MoviePass Restores Movie-Per-Day Subscription Plan At $9.95 Teaser Rate

Read on: Deadline.

MoviePass, which has experimented with a range of subscription schemes in recent months, is rolling out an “uncapped” movie-per-day plan that will be $9.95 for those who pay for 12 months in advance.
The plan costs $14.95 on a month-to-mont…

‘Walking Dead’: We Need to Talk About Jocelyn and Michonne

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

(Spoilers ahead for the March 17 episode of “The Walking Dead”)

“The Walking Dead” has not generally spent much time exploring what happened during the six-year time jump that occurred in the first half of this season. I assumed, generally, that we were meant to think that it was relatively uneventful. Aside, of course, from Maggie (Lauren Cohan) leaving Hilltop to go hang out with Georgie (Jayne Atkinson).

But it turned out there was at least one pretty significant event that took place fairly early on in that time period we skipped over, and that incident is the reason why Michonne (Danai Gurira) has been a bit more harsh and cautious than she had been before. Michonne had a nearly catastrophic run-in with an old friend named Jocelyn (Rutina Wesley) while she was pregnant that changed her.

That story was detailed in this week’s episode, which was split between the present narrative and the past. It’s a pretty “Lost”-esque way of fleshing out who Michonne is now, making this episode squarely focused on developing her character over progressing the main plot — the war with the Whisperers didn’t move very far this week.

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’: Are We Going to See Maggie Again This Season – or Ever?

Interestingly enough, the character of Jocelyn is original to the show and is not someone who Michonne has mentioned before. She’s not a loose interpretation of a comics character repurposed for this arc. She, and this story, are brand new. It’s a fascinating addition, given what we know about the changes the show already made to Michonne’s story from the comics and the fact that we know she’ll be leaving “The Walking Dead” next year.

Let’s talk about who Jocelyn is for a second. She simply showed up one day at Alexandria, severely injured and babbling about other survivors she needed to save. The Alexandrians take on that rescue duty while Jocelyn recovers, and it turns out that she had been shepherding a bunch of children.

Adding a compelling layer to this story is that Jocelyn was a friend of Michonne’s from college, and thus was someone Michonne felt pretty strongly she could trust. But that didn’t last long. After Jocelyn recovered she would hold sleepovers for the other kids who lived in Alexandria, and one night they stole a bunch of food and sneaked out of town — with the Alexandrian kids, including Judith Grimes.

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’: Daryl’s Big Move Takes the Whisperer War In A Very Different Direction From the Comics

The situation ended very poorly, with a pregnant Michonne and Daryl (Norman Reedus) mounting a rescue that ended with Michonne having to kill all the older children under Jocelyn’s care. It turned out that Jocelyn was indoctrinating the kids in a philosophy that was actually pretty similar to that of the Whisperers — you gotta be strong and not soft, trust no one, etc. And the kids worshiped Jocelyn in a very cult-like fashion. But Michonne managed to rescue Judith and the other kids from Alexandria, and also took in some of Jocelyn’s kids. But from then on she was significantly more wary about accepting outsiders, as we’ve seen many times this season since the time skip.

The changes to Michonne’s backstory on “The Walking Dead” show have been largely incidental thus far — she only had one son, instead of two daughters, and that son is very much dead when she first appeared on the show. In the comics, one of Michonne’s daughters ended up at a place the Commonwealth, which is a major plot thread in the next big storyline from the books after the Whisperer War.

Absent that major thread, Michonne sort of naturally becomes expendable in the near term, and this new wrinkle to her personal arc makes her vulnerable because she’s sort of echoing the Rick’s arc before his exit from “The Walking Dead.” A harsh, life-altering situation hardened them before he tried to change for the better — but it was clear that after the war with the Saviors Rick’s worldview did not quite fit with how things really were, and that’s why he knew he had to sacrifice himself.

Also Read: AMC Operating Chief: Third ‘Walking Dead’ Series in ‘Active Development,’ No Premiere Plans Yet

Michonne has always been a character that carried a particularly large amount of baggage, with the death of her three-year-old son in the early days of the apocalypse. That detail in particular makes this new story strike a nerve all the more. It appears by the end of this episode that Judith has softened Michonne’s heart a bit, but this story feeds into the instincts that she’s had all along — that she can’t trust anyone and that she has to handle everything herself. With Rick she was able to share the burden a bit, but he’s long gone now. It’s not hard to imagine Michonne reaching her breaking point sooner than later, especially if the creative powers-that-be behind “The Walking Dead” are choosing this moment to reveal this key plot detail.

With her baggage both from the death of her first son and from this incident with Jocelyn, Michonne feels like she’s headed for a similar situation Rick faced — where she finally feels like she knows what direction she and the people in her charge should take but the reality doesn’t really line up.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Walking Dead’: Are We Going to See Maggie Again This Season – or Ever?

‘Walking Dead’: Daryl’s Big Move Takes the Whisperer War In A Very Different Direction From the Comics

AMC Operating Chief: Third ‘Walking Dead’ Series in ‘Active Development,’ No Premiere Plans Yet

Danai Gurira to Exit ‘The Walking Dead’ After Season 10

‘Fear The Walking Dead’ Copyright Suit Settled Ahead Of Season 5 Debut

Read on: Deadline.

Less than two months after AMC and Fear The Walking Dead producers were burned in their desire to see Melvin Smith’s copyright lawsuit dismissed, both sides have struck a deal.
“Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41, Plaintiff Melvin Wil…

New ‘Orphan Black’ Series in the Works at AMC

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

“Orphan Black” could be coming back in a way fans did not expect, as a new series set in the show’s universe is currently in the works at AMC, TheWrap has learned.

An individual with knowledge of the project tells TheWrap that the show is in the very, very early stages of development at the network with Temple Street Productions, the producer behind the original Tatiana Maslany-led series, attached to produce the new show.

The source added that the followup series would not be considered a spinoff of the original — which was broadcast in the U.S. on AMC’s sister network BBC America — but rather an entirely new show set in the same world as “Orphan Black.”

Representatives for AMC and Temple Street Productions did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on the development news.

Also Read: Tatiana Maslany to Make Broadway Debut Opposite Bryan Cranston in ‘Network’

Co-created by John Fawcett and Graeme Manson, “Orphan Black” launched in 2013 and ran for five seasons. The critically-acclaimed series starred Maslany as a woman who discovers that she is a clone and that someone is plotting to kill her and her clone “sisters.”

Maslany was nominated for three Emmys — winning best actress in a drama series in 2016 — and a Golden Globe for her performance on “Orphan Black.”

Variety was first to report the news.

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‘Orphan Black’ Star Tatiana Maslany Quietly Dropped From Ryan Murphy’s ‘Pose’

‘Orphan Black’ Star Jordan Gavaris Says Fired APA Agent Tyler Grasham ‘Harassed’ Him

‘Orphan Black’ Showrunner Credits ‘Six Feet Under,’ ‘The Sopranos’ for Show’s Existence

All the ‘Orphan Black’ LEDA Clones Ranked by Usefulness (Photos)

MoviePass Rival Sinemia Rolls Out Ticket Plan Without Subscription Requirement

Read on: Deadline.

Sinemia, a rival to MoviePass in the percolating movie ticketing space, has announced a plan that offers discounted movie tickets without requiring a subscription.
The new Sinemia Limitless plan offers a card — either virtual or physical — …

‘Walking Dead’: Daryl’s Big Move Takes the Whisperer War In A Very Different Direction From the Comics

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

(Spoilers ahead for the March 3 episode of “The Walking Dead” on AMC)

We’re really only a few episodes into the TV show version of the Whisperer War on “The Walking Dead,” and thus far it’s gone largely according to the way the story was laid out in the comic book course material.

There are, obviously, some major differences in personnel with Carl dead and Rick out of the picture thanks to that helicopter, but showrunner Angela Kang and the writers have deftly swapped other characters into those roles. In particular, Henry has stepped into Carl’s shoes and assumed almost exactly Carl’s role in this story.

But if the ending of this week’s episode is anything to go by, the days of the show following the template set by the comics for this whole Whisperers thing are over, with Daryl (Norman Reedus) taking the story in what feels like a new direction.

Also Read: Looks Like ‘Walking Dead’ Is Replacing Carl With Henry for the Whisperers Story

But Daryl’s move was just one of a few bits from this episode that seems to indicate a big upheaval int he storyline could be on the way. Obviously I don’t know what the rest of the season holds, but since the war with the Saviors went very different on the show than it did in the comics, it stands to reason that they’ll continue to stray from the established path now to keep things interesting.

Anyway, let’s get into the details a little bit. In the comics, Carl befriended Lydia and then followed her back to the Whisperer camp, where he was captured and had a few big ideological debates with Alpha about the Whisperers’ troubling philosophy. And Carl was held captive for a while, until Rick found out he was missing and tracked down the Whisperers himself and got into a few ideological debates of his own with Alpha as they discussed how they might settle this budding conflict peacefully. Eventually Alpha lets Rick and Carl leave, and orders them to take Lydia with them because Alpha decides she no longer fits with the Whisperers.

On the show this week we skipped pretty much all of that. Alpha (Samantha Morton) and Henry barely talk to each other, and Henry’s captivity is ended when Daryl and Connie (Lauren Ridloff) use the Whisperers’ own tricks against them by leading a heard of zombies into their camp and pull Henry and Lydia out. This is the sort of development that could just be a shortcut through a slow part of the plot, but I don’t think so. Lydia leaving the Whisperers this way — by escaping rather than being banished — is a huge shift that could have major ramifications.

Also Read: ‘Walking Dead’: Are We Going to See Maggie Again This Season – or Ever?

In particular, Rick’s meeting with Alpha leads to a sort of informal ceasefire between the communities and the Whisperers — a “you stay out of our territory and we’ll stay out of yours” handshake agreement. And that holds until  a newly free Negan — freed by a character who is already dead on the show — murders Alpha and causes Beta to declare war.

But there’s no way there will be any kind of immediate peace after Daryl and Connie attacked the Whisperer camp, and Alpha is likely to want to get Lydia back again. Instead of having a bit of a lull before this new war really gets going, it looks more like it’s about to get going right now.

I can’t help but wonder if this means that the Whisperer War could actually wrap up this season instead of being drawn out the way the war with the Saviors was. Though with only four episodes left in the season it feels like it could be a tall talk to bring this story to its conclusion that quickly. But we’ll see soon enough, I guess.

Related stories from TheWrap:

AMC Operating Chief: Third ‘Walking Dead’ Series in ‘Active Development,’ No Premiere Plans Yet

‘Walking Dead’: Are We Going to See Maggie Again This Season – or Ever?

Looks Like ‘Walking Dead’ Is Replacing Carl With Henry for the Whisperers Story

Steven Spielberg’s Push for Oscar Rule Change Reignites Movie Theater vs Netflix Debate

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Hollywood icon Steven Spielberg ignited a fierce debate this weekend over a plan to propose new rules for the Oscars that would place limits on Netflix and other streamers trying to get around a theatrical release, but still win Best Picture.

“Ultimately the Oscars are meant to promote the theatrical experience,” video director Joseph Kahn argued on Twitter, supporting Spielberg’s move.”Netflix releasing in one theater and claiming they should be celebrated the same way as ‘BlacKkKlansman’ or even yes, ‘Green Book,’ is not remotely fair.”

“Real talk, has Spielberg been to a normal people movie theater lately?” Fangoria editor-in-chief Phil Nobile, Jr. asked on Twitter. “Last month I had the absolute pleasure of watching a film I exec-produced play to a sold-out crowd at the Egyptian on Hollywood. So I get where Spielberg is coming from. But the next week I was just a regular person again. And the theaters I go to are trash fires.”

Also Read: Ava DuVernay Opposes Steven Spielberg’s Effort to Keep Netflix Out of the Oscars

IndieWire reported on Thursday that Spielberg is expected to propose a rule change at next month’s Academy Board of Governors’ meeting to restrict eligibility for films that do not have a significant theatrical run, a reaction to the strong showing by the Netflix release of Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” at this year’s Oscars. In a statement sent to IndieWire, the Academy said that “awards rules discussions are ongoing with the branches. And the Board will likely consider the topic at the April meeting.”

Representatives for Spielberg and the Academy did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s requests for further comment.

The exact rules that Spielberg is planning to propose have not been disclosed, but one idea Academy insiders tell TheWrap may be on the table is to restrict eligibility to films that were exclusively in theaters for four to six weeks before being released on streaming.

That would prevent a film like “Roma,” which was on just over 100 screens for less than a month before hitting Netflix, from getting nominated. But getting support from the Academy for such a change would be difficult, as this would affect non-streaming indie studios as well, not to mention that the Academy already granted eligibility to films that open in theaters and streaming simultaneously back in 2012.

Also Read: Oscars Draw Almost 30 Million Total Viewers, Up 12 Percent From Last Year

One Academy board member told TheWrap this weekend that they will oppose Spielberg’s proposals if they come forward. Outside the board, Ava DuVernay, a member of the Academy’s directors branch who has released films on Netflix, has also said she opposes such changes. 

The Black List founder Franklin Leonard said such a rule change would disadvantage filmmakers of color: “I think we can all agree that the theatrical experience is worth protecting. I, for one, do,” Leonard tweeted. “I also think we can all agree that it is more difficult for films by and about women, people of color, and myriad other communities to access the resources necessary to secure an exclusive four week theatrical window.”

But Spielberg has insisted that such changes are necessary to protect the value of seeing a movie in theaters, something that he vowed to protect during a speech at the Cinema Audio Society Awards last month.

“I love television. I love the opportunity,” he said. “The sound is better in homes more than it ever has been in history but there’s nothing like going to a big dark theater with people you’ve never met before and having the experience wash over you. That’s something we all truly believe in.”

Also Read: Oscars: Congressman John Lewis’ ‘Green Book’ Presentation Left Some Viewers Grumbling

And some writers and filmmakers are publicly backing the director in his stand against streaming.

“Streaming is television. Quality television that has elevated the standards for made-for-TV and direct-to-video movies, but still television. Either do a theatrical release correctly or enjoy your Emmys,” tweeted writer David Cornelius. “All [Spielberg] is asking is for a slight window between theatrical availability and home video availability, to help underscore a film’s status as a big screen event.”

But not everyone feels like movie theaters provide that “big event” feel anymore. Repertory theaters like Hollywood’s Egyptian Theatre and the Quentin Tarantino-owned New Beverly Cinema go the extra mile to make going to the movies feel special. National chains like AMC and Cinemark have also made efforts in recent years to woo back moviegoers with upgraded food, alcohol availability and recliner seats. But despite these efforts, movie theaters still have a stigma of inconvenience and poor quality that is proving difficult to shake.

“At my home, I’ve invested in a home theater setup,” Tedone said on Twitter. “When it’s time to watch a film, no phones, no talking. We are watching the film. That’s it. The picture is calibrated, the sound is too. The picture in my room is better than most of the times I see something at the theater.”

Also Read: Top Critics Vent as ‘Green Book’ Tops Oscars; LA Times Critic Calls It Worst Best Picture Winner Since ‘Crash’

But there’s also a debate over just how much the communal and large-format nature of the movie theater adds to movies as an art form. Spielberg sees it as absolutely essential, to the point that he has openly said he doesn’t think Netflix films should be eligible for Oscars at all.

“Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie,” he told ITV News. “You certainly, if it’s a good show, deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar. I don’t believe films that are just given token qualifications in a couple of theaters for less than a week should qualify for the Academy Award nomination.”

Films like “Roma,” which were not produced by Netflix and premiered at the prestigious Venice Film Festival, are blurring the line, especially as streamers take a bigger presence as buyers at Sundance and other festivals. On top of that, there’s another awards campaign practice that leads to many Academy members seeing Oscar contenders out of the theater: screeners.

Also Read: Ava DuVernay Opposes Steven Spielberg’s Effort to Keep Netflix Out of the Oscars

“Here’s how we’ll know if Spielberg has the courage of his convictions: When he calls for abolishing screeners,” tweeted “The Daily Show” writer/producer Daniel Radosh. “After all, shouldn’t the people who actually vote for the Oscars be the ones required to see the films in their ideal form?”

The trend is actually going in the other direction. In an effort to encourage wider viewing of all nominees among voters and to consolidate the screening process, the Academy has encouraged its members in recent years to watch screeners through its member website. While studios and trade news outlets (like this one) still host FYC screenings during awards season, even the Academy is recognizing that streaming makes it easier for all the nominees to get in front of their entire membership.

“Roma” may have failed to become the first film released by a streamer to win Best Picture, but with three Oscars from 10 nominations, it has definitely forced the issue. Along with the battle to come at the Board of Governors meeting, April will also see movie theater owners convene at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, where the National Association of Theater Owners will certainly be faced with questions on how it will deal with Netflix’s steadfast refusal to disclose its box office numbers.

And Netflix won’t be stopping with its plans to deal out big films, as it will release Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” next fall. With an all-star cast led by Robert De Niro and a blockbuster budget to de-age the stars in flashback scenes, Netflix will almost assuredly be back in the Oscar conversation next year…provided that Spielberg’s crusade isn’t successful.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Ava DuVernay Opposes Steven Spielberg’s Effort to Keep Netflix Out of the Oscars

Oscars Draw Almost 30 Million Total Viewers, Up 12 Percent From Last Year

Oscars: ‘Green Book’ Win Gives an Old-Fashioned Ending to a Diverse, Forward-Looking Show

John Turturro on ‘The Name of the Rose’: Politics, Celibacy and the Suppression of Women

Read on: Variety.

John Turturro and the producers of “The Name of the Rose”  unveiled their ambitious English-language TV adaptation of Umberto Eco’s murder mystery in Rome on Thursday ahead of its global rollout, which will kick off March 4 on Italy’s RAI. Producers an…

AMC Operating Chief: Third ‘Walking Dead’ Series in ‘Active Development,’ No Premiere Plans Yet

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

AMC executives gave us a very slight update Thursday on the latest “Walking Dead” spinoff, which should become the third series in Scott M. Gimple’s TV universe. Still, it’s one that may satiate rabid fans of the franchise.

“That is in active development,” Ed Carroll, chief operating officer, AMC Networks said. “We’re not yet at a stage where we’ll be announcing its plans to premiere. But we have hired creative people that have pitched story outlines. We feel very good about the development of that series.”

Carroll’s comments came during his company’s fourth-quarter 2018 conference call with media analysts and reporters.

Also Read: ‘The Walking Dead’ Drops to All-Time Low in Ratings and Viewers

Much of Carroll’s and CEO Josh Sapan’s remarks on the call were intended to add some perspective to dwindling Nielsen ratings for Season 9 of “The Walking Dead.” Though the series is way down from its heyday and recently hit an all-time low in both the key adults 18-49 demographic and in total viewers, executives there are quick to point out that it’s still cable’s top drama and No. 2 on all of TV this season to NBC’s “This Is Us.”

Find AMC’s actual Q4 financial results here. Of some interest, U.S. advertising revenue grew a bit as higher prices helped offset lower ratings, including at flagship series “The Walking Dead.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Walking Dead’: Are We Going to See Maggie Again This Season – or Ever?

Danai Gurira to Exit ‘The Walking Dead’ After Season 10

‘Walking Dead’ Is Most-Pirated TV Show of 2018 – Because, You Know, No New ‘Game of Thrones’