July 3, 2018 • Category: Hello Sunshine, News & Gossip •
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Kristen Wiig Exits Reese Witherspoon-Produced Apple TV Comedy Series
Kristen Wiig is stepping down as star of the half-hour comedy series being developed for Apple by Reese Witherspoon, due to scheduling conflicts with the production of the “Wonder Woman” sequel, an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap. The show is now on hold as Apple and the show’s producers consider their options, including finding a new lead actress.
Inspired by Curtis Sittenfeld’s upcoming short story collection “You Think It, I’ll Say It,” the project from Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine received a 10-episode order, and was set to become Apple’s first half-hour scripted comedy. Wiig signed onto the series when it was ordered in January, and was set to executive produce as well as star.
However, Wiig joined “Wonder Woman 1984” just two months later. That film is currently in production, with Wiig playing classic DC comics villain Cheetah. The superhero sequel’s shooting schedule, as well as other obligations, overlapped with the plan for the Apple series, leading to Wiig’s exit.
Apple is still interested in the show, which Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter will executive produce for Hello Sunshine, alongside Colleen McGuinness, who created it and will serve as showrunner. Sittenfeld will act as consulting producer.
This marks the third project Apple has ordered from Hello Sunshine, including Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston’s morning show drama and Octavia Spencer’s “Are You Sleeping,” which is co-produced by Chernin Entertainment.
Those series join the tech company’s lineup of originals, including Steven Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories,” Ron Moore’s space drama, the drama “See” from Steven Knight and Francis Lawrence, and the docuseries “Home” from Matt Tyrnauer and Matthew Weaver.
Reese confirmed on her Twitter page today that Legally Blonde 3 is officially in the works! The film studio behind the film also confirmed that it will release the film in the US on February 14th 2020:
Reese Witherspoon, MGM Bringing The Gang Back For ‘Legally Blonde 3’
MGM is near a deal with Reese Witherspoon to reprise her role as the precocious, idealistic Elle Woods in Legally Blonde 3, and they’ve brought back most of the creative team from the first film.
The pic is coming together quickly. Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith and Karen McCullah, who adapted the Amanda Brown novel for the 2001 first film, are in final talks to write the script. Original producer Marc Platt and his Platt Productions president Adam Siegel are producing, and they will be joined this time by Witherspoon, through her Hello Sunshine banner.
The scribes will begin writing immediately and the next step is to secure a director. Robert Luketic helmed the original pic.
It has been 17 years since the original, and the sequel, Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde came out in 2003. But the film has been a staple for young-female audiences who’ve rediscovered it on DVD or through the hit stage musical that continues to tour. The original grossed $141 million worldwide on an $18 million budget, and the sequel brought in $124 million on a $45 million budget.
The deal gives MGM another branded title, alongside Creed and the James Bond films. Creed 2 is in production with Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Dolph Lundgren and Florian Munteanu, and Bond 25 was just firmed with Daniel Craig returning and Danny Boyle directing the script by John Hodges, and Universal releasing overseas.
They are keeping the plot under wraps, but I’m told it will be much in the spirit of the first film, in which Woods’ idealism and pink-dominant wardrobe prevailed over the cynicism and snootiness all around her after the freshly dumped former sorority sister heads to law school. The sequel brought her to D.C. to join the staff of a congresswoman to pass a bill to ban animal testing. The intention here is to make this more about female empowerment, a message that hits at a fortuitous time in the culture. The feeling is to draw back in the audience that grew up with the original film and find a new global audience.
The project reunites Smith and McCullah, who as a team generated such comedies as Legally Blonde, 10 Things I Hate About You and House Bunny, and with credits on She’s the Man and The Ugly Truth. Witherspoon is repped by CAA and LBI Entertainment; Smith is with Verve, Kaplan/Perrone and attorney Karl Austen; McCullah is with Jaret Entertainment.
THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY AND HBO KICK OFF #READINGISLIT, A NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO CELEBRATE AND PROMOTE THE WRITTEN WORD
The New York Public Library is joining forces with HBO on #ReadingIsLit, a national campaign to celebrate the written word, the power of storytelling and encourage people to read, talk about, and enjoy all things literary.
The campaign will feature writers, performers, and creators from popular HBO programs sharing what they’re reading, what stories inspire them, and what books they recommend. Through videos, interviews, social media interactions and more, they’ll also encourage members of the public to visit their local libraries and sign up for library cards.
Participants in the online component — which will take place across HBO and New York Public Library social media channels — include Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, and Shailene Woodley from “Big Little Lies;” Thandie Newton from “Westworld;” Mark Duplass, co-creator of “Room 104;” and Damon Lindelof, co-creator of “The Leftovers.”
The New York Public Library will also share a host of information at nypl.org/readingislit and www.hbo.com/readingislit, including book recommendations from its team of expert librarians, information about applying for library cards, videos, and more.
Offline, the Library will offer special book displays at its 88 neighborhood branches in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, featuring titles that have been adapted into HBO television shows and movies — such as the Song of Ice and Fire series (which became “Game of Thrones”), “Sharp Objects,” and “Fahrenheit 451” — as well as “read-alikes” chosen by librarians that should appeal to fans of HBO shows.
Reese appears on the cover of the June issue of Fast Company, a US business magazine. She is named one of their ‘100 Most Creative People in Business’ (#11 to be exact), and the magazine features an extensive new interview and a new photoshoot. See some behind the scenes videos on the magazine’s website, and find scans and photos from the shoot in our Gallery. It’s fantastic to see Reese recognised for her work like this!
How Reese Witherspoon is flipping the script on Hollywood The Hello Sunshine founder is channeling women’s voices into top-tier entertainment–and altering the dynamics of the entire industry along the way.
When Reese Witherspoon was 17, she had already appeared in four films. Still, she took an unlikely part-time job, as an intern in Disney’s post-production department. “I wanted to learn about editing, visual correction, and sound mixing,” she tells me 25 years later. Not long after, she worked as a production assistant on the 1995 Denzel Washington film Devil in a Blue Dress, helping with casting, among other things. Also: “I parked Denzel’s Porsche!”
That inquisitiveness, as well as nearly three decades in front of the camera, has made Witherspoon one of Hollywood’s most astute producers. She turned Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl into a $369 million worldwide hit in 2014 (that earned Rosamund Pike an Oscar nomination) and did it again, that same year, transforming Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling memoir, Wild, into a breakout success ($52 million plus Oscar nods for Witherspoon and costar Laura Dern). Then came HBO’s Big Little Lies, executive produced with costar Nicole Kidman; the cultural bellwether about female relationships and domestic abuse, based on a novel by Liane Moriarty, swept nearly every category for which it was nominated at the 2017 Emmys. After years of hearing from studio executives that there was no market for female-driven films, Witherspoon had succeeded to a degree that proved a hunger was there.
Her instinct for what women want is now being tested on multiple platforms through her 18-month-old storytelling company, Hello Sunshine. She and her team currently have shows in development at Hulu, NBC, and Apple TV (which has partnered on three projects, one rumored to be the biggest deal in history for a straight-to-series show), as well as a film at TriStar/Sony Pictures. But Witherspoon is also laying the foundation for a direct-to-consumer brand, one that is already beginning to speak to women through a website, social media, YouTube and Facebook videos, audiobooks, podcasts, and newsletters—whichever platform she and Hello Sunshine execs think best honors the story being told.
Reese Witherspoon partners with Audible to develop new audio story productions
Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon, who has recently emerged as a leading film and television producer, is partnering her popular book club with Amazon-owned audio content provider Audible, it was announced today.
Witherspoon’s book club, X Hello Sunshine, an arm of her multiplatform media company which produces feature films and television shows, will collaborate with Audible to create original audio productions in addition to showcasing audiobook stories that are centered around complex female characters.
The first month for Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine on Audible will be June. The first Audible Original by Hello Sunshine will be announced later in 2018.
“When I started Reese’s book club, I wanted to highlight stories with women at the center and I’m so excited to deliver on that mission,” Witherspoon said in a statement. “With our busy lives, it can be hard to find the time to read. That’s why I am excited to work with Audible to provide a fun way to listen to beautiful stories in your free time.”
Witherspoon has starred in a number of literary adaptations, appearing in movie versions of Tom Perrotta’s “Election”and William Makepeace Thackeray’s “Vanity Fair” early on in her career. More recently, she produced film versions of Gillian Flynn’s novel “Gone Girl” and Cheryl Strayed’s memoir “Wild,” starring in and earning an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for the latter in 2015.
May 22, 2018 • Category: Charity, News & Gossip •
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Celebrity influencers to world leaders: ‘We put you on notice’
Oprah Winfrey, Madeleine Albright and Reese Witherspoon are among 140 activists, actors, business leaders and philanthropists to sign an open letter to world leaders demanding that they take action to close the gender gap and combat poverty.
“We’re putting you on notice,” the letter reads. “For 130 million girls without an education. For one billion women without access to a bank account. For 39,000 girls who became child brides today. For women everywhere paid less than a man for the same work.”
The letter is part of the “Poverty is Sexist” campaign spearheaded by ONE, an advocacy group co-founded by U2 singer Bono.
“There is nowhere on earth where women have the same opportunities as men, but the gender gap is wider for women living in poverty,” the letter says.
Valerie Amos, Chelsea Clinton, Arianna Huffington and Sheryl Sandberg are among the scores of influential signatories on the letter, ONE says.
The convener of Nigeria’s “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign, Oby Ezekwesili, also signed, as did actors and comedians including Meryl Streep, Tina Fey, Amy Schumer and Juliette Binoche.
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