Nicolas Cage, Barbie, and a lumberjack.

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

Nicolas Cage, Barbie, and a lumberjack.

Let’s go!


NICOLAS CAGE. AUTHENTIC IN A WORLD OF CLICKBAIT.

In 2008, Nicolas Cage made a mistake.

He googled his own name and watched the viral YouTube supercut “Nicolas Cage losing his shit.”

He was shattered:

“Somebody had cherry-picked all these freakout scenes and cobbled them together without any regard for how the character got to that level of crisis. And then it started going viral, exponentially growing, and became memes.”

Although Cage has always brought a certain level of authenticity to his work, see:

Cage has also always been an easy target.

At age 18, on the set of his first feature, Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), he found himself mocked because his uncle was Francis Ford Coppola. Rather than be followed by a shadow of nepotism, he shed his birth name, Nicolas Coppola.

In his latest film, Dream Scenario (trailer here), Cage brings an unparalleled level of authenticity from his lived experience.

A24’s synopsis reads:

A hapless family man finds his life turned upside down when millions of strangers suddenly start seeing him in their dreams. When his nighttime appearances take a nightmarish turn, Paul is forced to navigate his newfound stardom.

Cage has navigated his own newfound stardom in the last few years by intentionally rejecting traditional Hollywood films and anchoring himself to the authenticity of the next generation of directors:

“I always knew that it would take a young filmmaker who would have grown up with me in some way saying, “I want to try this,” and I have the humility to say, “You’re half my age and you’re twice as intelligent, I’m going to give you the controls.”

For More:

Dream Scenario will be released in theaters on November 10th. Watch a behind-the-scenes sneak peek.

Nicolas Cage wins an Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas. Watch his acceptance speech.

Nicolas Cage disapproves of his 30-second cameo in The Flash.


THE INDUSTRY NEWS

The White Lotus Season 3 is delayed until 2025. Cue the frenetic orchestral tribal music. While the production kicked off in Thailand right before the writer’s strike in May, filming has been on hold since the actor’s strike. Mike White, the show’s creator, envisions The White Lotus eventually filming on every continent. Here’s looking forward to Jennifer Coolidge trudging through Antarctica.

Netflix lays off their director of Original Series, Laura Delahaye, who championed Queens Gambit. Yet, in the wake of the 114-day actor’s strike, Netflix is cutting key executives who oversee their scripted divisions. Pete Corona, Director of Drama Series, who was in charge of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s scripted live-action series FUBAR and Resident Evil, has also been laid off.

Arclight is handling international sales for their latest Ice Fall. Over the years, they’ve backed:

Their latest pits a teenage Native American game warden against a notorious poacher who knows the location of a plane carrying millions of dollars that has crashed in a frozen lake. Production is set to begin in 2024.

Greta Gerwig revealed Mattel’s script notes on Barbie:

  • “Are you going to CGI the feet?”
  • “Does Barbie really need to be called a fascist?”
  • “Does a Mattel executive have to get shot?”

At a screening over the weekend, Gertwig shared her answers (No. Yes. Yes) and gave some more insight on Mattel, opening up that CEO Ynon Kreiz:

“really did give us a tremendous amount of trust and freedom. There was a real, ‘If you say this is right, then let’s go.’”

Top Hollywood Executives present their final offer to SAG/AFTRA. Our sources suggest that the latest deal gives full protection against AI and has the biggest overall compensation increase since 1983. Ted Serandos, CEO of Netflix, told the union:

“We didn’t just come toward you, we came all the way to you.”

No reports yet on the next meeting.


THE ACTOR SPOTLIGHT

The teacher from CODA, Eugenio Derbez, stole all his scenes. Now, in Radica, Derbez takes center stage as Sergio Juárez Correa—a teacher whose fervent belief in education ignites change in a disadvantaged Mexican school, delivering a performance in the trailer that is as profound as it is inspiring. He had limited screen time in CODA, and we’re excited to see him take center stage. Currently, in limited theatrical release in the U.S.

Alexander Payne (Sideways, The Descendants) lauded Paul Giamatti for his work in his latest film, The Holdovers. Watch Giamatti play a bad-tempered tutor.

“There’s nothing that he can’t do. If the part is generally right for him, give it to Paul Giamatti. It’s like giving a part to Meryl Streep or Laurence Olivier. You’re just curious what this great actor is going to do with the part. He’s that good.”

Focus Features will be releasing the film in the US on November 10th and January 24th in the UK. It’s their director and actor’s first collaboration since Sideways in 2004.

In a new documentary, Daniel Radcliffe relives the worst day of his life on the set of Harry Potter. It centers on his stunt double, David Holmes’ horrific accident that left him completely paralyzed. The trailer is heartwarming yet hard to watch: it showcases Radcliffe’s unwavering dedication to his friend.


FESTIVALS

The Big Apple Film Festival is offering a rare opportunity to connect with agents and managers this week.

The list includes:

  • The Gersh Agency
  • William Morris Endeavor
  • 3 Arts Entertainment
  • APA.

All-access passes can be purchased here. Participants are invited to submit a written pitch of their project to participating agents and managers.

Sundance Film Festival continues this year as a hybrid festival. Virtual screenings of the films will occur on the last three days of the festival (January 25th-28th). Virtual ticket packages can be purchased here.

Tribeca Film Festival submissions are open:

Feature deadlines:

  • Nov 27, 2023 – $85
  • Jan 17, 2024 (extended) $110

Short deadlines:

  • Dec 15, 2023 – $60
  • Feb 2, 2024 – $75

Submit here.


INDIE FILMMAKER SPOTLIGHT

Molly Manning Walker, director of the above film, just signed at CAA. Her film commands a stellar pedigree:

  • Produced by Film4
  • Additionally, supported by mk2
  • Supported by the BFI (British Film Institute)
  • Premiered at Cannes
    • Won “Un Certain Regard.”
  • Premiered at TIFF
  • Produced by Konstantinos Kontovrakis (EP, Triangle of Sadness)

Walker’s film explores the journey of three British teenage girls in Crete navigating relationships, consent, and self-discovery. The trailer feels like a more mature version of Spring Break.

Previous to her first feature, she directed:

And took on the cinematographer role in:

  • Scrapper (2023)
    • World Cinema Grand Jury Prize
    • BIFA Best Cinematography nomination

The film is available in the UK on MUBI—coming to the US in early 2024.

Disturbing things happen when IP expires.

Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey director Rhys Frake-Waterfield and producer Scott Jeffery’s adaptation was produced for less than 100K and made 5M at the box office. And that’s not including VOD.

Now they have strategically set the stage for a broader horror universe, teasing the integration of other public-domain childhood favorites into their dark and twisted narrative world.

Their next project is a Winnie the Pooh sequel, and they’ve leveled up in terms of budget. The team explained:

“For example, the look of the creatures is quite an important thing. Before we had a mask bought online, some cleaning gloves from the shop downstairs and a red lumberjack shirt from Amazon. The whole monster was about £630 ($770). But this time we have people doing the prosthetics — it’s a company that has worked on Harry Potter’s Voldemort and Star Wars. And they’ve been in charge of the redesigns of the creature. And that’s why Pooh looks a bit more scary. There’s an extra level of detail there.”

Steven Soderbergh has always been generous in helping up-and-coming filmmakers. His producer on one of his early films slipped him a Columbia short film from Greg Mottola (dir: Superbad, Adventureland), and he ended up producing Greg’s first feature film The Daytrippers.

He recently took Eddie Alcazar, director of the upcoming Divinity, under his wing. Read their full interview on how the collaboration came to be.


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Warner Bros. Discovery, parent of HBO and collaborator with Taiwan Mobile and the Taiwan Creative Content Agency, has ratified a multi-year pact to globalize Taiwanese content. Building on HBO’s slate of local originals like The Teenage Psychic and Dream Raider, this alliance seeks to project Taiwan’s rich storytelling heritage onto the international stage.

In a poignant discussion at the Thessaloniki Film Festival‘s AGORA symposium, key film industry figures grappled with the contentious actor’s strike in the US and how it affected the European market. Central to the debate was UK producer Julien Leroux’s (EP, Apple TV’s Tehran starring Glenn Close) assertion:

“The profits need to be shared. And, for that, we need to find a balanced solution where rights and IP can be shared. All the fights with the guilds in the US are really about this. There is no reason why all the profits, and we’re talking 100% of the profits, should stay on one side, meaning the streamers and studios”

This statement encapsulates the complex negotiation between creators, distributors, and streaming giants over the division of returns from creative works. As streaming services amplify the global reach of content, the symposium underscored the pressing need for equitable distribution of profits to sustain the industry’s diverse and vibrant ecosystem.


READERS SPOTLIGHT

Kyle Primack is a Canadian-American actor/filmmaker based in New York and LA. His work ranges from independent films to off-Broadway theater.

He recently finished filming a short in Berlin over the summer and is set to star in the film King James as the title character this month.

www.Kyleprimack.com

If you’d like to be featured in our “readers spotlight,” click here for more information.


Happy Monday! See you tomorrow.


ON THIS DAY

1973 James Bond film “Man With the Golden Gun” starring Roger Moore begins filming


Written by: Gabriel Miller and Spencer Carter. Edited by Clarke Scott.

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