Barack and Michelle Obama in talks with Netflix - Silver Screen Beat
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Barack and Michelle Obama are in negotiations with Netflix to produce their own series

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Barack and Michelle Obama
AFP

After keeping a relatively low profile since leaving the White House just over a year ago (it feels like so much longer), President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are in negotiations with streaming giant Netflix to produce what is described as a series of “high-profile shows,” according to a report from The New York Times.

“Mr. Obama does not intend to use his Netflix shows to directly respond to President Trump or conservative critics,” The Times reports, adding that the series could feature Obama moderating conversations on topics such as health care, voting rights, immigration, foreign policy, and climate change.

Sources with insider knowledge of the proposed deal, which has not been finalized, say “the Obamas had talked about producing shows that highlight inspirational stories,” which could be the wonderful escape we need right now in our depressing, chaos-filled world that is on the brink of nuclear war.

“President and Mrs. Obama have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire,” said Obama senior adviser Eric Schultz. “Throughout their lives, they have lifted up stories of people whose efforts to make a difference are quietly changing the world for the better. As they consider their future personal plans, they continue to explore new ways to help others tell and share their stories.”

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David Fincher, Robert Towne begin development on ‘Chinatown’ prequel series at Netflix

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Chinatown
PARAMOUNT PICTURES

A prequel series to Roman Polanski‘s 1974 neo-noir classic Chinatown from David Fincher and Robert Towne is in early development at Netflix, Silver Screen Beat has learned.

Per Deadline, Fincher and Towne — the latter of the two having won an Oscar for his screenplay for the film starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway — have closed deals to begin working on a pilot script for the series.

The duo will also executive produce the project, which centers around “a young Jake Gittes (played by Nicholson in Polanski’s film) as he plies his business in a town where the wealthy and corruption involves areas like land, oil, and gangs.”

Fincher has reportedly expressed interest in directing an episode of the yet-to-be-titled series, though his current deal with the streamer only includes the pilot script and his handling of directorial duties would have to be negotiated into the agreement.

Netflix has developed quite a relationship with Fincher over the past several years, having collaborated with the director on series such as Love, Death & Robots, House of Cards, and Mindhunter.

Fincher’s latest collaboration with Netflix — a feature film about the life of Hollywood screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz titled Mank — stars Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, and Lily Collins, and is expected to begin shooting in Los Angeles later this month.

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‘Avenue 5’ teaser trailer reveals Armando Iannucci’s bonkers new sci-fi comedy series for HBO

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Avenue 5
HBO

HBO has released the first teaser trailer for Veep creator Armando Iannucci‘s new comedy series Avenue 5, which is set 40 years in the future when traveling the solar system is no longer just a sci-fi fantasy, but a massive, multi-billion dollar industry.

Hugh Laurie stars here as Ryan Clark, the charming and perhaps overconfident captain of Avenue 5, a space cruise ship that features luxury amenities such as gourmet buffets, a spa, an observation deck, and yoga classes.

The ship’s eight-week orbit around Saturday seems to be going as planned until the ship unexpectedly begins to encounter an assortment of technical difficulties, and it’s up to Ryan and his rather disorderly crew to calm the disgruntled passengers.

The show’s cast also includes Josh Gad as billionaire Herman Judd, the creator of Avenue 5; Zach Woods as Matt Spencer, the head of customer relations; Rebecca Front as Karen Kelly, a strong-willed passenger; Suzy Nakamura as Iris Kimura, Judd’s right-hand woman; Lenora Crichlow as Billie McEvoy, the ship’s engineer; Nikki Amuka-Bird as Rav Mulcair, head of Judd Mission Control; and Ethan Phillips as Spike Martin, a space enthusiast and former astronaut.

Avenue 5, which is written, created, and executive produced by Iannucci, debuts on HBO in January.

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Clive Owen to take on the role of President Bill Clinton in season three of FX’s ‘American Crime Story’

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Clive Owen
GETTY IMAGES

Impeachment: American Crime Story — the upcoming third installment in the Emmy-winning FX series that will focus on the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal — has found its President Bill Clinton in Children of Men star Clive Owen, according to Deadline.

Owen joins an all-star cast that also includes the likes of Beanie Feldstein as White House intern Monica Lewinsky, Sarah Paulson as Lewinsky’s colleague and confidante Linda Tripp, and Annaleigh Ashford as former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones.

Production on the series, which is written by Sarah Burgress and based on Jeffrey Toobin’s book A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President, is expected to get underway early next year in anticipation of a September 27, 2020 premiere date on FX.

Lewinsky, Feldstein, Henrietta Conrad, and Jemima Khan are producers, with Burgress, Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Brad Falchuk, Larry Karaszewski, Scott Alexander, Alexis Martin Woodall, and Paulson serving as executive producers.

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