Marvel is famous for secrecy, and the upcoming Disney+ titles are no exception to the rule. The series will focus on Tony Stark’s best friend, James Rhodes, aka War Machine. Don Cheadle is onboard to continue as Rhodey.
ippett shot the initial pieces of Mad God in the late-80s, but didn’t really pick up steam on it until the mid-2000s when he would launch a Kickstarter to fund the project. Eventually, he released three short pieces of Mad God. These shorts encompass about half of the finished film. That 82-minute feature is making its way around the festival circuit; the 2021 edition of the Fantasia Film Festival is where I gleefully sat down to watch it. The trailer was evocative, but the finished piece is a haunting, gory, episodic journey through one of the most upsetting post-apocalyptic landscapes ever put to film.
The film has no dialogue, save some
indistinct muttering, but I think talk would get in the way. The story,
as such, follows an “assassin” (their distinction in the festival
notes), a figure clad in a steampunk-esque WWI soldier outfit; gasmask,
metal helmet, trench coat, jackboots. At the start of the picture, this
assassin descends from some other plane via a modified diving bell. He
lands into a war-torn dystopia of crumbling skyscrapers, large cannons,
and long-decayed bodies. What exactly this character is looking for is
never specified. We can assume, via later events, that this is some kind
of scouting mission.
The assassin traverses different gorgeous and elaborate vistas and encountering all manner of disgusting beasts and pitiful once-human husks. These husks seem to do the manual labor for whatever mad god is in charge, but lack the wherewithal to get out of the way of steamrollers and flying objects. Eventually, the assassin makes his way up an enormous, spiraling tower where a mad scientist and his nurse do horrifying experiments and create screaming infant abominations that make Eraserhead look tame.
Mad God is a staggering work. You can see the time and effort of Tippett and his team in every frame. You can also see how and where he had to cut corners. While the bulk of the movie is stop-motion, or at least uses standard puppetry, a few of the characters are just human actors. Most notably, filmmaker Alex Cox portrays a sharp-fingered puppet-master of sorts who ultimately sends the assassin on his mission. Given the abrupt change, it’s amazing Tippett was able to make it all work as a cohesive piece.
If there’s any criticism to be levied at Mad God, it’s that the narrative is so slight as to be more a suggestion. While we have the assassin to follow for most of the movie, he’s hardly a hero, allowing through inaction the suffering of various poor monsters. The scenes unfold as vignettes and you can certainly feel the start-stop nature of the production. These are minor, I have to say, given the depth and detail of what we see on screen. And chiefly Tippett isn’t interested in plot; he’s showing us a nightmare come to life, the aftermath of a world which man has destroyed and God has decided to smite.
Based on the worldwide phenomenon from Sunrise Inc., Cowboy Bebop is the jazz-inspired, genre-bending story of Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Faye Valentine and Radical Ed: a rag-tag crew of bounty hunters on the run from their pasts as they hunt down the solar system's most dangerous criminals. They'll even save the world… for the right price.
Yoko Kanno (Cowboy Bebop anime's composer) is composing the live-action series.
Pineda had revealed on Instagram in March that the live-action series had finished filming the first season.
Netflix posted a "Behind the Scenes"
video on October 2019 to mark the start of production. The production on
the first season was on hold in New Zealand after lead actor John Cho's on-set knee injury
in October 2019, followed by a shutdown due to the new coronavirus
disease (COVID-19). In July 2020, New Zealand's Ministry of Business,
Innovation, and Employment began allowing
the series' crew to enter the country for filming in the next six
months, even as most countries are still dealing with COVID-19.
Writer and executive producer Jeff Pinkner teased
in April 2020 that the show's staff is planning a second season. Pinker
said that the project's one-hour episode length allows them to "really
tell stories set in that world in a way that hopefully will not only
delight the fans of anime but expose a whole bunch of new people to the
world of Cowboy Bebop, the awesome work of Yoko Kanno."
The series is a co-production between Netflix and Tomorrow Studios, with Netflix handling physical production. Tomorrow Studios is a partnership between producer Marty Adelstein (Prison Break, Teen Wolf, producer for the live-action One Piece project) and ITV Studios. Shinichiro Watanabe, the original anime's director, is serving as consultant for the project. Andre Nemec, Josh Appelbaum, Jeff Pinkner, and Scott Rosenberg of Midnight Radio are credited as showrunners and executive producers.
Tomorrow Studios' Marty Adelstein and Becky Clements; Yasuo Miyakawa, Masayuki Ozaki, and Shin Sasaki of Sunrise (the studio that animated the original series); and Tetsu Fujimura and Matthew Weinberg are also credited as executive producers. Chris Yost (Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok) is writing the series, and is credited as executive producer.
The original anime series follows the motley crew of the spaceship Bebop as it travels throughout the solar system in search of the next job. The anime inspired Cowboy Bebop: The Movie in 2001. Funimation released the series on Blu-ray and DVD in North America in 2014, and screened the film in the United States in 2018, the 20th anniversary of the original series.
Star Trek: Prodigy is set to premiere in 2021 on Paramount+ with the first 10-episode season. It will then air on Nickelodeon before the second season is released on Paramount+.