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Disney and Sony Set Massive Movie Deal, Bringing ‘Spider-Man’ Films to Disney Plus

Disney and Sony Set Massive Movie Deal, Bringing ‘Spider-Man’ Films to Disney Plus
Disney has set a massive movie licensing pact with Sony Pictures for the U.S. that promises to bring Spider-Man and other Marvel properties to Disney Plus starting with Sony’s 2022 release slate.

The wide-ranging deal, which runs through Sony’s 2026 theatrical slate, also calls for Sony titles to run across Disney’s array of streaming and linear platforms, making it unprecedented in scope as it covers Disney Plus, Hulu, FX Networks, ABC, Disney Channels and Freeform. It also includes a significant number of library titles that will be spread among various outlets.

The agreement comes on the heels of Sony’s output deal with Netflix for titles in the lucrative post-theatrical release Pay 1 window. The Disney deal covers subsequent TV windows, meaning that the titles will land on Netflix first, about nine months after the start of a film’s theatrical run. Disney is scooping up for multiple platforms
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘How I Met Your Mother’ Sequel Series Starring Hilary Duff Ordered at Hulu

‘How I Met Your Mother’ Sequel Series Starring Hilary Duff Ordered at Hulu
A “How I Met Your Mother” sequel series titled “How I Met Your Father” has been ordered at Hulu with Hilary Duff attached to star.

In the near future, Sophie (Duff) is telling her son the story of how she met his father: a story that catapults us back to the year 2021 where Sophie and her close-knit group of friends are in the midst of figuring out who they are, what they want out of life, and how to fall in love in the age of dating apps and limitless options. According to an individual with knowledge of the project,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Antoine Fuqua Directing Film Adaptation of ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ (Exclusive)

Antoine Fuqua Directing Film Adaptation of ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ (Exclusive)
Antoine Fuqua will direct and produce a new film adaptation of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning look at greed, family, death and sexual repression.

The “Training Day” and “Magnificent Seven” director will join forces with producers Stephen C. Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey, who backed a 2008 revival of the show that made history with a sold-out 19-week run as the first all-African American production on Broadway. It was also the highest-grossing play during that season.

The show was directed by Debbie Allen and featured Terrence Howard, Anika Noni Rose, Phylicia Rashad and James Earl Jones. The original play centers on Brick, a former athlete turned alcoholic, his sexually frustrated wife Maggie and Big Daddy, the ailing and wealthy family patriarch.

The filmmakers say the movie “will combine elements of the play with new storylines and weave them together to bring the production to the big screen.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Fantasy Island’ Reboot at Fox Casts Kiara Barnes, John Gabriel Rodriquez

‘Fantasy Island’ Reboot at Fox Casts Kiara Barnes, John Gabriel Rodriquez
The upcoming “Fantasy Island” reboot at Fox has added its first two cast members, Variety has learned.

Kiara Barnes and John Gabriel Rodriquez will both star in the series, which was ordered straight-to-series at Fox back in December.

The new series is described as a modern semi-anthology series that delves into the “what if” questions, both big and small, that keep us awake at night. Each episode will tell stories about people who walk in with a desire, but end up reborn to themselves through the magical realism of Fantasy Island.

Barnes will play Ruby Okoro. Described as warm and wise,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Emilia Clarke Joins Marvel’s ‘Secret Invasion’ at Disney Plus (Exclusive)

Emilia Clarke Joins Marvel’s ‘Secret Invasion’ at Disney Plus (Exclusive)
Emilia Clarke is in final negotiations to join Marvel Studios’ “Secret Invasion,” the hot original series quickly coming together at Disney Plus.

The “Game of Thrones” headliner’s role is naturally under wraps, and marks her first foray into the Marvel universe. She joins previously-reported cast Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Kingsley Ben-Adir, and Olivia Colman.

Marvel Studios declined to comment on the matter. Reps for Clarke did not immediately comment on the matter.

Secret Invasion” was announced as a development property last year, one of Marvel’s many planned titles for Disney Plus. Jackson is reprising his MCU role of Nick Fury, while Mendelsohn will play the Skrull Talos as he did in the feature film “Captain Marvel.” “

The series is said to follow a group of shape-shifting aliens who have been infiltrating Earth for years. Ben-Adir has been set as the a main villain. Kyle Bradstreet is attached to write and executive produce.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Summer of Soul,’ ‘The Story of Looking’ to Bookend Sheffield Doc/Fest

‘Summer of Soul,’ ‘The Story of Looking’ to Bookend Sheffield Doc/Fest
The 2021 Sheffield Doc/Fest will open with the European premiere of Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s “Summer of Soul” and close with the world premiere of Mark Cousins’ “The Story of Looking.”

“Summer of Soul (…Or When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” explores the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, which celebrated African American music and culture, and promoted Black pride and unity.

“The Story of Looking” is a fresh look into the world’s complexities, contradictions and beauty. Cousins will also be in conversation, live-streamed from Sheffield, about his personal relationship to film and images.

Both films will also simultaneously premiere in cinemas around the U.K.

“We’re honored to premiere our film on the closing night of Sheffield’s acclaimed Doc/Fest,” Cousins said. “We hope it will send audiences and delegates back out into the world with hearts aglow and fresh eyes.”

“We wanted to open and close with
See full article at Variety - Film News »

AT&T’s John Stankey Talks ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ and HBO Max AVOD Plans

AT&T’s John Stankey Talks ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ and HBO Max AVOD Plans
An epic battle between two movie icons has helped provide proof of concept for AT&T’s larger strategy for WarnerMedia.

AT&T chief John Stankey, speaking Thursday during the company’s first quarter earnings call with Wall Street analysts, pointed to the performance of Warner Bros.’ “Godzilla vs. Kong” on HBO Max and at the box office over the past three weeks as signs that the bold strategy of simultaneous releases in theaters and on the streaming platform is working.

The rollout of WB movies to date has “provided theaters with a steady flow of content and has been a great catalyst for growth at HBO Max,” Stankey told analysts

Godzilla vs. Kong” has led the U.S. box office for the past three weeks — albeit without much in the way of competition at the multiplexes — and it has captured what Stankey described as HBO Max’s “largest audience” since
See full article at Variety - Film News »

AT&T’s John Stankey Talks ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ and HBO Max AVOD Plans

AT&T’s John Stankey Talks ‘Godzilla vs. Kong’ and HBO Max AVOD Plans
An epic battle between two movie icons has helped provide proof of concept for AT&T’s larger strategy for WarnerMedia.

AT&T chief John Stankey, speaking Thursday during the company’s first quarter earnings call with Wall Street analysts, pointed to the performance of Warner Bros.’ “Godzilla vs. Kong” on HBO Max and at the box office over the past three weeks as signs that the bold strategy of simultaneous releases in theaters and on the streaming platform is working.

The rollout of WB movies to date has “provided theaters with a steady flow of content and has been a
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Alessandro Rossellini on Navigating Therapy With His Famous Family in ‘The Rossellinis’ (Exclusive)

Alessandro Rossellini on Navigating Therapy With His Famous Family in ‘The Rossellinis’ (Exclusive)
Roberto Rossellini, besides being Italian Neorealism’s most acclaimed film director, was also the father of a nonconformist, cosmopolitan and slightly crazy family that includes Hollywood stars such as Isabella Rossellini, another daughter who converted to Islam, and a son who has chosen to live on a desert island in Sweden.

The Rossellini family also comprises the revered maestro’s Rome-based grandson Alessandro (pictured as a child behind the camera) who is a former photographer and also a recovering drug addict. After gaining his sobriety, Alessandro felt he had not lived up to the expectations — and also the burden — of his family name. And he was pretty sure that his relatives also suffered a form of what he calls “Rossellinitis.”

Partly in an effort to improve his dwindling finances, at age 55, Alessandro Rossellini decided to visit his extended family around the globe, and force everyone to undergo a “family therapy
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Fox News’ Kilmeade Thinks Protesters Should be ‘Barred’ From Calling 911 (Video)

Fox News’ Kilmeade Thinks Protesters Should be ‘Barred’ From Calling 911 (Video)
“Let’s just hope in your life, you never need a police officer,” says “Fox & Friends” co-host

Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade said Thursday that protesters who call for defunding or reforming the police should lose access to 911, the phone line that connects Americans to emergency services.

Obviously, there’s no real way protesters could be identified and subsequently barred from the free service, nor is that constitutional, but in a segment dedicated to the “Future of policing in America,” per an on-air “Fox & Friends” graphic, Kilmeade suggested it anyway.

“You know what? You should be barred — anyone who says that, you are no longer allowed to 911. Let’s just hope in your life, you never need a police officer,” he declared after co-host Ainsley Earhardt reviewed some recent examples of protests against police brutality and overreach.

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Newsmax’s Greg Kelly Called Out for Bashing US Army Lieutenant Pepper
See full article at The Wrap »

‘Shrek’ at 20: How the Soundtrack Became a Millennial Cultural Touchstone

‘Shrek’ at 20: How the Soundtrack Became a Millennial Cultural Touchstone
During the development of “Shrek,” the creators did not consider what might appeal to children.

“Andrew [Adamson, co-director] and I, we didn’t have kids,” co-director Vicky Jenson says. “We were making a movie that we would go see.”

When it came to the songs, the overarching mission was the similar, says the film’s music supervisor, Marylata Elton says. “We were just trying to make a great movie,” she says. “We weren’t thinking about a soundtrack at all.”

Two months after the movie premiered on April 22, 2001, “Shrek (Music from the Original Motion Picture)” hit No. 28 on the Billboard 200 and later scored a Grammy nomination. Since then, the “Shrek” soundtrack has earned a place in the pop culture zeitgeist to the point that Universal Music Enterprises released a vinyl edition in 2019.

The DreamWorks classic marked the first time a popular animated feature opted for contemporary music instead of original songs. Jenson
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It’ Summons Demons and Real-Life Murder Case in First Trailer

‘Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It’ Summons Demons and Real-Life Murder Case in First Trailer
Warner Bros. released a trailer for the third “Conjuring” film that sees the return of Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” follows the real-life case of Arne Cheyenne Johnson, who defended himself against a manslaughter prosecution by claiming that he was the victim of demonic possession. Supernatural investigators Ed (Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Farmiga) will return to unpack the mysterious case and battle a trove of supernatural demons.

The trailer also teases that this could be the final case and end of the horror franchise starring Wilson and Farmiga, though the series has several spinoffs, like “Annabelle,” “The Nun” and “The Curse of La Llorona.”

Joining the returning stars is Julian Hilliard, who will portray a demon-possessed 11-year-old boy, David Glatzel. Hillard recently appeared on “Penny Dreadful: City of Angels” and “The Haunting of Hill House.”

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Oscar Predictions: In a Weird Year, Will We See Weird Winners?

Oscar Predictions: In a Weird Year, Will We See Weird Winners?
The longest and strangest Oscar season ever is almost over. Voting has ended, the accountants are tallying the ballots and soon the pandemic Oscars will mercifully bring the season to a close.

And while we think we know most of what’s going to happen on Sunday night at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, can we really be sure in a year in which everything happened virtually and real awards buzz was all but impossible to track? No, we can’t.

Here’s how crazy things are: Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” has a real chance to win Best Picture, but it might have an even better chance of going home without a single award.

At this point, we know what’s won all of the awards leading up to the Oscars, and we know that Academy voters like to spread the love around: Over the last decade,
See full article at The Wrap »

Haley Bennett, Sam Riley Starring in Improvisational Romance ‘She Is Love’ (Exclusive)

Haley Bennett, Sam Riley Starring in Improvisational Romance ‘She Is Love’ (Exclusive)
Haley Bennett, Sam Riley and Marisa Abela are starring in “She Is Love,” a new romance from Jamie Adams. The film is made in an improvisational style, one that Adams deployed on previous pictures such as “Black Mountain Poets” and “Love Spreads.” It wrapped principal photography this week in Cornwall, U.K., but had never been formally announced.

Here’s the logline: “Coming face-to-face after being estranged for over a decade, divorced couple, Idris and Patricia, opt to revisit the past and traverse that treacherous path together, emerging open to new beginnings.”

“We have this word in Welsh; ‘Hiraeth,’ it roughly means a ‘longing for home.’ Shooting ‘She Is Love’ felt like coming home,” Adams said. “Very rarely have I left a shoot feeling Hiraeth, feeling longing, to be back on that set, continuing to explore scenes. But when you have a lead cast including the exceptional creativity of Haley Bennett,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Verizon Aims to Give Oscars Viewers Virtual Backstage Access (Exclusive)

Verizon Aims to Give Oscars Viewers Virtual Backstage Access (Exclusive)
During a year when the TV industry is worried about how many viewers will return to watch ABC’s annual Oscars broadcast, Verizon will definitely return to advertise during it.

The telecommunications giant will sponsor the ceremony for the fourth consecutive year, and not just with TV commercials. Verizon will make available three different “5G portals” that viewers can seek out via social media and their mobile devices that will give them behind-the-scenes access to the red carpet; the press area where winners and presenters talk to the media; and, for a smaller set, an engraving station where winners get
See full article at Variety - TV News »

Audiences Prefer Films With Diverse Casts, According to UCLA Study

Audiences Prefer Films With Diverse Casts, According to UCLA Study
According to a new study conducted by UCLA, U.S. audiences prefer films comprised of diverse casts.

UCLA’s annual Hollywood Diversity Report, this year subtitled “Pandemic in Progress,” reports that in 2020, films with casts that were made up of 41% to 50% minorities took home the highest median gross at the box office, while films with casts that were less than 11% minority performed the worst.

These films include “Bad Boys for Life,” which was 2020’s top-earning film at the box office with $426.5 million; “Birds of Prey,” which came in at No. 5 with $201.9 million; and “Onward,” which came in seventh with $141.9 million. They all contained casts that fell into the range of 41% to 50% minority, with top-earner “Bad Boys for Life” actually having a cast that was over 50% minority. It is, of course, worth noting that all three of these films were released prior to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Numerous films
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Golden Globes Group Faces Existential Threat as Diversity Crisis Grows: ‘Evolve or Die’

  • The Wrap
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s diversity and PR consultants quit after a disastrous meeting with Time’s Up and publicity leaders The last couple of months have been a disaster for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the group that hands out the annual Golden Globe Awards — and the crisis is getting worse, not better. After diversity and PR experts hired just weeks ago to help the group fix systemic problems of racism and corruption quit on Monday, and a racist email leaked from a former head of the group, what is left for the HFPA to do? “You can’t just put Band-Aid on a bullet wound,” Evan Nierman, founder and CEO of crisis PR firm Red Banyan, told TheWrap. “They are going to have to do surgery, and they are going to have to do a lot of rehabilitation. Half measures aren’t going to work. They are going
See full article at The Wrap »

‘Black Bread’ Director Agustí Villaronga Plumbs One of the Most Ghastly Shipwrecks in History

‘Black Bread’ Director Agustí Villaronga Plumbs One of the Most Ghastly Shipwrecks in History
The background to “The Belly of the Sea,” the new film from “Black Bread” director Agustí Villaronga, is arguably the most ghastly shipwreck in the history of seafaring.

On July 2, 1816 French frigate Méduse ran aground on the Bank of Arguin, off the coast of present-day Mauritania, with 400 passengers on board.

147 men were forced onto a makeshift raft, only 66 feet by 23 feet, cut adrift on the open sea. A storm swept many overboard; others, rebellious, were shot by officers; as rations dwindled, some resorted to cannibalism. The weak and wounded were thrown into the sea. Only 15 men survived.

The disaster was immortalized by Théodore Géricault’s painting “The Shipwreck of the Medusa.” It also inspired the “second book” of “Ocean Sea,” a 1993 novel by Italy’s Alessandro Baricco, which frames two monologues, one from the Méduse’s surgeon, Henri Savigny, another from a common sailor, both survivors. That proved the point
See full article at Variety - Film News »

ABC News Readies ’20/20′ Portrait of George Floyd

ABC News Readies ’20/20′ Portrait of George Floyd
ABC News will offer a portrait of the life of George Floyd in a two-hour “20/20” slated to air April 23 at 9 p.m. eastern.

The program will feature interviews with Gianna Floyd, Floyd’s youngest daughter; friends and family of Floyd; Christopher Martin, the former store clerk who testified that he regretted taking the allegedly counterfeit $20 bill from Floyd; Maya Santamaria, the former nightclub owner who employed both Floyd and Chauvin; and Clarence Castile, uncle of Philando Castile.

Many TV-news programs have responded to this week’s verdict finding police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of killing Floyd while he was
See full article at Variety - TV News »

‘Savior For Sale: The Story of Salvator Mundi’ Sells Widely For MK2 Films (Exclusive)

‘Savior For Sale: The Story of Salvator Mundi’ Sells Widely For MK2 Films (Exclusive)
MK2 Films has closed a first batch of key deals on Antoine Vitkine’s critically acclaimed documentary “The Savior For Sale: The Story of Salvator Mundi.”

The film lifts the veil on the painting titled “Salvator Mundi” (The Savior of the World), which mysteriously resurfaced several years ago and was sold at Christie’s for a record $450 million to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, in 2017.

“The Savior For Sale: The Story of Salvator Mundi” recently premiered on France 5, a channel of French broadcaster France Televisions, and was unanimously praised by critics. MK2 Films has now sold the title to Koch Media for a multi territory deal, Avalon (Spain), Nos Lusomundo (Portugal), Planeta Inform (Cis), Andrews Film (Taiwan) and South Korea (Challan). Further talks are underway, notably in Japan, Scandinavia and Australia/New Zealand.

A modern tale of globalization, Vitkine’s documentary delves into the unknown
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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