Bobby Flay and Discovery’s Food Network have reached an agreement on a new three-year contract, a deal that comes about six weeks after negotiations stalled because the sides were too far apart on financial terms.
The celebrity chef, restaurateur and author has set an exclusive pact that will keep him in the Discovery family through the middle of the decade and up to his 30th on-air anniversary with the cabler.
The new contract also expands the scope of content opportunities available to Flay’s Rock Shrimp Productions, which produces most of his shows for Food Network. And the wide-ranging deal comes just as Discovery is poised to grow significantly through its pending merger with WarnerMedia.
Dune the movie: Lynch vs Villeneuve vs Frank Herbert… and us.
All right, off-the-cuff let me say that, of course, the latest adaptation of Dune by Denis Villeneuve is magnificent. It is spectacularly good and supremely enjoyable, on a par with the best of Spielberg, or Zemeckis, or Cameron.
The admirable qualities are apparent to all. Still, even while enjoying great movies, there remains a part of me who keeps taking notes.
Furthermore, general approval doesn’t forbid my making a few specific comments, including comparisons to earlier versions. And so, for those of you who enjoy nitpickery – and promise you won’t let it spoil for you a great flick – buckle up and let’s get to it: SPOILERS
Pressed inside an old book of mine is a gray sheet of paper, folded in uneven quarters, titled “Dune Terminology.” On it, there are thirty-seven words and phrases, including a baffling array of place names (Giedi Prime, pronounced “Gee-dee”), machinery (ornithopter, a “small aircraft capable of sustained wing-beat flight in the manner of birds”), and rituals (kanly, a “formal feud or vendetta under the rules of the Great Convention”).
Moviegoers with tickets to David Lynch’s “Dune,” which premièred December 14, 1984—I saw it on opening weekend at a mall, in suburban Buffalo—would have picked up the glossary from a stack as they entered the theatre, though the guide was unreadable in the dark, and it contained more than a few spoilers. To the novice, it must have looked like homework. It must have looked like no fun at all.
An innocent viewer of the new Apple TV+ series “Foundation”—a lavish production complete with clone emperors, a haunted starship, and a killer android who tears off her own face—might be surprised to learn that the novels it’s based on inspired Paul Krugman to become an economist.
Isaac Asimov’s classic saga revolves around the dismal science of “psychohistory,” a hybrid of math and psychology that can predict the future. Its inventor, Hari Seldon, lives in a twelve-thousand-year-old galactic empire, which, his equations reveal, is about to collapse.
“Interstellar wars will be endless,” he warns. “The storm-blast whistles through the branches of the Empire even now.” His followers establish a Foundation on the frontier world of Terminus—a colony tasked with conserving all human knowledge—where they spend the next millennium fulfilling “Seldon’s plan” to reunite the galaxy.
Left ignorant of its details (such knowledge would play havoc with prediction), each generation must solve its own crises. The Foundation confronts barbarian kingdoms, imperial revanchists, and shadowy telepaths who elude psychohistory’s grasp.
As legend has it, a few years back, Jeff Bezos demanded that his team at Amazon Studios create a fantasy epic that would put Game of Thrones to shame. Turns out, that kind of thing is even harder to do than it sounds. And more expensive than you can imagine. Inside the epic quest to bring Wheel of Time to life—and maybe change the face of global television forever.
Not long ago, this quarry, 40 kilometers outside Prague, held a carefully built fake town called the Two Rivers. Then, a few days back, the producers and set dressers of Amazon’s The Wheel of Time burned it down. The town’s inn, an intricately rendered two-story building, is now blackened, its left side plunged into spiky rubble: Smoke machines give the impression that it is still smoldering. There are holes in roofs, artfully destroyed beams. Every house—interior and exterior—has been charred enough so that it shows on camera.
The actors who wander the Two Rivers are made up to match. Rosamund Pike, who starred in Gone Girl, is smudged with soot. Rain has begun to come down in earnest, pooling in the muddy streets and making the extras and the stuntmen shiver. Michael McElhatton, who played Roose Bolton on Game of Thrones and is playing a character called Tam al’Thor on The Wheel of Time, sits on a stump in the middle of it all in a big down jacket, staring at nothing in particular.
It’s November 2019, and the production—comprising hundreds of, and on some days nearly a thousand, people—is filming the end of the first episode of what everyone hopes will be a television show that runs for, well: six seasons? Eight? A show that will be as epic and sensational and ubiquitous as Game of Thrones once was.
Blue Origin’s second human spaceflight has returned to Earth after taking a brief flight to the edge of space this morning. Among the four passengers on board — there is no pilot — was William Shatner, the actor who first played the space-traveling Captain Kirk in the Star Trek franchise.
“The covering of blue. This sheet, this blanket, this comforter that we have around. We think, oh, that’s blue sky,” an emotional Shatner said after returning to earth.
“Then suddenly you shoot through it all of the sudden, as though you’re whipping a sheet off you when you’re asleep, and you’re looking into blackness, into black ugliness.”