We’re still waiting for any sort of progress report from the IATSE–AMPTP negotiations for a new Basic Agreement after two days of resumed talks. Make sure to check out Mark Williams‘ “Strike Alert” column every Tuesday for the latest updates. Right now, a strike might be at least temporarily averted, but both groups are in a temporary media blackout, which is standard practice during negotiations.
Some fun and fascinating news over the past few days, including the Variety report that Kathryn Hahn‘s popular character, Agatha Harkness, from the Emmy-winning Marvel Studios and Disney+ series, WandaVision, will be getting her own spin-off show, as her character is set up to appear in more Marvel series and even movies. Hahn received her second Emmy nomination for playing the popular breakout character, the nosy neighbor to Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany‘s Wanda Maximoff and the Vision, introduced back in Avengers: The Age of Ultron. WandaVision writer Jac Schaeffer will serve as writer and EP for the Harkness spin-off through his overall deal with Marvel and 20th Television.
We don’t cover reality television and cooking in particular that much, but the fact that chef Bobby Flay will be leaving the Food Network after 27 years is pretty huge news that we can’t ignore. Flay is a well-recognized superstar chef that has become the face of the Food Network for decades, but the two parties had been negotiating a new contract for Flay for “quite some time,” and Food Network decided to end the negotiations. I wouldn’t worry too much about Flay getting more work or a new gig, and I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the new streamers tries to get access to Flay’s vast viewership to boost their own.
Apple has renewed its sci-fi series, Foundation, for a 2nd season after only a few episodes of its initial season have aired on the streamer. Also, Netflix has canceled Dash and Lilly after just one season.
Shifting into some movie casting, actor Jake Gyllenhaal will be playing the lead character in the comic book movie, Prophet, based on the Rob Liefeld comic character. The Studio 8 movie will be directed by Sam Hargrave (Extraction) from a script by Marc Guggenheim (Arrow) with Studio 8 CEO Jeff Robinov and John Graham producing along with Prime Universe Films’ Adrian Askarieh, Liefield, and Brooklyn Weaver. The story centers on Gyllenhaal’s John Prophet, a man who gains superhuman strength after being conscripted by the Germans and subjected to scientific experiments during WWII.
In a statement, Robinov said, “It’s been a goal of ours to work with Jake and Sam for quite some time, so we’re very excited to finally be collaborating with them on this unique, action-packed genre film. I’m looking forward to seeing what they envision for bringing this story to life – a story we’re sure will stand out in the comic book world as a powerful, emotionally charged and visually distinctive film.”
Jamie Clayton from Sense8 and The L Word: Generation Q will be playing the role of Pinhead in Spyglass Media Group and Hulu‘s new reboot of Clive Barker‘s Hellraiser, taking over the role originally played by Doug Bradley. The movie has already wrapped production, but Barker is joining the film as a producer. The studios also confirmed that Grand Army actress Odessa A’zion is the film’s star with the cast rounded out by Brandon Flynn (13 Reasons Why, Ratched), Goran Visnjic (The Boys, ER), Drew Starkey (Outer Banks), Adam Faison (Everything’s Gonna Be Okay), Aoife Hinds (Normal People), Selina Lo (Boss Level), and Hiam Abbass (Blade Runner 2049, Succession). Also joining the film as producer is Marc Toberoff, joining Phantom Four’s David S. Goyer, and Keith Levine. David Bruckner is directing from a script by Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski (The Night House) and story by Goyer.
In a statement, Peter Oillataguerre, President of Production for Spyglass, said, “Next year marks the 35th anniversary since Hellraiser first haunted our dreams. It’s only fitting to come full circle in collaborating with Clive, the original creator and master of visionary horror. We look forward to working with our partners at Hulu in bringing this unique take on the original to new audiences.”
Bruckner added, “It’s been such an honor to have Clive onboard to help support and shepherd us through the incredible universe he created so long ago. Combined with a fearless and committed cast, including the amazing Jamie Clayton, who fully embodies the role as the Hell Priest, we’re aiming to create a very special new chapter in the Hellraiser legacy.”
Deadline also reports on a new action movie called Boy Kills World that will begin shooting in South Africa with Bill Skarsgard (It Chapter Two) leading the cast as protagonist Boy, “a deaf mute with a vibrant imagination. When his family is murdered, he escapes to the jungle and is trained by a mysterious shaman to repress his childish imagination and become an instrument of death.” Also in the cast are Samara Weaving (Ready or Not), playing assassin June 27, and martial arts expert Yayan Ruhian (Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens) as Boy’s mentor. German filmmaker Moritz Mohr will make his feature directorial debut on the project after a number of shots, including one that caught the eye of Sam Raime, who will produce the movie through his Raimi Productions along with Vertigo Entertainment‘s Roy Lee. Zainab Azizi of Raimi Productions, Stuart Manashil of Novo, Dan Kagan and Andrew Childs of Vertigo, and Reza Brojerdi of Ventaro Film are also producing with CAA Media Finance representing domestic rights after arranging the project’s financing with Simon Swart and Wayne Fitzjohn of Nthibah Pictures, and Alex Lebovici of Hammerstone Studios. Nancy Nayor is doing the casting for the movie based around a screenplay by Arend Remmers (Sløborn) and Tyler Burton Smith (Kung Fury: The Movie)
Geraldine Viswanathan from Blockers and TNT‘s Miracle Workers is joining the Studiocanal and New Yorker Studios‘ psychological thriller, Cat Person, which currently stars Emilia Jones (Coda) and Nicholas Braun. The movie, which will be directed by Susanna Fogel (The Flight Attendant) from a script by Michael Ashford, adapted from Kristen Roupenian‘s short story, which was published in The New Yorker in 2017. The story involves a relationship between 21-year-old sophomore college student Margot (Jones) and an older man who is a regular at the movie theater where she works. Viswanathan will play Margot’s best friend, a fellow college student. Studiocanal are fully financing and handling worldwide sales.
A quick jump into television with the news that Steve Carell from The Office and Netflix’s Space Force will team with The Americans co-creators Joe Weisberg and Joe Fields for a new 10-episode FX limited series called The Patient. Carell will exec produce and star as Alexander Strauss, “a psychiatrist who has recently lost his wife. Behind his cerebral, sensitive exterior, he has yet to plumb the depths of his own pain and loss.” And the show’s tagline says that his character is “held prisoner by a serial killer with an unusual request: curb his homicidal urges. But unwinding the mind of this man while also dealing with the waves of his own repressed troubles creates a journey perhaps as treacherous as his captivity.”
Lyric Hurd is joining Sony Pictures‘ movie based on the children’s book, Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, directed by Will Speck and Josh Gordon (Office Christmas Party) from an adaptation by Will Davies. She joins the already-cast Javier Bardem, Constance Wu, and Winslow Fegley.
The Sony/TriStar Pictures Whitney Houston biopic, I Want to Dance with Somebody, has added Bria Danielle Singleton as Whitney and Bobby Brown’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, and Jimmie Fails as Eddie Murphy.
Keep track of all these projects in development and production by subscribing to Below the Line‘s Production Listings.
Our first trailer for the day is a first look at MGM Pictures‘ upcoming musical, Cyrano, starring Peter Dinklage in the title role and Haley Bennett as Roxanne, as well as Kelvin Harrison, Ben Mendelsohn, and more. Directed by Joe Wright, it’s a movie version of Erica Schmidt‘s off-Broadway musical that features music and songs from The National. You can read J. Don Birnam‘s review here.
With Denis Villeneuve‘s Dune finally being released in North America by Warner Bros. in a few short weeks (Oct. 22 to be exact), the studio released one final trailer to help build excitement for the anticipated sci-fi adaptation. As luck would have it, I happened to post my own review of Dune on the same day, and you can read that here. (Note: I’m pretty sure this trailer shows every single scene in the movie that involves Emmy winner Zendaya from HBO’s Euphoria i.e. she’s not in the movie very much.)
Shifting gears, we also got our first look at the Simon Kinberg-directed spy action movie, The 355, starring Jessica Chastain, Diane Kruger, Penélope Cruz, Lupita Nyong’o, Bingbing Fan, Édgar Ramirez, and Sebastian Stan.
To be released by Universal Pictures on Jan. 7, 2022, the tagline for the film goes something like this: “When a top-secret weapon falls into mercenary hands, wild card CIA agent Mason “Mace” Brown (Chastain) will need to join forces with rival badass German agent Marie (Kruger), former MI6 ally and cutting-edge computer specialist Khadijah Nyong’o), and skilled Colombian psychologist Graciela (Cruz) on a lethal, breakneck mission to retrieve it, while also staying one-step ahead of a mysterious woman, Lin Mi Sheng (Bingbing Fan), who is tracking their every move. As the action rockets around the globe from the cafes of Paris to the markets of Morocco to the opulent auction houses of Shanghai, the quartet of women will forge a tenuous loyalty that could protect the world—or get them killed.”
Lastly, we have the first trailer for Sony/Screen Gems‘ upcoming video game reboot, Resident Evil: Welcome to Racoon City, co-written and directed by Johannes Roberts (45 Meters Down). Starring Kaya Scodelario,
Hannah John-Kamen, Robbie Amell, Tom Hopper, Avan Jogia, with Donal Logue
and Neal McDonough, this prequel/reboot will open in movie theaters on November 24.
That’s it for this week, but if you’re a James Bond fan, get out to movie theaters and see Daniel Craig‘s final turn as 007 in No Time to Die, even though I was mixed on it in my review.