This year has been the definition of the word “bummer,” and while we’ve all agreed to collectively write off 2020 as a mulligan, we can still look forward to some of the goodies 2021 has lying in wait for us. For example, Nintendo confirmed on Twitter today that its highly anticipated theme park, Super Nintendo World, will open early next year at Universal Studios Japan. The tweet (below) also featured four pieces of concept art for the land based on the Super Mario games.
Before the land officially opens, Universal Studios Japan is offering a little sneak peek for lucky visitors. Starting Thursday, Oct. 16, the Mario Cafe & Store will take over the Schwab’s Pharmacy (located in the Hollywood section of the main park) and feature exclusive food, merchandise, and atmosphere inspired by the Mario IP. Visitors can nosh on pancake sandwiches, slurp up cream sodas, or guzzle soft drinks contained inside Super Mushroom souvenir bottles. We can’t guarantee that they’ll make you grow or give you an extra life, though.
“The exterior of the café and store will feature oversized Mario and Luigi hat sculptures, as well as the iconic red and green color scheme from the Mushroom Kingdom,” reads the release. “The interior will include checkered floors based on the iconic Mario Kart racing flags, LED signs and a luminous sky ceiling.”
And then there’s all the official licensed swag featuring “characters including Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach. Guests will be able to accessorize and show off their iconic Mario looks! Stylish pouches, smartphone cases, key chains and more will be available in the store.”
When Super Nintendo World opens for real, guests will gain access to rides inspired by Mario Kart and Yoshi. The immersive experience won’t be complete without a special Power-Up Band that allows you to walk a mile in Mario’s shoes as you jump, hit blocks, and collect virtual coins and items.
Sandra Oh (Killing Eve) and Sam Raimi (Spider-Man) are teaming up for a supernatural horror film entitled Umma, Deadline reports. Raimi is executive producing the project, which will be helmed by writer-director Iris K. Shim in her feature debut. The movie will reportedly make history as the first studio horror film written and directed by a Korean-American that also stars a Korean-American actress. The title is the Korean word for “mother.”
Executive producing as well, Oh will play Amanda, a mother living a quiet, bucolic existence with her daughter on an American farm. Things veer into horror territory when the remains of Amanda’s late mother arrive from Korea. Soon, the main character “becomes haunted by the fear of turning into her own mother,” writes Deadline.
Fivel Stewart, Dermot Mulroney, Odeya Rush, MeeWha Alana Lee, and Tom Yi round out the rest of the cast. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark director André Øvredal is also among the team of producers. Raimi, who recently produced Alexandre Aja’s Crawl and a reboot of The Grudge, is next expected to direct Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
The Lord of the Rings fans can finally rejoice because Warner Bros. will soon be issuing the one Blu-ray release to rule them all. As announced by Sean Astin — aka Samwise Gamgee himself — via a video for TheOneRing.Net, both The Hobbit trilogy and the LOTR trilogy will be released on 4K UHD for the first time.
“Now, because it’s in 4K UHD, you know it’s going to be the most incredible home-viewing experience possible,” says Astin (The Goonies, Stranger Things), in the video (below), before going on to add, “Peter Jackson oversaw the remastering himself. And I can say that working with Peter was the adventure of a lifetime. And the friendships that I made will last forever. Enjoy!”
The remaster will come out in time to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Jackson’s first LOTR film, based on the first tome in J.R.R. Tolkien’s bestselling trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring. This will be followed by the release of a 4K ultimate collector’s edition later next year in 2021, which will feature the theatrical and extended versions of all six remastered films from both trilogies.
That’s not the only LOTR goodness on the horizon for fans of the movies. Amazon’s prequel series has officially begun shooting again in New Zealand after a months-long hiatus brought on by the global pandemic.
The 4K UHD Blu-ray editions of The Hobbit and LOTR trilogies will be released on Dec. 1, followed by the 4K ultimate collectors’ edition next year. You can purchase them here.