Olivia Wilde ‘worked hard’ to become director of Kerri Strug biopic

Olivia Wilde “worked hard” to be made director of an upcoming biopic about gymnast Kerri Strug. The actress, who made her directorial debut with 2019 coming-of-age comedy Booksmart, was revealed to be the director of sports drama Perfect by editors at…

Olivia Wilde “worked hard” to be made director of an upcoming biopic about gymnast Kerri Strug.

The actress, who made her directorial debut with 2019 coming-of-age comedy Booksmart, was revealed to be the director of sports drama Perfect by editors at Deadline last week.

Perfect will tell the story of Strug, who won huge praise from fans at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia by completing a final, gold medal-winning vault in the team competition on a badly injured ankle that later required treatment for ligament damage. She had to be carried to the podium to accept her gold medal with her teammates before heading to hospital.

Opening up about her new film on Twitter, Wilde revealed to her followers that she is grateful to have the opportunity to tell the “unreal” story.

“Best script I’ve ever read. I worked hard to get this gig. This story is unreal,” she tweeted, adding in a mindblown emoji. “I’m beyond grateful for the opportunity to tell it my way.”

The script for the film, which Wilde will also produce, will be penned by Borg/McEnroe writer Ronnie Sandahl, who is adapting the book Landing on My Feet: A Diary of Dreams by Strug and John P. Lopez.

In a statement to Deadline, Wilde described Perfect as an “epic sports movie”.

“It is an excruciatingly beautiful underdog story that will thrust the audience into the heart of Kerri Strug with unblinking, raw honesty,” the 35-year-old said. “It is an epic sports movie that will deliver on all the wish-fulfilment that makes those films so thrilling to watch. At the same time, it is unlike any sports movie you have seen before.”

Wilde recently won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature for Booksmart. She is also set to helm the thriller Don’t Worry, Darling, which will centre on an unhappy 1950s housewife.

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Olivia Wilde to direct biopic about gymnast Kerri Strug

Olivia Wilde is to direct a biopic about heroic American gymnast Kerri Strug.Strug won huge praise from fans at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia by completing a final, gold medal-winning vault in the team competition on a badly injured ankle that …

Olivia Wilde is to direct a biopic about heroic American gymnast Kerri Strug.

Strug won huge praise from fans at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia by completing a final, gold medal-winning vault in the team competition on a badly injured ankle that later required treatment for ligament damage.

Iconic photographs showed Strug being carried to the podium to accept her gold medal with her teammates before heading to hospital.

Her achievement made her an American hero – she was visited by U.S. President Bill Clinton and made the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Speaking about the film, titled Perfect, Wilde told Deadline she is delighted to bring a true underdog story to the silver screen.

“This is a film about what real power looks like,” she said. “It is an excruciatingly beautiful underdog story that will thrust the audience into the heart of Kerri Strug with unblinking, raw honesty.

“It is an epic sports movie that will deliver on all the wish-fulfilment that makes those films so thrilling to watch. At the same time, it is unlike any sports movie you have seen before.”

The script for the film, which Wilde will also produce, will be penned by Borg/McEnroe writer Ronnie Sandahl, who is adapting the book Landing on My Feet: A Diary of Dreams by Strug and John P. Lopez.

Wilde, 35, made her directorial debut with 2019 coming-of-age comedy Booksmart, for which she won an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature. She is also set to helm the thriller Don’t Worry, Darling, which will centre on an unhappy 1950s housewife.

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Olivia Wilde urges Hollywood bosses to focus on ideas over resumes

Olivia Wilde has urged Hollywood executives to focus on the quality of a candidate’s ideas rather than the length of their resume.The actress/director, who made her directorial debut with 2019’s Booksmart, spoke to Katie Couric at the 2020 MAKERS Confe…

Olivia Wilde has urged Hollywood executives to focus on the quality of a candidate’s ideas rather than the length of their resume.

The actress/director, who made her directorial debut with 2019’s Booksmart, spoke to Katie Couric at the 2020 MAKERS Conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday, where she explained her idea to get more women working behind the scenes in the film industry.

“In order to change those numbers, we have to change how people are hired,” the 35-year-old said. “Anyone in a position of power – who is basing their decisions on resumes – what they will end up doing is perpetuating the system. Because when women haven’t been given as many opportunities to take on leadership roles as men, their resumes are not as long.”

Olivia then explained how she was now able to implement her idea when hiring crew members for her films.

“I’m now in a position of hiring, say production designers, I can look at a resume of a man who has done tonnes of movies and won awards and he seems like a more valuable option than the woman, who might be brilliant and have a great take on the concept, but her resume looks so thin next to the guy,” she shared, adding that if “we continue to do that, we will perpetuate the system”.

The issue of representation among female directors has been a hot topic in Hollywood in recent weeks, after the Oscars once again announced an all-male shortlist in its directing category, despite figures showing an increase in box office movies helmed by women.

Natalie Portman notably wore a cape embroidered with the names of all the female directors who missed out on a nomination to the Academy Awards on Sunday.

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Kathy Bates defends Richard Jewell movie amid controversy

Kathy Bates is worried that the controversy over Richard Jewell has “clouded” the movie.The film, directed by Clint Eastwood, documents the real-life story of security guard Jewell, who was wrongly accused of planting a bomb at the 1996 Summer Olympics…

Kathy Bates is worried that the controversy over Richard Jewell has “clouded” the movie.

The film, directed by Clint Eastwood, documents the real-life story of security guard Jewell, who was wrongly accused of planting a bomb at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.

Shortly after it was released in the U.S. in December, controversy erupted over the depiction of journalist Kathy Scruggs, played by Olivia Wilde, and her colleagues at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper.

Lawyers for the publication even threatened legal action over the suggestion that Scruggs slept with an FBI agent to get information on the case, and Wilde stated on Twitter that she didn’t believe the journalist traded sex for tip-offs.

Bates, who has landed a Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Jewell’s mother Bobi in the movie, discussed the furore in a new interview with Deadline and shared her sadness that the controversy has marred the release of a film trying to clear the security guard’s name.

“(It) really clouded, I felt, the film. I worried that it would affect how people would feel toward the film,” she explained. “As an actor, all I can say is I just really hope that it doesn’t turn people off from going to see it.”

Jewell died in 2007 at the age of 44, and Bates revealed his mother Bobi is sad that her son didn’t get to see the movie.

“She loves the film,” the 71-year-old shared. “And I have this feeling that she has been brought some relief. She just wishes that it could have happened when Richard was alive.”

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Jonah Hill confirms collaboration with Adidas

Jonah Hill has confirmed he’s collaborating with Adidas.The Wolf of Wall Street actor officially announced on Tuesday via Instagram that he has teamed up with executives at the German sportswear giant for an unspecified project. “This is the official…

Jonah Hill has confirmed he’s collaborating with Adidas.

The Wolf of Wall Street actor officially announced on Tuesday via Instagram that he has teamed up with executives at the German sportswear giant for an unspecified project.

“This is the official announcement that I’m partnering with adidas,” he wrote in the caption besides a video showing the Adidas logo besides his name handwritten in capital letters. “Thank you adidas for trusting me and believing in my ideas and pushing them to become even better. This is a dream for me to start the journey of creating with a team I respect and love. Thrilled to show you all what we’ve been working on. More coming very soon. @adidasoriginals.”

In the comments, his celebrity friends showed their support for the partnership, with Naomi Campbell posting a series of clapping and heart emojis, Olivia Wilde writing, “Coooool” with a clapping emoji, and his mother Sharon Feldstein, who called herself a “proud mama”.

The 36-year-old didn’t reveal any further details about the collaboration, which he had teased a year ago on the Failing Upwards podcast.

However, it was rumoured on social media earlier this month that they were releasing two colourways of the Samba shoe and a new iteration of the Superstar shoe. These details haven’t been confirmed.

Jonah has been a longtime fan of the Adidas brand and helped promote their updated Lxcon sneakers on his Instagram account in October 2018 before their official release.

The star joins the likes of Kanye West and Beyonce, who have developed their Yeezy and Ivy Park collections with the company.

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Olivia Wilde wears low-rise jeans so her ‘gut can expand’

Olivia Wilde prefers to wear low-rise jeans as they allow room for her “gut to expand”.The actress/director has been tapped to front the February 2020 issue of U.S. InStyle magazine, and in an accompanying photoshoot, she models a variety of suits and …

Olivia Wilde prefers to wear low-rise jeans as they allow room for her “gut to expand”.

The actress/director has been tapped to front the February 2020 issue of U.S. InStyle magazine, and in an accompanying photoshoot, she models a variety of suits and dresses inspired by Hollywood’s Golden Age.

However, in an interview held with her Booksmart star Beanie Feldstein for the publication, Olivia insisted that she is at her “most comfortable” in classic denim jeans.

“I’m still pretending to be a teenager from the early 2000s,” she said. “My most comfortable state is when I’m wearing low-rise jeans, sneakers, and a sweatshirt. In that, I am unstoppable. And if I’m in a high-waist jean, I can’t let my gut expand.”

When it comes to dressing for the red carpet, Olivia isn’t afraid to opt for a long sequin gown or chic floral number, and she credits her longtime stylist Karla Welch with helping her put together looks that make her feel confident in the spotlight.

“(Karla) knows I love a strong shoulder and anything that makes me feel powerful. That doesn’t mean I don’t love a flowy frock here and there, but you learn what makes you feel like your best self,” the 35-year-old shared.

In addition, Beanie noted that Olivia looked great in a dramatic white Miu Miu dress and Giuseppe Zanotti heels at the 2019 Gotham Awards in December. But the mother-of-two confessed that she actually had a difficult time manoeuvring her dress during her entrance.

“I was laughing because I’m not good at altering the way I move in the name of fashion. Everyone was like, ‘Olivia, you can’t stomp around like Seabiscuit,'” she laughed.

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Female directors behind record-breaking number of movies in 2019

Filmmakers including Greta Gerwig, Jennifer Lee, and Anna Boden helped propel female-directed movies to record-breaking levels in 2019.Out of the 100 highest-grossing movies of the year, 10.6 per cent of them were directed by female filmmakers, a jump …

Filmmakers including Greta Gerwig, Jennifer Lee, and Anna Boden helped propel female-directed movies to record-breaking levels in 2019.

Out of the 100 highest-grossing movies of the year, 10.6 per cent of them were directed by female filmmakers, a jump from just 4.5 per cent in 2018, according to the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, reported Variety.

Movies including Gerwig’s Little Women, Lorene Scafaria’s Hustlers, animated sequel Frozen 2, which was co-directed by Lee and Chris Buck, and Captain Marvel, which was helmed by Boden and Ryan Fleck, all scored box office hits.

Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart, Melina Matsoukas’s Queen & Slim and Lulu Wang’s The Farewell were also among 2019’s most popular female-directed flicks.

“It illuminates where we’re seeing traction and where there’s room for improvement,” said one of the study’s authors, Stacy L. Smith. “Universal under (studio chief) Donna Langley should be lauded for ensuring that women get opportunities.”

Smith also predicted that 2020 will be even better, with female directors being handed the reins of big superhero movies such as Birds of Prey, Eternals, Black Widow, and Wonder Woman 1984 as well as the Disney live-action remake of Mulan.

“2020 will be an extraordinary year for female directors,” she added. “That’s important, because we’re seeing women being given opportunities to direct action movies and not just smaller, independent films… Progress will come when females are given the opportunity to carry movies behind the camera across genres and budget ranges.”

The study comes weeks after the 2020 Golden Globe nominees were announced, sparking outrage that the Best Director category featured all-male candidates once again.

The prize, which will be handed out on Sunday, will be between Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s Quentin Tarantino, 1917’s Sam Mendes, Joker’s Todd Phillips, Bong Joon-Ho for Parasite, and Martin Scorsese for The Irishman.

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Olivia Wilde stunned by bidding war over upcoming thriller

Olivia Wilde was left stunned when studio executives entered into a bidding war over her next project, Don’t Worry, Darling.The actress/filmmaker made her directorial debut with teen coming-of-age comedy Booksmart earlier this year, with the critically…

Olivia Wilde was left stunned when studio executives entered into a bidding war over her next project, Don’t Worry, Darling.

The actress/filmmaker made her directorial debut with teen coming-of-age comedy Booksmart earlier this year, with the critically acclaimed movie featuring Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein and grossing over $24 million (£18 million) at the worldwide box office.

In August, Wilde confirmed she had signed on to direct and produce Don’t Worry, Darling, which will centre on an unhappy 1950s housewife, and was amazed to discover that her upcoming feature was generating a huge deal of interest from studio bosses.

“It was extraordinary and unexpected,” she told Deadline. “The groundswell of support and enthusiasm was extraordinary. I didn’t expect it. I didn’t know what to expect. I just hoped I’d be able to direct again, and this was even before the release.”

The star went on to explain that she had hoped Booksmart would do well enough to allow her to have another shot at directing.

“You know, just finishing the film, I thought, ‘I want to do well enough that I get to do this again’, and then, when I did feel an incredible amount of curiosity about what I wanted to do next, and a lot of offers coming my way, I was encouraged,” the 35-year-old shared.

And Wilde hopes her success is symbolic of a large shift in Hollywood for women.

“There is, of course, a pattern in Hollywood of particularly women not being given an opportunity to make their second feature, if their first doesn’t score at the box office,” she added. “So many female directors had one chance, and they aren’t given another chance as rapidly as the men are.”

Don’t Worry, Darling is currently in development. No casting details have been announced.

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Clint Eastwood suffers his worst opening in 40 years with Richard Jewell

Clint Eastwood has suffered one of the worst box office openings in his career with his new movie Richard Jewell.The drama, which follows the story of the security guard who was wrongly suspected of planting a bomb at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, rake…

Clint Eastwood has suffered one of the worst box office openings in his career with his new movie Richard Jewell.

The drama, which follows the story of the security guard who was wrongly suspected of planting a bomb at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, raked in a disappointing $5 million (£3.7 million) from 2,502 cinemas across the U.S.

The drama marks the second-worst domestic opening for the 89-year-old filmmaker following Billy Bronco, which grossed just $3.7 million (£2.7 million) back in 1980, according to Variety.

Eastwood’s strongest opening weekends came from his other biographical dramas, such as 2014’s American Sniper, which starred Bradley Cooper and raked in $89 million ($66.7 million), followed by Sully, which opened with $35 million (£26.2 million) in 2016.

Richard Jewell, which had a budget of $45 million (£33.7 million), is currently embroiled in controversy after studio executives at Warner Bros. were threatened with a defamation lawsuit by officials at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution over the film’s depiction of its journalists, particularly Kathy Scruggs, who seemingly offers to trade sex with Jon Hamm’s FBI agent for information about the case.

Olivia Wilde, who portrays Scruggs, recently waded into the row by releasing a statement on Twitter in which she told her followers that she had “no say” in how the filmmakers portrayed her character.

“I cannot speak for the creative decisions made by the filmmakers, as I did not have a say in how the film was ultimately crafted, but it’s important to me that I share my personal take on the matter,” she wrote. “Nothing in my research suggested she did so, and it was never my intention to suggest she had.”

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Olivia Wilde clarifies intention behind portrayal of controversial Richard Jewell character

Richard Jewell star Olivia Wilde has insisted it wasn’t her intention to suggest her journalist character traded sex for tips in the movie.Clint Eastwood’s new film tells the story of Richard Jewell, a security guard who discovered a bomb and ushered p…

Richard Jewell star Olivia Wilde has insisted it wasn’t her intention to suggest her journalist character traded sex for tips in the movie.

Clint Eastwood’s new film tells the story of Richard Jewell, a security guard who discovered a bomb and ushered people to safety at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. After initially being hailed as a hero, he became one of the most persecuted people in America after a media report, written by Wilde’s character Kathy Scruggs, suggested he may have planted the explosive in the first place.

One scene, in which Scruggs appears to trade sex with an FBI agent, played by Jon Hamm, in order to get her story, has sparked controversy, with bosses of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where Scruggs worked, threatening studio Warner Bros. with a defamation lawsuit over the depiction of their journalists.

On Thursday night, Wilde took to Twitter to praise Scruggs and clarify her intention behind the character.

“Contrary to a swath of recent headlines, I do not believe that Kathy ‘traded sex for tips’. Nothing in my research suggested she did so, and it was never my intention to suggest she had. That would be an appalling and misogynistic dismissal of the difficult work she did,” she wrote. “The perspective of the fictional dramatisation of the story, as I understood it, was that Kathy, and the FBI agent who leaked false information to her, were in a pre-existing romantic relationship, not a transactional exchange of sex for information.”

Wilde, who made her directorial debut with Booksmart earlier this year, admitted that she could not control “the voice and message of the film” as an actor and that her opinions about Scruggs might differ from the filmmakers.

“I cannot speak for the creative decisions made by the filmmakers, as I did not have a say in how the film was ultimately crafted, but it’s important to me that I share my personal take on the matter,” the 35-year-old added.

Richard Jewell, released on Friday, will feature a disclaimer at the end, which reads: “The film is based on actual historical events. Dialogue and certain events and characters contained in the film were created for the purposes of dramatisation.”

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