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Aaron Sorkin and a contest

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

A Sorkin Draft, House of the Jedi, John Leguizamo leads a series, Amy Adams is a dog and Macedonian shoes.

Let’s go!


In 1990, a pair of aspiring screenwriters realized they could write software that would automatically format screenplays, and the industry was changed forever.

Final Draft transformed the industry, quickly getting adopted by the lion’s share of writers and directors in the film and TV industry, including Aaron Sorkin, James Cameron, and Sofia Coppola.

But what some of you may not realize is that Final Draft has also dedicated its resources to providing opportunities to launch writer’s careers. Their Big Break Contest, now running for over 25 years, made a big impact on last year’s Grand Prize TV winner, Alix Reeves.

Reeves discussed why she submitted to Big Break:

“What really moved me was when winners described the exposure they received during Big Break Week and afterward. It was all the impetus I needed, knowing that if I was fortunate enough to win, I would meet with key executives in my genre.”

And that’s exactly what happened.

After she won the 2023 TV Grand Prize, Alix got to go on her own ‘Big Break Week’ when Final Draft and Coverfly set up meetings with development executives and linked her with a writing coach who helped her prep for those meetings.

She met with execs from:

  • Netflix
  • Paramount TV
  • CW TV
  • Shudder + more.

Another perk of winning the contest was getting help navigating the precarious path to finding management.

Reeves explained:

“Because I had just parted ways with my manager, the execs stepped in to help with a new manager search. It was an unexpected assistance I cannot be more grateful for… selecting key management firms, helping with the query letter, and going above and beyond to reach out to managers on my behalf.”

Previous Big Break Contest winners have signed with UTA, Anonymous Content, Heroes and Villains, REALM, Lit Management, Bellevue, and Zero Gravity.

Big Break prizes include $10,000 cash and a trip to Hollywood for meetings with executives and reps.

For More:

Final Draft’s Big Break Contest is now open! Submit your script here.


Weekend Box Office. Here are the domestic grosses:

  • $31.7 M Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (Warner Bros/Legendary)
    • 2nd weekend
    • 60% drop
    • $135 M domestic total
    • $361 M worldwide
    • Blew past expectations
    • Trailer
  • $10 M Monkey Man (Universal/Thunder Road)
    • $9 million – Cost for Universal to acquire film from Netflix
    • $12.7 M worldwide
    • Trailer
  • $8 M The First Omen (20th Century Studios)
    • Missed its $14 M domestic projection
    • $17.4 M worldwide
    • Trailer

A long (longer) time ago in a galaxy far away. We are going 25,000 years from A New Hope to experience the birth of the Force in Star Wars Dawn of the Jedi, loosely based on the darkhorse comic of the same name. The movie will be penned by House of Cards co-creator Beau Willimon along with its director James Mangold.

Willimon burst onto the scene when he adapted his play Farragut North into a script Ides of March (2011) directed by and starring George Clooney and Ryan Gosling. It laid the groundwork for the sinuous back-channeling political drama that would birth House of Cards, for which Willimon was the creator and writer.

Willimon’s new appointment to Dawn of the Jedi tracks. He recently wrote three of the best episodes of the underrated Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) prequel series Andor (2022).

IASTE Editors and Script supervisors, and Production Coordinators guilds reach tentative agreements with AMPTP.

To date, 8 out of the 13 local guilds will present their members with terms for ratification.

Here are the eight:

  • Local 700
  • Local 871
    • Script supervisors
    • Production Coordinators
    • Accountants
  • Local 80
    • Grips
    • Crafts Service
  • Local 706
    • Makeup Artists
    • Hairstyle
  • Local 695
    • Production Sound
    • Video Engineers
  • Local 600
    • Cinematographers
  • Local 729
    • Set Painter
  • Local 800
    • Art Director

IATSE International VP Mike Miller stated:

“The work continues for our remaining Locals’ Negotiating Committees, but there’s significant momentum created by these tentative agreements. I congratulate the Negotiating Committee of Local 871 on their effective work.”

Negotiations with some remaining guilds, Local 892 (Costume Designers Guild) and Local 728 (Studio Electrical Lighting Technicians) continue this week.

The shared contract for all guilds under IASTE expires on July 31st.

Demands ranged from streaming residuals to AI protections to unaddressed concerns from the last potential strike in October 2021, where the crew were sick and tired of long hours and unsatisfactory wages due to inflation.

Disney’s 2026 Slate:

  • Mandalorian & Grogu
    • A feature-length movie directed by Jon Favreau
    • Expanding on characters and story beyond the TV series
    • Releases: May 26, 2026
  • Toy Story 5
    • Releases: June 19 2026
  • Live Action Moana
    • Releases: July 10th 2026

An Untitled Star Wars Movie, an Untitled Avengers Movie, and a Rumoured Frozen Sequel were also announced.


Skydance’s offer for Paramount Global is only a partial takeover. According to CNBC’s sources, Skydance would acquire 45-50% of Paramount Global, which would remain publicly traded. Skydance CEO David Elison would have a leadership position in the company. Some of the funding for the deal would come from his father, Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle, who would aim to update Paramount Global’s struggling offerings with AI tech. RedBird Capital and KKR, who have a minor stake in Skydance, would also provide capital.


John Leguizamo leads his first TV series. In the upcoming show, The Green Veil, Leguizamo plays a father and government agent tasked with protecting state secrets in 1950s America, which may or may not include an alien landing (trailer).

Here’s a look at Leguizamo’s recent major roles:

Leguizamo has an incredible range and can slip into any role. It’ll be great to see him helming a series.

The Green Veil will launch on April 30th on the new streaming service The Network.

Roadside Attractions presents summer’s newest comedy, Summer Camp, led by Diane Keaton (Annie Hall), Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell), and Alfre Woodard (12 Years a Slave).

Here is the official synopsis:

Follows Nora, Ginny, and Mary, three childhood best friends who used to spend every summer at a sleep away camp together. After years, when the opportunity to get back together for summer camp reunion presents itself, they all seize it.

In addition to Keaton’s dramatic work in films like The Godfather series or as the political activist in Warren Beatty’s Reds (1981), the Oscar-winning actress is no stranger to comedy with memorable work in comedic films. She played a supportive mother and wife in Father of the Bride (1991, scene) or as the hilariously weepy love-struck yet heartbroken romantic partner of Jack Nicholson in Something’s Gotta Give (2003, trailer).

Of course, nothing can approach her buoyantly compulsive titular role of Annie Hall (1977).

Summer Camp is set for a theatrical release in the US on May 31st.


Jason Butler Harner is the unsung villain of Ozark. Harner plays the stop-at-nothing cop who exploits Russ Langmore’s (Julia Garner’s character’s father) homo-sexuality. It’s a riveting role, and as Harner continues to lose against the master account turned criminal Marty Bell (Jason Bateman), Harner just gets darker and more twisted. Harner can next be seen as the lead in The Big Bend (trailer) in theaters on April 26th.


Cannes Critics Week names Rodrigo Sorogoyen as Jury President. Sorogoyen’s film The Beasts (2022, trailer) was an official selection at Cannes.

Sorogoyen stated:

“It’s a big responsibility which I look forward to. Le Semaine de la Critique supports and rewards first and second feature films as well as short films, thus providing vital support to cinema, new voices, and new ways to tell stories. Without them, there would be no new cinema. They’re the ones that make it live and make it work.”

We couldn’t agree more.

The 2023 Critics’ Week winner was Tiger Stripes (trailer). Read our write-up on the film in The International Spotlight of a previous edition of The Industry.


Amy Adams is a dog in Marielle Heller’s new film. The Searchlight and Annapurna project, Nightbitch, is an adaptation of Rachel Yoder’s 2001 satirical novel about a delirious stay-at-home mom who begins to believe motherhood is causing her to go feral!

Heller stated:

“Rachel Yoder‘s book took my breath away. I haven’t felt this way about a book since I read The Diary of a Teenage Girl many years ago. Rachel’s darkly hilarious tale of motherhood and rage made me feel seen. And adapting it with Amy Adams in mind has been the thing that has kept me going through the pandemic.”

In addition to her Sundance charmer The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015, trailer), Heller is also known for directing the Melissa McCarthy-led art dramedy Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018, trailer), and the Mister Rogers drama A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019, trailer).

After rumblings of a straight-to-Hulu debut, a test screening last March, and a three-year expensive bidding war for the rights to the film, Nightbitch is set to release on December 6th, 2024.

Olmo Schnabel signs with WME. His feature debut, Pet Shop Days, stars Willem Dafoe. The film is interesting for several reasons:

  • Premiered at the Venice Film Festival
  • Official selection: SXSW
  • EP’d by Martin Scorsese

Here’s the official synopsis for Pet Shop Days:

Follows the affair between the impulsive Alejandro and the college-age pet store employee Jack, exploring the underbelly of New York and a romance that sends them down a rabbit hole of vice.

The teaser clip showcases Jack’s father (Dafoe) discovering him in a very precarious situation.

Schnabel is currently producing Hand of Dante, starring Oscar Isaac, Gerard Butler, Al Pacino, Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, and Martin Scorsese.

Aziz Ansari’s first feature. His feature directorial debut is Good Fortune for Lionsgate, starring Keanu Reeves, Seth Rogen, Keke Palmer (Nope), and now Sandra Oh.

Ansari stated:

“It’s always so exciting when I get the opportunity to write a quote for a PR announcement. However, I’m pretty sure no one reads past the headline and gets to my quote except someone vetting this at Lionsgate PR.”

Ansari’s Master of None, for which he wrote, created, stars, and served as a director (11 episodes), is a beautiful and awkward examination of the early adulthood of a struggling actor who just wants to eat a good bowl of pasta (trailer). His directing of the entire third season, which is more drama than comedy, is masterful.

The official synopsis for Good Fortune is being kept under wraps. The project is currently in production.


There’s something triumphantly uplifting about Goran Stolevski’s Housekeeping for Beginners. The film has quite the pedigree:

  • Venice Film Festival
    • Winner Queer Lion
  • Academy Awards
    • Official Selection North Macedonia
  • BFI London
    • Official Selection

Here’s the official synopsis:

Housekeeping chronicles the chaotic everyday interactions of an unconventional queer family. Dita (Anamaria Marinca), a lesbian in Skopje, North Macedonia, marries her male best friend, a gay man, to adopt her late partner’s two daughters.

Stolevski, who grew up in a polluted area of Macedonia, stated:

“Being an outsider is really useful to being an artist… your life forces you to think in someone else’s shoes, to think of how a mainstream person would process something.”

During eight years of unemployment, Stolevski wrote ten features. Two of which (You Won’t Be Alone and Of an Age) he directed and were released by Focus Features.

The chairman of Focus Features, Peter Kujawski, stated:

“Goran makes films that are deeply humanist… Every single time that I’ve watched the first cut for these three, he’s presented us, I feel like I just learned a lot about who we are.”

You can watch the trailer for Housekeeping for Beginners here.

The film is currently in limited release in the US.


1963. 35th Academy Awards: Lawrence of Arabia wins Best Picture.

We’re off tomorrow. See you Wednesday.

Written by Gabriel Miller, Madelyn Menapace and Spencer Carter.

Editor: Gabriel Miller.

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