On the big screen, the actor recently reunited with Bruce Willis (with whom he starred in last year's action-thriller "Hard Kill") for Lionsgate's "Fortress," which will be released in December. Additional film credits include "Dead Rising: Endgame," "Escape Plan 2: Hades," "The Ninth Passenger" and "God's Not Dead 2." Metcalfe is represented by Untitled Management, Gersh and The Initiative Group.
Metcalfe also recently starred in and executive produced "Ships in the Night: A Martha's Vineyard Mystery," the latest installment in the "Martha's Vineyard Mysteries" film series, and had a leading role in "Christmas Under the Stars," opposite Autumn Reeser and Clarke Peters. After kicking off his career with heartthrob roles on "Passions," "Desperate Housewives" and the 2006 hit teen comedy "John Tucker Must Die," Metcalfe has found massive success on the family-friendly circuit and become a fan-favorite on Hallmark. In August, the actor wrapped up a five-season run on the network's hugely popular drama "Chesapeake Shores," where he'd played singer-songwriter Trace Riley since the show's 2016 debut.
The movie is the latest production from MGM's Lightworkers — the company, founded by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, is behind "The Bible" miniseries and MGM and Paramount's contemporary "Ben-Hur" adaptation. Downey will produce the movie alongside Autumn Bailey-Ford, with Burnett serving as an executive producer. Directed by Sean McNamara from a screenplay by Brian Egeston, "On a Wing and a Prayer" is currently in production and slated for release on Aug. 31, 2022.
Jesse Metcalfe has signed on for MGM and Lightworkers' new faith-based family drama "On a Wing and a Prayer," starring opposite Dennis Quaid and Heather Graham.
Based on a true story, Quaid stars as Doug White, who's forced to fly a plane after the pilot dies unexpectedly mid-flight.
Founded in 2011 by Emmy-nominated actor and producer Downey and Burnett, MGM's Lightworkers is the banner behind numerous television series and films, including the Emmy-nominated "The Bible," which has gone on to spawn multiple feature film adaptations, including "Resurrection" (which debuted on Discovery Plus in March 2021), as well as the 2015 NBC miniseries "A.D. The Bible Continues." Lightworkers also produced the Lifetime series "The Women of the Bible," CBS' "The Dovekeepers" and TLC's "Answered Prayers," plus the feature films "Little Boy" for Open Road Films, "Woodlawn" for Pure Flix, and "Messiah" and "Country Ever After" for Netflix.” />

He has written such award-winning plays as "Jerusalem," "The River," "Mojo" and "The Ferryman." He won the Olivier Award for best play for "The Ferryman" and the Tony Award for best play when the show transferred to Broadway in 2019. Butterworth is one of the most acclaimed playwrights working today.
Producer Uri Singer, who is also producing and helped put together Netflix's upcoming adaptation of another DeLillo novel, "White Noise," has secured the rights to the book, which was published in 2020. Jez Butterworth will adapt Don DeLillo's "The Silence" for the screen, Variety has learned.
Butterworth has also written several high-profile screenplays. In addition to those works, Butterworth directed and co-wrote the 2001 film "Birthday Girl." His film work includes writing or co-writing the scripts for "Edge of Tomorrow," "Fair Game," "Ford v Ferrari," "Black Mass," "Flag Day" and "Spectre." Butterworth is co-writing the untitled fifth Indiana Jones film along with John-Henry Butterworth and James Mangold, the film's director.
Singer's credits include "Marjorie Prime" and "Tesla." He also recently optioned another DeLillo project, "Underworld." "White Noise" is being directed by Noah Baumbach, and stars Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig.
Butterworth is represented by CAA and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein.” />
They are waiting for a couple, who is set to join them after flying in from Paris. The diners include a retired physics professor, her husband and her former student. To share more might risk ruining the post-modern twists and turns. "The Silence" unfolds at a dinner party in Manhattan during Super Bowl Sunday in the year 2022.

Grateful Dead x H&B Tie-Dye Bears Apron
The collection is the first collaboration between Grateful Dead and the kitchen gear company, founded by Bennett in 2012 when she was a line chef at Bäco Mercat in Los Angeles. Their luxury aprons have since become a go-to staple for restaurants across the country, and are the official uniform for contestants on Bravo's"Top Chef."
A simpler option is designed with white outlines of the bears atop a light blue denim base, sustainably sourced from deadstock fabric in Los Angeles. Both aprons use thick fabric that protect the wearer and have the classic, non-slip straps. We also highly recommend the potholder from this brand, which is delightfully durable and fairly stain resistant.” />
Each piece also comes with the option to add custom embroidered letters on the right chest for an additional $15. Both aprons are made out of 90% Cotton, 8% Polyester, 2% Spandex. And are machine washable (just make sure to use the cold cycle and hang dry or tumble on low). The louder option of the two features blue and purple tie dye, in addition to dancing bears holding culinary tools such as cutting knives and whisks.
12, consists of two aprons designed with psychedelic imagery from the historic band. The collection, which dropped Oct. Each piece is a colorful iteration of the brand's premium Essential Apron, featuring special additions such as a collectible "Dedley & Bennett" collaborative patch, an official Grateful Dead tag and a new rainbow ampersand.
Grateful Dead's famous dancing bears carry whisks and pans in the iconic rock band's new collaboration with kitchen gear company Hedley & Bennett.
Read More:The Best Grateful Dead Merch for the Deadheads in Your Life
"There is so much love for the Grateful Dead in the food world and amongst so many big huge chefs," said Ellen Bennett, founder and CEO of Hadley & Bennett, in a press release. "As a Grateful Dead fan myself, I’m so excited to finally share this collection with our #ApronSquad and fellow Dead Heads — old and new. We're thrilled to spread the Grateful Dead's positivity and creativity with our community and to honor the band's legacy with this collection."
The aprons are available exclusively at hedleyandbennett.com for $105.
Grateful Dead X H&B Denim Bears Apron

Range Media Partners has launched a new international division and hired Oliver Riddle as head of international content.
As head, Riddle will oversee the development and production of Range Media's international film and television content, with an initial focus on content originating out of Europe. Riddle will join Range manager and producer Caroline Marques in London.
"It was clear from our first conversations that they share my excitement for amplifying international stories to a global audience. They've had tremendous success in their first year at Range, and I'm excited to build out Range Media International." "I'm thrilled to be joining Pete, Rich and the rest of the Range team," said Riddle.
Riddle previously oversaw strategy and operations for Netflix's international original film team, where he worked closely with David Kosse to build a slate of high-budget European films including Paolo Sorrentino's "Hand of God." Prior to his international work, Riddle worked for Netflix's English language original film team in Los Angeles, providing strategic and financial counsel for Scott Stuber's feature film slate.
"We are thrilled to welcome Oli to Range," said Cook. "The globalization of content is undeniable, and we're incredibly excited to launch Range Media International in our continued efforts to embrace voices from around the world and bring their stories to life." Founding partner Rich Cook, who previously helped launch WME's International division, spoke on hiring Riddle as well.
Range Media Partners was founded in September 2020 by Cook, Dave Bugliari, Mackenzie Condon Roussos, Michael Cooper, Susie Fox, Matt Graham, Sandra King, Rachel Kropa, Chelsea McKinnies, Peter Micelli, Mick Sullivan, Byron Wetzel and Jack Whigham.” />

UMA Managing Director Franck Kacou said, "It is an honor and a great pride for Universal Music Africa to have gained the trust of such a monumental figure in African music culture. Youssou NDour has inspired multiple generations of music fans, each time with his impressive relevance, social resonance and most importantly with his timeless songwriting.”
Monday, October 11
Going into our first meeting, our goal was to find a partner who believed in the vast life that he led, and we know Primary Wave will continue to sustain the legacy of dad.” said the family of Bing Crosby in a joint statement. “We couldn’t be more excited about this partnership with Primary Wave.
Before entering the music business, he spent several years in management consulting with a focus on digital strategy, growth strategy and strategic sourcing. Prior to joining Sony Music Publishing, Moses held various strategy and business development positions at EMI Records, PRS for Music and others.
Bread Charity, a non-profit founded by Mustafa Sheikh (a.k.a. The 1,000-foot studio features five free musical recording facilities aimed at assisting kids from low socio-economic areas, with musical instruments, vocal recording and production equipment for young people to use free of charge. Visit here to see photos of the studio and learn more about the program. rapper Lil Mussie) with a mission to aid children living in poverty, has launched Bread Studios in Nipsey Hussle’s former middle school, Edwin Markham Middle School, in the Watts area of Los Angeles.
Over the past 5 years, he's signed some incredibly influential artists and has proven himself to be one of the best A&R’s in the business. I’m really looking forward to working together and am excited to welcome him to the team.” Executive VP of A&R Tyler Arnold added, “Wes is an amazing addition to the Republic family.
"With all the emerging young rock bands and artists in Nashville we felt it important and necessary to have a presence,” says label founder Tony Guanci. “We have already begun working on a number of exciting opportunities to support the Nashville music scene and are thrilled to be located at UMG's historic East Iris Studios.”
“Bing Crosby was one of the most influential stars of the 20 th century,” says Larry Mestel, CEO & Founder of Primary Wave Music. He continues, “Our team can’t wait to dive into our partnership with Harry Crosby, Robert Bader and the Crosby family to help reintroduce Bing’s music and legacy to the world.”
+ Grammy-winning Senegalese singer Youssou NDour has announced a multi-year partnership agreement between Youssou Ndour & TBI Publishing S.A. and Universal Music Africa.
Commenting on the deal, NDour said simply, "From Africa to the World… Let's go Universal…"
He was also integral in closing landmark digital licensing deals, enabling SMP’s songwriters to earn royalties from Facebook/Instagram, TikTok and YouTube Shorts. Martiny has led multi-territory negotiations with major digital services including Spotify, Apple, Google/YouTube, Amazon, Deezer and SoundCloud, covering Europe, MENA, India and beyond.
According to the announcement, Moses will further develop and coordinate SMP’s commercial strategies across its global digital business, as well as lead negotiations with key global DSP and online platform partners. + Sony Music Publishing has promoted Moses Martiny to senior VP of global digital commercial strategy. office, he reports to president of global digital Antony Bebawi. Based in the company’s U.K. In addition, he will liaise with the newly expanded global digital team to grow and diversify songwriter revenue from both established and emerging digital platforms.
+ Syracuse University’s Bandier Program, established by legendary music publisher Marty Bandier, is one of the most prominent music-business programs in the world. Last year, Bandier announced a program to provide financial support for Bandier Program students from underrepresented populations, and last week the program announced its first two honorees: Sofia Elizabeth Gutierrez, a Los Angeles resident of Filipina and Mexican descent, and Alexis Sanon, a Haitian-American from Brooklyn, NY. “The only thing that would make it worth it for me to leave California would be for the one-in-a-million opportunity to be part of the Bandier Program,” Gutierrez, a musician, says, adding that the scholarship has given her “a life-changing opportunity to follow my dream. “This scholarship has been like words of encouragement—that there is a space for me in this industry, and I want to meet this challenge head on,” she says. I’m honored to be one of the first recipients and will not take this opportunity for granted.” Sanon, who got her start in the industry as a teen by creating social media fan accounts for the group One Direction and then learned about other areas of the industry.
The partnership finds Primary Wave acquiring a stake in the assets owned by HLC Properties Ltd., the company owned by the Crosby Estate. The Estate will now have access to Primary Wave’s entire marketing team, digital team, publicity department, branding team, and publishing infrastructure which includes licensing and synch opportunities. It includes the Bing Crosby Archives, featuring thousands of recordings by the singer and other artists, many have which have never been released; artist royalties from master recordings featuring his performances; writer royalties from songs he wrote or co-wrote; his rights in the film “White Christmas,” as well as other film, radio, and television productions. In addition, Primary Wave has acquired a stake in his name, likeness, and rights of publicity. + Primary Wave Music has struck a deal with the estate of legendary singer Bing Crosby, who appeared in more than 70 feature films and recorded over 1,600 songs in a 50-year-plus career.
“We’re eternally grateful to Marty Bandier for his dedication to the Newhouse School,” says Newhouse dean Mark J. Lodato. “I’m confident Sofia and Alexis will shine in the Bandier Program, and thrive as a part of the Syracuse University community.”
Republic Records has named Wes Donehower senior VP of A&R, label co-founder and president Avery Lipman announced on Tuesday. Based in New York, he started his career as a coordinator at BMG Rights Management. He joins the label after six years in A&R at Columbia Records, where he worked closely with Lil Nas X and Russ as well Koe Wetzel, Quinn XCII and 347Aidan, among others.
“Wes is a welcomed addition to our growing A&R team and will undoubtedly make a major impact as he continues to sign, identify, and develop a new vanguard of innovative talent,” Lipman said.
 ” />
+ Edgeout Reords has announced the opening of its Nashville office. Located at Universal Music Group’s East Iris Studios (formerly House of Blues Studios) in Nashville’s Berry Hill neighborhood, the Nashville office will be managed by the label’s Los Angeles staff; senior director of digital media & content Jena Yannone has relocated to Nashville to oversee day-to-day operations.
 

It's all immediate. You've never seen anyone work harder than Bette Middler worked to get ready "Hello, Dolly!" Hugh has been in training [for "The Music Man" for a year. Amy committed everything to that role." "They are exposed. "There's no cut or editing. I think people like Hugh, Amy and Bette do this because it's beyond thrilling. They are vulnerable," he said.
Why big stars come to Broadway
Jerry Zaks is no stranger to working with outsized talent over his decades in show business, directing hit shows like 2017's "Hello, Dolly!" revival, "Guys and Dolls," "Meteor Shower" and the upcoming "Music Man." He's guided movie greats, like Bette Midler, Amy Schumer, Nathan Lane and Hugh Jackman through the challenges of performing eight shows a week on Broadway. It's the unmatched thrill of performing live, of course. So what brings these A-listers back time and time again to abandon the comforts of closed move sets for a chance to share their talent on center stage? But, Zaks notes, it takes courage.
Zoom-staged readings were nice in the meantime, but they hardly replace the thrill of being able to sing, dance and crack wise in front of a crowded room. Clarke, "Clyde's" Ron Cephas Jones and "Chicken and Biscuits" star Michael Urie have gotten a taste of what they've been missing as their new shows enter previews and prepare for opening night and beyond. "Caroline, or Change" actor Sharon D. It's been a long hard 18 months for performers who made a life for themselves on the footlights.
Already, Broadway stars have grown accustomed to the protocols that come with actively working to prevent the spread of a deadly virus.
A record number of shows by Black artists are scheduled to premiere this season, and Broadway producers are eager to ensure that particular development isn't unique to this year. It also presents a milestone in terms of inclusion. The upcoming Broadway season isn't just different in terms of pandemic-era protocols and the fact that audiences have to be vaccinated and stay masked.
Before she took the stage at Variety's breakfast, she ran into Zaks, who directed Feldstein in her Broadway debut in "Hello, Dolly," who imparted some advice. "Jerry said to me back over there, 'It's good to be nervous, Beanie-leh. It keeps you good.'"
After a devastating industry-wide shutdown, Broadway has finally reopened with performances of beloved shows like "Hamilton," "Wicked" and new plays and musicals such as "Six," "Lackawanna Blues," and "Thoughts of a Colored Man."
"We're all quite used to masking up," Clarke said. "You're being tested three times a week," she said. What you focus on is being back in the room and being creative." Plus, there are enough COVID-19 protocols to keep them feeling safe. Urie adds, "It is a drag, but it is so worth it. "You just get on with it. I would do twice as much to be in a play."
 
Many shows have taken the extra step of hiring people to oversee equity, diversity and inclusion efforts.
Feldstein doesn't disagree. "I'm like, 'You're right Jerry! It's good to be nervous."
"But 'Funny Girl' takes it to a different level." "I've always been nervous," Feldstein admitted.
It all comes back to Fanny herself, and that's what I have to focus on." As for putting her own spin on a character that's become synonymous with Streisand, Feldstein does not feel daunted by the challenge at hand. "My job is to play Fanny Brice.
Lia Vollack, a producer for "MJ the Musical," says it is necessary to support Black leadership beyond only directing and acting, but also in the areas of producing, general management and stage management.
So far, they have noticed the pandemic has given people a renewed sense of appreciation for the small moments.
After all, Barbra Streisand became a star portraying the vaudeville legend on stage and to Oscar-winning effect on screen. Beanie Feldstein, who takes on the role of Fanny Brice in 2022's revival of "Funny Girl," knows she has some pretty big shoes to fill. So is she feeling butterflies in her stomach about belting the show's beloved songs like "People" and "Don't Rain on My Parade"?
"We wanted to provide longterm support." "Having performers is one thing, but having decision makers is another," Vollack said.
How to make a movement out of a moment
Don't expect Andrew Lloyd Webber to retire
It's not only the audience that has been grateful. Actors, many of whom went without work while Broadway was dark, are marveling at the fact that theater was able to rebound.
Here are five takeaways from Tuesday morning's gathering of theater lovers:
It's good to be back on stage
People who need people… to calm their nerves
"Urgency to make lasting changes is really important. Every person in a room who has an EDI director means more people having access to the room. "This is an amazing season full of diverse voices," said "Pass Over" producer Matt Ross.
That includes bringing his West End musical "Cinderella" to the Great White Way next year and working on a new show, the details of which he remains mum. Andrew Lloyd Webber has spent the last year and change on a mission to get live theater back, but rather than soak in theater's triumphant return, the Broadway impresario is already charting his next moves.
The Return to Broadway, a breakfast held at Second in partnership with City National Bank. It was a largely celebratory affair, with producers, creators and performers thrilled to be back to doing what they love best. But there's also a growing sense that the industry they return to after months of COVID-related closures and a global social justice movement must be more inclusive and reflective of society. In celebration of the resurgence of live theater, Variety brought together several Broadway heavyweights, including Andrew Lloyd Webber (you know what he's done!) and director Jerry Zaks ("Hello, Dolly!"), as well as stage stars like Beanie Feldstein (the upcoming "Funny Girl" revival), Ron Cephas Jones ("Clyde's") and Sharon D Clarke ("Caroline, or Change") for Legit!
"We talk to each other back stage and say, 'They're applauding goodness.' It makes you feel better about human beings. Yeah, everyone is wearing a mask and I'm sure they're nervous about being packed into a theater, but the sense of joy and fellowship is bleeding out onto the street." "When people [on stage] are kind to each other, the audience applauds," Urie said.
"It's an interesting conversation talking about the moment versus lasting systemic change," said Brian Moreland, the producer of "Thoughts of a Colored Man." "In this window of time, a lot of change has happened, a lot of good things have happened." That includes new playwrights being recognized and new directors getting their big break. "There's a real urgency and desire to make it long-lasting," he continued. We need to widen the table and make sure this change is a lasting lifetime change. "The only way we can sustain it is to keep talking about it. We've seen it this particular season, and we want to see it again and again and again."
Zaks, for his part, makes every effort to put the actors at ease.
"I want to write something else," Lloyd Webber said. Having done recently "School of Rock" and "Cinderella," I'd quite like to do something a bit more serious."” /> "I've got an idea, but I can't really share it." He did offer one morsel, which is that it won't be based on any pre-existing properties. "It will need to be an original story.
you'd be surprised at the number of notes that directors give that are absolutely, utterly un-actable." "An actable note. "Great stars like that, as far as I'm concerned, I make sure the first thing I say to them is a really smart, good idea," he says.
It's very overwhelming, but it shows how much we can accomplish when we pull ourselves together." "It's been amazing. What I found so profound is how everyone came together to fight this disease so we could come together," Cephas Jones said. With all the testing and masking and vaccinations, you realize the hundreds of thousands of people that it took to make us able to come together in this room right now. "We were so wanting to get back to bring life to the theater.

“I’d much rather do that than set up a system where we can’t sell anything other than full orchestra prices in previews,” he summed. You’ve got to have a business model that sets the art up for success.”” /> “Then you’ve got an empty room, and the show fails because laughter doesn’t travel through a patchy audience.
The audience will tell us that, and my hope is that the price will evolve as word of mouth spreads.” “I said about this show: Laughter needs full rooms, and for once I’m not going to beat my advertising agency up about what the price point is. “It’s your job to make sure the artists don’t fall on their face because of the business. Any artist can fall on their face because of the art, but you’ve got to build a machine,” he told Variety.
As reviews trickled in at the opening night after-party, held at Elsie’s Rooftop, what Levingston offered was, in part, a rebuttal: It’s the point that comedic caricatures of Black families and church life fuel “Chicken & Biscuits.”
“It starts in stereotype, and every other culture has been able to use their archetypes as a way to say something larger about society or specific about their culture. For so long, Black people, particularly in comedy, are not allowed to use our own archetypes.” “The theater starts in blackface in America,” Zhailon Levingston, who with “Chicken & Biscuits” makes history as the youngest Black director in Broadway history, told Variety on opening night.
The Circle in the Square Theatre — a Broadway house that last opened a revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” — transformed on Sunday in the ebullient and nourishing setting of a Black church as “Chicken & Biscuits,” a new comedy by Douglas Lyons, took its opening-night bow.
“I was afraid to come here, to Broadway, because I know the attitude and high-standing uppityness of this place,” he continued. “I really was afraid, but now that we’re here, I think our audiences are changing what Broadway is.”
At the after-party, lead producer and six-time Tony winner Hunter Arnold, whose marshaled shows such as “Kinky Boots,” “Hadestown” and “The Inheritance” to Broadway and who offered to produce “Chicken & Biscuits” without ever meeting Lyons or seeing the work, qualified what’s necessary for producers to insulate Black playwrights — or any new voice — from that responsibility.
Inside the theater on Sunday, which ripped and roared through the entire performance, Lyons’ assertion couldn’t have been more clear, as well as a double, more troubling reality: While plays including “Chicken & Biscuits” will bring hordes of new audience members to Broadway, Black playwrights like Lyons must also shoulder an industry which has yet to fully recover.
“What we have the chance to do with ‘Chicken & Biscuits,’” he continued, “is say, ‘You should be able to identify that person. You should know who that person is.’ And what happens if they surprise you, if there’s something deeper underneath the archetype of that aunt you know well?”
We’re used to hard work, to obstacles, and we’re used to beating the odds.” Thank god we're a resilient people. “We know that we — the Black playwrights this season — are literally pushing the boulder uphill,” Lynn Nottage, the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who will mount “Clyde’s” this season, told Variety before the show. “Broadway is not up and running to its full potential, and that’s a reality we’re facing.
This isn’t Brecht or Shakespeare. “This is comfort food. And I’m owning that. What Broadway misses out on is the people who might enjoy that, Black audiences who can laugh at their aunties on stage.” “Broadway has to rethink what good and quality is,” playwright Douglas Lyons told Variety at the after party.
Attended by guests including Lynn Nottage, Molly Wingwald, Jessie Mueller, Krysta Rodriguez, and Shereen Pimentel, Sunday’s opening night met the occasion of “Chicken & Biscuits” quiet revolution with uproarious joy: A family comedy starring Cleo King, Norm Lewis, and Michael Urie, “Chicken & Biscuits” is part of a post-pandemic movement on Broadway, when the industry’s doors have opened a bit wider to embrace artists of color — or at least populate a season with a record-breaking eight Black playwrights.

Later that year, she also launched her production company TPH Entertainment, which has a first-look deal with Twentieth Century Television.” /> In early 2020, Henson launched her haircare line, TPH by Taraji, with Target.
The book recounts, in part, her education at Howard University and her attempts to make it in Hollywood. Outside of acting, Henson released the memoir "Around the Way Girl" in 2016. In 2018, she launched the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation in honor of her father, with the foundation aiming to offer mental health services and scholarships for mental health education to African American students.
Henson also earned an Emmy nomination in 2011 for best actress in a miniseries or movie for "Taken From Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story." Henson's other well known TV roles include "Person of Interest," "Boston Legal," and "The Division." Henson is a star on both the big and small screen, with her iconic role as fearsome family matriarch Cookie Lyon on the Fox music drama "Empire" earning her two Emmy nominations, a Golden Globe, a three BET Awards.
Johnson in "Hidden Figures." She has also starred in films like "Smokin' Aces," "Proud Mary," and "Think Like a Man" and "Think Like a Man Too." On the film side, Henson is known for her breakout role in the 2005 film "Hustle & Flow." She followed that up with her Oscar nominated performance in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." She would later receive widespread acclaim for playing NASA mathematician Katherine G.
She continues to be repped by M88, attorney Matt Johnson and The Lede Company. Henson has signed with CAA for representation in all areas, Variety has learned exclusively. Taraji P.

"It was a joy. Eliot's poetry collection "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats." Talk about being a pro." He elaborated, saying Swift took the time to dig into the source material. "Cats" is based on T.S. "We sat around the piano, I played her a melody," Lloyd Webber recalled. She's a real pro.
It was so "off-the-scale wrong" that Lloyd Webber, who composed the Tony-winning show, bought a therapy dog to cope with the trauma. Though the cinematic version offered up the rarity of A-list talent like Taylor Swift, Judi Dench, Jennifer Hudson, Jason Derulo and James Corden pretending to be full-sized felines, "Cats" was widely panned and flopped at the box office in spectacular fashion.
"One of the things I was quite intrigued by, she got to the essence of what T.S. "It wasn't just a lyric thrown together at all. Eliot was about," Lloyd Webber said. I did enjoy working with her very, very, very much."
"It was probably the enjoyable experience." "It was one of the few enjoyable experiences [on the film]," Lloyd Webber said.
Lloyd Webber revisited the making of the cinematic disaster at Variety Legit: Return to Broadway presented by City National, an event that brought out stage stars such as Beanie Feldstein and Sharon D. Clarke, and directors like Jerry Zaks ("The Music Man"). There was a singular bright spot in an otherwise catastrophic experience, the 73-year-old composer now admits — and that was writing the song "Beautiful Ghosts" with Swift.
Ah, what could have been.” />
Andrew Lloyd Webber has made no secret of his distain for Hollywood's movie adaptation of his long-running musical "Cats."
It was nominated for best original song at the Golden Globes and best song written for visual media at the Grammys — essentially the film's only awards attention that wasn't bestowed by the Razzies. Swift wrote the lyrics to "Beautiful Ghosts" over music created by Lloyd Webber.
"I wrote off and said I needed him with me at all times because I'm emotionally damaged and I must have this therapy dog," Lloyd Webber previously shared. In a recent Variety cover story, Lloyd Webber revealed he bought a puppy because he was "emotionally damaged." The dog is able to fly with him as an emotional support animal. "The airline wrote back and said, 'Can you prove that you really need him?' And I said 'Yes, just see what Hollywood did to my musical 'Cats.'' Then the approval came back with a note saying, 'No doctor's report required.'"
"With 'Cats,' it was a difficult situation because it was sold years and years ago — and more or less outright — to Steven Spielberg. "It's not my world," he said of moviemaking. I wondered how you'd do something as theatrical as ‘Cats’ with real people." It was going to be made as an animated film. It was very good. Actually, I thought it would have worked. The screenplay took the songs and put them into a storyline.
The "other great consequence" of making the movie version of "Cats," he told the crowd, "is my little Havanese puppy" who, like Lloyd Webber, loves going to the theater.
At the Broadway breakfast, Lloyd Webber assured the audience that "Cats" didn't completely deter him from the idea of adapting any of his other musicals for the big screen. The Jellicle story had unique challenges that wouldn't necessarily plague "Starlight Express" or "Sunset Boulevard." Plus, the film adaptations of "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Phantom of the Opera" and "Evita" were mostly successful.

“Nathan and the cast and crew are crafting a beautiful film about forgiveness and mercy.” “We could not be more proud or overjoyed that 'What Remains' is the first feature film from Sharpened Iron Studios,” Doherty said.
Cress Williams, Kellan Lutz and Anne Heche are starring in "What Remains," a murder mystery that is shooting in Texas.
Grammy-winning composer Mateo Messina (“Juno”, “Superstore”) is providing the score. Other notable cast members include Marcus Gladney Jr (“The Underground Railroad”, “City on a Hill”) and Stelio Sevante (“Infidel, “Running for Grace,” “The Chosen”).
“'What Remains' is very much in a Southern Gothic tradition, and the Panhandle provides that sense of mystery and epic drama, as well as the scope and scale to make this story truly cinematic.” “I’m thrilled to be making this film in the Panhandle,” Scoggins said.
Production is expected to wrap later this fall.” />
The film is being co-financed by Sharpened Iron Studios. Sean Doherty, founder and CEO of Sharpened Iron, is also on board as an executive producer. The indie film is written and directed by Nathan Scoggins, who previously wrote, produced and directed "The Least of These" and "The Perfect Summer." Ralph Winter ("X-Men," "Hocus Pocus") and Korey Pollard ("Chicago Fire") serve as executive producers.
The film centers on a small town pastor (Williams) forced to contend with an act of forgiveness when the convict (Lutz) he forgave for murdering his wife returns to town five years later. At the same time, the town sheriff (Heche) is investigating another murder that may be related.
Williams has appeared in "Black Lightning," "Never Been Kissed" and "Fallen." Heche's credits include "Hung," "Volcano" and "Six Days Seven Nights." Lutz has starred in the "Twilight" franchise, "Immortals" and "The Expendables 3."