Donald Trump Oddly Pronounces “Nazis”, Seth Meyers Takes Note

Donald Trump might today be looking back on that weirdly “unintelligible” Associated Press interview Sunday with a bit of nostalgia: As Seth Meyers made clear in his Late Night monologue last night, the President was all too intelligible in his odd pronunciation of the word “Nazis” during a speech at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

After showing the clip, in which the president, who gives at least some outward appearance of reading his speech for the first time, demands that “humanity never, ever forgets the Nazis…” Meyers accurately describes Trump’s pronunciation as a rhyme for Fozzy, the Muppet.

“Is it weird that I’m a little relieved he doesn’t know how to say Nazi?,” Meyers asks, then, adopting an English accent, says Trump’s pronunciation sounds like British slang for sex. (Ok, it’s a funnier joke with the accent).

The monologue includes some other topics – airline travel, Hug a Plumber Day, Nordstrom’s $425 muddy jeans – but the Trump bit is a hard act to follow. Take a look above.


Front Row Filmed Entertainment Inks Deal With Iflix For Egyptian Sitcom ‘Tough Luck’

Leading Dubai-based indie distributor Front Row Filmed Entertainment has struck a deal with the SVOD service iflix, a key streamer for the emerging markets, for Egyptian sitcom Tough Luck.

Under the deal, iflix will board as co-producers for the series with Front Row, KNCC and Shadows Communications and will additionally take exclusive SVOD rights for the show in the Middle East and North Africa, South East Asia, Sub Saharan Africa, Central America, Asia Pacific and Commonwealth of Independent States. The show will feature as an iflix original, with the platform launching in the MENA region at the end of this month where it will launch the whole first season of Tough Luck (30 episodes) to its subscribers during the month of Ramadan where family viewing is at its pinnacle.

The program is described as a comedy of errors as residents of a dilapidated tenement of Cairo’s renowned 5th district attempt to fix the crumbling building to no avail. The show has more than 40 guest appearances from top Arab talent including Egyptian star Ahmed Helmy, as well as Ahmad Sakka, Mona Zaki, Mai Kassab, Ahmad Fahmi, Shiko and Nicold Saba.

The deal with iflix marks an unprecedented move in the MENA industry, which typically sees free and pay-tv monopolize Ramadan and Arab content as a whole. The deal was negotiated by Front Row’s Managing Partner Gianluca Chakra and Head of iflix MENA Nader Sobhan.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with leading local producers, Front Row, KNCC and Shadows to create such compelling and groundbreaking content,” said Sobhan. “As one of our first original projects, we are incredibly excited to be able to showcase Tough Luck to our members across our markets globally.”

Chakra added: “A change is indeed needed in this part of the world and we are happy to be pioneering this with an SVOD service that is so committed to challenging the norms of the industry to the benefit of the user. It’s a brave step and happy to have found the right partners. This is only the beginning of what’s to come.”


Netflix Seeks French Compromise For Cannes Films ‘Okja’ And ‘The Meyerowitz Stories’

BREAKING: Netflix is trying to find a compromise after news that its first features accepted into the competition slate of Cannes — Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories – quickly drew the ire of France’s theatrical exhibitors guild. In a letter, the FNCF accused Netflix of skirting French regulations and fiscal obligations and called on the streaming service to release both movies in French theaters following their Cannes premieres.

That bucks up against the foundation of Netflix’s business model, which is first and foremost to provide product for its global streaming audience. At issue is France’s Media Chronology Law, which keeps films released in French theaters from playing on SVOD platforms for three years. On its highest profile titles, Netflix has accompanied releases with limited theatrical runs in the U.S., and that is essentially the compromise it seeks in the French marketplace.

The company this morning issued this statement: “We are working to protect great cinematic storytelling, like that of Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected), that will connect films with audiences that will love them. Consumer choice and improved distribution options have helped to make this the most vibrant time in the history of cinema for fans and filmmakers alike, and above everything we want to offer our subscribers in France the opportunity to watch these films wherever, whenever they want — like the rest of our members around the world. We are certain that French film lovers do not want to see these films three years after the rest of the world. With that said, we are exploring theatrical distribution of these two films in France, for a limited theatrical run, day and date with the films’ release on Netflix. We are thrilled to explore any and all options that will give these films an opportunity to be viewed by as large an audience as possible, on a variety of screens, because similar to French exhibitors, we want to continue to contribute to the development and financing of films.”

It remains to be seen how the Netflix gesture will be greeted by the French film community, which like some other European territories has its own long held customs that seem odd to the Hollywood business model, including the prohibition of P&A spends for TV commercials to promote theatrical releases. Cannes is a big step in legitimizing the feature film program of Netflix, which in past years didn’t have its films accepted at the festival in comparison to Amazon Studios (whose model allows for wide theatrical releases). Amazon had five titles in last year’s festival lineup, including Woody Allen’s fest opener Café Society.

By exploring a day and date theatrical release in France, Netflix is hoping the compromise gets around triggering the 36-month SVOD ban law. The idea is to give French theatergoers the chance to see the films by prestige directors Bong Joon-ho and Noah Baumbach, at the same time as its streaming service providers. It’s another local customs obstacle that Netflix has had to overcome as it has grown a streaming service that is now in 198 countries, and is making a deal with a third party in China to show some of its product in that country.

There are other issues that the government-subsidized film industry has with Netlix, which it has accused of using a movie festival as a promotional tool after shuttering its Paris office last year and gaining advantage over other distributors that contribute to the French film ecosystem. But the streaming service is hoping this starts a dialogue on the most pressing issue at hand, its Cannes films.


AMC Networks Teams With Charter To Co-Produce Original Content

Is Charter Communications entering the content business? Kind of, it seems, with a deal announced this morning to co-produce “distinct, high-quality original programming” for its customers in a partnership with AMC Networks’ AMC Studios.

“The partnership will give Spectrum customers access to content created specifically for them, further differentiating Charter’s platform and services,” the companies say.

They offer few details about the arrangement, but say that the first co-produced show will debut on Charter Spectrum in 2018. The cable company will have “an exclusive initial window in the U.S.” while AMC Studios keeps other rights — including international distribution.

“As AMC Studios becomes an increasingly important part of our business, this first-of-its-kind partnership represents a new horizon for us,” AMC Networks COO Ed Carroll says.

Charter’s EVP of Programming Acquisition Tom Montemagno says the deal “will further differentiate our customer experience and the value we provide in a competitive marketplace.”

Charter And AMC shares each are up about 1% in early trading.


Stephen Colbert Takes On Alex Jones, George Soros And Big Yogurt

Stephen Colbert knows all about right-wing blowhards, and he apparently knows the real purpose for yogurt (spread it on your head and it keeps the Clinton Foundation from reading your mind). So it’s only natural he weighed in on the new legal battle between Chobani and the red-faced Info Wars poobah Alex Jones.

Chobani is suing Jones for promoting a nonsensical conspiracy theory accusing the yogurt maker of spreading “crime and tuberculosis” by hiring refugees. (“Crime and Tuberculosis, Colbert concedes, is indeed one of the least favorite Chobani flavors, though it’s still better than pomegranate).

In the clip above from last night’s Late Show on CBS, Colbert takes on his Jones-like “Tuck Buckford” character, ranting about Big Yogurt, George Soros, a Charlie Brown-killing vampire Snoopy and ponders what all that fruit on the bottom is really hiding.

Funny thing is, Colbert’s Buckford isn’t all that much of an exaggeration. Watch the clip, which includes a bit of Jones, and see for yourself.


Netflix’s The Week Of Reunites Adam Sandler and Chris Rock

Netflix announced today that comedy icons Adam Sandler and Chris Rock will reunite to star in a new Netflix original film set to begin production in Long Island, New York this summer. The Week Of will be directed by veteran Saturday Night Live writer and producer Robert Smigel. The movie covers the week of preparation for a wedding in which Sandler’s daughter is marrying Rock’s son. Happy Madison Productions’ Adam Sandler and Allen Covert will serve as producers and Barry Bernardi and Tim Herlihy will serve as executive producers. Sandler and Smigel co-wrote the script. The film will premiere globally on Netflix in 2018. Here’s what Ted Sarandos, Netflix Chief Content Officer, had to say in his statement.

“Adam Sandler and Chris Rock are cornerstones of the Netflix comedy family and we are over the moon about these two legends reuniting to give our members worldwide a healthy dose of the hilarity that they have been creating together for years. Similar in the romantic comedy tone of Sandler’s most recent film Sandy Wexler, this film will be the perfect vehicle for Sandler and Rock and their millions of fans around the world.”

Sandler, whose films have grossed over $3 billion, dominated box offices around the world with such films as Grown Ups, Billy Madison, Big Daddy and The Waterboy. In 2014, the multi-hyphenate actor, writer, producer and occasional singer-songwriter set his sights on conquering the streaming world and his films have found enormous success on Netflix. Sandler’s first three Netflix films, The Ridiculous 6, The Do-Over, and the recently launched Sandy Wexler are three of the biggest film releases ever on Netflix. This film, which marks the reunion of Rock and Sandler who last starred together in the hit comedies Grown Ups and Grown Ups 2, is the fourth film in Happy Madison Productions’ original deal with Netflix. Recently, the deal was extended to include four additional feature films.

Sandler began his career as a stand-up comedian and joined Saturday Night Live as a writer and featured player before founding Happy Madison Productions. He went on to star, produce and write numerous films which went on to become box office hits. Sandler has received critical accolades for his work in Punch-Drunk Love, Reign Over Me, and Funny People. He will soon be seen in Noah Baumbach’s upcoming comedy The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) alongside Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller and Emma Thompson. The film will premiere at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival and will be released by Netflix later this year.

Rock is a four-time Emmy and three-time Grammy award-winning producer, writer, actor, director, best-selling author and comedian. Rock, who began his career working with Sandler in the 1990′s on Saturday Night Live, has had starring roles in films ranging from Down to Earth, Head of State, 2 Days in New York and Top Five, which he also wrote and directed. Rock has leant his voice to the hit animated film series Madagascar; produced the hit television series Everybody Hates Chris; and has won awards and acclaim for his hit comedy specials. In addition to Grown Ups, Rock also starred with Sandler in The Longest Yard. Rock and Netflix are also working together on two stand up comedy specials which Rock will star in. Additionally, Rock appeared in the Netflix’s A Very Murray Christmas special with Bill Murray. Rock is currently traveling the US on the first leg of his Total Blackout Tour 2017. This is the acclaimed comedian’s first tour in over 9 years.

Upcoming 2017 Netflix Original film releases include David Michod’s War Machine starring Brad Pitt, Meg Tilly, Tilda Swinton, Topher Grace, Lakeith Stanfield and Sir Ben Kingsley; Bong Joon-Ho’s Okja starring Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Paul Dano, Lily Collins, Steven Yeun; Jim Strouse’s The Incredible Jessica James starring Jessica Williams and Chris O’Dowd; Marti Noxon’s To The Bone starring Lily Collins; Adam Wingard’s Death Note starring Nat Wolff, Lakeith Stanfield and Margaret Qualley; Duncan Jones’ Mute starring Alex Skarsgård, Paul Rudd and Justin Theroux; Dee Rees’ Mudbound starring Carey Mulligan, Mary J. Blige, Jason Mitchell, and Garrett Hedlund; Ritesh Batra’s Our Souls At Night starring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda; Angelina Jolie’s First They Killed My Father, based on Cambodian author and activist Loung Ung’s gripping memoir; Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) starring Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson; and David Ayer’s Bright starring Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace, Lucy Fry and Edgar Ramirez. Hopefully we’ll have more on The Week Of as we get closer to production starting.


Sylvester Stallone Eyes Mark Millar’s Starlight Movie

Coming off the heels of his role as Stakar Ogrod in Marvel’s highly-anticipated superhero sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Sylvester Stallone is eyeing a different superhero project. A new report claims the action icon is currently the front runner to play Duke McQueen in 20th Century Fox’s long-gestating Starlight comic book adaptation. Nothing is set in stone and the project doesn’t even have a director attached at this time, but if Sylvester Stallone does in fact come aboard, it could give this project new life.

Splash Report first broke the news on this potential casting, which is the first we’ve heard about this project in quite some time. We first reported on this adaptation of Mark Millar’s comic book way back in December 2013, when 20th Century Fox won a bidding war for the project, where the studio beat out two unnamed companies for the rights to the project. At the time, Simon Kinberg was attached to both produce and write the screenplay, but now he’s only attached as a producer.

Gary Whitta (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) was brought on to write the screenplay in 2014, and the only other update we got on this project was in 2015, when Mark Millar claimed that both Chrononauts and Starlight would be his next two movies, neither of which have gone into production. It isn’t clear if there is any additional work on the script being done, or when 20th Century Fox may be placing this project on their production slate. Starlight was first published by Image Comics in 2014, with Mark Millar writing the comics and Goran Parlov providing the illustrations.

The story centers on Duke McQueen, a former space hero who has settled into retirement after saving the universe multiple times. With his wife long passed away and his children forming their own adventures, Duke lives a solitary life when he is called back into action, with a distant world needing his help. Mark Millar has said that this comic was inspired by sci-fi serials that were published in the 1940s and 1950s, teasing that he has always been a fan of “old gunslinger stories,” which he is using an a sci-fi setting in Starlight.

Sylvester Stallone is enjoying a career resurgence over the past few years, which began with his Oscar-nominated performance as the iconic Rocky Balboa in Creed. He will next be seen in Guardians of the Galaxy 2, and he most recently wrapped production on the action-packed sequel Escape Plan 2: Hades, where he stars along another Guardians 2 star, Dave Bautista. The studio has already given the green light for Escape Plan 3 as well, with Sylvester Stallone also attached to Idol’s Eye and Tough as they Come, which he would direct and star alongside Adam Driver. Hopefully 20th Century Fox will officially announce this Starlight casting soon.


Madonna Slams Blond Ambition Biopic

Just a few months after topping The Black List as the most popular unproduced screenplay of 2016, we reported yesterday that the Madonna biopic entitled Blond Ambition was picked up by Universal, with Brett Ratner and Michael De Luca producing. Yesterday’s report didn’t offer any indication of whether or not the iconic Madonna supports this biopic or if she will have any creative involvement, but now it seems we have our answer. The pop star took to social media earlier today, making it clear that she has no involvement in the project. Here’s what the singer/actress/filmmaker had to say below.

“Nobody knows what I know and what I have seen. Only I can tell my story. Anyone else who tries is a charlatan and a fool. . Looking for instant gratification without doing the work. This is a disease in our society.”

Madonna didn’t offer any further insight on her Twitter and Instagram pages, and it isn’t clear if she read the Blonde Ambition script, which was easily the top vote-getter on the 2016 Black List. The story is set in 1980s New York City, as Madonna struggles to put together her first album while, according to the logline, “navigating fame, romance, and a music industry that views women as disposal.” While Universal had no comment on the pop icon’s remarks, there is an interesting connection between the studio and the singer.

Long before he became vice chairman at NBCUniversal, Ron Meyer represented the pop icon when he was a talent agent at the Creative Artists Agency (CAA). No director is on board for this music biopic, Michael De Luca will produce through his Universal-based Michael De Luca Productions, alongside Brett Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment and John Zaozirny’s Bellvue Productions. Universal’s executive vice president of Production Erik Baiers and Director of Development Chloe Yellin will oversee production for the studio, while Lucy Kitada will oversee for De Luca Productions.

Since Madonna mentioned that only she could tell her own story, perhaps that is an indication that the singer is in fact working on a memoir or some other project on her own, but that has yet to be confirmed. While she is certainly best known as a singer, Madonna is no stranger to the movie business. She directed the 2008 comedy Filth and Wisdom and the 2011 biopic W.E.. She also starred in films such as Who’s That Girl, Dick Tracy, Shadows and Fog, A League of their Own, Body of Evidence, Dangerous Game, Girl 6, Evita and Swept Away, which was directed by her then-husband Guy Ritchie. We reported last year that Madonna was being eyed to star alongside Jennifer Lawrence in a remake of Valley of the Dolls.

As for Elyse Hollander, she had written and directed a number of short films before landing on The Black List with this musical biopic. She also served as an intern on The Rotten Tomatoes Show and served as an assistant to director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, while he was making his Best Picture winner Birdman. Take a look at Madonna’s reaction to Blond Ambition below, as we wait for more details on this biopic.

Nobody knows what I know and what I have seen. Only I can tell my story. ????Anyone else who tries is a charlatan and…

— Madonna (@Madonna) April 25, 2017

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