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‘Trolls 3’ Lands Exclusive Theatrical Release Date – Deadline

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Universal has set a release date for DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls 3 for Nov. 17, 2023.

This is the first announcement of the threequel, which isn’t shocking given that the pic’s extensive brand value, not to mention the first movie earned $350M at the global B.O. and the sequel last year, Trolls World Tour, grossed more than $100M on PVOD during the pandemic when theaters were shutdown. Trolls 3, unlike its 2020 predecessor, will be an exclusive theatrical release for 17 days before going on PVOD. It’s not clear yet if Trolls director Walt Dohrn is returning to helm the threequel. Universal already had the Nov. 17 date blocked off where it’s currently up against a Paramount Pictures untitled Ryan Reynolds-John Krasinski movie.

Originally, the studio had reserved Sept. 22, 2023 for an untitled animated movie. Universal initially sparked a big controversy with exhibition when it first announced that Trolls World Tour was going theatrical day-and-date on PVOD; this was just as cinemas were closing due to the pandemic. This escalated into a public letter from AMC Boss Adam Aron to Universal Filmed Entertainment Group Chairman Donna Langley, that the No. 1 circuit in the world would not play day-and-date releases. Emotions eventually calmed with Universal and AMC breaking ground on closing the theatrical window for movies on a 17-day and 30-day basis with the movie chain getting a cut of PVOD monies.

The first Trolls was nominated for a Best Original Song Oscar, the Justin Timberlake song “Can’t Stop the Feeling” which was a massive hit, going quadruple platinum. The Trolls brand expands to more than movies, including a hit TV series, a prime-time holiday special, original digital content, video games, toys, live-entertainment touring shows, Universal Studios Parks’ attractions and experiential installations across the globe.

This Friday, Nov. 26, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, NBC will premiere Trolls Holiday in Harmony, an all-new holiday special featuring the voices of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake and much of the cast of Trolls World Tour.  Logline: as the holidays near, Queen Poppy plans the First Annual Trolls Kingdom Secret Holiday Gift Swap. But things take an unexpected turn when she and Branch draw each other’s name. Meanwhile Tiny Diamond comes down with a bad case of writers’ block, trying to think of a special holiday rap for his dad.

Universal Pictures also announced that an untitled Blumhouse movie will open on June 24, 2022.

 

 

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Covid: South Africa's president calls for lifting of Omicron travel bans – BBC News

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Covid: South Africa’s president calls for lifting of Omicron travel bans  BBC News

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‘Diablo 4’ release date, delay, trailer, and classes for Blizzard’s dungeon-crawler

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Following the underwhelming unveiling of Diablo Immortal at BlizzCon 2018, many believed Blizzard announced Diablo 4 early to win players back. It’s clear Diablo 4 was early in development, as there wasn’t much to show when it was revealed at BlizzCon 2019. Since then, Blizzard has been careful to not promise a release date for the dungeon crawler, as its development has been slow and seemingly rocky, especially given the atrocities going on at the studio. Still, Diablo 4 is shaping up to be an excellent game, with lots to look forward to. But what do we know about the upcoming dungeon-crawler RPG?

When is the Diablo 4 release date?

Diablo 4 is still under development. Activision Blizzard

Diablo 4 was announced at BlizzCon 2019 without even a vague release date window. In February 2021, Activision-Blizzard’s CFO Dennis Durkin said that Diablo 4 was not part of the company’s outlook for the next fiscal year, indicating it wouldn’t be ready by 2021.

Blizzard co-founder Allen Adham told Game Informer back in 2019 that the fourth entry of the series is still in its early stages of development. “While we’ve been working on Diablo 4 for several years, we still have a ways to go,” he said.

“So we do want to set proper expectations. It’s a big, beautiful, contiguous open world. It’s packed full of creatures. It’s really grounded in the quests and the content that are an order of magnitude beyond anything we’ve done before.” Adham refused to even give a rough timeline of when Diablo fans could expect another update.

Diablo 2 was released in 2001, and Blizzard made fans wait until 2012 for Diablo 3, so it’s clear that the company is in no rush to push out Diablo 4. Plus, there’s good reason to believe that Blizzard wants to make sure Diablo 4 is as close to flawless as possible after the disastrous announcement of the mobile game Diablo Immortal at BlizzCon 2018, which upset many of the game’s long-time fans.

In November 2021, Blizzard announced on an earnings call that more time would be needed for the team to realize its vision for Diablo 4, pushing it to 2023 at the earliest.

Is there a Diablo 4 trailer?

Yes. There are multiple, actually. Blizzard has released a cinematic trailer and a sneak peek at a portion of Diablo 4’s gameplay.

The cinematic announcement not only revealed the main antagonist, but it showed the type of dark and blood-soaked inferno gamers will be battling through.

The gameplay trailer showed off a surprising amount of detail for a game that’s most likely still years away. Blizzard highlighted three types of character classes gamers will be able to play with and some early portions of the game’s campaign.

We also got a look at the Rogue class that will be implemented into the final version of the game. You can check that out in the trailer above.

What are the Diablo 4 platforms?

Blizzard confirmed that Diablo 4 will be playable on PC, as well as both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, during its BlizzCon 2019 announcement. With how far off the game seems to be, don’t be surprised if it also ends up coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

Neither of those consoles had been revealed when Diablo 4 was announced, which was most likely the reason why Blizzard only mentioned current-gen gaming systems. Oddly enough, Blizzard has yet to confirm a PS5 or Xbox Series X edition.

What playable classes have been confirmed for Diablo 4?

The Diablo 4 gameplay trailer revealed three classes that will be playable when the game eventually launches: Barbarians, Sorceresses, and Druids.

  • Barbarian: The Barbarian will be a melee-combat specialist with an emphasis on survivability and explosive, close-quarters damage. These warriors can dual-wield devastating weapons and use “warcries” to temporarily send them into a frenzy.
  • Sorceress: The Sorceress will be a ranged spellcaster who harnesses the elements to freeze opponents in place and then blast them with fireballs. She’ll be most deadly at long-range where she can safely cast her destructive spells.
  • Druid: The Druid is a hybrid melee brawler with shape-shifting and summoning abilities. He calls upon nature to imbue him with feral strength and can deal massive elemental damage.

From left to right. The Barbarian, Sorceress, and Druid.Blizzard Entertainment

What other classes could be added to Diablo 4?

If we take the aforementioned classes as a hint to what other character types will be included in Diablo 4, it appears that Blizzard wants to refine all of the classes from Diablo 2.

After the Diablo 2: Lords of Destruction expansion, the game had a total of seven playable classes: Amazon, Necromancer, Barbarian, Sorceress, Paladin, Druid, and Assassin.

Blizzard seems to be heavily inspired by Diablo 2’s class list, but the company could end up creating an all-new class or reusing a few from Diablo 3, like the Monk or Demon Hunter.

What bosses will you fight in Diablo 4?

Lilith will be your main adversary as you trudge through the corpse-riddled world of Diablo 4. She’s a reimagined Succubus queen from Diablo 2 that was summoned using blood magic in the Diablo 4 story trailer.

We don’t know much about what kind of unholy powers she’ll wield, but she’ll be in control of the demonic forces you’ll fight in the majority of the upcoming dungeon crawler.

That’s one long flesh cape, Lilith.Blizzard Entertainment

Will there be microtransactions in Diablo 4?

Diablo 4 will have microtransactions, but it’s unclear what players will be able to pay for exactly.

Lead game designer Joe Shely told Twitch streamer Quin69 that the game will have cosmetic microtransactions, but he was vague enough to make it seem like Blizzard might take them a step further.

Diablo 4 will be available as a base game, and … we’re going to have expansions,” Shely said. “You also will be able to acquire cosmetics in the game.”

Will there be Diablo 4 PVP be added?

Diablo has traditionally been a co-op game for a majority of the franchise’s history, but Blizzard said that it was looking into player-versus-player areas that gamers could travel to in-game. Lead systems designer David Kim told GameSpot how he envisioned that coming together.

“Currently, we are planning on having specific areas of the world where you can choose to PVP if you want to, and the other thing is, we are also exploring some PVP modes that would work really well in Diablo,” Kim said. “So the goal is, we want to have that mixed [player-versus-environment] and PVP type of experience, because everyone knows the PvE, killing swarms of monsters, that’s where kind of the core fun of Diablo is at. We haven’t found something that we really love yet, but once we do, of course, we’re going to tell everyone about it.”

When will we learn more about Diablo 4?

Blizzard Entertainment has consistently kept fans updated with quarterly blog post updates for Diablo 4 since its reveal, but fans are still eager to get a new trailer and in-depth at the whole game.

Given the situation at Activision Blizzard right now, the company has more pressing matters to attend to than doubling down on game development, so it decided to pause planning for BlizzCon 2022, which is where it usually holds its reveals.

Assuming the event does come back, you can probably expect to find out more information about Diablo 4.

Diablo 4 is currently in development.

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AIIMS Chief makes worrying statement on vaccine efficacy

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With over 30 mutations, the new COVID-19 variant called Omicron has already been declared a variant of concern by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Now, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) Director Dr Randeep Guleria has noted a worrying possibility of the new variant.

As per Dr Guleria, the Omicron variant’s exceptionally high number of mutations in the spike protein means that the strain can potentially develop an ‘immune-escape mechanism’. Therefore, the AIIMS chief opines, the efficacy of vaccines against the varant will need be be critically examined.

The spike protein if the part of the virus that enabled it to penetrate a host cell and also is being the strain’s transmissibility and infectiousness. Talking to news agency PTI, Dr Guleria said, “The new variant of coronavirus reportedly has got more than 30 mutations at the spike protein region and therefore has the potential of developing immune-escape mechanisms. As most vaccines (work by) forming antibodies against the spike protein, so many mutations at the spike protein region may lead to a decreased efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines.”

He said that the efficacy of all vaccines, including those currently being administered in India, needs to be “critically” evaluated. He further added that data on the Omicron variant’s transmissibility, virulence and immune-escape will determine the future course of action.

The new variant is being closely monitored by the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Consortia (INSACOG). The Omicron variant has not yet been detected in India, as per officials.

The AIIMS chief stressed on the need to stay vigilant as well as ensuring aggressive surveillance for international travel. He was quoted as saying, “Also, we must ask everyone to religiously follow COVID-appropriate behavior and not let their guards down. Also, it has to be ensured that people get both the doses of vaccine and those who have not yet taken the jab are encouraged to come forward to take it.”

First reported from South Africa and Botswana, the Omicron COVID-19 variant has since been detected in Belgium, Hong Kong, Israel, Germany, Italy and Netherlands. After being first reported on November 24, the variant was desinated by the WHO as a ‘variant of concern’ (VOC) on Friday, November 26.

Meanwhile, the central government urged all states and UTs in India to thorough screening and test all international travelers from South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong.

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