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Cillian Murphy’s Infinity War

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

Paul Giamatti is hostile, Kevin Hart’s daddy issues, new Alien old tricks, Jeremy Saulnier is a rebel and a bath.

Let’s go!


CILLIAN MURPHY’S INFINITY WAR

The recent heightened volatility of the film industry has birthed some sure bets by legacy streamers.

Netflix has officially greenlit the Peaky Blinders feature film.

The full gang from the six-season smash hit is returning:

  • Creator: Steven Knight
  • Director: Tom Harper (2nd half of Season 1)
  • Star: Cillian Murphy (Oppenheimer)

Murphy, who will return as the World War 1 traumatized gang leader Thomas Shelby, stated:

“It seems like Tommy Shelby wasn’t finished with me… this is one for the fans.”

The series, beginning in the 1920s, set in Birmingham, England, followed the rise of the Peaky Blinders, a formidable gang who sew razor blades in the peaks of their caps under the stern leadership of crime boss Thomas Shelby (Murphy).

Tommy and his family control the city through extortion, illegal betting, the black market, and, over time, more violent fashions, expanding their empire throughout Europe.

The series transitions from stylized all-out battles to a psychological war waging inside Shelby’s mind.

The devastating season 6 finale shows Shelby at an all-time low with the rise of fascism. The world is just on the cusp of World War II. And the show culminates in a sublime moment of redemption.

Plot details for the film are being kept under wraps, although creator Steven Knight, who has begun writing the script, has said the movie would be set during World War II.

Knight added:

“I’m genuinely thrilled that this movie is about to happen. It will be an explosive chapter in the Peaky Blinders story. No holds barred! Full-on Peaky Blinders at War!”

Production kicks off this fall.

For More:

Peaky Blinders Season 1 trailer.

Peaky Blinders Season 6 trailer.


THE INDUSTRY NEWS

No sale yet at Paramount, as we noted in yesterday’s edition. But during an earnings call today, the three-headed CEO (pictured above with Shari Redstone) presented their vision for reducing Paramount’s debt, which didn’t involve a multi-billion dollar cash injection fro Skydance.

Here are their ideas for cutting $500 M:

  • Layoffs
  • Selling assets, possibly:
    • Pluto TV
    • BET
    • VH1
    • The Paramount lot
  • Paramount+ joint venture

One of the CEOs, Chris McCarthy, detailed the scope of the venture:

“We’re exploring options with both SVOD players and the leading technology platforms with the goal of forming a joint venture or a long term strategic partnership to maximize our momentum and take advantage of our combined strengths.”

He continued:

“I’m not talking about marketing bundles either. This is a deep and expansive relationship, one that would make the most of our hit content while improving the customer offering, which together will help reduce churn and reduce expenses, which will accelerate profits.”

Redstone expressed her confidence in the CEO trio and did not mention her thoughts on the board-approved Skydance merger deal (Detailed in yesterday’s cover story).

Kevin Hart takes another stab at fatherhood. His Netflix original film Fatherhood (2021), in which he starred as a single father raising a baby girl, was heartfelt and hilarious (trailer). It is now getting a series.

Here’s the lineup:

  • Fatherhood
    • EP: Kevin Hart
    • Director/Writer: Paul Weitz (dir: Fatherhood)
    • Production Company: Higher Ground (Obamas)
    • Production Company: Hartbeat (Hart)
    • Distributor: Sony/Netflix

Hart will not reprise his role. The project is currently in development.

TV industry powerhouses Denise Thé, Melissa Scrivner Love, and Amanda Segel launch Third Rail Productions in a deal with Sony Pictures Television.

The female writer/producer trio will develop and produce scripted series concentrating on dramas with female leads, with high-profile projects already in the works.

The first is Understand (IMDBPro link), an adaptation based on a short story from sci-fi author Ted Chiang’s collection Stories of Your Life and Others (2002) with director Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting) attached.

Understand tells the story of a woman who gains extraordinary intelligence after doctors use an experimental drug to save her life. Her intellect grows, her moral center decays, and she becomes embroiled in a high-stakes battle with another super-intelligent individual.

Thé (producer: Westworld), Scrivner-Love (co-EP/writer: Clickbait), and Segel (producer: Shooter) first worked together as producers on the CBS crime drama Person of Interest (2011-2016) and have been supporting each other’s work for the past 13 years since the show’s ending making the transition into starting a production company of interest.

Tidbits:

It’s been five years since Endgame, five years since a true Avengers movie. Deadpool & Wolverine‘s director Sean Levy is rumored to be in talks with Marvel about directing the new Avengers film. Fans have long speculated it will be an interpretation of the Battleworld Saga. This beloved but bizarre storyline will bring everyone in the MCU into an alternate dimension to fight each other.

No one can hear you. A full trailer for Alien: Romulus has dropped. Read more about the film in our cover story, Alien: Violent Adaptation, but suffice it to say it’s going to be hard horror. Release date: August 16th.

The Academy Award-winning animation director Don Hall is developing a new feature with Skydance. No details have been released, but Hall has an formidable credit list:

  • Big Hero 6 (2014)
    • Co-director
    • Won Academy Award for Best Animated Feature
    • Trailer
  • Moana (2016)
    • Co-director, writer
  • Raya and The Last Dragon (2021)
    • Co-director, Writer

We look forward to more details on this as they emerge.

Angel Studios finds its saint. The Sound of Freedom director, Alejandro Monteverde, just signed a massive deal with the studio:

  • 10-year contract
    • 5-10 theatrical features as director
    • Helps other filmmakers develop their projects
  • $12 M total salary
  • $4-5 M house
  • Company equity

Monteverde’s Sound of Freedom (2023) was the top-grossing indie film of the year ($250 M WW) and solidified him as the go-to faith-based director.


THE ACTOR SPOTLIGHT

Paul Giamatti is getting hostile. He is set to star in a Hostel TV series, the latest nightmare from director Eli Roth, who helmed Hostel (2006) and Hostel 2 (2007). The first film centered on some unsuspecting sex tourists who get trapped in a deranged torture dungeon for rich customers to play out their most twisted fantasies (trailer).

Giamatti stated back in 2013:

“Eli was shooting Hostel in Prague and I was shooting The Illusionist and I met him. We talked about me actually killing somebody in that movie but it never panned out.”

No word on who Giamatti will play, but after his carefully crafted portrayal of the buttoned-up curmudgeonly professor in The Holdovers, it would be beautiful to see him play someone physically uninhibited, like a deranged killer.

Roth will write and direct. Fifth Season (Severance) is the studio. No distribution platform has been set.

Tidbit:

Chloë Sevigny (Bones and All, American Psycho) joins the cast of After the Hunt, directed by Luca Guadagnino (Challengers), detailed in yesterday’s edition.

Ian McKellen (Lord of the Rings) plays a “feared and vicious theatre critic” in The Critic. Lionsgate UK has just acquired the film, which had its world premiere at TIFF last year.


FESTIVALS

Gotham TV’s inaugural awards were held yesterday. Here are a few of the winners:

Breakthrough Limited Series:

Breakthrough Comedy Series:

Breakthrough Drama Series:

Richard Gadd, the creator, writer, and star of Baby Reindeer, stated:

“It’s kind of weird also that a show as messed up as this has gone on to strike a chord with so many people. I think it speaks to the fact that a lot of people in the world are struggling right now. And I don’t know much in the way of advice, but I do know that nothing lasts forever. So if you are in a rut, just keep going, persevere, persevere, persevere, and I promise things will improve.”

Full list of winners here.

Vertical gets damned. Here are the details of the film they’ve acquired:

  • The Damned
    • Premiere: Tribeca Film Festival
    • Worldwide Sales: Protagonist Pictures

Synopsis:

A 19th-century widow has to make an impossible choice when, during an especially cruel winter, a foreign ship sinks off the coast of her Icelandic fishing village.

The film is directed and co-written by first-timer Thordur Palsson.

Check out the first look still.

Tidbit:

Also, at the narrative competition at the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival, Vulcanizadora. The newly released teaser trailer is heavy metal and bizarre.


INDIE FILMMAKER SPOTLIGHT

Critically acclaimed director Jeremy Saulnier’s next feature, Rebel Ridge, has been announced to officially premiere later this year.

Possessing a clear fascination with the revenge thriller genre, Saulnier’s new film, Rebel Ridge, has been described as the tale of an ex-marine who takes on a group of dirty cops in a high-velocity thriller exploring systemic injustices through bone-breaking action sequences, suspense, and dark humor.

His debut film, Blue Ruin (2013, trailer), is remembered for its shocking level of visceral violence, telling a revenge tale of an ordinary person who seeks vengeance over the death of his parents. The film was entirely funded by a widely successful Kickstarter campaign and impressively had its premiere at Cannes, supplanting his name in the independent movie scene due to his idiosyncratic film style.

His sophomore effort is the A24 film Green Room (2015); Saulnier worked as both the director and cinematographer. The film focused on a punk band attacked by neo-Nazi skinheads furthering his depth of revenge stories, although this one had a horror twist.

Rebel Ridge shares DNA with Blue Ruin and is set to premiere later this year.

Richard Linklater’s new project is Blue Moon. You may be familiar with the lyrics from the 1934 ballad, made popular by The Marcels and covered by Elvis, Sinatra, and Bob Dylan, among others:

“Blue Moon, you saw me standing alone, without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own.”

These haunting lyrics were written by the songwriting duo Richard Rogers & Lorentz Hart, who wrote over 500 songs and 28 musicals, including A Connecticut Yankee, Babes in Arms, and Pal Joey.

But there have been rumors swirling around the song Blue Moon ever since its creation; some claim the song was actually written by a young boy and stolen by the writers; there are rumors of the tumultuous friendship dissolving fights that swirl around the two creators of many great American standards.

Linklater will direct, and his long-time collaborator, Ethan Hawke, is rumored to star. No stranger to music biopics, Hawke starred as tragic singer Chet Baker in Born to be Blue (2015).

Interestingly enough, Rogers and Hart wrote one of Baker’s biggest hits, “My Funny Valentine.” It all comes together; Hawke potentially fell in love with the song when shooting.

John Sloss, the lawyer and film producer who is the founder of Cinetic, will produce the film.

Tidbit:

Sloss is also launching Cinetic Library Services, which aims to license all of their 600+ titles, including Little Miss Sunshine (2006), The Kids Are All Right (2010) and Boyhood (2014).


INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Des Teufels Bad (The Devil’s Bath) just dropped a terrifying trailer that is reminiscent of The Witch (2015).

Official synopsis: ​

Austria in the 18th century. Forests surround villages. Killing a baby gets a woman sentenced to death. Agnes readies for married life with her beloved. But her mind and heart grow heavy. A gloomy path alone, evil thoughts arising.

The film is directed by Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz (Goodnight Mommy) and premiered at TIFF and the Berlin Film Festival.

Watch the wild first trailer.

Shudder Films (AMC’s horror streaming platform) will release on June 28th.


ON THIS DAY

1998. The Truman Show, starring Jim Carrey, Laura Linney, and Ed Harris, is released.


See you tomorrow.


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

Editor: Gabriel Miller.

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