Harrison Ford Comes to TV; Crash vs. Titane; Netflix Layoffs

Harrison Ford does a spinoff of a Kevin Costner show; Crash director David Cronenberg gracefully discusses comparisons with Titane, while Viggo Mortensen takes a stand; more Netflix layoffs. Ugh. All in today’s Movie News Rundown.

But First: Here’s my interview with Eskil Vogt, who wrote and directed the critically beloved new supernatural thriller The Innocents, and earned an Oscar nomination for writing last year’s The Worst Person in the World. He explains why good and evil are just words, and why screenwriters unfortunately need to harm cats — only cinematically, of course. We love cats. You can listen on Apple or Spotify or here:

But Second: If you like this newsletter, please sign up to get it in your inbox.

Harrison Ford and Helen Mirren in 1932: Harrison Ford, who will soon turn 80, has just signed up for his first regular TV role. He’ll star alongside Helen Mirren in 1932, a prequel to the massive Paramount+ hit Yellowstone, the Kevin Costner-led series about the exploits of the Dutton family, owners of a massive Montana ranch. 1932 is not to be confused with the other prequel to Yellowstone, 1883, which stars Sam Elliott, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. I hope nothing big happened to the Duttons in 1917 or 1941 because those titles are taken.

Military Movies: The G.I. Film Festival San Diego opened last night at the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) in San Diego’s Balboa Park, and continues through Saturday. Tonight, the festival dedicated to films by, for and  about the military  will show the documentary A Long March, about the Filipino American veteran experience in World War II. It will be followed by the documentary A Stranger at Home: The Untold Military Story of Military Mental Health.The festival opened with Dear Sirs, in which filmmaker Mark Pedri learns about his grandfather Silvio’s World War II story by biking over 500 miles across Europe, following Prisoner of War transportation routes. Here’s the trailer, and you can learn more about the festival here.

Sex and Cars: David Cronenberg has responded to Julia Ducournau’s acclaimed Titane, which won last year’s Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and drew comparisons to Cronenberg’s car-crash-fetishist thriller Crash. Here’s what he said:

More Cars, More Sex: Viggo Mortensen, star of Cronenberg’s new Cannes film Crimes of the Future, is less positive about Titane. Asked by The Hollywood Reporter if Crimes of the Future will generate a Titane-esque “WTF moment” at Cannes, he replied: “It could be. But many years ago, it was Crash that caused the big scandal. And in my opinion, no offense to the director of Titane, but Crash was head and shoulders above that movie, because it wasn’t just about superficial shock value and unconventional imagery. There was a story beneath it, there was true character exploration in Crash, much more than in Titane, I think.”

More Stars, More Wars: There is — you’re not going to believe this — another Star Wars project in the works. Anthony Breznican reports in a Vanity Fair cover story about the state of Star Wars TV projects that a new show is in the works from director Jon Watts and writer Chris Ford, who made Spider-Man: Homecoming. Codenamed Grammar Rodeo, which is a Simpsons reference, it is set in the post-Return of the Jedi era of The Mandalorian and “is being described as a galactic version of classic Amblin coming-of-age adventure films of the ’80s,” Breznican writes.

Grammar Rodeo: Since we’re all going to Google it, here it is:

Netflix Layoffs: The streaming network just announced layoffs of 150 employees, which figures out to roughly one employee for every 1,300 subscribers lost last quarter. Its stock plunged last month when it announced that subscribers had slipped by 200,000. NPR notes that most of the layoffs were U.S. based, and that when Netflix laid off employees of its promotional site Tudum last month, “people criticized the company for letting go of staff who had been recently recruited and for the lack of internal marketing of their work.”

May I Editorialize? See, I told Netflix they should do more shows about intergenerational Montana ranching families. But seriously folks, these are sad, frustrating times, and anyone looking for freelancing gigs should feel free to email me at [email protected].

‘Oh Goody, the Murderers Are Here’: Here’s the new trailer for Season 2 of the very funny Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez comedy Only Murders in the Building.

Main image: Agathe Rousselle in Titane.