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‘American Playboy’ Star Jade Albany Joins Nat Geo’s ‘The Right Stuff’ & Paramount Network’s ’68 Whiskey’

  • Deadline
Exclusive: Jade Albany[/link], who starred in Amazon original American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story, has scored recurring roles in Nat Geo’s The Right Stuff and Paramount Network’s 68 Whiskey.

The actress, who recently booked a role in Netflix’s Japanese drama The Naked Director, will play Rene Carpenter in The Right Stuff. Rene is the glamorous wife of Mercury 7 astronaut Scott Carpenter, a savvy and confident woman who ultimately becomes a television personality. The series, which is an adaptation of Tom Wolfe’s book, stars Jake McDorman as Alan Shepard, Patrick J. Adams as John Glenn and Colin O’Donoghue as Gordo Cooper. The series, which launches in 2020 on Nat Geo, is executive produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Davisson of Appian Way, Mark Lafferty as showrunner, and Will Staples.

In Paramount Network’s 68 Whiskey, she plays Cassola, a lieutenant from the Italian army and nurse who
See full article at Deadline »

‘Rbg’ Filmmakers Cook Up Next Project: A Julia Child Documentary (Exclusive)

  • Variety
‘Rbg’ Filmmakers Cook Up Next Project: A Julia Child Documentary (Exclusive)
After charting Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s rise to the top of the legal world, the filmmaking team behind “Rbg” is reuniting to tell the story of a different kind of trailblazer: Julia Child, the television chef and cookbook author who taught America how to eat.

Co-directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen will examine Child’s unconventional life, one that saw her seize the spotlight with the 1961 publication of her best-seller “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” when she was nearly 50 years old. She then brought her love of fine food to the masses with Wgbh television program “The French Chef,” which was syndicated nationally by PBS, and later, in appearances on “Good Morning America.”

“She was larger than life, literally,” West told Variety days before flying to France to conduct interviews for the film. “She was 6’2” or 6’3” and kind of clunky in a way, but also totally self-confident and funny and authentic,
See full article at Variety »

Alden Ehrenreich Expected To Return As Han Solo In Future Star Wars Project

Alden Ehrenreich had a nearly impossible task to accomplish when he signed up to play Han Solo in Ron Howard’s underwhelming anthology film. Harrison Ford had only exited stage left three years before Ehrenreich took control of the Millenium Falcon, but it’s safe to say, especially when looking at its box office performance, that the wound had not healed.

With that said, despite its failures, Ehrenreich was one of the more well-received components of Solo and it looks like the House of Mouse agrees. And that’s because according to sources close to We Got This Covered – the same ones who told us about Ewan McGregor’s return as Obi-Wan back in May – the 29-year-old actor is expected to reprise his role as the infamous Star Wars grifter.

This will come as good news to the great many people who’ve supported the 2018 spinoff and campaigned for a sequel.
See full article at We Got This Covered »

John Turturro’s ‘The Big Lebowski’ Spinoff, ‘The Jesus Rolls,’ to Premiere at Rome Film Festival

  • Variety
John Turturro’s ‘The Big Lebowski’ Spinoff, ‘The Jesus Rolls,’ to Premiere at Rome Film Festival
John Turturro’s “The Big Lebowski” spinoff, “The Jesus Rolls,” which follows his “Lebowski” character Jesus Quintana, will world premiere as a pre-opening event at the Rome Film Festival, which announced on Friday a lineup packed with potential awards contenders and plenty of big names booked for onstage conversations.

The Jesus Rolls,” which Turturro directed from his own script and which also stars Bobby Cannavale, Audrey Tautou, Jon Hamm, Susan Sarandon and Pete Davidson, will screen in Rome on Oct. 16, prior to its release in Italian cinemas via distributor Europictures the following day, ahead of its U.S. release in early 2020.

As previously announced, the Eternal City extravaganza will open with Edward Norton’s new film, “Motherless Brooklyn,” on Oct. 17, followed by a slew of hot titles in the official selection that recently surfaced at other fests or launched directly in cinemas, such as Tom Harper’s “The Aeronauts,” “Downton Abbey,
See full article at Variety »

Rome Film Fest Unveils Lineup: ‘Downton Abbey’, ‘Judy’ & ‘Hustlers’ In The Mix; Lebowski Spinoff ‘Jesus Rolls’ Gets Special Screening

  • Deadline
Rome Film Fest Unveils Lineup: ‘Downton Abbey’, ‘Judy’ & ‘Hustlers’ In The Mix; Lebowski Spinoff ‘Jesus Rolls’ Gets Special Screening
The Rome Film Festival (October 17-27) has unveiled its 2019 official selection, which includes Downton Abbey, Waves, Judy, The Aeronauts, Hustlers and Werner Herzog documentary Nomad about writer Bruce Chatwin.

A total of 33 films and documentaries will play in the official lineup (full list below). As previously announced, the fest will open with Edward Norton’s Motherless Brooklyn while Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman will have a centerpiece screening. Only two Italian movies are included in the main selection.

The festival also revealed a pre-opening October 16 world premiere for John Turturro’s anticipated The Big Lebowski spinoff, The Jesus Rolls, which follows Lebowski character Jesus Quintana.

The impressive lineup of onstage interviews includes Bill Murray and Viola Davis – both of whom will receive lifetime achievement awards – Fanny Ardant, Olivier Assayas, Ethan Coen, Benicio Del Toro, Bret Easton Ellis, Ron Howard, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Edward Norton, Bertrand Tavernier, John Travolta and Jia Zhangke.
See full article at Deadline »

Whistle Acquires Elisabeth Murdoch’s Snap-Backed Vertical Networks

  • Deadline
Whistle, a five-year old entertainment and sports media company, has acquired Vertical Networks, a mobile-first content studio founded by Elisabeth Murdoch and backed by Snapchat parent Snap Inc.

Vertical Networks, founded in 2015, is known for the popular Snapchat series Phone Swap as well as Brother, a male-skewing lifestyle brand with more than 20 million subscribers.

The deal follows Whistle’s pickup of New Form earlier this year, a deal that gave Discovery, ITV, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer equity positions in Whistle. In a press release announcing the Vertical acquisition, Whistle said it is on track to double its revenue in 2019. The company has raised more than $100 million from investors such as Jeffrey Katzenberg’s WndrCo, NBC Sports, Sky Sports, Liberty Global and Tegna since its 2014 launch.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Under the deal, current Vertical Networks shareholders, including affiliates of Elisabeth Murdoch and Snap, are becoming shareholders in Whistle.
See full article at Deadline »

‘Genius’ Season 3 Finds Its Aretha Franklin in Cynthia Erivo

  • Indiewire
‘Genius’ Season 3 Finds Its Aretha Franklin in Cynthia Erivo
Nat Geo’s “Genius” just got infused with a lot more soul. Tony, Emmy, and Grammy Award winner Cynthia Erivo is set to play the “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin in the latest installment of the Emmy Award-winning anthology series.

Billed as “the first-ever, definitive and only authorized scripted limited series” on Franklin’s life, “Genius: Aretha” will feature a combination of archival footage of Franklin’s real-life performances (including songs like “I Knew You Were Waiting for Me” and “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves”) and Erivo performing songs from Franklin’s music catalogue. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (“Topdog/Underdog”) will serve as showrunner and executive producer of this season. Clive Davis and Atlantic Records Chairman and CEO Craig Kallman are set to executive produce alongside Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, and Francie Calfo, “Genius” co-developer Ken Biller, Gigi Pritzker and Rachel Shane (Mwm Studios), Sam Sokolow
See full article at Indiewire »

Cynthia Erivo Is Aretha Franklin in National Geographic Channel's Genius Series

Cynthia Erivo Is Aretha Franklin in National Geographic Channel's Genius Series
Hold on to your Obama inauguration hats because Cynthia Erivo is playing Aretha Franklin in the National Geographic series about the legendary singer. Erivo, who has won a Grammy, Tony and Emmy for her performance in Broadway's The Color Purple, will begin work on Genius: Aretha in November 2019 with a spring 2020 premiere date. Award-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks is executive producer and showrunner on the limited series that counts Ron Howard and Brian Grazer as executive producers. The Aretha Franklin estate is also on board, making the project first-ever—and definitive—scripted series based the Queen of Soul. "Aretha Franklin has been a source of inspiration for me since I was a little...
See full article at E! Online »

Cynthia Erivo to star as Aretha Franklin in Nat Geo’s 'Genius' series

Cynthia Erivo to star as Aretha Franklin in Nat Geo’s 'Genius' series
Production to begin in November.

Cynthia Erivo, earning acclaim for her lead role in Harriet this awards season, will play Aretha Franklin in the next instalment of National Geographic’s Genius anthology series.

Production is scheduled to begin in November for a spring 2020 world premiere on National Geographic’s global channels.

National Geographic, Imagine Television Studios and Fox 21 Television Studios said on Thursday (3) the production is the only authorised scripted limited series on the life of the Queen of Soul.

The production will feature many of Franklin’s biggest hits from the Warner Music catalogue, including I Never Loved
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Cynthia Erivo Cast in ‘Genius: Aretha’

  • Variety
National Geographic has found its Aretha Franklin for its upcoming season of “Genius” about the Queen of Soul: Cynthia Erivo has been cast in the title role.

“Aretha Franklin has been a source of inspiration for me since I was a little girl,” said Erivo. “Her strength, passion and soul are evident in her everlasting legacy, not only as a transcendent artist, but as a humanitarian and civil rights icon. To have the opportunity to bring her legacy to life and show the fullness of her being, her humanity and brilliance, is an honor. What I know and have learned about what my voice, as an artist, can do and the power in it has been highly influenced by Franklin. I feel privileged and excited to be a part of the sharing of her genius.”

The upcoming season, entitled “Genius: Aretha,” will be the first-ever, definitive and only authorized scripted
See full article at Variety »

Cynthia Erivo To Star As Aretha Franklin In Nat Geo’s ‘Genius: Aretha’

  • Deadline
Cynthia Erivo To Star As Aretha Franklin In Nat Geo’s ‘Genius: Aretha’
Nat Geo and Imagine have found their Queen of Soul. Tony-, Emmy- and Grammy-winning artist and actress Cynthia Erivo has been tapped to star as Aretha Franklin in the next installment of Nat Geo’s Emmy-winning global anthology series Genius: Aretha, from Imagine Television and Fox 21 TV Studios.

Billed as the first-ever, definitive and only authorized scripted limited series on the life of Franklin, Genius: Aretha will begin filming in November for a spring 2020 premiere on National Geographic channels in 172 countries and 43 languages.

As previously announced, Suzan-Lori Parks, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Topdog/Underdog, will be executive producer and showrunner of the series. Music mogul and longtime Franklin collaborator Clive Davis as well as Atlantic Records chairman and CEO Craig Kallman also executive produce.

“Aretha Franklin has been a source of inspiration for me since I was a little girl,” said Erivo. “Her strength, passion and
See full article at Deadline »

Cynthia Erivo to Play Aretha Franklin in Third Installment of NatGeo's Genius

NatGeo on Thursday announced that Tony-, Emmy- and Grammy Award winner Cynthia Erivo has been cast as Aretha Franklin in the next installment of its Genius bioseries.

Genius: Aretha marks the first-ever authorized retelling of the Queen of Soul’s life story. The production will feature myriad hits from Franklin’s iconic songbook — including, but not limited to: “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You),” “Chain of Fools,” “Don’t Play That Song,” “Since You’ve Been Gone” and “Baby I Love You.” In addition to new performances by Erivo, the series will feature archival footage of
See full article at TVLine.com »

‘Genius': Nat Geo Finds Its Aretha Franklin for Next Season of Historical Anthology

  • The Wrap
Nat Geo has found its Queen of Soul. Cynthia Erivo will portray Aretha Franklin on the next season of its historical anthology “Genius,” the network announced on Thursday.

Filming will start in November for a spring 2020 premiere.

“Aretha Franklin has been a source of inspiration for me since I was a little girl,” Erivo said. “Her strength, passion and soul are evident in her everlasting legacy, not only as a transcendent artist, but as a humanitarian and civil rights icon. To have the opportunity to bring her legacy to life and show the fullness of her being, her humanity and brilliance, is an honor. What I know and have learned about what my voice, as an artist, can do and the power in it has been highly influenced by Franklin. I feel privileged and excited to be a part of the sharing of her genius.”

Also Read: Nat Geo 'Not
See full article at The Wrap »

Produced By: New York Adds Teams From ‘Little Women’, ‘Marriage Story’, ‘American Factory’, More To Masterclass Lineup

  • Deadline
The PGA on Wednesday unveiled its first batch of speakers for masterclass sessions at Produced By: New York, with producers and creatives set for the likes of awards-season films Little Women, Harriet, American Factory, Marriage Story and more.

The group is added to the slate of the annual conference, to run November 9 at Florence Gould Hall in New York City. Netflix’s Scott Stuber is already set as keynote speaker in conversation with Ron Howard.

The masterclass list includes Amy Pascal and Greta Gerwig from Little Women; Debra Martin Chase, Kasi Lemmons and Cynthia Erivo for Harriet; David Heyman and Noah Baumbach for Marriage Story; James Mangold for Ford v Ferrari; Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar for the documentary American Factory; and Nanfu Wang for One Child Nation.

The NYC-based Produced By conference, presented by the PGA Foundation, is tweaking its structure this year. Along with Stuber’s opening keynote
See full article at Deadline »

The Eyes Have It: Brian Grazer, Ted Sarandos Talk “Human Connection,” Grazer’s New Book at Writers Guild Theatre

  • Deadline
The Eyes Have It: Brian Grazer, Ted Sarandos Talk “Human Connection,” Grazer’s New Book at  Writers Guild Theatre
Here’s looking at you, Ted. Tonight, Brian Grazer told interviewer Ted Sarandos that the key to his success in Hollywood comes down to eye contact: “The WiFi of human connection is looking at somebody.”

Grazer, partner with Ron Howard in Imagine Film Entertainment, said the eyes have it in conversation with Netflix chief content officer Sarandos, discussing Grazer’s book, Face to Face: The Art of Human Connection, at the Writers Guild Theatre in Beverly Hills.

Grazer, also author (with Charles Fishman) of the 2016 book, A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life, faced off with Sarandos as part of the Live Talks Los Angeles series, now in its 10th season.

The pair did not start off with Hollywood headline topics – streaming wars, upcoming competition from the soon-to-launch Disney+, Netflix’s legendary lack of transparency when it comes to its viewership, or why Netflix came in second behind
See full article at Deadline »

Disney's Star Wars Takeover Left George Lucas Feeling Betrayed Claims Disney CEO

  • MovieWeb
Disney CEO Bob Iger has been in the news a lot this past week. He just published a memoir called 'The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned From 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company'. In it, he goes into great detail about Disney taking over Star Wars, and how the movie ultimately left creator George Lucas feeling betrayed, and quite disappointed by what he saw in The Force Awakens.

Disney bought Star Wars in 2012 for over $4 billion. Since then, they have released four movies and an animated series, with The Rise of Skywalker set to wrap up the latest trilogy this December, and The Mandalorian launching in November as the first-ever live-action TV show for the franchise, which has been going strong since 1977.

When Kathleen Kennedy and director J.J. Abrams were putting together The Force Awakens for release in 2015, George Lucas was nowhere to be seen. Disney
See full article at MovieWeb »

How the Movie EDtv Helped Shape Reality Television

The airwaves are filled with a variety of different reality television programs. We follow the everyday lives of celebrities, of parents with children of multiple births simultaneously, little people, ghost hunters, and the list continue. Interestingly, there was a film made and directed by Ron Howard tht was based on a French picture called EDtv. It follows a television producer who singles out an individual to chronicle every aspect of his everyday life. While it was not reality television, it was definitely a forerunner. The classification of EDtv is comedy romance, but it influenced what is currently known as reality

How the Movie EDtv Helped Shape Reality Television
See full article at TVovermind.com »

Phoebe Waller-Bridge Signs Overall Deal With Amazon

  • The Wrap
Phoebe Waller-Bridge Signs Overall Deal With Amazon
Phoebe Waller-Bridge has signed an overall deal with Amazon, the studio announced Tuesday.

Under the pact, Waller-Bridge will create and produce new television content for Amazon Studios that will stream exclusively on Amazon’s Prime Video. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The second season of PWB’s comedy “Fleabag,” which streams on Prime Video, picked up six Emmys at the 71st annual award show this year, including Outstanding Comedy Series, as well as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series awards for Waller-Bridge herself.

Apart from “Fleabag,” which debuted as Waller-Bridge’s one-woman show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2013, Waller-Bridge is best known for creating BBC America’s “Killing Eve,” starring Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh, and serving as writer and showrunner on the drama’s first season. She is currently co-writing
See full article at The Wrap »

Dick Wolf Refashions His Company for Digital Era (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Dick Wolf Refashions His Company for Digital Era (Exclusive)
Dick Wolf’s latest production isn’t centered on the detectives, lawyers, firefighters or cops who have made his many series so popular. The story he wants to tell is much more personal.

The creative force behind TV’s “Law & Order” behemoth, NBC’s various “Chicago” series and the CBS drama “FBI” will today launch a new corporate storyline of sorts, one in which his company seeks to make itself better known to the people who consume its content.

The producer’s Wolf Films will now be called Wolf Entertainment, a move aimed at bolstering a wider array of the company’s productions. Over the next several months, says Elliot Wolf, an executive at the company and a son of the producer, who is overseeing the new efforts, those could include more content aimed at fans of the company’s various series; a monthly newsletter; podcasts, merchandise; spotlights on
See full article at Variety »

’68 Whiskey’: Derek Theler, Beth Riesgraf & Lamont Thompson Among Six Cast In Paramount Network Series

  • Deadline
’68 Whiskey’: Derek Theler, Beth Riesgraf & Lamont Thompson Among Six Cast In Paramount Network Series
Derek Theler, Beth Riesgraf and Lamont Thompson are set as series regulars in Paramount Network’s drama 68 Whiskey, an adaptation of Israeli TV series Charlie Golf One, from Imagine Television Studios, the TV arm of Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment, and CBS TV Studios. Additionally, Usman Ally, Artur Benson and Aaron Glenane (Picnic at Hanging Rock) are set for recurring roles. They join previously announced cast members Sam Keeley, Gage Golightly, Cristina Rodlo, Jeremy Tardy and Nicholas Coombe. Production on season 1 is currently underway with the series scheduled to premiere on Paramount Network in early 2020.

Written by The Brink co-creator Roberto Benabib, the adaptation, in the vein of M*A*S*H, follows a multicultural mix of men and women
See full article at Deadline »
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