What Matters in Hollywood Today

7:03 AM 5/25/2018

by THR staff

Harvey Arrest - H - 2018

What's news: Harvey Weinstein has turned himself in to authorities in New York and was charged with rape. Also: Some advertisers are suspending work with Morgan Freeman, Universal wins James Bond international rights and Lucasfilm is plotting a Boba Fett film with Logan director James Mangold. — Erik Hayden

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  • Harvey Arrested, Charged

    More than seven months after sexual misconduct allegations involving Harvey Weinstein first surfaced publicly, the disgraced mogul has turned himself into authorities at the first precinct in Manhattan on Friday, Tatiana Siegel writes: 

    Weinstein was charged with rape, a criminal sex act, sex abuse and sexual misconduct for encounters with two women, according to a statement from the NYPD, and he is expected to be arraigned later today.

    Wearing a white button-down shirt and light-blue sweater under a black blazer and gray pants and carrying two books, Weinstein entered the first precinct police station in Manhattan's Tribeca neighborhood, just blocks away from his longtime Weinstein Co. offices.

    He remained silent even though the reporters and TV news crews camped outside of the police department shouted questions at him. Full story I Accusers react. 

    Morgan Freeman fallout... 

    The CNN news break: "In all, 16 people spoke to CNN about Freeman as part of this investigation, eight of whom said they were victims of what some called harassment and others called inappropriate behavior by Freeman."

    + SAG-AFTRA review: "Given Mr. Freeman recently received one of our union's most prestigious honors recognizing his body of work, we are therefore reviewing what corrective actions may be warranted at this time."

    + Losing sponsors: Ad Age reports that, "Marketers are beginning to distance themselves from Morgan Freeman following allegations of inappropriate behavior. Visa said Thursday it was suspending all marketing featuring the actor, while TransLink, the Vancouver transit system, said it would be pausing its collaboration."

    Elsewhere in film... 

    ? Lucasfilm developing Boba Fett movie. James Mangold is writing and will direct a Star Wars stand-alone movie centered on the bounty hunter and fan-favorite. Simon Kinberg will co-write and produce the project, sources say.

    ? Universal wins James Bond int'l bidding. After a battle amongst majors, the studio has nabbed the international distribution rights to the 25th installment of the franchise. Domestic will be handled by MGM/Annapurna.

    ? Netflix reteams with Dee Rees for Didion drama. The streamer will back the director and distribute the adaptation of the Joan Didion book The Last Thing He Wanted, which is set to star Anne Hathaway. 

    ? Disney's Incredibles 2 hits tracking. The sequel is aiming for a huge box-office debut of $140M-plus in North America. If so, that would make it the best domestic start ever for an animated movie, exceeding the $135M launch of Finding Dory.

    ^Which films could screen at Venice Film Fest this year? The possibilities include Claire Foy, Ryan Gosling and Damien Chazelle's First Man, Barry Jenkins' If Beale Street Could Talk, Jacques Audiard's The Sisters Brothers, Mike Leigh's Peterloo and Yorgos Lanthimos' The Favorite. And more. 

    ? China names new head of film bureau. Veteran bureaucrat Wang Xiaohui has been named the head of the newly restructured bureau, which was integrated under the Propaganda Department in March.

    ? Lionsgate beats earnings forecast. The Motion Picture Group saw revenue fall 35 percent to $424.9M, against a year-earlier $654M, on a smaller theatrical slate. But the studio exceeded Wall Street forecasts after acquiring Starz to raise its profile in the TV space.

    ? Netflix's Ibiza comedy, reviewed. Gillian Jacobs, Vanessa Bayer and Phoebe Robinson play friends on a sex- and drugs-filled Spanish vacation in this raunchy film. The takeaway: "Not much of a party."

    ? Shia LaBeouf's meta-biopic adds to cast. Maika Monroe has joined the cast of Honey Boy. Lucas Hedges and Noah Jupe are already shooting the indie that was co-written by LaBeouf and tells a story about LaBeouf's relationship with his father.

    Red Granite goes missing From Papillon poster. The troubled company’s name is absent from the credits of the big-budget remake that was the only film left on its slate after becoming embroiled in a multi-billion dollar corruption scandal. Details.


  • Trump's TV Storylines

    Directly or obliquely, dozens of scripted series are dealing with the Trump presidency and the climate it was born out of on a now-weekly basis, Michael O'Connell writes: 

    Increasing evidence of politics’ influence on TV can be found in prestige dramas — from Showtime’s Homeland to USA’s Mr. Robot — and on revived Big Four sitcoms Roseanne and Will & Grace. Skating alongside headlines often comes with critical acclaim, ire?from the right or left and, in the case of ABC’s runaway hit Roseanne, more than 20?million viewers tuning in to each episode.

    What’s not clear: whether TV Academy voters still have an appetite for shows marinating in the cultural upheaval that’s frantically covered on cable news and late night. “It’s a temptation and a danger," Handmaid’s Tale showrunner Bruce Miller says of leaning too far into current events. Full story. 

    Elsewhere in TV... 

    ? Netflix just misses topping Disney in valuation. The streaming giant's stock was trading up on Thursday, giving it a $152 billion valuation, enough to push it ahead of Disney for a time, but it ultimately fell short.

    ? BET CEO steps down. Debra Lee, who first joined BET in 1986 as its first in-house counsel and then built the network to become the top African-American brand, is leaving the company on Monday.

    ? NBC picks Hair as next live musical. The network said that the 50-year-old Broadway hit of the hippie generation will be its latest live staging, with plans for a spring 2019 telecast.

    ? FX renews Baskets. The comedy starring Zach Galifianakis will be back for a fourth season in 2019. Never a ratings breakout, the niche comedy averaged a mere 407,000 same-day viewers in its third run.

    ^Netflix's Arrested Development season 5, review. The takeaway: "After a couple of stutter-steps salvaging the storyline from season four, the show begins to hit its stride, evoking its glory days."

    + More Tambor fallout. In the wake of a New York Times cast interview that sparked outrage on social media on Wednesday, Netflix has canceled all U.K. press interviews for the show.

    ? Fox's Empire edges Survivor in finale race. The drama held with the previous week, posting a 1.6 rating among adults 18-49 for its season four finale, while CBS' Survivor nabbed a 1.5 rating among adults 18-49 for its proper finale.

    ? ABC News' Brian Ross is back after Trump suspension. The investigative reporter, who was suspended for four weeks in December after bungling a major story, is returning to the air with Friday night's 20/20.

    ? CNN hires top Daily Beast editor. John Avlon is going full time at the cable network and leaving his position as editor in chief of the news website, a role he's held for five years. Noah Shachtman will replace him.

    *Elizabeth Sung, R.I.P. The veteran film and TV actress, who appeared in the long-running soap The Young and the Restless, has died. She was 63. Full obit.

  • Maggie's Take

    New Drama Actress Roundtable highlight: Maggie Gyllenhaal, whose character Candy on HBO’s The Deuce earned her a Golden Globe nom, explains how she relates to her character’s sexuality. Full video.

    What else we're reading...

    "Behind the scenes of Harvey Weinstein’s arrest." Ronan Farrow writes: "Why Lucia Evans decided to move forward with her case against the producer." [New Yorker]

    "A friendship that's mostly friendly." Brett Martin's feature: "if you need proof of the power of friendship, just look at Steve Martin and Martin Short, who've been best buddies for 32 years. And still argue over money." [GQ]

    "Lily Allen won’t be shamed." Eve Barlow's profile: "Ahead of her comeback, the singer talks getting herself banned from the U.S., being bullied by the industry, and struggling to grow up." [New York]

    "What the end of Solo might mean for the future of Star Wars." Miles Surrey notes: "a surprising cameo may merely feel like unnecessary fan service - but it may be an undeniably enticing setup." [The Ringer]

    "The fate of most Silicon Valley drones." Nikil Saval reviews Live Work Work Work Die and writes: "Corey Pein delves into the dark heart of the tech industry, where most are destined not to make it." [New York Times]

    From the archives...

    + On May 25, 1934, MGM unveiled the mystery The Thin Man in theaters, starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. The film went on to be nominated for four Oscars at the 7th Academy Awards ceremony. 1934 review. 

    Today's birthdays: Cillian Murphy, 42, Octavia Spencer, 46, Jamie Kennedy, 48, Mike Myers, 55, Jacki Weaver, 71, Frank Oz, 74, Ian McKellen, 79.