Bruce Willis deepfake

A rep for Bruce Willis denies a deepfake story; Thora Birch explains why she’s releasing The Gabby Petito Story just a year after the influencer’s death; The Stunt List invites you to go wild on unattainable IP. Plus, a talk about the very impressive Pearl. All in today’s Movie News Rundown.

UPDATE: A rep for Bruce Willis denies a report in The Telegraph that the actor has sold the rights to his digital image to Deepcake, which offers “Brand Endorsement Videos With Celebrities and Influencers.” The company features a statement from Willis on its website, but a rep for the actor tells MovieMaker that Willis “has no partnership or agreement with this Deepcake company.” Willis recently stepped away from films because of an aphasia diagnosis which leads to difficulty with speech and language.

Out Today: Billy Eichner’s gay rom-com Bros, which he stars in an co-wrote with the film’s director, Nicholas Stoller; the buzzy horror film Smile, the dystopian IFC sci-fi film Vesper, and the Walter Hill western, Dead for a Dollar, which covers very 2022 concerns in a very 1897 way, as Hill told Joshua Encinias.

Too Soon? Thora Birch, star of American Beauty, Ghost World, and more recently The Walking Dead, moves into the director’s chair for Lifetime’s new The Gabby Petito story, about the #vanlife influencer killed by fiancé a year ago. Isn’t it too soon to tell the story? Birch once thought so, but she’s changed her mind, as she explains in this first-person piece

The Stunt List: is the name of a newish website I’ve been enjoying a lot where writers share very polished scripts for movies that will probably never happen because there is such a thing as lawyers. I’m talking about projects like Here’s the Thing, Charlie Brown, a crossover between Peanuts and John Carpenter’s The Thing, written by Stunt List co-founder Eric Moyer, and Cobra Kai: The Return, a Friday the 13th-inspired take on The Karate Kid universe by Trey Livingston. The other Stunt List co-founder, Ash Lazer, has a dark take on The Office called The Ice Man. See how I’m linking on all these titles? That’s because The Stunt List, unlike many screenwriting sites, allows you to read whatever you like.

Happy October: The Stunt List has lately been showcasing short films and trailers, as well as scripts. And tomorrow, October 1, it will launch 31 Days of Horror, showcasing one new short horror film per day. I love the scary ’80s vibe of this whole affair and how just go-for-broke bananas it all is. I’m a fan. You can learn more by following Ash Lazer (his 100% legal name, I’m certain of it) at [email protected] or on Twitter: @ashlazerwrites.

Thoughts on Pearl: Can you appreciate the X sequel Pearl if you haven’t seen X? Yes. The latest Low Key podcast features three kinds of Pearl fans: Aaron Lanton has only seen Pearl, Keith Dennie saw Pearl first, then X, and I saw X first, and then it’s prequel. And we all found Pearl very impressive. Kudos Ti West and Mia Goth on a very freaky collaboration. You can listen on Apple or here:

The Don’t Worry Darling Twist: Here’s a Collider piece that argues that twists are sometimes best revealed early. Warning: It reveals the twist.

Woodstock ’22: The Woodstock film festival, which opened Wednesday, is now underway with an excellent lineup that includes Sam Mendes’ Empire of Light, Michael Grandage’s My Policeman (starring Harry Styles as a 1950s closeted cop) and Ruben Östlund’s Triangle of Sadness. I’m eager to see Joshua Caldwell’s Mending the Line, which premiered last night and features a wounded veteran (Sinqua Walls) who returns home to Montana and meets a surly fly fisherman played by Succession star Brian Cox. Here’s a fly fishing lesson from Cox:


Main image: The real Bruce Willis. We think.