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Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and a fig

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

Hugh Jackman dynamic duo, Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s latest heist, Russell Crowe and the devil, SXSW breakout, and a fig.

Let’s go!


Ryan Reynolds finally got his dynamic duo buddy movie, Deadpool and Wolverine, just dropped a heavily awaited full trailer. Long the butt of Wade Wilson’s (Deadpool) meta jokes but also the focus of his utter adoration, Hugh Jackson’s Wolverine is coming out of retirement… sort of.

It gets a bit multi-verse, but in order to make this team-up happen, Deadpool seeks the help of another Wolverine outside of the Fox Universe, still played by Jackson but now sporting the bright yellow suit of the comics, not the all-leather Bryan Singer number (still).

The two venture to take on a new villain in a strange world between worlds, where it looks like they will be teaming up with many different versions of themselves.

The trailer has more explosions than laughs and more F-bombs than explosions, at least six, is that a new record for a Disney trailer? There is also a very funny direct reference to the head of Marvel, Kevin Feige, and his one request to keep cocaine out of the movie. This is absolutely looking like the bump that Marvel needs right now.

Give it a watch here.

How do you divide a single Oscar statuette into multiple parts? An update on the Oscar rules for 2025 tackles that and other items:

  • Original Score
    • Up to 3 statuettes awarded
    • Use case: Jon Batiste, Trent Reznor, and Atticus Ross split one statuette for Soul (2020)
  • Best Picture, qualifications update
    • 1-week run in 1 of 6 major markets (Dallas Fort Worth now qualifies, Miami does not)
    • +1-week expanded run in 10 of the top 50 US markets, no more than 45 days after release
  • Best Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay
    • Final shooting script must be submitted

In addition, a COVID-era rule that allowed drive-in movie theaters to count as qualifying screening venues has been nixed.

Sony Pictures Television will get the rights to Transcendent Kingdom, which will be developed by Emmy-nominated actor Yvonne Orji.

Yaa Gyasi’s second novel, Transcendent Kingdom (2020), is told from the perspective of Gifty, a neuroscientist in training, as the story bounces back from present-day life to her childhood as a first-generation Ghanaian growing up in rural Alabama.

Yvonne Orji, best known for her performance as Issa Rae’s best friend “Molly” on the HBO comedy series Insecure, in addition to acting and writing herself Orji will produce.


Up and coming leading man Aaron Taylor-Johnson to lead heist thriller Fuze, from David Mackenzie (dir: Hell or High Water.

This film reunites Taylor-Johnson and director Mackenzie, who previously worked together in the Netflix film Outlaw King (2018).

With shooting beginning in June, Fuze will open up on the discovery of an unexploded WWII bomb in a London construction site, sparking a mass evacuation – the perfect cover for a heist!

The English actor is best known for his portrayal of the titular character in the satirical superhero film Kick-Ass (2010) and its 2013 sequel, as well as portraying super speedy Pietro Maximoff in Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).

Aaron began acting at just 13 years old and had his breakthrough performance as a young John Lennon in the biopic Nowhere Boy (2009, trailer). He won his first and only Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture for his memorable performance as a psychopathic drifter (clip) in the thriller Nocturnal Animals (2016).

He has more recently appeared in Christopher Nolan’s Tenet (2020), and the action comedy hit Bullet Train (2022).

Taylor-Johnson is having a busy year, as he is appearing in Marvel’s Kraven and the Hunter, stunt man homage, Fall Guy, alongside Ryan Gosling and Emily Blunt, and the much anticipated Nosferatu, all set for release in 2024.

LaKeith Stanfield is on a search for his vampire girlfriend in the newly announced adaptation of El Paso Elsewhere. Videogame adaptations are having a cultural moment, but this one might be the first to be inspired by an ultra-low-budget indie title. El Paso, Elsewhere is a vampire noir shoot ’em-up game with graphics like something out of 2006, but it was actually released to high critical praise in 2023 (gameplay trailer).

Here’s the official synopsis:

Recovering from a toxic relationship, James Savage (Stanfield) confronts both his inner demons and enigmatic ex-girlfriend, Janet, before she executes a world-ending ritual. James navigates her reality-bending universe of ethereal monsters while facing the truth of his own addictions and skewed sense of self-worth. James learns that the only route to love is through healing.

You had me at “world-ending ritual.”

Lakieth has signed on to produce and star in the project; he has always championed off-kilter titles and has been very public about his love of video games, music, and anime, even starring in Netflix’s Death Note.

Lakeith is a wickedly chameleonic performer whose eccentric outsider nature has shined in:

El Paso Elsewhere is also being produced by Lorenzo Di Bonaventura (Transformers series, Deepwater Horizon).

The package is currently seeking a studio. No writer or director has been attached.


Russell Crowe is back for another exorcism. In The Pope’s Exorcist (2023), he played the chief exorcist of the Vatican in a shockingly engaging and nuanced performance (trailer). Now he will star in The Exorcism as an actor who begins to experience strange happenings while filming a supernatural horror film.

Vertical (Asphalt City) picked up the North American rights from Miramax. The Exorcism will be released theatrically on June 7th.

Tramell Tillman is the glue of Severance. His creepy boss energy has elements of camaraderie and mania. Watch how he exudes complete control over the severed office denizens while maintaining a hyperbolically gleaming attitude for their “music dance experience” (clip). Tillman will join Tom Cruise in Dead Reckoning Part TwoMission: Impossible, due May 2025.


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Cannes 2024 updates. Three new projects have been added to the official selection:

Official synopsis:

During World War II, a French Jewish family is deported to Auschwitz. On the train to the death camp, in a desperate gesture, the father throws one of his twins out into the snow (animated still), where he’s discovered by a childless Polish couple.

Official synopsis:

Set in a conservative Danube Delta community, a gay teenager’s journey of self-discovery clashes with the traditional values upheld by his parents and neighbors.

First look still.

Other out-of-competition titles were added, including Oliver Stone’s new documentary Lula, on the Brazillian president and Spectators by director Arnaud Desplechin, starring Milo Machado-Graner (Anatomy of a Fall) and Mathieu Amalric (Quantum of Solace).

Find the full list of additions here.


Ishana Night Shyamalan unlocks audiences’ primordial desire to understand the twist. In her feature directorial debut, The Watchers, we crave to know the mystery at the heart of this dark fairy tale.

Here’s the official synopsis:

A young artist (Dakota Fanning) gets stranded in an extensive, immaculate forest in western Ireland, where, after finding shelter, she becomes trapped alongside three strangers. Mina finds herself in a room with a wall of glass, and an electric light that activates at nightfall, when the Watchers come above ground. These creatures emerge to observe their captive humans and terrible things happen to anyone who doesn’t reach the bunker in time.

Shyamalan stated:

“In many ways, it’s using the horror genre to enter another space, and that becomes a surprise of the journey as well. So hopefully people will be vibing with it.”

Here’s the trailer.

This film seems to be about the horrors of performing for an unknown and often vicious audience—something her father has more than his fair share of experience with.

Ishana Night Shyamalan previously directed six episodes of her father’s Apple TV+ series Servant (2021-2023).

The Watchers is out June 14th.

SXSW breakout filmmaker Contessa Gayles signs with Cinetic. Here’s the official synopsis for her SXSW doc ​Songs From The Hole​:

Chronicling the incarceration of James “JJ’88” Jacobs, who went to jail at age 15 for murder, the film combines nakedly vulnerable reflections from Jacobs with poetic recreations for a deeply affecting experience, both musically and dramatically.

A friend of The Industry said it was “astounding.”


Cannes 2024 Offical Selection Anora, directed by Sean Baker (Red Rocket, The Florida Project), is a comedy about a sex worker shot in New York City and Las Vegas.

A first-look photo just dropped.

Lourdes Portillo, who directed two excellent documentaries, died at 80. The Devil Never Sleeps (1994, trailer) leans into the tropes of a telenovela to unearth the mysteries surrounding the questionable suicide of Portillo’s millionaire uncle. The Library of Congress selected the film to be preserved. Portillo was nominated for a Best Documentary Oscar for co-directing The Mothers of The Plaza of Mayo (1984, trailer).

Read the full NY Times obit here.


James Cameron and the future of UK cinema. Marlow Film Studios, billed as a modern studio for the future of British filmmaking, supporting over 4,000 new creative sector and local jobs, is being voted on by Buckinghamshire Council before ground is broken in Buckinghamshire.

Cameron stated the new studio would be:

“Tailored to the needs of filmed media in the 21st century and beyond… the 22.5 per cent of total global box office the UK delivered in 2023 will grow as a result… But embracing that opportunity necessitates support and boldness in thinking. The next iteration of screen storytelling requires a purpose-built working space of exceptional quality, and trained professionals.”

UK Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer stated:

“It’s brilliant to see James Cameron — as well as many other leading Hollywood directors — recognise the UK’s technical expertise in film and TV production, which brings in billions for our economy and creates thousands of skilled, well-paid jobs.”

Sam Mendes (Dir: Skyfall, American Beauty) also backs the studio.


1931. US gangster film The Public Enemy starring James Cagney and Jean Harlow premieres.

See you tomorrow!

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

Editor: Gabriel Miller.

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