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Marlon Brando, Adam Driver and a snail

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

Adam Driver’s silence, Woody Harrelson’s abyss, Judd Apatow’s trainwreck, Sony knows what we’re doing next summer, and a Zimbabwean funeral.

Let’s go!


THE INDUSTRY NEWS

Megalopolis has dominated the Cannes conversation, with reviews flooding in from the ultra-critical to the blissfully praiseful. For everyone who didn’t see the film, IMAX has committed to distributing it globally.

IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond stated:

“One of the things that we pride ourselves on is being filmmaker-friendly. So we’ve committed to Francis to do a global IMAX release.”

IMAX has also committed to 14+ releases in 2025, their largest slate ever.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Captain America: Brave New World (Disney/Marvel)
    • Release Date: Feb 15
  • Untitled Vampire film (WB)
    • Dir: Ryan Coogler
    • Starring: Michael B. Jordan
    • Release Date: Mar 7
  • Mission: Impossible 8 (Paramount)
    • Release Date: May 23
  • Untitled Formula One (Apple/Distributor TBC)
    • Dir: Joseph Kosinski
    • Starring: Brad Pitt
    • Release date: Jun 27
  • TRON: Ares (Disney)
    • Starring: Jared Leto
    • Co-Starring: Jeff Bridges (his return to the franchise)
    • Release date: Oct 10

IMAX accounted for 5.9% of the domestic box office in Q1 of 2024.

All3Media was officially acquired for $1.45 bn by RedBird IMI (a private investment firm). Regulators just approved the deal.

All3Media, previously owned by Warner Bros Discovery, is the parent company of 5o production companies, including: ​

  • Sam Mendes’ Neal Street Productions
    • 1917
  • Studio Lambert
    • Squid Game: The Challenge
  • Two Brothers Pictures
    • Fleabag series (starring Andrew Scott and Phoebe Waller-Bridge)

RedBird IMI is 75% Saudi-owned, and the other 25% (RedBird Capital) owns many production companies, including: ​

  • Artists Equity
    • Founder: Matt Damon and Ben Affleck
  • Skydance
    • Mission: Impossible 47
    • Top Gun: Maverick

RedBird is involved with Skydance for the Paramount acquisition bid.

The $1.45 bn that RedBird IMI is paying for All3Media is double what the previous owners, Warner Bros. Discovery (50%) and Liberty Global (50%), paid for All3Media in 2014.

While RedBird IMI will continue to expand All3Media’s scripted and unscripted content, they may face challenges as one of their main buyers, Channel 4, faces significant layoffs.

We know what Sony is doing next summer. The iconic ‘90s horror I Know What You Did Last Summer (gloriously campy trailer) is getting a new film in Summer 2025.

The new film’s logline is almost identical to the original movie:

A group of four friends are terrorized by a stalker who knows about a gruesome incident from their past.

The film launched the career of the leads:

  • Jennifer Love Hewitt
    • Ghost Whisperer (2005 – 2010)
    • Rumored to return
  • Freddie Prinze Jr
    • She’s All That (1999)
    • Rumored to return
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar
    • Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2003)
  • Ryan Phillippe
    • Crash (2004)

Columbia Pictures will release on July 18th, 2025.

Tidbit:

UTA promotes 24 employees to partners, including two talent agents:

  • ​​Nigel Meiojas, clients:
    • Robert Duvall
    • Isla Fisher
    • Catherine Zeta-Jones
  • Brian Nossokoff, clients:
    • Theo James
    • Kyle MacLachlan
    • David Tennant

Notably, one person has left UTA after three decades: Judd Apatow.

In this climate, big-budget comedies are seen as a riskier investment as the public’s viewing hours for that medium have shifted towards social media and stand-up. Apatow has struggled to get features greenlit over the past few years and will meet with WME and CAA to discuss revitalizing his career.

YouTube finally got its wish. Their series Hot Ones will be officially entered for the Emmy for Outstanding Talk Series, which will see host Sean Evan competing against late-night hosts like Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers.

Some believe YouTube poses the biggest existential threat to the streaming companies. YouTube has the largest share of streaming, 26% larger than its closest rival, Netflix, and 3x larger than Amazon, with 2.5B active users (80M paid), user-generated content, premium video channels (ABC, AMC, BBC, Disney, ESPN, Fx, Paramount), and now the NFL. Their revenue Q1 2024 was $8.1 bn, just shy of Netflix’s $9.37 bn.


THE ACTOR SPOTLIGHT

Jim Jarmusch brings out the best in Adam Driver. After their first collaboration on Paterson (2016), and second The Dead Don’t Die (2019), the duo will be teaming up again for Father Mother Sister Brother.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Estranged siblings reunite after years apart, forced to confront unresolved tensions and reevaluate their strained relationships with their emotionally distant parents.

There’s a certain vagueness to that description that is both maddening and freeing. It puts the entire emphasis on the character and not the plot.

And that’s what made Paterson so magnetizing.

What I loved about that film was how Driver crafted a meek, reflexive, and poetic character – a rare movie to focus solely on this element of his range (trailer). Driver, of course, can also burst through the ceiling of any scene with abrasive passion (Marriage Story, Annette, Girls).

Driver also plays an impossibly calm policeman in Jim Jarmusch’s delightful zombie film The Dead Don’t Die (trailer).

Father Mother Sister Brother, also starring Cate Blanchett, is currently in post-production and launching at the Cannes Market.

Woody Harrelson enters the abyss. He stars in the upcoming film Last Breath, which was just acquired by Focus Features. The thriller centers on a deep sea diver stranded on the seabed with 5 minutes of oxygen and no hope of rescue. The film is based on a true life or death story captured in the 2019 documentary of the same name (trailer).

There’s no word if Harrelson will be trapped in the diving suit or a shipmate struggling to get him free. While Harrelson is always great when he’s unleashed (Rampart, Natural Born Killers), his roles where he’s entrapped like Triangle of Sadness as a yacht captain who’s locked himself in his quarters or True Detective, in the police car with Matthew McConaughey’s Russ are equally compelling.​

Tidbit:

Everyone is playing Marlon Brando. Earlier this week, we shared a first-look photo of Matt Dillon as Brando in the upcoming Maria in a recreation of The Last Tango in Paris. Now Billy Zane has shared some uncanny BTS images of his transformation into Brando for Waltzing With Brando:

Official synopsis:

Movie star Marlon Brando recruits a Los Angeles architect to built the world’s first ecologically perfect retreat on a small, uninhabitable island in Tahiti.

Zane, a fellow midwestern like Brando, is not afraid of a little transformation as he did previously in his role as the superhero The Phantom in The Phantom (1996).

Beyond looking nearly identical to Brando, Zane has expressed his respect for the iconic actor given his bold activism, saying:

“Back then no one would touch causes. He walked the walk for civil rights; he did it for indigenous rights.”

We look forward to seeing Zane in this role.


FESTIVALS

The Cannes TIFF Market is heating up. Launching in 2026 with a $17 M investment from the Canadian government is the Toronto Film Festival’s own market.

TIFF CEO, Cameron Bailey, stated:

“Whether you’re buying, selling, pitching, or connecting, Toronto has long been a great place for the film industry to do business… As screen storytelling and how it reaches audiences evolve, we plan to grow the platform and the services we offer to professionals telling stories on every possible screen.”

He continued:

“We’ll bridge Canada’s advantages as a globally connected, North American nation with the exciting talent, ideas, and resources cropping up all around the world.”

It’s good timing, TIFF lost its anchor sponsor Bell at the end of last year. Whether or not this will create more or less chaos at AFM is unclear.

Cannes Market. Narcos co-creator and co-writer Carlo Bernard is directing his first feature, The Deputy.

Here’s the official synopsis:

A young sheriff’s deputy finds himself in the crosshairs of dangerous criminals when the dead body he is assigned to keep an eye on disappears from a crime scene.

He’s lined up a strong cast:

  • William H. Macy
  • Tiffany Hadish
  • Julia Fox (Uncut Gems)

Highland Film Group (Arcadian) is the worldwide sales rep.

There’s been a flurry of Cannes acquisitions.

Here’s a breakdown:

  • Horizon: An American Saga
    • Acquisition: Metropolitan FilmExport for France
    • Out-of-competition world premiere
    • Dir: Kevin Costner
    • A multi-part western epic
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
    • Acquisition: Samuel Goldwyn Films, US rights
    • Dir: Billie August – double Palme d’Or winner for Pele the Conqueror (1987) and The Best Intentions (1992)
    • First look image
  • Bad Omen
    • Acquisition: Vertical
    • Dir: Justin Kurzel (Nitram)
    • Starring: Jude Law, Tye Sheridan, Nicholas Hoult
    • First look image

Synopsis:

A series of bank robberies and car heists frightened communities in the Pacific Northwest. A lone FBI agent believes that the crimes were not the work of financially motivated criminals but rather a group of dangerous domestic terrorists.

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

Here’s a first look still.


INDIE FILMMAKER SPOTLIGHT

Rest in peace, MoviePass: I am sure a vast majority of you reading this probably flashed that little red card a few (hundred) times. That is, until the company went bankrupt in 2019. That $9.95 a month for unlimited movies actually was too good to be true. The unstable business model led to its downfall, well that and some overzealous partying CEOs and a whole boatload of fraud.

It’s a fantastic story that is coming soon to HBO’s MoviePass and MovieCrash and will chronicle the rise and the demise of quite possibly the most outrageous deal of the century. While the CEOs Lowe and Farnsworth were jetsetting and partying with Big Boi and John Travolta, the office was in dire straights with hundreds of open customer complaints and a lack of funding.

But hey, “This is a company, not a family, and not all roles get to the party,” words he would later regret saying when he and Farnsworth got hit with securities fraud charges in 2022.

It’s a wild story. Watch the trailer here.

The documentary, produced by Mark Wahlberg, will premiere on HBO at 9 pm ET/PT on May 29th. Then, it will soon be available for streaming on MAX.

Rungano Nyoni’s A24 film On Becoming a Guinea Fowl is playing at Un Certain Regard at Cannes.

Nyoni, a Zambian-Welsh director, was inspired to tell the story after a particularly intense funeral of her friend.

The film follows Shula, who finds her uncle dead in the middle of the road one dark night driving. As she connects with her family over funeral arrangements, the collage of reactions ranges from apathetic to performative, revealing the uncle’s dark past of sexual abuse.

Nyoni discussed her writing process:

“I think anger and depression often trigger my writing. It’s never a happy space. I don’t know why. Something triggers something and I want to express it in a way. I don’t usually know what it is, but I allow it to shape itself. My story is always changing.”

She continued:

“I always think I’m an anthropologist with my own culture, I’m always outside looking in. I can code switch, but I feel it. I see all the beauty in it, and also the downsides.”

The film currently has no release date.

Nyoni’s first feature, I Am Not a Witch (trailer), is nothing short of excellent.

Tidbit:

Fall 2. The sequel to the 2022 horror film is coming. Here’s the synopsis:

Best friends Grace Caroline Currey and Virginia Gardner reprise their roles. Their characters’ climbing expertise and determination to survive are tested by risky scenarios atop an empty 2,000-foot radio tower.

The film is being directed by the Spierig Brothers, whose film Predestination (2014) was one of the most underrated, ingenious, and engrossing time travel paradox films.

On the horror front, they directed Jigsaw (2017).

Fall 2 will begin production next month.


ON THIS DAY

1957. 10th Cannes Film Festival: Friendly Persuasion, directed by William Wyler, wins the Palme d’Or.


That’s all for the week. See you Monday.


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

Editor: Gabriel Miller.

 

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