Welcome to Development Hell, the fiery pit into which we fling recent developments in casting, distribution, and everything else that’s new and mildly interesting in the Boschian phantasmagoria of the entertainment industry.
Joe Jackson, architect of the Jackson 5 and patriarch of the Jackson clan—and, as his children have alleged and he partially admitted in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2010, a real abusive piece of shit—is in the final stages of terminal cancer and is near death, as The Chicago Tribune reports. While we’re waiting for that sad saga to reach its end, here’s what else is brewing in the entertainment world on this subdued Friday afternoon:
- Netflix chief communications officer Jonathan Friedland has been fired from the streaming service after dropping the n-word (as in, the racial slur) in a meeting. Friedland tried to get ahead of the situation by tweeting that he was leaving Netflix because “I was insensitive in speaking to my team about words that offend in comedy.” That’s...quite the euphemism. [Deadline]
- Scoot McNairy not only has the most delightful name in show business, he’s also joined the cast of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. He’ll be playing the role of Business Bob Gilbert, a cowboy character on the same TV series as Leonardo DiCaprio’s Rick Dalton. McNairy joins a star-studded cast that includes (deep breath) DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Timothy Olyphant, Luke Perry, Damian Lewis, Dakota Fanning, Al Pacino, Emile Hirsch, Clifton Collins Jr, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Keith Jefferson, and Nicholas Hammond. [Variety]
- Stephen Merchant is the newest actor to join Taika Waititi’s next film, the magical-realist coming-of-age WWII satire JoJo Rabbit. Merchant will be playing a Gestapo officer in the film, and posted a picture of himself in costume “trying to look German” on Instagram. [/Film]
- Laura Dern just signed a first-look deal with Platform One Media, and is already developing her first project with the TV production company: A series adapting Juliet McDaniel’s novel Mr. & Mrs. American Pie, about a ‘60s housewife trying to rebuild her identity after being dumped by her husband and their entire social circle. [Deadline]
- The Notebook director (and son of John and Gena Rowlands) Nick Cassavetes is working on a new project, the punk biopic I Slept With Joey Ramone, based on a 2009 memoir by the late punk icon’s brother. [The Hollywood Reporter]
- And finally, The Weinstein Co. is on clearance, agreeing to drop its asking price by $23 million in a last-ditch bid to get private equity firm Lantern Capital—whose other investments include zinc recycling and underperforming auto dealerships—to buy the company amidst bankruptcy proceedings. [Variety]