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IS STRANGER THINGS NETFLIX’S BIGGEST HIT TO DATE?Stranger Things

Netflix is notoriously secretive concerning their viewing figures. They won’t even give a hint as to what is popular in their programming and what isn’t. But a firm called Symphony Advanced Media has released viewing figures it manages to collate using interweb magic, or something. And those figures are quite remarkable.

Apparently, Stranger Things clocked a whopping 14.07 million views in the United States in the key adults 18-49 demographic in its first 35 days. To put that in perspective, premium Netflix content House of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey, clocked 5.37 million viewers in its fourth season according to Symphony Advanced Media. Huge hit Making a Murderer got 13.35 million, still below Stranger Things. And these figures put it on par with network output such as The Walking Dead.

This is a bit of a game-changer if we’re honest; how we view our content has altered dramatically over recent years and, on the strength of these numbers, will continue to do so. Unsurprisingly, Stranger Things season 2 has been confirmed, with reports it will be inspired by ‘the magic of Indiana Jones’. Count us in!

SAM MENDES LINED-UP FOR LIVE ACTION JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH ADAPTATIONMendes James Giant Peach

Hot on the heels of this summers Roald Dahl adaptation The BFG comes news that Disney is planning another version of James and the Giant Peach. Twenty years ago we were treated to a stop-motion version produced by Tim Burton and now Sam Mendes of American Beauty and the last two Bond flicks fame is reportedly being lined up to helm this new adaptation.

Disney have been mining their own back catalogue relentlessly in recent years, with live action versions of Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella and the still on release Pete’s Dragon, and clearly shows no signs of stopping remaking their own output. Of course, all these are classics – and today’s technology promises a potentially visually thrilling take on one of Dahl’s most endearing tales – but some will mourn the dearth of new material.

No release date has been given yet, nor concrete confirmation of Mendes’ participation. More news as and when we get it.

FIRST LOOK AT LUMIERE AND COGSWORTH FROM UPCOMING DISNEY LIVE-ACTION REMAKE OF BEAUTY AND THE BEASTLumiere and Cogsworth

Talking of Disney raiding their own vaults, the first images from the forthcoming live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast have been released, also giving us our first views of clock and candelabra pals Cogsworth and Lumiere. Producer Jack Morrissey posted these two shots on his Facebook Page:

Lumiere and Cogsworth

Beauty and Beast 2

That second one is a shot from the “Gaston” musical number, with Luke Evans as the titular singer, Alexis Loizon as Stanley and Josh Gad as LeFou. The director is Bill Condon of Dreamgirls and Kinsey fame, so the pedigree is there. And with Ewan McGregor voicing Lumiere, none other than Ian McKellen lending his tones to Cogsworth plus a cast that includes Emmas Watson and Thompson, Stanley Tucci, Kevin Kline and Dan Stevens, this looks like it could be bloody wonderful.

Beauty and the Beast opens March 17 next year.

DAVID TENNANT TO BECOME A BAD SAMARITAN?David Tennant

With his turn as the thoroughly evil Kilgrave in the recent Jessica Jones tv series, you may think that David Tennant will be a bad ‘un again in forthcoming Dean Devlin flick Bad Samaritan. Centering on two young valets who use their jobs parking cars for wealthy clients as a cover so they can rob their houses while they’re otherwise occupied, the demographic make-up makes it sound that he’ll rather be playing someone getting burgled. Whether that individual is the bad samaritan of the title, we’ll have to wait and see.

This starts shooting later this year. Before that, Devlin has upcoming Geostorm yet to hit theatres and Tennant has Mad To Be Normal, which tells the tale of world-renowned Scottish psychiatrist RD Laing and his unique community at Kingsley Hall, East London, during the 1960’s. Expect Bad Samaritan sometime late 2017.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR GAG REEL DROPS AHEAD OF BLU-RAY RELEASECaptain America Gag Reel

Ok, hands up, this isn’t really news. But gag reels are fun, right? This is less than two minutes long but shows the enjoyment our trusty Avengers clearly have whilst on set:

Y’see? Chemistry matters, especially in huge budget, SFX heavy ensemble films. It makes a difference. Captain America: Civil War hits Digital HD, Digital 3D and Disney Movies Anywhere on September 2, and will be available on Blu-ray, 3D Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD on September 13.

DAISY RIDLEY SAYS DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH FOR A STAR WARS TITLE ANYTIME SOONDasiy Ridley

Your Star Wars: Episode VIII news this week is that there isn’t any. Daisy Ridley, who of course plays Rey, was recently a guest on the My Dad Wrote a Porno podcast (no, we have no idea either) and had this to say about the film and it’s title:

I heard a title, but I’m not sure if it’s even going to be that. I really don’t know much about anything. […] I heard it, but I heard it a long time ago before we started filming, so I feel like some things have slightly tweaked during [production]. But it’s going to be a while before it’s released I imagine.”

The Disney/Lucasfilm publicity machine is currently set on maximum power for this Decembers Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, so ‘a while’ could mean as late as next year. But we’ll say it here first – and even put a couple of notes down on it – that we suspect it will be to do with some form of empire or first order striking back somehow. It’s just a hunch.