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In Brief: ‘Licorice Pizza’ and others hailed by Writers Guild; Christian Slater joins John Cena’s ‘Freelance,’ and more


Mr. Robot’s Christian Slater has been tapped to star alongside John CenaAlison Brie and Narcos’ Juan Pablo Raba in Taken director Pierre Morel’s action-comedy Freelance, according to Deadline. Freelance follows Cena as an ex-special forces operator who takes a job providing security for a journalist — played by Brie — who’s hoping to salvage her career by interviewing a dictator. Things go awry when a military coup breaks out in the middle of the interview, and the mismatched duo, along with the dictator, escape to the jungle where they must survive the military and wild animals, as well as each other. Slater’s role has not been revealed…

Being the Ricardos, Don’t Look Up, The French Dispatch, King Richard and Licorice Pizza are all up for Original Screenplay trophies at the 74th annual Writers Guild Awards. CODA, Dune, Nightmare Alley, tick, tick…BOOM! and West Side Story will face off against each other in the Adapted Screenplay. In the documentary category, Being Cousteau, Exposing Muybridge and Like a Rolling Stone earned nods. The winners will be revealed March 20. The full list of nominees can be found here

Netflix’s upcoming Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the direct sequel to the 1974 horror classic, is paying homage to the original film by bringing back John Larroquette to narrate the opening of the film, recreating the role that launched his career. “It felt important to honor the original TCM at every opportunity,” director David Blue Garcia told Variety via email, “John’s voice is iconic in the original opening and we thought it would help set the perfect tone in our own intro. It’s also a subtle way of letting the fans know they’re in good hands.” Also making a return appearance in the sequel is one of the original, working Poulan chainsaws from the original film. The 2022 Texas Chainsaw Massacre will launches February 18 on Netflix…

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