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September 20, 2023

Here's the Scoop...

Nothing to watch? Well, how about heading to the theater to see a play... of Stranger Things? Producers have announced the cast and an opening date for the Stranger Things play.

Stranger Things: The First Shadow, a stage play based on the Netflix series Stranger Things, will begin previews Nov. 17 at Phoenix Theatre in London's West End and officially open Dec. 14.

The First Shadow is a prequel to Stranger Things and takes place in Hawkins, Ind., in 1959. The play follows younger versions of the show's characters, including Jim Hopper and Joyce Maldonado.

"Young Jim Hopper's car won't start, Bob Newby's sister won't take his radio show seriously and Joyce Maldonado just wants to graduate and get the hell out of town. When new student Henry Creel arrives, his family finds that a fresh start isn't so easy... and the shadows of the past have a very long reach," an official synopsis reads.

Oscar Lloyd will play Hopper, with Isabella Pappas as Joyce, Christopher Buckley as Bob Newby, Patrick Vaill as Dr. Brenner, Louis McCartney as Henry Creel, Ella Karuna Williams as Patty Newby, Michael Jibson as Victor Creel and Lauren Ward as Virginia Creel.

Shane Attwooll and Oscar Lloyd also star.

"The cast of Stranger Things: The First Shadow is nothing short of phenomenal," Stranger Things creators Matt and Ross Duffer said in a statement. "These actors brilliantly explore the early days of many fan favorites -- including Hopper, Joyce, Bob, Henry and Dr. Brenner -- while also bringing new characters to vivid life. We couldn't be more thrilled and can't wait for you to meet them all live on stage. See you in London, nerds!"

Stranger Things: The First Shadow is written by Kate Tefry and directed by Stephen Daldry, with co-direction by Justin Martin.

The Netflix series was renewed for a fifth and final season in February 2022.

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'Pet Sematary: Bloodlines,' 'Bargain' among Paramount+ Halloween collection titles

Paramount+ will celebrate Halloween with a new collection of horror titles in 2023.

The streaming service launched its Peak Screaming collection of horror movies, series and episodes Wednesday ahead of Halloween, which falls on Oct. 31 each year.

Bargain, a South Korean dystopian thriller series, will premiere Oct. 5, along with Monster High, a sequel to Monster High: The Movie, based on the Mattel doll franchise.

Pet Sematary: Bloodlines, a prequel to the 2019 film Pet Sematary based on the Stephen King novel, starts streaming Oct. 6.

More than 400 titles will stream on Paramount+ in more than 25 curated carousels, including "Flash Frights: 90 Minutes or Less," "True & Terrifying," "ExtraTerrorestrial," "Based on BOOks" and more.

Highlights include:

Big Screen's Big Screams

Blockbuster hits, such as Scream VI, Smile, Paranormal Activity, Mother! and Orphan: First Kill

Slash Hits

Spine-chilling slashers, such as Pearl, Halloween VI: The Curse of Michael Myers, X and Scream (1995)

Horror Heroines

Iconic films and series, featuring scream queens, such as A Quiet Place, A Quiet Place Part II, Yellowjackets and 10 Cloverfield Lane

Supernatural Scares

Otherworldly oddities with The Ring (2002), The Grudge (2004), The Blair Witch Project and Pet Sematary (2019)

Family Fright Night

Family favorites and kids titles, such as The Addams Family (1991 and 2019), Monster High: The Movie, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events and A Really Haunted Loud House

A24 Horror

Peak A24 thrillers, such as Midsommar, Bodies, Bodies, Bodies, The Killing of a Sacred Deer and Men

In addition, CBS seasonal content, including the first-ever Big Brother primetime Halloween episode, a wrestling-themed Halloween episode of The Price is Right, and a spooky celebration on Let's Make a Deal, will stream on Paramount+.

Sufjan Stevens shares struggle with Guillain-Barre syndrome

Sufjan Stevens is going public with his struggle with Guillain-Barré syndrome.

The 48-year-old singer-songwriter said in a post Wednesday that he is recovering and relearning to walk after being hospitalized and diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare autoimmune disorder.

"Last month I woke up one morning and couldn't walk. My hands, arms and legs were numb and tingling and I had no strength, no feeling, no mobility," Stevens told fans.

"My brother drove me to the ER and after a series of tests -- MRIs, EMGs, cat scans, X-rays, spinal taps (!), echo-cardiograms, etc. -- the neurologists diagnosed me with an auto immune disorder called Guillian-Barre Syndrome."

Stevens underwent immuno-hemoglobin infusion treatment for five days, which proved successful. The singer spent two weeks in the hospital and was transferred Sept. 8 to acute rehab, where he is now undergoing intensive physical and occupational therapy to regain his strength and learn to walk again.

"It's a slow process, but they say I will 'recover,' it just takes a lot of time, patience, and hard work. Most people who have GBS learn to walk again on their own within a year, so I am hopeful," Stevens said.

"I'm only in my second week of rehab but it is going really well and I am working really hard to get back on my feet," he added. "I'm committed to getting better, I'm in good spirits, and I'm surrounded by a really great team. I want to be well!"

Stevens told fans he will keep them updated and thanked his followers for their thoughts and prayers. He also gave "a huge shoutout to all the incredible caretakers of the world working night and day to help us heal."

Stevens had announced Javelin, his first solo album since 2020's The Ascension, in August. The album is scheduled for release Oct. 6, but as Stevens noted in his post, he has not been participating in press and promotion for the LP due to his health issues.

'Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes' trailer: Tom Blyth, Rachel Zegler bond in 'Hunger Games' prequel

Lionsgate is teasing the new film The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes.

The studio shared a trailer for the movie Wednesday featuring Tom Blyth and Rachel Zegler.

The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is based on the Suzanne Collins novel of the same name. The film is a prequel to Collins' Hunger Games book series, which was previously adapted as a series of films starring Jennifer Lawrence.

The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is a prequel to The Hunger Games and centers on a young Coriolanus Snow (Blyth), played by Donald Sutherland in the Hunger Games movies.

The trailer shows Snow bond with Lucy Gray Baird (Zegler), a tribute from the impoverished District 12, as he mentors her during the 10th Hunger Games. Snow's feelings for Lucy are complicated by his obligations to the makers of the games.

Peter Dinklage, Viola Davis, Jason Schwartzman, Hunter Schafer and Josh Andrés Rivera also star.

Lionsgate released a first trailer for the movie in April.

Zegler gave a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film in October 2022.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes is written by Michael Lesslie and Michael Arndt and directed by Francis Lawrence. The film opens in theaters Nov. 17.

WATCH IT NOW: The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes - Trailer 2

AMC renews 'Dark Winds' for Season 3

AMC Networks renewed Dark Winds for a third season on Tuesday. The network expects the new season to debut in 2025 on AMC and AMC+.

The season 2 finale aired Aug. 31. Dark Winds is based on the Tony Hillerman Leaphorn and Chee books, adapted by Graham Roland.

Zahn McClarnon stars as tribal police Lt. Joe Leaphorn. Leaphorn solves mysteries with Jim Chee (Kiowa Gordon), once Leaphorn's deputy and later a private investigator.

Jessica Matten plays tribal police sergeant Manuelito. The first two seasons were based on the third and fourth books.

Robert Redford and George R.R. Martin are executive producers, as is McClarnon. AMC reports 90% of the production crew is indigenous.

AMC reports Season 2 garnered 1.7 million weekly viewers on AMC and a larger audience than Season 1 on the AMC+ streaming service. Season 1 is also available on Max.

'Dream Scenario' trailer: Nicolas Cage plays 'remarkable nobody' who goes viral

A24 is teasing the new film Dream Scenario.

The studio shared a trailer for the comedy Tuesday featuring Nicolas Cage.

Dream Scenario is written and directed by Kristoffer Borgli, with Ari Aster as producer. The film follows Paul Matthews (Cage), a professor and "remarkable nobody" who goes viral after he begins to appear in people's dreams.

Julianne Nicholson, Michael Cera, Tim Meadows, Dylan Gelula and Dylan Baker also star.

Dream Scenario had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this month.

"This surrealist satire-comedy has sharp, timely observations about social media culture -- especially 'going viral' -- and its impact on the way that we interact with others in our day-to-day life. Cage delivers some of his finest work," TIFF director of programming Robyn Citizen previously said.

The film will open in select theaters Nov. 10, with a wide release scheduled for Nov. 22.

WATCH IT NOW: Dream Scenario - Trailer

'Slow Horses' gets Season 3 premiere date

Slow Horses will return for a third season in December.

Apple TV+ shared a premiere date and first-look photos for the season Wednesday.

Slow Horses is based on the Slough House book series by Mick Herron, which follows "a dysfunctional team of British intelligence agents who serve in a dumping-ground department of MI5 known un-affectionately as Slough House."

Season 3 adapts Real Tigers, the third book in Herron's series. The season will see a romantic liaison in Istanbul threaten to expose a buried MI5 secret in London.

"When Jackson Lamb and his team of misfits are dragged into the fight, they find themselves caught in a conspiracy that threatens the future not just of Slough House but of MI5 itself," an official synopsis reads.

Gary Oldman stars alongside Kristin Scott Thomas, Jack Lowden, Saskia Reeves, Rosalind Eleazar, Christopher Chung, Freddie Fox, Chris Reilly, Samuel West, Sophie Okonedo, Aimee-Ffion Edwards, Kadiff Kirwan and Jonathan Pryce.

??p? Dìrísù joins the cast as Sean Donovan, the former head of security at the British embassy in Istanbul, with Katherine Waterston as Alison Dunn, an MI5 agent who uncovers a dark secret at the heart of the agency.

Slow Horses Season 3 will have a two-episode premiere Dec. 1, with subsequent episodes to be released weekly on Fridays.