George Clooney’s luck, Bill Murray’s riff

This article first appeared as a daily newsletter. To receive these direct to your inbox every morning sign up to The Industry Newsletter!

Sponsored by:

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

Netflix Film buddies, Jane Fonda to Sydney Sweeney, Judgement at Russell Crowe, Tommy Lee Jones’ edge and a cat-and-mouse.

Let’s go!


THE INDUSTRY NEWS

Meet the most beautiful creature of the future: 1968’s Barbarella is a trip, part sci-fi action, part steamy romance comedy. There are angels and sex machines and explosions. Of course, it’s past time for a remake, and the team that will do it looks pretty promising.

The star in the original picture, Barbarella, was portrayed by the Hollywood sex symbol Jane Fonda, so it seems only appropriate that the role will be passed down to the analog of our generation, Sydney Sweeney.

But it’s the potential director who gets one’s mind really racing. Who else to harness the wackiness and celebration of B-movie sci-fi than Edgar freaking Wright? Wright has shown an aptitude for comedy; he is not afraid to get weird, and his cutting style is like a character.

Here’s the original Barbarella (1968) trailer.

And a snippet of Wright’s work:

No one seems better suited to not only elevate this material but also pay homage to the original, at least the parts that work.

Mubi is making moves. In an effort to build out their theatrical distribution slate, they’ve just made a strategic hire, Mark Boxer.

Previously, he built Amazon’s Theatrical Distribution Division. Here are some of the projects he oversaw:

  • Head of Distribution, Amazon MGM Studios (2017-2024)
    • American Fiction (2023)
    • Sound of Metal (2019)
    • Cold War (2018)
  • IFC Films, SVP of Sales and Distribution (2003-2017)
    • Boyhood (2014)
    • The Trip (2010)

First up for Boxer, a trip to Cannes to bid on new projects. He is currently overseeing Mubi’s recent purchase of The Substance (Cannes Official Selection, starring Demi Moore and Margaret Qualley), Bring Them Down (starring Barry Keoghan), and Dahomey (won: Berlin Gold Bear).

Boxer stated:

“Mubi is one of the most visionary and exciting brands in our industry right now. I’m thrilled to be part of the company’s next leap forward and putting some of the best films in the world in cinemas everywhere in the US.”

Mubi currently has its widest theatrical US release with Gasoline Rainbow.

Another Executive hire:

Netflix’s new VP of Film is Doug Belgrad. Here’s a snapshot of his previous experience and the films he oversaw, interestingly, they seem to align with three out of four of Netflix’s new film genre divisions:

  • Founder, 2.0 Entertainment (2016 – 2024)
    • The Pope’s Exorcist (2023)
      • [Action, Sci-fi, Fantasy and Horror]
    • Love Again (2023)
      • [Comedies and Rom-coms]
    • Peter Rabbit (2018)
      • [Thrillers, Dramas and Family]
  • President, Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group

Dan Lin, Netflix’s new film head, stated:

“We will be leaning on Doug’s great creative instincts, his eye for talent and his deep relationships across the filmmaking and talent community.”

It seems Lin and Belgrad share a similar vision.

Tidbits:

AMC Entertainment stock surged 50% yesterday—the culprit: Roaring Kitty. The Reddit trader was immortalized in Dumb Money (2023), a film that portrayed his rise from lowly day trader to a hero of the populous, played beautifully by Paul Dano.

Francis Ford Coppola dropped a full trailer of Megalopolis.


THE ACTOR SPOTLIGHT

George Clooney joins the legions of film stars making their Broadway debut. He will play the lead role in Good Night, and Good Luck, which will be adapted from the 2005 film he directed and co-wrote, which garnered 6 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Directing.

Here’s the film’s logline:

CBS Broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow looks to bring down Senator Joseph McCarthy.

Clooney, who originally played Murrow’s long-time friend and producer, will take on the lead role of Murrow.

The play’s director, David Cromer, stated:

“Edward R. Murrow operated from a kind of moral clarity that feels vanishingly rare in today’s media landscape… There was an immediacy in those early live television broadcasts that today can only be effectively captured on stage, in front of a live audience.”

Watching the trailer for the film, you can see how Clooney is perfectly molded for the indignantly righteous Murrow.

We’re incredibly excited about two new vague projects starring Léa Seydoux, who brings a profound specificity to her work, regardless of the role.

Here they are:

Synopsis:

A mix of realistic urban chronicle, fantasy film, investigation, melodrama and daydream.

There is no synopsis, but Carax’s penchant for finding the profound in the insane, as evidenced in all his work, seems right up Seydoux’s ally. If you haven’t seen Holy Motors (2012) or The Lovers on the Bridge (1991), please cancel your day and do so.

Tidbits:

Nuremberg​, starring Russell Crowe, Rami Malek & Michael Shannon, is launching at Cannes.

Here are the characters lined up with their real-life counterpoints:


FESTIVALS AND RESOURCES

Stonestreet Studios’ Screen Acting & Production Residency provides a unique bridge for actors who have completed theater training and are looking to work in film.

Stonestreet operates a fully immersive studio that has produced award-winning festival features, pilots & series, serving as a crucible to forge screen-ready actors.

Actors at Stonestreet Studios work alongside directors, writers, and producers with state-of-the-art equipment and fully operative post-production facilities, creating their own festival-bound films.

Actors audition bi-weekly for industry guests, casting directors, agents, and managers.

Josie Axelson, a current Stonestreet student who makes her network TV debut tomorrow (May 15th) as the lead in CW’s Hostage Rescue, wrote:

“I learned so much from all of you this past year, and I am thankful for each of your residency classes, productions and support. I am so excited to graduate this week and start my full-time career knowing that I have a great community of Stonestreeters by my side.”

More info on Stonestreet NY Six-Week Summer Programs 2024 starting May 20 & July 8 here.

More info on Stonestreet LA June 3rd, 2024 Program here.

Mohammad Rasoulof has fled Iran after authorities sentenced him to eight years in prison after he refused to pull his Cannes official selection, The Seed Of The Sacred Fig, from the festival.

Rasoulof stated:

“I had to choose between prison and leaving Iran. With a heavy heart, I chose exile.”

Read his full statement here.

Cannes is having a post-COVID renaissance with the quantity and quality of high-profile projects being rolled out at the market.

Janina Vilsmaier, SVP of Protagonist Pictures, stated:

“International buyers really want to plan their slates and are buying for 2025 and 2026, looking to lock in films before the studios or streamers come in to snatch them up.”

Here are the latest projects launching:

No synopsis, but it is said to be similar to Ritchie’s recent Netflix series The Gentleman.

  • The Razor’s Edge
    • Starring: James Franco, Tommy Lee Jones
    • Producer: Corey Large (It Follows, November Man)
    • Sales Rep: Red Sea Media (Damaged)

Official synopsis:

A former mob hitman faces a dilemma when his daughter is kidnapped and his love interest targeted. He must take on a final dangerous job while evading a ruthless assassin.

Synopsis:

A former special forces soldier (Smith) runs an elite vigilante squad working to wipe out the drug trade in Boston.

Also, Natalie Portman travels through time on a rainbow

Here’s a more complete list of the top projects.

Tidbit:

  • The Most Precious Cargoes
    • Dir: Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist)
    • First animated film in Cannes Offical Selection since Waltz with Bashir (2008)

Check out the first clip.


INDIE FILMMAKER SPOTLIGHT

Ed Harris is directing his third feature, The Ploughmen. Bill Murray and Nick Nolte (48hrs) will star.

Here’s the official synopsis:

The strange friendship between a haunted young deputy sheriff (Owen Teague) and a notorious old murderer (Notle) that turns both their worlds upside down.

Murray will play the older Sheriff, who forces the deputy on night duty to try and get Notle to reveal his past.

Harris’s last film was the beautifully acted paint by numbers Western Appaloosa (2008, trailer), elevated slightly by a subversive romantic triangle.

His first feature, Pollock (2000, trailer), mirrors the cathartic and chaotic tangle of Pollock’s paintings portrayed through Harris, as Pollock, pent-up anger, and external rage.

The Ploughmen is set to shoot in Montana in the fall.

Murray and Harris, working together twice? They’ve both been cast in the upcoming crime comedy Riff Raff.

David Cronenberg is the king of body horror cinema. His psychological portraiture of degradation burns into your cerebrum:

  • Scanners (1981)
  • The Fly (1986)
  • Dead Ringers (1988)
  • Crash (1996)

Recently, he came back to form with Crimes of the Future, which premiered at Cannes in 2022.

His latest is The Shrouds, which is in competition at Cannes. Here’s the official synopsis:

Karsh, an innovative businessman and grieving widower, builds a device to connect with the dead inside a burial shroud. ​

Cronenberg stated that the film was inspired by the passing of his wife, Carolyn Cronenberg, who had worked as his frequent collaborator.

The Shrouds will star Vincent Cassel, Diane Kruger, and Guy Pearce.

Check out the teaser.

Molly Gordon captured the existential torture and bliss of the microcosm of theater camp in Theater Camp (2023, winner: Sundance Dramatic Special Jury Award Ensemble, trailer). Searchlight, who bought that film for $8M post-Sundance just greenlight Gordon’s next film, Small Parts.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Two actresses end up in a game of cat-and-mouse more outrageous than any movie.

It’s an adaptation of Outrageous Fortune (1987), which starred Bette Midler (trailer).

Not only is Gordon a gifted director, but she is also a talented actress who steals all her scenes in The Bear. Just watch her meet-cute with Jeremy Allen White.

Tidbit:

Brad Pitt’s Plan B nabbed the rights for Molly Manning’s (dir: How To Have Sex, winner Un Certain Regard) next feature film.


ON THIS DAY

1979. Stalker, directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, is released.


See you Wednesday.


Written by Gabriel Miller and Spencer Carter.

Editor: Gabriel Miller.

Share the Post:

Other Editions

Become a Film Industry Insider!

Sign up for The Industry!

It’s a curated newsletter read by almost 100,000 film professionals.

We synthesize the latest film & TV news and send it to your inbox every morning. 

It takes less than 5 minutes to read.

Plus it’s FREE forever.