Good Morning Hollywood, April 6: Trashing James Franco … Again

Todd Wagner predicts the future, Joe Wright goes into action, and the critics now hate James Franco for a new reason

The Tribeca (Online) Film Festival has launched a Future of Film blog, one of whose contributors is Todd Wagner, who co-owns 2929 Entertainment with Mark Cuban and is a pioneer in day-and-date distribution and VOD service. Wagner tackles the issue of "exhibition and distribution in the digital age," and not surprisingly thinks the studios are right to push the 30-day window that has so angered exhibitors. "I do not view this as a zero-sum game and a horrible threat to the exhibition industry," he insists, before going on to suggest approaches that were obviously not included in the studios' plans: kicking back a piece of ancillary revenues to exhibitors, or changing rental rates for each film depending on how soon that film will be released in other media. But can he sell those ideas to Hollywood? (Future of Film blog)

James FrancoWell, "Your Highness" doesn't look as if it's going to be the rebound that James Franco needed after those reviews for his performance as Oscar host. For instance: Kirk Honeycutt, the Hollywood Reporter: "Nothing here is the least bit funny." Jeff Wells, Hollywood Elsewhere: "so poorly written, so uninvested in genuine stoner humor … and so appallingly unsuccessful that it's something of a challenge to accurately describe it … It's easily one of the worst films I've ever seen in my life." Caryn James, indieWIRE: "It's all pretty much a mess … It semi-sucks." But Drew Taylor at the Playlist kind of likes it: "It's goofy, for sure, and profane, and utterly bats— insane … but it carves out its own bizarro groove." And Franco can find a modicum of solace in the fact that most of the pans don't single him out too much. Then again, he's probably too busy with all that other stuff he does to even notice what people are saying …

The action film "Hanna" is a pretty significant change-of-pace for director Joe Wright, whose previous films ("Atonement" and "Pride & Prejudice" among them) were notably light on gun-toting teenage assassins. Sean Gillane asks how he did it, and Wright says he approached the action sequences the way he did the dance in "Pride & Prejudice" – and while he did reach out to the "Bourne Supremacy" director for advice, he never quite connected. "I did call Paul Greengrass a few times," he says. "I’d always get his answer machine." (The Playlist)

The field of people who get paid to write about the movies is about to get a little smaller. Adrianne Jeffries prints an email that was sent to writers for the AOL-owned Moviefone and Cinematical sites on Tuesday morning, and the news isn’t good for those writers in the wake of the Huffington Post taking over AOL's editorial side. "Many of you will be receiving an email informing you that your services as a freelancer will no longer be required," the email read. "You will be invited to contribute as part of our non-paid blogger system." Wrote former Cinematical writer Eric Snider, who posted the email on Twitter, "I bet this is all just a language barrier issue. Ariana Huffington thinks 'freelancers' are people who write for free." (Betabeat)