Actors ratify strike peace deal

The new “peace” contract with the US film producers’ body AMFTP following the long Hollywood strike has been officially ratified by the actors’ union SAG-AFTRA, with the following key details: A 78% majority voted in favour. The voter turnout was 38%. The agreement is valid until June 2026. Fran Drescher, the president of the union, said: "This agreement stands as a significant triumph for working performers, signifying the beginning of a new era in the industry. Achieving this milestone was undeniably a collective endeavour." The AMFTP added, "With this decisive vote, the industry and the jobs it sustains are poised to make a full-fledged return."

Paramount financial worries

  Paramount is grappling with significant financial difficulties, closely monitored by S&P Global as they scrutinize the company's credit rating. Naveen Sarma, the Managing Director and Sector Lead for the U.S. Media and Telecom Sectors at S&P, has expressed concerns about Paramount's diminished cash flows resulting from the transition from linear TV to streaming. The company's ad revenue has experienced a substantial 6.6% decline, significantly falling short of quarterly estimates. Consequently, Paramount+ has raised its prices. Adding to the financial pressure is the impending $2 billion payment to the NFL for media rights. Paramount's predicament mirrors the broader uncertainty surrounding the profitability of streaming services. On a positive note for Paramount, they have recently entered the Japanese market.

Trump card for Sebastian

Sebastian Stan, renowned for his portrayal of Bucky Barnes (The Winter Soldier) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has been chosen to play a young Donald Trump in the upcoming film The Apprentice. The movie, directed by Iranian filmmaker Ali Abbasi, known for his work on The Last Of Us and Holy Spider, is set against the backdrop of 1970s and 1980s New York. It unfolds the narrative of Trump's early years, seeking guidance from Roy Cohn while establishing his real estate empire. Alsong Stan, a seven-time MCU film actor and Emmy nominee for his role in Pam & Tommy, the cast includes Jeremy Strong from Succession as Roy Cohn, and Maria Bakalova from Borat 2, as Ivana Trump.  

Reiner taps up McCartney and Elton

Paul McCartney and Elton John are set to feature in the sequel to the iconic mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap, with filming scheduled to commence early next year, according to director Rob Reiner. Reiner, who directed the original 1984 film and will helm the sequel, broke the news during a conversation with comedian Richard Herring on the RHLSTP (Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast). Expressing his enthusiasm for This Is Spinal Tap, Herring learned from Reiner that the entire original cast is returning for the sequel, and production is set to kick off at the end of February. Reiner also revealed the star-studded additions to the cast, announcing, "Paul McCartney is joining us, and Elton John," and also mentioned the participation of country music legend Garth Brooks.

Fallout, the next big videogame drama?

  Following on the heels of The Last of Us, get ready for Fallout, the next colossal video game adaptation on Prime Video, where the first three episodes have been helmed by Jonathan Nolan, best known for his work on Westworld. The series unfolds within a post-apocalyptic landscape as Fallout shelters re-emerge, revealing the irradiated wastelands of Los Angeles. In this desolate setting, a myriad of adventures ensue, encapsulating an enduring struggle for survival. Immersing viewers in a surreal atmosphere, Fallout often intertwines dark humour into its narrative. As the Fallout shelters open and unveil a world transformed by catastrophe, the series promises an enthralling exploration of the challenges and absurdities that define existence in this irradiated land.

Director blows $55m on crypto and cars

Director Carl Rinsch blew $55 million on cryptocurrency and luxury cars after Netflix won an intense eight-studio bidding war for his sci-fi epic Conquest, which focused on artificial humans. Following the financial windfall, Rinsch succumbed to addiction, diverting substantial amounts of money towards acquiring Rolls-Royces and investing in cryptocurrency. His behaviour became increasingly erratic, with Rinsch even making dubious claims about possessing foreknowledge of lightning strikes. His descent into addiction and financial mismanagement prevented his highly anticipated sci-fi project getting to the production stage, leaving Netflix and Rinsch now embroiled in a protracted arbitration process.  

It's No-0-7 for Nolan!

Christopher Nolan has quashed rumours of his involvement in a James Bond film as his next project following the success of Oppenheimer. Despite previous speculation, Nolan clarified in an interview with The Associated Press that there is "no truth to those rumours." Oppenheimer, his summer period drama, has become the highest-grossing World War II-related film and biopic, amassing $950 million globally since July. Reports in October suggested Nolan was in talks to direct multiple Bond films, envisioning a return to Ian Fleming's original 1950s setting. While Nolan had expressed interest in the past, he refuted the recent rumours. In July, he stated on the Happy Sad Confused podcast that working on a Bond film would be an "amazing privilege" but emphasised the need for the right creative moment and full commitment to the project. Nolan's cinematic style has often drawn comparisons to the Bond franchise, evident in films like Tenet and Inception. In a 2017 Pl