Happy Thursday and welcome to another edition of The Monitor, WIRED’s digest of the best news from the world of pop culture. What’s new this week? Well, for one, the Justice Department—yes, the Justice Department, not the Justice League—is weighing in on whether or not Netflix should be eligible for Oscars. Also, Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer are getting a superhero movie, and there’s a trailer for the next film to feature the Joker. It’s been a weird week, y’all. Let’s get started!
Justice Department Says Netflix Should Be Eligible for Oscars
Here’s some news we bet you didn’t expect to read: Per a report in Variety, the Department of Justice is getting into the fray over whether or not Netflix’s films should be eligible for Oscars. Obviously, they currently are because Roma scored some wins, but what the DoJ is now telling the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is that if the organization goes through with potential rule changes that would limit Netflix’s eligibility that could bring up “antitrust concerns” and violate competition law. Those concerns, raised by the DoJ’s antitrust chief Makan Delrahim in a letter to Academy CEO Dawn Hudson, come after recent news that Steven Spielberg was advocating for changes to the eligibility of movies that debut on streaming services around the same time they show in theaters.
Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer Are Getting a Superhero Movie
In other Netflix news, Deadline is reporting that the streaming service has a superhero movie in the works with Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer. Not much else is known about the project, but McCarthy’s husband, Ben Falcone (Tammy, The Boss), is set to write and direct the film.
Joker Trailer Is a Tragedy—and a Comedy
The latest movie to feature the Joker—Joker—just got a trailer. Starring Joaquin Phoenix as the titular baddie, it is, in a word, bleak. In this version, Arthur Fleck is a down-and-out comedian/clown who hits his breaking point. “I used to think that my life was a tragedy,” Fleck says. “But now I realize it’s a comedy.” That seems true—especially since the internet is having a ball making fun of this thing. How will Phoenix stack up to Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, Jared Leto, and everyone else who’s played the iconic character? We’ll find out October 4.
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