HBO Max took center stage this week, revealing its launch date and lineup. Not to be outdone, Disney+ threw some Star Wars into the streaming-news mix, Netflix boasted a subscriber boost from our current stay-at-home culture, and Quibi promised that subscribers would soon be able to cast to their TVs.TOP STORYStreaming Roundup: A New Star Wars Series, The Mandalorian Season 3, New Netflix Titles, HBO Max Launch Date, and Quibi Casting CapabilityThe Star Wars TV universe continues to expand at Disney+: Variety reports Emmy-nominated Russian Doll co-creator Leslye Headland will write and act as showrunner for an as-yet-untitled SW universe series that will be told from a female-centric point of view. The new drama will also take place in “a different part” on the series timeline.Variety also reported this week that a third season of The Mandalorian is currently in development at Disney+, well ahead of the series’ second season premiere later this year. The new project, and new seasons of The Mandalorian, join other Star Wars Disney+ shows, including Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi series, Diego Luna’s Rogue One prequel series, the Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian docuseries (new trailer above), and the final season of The Clone Wars, currently airing in Disney+.In other news from a particularly eventful streaming TV week:• HBO Max finally announced its debut date: May 27, which won’t include the Friends cast reunion, yet, but will include the return of the complete Friends series to streaming, as well as the debut of the complete series of The Big Bang Theory episodes to streaming, among a library of 10,000 hours of programming. Check out our primer on all things HBO Max here.• Netflix cautioned that the company fully expects its subscriber numbers to decrease once shelter-in-place lockdown plans are lifted, but for now, its news is good: the streaming service added 15.8 million new subscribers in the first quarter of 2020, for a global total of 182 million subscribers now.• Speaking of Netflix, the company announced this week that it has acquired worldwide rights (excluding China) to Enola Holmes from Legendary Entertainment. The film is based on Nancy Springer’s Edgar Award-nominated book series, The Enola Holmes Mysteries, which tells the story of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes’ rebellious teen sister Enola, a gifted super-sleuth in her own right who often outsmarts her brilliant siblings. The film stars Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things) in the title role. The cast also includes Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games films), Adeel Akhtar (Les Miserables), Fiona Shaw (Harry Potter films), Frances de la Tour (Harry Potter films), Louis Partridge (Medici), Burn Gorman (Pacific Rim), Susan Wokoma (Year of the Rabbit), with Henry Cavill (Man of Steel) and two-time Oscar nominee Helena Bonham Carter (The Crown).RELATED: New on Netflix in May 2020: Space Force, The Lovebirds, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Hollywood, and More• The NBCUniversal-owned Fandango (which also owns Rotten Tomatoes), has agreed to buy streaming service Vudu from Walmart. Vudu includes home rentals, as well as an ad-supported selection of free TV shows and movies.• New streaming service Quibi announced its service, which offers programming in airtimes of 10 minutes or less, has been downloaded more than 2.7 million times since its April 6 release. Also, beginning next month, Quibi users will be able to cast the service’s programming to their TVs.• And one more bit of news about that Friends reunion: one superfan and five pals will win a prize that includes tickets to the taping of the reunion special, plus the chance to have a cup o’ joe with the cast on the Central Perk set at Warner Bros. It’s all part of a fundraising effort for the All In Challenge, which raises cash for Feeding America, World Central Kitchen, No Kid Hungry, and Meals on Wheels. A donation buys 10 entries for the contest at the All in Challenge website.Virtual Comic Con Panels Feature Casts of The Boys, Gotham, Outlander, and GrimmSan Diego Comic Com, and various regional cons, are sadly among the many, many cancellations that have resulted from the coronavirus pandemic. But Wizard World has launched an ongoing series of virtual con panels, including upcoming events with the casts of The Boys, Gotham, Outlander, and Grimm. The Wizard World Virtual Experience with the cast of Outlander – including Lotte Verbeek, Steven Cree, Grant O’Rourke, Nell Hudson, Stephen Walters, and Annette Badland – will launch on April 30, followed later that day by an event with the cast of Grimm, including Silas Weir Mitchell, Sacha Roiz, Reggie Lee, Bree Turner, Claire Coffee and Jacquiline Toboni. Cast members of Gotham (David Mazouz, Sean Pertwee, Robin Lord Taylor, Erin Richards, Drew Powell and Peter Scolari) and The Boys (Jack Quaid, Antony Starr, and Karen Fukuhara) will chat with fans on May 2.Fans can submit questions for a 45-minute moderated Q+A for each event. Tickets are also available for each cast for one-on-one video chats, recorded videos, and autographed photos.New Trailers: An All-Star Cast Leads Ryan Murphy s New Series Reimagining Hollywood HistoryMore trailers:Fraggle Rock: Rock On!, new episodes of the classic Jim Henson series (Apple TV+)The Great, a comedy about the rise of Catherine the Great, starring Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult (Hulu)Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours to Kill, the comedian’s first stand-up special since 1998, debuts May 5 (Netflix)All Day and a Night, a drama movie starring Ashton Sanders and Jeffrey Wright, about a son who goes to prison, like his father, and tries to break the cycle so it doesn’t repeat with his own son (Netflix)The Wrong Missy, a comedy movies starring David Spade and Lauren Lapkus (Netflix)The Lovebirds, a comedy movie starring Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani (Netflix)Pokémon Journeys: The Series, new episodes of the adventures of Ash and Pikachu, premiering on June 12 (Netflix)A Secret Love, a documentary about two women who’ve been in a romantic relationship for 65 years (Netflix)Quiz, a miniseries starring Michael Sheen, Matthew Macfadyen, and Sian Clifford in the story of a British couple who were accused of using timed coughs to cheat their way to a million-pound win on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (AMC)Grant, a three-night miniseries about Ulysses S. Grant, premiering on Memorial Day (History)For all the latest TV and streaming trailers, subscribe to the Rotten Tomatoes TV YouTube channel.Development News: Paul Rudd and Will Ferrell Will Star in Dark Comedy Series The Shrink Next Door at Apple TV+Apple TV+ will be the home of the Paul Rudd–Will Ferrell comedy miniseries The Shrink Next Door, inspired by the fact-based podcast of the same name. The eight-episode series revolves around the bizarre relationship between psychiatrist to the stars Dr. Ike Herschkopf (Rudd) and his patient Marty Markowitz (Ferrell). Ike eventually takes over Marty’s life, which includes moving into Marty’s home in the Hamptons and taking over his business. The Shrink Next Door description: “The series explores how a seemingly normal doctor-patient dynamic morphs into an unprecedentedly exploitative relationship filled with manipulation, power grabs, and dysfunction at its finest.” The series reunites Rudd and Ferrell for the first time since Anchorman 2.Melissa McCarthy dramedy film The Starling has landed at Netflix. The film, directed by Ted Melfi and currently in postproduction, stars McCarthy and Chris O’Dowd as a married couple who face a major drama. Husband Jack takes off to deal with it, while Lilly remains home to deal with her guilt over the situation. A bird, a starling, in her backyard starts to harass her, and a psychologist-turned-vet played by Kevin Kline tries to help her. Timothy Olyphant, Loretta Devine, and Daveed Diggs also star. (THR)Syfy will begin airing the first season of the DC Universe series Harley Quinn on May 3. The animated series stars Kaley Cuoco as the wickedly fun titular diva, along with Lake Bell as Poison Ivy, Alan Tudyk as The Joker, Ron Funches as King Shark, Wayne Knight as The Penguin, Jason Alexander as Sy Borgman, and Christopher Meloni as Commissioner Gordon. (Syfy)Dwayne Johnson and Issa Rae are teaming up as executive producers of an HBO drama called Tre Cnt (which stands for Tre Count), about a family who pools their money, experience, and dreams to try to build a backyard wresting empire. (THR)The Last Dance, ESPN’s 10-part docuseries, left no doubt about how much sports fans are fiending for new content. The first two episodes of the series, which debuted last Sunday, drew 6.1 million viewers, the most ever for documentary content on the network.Connie Britton is developing a series based on Rebecca Traister’s bestselling book All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation, about the history of unmarried women throughout the history of the United States. Britton will act as executive producer and appear in the HBO Max docuseries, which specifically traces the history of married and single women, and illustrate how single women rejected traditional paths and created opportunity for all women in the process. (THR)Chip and Joanna Gaines are delaying the launch of their lifestyle network, Magnolia, because of the pandemic, so they’re airing a four-hour preview of what’s to come on the channel when it eventually debuts later this year. Magnolia Presents: A Look Back A Look Ahead airs in April 26 at 5 p.m. ET on the DIY Network.ABC will air The Story of Soaps, a two-hour special on the history of soap operas, on May 19. The show will explore “how no genre of television has laid deeper roots into our cultural consciousness and serialized storytelling than the soap opera,” and feature clips and interviews with daytime soap alums, including Bryan Cranston, Alec Baldwin, Jon Hamm, Susan Lucci, Deidre Hall, and Genie Francis, as well as famous soap fans Carol Burnett and Andy Cohen, and creator Agnes Nixon.Netflix will produce a new Korean original series called Hellbound, about supernatural beings who “appear out of nowhere to condemn people to hell.” The series, based on an animated web series, will be directed by Train to Busan director Yeon Sang-ho.YouTube will launch Celebrity Substitute, a series in which famous types will teach lessons in coding, biology, and other subjects during this era of peak distance learning. Karlie Kloss will help students work through a coding problem, actor and doctor Ken Jeong will teach a biology lesson, and Terry Crews, Bill Nye, Janelle Monáe, Camila Mendes will also be among the instructors. (THR)
Ron Perlman has played some monster characters throughout his career, notably the titular Hellboy in two Guillermo del Toro–directed films about that red, horned, cigar-smoking comic book anti-hero; the grizzled gang leader Clay Morrow in FX biker drama Sons of Anarchy; and even his breakout role as Vincent from CBS s live-action Beauty and the Beast series, in which he starred opposite Linda Hamilton. With his latest series, he adds to the list. A lot of the characters that I ve played without makeup that are, you know, seemingly human are the most monstrous things I ve ever done, Perlman told Rotten Tomatoes when discussing new Peacock series, The Capture, which premieres on the launch day of NBC s new streaming service.The Capture — so incredibly well-rendered and so smart, the actor said — takes viewers deep into a highly surveilled world in which anyone with the wherewithal, and motive, can alter video footage and place a crime that never happened at the foot of a would-be criminal of their choosing.In the six-episode series, which was recently renewed by the BBC for a second season, Perlman plays Frank Napier, a CIA official leading a small team that monitors CCTV, the UK s expansive network of security cameras, in the name of upholding justice. But at what cost does such justice come where video evidence of a crime that was supposedly committed, may have been a hoax all along?(Photo by BBC/Heyday Films/Nick Wall)Perlman co-stars opposite Holliday Grainger (Patrick Melrose) as DI Rachel Carey and Callum Turner (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald) as Shawn Emery, a former soldier framed for murder. With recent technological breakthroughs in deep-fake technology and the ever-growing trend of distrusting facts, the series fictional concept of Correction (the truth-altering tech featured in the series) feels both completely terrifying and absolutely plausible. [It s about] things I m personally obsessed with, in regards to the people that we look to in order to keep us safe and protected, Perlman said. How pure can we expect their motivations to be? Are their personal agendas spilling over into the things that (we hope) they do for purely ideological reasons? You know, for, hopefully, the greater good? These are all important questions to ask, especially when the news cycle is continuously recounting stories of law enforcement entities and government agencies that aren t exactly serving the people s best interests.Speaking on the series, and the many issues currently facing Americans, Perlman is quick to identify the ripped apart nature of our politics where you don t know what you re being sold or who s selling it to you, a lot of the time. And for an actor who has been famously outspoken in his progressive beliefs on Twitter — he was briefly suspended from the platform in 2019 for comments made in a now-deleted tweet celebrating the death of Koch Industries Vice Chairman David Koch, and he recently got involved in an online scuffle with Republican Sen. Ted Cruz — his decision to play a conservative-leaning character in a questionable position of power becomes more intriguing.In The Capture, Perlman s Frank makes some callous choices and steps over the line of morality more than once in the interest of upholding national and international security. When asked if Napier is a monster, the actor has trouble giving a definitive answer. You can make an argument that Frank is so multifaceted that it s hard to figure out where the monster in him ends and the humanity begins, Perlman explained. So I mean, one of the fascinating things about trying to figure out how to play the guy is, for the whole history of the show, you ll walk away not knowing, was he a good guy? Was he a bad guy? I just don t know. (Photo by Sony Pictures)On the big screen, Perlman continues to team up with his close friend Del Toro. In the long-awaited new adaptation of Pinocchio, he plays Mangiafuoco, a character known to many as Stromboli, thanks to Walt Disney s 1940 film classic.He also appears in Paul W.S. Anderson s upcoming Monster Hunter, a big-budget movie adaptation of Capcom s action role-playing video game of the same name that stars Milla Jovovich and Tony Jaa. The movie was scheduled to open this September, but has been pushed back to April 2021. Perlman, who described his role as Admiral in the flick to Comic Book Movie as a lot of chewing the scenery, was mostly mum about specific story details, but gave an impression of what to expect. I m not a gamer, so I m not familiar with the video game, Perlman said. I know that it has a huge following and huge popularity. I know that the production that Sony gave it, under the great leadership of Paul W.S. Anderson, was top draw. You know, it was just such a phenomenal experience and seemed like we were making a big-time movie — lots of titillating juicy battle scenes and chase scenes. There are a lot of high stakes, so this should be a good one to watch. And what about that a highly-publicized Twitter spat between Perlman and Cruz? The whole thing began after the U.S. Soccer Federation repealed its policy that prohibited athletes from kneeling during the national anthem as an act of protest against police brutality.The news drew ire from the likes of President Donald Trump and Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz who shamed the sports institution. Perlman soon added his two cents on Twitter, saying, The US Soccer team called and you guessed it said they couldn’t give any less of a f k about what you two dips ts think.”A follow-up tweet, directed at Gaetz and showing a photo of Rep. Jim Jordan, a former wrestling coach accused of ignoring athletes reports of abuse by a doctor at Ohio State University, caught the attention of Cruz and sparked the war of words between the actor and the senator, who challenged Perlman to a wrestling match — with Jordan.The bizarre back-and-forth led Perlman to present a counteroffer to Cruz, promoting the idea that if the senator himself would face him in the ring, he d donate ,000 dollars to Black Lives Matter. They traded a few more barbs before things quieted down, but Perlman is still up for the challenge.Though he has made it very clear that he ll never play Hellboy on the big screen again, Perlman said he may be willing to reprise the role through voice-over in a virtual wrestling match with Cruz — perhaps in an animated special akin to, say, MTV s old Celebrity Death Match cartoon series. Would he step into Hellboy s shoes one more time for such a special occasion? Absolutely, said Perlman, laughing. [Cruz has] just said so many things that are so damaging to the concept of human discourse. He s one of the guys who has the most deleterious effect on the American consciousness, which is: He s designed to make us cynical. He s designed to make us disengaged. He s designed his whole modus operandi to say stuff that makes us into disbelievers rather than people who are rallying around some beautiful concepts that Americans pledge allegiance to. He s a diabolical villain. And so any chance I get virtually to have a smackdown with this motherf er, I would jump at the opportunity. The Capture launches on Peacock on July 15.