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George R.R. Martin Misses ‘House of the Dragon’ Premiere After Testing Positive for COVID-19

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George R.R. Martin was a no-show at Wednesday evening’s Los Angeles premiere of “House of the Dragon,” HBO’s new “Game of Thrones” spinoff series. The author and creator of the fantasy world of Westeros tested positive for COVID-19 in the days following his appearance at the “House of the Dragon” Hall H presentation at San Diego Comic-Con.

“I was going to start today by introducing George R.R. Martin and tell you how great it is to have George on the journey with us,” HBO and HBO MAX’s chief content officer Casey Bloys said, addressing the audience at the premiere. “Unfortunately, George got COVID at Comic-Con, so he’s not here. I think he’s feeling fine, so nothing to worry about.”

“I wanted to tell you what a pleasure it is and how lucky we are to have the architect of this world on this journey with us,” Bloys continued. “He has been fantastic.”

Last Saturday, Martin directly addressed the topic of COVID-19 during the show’s Comic-Con panel, sharing that he had been exercising caution and remaining socially distanced throughout the pandemic. Martin stated that he had been spending a lot of time at his home in Santa Fe, N.M., electing against visiting the “House of the Dragon” set during production.

The author also confirmed that he is focusing his attention on completing work on “The Winds of Winter,” the long-awaited, ostensibly penultimate entry in his “Game of Thrones” series of novels.

“You may not know but there’s this book that I’m writing, it’s a little late,” Martin said at Comic-Con. “I don’t see me visiting a set or doing anything until I finish and deliver that book.”

Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapotchnik, who serve as co-executive producer and co-showrunners on “House of the Dragon,” then took the stage at the premiere. The duo introduced the evening’s screening of the series pilot, which Condal wrote and Soptochnik directed.

“‘House of the Dragon’ could not exist without the beautiful work and words of George R.R. Martin,” Conda saidl. “We are incredibly grateful that he was bold enough to entrust his opus to me as the writer and Miguel as the director.”

“House of the Dragon” will debut on HBO and HBO Max on Aug. 21.



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First Cobra Kai Season 5 Images Confirm Mike Barnes Returns

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New images from Cobra Kai season 5 confirm the return of Mike Barnes (Sean Kanan), who was previously the villain in Karate Kid III with Terry Silver.

The first images from Cobra Kai season 5 confirm Mike Barnes’ return. The Karate Kid franchise returned in a big way a few years ago when the rivalry between Johnny Lawrence (William Zapka) and Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) was restored through a TV show. Cobra Kai has become a huge hit across the world thanks to Netflix, which became the show’s home for season 3 and beyond. The incredible popularity meant announcing Cobra Kai season 5 even before season 4’s release in 2021.

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The story of season 5 was directly set up in Cobra Kai season 4, as Terry Silver’s Cobra Kai won the All-Valley Tournament, meaning Johnny and Daniel had to shut down their separate dojos. Meanwhile, John Kreese (Martin Cove) was sent to prison as part of Silver’s plan to create an empire of Cobra Kai dojos across The Valley. This plan and Cobra Kai’s willingness to bring back characters from the past movies led to great speculation that The Karate Kid Part III’s Mike Barnes could return next.


Netflix officially confirmed Sean Kanan is returning as Mike Barnes in Cobra Kai season 5. The release of 10 new photos from the upcoming season highlights many exciting developments in the narrative, but the big reveal is the first look at Mike Barnes’ return. Executive Producers Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, and Hayden Schlossberg teased Cobra Kai season 5 bringing back Mike Barnes after Karate Kid III and how it affects the rest of the season by saying, “As Terry Silver calls upon some old friends to put the Valley in a stranglehold, Daniel and Johnny are going to need all the help they can get to stop Cobra Kai in its tracks.” See the first look at Mike Barnes in Cobra Kai season 5 below, along with a handful of other new images.


The confirmation that Mike Barnes is in Cobra Kai season 5 does not come with any details about how this will happen. The showrunners are keeping details of his return under wraps for the time being, and the image of Sean Kanan’s return does not reveal much about his setting. It is important to note that Mike Barnes is shown wearing a nice black suit, not one of the black Gi’s that members of Cobra Kai wear – even if he is fighting position.

Since it has been over 30 years since audiences have seen Mike Barnes, it will be fascinating to see how he factors into Cobra Kai season 5. It has been widely speculated that this will come through Terry Silver’s growing Cobra Kai empire. However, theories have also suggested that he could rebel against his former abusive and manipulative teacher, resulting in him teaming up with Daniel and Chozen instead. There are likely to be some surprises in store with Mike Barnes’ role, as Cobra Kai has repeatedly proven it will go in unexpected directions with its returning characters.


Source: Netflix

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‘Cobra Kai’ Season 5: Mike Barnes Is Back in First-Look Photos

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Netflix is pulling back the curtain on the fifth season of “Cobra Kai,” releasing a batch of first-look images for the “Karate Kid” sequel series’ new episodes.

The new material provides “Cobra Kai” fans a hint of the events of the upcoming season, which will see Cobra Kai plan to expand its dojo across the San Fernando Valley, under the total control of Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith). Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) will need to recruit some new and familiar faces to combat the takeover.

Among that group of familiar faces is actor Sean Kanan, who is reprising his role as Mike Barnes from “The Karate Kid III.” The details around how Barnes resurfaces in “Cobra Kai” remain unknown.

“Cobra Kai” follows the lives of Daniel and Johnny more than 30 years after the events of the ’80s “Karate Kid” franchise. When the two decide to open competing dojos, they reignite their old rivalry from high school. Now, they’re aligned against Silver, who’s taken over Cobra Kai from Martin Kove’s villain John Kreese.

Other stars from the original franchise who reprise their roles in “Cobra Kai” include Randee Heller as Lucille LaRusso and Yuji Okumoto as Chozen Toguchi. Tanner Buchanan, Xolo Maridueña, Mary Mouser, Courtney Henggeler, Jacob Bertrand, Peyton List and Vanessa Rubio also star in the series.

“Cobra Kai” first premiered as a YouTube Premium original series in 2018, but was later acquired by Netflix in 2020 after YouTube stopped producing original scripted content. Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg are the series creators and executive produce through Counterbalance Entertainment. Ralph Macchio and William Zabka also serve as executive producers, along with Will Smith, James Lassiter, Caleeb Pinkett and Susan Ekins. The series is produced by Sony Pictures Television.

“Cobra Kai” Season 5 will debut on Netflix on Sept. 9.

Take a look at the new images below:

Cobra Kai. (L to R) Oona O’Brien as Devon, Peyton List as Tory Nichols in Cobra Kai. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Cobra Kai. (L to R) Joe Seo as Kyler, Dallas Dupree Young as Kenny in Cobra Kai. Cr. Curtis Bonds Baker/Netflix © 2022

Cobra Kai. (L to R) Tanner Buchanan as Robby Keene, Xolo Maridueña as Miguel Diaz in Cobra Kai. Cr. Curtis Bonds Baker/Netflix © 2022

Cobra Kai. Sean Kanan as Mike Barnes in Cobra Kai. Cr. Curtis Bonds Baker/Netflix © 2022

Cobra Kai. (L to R) Gianni DeCenzo as Demetri, Tanner Buchanan as Robby Keene, Griffin Santopietro as Anthony LaRusso, Jacob Bertrand as Eli 'Hawk' Moskowitz, Aedin Mincks as Mitch, Mary Mouser as Samantha LaRusso, Nathaniel Oh as Nate, Khalil Everage as Chris in Cobra Kai. Cr. Curtis Bonds Baker/Netflix © 2022

Cobra Kai. (L to R) Thomas Ian Griffith as Terry Silver, Courtney Henggeler as Amanda Larusso in Cobra Kai. Cr. Curtis Bonds Baker/Netflix © 2022

Cobra Kai. (L to R) Thomas Ian Griffith as Terry Silver, Peyton List as Tory Nichols in Cobra Kai. Cr. Curtis Bonds Baker/Netflix © 2022

Cobra Kai. (L to R) Courtney Henggeler as Amanda Larusso, Vanessa Rubio as Carmen in Cobra Kai. Cr. Curtis Bonds Baker/Netflix © 2022



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Jason Momoa Gets Brutally Honest About Conan The Barbarian Remake

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Jason Momoa gets brutally honest about his Conan the Barbarian remake, praising his experience but feeling it was turned into a “big pile of s–t.”

While audiences have largely moved on from the project, Jason Momoa is getting brutally honest about his Conan the Barbarian remake. Robert E. Howard’s iconic titular character was first brought to life on the big screen with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 1982 film of the same name, which saw his Conan on a quest for vengeance for the death of his parents at the hands of snake cult leader Thulsa Doom. Though met with mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike upon its release, Schwarzenegger’s Conan the Barbarian was a box office success and became a cult favorite, spawning the sequel Conan the Destroyer, which scored poor reviews and underperformed at the box office, leading to a threequel dying in development hell.

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Warner Bros. later acquired the rights to the Conan the Barbarian character and spent years attempting to develop a remake, only for Nu Image/Millennium Films to later acquire the rights and partner with Lionsgate to produce it. Having endured a variety of directors and writers coming and going on the project, the Conan the Barbarian remake began moving forward with Marcus Nispel in the director’s chair and Jason Momoa attached for the titular role. Hitting theaters in mid-2011, Momoa’s Conan the Barbarian debuted to mostly negative reviews from critics and audiences alike and was a box office bomb, scrapping plans for a follow-up and now one of the stars at the center of the project is getting honest about the film.


In a recent cover feature with GQ, Jason Momoa reflected on some of his lesser-received films from early in his acting career. Momoa specifically looked towards his time on the Conan the Barbarian remake, praising his experiencing filming it but criticizing how it was changed in the editing process. See what Momoa said below:

“I’ve been a part of a lot of things that really sucked, and movies where it’s out of your hands. Conan [the Barbarian] was one of them. It’s one of the best experiences I had and it [was] taken over and turned into a big pile of shit.”

As is the case for a variety of other remakes in Hollywood, Momoa’s Conan the Barbarian endured a variety of troubles in its development, with the likes of The Matrix duo The Wachowskis, Schwarzenegger’s first Conan director John Milius, Robert Rodriguez and Brett Ratner all having been in various points of negotiations to helm the project. With it having been one of his first major film roles after breakout TV roles in Baywatch and Stargate: Atlantis, Momoa memorably underwent rigorous training in order to effectively portray Conan, enrolling in a six-week training program at a stunt and martial arts academy before even finishing negotiations to star in the film. Momoa also turned to future John Wick directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch to help him build 10 pounds of muscle for his role in the Conan the Barbarian remake.


As he notes, Momoa’s Conan the Barbarian was largely dismissed by critics and audiences alike upon its release, namely for its poor script, characters and performances, though Momoa himself did ultimately receive some positive reception for his work in the film. Luckily for him and action genre fans, Momoa would go on to better make a name for himself on both the big and small screens with everything from Game of Thrones to Aquaman. While audiences await the latter character’s return in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom in March, they can revisit Momoa’s Conan the Barbarian streaming on HBO Max now.


Source: GQ

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