What Matters in Hollywood Today

7:21 AM 1/22/2018

by Ray Rahman

Transformers, Mummy and Pirates of the Caribbean Still - Split - Photofest - H 2018

What's news: Park City is abuzz with deals and hot takes. Plus: The Producers Guild hands out trophies, the Razzies reveals its 2017 worst movies list, 2018's pilot season kicks off in earnest and #MeToo shadows The Bachelor. — Ray Rahman

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  • SAG Awards Message?

    Critic's Notebook: The SAG Awards turned gender equality into gimmick, writes Inkoo Kang:

    If the Golden Globes were Time's Up's impressive debut, Sunday night's Screen Actors Guild Awards were the movement's disappointing follow-up.

    Perhaps it's not fair to call Sunday night's award show Time's Up's sophomore "effort," since its organizers seem to have barely put in the effort. Headlined by inaugural host Kristen Bell and presented by an all-female lineup, the SAG Awards — which took place the day after the second Women's March — largely turned the issue of gender equality into an attention-seeking gimmick that did little to advance the urgent conversations in the industry. Read more | Memorable moments | Best-dressed men | Best-dressed women

    (Miss last night's special edition SAG Awards newsletter? There's much more red carpet, ceremony and fashion details here.)

    + The PGA Awards took place Saturday night, with The Shape of Water taking home the top film prize and Get Out winning the Stanley Kramer Award to huge applause in the room. Full breakdown.

    News from Sundance...

    ? Keira Knightley period drama Colette nabbed by Bleecker Street, 30West. A source pegged the deal — which was the first major one on the ground at Sundance — in the mid-seven figures. The film will receive a traditional theatrical release this year.

    + Review: "A safe but enjoyable take on the author's anything-but-safe early career." Full review.

    ? Sony Worldwide nabs Debra Granik's Leave No Trace. The deal excludes North American rights, which are expected to close quickly following rave reviews for the film — a haunting father-daughter story starring Ben Foster — after its world premiere on Saturday night.

    + Review: "An absorbing, delicately directed and acted father-daughter drama." Read more.

    ? Sundance Selects lands Slamdance puppy doc Pick of the Litter. Directed by Dana Nachman and Don Hardy, the crowd-pleaser follows a litter of puppies from the moment they’re born and begin their quest to become guide dogs for the blind.

    ? Rupert Everett on The Happy Prince: An "extremely human fall" of an LGBT icon. The actor discusses his directorial debut, a warts-and-all biopic of Oscar Wilde's last days.  

    + Review: "Despite Everett's command in the central performance and a script liberally sprinkled with amusing bons mots, The Happy Prince generates only faltering dramatic momentum and a shortage of pathos." Full review.

    ? Ruth Bader Ginsburg calls for Constitution that is "ever more inclusive" at RBG premiere. The 84-year-old Supreme Court Justice brought the house to its feet at Sunday's world premiere of the documentary about her life and legacy.

    + Review: "Deeply soothing." Read more.

    ? Critic's takes: Seeing Allred, a doc on Gloria Allred ... I Think We're Along Now, the Reed Morano debut starring Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning ... Burden, a '90s Southern drama starring Garrett Hedlund as a KKK member ... Blaze, the Ethan Hawke biopic of Blaze Foley ... Sorry to Bother You, starring Lakeith Stanfield as a black telemarketer who climbs up the corporate ranks by finding his inner "white voice."

    ^Sundance photo portfolio: Portraits of Elle Fanning, Ted Danson, Blythe Danner and more from inside the THR festival lounge. See the photos.

    Elsewhere in film...

    ? Weekend box-office: Jumanji holds out against 12 Strong. The adventure film Jumanji earned an estimated $20 million over the weekend, enough to defeat newcomers 12 Strong ($16.5M) and Den of Thieves ($15.3M). The Post and The Greatest Showman rounded out the top 5 with $12.2M and $11M respectively. Read more.

    ? Protest at the Oscars? The New York Times reports on how Hispanic groups are pushing for more representation at the Oscars: "'We are expecting that we are going to have to go to the Academy Awards this year and demonstrate,' said Alex Nogales, president of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, a watchdog organization. 'We’ve tried to push in less hostile ways. But these studios don’t seem to understand anything else.'"

    ? Director roundtable: The full THR roundtable conversation with Guillermo del Toro, Greta Gerwig, Angelina Jolie and more aired on SundanceTV. Watch it here.

    ^The Razzie Awards nominations have arrived. Up for worst picture of 2017: Baywatch, The Emoji Movie, Fifty Shades Darker, The Mummy and Transformers: The Last Knight. Meanwhile, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Watson in The Circle are among the acting nominees. See the full list.

    ? Peter Jackson working on World War I film: The director is making a documentary, which will feature original archive footage from Britain's Imperial War Museums and audio from the BBC archives, that'll premiere at the London Film Festival this fall and air on the BBC.

    ? IFC Films' Arianna Bocco elected chair of BAFTA New York. On top of that, Sony executive Kathryn Busby has been elected deputy chair of the the British Academy's L.A. board.

    ? China's Wanda reports 10.8 percent revenue fall in 2017, but chairman vows comeback. Billionaire Wang Jianlin, the company's always outspoken leader, predicted a reversal of fortunes and a return to growth in 2018.

    This year's Oscar math: Ben Zauzmer predicts the probabilities that each possible nominee will be selected by the Oscars in advance of tomorrow's nominations announcement. Read more. 


  • 'Bachelor' After #MeToo

    Is this season of The Bachelor out of step in the #MeToo era? Kareem Abdul-Jabbar writes:

    In pop culture, everything is about timing. It’s about riding the treacherous current of the zeitgeist without wiping out on the rocks of outdated irrelevance. The Bachelor franchise has managed to ride that wave admirably since it debuted sixteen years ago in 2002.

    The last season of The Bachelorette showed just how nimbly they could pivot into social leadership when they featured African-American Rachel Lindsay, a smart, witty attorney who embodied feminist-lite ideals. She was the right role model at the right time. But the current season, featuring race car driver Arie Luyendyk Jr., is a serious misstep that comes across as a retreat into the past. Read more.

    ^Hedi Slimane will design for Celine — and bring the Hollywood spotlight with him. Booth Moore writes:

    Talk about a fashion bombshell. Hedi Slimane, the designer who helped shift the industry’s sphere of influence to Los Angeles in 2012 by setting up his studio here during his time leading the famed French fashion house of Saint Laurent, has a new gig: He’s been appointed the artistic, creative and image director of the French house of Celine, and will direct all collections, including introducing launching men’s wear, couture and fragrances. Read more.

    What else we're reading...

    — "Google, YouTube executives pledge to scour more content ahead of midterm elections." Mark Bergen writes: "YouTube chief Susan Wojcicki said the online video service is trying to hire as many employees as possible to scrutinize videos and identify and quickly remove offensive and inaccurate material." [Bloomberg]

    — "What has tech done to solve its harassment problem?" Erin Griffith writes: "Calls for reform in tech have faded into the background, leading some to wonder whether techies are hoping the problem quietly disappears." [Wired]

    — "Hackers are using Fire & Fury to install malware." Joseph Cox writes: "Don’t open unsolicited PDF copies of Michael Wolff’s Trump book — researchers uncovered one bundled with malware." [Daily Beast]

    — "Lady Bird will likely get a lot of Oscar love... but how about in the editing category?" Noel Murray makes the case: "One of the sweetest and funniest scenes in the Greta Gerwig film lasts 47 seconds, and has six cuts between four camera set-ups. " [AV Club]

    — "How a onetime child star went from Home Alone to Steven Soderbergh." Lisa Liebman writes: "Devin Ratray, who you may know as Macaulay Culkin’s bully of a brother, details his front-and-center role in Soderbergh’s latest, the HBO drama Mosaic." [Vanity Fair]

    — "The man who made Black Panther cool." Abraham Riesman writes: "Christopher Priest broke the color barrier at Marvel and reinvented a classic character. Why was he nearly written out of comics history?" [Vulture]

    — "The lost giant of American literature." Kathryn Schulz writes: "A major black novelist made a remarkable début. How did he disappear?" [The New Yorker]

    What else we're hearing...

    + "Macaulay Culkin / Cameron Esposito." Maron interviews both of them (separately). [WTF With Marc Maron]

    + "Ruth Bader Ginsburg at Sundance." John Horn reports from Park City. [The Frame / KPCC]

    What's happening this week...

    Monday: Mosaic debuts on HBO.

    Tuesday: Bellevue debuts on WGN.

    Wednesday: Waco debuts on Paramount Network.

    Thursday: Essence holds its 9th Annual Black Women in Music event in New York ... Billboard holds its Power 100 event in New York.

    Friday: Maze Runner: The Death Cure opens in theaters nationwide ... The ACE Eddie Awards take place in L.A. 

    Today's Birthdays: Justin Hurwitz, 32, Balthazar Getty, 43, Gabriel Macht, 46, Diane Lane, 53, Linda Blair, 59, Jim Jarmusch, 65.

  • Pilot Season Guide

    Our annual guide tracks all the pilot pickups, castings and eventual series orders from the season. Lesley Goldberg writes:

    As with the past few years, the networks continue to look to reboots, family fare and procedurals to help cut through the increasing clutter, with immigration-themed comedies and dramas and light-hearted fare like The Good Doctor also hot this season. So far, shows include:

    The Rookie (ABC drama, straight-to-series order). Logline: Inspired by a true story, The Rookie centers on John Nolan (Nathan Fillion), the oldest rookie in the LAPD. At an age where most are at the peak of their career, Nolan cast aside his comfortable, small-town life and moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of being a cop.

    Cool Kids (Fox comedy). Logline: The multicam sitcom revolves around three guy friends in a retirement community (David Alan Grier, Leslie Jordan, Martin Mull) who are the top dogs until they’re blown out of the water by the newest member of the community, a female rebel (Vicki Lawrence) who’s ready to challenge their place. Described as high school with 70-somethings. See the full list.

    Elsewhere in TV...

    ? The Super Bowl is set: The New England Patriots will take on the Philadelphia Eagles in a Northeastern showdown that should draw big numbers from two of TV's biggest markets. The big game takes place Feb. 4 on NBC.

    McKinnon does Mueller: After tackling everyone from Jeff Sessions to Hillary Clinton, SNL standout Kate McKinnon debuted a whole new political impersonation this weekend: special counsel Robert Mueller. Watch it here.

    + Watch Jessica Chastain host a Donald Trump game show called What Even Matters Anymore? Video.

    ? Women's march roundup: Viola Davis brought down the house at the L.A. edition of the women's march, Whoopi Goldberg made a surprise speech in New York and Asia Argento spoke out against "abuse of power" in Rome. Plus: Women in Handmaid's Tale costumes took the protest down to Mar-a-Lago

    ? YouTube removes Larry Nassar's channel as victims confront him in court. The former USA Gymnastics doctor operated a YouTube channel where he posted videos of young women performing strength and conditioning exercises. 

    ^Dawson's Creek at 20: This weekend saw the teen drama's two-decade anniversary, and in honor of the milestone, series creator Kevin Williamson opens up about everything from Katie Holmes' moving pre-audition request to Josh Jackson as Dawson — and a deeply personal coming-out story. Read more.

    ? Laugh-In at 50: How the comedy helped elect Nixon and set the stage for SNL. On the 50th anniversary of its premiere, creator George Schlatter reflects on the revolutionary comedy hour that launched the careers of Goldie Hawn and Lily Tomlin, gave birth to late-night television and that time he told Rupert Murdoch no to a reboot. Full story.

    ? The Crown: Paul Bettany as Prince Philip? The actor is nearing a deal to take the baton on the role, which belonged to Matt Smith during the show's first two seasons. He'd be joining Olivia Colman, who'll assume the role of Queen Elizabeth. 

    ? R.I.P., Bob Smith. Smith, a pioneering gay comedian and award-winning writer, passed away Saturday in his New York City home from complications from ALS. He was 59.

    Rep Sheet Roundup: John Mayer has signed with WME. … The Chi’s Tiffany Boone has signed with ICM Partners, as has Dougray Scott. … Fleabag creator and star Phoebe Waller-Bridge has signed with Shelter PR, as has Ella Purnell, star of Starz’s upcoming Sweetbitter. … Schitt’s Creek co-creator and star Dan Levy has left CAA for WMEMore here.