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Stanley Kubrick and a fake moon

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

Kubrick’s moon odyssey, Bridget Jones is back, Lady Gaga and Joaquin Phoenix, Cannes’ stars, A24’s serial killer, and a poet.

Let’s go!


Stanley Kubrick was accused of faking the moon landing.

After directing the hyper-realistic space sequences in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), it was speculated that Kubrick was the perfect director to stage the 1969 landing.

That rumor seems to be the impetus for Apple TV+’s new film Fly Me To The Moon, starring Channing Tatum and Scarlett Johansson.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Marketing maven Kelly Jones (Johansson) wreaks havoc on launch director Cole Davis’s (Tatum) already difficult task. When the White House deems the mission too important to fail, Jones is directed to stage a fake moon landing as backup.

Fly Me To The Moon comes from a long line of films that center on faking a celestial landing:

  • Capricorn One (1977)
    • Starring: Elliott Gould (The Long Goodbye, Ocean’s Eleven)
    • Mission: Fake the Mars landing
  • Moonwalkers (2015)
    • Starring: Ron Perlman, Rupert Grint
    • Mission: Fake the Moon landing
  • Operation Avalanche (2016)
    • Starring: Stanley Kubrick (some great VFX work)
    • Mission: Fake the Moon landing
    • Played at Sundance and SXSW

These films have a beautifully heightened absurdity that uses conspiracy as a narrative driver. The weight of the character’s unlawful actions culminates in dramatic shootout sequences in each movie.

What is so enjoyable in Apple’s Fly Me To The Moon is that tonally it feels much lighter.

In one moment in the trailer, Johansson re-casts all the NASA bigwigs so they can be more fun in TV interviews.

Ironically, rebranding was also essential to market Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

When the film was deemed too confusing for audiences, a reviewer caused a tidal wave of excitement when they suggested seeing it high. Something Kubrick, of course, had complete control over.

Apple’s Fly Me To The Moon will be in theaters in July.

For More:

Apple TV+’s Fly Me To The Moon trailer.

The Kubrick moon landing conspiracy was further ignited by some very specific sweater choices in The Shining (1980).

Operation Avalanche BTS video of how they got “Kubrick” in the movie.


Netflix layoffs. Dan Lin, Netflix’s new film chief, has created four new feature film divisions.

Here’s who’s leading them:

  • Action, Sci-fi, Fantasy and Horror
    • Ori Marmur
  • Comedies and Rom-coms
    • Jason Young
  • Thrillers, Dramas and Family
    • Kira Goldberg
  • Faith-based, young adult and holiday
    • Niija Kuykendall

The shake-up will lead to 12+ people exiting the streamer. It’s a consolidation that seems to track well with Lin’s ambition to focus on quality control.

Lin has an impressive pedigree, graduating from Harvard Business School and serving as SVP of production at Warner Bros. He’s helmed studio franchises (The Lego Movie, It, Aladdin) and prestige pictures (The Two Popes).

If Lin adds a fifth division, we’d advocate for the Biographical Tortured-Genius Movies division.

Bridget Jones is back. Universal and Working Title’s Renée Zellweger helmed three-film series, which grossed $760 M at the box office, will get a new film, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy.

Here’s the latest cast line-up:

  • Hugh Grant
    • Co-starred in all three films
  • Emma Thompson (Love Actually)
    • Co-starred in Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016)
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave, Locked Down)
  • Leo Woodall (White Lotus S2)

Michael Morris (To Leslie, 13 Reasons Why) will direct.

Here’s the official synopsis of the book on which the film is based:

Fourteen years after landing Mark Darcy, Bridget’s life has taken her places she never expected. But despite the new challenges of single parenting, online dating, wildly morphing dress sizes, and bafflingly complex remote controls, she is the same irrepressible and endearing soul we all remember—though her talent for embarrassing herself in hilarious ways has become dangerously amplified now that she has 752 Twitter followers.

Universal will release Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy on Valentine’s Day 2025, on Peacock in the US and in theaters internationally.

This US VOD plan is likely because the last film in the series, Bridget Jones’s Baby (2016), only made $24.5 M domestically, while the previous two installments eclipsed that figure: $40 M – Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004), $71 M – Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001).

Executive Shuffles: A couple of big changes up top:

Paramount’s Courtney D. Armstrong

  • Promoted to COO
  • Previous Roles: Served as President of Business Affairs, Business Development team

Warner Bros.’ Kevin Trehy

  • Steps down as EVP for Physical Production
  • Previous Projects: Wonka (2023), Sherlock Holmes (2009), Batman Begins (2005)

Blumhouse’s Jeremy Gold


Joker 2 teaser trailer. Lady Gaga and Joaquin Phoenix’s dynamic looks deliciously anarchistic. Todd Phillips has said that Joker: Folie à Deux is a musical inspired by Martin Scorsese’s New York, New York.

Big-budget projects come to California. 12 projects were conditionally approved.

Here are a few of note:

  • Amazon’s Fallout Season 2
    • $153 M Qualified Spend
    • $25 M Credit
  • Amazon’s Untitled Task Force Series
    • $73 M Qualified Spend
    • $14.6 M Credit
  • Twentieth Century Fox’s Dr. Odyssey
    • $108 M Qualified Spend
    • $20.4 M Credit

Fallout 2, if greenlit, will be moving from NYC to CA. It is said to bring around 170 jobs to the state.


Harvey Keitel is a guru in the new sci-fi drama Milarepa.

Here’s the official synopsis:

A post-apocalyptic world. Nature overpowered technology. The 12-year-old girl Mila is wrecked by the killing of her father. Mila starts a journey to redeem herself from her evil actions.

Mila happens on a timeless island where Keitel serves as a spiritual guide. The first look-image of a scraggly Keitel seems perfectly fitting for the role… and haunting.

The film is currently in post-production.

Keitel was recently excellent in The Irishman (2019). Check out the “He won’t need it” scene.

Jessica Frances Dukes is a survivor. In Ozark, she plays FBI Agent Maya Miller. In her hilarious entrance scene, she bursts into Marty Byrde’s (Jason Bateman) office, eight months pregnant with a fish bowl, as if she owns the place. She is idealistic to a fault, a wonderful contrast to the corrupted Byrde family.

Dukes will star in Earth Abides, a limited series from MGM+ that depicts a post-apocalyptic world where almost everyone has fallen victim to illness.

Here’s the official synopsis of Dukes’ character:

Fearless in body and mind, who is the heartbeat of the new world. Loss has taught her two things: that life and pain are forever intertwined, and, in the end, we are not defined by what we have acquired but rather by what we have given away.

Earth Abides is currently in production.


Colin Farrell is a high-stakes gambler in The Ballad of a Small Player, a new Netflix film that is being scripted for director Edward Berger (All Quiet on the Western Front).

Jonathan Majors has been sentenced to 1-year in-person domestic violence intervention program. This follows assault and harassment charges. Majors’ career had hit a major inflection point with Creed 3 (2023), the unreleased Sundance film Magazine Dreams (2023), and a major role as a Marvel villain until he was found guilty of domestic violence last December.

Beatrice Grannò stole every scene in The White Lotus Season 2 as the morally righteous prostitute who becomes corrupted. She will star with Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians) in a new sci-fi romance, Daniela Forever.

Seductive first, look image here.


Final Draft’s Big Break Contest is now open. Big Break is an annual international feature film and television screenwriting contest.

Writers who have entered Big Break have had their screenplays optioned, sold, have been staffed, and secured high-profile representation.

They have an impressive set of judges, including Gary King, VP of development for Paramount TV studios, Lauren Deitch, who is the manager for drama series development for Netflix, and Amanda Alley, who is a creative executive of film development at Skydance (Mission Impossible series).

Previous Big Break Contest winners have signed with:

  • UTA
  • Anonymous Content
  • Zero Gravity

Prizes include:

  • $10,000 cash
  • A trip to Hollywood to meet with executives
  • NYFA course

The first deadline is April 15th.

Submit your script here.


Cannes will announce its official selection tomorrow. In the meantime, a few films and awards have already been disclosed:

  • Megalopolis
  • Horizon: An American Saga
    • Out-of-competition world premiere
    • Dir: Kevin Costner
    • A multi-part western epic
  • Andrea Arnold
  • George Lucas

Lucas stated:

“I was surprised and elated when my first film, THX-1138, was selected to be shown in a new program for first time directors called the Directors’ Fortnight. Since then, I have returned to the festival on many occasions in a variety of capacities as a writer, director and producer.”

Cannes stated:

“A visionary intergalactic odyssey that reinvented the codes of cinematic genres as part of the New Hollywood movement, Star Wars is nothing short of mythology, a study that has fascinated George Lucas since his university days, in the construction of characters and plots and the breadth of its cultural reach.”

We can’t wait for the rest of the official selection.


A24 and a serial killer. Director Ti West is the unsung king of low-budget indie horror. He’s recently been on a hot streak with Pearl (2022) and X (2022), both starring Mia Goth and produced and distributed by A24. Films that, in addition to directing, he’s also written, edited, and produced.

His new film MaXXXine is the third in this loose trilogy.

Here’s the synopsis:

In 1980s Hollywood, adult film star and aspiring actress Maxine Minx finally gets her big break. But as a mysterious killer stalks the starlets of Hollywood, a trail of blood threatens to reveal her sinister past.

The trailer has a delightful mix of sexiness and horror.

In addition to Goth, the film has a stacked cast: Elizabeth Debicki, Bobby Cannavale, Lily Collins, Giancarlo Esposito, and Kevin Bacon.

MaXXXine will be released by A24 on July 5th.

Johnnie Burn, The Zone of Interest sound designer, signs with CAA. He won an Academy Award for his horrifically poignant sound design in the film. This may sound hyperbolic, but I believe It’s one of the most potent designs in the history of cinema.

While Glazer’s camera sees every banal frame of a Nazi commander’s home life, each dull scene is punctuated with a psychologically piercing soundtrack, where single notes of electronica blaze across the desaturated imagery and a decayed tapestry of screams hovering in the ambiance.

The effect is a profound exposition of our closeness to human evil.

Watch the trailer here.

(Lighter) Tidbit:

Maude Apatow (Judd’s daughter) launches a production company, Jewelbox Pictures.

Apatow and her partner (Olivia Rosenbloom) discussed their vision for the company:

“We have both always been drawn to flawed and complicated characters and using comedy as a tool to tell their stories.”

First up Poetic License (dir: Maude Apatow).


1957. 12 Angry Men, directed by Sidney Lumet, starring Henry Fonda and Lee J. Cobb, is released.

See you tomorrow.

Written by Gabriel Miller. Research by Spencer Carter.

Editor: Gabriel Miller.

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