Riz Ahmed's Big Return 👀

His new show has more hooks than a coat rack

🎬 Welcome to The Reelarc Rundown 🎬

🔸 Riz Ahmed takes control (on and offscreen this time)
🔸 Breaking down who’s who in the new hit thriller Presumed Innocent
🔸 What finally gave Mr. & Mrs. Smith’s Maya Erskine freedom in the audition room

All that and more on this week’s Rundown ⤵️

Industry News

Riz’ Return

Riz Ahmed is finally returning to television- his first regular small screen role since he won an 2017 Emmy for his work on HBO’s The Night Of. This time he’ll be in control on and offscreen- Prime ordered the comedy series both created by and starring Ahmed. The show revolves around a struggling actor “on the cusp of landing a breakthrough role when he finds himself thrust into a full-blown existential crisis and trippy conspiracy thriller all at the same time.” There are definitely enough hooks in that premise to snag us.

Upon news breaking of the deal, Ahmed stated, “I’ve wanted to tell this story for a long time. It’s personal, bold and a lot of fun. It feels so good to be writing and creating it now with this incredible team.”

Trailer Roundup

Update your calendars. Here are the biggest trailers that dropped this week-

The Struggle of Toning It Down

Maya Erskine had to pivot intensely from filming her breakout role on PEN15 (where she played an agonized junior higher as a 30 something) to her recent work on the Prime series Mr. & Mrs. Smith. She said to Backstage, “I didn’t realize how much I had to keep inside. There was so much in this character that she couldn’t reveal. I’m such a naturally expressive person.” This can be a common struggle for many actors. Luckily, Maya nailed it.

We also loved her advice to her younger self-
“When auditioning, you don’t really know what people are looking for. Sometimes you think, oh, they want to see this thing, or they want this. The biggest freedom and the thing that actually worked best for me was when I was like, I’m going to do it how I would want to play this. If this were my project and I was writing it and creating it, how would I play it? It took me a long time to get there because I would always try to be what I thought they needed me to be, which never was being authentic.”

Box Office Numbers

  1. Inside Out 2 - 154M - Walt Disney

  2. Bod Boys: Ride or Die - 33.8M (113M gross) - Sony Pictures

  3. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes - 5.5M (158.1 gross) - 20th Century Studios

  4. The Garfield Movie - 4.8M (158M gross) - Sony Pictures

  5. IF - 3.6M (101.1M gross) - Paramount Pictures

Behind the Screens

Let’s take a closer look at Presumed Innocent, the new legal thriller limited series for Apple TV+ starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Created by two television legends (J.J. Abrams & David E. Kelley) and based on the best-selling novel of the same name, here’s an inside look-

Exec Producer: J.J. Abrams (Lost, Westworld, Star Wars)

Directors: Greg Yaitanes (House of the Dragon, Manhunt, House; Upcoming: Your Friends and Neighbors)
Anne Sewitsky (Black Mirror, Castle Rock, Monsterland; Upcoming: Seductive Poison)

Casting Director: Jeanie Bacharach (The Bear, Snowfall, Station Eleven, Nashville)

Jeanie won the Emmy for Outstanding Casting in a Comedy Series in 2023 for The Bear and 2018 for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Check out Jeanie’s Q&A about the casting process for Maisel.

Quiz Time

Donald Sutherland was an absolute powerhouse of an actor. When speaking about his dad this week, Kiefer shared that he was “never daunted by a role, good, bad or ugly.” Can you match some of Donald’s iconic roles with the films they’re from?

1- Hawkeye Pierce

2- Lucien Wilbanks

3- Mr. Bennet

4- President Snow

5- Reverend Monroe

6- Vernon L. Pinkley

7- X

A. Cold Mountain

B. The Hunger Games

C. JFK

D. M*A*S*H

E. The Dirty Dozen

F. A Time to Kill

G. Pride & Prejudice

Trends on your FYP

Kate Winslet played one of our favorite games this week- does she remember her lines? For a career spanning over 30 years at this point, we’re impressed. Watch her ace the quiz ⤵️

What We’re Watching This Weekend

🎥 For the Yorgos Lanthimos fans - his newest film Kinds of Kindness starring Emma Stone & Jesse Plemons is in theaters now

🎥 For based-on-real-events drama - Austin Butler, Jodie Comer, & Tom Hardy star in The Bikeriders now in theaters

🎥 For the newest (& Certified Fresh) entry in the Predator franchise - Prey is streaming on Hulu beginning Saturday

🎥 For your “galaxy far, far away” fix - catch up on the most recent Star Wars’ series The Acolyte on Disney+

Quiz Answers: 1D, 2F, 3G, 4B, 5A, 6E, 7C
(P.S.- Have a story or industry info you think should be featured on the Rundown? Let us know - [email protected]!)