EXCLUSIVE: I hear that Oscar-winning Free Solo filmmakers Jimmy Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi have become attached to direct Universal and Cavalry Media’s feature about the 2018 Tham Luang cave rescue in Thailand.
Midway screenwriter and scribe of USA Network’s Colony, Wes Tooke, is currently writing the screenplay about the Wild Boar boys soccer team, aged 11-16, who became trapped 1,000 meters below the surface with their coach by monsoon rains. They were ultimately rescued over the course of three days from July 8-10 in 2018. The risks of the harrowing rescue were underscored on July 6 when a retired Thai Navy SEAL died in an underwater passage, followed by three SEALs who were hospitalized after their oxygen tanks ran low.
Dana Brunetti and Matt DelPiano are producing under their Cavalry Media banner. Michael De Luca, who produced 6x Oscar nominee including Best Picture Captain Phillips, 3x Oscar winner The Social Network and the billion-dollar-plus grossing Universal franchise Fifty Shades of Grey with Brunetti, is serving as EP on the Thai Cave rescue project. De Luca stepped into his new job as Motion Picture Group chairman at MGM last month.
Brunetti and De Luca’s Sony production Captain Phillips, directed by Paul Greengrass, was also based on another real-life hero story entrenched in a perilous situation that made headlines, specifically Captain Richard Phillips who faced off with Somali pirates in 2009 after they hijacked the U.S. flagged MV Maersk Alabama cargo ship he was steering. That movie went on to gross close to $219M at the WW box office and was nominated for six Oscars including Best Picture. DelPiano, a former CAA vet who came to Cavalry to launch their management arm a year ago, collaborated with Brunetti to secure the life rights of Richard Phillips for Sony.
Chin and Vasarhelyi won Best Feature Documentary at last year’s Oscars for their film Free Solo which follows rock climber Alex Honnold as he free solo climbs the vertical rock formation El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. The National Geographic movie also centers around the production crew’s process in discussing the hurdles in endangering or distracting Honnold as he embarks on his climb. The film was a great hit for a documentary in 2018, grossing over $17.5M stateside, and $29.3M WW. Free Solo went on to win 6 Primetime Emmys including Chin and Vasarhelyi notching outstanding director for a doc/non-fiction program. Free Solo also won Best Documentary at the BAFTAs among many other accolades.
Chin and Vasarhelyi are represented by WME; Tooke is represented by Kaplan/Perrone Entertainment.
Speaking at the National Hispanic Media Coalition's annual event, the actress said, “For a very long time I felt very isolated and alone as a Latina in this industry.'
Upon receiving an honor at the National Hispanic Media Coalition's 23rd annual Impact Awards, America Ferrera said she believes Latinx talent and executives are no longer competing for a slice of the pie.
"We are baking and serving up a whole bunch of tres leches," the Superstore and Gentefied actress said at the Friday night event held at the Beverly Wilshire. "We get to do it together and we get to invite our allies in this industry and audience from every walk of life to cry and celebrate with us."
Ferrera, who made a surprise exit from NBC's Superstore on Friday, was one of the eight honorees at the yearly event. The annual ceremony aims to celebrate and acknowledge works by Latinx talent and the executives who provide them with more opportunities in entertainment. Justina Machado and Jacob Vargas hosted the evening.
The actress, who took home the outstanding series producer prize, acknowledged the generations of Latinx talent that have helped build the path for the stars of today's Hollywood, including "personal hero" Lupe Ontiveros. Ferrera said thinking about the late actress prompts her to think about the talent that goes untapped; talent she hopes to spotlight as a producer.
"For a very long time I felt very isolated and alone as a Latina in this industry, I know many of us in this room have felt that way," she said. "But we can write a new mandate for Latinos in this industry."
Writing a new mandate is more than just a responsibility for Latinx talent and executives, but also for industry allies, especially those who may not from the community, Party of Five executive producer Amy Lippman told The Hollywood Reporter.
Lippman, whose series received the evening's outstanding television award, said that she's proud to facilitate getting more and more diverse stories in the mainstream, including the Freeform series.
"It is not my story and I see my role as being able to tell a story that is informed by people who have first hand experience with this world and this experience," she said.
Also receiving honors at the annual ceremony was One Day at a Time star Isabella Gomez who spoke to THR about the family sit-com ahead of its fourth season. The actress, who received the outstanding series performance award, said that the time in between the show's cancellation and finding its new home at Pop TV was an emotional rollercoaster.
The star revealed that there were months where she and fellow co-stars felt hopeful, and others not so much. But once she witnessed fans fighting for the show, Gomez said it validated the work she does and the desire to see diverse stories.
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, the cast of Steven Soderbergh‘s pandemic drama Contagion has delivered a set of PSAs about how to stop the spread of coronavirus. Plus, a video essay takes a look at the symbols and motifs of the Best Picture winner Parasite to express the film’s powerful thematic elements, and Parks & Recreation star Nick Offerman runs through everything he does in a day.
First up, Contagion cast member Kate Winslet provides some helpful advice on the best way to wash your hands and the science behind cleanliness and hygiene in a series of videos from Columbia Public Health. At their YouTube channel, you can also see videos from fellow Contagion stars Matt Damon, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, Laurence Fishburne, and Jennifer Ehle.
Next up, Parasite surprised everyone back in February by becoming the first foreign language film in Hollywood history to take home Best Picture. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, make sure you check it out before watching this new video essay from Lessons from the Screenplay, which dives into the way Parasite cleverly utilizes symbols and motifs to express its theme.
Finally, right now you can catch Nick Offerman in the FX on Hulu series Devs, so Vanity Fair brought him in to describe what a traditional day in his life looks like. Nick Offerman starts his morning at 6am, has a disappointing lack of meat for breakfast, heads to his woodshop in Los Angeles, exercises with his wife Megan Mullally, and more.
Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” is having its theatrical release delayed from July 24 to October 16. The move shifts Anderson’s latest into the thick of awards season. The majority of Anderson’s recent releases have all been in the spring or summer, including “Isle of Dogs,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” and “Moonrise Kingdom.” The original July 24 release date led many in the film industry to believe Searchlight would world premiere “The French Dispatch” at the 2020 Cannes Film Festival, but that event has been postponed until future dates that still haven’t been determined.
“The French Dispatch” is being billed as Anderson’s “love letter to journalists.” The comedy-drama is set in an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional 20th Century French city. The newspaper’s editors gather to pick three stories from their publication to republish in tribute of their late editor in chief. Anderson brings the three news stories to life in what is his first anthology movie. The ensemble cast includes Bill Murray, Timothee Chalamet, Frances McDormand, Bob Balaban, Jeff Goldblum, Elisabeth Moss, Tilda Swinton, Lea Seydoux, Owen Wilson, Jeffrey Wright, Tony Revolori, and more.
Variety reported in January “The French Dispatch” carries a $25 million production budget, which puts it at the same cost of “Grand Budapest Hotel.” The $25 million budget makes it one of Anderson's priciest live-action films. The project boasts regular Anderson collaborators like cinematographer Robert Yeoman, composer Alexandre Desplat, and editor Andrew Weisblum. Anderson’s Oscar-winning “Grand Budapest” production designer Adam Stockhausen is also on board, and he revealed last month the crew took over a felt factor in France and turned it into a movie studio for the production.
“Outside of town, we found this derelict felt factory, which sounds absurdly appropriate in retrospect but at the time, it seemed perfectly normal like, 'Yeah! Felt factory!’” Stockhausen said in a statement. “So we took this place over and turned the entire thing DIY style into a movie studio, and we took over the different rooms of it and we made one of them a prop storage and another one became a carpentry mill and another one became the sculpture room, and another one became set dressing, and the three biggest ones became our stages.”
“The French Dispatch” will open in theaters October 16.