Good day! Welcome to The Monitor, WIRED’s roundup of all the biggest pop culture news around. This week’s biggest news so far has been a bit of a grab bag, spanning everything from Studio Ghibli and Radiohead to streaming services, of course, because in 2020, there’s always something happening in streaming. Here we go.
Marvel Is Working on a Captain Marvel Sequel
Marvel is getting back into the Carol Danvers business. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio is officially working on a sequel to last year’s Captain Marvel. The studio has reportedly tapped Megan McDonnell, a writer on the upcoming series WandaVision, to work on the script, which will bring Brie Larson’s hero into the modern day. THR notes that Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, who directed the first film, won’t return for the sequel, so Marvel is looking for a new director for the project. It could hit theaters as early as 2022.
Netflix Just Increased Its Subscribers by 20 Percent
Despite a lot of fresh competition from services like Disney+ and Apple TV+, Netflix added nearly 8.8 million new subscribers in the last quarter of 2019. That brings the streaming giant’s global membership up to 167 million, an increase of 20 percent from the same period the year prior. In other Netflix data news, the streaming service reported that some 76 million member households watched the first season of The Witcher. That may sound like a lot—and it is—but it also reflects a change in how Netflix tracks views. Previously, an account would have to watch 70 percent of one episode of a TV show or 70 percent of movie for it to be counted as a view. Now, Netflix is just counting members that “chose to watch” something, meaning they watched as little as two minutes of the series or film.
Studio Ghibli Films Are Coming to Netflix—But Not in North America
We have good news and we have bad news. The good news is that a big batch of films from Studio Ghibli is coming to Netflix. The bad news is that they won’t be available in the US (or Canada or Japan). For those who will have access, Netflix says it will be offering 21 films—including Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Arrietty, and My Neighbor Totoro—from the Japanese animation studio starting on February 1. “In this day and age, there are various great ways a film can reach audiences,” Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki said in a statement. “We’ve listened to our fans and have made the definitive decision to stream our film catalogue.” Fans in the US, however, will have to wait until the studio’s catalog comes to HBO Max in May.
Apple TV+ Just Announced All the Shows
Hot off the announcement that the streaming service would be releasing Spike Jonze’s upcoming Beastie Boys doc, Apple TV+ presented some of its forthcoming shows to the members of Television Critics Association on Sunday—and it’s a pretty hearty slate of shows. For starters, it handed out renewals to Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet, Home Before Dark, Kumail Nanjiani’s anthology series Little America, and M. Night Shyamalan’s Servant. Mythic Quest will drop on February 7. Meanwhile, Visible: Out on Television, a doc about LGBTQ people on TV, will hit on February 14 (Valentine’s Day, awww) and the first five episodes of Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories will hit the service on March 6. Finally, Apple TV+ will release the first three episodes of the Chris Evans-starring miniseries Defending Jacob on April 24. See? Told you it was a lot—and that’s not even all of it.
Radiohead’s Website Now Contains Radiohead Public Library
Just when it seemed Radiohead had done it all, the band has a new initiative: Radiohead Public Library. The new venture, which lives on Radiohead.com and will—yes—provide fans with library cards, provides an archive of the band’s catalog, videos, artwork, and live and TV performances. The band also commemorated the library’s launch by releasing a streaming version of its 1992 debut EP Drill, the track “I Want None of This,” and a remix EP from 2011 called TKOL RMX 8. Search the archive for yourself here.
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