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Hollywood Shuffle – News for August 29, 2016

In this Hollywood news round-up, there are updates on Birth of a Nation, Don’t Breathe, The Flash, Westworld and Star Trek: Discovery. Plus, this:



the_birth_of_a_nation_108417Nate Parker’s apology tour continues in full force in an interview he conducted with EBONY after a Los Angeles-area screening of Birth of a Nation:

I think it’s very difficult to talk about injustice and not deal with what’s happening right now … When I was first met with the news that this part of my past had come up, my knee-jerk reaction was selfish. I wasn’t thinking about even the potential hurt of others; I was thinking about myself … To be honest, my privilege as a male, I never thought about it. I’m walking around daring someone to say something or do something that I define [as] racist or holding us back, but never really thinking about male culture and the destructive effect it’s having on our community.

Don’t Breathe – wait for the lazy ass horror-based pun every single movie site seems duty-bound to use in situations like this – scared up $26.1 million on the way toppling Suicide Squad this weekend. But just in case a quality horror movie (86% on RT) making a lot of money restored your faith in Hollywood Variety‘s here to assure you that this doesn’t mean a damn thing in the long term, not when it comes to the industry’s addiction to blockbusters:

Chalk it up to the conglomeratization of the movie business. Ever since a wave of consolidation began hitting Hollywood in the Reagan era, studios have become smaller and smaller subsidiaries of the sprawling media empires that house them.

That’s radically upended their mandates. Time Warner, Viacom, 21st Century Fox, Walt Disney Company and other parent companies don’t care about earning $20 million on a movie. That won’t move the needle on their stock price, particularly when there are advertising revenues and retransmission fees, licensing agreements and merchandising pacts, toylines and theme park rides out there to dazzle investors. For all its success, “Don’t Breathe” and its gang of teenage delinquents aren’t likely to inspire a Saturday morning cartoon or land on many lunch boxes. Even three of four of these movies won’t cover the enormous overhead it takes to maintain global distribution networks, massive studio lots and to keep thousands of employees from Culver City to Tokyo humming.

That means more comic-book movies, more Star Wars, more Harry Potter and an ever-escalating array of reboots, sequels and spinoffs.

Chinese actors are making too much money (apparently), and the government is about to step in to put a stop to that:

The State Administration for Press Publication Radio Film and Television (SAPPRFT) said Friday that it would hold discussions with performers’ guilds and with film and television companies, according to a report in The People’s Daily. The regulator’s objective, according to Xinhuanet, is to establish self-discipline, rather than impose regulation.

The same day state-owned broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) published a report showing that some of the most popular talent can now earn $15 million (RMB100 million) for a movie or for a TV series.

The problem of escalating salaries and fees for on-screen talent is widely known in China and has caused significant distortions in the Chinese industry compared with some overseas. In some instances, 50%-70% of Chinese films’ production budgets are spent on talent. That leaves little finance remaining for other production elements including facilities, crew, post-production and VFX.

Christopher Lloyd swears he’s not a serial killer in “The Year’s Most Improbably Heartwarming Horror” movie.


More Star Trek: Discovery updates from Bryan Fuller:

  • The lead character will be referred to as “Number One.”
  • This season will have 13 episodes, but Fuller would prefer to limit any future seasons to 10 episodes.
  • Nicolas Meyer is writing the second episode of the season.
  • The writer’s room has been filled out with Jesse Alexander (Alias, Hannibal) and playwright/author Kemp PowersWonderfalls as well as Pushing Daisies alums Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts, who will also serve as co-showrunners.

The Flash‘s third season villains will wage psychological warfare, yet the show is still aiming to strike a lighter tone than last season.

Season 2’s “last 5 [or] 6 episodes were pretty dark,” Todd Helbing admits. “Zoom, in general, was dark. It even got darker than we probably anticipated. So we’re making a conscious effort to go back more toward the tone of Season 1.”

HBO released another Westworld trailer, giving nerds like me on the internet yet another opportunity to show off and say, “You know this is actually based on an old Michael Crichton movie.”


I will be reviewing Mechanic: Resurrection later today as well as recapping a Sunday afternoon Netflix horror movie marathon where fellow WMIF’er Julianne and I watched Housebound, Burying the Ex (so, so bad) and Hush (so, so good). Plus, I am finally seeing Don’t Breathe tonight, and will write about it tomorrow.


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