Culture Lane

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Culture Lane

Sunday, 31 March 2019 | Pioneer

Culture Lane

‘Script dispute made me quit Bond’

Danny Boyle has confirmed that a dispute over the script was the reason he left the latest James Bond movie. In a reply to a reader question in Empire magazine, Boyle said that the screenplay he had been working on with regular writing partner John Hodge had not found favour with producers, and that he quit the project rather than jettison that script and work with another writer.

“I work in partnership with writers and I am not prepared to break it up … We were working very, very well, but they didn’t want to go down that route with us. So we decided to part company.” He added: “What John Hodge and I were doing, I thought, was really good. It wasn’t finished, but it could have been really good … You have to believe in your process and part of that is the partnership I have with a writer.”

Boyle did not reveal any precise areas of disagreement, saying it would be “unfair” on his replacement, Cary Fukunaga. Fukunaga, director of Beasts of No Nation, was named as the Bond 25 director in September. Rumours of contention included a suggestion that Boyle and Hodge wanted to kill off the Daniel Craig 007, and that Boyle wanted the little known Polish actor Tomasz Kot, star of Cold War, to play the villain.

Boyle’s exit last August played havoc with the film’s production schedule, as producers hired new writers, including Neal Purvis and Robert Wade and Scott Z Burns, to work on the screenplay. As a result, the film’s release has been pushed back to April 2020.

Disney seals $71bn acquisition deal

Disney has closed its $71bn (£54bn) acquisition of Rupert Murdoch’s entertainment business in a deal that unites franchises including Cinderella, The Simpsons, and Star Wars under one corporate roof to create a media behemoth of unprecedented scale. The Walt Disney Company closed its acquisition of 21st Century Fox shortly after midnight New York time on Wednesday.

As part of the deal, Disney will absorb the Fox film and TV studios, the FX networks, National Geographic and the Indian TV giant Star India in a huge boost to its content. It plans to launch its new streaming service Disney Plus later this year as it challenges Netflix for future audience share.

Before the takeover, Disney already boasted a fearsome catalogue of content, including its classic cartoons, Star Wars and many of the Marvel characters.

After purchasing Fox, it will be able to add the likes of X-Men and Deadpool to its portfolio and take on Netflix and Amazon.

The deal also helps Disney further control TV shows and movies from start to finish — from creating the programmes to distributing them though television channels, cinemas, streaming services and other ways people watch entertainment. Disney would get valuable data on customers and their entertainment-viewing habits, which it can then use to sell advertising.

Beyoncé effect fills up galleries

In Paris, it was Beyoncé and Jay-Z; in Washington, it was Barack and Michelle Obama; while, in London, visitors queued to look at Pablo Picasso’s erotic muse or Grayson Perry’s summer picks. Last year the lustre of celebrity, whether garnered from fashion and entertainment or history, seemed to be the best way to attract visitors to museums and galleries.

The Art Newspaper’s annual international survey Art’s Most Popular, to be published later this week, confirms that the public are most curious about names they already recognise. It also reveals that Tate Modern has knocked the British Museum off the top UK spot for the first time in nine years. This success is chiefly down to the appeal of its critically acclaimed exhibition, Picasso 1932: Love, Fame, Tragedy. The same effect was evident at the Louvre, where a decision to display Apeshit, Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s music video, boosted annual visitor numbers by a quarter. At the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington a striking pair of portraits of the Obamas brought in a million more visitors.

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