Entertainment

Spotify is now adding free audiobooks

Narrators include Forest Whitaker and Hilary Swank

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A few years ago, Spotify implemented support for podcasts. Practically overnight, the audio streaming platform became a top destination for podcast listening, rivalling already established giants like Apple Podcasts and Pocket Casts. However, it isn’t done with expanding yet. Spotify is now adding free audiobooks to the service.

Reported by Hollywood Reporter, the platform now has a starting lineup of nine audiobooks. Currently, because of tough copyright laws, the lineup contains books already in the public domain. However, the audio recordings themselves are Spotify’s property.

Speaking of the recordings, the voices on the audiobooks are pretty special. The narrators include Hollywood actors like Forest Whitaker and Hilary Swank. The two celebrities narrate Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave and Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, respectively.

Other titles include Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (narrated by David Dobrik), Jane Austen’s Persuasion (narrated by Cynthia Erivo), Jean Toomer’s Cane (narrated by Audra McDonald), Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations (narrated by James Langston), Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre (narrated by Sarah Coombs), Nella Larsen’s Passing (narrated by Bahni Turpin), and Stephen Crane’s Red Badge of Courage (narrated by Santino Fontana).

This isn’t the first time you can listen to audiobooks on Spotify. Some podcasts, even on other platforms, are essentially audiobook readings. However, the new nine-title slate signifies a new push to deliver exclusive audiobooks to the platform. The new audiobooks are currently free for all Spotify users, premium or not.

SEE ALSO: Spotify is testing its own Stories feature

Entertainment

Netflix working on live-action Gundam movie

Helmed by the director of ‘Kong: Skull Island’

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Gundam
Photo by Hkyu Wu on Unsplash

If you like movies featuring giant robots, you’re gonna like this latest development — Netflix, working with Legendary Pictures, is set to make a live-action Gundam movie.

The live-action Gundam movie will be directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts who also called the shots for Kong: Skull Island. Other than the fact that it’s happening and who’s directing it, there are no details yet. Clearly, the project is still in its very early stages. It’ll be curious to see which one from its wealth of source materials will the team behind the live-action film pull from.

Legendary Pictures is the same company responsible for the Pacific Rim movie franchise as well as the “Monsterverse” movies featuring Godzilla and King Kong.

h/t: The Verge

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Netflix unveils official casting for the Korean adaptation of ‘La Casa de Papel’

Featuring Korea’s top talents

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A few full moons ago, we heard Netflix is about to release a Korean adaptation of the popular Spanish Original Series La Casa de Papel, also known as Money Heist. We even made hilarious suggestions on who’s going to perform the role of Arturito.

The Heist comes to Korea! Netflix announces the Korean adaptation of its Spanish original series #LaCasaDePapel 💸

And we all know who’d be the perfect Arturito 😅

Posted by GadgetMatch on Tuesday, December 1, 2020

But, no more guessing. Netflix has just announced the official casting for the Korean Original Series. The show will feature Korea’s top talents including Yoo Ji-Tae from The Swindlers as the Professor, Kim Yunjin from Seven Days, Ode to My Father as Seon Woojin, an inspector at Task Force Team. (Think: Raquel Murillo.)

The Korean adaptation of La Casa de Papel — which will launch globally as a Netflix Original Series — centers around members of the gang recruited by the Professor. It will be similar to the well-loved series, complete with hostages, and a Task Force Team tackling the heist.

More details are yet to come, but one thing is certain. The show’s creators will breathe new life into the familiar storyline to global audiences with 12 episodes. And we’re all aboard the hype train.

The Korean adaptation is directed by Kim Hong-Sun, written by Ryu Yong-jae, Kim Hwan-chae, and Choe Sung-jun. Meanwhile, BH Entertainment and Contents Zium serve as the production companies.

The official cast

Gang Members: Yoo Ji-tae (“The Professor”), Park Hae-soo (“Berlin”), Jeon Jong-seo (“Tokyo”), Lee Won-jong (“Moscow”), Kim Ji-hun (“Denver”), Jang Yoon-ju (“Nairobi”), Park Jung-woo (“Rio”), Kim Ji-hun (“Helsinki”), Lee Kyu-ho (“Oslo”)

Task Force Team: Kim Yunjin (“Seon Woojin”), Kim Sung-o (“Cha Moohyuk”)

Hostages: Park Myung-hoon (“Cho Youngmin”), Lee Joobeen (“Youn Misun”)

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Netflix new anime features Record of Ragnarok, Resident Evil

And many more titles

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Anime fans will have their fill as Netflix is serving a bountiful anime buffet in the following months. Staying true to their announcement at the all virtual AnimeJapan 2021 event months back, more titles are coming our way.

During the virtual stage event, Netflix announced the upcoming worldwide release of Record of Ragnarok (premiering June 2021), an anime adaptation of the hugely successful manga of the same name. The story about the epic fight for the fate of humanity will join an ever expanding slate of anime, including previously announced titles like the comedic, slice-of-life series The Way of the Househusband (premiering April 8, 2021) or the popular RESIDENT EVIL: Infinite Darkness (premiering later this year).

Here’s everything that’s coming soon that you should watch out for:

Record of Ragnarok
Global Premiere Date — June 2021

Record of Ragnarok is the story of 13 gods from across the globe and 13 of the world’s most notable humans fighting it out in one-on-one battles to decide the fate of humanity.  Based on the manga created by Azychika, Shinya Umemura and Takumi Fukui, an earnest battle of transcendental rage begins!

  • Based on a manga by Azychika, Shinya Umemura, Takumi Fukui
  • Director: Masao Okubo
  • Series Composition: Kazuyuki Fudeyasu
  • Character Design: Masaki Sato
  • Music: Koji Takanashi
  • Animation Production: GRAPHINICA
  • Voice Cast: Miyuki Sawashiro, Tomoyo Kurosawa, Tomokazu Seki, Hikaru Midorikawa, Wataru Takagi

Yasuke
Global Premiere Date — April 29, 2021

In a war-torn feudal Japan filled with mechs and magic, the greatest ronin never known, Yasuke, struggles to maintain a peaceful existence after a past life of violence. But when a local village becomes the center of social upheaval between warring daimyo, Yasuke must take up his sword and transport a mysterious child who is the target of dark forces and bloodthirsty warlords.

  • Director, Creator, Executive Producer: LeSean Thomas (Cannon Busters)
  • Character Design: Takeshi Koike
  • Music & Executive producer: Flying Lotus
  • Animation Production: MAPPA
  • Voice Cast (Yasuke) & Executive Producer: LaKeith Stanfield

EDEN
Global Premiere Date — May 27, 2021

Thousands of years in the future, a city known as “Eden” is inhabited solely by Artificially Intelligent robots whose former masters vanished long ago. On a routine assignment, within the depths of the city, two maintenance robots accidentally awaken a human baby girl from stasis questioning all they were taught to believe– that humans were nothing more than a forbidden ancient myth. Together, the two robots secretly raise the child in a safe haven outside Eden.

  • Director: Yasuhiro Irie (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
  • Producer: Justin Leach
  • Character design: Toshihiro Kawamoto
  • Concept design: Christophe Ferreira
  • Screenplay: Kimiko Ueno
  • Background art director: Clover Xie
  • Music: Kevin Penkin
  • Animation Production: CGCG

The Way of the Househusband 
Global Premiere Date — April 19, 2021

Feared among the yakuza as “The Immortal Dragon”, Tatsu is a legend of the underworld with an impressive number of defeated rival gangs under his belt. However, hoping to wash his hands of his past, Tatsu gets married and devotes himself fully to the way of the househusband by diligently undertaking the cooking, cleaning, washing and grocery shopping each day. On the other hand, there’s one person who’s not happy about Tatsu’s new domestic life — his tough, former yakuza underling, Masa. As Tatsu tries his best to pursue the way of the househusband, one assassin after another tries their hand at taking him out!

  • Based on a story by Kosuke Oono
  • Director: Chiaki Kon (Nodame Cantabile, Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal)
  • Series Composition: Susumu Yamakawa
  • Theme Song performed by UchikubiGokumonDoukoukai
  • Opening song, Shufu no michi / ending song, ”Kiwami”meoto kaido
  • Animation Production: J.C.STAFF
  • Cast: Kenjiro Tsuda, Shizuka Ito, Kazuyuki Okitsu

Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness 
Global Premiere Date — 2021

In 2006, there were traces of improper access to secret Presidential files found in the White House’s network. American federal agent Leon S. Kennedy is among the group invited to the White House to investigate this incident, but when the lights suddenly go out, Leon and the SWAT team are forced to take down a horde of mysterious zombies. Meanwhile, TerraSave staff member Claire Redfield encounters a mysterious image drawn by a youth in a country she visited, while providing support to refugees. Haunted by this drawing, which appears to be of a victim of viral infection, Claire starts her own investigation. The next morning, Claire visits the White House to request the construction of a welfare facility. There, she has a chance reunion with Leon and uses the opportunity to show him the boy’s drawing. Leon seems to realize some sort of connection between the zombie outbreak at the White House and the strange drawing, but he tells Claire that there is no relation and leaves. In time, these two zombie outbreaks in distant countries lead to events that shake the nation to its very core.

  • Original Work/Production/Supervision: Capcom Co., Ltd.
  • Full 3DCG animation production: Quebico
  • Production: TMS Entertainment

 

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