|STAND-UP COMEDYWILL SMITHCOMEDYQUIBI|
Jordan Peele has successfully established himself as one of the most prominent voices in blockbuster horror today. After the success of Get Out and Us, Peele can pretty much guarantee an audience for his films in the horror genre. And now a rumor is doing the rounds that his next film under Universal Studios is looking to cast Will Smith in the lead role. And it is tied to their Universal Monsters franchise.
Last year, Universal signed Peele on for a five year, first-look deal. The studio will also produce Peele's next two movies, and it is for Jordan Peele's Untitle Universal Monsters movie that the filmmaker is rumored to be keen on casting Will Smith. In the past, Peele has voiced his desire to use his films to promote black actors, and while Smith, being one of the biggest stars in the world, is hardly in need of promoting, his collaboration with Peele under Universal can help give a boost to both their careers.
Despite owning the rights to some of the most influential monsters in the horror genre, Universal has had a bit of a mixed bag in terms of success so far. Their desire to set up their own cinematic universe comprising of Dracula, The Mummy, The Werewolf and other famous characters crumbled in the face of a negative reception to the individual movies, whether it was The Mummy with Tom Cruise or Dracula Untold with Luke Evans.
This made the studio hit reboot on their plans. Their next offering was the low budget thriller The Invisible Man, which proved to be much more profitable. It is now being said that Universal intends to continue producing low budget horror films under the direction of auteur filmmakers, which is where Jordan Peele comes in. The actor-comedian turned director has proven that he can make provocative, hard-hitting horror that gets talks about for years without needing a giant budget to do so.
As for Smith, he has not dipped his toes in the world of pure horror films so far, but his turn in I Am Legend, the post-apocalyptic action drama with tinges of horror, has proved he can be a good fit for that kind of roles. Will Smith may not be as much a mainstay of summer blockbusters these days as he once was, but his recent outings in Aladdin and Bad Boys for Life have proved that audiences worldwide still very much enjoy watching him onscreen.
Apart from Peele, Universal is also reportedly looking to have John Krasinski, of A Quiet Place fame, make a horror film for them as well. Time will tell whether all these former Dark Universe projects under Universal will finally allow the studio to properly kickstart their own cinematic universe. For now, Krasinski is busy with preparations for the release of his latest offering, the sequel to A Quiet Place, whose release got postponed due to the global lockdown. As far as Peele is concerned, he is gearing up for the release of Candyman, the reboot of the 1992 horror classic that he helped produce. This rumor comes from Full Circle...
Right now, everyone is looking for some kind of reprieve from being locked up at home due to the spread of the coronavirus across the United States. That doesn’t appear to be in the cards anytime soon, but The Office executive producers Paul Lieberstein and Ben Silverman think they’ve figured out a way to make light of the situation by crafting a new workplace comedy series inspired by the sudden rise in employees working from home due to the outbreak of coronavirus forcing people to practice social distancing.
Deadline was first to learn of the currently untitled coronavirus comedy series, though it’s not necessarily about the pandemic. Paul Lieberstein and Ben Silverman, better known to The Office fans as the frequently maligned Toby Flenderson and one of Jim’s business partners at their company Athlead, are creating the series that is said to focus on “wunderkind boss who, in an effort to ensure his staff’s connectedness and productivity, asks them all to virtually interact and work face-to-face all day.”
The series is in the works at Big Breakfast, the comedy production banner Silverman runs, where he’ll executive produce the series along with and Luke Kelly-Clyne College Humor and Kevin Healey Scare Tactics. They’ll also be working with Howard Owens’ Propagate Content, which will have Rodney Ferrell serving as an executive producer as well.
Silverman, who was also once an NBC executive, explained the inception of the series and his hope for what it will become:
“So many of us are jumping on daily Zoom meetings — for work and beyond. We are in a new normal and are personally navigating ways to remain connected and productive at work and in our home lives. With the brilliant Paul Lieberstein at the helm, we think we have a series that not only brings humor and comfort during this troubling time but will also be an inventive and enduring workplace comedy for years to come.”
While the prospect of trying to craft a series around the coronavirus outbreak sounds like a bad idea at this time, there’s no indication that the pandemic will actually play a part in the overall concept of the series. In fact, it would be easy to pull something like this off without introducing such a grim plot device.
What I’m envisioning with this series is a show with a format that echoes what we’ve seen accomplished with movies like Unfriended and Searching. Both of those films play out entirely on computer or mobile device screens and successfully tell a solid narrative. Modern Family did something similar with an episode that unfolded across the ensemble cast’s various screens, and it worked pretty well. But if that’s what this series will be like, can that concept be sustained for an entire series? Or will they need to take...
At least 300,000 individuals downloaded Quibi, the entertainment industry's newest streaming service, on its Monday launch date according to data from two analytics firms.
Sensor Tower reported that more than 300,000 users downloaded the mobile-only, short form platform while App Annie estimated 700,000 users downloaded Quibi on Monday. The numbers were originally reported by Variety and the Los Angeles Times, respectively. IndieWire confirmed the data with both analytics firms.
The sharply varying numbers make it difficult to determine how much traction Quibi gained on its launch day and exemplifies the difficulty of determining how successful streaming services are. While Nielsen's ratings have long been the voice of authority for television viewership, there is no standard of measurement for the industry's numerous streaming services.
A Quibi spokesperson referred IndieWire to the Los Angeles Times report and did not release its own data on downloads.
“We are very excited about our day one performance,” Quibi said in a statement.
While it's unclear which data set is accurate, that at least 300,000 users downloaded the “quick bites” streaming service suggest that Quibi turned more than a few heads on Monday. The platform launched with dozens of original titles — Quibi offers no library content — and boasts significant star power. A wide variety of household names, from Cardi B and Chance the Rapper to Idris Elba, Will Forte, and Kaitlin Olson, star in various Quibi series, and entertainment industry heavyweights such as Steven Spielberg and Steven Soderbergh are working on upcoming projects for the platform.
While hundreds of thousands of users have downloaded the app, only time will tell if they stick around long enough to make the $1.75 billion-backed platform a success. Quibi is offering a lengthy 90-day free trial, which no doubt helped court early adopters, and a yearlong subscription is available for free to select T-Mobile customers. An ad-supported version of Quibi costs $4.99 per month, while the ad-free version runs $7.99 per month.
IndieWire praised a handful of Quibi's launch titles, including LeBron James’ documentary “I Promise” and the noire-inspired “Movie in Chapters.” That said, “Memory Hole,” one of IndieWire's top rated Quibi launch titles, became the center of controversy when an art collective claimed the show plagiarized its art and other material.