Fox’s ‘Hate U Give’ Actor Dropped From Movie After Racially Charged Remarks
Kian Lawley’s role will be recast in the YA adaptation.
After a video surfaced online of actor Kian Lawley making racially charged jokes, 20th Century Fox has decided to remove him from the upcoming release The Hate U Give.
“Due to the controversy surrounding his past comments and behavior, Kian Lawley will no longer appear in The Hate U Give. The studio plans to recast the role of Chris and reshoot scenes as needed,” a studio rep said Monday in a statement.
The Hate U Give is based on the young adult novel by Angie Thomas. The story follows Starr, a young woman drawn to activism after she witnesses the police shooting of her unarmed friend. The story is inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.
Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg leads a cast that also includes Regina Hall, Common, Issa Rae and Anthony Mackie. In the feature, Lawley was cast as Starr’s white boyfriend.
“Words have power and can do damage. I own mine and I am sorry. I respect Fox’s decision to recast this role for The Hate U Give as it is an important story, and it would not be appropriate for me to be involved considering the actions of my past,” said Lawley in a statement of his own. “I understand the impact and I have grown and learned since then. From now on I plan to use my voice for positive change.”
While the film has not yet been given a release date, filming on Hate U Give wrapped in November. Fox’s choice to recast Lawley so far into production parallels Sony’s decision to replace Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer on Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World.
Lawley is best known as a YouTuber, but has tried to make the transition to acting, co-starring on the Fullscreen series H8TERS and appearing in AwesomenessTV features Before I Fall and Shovel Buddies.
Lawley is the latest social media star to land in hot water with creative partners after racial and culturally insensitive remarks were published online.
After Logan Paul posted a video on Dec. 31 that featured images of a suicide victim, YouTube put its original projects on hold with the actor and internet personality, including a sequel to the YouTube Red sci-fi thriller The Thinning. And Disney’s Maker Studios severed ties with YouTube gamer PewDiePie, aka Felix Kjellberg, after he released a series of anti-Semitic posts to his 53 million subscribers.
11:50 p.m. PT Updated to include a statement from Lawley.
Technicolor to Build $20M VFX Studio In South Australia’s Adelaide
The studio, which will go under the name Mill Films, aims to employ 500 within five years
French visual effects conglomerate, Technicolor, will establish a 500-person visual effects (VFX) centre in Adelaide, South Australia, with planning under way to build a $20.4 million (AUS$26 million) 3000-plus square meter studio that will go under the new Technicolor banner of Mill Films.
Mill Films will initially deliver visual effects for major film studios and streaming services, with planned expansion into emerging opportunities in virtual and augmented reality. It will house an Adelaide Centre of Excellence and VFX Academy, together accommodating 500 people – ranging from technologists to artists – when operating at full strength within five years.
Adelaide is home to a growing film production sector with post, digital and VFX house Rising Sun Pictures one of the VFX Oscar recipients for its work on 2014’s Gravity, based in the city. The Adelaide Film Studios is currently home to Anthony Maras’ Hotel Mumbai, while the South Australian Film Corporation, established in 1972, is the local agency that’s worked on Australian classics including Breaker Morant, Storm Boy, Wolf Creek and Anzac Girls.
Mill Films will take advantage of new incentives announced by the state government in December, which sees companies receive a rebate of 10 percent of their South Australian expenditure, mirroring the Australian Federal Government’s PDV Offset of 30 percent, so offering a combined 40 percent rebate on spend in the state to international film producers. The rebate is un-capped, automatic and non- discretionary for productions that meet the guidelines and replaces the previous grant that was limited to $150,000 per production.
Technicolor CEO Frederic Rose said the company “picked Australia as an opportunity for expansion because it provides an ability to engage with a pool of proven creative talent; work with leading universities; and build on a modern and mature infrastructure that is critical for working on high-end VFX projects”.
“The State Government’s 10 per cent PDV rebate, stackable with the Federal Government’s 30 per cent incentive was an opportunity too good to ignore … I think it will become a global VFX destination once the secret gets out,” he added.
Technicolor employs more than 15,000 globally with facilities in Paris, London, Los Angeles, Montreal, New York, Vancouver, Bangalore and Shanghai. It includes brands like Mr X, which has been nominated for an Oscar for its VFX work on Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape Of Water. Technicolor companies have also worked on Jungle Book, The Martian, Blade Runner 2049, Wonder Woman and Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
The South Australian Government will provide up to $4.7 million from its Economic Investment Fund to support the project, which is expected to have an economic benefit of around $200 million over ten years.
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Daniel Manwaring Promoted to Head of CAA China’s Motion Pictures Group (Exclusive)
He replaces Jonah Greenberg, who will become a producer and CAA client.
CAA has promoted Daniel Manwaring to head of the agency’s motion pictures group in China, The Hollywood Reporter has exclusively learned.
He replaces Jonah Greenberg, who is launching production company Salty Pictures, which will focus on Chinese-language content and will be represented by CAA’s Media Finance team. Greenberg was a producer at Beijing-based Ming Productions before he joined CAA in 2005.
Manwaring, who joined the agency in 2012, will be based in CAA’s Beijing office. He previously had been splitting his time between there and the company’s Los Angeles headquarters, working closely with Media Finance and serving as a liaison to the Chinese film market.
CAA’s Beijing office, established in 2005 to make it the first U.S. agency with a full-time presence in China, represents A-list talent including Zhang Yimou, Jackie Chan, Fan Bingbing, Donnie Yen and Lin Chi-ling. CAA has packaged, sold or raised financing for more than 75 Chinese-language features and directed more than half a million dollars of Chinese capital into English-language content.
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Quentin Tarantino Breaks Silence on Uma Thurman Crash
The director addressed the controversy surrounding him following a recent New York Times report.
Quentin Tarantino drew criticism over the weekend following a New York Times article in which Kill Bill star Uma Thurman shared a story of a car crash and subsequent injuries she suffered while filming the 2003 action movie. Thurman claims that the accident resulted in a concussion and damaged knees.
The footage of the crash, which Tarantino provided to Thurman, shows the actress crashing into a palm tree. In a recent interview with Deadline, Tarantino said he knew the Times story was coming and was contacted by both Thurman and Maureen Dowd, the author of the Times piece. “I knew that the piece was happening. Uma and I had talked about it, for a long period of time, deciding how she was going to do it. She wanted clarity on what happened in that car crash, after all these years,” Tarantino said.
The director went on to say that he never met up with Dowd and “ended up taking the hit and taking the heat” when the article published. “I figured that eventually it would be used whenever [Thurman] had her big piece,” Tarantino said of the footage. “Also, there was an element of closure. She had been denied it, from Harvey Weinstein, being able to even see the footage.”
Tarantino recalled the day of the scene, saying that he “none of us ever considered it a stunt. It was just driving.” Thurman, however, said she voiced trepidations to Tarantino about operating the vehicle on a sandy road. “I’m sure I wasn’t in a rage and I wasn’t livid. I didn’t go barging into Uma’s trailer, screaming at her to get into the car,” the director said.
The issue, he said, happened when they decided to film the scene of Thurman driving in the opposite direction than they had tested and an unforeseen “mini S-curve” caused the crash. “I thought, a straight road is a straight road and I didn’t think I needed to run the road again to make sure there wasn’t any difference, going in the opposite direction,” he said. “That is one of the biggest regrets of my life. As a director, you learn things and sometimes you learn them through horrendous mistakes. That was one of my most horrendous mistakes, that I didn’t take the time to run the road, one more time, just to see what I would see.”
The crash affected their relationship, said Tarantino: “It affected me and Uma for the next two to three years. It wasn’t like we didn’t talk. But a trust was broken.” He added, however, that they “weren’t estranged,” though he said it took a few years for the “Quentin and Uma” double act to return to what it was before. Tarantino also added that if they were as estranged as had been reported, he would not have helped her with the Times story.
On the subject of Harvey Weinstein, who was a frequent producer of Tarantino’s films (including Kill Bill) and who Thurman claims sexually assaulted her, Tarantino said he was “absolutely being her accomplice”