New report details 'Big Little Lies' season 2 turmoil - Silver Screen Beat
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New report details how HBO and ‘Big Little Lies’ producers undermined director Andrea Arnold

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Big Little Lies Season 2
HBO

Little did Andrea Arnold know that when she first signed on to direct the eagerly awaited second season of the hit drama Big Little Lies that HBO and showrunner David E. Kelley would later plot to take away most — if not at all — creative control she might have over the show, a new report from IndieWire claims.

Sources close to the production of the Emmy-winning series tell IndieWire that “there was a dramatic shift in late 2018 as the show was yanked away from Arnold, and creative control was handed over to executive producer and Season 1 director Jean-Marc Vallée,” who — at that point — had essentially become the de facto director of season 2 as well.

But the decision to hand over the reins of the show from Arnold back to Vallée was not a sudden one. At the time Big Little Lies was about to begin shooting its second season, Vallée was in post-production on HBO’s limited series Sharp Objects and the producers needed to find a replacement that could fill his shoes — that’s when they hired Arnold, who was under the impression that she would virtually have free rein over every aspect of the show.

While the choice to hire Arnold, an auteur whose credits include films such as American Honey and Fish Tank, was a rather unconventional one, the creative team behind the show saw her as the perfect fit because they believed her work would be easy enough for Vallée and his editing team to “shape into the show’s distinctive style in post-production.”

It wasn’t until Arnold began post-production with her editing team in London that the plan for Vallée to take over began to hatch, with the show’s entire operation suddenly moving from London to Montreal — where Vallée and his own editorial team were based — and 17 days worth of reshoots being ordered in which Vallée would have full control over everything being shot. The experience, according to sources close to Arnold, was “devasting” and left her “heartbroken.”

When asked about the report, a rep for HBO emailed Silver Screen Beat the following statement, which doesn’t seem to deny any of the claims made in the story: “There wouldn’t be a Season 2 of Big Little Lies without Andrea Arnold. We at HBO and the producers are extremely proud of her work. As with any television project, the executive producers work collaboratively on the series and we think the final product speaks for itself.”

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Hallelujah: HBO is renewing Danny McBride’s ‘The Righteous Gemstones’ for a second season

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Righteous Gemstones
HBO

Danny McBride‘s new series The Righteous Gemstones isn’t even halfway through its debut series — episode four just aired this past weekend — and yet HBO has already opted to renew it for a second season, the network announced Monday morning.

“Danny, Jody [Hill] and David [Gordon Green] are among our favorite collaborators and we’re thrilled that their take on a family comedy has been met with such enthusiasm,” said HBO programming executive vice president Amy Gravitt. “We cannot wait to share the next steps in the Gemstone family’s epic journey.”

Written, created, and executive produced by McBride, The Righteous Gemstones follows “the world famous Gemstone televangelist family, which has a long tradition of deviance, greed, and charitable work, all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

The series features one hell of an ensemble cast that includes the likes of McBride along with John Goodman, Adam DeVine, Edi Patterson, Tony Cavalero, Cassidy Freeman, Skyler Gisondo, Gregalan Williams, Tim Baltz, Dermot Mulroney, and Walton Goggins.

Between Eastbound & Down, Vice Principals, and now Righteous Gemstones, McBride, Hill, and Gordon Green produce some pretty spectacular shit for HBO under their Rough House Pictures banner and I’m thrilled to see a show like Gemstones get renewed for another season. Hallelujah, baby.

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Phoenix: Come see Amazon Prime Video’s new animated sci-fi series ‘Undone’ early and for free

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Undone
AMAZON PRIME VIDEO

Amazon Prime Video will debut their new animated series Undone on September 13 and they’re giving Silver Screen Beat readers in Phoenix a chance to attend an advance screening of the show before it officially debuts on the streaming service.

Our readers in Phoenix can click on this link right now to grab their free passes — good for you and one guest — to attend an advance screening of Undone happening Monday, September 9 at 6:00 p.m. at Alamo Drafthouse Tempe. (Each attendee will receive complimentary popcorn and soda!)

However, keep in mind that these free passes are distributed on a first come, first served basis, so be sure to claim yours as soon as possible before they run out. Below is the official trailer for Undone as well as some additional details about the series.

Created by: Raphael Bob-Waksberg and Kate Purdy

Directed by: Hisko Hulsing

Voices of: Rosa Salazar, Bob Odenkirk, Angelique Cabral, Constance Marie, Siddharth Dhananjay, and Daveed Diggs

Synopsis: Undone is a groundbreaking show that utilizes an animation process never seen on TV before and blurs the lines of dark comedy, drama, coming-of-age, and sci-fi genres. The story centers on Alma (Salazar), a Mexican-American woman in her late 20s who is struggling with the demands of her family and is bored of the rut her life is in. However, she is thrust into a new journey as she finds herself exploring the elastic nature of reality after getting into a near fatal car accident. Alma begins having vivid hallucinations of her late father, Jacob (Odenkirk), who urges her to access her astral (non- or metaphysical) self and go back twenty years to discover the truth about his death.

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Will Poulter will play one of the lead roles in Amazon’s really expensive ‘Lord of the Rings’ series

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Will Poulter Lord of the Rings
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In what is continuing to be a pretty damn good year for Will Poulter, Variety is reporting that the young Black Mirror and Midsommar star has been cast in one of the lead roles in Amazon’s billion-dollar budget Lord of the Rings series.

“The exact nature of Poulter’s character is being kept under wraps,” Variety notes, which seems to be the case for a lot of other details regarding the series. I mean, we don’t even have a an official logline or plot synopsis or anything yet!

At this point, all we really know is that the show “will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring” and, if I had to guess, will likely chronicle the creation of the Rings of Power by Sauron and the Elves of Eregion or something along those lines.

The series is shaping up to be the most expensive in television history with its $1 billion budget, $250 million of which was spent on securing the rights from the Tolkien Estate and Trust — that’s a lot of fucking money to spend on a TV show.

However, given the fact that Amazon paid no federal taxes on more than $11 billion in profits in 2018, I’m sure they won’t be breaking the bank anytime soon. So, uh, hooray for capitalism, I guess?

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