R.I.P. Lisa Marie Presley; Amanda Seyfriend is making a Thelma & Louise musical; an aspiring Teela goes all-in to get a role in the new Masters of the Universe; and we go all in on the captivating Netflix doc The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker. All in today’s Movie News Rundown.
Also: Happy Friday the 13th. Don’t go camping tonight.
Out Today: The theatrical run begins today for Jethica, a SXSW sensation that director Pete Ohs shot in the New Mexico desert for under $10,000, using a location he found on Airbnb for $100 a night and costumes hand-selected by the cast in thrift shops. Here’s how he did it.
Hatchet Job: Have you watched Netflix’s new No. 1 true-crime doc The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker? It looks at how social media contributed to the bizarre rise of a violent but wildly charismatic folk-hero drifter — and his horrific downfall. It’s also the rare true crime story that is exactly the right length — a tight 87 minutes. That means it left out a few things, and we’re happy to help. Here’s why Kai the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker had a hatchet, here’s some background on the fellow he hatcheted, and here are seven more things you may not know after watching the film.
Teela: Emily Ashby and Jonathan Martin are a filmmaking couple who share an abiding love of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. When they learned of the upcoming Masters of the Universe feature film, they decided to make perhaps the most elaborate self-tape audition ever, in which Emily, as Teela, takes out bad guys with she-woman acumen and flair, shooting her shot at the role of Teela. Here’s the backstory of “Teela and the Masters of the Universe,” which you can watch below.
Amanda Seyfried: After a mysterious announcement that she wasn’t at the Golden Globes because she was “deep in the process of creating a new musical,” the entertainment press began a race for details — and Variety won. It reports that Seyfried is involved in workshopping a Thelma & Louise musical, and that Evan Rachel Wood has also joined the project. Variety adds that the musical has been in the works since 2021, with Thelma & Louise screenwriter Callie Khouri, attached. Neko Case is handling the score and Haley Feiffer (“Dear Edward”) is writing the book.
Golda Meir: A new Golda Meir biopic starring Helen Mirren as the Israeli prime minister will premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival next month, Agence France Presse reports. Mirren’s casting raised eyebrows because she isn’t Jewish. Mirren has said that she asked the film’s Israeli director, Guy Nattiv, to carefully consider whether she was right for the part, and he decided that she was.
Dorian Awards: Galeca, the Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, has released its 14th Dorian Film Awards Nominations. Film of the Year nominations went to Aftersun, The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fablemans and Tár, and LGBTQ Film of the Year nominations went to Benediction, Bros, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Inspection and Tár. Director of the Year nominees include Todd Field for Tár, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert for Everything Everywhere All at Once, Martin McDonagh for The Banshees of Inisherin, Sarah Polley for Women Talking and Charlotte Wells for Aftersun. Deadline has the full list of nominees.
Wandering Cinema: Neal Dhand, a filmmaker and assistant professor at Temple University, has announced the location of his latest Wandering Cinema retreat, in which filmmakers gather to look for inspiration and recharge. This year’s event will be held in Segovia, Spain, north of Madrid, and will feature classes, workshops, having fun with new gear, eating, drinking, swimming, and watching films. That doesn’t sound so bad. You can learn more here.
R.I.P. Lisa Marie Presley: The singer and philanthropist lived a storied and difficult life, which tragically ended yesterday, just days after she feted the film Elvis at The Golden Globes. Besides being the only daughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley, she was the mother of Riley Keough and the former wife of music producer Danny Keough, Michael Jackson, Nicholas Cage, and music producer Michael Lockwood. Though no cause of death was released, she was taken to a hospital after paramedics came to her home to help a woman who had suffered a cardiac arrest. “It is with a heavy heart that I must share the devastating news that my beautiful daughter Lisa Marie has left us,” Priscilla Presley said in a statement. “She was the most passionate, strong and loving woman I have ever known.” Said Cage in a statement: “Lisa had the greatest laugh of anyone I ever met. She lit up every room, and I am heartbroken.” He also said he found “some solace believing she is reunited with her son Benjamin,” who died in in 2020.
Main image: Thelma & Louise stars Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis.