Bill Murray to co-star in Aziz Ansari's directorial debut at SEARCHLIGHT
OSCARS drop 8 categories from ABC show / NETFLIX makes distro progress in FRANCE / CBS orders music series
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on WEDNESDAY February 23, 2022.
Where The OSCARS are dropping 8 categories from the live show on March 27. They’ll be given out an hour before showtime… I’m guessing in front of the seat fillers since pretty much all talent will be out on the carpet / making entrances. Winners will be edited into clips broadcast in the show on ABC.
List of categories dropped:
Documentary short, Animated short and Live action short
Sound (editing and mixing were combined into one category last year)
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
SEARCHLIGHT gets Aziz Ansari directorial debut co-starring Bill Murray
Based on the bestselling book Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Dr. Atul Gawande, about how the human element is often disregarded over the medicinal one in the aging and death process in our society, positing that it should instead focus on well being, not just surviving an illness.
No word on specific story or roles, but Aziz is writing, directing, co-producing and co-starring. /THR
DISNEYFOX sets James Mangold to direct Buster Keaton pic
Mangold (“Logan”, “Ford vs. Ferarri”) is currently still directing “Indiana Jones 5”, and they’re looking for a writer to adapt the book Buster Keaton: Cut to the Chase by Marion Meade, so will be a minute… But if ya got a writer, give em a call. /Deadline
ALSO IN MOVIES
SONY / MARVEL sets Fred Hechinger (“Quinn” from “The White Lotus”) for “Kraven the Hunter” pic starring Aaron Taylor Johnson. Believed to be playing Kraven’s bro Chameleon. /Deadline
📺 THE TV SET
Emmy Rossum joins APPLE TV+ series “The Crowded Room” playing Tom Holland’s mom
Tom Holland and Amanda Seyfried already in the cast, each season will tell a story related to folks who’ve struggled with mental illness and live successfully with it.
This 1st season is loosely about the first person acquitted of a crime due to multiple-personality disorder, played by Holland.
Emmy is playing Tom’s character’s mother and yes, she’s less than 10 years older than Tom. /Deadline
FOX sets Michael Chiklis to star in first episode of anthology series “Accused”
From the creative teams behind “Homeland” and “The Good Doctor”, each episode will begin with someone in court accused of a crime.
Chiklis will play a doctor whose son may be planning a rampage at his school. /THR
ALSO IN TV
CBS orders “Superfan” music game show. Fans of a given artist go through rounds of challenges to advance to a final round involving the artist, to prove who is the biggest fan. /Deadline
NBC gives a Season 10 to “The Blacklist”. /Variety
NETFLIX cancels Katee Sackhoff sci-fi series “Another Life” after 2 seasons. /Deadline
As previously rumored, “The Wendy Williams Show” is ending, and Sherri Shepherd will take it over with a new name in the Fall. /THR
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
FACEBOOK Reels (their TIKTOK ripoff) expands to 150 countries
Serving as the latest
desperate attempt to catch up to the world’s hottest social media platform. Although of note: TIKTOK is still banned in INDIA so - certainly some runway there.
FB will also be adding more functionality (basically letting you do what you can already do on IG Reels), and of course… some new way to stuff ads around them. /The Verge
Funny how FACEBOOK has become the kind of company that Zuck was portrayed as being so adamantly against in “The Social Network” when Eduardo started taking meetings with advertisers #stuffedwithads.
ALSO IN MEDIA
NETFLIX invests $45 Million over 3 years in at least 10 French movie productions… and in exchange, NETFLIX will get to add them to the service 15 months after theatrical release in a 7 month exclusive window, instead of FRANCE’s customary 36 month wait for films released in theaters to hit streaming services. /THR
CBS NEWS promotes White House producer Fin Gomez to Political Director. /Deadline
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
ROKU +8% ($121.97)
DISCOVERY -5% ($28.28)
AMC THEATERS -8% ($16.47)
And a generally slightly down day for most otherwise.
If you were sent this newsletter or… just kinda found it:
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
ABC “A Million Little Pieces” season 4 at 10p
HBO “Frederick Douglass: In Five Speeches” docu at 9p
FX “Snowfall” Season 5 at 10p, 1st 2 episodes
“Free Guy” hits HBOMAX here, and DISNEY+ here
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
SHOWTIME “The Man Who Fell to Earth” series trailer - Chiwetel Ejiofor & Naomie Harris star in the story of an alien who…. well guess the title does the rest really. Premieres Sun Apr 24.
HBO “Phoenix Rising” - 2 part docu about Evan Rachel Wood’s journey to find justice and reclaim her story while helping others through their sexual abuse trauma. Premieres March 15
NETFLIX “Taylor Tomlinson: Look at You” trailer - Her new comedy special drops Tue March 8.
My brain added an extra L to John Mulaney’s name yesterday - and you know how expensive L’s are.
Also that Sandra Oh horror pic from SONY slated for March 18 has, ya know, an actual title - “Umma”.
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
SCREAMING TREES “Nearly Lost You” - Goes out to former frontman Mark Lanegan died yesterday at the age of 57, and for everyone who hears this and is immediately transported back to when I had hair. Or uh whatever your memories of the early 90’s are. RIP Mark…
If you need some new tunes:
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