Sissy Spacek Joins Julia Roberts Amazon Series ‘Homecoming’ – Variety – Sharing Variety Magazine


Academy Award winner Sissy Spacek has been cast in a recurring role in the upcoming Amazon series “Homecoming.”

The series stars Julia Roberts, Bobby Cannavale and Stephan James and is described as a psychological thriller that centers on a caseworker at a facility treating soldiers returning from war, and a veteran eager to rejoin civilian life. It is based on the hit podcast from Gimlet Media.

Spacek will play Ellen Bergman, the mother of Roberts’ character Heidi. Ellen is said to be no-nonsense, somewhat crabby, but fiercely protective of her daughter.

Spacek is one of the most respected actresses in Hollywood with a career spanning four decades. She is best known for playing the title role in Brian De Palma’s “Carrie,” based on the Stephen King novel, as well as for her roles in “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Badlands,” “The Straight Story,” “In the Bedroom,” and the upcoming film “Old Man and The Gun.” She won the Oscar for her role in “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” Her television credits include HBO’s “Big Love,” Netflix’s “Bloodline,” and upcoming Hulu series “Castle Rock.”

She is repped by UTA and MGMT Entertainment.

The series hails from Universal Cable Productions (UCP) and Amazon Studios. It is written and executive produced by podcast creators Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg, and directed by “Mr. Robot” creator Sam Esmail. Esmail will also produce through his production company Esmail Corp along with “Mr. Robot” executive producer Chad Hamilton of Anonymous Content. Chris Giliberti, Alex Blumberg, and Matt Lieber of Gimlet Media will also executive produce. Roberts also will serve as executive producer through her production company Red Om Films. Her partners Lisa Gillan and Marisa Yeres Gill will co-executive produce. Amazon Studios gave a two-season, straight-to-series order to “Homecoming,” which will premiere globally on the streaming service.


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Amazon Snags European Rights to ‘Cloak & Dagger’ and ‘The Crossing’ – Variety – Sharing Variety Magazine


Amazon’s European subscribers will get a double dose of new U.S. drama in April and June. Marvel’s upcoming series “Cloak & Dagger” and ABC sci-fi mystery “The Crossing” will play on the Prime Video service in a host of European territories.

Cloak & Dagger” will be on the Freeform cable network in the U.S. and play on Prime Video in Austria, France, Italy, Ireland, Switzerland, and the U.K. a day after the US premiere. The series relays the story of two teenagers who find they have newly acquired superpowers. One teen can emit light daggers and the other has the ability to engulf others in darkness.

The Crossing” will land on Prime Video in the U.K. and Ireland on April 3, a day after the series launches on ABC in the U.S. It will then be available on Prime Video in Austria, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland on April 27. The series follows a group of refugees from a war-torn country 250 years in the future who seek asylum in an American town.

Both series are distributed by Disney’s EMEA sales arm, which struck the Amazon deal. Jay Marine, VP Prime Video EU, said the big-ticket acquisitions were a step forward for Amazon in Europe.

“We are thrilled to be bringing Marvel’s next hugely anticipated TV series exclusively to Prime Video and we look forward to hearing the reaction from Marvel fans and newcomers to the iconic entertainment series alike as they discover the universe of ‘Cloak & Dagger,’” Marine said.

He added: “’The Crossing’ is a timely addition to Prime Video and we’re expecting customers to find much to love about this enigmatic show.”


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A+E Networks Chief Nancy Dubuc Drops Out of Amazon Studios Executive Race – Variety – Sharing Variety Magazine


A+E Networks chief Nancy Dubuc has pulled herself out of contention for the top job at Amazon Studios.

Sources said Amazon had been in negotiations with Dubuc but the executive became weary of the extended interviewing process and decided to withdraw from consideration. She is expected to remain at the helm of A+E Networks, the home of A&E, Lifetime, and History cablers. Dubuc was also said to have been concerned about the fact that she would have to relocate her family from New York to Southern California to take on the Amazon job.

Dubuc’s departure after engaging in negotiations raises questions about the remaining candidates under review by Amazon. NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke is known to have had discussions with Amazon during the long process of finding a replacement for former Amazon Studios president Roy Price, who was forced out in November on the heels of sexual harassment allegations. Amazon also sought to recruit Fox Television Group chairman-CEO Dana Walden but she also withdrew from the process last month.

Dubuc would have brought experience as a cable programmer and CEO to Amazon. The digital behemoth’s entertainment division has been moving along under the interim leadership of COO Albert Cheng and has been making a fair number of big deals. Amazon in November committed a whopping $250 million to a rights deal for the “Lord of the Rings” franchise with the goal of producing multiple series. Earlier this week, it made a two-season deal with Endeavor Content for a new take on the “Conan the Barbarian” franchise.

Amazon and Dubuc declined to comment.


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Production Designer Was 86 – Variety – Sharing Variety Magazine


Terence Marsh, the Academy Award-winning art director and production designer behind “Doctor Zhivago,” “Oliver!,” and “The Shawshank Redemption” died in his Pacific Palisades, Calif. home on Jan. 9 after battling cancer for four years. He was 86.

Marsh shared two Oscar wins for his work as art director on David Lean’s sprawling epic “Dr. Zhivago” and on Charles Dickens period piece “Oliver!,” directed by Carol Reed. He also received Academy Award nominations as production designer for “Mary, Queen of Scots” and “Scrooge.”

He was nominated for three BAFTA Awards for “The Hunt for Red October,” “A Bridge Too Far” and “Scrooge.” Throughout his career, he collaborated with acclaimed directors such as Sydney Pollack and John Huston. Among the other films he worked on as production designer and art director were “The Green Mile,” “Clear and Present Danger,” “Absence of Malice” and “A Touch of Class.”

Marsh produced, wrote, and acted in some of his films. He designed and made a cameo in Mel Brooks’ “Space Balls.” He designed, co-wrote, and co-produced “Finders Keepers” starring Jim Carrey.

Born in the U.K., Marsh entered the film world in the 1950s as a draughtsman for Rank Studios where he learned production design skills. He was then hired as an assistant art director on “Lawrence of Arabia” in 1960 by production designer John Box, who became Marsh’s mentor. In 1975, Marsh moved to Los Angeles and became friends with Gene Wilder, whom Marsh worked with on “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother” and “Haunted Honeymoon,” which Marsh also co-wrote.

Marsh last worked on “Rush Hour 2” in 2001. He is survived by his wife and three daughters.


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‘Narcos’ Star Pedro Pascal Lands Pivotal Role in ‘Wonder Woman’ Sequel – Variety – Sharing Variety Magazine


Director Patty Jenkins is bringing on Pedro Pascal for a key role in her “Wonder Woman” sequel starring Gal Gadot.

The “Narcos” star is on board for the follow-up to 2017’s hit, joining Kristen Wiig, who was tapped for the villain role of Cheetah. The film would mark the second time Pascal and Jenkins have worked together, having previously teamed up on the TV movie “Exposed.”

Variety first reported that Jenkins would be returning to write, direct, and produce the pic. Following the news that the studio has slated the movie for Nov. 1, 2019, finding this pivotal role became a top priority.

Plot details are still being kept under wraps, as is the character Pascal will be playing.

Wonder Woman” has been a standout in DC’s cinematic universe, grossing $821 million worldwide, including $412 domestically. It scored with critics as well, earning a nomination from the Producers Guild as one of the best films of 2017.

Pascal gained traction in Hollywood with his scene-stealing performance as Oberyn Martell in HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” That role would lead to another star-making turn in Netflix’s drama series “Narcos.”

Following the success of both shows, Pascal has begun to make moves in the film world. He was most recently seen in Fox’s “Kingsmen: The Golden Circle” and can be seen next starring opposite Denzel Washington in Antoine Fuqua’s sequel to “The Equalizer,” which debuts July 20. This fall, he will also appear in Annapurna and Barry Jenkin’s drama “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

He is currently filming J.C. Chandor’s “Triple Frontier” alongside Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, and Garrett Hedlund in Hawaii for Netflix.

Pascal is repped by WME and Untitled Entertainment.


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Corey Feldman Stabbed, Actor Claims ‘Wolfpack’ Behind Attack – Variety – Sharing Variety Magazine


Corey Feldman was stabbed multiple times on Tuesday evening by an unknown assailant, a spokesman for the LAPD confirmed to Variety.

The “Goonies” star is in stable condition after going to a local hospital. The police spokesperson said there was no laceration to Feldman’s abdomen or any additional injuries. The  department does not have a suspect description, nor has it determined what weapon was used in the attack. An investigation is ongoing.

Feldman later tweeted images of himself in a hospital bed and claimed that he was targeted by a “wolfpack.” The child star of such films as “Stand By Me” and “The Lost Boys” has been outspoken in his claims that there is a long-standing pedophile ring involving powerful Hollywood men. He says he and his friend Corey Haim were both molested by industry figures when they were young actors. Haim died in 2010 at age 38. Last November, the LAPD ended an investigation into the allegations, saying the incident was outside the statute of limitations.

“I have had mounting threats on all [social media] platforms by this vile ‘wolfpack’ & I’m this I’m sure is a result of those negative actions,” he wrote. “I have reason 2 believe it’s all connected! Enough is enough! How sick r these ppl?!?”

Feldman’s car was stopped at a red light at 10:45 p.m., a police spokesman said, when someone opened the door and made “a stabbing motion with an unknown object.” On Twitter, Feldman said he was in the car with his security when three men approached. One opened his door and stabbed him, the actor said.

“Please say prayers 4 us,” Feldman tweeted.


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An App Cures All in Blandly Silly Teen Fantasy – Variety – Sharing Variety Magazine


A magic cellphone app is the solution to everything except the script holes in Scott Speer’s blandly silly high school fantasy.

Over 90 minutes pass before any character utters anything remotely sensible in “Status Update,” as the protagonist’s no-nonsense mother counsels him to stop worrying about social media: “It’s everybody’s highlight reel of what they want you to see: bulls—t with a filter on it to make it look pretty.” Those words might ring truer in a less antiseptic and artificial context than Scott Speer’s tapioca-bland high school comedy, in which the notionally modern high concept of a magic cellphone app — one that instantly makes our hero’s every status update come true — merely facilitates an age-old “careful what you wish for” fable, in which familiar lessons about staying true to yourself and your friends are learned. Landing in U.S. theaters just a week after Speer’s similarly teen-targeted “Midnight Sun,” this plastic, “Glee”-inflected throwaway will thereafter make a swift transfer to VOD — if ever a film demanded to be viewed on a phone, it’s this one.

Screenwriter Jason Filardi’s last big-screen credit, the 2009 Zac Efron vehicle “17 Again,” was a comparable adolescent fantasy — and give or take the odd reference to Snapchat culture, his script for “Status Update” feels like it’s been in a drawer since around that time. Nothing in the way the film’s teenagers speak, style themselves or socialize feels particularly of the moment, even relative to such other clean-cut, post-millennial mall movies as “Love, Simon.” Even its nods to technology feel just off: Facebook, the social network referenced in the film’s title and key plot device, belongs principally to the generation preceding this one. Do kids even post status updates any more?

If they don’t, to be fair, 17-year-old Kyle (Ross Lynch) is given a pretty good reason to revive the trend. A shaggy-haired Californian surfer dude thrown out of his element when his mother (Wendi McLendon-Covey) splits from his feckless dad (Rob Riggle) and moves the family to New England, he initially struggles to find a place in the new, snooty social order. Falling foul of the jocks led by preening hockey captain Derek (Gregg Sulkin) and befriending only awkward social outcast Lonnie (Harvey Guillen), he finds his fortunes rapidly improve after an encounter with an eccentric cellphone salesman (Josh Ostrovsky), who signs him into the uncanny online world of U-Niverse, a mysterious app that effectively turns his phone into a 21st-century Aladdin’s lamp.

In a matter of weeks, the new kid grows into the school’s most popular all-rounder, becoming an overnight hockey ace to threaten Derek’s dominance, and gaining Bruno Mars-style performance chops to woo earnest glee-club songbird Dani (Olivia Holt). Even his family troubles prove no match for the app, though needless to say, Kyle’s newfound, less than hard-earned status comes with some technical glitches — none of which lend this Wonder Bread affair even a glancing connection with human reality, as one fractured relationship or internal crisis after another is fixed in a chirpy snap. (A subplot involving one secondary character’s hastily resolved sexuality feels especially glib for its times.) “Status Update” is formally one cut above Disney Channel programming (the training ground, not incidentally, for multiple players here), but it lives very much in that milieu: a world where a boy as handsomely blond, athletic and self-possessed as Kyle actually gets to start proceedings as the underdog.

Inasmuch as one can complain about a film having plot holes when it hinges entirely on a magic cellphone app, much of “Status Update” feels cursory and unconsidered by its hokey standards: Even allowing for some hormonal disarray, Kyle’s motivations make perilously little sense from one scene to the next, and it’s all Lynch can do to grin winningly through it. Amid the sparkly young ensemble, all given types rather than characters to play, only promising Australian up-and-comer Courtney Eaton (“Mad Max: Fury Road”), brings a lip-licking glimmer of wit to proceedings as the school’s mean girl-in-chief; the grownups, from John Michael Higgins as a sad-sack choirmaster to Famke Janssen as a sexually predatory mom, must make do with demeaning scraps.

Technically, the film is a cheap, clean, characterless affair, its heavily lit, wipe-down aesthetic sparking to life only in a couple of peppy musical numbers, which may all too briefly remind “Step Up” acolytes that Speer directed that franchise’s liveliest, most visually inventive entry, “Step Up: Revolution,” in 2012. (The same year, by the way, that Kyle’s favored jam, the Mars smash “Locked Out of Heaven,” hit the charts.) These segues into song and dance are so plainly modeled on the glory days of Ryan Murphy’s “Glee,” however, that they only wind up making “Status Update” feel another half-decade or so behind the beat — not too long, in the grand scheme of things, but a near-lifetime in app years.


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The Art of Compassion: Highlights from PCRM’s 25th Anniversary Gala – #Helping others with #HeathTips and #Research #Videos

PCRM’s 25th anniversary Art of Compassion gala took place on April 10, 2010, in Los Angeles. With a star-studded guest lineup and breathtaking location, this gala was an extraordinary event—complete with dozens of special guests, awards, and entertainment.

#Helping others with #HeathTips and #Research #Videos

Lucas Cruikshank Signs With Fullscreen Talent Division – Variety – Sharing Variety Magazine


Lucas Cruikshank, one of the earliest breakout YouTube stars, has signed on to Fullscreen’s roster of fully managed talent.

Fullscreen announced the signing of Cruikshank and five other digital influencers — Khadi Don, Alex G., Thomas Halbert Jake Koehler and Bobby Mares — to the division. All together, the six personalities have more than 15.5 million followers across YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

The group joins Fullscreen’s talent roster that includes the Dobre Brothers, Jean Elie, Cody Ko, Elle Mills, and Alyx Weiss.

Cruikshank, 24, was one of the first big YouTube stars who parlayed his character Fred Figglehorn into TV success with series of Nickelodeon shows and movies. Cruikshank is also repped by UTA; previously he was affiliated with Supergravity Pictures’ Red Sun Entertainment talent-management division.

“We’re at a time where talent coming on board with Fullscreen are looking for an integrated, 360-degree approach from their managers,” Mahzad Babayan, head of the digital-media company’s talent division, said in announcing the signings. “Our team looks at careers holistically and has the expertise to advise on what is best for them and to help them navigate the entertainment business.”

Here’s more background on each of the new creators who have joined Fullscreen:

  • Lucas Cruikshank began his YouTube career at 13 when he began posting videos of the Fred character, an erratic 6-year-old living with his alcoholic mom. He now regularly posts comedy vlogs and sketches to his Lucas channel on YouTube, which has about 2.7 million subscribers. Cruikshank also has nearly 500,000 followers on Instagram, 400,000 followers on Twitter and 1.2 million on Facebook.
  • Khadi Don is an L.A.-based writer, actress, filmmaker, and comedian with a following of over 3.5 million fans. Most recently, she was featured on Complex’s series “Dumb as Hell,” TBS’s “Drop the Mic,” and Super Deluxe’s viral video “Khadi and Joanne.”
  • Alex G started posting to YouTube in 2010 with her first-ever video going viral with over 1 million views. Since then, she has continued to post covers, as well as develop her original music and artist projects, working with writers such as Lauren Christy, Jason Mraz, Jason Reeves and Mikal Blue. She now has over 1.5 million YouTube subscribers and 700,000 monthly listeners on Spotify.
  • Thomas Halbert is beauty guru with over 800,000 fans across YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. The 21-year-old native North Carolina joined YouTube in February 2015.
  • Jake Koehler is a YouTuber with more than 3 million subscribers who focuses on treasure hunting, angling, freediving, scuba diving, surfing, spearfishing and metal detecting. Some of his most popular videos feature him fishing alongside Bass Master Classics champion Randy Howell and top-ranked bass fisherman Scott Martin.
  • Bobby Mares is a musician known for his popular vlogs, challenges and collaboration videos. He has 575,000 subscribers for his YouTube channel, as well as nearly 300,000 Instagram followers and 178,000 on Twitter. He initially became known as an artist when he released music under the name My Genuine Find in 2009, but has pivoted into more personality-driven content.


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