Welcome back, and we hope that you all had a great weekend. It’s officially November, and the weekend before the United States Presidential election was considerably slower than usual.
Producer David Rodriguez, whose credits include The Chi, Queen of the South and Dick Wolf‘s Chicago TV series, died last week at the age of 50 due to complications from a stroke. Rodriguez worked steadily in film and television production since 2004 as a writer, director and producer, in 2018 and 2019 working as co-executive producer and director on TNT‘s Animal Kingdom for John Wells Productions.
The Business Continuity Coalition (BCC), which hopes to take on public-private business continuity insurance to help with the financial problems created by the COVID pandemic, has been joined by the MPA, the Independent Film and Television Alliance, Fox Corp, Sony Pictures Television, ViacomCBS, the NAB, and NCTA. BCC currently represents two dozen industries, including restaurant, hospitality, retail and real estate, representing 50 million workers. They’re hoping to rework or replace the current Pandemic Risk Insurance Act (PRIA), which has not been supported by most insurance companies. Although the BCC’s specific policies haven’t been released as of yet, it should be fairly obvious how and why insurance relates to the production part of the movie and television industries, so this could be key in helping to defray the newfound COVID-related costs that insurance currently won’t cover.
Production has started in Toronto on FX on Hulu‘s adaptation of the Eisner-winning comic, Y: The Last Man, with Ashley Romans and Olivia Thirlby replacing the originally-cast Lashana Lynch and Imogen Poots. Ben Schnetzer was cast in the lead role of Yorick Brown (replacing Barry Keoghan from Dunkirk), while Lynch will play Agent 355 and Thirlby will play Hero Brown, two key roles in Yorick’s journey across an American where he is the only surviving male.
Despite the announcements from last week’s Blumfest 2020, including that actor Patrick Wilson would direct the fifth installment of the Insidious franchise, a few other things came out of the fan event including the fact that Oscar winner John Ridley would be writing and directing an Untitled Paranormal Project for Blumhouse based on a recently published article called Project Poltergeist.
Not mentioned at the event last week was that director Scott Derickson (Doctor Strange, Sinister) would be returning to the Blumhouse fold to adapt Joe Hill‘s The Black Phone, which will be distributed via Blumhouse’s deal with Universal Pictures. Derickson will reunite with his writing collaborator, Robert Cargill, to adapt Hill’s work.
Producer Jason Blum also announced the next four movies in the company’s Welcome to the Blumhouse initiative with Amazon Prime Video. The four films are Axelle Carolyn‘s The Manor, starring Barbara Hershey and Bruce Davison; Black as Night, directed by Maritte Lee Go; Madres by Ryan Zaragoza; and Gigi Saul Guerrero‘s Bingo. The series of thrillers continues to highlight women and emerging filmmakers making films with diverse casts.
If you read our Welcome to the Blumhouse director’s roundtable, you’ll know that three of the original films were produced back-to-back in New Orleans using the same crow and had to do most of their post during pandemic lockdown. There is no word if any of the next four films have even begun filming yet, although they are not due until 2021.