HBO kills first JJ Abrams series in 14 years over budget concerns
UNI eyes Julia Garner for MADONNA biopic / APPLE sets big $$ deal for Brad Pitt F1 pic / Kara Swisher leaves NY TIMES
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on WEDNESDAY June 8, 2022.
Where… anyone up for a sequel? Not a bad way to start off your era running WARNER BROS (assuming Joaquin’s deal finalizes. Sure Zaz has some pull with the POLO LOUNGE chef to make a vegan dish to close this out).
PLUS: The TRIBECA FEST begins today, if you’re looking to pick up some tix for things this weekend in NYC 🎟, here’s your link.
ALSO: “Dear Evan Hansen” will close on BROADWAY on Sept 18 after nearly a 6 year run. “Tina” will close on August 14, it opened in Nov 2019.
AND: Chris Rock & Chappelle are teaming up for a huge double bill show in London on Sat Sept 3 in case you wanna hop across the pond for Labor Day. Tix go on sale Friday.
AND AND: Half of USA NETWORKS’s linear schedule just went up in flames as Todd & Julie Chrisley were found guilty of Tax Evasion and Bank Fraud 😬. They face 30 years in jail, sentencing is Oct 6.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
SONY buys Dolly Parton movie project “Run, Rose, Run”
Based on the best-selling book she did with James Patterson this Spring, about a woman who goes to Nashville to make a her music biz dreams come true… and a Country icon takes her under her wings 🎤.
Dolly is co-starring, writing original songs and producing with Reese Witherspoon / HELLO SUNSHINE. No word on a director. /THR
APPLE’s Brad Pitt F1 racing movie sets new pay structure for a Streamer pic
THR has all the details in the link ☝️, but essentially the movie whose deal closed yesterday will get at least a 30-day wide global theatrical release - APPLE will have to partner with a studio to release it (👋 SONY), and then it’ll come to APPLE TV+.
Filmmakers would split APPLE’s theatrical take 50/50 - presumably that’s Brad, director Joseph Kosinski (“Top Gun: Maverick”) and producer Jerry Bruckheimer - and then also get paid additional fees that align with more typical streaming deals… 🤑
It’s a pretty interesting read. And probably only a deal that a company who made $25 Billion in profits in the first 3 months of this year would, or could make.
ALSO IN MOVIES
Julia Garner (“Ozark”, “Inventing Anna”) looks to be in the lead for the bake-off to play MADONNA in the biopic at UNIVERSAL that Madge is also directing. /Variety
Jason Bateman exits directing gig for $100 Million APPLE TV+ pic “Artemis” with Chris Evans & Scarlett Johannson. Said to be creative differences, pic involves the space race but… not much known about it. /Deadline
AMPAS will now be led by Bill Kramer as Dawn Hudson departs. /The Ankler
NETFLIX bought TAIWAN’s biggest box office hit of 2022 - granted that’s a box office of $5.7 Million… but they’re gonna give the horror pic a whirl to see if it takes off globally on July 8. Oh - it’s called “Incantation”, about a family of cult worshipers and shot in a found footage style. No word on acquisition price. /THR
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📺 THE TV SET
APPLE TV+ adds Carol Burnett to Kristen Wiig comedy series “Mrs. American Pie”
Ok I’ve mentioned this show several times in the past month with casting news (it’s the show set in 1970’s Palm Beach high society) so yeah - this is mainly up first here so I could use that gif. /THR
HBO kills JJ Abrams series “Demimonde” over budgetary conflict
WBTV will now see what streaming service bites (👋 APPLE TV) on the sci-fi series with a $200+ Million pricetag. (for reference, the new GOT series “House of the Dragon” is sub $200 Million).
JJ’s WBD deal goes until 2024… although at this point perhaps Zaz would let it go early upon request to pocket the cost savings. Although pretty sure deals that size don’t work that way 💰.
Granted WBTV will get $$
if when it lands elsewhere… but THR has a good overview in the link about just how productive the deal has been in the first 2.5 years at getting content onto HBO/MAX.
Today provides nice succinct snapshot preview for the next phase of the Streaming Wars:
Tech co’s (APPLE and AMAZON) have committed to being players in streaming after an iffy first few years in the late 2010’s, and are bringining their limitless checkbooks to play to win at their heart’s content (see Brad Pitt deal above, the LOTR series at AMAZON etc).
Traditional media co’s (WBD, PAR, DIS, NBCU) are having to look more closely at expenditures, as their several hundred million dollars in streaming losses each quarter become an increasingly bad public look every 3 months in an economy facing recession:
Granted while HBOMAX doesn’t have the same extreme quarterly losses as the other streamers (PAR+, DIS+, PEACOCK) thanks to the core HBO business it’s built on, Zaslav has to find $3 Billion in cost savings.
Then there’s NETFLIX - kinda in the middle right now: they’re clearing $1 Billion+ in profit a quarter… but obviously the spending gravy train there has peaked.
AND: I still give even odds for a GOOGLE deal at some point mid-decade. (remember - this is a free newsletter so there’s not a big purse here on that bet).
HBO picks up Clooney-produced docu project on OHIO STATE U abuse scandal
It’s about their physician sexual abuse scandal where Dr. Richard Strauss was accused of abusing over 300 athletes over decades. Eva Orner (”Taxi to the Dark Side”) is directing. /THR
SHOWTIME sets Allison Williams to co-star with Matt Bomer in limited series “Fellow Travelers”
8 episodes, based on a book set over decades in politics, about a volatile relationship between two men beginning in McCarthy-era Washington DC.
Allison is playing a lifelong friend of Bomer’s character, and daughter of a US Senator. Other main male role still to be cast.
Ron Nyswaner (“Philadelphia”) is writing, will shoot later this Summer. /Variety
ALSO IN TV
NBA FINALS gets same not-so-great audience for Game 2 on Sunday night, of 11.9 Million across ABC & ESPN2. It’s the 6th smallest audience for a Game 2 in the last 20 years (includes the last two covid years). /THR
MTV MOVIE & TV Awards got 2.5 Million viewers across… 7 networks on Sunday night. Up from 1.7 Million last year. /TheWrap
HBOMAX renews “Tokyo Vice” for a Season 2. /Variety
Sam Waterston is gonna do one more season on NBC’s “Law & Order” reboot this Fall. /Deadline
IN THE HOLLYWOOD EXECUTIVE SUITE
MTV CMO Jason White is out after a year, longtime MTVN veteran EVP Amy Campbell is replacing him and will report into MTVN Prez Chris McCarthy. /Deadline
SUNDANCE FILM FEST Director Tabitha Jackson is departing after about 2 years in the role. Replacement search is underway. /Variety
FOOD NETWORK prez Courtney White joins WHEELHOUSE ENTERTAINMENT (Kimmel is a co-backer) with her food, home & lifestyle programming outfit called BUTTERNUT. Will be based in CT. /Variety
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
JUST 2 THINGS:
Kara Swisher is leaving the NY TIMES after a 4 year run and returning to VOX MEDIA. “Sway” podcast will end in July, but she’ll naturally start a new TBA one at VOX this Fall to go with her Galloway pod that never left VOX. /Bloomberg
Rob McElhenny is among the backers of a new creator-focused production company called ADIM, with an aim of encouraging collaboration among them “to create and own a new generation of content.” /Deadline
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
AMC THEATERS +9% ($13.07)
CINEWORLD (REGAL Cinemas) -5% ($0.32)
otherwise a pretty quiet Tuesday.
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👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
ABC NBA FINALS Game 3 at 8p, also President Biden is on KIMMEL
DISNEY+ “Ms. Marvel” - STREAM HERE
Plus here’s an NY TIMES profile on the lead actress… doing her first role ever in this show.
NETFLIX “Hustle” Adam Sandler hoops pic - STREAM HERE
DISCO+ “Hungry for Answers” - 4pt docuseries on Black food history - no link avail
HBO “The Janes” - Docu on an early 70’s underground safe abortion network - Premieres at 9p
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
SONY “Bullet Train” trailer #2 - Look! It’s Sandy Bullock in a cameo role. The tone is much better communicated in this spot (equal action & comedy), and… still looks fun! IN THEATERS FRI AUG 5
NETFLIX “The School for Good & Evil” movie teaser spot - PREMIERES IN SEPT
AMAZON PRIME “Don’t Make Me Go” movie trailer - Father / teen Daughter road trip movie with a bit of an emotional twist - looks promising if they nail the tone properly! 🤞 PREMIERES FRI JULY 15
NETFLIX “The Sea Beast” movie trailer - From the director of “Moana” and “Big Hero 6”. PREMIERES FRI JULY 8
HULU “Prey” movie trailer - A“Predator” movie set amongst a Native American tribe. PREMIERES FRI AUG 5
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
I’ve been really enjoying revisiting one of my favorite Summer playlist albums from BEST COAST, here’s “California Nights”
If you need some new tunes:
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