EDDIE MURPHY doing 3 movies at AMAZON
NETFLIX sets Kev Hart heist movie / THE ATHLETIC is for sale / SHOWTIME orders Vampire series
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on THURSDAY September 23, 2021.
Where here are your October SNL hosts, starting with Owen Wilson next Sat, thru Jason Sudeikis on October 23. Paging Diondre Cole. And 🙏 a Bill Hader surprise visit.
ALSO: Anyone else further appreciating David Fincher’s ability to accurately portray the media in “Gone Girl” a bit more this week or just me? 🙋♂️
AND: A Rest in Peace goes out to pioneering director Melvin Van Peebles, who died at 89 years-old yesterday.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
AMAZON signs Eddie Murphy to 3 picture deal
He also set a first-look development deal at AMAZON, in addition to agreeing to star in the 3 TBD movies.
Which is a bit surprising really, since Eddie’s“Dolemite” movie was at NETFLIX… as is his upcoming “Beverly Hills Cop 4” movie… and that new movie with Jonah Hill from Kenya Barris that was just announced this month. So looks like he either really enjoyed his “Coming 2 America” experience there… or that AMAZON check must have had a lot of 000s (no price disclosed for the deal). /THR
NETFLIX sets another Kevin Hart movie
The man is prolific… he just started shooting another NETFLIX comedy movie last week with Wahlberg, and has a limited series with Wesley Snipes hitting the service in November. And I think he even watched something on the service last night. #CompanyMan
This one’s called “Lift” but sadly is not based on the legendary CONAN sketches he did with Ice Cube for the ride sharing service. (Which… if you don’t know what I’m talking about - click that link).
This is a heist film that F. Gary Gray (“The Italian Job”, “Straight Outta Compton”) is gonna direct. Hart’s playing a master thief drawn into pulling a heist on an international flight by his Ex and somehow the FBI as well. 🤔 /Deadline
Kevin Bacon joins BLUMHOUSE LGBTQIA+ horror movie
John Logan making his directorial debut (he wrote “Gladiator”, “Skyfall” among many others). This one is an empowerment story set at a gay conversion camp. /Deadline
ALSO IN MOVIES
WB moving the next “Fantastic Beasts” movie from next Summer up to April. Called “The Secrets of Dumbledore”, it’s the 3rd of 5 movies planned in the series. At which point I’m guessing they’ll just remake the “Harry Potter” movies again right? /THR
AMAZON sets release plan for Clooney-directed, Affleck-starring movie “The Tender Bar”. NY/LA theaters on Fri Dec 17, Wide release on Wed Dec 22, and hits AMAZON PRIME on Fri Jan 7. /Deadline
📺 THE TV SET
SHOWTIME orders vampire series “Let the Right One In” starring Demian Bichir
Based on a novel, which already had two movies made from it in the late Aughts (US remake was called “Let Me In” with Chloe Grace Moretz). Anika Noni Rose (“Dreamgirls”), Grace Gummer (”Mr. Robot”) are co-starring here.
Story is about a pre-teen girl who’s turned into a vampire 🧛♀️, forever keeping her looking like a 12 year-old as her father tries to continually supply her with human blood she needs to live. “Premiering this Father’s Day on SHOWTIME”. /Deadline
Rashida Jones & David Oyelowo join APPLE TV apocalyptic underground series “Wool”
Tim Robbins, Rebecca Ferguson already cast, Graham Yost (“Justified”) is showrunning - set among a community of people living underground in a silo, miles below a now toxic ☠️ surface of the Earth.
Morten Tyldum (”The Imitation Game”) is directing, and its actually produced by AMC Studios. /THR
Tuesday Fall TV Premiere night audiences:
“FBI : International” : 6.4 Million on CBS at 10p (the other 2 existing “FBI” show lead-ins each had a bit over 7 Million)
“Our Kind of People” : 1.6 Million on FOX at 9p (lead-in “The Resident” had 3 Million)
ALSO IN TV
NETFLIX orders 4 part series based on the 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning WWII book“All the Light We Cannot See” directed by Shawn Levy (“Free Guy”, “Night at the Museum”). Steven Knight (“Peaky Blinders”) writing, it’s about a blind teenager and a German soldier whose paths cross in occupied France. /THR
HULU orders “Black Cake” drama series with Oprah among the producers. Based on a book - part family drama, part international murder mystery: a woman dies in her 60’s and her kids try to unravel her past, which may or may not involve her disappearing in the ocean off of Jamaica as a young woman, when she was suspected of killing her husband. /Deadline
CBSN changing name to… CBS NEWS. Sure why not. The service will also take over the 57th street studio vacated by “CBS This Morning” when it became “CBS Mornings” in Times Square. /Deadline
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
SONY’s INDIA business merging with ZEE ENTERTAINMENT ➡️ DISNEY+ takes note
Yes, an INDIA Media merger is not something I’d normally make note of… And this is definitely more of a #MediaNerd 🤓 thing so cool kids by all means scroll down to the BRITNEY docu trailer👇. But fellow nerds read on.
The new entity will be a public company, but SONY is essentially acquiring ZEE by merging their SONY PICTURES TV INDIA division into it, as well as investing $1.6 Billion in the new company, and ZEE’s prez is gonna lead the entity.
ZEE has a lot of TV networks, a huge film libary and some print & mobile interests
SONY INDIA has a big TV & Film production unit, as well as Entertainment and more importantly Sports networks there, including one they bought from ZEE in the mid 2010’s.
The combined company will now be a formidable overall competitor for DISNEY+ HOTSTAR in INDIA. DISNEY+ HOTSTAR plays a key role at DISNEY of course - it has 44 Million streaming subscribers, and makes up 1/3 of the DISNEY+ total subscriber base.
But more importantly… SONY/ZEE will likely make a now well-resourced competing bid on INDIA PREMIERE LEAGUE Cricket TV rights which come up for auction next year - rights currently held by DISNEY+ HOTSTAR… and a huge reason for the service’s popularity there. So. The plot thickens.
For context - the IPL rights sold in a 5 year, $2.5 Billion deal back in 2018 - not NFL money but a considerable spend. AMAZON is also thought to likely be in the rights auction mix as well.
Subscription Sports journalism site THE ATHLETIC seeking buyer
Has enlisted dealmaking bank LION TREE to sell it, ideally for $750 Million. Although their last fundraising round valued the company at $530 Million last year.
The company currently has 1.2 Million paying subscribers, on-track for $80 Million of revenue this year, and $120 Million projected for 2022.
THE ATHLETIC previously sought deals with AXIOS and the NY TIMES at different points earlier this year to no avail. /The Information
Today in FACEBOOK’s “ALL IS WELL!!” news:
They’re now favoring stories in their algorithm that put FACEBOOK in a good light so they’re seen more often in people’s feeds. A move Zuck personally approved after getting tired of people continually bagging on the brand and lowering its perception. Ahem.
Zuck chose to respond to the story by making a “jokey” FB post clarifying that he rides a hyrdofoil and not an electric surfboard as mentioned in the piece. I mean I don’t see why FB keeps getting a bad rap for not caring about major issues… 🤔 /NY Times
The APPLE iOS 14.5 privacy update is causing FB ad tracking to be roughly 15% less effective. Well at least they think so - honestly from the post on the company’s blog about it… they don’t really seem to know. 🤷♂️ /Tech Crunch
Their longtime CTO said he’s ✌️ out at the end of the year to “dedicate more time to my family” after 9 years in the role, and will move into a role as a part-time “senior fellow” at the company. /THR
ALSO IN MEDIA
Add the NY TIMES to the January / 1Q 2022 full Return to Office plan. Because there’s nothing like returning to commuting life in January NYC weather to raise company morale. ☃️ /CNN
SNAP’s CEO Evan Spiegel says they ended their $1 Million a day payouts to people who make the most popular videos on the service because too many “copycat videos” were being made. /Variety
“Also - did you know how expensive it is to actually compensate the people who create the most popular content that we make our money from? Wow. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go check on the $100 Million dollar mansion I’m building in Holmby Hills.” While yes, a made up quote… that last thing about Evan’s $100 Million House is 100% true.
If you wanna bet on the business acumen of former CBS head Joe Ianniello and CBS INTERACTIVE head Marc DeBevois - their SPAC called ARGUS CAPITAL went public yesterday at a $265 Million valuation. Which is just over double the size of the $125 Million payday Joe got when he left VIACOM CBS after the merger and didn’t get the CEO job (no indication any of that money is being put to use here).
The SPAC will now look to acquire a TBD company in the Media / Tech sector in the next 18 months, and thus make it a publicly traded company. /Deadline
CLUBHOUSE hires another partnerships head - Chelsea Macdonald is gonna lead up Entertainment partnerships for 2021’s most imitated app.
She comes over from a text-message based startup called COMMUNITY, but was a lead on Entertainment industry partnerships at INSTA before that. /THR
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
A slightly up but pretty quiet Thursday for Media stocks.
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
NBC “Law & Order” Thursdays begins tonight with season premieres.
HBOMAX “Doom Patrol” Season 3, first 3 episodes drop today. CLICK HERE to Watch or Add to Your List
If you were sent this newsletter or… just kinda found it:
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
NETFLIX “Britney vs Spears” docu trailer. Premieres this Tues, Sept 28.
APPLE TV+ “Invasion” series trailer. Global look at an alien invasion across a variety of characters… and gotta say APPLE TV is not skimping on its budgets - another impressive visual spectacle 👏. Premieres Fri Oct 22.
HBOMAX “The Sex Lives of College Girls” series teaser trailer. From Mindy Kaling - brief spot but looks fun! Premieres Thu Nov 18.
AMAZON PRIME “Savage X Fenty vol 3” trailer. The lingerie fashion show / concert drops this Friday Sept 24.
I think I hit the runway around the 42 minute mark… but I gotta check with Riri. I got to keep the assless chaps and everything - she’s a class act! 👏
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
THE JOBROS “Who’s In Your Head” - More catchy smooth pop vibes, courtesy of the Jonas Brothers trio from Jersey.
GEN X has Bruce and Bon Jovi, MILLENIALS have Jonas Bros and Halsey. You can’t keep Jersey down.
If you need new tunes:
Email me anytime - just reply to this email, or connect here on LINKED IN.
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