Saturday, October 7, 2023

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from October 1st to 7th, 2023 - Update #22

by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:


MOVIES - From Deadline:  Guillermo del Toro explains why he didn't direct nor watch "Pacific Rim: Uprising," the 2018 sequel to his 2013 film, "Pacific Rim."

CELEBRITY - From THR:  That time Primetime Emmy winner, Kerry Washington, found out that she was conceived via a sperm donor.

MOVIES - From DeadlineKevin Costner's Western epic, "Horizon: An American Saga," will be released in two-parts.  Chapter 1 opens June 28, 2024, and Chapter 2 opens August 16, 2024.  The Oscar-winning Costner's previous Western epics include "Dances with Wolves" (1990) and Open Range (2003).

MOVIES - From DeadlineUniversal Pictures is setting up to produce definitive biographical film about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The studio has optioned the rights to adapt Jonathan Eig’s critically acclaimed biography, "King: A Life."  Chris Rock is in final talks to direct and produce, and Steven Spielberg will be executive producer. [Don't forget Selma, though. - Ed.]

STREAMING - From DeadlineApple TV+ has released first-look photos from its World War II drama series, "Master of the Air," starring Austin Butler (Elvis).  The series, which is produced by the "Band of Brothers" team of Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, and Gary Goetzman is set to debut Friday, January 26, 2024.

POLITICS - From CNNRetired Marine Corps General John Kelly was also former president Donald Trump's longest serving White House chief of staff.  Now, Kelly is confirming numerous horrid stories about Trump's utter disrespect to servicemen who were wounded, killed in action, or prisoners of war.

SCANDAL - From BleedingCool:  A lawsuit alleges that a media entity once asked Robert Downey, Jr. (Iron Man) pay it 60 million dollars in order to get a bigger payday.

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  "The Drew Barrymore Show" will finally return on Oct. 16th, but the show will be without its three head writers, who have decided not to return.

DISNEY - From Variety:  This year is the 30th anniversary of the release of the Disney film, "Cool Runnings," a Disneyfied account of a real event in Jamaican Olympic history. Apparently, the director, Jon Turteltaub (The Meg) and the cast, tussled with Disney over the cast's Jamaican accents.

STREAMING - From Deadline:  Hulu has renewed its popular series, "Only Murders in the Building," its most watched original comedy series ever.

MOVIES - From DeadlineLionsgate's Michael Jackson biopic, entitled "Michael," will have Universal Pictures International as its distributor to the international film market.

TELEVISION/NFL - From Deadline:  Just the presence of Taylor Swift attending made the Chiefs at Jets Sunday Night Football game (Sun., Oct. 1st) the highest rated NFL games since Super Bowl LVII in February.

AI - From Deadline:  Zelda Williams, the daughter of the late legend Robin Williams, says that she is disturbed by a use of AI to recreate his voice.

POLITICS - From SheKnows:  Author Michael Lewis was on "60 Minutes" (Sun., Oct. 1st) promoting his new book, "Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon," which is about disgraced FTX founder, Sam Bankman-Fried. In the book Bankman-Fried says that Donald Trump told him that he wanted 5 BILLION DOLLARS to sit out the 2024 presidential race. Lewis wrote the book that was the basis for the 2009 Sandra Bullock film, The Blind Side.

BUSINESS - From Deadline:  Miramax CEO Bill Block is leaving the company as soon as today, Tues., Oct. 3rd.  Block is credited with reviving the company since his became CEO in 2017.

MOVIES - From EW:  Action director John Woo (Paycheck) talks about making the essentially dialogue-free revenge thriller, "Silent Night," starring Joel Kinnaman.  The film is due Dec. 1st.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficePro:  The winner of the 9/29 to 10/1/2023 weekend box office is Paramount's "Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie" with an estimated take of 23 million dollars.

TELEVISION - From THR:  Director Albert Hughes says that his John Wick prequel series, "The Continental" (Peacock), was locked in before they knew the how John Wick 4 would conclude.

MOVIES/MUSIC - From Variety:  A film based on Beyonce‘s smash hit "Renaissance World Tour" is in advanced talks to distribute directly to AMC Theatres, sources with knowledge of the project told Variety.

DISNEY - From Deadline:   Media entrepreneur Byron Allen talks about his 10 billion dollar offer for ABC and other Disney networks.  Allen said that "capital’s not an issue,” but that Disney CEO Bob Iger “is not ready” yet to pursue linear sale.


From ESPN:  The former American football player, sportscaster, actor, and philanthropist, Dick Butkus, has died at the age of 80, Thursday, October 5, 2023.  Butkus was best known for his legendary career as a middle linebacker for the NFL's Chicago Bears from 1965-73.  Butkus was one of the "Monsters of the Midway," and was an eight-time "Pro Bowl" selection and was twice voted "NFL Defensive Player of the Year."  He was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979.  Butkus has an extensive acting career, appearing in a number of films ("The Longest Yard," "Any Given Sunday) and television series ("My Two Dads," "Hang Time").

From Deadline:  Film and television actor, Keith Jefferson, has died at the age of 53, Thursday, October 5, 2023.  Jefferson has announced his cancer diagnosis on August 9th.  Jefferson had appeared in three of director Quentin Tarantino's films:  Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.  He was set to appear in "The Burial," an Amazon Prime film starring his longtime friend, Jamie Foxx, who announced Jefferson's passing.



From Deadline:  The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the Hollywood studios CEOs met for strike talks for the first time since the actors went on strike July 14th. They plan to meet again, Wed., Oct. 4th.

BREAKING - From Deadline:  The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has reached a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) to end its strike after nearly five months. The parties finalized the framework of the deal Sunday when they were able to untangle their stalemate over AI and writing room staffing levels.

From WGAContract:  The WGA contract page has additional information on the settlement.

From WGAContract:  A summary of the new agreement.


From Deadline:  Television writers rooms are opening again in the wake of the end of the writers strike.  On Monday, such series as "Grey's Anatomy," "9-1-1," and "Family Guy," to name a few, go back to work.

From Variety:  The Writers Guild (WGA) and AMPTP to meet today (Sun., Sept. 24th) after the studios supposedly make their "best and final" offer to the writers.

From Deadline:  A meeting between leading television showrunners, including Kenya Barris and Noah Hawley, and WGA leadership has been cancelled.

From Deadline:   The actors’ strike is now in its 63rd day.  Now, SAG-AFTRA leaders are ramping up their rhetoric against the studio heads, accusing them in the latest issue of the "SAG-AFTRA Magazine" of “behaving like petty tyrants,” “would-be feudal lords” and “land barons in feudal times.”

From Deadline:  Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Tony Vinciquerra says that Hollywood unions need to embrace AI.

From Deadline:  The AMPTP says that the Writers Guild's claims that their is division in the ranks of the studios about the strike are false.

From Deadline:  The WGA (Writers Guild of America) told its members Friday (Sept. 8th) that despite the united front the streamers and studios (via the AMPTP) have shown in public during the guild’s 130-day strike, several of the legacy companies privately have expressed “both the desire and willingness to negotiate an agreement that adequately addresses writers’ issues.”

From Deadline:  Warner Bros. Discovery boss David Zaslav says the industry must focus and fight to resolve the writers and actors strikes.

From Deadline:  The writers of MTV’s "Ridiculousness" are coming closer to being unionized. The show’s writing team, which was behind over 230 episodes last year, has been going through the process to unionize over the last few months, hoping to join the WGA.

From THR:  As talks with the Writers Guild of America stall, the studio trade association, AMPTP, has retained D.C.-based firm, The Levinson Group, to pursue a fresh messaging strategy.

From Deadline:  Regarding the Hollywood writers strike, the AMPTP (representing the studios) released the details of a proposed labor agreement that it made to the WGA (the Writers Guild) on August 11th.

From Deadline:  A pair of former production assistants-turned-assistant directors have created a nonprofit in hopes of providing financial aid to PAs (production assistants) who’ve been put out of work due to the strike.

From Deadline:  Writers Guild (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) will resume strike talks today, Fri., Aug. 11th.

From Deadline:  Meeting for the first time in more than three months, the Writers Guild and the AMPTP on Friday failed to reach an agreement to resume contract negotiations. The Writers Strike will go on indefinitely.

From Deadline:  Hollywood’s superstars are answering the call from the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, donating $1 million or more each to help their fellow performers during the ongoing actors and writers strikes.  Among the big donors are Leonardo DiCaprioMeryl StreepOprah Winfrey, and Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively.

From Deadline:  If you are interested, here is a list of the film and TV productions SAG-AFTRA has granted waivers to continue filming.

From Variety:  International superstar, Dwayne Johnson, makes a seven-figure contribution to the "SAG-AFTRA Foundation Relief Fund." Foundation president, actor Courtney B. Vance, says the amount will remain confidential.

From Variety:  Why haven't A-list stars joined the SAG-AFTRA picket line?, asks "Variety."

From Deadline:  Author George R.R. Martin, whose works were the basis for HBO's "Game of Thrones," says the strikes will be long and bitter.

From THR:  Production works at Warner Bros. Animation (66) and at Cartoon Network (22) have gone public with their attempt to unionize via The Animation Guild.

From Variety:  Halted film productions due to the writers and actors strikes are costing each Hollywood studio at least 600,000 dollars per week.

From Variety:  Said at a strike meeting: “Without a transformative change in SAG-AFTRA’s current contract with the AMPTP, the acting profession will no longer be an option for future generations of performers, and actors already working in the industry will need to pursue other careers in order to survive.”

From Deadline:  If you are a "social media influencer" who is NOT  a member of SAG-AFTRA, you can be barred from future membership for promoting a film or television series during the actors' strike.

From Variety:  The SAG/AFTRA strike begins in New York and Los Angeles.  Hollywood actors began striking today, Fri., July 14th.

From Deadline:  The site has the video of the powerful strike speech given by SAG-AFTRA president, Fran Drescher, the actress best known for CBS' former sitcom, "The Nanny."

From Deadline:  Concerning the Hollywood writers strike (via the WGA), the Hollywood Studios (as represented by the AMPTP) is to let the writers go broke before resuming talks deep into the Fall.

From Deadline: SAG-AFTRA is already preparing strike picket signs in case the actors' strike begins next week.

From Deadline:  WGA is picketing the New York City filming location of the 12th series of FX's "American Horror Story" (entitled "Delicate") after series co-creator Ryan Murphy threaten litigation against an east coast strike captain.

From THR:  TV super-producer, Ryan Murphy, in a letter from his attorney to the leadership of the Writers Guild of America, threatened litigation against Warren Leight, an East Coast strike captain and Strike Rules Compliance Committee member who has subsequently forfeited those positions.

From Deadline:  The Hollywood studios via the AMPTP has given Canadian actors a new contract, including a 5 percent raise.

From Deadline:  Writers Strike puts the spotlight back on the challenge from writers for animation productions to be covered by the WGA.

From THR:  Studios won't give writers better pay, and now, are laying off janitors.

From Deadline:  The Directors Guild of America (DGA) has reached a tentative new three-year deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). So what does the Writers Guild (WGA), currently on strike and negotiating with the AMPTP, think of that deal.

From Deadline:  Netflix shareholders declined to support the 2023 pay packages of top executives during a non-binding vote at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Thursday.  The vote won't prevent these execs from getting their loot (an total of $166 million), but this is a rare public rebuke.  The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has urged shareholders to vote "No" because the pay was "inappropriate" at this time.

From Deadline:  Warner Bros Discovery chief David Zaslav gave the commencement address at Boston University. There he was met with jeers and also chants of "pay your writers" from picketers and from some in the audience.

From Deadline:   President Joe Biden speaks on the Writers Guild of America strike.

From Deadline:  Retaliation! The studios have starting informing writer-producers who have "overall" and "first-look" deals that such deals are being suspended.

From Deadline:  Retaliation!  Prolific HBO creator, David Simon, who is best known for "The Wire," is one of the many writers who have had their overall deals suspended the studios due to the WGA strike.  Simon has been with HBO for 25 years.

From Deadline:  The Writers Guild of America (WGA) is on strike.

From Deadline:  Disney, HBO/HBO Max, and CBS have sent letters to showrunners (the TV equivalent of film directors) instructing them to return to work, inspite of the writer's strike.

From Deadline:  The WGA's chief negotiator, Ellen Stutzman, talks about the state of the writers' strike, including the lack of engagement on the part of the strike's other party, AMPTP.

From Deadline:  What went wrong between the WGA and AMPTP? What could they not agree on that led to a strike?

From Deadline:  The site explains the WGA strike: the issues, the stakes, movies and TV shows affected, and how long it might last.


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