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Disney can't win with 'Snow White'
And The Rock lands highest actor payday ever
What to know
Disney’s live-action Snow White replacing 7 dwarfs with “7 fantastical beings,” set photo stirs backlash … Last year, Peter Dinklage called out Disney for making a new Snow White, which he believes contains a problematic portrayal of little people in the form of the 7 dwarfs. Now, thanks to leaked set photos, it seems Disney’s solution was to radically change the dwarfs in the new feature, turning them into “fantastical beings,” a group of misfits in various sizes (at least one of whom appears to be a little person). Disney reportedly wanted to “avoid reinforcing stereotypes.” Except, the Mouse is now facing a backlash in the other direction, with some loud voices on social media criticizing the studio for taking jobs and representation away from little people. I’m not sure what the solution is here, but this is proof you can’t please everyone. 🤔
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Mission: Impossible 7 opens to $235 million worldwide… So yes, it fell below expectations in the U.S. with approx $80M, but it took in $155M abroad — and that’s enough to restore some of my faith in the box office. This is far from a failure. Plus, history shows that M:I movies have long legs and this one has great word of mouth. It should have no problem overcoming its $300M budget, and could make back its marketing costs too, I imagine. 💵
Kenneth Branagh to direct live-action Gargoyles movie… I’ve become pretty cynical about the Hollywood machine and its insistence on plumbing the depths of IP to wring out any last drop of nostalgia — but this got me. Maybe this could work? It reminds me of when James Gunn announced the Guardians or when Marvel first made Iron Man and people said, “Really? Those characters?” Gargoyles is so far down the list and so specific, I’m actually optimistic for once. 🦇
Dwayne Johnson making record-breaking $50 million upfront for Amazon’s Red One… Maybe it’s time for salary caps in Hollywood, like in sports. Spread some of that money around to all the small actors who can’t afford to live — you know, the reason SAG is on strike. 🎅🏽
Early reactions to Haunted Mansion are mostly good… As a Disney parks fan, I’m looking forward to this, but I wonder how it will do without actors out there to promote it. Its budget is a reported $157.8 million, plus marketing costs, is it going to recoup? Go ask Madame Leota. 👻
Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron to play at Venice, described as mature, complex, visually stunning… Speaking of first reactions, I wasn’t worried that Miyazaki’s next film would be bad, but this is encouraging to hear. I’ll keep you all posted on its stateside release date.
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Justified: City Primeval - July 18 | FX/Hulu drama series | 🍅 92%
They Cloned Tyrone - July 21 | Netflix sci fi movie | 🍅 96%
Barbie - July 21 | Comedy film in theaters | 🍅
Oppenheimer - July 21 | Historical drama in theaters | 🍅
What to watch
I’m a little late to Amazon miniseries Daisy Jones and the Six, and it’s already nominated for Emmys, but if you missed it in the spring, go back and get it on your list. Quite simply, it’s the best dramatization of life as a musician since A Star Is Born, and belongs in the conversation with Almost Famous and That Thing You Do as well. In fact, it’s kind of like all 3 of those music dramas in a blender. Like those movies, what Daisy Jones does so well is convince you that these people are creative geniuses (the opposite of the Studio 60 problem), thanks to some killer songs by Blake Mills, Phoebe Bridgers, Chris Weisman, Marcus Mumford, Taylor Goldsmith, and Tony Berg — as well as the natural performances from its cast. The dynamic between Sam Claflin and Riley Keough, especially, is electric and subverts expectations at every turn. Her Emmy nomination is much deserved. Showrunners Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, most known for 500 Days of Summer, didn’t reinvent the wheel here, but created an engaging, studied, and emotionally effective musical drama based on Taylor Jenkins Reid’s beloved novel.