Robert Pattinson feels body pressure, too; Daisy Ridley dwells on death at Sundance; another Sundance doc examines the queer majesty of Little Richard; we go deep on the fantastic new screen thriller Missing, from the people who brought you Searching. All in today’s Movie News Rundown.
Out Today: Missing, an astonishing thriller that unfolds entirely on phone and computer screens. Storm Reid plays a teenager who needs to track down her mother (Nia Long) after she goes missing on a trip to Colombia with her new boyfriend (Ken Leung of Industry, fast becoming one of my favorite actors.) It’s a loose sequel to the also excellent 2018 screen thriller Searching. You can listen to my talk with creators Aneesh Chaganty, Sev Ohanian and Natalie Qasabian on Google or Apple or Spotify or here:
P.S.: Did you know that Searching includes a subplot about an alien invasion that has nothing to do with the central story? Missing continues that subplot. Just one of the fun things we talk about.
Congratulations, Santa Fe and Atlanta: Everyone has seen our new list of the Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker, right?
Sundance Begins: I was impressed by the premiere-night documentary Little Richard: I Am Everything, which atomizes any notion of the “Tutti Frutti” singer as a safe, cuddly nostalgia act and presents him as wildly transgressive. It reframes him as a queer icon without reducing him to any one thing, and explains why his flamboyance may actually have made him more acceptable to white audiences. Highly recommended.
Daisy Ridley: Margeaux Sippell is in Park City for Sundance, and covered this Q&A with Daisy Ridley about her new film Sometimes I Think About Dying. Ridley produces and stars in the film about an office worker who passes her cubicle days away imagining herself in various death scenarios. She said she sometimes relates to her pessimistic character: “Like, sometimes I feel like a piece of f—ing s—. And sometimes I feel, like, great,” she joked.
Robert Pattinson on Body Image: Here’s a Variety story on Batman himself talking about impossible body standards for Hollywood men. It cites an interview I did with Pattinson, so it is a good story. To summarize, Pattinson says he has tried every possible diet except “consistency” — because he has a dry sense of humor. That same dry sense of humor got him in trouble with some Bat-fans when he told GQ in 2020 that he wasn’t working out for his title role in The Batman. He later clarified that it was, of course, just a joke: “I just always think it’s really embarrassing to talk about how you’re working out,” Pattinson told me. “You’re playing Batman. You have to work out.”
Speaking of The Batman: Deadline says the film’s director, Matt Reeves, is working on a new series about silent film mastermind Buster Keaton starring Rami Malek, who, yeah, I can see it. If you want to learn more about Buster Keaton may I recommend the very page-turnery recent book Camera Man: Buster Keaton, the Dawn of Cinema, and the Invention of the Twentieth Century, by Dana Stevens. Here is the absolutely amazing 1926 Buster Keaton film The General, presented in its entirety via the magic of YouTube:
Netflix Changes: Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings is stepping down as its co-CEO but will remain its executive chairman, while Chief Operating Officer Greg Peters will become co-CEO alongside Ted Sarandos. Hastings said in a statement that the plan has been in place since Peters and Sarandos were appointed to their current roles in 2020: “It was a baptism by fire, given COVID and recent challenges within our business,” Hastings wrote. “But they’ve both managed incredibly well, ensuring Netflix continues to improve and developing a clear path to reaccelerate our revenue and earnings growth. So the board and I believe it’s the right time to complete my succession.” We hope this won’t affect the number of shows about hatchet wielding hitchhikers.
Also: We aren’t just a bunch of nostalgists playing century-old silent films around here. Check out this spicy banger sure to inspire some new TikTok dances.
Main image: Robert Pattinson in the upcoming Bong Joon-ho film Mickey 17.