Kathryn Hahn & Paul Giamatti On The “Immediate Response” To Tamara Jenkins’ Fertility Drama ‘Private Life’

Read on: Deadline.

In Private Life, Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti portray a middle-aged couple struggling with infertility. The film paints a funny but unflinching portrait of the efforts to have a child, from painful IVF injections, to anxious adoption interviews, to t…

‘Private Life’ Star Kathryn Hahn on Her Onscreen Chemistry With Paul Giamatti: ‘A Soupy Mystery’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

A version of this article about Kathryn Hahn first appeared in the Actors/Director/Screenwriters issue of TheWrap’s Oscar magazine.

While making “Private Life,” director Tamara Jenkins and actors Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti talked about “Waiting for Godot,” “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “Dog Day Afternoon” — but you’d have to know what to look for to find echoes of those projects in Jenkins’ rich family story. The tale of a New York theater couple in their 40s trying desperately to overcome infertility issues and have a baby, the film is both comic and wrenching. Hahn and Giamatti are quietly gripping as a couple whose relationship is tested with each failed procedure.

“I loved the specificity of Tamara’s writing and the absolutely perfect human comedy of this marriage,” said Hahn, who suggests years of hurt behind each smile. “I had such deep and complete empathy for the characters in their struggle, in the longing and emptiness they were trying to fill.

“It felt like a chamber piece, and I knew it was going to be a deep dive. That scared me, but I was also turned on by the challenge of spending that amount of time in a marriage at this particular crisis point.”

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Before taking the role, Hahn flew herself to New York to meet with Jenkins — not for an audition so much as a bonding session. “We split a bottle of rosé and some charcuterie and cheese, and just sort of sniffed each other out,” she said. “We told stories and gossiped and joked and finished each other’s sentences. And then it became a waiting game to see if the stars would align in our favor.”

Giamatti came on board about six months later. The two actors had never met before, but Hahn said they immediately fell into the rhythms of a longtime couple. “It’s hard to even talk about our process, because so much of it was a soupy mystery of just being in the space with him and saying those words together,” she said.

“And the writing is so beautiful that much of the work was just trying to do justice to the language, and to show up and find each other. And to my great fortune, he was always there. I didn’t have to look anywhere but into his eyeballs.”

But the role was still a challenging one, because the character’s life is studded with disappointment. “Just like life, there are so many little highs and lows in the run of this movie, so many things to mourn, so many little deaths, that it was hard for me to not want to fall completely apart all the time,” she said. “The challenge was to keep it at bay, to hold it together.

Also Read: ‘Private Life’ Film Review: Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti Shine as Would-Be Parents

“And Tamara was incredibly helpful in not wanting it to be maudlin. That was important to me, because it was hard for me to not want to lose my s— completely.”

And in case you were wondering, here’s why they talked about those other projects: “Waiting for Godot” because the couple puts their lives on hold trying to have a baby, Virginia Woolf because they have an imaginary baby in their minds and “Dog Day Afternoon” because they’re ordinary people pushed to extremes.

To read more of TheWrap’s Actors/Directors/Screenwriters issue, click here.

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2019 Oscar Contenders, From Rami Malek to Spike Lee (Exclusive Photos)

2019 Oscar Contenders, From Rami Malek to Spike Lee (Exclusive Photos)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Rami Malek, Spike Lee Willem Dafoe, Annie Lennox, Maggie Gyllenhaal and more are vying for Academy recognition this season. They stopped by StudioWrap for an interview and photo session.
Actor Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Actress Kathryn…

‘Private Life’ Film Review: Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti Shine as Would-Be Parents

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Tamara Jenkins’ lovely and compassionate new drama “Private Life” (premiering Oct. 5 in limited release and on Netflix) has a pretty specific focus: two fortysomething New York writers whose path to parenthood is … complicated. It was based on the director’s experience, and she has clearly put her heart, soul, and history into every scene.

Like all gifted artists, though, Jenkins — following up 1998’s beloved “Slums of Beverly Hills” and 2007’s Oscar-nominated “The Savages” — elevates the universal within the personal.

It is true that anyone familiar with the complexities of IVF, adoption, donor eggs, or surrogacy will be awed by Jenkins’ pinpoint powers of observation. Her depiction of this complex path is unimpeachably accurate, in a way rarely seen onscreen. But you’re also likely to feel persistent jolts of recognition if you have endured assembly-line condescension at any doctor’s office, family judgments over any of your life choices, or deep pain beneath the surface of any relationship.

Also Read: Tamara Jenkins Delivers Infertility Dramedy ‘Private Life’ for Sundance Opening Night

Jenkins couldn’t have asked for a better pairing than Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti, who lose themselves thoroughly in the intimacy of this story. In a lot of ways, Rachel and Richard seem like throwbacks to movie characters long-past: she’s a successful playwright and novelist, and he’s an admired theatrical director. One glance at their book-strewn, rent-controlled apartment in the East Village suggests they’re living the cultural dream.

But times have changed, and their focus on work has left them both scrambling to find every means possible to become parents in middle age. They’ve spent all their money, exhausted their considerable compatibility, and pushed their psyches (and Rachel’s body) to the limit. So far, nothing has worked.

In the film’s only forced choice, their emotionally fragile step-niece Sadie (newcomer Kayli Carter) drops out of grad school to arrive miraculously on their doorstep. Could she, and her presumably perfect eggs, be the answer to Rachel and Richard’s problems? The answer isn’t so simple, of course, particularly when Sadie’s parents, Cynthia (Molly Shannon) and Charlie (John Carroll Lynch), find out about their tentative plan.

Also Read: Kathryn Hahn’s ‘Mrs. Fletcher’ Ordered to Series at HBO

Fertility remains tricky thematic terrain, and in its unusual honesty, the movie opens itself up to the same dismissals Rachel faces daily. As both writer and director, Jenkins pushes us to rise above judgment by steadfastly refusing to indulge in it herself. Deep empathy suffuses the screen, enveloping every one of the characters. Another script would have turned Rachel and Richard into entitled narcissists; another filmmaker would have neglected to address the underpinnings of Cynthia’s brittle cynicism.

A movie as singular as this one has to be a collaboration, and it’s fair to say the leads have rarely been better. The hardest personality trait for actors to embody is “ordinary”: it requires them to strip completely bare, relying on nothing but truth. Giamatti meets this challenge so deftly that Richard becomes, improbably, a unique everyman. We might hate him one minute, but we’ll relate to him in the next, just like Rachel does. And Hahn is equally wonderful, as comfortable in silence as she is shifting between rapid and extreme emotions. She hides years of hurt beneath Rachel’s smile, each wince and flash of anger suggesting countless more that have gone unexpressed.

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This detailed intimacy is reflected on every level, particularly in the meticulous set design and very deliberate use of New York as the story’s backdrop. Every small moment is memorable, designed to ping someone who’s been there before. I can’t think of a single movie, for example, that better represents the humiliating infantilization that so often underscores medical procedures. But just as Jenkins aptly renders the tense silence in a serenely decorated waiting room, she also captures the suffocating closeness of an overcrowded apartment, or the full-body relief of finding another person with whom you can be yourself.

Because “Private Life” isn’t really a movie about infertility. It’s about love, and pain, and marriage, and friendship, and family. And it’s also about enduring, about picking yourself up over and over and over, in the eternal hope that something beautiful is waiting around the corner. If it happens that you can relate in any way to Jenkins’ broken characters, know this: she’s made something beautiful, and it’s just for you.



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Kathryn Hahn’s ‘Mrs. Fletcher’ Ordered to Series at HBO

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

HBO has given a series order to the Kathryn Hahn-led “Mrs. Fletcher,” based on the bestselling novel by “The Leftovers” author Tom Perrotta.

Described as a “dual coming-of-age story,” “Mrs. Fletcher” stars Hahn as Eve Fletcher, a divorced woman who drops her only child off at college and returns home to a very empty nest, hoping to reinvent her life by taking on a new, sexy persona to experience new erotic possibilities.

“The Middle” alum Jackson White will play her son Brendan, “a popular (though sometimes clueless) jock and aspiring frat boy.”

Also Read: Kathryn Hahn Lands Lead Role in HBO Comedy Pilot ‘Mrs Fletcher’

“Happy Endings” star Casey Wilson will play her close friend Jane Rosen. “Bloodline’s” Owen Teague is Julian Spitzer, a high school classmate of Brendan’s, and trans actress Jen Richards will play Margo Fairchild, the instructor of Eve’s community college writing class.

Perrotta will write and executive produce.

Nicole Holofcener, who has worked on TV shows like “Parks and Recreation” and “Togetherness,” directed the pilot, and will executive produce with Jessi Klein and Sarah Condon.

Perrotta is represented by WME and MMQ Lit; Hahn is represented by Gersh, Lighthouse Management & Media as well as Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin and Dunham; and Holofcener is represented by UTA and Jackoway Tyerman.

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‘The Romanoffs’: Everyone’s a Romanoff in First Footage From Matthew Weiner’s Amazon Series (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Wait, you’re a Romanoff, too?!

The first footage from Matthew Weiner’s new Amazon series has been released and, yeah, the familial connections here are a little confusing. Basically, everyone is positive they are related to the Russian royals in some way, and, uh, is it possible they all are?

From the creator of “Mad Men,” “The Romanoffs” is a contemporary anthology series set around the globe featuring eight separate stories about people who believe themselves to be descendants of the Russian royal family. Starring Aaron Eckhart, Diane Lane, Isabelle Huppert, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, Amanda Peet, Jack Huston, Kathryn Hahn, Noah Wyle, Paul Reiser, Andrew Rannells and more.

Also Read: Matthew Weiner’s ‘The Romanoffs’ Gets Amazon Debut Date; Teaser Reveals 20 Guest Stars (Video)

The streamer announced “The Romanoffs” would debut this fall during the Television Critics Association press tour last month. The news came as a bit of a shock, as Amazon hasn’t said a word about the long-gestating project for months, following accusations of sexual misconduct posed against the “Mad Men” creator last fall by a writer who worked on the AMC series.

Along with its A-list core cast, Amazon revealed a laundry list of guest stars will drop by this season, including: Noah Wyle (“Falling Skies”), Kathryn Hahn (“Transparent”), Kerry Bishé (“Halt & Catch Fire”), Jay R. Ferguson (“Mad Men”), Ben Miles (“Collateral”), Mary Kay Place (“Big Love”), Griffin Dunne (“Imposters”), Cara Buono (“Mad Men”), Ron Livingston (“The Conjuring”), Jon Tenney (“Hand of God”), Clea DuVall (“Veep”), Radha Mitchell (“Silent Hill”), Hugh Skinner (“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again”), Juan Pablo Castañeda (“The Debt of Maximillian”), Emily Rudd (“Electric Dreams”), Adèle Anderson (“Company Business”), Annet Mahendru (“The Americans”), Louise Bourgoin (“I Am a Soldier”), Hera Hilmar (“Two Birds”) and Inès Melab (“Agathe Koltès”).

The series is written and executive produced by Weiner and “Mad Men” alum Semi Chellas. Co-executive producers include Kriss Turner Towner (“The Bernie Mac Show”), Blake McCormick (“Mad Men”) and Kathy Ciric (“Z: The Beginning of Everything”). Also joining the series from the old “Mad Men” team are Andre Jacquemetton and Maria Jacquemetton, who will act as consulting producers and writers.

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Watch the teaser footage above.

“The Romanoffs” will debut Friday, October 1 on Amazon Prime.

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The Evolution of Mila Kunis, From ‘That ’70s Show’ to ‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’ (Photos)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

At age 10, Ukraine-born Mila Kunis landed a small role in the 1995 short movie “Make a Wish, Molly” about a Russian Jewish girl newly arrived in the U.S.
Kunis also played small parts in mid-’90s TV shows like “Baywatch.”

Dwayne Johnson’s ‘Skyscraper’ Blazes to $1.95 Million at Thursday Box Office

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Dwayne Johnson’s “Skyscraper” grossed $1.95 million at the Thursday box office, while Sony’s “Hotel Transylvania 3” earned $2.6 million in previews.

In comparison, Johnson’s last movie “Rampage” earned $2.4 million in previews before opening to $35.8 million. Perhaps another comparison is “The Legend of Tarzan,” which earned $2.6 million in previews before grossing $38.5 million its opening weekend in 2016.

Legendary and Universal’s “Skyscraper” is looking to open in the $35 million to $40 million range, against a reported budget of $120 million.

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The action film stars Johnson as Will Sawyer, a former FBI agent and amputee who gets a job as head of security for the tallest building in the world. But when terrorists attack the building and frame him for the crime, Sawyer must both clear his name and save his family from danger. Rawson Marshall Thurber wrote and directed the film, which has a 52 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. Neve Campbell also stars.

The animated film “Hotel Transylvania 3” is also opening this weekend and is expected to open in a similar range as “Skyscraper,” with both films contending against “Ant-Man and the Wasp” for the No. 1 spot. $35-40 million opening would be a solid start for “Hotel Transylvania 3,” given it had a budget of $65 million.

By comparison, the first “Hotel Transylvania” opened to $42 million in 2012, while the 2015 sequel opened to $48 million, the best opening for an animated Sony release.

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“Hotel Transylvania 3” sees Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) and his family take a break from running the monster getaway spot and head on a cruise vacation. Along the way, Dracula falls in love with the ship’s captain, Ericka (Kathryn Hahn), not knowing she is the great-granddaughter of Dracula’s archrival, Abraham Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan).

Genndy Tartakovsky directed the film and co-wrote it with Michael McCullers. The film also stars an ensemble cast featuring  Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, David Spade, Steve Buscemi, Keegan-Michael Key, Molly Shannon, Fran Drescher, and Mel Brooks, all of whom reprise their roles from the previous films in the series. The film has a 59 percent RT score.

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‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ Film Review: Adam Sandler’s Groovy Ghoulies Take a Wacky Vacation

‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ Film Review: Adam Sandler’s Groovy Ghoulies Take a Wacky Vacation

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Hotel Transylvania 3” proves that you can both check out of and leave the titular resort, even if you wind up, as Count Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) peevishly observes, at what amounts to a hotel on a boat.

“Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” sees the “Drac pack” relaxing aboard a cruise ship, and while no one’s going to mistake this franchise for Pixar, returning director Genndy Tartakovsky (“Samurai Jack”) keeps the slapstick coming at enough of a relentless pace to make this animated sequel a midsummer delight.

(There’s something to be said for a monster movie that manages to work in three separate dance numbers, one of which involves springing deadly traps in an undersea ruin.)

Also Read: ‘Ghostbusters,’ ‘Hotel Transylvania’ Animated Series in the Works From Sony

Dracula and his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) have been working shoulder-to-shoulder in the hospitality biz, but running the hotel has kept them both so busy that they barely get any time to hang out (in bat form, or otherwise). A TV ad inspires Mavis to surprise her dad with a luxury cruise for monsters — it starts at the Bermuda Triangle and winds up at Atlantis — and so the whole troupe packs up for a leisurely voyage.

Unbeknownst to everyone, the ship’s captain Ericka (Kathryn Hahn) is the great-granddaughter of Abraham Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan), who has unsuccessfully devoted his life to ridding the world of monsters. In one of the film’s more heavily-played bits of irony, old man Van Helsing’s lifetime of hate has made him quite monstrous himself, with his head sticking out of a life-support contraption that looks like the steampunk version of Captain Pike’s wheelchair.

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Complications arise when the long-widowed Dracula feels a “zing” (the monster version of love at first sight) for Ericka, who’s committed to destroy him. Mavis has a bad feeling about this mortal, and Dracula doesn’t want Mavis to know he’s fallen in love again. And that’s about it for plot, until we get to a big showdown that involves the elder Van Helsing, a kraken (Joe Jonas), and a DJ battle with Mavis’ husband Johnny (Andy Samberg) that pits EDM (provided by Tiësto) against vintage Top 40 favorites.

Screenwriters Tartakovsky and Michael McCullers (“The Boss Baby”) cram the rest of the running time with pratfalls and sight gags that give the movie the anarchic energy of Mad magazine and the better Looney Tunes shorts. From the literally prickly wedding that kicks off the film (both bride and groom shoot out spikes when they get emotional) to something as silly as the flapping sound that people make when they walk quickly in scuba fins, “Hotel Transylvania 3” always goes for the joke and rarely misses.

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And while it seems strange to use terms like “character-based humor” in this context, the film does build on what we know about these lovable creatures, whether it’s the werewolves (Steve Buscemi and Molly Shannon) getting to drop off their many, many children at the ship’s day care to enjoy themselves for once — hint: a tennis ball is involved — to the many wacky visual permutations of the Blob. This is a kiddie sequel that seems to be building on previous chapters rather than merely repeating them.

“Hotel Transylvania 3” might be aimed at kids, but adults will chuckle at jokes like an airline run entirely by gremlins or an enormous pet who passes for human strictly by wearing a hat and an overcoat. And let’s not forget that this is the best of the Sandler franchises, one where his homilies about the importance of family and of being understanding of others actually land. (“Grown-Ups 2,” let’s not forget, simultaneously bullied and preached against bullying long before our current FLOTUS picked up that baton.)

While the aforementioned DJ battle will result in many viewers getting a song stuck in their head that they hoped would never again get stuck in their head, “Hotel Transylvania 3” otherwise goes down easy. Pretend you’re on the Lido deck, loosen those knots in your shoulders, and enjoy the voyage.

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Hollywood, Beware: Apple’s Content Harvest… Has Begun

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Don’t let media consolidation, MoviePass drama or the President’s Twitter account distract you  from one of the biggest stories in Hollywood this summer: the quiet moves Apple is making to do to movies and TV shows what it once did to cell phones.

The tech monolith has ordered almost 20 original shows, a stack of poached and pedigreed executives, A-list collaborators across genres and a reported plan to enter the Oscar race — all to set to start rolling out next year.

Last week saw a flurry of announcements for scripted series with powerhouse brands like Sesame Street. Oprah Winfrey also has an overall deal. Apple’s projects will inhabit what insiders predict will be a video platform in the vein of the company’s music streaming service.

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The company just added Layne Eskridge, a force behind shows like “Ozark” at rival Netflix, to work as a creative executive under Apple Worldwide Video heads Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht. They were plucked from Sony, and started Apple’s $1 billion content shopping spree last June.

But Apple’s precise plans remain a mystery to many in the Hollywood establishment, according to producers, agents and Apple competitors who spoke to TheWrap.

“There’s a ‘Great and Powerful Oz’ kind of vibe about it,” said one top talent manager and content packager, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “They’re kind of elusive, like who is running the thing?”

Tucked away in an anonymous Culver City office, you’ll find Van Amburg and Erlicht with colleagues Angélica Guerra in Latin American programming and Kim Rozenfeld in unscripted, both transplants from Sony Pictures Television. There’s also development chief Matt Cherniss (formerly of WGN and Tribune Studios), international lead Morgan Wandell and children’s programming lead Tara Sorensen (both came from Amazon), production head Carol Trussell and communications exec Rita Cooper Lee. 

But the manager said Hollywood talent loves Apple for paying their asking prices, and being eager to compete.

“They’re paying real quotes and not trying to squeeze us for less and less the way the studios are on the network side. They’re formidable buyers,” the manager said.

Some old-school content makers and distributors are anxious about how their content will fare on Apple TV when Apple can give priority to its own shows and films.

Also Read: JJ Abrams, Sara Bareilles Dramedy Gets Series Order at Apple

“One of the terrifying things is how easy it will be for Apple to promote their own stuff. They already have a pretty remarkable infrastructure,” said one film studio executive, pointing out that devices like the Apple TV exist solely to organize and streamline content from third parties.

For now.

“When they get their ‘Orange is the New Black’ or their ‘Transparent,’ people are going to show up. Eighty-five million people have an iPhone,” said the executive.

That’s a very slight understatement: iPhone users hit a record high if 85.8 million in April 2017. Apple TV is also accessible on TVs, desktops, laptops and tablets. And you can stream video on your Apple Watch.

Earlier this month, Bloomberg reported that Apple was in negotiations to distribute an animated film from Irish studio Cartoon Saloon, and give it, at minimum, a qualifying theatrical release for Oscar consideration.

“[Apple’s] annual spend likely moving toward $2 billion,” BTIG research analyst Rich Greenfield wrote to clients. He also predicted a new Apple video service will rollout by mid-2019, though what its fee structure will be and how it might be connected with Apple’s streaming music service are big lingering questions.

Here’s what Apple’s first content harvest hath wrought:

-A few Reese Witherspoon’s projects, clocking a big win for her Hello Sunshine banner. At the moment, Witherspoon is executive producing a thriller series about true crime podcasts starring Octavia Spencer and Lizzy Caplan called “Are You Sleeping”; a currently untitled morning show drama that she’s both producing and starring in with Jennifer Aniston; and a comedy based on Curtis Sittenfield’s short stories, which was put on hold Tuesday after lead Kristen Wiig exited the project due to scheduling conflicts with “Wonder Woman: 1984.”

-Oprah. Last week, the queen of her own media empire struck an overall content deal that will have her produce original content for her widespread following. She will continue to serve as CEO of OWN, the TV network she founded in 2011.

(The partnership between Winfrey and Apple — which has thus far only set an agreement with Kerry Ehrin, the veteran showrunner who will helm the company’s upcoming Jennifer Aniston-Reese Witherspoon morning show drama — represents a potential threat to Netflix, Amazon and Hulu in the overall-deal arena.)

-Animation. Apple has a musical series from Josh Gad called “Central Park,” with the voice actor roster Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Titus Burgess, Kristen Bell, Stanley Tucci, Daveed Diggs and Kathryn Hahn.

-Comedy. Apple has ordered “Little Voice,” a “love letter to the musicality of New York,” from J.J. Abrams and Sara Bareilles; and “Dickinson,” a comedy starring Hailee Steinfeld as the titular young author.

-Children’s programming. Apple’s projects include a multi-series order to Sesame Workshop for live-action, animated and puppet series. (HBO still has”Sesame Street.”)

-There’s also the docu-series “Home” from director Matt Tyrnaur, which offers a look inside the world’s most innovative abodes. And Apple is rebooting Steven Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories,” to be executive produced by Spielberg and showrun by “Once Upon a Time” vets Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz.

-“Little America,” a show based on true, heartfelt immigrant stories from Oscar-nominated “The Big Sick” writers Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon.

-Short-form news. Apple just landed the international series “Calls,” with a 10-episode order for a new English adaptation of Timothée Hochet’s French hit, co-produced by CANAL+.

Drama. The lineup includes Steven Knight’s “See,” an epic, world-building drama set in the future; an untitled project from “La La Land” director Damien Chazelle; a psychological thriller from M. Night Shyamalan; an untitled space drama from Ronald D. Moore; and a series about the real-life story of 11-year-old reporter Hilde Lysiak.

And those are just the shows that have been ordered to series, as three are currently in development: “Foundation,” a drama based on Isaac Asimov’s novel series from David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman; “Shantaram,” an international drama series based on the best-selling novel of the same name; and “Swagger,” a basketball-themed drama series in development from NBA star Kevin Durant.

And let’s not forget their inaugural originals “Planet of the Apps” and James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke.” Both are currently available via Apple Music.

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‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’ Inspired By Director’s Family Cruise; Chrissy Teigen, Joe Jonas Join Cast

Read on: Deadline.

The world’s favorite monster family is back and they are going from the hotel to the high seas in Sony Pictures Animation’s forthcoming Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation. On Wednesday morning, stars Selena Gomez, Andy SambergKeegan-Michael Key, and Kathryn Hahn were on hand at SPA headquarters to talk about the third installment of the successful animated franchise alongside director and writer Genndy Tartakovsky — who came up with the idea for the movie on his own…

Kathryn Hahn Lands Lead Role in HBO Comedy Pilot ‘Mrs Fletcher’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Kathryn Hahn has been cast to star in the pilot of HBO’s comedy “Mrs. Fletcher,” which is based on “The Leftovers” author Tom Perrotta’s novel of the same name. Perrotta is writing and executive producing the pilot.

Nicole Holofcener, who has worked on TV shows like “Parks and Recreation” and “Togetherness,” will direct.

“Mrs. Fletcher” follows a divorced woman, played by Hahn, who finds herself empty-nesting after dropping her child off at college. She hopes to rev up her love life by taking on a new, sexy persona to experience new erotic possibilities.

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Hahn’s recent credits include “Transparent,” for which she was nominated for an Emmy, Netflix’s “I Love Dick,” and films “Captain Fantastic,” “Bad Moms” and “Flower.” She’s also in the upcoming Netflix movie “Private Life.”

Holofcener will also executive produce, along with Jessi Klein and Sarah Condon.

Perrotta is represented by WME and MMQ Lit; Hahn is represented by Gersh, Lighthouse Management & Media as well as Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin and Dunham; and Holofcener is represented by UTA and Jackoway Tyerman.

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Kathryn Hahn to Star in HBO Comedy ‘Mrs. Fletcher’

Read on: Variety.

HBO has ordered a pilot for the comedy “Mrs. Fletcher,” with Kathryn Hahn set to play the title role. Based on the New York Times bestselling novel of the same name by Tom Perrotta, “Mrs. Fletcher” follows an empty-nest mom Eve Fletcher (Hahn) and her college-student son as they embrace their newfound freedom with mixed […]

‘Flower’ Film Review: Talented Cast Set Adrift in Disappointing Teen Satire

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

It’s hard to know whether Erica Vandross, the 17-year-old at the center of Max Winkler’s “Flower,” is meant to be an a-hole we unexpectedly like or a likeable person who sometimes behaves like an a-hole, but Zoey Deutch’s performance constitutes one of the most curious mis-applications of natural acting charisma I’ve ever seen.

Deutch, winning in a lot of films unworthy of her (“Why Him,” “Dirty Grandpa,” “Vampire Academy”), commands the screen as if the quandary doesn’t matter, while Winkler and co-screenwriters Alex McAulay and Matt Spicer construct a story that lurks somewhere between “Sixteen Candles,” “Palo Alto” and “Fish Tank” but without the humor, insight or poetry needed to match her fearless, irresistible talent.

Deutch plays Erica Vandross, a San Fernando Valley teenager trying to earn enough money to spring her estranged father from jail by seducing local sleazeballs and then shaking them down for cash. Though she’s stayed willfully oblivious to the relationship her frazzled bohemian mom Laurie (Kathryn Hahn) starts with a kind-hearted square named Bob (Tim Heidecker), Erica finds her life turned upside down after his troubled son Luke (Joey Morgan, “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse”) arrives fresh and vulnerable from rehab.

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At Laurie’s urging, Erica and Luke form a tenuous bond largely built on the few semi-friendly exchanges they share when she isn’t being mercilessly blunt. But after learning that much of Luke’s pain comes from an unresolved claim that he was sexually assaulted by Will (Adam Scott), a former teacher who still lives in their community, Erica recruits high school cohorts Kala (Dylan Gelula, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”) and Claudine (Maya Eshet, “Teen Wolf”) to avenge her future step-brother, unleashing a chain of events that forces them to deal with the very adult consequences of their teenage games whether they’re ready to or not.

The reason that so much of “Flower” works as well as it does is because it’s anchored so deeply by Deutch’s performance, which effortlessly dances on that razor’s edge between sympathetic and insufferable. There’s something identifiable and occasionally even charming about Erica, who is savvier and more streetwise than any of her adult counterparts, but she’s driven by a desperate absence of guidance — an almost clichéd need for some kind of structure or limitations — that leads her to suitably misguided choices.

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As a teen trying to navigate her way through not one but two fractured parental relationships, Deutch imbues Erica with an agency that feels at once wildly unseemly, perversely appealing and utterly believable, the precise sort of preternatural maturity that would ensnare susceptible men not just against their better judgment, but hers as well.

The remainder of the cast bring their characters to vivid, believable life, from Gelula and Eshet’s dopey, media-saturated teenage wokeness as Erica’s partners in crime to Hahn’s apologetic, perfectly scattered take on Laurie’s laissez-faire parenting. For a comedian exceptionally skilled at going broad, and weird, Tim Heidecker offers a skillfully understated take as the uncool suitor who wins Laurie’s heart (and shows her firebrand daughter uncommon, and largely undeserved, patience), while Adam Scott manages to be convincingly skeptical — if not quite heedless enough — in his dealings with Erica, particularly as a man living in the shadow of an appropriately insurmountable accusation.

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Unfortunately, Winkler and his co-screenwriters further muddy the intriguing moral complexity of Erica’s cycle of seduction and exploitation, as well as Luke’s molestation claims, first by interjecting her burgeoning feelings for Will into their pursuit of “justice,” and then by turning the story upside down with a series of events that feel increasingly implausible and “movie-ish,” maybe unless John Hughes was writing them three or more decades ago.

The nuanced character development of early scenes is replaced with a cartoonish sort of escalation of stakes, not to mention some improbable choices, including a disastrously-timed confession of feelings, that would have been rightfully, perhaps satisfyingly called out by the characters had they maintained the wry self-awareness that initially made them so complex, unique and interesting.

Further, and even without conversations in the zeitgeist providing an unflattering context for the events in the film, there’s a reasonable question whether, even if only incidentally, “Flower” devalues the claims of real victims by suggesting they’re lying, enticing perpetrators or otherwise complicit in the power dynamics that lead to assault and molestation. Certainly, the movie sides with the teens, and Winkler’s portrayal of these awful acts offers little sympathy for those who seem to need little encouragement to take advantage of others.

But using these crimes as little more than a plot device ultimately feels like a distraction, and a sleazy one, from the pain and loneliness that drives the teens on screen to try and reclaim their power in such wrongheaded, and eventually, much more destructive ways — at least, if the movie didn’t try to wrap everything up in a shockingly tidy, counterintuitive bow.

“Flower” marks Winkler’s second feature after the 2010 comedy “Ceremony,” which felt to Noah Baumbach what this film does to Gia Coppola’s “Palo Alto,” or Sofia’s “Bling Ring”: a counterpart or alternative mining similar territory but trading substance for effervescence. With a different beginning, “Flower” could have paid cheerful tribute to the liberating powers of teenage romance; with a different ending, it could have captured the melancholy fragility of teen self-discovery.

Instead, audiences get a collection of great performances, led by a truly exceptional one, in search of a script that’s worthy of them in a movie with so much to offer that disappointingly, but bafflingly, seems determined to add up to less than the sum of its parts.



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‘Parks and Recreation’ Stars Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aubrey Plaza Reunite for Galentine’s Day (Photo)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Parks and Recreation” stars Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aubrey Plaza and Kathryn Hahn reunited for a Galentine’s Day photo, commemorating one of the most famous episodes of the NBC show.

“Happy happy galentine’s day. These women keep me alive,” Plaza posted on Instagram on Tuesday.

In season 2 of the NBC show, Leslie Knope (Poehler) gets the girls together for Galentine’s Day brunch: “It’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.”

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Ann Perkins (Jones), Donna Meagle (Retta), April Ludgate (Plaza), Leslie’s mom and others are present at Leslie’s brunch where the guests are showered with obnoxious presents and lots of whipped cream (Leslie’s favorite) on their waffles.

According to Newsweek, the episode remains one of the most-watched “Parks and Rec” episodes of all time, with 4.98 million viewers at the time.

Leslie has another Galentine’s Day in the sixth season of the show, although it’s not a happy one given that Ann left Pawnee two months prior. She has the brunch to figure out who could replace her best friend.

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See Plaza’s Instagram post below. Happy Valentine’s Day!

????happy happy galentine’s day. these women keep me alive. ????

A post shared by aubrey plaza (@plazadeaubrey) on

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