Walt Disney announced Tuesday they had hired Matt Brodlie, the director of the original film division at Netflix, to lead international content development for their forthcoming family-friendly steaming service, Disney+, according to CNBC. Under Brodlie’s leadership, Netflix released Susan Johnson’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018) as well as Alex Richanbach’s Ibiza (2018), and it also picked up Academy Award darlings like Dee Rees’s Mudbound (2017) and Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma (2018). As part of his new position with Disney, Brodlie will arbitrate which properties need to be produced or acquired for Disney+ customers outside the United States.
The Montana Economic Industry Advancement Act goes into effect July 1, offering a production expenditure tax credit of up to thirty-five percent of filmmakers’ total base film production investment for films shot in the state, according to the Montana Standard. Filmmakers must incentivize the hiring of local crews, employ students, or film in impoverished counties, with a budget of at least $350,000, a Montana promotion featured in the final product, and a total claim for tax credits of less than ten million dollars a year. Fly-fishing tourists still visit Montana because of Robert Redford’s A River Runs Through It (1992), and filmmaking encourages economic stimulation for many communities through money spent on housing, food, and supplies.
A spinoff of Will Gluck’s Easy A (2010) is in the works, with screenwriter Bert Royal returning to draft the script as well as direct the film, which will also take place at Ojai North High School and will be about similar themes with a new cast of characters, according to /Film. With Easy A serving as a loose adaptation of The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Royal was quoted in an interview as saying he planned to set similar interpretations of Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand and The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens in Ojai, California. The follow-up still has yet to be written, so no details are known yet as to whether Emma Stone, Thomas Haden Church, Lisa Kudrow, or Malcolm McDowell will reprise their parts, or when it will be released.
Filmmaker, actress, and progressive Haley Webb accused co-star Kevin Sorbo of sexually harassing her whilst filming Alejandro Itkin and Hunter Carson’s Single in South Beach (2015) on Thursday over Twitter, according to The Daily Dot. The thirty-three-year-old Webb alleges that the sixty-year-old Sorbo openly shamed her on set when she turned down his advances, then insisted on shooting a gratuitous sex scene between their two characters. Webb’s claim was a response to a tweet Sorbo posted Tuesday in defense of Sarah Huckabee Sanders; Sorbo, who has yet to reply to Webb, is a Christian film staple, starring in Harold Cronk’s God’s Not Dead (2014).
Director Paul Thomas Anderson will release a short musical film on Netflix and in select Imax theaters June 27, the same day long-time collaborator Thom Yorke is to drop his next album, ANIMA, according to Engadget. The one-reeler will feature three ANIMA songs, with Yorke both starring in as well as scoring the movie, and Netflix put out the trailer today, saying the “mind-bending visual piece” is best played loudly. Indeed, Yorke once uploaded an album online exclusively as a BitTorrent Bundle, and together with Radiohead, published a record through a hidden app that only worked on computers from the 1980s.
Franco Zeffirelli, the Academy Award-nominated director behind Romeo and Juliet (1968), died peacefully today at his home in Rome after what his son, Luciano, told the Associated Press was a prolonged illness, according to Variety. The filmmaker is known for his literary adaptations, such as The Taming of the Shrew (1967), Hamlet (1990), and Jane Eyre (1996), but his flamboyant opera and theater productions are perhaps his most lasting legacy. Zeffirelli was a controversial figure for becoming a Catholic zealot and Vatican apologist following a near-fatal car accident in 1969, and in 2018, Sparrow (1993) actor Jonathon Schaech accused him of sexual assault.
Lin-Manuel Miranda announced this morning that he was cast as Piraguero for Jon M. Chu’s In the Heights (2020), according to Broadway World. Warner Brothers will release the musical adaptation June 26, 2020 (after a bidding war with The Weinstein Company for the rights), with a screenplay by Quiara Alegría Hudes, and Anthony Bregman, Mara Jacobs, and Scott Sanders as producers. Hudes wrote the book for the play, and Miranda wrote the music and lyrics; in all, the 2008 musical won four Tony Awards out of thirteen nominations as well as a Grammy Award, and it was nominated for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.