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06-03-2021 Daily Edition June 2, 2021

Daily Edition

Max Minghella, Flea, Samara Weaving Join Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie in ‘Babylon’

Damien Chazelle’s ode to the golden age of Hollywood, Babylon, is filling out its sprawling cast as it heads into production later in June. Max Minghella, Lukas Haas, Flea, Rory Scovel, Samara Weaving, Eric Roberts, P.J. Byrne and Damon Gupton have joined the Paramount period drama written by Chazelle, who will also direct. The actors […]

Damien Chazelle’s ode to the golden age of Hollywood, Babylon, is filling out its sprawling cast as it heads into production later in June.

Max Minghella, Lukas Haas, Flea, Rory Scovel, Samara Weaving, Eric Roberts, P.J. Byrne and Damon Gupton have joined the Paramount period drama written by Chazelle, who will also direct.

The actors join Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, Diego Calva, Jovan Adepo, Li Jun Li and Katherine Waterston.

Set in the late 1920s during the movie industry’s transition from silent films to talkies, Babylon explores the rise and fall of multiple characters. Around town, the project has been described as “The Great Gatsby on steroids.”

The story features both fictional and historical characters. While most of the new additions’ roles are being kept in the canister, it is believed that Minghella is playing Irving Thalberg, the famous producer who was MGM’s head of production in the 1920s and 1930s and after whom the prestigious Irving G. Thalberg Award, given by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, is named.

The picture will shoot in Los Angeles and Paramount is planning a platformed release, opening limitedly Dec. 25, 2022, before going wide Jan. 6, 2023.

Olivia Hamilton, Matt Plouffe and Marc Platt are producing. Tobey Maguire, Helen Estabrook and Adam Siegel will executive produce.

Minghella is one of the stars of The Handmaid’s Tale, currently in the middle of its fourth season and in the Emmy conversation. The actor is also on the big screen in Chris Rock’s Saw reboot, Spiral.

Flea is the bassist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers who occasionally pops up in movies. In recent years he has appeared in Queen & Slim, Boy Erased and Baby Driver.

Weaving starred in horror breakout Ready or Not and portrays G.I. Joe character Scarlett in Paramount’s upcoming action thriller Snake Eyes, based on the Hasbro toy line. She is also shooting The Valet opposite Eugenio Derbez for Lionsgate.

Jonathan Majors in Talks to Join Michael B. Jordan in MGM’s ‘Creed III’

Lovecraft Country star Jonathan Majors is in talks to star opposite Michael B. Jordan in MGM’s Creed 3, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. Majors is set to be the adversary to Michael B. Jordan as he reprises his role as an embattled boxer in a movie that will also be Jordan’s directorial debut. MGM set […]

Lovecraft Country star Jonathan Majors is in talks to star opposite Michael B. Jordan in MGM’s Creed 3, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

Majors is set to be the adversary to Michael B. Jordan as he reprises his role as an embattled boxer in a movie that will also be Jordan’s directorial debut. MGM set a release date of Nov. 23, 2022, for the third installment of the rebooted Rocky series.

Tessa Thompson and Phylicia Rashad are also expected to reprise their roles for the new movie that is being written by Keenan Coogler and Zach Baylin based on an outline by Ryan Coogler. Ryan Coogler and Stephen Caple Jr. directed the first and second films, respectively, which punched their way to almost $400 million at the worldwide box office between them.

Majors plays Atticus “Tic” Freeman in HBO’s Lovecraft Country and was onscreen in Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods. He also appeared in A24’s The Last Black Man in San Francisco, starring opposite Jimmy Fails, as the quiet, quirky Montgomery Allen, an artist and playwright living with his blind grandfather (Danny Glover) and capturing the city around him through his work.

Majors is repped by CAA and Management 360.

‘Jupiter’s Legacy’ Done at Netflix as Streamer Explores Other Millarworld Projects

Jupiter’s Legacy is ending at Netflix — though the streamer isn’t done with comic creator Mark Millar’s world altogether. In a Twitter statement Wednesday, Millar said he’s beginning work on a live-action adaptation of Supercrooks — which takes place in the same fictional world but focuses on villains — but that “we’ve made the tough […]

Jupiter’s Legacy is ending at Netflix — though the streamer isn’t done with comic creator Mark Millar’s world altogether.

In a Twitter statement Wednesday, Millar said he’s beginning work on a live-action adaptation of Supercrooks — which takes place in the same fictional world but focuses on villains — but that “we’ve made the tough call of letting our incredible cast out of their show commitment.”

“I’m really proud of what the team achieved with Jupiter’s Legacy and the amazing work everyone did on that origin season,” Millar wrote. “I’ve been asked a lot about what we’re planning next with this world, and the answer is to see what the super-villains are getting up to.”

The end of Jupiter’s Legacy comes about four weeks after its May 7 premiere. Netflix doesn’t regularly share audience figures for its titles; the series, helmed by Daredevil‘s Steven S. DeKnight, earned mostly negative reviews.

Netflix has given a series order to Supercrooks, which follows a group of villains planning a monumental heist. The live-action show, which is in its early stages, will live alongside an anime-style series based on the same material. That show is set to have its world premiere at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in June. Both are based on a comic Millar created with Leinil Francis Yu.

As for Jupiter’s Legacy, while the cast — headed by Josh Duhamel, Leslie Bibb and Ben Daniels — has been let go, Millar noted in his statement that he’s “confident we’ll return to it later and just want to say thanks to you guys for your continued support and to the cast and crew who made this look great.”

The cancellation will come as a surprise to audiences who have seen the first season, which ends on a cliff-hanger teasing much more to come. The cast had spoken in the press about potential future seasons, and Millar is launching a new Jupiter’s Legacy comic June 16 to wrap up the story in the comics. That book presumably would have provided fodder for future seasons.

Millar (Kick-Ass, Kingsman) sold his Millarworld company to Netflix in 2017 and announced an ambitious development slate in 2018 that included series based on Jupiter’s Legacy and American Jesus, and film adaptations of Empress and Huck. Jupiter’s Legacy was the first project from that roster to make its debut.

A series based on Millar’s comic The Magic Order is also back in development after undergoing some creative retooling last year.

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Resolves Up-in-the-Air Fate of Major Character

[This story contains spoilers to The Handmaid’s Tale‘s eighth episode in season four, “Testimony.”] Earlier in season four, Madeline Brewer’s Janine went missing. After two episodes without any hints about her fate, The Handmaid’s Tale revealed whether or not the fan-favorite Handmaid survived the bombings in Chicago. The answer, however, is complicated. Midway through the eighth […]

[This story contains spoilers to The Handmaid’s Tale‘s eighth episode in season four, “Testimony.”]

Earlier in season four, Madeline Brewer’s Janine went missing. After two episodes without any hints about her fate, The Handmaid’s Tale revealed whether or not the fan-favorite Handmaid survived the bombings in Chicago.

The answer, however, is complicated.

Midway through the eighth episode — which is titled “Testimony” and centers around June (Elisabeth Moss) giving a victim impact statement at a hearing to determine whether her abuser, Gilead Commander Fred Waterford (Joseph Fiennes), will stand trial for his crimes — another one of June’s former commanders, Joseph Lawrence (Bradley Whitford), informs Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) that Janine, who is now a fugitive, has been recaptured in Chicago and returned to Gilead.

Praise be! Janine is alive. But the collective sigh of relief over her fate is quickly punctured by the reality she is now facing.

Boomeranged back into the clutches of Gilead, Janine appears hopeless when she reunites with an emotional Aunt Lydia. “I know what happens here,” she says. “And I know it will keep happening until I die. Just don’t make me a Handmaid again, please. Just don’t send me back into service. I’d rather die here.”

When unpacking those words to The Hollywood Reporter, Brewer admits that the current situation is dire. The actress, who was aware of her character’s season four arc going into filming, says she couldn’t imagine the writers killing her off in an open-ended fashion. The last viewers saw of Janine, she had disappeared from June’s view after the pair tried to outrun overhead blasts in the city streets.

“All I know is, if they’re taking me out, they’re giving me a good sendoff,” says Brewer, with a laugh. “I know that they’re not just going to say, ‘All right, she’s gone.’ I do feel like Janine is valuable to the storyline, especially now that she’s one of the only OG Handmaids left in Gilead. And … Bruce wouldn’t do that to me!”

Indeed, showrunner Bruce Miller separately told THR, “The reason Janine disappears like she’s dead is because she disappears to June. Maddie knew her fate. We talk to everybody before, as soon as I think about making that kind of big decision. I have conversations with the actors throughout the process. We are in the fourth season; these are very good actors and grownups who have brought so much to the characters. They’re my resource. So Maddie knew, absolutely, all of the stuff that I was thinking.” He then adds, “We’re very good at the Seinfeld way of everything coming together — just in a sad, morose and scary way as opposed to a happy, funny, quirky one.”

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Janine (Madeline Brewer) after shedding her red cloak during an episode of freedom. Hulu

In looking back at her season four journey before being captured, Brewer notes that Janine had found a purpose when on the road with June as two Handmaids turned rebels running and fighting for their freedom.

“June had been keeping everybody alive. But, those Handmaids were also keeping June alive,” Brewer says of all the red-cloaked fighters who helped June along the way, several of whom met their demise in the season four premiere. “If we had just let June go with her every whim, with her every revenge plot, she would have died two seasons ago. She would have been done at the end of season three if we hadn’t come for her [and saved her in the woods in the finale].”

She continues, “Because it is June’s story, we are following June. And in June’s point of view, she is keeping these women alive. But Alma and Briana and Janine kept June alive; they gave her the purpose of keeping them alive. This season, I’ve been dealing a lot with purpose. Because sometimes Janine feels without purpose to me; what role does she play in this? And part of her purpose is keeping June alive. Making sure June doesn’t kill herself or get us all killed.”

When Janine finds out that not only did she help keep June alive, but that their leader has made it safely to Canada, the news sparks a brief moment of joy for Janine when viewers see her again in this episode. “I knew she would make it,” Janine says triumphantly to Aunt Lydia, acknowledging the role she played in the winning outcome.

In Canada, however, June remains unaware of Janine’s fate. “There is a big theme this season of survivor’s guilt,” says Brewer. “If June thinks Janine is dead, she’s definitely going to feel some survivor’s remorse. Janine [in the fourth episode, “Milk”] tells June point blank, ‘You know that’s why they’re dead. It’s because of you. It’s your fault our friends are dead.'”

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June (Elisabeth Moss, right) confronting the Waterfords (Yvonne Strahovski, left, and Joseph Fiennes) in court during “Testimony,” which was directed by Moss. Sophie Giraud/Hulu

Since leaving Chicago with Moira (Samira Wiley), June has been working on assimilating back into society while reuniting with her husband, Luke (O-T Fagbenle), younger daughter, Nichole, and fellow Gilead survivors Emily (Alexis Bledel) and Rita (Amanda Brugel). After gaining some of her agency back last week during a confrontation with her abuser Serena Joy Waterford (Yvonne Strahovski), another breakthrough comes this episode with the women in her survivors’ group. June encourages the women to tap into their anger as they collectively relish in the tragic fate of an abusive Aunt, who commits suicide after visiting their circle (“Why can’t we be as furious as we feel?” June asks the women). Her court testimony also gave her the platform to both confront her other abuser, Commander Waterford, and speak on behalf of all of the women whom she has lost along the way.

“Mine is just one voice,” says June when asking the court to put Fred on trial for the maximum possible sentence. “Countless others will remain unheard, imprisoned by men like Fred Waterford. Women, my friends, who lost their lives that can never be heard. It is for those women [that] I ask for justice.”

This point in the season, says Miller, brings about a shift for his starring Handmaid. “She made the decision in the beginning that she was going to lead these women and, by the end, she has none of them; she’s killed them all, so she thinks,” he says of June. “What she’s left with is, ‘I’m out and they all didn’t make it.’ June is seeing the repercussions of what she’s done and dealing with that, and she’s also dealing with her rage and her sense of justice. Sometimes, it’s hard to let go of your sense of justice. And, for June, it’s very hard to let it go. In a world that doesn’t have a super large amount of justice in general, it’s a difficult place to be.”

Still ahead in the final two episodes, The Handmaid’s Tale will reveal whether or not Fred will stand trial, how June will move forward after the trauma she’s endured and what’s in store for Janine back in Gilead. And, bleak as things may be, Brewer — perhaps, tapping into Janine — still offers a beacon of hope.

“When we see Janine in episode eight, Janine is so done. She’s seen it all, she’s done it all. She’s lost too many people,” she says. “When you go back into service, into being a Handmaid, you have no purpose. Your purpose is solely to serve other people; you have no purpose in your heart. You just exist until you are useless to them, and then you’re gone. So, Janine needs to find her purpose. And, I think she does.”

The Handmaid’s Tale is now streaming the first eight episodes of season four on Hulu and will continue to release episodes weekly on Wednesdays.

Jeffrey Katzenberg Closes 30-Year Chapter at MPTF by Exiting Board Positions

On April 29, Jeffrey Katzenberg joined George Clooney, Yvette Nicole Brown, Paramount’s Jim Gianopulos and Motion Picture & Television Fund president and CEO Bob Beitcher on Zoom to announce an ambitious fundraising campaign to raise $300 million for the MPTF. The push comes during a milestone 100th anniversary year for MPTF, and saluting the past […]

On April 29, Jeffrey Katzenberg joined George Clooney, Yvette Nicole Brown, Paramount’s Jim Gianopulos and Motion Picture & Television Fund president and CEO Bob Beitcher on Zoom to announce an ambitious fundraising campaign to raise $300 million for the MPTF.

The push comes during a milestone 100th anniversary year for MPTF, and saluting the past while preparing for the future remained top of mind for Katzenberg, a longtime steward of the organization who serves on both the board of directors and governors. “The success of the MPTF for the next generation is something that all of us on the board of directors and the board of governors are deeply focused and concerned and excited for,” Katzenberg said during the press briefing. “Our job is to make sure we pass the baton to the MPTF, to the next generation, in even better shape than we received it from our predecessors.

Katzenberg is ready to pass the baton.

The MPTF confirmed today that Katzenberg is stepping down from MPTF, exiting both boards and bringing an end to one of Hollywood’s highest-profile philanthropic partnerships. The news was first reported by Matt Belloni, former editorial director of The Hollywood Reporter, oi his upstart newsletter.

Katzenberg, 70, has been an indefatigable champion of MPTF, serving for more than three decades while donating some of his personal fortune and helping to raise hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of the organization for its services and facilities. Though it’s easy to point to what he’s done in donating time and millions while helping mount glitzy red carpet fundraisers like the Night Before parties, his work behind the scenes has been just as monumental with strategy and recruiting as he’s worked to bring industry insiders, both famous faces and working pros alike, into the MPTF fold.

Beitcher tells THR that the entire MPTF organization — from “residents, our entire staff, volunteers, boards” — feels blessed to have had Katzenberg’s support for the past 30 years.

“His passion for all things MPTF, his commitment to seeing that our mission was understood and embraced by the entire entertainment industry, his willingness to share his enthusiasm with the philanthropic community that runs so deep in our business, and the incredible generosity he and Marilyn have exhibited in their own support of MPTF are inestimable,” Beitcher says. “We appreciate Jeffrey’s decision to pass on this work to the next generation, just as Lew Wasserman did with him 30 years ago, and we look forward to continuing to benefit by his support.”

News of Katzenberg’s departure comes as the MPTF is not only preparing to raise $300 million but as the org mounts a series of celebrations for its 100th anniversary. Also announced at the April press conferences was an upcoming two-night celebration and a historic “Auction of the Century.” It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Katzenberg honored at one of those gala events.

Katzenberg, who was presented with a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award during the Academy’s Governors Awards in 2012 for his philanthropic efforts, has long made charity an integral part of his life’s work. Guided by a conversation he had with fellow philanthropist and MPTF supporter Kirk Douglas (who told him, “You haven’t learned to live until you’ve learned to give”), Katzenberg and wife, Marilyn Katzenberg, have supported higher education, the arts, political and social causes, health and human services and environmental conservation. In addition to the MPTF, they have supported countless organizations, among them the USC Shoah Foundation, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Academy Museum, the American Museum of the Moving Image, GLSEN, the ACLU, COVID-19 relief and others.

A rep for Katzenberg referred requests for comment to the MPTF.

‘God of War 2’ Delayed to 2022

The sequel to 2018’s God of War, originally set for a 2021 release on PlayStation 5, has been delayed to 2022. PlayStation Studios head Hermen Hulst and developer Santa Monica Studio both confirmed the delay on Wednesday, with Hulst explaining the decision in an interview posted on the PlayStation Blog. “So we have, currently, two […]

The sequel to 2018’s God of War, originally set for a 2021 release on PlayStation 5, has been delayed to 2022.

PlayStation Studios head Hermen Hulst and developer Santa Monica Studio both confirmed the delay on Wednesday, with Hulst explaining the decision in an interview posted on the PlayStation Blog.

“So we have, currently, two very big, very narrative-driven games in development: Horizon Forbidden West and the next God of War. And for both of those, they’re frankly affected by access to performance capture and talent. For Horizon, we think we are on track to release this holiday season. But that isn’t quite certain yet, and we’re working as hard as we can to confirm that to you as soon as we can. And for God of War, the project started a little later. So we’ve made the decision to push that game out to next year, to ensure that Santa Monica Studio can deliver the amazing God of War game that we all want to play.”

“With these things, something’s gotta give,” Hulst added. “It cannot be the quality of our titles, and it surely won’t be the health or the wellbeing of our amazing team.”

Hulst also confirmed that the next God of War game, which is the ninth installment in the God of War series, will be available on PS4 and PS5.

Santa Monica Studio also confirmed the delay on Twitter, sharing in a statement: “We remain focused on delivering a top-quality game while maintaining the safety and wellbeing of our team, creative partners, and families. With this in mind, we’ve made the decision to shift our release window to 2022.”