Guillermo del Toro has tapped Jacob Elordi to star as the hideous monster stitched together from various corpses in Frankenstein. Oscar Isaac will play Victor Frankenstein in a cast that includes Mia Goth, Christoph Waltz, Felix Kammerer, Lars Mikkelsen, David Bradley, and Christian Convery.

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.