Saturday, June 15, 2024

MGM, Buoyed By Sale to Amazon, Will Release 2 Major Films on Same Day: Aretha Biopic and New Sean Penn “Flag Day”


The Amazon is flowing, or rather the money, it would seem.

MGM, long suffering from a lack of cash, seems suddenly flush and giddy. They just announced that they bought Sean Penn’s film “Flag Day” and will release it on August 13th.

That’s the same day they have scheduled for Jennifer Hudson playing Aretha Franklin in the biopic, “Respect.”

That’s two big releases on the same day after a long time of nothing– and also waiting to release the James Bond movie “No Time to Die” until November after a year or more of postponements. That’s very courageous!

“Flag Day” will first premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in early July. As Amazon now owns MGM, that’s the second Cannes film for the new company, and the second one with a quick opening in the US. Amazon has set August 6th for a screening of Leos Carax’s “Annette” at Lincoln Center’s Film Society. I like this! No waiting!

“Flag Day” stars Penn with his daughter, Dylan Penn, and even has a role for her brother, Hopper Penn. It’s a family affair. Josh Brolin is also featured.

Superstar screenwriters Jez Butterworth and John-Henry Butterworth have adapted the film from Jennifer Vogel’s memoir, “Flim-Flam Man: The True Story of My Father’s Counterfeit Life.”  Dylan Penn plays Vogel across two decades as she comes of age while navigating a fraught relationship with her beloved, career criminal father John Vogel, played by Sean Penn.



Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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