Denis Villeneuve sets next directing gig after DUNE 2
TIKTOK sets ROTTEN TOMATOES deal / REGAL Theaters stock drops 37% / UTA pays $125 Mil for marketing firm
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on THURSDAY December 16, 2021.
Where here is the first look at Amanda Seyfried as Elizabeth Holmes, in HULU’s upcoming limited series based on the hit ABC podcast, “The Dropout”. Premieres Thu March 3.
AND: MGM postpones “Cyrano” LA premiere indefinitely due to Omicron.
ALSO: 6 BROADWAY shows have cancelled performances so far this week due to covid, 3 yesterday alone including “Hamilton” and “Tina”.\
PLUS: APPLE closed 3 stores due to covid outbreaks among staff, and has changed its return to office from February to… we’ll let you know, while giving all employees a $1,000 check for “home office supplies”.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
Denis Villeneuve to direct adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke sci-fi story “Rendezvous With Rama”
ALCON ENTERTAINMENT producing (so probably a WB pic), about a group of space explorers who have to intercept an alien spaceship, which may lead to mankind’s first contact with aliens.
Although it’s gonna be a minute - “Dune 2” is up next for Denis, so this is presumably after that. /THR
20th CENTURY buys Awkwafina / Sandra Oh comedy project
The road-trip movie centers on two sisters who go on a cross-country trip to come up with the $$ to pay off mom’s gambling debts, by turning one of them into a “Jeopardy!” champion.
NETFLIX had the project last year but let it go back onto the market. Jessica Yu (eps of “The Morning Show”, “Fosse/Verdon”) is directing, Will Ferrell’s GLORIA SANCHEZ is producing. /Deadline
ALSO IN MOVIES
UNIVERSAL adds Ben Schwartz to dracula pic “Renfield” with Nicholas Hoult & Nic Cage. Ben’s playing a mobster to Nic’s Draucla, Hoult as his henchman Renfield and Awkwafina has a TBD role as well. /THR
📺 THE TV SET
DISNEY+ developing “Goonies” themed series from WB TV
Not a remake thankfully, but rather about a teacher who helps her students create a shot-for-shot remake of the classic movie.
Called “Our Time”, Sarah Watson (creator of “The Bold Type” and a writer on “Parenthood”) is showrunning, it was previously developed as a show for FOX, though odd no WARNER MEDIA services have never been in the mix here given HBOMAX’s emphasis on franchise extensions. /Variety
Tuesday TV ratings of note
“The Voice” had more viewers for it’s Monday episode than it’s Tuesday finale - 6.8 Million, slighly up from May finale, slightly down from Dec 2020 finale.
Lead-in “Grand Crew” got about 2 Million viewers for its pair of “sneak preview” episodes. /Deadline
ALSO IN TV
Jeff Garlin is not returning to ABC’s “The Goldbergs” if the show returns next year, and his exit is effective immediately following misconduct allegations and HR investigations on the set. /Deadline
HBO renews Bill Simmons’s “Music Box” film docu-series for a Season 2. No word on a film count. /Deadline
CBS renews “CSI: Vegas” for Season 2, sans William Petersen. /THR
CNN+ orders docuseries “Eva Longoria: Searching for Mexico” with Eva looking to do for MEXICO what Stanley Tucci did for Italy. Tucci will also be an Exec Producer on this. /Deadline
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
NBCU partners with FOX to broadcast the return of USFL games in the Spring
Will air across NBC, USA, and PEACOCK. FOX is splitting theirs with FS1, and FOX SPORTS is running the league overall.
The 80’s league returns to action with 8 teams in April, and a 10 game season…all played in one TBD city. #NewJerseyGenerals4life
The Rock’s XFL is looking at a 2023 return but guess we’ll see how this goes in the Spring - these leagues have never existed in an era of rampant online gambling. /Deadline
Talent Agency UTA buys Marketing & Strategy consulting firm MEDIALINK for $125 Million
Essentially as Ari Emanuel is doubling down on Sports for growth at ENDEAVOR, UTA is doubling down on Marketing services and big checks from brands across all genres for $$ growth… since the WGA agreement put the kibosh on expanding into production as a viable option for agencies to find material ways to increase revenues outside of talent commissions.
The current UTA marketing division will be folded into MEDIALINK, and the division will now be called UTA Entertainment & Culture Marketing. MEDIALINK head Michael Kassan will also become a UTA partner.
MEDIALINK was owned by the UK’s Ascential PLC, which runs the CANNES LIONS. They bought it for $69 Million back in 2017, so not a bad almost 2X return in 4 years. /Deadline
ROTTEN TOMATOES sets TIKTOK partnership
Will allow creators to link to trailers, reviews, Tomatometer, and info on movies & TV series. Function is called ROTTEN TOMATOES JUMP 🍅. /MediaPlayNews
Also unlike… some unnamed social media networks, TIKTOK is taking steps to prevent people from being served series of videos on negative themes that could cause them to go down negative content wormholes. /Axios
SIRIUSXM gives 1 year of DISCOVERY+ to their Platinum VIP customers ($35/month)
Platinum, Music & Entertainment, and Streaming Platinum subscribers get 3 months free. All getting the ad-supported version. /Variety
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
CINEWORLD (REGAL Theaters) stock plummets 37% on judge’s ruling that they owe Canadian theater owner CINEPLEX $1.2 Billion as a breakup fee for a merger that didn’t come to fruition in June 2020.
CINEWORLD is the country’s 2nd largest theater chain and the stock is now worth 39 cents.
ROBLOX -9% ($97.95) as Daily Active Users drop by a million from October to November, now at 49.4 Million.
BUZZFEED +8.5% ($6.26)
ROKU -8% ($203.94) after a MORGAN STANLEY analyst lowered their target price to $190 a share.
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
PEACOCK “MacGruber” - All 8 episodes drop today, so if you need to find me tonight, I’ll be on my couch seeing if KFBR392 works as a discount code for PEACOCK PREMIUM while eating celery. Stream or Add to Your List here
HBOMAX “Station Eleven” - Post-apocalyptic limited series based on the popular novel, Stream or Add to Your List here
HBOMAX “Finding Magic Mike” - All 7 episodes of the competition series for the Vegas show drop today. 7 episodes? He must be really lost. and no I’m not proud about writing that. Stream or Add to Your List here
PEACOCK “Miss America” Pageant will live stream, the first time it won’t be on network TV
PEACOCK “Real Housewives of Miami” Season 4, first 3 episodes. Stream or Add to Your List here
PARAMOUNT+ “South Park: Post Covid: The Return of Covid” - SP “movie” number 2. Stream or Add to Your List here
FOX Thursday Night Football - CHIEFS at CHARGERS at 8p.
If you were sent this newsletter or… just kinda found it:
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
PEACOCK“MacGruber” plot recap… here on the launch day, as explained by his deceased wife (Maya Rudolph)
“Ted Lasso” Animated Christmas Short - 4 minute short about Ted losing his mustache… and somehow Nate is still kinda dark in this.
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
And we’ll go out with my now extremely wealthy NJ Shore neighbor Bruce Springsteen, who had one of the more popular headlines yesterday - selling his entire music publishing catalog to SONY MUSIC for $500 Million in the largest sale for an artist’s catalog to date. Take that Bob Dylan! So as Christmas has apparently come early… this seems to be the way to go today.
If you need new tunes:
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