‘This Close’ Renewed For Season 2 On Sundance Now

Read on: Deadline.

Sundance Now has greenlighted a second season of This Close, its relationship dramedy created, written by and starring Shoshannah Stern and Josh Feldman. Production on the eight-episode season for AMC Networks’ premium SVOD serivce will begin this summer in Los Angeles.
This Close, which was Sundance Now’s first straight-to-series order, explores the relationship between twentysomething best friends Kate (Stern) and Michael (Feldman) as they navigate love, loss, careers…

Lee Daniels to Address LGBT Creators at GLAAD-CAA Summit

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

A slew of prominent content creators, producers and Hollywood talent will gather to discuss the state of LGBTQ representation in the media at a summit hosted by GLAAD and CAA on Saturday.

The talent agency and watchdog group will hear from various thought leaders at CAA’s Century City, California, headquarters, including “Empire” creator Lee Daniels, Starz showrunner Tanya Saracho and producer-actor David Marshall Grant.

“The CAA and GLAAD Creators Summit will feature panels, conversations and presentations featuring insight and resources on how to better support the visibility of LGBTQ characters, themes, and issues on screen and throughout the creative process,” summit organizers said in a statement.

Also Read: ‘Lady Bird,’ ‘Call Me by Your Name,’ ‘Will & Grace’ Among GLAAD Media Awards Nominees

The daylong event will aims to “increase authentic, inclusive representation of the LGBTQ community in entertainment.”

GLAAD’s CEO Sarah Kate Ellis and CAA’s Ruben Garcia will also address the group.

“In today’s political and cultural climate, it’s so important that Hollywood prioritizes incubating diverse creators and accelerating a pipeline that empowers fresh storytelling,” Ellis said of the event.

The summit comes days shy of the annual GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles, which this year will honor Britney Spears and Jim Parsons with the Vanguard Award and the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, respectively.

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Why ‘This Close’ Creators Were ‘Totally Fine’ That Our Interview Was a Little Awkward

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“This Close” is groundbreaking in many way and not just because it was the first dramedy to go straight-to-series from Sundance Now, but also because it was created, written and stars Shoshannah Stern and Josh Feldman — who are both deaf.

About halfway into TheWrap‘s recent interview with the show creators, this reporter realized she was doing something really weird: talking with her hands way more than usual. I think this was a subconscious attempt to match how Stern and Feldman were speaking to me — which was through an interpreter who was relaying everything the deaf showrunners were saying using American Sign Language.

As soon as I noticed what I was doing, I apologized, completely mortified. I admitted I didn’t know any people who were deaf and was feeling a little uncomfortable about speaking with them before the interview. Thankfully, Stern and Feldman were not offended. In fact, they appreciated my honesty.

Also Read: Sundance, SXSW Comedy ‘Never Goin’ Back’ Sells to A24

“Actually I prefer when somebody says to me, ‘I don’t even know what to say. Like I’m not sure what to do,’ rather than somebody pretending that they know what they’re doing is right,” Feldman told TheWrap. “Like if you’re not comfortable that’s totally fine. If you are comfortable with being uncomfortable, it will go much better than pretending ‘Everything is fine! Everything is completely normal!’ … I don’t know lots of things, and saying it is way better than acting like, ‘Oh, I got it. I know it,’” Feldman said.

Stern added simply, “If you’re not sure what to call somebody, just ask them.”

Also Read: Sundance Award-Winning Doc ‘Shirkers’ Lands at Netflix

“This Close” is both the streaming service’s first ever straight-to-series order and the first ever series to be created, written and star deaf people. But while the show obviously addresses the deaf factor, it isn’t something that defines the characters or carries the plot.

Based on several shorts featured at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, the six-episode Season 1 follows twenty-something year-old best friends living in Los Angeles, Kate (Stern) and Michael (Feldman), as they try to balance their personal and professional lives. Kate is newly engaged and struggles to grow at work, while Michael battles self-destructive writer’s block after having his heart broken. As they each tackle their own issues, their friendship is put to the test.

When the showrunners were asked if they believe the reason a series like this has never been attempted before is because people outside the deaf community might not feel comfortable writing from that perspective, Stern said she’s familiar with the argument, but doesn’t think it’s a good excuse.

Also Read: ‘Sorry to Bother You’ Trailer Shows Lakeith Stanfield as Un-Woke Telemarketer (Video)

“People will say they feel like it’s really hard to write the experience for a deaf character when they’re not deaf themselves,” Stern said. “And it’s only hard if you think that that person lives in a kind of life that’s completely different than yours … But I think the feedback that we’ve received about the show is very interesting because what we’ll get is like, ‘This story isn’t new.’ And that’s kind of the point. We wanted to tell a story that is familiar because I think that every human experience is ultimately the same. Like we all go through the same things. We mess up. We get up in the morning. We make stupid mistakes. We fall in love.”

“But for some reason the fact that we’re deaf causes people to think we don’t have the same experiences because we’re deaf,” Feldman interjected. “And so that’s why we picked a story line that is very familiar, so people can go, ‘Wait, I’ve been through that before. That’s actually happened to me. Oh and it’s happened to deaf people too!”

Feldman and Stern — who are BFFs in real life — are very excited to continue with the series, should it be picked up for a sophomore installment, and have a six season plan. “We actually know how it ends,” Feldman said, with a laugh.

Also Read: SundanceTV Teams With Blumhouse Television on New True Crime Documentary Series

The Season 1 finale of “This Close”  is available for streaming Thursday on Sundance Now.

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‘This Close’ Creators Shoshannah Stern & Josh Feldman Sign With UTA

Read on: Deadline.

Shoshannah Stern and Josh Feldman, creators, writers and stars of Sundance Now’s critically praised dramedy This Close, have signed with UTA.
Based on a series of shorts featured at Sundance’s Episodic Showcase, the show was the first straight-to-series order for the network. In the series, Stern and Feldman, both of whom are deaf and use American Sign Language, star as twenty-something year-old best friends living in Los Angeles trying to balance their personal and…

‘This Close’ EPs on Telling a Story About the Deaf Community: ‘Representation Matters’

Read on: Variety.

Shoshannah Stern and Josh Feldman’s new Sundance Now drama “This Close” is the first show written, produced, and created by deaf people, and with it, the duo is carving out a place in the television landscape not only for themselves but for others in their community. “When I first moved to Los Angeles, there was […]

‘This Close’ Creators: “Every Minority Group Has Right To Tell Their Own Story”

Read on: Deadline.

“Every minority group has the right to tell their own story,” Shoshannah Stern says of Sundance Now’s original series This Close. The original dramedy created by, written by, and starring Stern and Josh Feldman, both of whom are deaf, is the streaming service’s first ever straight-to-series order. It’s based on a series of shorts featured at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival’s Short Form Episodic Showcase, about best friends Kate (Stern), who is newly engaged, and Michael…

Third ‘GI Joe’ Movie Gets Official 2020 Release Date

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Paramount’s “GI Joe” will open on March 27, 2020, the studio announced Monday.

Other release date announcements include “Micronauts,” dated for Oct. 16, 2020, as well as “Dungeons & Dragons” (July 23, 2021) and an Untitled Paramount/Hasbro Event Film opening Oct. 1 2021.

“G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” grossed more than $300 million worldwide back in 2009 on a reported production budget of $175 million, not including prints and advertising. The 2013 sequel “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” starring The Rock as Road Block grossed $375.7 million on a budget of $155 million. Channing Tatum who played Duke in the first two films was killed off early in “Retaliation” after complaining to Howard Stern how much he hated the role.

Tatum said, “Look, I’ll be honest. I f—ing hate that movie. I hate that movie! I was pushed into doing that movie, from Coach Carter.”

Also Read: More ‘Transformers’ and ‘GI Joe’ Movies as Paramount, Hasbro Ink 5-Year Deal

The plot line of the third “GI Joe’ film in the franchise, based on the world’s most-famous toy, is anyone’s guess at this point. In the spring of 2016, Paramount Pictures and Hasbro set up a writers room for developing its cinematic universe for Hasbro properties, with Akiva Goldsman overseeing the screenwriters. Along with “GI  Joe” other featured brands include “Micronauts,” “Visionaries,” “M.A.S.K.” (Mobile Armored Strike Kommand) and “ROM.”

According to Variety, Allspark Pictures, Hasbro’s film label, plans to produce films based on this cross-property universe, with chairman, president and CEO Brian Goldner and Stephen Davis serving as producers, and Josh Feldman as co-executive producer. Hasbro will also deploy an unprecedented team of its top artists and designers to assist Goldsman and the writers to visualize this all-new cinematic universe.

The toy company recently hired Greg Mooradian as president of Allspark Pictures, with responsibility for live action film and television. Allspark Animation, the company’s label for animated film and television content, is led by Hasbro’s Meghan McCarthy.

Hasbro Studios, its distribution arm which the company founded in 2009, distributes TV and digital content to more than 190 territories globally. The entertainment division reports to Hasbro’s Chief Content Officer, Stephen Davis.

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