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The Matrix’s trap

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

The Matrix 5, Disney’s gold, Julia Garner’s silver, Craig Gillespie’s Super Girl, Ryan Coogler’s villainsand a rubber tire.

Let’s go!


Enter The Matrix…again.

Drew Goddard has been tapped to write and direct The Matrix 5. Here’s a quick look at his resume, which highlights his obsession with trapped characters:

The Matrix is the ultimate in sci-fi imprisonment. As Morpheus so elegantly states in the film, the world has been pulled over humanity’s eyes to disguise the truth: our reality is a wasteland.

Goddard stated:

“It is not hyperbole to say The Matrix films changed both cinema and my life. Lana and Lilly’s exquisite artistry inspires me on a daily basis, and I am beyond grateful for the chance to tell stories in their world.”

Lana Wachowski, who solo-directed the 4th installment of the series, will serve as EP.

There is a hint of The Matrix 5‘s plot from Jesse Ehrman, Warner Bros. Motion Pictures president of production:

“Advance[s] the fantasy world without straying too far from what made the series a success.”

Goddard’s ability to entrap his characters in both real and imagined realities is the foundational architecture of what makes The Matrix so spectacular.

And why we love to see Neo and Trinity fight like hell to free their species from tyrannical extinction by machines. With the looming threat of AI, this has never been more prevalent.

Goddard’s cunningness as a writer and director to define daring escapes is not in question:

The Matrix 5 will be the ultimate culmination of Goddard’s sci-fi entrapment. And we can’t wait to go down the rabbit hole.

For More:

Don’t go camping in a Goddard film. In The Cabin in the Woods, we’re drooling to know more about the sci-fi elements. Trailer.

Knock. Knock. Neo. Watch the first trailer for The Matrix.


Disney wins 2:1. The seemingly endless proxy fight between Nelson Peltz, billionaire and Chairmen of Wendy’s and Disney has ended. Disney CEO Bob Iger won the right to stay on the board by 94%.

Iger stated:

“Now that this distracting proxy contest is behind us, we’re here to focus 100% of our attention on our most important priorities, growth and value creation for our shareholders and creative excellence for our consumers.”

Those include:

  • ESPN direct-to-consumer offering (2025) launch.
  • Combined Disney+ and Hulu app
  • $60 billion investment in Disney’s theme parks

And scene.

Patrick Whitesell scored $250 M in seed funding for a new media company. Whitesell is the Executive Chairman of Endeavor and WME. He received the money as part of Silver Lake Management’s taking Endeavor Group private.

An SEC filing revealed the new company would be:

“(a) investing in and providing services to companies in the entertainment, media and sports industries; (b) developing, producing, financing and exploiting film, television and digital audio visual content; (c) talent management; and (d) consulting with other entertainment companies.”

Whitesell is not the only exec who would receive a financial windfall if the deal closes:

  • Ari Emanuel (Endeavor CEO)
  • Mark Shapiro (Endeavor president)
    • $7 M base salary
    • $15 M bonus each year
    • $100 M cash bonus upon hitting performance benchmarks

The deal is still pending regulatory approval and is expected to close in 2025.

Oh. What. Fun. Amazon MGM has just found two more leads for its holiday comedy Oh. What. Fun: Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass) and Dominic Sessa (The Holdovers). The director is Michael Showalter, whose romance The Idea of You (starring Anne Hathaway).

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

Everyone is home for the holidays, clamoring for all the Christmas cheer only their mother can whip up. They can already smell the chestnuts roasting—or is that Mom’s hair on fire?

Michelle Pfeiffer (Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Scarface) will play the mom whose hair is on fire. Moretz and Sessa will play her children.

No details on production dates have been released.

One tidbit:

Paramount and Skydance are in a 30-day exclusive negotiating window. Paramount’s stock was up 15% on the news of the potential acquisition. Apparently, Apollo Global, an asset management company, offered $27 bn to buy Paramount Global but was rejected.

Paramount Global’s Market Cap is currently $8.27 bn.


Marvel is doing something a bit different with one of its new Fantastic Four Characters. Julia Garner (Ozark, Sin City 2) has been announced as The Silver Surfer, a role previously held by a man of a thousand faces, Doug Jones. A gender-swapped Silver Surfer is not unfounded in the comics, and the character she plays is the second to hold the mantle. As the herald of the celestial eater of worlds, Galactus (The New rumored villain of the movie), Garner’s job is to scout ahead and seek new worlds for him to conquer. An important and complex character in the Marvel Universe, the Silver Surfer is known to act as both protagonist and antagonist throughout the run and was made culturally famous by Fantastic Four Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007).

Garner excels at playing this duality. At the start of Ozark, she is the antagonist, the vicious Ruth Langmore. But as the series progresses, she becomes one of the only characters we can root for.

Garner will next be seen in The Wolfman, now releasing January 17, 2025.

Isabela Merced’s negative thoughts are a parasite. She stars as a hypochondriac in HBO Max’s Turtles All the Way Down.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Aza Holmes. It’s not easy being Aza, but she’s trying… trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, and a good student, all while navigating an endless barrage of invasive, obsessive thoughts that she cannot control. When she reconnects with Davis, her childhood crush, Aza is confronted with fundamental questions about her potential for love, happiness, friendship, and hope in the face of her mental illness.

It sounds a little trite, but the trailer gives us a Requiem for a Dream-esque look into Merced’s compulsion.

Merced has previously appeared in Sicario 2 as the kidnapped daughter of a drug lord who holds her own with Benicio Del Toro (trailer) and as Dora in Dora and the Lost City of Gold (2019).

Turtles All the Way Down is set to be released on May 2nd.

Michael B. Jordan stars in Ryan Coogler’s Untitled Supernatural Thriller vampire film. Two more actors have been added to the cast:

The film will take place in the Jim Crow-era South. So, possibly Ku Klux Klan vs. Vampires + Vodoo?

Four great tidbits:

Yesterday, we spotlighted Hunter Schafer (Euphoria). Here is a trailer for her aptly titled new film Cuckoo. Schafer’s intensity fuels the macabreness.

Lady Gaga audio clip as Harley Quinn released. It’s a massive tease, but I dropped it here if you’re curious.

Sam Worthington (Avatar) signs with WME. Worthington will next be seen in Horizon: American Saga (dir: Kevin Costner).

Jennifer Garner stars in Mrs. Claus. The Netflix holiday comedy will be produced by Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Hello Sunshine. Garner’s latest Netflix role was The Adam Project (2022).


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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.

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Click HERE to find out more about Filmmaker Magazine.


WME’s AI whack-a-mole comes to an end. To combat their clients popping up in deep-fake videos, the talent agency WME has signed an official partnership with Loti, a company that uses AI to scan the web for unauthorized deep fakes.

Loti co-founder Luke Arrigoni stated:

“There’s this kind of growing feeling that this is an impossible problem. There’s this almost adage now where people say, ‘Once it’s on the internet, it’s on the internet forever.’ Our whole company dispels that myth.”

This is not WME’s first foray into partnering with an AI company. They have a minority stake in Speechify, which synthesizes voice and converts text to audio—a tool they used to replicate CEO Ari Emanuel’s voice on an earnings call.


Craig Gillespie is in the Director’s chair for Super Girl: Woman of Tomorrow. Recently announced with Milly Alcock (House of the Dragon) in the title role. Super Girl is planned to be the start of James Gunn’s new reboot of the DC, which will begin with the introduction of Super Girl’s cousin Clark Kent in Superman (2025).

Gillespie has directed three women that have won or been nominated for an Oscar:

  • I, Tonya (2017)
    • Margot Robbie’s complex performance as the Olympic skater Tonya Harding, who becomes a victim of her violent upbringing
    • Trailer
  • Cruella (2021)
    • Emma Stone, in the titular role, as the fabulously mad villain
    • Trailer
  • Dumb Money
    • America Ferrera is an essential worker who braves the Gamestop meme stock war against Wallstreet

It’s a big step up from his 2007 sophomore feature, where the main female character wasn’t real.

Arkasha Stevenson made her feature directorial debut with The First Omen. To get the job, she went very dark with the pitch to Disney.

Stevenson explained:

“We pitched this through the lens of female body horror. One of the big scenes that we pitched was the birthing clinic scene and the fact that we wanted to show a vagina on screen. I think that, maybe not that specific image, but coming at it with the vision of tailoring a story through the female perspective, and not wanting to shy away from the content or the imagery, help[ed] get us hired.”

That image was a single shot of a woman giving birth and a demon’s hand reaching out of the birth canal.

Stevenson continued:

“That was really important to us, because this is a movie about rape, and it’s about female body autonomy. Disney was very excited to tell that story with us…”

No wonder the film was nearly rated NC-17. Check out the trailer here.

The First Omen is in theaters tomorrow.


Quentin Dupieux directs absurdist French Cinema in the tradition of Beckett. His latest film, The Second Act, will open the Cannes Film Festival. The film stars Léa Seydoux and Vincent Lindon (Titane).

Quentin Dupieux directs absurdist French Cinema in the tradition of Beckett. His latest film, The Second Act, will open the Cannes Film Festival. The film stars Léa Seydoux and Vincent Lindon (Titane).

Here’s the official synopsis:

Florence (Seydoux) wants to introduce David, the man she’s madly in love with, to her father, Guillaume (Lindon). But David isn’t attracted to Florence and wants to throw her into the arms of his friend Willy. The four characters meet in a restaurant in the middle of nowhere.

Cannes boss Thierry Fremaux stated:

“Quentin Dupieux is part of the new generation of French cinema. He’s both an auteur with his own imagination and an artist who looks toward the general audience. And it’s a comedy which, because it’s about cinema, is the perfect film to take you on board for two weeks of pleasure in theaters.”

Dupieux is most well-known for Rubber (2010), a personified killer rubber tire. The trailer is all kinds of wild.


1960. 32nd Academy Awards: Ben-Hur, Charlton Heston & Simone Signoret win.

See you Friday.

Written by Gabriel Miller and Spencer Carter.

Editor: Gabriel Miller.

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