Daniels: The Swiss Army Men of cinema

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Good morning: In today’s edition of The Industry, we look at:

Big Budget Daniels, CAA’s next vice, Jared Leto suits up, an Ingmar Bergman adaptation and The Backstreet Boys.

Let’s go!


SWISS ARMY MEN

The Daniels achieved everything everywhere, all at once.

Their sophomore feature, Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022), took home seven Oscars, including best picture and director.

The film’s beautiful, maximalist journey through a multiverse filled with googly-eyed rocks and hot-dog-fingered lovers laid bare our reality in which we are constantly bombarded by so much imagery that life feels meaningless.

One of the directors, Daniel Kwan, explained:

“One of the only ways you can react to that is to go numb, and I think a lot of people have gone numb. This film is almost a way for us to say, ‘We see you in this chaos. Maybe there’s a better way. Maybe we can find a way to exist in all this noise.’”

What’s so resonant in the film is that we learn that we can collapse all the noise by being kind to one another.

The release date of their next film was just set to be June 12, 2026.

No word on what version of the multi-verse we’ll be living in at that point, but their film is said to be is said to be an “untitled event film” that is large in scope.

For More:

The Daniels Turn Down for What music video. 1.1 bn views and counting. It won a Grammy.

Swiss Army Man, Daniels’ first feature is excellent. In the director’s words, it begins with a fart to make you laugh and ends with one to make you cry. Trailer.

Everything Everywhere All at Once trailer. Prepare yourself.


THE INDUSTRY NEWS

Lionsgate cuts TV deals. In December, Lionsgate acquired eOne from Hasbro for $500M and cut 20% of the staff as it merged departments. Now, they’ve cut 50% of the overall TV deals. It’s a tightening of the belt to be expected, especially because eOne was developing dozens of series.

Upcoming shows for Lionsgate include:

  • Extended Family (NBC)
  • Untitled Seth Rogen comedy series (Apple TV+)
    • Synopsis: Follows a legacy Hollywood movie studio striving to survive in a world where it is increasingly difficult for art and business to live together
  • A Gentleman in Moscow (Showtime/Paramount+)
    • Starring Ewan Mcgregor, who pops in this perfect storm of a series

Next up for Lionsgate: cleaving Starz.

TriStar’s next film. After a competitive bidding war, TriStar has acquired the rights to The Wedding People.

Here’s the official synopsis of the book:

It’s a beautiful day in Newport, Rhode Island, when Phoebe Stone arrives at the grand Cornwall Inn wearing a green dress and gold heels, not a bag in sight, alone. She’s immediately mistaken by everyone in the lobby for one of the wedding people, but she’s actually the only guest at the Cornwall who isn’t here for the big event.

Phoebe is here because she’s dreamt of coming for years—she hoped to shuck oysters and take sunset sails with her husband, only now she’s here without him. Meanwhile, the bride has accounted for every detail and every possible disaster the weekend might yield except for, well, Phoebe—which makes it that much more surprising when the women can’t stop confiding in each other.

The recently attached directors, Will Speck and Josh Gordon (Blades of Glory), stated:

“It’s rare to read something that feels like real life, in all the best ways… funny, painful, cathartic and lasting. A throwback to the movies we grew up on with a modern sensibility. This is a story we can’t wait to tell.”

Penning the script is Nicole Holofcener, who has carved out a corner telling deeply humanistic and hilarious small-scale films where the set pieces are the micro-dynamics of relationships (see: A24’s You Hurt My Feelings (2023) or Enough Said (2013), both starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus).

For Holofcener, it’s a perfect fit.

One more tidbit. Dune 2 is headed for a big weekend at the box office. We’ll have numbers for you next week. But for now, they’re at roughly $10M in previews (Oppenheimer had $10.5 M).


THE ACTOR SPOTLIGHT

Show Kasamatsu signs with CAA. Kasamatsu is best known to an American audience for HBO’s Tokyo Vice. The first episode of the series, directed by Michael Mann, is a masterclass in filmmaking as the camera is asphyxiatingly close to Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver) as he tries to fit in at a blisteringly strict Japanese news organization.

His foil is Kasamatsu, who plays a young member of the Tokyo crime syndicate. Kasamatsu is electric and dangerous, which masks his deep vulnerability. There’s a great moment in the first season where he sings Backstreet Boys with an unusual intensity (clip).

Kasamatsu discussed auditioning for Mann and doing over 100 line readings:

“He’s one of the greatest directors we have right now. Before we started shooting, he asked me about my childhood and how I could relate to Sato. Michael may have been looking for the person to play the part, but for me, it was like a therapy session. Michael was guiding me on how to have a better life.”

Kasamatsu’s next project will be co-starring with Jacob Elordi (Elvis in Priscilla) in The Narrow Road to the Deep North.

Jared Leto is in Tron: Ares. The third film in the series, which began with a young Jeff Bridges Tron (1982), re-emerged with a sequel in TRON: Legacy (2010), and now Ares falls on Jared Leto’s shoulders.

Not much is known about the character he is playing but from the photo released, he looks like he’s ensconced in the malicious Tron computer program.

Leto is no stranger to futuristic landscapes. He played the ultimate evil creator of replicants in Blade Runner 2049 (clip) and the eccentrically ageless lead in Mr. Nobody (2010).

Here is the official synopsis for Tron: Ares:

A highly sophisticated Program, Ares, who is sent from the digital world into the real world on a dangerous mission, marking humankind’s first encounter with A.I. beings.

Leto leads an intriguing cast of Greta Lee, Evan Peters, Hasan Minhaj, and Gillian Anderson.

Tron: Ares is planned for a 2025 release.


FESTIVALS AND RESOURCES

A Conversation with Will Ferrell. Sundance Collab is hosting a conversation on Will & Harper. This Sundance documentary follows Ferrell and his close friend, former SNL writer Harper Steele, on a road trip to explore Steele’s gender transition.

Ferrell, Harper, and director Josh Greenbaum will offer insights into their creative processes and the challenges actualizing this road documentary.

The virtual event will take place Friday, March 8th, from 7 pm – 8:15 pm EST. Register here.

Cannes Un Certain Regard names Xavier Dolan as Jury President.

Cannes offered this quote for Dolan:

“Let’s hold on to our dreams, because together we can change the world. Anything is possible for those who dare, work and never give up.”

Dolan is the film prodigy who, at 19, directed his first feature that was Canada’s official selection for the Academy Awards. He went on to direct the fiery and poignant Mommy (2014), which took the Jury Prize at Cannes, and It’s Only the End of the World (2016), which took the Grand Prix.


INDIE FILMMAKER SPOTLIGHT

Christopher S. Aud is a savant and a sound designer. He’s behind some of the most impressive sonic landscapes in recent cinema:

His work is punctuated by heightened spot effects that jump out of the mix and are symphonic yet piercing.

Aud discussed his approach to designing Charlie Kaufman’s animated film Anomalisa (2015):

“A guerrilla-style Foley track where the Foley was recorded non-traditionally out in the field in real spaces, in hallways, in rooms that mimic the rooms that we see on screen. And that created a realness and a little bit of a raw feel to everything that we’re experiencing because we knew in watching the film before it had anything added to it that it had the potential to be a very quiet and somewhat vulnerable film with sound there to support that.”

Sud’s most recent work is internet personalty and musician Rudy Mancuso’s directorial debut, Música. It’s A coming-of-age story about an aspiring creator with synesthesia. Listen to the brilliant sound design in this trailer.

Música is premiering at SXSW on March 13th. Amazon Prime will be releasing on April 4th.

What if your dad invented the synthesizer? What if he died when you were three months old? How would you synthesize your life for him? This creative challenge is executed so poetically in the upcoming SXSW film Resynator. The trailer is ambitious and heartfelt.

This is the directorial debut of Alison Tavel. Who spent a decade making the film.

Tavel stated:

“Everyone I met with ended up telling me stories about my dad that were painting a wildly different picture of him than his family had ever shared. He was not this picture-perfect, famous and accredited master of music; he was a small-town, hustling man striving for success in order to feel loved and accepted. He was broken, confused and insecure. He was likely a genius – that part seems true, but he still couldn’t figure out how to be loved. It led him to depression, abuse and a bad marriage – and it may have led him to suicide.”

She continued:

“At some point along the way, I realized that this film I was making was not really about a synthesizer, but about how this synthesizer opened my world up to wanting to know who my dad really was for the first time in my life, at 25 years old.”

Resynator is premiering at SXSW on March 13th.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Swedish director Tomas Alfredson (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) is adapting an Ingmar Bergman film. Alfredson wrote to Bergman about adapting a film Bergman wrote, Faithless (2000), that played in a competition at Cannes.

Alfredson discussed:

“At the time, my private life was upside down, so I really connected with the themes in the story. Then I thought, I would love to attempt the story with my vision. So I wrote [Ingmar Bergman] a letter. He never replied, but after six months, he called me and said, ‘What the hell is this? What do you mean?’

Alfredson continued:

“This was long before everyone was producing remakes, so it was a very unusual question, especially for Bergman. He liked the initial idea, and we had conversations about it. After a while, he changed his mind and started making trouble. So it evaporated.”

Luckily, Bergman eventually came around and, after two decades, was able to actualize this passion project.

The series unfolds in the present day.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Renowned director David Howard, 73, is reunited with his former great love, actress Marianne Vogler, 75. Forty years prior, in the main story, a young David and Marianne fall in love and embark on a passionate love affair they must keep a secret, as Marianne is married to David’s best friend, Markus Vogler.

The series is set to release early next year.

While there’s no trailer for the new Faithless series, check out how two different edits on the trailer for the original and the faithless soap opera-esque re-edit for American audiences.


ON THIS DAY

A new trailer for The Bikeriders starring Tom Hardy, Austin Butler, and Michael Shannon just dropped. Release date: July 21st.


That’s all for the week. See you Monday!


Written by Gabriel Miller. Research by Spencer Carter.

Editor: Gabriel Miller.

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