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July 11, 2019

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Hulu scrapped plans for an "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." spin-off series starring Gabriel Luna as the Marvel comic book anti-hero Ghost Rider.

Luna originally played Ghost Rider (aka Robbie Reyes) in the fourth season of ABC's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." series. According to unnamed sources who spoke with The Hollywood Reporter, the new series was shut down due to "creative issues." Another Marvel series that was picked up by Disney-owned Hulu in May -- "Helstrom" -- is still moving forward. Hulu also has a string of interconnected Marvel animated series on the way, including shows dedicated to Howard the Duck and Hit-Monkey. Open link in new tab

Luna's run as Ghost Rider on "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." is streaming now on Netflix. You can also stream that first Nicolas Cage "Ghost Rider" film -- if you REALLY feel like it -- for free on Crackle.

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Netflix released a new trailer for "The Irishman" along with images showcasing the digital de-aging effects used on actor Robert De Niro.

The film -- a biography of WWII veteran and mob hitman Frank Sheeran, from director Martin Scorsese -- spans the majority of the subject's life and features De Niro playing him at various ages. The filmmakers used extensive visual effects to pull off the transformation, leading to an extended post-production process (personally overseen by Scorsese) and a budget estimated around $160 million. (According to Scorsese, altering the actors' eyes proved the most challenging part of the process.) Netflix will release "The Irishman" in select movie theaters on November 1, and online on November 27. Open link in new tab


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Will Smith will star in and produce the period crime drama "The Council" for Netflix.

Smith will portray real-life organized crime boss Nicky Barnes, a powerful figure in Harlem throughout the 1960s and '70s (tweet this). Barnes has previously been depicted in a number of films -- he was played by Cuba Gooding Jr. in Ridley Scott's "American Gangster," for example -- but has never been the main subject of a scripted film. The script was written by Peter Landesman, who also penned the 2015 biopic "Concussion," which also starred Smith. No director or release date has yet been announced. Open link in new tab

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Inconceivable though it may seem, Rob Reiner's fantasy-comedy "The Princess Bride" was released 32 years ago this week, on September 25, 1987. (I know, I know, so long ago! Feels like having a year of your life suddenly sucked away! It's enough to plunge you into a pit of despair.)

The film was adapted by author William Goldman (not S. Morgenstern, as the movie claims) from his own 1973 novel. Though only a modest hit in its own era, it has become an enduring American classic, one of those movies everyone remembers unless they've been retired for 30 years and living like a king in Patagonia. In 2016, it was entered into the National Film Registry, an honor reserved for movies of great historical or cultural significance.

But "Princess Bride" has been on people's minds lately for more reasons than just an off-year anniversary. A few weeks back, Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Tony Vinciquerra commented off-hand that his company was considering a remake of the property. In some ways, this seems inevitable for such a potent IP in the streaming age, but this is the internet in 2019, and Twitter's shrieks grow ever louder when it's about to feed on human flesh. So instead, it resulted in a massive public outcry. Some celebrities even got involved. Jamie Lee Curtis -- whose husband, Christopher Guest, stars in the film as the Six-Fingered Man -- tweeted that "there is only ONE The Princess Bride and it’s William Goldman and @robreiner’s." Cary Elwes, who stars in "Princess Bride" as Westley, agreed: "There’s a shortage of perfect movies in this world,” he tweeted. “It would be a pity to damage this one."

But not EVERYONE on the internet agreed that revisiting "The Princess Bride" would be a terrible idea. Richard Brody in The New Yorker made the case that anything can be remade without tainting the beloved original version, and even notes that some elements of the original film have not aged as well as others. (He picks up on the bookends featuring Peter Falk as a grandfather reading the story to his grandson, Fred Savage. I would not say such things if I were him, but hey, it's Brody's column.)

Personally, I love "Princess Bride" but it's set in an expansive world, and the tone of the storytelling feels very relevant here in 2019. It seems like the perfect time to revisit this setting. This film's post-post-modern meta-comedy -- studiously following a sturdy reliable genre formula, while commenting on how familiar everything is -- drives a lot of contemporary family blockbusters, from "The LEGO Movie" to Pixar films. Never revisiting this near-perfect example, simply out of fear of tarnishing a 30-year-old movie, would be one of the classic blunders.

To me, anyway. Let me know what YOU think of the idea of revisiting "Princess Bride" by hitting REPLY on this email. Oh, and have fun storming the castle.

"The Princess Bride" is streaming on Cinemax right now, if you have a cable subscription or get their content through Amazon. You can also rent it on Amazon for $4.


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According to the Wall Street Journal, despite earlier reports to the contrary, AT&T does not plan to sell off DirecTV.

The CEO of AT&T's WarnerMedia division, John Stankey, told the Journal that the satellite TV provider "is an important part of what we're going to be doing going forward." Just last week, The Journal reported that AT&T was looking at various strategies to potentially sell off DirecTV, including the possibility of merging the service with its chief rival, Dish Network. Stankey dismissed these rumors, claiming the company is always evaluating every part of its portfolio. AT&T purchased DirecTV in 2015 and has seen a significant drop in subscribers over the past few years, as streaming grows in popularity. Open link in new tab

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Stars Judah Lewis and Ken Marino, along with director McG, will return for the Netflix sequel "The Babysitter 2."

In the first film, released by the streamer in 2017, teenager Cole (Lewis) discovers that his babysitter (Samara Weaving) is actually evil and secretly in league with The Devil. (Marino played Cole's dad, Mr. Johnson.) The sequel takes place one year later, with Cole once again facing off against a Satanic threat. Marino will also appear in two more upcoming Netflix films: the wrestling comedy-adventure "The Main Event" and the action-comedy "The Sleepover." "The Babysitter 2" is currently in production. Open link in new tab

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The Lena Dunham-produced HBO Max series "Generation" added several new cast members, including "Detective Pikachu" star Justice Smith.

Actors Michael Johnson, Chloe East, Uly Schlesinger, Nava Mau, Haley Sanchez, Nathanya Alexander, Lukita Maxwell and Chase Sui Wonders all signed on to the 10-episode comedy-drama, which will star Martha Plimpton as a mom in Orange County, California, who find her values in conflict with those of her children and their friends. The series was co-created by 17-year-old Zelda Barnz. Open link in new tab

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Jennifer Morrison will direct the pilot of the upcoming Peacock YA adaptation "One of Us Is Lying."

This will mark the first pilot directed by Morrison, who's also an actress known for her work on "This Is Us" and "House." (Earlier this year, she helmed an episode of HBO's "Euphoria.") The series is based on the novel by Karen M. McManus, about a high school detention period that goes mysteriously awry. Open link in new tab

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Indonesian ride-hailing company Gojek launched a streaming service called GoPlay, boasting a library of thousands of movies and shows.

Currently, the service only operates within Indonesia. The company has partnered with local producers for content but also plans to license programming from international studios. Subscriptions to the service are available for about $6 per month or $7 with an added voucher to use the GoFood delivery service. Open link in new tab

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Lon Harris is the writer and editor of Inside Streaming, and was the very first person to ever write an Inside newsletter. He lives in Los Angeles, California, and also writes about TV and film for Fandom, Screen Junkies, Rotten Tomatoes, Gamma Ray and others. He competes on The Movie Trivia Schmoedown as "The Professor."


Kim Lyons is a Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside.

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@Lons: Not true. It has revolutionized the industry. #FactCheck