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Watch: Jane Goodall Observes a Supportive Mother Chimp in This “Jane” Clip
7 hours ago
Prepare for your heart to melt. A clip from “Jane,” the Jane Goodall documentary that opens today, has been released and it shows the most adorable baby chimp you’ve ever seen. As the pint-sized ape runs around, stumbles into a shallow hole, and jumps on a tent as if it was a trampoline, her bemused mother keeps an eye on her. And Mama Chimp is always there when her child needs help.
“She was all things that a chimp mother should be,” Goodall explains in voiceover. “She was protective but not overprotective, she was affectionate, she was playful. But being supportive — that was the key.” The renowned anthropologist and conservationist adds, “And, of course, that’s what my mother was.”
Written and directed by Brett Morgen (“Cobain: Montage of Heck”), “Jane” includes never-before-seen, archival National Geographic footage. The critically-acclaimed documentary made its world premiere last month at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Check out the doc’s clip below to see the mother chimp and her baby as well as their interactions with Goodall.
Go to “Jane’s” official website to find film screenings near you.
Watch: Jane Goodall Observes a Supportive Mother Chimp in This “Jane” Clip was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
Trailer Watch: A Family’s Life Goes to the Dogs in Marianna Palka’s “Bitch”
11 hours ago
“We thought you’d be home. I postponed dinner as long as I could,” Jill (Marianna Palka) says as she leaves a message for her husband, Bill (Jason Ritter, “Parenthood”) in the new trailer for “Bitch.” “There’s a dog watching me,” she adds in a trembling voice.
You see, Jill’s having a hard time of it. Bill is never at home, is cheating on her, and doesn’t listen when she talks to him. She takes care of their four kids on her own, and they are sort of terrible (“Mom! Can we go in this century, please?”). Growing more and more desperate, Jill finally cracks — and begins behaving like an aggressive dog. Literally.
“I read and heard a story that Scottish doctor R.D. Laing had a patient who had empty nest syndrome when her kids grew up and left the house and it was so fascinating to me,” writer-director-star Palka told us when “Bitch” screened at Sundance. With Laing’s patient in mind, she decided to explore what it would mean if an unhappy woman acted like an actual bitch.
“Women deserve all of their civil and human rights,” Palka stressed. “No one needs to use the term ‘bitch’ against anyone else, unless they’re literally talking about a female dog. Because no one is actually that term. So let’s find a better word.”
Along with appearing in projects like “Glow,” “Girls,” and “Scottish Mussel,” Palka has helmed and acted in the features “I’m the Same,” “Good Dick,” and “Always Worthy.” Frequent collaborator Ritter also appears in the latter two. Palka’s next project, the dark motherhood comedy “Egg,” is in post-production. It stars Christina Hendricks (“Mad Men”), Alysia Reiner (“Orange Is the New Black”), and Anna Camp (“Pitch Perfect” franchise).
“Bitch” hits theaters and VOD November 10.
Trailer Watch: A Family’s Life Goes to the Dogs in Marianna Palka’s “Bitch” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
“Better Things” Renewed for Season 3
19 October 2017 11:31 AM, PDT
“Better Things”: FX Networks
Sam Fox isn’t going anywhere. Variety reports that Pamela Adlon-starrer “Better Things” has been renewed for a third season. Adlon co-created the dramedy and directed every episode of its second season, which is currently airing Thursday nights on FX.
The critically acclaimed, award-winning show follows Sam (Adlon), a voiceover and character actress. She manages to make a go of it in Hollywood while raising three daughters (Mikey Madison, Hannah Alligood, and Olivia Edward) on her own, taking care of her slowly declining mother (Celia Imrie), and being the most dependable friend in her social circle. But Sam is no selfless martyr: she’s not afraid to call bullshit or punctuate her good deeds with wry comments.
“‘Better Things’ success is testament to the creative genius of Pamela Adlon as a writer, director, and actor,” stated Eric Schrier, co-prez of FX Networks and FX Productions’ original programming. “It has been a joy for everyone at FX to support Pamela and see the critics and industry recognize this series as one of the very best shows on TV. Pamela and the enormously talented cast, producers, and crew have our deepest appreciation.”
“I know what it’s like to sit and whittle your life away on a set watching men — people — waste so much time and money indulging themselves,” Adlon has said of her decision to direct all of “Better Things” Season 2. “It’s insane. It doesn’t have to be that way. This whole season was an experiment in ‘Things can be great and comfortable.’ You don’t have to scrape the marrow off your bones.”
“Better Things” will compete in the long form Breakthrough Series competition at this year’s Gotham Awards. The show was named Most Exciting New Series at the 2016 Critics Choice Television Awards and has been nominated for a WGA award. Adlon’s performance also earned a nod at this year’s Emmys.
“Better Things” Renewed for Season 3 was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
Teaser Watch: There’s No Such Thing as Truth in “I, Tonya”
19 October 2017 10:31 AM, PDT
“I, Tonya”: Neon
The newly released teaser for Tiff darling and Gotham Award nominee “I, Tonya” shows figure skating legend Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie) doing what she (first) became famous for: the incredibly difficult triple axel. As she twirls in mid-air, Tonya muses on America’s need to label people as heroes or villains. “The haters always say, ‘Tonya, tell the truth,’” she thinks to herself. Then she decides, “There’s no such thing as truth, I mean it’s bullshit.”
Robbie’s delivery is hilarious, but that credo could also be “I, Tonya’s” thesis statement. Most of us think we know the truth about the real-life Harding and what happened between her and competitor Nancy Kerrigan at the Figure Skating Championships — but Craig Gillespie’s new film makes it clear that we don’t.
The jokes about Harding fail to reference the abuse she withstood from her mother, Lavona Golden, and then-husband, Jeff Gillooly. And it’s also possible, as “I, Tonya” hints, that Harding was not the one responsible for the attack on Kerrigan.
“I, Tonya” was penned by Steven Rogers (“P.S. I Love You”) and co-stars Allison Janney (“Mom”) and Sebastian Stan (“Captain America” franchise) as Tonya’s mother and husband, respectively. Robbie is up for a Gotham Award for her performance.
The dark comedy will open in NY and La on December 8, followed by a platform rollout continuing into January.
Teaser Watch: There’s No Such Thing as Truth in “I, Tonya” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
Gotham Awards 2017: Nods for Greta Gerwig, “Fleabag,” “Better Things,” & More
19 October 2017 9:30 AM, PDT
Gerwig’s “Lady Bird”
Nominations for the 2017 Gotham Awards are in. While Greta Gerwig and Maggie Betts are both up for the Breakthrough Director Award for “Lady Bird” and “Novitiate,” respectively, none of the five films nominated for Best Feature are helmed by a woman. Plus, the Sabaah Folayan-co-directed “Whose Streets?” is the only film from a woman filmmaker nominated for Best Documentary. This marks a decrease from last year, which saw one narrative and two docs from women filmmakers receive nods.
Both coming-of-age stories, “Lady Bird” centers on a Catholic school student itching to get out of her hometown, Sacramento, CA, while “Novitiate” is about a secular-raised young woman who decides to become a nun. “Whose Streets?” spotlights the death of Michael Brown Jr. and the social movement it inspired.
As compared to the film categories, women fared dramatically better in the Gotham TV nominations. Sixty percent, or three of the five, long form series nods went to women-created or co-created fare: Pamela Adlon’s “Better Things,” Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s “Fleabag,” and Sarah-Violet Bliss’ “Search Party.” All of those titles are dark half-hour comedies led by women. Meanwhile, 80 percent, or four of the five, short form nominations went to series from female creators: Kate Berlant’s “555,” Zoe Cassavetes’ “Junior,” Sarah Salovaara’s “Let Me Die a Nun,” and Nancy Andrews’ “The Strange Eyes of Dr. Myes.”
A committee of critics, journalists, fest organizers, and film curators picked this year’s Gotham nominees. The awards ceremony will be November 27 in New York City. Special tributes will also be given to Nicole Kidman and her “Beguiled” director, Sofia Coppola, among others.
All of the female Gotham Award nominees are below. List adapted from The Hollywood Reporter. (Note: When a male co-creator or co-director’s name is present, the woman’s name is in bold.)
Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
Margot Robbie in I, Tonya (Neon)
Breakthrough Series — Long Form
Breakthrough Series — Short Form
Zoe Cassavetes, creator (Blackpills and Vice)
Let Me Die a Nun
Sarah Salovaara, creator (Vimeo)
The Strange Eyes of Dr. Myes
Nancy Andrews, creator (YouTube)
Gotham Awards 2017: Nods for Greta Gerwig, “Fleabag,” “Better Things,” & More was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
Teaser Watch: Meet the Characters of Lena Waithe’s New Show “The Chi”
19 October 2017 8:01 AM, PDT
“The only reason I told you this shit is cuz I thought you was gonna handle it,” an unidentified voice says in the only dialogue included in the teaser for Lena Waithe’s “The Chi.” The spot’s main focus seems to be introducing the audience to the world, look, and feel of Chicago’s south side, the Showtime drama’s setting.
The teaser also provides quick glimpses of the series’ main players — Jerrika (Tiffany Boone), Jada (Yolonda Ross), Coogie (Jahking Guillory), Brandon (Jason Mitchell), Ronnie (Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine), Emmett (Jacob Latimore), Kevin (Alex R. Hibbert), and Cruz (Armando Riesco)— but leaves their backgrounds, roles, and connections to one another a mystery.
Created and executive produced by “Master of None” writer and star Waithe, “The Chi” is, per Showtime’s synopsis, “a powerful coming-of-age drama series about an interconnected group of working-class African-Americans who remind us that no matter what, the human spirit is strong and hope never dies.”
Waithe made history last month when she became the first black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing. She was honored for co-writing the “Master of None” episode “Thanksgiving,” which sees her character, Denise, slowly come out to her friends and family over the course of two decades.
“I have never seen a black female character come out on television,” Waithe has said of “Thanksgiving.” “There are times you’re going about your business of being an artist, and you don’t realize that what you’re doing hasn’t been done before … So I cannot be prouder of the fact that we did do it.”
“The Chi” premieres January 7, 2018 on Showtime.
Teaser Watch: Meet the Characters of Lena Waithe’s New Show “The Chi” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
Stephanie Laing’s Online Network Pypo Teaming Up with Norwegian Air
19 October 2017 7:01 AM, PDT
Laing: Jazo PR
Pypo, the multi-platform comedy network for women founded by Emmy winner Stephanie Laing, has partnered with Norwegian Air. According to a press release, the airline’s flights will feature exclusive Pypo content as their onboard entertainment beginning March 2018. The deal will also see Pypo “produce a unique event for Norwegian in early 2018” as well as potentially develop Norwegian Air-specific programming.
“We are very happy to have Norwegian as the first airline to dedicate a channel for Pypo on their flights, a channel for their female passengers to laugh and be entertained. As a frequent flyer and a woman, I appreciate an airline catering to my needs,” Laing commented.
“We are truly excited to partner with Stephanie Laing and Pypo, which is a whole new direction for Norwegian. Together we will be able to bring our passengers fresh content,” added Anders Lindström, Norwegian’s Director of Communications, USA. “We’re very pleased to be able to partake in Stephanie’s creative world and having something so unique produced for us.”
Designed for women “who are taking control of the conversation,” Pypo’s website produces original programming and editorial content. Each week the network chooses a topic to delve into via its content and social media. Pypo’s goal is to build “a place for women who are looking for a new narrative; one that speaks directly to who they are, and what they want.”
Rose Byrne (“Bridesmaids”), singer-songwriter Norah Jones, Michaela Watkins (“Casual”), comedian Kathy Griffin, and Mo Gaffney (“Ab Fab”) are among the stars of Pypo programming. Pypo directors include Laing, Susan Jacobson (“The Holding”), Gracie Otto (“The Last Impresario”), and Camille Solari (“A Tale of James Brown”).
Laing is Pypo’s creative director. She has helmed the short “Trouble & the Shadowy Deathblow” and two episodes of “Veep” as well as produced projects like “Vice Principals,” “Divorce,” and “Banshee.” Laing’s feature directorial debut — the Gugu Mbatha-Raw romantic drama “Irreplaceable You” — is currently in post-production.
Stephanie Laing’s Online Network Pypo Teaming Up with Norwegian Air was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
Quote of the Day: Ava DuVernay Urges Intersectional Approach to Protecting Women in Hollywood
18 October 2017 1:01 PM, PDT
DuVernay: Democracy Now!/YouTube
Like Kathleen Kennedy and Reese Witherspoon, Ava DuVernay used her appearance at Elle’s recent Women in Hollywood Event to discuss Hollywood’s misogyny in light of the revelations about serial predator Harvey Weinstein. As she introduced event honoree Tessa Thompson (“Selma,” “Westworld”), DuVernay took a moment to stress that all women need to be protected from the sexual harassment and abuse that runs rampant in the industry — including women of color and those who identify as Lgbtq.
“I bring up color in regards to Tessa because it is important. Her identity in this industry isn’t only woman, it is one of color,” DuVernay observed in her speech. “This invites a particular gaze, a particular way of being seen, a particular way of seeing yourself.”
As DuVernay pointed out, non-white and queer women in Hollywood face that ever-present double bind: their race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation makes them a target, as does their gender. “For…women like me and many others, that protection of our womenhood isn’t enough, because we’re not only women. We’re black. We’re brown. We are native. We are Asian. We are Muslim. We are queer. We are many things that deserve safe spaces and protection,” she explained.
If Hollywood will ever truly change its treatment of women, it will need a united, intersectional push. “We can take this moment and enter in with focus. Harvey, sexual harassment, all of that’s deserving of our focus and attention,” DuVernay said. “But, we come in here with focus and ferocity and fever, with an intention that says, until all women are safe, until we take an intersectional approach to safeguard within this industry, that we are not truly living up to the movement.”
Finally, DuVernay warned of prioritizing any “-ism” over another in the fight to reform the film industry. “We don’t have time to work on these -isms one by one,” she condluded. “Triggered by trauma and outrage, we should be outraged by all of it all of the time. Until we are all safe, no one is safe.”
DuVernay is a writer, director, producer, the founder of film collective Array, and the first woman of color to helm a $100 million feature. The Oscar-nominated doc “13th,” “Selma,” “Middle of Nowhere,” “I Will Follow,” “Scandal,” and the highly-anticipated “A Wrinkle in Time” are among her directing credits. DuVernay created the Own family drama “Queen Sugar” with Oprah Winfrey. It is currently in its second season. She’s also working on a Netflix miniseries about the Central Park Five and a TV adaptation of Octavia Butler’s “Dawn.”
You can read DuVernay’s entire Women in Hollywood Event speech over at Elle.
Quote of the Day: Ava DuVernay Urges Intersectional Approach to Protecting Women in Hollywood was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
Kat Candler Will Be Showrunner on “Queen Sugar” Season 3
18 October 2017 12:01 PM, PDT
Candler: Tamir Kalifa/candlerproductions.com
Frequent “Queen Sugar” director Kat Candler is taking on another leadership role at the Own family drama. Per Deadline, Candler will take over showrunning duties from Monica Macer beginning in Season 3. Macer herself succeeded Season 1 showrunner Melissa Carter. Like Macer and Carter, Candler’s tenure will see her collaborate closely with series co-creator/Ep Ava DuVernay.
Candler has also signed on to exec produce Season 3 alongside DuVernay, co-creator Oprah Winfrey, and Paul Garnes. Previously, Candler has written and directed several shorts and the 2014 feature “Hellion.” She’s helmed two installments of “Being Mary Jane” and an episode of “12 Monkeys,” as well.
“Kat has an incredible eye and brings her beautifully nuanced artistry to our vision for the series,” DuVernay stated. “And DeMane Davis is a vibrant leader on set who I’m pleased to have join us in a new producerial role.” She continued, “I’m truly thrilled to work alongside these dynamic storytellers as we continue our ‘Queen Sugar’ journey together.”
All episodes of “Queen Sugar’s” first and second seasons have been directed by women. Cheryl Dunye (“Watermelon Woman”), Aurora Guerrero (“Mosquita y Mari”), Amanda Marsalis (“Echo Park”), Tanya Hamilton (“Night Catches Us”), Victoria Mahoney (“Yelling to the Sky”), So Yong Kim (“For Ellen”), and DuVernay herself are among the series’ helmers.
“Queen Sugar” stars Rutina Wesley, Dawn-Lyen Gardner, and Kofi Siriboe as siblings who attempt to revive the family sugar cane business after the death of their father. The Season 2 premiere netted series-high ratings among female viewers aged 25 to 54 — and its recent midseason premiere nabbed the largest audience since the second season’s initial bow.
New episodes of “Queen Sugar” air Wednesdays on Own. Its third season will begin filming in 2018.
Kat Candler Will Be Showrunner on “Queen Sugar” Season 3 was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
Julia Bacha’s Doc “Naila and the Uprising” Acquired by Fork Films, Will Air on PBS
18 October 2017 11:01 AM, PDT
“Naila and the Uprising”: Fork Films
“Naila and the Uprising” has found a home. Julia Bacha’s most recent project, a documentary about nonviolent Palestinian movement the First Intifada, has been nabbed by Fork Films and Thirteen/Wnet, Deadline reports. The Just Vision film will air on PBS in 2018 as part of the network’s four-part Women, War & Peace II series.
The documentary centers on Naila Ayesh, a Palestinian woman from Gaza who faces “an impossible choice between love, family, and freedom,” its synopsis details. Naila ends up “joining a clandestine network of Palestinian women who shake the Israeli occupation and put Palestinians on the map for the first time.”
An unfinished version of “Naila and the Uprising” screened earlier this year at the Athena Film Festival, the annual celebration of women onscreen and off co-founded by Women and Hollywood founder/publisher Melissa Silverstein.
Born in Brazil, Bacha is a writer, director, editor, and cinematographer. Her credits include “My Neighbourhood,” “Budrus,” “Encounter Point,” and “Control Room.” She serves as creative director at Just Vision, an organization dedicated to ending the occupation in Palestine and achieving peace between Palestine and Israel.
“Naila and the Uprising” will screen at Doc NYC on November 12 and make its international debut at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam later the same month.
Julia Bacha’s Doc “Naila and the Uprising” Acquired by Fork Films, Will Air on PBS was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
Monica Bellucci to Receive Virna Lisi Prize in Rome
18 October 2017 10:01 AM, PDT
Monica Bellucci is set to be celebrated in Rome. The Italian actress will be honored with the 2017 Virna Lisi award as part of the Cinema Foundation for Rome’s Cityfest series, The Hollywood Reporter confirms.
Launched in 2015, the award is named after Lisi, “one of the rare Italian actresses who worked frequently across Italy and Hollywood,” the source writes. “She gained fame in postwar Italian film, including starring in ‘Casanova 70’ opposite Marcello Mastroianni and later appearing with Jack Lemmon in ‘How to Murder Your Wife’ and as Catherine de Medici in ‘Queen Margot.’”
Bellucci received a César nomination, France’s equivalent to an Oscar nod, in 1997 for her supporting role in “The Apartment.” “Spectre,” “The Wonders,” the “Matrix” franchise, and “Irreversible” are among her other credits.
Bellucci will receive the award November 8.
Monica Bellucci to Receive Virna Lisi Prize in Rome was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Laura Berger
Mary Elizabeth Winstead to Star in Eva Vives’ Feature Directorial Debut
18 October 2017 9:01 AM, PDT
Winstead in “Fargo”: FX Networks
Hot off the heels of her turn as con artist-with-a-heart-of-gold Nikki Swango on FX’s “Fargo,” Mary Elizabeth Winstead has booked her next role — and it’s in a woman-helmed film. Winstead is set to star in Eva Vives’ feature directorial debut, the semi-autobiographical “All About Nina.” The “Smashed” actress will portray the titular character, a professionally successful but personally dissatisfied stand-up comedian. Deadline broke the story.
“To escape a difficult ex and to prepare for a prospectively life-changing audition, Nina flees to Los Angeles where she meets Rafe (Common, ‘Selma’),” the source summarizes, “who challenges almost every preconception she has — including those around her own deeply troubled past.”
“All About Nina’s” supporting cast includes Kate Del Castillo (“Ingobernable”), Clea DuVall (“Veep”), Melonie Diaz (“Fruitvale Station”), Camryn Manheim (“Person of Interest”), Mindy Sterling (“Black-ish”), Angelique Cabral (“Band Aid”), Beau Bridges (“Masters of Sex”), Chace Crawford (“Gossip Girl”), and Jay Mohr (“Suburgatory”).
Deadline doesn’t specify, but it’s likely Vives will pen as well as direct the dark comedy, which originated at the 2016 Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters and Directors Labs. Vives will also produce with Diablo Entertainment’s Natalie Qasabian, Eric B. Fleischman, and Sean Tabibian. Brian Kavanaugh-Jones and Joshua Astrachan are exec producing.
Vives has previously directed the shorts “Me, Myself, & I,” “She Pedals Fast (For a Girl),” and “Join the Club.” She worked as a producer, editor, and casting director on the Sundance and Cannes awarding-winning short “Five Feet High and Rising.”
Winstead was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for playing an alcoholic trying to stay sober in “Smashed.” Her recent credits include “Mercy Street,” “BrainDead,” and “10 Cloverfield Lane.” She received a Saturn Award for her work in the latter.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead to Star in Eva Vives’ Feature Directorial Debut was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
Trailer Watch: The New Suitress Is Making the Rules in “UnREAL” Season 3
18 October 2017 8:01 AM, PDT
A powerful woman is pulling the strings in the new season of “Everlasting,” and it’s not Quinn (Constance Zimmer) or Rachel (Shiri Appleby). A teaser has dropped for the third season of “UnREAL,” and the reality dating show at the center of Lifetime’s critically acclaimed series is making history for the second season in a row. Last season of “Everlasting” saw a black suitor introduced for the first time, and this season will mark the first time a female suitress has held the reins. The spot hints that there’s a seismic shift on set — the female suitress is a game-changer.
“From now on, the only rules are the rules I make,” says the show’s new star, Serena (Caitlin FitzGerald, “Masters of Sex”). Quinn and Rachel have their work cut out for them — the producers aren’t going to be able to manipulate Serena into doing their bidding with as much ease as previous suitors. As Rachel admits, “She’s smart. We can’t handle her in the same way.”
According to Deadline, helmers this season include Shapiro, Hanelle M. Culpepper (“Quantico”), Sheree Folkson (“Doctor Who”), and Zimmer, who will be making her directorial debut. Appleby directed an ep last season and will once again step behind the camera. Earlier this year the “Roswell” alumna inked a multiyear overall deal with A+E Studios, the producers behind “UnREAL.” The agreement sees her creating and developing new projects and producing original programming for the studio and outside buyers via her Appletree Pictures banner.
Season 3 of “UnREAL” will premiere February 26, 2018. The Emmy-nominated series has a new showrunner, Stacy Rukeyser, an executive producer who has worked on the show since it launched. Check out the trailer to meet Serena and to see Quinn’s reaction to a brawl the suitors get into.
Trailer Watch: The New Suitress Is Making the Rules in “UnREAL” Season 3 was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Laura Berger
Trailer Watch: No One Says What They Mean in Michelle Morgan’s “It Happened in L.A.”
18 October 2017 7:01 AM, PDT
Remember that episode of “30 Rock” where Liz and her boyfriend go to Ikea and suddenly every conversation they have about furniture turns into a metaphor for their relationship? Well, the couples of “It Happened in L.A.” are doing the same thing, but all the time. Michelle Morgan’s feature directorial debut centers on Annette (Morgan, “Girl Most Likely”), her boyfriend Elliot (Jorma Taccone, “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping”), and their friends, all of whom talk about their relationships without actually talking about their relationships.
In one of their arguments, Annette complains about how Elliot bugs her to take walks with him. When he reminds her that walking is healthy, she yells, “But I don’t want to walk anymore!” Translation: Annette might not want to be with Elliot anymore.
One of the couple’s friends, Tom (Tate Donovan, “Elvis & Nixon”), has a conniption when his girlfriend plans to buy a new couch for their place. “I know what kind of couch I like and this is not it. And I’m not gonna be manipulated into making a huge decision.” Translation: Stop pressuring me to commit!
And, while hanging out with her best friend Baker (Dree Hemingway, “While We’re Young”), Annette announces, apropos of nothing, that “palm trees are actually very condescending.” Translation: Okay, that could just be her random opinion — or the palm trees in question are an Elliot stand-in.
Morgan previously wrote, directed, and starred in the short film “K.I.T.” a portrait of a yuppie determined to prove she is a good person. She has also penned the screenplays for 2008’s “Middle of Nowhere” and “Girl Most Likely.” Also an actress, Morgan has appeared in projects like “American Dreams” and “Cinema Verite.”
“It Happened in L.A.” opens November 3 in New York and November 10 in La. You can catch it on VOD November 14.
Trailer Watch: No One Says What They Mean in Michelle Morgan’s “It Happened in L.A.” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
Selma Blair Nabs Rights to Sarah Beth Durst’s “The Lost”
17 October 2017 1:01 PM, PDT
Blair in “Columbus Circle”
The book follows Lauren, a woman who finds herself trapped in a desolate town on the edge of a desert that’s “filled with things abandoned, broken, and thrown away,” according to its Amazon synopsis. When Lauren “tries to escape, impassible dust storms and something unexplainable lead her back to Lost again and again. The residents she meets there tell her she’s going to have to figure out just what she’s missing — and what she’s running from — before she can leave. So now Lauren’s on a new search for a purpose and a destiny. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll be found.”
Now seeking a writer to pen the script, Blair is “undecided” about whether or not she’ll topline the project, which may take the form of a film or a TV series.
Blair co-stars in TV Land’s upcoming “Heathers” reboot, which is expected to debut early next year. Her credits include “The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” the “Hellboy” franchise, and “Legally Blonde.”
Selma Blair Nabs Rights to Sarah Beth Durst’s “The Lost” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Laura Berger
Katie Lovejoy’s Drama Series “Dead Inside” Put Into Development by The CW
17 October 2017 12:01 PM, PDT
Screenwriter Katie Lovejoy’s new project could join the ranks of “Jane the Virgin” and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” Deadline confirms that her drama series “Dead Inside” has been put into development by The CW. The show would center on a cop who is able to communicate with her deceased brother.
“After surviving an explosion that killed her hotshot detective big brother, an underachieving beat cop starts seeing his ghost, flipping their sibling dynamic on its head and allowing her to truly live her life for the first time, as they work together to help crime victims both living and dead, and figure out the unfinished business keeping his spirit on Earth,” the source writes of “Dead Inside.”
Warner Bros.’ has hired Lovejoy to write its “Pride and Prejudice” update, “The Season.” The film is based on Jonah Lisa Dyer and Stephen Dyer’s novel and will place Lizzie Bennet in the world of contemporary debutante balls. Lovejoy also penned the upcoming film adaptation of Kiera Cass’ Ya novel “The Selection.” “Me Before You’s” Thea Sharrock is attached to direct the project about a young woman selected to vie for a prince in a “Bachelor”-esque competition. On the TV side, Lovejoy previously wrote the NBC pilot “Miranda’s Rights,” about a disgraced lawyer who rebuilds her career at at start-up firm.
Katie Lovejoy’s Drama Series “Dead Inside” Put Into Development by The CW was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
Hilary Swank Toplining Sci-Fi Thriller “I Am Mother”
17 October 2017 11:01 AM, PDT
Swank in “Mary and Martha”
Two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank has lined up her next role. Variety reports that Swank will star in “I Am Mother,” a mother-daughter story with a sci-fi twist. The feature has already begun production at South Australia’s Adelaide Studios.
“I Am Mother” also stars Clara Rugaard (“Still Star-Crossed”) as “the first of a new generation of humans raised by ‘Mother’ — a kindly robot designed to repopulate the earth following the extinction of mankind.” The young woman’s bond with Mother and entire worldview come into question when Swank’s blood-soaked character bursts on the scene.
Director Grant Sputore came up with the original idea for “I Am Mother” and Michael Lloyd Green penned the 2016 Black List script. Producing the film are Anna Vincent, Southern Light Films’ Timothy White, the Penguin Empire’s Kelvin Munro, and Green. Rhea Films’ Paris Kassidokostas-Latsis, Terry Dougas, and Jean-Luc De Fanti are exec producing, as are Bryce Menzies, Philip Wade, John Wade, and Sputore.
Mister Smith Entertainment will manage “I Am Mother’s” international sales, and Wme Global’s Graham Taylor will handle its U.S. sales. Studiocanal is responsible for the film’s Australia and New Zealand distribution.
“It is a privilege to welcome Hilary Swank to our film,” Sputore said. “She is a remarkable performer who always brings tremendous commitment and honesty to the screen. I’m excited about the journey ahead with Hilary and the talented Clara Rugaard.”
Swank won Academy Awards for her lead performances in sports drama “Million Dollar Baby” and Kimberly Peirce’s transgender-themed biopic “Boys Don’t Cry.” You can catch Swank next in Elizabeth Chomko’s all-star directorial debut, “What They Had,” currently in post-production. Her character returns home to help her brother (Michael Shannon) take of their Alzheimer’s-stricken mother (Blythe Danner) and father (Robert Forster), who is in denial about his wife’s condition. Swank’s recent credits include “Logan Lucky,” “You’re Not You,” and “The Homesman.”
Hilary Swank Toplining Sci-Fi Thriller “I Am Mother” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
Quote of the Day: Reese Witherspoon on Reliving Ugly Truths in the Wake of Weinstein Allegations
17 October 2017 10:01 AM, PDT
Witherspoon in “Big Little Lies”
Reese Witherspoon is opening up about her own history of abuse in Hollywood. “[I feel] true disgust at the director who assaulted me when I was 16 years old and anger at the agents and the producers who made me feel that silence was a condition of my employment,” the Oscar winner said during her speech at Elle’s Women in Hollywood event yesterday, per The Hollywood Reporter. “And I wish I could tell you that was an isolated incident in my career, but sadly it wasn’t. I’ve had multiple experiences of harassment and sexual assault and I don’t speak about them very often,” she revealed.
Clearly impacted by the many allegations about Harvey Weinstein and her Hollywood peers’ decision to come forward with their own stories, the “Big Little Lies” producer and star decided to go public with hers. “This has been a really hard week for women in Hollywood, for women all over the world and a lot of situations and a lot of industries that are forced to remember and relive a lot of ugly truths,” she observed. “I have my own experiences that have come back to me very vividly and I find it really hard to sleep, hard to think, hard to communicate a lot of the feelings that I’ve been having about anxiety, about being honest, the guilt for not speaking up earlier, for not taking action.”
Witherspoon continued, “After hearing all the stories these past few days and hearing these brave women speak up tonight about things that we’re kind of told to sweep under the rug and not to talk about, it’s made me want to speak up and speak up loudly because actually I felt less alone this week than I have felt in my entire career. I have just spoken to so many actresses and writers, particularly women, who have had similar experiences and many of them have bravely gone public with their stories. That truth is very encouraging to me and to everyone out there in the world because you can only heal by telling the truth.”
As painful as it was to revisit these experiences, Witherspoon seemed hopeful that doing so publicly would help bring much-needed attention to an issue that’s all too common. “I feel really, really encouraged that there will be a new normal,” she said. “For the young women in this room, life is going to be different because we have your back and it makes me feel better because, gosh, it’s about time. … I’m so sad that I have to talk about these issues, but I would be remiss not to.”
Witherspoon made her big screen debut with 1991’s “A Man on the Moon.” She won an Academy Award in 2006 for playing June Carter in “Walk the Line.” Her other credits include “Wild,” “Legally Blonde,” and “Election.” She can currently be seen in Hallie Meyers-Shyer’s “Home Again,” a romantic comedy about a recently separated woman who unexpectedly gets roommates.
Quote of the Day: Reese Witherspoon on Reliving Ugly Truths in the Wake of Weinstein Allegations was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Laura Berger
NBC Developing “Nancy Drew” Reboot Series
17 October 2017 9:01 AM, PDT
If you were disappointed by CBS’ decision not to proceed with a “Nancy Drew” series, you’re in luck. NBC is now working on a reboot based on the beloved novel series, Variety reports.
Hailing from writers and exec producers Joan Rater (“Doubt,” “Grey’s Anatomy”) and Tony Phelan (“Madam Secretary”), the new project is still being produced by CBS Television Studios, and Dan Jinks, who developed the CBS version, remains on board.
Whereas CBS’ take on the story would have centered on 30-something Nancy as she solved crimes as a NYPD detective, NBC’s version “follows the author of the most famous female teen detective book series who is thrust into a real-life murder mystery,” the source writes. “In need of help, she turns to her two best friends from childhood, who were the inspiration for all those books, and the women who have a real axe to grind about the way their supposed best friend chose to portray them all those years ago.”
Nancy Drew made her debut in print in 1930, and while the character was created by Edward Stratemeyer, the first “Nancy Drew” book was written by newspaper woman Mildred Wirt Benson, who penned a number of other novels in the series. Harriet Stratemeyer Adams, Stratemeyer’s daughter, later took the reins as the main author of the series.
The most famous incarnation of the girl sleuth is “The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries,” which aired for three seasons on ABC in the late ’70s. “Scream Queens” alumna Emma Roberts played the tenacious teen detective in the 2007 film “Nancy Drew.”
NBC Developing “Nancy Drew” Reboot Series was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Laura Berger
Kathleen Kennedy Calls for Zero Tolerance Policy in Response to Weinstein Abuse Allegations
17 October 2017 8:01 AM, PDT
Lucasfilm prez and producer Kathleen Kennedy delivered the keynote speech at Elle’s Women in Hollywood Event last night and used her platform to acknowledge — and condemn — the elephant in the room. “A demand is growing for action to prevent further civil and human rights abuses in the future,” she observed, per The Hollywood Reporter. Kennedy added that “increased awareness of the belittlement, objectification, and predation long-endured by women who work in film will certainly be one result of the exposure of what Harvey Weinstein did.”
In addition to voicing her support for the women who have come forward and shared their stories about Weinstein, Kennedy stressed that “predators must come to feel they can’t count on power or wealth or fame to shield them.”
The “Star Wars” producer outlined several tactics Hollywood should adopt to combat its culture of abuse. She recommended “zero tolerance policies for abusive behavior, and a secure, reliable, unimpeachable system in which victims of abuse can report what’s happened to them with a confident expectation that action will be taken, without placing their employment, reputations, and careers at risk.”
Kennedy also suggested that individuals from all professional walks of life come together to create a commission “charged with the task of developing new, industry-wide protections against sexual harassment and abuse.” Her vision would see feminist activists, labor and management representatives, law experts, activists, sociologists, psychologists, and film and TV execs join forces to overhaul Hollywood’s current system of addressing misogyny — which usually involves turning a blind eye.
“The commission should be fully funded by our industry in order to address the task at hand in a thoroughgoing, comprehensive fashion,” Kennedy continued. “The goal of this commission would be to transform our industry in regards to sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace.”
In her own speech, Women in Hollywood honoree Jennifer Lawrence endorsed Kennedy’s idea. “If we build this commission, this community of support where anyone can come to us and ask questions, I will give my all to it,” the Oscar winner stated.
Kennedy has received eight Academy Award nominations throughout her career, and has produced over 90 projects, including “Persepolis,” “Jurassic Park,” “Back to the Future,” and “Schindler’s List.” One of Kennedy’s upcoming credits is the much-anticipated follow-up to 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “The Last Jedi.” The Daisy Ridley-led sequel hits theaters December 15.
You can read Kennedy’s entire Women in Hollywood speech over at THR.
Kathleen Kennedy Calls for Zero Tolerance Policy in Response to Weinstein Abuse Allegations was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story. »
- Rachel Montpelier
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