What Matters in Hollywood Today

7:24 AM 9/21/2017

by THR Staff


What's news: Get Out filmmaker Jordan Peele is developing a Nazi-hunting TV drama. Plus: Hulu lands Will & Grace original seasons in a big deal, the Kingsman sequel squares off against a Lego Movie spinoff at the box office, and a fifth Game of Thrones spinoff is in the works. — Matthew Belloni, Erik Hayden and Jennifer Konerman

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  • Box Office: 'Kingsman' vs. 'Lego'

    Giles Keyte/Twentieth Century Fox; Courtesy of Warner Bros.

    Matthew Vaughn's Kingsman: The Golden Circle should have no trouble dethroning horror sensation It in its box-office debut this weekend, or lording over fellow new entry The Lego Ninjago Movie, Pamela McClintock forecasts: 

    Tracking suggests the cheeky action-comedy, from 20th Century Fox, will debut in the $40M-$45M range, ahead of the $36.2M domestic debut of Kingsman: The Secret Service in February 2015. The sequel, which currently sports a 59 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, also makes a major push overseas. 

    Warner Bros. Animation's Ninjago, a spinoff of The Lego Movie, is tracking to open in the $30M range. There's plenty of room for upside since it's the first family offering of fall.

    At the specialty box office: Awards season kicks off in earnest as Battle of the Sexes (Fox Searchlight), Stronger (Roadside Attractions) and Victoria and Abdul (Focus Features) open in select theaters following a tour of the fall festival circuit.

    Elsewhere in film...

    ► Mark Wahlberg to star in Paramount comedy. Instant Family reteams Wahlberg and Daddy's Home filmmaker Sean Anders, who wrote the comedy with Brian Burns. The studio is fast-tracking the project and aims to start shooting next year.

    ► Gal Gadot in talks to join Bradley Cooper in thriller. MGM’s Deeper was a hot Max Landis spec package when the studio picked it up in 2016. Kornel Mundruczo is directing the project, which is described as having a tone similar to recent hits Gravity and The Martian.

    Sylvester Stallone's Escape Plan 3 adds to cast. Jaime King is joining Stallone and Dave Bautista in the thriller, which is co-written and being directed by John Herzfeld. Production began earlier this week.

    ^Goodbye Christopher Robin, reviewed. Starring alongside Margot Robbie and Kelly Macdonald, Domhnall Gleeson plays Winnie-the-Pooh creator A. A. Milne in a drama that focuses on the British author’s relationship with his son. The takeaway: "A compelling, if not always subtle, child’s-eye-view of literary history."

    + Early takes: Screen Daily: "loses a genuinely moving story in cinematic contrivances." The Telegraph: "the whole thing reads as an indictment of the sort of upper class upbringing that Milne's children's books idealised."

    Warner Bros., It producer to adapt sci-fi epic Ma.K. Roy Lee has teamed with Scott Bernstein, the Universal executive turned producer, and Warner Bros. to adapt the epic sci-fi property out of Japan. 

    Fox unveils Murder on the Orient Express footage. The star-studded ensemble film, hitting theaters Nov. 10, has high hopes at the fall box office. The new promo teases "Make sure to look for a NEW clue hidden in this latest trailer." Watch.

    Sony drops new Jumanji reboot trailer. It includes a jumpy moment with a large cobra, showing the film may have the same hair-raising animal moments as the Robin Williams' original. Watch. 

    R.I.P., Jake LaMotta. The tough-as-nails middleweight champion who was immortalized by Robert De Niro in the revered Martin Scorsese drama Raging Bull, has died at 95. Full obit

    R.I.P., Bernie Casey. The actor who appeared in such films as Boxcar Bertha, Never Say Never Again and Revenge of the Nerds after a career as a standout NFL wide receiver, has died at 78. Full obit

    Oscars: Kobe Bryant brings star power to animated short race. Scott Feinberg writes: With animation and a score by two legends, the five-minute-and-22-second-long film about the L.A. Laker great's relationship with basketball looks like a formidable contender.

  • HBO's Fifth 'Thrones' Spinoff

    Courtesy of HBO

    What does the future look like for Westeros? If one of the potential successor shows moves past development and into reality, it could look a whole lot like the present, Josh Wigler writes: 

    Bryan Cogman, a co-executive producer and writer on Game of Thrones since season one, is currently working alongside author George R.R. Martin on developing a new series set within the world of the Seven Kingdoms.

    Details on the story are under wraps, though it's been said that all of the potential follow-up series in development will take place before the events of Game of Thrones.

    Perhaps most tellingly, Cogman wrote the season-four episode "Oathkeeper," which featured one of the most jarring moments of the series for fans of the books. Prequel plans I Podcast chat.

    Elsewhere in TV...

    Jordan Peele developing Nazi hunting TV drama. Peele is set to exec produce '70s-set The Hunt from Sonar Entertainment. David Weil is on board to pen the script and exec produce. A network is not yet attached.

    CBS lands Dick Wolf FBI drama. The prolific producer behind NBC's Law & Order and Chicago franchises has landed a 13-episode series order at CBS for F.B.I. (working title), set to launch in the 2018-19 TV season. Craig Turk will pen the pilot and will serve as showrunner. 

    The CW plans Riverdale companion series. The network is looking to expand the Archie universe following the success of Riverdale, with a companion series titled The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina as an hourlong dark coming-of-age drama. 

    ► Hulu lands Will & Grace library in big SVOD deal. Hulu has secured all 194 episodes of the show and will air new episodes of the revival each week following their initial broadcast this fall. 

    ^Column: "the real cost of Hollywood whitewashing." Gavin Polone writes: "when a Hellboy actor gives up a role that had been reconceived for him, it sets a dangerous creative precedent that impacts Hollywood and could even stunt efforts toward inclusion." Full story.

    ► Profile: Hollywood's hidden alt-media firebrands. Your News Wire, a website of murky facts and slippery spin, is published by Sean Adl-Tabatabai and Sinclair Treadway - a Bernie Sanders supporter in 2016 - out of an apartment in L.A.'s historic El Royale, Gary Baum reports

    HBO moves forward with Watchmen series. The network has handed out a pilot order and commissioned additional scripts for Damon Lindelof's take on Alan Moore's beloved graphic novel. Lindelof has also revealed that the writers room has been opened. 

    ► Comedy Central to launch podcast network. The network network will feature brand extensions of existing franchises as well as new original content. The Jim Jefferies Show will be the inaugural offering, with more coming from Trevor Noah and others.

    Warner Bros. TV inks overall deal with Diablo Cody. The Juno Oscar winner has signed a multiple-year overall deal with Warner Bros. Television, extending Cody's relationship with Peter Roth's WBTV following the studio's ABC comedy pilot Raised by Wolves

    ► Netflix's Amy Poehler comedy casts Natasha Lyonne. The streaming giant handed out a straight-to-series order for an untitled comedy following a young woman on her journey as the guest of honor at a seemingly inescapable party one night in N.Y.

    ► CBS, Rob Thomas adapting web series I Mom So Hard. The project landed at the network with a sizable pilot production commitment. Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley will star and co-write the script alongside Michelle Nader.

    YouTube enlists Craig Ferguson to host show. Couple Thinkers, sponsored by fashion label Gant, features the former Late Late Show host and his wife asking guests like Neil deGrasse Tyson and Arianna Huffington life's bigger questions. 

    ► MSNBC footage leaked showing frustrated Lawrence O’Donnell on-set. In the video clip, which was seemingly leaked to Mediaite by someone with access to the network's production process, O'Donnell expresses frustration with the actions of the control room and with a hammering sound that distracts him: "Stop the hammering!"


  • Flashback: Nazis In Hollywood

    Illustration by Clay Rodery

    New book excerpt: Decades before today's white nationalist movement, "the most dangerous Jew in Los Angeles" fought a plan to assassinate film stars and studio heads by hanging them in the streets, USC professor of history Steven J. Ross writes. Full feature. 

    What else we're reading...

    "Silence is golden?" Steven Zeitchik writes: "In several of the biggest upcoming fall releases, directors have crafted memorable characters out of a mute janitor, a deaf young girl and a near-silent victim of a Cambodian genocide." [The Los Angeles Times]

    —  "A franchise boldly goes into the serial TV era." Dave Itzkoff writes: "The first new Star Trek series in more than a decade deals with the demands of long-form storytelling and confronts earthbound production problems." [The New York Times]

    "How Jeremy Irons rescued and restored a 15th-century Irish castle." David Kamp writes: "In the midst of a creative crisis, the British actor impulsively purchased Kilcoe Castle, a long-abandoned fortress near the water." [Vanity Fair]

    "How this year's Oscar contenders are tackling Trump." David Sims notes: "Some of the biggest hits - and one notable flop - at the Toronto International Film Festival played as blunt allegories for the current political moment." [The Atlantic]

    "Who’s laughing now?" Tom Bissell on SNL: "each time Trump has done the show, the ratings have been boffo. But who used whom, exactly, and for what?" [Harper's]

    "London Fashion Week: Sparkly crocs, red carpet-ready gowns." Stephanie Chan, in London, has "the biggest takeaways from spring 2018 on the British runways." [Pret-a-Reporter]

    What else we're seeing...

    + "Jimmy Kimmel fights back against Bill Cassidy." [Jimmy Kimmel Live!]

    + "Ben Stiller's inner monologue during his interview." [The Tonight Show]

    + "Obama told Billie Jean King the Battle of the Sexes 'changed his life.'" [Late Night]

    + "The worst campaign ad of the 2018 mid-terms has arrived." [The Late Show]

    Today in 1998...

    + NBC premieres Will & Grace. Original review: "The scenario ... is absolutely guaranteed to drive the Moral Majority types crazy."

    Today's birthdays: Luke Wilson, 46, Cheryl Hines, 52, Ethan Coen, 60, Bill Murray, 67, Stephen King, 70, Jerry Bruckheimer, 74.