Last Week in Hollywood: Brett Haley, George Clooney, Edgar Wright Find New Directing Gigs; ‘Perry Mason’ Renewed for Season 2; Ryan Reynolds Time Travel Movie Jumps to Netflix & More Casting Updates

There’s a lot of breaking news in Hollywood happening every minute. In the age of the blockbuster, it’s easy for some smaller movie and television news to slip through the crack. Last Week in Hollywood is our new weekly series highlighting all the interesting news from the last week that we thought didn’t warrant its own post, but was still worth mentioning. It’s less personal opinions and more a hearty roundup of what you might have missed.

Brett Haley Directing Grease Prequel

Deadline is reporting that Brett Haley (All the Bright Places) will direct Paramount’s Grease prequel Summer Lovin’. This is not to be confused with HBO Max’s upcoming prequel series Rydell High.

Haley takes over for John August, who was originally attached to the project back in 2019. The script is being penned by Leah McKendrick and will expand on “Summer Nights,” the song from Grease that perfectly details the fling between Danny and Sandy. The movie will focus on that “fateful meeting and what followed” and somehow try to make audiences feel their ticket was worth the purchase.

George Clooney Books The Tender Bar

George Clooney has found his next directing gig and it’s at The Tender Bar. The actor/director/producer is in talks to direct and produce a feature length adaptation of author J.R. Moehringer’s coming-of-age memoir The Tender Bar for Amazon Studios. The script was written by William Monahan (The Departed). No word yet on if Clooney will also star.

Edgar Wright to Direct His First Ghost Story

Writer/director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Baby Driver) has signed on to develop, executive produce, and direct Stage 13, an adaptation of Simon Rich‘s short story that first appeared in the book Hits and Misses. Rich will also write the script.

Stage 13 centers on “a young, aspiring director who’s plucked from obscurity and hired to direct a movie on a major film studio’s backlot – only to discover that the only reason he was given the chance in the first place is because the sound stage is haunted and the studio head is trying to get rid of the ghost, an aspiring actress who still desperately wants to be a star.”

This sounds like it has a lot of potential, and with Wright on board I’m sure he will be able to find the right blend of horror and comedy. This is Wright’s second major directing gig he’s been attached to in recent weeks. He will also be directing an adaptation of the best-selling novel The Chain.

Olivia Newman to Go Where the Crawdads Sing

Sony is adapting the murder mystery novel Where the Crawdads Sing and they have hired Olivia Newman (First Match) to direct. Lucy Alibar (Beasts of the Southern Wild) wrote the script for the film adaptation, but Newman is expected to handle a rewrite. THR first reported the news.

The film will follow “an author who is accused of murdering her former boyfriend.” Additionally, it’s described as “a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder.”

Perry Mason Renewed for Season 2

HBO has ordered a second season of Perry Mason, the once-limited series turned reboot of the popular defense attorney. Francesca Orsi, Executive Vice President, HBO Programming, announced the renewal:

“It has been an exciting journey to work with the immensely talented team behind Perry Mason. Viewers have relished being transported back in time to 1930’s Los Angeles each week, and we are thrilled to welcome the show back for a second season.”

Matthew Rhys and the rest of the supporting cast are expected to return for the second season. No release date has been announced yet.

Reynolds-Levy Time Travel Project Jumps to Netflix

The in-development Ryan ReynoldsShawn Levy time travel movie is moving from Paramount to Netflix. The project, which re-teams Reynolds and Levy after their upcoming comedy Free Guy, has been at Paramount since 2012. Of course, in 2012 it was called Our Name is Adam, and was set to star Tom Cruise. The film follows “a man who has to travel back in time to get help from his 13-year old self. Together, they run into their late father, who is now the same age as Reynolds.” Jonathan Tropper is currently writing a new draft of the script.

Paramount is falling into quite the habit of dumping film they are unsure about on Netflix’s doorstep. Eventually Netflix will just buy Paramount, but until that day we’ll just keep reporting about the film movements.

Cynthia Erivo to Star in The Talent Show

Cynthia Erivo is set to star in The Talent Show, a musical drama written by Lena Waithe. Gandja Monteiro (The Chi) is set to direct. According to THR, the film “is the story of a failed songwriter, to be played by Erivo, who returns home to Chicago to lead a group of at-risk youth in their annual talent show.”

Gael García Bernal Joins Upcoming Shyamalan Movie

Gael García Bernal has signed on for an unknown role in M. Night Shyamalan‘s upcoming movie. He joins a stacked cast that includes Eliza Scanlen, Thomasin McKenzie, Aaron Pierre, Alex Wolff, Vicky Krieps, Abbey Lee, Nikki Amuka-Bird, and Ken Leung. Besides the cast, we know absolutely nothing about this film. Shyamalan is all about secrecy when it comes to his films. We do have a release date though. The untitled film is set to hit theaters July 23, 2021.

Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts to Reunite for Leave the World Behind

Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts will act opposite each other for the first time in 30 years. They will star in an adaptation of the upcoming novel Leave the World Behind. Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot) is directing. Netflix will distribute the film after it won a massive bidding war to obtain the rights to the movie. The streaming service beat out Apple, MGM, and other studios.

The upcoming novel (to be released this October) is about “Amanda and Clay’s vacation with their teenage children in a remote part of Long Island. This reprieve becomes interrupted by Ruth and G.H., the owners of the holiday home Amanda and Clay are staying at, who tell them that there’s been a blackout in the city, cutting off internet, television and radio. When more unusual things begin happening, like sonic booms and strange animal migrations, the families begin to fall apart.” Denzel Washington will play the homeowner and Julia Roberts will play the renter.

That’s it for last week. What projects mentioned are you interested in seeing once completed? Tell us down in the comments!

Author: Marmaduke Karlston

"Wait a minute. Wait a minute Doc, uh, are you telling me you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?"