|JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHIDOCUMENTARIESFILMMAKERDISNEY+DISNEY|
The entertainment industry's newest streaming service is nearly here: Quibi, the mobile-only short-form video platform launches April 6, and IndieWire is exclusively announcing the upcoming platform's slate of launch day documentaries.
“Run This City” is a newly-announced Quibi launch documentary that will follow Jasiel Correia II as he navigates his role as the youngest mayor ever elected to office. When the FBI indicts him for his former company, Correia vows to fight the charges and be vindicated. The series is executive produced by Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Archie Gips, and Brent Hodge. Javier Quintana serves as co-executive producer, while Brent Hodge serves as director.
Quibi is also getting into the world of food — specifically pasta. The previously announced “Shape of Pasta,” executive produced by Tim and Mike Duffy and April Jones, will premiere on Quibi April 6 and focus on chef Evan Funke's pursuit of pasta perfection. “NightGowns,” another previously announced series that will premiere with Quibi’s release, will follow a woman named Sasha as she adapts her critically-acclaimed Brooklyn drag revue into a full-on stage production.
The streaming service will also champion the world of athletics with “Prodigy,” a previously announced Megan Rapinoe-hosted series highlighting unprecedented athletic accomplishments. The launch series will focus on young athletes such as Jalen Green, Sha'Carri Richardson, Red Gerard, Regan Smith, Matthew Boling, Tyler Adams, Korey Foreman, and Chantel Navarro. Lucas Harger wrote the series, which is directed by Lukas Korver and Rand Getlin.
“Fierce Queens,” another previously announced project, will also hit Quibi on April 6. The nature series, presented and narrated by Reese Witherspoon and executive produced by Jo Shinner, will explore the females of the animal kingdom, ranging from ant queens to cheetahs.
IndieWire is also exclusively revealing the celebrity appearances on Lena Waithe's “You Ain't Got These,” a previously announced Quibi documentary that will also launch on April 6. Guest stars in the upcoming series, which is directed by James Adolphus and executed produced by Waithe, include Carmelo Anthony, Billie Jean King, Hasan Minhaj, Candance Parker, Questlove, Nas, Jazerai Allen- Lord, Kerby Jean-Raymond, Mike Epps, Jemele Hill, Lena Waithe, Josh Luber, and Eric Koston.
Quibi, which was created by Hollywood and Silicon Valley power players Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, will be available in two tiers: An ad-supported Quibi subscription will cost $4.99 per month, while an ad-free subscription will cost $7.99 per month. The service is...
While major studios have the resources to debut their theatrical releases early on digital and streaming platforms amid the nationwide shutdown of movie theaters due to coronavirus COVID-19 concerns, indie filmmakers are being left without an audience for their small films. Typically, film festivals give these indie films the exposure they need to build up an audience or critical acclaim.
But with film festivals cancelling left and right, indie films are the ones that suffer the most. However, Jay and Mark Duplass, who got their start in the indie filmmaking world, want to use their clout to support those indie filmmakers whose small films are left without a home.
Film festivals are more than a fancy place for high-profile filmmakers to debut their next awards contender. They’re an essential home for many indie films that otherwise wouldn’t get a chance to debut to big crowds. But with those crowds dispersed and shut up in their homes for the time being, indie filmmakers are being left with nowhere to show the small films that they worked on for years. They don’t have the resources to just drop their movies on digital platforms and even if they did, they’re more likely to get overlooked in favor of Bloodshot.
However, the Duplass brothers are attempting to lessen the financial blow that indie filmmakers are feeling by using their clout to elevate those small films. In an interview with IndieWire, Mark Duplass put out the call to indie films for a home, offering the resources of Duplass Productions to boost indie filmmakers’ works.
“[The streamers] are all doing their best overtime watching pretty much every movie that’s being submitted to them from the festivals that didn’t have their premieres. We as Duplass Brothers have also come forward to those people and said, ‘If you find a movie where you feel like ‘This is really great but it’s not there yet,’ bring it to us and we will help partner with you to make that movie what you feel like it needs to be for your service.”
While streaming platforms have been a godsend for many stuck inside, or the many people who can’t afford to go to the movie theater every week, Duplass said that not only independent filmmakers, but independent studios have been struggling to cope with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
“There are so many positives and negatives to where we’re at with the prominence of streamers, what they have done to places like IFC and Magnolia who’ve been around for years and who are an integral part of our ecosystem,” Duplass said. “They were really damaged by some of these acquisition prices at film festivals. We used to … sell our movies to these niche distributors, and we wouldn’t hammer them for too much money because if we did, they wouldn’t be...
Disney+ may benefit from further delays with the studio's theatrical releases as more movies may be going directly to the streaming service in the future. This, according to former Disney CEO and current Executive Chairman Bob Iger. It was recently revealed that Artemis Fowl will debut on Disney+ sometime this year, skipping a theatrical release. As Iger explains, that may not be the only title to make the move from theatrical to streaming, but don't expect to see it happen with the studio's upcoming tentpole releases.
Given what's going on in the world right now, most movie theaters are shut down entirely and virtually all major releases through June have been delayed. Some have wondered if Disney might put movies like Black Widow or Mulan on Disney+ instead. While that won't be happening, Bob Iger isn't ruling out other movies making the shift. Here's what Iger had to say about it in a recent interview.'There are some we've decided to put on Disney+. We already announced one, Artemis Fowl, that would have been released in theaters. Others we've simply delayed. In some cases we've moved things onto Disney+ faster than we would have. Frozen 2 was one of them, but Onward would be the biggest example. It was in theaters when this happened.' 'We moved to a pay-per-view period for a couple of weeks where people could buy it and own it. And then we ended up putting it on Disney+. In terms of movies going ahead after Artemis, there may be a few more that we end up putting directly onto Disney+, but for the most part a lot of the big tentpole Disney films, we'll simply wait for slots. In some cases we've announced new ones already, but later on in the calendar.'
There is a lot to unpack here. Black Widow and several other delayed movies were recently given new release dates as Disney reshuffled its 2020/2021 calendar. Black Widow and other big-budget tentpoles stand to make far more money in theaters, even with a relatively uncertain future ahead, than they could possibly generate via streaming. So putting movies like them directly on Disney+ doesn't make that much business sense.
In the meantime, taking riskier projects such as Artemis Fowl and giving Disney+ subscribers something flashy and exclusive is helpful. But what other movies might fit the bill for streaming debuts? The New Mutants perhaps? Whatever the case, as Bob Iger points out, the studio is content to wait until things return to normal. Disney, more than any other studio in Hollywood, is capable of raking in big dollars at the box office. So this truly isn't that surprising.
Other studios, on the other hand, may see value in doing a VOD/Digital release. Universal kicked that door wide open a couple of weeks back by putting recent releases such as The Invisible Man and The Hunt online. Trolls: World Tour, which was destined for theaters, will arrive digitally this month. Disney has not yet set a premiere date for Artemis Fowl, but it's...