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Steven Spielberg’s Space Odyssey

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

Spielberg does Kubrick, Tarantino executes his 10th, Leonardo DiCaprio as Sinatra, Jenna Ortega skips fall, and a magical cactus.

Let’s go!


The truth is out there.

Steven Spielberg’s next film is about UFOs. Spielberg has always been obsessed with extraterrestrials.

In his six-decade career, he’s directed some canons in the genre:

  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
  • E.T. (1982)
  • War of the Worlds (2005)

Spielberg’s personal odyssey with space and cinema was ignited by his first screening of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

Spielberg recounted:

“I came out the other end of that picture much higher than any of my friends who had taken mind-altering substances. I went in there clean as a whistle. And I came out of there altered myself.”

The cinematic power of film and the space genre became forever meshed in the mind of Spielberg, who became lifelong friends with Kubrick.

Spielberg remembered:

“The way the [2001] story is told is antithetical to the way we were accustomed to seeing stories… Kubrick would tell me, the last couple years of his life when we were talking about the form, he kept saying, ‘I want to change the form. I want to make a movie that changes the form.’ And I said, ‘Well, didn’t you with ‘2001?’”

Spielberg’s first encounter with an alien form of cinema was when he saw 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

This utter fascination spurred more than mere homages to Kubrick. Spielberg’s first two space narratives tap into the same joy and wonder of encountering extraterrestrials that he must have felt during his inaugural 2001 screening.

While no plot details about the new UFO project have been released, David Koepp (writer: War of the Worlds) is penning the screenplay from Spielberg’s original idea.

We can’t wait to see what they come up with.

For More:

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) trailer. As breathtaking and brilliant as ever.

Watch Drew Barrymore teach E.T. how to talk in the classic “E.T. phone home” scene.

They do not come in peace. The War of the Worlds (2005) trailer has an operatic score that ratchets up the intensity to 11.


Quentin Tarantino kills The Movie Critic. In the pantheon of Tarantino on-screen deaths, this one may be his most shocking off-screen death. Tarantino’s 10th and (self-alleged) final film was supposed to be The Movie Critic. He has now scrapped the project after it appeared he was unhappy with the script.

Brad Pitt was announced as the lead a few months back. He would have starred as a real-life movie critic for a porno mag that Tarantino used to read religiously during his youth.

Tarantino stated:

“He wrote about mainstream movies, and he was the second-string critic. I think he was a very good critic. He was as cynical as hell. His reviews were a cross between early Howard Stern and what Travis Bickle might be if he were a film critic.”

No word on what’s next for Tarantino but there is a prayer it’ll come back, as did The Hateful Eight (2015) after the script leaked in 2014, and he vowed never to direct the film.

Scorsese’s next two projects are gaining some definition. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Life of Jesus
    • Starring Andrew Garfield and potentially Miles Teller
    • Status: Shooting later this year

The script is based on the book A Life of Jesus by Shūsaku Endō, who also wrote the novel on which Silence (2016) is based.

  • Frank Sinatra biopic
    • Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio as Sinatra
    • Starring: Jennifer Lawrence as Ava Gardner (Sinatra’s 2nd wife)
    • Status: studio bidding war, Sony on top

Sinatra’s daughter, the estate controller, has not yet agreed to the project.

Netflix teases One Hundred Years of Solitude a multi-generational epic about a family who founds a mythical town. Based on Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel of the same name. Netflix repurchased the rights in 2019 and will bring the Spanish-spoken series to its platform later this year.

Teaser here.


Lionsgate Studios is spinning off as a separately traded “pure-content” entity with Screaming Eagle Equity Partners, which allows for a few advantages:

  • $4.6B price tag on Lionsgate Studios
  • $350M cash raised from the deal
  • $175M committed from private equity
  • Split from Starz

The Lionsgate Studios deal is nearing finalization and is expected to close in May. It will trade under the NASDAQ symbol LION.

A bunch of new projects are in the works:

  • Oldboy
    • English language series adaptation of the original masterwork
    • Dir: Park Chan-Wook (OG director)
    • Studio: Lionsgate TV

Scott Herbst, EVP and Head of Scripted Development, Lionsgate TV, stated:

“Park is one of the most visionary storytellers of our generation, and we’re excited to partner with him in bringing his cinematic masterpiece to the television screen… This series adaptation of Oldboy will feature the raw emotional power, iconic fight scenes and visceral style that made the film a classic.”

We can’t wait. The original is masterfully painful. Watch the stylized and layered trailer.

  • For All Mankind
    • Apple TV+ show renewed for Season 5
  • Star City
    • Apple TV+’s soviet spinoff
    • Creators: Ron Moore, Matt Wolpert, and Ben Nedivi (OG For All Mankind creators)

The trio stated:

“Our fascination with the Soviet space program has grown with every season of For All Mankind… The more we learned about this secret city in the forests outside Moscow where the Soviet cosmonauts and engineers worked and lived, the more we wanted to tell this story of the other side of the space race.”

Apple described the new show as a “propulsive, paranoid thriller.”

A new docuseries about one of the most terrifying psychological experiments of all time. Just watch the 2015 fictionalized film about the experiment, which feels very, very real (trailer).


Michael Cera is hitting the road to learn something: His new buddy comedy Sacramento looks like it’s going to hit that mid-2000s sweet spot, a coming-of-age road trip movie. At least, that’s the hope from the first look. After branching out a bit and trying a few different roles, Cera is venturing back into his bread and butter and potentially reclaiming his crown as the all-time indie-king. The movie, directed by Michael Angarno, will also star Kristen Stewart.

Here’s the official logline:

When free-spirited Ricky suddenly reappears in father-to-be Glenn’s life, the two former best friends embark on a spontaneous road trip from LA to Sacramento in Michael Angarano’s original take on the buddy comedy.

Some of Cera’s all-time indie coming-of-age road trip dramas:

Sacramento is set to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.


Jodie Turner-Smith joins a big, bold, beautiful journey. Turner-Smith was just cast in A Big Bold Beautiful Journey, which stars Margot Robbie and Colin Farrell. Turner-Smith previously collaborated with the director in the mysteriously hollow After Yang (2021). The actress was devastatingly electric in Queen and Slim (2019), billed as a black Bonnie and Clyde tale that was a heart-pounding referendum on police violence in the US (trailer).


Tribeca Film Festival line-up. Here are some of the headliners for the official selection:

  • Jazzy
    • Starring: Lily Gladstone
    • Dir: Morrisa Maltz (Unknown Country)
    • Producer: Miranda Bailey (Swiss Army Man)

Official Synopsis:

Captures the joys and heartbreaks of childhood friendship as young Jazzy navigates the challenges of growing up with her peers in South Dakota. A companion piece to Unkown Country.

  • Winter Spring Summer
    • Starring: Jenna Ortega
    • Dir: Tiffany Paulsen (writer: Nancy Drew)

Official Synopsis:

Sweet teen love story about a Harvard-bound girl genius (Ortega) and a laid-back guy who find each other in their final year of high school.

  • Don’t You Let Me Go, (Uruguay)
    • Dir: Ana Guevara, Leticia Jorge


Adela has just lost her best friend, Elena, so she boards a magic bus back in time to spend one last beautiful weekend with Elena in a house by the beach.

Check out the full line-up, including a South Park documentary, here.

You can take the Sun out of Sundance, but what about Park City? That’s a bit of a mind-bender, but so is Sundance considering leaving Park City, Utah, once its contract expires.

A press release stated:

“With the Festival’s current contract with Park City up for renewal starting in 2027, the RFI/RFP will allow the Institute to evaluate, consider, and build on its foundation for an accessible Festival serving a growing global independent creative community.”

The festival has been struggling with the recent departure of its Chief Executive Joana Vicente after they couldn’t bring in enough large donors.

Sundance will officially start scouting new locations and are expected to decide if they will pick up their 40-year roots by the end of this year or early 2025.


Studio Ghibli (Hayao Miyazaki’s production company) will receive an honorary Palme d’Or at Cannes. The studio’s animation is a work of art. Their cinema intertwines the supernatural and the personal. Amongst their best are:

  • Princess Mononoke (1997)
  • Spirited Away (2001)
  • Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

Well deserved!


AI has hit promotional materials. Just this week, a fake James Bond trailer featuring Henry Cavill as 007 racked up 2.5 M views. A24 also used AI to generate promotional posters for Civil War:

One group that has taken a stand against AI is the Archival Producers Alliance, a group of Oscar and Emmy-winning documentary filmmakers.

They stated:

“We started to see that people were being asked to create fake archival materials, such as photorealistic images that are indistinguishable from primary sources.”

As such, the APA has put together guidelines:

“Meant to address the creation of new materials, as well as substantial alterations to existing primary source materials that change their meaning in ways that could mislead the audience… forever muddying the historical record.”

Read more about the drafted guidelines here.


Mubi buys Witches. The documentary is set to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Elizabeth Sankey’s deeply personal documentary examines the relationship between the cinematic portrayals of witches and the all-too-real experiences of postpartum depression by utilizing footage that spans the entirety of film history alongside heartrending personal testimony.

Sankey stated:

“I started making Witches soon after being released from the psychiatric ward [for postpartum illness] as a way of trying to process what had happened to me… I researched the history of women in medicine and found they were once the main healers in their communities, but that ended with the 16th century witch trials.”

She continued:

“I also read about the women of this period who “confessed” to being witches without torture. Their symptoms were the same as mine — depression, suicidal ideation, and the pressure to be a good mother. I realized how little has changed — women still struggle to ask for help because they’re ashamed, or don’t understand what they are feeling.”

I hope this film can creatively capture people’s attention about this subject so that this life-threatening condition can gain more awareness.


Seth MacFarlane and Martin Scorsese team up to restore 1920s-1940s animated films. Look at the great work they did on the duck and her chicklet in The Little Stranger (1936). Still.

See you Friday!

Written by Gabriel Miller and Spencer Carter.

Editor: Gabriel Miller.

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