|RACHEL BROSNAHANMRS. MAISELMARVELROMA|
Marvelous Mrs. Maisel‘s Rachel Brosnahan and In the Heights‘ Anthony Ramos are uniting for a sci-fi comedy from the fine folks at Amblin. The flick features a script from Spenser Cohen and follows an asteroid miner and a woman trapped in an escape pod. I, for one, am sick and tired of all these Hollywood movies about asteroid miners – there’s one every week! But maybe this one will be a cut above the rest.
Deadline has the scoop on Distant, a new sci-fi comedy from Amblin starring Rachel Brosnahan and Anthony Ramos. Here’s the synopsis:
Distant tells the story of an asteroid miner who, after crash-landing on an alien planet, must contend with the challenges of his new surroundings, while making his way across the harsh terrain to the only other survivor – a woman who is trapped in her escape pod.
Brian Kavanaugh-Jones Midnight Special, Fred Berger La La Land, and Anna Halberg Extinction are producing, and Will Speck and Josh Gordon will direct. The project was first announced with Ramos starring late last year, and now Brosnahan has come aboard. The film is the result of a spec script that Amblin put on the fast track, which means they’re pretty excited about this.
It would be nice to have an entertaining new sci-fi comedy. When’s the last great one you can remember – not counting stuff in the MCU, like the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, or Thor: Ragnarok? Attack the Block, perhaps? That was in 2011. The World’s End? That’s a 2013 film. In other words, it’s been a while, so maybe Distant will get things back on track.
Ramos and Brosnahan are both well-liked performers, with Brosnahan’s work on Maisel earning her acclaim and awards, and Ramos’s role on Broadway in Hamilton launching him into stardom, with the actor set to lead this year’s In the Heights.
There’s no release date set yet for Distant, so keep an eye out.
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, watch as Rachel Brosnahan enters the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Mrs. Maisel. Plus, check out over three dozen Easter eggs and comic references in the most recent Black Widow special look, and watch as Marriage Story co-star Laura Dern looks back at some of her biggest freak out scenes from her film and television career.
First up, all of the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are intricately connected, but now that we’re moving into new territory, it’s time to expand that universe even further. The Late Late Show with James Corden has the perfect way to make Marvel refreshing, and that’s by turning The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel into Marvel’s Mrs. Maisel.
Next up, a new special look at Black Widow debuted this week, and ScreenCrush has taken a much closer look at all the new footage on display to find Easter eggs, comic references, and some little details you might have missed. For example, there’s a new establishing shot of Budapest, and there happens to be a sniper situated on top of one of the roof tops that you probably missed.
Finally, Laura Dern, fresh off an Oscar nomination for Marriage Story, takes a look back at her best freak out scenes on screen. The scenes covered include big screen moments from Blue Velvet and Jurassic Park, as well as small screen scenes from Enlightened and Big Little Lies.
The Third Floor, the industry's busiest visualization company in tackling superhero movies “Black Widow,” “Avengers: Endgame”, already had an advantage working remotely with real-time tools and virtual workflows when the coronavirus pandemic struck early this year. Turns out, though, that the COVID-19 epicenter was too close for comfort.
“When this crisis began, we initially faced the challenge of protecting our staff in Beijing, who were in the midst of launching our first permanent office in China,” said CEO and co-founder Chris Edwards. “When the virus started spreading beyond Wuhan, the first thing we did was send everyone home and connect them virtually...we learned a lot about the procedures for mitigating the risk of spreading the virus that we began to apply to our other offices in London, Atlanta, and LA [headquarters].
“Time was of the essence to put a highly secure, remote-working infrastructure in place,” he said, “and we needed to leverage the company infrastructure to bolster communication and function as a support group for all of our employees and their families.”
Back in LA, The Third Floor TTF found the resilience of its Beijing crew instructive. The company, which has become the go-to visualization specialist for the MCU performing rough previs of scenes, more elaborate techvis breakdowns of camera lenses, set construction, and stunts, and postvis enhancements during crunch time, used video conferencing and other methods of digital collaboration to significantly advance preparations and stay on schedule. Despite the physical isolation, however, everyone started relying on the video calls for more than just work-related advice.
“At our [LA] hub, we didn't want to take the risk of being unprepared, so we authorized our IT team to increase our internet band tenfold, and build an advanced remote login system that could enable our artists to work fluidly and securely from home,” said Edwards, who worked with IT chiefs at major studios such as Disney for advising and approving their comprehensive work-from-home solution.
But the two-week transition to a completely virtual studio only became possible with the help of industry colleagues and suppliers when California Governor Gavin Newsom and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti issued the stay-at-home order. And, as part of its mobilization effort, the company launched a TTFaid program as a resource for more than 100 employees and their families with supplies, aid, and emotional support.
“With this early foresight in February, we were prepared to roll out a set of guidelines, which I called the TTF Health Vigilance Plan, across our other studios in LA, Atlanta, and...
Oscar-winning producers Barry Jenkins and Adele Romanski re-team for Eliza Hittman's timely tale of the challenges that face a teenage girl as she seeks an abortion.
As theaters shuttered across the nation amid the coronavirus pandemic, the filmmakers of Never Rarely Sometimes Always had a tough decision to make - wait to release the movie when theaters reopen, or release the film on digital platforms to capitalize on an audience confined to their homes.
Ultimately, for Adele Romanski and Barry Jenkins, who produced the film under their Pastel Productions banner, the story about a teenage girl's journey to get a safe and legal abortion was resonant with the current state of women's reproductive health in America, and so they, along with writer-director Eliza Hittman and distributor Focus Features, opted to release the film on VOD platforms.
"What we do know is that we have a film that's very urgent right now," Romanski tells The Hollywood Reporter. "There continues to be a war on women's health and certain states saying abortions are non-essential medical procedures in response to COVID-19, so we know we have a film that matters."
Written and directed by Hittman Beach Rats, It Felt Like Love and made for under $3 million, Never Rarely Sometimes Always is the story of the teenage Autumn, played by first-time actor Sidney Flanigan, who decides to travel with her cousin Skylar Talia Ryder from her rural Pennsylvania town to New York City to get an abortion. The film delves into the real challenges that the two girls face within the medical system and an unfriendly big city.
The film debuted at Sundance Film Festival this year, where it won a special jury award, and then went on to win the Silver Bear prize at the Berlin Film Festival in February. The film was slated to hit theaters on March 13, but with theaters closing down, it was released on demand on April 3.
"We all believe we have a very powerful piece of art and a very captive audience sitting at home," says Jenkins. "The movie's rated PG-13 and it's really powerful because there's all these kids sitting at home right now trying to figure out what to watch, and while they're doing that, there's states all across the country saying that an abortion is not an essential procedure."
Jenkins and Romanski talked to THR about how Hittman tackled highly politicized issue of abortion with nuance, the biggest production challenges and the decision to bring the film to home screens early.
How did your collaboration with Eliza Hittman come about?
Romanski: We had been fans of Eliza's work since It Felt Like Love, which also debuted at Sundance, and stuck up a friendship as one does on the festival circuit and when we were coming together years later and forming Pastel and thinking about who were the kinds of artists and filmmakers we wanted to...