Hollywood Breakdown

Hollywood Breakdown


Kim Masters, host of KCRW’s The Business, breaks down Hollywood's top stories. Follow The Business!


Another dispatching of a 'Star Wars' director  

Colin Trevorrow is out as director of Episode IX. This comes after the firing of Josh Trank and Phil Lord and Christopher Miller on other Star Wars movies. At this point, people are starting to wonder about the Lucasfilm approach of hiring less proven directors to work on such a massive franchise.

Ed Skrein departs 'Hellboy' after fans call out whitewashing  

Actor Ed Skrein announced he'd be dropping out of Hellboy after being cast as a character who in the original source material is Asian. It's the first time an actor has ever stepped down in response to an outcry over whitewashing. Skrein has been praised for his elegant handling of the situation.

Bummer of a summer at the box office  

The domestic box office is stuck the summer doldrums this year. Ticket sales are down 15 percent compared to last year, and for the first time in 25 years, there's no new wide releases landing on Labor Day Weekend. 

Stunt community asking tough questions after 2 recent deaths  

A motorcycle racer named Joi "SJ" Harris died on the set of Deadpool 2 this week while attempting a stunt for the film. Harris was an accomplished racer, but did not have stunt experience. Some in the stunt community are asking why she was hired in the first place, and saying that her death could have been prevented.

Disney pulls out of Netflix to launch its own streaming service  

Disney announced this week that it will pull its content from Netflix and launch two streaming services of its own -- one for sports and one for Disney properties. There are some caveats, but there's no questions that this represents a fundamental realignment of the media world.

Tough times for indie film producers and distributors  

Business in Hollywood can be boom or bust, and for independent film studios, it's more of the latter at the moment. The problem is exemplified by two struggling companies, Open Road and Broad Green Pictures.

HBO hit with backlash following announcement of 'Confederate'  

The show that created some of the most conversation at this summer's gather of the Television Critics Association is one that doesn't even exist yet. The announcement alone of a new HBO show where the South won the Civil War and slavery is still legal set off a firestorm.

China's dealings with Hollywood on shaky ground  

A year ago, it seemed like the Chinese company the Wanda Group was well on its way to buying up a large chunk of Hollywood. But several deals that felt solid before are now incredibly fraught.

Emmy nominations: HBO and Netflix dominate  

This year's Emmy nominations show the dominance of streaming TV. HBO led the pack, but Netflix was right on its heels. Hulu, which had critical success with The Handmaid's Tale, also did well.

The symbiotic relationship between CNN and President Trump  

President Trump has called CNN "fake news," and last week he tweeted a GIF of himself tackling a symbol of the network. His fans vociferously hate the media and journalists are decrying the potential for violence. All of this may be good for ratings, but is it good for the American people?

Academy invites 774 new members, a record  

In an effort to continue its push for increased diversity, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences welcomed a large class of new members this week, many of them women and/or people of color. But some of the names of the list have raised eyebrows because certain inductees have relatively little experience in film. 

'Star Wars' stunner: 'Han Solo' movie has a new director  

Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the original directors of the forthcoming Han Solo movie, were fired and replaced by director Ron Howard. This hardly every happens in Hollywood, especially because production was already well underway -- sources say they were four-fifths of the way through filming.

Is Megyn Kelly's show the right place for an Alex Jones interview?  

Controversy swirls around the upcoming airing of Megyn Kelly's interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. The marketing of the episode has been problematic -- including a picture of the two of them smiling together in a car.

'The Mummy' looks like a tough start to The Dark Universe  

Universal is trying to launch a monster-oriented franchise called The Dark Universe with a reboot of 'The Mummy' starring Tom Cruise. But heading into opening weekend, critics aren't loving it and the film will likely lose at the U.S. box office to Warner Bro's 'Wonder Woman,' which is in its second week.

The wonder of 'Wonder Woman'  

Warner Brother's Wonder Woman opens this weekend with giant expectations. It's the first big superhero movie to both star a woman and be directed by a woman.

Reversal of fortunes at cable news and late night  

There's been a historic reshuffling at cable news  and late night as Trump-related news has a big impact on television. 

At the TV upfronts, what's old is new again  

It's that time of year where all the broadcast networks gather in New York City to present their new fall lineups to advertisers. This year includes a Will & Grace reboot at NBC and a Roseanne reunion at ABC.

No strike, but still not quite business as usual  

The WGA was able to make a deal with the studios, so a strike was averted, but the industry continues to be in flux as more people cut the cord, Hulu announced a streaming service, and media stocks took a tumble.

Threat of another writers' strike looms ever closer  

The members of the Writers Guild of America voted overwhelmingly in favor -- 96.3% -- of authorizing a strike. Now there's a very short window of time before their current contract ends on May 1. 

It's official, Bill O'Reilly is out at Fox News  

When Bill O'Reilly left for vacation after revelations of payouts related to sexual harassment allegations caused advertisers to flee his show, the big question was whether he'd come back to host The O'Reilly Factor. Now we know the answer is no.

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