James Bond, A24 and Chicken Nuggets to Go

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

The old James Bond in a new project; Scorsese’s page 1 re-write; Ken Jeong as a talk show host; And a strange story about chicken nuggets.

Let’s Go!

(L-R) Pierce Brosnan, Samuel L. Jackson and Brandon Lessard Greg Gorman/Art Streiber/Jane Owen

(L-R) Pierce Brosnan, Samuel L. Jackson and Brandon Lessard Greg Gorman/Art Streiber/Jane Owen

The rules don’t apply to James Bond.

Gun-slinging sheriff Pierce Brosnan’s latest film is Unholy Trinitya revenge western set in 1870’s Montana.

The project also stars Samuel Jackson and is one of over 800 feature films that have secured SAG interim agreements since the actor’s strike began 95 days ago.

Does SAG’s eagerness to offer interim agreements undercut their strike leverage? We believe it does.

These interim agreements allow for SAG actors to participate in non-AMPTP associated projects as long as producers agree to SAG’s initial strike terms, including:

  • 11% raise on actor salary minimums
  • 23% raise for stunt performers
  • 2% rev share from streamers
  • Ban on AI-generated actors.
“We feel fortunate to be able to make an epic Western during the strike, working alongside SAG every step of the way.”

– Director, Richard Gray (Sugar Mountain).

Gray, whose last three features all found distribution on Amazon Prime, joins the ranks of A-list directors, Luc Besson (Dogman), Guy Ritchie (untitled Jake Gyllenhaal film) and Michael Mann (Ferrari), whose interim-allowed-films will inevitably find their way onto the major AMPTP streaming platforms.

While interim agreements allow independent producers to flourish, those projects with A-list actors embolden AMPTP members like Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to walk away from negotiations because they’re guaranteed future content.

For More:

Actors like Viola Davis walk away from productions that have secured interim agreements.

HBO goes to Europe this spring. This move continues the trend of streamers expanding their offerings to overseas audiences. Case in point, Netflix’s entire strategy to combat dwindling subscriptions hinges on global domination.

A24 goes to Hollywood. The studio behind EEAAO and Moonlight is expanding into more commercially viable action films and big IP projects. We’re delighted by the prospect of an A24-style action film but a little nervous their auteur’s vision will become polluted.

THE INDUSTRY NEWS

Chicken Run is back! The 23-year-old beloved childhood classic earned 250 million dollars and widespread acclaim in 2000.

Chicken Run is back! The 23-year-old beloved childhood classic earned 250 million dollars and widespread acclaim in 2000. The sequel, Dawn of the Nugget, will be available on Netflix on December 15th. The animated follow-up promises an Ocean’s 11 style heist to break into Fun Land Farm, a chicken slaughterhouse. Don’t worry, though; it’s still rated PG.

Even Scorsese does page 1 rewrites. After working on the Killers of Flower Moon script with Eric Roth for two years, Scorsese had a change of heart after some harsh feedback from Leonardo DiCaprio. The script initially centered on FBI agents investigating multiple murders in Osage Nation community, which Leo felt left the script with “no heart.”

His feedback ignited Scorsese to interview 300 members of the Osage community and do a complete revamp of the script. The results seem strong as the film has garnered 95% on rotten tomatoes. (We purposely withheld the glowing review links to shield ourselves and you from spoilers.)

The Divine Cast. Oscar Isaac. Jason Momoa. Gerard Butler. All star inIn the Hand of Dante, another film awarded the SAG interim agreement. Focused on a man (Isaac) who defies the mafia to steal the original Dante’s Inferno manuscript, he escapes his hellish life with his love Giuletta, while a parallel tale unfolds with the actual Dante (Butler) escaping literal hell.

Diving Bell and the Butterfly director Julian Schnabel is set to direct. If you’ve never seen that film, please please run to your nearest Apple TV or Amazon Prime subscription and binge.

THE ACTOR SPOTLIGHT

Sir Michael Caine is stepping away from acting after a 7-decade career, citing his age and the success of his last film, The Great Escaper.

Alfred the butler is retiringSir Michael Caine is stepping away from acting after a 7-decade career, citing his age and the success of his last film, The Great Escaper. Now 90, he is releasing his first novel, Deadly Game, on December 5th.

The book’s description reads:

“DCI Harry Taylor has no respect for red tape or political reputations – but he’s great at catching criminals.”

Can someone buy the rights and cast Michael Caine already?

Rick and Morty hires virtual unknowns as titular characters. Shortly after season six and co-creator Justin Roiland’s dismissal from the show, an extensive audition process discovered relative unknowns, Ian Cardoni and Harry Belden.

Cardoni (Rick) has completed voice-over work for SYFY’s Resident Alien. Belden (Morty) has a deleted scene in Chicago Med and a bit part on Joe Pera Talks With You.

Remaining co-creator Dan Harmon and team seem thrilled at the energy and youthfulness these two bring. Showrunner Scott Marder was optimistic, stating, “They just brought this show 30 more years.”

Ken Jeong (The HangoverCommunityThe Masked Singer) has a talk show. Details are scarce, but we at The Industry have a few dream scenarios:

  1. Great Escapes with Ken Jeong, mostly him interviewing guests while trying to escape from everyday household objects, like the back of a trunk or a vent.
  2. Medical Wonders with Ken Jeong, leveraging his doctor background, he interviews guests and tries to diagnose them with mental health issues, occasionally scribbling notes on his clipboard.
  3. The Masked Celebrity. Ken does bath salts with the guests, and he eats their face to see if they are just a lizard wearing a human mask.

TECH SECTION

Kevin Bacon’s on-screen death was nearly thwarted by a technical error during the shooting of 80's slasher Friday the 13th

Remember when we couldn’t fix it in post? Kevin Bacon’s on-screen death was nearly thwarted by a technical error during the shooting of 80’s slasher Friday the 13th.

Camp counselor Bacon lounges on a bunk bed and sparks a joint. A hand reaches out from under the bed and locks him into place while an arrow from below impales him in the neck. (Gruesome clip here).

According to Bacon:

“I was on my knees with my head through a hole in the bed, with my neck back. It was very uncomfortable, I had to stay there for a really, really long time. And there was only one neck and chest, so everything had to work perfectly.”

But when the blood pump malfunctioned, Bacon was instructed to roll his eyes in the back of his head to buy time. Luckily, prosthetic assistant Taso Stavrakis was fast on his feet, grabbed it and started blowing the Karo-Syrup-tasting concoction up through the tube.

“I had to think quick, so I just grabbed the hose and blew like crazy which, thankfully, caused a serendipitous arterial blood spray.”

Ever have Wardrobe forget an actor’s tie?

Ever set a beautiful establishing shot only to notice a guy fixing his car in the background?

Maybe not, but both happened to me. Instead of burning valuable shoot time to fix, what if you could solve such issues in post with the click of a button?

Enter Adobe Max. They debuted Generative Fill for video last week. Check out a preview here.

Looks like magic. It kind of reminds me of The Edit Button.

INDIE FILMMAKER SPOTLIGHT

Nicolas Winding Refn loves Scooby Doo. The Drive and Only God Forgives director said:

Nicolas Winding Refn loves Scooby DooThe Drive and Only God Forgives director said:

“I loved them and I always loved Scooby Doo, Shaggy, and all those characters. I think they’re terrific. What I like about the old versions is that they had that romanticism.”

Refn is now directing an animated children’s series adapted from Enid Blyton’s famous British book series The Famous Five, which inspired Scooby Doo. We’re giddy just dreaming about Refn’s visual palette in an animated world.

Maybe Gosling will even reprise his role as Shaggy.

Markiplier, a YouTuber with 35M subscribers just made his debut feature film, Iron Lung, based on the indie video game with the same title. It follows a convict exploring a moon with blood oceans in a sealed submarine. The teaser trailer channels a bit of dystopian-psycho-visual horror a la Panos Cosmatos (Mandy). Mr. Beast and other YTers star.

It will be interesting to see if this film ignites the trend of social media content creators with mass followings to leverage their audience for film/TV directing opportunities.

Daniel Kaluuya’s directorial debut is a dystopian London dramaThe Kitchen, also co-written by Kaluuya, paints a stark picture of displacement and gentrification, highlighting the widening gap between the rich and poor and the erosion of community. While the world-building is strong, The Kitchen also effectively delivers its message. The film gained attention after its premiere at the London Film Festival and is set for a limited theatrical run before its release on Netflix.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Tarsem Singh, the fantasy director behind the visually phantasmagoric

Tarsem Singh, the fantasy director behind the visually phantasmagoric The Fall, Self/less and Immortals, tones down his style in his upcoming film Dear Jassi. This TIFF 2023 award winner is defined by restraint. This scene between two Romeo and Juliet-type lovers showcases Tarsem’s ability to use stasis to build tension. Filmed in his native Punjab, India, the film promises to be more personal.

We can’t wait for a different flavor of filmmaking from Mr. Singh.

ON THIS DAY

1923 Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio was founded.



Today’s edition was written by: 
Gabriel Miller and Spencer Carter.

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