Voltron returns in new Netflix series… starring Steven Yeun!

Angry Asian Man:

Last weekend at WonderCon, DreamWorks Animation unveiled new artwork and footage for its highly anticipated upcoming original series Voltron: Legendary Defender, premiering June 10 on Netflix. They also introduced the voice cast, which includes none other than The Walking Dead star Steven Yeun.

Inspired by the classic, fan-favorite 1980s cartoon series, executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos and co-executive producer Lauren Montgomery — the team behind The Legend of Korra and Avatar: The Last Airbender— reimagine the Voltron legend in an all-new comedic, action-packed animated saga.

The series follows five teenage friends who embark upon an epic journey when they are transported from Earth into the middle of a sprawling intergalactic war, and become pilots for five robotic lions in the battle to protect the universe from evil. Only through the power of teamwork can they unite to form the might warrior Voltron!

The voice cast includes Kimberly Brooks as Princess Allura; Rhys Darby as Coran; Josh Keaton as Shiro, Black Lion; Tyler Labine as Hunk, Yellow Lion; Jeremy Shada as Lance, Blue Lion; Bex Taylor-Klaus as Pidge, Green Lion; and Steven Yeun as Keith, Red Lion.

Thirteen episodes of Voltron: Legendary Defender debut on June 10, exclusively on Netflix.

The first trailer for Netflix’s “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny”

The first trailer for Netflix‘s followup to the Oscar-winning Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is here, giving us our first real glimpse at how the streaming company plans to take on the Wuxia classic.

Here, Michelle Yeoh has reprised her role as Yu Shu Lien, who must now strive to protect the legendary Green Destiny sword, which once belonged to legendary swordsman Li Mu Bai, from an evil warlord. She’s joined by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story star Donnie Yen and former Glee star Harry Shum, Jr.

Judging from the plentiful use of old-school wire work and VFX, the film should hopefully appeal to both old and new martial arts movie fans alike. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny hits select IMAX theaters and Netflix on February 26th.

French-Cambodian actress Élodie Yung as Elektra, revealed in the new ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 trailer

Elektra Revealed in ‘Daredevil’ Season 2

Entertainment Weekly/MovieWeb:

Marvel’s Daredevil is set to introduce the violent sexy mercenary (The Girl with the Dragon tattoo actress Élodie Yung) in season 2. She’ll complicate Matt Murdoch’s life while he struggles to handle new threats in Hell’s Kitchen, including Frank Castle a.k.a. The Punisher (Jon Bernthal).

Above is a first photo of the actress in the show — albeit without her double-sai-dagger-wielding costume on.

Elektra and Punisher will be joined in Daredevil Season 2 by returning stars Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple, a.k.a. Night Nurse, and Scott Glenn as Stick. We also reported in November that Sonia Braga has signed on to star in Marvel’s Luke Cage as Claire Temple’s mother, but it isn’t known if this character will also surface in Season 2 of Marvel’s Daredevil.

Netflix hasn’t announced when the new season will debut quite yet, but hopefully we’ll find out more soon.

Entertainment Weekly also spoke to Daredevil showrunner Douglas Petrie, who reveals that Elektra will become Matt Murdock’s girlfriend. “Matt’s a deeply moral complicated guy and she’s just the best bad girlfriend you can possibly have. She does everything wrong and attractive, she’s his id, the wild side. Matt is always taming his wild side. Elektra just lets it out. He’s both repulsed and deeply drawn to that.

Hudson Yang of ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ and Aziz Ansari’s ‘Master of None’ nominated for NAACP Image Awards

NBC:

ABC‘s “Fresh Off the Boat” is loosely inspired by celebrity chef Eddie Huang‘s memoir of the same name and stars Hudson Yang as a young Huang, as well as Randall Park as his father, Louis, and Constance Wu as his mother, Jessica. Wu has been nominated for her role in “Fresh Off the Boat” in both the 2015 Critic’s Choice Television Awards and the Television Critics Association Awards.

On Dec. 1, “Fresh Off the Boat” released an in-character cast video and social media campaign under the hashtag #makeitrightFOTB lobbying for a Golden Globe nomination.

Among the nominees for the 47th annual NAACP Image Awards is “Master of None,” Aziz Ansari‘s Netflix series released earlier this fall. Co-creators Ansari and Alan Yang received a nomination for their writing of “Parents,” the second episode of the series, and Ansari was nominated for Outstanding Director for the same episode.

Kelvin Yu (left) talks with Aziz Ansari (right) in a scene in Netflix’s “Master of None.” 

“Parents” deals with second-generation main characters Dev, portrayed by Ansari, and Brian, portrayed by Kelvin Yu, thanking their first-generation parents for sacrifices made during their parents’ journeys to the United States. The pair take their parents out to dinner where they learn about their parents’ youth and upbringing.

The 47th annual NAACP Image Awards is scheduled to take place on Feb. 5, 2016.

“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny” – Trailer

Netflix has dropped the first trailer for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword Of Destiny, the upcoming sequel to Ang Lee‘s 2000 martial arts epic. Michelle Yeoh reprises her role as Yu Shu-Lien, now tasked with protecting the legendary Green Destiny sword against an evil warlord.

Directed by legendary martial arts choreographer Yuen Wo-Ping, and written by John Fusco, the film is based on the wuxia novel Iron Knight, Silver Vase (Book 5 in Wang Dulu‘s Crane-Iron Pentalogy).

Sword of Destiny also stars Donnie Yen, Jason Scott Lee, Harry Shum Jr., Roger Yuan and Eugenia Yuan.

All (two) Asians look alike on “Orange Is The New Black”?

Angry Asian Man:

On the latest season of Netflix‘s Orange Is The New Black, we got to see a rare bit of backstory for one of the series’ more elusive characters, Chang, played by Lori Tan Chinn. Apparently, she made such an impression on Rolling Stone, they confused her with the show’s other Asian American actress.

The women’s prison dramedy made Rolling Stone’s list of the 25 Best TV Shows of 2015, sitting pretty at the respectable #13 position. But in describing a highlight from the show, the writer mixes up the two Asian American characters, Chang and Soso, played by Kimiko Glenn.

Consider that Lori Tan Chinn is a veteran Chinese American actress in her sixties and Kimiko Glenn is a multiracial Japanese American twentysomething. And they look absolutely nothing alike.

Netflix wants to produce original Bollywood and anime programming

Celebrity Cafe (by Tian DuBelko):

Netflix won’t be streaming live television or sports any time soon, but it is looking to expand its range of genres.

Appearing onstage with New York Times journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin at the DealBook conference on Tuesday, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that the company would spend $5 billion next year on new original shows, reports the New York Times.

Hastings dismissed the idea that there is an oversaturation of viewing material, instead suggesting that was not nearly enough content for an ever-growing international audience.

As Netflix hopes to corner the international market with fresh, original content, it will look to produce high-quality shows in different genres, said Hastings. As it stands, analysts predict that Netflix could be churning out 40 new shows a year by 2018, notes Bloomberg.

We’re hopeful that we’ll, over time, make a great Bollywood show, make a great anime show,” Hastings said Tuesday.

Bollywood and anime are uncharted territories for Netflix. While these new shows may only be watched by a niche audience, they represent an effort by Netflix to reach every target audience possible around the world.

You go beyond the normal spectrum to get quality and you really stretch to the things that you can do. On-demand and the Internet really gives you that power,” Hastings said. “When you have incredible distribution, then you have to open the front end of the funnel to have incredible producers around the world.”

Elodie Yung cast as Elektra in Netflix original series “Marvel’s Daredevil”

Elodie Yung (“G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” “District 13: Ultimatum”) joins the next season of “Marvel’s Daredevil,” streaming only on Netflix in 2016!
Yung will play Elektra, a mysterious woman from Matt Murdock’s past whose dangerous and exotic ways may be more than he can handle. The first season of “Marvel’s Daredevil” made reference to Elektra, but now Yung will portray one of Daredevil’s fan-favorite characters. Elektra marks the most recent major addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as she will join Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle in the upcoming season of the Netflix Original Series “Marvel’s Daredevil.”

After a worldwide search,  we found in Elodie the perfect actress to embody both Elektra’s impressive and deadly physicality, as well as her psychological complexity,” said Executive Producer and Head of Marvel Television, Jeph Loeb. “Paired with Charlie as Matt Murdock, the two will bring one of the most beloved and tumultuous comic book relationships to life with all the accompanying sparks and spectacular action sequences the show is known for.”

If I’m hired for an action film, there’s no point in me not trying everything, or at least as much as I can,” Yung tells us after pointing out that she had to learn to fight with two katanas [Japanese swords] for her role in G.I. Joe Retaliation. “This is not Shakespeare. It’s not about what I’m going to say. I’m not going to have a beautiful monologue. It’s about the action. As an actor, you should invest yourself as much as you can. I want to give 100 percent. It’s more fun that way.”

This determination and fearlessness will surely come in hand for her upcoming role as Elektra. Played by Jennifer Garner in the Daredevil feature, Marvel describes Yung’s rendition of Elektra as “a mysterious woman from Matt Murdock’s past whose dangerous and exotic ways may be more than he can handle.”

The Marvel character first appeared in the Daredevil comic books in 1981 as a female ninja assassin wielding a pair of blades as her trademark weapon. Needless to say, we are quite certain that Yung will be up to the task.

“Marvel’s Daredevil” is Executive Produced by Doug Petrie (“American Horror Story,” “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”), Marco Ramirez (“Marvel’s Daredevil,” “DaVinci’s Demons”) and Drew Goddard (“Cabin in the Woods,” “Lost“), along with Marvel TV’s Jeph Loeb (“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” “Marvel’s Jessica Jones.”)

“Marvel’s Daredevil” is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios. Season one of “Marvel’s Daredevil” is now streaming on Netflix.

Blinded as a young boy but imbued with extraordinary senses, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) fights against injustice by day as a lawyer, and by night as the Super Hero “Daredevil” in modern day Hell’s Kitchen, New York City. “Marvel’s Daredevil” stars Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Jon Bernthal, and Rosario Dawson.

Catch Joan Chen in the Netflix series ‘Marco Polo’

 Audrey Magazine:

Netflix’s elaborate original series Marco Polo was met with some criticism from the Asian American community for being an outsider’s fetishization of the East. But actress Joan Chen urges skeptics to look at it differently. “It’s such a great opportunity for so many Asian actors,” she says.

Other than the lead, Lorenzo Richelmy as Marco Polo, almost the entire cast is Asian or Asian American, with Benedict Wong as Kublai Khan, Rick Yune as the leader of the Golden Horde, Zhu Zhu as the Blue Princess, Chin Han as the villainous chancellor, Olivia Cheng as a suffering concubine with some tricks up her sleeve, and Claudia Kim (who was just named the first Asian face of cosmetics brand Bobbi Brown and can be seen in Avengers: Age of Ultron this May) as the warrior Khutulun.

I see how excited these kids are to work on this grand production,” says Chen. “They have dialect coaches and personal trainers, and this series gives them a year to work on their craft and express their talents. I think of it as completely positive.”

Chen has been acting since she was teenager in China, where she became a household name and was dubbed the “Elizabeth Taylor of China” for her role in 1979’s Little Flower. She was “discovered” twice. Legend has it that Madame Mao discovered her at a school rifle range, impressed by her skilled marksmanship. She was soon chosen for the Actors’ Training Program by the Shanghai Film Studio. At 20, she decided to move to the United States to study filmmaking. Though she had no connections in Hollywood, she was discovered again by legendary producer Dino De Laurentiis, who honked at her in a parking lot. His line was: “Did you know that Lana Turner was discovered in a drug store?

I was like, ‘Who’s this dirty old man?’” she remembers. “I didn’t talk. I just kept walking.”

He managed to convince her to take his card, and her managers couldn’t believe she had met the Dino De Laurentiis. She soon landed her first Hollywood role in 1986’s Tai-Pan. In the last three decades, she’s been juggling films in both China and the U.S., from the Oscar-winning Bernardo Bertolucci film The Last Emperor to the American cult TV series Twin Peaks, to big Asian productions like Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution and smaller Asian American indies like Saving Face. She’s also a writer and director in her own right, directing the feature films Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl and Autumn in New York.

In Marco Polo, Chen plays Empress Chabi, Kublai Khan’s first and favorite wife. Though the creators researched the history for their fantastical story, there wasn’t much historical information on Empress Chabi to go on. So they worked with Chen to develop a more complex character who drives the plot and would be more fulfilling for the veteran actress to play.

The grand production, overseen by The Weinstein Company and reported to be one of the most expensive TV shows ever made, was shot mostly in Malaysia. “The costumes are made of real silk and ornaments,” adds Chen. “They’re so heavy that you know they didn’t spare a cent to make every detail luxurious.”

She also loved going to work and seeing all the stunt tents, where actors and martial arts performers trained every day. Though Empress Chabi doesn’t have a lot of action, Chen was able to learn some archery for some of her scenes. This brought her back to her days at her high school rifle range.

Even though they’re two different sports, there are some principles that are the same,” says Chen. “The way you aim, the breathing techniques, the way you use your cheek and how you use your body. I took it up pretty fast. But obviously, I could take a lifetime to learn it.”

Though she knows that the show is romanticized and operatic, she hopes viewers of Marco Polo enjoy it for that very reason. “It’s a visual feast,” she says. “In the beginning, you have to set up all these characters and the historical background, but by episode 10, it’s really powerful. It’s cooking. It’s hot.”

All episodes of Marco Polo are currently available on Netflix, and the series has been renewed for a second season

This story was originally published in Audrey Magazine’s Spring 2015 issue. Get your copy here.

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