by Mike Flemming Jr for Deadline
Zoë Kravitz will direct and Channing Tatum will star in Pussy Island, a genre thriller that Kravitz wrote with E.T. Feigenbaum. Bruce Cohen, Kravitz, Tiffany Persons and Tatum’s Free Association will produce. FilmNation will handle international rights and CAA Media Finance will rep domestic rights in the Cannes Market starting next week.
Frida is a young, clever, Los Angeles cocktail waitress who has her eyes set on the prize: philanthropist and tech mogul Slater King (Tatum). When she skillfully maneuvers her way into King’s inner circle and ultimately an intimate gathering on his private island, she is ready for a journey of a lifetime. Despite the epic setting, beautiful people, ever-flowing champagne and late-night dance parties, Frida can sense that there’s more to this island than meets the eye. Something she can’t quite put her finger on. Something terrifying.
As an actress, Kravitz plays Catwoman opposite Robert Pattinson in the upcoming Matt Reeves-directed The Batman and has starred in Mad Max: Fury Road, X-Men: First Class, Divergent, and was EP and star of the Hulu series High Fidelity. She has been working toward her directing debut for several years, co-writing a script that captures the zeitgeist clash of power and gender dynamics in a genre construct. She spoke with Deadline and the first question was about the provocative title.
“The title means a lot of things,” Kravitz said. “I started writing this story in 2017. As a woman in general, and a woman in this industry, I’ve experienced some pretty wild behavior from the opposite sex. The title was kind of a joke at first, this place where people would go, bring women, party and hang out. The story evolved into something else, but the title wound up having multiple meanings. And it alludes to this time and place we claim to not be in anymore, in terms of sexual politics. People are evolving and changing but there is still a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths from past behavior. It’s a nod to that, but it’s also playful, and a really playful film in a lot of ways. I like that the title leads with that and has some heavy meaning beneath it.”
Kravitz got writing and producing experience on High Fidelity, which she called “an incredible education in storytelling. This is my first feature and it’s taken many years to get to this point and I’m very excited to step into this new phase. There’s absolutely a thriller element to the film, but it has comedy, drama and real heart. At heart through, it’s a genre thriller.”
She drilled down on Tatum to play the key character of the tech billionaire, and they’ve developed the script together, honing that character along with the heroine. Kravitz said for the female lead, she tried to write a role that would be a dream for her to play, with the resolve to give it to another actress so she can fully focus on directing a film that will begin production early next year on an undisclosed tropical island.
“Chan was my first choice, the one I thought of when I wrote this character,” Kravitz said. “I just knew from Magic Mike and his live shows, I got the sense he’s a true feminist and I wanted to collaborate with someone who was clearly interested in exploring this subject matter.”
Tatum said he was shocked when Kravitz called with that offer, because he’s not usually offered roles like that and because it felt like a challenge to wade into the perilous area of gender politics.
“It’s terrifying to talk about anything, when you start putting your toes over the line, and talking about men and women today, as things are starting to bubble to the surface and everybody is starting to have accountability,” Tatum told Deadline. “When Zoë called me about this, I was shocked. I didn’t know her. I’d watched her in movies, knew she produced High Fidelity and had seen that, but I didn’t know she was creating on a level like this, where she wanted to direct. This came out of nowhere and the subject matter made me say, wait, why are you thinking about me for this? No one gives me a chance to play a role like this, everybody throws me down a different alley and expects me to do a certain thing. It was scary and liberating, just to be able to have a free conversation, where I was allowed to mess up, and say the wrong things. It became less about men and women and on more of a human thing that will open people’s eyes, rather than us drawing lines in the sand, the you’re a man, I’m a woman, it’s us against you thing. This goes deeper in a direction I’m fascinated by and I’m interested in seeing how people receive this and break it down in their own lives. And what they think the movie means and how would they have made decisions.
“Slater is a wild character, an extremely committed version — psychotic possibly — but an extreme version of myself,” Tatum said. “I’m very interested to see what humans are capable of, physically, mentally, spiritually, energetically, all of it. He wants to know what people are capable of, what they want, and what they are capable of when they want something. And how far are you willing to push yourself to get the thing you want. For me, that supersedes gender, race or religion, creed. That’s wildly fascinating to me.”
He also came away from their first meeting with the confidence she had in her vision, and, well, other things.
“When someone can just come out and tell me I should not be wearing Crocs, and is so adamant about it, she completely convinced me and I never wear Crocs anymore,” Tatum said.
“I was just trying to be a good friend, Chan,” she said.
“I get it, but I totally loved Crocs for a hot second, and in one hang she was like, you can’t ever do that again. And I said, ‘OK, fine.’ “
Said Kravitz: “Just to be clear, there are people out there who can pull off the Crocs thing; I just wasn’t sure you were one of them.”
Tatum allowed that since he stopped rocking the Crocs, “I feel cooler, and her point of view on me and Crocs was legit. She had a good argument. The one thing I can pull off, is listening.”
Pussy Island is a co-production between This Is Important, Free Association and Bruce Cohen Productions.
Kravitz is repped by CAA and Untitled; Tatum by CAA.
Channing chats with USA TODAY’s Barbara VanDenburgh about his new children’s book, “The One and Only Sparkella.”
You can check out the video of the interview in our video archive here! and below is a link to the HQ screencaps.
Channing was a guest on Live with Kelly and Ryan today talking about filming a movie during the pandemic, the challenges of helping his daughter in virtual school and all about a moment with his daughter that inspired him to write a children’s book, “The One and Only Sparkella.”
Channing was on the The Kelly Clarkson Show this week, where he admits that he “panicked” when he realized he was having a girl and struggled to learn how to braid her hair. He also shares how his new children’s book “The One and Only Sparkella,” is inspired by his little girl, Evelyn.
You can check out the video in our video archive here! and below is a link to HQ screencaps from his appearance.
by Scott Campbell for Collider.com
Netflix has revealed the first images from America: The Motion Picture, which is shaping up to be one of the more insane animated movies in recent memory. The film hits the streaming service on June 30, and comes with a stacked roster of talent on either side of the recording booth.
A wildly tongue-in-cheek look at the American Revolution, Channing Tatum voices a buff and chainsaw-wielding George Washington, who assembles a team to take on Benedict Arnold and King James. Washington’s cohorts include a beer-swilling Sam Adams, renowned scientist Thomas Edison, acclaimed equestrian Paul Revere and an angry Geronimo in what sounds as though it’ll be an animated cross between The Avengers and Mel Gibson’s The Patriot, which is kind of awesome if we’re being honest.
Archer executive producer Matt Thompson directs from a script by Wonder Woman and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings scribe Dave Callaham, with Tatum listed as one of the producers alongside partner Reid Carolin, with Phil Lord and Christopher Miller also on board.
The voice cast includes Simon Pegg as King James, Judy Greer as Martha Dandridge, Bobby Moynihan as Paul Revere and Raoul Trujillo as Geronimo. The ensemble additionally features Jason Mantzoukas, Olivia Munn, Will Forte, Andy Samberg and many more, although their roles haven’t been confirmed as of yet.
One of the main creative driving forces behind Archer teaming up with Lord and Miller for an adult-orientated animated romp sounds like something to get excited about, especially given the latter duo’s propensity and track record when it comes to top-tier animated content.
As well as writing and directing Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and The LEGO Movie, Lord and Miller were heavily involved in the Academy Award-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and produced Netflix’s upcoming The Mitchells vs. the Machines, which has been collecting rave reviews ahead of its addition to the platform this coming Friday.
by Halina Watts for The Mirror
There really has been no business in showbusiness this year.
So when award ceremonies return, we can only hope for plenty of wild and wonderful behaviour.
Thankfully, Channing Tatum is already on the case and he’s hoping to be one of the main stars at the Oscars 2021.
The actor/dancer/producer/director plans to dance his way through this year’s ceremony, like a modern-day Fred Astaire.
Channing has always been a fan of the glitzy awards bash, which has been pushed back from its usual slot in February to April.
And with this year’s ceremony being produced by his long-time friend and Magic Mike collaborator Steven Soderbergh, the chance to dazzle Hollywood and the rest of the world is too good to pass up.
A source tells me: “Channing would be a terrific Oscars host, but what he’s really looking for is a truly show-stopping moment on that show – not just showing up and handing out a trophy.
“It’s one stage he’s wanted to dance on his whole life and hasn’t had the chance yet.
“And to cement himself as his generation’s answer to Fred Astaire, he’s got to make this happen at some point.”
The 2019 ceremony went ahead without a host after Kevin Hart quit over controversial decade-old tweets.
The Academy and ABC drafted in a number of A-list presenters and big moments instead, in what was the first hostless ceremony since 1989 – but the unusual set-up went down a storm.
A Queen medley followed by “not hosts” Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph got the ceremony off to a cracking start before Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s spine-tingling duet provided that “moment” many Oscar producers can only dream about.
And then 2020 followed suit.
With some interesting ideas up his sleeve, I reckon Oscar bosses would be mad not to sign up Channing.
by Amanda N’Duka for Deadline
Channing Tatum is in final talks to co-star opposite Sandra Bullock in The Lost City of D, the forthcoming Paramount Pictures feature, which is being directed by Adam and Aaron Nee. Bullock is also producing the pic via her Fortis Films along with Liza Chasin of 3dot Productions
Described as a Romancing The Stone-style romantic comedy, the film follows a reclusive romance novelist (Bullock) who was sure nothing could be worse than getting stuck on a book tour with her cover model (Tatum), until a kidnapping attempt sweeps them both into a cutthroat jungle adventure, proving life can be so much stranger, and more romantic, than any of her paperback fictions.
Dana Fox penned the screenplay based on an idea by Seth Gordon, who is also producing under his Exhibit A Films banner.