What Matters in Hollywood Today

7:19 AM 6/5/2018

by THR Staff

Courtesy of ABC

What's news: A Roseanne spinoff is inching toward reality at ABC. Plus: Disney may be expecting losses for Solo, MGM is planning Legally Blonde 3 with Reese Witherspoon, Netflix is readying a Dolly Parton anthology and Hollywood labor guilds are suing over Weinstein Co. movie residuals. — Erik Hayden

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  • Disney's 'Solo' Losses

    Getty

    Lucasfilm's Solo is badly underperforming and will become the first of the Star Wars movies made by Disney to lose money, Pamela McClintock writes: 

    Caution: Wall Street analyst Barton Crockett says Solo will lose more than $50 million. "This marks a tough return to movie reality for a Disney that had in recent years enjoyed a can’t-miss mystique,” Crockett wrote in his note to investors.

    Could be worse: Industry financing sources, however, say that figure could come in at $80 million or higher, although no one knows the exact terms of Disney's deals for home entertainment and television, among other ancillary revenues. Full story. 

    Elsewhere in film... 

    Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty. The mogul "pleaded not guilty Tuesday to rape and criminal sex act charges in New York. The hearing in Manhattan comes after a grand jury indicted the former movie mogul last week on charges involving two women," the AP reports

    MGM plans Legally Blonde 3. Reese Witherspoon is in talks to reprise her role as the precocious lawyer for a third movie, which she would also produce through her Hello Sunshine banner. Kirsten Smith and Karen McCullah are also in talks to return.

    BRON Studios plots Needle in a Timestack. Freida Pinto, Leslie Odom Jr., Orlando Bloom and Cynthia Erivo are set to star in director John Ridley's time-travel drama, adapted from a Robert Silverberg short story.

    Paramount, Bad Robot team for sci-fi thriller. The studio has preemptively picked up the spec script Aporia from Jared Moshe, who is also attached to direct. J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot is producing with Neda Armian.

    Warner Bros.' next Clint Eastwood film finds cast. Dianne Wiest and Michael Pena have joined Eastwood and Bradley Cooper in the crime drama The Mule. The production began shooting Monday in Atlanta.

    Quoted: "It’s really easy to pick: Batman & Robin. That’s not a joke. Up until that moment, I was an actor only concerned with finding work. After the failure of that film creatively, I understood that I needed to take control of the films I made." — George Clooney, asked which movie had the biggest impact on his craft.

    ^Disney unveils Wreck it Ralph 2 trailer. The sequel to the 2012 film follows the titular character, voiced by John C. Reilly, and Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman) as the duo goes online to find a part necessary to repair Vanellope's game. Full clip.

    ► Doug Liman enlisted for Cannonball Run remake. The filmmaker behind Edge of Tomorrow is in early talks to direct the take on the 1981 comedy hit. Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant wrote the script for the new version.

    Paramount adds new publicity exec. Louise Kaufman has joined the studio as senior vp New York publicity, reporting to David Waldman.She comes from Fox, where she led that studio's N.Y. publicity team.

    Academy Museum names chief operating officer. Brendan Connell, Jr. has been hired for the role from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. His duties, which begin June 20, will include oversight and management.

    AFI launches cinematography workshop for women filmmakers. The inaugural program, sponsored by 21st Century Fox, will be held Aug. 3-6 at the institute's Hollywood campus. Application and requirements are here.

    *R.I.P., Ira Halberstadt. The producer and unit production manager, who worked on such films as The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, Mr. Holland's Opus and Roommates, has died. He was 66. Full obit.

    In THR, Esq: Guilds sue over Weinstein movie residuals. The Directors Guild of America, the Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild of America have filed suit against MUFG Union Bank. According to the guilds, massive residual payments are owed to directors, performers and writers. Details. 

  • "I Was Roseanne's Muslim Neighbor"

    Courtesy of ABC; Adam Hendershott

    In his own words, actor Alain Washnevsky, who played the Conners’ next-door friend on Roseanne, writes about how the star's racist tweet destroyed a show that tried to build bridges:

    "I’m deeply sorry for everyone involved. Cast and crew who have worked so hard and had poured their hearts into their jobs. I feel you. 

    I know that I am a bit player in all of this, that there are people working on the show whose livelihoods depended upon that work. But it did hurt me on a professional level, too, since the showrunners had made optimistic statements about having our characters return for next season." Guest column. 

    + ABC's Roseanne spinoff inches closer to reality. Sources say that the network is knee-deep in talks with exec producers for a new incarnation of the multicamera comedy. It's likely the entire cast - sans star Roseanne Barr - and creative team and crew that would return for whatever the new incarnation is. Full story. 

    Elsewhere in TV...

    Nickelodeon Group president steps down. As the company searches for a full-time replacement for longtime exec Cyma Zarghami, Viacom Networks COO Sarah Levy will take over the kids-focused brand in an interim role.

    TV Land renews Younger. The Viacom-owned cable network said that the flagship series for the channel starring Sutton Foster had scored an early renewal for its sixth season. 

    Freeform cancels Shadowhunters. The genre drama has been canceled after three seasons. Sources say that producer Constantin Film lost its output deal with Netflix, which helped to foot the bill for the pricey project.

    Netflix plans Dolly Parton scripted anthology. After two TV movies based on Parton songs on NBC, the streaming giant has picked up an eight-episode scripted anthology with the same premise.

    ^Emmys: Will a new show break into the stale reality competition category? Daniel Fienberg writes: The show this year with the best chance of breaking in isn’t a new show at all. It’s American Idol, making the leap from Fox to ABC. Full column.

    ABC scores with NBA finals ratings so far. The broadcast network dominated Sunday primetime with its coverage of Game 2, climbing 3 percent from the Game 1 kickoff. Coverage averaged a 12.7 overnight rating.

    ABC gives Ayesha Curry a culinary competition series. The popular cookbook author and personality will host and executive produce Family Food Fight for the network, which gave the show an eight-episode order.

    NBC offers master class series for female helmers. The Alliance of Women Directors has partnered with the broadcaster to offer a set of master classes for emerging female episodic helmers. Details.

    *R.I.P., Hugh Dane. The veteran actor, best known for playing Hank the security guard on NBC's The Office, has died. He was 75. Full obit. 

    Emmys: Do broadcast networks have hope in the drama race? Scott Feinberg writes: Can NBC's This Is Us - or some other network drama - seriously compete? That question is on the minds of many as Hollywood heads into this year's nomination voting period. Full column.

  • Issa Rae's Statement

    Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

    HBO's Insecure star Issa Rae hit the red carpet with a belt featuring the n-word at The Council of Fashion Designers of America annual fashion awards on Monday night. It was part of a blue jumpsuit made by politically-minded designer Kerby Jean-Raymond for the label Pyer Moss. The message. 

    What else we're reading... 

    "This was Lachlan's revenge." Gabriel Sherman's latest: "Rupert thwarted the revenge firing of an old Lachlan adversary - and it’s not the new Fox News’s only problem. 'The pro-Trump thing isn’t working,' says an insider." [Vanity Fair]

    "In conversation: Conan O’Brien." David Marchese's chat: "The late-night mainstay on the future of Conan, the Tonight Show mess, and fighting to the death with boring guests." [Vulture]

    "Seeing Solo solo." John Jurgensen's A-Hed column: "As attendance declines, die-hards find benefits in going on their own; ‘I made this choice voluntarily.’" [Wall Street Journal]

    "Bill Clinton and James Patterson have written a thriller. It’s good." Nicole Wallace's review: "The former president and the best-selling novelist have packed The President Is Missing with inside-the-Beltway intrigue and secret White House details." [New York Times]

    "What to watch for in California's primary Tuesday." John Myers writes: "When it comes to voter turnout, it’s Los Angeles vs. San Francisco. Few elections in recent times have felt more like a contest between California’s iconic cities." [Los Angeles Times]

    From the archives...

    + On June 5, 1970, THR appraised Mike Nichols' adaptation of Catch-22, finding the film to be "possibly the biggest, most hopeless, nihilistic picture ever to go out dependent upon the goodwill and support of the largest and most diverse audience available worldwide." Flashback review.

    Today's birthdays: Amanda Crew, 32, Nick Kroll, 40, Mark Wahlberg, 47, Ron Livingston, 51, Jeff Garlin, 56, Kathleen Kennedy, 65.