Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine Sold for $900 Million to Media Company Backed by Blackstone
Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine has been sold for north of $900 million to a media company backed by the private-equity firm Blackstone Group Inc.
Witherspoon and Sarah Harden, Hello Sunshine’s CEO, will join the board of the new company and will continue to oversee day-to-day operations. They will also remain significant equity holders.
The Wall Street Journal first reported the news of Hello Sunshine’s sale. The still-unnamed media venture by Blackstone will be run by former Disney executives Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs.
“Today marks a tremendous moment for Hello Sunshine,” Witherspoon said in a statement. “I started this company to change the way all women are seen in media. Over the past few years, we have watched our mission thrive through books, TV, film and social platforms. Today, we’re taking a huge step forward by partnering with Blackstone, which will enable us to tell even more entertaining, impactful and illuminating stories about women’s lives globally.”
Hello Sunshine received interest from multiple private equity companies and streamers after it began shopping itself. At one point, Apple, which produces Witherspoon’s “The Morning Show,” kicked the tires on the company, but it’s not clear how far the talks went. The sale of Hello Sunshine could spark a fresh wave of acquisitions of content companies, and comes as the likes of A24, Imagine, Legendary and Lebron James’ SpringHill Entertainment have all explored possible sales. Mayer and Staggs have been at the center of this deal-making, engaging in talks with SpringHill and Imagine as they look to roll up several smaller media companies, according to knowledgable insiders.
“We are thrilled to partner with Reese, Sarah, and the entire Hello Sunshine team,” Mayer and Staggs said. “Hello Sunshine is a perfect fit for our vision of a new, next generation entertainment, technology, and commerce company. We seek to empower creators with innovation, capital, and scale to inspire, entertain, and delight global audiences with engaging content, experiences, and products. Our platform will foster a uniquely creator-friendly culture that gives elite talent the resources they need to create and capitalize on their best, most inventive work. We look forward to backing Reese, Sarah, and their world-class team as they continue to produce and identify dynamic, engaging content for years to come.”
Ashton Kutcher Joins Reese Witherspoon In Netflix Romcom ‘Your Place Or Mine’ For Aggregate & Hello Sunshine
Ashton Kutcher will star opposite Reese Witherspoon in the Netflix romcom Your Place or Mine based on the original script by Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) who is also making her feature directorial debut on the project.
In Your Place or Mine, two best friends who live on opposite coasts swap homes for a week and see their whole lives change. Deadline first reported about Jason Bateman and Michael Costigan’s Aggregate Films’ deal on the co-production with Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine. Bateman and Costigan will produce through their first-look deal with Netflix alongside Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter for Hello Sunshine and McKenna for Lean Machine.
Aggregate’s Ozark series, which Bateman stars in, directed and exec produced, clocked a third season that was watched by 29M households WW in its first four weeks. Ozark counts three Primetime Emmy wins: one for Bateman in 2019 for directing the drama series and two for Julia Garner in the Best Supporting Actress Drama series category. Last fall, Netflix acquired feature comedy Student Driver, an original pitch from writer Peter Hoare (Standing Up, Falling Down) and Jason Bateman’s Aggregate Films. Bateman recently starred in the Melissa McCarthy-Octavia Spencer Netflix comedy movie Thunder Force.
Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine was snapped up yesterday by a firm backed by private-equity giant Blackstone Group for a reported $900M. The new venture will be led by former Walt Disney Co. executives Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs, with Hello Sunshine as its first acquisition. Witherspoon and Hello Sunshine CEO Sarah Harden will join the board of the as-yet-unnamed company and will continue to operate Hello Sunshine. Hello Sunshine’s notable credits include Apple’s The Morning Show, which has an upcoming second season, and HBO’s Big Little Lies and Hulu limited series Little Fires Everywhere.
Kutcher is repped by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern. He is a SAG ensemble nominee for the 2007 movie Bobby, and starred in such feature hits as What Happens in Vegas, Valentine’s Day, No Strings Attached and New Year’s Eve. His TV credits include 80 episodes of Netflix series The Ranch on which he also serves as EP, 84 episodes of Warner Bros. TV and CBS’ Two and a Half Men, and 183 episodes of That ’70s Show. As an EP, he has been behind such series as Punk’d and Beauty and the Geek.
Stand Up To Cancer Sets Fundraising Special With Anthony Anderson, Sofia Vergara & Ken Jeong, Reese Witherspoon To Co-Executive Produce
Stand Up To Cancer will return for its seventh biennial televised fundraising special with Anthony Anderson, Sofia Vergara, Ken Jeong & Tran Ho serving as co-hosts.
Set to air Saturday, August 21 at 8 p.m. ET, this year’s Stand Up To Cancer event will broadcast from Los Angeles and air simultaneously on more than 60 participating media platforms across the United States and Canada. The telecast will also be available to stream live and on-demand on several streaming platforms.
The event, co-executive produced by Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth, will see performances by Common, Brittany Howard and more artists that will be announced at a later date.
Stand Up To Cancer seeks to raise funds to support research and new treatments of cancer, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected nearly every aspect of cancer care and research.
The live-event is produced by Done + Dusted and Stand Up To Cancer’s production team.
In this ‘oral history’ of Legally Blonde, The New York Times spoke to some of the cast (including Jennifer Coolidge, Jessica Cauffiel and Matthew Davis) about the film to mark its 20th anniversary. Although Reese wasn’t involved in the discussion, it does have some really interesting trivia on the film:
‘Legally Blonde’ Oral History: From Raunchy Script to Feminist Classic
Along the way, adult zingers were edited out, Jennifer Coolidge struggled with the “bend and snap” and the ending was changed at least three times.
In 2001, Reese Witherspoon was already on her way to becoming a household name. But it would be the feminist masterpiece “Legally Blonde” that would cement her status as a Hollywood star.
Adapted from the novel of the same name by Amanda Brown, “Legally Blonde” follows Elle Woods (Witherspoon) from ditsy, sorority socialite to first-year law student in an effort to win back her ex-boyfriend Warner (Matthew Davis). But what transpires next surprises everyone, including herself: The perky blonde with a tiny Chihuahua named Bruiser and a flair for pink discovers she is actually cut out for the courtroom.
It’s been 20 years since Elle, against all odds, got into Harvard Law, fended off a professor’s advances and came to the legal defense of a sorority alumna. She remains an emblem for challenging stereotypes and embracing female empowerment in the face of misogyny. By refuting the “dumb blonde” trope, Elle has become beloved for her sincerity and her insistence on unapologetically being herself.
In 2021, “Legally Blonde” is more relevant than ever. Years before the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, the Robert Luketic-directed comedy tackled workplace sexual misconduct and power dynamics. High-profile fans like Ariana Grande and Kim Kardashian (who each paid homage to it in videos) have stoked its legacy, as has a 2003 sequel (and a third movie due next year), as well as a Broadway adaptation.
The first trailer for Sing 2 was released last week! We get a sneak peek of new characters in the animated musical, alongside our old favorites including Reese as Rosita the pig. The synposis of the film can be read below along with links to the official site and social media pages, and the new character poster will be uploaded to our Gallery asap. The film hits US cinemas on December 22nd.
Reese is on the cover of the Summer issue of Interview magazine! This is a fun magazine and it’s nice to see Reese back on the cover of it – her last one was December 2005! In this issue, Reese and actress/producer Tracee Ellis Ross talk about Reese’s business, women in business/power/entertainment, Wild, being everyone’s best friend, coffee, cocktails and Reese’s adult children. It’s accompanied by a fantastic new photoshoot. Find the photoshoot and cover in our Gallery, and read the interview at InterviewMagazine.com. We’ll hopefully be able to find scans for you soon…
“I’m passionate about what I do. I love making movies and television shows. I feel so lucky when I stand on set, and years of experience have stacked together to create this time in my life where I can really add, and I can really listen, and I can really be a problem solver, and I can always make something better. That’s such a great feeling. To feel purposeful and useful at work. I also love making people’s lives a tiny bit easier, whether you provide something that’s a reprieve from their daily life, whether it’s a smile you put on their face.”
The first full teaser trailer for The Morning Show Season 2 was released yesterday! The new season will premiere on AppleTV+ on September 17th. AppleTV+ have also recently released a ‘Summer 2021 & Beyond’ teaser trailer that showcases some of their upcoming shows – watch that further down this post. We have screencaptures and the first still from the new season in our Gallery:
The Friends: The Reunion TV special premiered on Thursday, and as expected Reese was one of the ‘guest stars’. She wasn’t there in person unfortunately – she’d taped a short snippet talking about what she enjoyed about the show. Reese said one of the most exciting things for her on the show was Joey saying his iconic “how you doin'” line to her, and she also talked about her disbelief when she was offered the role of Jill Green, and how great each of the characters were individually as well as together. Her enthusiasm for the show was clear, and it was great seeing her take part in this special! The whole show is well worth a watch 🙂 We haven’t been able to find a clip of Reese’s segment yet (we’ll keep looking) but Entertainment Tonight had a feature on the guest stars on the reunion, which includes a snippet from Reese. We do have HD screencaptures in our Gallery from the special:
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