|PALM SPRINGSJOJO RABBITFILM FESTOSCAR|
UCP is developing dark comedy series The Resort from Andy Siara, writer of Sundance breakout Palm Springs, and Sam Esmail’s Esmail Corp, which is under a deal with UCP, a division of NBCUniversal Content Studios. Anonymous Content is producing. The series will be shopped to premium and streaming platforms.
The Resort explores love and the weird things we do in the name of it, encased in an elaborate true-crime conspiracy, with each season set in a unique picturesque vacation destination. The first season takes place at an all-inclusive resort along the Mayan Riviera, when a married couple on the brink of divorce inadvertently becomes embroiled in one of the Yucatan's most bizarre, unsolved mysteries that, somehow, is part metaphysical detective story, part Indiana Jones-esque adventure, part coming-of-age romance.
The Siara-written Palm Springs, which stars Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti, is one of the buzziest titles coming out of this year’s Sundance Film Festival. As Deadline reported, sources familiar with the heated multi-bidder auction said the pic sold to Hulu/Neon for close to $22 million, far and away the biggest Sundance deal of all time.
Siara is currently a co-producer on UCP/EsmailCorp's limited series Angelyne for Peacock, NBCUniversal's upcoming streaming service, with Emmy Rossum starring in the title role and Lucy Tcherniak directing.
UCP's relationship with Esmail began with the award-winning drama Mr. Robot which wrapped its fourth and final season on USA Network in January. Esmail currently executive produces three series for UCP: USA’s new anthology series Briarpatch, Amazon's Homecoming and Angelyne.
Previously, Siara was a staff writer on Lodge 49. He started his career touring the country with his indie rock band The Henry Clay People before getting an MFA in screenwriting from AFI in 2015. Siara is repped by LBI Entertainment and Morris Yorn.
The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, find out about the big differences between the Best Picture nominated Jojo Rabbit and Christine Leunens’ novel on which it’s based, Caging Skies. Plus, watch how kids react when parents show them 90s cartoons like Rugrats, Hey Arnold, Beavis & Butt-Head, and more. Finally, Nick Offerman takes a look back at some of his movie famous characters, especially Parks and Recreation.
First up, CineFix‘s new edition of What’s The Difference focuses on Jojo Rabbit, which was adapted from Christine Leunens‘ novel Caging Skies. While the movie is a hilarious satire mixed with heavy dose of heart-wrenching drama, the book isn’t comedic whatsoever. The movie’s script covers less than half of the original story in the book, so there’s a lot to compare and contrats.
Next up, parents who grew up in the 90s sit down to show their kids clips from cartoons they grew up with like Rugrats, Hey Arnold, Beavis & Butt-Head and Rocko’s Modern Life. See how they react when they see animation, that is clearly older than the cartoons they’re used to watching, and try not to feel old.
Finally, with Nick Offerman appearing in the FX on Hulu series Devs, the folks at GQ had the actor take a look back at some of his more famous characters. Obviously he covers Parks and Recreation, but he also covers the LEGO Movie, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, We’re The Millers, Hearts Beat Loud, and more.
Everything is delayed, canceled, or on hold at the moment due to the coronavirus COVID-19, which means that film festivals are having to make some tough choices. Cannes is postponed. SXSW was canceled, but they recently announced they would try to put together an online film festival with Amazon Prime Video. TIFF has yet to make a decision one way or another, but festival runners Joana Vicente and Cameron Bailey mentioned last week that they were considering a potential digital festival. Digital film festivals are a distinct possibility in several locations, but there’s one fest that has flat-out refused to go digital: the Venice Film Festival.
With the coronavirus continuing to upend film festivals across the globe, some are wondering if virtual, online film festivals might be the solution for the time being. And while some fests – SXSW, TIFF – are open to this idea, the Venice Film Festival isn’t having it. Speaking with Variety, a Venice spokesperson said: “The Venice Film Festival cannot be replaced by an online event,” adding that “there is obviously the possibility that we use technology for some initiatives, [but] it’s too early for this to be decided.”
The Venice Film Festival is supposed to run in September, and as of now, everyone involved with the fest is still operating under the assumption that the festival is still on. Organizers have put out a call for “projects for its Final Cut in Venice co-production workshop dedicated to supporting works from the Middle East and Africa, currently scheduled to be held during the fest.”
Venice artistic director Alberto Barbera was quoted as saying he and his team “are working just the same as in past years” and that they “cannot provide specifics about the future.” The only thing they can confirm is that no matter what happens, the festival will not go digital. While some are more than happy to accept the idea of a digital festival – no travel fees! – not everyone is okay with the idea. For one thing, if a film without distribution were to debut digitally and then immediately be pirated, it would hurt its chances at eventual purchase. Plus, many filmmakers and producers long for that festival buzz that can only be achieved by screening titles for a live audience.
But we remain in uncharted territory for the moment, and it’s unclear just when the coronavirus situation will end. As of now, Italy remains in strict lockdown, and if that continues into the fall, there’s very little chance the Venice Film Festival will go off as planned....
The 2006 Oscars will forever be remembered as the infamous ceremony where “Crash” beat “Brokeback Mountain” for Best Picture. Ang Lee’s groundbreaking gay romance was the critical favorite and it won three of the eight Oscars it was nominated for that year: Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score. Headlining actors Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal both earned Oscar nominations for their performances. The actors were asked to present during the 2007 Oscars telecast, but Gyllenhaal revealed in a recent interview with Another Man magazine via NME that Ledger turned down the opportunity because it would mean making jokes at the expense of the gay “Brokeback” love story.
“I mean, I remember they wanted to do an opening for the Academy Awards that year that was sort of joking about it,” Gyllenhaal said. “And Heath refused. I was sort of at the time, 'Oh, okay... whatever.' I'm always like, ‘It's all in good fun.’ And Heath said, 'It's not a joke to me — I don't want to make any jokes about it.’”
Gyllenhaal, “That's the thing I loved about Heath. He would never joke. Someone wanted to make a joke about the story or whatever, he was like, 'No. This is about love. Like, that's it, man. Like, no.'”
Ledger was nominated in the Best Actor category but lost to “Capote” star Philip Seymour Hoffman. Gyllenhaal lost to George Clooney in “Syriana” for Best Supporting Actor. “Brokeback Mountain” marked the first Oscar nominations for both actors. Ledger would go on to be nominated and win his Oscar in the Best Supporting Actor race for his role as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight.” Ledger received the Academy Award posthumously. “Brokeback” remains Gyllenhaal’s sole Oscar nomination to date.
Gyllenhaal has previously spoken about Ledger’s disdain for “Brokeback Mountain” jokes, but this is the first time the actor has revealed his late co-star turned down the Oscars. Gyllenhaal told “Today” in July 2019 that “Brokeback” marked a pivotal moment in his career. “It opened tons of doors,” he said. “It was crazy. It was amazing. It's defined my career in different ways. [But the film] is bigger than me...It has become not ours anymore. It's the world's.”
Read Gyllenhaal’s latest interview in its entirety on the Another Man website.