STUDY ON FEMALE MOVIE LEADS RELEASED: More movies are featuring strong women, according to a new report from the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film at San Diego State University. But the news isn’t all good. The percentage of films featuring female leads rose to 31%, up 7% year-over-year, but women only played 36% of major characters in the top grossing films, a decrease of 1% from 2017. “2018 may be remembered as the year in which things were not quite as they appeared for female characters,” said Martha Lauzen, the study’s author, in a statement. “While female protagonists rebounded last year, slightly besting the previous high achieved in 2016, the percentages of females as speaking characters and major characters remained relatively stagnant. Protagonists are the characters from whose perspective the story is told and so seeing more females in these roles is tremendously important. However, we are not seeing similar gains in the broader populations of major characters and in all speaking roles.”
PARAMOUNT RELEASES ROCKETMAN FEATURETTE: Paramount has dropped a featurette of Taron Egerton singint the Elton John classic “Tiny Dancer” in upcoming Rocketman. The film will tell the story of John’s years as shy piano prodigy Reginald Dwight up through his transformation into the international superstar we know. Egerton stars, as does Jamie Bell as John’s lyricist and writing partner Bernie Taupin, Richard Madden as Elton’s first manager, John Reid, and Bryce Dallas Howard as Elton’s mother Sheila Farebrother. The full film will be released in late May.
COLIN FARRELL TO STAR IN BBC’S THE NORTH WATER: Colin Farrell is set to star in the BBC’s adaptation of The North Water, Deadline reports. The series will be written and directed by Lean on Pete and 45 Years’ Andrew Haigh, and will follow Henry Draw (Farrell), a harpooner and murderer whose amorality matches the harshness of the world he inhabits.
FRIENDS FROM COLLEGE CANCELED: Netflix has nixed Friends from College, the ensemble comedy from Francesca Delbanco and Nicholas Stoller after two seasons and 16 episodes. Netflix said in a statement, “Friends From College will not return for a third season. We're grateful to creators Nick Stoller and Francesca Delbanco for creating a wise, funny and supremely relatable show. We also want to thank the hard-working crew, and we raise a glass to the amazingly talented cast including Keegan-Michael Key, Fred Savage, Cobie Smulders, Nat Faxon, Annie Parisse, Jae Suh Park and Billy Eichner.” This cancellation comes on the heels of the streamer’s cancelation of Jessica Jones and The Punisher.