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HomeIndustry SectorFilmHump Day News Update 5/12/21: More Developments on the HFPA Front, Prodigal...

Hump Day News Update 5/12/21: More Developments on the HFPA Front, Prodigal Son Cancelled and More News


It’s Hump Day and Hollywood is hopping with lots of industry news…

GoldenGlobeLogoA lot has been going on with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) since we reported on the vote the Golden Globes award group conducted last week to make significant changes to its policies and by-laws, particularly when it comes to inclusiveness. Apparently, the HFPA vote wasn’t enough for most of Hollywood as a number of parties spoke up about it, saying it was too little, too late.

One of the first to speak up was Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos, who wasn’t satisfied with the HFPA’s planned overhaul, and claimed that the streamer would no longer work with the group, to which HFPA President Ali Sar responded, “We have always valued our relationship with Netflix as we seek to bring news about motion pictures and television to the world. We hear your concerns about the changes our association needs to make and want to assure you that we are working diligently on all of them.” (Oddly, Netflix is one of the companies that has taken advantage of the long-standing ethics issues surrounding the Golden Globes, using them to get many of its movies and television shows nominated and winning awards.)

The HFPA was pushed into making changes after a letter from a group of 100 publicists was sent to the group on March 15th saying, “We call on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to swiftly manifest profound and lasting change to eradicate the longstanding exclusionary ethos and pervasive practice of discriminatory behavior, unprofessionalism, ethical impropriety and alleged financial corruption endemic to the HFPA, funded by Dick Clark Productions, MRC, NBCUniversal and Comcast.”

Sarandos’ decision came after the announcement of an HFPA vote to make changes, and Netflix’s top streaming competition, Amazon Studios, quickly piled on and joined the boycott.

Apparently, in Hollywood you aren’t important unless you’ve made a comment about whatever is going on in the news, so both Warner Media/HBO, who called the changes “anemic,” and Lionsgate also joined in. Actors like Mark Ruffalo and Scarlett Johansson, while Tom Cruise made the decision to return the three Golden Globes he had won.

That was enough for NBC, the network that aired the Golden Globes each year. After the HFPA vote last Thursday, NBC made the statement, “We believe that the plan presented charts a course for meaningful reform at the HFPA. We remain committed to encouraging the plan’s prompt implementation through productive conversations so that the HFPA can emerge a better and more inclusive organization.” Even so, with all the companies and actors declaring boycotts, NBC announced on Monday it would not be airing the Golden Globes in 2022, expecting even more changes before it would back the awards ceremony.

That received applause from the original publicist’s group who began the call to boycott, and Time’s Up, the group dedicated to fighting injustices in the world from racism to sexual harassment to anything else.

Undaunted, the HFPA response was to continue with its original plans, releasing a complete timeline for how these changes will take effect, beginning last week with meetings to work out the plans for recruiting new members, who will be admitted to the group in early August.

Who knows how this will all end up? Most of the calls to boycott and NBC’s decision to not air next year’s Globes took place AFTER the group had already voted to make the appropriate changes in its membership and hire executives to oversee such changes. We’ll have to see how the next few months play out in terms of changes being made.

Also since last week, a ton of Broadway musicals announced their reopenings in September or October, including HamiltonThe Lion KingTinaLittle Shop of Horrors, the Alanis Morisette musical Jagged Little PillAladdinWicked, and the Temptations musical, Ain’t Too Proud. Also, a new Michael Jackson musical called MJ will hit Broadway’s Neil Simon Theater starting in December with Ephraim Sykes in the title role.

Prodigal Son
Prodigal Son (Photo: Fox)

Fox has decided to cancel the series Prodigal Son after its second season, but at the same time, Call Me Kat was renewed for its own second season, although Showrunner Darlene Hunt would be exiting the show.

Over at NBC, a pilot order has been given to Dangerous Moms, an adaptation of a Spanish drama series, from Claws showrunner Janine Sherman Barrois and Warner Bros Television where Sherman Barrois has an overall deal. Based on the darkly comedic series Señoras del (h)Ampa, created by  Carlos del Hoyo and Abril Zamora and airing on Telecinco and then Amazon Prime Video for Season 2, the plot involves four mothers who accidentally kill the queen bee of their school’s PTA during a demonstration of a high-end food processor.

Dave Bautista
Dave Bautista (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Casting news from the week includes former WWE wrestler Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy) joining Daniel Craig in the cast of Rian Johnson‘s Knives Out 2, the murder mystery comedy sequel being produced for Netflix, according to Deadline. A day later, Edward Norton, last seen in his own Motherless Brooklyn and appearing in Wes Anderson’s upcoming The French Dispatch, also joined the cast.

Deadline also has the scoop that Emily Watson and Paul Mescal (Normal People) will top the A24 psychological drama, God’s Creature, from Directors Saela Davis and Anna Rose Holmer, who will team together as directors after making The Fits, and Davis will edit this film as well. Already in production, the film stars Aisling Franciosi, Declan Conlon, Marion O’Dwyer and Toni O’Rourke, a film set in an Irish fishing village that’s scripted by Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly & CrowleyInbal Weinberg is the film’s Production Designer and DoP is Chayse Irvin.

Lionsgate’s Cuban-American remake of Father of the Bride continues to add to its ensemble cast with Mexican singer and actor Diego Boneta recently joining the group of LatinX actors that includes Andy GarciaGloria EstefanAdria Arjona and Isabela Merced.

A couple television series have cast up, including the BBC One/Amazon six-part Western series, The English, which had already cast Emily Blunt as its lead, but recently added Chaske Spencer (The Twilight Saga), Rafe Spall (Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom), and Toby Jones. The series is written by Hugo Blick (The Honourable Woman) and it follows Blunt’s Cornelia Locke, as she arrives in the mythic mid-American landscape in 1890 seeking revenge on the man she sees as responsible for the death of her son. There, she meets Spencer’s Eli Whipp, a member of the Pawnee Nation by birth and they join forces.

Also, STARZ has set the cast for its drama Becoming Elizabeth, which stars German actress Alicia Von Rittberg (Fury) as the iconic future Queen of England Elizabeth Tudor before she was put on the throne. Rittberg will be joined by Romola Garai, Jessica Raine, Tom Cullen  and Bella Ramsey.

You can keep track of these projects and more over at our Production Listings.


We have a lot more trailers today than in the past few columns, starting with the first trailer for Sony Pictures‘ superhero sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, directed by Andy Serkis and starring Tom HardyMichelle WilliamsWoody Harrelson and Naomie Harris. It definitely seems like Serkis is trying to instill more humor in his Venom sequel. It’s scheduled for release on September 24, 2001.

Next, we have the first trailer for Oscar winner Tom McCarthy’s Stillwater, starring Matt Damon as Bill, an Oklahoma oil-rig “roughneck” who travels to Marseille to visit his estranged daughter (Abigail Breslin) in prison for a murder she claims she didn’t commit. The movie hits theaters on July 30.

We also have a brand-new trailer for David Lowery‘s thriller The Green Knight, starring Dev PatelAlicia Vikander and Joel Edgerton, which will hit theaters on July 30, courtesy of A24.

Lastly, we have the first trailer for the Apple TV+ limited series, Lisey’s Story, starring Julianne MooreClive OwenJennifer Jason Leigh, Joan AllenDane DeHaanRon Cephas Jones and Sung Kang. Each episode is written by Stephen King, adapted from the novel, and directed by Pablo Larrain (Jackie). The series, which debuts June 4 on Apple TV+, is a thriller in which Moore plays Lisey Landon whose novelist husband (Owen) dies, forcing her to face memories of their marriage she’s been trying to block from her mind. J. J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions and Warner Bros. Television are producing the show.

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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