‘Licorice Pizza’ Costume Designer Mark Bridges & Actress Alana Haim On Her Many 1970s Styles – Crew Call Podcast

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January 25, 2022 1:20pm

UAR

On today’s Crew Call we speak with 2x Oscar-winning costume designer Mark Bridges on his latest 1970s Paul Thomas Anderson reteam, Licorice Pizza, and the pic’s breakout actress, Alana Haim, on her character’s get-up for a carefree, hot summer stretch in the San Fernando Valley, 51 years ago.

Bridges, who previously won Best Achievement in Costume Design for Anderson’s The Phantom Thread in 2018, makes his third trip to the ’70s with Anderson here after 2014’s Inherent Vice (which also earned the designer an Oscar nom) and 1997’s Boogie Nights. 

While one of Anderson’s directions to achieve a natural look entailed the young actors not wearing make-up (Why would they? It’s a balmy summer in the valley and kids are running around), he also wanted the costumes to have a lived-in look, almost slept-in with the actors encouraged to take their costumes home after a day’s shoot.

Big dress collars, floral prints, dirty jeans, and rubies and reds were part of Haim’s closet for her on-screen persona, and we discuss how Bridges and her came to that approach.

In addition, Haim shares with us how Anderson, who previously shot music videos for her band, ‘Haim’, came to work with the 8x Oscar nominated filmmaker on the big screen.

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‘Pitch Perfect’: Flula Borg Joins Adam Devine In Peacock TV Series, Reprising Pieter Krämer Role

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January 25, 2022 1:01pm

Flula Borg (L) and Birgitte Hjort Sorensen in ‘Pitch Perfect 2’
Everett

Flula Borg, star of the Pitch Perfect movie franchise, is reuniting with the films’ Adam Devine in the TV spinoff, which has a straight-to-series order at Peacock.

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The series comes from Universal Television and is exec produced by Elizabeth Banks, who starred in and produced the films and directed the second movie.

The show follows Devine’s vocal villain Bumper Allen, several years after viewers saw him in the films. Invited by his old friend Pieter Krämer (Borg), Bumper moves to Germany to revive his music career when one of his songs becomes big in Berlin. Pieter has transitioned from German a cappella star to discredited German music manager. He signs Bumper as his only client, and brings him to Berlin to pursue his dreams.

In Pitch Perfect 2, Borg’s Pieter is the co-leader of German powerhouse group Das Sound Machine, the Bellas’ European a cappella rivals, who take delight at mocking the Bellas during a performance at a car show.

Banks and Max Handelman will exec produce via Brownstone Productions, along with Gold Circle Films’ Paul Brooks and Scott Neimeyer as well as Devine and Megan Amram.

Brownstone and Gold Circle produced all three films in the Pitch Perfect franchise and Banks directed Pitch Perfect 2 which was the highest opening weekend for a musical in history, the biggest opener for a first-time feature film director, and the second-largest opening for a female director.

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‘No Time To Die’: Read The Screenplay That Said Goodbye To Daniel Craig As James Bond

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January 25, 2022 12:50pm


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MGM

Editors note: Deadline’s Read the Screenplay series debuts and celebrates the scripts of films that will be factors in this year’s movie awards race. Spoiler Alert: This story contains major plot details of MGM/UAR’s No Time to Die.

When it came time to crafting a story for No Time to Die, the veteran producers and screenwriters behind the James Bond films knew they needed to deliver something that not only offered fresh territory for the increasingly formula-bucking 007 franchise, but also to craft a spectacular exit for actor Daniel Craig, who’s redefined Ian Fleming’s venerable character for the modern era, in his final appearance.

After Craig’s four previous outings, which charted Bond’s emotional progression from his earliest missions onward in ways the previous films had not, the creative team needed to land on what the next step in 007’s evolution would be, having grown from his deep love, bitter betrayal and tragic loss of Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) in Casino Royale to contemplating a lasting, trusting relationship with Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux) by the end of Spectre.

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“There was the debate on how we continue telling the love story and explore the themes that have become so pivotal across the Daniel Craig movies,” says executive producer Barbara Broccoli. “If Bond is going to commit to a relationship, this throws up so many emotional challenges for him, so trust is the biggest theme in this movie. Making an emotional commitment with someone is very difficult because of his history with attachments, and then betrayal being a big part of the break-up of those attachments.”

Longtime screenwriting team Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, who have two decades of experience writing Bond films, recognized the potential in following Bond’s romantic progression to its conclusion. “Bond realized he could never do his job if he made himself vulnerable in that way — that’s why in the aftermath of Casino he rejected love and shielded himself from falling for another woman.” Says Purvis. “But in the case of Madeleine, she is the daughter of an assassin and is therefore the one person who might understand the life that he has had. So he puts his trust in her and that’s the key thing for him. Love and trust are intertwined and he’s making himself very vulnerable.”

“He believes that he should be happy being retired but there is something missing,” adds Wade. “He is fishing and drinking and sunning himself, but he needs more.”

“When trouble comes knocking it is something he welcomes; he can take up the challenge again,” says Purvis.

Adding to the creative mix was the perspective of director Cary Joji Fukunaga, the first American to helm a Bond film. “Much of our discussion was around how we make this film feel of the time, but also of the universe of Bond, which is never really specific to a time,” says Fukunaga. “You also want to bring something new to the story, and also you want to honor all the Bond films in terms of leitmotifs and expectations.”

Actress-screenwriter Phoebe Waller-Bridge provided another jolt of the new, adding her signature wit and a female perspective, among other elements, to the screenplay. “Phoebe had a big impact on the script and we love working with her,” says Broccoli.

“All the writers made a contribution and Cary tried to incorporate as much of everybody’s work as possible. The story is very complicated, but it is told in a very understandable manner. The revelations are fascinating.”

Then there was the film’s legitimately shocking dénouement, which definitively concluded Craig’s tenure. “The thing about how to make it work was, as usual, the devil’s in the details,” says executive producer Michael G. Wilson. “If he’s going to meet his demise it can’t really be a suicide mission, although he always does risk his life and take those kinds of risks, but also it couldn’t be a random act where he’s just killed arbitrarily. It had to be meaningful. Cary and writers had to come up with the solution that we felt was appropriate, and [Daniel Craig] thought was appropriate.”

“With No Time to Die, the themes are as big as you can go,” says Craig, who as executive producer and star also had considerable say in the story. “That’s how it is with Bond. If this isn’t the time to use the expression ‘Go big or go home’ in a Bond movie, I don’t know when is the right time to use it.”

Click below to read the script for the film, with MGM and United Artists Releasing rolled out worldwide beginning on October after being delayed because of the pandemic. The film has grossed $774 million at the global box office and has been picking up noms this awards season for the Billie Eilish-sung theme song (it already won the Golden Globe) as well as for its crafts teams from stunts (SAG Awards nom) to visual effects (VES Award and Critics Choice noms) and production design (an ADG Award nom).

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AMC Entertainment Moves To Refinance Debt – Report

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January 25, 2022 12:48pm

AP

In early January, AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron announced a New Year’s Resolution to refinance high interest debt the chain took on to survive the pandemic. Today, the WSJ reports he’s “in advanced talks with multiple parties” to do just that but a dip in the company’s stock (and its bonds) hasn’t helped.

“The precipitous share price decline puts them in a more precarious position to refinance high interest debt and extend maturity — a worse position than they were a month or two ago,” said Alicia Reese of Wedbush Securities. Bur she noted that AMC had, earlier, been “really successful refinancing before the retail investors came in.”

If it can’t refinance or there’s a snag, it means the company would have to shell out cash, or more of it and sooner than it would like, to pay down interest due.

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An AMC rep declined to comment.

MY NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION FOR AMC. In 2020 and early 2021, AMC took on debt at high interest rates to survive. If we can, in 2022 I’d like to refinance some of our debt to reduce our interest expense, push out some debt maturities by several years and loosen covenants. 1 of 2 pic.twitter.com/f9Zgy8CYgh

Adam Aron (@CEOAdam) January 3, 2022

AMC share are down around 2% at $16 in afternoon trade amid a broader market selloff that accelerated this week. But the stock woes for the world’s largest exhibitor started well before. It’s shed ten points from the start of 2022 and is way off its 52-week high of $70 last summer as the meme-stock frenzy peaked. Retail investors had rallied to the company starting in Jan. of 2021 as it teetered on the brink of bankruptcy, and basically saved it. But not before AMC had taken on high interest rate debt in 2020 and early 2021 to keep the lights on. Aron wants to refinance the highest interest rate debt for lower rates and longer maturities.

According to the WSJ, the company’s bonds had previously held up recently even as its shares slipped. But on Monday the bonds dropped by several points as the stock dropped more than 7% — indicating that even bondholders who are more protected than stockholders in the pecking order may be worried about the business. As of September, AMC had $5.5 billion of debt that ranked ahead of equity.

The refinancing push comes AMC news comes with the box office in a bit of a lull, as AMC’s love affair with meme investors has cooled a bit, and as the overall stock market experiences a dramatic correction.

Investors are awaiting news from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell at the end of a two-day meeting Wed. regarding planned interest rate increases this year. The hikes are needed to moderate inflation. Investors are spooked by both higher interest rates and higher inflation, by some subpar quarterly earnings and outlooks, and by rising tensions with Russia over Ukraine.

The volatility has taken a toll on individuals who are the bulk of AMC shareholders. They first jumped into stocks like AMC and GameStop, egging each other on to buy and hold, to plant a flag against short sellers and institutions betting the shares would fall — the little guy taking a stand against corrupt Wall Street.

Aron wooed them brilliantly, posting frequently on Twitter, creating a special new vertical for them on AMC’s investor relations portal, offering free popcorn, coffee, hosting screenings and accepting cryptocurrency. But it’s a mixed bag. The so-called “diamond hands” who buy and hold no matter what were agitated when Aron recently unloaded two big tranches of his own shares (even though he’d warned the sales were coming for estate planning purposes.) CFO Sean Goodman also sold.

Previously, meme investors also blocked Aron when he wanted AMC to issue new shares to raise cash back when the stock was at a high last year. The shareholders didn’t want their stakes diluted.

Some of them taken a bath. “You have the faithful who came in early and bought in low enough to where this is not financially damaging,” Reese said. “But many got in at the top and obviously lost a lot. Many of them, regardless of when they got in, still think it’s a setup.”

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Disney Responds To Peter Dinklage ‘Snow White’ Comments, Says It’s “Taking A Different Approach” To Adaptation

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January 25, 2022 12:29pm

Everett Collection

Disney has responded to remarks made yesterday by award-winning actor Peter Dinklage that called the studio’s plans for a live-action remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs “f*cking backwards.”

A Disney spokesperson told Deadline, “To avoid reinforcing stereotypes from the original animated film, we are taking a different approach with these seven characters and have been consulting with members of the dwarfism community. We look forward to sharing more as the film heads into production after a lengthy development period,” .

Disney, Deadline understands, has cultural consultants on all of its live-action films including previous titles Aladdin and Mulan, in addition to animated movies like Encanto recently.

Speaking on the Marc Maron podcast WTF yesterday, Dinklage said, “I was a little taken aback when they were very proud to cast a Latina actress as Snow White…You’re still telling the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Take a step back and look at what you’re doing there. It makes no sense to me. You’re progressive in one way and you’re still making that f*cking backwards story about seven dwarfs living in a cave together. What the f*ck are you doing man? Have I done nothing to advance the cause from my soapbox?”

The live-action version of Snow White, which stars West Side Story actress Rachel Zegler in the title role and Gal Gadot as the evil queen, is still years away from release. The feature has been in development for three years and the reimagining of the dwarf characters is something Disney has been working on since the project’s earliest stages.

The planned remake of the 1938 animated movie will feature original songs from Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Andrew Burnap also stars in a newly created male lead character.

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Sundance Deals On Verge Of Virtual Consummation? Searchlight In Lead For Emma Thompson Sexy Sundance Starrer ‘Good Luck To You, Leo Grande’

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January 25, 2022 12:19pm

Emma Thompson and Daryl McCormack appear in Good Luck to You, Leo Grande by Sophie Hyde, an official selection of the Premieres section at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Nick Wall.

All photos are copyrighted and may be used by press only for the purpose of news or editorial coverage of Sundance Institute programs. Photos must be accompanied by a credit to the photographer and/or ‘Courtesy of Sundance Institute.’ Unauthorized use, alteration, reproduction or sale of logos and/or photos is strictly prohibited.

EXCLUSIVE: Searchlight Pictures has emerged as the favorite to acquire Good Luck To You, Leo Grande, the Sophie Hyde-directed drama that stars Emma Thompson as a widow who decides to seek out something that has eluded her over a 31-year marriage: a proper, mind-blowing, toe-curling orgasm. Negotiations are underway and will hopefully climax into the first narrative film deal at 2022 Sundance, after a weekend of foreplay but no consummation beyond the docu Fire of Love.

Deadline hears the deal would be for US rights, and will be released through Hulu. This strategy replicates the January deal for the Sundance film Fresh, starring Daisy Edgar-Jones (Normal People) and Sebastian Stan (Pam & Tommy). That Mimi Cave-directed pic will stream exclusively across Disney’s platforms, debuting on Hulu in the U.S. on March 4, with a Latin American premiere on Star+ and a Disney+ unveiling in all other territories to take later this spring.

In the Katy Brand-scripted Leo Grande, retired school teacher and widow Nancy Stokes yearns for adventure, human connection, and some great sex. Her late husband Robert provided a home, a family, something resembling a life, but good sex was never on offer during their 31 year marriage. Nancy decides she will find adventure with a sex worker named Leo Grande (Daryl McCormack from The Wheel of Time). The film premiered January 22 at Virtual Sundance in the Premieres Section.

Many of the films at Sundance have bites — the crowd pleasure Cha Cha Real Smooth has Apple bearing down among others — but as we said coming in, deals would likely be slow going because of the unpredictability of the pandemic and the lack of packed screenings and high altitude that tend to result in bidding battles and quick sales.

CAA Media Finance is working on the Leo Grande deal.

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Cinema Marketing Firm PaperAirplane Helps Exhibition Take Flight During Pandemic

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January 25, 2022 12:04pm

Left to right: Mike Polydoros and Will Preuss.
Paper Airplane

EXCLUSIVE: 2020 was a year of utter bewilderment as movie theaters went largely dark from Covid, and studios grappled with a complete stoppage of distribution.

But with great chaos, came great opportunity as Lionsgate vets Mike Polydoros and Will Preuss decided to open the doors to PaperAirplane, a first-of-its kind marketing agency which is liaison between movie theaters, studios and theatrical media ad agencies, creating and fostering in-theater promotions.

Polydoros, who was instrumental in delivering the in-theater marketing success of numerous blockbusters, including The Hunger Games franchise, Knives Out, and La La Land, saw the need for a one-stop solution between cinemas and studios for in-theater marketing. That efficiency is achieved via PaperAirplane’s Hanger, a centralized hub of proprietary digital movie marketing assets which studios upload to, and movie theaters download from, i.e. DCP trailers, social media videos and graphics, custom and exclusive content, web banners, GIFs, digital one sheets, etc.

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And the decision to launch just as movie theaters were struggling to reopen toward the latter half of 2020?

“I’m optimistic about this business,” Polydoros tells Deadline, “People keep trying to put a pin in it since the advent of several mediums –radio, TV, BetaMax, DVD– and the one thing that’s been true is that people keep coming back to the movies. It’s a communal experience.”

In just over a year, PaperAirplane has racked up 1,300-plus registered users, and has supported over 225 titles for studios of all sizes to date, including Warner Bros., Universal, Focus Features, Walt Disney Studios, Sony Pictures, Lionsgate, Paramount, STXfilms, Briarcliff/Open Road, A24, Bleecker Street, Netflix, Gravitas Ventures, Roadside Attractions, Elevation, and eOne, along with the event cinema provider Iconic Events Releasing.

PaperAirplane has also been instrumental in providing guidance to theater circuits on how to optimize their royalty subscription lists, and market specifically to those members, as well as informing studios about exhibition’s digital promotion rollout.

Gravitas Ventures

In addition, PaperAirplane assists indie distributors with their in-theater marketing support, including trailer placement, digital marketing campaigns, asset creation. This past weekend they worked with Gravitas Ventures on their widest release ever at 2,170 theaters, the Pierce Brosnan-Kaya Scodelario-William Hurt family movie The King’s Daughter.

Last summer, PaperAirplane worked with the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) in delivering assets for its The Big Screen is Back campaign to cinemas across North America. PaperAirplane also recently worked with the City of New York on creating their “Vax to the Movies” campaign.

Honest Thief
Open Road Films

Tom Ortenberg, CEO of Briarcliff Entertainment and Open Road Films, whose film Honest Thief was the very first asset downloaded, said, “Paper Airplane is exactly what the distribution and exhibition communities need in this time of changing paradigms: a mechanism to get marketing materials where they are needed most in a user-friendly, cost-effective manner.”

PaperAirplane hit a milestone today: the company recently surpassed its 100,000th digital asset downloaded from their portal, The Hangar. At the end of this week, nearly 120,000 total assets will have been downloaded from The Hangar.

Polydoros added, “As our industry continues to recover, the response and support that we’ve seen has been nothing short of phenomenal. Since working on our first title Honest Thief back in October 2020, to have our digital asset manager The Hangar now surpass 100,000 unique assets downloaded by over 95 percent of the North American exhibition marketplace is a testament to how eager exhibitors are to support these films that are playing in their theaters. We are now seeing over 500 assets a day being downloaded, and each and every one of those downloads represents either a web or social media posting, targeted email blast, mobile push notification, or some form of engagement with actual moviegoers via the exhibitor’s marketing channels.”

Preuss added, “With multiple assets for multiple studios available in one place, exhibitors are now able to easily and efficiently find what they need. When a studio makes their assets available in The Hangar, we see that title receive multiple postings in exhibitor social channels. We’re creating a convenience in the marketplace that supports both the studios and exhibition. Everyone benefits, and it shows how eager exhibitors are to support and market these titles.”

Polydoros and Preuss are joined at PaperAirplane by industry veterans Meggie Isom and Amanda Rufener.

PaperAirplane is a joint venture with Velocity, A Managed Services Company, which provides IT managed services through network management, voice and data connectivity, digital signage, and media solutions, along with cinema marketing and digital fulfillment services.

 

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‘Dual’: RLJE Films Prevails In Bidding War To Acquire Sundance Sci-Fi Thriller Starring Karen Gillan And Aaron Paul

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January 25, 2022 12:03pm

RLJE Films

RLJE Films last night acquired U.S. rights to Riley Stearns’ thriller Dual in a competitive bidding situation, striking a low-mid seven figure deal for the film, which recently premiered in U.S. Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival.

XYZ Films, CAA Media Finance and UTA Independent Film Group closed the deal with RLJE Films, with the former company also handling world rights outside of the U.S. The film is slated for release in theaters this year.

Dual centers on Sarah (Karen Gillan), a woman who, upon receiving a terminal diagnosis, opts for a cloning procedure to ease her loss on her friends and family. When she makes a sudden and miraculous recovery, her attempts to have her clone decommissioned fail and lead to a court-mandated duel to the death.

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Aaron Paul and Beulah Koale also star in the film produced by Stearns, XYZ and Resolute Films and Entertainment. Film Service Finland provided production services, with XYZ financing it through its fund backed by Helsinki-based IPR.VC in collaboration with Bondit Media Capital and Head Gear Films. The film also received support from Business Finland and Film Tampere and marked the first Hollywood production to shoot entirely in Finland.

XYZ Films and RLJE Films previously collaborated on the theatrical release for Panos Cosmatos’ Sundance genre-bender Mandy, starring Nicolas Cage. Dual also marks the latest in a partnership between XYZ, Lee Kim and his Resolute Films and Entertainment, which just entered into a first-look deal with the company.

“DUAL was a film we were targeting from the beginning of the Sundance Film Festival and it exceeded our expectations,” said RLJE Films’ Chief Acquisition Officer, Mark Ward. “We are happy to be working with our partners at XYZ Films yet again and can’t wait to release the film later this year.”

“Shooting DUAL with XYZ during a global pandemic will forever be an experience I look back on with a tremendous amount of pride,” added Stearns. “I’m beyond thrilled to enter the next stage of this journey with the team at RLJE Films and I can’t wait for audiences to see a film which we all deeply care for.”

RLJE Films is a business unit of AMC Networks. Its recent and upcoming features include David Oyelowo’s directorial debut The Water Man; Amber Sealey’s No Man of God starring Elijah Wood and Luke Kirby; Sion Sono’s 2021 Sundance Film Festival premiere Prisoners of the Ghostland starring Nicolas Cage and Sofia Boutella; and the apocalyptic holiday dramedy Silent Night from writer-director Camille Griffin, which stars Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode and Roman Griffin Davis.

XYZ Films’ titles include The Raid franchise, 2017 Sundance winner I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore and Mandy. Recent productions from the company include Joe Penna’s sci-fi thriller Stowaway, starring Anna Kendrick and Toni Collette, and Gareth Evans’ action thriller Havoc, starring Tom Hardy and Forest Whitaker.  Its 2022 Sundance slate also includes management client Carlota Pereda’s feature directorial debut Piggy and Something in the Dirt from management clients Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead.

Stearns is repped at CAA and Grandview.

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‘The Righteous Gemstones’ Renewed For Season 3 At HBO

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January 25, 2022 12:00pm

HBO

HBO will get a holy trinity of The Righteous Gemstones as it renews the comedy for Season 3.

The renewal news comes just weeks after Season 2 debuted on January 9. Created, written by and starring Danny McBride, The Righteous Gemstones tells the story of a world-famous televangelist family with a long tradition of deviance, greed and charitable work. Season 2, which will end on February 27, finds the blessed Gemstone family threatened by outsiders from both the past and present who wish to destroy their empire.

The series also features Adam Devine, Edi Patterson, John Goodman, Cassidy Freeman, Tony Cavalero, Tim Baltz, Skyler Gisondo, Greg Alan Williams, Walton Goggins, Jennifer Nettles, Jody Hill, Valyn Hall, Kelton DuMont, Gavin Munn, Jason Schwartzman, Eric Roberts, Eric Andre and Jessica Lowe.

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“After a season of literal fire and brimstone, blood, sand and rollerblading, who wouldn’t come back for more?” said Amy Gravitt, EVP of HBO Programming. “The Gemstone family makes us laugh like nobody else.”

The Righteous Gemstones is also directed and executive produced by McBride, Jody Hill and David Gordon Green. Additional executive producers are John Carcieri, Jeff Fradley and Brandon James; Jonathan Watson co-executive produces. David Brightbill produces and Grant Dekernion, Kevin Barnett, Edi Patterson and Chris Pappas are consulting producers.

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Annaleigh Ashford Joins Kumail Nanjiani In Hulu Limited Series ‘Immigrant’

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January 25, 2022 12:00pm

AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

Tony winner Annaleigh Ashford has been tapped to star opposite Kumail Nanjiani in Hulu limited series Immigrant (working title), from Pam & Tommy creator Robert Siegel.

Written and executive produced by Siegel, Immigrant (wt) is the true story of Somen “Steve” Banerjee (Nanjiani), the Indian-American entrepreneur who started Chippendales. The series will detail the insane, darkly comedic, crime-ridden story behind the unique male revue that became a cultural phenomenon.

Ashford will play the series regular role of Irene. An accountant by trade, Irene is the wife of Chippendales founder Steve Banerjee (Nanjiani), falling in love over a shared passion for tax loopholes and revenue expansion. Shy and unassuming at first, she steadily finds her footing within the company, growing into a formidable behind-the-scenes powerhouse.

Murray Bartlett also stars as producer-choreographer Nick De Noia.

Siegel and Nanjiani executive produce alongside Dylan Sellers, Jenni Konner, Ramin Bahrani, Emily V. Gordon, Nora Silver and Rajiv Joseph, who will write on the series along with Mehar Sethi. Siegel and Konner serve as co-showrunners and Bahrani will direct. Jacqui Rivera is co-executive producer and Annie Wyman is co-producer. 20th Television serves as the studio on the series.

Ashford recently starred as Paula Jones in Ryan Murphy’s FX series Impeachment: American Crime Story, and currently stars in comedy B Positive for CBS. She previously starred in Showtime’s Masters of Sex, HBO’s Emmy-winning Bad Education and she also appeared in Netflix series Unbelievable. Ashford is repped by ICM, Beth Rosner Management and Schreck, Rose, Dapello, Adams, Berlin and Dunham.

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SAG-AFTRA Says Some Producers Aren’t Paying Actors For Time It Takes To Remove Make-Up & Wardrobe

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January 25, 2022 11:20am

SAG-AFTRA

SAG-AFTRA says that some producers aren’t compensating film and TV actors for the time it takes them to remove makeup and wardrobe at the end of their workdays – a violation of the union’s “15-minute rule.”

The union’s contract states: “When performer is not otherwise on compensable work time, performer shall be compensated for up to 15 minutes of time spent in the removal of ordinary makeup, hairdress or wardrobe.” The rule applies to films, TV shows and high-budget streaming shows.

“When applied correctly,” the SAG-AFTRA says on its website, “up to 15 minutes are added to the time when the performer’s compensable work time has ended, which determines the performer’s final dismissal time.”

The union notes, however: “It has come to our attention that producers may be incorrectly applying this rule with the effect of depriving members of pay for compensable work time and, in some cases, applicable penalties. Members should be aware that this rule does not limit the producer’s obligation to compensate performers from the time the performer is required to and does report, as directed, until the time such performer is finally dismissed for the day.”

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Jennie Nguyen Fired From ‘Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City’

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January 25, 2022 11:09am

Bravo

Bravo has fired Real Housewives of Salt Lake City‘s Jennie Nguyen over multiple insensitive social media posts she shared in 2020, many of which mocked the Black Lives Matter movement.

Bravo has ceased filming with Jennie Nguyen and she will no longer be a cast member of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City,” The network said in a statement released via their official Twitter account on Tuesday.

“We recognize we failed to take appropriate action once her offensive social media posts were brought to our attention. Moving forward, we will work to improve our processes to ensure we make better informed and more thoughtful casting decisions.”

pic.twitter.com/1wEMGZTJh0

— Bravo (@BravoTV) January 25, 2022

Executive producer Andy Cohen addressed the controversy briefly on his podcast, Radio Andy, on Monday. He told listeners he had seen Nguyen’s “disgusting and upsetting posts” and that “serious discussions” were happening that he couldn’t address at the time.

Last week, Nguyen shared an apology for her actions via Instagram.

“I want to acknowledge and apologize for my deleted Facebook posts from 2020 that resurfaced today,” she wrote. “At the time, I thought I was speaking out against violence, but I have since learned how offensive and hurtful my words were. It’s why I deactivated that account more than a year ago and why I continue to try to learn about perspectives different than my own. I regret those posts and am sincerely sorry for the pain they caused.”

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A post shared by Jennie Nguyen (@jennienguyenluv)

She has not addressed her firing from the reality series publicly.

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‘Belfast’: Read The Screenplay For Kenneth Branagh’s Look Back At Growing Up In Northern Ireland

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January 24, 2022 1:13pm


Story Arc

(L-R) Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds, Jude Hill and Judi Dench in “Belfast”
Everett

Kenneth Branagh has told the most epic stories of all between Shakespeare, Agatha Christie and Marvel. For his latest, Belfast, Branagh chose a more intimate and personal one.

Based on his own childhood growing up in Northern Ireland in the 1960s, Branagh wrote and directed Belfast. Nine-year-old Buddy (Jude Hill) overhears bits and pieces about The Troubles in Ireland. He witnesses some of the violence in the street, but he’s more concerned with playing with his friends, and why his father (Jamie Dornan) is gone so much of the time.

Buddy watches a lot of movies and television, the arts that would become Branagh’s forte. He sees his father as a big-screen hero and his mother (Caitriona Balfe) as his safe space. His grandparents (Judi Dench and Ciarán Hinds) also live in Belfast and are a constant in his life. Plus, he’s also a boy looking for love.

Branagh said his family got caught up in The Troubles, and recalls witnessing a riot in the streets the way he portrayed Buddy observing it. He wrote the film while isolating during the Covid-19 pandemic, fictionalizing himself as Buddy with the perspective of an adult 50 years later. Belfast was able to film on location in Northern Ireland and England under Covid safety protocols.

Branagh loaded the film with Van Morrison music — eight catalog hits and one original. The film culminates with Dornan and Balfe dancing to “Everlasting Love,” performed by Love Affair.

Belfast premiered at the Telluride Film Festival before playing at Toronto, BFI London and other fests. It opened November 12 in the U.S. Since then, Branagh’s screenplay won the Golden Globe among several Globes and Critics Choice Awards nominations, while SAG has nominated the ensemble cast and singled out Balfe’s performance for a nomination.

Click below to read Branagh’s script.

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Kids Would Be Required To Get Covid Vaccination For School Under Proposed California Law, Which Eliminates Personal Belief Exemption

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January 24, 2022 1:08pm

Jae Hong/AP

A California state lawmaker said he wants ensure that all school students in Los Angeles and throughout the state are vaccinated against Covid-19, and do to that, he announced a proposal today to eliminate personal belief exemptions and expand upon a state vaccine mandate.

“We have an opportunity here to keep kids safe,” Sen. Richard Pan, D- Sacramento, said during a California Medical Association news conference at Arleta High School in the San Fernando Valley, where the legislator and pediatrician announced details of the Keep Schools Open and Safe Act.

“As a pediatrician, parent and legislator, I am committed to giving the public confidence and certainty that we are working to prevent or slow down the next coronavirus surge,” Pan said.

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“Legislators have the ability to pass laws to make our communities safe, including increasing vaccination rates to keep schools open and safe.”

Under state law, personal belief exemptions must be allowed for any newly-required childhood vaccine unless the legislature passes a law banning them.

Pan said closing the personal belief exemption loophole for the “safe and effective” shots ensures that “every medically eligible student attending school in person is vaccinated.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced a statewide school vaccination mandate, but it will not take effect statewide until a vaccine receives full approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Pan’s bill would require the shots even if they are only being offered under an emergency-use authorization by the FDA. Newsom has frequently pointed out that there are already a number of vaccinations required for shchool children in California.

Anyone aged 5 and older is currently eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Los Angeles Unified School District Interim Superintendent Megan K. Reilly on Monday called vaccine requirements an integral part of keeping students safe, especially those from low-income communities who are disproportionately impacted by the deadly virus.

“All employees at our schools are 100% vaccinated, and nearly 90% of our students 12 and older are in compliance with our vaccine requirement,” Reilly said. “We have lowered case rates with our students and employees and in our schools because of the many layers of protections and safety measures — but, most of all, because of vaccines.”

She voiced her support for a statewide vaccine mandate.

“With a county as large as Los Angeles, where there are nearly 1.5 million students in transitional kindergarten through 12th grade across 80 different school districts, this consistency in health standard will help ensure all of us in the school community are doing our part to keep community transmissions low and ensure a safe school environment for our most vulnerable student populations,” she said.

San Diego Unified Board member Richard Barrera also attended Monday’s news conference. He called a vaccine requirement a “common sense” way to protect students and educators and keep kids in schools.

SDUSD has unsuccessfully tried to implement its own such vaccine mandates for students and staff for the spring semester, but those policies are being held up in the courts.

“The state Legislature does have the authority to require a vaccine mandate,” he said. “What Senator Pan is doing is stepping up and doing what all people following the science understand…We welcome this necessary legislation by our state leaders to help end the roller coaster of the pandemic and allow schools to go back to focusing on what we do best — educating our students.”

The Keep Schools Open and Safe Act builds on SB 277, also sponsored by Pan, which eliminated the personal belief exemption loophole for all other childhood vaccinations required for public and private school students when it became law in 2015.

“The most effective way to keep schools open and safe is to ensure the COVID vaccination rate of students and school staff is as high as possible in addition to masks, testing and good ventilation to minimize infections,” Pan said. “My legislation will give parents great certainty that their child is unlikely to get seriously sick and their school will stay open during COVID.”

In related developments, the Los Angeles Unified School District announced today that weekly Covid testing for students and employees regardless of vaccination status — which was previously going end at the end of January — will now continue through February.

School district officials also noted that vaccinations remain a key element in reducing the impact of the virus on communities and will be required for students 12 and older at the start of the fall semester of 2022.

LAUSD students are also being required to wear higher-grade, non-cloth masks starting today. The rule calls for “well-fitting, non-cloth masks with a nose wire” at all times, indoors and outdoors. All employees are already being required to wear surgical-grade masks.

District officials said they will continue to provide masks to students and employees at school sites, as needed. And, as with the previous masking requirements, the mask requirements do not apply to people with mask exemptions.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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Daniel Roher Documentary Thriller ‘Navalny’ Is This Year’s Sundance Secret Screening

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January 24, 2022 1:00pm

“Navalny”
Sundance Film Festival

This year’s Sundance Film Festival is online, but that doesn’t mean it can’t program a secret screening.

Just added is Daniel Roher’s documentary thriller Navalny, which will make its world premiere 6 p.m. MT on January 25 as the 10th and final title in the U.S. Documentary Competition section

Navalny focuses on Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny. Roher had unparalleled access to Navalny and his inner circle for the documentary.

In August 2020, a plane traveling from Siberia to Moscow made an emergency landing. One of its passengers, Navalny, was deathly ill. After he was taken to a local Siberian hospital and eventually evacuated to Berlin, German authorities confirmed that he had been poisoned with Novichok, a nerve agent implicated in attacks on other opponents of the Russian government. President Vladimir Putin immediately cast doubt on the findings and denied any involvement.

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While he was recovering, Navalny and his team — already with a large social media following in tow — partnered with the data investigative journalism outlet Bellingcat as well as other international news organizations, including CNN, to investigate his attempted assassination and find proof of the Kremlin’s involvement.

“We are delighted to have Navalny at this year’s Festival,” said Sundance director Tabitha Jackson. “When we saw this film in the early fall, we all immediately knew that we wanted it and would wait for it: riveting cinema in the present tense, incredible access, intrepid investigative journalism, a compelling protagonist speaking truth to power — all beautifully edited, directed and produced into a timely nonfiction thriller that deals with the highest of stakes for freedom of expression.”

Said Roher: “Boldly confronting injustice through cinematic storytelling has been threaded into Sundance’s DNA since its inception. My team and I can’t imagine premiering at any other festival. We are thrilled that Sundance audiences will be the first to see our film and witness the extraordinary courage of Alexei Navalny.”

The pic is produced by Diane Becker, Melanie Miller, Shane Boris and Odessa Rae.

Previous secret screenings, which occurred during live editions of Sundance, have included Get Out, Eddie the Eagle and Tully. 

Roher directed the 2019 docu Once Were Brothers, which follows Robbie Robertson’s young life and the rise of The Band. The movie won Best Canadian Feature Film at TIFF that year.

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