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Han Solo Firing Proves Studios’ Franchises Don’t Want Directors To Be Storytellers

1 hour ago | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Oh, the irony: As TV creators seek inventive ways to adapt the visual language of cinema, Hollywood’s big-budget, big-screen movies are increasingly becoming more like television.

With serialized TV shows, control needs to be in the hands of writers and showrunners. That’s because the story is still unfolding and the production is built from episode to episode. The director can’t be the principal storyteller, which makes it challenging to put a premium on visual storytelling.

Read More: The ‘Mr. Robot’ Experiment: Can a TV Show Be Shot Like an Indie Film?

Those who run the Marvel Cinematic Universe might sympathize. When it launched in 2008, their choices of directors seemed like head scratchers for a big action film. In retrospect, they make perfect sense.

Swingers” director Jon Favreau was the perfect choice to improv with Robert Downey Jr. (remember, he wasn’t a star then) to create the wisecracking hero needed to lead “The Avengers.” Shakespearean pro Kenneth Branagh was well suited to extract the familial power struggle from the Thor stories that would motivate “The Avengers.” And there was no one better to handle the nightmare of telling an engaging story about those multiple superhero protagonists than Joss Whedon, who mastered stories about teams with his “Buffy” and “Firefly” TV shows.

It didn’t matter that action wasn’t the directors’ expertise; Marvel has always been more comfortable leaving that in the hands of the very top stunt coordinators, VFX wizards, and second-unit specialists. What Marvel needed from its directors was connective tissue between their spectacle set pieces and the movies themselves. They were picked for their ability to establish characters and serve the franchises’ multifaceted story arcs. Cinematic storytelling skills weren’t the point; Marvel preferred an uniform style and visual presentation that relied on skilled technicians guaranteeing consistent delivery of key elements the studio demanded. The franchise couldn’t even handle something as individualist as an iconic John Williams score.

Read More: Why Action Scenes in Big-Budget Movies Have Become So Boring

Today, the idea of Marvel hiring a traditional, visually oriented action director in the vein of John McTiernan (“Die Hard”) and John Carpenter (“Escape from New York”) is absurd, as demonstrated by the studio’s brief dance with Edgar Wright on “Ant-Man.” The money — and therefor the power — lies in the serialization. And no one has done it better than Marvel, with a now well-established template.

Of course, there are other models. Christopher Nolan had his “Batman” trilogy. There’s franchises like “Mission: Impossible” that can absorb the unique action language of everyone from John Woo to Brad Bird. However, those opportunities are rapidly decreasing. Studios are making significantly fewer movies, and more of them are franchise films.

With that backdrop, Kathleen Kennedy’s approach to rebooting the “Star Wars” franchise was very exciting. She tapped into a generation of unique visual storyteller like writer/directors Gareth Edwards (42), Jj Abrams (50), and Rian Johnson (43) for whom the original trilogy served as their earliest movie obsessions and cinematic awakenings. Each admitted profound fear of the pressures of caring the torch and dishonoring something so sacred. They could be trusted to honor the Lucas story world and eagerly absorb advice from people like Lawerence Kasdan (screenwriter of “Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi”), the onset presence of Ilm VFX supervisor John Knoll (part of every “Star Wars” movie) and the boss herself, Kennedy, who produced the films of their other idol, Steven Spielberg.

Read More: ‘Rogue One’ Director Gareth Edwards on Avoiding Hollywood’s Addiction to Numbing Visual Effects

The other seemingly brilliant aspect of Kennedy’s turning Disney’s $4 billion acquisition into a series of movies was the standalone films that would serve as palate cleansers between servings of the larger unfolding story. These weren’t sequels needed to set up other stories, so they offered a license to try something tonally different… like the distinct stylings of the directing duo Lord and Miller.

The defining aspect of Lord and Miller is their Lord and Miller-ness, in which they take a tongue-in-cheek approach to everything from Gandhi, kid’s books, undercover cops, and Lego Batman. Kennedy may have appreciated their aesthetic, but not what it takes to get there: The team’s unique brand of filmmaking stems from their blocking, pacing, and directing the performance style of their actors. Seeing Alden Ehrenreich’s unique physical comedy in the Coen Brothers’ “Hail, Caesar” and Donald Glover equally quirky physicality in “Community,” you can almost feel the rhythms of what their young Hans Solo and Lando Calrissian adventures would be like.

Read More: Han Solo Upheaval: Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s ‘Star Wars’ Exit

We’ll probably never know what Kennedy saw in Lord and Miller’s “Hans Solo” that made her think it would work, or what made her change her mind. Whether it was a miscalculation or wishful thinking, or hubris, what’s the use of ego if it doesn’t drive you to try something new and different?

Nonetheless, the only real backstory needed here is that the directors clashed with the screenwriters, Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon. Traditionally, directors are occasionally canned by studios, but screenwriters are more interchangeable than socks. Not here: The Kasdans are the keepers of the flame, the custodians of Hans Solo. They are the showrunners.

It’s an odd time when so much of what is being made by Hollywood is serialized TV to feed our streaming addiction and franchise films to feed an international market. Studio control is nothing new for Hollywood, but there’s a sharp shift away from directors; the moves toward serialization are even sharper. A thoroughly gleeful piece of top-notch summer entertainment like Edgar Wright’s “Baby Driver” — an original, director-driven action film — is an endangered species, even at its significantly lower price tag and likelihood of profit.

Read More: ‘Baby Driver’ Review: Edgar Wright’s Brilliant Car Chase Musical Casts Ansel Elgort As an Outlaw Fred Astaire — SXSW 2017

This isn’t about hating on superhero movies, highbrow vs. lowbrow, or fan vs. critic;  it’s about the disappearing role of the director as storyteller in our popular culture.

Read More: ‘The Mummy’ Director Alex Kurtzman Says His Film ‘Is Made For Audiences,’ But Even They Don’t Want It

The movie-loving consumer is not powerless. The more noise, attention, and ticket sales that go toward Wright’s “Baby Driver,” Luc Besson’s “Valerian,” Matt Reeves’ “War for the Planet of the Apes,” Bigelow’s “Detroit,” and Soderbergh’s “Logan Lucky” – and away from movies that are made like television shows with $100 million VFX budgets – the more likely we are to preserve the very best part of Hollywood’s commercial moviemaking traditions.

Related storiesRian Johnson and Ana Lily Amirpour Talk 'Star Wars,' 'The Bad Batch' and Cinematic Boners -- Listen'Star Wars': Don't Get Mad at Kathleen Kennedy For That Han Solo Shake-Up'Star Wars' and Lucasfilm Have Lost Their Sense of Humor, and Firing Lord and Miller is Only One Example »

- Chris O'Falt

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Was Orphan Black Off Its Clone Game? Another Wayward Sis for Supernatural? Twin Peaks Hint Pays Off? And More Qs

2 hours ago | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

We’ve got questions, and you’ve (maybe) got answers! With another week of TV gone by, we’re lobbing queries left and right about shows including Orphan Black, Better Call Saul, Supernatural and Pretty Little Liars!

1 | Regarding Reign‘s series-ending time jump, TVLine reader Melissa asks, “21 years later… and they never aged?”

RelatedReign Boss Reveals [Spoiler]’s Tragic Finale Fate: ‘He Did Not Survive’

2 | Was Orphan Black‘s Sarah/M.K. convo a rare instance of clone eyelines not matching up? Or are we being too nitpicky? (They did flawlessly exchange clothes.)

3 | It was only for a fictional Veep episode, »

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Get in the Ring: How 'Glow' Recreates the Golden Age of Lady-Wrestling TV

3 hours ago | Rollingstone.com | See recent Rolling Stone news »

No doubt about it: The 1980s was a strange time to channel surf. Those neon-tinted, big-haired, irony-free days have provided Internet curio-seekers with fodder for infinite terabytes of grainy, colorful ephemera. And one of the cornerstones of weird Eighties television was "Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling" (G.L.O.W. for short), an all-female pro-wrestling league whose exploits were filmed in Las Vegas and syndicated nationwide.

It's the type of retro-kitsch from the Reagan era could have vanished down the YouTube black hole – until Netflix resurrected it, sort of. The cult »

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Newlywed Glow: Alison Brie Is 'Sweet & Loving' with Husband Dave Franco — but Fierce in the Wrestling Ring

4 hours ago | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

Alison Brie has had a very busy year and is now reaping the rewards.

The actress, who married love Dave Franco in March and is now headlining Netflix’s new series Glow, sat down with People Now to discuss the how both recent developments in her life have impacted her for the better.

“For me, I feel much more settled and confident than ever, and I think it’s because of both things — working on this show and marriage, in a way,” shared Brie, 34.

Brie attributes her successful honeymoon phase with Franco to “the fact that we had been together so long. »

- Lanford Beard and Brittany King

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Glow's Betty Gilpin Needs Answers About...Sesame Street?!

4 hours ago | E! Online | See recent E! Online news »

Glow, Netflix's new comedy starring Alison Brie, Marc Maron and Betty Gilpin, is scripted, but takes viewers behind the scenes of a real show, Glow (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) that started in 1986. Based on a real show, but with fictional people. Get it? Maron plays Sam Sylvia, the man tasked with getting the professional wrestling series off the ground. Brie, of Community fame, plays Ruth Wilder, a struggling actress hoping Glow will be her big break and Gilpin, who starred on Nurse Jackie and recurred on American Gods, plays Debbie Eagan, a former soap star who is using Glow as her comeback. Since Glow is giving a behind-the-scenes look at a real show, we had to ask the cast which gem they'd like to get the scoop »

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Glow Premiere Recap: Will You Get in the Ring With the Wrestling Comedy?

6 hours ago | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

Nothing about Glow, Netflix’s fictional comedy about the real Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, should work. A group of women, most of whom who have never wrestled or acted before, team up with a sketchy director to create a ladies’ wrestling TV show that’s remembered as ’80s kitsch at best? On paper, it seems like the series equivalent of slap bracelets or Garbage Pail Kids: silly fun that’s easily forgotten.

RelatedGlow: 6 Things to Know About Netflix’s Lady-Wrestling Comedy

But with a production team that includes Orange Is the New Black‘s Jenji Kohan and a »

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Peter and Ned attend a lame party in Spider-Man: Homecoming clip, new TV spots released

13 hours ago | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

With less than two weeks to go until the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming, a new clip has arrived online for Marvel and Sony’s upcoming reboot which sees Peter (Tom Holland) and Ned (Jacob Batalon) run into Michelle (Zendaya) at a party; check it out here…

See Also: Zendaya wasn’t aware she was auditioning for Spider-Man: Homecoming

Update: And here’s a couple of new spots…

A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.

Spider-Man: Homecoming sees Tom Holland and Marisa Tomei reprising their roles from Captain America: Civil War as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Aunt May, alongside Marvel veterans Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan. New additions to the cast include Michael Keaton (Birdman), Jacob Batalon (North Woods), Michael Barbieri (Little Men), Zendaya (K.C. Undercover), Angourie Rice (The Nice Guys), Tony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus), Martin Starr (Silicon Valley), Donald Glover (Community), Laura Harrier (One Life to Live), Kenneth Choi (Captain America: The First Avenger), Hannibal Buress (Broad City), Isabella Amara (The Boss), Jorge Lendeborg, Jr. (Graceland), Jj Totah (Glee), Abraham Attah (Beasts of No Nation), Michael Mando (Better Call Saul), Selenis Leyva (Orange Is the New Black), Bokeem Woodbine (Riddick), Tyne Daly (Cagney & Lacey), Garcelle Beauvais (Hollywood Today Live), Tiffany Espensen (Kirby Buckets), Michael Chernus  (Orange is the New Black), Jona Xiao (Halt and Catch Fire) and Martha Kelly (Baskets). The film is set for release on July 5th in the UK and July 7th in the States. »

- Amie Cranswick

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Glow: 6 Things to Know About Netflix's Lady-Wrestling Comedy

22 hours ago | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

Yes, Netflix’s Glow provides a funny, albeit fictional, behind-the-scenes look into the rise of the 1980s phenomenon known as Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. Yes, it features comedic heavy hitters like Alison Brie (Community) and Marc Maron (Maron) sporting some truly fantastic period costumes. And yes, the show’s pedigreed production team includes Orange Is the New Black‘s Carly Mensch and Nurse Jackie‘s Liz Flahive, as well as Oitnb‘s Jenji Kohan.

But Glow also provided a vital lesson to its cast, courtesy of the hands-on training the actors underwent prior to the shoot.

RelatedGlow Review: Netflix »

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Why ‘Glow’ Creators Made Women’s Wrestling Series

23 hours ago | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Women’s wrestling might not seem like the most natural of subjects for producers Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch to (pardon the expression) tackle. The two writers, who’ve been friends for years dating back to their time on “Nurse Jackie,” were looking for another project to team up on. “We knew we wanted it to be female-focused, we wanted it to be a comedy, but we had no other insight beyond that,” says Flahive.

And then they came across a documentary about the women of “G.L.O.W.” (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling), talking about their time making the »

- Debra Birnbaum

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Zendaya wasn’t aware she was auditioning for Spider-Man: Homecoming

23 hours ago | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Actress Zendaya apparently wasn’t aware at the time that she was auditioning for a role in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Movie gigs don’t come much bigger than superhero films these days, and superheroes don’t come much bigger than Spider-Man, especially now that the character is being incorporated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with this latest reboot of the tale.

So a young actress would probably be pretty excited about getting the opportunity to land one of the film’s key roles. Unfortunately for Zendaya, she wasn’t aware what her audition was actually for.

Zendaya told the story to Jimmy Fallon in a recent interview (via comicbook.com), describing her surprise.

“I knew I was auditioning for ‘Girl In Movie’, it was great getting into character [laughs],” Zendaya said. “In fact, I didn’t actually even know what kind of character [it was], because my character is very interesting. She is kind of a loner; she is super-intellectual, very dug-dry humor with one-liners, pops in and pops out. I didn’t even know what character I was going to play until I got there and sign the Non-Disclosure and then read the script.”

The actress, who will be playing a character named Michelle in the movie, also talked about how the production for Homecoming didn’t feel like a superhero film to her.

“So everything that I shot, when we were shooting just felt like I was shooting this awkward teen coming-of-age comedy kind of thing and then you realize, when the trailers were starting to come out, that ‘Wow, this is a Spider-Man movie! This is action, it’s going down!’” Zendaya said.

Fans will be able to see Zendaya in Spiderman: Homecoming, apparently not involved in the film’s action, early next month.

See Also: The hero we deserve: Kevin Feige explains how he brought Spider-Man to the Marvel Cinematic Universe

A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.

Spider-Man: Homecoming sees Tom Holland and Marisa Tomei reprising their roles from Captain America: Civil War as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Aunt May, alongside Marvel veterans Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan. New additions to the cast include Michael Keaton (Birdman), Jacob Batalon (North Woods), Michael Barbieri (Little Men), Zendaya (K.C. Undercover), Angourie Rice (The Nice Guys), Tony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus), Martin Starr (Silicon Valley), Donald Glover (Community), Laura Harrier (One Life to Live), Kenneth Choi (Captain America: The First Avenger), Hannibal Buress (Broad City), Isabella Amara (The Boss), Jorge Lendeborg, Jr. (Graceland), Jj Totah (Glee), Abraham Attah (Beasts of No Nation), Michael Mando (Better Call Saul), Selenis Leyva (Orange Is the New Black), Bokeem Woodbine (Riddick), Tyne Daly (Cagney & Lacey), Garcelle Beauvais (Hollywood Today Live), Tiffany Espensen (Kirby Buckets), Michael Chernus  (Orange is the New Black), Jona Xiao (Halt and Catch Fire) and Martha Kelly (Baskets). The film is set for release on July 5th in the UK and July 7th in the States. »

- Samuel Brace

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Gillian Jacobs, Vanessa Bayer, and Phoebe Robinson to Star in Clubbing Comedy “Ibiza”

22 June 2017 12:01 PM, PDT | Women and Hollywood | See recent Women and Hollywood news »

Gillian Jacobs in “Love”: Suzanne Hanover/Netflix

Gillian Jacobs is going to Spain with “SNL” alumna Vanessa Bayer and “2 Dope Queens” podcast co-host Phoebe Robinson. The three will star in the Netflix comedy film “Ibiza,” per The Hollywood Reporter. Jacobs stars as woman who travels to Spain on business and “finds herself on a wild ride of partying and clubbing, where she falls in love with a world famous DJ and realizes there is more to life than showing up to a job she hates.”

No word on Bayer or Robinson’s roles yet.

“Ibiza” is written by Lauren Kahn and will be directed by her frequent “Funny or Die” collaborator Alex Richanbach. Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, and Kevin J. Messick are producing alongside Good Universe. Production will begin in Europe in July.

The comedy was originally developed for Sony before being sent to Netflix.

Jacobs stars as recovering addict Mickey on the Netflix series “Love.” She recently wrapped “Life of the Party,” a college-set comedy starring and co-written by Melissa McCarthy. The film hits theaters May 11, 2018. Jacobs also appears in “Magic Camp,” a fantasy comedy from Disney that opens April 6, 2018. “Don’t Think Twice,” “Girls,” and “Community” are among Jacobs’ other credits.

Bayer recently left “Saturday Night Live” after seven seasons. Her screen credits include “Trainwreck,” “Portlandia,” and Susan Johnson’s “Carrie Pilby.”

Robinson worked as a staff writer on “Girl Code.” The comedian and actress’ screen roles include “Broad City” and “I Love Dick.” You can catch her next in Stefanie Sparks’ comedy “In Case of Emergency,” currently in post-production. Robinson’s book, “You Can’t Touch My Hair,” was published last fall.

Gillian Jacobs, Vanessa Bayer, and Phoebe Robinson to Star in Clubbing Comedy “Ibiza” 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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Alison Brie on the ‘Glow’ Audition Joke That Helped Her Land the Role

22 June 2017 11:54 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Alison Brie has already won high praise for her performance on Netflix’s latest dramedy “Glow,” but the role wasn’t handed to her on a plate. At the show’s premiere at the Arclight Dome in Hollywood Wednesday night, star Brie told TheWrap how an improvised line during her second audition helped her land the part of Ruth, a struggling actress who gets cast as a female wrestler. The joke involved rhyming a certain part of the female anatomy with “Natasha and Boris” — the Russian villains from classic cartoon “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.” The “Community” and “Mad Men” alum said that. »

- Ashley Boucher

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5 Things to Know: Case of the Missing Michigan Teacher Whose Husband Is a Person of Interest

22 June 2017 10:55 AM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

It has been five weeks since anyone has seen or heard from Theresa Lockhart. The 44-year-old high school Spanish teacher from Michigan was reported missing on May 20 to authorities at the Portage Department of Public Safety.

For weeks, officials and community members have searched for Theresa, and police have announced they are treating the investigation as a “possible homicide.”

Here are five things to know about the case:

1. She Called in Sick to Work Before She Went Missing

Beginning on Monday, May 15, Theresa called in sick to Schoolcraft High School. She called in sick again on Tuesday and Wednesday, which appeared perfectly normal. »

- Elaine Aradillas

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‘Glow’ Producers Didn’t Want to Cast Alison Brie — Here’s How She Fought to Change Their Minds

22 June 2017 9:58 AM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

Life often imitates art, but Alison Brie’s “Glow” story is kind of amazing.

Brie’s character on the new Netflix original series — from creator Liz Flahive (“Nurse Jackie”) and executive producer Jenji Kohan (“Orange is the New Black”) — is an actress whose resiliency is rewarded with the role she needs. But the connection between artist and art is a touch more specific than that.

Ruth spends the first scene of “Glow,” and much of the first episode, auditioning. The first scene is an audition, and she’s quickly rejected. Another audition, another rejection. It’s a pattern in the pilot, and it was a pattern for Brie when she was trying to be a part of it.

“They did not want me to have this part,” Brie said, remembering the long, challenging audition process while sitting next to Flahive and co-star Betty Gilpin (“American Gods”). “I’ve never felt more like Ruth than when I was auditioning for this show.”

Read More: ‘Gypsy’ Review: Naomi Watts’ Netflix Series is Impossibly Dull Given Who’s Involved

The first hurdle: Flahive and casting director Jen Euston were looking for an unknown to play Ruth, the lead in the series, and that meant the former star of “Community” and “Mad Men” wasn’t an option.

“I think we had an idea in our head that [Ruth] was somebody who hadn’t been cast; who you hadn’t seen,” Flahive said, noting they got past it by watching Brie’s auditions. “[Casting] was a combination of seeing people again and again and again, and the other roles where it was just, ‘There’s only one person. This is the person.'”

Brie and Gilpin fell into the former group, as the duo had to come in repeatedly to try out for their parts.

“It felt like a series of tests,” Brie said. “‘But will she come in and do a pre-read for casting?’ And I was like, ‘Absolutely, I’ll wear no makeup.’ ‘Will you fly to Toronto and read with Betty in front of no one?’ ‘Yes, absolutely, whatever you want me to do.'”

In total, Brie and Gilpin went on four auditions — two individually and then two together to test their chemistry. The first step was reading for Euston, and the second was in a “very cold, weird, silent room” with producers. Even when they got the call to come in together, they were filmed “alone in a room with like two casting assistants who were not working on this project,” Brie said.

“[It was] like a stoned 16-year-old who they found on the street to press record,” Flahive said, laughing.

Read More: ‘Kingdom’ and ‘American Gods’ Star Jonathan Tucker Bled for His Art, and That’s Just the Beginning

Because of these oddities, each actress developed individual rituals to keep their expectations in check.

“Every audition for Debbie, I thought of it as the last time,” Gilpin said. “I would say goodbye to her every time because I was like, ‘You cannot take this dream all the way in.'”

“I cried in my car after every audition,” Brie said. “I would sit in my car like Ruth and sob. And we were both listening to the same Ultimate ’80s mix while auditioning, so “Flock of Seagulls” was playing [while we were sobbing].”

Their final audition was in Los Angeles “five days before my wedding,” Gilpin said. Flahive said they needed to see the two of them together again because “[Ruth and Debbie] is the relationship of the series,” but it was all more than worth it to the actors because of the script’s unique opportunities.

“I’ve been in this strange sweet spot of making my living as an actor but not doing crazy big shows like this,” Gilpin said. “I’ve auditioned for a lot of what’s out there, which is like squinty cop in tight outfits who aren’t taking any shit in the first scene and in the second scene they’re naked and blowing the captain of the police force. And I tried really hard to get those parts because I want my future children to go to school and have appetizers at dinners.”

“So when this came along I was just shaking reading it because I hadn’t really allowed myself to dream of a part like this,” she said.

Brie agreed, taking it one step further. “It was amazing to get the opportunity to prove myself the way that Ruth also does,” she said of the audition process. “But I also had this dream criteria in my head where I was ready to sign off on certain shows that checked like two of the six boxes, and I was like ‘Two whole boxes!’ And then ‘Glow’ came in, and it really did check every box.”

“It was indescribable when I first read it, in the same way that Betty described: the fear and excitement at reading it and being like, ‘Oh my God. This is the thing!'”

But even now, with the season wrapped and rolling out on Netflix and plenty of prestige TV in their past, these actors are still nervous for the next audition.

Do you feel like there’s been a tipping point? Was there a moment where you thought, “Ok, I’ve got this. I feel like I’ve broken through?”

Gilpin: Absolutely not, no.

I hope you feel that way now.

Gilpin: I don’t!

Soon, though, maybe?

Brie: We never do.

Gilpin: But there is a feeling on set, in every department on “Glow” that everyone has sort of paid their dues and gritted their teeth through certain jobs to get to this one.

Brie: To be rewarded with this.

Gilpin: That this is the passion project.

If art does imitate life, may this piece last as long as Brie, Gilpin, and Flahive care to live in it.

Glow” premieres Friday, June 23 on Netflix.

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Related stories'Glow': 30 Years After the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, the WWE and Others Are Still Figuring Out What to Do With WomenChloë Sevigny and Her Mom Don't Talk About 'The Brown Bunny,' and 7 Other Wild Stories From the Indie Actress' CareerBen Stiller Explains the Importance of Celebrating Human Stories that 'Don't Center on Aliens or Robots' -- Nantucket Film Festival »

- Ben Travers

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‘Glow’ Producers Didn’t Want to Cast Alison Brie — Here’s How She Fought to Change Their Minds

22 June 2017 9:58 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Life often imitates art, but Alison Brie’s “Glow” story is kind of amazing.

Brie’s character on the new Netflix original series — from creator Liz Flahive (“Nurse Jackie”) and executive producer Jenji Kohan (“Orange is the New Black”) — is an actress whose resiliency is rewarded with the role she needs. But the connection between artist and art is a touch more specific than that.

Ruth spends the first scene of “Glow,” and much of the first episode, auditioning. The first scene is an audition, and she’s quickly rejected. Another audition, another rejection. It’s a pattern in the pilot, and it was a pattern for Brie when she was trying to be a part of it.

“They did not want me to have this part,” Brie said, remembering the long, challenging audition process while sitting next to Flahive and co-star Betty Gilpin (“American Gods”). “I’ve never felt more like Ruth than when I was auditioning for this show.”

Read More: ‘Gypsy’ Review: Naomi Watts’ Netflix Series is Impossibly Dull Given Who’s Involved

The first hurdle: Flahive and casting director Jen Euston were looking for an unknown to play Ruth, the lead in the series, and that meant the former star of “Community” and “Mad Men” wasn’t an option.

“I think we had an idea in our head that [Ruth] was somebody who hadn’t been cast; who you hadn’t seen,” Flahive said, noting they got past it by watching Brie’s auditions. “[Casting] was a combination of seeing people again and again and again, and the other roles where it was just, ‘There’s only one person. This is the person.'”

Brie and Gilpin fell into the former group, as the duo had to come in repeatedly to try out for their parts.

“It felt like a series of tests,” Brie said. “‘But will she come in and do a pre-read for casting?’ And I was like, ‘Absolutely, I’ll wear no makeup.’ ‘Will you fly to Toronto and read with Betty in front of no one?’ ‘Yes, absolutely, whatever you want me to do.'”

In total, Brie and Gilpin went on four auditions — two individually and then two together to test their chemistry. The first step was reading for Euston, and the second was in a “very cold, weird, silent room” with producers. Even when they got the call to come in together, they were filmed “alone in a room with like two casting assistants who were not working on this project,” Brie said.

“[It was] like a stoned 16-year-old who they found on the street to press record,” Flahive said, laughing.

Read More: ‘Kingdom’ and ‘American Gods’ Star Jonathan Tucker Bled for His Art, and That’s Just the Beginning

Because of these oddities, each actress developed individual rituals to keep their expectations in check.

“Every audition for Debbie, I thought of it as the last time,” Gilpin said. “I would say goodbye to her every time because I was like, ‘You cannot take this dream all the way in.'”

“I cried in my car after every audition,” Brie said. “I would sit in my car like Ruth and sob. And we were both listening to the same Ultimate ’80s mix while auditioning, so “Flock of Seagulls” was playing [while we were sobbing].”

Their final audition was in Los Angeles “five days before my wedding,” Gilpin said. Flahive said they needed to see the two of them together again because “[Ruth and Debbie] is the relationship of the series,” but it was all more than worth it to the actors because of the script’s unique opportunities.

“I’ve been in this strange sweet spot of making my living as an actor but not doing crazy big shows like this,” Gilpin said. “I’ve auditioned for a lot of what’s out there, which is like squinty cop in tight outfits who aren’t taking any shit in the first scene and in the second scene they’re naked and blowing the captain of the police force. And I tried really hard to get those parts because I want my future children to go to school and have appetizers at dinners.”

“So when this came along I was just shaking reading it because I hadn’t really allowed myself to dream of a part like this,” she said.

Brie agreed, taking it one step further. “It was amazing to get the opportunity to prove myself the way that Ruth also does,” she said of the audition process. “But I also had this dream criteria in my head where I was ready to sign off on certain shows that checked like two of the six boxes, and I was like ‘Two whole boxes!’ And then ‘Glow’ came in, and it really did check every box.”

“It was indescribable when I first read it, in the same way that Betty described: the fear and excitement at reading it and being like, ‘Oh my God. This is the thing!'”

But even now, with the season wrapped and rolling out on Netflix and plenty of prestige TV in their past, these actors are still nervous for the next audition.

Do you feel like there’s been a tipping point? Was there a moment where you thought, “Ok, I’ve got this. I feel like I’ve broken through?”

Gilpin: Absolutely not, no.

I hope you feel that way now.

Gilpin: I don’t!

Soon, though, maybe?

Brie: We never do.

Gilpin: But there is a feeling on set, in every department on “Glow” that everyone has sort of paid their dues and gritted their teeth through certain jobs to get to this one.

Brie: To be rewarded with this.

Gilpin: That this is the passion project.

If art does imitate life, may this piece last as long as Brie, Gilpin, and Flahive care to live in it.

Glow” premieres Friday, June 23 on Netflix.

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- Ben Travers

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Glow review – a riotous portrayal of the piledriving world of women’s wrestling

22 June 2017 9:56 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Community’s Alison Brie stars in this smart, grimy, ludicrous dramedy set against the weird, Spandex-heavy backdrop of 80s grappling

What is it? A riot of hairspray, Spandex, butt-kick females and pure joy.

Why you’ll love it: When has TV ever depicted women of every shape and hue throwing off all vanity and slamming each other into the floor with abandon? Never. Or, at least, rarely. Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch’s brilliant new show about a bunch of misfit women in 1985 Los Angeles joining forces (and I mean forces) to make a pilot for a TV show, The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (or Glow), is a fictionalised account of the true story behind an 80s wrestling franchise.

Continue reading »

- Julia Raeside

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Alison Brie on Her ‘Glow’ Role: I Want to ‘Shatter This Image That People Have of Me’

22 June 2017 9:39 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Thirteen of the fourteen-woman cast of executive producer Jenji Kohan‘s new Netflix series, women’s wrestling show “Glow,” were present at the premiere Wednesday evening at the Arclight Hollywood cinema in Los Angeles.

Glow” is based on the real-life 1980s women’s wrestling show of the same name, and gives a fictional account of how the show began. Alison Brie stars as Ruth Wilder, a young “serious” actor struggling to find work, with Betty Gilpin as her soon-estranged best friend and ex-soap opera star Debbie Eagan. The two are accompanied by a large cast of other wrestlers, who each »

- Erin Nyren

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Hot Toys’ Iron Man Xlvii Spider-Man: Homecoming collectible figure revealed

22 June 2017 5:17 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Hot Toys has revealed its upcoming Iron Man Xlvii sixth scale figure from Marvel and Sony’s Spider-Man: Homecoming. The collectible comes with a range of accessories and interchangeable pieces, including a head sculpt which is based on the likeness of Robert Downey Jr. in the upcoming reboot; take a look at the official promotional images below and visit Sideshow Collectibles to pre-order…

See Also: Hot Toys unveils Spider-Man: Homecoming collectible figure

Made with fine diecast materials, the much elaborated Iron Man Xlvii figure stands approximately 32 cm and with 28 Led light-up points throughout the body. The streamlined armor is expertly painted with metallic red and gold colors and a distinctive two-toned silver color in the mid-section. An array of components are added to the figure including: a newly painted Tony Stark head sculpt featuring likeness of Robert Downey Jr., an interchangeable Led light-up helmeted head, an interchangeable empty helmet emulating the suit in remote control mode, interchangeable armor parts and a specially designed figure stand. Furthermore, a mini-repulsors deployer with two articulated mini-repulsors and thrust fire effect parts are specially included for this new Iron Man armor!

A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.

Spider-Man: Homecoming sees Tom Holland and Marisa Tomei reprising their roles from Captain America: Civil War as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Aunt May, alongside Marvel veterans Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan. New additions to the cast include Michael Keaton (Birdman), Jacob Batalon (North Woods), Michael Barbieri (Little Men), Zendaya (K.C. Undercover), Angourie Rice (The Nice Guys), Tony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus), Martin Starr (Silicon Valley), Donald Glover (Community), Laura Harrier (One Life to Live), Kenneth Choi (Captain America: The First Avenger), Hannibal Buress (Broad City), Isabella Amara (The Boss), Jorge Lendeborg, Jr. (Graceland), Jj Totah (Glee), Abraham Attah (Beasts of No Nation), Michael Mando (Better Call Saul), Selenis Leyva (Orange Is the New Black), Bokeem Woodbine (Riddick), Tyne Daly (Cagney & Lacey), Garcelle Beauvais (Hollywood Today Live), Tiffany Espensen (Kirby Buckets), Michael Chernus  (Orange is the New Black), Jona Xiao (Halt and Catch Fire) and Martha Kelly (Baskets). The film is set for release on July 5th in the UK and July 7th in the States. »

- Amie Cranswick

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The hero we deserve: Kevin Feige explains how he brought Spider-Man to the Marvel Cinematic Universe

22 June 2017 1:18 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

When it was revealed that Spider-Man would finally be returning home to the McU, it was met with applause, and a healthy dose of disbelief. How did Marvel do it? This was something that the Marvel fan-base had seemingly accepted as an impossibility. So what happened? Well, Kevin Feige happened. In a recent interview with THR, the president of Marvel Studios explained what he did to sway Sony to share the wisecracking web-slinger:

“It really came down to me telling Amy Pascal in her office that I think the best thing for this character is: Sony has the rights, that’s not changing. Have Sony pay for the movie, distribute the movie, market the movie. Just let us make the movie and incorporate him into our universe.”

A lot of this reads like an episode of AMC’s Mad Men. It looks like the biggest deal in comic book movie history was a result of two important people sitting in an office, and making a deal. No word on whether they were drinking gin on the rocks, and making grand postures during this exchange, but one thing is for certain: Kevin Feige is the hero we deserve, and luckily the one we have right now. Now go get Wolverine for us Kevin!

The result of this deal, Spider-Man: Homecoming, is releasing this summer.

See Also: Spidey will team up with another McU hero in Spider-Man 2 – but it won’t be Iron Man

A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.

Spider-Man: Homecoming sees Tom Holland and Marisa Tomei reprising their roles from Captain America: Civil War as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Aunt May, alongside Marvel veterans Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan. New additions to the cast include Michael Keaton (Birdman), Jacob Batalon (North Woods), Michael Barbieri (Little Men), Zendaya (K.C. Undercover), Angourie Rice (The Nice Guys), Tony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Logan Marshall-Green (Prometheus), Martin Starr (Silicon Valley), Donald Glover (Community), Laura Harrier (One Life to Live), Kenneth Choi (Captain America: The First Avenger), Hannibal Buress (Broad City), Isabella Amara (The Boss), Jorge Lendeborg, Jr. (Graceland), Jj Totah (Glee), Abraham Attah (Beasts of No Nation), Michael Mando (Better Call Saul), Selenis Leyva (Orange Is the New Black), Bokeem Woodbine (Riddick), Tyne Daly (Cagney & Lacey), Garcelle Beauvais (Hollywood Today Live), Tiffany Espensen (Kirby Buckets), Michael Chernus  (Orange is the New Black), Jona Xiao (Halt and Catch Fire) and Martha Kelly (Baskets). The film is set for release on July 5th in the UK and July 7th in the States.

… You can find Jordan on Twitter (@JordJJones), and Facebook. »

- Jordan Jones

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Glow Season 1 Review

21 June 2017 9:29 AM, PDT | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

All ten episodes were provided prior to release.

Glow is about women battling the patriarchy with totally sweet wrestling moves.  The show (very) loosely dramatizes the real life behind the scenes turmoils of Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (Glow), an all-female wrestling show that aired in 1986-1990 and became a minor cult classic. Actresses, stuntwomen and models, all eager to break into the world of showbiz, auditioned – most of whom had never wrestled in their lives. From this unlikely clay, a vast array of colorful characters emerged, giving Glow the reputation as one of the most entertaining wrestling franchises around.

Netflix’s take on the material follows struggling actress Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie), a shrimpy drama nerd whose dreams of performing Strindberg and Brecht have crashed headlong into unhappy reality. We meet her as she undergoes a humiliating audition for a servile secretary role, which she subverts by ‘mistakenly’ reading the man’s part. Post-audition she accosts the casting director, pleading for a chance to play something other than a dippy doormat. Turns out there just aren’t roles like that. Well… there is this one show that’s looking for “unconventional women”…

It’s a tip that propels Ruth into a world of turnbuckles, suplexes, sequinned costumes and self-empowerment. It turns out to be a passion project of wrestle-mad trust fund rich kid Bash Howard (Chris Lowell), who’s corralled washed up B-movie director Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron) into directing the inaugural season of Glow.

The rest of the season follows the Glow’s bumpy and circuitous ride to the airwaves. Leaving aside the tangled thicket of financial, creative and interpersonal dramas, the biggest hurdle the team must clear is that nobody really knows anything about wrestling. Sure, former Blaxploitation star Cherry Bang (Sydelle Noel) knows how to fake a fall, and Carmen (Britney Wong) comes from a famous wrestling family, but the vast majority of them simply don’t ‘get’ professional wrestling.

And so each of the characters is on a personal journey from drab domesticity to neon-soaked wrestling superstardom, each having their own ‘eureka’ moment when they finally embrace professional wrestling in all its beautiful absurdity.

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There’s an infectious sense of joy embedded deep into Glow’s DNA. Despite its high-minded moral core (women asserting the power of their own bodies and carving out a place of strength), Glow never feels remotely preachy. Much of this is down to Marc Maron’s chain-smoking grump-with-a-heart-of-gold director, described as “more sexist than he is racist.” In between coke binges, he instructs the women in the finer arts of “cunt punching” (a phrase quickly repeated for emphasis), invents eye-bogglingly offensive wrestling personae for the ladies (the Indian-American Arthie (Sunita Mani) is told she’s to be ‘Beirut,’ a bomb-chuckin’ Middle Eastern terrorist), and sums up the whole enterprise to a stuffed-shirt network exec as “porn you can watch with your kids… finally.”

Sam’s nicotine n’ coke soaked cynicism finds the perfect foil in Ruth’s peppy idealism, with Maron and Brie positively lighting up the screen whenever they’re bouncing off one another. The duo are responsible for some of the funniest moments in the season, but the rest of the cast are no slouches, either. I’d go so far as to say that Glow features one of the best ensemble casts I’ve seen in a very, very long time – almost Altman-esque in the way it satisfyingly develops every single character and weaves a complex web of interactions and rivalries.

This all takes place in a beautifully realized 1980s Los Angeles. Glow resists the temptation to tip over into salmon pink, neon-lit cliché period fetishism, carefully choosing its costumes, scenery and set designs so as not to obscure the drama. That said, there’s a delightful episode that sees us take a trip to Bash’s Nagel-festooned yuppie pad – which contains his Rocky IV-esque robot buddy (who’s stuffed full of drugs), a spot-on skewering of Nancy Reagan WASPs against drugs, and a pitch perfect 80s pop soundtrack. My favourite bit of period detailing came when a character has to take a home pregnancy test. Nowadays you simply pee on a stick, but back in the 80s it seems to be some bizarre alchemical process, combining test tubes of chemicals and piss to byzantine instructions.

On top of all that, Glow is funny. Really goddamn funny. Alison Brie has proved her comedy credentials many times over in Community, but she’s never been funnier than she is here. Watching her camp it up as Soviet dominatrix bitch ‘Zoya the Destroyer’ is hands down hilarious. But everyone gets a fair share of belly laugh inducing punchlines, with special credit to singer-songwriter Kate Nash’s Rhonda, whose ditzy British wrestler is a particular comedy highlight.

Glow is a straight up home run for Netflix. The show had me engaged from the first episode and by the finale I was absolutely rapt. I may have even sniffed back a little tear at one critical point. Roll on season 2, and be quick about it! »

- David James

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