Afternoon all, Max Goldbart here preparing you for another dose of International Insider in what, as ever, has been a busy old week. Scroll down for all the news and analysis.
Piers Vs Donald
Guess Who’s Back x 2: Did you miss them? By their own sky-high standards, Piers Morgan and Donald Trump have been relatively quiet over the past few months but, no longer, after a promo vid for Rupert Murdoch’s new channel Talk TV showed the former POTUS storming off Morgan’s Uncensored set. The pair, who have been happy to extol the virtues of their friendship in the past, have since been engaged in a public spat, with Trump branding Morgan “part of the Fake News Media” and Morgan challenging him for failing to provide proof of the perceived 2020 election rig. This all after Trump’s daughter Ivanka supposedly offered Morgan her congratulations on his new show. With rumors abound that the whole scenario was faked for press attention, the pair are back doing what they love best: generating headlines.
Talking Talk TV: The saga has made for the perfect intro to Talk TV, a new daily UK news channel where Morgan’s show takes center stage alongside programs helmed by Sharon Osbourne and Tom Newton-Dunn. Prior to the Trump debacle blowing everything else out of the water, I spoke with two of the people behind the new channel, Vivek Sharma and Morgan’s long-time exec Winnie Dunbar Nelson, about what viewers can expect. Talk TV is launching just nine months after the botched opening of Warner Bros Discovery-backed GB News but the pair appear to differ in multiple ways. Go deeper.
Warner Bros Discovery Int Takes Shape
Gerhard’s gang: We at Deadline International Towers had predicted the next stage in the Warner Bros Discovery $ 43BN mega-merger would be the non-US team and this transpired Thursday as International Boss Gerhard Zeiler set his leadership team. Priya Dogra and Anil Jhingan were the big winners, with the former taking over EMEA for the newly-combined entity and the latter handed over a key business development role. Dogra has impressed during her tenure running EMEA and APAC for WarnerMedia and we had forecast she would land a plum job in our analysis the previous week. On the other end of the spectrum, Kasia Kieli lost the majority of her Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa fiefdom and was left with Poland while UK / Nordics boss James Gibbons is off to Australia, New Zealand and Japan. Plenty more to come on this one. Read a full roundup of the changes here.
Cannes Completes Lineup
Getting competitive: Following last week’s unveiling of the Official Selection for the 75th Cannes Film Festival, the fest made a few additions to its main program this week, as promised by Thierry Frémaux, including putting three extra titles in its prestigious Competition: Le Otto Montagne from Charlotte Vandermeersch and Felix Van Groeningen, A little brother from Léonor Serraille, and Tourment Sur Les Iles by Albert Serra. Key to the additions is the presence of two more female filmmakers, which takes the Competition total to five, a record for the event. See the full list of Official Selection additions here.
Sidebars: Away from the main program, the lineups for Cannes sidebars Director’s Fortnight and Critics’ Week were also revealed this week. The popular Director’s Fortnight program includes Alex Garland’s Cannes debut Men starring Jessie Buckley, and new pics from Mia Hansen-Løve and Alice Winocour. Critics’ Week meanwhile will open with Jesse Eisenberg’s comedy-drama When You Finish Saving the World.
And finally: In a bumper week of announcements the French fest also unveiled the poster for its 2022 edition, which features a nod to Peter Weir’s 1998 film The Truman Show starring Jim Carrey. See it here.
Netflix Share Price Crash Goes Global
A chastening week: It’s been a chastening week for Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos. Following disappointing Q1 results that revealed a first drop in subscriber numbers in a decade (with bigger losses anticipated), the streamer shed a devastating $ 54BN from its share price, with fund manager Bill Ackman saying his Pershing Square Holdings had lost confidence in our ability to predict the company’s future prospects ”with certainty, as Jill Goldsmith reported Wednesday. The chaos at Los Gatos diluted the impact of another worrying issue for Netflix and its rivals: shrinking SVoD usage in the UK. A Kantar research report revealed 1.5M streaming subs were canceled during the first quarter of 2022, up from 1.2M a year before, although this was an across-the-board figure not just Netflix. With the cost of living skyrocketing across the country, many households clearly chose to chop streaming subscriptions from their bills and this could be a sign of things to come. A total of 58% of households now pay for at least one SVoD in total, down 215,000 quarter-on-quarter. Is, as many are suggesting, the era of ‘Peak TV’ on its way out? Hastings and co will be doing everything to present a united front and suggest otherwise.
Barbarian: British multi-hyphenate Charles Dorfman is rather busy at the moment and is having quite a year, coming off the back of the release of his debut feature Barbarians plus producing critically-acclaimed Maggie Gyllenhaal feature The Lost Daughter. He sat down with our very own Diana Lodderhose to talk about his ambitions as a writer-director and, at the same time, a financier-producer via Samuel Marshall Films and Media Finance Capital.
MIA Rings The Changes
Gaia steps in: Italy’s major film and TV market MIA is returning in 2022 with a new director, revealed by Deadline Tuesday as Gaia Tridente. Gaia has been with the market for five years, most recently as Head of Scripted, and will oversee the eighth edition, which runs just prior to October’s Mipcom in what will be a huge few days for the international market. She succeeds Lucia Milazzotto, who had worked at the event since its inception but left the project last October.
🌶️ Hot one of the week: Helena Bonham Carter is turning her hand to natural history narration and has joined Netflix’s Wild Babies to narrate. Jesse had the scoop.
🌶️ Another one: Ms Marvel actress Laurel Marsden is a joining horror-thriller All Fun and Games alongside Asa Butterfield and Natalie Dyer.
🌶️ Surely not another one: BBC Studios is seeking an LA exec to drive the next generation of unscripted hits.
🍿 Box office: Fantastic Beasts reached $ 150M overseas earlier this week as per Nancy’s latest roundup.
🚚 On the move: Stewart Maclean, the exec producer behind the BBC’s notorious Prince Andrew interview, has been promoted to oversee Newsnight.
🏪 Setting up Shop: Major Endeavor Content-backed Sydney shingle in the form of Dreamchaser, launched by former Endemol Shine Australia co-founder Carl Fennessy and ex-Nine Entertainment CEO Hugh Marks. Deadline’s Peter White had the scoop.
🖊️ New signing Sex Education and Barbie star Connor Swindells signed with CAA.