Director and producer Shawn Levy’s new movie “Free Guy” — a big-budget original starring Ryan Reynolds as a video game character — had its release date pushed three times because of the pandemic. The film is finally opening exclusively in theaters. But heading into opening weekend, Levy wasn’t sure if people would go.
“I have to confess, I don’t know,” Levy says. “I don’t know what the reaction will be to going to theaters, and going to theaters for a new movie.”
The producer-director tells KCRW about the ups and downs of making “Free Guy.”
Więcej odcinków z kanału "The Business"
How Edgar Wright makes original movies in an industry obsessed with franchises
28:32KCRW revisits its conversation with filmmaker Edgar Wright. His music documentary “The Sparks Brothers” celebrates two musicians whose work he loves. Ron and Russell Mael are brothers who make up the band Sparks, and they’re a pair of complete originals. Wright is an original, too. His hit movie “Baby Driver” and upcoming thriller “Last Night in Soho” are based on ideas he made up. And he can’t help but wonder why movie studios aren’t willing to take a few more chances on fresh ideas. Plus, KCRW has fresh banter about internal strife at Netflix, HBO Max numbers, and IATSE. The below-the-line Hollywood union has a contract, but will its members ratify it?
The return of HBO’s ‘Succession’
28:31The third season of HBO’s award-winning black comedy “Succession” was supposed to premiere a year ago, but the pandemic halted production for many months. Series creator Jesse Armstrong says despite the delay, the cast was soon back in the zone when they finally reunited. Armstrong tells KCRW how the road to “Succession” began with a script about an imagined Murdoch family dinner, and explains why he re-writes his scripts — full of lacerating insults — throughout the production process.
Writer Danny Strong on his quest to make Hulu’s ‘Dopesick’
28:32Before he co-created the hit show “Empire,” writer Danny Strong won accolades for two HBO movies based on real events. So when he wanted to make a series about the opioid epidemic based on Beth Macy’s book “Dopesick,” he thought he’d be met with open arms. Instead, he found no one was much interested in his pitch. He tells KCRW about his quest to make a limited series version of “Dopesick,” which eventually found a home on Hulu.
As the Academy Museum opens, Los Angeles finally has a grand space devoted to movies
28:32After budget blowups, a leadership change and many delays, the long-awaited Academy Museum is finally open. KCRW takes a whirlwind tour with museum president Bill Kramer to hear how exhibits cover all aspects of the movie business. And there are lots of fun sightings, including ruby red slippers, the typewriter used to write “Psycho,” Leo’s “Revenant” body cast, and even the famous Rosebud.
IATSE behind-the-camera workers make movies and TV shows happen. They may soon authorize a strike
28:32For the first time in decades, the crew members who make movies and TV shows are threatening to strike. Members of IATSE — the union that covers cinematographers, editors, costumers and many more behind-the-camera jobs — say they’ve had enough of low wages and long hours without sufficient breaks. Script coordinator and IATSE member Shawn Waugh tells KCRW why he will vote to authorize a historic strike.
‘Plan B’ and ‘Language Lessons’: Natalie Morales on making her directorial debut with 2 films
28:32Natalie Morales built up a bunch of acting credits on shows including “Parks and Recreation” and “The Grinder.” But what she really wanted to do was direct. When her agents didn’t get on board, she dropped them and got new ones. Now she’s made not one but two features. Morales tells KCRW about her double directorial debut with the films “Plan B” and “Language Lessons.”
Sterlin Harjo on creating FX’s ‘Reservation Dogs’ with an Indigenous cast and crew
28:32Before he co-created the FX comedy series “Reservation Dogs,” Sterlin Harjo directed three micro-budget films in his home state of Oklahoma. He had knocked on Hollywood's door, but somehow he never could find financing. No one wanted Native films, and Harjo almost left the industry entirely. Then he teamed up with his friend Taika Waititi to make a coming-of-age show about four Native teenagers. FX liked “Reservation Dogs” so much, they’ve already ordered a second season.
‘The Other Two’ creators Sarah Schneider and Chris Kelly on the return of their pop culture send-up
28:32The critically beloved sitcom “The Other Two” follows the trials of the older, struggling siblings of a 13-year-old overnight pop sensation. The series creators knew the first season got lost in the shuffle when it ran on Comedy Central. For season two, the show moved to HBO Max, and is a lot easier to find. Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider tell KCRW about the return of “The Other Two,” and how they decide which celebrities to skewer.
‘Hacks’ creators Jen Statsky and Paul W. Downs on their Emmy-nominated comedy series
28:32Jen Statsky and Paul W. Downs are two of the three creators of the Emmy-nominated comedy series “Hacks.” The HBO Max show features Jean Smart as a veteran comedian fighting to hold onto her long-running Las Vegas gig. In real life, Smart also wanted the show to go on — even when her husband died unexpectedly with a week of shooting left. Downs tells KCRW, “We knew from working with [Smart] that she is all in, she is fully committed. And so in that way, we looked to her in this time as well.”
‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’: How voice actor Jeff Bergman brings Bugs Bunny and Sylvester to life
28:32Jeff Bergman’s name may not ring a bell, but he has some very recognizable alter egos: Bugs Bunny, Sylvester the Cat and Yogi Bear, to name a few. Bergman is the voice of many of the cartoon stars of “Space Jam: A New Legacy.” His repertoire includes nearly 200 voices, including Donald Trump and Joe Biden in Showtime’s “Our Cartoon President.” He tells KCRW about some of the challenges of this often overlooked profession.