Bob Iger will replace his replacement at Disney after just two years away; Matt Damon and Ben Affleck team up on a kind of new approach to making movies; Chris Hemsworth will make changes after learning he has an elevated risk of Alzheimer’s. Plus: journey to the Center of the Universe. All in today’s Movie News Rundown.
Bob Iger Returns to Disney: Like a studio recycling proven IP faster than anyone imagined possible, Disney has called former CEO Bob Iger back into service. He will succeed his successor, Bob Chapek. Iger presided over Disney from 2005 to 2020, an astonishing time in which the company acquired Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel, and Fox’s entertainment business. It’s not hard to see why Disney would want to return to those glory days. Iger has signed on to be CEO for two years.
Box Office: She Said, the new film about the New York Times reporters who helped bring Harvey Weinstein to justice, earned just $2.2 million in 2,022 theaters this past weekend — which Variety calls “one of the worst results for a major studio release in history.” Meanwhile Black Panther: Wakanda Forever held the top spot, falling 63 percent from its huge opening weekend to earn $67 million this past weekend. Oh well, I still want to see She Said.
Perseverance: The Inspection director Elegance Bratton was kicked out of his home as a teenager for being gay, spent years without a home, and eventually joined the Marine Corps, where he learned that “in fact my life had value, had meaning and had purpose,” he tells Shani Harris in this interview. The Inspection, which Harris likens to Full Metal Jacket crossed with Moonlight, follows a gay Black man, who is not unlike Bratton, as he goes through boot camp. Bokeem Woodbine plays his drill sergeant, and Gabrielle Union plays his mother.
The Center of the Universe: Is the name of a concrete circle on a street in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with a unique acoustical anomaly: anything you say in the circle will echo back at you, but sound distorted to people outside the circle. It figures prominently in the terrific second episode of the new Sylvester Stallone Paramount+ drama (and kind of comedy?) Tulsa King. Here’s Tulsa King showrunner Terence Winter explaining how he came across it and decided to include it in the show.
Chris Hemsworth: Hemsworth says he is going to make some life changes — including being especially careful about roles he commits time to — after learning he carries two copies of a gene linked to a highly elevated risk of Alzheimer’s.
Matt and Ben: Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are starting a new independent production company called Artists Equity that will pay both top actors and behind-the-scenes artisans lower upfront fees, but a bigger cut of potential profits, the New York Times reports. They have at least $100 million in financing from the investment firm RedBird Capital Partners. Affleck, 50, will be the chief executive, and Damon, 52, will be chief creative officer. The two have appeared in films that have earned more than $10.7 billion, Affleck has won the Best Picture Oscar for 2013’s Argo, and they each won an Oscar for writing 1997’s Good Will Hunting. They also founded a multimedia company, LivePlanet, in 2000, that made the HBO filmmaking contest series Project Greenlight. LivePlanet shut down in 2007. Their last film together was last year’s The Last Duel, which was directed by Ridley Scott and earned less than a third of its $100 million budget at the box office.
Main image: Ben Affleck and Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting.