Is This the End of Harvey Weinstein’s Career? – Vanity Fair
It’s Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples Day, or as it’s known in Los Angeles County, 30 percent less traffic day.
Hello from L.A., where we’re exorcising our Harvey Weinstein demons, getting hyped about Thor: Ragnarok, and picking up New York Comic Con scoop.
Well, a sexual harassment scandal may not prevent you from getting elected president, but it will kill your chances of making a new Meryl Streep movie. The Weinstein Co. board officially fired Harvey Weinstein on Sunday, citing in a statement, “new information about misconduct . . . that has emerged in the past few days.” Since The New York Times reported last week that Weinstein has reached at least eight settlements with women after being confronted with allegations of sexual harassment, much of the off-the-record reaction in Hollywood has been of the “I am shocked—shocked—to find that gambling is going on in here!” variety. But it appears Streep, who won an Oscar for her 2011 Weinstein Co. film The Iron Lady, really was stunned by the news. In a statement the actress issued to the Huffington Post on Monday, Streep described herself as “appalled.” “Not everybody knew,” Streep said. “Harvey supported the work fiercely, was exasperating but respectful with me in our working relationship, and with many others with whom he worked professionally. I didn’t know about these other offenses.”
As V.F.’s Yohana Desta notes, other actors have chimed in to support the women in the Times story, including Patricia Arquette, Mark Ruffalo, and Jessica Chastain. Weinstein, who acknowledged some of his past behavior in a statement to the Times, has nevertheless said he will pursue a $50 million lawsuit against the newspaper. Meanwhile, Harvey’s brother, Bob Weinstein, and the company’s president, David Glasser, are left to steer the remaining film and TV projects in the Weinstein Co. pipeline, including the Benedict Cumberbatch/Michael Shannon drama The Current War, due in theaters November 24 and the Lifetime show Project Runway, currently in the middle of its 16th season.
DEAD MEN CROSSING
V.F.’s Laura Bradley writes:
Get ready, Walking Dead fans, for something totally different. Over the weekend, Robert Kirkman revealed to a roomful of screaming fans at New York Comic Con that The Walking Dead and its prequel, Fear the Walking Dead, are doing a crossover. “There are two Walking Dead shows,” the creator said Saturday night. “I’m not going to name them. But there are two. There’s one character that is going to go from one show that I will not name, and appear in the other show, which I will not name.” The most likely character to bridge the two shows right now seems to be Fear’s Madison Clark (Kim Dickens), who revealed her Alabama roots earlier in the series. (If you recall, Alabama is where The Walking Dead’s story began.) Still, the main question here is the how. As Kirkman noted, there’s a host of ways the crossover could happen: “Are we going to see an interesting backstory of the Walking Dead character showing up in Fear the Walking Dead?” he taunted Saturday night. “Or are we going to see a Fear the Walking Dead character show up in The Walking Dead, and see a future version of a character? What could happen? Is it going to be something completely different than that?”
V.F.’s Hillary Busis writes:
The first time Cary Elwes and Mandy Patinkin performed their death-defying Princess Bride sword fight for director Rob Reiner, they were met with a reaction that was a little less enthusiastic than they had hoped it would be: “That’s it?” Reiner wasn’t criticizing their moves, which had been honed over the course of several months; as he, Elwes, and Patinkin explain to V.F. contributor Michele Wojciechowski in this delightful history of the scene, the actors had actually gotten too good at fighting. As a result, their big bout was over much too quickly. How did Inigo Montoya and the Man in Black remedy that problem? You’ll find out in the feature, which we’re running 30 years after The Princess Bride opened nationwide—and shortly thereafter went down in swashbuckling history.
ON THE CARPET
V.F.’s Katey Rich writes:
A Barnard graduate who has starred in some of the most quintessential New York movies of the new century, Greta Gerwig received a local’s welcome at the New York Film Festival on Sunday night, where Lady Bird continued its streak of film-festival raves. On the red carpet before the premiere, V.F.’s Olivia Aylmer spoke to Gerwig about what inspired her to tell the semi-autobiographical story about a high-school senior (Saoirse Ronan) and her complicated relationships with, well, everyone around her. “I think I’m interested in the moment when who you think you are begins to erode,” Gerwig said. “It’s about the vividness of a world that’s about to end. Your last year of high school is so vivid and so extreme, and you feel the feelings, but at the same time, you know it’s about to completely end.”
THOR WILL ROCK YOU
V.F.’s Yohana Desta writes:
According to the lucky folks who got to check out an early screening of Thor: Ragnarok this weekend, it appears Marvel has yet another hit on its billion-dollar hands. The latest M.C.U. installment, directed by the ever-so-delightful Taika Waititi—master of pineapple rompers—is apparently a whirlwind of cheeky fun, packed with jokes, perfectly selected music, and deliriously good performances by Chris Hemsworth, Cate Blanchett, and Mark Ruffalo. Uproxx put together a roundup of early remarks from critics and film fans, who apparently walked away from the screening all giddy and light. “Thor Ragnarok is one of the funniest Marvel movies thus far,” Peter Sciretta tweeted, an opinion that was echoed by many. Tessa Thompson, a newcomer to the franchise, also earned hefty praise for her performance as Valkyrie, while Jeff Goldblum earned praise for “Jeff Goldblum-ing” all over the place, as People writer Kara Warner so deftly put it. Doesn’t that sound dreamy? The rest of us mortals can catch Thor: Ragnarok here on Earth on November 3.
V.F.’s Hillary Busis writes:
The good news for Blade Runner 2049 fans: the film opened at No. 1 during its first weekend at the box office, earning an estimated $32.75 million, according to Box Office Mojo. The bad news? That take is much lower than the $50 million Warner Bros. was anticipating in week one. The film earned strong reviews and a very solid A- Cinemascore—so why was its take so low? Perhaps it was the movie’s nearly three-hour run time, or maybe it’s just that the original Blade Runner was hardly a box-office hit either; the first film earned just over $27 million in theaters when it was released in 1982. (A pair of re-releases helped push its total lifetime gross to $32 million.) Either way, strong word of mouth may be able to boost its performance in the long run—though it will have to be very strong in order to help the film recoup its reported $150 million-plus budget.
That’s the news for this sunny Monday in L.A. What are you seeing out there? Send tips, comments, and Rodents of Unusual Size to Rebecca_Keegan@condenast.com. Follow me on Twitter @thatrebecca.