Wednesday, June 20, 2018

News Briefs

Displaying 1 - 10 of 3053
  • Wednesday, Jun. 20, 2018
Film starring Kevin Spacey to be released in August
In this June 11, 2017 file photo, Kevin Spacey arrives at the 71st annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Kevin Spacey was erased from "All the Money in the World" and booted from "House of Cards," but a movie starring the disgraced actor is going forward with a summer release.

Vertical Entertainment announced that it will release "Billionaire Boys Club" on video-on-demand on July 17 and in theaters August 17. The film is about young wealthy men in Los Angeles who run a Ponzi scheme. It stars Ansel Elgort, Taron Egerton and Spacey.

"Billionaire Boys Club" was shot in 2015, before Spacey was accused last fall of sexual assault and inappropriate behavior by numerous people. Spacey apologized to one accuser.

Vertical Entertainment said it fully supports victims of sexual harassment but that it believes the film's cast and crew deserve "to see their final product reach audiences."

  • Wednesday, Jun. 20, 2018
Apple signs deal with Sesame Workshop for kids' shows
This Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, file photo shows the Apple logo above a store location entrance in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Apple is getting into business with the prestigious Sesame Workshop.

Apple said Wednesday it has given a multiple-series order to the nonprofit organization.

The shows will be part of a slate of children's programming for Apple's upcoming streaming service.

Apple said the long-running "Sesame Street" program, which airs on PBS and HBO, isn't part of the agreement.

Apple has been making content deals with other big names, including Oprah Winfrey, as it prepares to compete with Netflix, Amazon and other streaming services.

  • Tuesday, Jun. 19, 2018
Disney names new Animation, Pixar chiefs post-Lasseter
This combination photo shows Jennifer Lee at the world premiere of "A Wrinkle in Time" in Los Angeles on Feb. 26, 2018, left, and Pete Docter at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in Santa Barbara, Calif., on Feb. 6, 2010. (AP Photo)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn says Tuesday that Jennifer Lee and Pete Docter are taking over for former Disney animation and Pixar chief John Lasseter, who is departing Disney at the end of the year following misconduct allegations.

Both Oscar-winners and veterans of the Walt Disney Company, Lee, who co-directed "Frozen," has been named chief creative officer for the Walt Disney Animation Studios, and Docter, who is best known for "Up" and "Inside Out," is now the chief creative officer for Pixar Animation.

Horn says in a statement that both Lee and Docter embody the spirit, culture and values of their respective studios.

Lasseter in November announced a six-month sabbatical and apologized for "missteps" with employees. The animation titan will stay on as a consultant through 2018.

  • Sunday, Jun. 17, 2018
Director Bier, production designer Duffield elected to Academy Board of Governors
Susanne Bier
LOS ANGELES -- 

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced its newly elected 2018–19 Board of Governors, who assume their posts as of July 1.  

Those elected to the Board for the first time are: Alfred Molina, Actors Branch; Tom Duffield, Designers Branch; Susanne Bier, Directors Branch; and Bonnie Arnold, Short Films and Feature Animation Branch.

Incumbent governors reelected to the Board include: Bernard Telsey, Casting Directors Branch; Daryn Okada, Cinematographers Branch; Rory Kennedy, Documentary Branch; Jim Gianopulos, Executives Branch; Carol Littleton, Film Editors Branch; Lois Burwell, Makeup Artists and Hairstylists Branch; Michael Giacchino, Music Branch; Scott Millan, Sound Branch; John Knoll, Visual Effects Branch; and Billy Ray, Writers Branch.

Returning to the Board after a hiatus are: Jeffrey Kurland, Costume Designers Branch; and Sid Ganis, Public Relations Branch

The balloting in the Academy’s Producers Branch produced a tie between candidates Jason Blum and Jennifer Todd, necessitating a runoff election.  Voting will begin Monday, June 18, and end Tuesday, June 19.  The Academy last held a runoff election in 2016 for the Film Editors Branch.

The Academy’s 17 branches are each represented by three governors, who may serve up to three consecutive three-year terms. The Board of Governors sets the Academy’s strategic vision, preserves the organization’s financial health, and assures the fulfillment of its mission.  

For a full list of the 2017-2018 Academy governors, click here.

  • Saturday, Jun. 16, 2018
AMC Networks: Hardwick's talk show on hold amid allegations
In this Jan. 11, 2018 file photo, Chris Hardwick arrives at the 23rd annual Critics' Choice Awards in Santa Monica, Calif. On Saturday, June 16, 2018, AMC Networks says Hardwick's talk show is on hold and he has withdrawn as moderator of AMC and BBC America's Comic-Con panels. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Chris Hardwick's cable talk show is on hold and he has withdrawn as moderator of AMC and BBC America's Comic-Con panels, AMC Networks said Saturday.

The company said it had a positive working relationship with the host and producer but takes seriously what it calls "troubling" allegations by his former girlfriend, Chloe Dykstra.

In an online post, she lodged claims of sexual assault and emotional abuse against a man whom she didn't identify. But she included details about his age and work history that led some to link her allegations to Hardwick, who acknowledged Dykstra was referring to him as he denied her claims.

"I was heartbroken to read Chloe's post," Hardwick said in a statement provided Saturday to The Associated Press. He said the couple's three-year relationship was imperfect and included arguments, but he loved her.

Hardwick said he "did my best to uplift and support her as a partner and companion in any way and at no time did I sexually assault her," adding that he was  "devastated" and "blindsided" by her post accusing him of conduct that he said didn't occur.

"As a husband, a son, and future father, I do not condone any kind of mistreatment of women," he said.

AMC Networks said "Talking with Chris Hardwick" won't air on AMC while it assesses the situation and that Hardwick decided to step aside from next month's Comic-Con panels in San Diego.

Hardwick gained attention as host of AMC's "Talking Dead," a talk-show companion to its "The Walking Dead" drama series.

The initial public fallout to Dykstra's post Thursday involved Nerdist, which Hardwick founded as a podcast and then expanded into a digital network that was acquired by Legendary Entertainment. His name has been removed from the Nerdist website, which said the behavior claimed in the post by Dykstra is contrary to what it stands for.

In a statement, Legendary said references to Hardwick as Nerdist's founder were deleted pending further investigation.

It said Hardwick's contract expired in December 2017 and he no longer has any affiliation with Nerdist or Legendary's digital media division.

  • Friday, Jun. 15, 2018
Apple announces multi-year content deal with Oprah Winfrey
In this Oct. 21, 2017 file photo, Oprah Winfrey arrives for the David Foster Foundation 30th Anniversary Miracle Gala and Concert, in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Apple says it has reached a multi-year deal with Oprah Winfrey to create original programs for its streaming service.

Apple said Friday the programs will be released worldwide as part of a lineup of original content.

Apple has yet to launch its service, whose major competitors will include Amazon and Netflix.

Winfrey founded and heads the OWN channel as chair and CEO. She recently extended her contract with OWN through 2025.

An OWN spokeswoman said Winfrey has an exclusive on-camera deal with OWN but can appear elsewhere on a limited basis.

Winfrey's content for Apple will be solely for the streaming service, the representative said.

  • Friday, Jun. 15, 2018
Kansas City-based agency Barkley expands to Colorado 
Pictured (l-r) are Randy Rogers, Jeff Graham and Wade Paschall.
BOULDER, Colo. -- 

Kansas City, Missouri-based advertising agency Barkley announced that long-time partner agency Grenadier in Boulder, Colorado, will become an official part of the Barkley brand. Barkley made the structural change to attract talent and streamline its creative process.

Founded as a Barkley partner agency in 2012, Grenadier started as a strategic and creative boutique agency focused on emerging brands. Today, the team in Boulder has evolved into a more seamless extension of Barkley, working on several of the agency’s key clients such as Bass Pro Shops and Thrivent Financial. 

“I’m excited for our team to be able to work on big, important brand problems faster than we could as a stand-alone agency, and to have the support and depth that our Kansas City office brings us,” said Jeff Graham, SVP, managing director at Barkley (formerly the managing director at Grenadier).

In the new structure, creative, strategy, account, and production teams will report to a company-wide lead regardless of office location. The goal for the restructuring is to allow Barkley to deliver the right team at the right time for clients big or small. Grenadier’s leadership will remain in place. In addition to Graham, Grenadier partners Wade Paschall and Randy Rogers will be taking on roles as VPs/group creative directors at Barkley. 

The shift also opens up Barkley to a vast pool of talent in the Denver/Boulder area, which has a high concentration of startups and a culture of innovation. Advertising people frequently move to Colorado  for one of the dominant agencies and stay because of the lifestyle. Barkley hopes to emerge as another viable destination for those people.

Barkley has more than 400 employees on staff. Grenadier now operates as Barkley and will maintain its current office location and team with future plans for growth.

“The agency with the best people wins—and our job is to get an unfair share of great talent,” says Jeff King, CEO at Barkley, “We believe expanding the Barkley footprint to include Boulder helps us achieve that.” 

  • Friday, Jun. 15, 2018
Google barely moves needle on gender, diversity in workforce
This July 19, 2016, file photo shows the Google logo at the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) -- 

Google barely raised the number of women and under-represented minorities among its ranks, while it got less white and more Asian over the past year, according to the search giant's fifth annual diversity report .

The report released Thursday comes a week after shareholders voted down proposals to study linking executive pay to diversity goals and as it grapples with ongoing lawsuits over gender discrimination

Google bumped the percentage of its female employees up by a tenth of a percentage point to 30.9 percent.

Despite falling more than 2 percent, white workers remained the majority at 53.1 percent, while Asians grew more than a percentage point to 36.3 percent. Black and Latino workers grew a tenth of a percent to 2.5 and 3.6 percent.

Google says it needs to do more on diversity, and added new data on hiring, attrition and gender by ethnicity. The new data showed black workers left the company at far higher rates than other groups. The report said its efforts at improving diversity must include "creating an inclusive culture" and not just boosted hiring.

Google is part of Alphabet Inc., which is based in Mountain View, California, and employs about 85,000 people.

  • Thursday, Jun. 14, 2018
Nicole Kidman, Amazon sign TV, movie production deal
In this Jan. 5, 2018 file photo, Nicole Kidman appears at the 7th annual AACTA International Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Amazon Studios says it's signed a deal with Nicole Kidman and her production company for TV and movie projects.

Under the "first-look" deal, Amazon and Kidman's Blossom Films will develop original series for Amazon Prime Video and big-screen films.

In a statement Thursday, Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke called Kidman "a force of nature" as an actress and a producer.

Blossom Films, founded by Kidman and Per Saari, produced the Emmy-winning series "Big Little Lies" for HBO.

Amazon is striking deals with other prominent Hollywood figures, including "Get Out" filmmaker Jordan Peele.

Another major streaming service, Netflix, has landed top producers Ryan Murphy ("American Horror Story") and Shonda Rhimes ("Scandal").

  • Thursday, Jun. 14, 2018
Movie adaptation of true-crime podcast "S-Town" planned
In this June 2, 2017 file photo, Tom McCarthy arrives at the "13 Reasons Why" FYC Event in Beverly Hills, Calif. McCarthy is in negotiations to direct a film based on the seven-episode podcast "S-Town." (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

The popular true-crime podcast "S-Town" is being developed as a movie.

The film production company Participant Media has acquired the feature-film rights to the seven-episode podcast. "Spotlight" director Tom McCarthy is in negotiations to direct.

Made by the creators of the podcast "Serial," ''S-Town" is about an Alabama antique clock restorer from Woodstock, Alabama, named John B. McLemore. In 2012, he sent an email to the makers of "This American Life" asking for help in a murder investigation.

Longtime "This American Life" producer Brian Reed traveled to McLemore's hometown. But Reed uncovered not so much a whodunit procedural as a more mysterious small-town tale.

Deadline first reported the deal.