Did you hear that Star Wars: Episode 9 is going through a script re-write? That Jessica Chastain confirmed her casting in the new X-Men movie? What about Netflix being in debt a massive 20 billion dollars? No? We’ve got you covered. Welcome to The CineFiles! A weekly show where we zoom in on the biggest news Hollywood and the indie scene has to offer.
#3: Star Wars: Episode IX is Getting a Re-Write
Here we go again! Just like its predecessor Rogue One, Episode 9 is going through the wringer. At least when it comes to the script. The Hollywood Reporter obtained information that writer Jack Thorne has been hired to re-write an unknown amount of the script that Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow and writing partner Derek Connolly finished. According to the Hollywood Reporter, executives of the production said a fresh set of eyes were needed.
Thorne has an impressive resume in television, having won BAFTA awards for his work on The Fades and This is England ’88. The news of the hiring comes off the heels of the bad reviews from Trevorrow’s latest movie, The Book of Henry, which many critics and audiences panned. Some Star Wars fans even signed a petition to have him fired from directing episode 9. The film hasn’t even started shooting yet, with a release date set for May 24, 2019.
#2: Jessica Chastain Confirms X-Men: Dark Phoenix Role
Looks like those initial talks proved successful. According to Jessica Chastain’s Instagram account, the Oscar-nominated actress has officially signed on to the newest instalment of the mutant franchise, X-Men: Dark Phoenix. As The CineFiles previously reported, Chastain was in talks with the production to play Lilandra Neramani, the main villain of the film.
Neither the studio nor Chastain has actually divulged what role she will be playing, but judging by the semi-cryptic message of “I’m gonna make you cry so hard, devil emoji” to James McAvoy, one can only imagine that she’ll be playing the villainess. Her likely character Lilandra, the Alien Empress of the Shi’ar Empire, who – after Jean Grey loses control as Dark Phoenix – seeks to destroy her. The film, which boasts an all-star cast of McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, and Sophie Turner just to name a few, is set for release November 2nd, 2018.
#1: Netflix is $20 Billion in Debt
That’s right, $20 billion! Netflix is the giant of streaming services, but in attaining that goal, have racked up some pretty substantial debt, in part due to a massive push in original programming to compete with rivals Amazon and Hulu. According to the Los Angeles Times, second quarter SEC filings revealed that the streaming service has built up a staggering $20.54 billion in long-term debt, despite roping in 104 million subscribers; a 25 percent increase from last year.
The majority of that debt has gone towards originals that aren’t actually produced in-house, with Netflix having to pay licensing fees to companies like Lionsgate and Sony Pictures Television for producing shows like Orange is the New Black and The Crown, respectively. Despite their massive debt, the LA Times says Netflix execs aren’t worried, with one saying, “That’s a lot of capital up front, and then you get a payout over many years.” The question is, how many years, exactly?