Game of Thrones animated series, Minions in Minecraft, & Netflix getting video games – 2021-07-19
HBO Max is developing multiple animated projects inspired by the award-winning hit series Game of Thrones. It was announced in January that the streamer was developing an animated drama and was being led by HBO drama head Francesca Orsi and her group. HBO Max is now reportedly working on at least two additional potential animated series, with one of the projects being set in The Golden Empire of Yi Ti, a territory that was never seen on the original live-action series.
Yi Ti is a region in the continent of Essos, near the south-eastern limits of the known world. The society is considered one of the oldest and most advanced in author George R.R. Martin’s fantasy universe, and is inspired by Imperial China, in the same way that Westeros was inspired by Medieval Europe.
While those projects are currently in the early stages of development, the only post-GoT project certain to hit the air is the prequel House of the Dragon. That series will tell the story of the Targaryen Civil War that takes place 300 years before the events of the original series, and is set for release in 2022.
The reach of Despicable Me’s Minions continues to grow. After three Despicable Me movies, a cartoon series, a Minion-centric spinoff movie, and an upcoming sequel to that offshoot called Minions: The Rise of Gru, the Minions are making their next move… into Minecraft.
The Minions x Minecraft add-on from Illumination launched Friday, and you can buy it in the Minecraft Marketplace. The downloadable content does more than just add blocky versions of the yellow characters to Minecraft. It also lets you help Gru fight villains like Vicious Six, El Macho, and Vector. It’s apparently part of the lead-up to Minions: The Rise of Gru, which comes to theaters on July 1, 2022.
Netflix may be a TV show, movie and game streaming platform in the near future. According to Bloomberg, the company has hired Mike Verdu, a former Oculus and EA exec, as vice president of game development. Verdu was the VP of augmented and virtual reality games and content at Facebook, where he worked with developers for the Oculus Rift, Quest, and Go. From 2017 to 2018, he was also the head of EA Mobile and oversaw the studios that worked on Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, SimCity BuildIt, Plants vs. Zombies, and Sims Free Play, among others.
The company will reportedly build out its gaming team in the coming months to be able to start offering games for streaming within the next year. Netflix isn’t exactly inexperienced in the area and previously developed games based on its popular shows. However, it released those titles on mobile and consoles — Bloomberg says the company won’t be making a separate platform for its upcoming video games and will instead make them available alongside its shows and movies under their own category. Also, the streaming giant reportedly has no plans to charge extra for game access, though it’s unclear if the additional content will lead to a future price hike.
WandaVision director Matt Shakman is moving from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to seek out new life and new civilizations. Hot off of his directing Emmy nomination for Disney+’s WandaVision comes the news that Shakman has signed on to direct a currently untitled Star Trek movie for Paramount, which has a release date of June 9, 2023.
The script comes from go-to blockbuster screenwriters Lindsey Beer and Geneva Robertson-Dworet, with J.J. Abrams producing. At this stage, it’s unknown if cast members from Abrams’ 2009 reboot, led by Chris Pine as Captain Kirk, will be in the film.
Shakman is a veteran TV director, whose credits include Game of Thrones, The Boys, Succession, Fargo and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but this will be his first feature. Recently, his series WandaVision captured 23 Emmy nominations, including a directing nom for himself.