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Jordan Peele finds his next star
And is it still an 'indie' if it costs $140M?
What to know
Oscar-winner Jordan Peele is making moves on his follow up to Us. Peele has cast Keke Palmer (Hustlers, Scream Queens) as the apparent villain in his next movie alongside a rumored Daniel Kaluuya and Jesse Plemmons. The “horror event” is scheduled for release July 22, 2022, so he better get on with production.
Marvel Studios’ Assembled kicks off March 12 with a backstage look at WandaVision one week after the series finale. Disney+’s making-of docs are typically great. I really enjoyed The Mandalorian’s season 1 documentary series and season 2 special as well as the making-of Frozen 2 doc, so I’m excited for this. It’s also an easy way for Disney+ to retain viewers after its shows are done.
Is it still an independent film if it cost $140 million to make? ‘Master of Disaster’ Roland Emmerich just wrapped Moonfall, starring Halle Berry, Patrick Wilson, Donald Sutherland, and Michael Pena, in which the moon is falling to Earth. Remarkably, the movie secured a $140 million budget without a streamer or big studio behind it. Emmerich’s movies are hit or miss for me, but that’s impressive.
The WGA movie nominations are here: Trial of the Chicago 7, Promising Young Woman, Judas and the Black Messiah, Palm Springs, and Sound of Metal led Original Screenplay, while Borat 2, One Night in Miami, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, News of the World, and The White Tiger filled out the Adapted category. If you’re wondering where’s Nomadland, Minari, Mank, or Soul for example, those movies were disqualified for not being written under union rules. Also of concern, only 4 of the 31 nominees are women.
Anthony Bourdain’s final book is coming out | Thrillist
The book Anthony Bourdain was working on before his death in 2018 is finally hitting shelves. World Travel: An Irreverent Guide is a “480-page memoir-style” collection of Bourdain’s thoughts on travel supplemented by writing from his friend and longtime assistant Laurie Woolever as well as contributions from Bourdain’s loved ones and colleagues. Sounds like a must-own for any foodie or travel junkie.
Won’t somebody think of the classics!? That’s Marty’s main argument in a new op-ed for Harper’s. The renowned director laments all moving images becoming “content” and pines for a time when people respected Fellini, Bergman, Godard, and Kubrick. I agree with Scorsese that people should have access to classic films by “the masters,” but art forms evolve and I believe there is cinema still happening all around us, despite it being presented side-by-side with “content.”
Zack Snyder wants to make a ‘faithful’ King Arthur movie … who’s going to tell him King Arthur isn’t real? ⚔️
Lenny Kravitz, D’Arcy Carden, Cheech Marin join J. Lo’s Shotgun Wedding … today in grab-bag casting 👰
What to watch
So you’ve just finished watching Bridgerton but don’t want the corset-and-drawing-room period drama to end? Hop on over to Hulu and start up The Great. Series creator Tony McNamara (The Favourite) takes a similarly modern approach to history with his hilarious and stylized interpretation of Catherine the Great. McNamara’s irreverent, razor sharp style seen on display in The Favourite carries over quite nicely to a serial format and Bridgerton fans will be happy to see this show also takes an anachronistic approach to race. (Though it’s not as foregrounded.) Elle Fanning and Nicholas Hoult take big bites out of the series many twists and turns to give career-best performances. It’s a blast and feels a lot shorter than its 10 hour-long episode runtime. Huzzah!
New notables this week:
Young Rock s1 premiere (Feb 16) — NBC sitcom about The Rock’s life story, starring Dwayne Johnson, Stephen Adams, Lexie Duncan | 90% RT
Kenan s1 premiere (Feb 16) — NBC sitcom starring Kenan Thomspon, Chris Redd, Don Johnson | 57% RT
Nomadland (Feb 19) — Hulu awards season drama, starring Frances McDormand and David Straitharn | 94% RT
I Care A Lot (Feb 19) — Netflix thriller feature, starring Rosamund Pike, Peter Dinklage, Dianne Wiest, Chris Messina | 92% RT
Allen V. Farrow (Feb 21) — HBO Max docuseries about Woody Allen scandal | No RT yet
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About the author: Alex Rabinowitz has led the way on social media and story packaging at media outlets big and small. With his acclaimed Tumblr site PopCultureBrain.com, Alex became a leading figure in emerging social networks and entertainment news. Sourced by many top destinations, including New York Magazine, BuzzFeed, and Videogum, Pop Culture Brain was featured by BuzzFeed and TIME as the best pop culture blog on Tumblr. Alex's writing has appeared on The Huffington Post, GQ.com, Mic, and Time Warner Cable.