The Weekender: Turmoil hits the Academy as its new president comes under investigation. Plus: Terry Gilliam is under fire after #MeToo "mob rule" remarks, Lucas Hedges gets tapped to play Shia LaBeouf, and a new push to add more women to Hollywood's unions. — Ray Rahman
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Report: Academy president John Bailey is being investigated over three separate sexual harassment claims, Scott Feinberg writes:
John Bailey, who became the 34th president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences last Aug. 8, is under investigation by the organization following multiple allegations of sexual harassment.
An Academy subcommittee led by David Rubin began reviewing the allegations on Wednesday after receiving three separate claims of harassment, sources close to the situation say. Bailey did not respond to a direct request for comment.
The Academy issued the following statement: "The Academy treats any complaints confidentially to protect all parties. The Membership Committee reviews all complaints brought against Academy members according to our Standards of Conduct process, and after completing reviews, reports to the Board of Governors. We will not comment further on such matters until the full review is completed." Full story.
Hot water: Terry Gilliam has a lot to say, and not everyone's happy with it, Katherine Schaffstall writes:
Director Terry Gilliam believes that the #MeToo movement that has taken over Hollywood has become a “mob rule.”
While speaking with AFP on Friday, the director acknowledged that many women have suffered in regards to sexual harassment in Hollywood. But, he said, others are using Harvey Weinstein’s downfall as a way to improve their careers. His opinion on the #MeToo movement is that it has become “silly.” He said, “People are being described in ridiculous terms as if there is no real humanity left anymore.”
"I feel sorry for someone like Matt Damon who is a decent human being,” he went on. “He came out and said all men are not rapists, and he got beaten to death. Come on, this is crazy!”
He continued: "It's crazy how simplified things are becoming. There is no intelligence anymore, and people seem to be frightened to say what they really think. Now I am told even by my wife to keep my head a bit low. It's like when mob rule takes over, the mob is out there. They are carrying their torches and they are going to burn down Frankenstein's castle." Full story.
The reactions: They have not been kind. "Terry Gilliam may wanna turn those feelings of fear & uncertainty he’s getting from #metoo/#timesup and realize 'Ohh this is how life has been for THEM til now... huh. Wow. Damn.' See? Now it’s empathy," tweeted Sarah Silverman, while Judd Apatow wrote: "Terry Gilliam’s comments about Harvey Weinstein are idiotic and dangerous. ... He should be ashamed of himself."
Union drive: A new effort aims to boost Hollywood's female union membership, writes Katie Kilkenny:
After electing its first president of its board of directors, the advocacy group Women in Media is looking to boost the numbers of unionized female crew members in Hollywood.
The goal, recently elected board president Priya Sopori says, is to help women navigate the "catch-22" of union membership in Hollywood: "Anyone peripherally involved in the industry understands that in order to be a part of union projects, you need to be a union member; but in order to be a union member to begin with, you need to be involved in union projects." Full story.
Lucas Hedges to play Shia in Shia movie: One actor will take on another, writes Borys Kit:
Lucas Hedges, who was nominated for an Oscar for his work in Manchester by the Sea, will play the young version of Shia LaBeouf in Honey Boy, a feature drama that LaBeouf himself wrote and that tells, in a roman-a-clef style, a story about LaBeouf's relationship with his father. LaBeouf plans to portray his father in the film.
Alma Har’el is due to direct the feature project, which reflects many facets of LaBeouf’s life – he cowrote the script using the pseudonym Otis Lort. The script landed on the Black List with the following description: “A child actor and his law-breaking, alcohol-abusing father attempt to mend their contentious relationship over the course of a decade.” Read more.
In other film news...
► Weekend box office: Alicia Vikander's Tomb Raider unearthed roughly $8 million Friday, with tracking suggesting a $22-24 million weekend. That gives the movie the lead in the race so far.
Yet Black Panther is expected to pull ahead on Saturday and bring in a weekend haul of $28 million, meaning it will become the first film since Avatar to top the chart five weekends in a row.
Love, Simon, the first film from a major Hollywood studio featuring a gay protagonist earned $5 million on Friday for a projected $12.5 million opening. Meanwhile, the faith-based film I Can Only Imagine surprised with $1.1 million in Thursday-night previews and is looking at a $5-7 million opening — if not higher. Full story.
► Captain Marvel swap: DeWanda Wise exited the Marvel Studios film due to scheduling conflicts with her Netflix series She's Gotta Have It. Her replacement? English actress Lashana Lynch is in talks to take over.
► Avengers: Infinity War breaks ticket-sales record: Yes, already. It took just six hours for the Marvel film to become Fandango's fastest-selling superhero movie in the first 24 hours of presales. Infinity War tops the record previously held by Warner Bros.' Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
► John Cho joins The Grudge: The actor will star in the supernatural thriller alongside Demian Bichir and Andrea Riseborough.
► Josh Trank's Al Capone movie adds stars: Linda Cardellini, Matt Dillon, Kyle MacLachlan and Kathrine Narducci will join Trank's Capone biopic Fonzo, which stars Tom Hardy as Capone.
► Dwayne Johnson's Red Notice gets a date: The action-thriller, picked up by Universal and Legendary after a bidding war, will be released June 12, 2020.
Review: The star is the main draw in CBS' new procedural Instinct, premiering on Sunday night, writes Tim Goodman:
It's hard to not like a show with Alan Cumming in it, mostly because he's pretty likable in anything, even when his characters are not.
CBS, sensing hit potential in a series that gives a more expansive sense of his personality, has made him the lead of Instinct, a police procedural in which he can be not only a gifted college professor lecturing knowingly and with great charisma on "psychopathic behavior," but also a best-selling author (with Whoopi Goldberg as his editor) and a secretive CIA operative with fighting and gun skills — and also openly gay and recently and happily married.
Needless to say, he wears a lot of hats and his outfits are impeccable. It's kind of a perfect Cumming vehicle. Full review.
In other TV news...
► Showtime brings Benedict Cumberbatch to Saturdays: The premium network is expanding originals to Saturdays, starting with the Cumberbatch-led limited series Patrick Melrose set to launch on May 12. Said Showtime president David Nevins: "As the size of our programming slate continues to grow, it makes sense for Showtime to offer another night of premieres."
► Nat Geo's buzzy lineup: The network has recruited Bradley Whitford, Steve Zahn and Lamorne Morris to star in Valley of the Boom, a six-episode limited series about the '90s tech bubble from showrunner Matthew Carnahan and Robert Simonds' STX Entertainment.
► Lena Dunham nabs David Tennant: The former Doctor Who star joins Camping, HBO's eight-episode comedy from Girls duo Dunham and Jenni Konner, which already boasts Jennifer Garner as its lead.
► Murphy Brown casting: Jake McDorman, also known as the former star of CBS's Limitless, will play Candice Bergen's son in the reboot.
► Pretty Little Liars spinoff lands male lead: Newcomer Graeme Thomas King is set to star in Freeform's The Perfectionists.
► USA's The Sinner gets a second season: Star Bill Pullman will return to reprise his role in the Jessica Biel-produced show's sophomore run; it's still unclear if Biel will return for her on-screen role as well.
► Getty family threatens FX: John Paul Getty III's sister Ariadne Getty is demanding that FX hand over episodes of its upcoming series Trust for her review, and claims the show makes it appear as if her family was complicit in the infamous 1973 kidnapping. "It is ironic that you have titled your television series Trust," her attorney writes. "More fitting titles would be Lies or Mistrust..." Read more.
Hot spot: Thanks to a spate of five-star developments, Baja California’s East Cape is now buzzing a few decibels higher than the peninsula’s standard celeb haven of Los Cabos, writes Kathryn Romeyn:
On the sapphire-hued Sea of Cortez side is Costa Palmas’ Beach Club, which ushers in a new era of exclusivity for the the East Cape — it’s open to exactly zero guests of the resort, unless they are personally invited as a friend or family by a member.
For nearly a year the residences have been previewing their hyper-exclusive offerings to the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and producer fiancé Brad Falchuk, Michael Ovitz (who traveled down on a private jet), Milla Jovovich, Colin Hanks, and producers Eric Tannenbaum and Andrew Lazar by treating them to complimentary stays in four beach cabanas with top-shelf everything, from tequila to lobsters. Read more.
In other news...
Happy St. Patrick's Day! Celebrate Irish excellence in film with Colin Farrell, Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson and more in the THR "The Luck of the Irish" video. Watch.
What else we're reading...
— "Comedian James Adomian: SNL has a problem casting gay men." Matt Wilstein gets the comic to open up about the state up of comedy. [Daily Beast]
— "The case for the (non-harassing, genuinely brilliant, worth the trouble) creative genius." Justin Davidson writes: "The idea of genius, and the personality cult that flows from it, simultaneously energizes and distorts the worlds of classical music and architecture." [Vulture]
— "Love, Simon: Progress in the form of deliberate banality." K. Austin Collins writes: "There’s an audience that needs a gay teen movie, and not despite it being an airy, optimistic fantasy, but rather for precisely that reason." [The Ringer]
— "The Jedi faithful." Ben Rowen writes: "The Jedi religion - inspired by the Star Wars franchise - has already earned tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service. But can it prove its spiritual legitimacy to a skeptical public?" [Pacific Standard]
— "After When Harry Met Sally, almost every rom-com tried to have what Nora Ephron was having." Caroline Siede reexamines the movie's merits and its influence. [AV Club]
What else we're hearing...
+ "Armando Iannucci on The Death of Stalin." The director discusses his latest political comedy. [New Yorker Radio Hour]
+ "A Wrinkle in Time's message for a new generation of girls." The film gets unpacked by critics and scholars. [On Point / WBUR]
Today's Birthdays: John Boyega, 26, Stormy Daniels, 39, Rob Lowe, 54, Gary Sinise, 63, Kurt Russell, 67, Patrick Duffy, 69.