FRI 2.26.21 : Soderbergh + Zoe Kravitz for HBOMAX movie
Rebel Wilson sets PARAMOUNT comedy / New TV & Movies this weekend / AT&T spins off DIRECTV
Mornin! Here’s the Hollywood + MediaBiz news to know on FRIDAY February 26th, 2021.
Where as of March 4th, pretty much the entirety of the VIACOM, CBS & PARAMOUNT universe will cost $10 a month to stream, but SHOWTIME still costs $11.
🎧 MUSIC TO READ BY
POST MALONE covers the Hootie classic “I Only Wanna Be with You” for POKEMON 25 🤔. Actually kinda cool! I’m sure Ross Geller would approve. YouTube / Spotify
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
Steven Soderbergh doing NEW LINE movie for HBOMAX starring Zoe Kravitz
Called “KIMI”, Zoe plays agoraphobic IT worker who discovers footage of a violent crime, and has to (try to) leave her apartment to get involved.
David Koepp wrote the script & also a producer. /Deadline
Rebel Wilson doing High School comedy “Senior Year” for PARAMOUNT PLAYERS
Cheerleader wakes up after 20 year coma, comes back to compete for Prom Queen. Rebel also producing the movie. /THR
NETFLIX sets Rawson Marshall Thurber (“Red Notice” , “Dodgeball”) to direct adaptation of video game “The Division”
Will star Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain. A deadly virus is spread via paper money on November’s Black Friday, kinda wiping out NYC and killing millions. Chaos ensues by Christmas. I dunno, deadly virus? Can’t relate. /Deadline
ALSO IN MOVIES
WARNER BROS sets Jon M Chu to direct “The Great Chinese Art Heist”. Based on GQ article about stolen Chinese antiquities from European museums… that somehow are ending up back in China. Project is out to a writer so gonna be a while. /Deadline
Sean Penn & Tye Sheridan starring in OPEN ROAD thriller “Black Flies” about paramedics. Will shoot in NYC later this year. /Deadline
Meryl Streep doing Broadway themed movie “Places, Please” directed by Pulitzer & Tony winner Michael Cristofer. Shooting this Summer in NYC, CAA Media repping sales. /Deadline
Helen Mirren joins Gillian Anderson in LIONSGATE’s “Wonder” sequel, set in WWII: “White Bird: A Wonder story”. /Deadline
📺 THE TV SET
HULU orders 8 ep limited series on Mike Tyson called “Iron Mike”
To be directed by “I, Tonya” director Craig Gillespie and many folks from that movie are also involved.
However Mike is… not involved, and already publicly dissing the project. /THR
HULU also gave “Animaniacs” an early Season 3 pickup. S2 premieres this year. /THR
ALSO IN TV
SHOWTIME sets O-T Fagbenle (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) to play Barack Obama in their anthology series “The First Lady”. Viola Davis already set as Michelle Obama. /THR
HBO casts Rose Leslie (“GOT”) and Theo James (“Divergent”) as leads in “The Time Travelers Wife” series adaptation of the novel. /Deadline
WARNER MEDIA promotes Kristy Chan, moves over to WBTV Unscripted as SVP Mktg & Publicity. 👏 /Deadline
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
AT&T spins off DIRECTV into a separate company, worth 1/3 of what AT&T paid for it 6 years ago
DIRECTV will finally be off of AT&T’s books; now it’s own company with a $16.5 Billion valuation. (AT&T bought it for $48.5 Billion in 2015). U-VERSE & AT&T TV NOW streaming bundle also spun into the company.
TPG Private Equity is paying $2 Billion in cash & debt assumption for a 30% stake.
AT&T will retain a 70% stake in the new company, and get $7.8 Billion from it to go toward reducing their $157 Billion of debt.
AT&T still keeping DIRECTV Latin American holdings and Regional Sports network holdings.
DIRECTV lost over 3 million US subscribers in 2020, ended year with 13.3 Million. /NextTV & /NYT
ALSO IN MEDIA
TWITTER to test feature where users can pay to subscribe to an account to get exclusive content from them. (Please don’t call it TWITTER+ 🤞). Ah, looks like they’re calling it a “Super Follow”.
Well anyway their new Newsletter hosting company acquisition REVUE could feature prominently in this kinda “Patreon for TWITTER” endeavor. 86% of their revenue came from advertising in 2020. #diversification. /Tech Crunch
SPOTIFY introduces feature so you can sort your “Liked Songs” list by mood. Details at THE VERGE.
AMC NETWORKS increased streaming subscribers 150% in 2020. Now has 6 million across all of their services (Sundance NOW, Shudder, etc) but no #s broken out for their flagship AMC+ specifically. /Deadline
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
AMAZON “The Underground Railroad” teaser. From Barry Jenkins, premieres Fri May 14th.
NETFLIX “Army of the Dead” teaser. New Zack Snyder movie. Mercinaries attempt heist in zombie-ridden Vegas. Premieres Fri May 21st.
HULU “The Handmaid’s Tale” season 4 teaser. Premieres on Wed Apr 28th.
DISNEY PIXAR teaser for their Summer movie “Luca”. Set in Italy, about 2 boys who are actually sea monsters. Well that’s new. Hits movie theaters on June 18th.
🙋♂️ MY ONE WEEKLY ASK
This Friday’s Theme - Tell an Agent! If you work with someone at a Talent Agency that you think might dig this: Would you forward or share a link, or remember to mention it in conversation? I mean what better way to tell someone that you like working with them! Ok Besides money. Money’s good too.
And if you’re an Agent who was forwarded this - someone thinks your great! Everybody wins.
And many MANY 🙏 to the several readers who already have shared the newsletter.
Thank you! - Sean
📰 WEEKEND READS
If you love “Office Space” - you’ll love this oral history from THE RINGER. Some great stuff, including FOX Studio head Tom Rothman really wanting to take out all the gangsta rap.
VANITY FAIR dives into the saga behind Zack Snyder’s“Justice League” journey.
And a re-post of the VF HOLLYWOOD Issue link.
PLUS: NYT put GoPros on nurses in a Covid ICU (and interviewed them). A powerful and empathetic 15 minute docu giving a spotlight to the frontline, day in/day out, that the TV News hasn’t shown. Worth your time this weekend.
👩💻 THE FSS FEED:
(new Stuff to Watch this weekend)
“Tom and Jerry” on HBOMAX and in movie theaters. oh and China.
“Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry” on APPLE TV+. Docu on Billie Eilish, but… thinking you figured that out. 🕵️
“Cherry” from APPLE TV+ hits movie theaters. Directed by the Russo Bros, based on Iraq vet & former heroin addict’s memoir starring Tom Holland. Will be on APPLE TV+ in a couple of weeks.
“The Father” opens in NY & LA… so I guess that’s theaters outside of NYC, and Drive-Ins in LA. Goes wider March 12th, and hits $20 PVOD home rental on March 26th. Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman, about Anthony’s character’s increasing dementia, Olivia plays his daughter.
“Minari” hits $20 PVOD rental via your service of choice (iTunes Store, Amazon Prime etc)
New SNL : Nick Jonas and Nick Jonas. Wait does he get paid twice? 🤔
“The Walking Dead” extended season 10 premiere on AMC at 9pm. Starts a run of 6 new episodes. Episodes premiere on AMC+ on Thursdays before the Sunday AMC airing going forward.
“Golden Globes” on NBC at 8pm. Tina Fey from the Rainbow Room in NYC, and Amy Poehler from the Beverly Hilton in LA.
See ya Monday! Though TO NOTE: you’ll get a dive into the health of the DISNEY+ numbers from me tomorrow - trying a little expansion into a weekly analysis piece and would love feedback (if you’d like more… or if better to just keep it short and sweet with this email).
Have a great weekend!