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Damian Lewis in ‘Oceans Eight,’ Mike Flanagan to Direct ‘Inherit the Earth,’ Dreamworks Nabs New Spec, Vice Partners with The Guardian

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Damian Lewis Is The Villain For ‘Ocean’s Eight’

The cast for Ocean’s Eight announced so far as been exclusively full of some great female performers including Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett and Anne Hathaway. Now Damian Lewis will bring his particular talents to the film, playing the target of the robbery. (EMP)

‘Ouija 2’ Filmmaker Mike Flanagan To ‘Inherit The Earth’

Hot off of Ouija: Origin of Evil, which is racing past $81M worldwide off a $9M budget, filmmaker Mike Flanagan is taking the reins of Sony’s Inherit the Earth, which he will write and is attahed to direct. (DH)

DreamWorks Acquires Spec Script ‘Highway One’ From Scribe Anthony Jaswinski

The Shallows writer Anthony Jaswinski has sold his latest spec script, Highway One, to DreamWorks. Denise DiNovi is attached to direct, with Lynn Harris and Matti Leshem producing under their Weimaraner Republic banner. (TB)

Vice Forms Partnership With The Guardian For News Content

The two will work together to produce co-branded special reports to be shown across Vice’s news shows. (THR)

‘Blair Witch’ Director Dan Myrick Launches Indiegogo Campaign For Docu‐Drama ‘Skyman’

The Indiegogo campaign has set a goal of $25,000, which will primarily fund the pre‐production of the project. (VAR)

Here Are All Of Disney’s Upcoming Live-Action Remakes

Disney has a bevy of live-action adaptations in the works. Here is a list that runs down the specifics on each and every live-action one. (COLL)

Why This Year’s Animated Oscar Race Has Become The Most Competitive Ever

A record 27 animated features compete for the Oscar, thanks to more indies entering the race. But Disney’s Zootopia, the New York Film Critics Circle winner, remains the favorite. (IW)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Baywatch’

Directed by Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses), Baywatch is set to arrive in theaters May 26, 2017. (EW)

Different Companies, Different Networks, But Similar Problems

Ultimately, the melange of networks offer something of a microcosm of the current reality. There is some success, some middling performance, some disappointment, but an almost universal malaise that is becoming increasingly difficult to turn around. (TB)

BEN and PGA Form Partnership, Tribeca and DDB New York, Undercurrent Launches Brand Agency

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Branded Entertainment News

Agencies May Find This Partnership Between Branded Entertainment Network And Producers Guild Very Interesting

Product integration platform Branded Entertainment Network has formed a partnership with the Producers Guild of America which will provide BEN Clients with brand integration opportunities in film, television and new media. (MP)

Tribeca Film Festival Owner Names DDB New York Agency Of Record

Tribeca Enterprises, the owner of the Tribeca Film Festival, has tapped DDB New York as its agency of record and branded content partner, ending the company’s one-year stint with JWT. (AA)

Undercurrent Launches Branded Content Agency

Creative agency Undercurrent has launched a new venture focused on branded content, called The Drop. (EM)

Top Deals

Watch ‘The Late Show‘s’ Jimmy Fallon Freak Out Over Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch made an appearance on The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon and Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aimé. (TM)

How An Instagram Star With A Name Like FuckJerry Makes $30,000 Per Sponsored Post

Elliot Tebele has turned the popular FuckJerry account into a full-blown franchise, with 40 million followers across multiple social channels, a clothing line, a card game, a late-night TV show pilot with MTV and a small social media shop called Jerry Media. (AW)

How Brands Like Squatty Potty Are Making The Infomercial Fun Again

The decades-old infomercial is suddenly fashionable again. The crop of successful long-form ads released recently includes Poo-Pourri’s scatological walk through time with the brand’s fan-favorite spokeswoman Bethany and the return of Squatty Potty’s adorable (and flatulent) mythical creature. (AW)

 Hot Projects

There’s Johnny!

Seeso gave a series order to this period showbiz comedy from writers Paul Riser and David Steven Simon, who will executive produce alongside Brian Volk-Weiss, Matt Ochacher, and Michael Pelmont of New Wave Entertainment, Jeff Sotzing of Carson Entertainment Group and David Gordon Green of Rough House Pictures. (SE)

Brown Girls

Freeform gave a pilot order to this comedy from writer Shilpi Roy and executive producers Nastaran Dibai, Tracy Katsky, Dana Honor, and Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment. (SE)

AFI Awards, ‘Penguin Bloom’ Adaptation, ‘A.D. After Death’ Comic Adaptation, Paul Haggis’ Flint Water Scandal Doc

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AFI Names Top Movies, TV Shows For 2016

The American Film Institute has picked its ten best movies and TV shows of the year. (DAR)

Reese Witherspoon And Naomi Watts To Produce Adaptation Of ‘Penguin Bloom’

Reese Witherspoon, Naomi Watts and Bruna Papandrea have landed the rights to the Australian book Penguin Bloom, with plans to make it into a feature film. (VAR)

Scott Snyder, Jeff Lemire Comic ‘A.D.: After Death’ Headed To The Big Screen

Sony has picked up the film rights to A.D.: After Death, a buzzy comic book miniseries from two of the industry’s leading creators, Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire. Josh Bratman is attached to produce the adaptation. (THR)

Paul Haggis To Supply Documentary About Flint Water Scandal

Haggis is working with director William Hart on Lead and Copper, a film that aims to investigate the ongoing crisis, which began in 2014. (GUAR)

Nick Styne Leaving CAA To Form Management/Production Venture

After more than 25 years as a talent agent, Nick Styne is leaving CAA to start a management/production startup that he has yet to name. (DH)

Alec Baldwin, Taylor Schilling Join Emilio Estevez’s Occupy Movement-Inspired Dramedy ‘The Public’

Alec Baldwin, Taylor Schilling, Jena Malone and Che “Rhymefest” Smith have joined the cast of Emilio Estevez’s Occupy-esque dramedy The Public. (WRAP)

Fox Acquires Rory Haines & Sohrab Noshirvani Action-Thriller Spec ‘The State’

Twentieth Century Fox has picked up the spec script The State from the writing duo Rory Haines and Sohrab Noshirvani. David Lonner and Ben Rowe from Oasis Media are set to produce. (TB)

Amazon Studios Takes Flight With Hot Package ‘The Aeronauts’

After feverish bidding, Amazon Studios is nearing a deal for Jack Thorne’s spec script The Aeronauts, developed and set to be directed by Tom Harper. (DH)

Trailer Buzz: ‘War For The Planet Of The Apes’

20th Century Fox has unveiled the first trailer for Matt Reeve’s upcoming film War for the Planet of the Apes, which sets up what appears to be the biggest confrontation between humans and apes in the series. (VER)

J.J. Abrams’ New HBO Series, a Movie About the Ailes-Kelly Case, ‘Horace and Pete’ Appears Suddenly On Hulu

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J.J. Abrams Producing Space Series ‘Glare’ With HBO

The filmmaker and his Bad Robot Productions are once again reteaming with the pay cable net  to develop the new space drama. The hourlong sci-fi series will focus on the colonization of an alien planet. Abrams will be executive producing alongside Bad Robot head of development Ben Stephenson and Javier Gullón, who is also penning the script. No additional plot details were revealed. (IW)

A Movie About Roger Ailes’s Alleged Harassment of Megyn Kelly Is in the Works

Annapurna Pictures has signed on to produce a pitch from one of The Big Short‘s Oscar-winning writers, Charles Randolph. In this go-around, Megyn Kelly’s story will be the star: The pitch is said to center on the women whose sexual-harassment allegations brought the former Fox News chairman’s reign to a screeching halt. (VUL)

Louis C.K.’s ‘Horace and Pete’ Suddenly Appears on Hulu

The series, which C.K. wrote, directed, starred in and financed, had only appeared on his own website, but premiered this morning on Hulu, where it is available to subscribers. (COL)

Fox’s Next ‘X-Men’ Movie Will Start Shooting In May, and It’s Almost Certainly ‘New Mutants’

The series has stalled after the lukewarm reception toX-Men: Apocalypse, and it hasn’t been entirely clear what’s next for our ragtag mutants. New Mutants, the spin-off hoping to expand the X-Men universe, might be the answer. It’s been confirmed by the director Josh Boone that it will be the next X-Men movie hitting theaters (aside from Logan). (CB)

Fox Puts a ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’ Movie Into Development

Based on the Peter, Paul and Mary song, film is said to be a hybrid live-action/animated movie, Mike Mitchell will direct. Mitchell recently directed the animated feature Trolls for DreamWorks Animation, but he’s also no stranger to the concept of combining live-action photography with animation, having directed Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked as well as the live-action portions of The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. (CS)

Terry George’s ‘The Promise’ Lands At Open Road, Gets April Release Date

Oscar Isaac, Charlotte Le Bon and Christian Bale star alongside Shohreh Aghdashloo, Angela Sarafyan, Jean Reno, James Cromwell, Daniel Giminez Cacho and Marwan Kenzari. Film is about the Armenian genocide that had its world premiere in the fall at Toronto. Open Road, which acquired and distributed last year’s Best Picture Oscar winner Spotlight, has set an April 28th, 2017 wide release date for the pic. (DH)

Break Out the Popcorn! ‘Strike Back’ Revived for Fifth Season at Cinemax

Cinemax is reviving its first foray into original scripted programming. The premium cable network and U.K. collaborator Sky are bringing back Strike Back for its fifth season. The drama was renewed for its fourth and then-final season in 2013 and wrapped its run in October 2015. The new season, which will feature an entirely new cast, will resume production in 2017. A premiere date has not yet been determined. (LF)

First Footage, Official Synopsis And New Title Revealed For ‘Fast 8’

The Fate of the Furious is now the official new name for the eighth entry in the blockbuster series. The first footage has been revealed as well, and it’s just a taste of what’s to come when the full trailer drops on Sunday. Film opens on April 14th, 2017. (TP)

Overpaid Actors, and the Studios Who Enable Them

Forbes released its annual list of overpaid actors on Wednesday, a list that is, for all intents and purposes, meaningless as long as the studios continue to throw around ridiculous amounts of money. Herein, some suggestions for how to better manage their cashflow. (TB)

Golden Globe Noms and Snubs, Critics’ Choice Winners, ‘Spider-Man Homecoming 2′ Release Date, Fox Buys Carl Hiaasen Drama

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Golden Globe Nominations: Complete List

Nominations for the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards were announced this morning on NBC’s “Today” live from the Beverly Hilton Hotel. (VAR)

Golden Globes 2017 TV Snubs And Surprises: ‘Mr. Robot’ Is Out, ‘Stranger Things’ Is In

Despite Rami Malek and Christian Slater earning nods, last year’s winner for Best Drama Series is already out of the race. (IW)

Critics’ Choice Awards 2016 Winners List: ‘La La Land,’ ‘People v. O.J’ Dominate

La La Land dominated at Sunday night’s 22nd annual Critics’ Choice Awards, raking in eight total awards, including Best Picture. Manchester by the Sea, Jackie, Deadpool, and Moonlight also picked up its fair share of trophies. (EW)

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’s’ Sequel Gets A 2019 Release Date

The long-awaited trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming arrived and Sony has announced that it will be releasing its sequel on July 5th, 2019. (VER)

Fox Buys ‘Basket Case’ Crime Drama From Jeff Eastin & Jason Winer Based On Book

Fox has given a script commitment plus penalty to Basket Case, an hourlong drama based on the bestselling 2002 book by Carl Hiaasen, from White Collar and Graceland creator Jeff Eastin, and Life in Pieces executive producer Jason Winer. (DH)

‘Your Name': How The Japanese Animated Feature Became An Oscar Contender

With 27 animated features submitted for Oscar consideration, it’s a competitive year in the category. Your Name, a Japanese anime feature from director Makoto Shinkai, got a boost this week when it was named best animated film by the L.A. Film Critics. (THR)

An Inconvenient Truth 2′ Is Happening, Here’s When It Will Premiere

A decade after the original documentary was released, it was announced that Paramount will debut An Inconvenient Truth 2 at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival’s opening night before moving on to a regular theatrical release later that same year. (CB)

‘Westworld’s Luke Hemsworth Saddles Up For Western ‘Abilene’

Luke Hemsworth is next starring as Wild Bill Hickok in Abilene, an indie directed by Timothy Woodward Jr. (DH)

Trailer Buzz: ‘The Fate Of The Furious’

The first trailer for next summer’s The Fate of the Furious has arrived, and reunites your favorites including Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, and Michelle Rodriguez and also features new recruit Charlize Theron. (WIR)

Black List 2016, Muhammad Ali Doc to HBO, ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Klingon Cast, Zack Snyder Developing ‘Last Photograph’

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The Black List 2016: Hollywood’s Best Unproduced Screenplays

The Black List 2016 is here, an annual ranking of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood. (WRAP)

LeBron James Producing Muhammad Ali Documentary For HBO

The film will be directed by ‘The Magnificent Seven’ maestro Antoine Fuqua. (EW)

‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Casts Klingon Trio

Chris Obi, Shazad Latif and Mary Chieffo have joined the cast of the CBS All Access drama. (THR)

Zack Snyder Still Developing ‘The Last Photograph’

Snyder developed The Last Photograph with writer Kurt Johnstad and now he might actually take it on as a directing gig. (EMP)

McG’s ‘The Babysitter’ Moves To Netflix From New Line

McG’s The Babysitter has moved from New Line Cinema to Netflix after Boies/Schiller Film Group acquired rights from the studio. (VAR)

Maven Pictures Acquires ‘Secret Life of Dr. James Miranda Barry,’ Rachel Weisz To Star

The biography The Secret Life of Dr. James Miranda Barry: Victorian England’s Most Eminent Surgeon from author Rachel Holmes has just been optioned by Maven Pictures and they have hired Nick Yarborough to adapt. Rachel Weisz is attached to star. (DH)

European Film Awards Led By ‘Toni Erdmann’

In a rebuke to the Cannes jury that snubbed German Oscar entry Toni Erdmann, the EFAs awarded the film five prizes on Saturday. (IW)

Reba McEntire To Star In ABC Series From ‘Desperate Housewives’ Creator Marc Cherry

The country music superstar is set to headline a series from Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry that has been put into development at ABC. (VAR)

5 Things The Golden Globe Nominations Might Tell Us About The Oscar Race

The SAGs tend to be a better indicator of Oscar fortunes than the Golden Globes, but this morning’s nominations can maybe tell us a few things. (VF)

Viacom Names Bob Bakish CEO, Patrick Wilson Joins ‘Aquaman,’ Focus Acquires Graphic Novel, Dick Wolf Transforming Oxygen Channel

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Viacom Names Bob Bakish Permanent CEO

The news comes after Viacom and CBS Corp. controlling shareholder National Amusements withdrew its call for the two companies to explore a recombination. (THR)

Patrick Wilson Joins ‘Aquaman’

Director James Wan has dipped into the list of people he’s worked with before for the latest addition, as The Conjuring‘s Patrick Wilson is aboard. (EMP)

Focus Features Acquires Daniel Clowes’ Graphic Novel ‘Patience’

Focus Features has acquired the film rights to Daniel Clowes’ best-selling graphic novel Patience. Clowes will adapt his book for the big screen. (DH)

NBCUniversal, Dick Wolf In Talks To Transform Oxygen Into Crime-Centric Channel

NBCUniversal and prolific producer Dick Wolf are in discussions about turning the Oxygen cable channel into a crime-centric outlet anchored by Wolf’s Universal TV-produced drama series. (VAR)

Marco Polo’ Cancelled By Netflix, Will Not Return For Season 3

Although a slew of new programs are still being released, some of them are being cancelled and this week, such as Netflix’s Marco Polo, which will not be returning for a third season. (CB)

Fox Developing ‘The Bastard’ Family Comedy From Rob Rosell & David Hornsby

Fox has given a script commitment with penalty to The Bastard, a single-camera comedy written and executive produced by Rob Rosell and David Hornsby. 20th TV is the studio. (DH)

Annette Bening To Receive Career Achievement Award At Palm Springs Film Festival

Annette Bening, the Golden Globe-nominated star of A24’s 20th Century Women, will be honored with the Career Achievement Award at the 28th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival. (WRAP)

Write The Movie They Won’t Make: ‘Hell or High Water’s’ Taylor Sheridan

The writer of sleeper hits Hell or High Water and Sicario, talks about breaking all the rules to write the movies he wants to see. (FCC)

The Curious Case Of Sony’s Potentially Unpleasant Christmas

Passengers could rally and actually end up with a stronger showing than anyone who doesn’t work in Culver City believes it will get — but when it does, it’s important we don’t jump to the wrong conclusions. (TB)

SAG Noms, Oscars Scores Eligibility List, Ruben Fleischer Directing ‘Jekyll,’ Columbia Nabs YA Book

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SAG Awards Nominations 2017: See The Full List

The Screen Actors Guild — the largest in the film industry — is set to influence the ongoing Oscar acting races, as nominations for the 23rd annual SAG Awards were announced this morning. (EW)

Oscars: 145 Films Qualify For Best Score, From ‘La La Land’ To ‘Captain America: Civil War’

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released the names of 145 film scores to qualify for Oscar nominations.  (WRAP)

Ruben Fleischer To Direct Chris Evans In ‘Jekyll’

Lionsgate has Chris Evans attached to star in its own version of the split identity tale, and now Ruben Fleischer may end up in the director’s chair. (EMP)

Columbia Nabs Fantasy YA ‘The Lost Property Office’

James R. Hannibal’s The Lost Property Office is headed for the big screen as Columbia Pictures has acquired the film rights to the YA novel. The property is the first in a series published earlier this year. (TB)

‘Gotham City Sirens’ Movie Reunites Margot Robbie And David Ayer

Robbie and Ayer will team up again for Gotham City Sirens, an all-female DC villains movie that will feature Robbie’s Harley Quinn likely alongside femme fatales Poison Ivy and Catwoman. (COLL)

Modern-Day Civil War Drama Pilot ‘Civil’ Not Going Forward At TNT

TNT has opted not to proceed with its pilot Civil, written by Scott Smith and directed by Allen Coulter. It was picked up to pilot in May and secured a solid cast led by Bradley Whitford, Courtney B. Vance, Toby Jones and Enrique Murciano. (DH)

‘Star Trek’ Cast And Stephen Hawking Explore The Quantum Realm In New Short Film

In Quantum is Calling, a short film collaboration between Caltech, Cinestar and Trouper Productions, Saldana loses Simon Pegg’s cat in the quantum realm and uses physics and deduction to get him back. (MASH)

TNT Greenlights Rashida Jones’ Nail Salon Series ‘Claws’ Starring Niecy Nash

TNT has given the greenlight to Claws, a nail salon-set dramedy hailing from executive producer Rashida Jones. (VAR)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Unforgettable’

Warner Bros. Pictures has just brought online the Unforgettable trailer and you can take a look at the upcoming suspense thriller that also marks the directorial debut of producer Denise Di Novi. (CS)

Warner Bros. Shakeup, ‘Cruella’ Finds Director, ‘HIMYM’ Spinoff in the Works, Lin-Manuel Miranda Plans Animated Movie

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Greg Silverman Out As Head Of Production At Warner Bros.

Silverman, who has held the title of president of creative development and worldwide production since 2013, will be replaced by Toby Emmerich, who runs the studio’s successful New Line Cinema production company. (LAT)

Disney’s Live-Action ‘Cruella’ Finds Director

Mozart of the Jungle co-creator and theater director Alex Timbers is in negotiations to helm Cruella, Disney’s live-action re-imagining of the 101 Dalmatians character that will star Emma Stone. (THR)

New ‘How I Met Your Mother’ Dad Spinoff In Works With ‘This Is Us’ Writing Duo

The new project, titled How I Met Your Father, is an ensemble show that tells the story from a female point of view. It is a brand new take on the premise with new characters and new writers: This Is Us co-executive producers Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger. (DH)

Vivo': Lin-Manuel Miranda Plans Sony Pictures Animation Feature

Hamilton and Moana‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda has a new big-screen animated musical on the way; Sony Pictures Animation is working with Miranda on Vivo, an original story that will feature 11 original songs by Miranda. (CS)

Sundance 2017 Announces Late Additions, From The Collection Films And Quentin Tarantino Q&A

Four new films, including Reservoir Dogs and Long Strange Trip, are added to the lineup. (IW)

Warren Littlefield’s The Littlefield Company Inks First-Look Deal With Fox 21 TV

Fargo executive producer will develop projects for cable and digital platforms for Fox 21 through his The Littlefield Company production shingle. (VAR)

‘Riverdale': Molly Ringwald Is Archie’s Mom

The CW’s comic-inspired Riverdale has tapped noted redhead Molly Ringwald to play the mother of iconic redhead Archie. (TVL)

Hulu Hires Billy Rosenberg To Head Comedy Department

Hulu has hired Party Over Here’s Billy Rosenberg to head its comedy department. (WRAP)

‘Moonlight’ & ‘Loving’ Not Eligible For Original Screenplay, Placed In Adapted Script Category

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has confirmed that A24’s Moonlight and Focus Features’ Loving — both of which were being campaigned for Original Screenplay and determined to be originals by the Writers Guild in their WGA Awards — have been ruled out of that Oscar category. (DH)

Brener and Blackwood to Run New Line, ‘Kingkiller Chronicle’ Gets Showrunner, Relativity Layoffs, ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Lead Cast

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Richard Brener & Carolyn Blackwood To Run New Line Amid WB Shuffle

New Line Cinema veterans Richard Brener and Carolyn Blackwood will take over running the Warner Bros label after Toby Emmerich was elevated to Chief Content Officer at Warner Bros Pictures Group today.  (DH)

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘Kingkiller Chronicle’ Adaptation Adds ‘Leverage’ Showrunner

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s adaptation of the popular book franchise The Kingkiller Chronicle has found an unexpected showrunner in John Rodgers, best known for Leverage, The Librarians and The Player. (TVG)

Struggling Relativity Media Lays Off More Staffers

Relativity Media has laid off roughly a half dozen employees. They are primarily administrative and lower-level staffers. (VAR)

‘Walking Dead’s’ Sonequa Martin-Green Cast As ‘Star Trek: Discovery Lead’

Sonequa Martin-Green has been cast as the lead in the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery. Martin-Green will play a lieutenant commander in the sci-fi reboot. (TVL)

Skydance Media Forms Overall With Award-Winning Writer-Producer Laeta Kalogridis

Skydance announced that it has formed an exclusive, multi-year overall agreement for television production with award-winning writer-producer Laeta Kalogridis, who currently serves as writer and executive producer on Altered Carbon. (BW)

Juan Antonio Bayona’s ‘A Monster Calls’ Leads Goya Award Nominations

Pedro Almodovar’s Julieta will vie for the top prize before competing as Spain’s bid for the foreign-language Oscar. (THR)

‘Fleabag’s’ Phoebe Waller-Bridge Turns ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ Into A Story of the Boyfriend From Hell

Watch Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s critically adored Fleabag, an exceedingly dark and twisted narrative of the Christmas song The Twelve Days of Christmas, about a relationship reaching its breaking point. (VUL)

Disney’s Cable Networks May Be Bigger Than Most, But They Have A Lot Of The Same Problems

After close to four months delving into the television industry, we complete our expansive survey with the networks owned by the Walt Disney Company, including the Disney Channel, ESPN, Freeform, and the A+E Networks. (TB)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Despicable Me 3′

Universal Pictures has released the first Despicable Me 3 trailer. In the sequel, Steve Carell will not only be reprising his role as Gru, but also Gru’s long-lost twin brother Dru. (COLL)

Pitfalls of Sponsored Content, Influencer Marketing on the Rise, Publishers Take On Branded Content

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Branded Entertainment News

The Pitfalls Of Sponsored Content, In 5 Charts

Sponsored content remains confusing to readers. They struggle to identify it, have mixed emotions about its being in the same place as regular editorial content, and often feel like publishers must be held to higher standards. (DD)

Influencers Seek Authenticity And Collaboration With Brands As Their Roles Evolve And Grow

Influencer marketing is a trend on the rise with 2016 showing more businesses turning towards social media personalities to create and produce branded content. (DRUM)

Publishers Set To Take On Agencies With Branded Content & Even Their Own Ads

Publishers are pouring resources into doing research for companies to creating ads that run outside their own websites as they try to turn their niche “branded content” businesses into significant growth drivers. (BANDT)

Why Tech Companies Need To Stop Wasting Resources On Advertising

If you’re an entrepreneur in the tech industry who hasn’t included public relations in your company’s growth strategy, then you’re forfeiting substantial opportunities to promote your business. (TC)

You Better Listen To Social Media Buzz About Your Brand

Do you know what people are saying about your institution’s brand on social networks? Here’s why you must establish a social media listening post inside your organization. (FB)

Top Deals

Tinder has released a series of digital videos promoting its Apple TV integration. Beginning now, you can download the dating app onto your platform and use Apple’s remote to swipe left and right. (AW)

Mac Miller’s new video for My Favorite Part with girlfriend Ariana Grande was directed by Luis Perez and features some very eye-catching product placement from Fiat and Calvin Klein. (VM)

Hot Projects

Internet Famous

Maker Studios’ internet-focused mockumentary-style comedy from writer/director Michael Gallagher stars a bevy of popular Youtube and Vine personalities such as Shane Dawson, Steve Greene (also acting as co-writer), Christian Delgrosso, Amanda Cerny, and Jordyn Jones. The film is being co-produced by Lakeshore Entertainment. (SE)

Comedians of L.A.

Esquire gave a series order to this reality show executive produced by Lemuel Plummer of L. Plummer Media. This show is part of a joint project between Esquire Network and Oxygen Media. This series will focus on the professional lives of a group of comedians, while Oxygen’s Living With Funny will focus on their personal lives. Brandon T. Jackson is attached to star and additional cast will be announced shortly. (SE)

‘Rogue One’ Preview Box Office, Jonah Hill in Gus Van Sant Movie, Foreign Language Shortlist, Uni and Will Packer Acquire Spec

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Box Office: ‘Rogue One’ Lands $29 Million In Biggest Thursday Preview Of The Year

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has landed with a massive $29 million in Thursday night preview showings in North America. (VAR)

Jonah Hill Joins Joaquin Phoenix In Biopic Of Quadriplegic Cartoonist

Hill will star as one of the cartoonist’s caregivers in director Gus Van Sant’s upcoming film. (THR)

Oscars 2017: ‘Toni Erdmann’ Makes The Foreign-Language Shortlist; ‘Elle’ Is Snubbed

Nine out of 85 foreign feature movies have landed on the shortlist for the 2017 Oscars. While the festival favorite, Germany’s Toni Erdmann, made the cut, a few celebrated films did not, including France’s entry, Elle, directed by Paul Verhoeven. (NYT)

Universal & Will Packer Acquire ‘3-1-2’ Script From Chicago Screenwriter

Universal Pictures and Will Packer Productions have acquired rights to 3-1-2, a script from writer Ike Smith. The project will be produced by Packer and his head of motion pictures James F. Lopez. (DH)

Julia Roberts To Star In TV Adaptation Of ‘Today Will Be Different’

Julia Roberts has signed on to star in a TV adaptation of Maria Semple’s book Today Will Be Different. Semple will write the adaptation herself; Roberts will also be a producer on the limited series. (TVL)

Roland Emmerich Circling Sci-fi Thriller ‘Dark Matter’

Roland Emmerich is entering talks to direct the adaptation of Dark Matter for Sony. Blake Crouch’s book, which hit shelves in July was snapped up by producer Matt Tolmach and the studio for a potential movie back in 2014. (EMP)

Warner Bros. And MGM Acquire YA Romance “The Sun Is Also a Star” With Tracy Oliver Adapting

The young adult romance novel The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon has landed at Warner Bros. Pictures and MGM for a feature film adaptation. Tracy Oliver is set to adapt. (TB)

Will Ferrell And Kristen Wiig Developing Movie Musical About Industrial Show Tunes

The comedic heavyweights are attached to develop a big-screen musical based on the 2013 nonfiction book Everything’s Coming Up Profits: The Golden Age of Industrial Musicals. Songwriters Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman are attached to pen the music. (EW)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Snatched’

Box Office: ‘Rogue One’s Big Debut, Critics Weigh In On Year’s Best, Oscar VFX Race Heats Up, Stallone Turns Down Trump

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Box Office: ‘Star Wars: Rogue One’ Debuts With Over $290 Million Worldwide, ‘Collateral Beauty’ Struggles

Disney and Lucasfilm’s project top-lined the fourth largest December three-day weekend ever, delivering the third largest opening of 2016. Fellow new wide release, New Line’s Beauty, didn’t fare quite so well, though La La Land continued to impress following last weekend’s strong limited debut as it expanded into 200 theaters this weekend. (BOM)

The Critics Weigh In: New Poll Reveals the Best Films and Performances of the Year

Moonlight has been a critical favorite for months, but this may be its biggest endorsement yet: Barry Jenkins’ decade-spanning portrait of a young black man growing up in Miami dominated IndieWire’s 2016 Critics Poll, winning five of the 10 categories in which it was eligible. (IW)

As the Oscar Visual Effects Race Heats Up, ‘Rogue One’ and ‘Jungle Book’ Both Advance

Ten films will advance in this year’s race, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced. Five are from Disney: The Jungle Book, Rogue One, The BFG and a pair of Marvel titles, Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange. Also notable is the inclusion of Kubo and the Two Strings — as the last animated film to be nominated in the VFX category was 1993’s stop-motion The Nightmare Before Christmas. (BTS)

Sylvester Stallone Will Not Be Running the NEA For Donald Trump

Three-time Oscar nominee is “flattered” by the consideration, but has suggested he will not be taking a top National Endowment for the Arts post in the new administration. Word emerged last week that the Oscar nominee was being eyed for a big role at the NEA. Late Sunday, he released a statement through his publicist saying he believed he, “could be more effective by bringing national attention” to the plight of veterans. (DH)

Joel McHale Lands Coveted People’s Choice Awards Host Spot

McHale, the star of the CBS comedy the Great Indoors, will host the film, music, television and digital awards ceremony, which will be broadcast live, on Wednesday, January 18th, 2017, on CBS. (VAR)

In What Should Be a Surprise To No One, Showtime Has Renewed ‘Shameless’ For Season Eight

Prior to the renewal, the show’s producer, Warner Bros., and its lead actress, Emmy Rossum, were involved in a standoff that involved her demanding a higher salary than her TV dad, William H. Macy, to make up for years of being underpaid. Last week, she alluded to an end to the dispute (with her seemingly on the winning side) and announced that she’d be back to work in May. (VUL)

Trailer Buzz, Part One: ‘John Wick, Chapter Two’

Lionsgate has released the newest look at the upcoming sequel to the surprise 2014 smash hit action film. Starring Keanu Reeves, once again in the title role, as well as John Leguizamo, Lance Reddick, Bridget Moynahan, Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, Ruby Rose, Common, Peter Stormare, and Riccardo Scamarcio, it hits theaters February 10th, 2017. (COL)

Trailer Buzz, Part Two: ‘The Good Fight’

CBS has released the first look at its The Good Wife spinoff, starring Christine Baranaski, Cush Jumbo, and Rose Leslie. It premieres on the network’s online network, CBS All Access, on February 19th, 2017. (HP)

On the Importance of Year-End Script Lists

It’s exceedingly interesting how, with the release of these year-end lists, these things get put together, and what they mean to those who end up on them. Not just the writers, mind you, but also the reps and the companies that employ them, all of whom find their careers and fortunes impacted by their inclusion. (TB)

Screenwriters — Breaking and Entering: Your Writing Routine – Make An Action Plan Now!

The holidays are about to hit! By the time you get back to the keyboard, you may feel rusty. Make an action plan now to get back to writing in the New Year. (SM)

Disney Surpasses $7B Mark, London Critics Announce Noms, Dick Van Dyke’s ‘Poppins’ Return, USA Wants More ‘Shooter’

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The Inevitable Comes True, as Disney Becomes First Studio to Surpass $7B at the Global Box Office

Walt Disney Studios clicked past the magic number at the global box office yesterday, the first time a major studio has crossed that mark in a given year. Disney’s global B.O. to date beats the previous annual industry record set by Universal last year with $6.89B. (DH)

‘Moonlight’, ‘Love & Friendship’ Lead London Critics’ Circle Nominations

Barry Jenkins’ drama and Whit Stillman’s comedy each scored seven nominations from the UK’s leading film critics today. The 37th annual Critics’ Circle Film Awards also gave Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann, which has been shortlisted for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, six nominations while La La Land, Manchester By The Sea and American Honey have five mentions each. (AL)

Paying Proper Homage To History, Disney Is Bringing Back Dick Van Dyke For Its ‘Mary Poppins’ Sequel

There is no news as to what role the 91-year-old actor will play in Mary Poppins Returns, and no word yet if co-star Juile Andrews will also return. Emily Blunt is stepping into the title role for the film, which reportedly picks up 20 years after the original took place. Lin-Manuel Miranda will play the male lead. Cameras are set to roll in January. (CB)

USA Network Likes New Drama ‘Shooter’ So Much, It Has Ordered a Second Season

The twice-delayed TV adaptation of the feature film of the same name has been renewed for a second season at the NBCUnviersal-owned cable network. The drama, starring Ryan Phillippe, has helped USA Network improve its fortunes on Tuesdays. Shooter ranks as USA’s No. 1 new series year-to-date among total viewers and adults 18-34. (LF)

AMC Must Sell Some Theaters in Order to Buy Carmike -Justice Dept.

The movie theater company will have to divest cinemas in 15 local markets and sell off most of its holdings in National Cinemedia LLC in order to complete its purchase of Carmike Cinemas Inc, the Justice Department said today. The department’s Antitrust Division filed a civil suit in U.S. District Court to block the proposed $1.2 billion acquisition, saying it would cause competitive harm to consumers. (RNS)

Disney Folds Maker Studios Into Digital Division, Courtney Holt Steps Down

Mouse House has moved Maker to its consumer products and interactive media division, and its top executive is shifting to a new role within the company. Maker, which previously was a standalone unit, is now part of DCPI, which is led by Andrew Sugerman. (VAR)

Oscars: Mel Gibson, Casey Affleck and Hollywood’s Sliding Scale of Moral Punishment

As Mel Gibson, once banished to directors jail for personal behavior, wins plaudits for Hacksaw Ridge, voter forgiveness seems to apply to some (Casey Affleck) but not others (Nate Parker). (THR)

‘Lion’: 7 Ways Garth Davis’ Tearjerker Dodged Melodrama to Get Oscar Buzz

Film is designed as a crowdpleaser that will tug at filmgoers’ tear ducts and heartstrings. Crafted by a largely Australian crew of Hollywood outsiders led by Garth Davis in his feature debut, the decently reviewed Weinstein Co. release is Harvey Weinstein’s Oscar mission. The movie is holding well in limited release, heading into national expansion. What did they do right? (IW)

Trailer Buzz: ‘A Cure for Wellness’

Twentieth Century Fox has released the latest look at the upcoming horror movie from director Gore Verbinski. Starring Jason Isaacs, Dane DeHaan and Mia Goth, it hits theaters February 17th, 2017. (SF)

Online Film School: The Five Best Steadicam Shots In Movie History

To celebrate the Steadicam’s 40th birthday, here’s a video highlighting the five best-known shots captured on it, from the films Bound for Glory, The Shining, Goodfellas, Rocky and, of course, Russian Ark. (FSR)

Marvel Studios’ Twitter Hacked, Kavanaugh Steps Back & Brunetti Leaves Relativity, Herzog Leaves Viacom, ‘Moonlight’s Latest Honor

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Marvel Studios Twitter Accounts Hacked, Group Takes Credit

Twitter accounts for some of Marvel Studios’ upcoming films were hacked today, with the group OurMine taking responsibility. Accounts for Marvel Entertainment’s main Twitter handle, as well as its Avengers, Black PantherCaptain America and Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor franchises fell victim. Shorlty after 9 a.m. PT, they began tweeting messages, but as of 9:50 a.m., the tweets had been deleted and Marvel had regained control of its accounts. (HV)

Ryan Kavanaugh Steps Back at Relativity Media, Dana Brunetti Exits as President

Kavanaugh is stepping back from his involvement, according to sources familiar with the situation. It is unclear whether Kavanaugh has actually resigned, with one source saying that the CEO has yet to tender a letter of resignation. Brunetti, the producer of such films as The Social Network, Captain Phillips and Fifty Shades of Grey who joined Relativity as its president in January, is also leaving to resume his producing career. (THR)

In Other Exec News, Comedy Central, MTV Chief Doug Herzog Exits Viacom

The longtime Viacom executive is exiting the company. Herzog’s departure comes one week after Bob Bakish was named full CEO of the company, following a stint as interim head. It also follows a decision by Viacom parent National Amusements, the holding company of mogul Sumner Redstone and his family, to discontinue talks of merger between Viacom and CBS Corp. (VAR)

‘Moonlight’ Named Best Film By Black Film Critics Circle As Barry Jenkins Wins Twice; 4 Nods For ‘Fences’

The Moonlight drive continues. The BFCC today named the festival breakout as its Best Film of 2016 and gave Best Director and Original Screenplay nods to the film’s Barry Jenkins. Mahershala Ali also won Best Supporting Actor. Fences stars Denzel Washington and Viola Davis picked up more kudos for reprising their Tony-winning roles from the 2010 Broadway revival, and Ruth Negga added to her accolades with a Best Actress win for Loving. (AL)

Wes Anderson’s Latest Foray Into Animated Features Reveals Its Cast and a First Look

The fan-fave filmmaker has revealed not only the official title of the film — Isle of Dogs — but the full voice cast as well as a first-look video. Edward Norton voices the lead dog, and is joined by Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Bob Balaban, F. Murray Abraham, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Scarlett Johansson, Bryan Cranston, Greta Gerwig, Liev Schreiber, Yoko Ono, and Courtney B. Vance. It will hit theaters in 2018. (CS)

It Looks Like Your Prayers Are Answered, and There Will Be a Fourth and Final ‘Expendables’ Film

While The Expendables 3 didn’t make nearly as much money as the first two films, the international numbers were apparently high enough to justify one more sequel. It looks like The Expendables 4 is happening and it will be in theaters in 2018. (SF)

For Your Consideration: These Underrated Oscar Hopefuls Deserve Recognition

It’s awards season, which means a number of Oscar contenders are vying to land an Academy Award nomination come January. In truth, the race has already been going on for months, to the point that right now we already know the contenders—it’s just a question of which ones make the final cut. Here, some films, performances, screenplays, and even original songs absolutely deserving of Oscar recognition, but for a variety of reasons have fallen by the wayside. (COL)

Making Up the Soul and Sound of ‘Hidden Figures’: Octavia Spencer and Pharrell Williams

Alongside the incredible stories of Katherine Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), Spencer’s turn as Dorothy Vaughan shines, while hook-maker extraordinaire Williams doesn’t appear on screen, but his musical contributions help bridge the half-century gap between the stories of three remarkable women and the film’s 2016 audience. (AS)

First Look: ‘Blade Runner 2049’

Warner Bros. has released the first teaser trailer of the hotly anticipated, long-awaited sequel to the 80s cult smash. Aside from the teaser, there are also images from the film, which stars Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling, and is directed by Denis Villeneuve. It is scheduled for release  next fall. (VUL)

Screenwriters: ‘Heist’

The 129-page screenplay by David Mamet, dated March, 1999. (DS)

Villeneuve Circles ‘Dune’ Reboot, Searchlight Goes To ‘Dogs’, Scripted TV Originals Hit New High, Soria Leaves DWA

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From One Reboot To Another: Denis Villeneuve Now In Talks To Helm ‘Dune’ Re-Do For Legendary

Director of this year’s awards-contender Arrival and the upcoming Blade Runner 2049, had earlier this year revealed that it was an old dream of his to take on another Sci-Fi classic, Frank Herbert‘s Dune. Well, lo and behold, Legendary got their hands on the Film and TV rights last month and now, the studio is in early talks with Villeneuve to direct. (COL)

Just Two Days After the Title and Art of Wes Anderson’s New Film Was Released, Fox Searchlight Picked It Up

Indie film arm of 21st Century Fox announced it has acquired worldwide rights to Academy Award nominee Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, which Indian Paintbrush is currently producing in London. This will be director Anderson’s second animated film – the first being the Academy Award-nominated Fantastic Mr. Fox. Set in Japan, new film follows a boy’s odyssey in search of his dog. (CS)

Scripted Originals Hit Record 455 in 2016, FX Study Finds

Cable net, whose president John Landgraf coined the “Peak TV” name for the explosion in scripted originals, has released new research to indicate that the growth is far from over. A study released yesterday found that the number of scripted originals hit a record 455 in 2016, up from 421 in 2015. Of that tally, online services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon represent 93 series, with the streaming originals category growing 1,450 percent since 2011. (LF)

Mireille Soria Steps Down as DreamWorks Animation Co-President

Exec is leaving the studio in order to focus on producing, leaving Bonnie Arnold as sole president of the studio. Soria’s move comes four months after Comcast Corp. closed its $3.8 billion acquisition of DWA. Arnold and Soria were named co-presidents of feature animation in early 2015, then became co-presidents of the studio after Ann Daly exited as president on the day after the Comcast acquisition closed. (VAR)

Amazon Studios Launches Virtual Reality, Hires Former Tribeca Film Festival Director Genna Terranova

Terranova resigned from Tribeca in November, announcing that she was moving to Los Angeles with her family. At Amazon, she will report to Joe Lewis, the head of original programming for comedy and drama. Amazon’s specific plans in the VR realm are unclear, though the company will both license VR content and develop original projects. (IW)

Exhaustive List Alert: Wondering How Many Films Are Eligible For Best Picture?

Herein, a list of all 336 films that are eligible to be nominated for the highest honor the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences can bestow. This number is up from 305 films last year, which was down from the 323 in 2014, which was up from the 289 in 2013. The nominees will be announced January 24th. (AS)

Anonymous’ Barrett Brown Is Free — And Ready to Pick New Fights

Actor and filmmaker Alex Winter’s new documentary short about the leader of the once mighty hacker army is now available for viewing. (WD)

Trailer Buzz: ‘Lost City of Z’

Amazon Studios and Bleecker Street have released the first teaser trailer of the upcoming real life adventure movie, starring Charlie Hunnam, Tom Holland, Sienna Miller, and Robert Pattinson, and directed by James Gray. The movie will come out in April.  (VUL)

Screenwriters: Navigating Hollywood: Writing Partnerships – When Tragedy Strikes

On February 28, 2014, Manny Fonseca’s writing partner suffered a ruptured aneurysm in her brain. The doctor’s were amazed she even made it to the hospital due to the fact that this type of aneurysm rupture was a sure-fire killer. This is the story of what happened next. (SM)

Miranda Is AP’s Entertainer of 2016, Hollywood’s Year of Exec Turmoil, Film Acquisition Rundown, Twelve Bingeable International Shows

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Lin-Manuel Miranda Beats Out Beyonce, The Rock as AP’s Entertainer of the Year

Winning a Pulitzer Prize and a clutch of Tony Awards in a single year would be enough for anyone. Not Miranda. Not in 2016. The Hamilton writer-composer picked up those honors and also earned a Golden Globe nomination, won the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, wrote music for a top movie, and inspired a best-selling book, a best-selling album of “Hamilton” covers and a popular PBS documentary. (HRM)

Firings, Power Struggles and Studio Exits: Hollywood’s Year of Executive Turmoil

From Viacom to Twitter to Fox and Sony, this has been an especially volatile year in the upper ranks of the entertainment business as this piece parses the fallout and failures of 2016. (TB)

Film Acquisition Rundown: Samuel Goldwyn Films Picks Up ‘Youth in Oregon,’ The Orchard Buys ‘Monkey Business’ and More

A rundown of all the major (and minor) acquisitions made this past week, as we enter the end of the business year. Read up! (IW)

Twelve International Series to Binge Watch This Holiday Season

Spend your days off snuggling up with an Italian mafia drama, a new British comedy or Brazil’s porn-drenched take on Mad Men. (THR)

The Perils Of Filming In Mexico: Cartel Rumors & Missed Paydays Fuel Latest Production Shutdown

There were three days left of filming Dead Trigger down in Mexico in May when panic swept through the set of the indie zombie movie. A heated argument had broken out among the local drivers – some of whom hadn’t been paid – and rumors began swirling that a cartel had been called in to settle the dispute. (DH)

Contenders: Women-Directed Films in the Running for Best Picture at the Oscars

Oscar nominations won’t be announced until January 24th, but we’re one step closer to knowing which films may score nods. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released a list of feature films in contention for the night’s top honor, Best Picture: The list includes 336 titles, of which 52 are directed by women, amounting to about 15 percent of films in the running. (WAH)

The College Friends Who Helped Make ‘Moonlight’

Director Barry Jenkins depended heavily on two of his friends from Florida State University film school. Adele Romanski, his producer, set up regular Google Hangouts with him to shake him out of his career funk and set to work on this film. James Laxton, his cinematographer, with whom he first worked back in 2003 on his undergraduate short My Josephine, and who also shot Jenkins’ first film. The two also happen to be married. (VUL)

Consider This: Why ‘Hidden Figures’ Is the Inspiring Awards Season Contender We Need Now

Set in the early sixties at the height of the Space Race, Ted Melfi’s film follows the true stories of a trio of forgotten American heroes: real-life NASA employees Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson. A closer look suggests that the film had a specific reason for coming into being — to fill an underserved niche for stories of strong women. (AS)

Screenwriters: ‘Kiss of the Spider Woman’

The 115-page screenplay by Leonard Schrader. Script is dated October 25th, 1982, and labeled as a first draft. (DS)

‘Rogue One’ Continues Its Win Streak, More ‘Bad Moms’ and ‘Fuller House’ On the Way, A&E Drops KKK Docuseries, ‘Tales of the Crypt’ Reboot In Trouble

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Box Office: ‘Rogue One,’ ‘Sing’ Rule Christmas Eve; ‘Passengers’ Looks for a Boost

The Force is once again ruling the Christmas box office. Lucasfilm and Disney’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story shows incredible staying power, with an estimated four-day holiday gross of $110 million or more — more than half its nearest rival, Sing, with six-day debut of $71 million-$75 million. The $75 million family film, easily holding at No. 2, opened Wednesday opposite Passengers and Assassin’s Creed, both of which are lagging. (BM)

Yup, It’s True. There Will, In Fact, Be a ‘Bad Moms 2’

Right before Christmas, it was revealed that A Bad Moms Christmas is being fast-tracked for release on November 3, 2017. The sequel will see the trio of ladies (Kristen Bell, Mill Kunis and Kathryn Hahn) having to “deal with the stresses of the most wonderful time of year as their own mothers visit for the holidays.” Jon Lucas and Scott Moore return to write and direct, while Suzanne Todd is attached to produce. (CB)

And There Will Also Be a Third Season Of ‘Fuller House’

The family reunion will continue: Netflix has renewed the revival. The announcement was made on the show’s social media accounts, including Twitter. “Holiday wishes, answered. Fuller House Season 3, coming 2017,” read the post on the show’s official Twitter account. Similar messages appeared on Facebook and Instagram. (VAR)

A&E Does the Smart Thing and Drops Its Upcoming KKK Docuseries

The network announced their plans to scrap the project, which was intended to serve as a close look at anti-hate extractors focused on helping people leave the Ku Klux Klan. Though network brass were amped about the project, the latest play for prestige documentary, the backlash came swiftly. There was considerable outcry on Twitter for giving the KKK an outlet on TV. (LF)

Don’t Get Your Hopes Up About M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘Tales From the Crypt’ Reboot

TNT’s revival of the cherished laughs-n-gasps factory has ceased development with death potentially looming. Apparently, budget issues have derailed the plans for the project. A TNT spokesperson confirmed that the project is, ahem, not in an ideal place at the moment. The alleged culprit according to the cable network? Rights headaches. (UR)

Film Lives, Distributors Struggles and More: Four Lessons From Independent Film in 2016

The independent film world has much to celebrate in 2016. Amid the backdrop of global events like Brexit and the election of Donald Trump that have led to heightened levels of uncertainty, it’s been a fine year for cinema. There’s also been significant upheaval in indie film, however, with industry players scrambling to adapt to the new normal. So what are some of the key takeaways from the the past 12 months in movies? Here are four lessons we’ve learned. (IW)

‘La La Land’ Composer Justin Hurwitz Breaks Down Emma Stone’s Passionate ‘Audition’ Song

Ian interview with Hrishikesh Hirway’s podcast Song Exploder, Hurwitz and lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul break down Stone’s pivotal and passionate scene where she performs the song “Audition,” and how she had to do the whole performance in one take. (AS)

Trailer Buzz, Part One: Alien: Covenant

Twentieth Century Fox has released the first red band trailer for the upcoming sequel/prequel to the alien franchise, from director Ridley Scott. Starring Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Danny McBride, Demián Bichir, Billy Crudup, Amy Seimetz, Jussie Smollett, Carmen Ejogo, and Callie Hernandez, it hits theaters May 19th, 2017. (YM)

Trailer Buzz, Part Two: ‘Power Rangers’

Lionsgate and Saban Brands have released the international trailer for the gritty reboot of the popular ‘90s TV series, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Starring Elizabeth Banks, Bryan Cranston, the voice of Bill Hader and a cast of unknowns, it hits theaters March 24th, 2017. (UR)

Screenwriters: ‘Cracking the High Concept Code

What is high concept? To put it briefly, high concepts are compelling and provocative ideas stated in as few words as possible and easily understood by just about anyone. Too many screenwriters, especially newbies, simply do not understand high concept. Some think it’s selling out. Others think it’s formulaic. Still others believe it’s contrary to their “art.” (SM)

 

Carrie Fisher Dies, Miramax CEO Exits, Hip-Hop Artists to Watch in 2017, Domestic Box Office’s Big Year

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Carrie Fisher, Child Of Hollywood And ‘Star Wars’ Royalty, Dies At 60

Carrie Fisher, the actress, author and screenwriter who brought a rare combination of nerve, grit and hopefulness to her most indelible role, as Princess Leia in the “Star Wars” movie franchise, died on Tuesday morning. (NYT)

Miramax CEO Steven Schoch Exits

Miramax CEO Steven Schoch will leave the company this month. Schoch held that post since 2012, rising from CFO, a post he held since 2010. (DH)

10 Hip-Hop And R&B Artists To Watch In 2017

There may be more ways to generate musical buzz than ever before, and a closer correlation between buzz and chart presence now that streams are firmly established as a crucial component on the Billboard charts. Looking to the new year, here are 10 artists capable of blowing up in 2017. (THR)

Domestic Box Office Poised For Record Breaking Year

Sequels and spin-offs to Finding Nemo, Captain America, and Star Wars powered the 2016 box office to a new domestic record. (VAR)

How ’20th Century Women’ Star Greta Gerwig Found The Dance In Her Character

Mike Mills’ love letter to the women who shaped his teenage years features Gerwig in her boldest, most emotionally rewarding role yet. (IW)

Co.Create Picks The Most Underrated Performances Of 2016

Co.Create identifies a handful of singular artistic performances this year to watch. Keep an eye out for all these folks—their talent suggests they’re in it for the long, masterful haul. (FCC)

Jewel Will Star In Hallmark’s Fixer-Upper Murder Mystery

Jewel will star as a “home renovator turned amateur homicide detective” in Hallmark’s Framed for Murder: A Fixer-Upper Mystery. (VUL)

Screenwriters: ‘Fences’ Screenplay

Read the Oscar contending screenplay here for Fences by August Wilson. (IFH)

Debbie Reynolds Dies, Damien Chazelle and Ryan Gosling in Neil Armstrong Biopic, Melissa De La Cruz Inks Overall, ‘Kong: Skull Island’ Concept Art

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Debbie Reynolds, Wholesome Ingénue In 1950s Films, Dies At 84

Debbie Reynolds, the wholesome ingénue in 1950s films like Singin’ in the Rain and Tammy and the Bachelor, died Wednesday, a day after the death of her daughter, the actress Carrie Fisher. (NYT)

Damien Chazelle, Ryan Gosling To Reteam On Neil Armstrong Biopic

Oscar-nominated director Damien Chazelle and Ryan Gosling are officially set to reteam on Chazelle’s Neil Armstrong biopic First Man for Universal Pictures. (VAR)

Author Melissa De La Cruz Inks Three-Film Deal With Brad Krevoy TV

Bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz has signed a three-picture development and production deal with Brad Krevoy Television, the TV and SVOD production arm of Motion Picture Corporation of America. (DH)

Exclusive Concept Art For ‘Kong: Skull Island’ Revealed

Expect conflagrations aplenty in this monster movie, set at the height of the Vietnam War when napalm was the weapon of choice. (EMP)

Mel Gibson Wins Director Award For ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ From Capri Festival

Mel Gibson has been awarded the Director of the Year honor for World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge at the 21st edition of the Capri Hollywood International Film Festival. (VAR)

‘The Last Knight’ Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura Reveals How A ‘Transformers’ Movie Is Made

During an extended conversation with one of the few people that’s been involved in all the Transformers movies besides Michael Bay, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura revealed how The Last Knight came together, how the film explores the Transformers mythology, what’s different about this sequel. (COLL)

2016’s International Box-Office Surprises

Korea loves La La Land, Now You See Me 2 killed in China and Bridget Jones’s Baby made $188 million overseas. (THR)

35 Directors Pick Their Favorite Movies Of 2016

Sure, they loved Moonlight too, but from Popstar to Childhood of Leader some of your favorite directors shine a light on 2016 movies that aren’t getting discussed. (IW)