Scarlett Takes Aim At Disney
Leading the day: A doubtlessly game-changing lawsuit pitting Black Widow herself Scarlett Johansson towards Disney. Johansson is suing the mighty House of Mouse, claiming that releasing Black Widow on Disney+ in addition to in theatres breached her contract and disadvantaged her of field workplace earnings. Disney lashed again, saying the authorized writ is “sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.” The firm, not recognized for backing down from authorized battles, additionally took the weird determination to disclose Johansson’s $20M pay packet for the Marvel function. Our full story.
International Insider: Shoots Shutter Again; War Over Channel 4; Venice Takes Shape
A bellwether case: The Black Widow beef is kinda distinctive on condition that Johansson’s character is (spoiler alert) lifeless within the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the actress has made clear she has no plans to reprise the position. In brief: she has little to lose in taking up Disney. But if she wins or extracts a settlement, the case might change into a bellwether for different actors seeking to make related claims. And there could possibly be numerous them, given studios have embraced streaming whereas cinemas have been shut. “This will surely not be the last case where Hollywood talent stands up to Disney and makes it clear that, whatever the company may pretend, it has a legal obligation to honor its contracts,” Johansson’s lawyer stated. Grab the popcorn as this one unfolds.
Making headlines this week: We’re now beginning to see some main international employers mandating Covid vaccines for workers. Silicon Valley is main the way in which, with each Facebook and Google quickly to begin insisting that workers are double jabbed earlier than they step foot within the workplace. Google is rolling out the coverage to worldwide outposts, that means we might see YouTube originals executives in London, for instance, being requested for his or her vaccination standing.
In the movie and TV world, Netflix was the primary main studio to make a transfer. My colleague Nellie Andreeva revealed that the streamer would require forged and key crew to have Covid safety earlier than filming in America. A day later, I revealed that Netflix is contemplating extending the coverage to different territories, with the UK being checked out notably carefully. There are two causes for this: firstly, the UK is Netflix’s largest manufacturing market exterior the U.S. Secondly, there may be excessive vaccination take-up in Britain, the place 37.8M individuals at the moment are double jabbed.
Why it issues: As we mentioned on International Insider last week, the Delta variant is punching holes in manufacturing security protocols. Netflix needed to shut down its most profitable present ever, Bridgerton, within the UK due to a coronavirus outbreak. I hear that it could possibly be weeks earlier than full filming resumes, with producers sticking to exterior work for now. Vaccines alone won’t cease individuals from getting Covid, however synchronize jabs with masks, bubbles, or ventilated units and also you begin to strangle the virus. Experts name it the Swiss cheese mannequin: a single slice of holey cheese will not be a enough layer of safety, however stack a number of slices up and you start to construct a fortress.
Italy calling: The Venice Film Festival unveiled a blockbuster lineup for its 78th version, which takes place September 1-11. After Hollywood largely steered away from the occasion final yr because the pandemic raged, studios might be out in power in 2021. Representing might be Universal (with Halloween Kills, Last Night In Soho, and The Card Counter), Warner Bros (Dune), and Disney (The Last Duel). Netflix, which has a comfortable relationship with Venice, may even have a robust presence in Paolo Sorrentino’s The Hand Of God and Jane Campion’s The Power Of The Dog. Venice chief Alberto Barbera is anticipating “a lot of guests and talent” with the purple carpet doubtlessly being rolled out for the likes of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, who star in The Last Duel (additional factors if Affleck brings JLo); Kristen Stewart for Pablo Larrain’s Spencer; and Oscar Isaac, who has three tasks within the choice together with Duel and HBO collection Scenes From A Marriage. Here’s the full line-up.
The one which received away: Nancy Tartaglione requested Barbera if there was one function he didn’t nab that he’d have favored to have within the lineup. “Like every year, there is something you can’t get because it’s not ready in time or it’s postponed. My main regret is Guillermo del Toro [with Nightmare Alley]. He really wanted to be on time for Venice,” the place Shape Of Water debuted in 2017. Nevertheless, Barbera’s hoping to boast extra Oscar bait after Nomadland premiered within the City of Water final yr. “I think we’ll see someone go from the red carpet in Venice to the Oscar red carpet next March.” Read the full interview.
Covid protocols stay: Venice garnered loads of reward final yr for the grace with which it dealt with coronavirus security measures. After setting a excessive bar for arrange a pageant throughout a worldwide well being disaster, a lot of what went earlier than will stay. That means a 50% capability cap on cinemas and socially distanced seating, with particular locations reserved for movie-goers. There might be no opening night time dinner for the second yr in a row. Delegates will carry Green Passes to entry theatres, whereas Venice will supply swab testing without cost in a number of spots. That might be a aid for Cannes 2021 veterans who endured the dreaded spit check. Tom Grater has more.
ITV Overcomes Covid
On the up: UK business broadcaster ITV declared on Wednesday that the worst of the pandemic is now within the rear-view mirror. In earnings for the primary half of the yr, ITV revealed that complete income was up by greater than 1 / 4 to £372M ($516M), whereas EBITA rocketed 98% to £327M. Full story.
The cause for the rally: The advert market is vibrant once more after a near-existential wobble early within the well being disaster. Indeed, ITV recorded its finest June on report amid a Euro 2020-fuelled promoting bonanza. In different excellent news, nearly all of ITV Studios’ reveals are again in enterprise and the Love Island producer has even delivered some reveals forward of schedule.
Channel 4 deal? Such is ITV’s resilience, the broadcaster is being touted as a possible suitor for Channel 4, which is prone to be put up on the market by the UK authorities. ITV CEO Carolyn McCall saved schtum a few attainable bid for its rival, however did reveal that ITV will not be precisely obsessed with risking a serious acquisition, shutting down hypothesis of a deal for BT Sport. “We still see uncertainty ahead [amid the pandemic], it’s not the kind of acquisition we would do,” she stated. More here.
Over at Sky: Comcast’s European pay-TV big can be enjoying a Covid bounceback. For the six months ended June 30, Sky’s income elevated 18.9% to $10.2B, in contrast with $8.6B over the identical interval in 2020. Like ITV, it benefited from a return to type within the advert market. In the UK, Sky is reshuffling its channel portfolio, retiring Sky One after practically 40 years and changing it with Sky Showcase. It’s an acknowledgment that conventional TV stays a potent discovery software.
John David Washington On ‘Beckett’
On the run: Ahead of the Netflix international launch of Beckett, the story of an American man being chased throughout Greece by corrupt authorities, Deadline sat down with star John David Washington and director Ferdinando Cito Filomarino to speak about placing collectively their manhunt thriller. Washington additionally takes the time to speak us via stepping out from his dad Denzel’s shadow, giving up his professional soccer profession, and the way it felt to be the star of two of 2020’s most high-profile releases: the theatrical blockbuster Tenet and lockdown-shot streaming pic Malcolm & Marie. Read the full interview.
Brisk Business For Banijay
Major offers: Banijay loved a brisk week of enterprise after clinching two main format offers in India and China. The super-producer will revive Survivor in India after a 10-year hiatus, bringing the journey collection to Tamil streamer ZEE5 after it initially screened on Disney-owned StarPlus. Over in China, Banijay will work with Long Qing Media to adapt Lego Masters for Shenzhen TV. Read our story.
Reality bites: Banijay has been eager to speak up the resilience of its tent-pole unscripted collection throughout the pandemic. Sources at Banijay instructed Deadline in April that the corporate weathered the coronavirus disaster higher than some rivals after leaning into reveals like Survivor, which is being produced in a report 22 territories this yr. Banijay’s EBITDA dropped 13% to €334M in 2020 amid steeper declines at different main worldwide studios.
Perfect storm: Lucas Green, Banijay’s international head of content material operations, stated there’s a “perfect storm” for unscripted. In an interview final week, he defined that the style is extra resilient to Covid than drama and might adapt to social actions faster. He added that streamers are more and more available in the market for actuality reveals after hits together with Netflix’s Too Hot To Handle. Here’s the full chat.
🌶️ Hot one of many week: Small Axe breakout Micheal Ward (pictured above, proper) has been set to hitch Olivia Colman within the Searchlight drama Empire of Light with Sam Mendes directing. The movie might be produced by Mendes and Pippa Harris’ Neal Street Productions. Justin Kroll had the scoop.
🌶️ Another one: Bodyguard star Keeley Hawes has been set to headline and govt produce Crossfire, a serious BBC One miniseries a few lodge taking pictures from the producer behind The Salisbury Poisonings. Our full scoop.
🍿 International field workplace: F9 drove properly previous $600M worldwide this session to cume $621.3M. That’s the primary Hollywood film to hit that mark for the reason that 2019 Christmas launch Jumanji: The Next Level received there in January 2020. Nancy Tartaglione has the details.
👩⚕️ Doctor discharged: The BBC has lastly confirmed one of many worst saved secrets and techniques in tv: Jodie Whittaker and showrunner Chris Chibnall are quitting Doctor Who. Full story.
😔 RIP Dieter Brummer: A former star of iconic Australian cleaning soap operas Home and Away and Neighbours died on the age of 45. Full obit.
🇪🇸 San Sebastian replace: Then San Sebastian Film Festival has unveiled the Spanish titles that may comprise its official choice this yr, together with Fernando León de Aranoa’s The Good Boss, a tragicomedy starring Javier Bardem. More here.
🚚 On the transfer: YouTube has appointed Pedro Pina as VP, chargeable for all elements of the enterprise throughout Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Go deeper.
🎦 Trailer sprint: Here’s the primary footage from Mad God, the experimental animation 30 years within the making from Phil Tippett, the Oscar-winning VFX artist with credit together with the unique Star Wars trilogy. Watch it.
God velocity: Everyone at Deadline needs Bob Odenkirk a speedy restoration after he collapsed on the set of Better Call Saul on Tuesday. His reps confirmed that he suffered a “heart-related incident,” however is in a secure situation. “He’s going to be okay,” his son, Nate Odenkirk, tweeted with palpable aid on Wednesday. Odenkirk’s work on AMC’s Better Call Saul and its predecessor, Breaking Bad, is revered properly past his homeland. “The immediate outpouring of affection and concern from fans around the world is a clear reflection of his immense talents and ability to both move and entertain people,” AMC stated. Here’s hoping Bob might be again on set quickly, uttering the immortal phrases, “S’all good, man.”
Tom Grater contributed to International Insider.