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Hollywood Flashback

Hollywood Flashback: NBC’s Pricey ‘Supertrain’ Took a Short-Lived Ride

Sony Pictures hopes audiences are all aboard for Bullet Train, David Leitch’s action comedy starring Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock and Brian Tyree Henry that hits theaters Aug. 5. Trains have a history of transfixing Hollywood, dating back to 19th century silent-film footage of the vehicle that was so realistic, it reportedly caused audiences to flee […]

Hollywood Flashback: Before ‘Barry’, Bill Hader Was Killing It on ‘SNL’

Barry creator and star Bill Hader gets lots of press these days, but in 2005, his name first made it into The Hollywood Reporter when he and Andy Samberg were “tapped as ‘featured players’ ” for Saturday Night Live. It would prove to be Hader’s big break — and provide fodder for the HBO series […]

Hollywood Flashback: ‘Hacks’ Star Jean Smart Made Her Big Break on ‘Designing Women’

Long before she commanded the stage as Vegas stand-up diva Deborah Vance on Hacks — a role that has earned her two lead comedy actress Emmy nominations — Jean Smart got her big break as a sweet but naïve Atlanta office manager. Designing Women, the CBS half-hour comedy created by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, followed four women […]

Hollywood Flashback: 1997’s ‘Air Bud’ Proved Golden Retrievers Can Jump

Air Bud — the Disney film about a dog who could play basketball (and which starred Buddy, a golden retriever that could indeed launch the ball into the net with his nose) — first dribbled its way into our hearts 25 years ago. The idea for Air Bud had been hatched by Canadian brothers Robert […]

Hollywood Flashback: 15 Years Ago, Marvel Won Over Comic-Con With ‘Iron Man’

Marvel Studios — which returns to Comic-Con this year for the first time since 2019 — is known for Hall H presentations that devolve into Beatlemania-esque hysteria. But 15 years ago, Marvel was an underdog with a lot to prove. The company had just started making its own movies based on the so-called second-tier heroes […]

Hollywood Flashback: 25 Years Ago, ‘Citizen Ruth’ Sent Up the Abortion Debate

When Citizen Ruth was released on Dec. 13, 1996, director Alexander Payne never expected the abortion debate at the center of his feature directorial debut to remain relevant 25 years later. Payne, who would go on to win the best screenplay Oscar for his films Sideways and The Descendants, had yet to work on a […]

‘A League of Their Own’ Hits 30: Stars, Writer on Studio Battles, Mystery Ending and Why the Sequel Script Died

When A League of Their Own premiered 30 years ago on July 1, 1992, it was not expected to be a hit. Director Penny Marshall, coming off of Big (1988) and the Oscar-nominated Awakenings (1990), had watched a PBS documentary about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which launched in the 1940s, and sent the […]

Hollywood Flashback: ‘Mannix’ Star Gail Fisher Made Emmys History in 1970

Why Gail Fisher is not more widely celebrated in the annals of Hollywood history is a mystery not even Joe Mannix could solve. Fisher was only the third Black actress to appear in a prominent, nonservant role on weekly broadcast TV, after Diahann Carroll of Julia and Nichelle Nichols of Star Trek. And she was […]

Hollywood Flashback: Julia Child Savored Emmy Success for ‘The French Chef’

With food programming now a staple of both TV and TikTok, it’s no surprise that viewers still have healthy appetites for stories about Julia Child, a pioneer in the cooking genre. Back in 2009, Julie & Julia featured Meryl Streep’s Oscar-nominated portrayal of the chef as she worked on her seminal 1961 cookbook, Mastering the […]

Hollywood Flashback: 20 Years Ago, ‘The Bourne Identity’ Minted Matt Damon and Doug Liman as Action Pros

Doug Liman was so committed to getting an adaptation of Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Identity made for the big screen, he crashed a wedding and later piloted a prop plane to make it happen. “I spent years hitting brick walls,” says Liman, who broke out directing indie stunner Swingers in 1996 but had yet to […]

Hollywood Flashback: ‘Band of Brothers’ Struck Emmy Gold 20 Years Ago

For Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, 1998’s Saving Private Ryan marked the beginning of a fruitful collaboration focused on World War II epics. After that film won five Oscars, they teamed up on a wartime drama for the small screen. It would be HBO’s “most expensive miniseries,” with a budget in the realm of $120 […]

Hollywood Flashback: ‘Fantasy Island’ Offered Viewers an Escapist Paradise

In summer 2021, as a surge in COVID-19 cases linked to the delta variant quickly scuttled vacation plans, the satirical HBO series The White Lotus transported viewers to an idyllic Hawaiian setting. The Emmy contender is the latest in a line of series — from Gilligan’s Island to Baywatch to Lost — taking fans from […]