Barack and Michelle Obama in talks with Netflix - Silver Screen Beat
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Barack and Michelle Obama are in negotiations with Netflix to produce their own series

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Barack and Michelle Obama
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After keeping a relatively low profile since leaving the White House just over a year ago (it feels like so much longer), President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are in negotiations with streaming giant Netflix to produce what is described as a series of “high-profile shows,” according to a report from The New York Times.

“Mr. Obama does not intend to use his Netflix shows to directly respond to President Trump or conservative critics,” The Times reports, adding that the series could feature Obama moderating conversations on topics such as health care, voting rights, immigration, foreign policy, and climate change.

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Sources with insider knowledge of the proposed deal, which has not been finalized, say “the Obamas had talked about producing shows that highlight inspirational stories,” which could be the wonderful escape we need right now in our depressing, chaos-filled world that is on the brink of nuclear war.

“President and Mrs. Obama have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire,” said Obama senior adviser Eric Schultz. “Throughout their lives, they have lifted up stories of people whose efforts to make a difference are quietly changing the world for the better. As they consider their future personal plans, they continue to explore new ways to help others tell and share their stories.”

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‘Star Trek: Discovery’ beams up Ethan Peck to play the iconic role of Spock for season 2

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Ethan Peck Star Trek
CHARLEY GALLAY/GETTY IMAGES

At San Diego Comic-Con last month, Star Trek: Discovery executive producer Alex Kurtzman confirmed that Spock, one of the most iconic and beloved characters in the Star Trek franchise, would appear in the upcoming second season of the CBS All Access, which debuts next year.

Now, just weeks later, the network has announced that Ethan Peck has been cast in the role of the half human, half Vulcan science officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise and foster brother to the Discovery’s second officer Michael Burnham.

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“We searched for months for an actor who would, like [Leonardo Nimoy and Zachary Quinto], bring his own interpretation to the role,” Kurtzman said in a statement. “An actor who would, like them, effortlessly embody Spock’s greatest qualities, beyond obvious logic: empathy, intuition, compassion, confusion, and yearning. Ethan Peck walked into the room inhabiting all of these qualities, aware of his daunting responsibility to Leonard, Zack, and the fans, and ready to confront the challenge in the service of protecting and expanding on Spock’s legacy. In that spirit, we’re thrilled to welcome him to the family.”

Peck is, of course, the third actor to play Spock, following Nimoy’s portrayal of the character in the original Star Trek television series and subsequent film adaptations, and Zachary Quinto, who played in the most recent Star Trek films.

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Ruby Rose to play lesbian superhero Batwoman in The CW’s evolving Arrowverse

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Ruby Rose Batwoman
CHRISTOPHER POLK/GETTY IMAGES

Nearly a month after Silver Screen Beat learned that The CW was developing a series revolving around the DC superhero Batwoman, we’ve now learned that the network, which plans to launch the series as soon as next year, has tapped actress Ruby Rose to play the lead role.

Rose is set to make her debut as Batwoman in the annual DC crossover event this December between the network’s current Arrowverse shows including The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow.

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According to the official logline for the series, the show will follow Kate Kane, a woman armed with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind, as she soars onto the streets of Gotham as Batwoman, an out lesbian and highly trained street fighter primed to snuff out the failing city’s criminal resurgence. But don’t call her a hero yet. In a city desperate for a savior, Kate must overcome her own demons before embracing the call to be Gotham’s symbol of hope.

The show is expected to debut during the 2019-2020 television season.

Caroline Dries, who is writing the series, is executive producing alongside Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schecter for Berlanti Productions, who will produce in association with Warner Bros. Television, and former DC chief creative officer Geoff Johns under his new Mad Ghost Productions banner.

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‘Superbad’ co-stars Emma Stone and Jonah Hill reunite in a mind-boggling new trailer for ‘Maniac’

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Maniac
NETFLIX

Netflix has released the first trailer for Maniac, a new limited series from director Cary Joji Fukunaga which reunites Emma Stone with her Superbad co-star Jonah Hill for what appears to be one hell of a mind-bending, out-of-this-world sci-fi trip.

Created by Patrick Somerville, the series is set in a world similar to ours, in a time quite similar to our time, and tells the stories of Annie Landsberg (Stone) and Owen Milgrim (Hill), two strangers drawn to the late stages of a mysterious pharmaceutical trial, each for their own reasons. Annie’s disaffected and aimless, fixated on broken relationships with her mother and her sister; Owen, the fifth son of wealthy New York industrialists, has struggled his whole life with a disputed diagnosis of schizophrenia.

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Neither of their lives have turned out quite right, and the promise of a new, radical kind of pharmaceutical treatment—a sequence of pills its inventor, Dr. James K. Mantleray (Justin Theroux), claims can repair anything about the mind, be it mental illness or heartbreak—draws them and ten other strangers to a secret facility for a three-day drug trial that will supposedly, with no complications or side-effects whatsoever, permanently solve all of their life’s problems. However, as you could imagine, things do not go as planned.

The 10-episode limited series also stars Sally Field, Julia Garner, and Jemima Kirke, and will arrive on Netflix next month on September 21. You can check out the newly released trailer for Maniac in the embedded player below.

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