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Johnny Depp: lost in translation

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

Johnny Depp’s king, Jake Gyllenhaal’s stories, Endeavor Group goes private; Hunter Schafer is cuckoo, Kevin Smith’s autobiography, and a blind detective.

Let’s go!


Johnny Depp wants you to forget who he is.

In his latest role, he plays King Louis XV in the 18th-century drama Jeanne du Barry– a role in which he speaks only in French.

Depp explains:

“I didn’t really feel any hesitation to with regard to the character or the language necessarily. Didn’t find it particularly intimidating, a bit of running through the rain drops.”

Before he was cast, though, Depp told the director Maïwenn, who co-stars, that she might want another actor:

“I thought it was brave of her to choose some hillbilly from Kentucky. You need to figure out a way that the viewer can forget who you are, all the baggage you carry… that was my biggest hope that the viewer would forget who they had in front of them.”

And Depp is almost unrecognizable in the role.

It’s less so because of the powder caked on his face and more because the performance feels incredibly restrained.

In the film, he is the object of a working-class woman’s (Maïwenn) desire. For all his performative baggage, e.g., his Jack Sparrow swashbuckler gyrations – his biggest weapon in Jeanne du Barry is an occasional grin.

It remains to be seen if this film will ignite his passion for foreign art-house roles (the film opened at Cannes in 2023) or if it will propel his bankability for English-speaking audiences.

Jeanne du Barry opens in theaters in the UK on April 19th and the US on May 2nd.

For More:

Jeanne du Barry trailer.

The shockingly cheesy Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) trailer.

The sublime oddity of Johnny Depp in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Trailer.


Silver Lake Management, a private equity group, takes Endeavor Group private with a deal valued at $13 bn, a 55% premium over their current share price.

This bid follows Endeavor’s announcement a few months ago that it was looking to take its company private. Endeavor went public three years ago and could see its assets like WME and IMG sold off by Silver Lake, which already holds a 71% voting stake, making the acquisition and its premium a strategic move for both entities.

Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel said in a statement:

“We believe this transaction will maximize value for all of Endeavor’s public stockholders and are excited to continue to unlock and invest in the growth opportunities ahead as a private company…”

Although Endeavor, like most other talent agencies, struggled during the pandemic, laying off 100s of staff, it has recently lowered its net losses:

  • Q4 2022
    • $225.7 M loss
  • Q4 2023
    • $29.3 M loss

The deal, still subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in Q1 2025.

Jake Gyllenhaal’s Nine Stories inks first-look deal with Amazon. The entities have signed a three-year, first-look film deal following Road House’s success. Amazon will now have first rights to any movies the company makes for theatrical or streaming release.

Nine Stories has produced:

Gyllenhaal stated:

“I’ve worked with Amazon MGM on two films this past year [Roadhouse, Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant], and they’ve been a wonderful partner both times. Their dedication to filmmaking is contagious, and I so admire their commitment to fans all over the world. I am thrilled to formalize what is an already fruitful collaboration — especially on the heels of Road House’s outstanding debut.”

Gyllenhaal avoided getting caught up in director Doug Liman’s Amazon debacle and now has a pipeline for his director-driven company.

We’ve seen a big trend of studios locking up talent, with Amazon signing a deal with Ryan Gosling just last week. Warner Bros. has recently signed deals with Tom Cruise and Timothée Chalamet.

Miramax’s new CEO is Jon Glickman. Miramax, the company founded by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, which produced some of the strongest art-house films of the 90s from Pulp Fiction (1994), The Cider House Rules (1999), and Shakespeare in Love (1998), is currently owned by Paramount Global (49%) and beIN (A Quatari-owned global media network). In October 2023, Miramax let their CEO’s contract lapse, and the position has just been filled.

Glickman has an impressive pedigree:

Glickman will help focus Miramax on their treasure trove of IP.

Three Tidbits:

Parmamount and Skydance (owned by David Ellison) are in discussion about entering into exclusive talks. If successful, it would block other companies like Apollo, who submitted an $11bn offer, from negotiating with Paramount.

Nelson Peltz’s anti-Disney proxy battle with CEO Bob Iger is coming to an end. At a mid-day tally yesterday, with half the votes cast, Disney was coming out ahead. If Iger wins and keeps Peltz off the board, he will still face challenges as much of Disney’s key demographic is spending their viewing hours on YouTube and Tubi. Plus, even though their films are often among the top-ten grossing of the year, Indiana Jones 5 lost $130 M.

AMPTP and the American Federation of Musicians ratify new terms. Similar to the WGA deal, the new contract gives musicians residuals from streaming and protects them against AI. Read the key points of the agreement here.

Netflix’s new projects.

Netflix acquired the pitch. They are also in talks to develop Warner Bros. Television’s Anna O, which is about a somnambulist murderer.


Dolly Lewis is a top homicide detective who loses her vision in The CW’s new series Sight Unseen. It’s a wild show, with Lewis teaming up with a remote seeing-eye guide to bring down killers who elude the police.

The premise could have tilted the show into farce, but Lewis’ grounded authenticity infuses it with a real sense of high-wire stakes (trailer).

An actress and jazz singer based in New York, Lewis landed the role from among hundreds of submissions from sight-divergent actors across Canada, the US, the UK, and Australia.

The Industry spoke with Lewis about her guiding principles playing the part:

“I was worried about it getting preachy or too didactic and not portraying her as a pity figure or some overly inflated hero. That was really important.”

Lewis invested in her character’s on-screen relationships with her partner and younger sister, which brought the role to life.

Sight Unseen premieres today on CW.

Hunter Schafer made her acting debut by dissecting her insecurities in Euphoria. She infused the role of a trans-high-schooler with lacerating authenticity.

She’s gone on to some high-profile projects:

But post-Euphoria, her most challenging role was in the upcoming film Cuckoo, which played at the Berlin Film Festival.

In a recent interview with GQ, Schafer stated:

“I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to deliver the same kind of performance with completely new people in a new country, on a new set, and on a completely different format of filmmaking… There were these barriers that I felt like I had to break. It was like having the training wheels off.”

According to the director, she pulled it off marvelously.

Although we only have a teaser trailer for Cuckoo, the film will be released on May 3rd and could secure Schafer as a new tidal force on the big screen.


New Joker 2 poster. It’s glorious.


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Filmmaker covers new technologies, both studio and do-it-yourself distribution, and, through its in-depth interviews with the best directors in the business, offers insights into the creative process that are of interest to both filmmakers as well as casual film lovers.

Filmmaker is published by an established, non-profit, filmmaking membership organization, The Gotham Film & Media Institute.

The Gotham celebrates and nurtures independent film and media creators, providing career-building resources, access to industry influencers, and pathways to wider recognition.

Click HERE to find out more about Filmmaker Magazine.


Kevin Smith is getting a bit auto-biographical with The 4:30 Movie, his next partnership with Saban Films, the first being the Jay and Silent Bob reboot. The film is set to be a coming-of-age drama about three 16-year-old friends who sneak into movies during the summer of ‘86. No doubt based on Smith’s film-obsessed past, cemented by the fact that the film will take place at Smodcastle Cinemas in New Jersey, which Smith used to frequent and now co-owns.

Smith explained:

“I started writing a personal paean to the past for us 70’s and 80’s kids – the pre-information generation who grew up without the Internet, when romance and relationships required much more than a swipe to get started, and the idea of asking out someone you had a crush on was as terrifying as the looming threat of nuclear war.”

No word on when it starts filming.

This could be a softer, more nostalgic side of Smith we haven’t ever seen before while he draws on past experiences like he did with his iconic Clerks series, which also centers around young adult disillusionment.

It will be interesting to see Smith’s own interpretation of his beginnings. For a man who likes superheroes as much as he does; it is finally time for his origin story.

From Sundance to Marvel to Sundance to Amazon. Directors Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden (Half Nelson, Captain Marvel) are directing four episodes of Prime Video’s Criminal based on the award-winning graphic novel series.

Here’s the very light official synopsis:

An inter-generational story of families connected through shared criminal history.

Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden made their narrative directorial debut with Half Nelson (2006), with a young Ryan Gosling playing a school teacher with a bad drug habit (trailer).

The directing duo went on to make the Sundance-premiering Sugar (2008) and Mississippi Grind (2015) before going on to direct Captain Marvel (2019).

This year, they pivoted back to their roots, debuting Freaky Tales, starring Pedro Pascal and Ben Mendelsohn, at Sundance.

As with Freaky Tales, a visual storybook of 80s stylization, we hope Criminal‘s graphic novel origin will allow them to exercise their ability to blend strong characterization with epic VFX in a non-Marvel environment.


Amazon and Lionsgate have formalized a content agreement in the UK, bringing Lionsgate and Starz shows to the MGM+ platform, including hits like Outlander and Power and their library of titles like Mad Men, Weeds, and the films American Psycho and the entire Saw franchise.

Josh McIvor, Global General Manager, MGM+ stated:

“The expansion of MGM+ in the United Kingdom further cements Amazon’s commitment to invest in and grow the MGM+ channel internationally while enhancing the content offering available to subscribers.”

UK subscribers to Lionsgate+ via Prime Video Channels will gain access to MGM+ starting this month.


1968. Planet of the Apes, starring Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowell, opens nationally in the US.

See you tomorrow!

Written by Gabriel Miller and Spencer Carter.

Editor: Gabriel Miller.


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