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HomeColumnsEnd of Week Production NotesEnd of Week Production Notes 8/27/21: Letitia Wright Hospitalized after Stunt Rig...

End of Week Production Notes 8/27/21: Letitia Wright Hospitalized after Stunt Rig “Incident,” Jenkins’ Lion King Gets First Cast, and More News


We’re coming up on another weekend, and it’s a weekend with only one new wide theatrical release in Nia DaCosta‘s horror sequel, Candyman, for Universal Pictures — you can read my review of that here.

Letitia Wright
Letitia Wright in Black Panther (Marvel/Disney)

Over the past couple days, there hasn’t been a ton of news and nothing particularly ground-breaking other than a report that Black Panther: Wakanda Forever star Letitia Wright, who plays T’Challa’s sister Shuri, retained minor injuries in a stunt rig “incident.”

The anticipated Marvel Studios sequel was filming in Boston on Tuesday when the actress was injured with Deadline getting the statement, “Letitia Wright sustained minor injuries today while filming a stunt for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. She is currently receiving care in a local hospital and is expected to be released soon.”

No other details were released, but in fact, the young actress was released from the hospital later on Wednesday with no delays to the film’s shooting schedule.

Aaron Pierre
Aaron Pierre in The Underground Railroad (Amazon Studios)

If you weren’t aware, director Barry Jenkins — who helmed the Oscar Best Picture winner, Moonlight, and Amazon Studios‘ The Underground Railroad limited series, which is up for 7 Primetime Emmys — had been attached to make a prequel to The Lion King for Walt Disney Pictures.

It looks like that project is starting to gain some ground, as Aaron Pierre (The Underground Railroad) and Kelvin Harrison Jr. (Trial of the Chicago 7) have been cast as the leads, Mufasa and Taka, respectively, according to Deadline. Production is already underway for the movie that will tell Mufasa’s origin story, presumably in some form of “live-action” ala Jon Favreau‘s 2019 blockbuster. Jeff Nathanson wrote the script (as he did the Favreau movie) and music will come from Hans Zimmer (who won an Oscar for scoring the original 1994 animated film), Pharrell  and Nicholas Britell (SuccessionMoonlight).

Corey Hawkins
Corey Hawkins In the Heights (Warner Bros.)

Warner Bros‘ adaptation of the Broadway musical based on Alice Walker‘s 1982 novel (and Steven Spielberg’s movie), The Color Purple, also seems to be making some headway as actor Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton, In the Heights) is joining the musical as Harpo, according to Deadline. The movie is being directed by Blitz Bazawule (Black Is King) and is set for a release date on December 21, 2023. Marcus Gardley wrote the adapted screenplay based on the Broadway musical version of Walker’s novel, which featured a book by Marsha Norman with music by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray. All iterations of the story depict the lives of African-American families and relationships in Georgia in the early 20th Century.

Pop icon and actor Justin Timberlake has joined Oscar winner Benecio Del Toro in Black Label Media‘s Reptile, which is now headed to Netflix. Music video director Grant Singer is making his feature directorial debut and co-wrote the script with Benjamin Brewer (The Trust) for the film that “picks up following the brutal murder of a young real estate agent, following a hardened detective (Del Toro) as he attempts to uncover the truth in a case where nothing is as it seems. In doing so, he finds himself dismantling the illusions in his own life.”

Actor Tom Pelphrey (Ozark) is joining Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan in the Harvey Weinstein investigation pic, She Said, which also includes Andre Braugher and Patricia Clarkson in its cast. Pelphrey will play the husband to Mulligan’s Megan Twohey in the drama being produced by Universal PicturesPlan B, and Annapurna, based on Twohey and Jodi Kantor’s book, She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement. It’s being directed by Maria Schrader (Unorthodox) from the adapted screenplay by Oscar winner Rebecca Lenkiewicz.

Actor Benjamin Bratt has joined the cast of Walter Hill‘s Dead for a Dollar, which we’ve written about a few times over the past couple months, which will be released by Quiver Distribution. It also stars Christoph Waltz, Willem Dafoe, Rachel Brosnahan, Brandon Scott, and Warren Burke.

From acting to directing we shift, as Colson Baker (aka Machine Gun Kelly) and Mod Sun are co-directing (and co-starring in) Good Mourning With A U for David Ayer And Chris Long‘s Cedar Park Studios with production already underway in Los Angeles. Open Road Films has taken the U.S. right to release the film theatrically. Baker and Mod Sun co-wrote the screenplay for the film that stars Baker, along with Megan Fox, Dove Cameron, Whitney Cummings, GaTa, Becky G, Zach Villa, Mod Sun, Jenna Boyd, and Boo Johnson, with a special appearance by Pete Davidson.

Also, Cooper Raiff, whose oddly-titled SXSW Grand Jury Prize-winning Sh*thouse was one of the indie surprises of 2020, will direct The Trashers with 30WEST financing. It’s based on the true story of AJ Galante, a Connecticut-based businessman who bought the city’s minor-league hockey team in 2004 and assigned his teenage son to run it. The team’s unexpected rise ended when the teen’s father, Jimmy Galante, was arrested on 72 criminal charges. The story was profiled in an episode of the Netflix docuseries, Untold. Production will begin in early 2002 with Raiff directing from Adam R. Perlman‘s script (Billions), on which Raiff has done revisions. The Trashers is produced by MC2 Entertainment’s Tom McNulty and Andrew Morrison of Yellow Bear Films, the latter who was EP on the episode of Untold, “Crimes and Penalties.” Micah Green, Dan Steinman and Dan Friedkin will be executive producers for 30West along with Jon Wertheim and Perlman. Galant serves as an associate producer.


Game of Thrones
Jacob Anderson on Game of Thrones (HBO)

Shifting gears again, this time into some television, the AMC/AMC+ series based on the Anne Rice novel, Interview with the Vampire is starting to cast with Jacob Anderson, who portrayed the popular character Greyworm on HBO’s Game of Thrones, playing Louis opposite Sam Reid‘s Lestat in the eight-episode season which begins production later this year for release on the cable network/streamer in 2022.

The series is created and written by Showrunner Rolin Jones, who also co-created and served as showrunner for the first season of HBO’s Perry Mason. Jones will exec. produce with Mark Johnson, Anne Rice, and Christopher Rice.

Fresh off his Oscar nomination for Judas and the Black MessiahLakeith Stanfield has been cast to star in the Apple TV+ drama series, The Changeling, from Writer and Showrunner Kelly Marcel and Annapurna, with Melina Matsoukas (Queen and SlimInsecure) attached to direct. The series is based on Victor Lavelle‘s novel, which is a cross between a parental fable and a horror story with Stanfield playing Apollo, a new father with his wife Emma, who have to contend with the odd circumstances surrounding the birth of their son, Brian.

Fox Sports anchor Rachel Bonnetta will headline and exec. produce a semi-autobiographical comedy at cable network, TBS, based on her life in the sports broadcasting world. The Lionsgate Television production s co-created, written and exec. produced by Betty Thomas, returning to TBS following her comedy series, My Boys. Thomas will also direct the pilot and act as showrunner, exec. producing with Bonnetta, along with Eric and Kim Tannenbaum from Tannenbaum Co. and Adam Griffin.

HBO Max has ordered a 6-episode limited series called Full Circle that will be directed by Oscar-winner Steven Soderbergh and written by Ed Solomon, the two of them EPing with Casey Wilver, all three reuniting from the HBO Max film, No Sudden Movie. It will follow an investigation into a botched kidnapping uncovers long-held secrets connecting multiple characters and cultures in present day New York City.

Yellow Bird
Yellow Bird (Random House)

Paramount+ has won the rights to Siera Crane Murdoch‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder and a Woman’s Search for Justice in Indian Country, in a competitive situation and will be developing the novel into a potential series called Yellow Bird.  The project comes from Reservation Dogs co-creator Sterlin Harjo, writer-director Erica TremblayBeau Willimon and Jordan Tappis‘ Westward Productions, and Michael London’s Groundswell Productions (Snowfall).

The book is based on the true story of Lissa Yellowbird, who returned to her reservation in North Dakota after being released from jail in the midst of one of the largest oil booms in modern history. “Her attempts to reconcile with her estranged family were complicated when she became obsessed with a young oil worker’s disappearance. An amateur sleuth from the wrong side of the law, Yellow Bird ultimately exposed a sweeping criminal conspiracy of murder and corruption, healing her own family in the process of helping the oil worker’s mother find closure regarding her son’s fate. She has gone on to investigate cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women nationwide, which will be the focus of subsequent seasons.”

The series is meant to be a cross between a true-crime show, a family drama and an “immersive look at modern Native American life.” Harjo and Tremblay are co-creators and will executive produce with Willimon and Tappis, London and Shannon Gaulding of Groundswell, as well as Murdoch and the book’s subject, Lissa Yellowbird. It’s being produced in partnership with Paramount Television Studios.

Screenwriter/playwright Jeffrey Hatcher and Fulwell 73 are developing an international drama called Broadmoor in association with producers CBS Studios and Miramax Television. The series is based around the British high-security psychiatric hospital, originally known as the Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum, and it will feature overlapping stories about the staff, the visitors and, of course, the patients that included maniacs, stranglers, slashers and serial killers. The series is set in Britain during the ’70s and ’80s, following a young woman who goes to Broadmoor believing that murderous behavior can be understood, treated, even tamed, only to find she has entered a warehouse for England’s fears, the locked attic where its demons reside in a Gothic hell.  Hatcher will executive produce with Ben Turner and Jeff Grosvenor of Fulwell 73 with Broadmoor expert Jonathan Levi as co-executive producer.

In case you didn’t realize, Below the Line‘s Production Listings also cover television series and when and where they’re shooting. If you work in television, subscribing to the listings (at a new low price) is worth your time for when you’re ready to line up your next job.

We have seen some great trailers over the past few days, including the first look at Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana in the teaser trailer for the Pablo (JackieLarrain drama, Spencer, which is premiering at a number of festivals including Venice, Toronto, and presumably Telluride, as well, before being released by NEON on November 5.

Next up is the umpteenth trailer (in two versions, no less) for Matthew Vaughn‘s prequel The King’s Man, which has been delayed numerous times by 20th Century Studios, mostly due to COVID. It looks like it will finally get released on December 22 (fingers crossed) and the studio released a Red Band and a far less fun Green Band trailer. (Honestly, Vaughn should be used to this because the first movie in the series, Kingsman: The Secret Service was also delayed about six months before its eventual release and success.) We’ll start with the Red Band trailer, which has some naughty words and gore (so you’ll have to watch it on YouTube).

It’s been a while (12 years!) since we’ve gotten a new movie from New Zealand filmmaker, Jane Campion, who had a huge Oscar-winning hit in 1993 with The Piano.  Campion is back with a Western-thriller called Power of the Dog, which will be streamed via  Netflix on December 1.

It stars Benedict Cumberbatch as rancher Phil Burbank, whose brother George (Jesse Plemons) brings home his new wife (Kirsten Dunst) and son Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee), who Phil torments until he finds his own possibility for love. The movie will play at Venice, Toronto and will premiere as the Centerpiece at this year’s New York Film Festival before getting a limited theatrical release on November 17.

Our last trailer for today is for a smaller movie called Hard Luck Love Song, the Roadside Attractions crime-thriller that will hit theaters on October 15. Written and directed by Justin Corbsie (his feature debut), the film stars Michael Dorman as Jesse, “a charismatic but down on his luck troubadour who finds himself at an existential crossroads as bad choices catch up with him during an unexpected reunion with Carla (Sophia Bush), an old flame.” The script is based on singer/songwriter Todd Snider‘s song “Just Like Old Times,” and it also stars RZA, Dermot Mulroney, Brian Sacca, Melora Walters, and  Eric Roberts.

We’ll leave you with something rather witty and amusing, as 77-year-old actor/comedian Chevy Chase tweeted out a pretty funny video, which makes it clear that he’s still got it when it comes to humor.

Have a great weekend!

Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas
Edward Douglas has written about movies for print and the internet for over 20 years, specializing in box office analysis, reviews, and interviews. Currently, he writes features for Below the Line and Above the Line, acting as Associate Editor for the former and Interim Editor for the latter.
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Vicon Introduces Mobile Mocap at SIGGRAPH

Motion capture systems developer Vicon is previewing a futuristic new “Mobile Mocap” technology at SIGGRAPH 2011 in Vancouver. Moving mocap out of the lab and into the field, Vicon's Mobile Mocap system taps several new technologies, many years in the making. At the heart of Mobile Mocap is a very small lipstick-sized camera that enables less obtrusive, more accurate facial animation data. The new cameras capture 720p (1280X720) footage at 60 frames per second. In addition, a powerful processing unit synchronizes, stores, and wirelessly transmits the data, all in a tiny wearable design.