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Tim Burton and the perfect spy

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

2x Beetlejuice

2x Duelling Dragons (Redstone and Ellison)

2x Guilds make tentative agreements

3x Boondock Saints

4x Female spies

And Miller on Miller.

Let’s go!


Shari Redstone is reportedly not selling Paramount to Apollo for the $11 bn they offered this week. Redstone was reluctant to deal with Apollo as they were just interested in Paramount, which would have effectively meant cleaving the movie studio from Paramount Global, which controls CBS, BET, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV and Paramount+.

An analyst, Robert Fishman, noted:

“Accepting a studio-only offer would mean divorcing the rest of the company from one of the key engines that drives it… Remove one of its unique content creators from the equation and the rest of the company may appear hollow.”

Instead, Redstone is negotiating a deal with billionaire David Ellison, CEO of Skydance Media (Mission: Impossible 4, 7, Top Gun: Maverick, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts).

Ellison proposed acquiring Shari Redstone’s 80% share in National Amusements, pivotal in Paramount Global’s control.

Skydance is still conducting due diligence before submitting an offer.

If the deal were successful, it would still face major regulatory and investor hurdles.

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, the long-pined-for sequel to the 1988 horror-comedy, has finally given us a tease. Showing off its new (Jenna Ortega) and returning cast (Winona Ryder and Catherine O’Hara), each playing a different generation of the Deetz family whose attic holds a portal to the underworld and houses Michael Keaton’s Demon of the titular name. The original is a Tim Burton cult classic, and this teaser makes one hopeful for a potential return to Burton’s older, darker creations.

In theaters September 6th.

Duelling Dragons. To celebrate the release of Game of Thrones Spin-off House of the Dragon Season 2, HBO marketing has done a fun double trailer drop. The green trailer displays the might of King Aegon’s Army, and the black trailer shows the faction behind the rightful heir, Rhaenyra. The second season promises an ever-increasing war amongst the Targaryens as both sides clash for power.

The second season releases Sunday, June 16th

IATSE Cinematographers and Art Directors guilds reach tentative agreements with AMPTP.

The Local 600 guild issued a memo:

“Today marked the conclusion of our bargaining team’s in-person local negotiations with the AMPTP regarding our Camera and Publicist Agreements, we’ve reached a tentative agreement on Local 600 specific issues. We wish the remainder of the West Coast Studio Locals best of luck as they negotiate their local specific issues.”

The local 800 Art Directors Guild issued a similar statement.

We’re hearing that the cadence seems to be two guilds will negotiate with the AMPTP/week.

Next up:

  • Local 700
    • Editors Guild
  • Local 729
    • Motion Picture Set Painters & Sign Writers

The shared contract for all guilds under IATSE expires on July 31st.

Demands range from streaming residuals to AI protections to unaddressed concerns from the last potential strike in October 2021, where the crew were sick and tired of long hours, and unsatisfactory wage due to inflation.


Elisabeth Moss is the next female spy in Hulu’s The Veil. From showrunner Steven Knight (writer: Locke, Dirty Pretty Things), who explained:

“You get the feeling with Elisabeth Moss that she can play anything. When you know you’ve got her, then that liberates the writing process—you don’t have to write the line, because she’s going to sell it anyway in the way she just is.”

Here’s the official synopsis:

It follows the relationship between two women playing a deadly game of truth and lies on the road. One woman has a secret, and the other has a mission to reveal it before thousands of lives are lost.

Take a look at this trailer. The central internal crisis seems to be that Moss loses her sense of self among her many identities.

There is a finely tuned fluidity to Moss’ performances, from an advertising executive in Mad Men to June Osborne, the handmaid on the run from a patriarchal hellscape, that makes her perfect for this shapeshifting M16 agent.

Hulu is releasing on April 30th.

There are some truly great female spies in cinema:

In Hitchcock’s post-World War II Notorious, Ingrid Bergman’s character, a German-born emigre to the U.S., endures multiple torments when she is conscripted to infiltrate a Rio de Janeiro-based Nazi syndicate by marrying its leader, whereupon she nearly sacrifices her life to uncover their plans to produce a bomb.

A fiercely untamed teen criminal gets turned into a lethal weapon in this brutally stylized psychological portrait of cycles of violence.

Bond is put to shame by Yeoh’s tactical excellence and polished quips.

One tidbit:

Ralph Fiennes will star in The Choral, which was just acquired by Sony Pictures Classics.

Here’s the official synopsis:

A choral society’s male members enlist in World War I, leaving the demanding Dr. Guthrie (Fiennes) to recruit teenagers. Together, they experience the joy of singing while the young boys grapple with their impending conscription into the army.

No release date has been set.

Fiennes’ excellence has spanned many decades, from his Oscar-nominated performance in both Schindler’s List (1993) as the icy Nazi commander and The English Patient (1996) as a bitter romantic to Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter Series (2004-2011). He recently had an excellent role in The Menu (2022) as a maniacal perfectionist chef (trailer, with spoilers).


What a lovely day. I rarely tell personal stories in the newsletter, but the 9 a.m. Cannes premiere of Mad Max: Fury Road nine years ago in 2015 was exotically thrilling. Amongst the sleepy croisette moviegoers, our eyes were peeled open by the balistically saturated imagery of George Miller’s masterwork.

The film is thin on dialogue, but one line referencing the pre-apocalyptic world stuck:

“Everyone in the old world had show.”


Cannes has just announced that the prequel, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, will play Out of Competition at a gala screening on Wednesday, May 15th.

Here’s what Cannes had to say:

Mad Max is a chronicle of societal and environmental collapse, playing with genre codes to question these themes, initially visionary and now cruelly topical… a dystopian world where speed and movement are just as synonymous with life energy as with death as a result of resource depletion, offering the viewer a dose of adrenaline rarely equaled on the big screen.”

Director George Miller (no relation) stated:

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to return to the Festival de Cannes – along with Anya, Chris and Tom – to share Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga. There is no better place than La Croisette to experience this film with audiences on the world stage.”

Here’s the trailer for Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.


Fernanda Valadez and Astrid Rondero, the directors of Sundance-winning Sujo sign with CAA. Here’s the official synopsis of their World Cinema Grand Jury Prize-winning film: ​

When a cartel gunman is killed, he leaves behind Sujo, his 4-year-old son. The shadow of violence surrounds Sujo during each stage of his life. As he grows into a man, Sujo finds that fulfilling his father’s destiny may be inescapable.

A Sundance moderator described the film as:

“A complex lyrical portrait of coming to age in contemporary Mexico, depicting life in the shadows of cartel violence in a way we’ve never seen before.”

Rondero elaborated on this theme: ​

“Is it possible for young people to break cycles of violence, and what would it take for that to happen?”

Here’s a meet-the-director clip from Sundance, which features some footage from the film.

Killer Films’ latest project has some bite. The Christine Vachon-led company (Past Lives, May December, One Hour Phot0) is adapting the book Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Five years.

That’s how long Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have lived on the road in an old school bus, crisscrossing the nation.

It’s also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters in a car crash.

Coyote hasn’t been home in all that time, but when she learns that the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished―the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box―she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state in four days…without him realizing it.

Here’s the rest of the team:

  • Director: Anya Adams
    • Prom Pact
  • Writer: Liz Maccie
  • Producer: Andy Cohen
    • Gifted (2017, starring Chris Evans)
  • Production Company: Walden Media
    • The Chronicles of Narnia (2005)
    • Bridge to Terabithia (2007)
    • Manhunt (2024, Apple TV+)

It’s lining up to be a remarkable film.

One Tidbit: The Boondock Saints is back. The 1999 film (what a year for cinema!) had the perfect combo of stylized action, religious overtures, and an unhinged detective, Willem Dafoe, to make it a ridiculously blissful movie (trailer).

Part of what makes it so great is Dafoe’s flamboyant crime-scene recreations of saints’ (Norman Reedus, Sean Patrick Flanery) carnage.

Reedus, now famous for The Walking Dead, and Flanery will return in a new version of the film from Thunder Road Productions (John Wick series) which is moving forward without the original director.


Streaming platforms go international. Here’s a roundup:​

  • HBO Max
    • Launches in Europe on May 21 (ahead of the Olympics)
    • 20 countries: Nordics, Iberia, and Central and Eastern Europe
    • Sports Add-on available
  • France’s TF1
    • The most popular domestic network, with an audience of 25 million French people
    • Rolling out to the French-speaking world
  • BBC
    • Buys Suits from Netflix for its VOD service iPlayer

Double Palm d’Or winning filmmaker Billie August takes on The Count of Monte Cristo. His Cannes-winning films are:​

  • Pele the Conqueror (1987)
    • Academy Award, Best Foreign Film
    • Star: Max von Sydow
    • Trailer
  • The Best Intentions (1992)
    • Written by Ingmar Bergman
    • Trailer

The TV series is an English-language adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ novel. Jeremy Irons is set to co-star.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Edmond is a 19-year-old sailor who is falsely accused of treason and imprisoned without trial in the Château d’If, a grim island fortress off Marseille. After many years of captivity, he finally escapes and, under the identity of the Count of Monte Cristo, plans to take revenge on those who have wrongly accused him with the help of Abbé Faria (Irons).

Billie August explained that he was drawn to the material:​

“[It’s] all about relationships, the complexities of human beings, and in that sense, it’s very modern and timeless.”

He continued:

“When done well, Shakespeare is completely contemporary and he was writing 500 years ago. Making something contemporary isn’t about modernizing, it’s about making sure it speaks to a present day audience and isn’t just an antiquity.”

The TV series just wrapped six months of production. August previously collaborated with Jeremy Irons in Night Train to Lisbon (2013).


Brenton Oechsle is a freelance cinematographer, award-winning filmmaker, and editor. His experience in documentary and narrative filmmaking extends over thirteen years.

His work has been featured in The New York Times and Tribeca and has been Vimeo Staff Picked. Recently, his short film Safe Place received the Grand Jury & Audience Awards at the Austin Film Festival.​

No matter the type of project – he seeks to tell stories that will have a positive impact on an audience by expressing unity through the lens of human experience.​

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1931. William Shatner. Canadian author, director, and actor (Twilight ZoneStar Trek), born in Montreal, Quebec.

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

Written by: Gabriel Miller and Spencer Carter.

Editor: Gabriel Miller.

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