(Analysis) This story first appeared in the Oct. 11 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Hollywood executives aren’t an endangered species — yet. More than at any time in years, it’s open season on movie moguls. Amid skyrocketing costs and a sea change in how people consume entertainment, a sense of panic seems to have enveloped corporate CEOs, financiers and shareholders. Even as the global box office hit a summer record in both admissions and revenue, top execs are being picked off at an alarming pace. Beginning in early 2012, the current wave of firings and executive suite reshuffling hit Disney first, as chairman Rich Ross exited under the cloud of megabomb John Carter. Then Fox co-chief Tom Rothman was shown the door. The town knew an overhaul was coming at Warner Bros., where a three-executive “bake-off” drama was taking place, but when Kevin Tsujihara got the top job and TV chief Bruce Rosenblum and film head Jeff Robinov soon left, it was no less cataclysmic. More recently, the ax suddenly fell at Universal and Sony. Focus Features CEO James Schamus was abruptly dismissed Wednesday and replaced by FilmDistrict’s Peter Schlessel.
20) A controversial documentary about U.S. doctors who still perform third-trimester abortions. “Parkland” (Sept. 20) Billy Bob Thornton, Paul Giamatti and Zac Efron star in this drama about the immediate aftermath of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. “C.O.G.” (Sept. 20) Jonathan Groff stars in this new movie, which is based on a story by David Sedaris. “Rush” (Sept. 20) Ron Howard’s Formula 1 drama casts Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl as, respectively, James Hunt and Niki Lauda, two of the sport’s greatest competitors. The film, which is also due to bow at the Toronto International Film Festival, opens wide on Sept. 27. “Baggage Claim” (Sept. 27) Paula Patton stars in this rom-com about a flight attendant looking for love.
Hollywood treatment for Pele
In exchange for taking on Chinese producers, investors, and story elements, an American studio can claim 43 percent of the profits from Chinese ticket sales, instead of just 25 percent. Even so, the seemingly capricious decisions of the Chinese government have made some Hollywood insiders wonder whether cooperating with China is worth it. (Or, as the Reporter put it, ” The China Clusterfk: Is Hollywood Fed Up? “) After all, RZA’s martial arts movie The Man With The Iron Fists gave China script approval and even casting approval (producers did not cast a Chinese actor who was out of favor with the government), in return for being allowed to film in China, and even after all that, China still wouldn’t import the movie for its theaters. In the case of Django, Tarantino had agreed to some mild edits to tone down the violence, but on the day the film was to open in China even as projectors had started running the government suddenly banned the film. No reason was given, but after Tarantino cut out the film’s male nudity, snipped a violent flashback sequence and toned down the ending, the film finally played for Chinese audiences. It didn’t do very well, perhaps because it was playing on fewer screens than it had been booked to play before and was now programmed opposite Iron Man 3 and The Croods . Or perhaps because, during the month-long delay, Chinese viewers who were interested in the film managed to see it in pirated versions. See What RZA Had to Say About Directing The Man With the Iron Fists There’s also the issue of whether Hollywood’s willingness to let China dictate content plays into the propaganda goals of a regime that’s often accused of human rights violations. It’s one thing to cut offensive racial stereotypes, but what about movies that show a one-sided picture of China (lots of skyscrapers, no political prisoners or sweatshops) or go out of their way not to present Chinese characters in an unflattering light? Hollywood may be full of people who wear ribbons to support the Dalai Lama, but no studio is going to make another Seven Years in Tibet or Kundun any time soon, lest they be frozen out of the market the way the studios behind those films were in the late 1990s. Still, Hollywood keeps coming up with new ways to get on China’s good side. The fourth Transformers, which is being produced by not one but two Chinese companies, will include a number of roles for Chinese performers, who are being selected via a reality show airing in China, on which four of the judges are Hollywood insiders.
Is China Taking Over Hollywood?
View gallery Brazilian soccer star and former Cosmos player Pele waves to the crowd before the New York Cosmos game August 3, 2013 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. (AFP Photo/Don Emmert) 1 hour ago Rio de Janeiro (AFP) – The story of how Pele conquered the footballing world aged just 17 is coming to Hollywood with filming under way in Rio de Janeiro, Seine Pictures said Thursday. The film, entitled simply, “Pele”, “tells the wonderful story of the rise to glory of the legendary player,” said the US company, which is producing the work with Imagine Entertainment. Pele, 72, born Edson Arantes do Nascimento and nicknamed O Rei (the king), is widely considered the greatest player of all time having helped Brazil to their first World Cup title in 1958 and then having triumphed again with an all-star ensemble in 1970. Brazilian singer “Seu Jorge” (Jorge Mario da Silva), Mexican actor Diego Boneta and Irish screen idol Colm Meaney are in the cast for a film written and directed by brothers Michael and Jeff Zimbalist. Brazilians Kevin de Paula and Leonardo Lima Carvalho play the young Pele, respectively between the ages of 13 and 17 and aged 10. Meaney will play George Raynor, who coached Sweden in the 1958 final when Pele announced his arrival as a global star. Seine is negotiating rights with Sports Licensing International, which represents Pele. Filming began in Rio last Monday, the producers said. Born on October 23, 1940 to a poor provincial family, Pele was also on the squad which won the 1962 World Cup — though he missed much of that tournament through injury — and scored more than 1,000 goals in his career. He spent the twilight of his playing days helping to popularise soccer in the United States with New York Cosmos. FIFA proclaimed him player of the century in 2000 and a year beforehand the International Olympic Committee voted him athlete of the century.