Also in the news: More resistance reading for 2018, and a new a roller coaster based on “The Wicker Man.” It’s your Daily Blunt!
As the “Stranger Things” kids start to find their footing in the world beyond Netflix’s hit series, the star who seems best situated for global takeover is Millie Bobby Brown, who plays Eleven. The 13-year-old is currently inking a deal to step onto the big screen as Enola Holmes, kid sister to Sherlock and main character in Nancy Springer’s Edgar Award-winning mystery novel series. Brown’s deal with Legendary Entertainment would also make her a producer of the film — or films, plural, since Springer’s series is currently six novels strong.
For years, Marvel fans have been lamenting the absence of a standalone Black Widow movie, even as less established heroes such as Ant-Man have been blessed with side adventures. Now that the trailer for Jennifer Lawrence’s “Red Sparrow” has been released, fans are pointing out the obvious similarities to Black Widow’s backstory. As io9 observes: “Fox has seemingly managed to greenlight and finish the kind of project that Marvel appears to be determined to drag its heels on.” The fact that “Red Sparrow” is based on a 2013 book written by a former CIA operative doesn’t dispel this theory: it’s just as possible that the re-emergence and popularity of this character (Scarlett Johansson stepped into Widow’s combat boots in 2010) paved the way for other stories about badass female spies. Time’s up, Marvel!
Despite its runaway success, Fire & Fury may not end up being the big resistance book of 2018 — there are dozens more titles lined up for release in the New Year that are aiming for the same target. One highlight is Timothy Snyder’s followup to the slim volume On Tyranny, which was rushed to print last year so Americans would know what to look out for in the age of Trump. His new book, The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America, will take up a bit more space on your bookshelf, and the author hints here about its contents: “I try to show us our own moment in history, so that we see what we treasure by observing how it is attacked.”
The 1973 film “The Wicker Man” is more than just a cult horror classic — it’s become an institution, propelling the story adapted from David Pinner’s 19767 novel Ritual onward through the decades. Fans of the franchise (which has spawned the notorious Nicolas Cage remake, as well as the low-budget sequel “The Wicker Tree”) will delight at the opportunity to experience its horrors in person once the Alton Towers’ new roller coaster debuts. Racing visitors through the story’s plot-points, the wooden coaster also intends to honor its fiery climax: “Riders will seemingly blast through the towering formation at high speed while fire and lighting effects flare up around them.” Don’t worry, “industry experts” swear they’ve made sure you won’t end up being inadvertently sacrificed to pagan gods.