I skim the trades, so you don’t have to.
◊ On Sunday, CODA added another trophy to its haul this season at the 2022 Writers Guild Awards. CODA has now scooped the top prize at PGAs, the WGAs, and the SAGs. The Ashley Nicole Black-hosted virtual WGA Awards ceremony saw Siân Heder also win best-adapted screenplay for CODA and Adam McKay and David Sirota win original screenplay for Don’t Look Up.
My two-cent takeaway: So much to catch up on. I’ve only had a chance to catch about ¼ of the winners, let alone the nominations, but CODA is a must-see.
◊ THR’s Scott Roxborough has the scoop on Alex Pina, the creator of Spanish-language Netflix hit Money Heist, extending his global exclusive deal with the streamer, a pact that will include Pina’s new high-concept series inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic. The still-untitled series is set in a luxury underground bunker, where the country’s 1 percent retreat to escape catastrophe on the surface.
My two-cent takeaway: I’m certain this will be good, but I wonder how interested people will be in watching a pandemic-themed series after the pandemic.
◊ Ben Shapiro’s conservative media company The Daily Wire says it’s a $100m a year business and will lean into scripted dramas.
My two-cent takeaway: Since they’re looking to make non PC thrillers and dramas, it sounds like they’re just going to make movies ― the old-fashioned way. Hopefully, they don’t let the tail wag the dog and push the issue that their films are not PC because I mean, what’s the point?
◊ In a Rare Interview, Francis Ford Coppola Opens Up About ‘Godfather’s’ Legacy: ‘I Thought It Was Going to Be a Special Failure’
My two-cent takeaway: Coppola notes that he took a lot of the novel out for the movie and that Mario Puzo was okay with it, which is a real necessity when adapting a novel for the screen. As writers, we need to glean the best moments of any novel and commit them to the script and leave the chaff behind.
◊ J.K. Simmons-Led Sci-Fi Series Night Sky Sets May Release Date On Prime Video
My two-cent takeaway: Holden Miller, the son of Dennis Miller, is the showrunner with this being his first foray into scripted TV. Great cast for a premier series.
◊ Writers Andrew Kevin Walker and Justin Lader talked about the winding creative path the home invasion thriller “Windfall” took on its way to debuting this week on Netflix.
My two-cent takeaway: Haven’t seen anything from Walker in quite a while, but let’s be honest, it’s hard to top a script like Se7en, which completely birthed the thriller for most of us in the 90s onward.
◊ ‘The Gilded Age’ Provided TV’s Simplest, Smoothest-Brained Pleasures, Lifted by Carrie Coon
My two-cent takeaway: Fellows seems to have cornered the market on delightful delivery. Consider Downton Abbey as a template for whimsical fare.
◊ Christina Ricci To Star In Netflix’s ‘Wednesday’ Series In Return To Addams Family Universe
My two-cent takeaway: Al Gough and Miles Miller have oodles of experience as partners, writing features and series as far back as the late 90s starting with a TV show called Bugs and Timecop, and getting a big break with Lethal Weapon 4. Side note: They also developed Smallville which starred Erica Durance as Lois Lane, who was in the first feature I wrote.
◊ After two and a half years in development limbo, the sequel to Warner Bros.’ sleeper smash Crazy Rich Asians has a new writer and hopefully new impetus. Relative newcomer Amy Wang, an Australian-Chinese writer, has been hired to pen the follow-up. Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim, who adapted the 2018 film, walked away from the project after disputes over pay.
My two-cent takeaway: Don’t know how I feel about the pay dispute, but goes to show you, producers won’t just give you what you want, even with a massive hit behind you. But good on Lim for making the best of it and moving on to an Oscar-nominated movie. Wang’s got her work cut out for her.
◊ ”We did it once with Gilmore Girls. We luckily did it again.” THR’s Christy Piña spoke to The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s creator/showrunner husband and wife team Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino about their plans for the Amazon series that recently wrapped its fourth season. The duo says they didn’t always plan for a five-season arc and talk about their hopes for “sticking the landing” with the fifth and final season.
My two-cent takeaway: Spoilers here, but Palladino talks about not having any plan past a second season. With this in mind, it’s good to know that when planning a series, just focus on a first.
◊ “Cruel, dishonest, and staggeringly insensitive.” In a guest column for THR, former NBA uber-agent Arn Tellem, who is now vice chairman of the Detroit Pistons, takes issue with HBO’s Winning Time over its depiction of former Lakers player, coach, and general manager Jerry West.
My two-cent takeaway: Obviously Arn Tellem is not a fan, and I get it, but ultimately, as writers, your job is to keep moving the story forward and to use artistic license at will. The truth is, nobody will be entertained by the truth.
◊ Ryan also spoke to Winning Time co-creator Jim Hecht about that shocking and unsolved event in episode 3. Hecht, who also co-wrote several installments of the HBO limited series, talks about key moments of the latest Lakers chapter and reveals two moments that, although loved, did not make the cut. Warning spoilers.
My two-cent takeaway: Spoilers. Hecht talks about what works and didn’t work.
◊ Black Female Showrunners Chart ‘the Shonda Effect’ of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Mega-Producer Shonda Rhimes. The SXSW virtual panel “Female Showrunners Breaking the Mold” was moderated by Mekeisha Madden Toby.
My two-cent takeaway: Quick bit about Shonda Rhimes and how she’s helped black female writers in the industry and the lack of writers, pre-Rhimes, feeling they can speak up about what doesn’t work with an example on the Bernie Mac Show (RIP) where writers felt they couldn’t say their bit, and Mac eventually had to step up for them.
◊ Staying with MGM, the film side has landed Bones and All, the feature that will reunite Call Me by Your Name director Luca Guadagnino and star Timothée Chalamet. The studio has secured worldwide rights to the feature that Guadagnino directed from a script written by longtime collaborator David Kajganich.
My two-cent takeaway: Kajganich has an assortment of dramas and horrors dating back to 2007 with mixed results, but consistently getting better with The Terror and potentially Bond and All becoming his strongest offering.
◊ Still no Samantha, right? In news that will surprise nobody, HBO Max has picked up a second season of And Just Like That, the Sex and the City sequel that wrapped its 10-episode first season in February. Leading up to the news that dropped Tuesday, AJLT showrunner Michael Patrick King and HBO and HBO Max head Casey Bloys had been dropping heavy hints that the show would be coming back, and now it’s official.
My two-cent takeaway: Honestly, where’s Samantha?
◊ The CW has handed out a number of early renewals for its most prized scripted originals. Returning for the 2022-23 broadcast cycle are All American (season five), The Flash (season nine), Kung Fu (season three), Nancy Drew (season four), Riverdale (season seven), Superman & Lois (season three) and Walker (season three).
My two-cent takeaway: Check out what’s coming back and become familiar with what fans are enjoying right now.
◊ Anna May Wong, Hollywood’s first Chinese American movie star, is getting the biopic treatment. THR’sRebecca Sun has the scoop on Eternals star Gemma Chan and producer Nina Yang Bongiovi teaming with Working Title Films to develop a biopic of Wong, who appeared in 60 films between 1919 and 1960. David Henry Hwang is writing the script and Wong’s niece Anna Wong is serving as a consultant on the film.
My two-cent takeaway: It’s surprising Wong’s story hasn’t been memorialized on film yet, but perhaps even more surprising that an Asian-American woman is not writing the script. I’m sure that Hwang will nail this, but it seems like a missed opportunity to bring a current female writer to the forefront.
◊ Zoe Lister-Jones Sets Comedy Series ‘Slip’ At Roku From Dakota Johnson’s TeaTime & Boat Rocker
My two-cent takeaway: Colin Davis, from Roku, talks about how it was easy to say yes to Lister-Jone’s script. As writers, that should be your objective. Create a script that doesn’t ask too much of its readers. This doesn’t mean you should tell a simple story that is easy to digest, but rather, one that is easy to read.
◊ Archive 81’ Canceled After One Season at Netflix
My two-cent takeaway: A podcast, converted into a TV series, didn’t work even though it had an 81% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s brutal!
◊ ‘Squid Game’ Season 2: Creator Hwang Dong-Hyuk Says HoYeon Jung Might Come Back As A Twin
My two-cent takeaway: I’m sorry, but coming back as a twin sister is a terrible idea. Bring all the characters back and do a re-imagining of season one but with a different victor, or show us the lives of the characters that audiences got attached to.
◊ Netflix Sets Liz Tigelaar To Adapt New York Times Bestseller ‘The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo’ Into Feature Film
My two-cent takeaway: Tigelaar has oodles of experience, with writing credits as far back as Dawson’s Creek in 2000.
◊ Johnny Carson Biopic Series Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt From David Milch & Jay Roach Hits Marketplace
My two-cent takeaway: Even though Milch has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, which is absolutely devastating, he soldiers on. The Emmy winner is a strong choice for this biopic since he had his finger on the pulse of the world with Hill Street Blues throughout the 80s.
◊ The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon announced that Chris Miller would become the new showrunner starting in May, succeeding Jamie Granet-Bederman, who will move to a role developing new projects for Fallon. Miller joins from syndicated talker The Drew Barrymore Show, where he was one of the executive producers. The hiring of Miller means that the NBC show will have had four showrunners in the last three years.
My two-cent takeaway: As screenwriters, don’t limit your capabilities to features or series. Writing for a talk show would only be another feather in your cap. Sharpen your pencils!
◊ Donald Glover on Those ‘Sopranos’ Comparisons, Four-Year Wait For ‘Atlanta’ Season Three
My two-cent takeaway: Glover’s got a perfect attitude, with a goal to write “something that somebody else couldn’t do”. Always aim high, and you’ll never be disappointed with your work.
What’re your two cents?
No Replies to "Screenwriter’s News for Monday, March 28, 2022"