The Book of Boba Fett — set to release on Wednesday — will herald the return of one of the most popular bounty hunters from the Star Wars universe to TV and mobile screens on Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar. Boba Fett, who featured in the original Star Wars trilogy starting with Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, was believed to have been killed when he fell into a Sarlacc pit. However, the rumours that Boba Fett survived turned out to be true, after he was brought back on The Mandalorian season 2, where he helped Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) save the Jedi (and Mandalorian foundling) Grogu aka Baby Yoda.
In The Mandalorian season 2, Boba Fett also saved fellow bounty hunter and mercenary Fennec Shand (Ming-Na Wen) in the Tatooine desert. They then briefly joined Din Djarin on his adventures, helping rescue Grogu from the clutches of Moff Gideon (Giancarlo Esposito), before departing for Tatooine again. According to Disney’s teasers and trailers for The Book of Boba Fett so far, Shand is expected to assist Boba Fett as he governs Tatooine after killing Bib Fortuna for the throne. Viewers should definitely watch The Mandalorian, especially season 2 and its sixth episode “Chapter 14”, before diving into The Book of Boba Fett on Wednesday.
The Book of Boba Fett is expected to be an “in-depth” study of the popular bounty hunter, and showrunner Robert Rodriguez (of Spy Kids fame) recently revealed why he decided to work on a big-ticket franchise like this one. “I usually avoid premier properties — you’ll never be able to please everybody, it’s a losing game…I’d rather go do something I’ve created so nobody can say, ‘Hey, that’s wrong because …’ I created it, so it can be anything I want it to be. I love that freedom. That changed with Boba because he was a character that was always underserved. It was a character way more popular than he should have been, based on [his limited screen time]. So it’s almost like starting with an original character. You can kind of do anything you want, so long as you make him cool and don’t make him a buffoon,” he says.
Rodriguez also says that The Book of Boba Fett teaser trailer was just a sneak peek into the start of the series, as showing anything more would “give so much away”. He directed “Chapter 14”, an important episode in The Mandalorian season 2, after being approached by producer Jon Favreau. According to Favreau, Rodriguez “crushed it” and they loved his interpretation of the idea, after which the idea for the new show was created. Meanwhile, Rodriguez promises big surprises in every episode of The Book of Boba Fett. “Things turn up you don’t expect, you see things we couldn’t believe we got to do. Every episode has big surprises,” he says.
With that, here’s all you need to know about the new live-action Star Wars series.
The Book of Boba Fett release date
The Book of Boba Fett arrives on Wednesday, December 29, at 12am PT / 1:30pm IST.
Like other Disney+ shows, new The Book of Boba Fett episodes will drop every Wednesday with the season finale airing on February 9.
In India, The Book of Boba Fett will be available in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam.
The Book of Boba Fett episodes
The Book of Boba Fett will have seven episodes in total, but Disney+ has not yet revealed the names of these episodes.
Showrunner Robert Rodriguez has directed three out of seven episodes for the upcoming series. Thanks to Lucasfilm playing their cards close to their vest for The Book of Boba Fett, there’s very little known about the episodes so far — including their titles and who is directing them.
The Book of Boba Fett cast
The Book of Boba Fett is led by Temuera Morrison, who plays the famous bounty hunter in the upcoming mini-series. Morrison first played Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones, and takes over the role of Boba Fett from Jeremy Bulloch. Jango and Boba are clones of one another in the Star Wars galaxy.
“We’re going to see his past and where he’s been since The Empire Strikes Back. Somebody pointed out he’s been kind of stuck in this one place, and now’s the time to actually go back in time and check out his journey and find out more about him,” Morrison revealed in an interview, earlier this year.
Morrison is joined by Ming-Na Wen, who plays Fennec Shand, the mercenary that Fett rescues in The Mandalorian season 2. Shand is loyal to him and the trailer shows her helping him establish his rule on Tatooine in the upcoming series.
The actor recently revealed how she and The Mandalorian director Deborah Chow ended up discussing Star Wars. “(We) ended up talking and we had a lot in common. And then we eventually got around talking about Star Wars. Now events like this, when someone says, ‘you would be amazing’ for a part that they’re looking for, nine times out of 10, you’re just like, ‘OK, great, thank you.’ But lo and behold, Dave Filoni calls my team and says they wanted to offer me a part. As they say, the rest is history,” she says.
Jennifer Beals is also part of the cast. She plays Twi’lek, the Rylothian Tail-Head in The Book of Boba Fett. Beals recently explained how good the producers were at keeping the series’ story under wraps. “I knew about the character. But this is how good they are at the lockdown of secrets: Even when I first stepped onto the set, I didn’t realise that I was in The Book of Boba Fett. I just knew that I was getting to be part of this story,” she says.
It is currently unclear whether Pedro Pascal will also feature in The Book of Boba Fett as Din “Mando” Djarin, and there is no official word on any other cast members from Lucasfilm at this point.
The Book of Boba Fett synopsis
The Book of Boba Fett, a thrilling Star Wars adventure teased in a surprise end-credit sequence following the season 2 finale of The Mandalorian, finds legendary bounty hunter Boba Fett and mercenary Fennec Shand navigating the galaxy’s underworld when they return to the sands of Tatooine to stake their claim on the territory once ruled by Jabba the Hutt and his crime syndicate.
The Book of Boba Fett trailer
The first teaser for The Book of Boba Fett was revealed at the end of The Mandalorian season 2 last December, with a sneak peek at the upcoming series. The reveal even caught some Disney+ executives by surprise, showing how much secrecy Favreau and Rodrigues have been allowed as part of The Mandalorian spin-off.
The trailer (below) for The Book of Boba Fett arrived in November. It shows the bounty hunter taking the place of Jabba the Hutt, as he deals with the underworld after taking over the latter’s domain. However, as Fett says, he plans to rule with respect, unlike Jabba, who ruled with fear. The trailer also shows him talking to Jabba’s former captains to work together.
A sneak peek at The Book of Boba Fett followed later in November, and was released in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam.
The Book of Boba Fett review
There is no word on when reviews for The Book of Boba Fett are expected ahead of the Star Wars series’ premiere on Wednesday, December 29 on Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar.
The Book of Boba Fett season 2?
Will there be a season 2 of The Book of Boba Fett? The Star Wars show is designed as a mini-series and could wrap up after the upcoming seven-episode offering. There is no word on whether Disney+ will renew The Book of Boba Fett for a second season. We will likely have a better idea after we see the full season.
The Book of Boba Fett poster
Here’s the official poster for The Book of Boba Fett from Lucasfilm:
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Box Office Crosses $800 Million Milestone
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has grossed $803 million (Rs. 6,235 crore) at the worldwide box office, since its release in theatres on May 6, to emerge as the second-highest-grossing Hollywood movie of the pandemic era. The top spot, as we all know, is occupied by the Tom Holland-led superhero film Spider-Man: No Way Home, which raked in $1.89 billion (Rs. 1,46,766 crore) during its theatrical run. That said, the Doctor Strange sequel has outperformed films such as action thriller F9: The Fast Saga ($726 million), the James Bond thriller No Time To Die($774.2 million), and The Robert Pattinson-led DC film The Batman(($768.5 million).
Of the $803 million so far, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness has collected $342.1 million (Rs. 2,655 crore) in the US and Canada. The remaining $461.1 million (Rs. 3,578 crore) came from nearly 49 markets elsewhere, with South Korea ($45.9 million), the UK ($43.8 million), Mexico ($35.7 million), and Brazil ($29.2 million) being the major contributors. The film, needless to say, hasn’t been released in China and Russia.
In India, the second Doctor Strange movie has collected nearly Rs.122 crore so far, overshadowing the Ranveer Singh-led Hindi-language comedy-drama Jayeshbhai Jordaar. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness might have benefited from the fact that it was released in India nearly a month and a half after SS Rajamouli’s Telugu-language period action drama RRR, and nearly three weeks after the Kannada-language actioner K.G.F: Chapter 2.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness remained in top position worldwide during the May 20 to May 22 weekend, collecting nearly $32 million (Rs.2,484) in the domestic market alone over its third weekend. It faced limited competition from the historical drama Downton Abbey: A New Era as the film collected $16 million (Rs.1,241 crore) to secure the second spot on box office charts in the US. This, however, is not surprising as the title, a sequel to the 2019 feature film adaptation of the period TV show Downton Abbey, caters primarily to older adults.
The second Doctor Strange movie is, however, not the only film to make headlines this week as the action-packed adventure movie Uncharted — also starring Holland — crossed the $400 million (Rs. 31.03 crore) mark worldwide while the animated adventure feature Sonic the Hedgehog 2 crossed $375 million (Rs.29.09 crore). While Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness still has enough gas in the tank to put up good numbers in the days to come, it will face competition from the Tom Cruise-fronted action movie Top Gun: Maverick when it releases May 27 in theatres globally.
Directed by Sam Raimi, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness explores the concept of a multiverse, which was introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe through the Tom Hiddleston-led series Loki and examined further in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Headlined by Benedict Cumberbatch and Elizabeth Olsen, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness cast includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Xochitl Gomez, and Benedict Wong in key roles.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is playing in cinemas globally.
Netflix to Settle Tax Dispute With Italy for $59.1 Million, Opens First Office in Rome Hiring Over 40 Employees
US streaming service Netflix has agreed to settle a tax dispute with Italy, the company and legal sources said on Friday.
Milan prosecutors issued a statement saying they had settled with a multinational video on-demand streaming company for a period covering Oct. 2015 to 2019 and asked it to pay EUR 55.8 million (roughly Rs. 460 crore).
They gave the settlement figure without specifically naming the company involved but three sources with knowledge of the matter confirmed it was Netflix.
A Netflix spokesperson said the company was pleased to have the matter finalised.
“We have maintained constant dialogue and cooperation with the Italian authorities and continue to believe that we have acted in full compliance with Italian and international rules,” the spokesperson said.
Prosecutors had opened an investigation into potential tax evasion three years ago.
They claimed Netflix should have paid taxes in Italy because it relied on digital infrastructure to stream content to 2 million users in the country.
As a backdrop to the payment agreement, Netflix has now opened an office in Italy, setting up a base in Rome and hiring more than 40 employees.
The investigation by Milan prosecutors who argued that cables and computer servers used by Netflix amounted to a physical presence in Italy, had been triggered by checks conducted by Italy’s tax police.
© Thomson Reuters 2022
Stranger Things Season 4 Spoilers Leaked Due to Tie-in Monopoly Game: Report
Stranger Things season 4 is in the limelight for an unexpected reason as leaked images of cards from a tie-in Monopoly board game have spoiled key plot elements ahead of its May 27 debut on Netflix, as per a report. The Monopoly Stranger Things game can be “purchased fair and square” at a “national retailer”, according to a Reddit thread dedicated to the leak. While this is not confirmed, the fact remains that several retailers are advertising merchandise based on previous Stranger Things seasons to capitalise on the brand’s popularity.
According to The Hollywood Reporter report — which quotes a source close to the series — the Monopoly Stranger Things 4 board game was accidentally given the go-ahead mainly because of the “sheer scale and breadth of the Stranger Things franchising world.”
Stranger Things creators the Duffer brothers and Netflix are, not surprisingly, unhappy about the leak. In fact, the Duffer brothers are said to have had a “total meltdown” after the debacle, as they wanted to keep Stranger Things 4 plot details under wraps till the show’s premiere. They were, reportedly, also not consulted while developing the game.
Interestingly, Stranger Things season 4 is not the first title to be spoiled by tie-in merchandise. The Star Wars franchise faced a similar situation when the release of a Rey action figure with a lightsaber revealed a key plot detail from the 2015 space epic Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Such events are the reason that The Mandalorian showrunner Jon Favreau didn’t allow manufacturers to design a toy for the character of Baby Yoda — or Grogu, as you prefer — till after the series’ premiere.
Netflix could have adopted a similar approach for Stranger Things — and it might still do so for the fifth and final season — but admittedly, it does hurt sales and allows third-parties to profit, as was the case with The Mandalorian for several months.
Stranger Things season 4 is touted to be “bigger and better” than previous instalments. In fact, director Shawn Levy recently revealed that it features some episodes that are longer than his two Ryan Reynolds movies, the comedy Free Guy and the sci-fi adventure The Adam Project. The Duffer Brothers had hinted at as much earlier, noting the Stranger Things 4 episodes are “very, very long.”
The first five episodes of Stranger Things season 4 will out on May 27 on Netflix, three years after the last season aired, with the remaining four arriving on July 1.
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