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‘Saturday Night Live’: Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump Declares ‘The War on Christmas Is Over’

Variety - Front Page - Sun, 12/17/2017 - 05:19
Alec Baldwin made yet another appearance as Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live,” in the cold open which featured Trump decorating the White House for Christmas. With Cecily Strong’s Melania by his side, Baldwin-as-Trump welcomed staff and family to the Oval Office to hang ornaments on the tree. “The war on Christmas is over,” said […]

Les Arcs European Film Festival’s Industry Village Kicks Off with Strong Roster

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 12/16/2017 - 18:06
“Echo,””The Orphanage,””Patrol Cars” and “Starve” are among the promising projects which will be presented at the 9th edition of Les Arcs European Film Festival’s industry village kicking off this weekend in the French Alps. The Coproduction Village will showcase 21 European feature films in development which were selected from more than 220 applications received. “Patrol […]

21st Century Fox Clarifies Rupert Murdoch’s ‘Nonsense’ Remark About Fox News Sexual Harassment

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 12/16/2017 - 17:36
21st Century Fox was put on the defensive Saturday by the backlash to Rupert Murdoch’s remark in an interview suggesting that he viewed the sexual harassment cases that have enveloped Fox News as “nonsense.” Murdoch made the comment Thursday in an interview with the U.K.’s Sky News about the blockbuster $52.4 billion acquisition agreement that […]

HBO Documentary President Sheila Nevins Stepping Down

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 12/16/2017 - 17:18
Sheila Nevins, the president of HBO documentary films, is leaving the cabler after 38 years, Variety has learned. Nevins, 78, has presided over the non-fiction arm of the cabler to tremendous acclaim, producing over 1,000 documentaries and amassing a collection of awards for her groundbreaking work. She holds the record for the most Emmy Awards for […]

Box Office: ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Rockets to $215 Million Opening Weekend

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 12/16/2017 - 16:59
Disney-Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is set to take over the box office in its opening weekend, raking in around $215 million from 4,232 North American sites. Including $45 million from Thursday previews — the second-largest Thursday night preview total ever, below “Star Wars: The Force Awakens'” 2015 total of $57 million — the […]

Battle Over Broadband: What’s Next for Net Neutrality

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 12/16/2017 - 16:13
WASHINGTON — Robert McDowell, a Republican former FCC commissioner, on Friday tweeted out a comment: “Testing. Testing. Just wanted to make sure that the #Internet was still working this morning. Phew!” McDowell supports the FCC’s rollback this week of many of their current net neutrality rules, and the sarcastic tweet was a comment on the […]

Sumner Redstone’s Ex-Girlfriend Fights With Nurse For Access to Secret Tapes

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 12/16/2017 - 16:00
The never-ending legal battle surrounding 94-year-old Sumner Redstone has taken another twist, as the aging mogul’s ex-girlfriend is now fighting with his nurse over access to secret tape recordings. Sydney Holland has sued Shari Redstone, Sumner’s daughter and the vice chairman of Viacom and CBS, alleging a conspiracy to throw Holland out of Redstone’s house […]

Disney-Fox Deal Unleashes Flood of Free-Agent Executives, Talent

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 12/16/2017 - 15:37
Disney’s $52.4 billion deal to scoop up most of 21st Century Fox marks the beginning of an historic realignment of Hollywood’s Big Six studios. It may also lead to an industry-shaking redistribution of executive and creative talent. Rarely has such a large number of high-level executives suddenly become free agents, from Stacey Snider and Emma […]

Anita Hill Chairs Hollywood Anti-Sexual Harassment Commission Formed by Top Execs

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 12/16/2017 - 02:41
Spurred by the multitude of sexual abuse scandals, top Hollywood executives have tapped Anita Hill to chair the newly formed Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace. The commission made the announcement Friday following a meeting convened by Kathleen Kennedy, Bob Iger, Ari Emanuel, Maria Eitel, Nina Shaw, and Freada Kapor Klein. […]

Arnon Milchan Sues Warren Beatty Over ‘Rules Don’t Apply’ Flop

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 12/16/2017 - 02:15
Last year, Arnon Milchan was effusive in his praise of Warren Beatty, whose film “Rules Don’t Apply” he had agreed to help finance. In an interview with Variety, the Israeli-born financier said he put his full confidence in “the master.” “We all put in the money and said, ‘Go make your movie. We will leave […]

Oscar Isaac in Talks to Voice Gomez Addams in Animated ‘Addams Family’ Movie

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 12/16/2017 - 02:12
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” star Oscar Isaac is in talks with MGM to voice Gomez Addams in the animated feature film “The Addams Family.” Isaac portrays the heroic pilot Poe Dameron in “The Last Jedi.” The rest of the cast for “The Addams Family” has not been unveiled. Conrad Vernon is directing from a […]

Album Review: Eminem’s ‘Revival’

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 12/16/2017 - 01:53
When Eminem made a surprise appearance on last October’s BET Hip-Hop Awards to freestyle a long anti-Donald Trump rant, the performance was surprising for a number of reasons. After years spent out of the spotlight, the parking garage-set display showcased a looser, more heartfelt side of the rapper than his recent records have allowed; it […]

Morgan Spurlock’s TNT Series ‘Who Rules the World’ Halts Production

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 12/16/2017 - 01:37
Production has stopped on the upcoming TNT unscripted series “Who Rules the World” following a public admission last week by executive producer Morgan Spurlock of past sexual misconduct. “Production on ‘Who Rules the World’ (working title) has been suspended until further review,” a TNT spokesperson said in a statement. In the early stages of production, […]

Paul Haggis Hit With Lawsuit for Alleged Rape, Claims a $9 Million Shakedown

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 12/16/2017 - 00:46
A film publicist filed a lawsuit on Friday alleging that she was raped by director Paul Haggis in 2013. Haggis also sued the publicist, Haleigh Breest, denying the allegation and accusing her of trying to bankrupt him by extracting a $9 million settlement. In her suit, Breest alleges that Haggis brought her back to his […]

FOCUS Locations Event Feeds Off Production Boom

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 12/16/2017 - 00:38
The booming state of production, particularly in the U.K., emerged as key talking point at FOCUS, the London-based international locations conference, running Dec. 5-6. More than 170 companies from 61 countries exhibited at the event, including film commissions, location providers and production service companies. The growing demand for content, driven by tech giants such as […]

Holographic Capture Startup 8i Plans to Lay Off Half of Its Staff

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 12/16/2017 - 00:36
New Zealand- and Los Angeles-based holographic capture startup 8i is having significant layoffs that could impact more than 30 staffers. The company confirmed the layoffs in a statement emailed to Variety, which said that it was undergoing a restructuring that could impact as much as half of its staff of around 70 full-time employees. “Although […]

Publicists for Jennifer Lawrence, Daisy Ridley, Amy Adams Form New Firm

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 12/16/2017 - 00:35
Liz Mahoney, Megan Moss Pachon, Bryna Rifkin, and Heidi Lopata are forming a new entertainment public relations firm, Narrative. “We have the utmost esteem for our colleagues at ID and 42West and are deeply appreciative of the wisdom, guidance, and mentorship from industry leaders Kelly Bush Novak, Mara Buxbaum, Leslee Dart, Amanda Lundberg and Allan […]

Hannah Marks, Liana Liberato to Star in High School Comedy ‘Banana Split’

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 12/16/2017 - 00:30
Hannah Marks, Liana Liberato, and Dylan Sprouse are starring in the high school comedy “Banana Split,” which will begin production this month in Syracuse, N.Y. Will Phelps, Glen Trotiner, and Sam Slater are producing. Marks co-wrote the film with Joey Power, and both will also serve as executive producers with Rowan Riley. Mickey Liddell and Jeremy Garelick’s […]

Watergate Series in the Works at Netflix From George Clooney, Matt Charman

Variety - Front Page - Sat, 12/16/2017 - 00:00
A limited series exploring the Watergate scandal is currently in the works at Netflix from Matt Charman, George Clooney, and Grant Heslov, Variety has learned from sources. Charman, who wrote the screenplay for the Oscar-winning Steven Spielberg film “Bridge of Spies,” will serve as the writer on the eight-part limited series, which will delve into the stories […]

TV News Roundup: Showtime Offers Early Look at Series Premiere of ‘The Chi’

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 23:53
In today’s roundup, Showtime aired a sample of the first episode of “The Chi,” while “Little Woman” debuted a trailer.  FIRST LOOKS Showtime offered a an early preview of “The Chi” on YouTube ahead of its series premiere on Jan. 7. The drama was created and executive produced by “Master of None’s” Lena Waithe, executive […]
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