Archive for the ‘Producing’ Category
Meryl Streep to Star in ‘Big Little Lies’ Season 2 for HBO
HBO’s Big Little Lies is upping its star power for season two.
Oscar- and Emmy-winning actress Meryl Streep has boarded the premium cable network’s second season of the drama starring Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman.
Streep will play Mary Louise Wright, the mother to the abusive Perry Wright (Alexander Skarsgard), who (spoiler alert!) was revealed to have been the one who died during the Emmy-winning first season of the David E. Kelley drama based on the Liane Moriarty novel. (Skarsgard is said to be returning in some capacity for season two.)
Streep’s Mary Louise Wright is described as a woman who is concerned for the well-being of her grandchildren following her son Perry’s death. She arrives in Monterey searching for answers. (Fun fact: Kelley told THR in October that Streep — and Tom Hanks — were his dream casting goals for Big Little Lies.)
Big Little Lies took home eight Emmys and four Golden Globes and prompted the cabler to stretch beyond Moriarty’s book. Sources say season two, officially greenlit for seven episodes, will also feature the parents for Zoe Kravitz’s character, Bonnie. (Thus far, only Streep, Witherspoon and Kidman are confirmed to return as deals with the remainder of the cast are still being worked out. Sources note that the stars earned major salary bumps after Witherspoon’s sizable payday to star in and exec produce a morning show drama for Apple.)
Kelley is confirmed to return and has already penned all seven the scripts for season two, which is partially based on a story by Moriarty. HBO says season two will explore the “malignancy of lies, the durability of friendships, the fragility of marriage and, of course, the vicious ferocity of sound parenting. Relationships will fray, loyalties will erode … the potential for emotional and bodily injury shall loom.” Exec producers on season two include Kelley via his David E. Kelley Productions banner; Kidman and her Blossom Films shingle topper Per Saari, Witherspoon via Hello Sunshine, Bruna Papandrea, Andrea Arnold, Jean-Marc Vallée, Nathan Ross and Gregg Fienberg. Moriarty will produce. Arnold will direct all seven episodes and replaces Vallée behind the camera.
Streep, meanwhile, is a three-time Oscar winner (The Iron Lady, Sophie’s Choice and Kramer vs. Kramer). She earned her 21st Oscar nomination this week for her role in Steven Spielberg’s journalism film The Post. She previously earned an Emmy win for her leading role in HBO’s miniseries adaptation of Angels in America. Big Little Lies will be her largest TV role to date after Angels. She is also attached to star in J.J. Abrams TV series The Nix, which has been in the works since September 2016 and is rumored to have been set up at Amazon. Streep is repped by CAA and Gendler and Kelly.
Season two of Big Little Lies is expected to premiere in 2019 on HBO.
Kristen Wiig to Star in Reese Witherspoon-Produced Comedy Series for Apple
Kristen Wiig is set to star in a comedy ordered to series at Apple that boasts Reese Witherspoon among its executive producers, Variety has confirmed.
The 10-episode, half-hour comedy is inspired by Curtis Sittenfeld’s upcoming short story collection “You Think It, I’ll Say It.” It marks Wiig’s first regular television role since she left “Saturday Night Live” in 2012. She will also serve as an executive producer on the show.
Colleen McGuinness created the series and will serve as showrunner and executive producer. Witherspoon will executive produce via her Hello Sunshine banner along with Lauren Neustadter and Wiig. Sittenfeld will serve as a consulting producer. This also marks Apple’s first half-hour scripted comedy order.
Wiig has embarked on a successful film career since leaving “SNL,” including starring in, co-producing, and co-writing the box office hit comedy “Bridesmaids,” for which she earned an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay. Her other recent film credits include “The Martian,” “Downsizing,” and “Ghostbusters.”
This marks the third project Witherspoon and Hello Sunshine have set up at Apple. She and Jennifer Aniston will also star in a currently untitled morning show drama for the streamer, and she will executive produce “Are You Sleeping,” co-produced by Chernin Entertainment with Octavia Spencer attached to star. She will also appear in a second season of the critically-acclaimed HBO series “Big Little Lies,” which she also executive produces.
In addition to the three Witherspoon projects, Apple is also prepping a reboot of “Amazing Stories” from executive producer Steven Spielberg, Ron Moore’s untitled space race drama, the drama “See” from Steven Knight and Francis Lawrence, and the docuseries “Home” from Matt Tyrnauer and Matthew Weaver.
Wiig is repped by UTA and Jackoway Tyerman. Witherspoon is repped by CAA, LBI Entertainment, and Hansen Jacobson. McGuinness is repped by WME and Hansen Jacobson.
As expected, Reese Witherspoon attended the Golden Globe Awards last night, and was quite the star of the show not to mention an inspiration to all! Big Little Lies was nominated for 6 awards and won one award in every category it was nominated in, including Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television – this of course meant Reese was honoured for her work as a producer on the show. Glamour Reese sends a massive congratulations to Reese and the entire cast and crew for their well deserved wins last night and for the on-going success and love the show is receiving – we’re so proud of Reese! Reese used her speech to highlight the bravery of the women who have come forward in the last year with stories of abuse and harassment, and Reese vowed to continue telling their stories and raising awareness of the issue. Backstage, the cast talked about the reasons for wearing black tonight, the bond between the cast, and of course season 2 of the show! You can watch the acceptance speech and backstage interviews below.
In addition, Reese also presented her friend and A Wrinkle In Time co-star Oprah Winfrey with the Cecil B. de Mille Award.
Reese walked the red carpet with friend Eva Longoria, to show support for the Times Up movement. Reese also posed with Halle Berry, Ashley Judd, Salma Hayek, Emma Stone, Billie Jean King, Geena Davis and Sharon Stone. Most of the attendees – male and female – wore black, again to show their solidarity for those who have come forward with stories of abuse and harrassment. Reese wore a custom Zac Posen gown, with Jimmy Choo shoes and Bulgari jewellery.
The first 150+ HQ photos have been added to our Gallery, with thanks to friend of the site Sara. We’ll have more coverage for you in the coming days…
• The Golden Globe Awards x117
• The Golden Globe Awards – HBO After Party x22
• The Golden Globe Awards – WB/In Style After Party x36
Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
“Big Little Lies”
“Feud: Bette and Joan”
“Top of the Lake: China Girl”
Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film
Jessica Biel, “The Sinner”
Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies”
Jessica Lange, “Feud: Bette and Joan”
Susan Sarandon, “Feud: Bette and Joan”
Reese Witherspoon, “Big Little Lies”
Best Supporting Performance by an Actress in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies”
Ann Dowd, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Chrissy Mentz, “This Is Us”
Michelle Pfeiffer, “The Wizard of Lies”
Shailene Woodley, “Big Little Lies”
Best Supporting Performance by an Actor in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film
David Harbour, “Stranger Things”
Alfred Molina, “Feud: Bette and Joan”
Alexander Skarsgard, “Big Little Lies”
Christian Slater, “Mr. Robot
David Thewlis, “Fargo”
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Apple Developing ‘Are You Sleeping’ Starring Octavia Spencer
Apple is developing a new original drama series entitled “Are You Sleeping,” starring Octavia Spencer.
Created and written by Nichelle Tramble Spellman, the series will be produced by Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine and Chernin Ent/Endeavor Content.
The series is based on Kathleen Barber’s novel of the same name, which gives a glimpse into the obsession with true crime podcasts and “challenges its viewers to consider the consequences when the pursuit of justice is placed on a public stage.” Sarah Koenig, the creator and producer behind true crime podcast “Serial,” will consult on the series.
“Are You Sleeping” is the second project Apple has teamed with Witherspoon and Hello Sunshine on so far. In November 2017 the streamer ordered a drama set behind-the-scenes of a network morning talk show from Hello Sunshine. (Witherspoon is also set to star alongside Jennifer Aniston in it.)
“Are You Sleeping” is executive produced by Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter for Hello Sunshine, and Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and Kristen Campo for Chernin Ent., alongside Spencer and Tramble.
How Reese Witherspoon Plans to Promote Female Directors and Writers Next Year
Reese Witherspoon is planning to take her mission to help women up a notch in 2018.
While at a holiday-themed event at the Tiffany & Co. Fifth Avenue flagship store — she’s a spokesperson for the jewelry company — the 41-year-old actress and mother of three said that women helping other woman is her top priority come the New Year.
“My production company Hello Sunshine is all based on telling stories about women by women,” she told PEOPLE. “So we want to create more opportunity and hire more female directors and more female writers.”
This year, the star famously produced and starred in the female-led HBO show Big Little Lies, which earned her several accolades already. Next up, in 2018, she’s starring alongside other powerful women such as Oprah Winfrey and Mindy Kaling in A Wrinkle in Time, due out Mar. 9. “There’s a beautiful young woman at the center of the story, and it’s an epic story about good versus evil,” she explained.
She also announced plans to produce Luckiest Girl Alive, a movie version of Jessica Knoll’s book (and a favorite of book clubs across the nation).
In the meantime, she’s excited for a few moments to relax during the holidays, and is looking forward to “food, always food! I like gingerbread houses, cookies, chocolates … things like that.”
She’s also shopping for some special gifts, and considers herself quite the gift-giver. “I take a lot of time to think about what people really want and really like,” said Witherspoon. “For a go-to hostess gift, I like monogrammed napkins or a beautiful box of chocolates.”
For daughter Ava, she wants to get her something “really beautiful and simple, like a piece from Tiffany & Co. It’s like an heirloom. My mom gave me earrings from there when I was young, and I still have them.”
One thing she won’t be doing this holiday season? Making any New Year’s resolutions.
“I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions,” she said. “I think you sort of have to keep striving to be the best version of yourself at all moments. Sometimes you fail and sometimes you succeed. And I think it’s important to always try and do your best.”
December 9, 2017 • Category: "A Wrinkle in Time"
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Comments Off on The Hollywood Reporter’s 2017 Women in Entertainment Power 100
The Hollywood Reporter’s annual Women In Hollywood feature was released this week, which included their Power 100 list – Reese was of course featured within it! Read their brief interview with her below and find a scan from the magazine in our Gallery. The special collectors issue is on sale now and has Jennifer Lawrence on the cover.
The Hollywood Reporter’s 2017 Women in Entertainment Power 100
Meet the dynamos who rocked Hollywood by creating groundbreaking TV and ‘Wonder’-ful films, scoring piles of awards and historic paydays and making room for more women to rise as the industry’s dark side was brought to light (thanks in part to three pioneers on this list) in a watershed that has already changed entertainment — and the world. Take that, Harvey!
HOW THR PICKS THE POWER 100 This year’s list spotlights 16 standout industry leaders who dominated the 2017 entertainment and media landscape and groups the rest by their role in the Hollywood ecosystem — from the film forces (working mostly on the big screen) to the reps (agents, et al). Honorees are listed alphabetically within each category.
CATEGORY Power Squad
Witherspoon scored big in 2017 with HBO’s acclaimed Big Little Lies (she starred and produced), for which she and fellow producer Nicole Kidman won an Emmy for outstanding limited series. “It showed me that audiences want to see a more accurate depiction of the female experience,” says Witherspoon, who launched her women-focused media brand Hello Sunshine in November 2016. She continues to buy book properties (including deals for A White Lie, with Zendaya attached, and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, in which Witherspoon would also star) and will hit the big screen in March in Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time. And in a deal that has Friends fans fawning, she recently sold a new series to Apple in which she’ll star opposite Jennifer Aniston.
Best thing to come out of the Weinstein scandal “Female solidarity.”
How I’ve helped women coming up in Hollywood “Call them, email them, work with them, and support them on social media.”
Hollywood woman I’d switch jobs with for a day Dana Walden
The three guests at my dream dinner party would be “Oprah, Mindy Kaling, Ava DuVernay and my mom.”
I wish men in Hollywood knew “What it feels like to be the only one in the room.”
Last show I binged Catastrophe, Westworld
TV or film character I most identify with “The squirrel in Ice Age constantly chasing an acorn.”
How I’d spend an extra day “Sleep!”
November 14, 2017 • Category: Hello Sunshine
Comments Off on Zendaya To Star In ‘A White Lie,’ Pitch Package From Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine
Zendaya To Star In ‘A White Lie,’ Pitch Package From Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine
The hot pitch package on the street is A White Lie, an adaptation of the Karin Tanabe novel The Gilded Years. The book is a psychological thriller built around the true story of Anita Hemmings, a light-skinned African-American woman. The daughter of a janitor, she passed as white so she could attend Vassar at the turn of the 20th century. Spider-Man: Homecoming star co-star Zendaya will play Hemmings. Monica Beletsky is writing the script, and Hello Sunshine’s Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter are producing along with Zendaya.
The singer-turned-actress next will be seen co-starring in the Michael Gracie-directed The Greatest Showman, co-starring alongside Hugh Jackman. She will also reprise in the Spider-Man sequel opposite Tom Holland.
Zendaya is repped by CAA and Monster Talent; Withespoon is with CAA and LBI.
Looks like a season 2 of Big Little Lies is happening! Reports are stating that filming on the second season will start next year, but that original director Jean-Marc Vallee will not return (he has previously been clear that he would not return):
Big Little Lies Eyes Spring 2018 Production Start for Season 2
It’s amazing how a crate full of Emmys can hasten the development process. Case in point: A second season of Big Little Lies is poised to become a reality (much) sooner than later.
Sources confirm to TVLine exclusively that HBO is eyeing a Spring 2018 production start for the female-driven phenom, which snagged eight Emmy statues in September, including for Outstanding Limited Series and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series for Nicole Kidman. As recently as two weeks ago, Big Little Lies EP/writer David E. Kelley strongly intimated to TVLine that a second season was nearing the scheduling stage.
“We’re kicking around ideas and trying to lasso the talent [and] get the band back together,” he shared. “It’s just a lot of logistical things. But I’m optimistic because everyone wants to do it. We feel we still have storytelling to do. No decision has been made yet, but we’re hopeful. Where we left it, I felt like it did open the opportunity for a lot more storytelling.”
An HBO rep declined to confirm anything about a potential second season.
Even before Big Little Lies triumphed at the Emmys, HBO asked Liane Moriarty — whose novel the miniseries was based on — to “take a crack at” coming with with a story for a potential second season. Kidman and fellow leading lady/EP Reese Witherspoon both expressed interest in keeping the franchise going, and director Jean-Marc Vallée — who initially balked at doing a sequel — now wants in. “It’d be great to reunite the team and to do it,” Vallée said backstage at the Emmys. “Are we going to be able to do it, altogether? I wish. We’ll see.”
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