What Matters in Hollywood Today

7:20 AM 5/3/2018

by Ray Rahman

Charlie Rose_Serious 1 - Getty - H 2017
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What's news: What will the first Cannes after Harvey Weinstein look like? Plus: Explosive allegations against Viacom and former studio chief Brad Grey, Hulu's big data reveal and Europe's struggle with its own #MeToo questions. — Ray Rahman

  • Cannes After Harvey

    Will the Cannes amFar Gala survive Harvey Weinstein's fall? Tatiana Siegel writes:

    The disgraced mogul was the driving force behind the glitzy Hotel du Cap charity benefit. Now, as the event reels from dual scandals, regular attendees question its future: "I don't think the gala can, or should, ever be the same."

    The question now remains: Can the star-studded event, which has raised more than $210 million for amfAR's programs and propelled the group's efforts into the international media spotlight, recover from its Weinstein connection? With amfAR scrambling to distance itself from a two-pronged scandal, this year's gala, the group's biggest fundraiser of the year, will pose a critical test for its viability moving forward. Full story.

    The new Cannes power producers list: Meet the 25 players who can actually get an independent movie made. These key financiers, from Megan Ellison to Len Blavatnik to Charles King, have the taste, savvy and, most important, the money to say yes to a film project — and really mean it. See the list.

    Avengers: Infinity War box-office update...

    Heading toward a billion: The Disney/Marvel movie is approaching $1 billion at the worldwide box office faster than any film in history after finishing Tuesday with $808.4 million in global ticket sales, including clearing the $300 million mark domestically in record time. Box-office observers say the movie will hit $1 billion Friday or Saturday.

    MoviePass reverts...

    Back to normal: MoviePass has decided to sell 30 tickets for the price of one again. On its website, the service is advertising what it's now calling "MoviePass Unlimited," which is the plan that made the company famous in August: $9.95 per month for a ticket each day. Details.

    Cineplex CEO questions MoviePass...

    Skepticism: "Their offering keeps changing,” said Ellis Jacob. “So, as a consumer, I don't know how [MoviePass] will continue to deliver, because they started off with one program, they changed to another program, and their latest program won't allow you to see a movie more than once.”

    Relativity Media will file for bankruptcy again...

    Chapter 11: Relativity Media has struck an agreement to sell substantially all of its assets to UltraV Holdings LLC, a joint venture of funds of asset management firm Sound Point Capital Management and RMRM Holdings. They will buy the firm for an undisclosed price tag.

    Fantasia Film Fest lineup...

    Genre galore: The upcoming 22nd edition includes world premieres for the horror anthology movie Nightmare Cinema, the Indonesian western Buffalo Boys, the New Zealand time-travel comedy Mega Time Squad and the Blumhouse thriller Cam. Full lineup.

    A Trump movie is happening...

    Big screen: Trump is getting the big-screen treatment in a film called The Apprentice that will dramatize his rise to power, focusing on his early influences like attorney Roy Cohn. Vanity Fair's Gabriel Sherman has been tapped to write the original screenplay for Amy Baer, who is producing the pic through her Gidden Media.

    RBG doc's corporate benefactors...

    Buying out theaters: Bank of America, Lyft and Salesforce are among more than 60 companies, law firms and advocacy organizations buying out at least 70 showtimes of RBG, a new doc chronicling the life and accomplishments of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The screening program kicks off this weekend when RBG commences its run in select cinemas. Read more.

    Elsewhere in film...

    ? Paul Giamatti boards Dwayne Johnson's Jungle Cruise: The actor, who previously worked with Johnson in the earthquake movie San Andreas, is reteaming with the box-office star for the upcoming Disney theme park ride-to-film adaptation.

    ? Jake Tapper film enlists Scott Eastwood and Orlando Bloom: Eastwood, Bloom and Caleb Landry Jones and Orlando Bloom will star in Millennium Media's Afghan war action film The Outpost, based on a book by Tapper.

    ? Dora the Explorer finds its Dora: Isabela Moner has been tapped to play Dora for Paramount’s live-action feature adaptation written by Nick Stoller (The Muppets, Neighbors).

    ? Jesse Eisenberg's and Imogen Poots' sci-fi thriller: The duo have boarded the Irish sci-fi thriller Vivarium, in which they’ll play a couple who “become trapped in a maze of identical homes and forced to raise an otherworldly child."

    ? Ben Kingsley will play Salvador Dali: The Oscar- winner has signed on to play the surrealist painter in Mary Harron's Dali Land; Lesley Manville will play Dali's domineering wife and muse, Gala.

    ? Plan B and A24 team up again: Jimmie Fails and Jonathan Majors are starring in The Last Black Man in San Francisco, a drama that reteams Brad Pitt’s Plan B banner with A24; the two studios previously collaborated on the Oscar-winning Moonlight.

    ? Gotti trailer: John Travolta dodges the law as the infamous mobster John Gotti. Watch.


    A new film festival: The City of Beverly Hills will be the home of a newly created film festival aimed at bridging Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Silicon Beach. The Beverly Hills Infinity Film Festival is slated to take place Nov. 1-4, with The Paley Center for Media as its home base.

    The first two days will feature screenings and programming for industry professionals, and organizers confirm that Paramount Pictures intends to premiere a new restoration of its 1953 classic War of the Worlds. Details.

  • Cover-Up?

    Viacom is being accused of covering up an alleged Brad Grey rape in a $100 million lawsuit, writes Eriq Gardner:

    Rovier Carrington, a man who says he's the great-grandson of Three Stooges star Moe Howard, has brought a shocking lawsuit that accuses late Paramount chief Brad Grey of raping him. The complaint details extraordinary contact with high-level executives in the entertainment industry, alleges that a nondisclosure agreement was achieved through trickery and demands $100 million in damages.

    Details: Carrington says Grey invited him to a dinner and afterward, Grey drove him back to his residence and parked his car. Then, the married executive "began kissing Carrington all over his face, neck and mouth," the complaint alleges.

    Grey allegedly became violent, slamming Carrington's face into the window and restraining him by his seat belt. Read more.

    CBS News under scrutiny...

    Report: According to a new, long-rumored investigation into CBS News' handling of the Charlie Rose situation by The Washington Post, there were more alleged incidents of sexual misconduct than previously reported and managers were warned of Rose's conduct toward women at the network on three occasions over a period of 30 years, as early as 1986 and as recently as April 2017.

    The paper reports that 27 more women, including 14 CBS News employees and 13 who worked with Rose elsewhere, said he sexually harassed them. Rose responded to the Post investigation with the following statement: "Your story is unfair and inaccurate.” Read more.

    Bill Cosby verdict fallout...

    Booted: The Television Academy has removed the entertainer from its list of Hall of Fame honorees on its website. Cosby was inducted in 1992 during a ceremony at Walt Disney World.

    Furthermore, Yale has rescinded the honorary degree it awarded Cosby in 2003.

    Hulu's data dump...

    Big numbers: At its upfront presentation yesterday, the streamer announced that it now has 20 million subscribers, up from 17 million at the end of 2017. It also revealed that South Park is the service's most popular show, drawing in 135 million hours of viewing in 2017, while the Hulu original Handmaid's Tale's second season doubled its audience from the first-season premiere.

    Classic TV: Hulu also said that 35,000 people watched all 331 episodes of ER in the two months after the show hit the service.

    Younger viewers: The streamer touted that the median age of its viewers is 31, a much younger demo than most traditional TV networks. Read more.

    Apple's latest pickup...

    New drama: The tech giant handed out a 10-episode series order to Are You Sleeping, a drama starring Octavia Spencer and produced by Reese Witherspoon. The news comes four months after the company put the project, based on Kathleen Barber's true-crime novel, into development.

    Reese’s pieces: All told, this is Witherspoon's third series at Apple, joining the untitled morning show drama in which she will star opposite Jennifer Aniston and an untitled Kristen Wiig comedy series.

    DC's splashy new series...

    Swamp Thing: Following a months-long dealmaking process, DC’s digital platform has put Swamp Thing into development, bringing one of the most beloved comic book characters to the small screen. The drama, based on DC characters created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson, has a script-to-series order. Read more.

    Elsewhere in TV...

    ? It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia team's new show: Fox has handed out a late-season pilot order to an untitled multicamera comedy from Rob McElhenney and Rob Rosell. The project revolves around a woman, her ex-husband and her new wife, who all work together to raise a family in middle America.

    ? CBS All Access renews The Good Fight: The spinoff of the streamer's broadcast sibling, which became its de facto flagship when it launched the service in 2017, will return for season three.

    ? Fox renews Empire: The music-industry drama will return for a fifth season.

    ? Arrow exit: Paul Blackthorne will depart the CW's DC Comics drama this season, becoming the latest original star to exit Arrow in its current sixth season.

  • Europe's Bitter #MeToo Debate

    With Catherine Deneuve calling out the anti-harassment movement as "puritanical" and Bertolucci backing Kevin Spacey, insiders blame the continent's "old country" culture. Scott Roxborough and Rhonda Richford write:

    A Europe that is accustomed to taking the moral high ground is being forced to question its own power structures. And the debate about how to move forward in Europe is far more contentious than in the U.S., where the Time's Up and #MeToo movements created a cultural flashpoint that demanded immediate change.

    European cinema's old guard, this argument goes, is still fighting the battles of the 1960s against its parents' puritanical ways and missing the point of #MeToo as a movement to empower women. Many in the industry also point to the lack of a European Harvey Weinstein. Read more.

    Masters on #MeToo media ethics...

    When an accuser has a story: Kathy was 17 when she met a famous actor in a department store, she says. What followed is a tale of power, celebrity, abuse and the destruction of a mother-daughter relationship — and, for Kim Masters, a window into the ethical dilemmas for journalists amid the anti-harassment movement. Read more.

    What else we're reading...

    — "Pirate radio stations explode on YouTube." Jonah Engel Bromwich writes: "A trick of YouTube’s algorithms has led to the blossoming of hundreds of unlicensed, independent radio stations on the site, reminiscent of an age of underground broadcasts in the previous century." [The New York Times]

    — "From Twitter to apps to Snapchat, ESPN reboots Sportscenter for mobile." Sahil Patel writes: "ESPN is extending SportsCenter to new platforms as it tries to revitalize its flagship TV franchise with new and younger viewers." [Digiday]

    — "Rihanna on body image, turning 30 and staying real — no matter what." Chioma Nnadi's Vogue cover profile of the singer. [Vogue]

    — "Christopher Nolan restores 2001: A Space Odyssey the old-fashioned way." Kenneth Turan writes: "Christopher Nolan wants to show me something interesting. Something beautiful and exceptional, something that changed his life when he was a boy." [Los Angeles Times]

    — "Awkwafina is this summer's secret weapon." Mahita Gajanan interviews the Queens-bred star of the upcoming films Crazy Rich Asians and Ocean's 8. [Time]

    — "Ellen Burstyn's incredible journey: 'When I think about what I did then, I can't believe it.'" The actress tells Marlow Stern: "I was a hustler! I was a hustler when I arrived in Grand Central Station. Oh god. Talk about relying on the kindness of strangers…." [Daily Beast]

    — "Does Thanos have a point?" Micah Peters gives Thanos the Killmonger treatment: "The Avengers: Infinity War Big Bad is a villain with a plan for world domination — and maybe the motivation to justify it. Is Marvel’s monster a reasonable brute?" [The Ringer]

    What else we're seeing...

    + "Stormy Daniels attorney unveils new evidence in Trump case." [Late Show]

    + "Mike Myers debuts impression of Trump's personal doctor." [Jimmy Kimmel Live!]

    + "Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb are crashing the royal wedding." [Tonight Show]

    Today's Birthdays: Rebecca Hall, 37, Emily V. Gordon, 40, Willie Geist, 44 Christina Hendricks, 44, Dule Hill, 44 Bobby Cannavale, 49, Amy Ryan, 50, Nina Garcia, 52 Frankie Valli, 84.