In today’s Movie News: Quibi, we hardly knew ye; Ron Howard and Brian Grazer have a new app for writing jobs; Rudy Giuliani calls the Borat video a “complete fabrication,” and you can finally see the wonderful documentary The Donut King. Plus: We talk with Jim Cummings about his “werewolf picture.”
Quibi Folds: If you’ve spent the last few months trying to figure out how to make mini episodes to be viewed vertically or horizontally, you can stop. Quibi, which launched six months ago with $2 billion in investments, largely from Hollywood, is shutting down. “We have reluctantly come to the difficult decision to wind down the business, return cash to our shareholders, and say goodbye to our colleagues with grace,” Quibi says in a statement. “We want you to know we did not give up on this idea without a fight.”
Hey Writers: Oscar winners Brian Grazer and Ron Howard are unveiling a new app called the Creative Network to help executives and writers find one another. The Los Angeles Times reports that includes a searchable database of more than 300 available projects and 800 writers, most selected through a screenwriter accelerator program for Grazer and Howard’s startup, Impact Creative Systems. Impact Chief Executive Tyler Mitchell describes it as “a LinkedIn-meets-Slack for the entertainment industry.”
Wolf of Snow Hollow: I just spoke with writer-director-star Jim Cummings about his very funny horror-mystery, The Wolf of Snow Hollow. Among other things, he talks about how the late Robert Forster signed on to the film. Cummings recalls: “He sent the script to his manager and said, ‘I want to do this movie.’ And his manager said, ‘Uh, Robert? This is a werewolf picture.‘” You can listen on Apple or Spotify or right here:
Borat-Giuliani: You’ve probably heard that the new Borat Subsequent Moviefilm lured Rudy Giuliani into an awkward position with the actress playing Borat’s daughter, in a setup in which she pretended to be a fawning reporter who invites him back to her hotel room. The Guardian reports that “Giuliani, 76, can be seen lying back on the bed, fiddling with his untucked shirt and reaching into his trousers. They are then interrupted by Borat who runs in and says: ‘She’s 15. She’s too old for you.'” The actress was identified on IMDb as Irina Nowak, but is actually, according to Vulture, 24-year-old Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova.
Giuliani Responds: “The Borat video is a complete fabrication. I was tucking in my shirt after taking off the recording equipment. At no time before, during, or after the interview was I ever inappropriate. If Sacha Baron Cohen implies otherwise he is a stone-cold liar,” he tweeted. (Borat and daughter are seen fleeing the hotel, above, courtesy of Amazon Studios.) Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is out tomorrow.
The Donut King: One of the best documentaries of the year is out next week. Alice Gu’s film follows the rise of Ted Ngoy, who escaped genocide in Cambodia to become the millionaire founder of a Southern California donut empire. Then things took a turn. Earlier this year we included The Donut King on our list of documentaries that deserve distribution, and we’re very happy we get to take it off the list now that audiences can finally see this beautiful immigration story. Here’s the trailer:
And Now: Yesterday’s Movie News.