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Bad Blood, Good Taste

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

Tommy Lee Jones’s lost project, Tina Fey’s dynamic duo, Ron Howard’s beautiful mind, Baby Reindeer signs, and psilocybin.

Let’s go!


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Moving through the pages of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian feels like wading through a swamp.

The overwhelming, poetic, primordial violence of this masterwork cannot be overstated.

Tommy Lee Jones, one of many who tried to adapt the book into a film, stated:

“I was going to make it just like the book, but studios get a little scared when a black guy cuts off a white guy’s head, and the shooting jets of blood douse the fire. I wasn’t going to cut it back.”

Others like Ridley Scott, James Franco, and Todd Field (Dir: Tar) have also tried their hand and failed.

The language is nearly impossible to adapt on screen.

Indulge in a quote:

“The flames sawed in the wind and the embers paled and deepened and paled and deepened like the bloodbeat of some living thing eviscerate upon the ground before them and they watched the fire which does contain within it something of men themselves inasmuch as they are less without it and are divided from their origins and are exiles. For each fire is all fires, and the first fire and the last ever to be.”

The latest attempt at adaptation is by New Regency, who has just hired John Logan to write the script.

Logan’s credits include:

  • Gladiator (20o0)
  • The Last Samurai (2003)
  • Skyfall (2012)

Logan stated:

Blood Meridian has been one of my favorite novels since first reading it in 1985… It’s a majestic, beautiful and uncompromising book and I’m thrilled to be able to help bring Cormac McCarthy’s dark masterpiece to the screen.”

The crowing achievement of McCarthy adaptations is the Coen Brother’s best picture winner, No Country For Old Men (2008).

The runner-up is The Road (2009), directed by John Hillcoat, who will serve as the director for this new adaptation of Blood Meridian.

It’s a hell of a task and as Logan moves into the clutches of the darkest corners of the human soul, we leave with a quote:

“They paused without the cantina and pooled their coins and Toadvine pushed aside the dried cowhide that hung for a door and they entered a place where all was darkness and without definition.”

For more:

The Road (2009) trailer.

The journey to adapting Blood Meridian is paved with skeletons. Read James Franco’s first-person account here.

Watch Franco’s 25-minute proof of concept. The rights holder was initially impressed, granting Franco adaptation rights… before the deal fell apart.


The industry has been hit with a flurry of promotions. Here’s a short list:

Bennett Lewis previously oversaw HBO’s Lovecraft Country as head of production at J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot.

  • AWA Studios brings a strategic advisor, Victoria Rossellini
    • Rossellini helped finance Titanic (1997), Avatar (2009), Life of Pi (2012)
    • Served as President of Worldwide Business & Legal Affairs and Strategic Financing at 20th Century Fox

AWA Studios has no released projects and is currently developing a Joseph Kosinski (dir: Top Gun: Maverick) helmed project.

Sanderson stated:

“It’s been a true joy to build a slate that mixes everything from sasquatches, to outer space thrillers, to Bette Midler’s first theatrical leading role in more than a decade, and of course, the latest from the great Mike Leigh.”

Additional promotions across the company were also made.

Congrats to everyone!

Ron Howard directs a Jim Henson documentary for Disney+. Jim Henson Idea Man tracks the wonderfully boundless creative force of Henson, who created The Muppet Show (1976-1981), The Dark Crystal (1982) and Labyrinth (1986). Henson passed away too young at the age of 53 in 1990 and this documentary is a monument to his legacy (trailer).

Premiering on Disney+ on May 31st


Sam Raimi (dir: Spiderman) will be adapting Graveweaver’s popular webtoon I’m The Grim Reaper. Campbell & Stuecken of 10 Cloverfield Lane will be writing.

Here is the webtoon synopsis:

On earth there are bad people, and then there are REALLY BAD people. If you’re one of the latter, you don’t just get sent to Hell, you get sent to Hell and get assigned a job collecting the souls of some of the worst people on Earth.

Such is the career path of a young woman named Scarlet, who dies and is delivered down to the fiery underworld only to find herself in an entry-level position as…The Grim Reaper!

Jennifer Aniston has a new 9 to 5. She will produce an updated film version of 9 to 5 for 20th Century Studios. The original movie starred Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Dolly Parton as three office employees who turn the tables on a “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” boss.

Diablo Cody is penning the script.


André Holland poses the most important question in Moonlight (2016):

“Who is you?”

He plays the oldest version of Kevin, who encounters Black (Little/Charon), barely recognizable in his new buffed-up persona, in a diner where he works.

Now, in Apple TV+’s latest The Big Cigar Holland will play the founder of the Black Panther party Huey P. Newton.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Follows Huey P. Newton’s life. He escaped to Cuba to avoid prosecution for murder with the help of Bert Schneider, the Hollywood producer behind Easy Rider, as well as a few other celebrity radicals.

It’s like the Black Panther version of Argo (2012).

In the trailer, you can feel Holland’s careful navigation of the immense weight of leadership. But more interesting is what is not revealed. Will having to temporarily change his persona for the fake movie permanently disrupt his identity?

The series rolls onto the Apple TV+ red carpet on May 17th.

Two Second City greats team up once again. Steve Carell and Tina Fey will star together in Netflix’s The Four Seasons. Fey and Carell working together is quite a reunion ever since they played a married couple in Date Night (2010, trailer).

This will mark Fey’s first lead role in a TV series since 30 Rock, which garnered an Emmy for Best Comedy Series for seasons 1-3.

The Four Seasons series is based on Alan Alda’s 1981 film, whose synopsis is as follows:

Three couples vacation together every season. After one divorce, feelings of betrayal and more spawn criticisms of one another, but the things that keep them together are stronger than those which might pull them apart.

There’s something banally delightful about the trailer that feels ripe for Fey and Carell to swoop in and add their wildly lively creative genius.

Like in their presentation at the Golden Globes (clip).


Amy Adams’ God. Amy Adams is set to star in At the Sea by director Kornél Mundruczó who directed the masterwork White God.

At the Sea synopsis:

After rehab, a woman (Adams) returns to her family’s beach home, readjusting to her old life without her career that gave her identity. She faces her next chapter, forced to move on.

Production is set for June.

New casting announcements:

Official synopsis:

An interrelated, multistory horror epic about the disappearance of high school students in a small town.

Much anticipated third film in the 28 Days Later series that launched Cillian Murphy and Alex Garland’s career.

Newton is excellent in Crash (2004), Westworld (2016-2022), and in the underappreciated God’s Country (2022).


Are you a head of post, head of music, music supervisor, IT, or a legal team who can’t seem to efficiently license music?

For years teams at studios and production companies have been manually putting music into spreadsheets, crippling efficiency, creating redundancy, and getting served with lawsuits.

QWire, a music licensing platform for the Film and TV industry, streamlines music clearance for the simplest client up to the most sophisticated.

Oppenheimer (2023), Saturday Night Live, and The Olympics were all cleared by QWire.

Some of the platform’s abilities include:

  • Real-time budget and status updates on any track or production.
  • Automatically generating quote requests, approvals, and license requests.
  • Capturing detailed rights information and union fees, as well as automatic fee distribution and MFN calculation.

​To learn more about Qwire, check out their website here.

Or, sign up for the Qwire Demo here.

Cannes Market. XYZ Films brings a twist on the murder mystery to the Marché.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Jimmy (Charlie Day) wakes up after attempting suicide, that’s what it looks like. Together with Margot (Allison Williams), the 911 operator, they set out on a mission to solve the mystery: did someone try to kill him or is the specter of depression haunting him?

Allison Williams has just boarded the project as a producer.


Richard Gadd signs with UTA. Gadd is the genius behind Baby Reindeer, the Netflix series phenomenon of which he is the star, writer, and creator.

Here’s the official synopsis:

The story follows the writer and performer Richard Gadd’s warped relationship with his female stalker and the impact it has on him as he is ultimately forced to face a deep, dark buried trauma.

No spoilers, but what is so powerful about the series is the deep level of sympathy Gadd allows you to feel for both himself and the stalker despite them, in their own ways, being deplorable.


Jim Jarmusch and Carter Logan’s SQÜRL scores a psilocybin-inspired drone rock soundtrack for four Man Ray films that have been fused into a single surreal cinematic experience.

Janus Films stated:

“This film represents a high watermark of early European avant-garde cinema, a seminal nexus of experimental technique, surrealist narrative, and playful abstraction as suffused with dark eroticism.”

The continued:

“In these films Ray began discovering the limitless possibilities of montage as well as the direct application onto celluloid of objects such as salt, pepper, pins, and thumbtacks. Juxtaposing undulating geometric patterns, a twirling fairground ride, and a female nude, among other striking images, Ray finds subconscious correspondences among seemingly incongruous materials and figures.”

Here’s the trailer.

Man Ray: Return to Reason will return to theaters on May 15.


Son of Saul (2015) won the Grand Prix at Cannes for depicting the horrors of Auschwitz from the viewpoint of a member of the sonderkommando, the Jewish work unit. Its stiflingly locked-in POV is a horrifying precursor to The Zone of Interest.

Son of Saul (trailer) was Hungarian director László Nemes’ first feature. His latest feature is Orphan, supported by the UK Global Screen Film Fund. ​

Here’s the official synopsis:

It will follow a young boy in Budapest in 1957, one year after the Hungarian Revolution, which saw a failed uprising against the USSR. ​

Although Nemes’ second feature, Sunset (2018), was not as strongly received, Orphan is set to shoot in June and is being co-sold at the Cannes Market.

We hope this puts him back on the international map.


2021. 93rd Academy Awards: Nomadland wins best film.

See you Friday!

Written by Gabriel Miller and Spencer Carter.

Editor: Gabriel Miller.


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