BOND DIRECTOR LEWIS GILBERT DIES AT AGE 97: The Oscar-nominated director Lewis Gilbert has died at age 97. He directed more than 40 films, including 1966's Alfie and three James Bond films: You Only Live Twice, The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker. “The BFI salutes the most prolific of British filmmakers, awarded our highest accolade, a BFI Fellowship for his outstanding contribution to British film, everything from three Bond films - including the best, You Only Live Twice - and definitive stories of British bravery in WWII with Carve Her Name with Pride and Reach for the Sky, to three films that will forever be remembered for their working class heroes: Alfie, Rita and Shirley,” said British Film Institute creative director Heather Stewart.
THE WEEK OF TRAILER DROPS: Netflix has unveiled an extended look at The Week Of, starring Adam Sandler and Chris Rock. The movie, which reunites the Saturday Night Live alums, tells the story of a devoted middle class dad (Sandler), determined to foot the bill for his daughter's wedding to a man with a rich Daddy (Rock). Silliness ensues. This is the fourth and final film in Sandler's first deal to make films with Netflix, an exclusive that was renewed last year.
DANNY DEVITO TO BE HONORED AT L.A. ITALIA FEST: Actor and producer Danny DeVito is set to be honored at the L.A. Italia Fest on March 2nd. He will not only receive the Jack Valenti Los Angeles, Italia Legend Award, but will also nab one of Italy’s highest civic honors at the ceremony, becoming a Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. "I am honored to receive the 2018 Jack Valenti Legend Award," said DeVito in a statement. "I knew Jack well and admired him not only as a wonderful person but also as a world-class, inspirational leader who throughout his years at the helm of the MPAA earned respect for our motion picture industry throughout the world." The Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning DeVito has appeared in several classic films, including One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Terms of Endearment, and Romancing the Stone, plus landmark TV shows, including Taxi and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
EMAYATZY CORINEALDI CAST AS LEAD OF CBS' RED LINE: Emayatzy Corniealdi has been cast in the upcoming CBS drama pilot Red Line, Variety reports. The show follows a white cop who accidentally shoots and kills a black doctor in Chicago, and the three different families the incident directly affects. Corinealdi will play Tia Young, who is described as an aspiring politician who wants to reconnect with the child she gave up for adoption. The show reunites Corinealdi with series executive producer Ava DuVernay, who previously directed the actress in the 2012 film Middle of Nowhere.
NAT GEO TEAMING UP WITH TONGAL FOR LATE-NIGHT SERIES: National Geographic is getting into the late night game. The network is teaming up with creative platform Tongal for WILD After Dark, which will be Nat Geo WILD's first ever late-night series. The 30-minute episodes will feature short-form content, including experimental animal-focused short stories. "National Geographic strives to inspire curiosity, ignite imaginations, and push boundaries when it comes to creative storytelling, and we think Tongal is the perfect partner to cultivate unique and innovative stories that align with our brand," said Jill Cress, chief marketing officer for National Geographic Partners. "We're looking forward to leveraging the incredible creative community that Tongal has fostered. This growing partnership allows National Geographic to tap into creative minds across the world, scale our content output, and connect with younger audiences through energized, imaginative stories created by the Tongal community."
DISCOVERY CHIEF DOUBLES DOWN ON UNSCRIPTED: In a conference call with Wall Street analysts, Discovery CEO David Zaslav underlined the network's commitment to unscripted TV programming, Deadline reports. The scripted programming sector is saturated with 500 shows, he argued. Discovery reported solid fourth-quarter and full-year results this year, and Zaslav noted that the Department of Justice has approved its $14.6 billion acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive.
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