ROBERT DOWNEY JR doing HBO series, playing multiple roles
3 NETFLIX film execs let go over SLACK chats / New Covid protocols hitting LA premieres / Weekend TV & Movies preview
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on FRIDAY July 16, 2021.
Where LA press events / premieres are increasingly asking attendees for proof of a recent negative COVID test in addition to proof of vaccination for admission. Reporters being required to mask up when interviewing talent.
AND: With LA County now requiring masks indoors for everyone again as of tomorrow… “Bridgerton” season 2 briefly pausing production due to a positive covid test… and the YANKEES having to postpone games again due to positive Covid tests among their pitching staff (all 3 were vaccinated, and all are doing ok)… Curious if those post-Labor Day “back to the office” plans set by most Studios / Media companies may start to get a 2nd look in the next couple weeks.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
Movie now shooting with James Mangold directing, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge joining Harrison for this outing. No word on Antonio’s role or really much on the plot overall. /Variety
Apparently disparaging remarks about upper management were discovered by another employee in chats on the division’s SLACK. Kim Masters has some other details in the THR piece for the inclined around how / why it went down in NETFLIX’s reknown culture of radical transparency.
Plus a #FunFact: CMO Bozoma Saint John had reportedly told staff she’d be working from Paris as “an ambassador” of Netflix culture, but… that plan was later retracted.
ALSO IN MOVIES
Zac Efron leaves his longtime managers (ALCHEMY) and agents (CAA) - he’d been with both since the mid-2000s. Signs with WME. /THR
APPLE TV+ signs Director Adam McKay’s (“The Big Short”, “Succession”) production company to multi-year first look Film deal. He already has a large first look TV deal at HBO, started in 2019. /Deadline
“The Daily Show” correspondent Ronny Chieng writing martial-arts comedy at SONY for him to star in, with Ivan Reitman as a producer. Co-writing with “TDS” writer Sebastian DiNatale. /THR
📺 THE TV SET
A spy thriller / cultural satire based on a book called “The Sympathizer“ about a French-Vietnamese communist spy at the end of the Vietnam War, exiled in the US.
Currently searching for the lead actor, but Downey will apparently be playing multiple roles including a Congressman, Hollywood Director and CIA Agent.
Park Chan-wook (“Oldboy”) directing and co-showrunning, A24 and TEAM DOWNEY producing. /Deadline
They put it on the Fall schedule back in the May uprfonts but now… no. In a shock to I’m guessing no one, Dick Wolf is already at work on developing another spinoff. /THR
ALSO: NBC sticking with traditional Fall premiere week, will roll out vast majority of new shows/seasons in one week, starting Mon Sept 20. /Variety
AND: ABC also sticking with that strategy… rolling almost all of their new and returning shows the week of Sept 20.
Called “Sweetness”, not much info other than it’s a female-driven anthology series that she will also direct. Currently going out to buyers.
It’s being produced by writer/director Nick Stoller (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall”, “Neighbors”). Nick also renewed his TV production deal at SONY. /Deadline
ALSO IN TV
ABC’s NBA FINALS ratings still about 30% behind 2019 ratings, but topped 10 Million for Game 4 on Wednesday. /THR
SEX PISTOLS frontman John Lydon objecting to use of their music in Danny Boyle’s planned FX limited series about the band, “Pistol”. Other 2 band members are cool with it and saying “majority rules yo” but it’s currently before a judge 🏛. /Deadline
IMDBTV picks up streaming rights to Season 1 of ABC’s cancelled Katey Sagal legal show “Rebel” , and the right to order a Season 2 if it does well. IMDBTV just did this for another cancelled ABC show “For Life”. Just please don’t add the letters ABC to that streaming service name…🤞 /Deadline
DISNEY+ “Willow” series pilot gets it’s… 3rd director. DEADLINE has the play by play details in the link for anyone inclined (mostly seems due to covid production delays, and then a re-casting which again pushed the shoot timeline, vs. some sort creative issues).
HBOMAX & CNN FILMS reteaming for new documentary on Arthur Ashe. “Citizen Ashe” will premiere 2022 TBD. /THR
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
Does UNIVERSAL have some kind of a deal volume bonus in July with their Business Affairs group? 🤔
This means that after the PEACOCK - AMAZON / NETFLIX - PEACOCK 18 month run, UNIVERSAL PICS will then go exclusively to STARZ for a period of about 18 months for another undisclosed paycheck (movies will hit STARZ roughly 2 years after their theatrical release date - meaning the first film of this deal won’t hit STARZ until about early 2024). /THR
Note: this is for STARZ US only - sorry STARZPLAY international streaming service. Those AMAZON & NETFLIX deal rights are also US only.
LOOMING QUESTION: What are COMCAST’s international ambitions for their movie content??
Use them to bolster SKY in Europe
Sell off to streamer with global International footprint for big 💰💰
Sell off to local streamers/networks internationally in a piecemeal fashion #OldSchool
Or… do they have PEACOCK international ambitions. Either way - UNIVERSAL’s 2022 releases begin in about 5 months. ⏳
Movies include a lot from the WEINSTEIN COMPANY library… which SPYGLASS bought out of bankruptcy 3 years ago. “Fruitvale Station”, “The King’s Speech”, “Silver Linings Playbook” and some recent Tarantino movies among many others.
In exchange SPYGLASS gets a first look TV deal at LIONSGATE. So, a decent trade although considering LIONSGATE’s library has over 17,000 Movie & TV titles - a nice to have, not a need to have. /Variety
ALSO IN MEDIA
You can now pay AMAZON $5 to have your ALEXA speak to you in the voice of Shaq or Melissa McCarthy while it records everything you say at home 👋. /Variety
ROLLING STONE sets new Editor In Chief - Noah Shachtman is coming over from THE DAILY BEAST, replacing Jason Fine who left in Feb. /NY Times
NBC has already sold 85% of its SUPER BOWL ad inventory. No word on the average price for 30 seconds but they were seeking at least $5.8 Million, and commitments to also spend on the WINTER OLYMPICS which follow it this year in Feb. /Variety
ALSO: PEACOCK got $500 Million in upfront ad commitments, as part of $1.5 Billion in overall NBCU digital ad spend commitments;
HULU’s ad revenue is projected to hit about $3 Billion total for this year (that # is from an analyst not HULU);
ROKU released some broad statements Monday that they’ve doubled commitments or something to that effect… but gave no actual numbers. /THR /MediaPost /Next TV
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
Most Media stocks down again slightly but not much (1-3%), although UFC fans returned to ENDEAVOR, putting it up 7%.
But Movie Theater stocks varied greatly:
AMC THEATERS fans returned to push it up over 7% yesterday, but it still has taken heavy losses this month.
CINEMARK down another 4%
CINEWORLD (REGAL Cinemas) dropped over 15%.
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👩💻 THE FSS FEED:
(new Stuff to Watch this weekend)
WB / HBOMAX “Space Jam” - Head to the theaters or Watch it here on HBOMAX. Or go to the theater… and just watch it on your phone. Isn’t 2021 amazing?
SONY “Escape Room 2” - Only in theaters. Where your phone is useless on this one. #OldSchool
FOCUS FEATURES “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain” - Docu directed by Morgan Neville (“Won’t you be my Neighbor?”) hits theaters. Will also hit CNN at some point TBD (CNN FILMS production).
ALSO: Canada reopens movie theaters in the province of Ontario (Toronto) today at 50% capacity - the market represents 40% of Canadian moviegoing eh?
APPLE TV+ “Schmigadoon!” - Cecily Strong, Keegan Michael Key stuck in a land of musicals comedy. 6 episode series, 2 eps drop today. Watch or Add to your List here
AMAZON PRIME “Making the Cut” Season 2 - Watch or Add to your List here
HULU “McCartney 3, 2 1” - 6 part docuseries with Paul & Rick Rubin going through the iconic music from Paul’s career. Watch or Add to your List here
BRITISH OPEN golf on NBC at 7am. So get your pints chilled the night before.
ABC - NBA FINALS Game 5, back to Phoenix for a 9p tipoff. Series tied 2-2.
BRITISH OPEN golf on NBC at 7am. And a Highlights / Recap show at 4pm
STARZ “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” premieres… at some time. The STARZ website schedule didn’t have it on there.
If you were sent this newsletter or… just kinda found it:
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
AMAZON PRIME “Modern Love” Season 2 trailer. they manage to hit the high bar they set in Season 1. Don’t get me started on the Dev Patel / Catherine Keener episode… its too early for tears. Premieres Fri Aug 13
SONY PICS CLASSICS “Julia” trailer. The Julia Child docu from the director of “RBG” hits theaters… well . No info here.
HBOMAX “Through Our Eyes” docuseries trailer. 4 parts, from the “Sesame Street” team, looking at major issues like homelessness and the effects of climate change through the eyes of kids experiencing them first hand. Premieres this Thu July 22.
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
New DEE GEES - “You Should Be Dancing”. Hey these guys look familiar…
FOO FIGHTERS celebrate the greatest Disco act of all time with 5 cover songs on a special edition vinyl album called “Hail Satin” which drops tomorrow - Happy Record Store Day!
If you need new tunes:
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