Category Archives: To the Big Screen

Certain books have the potential to take the leap to To the Big Screen. Maybe it was the plot. Maybe the appealing personality of the main character.

In this category, I will write about those stories that are going to be adapted into movies. Or have already been.

I will consider what made them successful. Why there considered being a movie, and what made them at made them so special in. I will also tell you the differences between the book and the movie in case they are.

This is a way to know if you should watch a movie. Or also, to know about the novel that inspired such movie. Who knows?

spiderwick chronicles 2

Spiderwick Chronicles 2: this is why there was never a sequel

Did you Watch The Spiderwick Chronicles movie? A feature film of the book series by the same name written by  Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black.  How come Spiderwick Chronicles 2 never came out? This is why Spiderwick never had a sequel.

If you are willing to know if you should read this series, remember we have this Spiderwick’s books introduction for you.

A bit of info about the film: who plays in the Spiderwick Chronicles?

The Spiderwick Chronicles movie was released in 2008. The film was directed by Mark Waters and cast Freddie Highmore playing the main role of the Grace twins.  Sarah Bolger played Mallory Grace, Simon and Jared’s older sister.

Budget

The budget of The spider Chronicles film was $90 million, a similar amount to other big productions of other fantasy book adaptations. This fantasy adventure film is a production by Nickelodeon movies that was distributed by Paramount Pictures.

Filming location

For those who were wondering where was The Spiderwick Chronicles filmed, it was in Montreal and Quebec (Canada).

How well did The Spiderwick Chronicles film in the theatres?

This adaptation grossed $162.8 million, which means it had good results. Similarly, the film was well-received by both the audience and the critics, more specifically, Freddie Highmore was praised by his performance, being able to play the role of the twins Simon and Jared.

Seems like the audience went to watch The Spiderwick Chronicles and not only that. They loved it. As usual, let’s take a look at the score this movie has in some well-known review-aggregation websites.

Rottentomatoes: 80%.

Metacritic: 62.

As you see, it was well-received by the critics. Where is Spiderwick 2 then?

Spiderwick chronicles 2

We have seen entire franchises being canceled for different reasons: filming rights, bad results at the theatres or even being subject of a boycott campaign. However, this is not so for Spiderwick featured films.

The original book series is five books long. However, the producers decided to cover all the events in a single movie. As a result, this is why there is not Spiderwick chronicles 2, the basic overall plot is told in a single movie.

In summary, for those who were wondering how many movies of the Spiderwick Chronicles series the answer is only one. Therefore, no Spiderwick 2, no need for a sequel after all.

What did the authors think about the movie adaptation?

This is what one of the authors, Tony DiTerlizzi, said about the film:

The filmmakers did a great job of adapting the stories. I got to witness firsthand what goes into making a film and understood many of the changes from the source material. The screenwriter couldn’t jam everything from all five books into one film. It would have been really long, and really expensive. Perhaps one day the studio will re-examine it as a television series.

Similarly, Holly Black seemed to like the film also:

I liked it a ton. I thought Mark Waters did a great job directing and that Freddie Highmore and Sarah Bolger played the kids pitch-perfectly. They really seemed like the characters from the books. I was also extremely happy that the faeries seemed organic and a little bit frightening.

Is the Spiderwick Chronicles on Netflix?

Additionally, for those who want to watch The Spiderwick Chronicles full movie online, you are lucky. This movie is available on Netflix.

So here it is, the mystery of why  Spiderwick 2 was never filmed is solved. However, there are lots of complimentary books in this series, do you think they would work as a sequel?

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Chronicles of Narnia movies

This is what happened to The Chronicles of Narnia movies

The Chronicles of Narnia is a classic of children’s literature. Its movie adaptation was produced by Walden Media and Walt Disney Pictures (except for the last film), but of the seven books of this series, only three of them were adapted into movies. Why? This is what happened to The Chronicles of Narnia movies:

The Chronicles of Narnia is a best seller series written by the British author Clive Staples Lewis. This series is composed of seven books, all of them published during the 50s. These books have sold over 100 million copies and have been translated into 46 languages.

This series takes place in Narnia, a magical place in which animals can talk and mythical beasts are real. The Chronicles of Narnia narrates the story of a group of children that are transported to Narnia, being called by the Lion Aslan so they can help to protect Narnia from evil.

How well did The Chronicles of Narnia movies do?

One might think that given that only three out of seven Narnia books were adapted into movies maybe their box office was not good and therefore they were not profitable. Was it that so? Let’s see how each of the Narnia box office performance:

  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005). Directed by: Andrew Adamson.  Budget: $180 million. Worldwide box office gross: $745 million.
  • Prince Caspian ( 2008)  . Directed by: Andrew Adamson. Budget: $225 million. Worldwide Box office gross: $419 million.
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010). Directed by:  Michael Apted . Budget: $155 million. Worldwide box office gross: $415 million.

The reviews

As you see, The Chronicles of Narnia movies did more than well at the theatres. Maybe it was because of the critical and public response? Word mouth is really important in this kind of movies, so let’s take a look:

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Rotten Tomatoes: 76% Metacritic: 75.

Prince Caspian: Rotten Tomatoes: 66% Metacritic: 62.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: Rotten Tomatoes: 49% Metacritic: 53

The scores are pretty good, even the last movie The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, has a somehow decent score. If it was neither a matter of grossing or public response how come the next installment, The Silver Chair, had never a movie adaptation?

Disney’s decision to dump Narnia films

While The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and its first sequel were co-produced by Walt Disney Pictures, this wasn’t so in the third movie. Disney decided not to coproduce the third movie in the series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, this lose of interest was never fully explained, but Disney said it was due to budgetary and logistical reasons.

Why did Walt Disney decide not to finance The Voyage of the Dawn Treader?

This is just an assumption, but it may be a financial decision: just notice how the numbers of Prince Caspian are not so far from the box office gross achieved by the first movie. Specifically, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe grossed $291,710,957 in North America while  Prince Caspian grossed $141,621,490. Similarly, worldwide office gross of the prequel is way lower than the first one.

So maybe Disney had just seen this box office decrease as a warning and decided not to coproduce the second prequel. Were they right? Well, it is true that The Voyage of the Dawn Treader grossed $104 million in North America, but given that the worldwide box office gross worldwide was $415 million, the figures are only four million below its predecessor movie.

But if Warner coproduced the third movie why did they stop releasing Narnia movies?

In 2011, Walden Media’s contract of the series’ film rights expired in 2011. In 2013, The Mark Gordon Company acquired these rights and entered into an agreement with the C. S. Lewis Company to produce an adaptation of the next installment, The Silver Chair. It was not until 2017 when it was announced that Joe Johnston would be the director.

However, in October 2018, a different announcement was made: Netflix and the C. S. Lewis Company had made a multi-year agreement to develop a new series of film and TV adaptations of The Chronicles of Narnia. As a result, Narnia movies would not continue, The Silver Chair film has apparently been canceled instead having a tv adaptation.

So this is the story why Narnia movies were canceled, did you expect such an outcome? Don’t forget to comment!

If you liked this post, you will surely will like this about the reason Percy Jackson’s movie adaptations flopped.

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Best streaming services

Best video streaming service for Fantasy Fans

What is the best streaming video service for a fantasy fan? With the arrival of so many video on demand companies, it is difficult to know which of them will be the best one for us. Choosing which streaming service fits best your liking is getting more and more complicated isn’t it? It’s not even only a matter of money, even though being charged monthly fees for enjoying several of these services can be a bit expensive, but also, these companies provide so much content that it gets difficult to know what to watch!

Video on demand is winning the match to over-the-air programming method. There is no wonder why, users prefer being able to watch movies and tv shows whenever you want (as long as you have enough bandwidth to watch it) instead of a scheduled broadcast time.

The best streaming video service for a fantasy fan

Let`s focus on Fantasy fans now. Lots of tv series are based on fantasy books, after the success of Game of Thrones, the amount of Fantasy tv series is increasing like crazy. Which of these streaming video services will have more appealing shows for a fantasy fan? Let’s see:

Amazon Video

Logo

Amazon is included in Amazon Prime, so for 99 dollars per year, you get unlimited access to both Amazon Music and Amazon Prime Instant Video, besides to free two-day shipping on your purchases and a free Kindle book each month. This service has a wide content selection, but what about fantasy? Let’s see what can Amazon provide to Fantasy lovers:

Good Omens

An adaptation of the novel of the same name by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Good Omens tells the story of the angel Aziraphael and the demon Crowley, longtime friends who will try to prevent to prevent the destruction of the Earth during the Armaggedon, the final battle between hell and heaven.

Upcoming Amazon tv series

Lord of the rings

A tv series set in the world of Lord of the Rings but taking place in the Second Age, the era when the Rings of Power are forged and Sauron rises. This web series has the biggest budget ever in the history of television, so stay tuned because it will be huge!

The Wheel of Time

An epic fantasy story based on the book series written by Robert Jordan (and finished by Brandon Sanderson). Given that The Wheel of Time is composed of 14 books, there is a lot of material for this tv series.

Conan the Barbarian

Another version of the story written by Robert E. Howard. Given that Jason Momoa’s Conan film didn’t do so well maybe this series can serve as a good alternative.

Netflix

Netflix logo

Netflix is the most popular streaming video service, having more than 150 million subscribers worldwide, it has a great optimized interface, good recommendation services. On the other side, titles come and go frequently and it’s a bit expensive compared to other options. This platform offers massive content, having an amazing selection of tv shows, films and also original programming. In terms of fantasy, Netflix has the following fantasy tv series:

Shadow Hunters

A  fantasy drama television series following the story of  Clary Fray (Katherine McNamara) and based on popular book series The Mortal Instruments written by Cassandra Clare. This tv series was canceled after three seasons, but the story was concluded with two additional episodes.

Outlander

Based on Diana Gabaldon’s book series of the same name. This historical romance tv series already has four seasons with 55 episodes and the fifth season is set to premiere in 2020.

The Last Kingdom

The Last Kingdom is a  historical fiction television series and is an adaptation of  The Saxon Stories by Bernard Cornwell. This historical fiction tv series premiered on BBC but then Netflix was the sole producer of the third season.

The Shannara Chronicles

A drama tv series based on The Sword of Shannara trilogy by Terry Brooks. The Shannara Chronicles was canceled after two seasons

Also, the following tv series are coming to Netflix in 2019

The Witcher

A tv series based on the novels of the same name written by the Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. The Witcher will star Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia. If you want to know more about the upcoming The Witcher series check this post.

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance

This series is a prequel of the film The Dark Crystal which was released in 1982 and was directed by Louis Leterrier. 

Chronicles of Narnia Series

A tv series based on the books by C.S Lewis. A reboot of this saga that didn’t do as well as expected at the theatres.

Hulu

disney

Hulu is a cheaper alternative  As a counterpart, even with a paid subscription, you have to watch commercials. Funnily, in march 2019 Walt Disney acquired 21st Century Fox and has the 67% of the equity of the company, that is, Disney controls now Hulu. As a result, Hulu will be used as a streaming brand for general entertainment nonrelated to Disney Studios.

The interesting thing about Hulu is its potential: by controlling Hulu now Disney owns the rights of lots of new material such as the movie rights of Percy Jackson. See what this could mean?

Vampire Chronicles

A story based on the novel series of the same name written by Anne Rice that follows the story of Lestat de Lioncourt, a French nobleman that turns into a vampire.

Queen of Shadows

A show that was supposedly produced by Hulu (no news since 2016) and is based on Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas.

HBO

Hbo logo

HBO is more than Game of Thrones. Not only it has some of the most epic series of all time such as The Wire or The Sopranos. The following upcoming fantasy tv series will get your attention for sure.

His Dark Materials

A reboot of this story written by Philip Pullman that flopped in the theatres, and now is coming as a tv series. Let’s hope it goes better this time!

Game of Thrones prequel

This tv series is set in the same scenario as Game of Thrones but it will take place thousands of years before the events in Game of Thrones. This means dragons will rule the skies of Westeros!

So, it looks like Amazon Video and Netflix are the ones with the most upcoming fantasy tv series. Which video streaming service will you choose?

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Bomb box office

Box office bombs: Fantasy movies edition

The film and media industry is harsh, lots of film released end up losing money for the studio and the production company that invested in the movie. We have seen some major flops, such as Percy Jackson film series or Mortal Engines. In Box office bombs: fantasy movies edition we will show you other fantasy movies that drastically flopped .

It is very difficult to know the real cost of producing a film due to the secrecy surrounding costs and the profit margins. As a result, it is likely that the costs are higher than the ones here presented, but in any case this would prove how much of a flop these films were.

Sometimes movies not doing well at the theatre doesn’t mean they are not good, since there are a lot of factors that take action affecting how much a movie grosses, such as marketing, word of mouth, movie competitors, etc. So, aside from the number comparison, production budget vs grossing, we will also provide you their Tomatometer and Metacritic scores so we can see better if these flops were justified or not.

How does the Rotten Tomatoes rating work?

In this reviews aggregator website, they use tomatoes for rating (not a surprise uh?) if the movie is good it will get a score of 60% or higher and then this good review will be denoted by a fresh red tomato. Instead, if it’s lower than 60% it will be a splat green tomato. Take notice that the way Rottentomatoes scoring works it doesn’t mean that the higher the score the better film, but rather, it means that there is more consensus that the film is good.

47 Ronin

Bomb box office

This fantasy action adventure film directed by Carl Rinsch and starring Keanu Reeves and Hiroyuki Sanada was released in 2013. This movie is set in the  late medieval Japan and narrates the story of the  forty-seven rōnin and their mission to avenge the death of their master.

In this setting, Keanu Reeves will play the role of Kai, a half-Japanese, half-English outcast who lives in the Akō Domain, ruled by Asano Naganori who adopted Kai as a foundling when he was young.

What happened?

Budget  $175 million.

Box office  $151.8 million.

Tomatometer: 15%.

Metacritic:  28.

As you can see, both websites agree in their reviews, generally this film received negative reviews from critics.  As a result, 47 ronin was one of the Hollywood’s biggest box office bombs of 2013. Weird to see Keanu Reaves in a box office bomb isn’t it?

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Bomb box office

While it’s prequel, Alice in Wonderland, did unbelievably well, with a box office of $1.025 billion and a budget on $150-200 million. Alice Through the Looking Glass wasn’ t that fortunate, not in the slightest actually.

This movie, released in 2016 and directed by James Bobin will show us Alice getting back to Wonderland, there she will find     that the Madder is even more mad than usual .

Alice Through the Looking Glass recouped the film costs, even so, it is a box office bomb (and more if compared with the results its prequel had). Let’s see the numbers:

Budget:  $170 million.

Box office: $299.5 million.

Tomatometer: 29%.

Metacritic: 34.

In the case of this film, it openened alongside with X-Men: Apocalypse, which did pretty well by the way. Competing X-men together with a poor word of mouth and not the best reviews resulted into becoming a flop.

The reviews were not positive in any way, generally speaking, people thought the movie had great special effects but the plot was too weak.

 The BFG

Box office bomb

A movie based on Roald Dahl`s novel of the same name. This film was directed by Steven Spielberg, was released in 2016. This film narrates the story of 10 year old Sophie, an orphan human girl who will befriend with a giant that will eventually take her to his country, the Giant Country.

Despite being directed by Steven Spielberg and Produced by Walt Disney Pictures, these were the numbers of The Big Friendly Giant:

Budget:  $140 million.

Box office : $183.3 million

Tomatometer: 75%.

Metacritic: 66.

As a result, The BFG is one of the lowest-grossing films of Spielberg’s career. Regarding Disney, the studio was able to withstand the losses due to the success of Finding Dory and Captain America: Civil War.

Conan the Barbarian

Bomb box office

This movie is based on the novel by the same name written by Robert E. Howard. This movie stars Jason Momoa as Conan (young Conan played by Leo Howard), making this film a new interpretation of the Conan series and therefore not related to the films featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The film was released in 2011 and was directed by Marcus Nispel.

Budget:  $90 million.

Box office: $48.8 million

Tomatometer: 25%.

Metacritic: 36.

Conan the Barbarian received negative reviews, despite the fact of being violent and gory this movie has poor dialogues and unnecessary 3D effects. Quite a box office bomb isn’t it?

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Box office bomb

This movie was released in 2017 and was directed by Guy Ritchie. A  film inspired in Arthurian legends, having Charlie Hunnam playing the role of Arthur and Jude Law as king Vortigern.

Budget: $175 million.

Box office: $148 million.

Tomatometer: 31%.

Metacritic: 41.

In this new visit to the story of  Camelot, Arthur is a skilled fighter  who becomes a man of the streets .Funnily there were plans for a six-film franchise, following different characters before they team together, of course, given the grossing of the first movie, King Arthur’s sequels were cancelled.

Given the high production budget of this film, 175 million dollars, and the additional $100 million for marketing it was like if the film was destined to flop.

Seventh Son

Bomb box office

This american fantasy film is based on the novel The Spook’s Apprentice (known as The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch in the US) by Joseph Delaney.

Budget:  $95 million.

Box office: $114.2 million.

Tomatometer: 11%.

Metacritic: 30.

The reviews of Seventh son are generally unfavorable, this is mostly to the film’s poor performance in terms of plot.

The Huntsman: Winter’s War

Bomb box office

A film directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan and realeased in 2016. This movie is both a prequel and a sequel of Snow White and the Huntsman, the events taking place before and after the the first film. The cast includes Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Sam Claflin , and  Nick Frost.

Budget:  $115 million.

Box office: $165 million.

Tomatometer: 18%.

Metacritic: 35.

The low figures might be surprising for some, since its sequel had pretty good results grossing $396.6 million. General consensus is this sequel was unnecessary, the narrative being too predictable.

Jack the Giant Slayer

Box office bombs

An fantasy adventure film based on the British fairy tales “Jack the Giant Killer” and “Jack and the Beanstalk. This movie was released in 2013 and was directed by Bryan Singer.

Budget: $195-220 million.

Box office:  $197 million.

Tomatometer: 52%.

Metacritic: 35.

Hope you enjoyed this list. Which movie were you most surprised it was a box office bomb? share and comment!

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The next Game of Thrones

The next Game of Thrones: Which of these will be the heir?

Got’s last season ended, and with its conclusion comes a disturbing answer for most, what to watch after Game of Thrones? Season 8 might have left a bitter taste for some, even so, we want more big productions filled with fantasy and epic tales, we need a replacement and we want it as soon as possible! Which tv fantasy series will become the next Game of Thrones phenomenon? here are the best candidates!

Game of Thrones has been such a success that production companies are seeking new tales that will be as acclaimed as George R.R Martin’s work. Thanks to this, a lot of tv series adaptations are on the way. The fantasy Audience is just getting started, we only need to fill the void. In order to find Got’s best substitute, we have to take into account some of the features that made this epic story so acclaimed: epic battles, magic, dragons among other magical creatures, intrigue, great dialogues and of course, appealing characters. We want a show that despite being unique is also similar to Game of Thrones, impossible?

What will be the next Game of Thrones after it ends? Upcoming Fantasy tv series:

If you don’t know what to watch after Game of Thrones, here are some upcoming tv show alternatives for you:

The Witcher 2019

The Witcher Henry Cavill

The Witcher is produced by Netflix and will have Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia. This production has a lot of potential to become the next Got because this series by the polish writer Andrzej Sapkowskii is known by its violence, sex scenes, fantastic creatures and marvelous dialogues resembling so to Got’s tone.

If you want to know about the cast, release date, and all the updated info about this epic story you can check this previous article: all you need to know about The Witcher show by Netflix

Lord of the Rings

Lord of The Rings Amazon wallpaper

This tv series adaptation of J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings will be set in the Second Age when the Rings of power were forged and Sauron rise to power in order to subjugate the Middle Earth. With the highest budget ever in a television show, this Lotr tv adaptation is probably one of the strongest contenders of the list.

Producers already confirmed this tv show will be set in the Second Age, as a result, most of our beloved characters such as the hobbits, Aragorn, Legolas or even Gandalf will not make their appearance in this tv show. Even so, having Sauron in his quest to conquer the Middle Earth sounds like an interesting enough plot to watch this show, isn’t it?

Here you have updated info about Lotr Amazon tv series.

His dark materials

HIs dark materials BBC Wallpaper

His Dark Materials follows the figure of Lyra Belacqua as she travels to different universes. yeah, this is a multiverse story, like the new Marvel Cinematic Universe approach, interesting uh?  this franchise failed as a movie adaptation, however, BBC will give this amazing story a second chance. His Dark Materials tv adaptation is set to premiere at the end of 2019, let`s wish this show to have better results than the movies!

The Name of the wind/The Kingkiller Chronicle

The King Killer chronicle background

As it happens with Amazon’s LOTR adaptation, The Kingkiller Chronicle tv series will be a prequel of the original series. Meanwhile, the story of Kvothe becoming a legend will be adapted on the big screen. There is not still a lot of information regarding this adaptation, however, there’s a lot of expectation.

Rumors say the tv series will follow Kvothe’s parents, which may sound pretty odd for most since his parents, being the leaders of the Edema Ruh troupe, does not sound as intriguing as knowing how Kvothe became a hero.

Click here if you want to know more about The Kingkiller Chronicles.

The Wheel Of Time

The Wheel of time wallpaper

The Wheel of Time tv series is based on the saga with the same name written by Robert Jordan. This is another project produced by Amazon and will be centered on the first book in the series. Given that the original work is composed of 13 books, there is a lot of material to adapt.

See here if you want updated info about The Wheel of Time tv series.

The watch

Terry Pratchett The Watch

The Watch is a tv series set in the world of Discworld, the satirical fantasy saga created by Terry Pratchett. As a result, this series does not follow the events of Discworld novels, but instead it will be original material inspired in the world created by the author and having the same satirical tone as the original work.

The Watch will be set in Ankh-Morpork, one of the main and best-known cities for all the fans of the Discworld novels. What? you don’t know about Discworld? then here’s an introduction to Discworld novels.

Queen of shadows

queen of shadows

Queen of Shadows is a television series based on the Throne of Glass book series written by Sarah J. Maas’. This show is named after the fourth book of the series, and it is currently being developed by Hulu. This show will tell us the story of Caelaena Sardothien, a female assassin with a dark past who will seek her freedom.

If you want to know more about Throne of Glass just check our guide!

Game of Thrones spin-off series-The Long Night

Game of Thrones wallpaper

If you miss  Game of Thrones, then this upcoming tv show is for you. It is difficult that Game of Thrones spin off series will become as popular as the original tv series. However, no doubt HBO will give it a try. Multiple Got spin offs will be released in 2020. The story will take place in Westeros, however, it will be set thousands of years before the events occurred in Game of Thrones, another prequel show. By the way, his spin-off series is unofficially called The Long Night.

Why was Game of Thrones successful?

Got is one of the most scrutinized series ever. So many theories in order to resolve the misteries that were introduced along the plot of this epic fantasy story. Theories about Jon Snow being a Targaryen or guessing who would finally sit on the Iron Throne led to so many theories, some of them really crazy  most of them amazing to read.

George R.R Martin got inspiration for some of the elements of his novels from history itself. Wildfire for example is inspired in the Greek Fire , an incendiary weapon used in naval battles by the Bizantine Empire, Greek Fire continued burning even while floating on water.

Some say the Dothraki are inspired by the Hunes, the nomadic people led by Attila, one of the most fearful enemies of the Roman Empire.

At the same time, Game of Thrones follows the rules made by the father of modern fantasy: J.R.R Tolkien. Even though in a quite particular style since there is also this Shakespirian touch, with combined together make Game of Thrones (or A song of Ice and Fire for the readers) quite unique. Some characters such as Tyrion or his sister Cersei are probably the ones that more usually show the influence of Shakespeare in this series.

All this put together, among other things such as great worldbuilding or charismatic characters, have turned out to be the perfect cocktail. Hope one of the upcoming tv series will result to be the perfect next round for you.

How many of these upcoming epic tv shows will you watch? share with us!

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