What Matters in Hollywood Today

7:23 AM 4/7/2018

by Ray Rahman

Courtesy of Photofest

The Weekender: Molly Ringwald casts a newly critical eye at her old John Hughes films. Plus: The Netflix-Cannes feud heats up, director Kay Cannon discusses the feminism of Blockers and Sandra Oh opens up about life after Grey's. — Ray Rahman

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  • Ringwald Looks Back

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    Reflection: In a new essay, Molly Ringwald revisited problematic scenes in John Hughes films amid the #MeToo era, writes Lexy Perez:

    In a new piece for The New Yorker, published Friday, Molly Ringwald says she began re-examining her films and relationship with John Hughes with a newly critical eye after watching The Breakfast Club with her 10-year-old daughter. In one particular scene in the film, Judd Nelson's John Bender peeks under her character's skirt, with the camera briefly focusing on her underwear. (Ringwald, who was only a teenager when the film was made, reveals that an older actress was used for the underwear close-up.)

    “I kept thinking about that scene,” Ringwald writes. “I thought about it again this past fall, after a number of women came forward with sexual-assault accusations against the producer Harvey Weinstein, and the #MeToo movement gathered steam. If attitudes toward female subjugation are systemic, and I believe that they are, it stands to reason that the art we consume and sanction plays some part in reinforcing those same attitudes.” Read more.

  • Netflix vs. Cannes

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    Showdown: A dramatic battle between Netflix and the Cannes Film Festival is brewing, with the future of the film industry in the crosshairs. Gregg Kilday and Kim Masters write:

    Sources say that Netflix has threatened not to bring any titles to the world's largest movie event after festival director Thierry Fremaux said last month that he won't screen any Netflix films in competition. The situation is said to be fluid, and a final decision won't be made until Cannes announces its official lineup April 12.

    Netflix declined to comment on its Cannes plans, but such a move would be seen as retaliation for a new rule, first announced after last year's fest, banning any films from competition that do not have a French theatrical release. Since Netflix titles don't play French theaters and instead appear directly on the digital service, that rule effectively has barred them from the competition lineup.

    If Netflix carries through on the threat to pull its movies, the move could impact a number of high-profile filmmakers. Read more.

    ^Blockers backstory: How did the film became a feminist Trojan horse? Director Kay Cannon talks to Katie Kilkenny about the film's most empowering moments:

    The script was originally penned by men, but you made some changes when you were brought on, correct?

    Originally the script had three dads instead of two dads and a mom, and so when Hayden [Scholssberg] and Jon [Hurwitz] started working on it, they changed one of the dads to a mom, the Leslie Mann character. Then when I got hired on and I came in and used my female perspective, given that I’m a lady, and infused the things that I’ve experienced and know about this thing we call life and put my mark on it.

    What specific things did you have a hand in?

    It was really the specificity of the [high school] girls. When I got the script there was this imbalance where it was mostly the parents' movie. I wanted to make sure that the girls were all individuals, that they all had different wants and desires and that they weren't interchangeable. I added that Sam (Gideon Adlon) had this storyline of being confused about her sexuality and her coming out. That was something that was added later. Full Q&A.

    In other film news...

    Weekend box office: John Krasinski's A Quiet Place is on course to gross north of $18 million on Friday (including a stellar $4.3 million in Thursday previews) for a North American launch in the $40 million-$50 million range, one of the best starts ever for a genre horror title.

    Ready Player One is on track to gross $6 million-$9 million on Friday for a solid sophomore outing of $23 million or more. The movie also became Steven Spielberg's first to hit $300 million worldwide since 2011.

    And Blockers is headed for a $7 million Friday, including $1.5 million in previews, for an $18 million-$20 million weekend. Full story.

    Mark Cuban mulling a sale of Landmark Theatres: Landmark's parent company, Wagner/Cuban Cos., a cluster of media properties co-owned by Cuban and Todd Wagner, has enlisted a bank to sort through interest in the art house circuit. "We had interest from buyers, so we hired a bank to evaluate offers. We are in no rush to sell, but we are happy to evaluate offers," Cuban tells THR.

    Halle Berry's next project: The actress is attached to a remake of Jagged Edge, originally a 1985 thriller that starred Glenn Close and Jeff Bridges. Sony is developing the project, which is in the early stages and has no writer on board. Doug Belgrad and Matti Leshem (The Shallows) are producing.

    Dave Bautista gets a comedy: STXfilms has tapped Jon and Erich Hoeber, the sibling screenwriting team behind the Red action franchise, to write a Bautista-starring action-comedy. The untitled project will star Bautista as a hardened CIA operative who finds himself at the mercy of a precocious 9-year-old girl, having been sent undercover to surveil her family.

    Next Terminator movie pushed back: Paramount has moved the untitled film, which had been set for a July 26, 2019 wide release, to Nov. 22, 2019. Skydance, which was behind 2015's Terminator Genisys, is producing the reboot that, for the first time since 1991's Terminator: Judgment Day, has James Cameron involved. Deadpool filmmaker Tim Miller is set to direct.

  • Sandra Oh's Return

    Sophie Mutevelian

    She's back: Four years after exiting Grey's Anatomy, Oh opens up to Lesley Goldberg about her long-awaited TV return with Killing Eve — and why she may never go back to the Shondaland drama:

    You worked with Shonda Rhimes for a decade. How important was it for you to work for another woman?

    There aren't a lot of female showrunners … I did [John Ridley's ABC anthology] American Crime in between but it really was about falling in love. When I look at the people who I've worked with, it's women and creators of color because that just happens to be where I am aligned. My first thought out of the gate is not [to ask], are you a woman of color? How much adversity can you hold in your pocket? [Laughs.] I'm definitely interested in those things but that's not the first thing I'm looking for. I'm looking to fall in love. Full Q&A.

    ^Duel: Sean Hannity kept up his scorched-earth crusade against Jimmy Kimmel yesterday. Jeremy Barr writes: 

    Sean Hannity used his radio show on Friday afternoon to escalate his feud with late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, which began earlier in the week when Kimmel joked about Melania Trump and her Slovenian accent in a segment on his show.

    After spending the morning fighting with Kimmel on Twitter, Hannity took to radio and called him "a bully" and a "moralist, sitting on his high horse, lecturing everybody on what's right and what's wrong." He added: "He has some issues that are kind of perverted or downright creepy." Read more.

    Bringing up The Man Show: On his Fox News show, Hannity ran seven sketches from Kimmel's old Comedy Central series and said: "Tonight we're going to pound him with his own words.... I don't take pleasure in this, but I have had it with the unrelenting hypocrisy ... It's not going to end with me. It's going to end when he apologizes to Melania Trump."

    In other TV news...

    Writers Guild will renegotiate talent agency agreement: The governing boards of the Writers Guilds on both coasts have voted unanimously to reopen their 42-year-old agreement with the Association of Talent Agents. The dispute is over agencies making money via packaging, producing or financing content.

    Les Moonves pay stays (mostly) flat: The CBS Corp. chairman, president and CEO received compensation worth $69.33 million in 2017, virtually unchanged from $69.6 million in 2016, according to a regulatory filing Friday.

    Mozart in the Jungle canceled at Amazon after four seasons: The cancellation marks the first major move by new chief Jennifer Salke, who started in her role at the streamer a few weeks ago. The move is also in line with the NBC vet's directive to shift away from niche indie projects and deliver broader, big-budget swings in an attempt to land the next Game of Thrones.

    Everything Sucks canceled at Netflix: The streaming giant has nixed the 1990s-set rookie comedy after one season.

    Tiffany Haddish's HBO comedy: The actress and comedian is exec producing a new comedy series, Unsubscribed, which is currently in development at HBO. The series will examine female blackness, beauty and identity through "a behind-the-scenes look at the Instagram hustle"; actress Xosha Roquemore and Danielle Henderson (Divorce, Difficult People) will co-write and exec produce.

    Steven Spielberg and Alex Gibney's new Discovery Channel series: The duo has been tapped to executive produce Why We Hate, a six-part series on why people have hatred and how to overcome it. The series will be directed by Geeta Ganbhir and Sam Pollard, Emmy winners for When the Levees Broke.

    [icon:rambling] MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle is rooting for the White House. "I can only speak for myself: I'm rooting for the administration," she tells THR. "I root for the president. The things we're forced to go after are most often unforced errors. On a regular basis, the president is lying. Does it mean we're attacking him, or I'm attacking him when I go after him? I'm not attacking the president." Read more.

  • L.A.'s 'Buy and Die' Neighborhood

    Courtesy of Dana & Jeff Estates

    Weekend read: Fryman Canyon is home to George Clooney, Lucy Liu and an eclectic set of properties with Hollywood stories to tell, writes Peter Kiefer: 

    Whether it's nostalgia for The Brady Bunch or a need to Keep Up with the you-know-whos, there's something for everyone — including residents George Clooney and Bruno Mars — in Fryman Canyon. Known for its hiking trails (described online as a "less douche-y" version of Runyon), the sycamore-soaked zone just south of Ventura Boulevard in Studio City has emerged as one of the Valley's priciest ZIP codes, at least on a price-per-square-foot basis (topping out at about $1,200).

    It's hard to find a house in Fryman that doesn't have a Hollywood tale to tell. On one block of Iredell Street, the area's major artery, the Paul Williams-designed four-bedroom that was featured in the opening sequences of the 1969 pilot episode of The Brady Bunch is up for rent at $9,450 a month.

    Three houses away is "the fake Kardashian" home, listed in late February for $7.9 million (in early episodes of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, the Spanish villa-style seven-bedroom doubled for Kris Jenner's actual home in Calabasas).

    Just up the street from there is the Winter Brook Estate, an Arthur C. Munson-designed home once owned by film composer Elmer Bernstein (The Magnificent Seven, Ghostbusters), now on the market for $5.2 million. Read more.

    What else we're reading...

    — "Lincoln Center's president quits after a single, rocky year." Robin Pogrebin and Michael Cooper write: "Lincoln Center can't seem to catch a break." [New York Times]

    — "The win-win strategy behind Beyonce playing Coachella." Neil Shah writes: "Nearly two-thirds of Beyoncé’s fans have never attended a music festival, according to Nielsen Music, yet they are more likely than the average listener to say it is important to see their favorite musicians live." [Wall Street Journal]

    — "Roseanne riles everyone up: Just like old times." Robert Lloyd writes: "There was no chance that reaction to the series would be other than charged, widespread and politicized." [Los Angeles Times]

    — "Why everyone loves The Terror." Alison Herman writes: "The AMC series - about a real-life (and doomed) 1840s expedition to the Arctic - is not the most straightforward cable hit." [The Ringer]

    — "A gripping Western movie confronting Australian racism." Nick Schager writes: "The Aussie Outback film Sweet Country centers on an Aboriginal man who’s wrongfully accused of murdering a white soldier." [Daily Beast]

    — "The wry young women writing sad, buoyant, beautiful songs." Jia Tolentino writes: "Over the last couple of years, a wave of young female indie singer-songwriters has been releasing a sort of music that I have started to rely on." [New Yorker]

    Today's Birthdays: Eric Wareheim, 42, Russell Crowe, 54, Jackie Chan, 64, John Oates, 70, Francis Ford Coppola, 79.