Friday Morning Coffee — 3/15/19

Is it ever too early to begin the hype?

Bugs Bunny plus Lola Bunny plus LeBron James equals Space Jam 2. Michael Jordan starred in Space Jam back in 1996. Defeating the Monstars, the Looney Tunes ensemble earned $230 million on an $80 million budget. So, why not try it again? What’s the downside? We have to wait until a July 2021 to see it. Darn!

We now know who, but where?

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Martin Scorcese is about to tell us that hitman Frank Sheeran killed Jimmy Hoffa in 1975. In the Netflix movie, The Irishman, Sheeran confesses on his deathbed. To be released this fall, the film reportedly has a budget of $200 million. It certainly has star power with Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, Anna Paquin, Ray Romano, and Bobby Cannavale. Remember, Hoffa was supposed to be buried under Giants Stadium. When demolished in 2010, no human remains were found. The movie is to feature de-aged versions of some of the actors. Suppose we over-40 types can get some of that?

Stumptown = Portland?

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ABC is putting together a pilot about a female detective called Stumptown. Stumptown is a nickname for Portland, Oregon. In the mid-19th century, the city’s growth led residents to clear a lot of land quickly, but the tree stumps were not immediately removed; in some areas, there were so many that people used to jump from stump to stump to avoid the muddy, unpaved roads. Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother) will play Dax Parios, a recently returned home Army vet with issues. In the comic book series, she has a big gambling problem. With an catchy title, and a likable star, bring it on!

Stan and Ollie 2?

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Did you like Stan and Ollie? Get ready for Joan and Jackie. Two sisters from London make it big in the U.S. From a film star to the highest paid female actress on TV in Dynasty, Joan Collins knew Hollywood. But, as the writer of 32 novels (500 million copies sold), Jackie Collins KNOWS Hollywood. From the producers of Stan and Ollie, this is to be a six-hour series. “There are so many bad boys out there, especially in Hollywood. And yes, I know so many of them,” says Jackie. As Sgt. Joe Friday would say, “All we want are the facts, ma’am.” I’m sure those will be plenty juicy!

She didn’t know?

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Did you read Charlotte Walsh Likes To Win? Julia Roberts will star in a miniseries as an executive who moves her family from California to Pennsylvania to run for Senate. With no political experience, she still believes she can make a difference. Surprisingly, she finds out that politics is dirty. The opponent’s campaign finds out a secret about her that will upset the family and the candidacy. Apparently, the book has an incomplete ending. With a miniseries, perhaps they will be kind enough to fill in the blanks.

Not another one?

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Facebook Watch is yet another streaming service. Will we pay or have mid-roll ads? What does this have to do with Zac Efron and Anna Kendrick? They will be two of the voices on Human Discoveries. Living at the dawn of civilization, they discover all things good and bad. Not just fire and the wheel, the promo says that includes “art, alcohol, fashion, racism, small talk and, much to their confusion, monogamy.” Woe is me. I’ll have to get my 10 year old granddaughter to show me how to find it!


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Tara Flynn helps create Homeland and The Americans for Fox. Not happy with her pay (read that making less than the men), she asks for a raise. She doesn’t get what she wants but signs a four year contract. Along comes Netflix who offers double the pay, a lawyer, and indemnification if Fox sues. Netflix contends Fox contracts violate California law which prohibits non-competition. Netflix says its contracts are at-will which is a short-hand way of saying we can fire you at any time. Fox replies that employees need security and both need the sanctity of the contract. This case is crucial to Netflix because they are alleged to have poached employees from Fox, Viacom, Warner Bros., Universal, DreamWorks Animation, and Lionsgate. The beast needs to be fed, but at the cost of interfering with contracts?

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