12 Hottest Toronto Movies for Sale, From ‘Wild Rose’ to ‘Vox Lux’ (Photos)

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“Wild Rose” [UTA]
“Wild Rose” was the first title numerous industry players said was their most anticipated movie of the festival. It follows a young musician from Glasgow who wants to become a star in Nashville. Julie Walters…

Asia Argento’s Accuser, Jimmy Bennett, Speaks Out: ‘I Choose to Move Forward, No Longer in Silence’

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Asia Argento’s accuser, Jimmy Bennett, issued a statement on Wednesday saying that he didn’t speak out shortly after the alleged 2013 sexual assault took place because he felt “ashamed and afraid to be part of the public narrative.”

“I did not initially speak out about my story because I chose to handle it in private with the person who wronged me,” said Bennett in a statement to TheWrap. “My trauma resurfaced as she came out as a victim herself. I have not made a public statement in the past days and hours because I was ashamed and afraid to be part of the public narrative.”

He added, “I was underage when the event took place, and I tried to seek justice in a way that made sense to me at the time because I was not ready to deal with the ramifications of my story becoming public. At the time I believed there was still a stigma to being in the situation as a male in our society. I didn’t think that people would understand the event that took place from the eyes of a teenage boy. I have had to overcome many adversities in my life, and this is another that I will deal with, in time. I would like to move past this event in my life, and today I choose to move forward, no longer in silence.”

Also Read: Asia Argento Scandal: 5 Things We Still Need to Know

Late Sunday, the New York Times reported that Argento arranged to pay a settlement last November to Bennett, a now-22-year-old actor-musician who played Argento’s son in the 2004 film “The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things.”

Documents obtained by the paper indicated that Bennett met Argento in a California hotel room in May 2013 — just two months after his 17th birthday — where he said she sexually assaulted him.

Bennett’s lawyer, Gordon K. Sattro, had sent Argento an intent to sue her for $3.5 million in damages for infliction of emotional distress, lost wages, assault and battery, according to the Times.

Although Argento initially remained silent over the allegations, on Tuesday, the actress released a statement in which she strongly denied the alleged sexual assault. Moreover, she said her late boyfriend Anthony Bourdain, “personally undertook to help Bennett economically, upon the condition that we would no longer suffer any further intrusions in our life.”

Also Read: Asia Argento Strongly Denies ‘Absolutely False’ Sexual Assault Accusation

“I strongly deny and oppose the contents of the New York Times article,” she said. “I am deeply shocked and hurt by having read news that is absolutely false. I have never had any sexual relationship with Bennett.”

Since coming forward in November with the allegations about Harvey Weinstein, Argento has become a leading figure in the #MeToo movement and was joined in the fight by Bourdain, who died in June of an apparent suicide.

Argento’s emergence as an advocate against sexual misconduct in the industry prompted Bennett to come forward, according to his attorney. “Feelings about that day were brought to the forefront recently when Ms. Argento took the spotlight as one of the many victims of Harvey Weinstein,” Sattro wrote in his letter of intent to sue, the Times reported.

A spokesperson for Argento has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.


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Ballin’ on a Budget: How ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Made Mega-Rich World for $30 Million

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In the high-flying world of Kevin Kwan’s “Crazy Rich Asians” book trilogy, $30 million would barely cover the couture, jewels, private jet fuel and five-star menu for a ladies’ lunch in Singapore.

But $30 million was the budget for the Warner Bros. adaptation of the bestselling novel, about the competitive world of Asia’s super-rich thrust upon an unsuspecting Constance Wu when she flies from New York to meet her boyfriend’s family

Million-dollar diamonds, penthouses in the clouds, six-figure dinner tabs and more an orgy of brand names and labels. How’d they pull it off on a mid-range studio budget?

Also Read: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Stars Dueled Over Epic Mahjong Showdown: ‘No One Was Giving in’

TheWrap assembled the “Crazy Rich” filmmaking team including director Jon M. Chu, producers Brad Simpson and Nina Jacobson, and production designer Nelson Coates for a lesson in balling on a budget.

Starting with …

Lockdown Diamonds

The expensive jewelry seen in the movie was borrowed from jewelers that came with security guards.

“Kevin [Kwan] was on par the whole time, saying, ‘People who know watches will know that that’s not an expensive watch,’” Chu told TheWrap. “I was like, ‘Kevin, that’s a $150,000 watch!’ And he’s like, ‘That’s not good enough, we have to get that $500,000 watch.’ We had to get the million-dollar earrings, that came with security guards, and I had never done a movie where you are bound by your time because a security guard needs to bring the jewelry back to the safe. I had never been dictated by the jewelry, the costumes, of how long you can shoot, so that was insane to go through. But totally worth it.”

Kwan, the author of the book on which the movie is based, added, “I also was able to help procure a vintage Rolex Paul Newman ‘Panda’ Daytona valued at $600,000 from a watch collector that we flew half-way around the world for a particular scene.”

However, renting the stellar pieces for the movie also came with complications, especially the ones worn by Gemma Chan’s Astrid Leong in the movie.

Also Read: Does ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Have a Post-Credits Scene?

“I was really angry when [the security guards] were like, ‘The earrings have to go back right now,’ and I said, ‘We’re not done shooting the scene,’ and they were like, ‘Well, make sure her ears aren’t seen then!’” Chu added. “I thought, ‘This is ridiculous.’”

“I think we had around $3 million worth of jewelry, with several guards, on set!” said Coates.

Yeoh’s Private Stash

Michelle Yeoh’s character, Eleanor Young, also wears a gorgeous ring at the end of the movie — and that particular piece of jewelry came from her own jewelry box.

“We had a ring made, and it didn’t look great. All the people I asked — my friends who love jewelry — said ‘Yeah, that doesn’t look great,’” Chu explained. “So Michelle was like, ‘Hey, I have a ring. I bought the ring as a gift to myself.’ So it’s hers! She said, ‘I buy myself a gift after every movie I do.’”

Brand Desertion

The world of “Crazy Rich” is nothing if not jet-setting, which gave an easy layup for product placement in the form of a major airline (deals like these happen all the time in studio films, like a recent Turkish Airlines partnership on “Batman v. Superman”).

But no one bit, producers Jacobson and Simpson said, specifically a natural partner in Singapore Airlines.

“We were shocked,” admitted Jacobson, whose Color Force Productions partner Simpson was equally gobsmacked.

“It was going to be an ad for Singapore Airlines!” Simpson said. “But they were not sure the movie would represent the airline and their customer in a good light. People want what Richard Curtis’ movies (“Love, Actually,” “Notting Hill”) do for England — they make you want to visit the country.”

They wound up creating a fictional airline, Pacific Asean Airlines.

Chu said, “People didn’t have faith in this movie. They didn’t know what this movie was. It seems obvious now, but when we were making it, everyone thought it was a little movie and they were very suspicious about what we were trying to do.”

Singapore Airlines did not respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Fashion Fears 

Designers were also reluctant to put their necks on the block, knowing how quickly trends change and how intensely competitive the world of “Crazy Rich Asians” is.

“We didn’t get the support of all designers — we were two years out from getting the movie out so they were like, ‘We have nothing to sell here; we don’t know where fashion is in two years,’” Chu explained.

Also Read: How ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Director Reappropriated a Racial Slur With a Coldplay Song

“You can’t buy the dress on [character] Astrid Leong right now; it was on sale last year,” Simpson added.

Kwan told TheWrap, “To give authenticity to the production while staying on budget, I worked overtime to connect our costume designer Mary Vogt to designers and artisans I personally know that are favored by real ‘crazy rich Asians.’ Designers you wouldn’t even find in the fashion magazines because they cater exclusively to the 0.1 percent crowd and prize discretion over publicity. These include the jeweler Carnet by Michelle Ong, who lent us museum-quality jewels valued in the millions, and accessories designer Neil Felipp, who lent us some of his iconic, award-winning evening purses.”

He added, “So our actresses really looked like a million bucks because they were literally wearing millions of dollars worth of jewels and accessories.”

Jacobson credits Vogt with saving the day and creating a wardrobe for the 1 percent using local designers and vintage finds.

“She, basically, just had to deal. She bought it, found it, shopped it, shipped it,” Jacobson said.

Limited Wide Shots

A money saver (which sounds like it’s out of the Blumhouse playbook) was simply limiting wide shots.

“As a group, we decided where we wanted to throw our money,” said Chu. “In regards to wide shots, we thought, ‘What are the ones we could probably do without?’”

Old-Fashioned Movie Magic

Chu told TheWrap that working with experienced crew members who wouldn’t “take no for an answer” was an important part of making the movie work on a low budget.

“We needed experienced people who would know how to do it all strategically and budget-friendly, and we needed people who are passionate and loving of the subject matter so that they would give it their all,” Chu said.

Chu tapped Coates, a production designer who has worked on films like “Fifty Shades Darker” and “The Proposal,” to spin gold from dust — literally.

“It was such a labor of love and it was shockingly challenging to do — even the weather conditions alone,” Coates said. “It rained five out of every seven days, and Malaysia is the third highest lightning strike country in the world. Every set had to be earthed with lightning rods!”

In Kwan’s novel, Singapore society is largely unaware of the existence of Tyersall Park — a monolithic colonial mansion that sits on the grounds of the Eastern equivalent of Central Park. Coates wound up transforming a crumbling Malaysian government building, infested with feral dogs and bats, and littered with monkey poop, into a generations-old manor.

Adding the conservatory to the property that was basically constructed from scratch — Coates says there is basically just brick there — allowed the crew to “Gatsby it up.”

Also Read: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Film Review: Constance Wu Stands Out in Culturally Rich Rom-Com

Kwan also said Coates “was able to borrow some of the rarest antiques from shops all over Singapore and Malaysia to decorate the set of Tyersall Park.”

Coates explained that all the jewelry stores in Singapore and Malaysia are in the malls, hence not a very glamorous exterior shot for a film that is supposed to boast the unachievable for — let’s just be frank — us poor people.

“When we were scouting for Astrid’s penthouse, we were walking into the St. Regis in Kuala Lumpur. They have a bar and we walked in, and I said, ‘It’s a jewelry store!’ Everyone looked at me like I was off my rocker. We built jewelry cases and we made them empty their wine cellar where we made velvet shelves — and it quickly became a private client area for their jewelry.”

Perhaps the most impressive, elaborate location the team worked with was the Gardens by the Bay, a location that was not secured until two weeks before filming began. However, the location was completely booked in exactly the place they wanted to shoot — but they found common ground when the crew agreed to break down every night and reassemble the set whenever it was free to use.

“We wanted a place for the reception that looked like mere mortals could not have arranged,” Coates said. “You are upping the visual ante throughout the whole movie. It took four months to get the Gardens by the Bay on board. They, basically, had planned all their festivities including a light show and fireworks in the exact spot where we wanted our reception.”

He added, “We worked with the Malaysian and Singapore governments to get access to these places — there was no way we could afford them otherwise.”

One of those places, of course, involved the Marina Bay Sands — in particular, the world famous rooftop with the stunning infinity pool that has graced the covers of countless travel magazines and the pages of bloggers.

“The rooftop actually has two restaurants that are separately leased and not run by the hotel, so we had to get them on board. We had help from the Marina Bay Sands because they knew this would be great for them,” said Coates. “Of course, we had to pay the location fee because in terms of the nightclub and restaurant, we were taking over their business.”

All in all, the crew shot for eight weeks — five weeks in Kuala Lumpur, two in Singapore for exteriors… and all the New York scenes were also shot in Singapore.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Opens to $5 Million Wednesday at Box Office

How ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Director Reappropriated a Racial Slur With a Coldplay Song

Don’t Be Surprised If ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Blows Away Box Office Expectations

Future of ‘Rub & Tug’ Film in Limbo After Scarlett Johansson’s Exit

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The future of “Rub & Tug” is in limbo following Scarlett Johansson’s exit from the project because of objections to her playing a trans man.

According to an individual with knowledge of the project, it is unclear if “Rub & Tug” will actually go into production. The insider indicated it doesn’t look good for the movie, which still has director Rupert Sanders attached.

Johansson’s production company, These Pictures, was a producer on the project, and it’s unclear whether Johansson and These Pictures will stay on to produce. Joel Silver’s Silver Pictures is also listed as a production company on the film, but Silver did not respond to requests for comment.

Also Read: Scarlett Johansson Withdraws From ‘Rub and Tug’ After Backlash Over Trans Role

Last week, Johansson exited the project after a backlash, especially from trans actors who said a cisgender woman should not play Dante “Tex” Gill, a massage parlor owner in Pittsburgh in the 1970s and ’80s who identified as a man.

People in Gill’s time sometimes called him “the woman who prefers to be known as a man,” according to a 2003 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette obituary, which referred to him using female pronouns throughout. But Gill’s cousin, Barry Paris, told TheWrap last week that Gill definitely identified as a man and wanted to be referred to with male pronouns.

After the initial backlash to Johansson playing the role, she fueled anger with a pithy statement suggesting her portrayal of Gill was no different than past portrayals of trans characters by cisgender actors. Critics also noted the “whitewashing” accusations that resulted from her role in the 2017 film “Ghost in the Shell,” which was based on a Japanese anime with Asian characters.

“In light of recent ethical questions raised surrounding my casting as Dante Tex Gill, I have decided to respectfully withdraw my participation in the project,” Johansson told Out Magazine last week. “Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance, and I’ve learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive. I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues. According to GLAAD, LGBTQ+ characters dropped 40 percent in 2017 from the previous year, with no representation of trans characters in any major studio release.”

Also Read: Scarlett Johansson Trans Casting Debate: Dante ‘Tex’ Gill’s Cousin Tells Us What Tex Would Have Thought of Her Playing Him (Exclusive)

“While I would have loved the opportunity to bring Dante’s story and transition to life, I understand why many feel he should be portrayed by a transgender person, and I am thankful that this casting debate, albeit controversial, has sparked a larger conversation about diversity and representation in film,” Johansson continued.

Representatives for Johansson, Sanders, production company New Regency and screenwriter Gary Spinelli did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s requests for comment.

Trey Williams contributed to this report. 

Related stories from TheWrap:

Business Insider Columnist Resigns Over Removal of Piece Defending Scarlett Johansson in Trans Role

Here’s Scarlett Johansson’s Sarcastic Response to Critics of Her Casting in ‘Rub & Tug’

Scarlett Johansson to Play Real-Life Woman Who Posed as Male Massage Parlor Owner

Disney Considers John Lasseter Return in Limited, Creative Role (Report)

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Disney has discussed bringing embattled Pixar boss John Lasseter back to the company in a new role, six months after the head of the studio’s animation division took a self-imposed sabbatical following reported complaints of workplace misconduct.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Disney executives are weighing a new role that would give Lasseter less managerial power but full creative influence over the studio’s considerable animated projects. The proposed new scenario would see Lasseter’s ability to hire or fire staff “removed or contained,” the report said.

A Walt Disney Company spokesperson did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment.

A homecoming for the powerful executive would be a departure from how many Hollywood companies have handled men accused of misconduct in the #MeToo era. Reported accusations against Lasseter detailed unwanted hugs and inappropriate interpersonal communication. Disney did not formally impose the leave of absence but let him volunteer.

Also Read: Pixar Head John Lasseter Takes ‘Six-Month Sabbatical,’ Apologizes for ‘Missteps’

The studio has a history of accommodating the two-time Oscar winner. The Los Angeles Times reported in early May that Lasseter’s “physical contact sometimes crossed the line and upper management worked diligently to protect the director from his own behavior.”

That report cited almost 10 Pixar employees who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Last November, Lasseter announced he would be taking leave and apologized for what he called “missteps” in his interactions with staffers, which he said made some “feel disrespected or uncomfortable.”

Lasseter said the time would provide an opportunity for him to take “better care of myself, to recharge and be inspired, and ultimately return with the insight and perspective I need to be the leader you deserve.”

The announcement followed a Hollywood Reporter story  in which an undisclosed number of “former Pixar insiders” said that Lasseter had frequently made a habit of “grabbing, kissing, making comments about physical attributes” of women at the company.

Also Read: Roman Polanski Says #MeToo Movement Is ‘Total Hypocrisy’

Lasseter is best known as one of the founders of Pixar and directed films such as “Toy Story,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Toy Story 2,” “Cars” and “Cars 2.” After Disney purchased Pixar in 2006, Lasseter was named the chief creative officer of both Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, where he oversees all the media giant’s animated films and projects as executive producer.

Lasseter won Academy Awards for Best Animated Short Film (“Tin Toy”) and one Special Achievement Award for “Toy Story.” Pixar itself has won eight Academy Awards and the films have grossed over $6 billion at the box office, domestically.

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13 Best and Worst Oscars Moments, From Frances McDormand’s Speech to Gael Garcia Bernal’s Singing (Photos)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

BEST: Rita Moreno

Literally everything about Rita Moreno rocked on Sunday night. Not only did she wear parts of her 1962 Oscars dress when she won an award for “West Side Story, but she also delivered maybe the most over-the-top yet amazing laugh when opening an envelope. Also, Moreno hasn’t aged one day.

WORST: Set Design

From bizarre eastern-inspired columns and altars, gothic chandeliers, abstract light installations and what looks like two Lady Gaga shoulder pads framing the stage, we have no idea what in God’s name was going on with set design this year.

BEST: Old-Timey Opening Package

For just a split second, you couldn’t tell whether the 2018 Oscars telecast had begun, but soon it became clear that the old-timey film spool was serving as the opening to the awards show. Presented in black and white, the package poked fun at Emma Stone and Armie Hammer and honed in on attendees in the audience — and at the end, it was revealed that Jimmy Kimmel was narrating the package in the antique voiceover style.

WORST: Gael Garcia Bernal singing “Remember Me”

Gael Garcia Bernal signing Oscar-nominated song “Remember Me” from Oscar-winning film “Coco” wasn’t on point. Sure, it was maybe meant to be endearing, but Bernal’s performance missed the mark. But we’re kind of relieved there is something Bernal isn’t good at.

BEST: Allison Janney thanks the “I, Tonya” bird

When Janney won Best Supporting Actress for her role in “I, Tonya,” she thanked the legendary bird for her award.

“To my ‘I, Tonya’ family: the magnificent Margot Robbie, the fearless Craig Gillespie, a cast and crew and bird that elevated my work,” she said.

BEST: Helen Mirren’s Jetski Pose

Jimmy Kimmel surprised everyone with a need-for-speed gift — whoever has the shortest acceptance speech will win a jetski. And who better to present the jet ski than DAME HELEN MIRREN?

WORST: “Star Wars” stars banter with BB-8

Kelly Marie Tran, Oscar Isaac and Mark Hamill took the stage with BB-8 for some endearing and light-hearted banter, but the audience just kind of politely applauded to humor the group.

BEST: Mark Wahlberg/Michelle Williams Joke

While Mark Wahlberg glossed over the uncomfortable truth with a $1.5 million donation to Time’s Up, Oscar host Kimmel was not going to let the audience forget that the movie star was paid all that cash for reshoots on “All the Money in the World.” His costar Michelle Williams only got her per diem of $80 per day, and the pair have the same agent in Ari Emanuel of WME. “If we can’t trust agents, who can we trust?” Kimmel joked.



Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux Announce Separation

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux have announced their separation after two-and-a-half years of marriage.

In a statement first obtained by The Associated Press, the couple said the decision to split “was mutual and lovingly made at the end of last year.”

The statement continued, “Normally we would do this privately, but given that the gossip industry cannot resist an opportunity to speculate and invent, we wanted to convey the truth directly. Whatever else is printed about us that is not directly from us, is someone else’s fictional narrative. Above all, we are determined to maintain the deep respect and love that we have for one another.”

See Video: Jennifer Aniston on ‘Friends’ Reunion: ‘Anything Is a Possibility’

The couple married in August 2015 and have no children together. The first met on the set of 2008’s “Tropic Thunder” but they didn’t start dating until 2011.

Aniston’s love life has been a major point of interest throughout her career. She was previously married to Brad Pitt, whom she divorced in 2005. Almost immediately after their separation, Pitt took up with actress Angelina Jolie — creating a sensational love triangle that served as tabloid fodder for years.

Also Read: Justin Theroux Claps Back in Legal Beef With His Neighbor

Aniston’s first interview following her split and the Jolie news was a Vanity Fair cover, which still ranks as the magazine’s top-selling issue of all time at nearly 800,000 copies sold.  Pitt and Jolie split in September 2016 after 11 years together.

Read the entire statement obtained by TheWrap below.

 In an effort to reduce any further speculation, we have decided to announce our separation.  This decision was mutual and lovingly made at the end of last year.  We are two best friends who have decided to part ways as a couple, but look forward to continuing our cherished friendship.  Normally we would do this privately, but given that the gossip industry cannot resist an opportunity to speculate and invent, we wanted to convey the truth directly.  Whatever else is printed about us that is not directly from us, is someone else’s fictional narrative.  Above all, we are determined to maintain the deep respect and love that we have for one another.

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Why Amazon, Netflix Ghosted Sundance Sales After Dominating Last Year

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Amazon Studios and Netflix pretty much ghosted this year’s Sundance Film Festival — acquiring no films just one year after dominating the indie marketplace with big-dollar acquisitions films like “Mudbound” and “The Big Sick.”

Insiders say Amazon at least bid on multiple films but came up short to more traditional theatrically focused indie distributors — sometimes working in tandem with upstarts like 30West and MoviePass.

One factor was this year’s slate of films — which didn’t inspire the kind of bidding wars that prompted some to question whether the streaming giants had overspent last year. “The commercial viability of the lineup was as low as any in recent memory,” one festival veteran told TheWrap. “There were not many titles for anything beyond a festival audience.”

Also Read: Sundance Film Festival Programming Chief Trevor Groth Heads to 30West

In addition, both companies have hinted at a new focus on pricier, more commercial projects going forward. Netflix just greenlit the sequel to its Will Smith sci-fi movie “Bright,” while Amazon recently acquired TV rights for “The Lord of the Rings” books with a multi-season commitment.

“No one showed up,” one top dealmaker told TheWrap about other nontraditional content companies like Hulu, Facebook and YouTube failing to emerge as big players in this year’s marketplace. (Also MIA: go-to Sundance buyers like Fox Searchlight and The Weinstein Company, both awaiting the completion of deals by new owners).

Amazon Studios Worldwide Film Head Jason Ropell tried to debunk a Reuters report about its Sundance plans, insisting the company was not “abandoning the indie space” but rather “increasing the potential size of the audience for our films.”

Also Read: Neon Lights Up Sundance With Big Money, Big Acquisitions

Still, one sales agent told TheWrap that Amazon’s main focus seems to be finding the next big “Game of Thrones,” not another art-house hit. The studio has also been weathering the fallout from film chief Roy Price’s ouster after sexual misconduct accusations — as well as clouds surrounding “Transparent” star Jeffrey Tambor and Woody Allen, director of the upcoming “A Rainy Day in New York.”

And it went home empty-handed this year after purchasing a whopping five titles at the 2017 Sundance, including Kumail Nanjiani’s “The Big Sick” for $12 million and Jenny Slate’s comedy “Landline”spent for mid-seven figures.

Netflix also kept its wallet hidden this year after spending $12.5 million on Dee Rees’ “Mudbound,” now nominated for four Oscars, as well as $8 million for Lily Collins’ “To the Bone” and $5 million for the Russian sports-doping doc “Icarus,” another Oscar nominee.

Of course, both Amazon and Netflix came to the festival with titles to screen — Netflix debuted the Gloria Allred documentary “Seeing Allred” and the comedy “A Futile and Stupid Gesture,” while Amazon arrived with Spike Lee’s “Pass Over” and Gus Van Sant’s “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot.”

And YouTube, which sponsored a portrait studio on Main Street, went home only with Eminem and Joseph Kahn’s battle-rap parody film “Bodied” — which it had acquired before the festival even began.

Reps for Netflix and Amazon Studios have not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Also Read: Sundance: Will Fox Searchlight Still Be a Player in Shadow of Disney Acquisition?

With the streaming and tech behemoths on the sidelines, Neon and Bleecker Street emerged as the biggest players at this year’s festival — which had a dramatically lower profile as well as sales prices.

Neon partnered with the Russo Brothers to pay upwards of $10 million for tech thriller “Assassination Nation,” and also acquired police brutality drama “Monsters & Men,” the documentary “Three Identical Strangers” and Coralie Fargeat’s “Revenge” (with Shudder).

An insider told TheWrap that Neon’s game plan ahead of the festival was to build a slate from scratch with as many purchases as possible, chasing a similar business model as Oscar-winning indie darling A24.

Bleecker Street also made a splash in Park City, acquiring Ben Foster’s “Leave No Trace” and Keira Knightley’s “Colette” (alongside 30West).

HBO Films surprised many when it bought the buzzy Laura Dern film “The Tale” for a deal in the high-seven figures. HBO has decided to skip a theatrical release, going for Emmy instead of Oscar glory. This also marked the first time in a while that HBO bought anything other than a documentary out of Sundance. Speaking of documentaries, HBO also acquired the U.S. rights to “The Sentence” and “The Oslo Diaries.”

Also Read: ‘A Kid Like Jake’ Star Priyanka Chopra Says Gender Identity Story ‘Needs to be Told’ (Video)

“Sorry to Bother You,” starring Lakeith Stanfield, Steven Yeun, Tessa Thompson and Armie Hammer, sold to Annapurna. Sony Pictures Classics paid $5 million for world rights to director Marc Turtletaub’s debut feature “Puzzle.”

Gunpowder & Sky bought the rights to Nick Offerman’s “Hearts Beat Loud,” with the international rights going to Sony Worldwide Acquisitions — which also paid $5 million for “Search,” starring John Cho and Debra Messing.

And Lionsgate beat out Neon, The Orchard and CBS Films for the buzzy “Blindspotting.”

Also Read: Kristen Stewart, Chloe Sevigny Crime Drama ‘Lizzie’ Picked Up by Saban Films

Many distributors teamed up for acquisitions this year, perhaps to mitigate their risk at a time when the indie theatrical marketplace is in such a state of transition.

After a huge bidding war for the ax-murderer period drama “Lizzie,” starring Chloe Sevigny and Kristen Stewart, Saban Films acquired the North American rights in partnership with Roadside Attractions.

Magnolia purchased “The Guilty” and the Ruth Bader Ginsburg doc “RBG” with Participant Media, while The Orchard bought the rights to “American Animals” with MoviePass, which announced it would begin acquiring films with established distributors and promote them via its movie ticket subscription program. The film was purchased for $3 million plus P&A.

And some titles, like “A Kid Like Jake” and “The Miseducation of Cameron Post,” were still up for grabs as industry figures packed up and left Utah.

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Neon Lights Up Sundance With Big Money, Big Acquisitions

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Film distributor Neon has rocked an otherwise sleepy Sundance Film Festival, leading with four acquisitions so far, including a headline-grabbing $10 million sale for tech thriller “Assassination Nation.”

That splashy sale turns out to be only $2.5 million paid by Neon, but the point is the same. Indie buyers faced an aggressively changing marketplace as they headed to the festival, making many unsure as to who would buy and how much they would spend. Neon has been shining brightest in acquisitions so far.

Neon’s game plan seems to building a slate from scratch with as many purchases as possible, one individual with knowledge of the market told TheWrap, chasing a similar business model as Oscar-winning indie darling A24. That studio spent two years ramping up its slate until finding success with Alicia Vikander’s “Ex Machina” and Brie Larson’s “Room,” before branching into original production with 2017 Best Picture winner “Moonlight.” 

Also Read: Neon Acquires Tim Wardle’s ‘Three Identical Strangers’

That’s not a shabby blue print for Neon, founded last year by Tim League and Tom Quinn. Of course, a blank check combined with League’s experience is dynamite for Neon — he’s one of the best-known exhibitors in the country, having co-founded Alamo Drafthouse theater chains and toying with his own distribution label, Drafthouse Films.

Quinn has displayed creative taste and intuition for commercial appeal throughout his career, at Magnolia Pictures then running TWC-Radius with Jason Janego. He was also an early experimenter with day-and-date releasing.

“Tom Quinn is one of the best,” said The Weinstein Company President David Glasser of the executive, who used to run TWC’s successful hybrid label Radius, told TheWrap. “He’s great at management, and very smart about distribution and creative. When you get a guy like that, he’s a force to be reckoned with.”

A24 adheres to traditional acquisition models — in the past, the company headed to Sundance and other film festivals to buy films. Last year, A24 bought Casey Affleck’s “A Ghost Story.” And now, Neon is doing exactly that.

But while film dealss like “Assassination Nation” might sound splashy, Neon came out on the conservative side — putting up only $2.5 million for domestic rights in a co-release agreement with Joe and Anthony Russo’s AGBO, another insider familiar with the deal said. The Russos now need to sell $7.5 millionaire in international rights to complete the deal. A thriller about a murder rampage over social media starring the actor who played “It’s” Pennywise the Clown seems a pretty safe bet for the U.S. at that price.

Also Read: Neon Takes Domestic Rights to Police Brutality Drama ‘Monsters and Men’

“They target films that brand themselves,” the second insider said.

Neon also bought Reinaldo Marcus Green’s “Monsters and Men,” Tim Wardle’s “Three Identical Strangers” and Coralie Fargeat’s “Revenge.”

A24 is also highly successful with horror films and thrillers — “The Witch” is one of the company’s highest-grossing films to date, which could have served as inspiration for Neon to buy “Assassination Nation” and potentially some others screenings in the Midnight section.

What’s interesting about Neon is that they aren’t buying films in a specific niche — “Assassination Nation” is a tech thriller,” while “Monsters and Men” is a police brutality drama and “Three Identical Strangers” is a documentary about three triplets separated at birth reuniting years later.

Neon has quickly become one of the bigger players in Hollywood. The company is hot off their success with “I, Tonya,” which just scored three Oscar nominations including one for Allison Janney and Margot Robbie. And it’s not a surprise that “I, Tonya” changed the game for the indie company. The Academy Award-nominated figure skater biopic sold out of September’s Toronto International Film Festival. Netflix offered just under $10 million at the time, a couple million over a bid from Megan Ellison’s Annapurna. Neon won out.

“The difference now is that people believe,”  said one top dealmaker who spoke to TheWrap on the condition of anonymity.

“With ‘I, Tonya,’ Neon did what A24 did with ‘Spring Breakers,’” the individual said. “Except ‘Tonya’ is going to smash ‘Spring Breakers’ in lifetime box office.”

A spokesperson for Neon did not respond to TheWrap’s request for comment. TheWrap has also reached out to Netflix and Annapurna for comment.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Neon, AMC Networks’ Shudder Team Up for Coralie Fargeat’s Thriller ‘Revenge’

Bill Skarsgard, Bella Thorne Thriller ‘Assassination Nation’ Sells to Neon, Russo Brothers for $10 Million

‘Blindspotting’ Bidding War: Neon, The Orchard, CBS Films Chase Racial Drama

13 Hottest Sundance Movies for Sale: From Ax Murderers to Notorious ‘RBG’ (Photos)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Park City, Utah, is about to be flush with cash — and we’re not talking about buying apres-ski gear. Here are the most promising sales titles of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.


After his stunning performance in “Mudbound,” Jason Mitchell is back in this drama alongside Caleb Landry Jones, Michael Cera and Ann Dowd — the latter or whom has had a great year as well. Buyers should go crazy for the film about a guy who goes on a weekend birthday trip to a cabin — but he’s the only black guy on the retreat.


There’s much intrigue for the film “Lizzie,” which chronicles the life of Lizzie Borden, who was tried and acquitted for the 1892 axe murders of her father and stepmother. Chloe Sevigny, Kristen Stewart and Denis O’Hare star.


Garrett Hedlund also gave a stellar performance in “Mudbound,” playing the son of a man associated with the Ku Klux Klan. In “Burden,” Hedlund is a repo man rising through the ranks of the KKK, but everything changes when he falls for a woman, portrayed by Andrea Riseborough. The additional cast of Forest Whitaker and Usher should entice buyers.

“The Miseducation of Cameron Post”

Chloe Grace Moretz stars as a high school teenager who gets caught in the backseat of her car with another girl. She’s quickly shipped off for conversion therapy, where she for the first time finds her place among fellow outcasts. The strong themes of pain and loss while finding yourself and your identity should make it a hot title — after all, it’s based on Emily Danforth’s acclaimed novel.

“Juliet, Naked”

Perhaps one of the most anticipated films on the Sundance schedule, “Juliet, Naked” is an adaptation of Nick Hornby’s best-selling novel. Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke and Chris O’Dowd star in this comedic drama about a woman who is in a transatlantic romance with a once-revered musician.

Why Mark Wahlberg Got ‘All the Money in the World’ for Reshoots and Michelle Williams Didn’t

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Mark Wahlberg received $1.5 million to take part in reshoots for “All the Money in the World,” while Michelle Williams got next to nothing. And while that strikes many as a clear-case of sexism, it just comes down to their contracts, TheWrap has learned.

Williams received only a per diem of $80 a day, as USA Today first reported. Her contract required her to do reshoots, which turned out to be much more extensive than planned because director Ridley Scott re-cast disgraced actor Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer.

Wahlberg received more than 1000 times as much money as she did because reshoots were not in his contract, according to an individual with knowledge of the deal. It’s no surprise that Wahlberg’s agent, Ari Emanuel, demanded top dollar: Their dynamic inspired Wahlberg’s series “Entourage,” in which an Emanuel-inspired agent’s ruthlessness is a running gag.

Also Read: Michelle Williams Made $1,000 for ‘All the Money’ Reshoots, Mark Wahlberg Made $1.5 Million (Report)

Emanuel is also co-CEO of WME. The company’s other co-CEO, Patrick Whitesell, represents Williams.

It’s also worth noting that Wahlberg’s character has many more scenes with J. Paul Getty (Plummer). The reshoots cost about $10 million in all, according to USA Today.

Prior to production, the film was financed through foreign pre-sales, the insider told TheWrap. Wahlberg, Forbes’ highest-paid actor for 2017,  took a massive pay cut to star in the film, which is gunning for awards. That’s a common move for action stars looking to add more prestige to their IMDB profiles.

The insider said Wahlberg earned more for reshoots because he had lowered his fee and is one of the biggest draws worldwide.

Also Read: Zoe Saldana Accuses Hollywood Studios of Cheaping Out on Childcare, ‘Perking Up’ Male Movie Stars

WME did not respond to TheWrap’s request for comment. Spokespeople for both actors did not respond to requests for comment.

Scott said in a previous interview that the returning cast members appeared in the reshoots for free and that only Plummer was paid.

“No, I wouldn’t get paid, I refused to get paid,” Scott said, adding about the actors: “No, they all came in free. Christopher had to get paid. But Michelle, no. Me, no.”

Williams previously told USA Today: “I said I’d be wherever they needed me, whenever they needed me. And they could have my salary, they could have my holiday, whatever they wanted. Because I appreciated so much that they were making this massive effort.”

The pay disparity set of a flurry of criticism on Twitter that this was yet another example of gender inequity in Hollywood.

Please go see Michelle’s performance in All The Money in The World. She’s a brilliant Oscar nominated Golden Globe winning actress. She has been in the industry for 20 yrs. She deserves more than 1% of her male costar’ s salary. https://t.co/HIniew6lf7

— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) January 10, 2018

Michelle Williams is a captivating, brilliant talent. Her willingness to take 1k to fix the film is wholly honorable. Why didn’t @WME protect their client? Because they were too busy leveraging her shitty deal to get Wahlberg more money. Wahlberg packaged Entourage at WME.

— Krumholtz (@mrDaveKrumholtz) January 10, 2018

Exposing the gross disparity in pay & hard evidence of the gender gap— negotiated by the SAME agents no less! — isn’t a witch hunt. It’s a demand for fair practices. One person suggesting he step up for a costar, or women in general, is just a suggestion. Not a Putin-level order.

— Sophia Bush (@SophiaBush) January 10, 2018

Related stories from TheWrap:

What Happened to John Paul Getty III After Kidnapping in ‘All the Money in the World’?

‘All the Money in the World’ Cast Discusses How Ridley Scott Pulled Off Reshoots With Christopher Plummer

Ridley Scott Didn’t Call Kevin Spacey When He Replaced Star in ‘All The Money in the World’

Disney Gets a Landlord: Will Lease Space on Fox Lot for 7 Years Post Merger

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Disney will lease space on the Fox lot in Century City, California, for seven years in the aftermath of the company’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox, multiple individuals with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap.

It’s unclear exactly when Disney will become Fox’s tenant because the merger will take 12 to 18 months to complete, pending regulatory approval. The Murdoch family will continue to own the West L.A. lot.

In a town hall meeting on the lot on Thursday, 21st Century Fox president Peter Rice informed employees of the lease agreement and assured them that no one would be relocated from the lot in the near future.

Also Read: Disney Acquires 21st Century Fox Assets for $52.4 Billion

Earlier on Thursday, Disney officially acquired much of 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion in stock, with the mammoth deal closing after more than a month of talks.

The buyout infuses the Mouse House with a bevy of Fox properties, including its film and TV studios and much of its non-broadcast television business, such as FX, regional sports networks and Nat Geo, among other channels. Properties like “X-Men,” “Fantastic Four” and “Deadpool” will return to the Marvel family at Disney, alongside “Avatar” and “The Simpsons.”

Also Read: Behind the Disney-Fox Merger: 7 Things We Still Need to Know – and 3 We Already Do

Meanwhile, Murdoch-run Fox will retain the Fox Broadcasting network and 28 owned-and-operated U.S. TV stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2 and the Big Ten Network. These will be formed into a “new FOX” company that will be spun off to its shareholders.

The total transaction value of this mega-deal is approximately $66.1 billion.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Writers Guild West Warns Fox-Disney Merger Will Be at ‘Expense of Creators’

Why the Disney-Fox Deal Won’t Be Good for Nerds, or Anyone Else (Commentary)

X-Men, Fantastic Four Fans Rejoice at Prospect of Mega-Avengers Movies With Disney-Fox Merger

Bryan Singer Fired From Freddie Mercury Biopic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Bryan Singer has been fired from directing 20th Century Fox’s Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

A studio spokesperson told TheWrap that Singer was “no longer the director” of the project, which stars Emmy-winning “Mr. Robot” actor Rami Malek as the legendary British rocker.

The film is weeks away from wrapping, and is still slated for a December 2018 release. A new director will be named in the coming days.


Also Read: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’: Rami Malek Stuns as Freddie Mercury in New On-Set Photo

The decision came after Singer exhibited a pattern of unreliable behavior on set, two individuals familiar with the production told TheWrap, including long periods of absence and lateness.

A third individual close to the situation described Singer as a “f—ing lunatic.”

Representatives for Singer did not return TheWrap’s request for comment. News of his firing was first broken by The Hollywood Reporter.

Singer will still be paid under the provisions of his contract, typically referred to as a “pay or play” clause. This means the studio can remove him from the job for any reason without fear of legal repercussions — as long as they pay him.

Also Read: Fox Halts Production on ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Due to Bryan Singer’s ‘Unexpected Unavailability’

In addition to straining his relationship with Malek, Singer’s behavior led to the temporary resignation of actor Tom Hollander, who was cast as the manager of Mercury’s band, Queen. He eventually returned to the role, THR reported.

Hollander’s reps did not return TheWrap’s request for comment.

Production on the film formally shut down on December 1, after a Signer rep said he was absent over “a personal health matter concerning Bryan and his family.” At the time, the studio only referred to the director’s “unexpected availability.”

Also Read: Bryan Singer to Direct Fox’s X-Men Pilot

Singer and Fox have a nearly 20-year relationship, as the director has helmed several installments in the studio’s “X-Men” franchise, including the 2000 original, and retained producer credits on all of the subsequent sequels.

He most recently served as director-producer on last year’s “X-Men: Apocalypse,” starring Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Fox Halts Production on ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Due to Bryan Singer’s ‘Unexpected Unavailability’

Bryan Singer to Direct Fox’s X-Men Pilot

‘Real O’Neals’ Star Noah Galvin Slams Gay Hollywood, From Bryan Singer to ‘F-ing P-y’ Colton Haynes

Lit Agent David Boxerbaum to Join Verve Agency

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Top Paradigm literary agent David Boxerbaum is leaving the company for a position at Verve Talent and Literary Agency, Verve announced Thursday.

Boxerbaum joined Paradigm in January 2012 following a stint at APA Agency. He also previously worked at William Morris, Metropolitan and Endeavor after he started his career working for producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

Boxerbaum is known for his expertise in the spec script market. He brings with him a notable roster of directors, writers and producers.

Also Read: Brad Turell Out at Paradigm

In a joint statement, the partnership said, “We are thrilled to be working with David and for the founders that means a reunion. David embodies the principles that this company was founded upon, hard work, passion for the business, strategic thinking and a willingness to go through hell and back on behalf of the clients. We think he’s cool.”

Boxerbaum added, “Verve has a tremendous reputation for its quality and first-class representation. I am thrilled to be joining such a disruptive and forward-thinking agency.”

See Video: Paradigm’s Women Agents Discuss Their Starts, Gender Parity in Hollywood

Boxerbaum is credited with packages like writer-actor Ken Marino’s screenplay for “Wanderlust,” starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman, as well as David Guggenheim’s “Safe House” with Denzel Washington.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Ava DuVernay Jumps to CAA From Paradigm

Paradigm Talent Agency Rebrands, Unveils New Logo

Paradigm Co-Founder Lucy Stille Joins APA

Weinstein Company Board Member Dirk Ziff Resigns

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Dirk Ziff, a board member of the Weinstein Company, has resigned following a bombshell expose that includes sexual misconduct allegations against co-CEO Harvey Weinstein, an individual with knowledge of the matter told TheWrap.

On Thursday, the nine-person board, minus Ziff, had a heated discussion about Weinstein’s fate at the company. By Friday morning, his fate was still in limbo, but a decision is expected on Friday. The individual with knowledge said Ziff was not on the board call last night, indicating that he was already separating from the company. Ziff is managing partner at Ziff Capital Partners, the owner of World Surf League and also serves on the board of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

On Wednesday, multiple media outlets reported that Weinstein had lawyered up in anticipation of stories written by The New York Times and The New Yorker, detailing sexual allegations and inappropriate workplace behavior. He retained star litigator David Boies, as well as attorneys Lisa Bloom and Charles Harder.

The Times then broke a lengthy investigative piece on Thursday, alleging three decades of sexual misconduct by the Hollywood mogul, and said that eight women had received monetary settlements over the years in exchange for their silence.

Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan are among the accusers. Judd told the Times that Weinstein asked to massage her in a hotel room and pressured her to watch him shower during a meeting two decades ago. The report said the women generally received between $80,000 and $150,000 in settlements.

The report was followed by an apology from the Hollywood titan, announcing he would take a leave from the film and TV company and that he would devote himself to battling the NRA and President Donald Trump.

Also Read: New York Times Calls on Harvey Weinstein to Release Women From Nondisclosure Agreements

Harder, who represented Hulk Hogan in his successful lawsuit against Gawker, then said he was preparing a lawsuit against The New York Times on behalf of Weinstein.

In an interview with TheWrap, Weinstein said, “I mean every word of that apology. The reason I am suing the New York Times is they didn’t give me enough time to respond.”

Other board members include Lance Maerov, SVP of corporate development at WPP Group USA; Tim Sarnoff, Deputy CEO at Technicolor; Marc Lasry, owner of Milwaukee Bucks and CEO of Avenue Capital Group; Tarak Ben Ammar, owner of French distributor Quinta Communications; Paul Tudor Jones, founder of The Tudor Group and Bob and Harvey Weinstein.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Harvey Weinstein Speaks: My Apology Is Sincere, But I’m Still Suing NY Times

Gloria Allred on Daughter Lisa Bloom Working for Harvey Weinstein: ‘I Would Have Declined’

Read Harvey Weinstein’s Statement About Sexual Misconduct Claims

‘Scarface’ Remake Loses David Ayer as Director

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

David Ayer has parted ways with Universal’s “Scarface” reboot, an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap.

The “Suicide Squad” director joined the project in May after Antoine Fuqua dropped out due to scheduling conflicts. An individual familiar with the project said that scheduling conflicts are also at the heart of Ayer’s departure. The split was amicable, the individual noted. Ayer has been a longtime member of the Universal family, and wrote the screenplay for the original “The Fast and the Furious.”

Diego Luna (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”) is still set to star in the reimagining of the core immigrants story told in both the 1932 and 1983 films. The new film will be set in Los Angeles.

Also Read: David Ayer In Early Talks to Direct ‘Scarface’ Remake for Universal

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (“No Country for Old Men”) had polished the most recent screenplay. “Scarface” will be produced by Dylan Clark for his Dylan Clark Productions and Scott Stuber. Martin Bregman, producer of the 1983 “Scarface” film, will also produce.

Ayer recently wrote and directed “Suicide Squad,” which starred Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Cara Delevingne and and Viola Davis. He is currently directing and producing “Bright,” which will also star Smith as well as Ike Barinholtz, Noomi Rapace and Edgar Ramirez. It debuts on Netflix this Christmas Day. He is also working on directing and producing “Gotham City Sirens,” which will star Robbie as Harley Quinn.

Also Read: ‘Planet of the Apes’ Producer Dylan Clark Signs First-Look Deal With Universal

Ayer is represented by CAA, Rowe PR and Sloane, Offer, Weber and Dern.

“Scarface” is still scheduled for release on August 10, 2018, and the search for a director will ramp up in the coming days.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Coen Brothers to Bring Back ‘Scarface’ in 2018

Antoine Fuqua Is in Talks to Direct New ‘Scarface’ Film

Al Gore Blasts Trump’s Withdrawal From Paris Accord: ‘Reckless and Indefensible’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Al Gore has called President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement a “reckless and indefensible action” in a blistering statement released Thursday.

“Removing the United States from the Paris Agreement is a reckless and indefensible action. It undermines America’s standing in the world and threatens to damage humanity’s ability to solve the climate crisis in time. But make no mistake: if President Trump won’t lead, the American people will,” he said. “Civic leaders, mayors, governors, CEOs, investors and the majority of the business community will take up this challenge. We are in the middle of a clean energy revolution that no single person or group can stop. President Trump’s decision is profoundly in conflict with what the majority of Americans want from our president; but no matter what he does, we will ensure that our inevitable transition to a clean energy economy continues.”

On Thursday, Trump announced that the United States would withdraw support for the Paris global climate pact in a statement from the Rose Garden on Thursday, calling it a bad deal for Americans, while promising to try to negotiate a better deal.

Also Read: Trump Pulls Out of Paris Climate Change Accord: ‘Agreement Disadvantages United States’

“The United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord, but begin negotiations to re-enter… on terms that are fair to the United States,” Trump says. “We’re getting out.”

The sure-to-be polarizing decision fulfills a campaign promise for Trump. The deal aims to fight global warming and pollution by reducing carbon emissions in nearly 200 nations.

Participant Media, the producers of “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” called the decision a “blow to our collective ability to fight the climate crisis in time.”

Also Read: Obama Defends Paris Accord After Trump Pulls Out: ‘America Should Be at the Front’

“No matter what happens, our job is to keep the momentum moving forward as quickly as we can, regardless of what stands in our path,” Participant CEO David Linde wrote in a statement.

“Inconvenient Sequel” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival the day before Trump’s inauguration, to strong reviews. The narrative climax of the project is the signing of the Paris Climate deal. It’s presently unclear if the film will see additional edits, or include Trump’s Thursday decision before its late July release.

During an interview with TheWrap at Sundance, Gore said he’d do his best to keep an open line of communication with Trump.

“It’s always better to have a line of communication,” Gore had said. “In the decade I’ve been involved in this, I have encountered a lot of really difficult obstacles — and this is another difficult situation.”
Related stories from TheWrap:

Trump Plans to Exit Paris Agreement on Climate Change (Report)

#ClimateMarch in DC Draws Support From DiCaprio to Leto to Gore

EPA Removes Climate Change Page From Website To ‘Reflect Agency’s New Direction’

The 13 Tackiest Cannes PR Stunts, From Blake Lively’s Sharks to Sacha Baron Cohen’s Mankini (Photos)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Cannes, the glamorous festival, has seen some crazy PR stunts over the years, from Sacha Baron Cohen’s mankini to Blake Lively’s fake sharks.

Faux “Terror Raid” to Promote Oraxy

Guests at Hotel du Cap Eden-Roc got a surprise visit by men outfitted in militia-themed gear last year, approaching the hotel by boat. Later, it was revealed it was a publicity stunt for the Paris-based Oraxy, which describes itself as “the world’s first private global marketplace reserved exclusively for UHNWI,” or Ultra High Net Worth Individuals.

Sacha Baron Cohen Wears Green Gross Mankini

In 2006, Sacha Baron Cohen sported a bright green male thong known as the “mankini” to promote “Borat! Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.”

Sacha Baron Cohen Brings a Camel to the Palais

In 2012, “The Dictator” actor turned at at the Cannes Film Festival with two model bodyguards and a camel. He even managed to fall off the camel, which bore a license plate with “Wadiya 1” on it – a reference to the fictional North African Republic of Wadiya, where “The Dictator” was set.

T.J. Miller‘s Parachutes in to Debut “Emoji Movie” Trailer

To promote Sony’s “The Emoji Movie,” T.J. Miller parasailed into Cannes in 2017 before unveiling the first official trailer for the film, in which he voices Gene, the Meh emoji.

“The Shallows” Brings in Fake Sharks

To promote Blake Lively’s nautical horror film, Screen Gems plotted fake sharks in the French Riviera.

Faux Snow for “A Christmas Carol” 
Disney tapped Jim Carrey for a new version of “A Christmas Carol” in 2009 — and decided to bring the holiday spirit to Cannes by covering the Croisette with snow. Not the best example of reading the room or, in this case, the luxurious French beach town in the middle of May. Shout out to Robin Wright and Colin Firth in the background looking horrified at the faux snowball fight.

Jerry Seinfeld Flies In to Promote “Bee Movie”
In 2007, Jerry Seinfeld took Cannes by air in promoting his big animated push for Disney, an effort for which he served as writer and star and recruited pals like Chris Rock to costars. Zip-lining in wearing a giant bee costume might be worse than his notorious “Seinfeld” puffy shirt.

Angelina Jolie, Will Smith Ride Inflatable Shark

Will Smith, Angelina Jolie and Jack Black rode a 14-foot inflatable shark to promote “Shark Tale” in 2004.

“Trolls” Wigs

Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake came to promote “Trolls” last year with an array of women wearing bright colored outfits and wigs reminiscent of the costumes in the movie. Also, they’re all in gowns – play on Cannes fashion?

Gaspar Noe’s Graphic Makeout Posters to Promote “Love”

Gaspar Noe at first shocked — and then satisfied – critics with his depiction of sex on film. He was praised for depicting the joyous and fervent act and staying mostly out of the realm of straight-up pornography. Promoting the film, however, was a different story. Producers wallpapered Cannes in posters of a saliva-covered triple kiss and an NSFW image of a penis and a woman’s breast after climax.

Dolph Lundgren, Jean-Claude Van Damme Hold Impromptu Stage Fight

Both “Universal Soldier” actors held a stage fight on the steps of the formal staircase in 1992. Many believed it was real.

Dead pigeons for “24 Hour Party People”

In 2002, actors impersonating the band Happy Mondays wanted to mimic a scene of the movie when they started throw fake dead pigeons from the beach onto the unaware public, who believed thousands of dead birds were falling from the sky. BBC reported that the actors attacked each other with the dead birds while covered in blood.

Felix Van Groeningen Rides Through The Streets Naked on Bikes

The filmmaker behind Directors Fortnight contender “The Misfortunates” decided to recreate a scene from his film where a dysfunctional family rides their bicycles in the nude. Just hours before a press conference, the director and his team disrobed and flew down the Croisette in the buff. A staffer on a motorcycle followed close behind with their underwear, in case French police got a gander at them.

James Bond Showdown: 5 Studios Compete for Next Movie

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Four major studio players are locked in a bidding war for the one-off rights to the next James Bond film, TheWrap has learned.

Warner Bros., Universal, 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures are all vying for the project, multiple individuals familiar with the ongoing conversations told TheWrap.

In addition, Megan Ellison’s upstart Annapurna Pictures is also in the running for the rights, according to the New York Times, which first reported the high-stakes competition on Thursday.

The film is expected be the swan song for Daniel Craig in the title role after four hit outings.

See Video: Tom Hiddleston Doesn’t Think He’ll Be Next James Bond: ‘Sorry to Disappoint You’

A representative for Annapurna could not be reached for comment. Representatives for the aforementioned studios declined to comment on the matter.

It’s a credit to the value of the property owned by MGM and longtime producer EON — the two companies that control the franchise — that their suitors are vying for a one-film contract for a project without a director attached and no known timetable for release. The most recent deal iteration with Sony encompassed four movies.

According to the Times, MGM wants to keep its “options open as it considers a sale or public offering.” MGM has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.

See Photos: 7 Female Stars Who Could Be the Next James Bond: From Angelina Jolie to Gillian Anderson

Sony pulled out the big guns to keep the British spy series on its Culver City lot, recruiting Sony Corporation CEO Kazuo Hirai to personally deliver the pitch to MGM and EON. The pitch meeting was even held on a sound stage styled as a set from the 1963 Bond film “Dr. No.”

MGM and EON were also hosted on the Fox lot, an individual familiar with that meeting said.

It’s a lot of pomp and circumstance for a property that provides more brand collateral than money in the bank. According to the Times, Sony footed half of the $250 million production budget for 2015’s “Spectre” but recouped just a quarter of certain profits.

An email leaked in the 2014 Sony hack, from the desk of then-business affairs head Andrew Gumpert, said “Spectre” would only net about $38 million in profit should it perform comparably to its predecessor, 2012’s blockbuster “Skyfall,” which took in $1.1 billion at the global box office.

Also Read: Annapurna Ramps Up International Distribution With New MGM Deal

“Spectre” earned $881 million, which offers some clues about the byzantine profit structure of the franchise.

For most studios, the deal would provide a sure-fire hit even if the profits margins are minimal.

For an upstart like Annapurna, which last month signed a distribution deal with MGM, scoring 007 would be a defining moment. Though the company has yet to roll out a single film — its first theatrical release, Kathryn Bigelow’s “Detroit,” lands in theaters on August 4 — Ellison has quietly spent two years hiring top talent in distribution, marketing and public relations to begin releasing titles.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Sam Mendes Says He Is Done Directing James Bond Films

Guy Hamilton, James Bond Movie Director, Dies at 93

James Bond’s ‘Spectre’ Aston Martin DB10 Sells for $3.5 Million

Grammys 2017 Performances Ranked From Worst to Best: From Adele to Beyonce (Photos)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Lady Gaga and Metallica

Lady Gaga and Metallica are the latest victims of the Grammys equipment curse as in true rock n’ roll fashion — James Hetfield’s mic didn’t work. Also, the whole performance was an utter mess.

Sturgill Simpson

Yeah, we Googled him too.

Kelsea Ballerini and Lukas Graham

Their mashup of Ballerini’s “Peter Pan” and Graham’s “7 Years” didn’t mix well at all, and it sounded clumsy and messy.

Hodge Podge Tribute to the Bee Gees

Little Big Town, Demi Lovato, Tori Kelly and Andra Day came together for a Bee Gees tribute, and it made us not want to stay alive.


Adele opened the Grammys with her hit “Hello,” but she didn’t sound on key during it. Her song accompanying George Michael’s tribute reel was a lot more powerful, especially when she paused her performance because she wanted to give Michael the tribute he deserves.

Maren Morris and Alicia Keys

Acoustically, the two sounded amazing together, but all in all, their performance was, well — blah.

Gary Clark Jr.

His performance was kind of a snooze-fest compared to Katy Perry’s and Beyonce’s (duh).

Bruno Mars

The normally-hyped up singer kept it mellow at the Grammys, singing his newest single “That’s What I Like” with The Hooligans. Not the best choice given that he could’ve sung “24K Magic” to get the audience going. No one really knew his newest song enough to liven up Staples Center.

Katy Perry

“Chained to the Rhythm?” More like “Chained to this Endless Performance.” The only good news is that she changed from her awful Tom Ford red carpet ensemble to a flattering suit. Well, and the staging and visuals were nice.

Ed Sheeran

The Grammys marked Ed Sheeran’s long-awaited return to the stage after dropping two new singles, “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill” last month. And he killed it singing “Shape of You” with an acoustic guitar.

The Weeknd

His performance with Daft Punk was visually mesmerizing and The Weeknd sounded amazing.

Anderson .Paak and A Tribe Called Quest

Easily the most political of the evening, Q-Tip and company decried “Agent Orange,” presumably President Trump, in a rousing set that had Beyonce and Jay-Z dancing in the aisles.

James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke

Shortly after he told audiences that CBS is making him don a cardboard cutout for his segment “Carpool Karaoke,” he beckoned Jennifer Lopez, John Legend, Neil Diamond, Jason Derulo, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw to sing “Sweet Caroline,” which got the whole Staples Center singing along.

Bruno Mars’ Prince Tribute

Morris Day, Jellybean Johnson, and Jerome Benton of The Time opened the tribute to Prince before Bruno Mars took the stage. People on Twitter freaked out, calling it “one of the best tributes” they had ever seen and thanking Mars for honoring the late singer in such a great way. The performance was lively, and Mars channeled the “Purple Rain” singer wearing a purple, sequin suit.

John Legend and Cynthia Erivo’s In Memoriam performance

Legend and Erivo’s beautiful performance while we mourned the people who died this year left many in tears.


“She see it, she want it, she stunt, yellow bone it, She dream it, she work hard, she grind ’til she own it.”

23 Grammys Red Carpet Looks Ranked, From Lady Gaga to Katy Perry (Photos)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Chrissy Teigen stunned in her black number as she accompanied her husband John Legend to the award show.

Carrie Underwood got major props from the “E!” red carpet team when she wore her red gown with bell sleeves and a plunging neckline.

The neck bundle is a little much but Jennifer Lopez SLAYS in this pink number with the slit.

Maren Morris did not take Best New Artist, but she certainly made an impression in this subtly sexy purple number

Despite some problems with a certain airline, it’s clear that Jason Derulo’s baggage made it through — the singer looks like a true showman in this three-piece and overcoat.

The dress is okay, but Celine Dion just looks beautiful in the ensemble.

Adele looks good in the dress but the ensemble didn’t wow us.

Lea Michele’s outfit is cool and her body looks amazing in it, but her eye makeup makes her look like a corpse.

CeeLo Green looks silly but you also gotta give him props for doing something this crazy.

Ryan Seacrest looks like a used car salesman in this velour brown jacket.

Heidi Klum looks beautiful in this metallic dress but it’s way too casual for an event like the Grammys.

Nick Jonas may be a budding sex symbol, but this jacket looks more Dolly Parton than debonair.

It’s clear that the car ride to the Staples Center wasn’t that forgiving on Taraji P. Henson’s mini — but the woman can wear anything.

We’re not really sure what Katy Perry was thinking in this metallic Tom Ford number.

Sorry, Solange — we tried taking a cute from your sister, but we can’t seem to make lemonade out of this choice of yours.

Dressed for his Sunday errands, Skrillex makes a pit stop at the Grammys.

She’s a beautiful girl with a crazy voice, but this convergence of trends — cutouts, quilted, Balmain reminiscent nightmare — just looks vulgar.

When we tried to pinpoint what her outfit reminds us of, we came up with “going to church,” “kinky 70s secretary” and “girls scout troop leader.” This a lot going on here and none of it is good.

Of course, Lady Gaga marches to the beat of her own drum when it comes to fashion, but this is barely a look.

“Orange is the New Black” Laverne Cox is wearing a leather dress that looks like it’s bearing staples to keep the dress together. Cox is usually dead-on trend, but this punk-inspired gown feels dated.

Why, Girl Crush?