ROCK ISLAND RETURNS
Production is now under way at the Pinnacle Studios in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia on the second season of Network 10 and Nickelodeon kids’ mystery adventure series “Rock Island Mysteries.” The show is produced by Fremantle Australia with support by Screen Queensland and federal body Screen Australia. The 20-episode season sees teenager Taylor Young, portrayed by Alexa Curtis, and friends again take up the challenge of finding Taylor’s missing uncle. “Rock Island Mysteries” is produced by series producer Timothy Powell and Jonah Klein of Fremantle Australia. Directors include Jovita O’Shaughnessy (“Darby and Joan,” “Home and Away”) and Evan Clarry (“The Bureau of Magical Things,” “Mako Mermaids”). Season 1 premiered on 10 Shake in May this year and has since screened on Nickelodeon in Australia, New Zealand, U.K., and the U.S. It is currently streaming on 10 Play, Paramount+ in Australia and Latin America and on Binge. Season 1 premiered on 10 Shake in May this year and has since screened on Nickelodeon in Australia, New Zealand, U.K., U.S. and around the world. Season 2 is set for a 2023 release on Network 10
Production will start on Sunday on “Harbin,” a Korea-produced historical drama film. The film is set in the early days of the 20th century when Korea and parts of China were under Japanese rule. Mixing real and fictional characters, the story follows Korean freedom fighter Ahn Jung-geun who assassinated the Japanese official in charge of Korea at a railway station in Harbin, Manchuria. The film is directed by Woo Min-ho (“The Man Standing Next,” “Inside Men”) and will star Hyun Bin (“Confidential Assignment 2: International,” TV’s “Crash Landing on You”) as Ahn, along with Jo Woo-ji Jeon Yeo-been and Lee Dong-wook. Production is by Hive Media with distribution by CJ ENM.
MALAYSIA NO SHOW
A Disney spokesman told Variety that there is no truth to Malaysian media reports over the last day that the company is planning to build a theme park in the country’s Melaka region. Some publications had reported the building of a 150 to 200 acre (roughly 61 to 81 hectare) facility to be called Disney City. General elections in Malaysia, such as the one due later this week, have previously seen politicians making outlandish claims that will likely never come to fruition. There were similar reports of a Disneyland in Malaysia in 2009. There are currently three Disney-themed parks in Asia: in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
SHANGHAI (PARTIAL) COMEBACK
Disneytown, Wishing Star Park and Shanghai Disneyland Hotel resumed operations on Thursday after being closed late last month due to anti-COVID measures in Shanghai. But the Shanghai Disneyland theme park remains closed until further notice, operators said. Shanghai Disneyland closed on government orders on Oct. 31, trapping many guests in the park for some hours. “Guests inside the park were provided with expedited COVID testing and all guests have exited the park,” operators said later that day. Some attractions and experiences remained open throughout the day. And according to the Shanghai government all guests tested negative.
‘WILLOW’ SHOW CAST SCREENING
Warwick Davis and Ellie Bamber were among the cast and creatives behind “Willow,” the new Lucasfilm adventure series for Disney+, attended a special screening in London on Wednesday, introducing the audience to the epic, magical series based on George Lucas’ 1988 fantasy-adventure film.
“Willow” follows the story of aspiring sorcerer (Davis) who must protect an infant empress and defeat an evil queen. Davis, who reprises his role from the original 1988 film, is joined in this sequel series by former co-star Joanne Whalley, who also returns, as well as newcomers Bamber, Ruby Cruz, Erin Kellyman, Tony Revolori, Amar Chadha-Patel and Dempsey Bryk.
It is exec produced by original director Ron Howard as well as Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, Jonathan Kasdan, Tommy Harper, Wendy Mericle, Roopesh Parekh, and Samie Kim Falvey. “Willow” was written by John Bickerstaff, Hannah Friedman, and Jonathan Kasdan and produced by Stephen Woolfenden, Julia Cooperman, Hameed Shaukat, and Max Taylor.
“Siegfried and Roy: The Original Tiger Kings,” the feature-length doc from BossaNova Media, has been acquired by Canada’s Bell Media.
The 60-minute film, which was produced by AMS Pictures for Reelz, tells the story of big cat aficionados and illusionists Siegfried and Roy whose act was one day interrupted when an angry tiger attacked Roy.
“Siegfried and Roy: The Original Tiger Kings” delves into the history of the controversial duo and includes interviews with figures including Carol Baskin, as well as friends and contemporaries.
The documentary was originally pitched at BossaNova’s 2022 Development Days. The company’s third Development Day is set for Jan. 10-11 in London and will be curated by Olivia Daines, BossaNova’s acquisitions and co-pro executive, and produced by Jasmin Joseph, marketing manager
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