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Austin Butler gets gritty

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

Austin Butler’s requiem, Ryan Gosling and the Emerald City, Paramount Global gets junked, Katy O’Brian on the run and a jinx.

Let’s go!


There’s always something polished about Austin Butler.

His lustrous breakout role as Elvis (2022) is the apex of cinematic gaudiness. The film is at its greatest when Butler is on stage gyrating, making the audience swoon and looking oh so cool.

In Dune 2, he plays a sinister shaved-head sociopath (still), which director Denis Villenvue said was:

“Something that would be a cross between a psychotic, sociopath serial killer and Mick Jagger.”

And even in this, there’s a terrifying precision to his movements, magnified by his sleek scalp.

Now Butler, who got started playing the typified but forgettable cool guy in Kevin Smith’s Yoga Hosers (2016), Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die (2019), and Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019), is working with Darren Aronofsky.

Aronofsky became synonymous with New York grit after his B&W pulse-pounding debut Pi (1998), ripped into the psyche of a numerologist’s madness. His follow-up, Requiem for a Dream (2000), which paints NYC as a druggy playground, has one of cinema’s bleakest endings.

Now, Aronofsky returns to the streets of New York City with Caught Stealing, his new project starring Butler.

Here’s a snippet of the official synopsis of the book on which the film is based:

Within twenty-four hours Hank [Butler] is running over rooftops, swinging his old aluminum bat for the sweet spot of a guy’s head, playing hide and seek with the NYPD, riding the subway with a dead man at his side, and counting a whole lot of cash on a concrete floor. All because of two cowboys, two Russian mafia men, and some of the weirdest goons ever assembled in one place.

Aronofsky stated it’s Butler’s:

“…adrenaline-soaked roller coaster ride…”

It’s going to be one hell of a ride, and we couldn’t be more excited to watch Butler play in the shadows.

The project is currently being developed by Sony.

For More:

A24 just re-released Pi in 8K. The new trailer is an adrenaline shot.

Relive Austin Butler’s magnetic stage presence in Elvis. Trailer.

The practiced fury of Austin Butler and Timothée Chalamet’s final duel in Dune 2.


First look deals galore. Here are two new ones:

Henderson is coming from Apple Original Films. Her resume is quite impressive:

  • Apple Original Films (2021-2024)
    • Feature Executive, who oversaw:
    • Wolfs, starring Brad Pitt and George Clooney
    • Blitz, starring Saoirse Ronan
    • F1 starring Brad Pitt and Javier Bardem
  • Warner Media
    • EVP Original Features
  • Paul Feig’s Feigco Entertainment (2013-2019)
    • Co-Founder, who oversaw:
    • Spy (2015) starring Melissa McCarthy

Gosling and Henderson created a new company, General Admission. Amazon’s Head of Film Courtenay Valenti said:

“We are so thrilled that Ryan Gosling and Jessie Henderson will make Amazon MGM Studios the home of their new company, General Admission. As the name of their company conveys, these passionate and extraordinary filmmakers want to tell stories for audiences all over the world. Ryan Gosling is a truly singular artist who possesses boundless talent and creativity.”

Gosling discussed how some of his favorite films were from MGM.

Next deal:

Lionsgate Television Group chair and chief creative officer Kevin Beggs explained:

“Seth, Evan and James are the masters of subversive, renegade humor who make coming to work both fun and funny every single day. From The Boys to Sausage Party, they are true trendsetters with their fingers on the pulse of what’s funny in entertainment. We began shooting their hilarious, wildly inventive half-hour comedy for Apple TV+ and can hardly wait to see what they do next.”

That half-hour comedy is The Studio.

Back in January, Point Grey signed a first-look deal with Universal on the feature side.

Paramount Global gets junked. As the company struggles to adapt from traditional TV to streaming, it was downgraded to “junk status” by Credit Ratings Agency, S&P.

The agency stated:

“Paramount will need to execute its plan to substantially improve streaming losses over the next two years to mitigate further downside ratings pressure.”

They continued:

“If these assumptions don’t materialize to the extent we are forecasting due to a more competitive streaming environment or an acceleration in declines in linear television, we could reassess our rating or outlook.”

Last month, they were downgraded to negative credit watch.

In that assessment, S&P cited:

“Its cash flow declines have been worse than its industry peers because of its smaller scale, less business diversification, and slower DTC ramp up.”

Paramount’s free cash flow for 2022 was -$139 M and $147 M in 2023.

Two weeks ago, they sold their 13% stake in India’s Viacom18 to free up some cash, netting $517 M.


The Disney+ Hulu bundle launched yesterday with a rather cute promo video set to The White Stripes’ We’re Going To Be Friends.

Darren Star (creator: Emily for You) leaves Paramount for Universal TV after being lured with an eight-figure deal.

Religulous! Scorsese will host and produce a religious series for Fox Nation. As detailed in our previous cover story, he’s always been intertwining cinema and faith.


Katy O’Brian goes Mission: Impossible. The Loves Lies Bleeding breakout star has just been cast in Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 2, helmed by Tom Cruise.

O’Brian stars alongside Kristen Stewart in A24’s Love Lies Bleeding. In the film, Stewart falls in love with O’Brian, who plays a no-fucks-given, sensual bodybuilder who gets wrapped up in criminal violence (trailer).

O’Brian got widespread praise for the role and recently signed with Gersh.

It’ll be great to see her kicking ass or pulling some death-defying stunt alongside Cruise.

Erika Alexander is a bright light in American Fiction. She plays Jeffrey Wright’s love interest, Coraline. In one of the best meet-cutes of the year, she gets cozy with Wright, only for her (ex) husband to pop in the door. Alexander​ is able to navigate Wright’s character’s moodiness by injecting the correct dose of toughness and admiration (scene).

Alexander also plays the incredulous police officer in Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017).

And this is a genius performance.

It is the only scene of pure comic relief in the film and plays virtually like a Key & Peele sketch, yet tonally, it fits squarely into the Get Out world.

Watch Alexander’s reversal as she turns from disinterested to distressed on a dime (scene).

Alexander was just announced as a series regular for Apple TV+’s Invasion Season 3.


Sesame Workshop Writers’ Room writing fellowship. Fresh new writing talent from underrepresented racial backgrounds. Emerging storytellers selected to join the Writers’ Room will receive hands-on writing experience guided by Sesame Street veterans and other media industry leaders.

Each participant will develop and write a pilot script for their original kids concept.

Past fellows have gone on to develop their original content with Sesame Workshop, as well as write for Sesame Street and various programs at Nickelodeon, Disney, DreamWorks, and more.

About the program:

  • Eight writers will be selected
  • Workshops from industry writers, producers, agents, and executives
  • Up to two participants will have the opportunity to receive creative development deals and further mentorship

Deadline: April 8th. Apply here.

Cannes gets remade. After the success of various European films being remade, e.g., La Famille Bélier (2014, trailer) → Coda (2021, Best Picture). The Cannes Film Festival’s Marché du Film is launching “Cannes Remakes,” a program to promote remakes of successful European films, starting with a pitch session for IP from France, Spain, and Italy.

This event, set for May 20 and hosted by France’s National Cinema Centre (CNC) at Cannes’ CNC beach, aims to tap into the burgeoning remake market and fast-track adaptation of European IP.


A tiny dose of Yorgos Lanthimos. Poor Things defied expectations at the Oscars, winning for Best Actress (Emma Stone), Makeup, Costume, and Production Design.

Now, a teaser trailer for Lanthimos’ follow-up project, Kinds of Kindness, just dropped.

Here’s the official synopsis from Searchlight Pictures, who re-teemed with Lanthimos following success of Poor Things:

KINDS OF KINDNESS is a triptych fable, following a man without choice who tries to take control of his own life; a policeman who is alarmed that his wife who was missing-at-sea has returned and seems a different person; and a woman determined to find a specific someone with a special ability, who is destined to become a prodigious spiritual leader.

Lanthimos is teaming up with some of his casting regulars:

Plus, some newcomers:

The style of the trailer has the Americana-tinged zaniness of a Coen brothers film.

Kinds of Kindness will be Lanthimos’ first movie filmed in the US since The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017).

Release date: June 21st.

Robert Durst is back. A highly edited hot-mic confession at the end of the finale of HBO’s The Jinx landed Robert Durst in jail days before the episode aired. Durst was ultimately convicted of three murders.

Although Durst passed away in January of 2022, the show’s creator and director, Andrew Jarecki, was able to film a second season. From the new trailer, it’s hard to tell if the six-episode season 2 will feature new revelations or just a rehashing of old material.

At a bare minimum, there will be jail cell calls between Jarecki and Durst and new witnesses.

The first season of The Jinx is this publication’s favorite true crime series of all time. It has a sublime bizarreness that is riveting, gut-wrenching, and often hilarious.

We can only hope Durst wasn’t too bitter about the first season.

Release date: April 21st on Max.


1977. 49th Academy Awards: Peter Finch & Faye Dunaway win for Network.

See you Friday.

Written by Gabriel Miller. Research by Spencer Carter.

Editor: Gabriel Miller.

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