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Ava DuVernay Inks $100M Multi-Year, Multi-Genre Warner Bros TV Overall Deal

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Ava DuVernay’s relationship with Warner Bros Television Group just got a lot deeper and richer, literally and figuratively.

The Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated director has signed a multi-year and multi-genre overall deal with the Peter Roth-run studio. It’s a big leap for a filmmaker primary known as a director — the sprawling WBTV production and development deal for DuVernay and her Forward Movement shingle covers drama and comedy series, documentaries, digital content, event projects and longer-form projects for broadcast and cable, premium cable, streaming services and other platforms.

It’s DuVernay’s first pact with any studio and is set to start in January. The deal is in the $100 million range, I’ve learned.

“I’ve had nothing but beautiful experiences working with Peter Roth, Susan Rovner and Brett Paul,” DuVernay, also the Queen Sugar and Red Line EP, told Deadline today. “They love and support artists in wonderful and nourishing ways. They work within a traditional studio headed by Kevin Tsujihara that is stirring with untraditional energy and fresh protocols for intentional, inclusive image-making. Warner Bros is a terrific partner about matters of visibility and belonging for all kinds and cultures of people, which is our mission at Forward Movement. I couldn’t be happier to call Warner Bros TV my production home.”

“Ava DuVernay is one of the leading lights in our industry, a brilliantly talented writer, producer, director and entrepreneur whose ability to inspire with her art is exceeded only by her ability to entertain,” said Roth, Warner Bros TV Group president and chief content officer. “We have had the great pleasure of working with her on Queen Sugar and The Red Line, and we are extremely excited about the new stories she has to tell.”

While DuVernay is no stranger to a contrarian disposition, many might have considered her a more natural fit at Netflix, where her Oscar-nominated documentary 13th was launched. She also has the just-wrapped four-part drama Central Park Five coming next year from the streaming service as well as a Prince documentary with exclusive access to the Purple One’s archives.

However, in an environment where everyone is trying to lock in talent, the move to a traditional studio when the likes of Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy are heading to the streamer makes sense for DuVernay. For one thing, besides the range and reach WBTV offers, one must factor in the relationship the Selma helmer has with the studio already through the Warner Horizon Scripted Television-produced Queen Sugar, renewed in August for a fourth season on Oprah’s OWN, and the CBS event series Red Line, which she executive produces with in-house superman Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter.

Add to that, unlike a deal with a streamer, the WBTV deal offers DuVernay the opportunity to sell her shows to everyone as opposed to be locked into to one outlet. It also doesn’t impinge on the indie collective ARRAY founder’s big-screen ambitions, which will coincidentally also see DuVernay directing a big-budget adaptation of the Jack Kirby-created The New Gods for Warner Bros Pictures down the line. New Gods will be the second such film for DuVernay, who was the first woman of color to helm a $100 million-plus live-action film with Disney’s A Wrinkle In Time earlier this year.

Source: Deadline

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‘Avengers’ Star Chris Hemsworth May Have Misspelled His Last Name At Handprint Ceremony

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Chris Hemsworth is apparently so excited for the premiere of "Avengers: Endgame" that he may have momentarily forgotten how to spell his own last name.

The 35-year-old actor, who portrays Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was honored during a hand print ceremony at the TCL Chinese Theatre Tuesday, along with his superhero co-stars Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner.

'One for the ages': First reactions to 'Avengers: Endgame' hail Marvel 'epic'

Avengers: Endgame" world premiere: Why Natalie Portman was there and Tom Holland wasn't

The original six "Avengers" imprinted their hands and signed their names into wet cement. But eagle-eyed fans couldn't help but notice that Hemsworth's last name looked a bit odd.

"Chris Hemsworth absolutely forgot the 't' in his name and (tried) to add it after didn't he?" user @BaWCatGod tweeted, while @saucyloki added: "Did chris hemsworth misspell his last name or tried to squeeze all the letters in so they would fit?"

You be the judge

Hemsworth attended the "Avengers: Endgame" world premiere a night earlier with his wife Elsa Pataky. He shared a picture on Instagram, writing, "This movie’s gonna blow ya socks off."

"Avengers: Endgame" hits theaters Friday.

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Netflix Spared As Academy Keeps Oscars Rule Unchanged.

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Tuesday voted to not change its rule for a film's Oscars eligibility, sparing Netflix after months of pressure to exclude the streaming titan.

Campaigners including Steven Spielberg -- who is set to work with Apple's rival to Netflix -- have suggested that the films produced and released by streaming firms should not be eligible for the Oscars, and should instead be classified as TV content.

But despite the grumbling about the impact of streaming services on the traditional cinema industry, the Academy's board decided to continue with its current rule: a film "must have a minimum seven-day theatrical run in a Los Angeles County commercial theater, with at least three screenings per day for paid admission."

"Motion pictures released in nontheatrical media on or after the first day of their Los Angeles County theatrical qualifying run remain eligible."

Ahead of the board meeting, the Academy had also received a warning from the US Justice Department that any exclusion may fall foul of anti-trust laws.

The battle between traditional cinema and streaming came sharply into focus after Netflix's impressive haul at this year's Academy Awards, including three Oscars for Alfonso Cuaron's "Roma."

Other rivals to Netflix include streaming service Hulu -- which has followed Netflix into original shows including "The Handmaid's Tale" -- and Amazon, which is also producing high-profile content including "Manchester by the Sea".

Many who support the exclusion of streaming content from the Oscars have suggested that streaming at home or on devices does not capture the true experience of cinema, a criticism that appeared to have been acknowledged by the Academy after Tuesday's board meeting.

"We support the theatrical experience as integral to the art of motion pictures, and this weighed heavily in our discussions," Academy President John Bailey said in a statement.

"Our rules currently require theatrical exhibition, and also allow for a broad selection of films to be submitted for Oscars consideration.We plan to further study the profound changes occurring in our industry and continue discussions with our members about these issues."

Despite the hostility, Netflix has attempted to find space and allies within the Hollywood establishment.It joined the Motion Picture Association of America in January.

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Beyoncé’s Netflix Deal Reportedly Worth A Whooping $60m

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HomecomingBeyoncé‘s behind-the-scenes documentary chronicling her 2018 Coachella performance is not the only deal the pop star has with Netflix, Variety is reporting.

She’s working on two more projects with the streaming giant, with all of them worth $60m.

Homecoming’s deal was about $20m, Variety said, adding that Netflix and Beyoncé’s reps did not comment on the issue.

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4 Management Tips Learned From “Game of Thrones”.

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HBO’s Game of Thrones is back for its highly anticipated Season 8. From Winterfell to Dorne, the characters are busy building their armies, plotting their revenge, and, unbeknownst to some, waiting for the impending horde of White Walkers to arrive on their doorsteps.
Though there are many different types of leaders in Westeros and Essos, each of them can teach us an important lesson in management.

1. Good Managers Need Good Processes.

At a basic level, management can be defined as coordinated action in pursuit of performance. Managers at all levels and functions must design, direct, and shape various organizational processes in order to move the organization towards its goals.

Petyr Baelish (popularly known as Littlefinger) knows this better than perhaps anyone in the Seven Kingdoms. Whether he’s accruing political blackmail as Master of Coin in King’s Landing, arranging strategic marriage proposals, or plotting his way to become Lorde Protector of the Vale, each action he takes is part of a calculated process to move him further along on his quest for power. Though he may have to adjust his strategy along the way, he understands that his success will ultimately rely on a series of carefully coordinated actions with multiple players involved.

2. Each Decision You Make Has Consequences

Decision-making is another managerial process that involves social, political, emotional, and organizational factors, as well as analytics, reason, and fact-based analysis. Good managers must recognize the pros and cons of each option and take into account all of these factors when evaluating which path will result in the best outcome.

Daenerys Targaryen is no stranger to consequences. Liberating an entire region of slaves, wiping out all of the Dothraki Khals in existence, and planning a coup in King’s Landing does not come without repercussions.
Along her journey from exile to Queen of Meereen, she learns that decision making is a delicate balance that requires not only finding the greatest good for all parties involved, but also planning for the future.

3. Learn from Your Mistakes

In order to improve and innovate, managers must continuously reflect and learn from past experiences, both good and bad. By acquiring, interpreting, and applying information from these experiences in the right ways, good managers can improve their processes and implementation skills to drive the organization forward.

And as I’m sure any of the remaining members of House Stark would attest, you must learn from your mistakes (or your father’s, mother’s, and older brother’s mistakes) in order to survive. Perhaps the quickest learner of them all is Arya Stark. 
From reluctant lady-in-training to seasoned assassin, she’s made a huge leap since the start of the series, one that has forced her to grow and leave many aspects of her old life behind in the process.

4. Flexibility is Key

Another important skill in a manager’s toolkit is the ability to remain flexible. Recognizing the need for organizational change stems from multiple sources, both internal and external.
A good manager must identify common dysfunctional habits, understand methods for overcoming such behaviors, and identify factors to help create a receptive environment for change.

Never one to be outwitted, Tyrion Lannister is the master of changing course. At countless points throughout the show, he manages to turn his less than desirable situations into positive ones.
An inexperienced warrior forced to lead the defense at the Battle of Blackwater, he manages to destroy a large part of the enemy’s fleet with minimal causalities of his own men through the creative use of wildfire. Captured by Jorah Mormont on his way to Meereen, Tyrion is delivered to Daenerys as a “gift” to be executed. However, he manages to not only stay alive, but to become a key advisor to Daenerys.

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