From Alien to Zorro

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

The next David Fincher, Margot Robbie takes on The Sims, a Never Never Ending story, The Artist plays Zorro and eden.

Let’s go!


The first Alien is a masterpiece.

The Ridley Scott-directed film taps into the main line of the amygdala. The scriptwriter, Dan O’Bannon, discussed his inspiration:

“[H.R. Giger’s] paintings had a profound effect on me. I had never seen anything that was quite as horrible and at the same time as beautiful as his work. And so I ended up writing a script about a Giger monster.”

The story of Alien, which has spawned seven sequels and two spin-off films (Alien vs. Predator), has always been that of violent reproduction–both on and off-screen.

The alien creature propagates its species by attaching itself to the victim’s face and implanting an egg inside their stomach. In one of the most chilling scenes in the series, an alien bursts out of a crew member’s rib cage during dinner time.

The process of adapting the films has also been violent.

David Fincher, the director of Alien 3 (1992), was aggressively subjugated to studio whims and was so traumatized by the experience it birthed his meticulous nature.

Enter Alien: Romulus.

The latest reincarnation of the series is directed by Fede Álvarez (Don’t Breathe, Evil Dead). It will debut in theaters on August 16th.

The story is set 25 years after Ridley Scott’s original Alien (1979). And while the new teaser trailer doesn’t give much away, a recent interview with the Álvarez was revealing:

“I really wanted to go back to the sheer horror of the first film, and to take those elements of thriller that Aliens has, and Alien 3 has as well. We went to crazy extents to keep it pure to the filmmaking techniques of the first movie.”

In other words, this new film may resurrect a much-tired series, adding newborn fuel for our nightmares.

For More:

Alien: Romulus teaser. It’s scary.

The iconic chestburster scene from Alien (1979) is enthralling.

A BTS clip of David Fincher directing Alien 3… without a script.


Apollo Global bids $11M to purchase Paramount. That offer exceeds the entire market cap of Paramount’s parent company, Paramount Global ($7.7 bn).

Apollo Global has previously purchased or invested in:

  • CKX (owner of American Idol production company 19 Entertainment)
  • Legendary Entertainment (Dune 2)
  • Yahoo Inc.

After Shari Redstone, president of Paramount Global, signaled she is looking to sell, many companies have thrown their hat in the ring, like Byron Allen ($30 bn), David Ellison (CEO: Skydance), and Warner Bros. Discovery.

Paramount’s shares jumped 12% on the news of the Apollo bid.

The Sims movie is happening. Here are the details:

  • Producer: Margot Robbie’s LuckyChap (Barbie)
  • Director: Kate Herron (Loki, Sex Education)
  • Writer: Herron & Briony Redman (Dr. Who)

The video game, launched in 1989, first started as a simple slice-of-life game. It has grown with sequels and expansions introducing Zombies, Evil, Plants, Aliens, and ghosts and went on to sell over 200 million copies.

With the success of The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023), which made $1.4 bn, and the upcoming Minecraft movie, which is headlined by Jack Black and Jason Mamoa, there is a market for these blockbuster video game adaptations.

Will the filmmakers make a self-referential joke about the universal feeling of godhood when removing ladders from a pool and watching your Sims swim over and over until they finally drown?

C’mon, we all did it once.

The NeverEnding Story returns. The original The NeverEnding Story (1984) introduced audiences to a world of gargantuan sneezing turtles, hungry rockbiters, and a magical dragon named Falkor. The original best-selling children’s book on which the film is based will now be adapted by See-Saw Films.

See-Saw Films’ producers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman (The King’s Speech, Power of the Dog, Shame) stated:

“Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story is a beloved book that has captured the imagination of generations of fans all over the world. Bringing literary worlds to the screen is part of See-Saw’s DNA, and we are passionate about cinematic storytelling and entertaining audiences. We have such love for the book and are honored to be working with Michael Ende Productions on this collaboration to bring audiences back to Fantastica.”

See-Saw Films has purchased the book rights and is now looking for the right creative team.

And because at least one of the See-Saw folks is reading, we’ll toss in a suggestion: Guillermo del Toro.


Jean Dujardin is an artist. His Oscar-winning portrayal of the silent film star George Valentin in The Artist (2011, trailer) is radiantly charming. With the birth of the sound era, Valentin’s narcissistic tendencies cannibalize his career–because he refuses to speak.

Dujardin’s bravado and suaveness make him perfect for his next role: Zorro.

He will now star in an adaptation of the masked hero Zorro. The earliest film, The Mark of Zorro (1940), has been adapted 40 times, including the most recent stunningly exciting The Mask of Zorro (1998), starring Antonio Banderas as the new Zorro, Anthony Hopkins as the old Zorro, his mentor, and Catherine Zeta-Jones as the strong-willed swashbuckling daughter of Hopkins (trailer).

Dujardin will take up the mantle in an eight-part series that was just purchased by Parmaount+ for France, the U.K., Italy, Germany, and Latin America.

Here are two first-look images:

No release date has been set.

M. Emmet Walsh has passed away at 88. Here’s a look at some of Walsh’s most iconic work:

In an interview a few years ago, Walsh stated:

“I don’t want you to see an M. Emmet Walsh. I want you to see a garbage collector or a president of Princeton or whatever. … I do everyman.”

We see you, Walsh. You will be missed.

One tidbit:

David Schwimmer (Friends), whose recent work in Sundance’s Darren Aronofsky produced Little Death was poetically manic, will star in Season 2 of Goosebumps for Disney+.

Here is Schwimmer’s official character description:

A former botany professor and divorced parent of teenage twins is juggling the responsibilities of overseeing an aging parent while having his kids for the summer.

The casting feels perfect, as Schwimmer’s iconic Ross in Friends was also a divorced professor.


413 applications. 15 pitches. 1 winner. Series Mania, a place for TV professionals from all over the world to converge, culminated yesterday in a live pitch event.

The $55K grand prize winner was the six-part Slovakian political drama Our People.

Here’s the official synopsis:

The grim true-life tale about the killing of journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová, in 2018. Kuciak has been investigating tax fraud among top Slovakian criminals, and several people have been jailed for the deaths.

The producer Tomáš Hrubý stated:

“These are stupid criminals. They were getting advice [to commit murder] from fortune tellers.”

Our People is written and directed by Tereza Nvotová.


Judgment at Nuremberg. There are two new adaptations of the historic Nuremberg trials of the Nazis. The first, currently in preproduction, will star Russell Crowe, Rami Malek, and Michael Shannon.

The second, Nuremberg, will be directed by Christian Schwochow (dir: The Crown) and produced by Constantin Film (German distributor: Se7en, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind).

Here’s the official synopsis:

Nuremberg will follow young survivors of the second world war who go to work for Allied prosecutors trying Nazi criminals, only to find their quest for justice undercut by secret efforts to build a new world order.

Schwochow stated:

“The Nuremberg Trials marked a pivotal moment in human history, ushering in a new age of responsibility and justice. This is a story of humanity grappling with its deepest shadows. Its relevance has never been greater, and I am filled with a humble sense of duty to tell this story faithfully.”

The project is still in development.

So, while there won’t be a trailer for some time, it’s worth watching the 1961 masterpiece Judgment at Nuremberg starring Spencer Tracey, Burt Lancaster, and Maximilian Schell (trailer).

Plus, Judy Garland.


Netflix’s new Korean series Parasyte: The Grey looks reminiscent of Guillermo del Toro’s The Strain. The trailer features a parasite infecting swaths of the population, leading to head-splitting mutations that give all possessed shape-shifting powers. While it seems to follow well-trodden tropes, the director Yeon Sang-ho created the sublimely visceral Train to Busan (2016) about a zombie attack on a train. Its ability to foreground the father-daughter relationship elevated it above the typically pure-gore genre fare.

The series is based on the popular manga Manga series Parasyte.

Parastye: The Grey will drop on Netflix on April 5th.

BBC Studios has acquired the Spanish production company Brutal Media. Established in 2009, Brutal Media boasts an impressive oeuvre, including:

Brutal Media will continue producing original content and local adaptations of BBC Studios’ formats within Spain, while BBC Studios will spearhead the international distribution and production of Brutal Media’s series.

Jacob de Boer, EVP of global entertainment at BBC Studios, said:

“This agreement with Brutal Media is the natural next step for BBC Studios to expand our presence in the Spanish market. With their local expertise, strong local network and exciting development slate, Brutal Media is the perfect partner to produce the high-quality Spanish language content that we know local and global audiences are looking for.”

BBC Studios continues to expand globally.

They’ve also just acquired the Australian production company Werner Film Productions.


1982. Annie, directed by John Huston, starring Aileen Quinn, Albert Finney, and Carol Burnett, premieres.

See you Friday.

Written by Gabriel Miller. Research by Spencer Carter.

Editor: Gabriel Miller.

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