WB exec predicts strike end date
And when 'Barbie' will hit streaming
What to know
Warner Bros. Discovery loses 1.8M streaming subscribers, but its got $1.7B in free cash flow… It seems like a mixed bag for the David Zaslav-led company after Q2. Subs and revenue were down slightly. The Flash tanked but Barbie is a hit. The metric I want to highlight though is that $1.7 billion in free cash flow. Let it serve as a reminder that the studios are wealthy corporations and can pay the writers and actors fairly. Relatedly, the company’s CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels predicts that Hollywood will go back to work in late September. Interesting! I’ll believe it when I see it. 💵
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Ryan Gosling has entered the Billboard Hot 100 with “I’m Just Ken”… Maybe he’ll perform it at the Oscars? And maybe Jack Black will perform “Peaches” and we can all die happy. 🎤
Maggie Gyllenhaal to direct remake of Bride of Frankenstein for Netflix with Christian Bale and Peter Sarsgaard… That’s unexpected but delightful news. 🧟♀️
Jeff Daniels new memoir is a musical podcast… Okay, I guess! 🤷🏻
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem — Aug 2 | Animated film in theaters | 🍅 94%
The Meg 2: The Trench — Aug 4 | Action film in theaters | 🍅
Returning: Heartstopper s2, The Lincoln Lawyer s2, The Chi s6, Winning Time s2, Physical s3, Reservation Dogs s3
What to watch
Someone finally figured out the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I mean, really figured them out. Of course there have been dozens of incarnations of the gonzo comic book characters first created in 1984, many of which are great and cherished fondly, but it feels like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is what they were always meant to be. Teenagers. Real teenagers. With unbridled energy, and dreams of the future, and anxiety about fitting in and being normal. This movie might in fact be one of the best Gen Z coming-of-age stories made to date as it engages with modern technology and alienation. To that end, director Jeff Rowe cast real teenagers to voice the turtles and let them infuse their own references, slang, and energy into the movie. That authenticity comes across, and along with the parent-child dynamic between the turtles and Splinter, anchors the movie in real, recognizable emotion.
It makes sense that Jeff Rowe, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg were the ones to put the teenage back in TMNT. The movie’s marketing materials call Rogen a “perennial teenager,” which is pretty accurate considering his vast experience making coming-of-age comedies, while Rowe wrote and directed the fantastic Sony animation film The Mitchells vs the Machines, which covered similar thematic territory.
What they’ve also done is created a strange and beautiful visual palette combining hand-drawn style with vibrant, high contrasting color, and bathed it in striking, dynamic light. They were not afraid to go grotesque and weird in their designs either, particularly in the humans, which evoke early Nickelodeon cartoons like Ren and Stimpy. It’s almost a shame that this movie is being released in the shadow of Across the Spider-Verse, whose predecessor most definitely influenced Rowe and company, because in any other year, Mutant Mayhem would be the most exciting and game-changing new animated film of the year. Instead it’s another step forward in the current revolution we’re seeing in mainstream animation and a perfect example of how a known property can soar in a new way if treated with care.