John Lithgow, Hugh Dancy, Veeps Reid Scott, and I, Tonya actor Paul Walter Hauser have come aboard the comedy, Late Night, written by Mindy Kaling, who also stars alongside Emma Thompson. Nisha Ganatra is attached to direct the project which follows late-night talk show host (Thompson) who is at risk of losing her long-running show right when she hires her first female writer (Kaling) who revitalizes her show and her life.
Filming is slated to begin next week with Kaling producing the pic alongside Howard Klein, Imperative Entertainment, and FilmNation Entertainment, who are handling international sales as well as financing the project with 30WEST. In addition, 30WEST and CAA are repping the US rights.
Lithgow joins the film after recently starring in FilmNations Beatriz at Dinner with Salma Hayek and Connie Britton, as well as Daddys Home 2 and Netflixs The Crown, which earned him an Emmy. Dancy, perhaps best known for his starring role in NBCS Hannibal and more recently, Hulus The Path, hasnt appeared on the big screen since Sony Classics 2012 limited release of period romantic comedy, Hysteria.
Scott just wrapped production on the Ruben Fleischer-directed hotly anticipated Venom standalone at Sony and will soon begin production on the seventh and final season of HBOs Emmy-winning series, Veep. Hauser will next be seen in Spike Lees BlacKkKlansman for Focus Features and Blumhouse.
Lithgow is repped by UTA, Anonymous Content and attorney Walter Teller; Dancy by UTA and United Agents; Scott by Impression Entertainment, Gersh, and Stone, Genow, Smelkinson, Binder & Christopher; Hauser by CAA and Principato-Young Entertainment.
‘Antebellum’ has a ‘Get Out’ vibe, but doesn’t live up to its twist
“Antebellum” is built around a provocative twist, and it’s a good one — as well as one that definite..
“Antebellum” is built around a provocative twist, and it’s a good one — as well as one that definitely shouldn’t be spoiled even a little. Once that revelation is absorbed, however, the movie becomes less distinctive and inspired, reflecting an attempt to tap into the zeitgeist that made “Get Out” a breakthrough, without the same ability to pay off the premise.
Originally destined for a theatrical run, the movie hits digital platforms trumpeting a “Get Out” pedigree in its marketing campaign, since there’s an overlap among the producing teams.
More directly, the film marks the directing debut of Gerard Bush + Christopher Renz, who have championed social-justice issues through their advertising work. The opening script features a quote from author William Faulkner, whose intent will eventually become clearer: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
If that sounds like a timely means of drawing a line from the horrors of slavery to the racism of today, you’ve come to the right place.
The story begins on a plantation, where the brutal overseers carry out grisly punishments against those tilling the fields. A few have just tried to escape, led by Veronica (Janelle Monae), and they pay a heavy price for their resistance, which does nothing to curb her defiance.
Also written by Bush + Renz, the script take too long before revealing what makes “Antebellum” different, but the middle portion — a “The Twilight Zone”-like phase when it’s hard to be sure exactly what’s going on — is actually the film’s strongest. (Even the trailer arguably gives away too much, so the less one knows, the better.)
The final stretch, by contrast, veers into more familiar thriller territory, and feels especially rushed toward the end, leaving behind a host of nagging, unanswered questions. That provides food for thought, but it’s also what separates the movie from something like “Get Out,” which deftly fleshed out its horror underpinnings.
Although the filmmakers (in a taped message) expressed disappointment that the movie wasn’t making its debut in theaters, in a strange way, the on-demand format somewhat works in its favor. In the press notes, Bush says the goal was “to force the audience to look at the real-life horror of racism through the lens of film horror. We’re landing in the middle of the very conversations that we hoped ‘Antebellum’ would spur.”
“Antebellum” should add to that discussion, so mission accomplished on that level. Monae is also quite good in her first leading film role (she did previously star in the series “Homecoming’s” second season), but otherwise, most of the characters remain underdeveloped.