×

Sony Meeting: Quentin Tarantino Teases ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,’ Norman Lear Honored

Quentin Tarantino showed a sneak peek of “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and television pioneer Norman Lear was honored with a new building that will be named after the “All in the Family” creator during a two-hour all hands meeting on Tuesday.

Chris Miller, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” producer, was on hand to celebrate the five-year mega-deal he and his partner Phil Lord just signed to move their deal from 20th Century Fox TV to Sony Pictures TV. The annual meeting unfolded in one of the studio’s sound stages.

Motion Picture Group Chair Tom Rothman, brandishing the best animation Oscar that “Into the Spider-Verse” picked up at this year’s ceremony, took the podium to talk employees through a slate that includes “Spider-Man: Far From Home” and “Men in Black International.” He then turned the podium over to Tarantino who showed five minutes from “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” an ensemble look at Los Angeles in the 1960s that stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, and Brad Pitt. The footage highlighted each of the actors, as well as Al Pacino, who plays DiCaprio’s character’s agent. The film is expected to be a last-minute entry into this year’s Cannes Film Festival, but Tarantino was mum about any plans to bring the film to the South of France. Sony’s film studio has rebounded from several years at the bottom of the heap. The company’s recent hits include “Venom” and “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” and the 2019 slate looks promising, with box office analysts predicting that the Spider-Man sequel and a Jumanji follow-up will perform well with audiences.

Television Chairman Mike Hopkins also took Sony staffers through the company’s upcoming slate, teasing footage from the upcoming season of “The Crown,” with Oscar-winner Olivia Coleman taking over the role of Queen Elizabeth from Claire Foy, and the Jessica Alba and Gabrielle Union cop show “LA’s Finest.”

SPE Chair and CEO Tony Vinciquerra closed the meeting by announcing one of the main television buildings on the lot will be renamed as a tribute to Lear, the programming giant who tackled hot-button social issues with humor in the likes of “The Jeffersons,” “Good Times,” and “Maude.”

“Norman and the shows he created defined what great television can be,” Vinciquerra said. “And their impact and influence can be felt in just about every situation comedy or drama that has aired since then.”

Norman Lear
CREDIT: Michael Lewis for Variety

Lear appeared on stage, entering to “Movin’ on Up,” the up-tempo theme song from “The Jeffersons,” earning an enthusiastic round of applause.

“When you honor me with this, you honor an awful lot of other people as well,” he said.

Lear, who turns 97 later this year, is in the midst of a two-year first-look deal with Sony Pictures TV. As part of the deal with Lear’s Act III Prods., Sony has the option to remake some of Lear’s legendary comedies, including “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” “Good Times,” “Maude” and “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman.”

Sony is also in the midst of trying to find a new home for Lear’s “One Day at a Time” remake, which he executive produces with Gloria Calderon Kellet and Mike Royce. The show has been critically acclaimed, but Netflix opted not to renew the sitcom after three seasons. Justina Machado, Rita Moreno, Isabella Gomez, Marcel Ruiz, Todd Grinnell and Stephen Tobolowsky star in the series, which has been lauded for its mix of humor, representation, and focus on important issues.

Lear has won four Emmy Awards and two Peabody Awards, and has also been busy over the years as an activist, having founded People For the American Way.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Finding Farideh

    Oscars: Iran Picks Doc 'Finding Farideh' As International Feature Film Contender

    “Finding Farideh,” a feature-length documentary about an Iranian girl adopted at infancy by a Dutch couple who 40 years later travels to Iran in search of her biological parents, is Iran’s candidate for the recently renamed International Feature Film Oscar. Co-directed by young Tehran-based duo Azadeh Mousavi and Kourosh Ataee, the doc bridges East and West. [...]

  • Dogs Don’t Wear Pants

    Buyers Catch Valkeapaa's ‘Dogs Don’t Wear Pants’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Rolling off its Cannes Directors’ Fortnight world bow, J.-P. Valkeapää’s BDSM movie “Dogs Don’t Wear Pants” has been sold by The Yellow Affair to new U.K. distributor Anti-Worlds for the U.K. and Ireland, as well as to The Klockworx Co for Japan, Ama Films for Greece, HHG for Russia/CIS, Pilot Film for the Czech Republic [...]

  • 'Kix,' 'Frem' Win Docu Talent Awards

    'Kix,' 'Frem' Win Docu Talent Awards at Sarajevo Film Festival

    Hungary’s “Kix” and Czech Republic’s “Frem” won the Docu Talent Awards, chosen from a field of 10 documentary features from Central and Eastern Europe, at the Sarajevo Film Festival on Sunday. “Kix,” directed by David Mikulan and Balint Revesz, is the story of Sanyi, a troubled youth, as he grows from eight to 18, morphing [...]

  • The Garden

    Bragason Brings ‘Woman at War’s’ Geirharosdottir to ‘The Garden’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    Acclaimed actress Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir, best known for “Woman at War,” is set to star in writer/director Ragnar Bragason’s dark comedy “The Garden.” Currently in post-production and to be pitched at Haugesund’s New Nordic Films over Aug. 20-23, “The Garden” is Bragason’s sixth feature and his first one since the 2013 Toronto entry “Metalhead.” “I did [...]

  • Costa Gavras

    Costa-Gavras to Receive San Sebastian Career Achievement Donostia Award

    Costa-Gavras, the Greek-born France-based director of some of the most famed movies of political cinema, from 1969’s “Z” to 1981’s “Missing,” will receive a career achievement Donostia Award at this September’s 67th San Sebastian Film Festival. The filmmaker will collect his prize on Sept. 21 at a ceremony held at San Sebastian’s Victoria Eugenia, where [...]

  • Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage), Leonard (Bill

    China Box Office: New Animations No Match For 'Nezha' Domination

    Chinese animation “Nezha” continued its run as China’s biggest hit of the summer, maintaining its top spot at the box office even 25 days into its run with a weekend gross of $41.2 million. The tally made it this weekend’s fourth highest grossing film worldwide. Meanwhile, two other new animated titles performed unremarkably. The flop of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content