Daniel Kaluuya From ‘Get Out’ Wants to Make a Dark Barney Movie

It’s Halloween season, which, in my house, means Spooktober season, which means we watch almost nothing but scary movies all month long.

Recently, a list came out in which a website used a scientific approach to rank scary movies, ranking their effectiveness by way of measuring the elevated heart rates they produce in audiences. There were a lot of recent movies, a handful of classics, and a few wildcards.

They may have to redo the list in a few years after Daniel Kaluuya’s “dark Barney” movie is released.

That’s right, the star of ‘Get Out’ is hellbent on making a live-action movie about Barney the lovable, once-ubiquitous, always obnoxious purple dinosaur and his terrible theme song. But Daniel Kaluuya isn’t just making a kids movie version of the children’s TV staple, he plans to make it darker.

In a recent interview with EW to promote his forthcoming movie about Fred Hampton and the Black Panthers, Kaluuya explained why he wants to make a Barney movie, and where he plans to take it.

“Barney taught us, ‘I love you, you love me. Won’t you say you love me too?’ That’s one of the first songs I remember, and what happens when that isn’t true?” Kaluuya said. “I thought that was really heartbreaking. I have no idea why but it feels like that makes sense. It feels like there’s something unexpected that can be poignant but optimistic. Especially at this time now, I think that’s really, really needed.”

Okay, so maybe it won’t be a straight-up horror movie (although any grown adult who’s seen Barney on TV might say he’s already a terrifying monster), but it definitely sounds like Kaluuya wants to explore something beyond the dinosaur’s insipid jingle and cloying kindness.

Whether that means we’re getting a drama about the death of childhood, a gritty, R-rated take on the challenges of being the man inside the suit, or some kind of horror flick in which the dinosaur comes to life and terrorizes children and adults alike is yet to be seen.

Either way, this thing needs to come out around Halloween!

11-Year-old Removes Thousands of Pounds of Trash From Tennessee River

Caving to your kids’ desperate pleas for a pet typically means signing yourself up for over a decade of responsibility. Promises of “I’ll walk him and feed him every day” often fall to the wayside when the initial thrill wears off, but most kids aren’t like Cash Daniels. Cash didn’t dream of adopting a pet, but instead, he dreamed of adopting a section of the Tennessee River – and once his dream became a reality, Cash’s sense of responsibility went into overdrive.

Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful, a nonprofit organization created an Adopt a River Mile Program to encourage locals to get involved. The program invites community members to adopt sections of the Tennessee River, and in doing so, they take on the responsibility of keeping their section clean.

At just 9 years old, Cash Daniels proudly adopted his own mile of the Tennessee River. The prior year, Cash helped with other river clean-ups before deciding to dive head-first into his own conservation efforts.

“I learned that rivers are the leading cause of pollution in our oceans, and that made me want to do river cleanups. I wanted to do what I could to stop it,” Cash said in an interview. “Cleaning is fun and hard. There’s a lot that goes into the cleanups. I know that the work is hard, but I am helping wildlife, and that’s what matters to me.”

Now 11 years old, Cash has only gotten more serious about his conservation efforts. He’s removed thousands of pounds of trash from the Tennessee River, and installed receptacles to deter people from leaving behind their fishing line. Cash’s incredible efforts haven’t gone unnoticed – the Tennessee Wildlife Federation named the ambitious pre-teen their Youth Conservationist of the Year three times (so far).

Cash shares photos of his river cleanups on Instagram, and encourages other kids to get involved as well. He co-founded The Cleanup Kids, proving that nobody’s too young to make a big difference.

We Have Our First Profane Trailer for the “MacGruber” Series on Peacock

The first teaser for the MacGruber series was hilarious, and the jailhouse interview set the stage for our first full look at what the show is going to be. Peacock released a trailer (made from actual episode footage) and MacGruber is getting the gang back together in a way that only he can.

The miniseries for Peacock picks up a decade after the story from the movie. MacGruber is in prison for killing Dieter Von Cunth and has spent his time behind bars brawling and causing mayhem. General Fasoose (played by Lawrence Fishburne) needs someone for a suicide mission to take down Commander Enos Queeth, so that’s how the narrative jumps off, and MacGruber leaves jail.

Of course, he can’t take down a bad guy alone, so he gets the gang back together. Vicki St. Elmo is back in the fold and played as spirited as ever by Kristen Wiig. Ryan Phillipe is back as Dixon Piper, a solid sidekick.

Will Forte birthed the character (ew) on SNL, but the movie was not the success some thought it would be (OK it flopped). However, it did gain a bit of a cult following, and now we live in an age where a cult following is all you need for a direct-to-streamer revival. We’ve seen it with a number of other shows getting rebooted or reimagined for the streaming era, and we’ve even seen it with a number of shows developed by Peacock (the Saved by the Bell reboot is one of the funniest new shows in years, and I will die on that hill).

It’s a sort of filthy action-comedy, and that’s a niche it pretty much owns in the streaming series world. That alone makes it worth a shot for 8 episodes.

The MacGruber series hits Peacock on December 16th, and then we’ll finally get answers if MacGruber can save the country and defeat “the forces of evil.”

Marvel Announces a Sequel for Breakout Hit “Shang-Chi”

Marvel knows how to capitalize when they have something good, and that is why we already have confirmation there will be a sequel to the breakout hit of the year, Shang-Chi and the Legends of the Ten Rings. Destin Daniel Cretton will be back writing and directing the sequel as well.

Leading man Simu Liu seemed pretty excited about returning to the superhero role, as he shared the story on Twitter, along with the cheeky “Flopped so hard we got a sequel!”

To be totally fair, this is excellent news and completely deserved. Despite little fanfare ahead of its release, the movie was terrific and a surprise hit with movie-goers. How big was it? It’s the biggest movie of the year at the domestic box office. Sure, with some big ones on the horizon (Hello Matrix 4), it may not finish there, but it has been an impressive showing so far.

Shang-Chi earned more than $225 million, a very stellar performance in the Covid-era of movie-going. There’s also a series in the works for Disney Plus. Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige is predictably excited about the sequel.

“We had a fantastic time working together on the film and he has so many intriguing ideas for stories to bring to life on Disney Plus, so we’re thrilled to expand our relationship with him and can’t wait to get started,” he said in a press release.

The movie made Marvel history for being the first with an Asian actor in the leading role, and that is important, but this is no favor either, the movie kicked ass and deserved a sequel.

Cretton is also psyched about going back to the well, saying working on Shang-Chi was “one of the highlights of my life.”

Always good to see great work get rewarded, and to have more great movies to look forward to.

Pee-Wee Remembers Large Marge On Twitter

Ask any 80s kid what their scariest movie moment was growing up, and you’re bound to hear about Freddy, Jason, the tree in Poltergeist, maybe even Chucky. The obvious answer is something from a horror movie, but that’s not the only possible answer. Because ask enough people and someone is going to mention a scene from an otherwise decidedly non-horror movie: Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.

Midway through the movie, when Pee-Wee, hitches a ride from a big rig, a moment occurs that traumatized an entire generation. Large Marge is driving the truck, and she tells Pee-Wee a terrifying story about a terrible crash. As she’s winding up the story, she suddenly looks over at Pee-Wee and her face transforms into something terrifying and grotesque, shocking both her passenger and the audience.

Pee-Wee gets out and learns that Large Marge herself was the victim of that very accident and that he’d been riding with a ghost. As a young kid, that moment was scary as hell and has stuck with me for decades. Apparently, I’m not alone. Over the weekend Paul Reubens himself shared a tweet remembering Large Marge on what would have been her birthday, had she survived!

That tweet was liked nearly 30,000 times, presumably by 30,000 people who had the same nightmare I did after seeing the movie.

Pee-Wee has starred in a few more movies, including a Netflix revival a few years back, but few moments live up to that car ride with Large Marge. It was fun to see it revisited by the man himself!

Reading Rainbow Returning As Interactive Show Without LeVar Burton

All summer long, LeVar Burton’s name was being thrown around in relation to the Jeopardy hosting gig. The beloved star of such landmark TV shows as the Roots miniseries, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Reading Rainbow ultimately didn’t land the job, but did manage to avoid all the controversy and has seemingly landed in a good place. Somehow, though, that place is not on the new Reading Rainbow revival that was just announced!

A new version of Reading Rainbow, called Reading Rainbow Live, was announced on CBS Mornings this week. After launching in 1983 and introducing kids everywhere to the joys and benefits of reading, the show hasn’t been on the air in 15 years, and when it comes back, it will look a bit different and will include a virtual platform that will allow kids to ask questions and interact with the show.

“Whether they are asking questions of a cast member, following along to a dance routine, or being rewarded for answering a question correctly, viewers will be motivated to participate, and parents will be gratified knowing that their children are being entertained and intellectually stimulated,” a news release said.

The show is designed to be a response to the new world kids inhabit today, a world that includes remote schooling and the difficulties of balancing learning with life. It will stick with the original show’s structure – 25-minute episodes, the use of music, and field trips to keep kids interested – but will be hosted by a diverse group of people known as “Rainbows,” who will be announced in a few weeks.

“We think the rainbow, this fun and diverse ensemble cast, will allow children to just identify with these hosts, and it’s just a totally new experience and it’s truly an experience,” creative director Amy Guglielmo told CBS News.

“We know it was a tough pandemic for parents, for caregivers, for teachers. We wanted to make sure that we have kids engaging with books and we’re going to use movement and music to engage kids in learning. And we really want kids to see themselves in the books that we’re choosing, and we’re going to use diverse creators, authors, illustrators, settings,” she said.

Reading Rainbow Live will launch in early 2022. Watch the CBS Mornings segment:

Two-legged Therapy Dog Is Named 2021’s American Humane Hero Dog

Each year, The American Humane Hero Dog Awards® celebrates extraordinary dogs who go above and beyond the call of duty. American Humane seeks out and honors dogs in a variety of categories, from search and rescue dogs to service dogs, and every four-legged hero in between. This year, American Humane narrowed down their search to seven deserving canines before choosing the dog most deserving of the honor. The title of 2021 Hero Dog went to a therapy dog named Boone, whose resilience and inspirational story touches the lives of everyone he meets.

Before Boone found his current family, he was the victim of severe abuse at the hands of his previous owner. Due to his injuries, Boone lost his back legs, and with them, he lost his spirit. Tanya Diable spotted Boone on a rescue site, and after reading his heartbreaking story, she offered to get the two-legged dog a wheelchair.

Boone’s rescue asked Tanya to foster him while he healed from surgery, but just hours after taking him home, she knew Boone was meant to be part of her family. Boone healed, and as he healed, he experienced things he’d never done before. He slept in a bed, played with toys, and most importantly, he felt what it was like to have a family who loved him.

“The day he got his wheels was the very first time he wagged his tail,” Tanya’s husband Charley recalled. “That’s a day I’ll never forget.”

Because of his gentle temperament and a newfound zest for life, Tanya worked with Boone until he earned his therapy dog certification. Now, Boone spends his days with Tanya as they embark upon life-changing missions together. Boone works as a therapy dog at the Pittsburgh International Airport and provides comfort to kids with special needs at schools as well as a local children’s center.

Boone is also the ambassador of a nonprofit called Joey’s P.A.W. (Prosthetics and Wheels), which has provided hundreds of mobility devices to dogs in need. Boone is the poster dog for how far a little bit of love can go, and with Tanya’s help, he’s giving love right back to both humans and animals who need it.

Congratulations, Boone!

Netflix Turning Accidental Thanksgiving Text Into a Movie

Six years ago, an accidental text started a new holiday tradition, and, perhaps more importantly, birthed one of social media’s happiest stories. And now, after over a half-decade, the story is being turned into a movie.

It was Thanksgiving 2015, and Jamal Hinton received a text inviting him to Thanksgiving dinner. Only it wasn’t meant for him, it was meant for someone else’s grandson. Despite the mix-up, Jamal jokingly asked this grandma, Wanda Dench, he was still welcome, and not only did he get a yes, he actually took the stranger up on it.

6 years later, Jamal and Wanda are far from strangers, they’re good friends who share Thanksgiving together every year, with Jamal’s girlfriend and family joining Wanda and her husband, who passed from COVID in 2020.

Many on the internet, including us at The Dad, are familiar with this story, and now many more will get a chance to get caught up in it once it lands on Netflix.

Variety reported that Netflix is adapting Jamal and Wanda’s story into a movie for their streaming platform.

“We are excited to share our story with the world. We hope it inspires more people to reach out and make connections that they wouldn’t ordinarily make,” Dench and Hinton said in a joint statement. “We are so blessed to find a genuine friendship brought together by God from a mistaken text message.”

The movie doesn’t yet have a cast, a director, or a release date, but it does have a screenwriter, Abdul Williams (“The Bobby Brown Story”), and a title, “The Thanksgiving Text”.

Regardless of when it comes out, something tells me my wife is going to make me watch as soon as it does.

Pee-wee Herman and Friends Take Over Radio Station After Hilarious Plea

Few characters reach a level of iconic that can even compare to Paul Reubens’s Pee-wee Herman. More than three decades ago, Pee-wee’s Playhouse turned Saturday mornings into colorful adventures with larger-than-life characters. In the best possible way, that show was a lot. Puppets, talking furniture, secret words, bizarre neighbors, a playhouse that looked like the product of a kid’s chaotic fever dream.

Decades later, there’s never been anyone quite like Pee-wee. His childlike-wonder remains unparalleled, and recently, Paul Rubens introduced a new generation to his iconic character in the most Pee-wee way possible. In mid-November, the secret word enthusiast took to Twitter with a plea to his favorite radio station, KCRW.

Pee-wee Herman’s social media presence is surprisingly substantial, considering it barely existed at the height of his fame. In a tweet that bridged the gap between the 80s and today, Pee-wee shared a photo of a personal letter – one he evidently wrote with a typewriter.

“Hi @KCRW, did you get the letter I sent you?” Pee-wee captioned the photo. “I really REALLY want to be a radio Disc Jockey. But I never heard back from you.”

The “aspiring disc jockey and music lover” details his dream, insisting that the typed letter was created specifically for his favorite radio station (despite the comically-obvious evidence to the contrary). The persistent star then called the ratio station before continuing to tweet at them, inviting his followers to do the same. And uh, they really freaking went for it. Overwhelmed by calls and messages, KCRW gave in to the very reasonable request, and The Pee-wee Herman Radio Hour came to fruition.

“When I first wrote to KCRW begging them to put me on the air, they didn’t even believe it was me until a bunch of my fans called and jammed up their phone lines. I love that story,” KCRW shared in a statement. “Ironically, I can now present you with the greatest show that has EVER been aired. This is your personal invitation to please join me, my amazing voice, my friends Chairry, Magic Screen, Miss Yvonne, and some special, top-secret guests for the very first PEE-WEE HERMAN RADIO HOUR!!!”

Read the hilarious full statement, and for a limited time, stream the full show here.

Keanu Still Knows Kung-Fu in New Matrix Resurrections Trailer

Lately, it seems like movie studios are running behind. Thanks to the pandemic, a whole bunch of movies were delayed, and with the delayed releases seem to come delayed promotional materials. So we end up waiting forever for the final Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer, which dropped a mere month before the movie is released, or a new trailer for The Matrix 4, which is out in two weeks and about which we’ve seen precious little.

Which is fine, especially for a franchise like The Matrix. The first movie, which revolutionized special effects and changed action/sci-fi for the next few years, was the last big movie I saw before the internet really took over. No one knew anything about the Wachowski’s dystopian future, and that made the ultimate reveal of ‘what is the matrix’ that much more satisfying. Here’s hoping they can do that again.

The fourth matrix movie, Resurrections, hits theaters and HBO Max on December 22nd and we’ve finally gotten a second trailer. The first trailer seemed to show Neo back inside The Matrix, somehow, despite the events of the original trilogy.

The trailer features a lot of callbacks to the original movie and revolves around Neo’s relationship with Trinity. We’ll have to wait just a little bit longer before we know exactly what’s going on, but it looks great!