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November 29, 2018

All good things must come to an end ... or must they?

On Thursday, Universal Pictures announced that it has acquired the film rights to the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen. The director behind the film Wonder, Stephen Chbosky, is in early talks to direct, writes The Hollywood Reporter.

Dear Evan Hansen follows a high schooler who suffers from social anxiety as he accidentally gets caught up in the aftermath of his classmate's suicide. The musical received nine Tony nominations and took home five, including best musical, best actor (Ben Platt), best featured actress (Rachel Bay Jones), and best score.

Platt, who originated the role and is also known for playing Benji in Pitch Perfect, is reportedly in talks to recreate his award-winning performance for the film. The movie will see other familiar faces in playwright Steven Levenson, who is set to pen the script, along with lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul who wrote the music for the show and will act as executive producers on the film, reports The Chicago Tribune.

The musical first opened in 2016, raking in $159.5 million to date, and is currently on a national tour. Amari Pollard

August 9, 2017

President Trump's treasury secretary and former film producer Steven Mnuchin reportedly brought Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch on as investors in RatPac-Dune Entertainment, the financing company behind joints like Wonder Woman, Dunkirk, and the forthcoming Steven Spielberg film Ready Player One, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. "The idea of the Koch brothers as Hollywood stakeholders might be difficult to swallow for some of the industry's more liberal-minded power players like Spielberg and Ben Affleck, whose 2016 drama Live by Night was one of the films co-financed by RatPac-Dune," THR writes.

The Koch brothers' stake in the production company, bought for around $450 million in 2013, was not previously reported because RatPac-Dune is privately owned. Mnuchin reportedly brought on Bill Gates, too, for a deal in the same ballpark as the Koch brothers' investment.

A spokesperson for Koch Industries told THR that "Charles Koch, David Koch, and Koch Industries do not have any involvement with this investment." A person familiar with the RatPac-Dune deal claimed the Kochs and Gates kept their investment under wraps because "they're in it to make money. They're not in it for the recognition." Read the full scoop at The Hollywood Reporter. Jeva Lange

August 11, 2015

It was a star-studded red carpet like any other, with one notable exception: The security detail was Los Angeles gang enforcement officers.

Straight Outta Compton premiered Monday night in downtown L.A. with Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Zayn Malik, Kendrick Lamar, and other recognizable faces in attendance. However, perhaps due to the film's subject — Straight Outta Compton is a biopic about the 1980s rap group, N.W.A. — the LAPD not only tripled their security at the event, but they threw in the gang unit, too.

"We want everyone to enjoy the event," the Central Bureau's Officer Mike Lopez told The Los Angeles Times. "Better safe than sorry." Jeva Lange

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