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Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Show: The Secret History of Hollywood
Where You Can Stream It: The podcasting app of your choice.
The Pitch: The Secret History of Hollywood is the most compelling, immersive, and emotional podcast I’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. Each season consists of deep dives into a major Hollywood figure, tracing its subject’s rise to prominence and giving incredible insight into their home lives, painting a portrait so captivating and well-rounded that biographies or books on the subjects could only dream to achieve.
Why It’s Essential Quarantine Listening: I’ve been thinking about this podcast a lot since I first stumbled across it several years ago, but I think it’s especially appropriate to recommend it right now because some of its episodes are incredibly lengthy – many clock in around an hour and a half, but some of them stretch to four, six, or even nine hours long. Yes, really. Some of you may scoff, but isn’t being in quarantine the perfect time to give a long-form podcast a chance?
Adam Roche, the voice behind the show, had no background in sound editing or sound production when he got started, but he could have fooled me: the series reminds me of an old-time radio show, complete with sound effects and Roche doing voices as he plays the people in a given scene. I realize that may sound cheesy, and it absolutely would be in less-capable hands. But trust me: Roche’s mellifluous voice and incredibly researched accounts are perfect for this type of storytelling.
The show has brought me to tears multiple times over the years, and I think a huge part of the reason for that is because of the long episode lengths. Like a great TV series you never want to end, you get to spend hours and hours with the subjects of these episodes and build emotional connections to them, so when they they experience hardships, a project goes wrong, or they lose a loved one, the results can be unexpectedly powerful.
The show has earned the attention of Hollywood vets like Peter Ramsey Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Mark Gatiss Sherlock, Game of Thrones, the latter of whom lends his own terrific voice to introductions of the most recent season, which covers the prolific producer Val Lewton Cat People, The Body Snatcher, The Ghost Ship. I knew nothing about Lewton or his work before I listened to the eleven episode season, but by the end, I feel like not only do I know all about him, but I feel I’ve experienced his highs and lows right alongside him. It’s truly spellbinding stuff, and it comes with my absolute highest recommendation.
I’ve talked about the show a couple...
Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was even a thing — heck, before X-Men and Spider-Man kicked off the current age of superhero blockbusters — Quentin Tarantino had his heart set on making a Luke Cage film. Though it never happened, the director revealed on a podcast that he had grand plans for one of his favorite comic book heroes and even had a specific actor in mind for the titular role.
The prolific writer/director appeared on Amy Schumer’s podcast via The Guardian and explained that he wanted to make a Luke Cage movie between his directorial debut Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. He also explained how that choice caused him to abandon the project after his friends constantly badgered him to choose a different lead.
“Growing up I was a big comic-book collector, and my two favourite [comic books] were Luke Cage: Hero for Hire, later Luke Cage: Power Man, and Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu.
“What dissuaded me … was my comic-geek friends talked me out of it,” Tarantino went on. “Because I had an idea that Larry Fishburne would’ve been the perfect guy to play Luke Cage. But all my friends were like, ‘It’s got to be Wesley Snipes.’ And I go, ‘Look, I like Wesley Snipes, but Larry Fishburne is practically Marlon Brando. I think Fish is the man.’ And they’re like, ‘Yeah, but he’d have to get in shape in a big way. Snipes is that way already!’ And I go, ‘F*ck that! That’s not that important! F*ck you, you ruined the whole damn thing!’”
In defense of Tarantino’s friends, Wesley Snipes would later land the role of Marvel’s Blade, which arguably set the stage for the onslaught of superhero films to come, so their judgment wasn’t too far off. Lawrence Fishburne did “get in shape in a big way,” however, and thoroughly proved his action star chops as Morpheus in The Matrix, so the Pulp Fiction director was definitely onto something.
Not to mention, he would’ve delivered a Luke Cage movie that featured the same knack for the Blaxpoitation genre that he showcased in both Jackie Brown and Django Unchained. But if you’re hoping Tarantino might still have a Marvel movie in him, don’t hold your breath. He’s still adamant that his next film will be his last, and it’s probably not going to be for the MCU.
Via The Guardian
Universal has picked up the film rights to New York Times bestselling author Tracy Wolff’s upcoming YA vampire novel Crave.Universal
Crave, billed as a paranormal fantasy with a feminist perspective, follows a human girl who finds herself in the midst of a conflict between warring factions when she falls for a vampire prince, Jaxon Vega. He’s a vampire with deadly secrets who hasn't felt anything for a hundred years. But there's something about him that calls to her, something broken in him that somehow fits with what's broken in her - which could spell death for both of them. The young girl learns that Jaxon has walled himself off for a reason. And now someone wants to wake him, a sleeping monster, and she could very well be the bait. The book is available for sale tomorrow, April 7 from Entangled Publishing, distributed by Macmillan in New York.
Wolff is the bestselling author of 64 novels that run the gamut of commercial fiction. She’s a former English professor who now writes full-time from her home in Austin, Texas.
Universal's SVP of Production Jeyun Munford and Creative Executive Christine Sun will oversee the project on behalf of the studio.
Wolff is represented by Emily Sylvan Kim of The Prospect Agency. The deal was negotiated by Nicole Resciniti, The Alliance Rights Agency, and Debbie Deuble Hill at APA.