Happy Hump Day! There are no deaths to report and no production shutdowns today, at least not yet, so we can get right to some of the other news happening around the industry this week.
On Tuesday, the Television Academy announced that the upcoming Emmys on September 19 and the Creative Arts Emmys that are taking place over two days on September 11 and 12, will be a combination of indoor and outdoor ceremony due to the rising amount of COVID cases in L.A. County. Because of these changes, all the Emmy-related events will be taking part at the Event Deck at L.A. Live, directly behind the Microsoft Theater. Due to these changes, the Academy will need to limit the number of nominees attending — which is probably a smart move anyway — but that means bigger nominated teams will only get four tickets that they will have to decide among themselves who will attend. This is a little troubling for some of the categories like editing, writing and sound, where inevitably, there’s a much larger group of nominees. In the notice to Academy members and nominees, a caveat was included: “Conversations are ongoing, and we will provide further information as it is available. The Television Academy appreciates everyone’s understanding as we continue to navigate the Covid-19 delta variant.”
Last year’s Emmys, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, were done fully virtually without an audience, although a number of the presenters did appear in person.
There’s actually been a ton of high-profile casting in the past few days, including the news from The Hollywood Reporter that Margot Robbie, currently appearing in The Suicide Squad, now in theaters, will be joining filmmaking auteur Wes Anderson and his cast, which includes Adrien Brody, Tom Hanks, Bill Murray, and Tilda Swinton, for his next untitled movie that’s being filmed in Spain. As usual, everything is being kept under wraps including Ms. Robbie’s role.
Robbie’s Suicide Squad teammate Idris Elba also was cast in a high profile movie, the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 sequel currently in the works, in which he’ll be voicing the popular video game foe “Knuckles.” Jeff Fowler is returning to direct, and the cast includes returning James Marsden, Tika Sumpter, Natasha Rothwell, Adam Pally, and Jim Carrey. Ben Schwartz is once again voicing the title character, and they’re joined by Shemar Moore. Elba gave a preview of his character on his Instagram.
Following the announcement of Luis Guzmán to guest as Gomez Addams in Netflix‘s upcoming Wednesday spin-off series, Catherine Zeta-Jones has joined the cast to play Gomez’s wife, Morticia Addams, presumably in a similar guest role. The casting of the two actors has been met with unusually positive reactions from the internet.
Deadline reports that The Amazing Mrs. Maisel star Rachel Brosnahan has joined the Walter Hill Western, Dead for a Dollar, opposite Christoph Waltz and Willem Dafoe, which is being backed by Quiver Distribution. The film is about a famed bounty hunter, played by Waltz, and his gambler/outlaw sworn enemy he had sent to prison (Dafoe), while trying to find the wife of a successful businessman being held hostage in Mexico. Brosnan will play that wife.
Briana Middleton is the latest and last of the four leads to join Julianne Moore‘s con artist film, Sharper, for Apple and A24. She joins Moore, Sebastian Stan, and Justice Smith, playing Sandra, a young woman who finds herself in over her head when she enters the complex world of con artists. The movie will be released via Quiver domestically, and Myriad Pictures will handle international distribution.
Jalyn Hall has been cast in the title role of Emmett Till in Chinonye Chukwu‘s Till, which tells the story of the 14-year-old’s mother Mamie Till-Mobley’s attempt to get justice for her murdered son and her controversial decision to have the pictures of his body published in Jet Magazine. Danielle Deadwyler plays Mamie, and the movie also stars Whoopi Goldberg, and the movie is being produced/financed by MGM‘s Orion Pictures.
It was also announced that John Lithgow would be joining the cast of Martin Scorsese‘s crime-thriller, Killers of the Flower Moon, for Paramount Pictures and Apple Studios.
Actress Daniella Pineda (Jurassic World) has joined Gerard Butler for his Lionsgate action-thriller, The Plane, directed by Jean-François Richet and adapted by Charles Cumming, JP Davis, and Matt Cook, from Cumming’s book. Pineda will play Bonnie, the head flight attendant on the titular plane, joining Butler, Mike Colter and Kelly Gale, on the film that begins shooting in Puerto Rico this month. In the movie, Butler plays Brodie Torrance, who successfully lands a storm-damaged aircraft in hostile territory, after which he has to fight off pirates that want to take the plane and its passengers hostage.
Rita Moreno, who has been having a bit of a Renaissance thanks to an acclaimed documentary and her role on the updated One Day at a Time, will star in the dark comedy feature, The Prank, also according to Deadline. The film, directed by Maureen Bharoocha (Golden Arm) was written by Rebecca Flinn-White and Zak White, already stars Connor Kalopsis and Ramona Young with filming beginning this month in Los Angeles. The movie follows two high school students who play a prank on their physics teacher, Mrs. Wheeler (Moreno), so she fails them on a test, and they return the favor by accusing her of a missing student. Sounds fun. It also will star Keith David, Meredith Salenger, Jonathan Kimmel, Nathan Janak, and Kate Flannery.
Last but not least, Irish actor Kerry Condon, who appeared in Martin McDonagh‘s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri will reunite with the acclaimed Irish Tony-winning playwright (and an Oscar winner) for his next movie, The Banshees of Inisherin, which begins filming in Ireland next month. The film stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, both from In Bruges, and Barry Keoghan. Like Three Billboards, it will be released by Searchlight Studios, and it’s about a pair of lifelong friends on a remote Irish island who find themselves at an awkward time in their relationship when one of them no longer wants to be friends. Condon will play the sister to Farrell’s character.
Also adding to its growing cast is Chad Stahelski’s John Wick: Chapter 4, which added character actor Clancy Brown (The Shawshank Redemption) for an undisclosed role.
— Clancy Brown (@RealClancyBrown) August 9, 2021
You can learn more about the projects listed above via Below the Line‘s Production Listings.
Good news for fans of HBO‘s comedy, The White Lotus, as it’s just been renewed for a second season after dropping the Season 1 finale.
Vince Vaughn has been tapped to star and exec. produce the Apple TV+ drama series, Bad Monkey, from Ted Lasso co-creator Bill Lawrence, which has received a 10-episode series order from the streamer. The project from Warner Bros. Television is based on Carl Hiaasen’s popular 2013 novel of the same name, which is about Andrew Yancy, a one-time detective demoted to restaurant inspector in Southern Florida, who is pulled into the “world of greed and corruption” Florida and the Bahamas when a severed arm is found by a tourist.
Netflix’s Echoes limited series, which already stars Michelle Monaghan and Matt Bomer, has added a third lead in Daniel Sunjata from Showtime‘s Power Book II: Ghosts. The series from 13 Reasons Why showrunner Brian Yorkey that’s created and written by Vanessa Gazy is about identical twins Leni and Gina, both played by Monaghan, who share a dangerous secret. Sunjata will play Gina’s husband, Charlie Davenport, while Bomer plays Jack Beck, Leni’s husband.
Comedian and The Daily Show correspondent, Roy Wood Jr. is developing and EP’ing an untitled comedy at NBC along with physician assistant/screenwriter Carolyn Pierre-Outlar, based on her own experiences in the medical field. The project from Universal Television will be written and co-exec produced by Pierre-Outlar, who began the project as the web series, Rhonda Mitchell M.D. It’s about an overbearing doctor who “takes over her father’s Harlem-based practice and struggles to balance her personal and professional life while managing an irreverent group of patients and co-workers.” Wood Jr. also set up a single-camera comedy at Fox with Denis Leary, as well as exec-produced the documentary, The Neutral Ground.
Because it’s August and next month is September, all the September film festivals are announcing their line-ups, and the latest is the 59th New York Film Festival, taking place at New York’s Film at Lincoln Center. It was already announced that Joel Coen‘s The Tragedy of MacBeth, starring Oscar winners Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand, will launch the festival on September 24, while fest regular Pedro Almodovar is bringing his latest movie starring Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers, will close the fest on October 10. Jane Campion‘s Power of the Dog is the festival centerpiece. The line-up will include films from all over the world, including a number that were awarded at last month’s Cannes Film Festival, including Julia Ducornau‘s Titane and Ryûsuke Hamaguchi‘s Drive My Car. Other movies coming to New York after playing Cannes include Todd Haynes‘ The Velvet Underground doc, Joachim Trier‘s The Worst Person in the World, Gaspar Noé‘s Vortex, Paul Verhoeven‘s Benedetta, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul‘s Memoria. Rebecca Hall‘s Passing will also play at the New York Film Festival following its acclaimed debut at Sundance.
This week, Netflix released the first trailer for Sara (The Kindergarten Teacher) Colangelo‘s Worth, a drama about the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. It stars Michael Keaton, Stanley Tucci, Amy Ryan, along with Tate Donovan, Shunori Ramanathan, Talia Balsam, Laura Benanti, Marc Maron, Ato Blankson-Wood, Chris Tardio, Carolyn Mignini, and Victor Slezak. The film is written by Max Borenstein (Godzilla vs. Kong), who produced the film with Marc Butan, Anthony Katagas, Michael Sugar, Bard Dorros, Sean Sorensen, and Keaton.
Based on true events, Worth will hit Netflix on Sept. 3 and the official synopsis is: “Following the horrific 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Congress appoints attorney and renowned mediator Kenneth Feinberg (Michael Keaton) to lead the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Assigned with allocating financial resources to the victims of the tragedy, Feinberg and his firm’s head of operations, Camille Biros (Amy Ryan), face the impossible task of determining the worth of a life to help the families who had suffered incalculable losses. When Feinberg locks horns with Charles Wolf (Stanley Tucci), a community organizer mourning the death of his wife, his initial cynicism turns to compassion as he begins to learn the true human costs of the tragedy.”
The Denzel Washington-directed A Journal for Jordan, starring Michael B. Jordan, may be very different from what people are expecting, since it’s not a drama, but a holiday rom-com, and USA Today got to premiere the first trailer for the movie being released by Sony Pictures this Christmas.