|ANYA TAYLOR-JOYJANE AUSTENTRAILEREMMA|
It’s been nearly five full years since director George Miller set the movie world on fire with Mad Max: Fury Road, one of the ballsiest films ever made and easily one of the greatest movies of the past decade. A possible sequel was mired in legal troubles for a while, but last year, it seemed as if things were finally in place for not just one movie, but multiple Mad Max movies to get underway.
Now a new report says Miller is actively holding auditions for a Mad Max Furiosa prequel movie, which he hopes to begin shooting next year. One of the people he’s auditioned for the lead role? The Witch, Split, and Emma. actress Anya Taylor-Joy.
In a Variety article discussing the uncertainty of major upcoming blockbuster production dates, there’s an aside that will be of significant interest to disciples of Miller’s Mad Max films:
Director George Miller, for instance, has been meeting with names including Anya Taylor-Joy for his ‘Furiousa’ [sic] spin-off, which he hopes to start shooting in 2021. Of course, Miller is making concessions to coronavirus — those auditions have taken place via Skype.
Rumors of a Furiosa movie have been floating around since 2016, but this is the most concrete word yet that Miller is actually prioritizing it over the other planned Mad Max movies, one of which is supposed to be a Fury Road sequel called Mad Max: The Wasteland.
The case could be made that Charlize Theron‘s searing, tight-lipped performance as Furiosa was one of the defining performances of the 2010s: Theron shaved her head, rode out into the desert for a chaotic-as-hell film shoot, butted heads with co-star Tom Hardy, and still proved to the world that this Oscar winner had major range and that she should absolutely be taken seriously as an action star. But the problem, if you can even call it that, is that she was so good as Furiosa that she’s become inextricably linked to that role. Anyone else stepping in will not only have to shoulder the requirements of whatever this movie demands, but also shrug off the audience’s deep association with Theron as that character.
It helps that it’ll be a prequel, so maybe a young star like Taylor-Joy could actually put her own stamp on the role. But remember, she hasn’t been cast yet – she’s one of several people Miller has auditioned, and the only one we know by name so far. But it’ll be interesting to see what qualities Miller is searching for in a younger version of his protagonist for this spin-off, and how audiences will react to the first Mad Max movie without Mad Max in it.
Anya Taylor-Joy has asserted herself as a majorly talented and in-demand actress over the last handful of years. The young star broke out in 2015's The Witch and has started to become something of a scream queen, with turns in Split, Thoroughbreds and Glass. Her latest effort, an adaptation of Jane Austen's classic Emma, is something entirely different. Not just for Taylor-Joy, but for Jane Austen adaptations in general.
Emma follows the antics of a young woman, Emma Woodhouse, who lives in Georgian- and Regency-era England who occupies herself with matchmaking, in misguided and often meddlesome fashion. The adaptation has received a great deal of praise. Visually it has the trappings one associated with Janes Austen, but this is much more comedic than what one might be accustomed to with this sort of thing.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Anya Taylor-Joy on behalf of the movie's release. We discussed her transition into comedy, our mutual fondness of Bill Nighy and her big year in 2020.
Jane Austen adaptation, and I feel like people have a certain expectation when it comes to Jane Austen movies. But this seems to be quite a bit different than a lot of what we've seen in the past. So what would you say people should expect from Emma?
Anya Taylor-Joy: For some reason people don't seem to associate Jane Austen with funny, which has always blown my mind because she's so witty and so acerbic with her language. I think we really brought the fun back into Jane Austen in this film. We just stayed very true to the text, but in a way that I don't think people have seen before, where we're really bringing life to the wit, and the joy, and the fun. Also, the characters are very young. People seem to forget about that. I think the Emma adaptation that has most got it right is Clueless, and this is like that similar energy, but just in the Regency period.
You, more than anything have become known for your horror and genre exploits in your early career. But this is a comedy more than anything else. How did you handle that shift?
Anya Taylor-Joy: It was so much fun. I mean, I'm an actor. I love to shapeshift and I love being chameleonic. But it was definitely intimidating my first day of rehearsals because I walked into a room with all of my heroes, and they're all comedy geniuses. And I was like, 'I'm supposed to lead this ship? How do I do this?' But everyone was so supportive and kind, and I don't know. I think you find, you adapt to anything that you're doing, and as long as you don't take yourself too seriously and you're willing to push your comfort zone, I think you tend to end up with something hopefully quite good. I hope.
You touched on, this is a little different with Jane Austen stuff, but no matter what it is with Jane Austen, she's beloved, and you're playing a pretty iconic character. Is there an added pressure that comes with playing a character like this from literature that is very...
Although “The L Word: Generation Q” may have tried desperately to speak to a “new generation” of queer women and non-binary folks, fresher creative voices quickly rose to the top in its place. Though people still watched. Showtime’s “Work in Progress” was the best queer comedy of the year, Netflix’s “Feel Good” was an unexpected delight, and “Vida” is returning just in time for queer audiences to catch up on the best show about queer women of color on TV. Yet another contender released a promising first trailer today: “Betty” is a stylish and youthful portrait of Brooklyn teen skaters that already appears extremely queer.
The six-part half-hour arrives on HBO from filmmaker Crystal Moselle, who quickly made waves in 2015 with her her riveting documentary hybrid “The Wolfpack.” “Betty” is adapted from her second feature, the similarly hybridized “Skate Kitchen,” which followed a group of teenage girl skaters in New York City. The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival to positive reviews and was released by Magnolia Pictures that year.
In his B+ review of “Skate Kitchen” out of Sundance, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn wrote: “The streetwise alternative to ‘Girls,’ the movie weaves together such a complete vision of its subjects that the rest of the world barely exists. Of course, there's a long-standing precedent to capturing this subculture — ‘Kids’ did it, with more adventurous storytelling twists, more than 20 years ago — but Moselle's subjects hold their own with the surprising ability to clarify their emotions through the cathartic process of hanging out.”
“Betty” features many of the film’s original stars, most of whom had not acted before, including Kabrina Adams, Dede Lovelace, Nina Moran, Rachelle Vinberg, and Ajani Russell. All accomplished skaters in their own right, the first trailer shows the charismatic crew navigating various crushes and friendship trials with compelling panache and humor.
“Betty” is directed, co-written, and executive produced by Moselle. Lesley Arfin and Patricia Breen are also co-writers. Arfin, who also EPs, is a comedy writer best known for co-creating the Netflix series “Love” with Judd Apatow and Paul Rust.
HBO will release “Betty” beginning May 1 at 11 pm ET. Check out the exciting first trailer below:
With the closure of movie theaters nationwide out of safety during the coronavirus, layoffs have been rampant, with the Big Three exhibitors contending with these atrocious times in varying degrees of severity.
Word began to spread last week among distribution folks that Regal had been the most acerbic out of the three chains in the wake of shuttering its 542 sites in 42 states on March 17, furloughing an estimated 24,000 of its 25,000 employees including both cinemas staffers and corporate film buyers. Essentially, Deadline heard Regal staffers received no pay and one month of COBRA, with sources painting a similar scenario to what went on with Regal’s parent company Cineworld in its handling of UK staff, which entailed those with less than 18 months of service receiving no pay, and those at three years of service or more landing 40% of their pay.
Similar to those Cineworld employees who issued a public note to the chain’s boss Mooky Greidinger condemning the exhibitor for the massive layoff, a Change.org petition sprouted up demanding Regal pay its employees during the crisis; their accusation being that the chain let them go without disaster relief pay, which was specifically outlined in their employee manuals. You can see the details below. Regal had no comment on the situation. The petition counts around 8,500 signatures.
In response to the loss of its stateside staff, Regal is partnering with grocery store chain Albertsons, which is looking to hire over 30,000 employees nationwide. The chain will reportedly be waiving the interview process for furloughed Regal employees so as to make swift hires for all applicants. In addition, Regal, like many other exhibitors, continues to work with the National Association of Theatre Owners to lobby Congress so they’re included in the any federal aid package. The chain is reportedly working on additional financial aid opportunities for its furloughed employees.
By comparison, we hear Cinemark was far less severe in their handling of layoffs, furloughing hourly theater employees at 345 locations but not corporate. Returning employees will have to reapply. While Cinemark did not confirm, Deadline heard those let go received two weeks pay as opposed to no pay, use of vacation days and one month of COBRA.The lobby of the AMC Empire 25 sits empty in New York Yuki Iwamura/AP/Shutterstock
AMC Entertainment, I hear, has furloughed 26,000 of its 27,000 employees, with a big question surrounding corporate staff. In a CNBC interview last Thursday, AMC chief Adam Aron said: “We’re paying them as much as we can possibly afford to pay them. For those in the health plan, we’re keeping them in the health plan with their benefits active for the full time that we’re shut. But my focus is as...