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EXCLUSIVE: Mackenzie Davis Halt and Catch Fire and Himesh Patel Yesterday are set as main leads in HBO Max’s Station Eleven, a 10-episode post-apocalyptic limited drama series based on the international bestseller by Emily St. John Mandel, from Maniac creator Patrick Somerville and Paramount TV.
Written and executive produced by Somerville, Station Eleven is a post-apocalyptic saga spanning multiple timelines. It tells the stories of survivors of a devastating flu as they attempt to rebuild and reimagine the world anew while holding on to the best of what’s been lost.
Davis will play Kirsten, a survivor of the Georgia Flu pandemic and performer in a post-apocalyptic Shakespeare troupe. Patel will portray Jeevan, an unemployed lost soul who—when the Georgia Flu strikes—must become a leader.
Somerville will also serve as showrunner. Hiro Murai Atlanta, Barry directs and executive produces with Somerville, Scott Steindorff, Scott Delman and Dylan Russell. Nate Matteson will serve as co-EP. Paramount TV is the studio.
Davis starred in all four seasons of AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire. She next can be seen starring in the Tim Miller-directed and James Cameron-produced Terminator: Dark Fate, which hits theaters in November. Other credits include Black Mirror: San Junipero, and the Charlize Theron-starrer, Tully. She is repped by UTA and Sloane Offer.
Patel was recently seen in Danny Boyle’s rock ‘n’ roll comedy feature Yesterday and will next be seen alongside Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne in feature The Aeronauts set for release in December. He’s also set as a lead opposite Hugh Laurie in Armando Iannucci's upcoming HBO space comedy Avenue 5. He is repped by WME.
It’s never great for new releases when holdovers are the big story of the weekend, and there’s no exception for either The Gentlemen and The Turning, as Bad Boys for Life and 1917 continued to lead the way. Martin Lawrence and Will Smith’s team-up churned out another $34 million to bring its ten-day total to a very respectable $121 million. Meanwhile, in its fifth week of release and its third week of wide release, Sam Mendes 1917 held on to the number two spot, earning another impressive $15 million to put its domestic total over $100 million, as well $103 million. Bad Boys for Life and 1917 are officially the first two $100 million movies of 2020.
Meanwhile, Dolittle, which cost as much as Bad Boys for Life and 1917 combined, eked out another $12 million to bring its total to $44.5 million, making it the biggest flop of 2020, so far.
Elsewhere, Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen boasts a stellar cast - Charlie Hunnam, Hugh Grant, Michelle Dockery, Jeremy Strong, Colin Farrell, Henry Golding, and Mathew McConaughey - but best it could do was alright, alright, alright, as McConaughey would say. It is an apt way to describe the box-office performance of The Gentlemen, which earned $11 million in its opening weekend, which is right in line with the expectations of STX Films, which only paid $7 million for distribution rights. The film - which was well liked by critics 71 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and audiences B+ from Cinemascore - cost about $18 million to make, it’ll do OK in the UK, great in the digital market, earn a few more million for streaming rights, and ultimately, it will end up being a movie that won’t make a lot of money, but it won’t lose any money, either. The strong showing also ensures that it goes wider next weekend.
That $11 million is far better than the $7.3 million opening of Mackenzie Davis’ The Turning, which fetched the second F Cinemascore of the year the other was The Grudge and combined it with a dismal 19 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. It earned $4 million less than The Grudge. The only upside here is that the film didn’t cost a lot to make $10-$14 million.
Another holdover, in its 7th week, Jumanji: The Next Level continues to push its way toward $300 million domestic with another $7 million, hitting $282 million. Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker hit $5.1 million and crossed the $500 million mark $501 million. Oscar nominee for Best Picture, Little Women, earned $4.65 million and with $93 million, so far, it should cross the $100 million mark before the Oscars it’s earned $147 worldwide now. Just Mercy earned $3.9 million and now stands at $27 million.
Finally, Knives Out - released on Thanksgiving weekend - is still in the top ten, now in its 9th week. It’s earned $3.6 million and now stands at over $150 million and is one of the biggest sleeper hits in a very long while....
Although “The L Word: Generation Q” may have tried desperately to speak to a “new generation” of queer women and non-binary folks, fresher creative voices quickly rose to the top in its place. Though people still watched. Showtime’s “Work in Progress” was the best queer comedy of the year, Netflix’s “Feel Good” was an unexpected delight, and “Vida” is returning just in time for queer audiences to catch up on the best show about queer women of color on TV. Yet another contender released a promising first trailer today: “Betty” is a stylish and youthful portrait of Brooklyn teen skaters that already appears extremely queer.
The six-part half-hour arrives on HBO from filmmaker Crystal Moselle, who quickly made waves in 2015 with her her riveting documentary hybrid “The Wolfpack.” “Betty” is adapted from her second feature, the similarly hybridized “Skate Kitchen,” which followed a group of teenage girl skaters in New York City. The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival to positive reviews and was released by Magnolia Pictures that year.
In his B+ review of “Skate Kitchen” out of Sundance, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn wrote: “The streetwise alternative to ‘Girls,’ the movie weaves together such a complete vision of its subjects that the rest of the world barely exists. Of course, there's a long-standing precedent to capturing this subculture — ‘Kids’ did it, with more adventurous storytelling twists, more than 20 years ago — but Moselle's subjects hold their own with the surprising ability to clarify their emotions through the cathartic process of hanging out.”
“Betty” features many of the film’s original stars, most of whom had not acted before, including Kabrina Adams, Dede Lovelace, Nina Moran, Rachelle Vinberg, and Ajani Russell. All accomplished skaters in their own right, the first trailer shows the charismatic crew navigating various crushes and friendship trials with compelling panache and humor.
“Betty” is directed, co-written, and executive produced by Moselle. Lesley Arfin and Patricia Breen are also co-writers. Arfin, who also EPs, is a comedy writer best known for co-creating the Netflix series “Love” with Judd Apatow and Paul Rust.
HBO will release “Betty” beginning May 1 at 11 pm ET. Check out the exciting first trailer below: