BritBox U.K.’s “Spitting Image” will return to the airwaves on Sept. 11, with a lineup featuring several new puppets of prominent national figures. Last year, the program was a massive hit for BritBox, the streaming platform co-developed by the BBC and ITV, reaching an audience of more than 4.4 million viewers for the series’ U.S. Election Special and over 200 million global online viewers for the year. In 2020 series creator Roger Law returned to “Spitting Image” as head of the series’ creative team, with Jeff Westbrook (“The Simpsons,” “Futurama”) joining as showrunner. Avalon (“Taskmaster, “Starstruck”) produces. Earlier this year it was also announced that a new local version of “Spitting Image” will be made for Sky Germany, featuring the most internationally relevant bits of the English-language original with original German-language skits added for the local audience.
Composer and theater impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber’s £6 million ($8.2 million) West End production of “Cinderella” will resume Aug. 18, after being shut down a day before it was due to open thanks to COVID-19.The romantic musical comedy featuring an original story from 2021 Oscar winner Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”) and lyrics by Tony and Olivier award winner David Zippel (“City of Angels”), will play at the Gillian Lynne Theatre. Laurence Connor (“Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”) directs with choreography by Joann M. Hunter. The cast includes Carrie Hope Fletcher, Ivano Turco, Rebecca Trehearn and Victoria Hamilton-Barritt.
The Zurich Film Festival will honor Oscar-winning Canadian composer Mychael Danna (“Life of Pi”) this year with its Career Achievement Award. On Sept. 30, Danna will receive the prize during the 9th International Film Music Competition at the Tonhalle Zurich and will head this year’s competition jury. Danna’s impressive body of also work includes the scores from classic films such as “Little Miss Sunshine,” “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and “Moneyball.” Several film in which his music featured have appeared in Zurich festival lineups as well, including “The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus,” “Devil’s Knot” and “After the Wedding.” Most recently, he composed the music for Tom McCarthy’s “Stillwater,” a Cannes premiere earlier this month.
WarnerMedia EMEA has appointed Hannes Heyelmann to head the company’s theatrical production in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, in addition to his current responsibilities as executive VP of programming, EMEA. Heyelmann will report directly to WarnerMedia EMEA and Asia (excluding China) president Priya Dogra, working closely with recently appointed country manager for GAS region Sylvia Rothblum. Heyelmann is stepping in for Peter Schauerte, who announced that he is leaving after two decades with the company.
Virgin Hyperloop has secured its first film partnership in a brand integration deal with three-time Sundance featured director Yi Zhou’s (“Unexpected Hero,” “The Greatness,” “Paradise”) Into the Sun Entertainment for the filmmaker’s upcoming feature “Stars and Scars,” a near-future story set to shoot in Rome this fall. Into the Sun will team with Into the Sun to created site specific designs and a system of pods which will feature in the film. Each pod will hold up to 28 people, traveling collectively like train cars although not physically connected. Into The Sun will host a public exhibition promoting the film’s release in late 2022 that will also showcase the collaboration with Virgin Hyperloop.