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‘Never Have I Ever’s Rushi Kota Boards Sony’s ‘Dumb Money’; Russo Brothers’ Netflix Pic ‘The Electric State’ Adds ‘C’mon C‘mon’ Breakout Woody Norman

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EXCLUSIVE: Rushi Kota (Never Have I Ever) has signed on for a role in Sony and Black Bear’s GameStop film Dumb Money, from director Craig Gillespie. He joins an ensemble that already includes Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, Sebastian Stan, Pete Davidson, Shailene Woodley, Anthony Ramos, Vincent D’Onofrio, Dane DeHaan, America Ferrera and Myha’la Herrold. 

The dramedy based on Ben Mezrich’s book The Antisocial Network tells the story of fortunes made and lost overnight in the David vs. Goliath GameStop short squeeze of January 2021, when a loosely affiliated group of amateur investors and internet denizens took down one of the biggest hedge funds on Wall Street, thereby threatening to upend the establishment. 

While unconfirmed, we hear that Kota will play Baiju Bhatt, one of the co-CEOs of the stock trading and investing app Robinhood. Almost always overshadowed by CEO and co-founder Vlad Tenev (Stan), Bhatt doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with his so-called business partner, especially when it comes to the scandal of the GME stock.

The screenplay for Dumb Money was adapted by Rebecca Angelo & Lauren Schuker Blum. Ryder Picture Company’s Aaron Ryder, Black Bear’s Teddy Schwarzman and Gillespie are producing, with Michael Heimler, John Friedberg, Andrew Swett, Angelo, Schuker Blum, Mezrich, Johnny Holland, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss and Kevin Ulrich exec producing. Black Bear Pictures is fully financing, with Black Bear International overseeing foreign distribution rights.

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Kota is perhaps best known for his role as Dr. Vik Roy on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. He can currently be seen recurring as Prashant on Netflix’s Never Have I Ever, having previously recurred on NBC’s Ordinary Joe, and is repped by A3 Artists Agency and Karen Forman Management.

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EXCLUSIVE: Woody Norman (C’mon C’mon) has signed on to star alongside Millie Bobby Brown, Chris Pratt, Michelle Yeoh, Stanley Tucci, Jason Alexander, Brian Cox and Jenny Slate in Joe and Anthony Russo’s next film The Electric State for Netflix.

The film based on the illustrated novel by Simon Stålenhag is set in a retro-futuristic past, where an orphaned teenager (Brown) traverses the American West with a sweet but mysterious robot and an eccentric drifter in search of her younger brother.

While unconfirmed, we hear that Norman will play Christopher, the younger brother, in the pic, which landed at Netflix in June. Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely adapted the screenplay, with the Russos and Mike Larocca producing for AGBO alongside Chris Castaldi and Patrick Newall. Angela Russo-Otstot, Jake Aust, Geoff Haley, Markus and McFeely are serving as exec producers.

Norman is best known for his BAFTA-nominated role opposite Joaquin Phoenix in Mike Mills’ A24 drama C’mon C’mon. His upcoming projects also include the Lionsgate horror thriller Cobweb and the drama Skeleton Tree with Jacob Tremblay. The actor is repped by Paradigm, the UK’s Sylvia Young Agency and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller.

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Netflix & Paramount+ To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’ ; TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome With Toon Series; ‘One Piece Film Red’ London Takeover — Global Briefs

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Netflix & Paramount+ UK To Profile ‘Strip Search Caller’

Netflix and Paramount+ have struck a first of its kind-of-deal over a true crime documentary telling the story of the strip search caller in the U.S. Paramount+ has taken UK rights to Pervert: The Hunt for the Strip Search Caller and Netflix has rest of world on the doc, which it will be calling Don’t Pick Up the Phone. The deal is believed to be the first time two streamers have worked in such a way in the UK and rest of world. The doc tells the shocking story of a hoax caller who targeted fast food restaurants across the U.S. – posing as a police officer investigating a theft, the caller instructed managers to strip-search the young female employees he said were suspects. For many victims, what began as a humiliating strip search escalated into sexual abuse.

Canada’s TVOKids Spotlights Down Syndrome In Animated Series ‘Griffin And Turner’

EXCLUSIVE: Ontario, Canada’s TVOkids and Big Jump Entertainment are working on 2D-animated series Griffin and Turner. Based on real Canadian brothers who a significant online following, the show follows the supportive pair as they, their friends and family undertake personal challenges but focus on the journey rather than winning. Turner has Down syndrome, and TVOKids executive producer Kirsten Hurd noted the series has been developed in consultation with the Down syndrome community. Producer Big Jump is behind shows such as Shutterbug and Big Words, Small Stories.

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London Gets ‘One Piece Film Red’ Takeover After Record Haul

To celebrate the record-breaking haul of One Piece Film Red in the UK, the Straw Hat Pirates are set for a takeover of iconic London locations on November 26. Via local distributor Anime Limited and Toei Animation, the cast and memorable scenes from the series will be projected onto the County Hall of London, opposite the London Eye as well as other key locations. One Piece Film: Red has grossed over £800,000 in the UK and Ireland since it released earlier this month, making it the biggest of the long-running franchise. A phenomenon in Japan, One Piece Film Red has grossed $162M to date worldwide 



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‘All Quiet On The Western Front’, ‘Belfast’ Top 2022 EFA Arts & Crafts Awards

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Edward Berger’s All Quiet On The Western Front and Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast top the European Film Academy’s Excellence Awards honoring achievement in the arts and crafts categories, the winners of which were announced on Wednesday.

Belfast won best European Production Design for Jim Clay, whose credits include Children Of Men, for which he won a Bafta in 2006, and Murder On The Orient Express.

The drama, set against the backdrop of the beginnings of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland in 1969, also won best European Costume Design for Charlotte Walter (Blithe Spirit, Misbehaviour)

Netflix-backed German WWI drama All Quiet On The Western Front won best European Make-up & Hair for Heike Merker, and Best European Special Effects for Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller and Markus Frank.

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 In other categories, best European Cinematography was won by Kate McCullough for her work on Colm Bairéad’s Irish-language drama The Quiet Girl.

Best European Editing went to Özcan Vardar and Eytan İpeker for Turkish director Emin Alper’s drama Burning Days.

Polish composer Paweł Mykietyn won best European Original Score went for Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO.

Best European Sound went to Simone Paolo Olivero, Paolo Benvenuti, Benni Atria, Marco Saitta, Ansgar Frerich & Florian Holzner for Michelangelo Frammartino’s cave exploration drama The Hole.

The winners, which are decided by a special expert jury, will receive their awards at the European Film Awards ceremony on 10 December in Reykjavík.

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Jennifer Lopez’s Social Media Mysteriously Goes Dark

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EXCLUSIVE: The actress, producer and top-selling performing artist’s social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter have suddenly gone dark in their featured/cover images.

Reps for Jennifer Lopez were unavailable for comment, but we hear from others that The Hustlers and Marry Me actress is on the verge of announcing a new project.

Here’s a look at her Instagram tonight:

While Lopez’s Instagram had erased all posts, a trail of her previous postings remained on Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter. Across all four social media portals, Lopez counts close to 347M followers, the majority of that coming from her Instagram.

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Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions in June 2021 signed a multi-year first-look deal with Netflix spanning feature films, TV series and unscripted content, with an emphasis on projects that support diverse female actors, writers and filmmakers. Lopez co-runs Nuyorican Productions with her producing partner Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas.

Lopez scored her best opening for a live-action movie at the domestic box office with STX’s 2019 stripper caper Hustlers which debuted to $33.1 million, and grossed $105M stateside, $157.6M worldwide.  As a recording artist, Lopez has sold over 70 million albums, with J.Lo became her bestselling album with 3.8M copies sold in the U.S. and 12M global. Her Netflix thriller The Mother from director Niki Caro is set to debut in May. Her romantic comedy Shotgun Wedding with Josh Duhamel will hit Prime Video on Jan. 27.

On Facebook, one of her followers, Steffany Merino wrote, “What’s happened? Hope you and your wonderful family are ok. I’ll pray for your health and safety.”

Again, we hear something special is in the works in the next few days.



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