A shameful piece of Atlanta’s history is now the subject of two major television series. Sometimes known crudely as the Atlanta child murders, the story follows the murders of at least 30 African American teenagers that decimated Atlanta during the ’70s and ’80s. The semi-unsolved case was the subject of David Fincher’s “Mindunter” Season 2, which offered little in the way of answers but brought renewed attention to the horrific events. In spring 2019, the city of Atlanta announced it was re-opening the case.
HBO will explore the tragedy and the new investigation in a five-part documentary series, “Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children,” which just released its first official trailer.
The official synopsis reads: “‘Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children’ offers a never-before-seen look at the abduction and murder of at least 30 African American children and young adults that occurred over a two-year period in Atlanta in the late-'70s and early-'80s, from the initial disappearance and discovery of two murdered teenage boys and the fear that gripped the city, to the prosecution and indictment of 23-year-old Atlanta native Wayne Williams and the rush to officially shut down the case. With unprecedented access and a treasure trove of archival material, this timely documentary series brings new evidence to light as the cases are reopened, providing a powerful window into one of America's darkest chapters.”
The series was directed and produced by the Emmy winning documentary studo Show of Force “Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present”, and counts Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and John Legend as producers.
As shown in “Mindhunter,” authorities arrested and convicted former club promoter Wayne Williams in 1981 for the murders of the adults after fibers from his home and car were found on the bodies. Police suspected Williams was also responsible for the child murders, but there was no evidence.
In 2019, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Atlanta police chief Erika Shields announced that they would be retesting evidence from the child murder case, noting that DNA testing has advanced monumentally since 1981.
“[We hope] to let them know that we have done all that we can do ... to make sure their memories are not forgotten ... and in the truest sense of the word to let the world know that black lives do matter,” Bottoms said.
The series will drop on HBO on April 5. Check out the trailer for “Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children” below.
Hundreds of film crew members in Germany contracted to work on “The Matrix 4” are threatening legal action against Germany's Studio Babelsberg after their work on the Warner Bros. tentpole was terminated due to the coronavirus outbreak shutting down production. According to Variety, terminated crew members from “The Matrix 4” and the video game adaptation “Uncharted” have formed a working group to demand financial aid from the studio. Both films were in preproduction but never started filming in Germany. “The Matrix 4” was gearing up for a Berlin shoot when production was shut down by Warner Bros.
Studio Babelsberg CEO Charlie Woebcken said to Variety in a statement that it was impossible to say “when, if or to what extent” the production of “The Matrix 4” and “Uncharted” would begin. The production shutdown forced the studio to terminate all of its employment agreements with independent crew members. The terminated employees are now hoping to reach an agreement with the studio and are also appealing to Germany's federal government for help.
Germany’s Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media BKM announced March 27 a financial aid rescue package for productions shut down by the coronavirus pandemic, but the “Matrix” and “Uncharted” crew members are unlikely to be eligible for that money since neither projects made it to the filming stage. BMK said to Variety that other financial aid funds might be able to help these crew members, including a $55 billion aid package “aimed at self-employed workers and small businesses.”
“We are in constant discussions with the affected film crew members and our longstanding U.S. partners and are making every effort to find solutions,” Woebcken said to Variety. “Like all companies in the film industry worldwide, Studio Babelsberg is also affected by the current crisis and the associated delays and cancellations.”
“The Matrix 4” shut down production after wrapping filming in San Francisco. Lana Wachowski is returning to the franchise as writer and director, while actors Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss are reprising their roles as Neo and Trinity, respectively. Warner Bros. has already set a May 21, 2021 release date for the tentpole, although that date is now in question given the production stop.
Easter weekend is always a holiday, with kids home from school eager to enjoy movies: last year saw three family films open in the top nine, as well as wide-appeal “Captain Marvel” and “Shazam!” This year, folks are watching movies from home.
But 21 years ago, Easter weekend broke box office rules. First, it was a ballsy move for Warner Bros. to greenlight the Wachowskis’ original and complex science-fiction actioner “The Matrix” in the first place, much less release the R-rated movie opened on that family holiday.
But the risk paid off. The eye-popping movie starring Keanu Reeves ended up blowing away all previous grosses for the holiday weekend without counting Wednesday opening results. All told, “The Matrix” took in nearly $68 million for its first five days in adjusted gross. Even the three-day result was among the ten-best in box office history.
And it wasn’t the only film that had a lasting impact that weekend. Disney’s “10 Things I Hate About You,” a high-school romantic comedy loosely based on Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew,” scored some $21 million for its first five days.
Both “Matrix” and “10 Things” still have passionate followings decades later. What sets them apart from many similar titles with cult reputations is that they were successes from the start — on Easter. Memories can be fleeting: I knew “Matrix” was a success, and “10 Things” did OK, but it’s fun to review old records.
Today, “The Matrix” would be next to impossible to produce, unless an A-lister like Christopher Nolan or James Cameron demanded it. But Warners production executive Lorenzo Di Bonaventura banked on the Wachowski siblings, giving them a high-end budget, based on their script for Sylvester Stallone hit-man film ”Assassins,” and their directing debut with kinky indie heist thriller ”Bound,” which was a modest success for Gramercy $7 million.
While the Wachowskis were the geniuses behind “The Matrix,” Warners entrusted the production to their reliable nuts-and-bolts action producer Joel Silver “Lethal Weapon”. Rooted in multiple influences, “The Matrix” drew from evolving theories on machine/human interaction as the internet was entering daily life, Hong Kong genre films martial artist choreographer Yuen Woo-ping was a crucial collaborator, and Japanese Manga plots and characters.
Key to its success was casting Keanu Reeves to play computer programmer Neo. Coming off a five-year stretch of underperforming films, Reeves was not the studio’s first choice. But even his less successful films revealed an athletic edge that enhanced his credibility to audiences, which he has maintained with...
The frequently circulated fun fact during the ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has been that Shakespeare wrote King Lear during a plague. It’s a piece of trivia that has become both a source of inspiration and a source of mockery, because who really wants to be productive during a pandemic?
But Disney Animation has shown us all up — and become the godsend for parents everywhere — by releasing a series of animated Frozen shorts, recorded and animated completely from home. At Home With Olaf, with dialogue recorded by Josh Gad, is a new digital animated series that will debut on Disney+ this week and make us all feel bad for not writing our novel while in quarantine.
The staff at Disney Animation just raised the bar on working from home. The animators, sound engineers, and Olaf voice actor Josh Gad have banded together to create the At Home With Olaf animated digital series, set to debut on Disney+ this week. Disney animation director Hyrum Osmond, who worked as head of animation on Disney’s Moana, spearheaded the project, which will follow the fan-favorite Frozen snowman on several adventures in a series of digital shorts.
Starting this week, enjoy an all-new original Disney Animation digital series with everyone’s favorite snowman, Olaf. #AtHomeWithOlaf created at home by Hyrum Osmond. Voiced from home by Josh Gad. #DisneyMagicMoments pic.twitter.com/gFFuHE8mev
— Disney Animation @DisneyAnimation April 6, 2020
The teaser for the digital series shows Olaf happily throwing snowballs when he accidentally throws the head of a little snowman friend. While there’s no dialogue in the short clip, that is clearly Gad making the little grunts and noises. Gad, who has also been contributing to coronavirus relief efforts and quarantined children’s boredom by reading books to Frozen fans online in his Olaf voice, revealed that he was approached by Frozen director Jennifer Lee and Osmond to record some dialogue for the shorts from home. The Disney Animation staff even helped him set up the appropriate sound equipment to get the best-quality sound, Gad revealed in a behind-the-scenes photo.
“My friends Jennifer Lee & Hyrum Osmond called me up one day & asked me if I would be able 2 record some dialogue & sounds as Olaf from home,” Gad said in a tweet. “These little shorts done from home by Hyrum & the Disney Animation team are so charming & hopefully provide a smile during these scary times.”
Here’s a behind the scenes look at me recording new Olaf dialogue from home for #AtHomeWithOlaf in conjunction with @DisneyAnimation led by @mrhyrum and the geniuses all working from homes to bring these new shorts to life. Also, guys, I’m now a sound engineer...