What Matters in Hollywood Today

7:19 AM 3/28/2018

by THR Staff

Doane Gregory/Twentieth Century Fox

What's news: The Academy brought a swift resolution to a harassment claim involving its own president. Plus: Fox's new X-Men film is getting reshoots, Ed Norton's production company is sued over a Harlem blaze, a Tiger Woods docuseries is being shopped and The Americans returns tonight. — Erik Hayden 

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Academy president cleared over harassment claim. Gregg Kilday writes: A complaint of sexual harassment that had been brought against John Bailey, president of the film Academy, has been dismissed, and he will continue to serve as the organization's president. 

In a statement on Tuesday night, the organization said, "The Committee unanimously determined that no further action was merited on this matter. The findings and recommendations of the committee were reported to the Board, which endorsed its recommendation. John Bailey remains President of the Academy."

Earlier this month, it was reported that three sexual harassment complaints had been filed against Bailey. The Academy said Tuesday that those reports of three claims were incorrect, saying, "there was only one claim under consideration, which was received on Tuesday, March 13, 2018." Full story.

  • Movie Set Fire Suit

    Dennis Van Tine/Abaca/Sipa USA/AP Images

    Edward Norton's production company is being sued by residents of the Harlem building that burned Thursday night during filming of Motherless Brooklyn, Ashley Cullins reports: 

    The lawsuit was filed the same day a funeral was held to remember the firefighter who died while battling the five-alarm blaze. Erica and George Cruz, who lease a fourth-floor apartment in the Nichols Avenue building, on Tuesday sued Class 5 Films and the property's owner for $7 million each.

    They claim the production company kept highly flammable equipment in the building's basement and the fire was caused by recklessness, carelessness and negligence. Full complaint. 

    Elsewhere in film...

    U.K. creative industries get $212M funding boost. The government's goal is to double inward investment in U.K. film and TV production, from Hollywood studios and others, from more than $2.8 billion last year to $5.7 billion or more by 2025.

    MoviePass makes a deal with Mark Cuban. The service has added Cuban's Landmark Theatres (53 theaters in 27 markets) to the list of cinemas its customers can utilize. Customers will get features including screening reservations and seat selection. 

    Universal casts Voyage of Doctor Dolittle. Robert Downey Jr. unveiled the new names added to the voice cast, including Kumail Nanjiani, Octavia Spencer, John Cena, Rami Malek, Craig Robinson, Marion Cotillard and more. 

    Marvel fills Captain Marvel with familiar names. The 2019 Brie Larson starrer will bring back SHIELD agents Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), as well as presently deceased baddies Ronan (Lee Pace) and Korath (Djimon Hounsou).

    New banner: Mythos Studios. Scooter Braun, the man behind SB Projects, and former Marvel Studios chairman David Maisel have joined together to form a company which will be developing comic book properties for the big screen. The plan. 

    ↱ Job of the day: Netflix is "attracting publicists with as much as $400,000 in salary and other compensation, or about double their prior paychecks." [Bloomberg]

    ^Weekend box office preview. The stakes are high for Steven Spielberg's big-budget Ready Player One, which unfurls in theaters everywhere on Thursday and also launches in foreign markets timed to its U.S. bow, Pamela McClintock writes:

    + Ready Player One (budget $175M): May gross $45M-$50M by the time Easter Sunday wraps.

    + Acrimony: Tyler Perry's latest psychological thriller is tracking in the $10M range. 

    + A Light in Darkness: The Pure Flix film is a sequel in the God's Not Dead series, and it should gross in the $5M range. The last film debuted to $20M. Full forecast. 

    Magnolia Pictures acquires The Last RaceThe distributor has nabbed U.S. rights to photographer Michael Dweck’s feature documentary debut, which had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January. A 2018 release is planned

    The Orchard has UFO fever. The indie distributor signed a two-picture deal for two new UFO documentaries, Hunt for the Skinwalker and Bob Lazar, both from filmmaker Jeremy Kenyon Lockyer Corbell.

    Netflix enlists Pitch Perfect actress for rom-com. Brittany Snow is in final talks to join Gina Rodriguez in Someone Great. Paul Feig and Jessie Henderson of Feigco are producing the movie, as are Anthony Bregman and Peter Cron of Likely Story.

    Awesomeness Films finds stars for The Stand-In. Camila Mendes, Laura Marano and Matt Walsh will lead the comedy centering on a scheme to raise money for college by high school senior. Chris Nelson is directing the feature, which is currently filming in New Orleans.

    R.I.P., Stephane Audran. The icon of French New Wave cinema, who starred in movies by auteurs Eric Rohmer, Luis Bunuel and Claude Chabrol, has died at 85. Full obit.

    Also: Steven Spielberg's "cease and desist" to Carl's Jr. The Ready Player One helmer posted a video of himself addressing a publicity stunt by the fast-food chain. "It has recently come to my attention that Carl’s Jr. wants to rename their charbroiled sliders 'SpielBurgers' and they’re pretty good, but I’m passing." Details. 

  • 'The Americans' Return

    Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

    The critically acclaimed FX spy show returns tonight. Does it still work? Yes, of course, writes chief TV critic Tim Goodman: 

    The hardest thing in all of television is making a great series season after season.

    And as The Americans begins its sixth and final season, the first three episodes sent by FX to critics elicited that kind of admiration, that confidence that, at least in the early going, the enormous weight of expectations hadn't crippled the show but given it a certain exhilaration as it began its end game. Full review. 

    Elsewhere in TV...

    Netflix to get taxed in Canada. The Quebec government made good on its threat to impose local sales taxes (at 9.75 percent) on foreign suppliers of paid services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, starting in 2019. It is expected to bring provincial coffers $27.5M in new revenue.

    Being shopped: A Tiger Woods docuseries. Ahead of Tuesday's publication of the biography Tiger Woods, Alex Gibney and his Jigsaw Productions have signed on to adapt authors Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian's book. A network is not yet attached.

    CBS orders second seasons for two dramas. The network is handing out early second-season renewals for SEAL Team and SWAT. Among viewers, the pair is also neck-and-neck with SEAL Team earning an average 10.2 million viewers, just ahead of SWAT at 9.8 million.

    Hulu passes on Locke and Key adaptation. The streamer bypassed the drama based on Joe Hill's IDW graphic novel from showrunner Carlton Cuse. WME and IDW Entertainment are holding screenings for the potential series in a bid to find another home for the drama.

    Quote of the Day: "for the record: i wasnt too busy to work on deadpool." — Donald Glover, as he shared the script for what would've been his FX animated take on the character. [Twitter]

    ^ABC's Splitting Up Together, reviewed. Daniel Fienberg's take on last night's premiere: "Jenna Fischer is great. The house is great. The rest of ABC's new family sitcom about a divorced couple's strange co-habitating plan is strictly by-the-numbers." Full review. 

    + Early takes: Vulture: "May not be worth the commitment." EW: "Grade: C+" Newsday: "Familiar TV faces, little chemistry." CNN: "Feels like an ABC sitcom from the 1990s."

    TV Academy further expands membership eligibility. The group will now include on-air promo producers and directors, commercial performers and narrators. The changes.

    Cinemax renews Strike Back. The pay cabler is ordering another season, technically its seventh, of the action thriller drama which has been the flagship of HBO's genre-skewing sister network since launching in 2013.

    HBO's Euphoria finds director. The pay network has enlisted actor/writer/director Augustine Frizzell to helm the teen drama pilot. Frizzell made her writing and directing feature debut, Never Goin' Back, at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

    ABC's Roseanne return: showrunner chat. "You have to give the show about three episodes to see what it really is," Bruce Helford says. "Don't just go with what you hear; go with what you see." Full Q&A. 

    ID public relations hires Lisa Halliday. As the company’s newly named chief communications officer, the veteran exec will advise on all facets of the agency’s business in Los Angeles and New York. Also: promotions. 

    Also: It's a (book) deal for fired CNN anchor. Jeffrey Lord, who was fired by the network in August for an incendiary Twitter exchange, is now putting his thoughts about Trump's young presidency into book form for Post Hill Press' Bombardier Books imprint. Details

  • 'X-Men' Reshoots

    Doane Gregory/Twentieth Century Fox

    What's going on with X-Men: Dark Phoenix? The Fox film, now pushed to a February 2019 release date, has a third act that needs some reworking, Borys Kit reports:

    The movie was in post-production and insiders say it had come in slightly under-budget. But sources say that the third act will need some reworking, thus some reshoots.

    The extent of the new material isn’t known as Simon Kinberg, the X-Men franchise writer-producer who is making his directorial debut with Dark Phoenix, has yet to pen anything. But one insider expects the shoot to cost under $10 million and to take place in late summer/early fall. Full story.

    What else we're reading...

    "Steven Spielberg's Netflix fears." David Sims writes: "When he said the streaming company’s films shouldn’t be eligible for Oscars, the director was also criticizing bigger problems with Hollywood." [The Atlantic]

    "Diego Luna was a Hollywood golden boy. So why did he go back to Mexico?" Kate Linthicum's profile:  he was infuriated by the politics - the brazen corruption, mass disappearances." [Los Angeles Times]

    "Why that Disney/Pixar bracket is stoking Internet passion." Michael Cavna notes: "The user boldly posted an animation bracket that baldly lacked some of the greatest Disney films of all time." [Washington Post]

    —  "YouTube and Pinterest influencers almost never disclose marketing relationships." Louise Matsakis writes: "New research shows how infrequently bloggers label affiliate marketing campaigns according to FTC guidelines." [Wired]

    "Bleacher Report is turning House of Highlights into a business." Sahil Patel reports: "One of the first priorities for House of Highlights is to expand beyond Instagram, where the account has grown to more than 8.6 million followers." [Digiday]

    What else we're seeing...

    "Sean Penn's favorite thing about writing: no collaboration." [Late Show]

    Today's Birthdays: Lady Gaga, 32, Julia Stiles, 37, Nick Frost, 46, Vince Vaughn, 48, Reba McEntire, 63.