In this Hollywood news round-up, there are updates on the Oscars and Birth of a Nation, China, Vault Comics, Batman, The Night Of, Pretty Little Liars, Grimm, GLOW, The Get Down and Stranger Things. Plus, this:
RIP GENE WILDER
China’s going to crack down on western values in its film industry? WTF does that mean?:
China’s top legislature on Monday reviewed a draft of the country’s long-awaited first film law. Once passed, the new legal framework will have wide-ranging implications for China’s domestic film industry and the Hollywood studios that do business in the country.
Much of the language surrounding the draft law concerns the “moral integrity” of those engaged in the film industry and what the Chinese Communist Party calls “core socialist values.” Throughout his four-year tenure, Chinese president Xi Jinping has pushed an unprecedented campaign to limit the influence of “Western lifestyles” in China and to censor media that do not reflect the official Communist Party line. The discussion surrounding the new film law reflects these imperatives.
According to the new draft, film industry workers should “strive for excellence in both professional skills and moral integrity” and build a positive public image. China’s media regulator, the State Administration for Press, Publishing, Radio, Film and Television, announced Friday that it is “establishing a professional ethics committee to guide organizations and people in the media to practice core socialist values.”
Nate Parker’s, let’s call them “troubles” with Birth of a Nation, have unsettled the upcoming Oscar race, and competing studios are reaping the benefits.
Expect some clarity in these categories in the weeks to come as highly anticipated titles begin to screen at festivals — Venice will lift the curtain on La La Land and Jackie; Moonlight and Bleed for This are expected to screen shortly after that at Telluride and Toronto; and Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk will debut at the New York Film Festival — and the teams behind films like Silence and Live by Night survey the unsettled field and decide whether to jump in. Oscar season is a months-long journey, and there are plenty of twists, turns, and stories to come.
Hollywood’s on red alert after this shitfest of a summer, and there’s a sense the movers and shakers in the industry are in complete denial about the true root of the problem:
Wall Street analyst Doug Cruetz of the Cowen Group says Hollywood studios are in the business of building franchises or relying on well known IP, but cautions they may want to re-evaluate their programming choices when rummaging through the vault.
“I’ve talked to people at these companies, and they all seem to think the problem is they are putting out bad movies, as opposed to the consumers are demanding change. I think they are in denial about what’s going. I don’t know what they can do other than shut down a studio or two,” says Wall Street analyst Doug Cruetz.
“Just days after Lights Out or a Secret Life of Pets opens, a sequel is announced. They greenlight these movies without a script and say we need this movie in two or three years. It’s bad for the creative process,” Cruetz continues. “I don’t know that they have any other good options. In the old days, studios would have bad times and go bankrupt. Now they are owned by big conglomerates. They can lose money as far as they eye can see, but they are not going to go away.”
Deathstroke will be the villain in Ben Affleck’s solo Batman movie. Go crazy, internet. Go crazy!
You know you’re going good when you’ve only been a comic book company for a year and already have a film development deal. Good for you, Vault Comics.
August was a bad month to cancel my HBO subscription. If I hadn’t, maybe I’d know what all the Night Of hoopla is about. THR has a Q&A with the show’s creator discussing the ambiguous ending in the season finale.
In “Didn’t we already know this?” news, Pretty Little Liars is officially ending after its upcoming season.
Speaking of ending, Grimm‘s upcoming season will be its last. In related news, Grimm somehow made it to six seasons without anyone seeming to notice (I kid, I kid – perfectly decent show, but I bailed after the second season).
People sure were mean to Ann Coulter at Rob Lowe’s Comedy Central Roast. Even Peyton Manning mocked her. Wait, why the heck was Peyton Manning there? Come to think of it, why was Ann Coulter there?
TNT’s turning Let the Right One In into a TV show for some reason. And, yes, you’re right – America already remade this as the 2010 horror film Let Me In. Now it’s going to be a TV series. Come on. Keep up.
Alison Brie will be one gorgeous lady of wrestling for Jenji Kohan’s upcoming Netflix series GLOW detailing the little-known story of an all-female wrestling organization in the 80s [see documentary trailer below for more background] . You might remember Kohan’s name as the creator of Weeds and Orange is the New Black. You might remember Brie as the subject of a thousand internet .gifs from that one damn she ran in slow motion while wearing a cleavage-baring costume on Community. Well, that’s a mean joke. Brie’s actually a fantastic actress, and I am genuinely excited to see her in GLOW, although as someone who grew up on wrestling I was going to watch this show either way.
Here’s a challenge many have already taken up: Compose an essay about how Netflix’s The Get Down and Stranger Things capitalize on nostalgia. The New York Times is the latest to take a crack at it this increasingly familiar thinkpiece, and, to be fair, they do a fantastic job.
I will be talking about the craziest scene in Don’t Breathe later today.