Welcome to Development Hell, the fiery pit into which we fling recent developments in casting, distribution, and everything else that’s new and mildly interesting in the Boschian phantasmagoria of the entertainment industry.
We’re still trying to work out what exactly happened in the second season of Westworld, a task that’s now going to require charting things out on another whiteboard after that post-credits stinger, but let’s take a break from arguing about whose theories were right by taking a look at some other news happening in the entertainment world today:
- Everybody loves a good weed comedy, since they tend to have fun stoner protagonists and relatable stoner stakes (like “Where do we get weed?” and “What happens if the stuffy authority figure finds out we have weed?”), which is presumably why MTV has decided to make a How High sequel that sounds completely unrelated to the first movie. That one had Method Man and Redman going to Harvard, and this new one is going be about a pair of “business-savvy” bros going on a “pot-filled odyssey” when their weed goes missing. Then, in a twist that real-life stoners will find very relatable, they stumble onto a “vast government conspiracy.” The movie won’t be in theaters, which means it will most likely be premiering on MTV at some point in the future. [via Deadline]
- Greenwich Entertainment has bought the rights to The World Before Your Feet, a documentary directed by Jeremy Workman and executive produced by Jesse Eisenberg that premiered at the SXSW Film Festival. The movie is about a man named Matt Green who has been walking every block in New York City for six years, and it will now get a theatrical release later this year. [via Variety]
- Last week, Netflix fired chief communications officers Jonathan Friedland after he reportedly said the n-word in a meeting, but the ripples from his racist comment are still hitting the streaming service. Its shares are down 6.5% today, the biggest drop for the company since 2016, and it sounds like the problem is a lack of confidence in Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. After Friedland got fired, Hastings released a statement blaming his own “privilege” for failing to recognize racial issues at Netflix—implying that it goes further than the CCO saying the n-word in this one meeting. [via Deadline]
- Speaking of Netflix, it has picked up the rights to Mr. Sunshine, a South Korean TV series set in the late-19th century about a Korean man who snuck off to the U.S. as a boy and then returns to his homeland as a grown-up military officer. The show will premiere on Netflix in the U.S. on July 7, the same day it premieres on Korean TV. [via The Hollywood Reporter]
- Speaking of Netflix again, it has cast Toni Collette, Merritt Wever, and Kaitlyn Dever in an upcoming eight-episode series called Unbelievable. The show comes from Erin Brockovich writer Susannah Grant, and it’s based on both ProPublica’s “An Unbelievable Story Of Rape” and the This American Life episode “Anatomy Of Doubt.” Collette and Wever will play detective investigating a complicated rape case. [via Deadline]
- Finally, Sony Picture has taken over development of Lunch Lady, an adaptation of Jarrett Krosoczka’s graphic novel series that was originally in the works at Universal. Sony has hired writer Fred Wolf (Tommy Boy, Grown Ups), and it’s envisioning the PG-13 action-comedy as the start of a potential franchise. [via Deadline]