The return of the mystery-comedy “Only Murders in the Building” and Gal Gadot getting her “Mission: Impossible”-style action film with the international espionage thriller “Heart of Stone” are among the new television, movies, music and games headed to a device near you
Among the offerings worth your time as selected by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists are “Superfan,” a new one-hour game show that features music superstars crowning their biggest fan, and a royal rom-com adaptation of Casey McQuiston’s bestseller “Red, White and Royal Blue” lands on Prime Video.
NEW MOVIES TO STREAM
— Gal Gadot gets her “Mission: Impossible”-style action film in the international espionage thriller “Heart of Stone.” The film, debuting Friday on Netflix, stars the “Wonder Woman” actor as a superspy for a shadowy global peacekeeping agency called the Charter. “Heart of Stone,” directed by Tom Harper, boasts plenty of stunt sequences and international locales, with Gadot starring alongside Jamie Dornan, Alia Bhatt, Keya Dhawan and Sophie Okonedo. ( Read AP’s review.)
— Harry and Meghan have competition. In “Red, White & Royal Blue,” the royal rom-com adaptation of Casey McQuiston’s bestseller, Nicolas Galitzine (“Cinderella”) stars as British prince Harry and Taylor Zakhar Perez (“The Kissing Booth”) plays the son of the first female U.S. president (Uma Thurman). They’re initially bitter rivals who cause a media frenzy when they tussle and fall into a cake at a royal wedding. But in the film, directed by playwright Matthew López, a resulting PR campaign brings them closer. “Red, White and Royal Blue” premieres Friday on Prime Video. ( Read AP’s review.)
— Mario is a-here. Since early August, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” has been streaming on Peacock, bringing one of the year’s biggest box office hits to the NBCUniversal platform. Back when the film (the second attempt at a big-screen adaptation of the Nintendo videogame) opened in theaters in April, it raced to more than $1.3 billion at the global box office. In my review, I called this “Mario” “okey-dokey,” writing: “As nice as it is to look at ‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie,’ it’s not anywhere near as fun as it would be to play it.”
NEW MUSIC TO STREAM
— Music fans get to take center stage on Wednesday. CBS has the debut of “Superfan,” a new one-hour game show series that features six music superstars each week as they each crown their biggest fan. Contestants vie in multiple rounds to prove they are their favorite artist’s most devoted supporter, including a lip-synch battle. Season one features Kelsea Ballerini, Gloria Estefan, Little Big Town, LL Cool J, Pitbull and Shania Twain. The show is hosted by co-creator Keltie Knight and Nate Burleson.
— Neil Young has dug deep into his own record crates to release his 1977 lost album “Chrome Dreams” for the first time on Friday. The 12-track album, recorded between 1974 and 1977, includes several originals eventually re-worked or overdubbed elsewhere, including “Powderfinger” and “Pocahontas,” later featured on “Rust Never Sleeps; “Sedan Delivery” and “Hold Back the Tears,” later remade with new lyrics; and “Stringman.” Fans might know all the songs but six of the 12 tracks are presented here in its original way. ( Read AP’s review.)
— Hip-hop’s 50th anniversary will be celebrated by Netflix with the four-part docuseries “Ladies First: A Story of Women in Hip-Hop.” Each episode will feature a mix of classic MCs including Queen Latifah, Sha Rock, Remy Ma, Yo-Yo, Roxanne Shante, MC Lyte, Da Brat, Monie Love, Bahamadia and Rah Digga mixed with some of the hottest artists of today, such as Latto, Saweetie, Coi Leray, Chika, Rapsody, Kash Doll and Tierra Whack, as well as commentary from journalists, record label executives and stylists. It starts Wednesday.
NEW SERIES TO STREAM
— Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez have a new case to devote their podcast to when “Only Murders in the Building” returned to Hulu on Tuesday. In the new episodes, Oliver Putnam’s (Martin Short) career comeback is in jeopardy when a murder disrupts his Broadway play, and it seems almost everyone involved is suspicious. “Your show is a death trap! Today alone I almost died three times,” Martin’s Thomas Haden-Savage declares in the trailer. The third season also features new all-star cast members including Meryl Streep, Paul Rudd, Jesse Williams and Ashley Park.
— A new Netflix limited series details the rise of opioid use in the United States from various perspectives. “Painkiller” features Matthew Broderick as Richard Sackler, the former Purdue Pharma head, who developed OxyContin. Taylor Kitsch plays an honest family man whose life is torn apart by opioid addiction after an accident on the job. Uzo Aduba portrays a prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s office investigating the Sackler family. West Duchovny (daughter of actors David and Téa) plays a pharmaceutical sales rep who gets caught up in the allure of pushing the drug on doctors. “Painkiller” All six episodes were directed by Peter Berg and dropped Thursday.
— After sitting out season six, Damian Lewis’ “Billions” character, Bobby Axelrod, returns for the seventh and final season of the Showtime drama. Lewis reunites with Paul Giamatti’s character Chuck Rhoades, who is now Attorney General of New York. “Billions” will first be available on Paramount+ on Friday (with the Showtime bundle), and then air on the Showtime cable network on Sunday.
NEW VIDEO GAMES TO PLAY
— It’s been a busy summer for fans of role-playing games, but here’s something completely different: Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical. It’s an urban fantasy in which a college dropout gains the power of song when an ancient muse dies in her arms, and the gods aren’t too happy about it. It comes from Summerfall Studios, which was founded by Dragon Age writer David Gaider, and the lead composer is Austin Wintory, best known for his Journey soundtrack. The cast of voiceover all-stars is led by The Last Of Us veterans Laura Bailey, Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson. If you love musicals but wish they were interactive — or if you love games but wish they had more singing — the show must go on Thursday on PlayStation 5/4, Xbox X/S/One, Nintendo Switch and PC.