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Marco Bellocchio to Direct Series on Kidnapping of Former Italian Leader (EXCLUSIVE)

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 07:30 AM PDT

Italian auteur Marco Bellocchio and FremantleMedia Italy are in advanced development on a limited TV series about the 1978 kidnapping and assassination of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro by Red Brigades terrorists.

The veteran helmer, who previously recounted Moro’s still-mysterious abduction in the 2005 film “Goodmorning, Night” from the viewpoint of one of his captors, will take a different narrative approach in the series. The show is titled “Esterno, Notte” in Italian, which translates as “Exterior, Night.”

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Moro kidnapping, which ended tragically with the Christian Democrat politician’s bullet-riddled body found in the trunk of a parked car in downtown Rome. Italy reeled from the killing.

The six one-hour episodes will reconstruct the 55 days of Moro’s imprisonment “with each episode narrating the 1978 tragedy from a different point of view,” said FremantleMedia Italy chief Lorenzo Mieli. He added that, unlike the movie, the TV series’ multiple perspectives will not include that of any of the Red Brigades terrorists.

Mieli said points of view through which Bellocchio will now delve into the Moro affair include those of Italy’s president at the time, Giovanni Leone, of Pope Paul VI, of Moro’s friends and family, and the country’s police and secret services.

“It’s like Bellocchio’s film, but seen from the other side, through shifting perspectives,” said Mieli, who called it “a brilliant idea that is very original and emotionally powerful.”

Bellocchio is writing a series treatment with Italian screenwriters Stefano Bises (“Gomorrah”) and Nicola Lusuardi (“1992”) and Corriere Della Sera journalist Giovanni Bianconi.

FremantleMedia is shopping the project internationally at MipTV. The plan is for Bellocchio to start shooting next year after he finishes his upcoming feature film, “The Traitor,” a biopic of Mafia boss-turned-informant Tommaso Buscetta, which is expected to go into production this summer.

Mieli said that “Exterior, Night” is generating interest from broadcasters in Italy and in Europe but that his business model is to close deals once the screenplay is almost completely written, just as he’s done with other high-end shows FremantleMedia Italy has produced, such as “The Young Pope” and the upcoming Elena Ferrante adaptation “My Brilliant Friend.”

“We prefer to make the initial investment [in development] and get to the point on the creative side where we are very convinced,” he said. “Then, who is really interested will make the best offer.”

Summers, Dana – Color Editorial Cartoon – 20180410edsuc-a.tif

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 07:15 AM PDT

SUMMERS; TRUMP; FBI RAID; MUELLER; HILLARY’S EMAILS; INVESTIGATION

Facebook Launches Program to Pay People Who Report Data Abuses

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 07:12 AM PDT

Mark Zuckerberg has a new talking point as he faces a grilling before Congress: Facebook announced a new program to pay people who report “any misuse of data by app developers.”

Facebook didn’t explicitly say how much it will fork out, saying the compensation will be based on “the impact of each report,” similar to its existing bug-bounty program. While there’s no maximum Facebook is willing to pay, some bug reports have resulted in payments of as much as $40,000, Collin Greene, Facebook’s head of product security, wrote in a blog post Tuesday outlining the program.

“Cases that prove to be true can get a reward starting at $500 minimum,” Facebook explains in an FAQ on the new program. “We determine bounty amounts based on a variety of factors, including (but not limited to) impact, data exposure, number of affected users and other factors.”

The data-abuse bounty program is Facebook’s latest response to the debacle surrounding the misappropriation by political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica of the social platform’s user data. Info on up to 87 million Facebook users, most of them in the U.S., was obtained by Cambridge Analytica without the users’ consent or knowledge, according to Facebook. U.K.-based Cambridge Analytica has claimed it obtained records on only 30 million Facebook users through a researcher and has repeatedly denied reports that it used that info as part of its work for Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Facebook’s mishandling of the Cambridge Analytica situation has put it in the political hot seat — and ultimately could lead to new regulations governing data privacy. Facebook also faces a potentially massive fine if the FTC concludes that the company violated a 2011 consent decree requiring explicit user consent to share data.

CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to appear before a Senate committee Tuesday, in a hearing that starts at 2:15 p.m. ET. He’s also on deck for a similar appearance before a House committee on Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET.

The Facebook Data Abuse Bounty program will “reward people with first-hand knowledge and proof of cases where a Facebook platform app collects and transfers people’s data to another party to be sold, stolen or used for scams or political influence,” Greene wrote.

Facebook said that if it confirms data abuse, it will promptly disable the offending app “and take legal action against the company selling or buying the data, if necessary,” Greene added. More info is available at facebook.com/data-abuse.

Neko Case Drops New Song, ‘Bad Luck’ (Listen)

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 07:06 AM PDT

Alt-country-whatever songstress Neko Case has dropped the first single from her forthcoming album, “Hell-On,” and both the song and the album’s title are evocative: According to a press release announcing the song, Case was nearly finished recording the album when she received a 3 a.m. phone call telling her that her house was on fire and would likely be completely destroyed. A friend saved her dogs but the house was toast.

A few hours later, she went into a studio in Stockholm and laid down the vocals for “Bad Luck,” singing lyrics that she had written long before that were now sadly appropriate: “It’s not as bad as I thought it would be / But it’s still pretty bad luck.”

Still, she put her misfortune into perspective: Around the time of the fire, hurricanes had devastated Texas and Puerto Rico and wildfires scorched California. “In the big picture, my house burning was so unimportant,” she says. “So many people lost so much more: lives and lives and lives.”

The song also comes with a teaser video:

Case will hit the road this summer, including shows with Ray LaMontagne, at Sasquatch Festival, and newly announced European tour. Full dates below.

Tour Dates
May 27 — Gorge Amphitheatre, WA @ Sasquatch Festival
May 28 — Boise, ID @ Summerfield At Memorial Stadium*
May 30 — Bend, OR @ Les Schwab Amphitheatre*
June 1 — Berkeley, CA @ Greek Theatre*
June 2 — San Diego, CA @ Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre*
June 3 — Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre*
June 5 — Phoenix, CA @ Comerica Theatre*
June 8 — Irving, TX @ The Pavilion At Toyota Music Factory*
June 9 — Austin, TX @ Austin360 Amphitheatre*
June 10 — Sugarland, TX @ Smart Financial Centre*
June 12 — Rogers, AR @ Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion*
June 13 — Southaven, MS @ Bankplus Amphitheatre at Snowden Grove*
June 15 — Indianapolis, IN @ Farm Bureau Lawn at White River Amphitheatre*
June 16 — Chicago, IL @ Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island*
June 17 — Nashville, TN @ Ascend Amphitheatre*
June 19 — Charlotte, NC @ Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre*
June 20 — Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion*
June 22 — Philadelphia, PA @ Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing*
June 23 — Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion*
June 24 — Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion*
June 26 — Wallingford, CT @ Oakdale Theatre*
June 28 — Bangor, ME @ Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion*
June 29 — North Adams, MA @ MASS MOCA*
June 30 — Cleveland, OH @ Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica*
July 1 — Detroit, MI @ Meadow Brook Amphitheatre*
July 3 — Pittsburgh, PA @ Heinz Hall*
July 4 — Cooperstown, NY @ Brewery Ommegang*
July 6 — Madison, WI @ Breese Stevens Field*
July 7 — St. Louis, MO @ Peabody Opera House*
July 8 — Kansas City, MO @ Starlight Theatre*
July 10 — Morrison, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre*
October 29 — Stockholm, SWE @ Nalen
October 30 — Copenhagen, DEN @ Bremen Theatre
November 1 — Berlin, GER @ Bi Nuu
November 2 — Cologne, GER @ Stadtgarten Cologne
November 4 — Brussels, BEL @ Rotonde – Botanique
November 6 — Dublin, IRE @ Vicar Street
November 7 — Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club
November 8 — London, UK @ Barbican

*w/ Ray LaMontagne

 

Seth Meyers Shares Wild, Emotional Story of His Son’s Birth in Apartment Building Lobby

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 07:03 AM PDT

Seth Meyers had a surprise for “Late Night” viewers on Monday as he shared the story of his son’s birth on Sunday afternoon in the lobby of his New York City apartment building.

Meyers and his wife Alexi welcomed their second child, Axel Strahl Meyers in a whirlwind of activity after a casual Sunday morning of brunch and spending time in a park with their older son, Ash. In the afternoon, Meyers’ wife began to have contractions. As the couple headed down the elevator of their building to a waiting Uber with Alexi’s mother, Joanne, and doula Neelu in tow, Alexi broke the news that there was no time to get to the hospital.

“The baby is out,” Meyers recalled his wife declaring. He tried to calm her and guide her into the car but then Meyers realized “she looked like someone who was hiding a baby in a pair of sweatpants.”

Soon, Alexi was holding Axel on her chest and the lobby was filled with firefighters, EMTs and NYPD officers. Meyers expressed gratitude to all of the emergency personnel and his neighbors for coming to their aid with warm towels and other supplies even as the chaotic scene made it hard for tenants to move around the building. He noted that his family only moved in to the building a few months ago. “I’m so glad we are already co-op approved,” he joked.

Meyers, who was still wearing his hospital ID wristband as he taped Monday’s edition, choked up at the end of his 10-minute tale. He hailed his “incredible rock star” wife’s courage and strength, and he noted that his son’s middle name is his mother-in-law’s maiden name in honor of her parents, who were Holocaust survivors. When he saw his wife calmly cradling his minutes-old son after such an unconventional delivery, Meyers said he realized: “That kid’s going to be fine forever because of her.”

 

(Pictured: Alexi Ashe and Seth Meyers)

AMC Greenlights ‘NOS4A2’ Series Based on Joe Hill Novel

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 07:00 AM PDT

AMC has officially ordered the supernatural horror drama “NOS4A2” to series.

The show, based on the novel of the same name by Joe Hill, follows Vic McQueen, a young, working class artist who discovers she has a supernatural ability to track the seemingly immortal Charlie Manx. Manx feeds off the souls of children, then deposits what remains of them into Christmasland, a twisted Christmas Village of Manx’s imagination where every day is Christmas day and unhappiness is against the law. Vic must strive to defeat Manx and rescue his victims without losing her mind or falling victim to him herself.

It is currently slated to premiere on AMC in 2019 with a 10-episode first season. Hill will serve as an executive producer. Jami O’Brien, who previously worked on AMC shows “Fear the Walking Dead” and “Hell on Wheels,” created the show for television and will serve as showrunner. Lauren Corrao, co-president of Michael Eisner’s Tornante Television, will also executive produce. The series is produced by AMC Studios in association with Tornante Television. The show will be distributed internationally by AMC Studios.

“‘NOS4A2‘ continues in AMC’s rich tradition of immersive dramas that combine otherworldly stories with relatable relationships and big emotional themes,” said David Madden, president of original programming for AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios. “Jami O’Brien and the writing team have vibrantly brought Joe Hill’s incredible story to life for the small screen and we are pleased to be making this diabolically unique new show under the AMC Studios shingle, in association with Tornante.”

AMC previously announced that it had opened a writers’ room for the project last year under the network’s scripts-to-series development model, which the network has used for current series such as “The Son” and the upcoming dramas “Dietland,” and “Lodge 49.”

“NOS4A2” marks the third series order for Tornante since the beginning of 2018. The company is also partnering with “BoJack Horseman” creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg on two animated series: “Tuca & Bertie” at Netflix, which received a series order in February; and “Undone,” which became the first adult animated series ordered at Amazon.

Cruz Beckham giving Romeo Fortnite lessons

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 07:00 AM PDT

Cruz Beckham has been bragging that he’s teaching his older brother Romeo how to play video game ‘ Fortnite: Battle Royale’.

The super-popular third person console shooter is played by the likes of Drake, Joe Jonas and Chance the Rapper and now David and Victoria Beckham’s young sons are joining the craze.

However, it seems that 13-year-old Cruz has got to grips with the online combat title quicker than 15-year-old Romeo.

Sharing a photo of the pair using the multi-player screens on Instagram, Cruz captioned the post: “Teaching @romeobeckham how to play @fortnite [sic]”

The siblings – who also have six-year-old sister Harper and 19-year-old brother Brooklyn – will be pleased to hear that ‘Fortnite’ is to host a star-studded Party Royale after plenty of celebrity interest in the game.

Epic Games have confirmed they will host the event at E3 – also known as Electronic Entertainment Expo – in Los Angeles in June with 50 celebs taking on 50 pro gamers at the co-op sandbox survival title.

In a post on their official site, Epic wrote: “Join us this E3 for the ultimate Fortnite Party Royale, pairing some of the world’s greatest athletes and entertainers with top Fortnite Battle Royale players from across the globe. Teams will clash in the premier Fortnite Celebrity Pro-Am in Los Angeles during E3. One team will rise to the top for ultimate bragging rights. Who will claim Victory Royale?

“We’ll soon begin building the teams, so stay tuned for more information on the event.”

This comes after Drake played ‘Fortnite’ with streamer Ninja on Twitch and they broke a record for the number of streams.

At one point there were more than 628,000 concurrent streams on the go, smashing the previous record of 388,000 viewers.

Kate Jhaveri, senior vice-president of marketing at Twitch, said: “Ninja and Drake’s Fortnite livestream on Twitch attracted 628K concurrent viewers, setting a new milestone in terms of peak concurrent viewers on an individual’s channel.

“Seeing a top gamer and musician come together on Twitch and unite their large and passionate communities is a cultural moment in terms of building awareness around the appeal of social video and it’s only going to grow from here.”

Anna Faris and Chris Pratt try to communicate openly

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 07:00 AM PDT

Anna Faris and Chris Pratt try to “communicate openly”.

The former couple may have gone their separate ways but they are desperate to keep things on friendly terms for the sake of their five-year-old son Jack.

She said: “What Chris and I try to do is to communicate openly. We reiterate that there aren’t rules to this. We have a lot of love and friendship, and our big goal is to protect Jack. I cherish my family, my close friends, my child – that makes the rest of it worth it.”

And the 41-year-old actress hasn’t ruled out finding love again in the future as she needs that “sense of human connection and intimacy”.

She added to the May issue of Women’s Health magazine: “I love love! Like all of us, I need a sense of human connection and intimacy.

“At the end of a workday I feel exposed and kind of raw. I want to be with someone I can confess to, and who can confess to me.”

Meanwhile, Anna previously admitted she isn’t sure whether she still believes in marriage.

She explained: “I am a romantic. I believe in a partnership, I believe in companionship. I just don’t know if I believe in a ceremony of a wedding … You’d think that having successfully married parents would increase your odds [of making it work]. But how we’ve justified it is trying to make something work when we weren’t sort of picking up the clues. For me, it was sort of checking it off the list. If I get this part solved, I’ll do career and everything … I think I was also very intimidated by dating in LA, not feeling like I fit here with glamorous people, and I felt like the stoner dudes that I knew back home were just easier. Flashier guys here, I don’t know.”

Nick Loeb compares embryo battle with Sofia Vergara to ‘slavery’

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 07:00 AM PDT

Sofia Vergara’s ex-fiancé Nick Loeb has compared their embryo battle to the fight end “slavery.”

The 45-year-old actress has been locked in a bitter lawsuit with the businessman since 2015 when he filed documents to protect, and bring to term, two female embryos, which they had created and planned to use with a surrogate during their relationship.

Nick, 42, has been blocked from bringing the embryos to term twice by the ‘Modern Family’ beauty, but he’s now filed a third lawsuit claiming the debate over the cells being product or people has happened “only one other time in United States history from which any legal precedent may be reviewed – the pre- Civil War era.”

According to the documents, obtained by website The Blast, Nick then went on to give the full legal definition of slavery and added: “Under these simple definitions, a human embryo, if believed to be a human being and alive, (which is our contention) would be considered a slave and the parents would be the owners of the slave, particularly in states where they are considered property.”

But he didn’t stop there as he also brought up the story of Solomon Northup, who was born a free man in New York and later abducted and sold into slavery.

He was eventually rescued near the Red River in Louisiana on a cotton plantation and his heartbreaking story was turned into the Oscar-winning film ’12 Years a Slave’.

Nick explained: “There was a question at the time as to whether New York had the jurisdiction to reach into Louisiana and retrieve Northup. But the New York governor discussed it with Louisiana officials and they were allowed to retrieve him. There are also dozens of cases (called the Freedom Suits), where slaves themselves or their family members applied for freedom in slave states and won.

“The reference to slave cases is to demonstrate the jurisdictional and legal issues arising from this stark difference in how human beings are categorised. In modern day, frozen human embryo disputes and the question of how they are categorised (human being or property) has become more frequent.

“Since there is little or no legislation in most states on this issue, state courts are left to decide if embryos are human beings or property or something in between and what to do in cases of dispute.”

Nick filed the lawsuit in Louisiana because officials there do consider embryos as human beings, whereas California – where they were created – calls them products.

Sofia argues that their suit, which was filed in January, has no connection to Louisiana and has pushed for it to be thrown out.

The judge is yet to make a decision on the matter.

Sofia and Nick – who split in 2014 after two years of dating – had signed a contract at the ART Reproductive Center in Beverly Hills when they created the embryos in 2013, which stated neither could use them without the consent of the other.

Sofia – who is now married to Joe Manganiello – was sued by the embryos in 2016, when a right-to-live lawsuit was filed on their behalf in Louisiana.

HBO’s World Cup Docu-Series Returns with ‘Destino Rusia 2018’

Posted: 10 Apr 2018 06:51 AM PDT

CANNES — Summer 2018 will mark the return of the world’s most popular sporting event the World Cup, and along with it, HBO’s latest entry into its quadrennial cup-themed “Destino” series. After “Destino Sudáfrica” in 2010, and “Destino Brasil” in 2014, in their first collaboration and HBO España this week launched the third edition of the series, “Destino Rusia 2018.”

Each episode contains short, detailed profiles of HBO Latin Americaa team or individual who is likely to make an impact on the upcoming tournament. Past installments have followed some of the world’s best and most popular players such as Brazil’s Neymar, Italy’s Pirlo and Spain’s Xabi Alonso.

This year’s first episode featured spots on the Spanish national team with interviews from Chelsea’s Alvaro Morata, Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcántara, Real Madrid’s Isco and Atlético de Madrid’s Koke, as well as a stand-alone feature on Colombia and Villarreal striker Carlos Bacca.

Variety caught up with HBO Latin America‘s Roberto Rios and HBO Spain’s Miguel Salvat to discuss this year’s series.

How did the co-production between HBO Latin America and HBO Europe come about on “Destino Russia 2018”?

Roberto Rios: This is the third time we produce this series, after South Africa in 2010, and 2014’s Brazil. We decided to make “Destino Rusia 2018” when we originally planned our 2018 programming, at that time HBO España didn’t exist. But Miguel Salvat and I talk to each other a lot, and we were delighted to find something which could further a union of interests. We needed to pool economic resources. But also, without Miguel, this would have been an attractive project for HBO; with him, we’ve found more interesting and unexpected angles. This is a perfect project, proving the existence of common identities in Spain and Europe.

What makes “Destino Rusia 2018” original?

Miguel Salvat: The key focus is in how we develop the stories around soccer, stories about surprising figures. They’re not stories which make front page, but they are certainly worth telling. Soccer is a world which allows us to talk about other things: co-operation, social issues, personal stories, It’s a series which is totally centered on characters, not because they’re soccer stars, but because they have a story to tell us.

For many soccer fans, part of the attraction of the World Cup is that it’s a multi-national experience, the closest they might get to the culture of some countries through their fans. I feel opening up the series mirrors this….

Rios: We shared the prior two “Destino” series with HBO viewers in the U.S., via HBO Latino. Now, “Destino Rusia 2018” will air in over 55 countries around the world. This lets us reach many more nationalities through this production which talks about a sport and an event that brings the whole world together.

Salvat: Also, soccer is increasingly multinational. Countries follow ever more national leagues, players in other leagues abroad. Spain’s La Liga is full of Latin Americans and Europeans from many parts of the continent. Last month, Seville eliminated Manchester United from the European Champions League thanks to a Tunisia-born footballer who plays for France. But these personal stories will not just be liked by soccer fans, but people who like well-told stories.

Is this the beginning of a beautiful friendship?

Rios: It began a long time ago. I knew Miguel before he began at HBO Spain. This project is an example of clear possibilities. Collaboration of course has many aspects and reasons. We have to find something where it is natural and genuine. We don’t want to make little Frankenstein monsters. In Latin America, we’ve been making original productions for 15 years and have had to look for a union of interests between Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and the rest of the region. Although Mexico and Argentina speak the same language, there’s a lot of commerce in intellectual properties between Brazil and Argentina, for example. So we have had to focus on authenticity.

Salvat: HBO España is part of HBO. My natural habitat is Europe. I’m obliged to look to the North and East, but it’s obvious that Spain and Latin America have a very special relationship. This series has been a no-brainer in the sense that we didn’t have to break the mold. Yes, it can be the beginning of other collaborations, not because we’re being ordered, but because they make sense.