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​​Daniel Craig, Raindance & Becoming a Tree

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

Daniel Craig is a dead man, Idris Elba goes doc, the myth of Raindance, The Lincoln Lawyer’s new ride, and Matt turns into a tree.

Let’s go!


Next week the Raindance Film Festival launches its 32nd edition.

The founder of the Raindance Film Festival, Elliot Grove, didn’t see a film until he was sixteen.

Growing up in a Mennonite home, he was told movies were evil. But one hot summer day, he discovered a new church: a movie theater playing Lassie Come Home (1943).

He explained:

“I cried like a baby. When it finished, I went down the front and felt the screen, wanting to know where the magic had gone to.”

That film fueled his love of cinema, and later in life, when he found there was no outlet for independent British cinema, he created the Raindance Film Festival (1992), which served as a launching pad for emerging filmmakers, such as:

  • Edgar Wright (dir: Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World)
    • First film debuts at Raindance (1995)
  • Christopher Nolan
    • Used Raindance’s space as a production office for Memento
  • Ben Wheatley (dir: High Rise, Meg 2)
    • First film, debuts at Raindance

Grove explained the ethos behind the festival:

“I’m exploding the talent myth. Sure, people have a natural aptitude for different things, but I don’t think one person is more talented than another. Skills are acquirable. What we call talent really comes from hard work and practice, practice, practice. So if you want to be a filmmaker, find your story and make it.”

This year, Raindance has a great line-up of filmmakers who have found their story:

  • Cuckoo (2024)
    • Opening Night Gala
    • Starring Hunter Schafer (Euphoria)
    • Director, Tilman Singer, Q&A
  • The White Ribbon
    • Special Screening
    • Winner, Palme d’Or
    • Starring Christian Fridel (The Zone of Interest)
    • Masterclass with Fridel

What stands out about the festivals’ offerings is that they don’t have the patina of the Hollywood marketing machine.

As Grove put it:

“Independent film comes raw, uncooked, untainted, fresh from the filmmakers’ farm.”

Raindance kicks off in London on Wednesday, June 19th.

For More:

Register for Opening Night here.

Sign up for the Christian Friedel masterclass here.

Use the code RDTHEINDUSTRY24 for 20% off festival passes here.

All pass holders get 15% off opening night tickets, and can book the masterclass for free.


Daniel Craig looks unrecognizable in the first look photo from Wake Up Dead Man: A Knives Out Mystery (Knives Out 3). While there’s been no shortage of cast announcements, the Netflix/Rian Johnson team has been tight-lipped about the plot.

Shari’s choices. During Shari Redstone’s, president of Paramount’s parent company, glacial decision-making process, weighing a premium $2 bn buyout from Skydance, new contenders have entered the ring:

  • Edgar Bronfman Jr. (former CEO Warner Music Group)
    • $2 – $2.5 bn to purchase Redstone’s majority stake
  • Steven Paul (producer: Ghost in the Shell, Baby Geniuses)
    • $2.25 – $3 bn bid
    • Backer: John Paul DeJoria (cofounder Patrón)
    • Backer: Paul Mitchell (hair care products)

DeJoria is aiming to make CBS a non-partisan outlet for positive news.

Meanwhile, the three Paramount CEOs, George Cheeks, Chris McCarthy, and Brian Robbins, will be entitled to “Severance Protection,” meaning if they’re fired when Paramount gets acquired, they will receive a pro-rated bonus and multiple on their severance payment. Their bonus for becoming co-CEOs is already sitting at $2.75 M each.

Teamsters, start your negotiations. Also known as the Local 399, Teamsters (drivers, mechanics, and chef assistants) have begun negotiations with the AMPTP for new three-year contracts.

This process will last until mid-July, with current contracts expiring on July 31.

The worry is if no agreement is reached by then, Hollywood may face another strike and a halt in film production.

Teamsters played a crucial role in last year’s negotiations by not crossing picket lines, which significantly impacted production. Without them, Hollywood productions cannot function, hitting home the importance of these negotiations in maintaining the industry’s daily operations.

Chief negotiator Lindsay Dougherty stated:

“There is some element of chess playing in negotiations, but I think, at the end of the day, we just have to keep fighting for what our members deserve until we get it.”

Negotiations kick off June 24th.


Two big TV deals:

Warner Bros TV Group:

  • Alan Yang
    • Co-Creator/Writer: Netflix’s Master of None
    • Co-EP/Writer: Parks and Recreation
    • Previous deal: Universal TV (8 years)

Yang signed an exclusive overall to develop and produce for Warner Bros TV. He has one Emmy for Outstanding Writing for Masters of None.


  • Shawn Ryan
    • Creator: Netflix’s Night Agent
    • Writer/Creator: The Shield
    • Writer/EP: S.W.A.T.

Ryan signed a four-year overall deal with Netflix, which is moving forward with Seasons 2 and 3 of Night Agent (the most-watched show on Netflix of last year from Jan-June w/ 812 M viewing hours).

Get your Midnight Margaritas ready! Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock re-unite in a reboot of Practical Magic (1988).

Warner Bros announces the cult-classic Practical Magic (trailer) will be returning with a sequel nearly three decades after its original premiere. The original saw Sally (Bullock) and Gillian Owens (Kidman) as sisters who reluctantly were also witches who were faced with an unfortunate family curse that any guy they fell for died.

Bullock and Kidman are already attached to produce, but it has not been confirmed if they will return as the sisters. Akiva Goldsman (writer: A Beautiful Mind), who was a part of the original writing team, will be penning the screenplay.

Apple dropped a lot today in their keynote. Notably, they were partnering with Chat GPT, so expect that to be available on devices in the fall. But Apple also dropped a teaser for their upcoming slate, which has some fun tidbits from Severence Season 2.


Yahya Abdul-Mateen II is on fire: He seems to have become Hollywood’s defacto inheritor of classic roles. First, he inherited the role of Matrix‘s Morpheus from Laurence Fishburne; once thought an impossible task, Yahya stepped up and re-interpreted the role with aptitude and finesse (Matrix 4 clip). Now, he will inherit another massive role, Denzel’s John Creasy from Man on Fire. Netflix has decided to turn the original two novels by A.J. Quinell into a new series.

Series logline:

“Once a high-functioning and skilled Special Forces Mercenary, known for surviving even the most desolate of situations, Creasy (Abdul-Mateen) is now plagued with intense PTSD. Determined to overcome his personal demons, he sets out on a path to redemption. But, before he can adjust to this new life, he finds himself back in the fire, fighting harder than ever.”

Aside from taking on the role of John Creasy, Abdul-Mateen is also joining the Marvel universe as Wonderman in a Disney+ show of the same name, which is due sometime next year. He is also set to star and co-produce the Austin Music-based thriller Emergency Contact with Dwayne Johnson.

Netflix’s Man on Fire will begin production this July.

English actress Helena Bonham Carter joins Martin Freeman (Sherlock) and Mia Mckenna-Bruce (How to Have Sex) in Netflix’s newest Agatha Christie adaptation, The Seven Dials Mystery.

The project comes from Chris Chibnall, best known for creating the dark mystery Broadchurch (2013-2017) and being a showrunner on the BBC’s Doctor Who for over five years.

Here is the official synopsis for the new Christie drama:

Set in 1925 following a lavish country house party, a practical joke goes murderously wrong! Only the young Lady Eileen “Bundle” Brent (McKenna-Bruce) will be able to figure out what happened. Freeman will play Superintendent Battle, and Bonham Carter will portray Lady Caterham.

Helena is no stranger to period pieces as she played Princess Margaret in two seasons of Netflix’s The Crown (2019-2020) and received an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in The King’s Speech (2010) clip.

Her colorful career has led to a long list of credits, from the jilted bride, Miss Havisham, in Mike Newell’s adaptation of Great Expectations (2012) to the wacky villainous Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter films (2007-2011) to her numerous collaborations with director Tim Burton:

  • Big Fish (2003)
  • The Corpse Bride (2005)
  • Sweeney Todd (2007) clip
  • Alice in Wonderland (2010) clip

Not much is known of the production beyond the plot of the original story, but The Seven Dials Mystery will begin filming this summer.

Idris Elba launches a new production company, 22Summers, for high-end dramas. The co-founder is Diene Petterle, who has a strong pedigree:

  • Pulse
    • Global Creative Director of nonfiction
  • BBC
    • Commissioning Executive Producer

Elba stated:

“Both Diene and I always look for the hidden layers in a story, the surprising ways in. In her EMMY and BAFTA-winning work, she is always using humour and emotion to get under the viewer’s skin. I’m excited by the idea that together we can create a home for best-in-class filmmakers and make cinematic films that inspire and entertain.”

First up for the team is the Disney+/Hulu/Nat Geo: Erased: WWII Heroes of Color.

Elba will narrate and EP, available now. The 22Summers team will move to build out a scripted department.


The Sundance producer lab has announced ten producers/projects.

Here are a couple of my favorites:

Official synopsis:

A fantastical tragicomedy about a workaholic auctioneer who, on the verge of the biggest opportunity of her career, receives an alarming diagnosis: she’s turning into a tree. And, the only hope for a cure lies with the estranged adult children she abandoned years ago.

Mao produced Marvelous And The Black Hole (2021 Sundance Film Festival).

Official synopsis:

Three childhood best friends reunite on vacation at a luxurious villa to relax and reconnect, but the property’s owner, Isabella, and a mysterious celestial object, The Glob, have other plans for them.

Strauss produced Quickening (TIFF 2021), and associate produced Infinity Pool (2023).

Here’s the full list of producers and projects.


Brad Furman (dir: Netflix’s The Lincoln Lawyer) is bringing his mother’s story, People Not Places, to life. Hollywood royalty Shirley MacLaine (The Apartment) and Stephen Dorff (True Detective Season 3) star in a story written by Ellen Brown Furman (Brad’s mother).

Here’s the synopsis:

An elderly woman (MacLaine) living in Atlantic City, upon meeting an erratic homeless man (Dorff), develops a bond due to their shared loneliness, as they find the courage to face his regrettable past and her shortened future.

Furman shared:

“This is a personal, intimate story written by my mother. It is an ode to mothers, and it is incredible to be able to take this journey with my family by my side.”

Furman’s star, Shirley MacLaine, the almost 90-year-old Academy Award winner (Terms of Endearment), is coming off her performance in the most recent season of Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building. While Dorff can be seen as Vance Simkins in the third season of HBO’s Righteous Gemstones.

Previously, Furman directed The Infiltrator (2016), a film adapted from the autobiography of the same name, starring Bryan Cranston as a U.S. Customs agent who helped bust infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar.

This feature shortly came after he directed Justin Bieber’s viral 2015 music video for his song “What Do You Mean?”

Furman’s got range!

People Not Places is currently filming in New Jersey. There is no official premiere date.

IFC Films’ Memoir of a Snail, which will be Sarah Snook’s (Succession) first voice role, is directed by Adam Elliot (dir: Mary and Max).

Elliot described the 8-year process of making the claymation film as therapeutic:

“In this film it was really challenging to get that balance between the comedy and the tragedy. There is a lot of death in this film, there’s a lot of challenging subject matter: Attempted suicide, depression, and all the rest. Just trying to get that light and shade, to get that rhythm, was tough. We did a lot of cuts, but I think we got there in the end.”

​Here’s a first-look teaser.


A new pipeline for horror. Vertigo Entertainment (Late Night with the Devil, Barbarian, The Grudge) is teaming with comic book publisher Artists Writers & Artisans, Inc.

The partnership will allow projects to flow from idea to comic book to screen for TV and Film.


1975. Nashville, directed by Robert Altman and starring Ned Beatty and Ronee Blakley, is released.

See you tomorrow.

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

Editor: Gabriel Miller.

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