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HomeIndustry SectorFilmOver the Weekend 8/23/21: Don Everly Dies, Black Canary Movie Being Developed,...

Over the Weekend 8/23/21: Don Everly Dies, Black Canary Movie Being Developed, and More News


Happy Monday! It was a relatively quiet weekend in Hollywood, maybe because we’re getting to the “Dog Days of Summer” and everyone is trying to get a couple more days of vacation in before school starts and the fall (and awards!) movie season begins.

Of course, here in the Northeast, it was all about Hurricane then Tropical Storm Henri, which battered the East Coast with record rainfall that ended up cancelling Saturday night’s planned “We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert” held on the Great Lawn in Central Park mid-show. Things were halted in the middle of Barry Manilow‘s set as rain and thunder pummelled the city, and while it was thought the concert may be able to continue. those hopes were dashed as headliners like Paul Simon and Bruce Springsteen were never able to play.

Don Everly
Don Everly in 1958 (Public domain)

Also, from the world of music, the great Don Everly passed away over the weekend at the age of 84. One half of the legendary and highly-influential Everly Brothers  with younger brother Phil, the rock duo were pivotal in the early days of the music genre with hits like “Wake Up, Little Susie,” “Cathy’s Clown,” “Bye Bye Love,” and “All I Have to Do is Dream.”

Born Isaac Donald Everly on Feb. 1, 1937, in Kentucky, Don and Phil released one hit after another before the duo broke up rather publicly in 1973 when Phil stormed off during a set at Knott’s Berry Farm in California. The Everly Brothers later reunited in 1983 and recorded a reunion record the following year, and they were early inductees into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, part of the inaugural class in 1986. They also received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997, and were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001. They even joined Simon and Garfunkel on their own 2003 reunion tour. Phil died in 2014.

Let’s get to some quick movie news…

Black Canary
Jurnee Smollett in Birds of Prey (Warner Bros.)

It looks like Primetime Emmy-nominated Lovecraft Country creator and writer Misha Green will reunite with one of that show’s stars, Jurnee Smollett, for a Black Canary movie for HBO Max, which Green is currently writing. Smollett first donned the superhero costume as the character for 2020’s Birds of Prey. Green and Smollett both took to Twitter to announce how excited they were for the project.

Stephanie Hsu
Stephanie Hsu on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)

From Deadline comes word that Stephanie Hsu from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel has come aboard the untitled Lionsgate comedy from Crazy Rich Asians writer, Adele Lim, who will be making her directorial debut. The R-rated project written by Cherry Chevapravatdumrong (Family Guy) and Teresa Hsiao (Nora from Queens), who came up with the story with Lim. The comedy already stars Ashley Park and Sherry Cola, as it follows the “epic journey of four Asian-American women traveling through Asia in search of one of their birth mothers.”

Deadline also reports that Brian Cox (Succession) and Sinqua Walls (Resorts to Love) will star in and exec. produce the drama Mending the Line, directed by Joshua Caldwell (Infamous), which will start production in Montana later this month, working from a script by Stephen Camelio. In the film, Walls will play a young soldier injured in Afghanistan, who arrives at a VA hospital and meets a Vietnam veteran (played by Cox), who teaches him to fly fish, hoping it will help the young man deal with his physical and emotional trauma. The movie is produced by Carl Effenson of Artimage Entertainment (Mudbound), Kelly McKendry of August Point Productions, and Scott MacLeod of CKM Entertainment along with Caldwell and Camelio. Mark Comora, Kyle David Crosby and Roger Goff serve as exec. producers.

Spencer Stevenson (The Purge TV series) is the latest actor to join Rosaline20th Century’s reworking of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet.

Stay on point with all new productions as they’re announced by subscribing to our Production Listings.

Most Dangerous Game
Christoph Waltz (L) with Liam Hemsworth in Most Dangerous Game Season 1 (Roku)

Roku (aka The Roku Channel) has renewed the former Quibi series, Most Dangerous Games, for a second season with actor David Castañeda joining the series’ original star, Christoph Waltz. The action-thriller written and EP’ed by Nick Santora is produced by CBS Studio, and the second season will be set in New York City. Castañeda will play Victor Suero, “a down-on-his-luck fighter, who will do anything to protect his sister and when he learns she’s in trouble, he springs into action. To protect her, he agrees to participate in a deadly game. If he survives, he’ll make a fortune. Out of love for his sister – he’s determined to live…”

It was just announced this morning on Twitter that HBO‘s hit Emmy-winning drama, Succession, would be returning for its third season this October, two years after the second season ended, obviously delayed due to the COVID pandemic.

Josh Duhamel is joining Renée Zellweger in the NBC true crime limited series, The Thing About Pam, based on the 2011 murder of Betsy Faria that was featured on Dateline NBC, playing Joel Schwartz, the defense attorney for her convicted killer husband, Russ Faria, who denied killing her and whose conviction was overturned Written by  Jessika Borsiczky, the movie stars the two-time Oscar winner Zellwegger as Pam Hupp, who was revealed to be involved with a “diabolical scheme” centered around Betsy’s murder.  The mini-series is produced by Blumhouse Television, NBC News Studios and Zellweger through her banner, Big Picture Co.

More casting as Chloë Sevigny is joining Elle Fanning and Colton Ryan in the Hulu limited series, The Girl From Plainville, another true-crime drama (seeing a trend here?) written by The Post screenwriter, Liz Hannah, and Dr. Death EP Patrick Macmanus. Sevigny will play the third lead in the show that stars Fanning as Michelle Carter, inspired by the true story of her controversial “texting suicide” case that was the subject of Jesse Barron‘s Esquire article, particularly Carter’s relationship with Conrad “Coco” Roy III (played by Ryan) that led to her death. Sevigny plays Coco’s mother, Lynn Roy.

Saturday Night Live veteran Fred Armisen and Samba Schutte (9-1-1) are joining the cast of the HBO Max pirate comedy series, Our Flag Means Death, joining the already announced cast of Rhys DarbyEwen Bremner, David Fane, Guz Khan, Matt Maher, Joel Fry, and more. The show comes from writer, EP and Showrunner David Jenkins with Taika Waititi directing the pilot, as well as playing Blackbeard the Pirate and EP’ing. Garrett Basch and Dan Halsted also serve as EPs on the series that’s loosely played on the true adventures of Stede Bonnet (played by Darby from Flight of the Conchords), a pampered aristocrat who abandoned his life of privilege to become a pirate.


Don Cheadle

Don Cheadle is returning as James “Rhodey” Rhodes aka War Machine in Marvel Studios‘ Armor Wars, and the future Disney+ series has tapped comedian Yassir Lester as the show’s head writer. Lester previously wrote for Cheadle’s Showtime series, Black Monday, as one of its lead writers, giving him a bit of an advantage for the job.

Jeff Kline is leading the creative team for Netflix’s animated series, Magic the Gathering, based on the popular card game, following the departure of Avengers: Endgame directors Russo Brothers. Kline was previously a producer on the animated Transformers: Prime and more recent Transformers: Robots in Disguise, and he’s taking over with Snowball Studios and a team that includes Co-Executive Producer and Story Editor Steve Melching (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Supervising Director Audu Paden, Art Director Izzy Medrano and writers Nicole Dubuc, Russell Sommer & Dan Frey, and Taneka Stotts.

Kline met with the Russo for taking over and stated, “I’m grateful to the Russos for bringing me into the world of Magic: The Gathering – specifically, over dinner at one of their go-to Cleveland restaurants. Magic is one of those rare intellectual properties with such a wellspring of mythology that “picking and choosing” is half the battle. Every single person working on the series understands how beloved this universe is – and feels both the exhilaration and tremendous pressure that comes with translating Magic across mediums.”

At the Edinburgh TV Festival happening in Scotland as we speak, Good Omens showrunner and co-author Neil Gaiman and Director Douglas Mackinnon were talking about the second season of the Amazon series, originally planned as a limited series, that will film its second season in Scotland. The first season was shot in South Africa and England but Scotland native Mackinnon said, “You can make one of the biggest TV series in the world and you don’t have to go to London anymore. The moment we came to bring Good Omens [to Scotland], it was really clear to me that we could make it here.” 

“We have the cream of the crop of local talent,” Mackinnon added. “‘Local’ makes it sound slightly embarrassed. I’m glad that finally we’re bringing these shows here with Neil – it feels like everyone’s ready to make them, there’s no shyness.”

Amazon recently announced the move of its upcoming The Lord of the Rings series to England for its second season (from New Zealand), although they could also make the move North to Scotland if things go well on Good Omens.

Free Guy
Jodie Comer and Ryan Reynolds in Free Guy (20th Century Studios/Disney)

At the domestic box office, Ryan Reynolds’ action-comedy Free Guy led the way once again with another $18.8 million, a minor 34% drop from its opening weekend, which was also one of the smallest week-to-week drops for a movie this summer. It has grossed $58.8 million so far with strong word-of-mouth, going by its “A” CinemaScore last week.

Paramount Pictures‘ G-rated animated movie, Paw Patrol: The Movie, opened in second place with a strong $13 million in 3,184 theaters (~$4,000 per venue) showing that families with small kids were undaunted by the Delta variant currently making the rounds.

Disney’s Jungle Cruise remained in third place with $6.2 million, also with a minor 32% drop.

We then have to go through three more returning movies (all with 50%+ drops) before we get to another new movie, as the Lionsgate action-thriller The Protégé, starring Maggie QMichael Keaton, and Samuel L. Jackson, opened in seventh place with $2.9 million in 2,577 theaters. The Searchlight horror film, The Night House, starring Rebecca Hall, followed in eighth place with just under $2.9 million in 2,240, and then lastly, the Warner Bros. day-and-date release of Lisa Joy‘s sci-fi noir, Reminiscence, starring Hugh JackmanRebecca Ferguson, and Thandiwe Newton, turned into one of the studio’s biggest bombs of all time, taking in just $2 million in 3,265 (a little over $600 per theater) to open in ninth place. Although there wasn’t much awareness for the movie, it certainly didn’t help having it on HBO Max simultaneously with its theatrical release. This was less than the recent Angelina Jolie thriller, Those Who Wish Me Dead, which opened with $2.8 million in 3,188, but that was also in early May when things were still slow going at the box office.

The theater exhibitors’ convention, CinemaCon, is currently taking place in Las Vegas, and I’m sure that theatrical windows and piracy are going to be big topics of discussion.

That’s all for today but check back Wednesday for our weekly, “Hump Day News Update.”

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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