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Dan Barrett is an industry commentator & TV critic. He does radio - 4BC & ABC GC and co-hosts the Screen Watching podcast. He's a former Mediaweek deputy editor and content creator for SBS.
Tenet delayed. US cinema ruined.
ALSO: More sexual harassment at Fox News: AND: Inside MacGyver's toxic workplace
The big news today is that Warner Bros have delayed the release of the new Christopher Nolan film Tenet.
Tenet was seen as Hollywood’s big, featured release that would tell the world that Hollywood’s cinema is open for business again. But with the stupid virus taking even greater hold across the US it is becoming less and less tenable for cinemas to re-open anytime soon.
The film had been set for a July 17 release. And then August 12. Now? It doesn’t have a date at all. Warners couldn’t just keep pushing it back - it would then interfere with the planned roll-out of Wonder Woman 1984 in October (it had been scheduled to August 14, but pushed back to October to accommodate Tenet) and Dune in December.
What happens now? This is where it gets interesting. Warner Bros Chairman Toby Emmerich has said:
“We are not treating ‘Tenet’ like a traditional global day-and-date release, and our upcoming marketing and distribution plans will reflect that.”
What this probably means is that Tenet will be pushed back to the US Summer 2021, with Tenet releasing much earlier internationally. This is a challenge for Warner Bros as the chance for piracy becomes an issue. Plus there is the secretive nature of Tenet - is it really a sly Inception sequel as has been rumored?
And what happens in October if Warner Bros can’t release Wonder Woman 1984 as planned?
On a related note, the biggest film at the US box office (ie drive-ins, mostly) this past weekend was the horror film Relic which took $164k. In Australia the film went direct to streaming on Stan. Source: Box Office Mojo
Fox Business Network producer Jennifer Eckhart and former FNC guest Cathy Areu has filed suit against Fox News. The suit alleges:
“As described in detail herein, Fox News continues to protect and reward perpetrators of sexual harassment and refuses to take accountability for putting such persons in positions of power from which they can subject women to sexual misconduct, sexual assault and, in the case of Ms. Eckhart, rape,” the injunction and wide-spread damages seeking suit states. “Some of the names in leadership may have changed since Roger Ailes’ regime, but Fox News’ institutional apathy towards sexual misconduct has not.”
In addition to the network and management, the suit names on-air opinion hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity & Howard Kurtz, and contributor Gianno Caldwell.
Director Allison Ellwood joins us on the Always Be Watching podcast this week to talk about her new 2-part doco Laurel Canyon. Regular hosts Dan Barrett and Chris Yates talk about the new doco (about the music scene in the Hollywood Hills from 1965-75). They also look at the new Netflix film The Old Guard and flashback to 1975’s Jaws.
You can find Laurel Canyon streaming in Australia via DocPlay and in the US via Epix.
Julia Roberts is making a movie for Netflix. It will re-team her with Denzel Washington (they starred in The Pelican Brief back in the day) and her Homecoming collaborator Sam Esmail who will write and direct. If you didn’t see the first season of Homecoming, boy did you miss out.
The film is an adaptation of the book Leave The World Behind. The premise of it sounds great:
Amanda and Clay’s aspirational vacation with their teenage children is interrupted by the arrival of a middle aged couple who own the holiday home and who have fled an unprecedented blackout in the city. When the internet, television and radio stop working, as does the landline, they have no way of finding out what is happening. As strange sonic booms shatter the peace of the countryside, and animals start to migrate in strange ways, the physical and mental health of the families begins to disintegrate. The renters are upscale and White; the owners are upscale and Black. The issues of race and clash become distractions to the more alarming things are happening all around them.
Vanity Fair’s Maureen Ryan has an explosive feature story today about the behind the scenes activity that saw Magnum PI / Hawaii Five-0 / MacGyver showrunner Peter Lenkov removed for creating a toxic work environment.
There’s some incredibly candid statements in the piece made by MacGyver star Lucas Till. This is notable because on-air talent rarely go on the record about this kind of thing:
Till told V.F. that, while there were periods of time in which he and the showrunner had a cordial relationship, he endured numerous instances of verbal abuse, bullying, and body-shaming that took a serious toll on him. Till said that while the showrunner rarely visited the set, he was ultimately responsible for its tone, and that he created a hostile work environment. “I’ve never worked this hard in my life, and I am fine with hard work,” said Till. “But the way Peter treats people is just unacceptable. I was suicidal that first year on the show, because of the way he made me feel. But the way he’s treated the people around me—that’s just my breaking point.”
The article also goes into the departure of stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park from the show Hawaii Five-0, and the actions of Lenkov that led to the departure of a number of writers and producers from the show.