Mercury 13 Miniseries at Amazon From Bradley Whitford and Amy Pascal

Amazon is developing a Mercury 13 miniseries from Bradley Whitford and Amy Pascal

Amazon is developing a Mercury 13 miniseries from Bradley Whitford and Amy Pascal

Amazon Studios is developing a miniseries called Mercury 13 based on Martha Ackmann’s book “The Mercury 13: The Untold Story of Thirteen American Women and the Dream of Space Flight,” according to Deadline. The event miniseries comes from Bradley Whitford, Amy Pascal’s Pascal Pictures and Tim and Trevor White’s Star Thrower Entertainment. Liz Hannah (The Post) will write Mercury 13 and serve as showrunner and executive producer. Pascal will executive produce with the Whites, Whitford and manager Adena Chawke from Greenlight Management, with Allan Mandelbaum co-executive producing with consulting producer P.J. Roth.

The story is set in 1961 and tells the story of a group of women who underwent secret testing to become the first American female astronauts. Though they passed their tests at the Lovelace Foundation, NASA and Capitol Hill never let them progress.

Here is the Amazon description of the book: “In 1961, just as NASA launched its first man into space, a group of women underwent secret testing in the hopes of becoming America’s first female astronauts. They passed the same battery of tests at the legendary Lovelace Foundation as did the Mercury 7 astronauts, but they were summarily dismissed by the boys’ club at NASA and on Capitol Hill. The USSR sent its first woman into space in 1963; the United States did not follow suit for another twenty years.

“For the first time, Martha Ackmann tells the story of the dramatic events surrounding these thirteen remarkable women, all crackerjack pilots and patriots who sometimes sacrificed jobs and marriages for a chance to participate in America’s space race against the Soviet Union. In addition to talking extensively to these women, Ackmann interviewed Chuck Yeager, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, and others at NASA and in the White House with firsthand knowledge of the program, and includes here never-before-seen photographs of the Mercury 13 passing their Lovelace tests. 

“Despite the crushing disappointment of watching their dreams being derailed, the Mercury 13 went on to extraordinary achievement in their lives: Jerrie Cobb, who began flying when she was so small she had to sit on pillows to see out of the cockpit, dedicated her life to flying solo missions to the Amazon rain forest; Wally Funk, who talked her way into the Lovelace trials, went on to become one of the first female FAA investigators; Janey Hart, mother of eight and, at age forty, the oldest astronaut candidate, had the political savvy to steer the women through congressional hearings and later helped found the National Organization for Women.”

What do you guys think of a Mercury 13 miniseries? Let us know in the comments.

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Amazon Will Create an Original, Multi-Season ‘Lord of the Rings’ TV Series

Amazon’s original series will explore storylines preceding Tolkien’s ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ as part of an estimated $ 250 million deal.

Today, Amazon announced that it has acquired the global television rights to The Lord of the Rings to create an original, multi-season series that will debut exclusively on Amazon Prime Video. Working with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment, Amazon Studios will produce a series that will explore storylines that precede Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring, taking fans on a new journey through Middle Earth.

According to Deadline, the Tolkien estate had approached Amazon, Netflix and HBO about the project with an upfront fee of $ 200-$ 250 million, with sources claiming that Amazon secured the deal with an agreement close to the $ 250 million mark. That $ 250 million is only for the rights. Amazon will still need to pony up to pay for production, which could likely cost between $ 100-$ 150 million per season.

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Spooked by Amazon, grocery store chain turns to … yoga pants?


Shoppers will soon be able to fill carts with yogurt and yoga pants at America’s largest supermarket chain.

Kroger said Friday that it’s launching its own clothing line at around 300 of its stores next fall. The brand will encompass basic items for children and adults with a particular focus on activewear.

“This new offering is on-trend, convenient, and right in line with our customers’ needs,” Kroger senior vice president of merchandising Robert Clark said in a statement.

While the grocer has long stocked third-party apparel at its Fred Meyer stores in the Pacific Northwest, the move will mark the first time it’s done so under its own name. At least for now, the new line is only slated to appear in those stores and its Walmart-like Marketplace locations rather than its straightforward supermarkets. Read more…

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The Beast is an Animal in Development at Amazon with Ridley Scott

Amazon Studios to develop Peternelle van Arsdale's The Beast is an Animal with Ridley Scott

Amazon Studios to develop Peternelle van Arsdale’s The Beast is an Animal with Ridley Scott

Amazon Studios is in development with Ridley Scott’s Scott Free production company to create a movie based on the science-fiction fantasy novel The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale, according to Variety. The streaming service is reportedly in final negotiations with Bert & Bertie (Dance Camp) to direct and adapt The Beast is an Animal. The directing duo are also attached to Amazon’s Troupe Zero for Amazon.

Here is the description of the book: “Alys was seven the first time she saw the soul eaters. These soul eaters are twin sisters who were abandoned by their father and slowly grew into something not quite human. And they feed off of human souls. When her village was attacked, Alys was spared and sent to live in a neighboring village. There the devout people created a strict world where fear of the soul eaters—and of the Beast they believe guides them—rule village life. But the Beast is not what they think he is. And neither is Alys.

“Inside, Alys feels connected to the soul eaters, and maybe even to the Beast itself. As she grows from a child to a teenager, she longs for the freedom of the forest. And she has a gift she can tell no one, for fear they will call her a witch. When disaster strikes, Alys finds herself on a journey to heal herself and her world. A journey that will take her through the darkest parts of the forest, where danger threatens her from the outside—and from within her own heart and soul.”

Have you guys read Peternelle van Arsdale’s The Beast is an Animal? Are you excited about the film? We want to hear from you. Leave us your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us @ComingSoonnet.

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Amazon gears up for Prime Day 2017 with deals on 5 Sony products


Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.

While the official holiday isn’t until July 11th, Amazon is dishing out some great deals in preparation for Prime Day 2017. 

Today’s sales include reduced prices on five Sony sound products.

If you’re in the market for a small wireless speaker with impressive bass response, the Sony XB20 Wireless Speaker is $ 30 off and can be yours for $ 68. 

Sony XB20 wireless speaker is $  68 dollars today

Sony XB20 wireless speaker is $ 68 dollars today

Image: sony

Check out all the eligible items here and keep checking Mashable for updates on pre-Prime Day deals.  Read more…

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Google Maps, Amazon, and eBay quietly stopped supporting Apple Watch


Need more proof that smartwatches are doomed? Several internet giants, including Google, Amazon, and eBay, quietly dropped support for Apple Watch in some of their apps in recent weeks. 

But there was no big riot on social media, and we’re only learning this now because it appears a few people actually use (or miss) these apps. 

The trend was noticed by AppleInsider, which claims Google Maps stopped supporting Apple Watch in recent weeks, while Amazon and eBay dropped Apple Watch support in late April. And some other companies, such as Target, also launched a new version of their iOS app sans support for the Watch. Right now, if you open any of these companies’ apps on Apple’s App Store, you won’t see the sign that says “Offers Apple Watch App for iPhone.”  Read more…

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A Lot of HBO Shows Are NOT Leaving Amazon Prime in May [Updated]

hbo shows leaving amazon

Update: Amazon has informed The Verge that the labels were added erroneously and the HBO shows will not be leaving the streaming service. HBO’s streaming deal with Amazon has not expired. Our original story follows.


If you’re still in the middle of your The Sopranos binge on Amazon Prime, beware: it’s leaving the service in May.

While neither Amazon Prime nor HBO have made any announcements, Amazon Prime subscribers are seeing notices that many HBO titles are leaving Prime on May 21. But there are a few shows that will stay on Amazon after the big departure.

Three years to the day after Amazon Prime and HBO struck up a deal to offer Amazon Prime subscribers access to some of HBO’s greatest hits (excluding more recent popular fare like Game of Thrones and True Detective), the two companies won’t be extending the deal, prompting the sudden departure of shows like Six Feet Under, Flight of the Conchords, True Blood, The Wire, The Comeback, Deadwood, Eastbound and Down, Bored to Death, Enlightened, the first two seasons of Veep and Girls, and others. Some smaller HBO miniseries and movies already quietly departed months ago.

The deal, which was made in 2014, was originally designed to allow non-HBO subscribers to get a taste of the network’s greatest hits, possibly inspiring them to spring for a full subscription via their cable provider, according to Vulture.

Up until then, it was nearly impossible to get access to HBO shows unless you had a cable or satellite subscription — HBO was notoriously protective of its titles and “didn’t want to devalue its product” by cutting out cable companies. But that changed in 2014, when the then-unprecedented syndication deal was struck with Amazon’s streaming service and HBO, allowing Prime subscribers access to the network’s shows.

But six months after the deal, HBO launched HBO Now, its own streaming service that would give anyone with Internet access to current and old HBO titles. While the shows on Amazon Prime — which focused primarily on older titles — didn’t hurt the success of HBO Now, it made the deal redundant.

Additionally, Amazon started letting networks like HBO and Showtime sell digital subscriptions through Amazon as part of the “Amazon Channels” program. Another redundancy for HBO shows — which, remember, until now had been incredibly closed off to the general public until streaming took off and HBO shows continuously topped piracy records.

That’s why the deal wasn’t extended beyond its apparent three-year timeline. An insider told Vulture that “HBO has so far made no moves to extend its agreement with Amazon and that, as of now at least, it has no plans to do so.”

But a little bit of good news for Amazon Prime subscribers! Not everything is going away on May 21. Sex and the City and Curb Your Enthusiasm look like they’ll be staying on a bit longer, as does Entourage (or is that bad news?). And remember that “Amazon Channels” program? You can still watch HBO shows on Amazon through that service, or by purchasing them on the Amazon Video store.

Or, you know, you can borrow the password to your brother’s girlfriend’s parents’ HBO Now subscription.

The post A Lot of HBO Shows Are NOT Leaving Amazon Prime in May [Updated] appeared first on /Film.


John Krasinski on Filming Jack Ryan for Amazon

John Krasinski talk about filming Jack Ryan for Amazon

John Krasinski talks about filming Jack Ryan for Amazon

It was announced back in 2015 that Amazon was doing a Jack Ryan series, based on the character created by Tom Clancy. In 2016, John Krasinski (The Office13 Hours) had taken the title role. While doing press for the upcoming Disneynature film Born in China (see photos below), which he narrates, we got a chance to chat with Krasinski about filming Jack Ryan. Krasinski told us about how this feels like a film, how we’re going to see the character before he becomes a hero, and doing his own stunts.

“It’s been awesome,” Krasinski said of shooting. “We’re shooting something that I think is really special. I certainly love what we’re doing. It’s one of those things where I’ve been a huge fan, too, so it’s great to hear that you’re a huge fan. I hope the huge fans are the most happy with what we’re doing. But I think at the end of the day, the idea of going back to the days where Jack Ryan was an analyst, where he’s sitting at a desk, crunching numbers. And then you get taken on the full ride. I think the movies always start with him as kind of this established hero figure. And in our show, he really starts as a guy who’s just crunching numbers. And one of the things he was researching was something real, and he’s the only one who can go. So it feels like, you know, you get taken on a ride from the beginning, so it feels really, really nice.”

He continued, “And the other thing is, we’re shooting it in this epic way, where all eight episodes are cross-boarded, so we’ll shoot one day, the end of episode three, and the second half of the day, you’re shooting episode 1, the opening shot of the show. It’s pretty wild. I’ve never had anything like that. It’s really exciting and it’s a lot of hard work, but we’re really pumped about where we’re headed.”

Krasinski talked about shooting in this style. “It feels way more like a movie than it does a TV show,” he said. “I think because the days are really long. There’s a lot of hard work that we’re doing, because there’s so much ground to cover. We’ll do a talky scene where we’re giving out all this information and then we’ll go right into a scene…a crazy hand-to-hand fight scene. It feel more more like a movie, than, certainly, The Office. I’ll put it that way. It just feels like we’re shooting one giant movie.”

We asked Krasinski about doing stunt work on Jack Ryan. “It’s been awesome,” he said. “I’m happy to say I’ve been doing all my stunts, and most of the fight stuff, I do first. We definitely have an incredible stunt team that will come in and do certain things, but they’ve been really cool to teach me to do a lot of my own stuff, so it’s been great.”

Are you guys excited for Jack Ryan and John Krasinski playing the lead? Are you going to see Born in China? If you see the film the first weekend, a portion of all proceeds go to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), with the funds earmarked for helping snow leopards and pandas. Let us know your thoughts in the comments or tweet us @ComingSoonnet.

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Amazon eyes VR and AR homewares stores to show you products in your virtual home


Augmented reality and virtual reality are still in their infancy in terms of non-gaming applications, but a new tip hints that Amazon may be about to change all that. 

We already know that Amazon is keen to go wide with brick-and-mortar bookstores and grocery stores, but a new report from the New York Times says the e-tailer is looking at doing the same with appliances and furniture.

Citing a “person briefed on the discussions,” the report claims that VR and AR are being looked at as possible features of a chain of Amazon homewares stores.  Read more…

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Watch the moment an Amazon drone delivers sunscreen for the first time


Amazon has taken another small autonomous step toward drone delivery. 

The company completed its first public United States delivery using one of its Prime Air delivery drones at a robotics conference in California on Monday. 

The drone lands in a field, drops off a box of sunscreen bottles, and buzzes back up into the sky.

Amazon’s first drone delivery took place late last year in the United Kingdom, where regulations are a bit more drone-friendly. The drone delivered an Amazon Fire TV and a bag of popcorn. 

But Amazon did reportedly conduct its U.S. delivery with FAA “assistance,” which demonstrates coordination and communication on at least some level.  Read more…

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