WED: Natalie Portman set as lead for new HBO Film
Ramy + Emma Stone for next movie from THE FAVOURITE team / CBS NEWS getting new leadership / Big new trailers & a new Jagger + Grohl collab
Mornin! Here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on WEDNESDAY April 14, 2021.
Where normally you’d be super panicked about doing your taxes right now… so we got that going for us, which is nice (unless you pay quarterly).
If you’re new (ish) to THE WAKEUP and know someone who would dig it 🙏 :
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
Next movie from director Yorgos Lanthimos (“The Favourite”), a Victorian-era story about a woman brought back to life by an eccentric scientist.
Willem Dafoe in talks for that role. Ramy’s role was not disclosed. /Deadline
Mark Hamill & comedian Bert Kreisher doing movie for LEGENDARY based on Bert’s viral standup story “The Machine”
The comedy set/story now apparently has 85 Million views online. Hamill playing Bert’s father, and it tells the story of what happens when they get kidnapped by the Russian mob.
Peter Atencio (“Keanu”) directing. No studio/streamer signed on yet. /THR
ALSO IN MOVIES
UNIVERSAL sets new director for Dracula movie “Renfield” - Chris McKay who just directed Amazon’s upcoming July 4th weekend Chris Pratt sci-fi action movie “The Tomorrow War”. It centers on an unhinged acolyte of Dracula, Robert Kirkman wrote the story outline. /THR
Kevin Smith selling his latest horror movie called “Kilroy Was Here” as a NFT. No word on the minimum price he’s setting. And in a move that’s a bit more obvious… he’s also setting up his own crypto NFT exchange to sell various Jay & Silent Bob artwork. /Deadline
APPLE TV+ sets Louis Armstrong docu with IMAGINE, “Black & Blues: The Colorful Ballad of Louis Armstrong”. /Variety
📺 THE TV SET
A woman abandons her dreams, choosing a stable home life with her family but is eventually abandoned by her husband, throwing her character into crisis.
Previously was a 2006 Italian film. HBO’s “My Brilliant Friend” series is also based on Elena’s work. /THR
That’s…. really all there is on that one. /THR
ALSO IN TV
MASTERS golf viewership down 13% from Tiger’s 2019 win (admittedly a high bar). But Sunday’s 9.5 Million viewer mark was up 70% from the adjusted 2020 MASTERS in November. /SportsMediaWatch
Serena Williams signs first look TV deal with AMAZON, sets docuseries about her life. Other projects TBD. /Variety
Selena Gomez leading a vaccination TV concert event with Global Citizen, called ”Vax Up”. Will pre-tape at SoFi Stadium in LA and air on ABC, CBS and stream on YouTube Saturday May 8, featuring Foo Fighters, J Lo, J Balvin and H.E.R. among others. /THR
In the HOLLYWOOD EXECUTIVE SUITE:
DISNEY promotes Sharon Klein to head up all TV Casting across brands (ABC, HULU, FX, FREEFORM, 20th TV, etc). /THR
UNIVERSAL PICS EVP Comms Cindy Gardner promoted to NBCU EVP of West Coast, working across all business units and reports into Adam Miller, Chief Administration Officer. Evan Langweiler promoted to her old job, heading Global Communications for UNIVERSAL PICTURES, reporting into Donna Langley. /Deadline
Michael Donkis leaves ROGERS & COWAN/PMK as Co-President of Entertainment Strategies to launch his own shop - ALOFT STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS. Publicists Amy Zack and Stephanie Baum joining him from R&C/PMK. /Deadline
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
SONY invests another $200 Million in the company’s latest round of funding, on top of $250 Mil they put in last year. EPIC’s value has gone up about $10 Billion over the past 8 months; they made almost $4 Billion in gross profit in 2020.
But the new cash will come in handy in EPIC’s huge, about to go to trial lawsuit against APPLE centered on the 30% cut they take of all app revenue. /THR
Process has supposedly been going on for weeks, possibly a few months. She’s looking to leave the executive stuff behind after 2 years and segue back into a Production head role. /Variety
Although the WSJ reports that she may do some sort of overall production deal there instead. She has been at CBS NEWS for 40 years (and famously was the inspiration-ish for the Holly Hunter character in “Broadcast News”).
Separately but not really - CBS News EVP Kim Godwin is expected to depart soon to head up ABC NEWS.
ALSO IN MEDIA
UNIVISION merges/buys Mexican TV production powerhouse TELEVISA for about $4.8 Billion in cash and stock. New company will be called TELEVISA-UNIVISION, and TELEVISA already had a small stake in UNIVISION as well as a large production deal. UNIVISION was bought last year by an investment group run by former VIACOM CFO Wade Davis for about $8-9 Billion. /Deadline
NETFLIX reveals revenue & subscriber #s for South Korea (due to local laws). Avg Revenue Per Month/ARPU = $7.80. Revenue more doubled in 2020 to $356 Million, expected to nearly do so again this year. They’re spending $500 Million on original content there this year. /THR
ROKU releases remote with voice command function. Works with all ROKU players from 2017 onward and is rechargeable. Bonus: if you can’t find it, you can just ask where it is, and it’ll beep. Assuming you didn’t leave it in the fridge again. Order at Roku.com. Wait did I just get a sponsor? No? Still no money at all? 🤦♂️
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
ROKU popped 4.5%. Wall Street does love new remote control news.
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
NETFLIX “Army of the Dead” trailer. Director Zack Snyder answers the valid question - what if you took “Oceans 11” and put it in a Vegas Zombie apocalypse? 🤔. Dave Batista leads a group of mercinaries entering a zombie-plagued Las Vegas to recover $200 Million in a vault. Premieres Fri May 21 (also in “select theaters”… will more theaters be added than usual for a NETFLIX movie given lack of new movie theater product in the month leading up?)
LIONSGATE’S “Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” two-minute teaser trailer. Who needs Top Gun? This seems to check all the Summer Popcorn movie boxes. Plus it’s tough to beat a trailer cut to a Britney classic. Hits theaters June 18.
HULU “Shrill” Final Season trailer. Premieres Fri May 7.
NETFLIX “Chadwick Boseman: Portrait of an Artist” trailer. Special featuring interviews with those who he worked with and knew him best. Premieres this Saturday.
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
Well. Hope you have NETFLIX.
NETFLIX“Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!” - Jamie Foxx sitcom about a businessman who suddenly has to take care of his teenage daughter. Based on Foxx’s real relationship with his daughter Corinne. 8 Episodes total. Watch or add to your list here
NETFLIX “The Circle” Season 2, first 4 eps. Additional 4 episode drops on the next 3 Tuesdays. Watch or add to your list here
NETFLIX “Why Did You Kill Me?” documentary. Family uses MySpace to track down the people who killed their daughter by creating a fake account in her name. Watch or add to your list here
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
New MICK JAGGER + DAVE GROHL “Easy Sleazy” - Well this came outta nowhere. Mick on vocals, Dave on pretty much everything else for a song about the… pandemic 🤷♂️, complete with a shotout to Bill Gates 🤘.
If you need new tunes:
Have a great Wednesday! Email me anytime - just reply to this email, or my name below goes to my LinkedIn.