Newswire: Two of David Bowie’s final songs have been released

Not to ruin your day or anything, but we are extremely close to the end of our planet’s finite supply of David Bowie songs. The iconic musician was kind enough to give us one last great album before he returned to the cosmos in January. And then we discovered that lost album, The Gouster, over the summer. That was pretty neat. Now—unless there’s some other hidden collection of songs locked in a hyperbaric chamber under the sea somewhere—the upcoming release of the Lazarus cast album will be the final helping of Bowie’s studio work.

Several unreleased originals will be appended to the collection of songs for Bowie and Enda Walsh’s musical adaptation of of Walter Tevis’ 1963 novel, The Man Who Fell To Earth (which was also adapted by Nicolas Roeg and Paul Mayersberg for the 1976 film starring Bowie). And, while the album …

Newswire: Alyssa Milano’s Anonymous-inspired graphic novel is coming to The CW

Alyssa Milano’s Anonymous-inspired graphic novel, Hacktivist, is being adapted as a series for the CW, Deadline reports. Also noteworthy: Alyssa Milano has an Anonymous-inspired graphic novel called Hacktivist. The politically active TV star apparently came up with the concept for the cyber-thriller comic book series several years ago before bringing it to the comic publisher BOOM! Studios, who set her up with writers Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly (Batman And Robin Eternal).

“I became obsessed with the role of the media, and how it was being used as a tool for protest,” she explained to The Daily Dot upon the comic’s publication in 2014. “At the same time, Anonymous was using hacking skills to empower people. And I thought, ‘What if Anonymous wasn’t a group but one person?’ And that spiraled into, ‘What if Anonymous was one guy? What characteristics would he have?’ He’d have to …

Domhnall Gleeson Takes On Mr. McGregor Role In ‘Peter Rabbit’

EXCLUSIVE: The hard working Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson has been set to play the menacing farmer Mr. McGregor in Peter Rabbit, Sony’s live action/CGI adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s 150-year-old children’s classic book.
Pic will be directed by Will Gluck and Gleeson joins Rose Byrne in the other live- action role, while James Corden voices Peter, and Daisy Ridley and Elizabeth Debicki also provide voices. Production starts at Australia’s animated VFX studio Animal Logic…

‘Totally Laime’ Comedy Based On Podcast Set At CBS From Elizabeth Laime & Tami Sagher

CBS has put in development hybrid comedy Totally Laime, inspired by Elizabeth Laime’s popular podcast, from Inside Amy Schumer scribe Tami Sagher and Thruline Entertainment.
Co-written and executive produced by Laime and Sagher inspired by Laime and her husband Andy, Totally Laime focuses on a young couple who document their relationship through a podcast. Thruline’s Willie Mercer and JB Roberts also executive produce. CBS Television Studios is the studio.
Laime got her…

Relativity Slaps Netflix With $1.5 Billion Lawsuit for ‘Smear Campaign,’ Contract Breach (Exclusive)

Relativity Media sued Netflix for breach of contract and libel on Tuesday, claiming that a “bad faith scheme” by the streaming giant caused the studio “damages in excess of $1.5 billion.”

Lawyers for Ryan Kavanaugh‘s company claimed that Netflix used them to gain standing in Hollywood, and then ruthlessly attempted to dissolve an output deal so lucrative that Relativity became dependent on its guaranteed payments to survive.

The suit also accuses Netflix and its Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos of falsely representing its obligations to Relativity in the press, publicly criticizing the studio’s business model and poisoning Relativity’s name to power brokers like WME co-CEO Ari Emanuel — all in an elaborate and “aggressive smear campaign.”

A Netflix spokesperson did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment.

Also Read: 3 Possible Relativity Media Buyers Now That the Studio Is For Sale Again

“Relativity was the third largest mini-major studio in the world, having been involved in the production of over 100 major feature films. Netflix, by contrast, was a virtual non-entity,” papers obtained by TheWrap said of the output deal forged in 2010. At the time, the suit claims, Netflix was “a fledgling DVD mail-order business with no bargaining power, little theatrical content, and few successful programs.”

The licensing agreement gave Relativity Media, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy this year and is currently for sale, fees based on the box office performance of any given film — with a guaranteed cash minimum of $3.7 million which could escalate to nearly $20 million per movie based on theatrical revenue.

A breakdown of the Relativity-Netflix “Fee Card,” or percentages Relativity is paid to stream its titles with Netflix

But six years later, Netflix’s market capitalization “rose by billions, [and] Netflix wasted little time turning on its maker, Relativity,” the papers said, likening its dilemma to Dr. Frankenstein and his famous monster.

Relativity contends that by “choosing Netflix as its pay television or SVOD partner, Relativity single-handedly converted Netflix from a DVD mail-order company into a pay television business.”

Also Read: ‘Masterminds’ Premiere: Ryan Kavanaugh ‘Relieved’ at Relativity’s Post-Bankruptcy Coming Out Party

Given the service’s present glut of content partners and robust slate of original programming, it’s easy to forget that from 2010 to 2013, approximately 85 percent of Netflix’s new films were from Relativity, the suit said.

Three years into the deal, Netflix attempted to renegotiate the fee rate to more favorable terms to the streaming service, the suit said. Relativity would not budge, except for a small amendment to the required number of screens the films had to play on prior to coming available for Netflix users. At that point, Kavanaugh’s company was using projected Netflix earnings as collateral for production and operating costs.

Netflix also attempted to void the deal throughout the bankruptcy process — first claiming that the studio’s financial problems prohibited them from releasing films and fulfilling their end of the deal. Bankruptcy Court Judge Michael Wiles did not agree, and would not go to the extraordinary measure of voiding the agreement. Netflix later lost an appeal, and a subsequent request to stream Relativity movies before their theatrical release — which would significantly kill their chances of success at the box office.

Though the suit does not spell out how it came up with its projection of $1.5 billion in losses, the papers note that Netflix paid between $100 million and $300 million per year to Relativity under the deal — “a known substantial piece of Relativity’s business.”

It’s unclear why Netflix would be responsible for the drop in payments to Relativity — the distributor did not release any new movies theatrically for more than a year in the midst of its bankruptcy woes. In addition, the two movies it did release last month, the Kate Beckinsale thriller “The Disappointments Room” and the Kristen WiigZach Galifianakis comedy “Masterminds,” both underperformed at the box office.

(According to the rate card, Relativity stands to receive $3.7 million from Netflix for “The Disappointments Room” even though the movie grossed just $2.4 million in domestic theaters.)

Shortly after Relativity filed for Chapter 11 in July 2015, Netflix attempted to dissolve the output deal in New York Bankruptcy Court, a legal bid that was denied and then shot down again in appeal.

Also Read: ‘High Noon’ to Be Remade by Relativity

“Unsuccessful in removing the obligations of the License Agreement through renegotiation, it would do the next best thing: destroy Relativity completely by putting it out of business,” the papers said. “Netflix has endeavored to do so by undertaking an aggressive smear campaign against Relativity, making false and misleading statements regarding its rights to certain Relativity-licensed films.”

Relativity Chairman and CEO Kavanaugh hinted on Sunday something was in the pipeline in his stormy relationship with Netflix.

“#Netflix is about to understand ‘you reap what you sow’. you can’t be as manipulating and dishonest as they are and get away with it,” he tweeted.

Relativity is seeking damages to be determined by the court, on top of legal fees and other expenses incurred.


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Was ‘Masterminds’ the Last Straw for Relativity?

3 Possible Relativity Media Buyers Now That the Studio Is For Sale Again

Relativity Fires Co-President Adam Fields for Breach of Contract

‘Miracles From Heaven’ Producer DeVon Franklin Signs Overall Deal With 20th Century Fox (Exclusive)

“Miracles From Heaven” producer DeVon Franklin has signed an overall deal with 20th Century Fox, TheWrap has exclusively learned.

Franklin is widely viewed as the go-to guy for inspirational and faith-based material in town. In March of this year, Franklin developed and produced the hit faith-based film “Miracles From Heaven,” which starred Jennifer Garner and Queen Latifah.

The film, which received a rare A+ CinemaScore, was made for a modest $15 million and has earned over $73 million at the worldwide box office, making it one of most successful faith-based films in recent years.

Also Read: Hollywood’s Come-to-Jesus Moment: Inside the Latest Rise of Faith-Driven Movies

“We’re excited to welcome DeVon Franklin into the Fox family. He has great taste and a real feel for inspirational stories. His films will provide a perfect complement to the great variety of films that Fox already produces,” Stacey Snider, Chairman and CEO of 20th Century Fox Film, said in a statement.

“I am deeply committed to producing inspirational content of faith that reaches audiences all around the world. This is why I’m so excited to join Stacey Snider, Emma Watts, and the Fox family. I am incredibly grateful for the support from such a legendary team for my vision of creating uplifting content for the masses,” Franklin continued.

Also Read: ‘I’m Not Ashamed’ Director on Why His Movie Isn’t ‘Christian’ Just Because the Lead Character Is (Guest Blog)

Franklin got his start as an intern for Will Smith and and producer James Lassiter, then served as a Senior Vice President of Production at Columbia TriStar Pictures — becoming one of the highest ranking African-American executives in Hollywood’s studio system, as well as one of the youngest to reach that rank.

During his 10-year tenure at Columbia, he achieved unprecedented success in helping shepherd such films as “The Karate Kid,” “The Pursuit Of Happiness,” “Jumping the Broom,” and, most notably, the sleeper hit “Heaven Is for Real.”

Franklin has several projects in the works including the upcoming Sony Pictures Animation film “The Star,” a story about the first Christmas told from the animals’ point of view, which is slated for a November 2017 release, and the high-profile reboot of “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” franchise.

Also Read: Sanya Richards-Ross Lands 3-Book Deal at HarperCollins Imprint

Additionally, he is working on a highly anticipated remake of the 1975 classic film “Cooley High” with MGM, the inspirational biopic “44,” with Kevin James attached to star and faith-based film “MJB Got Faith” with TriStar Pictures.

Franklin is also a New York Times best-selling author, TV personality and Christian preacher. He posts daily inspiration to his more than 1 million followers on social media.

Franklin is repped by CAA and attorney John Meigs at Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush & Kaller, L.L.P.

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‘Miracles From Heaven’ Rises With $1.9 Million Debut

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Newswire: Red Dead Redemption 2 is galloping onto consoles next fall

On Sunday, we reported that it looked like Rockstar Games, the makers of Grand Theft Auto, was getting ready to announce a sequel to its acclaimed Western revenge tale, Red Dead Redemption. All it took was a single meaningless image—the studio’s logo on a red background—to send the internet into a frenzy. Yesterday, the developer’s Twitter account dropped another teaser, this time featuring the silhouettes of seven cowboys standing under a painted sun. And today, those figures came into full view, along with official word that, yes, this game is Red Dead Redemption 2, and it’s scheduled to be released in the fall of 2017 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. No plans for a PC version have been announced.

In addition to confirming the game, Rockstar is promising a trailer will be released this Thursday at 11 a.m. Eastern. This will give us …

‘This Is Spinal Tap’s Harry Shearer Cranks It Up To 11 With $125M Vivendi Lawsuit

The Simpsons voice actor and This Is Spinal Tap co-creator Harry Shearer says Vivendi is treating the profits from his classic mockumentary like a backstage labyrinth and he wants it all sorted out – to the tune of $125 million.

“Defendant Vivendi and its agents, including StudioCanal executive Ron Halpern, have engaged in anti-competitive business practices by manipulating accounting between Vivendi film and music subsidiaries and have engaged in fraud to deprive the Spi…

Chuck Berry to Release First New Album in 38 Years

Chuck Berry is celebrating his 90th birthday today, but the music icon isn’t rocking in a chair on a porch somewhere — he’s just plain rocking.

The highly influential musician announced Tuesday morning that he’ll release his first new album in 38 years. Distributed by Dualtone, this one will simply be titled “Chuck.”

“Chuck” is comprised primarily of new, original songs written, recorded and produced by Berry, the label said. Tracks were laid down in various studios around St. Louis, and features Berry’s longtime hometown backing group — including his children Charles Berry Jr. (guitar) and Ingrid Berry (harmonica) — as well as Jimmy Marsala (Berry’s bassist of forty years), Robert Lohr (piano), and Keith Robinson (drums).

Also Read: Tupac, Pearl Jam Topline 2017 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

“This record is dedicated to my beloved Toddy,” Berry said in a media release, referring to his wife of 68 years, Themetta. “My darlin’ I’m growing old! I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!”

“What an honor to be part of this new music,” added Charles Berry Jr. “The St. Louis band, or as dad called us ‘The Blueberry Hill Band,’ fell right into the groove and followed his lead. These songs cover the spectrum from hard driving rockers to soulful thought provoking time capsules of a life’s work.”

Dualtone president Paul Roper said: “It is a great honor to be a part of this record and the broader legacy of Chuck Berry. This body of work stands with the best of his career and will further cement Chuck as one of the greatest icons of rock and roll.”

Also Read: Dead Michael Jackson Out-Earned Every Living Celebrity This Year

Berry received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1984, and was in the inaugural class of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees in 1986, among other accolades. He was awarded a Kennedy Center Honor in 2000.

More details about “Chuck” will come out in the coming weeks, Dualtone promised.

Not only was Tuesday Berry’s birthday, it also happened to be the day that the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees were announced. See who made the ballot here.

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‘Candy Crush’ Live-Action Game Show Set at CBS

A live action “Candy Crush” game show will sweeten the airwaves on CBS, the network announced on Tuesday.

In the series, the game that has become a worldwide phenomenon comes to life as teams of two people use their wits and physical agility to compete on enormous, interactive game boards. A host will be announced at a later date.

“Candy Crush Saga” and its sister title, “Candy Crush Soda Saga,” are two of the top 10 grossing mobile games in the U.S. On average, 18 billion game rounds are played every month around the world.

See video: ‘Jeopardy!’ Host Alex Trebek Calls Nerdcore Hip Hop Fans ‘Losers’

CBS, Lionsgate and game developer King will join together on the new format, created and executive produced by Matt Kunitz, that will be distributed domestically by CBS Television Distribution and internationally by Lionsgate.

“We are huge fans of ‘Candy Crush’ and, like so many others, we know the ‘rush’ of advancing to the next level of the game,” said Glenn Geller, president of CBS Entertainment. “We’re excited to work with Lionsgate and King to adapt one of the world’s most popular and entertaining game franchises for television and make it available to its massive, passionate fan base who can watch and play along at home.”

“Candy Crush” will be produced by Pulse Creative in association with Lionsgate Television, King Ltd. and CBS Television Studios. Kunitz, Peter Levin, Russell Binder, Nicki Sheard and Sebastian Knutsson will serve as executive producers. Knutsson is King’s chief creative officer and is one of the founders of the company. He created “Candy Crush Saga.”

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Mipcom: ‘Thunderbirds’ Are a Go in China; Oscar-Winner Simon Chinn’s New Documentary ‘War Child’ to U.K.’s Channel 4

ITV Studios Global Entertainment has secured a major sale for its CGI-animated “Thunderbirds Are Go” (pictured), with CCTV taking the rebooted version of the television classic for China. The sale marks the first time that the 52-year-old brand, originally created in 1964 by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson using marionette puppets, will have aired in China…. Read more »

beIN Media Group Signs Major Multi-Year Pay-TV Deal With Warner Bros.

ROME — beIN Media Group, the ambitious Al Jazeera-owned broadcaster that bought Miramax in March, has signed a major multi-year deal with Warner Bros. International Television for the studios’ movies and TV series to air on beIN’s pay-TV platform in the Middle East and North Africa. Neither the financial terms of the agreement nor its exact… Read more »

‘Ouija: Origin of Evil’ Review: Chilling Sequel Points to Genuine Terror

On the outset, “Ouija: Origin of Evil” has all the appearances of a shopworn affair: a sequel to a movie based on a board game about a young girl bedeviled by diabolical spirits. That’s a logline plenty of films could sport (save for the board game element). You’ve seen innumerable iterations of the “demonic child threatens to destroy tight-knit family” story in the past.

What you haven’t seen is director Mike Flanagan‘s blissful disregard for convention. Equal parts horror masterclass and internal home-invasion thriller, “Ouija” is as chilling and nerve-racking as they come. It’s a sort of cinematic heart attack — irreparably damaging to the body and mind, with a slow recovery time.

It begins peaceful and playful enough in the Zander’s living room, Los Angeles, 1967, where it’s business as usual. In their case, the business is a séance scam run by widowed mom Alice (Elizabeth Reaser, “Young Adult”) and her two daughters, Doris (Lulu Wilson, “The Millers”) and Paulina (Annalise Basso, “Captain Fantastic”). Naive (but hopeful) customers have come to speak to deceased relatives, family members whom Alice tells clients she can reach via an otherworldly connection.

Also Read: Jordan Peele, Allison Williams Thriller ‘Get Out’ Sets Release Date

That connection is a lie, of course. People believe what they want to believe, and Alice suggests to her children (who help with the showmanship of the performance) that she’s doing a good deed. She’s providing a unique, slightly fabricated service to people in need.

A couple of things immediately strike the viewer early on. First, Reaser is magnetic as the single-mother: an engaging mix of forceful, clever, confident and sexy. Second, there’s an artfulness in the presentation here that immediately clues you into “Ouija’s” many gifts, like the Wes Anderson-inspired symmetry of the compositions or the note-perfect, period-specific details (the music, fashion, color palette).

Also Read: John Carpenter to Exec Produce New ‘Halloween’ for Miramax

Then the story pivots, as the family unwittingly invites a fiendish entity into the house. It’s unclear whether it’s a disembodied spirit or phantom. It doesn’t exactly matter. Whatever it is, it has consumed Doris, the younger of Alice’s two girls. Soon, a family trying to recover from the death of the patriarch has to face something much more threatening: a grade-schooler tormented by a deranged creature — or presence — whose sole mission is to kill.

Coming off the heels of “Max Steel” last weekend, there’s something oddly serendipitous about the timing of “Ouija.” Here are two films birthed from preexisting commercial products that take antithetical approaches to storytelling. Where Stewart Hendler’s teenage human-robot excursion suffered from technical difficulties on all fronts, Flanagan (“Oculus”) shines.

Under Jeff Howard and Flanagan’s adroit script, “Ouija: Origin of Evil” is a self-aware horror film that manages to still have a self. It doesn’t drown in irony, sarcasm or cinematic knowingness; it’s not “Cabin in the Woods.” But it is aware of the clichés of contemporary horror: characters splintering off in the face of danger, silence punctuated by grating sounds, a possessed child driven by malevolence. These are obvious trappings, and “Ouija” upends all of them.

Doris has been consumed by unknown, nefarious entities, but her mental unhinging is gradual. It’s also not one-sided. Sure, she becomes more threatening, but she’s also sustaining the family business and, ostensibly, aiding desperate customers in search of reaching the other side. When it comes to the quick, unexpected scares, Flanagan earns them. “Ouija” doesn’t rely on jump cuts or sonically assaultive noises to jolt viewers. He’s much craftier. The film slowly builds, luring us into a moving or engaging interaction before swiftly pivoting to shock horror: a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot of an unnerving specter, or a noosed body, swinging from the ceiling into the foyer.

Even when you want to avert your eyes, you can’t. That’s in part because of Michael Fimognari’s impeccable cinematography. On a streak with modern genre (he also recently shot “Oculus,” “Beautiful Boy,” and “The Lazarus Effect”), Fimognari brings such a tasteful, sumptuous touch to “Ouija.” This is self-evident in the powerful moments bolstered by his roving camera, which languidly wanders in and out of rooms, giving the impression of improvisation — and yet nothing here just happens. “Ouija” is as skillfully refined and calculated as studio filmmaking gets.

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Conversely, Fimognari is unafraid to hold on a shot — a gesturing face, a static body, an empty hallway — for an extended period of time. The silence and emptiness of some images are so staggering they become filled by audience reactions: shortness of breath, audible gasps, outright dread.

That last part aptly describes how I felt sitting in the dark, watching “Ouija” for 99 minutes. It didn’t matter that there were plenty of people all around me. Under Flanagan’s impressive direction, I felt completely alone in the milieu he had constructed. To be both aesthetically and narratively enthralled in the proceedings is a rare feat, especially for a genre replete with vacuous, cheap fare. But there’s nothing second-rate or lackluster about “Oujia: Origin of Evil.” It reckons with the afterlife and the spirit world with uncommon intellectual curiosity.

The film paints characters as three-dimensional humans, trapped in an inescapable hellscape of their own design. It then dives head-first into the disturbing psychology of these people. It does all of this for its entire running time, without pause or dips in quality. And you know what? I mean this in the best way possible: I don’t ever want to see it again.

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‘Paddington 2’: Hugh Grant, Brendan Gleeson Join Sequel To Hit Family Comedy

Paddington 2, the sequel to Heyday Films and Studiocanal’s 2014 global hit, has begun principal photography with Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson joining the returning cast including Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi, Madeleine Harris and Samuel Joslin. Ben Whishaw will reprise his voice role as the eponymous Peruvian bear with Imelda Staunton as Aunt Lucy.
Paul King again directs from a script he co-wrote with Simon Farnaby. The…

Dalian Wanda Lands on Hollywood Shores – A New Turning Point in the Movie Business

I wanted to see it for myself, the arrival of a giant player from across the Pacific Ocean, landing on our shores to declare: We have arrived.

Everyone who was anyone in the movie business made it their business to be at Dalian Wanda’s presentation on Monday, cramming into a smallish theater at LACMA in Los Angeles, filling the seats and lining the walls to hear what CEO Wang Jianlin had to say.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti was there, as was Motion Picture Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, producer Avi Arad, Lionsgate executive Patrick Wachsberger and, of course, Thomas Tull, whose Legendary Pictures Wanda acquired for the stunning sum of $3.5 billion less than a year ago. Also, a lot of pretty ladies in peach floor-length sequined gowns.

Also Read: Wanda’s China Mega-Studio Seeks Hollywood Shoots With Huge Rebate, $750 Million in Incentives

What Wang Jianlin said, essentially, was that China is going to dominate global moviegoing for the foreseeable future and it intends to dominate movie production, too.

“Any negative outlook on China’s film market is incorrect,” he told the room via simultaneous translation, noting that despite some economic slowdown elsewhere, the Chinese box office is growing at about 15 percent per year — a “sustainable” figure he said that is expected to continue for years.

Backing up his claim is money, lots of it, and consumer demand, a lot of it.

A few points to ponder:

* In 2016 the Chinese box office will reach $8 billion
* By 2018 the box office will surpass North America to reach $10 billion
* By 2026 the Chinese movie market will be $30 billion, 40 percent of the global box office

Then he showed a short film narrated by Matt Damon unveiling a “movie metropolis” in Qingdao (in China’s eastern Shandong province), aiming to become a kind of Hollywood East.

Qingdao Movie Metropolis is to be an $8.2 billion, 408-acre mega studio that will include Wanda Studios, China’s first world-class production facility, and much more: sound stages, a back lot, a theme park, a convention center, six resort hotels, a marina, international schools and China’s largest cinema, with 5,300 seats.

Also Read: China’s Wanda Group CEO Says Hollywood Needs to ‘Go Back to Storytelling’

And to draw Hollywood producers to the site, Wanda also announced a 40 percent production rebate and a stunning $750 million in production funding for the next five years. The official press release noted almost as an afterthought: “By 2020, Wanda Group aims to become a world-class multinational corporation with assets of $200 billion, market capitalization of $200 billion, revenue of $100 billion and net profits of $10 billion.”

So their ambitions are not exactly subtle.

For those who were here in Hollywood when the German money was flush, when the Japanese were spending big in media and entertainment, when the Gulf Arabs were throwing around cash, the China foray may have a familiar feel.

I remember visiting cash-rich Dubai and Abu Dhabi in fall 2008 just as the world financial markets were failing, and being given a tour around the massive production facilities that were being built with the aim of making the Arabian Gulf a hub for global movie and television production.

But the financial crisis endured, oil prices fell and that never happened.

China is different, and it feels like everyone knows it. Wanda has lined up allies in Hollywood – not just Tull but AMPAS elder statesman Hawk Koch, and Boone Isaacs, who got Wanda to endow a wing in the new AMPAS museum.

Wang was no supplicant in his evening presentation. He didn’t hesitate to tell Hollywood how they should fix their storytelling ills: “You have to find ways to please the Chinese audience,” he said, adding, “Now Hollywood tells less of a good story. To depend just on the scene and [special] effects will not work forever.”

Also Read: Lawmaker Wants DOJ to Probe Dalian Wanda’s Hollywood Acquisitions

As the group of Chinese VIPs were being given a private tour of the unfinished museum, Hollywood’s moguls gathered on the plaza for a few drinks before the Wanda-hosted dinner – Warner’s Kevin Tsujihara, former Fox chief Jim Gianopulos, UTA partner Jim Berkus, Sony’s Andrew Gumpert, MGM’s Gary Barber to name a few.

None would be so foolish as to ignore the arrival of a foreign potentate. The moment feels like a new turning point in the history of Hollywood. When a Chinese behemoth lands on your shores and lays claim to future partnership, whether you want it or not, even in clubby Hollywood the natives learn to play nice.

Related stories from TheWrap:

China’s Wanda Group CEO Says Hollywood Needs to ‘Go Back to Storytelling’

China’s Wanda Group CEO Heads to Hollywood With All Eyes on Him

Why DC Started Caring About Dalian Wanda Group and China in Hollywood

China’s Wanda Group CEO Says Hollywood Needs to ‘Go Back to Storytelling’

Wang Jianlin, the CEO and founder of China’s Dalian Wanda Group — owner of Legendary Entertainment and AMC Theaters — came to Los Angeles on Monday night to unveil more details about Wanda’s 408-acre Qingdao Movie Metropolis, and announce a 40 percent rebate to lure Hollywood productions to China.

Although Wanda’s aggressive entertainment dealmaking has raised some suspicions in Washington, Monday’s event, which featured remarks from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, focused on the ties between the two countries. Wang pitched the Qingdao park as an “opportunity” and not a “competition” for Hollywood, careful to point out the jobs he expects it to create for entertainment industry workers.

However, Wang couldn’t resist taking a dig at Hollywood’s recent spate of special effects-heavy blockbusters — many of which are hugely popular in China. Wanda’s Legendary Entertainment, which it acquired for $3.5 billion in January, has produced two films in that genre — “Jurassic World” and “Warcraft” — that were among China’s biggest box office movies ever. However, Wang had plenty of strong opinions about the quality of recent Hollywood fare.

Also Read: Wanda’s China Mega-Studio Seeks Hollywood Shoots With Huge Rebate, $750 Million in Incentives

“From a Chinese perspective, Hollywood is the professor and Chinese filmmakers are the students,” he said in a speech in Chinese that was translated into English. “How do you tell the teacher to increase their quality?”

Wang singled out films that rely heavily on visual effects — although he didn’t name any specifically. He wondered aloud whether Hollywood had become reliant on movies that emphasize technology and “big scenes.”

“It seems like Hollywood is starting to tell less of a good story,” he said.

Wang closed that portion of his remarks by speculating that such a reliance on spectacle wouldn’t be able to deliver box office results indefinitely, which prompted cheers from several in the mixed crowd of Chinese dignitaries and Hollywood execs.

“To tell a good story purely depending on technology will not work forever,” he continued. “We have to make Hollywood go back to storytelling.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Wanda’s China Mega-Studio Seeks Hollywood Shoots With Huge Rebate, $750 Million in Incentives

China’s Wanda Group CEO Heads to Hollywood With All Eyes on Him

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Rose McGowan Follows Up Rape Claim With Warning to Hollywood: ‘Stop Rewarding Sociopaths’

Rose McGowan, who last week made headlines by claiming that she was raped by a Hollywood executive, followed up the accusation with a message to Hollywood on Monday.

In her new message, the actress cautions Hollywood, “Stop rewarding sociopaths.”

“To the women and men in the entertainment industry who know exactly whom and what I am talking about, I say be brave,” McGowan’s missive begins. “Do not work with those you know to be offenders or you are no better than they. Take a stand. You are culpable for your actions. Stop rewarding sociopaths.”

Also Read: Rose McGowan Says Hollywood Executive Raped Her: ‘It Is Time for Some Honesty’

The actress continued, “How many more stories do you have to hear before you do the right thing and stop rewarding men who are predators? Why are you so cowardly that you could take the softer, easier way out?”

On Friday, McGowan shocked Twitter with her rape accusation.

“It’s been an open secret in Hollywood/Media & they shamed me while adulating my rapist,” McGowan wrote at the time.

Also Read: Rose McGowan Slams ‘Truly Vile’ Hollywood in Letter of Support to Shannen Doherty (Photo)

While the actress did not name her alleged rapist, she claimed that an “ex” of hers allegedly sold a film project to her attacker.

“Because my ex sold our movie to my rapist for distribution #WhyWomenDontReport,” McGowan wrote. In a series of tweets on the topic, McGowan added that a female criminal attorney warned her that, because the actress had performed a sex scene in a film, “I would never win against the studio head.”

McGowan ended last week’s Twitter tirade with, “It is time for some goddamned honesty in this world.”

Also Read: Rose McGowan Is Sick to Her Vagina Over Donald Trump and the Media

Her latest missive encourages Hollywood denizens, “I know you have it in you to be better. I know you have it in you to break free from the bonds of secrecy. So do it.”

Read McGowan’s  full message below.

Dear Hollywood,

rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) October 17, 2016

Related stories from TheWrap:

Rose McGowan Says Hollywood Executive Raped Her: ‘It Is Time for Some Honesty’

Rose McGowan Slams ‘Truly Vile’ Hollywood in Letter of Support to Shannen Doherty (Photo)

Rose McGowan Is Sick to Her Vagina Over Donald Trump and the Media

Inside Ashleigh Banfield’s Rise and Fall and Rise – Now Without Her Signature Glasses

When Ashleigh Banfield takes over Nancy Grace’s coveted 8 p.m. hour on HLN on Monday, the move will not only mark her return to prime-time after more than a decade but also a moment of vindication in a career defined by extreme highs and lows.

“There was a pretty painful period in my career when it was hard to understand why there were such prodigious peaks and some cavernous valleys,” Banfield told TheWrap. “I was mystified at how one moment you’re on the cover of Vogue magazine and the next moment no one will return your calls.”

The rise was fast; the fall, painful.

“They didn’t cancel Ashleigh’s show; they canceled Ashleigh,” said one of Banfield’s producers at the time, who asked not to be named.

Also Read: CNN Anchor Ashleigh Banfield Lands HLN Primetime Gig

Banfield was an up-and-coming anchor at MSNBC when, on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, she became a household name almost overnight.

She was getting ready to head to the network’s Secaucus, N.J., studio when the first plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Amid the chaos, Banfield rushed to downtown Manhattan to report on the scene. She was in the middle of a live interview with a woman holding a newborn when 7 World Trade Center, a 47-floor building, collapsed behind her.

Banfield never lost her cool, even as a plume of smoke and debris came barreling toward her. Something about her reporting that day — a combination of fearlessness and humanity —  seemed to strike a chord with viewers.

It didn’t take long for MSNBC brass to realize they had a star on their hands. Banfield was quickly promoted and sent around the world as the anchor of a new roving series, “A Region in Conflict.” She spent much of the next year criss-crossing the Middle East, earning a reputation as a dogged reporter with a knack for war zones.

Each week, Banfield would host the show from a different location, including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Saudi Arabia. It was a daring concept but Banfield’s show soon took off, becoming the network’s top-rated show.

Also Read: CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield Reads Rape Victim’s Letter on Air: ‘The Star Today Was Her Words’ (Video)

“When I think about that time I remember being struck by how much she was able to do with so few resources,” former “RIC” producer Brian Balthazar told TheWrap. “All she had was a yellow pad and a skeleton crew that included one producer and one cameraman. People didn’t realize she basically ad-libbed an hour-long show every night. It was nothing short of extraordinary.”

The show further cemented Banfield as a force within the industry. Known simply as “the girl with the glasses,” thanks to her signature Clark Kent-style spectacles, she was hailed as a new kind of journalist, so popular Vogue magazine called her “the anchor who is changing the way we watch the news.”

But her swift rise to the top of broadcast journalism ruffled a lot of feathers within the industry, including her own colleagues at NBC News. Even as she was drawing nearly a million viewers a night, a coup for the then-fledgling network, some producers and executives questioned whether she was ready for such a plum prime-time gig.

“Early in my network career, critics accused me of wearing fake lenses so I could wear glasses to look smarter,” she said laughing. “On one occasion, my ophthalmologist called in live to a radio show to prove to the host that I, in fact, had a pretty severe prescription.”

Roger Ailes, the former Fox News Channel boss who recently stepped down amid sexual misconduct allegations, went as far as calling her a “news actress” in a 2002 interview with the New York Times.

Before long, Banfield was fielding broadside attacks aimed at her from the executive suites of NBC’s 30 Rock.

Also Read: CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield Asks Trump Supporter If Jews Should Be Banned Like Muslims (Video)

“I remember hearing rumors in a meeting that was held by [Then “Nightly News” anchor] Tom Brokaw of some of the younger producers griping that I was a joke. Brokaw chastised them saying, ‘She’s in a war zone reporting every single day in a dangerous place and you’re having sushi and a cappuccino.’ And I think the description was [that] the room fell silent.”

In October 2002, MSNBC canceled Banfield’s show (which, by then, had been renamed “On Location With Ashleigh Banfield), citing a drop in ratings.

Banfield was taken off the air at the height of the the D.C. sniper attacks, a series of coordinated shootings that took place over three weeks in October 2002 in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. But her crew and producers note that they continued working on the story — essentially producing the exact same show — just with John Seigenthaler as anchor.

With more than a year left on her contract, Banfield pleaded to be released. But then-president of NBC News Neal Shapiro refused. Banfield was instead moved to NBC News where she filed stories for “Nightly News” and “Today.”

By the time her contract was up, Banfield had been away from the anchor desk for too long. The networks who had aggressively courted her just months earlier, seemed to have moved on.

Also Read: CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield Responds to Death Threats: ‘Stop Threatening to Kill People on Twitter’ (Video)

Banfield did herself no favors with a speech at Kansas State University a couple of weeks after the fall of Baghdad in April 2003. She argued that TV networks had failed to show all of the Iraq war’s horrors and questioned the “embed” process, in which reporters were assigned to specific units, a system devised by the Bush administration that has since been questioned by others.

NBC quickly released a statement denouncing Banfield’s comment: “Ms. Banfield does not speak for NBC News. We are deeply disappointed and troubled by her remarks, and will review her comments with her.”

“It was a time when the country was extremely on edge, fearful about other attacks and in many ways blindly trusting in government,” one of her former producers, Kim McCabe, told TheWrap. “And questions weren’t asked often times, not only by journalists but people in our own government. It was unfortunate. Whatever your opinion on the war is, I think there were a lot of lessons to be learned about that blind following and trust in government during such important times.”

Shapiro, who is now CEO of PBS’ WNET in New York, did not respond to TheWrap’s request for comment. But in 2003, he told the New York Times that “Banfield’s reduced visibility was solely because of her new role as an NBC News correspondent.”

Also Read: CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield Apologizes For Botched Hillary Clinton Edits (Video)

Shapiro then dealt one final blow for good measure. “It’s one thing to be a rising star in cable,” Shapiro said. ”The broadcast network is a different platform with different skills required.”

Banfield says there was no mistaking it, she was being benched.

“For 10 months I had to report to work every day and ask where I could sit,” Banfield told the New Canaan-Darien Magazine in January 2009. “If somebody was away I could use their desk. Eventually, after 10 months of this, I was given an office that was a tape closet. They cleared the tapes out and put a desk and a TV in there, and a computer and phone. It was pretty blatant. The message was crystal clear.”

One network correspondent who spoke on the condition of anonymity told The New York Times in 2002 that MSNBC “fell in love with a new toy and they played with it and played with it and played with it until the paint came off.” The article noted that Banfield “had a reputation among some crew members as being too difficult to work with.”

Also Read: CNN Launching New Morning Shows Monday, a Week Ahead of CBS

But those who worked with her day in and day out vigorously refute that narrative.

“She was an incredible boss,” McCabe said. “She was demanding, sure. But she worked harder than anyone and never asked anyone for anything she wasn’t doing herself.”

Others on her staff believe there was an inherent level of sexism in those accusations.

“Even the whole ‘girl with the glasses’ thing was sexist. First, she’s not a girl,” Balthazar said. “And second, you don’t see people calling Keith Olbermann ‘the boy with the glasses.’”

Also Read: Ashleigh Banfield Headed to ABC News

Balthazar said he was struck by the fact that Banfield would stick around after her live shows to help technicians pack up the cables and equipment even when the show taped in the middle of the night local time.

“I never experienced any difficulty working for her,” he said.

Banfield went through a tough patch in the first couple of years following her MSNBC stint. She eventually took some legal courses and reinvented herself as a legal analyst for Court TV. Soon she was co-hosting a trial coverage show, “Banfield & Ford: Courtside” with Jack Ford. In 2009, Banfield took over as host of the truTV series Open Court.”

Three years later, Banfield was back on a major cable news network, co-anchoring CNN’s morning show, “Early Start,” along with with Zoraida Sambolin. Six months after that, she was promoted to anchor of “CNN Newsroom,” replacing host Kyra Phillips. In 2013, CNN re-branded the show as “Legal View With Ashleigh Banfield.”

Also Read: CNN Shakes Up Daytime Lineup: ‘Around the World’ Being Pulled, New 11 A.M. Anchors Announced

In June, Banfield reclaimed the spotlight by dedicating almost half of her show — 23 minutes of airtime — to reading an emotional letter written by the victim of a sexual assault at the sentencing hearing. The attacker, a Stanford University student, received a light six-month sentence.

It was bold, risky and a very Banfield thing to do.

“CNN is often an easy target for punchlines,” GQ wrote. “What with their lost-plane obsession and extremely loose definition of ‘Breaking News.’ But it’s important to give them credit when they do things right, and here they did something right.”

Media Matters, a journalism think tank, proclaimed: “CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield Shows the Media How to Report On Sexual Assault.”

When Nancy Grace announced she was leaving her eponymous HLN show after 12 years, the network tapped Banfield to replace her. The symbolism is not lost on her.

Also Read: CNN Launching New Morning Shows Monday, a Week Ahead of CBS

“This is a really big deal, moving back to prime time,” she said. “It’s almost surreal.”

Ironically, the name of her new show could easily serve as title of her autobiography: “Primetime Justice.”

But for those who still remember her as the bespectacled blonde reporting from the world’s most dangerous places, there will be at least one thing missing. Turns out, “the girl with the glasses” couldn’t wait to get rid of them.

“What people don’t know is how much I hated them,” she said. “Especially the way they pinched the sides of my nose.”

She would have gotten rid of them sooner but she wasn’t a candidate for lasik surgery.  As soon as a fitting procedure became available, she booked the appointment…  and, well, never looked back.

Asked whether she has any regrets now that life seems to be back on the right track, Banfield said,”Millions. If you don’t have any regrets you’re doing something wrong.”

Editor’s note: The writer of this article, Itay Hod, was an associate producer for both “Region in Conflict” and “Ashleigh Banfield on Location.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

CNN Anchor Ashleigh Banfield Lands HLN Primetime Gig

CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield Reads Rape Victim’s Letter on Air: ‘The Star Today Was Her Words’ (Video)

CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield Asks Trump Supporter If Jews Should Be Banned Like Muslims (Video)