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Scarlett Johansson, Chalamet and a dinosaur

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

Cillian Murphy’s blood, Scarlett Johansson’s battle, Hot docs in hot water, Viggo Mortensen goes west, and Bumble.

Let’s go!


Scarlett Johansson + Dinosaurs. After Jennifer Lawrence passed on the project, Johansson is now in talks to star in the new Jurassic Park film, which is set to shoot at the end of July.

Gareth Edwards (The Creator, Rogue One) will direct, and David Koepp, who penned the original Jurassic Park (1993), will write.

Universal has made a carefully calculated move to relegate the previous Jurassic World trilogy to extinction: ​

Dominion received a 29% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Coming out of the strikes, the content desert has continued, with Hollywood production work evaporating, such that big studio projects with massive talent fees and a hard green light seem to be a refuge for A-listers.​

Universal is pushing hard for a summer 2025 release.

Oscar winner Cillian Murphy (Oppenheimer) is out for blood—or at least Universal is. Universal has taken the rights to the book Blood Runs Coal: The Yablonski Murders and the Battle for the United Mine Workers of America.

Here’s the official synopsis:

In the early hours of New Year’s Eve 1969, in the small soft coal mining borough of Clarksville, Pennsylvania, longtime trade union insider Joseph “Jock” Yablonski and his wife and daughter were brutally murdered in their old stone farmhouse. Seven months earlier, Yablonski had announced his campaign to oust the corrupt president of the United Mine Workers of America.

The most infamous crimes in the history of American labor unions, the Yablonski murders triggered one of the most intensive and successful manhunts in FBI history―and also led to the first successful rank-and-file takeover of a major labor union in modern U.S. history, one that inspired workers in other labor unions to rise up and challenge their own entrenched, out-of-touch leaders.

Murphy will play Joesph Yablonski’s son Chip, who wasn’t in the house the day of the murderers and made it his life’s mission to get justice for his father by petitioning the department of justice.

Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth (Edge of Tomorrow) will write the script.

Murphy will also produce.

Last month A3 shuts down. Now, out of the ashes, Arise Artists Agency is being launched by Brian Cho (Former A3 CEO) along with former A3 agents.

Cho stated:

“I am thrilled to embark on an exciting new venture with the introduction of our new company. As we navigate the dynamic landscape of our industry, our goal is to expand our agency into a comprehensive full-service provider, prioritizing an “artists first” approach. We look forward to welcoming many new members to our agency in the near future.”

A3, formerly Abrams Artists Agency, repped over 3600 clients from the recently deceased Carl Weathers (Rocky) and Mark Margolis (Breaking Bad) to Seinfeld alums Jason Alexander and Michael Richards. The trouble started last year when the chairman, Adam Bold, tried to sell the unscripted and digital divisions to Gersh. Bold got sued by the president and CEO for misconduct. Although the sale went through, the situation became unsustainable, and the agency folded.

It’s been an unstable time for agencies. In the past week we’ve seen:

  • Former Verve CEO, Bill Weinstein alleges he was kicked out of Verve and settles out of court
  • KMR SVP resigns after agency suspends ties w/ SAG-AFTRA
    • KMR reps J.K. Simmons and 2500+ other clients
  • UTA sues Medialink CEO

It’s a vast oversimplification to say that this is all a result of the double strike from last year. FilmLA’s new data is showing a mass decline in hiring cast and crew. What’s more, those productions that are coming back are doing so with skinnier crews or leaving the states for better global tax incentives.

One tidbit: Sony Pictures wins the bidding war for the spec script How to Save a Marriage, which is being produced by Robert Pattinson, with the hopes that he will star.


From a glass slipper to Bumble. Lily James will play a fictionalized version of the founder of the dating app Bumble. James got launched to stardom in Cinderella (2015), propped up by a stacked cast:

  • Cate Blanchett
    • Wicked Stepmother
  • Helena Bonham Carter
    • Fairy Godmother
  • Stellan Skarsgård
    • Grand Duke

James has a Disneyfied innocence that is heartbreaking to see when she gets beat down by her wicked stepmother (trailer).

James is also pure perfection in Iron Claw, where, in an amazing meet cute, she emotionally wrestles a sheepish Zac Efron into a date.

James will now star in a film inspired by Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe, a former Tinder employee who left to co-found Bumble, becoming a billionaire at 31 when it IPO’d, in a new film for 20th Century Studios.

Shooting is said to start this year.

Mortensen in a Western. Viggo Mortensen, who is excellent in Captain Fantastic (2016) and Eastern Promises (2007), has written, directed, produced, and stars in The Dead Don’t Hurt.

Here’s the official synopsis from TIFF, where it was an official selection in 2023:

French-Canadian flower seller Vivienne Le Coudy (Vicky Krieps, Phantom Thread) and Danish carpenter Holger Olsen (Mortensen) meet in San Francisco. Vivienne is irreverent, fiercely independent, and refuses to wed, but agrees to travel with Holger to his home near the quiet town of Elk Flats, Nevada.

There, they begin a life together — Vivienne grows roses and waits tables at a tavern, and Holger builds barns until the couple is separated by Holger’s decision to fight for the Union in the burgeoning Civil War.

Check out the trailer, it seems to be Mortensen’s most fully realized role in years.

Releasing this summer, May 31st, by Shout! Studios (Weird: The Weird Al Yankovic Story, Labyrinth).

Another tidbit: Set photos of Timothée Chalamet as Bob Dylan. Tfhey’re great:

More here.

Searchlight’s film added a few new cast members, including Scoot McNairy.


Hot Docs artistic director Hussain Currimbhoy, plus 10 programmers, resigned. Hot Docs is the largest documentary festival in North America, championing the likes of Erroll Morris, Werner Herzog, and Barbara Kopple (Shut Up and Sing).

But they are facing insurmountable challenges.

Currimbhoy stated:

“I have made the heartbreaking choice to exit the 2024 Hot Docs Festival, I do so with nine of my fellow colleagues, listed below. I will continue to fight for films and filmmakers — they are the bedrock of all film festivals, and the reason I do this job.”

Marie Nelson, president of Hot Docs, earlier this month stated that Hot Docs was facing:

“Significant operational challenges.”

She continued:

“In order for us to acknowledge the reality and seriousness of the situation, we need to let people know what’s at stake while there’s still an opportunity for us to find a fix. Or else it will be too late.”

More to come, but it is suspected that pandemic shutdowns continue to hamper the in-person fest.

Hot Docs was set to announce their official selection for their upcoming festival today.

A Georgian sexual awakening fueled by magic blackberries. That seems to be the synopsis for the Swiss Film Awards winner Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry.

The small film has done remarkably well:

  • Cannes: Directors’ Fortnight
  • Swiss Film Awards
    • Best Feature Film
    • Best Screenplay
    • Best Film Editing

The trailer is bizarre and delightful. No release date has been set.


Rising female filmmaker Quinn Shephard launches Hulu’s newest murder mystery drama, Under the Bridge. The limited series stars Lily Gladstone, in her first post-Killers of the Flower Moon performance alongside Riley Keough (Logan Lucky), as a cop/journalist duo.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Reena Virk, a fourteen-year-old girl, went to join friends at a party and never returned home. Seven teenage girls and a boy were accused of the savage murder.

Gladstone and Keough navigate the shocking investigation of several of these local young girls, all suspects in a horrific murder.

The trailer distorts imagery of teen girls partying with a liberal application of slow-motion that feels reminiscent of the opening scene of Spring Breakers (2012).

Writer, director, and actress Quinn Shephard began writing her debut feature, Blame (2017), at the age of 15 and, with the same film, became the youngest female filmmaker to ever screen a project at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2017.

Under the Bridge premieres on Hulu on April 17th, 2024.

Jason Reitman’s new film will take place over the 90 tumultuous minutes leading up to television history, SNL 1975. The decision to use the film’s 90-minute runtime to show all of the preparations and nerves seems to be an incredible narrative decision from Reitman, sure to rack up suspense with every passing moment.

Here’s the official synopsis:

This is the true story of what happened that night behind the scenes in the moments leading up to the first broadcast of Saturday Night Live. The chaos and magic of a revolution that almost wasn’t, as we countdown the minutes in real-time to the infamous words, Live From New York, it’s Saturday Night.

Rietman is best known for some of the boldest indie films, like Juno and the underrated Thank You for Smoking. He seems perfect for this Steve Jobs (2015) esque take on SNL.

Here is the (rumored) cast and who they are playing:

J.K. SimmonsMilton Berle

Gabriel LaBelleLorne Michaels

Nicholas BraunJim Henson

Cory Michael SmithChevy Chase

Matt WoodJohn Belushi

Dylan O’brienDan Aykroyd

Ella HuntGilda Radner

Emily FairnLaraine Newman

Benny Safdie (Rumored) – Andy Kaufman

David Robert Mitchell minus Dinosaurs. When Mitchell directed his supernaturally terrifying STD horror-thriller It Follows (2014, trailer), it announced him as a director with a trained eye toward Hitchcockian suspense. His follow-up, Under the Silver Lake (2018, trailer), is a winding fever dream of a narrative that is aggressive about not adding up.

His latest is Flowervale Street. Here’s the most comprehensive breakdown available:

Anne Hathaway and Ewan McGregor will play parents looking for their 15 and 12-year-old children. Set in the 1980s, the project has been described as A Quiet Place mystery/thriller with dinosaurs. ​

In a recent interview, Ewan McGregor quashed all the dino rumors.

Mitchell has been adding more and more brush strokes of oddity to his worlds. Perhaps in this one, he’s gone even further into total Lynchian surrealism.

Filming is underway.


BBC targets cutting 1000 hours of content, yet financed half of all scripted UK content in 2023. That works out to 129 out of 256 shows. A recent analysis found that amidst budget pressures, there was a vast reduction of shows in the unscripted department.

Here’s the breakdown of the 2023 changes:

  • ↓ 41% overall decline
  • ↓ 27% comedy
  • ↑ 15% crime/thrillers
  • ↑ 23% kids shows

A senior analysis stated:

“While commercial operators and broadcasters adapt to pressures on consumer spend and a tough advertising landscape, public service broadcasters have maintained their commissioning activity. This is undoubtedly one of the strengths of the public funding model. As all broadcasters look for new ways to optimise their output, we expect to see the BBC continuing to explore partnerships and co-commissioning to stretch budgets for valuable – but expensive – scripted commissions.”

One tidbit: Adding fuel to the thesis that streamers like Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, and HBOMax were shooting internationally is some data coming in from France that movie production increased 13.6% in 2023.

The above-mentioned streamers doubled their investment in France:

  • 2022
    • $24.9 M (€23 M)
    • 17 films
  • 2023
    • $52 M (€48 M)
    • 39 films

France is said to have regained its pre-pandemic production levels.


1990. Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa wins the Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement.

See you tomorrow!

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

Editor: Gabriel Miller.

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