Hello, and welcome to a fresh edition of The Monitor, WIRED’s entertainment news roundup. We’ve got a few crazy ones in the lineup today, including an online reading of James and the Giant Peach led by director Taika Waititi and a Twitter spat between Elon Musk, Ivanka Trump, and Matrix cocreator Lilly Wachowski. Let’s dive in.
Lilly Wachowski Slams Elon Musk and Ivanka Trump for Matrix Reference
Where to begin? OK, so, yesterday Tesla CEO Elon Musk—who has had a busy couple weeks of reopening car factories and becoming a father—sent a tweet: “Take the red pill,” it read, and included a rose emoji. Taking the red pill, for those who don’t know, is a reference to the film The Matrix, wherein taking the red pill means opening up one’s mind and escaping the simulated world known as the Matrix. In more recent years, “red-pilling,” has become, as WIRED’s Emma Grey Ellis notes, an internet “shorthand for having your eyes opened to a certain kind of ‘conservatism’” that’s generally nationalist and often tinged with racism and/or sexism.
Shortly after Musk sent the tweet, Ivanka Trump—President Trump’s daughter and adviser—retweeted it and added “Taken!” About an hour after Ivanka Trump sent that tweet, Matrix cocreator Lilly Wachowski replied with a simple “Fuck both of you.” She followed that with a message asking folks to donate to Brave Space Alliance, an organization supporting black and trans LGBTQIA people on the south side of Chicago. See the exchange below.
Phil Lord and Chris Miller Are Adapting Andy Weir’s Next Novel
Did you like the movie version of The Martian but wish it was a little more funny and slapstick? Well, you might be in luck! MGM has acquired the rights to the next novel from Andy Weir (who wrote the book that inspired The Martian) and is bringing on Phli Lord and Chris Miller to produce and direct a film based on it. Sources tell Variety that Ryan Gosling is attached to star and that he was the one championing the duo to direct the film before he even finished reading the book’s manuscript. The book itself is currently untitled, but it’s reportedly about an astronaut on a spaceship tasked with saving the planet. It is set to publish in the spring of 2021.
Timothy Olyphant Is Headed to The Mandalorian
Add another name to the long list of actors showing up in The Mandalorian: Timothy Olyphant. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the Deadwood actor will be showing up in season 2 of the Disney+ Star Wars series as an as-yet-unknown character. The second season has already completed shooting and is scheduled to launch on Disney’s streaming service in October.
Watch Taika Waititi and Friends Read James and the Giant Peach
Need someone else to read to your kids? You’re in luck—Taika Waititi is fired up and ready to go. Starting today, the Jojo Rabbit director is leading a group of Hollywood types in an online reading of the Roald Dahl novel James and the Giant Peach. The group will be reading the book in 10 parts, with a different part posting on the Roald Dahl YouTube channel on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Featured players include Cate Blanchett, Chris and Liam Hemsworth, Ryan Reynolds, Benedict Cumberbatch, Meryl Streep, Lupita Nyong’o, Billy Porter, and Sarah Paulson. The videos will be used to raise money for Partners in Health, an organization currently fighting Covid-19 in vulnerable communities worldwide.
“Being an adult child myself and having read James and the Giant Peach to my girls multiple times, I’m excited to be able to partner with my friends, the Dahl team and Partners In Health and retell this story to help those most in need right now,” Waititi said in a statement. “This wacky, wonderful tale is about resilience in children, triumph over adversity, and dealing with a sense of isolation which couldn’t been more relevant today.” Watch a trailer for the first episode below.
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