Published on July 27, 2020

In today’s Movie News Rundown: Olivia de Havilland wasn’t just the last Golden Age star; she was a stone-cold Hollywood rebel. Plus: The Academy on the future of film, no one agrees on what “cancel culture” is, and a cameo from the creator of The Wire.

R.I.P. Olivia de Havilland: In 1932, Olivia de Havilland’s stepfather ordered her to quit a high school play. So she moved out, and went on to star in the biggest film of all time, win two Oscars, and break down the old studio system with “The De Havilland Law.” Here’s our appreciation of de Havilland, who died peacefully Sunday at 104.

R.I.P. John Saxon: This weekend we also lost John Saxon, best known for Enter the Dragon and the Nightmare on Elm Street films, who died of pneumonia at 83. Here’s The Hollywood Reporter’s obituary.

Top Rental: The No. 1 movie in America is The Rental, Dave Franco’s eerie directorial debut. Forbes has more details. And here’s our interview with Dan Stevens and Sheila Vand, two of the film’s stars.

Et Tu, Academy? Deadline‘s Michael Cieply wrote a thoughtful,  nostalgia-tinged analysis that includes the statement:”Early this month, even the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the ultimate film booster, quietly acknowledged that the movies may suffer very deep damage from the virus.”

What Is Cancel Culture: The Associated Press took a step back to note that while everyone argues over “cancel culture,” no one agrees on what it actually is.

Chloé Zhao Returns: Film at Lincoln Center just announced today that Zhao’s Nomadland will be the Centerpiece film at the 58th New York Film Festival. Nomadland follows Fern (Frances McDormand), who, after the collapse of her rural Nevada company town, packs her van and sets off on a nomadic life. Nomadland will also screen at the 77th Venice International Film Festival and the 45th Toronto International Film Festival on September 11th. Zhao’s The Rider was my favorite film of 2017.

David Simon Cameo: We made a video to promote The Industry podcast episode celebrating the would-be extravaganza called Blood Circus:

Behold, the story of Blood Circus. pic.twitter.com/QW1Iyaqp3n

— MovieMaker Magazine (@moviemakermag) July 26, 2020

Congratulations: Caitlin McCarthy shared the great news from Tracking Board that her award-winning screenplay Wonder Drug now has producer Stephen Nemeth (Rhino Films founder and president) and director Tom Gilroy (Spring Forward) attached. Inspired by true events, it tells the story of diethylstilbestrol, a once-promising form of synthetic estrogen that later became known the “hidden Thalidomide.” Wonder Drug was originally an Alfred P. Foundation script at the Hamptons Screenwriters Lab, where Gilroy mentored McCarthy.

Comment of the Day: “What a remarkable story, William! As a ‘guerrilla filmmaker’ myself, I truly appreciate the journey to get this film made. The trailer looks incredible. I wish you good health and much success with this film. Looking forward to seeing it!” says Heather Place, commenting on William Norton’s story, “How I Fought a Life-or-Death Battle for False Colors, the ‘Budget Bourne’ of My Dreams.”

 

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