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WarnerMedia To Rival Streaming Giants Like Netflix

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Warner Time, now WarnerMedia, to compete on streaming services market

WarnerMedia, formally Warner Time, wants to get involved with the online streaming industry, going head to head with giants like Netflix and Hulu, among others.

With the merger between AT&T and Warner Time, it allowed WarnerMedia to rise as a force to be reckoned with in the entertainment industry.

Warner Time is the world’s third-largest entertainment company after Comcast and Disney.  It owns Turner, home to cable networks and digital media properties such as CNN, TNT, and Adult Swim. It also includes Home Box Office (HBO) and Warner Bros., which produces and distributes television shows, movies, and video games.

AT&T, on the other hand, is a multinational conglomerate holding company and is the world’s largest telecommunications company, the second largest provider of mobile telephone services, and the largest provider of fixed telephone services in the United States through.

AT&T says that this merger was crucial for its ability to adapt to current trends following the fast developing Internet.

While Netflix is producing original content faster that its users can catch up on and make it available across different media outlets such as mobile devices, laptops and, television. WarnerMedia seeks to do the same through HBO, the company’s premium network that airs hit shows such as Game of Thrones and creator of original content like Veep.

As a result, WarnerMedia boss John Stankey pressured employees to increase output substantially. “We need hours a day. It’s not hours a week, and it’s not hours a month,” he said. “We need hours a day. You are competing with devices that sit in people’s hands that capture their attention every 15 minutes.”

AT&T might also push HBO to produce shorter, bite-sized content suitable for watching on mobile devices. CEO Randall Stephenson has suggested more curation for mobile might be necessary, saying “in a mobile environment, a 60-minute episode might not be the best experience. Maybe you want a 20-minute episode.”

This isn’t a new idea or even AT&T’s idea; back when HBO first announced HBO Now, it said that shorter-form programming might be a good fit for the service.

HBO is already hugely successful business and produces billions in profit each year, but it’s “not enough,” Stankey said in June. Still, he acknowledged that the network risks taking a hit to its reputation if quality dives in the name of quantity. “You’ve earned the dynamic amongst your customer base that when you put a new piece of content out there, people will try it, just because they trust you’re going to be putting something in front of them that they might like,” Stankey said at the June town hall. “We now need to figure out how to expand the aperture of it without losing the quality.”

HBO plans 150 hours of original programming this year — a 50 percent jump from 2018. That’s enough to warrant airing some shows on Monday evenings since there’s no room on HBO’s signature Sunday slate. Casey Bloys, the network’s president of programming, said “there’s no difference in type or quality of programming we’re doing” and “all of this programming is programming that we would’ve done two years ago, five years ago.” In other words, he’s saying it’s still content that’s worthy of HBO.

On WarnerMedia’s Online Streaming Platform

Greenblatt emphasized the need for WarnerMedia to produce quality and unique content into their online streaming platform to attract and maintain subscribers. He says AT&T “wants to be aggressive in this new world order [and] wants me to pull it all together.”

Greenblatt continues to say, “It’s really early days. I don’t have a great and comprehensive answer for you yet. I would just say that the goal here is to put all of these assets that this company has — from the movie studio to HBO and Turner and the vast library — and build a platform that is robust and a great value to the consumer.”

As is, AT&T already operates DirecTV Now, an internet TV service positioned as a cable alternative, plus a smaller bundle of channels packaged into a service that the company calls WatchTV. The latter is offered for free to customers on select AT&T unlimited data plans. But eventually, the new WarnerMedia service could be an even more powerful draw for wireless customers — and help prevent existing subscribers from switching.

WarnerMedia’s online platform is said to launch in beta in late 2019, Greenblatt saying “the longer you wait, the harder it will be.” With reports coming in that Disney will have shown off its Disney+ service to investors, if not the public. Where its service will have original shows and tons of Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar content, and its launch will mean the removal of tons of Disney titles from Netflix.

Moreover, Apple is also rumored to be preparing its video service for a debut sometime over the next couple months.

To compete with Disney, Netflix, and everyone else in this crowded space—a realm in which consumers may fast be approaching a saturation point of paying for too many standalone packages—AT&T has to roll out something chock full of high-gloss content.

And now that it has so many different channels under one umbrella, it can.

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LOOK: The King’s Man, A Kingsman Prequel

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20th Century Fox

The first trailer into the 2020 Kingsman prequel, The King’s Man just dropped, and if you’re the type who does not like the typical rom-com movie on Valentine’s Day, you’re in luck since the action-packed spy saga is releasing its latest installment on February 14th next year.

The first thing that needs to be addressed, the main star of the Kingsman franchise, Gary “Eggsy” Unwin played by Taron Egerton, will not be making an appearance in the February 2020 installment since The King’s Man will be exploring into the reason behind the creation of the independent Kingsman organization years before Eggsy was born.

Although the one minute and 48-second trailer bare any information on how and what the movie is all about, the film’s synopsis says: “As a collection of history’s worst tyrants and criminal masterminds gather to plot a war to wipe out millions, one man must race against time to stop them. Discover the origins of the very first independent intelligence agency in The King’s Man.”

For starters, The King’s Man will be set in the early 1900s and will follow the events that lead up to how the Kingsman organization ought to be. It will dive into the fantasy of World War I and the events after that period.

Furthermore, The King’s Man will be a history book reimagined since it will star memorable personalities such as the exotic dancer, Mata Hari who charmed her way to receiving privileges in a war-stricken era but eventually died as a convicted spy.

There are also other infamous characters such as Thomas Edward Lawrence or T.E. Lawrence and Herbert Kitchener, who will be played by Liam Neeson which gives this action-packed movie more intensity from the Taken star.

There’s also the casting of Aaron Taylor-Johnson as “Lee Unwin,” suggesting that we may see some of Eggsy’s bloodline in this prequel and how the Unwins get deeply involved in the Kingsman organization.

Taking on the “Eggsy” role or the lead in The King’s Man is Harris Dickinson as Conrad. There’s no clear direction on how his character fits in the whole story, but if he’s playing the “Eggsy” here, he’s coming in when the organization just got started and will be trained to fight alongside the organization.

Other castings in The King’s Man include Ralph Fiennes playing T.E. Lawrence, Daniel Bruhl playing Gelix Yusupov, Gemma Arterton playing Mata Hari, and Rhys Ifans playing the infamous Grigori Rasputin, Matthew Goode as Tristan, and Stanley Tucci as Merlin.

The King’s Man is once again directed and co-written by Matthew Vaughn, but Vaughn will seemingly take a more serious route in this prequel. Probably an homage to history or following the footsteps of the other great espionage films he previously looked up to such as Bourne, In Like Flint, 24, and others.

Speaking to The Playlist, Vaughn teased about how he was looking forward to the prequel and how it was going to be something entirely new. “Next year you’re getting The Great Game. It’s wrapped,” he said. “I love spy movies, and this is a very very different tone and style and as a spy film, that no one’s made in a long, long time. “

In other news, with regards to the original and iconic “Eggsy” Unwin, we will see more from him. Not just next year, though.

“That doesn’t mean I won’t be in Kingsman ever again,” Egerton previously confirmed. “I was with Matthew [Vaughn] as little as a few days ago, we’re still very much in business together, but his next journey in that world doesn’t involve me. His idea for the new one is incredibly exciting. I’m sad that I won’t be on that journey with him, but it’s not the last you’ve seen of Eggsy.”

In the same interview with The Playlist, Vaughn teased that “we hope to shoot Kingsman 3 either late this year or early next year, but it won’t be out until 2021, so, who knows?”

He added: “There’s two more to come – hopefully, people like them enough that we can count on making another one.”

“MARV Films [Vaughn’s production company] loves spy films, so I’d love to always be making them, and the whole point about Kingsman is a celebration of espionage. And Kingsman will always make the spy film that no one else is touching.”

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‘Bond 25’ Full of Surprises; Lashana Lynch Is Agent 007

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Lashana Lynch's Instagram @lashanalynch

The Bond Franchise is getting an upgrade!

Lashana Lynch, the British actress who played Captain Marvel’s Maria Rambeau, will assume the role of agent 007 in the upcoming Bond film.

A film insider talked to The Daily Mail and shared that the 25th installment of the Bond franchise introduces Lynch in a pivotal scene in the movie. The part is when M calls for Agent 007, saying, “Come in, 007.” To which, Lynch responds and walks in.

Although Lynch is playing 007, she won’t be taking on the persona of James Bond. According to IMDB, her role’s name is Nomi, while Bond is still played by Daniel Craig who’s said to be retired from the agency in this storyline. However, we can expect that Bond will be pulled in for the mission even when he’s retired.

Before Captain Marvel, Lynch worked on TV shows in the UK. Her notable roles are Arjana Pike in Bulletproof, Rosaline Capulet in Still Star-Crossed, and Gemma in Crims.

Although Lynch did not have many action setting in Captain Marvel, she has had plenty of experience in the action scenes of Bulletproof.

The new Bond film, which is set to be released in 2020, was written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Known for her brilliance in the TV hit show Fleabag, Waller-Bridge also has Killing Eve and Drifters as part of her writing portfolio.

Aside from being a writer, Waller-Bridge is also an actress. Her memorable roles include India in Bad Education, Susie in The Iron Lady, Abby Thompson in BroadChurch, and as the main protagonist of Fleabag.

Before today’s reveal, speculation on a new Bond agent was abuzz, especially with rumors of Craig getting ready to leave the franchise. The previous buzz involved Idris Elba to replace Craig in one of the most iconic roles in history. According to reports, Bond 25 will be Craig’s last movie in which he reprises his role as James Bond.

Craig and Lynch are facing off Rami Malek as the movie’s antagonist.

Fans are thrilled to see a change in diversity in the Bond movies.

Breaking Stereotypes

With Lynch taking on the iconic Agent 007 role, the upcoming film is appealing to the #MeToo advocates.

Breaking free from the movie franchise’s machismo tone, the refreshing take of female heroes is reportedly present in Waller-Bridge’s script. The characters have the wit and humor that shows the writer’s talent.

For years, the Bond movie series has cast Caucasian men to play Agent 007. Having a female person-of-color actor play the part is both refreshing and exciting.

With Lynch’s involvement, the speculation, whether she will completely take over the role of Agent 007 from Craig, is louder than ever. In recent years, the movie series has craftily introduced the successors of each character in the movie. An example of this is when Judi Dench handed over her role as M to Ralph Fiennes in Spectre.

Aside from the possible long-term female agent, the production is calling on for the help of the media to promote positive changes. The Daily Mail insider also revealed that the term “Bond girl” is no longer permit to be used about Bond’s leading ladies. The production has asked publications to use the term “Bond women.”

The change of term is not just a simple change. It’s a complete change of the mindset. Waller-Bridge has been outspoken about changing the Bond movies’ treatment of women.

“There’s been a lot of talk about whether or not [the Bond franchise] is relevant now because of who he is and the way he treats women. I think that’s bollocks. I think he’s absolutely relevant now. It has just got to grow. It has just got to evolve, and the important thing is that the film treats the women properly. He doesn’t have to. He needs to be true to this character,” Waller-Bridge said in an interview with Deadline.

Aside from breaking the stereotype of Bond women, Malek also revealed that he insisted that his character not be stereotyped as an Arabic-speaking terrorist. Malek, who is best known for his role as Freddie Mercury in the Bohemian Rhapsody, said his decision stems on pursuing ways to provide positive representation on his ethnic background.

The new Bond movie seems to have a lot of exciting changes. According to The Daily Mail’s source, “This is a Bond for the modern era who will appeal to a younger generation while sticking true to what we all expect in a Bond film.”

Take a look at Bond 25‘s teaser below:

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‘Stranger Things 3’ Breaks Netflix Records

Season 3 is out! Spoilers, ahead!

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Photo: AntMan3001 | Flickr.com | CC BY-SA 2.0

Stranger Things Season 3 broke Netflix’s viewership records with over 40 million household accounts watching since its debut on July 4. Netflix adds that in just four days after the show’s release, 18.2 million of those household accounts finished the entire third season. 

The sci-fi show that explores the town of Hawkins, and the ‘Upside Down’ has beaten Netflix’s viewership records held by The Umbrella Academy, You, and Sex Education. The three latter shows only achieving more than 40 million views after a month since their debut.

The third season’s success may have secured the renewal of the series for its fourth season. Ross Duffer, one half of the show’s creator, has stated in 2017 that Stranger Things may be a four-season story. 

If you’re living under a rock, Stranger Things is a show about a group of kids living in a strange town called Hawkins. The kids investigate and have adventures (albeit, terrifying ones) with paranormal and supernatural incidents, including the sudden appearance of a weird girl with psychokinetic powers after their friend gets abducted by a creature from the mysterious “Upside Down.” Oh, and it’s set in the 1980s. 

With a hit TV series, the show’s casts shot to stardom. Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Finn Wolfhand, Caleb McLaughlin, and Noah Schnapp made up the gang of the brave kids of Hawkins. Winona Ryder and David Harbour rounded out the cast, serving as the adult support system in the show. 

In season 2, Sadie Sink joined the gang. In season 3, look out for Priah Ferguson and Maya Hawke. 

The show was wildly successful when it was first launched last July 2016 on Netflix. Fans enjoyed the mix of sci-fi, mystery, thriller, and 80’s nostalgia in one binge-able show. 

The Duffer Brothers

The instant hit show was created by twins Matt and Ross Duffer, now widely known as the Duffer Brothers. The duo got their first break in Hollywood when they pitched a screenplay which Warner Bros Entertainment, Inc. won over other studios. Their screenplay was so good that they convinced Warner Bros. to let them direct it as well. 

The movie was titled Hidden. Filming began in 2012 and was completed in 2015. Unfortunately, the studio decided to have a limited release, and only a few critics were able to see it. 

Despite not having their movie’s theatrical release, the brothers landed a job as writers for Wayward Pines, an American thriller TV series based on Blake Crouch’s novels of the same name. 

The couple continued to write and decided to pitch a screenplay for their own TV show. They caught the attention of Shawn Levy, known for his direction of films such as Night at the Museum and Real Steel. 

The Duffer brothers, along with Levy, pitched a TV show concept that’s a mix homage to Stephen King, Steven Spielberg, and the brother’s love for the 80’s era. Netflix loved it, and so did the rest of the world. 

Season 3 Recap

Here’s a look at the current season’s summary. 

Season 2 ended on a happy ending with the gang enjoying their time in the school dance. Little do they know the Mind Flayer, a powerful force from the Upside Down (and season 2’s main antagonist), was still alive and watching the town of Hawkins. 

In season 3, the plot thickens as to who is responsible for making portals to go to the Upside Down. Russian agents have now come to Hawkins and started working secretly at the newly constructed mall. 

Dustin, Robin, Steve, and Erica starts investigating the Russian agents and learns that there’s a secret lab below the mall. 

The Mind Flayer is alive and has been using the abandoned mill as its headquarters. It abducts Billy and possesses him. Billy starts abducting other townspeople so that the Mind Flayer can control them, too. 

Will can sense the Mind Flayer whenever it attacks others. He teams up with Eleven, and they try to fight the Mind Flayer. They were able to identify that Billy was possessed and attacked him. The Mind Flayer overpowered Eleven and almost killed her.

Using her powers, Eleven was able to find the Mind Flayer’s lair—the abandoned mill. However, during her search for the den, the Mind Flayer was able to read her mind, too. It knows where Eleven is and is now hunting her.

Eleven, Will, Nancy, and Jonathan goes to the mall to rescue Dustin, Robin, Steve, and Erica. They prepare to fight the Mind Flayer. Hopper and Joyce investigate the Russian agents through a trail of paperwork. They also rush to the mall to help the children fight. They come up with a plan to fight the Mind Flayer and destroy the machine building the portal below the mall.

In the end, Billy sacrifices himself to save Eleven from the Mind Flayer that still possesses him. Hopper also sacrifices himself to shut down the machine, which closed the portal and killed the Mind Flayer.

In the last scene, Eleven, Will, Jonathan, and Joyce leave the town of Hawkins.

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