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Aaron Sorkin, Zendaya and a cone

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

Redstone’s last CEO, The Social Network 2.0, Mistress America vampire hunter, Adam Scott’s books and a cone.

Let’s go!


Bob Bakish, CEO of Paramount Global, is exiting the company. In his place, an “Office of the CEO” is being put together, comprised of division heads. The move comes as Paramount Global is wrapping up a 30-day exclusive negotiating window with Skydance (Top Gun: Maverick, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One), while Sony and Apollo Global, an asset management company, are also planning an offer.

This Succession style move was pretty inevitable given:

  • Skydance or Sony/Apollo taking over Paramount would lead to Bakish’s firing
  • Shari Redstone, president of Paramount Global’s parent company, has been unhappy with Bakish’s performance
  • Bakish actively prefers the Sony/Apollo Global offer
  • Four Paramount board members recently stepped down

Redstone prefers the Skydance deal because it allows a new family management team, including David Ellison (Skydance CEO) and his father, Larry Ellison (founder of Oracle), to sweep in, pay down the debt, and clean up the mismanagement.

The Sykdance deal has already come under significant fire by shareholders, who prefer the Sony and Apollo Global deal, which would face its own legal challenges from DC, given Sony is a foreign company.

Stay tuned for the 4:30 pm EST Paramount Q1 earnings call sans Bakish. A new leadership structure is set to be announced.

Weekend Box Office. Here are the domestic grosses:

  • $15 M Challengers (US: Amazon MGM Studios, International: Warner Bros.)
  • $7.8 M Unsung Hero (Lionsgate Films)
  • $7.2 M Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (Warner Bros/Legendary)
    • $519 M worldwide
    • $135 M production budget
    • Blew past expectations
    • Trailer
  • $7 M Civil War (A24)

Writer Aaron Sorkin teases “some kind of sequel” to The Social Network, inspired by the Capital riots on January 6th, which he believes Facebook is to blame.

Sorkin confirmed that he has been working on a new project that will show the immeasurable impact of the social media platform Facebook since its creation.

Sorkin stated:

“Facebook has been, among other things, tuning its algorithm to promote the most divisive material possible, because that is what will increase engagement… There’s supposed to be a constant tension at Facebook between growth and integrity. There isn’t. There’s just growth.”

He continued:

“If Mark Zuckerberg woke up tomorrow morning and realized there is nothing you can buy for $120 billion that you can’t buy for 119 billion dollars, ‘So how about if I make a little bit less money? I will tune up integrity and tune down growth.’”

Sorkin scripted (and had a small role) in David Fincher’s 2010 drama, The Social Network, starring Jesse Eisenberg as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, which would go on to secure 8 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and an Adapted Screenplay win for Sorkin.

Aaron Sorkin has also said the new Social Network project would only move forward if David Fincher signed on to direct.


Sony pushes release dates:

  • Karate Kid
    • Dec. 13, 2024 → May 30, 2025

The film stars Jackie Chan and Cobra Kai star Ralph Macchio. It is said to be pushed to allow the final season of Cobra Kai to generate box office excitement.

  • Kraven the Hunter
    • Aug. 30, 2024 → Dec. 13, 2024

The film has already been pushed twice (originally releasing Jan ‘23)—Aaron Taylor-Johnson stars along with Russell Crowe. Sony is said to be nervous about releasing this after it’s gotten some backlash.

Trailer here.


Lola Kirke has just been cast in Ryan Coolger’s vampire supernatural thriller.

Kirke has gone a bit under the radar but was astonishing in the early Amazon Studios series Mozart in the Jungle (2014-2018), where she played an amateur oboeist whose rare talent transfixes the eccentric new conductor of the New York Philharmonic (played by the excellent, Gael García Bernal) during an open audition. Her shy, timid demeanor is wonderfully authentic and is driven by her love of music (character arc clip).

Kirke has also been strong in:

No word on what role she will be playing in Coogler’s film, whose cast also includes Michael B. Jordan, Hailee Steinfeld, and Wunmi Mosaku, among others.

After years of independent dramas and supporting TV roles, Luca Guadagnino’s steamy sports drama Challengers marks a major leading man moment for actor Josh O’Connor, 33.

He’s known most for his work as young Prince Charles in Seasons 3 and 4 of Netflix’s The Crown, a role he took home the Emmy for Best Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

O’Connor stars as Patrick Zweig, a bad boy type, hot mess, tennis player, a part of a complex love triangle of stunning tennis prodigy Tashi Duncan (Zendaya) and his longtime doubles partner, Art Donaldson (Mike Faist).

When speaking about both the inevitable intimacy between players and partners in professional tennis and the sexual fluidity of his character, O’Connor says:

“There’s been a lack of that imagery and those conversations in films for a long time, and it thankfully is getting better.”

He continued:

“Call it love or obsession. Tashi wants them together; she’s attracted to the two of them as a thing. You hope people walk out of the theater with this realization that they all need each other.”

Challengers follows a professional tennis champion (Faist) who plots a comeback with the help of his athlete wife (Zendaya), who has since retired due to injury, as he goes up against someone he’s never been able to beat, his former best friend and his wife’s former lover (O’Connor).

The release of Challengers was delayed nearly nine months due to the actors’ strike last fall, but the highly anticipated film is now in theaters.

Watch the trailer here.


Pray for Julia’s baby. Julia Garner (Ozark) is starring in a prequel to Rosemary’s Baby (1968) Apartment 7A.

Here’s the official synopsis:

When a struggling young dancer (Garner) suffers a devastating injury, she finds herself drawn in by dark forces when a peculiar, well-connected older couple promises her a shot at fame. Set in 1965 New York City, the film tells the story prior to Roman Polanski’s horror classic Rosemary’s Baby, exploring what happened in the apartment before Rosemary moved in.

This is no dream! Apartment 7A will drop on Paramount+ in the Fall.


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Ray Chan, one of Marvel’s assets in production design, has unfortunately passed away. With a collection of massive Marvel masterpieces left in his legacy, Ray Chan was in charge of creating worlds for the Avengers Infinity War saga, and most recently the upcoming Deadpool and Wolverine.

The film’s star and the titular Deadpool, Ryan Reynolds, wrote a touching statement where he called Chan:

“Kind, warm, tenaciously devoted, and relentlessly inspiring.”

He will be missed.


Adam Scott will be making his directorial debut with a stacked cast in Double Booked. Adam Scott not only directs but stars opposite Zazie Beetz (Joker, Atlanta), who will play his wife.

Here is the official synopsis:

A self-help writer and his pregnant wife plan a getaway at a remote cabin, but find another couple already there. As a blizzard traps them together, a system error spirals into a nightmarish game of deception and peril.

Sterling K. Brown (American Fiction) and Alexandra Daddario (White Lotus) will play the other couple.

While Scott, for a time, was best known as a funny guy, sometimes playing a jerk, sometimes a nerd, sometimes a straight man, he recently took a turn to the more serious in Apple TV’s wildly successful Severance. While Severance definitely has comedic elements, it is strictly planted into the psychological thriller and sci-fi mystery, with some dark elements of a black comedy. Watching Scott change from his depressed home self into his happy, bright-eyed work alter ego with only the memories since starting his new job has been a compelling expression of the actor’s range.

Watch Scott’s slow turn from funny man to Something Darker:

Double Booked promises some of that edge, but it will not be all dour. It was written by David Levinson (Anchor Man 2).

No production date has been announced.

Francis Galluppi turns evil. Galluppi (Dir: The Last Stop in Yuma County) will write and direct the new Evil Dead movie. The horror genre remains one of the last frontiers where first and second-time directors are still given the keys to major properties (first-timer Arkasha Stevenson directed 2024’s The First Omen).

Sam Raimi, the director of the original 1981 horror classic (trailer), stated:

“Francis Galluppi is a storyteller who knows when to keep us waiting in simmering tension and when to hit us with explosive violence. He is a director that shows uncommon control in his feature debut.”

Galluppi’s debut, The Last Stop in Yuma County, is hectically tense.

Here’s the official synopsis: ​

A traveling knife salesman is stranded and forced to wait at a rural rest stop and suddenly finds himself in the middle of a violent hostage situation upon the arrival of two bank robbers who are on the run after a recent heist.

Watch this exclusive clip and try to breathe.

We can’t wait to see what he does with The Evil Dead, whose most recent incarnation was Evil Dead Rise (2023, trailer), the sophomore feature of Lee Cronin.


Alexander Payne (Dir: The Holdovers) is directing his first documentary on his favorite professor at film school.


Mediawan, the Paris-based production company (One Love), international sales agent (Beetlejuice Beetlejuice) and distributor (The Count of Monte Cristo), has just acquired Germany’s Leonine (The Lives of Others, Netflix’s Dark).

Leonine, also a production company, sales agent and distributor, boasts:

  • 30,000 hrs of premium content
  • $1.4 bn revenue

Mediawin is now worth an estimated $2 bn and has a strong foothold in indies and series across all of Europe’s different markets.

Mediawin’s Co-Founder, Pierre-Antoine Capton, stated:

“Along with the Nordics, Germany is an important territory where we weren’t present, and it’s a priority for us to develop premium content for platforms there because there is a regulation coming up that will require platforms to increase their investment in Germany.”

Mediawin’s next aim is to expand into Scandinavia and Africa.


Morgan Freeman spoofs Nicole Kidman’s AMC ad at the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award.

See you tomorrow!

Written by Gabriel Miller, Madelyn Mednapace, and Spencer Carter.

Editor: Gabriel Miller.

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