AMAZON moves Ron Howard MGM Thailand cave pic to (mostly) streaming
NBC will be comedy-less in Sept / HUNGER GAMES prequel gets lead / BUZZFEED's big Q1 losses
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on TUESDAY May 17, 2022.
Where it’s the week of the year where you’re still not 100% sure if it’s pronounced Can or Cahn … as the CANNES FILM FESTIVAL kicks off in full force.
Mr. Cruise flies in for the Top Gun event tomorrow… then flies out to go celebrate the Queen in London that night because that’s how Tom Cruise does.
AND: ABC and YOUTUBE do the Upfronts thing today.
PLUS: Just me or is Poop 💩 having a moment this month? Elon & TWITTER’s uh, current (?) CEO had this exchange yesterday about having a 3rd party determine the prevalence of Spam/Bot accounts on TWITTER, as Elon clearly seems to be having some #OfferRemorse. 🥴
But ya gotta admire a new owner thoroughly test driving the product he’s buying.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
AMAZON MGM moves Ron Howard’s Thailand cave rescue movie to streaming + limited theatrical
Not a great day for anyone with an upcoming pic at MGM. “Thirteen Lives” will also move from the heart of Awards Season in November to…. dead of Summer in “early August” 😳. Colin Farrell, Viggo Mortensen and Joel Edgerton star in the movie.
Will get a “limited” theatrical run followed by a global drop on AMAZON PRIME, exact August date details TBA. So basically the NETFLIX model. If there’s not a Jason Kilar Award for Most Unpopular Streaming Decision… thinking we gotta get on that (sorry Jason - I was actually a fan of the HBOMAX move on the whole. Also Jason Kilar does not read this newsletter).
AMAZON STUDIOS chief Jennifer Salke pointed out their success with “Coming 2 America” and the “Borat” sequel as a rationale for the move… 2 uh, comedy sequels with huge IP. I mean I know it’s a rival’s film but at least coulda gone with “It worked for ‘CODA’ !” no?
Billy Porter’s directorial debut "Anything’s Possible” and Stallone pic “Samaritan” also likely to go a similar route, plans TBA. A lot more from Salke on this in the VARIETY read in the lede link above ☝️.
NETFLIX buys Ron Howard animated pic project “The Shrinking of Treehorn”
News I’m sure Ron was happier about today… This one is based on a kids book from the 70’s, will be a musical about a NYC boy who begins shrinking one day during the holiday season, but his parent’s don’t notice. Ugh parents amirite? 🙄
No word on voice talent or a timeline here. /The Ankler
LIONSGATE sets Tom Blyth (EPIX’s “Billy the Kid”) as co-lead for “Hunger Games” prequel
Will play 18 year-old “Coriolanus Snow” (Donald Sutherland’s character) in “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”. Francis Lawrence directing.
Female co-lead still TBA. /THR
ALSO IN MOVIES
MTV turning “Daria”-spinoff pic “Jodie” into a film instead of a series. Tracee Ellis Ross is still doing the lead voice. /Variety
Ed Skrein (“Deadpool”) replaces Rupert Friend in Zack Snyder’s NETFLIX sci-fi epic “Rebel Moon”. Rupert is said to have an unavoidable scheduling conflict. /Deadline
SONY PICTURES CLASSICS buys SOUTH KOREAN film “All the People I’ll Never Be” at CANNES. Will be retitled “Return to Seoul”, about a young woman who was adopted in FRANCE as a baby as she returns to SK for the first time to find her roots. No price disclosed, SPC took US & several global territories. /THR
IN THE HOLLYWOOD EXECUTIVE SUITE
BLUMHOUSE hires UNI’s Film group head Abhijay Prakash as their new President. Current head Charles Layton will become Vice-Chairman. /Variety
THR looks into the… 9 months-and-counting CAA purchase of ICM that’s still not closed #thanksDOJ 🏢. Looks at internal morale issues arising from recent “not robust” employment contracts from CAA, which certainly helps explain the numerous Q2 ICM departures.
WME hires NETFLIX exec Anu Bhatia as Head of Client Film Marketing. /Deadline
PARADIGM moving offices to PACIFIC DESIGN CENTER in West Hollywood this month, shifts to hybrid work policy. /Deadline
SNAP Head of Originals Vanessa Guthrie is departing at the end of June. Head of Production Anjuli Millan is taking the reins. /Variety
PARAMOUNT GLOBAL sets Marco Nobili and Olivier Jollet as EVP’s, International: Marco will lead PAR+ biz outside the US, and Olivier will handle PLUTO int’l. /THR
AND IN THE HOLLYWOOD MARRIAGE SUITE 💒: Ari Emanuel is getting married after CANNES in the South of France to fashion designer Sarah Staudinger. Really hope I’m not seated at the PBR table 🐂 🤦♂️🤠. /The Ankler
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📝 IN OTHER WORDS… UPFRONTS Edition
“Finally, I get to play an overwhelmed mother of two, living in a world of corruption. Only this time, it’s Staten Island.”
- EDIE FALCO at the NBC Upfronts on the announcement she’s joining Pete Davidson’s PEACOCK comedy “Bupkis” as his mother.
As for Pete, he continued the riff from the Smartless pod gang a few weeks ago of calling the service “the cock” repeatedly on stage.
“What a historical room to tell people you got COVID in.”
- SETH MEYERS at the RADIO CITY-set NBC Upfronts, on the same day NYC announced they’re just on the edge of entering “High” Covid transmission territory, and “advises” wearing masks indoors again. 😷
“We are all part of one FOX”
- FOX NEWS head Suzanne Scott reiterating the important role FOX NEWS plays at FOX during the 10 minutes of time she had in FOX’s 70 minute (ironically) virtual pre-taped presentation. Oddly she did not mention their #1 or #2 highest rated programs / talent once. In front of a room full of advertisers. huh. 🤔
It was capped off with Susan Sarandon & Trace Adkins IRL with FOX NETWORK head Charlie Collier.
📺 THE TV SET
FOX declines to release a Fall schedule at their Upfronts presentation
Then again when you’re closing new-season deals for your #1 and #5 shows right before your Upfronts presentation - probably a good idea. Those shows being “9-1-1” and “The Resident” which are both 20TH TELEVISION series… whose initial deals were made back when 20TH TV and FOX NETWORK were part of the same company. /Deadline /THR
RENEWED: “The Masked Singer”, “Call Me Kat”, “Welcome to Flatch”, and cooking show “Crime Scene Kitchen”
PREVIOUSLY RENEWED: “9-1-1 : Lone Star”, “Next Level Chef”, “Hell’s Kitchen”, “The Cleaning Lady”, “Lego Masters”, “Fantasy Island”. Plus all the Animated series.
“Alert” - Police procedural from John Eisendrath (showrunner of “The Blacklist”).
“Accused” - courtroom episodic-anthology series from “House” and “Homeland” creators.
“Monarch” - long-delayed country music series that was heavily promoted… and then pulled last minute back in January.
NBC sets “Quantum Leap” in the post-Voice Monday night slot this Fall
Otherwise kinda biz as usual, except for moving the weekly comedy block to Fridays at 8p (“Lopez vs. Lopez” & “Young Rock”) in November - “College Quiz Bowl” will begin the season there in Sept.
So, NBC will begin the 2022 Fall TV season with… zero comedies ☹️. /THR
ALSO IN TV
BILLBOARD Music Awards hit ratings low - 2.1 Million in early numbers, down from 2.8 Million last year. #Love! (that makes a lot more sense if you were one of the 2.1 Million who watched) /Deadline
ABC adds REBA MCINTIRE to “Big Sky” Season 3. /Variety
HGTV and FOOD NETWORK fans you can check out their new shows here. /Deadline
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
BUZZFEED lost $44 Million in Q1 on… $91 Million in Revenue
Yeah that’s not good. E-commerce revenue was -27% from a year ago (supply chain partially blamed).
Advertising is still over 50% of their revenue ($49 Million). Stock was down 10% after hours last night to $3.30 a share. /THR
DISNEY+ Ad Supported will launch with 4 minutes of Ads per hour later this year
Pre-schoolers (age not defined) will not have ads… although it sounds like only if they remember to watch via their account profile (i.e. watch under mom & dad’s… you get the ads). /WSJ
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
Finally a relatively quiet day…
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👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
NETFLIX “Katt Williams: World War III” - STREAM HERE
PAR+ “Black Gold” - 3 pt Docu on the oil industry and their knowledge of damage being done to the environment by their product. STREAM HERE
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
AMAZON PRIME “The Boys” Season 3 trailer - Premieres Fri June 3
APPLE TV+ “For All Mankind” Season 3 trailer - aka ‘get your ass to Mars’. Nice use of “Black Hole Sun” too. Premieres Fri June 10
FX “The Old Man” series trailer - FX marketing doing antoher great job here - on paper (and in other hands) this is a Liam Neeson movie, but this looks really good (and well shot)… Oh right - Jeff Bridges as a long-retired mysterious / dangerous man who’s tracked down by an organization run by another shady character played by John Lithgow and… yeah revenge and death soon follow. Premieres Thu June 16
PARAMOUNT+ “Jerry & Marge Go Large” movie trailer - Annette Benning & Bryan Cranston star as a retired couple who are (legally) gaming Michigan’s lottery system based on a design flaw 🤦♂️, and sharing the profits to help their town. Inspired by a true story, Streams Fri June 17
HULU “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” movie trailer - SUNDANCE pic about a woman who hires a sex worker to explore a list of sexual “to-do”s after a sexually unfulfilled life. Definitely had a lot of buzz after SUNDANCE and gotta say it does look charming. Premieres Fri June 17
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
beabadoobee - “Talk”, new song from one of my favorites. Big 90’s alt rock vibes.
If you need some new tunes:
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