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The door slams shut today on applications for one of the biggest jobs in global broadcasting: running the BBC. Resumes have been dusted off and the BBC’s headhunters have been courting interest as the corporation seeks to replace Tony Hall as director general after he announced his departure in January.
It’s not been the most electrifying of races to date, with a number of industry insiders observing that the recruitment process has been quiet. There have been no shock candidates, no big pitches for the job. But that could all change in an instant as the BBC chairman Sir David Clementi edges closer to a decision.
Hall’s successor faces a gargantuan task. The to-do list includes, but is not limited to: Grappling with a government that seems determined to undermine the BBC’s funding, slashing costs, securing the success of commercial arm BBC Studios, cleaning up a rumbling equal pay dispute, closing the diversity gap, and bringing a new generation of young audiences to the BBC’s output. All of this, while there are unprecedented threats from U.S. media giants like Netflix, Amazon and Apple.
Below is a run-down of how things are shaping up in the battle to become the BBC’s next director general. It is by no means an exhaustive list of candidates as there may be other names yet to emerge. We will keep this post updated as things develop, so check back for updates.
POTENTIALLY IN PLAY
Tim Davie: Sources have told Deadline that the BBC Studios CEO is sweet on the idea of succeeding Tony Hall having done the job on an interim basis in 2012. He has so far declined to comment on the process. Bizarrely, he would probably have to take a salary cut to step up: His total pay was £642,000 $826,000 last year, while Hall took home £450,000.
Charlotte Moore: The BBC’s director of content remains a much-fancied internal candidate, but according to BBC insiders, she is keeping her cards close to her chest about whether she is gunning for the top job. Many have pointed to her content credentials, but others have questioned whether she has the political and strategic nous to handle a hostile government.
Jay Hunt: Apple’s creative director of worldwide video has a healthy level of support from certain BBC insiders, with her ability to make tough decisions seen as an advantage. Sources have suggested that she will only commit to the recruitment process if asked. Hunt declined to comment when approached by Deadline.
Alex Mahon: Channel 4’s CEO has joined a long line of predecessors in being linked with a move to the BBC. A source said she is “fully committed” to Channel 4, but did not gone as far as ruling her out of the running.
Jane Turton: All3Media’s chief executive has been contacted by headhunters for the BBC....
If you need a break from sitting around watching endless hours of TV during quarantine and want to do some reading, Rian Johnson is here to help. The filmmaker has made the shooting draft of Knives Out available for all to read. Since it’s a shooting draft it’s pretty similar to the final film, although there are a few interesting differences here and there. Mostly, though, it’s another reminder of how damn fine a script this is.
Just posted the shooting draft of Knives Out to my site. All previous scripts that don't involve outer space are up there too. https://t.co/aseGDIdwZJ
— Rian Johnson @rianjohnson March 23, 2020
Hey, remember Knives Out? One of the best movies of last year? Well, it’s back – in script form. Rian Johnson was nice enough to put the script on his site, along with all his other scripts except for The Last Jedi. It’s a fun read, mostly for the tiny little differences here and there. For instance: in the final film, when Benoit Blanc is first introduced as sitting in on the questioning of the Thrombey family, he casually taps a piano key every time he wants the line of questioning to change. In the script, he simply taps the back of a chair with his foot – which isn’t nearly as over-dramatic and memorable as the piano key thing.
Beyond that, you might notice that Johnson has a weird aversion to punctuation in some places, and more often than not, certain character’s dialogue just stops – no period, no em-dash, nothing. It’s a little jarring, but who am I to argue with the guy who wrote and directed the best Star Wars movie?
In honor of Women’s History Month, Lionsgate has given us digital download codes for movies featuring some of the studio’s favorite leading ladies, and we’re passing them along to you. You could always use more things to watch during this time of self-isolation, right? Read on to find out how to win copies of Bombshell, Judy, The Hunger Games, A Simple Favor, and The Spy Who Dumped Me.
One lucky winner will win a bundle prize containing a digital download code for each of these films. To enter, send us an e-mail at [email protected] with the words “Lionsgate Giveaway” in the subject line. And since this giveaway is honoring Women’s History Month, we want to hear about your favorite performances from the women who play prominent roles in these movies. So in the body of the email, explain what your favorite performance is and why! from Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, Renée Zellweger, Jennifer Lawrence, Anna Kendrick, Blake Lively, Mila Kunis, or Kate McKinnon. If you’re bored and looking for something to do to kill some time, feel free to write about more than one of them. We’ll choose the answer we like best, and email the winner with their winning codes. The contest begins now and ends at midnight PST on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.
First up is Bombshell, director Jay Roach‘s 2019 film about the sexual harassment scandal that took down Fox News chief Roger Ailes. The movie won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling for the incredible work the team did, transforming actress Charlize Theron into the spitting image of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. Read our review here.
Next up is The Hunger Games, Gary Ross‘s 2012 dystopian action film that launched Jennifer Lawrence to the next level of her career. This movie kicked off one of Lionsgate’s biggest franchises, and continued the trend of YA adaptations that dominated much of the 2000s and 2010s. Read our review here.
Then there’s A Simple Favor, director Paul Feig‘s sexy, funny mystery thriller starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively from 2018. This is an underrated and underseen movie, and now is the perfect time to catch up with it. Read our review here.The Spy Who Dumped Me Giveaway
And finally, we’re also giving away five copies of Susanna Fogel‘s The Spy Who Dumped Me, the goofy 2018 spy comedy starring Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon. Read our review here.
The cuts, numbering in the high teens, go into effect this week.
Lionsgate has laid off a number of employees within the film marketing and distribution team, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
According to a source familiar with the matter, some 15 to 20 employees across the entire company were given pink slips, many as part of an ongoing restructuring of the film group's marketing and distribution divisions. The source added that the layoffs had been in the works for months and were not impacted by the shutdowns caused by the growing coronavirus pandemic. No other layoffs are currently planned at the studio, which concludes its fiscal year on March 31.
Lionsgate's movie studio has seen success with Rian Johnson's Knives Out which grossed $311 million worldwide, and with a sequel in the works, Jay Roach's Bombshell $60 million worldwide and its newest release, the faith-based film I Still Believe which grossed $10 million earlier this month before theaters shuttered.
The layoffs come as Hollywood grapples with the closure of film and TV productions and movie theaters going dark to prevent the growing spread of COVID-19 amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
Lionsgate was forced to push back the bows of the upcoming films Antebellum originally slated for April 24, Run May 8 and Saw spinoff Spiral May 15, opting to hold for a theatrical release rather than an early VOD release. I Still Believe and Brahms: The Boy II are receiving early digital releases to cater to the audience at home.
This is the second round of layoffs under Joe Drake, who was named chairman of the film group in 2018. In January 2019, some 25 employees were let go from the marketing and distribution teams in the company's Santa Monica headquarters amid restructuring of the theatrical marketing division, run by Damon Wolf.
In its most recent earnings report, the studio's motion picture revenues were $473.9 million, up from $362.3 million a year ago, on strong box office from Knives Out and John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum.
Source: Hollywood Reporter